Japanese Soufflé Pancakes

A new yummy pancake recipe for you just in time for the big day tomorrow! These Japanese Soufflé Pancakes are extra fluffy and taste fab with any topping of your choice, I opted for maple syrup and a bit of butter.

What makes these different to your average pancake is that you basically have to make a meringue mixture which adds airiness to the pancakes. It’s a little more effort but worth it!

Ingredients:
(Makes 4 medium pancakes)
2 egg yolks
3 egg whites
30g plain flour, sifted
40g sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
20g whole milk
10g vegetable oil

Method:

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk your egg yolks, milk and vegetable oil (with a hand whisk) until light and foamy, this should take around 2-3 min.
  2. Add your flour and whisk again for another 2-3 mins.
  3. In a separate bowl add your egg whites and vinegar and whisk using an electric whisk. Gradually add in the sugar, you want the mixture to form stiff peaks.
  4. Using a spatula, scoop the egg white mixture, a spoonful at a time, into your other flour mixture and fold. Do not overbeat as you will end up with less than fluffy pancakes!
  5. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to a frying pan and use a paper towel to spread it across. Turn your hob on to the lowest heat and leave to warm up for 1-2 mins.
  6. Add scoops of your pancake mixture on to the pan (an ice cream scoop is perfect for this). Then cover your frying pan. After 4 minutes, the pancakes will be ready to flip. Turn them over and cover the pan again and cook for another 4 minutes.

Turkish Eggs

Turkish eggs are such a great brunch dish, the garlicky yoghurt topped with a herby butter sauce and gooey poached eggs is such a winning combo. It’s also ridiculously easy to prepare (as long as your egg poaching skills are on point!). They taste fantastic with a side of warm sourdough bread, make sure you use it to scoop up your egg yolk and sauce.

Ingredients:
Serves 2

  • 200g greek yoghurt
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • sea salt flakes
  • 2 eggs
  • handful of fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 25g butter
  • 1 teaspoon aleppo pepper (or chilli powder/paprika)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sumac

Method:

  1. Stir your garlic into your yoghurt and place in a bowl. Sprinkle some sea salt on top.
  2. On a low heat, add your butter a small saucepan. Once it has melted stir in your aleppo pepper and olive oil and then pour your butter sauce over the yoghurt.
  3. Poach your eggs. The way I do this is by bringing a saucepan of water to boil, cracking the egg into a mug and then adding to the saucepan with the water on simmer, it usually takes about 1 minute. There are loads of tips and tricks for poaching eggs flying about on the internet, I have found this usually works fine!
  4. place your eggs on top of your yoghurt mixture then sprinkle your sumac and dill on top.

Homemade Quiche

Quiche is something I’ve always bought from a supermarket, and often taken on a picnic! They’ve tasted fine, nothing mind blowing, but an easy lunch or dinner. However, it turns out that making a quiche from scratch is surprisingly easy, and it tastes a hundred times better than the store bought kind! It can be eaten hot or cold, so leftovers are also great for a packed lunch.

I filled mine with salmon, goats cheese and spinach, which tasted lovely and fresh. But you can put pretty much anything in your quiche! Other ideas include a quiche lorraine, feta and sundried tomato, or any roasted veg.

I didn’t make my pastry by hand, I find the ready rolled stuff from the supermarket tastes the same and it saves a lot of time! In some stores you can even buy pastry quiche trays, which normally also taste good, which will save you even more time! You’ll need a 26cm flan or tart dish and baking beads.

Ingredients:
Serves 4

  • 300g shortcrust pastry, ready rolled
  • 250ml crème fraîche
  • 150ml double cream
  • handful of spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • handful of dill, roughly chopped
  • 100g goats cheese, crumbled
  • 50g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 salmon fillet, chopped into chunks
  • 3 eggs
  • pinch of nutmeg (optional)
  • salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Line your flan/tart dish with the pastry, easing it into the base. Trim any edges with scissors so it sits slightly above the tin and lightly prick the base with a fork and then lay your baking beads on top (make sure they reach the edges). Bake in the oven at 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove the beads and bake again for 5 mins until the pastry is a light gold colour.
  3. Prepare your quiche filling. In a large bowl, beat your creme Fraîche to slacken it and then beat in your double cream. Beat your eggs separately and then add to your mixture.
  4. Add your salmon, spinach, dill, salt and pepper, nutmeg and goats cheese and stir until evenly spread through the mixture. Pour into your pastry case and then sprinkle the cheddar on top.
  5. Bake in the oven for another 30 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven and leave to set for 5-10 minutes before eating (otherwise it will be a bit watery!)

