About cookbakeandeat

We're Lau and Fi, both living and working in London sharing our latest cooking endeavours along with favourite recipes and general food related fun times....

So long farewell

I’m sure everyone has noticed that we’ve been pretty absent around these parts lately. The fact that there’s been no new post since 25th June will tell you that. Sorry for that, but the pair of us were feeling a little bit lost when it came to writing here. Along with CBE we both also have individual lifestyle blogs which meant that we were running three blogs between us and it just wasn’t working. Something had to change. So we decided to take a step back for a couple of weeks and soon realised what we wanted to do, and since then we’ve been making it happen. 
So what have we been doing I hear you ask? Well we’ve been creating a whole new blogging space that will combine our previous three blogs, including this one. This and That is now live so head on over there to read all about our adventures. There’ll be recipes, travel memories, running chatter, book and restaurant reviews along with other rambling posts.
Hope to see you there.
Lau & Fi

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Perfectly Simple Welsh Cakes

Greetings friendlies, how are you this merry day?

Today on this here blog I’m going to share one of my all time favourite cakey things with you – Welsh Cakes! My history with these baked goodies goes a little bit like this: for as long as I can remember whenever we’ve seen my Mum’s best friend, nicknamed the Welsh Wizard (thanks to her Welsh heritage), she’s always armed with freshly baked Welsh Cakes. It’s one of the main things I remember from being knee-high to a grasshopper – arriving at her house to the aroma of Welsh Cakes and eating about twelve during our stay or having her produce a tin of them as soon as she gets out of her car!

It’s fair to say that I’ve become addicted to these lovely yummy morsels and it’s most definitely a tradition that I adore. They are frankly absolutely scrumptious in all their squishy, doughy, fruity brilliance and I love them, but considering my absolute love for them it’s absolutely ridiculous that I’ve never made them – a travesty I know! Anyway last Christmas this friend gave us her family recipe and the baking stone needed so that we could get on with making them ourselves. Hooray! So finally after ten months we finally got round to making them and let me just say they did not disappoint, they were as scrumptious as I’ve always remembered and I now just might make them all the time!

So anyway here’s the secret family recipe so all you lovely people can give them a whirl, you lucky things!

When you consider the five ingredients it’s even more ridiculous that I’ve not made them before as they are all store cupboard essentials, so no special trip to the shop is needed. Shame on me! So anyway you will need:

  • 8 oz self raising flour
  • 3 oz margarine
  • 4oz caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • A sprinkle of raisins/sultanas

And to make them, it couldn’t be easier, just follow these six simple steps!

  1. Rub the flour, sugar and margarine together
  2. Add the eggs, which you’ll have beaten already and mix together to form a dough
  3. Just before the dough is ready to roll out, sprinkle in the sultanas or raisins
  4. Roll out the dough until it’s about a cm thick and cut out your shapes – circles are traditional
  5. Pop onto your heated and buttered baking stone  and heat for about 5 minutes on each side, until they start to brown
  6. Eat! It’s customary to eat them warm with a sprinkling of sugar and spread of butter but it’s not essential.

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Let me know if you give them a whirl and fall in love with them as I’ve done – I’ll be surprised if you don’t! Happy baking.

– Fi xx

Ready Steady Cook #1

So hello and welcome to the first installment of our Ready Steady Cook cooking challenge – I’m going to come up with a short catchy title, I promise – let’s start today’s post by looking at the ingredients that Fi picked for me to cook with…

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one aubergine / 250g beef mince / one can of evaporated milk /

one pack of raspberry jelly / a tin of peaches

Honestly when I first saw this selection of food I had a bit of a panic. I had no idea what I was going to cook. I just couldn’t get my head around what to do with these five items. Straight away I separated the aubergine and mince into the the savoury main course and the remaining three ingredients into my sweet desert option. Then I set about brainstorming. A good 24 hours later I was set and ready to go, with a beef and aubergine lasagne and a peach and raspberry trifle. I decided to get cooking on the bank holiday Monday so that I’d have plenty of time to get everything done as I knew there were a lot of steps that I needed to get through.

Beef and aubergine lasagne

Bought ingredients – aubergine, mince

Store cupboard ingredients – onion, pasata, herbs, lasagne sheets, milk, butter, flour, salt & pepper

Here’s a look at what I did…

  • chop the onion and fry in a little oil
  • once softened add in the mince and brown off
  • add in the pasata and the herbs and simmer over a low heat to lose some of the liquid
  • meanwhile slice the aubergine along the longest length and then make your white sauce using the milk, butter, flour and seasoning
  • Now layer the lasagne up. I went for a thin layer of mince, aubergine, lasagne sheets, white sauce, meat, aubergine and so on. Finish with a layer of pasta and then the remaining white sauce
  • Cook in the oven – takes about 30 minutes.

