Friday, 12 December 2014

Sayj's Festive chutney

I love cheese and crackers and the best chutney I've eaten is one we got last year from The English Provender Co. it was absolutely delicious.

 I haven't seen it in any supermarkets near me so this year I decided to make my own with a few twists I hope you try this recipe, I'm so proud of what I've created :) 

Ingredients :

3 medium sized Red Onions
1 tablespoon of Olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter ( I used salted)
1 cup of packed brown sugar ( you can use granulated )
1/2 a cup of Fruity red wine
3 tablespoons of malt vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper ( ground)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice of two Clementines
2 Bay leaves.

Method and preparation:

Dice or slice the onions .

Add the butter and olive oil to a large pan.

With the butter has nearly melted, add in the onions and Bay leaves.

Cook the onions on a medium heat until they become soft and translucent . This should take 20 minutes.

Now add the spices, sugar, juice and wine.

Mix all the ingredients through and bring it to a boil.

Now turn down the heat to medium and simmer for 30 -40 minutes until you get a lovely thick gooey consistency.

Do not be tempted to over cook this chutney as like jam if over cooked it may crystallize .

pour the chutney into a sterilized jar and let it cool before refrigerating.

Enjoy this chutney with cheese and crackers, or in a sandwich or anything at all :)

Bon Appetite ;)

If anyone tries this recipe I'd love to know what you think :)

Notes :

If you find that your chutney is setting a little too hard add a few drops of boiling water to it and stir it in until you're happy with it.

This chutney will last in your fridge for up to 6 months and tastes better as it matures.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Cherry Ripe Bites

Cherry Ripe bars are chocolate bars made with a coconut and cherry filling inside. Unfortunately although made by Cadburys it's not available in the UK.
They looked so delicious in the pics that I've seen of them that I had to see if I could make a homemade version of them.

If you're a lover of coconut, chocolate and glace cherries, then this is the recipe for you. It's quick, easy and delicious so please give it a try :)


Half a cup of condensed milk 
2 cups of desiccated coconut
small tub of Glace Cherries
Chocolate of your choice ( I used a large bag of buttons and a bar of Bournville ( dark chocolate)

Method and preparation:

Add most of the cherries ( I used a cup full ) and leave a few to chop later ,Coconut and the condensed milk into a blender. Or you can use a stick blender like I have.

Blend until it's well incorporated (only a a couple of pulses)

Empty the contents into a bowl.

Now chop up the rest of the cherries and add to the bowl.

Mix well to ensure each of the balls gets some chopped cherries into them .

Now line a tray or plate with either foil or grease proof paper ( I used foil as I ran out of grease proof)

Roll the mixture into small balls and place them on the lined plate.

Quick tip :

keep a bowl with a little water on the counter while rolling the mixture and dip your palms in it and shake off the excess and start to roll, this makes the rolling easier as the condensed milk can make it a little messy to roll the balls. You can do this every two or three balls making sure you don't have too much water on your palms.

Place your plate into the fridge for about 15 to 20 minutes. Or in the freezer for 10 minutes to help them set.

Once the coconut bites are set, remove them from the fridge and start to prepare the melted chocolate.

Place the chocolate in a glass heat proof bowl and either slowly microwave it until it melts or like me put the bowl in another pan of simmering water and let it melt gently.

Once the chocolate has melted let it cool for a minute.

Now carefully dip the coconut bites into the chocolate making sure to coat them well. (mine are quite rustic but taste amazing) place them back on the lined plate and put them back into the fridge /freezer to set.

Lastly... Enjoy :)

These treats can be kept frozen and enjoyed cold .

Happy eating folk ;).

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Sweetened Condensed Milk

I don't know about anyone else but I never have condensed milk handy in the baking cupboard when it comes to needing it for a recipe. I secretly hoped it was easy to make so I didn't have to go out and buy it. I searched online and most of the recipes called for it to be cooked for 2 hours on the lowest heat and I certainly don't have the patience for that. Thank goodness I found a couple of recipes which only needed 20 minutes in total to cook and just a few ingredients to use too which you will definitely have at hand  :) 

This Recipe is absolutely yummy and I know for a fact that I will NEVER by the shop bought stuff again with the ten ingredients in it that no one knows how to pronounce let alone know what they are used for (yuk ) Why didn't I know of this before huh?

