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Mini Ginger and Berry Loaves

Here is my latest festive bake, which I made the other evening when I had an urge to bake that just wouldn’t pass. This happens to me quite often! I am sure I am not the only one though. :-)

Mini Ginger and Berry Loaves

You’ll notice in the recipe that I used part dark brown sugar in addition to caster sugar – this was because I didn’t have enough caster sugar to make it up to 100 g so I just threw some dark brown in with crossed fingers. Luckily it turned out well, the loaves have a lovely brown colour which I think comes from the dark brown sugar. However, if you have enough caster sugar, feel free to use it!

Mini Ginger and Berry Loaves

I used some fiery crystallised ginger in this recipe, which gives the cake a lovely flavour alongside the mixture of cherries, cranberries and blueberries. It was a delicious treat that really got me in a Christmassy mood.

Mini Ginger and Berry Loaves

Recipe:
100 g butter, softened
100 g self-raising flour
80 g caster sugar
20 g dark brown sugar
2 eggs
15 g Whitworths crystallised ginger, chopped
70 g (1 pack) Whitworths Cherries and Berries mix

For the icing and topping:
90 g butter
180 g icing sugar
1 tsp milk
0.5 tsp vanilla extract
50 g Whitworths Cherries and Berries mix

Method:
1. Place the butter, flour, sugar and eggs in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.
2. Add the crystallised ginger and Cherries and Berries mix and fold in.
3. Prepare four mini loaf tins by spraying lightly with Lurpak cooking mist.
4. Spoon equal amounts of the cake mixture into the four tins.
5. Bake at 180 degrees for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until firm and golden brown. Test with a cake tester to ensure the middle is cooked.
6. Leave the tins to cool for a few minutes, then remove the loaves from the tins and allow them to cool completely on a cooling rack.
7. Meanwhile, make the buttercream icing.
8. Spread the buttercream icing thickly on each loaf, and smooth over the top.
9. Press the Cherries and Berries mix into the icing gently.

Mini Ginger and Berry Loaves

 

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Slow Cooker Venison Sausage Casserole with Borlotti Beans

As it is now so cold and chilly, this week I wanted to make a dish in my slow cooker that would warm me up. I also didn’t want it to be too fatty or high in calories, as I am trying to eat well currently. A sausage casserole was my first thought, but I recently tried venison sausages for the first time and found them very flavourful, and they are also very low in fat. So I decided to incorporate the venison sausages into this dish.

Instead of cannellini beans I thought borlotti beans would go well in this dish, and I have had a tin of them in the cupboard for a while waiting to be used! I also used large flat mushrooms, which have quite a meaty texture, and stand up well to long cooking, to add a chunkiness to the casserole.

Slow Cooker Venison Sausage Casserole

The flavours in the dish worked really well, as they are quite simple, and the casserole was delicious served simply with some bread and butter to mop up the juices. It would also be good with buttery mash and a green vegetable.

Slow Cooker Venison Sausage Casserole

Recipe:
1 brown onion
3 large flat mushrooms
1 carton (500 g) passata
1 rich beef stock pot, made up with 100 ml boiling water
6 venison sausages
1 tsp Italian herb seasoning
0.5 tsp sage

Method:
Chop the onion and mushrooms and place them in the slow cooker.
Pour in the passata and stock. Mix well to combine the ingredients.
Brown the sausages in a hot pan, without oil, and place them in the slow cooker.
Sprinkle on the herbs, and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

Slow Cooker Venison Sausage Casserole

I am linking up with Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen and her #SlowCookedChallenge.

This month the theme is St Andrew’s Day. I hope this dish would be suitably warming for those living north of the border on St Andrew’s Day! I am sure some good Scottish venison sausages could also be used in the casserole, though I must admit the ones I used were from New Zealand this time.

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