Peach Galette with Rye and Spelt Flour

DSC_0057 copySummer is here and that means an abundance of sweet summer fruits! And using seasonal fruit means that you don’t need to do much to make the most of them. Galette is a great way to showcase the ingredients and it can look so professional just by the way the filling is arranged, even though it’s deceptively easy to make!
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The pastry for galette is pate brisée, which is wonderfully flaky and buttery. For this recipe, I’ve used a combination of rye, spelt and wholemeal flour for nutritional value, and it creates a very slight earthy flavour to accompany the tartness of the fruit.
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Pastry, fruit and a sprinkle of vanilla sugar and maybe a drizzle of honey…that’s it! Easy.
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There are several types of “pate” doughs, so their uses can be confusing. Here is a quick guide to the most common:

  • Pate Brisée (flaky pastry – used for pies and galettes)
  • Pate Sucrée (sweet shortcrust pastry – used for tarts)
  • Pate Sable (sweet with a sandy texture, from the addition of egg and ground almonds – used for tart bases and biscuits)
  • Pâte feuilletée (puff pastry – used for mille feuille)

DSC_0117 copyPâte Brisée
Yields 1 large galette

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rye flour
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup wholemeal plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup (110g) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup ice water
  • 3 large peaches, sliced
  • 1 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • egg, beaten
  • honey, optional
Method
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, and sugar. Add the chilled, cubed butter and, squeeze the cubed butter between your fingertips until it resembles coarse sand.
  2. Add 1/8 cup of ice water and mix together the dough with your hands until it holds together when squeezed. If needed, add more ice water by the tablespoon until the dough reaches this consistency.
  3. Form dough into a disk, and refrigerate at least 1 hour before using. Dough may be stored up to 1 month when frozen.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  5. Roll out the refrigerated dough to a circle about 3mm thick. It is easier if you roll it out on parchment paper so it can go straight into the oven.
  6. Arrange the sliced peaches on the dough, fold the edges in, egg wash the edges, and sprinkle vanilla sugar all over.
  7. Bake for 40 mins until pastry is golden. Serve with a drizzle of honey.

Chocolate Raspberry Brownies

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Chocolate and raspberries together make brownie perfection!

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I love the ways these turned out – so creamy and rich! And the slight tartness of the raspberries complement the sweetness so well. The raspberries can be replaced by your favourite add-ins. I’d recommend cherries, walnuts, white chocolate pieces or macadamia nuts – get creative!

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The important thing to remember is not to overbake brownies. I have done it on one too many occasions and the result is a disappointing, dry cake. You also don’t want a mouthful of sticky dough, so try to get the balance right. The aim is a soft, moist interior and a deliciously crunchy top.

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Chocolate Raspberry Brownies (makes 9 squares)

Ingredients

  • 185g unsalted butter
  • 185g dark chocolate
  • 85g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 3 large egg
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • handful of raspberries (can be frozen)

Method

  1. Line a 20cm square tin and preheat the oven to 180c
  2. Melt the butter and dark chocolate in the microwave and set it aside to cool slightly
  3. Whisk the eggs and sugar until thick and light
  4. Add the cooled chocolate mixture to the eggs and fold together
  5. Sieve the flour and cocoa powder into the mixture and fold gently
  6. Add the raspberries and fold
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 mins. If the middle is still wobbly, keep baking for another 5 mins and keep checking – make sure not to overbake!

Beautiful Chocolate Marble Bread

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Beautifully golden-brown – the most divine chocolate marble loaf!

A chocolate slab is used in the dough and plaited to create this gorgeous marbled effect – even I’m surprised by how neat this turned out!

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This bread was made using the tangzhong method, which creates wonderfully soft bread. It involves cooking a paste using flour and water, before adding it to the main dough – a simple addition that makes such a difference to the texture of the bread, and helps it to stay soft for a few days. It has been my go-to method for making soft bread for a few years now. Give it a go and let me know how it goes 🙂

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Chocolate Swirl Bread (makes 2 small loaves)

Recipe adapted from Christine’s Recipes

Main dough ingredients:
  • 25g bread flour
  • 125ml water
  • 350g bread flour
  • 6g instant dry yeast
  • 60g sugar
  • 4g salt
  • 24g milk powder
  • 150g milk
  • 30g unsalted butter
Chocolate dough ingredients:
  • 50g plain chocolate
  • 20g margarine/ butter
  • 20g bread flour
  • 10g cocoa powder
  • 5g corn flour
  • 60g milk
  • 30g sugar
  • 1 egg white

