Sweet and Sour Sauce
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tbsp demerara sugar
- 2 tbsps malt vinegar
- 2 tbsps tomato ketchup
- 2 tbsps sherry (medium or cream is best)
- 2 tbsps dark soy sauce
- 1 onion
- 2 tbsps vegetable oil
- 1 bell pepper (green gives the best colour contrast but yellow/orange/red is sweeter)
- 1 tin pineapple chunks in own juice (or rings, but break the ring up into smaller chunks first)
- Preheat the oil in a frying pan on a medium heat.
- Chop the onion, add it to the oil, and fry until soft.
- Deseed, destalk, and chop up the bell pepper, and add to the pan along with all of the other ingredients.
- Keep stirring until smooth, breaking up any lumps of flour with the back of a spoon.
Serve with the meat/fish/veg of your choice and egg noodles or rice.
- 400-500g (1lb) beef mince
- 400g peeled plum tomatoes
- 4-5 closed cup mushrooms
- 1 x beef stock cube (pref. Oxo)
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 small onion
- Spaghetti and grated cheese to serve
- Slice or dice mushrooms
- Finely dice onion
- Blend tomatoes
- Brown mince if not using lean meat and drain off fat (skip step if using lean mince)
- Add all ingredients except spaghetti and cheese to a medium saucepan
- Keep stirring until mince is thoroughly cooked - add tomato puree if preferred, and add water if mixture is too thick
- Serve with spaghetti and grated cheese
Tuna and Courgette Bake
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 medium onion
- 3 tbsps olive oil
- 2 large or 3 medium courgettes
- 1 tsp marjoram
- 300-400g tin tuna
- 300-400g tin peeled plum tomatoes
- 3 tbsps plain yoghurt
- 100g grated white cheddar
- 50-100g breadcrumbs
- Pasta and/or garlic bread to serve
- Finely dice the onion, crush the garlic cloves, and place in a large, lidded, microwavable dish with the olive oil. Microwave on high for three minutes with the lid on.
- Chop the courgettes into thin slices, mix into the softened onion and garlic, add marjoram, then cover and microwave on high for three minutes.
- Blend together the tomatoes and yoghurt, then add in the tuna and break up any large chunks.
- Remove half the courgettes, add the tuna mixture to the microwavable dish on top of the bottom layer of courgettes, then add the remaining courgettes back on top. Cover and microwave on high for three minutes.
- Cover the mixture with cheddar and breadcrumbs, then microwave for three minutes uncovered.
- Place under a grill until topping starts to brown, serve with pasta and/or garlic bread.
Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
Tried and tested and loved from here - http://joythebaker.com/2011/03/cinnamon-sugar-pull-apart-bread/ - just reposting the recipe in the event that website is ever tragically taken down.
- 3 cups plain flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 2 ounces butter (add 1/2 tsp salt if using unsalted butter)
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Filling:
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- 2 ounces butter, melted
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt if needed. Set aside.
- Whisk together eggs and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, melt together milk and butter until butter has just melted. Remove from the heat and add water and vanilla extract. Let mixture stand for a minute or two, or until the mixture registers 115 to 125 degrees F.
- Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula. Add the eggs and stir the mixture until the eggs are incorporated into the batter. The eggs will feel soupy and it’ll seem like the dough and the eggs are never going to come together. Keep stirring. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of flour and stir with the spatula for about 2 minutes. The mixture will be sticky. That’s just right.
- Place the dough is a large, greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Place in a warm space and allow to rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour. *The dough can be risen until doubled in size, then refrigerated overnight for use in the morning. If you’re using this method, just let the dough rest on the counter for 30 minutes before following the roll-out directions below.
- While the dough rises, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg for the filling. Set aside. Melt 2 ounces of butter and set aside. Grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Set that aside too.
- Deflate the risen dough and knead about 2 tablespoons of flour into the dough. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out. The dough should be 12-inches tall and about 20-inches long. If you can’t get the dough to 20-inches long… that’s okay. Just roll it as large as the dough will go. Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter across all of the dough. Sprinkle with all of the sugar and cinnamon mixture. It might seem like a lot of sugar. Seriously? Just go for it.
- Slice the dough vertically, into six equal-sized strips. Stack the strips on top of one another and slice the stack into six equal slices once again. You’ll have six stacks of six squares. Layer the dough squares in the loaf pan like a flip-book. Place a kitchen towel over the loaf pan and allow in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes or until almost doubled in size.
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Place loaf in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is very golden brown. The top may be lightly browned, but the center may still be raw. A nice, dark, golden brown will ensure that the center is cooked as well.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the bread and invert onto a clean board. Place a cake stand or cake plate on top of the upside down loaf, and carefully invert so it’s right side up. Serve warm with coffee or tea.
Best served the day it’s made, but can be wrapped and kept at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Easy Steak Sauce
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 4 or 5 closed cup mushrooms, finely diced (chestnut mushrooms are also okay, as are button mushrooms if you up the quantity)
- 1/4 pint single cream (best to have a full 1/2 pint on hand in case the sauce thickens too much if left simmering)
- 1 tbsp brandy
- 1 oz butter
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Melt the butter on a low heat and add the diced onion until it turns translucent - if it starts browning, take the pan off the heat and turn the heat way down.
