Mad Hatters' Blog

Mad hatters love tea parties… we love them… especially the cake. We also love good food, fun events and interesting people!

Cinnamon and almond whirls August 23, 2010

Filed under: Food,Recipes — wearemadhatters @ 10:58 pm
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Success at last!! My first try at cinnamon whirls was based on a recipe which said to put the whirls into muffin trays to cook but I would advise against this as they end up doughy and uncooked. This time, I put them flat onto greased baking trays and they came out perfectly. Also, a chef at work suggested melting a little marzipan into the cinnamon mixture, but as I didn’t have any I put in some ground almonds instead which gave a subtle almond taste but doesn’t distract from the delicious, sweet and buttery cinnamon. If you’re not a nut fan, you could just as easily take the almond out of the recipe below without any other adjustments and the recipe would work just as well.

For the recipe and method, click here…

 

Double chocolate & beetroot muffins August 15, 2010

Filed under: cake,Food,Recipes,vegetables — wearemadhatters @ 7:17 pm
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beautiful beetroot

As I’m sure would be the same for many people, I wasn’t sure how nice these would be (I’m not a massive beetroot fan) but I’ve heard good things about both chocolate and beetroot brownies and cakes so thought I’d give them a go. I can now confirm that they are very tasty and the beetroot helps keep them moist and squishy!

The recipe was adapted slightly from the ‘A wee bit of cooking’ blog, by removing the nuts (as they were made for my nut-allergic brother’s birthday I didn’t think it would be very fair to put them in!) and adding extra chocolate chunks to compensate. This version is pretty rich so make sure you approach with room in your stomach and in the mood for a chocolatey hit.

Unless you really love nuts I’d say it’s not a bad substitution as the sweetness of the extra chocolate (I used milk and dark for the chunks) keeps the muffin firmly in the ‘indulgent pudding’ category rather than edging towards a slightly savoury taste.

In fairness I have a ridiculously sweet tooth so the original recipe may be better for most people.

For the recipe and method keep reading here…

 

So proud of myself – 2 better looking sourdough loaves

Filed under: bread,Food — wearemadhatters @ 11:38 am
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This is purely to show how with a second attempt at scoring the top of the bread you can make it look so much better! Also, the loaf from the oblong tin had no lid and came out beautifully so that would seem to be an optional part of the recipe I gave in my previous post (correct me if I’m wrong, people who know more about bread making!)…

See pictures of the difference scoring can make…

 

‘Jacques’ (in multiseed sourdough loaf form) August 11, 2010

Filed under: bread,Food,Recipes — wearemadhatters @ 11:56 pm
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'Jacques' in bread form

This won’t be the prettiest loaf you’ve ever seen, but it is my first successful loaf using a natural starter and I wanted to record the achievement.

Not only does it mean that I haven’t killed ‘Jacques’ (my starter, apparently it’s good luck to name it and mine is of french origin so it seemed appropriate) but it also means that Clotilde of the fantastic Chocolate and Zuchini blog has provided such a fool-proof set of instructions that anyone can give it a try. I’d recommend it, the feeling is great.

I used a multiseed wholemeal flour and doubted that the texture was right all the way through but the resulting bread is quite light (especially in comparison to any sourdough I’ve had a hand in in the past!), with a chewy crust and a mild sour taste behind the initial seedy hit.

Next stop, some sort of nutty sourdough bread… maybe walnut… I wonder if you can make garlic bread with sourdough…

 

‘No tin foil’ rosemary and lemon salmon August 9, 2010

Filed under: Food,Recipes — wearemadhatters @ 3:31 pm
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…with roasted veg and bean salad. So many vital components to mention, so little title space…
I wasn’t intending on creating something for the blog, but an amazing lunch just snuck up on me and I felt the need to record it. I had no tin foil and wanted to roast some salmon to eat in salads this week. Being ever so slightly lazy I decided I’d find a way around the problem of making sure the salmon didn’t dry out in the oven, or stick to the tin.

if only it was a teeny bit sunnier?

1. Put oil in a pan into the oven to heat (approx 200 degrees, fan oven)

2. When hot, add a layer of really thinly sliced potato (I used sweet potato) to the bottom of the pan, it’s only really required underneath where the fish will sit, any thin slices outside of that will burn but you could fill the pan with lots more veggies if you wanted to.

3. Put the salmon on top, with thin gaps between fillets, sea salt, black pepper and a good sprinkling of fresh rosemary (or your herb of choice), a single layer of thinly sliced lemon straight on top, and a layer of sliced red pepper on top of that. The quantities of each is really down to taste, just make sure that there is a good layer around the fish to stop it drying out.

4. Cook for 30 minutes, and whilst it’s in the oven make a salad. Mine was gem lettuce, red and yellow baby tomatoes, and a mixture of beans in a creamy salad dressing which I layered the salmon onto when I got it out of the oven.