My own recipe, adapted from multiple sources with some, *ahem* suggestions from friends. Multiple flavourings are possible.

You will need:

10-12 small glass ramekins (you can buy these in department stores, I use the ones that come with Gu Puds, we've got about 30)
For the base:

1 200g(ish) box fine milled oatcakes (I use Nairns which is 218g, I don't personally need to worry about buying the guaranteed gluten free ones which are more expensive, these are made in a factory that also makes gluten products)
125g unsalted butter
some sugar: I recommend a couple teaspoons of molasses sugar with the lumps broken up as best as possible and a couple teaspoons caster sugar.
For the topping:

one 250g tub ricotta cheese
100g white chocolate (I've tried other chocolates, it tends to not work, plus [personal profile] miss_s_b can eat white chocolate without risk of dying, which is good). I recommend Sainsbury Belgian Cooking Chocolate for cost/benefit quality wise

Either 2 limes, zest and juice, with 2-4 teaspoons of ground ginger for taste (I think 4 is too much, others disagree)
or one large orange, zest and juice, 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1-2 teaspoons nutmeg
You could almost certainly try other fruit+spice combos, this is what I've done, successfully, so far.

First, make the base: crush the biscuits as much as possible, you want breadcrumb style crumbs. Melt the butter in the microwave, careful not to overheat it. Mix the butter and the sugars thoroughly through the crushed biscuits, you should end up with a very loose, crumbly dough. NB: You can use 200g of any biscuits for this, including standard sweet digestives, but if you use sweet biscuits omit the extra sugar.

Share the mix out amongst the ramekins and press it into the bases, you'll likely get just over 1cm depth per tub, don't worry about exactness here. Put them in the fridge to cool.

Whisk the ricotta in a glass bowl. Using a different glass bowl, break the chocolate up and carefully melt in the microwave, if you're not used to doing this, full power for 30 seconds, bring out stir thoroughly, repeat until it's all just melted, be careful not to over melt as the chocolate can crystallise or otherwise stop being nice.

Whisk the melted chocolate into the ricotta. Then whisk in the flavourings. Share the topping mix about the ramekins, you'll find the lime is a fairly tough mix, you might want to add some more lime juice to soften it further, the orange will likely be a fairly loose mix depending on size and juiciness of orange. Try to press the mix down and spread it out.

Put back into fridge to chill for a minimum of 2 hours (the topping really does need to set). Serve and enjoy.

I am grateful to [personal profile] hollymath and [ profile] A_C_McGregor for their assistance putting the ingredients together yesterday and their, um, help in choosing the spice quantities—I suspect both would've happily put even more ginger in, but I think 4 teaspoons is too much.
So, tonight, I'm cooking pizza. It's been a few weeks, I'm trying a new recipe for the base, but the standard sauce was planned to be in use. Mostly because I have a jar of it in the fridge from last time, and it's kept fine.

I tested it about ten minutes ago, to be sure. It's fine. Bit settled, so give it a quick shake.

I am now covevered in the remnants of what was a good pizza sauce. The sauce had kept well. The honey jar I'd put it in, apparently, had not. Shook the pot, bottom fell off, sauce (and glass) everywhere :-(

Good job I checked it now, not 5 minutes before [personal profile] miss_s_b arrives home; she's cycling back, for the first time, the plan is to have the pizza on the table for her on arrival.

Better cook up a new batch.
K, this evening, I decided to make a steam pudding, and due to a rather dried out orange, it ended up being a lemon and orange steam pudding.

Which got us talking. [personal profile] amazing_holly isn't that familiar with the rhyme and, as is usual, [personal profile] miss_s_b seems to know a completely different version to me, which is again different to the ones I've found online (and neither of us can remember the exact lyrics we knew as a kid anyway).

I've found several online sources, best two seem to be Wikipedia and, which also has the alternate London Bells nursery rhyme. However, none of these mention the Bell of St Stephen's, which Jennie swears blind was in the version she knew as a kid.

Can anyone else remember St Stephen's being mentioned? It's very likely it's not the Bell of St Stephen's (ie Big Ben) anyway, but...

Oh, wait, the pudding? You want a recipe? Oh go on then...

Easiest and quickest pudding mix ever )

Nom nom nom.
Apparently, if I stop posting here, people will start ringing me to check I'm ok, or wondering what I'm up to, or other similar things. This is especially true if I just, y'know, stop writing stuff and stop commenting elsewhere.

Well, I did. It started as a weekend break from t'internet in which I didn't even look at my email, then it turned into a few months where I simply scanned my email for important stuff, occasionally checked into Twitter, but otherwise didn't read any of my reading, friends or feed pages and simply turned off. Honestly? It's been good.

So, what have I been doing instead? Well, making money definitely wasn't one of them. Ah well, that'll have to start changing. What I have been doing is enjoying life in many respects.

Learnt how to bake and cook

I've learnt, not just how to bake (which is quite easy), but also how to actually, y'know, properly cook. I am no longer scared by a recipe that requires I chop an onion. I know what a vichyssoise is (but not how to spell it), and have even made one. My carrot, cream and orange soup, adapted from Mary Berry's recipe, is quite simply gorgeous, and I successfully made baguettes yesterday.

I've been helping [personal profile] miss_s_b in the garden, in which we have potatoes, beetroot, oregano and even scented geraniums growing well. The newly planted garlic is already sprouting, so that'll be nice for next year.

