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Archive for the ‘Mrs Neurotic’s Kitchen’ Category

Yoghurt Lemon Syrup Cakes

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Ok, so I wagged yesterday. But I had the lovely Sarah (and family) visiting for the weekend and they left yesterday, so I’ll blame that. [Miss you guys already!] So, to make up for the fact that there was no confession yesterday I thought I’d post up something super awesome.

Miss Pepper (8) is having a friend come today to play so I decided to make something yummy for the mums. And I desperately wanted to play with my new toy.

These little cakes are absolutely gorgeous. I decided to make them in friand pans as I don’t have a bundt pan which is what the original recipe calls for. I have altered it slightly to suit and it turned out perfectly. You can thank me later.

Firstly you’ll want to preheat your oven to 180C. Then, make sure you have chopped up your butter so it can soften. I often cheat by zapping it on a really low setting (cubed) for about 20 seconds. Works perfectly every time. Then, once you have all your ingredients measured and ready to go, cream the sugar and butter. Then add the eggs one at a time, making sure you mix the egg and butter well before adding the next egg. It may curdle a little, but don’t panic!

Once you have the eggs incorporated into the butter mixture, add lemon rind and yoghurt. You’ll notice I added 1/3 of a cup more yoghurt than the original recipe. The reason I did this is that the comments from the original recipe said it was not moist enough.

Next fold in the dry ingredients… Now I’m not sure if I mentioned this trick before but when I “sift” the dry ingredients I always whisk rather than making a snowy white mess with a sifter. I HATE sifters. Unless I’m doing a sponge, any recipe that calls for sifting always gets whisking instead!

Another trick is to use an ice cream scoop to measure out the mix when doing pans or muffins. This recipe came to 12 perfect ice cream scoops, or 12 yummy cakes.

Once you’re done pop them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.

I was worried mine were a bit overcooked, damn facebook distractions. However they are actually perfect. You might want to achieve a lighter look but these turned out great.

Once you’ve baked your little cakes turn them onto a cake cooler whilst you get on with the syrup.

I did double the syrup because that’s how I roll.

Don’t they look so pretty? I spooned the syrup over then rolled them around a bit in the syrup so they were completely covered. I also left them to completely cool on the tray with the syrup. Once cooled, you can store in an air tight container. Serve with some sweetened vanilla whipped cream and go to heaven.

Yoghurt Lemon Syrup Cakes – Adapted from a Taste recipe

Ingredients:

For Cakes

Melted butter or margarine

Rind of 1 lemon, Juice reserved.

100g butter or margarine

150g caster sugar

2 eggs

1 cup yoghurt

175g self-raising flour, sifted

For Syrup:

4 Tbs Lemon Juice

100gms Caster Sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease 12 friand pan holes.

Finely grate the lemon rind, then juice the fruit. Reserve the Juice for the Syrup Use electric beaters to beat butter and 150g of the sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add yoghurt and reserved rind. Beat until combined.

Gently fold in the sifted flour with a large metal spoon until combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake pan and smooth the surface. Bake in pre- heated oven for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out dean. Remove from oven and place cakes on a wire rack. Meanwhile, to make the syrup, combine the reserved 4 tbs of lemon juice and remaining 100g caster sugar in a small saucepan.

Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and simmer over medium to low heat for 2-3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Place cakes on a tray covered in baking parchment. Pour the hot lemon syrup over warm cakes and then cool the cake on the tray. Serve with sweetened vanilla whipped cream.

Easy Potato Moussaka

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Now following on from this weeks Monday Confession here is my recipe for Easy Potato Moussaka.

Easy Potato Moussaka

Ingredients:

1 batch of Bolognaise/Meat Ragu*

3/4 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp All Spice

5-6 Large Potatoes, Peeled and Sliced 1 cm thick

1 cup Parmesan Cheese

2 -3 cups of Béchamel Sauce**

2 egg yolks

Nutmeg

A few handfuls of washed Baby Spinach (or 2 zucchini’s sliced)

Method:

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil (I boil the kettle for this one so it’s quick!). Add Potato slices and cook for 15 minutes (or until just tender). Carefully remove the slices from the water (I use an asian Spider strainer) and set aside in a dish to cool.

Reheat your meat sauce and add Cinnamon and All spice, make sure that you cook until the sauce is quite thick.

When making your bachemal do not bring to the boil, thicken over a low heat. Once thickened carefully whisk in the egg yolks and a sprinkling of nutmeg (to taste).

To assemble the Moussaka using a large baking dish (a rectangle lasagna dish is perfect) first place a small amount of sauce on the bottom, then layer half the potato, then half the cheese, then half the meat sauce,  then the spinach (or Zucchini), then the remainder of the potato, then the other half of the cheese, the rest of the meat sauce and top with béchamel sauce. Cook in a 180C oven for about 45 minutes or until the top is almost a dark golden brown. Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting and serve with a nice salad.

