Tag Archives: recipe

Come Dine With Kay!

Come Dine With Kay!

 Turkey Meatballs & Chickpeas in a Piquante Pepperdew Stew!

This recipe is being entered in the Peppadew ‘I love British Turkey’ blogging competition.  Many thanks to my Mother In Law for the recipe, she is a far better cook than I’ll ever be.  Right, here goes nuffink!  Please click play on the link below, and use it as background music?  I’m trying to set a scene here…. ;O)

In the true spirit of ‘Come Dine With Kay!’ you have all arrived fashionably late…..bearing huge bottles of wine and gifts boxes of chocolates, lovely!  I’m wearing my best smart casual outfit (jeans and a clean T’shirt for once), and I must say you all look very swish too!  And wow!  Look at you! …..my goodness, you’re not shy with the sequins are you!

While I faff around in the kitchen trawling the fridge and the cupboards for ingredients, I would love you all to have a comfy seat in my erm…mostly immaculate living room.  Please make appropriate small talk and kindly ignore the towering pile of toys shoved into the corner.  I’d appreciate it if you could stop kicking the toybox and setting off the Zhu-Zhu hamsters.

First of all I’m going to raid the cupboards and the fridge for my ingredients and have a small glass of wine to steady my nerves.

Ignore the Basil, it just wanted to be famous so it barged in on the photo shoot.

Here I have fresh coriander, 400g of minced turkey, a tin of chopped tomatoes (with the same amount of water added), 2 sliced onions, 1 small chopped chorizo sausage, 2 mushed cloves of garlic, ground cumin, salt, pepper, olive oil, cayenne pepper, chilli flakes, a tin of chickpeas, paprika and last but not least Hot Whole Sweet Piquante Peppadew Peppers!

Right, so this is the bit where you wander around the house checking out if I’m a nutter or not.  Up the stairs you go, I’m happy here banging the cutlery about.  ‘Don’t worry about me!’ *Pours another glass of wine*

Oh no! I’ve forgotten to tidy away my antique, priceless, collection of silverware.  It’s all on display.  Silly me.

First of all I mix the garlic with the turkey mince:

Do I really have to stick my hands into that lot? *shudders*

Next I roll them into small balls, whilst giggling nervously and making a crap joke about small pink balls.

You have to have balls to attempt this kind of thing!

Then (whilst ignoring the bangs on the ceiling and the laughter from upstairs) I begin frying the chorizo in the pan until the fat starts to flow a little.

Why are they making such a racket upstairs and why did I choose a dish that spits fat at me all the time! ‘Ow!’  And my top is ruined!  Grease spots galore. Oops.

‘Ah, you’re all back!  Did you enjoy your tour?  So sorry about leaving the silverware out….’  *waits for complements*  *doesn’t get any*

‘What do you mean you went through my wash basket?!!!  Oh no, of course I don’t mind.  You’ve brought something down with you?’ *Kay lapses into a stunned silence as you (yes you with the sequins…)  wave around my all in one, fluffy, multi-coloured fish, fleecy adult-baby-gro outfit that I wear on very cold evenings and on camping trips*

‘No I don’t mind!  I said you could look around didn’t I! *smiles sweetly*

Kay thinks: ‘Well, it’s the burnt bits at the bottom of the pan for you milady!’

I return to the kitchen and begin shallow frying the meatballs in a glug of olive oil whilst swearing under my breath so my guests can’t hear me.

‘Where is my goddam spatula?!’ Fry meatballs till browned.

‘I’ll put on some music shall I?  Some nice relaxing classical music maybe?’

‘What? You prefer Guns and Roses?!!!’

Kay thinks: ‘Sequin top lady is cruising for a bruising, I might have to drop a meatball or two on the floor at this rate’ 

I have another slightly larger glass of wine and listen to the male guest with the blue spikey hair who is ‘art-critiquing’ my favourite sea-side painting.  I just like seagulls!  Get over it!  (I think this rather than say it because I’m trying to be nice and get more points)

‘Oh yes I agree, these sort of paintings are rather outdated, but I do like them!’ *stares daggers*

I return to the kitchen and:

Fry onions till translucent.

