Traditional Scones

I recently enjoyed a morning baking Scones with an American friend, Angela => convincing her that they truly are easy to make (or at least I think so!). The secret is really cold butter, chaffing the dough (fold in half, turn 90 degrees and repeat) and finally – to avoid overworking the dough… the less you touch it, the better!

This is a recipe is from Paul Hollywood’s collection and is a truly tried & tested recipe that never flops!

We adapted the recipe by leaving half the dough as is and adding cheese & chopped fresh chives to the other half – a sweet & savoury collection!

Traditional Scones

500g strong white bread flour
80g softened butter
80g caster sugar
2 eggs
5 teaspoons baking powder
200ml milk

  • Place 450g of the flour in a bowl and rub in butter (with your fingers) until you get to a crumb consistency
  • Add sugar, eggs and baking powder and mix with a wooden spoon
  • Add half the milk and continue to mix
  • Add the rest of the milk bit by bit to make a wet dough (and you don’t need to use all the milk if you think you have achieved the correct consistency)
  • Use the 50g remaining flour on the table top (half on the table top and leave the rest for the dough)
  • Place dough on the floured counter top and cover with remaining flour
  • Then chaff the dough (fold dough in half, then turn 90 degree’s and repeat) until the flour is incorporated into dough and consistency is smooth
  • roll dough out with a rolling-pin to 2.5cm and using a cookie cutter (or a glass dipped in flour), cut out your pieces
  • Bake at 200C (fan or 220C without fan) for 13minutes

Orange Chocolate Chip Loaf

A few weeks (if not months ago), I was completely inspired by an instagram post that I saw of Finla Noronha (another Belgian based food blogger with the blog “My Kitchen Treasures” which isn’t active in the blogasphere anymore – but I do recommend following her on instagram for drool-worthy food images)…

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I found the recipe via google using *self raising* in my search as I have run out of normal cake flour (seriously???) on a recipe website called Naïve Cook Cooks => recipe here , however I omitted the orange butter!

It was super easy to make but my only negative comment is that by day 3 it was a bit like a stale scone… but nothing that 10 seconds in the microwave couldn’t fix 🙂

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Orange Chocolate Chip loaf

3/4 cup of milk
3/4 cup yoghurt
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 Tablespoon orange rind
3 cups self raising flour
1 cup mini chocolate chips

  • Mix together milk, yoghurt, sugar, eggs, orange juice & zest
  • Add flour & mix well
  • fold in chocolate chips
  • Pour into a greased loaf tin
  • Bake for 40-45min at 190C

 

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Easy Fruit Loaf

I have never been a huge Christmas cake or pudding fan, until recently. Or should I rather say, until I tasted the Christmas pudding Anne (my friend, Sarah’s mum) made! And now I am a convert!

Every year I think I will finally try my hand at making my own … or even my own fruit mince pies… but I never get around to doing it in time for Christmas.

But when I saw this Easy Fruit Loaf recipe in the Snowflake Book of Baking – I thought I could manage this and it didn’t have to be related to the festive season 🙂

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It really is easy to make… and delicious. I would suggest checking it after an hour as I left mine in a little bit too long, making the outside a bit crunchy while the inside still remained deliciously moist and chewy with all that fruit (probably also due to the large amount of butter in it… hee hee). This is a definite make again (even HIM approved)

Easy Fruit Loaf

200g Sugar
250ml milk
250g butter
310g mixed fruit cake mix
1 egg, beaten
350g cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • Place sugar, milk, butter & fruit mix in a saucepan.
  • Bring to the boil, then simmer for 2-3minutes
  • Remove from heat and leave to cool
  • Add beaten egg to mixture
  • Sift in dry ingredients
  • Mix well
  • Pour into greased loaf tin
  • Bake at 160C for 60-70min

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Banana Yoghurt Loaf

2016 was a crazy busy year (you can read our overview here) and 2017 has started off with a whole lot of *new-ness*… New apartment, newly fitted kitchen (still waiting for the scratched counter top to be replaced and the subway tiles to go up between the counters as a backsplash) and a new car!!

But obviously the most important in terms of this blog is the new kitchen… and a new oven (brand spanking new!!) which obviously needed to be tested. So we baked a Banana Yoghurt Loaf out of the *Recipes from the Royal Kitchen* cookbook by Heilie Pienaar (South African food stylist).

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Easy to make and probably ranks up there with the best of the banana bread loaves that I have ever made! And still moist and delicious on day 3 if it lasts that long!