You can assemble the Moussaka up to the béchamel stage and put in the fridge until you are ready to bake it. Make the béchamel just before assembly, and not before. Twice baked Moussaka is the bomb, so always be sure to leave a portion in the fridge for the next days lunch/dinner! Mr Neurotic freezes the rest for work lunches.

* For my ragu, I normally double the batch that I would make for bolognaise and freeze half for Pastitsio, Moussaka or even Stuffed Jacket Spuds.

** For my Béchamel I usually go with 1 large dessertspoon of butter & flour per cup of milk. For this recipe I made 2 dessertspoons of butter & flour and roughly 2 cups of milk. Please do NOT add cheese to this sauce, it is purely a white sauce.

Emergency Brownie

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Ok so everyone has heard about the infamous 5 minute (or 3 minute in some circles) Chocolate Mug Cake… Now I did try it and well I wasn’t overly impressed. That is until I found this recipe. Not only does this recipe taste like a perfectly fudge like brownie, but it is also Dairy Free (if you decide to use chocolate chips you can substitute) and egg free.

I found this recipe online, and am unsure who to give credit to as there are so many copies of this recipe out there so to whoever you are THANK YOU!

Ok this is the recipe and the method that I have adapted to give the best results:

1 Minute Mug Brownie

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons Plain Flour

4 tablespoons Caster Sugar

2 tablespoons Cocoa (unsweetened)

2 tablespoons Water

2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil

A dash of salt

A pinch of Bicarb Soda

a handful of Chocolate Chips (optional)

Method:

In a mixing bowl or jug whisk together dry ingredients.

Add wet ingredients and combine to make sure there are no lumps. If you are going to add chocolate chips now is the time to do so. At this point it should look almost like playdough.

Get yourself a really wide teacup style mug or a wide ramekin. Try not to use a regular mug, you can but you will find it will be a bit more gooey at the bottom. And please whatever you do make sure your mug/ramekin is Microwave safe!

Pop the Mug/Ramekin Brownie into the microwave and cook for 1 minute on high.

Allow the Brownie to rest for at least 10 minutes maybe more. This allows the cake to cook more and densify (in a good way ;)).

Then top with either a scoop of ice cream or a nice pouring of cream. And this is the final result…

This recipe is my saviour. For those moments when you need a bit of comfort baking, but you’re either too sick, too tired or too emotional to contemplate baking. The other awesome thing about this recipe is that most people have these ingredients on hand all the time (well those of us that like to bake anyway). And one brownie shares perfectly between two hungry children for a warm afternoon snack.

***My apologies for the poor quality photography, unfortunately I only have my iPhone to work with at the moment.

Let them eat Tres Leches Cake…

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

Every sunday at our house is godparents day. This is when the kids godparents come over, spend some time with the kids, have a scrumptious meal and then when the kids are in bed the adults spend some time playing console games (yes now is the time to confess we do live in a geek household) or board games etc.

I started off the meal with Pumpkin risotto with crumbed eggplant, napoli sauce & cheese. It was divine but I still had some flavour tweaking I want to do when I next make it. So once I’ve done that I’ll post the recipe :) For dessert I decided to make Tres Leches Cake. And OMG I never realised the calorie content of this dish… its insane! I think its something to make for a tea party or big gathering as such a small recipe goes a long way! We still have too much sitting in our fridge and I daresay it won’t get eaten.

Ok Recipe time…

I used a butter cake recipe as a base.

Ingredients:

These quantities make one standard cake (this is slightly more than a normal sized butter cake).

3/4 cup of softened butter
1 cup of caster sugar
3 eggs (lightly beaten)
1.5 tsp Vanilla Essence
3 cups SR Flour
1 cup milk
1 395 ml tin condensed milk (low fat can be used)
1 375 ml tin evaporated milk (low fat can be used)
600mls whipping cream (low fat can be used)
3 Heaped Tablespoons icing sugar
Desired Fruit for decoration (I used blueberries/mango/crushed pineapple)

Method:

Cream butter & Sugar. Add eggs one at a time once combined add the next egg till all combined. Add vanilla and mix well. Add small amounts of flour and milk until well combined. Put mix into a 9 x 13 inch/22 x 33 cm baking dish (pyrex is good) Bake in a 160 C/320F oven for about 30-45 minutes or when skewer comes our clean and top is lightly browned. Allow cake to cool for 5 to 10 minutes then using a skewer poke holes all over the warm cake. Then combine condensed Milk & evaporated milk, pour milk mixture over the cake and allow to rest. Once cake is cool to touch cover in cling film and refridgerate for at least 1 hour. After an hour whisk 600mls cream and 3 large tablespoons icing sugar until peaks form. Cover cake in whipped cream then refridgerate till almost ready to serve. Before serving top with fruit of your choice, we used crushed pinapple, mango & blueberries and it was delish!


