BUTTER BISCUITS

P1010292

These thin, delicious buttery biscuits have definitely become one of my new favorite things to bake. They are really quick, simple and most importantly very moreish; because you can’t just stop at one. The butter biscuits are very similar to Scottish shortbread in taste and texture however they are lot less fickle to work with. When cutting the biscuit dough you can use a normal 7cm (2 3/4in) round cutter, I went a little overboard and used one or two OK maybe 4 types of cutters.

Makes: Approx 30                                Prep + Baking Time: 35 Mins

INGREDIENTS

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 150g butter, softened and diced
  • 1 egg yolk (this is what the original recipe says however I found the dough way too crumbly so I added in 2 and the mixture was fine, so try 1 at first and  if you have the same issue as me then add an extra egg yolk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Demerara or caster sugar to sprinkle on top of the biscuits, you can also use vanilla sugar (optional)

METHOD 

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180c/160c (fan) and prepare a few baking trays.
  2. Put the sugar, flour, and butter into a large bowl and rub together or pulse/blend in a food processor until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. BeFunky CollageBB
  3. Add the egg yolk(s) and vanilla extract and bring the mixture together using your hands. BeFunky Collagebb1
  4. Cover the dough in cling film and chill for up to 1hr.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured plastic chopping board and knead it briefly until smooth. Putting it on the chopping board makes it easier to turn the dough when rolling it out. Roll the dough out to a thickness of about 5mm (1/4in).BeFunky Collage32
  6. Using a pastry cutter, cut out the biscuits and transfer them to the baking tray. Sprinkle some sugar on to the biscuits to give them extra sweetness and crunch.
  7. Bake 1 batch of biscuits at a time and keep the uncooked biscuits in the fridge while you wait for the others to be done baking, this will stop them getting soft.
  8. Bake the biscuits for 10-15mins until golden brown at the edges. Leave the biscuits to cool until firm enough to handle, then transfer to a wire rack. BeFunky Collage321
  9. Leave the biscuits to cool completely and transfer to a biscuit tin or cookie jar. They will keep well for up to 5 days.

Recipe Source: ‘Step-by-Step Baking’ by Caroline Bretherton

HOMEMADE TOMATO SAUCE

P1010191

I first became inspired to make my own Tomato Sauce during a Summer trip to Turkey to see my husbands family. It was during a trip to the local fruit and veg market with my mother-in-law and my husbands aunties that I first learned of their yearly summer tradition. They would stock  up on tomatoes when they are in season and make numerous jars of tomato sauce to ensure they have an endless supply of the best sauce from the best tomatoes to last them through the long winter months. They would then go on to freeze them to ensure there freshness. Unfortunately I didn’t get a recipe, however the first thing I done when I got home from my trip was buy a huge bunch of tomatoes and I started experimenting and I think I have the recipe perfected. This tomato sauce is prefect for all tomato sauce based dishes like; Spaghetti Bolognese, Chilli and basically any recipe that calls for tinned chopped tomatoes you can use this recipe instead.

MAKES:  Approx. 1.5l of Tomato Sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1-1.5kg of ripe tomatoes (this is approx 15 medium sized tomatoes), diced
  • 200ml of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp of tomato puree
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • pinch of sugar

METHOD

  1. First you have the monotonous and mountainous (but well worth it) task of dicing all the tomatoes. The smaller you dice them the quicker they will cook down. If you want to give yourself extra work you can skin the tomatoes, although I don’t bother with this step i’m too lazy (there is said it :)) plus the skin doesn’t bother me. See the notes below to find out how to skin tomatoes.
  2. Cook your onion in a large pot until soft and transparent, then add your diced tomato. Cook your tomatoes down until they reach a mushy like consistency.
  3. Add your tomato puree, stock, salt, pepper and sugar; the reason for adding sugar is this helps to enhance the flavor of the tomatoes. Stir and leave to simmer for 20-25mins on a medium heat.
  4. When your sauce has thickened and reduced down a little, leave it to completely cool or use it immediately in whatever dish you are cooking.
  5. Once your sauce has completely cooled down you can bag it in batches and freeze it for later use.

NOTES:

  • To skin the tomatoes cut a cross through the skin of the bottom of the tomato, throw the tomatoes in to a pan of boiling water for a minute, next plunge them in to a bowl of ice cold water and lift them straight back out the water. The skin should come away from the tomatoes straight away and with minimal effort.
  • This recipe is the basic tomato sauce recipe however to add more flavor I also like to add 1 tbsp of paprika for a more smokey flavored sauce or for an Italian like sauce you can add 2 tsp of oregano and 2 tsp of dried parsley.