Roll ’em out and use a cookie cutter biscuits

Biscuiteers super chocolatey biscuits
Makes 24-30

275g plain flour
100g self-raising flour
75g good-quality cocoa powder
125g granulated sugar
125g salted butter softened and diced
125g golden syrup
1 large egg lightly beaten

For plain biscuits:
350g plain flour
100g self-raising flour
125g granulated sugar
125g salted butter softened, diced
125g golden syrup
1 large egg

Sift the flours and cocoa together into a mixing bowl, add the sugar and mix well. Add the butter. Using just the tips of your fingers, rub the ingredients together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. When the butter is all mixed in, make a well in the centre and add the syrup and egg. Mix well, drawing in any of the flour left at the side of the bowl and stop as soon as a ball has formed.

If using a food processor, combine the dry ingredients and sugar, blitz with the butter to fine crumbs, then add the other ingredients and pulse to a dough.

Then follow the biscuit basics link and check out the delicious sounding variations including how to make chocolate Bourbons – mmmm!


Oh what to do with Turkey mince?

It’s the cheapest meat in the shops at the moment and is also remarkably lean and low fat – just my sort of food. But what to do with it because to be honest, the last few things I’ve tried, including a ‘kid friendly’ recipe which added grated apple, have just came out a bit tough and tasteless.

But then I happened to stumble across this Turkey Meatball recipe. First of all, these guys have obviously done an impressive amount of marketing because they’re coming higher up the google search than some of the BBC food sites. But also it reminds me of the recipe book mum has on her shelf, which has step by step colour photos and instructions on how to make simple, everyday food. But not in a book with a broken spine and pages that have been sellotaped back five hundred times.

The key it seems – a bit like making muffins – is not to handle the meat too much. Start by making a tomato sauce – heat crushed garlic in olive oil for about 30 seconds until it starts to give off a garlicky smell, then chuck in 4 tins (yes that’s 4!) of chopped tomatoes and simmer until you’re ready to add the meatballs.

Next the meatballs – mix all the other ingredients together first (obviously I replaced panko with matzo meal, milk with water and missed out the cheese!) including matzo meal, egg, seasoning and then using a fork, or knife, add meat and gently combine. Don’t touch the meatballs for 20 minutes when you first add them, then give them a bit of a shake and taa daa. Soft, moist, tasty and not at all dense or tough. Perfect to put on hotplate for friday night dinner with white rice, peas and big salad.

apple cake for dessert – but that’s a whole new lesson!

Rosh Hashanah Challah

Quick while I remember. I’m planning on making challot again for Rosh Hashanah. Last year I just added raisins to my basic recipe and then sprinkled – or more accurately drowned it – with cinnamon and sugar.

But I just found a smitten kitchen apple and honey challah recipe that looks good. Probably more practical for lots of people than Jamie Geller’s individual apple stuffed challahs – but I’m intrigued to try her famous challah recipe.

Carrot and courgette cakes

Despite having been brought up with only parve cakes, I love baking with butter! Such a different taste to vegetable margarines and they feel very luxurious.

But for parve cakes it’s always nice to find recipes that don’t use butter or milk so you don’t have to substitute and they taste as they were meant to!

So here are two I’ve discovered recently…

A yummy Venetian carrot cake by Nigella with ground almonds and olive oil. Looks flat and dense but actually quite delicious. Also good for pesach as no flour!

I’ve had a slight obsession with courgette cake since living in Edinburgh and always tried very wholesome recipes that were too stodgy. Until I discovered this great David Leibovitz courgette cake – made all the better with lemon icing.