My Autumn

It must be have been about a month ago, the long, sun filled days were waining away and summer was slowly saying goodbye. The plum tree in the corner of the garden was gifting ¬†us with it’s last lot of fruit, a huge batch of plums, much too much for us to eat whilst still fresh. “Why don’t you make plum jam?” he said.”Thats a good idea” she said…

Jam biscuits made using the rock bun biscuit recipe, minus the fruit/chocolate. Make a small hollow in the biscuit and add the jam before cooking. For the record plum jam is amazing eaten just like that, with nothing but a spoon, or even with your finger if you want ūüėČ

Old school treats

What do you do when there is an offer on Kellogg’s cornflakes?! Make chocolate crispy cakes of course! It has to be one of the most easiest, yet most more-ish snacks known to man, The person who invented these deserves a medal, in fact they deserve a lot more than a medal!

For those of you who don’t know pretty much every primary school in the UK makes loads of these at easter time. Shaped as a nest in a cupcake case and a few mini eggs placed on top. Not only did I make these as a child (several times!) I also had the pleasure (?) of supervising groups of children while they made them. ¬†Last week I just made them to eat them! I think it’s the growing baby inside me but they were addictive!! I think I ate the whole batch myself!

There are only two ingredients, chocolate and cornflakes! There are of course variations, you can use shredded wheat for a more “nest” feel, or even rice krispies, personally I love the crunch that cornflakes give. Of course It’s the perfect way to get little hands helping out in the kitchen too!

There are no strict measurements, it’s upto you how chocolatey you want to make it. You want enough chocolate to hold it together, but at the same time you want there to be more cornflakes than chocolate. Simply melt the chocolate and mix it into the cornflakes! You could also try white or dark chocolate and add other bits to it if you like, such as dried fruit, mini marshmallows, smarties or other suitable sweets.

Here’s those little hands “helping out”, my daughter isn’t even two yet and she loved mixing it all together and she learnt about taking turns too!

To keep ours more…errm adult like, I just poured the mixture into a tin, let it set in the fridge and cut it into pieces. Either line the tin with greaseproof/baking paper or grease it very lightly with butter so it’s easy to take out.

Enjoy!

Rambles down the rocky road

I can’t even tell you how long overdue this post is…I think I made the rocky road way back in November. That’s how long overdue it is! I’ve wanted to try rocky road for quite a while, and it turned out great! It is one of those recipes that you can really just use whatever you have in the kitchen. No measuring really required just chuck everything in, mix and refrigerate, I’m not going to even insult you guys by doing a proper recipe, here’s a loosely thrown together “how to” if you will. Here’s the ingredients I used:

Dried cranberries (to add abit of sourness)

Broken digestives (for texture)

Pistachio nuts (for colour and crunch)

Mini marshmallows (because what’s a rocky road without marshmallows!?)

A few  chopped dried apricots,( because there was three of them in a jar feeling lonely)

Basically you want a nice balance of ingredients, some sourness, texture, crunch to break through the sweetness of it all. I just guessed the amount of chocolate needed. Also it depends on your own personal preference, do you want the ingredients to be barley held together by the chocolate? or do you want them to be encased in chocolate?

After chopping the ingredients (if needed), add the melted chocolate and mix well. Pour into a tin lined with greaseproof paper, It is vital you remember the greaseproof paper, it means the rocky road just slides out of the tin later on! Refrigerate till it’s set, then cut and eat to your hearts content! They would also make a great food gift, presented nicely in a tin and some tissue paper.

 

Experimenting

Last week I stayed at my mums for a few days. My sister and I decided to do some experimenting in the kitchen. First up was something I have always wanted to try, Salted caramel. Seeing as my sister has a sugar thermometer and we actually had all the ingredients at home (when does that ever happen?!) we thought we’d give it a go. However our first hurdle was that the thermometer only reached upto 140c as opposed to the 350c we needed for the caramel. Never mind we thought, quite a few recipes show you what to look for when the sugar is right, so we can judge it by eye. So on the first attempt we actually burnt the sugar, now you should know that there is a very fine line between burnt and ready, simply getting the cream ready to pour in meant that our sugar burnt. Second attempt turned out a whole better, however we realised we didn’t have enough sea salt so instead of salted caramel it was just caramel… woohoo it was a relative success and it tasted pretty good. We had decided the night before that we would make millionaires shortbread with the caramel so we needed another batch to have enough. Third attempt? Don’t even go there…we ended up with a big clump of God knows what!

