Monday, 29 August 2016

Brambleberry and Toasted Pecan Brownies

Do 30 minutes of interval training, 30 minutes of strength and conditioning, come home and eat a brownie... story of my life.

Brambleberry and Toasted Pecan Brownies
adapted from here

250g unsalted butter
180g dark chocolate (70%), chopped
385g caster sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
150g plain flour
100g toasted pecans (I like to keep them in large chunks)
100g frozen brambleberries (or blackberries)
Cocoa powder for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180C.  Butter a 23cm square cake pan, line the base and sides with foil, butter the foil and line the base with baking paper.  Set aside.

Put the butter and chocolate into a medium saucepan and put it over a low heat.  Heat gently until melted, stirring occasionally. Once melted, remove from the heat and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.

Once cooled, add the sugar, vanilla and whisk briskly.  Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition.  Dump the flour in all at once and stir with a spatula until just combined.  Gently fold in the pecans and frozen berries.  

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 - 50 minutes.  The edges will be starting to set, but the centre should still have a slight wobble.

Cool the brownies completely in the tin before dusting with cocoa powder and slicing.

Serve slightly warm with ice cream or whipped cream, or unadulterated at room temperature.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Egg, Bacon and Cheese on Homemade English Muffins

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I'm just a lil bit obsessed with breakfast.  I go to bed dreaming of what's for breakfast.  Then, once I've finished breakfast, I start thinking of what I'm going to have for second breakfast breakfast on the days that follow.  This condition is known to many as gluttony.

Egg, Bacon and Cheese on Homemade English Muffins
adapted from here
Makes 8

For the Muffins:
1 sachet (7g) dried yeast
1 teaspoon caster sugar
300ml lukewarm whole milk
55g butter, melted
450g baker's flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Polenta for dusting
Butter for frying

For the Filling:
Butter for spreading
8 eggs
8 rashers good quality bacon
8 slices cheddar cheese

Make the Muffins:
Put the yeast, sugar, milk and butter into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook.  Mix briefly to combine.  Add the flour and salt and mix on low for 5 minutes.  The mixture will come together in a smooth ball around the hook.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave in a nice warm spot for about an hour, until doubled in size.

Line a baking tray with baking paper and dust the paper with polenta.  Set aside.

Dust a work surface with polenta, turn the dough out on to it and roll it out until it is 2cm thick.  Use an 8cm cookie/scone cutter to cut circles out.  Lay the circles, polenta side up on the tray.  This means you will have a good coating of polenta on both sides of the muffins.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place it back in a warm spot for 30 minutes, to become puffy.

Heat a large frying pan to medium heat and add a good knob of butter.  Once the butter starts to foam, add as many muffins as you can fit comfortably to the pan and fry on both sides until golden, about 5 minutes per side,  Continue until all the muffins are cooked, wiping the pan clean with kitchen paper between batches.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Fry the bacon in a large frying pan until crisp, remove and keep warm.  Cook your eggs in the same pan, using the bacon grease.  I like to cook mine so that the yolk is still runny and oozes down my chin and all the way down my arms to my elbows as I take a bite... but it's your life, cook them how you like them.  You can also cook them together in the same pan if you prefer and if you've got a big enough pan.

Split the muffins using a fork to prise them in half.  Using a fork gives you a nice rough surface. Butter both halves of the muffins. Place a slice of cheese on the bottom half, then put it cheese-side down in the frying pan and heat until the cheese starts to melt.  Remove from the pan using an egg slice and turn it melted-cheese-side up.  Place the crispy bacon and an egg on top and finish with the muffin top.

These muffins are also divine split and toasted with your favourite topping/s.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins - Vegan

I'm still battling nature and heading any vitamin C deficiencies off at the pass by using every last bit of citrus fruit my garden produces... It's a noble (and seemingly endless) quest.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins - Vegan
Makes 12
sightly adapted from here

For the Muffins:
1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups "00" flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup sunflower oil
Zest and juice of 1 lemon (I used a Meyer lemon)

For the Glaze:
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 - 2 tablespoon lemon juice
Edible flowers (optional)

Make the Muffins:
Preheat the oven to 190C. Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper liners.  Set aside.

Put the milk and vinegar into a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes.  You are essentially making vegan buttermilk here, so the mixture will split and curdle.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and poppy seeds.  Mix to combine and set aside.

Put the sugar, oil, lemon juice and zest into a large mixing bowl and mix.  Add the curdled milk and whisk.  Dump the dry ingredients into the wet mix and fold gently until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared liners until 2/3 full and bake for 15 - 18 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool a little.

Make the Glaze:
Put the icing sugar into a bowl and add as much lemon juice as you need to achieve a drizzling consistency.

Drizzle about a tablespoon of the glaze onto each muffin and allow them to cool completely. Top with flowers if using.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Apple and Cardamom Rye Cake

We eat a lot of bread.  I bake or buy a fresh loaf every day.  Bread is always on our table and in our lunchboxes.  Anything that's leftover (if any) is toasted the next day or blitzed to make breadcrumbs. Nothing gets wasted, even it I HAVE to make a cake to use it up.

Apple and Cardamom Rye Cake
slightly adapted from here

150g unsalted butter
4 egg whites
150g pure icing sugar, plus extra for dusing
60g ground almonds
70g self-raising flour, sifted
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 pink lady apples, peeled and coarsely grated
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
85g rye breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 200C  Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm round springform pan with baking paper.  Set aside.

Put the butter into a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes, until nut-brown and smelling amazing.  Take it off the heat and leave to cool slightly.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and icing sugar n medium-high for about 5 minutes, until stiff peaks form.  Reduce the speed to low and add the ground almonds, flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until just combined.  Keep the mixer at low speed as you drizzle the brown butter down the side of the mixer bowl, adding it in a slow, steady stream.  Mix until thoroughly incorporated.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a spatula to fold in the apples, cardamom and breadcrumbs.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 - 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.  Put the cooled cake onto a serving plate, put the wire rack on top of the cake and dust with icing sugar.  Serve with lashings of whipped cream.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Hoagie Rolls

Get the recipe and more photos of my Hoagie Rolls over at BAKELIFE.  Where you can also read about what makes a Hoagie a Hoagie... and a Sub... and a Grinder... and a Hero.... sheeesh!