8/31/2011

Holiday time

We're off to France for 3 weeks, so no posts for a while.

After crossing via the Tunnel, we're heading down to near Tours, where we've booked a lovely chambre d'hote for the night.

http://www.closdessources.com/Welcome.html

                                     Then we're off down to the Pyrenees, to stay with friends in their pretty village.



We're going  into Spain for a few days with them.

Then we head back up north west to where we used to live. Again we'll stay with friends, and also visit our former neighbours and more friends.

This is the river at the bottom of our friends' garden, and they're in their punt, the local 'barque'.

Then we head back up to the Tunnel, staying in another chambre d'hote en route


then home!






8/26/2011

Oaty banana muffins


Is it just me, or do bananas ripen more quickly nowadays? I always seen to have a few overripe ones in the fruit bowl. Then, what do do with them? Have made banana muffins before, but not with oats and walnuts.
They're not as 'cakey' tasting as my normal muffin recipe,but are substantial and great with a cuppa! They'd be good for breakfast too.
The recipes makes 12 muffins.
100g oats
200g plain flour
11/2 tspn baking powder
cinnamon to taste [opt]
1 tson bicarb. of soda
little salt
100g light brown sugar
4 ripe bananas
1 large beaten egg
60g melted butter or oil [I used rapeseed]
75g chopped walnuts
Preheat oven 180C/gas4
Grease a 12 hole muffin tin, or line with paper cases.
Put the flour, oats, baking powder, bicarb., salt and sugar in a bowl and mix together. I then mixed in a tbspn of cinnamon as I love it!
Mash up the bananas in another bowl and add the egg, butter or oil and the walnuts. Mix this together and add to the dry ingredients. Mix together gently - don't overmix or the muffins will be hard.
Spoon into the muffin cases and bake for 20-25 mins. Cool on a wire rack.

8/25/2011

English biscuits

These biscuits are a French recipe given to me by my neighbour when we lived there. Not sure why they're called 'English' biscuits! My grandsons are coming today and they love these. My neighbour always uses half plain flour and half potato flour, but as I couldn't find any potato flour, I used all plain flour. Also the recipe uses some cooking chocolate as well as some with praline in it. I used good milk chocolate instead of the cooking chocolate. They seem to have a better selection of good cooking chocolate in France.
 The recipe makes about 30 biscuits
4 eggs, separated
pinch of salt
100g caster sugar
1 lemon
75g potato flour
75g plain flour
100g cooking chocolate
100g chocolate with praline 
Preheat oven 200C/gas 6/400F
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Beat the egg yolks in a bowl with the salt and sugar till they whiten. Wash the lemon, grate its zest, then juice it. Add the juice and zest to the egg yolks.
Beat the egg whites till firm and add to the yolks' mixture.Mix the flours in carefully .
Put tablespoons of the mixture onto the baking sheet, spacing well. Make them into little rounds with a spoon.
Bake for about 10 mins and let the biscuits cool on a wire rack.
Melt the chocolates together then dip the biscuits half way.





8/13/2011

Poppyseed cake

I've been reading a book about Eastern Europe and have become interested in itscooking, especially cakes.
This cake is made without flour, and the only hard work is whizzing the poppyseeds in a food processor or grinder, or even grinding them in a pestle and mortar.

4 eggs separated
125g butter, softened
grated rind of a lemon
100g icing sugar
2 tbspns cocoa powder
50g caster sugar
160g ground poppy seeds
 icing sugar for the top of the cake

Preheat oven 180C/gas4
Grease a 24cm round cake tin.

Beat the butter, egg yolks, lemon rind and icing sugar with an electric beater or stand mixer till thick and smooth. Fold in the cocoa and mix together.
Beat the egg whites till frothy, then sprinkle in the caster sugar and carry on beating till the whites are thick and shiny.
Mix the ground poppyseeds into the eggyolk mixture, then add the egg whites mixture and mix together very gently.
Spoon mixture into the tin.
Bake for about 55 mins. Let the cake cool in the tin.
When it's cold, take the cake out and sieve icing sugar over the top. I put a paper doily on top and sieved over this.

The cake's also nice if you ice it with a simple chocolate icing of icing sugar, boiling water and cocoa.




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8/05/2011

Chocolate and cranberry flapjacks

I haven't made flapjacks for ages. Each time, I change my original recipe and add new things; today it's cranberries and sunflower seeds.



125 gr butter
75g caster sugar
1 tbspn golden syrup
300g rolled oats
50g sunflower seeds
75g chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
50g dried cranberries










Preheat oven 180C/350F/gas4
Grease a 20cm square cake tin.
Put the butter, sugar and syrup in a pan and melt over a low heat. Mix well.
Take off the heat and add the oats and sunflower seeds. Stir until well mixed, then add the chocolate chips and cranberries.
Spoon into the cake tin and press it down well with the back of a spoon.
Bake for 25 mins.
Let it cool in the tin for a bit, then mark into 12 squares.














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