How to make a red velvet cake.. Differently!


For my second post I thought it’d be nice to give you a good option as its half term (spring break) for the kids and it’s such a lovely day in London, this one is perfect for picnics!

Ingredients:
125g butter, softened
300g caster sugar
63eggs
1 tablespoons red food colouring
1 & 1/2 tablespoons best quality cocoa powder
180g plain flour
250ml buttermilk/milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 bars of chocolate

Always start your baking by preparing the things you will need at the end of your mixing so have your cake tin lined with baking paper (I put something inside the tin to keep the paper weighed down).

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Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 3/ 170 C

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Whenever there is butter and sugar in a recipe, be sure to use room temperature butter because you’ll have to cream them together and having a softer butter makes this easier.

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You then want to add your eggs in one at a time and mix well after each one

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And your mixture will begin to look like this

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Add your cocoa powder and food colouring and mix until it begins to look a vivid red colour! I used a food colouring powder as that’s all I had

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Add your salt, vanilla extract and bicarbonate of soda to the mixture

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Then add a little of your milk/buttermilk and flour alternately, mixing well between each addition

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Pop the mixture into your cake tin and put in the preheated oven

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I left my cake in the oven for over an hour (it is quite a low heat, though)

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When you take the cake out, it’ll be a gorgeous bake with a few cracks on the top if its anything like mine. Stick a clean knife in and out and if the knife comes out clean, your cake it ready!

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Because I’m a chocoholic, I melted 2 bars of chocolate (I used Galaxy cookie crumble and plain Dairy Milk). I then carved a hole in the middle of the cake and poured the melted chocolate within the whole and spread the other bar of chocolate all over the top. To help the chocolate set, I put the cake in the fridge using a bowl to prop it up so that the chocolate in the middle didn’t pour out.

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And you can then enjoy…

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The Ritz!


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Today was an extremely exciting day for me! As a treat, my brother surprised me with an invite to the Ritz for afternoon tea! In his own words; “you like tea, so I thought why not?”. Couldn’t really argue with that so I went for it!

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This kind of stuff is right up my street and I have never really been anywhere like this with my brother before so was really happy to share the experience with him!

So we began the morning at an hour I haven’t woken up in a month since I’ve been off work! I was awoken with a lovely text message urging me to wake up immediately and rolled out of bed! It took me ages to decide what to wear because I thought it would be a cold, wet and dreary day but as soon as we got out it was AMAZING weather!

My brother decided to not wear a whole suit because that would be a little too smart for the little casual yob! Instead he opted for a mismatched suit and trouser combo which I think looked highly adequate for the event :)

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Jacket is from Zara
Suit jacket is VERY old and he doesn’t remember from where
The shirt is from Prada
The shoes are from Burton
The tie is from Zara
The scarf is from River Island
The underwear is from.. Got you!

I opted to go for simplicity so the only things worth mentioning are my ASOS leather lapel jacket and River Island boots (£7.50)!!!

After a hectic morning we parked the car (it took us 15 minutes to find a spot) and we then hopped on the train! After arriving, the weather was fantastic and the sun was shining brighter than ever!

Allow me to tell you the story in pictures..

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The end of a lovely day! Thank you for having us the lovely Ritz hotel!

EID IS MY FAVOURITE DAY EVER!!!!!!


FOOOOOOD!

So this year for food, we done things a little differently!

The menu:
PIZZA!
Pop corn chicken
Potato wedges
2 types of salad
Garlic bread

Dessert is BIRTHDAY CAKE!! Get ready for pics!

The art of being a student!


So as some of you know, yesterday I had bought some presents and clothes for a very special someone!
What you dont know, is that I teach the Qu’ran to a ten year old! Now I’ve been doing this for.. 1 year and 4 months as she kindly notified me when we finished! However I wanted to make deal of the occasion!

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Reading the Qu’ran is a big thing that needs to be done at some point in a Muslims life! The earlier you start, the better (just like when learning a new language). Tania is 10 years old and started when she was 9! She’s a very good student and tries her best (most of the time) and to tell the truth, I was quite a strict teacher to her! Her mum was taught by MY mother and when Tania started reading with me, she had NO CLUE about Arabic and I think it’s fair to say.. Not a lot about Islam! From a shy and timid girl, she’s growing into a strong and confident woman! I’m so proud of her for learning the Qu’ran and coming so far because her hard efforts have now paid off!