Baileys Cupcakes

Valentine’s day is around the corner, so I’ve put together a recipe for the ultimate indulgent cupcake – a Bailey’s cupcake! The sponge is a rich Baileys-chocolate combo, and it’s topped with a decadent Bailey’s buttercream icing. It tastes pretty boozy, yet moist and fluffy at the same time. The Bailey’s flavour really comes through!

The batter is slightly more runny than your average cake batter, due to the large amount of Bailey’s in it, so don’t be alarmed if it seems a bit runny, it will cook just fine.

Ingredients:
Makes 12 cupcakes
Prep time: 25 minutes

For the cupcakes:

  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 150g light brown sugar
  • 200ml Bailey’s
  • 3 eggs
  • 125g self raising flour, sifted
  • 50g cocoa powder, sifted

For the icing and decoration:

  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 100ml Bailey’s
  • Handful of sprinkles of your choice

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C/160 Fan. Beat your butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add your eggs one at a time and beat again.
  2. Add your flour and cocoa powder and beat again until combined.
  3. Add your Bailey’s slowly, and beat until combined.
  4. Scoop your mixture into the 12 cupcake cases, they should all be equally filled to ensure an even bake.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, and check the cakes are cooked through. Leave to cool for roughly 30 minutes, until the cakes are no longer warm when you can add your icing.
  6. Prepare your icing by beating your butter until light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and beat again, then add your Bailey’s a little at a time and continue to beat until combined.
  7. Top your cakes with the icing either using a piping bag or spreading it on top, then add your decorations. Store the cakes in a cool dry place to prevent the icing from getting too soft. I personally think they taste better kept out of the fridge!

Moroccan Couscous

Have you ever been to a Moroccan restaurant (or Morocco) and tried the couscous and it always tastes amazing?! And then you go home and make your own couscous and it just tastes like cardboard? Yep, this is how I lived life until I discovered how to cook couscous the authentic way! It’s super easy, you cook the couscous in a bunch of herbs and spices which gives it lots of flavour and leaves it super moist.

Its great for a packed lunch, I like to batch cook a large amount and eat it throughout the week.

Ingredients:
Serves 4

For the roasted vegetables:

  • 1 aubergine, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the couscous:

  • 150g couscous
  • 175ml boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 100g raisins
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 400g chickpeas

To garnish:

  • 1 carrot, grated
  • handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • handful of fresh mint, chopped
  • handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • handful of almonds, roughly chopped
  • seeds from 1 pomegranate

Method:

  1. Lay your red pepper, onion, aubergine and garlic on a baking tray. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 35 minutes at 180C.
  2. Whilst the veg is cooking, prep your couscous. Place your couscous and raisins in a saucepan that has a lid (you don’t need to place this on a stove, the couscous doesn’t need boiling!). In a bowl whisk together the ground coriander, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil with the boiling water. Pour over the dried couscous and raisins and cover with the lid for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in your chickpeas, roasted vegetables and then plate up and garnish with all the garnish ingredients.

Chicken Katsu Curry

Katsu curry is a classic fave of mine at Wagamamas. I’ve never really known what goes into the sauce, it just always tasted great. Now I’ve made it at home I’m shocked at how simple it is to make! And honestly, I think the homemade version tastes even better than the Wagas original. It’s delicious and warming and full of flavour.

The best thing about the sauce is that it freezes really well, so you can make a big batch and freeze for when you’re feeling lazy.

