My Favourite Curry Recipe – Mapo Tofu Curry

The prompt for today’s Blogtober post is Vindaloo or Korma? Well, I’m from Birmingham the home of the Balti! We don’t have Indian curry very often though, it’s usually the Chinese restaurant we get our take away’s from. If I eat out I love to go to a Japanese restaurant and have my favourite Chicken Katsu Curry, but if we are making a curry at home then my favourite has to be Mapo Tofu Curry.

Mapo Tofu Curry

What is Mapo Tofu Curry? Well, it’s a Chinese dish that is very popular in Japan. It’s made from pork mince and tofu and is very spicy, but very tasty.

If you want to try something new here is the recipe. The photo isn’t mine though (Despite having the dish for dinner many times, I’ve not actually ever taken a photo of it!)

Ingredients:

  • 500g minced pork
  • 350g firm tofu
  • 250 ml of chicken stock
  • 1 tbs Red Miso paste
  • 1 tbs Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tsp of harissa paste
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 spring onions, chopped
  • boiled rice to serve

Method:

Prepare the sauce by mixing the cornflour soy sauce, harissa paste, oyster sauce, miso paste, chicken stock in a bowl.

Prepare the tofu by slicing into 1 inch squares

put the sesame oil in the pan and gently fry the garlic and ginger for about 1 minute then add the mince, stirring until brown.

Add the sauce and mix well, bringing to the boil. 

Turn down the heat and add the tofu, stirring gently to coat without breaking it up.

Serve with boiled rice and sprinkle with the spring onion pieces.

 a plate of mapo tofu, a reddish brown minced pork curry with cubes of tofu and decorated with spring onions.
Mapo Tofu

So if you ever fancy something a little different then why not give this a go. It really is easy to make and takes about 1/2 hour including preparation. I buy all the ingredients from Sainsbury’s and they are slightly different from the original recipe because we adapted it ourselves. 

#Blogtober18
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Toffee Apples and Inspired Recipes.

The kids are back at school and Autumn on the way. We are hurtling towards Halloween and harvest time. This time of year always gets me thinking about something delicious from my childhood days, Toffee Apples.

When I was young my Nan lived in a street on the edge of a housing estate. If you walked to the end of the street and through an entry way between two houses, you would find yourself in a field. Not just one field but lots of them, rolling off into the distance. Upon discovery, and many miles of walking there were all sorts of delights to be found, cows, sheep, an old church, a reservoir, bluebell woods, beech trees and a lot more. But today I’m talking about the apple trees that lined one of the fields.

Nan would send us scrumping over the fields. Now, I didn’t realise at the time what scrumping actually was, apart from going to collect apples. Of course the very act of scrumping means to steal the apples. I was a very conscientious child and would probably not have taken part if I’d know we were taking the apples illegally. I was going because I was doing what I was told and because it was fun! We went every year and never got so much as a telling off. Did the farmer even notice his apples missing? Did he care? If we went back later there would be loads of rotting apples lying beneath the trees and I used to wish we’d been back to take more while they were edible.

So, me and my cousins would go to the field and they boys would climb the trees and shake off the apples. The girls would pick up as many as they could, often using our skirts as carriers. Then we would hurry back to Nan who would be waiting with her big pot of toffee.

Nan would make the toffee in a huge iron pan, loads of sugar and a big tin of golden syrup. She would stir it constantly with a big wooden spoon. We would butter trays for the apples, she always had loads to hand. She also had loads of twigs that we’d brought back along with our apples. The washed apples would have a twig stuck inside then Nan would dip each one into the toffee and place them upside down on the trays. We would end up with loads of gorgeous sticky toffee apples, what a treat. We didn’t eat them all ourselves though, there was plenty to go around so we’d take them into the street and share them with the neighbours. 

I always looked forward to Nan’s toffee apples. They would be left with a buttery film from the trays which tasted delicious against the toffee.

Toffee Apple Recipes

With my mind full of these delicious (ill gotten) treats I have decided to look up some lovely toffee apple inspired recipes to share with you. 

