Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Cheesy Muffins!

Okay, okay, I went on holiday alright?!  I just couldn't find the time to update the blog in time, sorry!
Here is the promised Cheesy Muffin recipe which is so ludicrously easy that I reckon you might not believe me!  Make sure you grease the tin well.

Cooked some pasta for lunch today.  I read somewhere that cabbage stalks sprout again if they are left in the ground, so I tried it this winter.  And sure enough, little shoots appeared in January and have grown bigger and bigger!  I did the same with my broccoli because I couldn't bear the thought that all that energy went into producing one little broccoli flower.  On my return from holiday, what do I find but a mass of small shoots (perhaps that is what purple sprouting broccoli really is?) so I picked them all today, cabbage and broccoli,  and cooked them in the pasta water for lunch, yum!

I am always looking for a really good cake recipe, moist sponge, fudgy chocolate topping.  So here is my latest version, which is really rather moreish, I must say!  I cooked mine in a rectangular tin and sliced it in half to make a square cake, but I have given the instructions to make a traditional round one.

Have fun in the sun!

Cheesy Muffins

2 cups grated strong Cheddar
2 cups self-raising flour
2 cups milk
mixed herbs, paprika, fried onions and bacon

Yup, that's it!!  Mix everything together until well combined, adding onions or bacon if you like, and spoon into a 12 hole well-greased muffin tin.  Top with a little more cheese and some herbs or paprika and bake at 200 degrees C for about 15 minutes.

Broccoli, Pine Nut and Sultana Pasta   Serves 4

400g pasta (whatever shape you have to hand)
4 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, sliced thinly
3 tbsp sultanas
4 tbsp pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 anchovy fillets, snipped into small pieces
A large handful of sprouting broccoli (and cabbage), cut into bite-sized pieces

Put a frying pan on a medium heat.  Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta as per the packet.  Set the timer for 4 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
Meanwhile, fry the onion in the oil until soft.  Add the sultanas, pine-nuts, garlic and anchovy pieces.  Cook, stirring occasionally, unitl everything is golden and the anchovies have melted away.  Season well with salt and pepper.
When the timer goes, drop the broccoli in with the pasta to cook for 4 minutes.

Drain the pasta and broccoli water into a large serving dish (to warm the dish).  Tip all but 3 tbsp of the water out of the serving dish and add the pasta, broccoli and the sauce ingredients.  Mix together thoroughly and taste for seasoning.  Enjoy!

Sticky Chocolate Sponge with Fudge Topping

250g soft butter or margarine
250g caster sugar
250g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp cocoa, mixed with 5 tbs milk
4 eggs

Whizz all the ingredients in a processor or with an electric mixer until combined.  Pour into two greased and lined 7cm sponge tins and bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees C.   Cool.

Whizz together 300g icing sugar, 100g soft butter, 40ml milk and 40g cocoa powder.  Spread a third of the mixture over one cake, place the other cake on top and spread the rest of the icing over the top and sides.  Decorate with little Easter eggs!

Aren't I lucky.... this is where I have been for the week!!