Monthly Archives: March 2014

My “Kind of Carmelitas” *EDITED*

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I sort of stumbled upon this while searching the web, a carmelita is an oat bar with chocolate and rather obviously, as the name suggests, caramel. Poring over the photographs on Google images I knew I wanted to make them, but instead of being gooey and squishy, I needed them to be a bit more stable seeing as I wanted to pack them off with the menfolk for lunches etc.

I tweaked the recipe and the result is a bar that is quick and easy to make,  tasty AND holds up well to traveling!

 

What I used:

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Crust & Topping:

2 cups of Bisquick

1 3/4 cups of oats(I actually used Stoats Sunflower & Poppy seed Porridge-a mix of oats with sunflower, poppy, linseeds & pumpkin seeds. If you use plain old oats it will be ok, just not as awesome)

3/4 cup soft brown sugar, packed

170g butter melted(I used unsalted, you could make it salted and have Salted Carmelitas!)

 

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Chocolate Caramel Layer:

3 Mars bars

1 oz butter

 

 

What I did:

Set your oven at 350f/175c

You will need a 9×9″ baking pan

Mix all these ingredients together

Take half of the mixture and press into your pan

Cook for about 15 mins or until golden.

Set on rack to cool slightly as you prep middle layer.

Break the Mars bars into pieces and place in a glass bowl, microwave in 20 second bursts until melted, stir together. Also you should note here, it’s kind of weird trying to mix the bars & butter together, it will look all buttery & like it’s not going to  work. I does so stuck with it, there is nothing wrong. By the way you will probably think this layer is too thin, it’s really not, trust me! 🙂

Working quickly(otherwise it will start to set) spread the Mars bar & butter mixture over your base.

Crumble the remaining oat mixture over the top(it doesn’t matter if there are gaps, in fact it’s nice!) of the choc/caramel layer, pressing it down slightly.

Bake for another 15 mins or until the top is golden.

Take from oven and cool on a rack before cutting into bars.

 

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Yum! 🙂

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 *EDIT*

I tried making these delicious bars again substituting the Mars bars for some of my favourite fudge(made locally too)! 

It was sublime! I would even go so far as to say, even better than the original version.

If you want to do as I did ad swap candy bars for fudge, just carry on as normal and when making the middle layer use 200g of chocolate fudge(Ochil Fudge Pantry’s Death by Chocolate is what I used) chopped up and softened in a pan(on the cooker) with 1tbsp double cream, then spread over crust  🙂

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What’s SO Impossible about Impossible Pie?

Holy Moly this is great!

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It’s not even a little bit great, but a whole big bit great! Yes, we like pies in this house but you know sometimes I find a the whole making pastry etc thang a bit of a kerfuffle. I’m going to introduce you to the kerfuffle-free “pie” of your dreams(possibly). You’ll make it, then be cursing that you didn’t find the recipe sooner!

If you are having guests and have no idea what to make for dessert but still want to look like you’ve put a bit more effort into it than buy a pie, do this. ALSO it would be fabulous for someone who is watching their carb intake as only the smallest bit of flour is used in making it.

Usually people make a coconut version. I have don that before but wanted to try a chocolate version. I still used coconut, next time I will leave it out comepletely and add pecans I think.

Don’t go expecting some sort of miracle here, I mean the mixture does form a kind of crusty outer but it’s not like a real pastry crust, what it does do though is create for you a custardy filling with edges set a little more firmly and it all mixes together and bakes in a matter of moments!

What you need:

35g(1/2 cup) desiccated coconut

2 egg

2 TBSP cocoa

30g(1/4 cup) flour

235ml(1 cup) milk

75g(1/4 cup) sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla 

40g(3 tbsp) butter

Handful of raspberries(I used some lovely Scottish ones I had pin the deep freeze-no need to defrost!)

What you do:

Mix everything together apart from berries

Pour into a baking dish(I used a 7″ skillet)

Dot the raspberries over the surface

Bake!  350f(180c for about 25 mins)

Check the pie after this time you want it pretty much solid but with the “slightest” jiggle, it will firm on cooling.

This is tasty warm(I like the plain coconut version warm) but better left to cool and eaten at room temperature. The result is a dense chocolatey(it is more chocolate tasting if cooled) pie, cut through with the sharpness of the rasps.

Quick make this!

Ps. I should mention that it will look WAY too runny but have faith, this does work! 🙂

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Maw’s sauce? it’s gid!

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OK so I took my time about it, but in my efforts to put Maw Broon’s(click the name for a link to the website!) sauce through it’s paces I had to take my time and give it a proper “road test” so to speak. I’d love to show you a better photo of  the Tomato sauce bottle alas it arrived with the bottom sheered off, there was some I managed to save (fear not, I did sieve before I offered it to hubby to make doubly sure glass shards were not present)!

The Broons family hold a special place in most Scottish folk’s hearts, It’s a tradition, a wee piece of history and dear to us. Along with Oor Wullie and The Beano it was the first thing me and my class mates really were obsessed over in Primary school. Remember when Gnasher went missing? Traumatic, doesn’t even cut it!

