Mint Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate and Raspberry Frosting

20160522_164211

OMG….can a Sunday really get any better! I picked up some Chocolate Mint Leaves at the Glasgow Food Assembly on Monday https://thefoodassembly.com/en/assemblies/7907 , thanks to Rhone Cottage http://www.rhonecottage.co.uk/ , not really knowing what I was going to do with them, but one thing for sure I had to try them. I knew they had a delightful minty chocolate flavour to them so it had to be a dessert of some sort, these were just the ticket…….absolutely amazing flavours and so fresh tasting.

 

Makes 12

Cupcakes:-

  • 150g self raising flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50g butter, softened
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 80ml milk
  • small handful of chocolate mint leaves, very finely chopped
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg.
  2. Combine flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter with a mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and whip until fluffy, about 2 minutes. One at a time, add the eggs, fully mixing after each addition. Add vanilla and mix just until combined.
  4. To the butter mixture add 1/3 of the flour and combine, then add 1/2 the milk and mix. Next add another 1/3 of the flour and mix, add the rest of the milk and mix, then add the remaining flour and mix thoroughly.  20160522_150855
  5. At this stage add in your chopped chocolate mint leaves and mix together.                                                        20160522_150122 20160522_150231
  6. Place your cupcake cases into your tray and then using an ice cream scoop fill each case. (After years of try to get the right amount in a cup case with a spoon, this is just the ticket, perfect amount and easy to scoop. I thoroughly recommend you try….you’ll never look back)                                                           20160522_151032
  7. Bake for approx 18 mins or until a knife comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool before frosting.                       Frosting:-
  • 80g dark chocolate – at least 70% cocoa…I used Lindt (best chocolate in my book)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 30g butter, softened
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g Fresh Raspberries (Scottish is best!)

 

  1. Melt Chocolate using either a bowl and pan of water method or of you have an induction hob, melt in saucepan on level 1.
  2. Place raspberries in a sieve over a bowl and mash until you extract the juice only….if you want the texture of the seeds then just mash and put to one side. (I’m not a fan of the seeds, I wanted a smooth frosting) 20160522_152854   20160522_153424
  3. In a bowl mix sugar and egg whites until stiff peaks appear, you can test this by switching of your mixer and removing, if the peaks stay up it’s ready, if the peaks flop, mix some more…..this should take around 10 mins….very boring point of the recipe…I suggest pouring yourself a glass of wine and sipping while mixing. 20160522_154124 Just starting out……..                                                    20160522_154901 after 5 minutes…….still no where near stiff………sip…..sip……sip……20160522_155635 Whoohoooo….we’re there….several sips of wine later!
  4. Add the vanilla to the egg whites, then add the butter, little at a time mixing at each stage.
  5. Now add in the chocolate and raspberry juice and mix thoroughly together.                                                                  20160522_160215
  6. If not using straight away, you can refrigerate or even freezer the frosting.

Decorate your cupcakes anyway you choose and enjoy!

20160522_161949 20160522_162240 20160522_162308

Smoked Salmon and Avocado Omelette with Avocado Ranch Dressing

20160522_132509

Oh so yummy lunch today or as I call it Superfood Sunday! Having some Avocado Ranch dressing https://cookingwithluce.wordpress.com/2016/05/21/avocado-ranch-dressing/ left from yesterdays lunch and my determination to do well at the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Omelette challenge http://www.jamiesfoodrevolution.org/news/the-food-revolution-international-omelette-challenge/  the 2 went hand in hand, the dressing added a lovely we extra zing to the omelette.

 

Makes 1

2 eggs

Small handful of grated cheddar cheese

1 slice of smoked fresh salmon

1/4 Avocado sliced thinly

Salt & pepper

1 tbsp avocado dressing (recipe above on link)

 

  1. Whisk eggs and season with salt & pepper
  2. Heat pan to medium to high heat and lightly spray with low fat oil.
  3. Pour in egg mixture and cook for about 4-5 mins until cooked underneath but still slightly running on top
  4. Place smoked salmon and avocado on  1 side, fold over omelette and cook for further couple of mins.  20160522_131831
  5. Serve with ranch dressing. Yummy!

