All posts tagged: baking

Swedish Cardamom Buns

  If your first thoughts were: “this looks complicated”, then think again. Because once you read through the step by step guide below, you will be tying knots (albeit the dough kind) like a sailor. They are so much fun to make! This recipe reminds me of the brioche loaves I made last year because of the light buttery texture of the bread. These buns take less than half the time it takes to make brioche and has a lot more flavour: I brought them into the office the next day and before I got back to my seat they were all gone! Not all recipes use egg but I find adding it here helps give the dough a soft, cakey like texture that you expect from a cinnamon roll. I love the generous use of cardamom, one of my favourite spices. It was back breaking having to grind it by hand in a mortar and pestle; very few places sell the seeds grounded. Be generous with the spice measurements, about 1/4 of it will melt away in the baking process anyway. …

Baked Peppadew Mac ‘n’ Cheese

I always grew up calling this mixture of pasta, milk and cheese ‘Macaroni Pie’ rather than ‘mac n cheese’ as it’s more commonly known. I still think that the distinction between the two is important: mac cheeses tend to be a gooey, non-conforming, loose  pasta dish, whereas macaroni pie due to the egg content is firmer and can be sliced in some cases. The tradition of macaroni pie is more than present in the Deep South of the USA, it’s almost a joke to refer to mac ‘n cheese in the same breath as collard greens and candied yams. As one of four we would fight for the crunchy corners of the pie as it rested in the glass pirex dish. I loved watching the oil and air race there way through the golden honey-comb-tunnels to the top. My mum would make several macaroni pies every week, not just for us but for friends and neighbours. As its popularity grew, she would experiment with different ingredients to enhance the flavour and texture: mayonnaise or cream was added for creaminess, breadcrumbs …

Golden Patties: Can I take your order?

Is it too early to start talking about Christmas? It’s 6 weeks away…you can thank me later 😉 This might not come as a shock to many of you, but to those planning on having a whole load of hungry guests share their personal space for at least 24 hours, it might be a good idea to start thinking about it from now.   You might be wondering what Christmas has to do with the mouth-watering beef patties pictured above, well I won’t waste anymore of your time; I have been practising my hardest at making jamaican patties, (see my instagram page). Now I think I have mastered the taste and texture, for the first time ever…just in time for Christmas 😉 Could you see these golden patties on your buffet table or office party? Maybe you want a Christmas brunch without any hassle; I think these mini patties which fit neatly in the palm of your hand would do the trick. I’m working on some different flavours: pulled bbq chicken, feta and sun-dried tomato…what other combinations are there? I’d be interested to …

Moist Banana Chocolate Marble Cake

I haven’t made a cake in a long time, well actually I have, tell a lie; I made Parkin last week, the Yorkshire version of sticky ginger bread. The prototype came out really nice and sticky, but the full version was very dry, I think I added too much of the coarse oatmeal. So began my search for a moist cake recipe to compensate for my failed attempt at baking. This banana chocolate cake is so easy to make: its spongy, and moist – I was dancing round the kitchen when I took it out the oven! I deliberately kept it on a low heat because I wanted to retain as much of the moisture as I could, I don’t know if that makes a difference. Have a try and let me know how it works for you!

Baked “Black-Brie” (and toast)

So LLK has had a long and restful siesta, thank you to all who have been keeping in touch with me via e-mail and posts online, asking for recipes and cooking tips. So to kick things off again I thought I would start with a few appetisers: baked brie with a warm blackberry sauce. The blackberries have a sharp tart flavour which is offset by the honey just a little. This would make an amazing starter, breakfast, or even BBQ! Now I come to think of it, if you simply wrapped the brie in foil and baked it on the BBQ grill for a few minutes the cheese would capture all the flavours from the BBQ…ok this has me thinking. It literally takes no more than 10 minutes to make, simple things…enjoy!

Sunday Brunch: Shaksuka Eggs

I’ve been meaning to make this dish for the longest while. The mouth-watering pictures of Shasuka Eggs, (Tunisian dish of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce) flooded my pinterest page long before I knew the name of the dish. I love breakfasts, I could have them all day. I used to work in an all-day breakfasts cafe in Nottingham as a student: scraping down the greasy hot plate where I fried eggs, bacon, mushrooms and sausages before slapping them onto large oval plates with two slices of white toast. I loved assembling the items on the plate and seeing people stroll in at 2pm for a full English. The greasy spoon just off the town square served nothing more all day, everyday. You would never dream of serving Shasuka Eggs in a cafe like that, even if it used more or less the same ingredients. I only managed to eat half of this dish midday today, I’m back home now, so I think I will definitely warm up some more crusty bread and finish off the …

Soft Spinach Tortilla

These tortillas are unbelievably soft and tasty. The bright green dough is what strikes you first before you rip it open and dip it in some cool hummus or filling of your choice. I love how these wraps turned out, a lot better than I expected. To re-heat them, I recommend you fold them and place it in the toaster for a 10-20 seconds if your feeling lazy like me, keeping a close eye on it of course, otherwise a minute or two in the oven. You won’t regret it…;-)

Pineapple & Ginger Cobbler w/ Coconut Whip

A twist on the ol’ peach cobbler, pineapple twist that is. The most satisfying part of any pie is the crust – it’s all about the textures, and oozing fruit pulp erupting through the cakey topping. This has to be the best cobbler topping I have ever had- you could practically eat it on its own like a warm cookie. The whipped coconut cream is best served straight away, but can be stored in an air tight container for up to a week. It will harden in the fridge, the longer it stays chilled, simply mix until creamy again, when ready to serve.

