Friday, 17 May 2019

Menier Triple Chocolate Cookies




Menier Triple Chocolate Cookies
These Menier triple chocolate cookies taste absolutely delicious and are very easy to make.  Stuffed with chunks of dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate, they’re truly moreish!

Makes 16
Prep time:  20 minutes
Cooking time:  10 minutes

Ingredients
115g unsalted butter, room temperature
90g soft brown sugar
50g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
140g plain flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp cornflour
40g Menier cocoa powder
1 tbsp milk
75g Menier milk chocolate, broken into chunks
75g Menier dark chocolate, broken into chunks
75g Menier white chocolate, broken into chunks

Preparation method

1.      Line two baking trays and set aside.
2.      In a large bowl add the butter and sugars and mix with an electric whisk until pale and creamy.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
3.      Now sift the flour, baking soda, cornflour and cocoa into the bowl and stir through.  Add a tablespoon of milk and stir through half of the chocolate chunks.
4.      Cover the bowl with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 
5.      Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/350°F/gas mark 4. 
6.      Roll balls of the dough in your hands until smooth and place onto the prepared trays and gently press the remaining chocolate chunks on top.
7.      Bake in the oven for approximately 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Friday, 10 May 2019

Penne with Prawns, Chorizo & Rocket



Penne with Prawns, Chorizo & Rocket
A wonderfully delicious pasta dish full of flavour & freshness – one of my husband’s favourites!

Serves 2

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
250g penne
1tbsp olive oil
150g chorizo, chopped into bite sized pieces
2 garlic cloves, peeled & finely chopped
2 red chillies, finely chopped
200ml dry white wine
2tbsp tomato puree
1 lemon, juice & zest
250g raw king prawns
25g butter
2 large handfuls of rocket
Freshly ground pepper

Method

1.    In a large pan of salted water cook the spaghetti until al dente.
2.    Meanwhile in a large frying pan heat the olive oil add the chorizo and cook for 3-4 minutes then add the garlic and chillies and cook for a further minute.
3.    Now add the wine and tomato puree and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce reduces slightly.
4.    Add the prawns and cook until they are cooked through.
5.    Drain the pasta and add to the frying pan with half of the rocket, lemon juice and butter.  Mix through until the pasta is fully coated and the rocket has wilted, season to taste.
6.    To serve, divide between two warmed plates and top with lemon zest and the remaining rocket, enjoy!


Monday, 6 May 2019

Sausages Braised with Cider & Smoky Bacon


Sausages Braised with Cider & Smoky Bacon
A very simple but very delicious dish to make – pork and cider were made for each other!  This dish is best served with a hearty pile of mash!

Serves 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time:  45 minutes



Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
12 good quality pork sausages
180g smoked bacon or pancetta, chopped
1 onion, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp plain flour
500ml cider
1 tsp Dijon mustard
a handful parsley, chopped
mashed potato, to serve

Preparation method

1. In a large frying pan heat the olive oil.  Add the sausages and cook until they are browned all over and set aside.

2. Add the bacon and onion the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes, stir occasionally until golden.  Now add the flour and cook for a further minute, then stir in the cider.  Bring to the boil and then simmer for 2 minutes, stir in the mustard.

3. Return the sausages back to the pan.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes until the sauce has thickened.  Sprinkle with parsley and serve with mash.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Easter Rocky Road with Menier Chocolate




Easter Rocky Road with Menier Chocolate
This has to be the best rocky road that I have ever tasted, it is a must try!
Naughty but extremely nice!

Makes 12
Prep time:  20 minutes (plus 3 hours 20 minutes refrigeration time)
Cooking time:  10 minutes

Ingredients
110g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
90g caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp Menier cocoa powder
50g Menier dark chocolate
100g digestive biscuits
150g mini eggs
75g mini marshmallows

For the topping
100g Menier milk chocolate
75g mini eggs, crushed

Preparation method

1.      Butter a 24cm x 11cm loaf tin or the equivalent and line with cling film.
2.      In a small pan gently melt the butter, sugar, syrup, cocoa powder and chocolate.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
3.      Now add the biscuits, mini eggs and marshmallows, mix well and spoon into the loaf tin.  Cover with the excess cling film and refrigerate for 3 hours.
4.      Once set remove from the loaf tin and place onto a serving plate.
5.      For the topping, place a small heat-proof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water.  Place the chocolate in the bowl and gently melt, once melted pour over the rocky road and sprinkle over the remaining mini eggs crushed.
6.      Place in the fridge for 20 minutes to set the chocolate, to serve cut the rocky road into slices.  Enjoy!



