Humble Pie / Gordon Ramsey / 2006 / HarperCollins / ISBN 9780007229673 / 284 Pages / Memoir / Cooking Biography
Everyone thinks they know Gordon Ramsey: rude, loud, pathologically driven, and stubborn as hell. But this is his real story.
I am a huge fan of autobiographies and have recently found a few good cooking biographies, and that it great because it combines my love of food with words. I have always been a fan of Gordon Ramsey, I mean who isn’t really? I have also wanted to know about him and his life because he really doesn’t share a lot. So when I found this book at the LifeLine Book Sale I went to I knew I had to get it and read it.
Gordon Ramsey is a great writer, I really mean it. If you have ever seen him on television, than you should know this, he writes just like he talks and it’s pretty cool how fluently and well he does that. This book Humble Pie is a great book for two reasons, you get to know Gordon Ramsey for more than he is on television, and you also get to read about him and learn about his life before and during his cooking career.
There are many things to consider when you read this book and the main one is that you can’t be offended every time you read the word F**# in the book. The book isn’t chronologically written either, so you might get confused as to when which restaurant opened when and what in his personal life happened when. I think because Ramsey wrote the book in predetermined sections/chapters, the book couldn’t really flow on chronologically. Ramseys passion for food shines through when he talks about it. There isn’t a lot about it written throughout the book and that’s a shame, but it is well done when it is done.
If you like cooking shows or cooks or even Gordon Ramsey and want to know the man behind the façade, than you need to read this book.
I love a good carrot cake, but sometimes they can be a little tricky or time consuming to make. They generally take 50 minutes to cook in the oven most carrot cakes. If you don’t like waiting that long or are looking for something different to try and taste than this is the recipe for you. I found this recipe in the Coles magazine, the free one you can grab when you are paying. I love this recipe because it is fast and really easy to throw all together in the afternoon. Now I know I said that carrot cakes take 50 minutes to cook, well do does this one, the difference however is the steps and time it takes to get it into the oven, it is a very simple recipe. Here is what you need:
140 g dates (pitted), chopped coarsely
125 ml vegetable oil
300 g self-raising sugar
220 g brown sugar
1 ½ cups carrots, coarsely grated (about 3 large carrots)
50 g walnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees
Grease and line a long loaf pan with baking paper, leaving the long sides to hang (10cm x 20cm)
Combine chopped dates, eggs and oil into a bowl and whisk together
In another bowl, combine the self-rising flour, brown sugar, grated carrots, chopped walnuts, cinnamon and nutmeg together
Once combined nicely, pour in the date, egg and oil mixture into the dry mixture and bring together
Once combined, pour out into greased tin and place into preheated over
Bake for 50 minutes or until the skewer test is passed (place skewer into the middle fo the cake and if it comes out clean it is ready)
Leave the loaf in the tin for 10 minutes to cool before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Note: there is an icing element to this loaf that I will add but know that I have not made the icing mixture as I had the loaf as is without.
250g cream cheese, softened
80g icing sugar mixture
Use and electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and butter until it is smooth.
Add the icing sugar and beat until well combined
Spread mixture over cooled, cold loaf
I made this cake last week and I loved it. I didn’t chop my dates or walnuts enough so I had big chunks of them throughout my loaf. This cake is simple to make with only a handful of steps before you throw it into the oven. Your house will smell amazing as it is cool, trust me. If you don’t like dates, or walnuts, then you can leave either/or of them out and I don’t think it will alter the recipe.
Once it is cooled, I suggest putting it into a container that doesn’t suffocate the loaf as it might sweat a little bit. I should keep for a week or more and serves about 12 people if you want to be generous.
I hope you enjoy the recipe and the loaf and let me know if you have a go at making it.
Just made a date, walnut and carrot loaf. It is still in the oven and it smells so good so far. I can’t wait to take it out and have a slice. It is meant to have a cream cheese frosting, but I think I’m going to skip that this time. I know I know how can you skip the cream cheese frosting? But I didn’t take it out early enough for it to be room temperature.
I haven’t posted anything for #cookingwednesdays for a while. I have baked a few things, like a Strawberry Chocolate Gateau Cake for my mothers birthday, vanilla cupcakes, and I even made some donuts for the first time ever with the help of my gorgeous cousins. Not only that a few weeks ago I made a rainbow cheesecake. It looked cool and tasted even better.
