Kenwood UK

Amanda's blog

Back to Biographies
Back to Tutorials home page

Week 12 - Pancake

Amanda pancake

I feel quite sad writing this week’s blog as it’s the last one. Although it has been quite a challenge at times, I have really been inspired to cook more often; I would no longer consider myself a disaster chef!!

My pancakes were superb; I followed the recipe and achieved amazing results.

I have to confess that I didn’t actually manage to toss my pancakes, due to having a cast iron frying pan; I felt I ran a high risk of injuring my wrist as the pan is so heavy! So I flipped with a spatula instead.

The combination of the sharp blueberries with the sweetness of the lemon filling tasted great and I ate most of them!

Week 11 - Toad in the Hole

Getting batter every week…..
Toad in the Hole

OMG!!! This cooking thing just gets better and better - I feel I can actually cook!
My best friend had come for dinner so I was under pressure to prove that I could now serve her up a decent meal instead of the usual fish fingers and baked beans!
I browned my sausages in the oven for quite a bit longer than stated in the recipe as they were anaemic looking after 10 minutes.

My batter was a breeze to make, thank god I had my Kenwood Chef to do all the whisking as I had snapped the handle off my hand whisk the week before, being a little too brutal with my béchamel sauce!!

Once my batter and sausages were in the oven, I began my red wine gravy. This went surprisingly smoothly too. My friend couldn’t believe how much I’d improved and I even taught her to make batter from scratch and red wine gravy.

I served my toad in the hole with mashed potato (microwave ready mash) and peas, it was divine and enjoyed by everyone.

Week 10 - Macaroni Cheese

Amanda mac cheese

Macaroni Cheese…..more please…

This has got to be the easiest recipe I’ve cooked so far, or am I just getting better? Or was it the fact that I decided to get out of bed and cook it at half past midnight!

I sourced some inside information this week from a chef I know regarding my béchamel sauce. He told me to use a whisk to stir it into a paste rather than a spoon, this worked wonders and my sauce was totally lump free.

My smooth sauce was soon covering my cooked macaroni, once my tomatoes covered the top it looked very professional. Making up the herby crumb topping was a breeze as my Kenwood Chef obliged in seconds.
It looked amazing and tasted amazing too!

This was one of the quickest and easiest things I have ever made; I’m a happy little chef this week.

Week 9 - Leek and Mushroom Pie

Amanda pie

CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT A SIEVE

Nobody in our household eats mushrooms so I invited my parents for dinner to use them as taste testers for my pie.

From the moment I began to make my béchamel sauce, the lumps appeared and stayed throughout.  When I combined the butter and flour it would not turn to a smooth paste no matter how much I stirred, even whilst adding the milk the lumps remained.

Once I had chopped my mushrooms and leeks in my Kenwood Chef, I fried them up until they tasted quite sweet, I added my sauce to my vegetables via a sieve to remove all evidence of lumps!!

I loved this pastry, how easy to just cut and go with no rolling out involved!

My pie went into the oven for 25 minutes and came out looking amazing, my parents were very impressed and they soon devoured the whole pie!!

This was definitely one of my more successful cooking tasks; it was only my lumpy sauce that let me down.

Week 8 - Victoria Sponge

Amanda sponge

I mixed my ingredients in my Kenwood Chef and then transferred the mixture to my cake tin. The sugar and butter were not blended well in some places but I still put it in the oven and hoped for the best.

 The cake took longer to bake than the advised time. My cake was not good. It had crystallised sugar around the edges where the mixture had not been combined and it hadn’t risen much, it was only about 2cm thick!!! I decided to start again; my second attempt was much improved.

I made butter cream using an online recipe; I had to keep adding more icing sugar to thicken it up. I sliced my cakes and filled them with cream and jam.

I was going to be bold at this stage. I had shopped for different food colourings and my intention was to decorate the cakes with 5 colours. I combined my ingredients for my icing, I found it hard to mix up and rolling the icing out was a mission too; it wanted to stick to anything that got in its way. By this time I was into my 5 th hour of cooking so I abandoned my idea of making more icing and just used the one colour!!

I was pleased with the result and the kids loved them but I really don’t like using icing sugar as it appears to drift around my kitchen and coat everything with a white dust!!!

Week 6 - Sunblush Tomato, Rosemary and Garlic Rolls

Sunblush Tomato, Rosemary and Garlic Rolls by Amanda McCain

Roll up, Roll up...

I mixed my yeast and water according to the instructions and added my flour, sugar and salt to my Kenwood Chef. I didn’t have enough yeast mixture so I had to add extra water to get my dough to a good consistency and I left it to rise up for an hour.

I decided to grate my garlic this time, as last week I wasn’t able to chop it up finely enough. I added it along with the tomato and rosemary and I turned to my Kenwood Chef to kneed my dough but it soon turned to a sticky paste.

I had all manner of trouble trying to divide the dough into rolls. I was completely stuck together with dough and I couldn’t remove it from my hands. I had to shout for help at this point and my son came and rescued me with some olive oil to prevent the sticking!!!

It was not an easy task to make all the rolls equal size due to the stickiness of my mixture, I only managed to make six. Once cooked the rolls looked great and smelt lovely even though they were not all of the same size and shape.

The rolls were good but the tomato didn’t make much of an impact as it couldn’t be tasted at all.

Not a bad effort this time.

Week 4 - Peach Melba Roulade

Amanda Peach Melba Roulade

Move Over Jamie Oliver!!

Wow wow wow!!!! This recipe made me appear like a proper little chef!

I only had to use six eggs this time to separate four so that is a definite improvement. I whipped up my egg whites to stiff peaks and even managed to put the bowl upside down over my head just to prove they were whipped to perfection. The icing sugar combined well and my meringue was soon baking away in the oven and rising nicely.

Once my meringue had cooled I began whisking up my double cream in my Kenwood Titanium. I chopped my fruit whilst I was waiting for the cream to thicken, but I left the cream whisking for far too long and I ended up with a cottage cheese consistency. I had to bin the cream and start that part over; all went well on the second attempt.

My Peach Melba roulade looked great but I still had to roll it up and this was the part that I dreaded, although it rolled up surprisingly well and with a few squeezes here and there I thought it was pretty good.

It tasted absolutely delicious; my mum said that she would be happy to receive my roulade as a dessert in any restaurant.

I’m so proud of myself.

Week 3 - Eton Mess

Amanda's Eaton Mess

Just can’t get enough!!   

This has got to be my best dish so far, I ate most of it myself!!

I began by separating the eggs which I found a nightmare, I used six eggs and all six were soon void! I popped to my local supermarket and invested in some more eggs and an egg separator (this little tool worked a treat) and I soon had four perfectly separated eggs.

Then with the help of my Kenwood Chef, I soon had the meringue mixture whipped up to stiff peaks and I even turned the bowl upside down without any mixture falling out.

 y meringue looked great when it entered the oven but it was brown in colour when it came out, I’m unsure of why it didn’t stay white?

Once my meringue had cooled I whipped up the cream and strawberry mix, when I broke the meringue into the cream mix I found it a little powdery.

It tasted amazing and my only criticisms would be not enough strawberries and powdery meringue.