Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Damson gin & vodka - an update!

It seems like years ago that I started the process of making damson gin and vodka. In fact, it's only been 7 months or so, but that does mean that I was well overdue for the next step - bottling!

I think the results look pretty good so far...

I'm planning on leaving the bottles untouched until Christmas... Though I have kept aside about 100ml of each as a little reward for now. I'll report back with some tasting notes once I get a chance.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Citrus and yoghurt muffins

Here I am again, apologising for being absent for the past couple of months. You would think I'd get sick of begging for forgiveness and just post more often, wouldn't you?

My excuse this time is that I was busy spending a few weeks on holiday in Australia - meeting and getting to know the two cutest nieces in the world! But now I'm back to reality, and rainy London.

Here's little a sneak peak at what's coming up, the fruits of an afternoon baking session with a friend.

From the back: Citrus and yoghurt muffins, ANZAC biscuits
and patty cakes with passionfruit icing.
(Apologies for the picture quality - another thing that I haven't done yet is unpack my computer, so I've had to resort to using my phone)

And we're going to start right now with those delicious citrus muffins!

Citrus and Yoghurt Muffins
Adapted from 500 Cupcakes and Muffins

200g plain flour
175g caster sugar
1 tbs lemon zest
1 tbs orange zest
1 tbs lime zest
1 tbs baking powder
pinch of salt
225g plain yoghurt, fat free
115ml vegetable oil
1 egg

Preheat your oven to 200°C and prepare a 12 hole muffin tray - either grease the tin or line with muffin cases.

In a bowl combine the flour, sugar, zest, baking powder and salt.
In another bowl combine the yoghurt, oil and egg and beat until well mixed.
Stir the dry ingredients into the yoghurt mixture until just combined, being careful not to overmix.

Divide the batter into your prepared muffin tray and bake for about 20 minutes.

These muffins are suitable for freezing - though they are so delicious you might want to eat the whole batch at once!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Dreaming of Spring

It's technically still winter here in the UK - it's less than a week since we last saw snowfall - but there are already signs of Spring in the air. This morning, I was very excited to see the first daffodil blooming in the garden and it looks like there are plenty more right behind it.

I know that it's been a very, very long time since I was last here, but I promise that this time I have a really good excuse. It's been four months since my last post, but it has been an incredibly busy time. We sold our flat. We bought a house. On the other side of London. Which brings me back nicely to the daffodils - our new house comes with the added benefit of our very own (and large) garden.

We also made a couple of exciting additions to our new home...

Please meet Sinclair and Willow - undoubtedly the two cutest kittens that ever existed. They are partly to blame for my long absence here - let's be realistic, who wants to bake muffins or ice cakes when there are kitten cuddles on offer?!

One thing I will definitely be able to make time for come Spring, is broad beans on toast...

Garlic Broad Beans on Toast

500g broad beans, in their shell
2 garlic cloves, crushed
lemon juice

Shell the broad beans and divide into 2-3 groups based on their size. You can peel off the second skin that is on each bean, but this isn't necessary.

Bring a pot of water to the boil and begin blanching the beans. The largest beans will only need about 45-60 seconds and the smallest will only need about 15-20 seconds.

Once all of the beans are blanched, drain them and place them on a tea towel to dry. Heat some olive oil in a pan and add the garlic. Once the garlic begins to colour, add the broad beans and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and fry for another 30 seconds or so.

Pile the beans on top of a slice of fresh, crusty bread.

A perfect Spring breakfast!