If you want to have a look at what I have been making check out my personal instagram @gules93
I’ll post a photo of my loaf once it is out of the oven. Let me know if you would like a copy of this easy to make loaf recipe and I’ll type it up.
My mother just made a Walnut and Carrot cake. It looks amazing and I am about to make the cream cheese icing to top the cake. The recipe also calls for a candied walnut topping. Mum gave me the responsibility, even though I have never even attempted to do such a technique in the kitchen, but my mother like to throw me in the deep end for a lot of situation to allow me to kick and scream and conquer and learn. Suffice it to say, I candied my first ever batch of walnuts and I can’t wait to taste them with the cake.
100 g walnuts (halved)
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tbsp. butter
¼ tsp ground cardamom
Line a baking tray with baking paper and set it aside
Heat a small non-stick fry pan over a medium heat
Add in all the ingredients
Allow all of the ingredients to melt (not the walnuts) and stir for about 5 minutes until the walnuts are coated and syrup is thick
Pour onto the line baking tray
Separate the nuts and let cool
Note: These candied walnuts are going onto of the Carrot and Walnut Cake that is written in the April 2016 edition of Woolworth’s Fresh Magazine.
I will take a photo and show you all what that cake looks like in the end. And will write up the recipe for the cake shorty. I’ll let you know what I post it.
I had a sheet of left over Darrell Lea Chocolate in my cupboard from making something sweet the other week and found a gem of a recipe in the pack and thought I would make it. So as my mother got dinner ready, I got this cake ready. It is quick and simple with only 6 ingredients to play with and not that many moves to make it. Have a go yourself.
100 g Darrell Lea Traditional Milk Chocolate (grated)
2 bananas (ripe)
¾ cup sugar
2 tbsp. golden syrup
1 cup self-rising flour (sifted)
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees
Line your tin/tray with grease proof paper and set aside for now
Mash your ripe bananas into a bowl using a fork
Add the golden syrup and sugar into the mashed bananas and stir
Add the egg and sifted flour into the banana mixture
Grate the Darrell Lea milk chocolate before adding it to the rest of the mixture and stir well
Pour the mixture into your lined baking tray/tin and place it into the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the bread passes the skewer test
Allow the bread to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack
Note: I used a microplane to grate my chocolate, it took a while so it might be ideal to grate the chocolate before starting anything else as it gives the oven time to preheat and egg to come to room temperature.
This easy, simple chocolate banana bread will make your house smell of chocolate with a hint of banana and it smells delicious. It is a total must make for everyone.
A few weeks ago I showed you a photo of a bowl of Aioli that I made with my sister. It was Smoked Paprika Aioli and it was my first attempt in ever making something like an aioli and I have since made it once again, wait, maybe twice more. Anyway, this is the photo of the first time I made the Aioli.
Now here is the recipe on how I made it and the story why I made it, because I thought it was about time I shared it seeing as I told you about it over two months ago.
My sister came up to me a few weeks ago and asked me if we could make something together. We had gone out to lunch with our mother the day before and with her lunch she had the most amazing tasting aioli I had ever had. My sister doesn’t really like sauces and so when I saw her eat her food with this and liked it, I knew that she was going to start liking sauce if it tasted similar to the one she had when at lunch. So my sister when and found a recipe for Smoked Paprika Aioli and wanted me to make it with her. It was the first time I had ever made an aioli but it was going to be okay, my sister and I can do a lot of things together when we put our heads together. So here is the recipe she found with a few of my changes which made it taste sooo good.
1 large egg yolk (the yellow bit)
½ teaspoon salt
1 lemon (the juice of one half at a time though(
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika (I ended up using ½ teaspoon of it to a bigger spice flavour)
2 cloves garlic (minced or grated)
A few sprinkles of black pepper
1 cup canola oil (DO NOT use olive oil)
*Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature before you start.
In a food blender or by hand (I used both in the end) put in your egg yolk and half of your lemons juice – let it sit for a few minutes together in the bowl
Then add your minced garlic, salt, smoked paprika and black pepper to the eggs and lemon juice that have been sitting there
Then start beating it or turn the machine on and wait until it starts to turn a paler colour than when it started and a bit thicker too
Once you notice a slight change in colour, start drizzling in the canola oil, not a lot at once and watch to see that the machine or the hand mixing it is bringing it all together before drizzling in more
It is going to take a while to get through the cup of oil but to also bring everything together but the wait is worth it
You’re going to notice the difference in thickness as it continues to combine and once it looks like it can probably stand on its own it you dip a spoon in a bring it out and it doesn’t really move anywhere then you can taste it and see if it need a bit more salt or pepper or even smoked paprika
If the mixture does get to thick use some of the other half of the lemon’s juice to thin it out a bit, but too much of it will ruin the whole thing.
