Bread and Butter Pudding

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A simple pudding that can be served with custard, fresh cream or creme fraiche to make a filling and tasty conclusion to any meal.

Ingredients

Serves 4 or 6

4 slices of wholemeal bread

20g low fat spread

20g marmalade

25g currants (or sultanas)

20g sugar

2 eggs

450ml of milk (any kind)

1 tsp of vanilla essence

Method

  • On 1 side of each slice of bread, spread the low fat spread evenly across, from corner to corner using as little as possible. Now spread the same side with a thin coating of marmalade. Cut the slices diagonally to create 4 triangles from each slice.
  • Take a medium size ovenproof dish and grease the inside. Layer the triangles of bread, in effect ‘stacking’ them upon each other to fill the dish.
  • Now pour the milk into a bowl, adding the eggs, vanilla essence and sugar. Whisk with a hand whisk until all the ingredients have combined and the mixture has become light and fluffy both in texture and look.
  • Pour the egg mixture over the bread triangles, covering them all. Set aside in the fridge for about 1 hour.

Dawn: This ‘resting’ in the fridge allows the bread to absorb the egg mixture so when the pudding is cooked, it’s thick and morish in texture rather than simply bread slices and egg custard sitting side-by-side. 

Andrew: Mmm…egg custard! Another simple and tasty favourite!

Dawn: Another for the blog! It’s worth pointing out that I used light muscovado sugar which has added a light golden brown tint to the pudding before it was cooked. 

  • About 10 minutes before you are due to take the dish from the fridge, turn on the oven to gas mark 4, 180°C electric.
  • After the dish has stood in the fridge for about 1 hour, remove it and allow the dish to reach room temperature before putting it in the pre-heated oven.

Andrew: Why do we do this, Dawn? 

Dawn: Because the dish will be cold straight from the fridge and with the oven already hot, we avoid the dish shattering in the oven by allowing it first to reach room temperature. It’s only a precaution and all you need do is let the dish ‘rest’ for about 10 minutes before putting it into the oven. 

  • Place the dish in the centre of the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes until the bread has risen and is golden brown in colour. Remove and allow to cool. Serve warm with custard, fresh cream or creme fraiche.

Andrew: We served it with reduced fat creme fraiche so offering a lower fat topping.

Dawn: Yes, and we used skimmed milk to reduce the calorific content even further, too.

For more pudding recipes, meal ideas and tasty treats that all the family can join in making, follow this blog – www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com – and Twitter @Love_Food_UK

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Parsnip and Apple Soup

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Launching “Wonderful Winter Warming Soups” with a weekly soup recipe to warm the cockles, taking just pennies to make and packed full of flavour, they are designed to help make your food budgets go further as well as providing an easy and quick meal to make at any time of the week.

Ingredients

Serves 4

1 onion, peeled and chopped

600g parsnips, peeled, washed and cut into large chunks

1 large cooking apple or 3 small eating apples, cored and cut into chunks

1.2l vegetable stock (made with a stock cube)

1 tsp of dried thymme

2 whole cloves

Salt and pepper

Method

  • Put the onion in a large saucepan, add a splash of cold water, a pinch of salt and cook on a medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes or until the onion is starting to become transparent in look.
  • Add the parsnips and vegetable stock along with the thyme and cloves. Bring the ingredients up to boiling point and then reduce the heat. Cover the saucepan and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the parsnips have become soft.
  • Remove the cloves and blend with a hand blender to create a thick consistency textured soup. Season to individual preference and serve hot with warm, crusty bread.

Dawn: Hey presto! A Winter warming dish that makes a great starter at a dinner party or a fab lunchtime meal, anytime of the week.
Andrew: And it can be frozen to eat at another time, too. I like the idea of soup for lunch. Easy to transport in a flask or airtight container to work for reheating in a microwave. 
Dawn: Yes, and saves on your pennies, too rather than buying expensive mass manufactured soups. 
Andrew: Which really lack the “WOW!” taste factor. We ought to post some healthy bread recipes to go with our soups Dawn.
Dawn:  We can and a great idea! Over to you Andrew! Our soup is low in fat, healthy and cheap to make! All in all, a real winner! 

For more from the Cooking Duo, follow this blog – www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com – and the Twitter account @Love_Food_UK for daily recipes and updates. Have fun cooking, folks! 

Toad in the Hole

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Toad in the Hole: an everyday favourite and a tasty meal that can be made as individual portions or one large dish served with lots of vegetables for a filling dinner.

Ingredients

Serves 4

2 tsps of cooking oil

4 sausages

75g of plain flour

1 egg

200ml of milk

Pinch of salt

Method

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 6, 200°C electric.
  • Using a 4 portions Yorkshire pudding tray, put 1/2 tsp of cooking oil into each along with a sausage and place in the oven. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the sausages are browned and the cooking oil in hot.

Dawn: You can tell the cooking oil is hot because what looks to be a heat haze comes off it. 

Andrew: Yes, look for a faint bluey-looking, almost steam-like rising from the cooking oil. 

  • Meanwhile, make the batter. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and crack the egg into this well along with the milk. Beat with a hand whisk until smooth.
  • Pour the batter carefully into each Yorkshire pudding hole.

Dawn: A tip to ensure the fat is hot enough is to leave the pudding tray in the oven right up until you are ready to add the batter because the success of a Yorkshire pudding is very much in the cooking oil being hot enough to help the batter rise.

Andrew: To make one large Toad in the Hole rather than 4 individual portions, simply use a large oven proof dish and follow the instructions. 

  • Place the pudding tray back in the hot oven and cook for a 20-25 minutes or until theYorkshire puddings have risen, looking all puffed-up and golden in colour.
  • Serve with lots of vegetables and onion gravy, the recipe for which is here: http://wp.me/p3lk3r-em

Andrew: Do you know that the word sausage is derived from Old French saussiche, from the Latin word salsus meaning salted, Dawn?

Dawn: No, I didn’t – but I do now! I don’t think the art of making sausages is French, though: I understand that sausage-making was originally a matter of making the most of all aspects of an animal’s meat as well as being a method of preserving. 

Andrew: Yes, absolutely. Without further-ado, let’s not preserve these wonderful looking Toad in the Holes for much longer and tuck in!

This traditional dish is one of many meals on the Cooking Duo’s food blog – www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com – and also follow the Twitter feed for lively banter, tips and updates @Love_Food_UK