Monday, 15 April 2019

Menier Chocolate Easter Log




Menier Chocolate Easter Log
This cake is extremely light and delicate with a rich chocolate buttercream, as it is so light your guests will want more and more!

Makes 8-10
Prep time:  45 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients
6 large eggs, separated
150g caster sugar
50g Menier cocoa powder

For the icing & filling
200g Menier milk chocolate, chopped
200g icing sugar
200g unsalted butter, softened

To decorate
Icing sugar

Method

1.    Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/350°F/gas mark 4 and line a 23cm x 33cm Swiss roll tin with baking parchment, grease with butter and set aside.
2.    In a large bowl beat the egg yolks and sugar with an electric whisk until creamy and thick.  Sift the cocoa powder and mix thoroughly.  In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites and fold into the cocoa mixture gradually.  Pour the mixture into the tin and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
3.    Allow the cake to cool slightly before turning out of the tin, allow to cool for 30 minutes.
4.    To make the icing, melt the chocolate over a bowl of simmering water.  Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.  Now add the icing sugar and butter to a food mixer and blend until smooth.  Add 2 tbsp of chocolate and mix through.
5.    Place half of the icing mixture in a bowl, this will be used as the filling.  Add the remaining chocolate to the icing mixture in the food mixer and gently blend until smooth, this is the icing for the cake.
6.    For the cake, remove any crusty edges and using a palette knife spread the filling over the whole cake.  Now roll the cake starting from one of the long sides making sure the first roll is tight.  Once the whole cake is rolled, spread the icing over the whole cake.
7.    To decorate, drag a fork through the chocolate icing so it resembles the bark on a log.  Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set and decorate with Easter decorations.


Thursday, 4 April 2019

The BEST Carrot Cake Recipe



The BEST Carrot Cake Recipe
Deliciously simple Carrot Cake suitable for any occasion.  Gorgeous!!

Serves 14
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 ¼ - 1 ½ hours, plus cooling time

Ingredients
400g plain flour
570g castor sugar
5 medium eggs
5 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
450ml vegetable oil
700g (unpeeled) carrots, peeled and grated
150g walnuts, roughly chopped
200g full fat soft cheese, preferably Philadelphia
150g icing sugar, sifted
100g butter, softened


Method
1.    Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/ 350°F/Gas mark 4.  Grease and base line a 26cm (10 ½ inch) diameter and 6.5-7cm (3inch) deep cake tin.
2.    Put the plain flour, castor sugar, eggs, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda, salt and vegetable oil in a large bowl and blend with an electric whisk for at least 5 minutes.  Then add the carrots and walnuts and mix through.
3.    Place the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 1 ¼ - 1 ½ hours or until the skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.  Leave the cake to cool and then remove from the tin to cool thoroughly.
4.    For the topping place the soft cheese, icing sugar and butter into a bowl and mix until smooth. Spread over the cold cake, then place in the fridge until icing is firm. 
5.    The BEST Carrot Cake is now ready to slice, serve and EAT, enjoy!!


Thursday, 28 March 2019

Lemon & Menier White Chocolate Cake





Lemon & Menier White Chocolate Cake
A fantastic light lemon and almond sponge covered in a delicious Menier white chocolate topping!

Serves 10
Prep time 30 minutes
Cooking time 40 minutes

Ingredients
175g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
175g golden caster sugar
4 lemons, zest of 4, juice of 1
4 eggs, separated
100g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g ground almonds

For the topping
200g Menier white chocolate
200ml creme fraiche
Lemon rind, to decorate

Preparation method

1.  Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas Mark 4.  Grease two 20cm sandwich tins and line the bases with baking parchment.


2. Place the sugar into a large bowl and add the butter and lemon zest, beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy then add the egg yolks.  Sift the flour and baking powder over the mixture and fold through lightly.  Then fold through the almonds and lemon juice.  


3. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until they can hold their shape.  Now fold through a third of the egg whites into the cake mixture.  Repeat with another third and then the final third.  Try not to over mix the mixture otherwise you will lose the lightness.


4. Divide the cake mix between the 2 cake tins and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.  Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes and then remove and leave to cool on a wire rack.


5. For the topping, place the chocolate in a bowl and melt over a slightly simmering pan of water and leave to cool.  In a separate bowl whip the crème fraiche until it is thick then fold through the white chocolate.  Place one cake on a serving plate and spoon half the icing onto the cake and top with the other layer of cake.  Spread the rest of the icing on top then allow to set in the fridge for at least one hour.


