Saturday, 26 November 2011

Bonfire Banana Bread

I promised lots of posts and here is the first one. I made this on Bonfire night (Doesn't it feel like ages ago already?) it's a perfect autumn/winter cake and is even better when eaten warm.

I added cinnamon, nutmeg and chocolate to the original recipe to make it that bit more seasonal and I'll definitely be making it again soon.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Okay so I'm not American and nor do I celebrate Thanksgiving but I feel like I'm in need of a new post and today is Thanksgiving so a big Happy Thanks Giving to everyone who reads my blog, it's been over 8 months since I started posting now so I am thankful to all 1,182 of you who've visited over that time. There's plenty more blog posts coming, I was featured on another blog for the first time this week and I've got a few things in the pipeline that I'm excited for everyone to find out about.

I'm always cooking and much to the annoyance of my family, taking photos before they're allowed to eat anything so I have a tonne of things I need to post! Watch this space for Birthday Cake, Cake Pops, Banana Bread, Rock Cakes, More Mousse, Biscuits and that's just the stuff I've already made!

I've been cooking today, unfortunately not anything Thanksgiving-y but I've been meaning to make a Pecan Pie for ages and that's American so I think I have an excuse to make it this weekend?! Back to what I have made though, I had to make soup in my Home Ec. class so I made a rustic Italian soup called 'Pesce รจ feud' literally translated, that is dialect for 'The fish is gone' but I'll save my explanation of that for my post on it, you'll have to check back for it!

The second thing I've been making is chocolate tart. A pretty special chocolate tart that I'm going to be making a lot over the next few weeks, I'll probably be sick of it soon! It is special because it is the main component of my dessert for a competition I'm entering, I won't give too much away in-case one of my opponents is reading but, wish me luck for 11th January!

I made it for the first time last week and I loved it as soon as I tasted it with the rest of the dessert, I was confident it was a winner. Then I took it home and my brother told me it was 'dry, heavy and you'll never win anything with that' being me, instead of accepting the criticism and changing the recipe, I decided not only to stick to my guns but also bet him £100 that I'd win the entire competition. Didn't really think through the fact that I'll only have that money if I win but hey,  I don't plan on loosing!

And I think I was right, having cooking fourth period means I turn up to my French lesson with a tub full of food and distract everyone while they look at what I've been making on that day, my teacher loves me for that. Anyway the point I'm making is that being the giving person I am, I let a few of the people around me try what I'd been making and they said it was 'really nice', 'amazing' and 'If I pay you will you come and make these in my kitchen all day?'

I think I'm going to take their comments instead and fingers crossed, lots more practise, an awesome main (I have this planned but I don't want to reveal it just yet) and I'll be onto a winner!

Keep up to date with all my latest ventures on Twitter and I'll be posting again soon! 

Friday, 18 November 2011

Children In Need Cupcakes

As I'm sure yo all know, today is Children In Need. I decided to get involved and bake some Pudsey cupcakes. You may have seen them featured on The Great British Baking Club along with lots of others.

I've had an own clothes day at school and we've been doing lots of fundraising. Last year Children In Need raised around £18 million for disadvantaged children in the UK and I'm sure this year the total we be even higher so if you haven't got involved yet then go on, tune in to the appeal on BBC1 tonight and give what you can, even the smallest amount of money will make a difference!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Chocolate Mousse and Tuile Baskets

I had a late, well very late, Birthday party a few weeks ago- I will post my cake at some point, timings not my strong point as you can see- and I got The Great British Bake Off book from one of my friends so this week I  made my first recipe from it.

Chocolate mousse, not strictly baking but it was, at five o'clock on Sunday night, one of the only things I could find all the ingredients for. And I can, for a change say that I did follow the recipe. Not exactly of course, I couldn't resist making a few additions but I had the book open which is more than I can normally say. I added rum and orange juice to it which I thought worked really well, it gave the flavour more depth. 

To serve them I made tuile baskets but, I used a Masterchef at home recipe and probably should have stuck with Mary Berry as they didn't mould quite as well as I'd hoped.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

You Can't Beat a Good Pizza

Being Italian it just wouldn't be right if I didn't like Pizza and being Italian and fancying myself as the next big chef, it definitely wouldn't be right if I couldn't cook a decent Pizza would it?

So having asked my friends round for lunch in half term a few weeks ago, I realised that it had been a long time since I'd made a proper pizza, from scratch and Pizza is, in my opinion at least, the best lunch food ever.

It had to be good because I'm always complaining about shop brought ones. Making the dough can be a bit of a chore, especially leaving it to rise but it is so worth it. In our house, we normally buy the bases and I'll make the tomato sauce and top them, it takes no longer than taking the ten different layers of packaging off a ready made one but, the Tesco down the road from me decided they would stop stocking bases the other day, I was not happy. I was even less happy I got home from school last week to find a ready-made pizza in our fridge, one bite and it was even worse than I remembered. I had an omelette.

Take a look at how a real Pizza should look here and maybe one day you can come to my restaurant/buy my recipe book and see how it should taste too...

I made a Peperoni and a Margherita pizza

Pizza and garlic bread, you can't go wrong.