New Recipes From Seasonal Berries...



Sort out those New Year hangovers and January blues with this vitamin and antioxidant bursting berry juice. Full of natural sugars it will soon boost energy levels leaving you feeling brighter and revitalised.

Serves 2

Prep: 10 minutes

Ingredients 
  • 225g (8oz) or about ¼ red cabbage 
  • 225g (8oz) or about 1 large beetroot, trimmed, scrubbed 
  • 175g (6oz) raspberries 
  • 100g (4oz) blueberries 
  • 2 teaspoons runny honey or to taste 
Method
  1. Cut the red cabbage and beetroot into pieces that will fit in your juicer shoot then press through an electric juicer. 
  2. Puree the raspberries and blueberries with a little of the red cabbage and beetroot juice in a liquidiser until smooth then add the remaining juice and sweeten to taste with honey. 
  3. Pour into two glasses and serve immediately or pour into a sports drinks container, seal well and take to the gym for a post workout energy boost. 
Cook’s tip

If you don’t have a juicer then puree the raspberries and blueberries with 300ml (1/2 pint) bought cranberry and raspberry juice or pomegranate juice.

VALENTINE’S DAY

Blackberry & goat’s cheese tarts : Be my Valentine


Super quick and easy to put together, simply unroll readymade puff pastry and cut into heart shapes with a knife. You don’t even need a special cutter, just draw a heart shape that is about 12cm (5 inches) long and the same wide on a piece of baking paper or piece of card and use this as a template.

Serv
es 2-4 

Prep: 10 minutes 
Cook: 24-25 minutes 

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 15g (1/2 oz) butter 
  • 2 red onions, halved, thinly sliced 
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar 
  • 150g (5oz) blackberries 
  • 3 stems fresh thyme, leaves torn from stems, plus a little extra for garnish 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 375g (12oz) packet ready rolled chilled puff pastry, or defrosted if frozen 
  • Beaten egg, for glazing 
  • 100g (4oz) goats cheese, cut into 4 thin slices 
To finish
  • tablespoon red wine vinegar 
  • tablespoons olive oil 
  • ½ teaspoon caster sugar 
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard 
  • 100g (4oz) mixed rocket, spinach and watercress salad 
  • 175g (6oz) raspberries 
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan), Gas Mark 6.
  2.  Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan, add the onion and fry for 5 minutes, stirring until softened. Add the sugar and fry for 5 minutes, stirring more frequently until lightly browned. 
  3. Mix in the blackberries and thyme then season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Unroll the pastry then cut 4 heart shapes, transfer to a wetted baking sheet and prick the centre of each heart with a fork, leaving a border about 2cm (3/4 inch) all the way round. 
  5. Brush the pastry with beaten egg then pile the onion and blackberry mix in the centre of each pastry heart. Bake for 10 minutes until the pastry is well risen and lightly browned. 
  6. Top each with a slice of goats cheese, a few extra thyme leaves and some salt and pepper. Bake for 4-5 minutes more until the cheese has just softened and the pastry is cooked. 
  7. Meanwhile, fork the vinegar, oil, sugar and mustard together in a bowl to make a dressing. 
  8. Add a little salt and pepper then the salad leaves and raspberries and gently toss together. 
  9. Arrange one heart per serving for a starter, two for a main course on to plates with a little salad. 
 Cook’s tip
  • If you have some raspberry or blackberry vinegar then use this to make the salad dressing with.
Fraisier strawberry cake 

Extra special valentine/Mother’s day special. Wow the special person in your life with this impressive looking cake, this classic French recipe has a few short cuts, so you don’t need to be a master baker to make this version! 