6.  To decorate the cake, melt the remaining chocolate and spread thinly over a baking tray.  Leave to set in the fridge then sprinkle with lemon rind.  Cut into slices and enjoy!

Friday, 22 March 2019

Tasty Full English Breakfast with a Twist



Tasty Full English Breakfast with a Twist
An absolutely delicious alternative to a traditional Full English – such a tasty dish with a kick!

Serves 4
Prep time:  5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
8 rashers of smoked bacon
8 pork sausages, cut into bite-size pieces
150g chorizo, sliced
350g cherry tomatoes
250g chestnut mushrooms, halved or quartered
1 tsp chilli flakes (add more for an extra kick)
150g baby spinach leaves
4 free range eggs
Freshly ground pepper

Method 
1.    Grill the bacon and to your desired crispiness.
2.    Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and add 1 tbsp of oil.  Add the sausage pieces and fry for 3-4 minutes until cooked through and golden.  Now add the chorizo, tomatoes, mushrooms and chilli flakes and fry for a further 3 minutes.
3.    Heat another frying pan over a medium heat and add 1tbsp of oil and fry your eggs.  Season with pepper and a sprinkling of chilli flakes.
4.    Whilst the eggs are frying add the spinach to the sausage, tomatoes and mushrooms and mix through until the spinach has wilted.  Season to taste.
5.    To serve, divide the sausage mix amongst 4 serving plates and top with the bacon and eggs.  Enjoy!




Thursday, 21 March 2019

Beef Madras



Beef Madras
A great British favourite – this curry is full of spice with melt in the mouth beef!

Serves 4 small portions, 2 large
Prep time:   20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Ingredients
1 cinnamon stick, 2.5cm
10 green cardamom pods
8 cloves
10 black peppercorns
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
6 dried Kashmiri chillies, seeds shaken out
2½ tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, sliced
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 pinch of salt
7500g diced beef/stewing steak
2.5 cm fresh root ginger, peeled
7 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tomatoes
4 whole green chillies, pierced

To serve
4 tbsp single cream
1 handful fresh coriander, chopped
Basmati rice or Indian breads



Method

1.    Place the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, cumin and Kashmiri chillies into a spice grinder or pestle & mortar, grind until you have a fine powder.
2.    Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onions and cook on a gentle heat until softened.  Stir in the ground spices with the turmeric, garam masala, salt and a splash of water.  Cook for 1 minute.
3.    Add the beef and fully coat with the spices, cook until browned all over.
4.    In a small food processor blend the ginger, garlic, tomatoes with a splash of water until you have a smooth puree.  Add the mixture and green chillies to the beef, bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer until all the sauce has almost been absorbed into the beef.
5.    Pour in enough water to cover the beef curry, bring to the boil, cover and reduce to a simmer.  Cook until the beef is tender, around 1 ¼ hours.
6.    Uncover and simmer until you have a thick sauce, season to taste.  Serve the curry with a drizzle of cream, a sprinkling of fresh coriander, basmati rice or Indian breads, enjoy!


Baked Cod with a Chorizo Crumb


Baked Cod with a Chorizo Crumb
This is a simple and quick dish with great flavours!  The chorizo crumb gives the cod another dimension.

Serves 4
Prep time:  10 minutes (plus chill time)
Cooking time:  20 minutes

Ingredients

For the cod
175g chorizo, skin removed, sliced
50g breadcrumbs
25g toasted flaked almonds
Zest of ½ lemon
½ - 1tbsp olive oil plus extra for greasing
4 boneless, skinless cod fillets

For the Aioli
6tbsp mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ lemon, juice only

To serve
seasonal vegetables


Preparation method

1.    Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas mark 6.  
2.    Heat a frying pan to a medium heat and add the chorizo.  Cook until it releases oil and begins to crisp.
3.    Meanwhile, prepare the aioli by placing all the ingredients in a bowl, mix together and season to taste, place in the refrigerator to chill.
4.    Now add the chorizo and its oil to a food processor with the breadcrumbs, almonds, zest and olive oil and blitz until you have a crumb.  Season to taste.
5.    Place the cod on a lightly greased baking tray.  Heap the crumbs onto each fillet and pat down so that they are well covered.  Allow to chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to firm up. Place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the flesh has turned opaque and the crumb is golden.
6.    Remove the cod from the oven and divide between four plates with a serving of vegetables and a good dollop of lemon aioli.  Enjoy!