Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemon drizzle cake. What better comfort food than a moist lemon cake? If you love lemons and cake and are looking for a way to combine the two than this is the recipe for you. I absolutely love citrus flavors, I'm more of a citrus fan then a berry one so this cake is a real winner for me!

This cake is very easy to make as you just put all the ingredients in a bowl then in the oven it goes! I especially love this cake at this time of year as it feels slightly springy yet still comforting as we in England are going through the transition slowly but surely of winter to spring.

Easy Lemon Drizzle Cake:
*Disclaimer this recipe has been adapted from Tanya Burr's recipe*
160g Plain Flour
2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
170g Caster Sugar
170g Butter
3 Eggs
Zest and Juice of 2 Lemons
110g Icing Sugar

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4. Mix together the eggs, flour, sugar, baking powder and zest of 2 lemons until well combined.
2. Put into a greased and floured loaf tin. Bake for 45 minutes.
3. Make the drizzle by mixing together the icing sugar and juice of 2 lemons.
4. Once the cake is ready remove it from the tin and poke it all over with a skewer or knife, then pour the drizzle onto the cake.
5. Best served warmmmm.

And there you have it! A simple lemon drizzle cake recipe that will be done in just over an hour! 
If you want you can use mini loaf tins to make individual lemon drizzle cakes instead of one big one.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Rosemary Focaccia

As a bread lover I have tried my fair share of breads and love them all but focaccia has to be my all time favourite. Not only does it come from my favourite cuisine, Italian, the bread is salty and moist. Yummmm. So, I thought that I would attempt to make a loaf of rosemary focaccia, and might I say it did not turn out half bad at all. You can use different toppings if you like such as potatoes, red onions or a really scrummy one is sun dried tomatoes. Whatever you pick it is sure to taste goooood.

One thing that is vitally important which could make or brake your loaf is to make sure you leave the dough WET, yes very wet. You must fight the urge to add a bit more flour as this could affect the texture of your focaccia loaf. Now, if you want to make this loaf the Italian way you must not make it too thick like you may see it in the shops, this is not the traditional Italian way of making focaccia. However, if the thick way of making focaccia floats your boat by all means make it thicker than I have.

Rosemary Focaccia:
*Disclaimer, this recipe has been adapted from Paul Hollywood's recipe*
500g Strong White Bread Flour
400ml Cold Water
2 tsp Salt plus extra for sprinkling
2 tbsp Olive Oil plus extra for sprinkling
14g Dried Yeast
A Handful of Rosemary 

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 7. Put the flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and 300ml of the water in a bowl. Gently mix with your hands to form a dough, knead in the bowl for 5 minutes gradually adding the rest of the water.
2. Continue to knead the dough on a lightly oiled surface by stretching the dough and tucking it into the center of the dough, turn the dough 80 degrees and repeat for 10 minutes. Return the dough to the bowl and leave to rise until doubled in size- about an hour. (DON'T ADD MORE FLOUR TO THE DOUGH LEAVE IT WET)
3. Line 1 large baking tray with baking paper or two small baking trays. Tip the dough out of the bowl and flatten onto the baking tray, pushing the dough into the corners. Then leave to rise for another hour.
4. Push holes into the dough with you fingers and drizzle the loaf/s with olive oil. Season with salt and then add on the rosemary or your desired topping. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. When cooked drizzle with a little more olive oil. It is sooo good served warm.

Voilaaaaa! There you have it, a super tasty homemade focaccia loaf. I would love to her any topping suggestions you have and also what your favourite toppings are!

P.S sorry for the shadow in the last photo!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Chickpea and Feta Salad

So, seeing as its stillll kind of the start of the year I thought I would start to get fit for summer. I don't wont to call it a diet but a 'lifestyle change'; eating more healthy shiz and less junk basically! I decided to kick start it with this delicioussss chickpea and feta salad. This is actually Jamie Olivers recipe and when I worked at one of his restaurants, recipease, for work experience I had to make a lot of these scrummy little salads!

Here are the ingredients: (Serves 4)

You will also need the basics; Olive Oil, salt and pepper.

The method:
1. Chop the onion, chilies (de-seeded) and tomatoes.
2.  Add them into a bowl and mix in with the juice of a lemon and lots of olive oil.
3. Warm the drained chickpeas by frying them quickly.
4. Mash a quarter of the warmed chickpeas.
5.Chop up the basil and mint.
6. Add the chickpeas and herbs into the tomato mixture. Mix well.
7. Season to taste and crumble the feta cheese on top.

This recipe is veryy easy to make and a very delicious satisfying salad. Even if you don't think chickpeas are your thing, give it ago! I'd be shocked if you disliked it.