Cuts into 10 slices
Prep: 45 minutes
Cook: 35-40 minutes

Ingredient
  • 225g (8oz) soft margarine 
  • 225g (8oz) caster sugar 
  • 225g (8oz) self-raising flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • Grated rind of 2 lemons 
  • 4 medium eggs 
  • 6 tablespoons limoncello liqueur 
Filling
  • 400g (14oz) strawberries, hulled 
  • 3 tablespoons cold water 
  • 2 teaspoons powdered gelatine 
  • 150ml (1/4 pint) double cream 
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) carton luxury vanilla custard 
Topping
  • 2 tablespoons apricot glaze or apricot jam minus the pieces of fruit 
  • 250g (9oz) readymade marzipan 
  • Little icing sugar 
  • Few small strawberries 
  • Few chocolate hearts 
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan) Gas 3. Grease a 20cm (8 inch) heart shaped springform tin with a little oil then line the base with a piece of non-stick baking paper. 
  2. Add the margarine, sugar and flour to a large bowl, electric mixer or food processor. Add the baking powder, lemon rind and eggs and beat together until smooth. 
  3. Spoon into the lined tin, level the surface and bake for about 35-40 minutes until well risen, golden brown and a skewer comes out cleanly when inserted into the centre of the cake. 
  4. Leave to cool for 10 minutes then loosen the edge, remove the tin and lining paper and cool on a wire rack. 
  5. When the cake is cold, cut into two thinner rounds, trimming the top level if it is a little domed, then spoon the limoncello over the cut sides. Wash the cake tin and line the base and sides with two strips of clingfilm. Put one of the cake halves in the tin and pull up the clingfilm if needed so that it slightly overhangs the top of the tin. 
  6. Sort through the strawberries, reserve the medium sized ones for the side of the cake and the larger ones for slicing. Cut the medium sized ones in half and arrange in a ring around the outside of the cake in the tin so that the cut edge is pressed against the clingfilm. Slice the rest and arrange as an even layer to cover the base cake. 
  7. Add the water to a small heatproof bowl, sprinkle over the gelatine powder and leave to soak for 5 minutes then stand the bowl in a saucepan of just simmering water and heat until the gelatine has dissolved and become a clear liquid. 
  8. Whisk the cream until it forms soft swirls in a bowl then fold in the custard. Gradually fold in the dissolved gelatine in a thin steady stream then pour the custard mix over the strawberries in the tin and chill for 10 minutes until just setting. 
  9. Add the second cake half to the tin and press lightly into the custard. Gently spread the apricot glaze or jam over the top of the cake. Knead and roll out the marzipan on a piece of non-stick baking paper then cut into a heart, using the cake tin as a guide. Lift over the top of the cake and press into place with fingertips dusted with icing sugar. Chill for at least 4 hours. 
  10. When ready to serve, unclip the sides of the tin, peel away the clingfilm, then carefully lift the cake off and transfer to a plate. Decorate the top with the small strawberries and piped chocolate hearts, if liked. 
Cook’s tip
  • Not a fan of marzipan then simply leave it out and spread the top of the cake with melted chocolate or simply dust with sifted icing sugar instead. 
  • To make chocolate hearts, melt 50g (2oz) dark chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of very gently simmering water. Spoon into a piping bag made of non-stick baking paper, snip off the tip then pipe heart shapes over a sheet of non-stick baking paper set on a baking tray. 
  • Chill until set then peel off the paper and add to the top of the cake when ready to serve.
PANCAKE DAY

Blueberry and yogurt American style pancakes. Gluten free. Start your day right with these quick and easy pancakes that all the family can enjoy, even those on a gluten free diet. 


Makes 12

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10-15 minutes

Ingredient
  • 50g (2oz) fine cornmeal 
  • 50g (2oz) tapioca flour 
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 
  • 200g (7oz) low fat natural yogurt 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 150g (5oz) blueberries 
  • 1-2 tablespoons sunflower oil for frying 
To serve
  • A little butter, extra blueberries and maple syrup or runny honey
Method
  •  Mix the flours, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda together in a bowl. Add the yogurt and eggs and whisk together until smooth then fold in the blueberries. 
  • Heat a little of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan, wipe out the excess with a piece of crumpled kitchen towel. Drop large spoonfuls of the thick batter into the pan and cook for 23 minutes until bubbles can be seen and the undersides are tinged brown. 
  • Turn the pancakes over with a palette knife and cook the second side for a minute or two. Take out of the pan and keep hot in a folded napkin. Oil the pan once more and cook more pancakes in the same way until all the mixture has been used up, lowering the heat slightly if needed. 
  • Stack the pancakes on to plates, top with a little butter, extra blueberries and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey. 
Cook’s tip:
  • Fine cornmeal can be found in Indian supermarkets and some larger supermarkets, tapioca flour from your nearest health food shop.
This is a guest post from Seasonal Berries. No payment was received...


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20 Valentine Recipes To Try...


With Valentines day just around the corner, here is a few yummy treats to try out before the big day.
All pictures are clickable and will take you to the recipes >>>>



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Almond Chocolate Valentines Tart...


