Happy pumpkin week! Or happy countdown to Hallowe’en week. I hope everyone has plans to carve a pumpkin before Friday night. I’m going round to a friends house for the festivities and have been instructed to bring a pre-carved pumpkin to go on display so I better get planning! Not that I’m making it competitive or anything…
The theme for our Hallowe’en get together is witches so I’m going as Sabrina the Teenage Witch! Cop out? Maybe, but I just want to break out my 90’s choker and find a stuffed, talking cat. There will also have to be some creepy baking on. I had a lot of fun making edible blood for a Game of Thrones cake a couple of weeks go so I’ll need to work that in somehow.
Anyway, back to todays offering. Last week I showed you how to make your own pumpkin puree, well this week I’m going to show you what to do with it! First up is a loaf cake which celebrates my absolute favourite (overpriced) caffinated beverage, the Starbucks PSL (pumpkin spice latte for those not in the know).
The loaf batter is lightly spiced and the pumpkin puree adds a subtle flavour and keeps the cake moist, much like banana in a banana loaf. I wanted the coffee flavour to pack a solid punch so I mixed up a streusel mix with sugar spices and ground coffee which is layered throughout the loaf. This looks pretty but also means you get a strong hit of spiced coffee flavour. (more…)
About a month or so ago I was contacted by the publisher Phaidon who asked if I would like a copy of one of their new books to try out, review and, if I liked it, blog about it. Now, everyone likes free stuff and I love cookbooks so of course I accepted gratefully. With that eager response I totally forgot all about it until a mysterious heavy package arrived at home a couple of weeks ago. It was addressed to me but I was sure I hadn’t ordered anything lately…had I?
So I opened it with a slight tad of suspicion only to be delightfully surprised with the promised new book ‘What to Bake and How to Bake it’ by Jane Hornby. And it really is delightful. Even before I had delved in to its pages the eye-catching illustrated front cover held great promise. The inside didn’t disappoint either. This really is a ‘how-to’ of baking. The book has a blog feel to it as all of the ingredients and steps to each recipe are photographed meticulously. Each recipe is delivered in the same simplistic format which would be very easy for the novice baker to follow.
The cover is gorgeous, bright and the interesting design would certainly make you pick it up for a flick through in a book shop but if you are after evocative or arty food photographs then that’s not what this book is about. I think that’s ok though, because this book is meant to be a tool to teach which in my opinion is successfully does.
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that as it was summer I was going to make an effort to make a few healthier recipes. So, following on from that theme I have a healthy and wholesome snack for you. I’ve made rye bread before, the recipe for which you can find here, but this is a slightly different version I found on the BBC Good Food website for you to try. The results were not too different, this one had a slightly closer texture but they both have a delicious nutty flavour to them.
The roasted red pepper hummus can be eaten with the rye bread or you can be extra healthy a use it as a dip with sliced carrots, leeks and peppers. I enjoyed mine on some Ryvita crispbreads with tomato and olive oil. I love chick peas, so hummus has always been a favourite of mine. It’s so quick as easy to make, as long as you have a blender, that there is really no excuse to buy it when you can make it so easily. There are lots of flavour layers in this mix. The roasted peppers add sweetness, the roasted garlic adds warmth and a gentle kick then the lemon zest brightens it all up and rounds the flavours off perfectly. (more…)
After yesterdays wordy post I’m sort of all typed out. So instead of a story, let’s just talk about making these muffins.
Well actually I have a very short story…these photos are not completely staged. They were taken yesterday morning whilst I was getting ready for work and was eating a one of the muffins with grapefruit curd for breakfast. If I run out of time for taking photos at the weekend then the only option, at this time of year, is to take photographs in the morning. This is not ideal when you’re as slow to get out of bed in the mornings as I am. I suppose I should be thankful it was muffins I had to photograph and not an apple pie or something! (more…)
With the start of a new year people are often inspired to try new things, make new resolutions, start new habits. It’s equally a good and bad time to do this. It feels like a fresh start, twelve months ahead of you to plan and map out and to put behind you anything from the previous year you may want to forget.
This is all great, but the problem is January is a bit of a long and dreary month and it can be difficult to carry the momentum from January’s first few days right through to the 31st. I haven’t really made any resolutions this year, nothing specific anyway. A few people have talked about intentions for the year ahead, which I like because it doesn’t feel like a box to check off (as much as I enjoy a list) and it’s less a matter of potential failure and more about trying to fulfill that intention.
To help me through January I have a few new things of my own: (more…)