Peach and raspberry trifle

Bought ingredients – evaporated milk, peaches and raspberry jelly cubes

Store cupboard ingredients – eggs, margarine, sugar, flour and vanilla essence

and here’s what I did…

  • first I made a basic sponge cake, with all the ingredients from the cupboard. Thank god we make a lot of cakes in our house!
  • make the jelly as per the packet instructions
  • I read online here that you can whip evaporated milk into whipped cream so this was my aim. I did think about using the milk in the lasagne but thought that this might be a better option instead – just to try something different.
  • Right next it’s time to layer up the trifle. I cut the cake into squares and started by layering that at the bottom of the bowl. Then goes the jelly, the peaches and the cream, I did three layers of everything ending with the cream on top.

Yes I do realise that my pudding would have looked a lot better if it was in a glass bowl, but we don’t have one so in came the second option *must add to my christmas list*. I was also tempted just to make two small trifles, but then I would have been left with a lot of extra jelly and cake so I thought why not make a mahoosive one – practice for the next Evans family Christmas maybe…

I had so much fun making these dishes, personally I loved the aubergine with the lasagne, it gave a lovely flavour throughout the dish. Plus it was so filling – luckily I’d been spinning so I was hungry!

The pudding was slightly different, the jelly and the cake were delicious but there was a slight issue with the whipped cream – I forgot to snap a picture but it went into the fridge all full and when we took it out to serve the cream had basically disappeared – we were just left with a bit of foam. We decided to dive into the dish anyway and actually it was great, all I can think is that the sponge had soaked up the cream as it was so soft and perfect with the jelly and peaches. Plus both Fi and I aren’t huge fans of cream so actually I think this worked in our favour!

Now the only thing left is for Fi to get marking my dishes…

Use of ingredients: 8/10 I’ve gone with eight because I think an aubergine and beef lasagna was a genius way to mix the ingredients – and it hadn’t even crossed my mind! As for the missing two points, well I think Lau should really have used the milk in the two meals, that would have shown true cooking cleverness!

Ingenuity: 9/10 A trifle was inspired, I would never have thought of making a cake with these ingredients, and using the evaporated milk as cream was rather clever I think – so bonus points for that!

Taste: 9/10 Both parts of this meal were seriously scrumptious. I particularly loved how the aubergine flavoured the lasagna and the milk softened the cake, so delicious.

Until next time… Lau and Fi xx

Picnic pickings

In the sunshine there’s nothing I love more than packing a picnic and sitting outside – whether at the beach or in the park. It’s pure bliss. Sadly during the most recent warm weather I’ve been incredibly busy so haven’t had time to get my picnic hat on BUT that doesn’t mean I’ve not thought about it! For my ultimate afternoon of picnicking I would require the following:

  • Homemade coronation chicken and a crusty French stick. AKA the food of the gods. Somehow this simple dish is like food heaven for me.
  • Leftover sausages. Preferably Bombay Bangers from the butchers in my parents village. Exceptionally tasty, even Lau (recent sausage convert) would agree.
  • Quiche or some form of eggy pastry. Goats cheese and egg puff pastry parcels are equally as scrumptious as a Quiche Lorraine.
  • Mint jelly sandwiches. Accompanied by some form of meat obviously, chicken, lamb or beef I’m not fussy. The mint is the key item in here.
  • Pesto and mozzarella rice. Literally those three ingredients, although Mary Berry’s pesto dressing is preferable to a jar of pesto. Scrumptious.
  • Cake. No preference on which. Just some form of cakes loveliness please.

And finally this amazing picnic rug to laze on – who knew they did a hedgehog print! Oh how I love Anorak’s products.

hedgehog rug

Oatmeal and Raisin Biscuits

Before I launch into the recipe for these biscuits I just need to tell you of my total obsession for oatmeal and raisin cookies. It all started back in 2007 when I was on my five month once-in-a-lifetime travelling trip around the world. When we were on our America leg there were Starbucks’ on every corner (and in every airport), as we had very little money left by that point we frequented them a lot (it’s super cheap and you can spend hours there). Once of my discoveries at Starbucks was their version of oatmeal and raisin cookies – they are literally amazing! In the space of six weeks I must have eaten about 50 of them. Ever since that time I’ve been trying to recreate them, as sadly the same version aren’t available in the UK – sad times indeed. I’ve not had much luck, although these cookies are scrumptious and yummy, they aren’t quite on a Starbucks level. But hey I still wolfed down four in one sitting, so they can’t be all that bad!!