- Add all the other ingredients, stir through until heated, and simmer until the mushrooms soften. If mixture thickens too much to be of use, thin slightly with more cream.
- Serve with steak.
- 3 bananas (preferably large, size occasionally matters)
- 6oz butter
- 6oz demerara sugar
- 8oz flour
- 1 egg
- 2 tsps baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- As many walnut halves/pieces as you please (I added about fifteen last time I made this, come at me bro)
- 4oz sultanas (optional)
- Peel and mash bananas and softened butter together.
- Once well blended sprinkle on sugar then add all other ingredients except for the egg, nuts and sultanas.
- Mix all these ingredients together well with a wooden spoon, then break in the egg, again making sure to mix it well.
- Add the walnuts (and sultanas, if using).
- If you are using a silicone loaf tin, just dump the mixture all in, job done. If you are using a more traditional metal tin, then grease the tin, make a lift of greaseproof paper, grease that, pop it in the bottom of the tin, and then spoon in the mixture.
- Bake in a moderate oven (gas mark 4, 180C [165C for fan ovens]) for one to one and a half hours until golden brown and a knife or skewer inserted into the loaf comes out clean.
- Cool and serve.
Technically these are fairy cakes, but shh.
- 4 oz butter
- 4 oz caster sugar
- 4 oz self-raising flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla flavouring
- 2 tbsps Soft brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla flavouring
- 1 oz butter
- 3 tbsps Evaporated milk
- 4 oz Icing sugar
- Soften butter, then blend with caster sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs and vanilla essence then blend until even lighter and fluffier.
- Add self-raising flour and lose all that light fluffiness but blend until it’s as light and fluffy as you can get it to be anyway.
- Divide mixture evenly amongst 12 fairy cake cases and bake at about 180C for 12 to 15 minutes until golden-browntexture like sun.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack.
- While the cakes cool down, melt all the icing ingredients together except the icing sugar over a low heat until the soft brown sugar has dissolved.
- Add the icing sugar and beat until smooth; the mixture can be thinned further with more evaporated milk, or thickened further with more icing sugar, but this is not an icing that sets hard.
- Once cakes are completely cooled, cover evenly with icing.
- 1/3 cup warm water (not exceeding 40C)
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsps or 1 sachet active dry yeast
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsps cooking oil
- 1/4 cup boiling hot water
- 1 large egg, beaten with a fork
- 2 1/4 cups white flour (may need more if not using bread flour)
- 3 tbsps granulated sugar
- 3 tbsps softened butter
- 1 cup fine coconut
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp water
Instructions for making dough:
- Stir 1/3 cup warm water and 1 tsp sugar together until sugar dissolves. Sprinkle yeast on top, and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
- Stir 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, and 3 tbsps cooking oil together in a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup boiling hot water and stir until sugar is dissolved. Once mixture has cooled slightly, stir in the beaten egg and yeast mixture.
- Add flour until a soft dough forms, then knead until elastic, adding more flour if necessary due to mixture getting sticky.
- Place dough in large greased bowl, turning dough to ensure all of the dough’s surface is lightly greased. Cover dough with greased waxed paper/greaseproof paper. Cover bowl with tea towel. Let stand in a warm part of the house or an electric oven with the light on and door closed for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until doubled in bulk.
- Punch dough down, cover with greased waxed paper/greaseproof paper again (you can reuse the paper from before), allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- Use dough as recipe requires.
Instructions for making honey/cocktail buns:
- Divide dough into 12 equal potions.
- Press and stretch each portion into oblong shapes, approx. 5x3 inches.
- Blend all filling ingredients together with a food processor or hand blender.
- Place rounded tablespoons of filling lengthwise along centre of each dough piece, then pinch dough edges together to seal the filling inside.
- Place buns seam-side down on greased baking sheet. Cover with greased waxed paper and a tea towel. Allow to stand in a warm part of the house or an electric oven with the light on and door closed for 1 hour until doubled in size.
- Beat egg wash ingredients together with a fork in a small cup or bowl. Brush over buns, and bake at 175C (160C for fan-assisted ovens) for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown.
- Mix honey wash ingredients together in a separate small cup or bowl. Brush over buns while still warm from the oven.
- Serve buns, ideally while still warm.
8oz plain chocolate
15ml rum or brandy
4oz slightly salted butter
4oz caster sugar
4 eggs, separated
5 fl.oz fresh double cream (optional)
Chocolate curls to decorate (optional)
- Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a bowl over simmering water with the rum (or brandy) and 2 tbsps water. Stir until smooth, and allow to cool slightly.
- Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, then beat in the egg yolks one at a time.
- Add the chocolate to the butter mixture and beat for 5 minutes until light.
- Whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry and fold into the chocolate.
- Pour into a serving dish or individual glasses and chill until set.
- If using optional ingredients: Whip the fresh cream until stiff. Decorate the mousse with fresh piped cream and chocolate curls.