University of Birmingham graduate with a passion for food & cooking as part of a healthy lifestyle

Twitter: @EatRainbowLove
Instagram: lottierainbow

Monday, 17 December 2012

Raspberry swirl cupcakes

These cupcakes are by far my favourite out of all the ones I've ever made (and that's a lot!). I made these for my friends birthday, and I love how pretty and girly they are. The cream cheese frosting is to die for and is made with raspberry jam as well so has a delicious, sweet flavour, and the way the frosting is piped just adds something a bit different, giving a marbled effect. The sponge recipe is the one I always use but I will write everything down below anyway! Oh, and if you don't like cream cheese don't be put off, the frosting tastes amaaaazing... my friend hates cream cheese and refused the cream cheese icing on my carrot cupcakes so this time I didn't tell her it had cream cheese in and she loved it so much she was even eating it out the bowl!
For the sponges (makes 12)

- 125 margarine/butter (or both)
- 125g caster sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 125g self raising flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp semi skimmed milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

For the frosting
- 50g butter (I always use lurpak slightly salted cause think it tastes the best)
- 300g icing sugar, sifted
- 125g full fat cream cheese
- 2 tbsp raspberry jam
- pink food colouring
- edible glitter

1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees / gas mark 5. Line a cupcake tray with cases.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually whisk in the egg then fold in the flour and baking powder.
3. Add the milk and vanilla essence and beat until fully combined and smooth.
4. Spoon into cupcake cases and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until risen, firm and golden brown. Leave to cool.
5. Meanwhile, to make the cream cheese frosting, beat the butter and gradually add the icing sugar until light. Whisk in the cream cheese until light and fluffy.
6. Transfer half the frosting mixture into another bowl and add the jam and a few drops of food colouring, stirring until fully mixed. 
7. In a piping bag with a large, star shaped nozzle, spoon raspberry frosting on one side of the bag and the plain frosting on the other (if you are using a tube syringe instead of a piping bag like i did, then alternating the different frostings on top of one another works just as well). Pipe generous swirls on top of the cupcakes.
8. Don't forget to sprinkle with glitter!

*These will last for up to 3 days - keep them in a cool place in an airtight container - don't forget there is cream cheese in the frosting so they will go off quicker!*

Friday, 14 December 2012

Chicken and leek pie

Another brilliant Lisa Faulkner recipe - her chicken and mushroom pie is also amazing, I've posted that recipe before. This is actually called turkey and leek pie in her book as it's meant for leftover turkey but I just used regular chicken breast and cooked that first. I will write her recipe below but if you do want to use chicken then make sure you cook it first, unless it's left over from a roast. This is such a delicious comfort food from the crisp pastry and thick, hearty sauce. There is also so much flavour from the smoked bacon and stock mmmm. Perfect served with creamy mash!

Serves 3
- 75g bacon, cubed
- 2-3 fresh thyme sprigs
- 750g leeks, sliced
- olive oil & butter
- 400g cooked turkey breast
- 25g plain flour
- 1 pint of chicken stock
- 25ml double cream
- ready rolled puff pastry
- beaten egg or milk

1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees / gas mark 5.
2. Dry fry the bacon in a large pan for 3-4 minutes then add the thyme.
3. Add the leeks with the olive oil and butter and cook on a low heat for about 15-20 minutes, or until soft.
4. Add the turkey to the pan then mix in the flour and pour over the stock. Stir and add the cream. Bring to the boil then take off the heat.
5. Using a slotted spoon, put the turkey and leek mixture into a large dish.
6. Return the 'sauce' in the pan to the heat to reduce for a few more minutes until thickened. Pour over the pie filling in the dish.
7. Grease the rim of the pie dish and cut the puff pastry to fit on top. Pinch round the edges to seal then brush with the beaten egg or milk.
8. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy :)

Apple and plum crumble

Firstly, sorry for the bad photo quality - if you read my welcome back post it explains why and I will put more effort into making them more appealing! This was a delicious dessert, perfect for a winter evening. I'm not a huge crumble fan but I do love it every once in a while and it's a lot of fun to make.

Serves 2-3
- 400g apples, peeled, cored and slices
- 400g plums, stones removed and quartered
- 100g demerara/brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp water (add more if needed)

- 75g butter
- 150g self raising flour
- 100g brown sugar

1. To make the filling, add the apples, plums, sugar, cinnamon and water to a pan and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes, are until stewed. Spoon into a baking dish.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
3. To make the crumble topping, simply rub together the butter and flour with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs, then mix in the sugar.
4. Press down the crumble topping onto the fruit until compact. Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes, or until hot in the middle and golden brown - serve warm with cream!

Enjoy :) 

Pasta, pasta, pasta

Just a quick post on three pasta dishes I have made over the last couple months. Two I have posted about before so I will link them below, and one which is pretty simple but delicious.

This is the best carbonara recipe I've ever come across and it turned out even better the second time - just make sure you let the sauce reduce enough! You can find the recipe here

Pesto pasta with salmon and green beans
If you've read my other posts you will know I love pesto pasta - and this is exactly that, with green beans, spinach and salmon which I brushed with olive oil and fresh garlic before baking in the oven (wrapped in foil, 180 degrees) for 20 minutes. Finish it off with lots of fresh parmesan mm mm.

Macaroni cheese
This is the amazing Lisa Faulkner recipe that I've posted about before here. This time I left out the leeks and added a lot more bacon (I made it for my sister and she's very fussy!) This is perfect comfort food for this cold month.

Enjoy :)

Welcome back!

Hello everyone, Merry Christmas!

I cannot believe I haven't posted in two months - I'm really cross with myself! It's for a mixture of reasons; mainly because I've been busy at uni and also because now I have my new phone I use that as my camera as well, so when I take pictures of food they don't look as good or as professional (I think I've mentioned this in a previous post) so I haven't been too keen to put photos up. So I'm sorry about the bad quality of photos in my recent posts and probably of a few yet to come. I find it difficult to find the time at uni to make lots of interesting dishes and then photograph them properly, but now I'm home I'm planning on doing a fair bit of Christmas baking over the holidays so I will whack out the good camera and hopefully brighten this blog up a bit!

If you are new to my blog then please look back over some old posts as there are some pretty tasty looking dishes and some amazing recipes :)

Here are some of my favourites:
Blueberry pancakes
Rosemary and bacon potato rosti
Incredibly gooey chocolate brownies
Cheese, tomato and herb quiche
Tiramisu cake
Cheesy, broccoli pasta bake
Mint chocolate cupcakes
Chicken and mushroom pie
Victoria sponge
Stuffed red peppers
Celebration cupcakes

Anyway, I hope you enjoy my blog, and find lots of posts that interest you, and please try out the recipes, they really are delicious!

I am going to try my best to get back into blogging on here so keep checking back for some yummy recipes.

You can find my links at the top of the page for twitter, instagram and facebook. I instagram pictures of food so if you're into that definitely look me up! I would love to see anythng you cook or bake too so don't be shy to contact me.

Hope everyone's enjoying the festive season!