Enjoy these mini cauliflower and spelt pizzas with all your favourite toppings. And best of all, they're completely gluten free!Read More
This beautiful brunch loaf is packed with flavour and best of all, gluten free. Full of delicious olives, sundried tomatoes, cheddar cheese and sweet potato, it's a welcome addition to any lunch or brunch table :)Read More
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Panzanella has been the taste of my summer. Garlanded with the ripest of peaches, tomatoes and avocadoes, on a bed of the most delicious ciabatta and scattered with torn mozarella and parmaham rosettes. A wonderful base recipe for you to create your own personalised panzanella!Read More
The great thing about living in London (and one of my favourites) is that we're so close to amazing cafes, shops and restaurants within a stone's throw of us. It's perfect if you run out of some ingredient, fancy popping out for a drink with friends and we walk everywhere. The cafe culture has certainly given us fantastic eateries, delis and patisseries!
We have a cafe close to us which is the place for meeting up with friends for a cuppa and enjoying some of their freshly baked goods. But as much as I enjoy eating their wares, it always inspires me to want to make my own versions at home. One of my lunchtime favourites is the Spinach and Feta Roll and now I've created a homemade version, I can see it frequenting my kitchen on a regular basis :)
This little roll is super tasty and is filled with a mixture of spinach and feta, rolled in a blanket of puff pastry and then topped with eggwash, parmesan and fennel. They are simple to make but are delicious and you can have them freshly baked on your table in next to no time. I've never been a fan of aniseed but the fennel really does add a lovely twist to these and with the parmesan, a perfect crisp exterior to the little rolls.
We start by making the filling. I use frozen spinach and cook it in a small saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of water for around 5 minutes or until the spinach fully defrosts. Then we need to remove some of the water, so it's placed in a sieve and the water squeezed out by pressing the spinach against the sieve sides with the back of a spoon. Once we've removed most of the water, the spinach goes into a small bowl. The chopped feta is added and mashed together with the spinach using a fork. You're not looking for a puree consistency, but for it to be combined with small chunks of feta remaining. Next we season with a dash of nutmeg and a little salt and pepper.
Once the filling is ready, we unwrap our puff pastry and lay it on a lightly floured work surface. The pastry needs to be cut in half horizontally to make two rectangles (each rectangle will make two rolls) and then half of the filling is laid half-way down, in a line horizontally across the first rectangle. The pastry is rolled up from the bottom side to the top to make a long sausage roll and then sealed with eggwash. This is then repeated with the second piece of pastry.
Finally we brush the tops of the rolls with egg wash and then grate parmesan across the surface and sprinkle fennel seeds on top. They're popped into the oven for around 15-20 minutes. Once they're out of the oven, the rolls can be cut in half to make four rolls for sharing (or you can eat one long roll if you're really hungry!)
When we all lead such busy lives, it's nice to be able to treat yourself to a tasty lunch which doesn't take too much time to prepare but which has lots of amazing flavours and is freshly baked.
And if you're working away from home, the rolls can also be made the previous day ready for you to take with you.
Nothing's better than one of these rolls on the run!
Spinach & Feta Rolls
Makes 4 rolls (1 roll per person)
- 200G FROZEN SPINACH
- 120G FETA, CRUMBLED INTO PIECES
- 320G PUFF PASTRY
- 1 TSP NUTMEG
- SALT AND PEPPER (for seasoning)
- 1 EGG, LIGHTLY BEATEN (this is the eggwash)
- 2 TBSP FENNEL SEEDS
- 2 TBSP PARMESAN, GRATED
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (fan)
- Place the frozen spinach into a small saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of water and heat on a medium heat until the spinach is completely defrosted
- Transfer the spinach to a sieve and using a fork, press the spinach against the sides of the sieve to remove as much water as possible
- Put the spinach in a small bowl and add the crumbled feta cheese
- Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste and then combine them with a fork -- you're looking for the ingredients to be combined but not over-mixed as you don't want a puree consistency
- Remove your puff pastry from the fridge
- Lay it on a lightly floured board with the long sides at the top and bottom of your board
- Cut the pastry in half down the middle from left to right so you have two pieces of pastry
- Half-way down each piece of pastry, spread a line of filling evenly from left to right
- Roll each piece of pastry from top to bottom so you have a long sausage roll and then seal the pastry with a line of eggwash
- Brush the top of each roll all over with eggwash, then grate parmesan across the surface and then sprinkle the fennel seeds on top
- Place on baking paper on baking trays and then bake for around 15-18 mins -- when they're ready the tops should be a lovely golden brown
- Remove from the oven and eat immediately -- or allow to cool and eat the next day :)
One of my favourite puddings ever is Fruit Crumble. It doesn't really matter that much what you pair the Crumble with (although my absolute favourite is apple and raspberry), it just needs as much flakey crumble as possible on the top (generally two to three times the amount regular recipes would suggest!) I always think of it being an autumnal-going-into-winter pud but I have a recipe for you that transforms it into a light, beautifully fresh cake that brings with it the sweetness and summery fruits that are just coming into season.
These Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble Muffins are simply divine. Strawberries are so sweet at the moment and they add freshness and juice to the final cakes. The cakes themselves have a delicate crumb and with the moistness of the strawberries they are quite fragile. I tried making them straight in a muffin tin, but having a wrap around the outside really helps hold them together, although you could use cupcake papers instead. The idea for this came from my Apple and Rhubarb Crumble Cake which I was going to make the other day and then I decided I'd love to put some fruity strawberries into it instead. They are are stirred through the batter and then topped with rhubarb and finally the crumble.
