Thursday, 16 November 2017

Broad Bean Patties

This year we did not grow broad beans, a very sad state of affairs indeed. Some of my green fingered friends have taken pity on me and given me a couple of bags, fresh picked and ready for me to make my all time favourite dip. The dip requires double podding which is ok when you have heaps but less so when your supply is limited.



These patties are made with single podded broadbeans podded broadbeans which is much less work and less wasteful as the outer skin is used. Our worm farm and compost bins get the benefit of the outside pods. 



These are a very good alternative to meat pattie which makes them suitable for vegans and vegetarians and are also gluten free. 



My favourite way to eat these is to make them into a burger, they can also be made into smaller balls as finger food or as as an alternative to falafels. In a bun with salad they are still vegan friendly, egg and cheese may still be acceptable to vegetarians, and some cooked bacon makes them more like the traditional burger but no longer vegetarian or vegan. Takes care with the bun as this will be a problem for those on gluten free diets, I mostly use a commercial gluten free bread, wrap or bun when serving them to people with gluten intolerance.




Broad Bean Patties
Vegan, vegetarian and gluten free
500g podded broad beans*
½ brown onion
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons chia seeds
4 tablespoons cornflour
salt and pepper to taste

*at least 1 kg unpodded
To cook
Extra cornflour
Grapeseed oil / olive oil for frying

Place podded broadbeans, onion, thyme and garlic in a food processer and blitz until finely chopped or crumb consistency. 

Add cornflour and chia seeds. Mix well. Taste and add salt and pepper to your taste.

Cover and refrigerate the mixture for at least an hour to allow the mixture to firm.

Divide mixture into five or six balls*, roll in a little cornflour and flatten into burger patties.

Heat a small amount of oil in a frypan and shallow fry on both sides until golden brown and heated through.

Uneaten patties can be refrigerated for two days and reheated in the microwave or oven. Alternatively freeze, defrost and reheat.

*Make the mixture into smaller balls and use as finger foods or an alternative to falafels in a wrap



Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Cheese and Thyme Pull Apart Loaf

There has been a lot of baking and a lot bread making at my house lately, mostly sourdough. There are times, however,when  I get hankering for something cheesy or a little more celebratory or festive. I often make this for a casual lunch with soup or for a barbecue where guests can help themselves by breaking off a ball from the loaf. Use dried thyme as it has a stronger flavour and a sharp cheddar if you like a really cheesy flavour.


Bake in a sandwich/ sponge tin or create a free form loaf by pushing the balls together on a tray


The dough can be shaped into a loaf.



The loaf slices well and can be frozen.



Cheese and Thyme Pull Apart Loaf


2 cups flour
2 cups wholemeal flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dried yeast
1 cup grated tasty cheese or more
½ cup parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons dried thyme
Optional - ½ cup powdered milk
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups warm water


Bread Glaze

1 egg
1 tablespoon water

Lightly whisk egg and water together in small bowl.



Method
Combine flour, sugar, salt, yeast, cheeses, thyme and powdered milk if using in a large bowl.

Pour in oil and most of the water and mix thoroughly. The dough should be moist and soft but not sticky.  If necessary add the remaining liquid / extra water until a soft dough is formed.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board or bench top and knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Return dough to a clean and lightly oiled bowl.

Cover with plastic film or enclose in a large plastic bag and leave to prove until dough has doubled in size.

Turn dough out onto board or bench and “knock back” to original size.  Lightly knead again and then use to make a loaf of bread, rolls or pull apart.

Shape loaf or rolls and allow the dough to prove again.

To Make Pull Apart

Divide dough into sixteen even sized balls.  I bake them in a lightly oiled sandwich/sponge tins. For each tin place a ball in the centre of the tin and arrange seven balls around the centre ball.

Glaze with bread glaze and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.

Bake loaves in a hot oven (200 deg C) until  golden brown. Approximately 30  to 40 minutes.


Friday, 3 November 2017

Peanut & Cornflake Crisps (Gluten Free)

I have been working my way through my box of collected recipes, some torn from magazines and others somewhat hastily scribbled notes on envelopes and odd bits of paper. Many with no name or much detail. This is one of those recipes. It started with a list of ingredients, a few notes about how to make them and then a suggestion that they need a more nutty peanut flavour, with peanut butter and ? Clearly they are not a biscuit that I have made a lot, in fact cannot recall when they were last made. I went ahead and made a batch with the suggestion of adding some peanut butter. I found them quite delicious, although, a little fragile - not the sort of biscuit that can pack into jars, they are better stored in a tin in layers.


They were well received at my Knitting Group and a neighbour suggested that they were very much like Lincoln Crisps.

Use gluten free cornflakes (check the packet) for a biscuit that can be enjoyed by the gluten intolerent. Chopped almonds or hazelnuts can be substituted for the peanuts and the peanut butter omitted.



Peanut and Cornflake Crisps


2 egg whites
2/3 cup caster sugar
125 g butter
1 heaped tablespoon peanut butter ( optional)



4 cups cornflakes, slightly crushed
2/3 cup coconut
4 tablespoons peanuts, lightly chopped

Method
Melt butter and peanut butter together.

Beat egg white until stiff, add sugar gradually and beat well.

Gently mix the melted butter, cornflakes, coconut and peanut butter into the egg white mixture

Place heaped teaspoons of mixture onto greased tray or use baking paper. Allow room for the biscuits to spread. ) I bake 6 per tray)

Bake 160 deg C for approx 15 -20 minutes or until golden brown.

