Tag Archives: Cook

Video Tip! How To Peel Ginger With A Teaspoon

Well…so this is exciting! The Daily Home has officially now entered the world of the moving picture. How amazingly modern.

This video illustrates a genuinely useful method which has saved me loads of time and countless bits of ginger. Enjoy!

(Also, please bear with me; I know that my filmaking skills are worse than rubbish, but they will get better. Ahem…)

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Love,

Jessy xxx

Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Ever wondered how to make a bed properly, how to cook easy bread from scratch, how to make the perfect cake, how to get tough stains out easily and quickly? My friends, I am rubbish at many things but due to a strange addiction to Mrs Beeton in my early teens and a very accomplished group of friends and family, I have access to a fairly sizeable amount of domestic knowledge. Test me – send me your domestic conundrums and we will see what we can do!

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Deliciously Decadant Dulche de Leche Brownies

I love brownies. I imagine that pretty much everyone loves brownies. But here’s the question: how to make them better? What’s the ultimate brownie?

I was rummaging through my cupboards the other day when I found a jar of Dulche de Leche. This traditional Argentinian caramel is, in my humble opinion, one of the most delicious things in the entire world! (and it’s low fat too. Yes, seriously).

You can make it yourself by gently boiling a tin of condensed milk, but I must confess I tend to buy it as I never get quite as amazing results.

Mmm, just look at that. Doesn’t it look fabulous?

So, I thought; why not combine dense, squidgy chocolate brownies with a swirl of delicious Dulche de Leche? Surely one of the best, most indulgent puddings ever!

The brownie recipe is adapted from a book called ‘The Sweet Life in Paris’ – well worth a read! I have jigged around the quantites, and added ground almonds to make it a little denser and moister.

What you’ll need:

100 grams plain flour

40 grams ground almonds

120g butter, at room temperature, plus a little extra for greasing the tin

175 dark chocolate, finely chopped (use a brand with a high cocoa content of at least 70% – Green & Blacks is good and reliable)

25g cocoa powder

3 large eggs

200 grams soft light brown sugar

1 teaspoon good-quality vanilla extract

Roughly 250ml Dulche de Leche (this is variable, use a little more or a little less depending on your preference, but don’t go overboard or your brownies won’t set!) I like Casa Argentina Dulche de Leche, available from Waitrose – it comes in a 450g glass jar and it’s the smoothest I’ve found.

Equipment:

An 8-inch (20cm) square cake tin

A length of tin foil

A hand or balloon whisk

A wooden spoon or spatula

A saucepan

A wire cooling rack

A spoon and knife

Step One:

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.

Grease your cake tin lightly with butter, and line with the tin foil, like so:

You might need to use two pieces of foil and overlap them.

Grease the tin again, over the foil.

Using tin foil gives the outer edge of the brownie a good, chewy outer edge and stops it from falling apart when you try to cut it – important in this case because this is a very squidgy brownie!

Step Two:

Melt the butter on a low heat in a saucepan, until is it beginning to froth gently.

Now add the chopped chocolate – stir it continuously until the chocolate has fully melted and the mixture is smooth.

Now, take the pan off the heat, and whisk in the cocoa powder.

Step Three:

Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition. Your mixture might go a little lumpy at this point; if it does, don’t worry! It’s just the eggs reacting to the slightly warm mixture. It’s not a problem.


Now, fold in the sugar, then the flour, and finally your vanilla extract.

This will give you a beautifully rich, dense and extremely thick mixture!

Step Four:

Now for the fun bit!

Assemble your greased and lined cake tin, your brownie mixture and the Dulche de Leche.

Spoon half of your brownie mixture into the cake tin, levelling it gently with a spoon.

Make sure it gets into all the corners! Don’t worry; again, it will look a bit lumpy.

Now, using a spoon, drop just under half of the Dulche de Leche on top of the brownie mixture, in even blobs. Swirl a knife through the mixture carefully.

Next, spoon over the rest of your brownie mixture on top. Level the top as best you can, then drop the rest of your Dulche de Leche into the centre of your mixture.

Using a knife, very gently swirl it out until you have a pretty swirled pattern!

Step Four:

Pop the tray in the oven. After half an hour, take the tray out. If the centre feels just lightly firm, they are done! If the centre is not firm, pop back in the oven for up to an extra ten minutes.

Once your brownies are done, take them out of the oven and leave the tray to rest for five minutes.

Then, take your wire cooling rack and gently lay it on top of the brownie tray. In one quick motion, turn it over so that the tray is upside-down on top of the cooling rack. Carefully lift the tin off the top of the brownies – the foil should still be on top of the mixture.

