Vanilla Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes

1.2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 1.20 (5 Votes)

These cupcakes are light  and moist and  are especially delicious  when served with  our fantastic  frosting .  The batter is quick and easy and they only take a few minutes to cook so it is easy to make multiple batches to serve at parties or a single tray to have as a nughty indulgence.

 

Preparation time: 

Yield: 12 cupcakes

 

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup of flour.
  • 1/4 Cup of Corn starch.
  • 1 tsp of baking powder.
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda.
  • 1/2 tsp of salt.
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 3/4 cup of caster sugar
  • 2 tsp of quality vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil

 

Method

  • Preheat  oven to 350°F ( 180° C)
  • Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt  together in a bowl.
  • Beat two eggs together for  2 - 3 minutes at a medium speed in your mixer.
  • Add sugar, vanilla extract, and oil to the bowl and mix for 3 minutes.
  • Add flour and buttermilk and mix until the mixture becomes a smooth thin batter
  • Pour the batter into a cupcake pan lined with cupcake liners.
  • bake for approximately 10 - 15 minutes until a skewer comes out clean
  • Allow to cool and then top with your favourite frosting.

 

Easy Pumpkin Puree

3.5 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 3.50 (1 Vote)

A tasty pumpkin puree is the foundation of many delicious recipes and contrary to popular belief does not come out of a can. Many will tell you that puree out of a can is as good or better than the canned stuff but I would suggest that they have never tasted puree made from scratch or are have convinced themselves that it is true for the sake of convenience.  Personally I am convinced that a pumpkin pie, pumpkin whoopie cookies, pumpkin bread and other foods made using pumpkin puree taste much better when the puree is made from scratch using fresh pumpkin.

Try it yourself using this recipe and let me know what you think.

 

Preparation time: 

Cooking time: 

Yield: 2lb or 1 kg of puree

 

Ingredients

  • 1 4 - 6lb  ( 2 - 2.5 kg ) Baking pumpkin
  • Salt

 

Method

  • Preheat oven to 400°F ( 200°C).
  • Cut pumpkin in half crosswise and scoop out seeds and stringy material.
  • Sprinkle cut edges of the pumpkin with salt.
  • Place pumpkin cut side down on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  • Cook for approximately 45 minutes until a knife is easily inserted into the flesh.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • Scoop the roasted pumpkin out of the skin and place in the bowl of a food processor.
  • Blend the roasted pumpkin until it is smooth.
  • Use straight away or freeze for future use.

 

Easy White Sandwich Bread

4 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 4.00 (1 Vote)

This is an easy white sandwich loaf recipe which works every time for me. This bread rises well and the result is a fluffy white loaf which is ideal for toasting or making your favourite sandwich. My guilty little secret is that this bread doesn't always get to cool completely before it gets eaten, we love to cut off a hot end crust and eat it smothered with butter.

 

Preparation time: 

Cooking time: 

Yield: 1 Loaf

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of lukewarm water
  • 1 large tablespoon of honey
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons dried yeast
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of butter at room temperature
  • 4 cups of bakers flour
  • 1/3 cup of powdered milk

 

Method

  • Add the ingredients to a bowl in the order listed above then mix and knead until it forms an elastic, bouncy dough.
  • Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and allow it to rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 - 2 hours
  • Punch down the dough and form it into a 9" log.
  • Place the dough into a 9" bread pan and allow to rise for another hour
  • Pre-Heat the oven to 350°F or 180°C
  • Bake for 40 minutes , tenting with aluminium foil after the first 20 minutes.
  • Once cooked Turn the loaf out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool

 

Hint: I use the stainless steel mixer bowl on my Kenwood Chef Kitchen Machine to mix the ingredients and if it is cold to touch I warm the bowl with warm water before I start.

