PASSION FRUIT ROULADE

This makes a perfect, light dinner party pudding and is ideal for special occasions. It is just the thing for New Year’s Eve after  the hefty fruit laden puddings and cakes of Christmas. It is made in no time at all and is universally popular.

Serves 10

6 large eggs
100g caster sugar
2 lemons
2 heaped tbsp plain flour

 

Filling: 
12 passion fruits, ripe and wrinkled
350g lemon or orange curd
280-300ml double or whipping cream

You will need a baking tray measuring roughly 36x30cm with shallow sides. Line the tray with a piece of baking parchment, making sure it comes up the sides.

First Set the oven at 200’C/Fan 180’C/Gas 6

  1. Separate the eggs, putting the yolks into the bowl of a food mixer and the whites into a bowl large enough in which to beat them. Add the sugar to the yolks and whisk until thick, pale and creamy.
  2. Grate the zest from both of the lemons, taking care not to include any of the white bitter pith underneath, and squeeze the juice of one of them.
  3. Beat the egg whites until they are thick and capable of standing in a soft peak, then fold the juice and zest into the egg and sugar mixture, followed by the sieved flour and then the egg whites.
  4. Add the egg whites slowly, firmly but gently so the air is not knocked out of them. It is crucial not to over-mix. Scoop the mixture into the lined baking tin, smoothing it gently out to the edges.
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes until the top is very lightly coloured and it feels softly set. It should barely colour. Let it cool for a few minutes.
  6. Put a piece of greaseproof paper on a work surface, then turn the roulade out on to it. The cake should be crust side down. Carefully peel away the paper and cover the roulade with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave for a couple of hours, or even overnight.
  7. When you are ready to roll the cake, remove the towel and spread the lemon or orange curd over the surface, then whip the cream until it will stand in soft peaks and spread it over the curd.
  8. Cut eight of the passion fruits in half and spread the juice and seeds over the cream. Now take one short end of the greaseproof paper or parchment and use it to help you roll the roulade. If the surface cracks then all to the good.
  9. Dust with icing sugar and cut into thick slices, with the remaining passion fruit juice and seeds squeezed over each slice.

Engery Boost Biscuits

Healthy Biscuits

healthy biscuits on slate plate with fruit

Perfect for breakfast on the go, mid-afternoon energy boost with a nice cup of tea or at any time of day. These are no-cook easily put together biscuits to keep in the biscuit tin for a healthy refuel. I keep all the ingredients for this in a separate airtight storage tub make up a batch quickly. These are also ideal for those of us students in need of a sweet distraction from staring at books.

 

 

 

 

Healthy Energy Boost Biscuits

Recipe

50g each of dried dates & dried apricots & 20g dried cranberries

100g porridge oats

30g wheat germ or oat bran

20g desiccated coconut

20g linseeds juice zest of one unwaxed lemon

1 Tablespoon of maple syrup or honey

2 Tablespoons cold-pressed flax oil

 

Lightly oil a small baking tin ( I use a square 8 ½ inch/22cm size)

Finely chop the dried fruits and add to the rest of the ingredients

Mix all the ingredients in a food processor until firm dough is formed. Press the mixture evenly into your tin to a thickness of about 2cm.

Chill in the fridge for about an hour, then cut into squares ready to eat. Can be stored in the fridge or in an airtight container in the cupboard.

IMG_3188

 

 

Easy Spelt Bread Recipe

Spelt Bread Recipe

After extensive research into what goes into the bread we buy I decided to make as much of my own bread as possible. Experimenting with some white spelt flour from Wessex Mill, I was delighted to discover how easy it is to work this dough. It quickly forms a dough ball without too much clinging to your fingers and needs very little oil or flour for kneading.  The dough felt light and elastic when kneading. The resulting loaf was really tasty, so much so that I made another batch and formed into rolls after the first rising. For 12 rolls follow the instructions below but cook for 13-15 minutes. You could also leave to rise the first time overnight as in The Weekend Loaf

INGREDIENTS

500 g   White Spelt Flour or Wholegrain Spelt Flour

3 tsps  Salt

7g   Quick Yeast

300ml Warm Water

3 Tbsp Olive Oil

Method

  1. In a large bowl mix together the flour, salt, and quick yeast.
  2. Add the water and oil and roughly mix it into the flour in the bowl.
  3. When the dough has come together enough, turn out onto a lightly oiled or floured surface and  knead well until it feels smooth and pliable.This normally takes 4-5 minutes.
  4. Leave the dough covered with oiled cling film in a draught free place, for it to double in size. (This should take about an hour).
  5. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead the dough firmly for five minutes.
  6. Shape the dough and put it into an oiled 1kg/2lb bread tin or place it on an oiled baking sheet.
  7. Cover with oiled cling film and leave dough to rise for about 30 minutes in a warm place.
  8. Pre heat oven to 220°C/Fan200°C/425°F/Gas 7
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven, slide the loaf upside down onto your hand, protect form heat with a clean cloth. Tap the bottom to listen for the “hollow” sound, which will indicate if your loaf is done. See
  11. If you think it still needs a few minutes, but is brown on top, return to oven upside down to finish off cooking the base of the loaf.
  12. When the loaf is fully cooked, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack to cool.

