Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Chobani yogurts

Are you feeling peckish? Would you like to have a lovely snack that would taste great and have 0% fat? There's a new range of yogurts on the market - Chobani - which has taken America by storm.

"Chobani was founded on the belief that people have great taste; they just need great options. That’s why we started Chobani back in 2005 — to make high-quality, great tasting yoghurt available to the masses. In just five short years, yoghurt lovers across the pond made Chobani the number one selling yoghurt in America!"

Available in six fat free flavours - Strawberry, Peach, Black Cherry, Blood Orange, Pomegranate and Plain. You can find it in selected Tesco stores.

It is so easy to kick-start a healthy eating plan with Chobani fat free yogurts. Their thick texture makes the range of Chobani yogurts to be a truly versatile ingredient for cooking lots of different dishes.
Here are a few ideas:
- swirl a tablespoon of plain yogurt in the thick creamy soup: pumpkin, carrot and orange, tomato, beetroot - the choice is endless.
- for a low fat potato salad version substitute your usual mayo or creme fraiche with the Chobani plain yogurt
- Love blini? top up with a teaspoon of yogurt and go on, add a sliver of smoked salmon
- fed up with the usual cereal or granola with milk at breakfast time? Create a delicious granola berry fool: take a glass, add a couple of tablespoons of granola, then a layer of the fruit compote and top up with the Chobani yogurt (how about the blood orange or black cherry flavour).

When the portable cool box arrived to our house with the fresh selection of Chobani yogurts, my little man Eddie was dancing around and insisted on eating one of them there and then. He went for the strawberry flavour. I had a spoonful as well, and was impressed with the quality of the yogurt, very creamy. Eddie kept saying "cream with strawberries", and he was right, it does taste just like the cream with strawberries, absolutely delightful.

I love using yogurts in cooking, and the two tubs of plain yogurt came very handy.
My first dish was a very simple beetroot salad: bake the beets in the oven until cooked through, let them cool, grate, mix with the chopped walnuts and dried prunes and add the plain yogurt. If you prefer, add a crushed clove of garlic for a more adult taste. As Eddie is not fond of garlic, I kept this salad garlic-free.

Another lovely salad made with the plain yogurt - Kohlrabi, apples and dates salad - was so tasty that I can easily eat it every day. And again the Chobani yogurt works beautifully with this combination of flavours, enhancing the sweetness of the apples and dates and the juiciness of the kohlrabi.

For Valentine's day I wanted to bake a yogurt cake with a difference. As this is the season for the blood oranges, I opted for using the blood orange yogurt from Chobani with the real blood oranges while baking this cake. It was very moist and moreish.

For a healthy treat serve the roasted fruit like peaches with a generous dollop of Chobani peach yogurt. You can find this recipe on my previous blog post here.

Whether you decide to eat the Chobani yogurt straight from the pot or use in cooking, you will enjoy the combination of the thick creamy yogurt with the real fruit pieces. All Chobani products contain five live and active cultures and real fruit.
Chobani is also certified kosher and gluten free and is over 95% lactose free.

And what's more, Chobani is committed to supporting the community. It gives 10% of its annual profits to charities worldwide through the Shepherd's Gift Foundation.

P.S. We were sent a coolbox of yogurt for the purposes of reviewing, all the opinions are mine.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

When I was a Lad: Megson CD

If you have been enduring the Yakki song for too long, there is a breath of fresh air in the music for kids market, an album that has an eternal appeal to music lovers of all ages - When I was a Lad: Megson - a real treat to ears.

"The most original husband-and-wife duo on the British folk scene.Wisely, they have recorded an album that will also appeal to parents, thanks to the harmonies and gently driving instrumental work, and the inclusion of love songs and the exquisite lullaby Bee-0, along with an unexpected treatment of children's favourites"
The Guardian

What is Megson? It is the husband and wife duo - Stu and Debbie Hanna, who were nominated in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards three times. They have won the 2011 Spiral Earth Awards. What makes them stand out is their Teesside heritage, great vocals and intelligent lyrics.
A mix of vocals is simply superb, and they are not afraid to change the well known lyrics, add to them, like the true bards of the North they are.
The new album has been recorded in their home studio. It was created after the couple took a break from music in 2011, when their baby girl Lola Wren was born.

