Sunday, 19 July 2015

Kim's Chocolate Mousse

....otherwise known as a blissful cup of wonderment. This is amazing. Really.

- 1 (very) ripe avocado
- 1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder ( I used Green & Black's)
- sugar or honey to taste

optional: a dash of vanilla essence, or you can add a banana if you want.

Whizz up all the ingredients to a thick, moussey texture. Put in a dish and chill in the fridge for a while. Or just eat straight away because who has time for this to chill?!

Words cannot express how rich and amazing this really is. We just spooned it out of cups but you could use it as frosting or as a middle layer in a cake. You can't really taste the avocado at all, just yummy, yummy chocolate mousse. That is vegan and gluten free. And did I mention it was amazing? *swoon*

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Paul Hollywood's Stout Bread

Super easy peasey lemon squeezy and hardly any of the faffing about that happened with this bread!

I randomly caught this recipe being made on telly one day at a friends (I don't have a telly) and decided to make it for Sunday dinner along with some picnic bits. It turned out perfect!

Paul Hollywood's Stout Bread

200g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
550g wholemeal flour
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1/2 pint of stout 
220 ml buttermilk

- Put the oven on at 230 C/ 450 F/ Gas 8 and grease a 2lb baking tin. 
- Put the plain flour, bicarb and salt in a big bowl and stir in the wholemeal and the sugar.  I was thinking spelt flour might work well for this recipe too.
- Pour in the stout and the buttermilk and mix well to form and wet dough. 
- Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and fold and work the dough until it forms a fat sausage, roughly the size of the tin.
- Put the dough in the tin and smooth over the top with wet hands. Set aside for 10 minutes to rest. This was an ideal time for me to drink the rest of the stout....
- Bake for 10 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 180 C/ 350 F/ Gas 5 and bake for another 25 minutes or until the top is golden and the base is hollow when tapped.
- Cool in the tin for 5 minutes and then turn out onto a rack to cool.

We sliced into this a bit early and it went crumbly, but hey, who doesn't like warm bread fresh out the oven?! Stout is a pretty strong flavour and you can really taste it here, I think the main thing is the reaction between the buttermilk and the bicarb, so I was thinking of trying it with a pale ale and maybe you would get a more easy going bread? In any case, this was seriously yummy and really easy to make. Definitely recommended if you fancy making a loaf last minute.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Where's Wally?

Look who I spotted while I was invigilating an exam!

There's Wally! And he is even accompanied by the Wizard too!

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Jive Night: Lew Lewis and The Caezars

This was the first jive event of the new year for me - it's great to be back! The Legendary Phil was not there, but that didn't stop everyone else coming out. I was wearing a blue dress and the girl behind the bar said 'Did you make it yourself? Is that a Vogue 1957 pattern? My mum made me the same one with the same buttons as yours!'. We got some dancing in before the Lew Lewis Trio came on. They were fantastic but pretty fast paced rockabilly, so while I had a couple of dances which were fun, fun, fun but I mostly hung out and watched.

After that there was more of a set by a DJ, and then The Caezars came on. They were more mainstream rock than jive, but they did have a double bass. I think the flyers described them as "Vintage styled Rock'n'Roll that Tarantino would be proud of" - Timeout Magazine. The Caezars were pretty energetic, there was a lot of jumping about, and it was pretty fast too, but we got a stroll in for one of the slower songs, and I think the lead singer was impressed. They loosened up gradually when they realised we were a much more relaxed crowd than London. They played a couple of encore songs and I got a couple of dances in, though it was pretty damn fast. They reminded me a lot of the music I listened to when I was younger, I really enjoyed it. For the very last song they told us that when they cut the music everyone had to shout 'Hail Caezar!' so we had a little practise and someone at the side shouted 'Fuck you!' which really tickled them, so during the song they singer kept passing the mic to the side and you'd get a little 'Fuck you!' after we'd all shouted. The last time he didn't do it and the lead singer stopped the song until he'd said it.

Afterwards I had a couple of dances but I was pretty knackered so I decided to get my boots on. I ran into the lead singer and we ended up having a chat. He's from Bristol, he's about 23 and he's been singing since he was 15. He was sporting a beard so I was pretty surprised that he was that young and he said it wasn't a statement, his shaver is broken! It's getting pretty itchy and he can't wait to shave. He seemed like a pretty nice guy, he said that he had enjoyed playing there and that in the early days of the band they played a lot of Rockabilly gigs and these days they are a bit more mainstream so it was nice to get back to that. 

It was a lovely night out, it was nice to be dancing, great to see everyone again, and really great to be introduced to a new band. Fun!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Sunday Dinner WWII Rationing Style

It's my turn to cook Sunday dinner today, and since I got the fruit cake recipe from WWII I decided to go with a rationing themed dinner. I came across this recipe so I thought I'd give it a go:

I'm not too hot on pastry so I went for a mashed potato top, and I dished it up with minted peas and roasted veg and onion gravy with the fruit cake and custard for afters.

The pie took about 35 mins in the oven at about 180 C. It was a definite hit with the housemates! I think next time I might try a potato pastry:

Wholemeal War Style Potato Pastry

2 oz / 50g white vegetable fat
8 oz / 225g wholemeal flour
1 tsp salt
8 oz / 225g cold cooked mashed potato
1 tbsp milk

Rub the fat into the flour, stir in the salt and work this mixture into the mashed potato, adding the milk in a little at a time.

Knead on a floured board until the dough is smooth and fairly soft. Roll out the dough according to the recipe. This pastry is normally baked at 200 C.

Grandma's fruit cake was also a success, though I did leave it in a bit too long! Originally this would have had only 2 oz / 50g of fruit in there! I think next time I will soak the fruit in tea to give it more of a tea loaf feel.