Request a Bake
I'm hoping to make this blog more interactive by offering to make your requests. So, sweet or savoury, click on "request a bake"
Here’s a challenge for you. I was recently given this by a kind friend whose mum was having a clear out. Can you guess what it is? If you can, you’ll know what my next recipe is going to be.
A huge thankyou to those of you who took part in April’s Breakfast Club challenge, which was “Rocket Fuel: Breakfast for those days when you need a bit more oopmh”
Here’s what powers people through their day…
Coconut Island Smoothie from Jac at Tinned Tomatoes
Aside from the fact that it’s packed full of pineapple, pears, banana, coconut milk and orange juice – which would give a vitamin boost to any morning – I think this would send me off on a relaxing daydream to a more relaxed place if I had this on the morning of a busy day. Jac’s post also helped me learn a new word: dreich. Educational too!
Apricot Anzac Muffins from Michelle at Utterly Scrummy
Made to combat a post-park afternoon energy slump, these muffins contain everything you’d find in an Anzac biscuit, but with the addition of apricot and cinnamon. I love Anzac biscuits (I may have been known to raid the stash of them in our church kitchen when no-one was looking…) so I am planning to give these a go very soon.
Spelt and Wholemeal No-Knead Loaf from Camilla at Fab Food 4 All
As someone whose enjoyment of making bread is inversely proportional to my skill in it, I’m always looking for new recipes that might save me from my doughy-doldrums. I made soda bread every week for nearly a year but got rather bored of it. Having seen this, I think it’s time for me to move on to new and Spelt-ier recipes.
Puy Lentils with a Poached Egg and a Paprika-Spiked Yoghurt by Elizabeth at Elizabeth’s Kitchen
Inspired by seeing the recipe on Food to Glow and with her interest piqued by the mix of flavours and textures, Elizabeth says that this is one of the best meals she has cooked in a very long time. Sounds pretty good to me!
Rocket Fuel Chocolate Breakfast Smoothie by me
Manuka honey, banana, chia seeds, oats and dates pack an energy filled punch and all in the guise of a chocolate milkshake.
Chocolate Puffs by Choclette at Chocolate Log Blog
Organic, vegan and almost raw – could they get any more virtuous? Made using an ingredient that can also be a moisturiser - perhaps this is a fast way to save time on your skincare routine?! Choclette points out that these would make a light but energy filled breakfast with natural ingredients. She even made one in the shape of a butterfly.
Goji Bircher Chia Muesli by Janet at The Taste Space
I’d not come across the Taste Space before and I’m now following it – one of many reasons why challenges like this are great. As you may well be aware, I’m a bit of a cereal monster, so this is right up my street. I was also sent some goji berries in this month’s Foodie Penpal box. I am not entirely convinced by them on their own, so Janet’s admission that she doesn’t normally like goji berries but loves them in this has got me dreaming of all kinds of overnight oat ideas. She also has the brilliant idea of soaking the oats in an empty peanut butter jar to soak up the dregs. Genius.
Move over pancakes, it’s all about the maple syrup and bacon muffins. A classic and truly delicious breakfast combo in a brilliantly portable form. These muffins were born of a lack of eggs with which to make pancakes, resulting in a recipe that is easy to cobble together on even your most unorganised of weekends. Not that I ever start to make a recipe and realise I don’t have the right ingredients….honest….
Banana Bran Muffins by Elizabeth at Elizabeth’s Kitchen
A second entry from Elizabeth. Sweetened with only natural sugars and freezable, these are ideal for breakfast on the run whilst still being a healthy option. Elizabeth has taken a recipe and tweaked it gradually to make this majestic looking muffin.
Breakfast Oat Bake by LucyP at Supergolden bakes
Having taunted us on twitter with news of this bake which includes bananas, walnuts and raspberries, I was looking forward to seeing the final result on Lucy’s blog. I think oatmeal bakes are quite an American thing, but they are really good and incredibly versatile. My attempt a few months ago looks like the ugly duckling compared to this beauty. Time to up my game!
So, that lot should keep you fueled up and ready to fight the month of May. The only thing left for me to do is announce the winner of a selection of my favourite breakfast items and some chia seeds. Congratulations to…..<drum roll> Janet at The Taste Space! Get in touch with your details and I’ll send the goodies out.
Thanks very much to Helen for letting me host Breakfast Club. Make sure you head over to Katie’s blog called Feeding Boys to read about the Breakfast Club challenge for May which is “Bakes”. See you there.
This month my parcel came from Emma at More Salt Please (@emcetera). It was her first month taking part so I hope she enjoyed the cheese parcel that she received from Holland as much as I enjoyed hers. Emma went to loads of trouble to send me interesting and relavent things. I loved the fact that she put a “bath pigs” postcard in the box and that she’d seen my brioche making and sent me a savoury brioche recipe from the Paul Hollywood book. I can’t wait to give it a go.
So, here’s what was in the box:
- Home made toasted pumpkin seeds – Emma had an overload of pumpkin seeds so roasted these with a little oil and chili and they are so so good that I’ve been having to ration myself. This was easily my favourite item in the box and that’s saying something as I loved everything in it.
- Snacking Chorizo – hello! This had paella written all over it.
- Olive biscuits – great savoury snacks.
- Goji Berries – I mentioned that I like healthy thinks and dried fruit and nuts. I’ve never had them before so it is great to get to try them.
- Dark chocolate – do I need to even say why that’s good?!
