I love a cinnamon roll, but being the distracted shopper that I am, I picked up ground cumin instead of cinnamon. Luckily I realised this before making the filling (let’s face it, it would be disgusting). After rifling through the cupboards I founds some ground ginger and decided to take a gamble and these actually turned out really well. So these are perfect for those of you who hate cinnamon, but feel free to substitute with cinnamon if you love it. The orange also gives a nice hint of freshness.
This is a relatively straight forward recipe based on a recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. Her recipe doesn’t use orange, so if its not your thing you can leave it out. Some cinnamon roll recipes involve proving the dough over night etc, I like this recipe as the dough only needs to prove once. These are delicious with a coffee but are also ideal if you making brunch and will disappear in 5 minutes.
For the dough
400 Grams Plain flour
50 Grams Sugar
1/2 Tsp Salt
45 Grams Butter
180 ml Milk
2 & 1/4 Tsp Dried yeast (or 1 sachet)
For the filling
45 Grams Butter (very soft)
Zest of 1 orange (save the rest of the orange, as you’ll be adding the juice to your icing)
65 Grams Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Ground ginger
For the icing
115 Grams Cream Cheese
30 Grams Butter
80 Grams Icing sugar
Juice from half the orange you zested
For the dough, add the flour, sugar, and salt to a bowl and set to one side
In a bowl in the microwave, or in a pot on the stove gently melt the butter in the milk until it is warm to the touch but not hot (you will be adding yeast to this, and if it’s too hot it will kill the yeast). Whisk in the yeast until it is dissolved
Pour the milk mix and egg into to the dry ingredients and stir well until you get a soft dough. You can then use the dough hook in a stand mixer to knead the dough or turn it out onto a well floured surface and knead for 5 minutes
Lightly grease a large bowl and put the dough in the bowl and rest for 10 minutes
While the dough is resting combine the ginger, orange zest and brown sugar for the filling
Once the dough has rested, roll it out into a rectangle about 14 x 8 inch or 36 x 20 cm. Spread the softened butter for the filling evenly across the rolled out dough, and sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon mix
Roll the dough into a long log (should be 14 in or 36cm long), cut into 10-12 equal slices. Grease a large baking dish (I find metal baking dishes are best for this, but use what you have) and place the slices of dough in the dish (cut side up). Cover with a tea towel and allow to rest for 60-90 minutes in a warmish area until the dough has doubled in size
Preheat your oven to 190 degrees (Celsius), bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes (cover loosely with kitchen foil if they are browning too quickly)
To make the icing, add the ingredients to a bowl, and whisk until thoroughly combined. Spread the icing evenly over the warm rolls with a spatula. (when cooled these can be stored in an airtight box in the fridge for up to 5 days, but trust me they won’t last that long)
What I love about food is that it can transport you to different places or recall memories of places you visited and meals you enjoyed.
I visited Marrakesh six years ago and the place was an assault on the senses. The heat was like nothing I’d ever experienced, and the onslaught from traders left me a little stunned. What I did love was the food, which was too delicious and varied to cover in one post.
What I still crave was the delicious freshly made bread that was served everywhere. Perfect with tagines if you can’t face couscous, or great with houmous and olives, or soup for lunch.
I found a recipe from Cooking the Globe which is pretty much spot on for recreating what I remember. The ingredients and methods are straight forward. It does require a decent amount of kneading , but I don’t mind this as it allows me to burn off some stress and do some rage baking.
250 ml Warm Water (about skin temperature or luke warm, not too hot or it will kill the yeast)
500 Grams Plain flour (you can also use strong bread flour if this is what you have)
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Sugar
2 & 1/4 Tsp or 7 Gram Sachet of dried yeast
In a small bowl add the warm water, sugar and yeast and stir. Leave in a warm room for 10 minutes, it should start to foam (if it hasn’t done this your yeast is dead)
In a large bowl combine the flour and salt, then gradually add the yeast mixture and work together until you get a soft dough (you may need to use a little more or less water)
Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes until smooth (this is time to let your rage baking take hold) or if you’re well adnusted and have a stand mixer ou can use the dough hook. Divide into two equal size balls, cover with a slighlty damp tea towel and leave to rest for 10 minutes
Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Transfer the bread to the baking sheet, flatten slightly to about 2-3 cm thick, and and cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm room for an hour to rise
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees. Uncover the bread and knick each loaf 4-5 times with a knife if you want to be totally authentic you can sprinkle with cornmeal or semolina. I didn’t have this and it was still fine
Bake for 25 minutes or until the loaves sound hollow when you tap them
This pie is very satisfying but still quite light and a good way to get your daily dose of veggies.
