Category Archives: Cooking

How do you like them apples?

Now hands up if you have been to Ikea and had the apple cake?

Yep, yummy right? Now if you haven’t, you should. Or you could just make the version here.

This is mine.

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And this is the photo taken from the Ikea website.

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The nearest Ikea is an hours drive and despite the fact that we seem to spend our lives there at the moment it’s not quite close enough for my liking.

Having had the cake there once I made it my mission to recreate it. Easy I thought, a quick google showed it wasn’t quite so easy.

So this is my version. I think it might even be better than Ikea’s but what do I know….

Here is what you need….

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-150grm plain flour
-50grm butter/marg/butterliscious etc
-30grm caster sugar plus another 100grm
-apples (not cooking) about 8 or so
– cinnamon/ground ginger/nutmeg/cloves
-arrowroot or for flour
-Creme Fraiche/cream to serve

First off add the flour 30grm of sugar and marg to a bowl

-juice and zest of a lemon

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Gently rub the butter into the flour with your fingers til it looks like sand

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Now get a springform cake pan and press the mixture firmly into the pan base.

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Press it up the sides of your pan as well to make a pie type edge.

Pop it in the oven on about 150 degrees for about 10 mins.

When it is done it will look like this.

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Now chop up your apples. If you are a stickler you can peel them but erm… I hate peeling stuff! You want them into about centimetre thick slices.

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Grab a pan and chuck in about 50grm of butter and 100grm of caster sugar.

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Melt them together until the sugar is less granular but not brown.

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Throw in your apple and 3 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1 of ground ginger and 1 of nutmeg plus 4 cloves.

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Stir it all around and make sure all the apple is coated.

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Add the juice and zest of a lemon.

Cook it all down. It will look dry for a while but the juice will come out of the apples as they cook.

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Once it looks like this you are ready to add the arrowroot. Mix 1 tablespoon with water into a smooth liquid. Add to the bubbling liquid and stir like mad.

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All the liquid should become thick and gloopy.

Now pile your apples into your pie case. Keep the apples under the level of the pastry so that they don’t stick to the pan.

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Bake on 150 again for about 20 mins.

Take it out and scoff it with cream…. Nom nom….

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Let me know if you make it!

Courgette fritters

My parents garden is just starting to deliver the goods after this strange summer, my mum brought us a box of goodies last week including courgettes, rhubarb, broad beans, cucumber and what is possibly the world’s largest lettuce.

In fear of never getting another thing into the fridge I thought I better get cooking.

James loves these kinds of dinners due to the sheer quantity of washing up and general chaos I manage to create in the kitchen.

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Here is the finished product. Courgette, fritters, feta, tomato, mint and avocado salad, tzatiki and beer. Ok I didn’t make the beer….

Here is the method for the fritters

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You need 3 courgettes, 4 if your mum hasn’t grown a monster… Some spring onions, fresh mint, self raising flour, an egg, salt, pepper, chilli flakes, a lemon and a clove of garlic.

First grate your courgettes. I used the food processor….as I said James loves washing up….

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Put the grated courgette into a colander , place some kitchen paper on top and press down. The idea is to get as much liquid out of the courgette as possible.

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While it dries off, chop your onions and mint. Confession time, I used the processor again….I’m sure Jamie Oliver doesn’t but then he probably hasn’t done a full shift in retail in plus 30 degrees and then done a 3k run… If he wants up question my knife skills then he can frankly bring it….

Anyway add them to the courgettes in a bowl, with a good pinch of salt, grind of pepper, teaspoon of chilli flakes and the garlic.

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Zest your lemon. If you don’t have one of these graters, seriously put down your computer and go buy one now! They are awesome!

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Next add 1 cup of self raising flour. Stir it all around. Add the egg.

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Mix until it is all thoroughly combined.

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At this point you can make your accompanying bits and bobs.

Heat up a frying pan or two with some oil. Dollop spoonfuls of the mixture into the pans once they are hot.

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Once you see the edges start to turn brown flip them over and cook the other side.

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Extremely yummy dipped in minty, yogurty, garlickyness….

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Meanwhile James continues to wash up…..

Pancake palaver

Today to celebrate our last day of holiday and the men’s Wimbledon final I wanted to make a fancy breakfast (I don’t really get tennis but any excuse for a bit of a fuss)
So I give you patriotic pancakes….

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This is the simplest pancake recipe ever so I thought I’d share the process.

You need a mug, an egg, some milk and some flour. You can use either self raising if you want fluffy American style pancakes or plain for crepe style thin pancakes. I wanted fluffy so these are made with self raising.

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Fill your mug (any will do) with flour, put into bowl or jug, fill the same mug with milk and add to the bowl, crack your egg in too.

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Add a pinch of salt too.
Then whisk to make a smooth batter.

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Pop a large frying pan onto the heat with a splash of oil.
Now the first rule of pancake club is you don’t talk about pancake club…. No hang on…..actually it’s that the first pancake is always awful. Something about the pan getting to right temperature. Anyway expect this and don’t panic.

Pour in a fair sized glug of mixture into the pan once it is heated. Don’t make them too big or they will take forever to cook.

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Once bubbles form you know you are onto a winner.

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Once the whole surface looks like the edges of this picture and the bubbles pop the pancake is ready to flip.

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Couple of minutes on this side and you are done.

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Serve with anything you like but berries and squirty cream and Union Jack champagne were winners for us.
Disclaimer I had been for a run before I had this….