Cakes

A very rocky road

I do have a sweet tooth, but I try not to buy too many sweets, especially after my horrible pregnancy. I had Hyperemisis Gravidarum (HG), throwing up multiple times a day, it really was awful, the fear of having to be sick again. I don’t think anybody can imagine how horrible it is until they have tried it themself. Pregnancy is a time that should be enjoyable but unfortunately in my case it wasn’t. It was a “rocky road”, yes, I know what a pun. I will propberly write about HG another time, but not this time around. Obviously the result in the end was lovely. I would NOT change my Baby Blip for anything in the world, and luckily I got such a lovely husband as well, who always does support me.Unfortunately, having HG aftected my health and teeth rather badly, and I do try and take care of them even more than before pregnancy , brushing my teeth, using dental flush etc.

At home I find it easy enough to not eat sweet things and I also enjoy that it has become more of a treat than before. Its a bit like being a kid, I remember when me and my brother used to visit my grandma and grandad, normally we would get one soft drink to share, it was such a treat! At coffee time there where always sweets, but my grandma used to cut Marsbars in tiny pieces and they used to be at the top of a cake stand, you had to eat your way to the top so having something healthy first.

At work I find it much more difficult to keep away from the sweet stuff, especially in the afternoon, I start craving sweets, cakes, chocolate, perhaps it is the stress getting to me. In the canteen they got these tiny rocky road cakes £2.40 each and I have to fight not to buy them. I rarely do buy them as I find it way to expensive.

Yesterday I needed a gift for someone and I wasn’t sure what to give them, so I decided to make my own Rocky road cake. They got half of what I made and I still got 6 large pieces. It only cost me £3.13 in total to make them and they taste way better than the ones we have at the canteen at work.

This recipe doesn’t actually require the dried fruits, I just like to add them as it gives the cake an extra dimension. I had some dried papaya and mango at home so I added this, but you could use raisins or even nuts or simply leave it out. Also you could make it with 300g dark chocolate instead.


Rocky road cakes 

Makes 12 large pieces or 24 small squares

Ingredients:

200g dark chocolate (70% is best, I just used the basic from Sainsbury, its cheap)

100g milk chocolate

125g unsalted butter

70 – 125g mini marshmallows (Cut into smaller pieces if you cant find the mini ones)

3 tbsp syrup

200g biscuits

50g dried fruits (optional)

3 tbsp Icing sugar (optional)

Method:

1. In a pot ad the butter and syrup, warm it up until the butter is totally melted and it start bubbling. Meanwhile put the biscuits in a plastic bag and bash them up with a rolling pin (you want crumbs but large pieces as well, this is good stress relief.

2. When the syrup and butter mixture is bubbling take it off the heat. Add the chocolate to the mixture and stir until the chocolate is compleatly melted. Take away around a third of the mixture and reserve for later.

3. Now add the buscuits, marshmallows and fruit if using and stir it together, and pour it all in to a none stick baking tray, flattening it with a spatualla. If you don’t have a non stick tray using cling film to avoid it sticking.

4. Add the reserved chocolate to the top and smooth it over with the spatually.

5. Leave it to rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours or over night.

6. When propper set cut it into squares and dust with the icing sugar, best way is to put it throw a small sieve. You could leave out the icing sugar it is mostly for the astetics of the cake. .

7. Store in fridge.

8. Eat them!!!

Bon Appetite – Eventhough I think my grandma would have loved this recipe more than my grandad as she was the one with the sweet tooth!

Oh a nice big cup of tea goes very well with this!!
Costings:

Dark chocolate = £0.70p (Sainsbury Basic)

Milk chocolate = £0.35p (Sainsbury Basic)

Butter (£0.85 / 250g) x 125g = £0.43p (sainsbury)

Marshmallows (75g) = £0.70 (sainsbury)

Golden Syrup (£1.15 / 454g) x 20g = £0.05p

Rich Tea Biscuits = £0.20 (Sainsbury Basic)

Icing sugar (£0.90 / 500g) x 20g = £0.04

Dried fruits (island mix (£3.30 / 250g) x 50g = £0.66p

Total price £3.13 Price per slice (12 total) =£0.26 each

Without fruit

Total price: £2.47 Price per slice (12 total) £0.21p

Fish

When mackerel becomes sardines 

So ones again I havent been writing for a while, I do have a very good reason for this though.
Firstly, I have been staying at my mother in laws house for a week (I didn’t cook there at all).

Secondly, Baby Blip ended up in hospital with tonsilities and an ear infection, he had a high temperature, and we couldn’t bring it down. It was so scary to have our little boy becoming so sick. We spend one very long night in hospital where Baby Blip was treated with IV and medication; luckily we could go home the following afternoon. He is now back to normal, and it is lovely to have my little smiley, cheeky boy back.

