Recipe – French Toast (my version)

Looks fancy, tastes absolutely delicious, and is incredibly easy to make.

French toast is one of those “posh” breakfast items that you think will take too long to make, but really – I just made 8 rounds in 5 minutes (minus the clean up – which I’m going to do after I’ve finished this post).

I first had French toast when I went to stay with my fathers’ friends, in Wisconsin, USA, and it was sublime!  However, when I got home, I couldn’t remember exactly how my host made it, so I winged it…  It worked out well, because now it’s a family favourite – even Donut (aged 2) has just wolfed down two slices!

Ingredients

3 large eggs

A good splash of milk (whole / full fat milk is best)

White bread (this recipe accounts for 8 slices)

Sweet mixed spice (nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, mace, allspice, etc. – readily available in supermarkets, such as Asda, Tesco, etc.)

Coconut oil – for frying

Toppings – golden syrup, honey, seasonal fruit, icing / powdered sugar…

Method

  1. Mix the eggs, milk, and a good shaking of the mixed spice in a bowl – ensure the bowl is big enough to fit a slice of bread, without bending it.
  2. Heat the coconut oil over a medium to high heat, in a frying pan.
  3. Place a single slice of bread in the egg mixture, and turn it over – make sure the round of bread is fully covered.
  4. Add the egg-mix covered bread to the frying pan, and give an extra little shake of the mixed spice.  Leave for 30 seconds or so, then turn it over – repeat the process by adding another little shaking of the mixed spice.  After another 30 seconds, turn the bread over for one final couple of seconds – just to allow the second shaking of mixed spice “cook” a little.
  5. Repeat the process with as many rounds of bread you can…
  6. Serve with a helping of syrup or honey, fruit, such as raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, or icing / powdered sugar.
  7. Best enjoyed hot / warm, although, rather lush cold too, ha ha.
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The French toast shown above is an image found on Google…  My French toast was scoffed before I could even think of getting my camera!

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Sweet Egg Bread Breakfast

As Donut was kind enough to wait until 7am to wake up (very proud), I gave him his bottle, and I wondered what I should make for breakfast this morning.

I have a tendency to buy eggs, pop them in the fridge (although, technically, you shouldn’t store eggs in the fridge – they should be kept at room temperature – it’s just that my kitchen is SO hot!) and then forget all about them.  What usually happens next is that I fancy a fried or scrambled egg, so I go to the fridge, and then cringe as I look at the “use by” date.

Today was no exception…  I opened the fridge, and I starred at the five eggs that were sitting in the fridge.  They were still in date, as I had only purchased them on Thursday evening.  I realised that I had also only 6 rounds of bread left…  Now breakfast is an easy choice when you have these essential ingredients.

If you use 2 rounds per person, this breakfast costs approx. 50p per person.

Ingredients

1 egg per person

Splash of milk

1 or 2 rounds of bread per person

A good portion of cinnamon / sweet mixed spice powder (I only have sweet mixed spice)

Splash of oil (for frying)

Golden or Maple Syrup

Method

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and a good sprinkling of your powdered cinnamon (or sweet mixed spice).
  2. Place enough oil in a frying pan, and heat gently.
  3. Dip the bread – one round at a time – in to the egg mixture, and place in the frying pan.  Sprinkle a little more of the powdered cinnamon (or sweet mixed spice) on to the bread.  **Note:  Do not “dip” more than one round of bread at a time in to the egg mixture unless you have enough room in your frying pan.
  4. Allow to fry for approx. 2 minutes, then turn over.  Add a touch more powdered cinnamon (or sweet mixed spice) to the round of bread, then allow to fry for another 2 minutes.  Turn over once more to quickly “seal” in the powdered cinnamon (or sweet mixed spice).
  5. Place on your plate, and serve either on its’ own, or with a lashing of golden / maple syrup.

This dish is best served hot 🙂

I ended up with excess egg mixture at the end, so I just put a drop more oil in the pan and poured the egg mix directly in.  It was like a sweet omelette.  Again, I poured a little of the syrup over the finished dish.

