Sunday, 16 September 2012

White Chocolate and Raspberry Muffins.

Upon reaching this weekend all I really wanted to do was curl up with the latest episode of MasterChef. Seriously, work had been crazy and I was feeling rather under the weather. However I must say, when I do finally reach the weekend after a busy week I often find it hard to turn off and just allow myself to laze around. 

To keep myself entertained and housebound in an attempt to give my body the quiet weekend it obviously needed I decided to bake. It ended up being quite an elaborate affair.  

Amongst the homemade pizza, shortbread and various other culinary adventures I embarked on over this weekend these muffins were the stars. The tart raspberries marry wonderfully with the sweet white chocolate and the buttermilk keeps the muffins fabulously moist. The seal of approval for me was my dad eating 2 in one 4pm sitting.

Adapted from Lorraine Pascale’s ‘Home Cooking Made Easy’,
Makes 12 muffins.

350g self-raising flour
1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
Pinch of Salt
250g Soft brown sugar, plus extra for topping
350ml buttermilk
2 eggs
150g butter, melted and cooled
200g raspberries
150g white chocolate in small-ish chunks.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C and lines your muffin tins with squares of baking parchment.

Put the flour, bicarb, salt and sugar in a big bowl and stir to combine. Add the buttermilk, eggs and butter and stir everything to get a smooth thick batter.

Fold in the raspberries and chocolate and spoon evenly into your tin.

Bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden then give each muffin a sprinkling of the sugar and put back in the oven for 10 minutes more to finish baking until a deep golden color.

Serve hot or cold. 

***For anyone who reads this far down this post - I now have around a dozen muffins for my dad and I to work our way through. If anyone wants to stop by and contribute to the eating effort it would be greatly appreciated. Well done for reading to the end.***

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Meat and Two Veg. Fancy Style.

So despite my declarations of loyalty to my little Blog unsurprisingly something came along to bugger them. To explain my month long absence could be rather complicated but to put it simply, a full time London based job, whilst still trying to maintain my Brighton citizenship along with my sanity and some semblance of a social life is not cohesive with a large amount of free time.

Before you get me wrong though, I enjoy the busy-ness and the new job. It is film production orientated and Old Street based and a steady income whilst learning loads are some of the larger perks of the situation. However. It is also admittedly rather dangerous regarding my retail habits. I managed to spend £50 in Urban Outfitters yesterday and then a further £70 in Zara (must open a saving account and start doing sensible things with my money).

But anyway back to the case in hand. This recipe is firm family favorite and with my little sister heading back to boarding school Sunday evening it seemed like a fitting way to set her up for the week. It is absolutely delicious but surprisingly light, given of course you don’t stuff yourself, but I must say it probably doesn’t exactly fit the Indian summer we’ve been subjected to over the last few weeks.

Serves 4

4 Venison Steaks at room temperature trimmed and lightly covered in olive oil and seasoned.
1kg floury potato, Maris Piper or something similar
1 head of cabbage, shredded
a couple of sprigs of rosemary
½ a red onion finely chopped
½ a garlic clove finely sliced
2 good knobs of butter
400ml red wine
400ml good stock, ideally chicken
1 dessert spoon red currant jelly
olive oil
salt and pepper

Firstly chop your spuds so they’re about the size of a big walnut and par boil them for a few minutes.

Drain them and let them sit and steam for a minute whilst you shred your cabbage.

Tip the potatoes back into your empty pan, cover them in a couple of good glugs of olive oil, season liberally and gently rough them up a bit. The idea is to get the edges of each potato to go a bit flaky and floury but these bits to stay stuck to the potato with the olive oil because this is the bit that will go amazingly crunchy when roasted.

Tip them out onto a roasting tray and nestle a few sprigs of rosemary rubbed with olive oil amongst them. Stick the whole lot in a hot oven say about 220 degrees turning every 15 minutes until they’re gloriously golden and crunchy (around 30-40 minutes).

Whilst your potatoes are roasting get on with your sauce, in a knob of melted butter and a glug of oil sweat the onion and when soft add a sprig of rosemary and your garlic. 

Sweat that until fragrant, add your stock and wine and leave to simmer until it has reduced by two thirds. At this point stir you can sieve the sauce if you want, I couldn’t be bothered.

Stir in the red currant jelly and whisk in a cold knob of butter to thicken the sauce slightly. Leave to keep warm.

Steam your cabbage and when everything is ready it's venison o'clock. 
Fry for 5 minutes on each side for medium and 4 on each side for rare, if you must have it well done go ahead and massacre it but you might as well go and have a chew on a pair of old leather boots. Just saying.
(Apologies for how fluro the photos are. My dad's kitchen lights combined with a crappy camera don't equal the most forgiving photos. )