Hop on over to my new blog http://www.addmorebutter.com for my latest post on Hot Cross Buns. So get on over there so you can make these steamy buns in time for Easter!
Hello my lovelies!
Time to let you all in on a little secret.
I have a new blog! Yeee so exciting! Come and see my new post on the classic Victoria Sponge!
I love the community, wonderful comments and insight that my followers provide and I would be so grateful if you would all follow me to my new site. This is really exciting for me as I have wanted to create a new blog for so long and now its finally done!
Thank you for all the response that you give me as it has made me want to make more out of my blog and strive to make it better.
I hope you all like it as much as I do! Hopefully speak to you all soon!
My new blog address is: http://www.addmorebutter.com
Weekends are for lazy days, films in the evening and hours spent baking in the kitchen. Theres nothing more I love than wandering around the kitchen in my pyjama’s with the smell of something tempting in the oven. And Scones, well they’re definitely a weekend thing. They’re easy, promise delicious results and completely encompass the feeling of comfort. And yes, that is cheese you see oozing out. Mmm. This recipe comes from the brilliant blog that is Joy The Baker. Her twist on traditional scones really inspired me and got me in the mood for some baking… not that I need much encouragement these days. Joy used feta and chive in her scones but I just changed it to suit what I had in my kitchen as I can never be bothered to walk to the shops!
These are rich in cheddar flavour with a hint of thyme and a little bite of paprika at the end. A bit of chilli jam is the perfect accompaniment to these yummies.
Ingredients – Recipe adapted from Joy The Baker (makes around 16 small scones)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 3/4 cup natural yoghurt, cold
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 3/4 cup chunks of mature cheddar cheese
- 1 egg beaten for egg wash
- smoked paprika for topping
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
Start by sifting your flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, salt and pepper into a bowl. Place the butter into the bowl and rub the ingredients between your fingers until it looks like bread crumbs. In another bowl beat your egg, yoghurt and water and add it to the bread crumb mix. Stir with a fork until the mix just comes together. It should look rough and shaggy. Add in the cheddar and thyme and knead the dough a few times on the counter.
Pat out the dough into about 1 inch thickness. Cut the dough using a cutter, I used a 2-inch cutter. Place on the prepared trays. Gather the excess dough and re roll and cut. Once all the dough is used, egg wash the top of the scones and liberally sprinkle on salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Bake for 10-12 minutes, depending on the size.
Theres just something that really appeals to me about mini versions of traditional cakes. Maybe it’s the fact that it makes me feel somewhat healthier than having an elephant sized piece of cake looking at me. And that their size justifies me eating ten of them… yeah I’m pretty sure thats it. But who am I kidding, I would eat ten pieces of elephant sized cake too.
I love a good zingy lemon cake, especially in winter when it seems to bring a taste of Summer into the otherwise gloomy months. And yes, January is the month for resolutions and being healthy, but come on… we all know you want these. And they’re mini size anyway, thats healthy!
These cakes have a tart lemon favour which is offset with a sweet piece of semi-candied lemon piece on top. Yes you need to cook them for an hour, so those of you who want a fuss free cake, you can purchase some candied lemon peel or pieces from the supermarket. This just makes the usually simple cake seem a but more fancy. So go on, have a weekend treat. I think we can all agree that life is not worth living without sugar and cake.
Ingredients – Makes 10-12 rectangle flexi-pan moulds
- 225g Butter, very soft
- 225g castor sugar
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 4 Eggs, beaten – room temperature
- 225g self raising flour
- Pinch of salt
Lemon drizzle topping
- 1 1/2 lemons juice
- 85g castor sugar
Semi-Candied Lemon Pieces (can always be shop bought if you can’t find glucose)
- 100g water
- 50g castor sugar
- 10g glucose – can be found in some supermarkets and most chemists
- 1 lemon, sliced
First, place the ingredients for your semi-candied lemon pieces into a pan, apart from the lemon pieces, and boil for 2-3 minutes. Add in your lemon pieces and leave to boil for 1 hour. Cover the top with a cartouche – a piece of greaseproof paper over the surface. Once ready, take the lemon pieces out of the liquid to cool. Place them on a plastic lid or something non stick, not tissue.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cream your butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Gradually add in your eggs. Next mix in your salt and flour until combined. Spray your moulds with grease. Pipe the mix 3/4 of the way full into the moulds. Bake for 20-30 minutes until a tester comes out clean.
Whilst your cakes are baking, make your drizzle topping. Place your lemon juice and sugar into a pan and heat through until the sugar has dissolved, not letting it boil. Leave until needed.
Once your cakes come out of the oven, leave them in their moulds and prick them with a fork. Brush over the drizzle topping, using all of it. These babies will soak it all up! Once cool, tip out your cakes and place a piece of lemon on top of each to decorate.
Oh dear, another savoury post. Please don’t unfollow me. I promise there will be more sweet filled delights that make you dribble over your keyboard to come soon. I’ll veer away from this unfamiliar world where the word healthy seems to be normal vocabulary rather than butter and sugar.
However, in the mean time lets savour this rare occasion and consider… me, a sugar addict, to post something healthy. Its been snowing now for 3 days and what all of us really need in these cold months is a warming bowl of soup. Smooth and silky, wrapped under a warm cosy blanket on the sofa. How I wish every lunchtime was spent this way. Alas, no its not, so lets savour the few moments we’re trapped in our houses or let out of work early.