Note: With one cup of canola oil and half a lemon’s juice, this recipe makes a lot more than it sounds like. I kept this after eating it with dinner that first night in an air tight container in the fridge for only a week, I think anything more will play with the laws of food and health a bit too much.
This Smoked Paprika Aioli tastes so good on a number of things, I had it with chicken schnitzel, fish and chips, in a few sandwiches, trust me it will get eaten, even by those who might not like eggs or sauces.
*There is an egg in this recipe, so if you are allergic or are serving this to someone with allergies please be aware and let them know.
Let me know what you think of this awesome new recipe. I know I shared the picture of it when I first made it, but I don’t have a new one so I hope this picture still depicts the greatness of this awesome sauce. Have a go at trying to make this one, it’s not as hard as it seems.
For this weeks Tip Tuesday I am going to do something a little bit different. This isn’t a writing or reading tip, but instead a cooking tip. You all know how much I like to bake so I’m going to start sharing some of my baking tips with you all.
Cook Books don’t always have it right, they do have mistakes in it, so read the recipe over and over again, and if it doesn’t make sense, listen to your gut because you could be right and the recipe could be wrong.
Oreos are perhaps the best biscuits in the world. They are my favourite and no doubt most of the worlds too. At the moment there are lots of videos containing Oreos and how amazing they are on Facebook (if you haven’t seen any, look up Buzzfeed and all of their pages and you will see what I mean). They are not only deliciously tasty, but they are also very versatile and can be used in a lot of different cooking. So when my mother asked me to make something for a lunch party she was having, I knew I had to try my hand at some Mini Oreo Cheesecakes, because who doesn’t like Oreos and cheesecake, so why not combine the two of them, right? I have smashed a few different recipes together and have made my own which is simple, easy and makes the tastiest cheesecakes ever. Normally they would have Oreos as the base for the cheesecake, but I knew that that would make it sweet-er, so instead I chose to use Chocolate Ripple Biscuits as the base, allowing a different taste, but also the chance to eat more!
Ingredients you will need:
Oreos – about 25 biscuits (but it really depends on how much you like the taste of Oreos and how strongly you want to taste them in the cheesecake, the more Oreos the more Oreo it will taste)
500 g Cream Cheese (at room temperature)
1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
80 ml Thickened Cream
¾ cups sugar
100 ml unsalted butter (melted)
1 packet Chocolate Ripple’s (or any other plain chocolate biscuits)
Tools you will need:
Cupcake tray (12-16 cupcakes)
Electric hand beater
Bowl x 3
Microwave proof bowl
Method to make Mini Oreo Cheesecakes:
Layout cupcake patties in cupcake tray and set aside
Melt the unsalted butter in the microwave and set aside
Using a rolling pin and a bowl (or in a glad wrap bag), break the Chocolate Ripple Biscuits into a sandy rough texture
Combine the Chocolate Ripple Biscuits that have been crushed and sugar into a bowl and bring together
Add the melted butter to the sugar and Chocolate Ripple Biscuit sand and combine well (It’s not going to seem wet enough, so to check, clump a little bit in your hands to make sure it sticks, if it doesn’t, add a little bit more melted butter and try again)(It will be fine though with these measurements)
Then gently and equally divide the mixture into the cupcake patties and press it down to make a base, but be sure you don’t tear the patties and you should have what looks like a normal cheesecake base but in miniature form
Place in the fridge whilst you make the rest of the cheesecake filling
Put your softened cream cheese in a bowl and run the electric hand mixer or free standing mixer through it
Add the thickened cream, and vanilla extract into the bowl of cream cheese and combine it together
Add in about 15 Oreo biscuits with the cream still in them into the cream cheese bowl and continue to combine until you have a combined mixture
Take your cupcake patties out of the fridge and scoop equal amounts of mixture into the patties with bases until you have finished all the mixture (it shouldn’t fill a whole pattie, depending on which type you are using)
For added effect and yumminess take the remaining Oreos and scoop out the cream (eat the cream or throw it away) and place in a bowl and using a rolling pin crush and smash the biscuits until you get different sizes and textures and then crumble on top of the mini cheesecakes
Keep in the fridge for hours or until you are ready to eat them
Note: this recipe works best with room temperature cream cheese as you don’t have to work for a long period of time bringing the rest of the ingredients into it. I used small, long topped patties and the mixtures in total came up about ¾ of the away with only a small gap up the top. You can add as much Oreos into the cream cheese mixture as you like, I like adding a small amount on the top for added crunch and because whoever is going to eat it will know what they are going to be eating.
