Cook Once Eat Twice

Cook Once Eat Twice December 2015 Round Up

Cook Once Eat Twice

Thank you to everyone who joined in with #CookOnceEatTwice in December, especially as December is such a busy month.  I know I have been able to spend much less time on blogging so I really appreciate all the entries.   There were some lovely seasonal recipes and great ideas for the slow cooker too!

The first entry was this delicious brown sugared pear and ginger preserve from The Gluten Free Alchemist.   I love the idea of pear preserves as it’s something I’ve never tried before.

brown sugar pear ginger preserves

This was followed by a Stollen from Only Crumbs Remain.   Stollen is one of my favourite Christmas treats as I can’t resist the marzipan and this one looks beautifully authentic.

stollen

Another seasonal favourite is of course Christmas Cake and I love the modern twist that The Gluten Free Alchemist has given to these mini Christmas Cakes.

mini christmas cake

I’m a real fan of my slow cooker and so love the sound of the next entry, Winter Slow Cooker Balsamic Beef by Caroline Makes.  I haven’t had chance to make it yet but it is on my list!

slow cooker balsamic beef

The next entry was a classic Christmas side dish, braised red cabbage by Tin and Thyme.  I do like red cabbage and I’m ashamed I’ve never had a go at it, especially as it’s so beautifully spiced.

Braised-Red-Cabbage1-750x563

Next up was another beautifully simple slow cooker recipe from Caroline Makes, slow cooker ham in cherry coke.  The sweetness of cola is perfect for cooking ham in and it would make another perfect Christmas meal.

ham in cherry cola

If you have any mincemeat leftover then this recipe from Easy Peasy Foodie for mincemeat and apple crumble would be the perfect way to use it up.   I could even be tempted to buy a jar just to make this as I love crumble so much!

Mincemeat-Crumble-1-768x573

Another gorgeous recipe from Easy Peasy Foodie was this fantastic braised red cabbage, which once again made me think I really should have a go at making some at home.

Braised-Red-Cabbage-2-1024x764

The last entry was these mini quiches from The Gluten Free Alchemist.   They are so cute I know I wouldn’t be able to resist eating quite a few if I was at a party where they were served.

mini quiches

And finally there was my own entry, this leftover roasted vegetable soup.   I’ve made it a few times since with slightly different combinations of vegetables and it’s always delicious!

Sweet Potato, Parsnip and Potato Soup

The next #CookOnceEatTwice for January 2016 will be posted soon and once again I look forward to being inspired.

Whole roasted celeriac with pearl barley and curried mushrooms

Whole Roasted Celeriac

Whole Roasted Celeriac with pearl barley and curried mushroom sauce

Welcome to this month’s Recipe ReDux post and my whole roasted celeriac.   You could even call it Zombie Brain!  As it’s Christmas and as the Recipe ReDux has been around for 54 months now, we were challenged to play a little party game and ‘redux’ the recipe on page 54 or 154 of one of our cookbooks.   I have a lot of cookbooks and I looked in quite a few before I found a recipe I could redux on the right page.   It’s not that page 54 seems reserved for dishes I don’t like but rather page 54 already seems to be dedicated to delicious healthy recipes that need no reduxing.

Luckily it wasn’t long before I turned to Save with Jamie and there on page 54 was, Zombie Brain, a recipe I’d looked at before and considered making but never had.   It was perfect for this challenge: a real vegetable showstopper of a dish with a delicious sounding creamy mustard sauce that certainly could be made a little healthier.   The zombie brain is actually a whole roasted celeriac served with pearl barley and mushrooms.

I stuck closely to Jamie’s method for most of this recipe but changed the flavours of the sauce to make a curried yoghurt sauce rather than a cream-based sauce.   The yoghurt meant the sauce was still creamy but it was a healthier substitute for the cream.  I also omitted the butter.

The recipe redux is all about creating healthy dishes and making healthier versions of already delicious dishes.   I’m sure Jamie’s whole roasted celeriac is amazing but I was more than happy with the way my take on it turned out.  From now on it won’t just to squash that I roast whole.