Return chorizo to the pan, add spices. 1tsp of cumin, 2 tsp of paprika, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or chilli flakes. Sneeze. Not on the food obviously.  Put this on a high heat for a couple of minutes.

Add chopped tomatoes with additional water. Splash my top even more.

You should all be slightly plastered now as I’ve kept the ‘Come Dine With Kay!’ evening rolling along nicely with the strongest red wine I could find at Morrissons.  Great!  I’m sober as a judge though.  *hiccups*

‘Would anyone like another glass?’ *fills everyone’s glasses to the brim*

Kay thinks: ‘Well, it if I get them drunk they won’t notice if the food tastes rotten.’

Add chickpeas, and a quarter of a jar of roughly chopped Sweet Hot Peppadew Peppers. Simmer for half an hour. Drink more wine to numb your tastebuds. Not sure how this will taste….

I’ve had to split up spikey haired bloke and you.  I think to myself, ‘Oh hell, I should have found a cattle prod as well as a decent recipe.’

‘Just come into the kitchen and sit down will you?’ ‘There’s no need to cry now…..I know your outfit is well…a little erm, showy, but the man has no taste!’  ‘I think you look lovely! Kylie carried the look off beautifully’ (about ten years ago, but I’m not going to say that am I?!

You stagger back into the living room, sloshing your drink onto my pastel blue carpet.  I begin to wonder if I’m seeing double, and the spikey bad-hair-cut-man is threatening to chew his own arm off (I think I’ve taken too long), and I think it’s time to serve up!  Brace yourselves! I proudly carry my prized praline Denby casserole dish into the front room.  I am showing off, but then this is the telly, I’m pulling all the stops out here!

Taaaaa Daaaaah!!!!!!! Thish ish a lovely dish innit! (slurs)

*hiccups*  *pours another glass* *downs in one* *fills glass again* *T’is nerve medichine you see*

There you go!  Plonks casserole dish on the table.  Knocks a few knives and forks on the floor. Ah well, a bit of dirt never did anyone any harm.  I pick them up and put them back on the table and sway slightly.

Dinner is served!

‘Well, tuck in everyone.  Let me know what you think!  It’s not like it took any effort or anything!’  Pitta bread goes nicely or you could add rice.  I chose pitta bread because I always make soggy rice and you can’t go wrong with grilling bread can you? Or can you?

‘Stop spitting out the hard bits of bread!  It’s just not nice!  Honestly I’m  not inviting you lot round again.  No, you can’t dip ZhuZhu hamsters in the food.  Oh for gods sake, I give up’

*********************End credits scroll down the screen******************

Narrator:  ‘Will Kay win or did the guests think her dinner was just a turkey of a meal?  Find out next week…..’

Narrator: ‘This dish features delicious moist turkey meatballs, complemented with a lip-smacking spicy tomato and hot sweet piquante Pepperdew pepper sauce. The chickpeas add an exciting slightly nutty contrast. Best enjoyed with a sensibly sized glass of red wine and good company.  Ahem!’

Best recipes of 2012

Half Way House Fish Pie

Half Way House Fish Pie

Darlek doesn’t like fish.  She used to eat tons of it when she was little, but has since started pulling faces and gipping if I try to feed it to her now.  This is a huge shame as we all know fish is good for us, it has Omega Whatzisname in it, and is ‘brain food’ apparently.  But nope!  Dalek is adamant that she really does not like the stuff.

The thing is, I do try to include it in the family’s diet, and I don’t like to pander / panda to separate meals so, this is my Half Way House Fish Pie recipe.  It’s a fish pie that isn’t too fishy, even Darlek manages to eat the majority of it.

So you get your casserole dish out first, mine is a lovely one one from Denby products which I adore.  Sorry to show it off, but it’s my pride and joy at the moment.

I thought the Lillies looked pretty reflected on the pottery.

Step One:  Put Fish Pie mix (easily picked up at the supermarket) in the microwave on a defrost function and cook it very slowly so it doesn’t get overdone and go crunchy.  Once the fish is cooked through and flaking slightly, put it in the dish.

Fish in dish. Dish with fish! (Apologies I’m having a Dr Zeuss moment)

I don’t cook the fish in milk as some people do, because if you use that milk with the fish juices in the mashed potato, Darlek refuses to eat it.