Main dough – Method

  1. To make the tangzhong, whisk 25g bread flour and 125ml water together in a small saucepan over a low-medium heat. The mixture will thicken quickly and when lines appear in the mixture, remove from the heat.
  2. Add tangzhong and all ingredients except the liquid and butter in a bowl, gradually add 1/2 of the water and knead well (gradually add milk if required). Add 30g butter and knead until the window pane stage is reached (simple guide here).
  3. Spray water on doughs and place in separate containers. Cover and let it proof for 60 mins.
  4. Punch down the doughs, roll into respective balls, cover and let it rest for 10 mins.
Chocolate dough – Method
  1. Melt the chocolate and margarine via double boiler method, and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, and cornflour. Then add in milk and sugar. Mix well and then add the melted chocolate, margarine mixture. Lastly add in egg white. Whisk till all well combine.
  3. Cook the mixture on a low heat and whisk constantly. The chocolate filling is ready once the mixture turns thick (obvious lines appear on the mixture surface as you stir).
  4. Transfer the chocolate dough onto clingfilm. Cover and leave aside to cool (about 3-5minutes).
  5. Separate into 2 portions and roll each out to about 18cm x 12cm. Wrap and keep in the fridge to set.

Assembly

  1. Roll out one of the main doughs into a rectangle shape 20x15cm. Place one chocolate dough on top of the white dough. Roll out to 30x20cm.
  2. Cut into 2 equal portions. Place one piece on top of the other. Roll out the dough to 30x20cm, repeat another two times.
  3. Cut it into three strips and plait them together. Place the dough into a greased tin. Spray water and cover.
  4. Repeat with the other main dough and chocolate dough.
  5. Let it proof for 40-60 mins or until doubled in height.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 30-35 mins.
  7. Remove from the tin and let it cool on a wire rack for 2 hrs before cutting.

Battenburg – Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone!

As usual, it’s grey and rainy in England this Easter bank holiday (why is the weather like this every bank holiday?!) but this Battenburg will sure brighten things up! The pink and cream checkered pattern just screams SPRING! 🙂

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This cake looks so simple but it epitomises the best of British cakes –  moist sponge cake coated in jam and wrapped in marzipan. Oh we British love our jams!

Battenburg_0577 copyWorking with marzipan involves a little mess with kneading, but it’s so much fun and a great activity with kids. Store-bought is the convenient, cheat’s way of doing things, but I will get around to making homemade marzipan – promise!

I used some off cuts to make the mini Battenburg – isn’t it cute?

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Hope everyone’s enjoying the long weekend!

Battenburg (makes 1 cake)
Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food
Ingredients
  • 175g very soft butter
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 3 medium eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • pink/red food colouring
To assemble
  • 100g apricot jam
  • 1 x 500g block marzipan

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line a 20cm square tin with parchment. Add an extra fold in the middle of the pan so you can bake the pink and cream mixture in one pan without the colours mixing. Otherwise, you can bake the mixtures separately in 2 rectangular/loaf pans.
  2. To make the sponge, beat the sugar and butter until fluffy. Then add the eggs and a tablespoon of the flour (to prevent curdling) and beat.
  3. Add the rest of the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, vanilla and almond extract. Beat until the mix comes together smoothly.
  4. Split the mixture in half, and mix in the pink (or red) food colouring to one mixture.
  5. Add the pink mixture to one side of the prepared tin, and the cream mixture to the other side.
  6. Bake for 25-30 mins until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool.
  7. To assemble, heat the jam in the microwave for 20 seconds, until runny.
  8. Cut the almond slice in half to create 2 rectangles, and do the same with the pink slice. Trim so they are all the same length and width.
  9. Roll out the marzipan block on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar to just over 20cm wide, then keep rolling lengthways until the marzipan is roughly 0.5cm thick.
  10. Brush with apricot jam, then lay a pink and an almond slice side by side at one end of the marzipan, brushing jam in between to stick sponges, and leaving 4cm clear marzipan at the end. Brush more jam on top of the sponges, then sandwich remaining 2 slices on top, alternating colours to give a checkerboard effect. Wrap the marzipan tightly and trim.
  11. This will keep in an airtight box or well wrapped in cling film for up to 3 days, and can be frozen for up to a month.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

These are definitely the FLUFFIEST pancakes I have ever had or made! It is embarrassing how excited I was whilst making these and they are ridiculously easy. The ricotta adds a lovely richness and the lemon flavour is spot on – the perfect brunch!

Lemon Ricotta

I only used 2 eggs as the original recipe called for 3, which seemed a bit too much and would make the batter too runny. The consistency of this batter was perfect to form the thick, fluffy texture I was looking for.

