Thursday, 4 July 2013

A New Toy

I got a new toy yesterday. It's something I've wanted for a very long time but because it's an expensive purchase I've always put it off. This year however I decided to save in earnest for one and yesterday my savings came to fruition. Isn't she pretty?? It's a Kenwood Chef Major Premier (KMM710). It was on sale, 40 % off so a great deal for a higher spec mixer than I thought I could get!
Obviously, I had to try it out as soon as possible, so between naps, nursing the baby and giving the toddler his lunch I whipped up a batch of pizza dough in less than half the time it takes me to do it by hand and also a batch of chocolate chip muffins. I see this being used a lot!

For those of you who are interested the recipes are below.

Pizza Dough

700 g strong white flour
2 tsp salt
1 sachet of fast action yeast 
450 ml lukewarm water

  • Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, add the yeast and stir into the flour.
  • Add the water.
  • With the dough hook attachment mix on low setting (my mixer has a 1200 W motor, so quite powerful so I used setting 1) for about 5 minutes until you have a smooth and elastic dough. If doing it by hand, knead on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes until you have the same result.
  • Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Leave in a warm place until it has doubled in size.
  • Knead the dough again for a couple of minutes until it's smooth and divide in 4.
  • This will make enough for 4 approx 9 inch pizza bases depending on how thick you like your bases.
  • Add your favourite toppings and bake at 220oC for 15 minutes.
  • You can freeze the dough in individual portions too!! Just give it a light knead on a floured surface when it's completely defrosted. 

Chocolate Chip Muffins

200 g self-raising flour
150 g sugar
3 tbsp cocoa (not drinking chocolate!!)
100 g chocolate chips
200 ml buttermilk
2 tbsp milk
1 egg
85 g melted butter

  • Preheat the oven to 200oC. Put muffin cases into a muffin tin.
  • Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the chocolate chips.
  • Mix all the wet ingredients together and add to the dry ingredients.
  • Stir just enough to mix together. You don't want a smooth batter as too much stirring will make the muffins heavy. This light stirring and sifting the dry ingredients make them light and fluffy.
  • Spoon into muffin cases and bake for about 20 minutes until they're springy and firm to the touch. 

Sometimes instead of chocolate chips I add toasted hazelnuts (or a mix of hazelnuts and chocolate chips). Add the zest of and orange is yummy too. 
Or if you want to have a really really chocolatey treat add some chocolate spread (nutella is my favourite) to the middle of the muffin. To do this just put a dollop of the muffin mix into the bottom of the muffin cases. Then add a tsp or so of chocolate spread into each and top off with the remaining mixture. 
This works well with raspberry jam too and some fresh raspberries added to the mix! I love raspberries and chocolate.
There are so many different combinations!!!


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