Serves: 6-8
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

Crust:
  • 125g Ginger Biscuits
  • 115g Whitworths Ground Almonds
  • 50g Sugar
  • 60g Butter, melted
Filling:
  • 300g Dark Chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 225ml Whipping Cream
  • 3 Medium Eggs
  • 50g Sugar
  • 1tbsp Flour 100g Whitworths Flaked Almonds
Topping:
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Chopped almonds



Method:

To make the crust:
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C / fan 160°C / gas mark 4.
  • In a food processor grind the ginger biscuits, ground almonds and sugar. 
  • Add the melted butter and combine well.
  • Press the mixture onto the bottom and sides of a 23cm (9") heart shaped cake tin.
  • Bake the crust in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes. 
  • Cool on a wire rack.

To make the filling:
  • Combine the chopped chocolate and whipping cream in a saucepan. 
  • Whisk over a low heat until chocolate is melted and smooth then remove the saucepan from the heat.
  • Whisk the eggs, sugar and flour in a bowl to blend. 
  • Very gradually whisk the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until smooth and blended.
  • Gently stir in 80g of the flaked almonds.
  • Pour the chocolate filling into the crust, sprinkle remaining flaked almonds on top in a heart shape.
  • Bake the chocolate tart for 30 minutes then transfer onto a cooling rack.
  • Cool for 1 hour before serving.
  • Topped with strawberries and chopped almonds.

Recipe and photo credits by Whitworths

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Warm Date And Chocolate Valentine Pots...



Serves: 6
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes



Ingredients
  • 100g Whitworths Chopped Dates
  • 50g White Chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 40g Whitworths Toasted Chopped Mixed Nuts
  • 75g Dark Chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 75g Unsalted Butter
  • 75ml Semi-skimmed Milk
  • 60g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Medium Eggs, whisked
  • 1tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • A pinch of Cream of Tartar
  • 50g Whitworths Ground Almonds


Method
  • Pre-heat the oven to 200°C / fan 180°C / gas mark 6.
  • Lightly grease 6 ramekins or oven proof espresso cups with a little butter.
  • Divide the chopped dates equally between the ramekins or cups and sprinkle the white chocolate and the chopped nuts over the top of the dates, again equally dividing between the ramekins or cups.
  • Place the dark chocolate, butter, milk and caster sugar in a heavy based saucepan and gently heat until the chocolate has melted.
  • Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir until smooth.
  • Whisk the eggs, vanilla extract, baking powder and the cream of tartar into the dark chocolate mixture until evenly combined.
  • Gently fold in the ground almonds and divide the mixture evenly between the four ramekins or cups.
  • Bake in the centre of the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes or until the surface is cooked but soft and fudge-like in the centre.
Serve 
  • Warm with a scoop of ice cream.
  • Or clotted cream.

Recipe and photo credits by Whitworths

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Orange Chocolate Flapjacks...

My daughter was off school today ill :(  So with nowhere and it snowing again, I decided to do some baking :( Here is what I came up with today to finish off the mixed peel from Christmas...



 Makes 4

Ingredients
  •  125g Margarine
  • 125g Golden caster sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons of golden syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice
  • 175g Porridge oats
  • 75g Self raising flour
  • 50g Mixed orange and lemon peel
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
 Topping
  •  200g White cooking chocolate
  • Chocolate sprinkles
You will need
  • 4 x medium love heart tray

Method
  •  Pre heat oven to 180c 375f Gas mark 5.
  • Grease 4 heart trays.
  • Place the margarine, golden caster sugar, golden syrup and orange juice into a large pan and gently heat until all melted.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the oats, self raising flour, mixed peel and ground cinnamon.
  • Mix well.
  • Spoon into the 4 trays and press down with the back of the spoon.
  • Bake for around 15 minutes until golden.
  • Remove from the oven.
  • Leave 5 minutes then turn out to cool.
  • Melt the cooking chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering pre boiled water.
  • Once melted place the flapjacks back into the trays and cover the tops.
  • Leave to cool slightly, so not to melt the sprinkles the place them on top
  • Leave to set.
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Strawberry Shortbread Hearts...


Spoil the one you love with this Valentine's Day recipe...

