The Crazy Kitchen: October 2011

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Thursday 27 October 2011

Pumpkin Cake Pops

I had originally planned to make Pumpkin Cake pops the usual cake pop way, with leftover bits of sponge cake and buttercream. However I posted a recipe here for Chocolate Truffles made with Alpro Soya cream and as the recipe made quite a few I decided I would make some of them into Pumpkins.

So here is how to make Pumpkin Truffle Pops.

  • First make the truffles as per the recipe here.
  • Melt Silver Spoon Orange Buttons in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. I used a very small jug hooked over the edge of the pan.


  • Dip one end of the lollipop stick into the melted orange buttons and into the truffle. This will act as a glue and prevent the truffle from spinning around.


  • Put the truffles into the freezer for approximately 10 minutes.

  • Dip the truffles into the melted buttons to coat. As they have been in the freezer the orange coating will set quite quickly and not drip.

  • Decorate with pumpkin faces.


Unfortunately the writing icing that I used went very runny after a while and all the Pumpkins looked like they had been crying!


I am entering this post into Mummy Mishaps I love Cake Halloween Challenge - truffles are cakes right?

If you want to see some really beautiful examples of what they should look like head over to The Pink Whisk where Ruth will show you how an expert makes Pumpkin Cake Pops.

I Love Cake

Cooking With Your Toddler - Chocolate Truffles

This was going to be a Cooking With Your Toddler post but the Toddler has deserted me - he's gone on his holidays to Nanny's, for a well deserved rest. I was then going to do a 'Cooking With Your Toddler's Big Sister' post instead, but she got a better offer of DVD's and tea at a friends.

So in the end I made these Chocolate Truffles on my own.......but you could make them with your Toddler if you wish. It can get a bit messy but Toddler's like mess, especially edible mess.

You will need

200g 70% dark Chocolate
150g Alpro Soya Cream*

*You can use double cream but Alpro Soya cream is a healthier alternative and also suitable for those with dairy free diets.

  • Break the chocolate into small pieces into a microwaveable bowl.
  • Heat in 10-15 second bursts, stirring in between, until all the chocolate has melted.
  • Warm the cream in another bowl, or pan over a low heat.
  • Stir the cream into the chocolate & combine well.


  • Allow mixture to cool at room temperature before placing in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Once it has cooled mould into small balls - you can use a spoon or your hands - it does get a bit messy with your hands.
  • Roll the balls in cocoa, chopped nuts, coconut or sprinkles - I used chocolate flakes.

As there are no preservatives in the truffles they should be eaten within a few days of making.

They would be great as Christmas presents, presented in a small box - just remember not to make them too soon and don't leave the present under the Christmas tree for days!

You can also add a dash of rum or brandy to the mixture before refrigerating (just don't give those ones to the kids!)


Please come and look at other bloggers great recipes in the Linky below and feel free to add your own. The linky is ongoing.

I was provided with a pot of Alpro Cream to try the truffle recipe out.

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Fancy Birthday Cupcakes

It's my Mum's birthday today and as I've been sent lots of wonderful cake decorations and icing to try our recently I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try them all out and make a variety of cupcakes.

I had some help from 10 year old Sam and using my favourite cupcake recipe from the Primrose Bakery we made these cakes :


For the pigs we used Renshaws ready to roll pink icing, and silver balls for the eyes.


For the butterfly cakes we used Renshaws Vanilla Snip & Swirl icing and Silver Spoon Giant Snowies, with a sprinkling of edible glitter to give it a shimmer.


For the swirl cupcakes we used Renshaws Vanilla Snip & Swirl Icing and Silver Spoon blue and pink Shimmer Balls, again finished off with edible glitter.


For the pink cakes with stars we used Renshaws Raspberry Magic Melting Icing and Silver Spoon white chocolate stars.


The ready made icings are great and I wouldn't hesitate using them again. You can make great looking cakes so quickly with minimum effort and therefore are great to use with the kids. The snip and swirl icing however didn't give the pattern that I was expecting even though I snipped the bag on the correct lines but still looks very effective on the cakes.

Recipe for Vanilla Cupcakes (makes 12-15)

110g butter - softened
225g caster sugar*
2 large eggs
150g SR flour
125g Plain flour
120ml milk

*the recipe calls for 1tsp vanilla extract, however I use vanilla sugar so I don't feel the need to add extra vanilla.

  • Cream the butter & sugar
  • Gradually beat in the eggs
  • Combine the flours & add a third to the creamed mixture and then a third of the milk.
  • Repeat the above step until all flour & milk have been added.
  • Spoon into cupcake cases, filling 2/3 full
  • Bake in 180 degree (C) oven for 20-25 minutes

I was sent the items from Renshaw and Silver Spoon for the purpose of this review.