The hardest part of making these muffins is the chopping! I suggest cutting up the fruit into very small pieces, particularly the rhubarb. And I always start making these by doing this job first. My recommendation is around four large strawberries for six muffins and one stick of rhubarb. Then I make them crumble -- you can either rub the butter into the flour and sugar with your fingers or blitz them in the food processor. The muffin batter itself is very simple. We cream the butter and brown sugar, then add the eggs and vanilla. Once they're all incorporated, sift the flour over the top, mix thoroughly and then finally stir through the milk and strawberries.
I use an ice cream scoop to fill my muffin cases and once the mixture is divided evenly amongst the cases, sprinkle the tops with rhubarb and then finally the crumble (and I like to completely cover the top of the muffin with the crumble layer, so you can't see any fruit peeking out). They should be baked for around 25 minutes and you can check them as you would with any other cake, by checking a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Once they're baked and out of oven, we leave them in the tin for around 10 minutes and then lift them out carefully to cool on a rack. I recommend leaving them in their wrappers for stability -- they do firm up as they get cooler but they are at their most delicious warm from the oven.
These muffins are perfect for coffee mornings, lunch or afternoon tea. They do have a sweet sugary hit from the crumble which might seem a bit over-indulgent for breakfast, but just amazing for brunch!
You could kid yourself that the fruit in them makes them healthy, but when something tastes this good, you should just enjoy it for what it is :)
Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble Muffins
Makes 6 muffins
- 50G SELF-RAISING FLOUR
- 40G SOFT BROWN SUGAR
- 1/2 TSP CINNAMON
- PINCH OF SALT
- 40G BUTTER
- 100G BUTTER
- 100G SOFT BROWN SUGAR
- 2 EGGS
- 2 TSP VANILLA ESSENCE
- 175G SELF-RAISING FLOUR
- 2 TBSP MILK
- 4 LARGE STRAWBERRIES
- 1 STICK CHOPPED RHUBARB
- Start by putting all the crumble ingredients in a bowl and rub the mixture with your fingertips until a fine crumble has formed and set this aside
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees (fan)
- Line your muffin tin with paper cases
- Chop the rhubarb into small pieces and set aside
- Chop the strawberries into small pieces and set aside
- Cream the butter and sugar
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla
- Sift in the flour
- Fold in the strawberries and milk
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin wrappers
- Sprinkle the rhubarb over the top
- Scatter the crumble over the top, ensuring that no fruit can be seen
- Bake them for around 20-25 mins (you can test the muffin centres with a skewer to ensure they're cooked)
- Enjoy them warm from the oven for the best taste experience!
- If you're keeping some for another day, store them in an airtight container -- I always like to freshen up the muffins with around 10-15 seconds in the microwave :)
The weekend was so lovely. Mostly sunny, a little rainy and packed full of family fun. And an extra (bank holiday) day is always an added bonus :) And then today one of my boys felt too poorly for school so we decided to make something yummy to cheer him up!
The first time I made Monkey Bread it was a complete success in our house. All of the boys asked when I was going to make it again so I knew it was definitely a winner! Today we made a slightly different version and played around with one from the Australian Women's Weekly. It made me giggle that's it's in the category for "The Lazy Baker"! I'm not sure I agree it's for the lazy baker but it's a version of monkey bread that doesn't contain any yeast and you don't have a wait for a rise so I guess that could be considered a kind of lazy :) What I love about this is that the balls are filled with spiced apple making them soft and yummy on the inside whilst they have a crunchy sugary outside. Then once it's baked you top it with a delicious caramel sauce. Doesn't that all sound like absolute heaven?
I used a bundt tin to bake my bread. To ensure that it's baked all the way through, we need a pan with a tubular centre so a kugelhopf or bundt tin is ideal for this. The tin needs to be greased and then floured VERY well. As with all bundt tin bakes, I find the success is all about the greasing of the tin otherwise it's almost impossible to get it out of the tin in one piece. Once the tin is prepared, we make the apple. After peeling, coring and cutting up the apple into small pieces, it's brought to a simmer with water, cinnamon and allspice and then heated for ten minutes to become soft. Then set aside to cool down.
The dough is simple to prepare. We mix the flour and sugar and then rub in cold butter with your fingertips to get the consistency of breadcrumbs. Then add the buttermilk and cut it through the mixture until a dough is formed. We gently knead it for five minutes until it's a soft dough. Then weigh the dough and divide it into 14 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and then flatten it until it's an 8-10cm circle. Then we place a teaspoon of cooled (if it's too hot it melts the dough) apple sauce into the centre and pull the sides up around it, pinching them closed at the top. Each ball needs to be rolled in melted butter, then a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon and finally arranged in the tin in 2 rows - depending on your tin, around 6 balls at the base and then 7 on top.
No proving is required for this bread, so we pop it straight into the oven for 20 mins and then after covering it with foil, bake it for a further 15 minutes. When it's finished baking, it needs to be left in its tin for 30 minutes and then gently removed. You will need to loosen it from the sides with a palette knife and then gently turn it out onto a plate.
For the caramel sauce, I used the same recipe as for my Anzac Biscuits with Salted Caramel. We melt the golden syrup and sugar in a saucepan and then stir in the butter, cream and salt. This is then drizzled over the top of the bread.
This is a lovely bake that is especially yummy straight from the oven. The little balls taste like delicious doughnuts (with a gorgeous cinnamon sugar exterior) and are light inside with an extra special surprise of spiced apple. They are perfect for breakfast and brunch but would also be a great pudding for supper with friends.
