Wednesday, 31 October 2012


Happy Halloween Bloggees!

I don't actually really celebrate Halloween, and this year we didn't even do pumpkins :( Because it is mid week and we have lectures tomorrow, no one went out.  This didn't stop me from putting on Halloween make-up on though (it may have had something to do with the essay I was supposed to do) to look like I was shot. What d'you think?

As I said we weren't going out and my housemates demanded that I made us all some treats so that we could at least pretend we were taking part.  Originally I was just going to buy some over-priced Halloween chocolate BUT THEN I saw these really cool brownies on Teenage Granny's blog that I just had to make them (by the way, her blog is AMAZING you should really check it out).

The idea of using brownie mix was quite upsetting, but in the end they were so quick it actually didn't matter!  You can get the "recipe" off her blog and I know it's a bit late, but just pretend that Halloween has a boxing day and bring them out tomorrow. Here are the ones I made, hastily this evening. Cool eh? Shame I don't like brownies or marshmallows!!

Hope you had fun wherever you are, especially if you dressed up and went trick or treating.

I changed the blog again today (this also may have had something to do with said essay), what do you think?

Katie :)

Monday, 29 October 2012

Jam tarts

Just a quick blog post bloggees, as I really should be writing an essay.

If you ever make a quiche like the one I made the other day, and you have any left over pastry, the best thing to do with it, is make JAM TARTS.

They are super easy and really tasty.

All you have to do is roll out the remaining pastry, then you need to cut out circles - if you have pastry cutters then use them, if not, find something round to cut around (oo it rhymes!) - and place them into yorkshire pudding/muffin/cupcake trays.

Fill with a teaspoon of jam (don't go crazy with the jam like I did, because it just overflows and goes everywhere) and put in the oven 180 degrees for 5-10mins or until the pastry is golden brown.

Leave to cool and set and then eat them all in front of your favourite tv programme (Miranda or Ab Fab is high up on my list)


Katie :)

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Quiche (and profiteroles)


How are you? So I promised you profiteroles (I really can't spell that word) and I have failed. I know, outrageous really! I did make them, but I let my flatmates assemble them, and they didn't look great, and then we ate them all up before I had a chance to take a picture, so I am sorry! I do have a picture of the choux pastry though *fingers crossed that's enough*


Do not fear, because I made quiche! I can hear your excitement, really I can. I know, quiche is no where near as exciting as profiteroles (I've spelt it wrong again, thank goodness for spell check!) but when you pull this out of your oven, your friends will just faint with amazement.

I decided to make a brie, bacon and broccoli (another word I can't spell!) quiche.

Here's how I made it:


For the pastry:
10 oz plain flour
5 oz cold butter (cut up into small piece)
cold water

For the filling:
1/2 onion
2/3 bacon rashers
1/2 a brie
1/4 broccoli
2 large eggs
1/2 pint full fat milk (or 1/4 pint semi-skimmed and 1/4 pint single cream)
grated cheddar cheese
salt and pepper


1. First up we need to make the pastry. It is so much easier to do it in a food processor, but if you don't have one (I don't) it is fine to do it by hand. You need to rub together the butter and the flour until you have made breadcrumbs (you need to be patient as this does take time). Then you need to slowly add some cold water (1 tablespoon at a time) until the mixture starts to form a dough (don't add to much water, the drier the mixture the better). Place this in a freezer bag and put in the fridge until needed.

2. Next we need to make the filling. I would start by chopping up the onion, and placing it in a frying pan of hot oil. Whilst that is browning you can cut up your bacon into small pieces and add that to the onions. Season with cayenne pepper, paprika, mixed herbs, and salt and pepper. Leave to soften.

3. Whilst this is happening, you need to chop up your broccoli into florets and place in a pan of boiling water, until cooked. Drain well, as you don't want excess water in the quiche.

4. Once the pastry has been in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, you can bring it out and roll it thinly onto a floured surface. Then place it into your quiche dish, prick with a fork and then cover with greaseproof paper and baking beans. You are now going to bake it blind for about 10 minutes at 200 degrees, or until the pastry is cooked all the way through.

5. Whilst the pastry is cooking, you can make your egg mixture. All you need to do is whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper, and cheese.

6. Once the pastry is cooked, bring it out of the oven and remove the greaseproof paper and baking beans.  Spread the bacon and onion mixture on the surface of the pastry and arrange the brie and broccoli in a nice pattern. Cover with the egg mixture, making sure it doesn't overflow. Place it in the oven at 180 degrees for about 20/30 minutes. You don't want the mixture to wobble when it is cooked (if it is burning too quickly on the top, you can place some foil on top).

