Carrot & Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Carrot & Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Celebrate National Cupcake Week by making these delicious carrot & cream cheese cupcakes.

Ingredients

100g wholemeal self-raising flour
100g self-raising flour
175g brown muscovado sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp mixed spice
zest 1 orange
2 eggs
150ml sunflower oil
200g carrots, grated

For the icing

100g butter, softened
300g soft cheese
100g icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
Chopped pecan nuts for decoration

METHOD

1. Heat oven to 180°C. Line a 12-hole baking tin with cases.

2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the sugar, flours, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice and orange zest.

3. Whisk together the eggs and oil, then stir into the dry ingredients with the grated carrot.

4. Place the mixture into the cases and bake for 20-22 mins until a cake tester comes out clean.

5. Before icing Cool on a wire rack.

6. For the icing, beat the butter until really soft, then beat in the soft cheese, icing sugar and vanilla. Use a piping bag with nozzle to swirl the icing on top of the cakes

7. Sprinkle with pecan nuts

 

University kitchen items

As the next year of freshers get ready to start at university, we thought we’d put together our top 9 utensils and kitchen items to take to uni!

 

Chopping Board - Blue Polyethylene

1. So to kick it off with a sensible one: Chopping board.

 

 

 

 

 

Sweetly Does It Double Oven Glove2. Another sensible one: Oven gloves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green Mini Non-Stick Saucepans with Soft Grip Handle

3. Add a little colour to your kitchen with our green mini non-stick saucepan, perfect for serving up food for one. 

 

 

 

 

 

Porcelain Egg Plate with Spoon Rest4. The easiest student healthy meal: A boiled egg! Enjoy it with our egg cup and handy spoon rest

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retro Salt and Pepper5. And to complete your mature boiled egg and soldier meal, top it off with a shake of pepper!

 

 

 

 

Home Farm Lap Tray6. What if your uni accommodation doesn’t have enough chairs or table space? Solve the problem with a lap tray!

 

 

 

 

 

Non-Stick Freezer Separator Liner7. Cooking for yourself at uni can mean buying in bulk and saving it for later. There are two ways to do this: Either cook big meals such as lasagne and chilli con carne, divide them into portions and keep them in the freezer for later. Or, separate your sausages when you buy them with these handy freezer separator liners.

 

 

 

Finally, freshers is all about having fun so spice up your drinks with some poker ice cubes and cocktail swords!

Poker Chocolate Mould

8. Poker ice cubes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mix It Cocktail Swords - Set of 409Cocktail swords

Frozen strawberry daiquiri

Cling on to the last signs of summer with a strawberry daiquiri for one!

Frozen strawberry daiquiri

Ingredients:

35ml white rum

1 tbsp strawberry liqueur

1 tsp sugar syrup

20ml freshly squeezed lime juice

4 fresh strawberries

Method

1. Place all the ingredients into a food processor with a handful of crushed ice and blend until smooth.

2. Pour into a goblet glass, garnish with a fresh strawberry, serve and enjoy!

Products used:

Luxe Lounge Six Piece Mini Martini Gift Set

Luxe Lounge Four Piece Mojito Cocktail Set

Fruit Shaped Cocktail Stirrers

Dartington Crystal – Wine & Bar Essentials Cocktail Martini Glass Pair

 

Old fashioned doughnut recipe

It’s time to be getting ready to go back to school, and summer is over so why not cheer up with these delicious doughnuts! They are super easy to make, using our Kitchen Craft Batter Dispenser!

Makes 12 doughnuts

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups of flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cloves
¼ tsp nutmeg
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla (or 2 tsp orange juice or 1 tsp of your favourite extract)
1 tbsp softened butter or lard
1 cup of milk
Caster sugar to decorate

Method:

Beat eggs, then add butter/ lard, vanilla and milk. Beat together for 30 seconds.
In a separate bowl sift together all dry ingredients and add dry ingredients to the egg mixture, beating until smooth.
Fill doughnut dispenser with batter. Deep fry at 185°C / 365°F in melted frying oil.
Roll in caster sugar.

Products used:

We used our Kitchen Craft Batter Dispenser to make perfect doughnuts!

You may also need:

Colourworks Melamine 22cm Mixing Bowl

Mason Cash Essentials 19.5cm Sieve

Mason Cash Stainless Steel Balloon Whisk

Enjoy!
The Cooking Marvellous team.