I suspect that Monkey Bread will be staying a firm favourite in this house for years to come - and am looking forward to trying new flavour combos :)
Apple and Caramel Monkey Bread
adapted from Australian Women's Weekly Pecan & Apple Monkey Bread
Spiced Apple Ingredients
- 3 GRANNY SMITH APPLES
- 55G CASTER SUGAR
- 1 TBSP LIGHT BROWN DEMERARA SUGAR
- 1 TSP GROUND CINNAMON
- 1/4 TSP GROUND CLOVES
- 1 TBSP WATER
Monkey Bread Ingredients
- 450G SELF-RAISING FLOUR
- 2 TBSP CASTER SUGAR
- 40G COLD BUTTER (cut into little bits)
- 310ML BUTTERMILK
Cinnamon Sugar Coating Ingredients
- 90G BUTTER, MELTED
- 165G LIGHT BROWN DEMERARA SUGAR
- 1/2 TSP GROUND CINNAMON
Caramel Sauce Ingredients
- 100G LIGHT SOFT BROWN SUGAR
- 50G GOLDEN SYRUP
- 75G UNSALTED BUTTER
- 75ML DOUBLE CREAM
- 1 TSP SEA SALT
- First of all, grease your Bundt tin with butter and then a coating of flour over the top of the butter - it's very important to grease all the nooks and crannies of the bundt tin otherwise there's a good chance your final bread will stick to the tin and not come out in one piece!
- To make the Spiced Apple, peel, core and chop your apples into small pieces
- Place them in a saucepan with the sugars, spices and waters and bring to a simmer
- Cover, reduce the heat and cook for around 10 mins until soft
- Drain the liquid away and leave to cool
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees (fan)
- To make the Monkey Bread, put the flour and sugar into a bowl and stir to combine
- Add the cold, cubed butter and rub the butter into the flour until you have a breadcrumb texture
- Add the buttermilk and stir it through the flour with a knife until it comes together in a dough
- On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough the 5 minutes
- Weigh the dough and divide it equally into 14 pieces
- Take each piece, roll it into a ball and then flatten it into a disc around 8-10cm in diameter
- Place a teaspoon of cooled apple into the centre of each disc, pull the sides up around the apple sauce and then pinch the dough together at the top to seal the ball
- Do this for the rest of the balls
- To make the Cinnamon Sugar, mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small ball and also have your melted butter in another bowl next to it
- First dip each ball completely in the melted butter and then roll it in the cinnamon sugar so it's fully coated
- Arrange the coated balls in the tin in 2 rows - probably around 6 in the bottom and 7 on top
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes
- Place tin foil over the top of the tin and then bake a further 15 minutes
- Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 30 minutes
- Using a palette knife, gently loosen the sides of the bread from the tin and gently turn out onto a plate
- To make the Caramel Sauce, place the sugar and golden syrup in a small saucepan with a tablespoon of water
- Bring it just to the boil and then simmer for 3 minutes
- Add the butter, cream and sea salt in one go and stir for another minute until everything is melted and fully incorporated
- Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool at room temperature
- When you're ready to serve your Monkey Bread, drizzle it with the caramel sauce and then dust with icing sugar
- And enjoy :)
So there's this pan. We've had it for, oh, maybe ten years. It's been sat in a drawer at my parents' house, unloved, and I rediscovered it over easter. It makes Æbleskiver, Danish Pancake Puffs, which I have discovered today are, quite frankly, delicious! They are little light balls which can be filled with all sorts of flavours. The possibilities for flavour combinations are endless but the ones I'm making are filled with mascarpone and lemon cream which is tangy, fresh and decidedly yummy.
If there's one person that's possibly even more addicted to baking and cooking ware and gadgets than me, it's my mum! When they spent a decade out in Toronto, we discovered our love for Williams-Sonoma and my mum used to get drawn into all the in-store demos and come home laden with all the necessary kitchenware and ingredients required to make them at home. Cue, the Æbleskiver pan. I secretly love the hordes of different cooking bits and bobs she's gathered over the years!
Making these pancakes was a voyage into the unknown as I haven't made or tasted them before. The batter and filling are simple to make; the cooking of them takes a little more technique! We start by making the Lemon and Mascarpone Cream which is as simple as it sounds -- equal amounts of mascarpone and lemon curd beaten together for a few minutes until smooth and creamy, then refrigerated until you're ready to cook the pancakes. I would make this to taste and would have an even tangier lemon cream next time as it's one of my favourite flavours.
The pancake batter is again an easy recipe using buttermilk. First of all, the dry ingredients are mixed together in a bowl. Then the egg yolks are lightly beaten in a separate bowl and the buttermilk whisked into the egg mixture. This is added to the dry ingredients and mixed until combined. You get a rather lumpy mixture so don't fear if you don't have something beautifully smooth at this stage!
As I whisked the egg white to stiff peaks, my batter puffed up in its bowl and then I added the egg whites in 2 stages, stirring through with a metal spoon. We're almost ready to make the pancakes but first need to melt some butter for your pan.
The process moves pretty quickly now, especially if you have different measuring spoons trying to get everything into the pan in order. First of all, you pop 1/2 tsp melted butter into each pan cavity and wait for it to bubble. Then add 1 tbsp batter, top it with 1/2 tsp lemon cream and then finally cover it with another 1 tbsp batter. This is all quite fiddly and I had the heat up too high for the first batch so trying to get all of these different elements into the pan before I needed to flip each ball was all very hectic.
