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Together at home - We Cook & Bake

Updated: May 2

Starting to build out a section for home cooking, perhaps ignite that budding chef in you. Below are some simple recipes for all you budding Masterbakers ;-) out there and I am also sharing some online/Insta sites for you to check out.

To help convert the difference between UK and USA measurements I found a helpful link from Nigella Lawson - click here.


If you want some ideas for your homemade cakes - here is a link to Pinterest.

Massimo Bottura - is teaching #kitchenquaranine and some great recipes. Here is a link to his Facebook page .


Tom Aitkens - if hosting instagram Iive but then posting these on his instagram page. Sharing his recipes and showing you HOW, in step buy step guides. Sourdough bread (alot of steps, but the end results look fantastic), lemon tart are just a couple I have seen. Give some a go at the weekend perhaps. Click here.


Cravings by Chrissy - Chrissy Teigan's food instagram page for inspirations and ideas. She is also saying, send in pictures of what food is in your cupbard/pantry and she will create you a recipe. Click here.


Time Out / In London - have launched a new cooking series called "three ingredient recipe". Using top chefs for great recipes. Only 1 available as I publish, but more to follow. Here is the link.


Jason Atherton - is publishing on the 'gram, some great cooking recipes. He is calling is social kitchen isolation. Here is a link to his IG page.


Plant Based Recipes - Fork over knives offers 1000's of plant based recipes on the app. An one of fee of US$.4.99. The app also gives suggested meal plans and discounts of cooking courses. Click here to download.


Mary Berry’s Banana Loaf (Taken from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible)

Ingredients

100g Softened Butter 175g Caster Sugar 2 Large Eggs 2 Ripe Bananas (mashed) 225g Self Raising Flour / All purpose flour 1 tsp. Baking Powder (if using AP flour, I added nearly 2tsp's of baking powder) 2 tbsp. Milk


Method 1. Preheat the oven to 180C (360 F) / Fan 160C (320F). 2. Lightly grease a 2lb loaf tin, then line the base and sides with baking parchment 3. Measure all ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat for about 2 minutes, until well blended 4. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the surface 5. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 1 hour, until well risen and golden brown.  A fine skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean if the loaf is ready. 6. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out, peel of the parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack.


Note: If you are looking to replace self-rising flour in a US recipe then you need to add 2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt to every cup of all-purpose flour. I didn't add salt to my Banana bread and it turned out just fine


Classic Lemon Drizzle Cake

Recipe:

225g self raising flour (USA all purpose flour)

225g softened butter (e.g. 2 sticks in the USA)

225g caster sugar

2 level tsp baking powder

4 large eggs

4 tbsp milk

Finely grated rind of 2 lemons

Drizzle

Juice from 2 lemons

175g Caster sugar


Note: If you are looking to replace self-rising flour in a US recipe then you need to add 2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt to every cup of all-purpose flour.


Method:

1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. 2. Beat together 225g softened unsalted butter and 225g caster sugar until pale and creamy, then add 4 eggs, one at a time, slowly mixing through. 3. Sift in 225g self-raising flour, then add the finely grated zest of 1 lemon and mix until well combined. 4. Line a loaf tin (8 x 21cm) with greaseproof paper, then spoon in the mixture and level the top with a spoon. 5. Bake for 45-50 mins until a thin skewerinserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. 6. While the cake is cooling in its tin, mix together the juice of 1 ½ lemons and 85g caster sugar to make the drizzle. 7. Prick the warm cake all over with a skewer or fork, then pour over the drizzle – the juice will sink in and the sugar will form a lovely, crisp topping.

Leave in the tin until completely cool, then remove and serve. Cake will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.


Victoria sponge

4 free-range eggs

225g/8oz caster sugar, plus a little extra for dusting the finished cake

225g/8oz self-raising flour (all purple flour in USA)

2 tsp baking powder

225g/8oz butter at room temperature, plus a little extra to grease the tins


To serve

good-quality strawberry or raspberry jam

whipped double cream (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 (320 F). Grease and line two 20cm/8in sandwich tins. Use a piece of baking paper to rub a little butter around the inside of the tins until the sides and base are lightly coated, then line the bottom with a circle of baking paper.

2. Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl, then add the sugar, flour, baking powder and butter. Mix together until well combined with an electric hand mixer (you can also use a wooden spoon), but be careful not to over mix. Put a damp cloth under your bowl when you’re mixing to stop it moving around. The finished mixture should fall off a spoon easily.

3. Divide the mixture evenly between the tins: this doesn’t need to be exact, but you can weigh the filled tins if you want to check. Use a spatula to remove all of the mixture from the bowl and gently smooth the surface of the cakes.

4. Bake the cakes on the middle shelf of the oven for 25 minutes. Check them after 20 minutes. The cakes are done when they’re golden-brown and coming away from the edge of the tins. Press them gently to check – they should be springy to the touch. Set aside to cool in their tins for 5 minutes. Run a palette or rounded butter knife around the inside edge of the tins and carefully turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack.

To assemble the cake, place one cake upside down onto a plate and spread it with plenty of jam. If you want to, you can spread over whipped cream too. Top with the second cake, top-side up. Sprinkle over the caster sugar.


Greek Cookies Koulourakia - These easily recognizable traditional Greek Cookies, aka Koulourakia, are often associated with Greek Easter. Once you taste these not too sweet, slightly crunchy on the outside and tender soft on the inside biscuits, with just a subtle hint of orange and vanilla, you will be making Koulourakia throughout the year. For ease, here is the link.


The following recipes are from my family who run Verbena Cakes and Catering in North Carolina, USA:


Emma’s Cookie Recipe

1 stick of Salted Butter

1/2 cup packed Light Brown Sugar 

1/2 cup Granulated Sugar 

1 1/2 cups White Lily AP Flour (UK would be plain flour)

3 TBSP Instant Vanilla Pudding 

1/2 tsp Kosher Salt (or normal salt as an alternative)

1/2 tsp Baking Soda 

1 Egg 

Splash of Pure Vanilla (about 1/2 tsp)

As many chocolate chips of add ins as you would like! (2-3 Cups total is nice)

Method: 1. Cream the butter and sugars until fluffy. Do not over mix; scrape the bowl and add your egg. Mix and scrape the bowl again. 

2. In a separate bowl mix all your dry ingredients together. Add this flour mixture to your sugar mixture in 1/3’s. Scrape in between each addition. The flour may accumulate at the bottom of the bowl, if this happens, incorporate the flour in the dough by hand. 

3. Add your add ins (choc. Chips, nuts, sprinkles) and vanilla. Mix to incorporate. 

4. Scoop your cookies onto a sheet tray and freeze completely. 

5. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit / 175 celsius for 10-12 mins.

6. Tip: Do not over bake!


White Cake Recipe

1 Stick of Sated Butter 

1/2 cup Granulated Sugar 

3 Eggs 

2 Cups AP Flour

1 TBSP Baking Powder 

1/2 tsp Kosher Salt

1 Cup Whole Milk 

1 tsp pure vanilla extract 

1. Cream room temp butter and sugar.

2. Scrape the bowl and add your eggs one at a time, scraping bowl and attachment between each egg.

3. Mix until incorporated and scrape your bowl.

4. In a separate bowl, Mix all of your dry ingredients together and add them in three parts to your sugar mixture.

5. Scrape the bowl (mix well) and add your milk and vanilla extract and mix until there are no lumps. Be careful not to over mix! 

6. You will need to grease (vegetable shortening is the best) and flour three 6” cake pans.

Add to any homemade cake (yummy) - who doesn't love a bit of talian butter cream! We all need a bit of decadence in our lives right now..e comes out clean (around 20-30 mins).


Italian Buttercream: 

4 Egg Whites 

1 3/4 cups Granulated Sugar

3/4 cup Water 

1 pound (#) Salted Butter 

Splash of Pure Vanilla Extract 

1. Place 4 egg whites in a standing mixer.

2. And start mixing on low, you will ideally want them to look foamy. cook the sugar and water until the mixture reaches 240 degrees Fahrenheit.(115 celsius)

3. Once the sugar mixer has reached 240 degrees Fahrenheit (115 celsius) and the egg whites look foamy, slowly pour the liquid sugar down the side of the mixer into the egg whites while your mixer is on medium.