Step Two: Part A.  Make a white sauce.  Again I take the easy route, I don’t use a roux.  I put roughly equal amounts of butter, flour and milk all in a pan, heat it and whisk as I go along.  If it doesn’t thicken add more flour.

Step Two: Part B.  Fend off the kids who are by now usually clamouring for their dinner.  Give them a pot of raisins each and shoo them out of the kitchen.

Haphazardly make a white sauce. Taste as you go to make sure it’s not too floury. Do not burn your tongue!

Step Three: Part A  – Add the white sauce to the fish in the dish and add a dash of pepper, and parsley if you have any.

Step Three: Part B – Stop Sausage from raiding the fridge and palm him off with dried apricots this time.

White sauce on fish in dish, fish in dish in white sauce. I’m on a roll with this Doctor Zeuss thing now.

Meanwhile boil peeled and cubed potatoes and steam spinach above the pan to save on gas.  You see I’m practical as well as pretty….well actually I’m probably neither, but it rhymed and fits in with the random Dr Zeuss thing I’ve got going on.

Spinach in pan over boiling spuds, spuds in pan under boiling spinach. I HAVE to find a way to fit a Fox in Socks into this recipe somehow…..

Step Four: Carefully and evenly distribute the spinach over the fish in the dish.

Step Five: Part A – Mash the spuds with ordinary unfishy moo cow milk and butter and spread it carefully on the top of the fish in the dish and the spinach.  I say carefully because it tends to sink if you tip a load in at once.  I find the blobbing here and there approach works best for me.

Step Five: Part B – Yell at the kids who have nicked Babybels whilst I was distracted.

Make a pretty pattern on the top of the mash, personally I like swirls.

Step Six: Part A – Slice and add Mozzarella to the top of the fish in the dish coated with spinach.   The Mozarella I had was square shaped so I played at cheese crazy paving for a little while.

I should do one of those crazy paving paths in our garden, seems I have a talent for this kind of thing!

Chuck the whole lot in the oven and leave for around 25 minutes at about 180 C, just to let it toast and go golden on top.  Serve with a crunchy salad or green beans and sweetcorn if you prefer. We had a salad because I was lazy.

Step 8: Eat!!!!!!!  You’ll find that this is probably the least fishy fish pie ever.  A nice Half Way House Fish Pie for kids who don’t like fish.

Step 9: Finish with a nice cup of herbal tea in some Cath Kidston bedding……erm I mean, a Cath Kidston cup.  And ….relax….

Tea in a cup, no pup in the cup though. Which is a shame. Dr Zeuss eat your heart out!

This is a sponsored post thanks to Palmers Department Stores who kindly sent me the gorgeous Denby Casserole dish and the cute cup.  Many thanks to them and no other financial reward was given.  Both dishwashered and worked exactly as you’d expect them to.  Sorry for the bedding link – I had to include it somehow!

Almost Perfect Pancakes!

Almost Perfect Pancakes!

Sponsored by my lovely food blog sponsors, Healthy Supplies.   Pls see the bottom of the recipe for delicious pancake ingredients you can buy from them, including egg free, gluten free, wheat free, powdered recipe substitutes.  If you have allergies you don’t have to miss out on pancakes, you can simply adapt them. 

I have a confession to make.  I bought pancakes ready made from a shop last year because I couldn’t face having to make them, it’s a bit shameful really.  They are such a simple recipe, but I’ve just never mastered the art of cooking them properly. Every single time I’ve tried I have ended up with half cooked globs of goo, and definitely not in neat circles, usually flattish semicircles because of failed ‘flipping’ attempts.

Practise for Pancake Day!

This year I decided to have another go, ‘I will not be beaten by Pancakes!’ I thought in a daring kind of voice.  Recently I’ve been trying out quite a few Jamie Oliver recipes from his Ministry of Food cook book, and I’m really quite impressed.  The recipes seem easy to follow, not overly fussy, don’t include excesses of wierd ingredients I can’t source from my local supermarket and he makes me laugh with his casual turn of phrase sometimes: eg …….. ‘Bhajis are a great thing to eat with your curry (especially after a few drinks!)’  Horace can’t stand the sight of the poor man, I think he’s cute but don’t tell him.  He never reads these blogs so I think I’ll get away with that.  Shush…..