Wait for another five minutes, then gently peel the foil off the brownies – be patient, if you do it too early you’ll lose chunks of brownie when peeling it off!

Now, slide onto a chopping board, cut into squares and enjoy! These are great on their own, cold or fresh out of the oven, or warmed through with a dollop of cream.

These brownies will keep quite happily in the fridge or an airtight container for up to three days.

Note: I am really sorry but I don’t have a picture of the finished article; Alex and his brother arrived home and thought it would be fun to start pulling my hair and taking pictures of me with ‘stretch face’ and so I sort of forgot to take the last batch of photo’s.


However, I promise you, these are utterly delicious, and well worth a bake.

See you tomorrow!

Love,

Jessy xxx

Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Ever wondered how to make a bed properly, how to cook easy bread from scratch, how to make the perfect cake, how to get tough stains out easily and quickly? My friends, I am rubbish at many things but due to a strange addiction to Mrs Beeton in my early teens and a very accomplished group of friends and family, I have access to a fairly sizeable amount of domestic knowledge. Test me – send me your domestic conundrums and we will see what we can do!

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Skinny Kitchen: Alex’s Thai Beef Salad

Hello all! I’m very sorry I didn’t post anything yesterday.

I was at Chessington World of Adventures regressing to my childhood, having my face painted like a bat, and literally falling out of my seat in excitement for Kat Brown’s birthday.

Ahem.

So, to make up for it, i’m giving you Alex’s recipe for Thai Beef Salad. This salad is nothing short of legendary, and that is not an exaggeration.

Alex and I eat this for supper every single Monday night pretty much without fail; I actually get withdrawal symptoms if I don’t. It’s jam-packed full of goodness, light and healthy, and incredibly delicious – just what you need after a heavy weekend and a Sunday roast!

This recipe serves two – please note that we were making extra when we took the photo’s, so don’t worry if the quantities look a little large!

Also, this recipe is how we make it, and can be easily adapted to suit what you have. If you have little gem lettuces in the fridge, use them; likewise with the mangetout and sugersnap peas. Make it your own!

What you’ll need:      

For the salad:

2 steaks, or 1 approximately 500g cut of beef – use a chewy and flavoursome cut, such as Rump or Onglet. The texture in this salad is all about the chewy steak and the contrasting crispy vegetables, so don’t worry about spending money on expensive fillet. Do not worry about the fat; you’ll trim this off before eating.

1 small iceberg lettuce

1 small bag mangetout

1 small bag sugersnap peas

2 spring onions

3 vine tomatoes

1/4 of a cucumber

1 handful each of fresh Coriander, Basil and Mint

For the dressing:

2 Birdseye Chillis (optional)

1 tablespoon Palm Sugar (available from most supermarkets or Oriental food shops)

Juice of 2 limes

1 tablespoon fish sauce

Equipment:

Two chopping boards and sharp knives (one for the meat, one for the vegetables)

A large mixing bowl

A small heatproof bowl or pan, for blanching the vegetables.

A griddle pan

A pestle and mortar for your dressing

Step One:

First of all, we need to griddle the steak.

If your meat is in one piece, cut it into equal-sized steaks.

Season your steak well with salt, pepper, and a little olive oil. Massage it into the steak until well covered.

Heat a griddle pan on a high heat until it is smoking. Do not put any oil in the pan; you have already oiled your steaks.

Sear your steak until it is to your liking. In my opinion, this recipe is best with rare steak, and for this 1-2 minutes on each side (depending on the thickness of the steak) is perfect.

Once you have griddled your steaks, take them off the heat, put on a  chopping board and leave to rest.

Step Two:

Using a sharp knife, shred your lettuce. We have also added ½ a bag of mixed salad here, as we had it in the fridge and needed to use it. Remember, this recipe is versatile and can be easily adapted to suit what you have in your fridge!

Put your lettuce into the large mixing bowl.

Cut your tomatoes in half and, using a teaspoon, scrape out the seeds.

 Then slice them into thin strips and put into the bowl with your lettuce.

Chop your spring onions and cucumber, discarding the cucumber seeds, and put into the bowl with your lettuce and tomatoes.

Tear off a handful each of the Coriander, Basil and Mint, and add to your salad ingredients.

Step Three:

Boil a kettle. Trim the mangetout and sugar snap peas, and place them into your small bowl or pan. When the kettle has boiled, pour over the boiling water, and blanch the vegetables until just softened.

Sieve the vegetables out and run under the cold tap to prevent them from cooking any further.

Place into the mixing bowl with the rest of your salad ingredients.

