Chloe Cooks | Spaghetti Carbonara

Chloe Cooks | Spaghetti Carbonara

Yes today we are back with another cooking post and this being the first one which isnt muffin related, yay! So I thought I would start off with something easy being a spaghetti carbonara.

After going out for dinner in London last week at Vapiano’s  in oxford circus (check them out, they are soo good), after eating the best carbonara I think i’ve ever had I was inspired to try and cook my own. Now I can’t this quite holds up to theirs (what their chefs can do just makes my mind boggle) but if you are a lover of pasta and Italian food in general this is a great easy, cheap and tasty alternative.

Now I know with it creeping into the summer months many of us are ditching the hearty carb heavy dishes in favour of salads and lighter dishes however I think theirs room for a good pasta somewhere (how their isn’t a spec of Italian blood in my I don’t know.)

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Ingredients: (for 4 people)

  • 400g spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g smoked Pancetta 
  •  cubes or streaky bacon, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 eggs
  • 75ml double cream
  • 50g Grana padano or Parmesan, finely grated, plus extra to serve

 

Method 

  1. Cook the spaghetti. Bring a large, deep pan of salted water to the boil. Plunge spaghetti into the water, stir well and cook, following pack instructions.
  2. Fry the pancetta. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan. When hot, tip in the pancetta or streaky bacon. Fry over a medium heat until the fat in the meat has melted down into the pan and the meat has turned lightly golden. Be careful not to crisp the pancetta too much; it will be cooked a little bit more later on in the recipe. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Prepare the sauce. Crack 2 of the eggs into a mixing bowl. Separate the yolk from the third egg: gently crack the side of the shell and, using both hands, slowly open it into two halves over a separate bowl – you want to keep the yolk in one of the halves. Tip the yolk from one shell half to the other and repeat until all the egg white has fallen into the bowl below, taking care not to crack the yolk on any rough shell edges. Tip the yolk in with the other eggs and beat together, along with the cream, the cheese and some seasoning.
  4. Combine the dish. Add garlic to the pancetta and return frying pan to hob. Fry over high heat for 1 min or until garlic is cooked and pancetta warmed through. Meanwhile, drain spaghetti. Tip back into the hot saucepan off the heat. Pour egg mixture over pasta, followed by hot pancetta, garlic, any fat and oils. Toss quickly and thoroughly with spaghetti spoon or tongs. Mix until it has thickened to a smooth, creamy sauce. Serve with extra cheese and freshly ground pepper.

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Chloe Cook’s – Raspberry and White Chocolate Muffins

Chloe Cook’s – Raspberry and White Chocolate Muffins

So I may have drifted into the realms of baking. Since moving away to university cooking has turned into something which I have actually really enjoyed doing. I find it a nice way to relax int the evening after a long day of uni and rehearsals and managing to make something better than shop brought ready meals I find a rather rewarding experience. (Just wish I could do without the washing up thats all) 

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Now the other day I got the sudden urge to make some muffins (as you do) and I wanted to try and do something a bit different to the usual chocolate chip so decided to mix it up with raspberry and white chocolate chip. I’d tired this flavour shop brought before and always liked them so wanted to to try my hand hand at my own. When I set my mind to something, I will get it done!  

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Now I’m not going to be someone spending ages decorating cakes with icing and what now  but with a couple of raspberries and pieces of chocolate surrounding them they look quite sweet.  

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Ingredients  (to make 24) 

3 mugs of self raising flour 

1 mug of brown or white sugar 

2 eggs 

1 1/2 mugs of milk 

3/4 mug of vegetable oil 

400g tin of raspberries 

100g of white chocolate (either chocolate chips or broken up bar chocolate.) 

paper cases and muffin tin 

Recipe 

  1. Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees fan oven/200 degrees/ Gas mark 6 
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together, then add the ‘wet ones’. 
  3. Drain the raspberries 
  4. Spoon all the mixture into individual muffin cases and bake them in the oven for 20/25 minuets depending on the size of you muffins.  

Simple! 

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Im not going to lie, with still being a novice at this and with using my slightly unpredictable oven I wasn’t expecting these to go that well. However, they came out surprisingly well and were very yummy. 

Instead of making the full 24 which this recipe makes I halved it to make 12 which thinking recipes never quite make what they intend to so surprisingly I actually did manage to come out with 12. Despite obviously halving the main ingredients I decided to use the full tin of raspberries still with half not seeming like much and I wanted to make them really flavoursome. Half of the white chocolate was perfectly fine though with not wanting to make them over sickly.       

As you see I made these with raspberries and chocolate but obviously you could change the fillings around depending on what’s to your fancy.  

Extra top tips for these: 

  • Make sure the raspberries are drained really well so the mixture isn’t made too wet.  
  • Fill the cases quite full of the cake mixture, they do rise but not quite as much as i thought so you don’t have to leave too much of the case for rising room.

 

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