Frugal


I recently did a lot of baking over the weekend. Me and my son had been out picking blackberries and we had 1.1kilos, so I thought I would make some cakes and buns.

The first thing I made was this blackberry sponge cake with cream. Trust me this is so delicious you will be hard pressed to get a piece once the family see it.

  • 200gms self raising flour
  • 200gms butter, softened
  • 200gms caster sugar
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 300ml double cream
  • 200gms blackberries and 3 handfuls for the cream
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C or Gas mark 4.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. I use a hand blender for this.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time as you continue to mix.
  4. Once mixed together add the extract.
  5. Stop blending if using a hand blender then slowly fold in the blackberries. Remember to keep 3 handfuls for the cream.
  6. Slowly fold in the flour. Keep folding the ingredients together until you have a batter like consistency. As you are folding the mixture, try not to crush the berries.
  7. Take 2 20cm cake tins and divide the mixture between the 2.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer, inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  9. Once the cakes are cold mix the cream with 2tsb of sugar until the cream starts to harden. Stop mixing then fold in the 3 handfuls of berries into the cream. The idea is not to mix too much so as you crush the berries.
  10. Take a palate knife or any type of knife if you don’t have a palette knife. Spread the cream over the top of one of the cakes. When covered gently place the second cake on top and push down carefully.

  11. Sprinkle the cake with caster sugar and serve.
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On Sunday I decided to do some baking. One of the things I made was this succulent, tasty carrot cake.

Carrot Cake

  • 170gms brown sugar
  • 170gms sunflower oil
  • 170gms self raising flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 130gms grated carrots
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp ground nutmeg. If you have fresh all the better as it will taste better
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C or gas mark 4.
  2. Line an 18cm cake tin with greaseproof paper.
  3. Add sugar to a mixing bowl along with the oil and eggs. Mix everything together then stir in the carrots and lemon zest.
  4. Sift in the flour, bicarb and the spices then mix everything together.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin.
  6. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until you can slide a skewer in and and it comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack. Remove the paper and either allow to totally cool or serve immediately with some cream or ice cream.

This is a really great carrot cake recipe. It’s moist, delicious and should be something you try to make at least once.

One of the great things when growing your own vegetables is making things with them once they are ready. This recipe is typical of the things you can make.

These Beetroot Wedge’s are tasty and will melt in the mouth especially when you use your own home grown beetroots.

Ingredients

  • 500g beetroot
  • 200g spinach
  • 70g Cheddar cheese
  • 2 squares of puff pastry
  • 2tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • Ground black pepper
  • Sesame seeds

Method

  • Clean the beets and cut the ends away but DO NOT PEEL.
  • Cook them in lightly salted water until soft and tender then rinse under cold water.
  • Scrape away the peel.
  • Fry the spinach in olive oil until all the water in the spinach has dissipated then let the spinach cool.
  • Cut the beetroots into cubes and mix with the cheese and spinach. Season with black pepper and salt (if required)
  • Set the oven on 225C or gas mark 6.
  • Take the puff pastry and roll out into small squares. Remember you will be turning them into triangles so not too large.
  • Fill the squares with the mixture.
  • Take one edge of the pastry and fold creating a triangle. Firm the edges with a fork.
  • Brush with the egg and sprinkle sesame seeds liberally over the triangles.
  • Cook in the oven for 18-20 minutes depending on the type of oven you have, or until light brown.
  • Leave to cool before enjoying.

These beetroot wedges are great with honey baked red onions!

Heres a quick and tasty meal you can try now that the nights are drawing in and it looks like summer is over for this year.

Sausage casserole is really simple to make, you can add anything you want as it’s so adaptable. If you do try this let me know how you went on, especially if you changed or added other ingredients.

Ingredients

Serves 4-6

  1. 1tsp garlic powder
  2. 1tsp ginger powder
  3. Salt & pepper to taste
  4. 1 litre veg stock
  5. 4 slices of bacon
  6. 4 sausage
  7. 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
  8. 1 onion, peeled and cut into small pieces
  9. 300g can cannellini beans
  10. ½ cup of dried chickpeas (Before you use them soak overnight in water)
  11. 400g can chopped tomatoes
  12. ½ cup of dried butter beans (Before you use them soak overnight in water)

Method

  1. Cook the sliced potatoes in salted water until tender.
  2. Heat the oven to 200C or gas mark 6.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, take a large casserole dish and put all the other ingredients in, stirring everything together.
  4. Add any herbs and spices you have and stir everything together.
  5. If needed top up with water until everything is covered. Put the lid back on and place in the centre of the oven.
  6. Cook for 1 hour then add the potatoes and cook for a further 30 minutes or until everything is cooked.
  7. Serve in big bowls with homemade crusty bread.