Whole roasted celeriac

Whole Roasted Celeriac

Ingredients

  • 1 whole celeriac
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme or use a sprig of fresh thyme
  • pinch of black pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, in their skins but crushed slightly with the back of a knife.
  • 200g pearl barley
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 400g mushrooms
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 200ml stock
  • 3 tbsp natural yoghurt

Instructions

  1. Scrub the celeriac to make sure it's really well cleaned as you don't peel it.
  2. Take a large piece of aluminium foil. Put the celeriac in the middle, drizzle with the olive oil, season with a little salt and pepper and sprinkle over the thyme and the 2 whole cloves of garlic. Wrap the celeriac up well.
  3. Cook it for 2 hours in the oven at 180C until it is soft all the way through.
  4. While the celeriac is cooking, cook the pearl barley.
  5. About 30 minutes before the celeriac is ready, cook the onions gently with a little olive oil until they are soft then add the crushed garlic. Cook for about a minute before adding the mushrooms and the curry powder. Add the stock and turn up the heat a little. Let it simmer until the liquid has almost disappeared. Stir in the yoghurt at the end.
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Filo Venison Wellington

Individual Filo Wellingtons

Individual Filo Wellingtons - Filo Venison Wellington

A few years ago I made beef wellington for the first time and loved it.   It’s the perfect meal for a special day as it looks as well as tastes great and who doesn’t want to impress their guests?  This time I decided to make individual wellingtons and to make them a little lighter I used filo pastry rather than shortcrust or puff.   If you’re looking for an alternative to turkey for Christmas dinner then these individual filo wellingtons would be just the thing.

Wellingtons are normally made with beef but as Christmas is coming and it was a special day, I went for venison, although I had to make a beef one for my husband!  I’ll let you choose.  The beef and venison steaks were wrapped in  crisp filo pastry, parma ham and a layer of chicken and mushroom pâté.   They were easy to put together but certainly didn’t lack anything in flavour.

The pastry was deliciously crisp and the pâté added extra richness to the meat and the sauce.  I experimented for the first time by making a red wine jus and actually going to the effort of reducing the sauce properly.   It was worth it.

Although I could have used any wine for the jus, I wanted it to be worthy of the Wellingtons and so I used Astelia Cabernet Sauvignon.   Cabernet Sauvignon is one of my favourite reds.  It’s perfect with red meat and rich hearty dishes, such as these individual wellingtons.  Astelia Cabernet Sauvignon is a Pays d’Oc certified wine with rounded tanins along with mocha and forest fruit aromas.  Luckily I had two bottles and only needed a little for the sauce.  The wellingtons are very rich and the French red wine was perfect both for the sauce and for drinking with the meal.

Individual filo wellingtons - Filo venison Wellington

Individual Filo Wellingtons

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 venison steaks (or substitute for beef fillet steak)
  • 6 sheets of filo pastry
  • 60g butter
  • 8 slices of parma ham
  • 100g pâté (I used chicken forestier)
  • For the Red Wine Jus
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 250ml red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 500ml beef stock (you could use venison stock if you have it)
  • 25g butter
  • Black pepper
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and cook the venison for about 30 seconds on each side to seal in the juices. Leave to cool.
  2. Heat the butter until melted. Lay a piece of filo pastry on the work surface, using a pastry brush, brush it with the melted butter. Lay another piece on top and repeat with a third piece.
  3. Repeat with the other three sheets of filo. Using a sharp knife, cut each stack of filo sheets in half so you have 4 smaller filo rectangles.
  4. Lay 2 pieces of parma ham in the middle of each filo rectangle. Divide the pâté into 4 equal amounts and spread on top of the parma ham.
  5. Put a venison steak on top of each piece of parma ham and pâté and wrap the filo pastry around. Use a little more melted butter to stick the ends of the pastry together and tuck them underneath the filo parcel. Brush the top with melted butter.
  6. Bake in the oven at 180C for 25 minutes.
  7. Make the red wine jus while the wellingtons are cooking. Put a little oil in a saucepan and cook the onions and garlic gently for 10 minutes. Add the bay leaf, rosemary and red wine.
  8. Turn up the heat until the sauce has reduced by about half. Add the stock and continue to cook vigorously until it has reduced again by about half.
  9. Strain to remove the onion and herbs.
  10. Return to the pan and stir in the butter. Add extra seasoning if necessary.
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You can buy Domaines Paul Mas – Astelia Cabernet Sauvignon at Olivers Wine Warehouse.   For more information about French wine then go to http://www.paysdoc-wines.com/ and you can also follow @paysdocigpwines on Twitter.

