Gastronomically Terrific

September 24, 2014

Cheesy farmyard friends

Filed under: biscuits, canape, party — Tags: , — lawsonanna @ 8:33 pm

Another new savoury dish, these are basically cheesy biscuits – and they’re really, really easy to make. They’re just a dough made from Cheddar cheese, self-raising flour and butter. The recipe also calls for Parmesan, but I didn’t have any, so I just used a little extra Cheddar. Basically you make a dough, roll it out and cut out animal shapes (or whatever shapes you like), then bake them for 10 (ish) minutes.

The end result does, of course, depend upon how good your cutters are. Mine came out OK, but some were better than others. The cats, for example, looked great. The pigs were a little harder to identify. But if you what you’re after is a cheesy biscuit, then you can’t really go wrong with these. There weren’t any left at the end of the party (hence the lack of a photo), and there was a lot more food than was needed!

Who made it: Anna
Recipe: Hats and Bells Children’s Party Cookbook, pg. 46-7

February 23, 2014

Chilli cheese crostini

Filed under: canape, side, vegetarian — Tags: , , , , , — lawsonanna @ 9:29 pm

DSC05015And so, on to our Valentines Day meal. For a starter, we made chilli cheese crostini. These are pretty similar to the double blue crostini I made back in January – but instead of a mixture of blue cheese, cream cheese, sour cream and jalapenos, you mix together cream cheese, sour cream, paprika, jalopenos and Worcestershire sauce to make a coral pink mixture. Except that we had run out of sour cream, and I replaced the Worcestershire sauce with dark soy sauce so my veggie husband could eat them.

Not having sour cream in these did make a difference, but it wasn’t the end of the world. They would have tasted nicer with it, but they were fine without too. The massive benefit of making these was that they take two seconds to do (and about the same time to devour), so the fact that our main course was already ready to be eaten didn’t matter too much.

Not as good as the double blue crostini, but a good alternative if you have no blue cheese in the house!

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Nigella Christmas, pg. 17

February 8, 2014

Chocolate peanut butter cupcakes

Filed under: Cake, canape — Tags: , , — lawsonanna @ 4:12 pm
And these were the best looking ones...

And these were the best looking ones…

I won’t be making these again. They were a total faff to make, and didn’t even taste that great. They really, really weren’t worth the effort.

Part of the problem was my fault. A lot of the problem was the recipe.

The base for these cupcakes is a mixture of dark soft brown sugar, icing sugar, peanut butter and butter. Now, I admit, I didn’t sieve the icing sugar. And the butter wasn’t soft enough. So when I came to mix it all together, instead of a sandy paste, I mostly got sand. With large chunks of icing sugar peaking through. This was fixed a little by adding the mixture to the petit-four cases; they are so small you have to press the mixture into the case, forcing it to stick together a little.

The second problem with the base was that there was way, way too much mixture for the amount of cases I had. That was entirely the recipes fault. It claimed that the mixture would make approx. 48 mini cupcakes- I halved it, and had far, far too much mixture for 24 petit four cases. I ended up filling up 12 normal sized cupcake cases as well, because I was beginning to lose my patience at this point, and couldn’t be bothered to do another 24 mini cases. I didn’t want to make 48 of the damn things! Apart from anything else, there’s nobody to eat that many!

… and then you come to the topping. It’s just a mixture of melted dark chocolate and melted milk chocolate. In contrast to the recipe for the base, the amounts here are massively underestimated. I had enough base mixture to make 48 mini cupckes, and enough topping to cover about 12 of them. I ended up melting all the chocolate I had in the house, which was double the amount the recipe stated, and it still wasn’t enough to cover all the bases I had created (24 mini bases and 12 larger ones).  The recipe also stated that the milk and dark chocolates should be melted separately and then mixed together. Strictly speaking, this is probably best practice… but it’s really, really not necessary. Milk and dark chocolate melt at such similar rates that they can be done together. Why make washing up for yourself? Now, if it had been dark and white chocolates, then yes, melt them separately and then mix. They do melt at very different rates.

After all that, and some pretty rubbish-looking results (also, don’t get your 17 month old son to help add the final decorative stars. They all go on the floor), they didn’t even taste that great. They basically tasted of peanut butter and chocolate. Which is exactly what they are.

Absolutely not worth the effort for the reward you get. Don’t bother.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Nigella Christmas, pg. 25

February 3, 2014

Double-blue crostini

Filed under: canape, side, starter, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — lawsonanna @ 4:59 pm

Double blue crostiniI had a friend coming over for a study session this weekend, which seemed like the perfect opportunity to try out a couple of new recipes.

The first recipe is from Nigella’s Christmas cookbook, and is a canape made with tortilla chips. I thought it would make a nice snack either when my friend arrived or when the study got underway. The dips for these crostinis are made by mixing together blue cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, jalapenos, and white pepper…

And it’s lovely! I wasn’t expecting this to taste so good. We ate the entire batch within 30 minutes of my friend arriving, long before we had sat down for lunch. I chose to add sweet yellow jalapenos rather than the recommended standard, hotter, green jalapenos, but you could use yellow, green or red ones, depending upon your preference. I’m not massively keen on really hot things, and for me yellow jalapenos worked really well. This is definitely something I’d make again. I’m not even sure I need an excuse to do it, I’ll just randomly make them one day.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Nigella Christmas, pg. 15

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