20160522_132412

 

Boil in the Bag Omelette!

20160522_091425

Well…I have to say when I read about this I was a bit uncertain, but as per usual my curiosity got the better of me…….well what can I say…..it just went and worked didn’t it! A perfect folded omelette! Here goes:-

 

Makes 1 

2 small to medium Eggs (if using large you may need to increase cooking time.)

1 Ziplock Bag – good one (cheap one might leak)

1 chopped mushroom

1 sliced small tomato

Handful of grated cheese

Salt & Pepper to taste

Spray oil

 

  1. Spray inside the bag with oil to prevent from sticking.                                                                        20160522_084730
  2. Crack the eggs in….no need to whisk up.                                                                                                            20160522_085102
  3. Add in your ingredients…..of course you can add anything you like, I made it simple yet tasty.          20160522_085342
  4. Gently rub with your hands to coat all round and break the yolks. Remove any air from the bag gently and seal. 20160522_085605
  5. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and place bag in and boil rapidly for 8 minutes. Then reduce to a simmer for about 2-3 minutes.                                                                                                                          20160522_085802
  6. Gently remove and open bag, roll onto a plate and serve…….oh WOW!

20160522_091452    20160522_091707

 

Banoffee Custard Tarts with Toffee Cream

20160521_204344

This was a recipe I picked up from fellow blogger https://greencookingblog.wordpress.com/ , I just loved the sound of it as I love Banoffee…my ultimate fav! They turned out very tasty indeed, although I think I’ll get deeper trays the next time as I would have loved them to be bigger…lol! I wasn’t sure what to serve with it, I had some cream and toffee left so……yep…voila…toffee cream….and it just went so well.

 

Makes 12

  • 250g granulated sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 200ml double cream
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 pack Shortcrust pastry (you can alternatively make your own)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 300ml milk
  • 1tsp nutmeg

 

  1. In a medium saucepan, add 200g of the sugar and heat on a medium heat, stirring continuously…..please be patient as this can take about 10 mins but it will start to brown and dissolve.                                                         This was after 5 mins. 20160521_153900 This was after about 8 mins. 20160521_154002              Then 10 mins….20160521_154601
  2. When all the sugar has dissolved to form a dark brown liquid, add the butter (cut into 5 chunks) and stir rapidly until mixed
  3. Heat for a further 1 minute, and then slowly add 100ml of cream, stirring continuously
  4. Bring the mix to the boil and then remove from the heat, adding the salt and stirring for a couple of minutes until cooler
  5. Allow the caramel to stand for around 15 minutes before placing in the fridge to cool
  6. Take the pastry and roll out so that it is around 1cm in thickness – cut out tart shapes and place these in a muffin tray.
  7. Cover each pastry case with greaseproof paper and add baking beans, or alternatively prick with a fork 20160521_160055
  8. Bake the pastry blind for around 10 minutes at 200C/ 180C Fan
  9. Remove the pastry cases from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Then remove the greaseproof paper
  10. Cut the banana into small chunks and divide between the 12 pastry cases. Add 1tsp caramel on top of the banana
  11. In a saucepan, heat the milk until it starts to boil. Whilst doing this, add the egg yolks and remaining 50g of sugar to a bowl and whisk until combined
  12. Slowly add the boiling milk to the egg yolk and sugar, stirring with a whisk continuously
  13. Divide the custard mix between the 12 pastry cases and then sprinkle some nutmeg over the top of each tart
  14. Put in the oven for around 15 minutes – the custard should have browned on the top and started to set
  15. With the left over cream (100ml and toffee (about 2 tbsp), whisk up in a bowl with 1 tsp of vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
  16. Serve….oh so yummy!