However that said, since I am no longer a bairn my tastes have changed somewhat, and if truth be told I am normally quite wary of something with a celeb name attached etc(want my bloke to smell like Peter Andre? um…no thanks). About as close as I come is the occasional tin of Peppa Pig spaghetti shapes lurking in the shadowy bit in the pantry. I like to pretend I don’t buy them. And also like to pretend when someone does spot them that they are for the children, and not me. I’m shameless I know.

My attention was still drawn to Maw Broon’s Sauces, not only for the nostalgic trip down memory lane, but I was hoping for something more. If the sauce doesn’t stand up on it’s own merits then it’s just cashing in on a name. It may appear to tourists or be a great gift for a ex pat friend, if it’s rubbish though I won’t buy it again.

Luckily having read through Maw’s cook books I realised this was no ordinary stick-a-cartoon-character-on-the-bottle-to-flog-to-the-kids affair.  The books have real recipes in them! I am coming to realise there is something “genuine” about seeing her famous form on a product and the sauces are a reflection of just that. Made in small batches, and with the best tasty ingredients these are the REAL deal.

The Tomato sauce is tomatoey with a tang and is reassuringly thick, nothing unlike the over processed, super smooth stuff I normally stick on my fish finger butty(the true test of a ketchup in my view. Hubby disagrees and had it on his fry up for the “ultimate” test)! In short we both thought it delicious!

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We have since tried the Broon sauce, it was fabulously spiced and fruity on the haggis, black pudding and crispy onion panini we had for lunch(and the vol au vents I faffed about making too)!

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If you have a friend who loves The Broons, who happens to be a foodie type too, you could do worse than get them a bottle of this. It’s no gimmick, just honest and tasty, just as you expect from Maw.

🙂

Pancakes-Scottish style!

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This recipe is so easy that I can’t really understand why I don’t make more pancakes. My Granny Rose always had pancakes ready when we came home from school, and if she had been busy, you could be sure there would be some in the freezer. Incidentally Granny Rose never had a really had a proper recipe for so this is the one from my go-to book.

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They are simple, tasty and much better than a chocolate bar for the kids when they fancy a munch(yeah, ok me too!) In other words: the perfect snack!

You will need:

8 tbsp self raising flour

3 tsp(level) baking powder

1 tbsp caster sugar

Pinch of salt

1 egg

1/4 pint + 5 tbsp of milk(perhaps a little more depending)

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Here’s what you do:

  • Put the flour, salt, sugar & baking powder in a bowl.
  • Crack the egg in
  • Add milk
  • Beat

Cook on a med hot girddle or heavy based frying pan until you can see bubble forming on the surface of pancakes(not bursting though). Flip them babies over and continue cooking until golden.

In our house these are generally eaten when cold with butter and jam. Yum!

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Maple, Vanilla Cheesecake

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It was the weekend, so in celebration of the fact I decided to make a cheesecake. We love cheesecake in our house it’s true, in fact my hubby even wrote a song about it(true story)!

I had some Borders Biscuits Butterscotch Crunch(baked in the lovely Scottish Borders hence the name) in the pantry so this was my starting point. The pain of having to crush these beauties(they are probably my favourite biscuit) was only do-able because I was pretty sure it was going to bake my crust a-MAY-zing! Without being all trumpet blowing etc, it WAS amazing!

Here’s what I used:

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Crust:

1 x (150g) packet Butterscotch Crunch

100g pecans

75g butter(I used normal butter not the spreadable kind I put in the photo! My bad. Use regular butter, though to be fair I am not sure it would have make a big difference if I had used spreadable)

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Here’s what I did:

  • Put the pecans on a baking tray and toast in the oven for about 8 mins at 180c.  Really do this, it’s totally worth it from a taste point of view!
  • While the nuts are baking,  whizz up the biscuits in my food processor, you could do it the trad way with a plastic bag and a rolling pin, if you are feeling all angsty and stuff. Just do what you need to do! Remember though you don’t want it all to be too small, some bigger pieces in the dust is a good thing. Texture is your not the enemy here!
  • Tip the crumbs into a bowl, then blitz the nuts the same way.
  • Melt the butter and add to the pecan/ biscuit crumbs. Mix.
  • Put the buttery crumbs into your pan(a springform one is best, I use a 8″ round one) which you have lined with parchment, or at the very least given a good buttering/oiling. Press into the base and up the sides of the tin by about 2-3 cms. Put into the fridge to set.

Filling:

3/4 can of condensed milk

300g Philadelphia cheese

1 egg

Vanilla extract

Maple syrup

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Here’s what I did:

  • Whip up the cream cheese until fluffy. Slowly pour in the condensed milk, mixing as you go. Once completely combined, add the maple syrup and vanilla. Beat again. Add the egg and beat until just combined, you don’t need to whip the heck out of it here!
  • Pour in the crust ad place in the oven(set at 180c/350f/ gas ) for 25 mins after which check for  the jiggle. We want a soft wibbly middle but not a full on wobble! Once you’re happy, turn off the heat leaving the cheesecake inside but open the door a crack. After an hour take the cake out and put on a cooling rack to continue cooling.
  • Once cooled(at least 3 hours, it’s worth it honestly!) slice. The best way to do this is with a warmed knife, wiping the blade between each cut.

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I urge you to go and make this right now! It’s not only REALLY tasty but quick, and pretty much no fail- what more could you wan’t? 🙂

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