Pineapple and Coconut Cupcakes

This is a a  sweet and refreshing little thing, if you want to add a little party twist add Malibu into the butter cream.

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Makes 24

This is what you need:

  • Sponge

170g of self-rising flour
170g cubed soft butter
150g granulated sugar
3 medium eggs (room temperature)
1 tbsp vanilla paste
1 big tsp baking powder
1 diced pineapple

  • Buttercream

250g Unsalted Butter
275g Icing Sugar
1tbsp vanilla paste
orange food colour
200g White Chocolate

Start by preheating your oven, 180 C or gas mark 4, then in a bowl mix butter, sugar and vanilla paste until soft, fluffy and pale in colour. Then add the eggs, one by one, and whisk for about 1 min/egg. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in until fully incorporated then fold in the pineapple. In a cupcake tray add your cupcake casings and dived the mixture and bake in the middle of the oven for 20-23 minutes.

Whilst this is baking, soften your butter by whisking it with the vanilla paste and food colouring, then add the icing sugar, little at the time until fully incorporated then pour in the chocolate and whisk further.

Once the cupcakes has cooled completely, pipe on the butter cream and then sprinkle coconut on top.

Enjoy x

Beer Can Chicken

Now when the sun is peeking out we all fancy a bit of BBQ,let’s welcome the summer (spring) with a great BBQ recipe. Buying a whole chicken is much more economical and you can chose your favorite parts! Get yourself a good free ranged/ organic chicken and a BBQ with a lid. Serve this with a super salad, or a fresh crisp one (see recipe below)

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Serves 4 hungry people

This is what you need:

1 Free range/organic chicken
1 beer can (2/3 full) – I used a normal lager but if you are doing a Mexican rub use a beer that contains Tequila.

  • The Dry Rub

1 tbsp hot chili powder
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp hot paprika
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp grounded corriander
1 tsp celery salt
2 tsp garlic powder

  • The Salad

1 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
1 BIG hand full of spinach
1/4 cucumber, diced
2 tomatoes
1 Avocado
1 Peach – Sliced
2 Gem lettuce, ,finely sliced
1 shredded carrot
25 sugar snaps (Snap peas)

  • Dressing

1 part Lemon – Juice & Zest
1 Part Balsamico
2 Parts extra virgin olive oil
1 minced clove of garlic

Let’s get BBQ ing!

Start by washing your chicken and pad it dry with kitchen towel, the rub it with a little olive oil and put the dry rub on, make sure you massage that rub in properly and don’t miss a spot. Put your BBQ on the highest temp and leave it with the lid on.
Crack open the beer and gulp up 1/3 of the can and put it in the rear of the chicken, place this on flat surface and it cannot be directly over open fire. Lower the temp to medium and put the chicken in there, it should take around 1.5 hour to cook depending on the size.
Salad – pretty straight forward, chuck everything in a bowl and don’t put the dressing on until you serve, I have made some extra for lunch, so I never put the dressing in the actual salad bowl as it makes the leafs wilt.

Chicken done, fight over your favorite parts and shred the breast meet into the salad.
NOTE – Be careful when you remove the beer can, do this in the sink with tongs so you don’t burn yourself as the beer is boiling.

Enjoy, this one is just so tasty!

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Easter Cupcakes

Long time ago since my last post! So here is a little cute cupcake for Easter.

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Makes 20

This is what you need:

  • Sponge

170g of self-rising flour
170g cubed soft butter
150g granulated sugar
3 medium eggs (room temperature)
1 tbsp vanilla paste
1 big tsp baking powder
3 tbsp cocoa powder

  • Buttercream

150g Unsalted Butter
175g Icing Sugar
1tbsp vanilla paste
orange food colour

  • Chocolate buttercream (base layer for the gravel)

50g Butter
75g Icing Suagar
1tbsp cocoa powder

Green ready-to-roll icing

Start by preheating your oven, 180 C or gas mark 4, then in a bowl mix butter, sugar and vanilla paste until soft, fluffy and pale in colour. Then add the eggs, one by one, and whisk for about 1 min/egg. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and fold in until fully incorporated. In a cupcake tray add your cupcake casings and dived the mixture and bake in the middle of the oven for 20-23 minutes.

Whilst this is baking, soften your butter by whisking it with the vanilla paste and food colouring, then add the icing sugar, little at the time until fully incorporated. Then do the same for the chocolate buttercream.

Now, I used an apple core cutter to make a little hole, then spread the chocolate buttercream around the hole and sprinkle on crumbs made from holes. Then pipe in the orange buttercream in the middle and make a little carrot and stick some green icing in there.