You can store these if you have any leftover in your fridge for about 4-5 days in a container or glad-wrapped. I ended up making 12 normal cupcake patties Mini Oreo Cheesecakes and 2 larger ramekin cheesecakes as I didn’t have enough cupcake patties. You can use which ever bowl, ramekin or cupcake patties you like for this recipe really.
These Mini Oreo Cheesecakes are especially sweet but not overly sweet. The Chocolate Ripple base down the bottom cuts through the sweetness as they aren’t as sweet as the rest of the ingredients. These mini treats are cool for birthdays or girl’s night in or even when you have guests over.
One is definitely not enough!
Have a go at these tiny treats and let me know how you go.
White Wings has this pre-packaged box that allows you to make the best chocolate fudge brownies out there. It’s quick and easy and I always make some of their recipes. I mean who doesn’t like something to wipe together whilst dinner is cooking to eat for dessert? This one is by far the easiest and should only take about 10 minutes to bung together. So the recipe is on the back of the box, but I am going to write it out for you all here too.
100 g butter (melted)
1 tablespoon water
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees
Grease and line a tray that you want to bake your brownies in and set aside for a minute
Grab the brownie mix from the pack and place it in a bowl, I like to grab a fork and stir it a little bit to air it out but to also de-clump it a little bit
Then add your butter, eggs and water to the bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until it is combined and smooth
Pour the mixture into the greased and lined tin and spread it out evenly
Place it into your preheated oven and let it cook for 30-35 minutes or until the skewer test comes out clean
Let the brownies cool completely in the tin before taking it out
Cut into pieces
Now there is a frosting recipe attached to this recipe, and it is included in the box but I don’t use it, I like my brownies as is and I think frosting kind of ruins them. But if you want to find out what the frosting recipe is I’m sure it is on the White Wing’s website.
Keep the brownies in an air tight container and if the weather isn’t stable and it is hot, perhaps place them in the fridge, but trust me they smell so good and taste even better that they might not even make it to the container.
These are simple and easy Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies curtesy of a White Wing’s and are the perfect after school snack or dessert with ice-cream.
Have a go at making them, your friends and family will love you for it.
This week for Tip Tuesday I am going to head away from writing tips and shift over to cooking tips.
If a recipe calls for an ingredient to be at room temperature, it is usually wise to do as the recipe calls for. For something to come out of the fridge and reach room temperature, it usually takes 30-40 minutes.
It was my grandmothers birthday this week and to celebrate I made a Nutella Cheesecake for her. I seem to always make it at this time of the year for some reason. This recipe is another great one from Nigella Lawson, and it comes from her Nigellissima book. I have made this recipe a few times now and know that it is a winner. It is simple, easy, doesn’t take all that long to throw together and it taste amazing. If you are a fan of cheesecake or Nutella than this is the cheesecake for you. My family devours it every time I make it.
You can find the original recipe in Nigelissima on page 175 and it is called a Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake, but I prefer Nutella Cheesecake.
250 g digestive biscuits
75 g unsalted butter (softened)
400 g Nutella (soft at room temperature)
100 g hazelnuts (chopped)
500 g cream cheese (at room temperature)
60 g icing sugar (sifted)
In a food processor, break up the digestive biscuits, add the soften unsalted butter, 15 ml of the Nutella and blitz it all together
Add 3 tablespoons of the chopped hazelnuts to the processor and blitz it all together until you have a damp almost sandy looking texture
In a springform cake tin with a loose base, pour out the sandy mixture from the processor and spread it out evenly and with the back of a spoon press down the mixture until the base is created
Place the base into the fridge to cool and slightly harden whilst you make the rest
In a bowl of your free hand mixer, add in your soft cream cheese and icing sugar and mix until smooth
cream cheese and icing sugar
beat until smooth
Once the cream cheese and icing sugar are smooth add in the rest of the 400 g of Nutella (385 g) and let it come all together well
Take the base out of the fridge and gently pour in the Nutella and cream cheese mixture onto the base and even it out
With the rest of the chopped hazelnuts, scatter on top of the cheesecake and place it in the fridge
Keep over night or for at least 4 hours in the fridge before serving
Note: to cut the cheesecake, have a glass of cold water and tea towel handy, so when you go to cut it, dip it in the cold water, dry it and it should cut clean.
