Super excited to join this year's #virtualpumpkinparty!! With so many delicious recipes to try, I'm sad it's a *virtual* party and we're not all coming together to actually eat this pumpkin-fest! Here's my Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake -- a beautiful rich cheesecake with layers of both pumpkin and chocolate cheesecakes on a crunchy bourbon biscuit base :)Read More
I love the colours and flavours of this wonderful Hokkaido Pumpkin Soup. Dress it up with some roasted pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of pumpkin oil and you have a stylish autumnal supper for all the family :)Read More
Perfect clouds of marshmallow fluffiness spiced with a hint of pumpkin to welcome the start of autumn!Read More
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!!
So a little late for Thanksgiving, but definitely not too late to indulge in this year, comes the Spiced Pumpkin Pie. There are two reasons why I love this. The first, is that it contains my beloved autumnal favourite - the pumpkin. Definitely one reason to welcome in the autumn after the warm, hazy days of summer. And the other is that the first time I tasted Pumpkin Pie, it came from Williams Sonoma, one of my very favorite shops (sadly contained Stateside) - and I loved it so much, I was hooked. So it seemed only fitting that the first time I tried my hand at this, it should be a Williams Sonoma recipe.
This is actually very simple to make and consists first of making and chilling your very own pie dough and then creating a rich creamy pumpkin filling spiced with cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. I mean, what's not to love?
In the UK, the pumpkin pie recipes tend to lean towards a sweet shortcrust pastry but an American friend reliably informed me that genuine article pumpkin crust tends to be more crumbly and flakey. So I used the (American) Williams Sonoma recipe for Pie Dough which you can make in a standalone mixer - even better! Fit your mixer with the paddle attachment, then mix together flour, sugar and salt. Next add cubed butter in one go, ensuring that you toss the butter through the flour to coat it before turning the mixer on. Mix it on low to medium speed until it forms coarse breadcrumbs where the butter is no larger than peas. Add 3 tablespoons of cold water and mix again until the dough comes together, around 30 seconds.
With this pie dough, you're going to roll it out and line the tin before you refrigerate it which is a little different from the usual method of chilling the pastry before you roll it out. So put the dough ball onto a lightly floured surface and press down with your hand to form a large disc. Roll it out to around 30 cm and then carefully transfer it to your tin. I found it pretty robust at this stage so it didn't tear or rip. Then gently press the bottom edges around the inside base of the tin and the sides, ensuring that you are pressing it into the sides. When you've finished with this, my method of cutting off the unwanted pastry is to roll my rolling pin across the top to cut off the edges (although this pastry is prone to a little shrinkage so you could cut off the excess pastry after baking if you prefer.
This is when the pastry needs to be chilled. About a hour or so should do it and if you need it be ready faster, you could pop it in the freezer. After it's chilled, preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line your pastry shell with tin foil, ensuring that the foil covers the top edges and hangs over the side and then it fill it with pastry weights or rice. Bake this for 20 minutes in the oven and then peek under the foil. As it's going to be baked again and will turn golden brown then, you're just looking for it to lose its wetness and the pastry to turn a light golden brown. This should take 20-30 minutes.
In the meantime, whilst your pastry is partially baking, it's time to make the pumpkin filling. Again, it couldn't be easier. First whisk the eggs and dark brown sugar until smooth. Then add the rest of the ingredients and beat together until smooth.
When the pastry is ready, remove the foil and weights and then fill with the pumpkin filling. You may find it easier to place your pie tin on a baking tray to make it easier to get in and out of the oven. Bake in the lower third of the oven for around 30 - 40 minutes checking regularly as you approach the 30 minutes. You want to ensure that it doesn't crack but the filling needs to be slightly risen and firm in the middle.
Then leave to cool on a cooling rack or eat slightly warm.
It is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. It has a consistency a little like an egg custard but lovely spiced flavours and a creamy richness from the pumpkin and cream.
I love it. Like I said, don't fret if you've missed thanksgiving but break tradition and make this as a yummy pud after Sunday lunch. Or supper with friends.