Nonethless we had some caramel, thus make some millionaires shortbread we did. For the top we tried out the feathering technique which turned out really well, considering how easy it was! (If you follow me on instagram you would have seen the video (@creating_individuality). However I think the caramel was way to runny for a millionaires shortbread, and I wasn’t really a 100% happy with the shortbread recipe . However the overall taste was good and we got some really good photos..which I guess is what it’s all about right ;-)…

We also tried making honeycomb, again we crossed the ever so fine line between just right and burnt sugar, however it was really simple to make so will give it another go.

I used Ed Kimbers salted caramel recipe found here

Moral of the story: Sugar is a fickle thing

Some biscuits

I don’t really make biscuits that often. Maybe it’s because I’ve had a few bad experiences, or perhaps because I’m not into decorating biscuits, and I do like me some decorating. I’m getting more into it as time goes, If you follow me on facebook you will have seen my attempt at making Viennese whirls/melting moments (which we’re a crowd pleaser!). Also I can always rely on my trusty Rock bun recipe¬†if we need biscuits in a hurry.

However my younger sister in law has fallen head over heels in love with baking biscuits and a couple of months ago we were having homemade biscuits for a good few weeks on the trot. I helped her with the decorating and I have to admit I rather enjoyed it…Here’s some photos!

She found the recipe online so I don’t know where it was from, but it was a fairly straight forward recipe, that you could find on a number of sites.

To decorate we “dipped” half the biscuits in chocolate and added some colourful sprinkles on. P.S. when I say ” dipped, I don’t actually mean dipped, (i’m too anal for that) I actually got some melted chocolate in the spoon and carefully poured it onto the biscuit, neatening it up as I went along (told you I was anal!). Make sure you place the dipped biscuits on some greaseproof paper/baking parchment so they come off easily when the chocolate has set. You could also cover the top completely in chocolate as we also did…

You can totally customise these biscuits to your hearts content. We’ve also used white chocolate, as well as a whole variety of sprinkles. It’s also a good way of using up the little bits of sprinkles you have left which aren’t really enough for any thing else.

Edible Eid gifts

A major part of Eid is visiting family and friends and taking lots of gifts for them. This year I thought I would have a go at giving some homemade goodies. I bought some cute heart shaped baskets to present them in, made some handmade gift tags, and got together some cellophane, ribbons, and cupcake boxes to pretty everything up!

The contents of the mini hamper included:rock buns (made by my brother in law using none other than the Sahrish recipe of course!), chocolate dates (peanut butter and almond) and plain biscuits topped with white chocolate and sprinkles (courtesy of my sister in law). We wrapped the biscuits and the rock buns in cellophane and tied them with ribbon.

I placed the dates in a single cupcake box (with the cupcake insert taken out of it). I did three layers of dates each one separated by a sheet of coloured tissue paper, in the end it looked rather like a box of chocolates.

Some biscuits

Awwww last post of the week! I’ve really enjoyed doing baby week, let me know what you guys thought of it, also if you have any future ideas for any other themed weeks. ¬†What a better way to say goodbye to baby week than with some biscuits!. These biscuits where from the surprise baby shower that my sister organised for me when I was expecting our little munchkin. Although my sister in law couldn‚Äôt be there in person she was present in spirit through her handmade biscuits, which went down a treat. As we kept the gender of the baby a surprise she made pink and blue little prams, finishing them off perfectly with a cellophane wrapper and ribbon.

These are a lovely idea for a baby shower you could really customise them to your own tastes and whatever tools you have to your disposal. If you don’t have any fancy cutters you could simple do round ones with some decorative icing on top and present them nicely.

A Box of Biscuits

For a while now, i’ve been pondering over the idea of giving edible gifts. I think the gift becomes a whole lot more personal when you’ve spent the time baking/cooking something and gone to the effort of presenting it nicely.