Very Easy Bread Recipe

Bread for the weekend: start Friday evening, cook Saturday morning for warm delicious brunch

  • Only four ingredients
  • Friday: Take two minutes to weigh  and mix ingredients
  • Knead for five mintues
  • Leave to rise overnight in fridge
  • Saturday morning: Punch air out of risen loaf, knead again for five minutes, shape and leave for final rise
  • Delicious bread ready to eat in 35 minutes

AT A GLANCE:

2 minutes to weigh and mix ingredients

5 minutes kneading

60 minutes for first rise

5 minutes to knock down and knead again

35-60 minutes for second rise in tin

35 minutes to bake in oven

 

Recipe:

  • 500g strong white bread flour*, plus a little extra for dusting
  • 2 teasps salt
  • 7g fast-action dried yeast
  • 3 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 300ml tepid water

Method:

  1. Mix the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl and mix well with your hands. Make a well in the centre and add the oil and water, and mix well. If the dough seems a little stiff, add 1-2 tbsp water, mix well then tip onto a lightly floured work surface and knead. Once the dough is smooth, place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Place in the fridge to allow it to rise slowly overnight.
  2. The next morning remove the dough from the fridge and knock it back, gently kneading for around three minutes. Mould into the shape you want and place on a baking tray lined with parchment or place in a loaf tin. I like the free form shape as it appears more rustic.
  3. When shaped, cover loosely with cling film and leave to prove for a further hour until doubled in size.
  4. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Dust the loaf with a little flour and cut three slashes across the top of the loaf with a sharp knife. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Allow to cool on a wire rack and enjoy while still warm.

* Select good quality flour; see http://cookupaparty.co.uk/is-your-daily-loaf-making-you-ill/

Sticky Stem Ginger and Prune Cake

IMG_5966

 

This is the perfect cake to enliven a dullish day. Although meant to be high summer it felt more like a glorious autumn day and perfect for tramping through the woods with the dog. I half expected Mr Tumnus to pop out from a gnarly oak to offer me a cup of tea. Earl Grey in fine bone china of course. To go with the tea we would have to have cake, and here is a delightful prune and stem ginger cake from Alex Yandell, who has written Cook.Taste.Autumn. Smile for use on the iPad. To find out more go to  http://www.cooktastesmile.com

This is a great way of seeing recipes while cooking as you can turn the iPad to landscape when the method is enlarged for easy reading. None of that nipping across the kitchen to put on reading glasses to peer at recipe.

170g of self raising flour, sifted together

3 tsp powdered ginger

120g unsalted butter, softened

120g dark soft muscovado sugar

4 TBS golden syrup

2 large free range eggs, beaten

100g of stem ginger in syrup, finely chopped (about 5 knobs)

100g ready to eat prunes, finely chopped

To finish:

2 TBS of syrup from the jar of stem ginger

2 TBS demerara sugar
METHOD:
1. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Butter a medium sized loaf tin (about 8 1/2 inches by 4) and line it with baking paper.  Set aside.

2.Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

3. Add the golden syrup and the beaten eggs a bit at a time, whisking until thoroughly combined.
4. Whisk in the flour and powdered ginger.
5. Stir in the prunes and chopped stem ginger.
6. Pour  the batter into the prepared loaf tin, smoothing over the top.  Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
7. Remove from the oven.  Immediately brush the top with the stem ginger syrup allowing it to asorb completely.  Sprinkle with the demerara sugar and allow to cool completely in the pan.

This cake will keep very well in a covered tin for about 4 to 5 days.

Orange and Almond Cake Recipe

Orange and Almond Cake with Pomegranate

IMG_0176When dressed up with a blob of cream or creme fraiche and scattered with pomegranate seeds this makes a lovely cake dessert, but is delicious at anytime of day. No boiling away of whole oranges for hours, just using grated rind in the mix for flavour and juice for the syrup, which makes it one of the easiest recipes to crack on with.

This makes enough for a 23cm round spring-form cake tin or a 21 x 30 cm rectangular loose bottomed cake tin. Can also be made in a 2lb loaf tin.

Cake

  • 2 grated zest of large oranges
  • 6 eggs
  • 240g caster sugar
  • 230g ground almonds
  • pinch cinnamon (optional)

Syrup

  • Juice of the 2 oranges
  • 2 Tablespoons runny honey

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180’C/350’F/Gas 4
  2. Separate the eggs and beat the yolks with the caster sugar until thick and pale
  3. Add the ground almonds, grated orange zest and cinnamon if using
  4. Beat the egg whites until stiff and carefully fold into the almond mixture. This mixture is very stiff, so add a couple of spoonfuls of the egg whites to lighten the mixture.
  5. Pour into the cake tin and place in the centre of the oen for 30-40 minutes, until the cake is golden and firm to the touch
  6. Remove cake from oven and leave in the tin to cool
  7. Make the syrup by boiling up the juice and honey for 3-4 minutes and leave to cool
  8. Finally turn the cake out onto a board and piece small holes in the top with a skewer
  9. Spoon the syrup over the top of the cake until soaked in. Stor in an air tight container until ready to use