In a true folk tradition each song tells a story. What I found especially endearing and praiseworthy, this collection of songs doesn't dumb down its audience like many albums for children, but raises them to their intelligent level and encourages them to listen to the words.
The Riddle Song, which dates back to the 15C, is very moving and philosophical. I have never heard it before, it was a revelation, very pure, beautiful and a bit mournful.

All the Shops Have Fallen Down has a different rhythm and makes your feet dance, as it is performed with vigour and energy.

Some of the songs are familiar like Oats & Beans & Barley-O or Dance to Your Daddy, and are a pleasure to listen to in a new interpretation.


     Eddie dancing to the music of Megson (don't ask me where he got his dance moves from)

Megson will be performing some exclusive Family shows across the UK. The first two will be:


14/03/13 - The Sage Gateshead, Tyneside. 0191 443 4661 - 1:30pm

21/04/13 - The Junction, Cambridge. 01223 511 511 - 11:30am

When I was a Lad
is available to buy from the Megson Shop at £10.00

Track Listing

1. Bee-O (Traditional)

A Yorkshire lullaby, where "go to bee'o's" means "go to sleep"...

2. All The Shops Have Fallen Down (Hanna/Hanna)

This started life as an educational song - it was meant to list all the different shops on the high street and what could be bought there. But songs should reflect the times they are written in...

3. Jenny Jenkins (Traditional)

One of our favourite song books is 104 FOLK SONGS (as recorded on folkways records) compiled by Moses Asch, 1964. The copy we have was rescued from a house clearance by Debs's dad and has become well worn over the years. It has given us some great songs including this, Jenny Jenkins, a courtship songs from America.

4. Oats & Beans & Barley-o (Traditional)

A play song collected by a Miss Burne of Shropshire and published in a lovely illustrated book from 1894 entitled "Children's Singing Games". The game involves the children standing in a ring whilst taking turns to act out the actions.

5. The Riddle Song (Traditional)

We found this popular song in Sharp & Karpeles 80 English Folk Songs. But The earliest version of this was published around 1430 under the title of " I have a yong suster" in the Sloane Manuscript 2593, a valuable manuscript of 15th century carols and lyrics currently held in the British Library.

6. Me Fathers Farm (Traditional)

Collected from Mr Thorton of the valley of Lothersdale, Yorkshire by Alison McMorland and presented in her fantastic collection of songs, rhymes and games for children entitled "The Funny Family" (Ward Lock Educational).

7. Dance To Your Daddy (based on the original by W. Watson)

Popularised by TV adverts and Theme Tunes, the earliest published version of this (entitled Dance To Thy Daddy) was attributed to to a W.Watson in W & T Fordye's Newcastle Songster of 1840.

8. Baby And The Band (Hanna/Hanna)

We have never seen a baby play a banjo & wouldn't advise trying it due to the highly tense strings.

9. Leatherwing Bat (Traditional)

Also known as The Bird's Courting Song or The Hawk & The Crow, this ballads tells the stories of various birds in their courting expeditions and how they have succeeded and failed.

10. A Frog He Would A Woo-ing Go (Traditional)

Based on the 1883 version published by Randolph Caldecott - we would love to know what a frog would look like wearing an Opera Hat….its just a shame about the tragic end.

11. Five Little Ducks (Traditional)

What can we say - we're just glad they all made it home safely...

This album is a lovely change from the Yakki-yakki-yogi-doo-doo-doo, and we both love it.