Here’s a box of biscuits I made to give to our neighbours who live across the road. To package them I simply lined a gift box with coordinating tissue paper ( folding thus so two compartments are made). It was quite a spur of a moment thing so I reused a box I already had, but it’s a lovely way of giving someone a gift. Plus you can personalise it to your hearts content, i.e. if your loved one prefers peanut butter cookies then make peanut butter cookies .¬†You will definitely be seeing more edible gift ideas around here in the not so distant future ūüėČ

Jammie Dodgers, Sorted

I’ve been wanting to try out home made Jammie Dodgers for a VERY long time, but i’ve just had difficulty finding a recipe that seems trustworthy. I mean some have way to much sugar in, some have mixed reviews, all I was after was two crumbly yet crunchy biscuits with a layer of jam in the middle, was it really to hard to find?

Recently my sister introduced me to sortedfood, which is basically four friends teaching the world to cook, with a good dose of wit, banter and drool-worthy styling thrown in for good measure. I started watching their videos on youtube and discovered their Jammie Dodger recipe, it had to be made, if only to test their integrity. ¬†The result? Perfect. The biscuit had the right amount of crunch and the right amount of crumble and with some good quality jam nestled in the middle it was a delight to eat. Will definitely be using this recipe again…and will ¬†definitely be trying out future recipes from the sorted videos.

DIY Wagon wheels

Does anyone remember Wagon wheels?? You know those scrumptious marshmallow treats covered in chocolate?! Remember when you discovered they contained gelatine?* Well suffice to say I was pretty heartbroken….

Fast forward a decade and a half later and I made another startling discovery (well my sister in law did). Marshmallow fluff is in fact halal. I may have let out a gasp on receiving this particular piece of information. As pretty much all marshmallows include gelatine* (and not the halal kind either!), as do any marshmallow-esque type chocolates, therefore I naturally presumed that marshmallow fluff contained gelatine*, thus dismissing the matter from my mind entirely.

However the moment my sister in law told me that infact, it didn’t contain gelatine*, my brain set to work, thinking of the myriad of different ways I could use Marshmallow fluff. As soon as I tasted it I thought Wagon wheels. So Wagon Wheels it was…

All you need is 3 basic ingredients:

A packet of digestive biscuits,

About 500g of milk chocolate (you could use dark or white if you prefer)

A jar of Marshmallow fluff

You will also need a wire rack, (this is pretty important)

  1. First you need to melt your chocolate, I did it for short bursts in the microwave.
  2. Spread your marshmallow fluff onto the biscuits,
  3. Place each biscuit on the wire rack, put a plate or some greaseproof paper underneath the wire rack, there will be lots of chocolate dripping off!
  4. Start by putting a tablespoon of chocolate on each biscuit, nudge it over the edges, use more chocolate if needed.
  5. When the chocolate has set slightly (don’t worry you don’t have to wait, you can get on with another batch ) top the biscuits off with another layer of chocolate.
  6. The completed biscuits will need to go in the fridge to set completely make sure you place them on some greaseproof paper or baking parchment before you do this as they do stick!

Notes 

  • When melting your chocolate make sure it isn’t too hot as it will melt the marshmallow fluff.
  • It is tempting to be over generous with the marshmallow fluff, however make sure it isn’t too thick, about half a centimetre ¬†layer of fluff is enough.
  • ¬†It is best to¬†do about 3-4 biscuits at a time as it is much easier to handle!
  • Some of the marshmallow fluff will also drip off with the chocolate don’t worry!
  • If you want a neater finish then you can also cover the bottom with chocolate after the top has set, For the first batch I didn’t but I may do this in the future as the bottom of the biscuit does tend to look abit messy.
  • You could use other biscuits if you prefer, but keep in mind that the marshmallow fluff and the chocolate are both very sweet.

*(Gelatine, in most cases is derived from pigs or cows, as Muslims it is forbidden for us to eat pig or any product derived from the pig (it is haraam). We are permitted to eat cow as long as it is slaughtered according to Islamic principles (it is halal). Unfortunately most manufacturers don’t slaughter according to Islamic principles (thus making it haraam) therefore not only is the meat itself not allowed but also any by product of said cow is forbidden (in this case gelatine)…Hope this dummies guide to Muslim dietary requirements was insightful!!

P.S. Well done if you made it to the end of that post, sorry it dragged abit!