Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Homemade Strawberry Marshmallows

We all love marshmallows.........but not many of us know how simple they are to make at home!

The Ingredients:
5 Sheets of Gelatine
225g Caster Sugar
100ml Water for cooking
80ml Water for soaking Gelatine
1 Egg White
1tsp Strawberry Flavouring
Some Icing Sugar and Corn Flour for dusting
Red Food Colouring

The How-To:
Soak the gelatine sheets in the 80ml of water. Place to the side.
Find a baking tray which is aprox 7x9 inches and completely dust this with the icing sugar and corn flour. Set to the side.
Place the 100ml of water and caster sugar into a saucepan and bring to the boil for 12 mins.
Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the gelatine AND the soaking water. Be careful as the hot sugar may boil up quickly now.
Return to the heat for a few minutes until the gelatine is completely dissolved in the syrup mixture.
Remove from the heat and set to the side.
Place the egg white in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until stiff.
While beating the egg white slowly add the syrup mixture. Be careful as this will still be very warm!
Continue adding the syrup while mixing until all ingredients are combined together.
While mixing add a tiny amount of red food colouring to make the mixture pink and mix in the strawberry flavouring.
Continue mixing the marshmallow mixture for a further 10 mins. You will notice it begin to thicken and get sticky as it cools.
Pour the marshmallow mixture into the dusted baking tray and smooth out with the back of a spoon or spatula. Dust the top the marshmallows with more icing sugar and corn flour.
Leave to cool for about 2 hours. 
The marshmallow should peel away from the baking tray fairly easily. Cut and serve!

You're Done!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Gingerbread Cookies

These soft, chewy gingerbread cookies will become a firm favourite for anyone calling in for a cup of tea. They keep deliciously soft for days when kept in a cookie jar.

The Ingredients:
190g Brown Sugar
120g Butter
50g Golden Syrup
1 Egg
1tsp Ground Cinnamon
1tsp Ground Ginger
1.5tsp Baking Powder
0.5tsp Ground Cloves
0.25tsp Salt
240g NEILL'S® Plain Flour


Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.
Beat in the egg and golden syrup.
In a separate bowl sieve the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, cloves and ginger together.
Mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture until all ingredients are well combined.
Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for 2 hours to firm up the dough.
Preheat oven to 190c.
Place 4 tablespoons of the cookie dough on baking sheets and bake in the centre of the oven for 10 mins.
When removed from the oven drop the baking sheet from a height onto the worktop, this forces the cookies to be flatter.
This mixture makes approximately 20 cookies.
Allow to cool on a cooling rack completely before storing in a cookie jar.
These cookies are even nicer the next day, if you can resist eating them all the first day.

You're Done!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Miniature Gin & Tonic Cakes

This is a fab 'grown ups' cake recipe which is super simple yet sophisticated. This recipe uses a marmalade created by the hugely talented Suzanne at Baked In Belfast. Suzanne has created a super marmalade using Gin & Tonic. What could be better?! You can buy online from her store here. Alternatively use your favourite lemon or lime marmalade.

The Ingredients:
175g Caster Sugar
175g NEILL'S®Self Raising Flour
175g Butter
3 Eggs
2tsp Lemon Extract/Essence
1/4 Jar of Gin & Tonic Marmalade (or similar)
50g Shredded Coconut (optional)

Preheat oven to 180c
Prepare either your favourite miniature cake tins (I use Dr Oetker mini bread tins)
Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth
Beat in the 3 eggs one at a time until well combined
Beat in the lemon flavouring
Sieve the flour into a separate bowl and fold this into the mixture
Continue to mix until all ingredients are combined but do not over mix
Pour the mixture into the tins. (with this recipe I can make 6 small 3x2.5 inch cakes)
Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 mins before turning out
While still warm spread some marmalade on top
For extra indulgence preheat a small pan on low heat and toast some coconut until light golden brown and sprinkle on top of the marmalade covered cakes.

You're Done!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Don't miss The Telegraph on September 17 and 18 for your 52-page River Cottage Baking booklets.

If you are able to get Saturday and Sunday’s (17th & 18th September) copies of the Telegraph newspaper you are in for a treat. They are offering a huge 140 page booklet packed full of recipes over the two days. There will be a 52 page booklet in each the Saturday and Sunday papers. That’s practically a whole recipe book. FREE!

Introduced by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, these booklets will inspire you to bake seasonal sweet treats and delicious everyday breads. A lot of you will know Hugh from his fantastic show River Cottage.

