We thought it would nice to create some typically autumnal culinary treats… we each chose something to cook and decided to report back and share our pictures and recipes with you… in case you were after some inspiration this bonfire weekend!
I thought it would be nice to try and make some Toffee Apples… not something I’d attempted before!
I decided I’d like to decorate my apples so I grabbed some bits from the supermarket and hoped it would work! I opted for hundreds and thousands, chocolate chips and chopped nuts!
I had read a tip about soaking the apples for a minute or two before using them to remove the waxy coat that can be on some apples, so before I started with the toffee I did this and then removed the stalks and popped the lolly pops sticks in. I also lined a baking sheet with some grease proof paper and then I was set… here goes!
I used the ‘Perfect Toffee Apples‘ recipe from the Allrecipes website. I didn’t have the cooking thermometer thingy they mention so instead I followed their instructions to find out if the toffee was at the right temperature by dropping a small amount of the hot syrup into cold water, when it formed hard, brittle threads it would be ready… This was the bit that worried me, as it felt like it was taking forever, but when the bubbling toffee was at the right stage it became obvious! I just had to be patient!! My little ones got a bit bored, and in hindsight I think just bringing them in at the end decorating stage would have been better. (However the toffee gets extremely hot, so this wouldn’t be a good activity for very small ones!)
So once the toffee was bubbling away and smelling delicious I knew we were ready to go, I tipped the saucepan slightly and dipped the apples in, I gave them a turn to make sure they were covered properly and then we rolled them in the various toppings!! They turned out really well!
I thought they might be a bit of a sugar overload for my two so I bought them into the office and we all tried them, munching on my toffee apple reminded me of being about 10 years old! I thought they were pretty scrummy then, and nothings changed, I especially liked the addition of the chocolate chips! Ha ha!
Chloe from our marketing team opted to make some Mini Toad In The Holes
Here is her account about how she got on trying something new….
Something that feels particularly autumnal is sausages, perfect with mash potatoes or in a bap for a fast snack. When I saw the recipe for these mini toad in the holes I had to try them! http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1464/tiny-toads
As a vegetarian I used Quorn chipolata sausages (as I thought these would be a good size, as a little thinner) which I fried for a few minutes first and chopped into smaller pieces to fit inside a muffin tin. When I started to make the batter, there was a little bit of discussion with my partner about the best way to make it (I think everyone has their own perfect recipe!) but in the end I went with his family recipe of equal volumes of flour, eggs and milk.
I then filled the muffin tins with a small amount of sunflower oil and put in a preheated oven. When the oil had been in for a few minutes and was piping hot we poured the batter directly into the tin and popped a sausage on top. We quickly put them back in, watching from the oven window and being careful not to open the over door so they didn’t deflate! Here is the final result, which I am really pleased with.
Although next time I think I would chop the sausages a little bigger, as they got lost in the batter! We ate ours with mash potato, broccoli, shallots and gravy for dinner and they were delicious. They would be equally as good, as a hand-held snack with some tomato ketchup on Bonfire Night!
Meg our marketing manager decided to try a family recipe for chilli… to warm your cockles after a night of whizzes and bangs!
I don’t think there is anything more warming than a chilli and nothing beats my old mans. As this dish only gets better as it matures, much like fine wine, I decided to get ahead of fireworks night and have a dish ready to serve after we got in from the cold, appearing as the domestic goddess I wish I was!
When the recipe arrived via text, I was puzzled at the vagueness of measurements; it was basically a shopping list not a recipe! That was all I was getting though, since the old man never measures anything. He always cooks by eye and taste!
All you need is:
- Mince or Quorn
- Tomato Puree
- Stock – Beef or Vegetable
- Kidney Beans – or any type of bean
- Chopped Tomato’s
Simply pop the Quorn (or mince) into a pan with the garlic and onions until the onions are soft then add the cumin, turmeric, chilli, tomato puree (I used a really good squeeze!) and crumble in a stock cube. Once this is all mixed in add the beans and tin of chopped tomato (I used a tin of each). And that’s it! Just sit back and let it simmer, tastes even better the longer you leave it!
I couldn’t resist waiting till Saturday to have a taste so brought some in with a jacket potato! YUM!
I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about the autumnal treats we’ve tried out this week… if you have any special recipes you’d like to share we’d love you to comment with some links etc. below, or simply tell us what you favourite winter warmer is and maybe we’ll give it a go next time we get our cook on!
Thanks Emily (Marketing team)