7. Finally, all you need to do is eat it!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Katie :)

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Brioche (and Bakewell tarts!)

My dearest bloggee

I promised I would blog about my Bakewell tarts and here they are:

They were so easy to make. I used this recipe from BBC Good Food and just divided the recipe by 3, so that I only made 5/6 mini tarts. They were truely scrummy and I can assure you even the novice of baker can make these (and if your feeling naughty, you can always buy the pastry!)

But moving onto my more exciting venture... Brioche!

I have never made Brioche before and after The Great British Bake Off came to a close, I (like most of the country) decided that I could bake and thought that Brioche was the way forward. I used Paul Hollywood's book 'How to Bake' you can also find his recipe here

He said to use a machine that had a bread hook, but being a student, I don't have access to fancy technology, so I made the whole thing by hand in front of Strictly Come Dancing (my house mates thought I was mad!).

The dough was really sticky at first and really elastically, but after a while it came together. I thought it was going horribly wrong, but I had read somewhere that it was supposed to glue your fingers together, so I ploughed on! After kneading the dough for at least 15 minutes I added the butter. This was really fun because the dough became soft and easy to manage (and it sounded like it was farting!). 

I would definitely advise starting this the night before, because once the butter is incorporated, it has to go into the fridge for at least 7 hours. I think if I had done it during the day I would have been impatient! So when it was morning all you have to do is knock back the dough (basically taking the air out) and then split it into 9 equal sized balls. Now, Paul says to use a round cake tin, but I don't have one at Uni, so I used a 20cm square tin. It doesn't look as good, but it does the job.

Once you've put the dough into the tin, you then have to wait another three hours (I attempted work, but...) but then you can FINALLY put it in the oven.

This was the scary bit, because my oven is truly awful, it is WAY to hot. So I turned it down a bit and just prayed! I sat in front of the oven true GBBO style and waited. It browned on top really quickly, but I knew this was meant to happen. It kept getting darker and darker though and the middle still wasn't cooking. After a while I panicked that it was too brown and put a foil hat over it. This seemed to do the trick and in hindsight I wished I done it early.

Nevertheless, eventually my brioche was cooked and I could relax and finally (albeit reluctantly) get on with some work. 

I have just eaten my first chunk and it scrummy (tasted a bit like a croissant) and I can't wait for more, especially with some jam.

If you attempt the brioche, let me know how it goes for you. Tomorrow I am going to make some profiteroles so I will see how they go.

Katie :)

ps. who watched the GBBO final? Were you happy that John won? What about Brendan?!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Using a wine bottle as a rolling pin... Oh yes!

Hello Dear Bloggee (I'm so going with this).

Just a quick one I'm afraid. Being a student, normally means you eat hundreds of ready meals (delicious, but horribly fattening) but being a keen baker/cook I won't let myself eat them. So I wanted to share with you my Caramelised red onion and goats cheese mini tartlets.  They sound complicated, but I can assure you they are not.  They go perfectly with a salad to keep things healthy or you can just have them as a starter.

I got the recipe from Delia Smith Online: Caramelised Balsamic and Red Onion Tarts with Goats' Cheese

Here is what I did:

1. First I made the pastry (I made half so that I only had four). It was so simple, just rubbing the butter and flour together and the cheese before adding the water. Don't worry if you accident;y add too much water, you can add more flour when you are rolling it out.

2. Then, once it has been refrigerated, you need to roll it out.  I didn't have a rolling pin (they cost £10!) so I improvised with a bottle of wine (anything long and round will do). Once I had rolled it, as thin as I could, I cut out circles, just with a nice, about 1 centimetre bigger than the tartlet tin. I then put the pastry in the tin before pricking it with a fork.

3. I then put them in the oven, until they were just cooked and going slightly golden brown (about 5 minutes, depending on the oven)

4. Now for the filling.  For 4 tartlets, I used 1 red onion. I chopped it finely and then put it in a pan with oil (butter is probably better). Once they have started to soften, add the balsamic vinegar.

5. Here is where I cheated.  The onions with caramelise themselves over time, but I was in a rush, and overly hungry, so I added a little bit of caster sugar to give them that lovely sweet taste (about 2/3 tbsp).

6. Finally, all you need to do is add the onions to your tartlets, place a circle of goats cheese on top with a little sprinkling of cayenne pepper and sage (I used dried sage) if you have it, and then pop them in the oven for a about 10 minutes and Bob's your uncle (or great uncle in my case).

7. Once the goats cheese has begun to melt, they are ready to eat. Place them on a bead of salad and there you go. You have produced a very sophistacated meal with very little effort!

Let me know if you decide to make them, and if you have any questions. Come back for bakewell tarts next time.

Katie :)