Okay, peeps, this is a bit of an experiment.
It seems that some of you are intrigued by some of the recipes I mention from time to time. It has been suggested that I share some of them or even compile a book. However, I am not a real chef and few of the recipes I cook are original to me, though I do improvise on the odd occasion. I scour cookbooks, magazines and the Internet in my quest to keep the household Gods fed and watered.
I’ll share some of the recipes here, as and when I can be arsed to put them up. If you have a favourite recipe that you wish to share then by all means email it to me and I’ll stick it on this page along with your name if you so wish (as and when etc,)
I'll start the ball rolling with a recipe for an almond cake. With it being so snowy here recently I haven't been able to get out and about much. It needs a snow plough just to clear a path to the outside bin. Thus I have had to find things to occupy me within the walls of the quasi mansion, things like cooking and baking. I came across this recipe while trawling the net looking for ways to use up some tins of bargain chestnut puree I bought. I leapt on it because I like almonds and I already had most of the ingredients to hand and the ones I didn't have I knew I could cadge from Eileen over the road. It turned out well, in fact it was yummy. It got a growl of approval from the resident Bears and I proudly added it to my list of recipes to use again. It's quite a rich, heavy cake, so you won't want to eat too much (I found three large slices at one sitting quite enough)
First of all you'll need to wash your hands because we don't want bogey flakes or stray pubes getting into the mix now do we. Secondly you need to choose what music you want to bake to. I found Paulo Nutini was good for this recipe, especially a song called 'Pencil Full of Lead' because it has a nice arse wiggling beat to it that is perfect for creaming to - and by that I mean butter and sugar, get your minds out of the guttter. I don't advise you to mimic Paulo's unique singing style as you cream, otherwise you'll end up doubled over and face down in the cake batter. Here we go then, one recipe for almond cake:
250g Self Raising Flour
200g caster sugar
½ Juice of Lemon
3 Table spoons Ground Almonds
1Teaspoon baking soda (houseboy improvisation - I had no baking soda and neither did Eileen so I didn't bother and left it out and it was fine)
270g Icing Sugar
1 Teaspoon Almond Essence (houseboy improvisation - I used vanilla extract instead cos I like it better and I added two teaspoons not one)
Some Almond Flakes
Cream together until fluffy the sugar and butter, beat the Eggs in the Milk with the Lemon Juice and add to the mix and beat in, it will be quite sloppy and sort of curdled looking, but don't panic like I did and think fuck it's a disaster, simply cast aside your wooden spoon and get out the electric mixer, it will blend much better. Mix the Ground Almond, Baking Soda and Flour then blend into the mix. Pour the blended mix equally into 2 lined and greased20cm baking tins. Bake at 180c for about 10 to 15 minutes. (This is complete bollocks, it took far longer, just whack the tins in the oven and keep checking on them) When cooked Leave to cool and turn out on a wire tray.
Beat all the icing ingredient together using half to sandwich the 2 cakes and then spread the rest on top. I also spread a lavish amount of orgasmic raspberry preserve on the cake before sandwiching with the icing mixture. Decorate with Almond Flakes or whatever you fancy, as long as it's edible.
Serve as a dessert or with coffee or tea and good company.
The Houseboy’s Favourite Sandwich Fillings (these fascinate Dick and totally disgust Shane)
Bloodied Fingers in White Bandages:
You HAVE to use white bread for these, it’s compulsory.
Two slices of white bread
Five or six fried fish fingers (or grilled, if you insist on being healthy)
Lightly butter both slices of bread and then carefully line up the fish fingers on one slice, sprinkle with salt and then slather generously with ketchup. Top with other slice of bread; place both hands on top and squash. Use kitchen paper to wipe up ensuing ‘blood’ spurt. Cut in half and enjoy.
Warning: serve with caution to lunch guests, as not everyone will share such refined tastes.
Banoffi Toast: makes an excellent supper snack
Two slices of wholemeal bread
One Mars Bar
Thinly slice the mars bar.
Lightly toast the bread and put the sliced up mars bar onto one slice and place under a hot grill until melted. Meanwhile mash the banana onto the other slice of toast and then place it (banana side down) onto the choccy toast. I further wind up Shane by drizzling golden syrup over the top of this before eating.
Cinnamon Toast: This is dead old fashioned, but nice. Eileen tipped me off to it. Dick quite likes this, but Shane won’t touch it with a barge pole, he's not one of life's sweet men.
Toast your bread, white or brown as you prefer, and then generously butter it. Lavishly sprinkle a mixture of cinnamon powder and caste sugar onto the buttered toast and then slam it back under the grill until it bubbles.
