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Archive for October, 2009

DSC02929As promised on the ‘Thoughts’ page here is a recipe for small sponge cakes. It’s a little difficult to find a ‘bun tin’ (or muffin tin) that will fit into the oven, but if you have the larger version you can place the paper cases on the frying tray. If you have the smaller oven placing them in circular sponge cake tin would probably work. You may have to experiment.

Place the low rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 190 degrees.  This makes about 8 good size little cakes.

Ingredients

85g butter or margarine

85g sugar

2 eggs

170g self raising flour, sieved

a little milk

Method

1. In a glass/china bowl cream together the butter (or margarine) and sugar. (I used castor sugar that has been in a jar with a vanilla pod.)

2. Add the eggs and beat well with a little of the flour.

3. Add the rest of the flour and fold it in gently until mixed well. You may need to add a little milk.

4. Mix to a soft (but not thin) batter. What my mother calls a ‘dropping consistency’.

5. Divide the mixture equally between the paper cases. Place in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes until risen and lightly brown on top.

Once your cakes are cooled you can decorate them how you like with either glace icing or butter icing. If you want to make them chocolate replace about 20-30g of flour with cocoa. I have put chocolate chips in mine. This is the first time I’ve made cakes in the halogen oven, but as I experiment more, I’ll post the successful recipes. Enjoy.

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It’s that time of year when the good hearty meals appear and this is one of them. Served with baked beans and other vegetables, you don’t necessarily need any other carbohydrate.

Ingredients

50g plain flour per person

1 egg per 50g of flour

Seasoning, milk or water

2 – 4 sausages per person

A little oil

Method

With the low rack in the bowl, preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

1. Place the flour and seasoning in a bowl and mix together. Make a small depression in the centre of the flour.

2. Break the egg(s) into the depression in the flour and beat well.

3. Add enough milk and / or water to make quite a thick batter.

4. Place the bowl to one side.

To make Toad in the Hole

1. Drizzle oil into an oven-proof dish.Prick the sausages and place in the dish (big enough to allow them all to sit on the bottom of the dish).

2. Cook for 5-8 minutes, turn once during the cooking.

3. Beat the batter again and pour over the sausages.

4. Cook for 30-40 minutes, until risen well and crispy on the outside. Serve immediately.

The batter may be a little soft on the inside, but that’s fine. What really makes a good Toad in the Hole is the sausages, go for the best you can afford and this will be great. I quite often just have this with baked beans, but you can serve whatever you like with it. You don’t need any potatoes, pasta or rice, although if the weather is very cold and you’re just back from a very long walk, then why not? Small jacket potatoes with lots of butter would be wonderful.

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I’ve been trying to work out how to cook a cassarole in this new fangled machine and I think I’ve finally succeeded. Whether it was any quicker than a conventional oven I don’t know, but here goes anyway.

Ingregients

400 – 500 g of liver (I used pigs liver – it’s more forgiving!)

1 red pepper

1 red onion

Seasoning, herbs and some stock cubes.

Method

Place the low rack in the bowl and pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.

1. Chop the onion quite finely.

2. Cut the pepper into small pieces – the size is not important.

3. Place the onion and pepper in a large casserole or other oven-proof bowl (at least 1 litre in capacity).

4. Wash the liver and if necessary cut it into smaller pieces with scissors (I left the pieces as they came out of the packet).

5. Place the liver in the bowl with the onion and pepper and give it a good stir to mix it well together.

6. Add your favourite herbs and season with salt and pepper.

7. Dissolve the stock cubes in 300 – 400 ml of boiling water (I used one vegetable and one chinese). Pour this over the meat and vegetables and stir well.

8. Place in the oven and cook for 40 – 50 minutes. Check it and stir after 30 minutes.

I served with courgette, broccoli and a few new potatoes. Serves 3-4. You can substitute other meat if liver is not a favourite.

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