Chocolate Orange Drizzle Loaf

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What better way to spend a cold rainy weekend than baking? I’ve become a massive fan of lemon drizzle cakes, which inspired me to try a jaffa cake themed drizzle. Drizzle cakes seem ideal for freezing in portion sizes for snacks at work and still being moist when I come to eating them.

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 170g self raising flour
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 170g butter
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • Milk

Drizzle:

  • Juice of 2 oranges
  • 110g icing sugar

Method

  1. Turn on oven to 180’C and grease a loaf tin
  2. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, eggs and zest
  3. Split the mixture into 2 bowls. Into one of them add the cocoa powder and a touch of milk until it’s the same consistency as the other
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture into the loaf tin, then spoon the plain mixture ontop before running a knife through creating a marble effect
  5. Cook for 35 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean
  6. Mix the orange juice and icing sugar in a bowl. When cooked, poke all over with a skewer then spoon the orange juice mixture ontop.
  7. Leave until cool then slice and serve.

Spinach, feta and sundried tomato burek

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Finally I have got around to making some more interesting lunches for work. This worked rather well

Ingredients:
400g spinach
200g feta
4 eggs
285g jar of sundries tomatoes in oil
6 sheets filo pastry

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Method:
1) Put the spinach in a big saucepan with a cm of water and heat until wilted (a few mins)
2) Chop the spinach into a bowl, add crumbled feta and eggs.
3) Drain as much water as possible from the spinach, chop it and mix into the bowl with the other ingredients
4) Take a 20cm round tin and grease the bottom with the sundried tomato oil. Place the first layer of filo into the bottom, grease with oil, add another layer of filo, repeat until there are 3 layers. Then put half of the spinach mixture in the filo and fold the filo scrunched into the middle so that it covers the innards. Repeat for the 2nd pan with the remaining 3 layers of filo and spinach mixture. Brush the top of each with the oil.
5) Bake at 180’C for 30 mins until golden brown and cooked on the bottom.

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Arnos Vale Cemetery

Bristol

This may sound odd, but something I’ve wanted to see for a while is the Arnos Vale Cemetery. It was built in 1939 and features lots of beautiful buildings and woodland.

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There are also some more modern pieces of stonework including this, which I rather liked, and a box into which you had to place a stone into your favourite part.

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Hidden in the woods are lots of monuments of various different designs. There are a myriad of different paths to explore.

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There are also exhibits in the crypt of a church, there is one at the moment about Bristol during the war with some interesting information about the hospitals of the area.

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This is the tomb of Raja Rammohun Roy who there is a statue of in College Green.

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I really recommend a visit to the cemetery, and most importantly it has a tea shop for those that way inclined.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Aeroplanes

baking, chocolate

After the longest baking hiatus of my life (at least a fortnight, eek), I couldn’t resist the excuse to use up some flour. That lead to double chocolate shortbread, and as santa gave me an aeroplane cookie cutter for Christmas it seemed right to give that a go.

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Ingredients:

175g salted butter, left out of the fridge

85g caster sugar

200g plain flour

2tbsp cocoa powder

100g milk chocolate

This recipe was really quick and easy, and I froze half of the dough before baking meaning that there’s even more for another time.

First of all mix the sugar and butter in a bowl with a wooden spoon.

Then add the flour and cocoa powder, mixing until it forms into a dough. Then add the chocolate chips.

Roll out onto baking parchment until around 1cm thick. Then either cut into fingers or use a cookie cutter to form shapes. The chocolate chips make any very detailed shapes a bit tricky, but I managed it, just about. My wings did fall off after baking, but that just gave me a good excuse to eat those bits, I’m not complaining!

Bake at 180’C for 15 mins and leave to cool on the tray.

Recipe taken from http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1272633/double-chocolate-shortbreads

Bobbing about on Stavros

Sailing

Over the Easter holidays I slacked off revision and jumped on board a tall ship for a trip between Liverpool and Cardiff. As ever the wind was in completely the wrong direction, so we got to stop at a few places along the way. The first was Douglas on the Isle of Man, where we were freed to explore the town (aka pubs). I was on watch bright and early in the morning so got to see a pretty great sunrise, it was almost worth getting up at 4am for. Douglas at sunrise Finally, turning into the Bristol channel, the wind hit the right direction, and we got to do some night watches and see some incredible sunrises and sunsets. IMG_1134 After all of that and some exploration of Cardiff, it was definitely time for a rest… IMG_1181