Baked

Sausage Roll Recipe

Wow it’s been ages since my last post, life has rather got in the way! We are in the process of preparing our house to sell as we will be moving to Nottingham soon. It’s been rather a task and I’ve been neglecting my baking and crochet to garden, de-clutter and clean like crazy! The end of the prep is in sight as we have painters and new carpets happening this week!

More importantly we had visitors this weekend and I decided to whip up a batch of sausage rolls. Whip being the operative word as these sausage rolls are super easy and quick to make and usually disappear as quickly! The recipe is inspired by recipe but I’ve made it even more simple and quick to do.

Ingredients

  • Pack of pre-rolled puff pastry
  • Pack of sausage meat or 6 sausages
  • Red onion chutney
  • Egg to wash rolls
  • Handful of sesame seeds, optional

Method

    1. Preheat your oven to 200°C. Unroll your pastry and lay it out on a flat surface, cut down the middle length ways to make two long stripes.
    2. Spread a thin layer of red onion chutney down the middle of each pastry strip.
    3. If using sausages remove from their casings, mix meat gently to form a ball. Split into 2 halves and make each half into a long sausage the length of your pastry strip. Don’t make them too fat as you need to be able to overlap the pastry.
    4. Take the edges of the pastry and fold over the top of the meat and press down gently to seal. Cut each half into individual sausage rolls at your preferred size, I usually get 8 – 10 out of each half.
    5. Whisk your egg and wash each sausage roll and sprinkle a few sesame seeds onto if using.
    6. Bake in the oven for 25 minuets until golden on top.
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Sausage rolls all ready for the oven!

Now enjoy these yummy homemade sausage roll treats in all their flaky pastry gorgeousness! For variety you could use different chutneys, add cooked onion or herbs to your sausage meat or top with poppy seeds or Parmesan cheese. Hope you enjoy these simple but tasty treats, I’d love to hear about your sausage roll triumphs so share some love and leave me a comment!

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Baked

White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookies

Cookies have been a real favourite in our house these last few weeks, pretty much since I discovered this recipe. I made the original triple chocolate version several times and they really are amazing! I’ve also been playing with the recipe to create my own combinations including chocolate chip cookies, oat and raisin cookies and these white chocolate and cranberry cookies.

Often I use white chocolate and cranberry as Christmassy flavours, my biscotti with them gets made every Christmas now and I love the combo in a baked cheesecake. But these cookies are definitely an all seasons treat.

White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookies

Makes approx 24.

Ingredients

  • 225g butter.
  • 375g sugar.
  • 2 eggs.
  • 1tsp vanilla paste (can use essence as an alternative).
  • 385g flour.
  • 1tsp baking powder.
  • 1/4tsp salt.
  • 150g white chocolate chunks or a bar cut into chunks.
  • 100g dried cranberries

Method

  • Beat the butter till it’s light and fluffy (approx 3 mins), then add the sugar and beat together.
  • Add the eggs 1 at a time mixing well between each one.
  • Add the vanilla essence and mix in.
  • Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix on a low speed until all the flour is combined into the mixture. Make sure to scrap the sides while doing this.
  • Add the white chocolate and cranberries and fold through the mixture.
  • Once all ingredients are mixed together cover and refrigerate for at least an hour but over night is better.
  • After chilling get the mix out of the fridge (it can be quite solid if its chilled for more than an hour so i find letting it warm up a little helps in making it easier to work with). Pre-heat the oven to 200°C and make golf ball sized balls of dough onto a lined baking tray.
  • Bake for 14 mins or until lightly golden on top. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for at least 10 mins on the tray. Don’t be tempted to remove them straight away as the centre will still be soft and gooey and you’ll end up with falling apart cookies. After 10 mins you can move to a cooling rack to cool completely, you can store them in an air-tight container if they aren’t all eaten immediately.

These cookies have gone down well at home and I know I’ll have to make more varieties in the future! Hope you enjoy them, I’d love to hear about your favourite cookie recipe or flavour so share some love and leave a comment.

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Hooked

ABC baby blanket/play mat

This current project is inspired by the amazing work of a fellow crocheter who I follow on Instagram, Pony McTate. She recently made the most gorgeous under the sea ABC blanket which I adored and when my OH’s cousin announced they were having a baby I knew I wanted to make my own ABC blanket. The teacher in me wanted to pick items for each letter that would be recognisable for a young child so that as they start talking and learning to read the blanket could be used to help them learn and hear the first letter of words. I just can’t switch my early years teacher head off!

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This blanket is made by sewing on appliques for each letter and the lovely Pony McTate came up with an ingenious solution to all those threads at the back by sewing circles of felt or to cover them all up! I have long been playing with the idea of backing a baby blanket so that it could be put on the floor as a play mat and so I’ve decided that rather than individual circles I will attach a fleece blanket I got cheap to the back to hide all the thread ends and not so neat stitching!

Each object for each letter I have made through trail and error (also a bit of searching on Pinterest to find applique patterns that I tweak for sizing). And I am thinking I will add an embroidered letter in the corner of each square (there goes the early years teacher in me again).