I abandoned the spoons for the second batch and popped the batter and lemon cream into two separate piping bags. Much simpler! I also turned the heat down to low so the whole process felt much calmer :) After you've added your two lots of batter and cream to each cavity, after 3-4 minutes the balls should be ready to flip. When we make regular pancakes, we always wait for the first few bubbles to appear on the surface so we know we're ready to flip them and these little balls were the same. They're also pretty easy to slide around and check how well cooked they are underneath. I spun them round with the aid of two teaspoons but you can use cocktail sticks if you prefer.
They come out of the pan very easily and after you transfer them to a plate, liberally sprinkle them with icing sugar to make them look really pretty.
I read up on whether you need to invest in one of these pans to make the pancake balls and the unfortunate answer is that you do if you want the ball shape which after all, makes them pretty cute. Although you probably won't be making lots of different creations with this pan, the flavour combos are endless and I'm already dreaming up both sweet and savoury ideas for them :)
I squirrelled away a few of them for hubby tonight and just thought I'd check out whether they're still good cold and I am very pleased to confirm that they absolutely are -- think doughnut texture and super yummy!
My boys and I have already come up with our next few flavour combos - stay tuned ;-)
Lemon & Mascarpone Pancakes
adapted from Williams Sonoma's Lemon-Mascarpone Filled Pancakes
Makes around 20 pancake balls
- 80G MASCARPONE
- 80G LEMON CURD
- 250G PLAIN FLOUR
- 3/4 TSP BICARBONATE OF SODA
- 1 TSP BAKING POWDER
- 1.5 TBSP CASTER SUGAR
- 1/2 TSP SALT
- 1/2 LEMON, ZEST ONLY
- 3 EGGS, SEPARATED
- 420ML BUTTERMILK
- 100G MELTED BUTTER
- ICING SUGAR, TO DECORATE
- To make the Lemon & Mascarpone Cream, put the mascarpone and lemon curd into the bowl of a freestanding mixer and beat for around 3 minutes until smooth
- Cover and refrigerate until you're ready to make the pancakes
- Place all the dry ingredients (flour, bicarb, baking powder, caster sugar, salt and lemon zest) into a bowl and stir to combine
- Put the egg yolks in a separate bowl and whisk lightly
- Add the buttermilk and again whisk lightly until combined
- Whisk the egg and buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients until combined - you will have a thick and lumpy mixture at this stage
- Whisk the egg whites to stiff peak
- Gently fold the egg whites into the batter in two additions and ensure that the mixture is all combined
- Place the batter and the lemon cream into two separate piping bags
- Melt the butter
- Place the pan on a low heat and add a teaspoon of butter to each cavity
- When the butter is bubbling gently, add around 1 tbsp batter into each cavity
- Then insert the tip of the lemon cream bag gently into the top of the batter and add 1/2 teaspoon cream
- Cover this with another tablespoon of batter
- When little bubbles start to appear on the surface of the batter, it's time to flip them gently using 2 teaspoons to help rotate them
- Cook the other side for around another 3 minutes
- It's easy to rotate the pancake balls in their cavity so you can check that you're happy they're cooked all around
- When cooked, gently remove them from the pan and transfer to a plate
- Sprinkle them with icing sugar
- They are best eaten warm but are also yummy cold so be sure to make up a whole batch and you can eat them later for a sweet snack :)
Do you ever walk into a cafe and see the wonderful display of cakes and muffins and think, "I could make that?" I'm always wondering how I could make the things I see every day and have been wanting to try crustless quiches for some time. So today I got to rustling them up for my lunch. Think of them as a crustless quiche or eggy muffin -- they're a cross between the two, I think.
They can be made with the ingredients you yourself love or whatever you have to hand. I wanted to make mine from broccoli, ricotta and feta as the main flavours. The mixture takes ten minutes to make and then they bake for thirty minutes in the oven so are super quick to turn around. They are perfect for a simple supper served with a salad or a lingering brunch with friends. I was so in love with them, I just ate two, but sssshhh -- just our little secret!
Experiments often don't work out the way you want the first time, but these are perfectly delicious. I only made three but have scaled up the mixture below to make six. You can make as many as you like but work with one egg per muffin and scale accordingly. I started by cutting the broccoli into tiny florets and put them in the base of the muffin holes -- when they're cut so small they cook perfectly and come out lovely and tender. Then the egg mixture is made with egg and ricotta, whisked until they're smooth and then seasoned with a little salt and pepper to taste. On top of the broccoli, I put some crumbled feta and the poured over the egg mixture. Then on the surface of them, I gently placed a few more pieces of feta and a couple of dollops more of ricotta -- and sprinkled them with chives. They bake for thirty minutes and arrive from the oven all lofty and puffed up. They quickly deflate which is no problem as these are quiches and not soufflés and I served mine warm from the oven.
I'm often eating scraps for lunch whilst everyone is away at school and work and it's sometimes difficult to feel inspired.
When these are so simple to make and with so few ingredients, it's not difficult to give yourself a treat now and again, is it?