 

Mutton Spied Curry

20160521_201756

I have to say this is the first time I’ve tried Mutton, I picked it up at the Glasgow Food Assembly from Harris Meat Farm, https://harrisfarmmeats.scot/ , https://thefoodassembly.com/en/assemblies/7907 , went with a spiced Indian flavour and some yellow lentils and oh my……absolutely loved it, rich, spicy, fragrant and so delicate, I slow cooked the meat and it just flaked on my plate…..absolute taste sensation!

Serves 2

500g Diced Mutton

1 onion – chopped

50g Yellow Split peas

350ml water

1 tsp Turmeric

1 tbsp Oil

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp garlic

1 Green Chilli – finely chopped

1 can chopped tomatoes 400g

1 tsp Red Chilli Powder

1 tsp Coriander

1 tsp Gram Masala

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Curry Powder

Handful of Kalette Leaves or Spinach

 

  1. Firstly you want to marinade the mutton for around 1 hour, so in a bowl add 1/2 tsp Turmeric, 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder, 1/2 tsp Coriander, 1 tsp Gram Masala, 1 tsp Cumin, 1 tsp Curry Powder, add the mutton and rub through.
  2. Meanwhile, Bring the 250ml water to the boil and add 1/2 tsp Turmeric then add in the yellow split peas, boil for about 10 mins then simmer for a further 15 mins or until the water is all soaked up. Spoon out onto a side plate for now.
  3. In the same pan heat through the oil, gently fry the garlic, ginger, onion and green chillies for a few mins until onion has cooked through (slighty brown).
  4. Then add in the mutton to the pan and brown all over.
  5. Empty in the Tin Tomatoes, about 100ml water, put the yellow peas back into pan and sprinkle 1/2 tsp coriander in, bring to the boil, reduce to a very slow simmer and slow cook on hob covered for about 2.5hrs or until meat is tender.
  6. A couple of minutes before serving, steam some Kalette leaves or Spinach and serve. Yummy!

I found that a Tempranillo based wine went really well, due to it’s Spicy, Herbal and Cherry flavour combinations. This however is up to your individual taste palates.

20160521_190905

Avocado Ranch Dressing

20160521_151012

I came across this recipe from fellow blogger http://thehomemakerslife.com/ , I loved the sound of it and simply had to try, and I’m glad I did, lively dressing for any salad, very tasty.

Makes enough for about 4 servings

  • 1 medium-sized ripe avocado
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 clove of garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp ranch dressing
  • 1 tsp fresh chives
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp almond milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Put everything into a food processor and blitz together until a smooth like consistency.
  2. Serve over any salad of your choice. Yummy!

20160521_142743    20160521_145510  20160521_150944

Wee Scottish Brekkie Omelette (Healthier edition)

20160521_095645

I love a full cooked Scottish breakfast but I also like to eat healthy……this little creation is only 240 calories and about 6g fat……you still get the full flavour without the guilty feeling. A win win all round. I just love breakfast times.

I source all my ingredients locally so everything is fresh and super tasty!  Not joined a Food Assembly near you  yet, sign up here:-

https://thefoodassembly.com/en

I’m also following Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and oh yes this is my omelette challenge entry too! Haven’t signed up yet? Here is the link below.

http://www.jamiesfoodrevolution.org/

 

Makes 1 omelette

2 eggs

2 slices of Black Pudding

1 rasher of low fat smoked bacon

1 mushroom

2 cherry tomatoes

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 Tbsp of baked beans

20160521_093219

 

  1. Heat some low fat cooking spray oil in a pan and lightly fry black pudding (6 mins), bacon (3 mins), mushroom and tomatoes (2-3 mins).                                                                                 20160521_094035
  2. Beat eggs together, add in salt & pepper, heat oil in a pan and cook omelette until slightly running on top still.20160521_094452
  3. Add in the filling above and cook for further 1 min, then fold and serve with some baked beans. Yummy! 20160521_094730

I also love it when you get a doubler…….maximum flavour too!  20160521_094112