Step Four:

By now your beef ought to be well-rested. Trim the beef into thin strips, cutting of any pieces of fat as you go.

Pop the beef into the salad bowl.

Step Five:

Now to make your dressing!

Chop your Birdseye chillis finely, if using.

Place the palm sugar into the pestle and mortar, and grind a little to loosen the paste. Then add your lime juice, chillis and fish sauce. Try not to get any lime pips into the dressing.

Taste a little on the end of a teaspoon; the dressing ought to be equally sweet, sharp and salty. If more salt is required, add a little more fish sauce, if  it’s not sweet enough, add a little more palm sugar, and if it’s not fresh and sharp enough, add a little more lime.

Adjust the dressing until it is to your liking, and once it’s perfect, drizzle it all over your salad ingredients and give it all a good mix around.

Serve into individual bowls and eat immediately.

Perfect!

See you tomorrow.

Love,

Jessy xxx

Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Ever wondered how to make a bed properly, how to cook easy bread from scratch, how to make the perfect cake, how to get tough stains out easily and quickly? My friends, I am rubbish at many things but due to a strange addiction to Mrs Beeton in my early teens and a very accomplished group of friends and family, I have access to a fairly sizeable amount of domestic knowledge. Test me – send me your domestic conundrums and we will see what we can do!

Note: We usually use the Ginger Pig when buying our meat in Borough market. However, on this occasion, we bought this beautiful piece of beef from the Northfield Farm stall, and it was exceptional. The butcher on the stall was also very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.

No prior connection, etc etc – just wanted to give them a mention as it was such good meat!

You can find Northfield Farm’s website here.

Tel: 01664 474271

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Healthy Autumn Comfort Food: Glorious Butternut Squash and Ginger Soup

I spent a lovely day with my mother on Wednesday, and she showed me what she had been growing.

It was utterly glorious; autumn was everywhere, in the crisp, cold air; in the fallen apples littering the floor mingling with the leaves…and in this simply beautiful butternut squash!

Being the best mummy in the world, she let me have it, and I ran back to London clutching it in my paws, trying to work out what best to do with it.

In the end, I decided on a classic, simple butternut squash soup. This recipe uses ginger and cumin for a touch of depth, and it fills the house with the most glorious aroma whilst it is cooking.

This delicious soup is easy, quick to make, and freezes beautifully. Just the thing on a cold autumnal evening; serve with a big hunk of good crusty bread!

What you’ll need:

A good knob of butter

One butternut squash (or two x 250g bags prepared cubed squash from any supermarket)

500ml good quality vegetable stock (If you don’t have any homemade stuff, I find Knorr Stock Pots really good)

One large onion, roughly chopped

1 clove garlic, roughly chopped

A few slices of ginger, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon ground ginger)

1 teaspoon nutmeg

2 teaspoons ground cumin

Equipment:

A chopping board and sharp knife

A saucepan

A blender

 

Step One:

Melt a generous knob of butter in a pan under a low heat. Add your roughly chopped onion, garlic and ginger to the pan and let it gently cook down, stirring occasionally.

Step Two:

Whilst your onion, garlic and ginger are gently softening, cut the butternut squash in half. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon…

…and then cut into rough cubes.

Step Three:

By now, your onions, garlic and ginger ought to be beautifully softened, but not browned. Pop the butternut squash into the pan, and add the ground cumin and nutmeg. Enjoy that small, isn’t it glorious?

Step Four:

Now, pour in your vegetable stock , turn the heat up slightly, and pop the lid on your pan.

Now, go and have a glass of wine or something; let it simmer away gently for about half an hour, stirring occasionally, until the squash is softened. Take the lid off for the final ten minutes if you remember.

Step Five:

Put the mixture into the blender.

Blend until it is smooth, in batches if you need to. If you like, you can always skip this step and leave it chunky, but I find that blending it really brings out that amazing velvety-ness.

Step Six:

Pop it back in the saucepan, heat it gently, check the seasoning (I like lashings of black pepper with this soup) and serve.

Enjoy it on its own, or with a decadent knob of butter or Crème fraiche in the middle, with a lovely hunk of good bread. Bliss!

 See you on Monday. Have a glorious weekend!

Love,

Jessy xxx

Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Ever wondered how to make a bed properly, how to cook easy bread from scratch, how to make the perfect cake, how to get tough stains out easily and quickly? My friends, I am rubbish at many things but due to a strange addiction to Mrs Beeton in my early teens and a very accomplished group of friends and family, I have access to a fairly sizeable amount of domestic knowledge. Test me – send me your domestic conundrums and we will see what we can do!

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