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
Tags: , , ,

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
Tags: , , , ,

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…

 

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

Filed under: bread,Food,Recipes — wearemadhatters @ 11:56 pm
Tags: , , , ,

'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…

 

Bread and butter pudding – version 2… chocolate :) July 14, 2010

Filed under: bread,Food,Recipes — wearemadhatters @ 2:11 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Chocolatey but not too sweet (and I don't use that as a positive usually)

I freestyled the chocolate bread and butter pudding a bit because using up bits of various slightly old loaves is what this pudding is all about, it seems a waste to cut crusts off, I like a breadier pudding than the original recipe and I didn’t have the cash on me for the rum!

I don’t know if this would have been even better if I’d followed the original recipe, but it is (I’m eating a slice now!) delicious. Like a brownie, but somehow feels better for you… I don’t know if that’s actually the case but I’m not going to look it up for fear of bursting my bubble!

The crusts provide a chewy interlude to the squidy chocolatey goodness and the various breads can’t be told from each other so no need for all white bread really. Really really good, you could serve this to friends over for dinner, supply a bit of cream to pour over it and voila, new favourite.

Extra useful that you can (and should) prepare it 2 days in advance to increase the soakage of chocolate through the bread. Click here for the original recipe and my version…

 

Super simple onion bread rolls July 5, 2010

Filed under: bread,Food,Recipes — wearemadhatters @ 11:56 pm
Tags: , , , ,

mmmmmmm....

Just a quick post today, a friend’s fantastically simple recipe for onion rolls. Not only are they ridiculously easy to make, but we made them Sunday night and they were still delicious on the Wednesday, and probably would have toasted well right to the end of the week (although I can’t say for definite as mine were gone before then).

500g plain flour

2 tsp salt

7g dried yeast

1 tsp sugar

1tbsp olive oil

2 onions, diced finely

1 egg, beaten

1 tbsp sesame seeds

How to make the rolls, super easy…

 

Black bottom cupcakes – Keep Calm and Carry On June 19, 2010

Filed under: Cookery books,Food,Recipes,tips — wearemadhatters @ 8:41 pm
Tags: , , , ,

The most perfect strawberry

We have already sung the Hummingbird Cookery book’s praises plenty so I won’t do it again, but my first attempt at baking something from it took place today and as it wasn’t too much of a disaster it counts as a success! (I did not have high hopes as I know that precision is important with Hummingbird recipes…)

crazy crumbly cake mixture

I created the chocolate base mixture as per the recipe (which you can find at http://bit.ly/ajHsE) and, I’m not going to lie, I had a moment of baffled amusement as it was more like a fine crumby/rocky texture rather than a cake mixture and it was early in the process for things to be going wrong, even for me! However, they turned out fine so if you make these then don’t fret if they don’t look as expected, Keep Calm and Carry On…

Keep reading more about both attempts at making these cupcakes…

 

Rhubarb & Custard Tartlets June 17, 2010

Filed under: Food,Recipes — Jen @ 7:01 pm
Tags: , , ,

Rhubarb is probably my all time favourite vegetable. I adore the tart and mouthwatering taste that leaves you wanting more. I, like many I’m sure, tend to stick to the same old rhubarb recipes. In my case this involves a pork belly and rhubarb recipe from ‘Jamie at Home’ (http://bit.ly/7wCzQW) which is really a favourite of mine or if we’re talking dessert I always opt for a rhubarb crumble (with apple, rasperry or whatever fruit I happen to have in the flat).  My only requirements are a high crumble to fruit ratio and a healthy spoonful of clotted cream on top (I do live in Devon after all).

Both of these recipes have happily lasted me for many years however last weekend my boyfriend’s mum sent us home with a very generous amount of rhubarb that she’d grown on her allotment – she knows how much I like it and she’s overwhelmed with rhubarb at this time of year. So I decided to branch out and  began searching around for recipes. I found a James Martin recipe on BBC Food which I have adapted with success so I thought I’d share. This is definitely one for any lady, who like me has problems getting her other half to eat dessert because it’s ‘too sweet’ or ‘too rich’.  I made two little tartlets with this recipe (but still have more than enough of everything left to make another couple at least!)

Rhubarb Tart

Keep reading about rhubarb (and get the full recipe)…