Thursday, 5 March 2015

# 399 Chocolate and walnut buns

These were an experiment gone well with requests to make them more often :-)

The brioche dough was made in the bread machine following the recipe that came in the machine's booklet with a few added extras. They're not too sweet either as I reduced the amount of sugar to half.

Here's the recipe if you'd like to have a go at making them yourself.

Chocolate and walnut buns

1 teaspoon easy bake yeast
250g strong white flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
One and a half tablespoons caster sugar
75g butter, softened
Pinch of salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 bar of dark chocolate, chopped
Handful of walnuts, chopped

Put all the ingredients above, except for the last two, in the bread pan in the order listed and select the basic dough cycle (2h 20ms in my machine).

When the cycle finishes tip the dough from the pan onto a floured surface.

Roll out the dough to a rectangle and sprinkle the chopped chocolate and walnuts all over.

Roll up the dough and cut into slices. Place these, cut side up, in a square tin lined with greaseproof baking paper.

Cover with a plastic bag, making sure the bag is not touching the dough, and prove for 40 to 50 minutes in a warm place. I found that the airing cupboard is perfect for proving dough.

Bake in a preheated oven to 150º for about 30 minutes.



Friday, 20 February 2015

# 398 Tortilla my way

This tortilha is not only quick and easy to make but also very tasty. I usually make it when I need a meal fast or when there's some leftover ham or chicken in fridge. In this instance I fried the potatoes but you can make it healthier by boiling them.

I recommend using a heavy duty frying pan suitable to go in the oven, it makes things a lot easier as you don't need to try and flip the tortilla. Every time I tried to do this I always ended up with a messy plate of food but not anymore.

Tortilla my way

Potatoes, cut into thickish rounds
2 to 3 eggs
Leftover ham or chicken, shredded
Half of a medium chopped onion
Chopped parsley
Pinch of salt
Drizzle of olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Start by frying the potatoes.

Meanwhile drizzle the frying pan with a little olive oil and put on a low to medium heat.

Whisk the eggs with the chopped onion, pinch of salt and parsley.

When golden brown remove the potatoes from the frier and season with salt. Place them in the frying pan making sure they cover most of the bottom of the pan. Spread the shredded  ham or chicken on top and pour the egg mixture so it covers the potatoes. Allow to cook for a few minutes until golden brown underneath. Then place in the oven until it's cooked through. This doesn't take very long, only a few more minutes.

Serve with a nice green salad.



Tuesday, 10 February 2015

# 397 Sandwich Vanilla Yogurt Cake

This is a simple cake, it's easy and quick to make and the result never disappoints. It's certainly my favourite type of cake.

Sandwich Vanilla Yogurt Cake

1 cup natural yogurt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups caster sugar
3 eggs, separated
2 cups plain flour + 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract


Damson jam (or any other jam you like)


Lemon icing

Separate the egg yolks from the whites and whisk the whites to soft peaks. Set aside.

Grease and line 3 sandwich cake tins with baking paper.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Beat the sugar with the egg yolks, yogurt and vanilla extract. Add the oil little by little until well combined. Fold in the flour and baking powder and then the egg whites.

Divide the cake mixture among the 3 tins and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

Cool the cakes on a wire rack for a few minutes before peeling off the baking paper.

When the cakes have cooled completely spread an even layer of jam on the 1st sponge cake, place the 2nd cake on top and spread with jam before topping with the 3rd cake layer.

Make some lemon icing by mixing a few tablespoons of icing sugar with lemon juice, when you have the right consistency spread the icing on top of the cake.



Friday, 30 January 2015

# 396 Easy peasy lavender sachets

I've just published my first crafty tutorial in a very long time. It's available here if anyone would like to have a go at making these cute lavender sachets. I made quite a few of those to sell at the library.


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

# 395 Pizza loaf

Wow, it's 5 months today since I last posted anything here. I have missed my blogs but have been busy with other things and time just seems to slip by so fast...

Anyway, I plan on making more of an effort to blog more regularly. I'm starting again with a recipe for a bread we all love, hope you enjoy it too if you try it.

Pizza loaf

20 g fresh yeast
400 g strong white flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
260 ml lukewarm water
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
4 slices prosciutto cut into strips

Dissolve the yeast in the water.

Pour the flour into the bowl of your stand mixer, open a well in the centre and add the olive oil, dried herbs, chopped onion, prosciutto and salt. Pour the yeast mixture and knead with the dough hook for a few minutes until all the ingredients are well combined.

Tip the dough on to a clean work surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until it's elastic and smooth.

Grease the bowl you used to knead the dough with a little olive oil, shape the dough into a ball and place in the bowl. Cover with clingfilm and prove until doubled in size.

Knock the dough back, knead for a few seconds, shape, dust with flour flour and put in a baking tray. Cover with clingfilm and allow to prove a second time until it doubles in size.

Bake in a preheated oven at 220ºC for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180ºC and bake for a further 20 minutes.

Check if the loaf is ready by tapping its bottom, if it sounds hollow it's done. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.