4. After all the sugar has been incorporated then turn the mixer onto high until the bottom of the Mixing bowl is room temp to the touch.

5. While this mixture is cooling, cut your butter into small cubes.

6. When the mixing bowl is room temperature add the cubes of butter and mix until incorporated.

7. Add your vanilla and mix again


Add to any homemade cake (yummy) - who doesn't love a bit of Italian butter cream! We all need a bit of decadence in our lives right now..


Pullman Bread Loaf Recipe:

360 grams Water 

5 grams Instant Yeast 

560 grams Bread Flour (White Lily preferably) 

35 grams soften Salted OR Unsalted Butter 

25 grams Granulated Sugar 

10 grams Kosher Salt


Method

1. Dissolve Yeast in Water and set aside

2. Combine remaining ingredients in a stand mixer with a hook and slowly add the water

3. Mix until the dough pulls together then turn out on a countertop and knead until you can pull a “window” in the dough.

4. Leave and let the dough rise for 45 minutes (keep it covered). Fold the dough once. Then leave again for another 45 minutes.

5. Now shape and put it into a loaf tin/pan.

6. Let the roaf rise until it almost fills the pan/tin.

7. Bake at 375F/190c and the internal temp of the loaf reaches 98c/210F

8. Remove from the pan/tin and cool on a resting rack.

9. Enjoy.


Slow Cooker Mojo Pork

INGREDIENTS

3-4 pound boneless pork shoulder or pork butt

 8 cloves garlic

 1/2 cup fresh orange juice

 1/2 cup fresh lime juice

 1/4 cup olive oil

 Zest of 1 orange

 Zest of 1 lime

 1 cup cilantro, finely chopped

 1/4 cup lightly packed mint leaves

 2 teaspoons dried oregano

 2 teaspoons ground cumin

 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a food processor or blender, combine all of the ingredients except for the pork shoulder and pulse until everything is finely chopped. You can also finely chop the herbs, mince the garlic, and mix everything together in a bowl. Set aside about 1/3 cup of the mojo sauce for later and keep it in the fridge while the pork cooks.

2. Place the pork shoulder in the slow cooker and pour the mojo sauce over it.  Cover and cook on HIGH for 5-6 hours or on LOW for 8-10 hours. 

3. When the pork is fully cooked and tender, carefully transfer it to a baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree F oven for 15-20 minutes until browned on top.  While doing this, you can thicken the cooking juices remaining in the slow cooked using a cornstarch slurry (1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon of water) Just stir it in, cover, and cook on HIGH for 20-30 minutes while browning the pork and shredded it.  

4. Pull the Cuban mojo pork apart using two forks. Drizzle with reserved mojo sauce, if desired, and serve with the remaining juices from the slow cooker.

Served with white rice, black beans, cilantro (coriander) and lime


Instant Pot Roast with Beef

1 whole Beef Chuck Roast, 3 To 4 Pounds

 Kosher Salt

 Black Pepper

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

2 whole Large Yellow Onions, Peeled And Quartered

6 whole Carrots, Washed, Scrubbed, And Cut Into Large Pieces

1 cup Red Wine

2 cups Beef Stock

3 sprigs Fresh Rosemary

3 sprigs Fresh Thyme

Instructions

· Set the Instant to “Saute” and allow to warm. 

· Season roast generously with salt and pepper. When Instant Pot says "Hot," add in olive oil and sear roast until browned on all sides. Remove to a clean plate. 

· Add in onions and carrots and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Deglaze with red wine, scraping the bottom of the pot to get all of the delicious bits. Add in the beef stock, rosemary, thyme and the beef. 

· Lock the lid into place, place vent to sealing, push "Manual," and set time to 60 minutes. The Instant Pot will release some steam as it comes up to pressure, then it will seal automatically. 

· When the cooking time is done, allow the Instant Pot to naturally vent for at least 10 minutes, 20 is better. Using a wooden spoon, carefully push the valve open to release the rest of the pressure. Remove lid. 

· Skim a much fat off the top of the liquid as you can before disturbing the roast. Remove the roast to a cutting board and with two forks shred roast. Serve alongside carrots and onions, topped with the pan juices. Serve with mashed potatoes.


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