When I was a Lad: Megson comes highly recommended by Eddie and I.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Kohlrabi: sputnik on a plate

British supermarkets are not very adventurous when it comes to vegetables. Only once, a few years ago, our local Waitrose shyly put a few kohlrabis on display. When I saw them, I put a couple of these alien-looking veggies in the shopping basket, and the girl at the checkout was totally perplexed as to what she had in her hands. Once I left the shop, I checked the receipt to find out that I was charged for the "avocado".

So, what is a kohlrabi? It is also known as the German turnip, and is in fact a cultivar of cabbage.
If you ever chomped on the cabbage heart (I loved them as a kid, my Dad would always give it to me after slicing the cabbage for the soup), it has the same crunchy fresh taste, milder than the cabbage. A bit like a juicy baby turnip which you can eat raw. Or cook if you prefer.

Kohlrabi is quite popular in Russia. Many Russians who have dachas and allotments grow their own kohlrabi. They are very tasty as pickled. I said that and even swallowed, having remembered the fab pickles, deliciously crispy, with a mild dill flavour, ahh, I wish I had some now.

You can find kohlrabis in the farmers' market if you are lucky. Or get them from Abel & Cole. I was very pleased to find a kohlrabi in one of the latest fruit & veg boxes from A&C.
The green spikey sputnik looked very fresh, and I fancied to try it raw in a salad. Off I went to google for the salad recipes that have the kohlrabi, and one of the best recipes I found was actually on the Abel & Cole's website itself.

With the kind permission from Abel & Cole, I reproduce the recipe for your delectation. Even more, I truly encourage you to try this salad at home. It is wonderfully crispy, juicy, and the combination of flavours and textures is simply sublime.

Kohl Rabi with Apples, Dates and Walnuts


1 kolh rabi
½ lemon
1 large or 2 medium-sized apples
Handful of walnuts
5 dates, de-stoned and quartered lengthwise
3 tbsp Greek yogurt (I used Chobani Greek style plain yogurt)
1 tbsp runny honey
½ tsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
Handful fresh rocket, other green leaves or parsley (I had some fresh coriander in the fridge, so I used it instead of the parsley)

Slice the kohl rabi in half. Peel and then shave off shards of the flesh using a vegetable peeler. Slice in to 'lazy' (i.e. not perfect) little julienne strips using a knife. Squeeze over a bit of lemon juice.

Quarter an apple cut out seeds and stalk and then, leaving on the skin, cut into thin little slices. Add to kohl rabi and squeeze over a bit more lemon juice to prevent it from colouring.

Toast a handful of walnuts in a frying pan over medium heat. Once toasted, add to salad, along with the dates.

In a teacup or mug (or a little bowl) gently fold the Greek yogurt with the honey and rosemary leaves. Dollop onto salad and dress using your hands.

Top with a handful of fresh rocket leaves or a few pinches of freshly chopped flat parsley.

Will I make this salad again? A definite Yes. This is one of the recipes that would appeal to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians who want to have a break from the meat.

For more recipe ideas and suggestions on what to cook with the kohlrabi, please visit the Abel & Cole page.

P.S. This is not a sponsored post. I loved the recipe and wanted to share it with my blog readers.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Fit Chicken Saltimbocca and a virtuous Dauphinoise

I remember reading that by the beginning of February most of the new year's resolutions are broken. Mea culpa. Chocolate is my downfall. But at the same time I have been good, drinking lots of herbal infusions and trying to cut down the amount of calories.
We all have family favourites that we cook regularly, and comfort foods are often laden with calories. Don't despair, there is a way to cut down the calories but keep the flavours.
Here is one of our family favourites with a healthy twist.

Chicken Saltimbocca

4 chicken thighs (skin removed)
4 prosciutto slices
8 fresh sage leaves
Filippo Berio olive oil spray

I would typically fry the chicken saltimbocca. For the healthy twist I decided not to fry it but roast in the oven. Filippo Berio olive oil spray is perfect for roasting and grilling, you use a pump to spray just a little bit at a time, and you can apply the oil accurately.