I use frozen spinach, because it’s cheaper and a kilo of fresh spinach will take up half your kitchen, make sure to squeeze out as much water as possible so the pie won’t be soggy. Fresh herbs add flavour, and while dill is traditionally used, I used parsley and mint which are also used in some parts of Greece.
Filo pastry can be bought in most larger super markets. Make sure to cover the pastry with a slightly damp tea towel to stop it drying out when you are making the pie.
The pie can be eaten hot or cold and can live in your fridge for 2-3 days. It’s great as a lunch dish served with some salad or as a side dish.
1kg Frozen spinach (defrosted, and all excess liquid squeezed out)
Handful of finely chopped parsley and mint
250 Grams Filo pastry
200 Grams Feta style cheese (crumbled)
1 Leek or bunch of scallions/spring onions (finely chopped)
1 Tbsp Oil
25 Grams Butter (melted)
Salt and pepper (to taste)
2 Tbsp Sesame seeds (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (Celsius)
In a large pan, heat the oil over a medium heat and fry the leek until soft. Set to one side and allow to cool
Add the drained spinach to a large bowl and loosen up with a fork. Stir in the eggs, feta, herbs leeks and seasoning. Stir until combined
Grease a 6 x 9 in baking tin and line with sheets of filo pastry, brush each sheet lightly with butter before topping with another sheet (lay 5-6 sheets of filo pastry as a base)
When the tray is lined, spread the spinach mixture evenly across the base. Fold in any overlapping pastry and top the pie with the leftover sheets of pastry (brush each sheet lightly with butter before topping with the next.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds, and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until brown and crispy
A good sausage roll is one of my many weaknesses and when I was making some some for a work party I realized I work with quite a few vegetarians and would need to have something for them.
Only psychopaths make their own puff pastry, so when you are buying your pastry check that its vegetarian/vegan friendly (most are), unless you want to use the “all butter” versions but this would obviously not be suitable for vegans.
Pastry glazes for vegan dishes obviously can’t use the traditional egg or milk glazes but plant milk or coconut oil can work well, I used some onion seeds as well to add some interest.
While these are mushrooms flavoured, I also included some lentils to add some meatiness to the texture as well as some protein and some miso paste to give it that umami flavour that some vegan dishes lack.
1 x 375 Gram Sheet ready rolled puff pastry
300 Grams Button mushrooms (finely chopped)
25 Grams Dried Porcini mushrooms
100 Grams Breadcrumbs
1 Tsp Miso paste
200 Grams Tinned lentils (or cooked green lentils)
1 Leek (finely chopped)
1 Tablespoon Oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Plank milk/Coconut oil to brush the pastry with
2 Tsp Onion or sesame seeds to decorate (optional)
Put the dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl with 100 Mil boiling water and allow to soak for at least 15 minutes
In a large frying pan over a medium heat, and the oil and when hot add the mushrooms and leek. Cook for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally (don’t move the mushrooms about too much or they will become watery)
When cooked add the lentils, miso, and porcini mushrooms (including the water they were soaking), cook for a further 5-10 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated, and then add the breadcrumbs and stir well. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees (Celsius) and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface to prevent sticking and cut the pastry sheet in half lengthways.
Spoon the cooled mushroom mix down the centre of each strip of pastry leaving enough space for when you roll the edges together. Wet the long edges of the pastry and gently bring the edges together to slightly overlap each other then press together
Turn the side where pastry meet to the bottom and brush with your glaze before sprinkling with seeds, if you are using them.
With a sharp knife cut the pastry sausage into 3-4 cm slices before transferring onto the lined baking sheet.
I love eating things other people make and one of my workmates made these and I was instantly addicted. So a big shout out to Christina for being kind enough to give me the recipe.
Christina’s recipe uses dark chocolate (either chips or chopped up chocolate), but because it coming up to Easter I decided to use smashed up mini eggs which are my total downfall. These cookies are also a great way to use up any random chocolate you have lying about after Easter.
