I found myself indoors with the doors and windows closed for three days this week, trying to avoid watching too much tv as it was just starting to get me worried, with all the sensational reporting. I've since found out that my favourite farm has lost their home, so I'm really sad for them. If anyone knows of any way I can help then please leave me a comment.
On the first day I made myself feel better by baking rye bread from scratch, and the kneading definitely made me feel better. Simply recipes had a great recipe and I followed it to the letter although it made so much that I decided to half the recipe. I incorporated flax seeds and sunflower seeds along with the caraway and they made a delicious addition. It made a wonderful cheese and pickle sandwich the next day!
On the second day I made ravioli from scratch. Now I know how easy it is I'll definitely try it again. The great Jamie Oliver came to the rescue, his book 'the naked chef' is very handy for these basic techniques.
Well fed reminded me I'd been meaning to make the delicious espresso muffins straight out of Heidi Swansons Super Natural Cooking. Wow, they are wonderful. Not too sweet but sweet enough. Perfect breakfast or a wonderful afternoon pick me up. They will probably replace my usual banana bread recipe. I might cut down the walnuts slightly next time as that does add a lot of calories.
The third day my friend from work came round and we tried Joe's shortbread, which was nice but somehow I found the ginger was maybe not quite to my taste. It either needed a lot more, or to be taken out. I do think this would make a wonderful base for a very naughty dessert, maybe a pumpkin cheesecake.
We also made Everton Toffee from my old english recipe book. I fancied caramels so I decided not to go to the hard candy point, and it actually ended up settting up like fudge. Maybe this was because I decided to add walnuts just before I cooled them and it crystallized them. It was truly delicious and I took it to work and tried to keep away from it but it was really hard!!
Everton Toffee from the Dairy Book of Home Cooking
60ml (4tbsp) water
100g (4oz) butter
350g (12oz) demerera sugar (I used soft light brown sugar
30ml (2 tbsp) golden syrup
15 ml (1 tbsp) black treacle/molasses
1. Put all ingredients into a saucepan
2. Heat slowly, stirring, until butter melts and sugar dissolves
3. Bring to the boil. Cover pan. Boil gently for 2 mins
4. Uncover and continue to boil, stirring occasionly for 10-15mins, or until it reaches 138c or 280f (I stopped it at 250f)
5. Pour into a greased 15 cm (6in) square tin. Leave until hard (I used a loaf pan)
6. Turn out onto a board. Break up with a hammer or rolling pin (mine was like fudge and I cut it into squares with a knife)
7. Store in an airtight container between greaseproof paper.