Friday 21 October 2011

Cooking With Your Toddler - Halloween Chocolate Crispy Treats

It's that time of the week again where myself and my little chef bake up some treats and share the recipe. Being a bit short of time this week I opted for a quick no bake recipe, and as it's still not Halloween I thought we could get away with more Halloween themed crispy cakes. This time I added marshmallows as I was inspired by these foolproof rice Krispie cakes. Unfortunately my local shop only had a pack of weird tasting marshmallows that were filled with some kind of jam filling - I didn't find this out until I opened them when I got home. It did make the crispy cakes a lot sweeter, with a jam like taste, but the kids loved them (except Jack of course)

Halloween Chocolate Crispy Treats

100g butter
100g marshmallows
100g dark chocolate
2 tbsp golden syrup
200g cereal - we used a mixture of spooky puffs & honey hoops


  • Melt the butter, marshmallows, chocolate and syrup in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.


  • Mix in the cereal until completely coated


  • Spoon into muffin cases


  • Decorate with Sprinkles


  • And Halloween icing shapes


  • Refrigerate until set.



Please come and look at other bloggers great recipes in the Linky below and feel free to add your own. The linky is ongoing.

The Crazy Kitchen

Thursday 20 October 2011

Chickpea Biryani

It was 7pm, I was hungry and had forgotten to take the stuffed chicken out of the freezer. It had been a long day as Jack had been off pre-school with a suspected stomach bug, I'd missed parents evening as I needed to stay at home with Jack rather than take him to a friends & risk spreading the bug, he then threw up on the trampoline, kids were arguing & I'd been in the kitchen for the last 2 hours providing a conveyor belt of food!

I looked in the fridge for inspiration - mushrooms way past their best before that needed using up so that ruled out jacket spuds & beans. I then recalled the Biryani that I'd seen on Reluctant Housedad's Recipe Shed earlier in the day - but I had no chicken, except the frozen stuffed chicken breasts - in the house. Ah well, I could add a can of chickpeas & tell the husband that the chicken was chopped up very small & hope that he didn't notice.

Don't Tell The Husband There's No Meat in It Chickpea Biryani

1 onion
tbsp olive oil
1/2 pack Schwartz  bombay potatoes mix
can of chickpeas
couple of big handfuls of basmati rice
handful of sultanas
2 tbsp coconut
boiling water

If I'd had a banana I would've added that too

Sorry I can't be more specific with the weights & measurements but I don't usually measure unless I'm baking or following a specific recipe.

  • Fry the onion in the olive oil for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the spice mix and chickpeas and stir
  • Add the basmati rice and some boiling water and stir, put the lid on keeping an eye on it to make sure it doesn't dry out.
  • Stir in the sultanas, coconut and mushrooms
  • Add more water, around a cupful at a time, until the rice is tender and water has been absorbed.

Serve with a spoonful of natural yoghurt and some of The Curry Guy's Lime pickle - or if, like me, you haven't got any lime pickle then any pickle or chutney would do (except Branston's, horrible stuff) - like my prizewinning Marrow chutney for example.


Wednesday 19 October 2011

Dairy Free Chocolate Ice Cream

Earlier in the year I posted a recipe for Eggless Vanilla Cupcakes, which I made for Jack to take into Pre-school on his birthday. One of the little boys has a dairy & egg allergy so I wanted to make cakes that they could all eat. More recently his Mum has been given the go ahead to introduce Soya into his diet which makes life a lot easier when it comes to puddings and desserts as, being one of a twin, it has been particularly difficult to find suitable alternatives to yoghurts and ice cream that his brother is able to eat.

When I was contacted by Alpro and asked if I would like to sample some of their products I thought it would be  a great opportunity to try and make 'Jude friendly' ice-cream using the Soya custard and single cream to see how it worked out. I first made a chocolate sauce up by using dark muscovado sugar, cocoa powder and boiling water - around 2 tablespoons of each. This was then mixed together with the cream and custard and poured into the ice cream maker.

Ice cream made with Alpro

The end result was great and Sam & Hanna both really enjoyed it. I also made some non Jude friendly chocolate ice cream the same way using instant custard made up with milk instead of water and double cream.

Ice cream made with dairy cream

The kids did prefer the taste of the dairy ice cream but for someone with a dairy allergy or who is lactose intolerant then the soya is a great alternative. If you are like me and on a permanent diet then the Alpro cream is a great as it has 45% less saturated fat than standard single cream.

I'm also going to be making dairy free chocolate truffles soon so make sure you pop back for that.

Alpro Soya cream and custard are available in all major supermarkets


I was sent Alpro ready to serve custard and single cream for the purpose of this review.

Monday 17 October 2011

Spooky Pumpkin Crispy Cakes

Halloween is nearing which means another excuse to make cakes. I had recently come across the new Silver Spoon orange flavour buttons so I have been thinking up ways to use them on some Halloween themed cakes. I was sent some Toffee Apple Spooky Puffs to try out so I thought I would combine the two and make Crispy Cakes with a Halloween theme.