Please give this recipe a go folks, I promise you will love it and like me won't go back to shop bought unless you really don't like it ;)


1 and a 1/2 cups of milk (I used semi skimmed)
1 cup of sugar ( you can use any type)
pinch of baking soda
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional but I used it)

Method and Preparation:

Have your ingredients ready to use.

The pic shows one cup of milk but I actually used one and a half cups :)

Add the milk and the sugar into a large pan and set the heat on medium.

Stir the sugar into the milk until its all dissolved nicely. You will already see the colour start to change at this point.

Now turn the heat up and bring the milk to a rolling boil and quickly stir in the baking powder.

The baking powder will activate and make the milk fizz and foam but don't panic , this is normal.

Turn the heat down to medium again and set your timer for 20 minutes continuing to stir.

The foam is slowly starting to disappear.

You will see the mixture thickening up as the sugar starts to caramelize.

Once the time is up, remove the pan of the heat and stir in the vanilla extract (if using)

Don't be alarmed with the foam it will disappear when mixed and cooled.

This recipe made just shy of 1 cup so go ahead and double or triple the recipe if you need to but make sure you use the correct ratio of milk and sugar. 

The consistency may not look thick at this moment but trust me folks it thickens as it cools so be patient :)

Pour it into a container of your choice and refrigerate until ready to use :)

You will see a thin film of foam at the top of the container after it's been refrigerated but this mixes in and doesn't affect the taste.
You'll also see how much it thickened over night.

Isn't that just gorgeous ! Just wait til you try it... It's amazing :)

Notes :

Homemade condensed milk will always be thicker than the shop bought canned stuff. If you want to thin it to your liking just add add a little boiled water to it until you get your desired consistency.

Do not take your eyes of the mixture whilst cooking it, burnt milk will result in a horrible end product and all your trouble will go to waste so keep an eye on the stove. 

Enjoy peeps, I hope you try this and like it.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread

If you're looking for a way to use up that lovely fresh pumpkin puree that you have left over after making those yummy pumpkin pies , then here's a great recipe that you will love as a treat :) It's delicious and a great Autumn treat.

Ingredients :
1 and half cups of plain flour (all purpose)
1 and half cups of granulated sugar
half a cup of pumpkin puree
2 medium eggs
half a tsp salt
half a tsp baking powder
half a tsp baking soda
half cup of cooking oil 
1 tsp vanilla Extract
1 tsp pumpkin spice or as needed

This recipe does not require any butter as the oil is the substitute.

Method and preparation:

Pre heat the oven to 180 (350)

 Add the pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, Vanilla extract  and pumpkin spices to a large mixing bowl and mix well.

Now add the sugar and mix through.

Now sift in the flour , baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Gently fold the the flour into the wet mixture until it's all incorporated but do not over mix as this will make the bread dense.

Lightly grease a loaf tin and carefully pour in the batter.

Bake in the middle shelf for 50 minutes or until the skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the pumpkin bread cool for a few minutes ( yeah right) 

Then slice and enjoy with my delicious Maple Butter

Please try this recipe, I guarantee it will be a hit with everyone :)

Note : Because this bread is made with oil and not butter it will stay soft in the fridge for a week and you can also freeze this bread too :) Enjoy.

Maple Butter

Maple Butter

I've seen many recipes for spiced butter and I saw a recipe I liked for spiced honey butter but the only problem was that I had no honey at home but I did have some maple syrup so I thought why not substitute the honey with that. 
The end product was soooo amazing and there's really nothing to this recipe so please give it a try.

There are no real measurements to this recipe as it depends on how much you are wanting to make.

Butter or margarine of your choice
Ground cinnamon (as needed)
Ground nutmeg (as needed)
Ground ginger( as needed)
Mixed spice (optional)
Squirt or tablespoon of maple syrup

Method and preparation:

Add all the above ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Refrigerate for at least half an hour to let the flavours infuse. 

This butter can be kept up to 3 weeks in the fridge and can also be frozen for 6-9 months.

You can use this butter with many of your favourite spiced cakes or even melt it and pour over popcorn (that just came to me ;) ) even spread it on hot corn on the cob... yummyyy.