 

Amazing Chocolate Fudge cake - www.livtocook.com

Amazing chocolate fudge cake recipe

1.3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 1.30 (5 Votes)

WARNING :  THIS IS NOT HEALTH FOOD . This is a moist rich and decadent fudge cake you can frost it if you like but my favourite way to serve this is with some ever so slightly sweetened whipped cream .  I have very little self control when it comes to chocolate but find that letting this cake cool completely allows it to develop a really nice fudgy texture which is well worth the wait. If you simply cannot wait then serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla icecream as a sort of warm cakey dessert .  Enjoy!

 

Preparation time: 

Cooking time: 

Yield: 12 Serves

Ingredients

  • 300g plain flour
  • 175ml hot water
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 250g dark chocolate
  • 125 ml milk
  • 55g cocoa powder
  • 4 large fresh free range eggs .. The fresher  the better !
  • 550g white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of instant coffee
  • 30ml vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

 

Method

  • Preheat oven to 150°C 
  • Line bottom  & sides of a 20 cm cake tin with baking paper.
  • Melt and combine butter , chocolate, sugar and coffee in a bowl over a double boiler.
  • Add chocolate mixture to a mixer bowl and beat in the milk.
  • Mix eggs into the mixture one at a time.
  • Mix the oil into the mixture.
  • Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
  • Mix  the cocoa & other dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture to form a cake batter. 
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 2hrs at 150°C
  • Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting or serving with slightly sweetened whipped cream.

 

Melting moments

Melting Moments

1.8333333333333 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 1.83 (6 Votes)

Melting Moments are without doubt my favorite biscuit and a freshly baked tray doesn't last very long in our home. The buttery  goodness of these biscuits crumbles and melts in the mouth and is perfectly complemented by the orange and vanilla flavors of the creamy filling which holds them together. If you are planning to entertain with these be sure to make more than you need because I'm pretty sure that  quite a few will not make it to the table.

Preparation time: 

Cooking time: 

Yield: 12 biscuits

 

Ingredients

 

Biscuits
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence.
  • 1/2 cup of sifted icing sugar.
  • 250g of butter cut into cubes.
  • 1 1/2 cups of plain flour.
  • 1/2 cup cornflour.
Filling
  • 60g of softened butter.
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence.
  •  zest of 1 orange grated.
  • 2/3 cup of sifted icing sugar.

 

Method

  • Heat oven to 320F  or 160C
  • Line a baking tray with baking paper. 
  • Place vanilla essence, butter, and icing sugar in an electric mixer and beat until pale and creamy.
  • Mix flour and corn flour together and sift.
  • Add sifted flours to the  butter mixture and beat together gently until just combined into a dough.
  • roll the dough into small balls and place onto baking trays
  • Flatten each ball with a fork until they are about 1" in diameter and 1/2" thick.
  • Bake each tray for 15 - 20 minutes until cooked.
  • Set aside and allow to cool.
  • While the biscuits are cooling  add filling ingredients to a small bowl and use an electric mixer to beat until pale and creamy.
  • Put Melting Moments together by putting a layer of filling on the flat side of one biscuit and pressing together with another.

 

 

Double chocolate chip cookies

Awesome chocolate chip cookies

3.5 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 3.50 (1 Vote)

Lovely chocolate chip cookies with a crunch on the outside and soft chocolate goodness on the inside.

 

Preparation time: 

Cooking time: 

Yield: 24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of softened butter.
  • 1 cup of white sugar.
  • 1 cup of brown sugar.
  • 2 eggs.
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence.
  • 2 1/2 cups of plain flour.
  • 1/2 a cup of cocoa powder.
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
  • 1 tablespoon of hot water.
  • Pinch of salt.
  • 2 cups of chocolate chips.
  • 1 cup of chopped walnuts.