Disclosure: This post is for a competition. I was sent two bottle of Astelia Cabernet Sauvignon and invited to create a twist on a traditional Christmas dish to serve alongside.

Mint and Lamb Meatballs

Mint and Lamb Meatballs

Mint and lamb Meatballs

It’s Secret Recipe Club time again!  I love being assigned a random blog and searching through for recipes I would like to make.    This month I had no problem finding something I liked and wanted to make as my blog was The Hobo Kitchen written by Ellie.   If you haven’t discovered this blog yet it’s definitely worth a look.   It has a simple layout with beautiful pictures and I promise you that you’ll want to eat almost everything you see and these mint and lamb meatballs in a mint and tomato sauce are a good place to start!

Lamb goes so well with spices and the addition of the fresh mint really brings it alive.   So much better than using dried herbs, although I know it’s not always practical.   These meatballs contain cinnamon, cumin and dried coriander as well as few flakes of dried red chilli pepper to add a touch of heat.   The spices are in the tomato sauce too which means you can still really taste them and the sauce doesn’t become just another tomato sauce, especially not when you add the fresh mint as well.

I served the mint and lamb meatballs with couscous but you could serve them with rice or flatbreads if that’s more your thing.

One thing I’m certain of is that I’ll be coming back to the Hobo Kitchen again to see what other tasty dishes Ellie’s been making.   I love her mix of dishes from various cultures and especially the use of fresh herbs and spices in many of them.  Of her recent recipes her butternut squash and goats cheese quiche looks amazing, as do her slow cooker bbq chicken taco bowls and I am hoping my husband does not see her shredded baklava cups because if he does I’ll have no choice but to make them!

Mint and Lamb Meatballs

Mint and Lamb Meatballs

Ingredients

    For the Meatballs
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1/4 onion, finely dice
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice of white bread, made into breadcrumbs (toast, leave to cool then crumble up)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • For the Tomato Sauce
  • 3/4 onion, finely diced (use the rest of the one used for the meatballs)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 100ml stock ( I used vegetable stock but you could use lamb or chicken)
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Handful of chopped fresh mint

Instructions

  1. Put all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl and mix them together with your hands.
  2. Take small pieces and roll them between your hands to make the meatballs.
  3. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan and fry the meatballs, turning until they are slightly browned on all sides.
  4. Remove the meatballs and set aside.
  5. Add a little more oil and start making the sauce by frying the chopped onion gently so it softens.
  6. Add the garlic and stir into the onions then add all the other sauce ingredients except the mint. Bring to the boil then add the meatballs. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Serve with rice or couscous.
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I am linking this to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum, Cook Blog Share at Snap Happy Bakes and Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too.

Tasty TuesdaysCook Blog ShareRecipe of the week

doughnuts

Mini Baked Doughnuts with Christmas Sprinkles

Baked Doughnuts with Christmas sprinkles

Sometimes you think you have all the kitchen gadgets you need.  And then you try something new and realise that actually you were wrong.  That’s exactly how I felt until I tried out my smart new Vonshef Doughnut Maker and made these cute mini baked doughnuts coated in chocolate and decorated with Christmas sprinkles.

13_103_3_Yes, I needed a doughnut maker.   My family needed me to have a doughnut maker and my friends needed me to get one too.   We just didn’t realise until we all ate these up last week.  I made 30 doughnuts and they were gone in  less than 24 hours.  Admittedly I shared them with 6 other people but that’s still over 4  doughnuts each!

I always thought of doughnuts as being a bit complicated to make at home but with these baked doughnuts you just put all the ingredients in one bowl and whisk them together.  It really doesn’t take much time at all.   They then take about 3 minutes to cook in the doughnut maker, which you just need to wipe clean afterwards so there’s not a lot of cleaning up to do either.

I have to admit that until now the deep frying put me off making doughnuts too but as these doughnuts are baked,  they really are the healthier option.  Well, maybe until I covered them in chocolate and sprinkles!

Ok, I can’t claim they are healthy but I can claim that they are absolutely delicious and I know that I’ll be making baked doughnuts again when we have guests staying over Christmas.  Little Miss Spice helped me decorate them too so you can even get the whole family involved in making them.

