Well...not quite as much as I hoped, but today have managed to make a fruit compote thingy for Zachary (cooking apple, pear and dried apricots and then whizzing together in the food processor), and a cheesy spinach sauce for pasta (called Popeye pasta obviously. It took me far too long to get the connection...!). Was planning to make some lemon biscuits, but the chocolate mousse went hideously wrong so panned that idea, made the mousse and a mug cake (more below). And finally am now halfway through my third batch of bread, for which I am holding out no hope whatsoever!!!
The choc mousse was Nigella's instant mousse from her Express book - the idea being to replace the whipped egg whites with melted marshmallows and it then needs virtually no chilling at all - certainly not as long as would normally - and the prep is quicker too. I had been obssessing about making this for ages, and we've had a packet of small white marshmallows in the cupboard for a long time specially for this recipe. However from my attempt today I have learned that although the melting pan needs heat, it needs a v low heat - everything separated and I ended up with cups of mousse with lovely pockets and puddles of solid butter in them!! Also, the mousse is pretty rich - I was experimenting with having it in tea-cups, but that would be far too much. Espresso cups much more manageable I think. Need to give it another go :
150g mini marshmallows
50g soft butter
250g good dark chocolate chopped into small pieces
60ml hot water from a kettle recently boiled
1 284ml tub double cream (although Morrisons only seemed to have 300ml tubs..)
1 tspn vanilla extract
Put the marshmallows, butter, chocolate and water in a heavy-based saucepan. Put the saucepan on the hob, over heat, though keep it fairly gentle, to melt the contents, stirring every now and then. Remove from the heat.
Whip the cream with the vanilla extract until thick, and then fold into the cooling chocolate mixture until you have a smooth cohesive mixture.
Pour or scrape into serving vessels.
Final baking effort was a mug cake! A friend has been evangelising about them on his blog and I had a go tonight with the basic recipe. Not bad tasting - would be ace with vanilla ice cream or custard. But more than that I was just astounded that it worked! The mug was so full I felt sure I was headed for disaster, but no, it all turned out well!
Cake in mug (having quickly deflated after leaving the microwave)
and turned out (with helpful finger for size comparison...)
- put 4 tbspn plain flour, 4 tbspn sugar and 2 tbspn cocoa in a mug and mix thoroughly
- add 1 egg and mix thoroughly
- add 3 tbspn milk and 3 tbspn oil - mix again until well combined
- can add choc chips or a splash of vanilla
- microwave for 3 minutes at 1000 watts or 4 minutes at 700 watts (our microwave is 800 watts so I cooked for 3 mins 40 secs and it seemed to come out right). The cake will rise above the top of the mug - don't panic!
- allow to cool and turn out on a plate if you like