Friday, 14 March 2014

Doggie treats

This year brought a new arrival- a labrador puppy. She loves her food but treats are costly and also she is a typical lab and so we need to watch her waist line.

I've made her some sweet potato chews which are very easy and cheap (not don't allow too many at once since they can upset their tummy).

Take a few large sweet potatoes and wash and slice fairly thickly. Bake on the lowest setting for about three hours (turning half way through). They will come out soft but they will toughen on cooling.

These biscuits are also very easy to make and cheap.

Begin by combining 2 cups of wholewheat flour and 1 cup of oats. Add to this half  cup of vegetable oil, 1.5 cups of water 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tbsp honey, 1 beaten egg, 3 tbsp crunchy peanut butter and 1 mashed banana.

Combine until you have a fairly even dough- add more water or flour as required.

When you have a workable dough, line and grease a baking sheet. It is quite a sticky dough so to save your sanity, rather than rolling it out and cutting out shapes which can get messy, oil your cutter and then press the mix directly into the mould on the sheet. You should be able to then just push out shaped quantities of the dough.

I made these quite large since they cook better I feel and I can then break them up as required (or give her a whole one for special treats!)

Bake at the lowest setting for 6-8 hours until they are really dry and hard. You can store them in an air tight container for a week or so.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Double Orange Cake

A very light and moist sponge so really needs to be eaten within 24 hours of making. It is not a stodgy cake at all and you can really taste the orange.

Cake couldn't be easier. Combine 175g butter (or stork works just as well and doesn't need softening), 175g caster sugar, 175g self-raising flour, 3 eggs, 1.5 tsps baking powder and the grated rind and juice of one orange. You really do taste the orange so choose a nice juicy one. The thickness of the skin also makes a difference- those with a lot of pith tend to have a more bitter taste.

Once it is all combined pour into a 20cm deep round cake tin that has been greased and lined. Bake at about 170 degrees for about 40 minutes until it is golden and risen and springs back to touch.

Leave to cool on a rack. When it is cool brush the top with warmed apricot jam to create a crumb coating (stops the icing mixing into the cake to give a smoother finish).

Then combine 100g icing sugar with the juice of about half an orange until it is a coating consistency. Pour this over the cake and smooth with a palette knife. Then decorate with some grated orange (use the one that you took the juice for the topping from).

Saturday, 1 February 2014

steamed chocolate pudding

To make the sauce- melt together 100g butter, 50g light sugar, 100g dark chocolate, 1 tbsp golden syrup and 2 tbsp milk  and 2 tbsp cream in a bowl over a pan until smooth. 

Pour 8 tbsps into a greased pudding basin and keep the rest in a jug for later. 

To make the pudding melt together 100g butter, 85g light or dark brown sugar and 2tbps golden syrup and then combine this with 225 g self-raising flour, 2 large eggs, 50g cocoa, 150ml milk, pinch salt, 1 tsp ground cinammon and zest of an orange into a food mixer and blend together.

Put this mix on top of the sauce and put a greased lid on the basin.

Put in a large pan and put in enough water to come three quarters of the way up the side and then simmer or one and a quarter hours. 

Turn out onto a plate and serve with the extra (warmed) chocolate sauce and custard or ice cream.