Sunday, 12 February 2012

Croissant Bread and Butter Pudding

Have far too many "left over" croissants? Need to find a way to make them a little more unhealthy/delicious?

I have the answer you are looking for: Croissant bread and butter pudding.

Ok, so there are definitely many perks to working in the food shop I work in now. Sad little left over pastries. "Oh noes! We'll never make it the weekend, take us home and eat us quickly!"

One particular Saturday evening I was lucky enough to come home with these babies

The ones that survived the initial onslaught of the bearded food hoover (and, being honest, me) ended up in this recipe. This also works fine with stale croissants, if they ever last that long.

Croissant Bread and Butter Pudding

2 eggs
200ml milk
75g caster sugar
3 croissants, cut into cm slices
50g raisins
tsp vanilla essecnce

1. Beat the eggs, milk and caster sugar together.
2. Arrange the sliced croissants, slightly over lapping each other to cover the base of oven proof dish.
3. Sprinkle the raisins over your layer of croissant, then pour in the egg mixture.
4. Let this soak for 30 minutes.
5. Bake for 25-30minutes at 180°c, until golden and crunchy on the top, gooey on the bottom.

(Armadillo? No. *ahem*)

This is so quick and easy to make, and tastes SO GOOD. Yes, good enough to warrant random use of capital letters. I didn't think of it at the time, but this would definitely benefit with a sprinkle of ground spice of some description, maybe a little cinnamon or even mixed spice. I popped a couple of portions of it in the freezer too, which came out fine after a reheating.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Project Round Up II

Despite the obvious inconveniences that go with anywhere in England being covered in a thick layer of snow, I am, and probably always will be, very excited by it. I missed it coming down yesterday as I was stuck in work all afternoon, so after dinner le Boof and I went out for a walk around the city (big unflattering (but practical!) jacket on and big old camera in tow). It was wonderful walking round our new home city, seeing our first snowfall here and how it changes the landmarks we're slowly getting used to. York's a beautiful city without the snow, but there were some breathtaking views on our short walk.

It feels all the more appropriate to be sitting in most evenings and knitting myself a jumper when the weather's so uninviting outside. My current project is a pullover for myself, made with the selection of wool my Ma bought me for Christmas. The pattern is Caitlin Pullover by Pam Allen, which I found on Ravelry (srsly, if you knit/crochet and aren't on Ravelry already, why??) It's the first colour work project I've properly got into (I did start one with 4 ply wool on circular needles, but haven't so far got past the ribbing at the hem...). I've got the front and back done, and the picture above is of half a sleeve. Just the yoke, which repeats the colour work pattern from the sleeves, and the other sleeve to go. Crossing my fingers it's a good fit!

I got back from work one day last week and had an urge to get something crossed off my crafty to-do list. After much deliberation I chose to make a vase of crocheted flowers for our dining table. Off I went into the city (the novelty of being able to just wander into a city from where we live is going to take a very long time to wear off (I'm a bit of country bumpkin if that's not already been made apparent)). First I went around the charity shops looking for a vase, and found this beauty:

Only 99p too! Love charity shopping. The only problem was persuading le Boof that just because it may have had a previous life as a beer receptacle, doesn't mean he should automatically have a right to steal it from me. It is my lovely vase now. Nothing can be done about that. Also, it's now full of these, making it somewhat more difficult to store beer in:

I will make a few more eventually, but three was my limit for that one evening! The pattern for the flowers comes from this book, with I-cord made with a knitting dolly, stuffed with a pipe cleaner for the stems.

I've mentioned it before, I know, but it's one of my favourite knitting pattern books. The closer it gets to spring the more I can see myself using it, making the flat look lovely for the nice weather.

As far as edible things go, I am continuing my quest to find a good, relatively quick and easy loaf to make on a regular basis. I've made all of our bread pretty much since we moved up here to York, something I'd never done previously, and I'm slowly getting to grips with how different things affect a loaf.

On the cake front, this week's cake was lemon and almond muffins.

Trust me, they are far more interesting to eat than to look at!
I found the recipe here, after doing a search for more cake recipes to use up some buttermilk I've had in the fridge for too long now. (Don't worry, still within it's best before.) I tweaked it a little bit to suit what I had available:

Lemon Buttermilk Muffins
250g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbinate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
250g caster sugar
55g unsalted butter
1/2 lemon's worth of zest and juice
1 egg
1/2 tsp almond extract
235ml buttermilk
Sliced almonds to garnish

0. Preheat your oven to 180°c

1. Mix the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
2. Add in the egg, mix well.
3. Stir in the lemon zest and juice and the almond extract.
4. Sieve the flour, bicarb, baking soda and salt into the bowl, mix well.
5. Pop in your buttermilk, mix again (there's only so many ways you can say stir in).
6. Spoon your mixture into muffin cases, then bake for 20-25 minutes, or until springy when prodded.
7. Leave to cool on a cooling rack, then devour.

Very good snacking muffins these, not too sweet, so good any time of the day. Especially with a nice cup of tea when it's dead chilly out.

P.S. Le Boof and I went to see one of my favourite bands last Friday. I love love love them. Check this out. The Black Keys - I Got Mine