Monday, 17 August 2015

Sugar and Spice

All things nice. That's what I want my blog to be made of.
And this time I have been inspired by a recipe I tried out after watching 'Barefoot Contessa' on TV.

I do love chef Ina Garten- she looks a bit like me (although perhaps a few boxes of chocolate cookies and several sticks of butter down the line) and her recipes are always delicious.

Ina Garten in her kitchen
Leftover Liz in the kitchen
                                                          Spooky eh?

This first recipe is no exception to the delicious rule- Baked Cinnamon Mini Doughnuts. Mmmm!

As Ina says, 'Who doesn't love a doughnut?'- and she clearly has had a few in her time, as have I.

 I was intrigued with the idea of making these without a deep fat fryer though and so
duly purchased a silicone mini doughnut mould ready to try out the recipe.
I can report that it worked well and I adapted the quantities a little to give you a version here (less melted butter but still pretty damn good.)

This quantity makes 12 mini doughnuts.

125g flour
125g sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon or mixed spice
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
200ml milk
1 tbsp butter (melted)
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the topping- 50g sugar, 1 tsp mixed spice or cinnamon, 50 g sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
2. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, spice and sugar.
3. In a separate jug, melt the butter (allow to cool a little) and whisk in the egg, milk and vanilla
4. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry
5. Pour or spoon into the moulds, filling just as far as the top of the central ring. Bake for 15 minutes or so until just golden and firm.

Turn them out once cool.

Melt 50g butter on a saucer in the microwave. Pour 50g sugar onto another saucer and mix in a tsp mixed spice or cinnamon.
Dip one side of each doughnut in the melted butter and then the sugar.

Baked Cinnamon Mini Doughnuts
I do like the flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg (or mixed spice) in cakes. This next recipe is a family favourite ( as you can see from the old recipe book) and never fails. It is particularly economical - ie. no eggs, no butter - as recipes often were back then.

Family Spice Cake

450g flour
110g veg fat or 110ml veg oil
175g sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp black treacle
110g dried fruit
3 tsp mixed spice
275ml milk

1. Melt the veg fat and mix in treacle and milk
2. Combine all the dry ingredients thoroughly- and make a well in the centre to pour in the treacle mixture
3. Mix well with a spoon and then pour into a well greased 18 cm baking tin
4. Bake for 1 and 1/2 hours at 175 degrees- but check regularly with a skewer to see if it is cooked through.

The rest of todays's recipes are savoury- using chili, ginger and other warming spices and flavours to enhance simple leftover dishes: Thai- inspired noodle salad,  spiced pickled salad, chili chips and Tarte a l'indienne.

I'm beginning with the pickled salad.

Pickled Vegetable Salad

Slice cucumber, carrot and radish thinly with either a mandoline or in the food processor.
Bring 3 tbsp rice vinegar, 60 ml water, 2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp chili flakes or finely chopped red chili, juice of 1/2 lemon or lime and 1tsp minced ginger to the boil in a small saucepan
Pour over the vegetables and allow to cool before refrigerating for at least 4 hours.
Drain off the excess liquid ( but KEEP IT for the noodle salad dressing) and serve garnished with toasted sesame seeds.

For the Thai-inspired noodle salad, two things to say.

First of all, I am indebted to fellow blogger Thewholeingredient for the inspiration behind this recipe.
Secondly, I'm not going to tell you how to make the noodles and stir fry veg that make up this salad- as it is supposed to be made when you have leftover stir fry to use up!

Thai-inspired Noodle Salad

leftover noodles and stir fry veg

leftover pickling vinegar etc from the recipe above
2-3 dates
1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
1 tbsp soy sauce

Blitz all the above dressing ingredients ( except of course the noodles and stir fry itself) and then warm them through in a small saucepan 

Pour over the waiting noodles and veg, add a dash of sesame oil and garnish with some extra chopped peanuts and spring onion if you have them.

Finally, my last two 'recipes' use up leftover chili con carne and chicken curry respectively.

My favourite way to use up a few spoons of chili is - over chips!

Put 'em in a bowl, spoon on the chili- add cheese if you want- and serve! (Not really a recipe but yummy nevertheless)
Chili chips

A little more skill required for the leftover curry- but not much.

Tarte a l'indienne

Tarte a l'Indienne:

1 baked pastry case
2-3 tbsp leftover curry with sauce
3 eggs
200 ml milk

1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees
2. Blitz the leftover curry together with the milk and beat in the eggs
3. Pour into the pastry case and bake for 20 -30 minutes until firm and golden.

OK with you Ina?

How good was that?