I love this idea from Fussy Eater, she has noted that a whole toffee apple can be too much for little mouths, so she came up with Toffee Apple Slices. Apple slices, dipped in chocolate and drizzled with a toffee sauce, sounds delicious.

The lovely Eatz Amazing has several apple recipes but I particularly liked her Unicorn Chocolate Apples.

I’ve also done a toffee apple recipe myself, but of course, it had to be a Toffee Apple and Pecan Cake.

I love apple and cinnamon together and you can find this marriage in The Crazy Kitchen’s  Toffee Apple Cinnamon Bun Rings. 

Apple Crumble has always been a desert favourite of mine and A Mummy Too has made one with toffee too. Yes it’s a Toffee Apple Crumble delight.

Finally, if you are gluten free then the Free From Fairy has a delicious gluten free Spiced Toffee Apple Traybake that you will love.

Have you ever made toffee apples, or even chocolate coated apples? I really have the urge to make some apple inspired deserts now.

four toffee apple deserts, unicorn apples, toffee apple crumble, sliced toffee apple slices and toffee apple and pecan cake
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Run Jump Scrap

The Great British Bake Off – Chocolate Molten Puddings

This week it was pudding week on The Great British Bake Off. We had steamed puddings for signature bakes, molten chocolate puddings for technical and Trifles for show stopper bakes.
Now my  miserable family are not keen on puddings unless they are chocolate so I didn’t have much choice but to go for the molten chocolate puddings for my bake.

The next problem was…there are seven of us and most recipes for individual puddings were for 4 or six. So I had to do some adjusting and my recipe makes seven puddings, made in regular ramekins.

If I’m honest, they were not perfect to look at, but they did pass the taste test.

I added a little white chocolate to the kids puddings, both in the middle and on top. For the adults we had to make do with dark chocolate because the white didn’t go very far (or it may have got eaten by a family member when I left it in the fridge!)

molten chocolate pudding
As you can see, the white chocolate in the middle was trying it’s best to escape before I took a photo. This was the best of the batch of three, the others had already oozed out. I didn’t manage to make a neat job of spooning the white chocolate on the top either. Trust me, these puddings are alive, they ooze, they collapse they fall apart, all before you get the chance of a good shot….but they tasted yummy. I give them 10 for taste and 1 for presentation!
I’m not sure if you can tell by this photo but the sponge was light and fluffy and the inside gooey. Isn’t that the objective? Okay, I guess looking nice would be good too.

The other puddings fared even worse for presentation…it’s a minus 4 from me! As soon as I took them out of the ramekins they collapsed as the middle bit oozed out. Too much chocolate maybe? I think they might have needed a little more cooking. I was under the impression that they had to be served straight from the oven, which I’m sure contributed to them breaking up.

Here is my recipe (if you want it!)

Ingredients:

  • 200g butter
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 100g white chocolate (if adding)
  • 5 eggs
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 75gg self raising flour
  • tbs of cocoa powder.

Method:

  • Melt the dark chocolate and butter in bowl over a pan of hot water. (or carefully in the microwave) set aside to cool
  • in a large bowl whisk together the eggs and sugar until pale and light
  • fold the chocolate into the egg mixture
  • add the flour and cocoa powder and fold in
  • grease 7 ramekin moulds
  • divide the mixture between the moulds place on a baking tray. If adding white chocolate put a chunk into the top of the mixture, no need to push it in as it will sink while baking.
  • bake in a pre-heated oven 180C/gas mark 4 for 10 – 12 minutes
  • when baked, loosen the puddings and turn out carefully onto serving plates.
Serve them with cream or melted white chocolate sauce.

Mummy Mishaps



Great British Bake Off – Cottage Loaf

I’m really getting into the Great British Bake Off now, despite the missing Mary, Mel and Sue. It’s all about the baking after all.
This week was bread week and I love baking bread…but I’ve not done so for a long time. The signature task was to bake tea cakes, something I’ve never tried before but I may try one day as I do like a nice toasted tea cake with my cuppa. The technical challenge was a cottage loaf, again I’ve not made one before but I do remember making a mini one many many years ago at school. Finally, the show stopper was a bread sculpture, yes, like I’d have the time, or energy for that!

