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Chronicle and Echo - Slow Cooker Puddings

Chronicle and Echo - Slow Cooker Puddings

Friday 20th November 2020
Barefaced Eating

It's that time of year when I have dragged out the slow cooker and I'm thinking of warm and comforting meals. The darkest weeks of the year are here so instead of feeling miserable and fed up, I'm going to make the most of it. It seems we aren't going out a great deal at the moment anyway and our homes are our main base more than ever, so I have decided to embrace it. Candles have been lit, fleecy clothes pulled out, soft blankets, films and popcorn have all been prepared and I am going to indulge in our home!

So, what about meals? The slow cooker always provides something fuss free and delicious and I love the fact that once you have untaken a little bit of preparation, the meal will be ready later with hardly any effort. I can put the slow cooker on in the morning, go about my day and by the time it's dinner time, I have almost forgotten the memory of making it and it actually feels like someone has cooked it for me. Bonus! But what can you make in them easily and are they worth the money?

Firstly, I am always surprised how cheap a slow cooker is. Look around for offers and find one that will fit your family's needs. I brought a tiny 1-2 serving slow cooker the other day for a client and it's small enough to sit on the top without being in the way. It cooks rice perfectly, fresh soup and stews with no need for tins or jars and I even showed her how to make a gingerbread pudding in it! There are many things you can make in a slow cooker.

With a large slow cooker, you could place 4 ramekins in the bottom and make this following recipe. If you don't have a large cooker, find 1 baking dish that will fit inside and use that, or failing that, just line the bottom of your slow cooker with baking paper and dollop the mix in there.

Raspberry and Coconut Puddings
100g caster sugar
90g butter, softened
1 egg
220g self-raising flour
3tbsp desiccated coconut
150g fresh or frozen raspberries
250ml milk

Beat the butter and sugar together and add the egg. Mix until smooth. Stir in the flour, coconut and milk and beat well until combined. Gently stir in the raspberries. Grease the ramekins/baking dish and pour the batter in. Cook for 2-3 hours on a medium heat in your slow cooker (or place in the oven at 180°C for 35 minutes) until firm and springy to touch.

Tips for Using a Slow Cooker

• Don't over fill.
• Always use a little less liquid in a recipe if you are converting a recipe not normally made in a slow cooker.
• You don't need to brown meat if you are adding it in a hurry, just get it in the cooker.
• Always add boiling stock/liquid to the slow cooker when cooking meat.
• Try doing something else with your cooker for a change - make a hot chocolate (or egg nog, mulled wine or hot spiced cider), porridge, rice pudding, cake, chocolates, poached fruit, mashed potato and cheesecake.
• You will need less tins, jars and processed foods.
• It can help with healthy eating as you can pack loads of vegetables into stews and soups.
• It will save you money!

It's a bit of a tradition in our house, when the slow cooker comes out, we welcome the winter with a smile. Our new normal is staying in a little more and to be honest, I'm loving it. So, make a pudding, grab a spoon and a blanket and enjoy the time out whilst we have it.