Food Life Lately

Today’s post is basically about what we’ve been up to lately. The last couple of months have absolutely flown by and I feel like we’ve lots track of things quite a bit here. So with that in mind I decided to share all the foodie wonders that Fi and I have experienced lately. It’s mainly pictures, because let’s be honest pictures are the best!

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Lunchtime park picnics from Pret

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Pimms – the perfect summer cocktail

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Afternoon tea in the garden – chocolate cake, marshmallow crispy, coffee and walnut cake, banana muffins and chocolate chip cakes.

Borough Market treats

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Homemade Chinese chicken

Flapjack

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Raw Cookie Dough

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Double chocolate chip cookies

 Homemade hummus

Lunch at The Pepper Tree in Clapham IMG_3324

Caprese Salad

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Homemade turkey burgers and sweet potato fries

Sunday breakfast at The Delaunay

So there we go. You’ve all been caught up on our recent foodie lives. Wasn’t that just a bundle of fun? All I know is that I am now hungry from looking at all that food!

Lau xxx

Coffee and Walnut Cake

It’s time for another cake recipe. Yep, it’s been all about the sweet stuff recently! I’ve been talking about making a coffee and walnut cake for ages and ages, mainly because it’s my youngest sister’s favourite cake ever.  Plus I now like coffee which means it’s a cake that I want to actually make (and then eat now), whereas previously I just wasn’t bothered! So with Easter upon us, and knowing that Becca would be home with us for the celebrations, the four day weekend seemed like the perfect time to get baking. Trust me guys this is a good recipe that you can make with your basic store cupboard ingredients. It’s super easy with as it’s just a slightly amended Victoria sponge cake, but it looks gorgeous and tastes so good.

Ingredients – 

For the cake
175g softened butter
175g brown sugar
175g self-raising flour
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp strong coffee powder (i used espresso granules) mixed with 2 tbsp boiling water and then cooled

For the Icing
100g softened butter
200g icing sugar
9 walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease two circular baking tins
2. Cream together the butter and sugar

3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well in between. Add the vanilla and whisk again

4. Sift in the flour and baking powder and then gently fold into the mixture

5. Add half of the coffee mixture and fold in again
6. Now divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for 20-25 mins

Once the cakes are cooled it’s time to make the icing.

cooling cakes

7. Beat together the butter and icing sugar into a smooth icing
8. Add in the remaining coffee and mix well. Have a taste of the icing and add more coffee as needed – we added about half the same again as we like the taste of coffee a lot!

coffee buttercream
9. Use half the icing to sandwich the cakes together and then spread the remaining half on the top. Now top with your walnut halves.

cofefe and walnut cake

Happy Baking. Lau xxx

This recipe originates from The Baking Book by Dorling Kindersley.

Baking for Easter

Easter is quite possibly my favourite time of the year as it seems to signal the start of the summer and outside dining. I love the opportunity to get together with all the family and chill out in the garden, plus it brings with it the possibility of a barbecue as well as a fabulous roast dinner on Easter Sunday. Never mind the easter egg fun.

This Easter my sisters and I have decided to cook out amazing pulled pork at some point over the four days for the parental units to enjoy. Plus I’m planning on trying out a coffee and walnut cake as I’ve never made one. But before that point we get to make all the yummy sweet stuff that contains easter treats. You know what I mean, all the creme eggs and mini eggs that appear in the shops as soon as Christmas is over. Well it would be rude not to include those in some sort of baking wouldn’t it. So that’s what this post is all about – Baking with Easter sweets!

Hopefully you are all well aware of the awesome mini egg blondies that we made last year. If not then what are you waiting for? Check them out right here, right now. So these have been made again because they are just totally awesome and Fi has an actual real life obsession with mini eggs.

So yes, we made mini egg blondies, but we also decided to try making creme egg brownies. Now different versions of these have been all over the internet and on twitter, so it really was high time we had a go ourselves. They honestly couldn’t be easier – mostly because I used a packet brownie mix – sometimes you just have to cheat!

Here’s what you do –
1. Create your normal brownie batter – I used the Ghiardelli brownie mix because it’s totally awesome.
2. Throw in 10 mini creme eggs to the mix.
3. Pour the whole lot into the brownie tin.
4. Chop another 8 mini creme eggs in half and lay these gooey side up on the top of your batter.
5. Bake as per normal brownie instructions.

Creme Egg Brownies Creme Egg Brownies

Creme Egg Brownies

See, easy peasy and don’t they look amazing? I promise you guys, these actually taste like heaven. Seriously the gooey levels are epic in this. These beauties ended up at work and they all disappeared in record time. I think that’s a good sign, right?!

Now you give them ago and let me know what you think.

Lau xxx

March foodie round-up

It’s the end of the month again – where does the time go? So as it’s the end of March it means it is time for a quick foodie round up. Yay for that! So without further ado here’s a run down of everything that has been cooked, baked and eaten in the marvellous month of March.

Cooked & Baked
cheese strawspastry pinwheelschicken & mushroom soup piemini egg blondies, creme egg brownies, mug cakes, chocolate and banana cake (coming soon) and lemon and lime poppyseed cake (also coming soon).

Eaten
Harrison’sBrasserie Zedel, Nachos @ the Marquis of Anglesey, La Meridiana in Horsley for carb loading before a half marathon, Carluccio’sNineteen Ten, Iced coffees galore, the biggest pizza ever from Costco, Ikea meatballs, chips and gravy – EPIC!, Post marathon roast chicken, The Riverfront, brunch at Del ‘Aziz (again) and our first barbecue of the year – hooray!

 Here’s to some equally awesome baking and eating in April!