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Milk Chocolate Tart

Rich, creamy and chocolaty, that’s how you can explain how this lovely tart tastes. If you use a good quality chocolate then this chocolate tart will be so scrumptious everyone will be begging you for the recipe. Another great way of using that homemade shortcrust pastry you have just made!

Ingredients
Base

  • 300g white flour
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 150g butter cut into cubes
  • 1 egg

Filling

  • 300g milk chocolate. Either Galaxy of Dairy Milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 50g sugar

Method

Base

  1. Mix the flour and sugar together in a mixing bowl then add the egg and butter, mixing until mixed together.
  2. Put the dough inside a freezer bag or clingfilm then leave to settle in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Take the dough and roll it out so it fits inside a large quiche or tart tin.
  4. Add baking beans to the base.
  5. Pre-bake the tart base in the oven on 200C or gas mark 6 for 10 minutes then remove. Remove the baking beans and cook for another 5 minutes before removing and allowing to cool.

Filling

  1. Melt chocolate over boiling water until soft and melted. Don’t overdo this step as the chocolate will go lumpy.
  2. Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together then add the melted chocolate slowly to the mixture whisking as you pour the chocolate into the mix.
  3. Pour the mixture onto the pre-baked tart and spread evenly over the base.
  4. Allow the chocolate to cool and set in the fridge for about 2 hours

Serve with either whipped cream, ice cream or on it’s own for a rich and tasty chocolate taste.

Everyone loves apple pie, if you don’t then I will eat it as I love it, providing there’s no cinnamon in it!

What will make this pie taste even more delicious is to use your own, homegrown apples picked fresh from your own trees. I am beginning to slaver just thinking about that.

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 400g plain flour
  • 200g butter or 100g butter and 100g lard
  • 4 tbsp. ice cold water

Filling

  • 1.5-2.0kg apples preferably Bramley. Peeled, de-cored and cut into slices

    Use whatever apples you have grown

  • 140g golden caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp. water

Ingredients Shortcrust Pastry

  • 400g Plain flour
  • 100g Lard at room temperature
  • 100g Butter at room temperature
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 4tbsp. Ice cold water

Method Shortcrust Pastry

  1. Sieve the salt and flour into a mixing bowl.
  2. Cut the lard and butter into small manageable pieces and add to the flour in the bowl.
  3. With a round edged knife (butter knife is good for this) mix the ingredients together until they are fairly mixed together. Then with your fingertips lightly rub the ingredients together until they resemble breadcrumbs.
  4. Sprinkle 1tbsp. of cold water over the ingredients and rub in.
  5. Repeat until you have used the water then with the knife bring the ingredients together to make a dough. You want the dough that’s not to sticky or dry so you may have to add or reduce the water you use.
  6. Finally with your fingertips once more, bring the dough together to form a smooth dough. Add cold water if needed as you bring the dough together.
  7. Put the dough in a plastic bag or Clingfilm and leave to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge. This is important as it gives the dough time to get more elastic, making it easier to roll out.
  8. After 30 minutes roll out to the desired size on a floured surface.

Method Pie

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C or gas Mark 5.
  2. Put the apples and sugar into a large mixing bowl and mix together.
  3. Get a large pie tin or ovenproof plate and grease.
  4. Take the dough out of the fridge and cut in half. Roll one half out on a floured surface. You want the pastry to be slightly bigger than the tin or

    Rolling out the shortcrust pastry

    plate.

  5. Gently put the pastry on the tin pressing down into all the nooks and crannies. Trim away the edges and brush the edge with milk.
  6. Take the apples and spread them all over the base leaving about 2cm’s free at the edge so you can seal the pie.
  7. Roll out the 2nd half of pastry. Again you want the pastry to be slightly bigger than the plate.
  8. Carefully put the pastry over a plate

    Place the lid over the apples and press it down at the edges making a seal. Trim away the edges then with your fingers finish it off by crimping the edges all way round sealing the apples in.

  9. Make 3 slits on top of the lid so steam can escape. Brush the finished pie with milk then put in the oven.

    With a knife, carefully remove any excess pastry

    Ready for the oven

  10. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the pastry is a golden colour. Remove and leave to cool before serving with ice cream, custard or cream.

 

 

 

 

 

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