I think at this rate I’m going to be asking for a Wii fit for mothers day, as all this cooking isn’t going to do much for my already goddessly shaped figure!

Oh well till next G-Day…

Baked Carbonara

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

This is slightly adapted from the recipe in Donna Hay’s “Off the Shelf”. I tend to generally always have bacon, onion, eggs, cream, milk & Parmesan so this ends up being a “Oh no what’s for dinner” meal. The original recipe doesn’t call for onion or garlic, and I know all the carbonara purists will tell me that those ingredients aren’t in a real carbonara, but carbonara isn’t baked normally either so I hope the purists will forgive me. Its worth it I tell you.

Ingredients:

4 eggs
2 cups of cream
1 1/2 cups of milk
1 cup grated paremsan (please don’t use the plastic stuff unless you absolutely have to)
400 gms of cooked pasta (I sometimes use the 3 minute instant pasta if I’m in a rush)
1 brown onion of medium size diced
2 cloves garlic (or 1 heaped teaspoon of minced jar garlic)
4-6 rashers bacon (I’m talking long rashers, if you use half rashers then do 8-12)

Cook the pasta according to directions, drain and set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 180C.
In a non stick frypan or skillet cook the bacon (I tend to cook them in whole pieces then cut with my cooking scissors as I find the bacon tastes better this way and cooks more evenly, but if you want to cook diced bacon go for your life… we all have our ways.) Then I remove the bacon and drain on paper towel.
Cook the onion in the bacon fat and set aside in a bowl. I then add the garlic raw to the hot onion as I prefer to cook the garlic very lightly and then it bakes in the oven for a more subtle flavour but if you wish to cook the onion and garlic together once again do as you wish.
In a 8 cup mixing jug (I use my tupperware mix n’ pour) or bowl whisk together the eggs, cream, milk & cheese. Season to your liking.
I keep the pasta in the pot I used for mixing and add the bacon, onion & garlic, then fold in the eggy mix. Pour into a flat baking dish with at least 8-12 cup capacity. I once made this in an oval pyrex dish and found it cooked too unevenly and I was left with more scramble than carbonara. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes.
Now when you take it out, it will appear to be uncooked in some areas and overcooked in some, this is completely normal. I give the dish a good stir and it combines together nicely.

Now for all those watching their waistline this is not the dish for you. I’m sure you could cut corners using low fat milk/cream and 97% fat free bacon, but really this dish isn’t for the light hearted. So if you’re in the mood for some comfort food that is quick and easy to prepare and you aren’t counting calories this is a dish for you. – Photo’s to come.

Easy Blueberry Pancakes w/ Whipped Cinnamon Sour Cream

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

I saw a tin of blueberries in my local supermarket and instantly got a craving for blueberry pancakes. My usual recipe calls for frozen berries, but I actually found the tinned ones to be closer to fresh as they don’t seem to break down and you don’t end up with purple pancakes.

I have no idea why or how I came up with this, we were having blueberry pancakes and I wanted something creamy to go with and only had sour cream. I tried to whisk it and to my surprise I was left with this heavenly cheesecakey creamy topping.


Pancake Batter

2 Cup SR Flour
1/4 Brown Sugar (or more depending on the sweetness of your tooth)
2 TBS Oil
2 Egg – Seperated
1 1/2 Cups Milk
2 Tsp Vanilla
1 400g tin of Blueberries in Syrup (drained and lightly rinsed)

Whipped Cinnamon Sour Cream

1 300ml Tub Sour Cream
1/4 tsp Cinnamon (or to taste)
3-4 TBSP Icing Sugar

Icing Sugar for Dusting

In a large bowl whisk Flour & Sugar. In another medium sized bowl whisk together the wet ingredients (minus the egg whites) and combine the wet and dry ingredients. Fold the blueberries into the pancake batter and set aside. In another bowl whisk the 2 egg whites until stiff then gently fold into pancake batter. Cook pancakes on a medium low heat as they tend to darken quickly due to the sugar and fruit content. I use my ice cream scoop to get the right size I want

In another bowl whisk cream sugar and cinnamon together until it thickens (yes sour cream does thicken… its BLISS!)

Layer on a plate some pancakes, dust with icing sugar and serve a generous TBS or so of the Thickened Sour Cream and enjoy.

This combination is HEAVENLY and it tastes almost like blueberry cheesecake.

ENJOY! It sounds like lots of work but in reality the whipping of egg whites & cream take all of 3 minutes and it is way worth it. – Photo’s will be up soon.