Lau xx

Cheese Straws

I made cheese straws at the weekend. I think the last time I made these was during a food technology lesson at school. I think I was probably about 11 at the time. Anyway I had definitely forgotten how easy these are to make and also how good they tasted. Like seriously good. All crumbly pastry and strong cheddar. Nom nom nom!

As I’ve already mentioned these are super easy to make. You’ll need just 2 ingredients, ready made puff pastry and cheese – I used cheddar as it’s my favourite! Yes that’s it.

The first thing to do is to grab your pastry and cover it in half of the grated cheese. I used half a sheet of pastry and grated about a third of a block of cheese. Now fold the pastry in half and roll out the cheese pastry to the thickness of a pound coin.

The next thing to do is to cut the pastry into strips about 1cm wide. 

Now twist them and place them onto a baking tray and sprinkle them with the rest of the cheese.

Bake in the oven at 220C for 12 minutes.

Now that I’ve rediscovered the wonderfulness that is the humble cheese straw I think they will be making quite a regular appearance in my kitchen (and my tummy)! What about you all, any pastry favourites? Also if you fancy some other delicious pastry things then checkout our pastry pinwheels post.

Happy baking, Lau

Mug Cakes

Yes, today is all about speedy baking and by speedy I mean making a cake in under 5 minutes. Genius right? You’re completely intrigued now aren’t you!

Anyway before we get started on this recipe here’s a really quick background/history lesson before we get into this baking post.

Back when I was in my second year at university I lived in a house with three other lovely ladies who will always be my life long friends – it’s like in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, there are just some experiences that make you friends, no matter who you are. And okay we didn’t have to fight a mountain troll, but the shared experience of the ‘dog meat pie’, weird salsa lessons, Mrs Tozer (pronounced toes-ser didn’t you know) and the 20 crazy medics in our building during our first year in Leicester was clearly enough to make me recognise the amazingness of these three girls straight away.

So one afternoon probably just after our daily ritual of watching the lunchtime episodes of Neighbours and Doctors we were craving cake, but we had none in the house which in itself is crazy. Don’t believe me? We had a whole cupboard in our kitchen dedicated to snacks and it was always full of all the sweet stuff, so much so that the 6 guys living next door would always pounce on it when they nipped around for a cup of tea, because they new it had all the good stuff in it. Anyway, we had not cake in our goodies cupboard and no one wanted to go to the corner shop (literally 2 minutes away) or bake as that would just take too long. Luckily for all of us, the marvelous Nina decided to share her microwavable cake in a bowl recipe. Which took all of about 2 minutes to make – talk about a revelation! Plus I remember that when we turned it out of the bowl it even had syrup running down the sides, from the sugary goodness that we had placed in the bowl first. I think we only made this cake once, so I don’t have the recipe, mainly because we never let the cupboard of goodness get bare again. But this cake in a bowl has stuck in my mind ever since and I have always meant to get the recipe off of Nina.

Right that’s the history section over with. I know you’re probably all wondering why I waffled on about my uni years there, but it’s because I made a mug cake the other day and it reminded me of that time when the Hartopp Road girls made something very similar. So yes today I am sharing a recipe for a mug cake. I’ve seen these all over pinterest recently and then when I was flicking through the Sorted boys cookbook I saw a version from them. Actually having a physical copy of the recipe meant that I just had to make it. So on Sunday after a mammoth (11 mile) run I decided I needed a treat and went for it.

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 tbsp self raising flour
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp instant coffee powder
1 small egg
1 tbsp milk
1 tbsp sunflower oil
white chocolate buttons

And here’s what you do:

spoon all the dry ingredients in the mug
Crack in the egg and whisk to combine
Add the milk and oil and mix
Add the chocolate buttons
Cook in the microwave for 2 and a half minutes on full power
Leave to stand and then eat

And here’s what mine ended up looking like. Nom nom nom!  

Seriously this was so good that it disappeared into my tummy in less than 5 minutes!

Quickest and easiest cake ever. Go on give it a go. You know you want to. 

Lau xx

The post Mug Cakes was first posted on This Rambling Corner as Speedy Baking – Mug Cakes.

More brownie baking

Oh brownie goodness how we love you! So it’s really not a surprise about how much we love brownies on this here blog. I mean we write about making them pretty much all the time! Today’s post is actually a bit of a brownie update as Fi and I realised the other day that we had made two new types of brownies and we hadn’t shared them with you lovely lot – a total travesty I think you’ll agree! But don’t worry I am rectifying that monumental error right now with both of those lovely brownie treats in one post. You’re all feeling very spoilt right now aren’t you?

First up we have bourbon biscuit brownies. Yes you read that right I really do mean brownies that include a layer of the best sandwich biscuits in the world. I made these a while back and wrote about them over on my own blog (here), but somehow forgot to share them with you all as well. It was only when we made these for a second time on a sister’s weekend in Buxton that we realised that we hadn’t shared them. I am so terribly sorry, what in the world was I thinking? So let’s rectify that right now.

In this bake I used a packet brownie mix, the reason being that the Ghirardelli brownie mix you can get from Costco tastes so good that there’s really no need to waste your time making your own.

Here’s what to do –

Make up your brownie mix – be it a packet version or a real homemade version
Next pour half of the mix into your greased and lined tin.
Lay the biscuits onto the mix before topping with the rest of the brownie mixture.
Bake in the oven as per the brownie cooking instruction.

The second batch of brownies that you’ve missed are these peanut butter creations from Life is Peachy which are just to die for. If you’re a fan of all things chocolate and peanut butter then you must make them. Obviously we ate these too quickly as there are no pictures to be found anywhere!

Happy brownie baking!
Lau xx