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Lemon Meringue Pie

This is the first time I have made a lemon meringue pie from scratch…

Being 37 weeks pregnant, I found this quite hard going to make, as the constant standing, and the heat in the kitchen got to me, so this whole recipe took MUCH longer than it was supposed to, but I have to sa it was worth the effort.  Not only does it look good, it also tastes good.  Just ask the hubby!!

With the ingredients in this recipe, I managed to make two whole lemon meringue pies.

Ingredients

For the pastry
  • 225g/8oz plain flour

  • 175g/6oz butter

  • 45g/1¾oz icing sugar (really!)

  • 1 large egg, beaten

For the lemon filling
  • 6 lemons, zest and juice

  • 65g/2¼oz cornflour

  • 250g/9oz caster sugar

  • 6 egg yolks

For the meringue topping
  • 4 egg whites

  • 225g/8oz caster sugar

  • 2 tsp cornflour (helps to ‘thicken’ the finished result)

Preparation method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C (160C for fan assisted)
  2. First make the pastry. Measure the flour and butter into a food processor and blend together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the icing sugar, egg and one tablespoon of water and whizz again until combined to a ball.
  3. Tip the pastry onto a work surface and roll out to a 3mm thickness. Use the rolling pin to lift the pastry up and transfer it to line 2x9in loose-bottomed flan tins OR foil pie/flan trays. Be careful not to stretch the pastry as you tuck it into the corners. Cover in cling film and place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
  4. Take the pastry-lined tins out of the fridge and trim the excess pastry. Press the top edge of the pastry so that it stands slightly higher than the top of the tins.
  5. Line the pastry cases with parchment and fill with baking beans OR you can use a fork to prick all over the bases (if you don’t have any baking beans). If you have used the beans, bake for about 15 minutes then remove the beans and parchment and return to the oven for a further five minutes.  Otherwise, bake the pastry for 20 minutes, until a lovely golden colour.
  6. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 170C (150C for fan assisted ovens)
  7. For the filling, mix the lemon zest and juice with the cornflour and stir to form a smooth paste. Measure 450ml/16fl oz of water into a pan and bring to the boil. Add the lemon cornflour mixture to the hot water and stir over the heat until the mixture has thickened, then remove from the heat.
  8. In a bowl mix together the sugar and egg yolks and carefully whisk into the lemon mixture in the pan. Stir over a medium heat until thickened. Set aside for a few minutes and then pour into the baked pastry case.

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    9.  For the meringue, whisk the egg whites in a free-standing mixer until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Add the caster sugar a little at a time, still whisking until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Add the cornflour and whisk again.

    10.  Spoon on top of the filled pastry case and spread the meringue to completely cover the lemon filling. Then create a        swirl on the top of the meringue.

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    11.  Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until the filling is completely set and the meringue is lightly golden and crisp.

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Serve warm with a blob of vanilla ice cream, or cold on its’ own…  No matter how you end up serving the finished result, enjoy!

Easy Peasy Oven Omelettes – Makes 12

I have fallen in to a bit of a trap.  I love having eggs in the house…  They always come in handy for last minute dinner ideas, or for baking; but for the past few months, whenever I buy eggs, I seem to forget about them.  Then, when I fancy one for brekkie (for example), I notice the date on them.  Well, being heavily pregnant, I daren’t eat an egg that’s out of date.

Anyway, the point I am getting to is to provide you with a really easy recipe and method to create these amazing little omelettes that you bake in the oven!  They’re fab for breakfast; lunch, served with a salad (or veg); or a side for your evening meal.  They’re great to eat hot or cold, so also great to pop in a lunch box for school / work.

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Easy Peasy Oven Omelettes

I had my little chef (my 3 year old little man) do this all by himself…  Well, apart from the oven and presentation parts.  And just look how great the omelettes turned out!  Absolutely delicious, and really light & fluffy too.