Would I make it again? YES

Banana Yoghurt Loaf

2.5 cups cake flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
80g butter (room temperature)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
1 cup plain yoghurt
3 large bananas, peeled & mashed

  • Sift flour, baking powder & salt
  • Rub in butter with fingertips to make a fine crumb
  • Beat eggs & sugar together
  • Add yoghurt to wet mixture
  • Add wet mixture to dry ingredients
  • Fold in mashed bananas until combined
  • Bake in a grease-proof lined loaf tin for 50min at 180C

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Plum Cake

In my normal excitable state when it comes to food shopping, I bought more plums than we could eat before they got really ripe. (oops)

But do not fear – this is always a good excuse to bake… right? (I wonder if subconsciously this was my plan all along??)

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I found this recipe online (google-box) on the NY Time cooking section for what they called a *Plum Torte*… but to me, this was a cake.

Whatever you want to call it – it was delicious! Simple to make, 50min in the oven and ta-da… a yummy treat easily enjoyed as a hot pudding with custard after dinner or just a slice with a cup of tea in the afternoon.

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Plum Cake

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
12 plums, halved

  • Beat sugar & butter together
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time
  • Sift in flour & baking powder & combine
  • Pour into a greased cake tin
  • place halved plums on top of cake batter (skin side down)
  • Bake at 180C for 40-50min

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Banana upside down cinnamon cake

Our latest fruit and vegetable delivery was a bit disappointing with all the fruit at the peak of ripeness on the day of their arrival. This meant that we had to think (aka eat) quickly before items were beyond saving.

The banana’s however were well-ripe on day 3, and with 4 left on the bunch (after both of us eating one each day prior to that) – I knew that it was time to make this recipe!

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The BBC Good Food Magazine (May 2016 issue) had a recipe for “sticky upside-down banana cake”. I made a few changes by omitting the ground ginger and using buttermilk instead of soured cream in the cake mix and all in all, it turned out pretty well. HIM happily devoured a few slices and said it reminded him a Portuguese Honey cake.

This is a DEFINITE make again kind of cake… something that I was able to whip up relatively quickly with a 10month old sitting on the floor next to me playing with plastic containers… and I had it in the oven before boredom rolled in for her!

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Banana Upside down cinnamon cake

80g butter
150g muscovado sugar
4 bananas

240g flour
2.5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
300g caster sugar
120g butter, softened
3 large eggs
150ml buttermilk

  • Place butter (80g) & sugar into a saucepan over a medium heat until melted & combined
  • Pour into greased cake tin
  • Cut bananas in half and arrange on top of the caramel
  • To make batter, beat together sugar and softened butter, adding eggs one at a time
  • Then add flour, baking powder, cinnamon & buttermilk and continue to mix/whisk until smooth & evenly combined
  • Pour batter over bananas
  • Bake for 50-60min at 180C

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Bourbon Biscuit Brownies

Everyone who knows me, knows how much I love trying out new recipes… which is why my food magazine addiction keeps publishers in business…

So when I saw the picture of this recipe on the front cover of the Olive Magazine (May 2016 issue) – I knew it was a *must make*

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I made one fatal mistake… I left them in the oven too long .. so the middle wasn’t as squishy as it should have been. Taste wise… they were awesome and I would definitely try them again… especially the level of chocolate (which is SUPER high). I even threw in a handful of blueberries… Mmmm

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Bourbon Biscuit Brownies

16 Bourbon Biscuits
100g butter
200g chocolate (they say dark, but I used a mix of dark & milk)
4 eggs
250g caster sugar
100g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
30g cocoa powder

  • Keep 5 of the biscuits to one side. Using a sharp knife, cut down the middle to separate the side. Roughly chop the reminder of the biscuits
  • Melt butter & chocolate together over a water bath and leave to cool to room temperature
  • Whisk together eggs & sugar until mixture is pale & double in volume
  • fold in the chocolate mixture
  • Sift in the dry ingredients and fold in
  • Stir in the chopped biscuits (and a handful of blueberries if you are adventurous like me)
  • Spoon into a greased baking tin
  • Bake for 20-25min at 180C

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Rhubarb Cake with Dr Oetker

I was recently lucky enough to receive a goodie box of Dr Oetker baking supplies for World Baking Day (17 May 2016)

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What did I do with them?

