Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Yoghurt Pot Cake

I know the current culinary trend is for no sugar, no gluten, no dairy, no fun.... well, this is not that. Taken from Nigellisima it is full of everything bad and will have you smiling a sugary grin. It is plain but perfect as well as super easy. There is no need for scales as you use the yogurt pot as you measure and believe me when I say I am a cr*p baker. NOTHING I bake rises properly but this cake always does - it truly is fool proof....

150 grams plain yoghurt
150 ml vegetable oil (plus some for greasing)
3 eggs
250 grams caster sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
zest of ½ unwaxed lemon
175 grams plain flour
75 grams cornflour
1 teaspoon icing sugar (to serve)

This cake best in a ring shape, ciambella (pronounced “chambella”) as it’s known in Italy, and a 22cm/9-inch savarin or ring mould is a fairly standard baking tin here in the UK, too, but do use a 22 or 23cm/9-inch springform tin if that’s easier for you: the cake won’t be as high, but don’t use a smaller diameter because, without the hole in the middle, the cake wouldn’t cook properly in the centre if the tin were any deeper.
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350°F, and grease your ring mould (or springform tin); you can use vegetable oil for this or a special baking spray.
  2. Separate the eggs and put the whites in one bowl and the yolks in another. Whisk the whites until you have firm peaks, then set aside while you get on with the rest of the cake.
  3. Scrape the yogurt out of its pot and on to the egg yolks, then use the emptied yogurt pot to measure out your other ingredients – so, next, add 2 pots (just) of sugar and whisk with the egg yolks and yogurt until airy and light.
  4. Now fill your yogurt pot up with vegetable oil and, beating all the while, slowly add this to the egg yolk mixture. Then beat in 2 capfuls/teaspoons of vanilla extract and the zest of half a lemon.
  5. Still beating, add 2 yogurt potfuls of flour followed by 1 yogurt potful of cornflour or potato starch, then scrape down and fold in with a rubber or silicone spatula. Now, with a large metal spoon, dollop in the whisked egg whites, and fold them in with the spatula.
  6. Fill the prepared ring mould with the smooth, soft batter – it will come right to the top – and bake in the oven for 30–35 minutes; when cooked, the sides will be coming away at the edges and a cake tester will come out clean.
  7. Remove it from the oven to a wire rack, letting the cake sit in the tin for 10 minutes before turning it out.
  8. Once cooled (although I love this still slightly warm), transfer it to a serving plate or stand and dust with icing sugar. Traditionally, this cake would be placed on the plate with the smooth side uppermost, but I rather like it turned back up the way it was baked, with its rustic cracks and uneven surface visible.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Lunchbox Loveliness

I know I am not alone when I say I HATE making packed lunches. Is there anything less appealing that peeling open a can of tuna at 7am through slit eyes before realising you have run out of bread meaning either a trip to Waitrose to get a loaf of organic wholemeal or padding out the lunchbox with strictly forbidden Hula Hoops and Frubes. I bet you can guess which I choose.... However, I may loathe the shopping/ prep/ negotiations of the lunchbox but I love the kit. We have a whole cupbaord dedicated to snack pots, water bottles, melamine, bento boxes, lunch bags... you name it odds are we have it. So my kids may have a lunch of every additive, preservative and e number out there but it looks fabulous!!

1. Bobble Water Bottle - filters your water while you drink
2. The Wrapper - a reusuable plastic and material sandwich wrapper keeps your sarnie fresh as a daisy and nasty cling film. Just wipe clean and every now and then pop in the washing machine. Ours last about 1 year each! Brilliant.
3. Lunchbots - stylish metal bento box with various compartment configurations. Small but perfectky formed. I use this for my lunch and it's plenty big enough. Maybe a little wee for strapping lads.
4. Blafre lunchbox - perfect scandi retro design.
5. Wooden fork and spoon.
6. Kids Conserve Insulated Food Jar - allows you to give kids hot food in their lunchbox
7. Boon Snack Ball - sturdy snack pot that will keep crunchy foods from crushing
8. Yumbox - Lenny's favourite lunch. Bento filled with his 'picky' bits and pieces and no leaks!
9. Melamine Cup - designed by the great Helen Dardik

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Professionals - Kate Newhouse, Doctor Care Anywhere

Having spent many hours in A+E with Maurice I know the value of having immediate medical help and reassurance. Doctor Care Anywhere offers just this without the, often unnecessary, rush to hospital. His problems luckily turned out to be nothing too serious. He had reoccurring bronchitis and respiratory issues that made it difficult to decide the best thing to do - it was very very scary. A+E was the only option open to us outside surgery times and sometimes in surgery times when we often struggled to get an appointment. Now Doctor Care Anywhere has come to the rescue.

Summer or Winter? Summer

Desert Island luxury? Not really doable on a Desert Island but piping hot baths and tea.

Ideal Friday night? Back in time to bath, have story-time and put the kids to bed then time to get changed while husband makes incredible supper for family and friends. Finishing the evening off with some silly dancing and singing to power ballads...

A film that makes you cry? It is a struggle to find one that doesn't but Goodnight Mr Tom, The Notebook, Stepmom, Saving Private Ryan, One Day and Crazy Stupid Love are some notables 

Best London gem? Rosie's Cafe, Indoor Market, Brixton 

First memory? Being told that my little brother was due to be born on my 5th birthday and then he was!

What is Doctor Care Anywhere? Want peace of mind of a doctor on hand whether you’re at work, home or on holiday? Going to the doctor isn't fun. What if you didn't have to go anywhere? Now, you don’t have to. With Doctor Care Anywhere, it's really that simple. Doctor Care Anywhere is an innovative, private, virtual GP service enabling you to speak to a UK GP from wherever you are at a time that suits you via secure online video technology. We provide quality healthcare that works around you. Doctors can diagnose, treat, prescribe and even refer onto a specialist - all over secure video or phone. If your doctor felt a prescription was needed, the medication can be couriered to you!

Doctor Care Anywhere membership provides you and your family unlimited access to specially selected UK GPs, via high-quality video on your browser, our iPhone and iPad apps. Surgery hours are 8am-10pm, 7 days a week.  

Are all the doctors on your books qualified and registered?  
All Doctor Care Anywhere GPs are UK trained, General Medical Council (GMC) registered and Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) qualified. They have a minimum of 6 years post qualification experience and are externally appraised within the NHS. Our doctors are all peer selected and specially trained in telemedicine video consultation. They undergo regular review of the clinical care they provide, including patient feedback. 

How much does the service cost?
Membership subscription starts at £12 per month for a single for unlimited consultations, the price decreases as the number of members increases, for example, monthly membership subscription for a family of 4 costs £36 per month. We would be delighted though for Lentil and the Mint readers to take advantage of a 20% discount on all membership subscription prices. Simply enter the voucher code LENTILMINT in the Apply code box at payment stage.

Will my health insurance cover it? Not usually as health insurance tends to cover secondary care (specialist service) and not GPs (primary care services). If you have health insurance then you will usually require a GP referral to a specialist though and our referrals are accepted by all private medical insurers. 

Is the service all over the UK and abroad? You can use our service from anywhere in the world (except for USA and Canada, though you will be able to use it from there too from October 2015)

Where do I sign up?  You can either sign up via our website and or download our iPad or iPhone app from the Apple store for free and then sign up via those.