Sunday, 4 December 2016

More fudge

I'm a great fan of 'The Frugal Family' blog.  If you like frugal stuff, it is well worth following and I do.

A short while ago Cassie posted about how she had made some very easy fudge using Nutella.  Well, my ears (or do I mean eyes?) pricked up because fudge is what I am making for people this year for gifts as I don't have enough chutney/jam for everyone (and have enough to last me over the winter too!).

The first batch of fudge I made turned out beautifully (the previous post has a link to the recipe) and I am going to make it again with flavourings and additions, like brazil nuts.  However, this one looked so easy that I thought I'd give it a go.

Here's the link because I'm not going to nick someone else's recipe.  This, hopefully, takes you straight to the relevant post but you might like to stay and look around a bit.

I used Thermione because it is easier and does all the stirring for me!  I also costed it out, just for interest.

200g milk chocolate.  I used Morrisons savers choc which is - well, OK - and is 30p a bar so that was 60p
1 can condensed milk - carnation, of course, is there any other - £1.35
25g butter - 10p (Lurpak was £1.00 when I bought it)
300g Nutella.  Well, I didn't use Nutella, I got the Morrisons savers equivalent and I think it's the very first time I have bought anything like that!  The jar was 80p so I used 60ps worth
Total:  £2.65

I reckon I will get four generous sized gifts from that so, even with the wrappings and ribbons, it is going to be a great gift, made with love and care but not breaking the bank!

Of course, I am posting before the mixture has had time to set so it could all be a disaster but it has started to set before it's cooled enough to go in the fridge so I am optimistic.  And if it doesn't, it will make a brilliant sauce, it can be swirled into ice cream, it certainly won't be wasted!

It looks less than it is - the baking tin is a biggie - fruit cake size!
And here's the star of the show.  The most used piece of equipment I have ever had!  How did I ever manage pre-Thermione?  😉

Later:   It set.  It's a bit soft so next time I will cook it for longer.  It is absolutely delicious!

Friday, 25 November 2016

Fudge - a Thermomix recipe

I know people follow this occasional blog who have and use Thermos so this is for you.

It is not my recipe so I won't 'steal' it, I will post a link.  Just want to say it is so, so simple and absolutely delicious (it's not frugal but it's not outrageous when you think how much good fudge can cost to buy).
I shall be making more for Christmas presents.

Here's the link:

Go on - have a go.  Spoil yourself.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Caramelised red onion chutney

I found this on a Facebook group I help to admin. It's a Slimming World  recipe, but I haven't found it exactly anywhere online so I will reproduce it in full and if anyone has the link, please let me know.

Here it is, as it was given to me.

For those on slimming world, 4 syns for the lot (it said - I'm not sure.  It's a lot of sugar!)

Frylight or about 1 tablespoon oil
8 red onions, sliced
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (I used chili puree
4 cloves garlic, peeled and grated (I used lazy garlic from a jar)
2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (I used lazt ginger from a jar)
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons ground allspice
150ml balsamic vinegar
150ml red wine vinegar
8 tablespoons sugar  (I used demerara)

Gently fry the onions, garlic, ginger, chilli on a very low heat until soft, dark (not burned or crisp) & slightly sticky, this takes about 20 - 30 minutes.
Add the allspice & cook for a minute or two to heat the spice & release the flavour/aroma, stirring gently.
Add the sugar/sweetener & vinegars & simmer very gently for about 30 minutes or until thick, dark & sticky.
Pour into hot, sterilized jars, seal & leave to cool.
Ideally should be left for a month or more to mature the flavours.

If made in the next few days this will be matured & delicious in time for Christmas. 

I actually made it in  Thermione and it was great.  Just one thing - for goodness sakes open the kitchen windows, close the kitchen door and use the extractor fan, if you have one.  The pong lingers.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Cranberry and apple chutney

I got this from another blog and it is so simple and uncomplicated to make, thickened well and tastes lovely.

Great in a bacon roll (I had no brie, sadly) and in a cheese sarnie and it will also be fantastic as an alternative to my cranberry jelly on the Christmas table.  It's a lovely colour too.

Here's the link - do go over and look and maybe give it a go.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

My sweet pastry

I won't go into the long rigmarole of how and why, that has been chronicled elsewhere, but suffice it to say, after various trials and tribulations (I'm a terribly pastry maker), I made this up.
That's not to say it is original.  I am absolutely sure that exactly the same recipe will be out there, probably in many different places, but I didn't see them or use them.
This turned out soft and short and melt in the mouth.  Most unusual for me!  It made lovely mince pies!

Ingredients (can be reduced down or increased, of course)
200g plain flour
30g icing sugar
70g Trex (I use Trex because of family vegetarians)
30g butter, diced (I use salted and don't add any other salt.  If you use unsalted, also add a pinch of salt)
1 egg, beaten
milk for glazing

Thermione method
If using granulated sugar, pulse it three or four times to powder it

Add the flour (and salt if needed) and the fats, butter cut into small bits.  Pulse twice, then check and pulse once more if needed (twice was enough for me)

Add the beaten egg and mix on speed 6 for five seconds.  Check and if it hasn't all come together, give it another five seconds.

Tip onto a floured surface, briefly knead into a dough, shape it, wrap it in a poly bag or similar and chill - the longer the better.  I chilled mine overnight.

Then use as needed

The usual method
Put the flour (and salt if needed), the icing sugar and the fats in a bowl and rub the fat into the flour until a breadcrumb consistency is achieved.
Add the beaten egg.  Mix it in with a knife until it all comes together, then knead it briefly with your hands.
Then wrap and chill as above.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Prepping for Christmas

This isn't a recipe as such, more a time saving idea.

I always prepare my roasties and parsnips for Christmas early and this is what I do.

Peel the veg and cut them into whatever size you will want to serve them as.  Par boil them for about five minutes.

Take them out of the water and place them on a tray with a tea towel under them and leave them to dry and cool.
 Like this
parsnips . . .

. . . and potatoes (I used King Edwards)

When cold, dust them in a half and half mix of flour and semolina.

Then space them out on a tray with parchment or easy-leave underneath.

Cover them with cling film and freeze them.

Once frozen, bag them.  They will stay separate.

Roast as you would normally do.  They come out beautifully crunchy and the spuds are so fluffy.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Banana pancakes

A great way of using up those over-ripe bananas and frugal too, especially as otherwise the banana might be chucked.
It's not my recipe although I added the milk as the batter was too thick.  I think it might be a Slimming World recipe although I am not sure, so apologies.

Ingredients (made enough for two for me)
1 very ripe banana
1 medium egg
50g rolled oats, zizzed down a bit if not using a thermo
50g milk
1/3 tsp ground cinnamon
coconut oil for frying

Normal Method
Put all the ingredients apart from the oil in a bowl and mix together really well to make a thick-ish batter. There should be some texture in the oats but the batter should be fairly smooth.
Thermomix method
Briefly zizz the oats.
Add the banana, cinnamon, milk and egg and zizz again. There should be some texture in the oats but the batter should be fairly smooth.
Rest of method
Heat the oil. When hot, add a ladleful of batter. Reduce heat to low and fry for 3-4 mins before flipping over and cooking the other side. You may need to flip over more than once as the batter is thick and it does take some time. Don’t over-brown.
I found it made enough for two in my small pan but turning them was tricky. Next time I might use my bigger pan and my crumpet rings to make smaller, more easily flipped pancakes
Serve with a dollop of yogurt and a drizzle of honey

Edited 24-10-16:  MUCH better done with crumpet rings.  Add a small ladleful of batter and remove the right immediately.  Worked a treat and you get three for one bigger one so you can make a mini stack!