Whilst he has been sick I haven’t really had time to cook but yesterday I managed to make “Fried Sardines with Tomatoes and warm Quinoa Salad”. Really it was supposed to be Mackerel, but my local Tesco didn’t have any Mackerels, neither pre-packed or from the fresh counter, but they did have loads of Sardines at the fresh counter 8 for £1.00. So the mackerel  became sardines. Sardines is another oily fish speices, but smaller than Mackerels, hence, 2 per person.

 I always forget to ask the fish monger to gut the fish, so I had to do that at home. I dont really mind especially as I do it neater than the Tesco fish monger and they weigh the fish before gutting them anyways, so you don’t pay more. It also reminds me of summer days with my dad, if we went fishing we had to gut the fish, which is a skill I’m happy to have learned. I also do think it’s important to understand where food comes from, that way I think you wastes less. It’s way to easy to burry your head in the sand.

Quinoa is now looked at as a health food and it really affect the price. It cost around £1.00 per 100g. An alternative to quinoa is Bulgur not as healthy but still delicious. You have to cook it slightly differently.

The recipe has been adapted from Jamies 15 minutes meal.

Fried Sardines with Tomatoes and warm Quinoa salad.

Ingredients 

200g Quinoa

1 Lemon

300g Tomatoes, or around 4 medium sized (mixed colours makes it nicer)

A couple of sprigs of Fresh Coriander

1 Red Chilli or to taste

2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
8 x 100g Sardines (or 4 x 200 g mackeral)

1 tbsp ground coriander

Olive oil

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

2 cloves of garlic
50 g plain youghurt

2 tsp Garlic Paste

A couple of sprigs of Fresh Coriander

Pepper to taste

Cooking method

1. The meassurements are 1 cup Quinoa to 2 cups boiling water. Place the quinoa in a pot with the water and a small pinch of salt and half a lemon. With the lid on let it boil and remember to stir now and then.

2. Whilst the qunioa is boiling score the sardines with slashes on both sides approximately 2 cm apart, be careful to not slice through the bone.

3. Now rub the coriander/salt and pepper into the fish, pour a bit of olive oil into the pan and place the fish on warm pan. Cook a few minutes on each side until done. This may have to be done in batches. Place the other half of the lemon on the frying pan so it goes nice and brownish.

4. Cut the tomatoes nicely, you can cut them whaterver way you wish, I like to slice mine, finely chop the chili and place tomatoes on a serving plate scattering the chili on top of tomatoes. I did one side with chillis and one without as not all 3 of us eat that spicy food.

5. When the quinoa has cooked (this takes around 10 minutes), drain it and squeeze over the juice from the lemon and add a bit of olive oil. But be careful to not burn the quinioa if the water disappears whilst cooking.

6. Then spoon all the qunioa into the midlle of the tomatoes and drizze with some balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

7. Lay the fish on top of the quinoa.

8. Mix youghurt with the garlic paste and finely chopped coriander and pepper, place in a bowl next to the platter.

9. Scatter a bit of coriander on top of the fish, add the half grilled lemon and serve.

Only bad thing about Sardines it the amount of bones in them. But they  taste lovely. If you have any sardines left over, you can take all the fish of the bone and mash up with some finely cut spring onions and olive oil and spread on bread the next day for lunch (I use rye bread, but I think that is my Danish part). Absolutely delecious.

IMG_7711

Bon Appetit – As my grandad would have said

Costings:

Quinoa = (£1.80/300g) x 200 g = £1.20

Lemon = £0.30 (Sainsbury)

Tomatoes = (£1.75) mixed coloured (Sainsbury)

Fresh Coriander = (£0.80 / 4) x 1 = £0.20 (Sainsbury)

Red Chilli = (£0.60 /4) = £0.15(Sainsbury)

Rosemary = (£0.80 /4) x 1 = £0.20 (Sainsbury)

Garlic (£0.30/10) x 2 = £0.06(Sainsbury)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (£3.50 /1000ml) x 45 ml = £0.16 (Sainsbury)

Balsamic Vinegar (£1.20 / 250 ml) x 30 ml = £0.14 (Sainsbury)

Sardines = £2.12 (Tesco)

Ground coriander = (£0.75/100g) x 10g = £0.08 (Sainsbury)

Plain youghurt =(£0.50 / 500g ) x30g = £0.03 (Sainsbury)

Garlic Paste = ££0.80 / 90g) X 10g = £0.09 (Sainsbury)

Salt and pepper £0.02

Total cost £6.50 Per Person £1.63

I always try a do the costing on Sainsbury and Tesco prices and at full price. I know I bought the fish and coriander much cheaper and some of the other things as well, however, it would not be a fair calculation to base it on the reduced price. Mostly because it may not possible to get it at the reduced price, next time.