Well – firstly – I used the Glaçage Pâtissier (aka icing) to make my office birthday chocolate brownie cake look pretty…

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And then I pimped up the Biscuit Génoise Cake Mix with some roasted rhubarb… easy? Damn right. Tasty? Without a doubt! Would I do it again! YES! The cake mix sponge texture is really delicious and HIM has already mentioned that he would happily eat it again (although this time with blueberries instead of the tart rhubarb…as he likes things SWEET!)

one note – the rhubarb although prettily arranged on the raw cake mix actually disappeared when baked, as the cake batter rose over it…

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Rhubarb Cake

1 box Biscuit Génoise Cake Mix
4 Eggs (as per box instructions)
50ml Milk (as per box instructions)
500g Rhubarb
1 Tablespoon Sugar
Squeeze of lemon juice

  • wash & cut your rhubarb into chunks (or long slices like I did)
  • Place on a baking tray with lemon juice & sugar
  • Bake for 15-20minutes at 180C
  • Remove from oven & cool
  • Prepare the Dr Oetker Cake Mix as per instructions (with eggs & milk)
  • Place rhubarb & cake mix in a greased, lined cake tin
  • Bake for 30min at 160

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Carrot and Banana Cake

Vegetables in a cake means it is ok to have more than one slice, right? Right???

carrot and banana cake

I had a few banana’s that were starting to ripen quicker than we could eat them (I mean, I can only eat one a day… and soon as they get ripe & soft, I am immediately put of) and of course… carrots. We always have carrots – for dipping in hummus, for the base of soups, to boil as a side vegetable when I am really lazy… etc

I found this recipe on the Good to Know website (my first time visiting) and I have to admit it was a really easy recipe to make. Instead of using mixed spice – I used half a teaspoon of cinnamon.

Would I make it again? Yes.. Yes…Yes

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Carrot and Banana Cake

280g Self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
60g raisins
170g sugar
2 ripe banana’s (peeled & mashed)
220g carrots (peeled & grated)
3 eggs (beaten)
170ml sunflower oil

  • Sift flour, baking powder & cinnamon
  • Stir in raisins & sugar
  • Beat eggs with oil and add to dry ingredients along with carrots & banana
  • Bake in a greased cake tin for 50minutes at 180C
  • Leave to cool on a wire cooling tray

Cream cheese Icing

50g Butter (softened)
300g Icing sugar
150g cream cheese

  • Beat butter with icing sugar until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs
  • Beat in the cream cheese until smooth
  • Cut cake in half and sandwich together with half of the icing. Use the rest of the icing to cover the top of the cake

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Apple Cinnamon Buns (SRC)

After quite a difficult month… Brussels attacks (read about it here), both Little Miss & I being sick and of course being back at work fulltime, means that I haven’t been able to create, photograph or post as many recipes as I had hoped since the last SRC reveal (the last reveal was for a delicious potato & zucchini au gratin)

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And for this months SRC (Secret Recipe Club) Reveal – I got Cookaholic Wife blog – fantastic name, eh?

Nichole started this blog a few months after moving in with Tom… her then boyfriend – who is now her husband (since 2010) and like me… is a lover of books (although I prefer reading mine on the couch, on the bed or in the bath rather than the beach) and also finds her happy place while baking something in the kitchen!

Recipes wise… I really had a difficult time choosing just one! Because they all looked so amazing…  like the Cardamom Glazed carrots, Strawberry Basil Mojito (yes please!!!), Heart Shaped Apple hand pies & of course this spaghetti squash with pancetta and peas.

But the final decision was… Apple Cinnamon Rolls!

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Soooo good…. I didn’t use Nichole’s glaze recipe as HIM is not a huge cream cheese fan… but this is my normal glaze recipe and it worked really well!

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Apple Cinnamon Rolls

For the rolls:
1 cup of warm water
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons active dry yeast
6 Tablespoons butter (soft)
3 cups flour
For the filling:
2 medium apple (cored, peeled & diced finely)
3 Tablespoons butter
5 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
For the glaze:
1 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon milk or orange juice

  • Combine water, sugar & yeast and allow to stand for 15minutes
  • Line your baking tray with greased parchment paper
  • In a medium saucepan, mix filling (apples, brown sugar, cinnamon & butter) and cook over a medium heat for 5minutes (until apples are soft). Allow to cool slightly.
  • Add salt & butter to your bun mixture… and finally your flour
  • Mix until combined to form a soft dough (you may need to add more flour)
  • on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle
  • Leaving a 1/2 inch border, spread the apple mixture along the dough
  • Roll the dough lengthwise, cut into 12 evenly sized rounds with a serrated knife
  • Arrange in your prepared baking tin & rest for 5-10minutes
  • Bake for 15-20min at 200C
  • In the meantime, make the glaze by mixing together icing sugar andvanilla
  • Add half the milk/orange juice to start with – stirring to make a thick glaze and adding additional liquid a drop at a time to get the consistency that you want
  • Spread over cooled cinnamon rolls (it will form a crust and harden as it cools)

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