I’m going to keep it short and sweet today and leave you with a picturesque photo of the snow. And possibly with dreams of this silky soup with a crusty bread roll if I’m lucky.
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic gloves, crushed
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 2 fat sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 150ml coconut milk
Saute the Onions in some olive oil until soft. Add in your garlic and red pepper and cook for a few minutes. Add in your sweet potatoes. Add in vegetable stock until the vegetables are covered with liquid. I just used powdered Vegetable stock and water. Leave to simmer until the vegetables are cooked. Blend until smooth and add in the coconut milk. Season with pepper and salt to taste.
(with a bit of Parmesan, because Cheese makes everything better)
For me, Bread is like a realistic form of time travel. Take a Foccacia for example, I have one glorious mouthful and it takes me straight back to my high school trip to Florence. Sipping a really good cup of coffee with the smells of fresh Pizza and Rosemary lingering in the air from a nearby restaurant. It’s even the same with breads from places I’ve never even been to. They make me feel cultured in a way I’m really not. Gone are the days of anaemic white processed bread from my childhood and here are the lazy afternoons spent baking breads from around the world.
This Fougasse is obviously French but with the tastes of Italy hiding in little flavoursome pockets throughout. The Rosemary permeates throughout the dough but the tomatoes stay in smaller sections (which everyone secretly tries to snag in their piece.) And the Parmesan Cheese? Well, thats just because a bit of gooey goodness on top never does anyone any harm.
Ingredients – Recipe adapted from Richard Bertinet Fougasse
- 250g strong bread flour
- 175ml of water
- 5g fresh yeast or 1/4 tsp of dry yeast
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 10 or more sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 tsp of chopped rosemary
- Shavings of Parmesan Cheese
Rub the yeast into the flour if using fresh or, if using dry, mix the dry yeast into the flour. Add the salt and then water. Mix using either your hands or a bowl scraper until the dough starts to come together. Tip out onto a surface and knead until the dough comes together in a smooth ball. (Embrace the wet dough! Don’t be scared. You’re the boss!) Leave to rise in a bowl covered with a tea towel for an hour.
While your bread is rising, chop your tomatoes into smaller chunks and roughly chop your rosemary. Place your tomatoes on some kitchen paper so that they aren’t too wet when put into the dough. Using a knife, carefully slice thin shavings of Parmesan ready for baking.
Once your dough has proved, tip it out onto a floured surface and press down with your fingertips. Pre-heat your oven to the highest it will go and place a deep tray in the bottom. Place the rosemary and tomatoes into the centre and knead into the dough. Cut the dough in two and pull out into two triangular shapes. Cut one slit down the centre of the triangles and then three on either side. This can be done with a very sharp knife of a plastic bowl scraper.
Pry the holes open a little so that they wont close up when rising again. Place onto a floured baking tray and leave to rise for 5 minutes. Bake for 12-15 minutes, before you close the door, pour some cold water into the preheated tray in the bottom of the oven to create steam for a good crust. Lastly, put on some parmesan a few minutes before the bread is done.
Moist texture, tart Bramley Apples, a zingy hint of Lemon and a sugar crusted top. For me, that’s what describes the perfect cake. It’s like the heavens have opened when your fork cuts through that crisp surface and plunges into a moist cake packed full of soft Apple. Ok yes I am on the verge of foodporn here but I don’t care! This cake is so unexpectedly good. I often stumble upon such a simple recipe and expect the results to be as average as the recipe seems to be. But no, simple so often seems to be best. Definitely best served warm, this light cake really is packed full of flavour due to the tart Apples and Lemon zest. The ground almonds add a more crumbly texture to the cake but don’t worry, these crumbs are very moist! I whole heartedly think that the Bramley Apples really make this dessert, but I know these are hard to get hold of if you don’t live in the UK. So I’d be interested to see if any of you try a different type of Apple, just make sure you use a tart variety. The best thing about this cake is, you could adapt it to suit the ingredients in your home (all of which you probably have already.) How about a changing up the apples for plums or pears? Definitely on my list for a cold winters night.
Ingredients – Recipe from Channel 4
- 225g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 450g Bramley Apples
- Finely grated zest and Juice of 1 lemon
- 225g caster sugar, plus extra for dredging
- 3 large Eggs
- 225g self-raising flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 25g ground almonds
- Demerara sugar
Preheat the oven to 160 C fan. Grease a 23-24cm cake tin with butter and line the base with a circle of baking paper. First, zest your lemon and set aside for later. Peel, core and cut the apples into pieces, and add the the lemon juice. Set aside.
Cream together the butter, caster sugar and lemon zest in a bowl untilsmooth and pale. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time. After each egg, add about a tbsp of flour from your overall amount. Add the remaining flour and the baking powder into the bowl. Next, fold in the ground almonds and drained apples.
Pour into your cake tin, smooth over the top and sprinkle with the demerara sugar (you can get excited and go a bit over the top with this.) Bake until well-risen, brown and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Mine baked for 45 minutes but it can take up to 1 hour. Cover the cake with some baking paper if it starts to get too dark.
Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes and then serve warm. You can also coat the top with more caster sugar if you want. Serve with ice cream, pouring cream or clotted cream.