I am rather partial to Filippo Berio, it is a classic olive oil brand that moves with the times. My Italian mother-in-law uses it, and so I feel I'm probably as good a cook as Mamma (or almost as good, as you can never really compete with Mammas, can you?).

Wrap the chicken thighs in prosciutto with a couple of fresh sage leaves under the prosciutto. You might want to secure the chicken pieces with the wooden mini-skewers. Place the chicken in a roasting tray, sprayed with a bit of olive oil, and put the tray in the oven preheated to 180C. Roast for about 30 minutes.
Serve with the potatoes Dauphinoise and olives.

Potatoes Dauphinoise

3-4 medium potatoes
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tub of Weight Watchers thick cream
2 tsp light mayonnaise
1 tsp of Dijon mustard

Creamy and garlicky potatoes are everyone's favourite. They are a perfect side dish to any roast meat.
Thinly slice the potatoes. Season them, place them into the gratin dish. Rather than using the double cream, go for the Weight Watchers thick cream mixed with 2 tsp light mayo and a tsp of Dijon mustard and a crushed garlic. Pour the cream over the potatoes.
Place the dish in the oven preheated to 180C and bake for an hour, the potatoes have to be totally cooked through.

And now some sweet treat with a healthy twist.

Baked apricots

4 apricots, halved
1 tsp Flora Cuisine (blended vegetable oil for healthy heart)
1 tbsp of chocolate & chilli flavoured sugar
to serve with the Greek style fat free yogurt from Chobani, rather than ice cream

We all love baked/roasted fruit, especially when served with the cream or ice cream. But to make it a healthier option this time we opted for a Greek style peach yogurt from Chobani, which is fat free.

Rather than use a blob of butter, this time I squeezed about a tsp of Flora Cuisine in a little ceramic tray with the halved apricots, then they were sprinkled with the sugar.
I have a packet of Chocolate & chilli flavoured sugar that was an impulse buy in the after-Christmas sale at Waitrose, and as I didn't quite know what to expect, I used it quite sparingly on the apricots. I shouldn't have worried, it was a nice touch.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Getting creative with Geeta's Premium Mango Chutney

Did you know that Geeta's, the iconic Indian brand, is celebrating its twentieth anniversary? This month bloggers have been invited to join the Chutney Challenge.

Geeta's is probably best known for their first ever product - the Premium Mango Chutney. The chutney itself is delicious and full of flavours and textures. I love the big fat chunks of juicy mango. It is also very colourful and aromatic, a versatile product that is so moreish, you cannot have enough.

As my regular readers know, I love cooking challenges, and when I heard of the Chutney Challenge, I just had to take part.

This is what I found out about the challenge:
"Still going strong today, we are celebrating by inviting some of our favourite bloggers to join in this fun competition.
Geeta's Premium Mango Chutney is such a versatile ingredient and we want to challenge you to share your most inventive and original recipe using the chutney, be that sweet, savoury, mild or spicy. The rules are simple, if you want to take part I will send you a jar of the chutney and then it is over to you to get creative in the kitchen! Each blogger is invited to upload up to three recipes using the chutney each.
The winning recipe will be selected by namesake and founder, Geeta Samtani along with two runners up. The winner will receive a luxury Geeta's hamper and the runners up will also receive a smaller selection of Geeta's products."

I am offering you 3 recipes for your delectation, all very easy and quick, perfect for a lunch or midweek dinner.

Recipe no.1
Camembert baked in shortcrust pastry with Geeta's mango chutney

1 camembert
1 roll of short-crust pastry (like Jus-Rol)
2 tbsp Geeta's Mango Chutney
a bit of milk

This must be one of the easiest and nicest ways of enjoying a baked cheese. I have used this recipe with different toppings and variations of ingredients for many years, and it is always a big hit with the family and guests. It makes a lovely starter too. 

Cut out two circles from the shortcrust pastry. Place a camembert on top of the big circle. Spread two tbsp of the mango chutney on the top of the cheese. Carefully lift the pastry up and using fingers flatten it and smooth the edges. Place a smaller circle on top and press the edges down, again smoothing all edges and closing the gaps. Make sure all the pastry is tightly packed around the cheese, you don't want any cheese to escape through the gaps during the baking.