Broccoli and Feta Crustless Quiche
Makes 6 muffin quiches
- 6 EGGS
- 270G RICOTTA CHEESE
- 180G FETA CHEESE
- 120G BROCCOLI (broken into tiny florets)
- CHIVES (chopped, to taste)
- SALT & PEPPER (to taste)
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees (fan)
- Whisk the eggs and 240g of the ricotta in a bowl until smooth -- place the remaining ricotta to one side
- Season with salt and pepper
- Place the small pieces of broccoli in the bottom of each muffin hole
- Crumble 120g of the feta evenly in each muffin hole on top of the broccoli -- place the remaining 60g to one side
- Pour the egg mixture evenly into muffin cavity
- Gently place the remaining ricotta and feta on the surface of each muffin
- Place gently into the oven and bake for 30 minutes
- The muffins should be golden brown and well risen
- Eat immediately :)
Who's excited about Pancake Day? Our boys are so excited and I just know we'll be making them pancakes for breakfast, they'll get them at school and will demand them for dinner too! We are huge pancake fans in this house -- the boys would eat them every day if they could but we restrict them to once or twice a week. This is a different kind of pancake -- possibly my new favourite kind -- that I've been trying out in advance of the big day in a couple of weeks.
Ever had a Dutch Baby? Making pancakes generally means hubby standing at the stove flipping a neverending supply of them onto our plates and our boys can eat a LOT of pancakes. After about 20 minutes, they declare they're full and he finally gets to eat his share. So if breakfast time is similar in your house and you haven't tried a Dutch Baby, this scenario will melt into the background. Cue one giant pancake, extremely filling, that you bake in the oven and then you all get to eat it together with your favourite toppings. Especially a cute little recipe for Maple Pecan Butter that is simply to die for. Looking good?
So I think I've said once or twice on here that Pumpkin is one of my favourite ingredients. I know it's more autumnal than winter, but when the weather is bleak outside, you need something to cheer you up and pumpkin makes a very filling and hearty ingredient (plus it's a vegetable so that must get a big tick!) I first fell in love with pumpkin when we used to visit my parents in Toronto and bought tins of Pumpkin Waffle mix from Williams-Sonoma. They are the best. But you can only get it around Halloween in their stores and we don't have the opportunity to travel to Canada right now. So I decided to bring the Pumpkin to a Dutch Baby and I promise you, this is amazing - the Pumpkin Dutch Baby with Maple Pecan Butter.
So if you're going the full mile and making the Maple Pecan Butter too (and I seriously suggest you put in the effort as it transforms the dish) you'll start the day before you plan to eat. I had some maple butter years ago in a London breakfast cafe with waffles and it was amazing. The consistency is very smooth and soft -- I refrigerated mine as I wanted the butter a little harder and this worked but it does soften up relatively fast once out of the fridge. I thought it would be as simple as softening some butter and adding the maple syrup and pecans and it is a bit more complicated than that -- but not too much! You do need a candy thermometer as you first need to gently heat the maple syrup and cinnamon stick to soft ball stage (240 degrees), then remove it from the heat, remove the cinnamon stick and add the butter. Then transfer it to a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment for 8 to 10 minutes. It will transform pretty quickly -- I wasn't happy with the consistency after 8 minutes (not firm enough) and less than 2 minutes later it had completely transformed so do keep an eye on it. Mix through the pecans and pop it on to some clingfilm and roll it into a sausage shape. Then refrigerate until you need it but mine had around 24 hours in the fridge. The ratios of the ingredients are 2:1 maple syrup:butter if you want to upscale it and make more. It keeps for around 2 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge.
The Pumpkin Dutch Baby itself it very straightforward. Think making pancakes and it's a one bowl and one skillet recipe. All of the ingredients go in the one bowl to be beaten. The one things to remember is that the eggs and milk need to be at room temperature. The skillet is heated in the oven so it's very hot, then the butter added and finally the batter. Then popped back in the oven for around 15-20 minutes. The outsides should be puffed and golden; the insides more of a custardy consistency. When you plan to serve this, it's best to have everyone sat ready at the table as it can deflate quickly -- so it's out of the oven, toppings on and onto the table in a couple of minutes to have the full effect.
This is delicious. The inside is like a pudding | custard and I love the orange tinge that the pumpkin brings to it. As the Dutch Baby itself doesn't have sugar or sweeteners in it, it does need lovely, sweet toppings. Mine had the Maple Pecan Butter, extra pecans, icing sugar and maple syrup to crown it -- you don't need all of these (I think it would be delicious with caramelised banana or lemon and sugar or just maple syrup or honey) but it's one of those dishes you really want to dress to impress.
And the great thing about a Dutch Baby is that if you think of it just like a pancake, you can make up your own variations with fruit inside the batter (apples, strawberries, bananas, blueberries) and really get creative.
If you fancy another alternative creation for the big day, you could also check out this fabulous Dulce De Leche & Mascarpone Crêpe Cake -- Dutch Baby for breakfast and Crêpe Cake for tea, anyone?!
