Monday 29 December 2014

Mum's Cake + Custard Tarts + More Snow: 20 December - 26 December 2014

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Our house has been a sick house this past week hence only one recipe from me.
The other occupants of the house have had the full-on flu but I always seem to be in limbo during the winter months. Not completely down and out but there's always a slight undertone of a cold in me. Anyway, I shouldn't complain - a flu is the last thing any of us want.
This limbo though has caused a slack in productivity this week. Sometimes I am full of inspiration for the perfect recipe, and then I come out of the kitchen an hour later with three (yes, three!!!) disastrous honeycomb attempts under my belt. And, the entire household is scrunching up their noses in disgust at the burnt sugar stench now pervading all the rooms. 
But good things do come out of these disasters - and I'll be sharing the results pretty soon, Insha Allah.
I really enjoy writing about my week though, no matter how bad it's been. It's very therapeutic and gives me a chance to reflect on events (and dishes) that have happened in the past 7 days.
I hope to be back to my usual blogging ways this week, Insha Allah. I have plenty of new recipes ready to share with you. :)

 Saturday: very grey day was brightened up with this beautiful book.
I usually do all the baking in our house. Today, though, I challenged my mother (the original baker) to bake a cake because I wasn't feeling too good. And, boy, did she deliver! She even traced a circle onto the baking parchment to help line the tins.
I requested a Victoria sponge cake. I know, how boring? Even though I love to bake, I don't actually have a very sweet tooth. My ultimate is the Victoria sandwich.
Sweet, vanilla sponge filled with a tart raspberry jam and softly whipped cream.
And, would you look at the rise on that cake? The trick this time - just use smaller tins.
Today, we also tested out a recipe for really crispy fried chicken nuggets.
And, guys, I think we may be onto a winner here! Cannot wait to share the recipe with you. We ate the chicken with crispy oven fries, peas, sweetcorn, pickled jalapenos, cherry toms and cucumbers. 
Update: Here is the recipe.
Sunday: More experiments in the kitchen today. This time, gluten-free sweet pastry.
The results were good but a few tweaks are still needed before I'm fully satisfied. Why must I want everything to be perfect?! I annoy my own self sometimes. :)
Monday: The view from my window this morning summed up the mood of the day. Very grey.
Mum cooked a very warming curry today - Lamb Mince Curry with Peas and Potato.
I had a pretty rough day today, but was cheered up by my mother.
 Tuesday: Today, I toasted up a tray of dessicated coconut.
This was done by spreading the coconut on a lined baking tray, and baking at 160C for about 5 minutes. Keep your eye on it, it will  toast very quickly.
I also whipped up a batch of thick vanilla custard.
I let the custard and coconut cool to be used later.
Next, another honeycomb attempt.
This time armed with a cooking thermometer.
This time, the attempt was not successful. The honeycomb tasted good at the beginning but left a bitter taste at the end. :(
A pasta salad being thrown together - recipe coming, Insha Allah.
So, we had a pack of these pastry cases in the cupboard for ages. I decided to fill them with Nutella, raspberry jam and lemon curd.
Not all in one tart of course - that would just be weird.
Then, I placed on either a layer of thinly sliced banana or the toasted coconut from earlier.
And, to finish? Well, the chilled vanilla custard, of course.
Followed by a sprinkling of toasted coconut and a glace cherry. The custard tarts were adapted from this recipe.
For dinner, fish!
With steamed carrots and peppers.
Wednesday: For breakfast, American Pancakes. I used this waffle recipe but added in a teaspoon each of ground ginger and ground cinnamon to make gingerbread pancakes.
Anyway, we ate them with golden syrup.
It made me wonder why we don't make them more often. 
It has been absolutely freezing here this week - proper winter weather!
There have been plenty of hot drinks around including this orange hot chocolate.
Into a pan, pour 1 mug milk and add:
Pinch of ground cinnamon
3 cloves
3 cardamoms
Zest of 1 orange
Whisk together and heat until hot.
Then, grate in 8 squares milk chocolate and whisk until melted. Sieve and serve!
For dinner, there was cooked chicken in the fridge which I shredded and browned in a little oil.

Then, in went equal amounts (for 1/2 cooked  chicken breast, I used 2 tablespoons) of the above ingredients which are:
Honey, Soy Sauce, Hot Chilli Sauce and Balsamic Vinegar.
I let it cook until reduced and sticky.
And, served up with ..
... Macaroni Cheese.
Thursday: Whilst most of the country tucked into turkey for lunch, I enjoyed leftover pasta salad.
Today's bake was based on this recipe.
Except I used flaked almonds instead of whole, threw in toasted coconut too, added raisins instead of cranberries and dark chocolate for the white.
And, I pressed the dough into cake tin to bake as bars instead of cookies.
The smaller one is mine without the coconut.
These bars are great as a snack or even breakfast.

Dreaming  of sunnier places. :)
Friday: One of my favourite lunches: Crackers with cheese and pickle, thinly sliced salami and cherry toms.
And, to end the week, it snowed!!

Recipes on the blog this week:

Cinnamon Maple Granola

A few of my favourite links from around the web this week:

1. I could definitely do with a mug of this today - it's freezing!
2. A delicious way to cook the dreaded sprouts.
3. My coconut obsessed mother would love this.
4. Shortbread? With chocolate chips?! Yes, please.
5. These muffins, though.
6. If you want to make these as much as I do, we can be best friends.
7. The obligatory cookie.
8. What will we be eating in 2015?

Have a beautiful week everyone!


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