Saturday, 16 November 2013

Chicken filo pastry pie

A lighter alternative to a normal chicken pie.

Begin cooking the filling. Fry 500-750g cubed chicken til cooked through but don't brown it. Remove from the pan and then cook 3 shredded leeks and about 500g sliced mushrooms.

When these have wilted stir through 1 tbsp plain flour and cook for a couple of minutes.

Then add 125 ml of white wine (or sherry works well too) and 200ml of chicken stock and cook for about 5 mins allowing to thicken.

Then add about 150g of cream cheese with garlic and herbs and mix in until this melts. Then return the chicken and a good handful of chopped parsely and stir together.

This can be kept in the fridge overnight if needed. Then put in a pie dish and cover with buttered filo strips rippled over the top (I used about 5 this time).

Bake at 200 degrees for about 35 minutes until the top becomes golden brown. Serve with new potatoes and a green salad.

Roasted vegetable and goats cheese tart

Made this as the vegetarian option for a big family lunch since had a roll of puff pastry and thought this was quite simply- expected lots of left over- this was chosen by everyone even the meateaters and was completely polished off!

You can use really whatever you want on the base. For this recipe I began by wilting some leeks in some butter and lemon juice. Allow this to cool a little and then mix with 2 tbsps of tomato puree, 2 tbsps of pesto, 1 tbsp dijon mustard, 100g cream cheese with garlic and herbs, some chopped spring onions and a good handful of herbs (fresh basil or parsley work well).

Prepare the vegetables by roasting in oil. I used red peppers, courgettes and aubergines (which I pre-salted before roasting).

Drizzles with a good dose of oil and some chopped garlic and roast in a hot oven for about 30 mins until starting to char. The oil from the vegetables can be added to the above cheese mix.

This can be all done in advance. On the day roll out your puff pastry onto a pre-lined baking sheet and use a sharp knife to put an edge all around the pastry about an inch in. Cover the base with the cheese mix and then top with the roasted vegetables. Finally cover with  some more spring onions and toasted pine nuts.

Top with slices of goats cheese and some pepper (no salt is needed).

Roast in a hot oven (around 200 degrees) for about 20 mins- the sides will puff up and the cheese will melt.

Birthday cakes

Following on from my last post here is some of the birthday cakes for my youngest 6th birthday- a malterser cake (using the last recipe ) and some cupcakes

The best chocolate birthday cake

I've been making this for years for my girls. It's very easy but the yoghurt and oil mix makes it a very light cake.

Being mixing 250ml of sunflower oil with 150g caster sugar.

Then blend in 225ml of yoghurt.

Add to this 2 eggs, 225ml of self raising flour, 2 tsps baking powder, 2 tsps of vanilla extract and 1.5 tbsp of cocoa powder (you can omit the cocoa if you want a plain rather than chocolate sponge).

Whisk til combined,

Line two sandwich tins and divide the mix.

Bake at 160 degrees for about 35 mins til risen and cooked through.

To ice make up chocolate fondant icing- heat 60ml of double cream with 100g plain chocolate until melted and combine. Take a few spoonfuls of this and whisk together with some double cream that has been whisked til stiff.

Cover the cake with an apricot glaze and sandwich together with the chocolate mixed with the whipped cream. Using the remaining chocolate to cover the top and decorate.

You can use the mix to bake in a chiffon tin and cook for about 50 mins. If you want to cover the whole cake heat 200ml of double cream and then add 200g of plain chocolate. This is more than enough to fill and ice the cake.