You can make the dough a day or two before and keep it in the fridge so that all you have to do is cut it and bake when you need them (if you’re having friends over this means less last minute scurrying around and you appear like a serene domestic goddess with an oven full of delicious cookies)
350 Grams Plain Flour
1 Tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1 Tsp Salt
225 Grams Butter (room temperature and cut into chunks to make it easier to cream with the sugar)
175 Grams Soft brown sugar
50 Grams Caster sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla extract
350 Grams Smashed up mini eggs (or use chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate)
In a bowl combine all you dry ingredients (don’t add the chocolate yet)
In a separate bowl combine the butter. both types of sugar, add vanilla extract and mix until creamy, I used a stand mixer for this which makes it a lot easier but an electric whisk will also do the job
Beat the eggs into the butter mixture, and then gradually add the flour. Then stir in our chocolate pieces (I folded them in using a large spoon so that they didn’t get too broken up an electric whisk.
Split the dough into 2 halves, and roll each half into a sausage shape roughly 5cm in diameter and wrap each sausage in cling film before chilling in the fridge for at least half an hour
Preheat you oven to 190 degrees (Celsius), you’ll probably need a couple of baking sheets, and these should be lined with baking parchment
Cut the chilled cookie dough into 2cm think slices and transfer to you baking sheet leaving room for them spread as they cook. Bake for 10-12 minutes
Yasmin Khan’s (The Saffron Tales), recipe marries zesty lemon, the warmth of cardamom and gentle fragrance of rose water in a cake rich with ground almonds. You’ll need 2-3 lemons in total, and a word of warning about rose water, don’t be tempted to add more than stated in the recipe.
While there are a couple of steps to this cake its worth the effort, I decorated this with chopped pistachios and dried rose petals (you find these and rose water in most bigger Asian grocers (or you could use fresh petals if you’re lucky enough to have them in your garden). I don’t have an especially delicate touch when decorating cakes and my piping skills are questionable, so this is a good way to make your cake look beautiful with very little effort.
Legend has it that women in Persia would bake this cake to try and win the heart of men who caught their eye. So if you’re currently trying to get someone’s attention, it might be worth a try (and let me know if it works).
For the Cake
200 Grams Butter
150 Grams Caster sugar
1 level tsp of Ground cardamom
100 Grams Plain flour
275 Grams Ground almonds
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp Baking powder
1 Tbsp Rose Water
For the Drizzle
2 Tbsp Caster Sugar
1/2 Tsp rose water
Juice of 1 lemon
For the icing
150 Grams Icing Sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
Top with chopped pistachios and dried rose petals (optional, but it will make your cake look really pretty)
Preheat your oven to 160 degrees (Celsius). Line a 9 inch cake tin with baking parchment (ideally one with a removable base)
In a large mixing bowl, cream your butter and sugar together thoroughly and then beat in the eggs one at a time, (using a stand mixer if you have one is a quick way to save yourself a lot of work)
Gradually add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well combined. Transfer to your lined cake tin and bake for 45 minutes, (test the centre of the cake with a tooth pick, it should come out clean, but if it doesn’t then bake for another 5-10 minutes and test again). Cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes, before transferring to a wire wrack to cool
In a small saucepan heat the ingredients for the drizzle, until the sugar has melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool
When the cake has cooled poke random holes in the cake with a toothpick, sprinkle over the cooled drizzle as evenly as possible, I allowed the cake to sit for about an hour to allow the cake to absorb the drizzle and it’s yummy flavours)
To make the icing just add lemon juice to the icing sugar and mix well to ensure there are no lumps before spreading it evenly across the cake
Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and rose petals
This cake will live for 3-4 days in an airtight tin, but will probably not survive that long
It’s Mother’s day and though she isn’t with us any more, I made my Mum’s signature dish, Pavlova. She wasn’t a fantastic cook, but she made a mean Pavlova. I didn’t ever get her recipe. So if you have a loved one who makes something you adore, remember to spend the time with them and get them to teach you how to make it. Food is one of the best ways to keep a little bit of that person with you.
Meringue has always been my culinary nemisis. I’ve struggled to make a decent one for years and I think I’ve cracked it thanks to the sainted Mary Berry (this is her recipe) .
I’ve used the traditional strawberries, but you can use any fruit you prefer.