Helped by my trusted assistant Jack we set to work making Spooky Pumpkin Crispy Cakes. The ingredients were the same as in my Valentine Chocolate Heart but just substituting the chocolate for the orange buttons.

You will need :
Greaseproof paper
100g Silver Spoon orange buttons
40g butter or margarine
40g Golden Syrup
75g cereal 

  • Melt the butter, syrup & buttons in a saucepan over a low heat.

    No they're not carrots!
  • Add the cereal to a large bowl
  • Pour over the orange mixture and mix until cereal is completely coated.

  • Spread onto a pumpkin template - you can download one from the internet, 

  • Decorate with whatever you fancy - we tried green writing icing but it didn't show up enough.
  • We then opted for fondant icing to make the stalk and face.

oh-ohh watch that knife!

  • Allow to set in the fridge. 
  • Photobucket

    • Enjoy.

    I want cookie..

    The cakes didn't set as much as they would if chocolate had been used but they were firm enough & very delicious and crispy. All the kids loved them and are keen to have them again.

    We are entering this post into Mummy Mishaps I love Cake Halloween competiton.

    I Love Cake

    I was sent the box of Spooky Puffs free of charge to try out in a recipe.

    Friday 14 October 2011

    Reluctant Housedad's Herby Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast The Crazy Kitchen Style

    I would love to live in Reluctant Housedad's house, he always has such amazing looking dinners - you should see his to die for Steak n Chips. Yesterday he posted a delicious looking dish and, unlike with most of his posh nosh, I had all the ingredients needed to recreate this 'Moreish Main' - well sort of.

    Here are the ingredients required for Keith's Herby Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts wrapped in Parma Ham:

    Serves 2

    2 tbsp soft cheese, such as Philadelphia (or ricotta, or cottage cheese)
    2 tbsp pine nuts*
    1 tsp chilli powder or paprika (depending on your spice taste)**
    3 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped***
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper****
    2 chicken breasts, butterflied
    6 slices Parma ham*****
    1 tsp olive oil

    My minor amendments :
    *KP salted peanuts
    **Chilli Flakes
    ***3 sprigs of fresh basil
    ****just pepper as peanuts were salted
    *****you won't find any posh Parma Ham in this house...Bernard Matthews Turkey Ham is far superior!

    I whizzed the peanuts,cream cheese, chilli flakes,pepper & basil together in a blender, splodged it onto the chicken breast & wrapped it all in the turkey ham, refrigerated for an hour, fried them off in the olive oil & baked for around 30 minutes and voila .......


    Keith commented that, after making this dish, 'Your partner will love you forever'. I've lost track of the number of times he's said 'that chicken was beautiful' tonight so thank you Keith, no more boring midweek meals for us.

    Cooking With Your Toddler - Double Choc Chip Caramel Cookies

    Whilst deciding what to cook this week with Jack, with my limited ingredients - no eggs or plain  flour (except wholemeal) I came across a recipe on Jam and Clotted cream for Double Choc Chip Caramel Cookies. I had a quick scan down the ingredients quickly noticing that they don't have any eggs in and the flour used is self raising. Even better when I looked in the cupboard and found a can of condensed milk lurking at the back, but as I didn't have any chocolate chips I would be substituting them for sultanas (thankfully I had exactly 100g).

    225g Butter, softened
    225g Golden Caster Sugar
    200g Condensed Milk
    200g Oats
    150g Self Raising Flour
    1 TSP Vanilla Extract
    50g Milk Chocolate Chips
    50g White Chocolate Chips


    • Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180c/160fan and grease 3 large baking trays.
    • Step 2: Cream the butter and sugar together then add in all the other ingredients and mix thoroughly.
    • Step 3: Shape the dough into golf ball size balls, place 4cm apart on the baking trays and slightly flatten with the back of a fork.
    • Step 4: Bake for 15 mins, take out of the oven and leave on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

    Photobucket Photobucket PhotobucketPhotobucket Photobucket PhotobucketPhotobucket Photobucket Photobucket

    It was a very easy recipe to follow, and we only had some assistance from the Kitchen Aid for creaming the butter and sugar as it was still on the firm side as I'd forgotten to take it out of the fridge.

    Unfortunately it wasn't until I removed the first batch from the oven that I realised Jack had I had forgotten to add the flour!

    Oh well, I always wanted to know how to make Florentines! I did manage to scrape it off the pan and the scraps make a delicious topping for yoghurt.....

    Anyway, I added flour to the remaining mix and low and behold the next batch turned out how they should.........and even better still? Jack likes them!.....and so does everyone else so now we will be making more, with the other half a can of the condensed milk......and some flour!


    The Crazy Kitchen

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