Here’s what I sent to Vanessa Lambrou (@La_Va_Ne) who lives in Greece. I tried to send a mixture of UK produce, things I love and things she said she liked (eg. spice mixes)
Figs – I haven’t opened them because I want to cook with them but I know that if I open the packet I’ll just eat them as they are.
Dorset cereals honey granola – one of my favourite breakfasts particularly good with yoghurt
Shortbread and oatcakes to represent for Scotland
Hotel chocolat truffles because they are awesome
Cornish smoked sea salt – one of my current favourite ingredients as it’s brilliant with sweet and savoury things
Popping candy – adds a bit of fun to baking
American spice rub – a new product on sale in my local supermarket
English wildflower honey
Japanese rice cracker peanuts – love snacking on these on a night shift
If you would like to take part in foodie penpals, you can find out how here. You don’t have to be a blogger.
Mad-uffins, Madeluffins? They’re not muffins, but they’re not truly madeleines because they’re not shell shaped. I keep nearly buying a madeleine pan but then wondering how much I’d use it and so of course, when the mood takes me to make madeleines I am stumped. But, Ça ne fait rien, for now I have hurdled the shell shaped obstacle and made madeleines in a mini muffin tin. Mini-mad-muffins perhaps – though that makes them sound like very angry tiny cakes. I think the lesson here is that you can never have too many cake tins and I should really get a madeleine pan.
Madeleines are typically french – packed full of butter and yet light and dainty. The addition of honey to these gives them slightly more presence on the palate and of course you could use flavoured honey if you wanted to take it one step further. They are extremely good eaten with with a cup of tea.
You may have noticed the rather fetching cake stand in the photos. It’s from their botanical range, which I also have US cup measurers in and I’ve been wanting to show it off for a while now. It was sent to me by the kind ladies at Dotcomgiftshop. They didn’t ask for owt in return, but I wanted to say thanks.
Honey and Vanilla Madeleines
from BBC Good Food
100g plain flour , plus extra for dusting
100g caster sugar
100g butter , melted
1 whole egg , separated, plus 1 egg white
1 tbsp clear honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
icing sugar , for dusting
I am entering these into the following challenges:
Classic French is run by Blue Kitchen Bakes and April’s theme is madeleines.
I’ve got a dilemma. There’s an easy pun here and I’m not sure if I should use it.
I’m really tired after a long day and I am about to write about Knackerbröd. I suppose that I’ve just committed the pun-crime in a very roundabout way by letting you join the dots yourself. That makes it more acceptable and less dad-joke doesn’t it? Self-aware humour is meant to be cool isn’t it? Maybe I’ll re-name this Sleep-Bread. It’s pretty easy, you could probably make it in your sleep.
Right. Enough rambling. Knackerbröd is basically what you and I know as Ryvita, only nicer. I’m not sure why it has yeast in it since I’m pretty sure it isn’t meant to rise. Anyone got any wisdom on that?
I threw a few poppy seeds and a very few cumin seeds into the mix for extra flavour. I topped it with cream cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds for a lovely snack at work this evening.
Here’s the recipe I followed:
Ingredients – makes 8 crispbreads
450g rye flour
1 tsp salt
20g fresh yeast or10g dried yeast or 7g sachet fast action yeast
275ml lukewarm water
75g wheat bran (if you can’t get hold of this then oat bran is fine) (I omitted this and used extra Rye Flour)
I added some poppy seeds and a very small about of cumin seeds.
Grease 2 non stick baking trays and preheat the oven to 230C.
Combine the rye flour and salt in a large bowl and rub in the butter.
If using fresh yeast mix it with a little of the water, for dried yeast reactivate following packet instructions.
Make a well in the flour and butter mixture and add the water and yeast (fast action yeast can be added straight to the flour). Mix to form a dough and then add in the wheat bran. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
Divide the dough into 8 pieces and roll each piece out into a 20cm circle.
Place one dough circle onto each baking tray and prick all over with a fork. Next cut out a 4cm hole in the centre of each circle.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and crisp then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat to bake the remaining crispbreads.
The reason for cutting a hole in the middle of the bread is that traditionally the crispbreads would be hung up over the rafters to dry out after baking. You could make smaller crispbreads if you prefer but be aware that they may take less time to bake so keep an eye on them.
Well, look who it is
I’m blogger of the month at Foodies 100 so if you want to know a bit more about me, how long I’ve been blogging and what got me started. Head on over here
This isn’t groundbreaking, there’s an infinite amount of banana bread recipes out there, but it is very very tasty. Go on…just one more banana bread recipe…give it a go…you know you want to… that spotty banana is crying out for your attention…
I realise that this is a huge admission from someone who calls themselves a blogger, but until my friend Victoria lent me Molly Wizenberg’s “A Homemade Life” I had not heard of Orangette (arguably one of the first big name bloggers). Luckily Victoria (lender of madeleine pans) has better taste than me. Molly’s blog is a masterclass in writing, though not updated as often now, since motherhood has understandably taken a more prominent role in her life.
It has taken me a long while to get around to making something from the book – primarily because it uses American measurements which always concern me a little bit but I’ve got loads of recipes bookmarked.
Glenn’s Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips and Candied Ginger
From A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
1 cup granulated sugar (I used soft brown)
1 large egg
2 ripe medium-size bananas
3 Tbs milk
2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips (I used 100g dark chocolate cut into chunks)
Small chunks of candied ginger, to taste (I used stem ginger in syrup)
½ cup chopped walnuts, optional
Here’s the full recipe at Orangette. It’s also in the book, which I thoroughly recommend as both a good read and a source of recipes.