Kay studies the simplest recipe in the world very carefully.....

So I thought I’d see what he thought of making pancakes, and I was pleasantly surprised again.  He works with the american style ‘Cups’ here, and really does actually show a mug on the recipe page.  The idea quite literally is, as long as you use the same measuring tool each time and fill it to the full, you can’t go wrong.  I love recipes that you can’t go wrong with *hugs recipe book*.   The detailed recipe is at the bottom of this post.   It’s adapted a little, Jamie suggested putting yoghurt and mango in and the cupboard was bare so I just made do with what I had.

This recipe tells you how to make lighter fluffier American style pancakes as well as the flatter traditional english ones.  I thought I’d have a go at the American ones, just to see if they were any easier.  Literally, the only difference is that you have to use self-raising flour instead of plain flour, simple as!  So off I went, cracking eggs and mixing milk, a nip of salt, a kerflop of flour.  (I just made ‘kerflop’ up, it does sound like that when you dump a load of flour in liquid don’t you think?  Or is it just me that thinks that?)

Please note the ladybird design nail varnish. I was bored. Darlek helped, my other nails look like squashed ladybirds. None got in the recipe you'll be pleased to know.

Whisk enthusiastically!

I left the mixture in the fridge covered with cling film for a while although I’m not sure if this makes any difference or not really.  I’ve heard this is one of those urban myths except with a cooking edge to it.  And then…….the real cooking began.  This is the bit where it usually all goes tits up for me.

The heat is on!!!

The butter went in the frying pan at a medium heat, and as soon as it started smoking slightly I took a ladlefull and plopped it in.  They always cook so quickly it usually panics me into a gooey mixture poking frenzy where I spread the batter all over the place as if it’s been dropped from a 50 foot height.  This time I held back from pushing the frying batter all over the plan and just watched it for about a minute, and then I slid the spatula under the sizzling gloop and flipped it over, whilst still….SHOCK…HORROR…. still in an approximate circle that looks like a pancake!

Make them smaller, they're easier to flip!

I left them for approx another minute and then slid them off the frying pan and onto a plate.  Then, and I think this is an important bit, I carefully used some kitchen roll to wipe the pan clean of brown, slightly burnt looking butter, added more butter, and then started again.  Hence lovely golden pancakes instead of muddy looking ones.  A great tip I thought!

Snippet of conversation mid writing flow when I forgot the word for ‘Spatula’

Me:  ‘ What’s do you call that erm…… (does hand sliding under pancake gesture)……erm …spatula!

Horace: ‘I dunno what you call your spatula……. Fred maybe?’  (helpful as always)

I only made small ones too, so I fitted about four pancakes in one pan.  That made them a lot easier to flip over, although I didn’t try the spectacular-triple flipping-near-the-light-fittings kind of thing.  I’m just not brave enough for that.

Lovely with lemon!

This is how they turned out!  What do you think?  They are by no means perfect, but they were edible, reasonably pancaked shaped and not burnt. I droodled maple syrup over them and added a traditional squeeze of lemon. (‘Droodling’ another made up word which is a mixture of dribbling and noodles, exactly how you squiggle maple syrup on a pancake I’d say, I always go for noodling patterns).

You could always do as we did and add a bit of dessicated coconut and fruit too if you like.  Healthy Supplies sell some lovely Dessicated Organic Coconut which  complements these pancakes nicely.

Can you guess what it is yet? (Rolf Harris Tone of Voice)

These pancakes were delicious if I say so myself.  I don’t know if I’ve been using the wrong recipe all these years, or if simply substituting self raising flour for plain flour has been the saviour of my pancaking skills, either way, I highly recommend having a go at this!  You (probably) won’t ever need to buy shop bought ones and try and pass them off as your own ever again. Not that I ever did that.  I’d never do that.  ;O)

If you would prefer to make this with Gluten and Wheat Free Self Raising Flour, you can find it here under ‘Dove’s Farm Gluten Free Self-Raising White Flour.’  You could even use Milk Powder, so you can always have milk in your cupboards even when your fridge is empty.  I’d never heard of the ingredients prior to this, useful stuff I thought, you see we have milk monsters at our house.  They drink the lot when I’m not looking!  There’s also something called ‘Oggran No Egg’ you can buy which is an egg replacer ingredient which I have to say I’ve never tried.  If you do have a go at pancakes and use the no egg ingredients I’d love to how it tastes and if it works or not.