So, I went for the cottage loaf. I love making bread kneading by hand but with my hands giving me so much trouble lately, it was good to have two little helpers to hand, Star and Boo, who each took turns with the kneading.

The recipe I used was a basic white loaf recipe.

Ingredients

500g bread flour
25g butter
1tbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp of salt
1tsp dried yeast
320 ml of warm water

Method:

rub the butter into the flour
add the sugar, salt and yeast,
mix in the water a little at a time until you have a firm dough
knead the dough for 10 mins and leave in a bowl covered with cling film, or a tea towel for about 1 hour
knead the dough again and shape into two rounds, one slightly bigger than the other
Put the smaller mound on top of the larger one and push two fingers all the way through both rounds from the middle of the top round.
leave to prove, covered lightly, for a further 30 mins.
Bake at 180 C for 40 mins, or until it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

cottage loaf

=

Mummy Mishaps



Biscuits, biscuits and biscuits.

I’m a big fan of The Great British Bake Off and bake along with it every year. This year it changed channels and I forgot it was on last week! I did manage to catch it on catch-up tv though but it was too late to bake along. This week again I missed it when it was on, it’s just not a good time for me, but I recorded it to watch at leisure. I have to say, I’m enjoying the new show despite no Mary or Mel and Sue. After all, it’s about the baking really. The only thing I would say is that it seems a lot more rushed as they have to fit everything in for the adverts. One good thing about catch-up or recording, you don’t have to watch the adverts 🙂

This week it was biscuit week and for a long time now I’ve wanted to make Bourbons, but I guess I just didn’t feel like it, so I handed the challenge over to the kids.

Star’s Chocolate Creams

Star went for the cream challenge and she made a softer cookie dough for her biscuits and piped them into rounds before I cooked them for her. Then she filled them with chocolate butter cream. I think they turned out pretty good, even though they were not all exactly the same.

chocolate cream swirl biscuits

Boo’s Iced Biscuits

Boo just wanted to do her own thing so she made a biscuit dough she could roll and cut out shapes from. She wanted to do different sized hearts but I couldn’t find my pack of heart cutters, so she just chose shapes from the box. This is just a small selection of them after she’d piped icing on them.

biscuit shapes decorated with piped icing

The Little Man’s Minecraft Biscuit Creation

When I told the Little Man of the options he said he wanted to make a game. Mmmm a bit adventurous for a seven year old I think! Of course his favourite game at the moment is Mine Craft so he wanted to make Mine Craft biscuits. They had to be square to represent the blocks on Mine Craft. Then he decorated them himself, the middle biscuit is the player and the little ones around it are dirt blocks. I can’t really explain it any clearer.

chocolate square biscuits with piped designs

They had loads of fun with their baking and decorating, it was a great way to while away an afternoon. The biscuits all tasted pretty good too, especially as I just winged the recipe.

Next week it’s bread week and I’ve been meaning to bake some bread for a while now so fingers crossed it will be me baking…although the kids will probably want to make some too!

If you want to see what other bloggers have been baking this week then please check out the GBBO blogger linky over on Mummy Mishaps blog.

Mummy Mishaps

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

Some people only write reviews when things go wrong with products, which is good because it lets people know that there could be potential problems. I’ve also seen negative feedback with say things like, I had to return this item because the colour did not suit me…is this useful?

I write reviews on most items I buy because I like to give genuine feedback. If I have a genuine problem with a product I will write my review in the appropriate place.

I write reviews on my blog too, but they are mostly positive. Why? Because I only write reviews for the things I’ve loved. If I don’t love them I let the person who sent me them know with details why and then let them decided if they would rather me write a negative review or not write one at all. It’s always the latter.

This is my blog, my place and I’ll let you know about the things I love. If you want to find out what other people have hated about the product then you will need to look elsewhere.

My reviews may all be positive, but they are still genuine.