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Enjoy x

 

Vietnamese Baguette (Banh Mi)

This isn’t your average sandwich, this is THE sandwich. This lunch baguette can be made with loads of different combinations, most popular is the below or BBQ chicken, beef or pork, always served with pickled carrot, Chinese radish and green papaya.

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This is what you need:

Baguette
Pickles (Carrot, Green Papaya and Chinese radish)
Cucumber
Finley sliced lettuce
Vietnamese sausage (Chả lụa) you can find this in most Vietnamese/Chinese supermarkets
Pork Mince (250g) – You can use chicken/turkey if you can’t eat pork.
2 tbsp 5 spice
2 cloves of garlic
Handful of fresh coriander
Chili Sauce

Start by adding the 5 spice into a hot pan, when you can smell the 5 spice add the garlic and mince. Heat up the baguette so it’s fresh and crisp then add lettuce, pickles and cucumber, slice the sausage and add to your sandwich then add the mice on top and finish off with a lot of chili sauce.

Enjoy x

Southern Red Velvet Cupcakes

Such a classic cupcake, using buttermilk and vinegar gives the sponge a lovely texture. For a more vibrant red colour use a cocoa powder with a lower cocoa % and then you can just have chocolate shavings in the mixture to get a richer chocolate taste.

Red Velvet Cake

Makes 24 cupcakes.

  • Sponge

325 flour
1 cup butter milk
175g sugar 2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 tsp white distilled vinegar
1 big tsp baking soda
red food coloring
100g vegetable oil
1 tsp salt

  • Cream Cheese Buttercream

450g Cream cheese
250g Icing Sugar
225g unsalted butter

Start by preheating your oven to 180C, 350F, Gas mark 2.
Sift all your dry ingredients,add the food colouring, mix the buttermilk and oil and mix together with the dry ingredients  and end with the eggs. Bake in the middle of the oven for 18 min.

Whilst this is baking, make the buttercream. Add all the ingredients in a bowl and mix slowly until fully incorporated then speed up the whisk until fluffy. Pipe!

Enjoy x

Spicy Pork Gyoza

I cannot have dim sum without Gyozas, they are just so delicious and you can make any flavor combo you want, here is my favorite.

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Makes 40 Gyozas

This is what you need;

The Dough

  • 300g Strong white flour plus extra for when you roll the out.
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 200ml boiling water

The Filling

  • 250g pork mince
  • 50g fresh shrimps (optional, it adds to the taste but doesn’t taste of prawn if that makes sense)
  • 1 thumb size piece of peeled ginger
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 2 red chillies
  • bunch of fresh coriander (depends on how much you like it)
  • handful of fresh mint
  • 2tbsp soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce

Start by making the dough, sift the flower into a bowl and add the salt, then add the boiling water, mix with a fork until fully combined. Clingfilm and leave in the fridge for 1 hour so it cools down. In the meantime make the filling. Chuck everything into a food processor and blitz until you have a sticky paste.
Once the dough is cooled take it out and roll into a long sausage and cut 40 slices up, dip the in flour and roll out to a 10cm circle. Put 1 tsp of filling in each Gyoza dip your finger in water and go around the edges, then fold over the so it looks like a half circle. Then drop in boiling water, when the Gyoza rises it’s ready, then in a hot pan with some groundnut oil pan fry until golden and eat.

Enjoy x

Lean Mean Chilli

Working full time, going to the gym and cooking doesn’t always go together and sometimes the thought of a take-away is just too tempting! So today I am posting my weeks batch of dinners/lunches, you can freeze portion sizes and just heat it up when you come home.

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Makes around 6-8 portions

This is what you need;

  • 500g Lean beef mince (if you can’t eat beef just substitute this with lamb)
  • 450g a good cut beef, so ideally sirloin but you can use hip, anything with a low fat %, but you can use beef offcuts as this will be simmering for hours!
  • 2 finely chopped yellow onions
  • 2 red paprika, diced
  • 1 pickled jalapeno
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp Chili powder (I use a Vietnamese chili powder but any chili powder will do)
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 1 tbsp hot paprika powder
  • 1 tbsp celery salt
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 tin pinto beans and/or kidney beans
  • 1 bottle of light beer (330ml)

All the above spices are everyday spices so if you if you buy them you will be using them for curries, chilies and stews in the future. Start by chopping your onions, garlic, paprika and jalapeno, then in a pot add around 1 tbsp of groundnut oil, when hot add the chopped veg. Brown the onions then add your meat, once brown add all the spices and mix, let the spices really marinate the meat, put the lid on and leave for 5 min. Then mix and make sure the meat has been properly coated. Add the chopped tomatoes, beef stock, beer and beans, mix and let this simmer on a low heat for about 2-3 hours.

Serve this with some brown rice and root vegetable tortilla chips with a small sprinkling of cheese.

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Enjoy x