Cook with Gousto!

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I have been mentioning Gousto meals quite a lot on Twitter so thought it was about time I told you all about them, in case you’re not already familiar with them.

I must admit, I had never heard of them until I went to the Foodies Festival in Birmingham a couple of months ago. After having a lovely chat with them we decided to give them a try. Confession time… there was a brilliant introductory offer at the Festival and if I’m honest we thought we’d just make the most of the offer and then cancel. I know, I’m ashamed, but that was the plan. We didn’t bargain for how delicious they would be though, and so needless to say, we haven’t cancelled and have no intention of doing so either 🙂

Here’s a rundown of how it works and what you get. Gousto lists 10 meals every week, including vegetarian dishes, and you choose which ones you want to try. You can choose 2 to 4 meals per box and for either 2 or 4 people. You can choose which day you want your box delivered, and you can even skip some boxes if you go on holiday, as long as you give them 3 days’ notice. There is no commitment to buy, no subscription fee, you can choose how regularly you want to receive your boxes, and you can cancel at any time. (Highly doubtful once you’ve tasted the meals though!!!)

I had seen another company who offers a similar service and noticed they only send some of the ingredients, leaving you to provide the fresh parts like meat and vegetables. Gousto is different. They send everything you need to prepare these gorgeous meals, and delivery is free! You might have to use a spoonful of your own cooking oil but that’s something everyone has anyway. When you receive your first box you will receive a lovely binder to keep all the recipe cards in. Every box then contains the recipe cards for the meals you have chosen, with really easy to follow instructions and pictures so you know you’re doing it right! The box is divided into 2 sections inside. One side has all the dry ingredients such as spices and rice, fruit, vegetables, and ingredients that can be stored at room temperature like soy sauce, balsamic vinegar etc. The other side has a fantastic bag insulated with wool and lots of ice packs, and that is where you’ll find the fresh meat and ingredients that need to be chilled such as natural yoghurt, pomegranate molasses etc. The ice is always still solid when the box arrives, that’s how brilliant the wool is at keeping everything cold! Everything is clearly labelled so you know exactly what it all is. The meat comes directly from a British farm, and most of the vegetables are organic.

The portions are very generous. We have 3 meals for 2 people but there is enough provided for our son to have too if he wants to eat the same. I love the fact it encourages you to try meals you might not normally cook. Would I have ever cooked pomegranate glazed lamb kofta with toasted pine nuts and couscous? Probably not. But I did with Gousto and now I have the recipe card I definitely will again. That’s another bonus of receiving these meals…. even though all the ingredients are delivered already weighed out, the recipe cards give you the amounts so you can make any meal again yourself knowing exactly how much of each ingredient you need. In fact I’ve done exactly that with a couple of the recipes. The Chinese Pork Rice, for example, using all the ingredients in the top picture, was so amazingly delicious that I’ve made it a couple of times now. The food is honestly restaurant standard, but you’d pay at least double the price if you were to find these meals in a restaurant.

I really can’t praise this service enough. I’d definitely recommend everyone to try it. I can guarantee you’ll be just as happy to discover them as I am. If you want to give them a try, I’ve got a little treat for you. Normally you get a £15 discount to use on your first box, but if you sign up by clicking on this link

GOUSTO DISCOUNT

you get an extra special discount of £20 off your first box instead 🙂

If you do decide to give them a try, let me know what you think, and which meals you particularly liked so I know which ones to try myself in future boxes!

DISCLAIMER. Gousto have no idea I am writing this blog review and haven’t asked me to. The views expressed are my own personal opinions of the meals.

Turkish Delight inspired Bundt….Rose and Lemon

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Last week, my Nordic Ware addiction forced me to buy the beautiful Square Bundt pan. I had no control over the matter, my addiction took over. I blame the lovely Ebay seller who accepted my best offer on it. That was a bonus I really wasn’t expecting!!! I have to admit, when this pan first came out not too long ago, I really didn’t like it. The more I saw it though, the more I liked it. I think I was just so used to the stunning round pans, that to me this one was just wrong! But now I take all that back as it is one of my favourites already. I love it! A word of warning though… I discovered it is ridiculously hard to find a square cake stand and it took trips to a lot of shops over several days before I finally found the one in the photo. Thank you Debenhams sale! The wonderful people at Kitchens Cookshop (who are a big supplier of Nordic Ware pans here) have told me they are working on stocking some too.

You’ll know from a previous post (the Rose Madeleines) that I adore rose flavoured things, and Turkish Delight is one of my favourite treats. Not the chocolate covered stuff… that’s sacrilege!! I mean the type you get at Christmas in a box with a ton of icing sugar on top. Heaven! My wonderful Other Half recently abandoned me and went on holiday with his friends to Turkey. Needless to say, he came home with plenty of really delicious Turkish Delight as a present for me. There were all sorts of flavours, and different ingredients used to coat them. No icing sugar, instead it was desiccated coconut on some and cornflour on the rest. My favourite though will always be rose. Feeling inspired with the yumminess of the cubes of Delight, I decided to make a bundt, and it had to be the square shaped pan to tie in with those cubes. I decided to make rose and lemon, just like the flavours we mainly have here.

This recipe is completely my own invention. I made it up as I went along but I have to confess, it is delicious! The cake it produces is moist and incredibly light. The Square pan is a 10 cup one and this recipe made a bundt which rose right to the top of it so caught all the detail of the pan. At one point it did look like it wasn’t going to stop rising, but miraculously it did just at the right moment. Phew! I get asked a lot about what I use to grease the pans. I only use Wilton Cake Release, and I brush it on with a pastry brush.