I’m loving doing this project and each square that gets finished makes me smile – I’m struggling to pick a favourite they are all so cute! What are you making at the moment that your loving? I’d love to see what is currently on your hook and making you smile, so share some love and leave a comment!

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Baked

Chocolate Tiffin

This recipe is an oldie but a goodie! I’ve been making this ever since my flatmate in Uni taught me to nearly 10 years ago and it is literally the quickest and easiest thing in the world. Plus it tastes amazing! This was once described as better than an orgasm! So if chocolate with more chocolate and some biscuit is your thing make this and thank me later!

Ingredients

  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • A handful of raisins or sultanas (approx 50g)
  • 400g digestive biscuits
  • 300g milk chocolate, melted

Method

  1. Place butter, sugar, golden syrup and cocoa powder in a non-stick saucepan and melt together.
  2. Blitz or crush biscuits up and add to pan mixing well.
  3. Add your raisins or sultanas and mix well. Other dried fruit works here too or alternatively glace cherries cut in half.
  4. Line a large square pan or dish with greaseproof paper and put biscuit mix in using the back of a spoon to push mixture into the corners. Spread evenly and smooth over.
  5. Melt chocolate either in a ban marie (bowl over pan of boiling water) or in the microwave. *Tip* melt it in a jug in the microwave to make pouring the melted chocolate over the biscuit mixture easier. Once melted pour over and spread out evenly across the biscuit mixture.
  6. Optional extra after letting it cool for 15 minutes sprinkle chocolate stars or sprinkles over the chocolate.
  7. Chill in the fridge for 1hr or until the chocolate sets hard. Turn out and cut into squares and enjoy all the chocolatey goodness!

Hope you enjoy this recipe and I’d love to see your Tiffin creations, so share some love and leave a comment.

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Baked

Lemon Blueberry Cake

I love lemon cake and I love blueberries and often when I have a punnet that’s a little past it’s best I pop them in a cake and magic happens! I am very much a baker who learns by trial and error, I regularly challenge myself with something new and use it as a way to learn about what works and what really doesn’t!

This time I had a go at this recipe Lemon Blueberry Cake by Cooking Classy. I chose to make a 4 layer 8in cake and added lemon curd and bramble jam (alternating between the two) between each layer. The cake did not come out perfect but this might have to do with me leaving them in their tins to cool and even refrigerated them in their tins *wrist slap* (we were out all evening at a concert so had to leave the cakes cooling unattended!). Due to my naughty cooling behaviour the cakes were a little dry and the area around the blueberries was a bit soggy! Fortunately the taste was good and the cream cheese frosting seemed to rescue any dryness!

I will definitely try again and hopefully have more success with it! What are you baking at the moment that isn’t just quite right? I’d love to hear about your trial and error baking adventures so share the love and leave a comment!

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Baked

Wedding Cake Trial

I must be mad (but in a good way) as I am making my sis-in-laws wedding cake! Now I’m being all boy scout on this one and channelling their motto “always be prepared” by practising and trialling the whole thing so I’m super organised for the big day. I must be totally crazy and perhaps even a glutton for punishment – especially seeing as I am also a bridesmaid so will be pretty busy wedding day morning. But something about this challenge is really speaking to me!

We trialled stacking and decorating the 3 tiers over Easter weekend and I was really pleased with the results and how quickly I could stack and decorate the cake. As this is a mock-up of the actual wedding cake I am not sharing pictures of the cake as were keeping it secret till the actual wedding. But I can share some pictures of one of the cakes – my white chocolate and raspberry cake with mascarpone cream filling. Making this trial cake was an opportunity to test out freezing this cake to see how it tasted once defrosted and I was very pleased with the outcome!

Having trialled the cake recipe with strawberry and white chocolate ganache previously I can safely say that using raspberry and switching to vanilla mascarpone cream filling made a much lighter and tastier cake without the heavy sweetness of the ganache (I love ganache but sometimes it’s just too much).

My Strawberry and White Chocolate Ganache version which me and the taste testers decided was too sweet!

I’ve slightly adapted this lush white chocolate cake recipe White Chocolate Cake with Rose Buttercream by The Cake Blog (I add more melted white chocolate into my mix and some dried raspberries) and used a cream-less mascarpone cheese filling (try this one, go steady when mixing as my first attempt curdled when I added the mascarpone) with raspberry jam and fresh raspberries. Totally yum!

Now just to trial and develop the other tiers now!

What crazy thing have you said yes to even when it pushes you out of your comfort zone? I’d love to hear all about it so share some love and leave a comment!

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Hooked

Mini Crochet Cushion

Excited to share something I have made recently but had to keep it a secret till this weekend as it was a birthday present for my lovely Mum! But now she has it and it’s all settled in its new home (and being used by my Dad for his afternoon snoozes) I can share my cute little mini cushion.

This was made with no pattern other than me drawing the square and star shapes and then using a range of stitches to create something I liked. I used Stylecraft Special DK in cream, grey, graphite and turquoise and have included a cute shell boarder and used front post trebles to make the back in cream. Pretty pleased with this total DIY creation and my Mum loved it for her new sofas.

What have you been making as gifts or for yourself recently? I’d love to what’s hot off your hook so share the love and leave a comment!

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