We all need a little warmth and cheer at the moment, so here are some of Mimi’s classic recipes where each bite feels like a little hug. Easy to make and all family crowd pleasers, you can’t go wrong with a yummy sausage roll, delightful amaretti biscuits and scrummy chocolate cake!
Mini Sausage Rolls With Thyme
- 500g/1lb 2oz ready-made puff pastrey
- plain flour, for dusting
- 1 free-range egg, beaten
- 8 herby sausages (the best you can afford), cut in two
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- small handful fresh thyme leaves
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
- Roll the pastry out on a floured surface to a rectangle of about 48x32cm/19x12½in and bash the pastry with the rolling pin a bit. Puff pastry is made of fine layers and normally you have to be very delicate with it. For sausage rolls the pastry needs to be slightly puffed, but not too much, so bashing it with a rolling pin reduces the amount it puffs up.
- Cut the large rectangle in half lengthways, then cut both smaller rectangles into eight equal sections. You now have 16 rectangles in total. Brush one end of each rectangle with a little of the beaten egg, lay a piece of sausage at the other end, then season the sausage with salt and freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle with thyme leaves. Roll the sausage up in the pastry to enclose and repeat with all the sausages. Put the sausage rolls in the fridge for 20 minutes for the pastry to harden.
- Once the pastry is hard, remove the sausage rolls from the fridge and score the tops with a sharp knife for decoration, or prick with a fork. Brush well all over with the rest of the beaten egg and bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes, or until the pastry has turned golden-brown and looks crisp. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before serving.
Chocolate Yoghurt Cake
- For the cake
- 110g butter
- 180g golden caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 140g Greek yoghurt
- 170g self raising flour
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- For the icing
- 110g plain chocolate
- 110g unsalted butter
- 110g icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup
- icing sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 170 C / Gas 3. Grease and line two 20cm cake tins with baking parchment.
For the cake:
- In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and then one egg at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Add the yoghurt and beat until smooth. Sift in the flour then add in the cocoa powder and mix well. Spoon into the prepared cake tins.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in their tins for 1 hour then transfer to a cooling rack for 2 hours to cool fully.
For the icing:
- Once the cakes are cool and ready for decorating, melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water. Add the butter and stir until melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the icing sugar and golden syrup.
- Put the first cake onto a serving plate and slice a little off the top (if necessary) to make it an even base for the top layer. Spread the icing over this first layer then sandwich the second cake on top. Spread the remaining icing on top then dust with icing sugar. Slice and serve.
- 125g (4 oz.) ground almonds
- 1 cup castor sugar
- 2 egg-whites
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Few drops almond essence
- Blanched almonds for decorating (approx. 10)
- Combine the ground almonds and sugar.
- Add the egg-whites, vanilla and almond essence – make sure you mix it well!
- Place the mixture in a small bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes.
- Allow the Amaretti mixture to stand for 5 minutes.
- Spoon the mixture into a piping bag (you can actually make these yourself using grease-proof paper! Simply cut a bit of paper, roll into a cone and tape the side. Then cut the edge where the paper turns into a funnel and BOOM…instant piping bag.)
- Pipe the mixture onto a greased oven tray lightly dusted with flour. You’ll need to pipe the mixture in a circular motion, from the centre to make the biscuits roughly 4cm (1 ½ inches) in diameter.
- Split the decorating almonds into half and place onto of each Amaretti biscuit.
- Bake the Amaretti biscuits in the oven on moderate for approximately 12 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned.
With Love, Mimi x
Mimi wears the floral scarf teamed with the long trim cardigan in lilac and apple necklace.