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This is the inside of my greased pan ready to use. 

I will be making this one again and again as it is my favourite so far. In a first for me, I’ve received orders from 2 people asking for me to make it for them too! I’ve never been asked to make a bundt before! Happy days 🙂 Hope you like it as much as I do!

FOR THE BUNDT CAKE

250g unsalted butter, room temperature

400g caster sugar

4 large eggs, beaten and at room temperature

360g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda

0.5 tsp salt

finely grated zest of 1 lemon

250ml buttermilk

1.5 tsp rose water

FOR THE SYRUP GLAZE

juice of 1 lemon

100g icing sugar

FOR THE ICING

150g icing sugar, sieved

1 tsp rose water, or to taste

2 tbsp cooled boiled water

Rose petals, Turkish Delight, and icing sugar to decorate

  • Preheat the oven to 180C. Prepare your bundt pan by brushing Wilton Cake Release into every little nook and cranny.
  • In a large bowl, beat the butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the lemon zest. Gradually add the beaten egg, mixing well between each addition.
  • Stir the rose water in to the buttermilk.
  • In another bowl, sieve together the plain flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt. Tip half of this into the cake mixture and fold in gently with a large metal spoon or a large spatula.
  • Add the buttermilk mix and continue to fold in gently. Finally add the rest of the flour and fold in until the mixture is smooth. Be gentle though, you don’t want to overmix it.
  • Pour into your prepared pan and use a spatula to spread it evenly around. It will fill the pan three quarters high.
  • Bake in the middle of the oven for about 30-35 minutes until golden, well risen, and a skewer inserted into it comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. While doing this, prepare the syrup by placing the lemon juice and icing sugar into a small saucepan over a low heat, and stirring until the icing sugar has dissolved and the mixture is just starting to boil.
  • When the bundt has cooled for 15 minutes, turn out on to a wire cooling rack, and immediately brush the syrup all over it gently. The syrup will soak straight in. You won’t need all the syrup for this, unless you like a really intense lemon flavour!!! Just one coating all over is enough, not forgetting the middle section! Leave to cool completely.
  • When cool, place on to your cake stand or plate.
  • Mix together the icing ingredients until you have a thick but slightly runny icing. Add more water if you want it a but runnier. Pipe or spoon the icing on to the top of the cake, letting it run down the sides a bit. Use a sieve to sprinkle a little bit of icing sugar all round the sides, just enough to highlight the beautiful pattern. Decorate the bundt by placing rose petals and Turkish Delight on the top.

Your kitchen will smell like a beautiful walk through a rose garden. Enjoy! 🙂

Oooooppss!!! Nearly forgot the exciting part! Every weekend, Bake Behaviour asks people to send in their photos of their bakes and they choose two to go forward to try to win the much-coveted Golden Mixer Badge. People on Twitter then choose which they want to win. Well, I entered this bundt and……………..it won!!! Yippee!!!

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Nordic Ware Shortcake Basket Pan Waffles!

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As I’ve said in a previous post, I love Nordic Ware pans and particularly love the shortcake basket one. The possibilities of ways to use it are endless. Today I decided to have a little experiment and see if my son’s favourite treat would work in it. I was ecstatic to see it does! Luke adores waffles. I bought a cheap waffle iron a while ago but it has become one of those poor items that gets put away at the back of a cupboard never to be seen again. It was just too much of a pain to use. Luke has had to suffer shop-bought waffles since. I know, I’m hanging my head in shame, don’t worry. Well he won’t have to suffer any longer as I just ate what you see in the picture above and the waffle was perfect! So light and fluffy inside but crispy on the outside, and it tasted divine! I’m extremely happy right now! So without further ado, here is the recipe. It makes enough for 12 basket waffles.

3 large eggs

110g butter, melted plus extra for greasing pan

250ml buttermilk

160ml milk

240g plain flour, sieved

2 tsp baking powder

Half tsp salt

2 tbsp caster sugar

  • Preheat oven to 200C. Use a pastry brush to coat the basket moulds with melted butter, making sure you cover all the nooks and crannies.
  • In a large bowl, use a hand whisk to beat together the eggs, butter, buttermilk, and milk.
  • Add the sieved flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar and mix well with the whisk until the batter is smooth and lump-free.
  • Spoon the batter into the moulds of the pan, filling each three quarters full. (I used a dessertspoon to do this and it was about 4 spoonfuls in each).
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until just starting to get a bit of golden colour.
  • Remove from oven, invert pan on to a baking sheet and give each basket a sharp tap. Lift the pan and the waffles will be left behind on the baking sheet.

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  • Place the waffles back into the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes until they are a more golden colour and have crisped up a bit. This will help them to hold their shape.

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  • Remove from oven and serve immediately.
  • If like me you only have 1 of these pans, re-butter the moulds, beat the remaining batter again briefly, then fill the pan and bake as before.

I added a scoop of ice cream, some strawberries and some strawberry syrup to mine while it was still hot so the ice cream melted all over it. You can add whatever toppings you like.

These can easily be reheated by placing in the oven for 5 minutes to get warm and crispy again, as they will start to lose their crispness when they cool.

I’d love to hear what toppings you put on yours. Enjoy 🙂