Monday 24 October 2016

Chocolate and hazelnut brownie traybake

We were invited to our friends’ house for Sunday lunch yesterday and I volunteered to make a dessert; what I didn’t expect was to have such a late night on Friday that Saturday was essentially a write off apart from ordering Papa John’s Pizza at 2pm. So yesterday morning I woke up and suddenly panicked that I had not prepared to make anything. I scanned my baking cupboards and had a brainwave; chocolate brownies – tasty and quick, they would be ideal served with some ice cream.
What I love about brownies is that you can add almost anything to the mixture; I added rum and toasted hazelnuts but why not try some kirsch soaked cherries, some white chocolate chips or peanut butter? The world is your brownie oyster…or some such equivalent saying...

So here it is; chocolate and hazelnut brownie traybake!

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 27 mins

What you’ll need
400g caster sugar
225g salted butter, melted
60g cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
225g plan flour, sifted
Half a teaspoon baking powder
Half a teaspoon salt
60g blanched hazelnuts, roughly chopped and lightly toasted
100ml dark rum (50ml added to cake mix, 50ml to brush over the cake once cooked)

How to make it
Pre-heat the oven to 180C and grease a rectangular 23x33cm traybake tin (or a shallow roasting tin will work just as well)

Mix all the ingredients together in the order given.

Tip the mixure into the tray and spread evenly before popping the tray in the oven for 27 minutes.

Leave to cool for about 5 minutes before using a skewer to make a few holes in the top of the cake. Brush the rum over the top of the cake and allow to soak in.

Leave the brownies to cool before cutting them into (roughly) 24 pieces.

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R x

Tuesday 18 October 2016

Super easy "T-25" salmon!

So if you are familiar with Shaun-T you'll be familiar with his workouts called T-25. Essentially, they are a series of workouts increasing in difficulty as the weeks progress and they all last for just 25 minutes. I love them; mainly for the reason I can get dressed, warm up, workout, cool down and shower in about 45 minutes flat. This is great for me when I cook from scratch pretty much every night because it means I still have that time in the kitchen, we're not eating dinner too late but I still get my downtime in front of the tv in the evening.

The reason I named this recipe after those workouts is because it can be cooked in the time it takes to do all of the above activities - 45 minutes.

It's healthy and filling and so easy I cant even tell you...basically, the most challenging part of the whole recipe is wrapping up the salmon to cook it in an "en papillote" style

Serves 2

What you'll need:
2 salmon fillets
8 asparagus spears with the ends chopped off
8 cherry tomatoes
10 new potatoes, cut in half
Olive/rapeseed oil - enough to drizzle over the potatoes and the salmon
4 tsp chilli flakes
2 tsp ginger puree
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
Salt and pepper to season
2 tbsp hot paprika
(You can adjust the chilli flakes and the sweet chilli sauce to whatever level of spice you like)

How to make it:
Pre-heat the oven to 180. Add the potatoes to a roasting tin and drizzle with some of the oil. Season with the paprika and some salt and pepper. Pop them in the oven for 20 minutes.

Lay a sheet of tin foil down and cover this with a piece of greaseproof paper on top of this. Place one salmon in the middle of the greaseproof paper and drizzle with a little oil. Season the salmon with salt, pepper and half the chilli flakes, ginger puree, and sweet chilli sauce. Arrange the asparagus and tomatoes around the salmon fillet. Wrap the salmon up like a parcel; if you take the two ends of the tin foil and bring the long sides of the foil together you can easily wrap the fish up into little canoe shaped parcels (I think the below picture will probably be easier to follow than my convoluted instructions!). Repeat with the other salmon fillet.

Pop the salmon in the same tin as the potatoes and cook for 25 minutes.

Serve with sugarsnap peas, broccoli and the roasted potatoes.


R x

Monday 17 October 2016

Autumnal spiced roasted carrot and sweet potato soup

My dad always says that Autumn is his favourite month; he loves the changing colours and the chilly crisp mornings. I love Autumn as well – my reasons are the same as my Dad’s (I am the girl with a scarf obsession so what better excuse is there than a season of frosty mornings to buy more scarves?!) but I also love nothing better than the feeling homemade soup gives you after a long walk with hubby and pooch – it is one of the best comfort foods and is so so easy to make. All you need to do is cook some veg and blend it all up in a liquidiser. What could be simpler?!

Picture the scene; you come home with mud all over your walking boots from powering over 10 miles of The Peak District, face numb from the cold, legs stiff from all the uphill walking; you pop the cork on a bottle of red wine, set this soup to cook, have a hot shower and then come back downstairs in your comfiest trackies to enjoy a bowl of soup in front of your favourite box set (box set of choice at the moment Chez Joesbury is Bones by the way). Sunday evening heaven.
Sounds good, right? So here’s the soup recipe – the cold, muddy walk is optional, the hot shower and the wine, however, are a must!

What you’ll need:
3 medium – large sized carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1l chicken stock (made from 1 vegetable stock cube and one chicken stock cube)
2 small red onions, sliced
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp hot paprika
2tsp coriander (dried or fresh is fine)
1 tsp turmeric
1tsp garam masala
3 tbsp oil (sunflower/rapeseed/olive oil are all fine)
Salt and pepper to season
Crème fraiche to serve

How to make it:
Pre-heat your oven to 200°C and place the carrots and sweet potatoes into a roasting tin. Drizzle 2tbsp of your chosen oil over the vegetables and then season the vegetables with the herbs and spices. Mix the veg around to coat them well with the seasoning, and then pop the tray in the oven for about 30mins (give the veg a shake half way through so they don’t stick to the tray)
Whilst the vegetables are cooking, heat the remaining 1tbsp oil in a large saucepan and add the onions and garlic. Cook on a medium heat, stirring regularly, until the onion becomes translucent – this should take around 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock and simmer away for about another 10 minutes.
When the vegetables are done roasting, get them out of the oven and let them rest for a couple of minutes before tipping them carefully into the stock and onion saucepan. Give the whole lot a good stir and simmer for a further 2 – 3 mins before tipping the contents of the saucepan into a liquidiser. Blend until smooth (you can also do this with a hand blender if you don’t have a liquidiser) and season to taste. Adjust the seasoning as preferred and serve with a swirl of crème fraiche, some chopped coriander and freshly ground black pepper…oh and some nice crusty bread of course!

Check me out on Instagram and Twitter for more snippets into my love of food and my life in general.

R x