You won't regret it :)
Spiced Pumpkin Pie (from Williams-Sonoma's Pie & Tart)
- 200G PLAIN FLOUR
- 1 TBSP CASTER SUGAR
- 1/4 TSP SALT
- 125G COLD BUTTER, CUBED
- 3 TBSP VERY COLD WATER
Spiced Pumpkin Filling
- 105G DARK BROWN SUGAR
- 2 LARGE EGGS
- 1 TSP GROUND CINNAMON
- 1 TSP GROUND GINGER
- 1/2 TSP SALT
- 1/4 TSP GROUND CLOVES
- 1/4 TSP GROUND NUTMEG
- 250G CANNED OR FRESH PUMPKIN PUREE
- 375ML DOUBLE CREAM
- Firstly make the Pie Dough by putting the flour, sugar and salt into a bowl and stirring to mix the ingredients together
- Then add the butter in one go, tossing the butter in the flour until every piece has a light covering
- Put the mixer on low to medium speed until the mixture ressembles coarse breadcrumbs, where the butter pieces are no larger than peas
- Then add the water and mix briefly until the dough comes together, around 30 seconds
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and press down with your hand to form a large disc
- Roll it out to around 30 cm and then carefully transfer it to your tin
- Gently press the bottom edges around the inside base of the tin and the sides, ensuring that you are pressing it into the sides
- Roll your rolling pin across the top to cut off the edges
- Chill your pastry for around an hour
- Then preheat the oven to 180 degrees
- Line your pastry shell with tin foil, ensuring that the foil covers the top edges and hangs over the side and then it fill it with pastry weights or rice
- Bake it for 20 minutes in the oven and then peek under the foil until it loses its wetness and turns a light golden brown (takes around 20-30 minutes)
- Meanwhile, make the Spiced Pumpkin Filling
- Whisk together the eggs and dark sugar until smooth
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix again until smooth
- When the pastry shell is ready, fill with the pumpkin mixture
- Bake in the lower third of the oven for around 30 - 40 minutes until the pumpkin filling is slightly risen and set in the middle
- Remove from the oven and cool it on a cooling rack
- Enjoy cold, slightly warm or with whipped cream :)
Much as I want to cling onto the last rays of summer, I think there can be no disputing that autumn is definitely here and every hope of an Indian summer is fading fast. However, I do not despair! Autumn brings with it its own richness and flavours. I have an abundance of apples and quince from a friend that are begging to be transformed into something scrumptious; a pile of recipes for delicious looking soup; and today I couldn't resist bringing back my favourite autumnal flavour. Pumpkin.
It's been a busy few weeks planning and making celebration cakes (see my Jimmy Choo Cake here and Laser Tag Cake here) and I haven't been able to do everyday baking just for us. But I've been desperate to treat us to some mini doughnuts and I'm hoping that the use of pumpkin in these counts as one of our five a day :) And these are baked doughnuts rather than fried so are healthier in this respect too.
They're made from a simple cake batter which has pumpkin in it and I also use a pumpkin pie spice to add flavour - I use Clubhouse Pumpkin Pie Spice which we picked up in Canada a while ago but you could use a mix of cinnamon and cloves or allspice according to taste. The recipe is very straightforward where you mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another and then mix the two together. I have a couple of KitchenAid Doughnut pans (6 holes per pan) and I piped the batter in a ring in each hole.
They only take 10 minutes to cook and then the trick to giving them the doughnut crust is to brush the tops with melted butter and then gently roll the buttered part in a mix of sugar and cinnamon. It works best if you just lightly brush them with butter because if they're soaked it tends to seep through the sugar. And you need to do this when they're just out of the oven.
They're best served straight from the oven, lovely and warm, and eaten on the day they're made. As they're mini doughnuts, they kind of call out to you to keep eating them so there's not a great chance they'd last longer than a day in your house!
The boys loved them. They didn't raise an eyebrow at the mention of pumpkin and declared them delicious, begging for their third one as an after school treat.