Oatmeal and Raisin Biscuits

Oatmeal and Raisin Biscuits

The other great thing about these cookies is they are one of those amazing recipes that can be created in advance, then frozen and sliced up when you want them. So in theory you can make a roll and then just slice off two cookies at a time (yeah because that’s going to happen in reality isn’t it!?!?). Anyway the biscuits are from a Good Food recipe which you can find here, or you can just look below. To make these yummy morsels, you will need:

200g butter
200g soft brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
200g self-raising flour
140g oats
50g raisins

  • Simply whisk the butter and sugar together
  • Add the eggs and vanilla essence
  • Stir in the flour, oats and raisins
  • Layout a piece of clingfilm and pop the mixture in the middle
  • Then spread the mixture over the clingfilm so that you have a sausage shaped line of mixture
  • Wrap up the line of mixture and pop in the freezer
  • When you’re ready to bake the cookies, simply cut slices of biscuits (about 0.5cm deep) and pop on a baking sheet
  • Cook on 180⁰C for 15 minutes until golden brown

If you fancy chocolate chip or nutty biscuits, just add 50g of either ingredient instead of raisins. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!!

– Fi xx

Lemon and Lime Poppyseed Cake

Lemon and Lime Poppyseed Cake

I’m a big fan of lemon cake and it’s one of my main choices when I’m having cake out (FYI the lemon polenta cake at Carluccio’s is absolutely delicious and beautifully zesty), but considering my love for this type of cake I really don’t make it enough! This needs to be rectified asap and so we’re starting with this scrumptious recipe, which is from Lorraine Pascale’s Fast, Fresh and Easy Food cookbook. I made this cake a few weeks ago when we had a night with our lovely friends. The premise of the night was ‘Guilty Pleasures’ so we watched classic films like Jerry Maguire and Step Up and ate cheese, bread, pastry items, Eton Mess, Dutch Apple Cake, etc. My contribution to this amazing spread was Lorraine Pascal’s Lemon and Lime Poppy Seed Cake, which everyone needs to make in their life. It really is scrumptious, soft, zesty and refreshing. You can’t not love it I promise.

What you’ll need:
125g soft butter
150g caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla essence
3 eggs
150g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 lemon (finely grated)
1 lime (finely grated)
4 tbsp poppy seeds
50g icing sugar

  • Grease a loaf tin with butter and parchment paper
  • Whisk butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy
  • Add the vanilla essence and eggs and beat into the butter and icing mixture
  • Add the flour, baking powder, lemon and lime and mix
  • Stir the poppy seeds in to the cake mixture
  • Pour into the cake tin and pop in the oven.
  • Bake on 180⁰C for 30 minutes
  • Meanwhile make the icing by mixing a tbsp of lemon juice with the icing sugar until it’s a runny drizzly consistency. (ps. make sure you sift the icing sugar – very important or you’ll get lumps…)
  • Once the cake has cooled pour the icing mixture over the cake and EAT!

Enjoy – you’ll literally die over the moistness of this cake!

– Fi xx

Cod and Pesto Lasagna

We both love a big bowl of pasta, no matter the occasion, season or time of day pasta is always on the cards! I’m sure we’ve mentioned in the past how amazing the Mumbles’ lasagna is and we’ve actually made a fish lasagna in the past (not that I can find the post, oops) but when I spotted a fish pesto version I knew we would be making it and hooray the opportunity presented itself at the weekend. My reasoning for making such a dish? The fact that pesto and pasta are basically staples in our London flat – we probably have it for dinner or lunch once a week as it’s super-easy and we ALWAYS have the ingredients in stock.

We adapted the Sorted recipe and these were our simple steps:

Make a white sauce using butter, plain flour and milk
Fry some leeks and mushrooms in a dash of soy sauce
Chop the cod/prawns/anything fishy into cubes (about 200g)
Mix white sauce, fish, mushrooms, leeks and 2 tsps of pesto together and simmer for five minutes
Layer the sauce mixture and lasagna sheets in an overproof dish
Cover the top with sauce and then a layer of pesto
Bake at 200˚C for 20 minutes

Eat and fall in love!