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Thursday, 8 October 2015

Honey & Orange Filled Iced Buns

Well, that's it, no more bake off on a Wednesday night now that Nadiya has been crowned as the winner, and what a worthy winner she was too. She definitely improved as the series went on, and created some amazing bakes, especially her wedding cake and delicious looking filled iced buns. 

It's been a while since I've had the time to bake along with the show, but I managed to squeeze in some buns this week. I made a sweet enriched dough flavoured with orange zest, and piped in a cream & mascarpone filling, flavoured with honey and orange, with icing on the top and a sticky honey and orange sauce drizzled over (phew). I kept a few of the buns simple, with just icing, as I knew 2/3 of the kids wouldn't like the creamy filling.

Honey & Orange Filled Iced Buns

Honey & Orange Filled Iced Buns - makes 12

500g Strong white bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
100g caster sugar
50g butter, softened
1 tsp dried yeast
1 egg
finely grated zest of 1 orange
225ml milk (room temperature)

250g mascarpone
100ml double cream
juice & finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 tbsp honey

200g icing sugar

honey & orange sauce
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp butter
juice of 1 orange

add the bread flour to a bowl
add the salt, sugar, butter, yeast, egg & orange zest
add approx 200ml of milk & start mixing everything together, adding more milk if necessary
once the dough has come together, take it out of the bowl & knead for 10 minutes, until smooth & elastic
place in a large bowl & cover with clingfilm
leave in a warm place to double in size
once the dough has proved, turn out onto a lightly floured surface
divide the dough into 12 equal pieces
roll each piece into a ball and shape into a finger
place into a buttered baking tin, approx 1.5cm apart
cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to double in size again
remove clingfilm & bake in a preheated 200C oven for 15-20 minutes
leave to cool on a wire rack

whisk all the ingredients together until it's thick enough to pipe
slice the cooled buns across the top, but not all the way through
pipe the filling into the buns

mix a little water into the icing sugar, until a thick (but fluid) icing is reached
pipe the icing onto the top of the buns, on either side of the filling

honey & orange sauce
add the ingredients to a small saucepan
bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes until thick and sticky
allow to cool before drizzling over the buns

Honey & Orange Filled Iced Buns Honey & Orange Filled Iced Buns Honey & Orange Filled Iced Buns Honey & Orange Filled Iced Buns

Mummy Mishaps

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Staffordshire Lobby (Beef Stew) #AutumnWarmers

This month Waitrose have launched their #AutumnWarmers campaign, celebrating warming dishes from throughout the UK, to get us in the mood for those cooler nights when all we want is something warm and comforting to eat.

I've decided to share my recipe for a Staffordshire Lobby, which is basically a beef stew, traditionally eaten by poorly paid potters in the region, using cheaper cuts of meat along with root vegetables and pearl barley.

Staffordshire Lobby (Beef Stew) #AutumnWarmers

This can be cooked on the stove top, as per a traditional stew, but before I went to work for the morning I popped it into the slow cooker and was able to enjoy a nice steaming bowlful for lunch.

The recipe can be scaled down depending on how many you want to feed, but this quantity kept us going for a couple of days.

Staffordshire Lobby (Beef Stew) #AutumnWarmers

Staffordshire Lobby - feeds a crowd

1.2kg beef (brisket, shin, skirt) - I used brisket
4 medium carrots
2 large parsnips
1 small swede
8 shallots
3 medium potatoes, peeled
2 tbsp plain flour
salt & pepper
1 litre beef stock
500ml beer
200g pearl barley

  • cut the beef into bite sized pieces
  • peel & chop the vegetables into bit sized pieces
  • add the flour to a large zip lock bag, and season with salt & pepper
  • add the beef to the bag and shake to coat
  • add the beef, vegetables, stock & beer to a large pan and bring to the boil
  • transfer to a slow cooker and add the pearl barley
  • cook on medium for 4-5 hours, until the beef is tender
Serve with thick slices of freshly baked bread, and butter, and maybe a little brown sauce on the side!