I hope you try this recipe out and enjoy it :) 

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie

I've always wanted to try Pumpkin Pie but it's not readily available in the UK  as it's an American pie. 
I also read that Carving pumpkins are no good to make a pie as they have no taste so the only other way to make it was to buy the Libby's canned pumpkin which was impossible to find and too expensive to buy.
My last option was to check for recipes on you tube and woohooo I saw people using Butternut Squash and said how much nicer it was to use instead of a sugar pumpkin. So I got myself a Butternut squash and gave it a go.
This recipe is so easy and really tasty .

Short crust pastry (homemade or shop bought)
1 can of condensed milk (397 g)
2 eggs and one egg yolk
1 cup of pumpkin/butternut puree
1 and half tsp cinnamon powder
pinch of ginger
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of all spice
Double cream (optional to serve)

For the shortcrust pastry:

2 cups of plain flour
1 cup of cold butter
1 table spoon of sugar
Iced or very cold water

Pulse the butter ,flour and sugar until it resembles bread crumbs. If you don't have a food processor you can use a cold knife and cut into the mixture.
Now slowly add a table spoon of the cold water and pulse until the dough starts to come together but not forming the dough yet.
You may need to add a little more water if it's still too crumbly but be careful not to add too much as you don't want wet squidgy dough.
Use your fingers to check if the crumbs come together when squeezed. If it does, it's ready.
Form the dough into a ball and cut it in half and roll both bits into a ball and flatten them to make discs and then refrigerate for 30 minutes

Method and Preparation:

Pre heat the oven to 230
Roll out one of the chilled discs if pastry gently on a floured surface and press it very gently into the pie dish.
This does not have to be part baked before adding the filling.

Pie filling:

In a large mixing bowl , add the pumpkin, eggs and yolk , condensed milk and spices and whisk together until combined.

Now carefully pour the filling into the pie crust.

 Place the pie in the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 10 

minutes on 230.

After ten minutes, turn your oven down to 180 and cook the 

pie for a further 30 to 35 minutes  ( keep an eye on the pie as

oven temps vary)

Once the cooking time is up, Insert a sharp knife into the 

center of the pie and if it comes out clean, it's ready.

Leave the pie to cool completely and refrigerate until ready to eat.

look at this ... Doesn't it look yummy :)

Enjoy a yummy slice with a dollop of double cream or a 

scoop of ice cream like I did :)

I hope you try this delicious recipe, it's too good to miss out on.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Keylime Pie

Key lime pie

After having a little discussion with my gaming friends, one of them mentioned that they were eating Key lime Pie and posted a photo of it. It looked amazing and I just wanted to try some so badly. It's not readily available in the stores here so I thought why not try making it. I'm so glad that I did as it was quick, easy and very very tasty :) I'll definitely be making this again and I hope you try it too :)

1 can of condensed milk 397g
2 egg yolks
10 digestive biscuits and five ginger nut biscuits (crushed) you can use only digestives if you wish.
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)
2 limes and zest and juice from both of them.
2 Tablespoons of melted butter (or more if needed) 

Method and preparation :

Pre heat the oven to 160

Put the biscuits in a zip lock bag and beat them with a rolling pin until you get fine crumbs.

Add butter to a pan and melt it on a low heat.
Once the butter has melted , add the biscuit crumbs and mix them gently until it resembles wet sand.

Now pour the biscuit crumbs into the pie dish and press it down firmly on the base and around the edges.

Now bake the base for only ten minutes and let it cool completely ( can be refrigerated while you make the filling )

Now add the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl.

Add the the condensed milk and whisk together.

Wash the limes and zest them both taking care not to get the white pith as it is very bitter.

Add the zest and juice of both limes and whisk until combined.

Now add your Vanilla extract ( optional) but I love it.

Whisk the mixture until well combined and pour it into the cooled pie crust.

Now bake on the middle shelf for only 15 minutes.

Remove and cool completely.

Now for the hardest part.. EEEK.. yup sorry folks I know you're desperate to tuck in but ... you need to chill it in the fridge for 1...2...3.... YES three hours before you you can eat it as it needs to set properly and trust me, you do not want to eat this pie warm, it's not the same. It's worth the wait please believe me ;).

3 hours later:

Slice it up and serve with a dollop of whipped cream. I find this pie rich enough so I gave the cream a miss but hey.. treat yourself ;).

Enjoy :)

I hope you try this recipe it's really tasty .