Saturday's booklet, Cakes and biscuits, features 30 recipes including classics such as carrot cake, chocolate cake and blueberry muffins, as well as River Cottage favourites: hazelnut macaroons and cardamom cake.

Sunday's booklet, Breads and puddings, begins with a step-by-step bread recipe and variations, plus focaccia, soda bread and bagels, for those who like a challenge. For sweet-toothed readers, there are versions of vanilla cheesecake, clafoutis and fruit tarts.

Don't miss The Telegraph on September 17 and 18 for your 52-page River Cottage Baking booklets.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Pancake French Toast

This is an excellent modern adaption to a very traditional recipe for French Toast. Why not combine French Toast with American Pancakes? Absolutely no reason, that's why we have.

The Ingredients:
The Pancake French Toast:
160g NEILL'S® Plain Flour
300ml Milk
4tbsp Brown Sugar
2tbsp Vegetable Oil
2tsp Baking Powder
2tsp Vanilla Extract
3tsp Ground Cinnamon
4 Eggs
0.5tsp Salt
Blueberry Sauce:
200g Fresh Blueberries
300ml Water
100g Caster Sugar
Half of 1 Lemon

Beat the eggs, milk, oil, salt, vanilla extract and brown sugar together in a large bowl until well combined.
In a separate bowl sieve the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together.
Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the liquid.
Stir until well combined. Whisk if necessary to remove any large lumps.
This recipe uses about 10 slices of thick bread. If you wish to make less you can keep some of the pancake mixture to make pancakes the next day.
Cut the crusts off the bread to make neat edges if you wish. This is not necessary.
Dip the bread in the batter and place in a preheated heavy pan on a low-medium heat. These cook very quickly so ensure they don't burn.
Remove and place on some kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.

Now we need to make the delicious blueberry sauce to go with the pancake french toast.
Place the blueberries and 100ml of the water in a saucepan. Crush using a potato masher or fork.
Bring to the boil on a medium heat reducing to a low simmer for 12 mins. You will really see the blueberry colour come out at this stage.
Remove the blueberries and juice from the bowl and pass through a fine sieve to remove the skin and seeds.
Now that we are left with the juice set this aside.
Peel two strips of lemon zest (potato peeler is good to use) and add this into a clean saucepan and add the remaining 200ml of the water and 100g of Caster Sugar.

Return to a medium heat and boil for a further 12 minutes.This will thicken slightly

Remove from the heat and stir in the blueberry juice and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Stir well and allow to cool (will be very warm!).

Pour over your Pancake French Toast and serve!

You're Done

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Dutch Boterkoek (Butter Cake)

Its now been several months since we wrote our Live Blog all the way from Amsterdam. (Which you can still read here) To bring back some of those fantastic memories we decided to make Dutch Boterkoek. So tasty and super simple to make.

The Ingredients:
160g Butter
210g Caster Sugar
1 Egg
200g NEILL'S® Plain Flour
2tsp Almond Extract
0.5tsp Baking Powder

The How-To:
Preheat oven to 170c
Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.
Beat in the egg.
Beat in the almond extract.
In a separate bowl sieve the flour and baking powder together.
Fold the flour into the wet mix stirring just enough to combine all ingredients.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 40 mins.
Leave to cool for 10 mins before turning out to cool completely.
Cut into slices and serve.

You're Done!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Strawberry Jam Biscuits

Sometimes the simple and traditional recipes come out top and this is one of these recipes. With the addition of coconut and strawberry flavouring to this traditional biscuit recipe we can create a modern tasty biscuit.
We are working on new flavour combinations for similar biscuit recipes so stay tuned.

The Ingredients:
290g NEILL'S® Plain Flour
150g Caster Sugar
230g Butter
1 Egg Yolk
0.5tsp Salt
1tsp Strawberry Flavouring
100g Desiccated Coconut
~50g Strawberry Jam

The How-To:
Preheat oven to 180c
Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.
Beat in the egg yolk and continue to mix until well combined.
Beat in the strawberry flavouring.
In a separate bowl sieve the flour and salt together. Mix in the coconut.
Add the dry mix to the wet mix and stir until all ingredients are combined and forms a stiff dough.
Take 1tbsp of the dough, roll between your hands to form a ball. Place on a baking tray and press down slightly.
Use the end of a spoon to make a dent in the centre of the dough.
Using a piping bag filled with jam fill the dent being careful not to overfill, as it will bubble over during cooking.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 15 mins.
Remove and allow to cool for at least 10 mins as the jam will be very hot!

You’re Done!