Spinach and ricotta gnocchi...

Last night I decided to throw a ‘gnocchi party’ (a glorified dinner party). I used this BBC recipe but there’s a few things I would change if I were to make it again.
It takes around half an hour/40 minutes to prepare so it’s pretty time consuming, and to be honest, I don’t think it’s worth it. I didn’t find it very flavorsome and ended up getting this guy to whip up a quick cheese sauce for me (whilst I watched Coronation Street…)
So next time I’ll definitely try another gnocchi recipe, I’m dying to try this one by Hank Shaw. But if I’ve convinced you that it’s worth making- here’s the recipe!
Photograph from BBC Website
  • 300g fresh spinach
  • Small handful chopped parsley leaves
  • (Optional) 1 clove of garlic
  • 250g ricotta
  • 125g plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g parmesan or Italian hard cheese
Pop all the spinach in a large bowl and cover completely in boiling water. Leave for a few minutes until wilted. 
In the mean time, finely chop your parsley. Crush your garlic if you’re using it. 
Drain your spinach and give it a good shake to get as much of the water out as possible. Leave it to cool for about 10 minutes. 
Place the spinach in the middle of a clean dry tea towel and wrap it up into a bundle. Squeeze the bundle until you can’t squeeze anymore. When you’ve got as much water out of the spinach as you possibly can, take it out of the bundle and finely chop. 
Put the spinach, parsley, ricotta, flour, beaten eggs and parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. 
Fork the mixture through, making sure everything is thoroughly combined. 
Mix into a dough with a wooden spoon. 
Use a teaspoon to take chunks of the dough and mould them into- what the recipe calls- ‘walnut size pieces’. Now, maybe I don’t know the size of a walnut, but I found they cooked better in smaller balls, about 2/3cm tall. 
When you’ve rolled all the balls, pop them on a sheet grease proof paper and put them in the fridge for at least half an hour. 
Put the oven on at a low heat.
When you want to cook your gnocchi, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. I used a wok, purely because it meant I could cook more gnocchi at one time. When cooking gnocchi, make sure to only place enough in the pan to cook in one layer. 
Drop your gnocchi into the water and wait until they rise to the top. When they do, cook for a further couple of minutes. 
You might need to do a few batches, so when they’re done, pop them on a sheet of grease proof paper in the oven until the rest are done. 
It’s a bit long winded, but if you like gnocchi then I’m sure it’s worth it. 
As I mentioned before, it was a lot better with a cheese sauce, I’m sure it’d be great with tomato too.
I served it with a fresh spinach and watercress salad with black olives, feta cheese and balsamic vinegar. All together it was pretty good! 
Try it for yourself!

Sweet satisfaction...

Finally finished! 

Gonna put it on a cushion when I get home this weekend!

Bake away your blues...

Today I found out about a new project called Flour-ish, created by the lovely people at Spark and Mettle. Their aim is to put the flour is flourish, and suggest that baking is the best way to beat the blues. I agree entirely.

There’s a few super cool chefs involved including Delia Smith, Prue Leith and my personal favourite Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and they’ve all volunteered recipes. Delia’s banana and walnut loaf looks divine, so I’ll definitely be trying that one out! There’s a few recipes from the Spark and Mettle team too, including some ‘sweet n sparky cupcakes’ with sherbet in them that look fabulous.

Tomorrow is the 3rd Monday in January and is supposedly the most depressing day of the year, so I suggest that ya’ll bake a little something something from the Flour-ish website and get happy!

Hope you’ve had a food-filled and fantastic Sunday!
Here’s a couple of the recipes off the website, but be sure to check it out! 
S X 


White chocolate and cranberry muffins...

Last night I made white chocolate and cranberry muffins for the girls in my journalism class (and my teacher). I didn’t get any photos but I’m sure you can find one floating around Twitter (@sophie__brown) if you’re that interested.
Anyways, here’s the recipe. Makes 12 muffins:
  • 8oz marg
  • 8oz sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 oz self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g dried and sweetened cranberries (or ‘craisans’ as I like to call them…)
  • 100g white chocolate chips
Cream the butter and sugar then add the eggs and beat in. 
Add the flour gradually and whisk in the vanilla essence. 
Pop in craisans and white chocolate chips and fold in to the batter. 
Put the mixture in 12 deep muffin cases and bakes for:
25 minutes on gas mark 5 
OR 20 minutes on 170c fan 
OR 25 minutes on 190c electric
And voila. They’re delicious. 
Hope you’re all having a wonderful week. 
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