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Monday, 27 October 2014

Bread and Butter Pudding

I prefer warm desserts in the Autumn and winter and one of my family favorite desserts is bread and butter pudding. It warming, hearty and simply delicious mid week dessert that can be made in a jiffy and does not really need much preparation. It's one of those desserts that you simply layer everything in a baking dish , pour over a liquid mixture and pop it in the oven and forget about it for 30 minutes, which gives you ample time to prepare your main course. 
I got this Bread and Butter pudding recipe from Sunrise Senior Living care homes  who offer a wide choice of delicious and healthy meals, all devised by award winning chefs.The only changes I made to the original recipe is that I used brown bread instead of white and served the custard separately so that each person could choose to add it to their dessert to their requirement.

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Bread and Butter Pudding
Delectable Bread and Butter Pudding.

  • 6 slices Brown Bread
  • 30g Salted Butter
  • 15g Currants
  • 60ml Semi skimmed milk
  • 20ml Double cream
  • 20ml Caster Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 2  medium Eggs
  • 20g Brown Sugar
  • 150 ml Custard

1. Preheat the oven to 180C /350F , grease an ovenproof dish and keep aside.2. In a bowl whisk together the eggs and 20g caster sugar, add to it the nutmeg, milk, eggs, lemon zest and 20 ml double cream and whisk together.3.Remove the crusts from the bread and butter all the slices and cut them into triangles.4. Place a layer of bread slices in the prepared baking dish and sprinkle some currants, repeat step 4 until all the bread is used up, finish with a layer of bread. 5.Pour the egg mixture over the bread slices and sprinkle the top with the brown sugar.6. Bake the bread and butter pudding in the preheated oven to bake for 30 minutes until golden brown, 7. Remove from oven and serve warm with custard.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: Serves 4

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Garam Masala and Coffee Grinder from Qwerkity

I use a lot of spice mixtures such as garam masala, biryani masala and tandoori masala in my cooking. But I hate using prepackaged shop bought spices as they don't have the same aroma that freshly ground spice mixtures do. There is nothing better than the fragrance that is released from freshly roasted  ground spices.

To make your own spice mixture, it is better to make it in small quantities as over time the spice will loose it aroma.Always store spices in an air tight sterilised glass jar. To grind your own spice a good quality coffee grinder is essential. It should have a strong blade and a pulse operation. Spices such as cinnamon should be broken into small pieces.
Before grinding spices, dry roast the individual spices in a pan on a low heat, constanting tossing the mixture so that the spices start to release the aroma.Once spices are roasted , allow them to cool to room temperature and then grind them to a powder in the coffee grinder using the pulse button, this ensures that the motor does not burn out and you can control the texture of the spice mixture whether you want it fine or coarse.

I love the Lloytron coffee grinder from Qwerkity, it is a stylish coffee grinder for the kitchen with a powerful and quiet motor. It has stainless steel blades with a pulse operation which is perfect for grinding spices and coffee.The grinder comes with a  a transparent easy-view lid and  it has an integral cord tidyfor easy storage. The Llottron coffee grinder is the perfect gadget for any foodie. It retails at £ 24.99 and is available from Qwerkity.

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Garam Masala
Aromatic homemade garam masala with flavours of the East

  • 1 tablespoon Cardamom seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Cloves
  • 4 large Cinnamon Sticks broken into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon Black Peppercorns
  • 4 Star Anise

1. In a heavy bottom pan dry roast the spices on a low heat for 10-12 minutes until thy start to release a spice aroma. 2. Remove the spices from the heat and transfer them to a plate and allow them to cool to room temperature.3.Once spices are cooled transfer them to the coffee grinder and grind them to a fine powder.4. Transfer the garam masala to a sterilised glass jar with an air tight lid and store in a cool dry place.Use the spice mixture to flavour, curries, rice or soup.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 small jar

I was sent the coffee grinder by Qwerkity to review, all the opinions and thoughts shared in this post are my own and unbiased.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Give away tickets to Ideal Home Show Christmas 2014

The Ideal home show Christmas  is taking place at Earls Court, running from the 19th - 23rd of November,
The perfect place to spend a day and get all your christmas shopping done under one roof. The venue will be transformed into a winter wonderland featuring over 650 exhibitors across 7 sectors including: Interiors & Home Accessories, Food & Drink sponsored by Regina, Home Improvements & Outdoor Living sponsored by Hydropool, Fashion & Beauty sponsored by Lexus, Technology & Gadgets sponsored by Virgin Media, Christmas Gifts and Christmas Decorations.

The Ideal Home Show at Christmas will feature a host of festive favourite celebrities, including celebrity chef Gino D'Acampo, English actress and celebrity chef Lisa Faulkner, interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, gadget expert Suzi Perry, and well known TV personality and wine expert, Olly Smith. Our experts will be on hand at the show offering their own festive hints and tips to make your Christmas Ideal.