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The tanginess of the lemon works great with honey or maple syrup, so feel free to drizzle these babies with a spoonful!Lemon Ricotta2

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes (16 x 12cm diameter pancakes)

Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups self raising flour
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup ricotta
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp oil

Method

  1. Mix the dry ingredients until combined and make a well in the centre.
  2. Add all of the wet ingredients into the well, use a whisk (which helps to remove lumps), and being whisking the wet ingredients and slowly incorporating the flour mixture.
  3. Heat a non-stick pan with a light coating of oil, and pour about 2-3 tablespoons of batter for each pancake.
  4. When the underside is golden brown and bubbles form on the surface, flip the pancakes over for another 1-2 minutes.
  5. Serve warm with a drizzle of honey, maple syrup or jam.

Chocolate Dipped, Orange and Raisin Biscottis

I love a crunchy biscuit, so biscotti is perfect, especially dunked in a cup of hot tea (or coffee for me…). Biscotti is an Italian biscuit that is twice baked to give it that crunchy texture. It is so easy to make, although requires more time in the oven than most biscuits.
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You can really play with flavours with biscotti but there are some that are just made for each other – chocolate and orange being one of them.The addition of raisins add another dimension of texture, which works well with the crunchiness.
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The recipe and baking time all contribute to the final texture – which is oh so important (my colleagues have experienced some teeth shattering biscotti…) I have used the traditional recipe with eggs and no oil/butter. The eggs provide structure and ensure the biscuits are not too dry. I used to keep these in the oven to dry out but this makes them too hard, so stick to the 20 minutes at the end of the recipe.
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Chocolate Dipped, Orange and Raisin Biscotti
Recipe adapted from All Recipes
Ingredients
  • 130g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 90g (~1/2 cup) white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 50g plain chocolate
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 175C (350F).
  2. Rub the orange zest and sugar together (this brings out more of the orange flavour!) Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat in the egg and egg white, then mix in the raisins.
  3. Roll the dough into a log and place on a baking sheet. Press down to about 2cm thickness and adjust the width of the log to how long you want each biscotti.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes in preheated oven until lightly golden and firm to touch. Cool on a rack for 10-15mins. With a serrated knife, cut into ~2cm slices. Place slices, cut side down, back onto the baking sheet.
  5. Return them to the oven for an additional 20 minutes; turning over half way through the baking. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. Dip one side of the biscotti into it. Place cookies on wire racks, chocolate side up, until cool and dry.

Sweet Potato, Beans, and Maple Syrup Tofu Burgers

Happy New Year everyone! It’s the time to put those resolutions into action. First post of 2016 and it is a healthy one – a veggie burger. Don’t dismiss it yet! Veggie burgers aren’t given enough credit! There have been so many variations in the blogging world that combine awesome ingredients such as millet, brown rice, sweet potato, and the list goes on. When you get the combination right, these wholesome patties can contend with their meat counterparts in terms of taste, texture and nutrition.
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This recipe uses sweet potatoes as the base, which holds the ingredients nicely together. The original recipe included tofu, which was intriguing, and it’s a great source of protein for vegetarians and vegans, but I found that the flavour and textures got lost amongst the ingredients. The addition of maple syrup brought out the sweetness of the potatoes, and the spices were a great combination. The addition of red kidney beans provide some texture, colour and bite in the burgers, and I’ve served these up with some homemade soft burger buns.
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These patties are coated in panko breadcrumbs and then baked, which helps them hold up their shape. Personally, I don’t think that the breadcrumbs were needed and the crispiness can be achieved with a light coating of olive oil before grilling, so I have adapted the recipe below.
Sweet Potato, Beans, and Maple Syrup Tofu Burgers (4-6 patties)
Recipe adapted from Love and Lemons
Ingredients
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 125g extra firm tofu
  • 200g red kidney beans
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon minced rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oil to spray/coat the patties
  • soft burger buns
Method
  1. Wash the sweet potato and pierce all over. Microwave for 7 minutes on high and turn over in the middle. Peel and mash.
  2. Preheat oven to 220C/425F.
  3. Place mashed sweet potato in a bowl, add red kidney beans and crush them slightly, crumble in firm tofu and combine.
  4. Mix in tahini, maple syrup, garlic, rosemary, paprika, salt & pepper.
  5. Form into patties, place on a wire rack and lightly spray/coat with oil.
  6. Place patties on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until edges are brown and crisp.
  7. Grill for the last 30-60 seconds to help browning.
  8. Serve on buns with whatever fixings you like. Or serve without a bun over a mixed green salad.

These can be frozen and reheated in the oven.