There are other fabulous pancake recipes on Healthy Supplies’ website if you fancy being more daring than me! Pls click HERE if you’d like to have a look.

Recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food

American Style Pancakes: 1 Cup of Self Raising Flour, 1 Cup of Milk, Sea Salt, 25g of Butter, 1 Egg (preferably free range), and 1 Lemon or Lemon Juice.

Crack egg into a large mixing bowl.

Add flour milk and a pinch of sea salt and whisk it all together.

Put the batter in the fridge for a bit, maybe 20 mins or so.

Place one ladleful of batter into the saucepan for each pancake, you should be able to cook approx four at a time.

Fry on a medium to high heat for 1-2 minutes on each side.

Place cooked pancakes on a warmed plate, wipe the saucepan clean with kitchen roll.

Start again!  Repeat until all the batter has gone.

Eat too many, feel vaguely sick.  (That bit’s not in the recipe, it’s just what I did)

Cooking with Caramel Nibbles from Cadbury!

Cooking with Caramel Nibbles from Cadbury Dairy Milk.

The ingredients! (there are two invisible eggs on there, I erm...forgot to photo them)

Ages ago I was sent some Caramel Nibbles to cook with.  It was way before Christmas and somehow I never managed to get around to the actual cooking bit.  This was mainly because the main ingredients kept getting eaten, and had to be rebought on two separate occassions. Anyway, yesterday I managed to get on with it and I’d love to share the recipe with you, my lovely, chocolate starved readers.  I know you’ve run out of the Christmas chocolate now and the withdrawal symptoms are kicking in.  Here’s how to get your sugar high back.

At the end of the blog I have included the ingredients  list and the method as it was passed to me, just in case you want to do this professionally and properly, unlike moi.   I had a go!  You can’t knock me for trying!  At no point have I ever EVER said I’m a cupcake genius

So! Here we go!  First of all I enlisted my son to help with the complicated cookery mixing and sieving and weighing out bits.  As you can see he spent most of the time licking a cupcake mixture covered spoon instead.

The sous chef checking the mixture had been mixed correctly.

First things first, I creamed the butter, sugar, vanilla extract and then added the eggs, flour and milk.  I have not been able to assemble my mixer since having had the new kitchen and not being able to locate random bits of it so this was done badly by hand.

This took forever and I couldn't get the lumps out. My fault entirely.

Then I melted one packet of Caramel Nibbles in a bowl over a pan of hot water.  Don’t over fill the pan of hot water, it spills everywhere.  I know!

Maybe gentle microwaving would be easier?

The next step was to mix this brown gloopy mixture in with the yellowish eggy floury gloopy mixture.  Ideally you use a blender to mix it thoroughly together.  I could not find the bottom half of my blender and after much rooting in cupboards and getting annoyed I gave up and tried to mix it by hand via whisk. I suspect the colour should be more evenly distributed, I had sort of coffee looking blotchy stuff with lumps in.

After it had cooled a little I poured this mixture into the cupcake wrappers with the help of my little sous chef who was by this point very sticky.  I’ll tell you this for nothing, Caramel Nibbles could be used as a replacement for superglue if there was ever a superglue famine.

I think Sausage had eaten half the mixture by this point.

They were put into the oven for 18 minutes and came out looking like this!  So much for even heat in a fan oven.  Guess which were on the top shelf…..

Taaaah Daaaah!!!! *Does jazz hands*

For the icing I heated up some double cream and added a whole packet of broken up Caramel Nibbles (minus approx 12 for decoration).  Once the Nibbles had melted into the cream I removed it from the heat and bunged it all in a bowl.  Once it had cooled I removed the cling film, and added a ton of icing sugar.

The muddy coloured mixture was poured into a bowl and covered with cling film to prevent a skin forming while it cooled.