Highlights from the London Show
·        Christmas Ice Rink – The centrepiece of the exhibition is a spectacular ice rink  There will also be a Bandstand, which will feature a whole host of festive music.

·       The Christmas Theatre sponsored by – The main theatre will host talks and workshops from a range of experts to advise on how to create the perfect homemade Christmas. The hourly sessions will focus on making Christmas cards, festive wreaths, decorations, table settings and much more!
·       The Christmas Catwalk sponsored by Lexus – A round up of the latest trends and festive fashion, from the best Christmas party dresses, hair styles, and make up looks to ensure you look your best throughout the party season!
·       The Christmas Champagne Bar sponsored by Hydropool – Treat yourself with a glass of bubbly and relax after all that shopping!
·       The Christmas Food &Drink Theatre sponsored by Regina – This interactive theatre will feature top celebrity chefs, including Gino D'Acampo, and drinks experts including Olly Smith, giving you handy hints and tips for your Christmas culinary creation and festive tipples to match. With live cook along demonstrations, foodies are able to learn from the experts in how to cook up a storm in the kitchen this Christmas.
·       The Gregg Wallace Christmas Restaurant - The acclaimed restaurant returns for another year, hosted by friend of the show Gregg Wallace, providing a traditional Christmas lunch with a twist.
·       Ideal Christmas Book Shop – A chance to browse through all the latest offerings from Celebrity Chefs and Bakers, plus DIY and Gardening experts, and find the best Christmas presents, all at exclusive show prices! Plus personalise any gifts by having the book signed by your favourite chef or expert while at the show.
·       Christmas Smart Home Technology powered by Virgin Media – To get you up to date with the latest gadgets and technology must-haves, we will be providing the lowdown on the hottest gadgets and technology to create your ideal Christmas. The friendly guys and girls from Virgin Media will also be on hand to tell you all about their latest offers and services.

Plus, with over 650 top brands and exhibitors offering innovative products that you won’t find on the high street, it’s the ultimate destination for all of your Christmas shopping. For more information click here

Ideal Home show Christmas has been very generous and have offered simplyfood a chance to giveaway 5 pairs of tickets to simplyfood readers.
How To Enter

·         Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
·         Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
·         Please read the rules they form the terms and conditions of this Giveaway
·         Closing date – 15th  November 2014.  12.00 am Open to Uk residents over the age of 18 only

How Rafflecopter works:

  • You will need to complete the mandatory entry first – usually making a blog comment. You can do this by clicking on leave a comment at the bottom of the post and leaving your reply in the comment box. Please note your comment will not show immediately as it needs to be moderated however rest assured it will appear on the site, so carry on with rest of entries.
  • Login to Rafflecopter – click to see what the question is. Make a comment answering the question on the blog.
  •  Go back to Rafflecopter and click the green button to tell me you have made a comment, this will unlock all the other options. All entries are checked to see that the mandatory question is answered, if its not all bonus entries will become void. 
  • Rafflecopter will tweet, like and follow on your behalf.
  • For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here
  • For bonus entries you can return to this page and enter the daily bonus entries. 
  • If you are still unsure as to how Rafflecopter works please do check out this short video

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Coconut Delight Roses-Diwali Special

Today is the Hindu Festival of Diwali, to celebrate I have created this delicious yet simple sweet that is perfect for gifting and serving . I would also like to wish all my readers and visitors avery happy Diwali. Thankyou all for your visits, comments and love that you share with simplyfood, all of which inspire and motivate me.

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Coconut Delight Roses

Tutti frutti and Coconut layered on delicious white chocolate.

  • 200ml Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 200g Dessicated Coconut Flour
  • 40g Mixed Tutti Frutti -dried papaya,mango and pineapple
  • 2 drops Orange food colour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Orange Essence
  • 300g White Chocolate

1. In a bowl add the coconut flour, finely chopped tutti frutti (dried mango, papaya and pineapple) and condensed milk, orange essence and make a dough . Add the condensed milk a little at a time until mixture comes together to form a ball.2. Divide the mixture into two parts and add orange colouring to one part. Make 12 small balls from each of the mixtures, the white and the orange and push the balls into a rose silicon mould. Pack the mixture tightly into the moulds leaving a 5mm gap on top for the chocolate layer. You will have 12 orange coloured delights and 12 white delights.(Alternatively you can make the whole lot orange by adding the colour to all the mixture)3. Melt the white chocolate in a heat proof bowl in the microwave for 1 minute and then at 10 second intervals until chocolate is totally melted. Stir the chocolate to ensure its smooth.4. Pour a layer of chocolate on top of the coconut layer and tap the mould to evenly distribute the chocolate.5. Place the silicon mould rose tray in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.6. After 30 minutes push out the chocolate roses from the mould and serve.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 24
NB -You can add the mixture to a square tray and pack it down after which pour the chocolate over it and leave to set. Once set cut into squares.

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