She was getting a surprise party!!!! Me and her mum had this planned for a while! To a ten year old, I think a party is the way to show one of the most important times in a persons life! And September 1st will never be forgotten!

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When she finished the Qu’ran, after the last word she read, THE WHOLE FAMILY JUMPED IN THE ROOM WITH PARTY POPPERS, BALLOONS, CAKE, SILLY STRING AND GIFTS! It took a lot of planning and was very hard to keep it from her.. And the secret was sure to come out at some point but I’m so glad it didn’t! Tania didn’t suspect a thing! I know that Tania can sometimes feel that people don’t care about her and it’s hard living with a disabled brother who gets a lot of attention.. But today was JUST about her! And I’m so glad she enjoyed her party!

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Here’s a few pictures I took of the event, so enjoy and I hope guys like the ideas we came up with :)

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For the days to the build up of Tania’s Qu’ran completion, I gave her a new colour, which she would have to dress up as a new character for! The main reason was because every colour stood for a word and I would give her a list of things to remember and live life like with the word as the ‘KEY to the Kolour’ :)
•Green was for Good
•Blue was for Best
•Orange was for Or (organic, original, oral)
•Pink was for Prepare
•Yellow was for You
•Purple was today which stood for Perfect and that was for Tania! We all wrote things which we thought Tania done the best and the things we all loved Tania for. We gave her a gift related to that speciality as well.

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Her mother is amazing! I think an inspiration to all women and she was so grateful for everything that me and mum done for her. I think all the hard work was down to Tania because through her struggle, she learnt a language which before looked like doodles to her!

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It has to be said that it wasn’t easy for me! For the best part of the year, I was working where I spent 12 hours out the house and still made sure she read to me! I made sheets for her, taught her how to pray Salaah as well as many countless surahs of the Qu’ran and throughout her whole journey, she put up with me being tired and unfair on occassions. So if you’re thinking of teaching anything, remember to put your all in it! Try your best and truly teach that person like you were them.. How would you like to have been taught?

Thanks for reading guys!
Let me know of any subjects you teach and what you do to keep the lessons fresh?
What did you like best / worst about your teacher?

Say CHEESE- cake


So I’ve attempted to make cheesecake quite a few times and have failed in trying to do so a few times too. Until TODAY! Everything fell into place!! I found a fantastically easy recipe and having made it wrong a few times, i learned the error of my ways today.. UNDER- WHISKING!

So the general mix of a cheesecake is cream cheese and a man with a strong right arm.. Unfortunately he lives 112 miles away so I’ll have to make do with an electric whisk!

So here’s the ingredients:

  • 8 digestive biscuits
  • 50.0g butter , melted
  • 600g cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 175g caster sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs , plus 1 yolk
  • 142ml pot soured cream
  • 300g raspberries
  • icing sugar

Please do not limit yourself to raspberries and the only reason I used them was because my mum bought some from the market recently and they tastes DELICIOUS! Remember not to choose a citrus fruit such as mango, peach or orange cause we all know what happens to your bowel motion when you mix dairy and citrus :) However, if you want to use lemon you can do so which I’ve never understood cause thats a citrus, right?

Any who heres the recipe:

  1. Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Crush 8 digestive biscuits in a food processor (or put in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin). Mix with 50g melted butter. Press into a 20cm springform tin and bake for 5 minutes, then cool.
  2. Beat 600g cream cheese with 2 tbsp flour, 175g caster sugara few drops of vanilla extract2 eggs, 1 yolk and a 142ml pot of soured cream until light and fluffy. Stir in 150g raspberries and pour into the tin. Bake for 40 minutes and then check, it should be set but slightly wobbly in the centre. Leave in the tin to cool.
  3. Using the remaining 150g raspberries, keep a few for the top and put the rest in a pan with 1 tbsp icing sugar. Heat until juicy and then squash with a fork. Push through a sieve. Serve the cheescake with the raspberry sauce and raspberries.

HOW QUICK WAS THAT? This recipe has over 600 recommendations!