Finally I dolloped the cupcake icing onto the cupcakes and artistically balanced Caramel Nibbles on the top of them.  Then I carefully sorted through all of the buns to find the most presentable one, which I have thoughtfully photographed for your viewing pleasure.

MMMMMmmmmmm.........

The others are blurred in the background because they looked like they were the work of a 3 year old.  I could have pretended that they were actually the work of a three year old, but I have decided to tell the truth.  I iced them like that.  They dripped all over the place because again I couldn’t find a goddam whisk so my double cream wouldn’t go fluffy.  Still they tasted lovely!  Definitely sweet, in fact sweeter than sweet.  I suggest brushing your teeth thoroughly after eating, if you’re teeth aren’t glued together that is.

The over all judgement?  I’m rubbish at making sweet stuff, so these could have turned out much better.  I reckon that this recipe would be beautiful in the right hands.  Why not give it a go, instead of hoarding left over chocolate oranges from Xmas in the back of cupboards?  Or is that just me?

This is the proper recipe bit if you want the finer details!

Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramel Nibbles Cupcake Recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 x 175g pkt Caramel Nibbles
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 100ml milk
  • 220g plain flour, sifted
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract

Icing ingredients

  • 1 x 175g pkt Caramel Nibbles
  • 180ml double cream
  • 200g icing sugar, sifted
  • Edible gold glitter (optional)

1.       Preheat the oven to 160c Fan/180c/Gas Mark 4. Cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer, add the vanilla extract and mix well. Then add the eggs, flour, baking powder, milk and mix until thoroughly combined.

 2.       Take the first packet of Caramel Nibbles and melt to a paste in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Add the paste to the cupcake mix and mix well with an electric mixer to distribute the caramel loveliness thoroughly. Place cupcake wrappers into your cupcake pan and fill each wrapper with cupcake mixture 2/3rds full.

 3.       Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes until golden on top then allow to cool for a couple of minutes in the tray before transferring to a wire cooling rack.

 4.       For the frosting take the second packet of Caramel Nibbles, take out 12 Caramel Nibbles and set aside. From the remaining Nibbles measure out 120g and chop into small rough pieces to make the frosting.

 5.       Place the double cream into a pan over a low heat. Add in the chopped Caramel Nibbles and continue to heat gently, stirring to melt the chocolate pieces. Keep the mixture moving with a spatula to encourage the pieces to melt. This will take about 4 minutes over a low heat. When all the pieces are melted down, remove from the heat and place in a bowl to cool. Cover with food wrap, pressing it down onto the surface of the Caramel mixture to stop a skin forming.

 6.       When your icing mix has cooled, completely transfer to a large bowl and add 200g of sifted icing sugar. Mix well with an electric mixer. If the mixture is slightly too runny, add a little more icing sugar to stiffen.

 7.       Now we’re ready to go! Spread the frosting on top of the cupcakes or pipe for a professional finish. Add one Caramel Nibble to the top from those you set aside earlier. Finally a sprinkling of edible gold glitter!

 Recipe created by Ruth Clemens, please credit to her blog: www.thepinkwhisk.co.uk .

I was sent two 75 g packs of Caramel Nibbles, no other financial reward was given which is a shame because I must have bought four packets of these things as a result of this blog.  They are very moreish!!!

Simple, Easy, Birthday Cake!

Simple, Easy, Birthday Cake!

Whaddya think! (looks a bit Barbie-esque if you ask me, but it was my bestest effort ever!))

Add icing sugar to the pile too. The basic ingredients!

I have quite literally made about 3 cakes in five years.   They are not my speciality at all!   As a rule I tend to avoid cooking sweet things because I become very greedy and am prone to hiding in the kitchen and eating slice after slice when no-one is looking.  Will power is not my strongpoint.  But….drum roll…..this weekend I made a birthday cake, completely from scratch and even decorated it!  Why the change of heart you ask?  It’s because my sis is the best sis in the world and I wanted her to know how much I appreciate the help and support she’s given me and my family over the last month or so.

Anyway! If you’re similarly domestically challenged, you might find this recipe useful?  I thought I’d share it, and to be absolutely honest I really wanted to post a picture of it because it took me all afternoon and I was actually quite pleased with it in the end.  See what you think!