 

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350F or 180C.
  • Cream butter and sugars together until smooth.
  • Add eggs  one at a time.
  • Add Vanilla essence.
  • Mix the baking soda to the hot water and add to the batter.
  • Add salt to the batter.
  • Fold flour, cocoa , chocolate chips, and nuts into the mixture.
  • Place spoonfuls of the mixture onto an un-greased baking tray.
  • bake until the cookie is just firm on the outside and still a little soft on the inside. ( 10 - 30 minutes depending on cookie size )  . 
Quick and easy lemonade scones

Easy Lemonade scones

3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 3.00 (1 Vote)

I've tried many scone recipes over the years but this one is the quickest and easiest I have found and has never failed to deliver fresh scones which are delicious with jam and fresh cream. If you need to whip up morning or afternoon tea for unexpected visitors this recipe is perfect.

 

Preparation time: 

Cooking time: 

Yield: Makes 12

  • 450g (3 cups) self-raising flour, sifted
  • 250ml (1 cup) thick cream
  • 250ml (1  cup) lemonade
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Milk for brushing

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 210C. Lightly grease a baking tray.
  • Place the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour mix and add the cream and lemonade and mix with a butter knife to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured workbench and knead lightly until combined. 
  • Press the dough with your hands to a thickness of about 2cm. Use a 6cm round cutter to cut out 8 scones, place on baking tray and brush the tops with some milk. Bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly browned. 
  • Serve with your favourite jam and cream.
Easy homemade apple pie

Easy homemade apple pie

4 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 4.00 (1 Vote)

I have found that the secret to making an amazing apple pie is to use the right apples, allowing the apples time to dry after they have been sliced, and ttaking the time to bring the crust together carefully without overworking it. This recipe introduces a little cinnamon into the filling and the result is a brilliant pie which tastes fantastic by itself and even better when served warm with ice cream and freshly whipped cream. 

 

Preparation time: 

Cooking time: 

Yield: 12 Serves

 

Ingredients - Filling

  • 1kg Granny Smith apples
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 50g plain flour

 

Ingredients - Crust

  • 250g butter softened & diced
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 375g plain flour

 

Method

  • Peel & core the apples.
  • Cut the apples into 5mm slices
  • Place the apples on paper towel to dry and set aside
  • Beat the butter and caster sugar until combined.
  • Add 1 whole egg and only the yolk from the other egg to the butter and sugar mixture
  • Beat the mixture for another minute.
  • Gradually mix in the flour using a spoon until the dough just comes together.
  • Bring the dough together into a ball by hand
  • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1/2 an hour
  • Mix the Sugar, Cinnamon, and flour for the filling in a large bowl
  • Heat the oven to 375°F or 190°C
  • Take 2/3 of the dough and roll it out and use it to line a 24cm pie dish
  • Finish drying the apples with paper towel then add them to the bowl with previously mixed sugar,cinnamon, and flour
  • Pour the apple mixture into the pie tin
  • Roll out the remaining pastry to make a lid for the pie
  • Place the lid onto the pie, pressing down at the edges
  • Brush the lid with egg white, sprinkle with plenty caster sugar, and pierce with a knife in 6 - 8 places
  • Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown
  • Allow to cool for 5 - 10 minutes and serve whilst still warm with whipped cream and vanilla icecream.

 

Delicious Self saucing butterscotch pudding

Self Saucing Butterscotch Pudding

3.5 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 3.50 (1 Vote)

If I'm looking for a hot dessert to finish off a meal with family and friends  this is one of my go to recipe. It is quick and easy to prepare and has never failed to have people coming back for more.  I love to serve this pudding warm out of the oven with a large scoop of vanilla icecream melting in a bowl with it.

 

Preparation time: 

Cooking time: 

Yield: Serves 6 - 8

Ingredients - Pudding

  • 150g (1 cup) self-raising flour, sifted
  • 150g  (3/4 cup) sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • 60g  (2 oz) butter

Ingredients - Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons  of Golden Syrup
  • 30g  (1 oz) butter
  • 375ml (1 1/2 cups) hot water

 

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180C. Lightly grease an oven dish
  • Sift sugar, flour and salt in a large bowl.
  • Melt the butter and add to flour mixture with milk . Combine thoroughly and place into the greased oven dish.
  • Combine sauce ingredients in a saucepan  and stir over a low heat until the butter melts
  • Pour sauce mixture over the pudding mixture and bake for 30 - 40 minutes until the pudding is a dark golden brown colour an a skewer comes out clean when inserted.