Quick Golden Multi-seed Bread

There is nothing more appealing than the smell and look of fresh bread from straight out the oven. It sends you drooling, scrambling for the bread knife or the first opportunity to rip a piece out of its side to smother it with cool butter, jam or chocolate spread. In this case chocolate spread won: it was a delicious combination of Nutella with the crunchy seeds and malty taste of the fluffy bread that made my midday brunch most satisfying. And to think that only a couple of hours earlier this loaf of bread was merely a packet of bread mix, olive oil and a bit of water away from becoming delicious! This is probably the most surprisingly tasty bread mixes I have made: the dough turned into deep caramel the moment I started to add water to the mix. I was also tempted at some stage to add honey to the mix, in fear the bread would be bland, but it wasn’t necessary. The bread was fluffy and had a slight sweetness to it. The following day …

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie

  Someone once said that the best things in life come in threes like friends, dreams and memories. I would like to stick this cake at the end of that quote, because the three layers that make up this sweet sandwich will be a close memory I hope to never wake up from. This cake has something for everyone: when I brought this cake into work Monday morning, the winning layer appeared to be the soufflé type raspberry cream topping. Others favoured the dense texture of the brownie and a small minority enjoyed the fluffy and  slight saltiness of the layer of cheesecake. My eyes are immediately drawn to the creamy top if I’m honest; I’m not one for things being symmetrical and in order, but I have to say I love how the contrasting textures hold together forming this perfectly layered square.  I was a little nervous baking the brownie and the cheesecake together,  fearing one would bleed into the other forming some kind of marble effect. But as long as you keep the cake in the fridge, the …

Crispy Sweet Potato Chips…Every time!

I didn’t think it was possible to enjoy crispy sweet potato chips until now. Sweet Potato has a very high water content which is why it can’t naturally achieve the crispy status of a regular chip…without some help from its little friend corn starch. The key to achieving ultimate crispiness is to eliminate moisture, so make sure you pat the potato sticks dry before adding the corn starch and seasoning and more or less toss them straight into the oven soon after that with only a drizzle of oil.

Puerto Rican Pineapple ‘Rum’ Cake

  This sweet and sticky dessert had me licking my fingers long after I’d finished eating it (a disturbing image I know). This is a dense, warm and crunchy cake (from the added pecan nuts) to share on a plate of vanilla ice cream or warm creamy custard. The creation of the ‘Rum’ syrup was a very think on your feet moment today; although I don’t drink, I really wanted to make this cake with the sweet sticky albeit rum glaze. I have eaten a few pineapple cakes in my time but they were either very dry or looked way too dated with the huge pineapple rings and ‘red eye’ of the cherry staring up at me.  No, it’s time pineapple cake had some refresher training. The ingredient combination for the ‘Rum Syrup’ work very well together, you get the warmth from the ginger and the spice from the cloves, the closest you may get to the real thing, if you want to substitute it that is. Lifting off the cake tin is the most exciting part of the whole …

Lemon Passion Polenta Cake

    Polenta has a wonderful way of soaking up and holding on to moisture in a recipe whilst retaining its gritty texture. Without the syrup, this cake would be pretty dry I have to admit; a couple of cups of tea would be needed to finish off a slice of this cake. Thankfully, the passion fruit syrup adds a couple of high notes to the zesty lemon hidden in the cake, forming a rich, moist slice of gluten-free goodness. To cut preparation time, I used passion fruit juice made from concentrate, but if you have more time on your hands to make some fresh passion fruit juice, you will need 4-5 passion fruits:  slice and scoop out the passion seeds and juice into a small pan, add 50ml water and 2 tablespoons of caster sugar. Gently bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Then pass the fruit through a sieve, before pouring over the warm cake.  