I haven't shown hubby yet. I don't think there's any chance they'll last longer than 5 mins when he sets his sights on them :)
Mini Pumpkin Doughnuts Makes around 20 mini doughnuts (adapted from Baking Bites Pumpkin Donut Muffins)
- 200G PLAIN FLOUR
- 1 TSP BAKING POWDER
- 1/4 TSP SALT
- 2 TSP PUMPKIN SPICE
- 115G BUTTER, MELTED
- 70G LIGHT BROWN SUGAR
- 100G CASTER SUGAR
- 1 LARGE EGG
- 115G PUMPKIN PUREE (I use Libby's tinned pumpkin puree)
- 1 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT
- 120ML SEMI-SKIMMED MILK
Cinnamon Sugar Ingredients
- 30G MELTED BUTTER
- 100G CASTER SUGAR
- 1 TSP CINNAMON
- Preheat the oven to 180 dregrees (fan)
- Melt the butter for the doughnut and set aside to cool for 5 mins
- In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice
- In a separate bowl, whisk the melted butter, sugars, egg, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract and milk
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until combined
- Put the batter into a piping bag
- Pipe a ring of batter into each doughnut hole (be careful not to over-fill them as you don't want them rising up and the centre hole closing up
- Bake for 10 mins in the oven (check with a toothpick that it comes out clean when inserted into the doughnuts)
- Leave them aside for a couple of minutes to cool slightly
- Melt the butter for the Cinnamon Sugar topping
- Mix the caster sugar and cinnamon on a plate
- Turn the doughnuts out of their tins and then lightly brush the tops with melted butter
- Roll the buttered side lightly in the cinnamon sugar until well coated
- Leave aside to cool - or eat them as they are!
I've been reading a lot about Hemsley & Hemsley at the moment. It seems like they're everywhere! A friend was telling me about their cookbook a week or so ago and I've been debating whether to buy it. I have so many books already and don't want this to be another healthy eating fad where I make a couple of recipes and then the book gathers dust at the back of our cupboard. I mean, bone soup isn't really my kind of thing!
So I decided to make one or two things from their blog and see if their recipes are my kind of food and taste. I was having coffee with another friend last week and we were revelling in our love of pumpkin. I'm not a pumpkin-as-a-vegetable fan as I don't like very sweet vegetables, but pop it in a pie, pud or doughnut and I'm in pumpkin heaven! So when I saw Hemsley & Hemsley's recipe for Pumpkin Pie Pudding, I knew this was the first thing I wanted to try.
I didn't pick this because it was simple to make, but its very simplicity was a welcome relief in a crazy busy week. This is a one-bowl pudding where everything is mixed together in 5 mins and then popped in the oven and forgotten about for 35 mins. Super easy! The original recipe is available through the link which offers some substition options - for example, coconut oil in place of butter, coconut flour in place of almonds and a breakdown of their spice mix (I use a spice mix from Canada but Allspice as a shortcut would work too). And they roast their pumpkin and then puree it, but I like to use Libby's Pumpkin Puree in a tin.
I'm not sure why I was surprised that I loved this, given how much I like pumpkin desserts, but the texture was light and airy and almost souffle-like. The hint of spice gives it a delicious flavour that makes it very much like an all-American pumpkin pie filling. I also chose the ingredients that would make this gluten and dairy free so it's a perfect pud if you have someone that has these food allergies. Even better, the girls tell us that pumpkin flesh is loaded with vitamin A for an immune system boost too so you can feel extra virtuous eating it!
This is definitely a winner for me. And I think that means I might just be buying a new cookery book :)
Pumpkin Pie Pudding Makes 2 (from Hemsley & Hemsley)
- 120G PUMPKIN PUREE (I use a can of Libby's)
- 1 TBSP COCONUT OIL
- 1 TBSP COCONUT FLOUR
- 1 TBSP MAPLE SYRUP
- 1 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT
- 1 EGG
- 1 SMALL PINCH OF SALT
- ½ TSP BAKING POWDER
- 1 TSP SPICE MIX
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
- Melt the coconut oil and allow it to cool (you don't want it cooking the egg when added to the rest of the ingredients)
- Then place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix until thoroughly combined
- Divide between 2 ramekins
- Place on a tray in the oven and book for 35 - 40 mins
- Enjoy straight from the oven!