Here’s my tips:

  • Instead of using a square tin to bake it in, use a round tin and if you don’t have one, go get one cause i find that baking cold-based products always present themselves better in it. If you do use a square tin, ensure it isn’t a bread loaf or lasagne tin as the cheesecake just won’t cook.
  • For the whisking, it takes around half an hour in total. This may be because i used the lowest setting on my whisk to ensure the cake was extra light and fluffy because once this baby sets, It’ll be extremely heavy if not beaten well. This is the part where you zen in the kitchen and let the hum of the whisk, scent of the mixture and smooth motion, calm your mind.
  • Instead of using an icing sugar mixture, why not melt some white/ milk chocolate and add a little milk to make the chocolate a little more runny and less rich, then put the raspberries in the chocolate and pour over the cake. As a form of decoration, you could even use a jug, gravy boat etc and poor the chocolate in there and garnish the top with some raspberries and a sprig of mint so those who wish to indulge, can.
  • Remember, cheesecake likes being made love to softly and gently, unlike cake which kind of likes it rough. The smoother you are, the easier the cake will set through to the middle, unlike many of my previous attempts :(

Have fun ladies and gentlemen! To all my fellow Muslims.. If Iftaar is around 9, start making this around 6 and leave in the fridge until after you open your fast and it should be PERFECT! What a perfect treat to open your fast with! WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOO!

MUFFINS!


So I ventured into a baking mode today and made MUFFINS! Blueberry to be precise and they were LOVELY!

I was following a Nigella recipe And although it was good.. I had to edit it a bit!

The first time I had ever made muffins was quite the experience! With a cake, you bake it and hope it goes well but muffins are kind of like the fundamental way to bake cause you can make one and test it, trying to improve it.

Some tips:

  • When making muffins.. Leave the ready made mixture for a while in a hot place because the mixture gets a little softer, making the muffins more fluffy and gorgeous to eat.. This is especially good if you find you make cakes too tough! So make the mixture first and then cook dinner with the mixture bowl on the counter top :)
  • When using berries, dry them excessively and aim to use fresh rather than tin because you can drain them more easily. Ensure if you do leave the mixture in a warm place, you add them just before baking as they turn MEGA sour.. Making your muffins really salty
  • You can half the mixture and make some different varieties in one go! Kill two birds with 1 chocolate chip! I recently made half with blueberries and half with chocolate chips!
  • When making chocolate muffins.. Melt some of the other type of chocolate e.g. If making white choc muffins, melt milk chocolate and then drizzle this over the muffins just before serving and its like you’ve died and gone to heaven!
  • HAVE FUN!!!! Muffins, cupcakes etc are where you can get creative! If you want a topping on your muffins.. It won’t make it a cupcake.. It makes it a muf-cake and Hey Presto, you’ve invented your own dessert!
  • Remember that when making muffins, you check them more regularly than you would another cake because they can get tough if left in the oven for too long. When they are removed from the oven and cooled, they harden a bit so remove them when they’re just a little soft

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    Baking!


    I LOVE BAKING!

    I baked a cake last week and I think there’s nothing more therapeutic! Enhanced by the fact that my mum loves it too and joins me to create a wonderful mess of what was a nice clean kitchen!

    Some of you may ask some of my baking tips:

  • Use olive/ vegetable oil to grease your Tins in order to give your cake a more crispy outer shell
  • when making a chocolate cake, use as much chocolate as you do dry mix to ensure your cake tastes like chocolate
  • use a bread baking for your cake bakingbecause your cake bakes evenly! Not too good for birthday cakes etc. but makes your everyday delights, delectable!
  • when your cake seems slightly moist in the middle (insert a knife in the middle of the cake, pull it out and I’d it is clear with a few crumbs, the cake is moist. If the cake has lots of mixture, it’s not ready), take it out of the oven.
  • get a friend! There’s nothing better than baking with someone! Not only do two minds create an oven but you’ll have a lot more fun and loads more ideas for baking and decorating!
  • I like to think as myself as more of a baker than a cook! Much to the dismay of my likes-to-think-he’s-a-food-critic other half :)

    Remember to enjoy yourself! I made two cakes today an burnt one! WOOHOO! Mistakes happen and I burnt about 30 cakes before I made one remotely edible..

    But when you do make a good ‘un, there’s no going back!

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