Sunday, 24 July 2011

My first bake sale!

There you go, my first bake sale! Please attend! I am really excited for this :D. I know that the prices are high, but this is only for a good cause and the money will go to support Love Ukraine mission 2011. The address is.....

Highway Church Building
88A Romford Road
E15 4EH

So... be there on 7th of August at 3.30pm :)

Friday, 22 July 2011

The Friendly Nettle Icon

Here it comes, The Friendly Nettle Icon (see picture above) which is practically me! My friend Vicki drew this in such detail that even the dress and the helmet represents the exact ones I have in reality. And yes I cycle as well and my bike is lookalike to the one drawn!
Thanks Vicki, as a thanks here is the recipe for the chocolate mousse that you always wanted! I have developed this recipe after once eating a nice chocolate mousse tartlet  at Hurwundeki cafe that is located next to Cambridge Heath station in East London (I love their arty antique look and I just found out that they also have a boutique and the hairdressers!). As for the recipe below I usually use pastry to hold the mousse, but since Vicki doesn't like it I wasn't dear to add it (she says that pastry is the pointlessly added extra calories). So if you want to use a pastry use a sweet one or use the ramekins (I reused "Gü Puds", which just show how much I used to be addicted to those desserts as I have sooo many of these little glass ramekins). So here it comes...


Ingredients: 150g dark chocolate (70% cocoa content)

                    100g unsalted butter
                    1 egg
                    30g caster sugar
                    1 handful of raspberries (or other berries)

1 Preheat oven to 170C
2. Put both chocolate (broken into pieces) and the butter in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure the water doesn't touch the base of the bowl. Leave it there until everything there are melted.
3. Whisk the egg and caster sugar together until pale and thick and increased in volume. Pour the warm melted chocolate and butter into the whisked mixture and and combine it well.
4. Spoon the mixture into the ramekins (or into pastry if you prefer) and bake them for 8min EXACTLY! (In fact once I forgot to bake it and me with my friends kept guessing why the butter have set on the top.... only later it got to me that I did not even baked it... it was quite embarrassing to admit that to my friends while we were eating it!)
5. Put the pots in the fridge for at least two hours (after cooling it down of course as apparently it would hurt the fridge)
7. Enjoy!


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

How "The Friendly Nettle" become "The Friendly Nettle Limited"

Today I thought to myself what is stopping me to register as a company... until I made a decision to actually do it! My friend Jacqueline now running a catering business told me that even if I am not trading at this moment I can still register and form a limited company (apparently she had registered limited company for 2 years until she started trading). After filling quick form and paying small fee (it can be as cheap as £5) I have been notified that my company will be formed within 3 hours (I had to check if it said 3hours not three days). However "The Friendly Nettle" turned to "The Friendly Nettle Limited" even quicker as I have received confirmation in 30min! This was the easiest think I have ever done, I think that even child could have done it! The only think I could not understand properly is when I was adding myself as a company Director it told me to assign at least one share to myself. So I did assign one share to myself worth £1.... Can anyone tell me what this was about? I hope I did not make huge mistake and by the time I do understand what it was I can still change it.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

The food safety comes first!

I mentioned in my previous post that I will talk more about the other courses I took. Well.. here it goes! As boring as it sounds I did find food safety really interesting as well as challenging. I think if you are hygiene freak please don't read the rest... And the rest of us who are ok to eat out of date foods sometimes (if they look ok of course!!) and like to taste food with their fingers, welcome to my world ;). Because those are the biggest challenges to me! I remember eating dried mango one day at my work and after offering it to my colleague Puiyi (she no longer works with me) I have been told off that I could have poison her when she realized that it was out of date :&... Well, it turns out that she might have been wrong as now I know (I hold a Certificate of Food Safety) that there are two types of food expiry dates: "use by" and "best by". I will explain... "use by" is used mainly for meat and dairy and "use by" is for cereals, dried fruits and so many other things which are safe to use after the date, but the quality might not be as good. So if you reading this Puiyi, don't worry about out of date food as you won't always get a food poisoning. But if you are still not sure you can always use up many dried fruits or nuts that are about to go out of date by trowing it in the cakes dough like Chocolate Brownie or Carrot Cup Cakes.... Or if you feel more spontaneous or have lots of hope for the rest of this summer (weather wise) you can try to put it into home-made ice-cream... Hmm :b

Ingredients: 5 egg yolks
                    200g sugar
                    250g milk (full fat)
                    250g double-cream
                    250g yogurt
                    2 medium sized bananas (mashed)
                    seeds and nuts of your choice (I used 1tbsp of poppy seeds and 1 tbsp of pistachio nuts)

1.First, prepare egg cream by mixing egg yolks with sugar and whisking until it becomes pale.
2.Put double cream and milk together into the sauce-pan and heat it up, but don't let it to boil. Then reduce the heat and add egg yolk mixture into the pan. Cook it on the small heat (just in case as it is very important not to get it boiled as then you would get an omelet, not an ice-cream) and mix continuously until it becomes thick (about 10 min).
3. At this stage it is best to cool the mixture down by placing the pot in the cold water as when you get the right consistency it is best not to overcook it.
4. When the mixture have cooled you can add the rest of the ingredients like yogurt, mashed bananas, seeds and nuts. Pour the mixture into the plastic container and put it into freezer.
5. After two hours scrape off the sides of the container and mix it with the fork. Repeat this after three hours and after that you can let it stay there until it is completely frozen or the time when you want to have a cool sweet treat.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Just few updates so far...

I know I have not written here for quite a while.  This is not that I have changed my mind about my dreams... Well, I usually get carried away during summer anyway. And even though the weather wasn't so good as I expected I still feel super happy when I receive the smallest amount of sunshine :)

So... I will begin with the updates so far what happened in these two months. I have taken some bread baking classes of course as I got to the point where I needed somebody to show where I am going wrong (believe me the books withheld some truths about bread-making,  like never add any more flour to the dough even if you tempted to stop the dough sticking!). My favorite so far is the semi sourdough one that comes out sooo soft and it taste nothing like the bread you buy in the shops! Since my baking tutor Maria have shared the link for this bread, I have never bought ready baked bread from the shop...

The other courses I took was mainly about taxes as well as about food safety. But I will share more about this on my next post....