If you like doughnuts as much as we do then the Vonshef Doughnut Maker from Domu would make a great last-minute Christmas present.  RRP £29.99 but currently available for £18.49.

Baked Doughnuts with Christmas sprinkles

Baked Dougnuts

Yield: Makes 30 mini doughnuts

Ingredients

    Ingredients for the Doughnuts
  • 200g plain flour
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 125g room-temperature butter
  • 1 egg
  • 175ml milk
  • For the Coating
  • 200g milk chocolate, broken up
  • 200g sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Stir together.
  2. Lightly grease the doughnut maker and switch it on.
  3. Add the butter, egg and milk. Beat with a whisk for a couple of minutes until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
  4. Put a spoonful of mixture into each doughnut mould and close the lid. Cook for 3 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Remove the doughnuts and put on a wire rack to cool.
  6. Add more doughnut batter to the doughnut maker and repeat until all the batter has been used up. I made 30 doughnuts.
  7. When the doughnuts are cool, heat the chocolate in a microwave to melt it or over a saucepan of water.
  8. Dip the doughnuts in the chocolate and then dip them in the sprinkles and then put them back on the wire racks until the chocolate has set.
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I am linking this to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum, Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too and Cook Blog Share at Hijacked by Twins.

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Sweet potato parsnip and potato soup 3

Leftover Roast Vegetable Soup

Sweet Potato, Parsnip and Potato Soup

At this time of year we eat a lot of roast dinners, with the biggest of course being Christmas dinner, and it’s a shame to see the leftovers go to waste. Roasted vegetables are at their best when they are freshly made but that’s no excuse not to use them up later.   In fact now that I’ve discovered how well leftover roasted potatoes blend up to make a creamy soup, I’ll now plan to have leftovers more often.   Just so I can make this leftover roast vegetable soup.   It may be traditional to eat leftover turkey after Christmas but why not make this soup too?

Often when cooking it can be tempting to add lots of ingredients, especially herbs and spices to make something taste great.   Of course there’s nothing wrong with that and it’s what I do all the time but with this soup, it really has been pared back to the basics of roasted root vegetables and stock.  Good stock.

essential turkey stockIf you want you can make your own stock and I do admire people who do but for everyday home cooking I prefer the ease of powdered stock as it means I can quickly mix up exactly the amount I need.  For this soup I wanted a Christmas flavour and used Essential Cuisine Turkey Stock and was really pleased with the depth of flavour it added: Rich and tasty but not salty.   As I’m cooking for a family it’s good to know that award-winning Essential Cuisine Stocks contain no e-numbers or added MSG as well as being gluten-free.

Finally I should mention the bacon.  I find root vegetables can be a little sweet in a soup if you don’t balance them out with something salty or bitter.   That’s why the bacon pieces on the top of the soup are so much more than just a garnish. The salty smokiness really adds to the flavour of the soup, even if you only use a little.   If you have leftover sausages wrapped in bacon from your Christmas dinner, they’d also make a great garnish.

Soups are the perfect meal for colder weather:  easy to make, comforting and healthy too.  I like to make enough to last for the next day too which means this is the perfect #CookOnceEatTwice meal for my own Cook Once Eat Twice blogging challenge.

Sweet Potato Parsnip and Potato Soup

Roast Vegetable Soup

Yield: Serves 2 - 4, depending on serving size

Serve with crusty bread as a main meal for 2 or as a starter for 4.

Ingredients

  • Leftover roasted vegetables (I had approximately 2 roasted parsnips, 2 roasted sweet potatoes and 3 roasted potatoes)
  • 500ml Essential Turkey Stock
  • 2 pieces of smoked bacon

Instructions

  1. Roughly chop the roasted vegetables.
  2. Put the vegetables and stock in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Fry the bacon until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper and chop up.
  4. Put the soup in a blender and blend until smooth or use a stick blender.
  5. Serve the soup topped with the bacon pieces.
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I am also linking to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum, Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too and Cook, Blog, Share, hosted this week by Sneaky Veg.

Cook Once Eat TwiceTasty TuesdaysCook Blog ShareRecipe of the week

vita coco coconut water

Vita Coco Banana Blueberry and Spinach Smoothie

vita coco banana blueberry and spinach smoothie

With the Christmas season beginning and temptation everywhere in the form of delicious sweet treats, tasty snacks and fatty comfort food, sometimes it’s good to have a few quick healthy tricks up your sleeve for those days when eating healthily is otherwise just not going to happen.

