After a very long time off from the blog we are BACK !
Well what can I say, many of you have asked WHY ?? the absence, wondering if I have stopped cooking ???? Never, it has just been a tricky few years and my editor (husband) was very busy, so there have not been any new posts, however hopefully you will see more regular entries. So as a peace offering I am going to share a chocolate fudge cake recipe 😉
This chocolate fudge cake recipe I saw on a TV show some years ago and since have made it several times of course with my modifications. When I saw Phil Vickery make the cake, I thought to myself I had to try it, as I love the simple desserts that he makes and shows on various TV shows. One of the other reasons I wanted to try it was to see how it would turn out when using very little condensed milk, and much to my surprise the cake is moist, spongy and has a very nice chocolatey taste. It is such a simple recipe that this time, as can be seen in the picture, it is made by my son. He measured all the ingredients, mixed, and poured the batter into the tin, which he prepared by placing the grease proof paper before hand. I only assisted by placing the cake in the oven for baking, once cooled he cut the shape he wanted and decorated it to how he wanted it.
Oh I cannot tell you how proud it makes me feel to see him make the cake all by himself – he has grown up so much that he is using all of his skills and learning more at the same time as making the cake. Of course the most obvious being maths – weighing and measuring the ingredients, then the other bit of learning, which you would not normally associate with cooking is science. When mixing the oil & milk, and the effect of mixing the two ingredients to emulsify them together. He even said as he was mixing it, lets see what happens when we mix the light (oil) liquid with the heavy (milk). As he whisked the two ingredients together, he noticed the change from being separate layers to big bubbles and then eventually coming together. It is only when we think about these things do we realise how everything is connected and how we use core subjects like maths and science in everyday life without thinking about it. In effect we are enforcing what is being taught at school in a fun practical way, and of course the most important skill/ lesson learnt is cooking – being able to make something. I urge you to try this recipe, it is a very rich, moist cake. Each time I have made it, the cake is eaten on the day and there hardly ever is anything left over. Everyone who has tried it loves it and I have taught two other people how to make it already.
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In recent years there are a few buzz words associated with all the lovely fruits & vegetables available, that are used to tell us why we should eat them. The key phrases are super food, rich in antioxidants, & packed full of vitamins and so on. I feel that all food is good for us, consumed in the correct quantities and eaten on a regular basis. There has been much research that has been conducted on strawberries and the results suggest that it is rich in vitamin C, is filled with antioxidants that help fight cancer and heart disease, rich in folic acid and are also good at helping reduce tartar as well as maintaining healthy skin. With or without the title of super food, strawberries are a great tasting food which gives us an uplifting effect and can satisfy any sweet tooth.
This recipe for Strawberry Cupcakes was requested from my dear son for some months now. He asked my younger sister to make a strawberry chocolate cake, so she attempted it earlier this year. She adapted her normal recipe for eggless chocolate cake and added strawberry jam and syrup. This experiment did not quite work as the cake sank! I then had a go with the yoghurt cake recipe and added strawberry syrup and cocoa. It smelt great but the taste was not there. Then at a recent food festival, I had tried some strawberry cake/bread which was vegan. They had used a lot of chopped fresh fruit to get taste and texture. Then I also saw a few recipes which inspired me, there was this Blueberry coffee cake & Eggless Vanilla Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins.
From all of that research and experimenting, I made the following recipe which was a good first attempt. The cup cakes were moist and had the correct balance of fruit and sugar. My husband said they were more like muffins than cupcakes, but all the same tasted great. I was glad that I took up the challenge and ventured into creating this recipe.
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Sometimes it is good to think outside the box and try new flavours. As mentioned before, I tend to make either potato or bean burgers at home. However being vegetarian there are unlimited possibilities of the various different vegetables and pulses that can be used. Whilst visiting one of my favourite blogs recently I came across a broccoli burger recipe and thought I must try this. I modified the recipe slightly by adding sesame seeds and red capsicum peppers to give it a nutty and sweet tangy flavour. The result was wonderful and I got a lot of creative ideas and thoughts flowing for making different vegetarian burgers. So watch this space for a few more burger recipes ….
These burgers are also healthier because broccoli is high in vitamins C, K, and A, as well as dietary fibre and it also contains multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties. Broccoli is usually boiled or steamed, as per the old ways of cooking vegetables, however in recent years more research has shown that if eaten raw you get more of the benefits of the vegetable. Other methods of cooking are also good for cooking vegetables especially stir fries as they cook the vegetables at a very high heat and quickly, hence a lot of the nutrients still remain intact. Although boiling has been shown to reduce the levels of suspected anticancer compounds in broccoli, other preparation methods such as steaming, microwaving, and stir-frying have been shown not to reduce the presence of these compounds.
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Puris are flat bread that can be made savoury or spicy and puff up into balls when fried (if cooked and rolled out properly). Puris are considered to be a little treat, something different to the normal rotis. These savoury little balls were a little bit of naughty food, something that was not really healthy because it is fried as opposed to roasted. It used to be eaten mostly on special occasions or just to make a slight difference to the normal meal. Puris are good eaten as a snack or for breakfast / lunch or as a accompaniment to curries, or with sweet foods such as kheer (rice pudding) and shrikhand (made with yoghurt and sugar, saffron & nuts or fruit added to it). They also go well with mango pickle and equally with a nice hot cup of tea.
I remember my mother telling us to learn how to roll out small round shapes and allowing me and my sisters to make a few which used to be such an achievement when we actually came to eating them. Our father would help with the frying and always used to try and assure that each of the puris would become small round balls of yummy food. Last year while visiting my older sister in Hong Kong we made puris together and her younger daughter was helping us make little hearts and flowers shapes. My son enjoyed that, so now when ever I make at them at home he helps and makes little star shapes and ‘puri men’ and of course the cut-out of his hands. It is so much fun and then he says to everyone ‘I made them’ 🙂
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