Halloumi Cheese Spring Rolls

What else to do with Halloumi? Because it lacks the melty softness of regular cheese, I have found it difficult to work with it other than to cut it into kebab squares or slice it into mushroom burgers. “It doesn’t naturally lend itself to much else“, I thought and so the block of hard full fat cheese would literally sit in my fridge for weeks. Forgotten. Then for some reason my mind drifted to a lady I stayed with in Alabama last year who taught me how to make egg rolls what we call spring rolls over here. Could I make Halloumi  Spring rolls? It was worth giving it a try. The verdict: Absolutely! A resounding yes! It works very well. The saltiness, the crunchiness, the juiciness of these rolls is amazing. Because they are much bigger than your average spring roll, they hold a lot more flavour. And baking them means not only that you cut down on the calories in a huge way, you also cut down on the cooking time which means more time to …

Pecan Caramel Monkey Bread

The moment you slowly remove the bundt pan from this bread. Its like watching a child open a birthday present, in small motion and to find that it was exactly what they had hoped and wished for. This was my experience unravelling the monkey bread. I had searched high and low for the recipe that reflected the image in my head of how this was all going to turn out, but nothing met my credentials. So I took a few ideas from here and there and put together a recipe which tastes so good! I wish you could hear me say this out loud…it is unbelievably good, the whole process of making this bread really therapeutic, I don’t know why. The process and ingredients are very similar to that of Brioche, so I felt a lot more confident putting it together. Not all monkey breads require eggs, but I wanted to the rich texture of the brioche in this one and it paid off so well. A couple of tips: be generous with the caramel. If …

Moist Vegan Cornbread

  This recipe makes a really dense, crumbly vegan cornbread that is quite moist and really easy to make. What I love the most about this recipe is that it combines a bunch of nutritious ingredients without spoiling the traditional taste and texture you expect from cornbread. I first made this recipe at a friend’s house and was surprised at how quickly it baked in the oven; try to let it cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing and removing it from the dish, to avoid it crumbling too much. I thought I should leave you with some useful insights into the health benefits of some the ingredients 5 Facts About Coconut Oil: Very high in lauric acid (bacteria destroyer!) Rich in anti-oxidants (strengthen ability to fight disease and infection) Contains natural microbial and anti-bacterial agents Improves metabolism and prevents fatigue Improves cholesterol levels 5 Facts About Maple Syrup: Contains manganese and zinc (strengthens bones) Contains 54 different antioxidants Helps with inflammation 1/4 cup contains more calcium than the same amount of milk 1/4 cup contains more …

Spicy Pumpkin Parcels

What to do with left over pumpkin? Especially if you’ve bought a whole pumpkin like what I did, there is always going to be something left. Besides soups and throwing it in the oven, there are numerous creative recipes that can be made with this gourd. These spiced pumpkin parcels are the best example of this: once I baked them I threw a few of them straight into the freezer for those days when I really don’t feel like cooking anything. The pastry has a hint of turmeric powder in it just enough to compliment the flavour and colour of the spicy pumpkin filling. Another optional extra was that I placed two small spinach leaves at the base of the pie, for no other reason than I had some extra spinach lying around in the fridge! Once the parcels have been made they really take no time to bake in the oven and appear on your plate.                    

Crispy Cornbread Waffles

When I was growing up, we had a large, cold, cupboard where we used to store dried peas, flour and rice, as these were stables in most of our cooking. Sometimes my mum would call me out of my day dreaming and ask me to go and fetch her the jar of Cornmeal which was stored in a large glass jar in this cupboard. In most cases it was to make cornmeal porridge which she’d mix with warm spices, a bay leaf and split with fresh milk for breakfast at the weekend. Oftentimes it formed cornmeal dumplings to add to the soup we traditionally shared as a family of six on Friday’s. Nowadays I use cornmeal for a variety of things: sometimes to add a crunchy texture to homemade burgers or breads. I also absolutely love it in Coo-coo (a dish I have yet to share on the blog…in time); as well as to make straight forward cornbread. Cornmeal flour comes in many textures, I tend to use the fine texture which still has a grittiness …

Blueberry Scones

I was hunting around as I usually do, looking for something different to do with Blueberries. I normally throw them into smoothies, and I remember once making a blueberry drink for a friend’s dinner. And now come to think of it I also made a blueberry sauce to go with some quick pancakes when my Uncle came down to spend some time with us (you know those pancakes you make and they turn out so nice…but you can’t remember how you did it? It was one of those days).  Ok so I’ve kind of lost the argument: I have done a few things with Blueberries, but I have to say these scones excite me the most. Not only are they really quick and simple to make but extremely tasty!  To speed up the process, this can be made in a food mixer. Adapted from recipe by La Petite Brioche

Authentic Brioche

Brioche can be enjoyed any day of the week. But it tastes so much better freshly baked on a Sunday morning. While the loaves were baking in the oven, their buttery scent has a way of drifting upstairs and filling the house with warmth. So nice! I wanted to bake this bread weeks ago but time wouldn’t allow me to do it. Brioche demands patience. People often ask me how do I find the time to cook/ bake ? The simply response is day and night: first thing in the morning, last thing at night. So for the Brioche and Jelly this is how I squeezed it in: I got home late Saturday evening and mixed the dough as it needs a good 7 hours or more to rest. Then I woke up early this morning after spending a few moments connecting with my Creator; and took the dough out the fridge for an hour for it to get to room temperature. I shaped the dough and then went to the park and did an …