The recipe came from the Good Food website and it’s for a basic Victoria Sponge cake.

You’ll need 2 cake tins, 20cm diameter.  I greased them with Biona coconut oil.  There’s a lot of butter in this recipe already, so I figured using a little less on the tins at least helps keep the fat content down a bit.

Lightly grease the cake tins. The kids love this bit.

Ingredients for cake:

175g Xlitol (sugar substitute)

3 eggs (beaten)

175g Butter

175g Self Raising Flour

Step 1: Cream together butter and Xlitol till light and fluffy (or until your arm goes numb from beating the stuff)

Looks like snow!

Step2: Add beaten eggs very gradually.  I curdled the mixture terribly and it looked like scrambled eggs for a while, but my trusty hand held blender came to the rescue.

Scrambled eggs anyone?

Step 3: Fold in Self Raising Flour.  I’ve never really ‘got’ this folding malarkey, so I just stir it in slowly and hope that does the trick usually.

Step 4: Pour equal amounts into both cake tins.

Step 5: Cross fingers and toes, put cakes in oven at 180 degrees and keep peeping through the oven window to check they’re not burning.  I think it took about 15 minutes in this case.

Step 6: Leave to cool on wire rack. (cover with tea-towel because of blasted flies buzzing around the house – Oh the joys of summer!)

Look, they're not burnt! Shock, horror, fall over!

Step 7:  For the icing I simply got 100g of icing sugar and dissolved a tablespoon of lukewarm water into it, and then mixed.  It was more than enough to cover the cake. Very gloopy stuff!

Step 8: Whisk medium size tub of double cream until it’s the texture of fluffy concrete.  Fight kids off, as they have a tendency to eat everything as they go along (this particular tip applies all the way through the cake making to be honest)

Beware of splattering cream all over the place.

Step 9:  Liberally plaster each cake with jam on one side, slap a load of cream on one, and then sandwich the two cakes together.  *important note* When kids offer to ‘squish’ the cake, do not….Repeat DO NOT let them press down too hard.  We had cream oozing all over the place after some rather too enthusiastic squishing.

Spread carefully so as not to break the sponge cake in half.

Step 9 – Dribble icing on cake and then scatter Chocobeans all over it (or whatever edible niceties you have in the kitchen that’ll do)

Looks posh doesn't it! (ahem!) A little over squished...

Step 10 – Wrap a strip of tin foil around the sides to tidy the oozing jam & cream up a little – wrap ribbon, tie bow, stick on random butterfly found in craft cupboard –  stand back and go ‘Oh my God, it actually looks edible!’

I went to hell and back trying to fit this in the biscuit tin without it dropping in pieces!

Step 11 – Drink small glass of wine to steady nerves after manic cake making.

Step 12 – Avoid washing up or tidying kitchen.

All in all, it was quite a sucess, no-one was more shocked than me!  Last night I trekked over to Sis’s house so that she could have her birthday cake after a hard day’s work, the poor love finished at 10pm.  Today she is visiting with her kids and aforementioned cake, so I’ll get to try a piece then.  Apparently it is ‘sublime!’  I’m just happy to have made something that even goes a little way towards saying thank you to her for being my sister and my sanity most days.

Healthy Supplies provided the Xlitol and the Biona Coconut oil, and for that I am very grateful.   It meant the cake was a lot healthier than it would have been!  Xlitol is very clever stuff too, you use it in exactly the same amounts as you would sugar, so it’s simple to use.   The Biona Organic Coconut Oil is amazing stuff too!  Not only can you use it for cooking, frying etc, you can use it on your skin and hair too!    I told that to Sausage, he looked very puzzled at me and said ‘Not for hair!  Is for cake!’ but if you’re more adventurous with your beauty products than I am, you might want to give it a try.

* Just as an afterpost, I’ve just found out that Xylitol is not very good for Colitis sufferers, so if you do this recipe, please do bear that in mind. Mind you, double cream, butter etc isn’t v good for Colitis sufferers either. I think moderation is probably the key. I had 1 and half pieces, very restrained for me! (waits for pat on back)