As I was sent some samples of Vita Coco natural coconut water, which is 99% pure coconut water plus just 1% fruit sugar and a little vitamin C I felt a quick healthy smoothie would be the perfect antidote to all the overindulgence of the Christmas party season and so I created this healthy Vita Coco banana blueberry and spinach smoothie.

I’d never made a green smoothie before but I keep reading about them and so decided to go just a little bit green with a handful of spinach but as I also added blueberries, the finished smoothie was a rather dark purple with a just a slight greenish tinge.   No one would know they were drinking their greens with this!   Perfect for encouraging fussy kids!  Or partners!

I have to admit that at the moment I am a bit lazy with making sure I eat my 5 a day.   Sometimes after making sure the children are eating well, tidying up after them and entertaining them, the last thing I get around to doing is picking up a piece of fruit to eat myself.

It may take slightly more work to make a smoothie but I made sure that all the ingredients for this one can be thrown together in less than a minute.  Bananas are so quick to peel, the spinach was already washed and the blueberries were straight from the freezer so it really was something I could make more quickly than peeling a kiwi fruit!

vita coco banana spinach and blueberry smoothie

 

Vita Coco Banana Blueberry and Spinach Smoothie

Yield: Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 carton of Vita Coco (330ml)
  • 1 banana
  • Handful of frozen berries (I used blueberries)
  • Handful of spinach

Instructions

  1. Put all the ingredients in a blender or use a stick blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. Serve immediately
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Cook Once Eat Twice

Cook Once Eat Twice Round up November 2015

I’m sorry the round up this month is a little late.   Like everyone else I’ve begun preparing for Christmas which makes it harder than ever to find enough time for blogging!

Well, this month I was delighted to get the highest number of entries so far for Cook Once Eat Twice and they were all beautiful recipes.

Firstly I made this Chinese Chicken Curry which is  a great alternative to a takeaway.

Chinese chicken curry

Next was Easy Peasy Foodie with a Quick Beany Chilli – perfect for colder autumn/winter weather.

Quick-Beany-Chilli-1c

Next up was De Tout Coeur Limousin with a Cajun Spiced Pumpkin and Coconut Stew.   It looks and sounds amazing!

cajun spiced coconut pumpkin stew

Another delightful pumpkin entry was this Pumpkin Soup from The Gluten Free Alchemist.  I loved the fact that the pumpkin seeds were served with it too.

pumpkin soup

A dish I’ve intended to make for a long time is lasagna and I loved the sound of this traditional lasagne by Diary of a Saucepot.

lasagne

This month’s first dessert was from Tin and Thyme – this gorgeous looking Fig Almond Cake with Whisky.   What a fantastic alternative to a traditional Christmas cake!

fig almond cake

Another irrisistible pumpkin recipe was this Pumpkin, Almond and Quinoa Soup from Green Gourmet Giraffe.  I will defintiely be getting some almond butter soon.

pumpkin quinoa soup

I love Baking Queen74’s slow cooker recipes and this Cumin, Parsnip and Apple Soup was no exception, especially as cumin is one of my favourite spices!

parsnip-soup-1

My mum used to make a savoury crumble so I was really pleased to see this Cauliflower Crumble by Allotment 2 Kitchen.

Cauliflower crumble

The second sweet recipes came from Sprinkle Some Salt who  made this lovely Coconut Pineapple Bhapa Doi, which is a steamed sweet yoghurt pudding.  I’m intrigued and would I’d love to try some.

coconut pineapple Bhapa doi

There was then another entry from De Tout Coeur Limousin with one of my favourite soups – French Onion Soup.   I just love how cheesy the toasts on top are.

French onion soup

Another lovely cheese filled dish was these Vegetarian Croque Madam Muffins.  They look yummy and for me would be perfect at any time of day.

 Vegi Ham Crocqu Mosseire

I also love the sound of this Chickpea, Green Bean and Chilli Stew by De Tout Coeur Limousin.  It definitely makes me want to eat healthily!

chickpea green bean chilli stew

With Christmas coming soon this Braised Red Cabbage by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary would make the a perfect side dish.

