Sunday, 24 March 2013

Guinness Bread

Last Sunday on St. Patrick's day I decided to make something I had had pinned for a while - Guinness Bread. I found the recipe on the Black Peppercorn. The recipe was ridiculously easy for bread, no kneading, no waiting just some mixing and you're there! I was a little skeptical but I can't tell you how delicious this turned out! It's quite sweet so if you are looking to make more of a savoury bread I would half the sugar.

Guiness Bread
Makes one loaf
3 C plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1/3 C oats + 1 tbsp
2/3 C dark brown sugar
340ml Guinness
1 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 175C/350F and grease a loaf pan with the butter. 
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, 1/3 C oats and brown sugar. Slowly beat the Guinness into the dry ingredients using an electric mixer on a low setting. Make sure it is not lumpy but do not over-mix.
Pour the batter in the greased loaf try and sprinkle the 1 tbsp of oats on top. 
Bake the bread for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Place on a cooling rack at room temperature.

I wouldn't recommend this bread not toasted as it is a little heavy but toasted with butter it is so delicious! It says you can use any type of beer with this recipe so I foresee a range of beer breads in the near future!

*If you are looking for a slightly healthier option, I have also tried this bread with 1C wholemeal flour and 2C plain white and there is little difference.

**I have since tried this with London Pride instead of Guinness and it worked great! It was even a little sweeter than with Guinness and didn't rise quite as much but again toasted with butter is so delicious.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Cadbury's Creme Egg Brownies

This recipe popped up on Facebook this week and my girlfriends and I tried it out as soon as physically possible! They went far too quickly to get a photo but they were GOOD! Perfect timing for Easter..

Cadbury's Creme Egg Brownies
185g unsalted butter
185g best dark chocolate
85g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
3 large eggs
275g golden caster sugar
6 Cadbury’s Crème eggs cut in half

-  Preheat the oven to 160C and grease a 20 cm square baking tin. Melt the butter and dark chocolate together either in the microwave or in a bowl over boiling water.

-  Break 3 large eggs into a large bowl and tip in 275g golden caster sugar. With an electric mixer on maximum speed, whisk the eggs and sugar until they look thick and creamy, like a milk shake. This can take 3-8 minutes. You will know it's ready when the mixture becomes really pale and about double its original volume.

-  Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the eggy mousse, and then gently fold together.
-  Hold a sieve over the bowl of eggy chocolate mixture and sift the cocoa and flour mixture, -  -  Pour into the baking tin and cook for 15 minutes then take out of the over and gently press the cadburys crème egg halves into the mix, spacing them apart evenly. Put back in the over for another 5-10 minutes. *Do not leave longer than 10 minutes else the goo goes hard!*
-  Leave to cool before removing from tin and cutting into squares.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Roast Chicken with White Wine & Shallots

For my housemate's birthday I made the house dinner. My nan had made me this recipe a few weeks before and as the birthday boy's favourite thing in the world was chicken I decided to make it for him. It's a really easy recipe for how good it is, all in one dish! The recipe calls for a whole chicken cut into 8 but when my nan made it she used thighs so I did the same and used thighs and drumsticks.

This is a Bill Granger recipe and comes from the delicious magazine that I have mentioned before, a brilliant magazine for keen cooks (my nan subscribes so I can nick hers!). The recipe recommends to serve with crispy bread and a side salad but I served with mashed potato and it was really good for soaking up all the good gravy!

Roast Chicken with White Wine & Shallots
Serves 4
8-10 chicken thighs and drumsticks
150g bacon, diced or into lardons
10 french shallots, peeled
Thyme (orig. fresh but I used dried)
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 tsp chili flakes
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
250ml white wine

Preheat the oven to 220C/425F. Arrange the chicken in a large roasting dish and cover with shallots, bacon, thyme, rosemary and chili flakes, olive oil and S&P.

Roast for 20 minutes. Add the wine and roast for another 20-30 minutes or until chicken is golden brown and cooked.

Serve with mashed potato or crusty bread and salad.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Elasticated Skirt

The March part of my Stashbusting Sewalong Challenge is Impending Seasonal Change. As I've had so little time because of university work I decided to make something I already knew how to make: an elasticated skirt. I made this before for my friend Bailey so I know it works well - you can see hers and the tutorial here

I made it with some fabric I had bought with no intended use.. story of my life before this year.. It's got a really nice weight for a skirt and is navy blue so versatile as a wardrobe item. As you can see from my pictures I used my pinking shears I got for Christmas  and my dummy I got for Christmas! It's beautiful! I may shorten it a little but it looks pretty good on my dummy for now until it gets a bit warmer here in Brighton!