I like baking, I like baking a lot – but I don’t do complicated. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy – that’s my approach!
If the kids can make it – I will definitely have a go. If it has chocolate or lemons, or cake (mmmh pretty much covers it) then I’m in the HoniesKitchen already!
I’m very guilty of seeing something I like or dreaming of something I’d like to try and then Googling it so see what the easiest way to make it is – in the quickest amount of time (I’m a Mum OK – time is a luxury!)
HonieDaddy recently brought home a book by Lorraine Pascale (you might have seen her around recently :o) – Baking Made Easy! It was written for me, I’m sure of it!
And, I am going to share a couple of ‘very easy recipes’ to get your tastebuds going and let your offspring and other half thing you are ‘A Kitchen Goddess’ – they will, it’s true (do not don the PVC Waspie till the offspring are tucked away in bed, it will not give the results you might have expected).
Do don your apron, roll up your sleeves (give your hands a wash – kids involved remember!)
First up! Shockingly easy (and even cheating)
Mini Sausage Rolls
To cut a long story short you cut up sausages and put them in frozen puff pastry …. but that’s just not telling you entirely how you shall get away with this easy peasy recipe and get brownie points …. so read on!
You will need:
- 500g/1lb 2oz ready-made puff pastry
- plain flour, for dusting
- 1 free-range egg, beaten
- 8 herby sausages (the best you can afford), cut in two
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- small handful fresh thyme leaves
** On the sausages – I use Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Outdoor Bred Pork (not because I’m plugging Sainsbury’s) – they have a very high meat content (‘98%’) so only 2% of the other crap!
Then all you have to do is:
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
- Roll the pastry out on a floured surface to a rectangle of about 48x32cm/19×12½in and bash the pastry with the rolling pin a bit. Puff pastry is made of fine layers and normally you have to be very delicate with it. For sausage rolls the pastry needs to be slightly puffed, but not too much, so bashing it with a rolling pin reduces the amount it puffs up.
- Cut the large rectangle in half lengthways, then cut both smaller rectangles into eight equal sections. You now have 16 rectangles in total. Brush one end of each rectangle with a little of the beaten egg, lay a piece of sausage at the other end, then season the sausage with salt and freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle with thyme leaves. Roll the sausage up in the pastry to enclose and repeat with all the sausages. Put the sausage rolls in the fridge for 20 minutes for the pastry to harden.
- Once the pastry is hard, remove the sausage rolls from the fridge and score the tops with a sharp knife for decoration, or prick with a fork. Brush well all over with the rest of the beaten egg and bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes, or until the pastry has turned golden-brown and looks crisp. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before serving.
Next up! No bake, No fuss – not even much washing up to do!
Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake
This recipe involves assembling the ingredients for all good ‘no-bake’ cheesecakes in the glass you intend to serve it in – bring it on!
You will need:
- 140g (5oz) digestive biscuits, crushed
- 100g (3 ½ oz) butter, melted
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 100ml (3 ½ oz) double cream
- 25g (1oz) icing sugar
- 200g (7oz) cream cheese
- 100g (3 ½ oz) Divine Dark Chocolate (available at supermarkets)
- 200g (7oz) raspberries
- 40g (1 ½ oz) Divine White Chocolate, shaved with a vegetable peeler, to decorate.
** You can use any good dark chocolate – but make sure that it’s 70% cocoa solids as this is essential to the flavour and texture (diet tip: the higher the cocoa, the lower the fat and sugar content). Using Fairtrade often gives you a better quality of chocolate (not mass-produced drivel) and you feel better for allowing better trading for those who often struggle to compete with the bigger traders.
4 large wine glasses or tumblers
Now all you need to do is:
1.Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
2. Mix the biscuits, butter and brown sugar together in a large bowl and divide among the glasses.
3. Whip the double cream and icing sugar together in a large bowl until it is very thick and can hold its shape in the bowl. Whip the cream cheese lightly in another bowl. Fold the cream into the cream cheese until evenly blended.
4. Spoon a dollop of the mixture equally among the wine glasses, then add a dollop of the melted dark chocolate over the top and leave to cool slightly until thick. Add another dollop of the cream cheese mixture and stir the chocolate into the cream using only two ‘turns’ of the spoon so the dark chocolate and the white of the cream looks marbled and the bottom layer of the cream cheese is left white.
5. Top with the raspberries and white chocolate shavings, to decorate.
I told you they were easy!
I’m loving the book – but you can (as I often to for my recipe ideas) Google them – but I noticed that these ones are slightly different from the book itself.
I have lots more recipes (most of them the kids can do) in my HoniesKitchen section – it’s over there in the ‘tag cloud’ and up there in the menu bar. Have a browse and enjoy!
Adapted from Baking Made Easy, published by HarperCollins
Disclaimer: I do not have a PVC Waspie – but perhaps I should!