Daily Archives: October 22, 2010

National Baking Week

Sausage-&-Baked-Bean-PastiesDominie & Becky’s Sausage & Baked Bean Pasties with Homemade Tomato Ketchup

Pasties: Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
85g red lentils
2 tbsp sundried tomato paste
300ml vegetable stock
4 good-quality sausages, skins removed
50g frozen peas or petit pois
2 cans of baked beans
Plain flour, for dusting
2 x 500g packs shortcrust pastry
1 egg, beaten

Pasties: Method
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and fry the onion for 5 minutes until softened. Add the lentils and tomato paste, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until most of the stock is absorbed and the lentils have softened.
Meanwhile, heat a non-stick frying pan. Fry the sausage meat over a moderate heat for 5 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until golden and cooked through. Add the peas, baked beans and lentils, season, then set aside to cool. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out each pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin and cut 10 saucer-size discs out of each, re-rolling trimmings. Pile 3 heaped tsp of meat mixture in the middle of each disc. Brush edges with beaten egg and fold over to form a seal. Pinch edges together, then brush with more egg. Chill on a lightly floured baking sheet for 15 minutes. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden.
Tomato Ketchup: Ingredients
1 large red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
∏ a bulb of fennel, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 stick of celery, trimmed and roughly chopped
olive oil
a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
∏ a fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
a bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked, stalks chopped
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 cloves
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
sea salt
500g amazing cherry or plum tomatoes, halved plus 500g tinned plum tomatoes, chopped
1kg yellow, orange or green tomatoes, chopped
200ml red wine vinegar
70g soft brown sugar
Tomato Ketchup: Method
Place all the vegetables in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan with a big splash of olive oil and the ginger, garlic, chilli, basil stalks, coriander seeds and cloves. Season with the pepper and a good pinch of salt.

Cook gently over a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes until softened, stirring every so often. Add all the tomatoes and 350ml of cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently until the sauce reduces by half.

Add the basil leaves, then whiz the sauce in a food processor or with a hand blender and push it through a sieve twice, to make it smooth and shiny. Put the sauce into a clean pan and add the vinegar and the sugar. Place the sauce on the heat and simmer until it reduces and thickens to the consistency of tomato ketchup. At this point, correct the seasoning to taste.

Spoon the ketchup through a sterilized funnel into sterilized bottles, then seal tightly and place in a cool dark place or the fridge until needed – it should keep for six months.

Pumpkin-muffinsTasha’s Pumpkin Cupcakes with Spiced Cream Cheese Icing

110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
240g soft light brown sugar
2 large eggs, free-range or organic
∏ teaspoon good-quality vanilla extract
100g pureed pumpkin (sold in tins)
125g self-raising flour
120g plain flour, sifted
∏ teaspoon ground cinnamon
∏ teaspoon ground ginger
125ml buttermilk (or 120ml milk mixed with 1 teaspoon lemon juice)

For the topping
175g cream cheese
450g icing sugar, sifted
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
π teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves

Preheat the oven to 160C fan/180C/350F/gas mark 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tray with the appropriate size cupcake cases.

In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and smooth, which should take about 3-5 minutes using an electric hand mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla extract, beating well after each addition. Add the pumpkin and beat until just combined.

Combine the flours, cinnamon and ginger in a bowl. Add one-third of the flours to the creamed mixture and beat until just combined. Add half of the buttermilk and beat again until just combined. Repeat these steps until all the flour and buttermilk have been added.

Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling them to about two-thirds full. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until slightly raised and golden brown. To check they are cooked, insert a skewer in the centre of one of the cakes – it should come out clean.

Remove from the oven and leave the cakes in their tins for about 10 minutes before placing carefully on a wire rack to cool.

Place all of the icing ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat well until thoroughly combined and the icing is smooth and pale.

Once they are completely  cool, ice the cupcakes with spiced cream cheese icing and decorate with a sprinkling of cinnamon or nutmeg.