Ingredients

  • 225g salted butter, softened
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 225g plain flour

Icing

  • 200g icing sugar, sifted
  • 4tbsp Rachel's low fat strawberry yogurt 
  • A few drops of pink colouring, if required


Makes 12 biscuits

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 10 mins

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2.
  • Lightly grease a baking tray.
  • Place the butter and the sugar in a mixing bowl and beat together until pale.
  • Add the flour and bring the mixture together until a soft dough is formed.
  • Tip the dough onto a floured surface and using a floured hand gently roll out to ½ cm thickness.
  • Using a heart shaped cutter, cut out the dough and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake until golden brown for approximately ten minutes.
  • Leave for five minutes on the tray to cool and then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.


To make the icing 

  • Mix the icing sugar with the strawberry yogurt and beat until smooth, add the colouring and beat again.
  • Using a small piping bag, pipe the strawberry icing within the contours of the biscuit.
  • Allow to set.


Recipe and photo credit by Rachel's



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Valentine Strawberries On A Heart Of Krispy Cake...

Made these with the children and they loved them. As soon as they were set and ready to eat, they disappeared! Time to make some more!!



Ingredients
  • 10 Small strawberries or 5 large cut in half
  • 150g Dark cooking chocolate
  • 20g Rice krispies

You will also need
  • 10 Holed deep silicon heart ice cube tray
  • Grease proof paper
Method
  • Wash, dry and cut (if large) the strawberries leaving the green stalks on for decoration.
  • In a heat proof bowl place the cooking chocolate that has been broken up into pieces.
  • Place the bowl over a pan of simmering pre boiled water.
  • Stir until the chocolate has melted grab the stalks of the strawberries, dip them into the chocolate and place on some grease proof paper.
  • Remove the bowl from the pan and quickly stir in the rice krispys.
  • Place spoonfuls of the chocolate krispy into the heart tray and press them down.
  • Place a strawberry into the centre of the hearts gently pressing them into them so when the chocolate drys it will hold them in place.
  • Leave to cool then set in fridge
Tip-
  • Once the chocolate has melted do everything quickly before it sets!!
  • Yuuuummmmmmmyyyyy!!!!!
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Blueberry Valentine Hearts : Easy To Make...

Easy to make yourself Valentine chocolates.

These were so easy to make and looks like they've come from the shops!!

 My two oldest sons both said "they look good have your brought them?!!"

 My husband said "wow did you make the chocolate too, " 

"Hold on a minute" I said, "I'm not that good" ...

These are so much fun and the blueberries pop when you bite them against the chocolate.

Now off to see how to make some chocolate to really impress him ...



Makes 14

You will need a 14 holed small silicon ice cube tray

Ingredients
  • 42 Blueberries
  • 50g Good quality white cooking chocolate
  • 150g Good quality milk cooking chocolate


Method
  • Wash and dry the blueberries and place 3 in each of the holes in the ice cube tray.
  • In a heat proof bowl melt the white chocolate according to packet instructions in a microwave.
  • With a teaspoon pour a little over each set of blueberries trying to drip a little chocolate under them to hold them in place once set.
  • Leave to cool.
  • Melt the milk chocolate according to packet instructions.
  • With a tablespoon pour into each well covering all the blueberries.
  • Use the back of a knife to make sure all the chocolate is flat.
  • Leave to cool.
  • Once cool place in a fridge to set.
  • Turn out the chocolates.
  • Enjoy!




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Mini Blueberry Cheesecakes ...


Make these easy, no cook cheesecakes the night before and leave in the fridge.

If you have room, there are some spare for second helpings or just freeze the extras with a little pot of blueberries for another time.

Makes 8

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 4-5 minutes

Chilling time: 5 hours or overnight

Ingredients

Biscuit base

  • 75g (3oz) digestive biscuits
  • 25g (1oz) butter
  • 2 teaspoons golden syrup

Cheesecake

  • 300g (11oz) full fat cream cheese
  • 65g (21/2oz) caster sugar
  • 1 lemon, grated rind and juice
  • 200ml (7fl oz) double cream

Topping

  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 40g (11/2oz) caster sugar
  •  200g (7oz) Chilean blueberries


Method

  • Add the biscuits to a small plastic bag, seal the top then crush the biscuits with a rolling pin.
  • Heat the butter and golden syrup in a small saucepan until melted, stir in the biscuit crumbs and mix together.
  • Divide between 8, 75ml (3fl oz) heart shaped sections in a flexible silicone cake mould.
  • Press the biscuits into a thin layer with the back of a teaspoon. 
  • Chill while making the filling.
  • Add the cream cheese, caster sugar and lemon rind to a bowl and whisk together briefly until just mixed.
  • Gradually whisk in the lemon juice and the cream until smooth and thick.
  • Spoon the cheesecake mixture into crumb lined moulds then spread into an even layer and swirl the tops with the back of a spoon.
  • Chill for 5 hours or overnight.