I hope you all have a wonderful Pancake Day next week and would to hear what you're baking to celebrate :) xoxo
Maple Pecan Butter
adapted from Martha Stewart's Maple Butter
- 232G MAPLE SYRUP
- 166G BUTTER
- 15G PECANS, ROUGHLY CHOPPED
- 1 CINNAMON STICK
- Place the maple syrup and cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan and heat gently until it reaches 240 degrees (soft ball stage) - this should take around 10-15 minutes and it's important to keep this on a gentle heat for that time
- Remove from the heat, remove the cinnamon stick and stir in the butter until it's melted
- Transfer it to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat on low at first (to save splashing it everywhere), then gradually increase to a medium speed
- Keep beating for around 8 - 10 minutes but keep an eye on it from 8 minutes as it does change consistency very quickly - you're looking for it to turn opaque and have a smooth consistency
- Stir through the pecans
- Place onto a piece of clingfilm and roll it up into a sausage shape
- Refrigerate until set - mine was prepared 24 hours before I used it
Pumpkin Dutch Baby
- 3 LARGE EGGS at room temperature
- 170ML MILK (semi-skimmed or whole) at room temperature
- 150G PLAIN FLOUR
- 3 TBSP PUMPKIN PUREE
- 1 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT
- 1/4 TSP SALT
- 1 TSP PUMPKIN SPICE
- 15g BUTTER
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees (fan)
- Put the skillet into the oven and heat for at least 10 minutes
- Meanwhile, mix together all the ingredients (except for the butter) in a bowl with a whisk until smooth
- When the skillet's ready, remove from the oven and add the butter ensuring that the melted butter coats the bottom and sides of the skillet
- Immediately add the batter to the skillet and bake for around 15 minutes
- The Dutch Pancake is ready when the sides are golden and slightly puffed and the middle is a custard consistency
- Remove from the oven, add slices of Maple Pecan Butter, chopped pecans (toasted if preferred), maple syrup and icing sugar (or your preferred toppings)
- Serve immediately and enjoy with a huge smile on your face :)
- Happy Pancake Day!!
There are times when I wish our senses could transcend the written word. Like right now. If you could smell the warm, sweet, maple syrupy smell coming from my kitchen at this moment, you'd be in love. Just like me. And it doesn't just smell good - the taste is even better!
This Maple Syrup Monkey Bread is gorgeously squidgy. It has its first blanket of maple syrup when it's just out of the oven and then another one a few minutes later when it's turned out on the plate. I think mine looks like it's swimming in it :)
The recipe comes from James Martin's Sweet which I highly recommend if you're looking for lots of sweet delights to bake. I love James Martin and his recipes (whether from this book or his other savoury ones) always turn out brilliantly. They're easy to follow and always work. Win win. And there are lots of beautiful photos to inspire you!
This is simple to make but, as with all bread, you do need a little patience for the proving. The dough itself is straightforward - the milk is warmed in a saucepan, the yeast is added and then it's mixed with breadcrumbs made from flour, sugar, salt and butter. I mixed the breadcrumbs by hand but then I used my standalone mixer and dough hook to combine all the ingredients. You can work the dough by hand if you don't have this equipment - it will just take you 15 minutes rather than the 5 minutes with the dough hook. But you get bonus points for giving your arm muscles a workout!
When the dough is tacky to the touch, it's put into a bowl, covered and left for around 2 hours in a warm place until doubled in size. When it's ready, butter a 23cm savarin mold. I didn't have one of these so I used an 8 inch cake tin. You're going to make 30-35 dough balls with your dough so weigh the dough and then work out how much each dough ball should weigh. I kept my scales to hand and weighed out each amount of dough and then formed it into little balls. Then each ball is dipped into melted butter and rolled in a mixture of demerara sugar and cinnamon. By the time I formed my last ball the sugar was a complete gunky mess, clumped together with the butter, but keep going. Then place the balls into your cake tin. My bottom row was 2 balls wide (leaving a hole in the middle as it would have with a savarin mold) and then 1 circle of balls on the top layer.
The dough is left to prove again, lightly covered with some oiled clingfilm, for around 45 minutes. I generally leave my dough to prove for the second time overnight which I did with this bake but you need to ensure that you don't leave it in too warm a place as the butter will melt. I found that happened a little with mine (it didn't affect the final outcome as far as I can tell) but I suggest you place it on a baking tray when proving otherwise you might get a sticky trail when you come to pick it up!
When you're ready to bake it, preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Bake it on the baking tray for around 25 minutes until it's golden brown. I did find that the the middle hole disappeared as it baked and because I wasn't using a savarin mold, the middle dough balls underneath aren't cooked quite as well as the outer ones, so a savarin mold is preferable if you have one to hand, but not absolutely necessary.
When it's out of the oven, it's coated with 100 ml of maple syrup, left for 2 minutes and then turned out on a plate. Mine was pretty sticky and did try to come apart when being lifted from the tin to plate but I managed to get it there in one piece. It's crucial that you remove it from its tin this quickly. Then it's bathed in another 100ml maple syrup.
It is a thing of beauty. Simply delicious and especially good straight from the oven.
I'm looking forward to trying other variations of Monkey Bread but wanted to try this one first. We are firm maple syrup lovers in this house so I know it will be a big hit when the boys come home.
If there's any left by the time the boys come home ;-)
Maple Syrup Monkey Bread
from James Martin's Sweet
- 300ML MILK
- 500G STRONG BREAD FLOUR (plus extra for dusting)
- 75G CASTER SUGAR
- 5G FINE SEA SALT
- 50G SOFTENED BUTTER (plus extra for greasing your tin)
- 2 TSP FAST-ACTION DRIED YEAST
- 200ML MAPLE SYRUP
- 250G DEMERARA SUGAR
- 1 TBSP CINNAMON
- 200G MELTED BUTTER
- Gently warm the milk in a saucepan until it's warm but not boiling
- Place the flour, sugar and salt in a standalone mixer with a dough hook and mix to combine
- Add the butter and mix together until you have the consistency of fine breadcrumbs - I did this by rubbing it between my fingertips
- Then sprinkle the yeast over the warmed milk and add to the breadcrumb mixture
- Mix together with a dough hook on your standalone mixer on a medium speed for around 5 minutes
- The dough should be soft, sticky and shiny and tacky to the touch but definitely not dry
- Place the dough in a bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave it to prove for 1-2 hours until it's risen, spongy and doubled in size
- Then butter your savarin mold (23cm) or cake tin (20cm)
- Turn out your dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 1 minute
- Weigh the dough and divide it by 35 and then make 35 dough balls of equal size
- Mix the demerara sugar and cinnamon in a bowl
- Dip each dough ball into the melted butter and then coat in the sugar mixture
- Place it in the mold/baking tin - I had enough for 2 circles (one inside the other) on the bottom of the tin, leaving a hole in the middle, and then another circle on top
- Cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to prove in a warm place (not too warm though otherwise the butter will melt) for 45 minutes until the dough is well risen - I left mine overnight
- When you're ready to bake them, preheat the oven to 180 degrees
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until the balls are golden brown
- Remove from the oven and immediately coat the balls with 100ml maple syrup
- After 2 minutes, remove the monkey bread from the tin and place onto a plate - it's important to do this now otherwise the bread will stick to the tin and be very difficult to remove without breaking
- Once on a plate, bathe the monkey bread in another 100ml maple syrup
- And enjoy (but not so much that you eat the entire thing in one sitting!!)