Ginger sponge cake
by Ruth Sutcliffe, taken from The Hairy Bikers cookbook - mums know best.
200g/7oz self-raising flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
55g/2oz margarine, plus extra for greasing
1 free-range egg, beaten
2 tbsp golden syrup
240ml/9fl oz hot water
Preheat the oven to 180C/350FGas 4. Grease and line a 28cm x 18cm/11in x 7in baking tin with greaseproof paper.
Mix the flour, sugar, ginger and bicarbonate of soda together in a bowl. Using your fingers, rub the margarine in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the beaten egg, syrup and hot water and mix well with a wooden spoon until combined.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 35–40 minutes, or until golden-brown and the top is springy to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin. Once cool, cut into squares.
I added two heaped teaspoons of ginger. Ginger and me eh? What can I say! We have a hot and intimate relationship! I’m fine with the powdered stuff, but show me the ‘root’ variety and you won’t see my arse for dust.
My golden syrup was a year out of date, but yours doesn’t have to be. Use IN date sticky stuff, Peeps. It’s safer. I also used a bit more than the recipe suggested, well, I didn’t want to put it back in the cupboard for another year, did I! The can was going rusty as it was.
Dear God and Guru in the sky - please don’t let Shane EVER read this. If he finds he ate cake made from out of date syrup scooped from a rusty can, then ginger root is the least my arse will have to fear.
I used baking powder instead of bicarb, as I didn’t have any bicarb, and I couldn’t be arsed going to the shop to buy some. Worked okay for me.
Seeing as I used extra syrup I didn’t add quite as much water as the recipe stated, as the batter seemed fine with a bit less.
Make, bake and enjoy.
This soup is a firm favourite with murdering members of the Sicilian Mafia (Lie Detector says NO) Okay, I admit I embellished that bit. It's got pasta, therefore it's Italian, let's just leave it there. No offence intended to any murdering Mafia members who might be reading this (please don't hurt me.)
Here's a link to a recipe sent to me by a site reader (thank you, Rob) It's for Jambalaya. This is a style of cuisine I haven't really dabbled in. I have enough trouble with Paella. I'm not good with rice for some reason. It sounds delicious though and I might just give the pasta variation a try.
Chocolate and Chestnut Cake
This is delicious, very moist and rich.
Suggested Music to cook to – Selfish Jean by Travis
Ingredients for the cake
Ilb unsweetened chestnut Purée (or one 435gram tin)
4 oz caster sugar
4 oz unsalted butter
4 oz fine cooking chocolate (being a profligate houseboy I used Sainsbury’s taste the difference plain Belgian chocolate)
3 eggs (preferably fresh from the arse of a happy free range hen)
A few drops of vanilla essence
Melt the puree, sugar and butter together in a pan and beat until smooth (mush puree down well with a fork to break it up) Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt in a bain-marie (or melt in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, bowl will get hot so be careful). Add the chocolate to the purée mixture. Beat the eggs together and stir into the mixture a good dollop at a time, stir fast so egg doesn’t scramble, but not too fast or you and the kitchen will end up looking like a slurry wagon has passed through it (I know, I was that pebble dashed houseboy) Add the vanilla essence then pour into a deepish, buttered, lined and slutty (loose bottom) 8-inch cake tin, spread until smooth and bake in the middle of a preheated oven at gas mark 2 or electric150° for about 40 - 60 mins, ovens vary so just keep checking it.
Ingredients for the topping (or you could just dust cake with a sifted mix of icing sugar and fine dark cocoa powder)
4 oz fine cooking chocolate
A cock of butter (or knob if you prefer)
A couple of dessertspoons of double cream
Once the cake has cooled slightly melt the chocolate in a bain marie (or bowl set over pan) add a small knob of butter and stir in the cream until you get a nice thick consistency, spread abundantly over the cake and serve warm or cold with thick jersey cream…or lovely. creamy home made vanilla ice-cream (note to self…remember to be out of the country when Shane checks this month’s household accounts and discovers how much I spent on an ice cream maker)
Tip – for maximum pleasure don’t tell anyone you’ve made this and eat it all to yourself when no one is at home. If you feel obliged to share then demand extravagant compliments accompanied by noises of ecstatic enjoyment. Should anyone simply say ‘this is nice’ then snatch away their plate and refuse to return it until appropriate sycophantic sentiments are expressed. If any is left over take a lead from selfish Jean and wire it to a car alarm to prevent anyone snaffling it.