Friday, October 24, 2014

Judge Cookware Soup Maker - Review and Recipe


I've been sent this amazing soup maker by Judge Cookware to review. It's a great multi-tasker, will make either smooth or chunky soup, reheat, cook boiled eggs, make hot milky drinks, and cold drinks including smoothies and milkshakes.

If you invest in kitchen gadgets they need to work for you and not the other way round - having used this product quite a few times, I can definitely say it's a gadget worth investing in, it's really easy to use and you don't have to precook any ingredients before adding them to the jug.

My usual soup making method is to cook everything in a saucepan and then use a stick blender to make a smooth puree.  Using the soup maker, from adding the ingredients to producing a smooth soup takes only 20 minutes - amazing.

I make lot's of soup in the colder months and freeze some too for a rainy day.  Soup is a great way to eat those veggies and there is nothing quite like a warm comforting bowl of soup with a chunk of home made bread.

I'll talk you through, with photographs, showing how to make a very easy low fat cauliflower cheese soup.....

        Cauliflower Cheese Soup with Parmesan Wafers

Add the cauliflower florets, chopped leeks and onion to the jug
Pour in water to the Soup Maximum level to cover the vegetables,
 add vegetable stock powder and freshly ground black pepper
The lid locks securely in place onto the jug

Press On and then 'Soup Smooth'
 

The vegetables are chopped, cooked and blended at the same time
Part way through the cooking and blending process
Cooking is now complete

I've now poured in enough semi-skimmed milk to come half way between the Soup Maximum and Maximum levels - I've also added a good handful of grated cheese to the jug
Pulse a few times to mix in the added ingredients
Low Fat Cauliflower Cheese Soup
Half a small cauliflower, broken into florets
1 white onion chopped
1 leek chopped (use mainly the white part)
3 tsp bouillon vegetable powder
Few grinds of black pepper
200ml semi skimmed milk
75g low fat mature cheddar cheese, grated

1. Add the cauliflower, onion and leek to the jug.  Cover the vegetables with water to come up to the Soup Maximum level.  Sprinkle over the bouillon vegetable powder.
2. Place the lid on to the jug, as per the Instruction Manual, now place onto the base.  Press the On button, select Soup Smooth.
3. At the end of the cooking time, carefully remove the 'Fill Cap' and pour in the milk and add the cheddar cheese.  Pulse a few times to mix.
4. If the soup seems a little thin, sprinkle over a teaspoon of Thickening Granules(available from most supermarkets) and pulse again to thicken.

Now on to a three ingredient vegetable soup........

To challenge the soup maker I added some chunks of carrot, celery and red onion to the jug.


Cover the vegetables with water and a few teaspoons of vegetable stock powder 
The soup maker made light work of those chunky vegetables
   and after 20 minutes I had a lovely cup of warming soup..........


Boiled Eggs - the Instruction Manual recommends a cooking time of 6 minutes for soft and 10 minutes for hard boiled.  Hubby carried out the boiled egg test and our medium eggs took 6 minutes for soft, but if they are larger then it may take up to 8 minutes. Our medium size eggs for hard boiled took 10 minutes but here again if they are larger they may take up to12 minutes to cook.  Steamed eggs take longer to cook than if you are boiling them using the conventional pan method.  The great thing about steaming eggs is that he didn't experience any cracked shells as they were cooking.

A few details about the soup maker:
  •   Programmes: 
  •   Reheat - 10 minutes
  •   Juice(for making milkshakes and smoothies) - 3 minutes
  •   Steam/Boiling - 15 minutes
  •   Soup Smooth - 20 minutes
  •   Soup Chunky - 30 minutes
Supplied with: Instruction Manual, Recipes, egg basket and a double ended brush.
Capacity: 1.5 litres
Power: Motor 300w - Heater 800w
To clean: Pour some warm water and a drop of washing up liquid into the jug and pulse a few times. A double ended brush is supplied to clean the base and around the blades.

Disclaimer:  Thank you to Judge Cookware for sending me the Soup Maker to review, all thoughts are my own.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Eddingtons Loaf Pans - Review


I really enjoy baking and it's always great to have a variety of cake moulds to use, these loaf pans are practical and look great too.

The cake moulds are a wonderful way to present cakes for the bake sale table, or if you have 'Cake Friday' at work and struggle to get your cake to work in one piece, these sturdy loaf pans will definitely help. Afterall, who wants to spend time in the kitchen baking and then find transporting a cake is asking the impossible.


                   I found a two egg Victoria sponge batter made either two small or one large cake.
                                       

                                         Non-stick and come in a 5 piece set
                                         Safe to use to a temperature of 220ÂșC
                                         Small size loaf pan measures 13.3x6.5x4.6cm
                                         Large size loaf pan measures 22.5x7x5.5cm
                                         Disposable
                                         Available in a variety of colours
                                         The stockist is Amazon.co.uk - £4.99 for the small
                                         and £5.99 for the large

Disclaimer:  I was sent the above products for review, all thoughts are my own.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Technical Challenge: Ciabatta by Paul Hollywood - Recipe


Why didn't I try this easy recipe before?  My inspiration came from seeing Paul Hollywood on TV demonstrating this technical challenge from The Great British Bake Off.  He made it look easy enough, but with his skills, he makes everything look easy.

This is one occasion when you need a mixer with a dough hook, the mixture is so sticky I'd loose patience if I tried to make it by hand. If you don't have a mixer with a dough hook, but haven't used your bread machine for ages, let the dough setting do all the hard work for you.


I'm not in possession of a square plastic container to rise the dough, mine is deep and oblong, it was still okay and sometimes you just have to compromise.  After all, Paul Hollywood isn't about to knock on my front door any time soon to make sure I use a square container.

The dough is really easy to work with and I was more than a bit chuffed with my baked loaves of ciabatta, they don't have to look bakery perfect, but hubby thought I'd bought them!

Fresh from the oven
The bread doesn't take long to make, the kitchen is filled with the heady aroma of bread, it freezes well, can be warmed briefly in the microwave (don't tell Paul), and you can find the recipe on the BBC Food website.

I hope you too will have a go at this challenge!

Back soon with some fab product reviews........including making soup to go with my bread.....

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