Ingredients:
Serves 2

For the Katsu Curry Sauce:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 small-medium sized carrot, diced
  • 1/2 a red pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 450ml chicken stock (or veg stock)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon mango chutney (or you can use sugar)

For the panko breaded chicken:

  • 2 80g boneless and skinless chicken thighs
  • 100ml buttermilk (you can also substitute for yoghurt)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 100g panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Method:

  1. First, marinade your chicken thighs in the buttermilk. Add the turmeric and garam masala and stir. Leave to marinade in the fridge for at least an hour, ideally overnight.
  2. Next, make your curry sauce. Place your oil in a saucepan on a medium high heat and then add your onion, carrot and red pepper and a pinch of salt all in one go. Continually stir until soft, this should take about 10 minutes.
  3. Reduce the heat to low, if the mixture is looking dry or is catching the pan at this stage, add a dash more olive oil and add your garlic and ginger. After 1 minute add your turmeric, garam masala, curry powder and flour. Cook for about 5 minutes, continuously stirring.
  4. Pour in half your chicken stock and stir. Then add your soy sauce and mango chutney and leave to simmer for 1 hour. During this hour, stir occasionally and keep adding the remaining chicken stock a little at a time.
  5. For the breaded chicken, heat the oil in a frying pan on a medium high heat. You ideally want the temperature to remain at about 170/180c (if you have a thermometer). Lay your panko breadcrumbs on a tray or chopping board and place your chicken thighs in them, turn over a few times to they are covered and then add to the pan. Cook each side for about 5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Spinach and ricotta stuffed pasta shells

These pasta shells are stuffed with a herby spinach and ricotta mix and laid on a bed of homemade, slow cooked tomato sauce. It’s honestly so full of flavour and delicious. The pasta shells were a little hard to source, but I found them on Ocado here. You can also try Italian delis.

If you are short of time, or feeling lazy, you can substitute the homemade tomato sauce for a jarred alternative from the supermarket. I personally prefer the homemade sauce as the flavours in my recipe are amazing, you get a really lovely rich tomato sauce. You can also batch cook it (double/triple the quantities) and freeze portions to use later, the sauce freezes really well.

Ingredients:
Serves 2

For the homemade tomato sauce:
(Note: if you are short of time, you can use 400g of jarred tomato pasta sauce instead)

  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • handful of fresh basil (at least 10-15 leaves but the more the better!), roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon white or red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 50ml red wine (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree

For the pasta shells:

  • 15-20 pasta shells
  • 250g ricotta
  • 200g spinach leaves
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 125g mozzarella
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Method:

  1. First, make your slow cooked tomato sauce (if making, if you are going to use a jarred tomato sauce, skip step one). Place your olive oil in a saucepan with a lid on a low heat, then add all your ingredients and stir. Leave to simmer on a low heat for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. Pre heat your oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Boil your pasta shells so they are cooked al dente, you’ll want to boil them for roughly 6-7 minutes.
  3. Prepare your ricotta spinach mixture which you will use to stuff the pasta shells. In a frying pan, heat your olive oil on a low heat and add your garlic. Cook for roughly 30 seconds-1 minute (you don’t want it to burn) and immediately add your spinach, salt and pepper. Cook for another 1-2 minutes until the spinach begins to wilt then turn off the heat. Stir in your ricotta and lemon zest.
  4. Lay your tomato sauce on the base of a deep baking tray. Fill your pasta shells with the ricotta/spinach mixture and lay on top of the sauce. add your mozzarella in chunks to the tops of each pasta shell.
  5. Cook for 20-25 minutes in the oven until the cheese is golden brown.

Giant Jaffa Cake

This giant Jaffa cake is perfect for all Jaffa lovers! It really does look and taste like the real deal, and is fundamentally a large orange sponge covered with a layer of orange jelly and then a layer of chocolate. Delicious. I made this for my best friends birthday as she loves Jaffa cakes!