This is a real crowd plesser, and is also a delicious gluten free dessert. Don’t panic if the meringue cracks, the topping will hide this, and the marshmallowy centre is a nice contrast to the crunchy exterior.
You can make the meringue the day before (keep in an airtight box) and decorate just before serving.
For the meringue
6 Egg whites
350 Grams Sugar
1 Tsp cornflour
1 Tbsp Vinegar
250 ml Whipping or double cream
Berries or other fruit to decorate
Pre heat your oven to 150 degrees (Celsius)
Add your egg whites to the bowl of your mixer and at a high speed until it reaches firm peaks
Continue mix and add the sugar a spoonful at a time, then add the cornflour and vinegar (which should be mixed together before adding to the meringue mix
Draw a circle on a sheet of parchment paper and put a small dab of meringue on the corners of a baking sheet before laying the parchment on top (this helps keep it in place)
Spoon your meringue on the circle you drew on the parchment (I like to keep meringue a quite tall, but you can go for a slightly flatter wider one if you prefer)
Place in the oven, and lower the heat to 140 degrees, bake for 1 hour, then the oven off and open the oven door slightly. Leave the meringue in the oven until it is entirely cold
Just before you are due serve, top with whipped cream and strawberries
Vegans and those with gluten intolerances often draw the short straw when it comes to desserts. These lovely little Brownies are really chocolatety and don’t make you feel like you’re missing a thing.
A friend told me about these after she saw the recipe online, so apologies if I’m not giving credit to whoever came up with recipe, but she couldn’t remember the site.
With only 3 ingredients these are great to knock up from stuff you have in the cupboards. Because I hate food waste, I always freeze over ripe bananas if I’m not going to eat them. Freeze them whole with their skin on, and they’re perfect for using in recipes like this or banana bread
3 Ripe bananas (mashed)
120 Grams Peanut butter
50 Grams Cocoa powder
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees (Celsius)
In a large bowl, mash the banana, then add the cocoa powder and peanut butter and mix until thoroughly combined
Line a 6 in x 6 in tin with baking parchment.
Transfer the Brownie mix to the lined tin and spread evenly.
I have to give props for the recipe to Deborah Robertson @lickedspoon, who I think got it turn from Martha Stewart (I love recipe family trees).
These cookies are a bit of a faff but they are well worth it. You need to chill the dough for at least 4 hours. I made the dough in the morning, then got on with my day while it chilled. You can do this, and by the time you bake them your house will smell devine and you’ll be worshipped as the domestic God/Goddess that you are.
You can make the dough a day or two in advance if you’re busy and it also freezes well. (freeze the dough before you roll it in sugar). These are pretty indulgent, but it is Christmas.
The original recipe says to add Kalhua or Tia Maria. I was making these for kids so I left it out, but definitely looking forward to making the adult version next time.
120 Grams Good quality dark chocolate
180 Grams Plain flour
50 Grams Cocoa powder
100 Grams Butter (room temperature)
2 Tsp Baking powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
200 Grams Brown sugar
2 Tsp Vanilla extract
80 Mil Milk
2-3 Tbsp Castor sugar
2-3 Tbsp Icing sugar
Melt the chocolate in the microwave, giving it 30 second blasts, and stirring regularly (be care not to burn it). Allow to cool slightly
Cream the butter and brown sugar together in a stand mixer or with an electric whisk until light and fluffy
Mix all your dry ingredients together
Gradually add the vanilla and eggs to the butter and sugar and whisk at medium spead. Then gradually add all the ingredients and mix until it comes together as a dough, don’t over mix
Put a good sized sheet of cling film on your counter, empty half the dough onto it before forming it into disk. Wrap with the rest of the cling film and refrigerate it for 3-4 hours. Repeat with the second half of the dough
When the dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 180 degrees (Celsius), and line a couple of cookie sheets with parchment paper
Place the castor sugar and icing sugar into two separate bowls (your hands will get sticky later on, so it’s also a good idea to have a bowl of cold water too).
Remove the dough from the fridge and unwrap it, and break of lumps about the size of a walnut and roll into a ball. Roll the ball in the bowl of castor sugar, making sure its well coated. Then roll it in the bowl of icing sugar and place on the baking try
Make sure to leave space between the balls of dough as they will spread.
Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool before trying to move as they will very soft until they cool