That's what the cheese in pastry looks like before it is baked. Brush the pastry with a bit of milk.

Place it in the oven preheated to 180C on a foil-covered tray. To prevent the possible leaking disasters, you might want to scrunch the foil around the cheese like a barrier.

Bake for about 20 mins, until the pastry is golden. Take the baked cheese out of the oven and let it cool a bit.
You want it warm, but not piping hot. If you start cutting the cheese immediately, the molten lava of hot camembert will simply escape the pastry casing and you will have a lake of cheese around the pastry island (been there, done that, so talking from experience).
Geeta's mango chutney works beautifully with the creamy cheese and crumbly pastry.

Recipe no.2
Mango chutney cream cheese spread

The original recipe comes from my lovely American friend Trudy. I first tried this spread many years ago and loved it. I have adapted Trudy's recipe, as I am not very keen on pecans, plus she used the American brands for the chutney and cream, but in essence it is very close to her idea. Trudy is 85, and she learnt how to make this lovely spread when she was much younger. Its original name is Curry Chutney Mold.

Ingredients (for about 20 servings to go with crackers)
1 package of cream cheese (e.g. Philadelphia light)
2 tbsp thick cream (I used Weight Watchers West Country thick cream)
1/2 tbsp curry powder
150g Geeta's Mango Chutney
8 walnuts, finely chopped

Chop the walnuts (or pecans if you prefer). Mix all the ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. And that's it. Very tasty with crackers or the Italian style flatbreads. I served this spread on Crosta & Mollica rosemary linguette. A truly delicious combination. Try it, I think you are going to love it too.

Recipe no.3
Spatchcocked poussin
1 poussin (2 servings)
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp Geeta's mango chutney
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
a pinch of paprika (optional)
2 tsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180C. using a pair of kitchen scissors, cut the poussin to open it and flatten it. Season well with the salt, pepper, paprika and crushed garlic. Drizzle with the olive oil and place on a roasting tray. Add the mango chutney 20 minutes before the end of cooking (spread with a spoon all over the poussin).
Roast for 40 minutes until cooked through and golden.
Serve with the roast potatoes, olives and a lemon wedge (optional).
Mango chutney adds a fab zingy exotic boost of flavours.

I could have been playing more with the recipe ideas, but my jar is empty now, and I could only submit 3 recipes to the Chutney Challenge.
Looking forward to seeing everyone's entries and suggestions.

For more information on Geeta's range and the latest news please visit Geeta's Facebook page.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Paddington Bear's adventures app

Paddington Bear, an adorable book character, has been entertaining several generations of children. And he moves with the times, now 'Paddington Bear's Adventures' is available as an app which includes six games.
Five games have a choice of 3 difficulty levels to allow for all ages and for progressive play.
As my younger son Eddie is two and a half years old, we went for the easy level.

As you complete the tasks of each game, you collect various items of clothing for Paddington which later allows you to dress and share your very own digital Paddington Bear.

Go Sightseeing
If you choose to 'Go Sightseeing' your task will be to spot the differences on the iconic London places of interest like Nelson's Column, Buckingham Palace, St Paul's Cathedral and at other famous London attractions.
Even at the easy level, we had to look very attentively to spot the differences, but it was fun to do.

Making Marmalade
Which British pastime (after having a cuppa tea and talking about the weather) could possibly be  more iconic than 'Making Marmalade' - you mix ingredients to make Paddington Bear's favourite treat. Here you can see the beginning of the game where you need to add the citrus peel to the pan.

A new game - 'Tidying Up' - where we need to place items in Paddington's case correctly in order to close the case.
It might sound easy-peasy, but when you are 2 years old, you might be stuck, when you think you have added all the items to the suitcase but nothing is happening. Then, of course, Mama comes to  the rescue and rearranges the cans and jam jars in order.