You’ll need a cake tin with a 23cm diameter and a small saucepan (with a diameter slightly smaller than 23cm)

Ingredients:

  • 67.5g orange jelly cubes (half of a standard pack)
  • 125g self raising flour
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g butter (at room temperature)
  • 2 eggs
  • zest of 1 orange and 1 tablespoon juice
  • 65g milk chocolate
  • 65g dark chocolate

Method:

  1. Line your cake tin with baking parchment and preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
  2. First prepare your cake. In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric whisk, until light and fluffy. Add your eggs one at a time and beat again until combined.
  3. Sift in your flour, orange zest and juice and fold the mixture together. Pour your mixture into your cake tin and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and cooked through (use a fork or spaghetti stick to check, if it comes out clean, it’s cooked!)
  4. Meanwhile, prepare your orange jelly according to the instructions on the packet. Pour your jelly into your small saucepan and leave to set in the fridge for 1-2 hours, until solid.
  5. Once you are ready to assemble your cake, melt your chocolate in a glass/heatproof bowl over a simmering saucepan of boiling water, stirring continuously so the mixture is smooth (you can also melt in the microwave on a low heat for 2-3 minutes, pausing to continuously stir). Leave your melted chocolate to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes before you assemble your cake.
  6. Carefully place your jelly mix on top of your cake. You can do this by placing the saucepan upside down over the cake and gently tapping it. This can be quite fiddly so be patient!
  7. Drizzle your melted chocolate over the jelly and cake and smooth over so it looks like a jaffa cake. Leave to set in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours, ideally overnight.

Sweet Potato Soup

Winter is now in full swing. This, combined with me working from home full time now, means I’m drinking a lot of soup for my lunches! Homemade soups are simple to make, and are a great way of using up leftover vegetables. This sweet potato soup is lovely and warming due to the ginger and smoked paprika which also gives it a lot of flavour (there’s nothing worse than bland soup!). It goes well with a side of crusty bread.

This soup also freezes well. Simply portion up the soups into plastic containers or bags and place in the freezer. Leave to defrost overnight in the fridge when you want to use them.

Ingredients:
Serves 2
Overall time required: 30 minutes

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 15g butter
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4cm fresh ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 350g sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 450ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • tablespoon soured cream, to garnish (optional)
  • handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped, to garnish (optional)

Method:

  1. Place your olive oil in a deep saucepan, frying pan or wok on a medium-high heat. Add your onion and cook for 2-3 minutes then add the garlic and ginger and reduce the heat to low.
  2. Add your carrots and sweet potatoes to the pan and add the smoked paprika, salt and pepper and stir.
  3. Pour in your chicken/vegetable stock and cover the saucepan and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and place your mixture in a blender and blend until smooth. You may want to leave the soup mix to cool slightly before adding it to your blender, depending on it’s material. If the mixture is quite thick, you can add a bit of water to thin it down.
  5. Serve with soured cream and parsley to garnish.

Mushroom and truffle risotto

I am mildly obsessed with truffle! Until now it was something I mostly ate in restaurants in pasta dishes (usually with a hefty price tag!), however my friend gifted me some truffle oil over Christmas, so I’ve been getting that lovely truffley flavour in my home cooked dishes. My favourite so far is this mushroom and truffle risotto, it also makes your kitchen smell amazing. If you don’t have access to any truffle oil, you can just make this a mushroom risotto and it still tastes great!

Ingredients:
Serves 2
Overall time required: 30 minutes

  • 25g butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 200g arborio rice
  • 125ml white wine
  • 450ml chicken stock (you can use vegetable stock if vegetarian)
  • salt and pepper
  • 100g mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 3-4 portobello mushrooms, to dress
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons truffle oil
  • 25g cheese – I like to use cheddar, comte or gruyere

Method:

  1. Boil your rice according to the instructions on the packet, or boil in 200ml water in a saucepan for 10 minutes.
  2. In a frying pan, fry your onion in the olive oil on a medium high heat for 3-4 minutes. Add the diced mushrooms and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add your garlic then turn the heat down to a medium-low.
  3. Pour in your white wine and then add your cooked rice. Whilst continually stirring, add your chicken stock in small increments. You basically want to add more stock when the risotto starts looking dry and then continue to stir.
  4. Meanwhile, in another frying pan (you can use a dry pan if non-stick, otherwise add a dash of olive oil), add your portobello mushrooms and fry on a medium low heat. Season with salt and pepper and flip over after 4-5 minutes and cook the other side. Once cooked, set aside to dress your risotto at the end.
  5. Add your cheese to the risotto mix and stir until melted through. Then add the truffle oil and parsley. Serve with your portobello mushrooms on top.