Thursday, 10 October 2013

Update! Chocolate plum cake with cinnamon...autumn, here we come!

Update!  Since writing this post a couple of days ago I have noticed that the cake has dried out really quickly despite being wrapped in foil and kept in a special cake container.  Very disappointing indeed!  Maybe it would have been better to let the fruit juices seep into the cake after all rather than using the suggested ground almonds.  I thought I'd let you know!
I guess I will use any leftovers to make something my baker uncle used to do when he had spare cake...I will write more about these naughty little treats next week in a new post.  In the meantime, have a good weekend!

Temperatures here have dropped by quite a bit but with the sun still out, it's been a lovely couple of days.

With autumn in the air I was very excited to find a recipe for a lovely chocolate plum cake.  I amended this slightly and added some cinnamon which I think goes very well with both the fruit and chocolate and also with this time of the year.  I could imagine this cake with apricots, peaches or maybe cherries instead of the plums - yum!
I also learned a new trick when I made this - the recipe suggested sprinkling ground almonds onto the dough before putting the fruit on top.  That way the cake doesn't end up soggy with the fruit juice seeping from the plums during baking - great idea I think and it would work well with other cakes too.  I'll have to remember this.

Chocolate plum cake with cinnamon

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Creamy chicken soup...winter warmers

Lovely socks
It's slowly getting colder here and so I was very excited to receive a parcel from my mum with a pair of socks she had knitted for me.  Her socks are simply the best and keep me nice and warm - I am sure it's because of the love she knits into them :-)  They will come in handy on the long dog walks and for snuggling up on the sofa.

Just as warm and comforting is the dish I cooked for lunch today: creamy chicken soup with rice.  This is so easy to make, doesn't cost the earth and is filling and comforting.  And using a couple of shortcuts makes this a very quick meal to put together - what more does one need on a cold or rainy day?
Creamy chicken soup with rice

Monday, 7 October 2013

Cheesy herb bread - no need for kneading

I spent some time at the weekend looking for new recipes to try.  It's one of my favourite things to do and this time I got so excited about a bread recipe I found that not only did I have to make some straightaway but I was also back in the kitchen at 6:30am this morning to try another variation.  The result, a cheesy herb bread, will go perfectly with soup and is also great for sharing with family and friends.  The secret ingredient in this is beer!  Yes - I couldn't believe it either but it does work very well and doesn't taste the slightest bit beer-y (although I must say I found it a bit difficult to smell beer that early in the morning...brrrr).

How to make cheesy herb bread
The original recipe was for a cheesy garlic version of the bread which I baked in a loaf tin - even quicker to make and slightly less messy (given that the dough is rather sticky).  It made for a delicious toasted sandwich for my lunch today - filled with pesto, slices of chicken breast, lettuce and tomato.  Yum!  I guess that's my lunches sorted for this week, although I will be putting some of both breads into the freezer.