Hey presto!
A result, and we get another hat to add to our collection of clothes.

In 'Helping Out' it is necessary to use your observation skills to place items in the correct place in Mr Gruber's antique shop. As you can see, we successfully helped Mr Gruber.

In 'Going Home' game you are able to play with the jigsaws which show Paddington Station, The London Eye, Buckingham Palace and other famous London places of interest.

Dressing Up
'Dressing Up' is the fun game where all the items of clothing you have collected by completing your tasks are stored. Eddie enjoyed changing Paddington's outfits, either matching a hat with a coat and boots, or going for an opposite effect and intentionally mismatching the clothes by putting a chef's hat to be worn with a policeman's coat and red boots.
Create your own digital Paddington Bear using the clothes you have collected on your adventures and put them in a scrapbook.

The game features classic Paddington Bear images. The style of graphics is quite old-fashioned (in a good sense) to reflect the timeless appeal of the book.

The game includes specially re-recorded music from the Paddington Bear TV series Theme originally composed by Herbert Chappell.

This is a lovely game for Paddington Bear's fans of all ages.

For more information about this new app please visit the itunes store.

P.S. We were offered a code for a free app.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Mighty Aphrodite goes to Russia


I have recently discovered a new brand of yogurts called Greek Gods. I have noticed them before on the shelves of Sainsbury's but bought my first tub just a few days ago, when I saw a new cooking challenge on Foodies100 - to wow Aphrodite with a love-inspired recipe - using the Greek Gods yogurt. It was too late to apply for the free sample to take part in the challenge, thankfully our local Sainsbury's had it in stock. My choice of a recipe was perhaps quite unusual for Aphrodite, as I decided to take her on a culinary trip to Russia and make a plate of vareniki (crescent-shaped dumplings) to serve with the Greek yogurt with honey.

Russian Mamas & Babushki instil the rules of hospitality: all friends are welcome any time. Even if you have unannounced visitors, you have to offer them food, if your guests refuse, always presume it is out of politeness and insist they should have at least a few cups of tea with whatever you have on offer. Russian hospitality is bordering on smothering you with love and stuffing with food. And if you know in advance that you have guests coming for dinner or tea, you spend hours preparing food.
Making vareniki is quite a long process, that's why often it is done with your family or friends around, when you sit by the table and everyone is taking part in folding the pasta shapes into crescents and pinching the corners together.

400g plain flour
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium eggs
150 ml cold milk
1 tsp salt
300g cottage cheese
200g ricotta

Ifyou have a food processor, chuck all the ingredients except the cottage cheese and ricotta and mix it well, as you would when making the Italian style homemade pasta dough. Otherwise, make a heap of flour on a clean table surface, crack an egg inside, pour a bit of milk and start mixing and kneading, add another  egg, more milk, and keep kneading. It will take quite a bit of effort, and you will know the dough is ready when it is elastic and doesn't stick to hands anymore. Put the dough ball covered in plastic or a clean teatowel in the fridge for half an hour.

Later take the dough out and using a rolling pin roll the pasta on the table. You might want to divide your dough into 3-4 pieces if your work surface is limited, that's what I did. The rolled dough has to be very thin, about 1 mm. Cut out the circles with a cookie cutter or a small glass.

Put a bit of the cottage cheese/ricotta mix inside each circle, close it as a crescent and pinch the edges so that the filling doesn't escape during the cooking.
Once all your vareniki are done, cook them in batches in a big pan full of the boiling salted water.

Traditionally vareniki are served with the smetana (soured cream) and/or some sweet berry sauce.

 I have chosen a Greek style yogurt with honey from Greek Gods, as I think this is a classic celebration of flavours, and one that I particularly enjoy.

This yogurt is very thick, it reminds me of the smetana (soured cream) that my grandma who kept her own cows used to make. It's a type of yogurt where you put a spoon in and it keeps standing.