Jam recipe

Jam season is here! The last couple of weeks we have seen blackberries, raspberries, plums and cherries amongst other delicious fruits taking over the supermarkets. Make the most of the seasonal fruits by turning them into jam so that you can enjoy them all year round! Here’s our favourite plum jam recipe, easy to make in 8 steps!:

Plum jam

Makes around 6 lbs (2.7 kg) of jam

Plum Jam

Ingredients:

4 lbs (1.8 kg) plums
1 pint (575 ml) water
4 lbs (1.8 kg) sugar
2 eggs

Method:

1. Wash and wipe the plums.
2. Put into a Maslin pan with the water and simmer gently until the fruit is soft.
3. Add the sugar, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
4. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly until the jam sets when tested, removing the stones as they rise to the top.
5. Remove the scum.
6. Dip a sugar thermometer into the jam. If the temperature is around 105°C (220°F) when setting point has been reached.
7. Pot using a jam funnel and seal with heat seal ring while still hot.
8. Decorate with fabric covers.

Et voila, you will have perfect jam to enjoy throughout the Autumn and Winter when the fruits are no longer in season.

Products used:

We used our Home Made Eleven Piece Preserving Starter Set featured below.

Home Made Eleven Piece Preserving Starter Set

For all your other jammy requirements, click here.

Happy jam making!
The Cooking Marvellous team.

Cooking with Kids

Activities for children.

The school holidays are meant to be a lovely, long, relaxing break. But when six weeks are stretching ahead of you it can seem like a long time, so we’ve put together some fun ideas to keep your children occupied with cooking and food!

Lets Make Dinosaur Sandwich Cutter

Pack up a picnic

Eating al fresco is always fun but the summer months are perfect for getting everyone involved in packing up a picnic and heading to the great outdoors. If it’s raining, have an indoor picnic!
Our sandwich cutter is the perfect accompaniment to make healthy food with the kids interesting (and a tiny bit fierce!)

For easy picnicking on a hot day, how about this handy tumbler jug:Coolmovers Bloom Acrylic Tumbler Jug Combo

Bake biscuits

Cupcakes are everywhere nowadays, but what about their humble cousin the biscuit? It’s easy to make some biscuits or cookies to take on a day out with your kids, and most recipes rely on store cupboard ingredients flour, sugar, butter and maybe a pinch of vanilla extract.
Our cookie cutters are an easy way of having fun with baking biscuitsFive Piece Cookie Cutter Set

Or you can go the whole hog with our yummy bake pots

Set of 5 Marvellous Bake Pots for Creative Topping

Yogurt ice lollies

As it’s summer, how about making some ice lollies to enjoy in the sun? Even better, how about trying some delicious  and nutritious yogurt lollies. Regardless of age, anyone with a sweet tooth will love these yogurt lollies, and our umbrella ice lolly maker ensures they are perfect every time!

Ice Lolly Maker - Umbrella

All you need is: 250ml plain natural yogurt, 2 tbsp strawberry jam and 200g of fruit (banana, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or a mix).

1. Pop the yogurt in a bowl with the jam and get the kids involved as they mix it all together.
2. In the meantime, zap the fruit in a food processer until smooth and then get the kids to mix the yogurt with the fruit puree until even.
3. Divide into the lolly brollies and freeze for at least 4 hours.

Enjoy!
The Cooking Marvellous Team.

 

 

The Sandwich

 

British Sandwich Week

The definition of a sandwich is any form of bread with a filling. Sandwiches are arguably the most diverse of foods – you can have them warm, cold, big or small but we don’t mind as long as they are tasty! The only thing with sandwiches is that when you’re having them every day for lunch, they can get boring. We’ve all been there: the cheese and salad rut.

We have put together our tastiest sandwich ideas to give you a bit of a thrill between the bread slices and add a bit of colour to lunch hour!

1 – BAT. You probably never thought a BLT could get any better. Well my friends, we have seen the light. Try out a BAT – that’s Bacon Avocado Tomato. Keep it green with some cress or salad leaves, and enjoy.

2 – Ham and cheese? Cheese and salad? Add a level of appley sophistication for the perfect savoury/sweet interplay. We love sliced brie, layered with green apple and ham. Just perfect.

3 – Our third choice comes from chocolatier Paul A Young. Maybe one to enjoy alone as things could get messy, as this one’s a honey-cured bacon, stilton and chocolate sandwich. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.

4 thick slices of best crusty white bread
Salted butter, for spreading
50g dark chocolate (70%)
6 rashers honey-cured bacon
75g very ripe Stilton

1 Preheat the grill and toast the bread lightly on both sides. Spread with butter and grate the chocolate on top before return to the grill briefly to melt.

2 Remove and immediately put the bacon under the grill until the edges are crisp and caramelised. Put the bacon on top of the chocolate and finish with a crumbling of stilton. Lay the remaining buttered slice on top and press firmly. Devour!

It’s National Picnic Week!

It’s time to dust off the hampers, fill them with some yummy treats and head outdoors for a British summer favourite – the picnic!