Ingredients

5 medium sized eggs

Good splash of milk

Salt & Pepper

Tinned Garden Peas (optional)

Cheese (use your favourite…  I used Red Leicester)

Method

1.  Preheat your oven to 210C (190C for fan assisted ovens).

2.  Grease a 12-piece cupcake tin with butter.

3.  Crack the eggs in to a mixing bowl, add the milk, and salt & pepper to taste.

4.  Using a hand whisk, or fork, mix the eggy liquid together until it all combines together nicely.

5.  Using some form of spoon (I gave my llittle chef a 1/4 cup measuring spoon to do this), scoop out the mixture in to the buttered cupcake tins.  Do not fill to the top…  Ensure you only fill to approx 3/4 of the way up the sides.

6.  Grate your cheese (if required), and add a pinch to each cupcake section.

7.  (OPTIONAL)  Add a pinch of the peas to each cupcake section…  My little chef added approximately 7 or 8 peas to each.

8.  Pop the tray in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.

9.  When done, and when you remove the tray from the oven, you will notice that the omelettes will sink.  Don’t worry about this at all…  Use two forks, or a fork and a spoon to remove each mini omelette from the tin, and present any way you choose.

10.  Enjoy, and share the recipe!

Cooking up a storm…

So today I decided that I was going to have a baking day.

I had wanted to make cupcakes for a while now, and with it being Easter weekend, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make my Easter nest cupcakes…  But that wasn’t good enough for me.  So I made some giant meringues too!

So here’s the cupcakes:

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And another shot up close…

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Here’s how to make them:

Cupcakes:

Preheat your oven to 150C (for fan assist)

Place paper cupcake cases in a cupcake tin (I made 24 with this amount)

In a large mixing bowl, add 8oz self-raising flour, 8oz caster sugar, 8oz butter, 4 large (free range) eggs and 3 caps of lemon flavouring.

Whisk it all together using an electric mixer.  Once it is all creamed together, scoop evenly in to the cupcake cases.

Bake in your preheated oven for 30 minutes (remember the skewer test!  The skewer must come out clean).

Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Butter frosting:

Cream 5oz butter in a large mixing bowl.

Add 10oz icing sugar, spoon by spoon, and ensure all is mixed together thoroughly.

Scoop in to a piping bag, then pipe a ‘nest’ on the top of each cake.

Add one, two or three Cadbury’s mini eggs in the middle.

Ta-da!!

So how about my giant meringues?  They’ve turned out super scrummy!!

Let’s do the ‘how to’ first, as I do have a couple of pictures along the way…

What you need:

4 large egg (you’ll only need the whites)

4oz caster sugar

4oz icing sugar

Here’s what to do:

Preheat the oven to 100C (fan assisted).  Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Place the 4 egg whites in a large mixing bowl.  Using an electric whisk on a medium speed, whisk them until they appear ‘stiff’.

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Keep going until you are confident enough to do the ‘head test’.  This is where you hold the bowl, upsidedown, over your head.  Don’t worry!  The mixture should be stiff enough not to move, and it will form little ‘peaks’ when you lift the mixture with a spoon / whisk.

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Now it’s time to add the caster sugar.  You can turn the electric whisk to a high speed now.  Add the sugar, one spoonful at a time.

Keep mixing until the egg whites look ‘silky’ and smooth.

You can now get rid of the whisk and grab a large metal spoon.

Add the icing sugar, bit by bit, and use the large metal spoon to ‘fold’ the icing sugar in.

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Once complete, the mixture should look ‘silky’ and smooth, but you shouldn’t see any powder residue…

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Spoon the mixture directly on to the grease-proof lined baking tray, in ‘blobs’.  Or, if you’re feeling artistic, fill up your piping bag, and create little ‘wisps’, or clouds, or nests…

Pop the trays in the oven for 1 hour and 45 minutes.  Do *NOT* open the oven door during this time-frame.

When your timer goes off, ‘tap’ on the meringues.  They should sound hollow, and be a creamy / golden brown colour.

Ta-da!  Done.

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And just to show you exactly how large these beasts were…

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