So I loved the last, my first, brioche that I made. But I've read about other ways of proving this lovely sweet dough and wanted to try a different recipe. I saw a Pin for this lovely Raspberry Swirl Brioche from Hint Of Vanilla which drew me in and although it has more stages than my last brioche, I knew I wanted to try this one next.
This recipe uses very exact quantities of ingredients, in particular the eggs which need to be weighed. The first addition was around 2 eggs. The mixing of initial ingredients is all very straightforward, but then it came to full gluten development (* this is when you stretch a little dough between 2 fingers and it should be so elastic that you can see through it without it breaking) I wasn't sure how long this would take and it actually took around 15 - 20 minutes in a mixer with the dough hook to get there. This heats up the mixture so after the final egg addition, I measured the temperature and it was 25 degrees (needs to be less than 27 degrees).
The fermenting was again pretty straightforward and then I transferred the dough to the fridge. The recipe suggest between 1 and 12 hours - I left mine for around 1.5 hours. When it came out of the fridge it's rolled into a rectangle and covered with a gorgeous Raspberry Smear. Now this smear is absolutely delicious. A raspberry flavoured butter that is rich and creamy. Megan made her smear with powdered raspberry and since I didn't have any of this I used a tube of freeze-dried raspberries that I blitzed in the food processor (then sieving the powder to remove the remaining raspberry seeds) and mixed this with butter, sugar and lemon juice. I also didn't have vanilla sugar so I just used regular caster sugar.
Then it came to the plaiting. I was to leave 2 inches at the top (which I measured!) but I think I should have cut it a little higher as I didn't get the raspberry ribbons successfully through that part; and also I should have plaited it much tighter as Megan's raspberry ribbons are really visible and mine not so much. When it proves again for the final time, Megan suggest 1.5 - 2 hours until it's doubled in size. I check mine after a few hours and it hadn't risen too much so I left it overnight and it had a lovely rise by the morning. I also see the added benefit of this is that you can bake it fresh for breakfast and eat it warm from the oven. Yum :)
I also forgot to glaze the brioche with egg wash before going in the oven. Doh! (or should that be *dough*!!) I didn't get the usual lovely shiny top customary of a brioche but I will not forget my egg wash next time! Also a warning that you do really need to let it cool a little before trying to get it out of the tray. If mine (tin-less) looks a little misshapen it's because I decided I needed it out of the tin the moment it was from the oven which also meant it collapsed a little...
This brioche was absolutely delicious. So delicious that I'm thinking of making another one this week. Hmmm...what flavour combinations to try next? Or maybe just a plain simple brioche that everyone can dress as they like. The possibilities are endless.
In my quest to perfect my bread-making, I am going to keep reading up on brioche recipes but this one is definitely a keeper :)
Raspberry Swirl Brioche (from Hint Of Vanilla)
- 335G BREAD FLOUR
- 9G SALT
- 50G SUGAR
- 4G INSTANT DRIED YEAST
- 78G WHOLE MILK AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
- 135G EGGS AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
- 2G VANILLA EXTRACT
- 170G UNSALTED BUTTER (this needs to be softened slightly so it's pliable, but if it's too soft you should refrigerate it again)
- 100g UNSALTED BUTTER AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
- 7G RASPBERRY POWDER (I used a tube of freeze dried raspberries that I blitzed in the blender although this only made 5g raspberry powder)
- 30G VANILLA SUGAR (or regular caster sugar)
½ LEMON, JUICED
- Combine the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a bowl
- In a mixer, combine the milk, vanilla extract and 117 g of the eggs and stir to combine
- Pour the dry ingredients on top and mix on low speed until just incorporated
- Add 1/3 of the butter and switch the mixer to medium speed
- Ensure the butter is fully incorporated and add the next 1/3 butter
- Repeat with the final 1/3 butter
- Continue to mix until full gluten development is achieved*
- Add the remaining 18g of egg and mix until just incorporated (keep the remaining egg for the egg wash before baking)
- Check the temperature doesn't exceed 27 degrees (insert a thermometer in the middle and check this)
- Remove the dough and place on a lightly floured surface, cover it with plastic wrap and leave it to ferment for 45 mins
- Transfer the dough to a baking tray lined with silpat or greaseproof paper, wrap it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 - 12 hours.
