Sunday, 17 May 2015

Bourbon Biscuit Bundt Cake

Bourbon Biscuit Bundt Cake
So... when I made the Custard Cream Bundt Cake a couple of weeks ago, I promised a Bourbon biscuit one. This meant me tackling a chocolate flavoured bundt, which I don't do many of to be honest. I'm dead picky with chocolate cake; it has to be moist and not too sickly. This one had the added pressure of having to taste just like a Bourbon biscuit too!

Using my new found biscuit-based alchemy, this cake tastes just like my tea time fave. A concoction of different chocolate ingredients also helped create a nice soft cake, without a hint of dryness. A shedload of Bourbon biscuit spread on top doesn't hurt either.

As soon as I posted the possibility of this recipe making an appearance on my blog, I've had folk asking about it. I almost regretted mentioning it! Anyway, here it is, you keen little lot...

Ingredients:
  • 225g butter
  • 450g golden caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 310g plain flour
  • 40g good quality cocoa powder
  • 3 Bourbon biscuits, whizzed up in a food processor to a fine dust or 'flour'
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 200ml vanilla yoghurt 
  • 50ml chocolate milk
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of Bourbon biscuit spread
  • Jar of Bourbon biscuit spread (minus 1 heaped tablespoon!)
  • Bourbon biscuit to decorate

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to gas 3/160 c
  2. Prepare a regular sized bundt tin - 2.4l, 10 cup, 10 inch with Cake Release spray and dust with flour.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  5. Add the extract.
  6. In a separate bowl, measure out the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  7. Pour the yoghurt and chocolate milk into a jug and stir in the Bourbon biscuit spread.
  8. Sift in a third of the flour mix followed by half the yoghurt mix. Repeat this until everything is combined.
  9. Stir in the Bourbon biscuit 'flour'. 
  10. Give everything a quick mix on a low speed for about 10 seconds.
  11. Pour the mix into your prepared tin. 
  12. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. 
  13. Leave the cake to cool for ten minutes before removing from the tin.
  14. When the cake is fully cool, pop the Bourbon biscuit spread into a jug and heat in the microwave for around 20 seconds to loosen it. Tip over your cake and decorate with a biscuit!

Bloggers: Please respect the fact I am sharing my own ideas and basic recipe. Blood, sweat and many tears have gone into getting this right, so you may enjoy a perfect bundt. If you wish to re-blog a recipe from these variations, please credit my blog and link to this original post rather than pasting the recipe on your own page.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Five Guys, Manchester

Five Guys, Manchester
Seriously, they have to be the ugliest burgers ever. They're consistently ugly too. From New York to Manchester - both wrinkly and squashed, with bits hanging out all over the show. So why do I go to Five Guys? Because these ugly ducklings taste sensational. 

Keep your Maccy D's and BK's; these takeaway burgers are in another league. Not only do they openly tell you where all their produce is sourced, but they advertise the fact that there are no freezers on the premises, and everything is cooked from scratch. No burgers sitting sadly on shoots. You tell your server exactly what you want, so you don't have to start rhyming off all the stuff you don't want. I'm a fan of this simple system! And they play decent music... 

This trip was a re-fuel pre Trafford Centre hell. Granted, it's not cheap, but Five Guys are one of the closest things I can get to the legendary US burger. They just taste different to your standard UK offering. For two burgers, a portion of fries and two soft drinks, you're talking about £25. Warning - do not attempt two portions of fries unless you are seriously hungry or a total warrior! We never finish one portion between us. 
Five Guys, Manchester
Bacon cheese burger with pickle, lettuce, tomato, onion and ketchup: It looks a proper nightmare, but tastes just dreamy.
Five Guys, Manchester
Plain bacon cheeseburger: My husband hates any kind of sauce or salad. His 'meat, cheese, bread' brief will be hit every time when extras have to be added rather than omitted. 
Five Guys, Manchester
They might look a bugger, but they taste great and aren't laced with the horrors you would expect from the likes of your big high street chains. Five Guys will remain one of my favourite burgers for some time I think.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Urbanspoon

Friday, 8 May 2015

Scene Dining, Manchester

Scene, Manchester
A good curry has to be up there as one of my favourite types of foods. I adore 'bits' - anything I can graze on where there's variety. I love Mexican and tapas for the same reason, but when push comes to shove, I'm always going for the spicy option. Scene Dining is a new Indian 'street kitchen' in Spinningfields which does just that. 

I'm naturally wary of this part of town, as I often find some of the venues' Twitter accounts awash with pictures of footballers and their subsequently papped beautiful people, a sniff tiresome. In reality, I can't ever recall seeing a footballer in these parts during the day, and the only busty blonde I've been photographed with is my homie Lee, and that was a selfie! I think we're safe. 

So this week the above mentioned busty one and I went to sample Scene Dining. We picked the windiest day ever, and unfortunately arrived looking a tad dishevelled. Our attentive waiter arranged a bottle of Pinot Grigio pretty sharpish, and a few fights with a brush later, it was business as usual. 

Although there is the standard 'starter, main, dessert' format, we opted for the street food style dining so we could sample lots of dishes without appearing pigs of the week. However, we ordered so much food, that this happened anyway. Ah well. 

Plain and spicy poppadoms with dips: Given the choice, we went for both. Great dips and plenty of them too.
Scene, Manchester - poppadoms
 Chicken tikka: Moist chicken with slightly charred edges, served with yoghurt dip.
Scene, Manchester - Chicken Tikka
Seekh kebab: Served slightly pink with soft onions and a coriander dip. Yes, they were as good as they look.
Scene, Manchester - Seekh Kebab
Gunpowder potatoes: These are definitely the new kid on the block when it comes to Indian potatoes. Whether chipped or chunked, I adore these. Just enough spice to give a subtle kick, but no harsh raw chilli powder taste.
Scene, Manchester - Gunpowder Potatoes
Paneer butter massala: By far my favourite dish of the evening. A rich sauce with big chunks of creamy paneer. Team this with a cheese naan and it's a match made in heaven. Plenty of calcium for those bones...
Scene, Manchester - Paneer Butter Massala
Samosa chaat: It's genius. Samosas with chickpeas, salad and pomegranate seeds, served in a spicy poppadom. This was the dish that finished us off. Loved it.
Scene, Manchester - Samosa Chaat
Saffron lemon rice: Fluffy and light with a subtle zing. A perfect accompaniment to our other dishes.
Scene, Manchester - Saffron Lemon Rice
Cheese kulcha: I'm a sucker for a cheese naan. If it's on the menu, I'm having it. Lee didn't even question that this was being ordered. This is the 'cheese inside' variety, which makes everything that bit tidier whilst stuffing your face.
Scene, Manchester - Cheese Kulcha
Just look how much food that is for two girls... Our attempt at eating it all was pitiful, however a lovely waitress suggested that she could box it up for us to take home. What a legend.  We sat nursing our bulging bellies, vowing we never needed to eat ever again, and remeniscing about the lovely goodies we had just eaten. Then there it was. The mention of gulab jamon, and Lee announcing that she had never tried it.
Scene, Manchester
Gulab jamon: So there we were. Separate dessert stomachs engaged and powering through one of the best examples of this dish I've ever eaten. If you've never tried these, they're like syrup soaked doughnuts which have the texture of frangipan. We destroyed them.
Scene, Manchester - Gulab Jamon
Scene's street food menu is all about sociable eating, so go with your friends and enjoy sampling lots of different dishes, and complaining about how full you are. The staff are fantastic, the dining room is spacious and bright, and the quality of the food was just bob on.

Scene Dining on Urbanspoon
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