 

Robs Spicy Carbonara

Robs Spaghetti Carbonara with a spicy twist

3.5 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 3.50 (1 Vote)

This simple tasty recipe is my twist on a traditional carbonara dish. It came about when I was cleaning out the fridge and found myself with a "mystery box" which looked a lot like the foundation for a tasty carbonara  so  I started to cook .  Twenty minutes later after taking inspiration from my favorite veal recipe I came up with the following and it is fast becoming one of my favourite pasta dishes . I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

This recipe is also great served with Fresh Fettucini which is well worth the effort if you have the time to spare.

Preparation time: 

Cooking time: 

Yield: 4 Serves

 

Ingredients

  • Thin Spaghetti.
  • 2 medium onions diced.
  • 200g mild salami diced.
  • 2 teaspoons of chili flakes.
  • 1/2 cup of Tomato passata.
  • 1 tablespoon of crushed garlic.
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese.
  • 2 fresh free range eggs.
  • Salt & cracked pepper to season.
  • 2 tablespoons of butter.
  • 300 ml of sour cream.
  • Chopped Parsley to garnish (optional).

 

Method

  • Cook the spaghetti  in salted boiling water and set aside to drain.
  • Fry the onions in butter with the crushed garlic until the onion is translucent but not browned..
  • Add the salami and chili flakes , fry for a  2 - 3 minutes . 
  • Meanwhile mix the sour cream, parmesan, and eggs in a bowl with a fork.
  • Add the sour cream mix to the onion and salami mixture, along with the tomatoe passata and heat gently stirring until thickened.
  • Add the cooked spaghetti to the sauce along with a couple of tablespoons of the pasta water and stir until the pasta is thoroughly coated
  • Serve straight away sprinked with fresh parmesan and garnished with chopped parsley if desired.

 

Baked Macaroni Cheese

Baked Macaroni Cheese Recipe

4 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 4.00 (1 Vote)

As comfort foods go Mac & Cheese is right up there and is great served by itself or as a side dish with a tender steak.  This Baked Macaroni cheese casserole recipe has been refined over many attempts and I'm pretty happy with it.

 

Preparation time: 

Cooking time: 

Yield: 8 Serves

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of macaroni , you can substitute Penne or another favorite pasta if you like.
  • 1 onion diced.
  • 3 rashers of bacon.
  • 1 tablespoon of crushed garlic.
  • 6 tablespoons of butter.
  • 1 free range egg
  • 1 cup of cream
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 300g grated cheddar.
  • 2 cups of Panko breadcrumbs.

 

Method

  • Heat Oven to 350°F (180°C )
  • Cook the macaroni in salted boiling water until it is almost al dente.
  • Heat 3 tablespons of butter in a large saucepan.
  • Cook the diced bacon, onion, and garlic until the onion is translucent but not browned.
  • Add 1 cup of plain flour and mix into the onion mixture until the flour is a golden color.
  • Add 1 cup of milk and stir until smooth.
  • Add 1 cup of thick cream and 200g of cheese and stir until thickened
  • Drain the pasta and combine it into the cheese sauce.
  • Place pasta mix into a medium casserole dish.
  • Melt remaining butter in a medium pan and combine with the breadcrumbs and remaining cheese.
  • Spread the breadcrumb mix over the pasta and  bake in the pre-heated oven until golden brown.
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Rob Galloway

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for visiting, I'm Rob  a passionate home cook and my creative outlet is my kitchen.  Livetocook.com is my way of keeping a track of my culinary learnings and my favourite recipes, please think of it as a personal journal of my cooking mis-adventures . I hope you get as much enjoyment out of your visit as I get from creating it. And please always feel free to get in touch with your feedback or just to say Hi, we look forward to hearing from you.

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