Staffordshire Lobby (Beef Stew) #AutumnWarmers Staffordshire Lobby (Beef Stew) #AutumnWarmers

recipe commissioned by Waitrose

Monday, 5 October 2015

Japanese Beef Udon Soup

I don't get too experimental with meals very often, and unless I have any specific challenges to complete for this blog, I often rotate the same, or similar, meals on a weekly basis.

I was quite excited at the prospect of trying out some Japanese cooking when I received a parcel of ingredients from Japan Centre, as other than Miso soup and Udon noodles (which I used when I made healthy pot noodles), I've not eaten Japanese food, as far as I can remember. 

In the package I received the following :

After a spot of research, I decided that an Udon soup was the way to go, beefed up with slices of fillet steak spiced with Shichimi, a Japanese spice made from a blend of seven ingredients.

After making this amazing dish in under 15 minutes, I'm wondering why I don't make dishes like this more often, as it's the ultimate healthy fast food, and perfect for a lunch on a busy day.

Japanese Beef Udon Soup

Japanese Beef Udon Soup - serves 2

1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Sake
1/2 tsp Shichimi 

170g fillet steak
tbsp sesame oil
600ml water
1 dashi bag
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp Sake
75g button chestnut mushrooms, sliced
175g dried Udon noodles
bunch of spring onions, sliced
  • make the marinade by mixing the soy sauce, sake & Shichimi together in a bowl
  • add the fillet steak and toss to coat in the marinade
  • refrigerate for a few hours or overnight
  • heat the sesame oil in a frying pan over a high heat
  • add the steak and fry for a couple minutes on each side
  • set aside to rest whilst preparing the udon soup
  • bring the water to the boil in a saucepan
  • add the dashi bag and simmer for 2-3 minutes
  • remove the dashi bag from the pan
  • add the soy sauce, sake, mushrooms, noodles and 3/4 of the spring onions
  • simmer for 3-4 minutes until the noodles are cooked through
  • slice the steak
  • divide the soup into two portions and top with the steak and remaining spring onions

japanese ingredients
left to right : dashi bags, matcha tea, sake, arare, tea selection, shichimi pepper, sansho pepper

Japanese Beef Udon Soup

For the chance to win a 4 night trip to Japan, with 11 runner up prizes, make sure you pop over to the Visit Japan Facebook page here.

this recipe was commissioned for Visit Japan

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Italian Scrambled Eggs on Toast

Next week is British Egg Week (5-11 October), and to mark the occasion I've recreated a classic egg dish, with a twist. Scrambled egg is one of the first things I learnt to cook growing up, and as this was before we had a microwave, it was cooked in a saucepan on the hob. Cooking scrambled eggs on the hob is still my preferred way of cooking it, but as this is also the husband's 'speciality' it's usually cooked in a jug, in the microwave, with little stirring (he says the kids prefer it that way!)

I've jazzed my eggs up with a little Italian touch and served them on a toasted ciabatta roll, instead of the usual sliced white. This recipe can serve 1-2, depending on how hungry you're feeling.

Italian Scrambled Eggs on Toast

Italian Scrambled Eggs on Toast - serves 1

olive oil
4 cherry tomatoes
small knob of butter
3 medium free range eggs
salt & pepper
splash of milk
fresh basil
ciabatta roll, lightly toasted
  • heat the olive oil in a small saucepan
  • add the tomatoes and cook for a few of minutes over a med/high heat until they soften
  • remove the tomatoes from the pan & set aside
  • add a little butter to the pan and heat until melted
  • beat the eggs, salt & pepper & torn basil leaves together
  • add to the pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring & scraping the bottom of the pan (I like to use a wooden spatula for this), until the eggs are cooked
  • serve with the tomatoes on the ciabatta roll & top with freshly grated parmesan

  Italian Scrambled Eggs on Toast

Italian Scrambled Eggs on Toast

To keep up to date with new recipes next week, follow #BritishEggWeek on twitter.

This recipe has been created for a #shortcuteggsperts challenge. I have been provided with shopping vouchers to cover the cost of my ingredients. More egg recipes can be found here.



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