For those who have a sweet tooth, add a drizzle of the berry/fruit sauce (I used the mango , banana and lime sauce).
It was quite time-consuming to prepare but fun. It also brought back memories of my Grandma and Aunt Lydia who used to make enormous batches of sweet dumplings filled with the cottage cheese and also with cherries (my favourite). I remember biting in , with the sweet cherry juice dribbling down my chin, oh joy.

Hope Mighty Aphrodite will enjoy the taste of the Russian-inspired recipe. Cooking for your family and feeding  friends is definitely a labour of love.


And as this is a big tub of yogurt, I have also done a mango smoothie with it.

Just whizz a few cubes of mango, 4 tsps of yogurt and half a glass of almond milk (per person) for a lovely thick smoothie.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Bruna's Piped Pancakes

If you are a regular reader of My Favourite Recipes magazine and frequent our banter on MFR Facebook wall, you are familiar with Bruna Deriu's style of cooking: innovative, creative and inspiring. Last Tuesday we were all sharing the photos of our pancakes, and I could only Ooh and Aah at her latest creation - Piped Pancakes - which looked so beautiful and different.

Bruna, a Cardiff-born foodie of Italian origins, has kindly agreed to share her recipe and photos with my blog readers.

Piped Pancakes
100g self-raising flour
1 egg
1 tsp sugar
lemon rind
cold milk

This is what Bruna says:
"The recipe is quite simple and perhaps differs from traditional pancakes in that it does not contain melted
butter. For 5 to 6 pancakes I use 100g s.r. flour, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon sugar, some lemon rind and enough cold
milk to make a very thick batter, suitable for piping."

"I lightly grease a pan and pipe the mixture using a disposable sac a poche. "

Love those intricate designs, aren't they pretty?

"When cooked on both sides I serve with lemon and icing sugar or sugar."

I am definitely going to try Bruna's recipe. I have never seen pancakes as delicate-looking as the Brussels lace.

Many thanks, Bruna, for sharing your recipe and photos!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Valentine's Day cake

Valentine's Day, love it or hate it. For me it's just another excuse to bake a cake. I have recently bought a heart-shaped baking tin and wanted to try it. My guys love the yogurt cake, and I have been baking this recipe with different yogurts to make it a bit different. This time I used a Chobani blood orange yogurt with a bit of a plain Greek style yogurt.

Valentine's day cake

200g granulated sugar
200ml of Greek style yogurt (Chobani in this recipe)
2 medium eggs
250g  self-raising flour
1 heaped tsp of baking powder
1/3 mug vegetable oil
1 tsp of vanilla paste
grated zest of 1 orange

icing sugar
a few drops of red colour food gel
juice of a blood orange
Queens icing pens

Grate the zest of an orange, add the sugar and vanilla paste. Add the eggs and using the hand blender, mix well. Add the yogurt, oil, flour and the baking powder and mix together.
Butter the cake tin and pour the cake mix in.
As this heart-shaped tin is not very deep, I have also made 3 cupcakes with the remaining cake mix.
Put it in the oven preheated to 180C.
Bake for about 45-50 minutes, check with a wooden skewer if it is done. Once the skewer comes out clean, the cake is ready. Let it cool completely before decorating.
Mix the icing sugar with the juice of the orange juice and a few drops of red colour food gel until you reach the right consistency, not too runny, not too thick. Spread on top of the cake.
Tip: for the smooth surface don't do as I did by trying to transfer the cake from one plate to another, as the surface acquired some wrinkles. I guess the best way would be to decorate the cake by using a cake stand and leaving it there. Once set, write your message with the Queens icing pens.

Was it a success? Taste-wise it was lush, moist and sweet, but my autie refused to eat it because it looked different, so next time I bake the yogurt cake, it will be back to an old familiar round cake tin.

If you are curious to know what the other bloggers are cooking this week, have a look at a recipe-laden blog A Mummy Too and join in with your own recipes.

This week's CookItBlogIt recipe linky is hosted by another inspiring blog, The Diary of a Frugal Family.