I didn’t add the extra hazelnuts to the top of the cheesecake this time, instead I served it with strawberries. I like it with fruit as it cuts the sugar taste in it. Ice-cream or cream would work with it also.
The base of this cheesecake may seem a little bit short and crumbly, but it still tastes amazing and there is nothing like a piece of this cake. It is to die for especially if it is made right.
Have a go and try making this great recipe, trust me you won’t regret it and everyone you know will love it and will want to you to keep making it. Let me know how it goes.
This week we saw Super Bowl 50 unfold in front of our eyes. What a great game it was. Go Broncos! So in honour of the Super Bowl I thought I would make something sweet to go along with it. I don’t live in America, so the same isn’t as huge here as it is there and I wish that it was, so I thought I would make something cute and simple to enjoy whilst I watched the same. I made a batch of Nigella Lawson’s Fairy Cakes. They are cupcakes, except smaller and tastier. I made them two days before the actual game and kept them in an air tight container and they tasted amazing on the day. I made my icing, not the same way Nigella does for hers in the recipe, instead, along with my mother we played with soft icing mixture and food colouring and it was a lot of fun.
The full recipe can be found in Nigella Lawson’s How to be a domestic goddess on pages 39-40.
Ingredients for Fairy Cakes:
125 g unsalted butter (softened)
125 g caster sugar
125 g self-raising flour
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk
12 cupcake patties
Method for Fairy Cakes:
Set your oven to 200 degrees
Place the cupcake patties in a muffin tin and set aside
Measure out your unsalted butter, caster sugar, self-raising flour, eggs and vanilla extract
Self-raising flour and caster sugar
eggs, unsalted butter, vanilla extract
Once you have them all measured out, grab your food processor and place them all in it
Turn it on and bring it all together until smooth
Grab your milk and on a slow speed with the funnel open or pulsing the food processor with the funnel open, drizzle in the milk until it looks like it has come together
The mixture won’t look like a lot but it will make 12 fairy cakes
Carefully scrap out every bit of the mixture and pour your mixture into the cupcake patties as equally as possible
The mixture won’t fill the cupcake patties to the top
Place them in the oven and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until they have risen slightly and pass the skewer test
As soon a human possibly place the individual cupcake patties on a wire rack, without the cupcake tin and as they cool they will sink and shrink
The fairy cakes are supposed to be small
Ingredients for Icing:
Soft icing mixture
Food colouring (I used blue and made orange to)
Method for Icing:
In a bowl add a few heaped tablespoons of the icing mixture
Grab a few teaspoons of butter (any eating butter works) and bring the two together, it might take a while but it will turn into a smooth icing mixture
Then add a few drops of your desired colours (I used three drops of blue)
Bring them all together and add to your cooled down fairy cakes
Tip: if you want to smooth out the icing, if it has set and you want to make it look smoother, grab a cup of hot water and a spoon. Sit the spoon over the hot water and wipe off the moisture before smoothing out the icing.
Note: the icing sets to a hard consistency in the bowl and on the cupcake but not too hard.
I thought when I was making these fairy cakes that I had done the recipe wrong, because I was watching them sink from large cupcakes and didn’t know what to do. But this is how they are supposed to be. They taste sweet, wickedly sweet, so I don’t encourage a lot of them, hence the treat for Super Bowl 50 for me, but they are awesome. They remind me of cupcakes that I would get when I was a child a kids parties where parents spent a lot of money on brought cupcakes.
These are simple and easy to make, all in one food processor. I had in and done in all then less than an hour, so you can even make them after school with kids or on the weekends.
Excuse my bad lettering on top of my cupcakes, I was busy rushing to get to the television to watch something.
Have a go at making these, I promise you won’t regret it, I’m hooked on them and you will be too. Let me know if you’ve made these before or if you are going to have a go and how they turn out.