- To make the Raspberry Smear, mix all the ingredients together until you get a smooth pinkish butter
- Grease a bread tin
- Roll out the brioche into a rectangle 12 inches by 6 inches, keeping it all as straight as possible
- Cover the whole surface with the Raspberry Smear
- Tightly roll the brioche from the long side and trim both ends
- Cut the dough in half along the length leaving around 2 inches at one end
- Twist the two lengths so the cut sides are facing up
- Gently braid the dough by putting the left-hand one over the right, then keep repeating until you get to the end of the dough and press the end together
- Carefully tuck the ends of the loaf under and put it in the bread tin
- Cover with plastic wrap and let it prove the bread for 1.5 - 2 hours until doubled in size (or leave overnight) in a cool place
- When you're ready to bake it, preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius
- Brush the top of the brioche with eggwash
- Bake the loaf for 16 minutes then lower the temperature to 160 degrees and bake for around 30 minutes until the loaf is golden all over
- Remove from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes
- Transfer to a cooling rack and let it cool completely
- Try not to eat it all at once!!
I really wanted to make brioche. It's one of my favourite breads. But I'm always a little nervous of bread. Making it, that is. I've faced my inner demons and made this and this but I still take a deep breath every time I embark on a new bread project. Still, I decided I wanted to make brioche and found this delicious Chocolate & Hazelnut Pull-Apart Brioche from Butter and Brioche. Thalia photographs her bakes perfectly and has really detailed instructions on how to make everything so I just love following her blog.
The dough recipe is pretty straightforward. Making the initial dough is a 2 step process and then the butter is added giving it the richness you'd expect from brioche. I used my standalone mixer and dough hook to get me to the stage when I was ready to roll out. The brioche dough looked as I expected it to but I found it really sticky when I was to roll it out. Thalia suggests that the work surface should be lightly floured but I found that I needed much more flour (probably too much) to be able to keep the dough moving. When the dough is shaped into a rectangle, it is then spread with Nutella (yum) and sprinkled with hazelnuts. The original recipe adds extra chocolate chips here which I didn't use, but I think it would work with and without.
The cutting of the dough requires some precision but is at the same time fairly forgiving. You cut the rectangle into long strips and place them on top of each other. Then cut this thin tower into equal squares and stack them in the tin. I had a little bit left over which I squeezed down the side and as it's tear and share bread, it just merges into the one loaf (why I say it's pretty forgiving). Then we leave this to prove and then bake it in the oven. Now the original recipe says that it will increase in volume during proving until it's above the top of the tin. Mine didn't rise that much but I decided that I would still put it in the oven after the 1½ hours so mine looks a little flatter than Thalia's lovely loaf.
There are other brioche recipes I'd like to try but this was a great recipe to start with. I love naked brioche with jam for breakfast but the Nutella adds an extra richness. I'm not a huge fan of the chocolate spread but I think it works really well here. I might, in fact, reduce the amount of hazelnuts and add in the chocolate chips next time as well as the Nutella.
I love tear and share bread. It's really convivial to have sharing platters of food and long lunches or dinners with good friends. I haven't had a sharing sweet bread before and this is a wonderfully yummy one for my initiation.
This would be a lovely (naughty) addition to the breakfast table but I would love to share this for brunch with family and friends. Can't wait to make this again :)
Chocolate and Hazelnut Brioche (from Butter and Brioche)
- 240G PLAIN FLOUR
- 25G CASTER SUGAR
- 5G SALT
- 7G INSTANT YEAST
- 70ML MILK
- 2 EGGS + 1 EGG YOLK (these need to be at room temperature)
- 125G BUTTER, CUBED (this needs to be at room temperature)
- 160G (½ CUP) NUTELLA
- 75G CHOPPED HAZELNUTS
- 1 EGG YOLK WHISKED WITH 2 TBSP MILK
- Optional: 90G DARK CHOCOLATE CHIPS
- Place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a standalone mixer with a dough hook
- Combine the ingredients on a slow speed
- Add the milk and eggs and mix on slow for 2 minutes
- Increase the speed to medium and mix for 6-8 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth and elastic
- Add the cubed butter piece by piece and mix until it's all fully incorporated in the dough which should take around 5 minutes
- Make sure that the butter is properly distributed throughout the dough, scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure it's all mixed together well
- On a lightly floured surface, place the dough and roll into a rectangle, roughly 30cm by 40cm (you need to be able to move the dough around so ensure it's not sticking to the surface by dusting the surface with more flour if necessary)
- Spread the Nutella across the dough and then sprinkle the hazelnuts across the surface - this is where you would add the optional chocolate chips from the Ingredients list
- Cut the dough into 6 long strips (lengthwise) and then place them on top of each other so you have a long, tall stack
- Cut the stack into 6 even squares
- Place the squares side by side in the baking tin, filling it 2/3 full
- Brush the surface of the loaf with the egg yolk mixed with milk
- Leave it to rise in a warm area for 1½ hours until the dough has puffed up and risen above the top of the tin and there should be a "skin" when touched lightly
- Once risen, pre-heat the oven to 180C degrees and bake for 20 to 30 minutes (mine took around 25 mins) but you want a skewer inserted in the middle to come out clean (if during baking, it looks like it's browning too quickly, you can cover the top with foil)
- When it's cooked and out of the oven, leave for 5 mins in the tin and then turn it out onto a rack to cook
- Enjoy :)
Hello! We're back and after a few days of jet lag and the worst cold and crazy party planning for my littlest's 5th birthday party at the weekend, today I made the yummiest chocolate brownie creation - in my waffle iron!
It made me giggle last week when I read an article somewhere about epic pinterest fails - and one of them being the chocolate cakes (or was it cookies?) in the waffle iron. But why should that stop me having a go?Read More