Mrs Neurotic’s Apple Crumble Muffins

Saturday, July 21st, 2007

Who doesn’t like muffins? And who doesn’t like Apple Crumble? Well I got a craving for apple muffins one Sunday morning and a craving for that yummy crumble topping and that is how this recipe was born. I couldn’t find a recipe I liked (it can’t be possible for me to be the only person with this secret desire!) so I tweaked a muffin recipe I had and added my own crumble topping.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups Self Raising flour, sifted
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter softened (or salted butter but minus the salt from the recipe)
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chopped tinned pie apples apples

Crumble Topping:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3-4 Tablespoons plain flour

Method for Crumble Topping:
In a small bowl mix together flour, sugar and cinnamon. Add butter and rub together till crumble forms (should be a cross between crumbs and biscuit dough), set aside and make batter.

Method for Muffin Batter:
Sift together dry ingredients into mixing bowl (I just whisk them all together, a nice trick I learnt from Martha). Rub butter into dry ingredients until fine crumbs form. Lightly whisk egg and milk. Add to dry ingredients all at once, stir together just until all combined (don’t worry if there are any lumps as over mixing can create tough muffins).

Gently fold in apples. Spoon batter into muffin tins (I use my clicky ice cream scoop), filling each about 2/3 full. Sprinkle with crumble topping. Bake in 375° F, 190° C or 170° C fan forced, oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown (takes me about 20).

Makes about 12 muffins.

We have these for Breakfast As on weekends we have one sweet cooked breaky day and one savoury… Every time I make these they disappear and there are no leftovers. So I assure you they will be a hit!

Pizzaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

This is it… my first step out into the world of food blogging.

So I thought for my first ever entry I would delight you all with my Pizza recipe. Its so good that I refuse to eat pizza from anywhere but my own kitchen.

To start off a good Pizza you need a good pizza base. Now before you go down to your local supermarket and purchase a pre made tomato paste topped piece of cardboard why not make it yourself? Its really not that difficult and you can cheat by making it in a breadmaker – I do *smile* But if you are a little lacking in the small appliance area you can do it by hand… and who knows you might just build up some of those arm wrestling muscles so when it comes time to do the usual “who’s doing the dishes arm wrestle” you might be in with a chance! Ramblings… on to the recipe. Which I must confess is not actually mine. Its from a book called “Bread” by Sara Lewis. Its an awesome book every recipe can be done either by hand or in the breadmaker so its very versatile and makes it easy to share recipes with friends even if they are sadly without the essential appliance (cue heavenly music) that is the breadmaker.

Pizza Dough

400 grams strong white flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ teaspoons fast action dried yeast
1 teaspoon caster sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
200ml water

To Make by Hand:

1. Put the flour into a large bowl then stir in the salt, sugar and yeast. Add the oil then gradually mix in enough warm water to make a soft dough.

2. Knead well on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Put the dough back in to the bowl, cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

3. Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured surface, knead well then cut into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a roughly shaped circle about 20 cm (8 inches) in diameter and transfer to 2 large greased baking sheets. (I used 2 pizza trays that you can find at any supermarket I think they are made by whiltshere).

To make with a breadmaker:

1. Lift the tin out of the bread machine, fit the kneader blade then add the measured cold water and the oil. Spoon in the flour then add the salt and sugar. Make a slight dip in the centre of the flour and sprinkle in the yeast.

2. Insert the tin into the bread machine. Shut the lid and set to dough or pizza dough. Press start.

3. At the end of the programme, lift the tin out of the machine, tip the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and continue as Step 3 “To Make by Hand”

Now although it says to make 4 x 20cm bases I actually make 2 large pizzas using the generic pizza tray you can find in any supermarket (wiltshire makes one). I put the bases on trays then cover with cling film and sit them on the top of the oven (or somewhere warm) whilst the oven preheats (220-250 C).

To top the Pizza:

Baby Spinach Leaves
Bascaiola Pasta Sauce
Garlic
Pitted Kalamata Olives
Chunks/cubes of Pancetta or Prosciutto (I get the delicatessen to cut me off 2 x 0.5-1 cm thick slices)
Half n Half of Shredded Mozzarella & Tasty

I mix about a tablespoon of Garlic into the jar of Pasta Sauce, then slather it over both bases (I usually have leftovers which can be frozen till next time). Pop your Spinach leaves on however you like and however many you like. Same again with the Olives & Pancetta/Proscuitto. Then top with your cheese. If I’m feeling a bit spesh I’ll often slice up some Bocconcini instead of the half n half cheese mix. But there’s something to be said for the ease of frozen shredded cheese. But of course if I’m entertaining I’ll go the extra mile. Cook in the oven for about 10-20 mins (depending on your oven). Feel free to swap half trays around half way through.


Now you tell me… Does it look good or what?

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