To make the blueberry topping 

  • Add the cornflour to a small saucepan, stir in the lemon juice and mix until smooth then add the water, sugar and blueberries.
  • Cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring until the blueberries are just beginning to soften and the sauce has thickened to become a rich blueberry colour.
  • Leave to cool, cover and chill until ready to serve.

To serve

  • Loosen the edges of the heart moulds and press up from the base, removing the cheesecakes with a small spatula.
  • Transfer to serving plates and spoon the blueberries on top.


Cook’s tip 

If you find the cheesecakes a little tricky to remove from the moulds or haven’t had much time to chill them, freeze for 30 minutes to firm up then try again.


Recipe and photo credit by Seasonal Berries


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Creative Thursday-Valentine Linky....

Creative Thursday Special- With only a few day's to Valentines day  here is some great ideas to try and if you have a valentine post just add it to the hop....

Pink Valentine Cake
I Heart You Tarts

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Beetroot & Vanilla Cup Cakes With Rose Butter Icing...


Makes 12 cupcakes
Preparation time: 45 minutes, plus drying time
Cooking time: 20 minutes

You’ll need

For the cupcakes
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 175g plain cooked (vacuum packed) beetroot, drained (hold a few drops of juice back to use as colouring) and pureed
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

For the icing
  • 300g Icing sugar
  • 150g unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • a few drops rose flower water, to taste
  • a few drops beetroot juice, to colour

For the crystallized rose petals
  • 3 organic pink roses, separated into petals
  • 1 egg white
  • Caster sugar (a sprinkling)

What to do
  • Make the crystallized rose petals the day before you want to serve the cupcakes. 
  • They will keep in an airtight box for a few weeks. 
  • Lay out a piece of silicon-coated baking paper on a tray. 
  • Pick through the petals and choose the 12 loveliest looking ones and lay them on the tray. 
  • Brush gently with egg white and sprinkle all over with caster sugar. 
  • Allow to dry in a warm place for 8 hours before using.
  • When you are ready to make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 180˚C/Gas Mark 4.
  •  Blend together the sugar and butter until light and creamy. 
  • Add the egg yolks, flour, pureed beetroot and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  • In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites until fairly stiff. 
  • Take a large spoon of egg white and beat into the cupcake mixture to loosen it a little. 
  • Then, using a large metal spoon fold the remaining egg whites gently through the mix, taking care not to over beat.
  • Spoon the mixture into 12 cupcake cases and bake in the oven for around 20 minutes, or until the cakes are firm to the touch. 
  • Remove and cool on a wire rack.
  • To make the icing, beat the icing sugar and butter together, either in a food mixer or by hand with a wooden spoon. 
  • Add a few drops of rose flower water to taste, and a few drops of beetroot juice to colour the icing.
  • Spread generously or pipe over the cooled cupcakes and top each with a rose petal.
About this post -

Recipe and photo credit by  Love Beetroot

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Pink Valentine Cake....

Before topping had set

After topping has set


Ingredients

  • 150g Self raising flour
  • 150g Caster sugar
  • 150g Margarine
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • Few drops red food colouring


Filling

  • 100ml Double cream
  • 2 tbsp Strawberry jam


Topping

  • 150g White cooking chocolate
  • 125ml Double cream
  • Few drops red food colouring


Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180c 350f or gas mark 4
  • Grease and line the bottom of a medium size heart shape backing tin.
  • Cream the margarine and sugar together and add few drops red food colouring.
  • Beat in the egg adding a little flour at a time until all mixed in.
  • Place the mixture in the tin and cook for about 30 minutes until golden in colour,well risen and firm to touch.
  • Leave to cool 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Using a sharp knife slice the cake horizontally and spread one half with jam.
  • Whip the cream and spread over the other half and sandwich back together.
  • In a pan place the double cream,cooking chocolate and few drops of food colouring in a pan over a low heat and stir until melted.
  • Remove from the heat and leave to cool stirring occasionally.
  • Spread the cooled mixture over the cake and leave to set in a refrigeater for a few hours or overnight until set.
  • Enjoy !!





Linking this post to some great craft hops  here

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