Happy New Year to all! Is it still ok to say that? We’re just passed a fortnight in to January so I may be pushing but let’s just throw caution to the wind. How is twenty-fifteen treating everyone so far? I’m struggling to cope because I am currently diary-less! It’s not fun. There are plans to be made, lists to be written and appointments to be scheduled! My order of a brand new ‘brilliant violet’ Moleskine Daily Diary has gone missing…sad times. They have finally agreed to resend the diary so hopefully by the end of the week I’ll be back on track!
So todays post is has a good new year, new start vibe to it. A healthy recipe to brighten up those diets, detoxes or healthy eating kicks we’re all on and a new friend! Making new blogging friends will be going on my list of intentions for 2015 (which I obviously can’t write yet because I don’t have a diary to write them in!) and thanks to the Blogger Cookie Swap I took part in last year I discovered a beautiful breakfast blog based in London called The Worktop. Tina runs the blog dedicated to yummy breakfast recipes and great breakfast and brunch spots in London, a source I will be referring to the next time I’m in town for sure! (more…)
There should be a banana bread for every season. In spring, with it’s fresh mornings, bright evenings and new blooms, banana bread should be kept pure and simple. Rich in flavour, dense in texture and a celebration of the pure banana experience. In summer you want to kick it up a notch by flinging in some pineapple and shredded coconut, or a burst of citrus with lime juice and zest, or a generous handful of summer berries to add some summertime sass to your favourite banana loaf recipe.
By the time Autumn rolls around you’re through with fruit and salad and any pretence at healthy snacks, you want indulgent treats to help you suffer the wind, rain and ever darkening days. The only answer? NUTELLA! Yes, the autumn banana bread must surely contain a substantial swirl of my favourite thing to come out of a jar. Some sort of peanut butter concoction would also be perfect, just don’t forget the chocolate chips. (more…)
This curd has turned out to be one of the most delicious things I’ve ever made. I keep trying to dream up what I can put it in to next. It was originally born from having left over cranberries and SO MANY left over egg yolks from macaron making last week. To me, all curds are delicious, particularly when they have a tart edge to them, so using cranberries seemed to be a perfect idea.
This cranberry curd would make a delicious sponge cake filling, would work wonderfully paired with super sweet and crunchy meringue or even on a simple slice of toast. This batch was made to be used as a filling for macarons at my next food fair but I will have lots more egg yolks coming my way so I foresee many more batches in my future. It may even end up as Christmas presents!
I suggested using it in our Christmas trifle, in place of raspberry jam between the trifle sponges….didn’t go down well! A recipe tweak too far I believe! Don’t mess with greatness.
The curd is sweet but has the tartness that you associate with cranberries. My mum said the curd reminded her of rhubarb, which I agree with, it’s the acidity that does it. You could definitely experiment with this curd too. Add some zest or cook the cranberries with Christmas spices (such as cinnamon sticks and cloves)…experiment! Let me know how you get on.
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.