Braised-Red-Cabbage

I’d never heard of poutine before but this colourful looking Fresh’s Green Poutine Style Sweet Potato from The Taste Space definitely makes me feel I need to learn more.

poutine style sweet potato

Finally Easy Peasy Foodie contributed this Warm Christmas Rice Salad with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Seeds.   I love the seasonal flavours and it looks so pretty too!

Warm-Christmas-Rice-Salad-7

Thank you once again for joining in and inspiring me to #CookOnceEatTwice as well.   December’s linky is already live here.

Cook Once Eat Twice

Cook Once Eat Twice December 2015

Cook Once Eat Twice

Thank you to everyone who joined in with Cook Once Eat Twice in November and welcome to another month of delicious leftovers, freezer meals and any other meals that are just as delicious when eaten at a later time as they are when they are freshly made.

December is the perfect time to plan meals that fit the #CookOnceEatTwice concept.   With the party season in full swing as well as there being so much to prepare for in time for Christmas, any meals that saves you time in the long run can be a real lifesaver.

The November round up will be published soon but in the meantime you can begin linking up for December.    As always, I can’t wait to see what dishes we have and be inspired once again to #CookOnceEatTwice.

Here’s a reminder of the rules:

  • Include a link in your post to Searching for Spice and include the badge.  Add your link to the linky below.
  • If you tweet, tweet me @Corinthecook using the hashtag #CookOnceEatTwice and I will retweet.
  • Include the source of any recipe if applicable and use your own photos.
  • I will pin all entries onto the Cook Once Eat Twice Pinterest board.
  • It’s acceptable to link up old posts but please update them with the link and the badge so they fit the rules of the challenge.
  • Feel free to link up to other blogging events as well, as long as it is within their rules.
  • The closing date is the 28th of the month and the roundup will be posted soon afterwards
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Snowflake Brownie

Bakedin Snowflake Brownie Baking Kit

Snowflake Brownie Baking Kit

I love brownies.   Indeed, who doesn’t love brownies?  So when I was asked by Gousto if I would like to try out the Baked In Snowflake Brownie Baking Kit  then of course I had to say yes.  As it’s designed for little hands I knew Little Miss Spice would be excited about it too.

The recipe for the brownie has been created by Michel Roux and all the ingredients come in the correct quantities in little bags so it’s easy for children mix everything up themselves.   You just need to provide your own egg and some butter.   Little Miss Spice is three so I had to help quite a lot to make sure the butter and eggs were fully creamed together and that all the wet and dry ingredients were properly combined but she still felt she was making the brownie herself.

The Snowflake Brownie is delicious and fudgey with dried cranberries and chopped pecans in it. It has a rich dark chocolate taste and is not too sweet but it was perfect for me.   My husband, who has a sweeter tooth, would have preferred a slightly sweeter brownie.

The texture of the brownie was perfect too:  Sticky and fudgy in the middle and slightly chewy around the edges. Yum!

I had just one tiny issue.  There was no mention of what sized tin to cook the brownies in   As you can see, my brownie is round which is not traditional brownie shape.   This is because the smallest square tin I have is 20cm by 20cm which would have been way too big for the amount of mixture I had.   I used a 15cm round cake tin as it was the smallest I could find.   Don’t let this put you off though, the brownie is definitely worth it and future kits will contain silicone-coated disposable baking trays.

Perhaps because of the size of my cake tin, I found that my brownie was perfectly cooked after 30 minutes.   If I had left it in the oven for the full 45 minutes without checking then I fear all that lovely brownie fudginess would have cooked away.

Overall, using this baking kit with Little Miss Spice definitely made me want to do more baking with her.   She’s a fussy eater but as we were making the brownie she was happily tasting the pecans, cranberries and even trying a little of the mixture.  I love to bake with her when I can but it does take time gathering together the ingredients and weighing everything out before we start so I loved the convenience of not having to do all that.

Although Little Miss Spice is three, I would say that this kit is suitable for all ages, not just for children either.   It contains clear step by step instructions with pictures so older children would be able to follow the recipe and make it by themselves while younger children could do as much as they are able with adult help.

Baked In produce monthly baking kits and if you’re interested you can find out more here.   A subscription would also make a great gift for adults or children.

Snowflake Brownie Baking Kit