According to the organisers of National Picnic Week (17th-23rd of June), the weather and entertaining the kids are two things that people worry about when organising a picnic. Well we can’t do anything about the weather, but we thought we’d share some of our favourite picnic snacks and accessories to make your picnic special whilst keeping the kids entertained.

Sandwiches are a picnic staple, but can be boring. Check out our best sandwich recipes here for some fresh ideas, then liven up your sandwiches with this great sandwich cutter the kids will love!

For a sweet treat, why not take along some iced cakes, and have everyone decorate their own. Have a competition to see who can make the best cake – fun for all the family, but also sure to keep the kid’s entertained!

…and something for the adults! This wine cooler will hold two bottles, and is designed to keep drinks cooler for longer, meaning it is perfect for those long summer afternoon picnics.

Summer is one of our favourite times of year for many reasons, but one of the best has to be the ripened June produce, perfect for experimenting with new recipes! Here at Cooking Marvellous we’ve thought up a few ideas you can try with the best of the seasonal food….

Kuhn Rikon Strawberry Huller and Knife Strawberries are at the top of our summer favourites as the simple, British classic. This summer instead of tossing your strawberries in a fruit salad, try the new craze – with sour cream and brown sugar! Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it, the combination of extra sweet and sour compliments the in-season fruit, and is the perfect excuse to serve a tasty, hassle-free pudding. To make this even easier for you, try using our Strawberry Huller and Knife, removing the stalk from the strawberry quickly and safely.

 

Bean SlicerHealthy eating this summer? Green beans are a great seasonal product, perfect in meals designed for healthy eating and diets. For a quick lunch, slice a handful of string beans up, using our handy Bean Slicer, and fry up in a hot pan with a drizzle of low fat oil. Add a little water, about 2 tbsp, and then sprinkle over your seasoning of choice, cook for 2 – 3 minutes more, and you’re ready to serve! Our favourite seasonings to add are chives and lemon zest, which you can make yourself with our useful Lemon Zester.

 

Home Made Round Fluted Stoneware Quiche Dish, 23.5cm x 3.5cmQuiche is a great summer dish that’s nice to eat hot or cold, perfect to take on a picnic. We love quiche at Cooking Marvellous so it’s no surprise we have a wide range of quiche dishes suitable to cook and keep quiche in. Our current favourite seasonal quiche is goat’s cheese and watercress!

 

Summer is the perfect tCherry Stonerime to have a go at making ice cream with seasonal fruit flavours. One of our favourite flavours is tangy cherry, a choice the whole family loves. Cherry carries its strong flavour in to ice cream, without being sickly sweet like strawberry can be. We help make it that bit easier with our handy Cherry Stoner, so you don’t spoil the fruit while removing the stone (also can be used for olive stones). Ice cream can be made whether you have an ice cream maker or not – as long as you have a freezer there’s no excuse not to try it.

Stainless Steel Asparagus Steamer 14cmAsparagus is not only tasty but also very versatile. You can use asparagus in your starters or mains, have it as the centre of your meal, or a colourful side dish! This summer, lock in the flavour by serving your asparagus steamed with our asparagus steamer.

For a starter you can team your steamed greens with Parma ham and melted mozzarella, or if you prefer them in your main, they compliment any white fish.

 

 

Happy Cooking!

 

From the Cooking Marvellous Team

It’s Father’s Day on the 16th of June, and to help you treat your Dad this summer, we’ve put together a list of treats any Dad would love!

 

Chocolate Fondue Set

The Sweet-Tooth Dad

If he likes his tasty treats (especially chocolate) this Chocolate Fondue Set will be at the top of your list, perfect for the family to enjoy too.

 

 

 

The CheesCheese Knife Set & Boardy Dad

If your Dad prefers savoury to sweet, he’ll get plenty of use out of this Cheese Knife and Board Set, great for serving up a cheese course after dinner.

 

 

Dartington Crystal - Engraved Golfer Decanter

The Golfer

Dartington Crystal have designed the perfect gift for the man who can’t put down his golf clubs – the Engraved Golfer Decanter is a beautiful gift for a very lucky Dad.

 

 

 

Draper 15 Function Multi-tool

The Handy-Man

Perfect for a Dad who likes to be prepared, the Draper 15 Function Multi-tool does exactly what it says in the name – multiple tools, 15 functions, to the point! Check out our whole Marvellous DIY range for more tools and handy ideas.

 

Dartington Crystal - Barley Corn 1 Pint Tankard

The Beer Dad

Great for an ale enthusiast, the Dartington Crystal Barley Corn Pint Tankard will be a superb gift, and the envy of all the other Dads!

 

 

 

 

So what are you doing with Dad this Father’s Day? Let us know below!