Biggest bestest cake in the world

I've been spending time with [personal profile] amazing_holly, reading, playing games, cooking and having fun. I managed to get her to teach herself the basics of multiplication and division while baking a cake. I even, as a reward for her for sticking with learning to be good enough at Speed Racer to actually beat Mummy in a championship cooked, with her, the biggest bestest cake that Mister Mat has ever made! which has, somehow, now become the biggest bestest cake in the world. Well, she is 6. It was fun making it though, even if it was so big it had gone dry before we finished it.

But also? I've been playing games. A lot of games. For this you can mostly blame [personal profile] liadnan. Y'see, awhileback I had a catastrophic OS failure involving a critical Fx vulnerability and a dodgy porn site, and we gave up on fixing Windows and switched to Ubuntu for the main desktop. I had some problems getting a few things to work, and he pointed me at the wonder that is the world of Linux repositories. So I installed some, to see what I could find.

Open source, extendable games

Mostly, I found games. Open Source, extendable, games. Based on some wonderful classics like Elite, Civilisation, Sin City and similar. I will, I hope, write up the ones I enjoyed, just so I can have a record of them. I may even write up the ones I hated, to remind me not to install them again. In the meantime, I'm back. I've been reading, and even commenting on, most of my reading pages, and plan to completely reorganise them to keep my sanity in place.

In the meantime, enough about me, what've you guys been up to, have I missed much?
OK, [personal profile] miss_s_b cooked us a lovely veggie cottage pie this evening, with cheap garlic bread using a baguette from Tesco's bargain bin.

So I need to cook pudding after Shrub's gone to bed. I've done loads of steam puddings recently, as well as cookies, muffins, biscuits and bread variants (recipes might get posted on request, I still have the bread recipe in drafts somewhere). So...

Any suggestions?

Preferably not involving nuts (because I'm allergic) or chocolate (as Jennie's allergic). Stuff involving syrup or jam is an added bonus but not essential.
So, SB gets home from Liberal Drinks (Manchester), several sheets to the wind and craving biscuits. So I baked biscuits. Loosely based on a recipe for Ginger Nuts from Delia (for USians, if you've not heard of her, she's Alton Brown in a twin set. Who runs a football team as a hobby. Also, they're a type of biscuit. Which is sort of like a cookie, but not. And yes, we get the 'nuts' joke).

ingredients )Instructions )
Eat. If there are any left (weirdo), then store them in an airtight container. There are never any left in this house. [personal profile] miss_s_b eats them all.

(Crossposted to OMNOMNOM on DreamWidth)
So, a lot of the recipes I've been looking at going Hmm, yes please last few days have required ramekins to cook them in. We don't have any ramekins.

So while in Sainsbury's today, we had a look. Because Jennie thinks the idea of home cooked creme caramel is a good one, and I wants to make me some mouse.


Individual ramekins in the cookery/homeware isle= £1.50 each.
Gu chocolate puds, complete with nommy chocolate pud and perfectly acceptable ramekins= £1.50 for two, on offer.

Hmm, that was a tough choice. So now I need to cook up and eat 3 more gu puds. Because I had one earlier, and it was lovely. Although I reckon I could make them just as good now I know what I'm doing.

I need a food/cooking icon. Someone want to make/recommend me one?
If anyone is interested, this BBC recipe for lemon muffins works just as well, if not better, if you substitute all references to 'lemon' with the word 'lime'.

I've had 2, SB and Shrub are eating 2 each upstairs, and I'm tempted to go downstairs and get another one.
On Monday evening. [ profile] miss_s_b did, with a fair bit of help from Shrub and me, bake cupcakes. A sign that I'm getting naturalised is I'm now in the habit of calling them buns (mostly, admittedly, because Shrub gets confused otherwise). SB was in charge on Monday, because I'd not baked cakes for years (and years and years), and simply lack confidence in the kitchen.

It's not that I can't cook (granddad was a chef, I grew up around farms), more that, generally, I couldn't be arsed. But, y'know, I do enjoy cooking, so I'm trying to build my confidence up.

I learnt how not to do it

Anyway. I learnt lots on Monday. Specifically, I learnt how not to do it, and that, if in doubt, use less mix in the bun case, not more, which was SBs preference.

So, with us having eaten them all by this evening, I decided to cook some more up. Theoretically SB was going to be in the room with me making sure I didn't mess up, but that would've meant getting out of bed and that just wasn't going to happen.

I quartered the recipe

Given that we'd a) made far too many and b) they'd all overflowed the cases on Monday, we decided to quarter the recipe to make just 12 (ie one tins worth). So, from memory, I quartered the recipe.

Except that I mixed up the cake recipe and the bread recipe. So when I quartered a 800g of flour and weighed out 200g, I was actually measuring out the exact same amount of flour as we used on Monday.

Ah well. We now have a nice sponge cake as well as 126 cupcakes. I did cook 12, but, y'know, they were fresh and looked tempting. Shrub likes them too.

The sponge cake is still cooling, SB's made some buttercream icing to use as a filler, some of which is already on the buns.

Eat the mistakes

This cooking larks a lot easier than some people make it out to be y'know. As long as, y'know, you're prepared to eat the mistakes.

Nom nom nom.
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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October 2015


Stuff and nonsense

I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats.

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