Allow to cool slightly on the tray and then carefully transfer to a cooling rack.





Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Coconut Cake (Gluten Free)

Perfect for the coconut lover. Moist with an intense coconut flavour and gluten free , it is a very 'moreish' and hard to stop at just one small piece. Sometimes I add ground cardamom for an easy sweet treat for Indian themed dinners and lemon myrtle gives a nice fresh flavour. 




Coconut Cake
Gluten Free
Ingredients for full quantity

250 gms butter
400 gms white chocolate
4 eggs
1 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups coconut flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup desiccated coconut

Optional
1 - 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
Or
1 - 2 teaspoons ground lemon myrtle
Icing

2 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1 tablespoon coconut milk (approx)


Method
Place chocolate and butter in glass bowl and melt in microwave. Use the melt function or medium heat. It should take about 3 minutes. Alternative method, use a bowl over hot water. Stir regularly until mixture is smooth.

Add sugar to mixture and stir well, then add eggs, coconut flour, baking powder, coconut milk, desiccated coconut and spice if using. Mix well.

Place mixture into a greased and lined tin*.

Bake at 1600 until firm on the edges and slightly soft in the middle. It will take about 50-60 minutes depending on the depth of the tin. See below. It is better to undercook than overcook.

Allow the cake to stand for at least ten minutes and then lift out and place on cooling rack.

Mix ingredients for icing, it should be a thick paste like icing. Spread over the cold cake, I usually ice the bottom of the cake.
 
Cut cake into rectangles, squares or fingers.

*Use a large slice tin or large square tin. I use a rectangular slice tin that is approximately 21 cm wide, 29 cm long and 3 cm deep.


Monday, 16 October 2017

Wholemeal Oat Loaf

This loaf, like most of the breads that I make is very easy to prepare. The time needed is in waiting for the mixture to prove, however, I use the time inbetween making and baking to shop, work on a something crafty, garden or just about anything. If I need to be away for a long time I put the dough in the fridge which slows down the proving time.



It is absolutely scrumptious slightly warm and makes good toast. Sometimes I add some sunflower and pumpkin seeds to the loaf.



Shape the loaf and slash with a blade or sharp knife. As it proves the slashes expand.



The cooked oats needs to be quite thick and ' claggy'. Allow the oats to cool before using, I have made the bread with just luke warm oats and cold from the fridge. 

Wholemeal Oat Bread

Dough
 1 cup cooked oats/porridge (thick)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
 2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon dried yeast
2 tablespoons milk powder
1 tablespoon oil
 1 cup warm water, approximately

Bread Glaze
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
Whisk egg with the water.

Optional
mixed grains/seeds if desired.

Oats to sprinkle on top of loaf

Combine flours, sugar, salt, yeast and milk powder in a large bowl. Add any seeds and grains at this point.

Mix oil and cooked oats and then add to flour mixture.

Pour most of the water into the flour mixture and mix thoroughly.  Add the remaining liquid, if necessary, to form a soft dough.  The dough should be moist and soft but not sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board or bench top and knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Return dough to a clean and lightly oiled bowl. Use a mixer with a dough hook if you have one.

Cover with plastic film or enclose in a large plastic bag and leave to prove until dough has doubled in size.

Turn dough out onto board or bench and “knock back”.  Knead lightly, shape into a loaf shape and place in a greased tray or tray lined with baking paper. Slash loaf with a very sharp blade or knife. Glaze with bread glaze and leave to rise.

When the loaf has nearly doubled in size; sprinkle with the rolled oats. 


Bake bread in a hot oven (200 deg C) until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from tin and place on a cooling rack. 

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Crumpets

I have always enjoyed crumpets even the supermarket variety, particularly when well toasted and oozing butter and honey.



 When making sour dough bread I use a starter. The starter needs to divided and then fed. It seemed a waste to not use the discarded starter so I started to experiment. There have been many experiments with both a sourdough version and a regular style. I like the crumpets to have a porous texture and found that the addition of vinegar creates a crumpet with more holes. The science is simple the acid of the vinegar reacts with the alkali of the bicarbonate of soda to create carbon dioxide or gas bubbles in the batter. The gluten in the flour / batter also needs to be developed so the need to be beaten in much the same way as bread dough is kneaded. Fresh milk can be substituted for the water and powdered milk.



At the end of stage one the batter should be frothy and bubbly.



The various stages of being cooked before turning over. The bottom right photograph shows that the batter has basically cooked through.



Traditionally, crumpets are turned over ver in the ring and the top surface is barely coloured. I prefer them to be a little browner so remove the ring before turning them over so that the crumpet surface is in direct contact with the griddle or pan.


This is a crumpet cut through the middle to show the porous structure, plenty of holes for the butter and honey to sink into.



Sometimes I prefer a savoury version 








Crumpets
Regular Crumpets

Stage 1
2 cups plain flour*
2 teaspoons dried yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 egg
2 cups lukewarm water

*Substitute some wholemeal flour for some of the plain but no more than 1 cup

Stage 2
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon apple cider / white vinegar

Sour Dough Crumpets
1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon dried yeast (optional)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 egg
1 -1/2 cups lukewarm water

Make as for regular crumpets, the amount of water needed will depend on how liquid your starter is. Use 1 cup water and then add more as required.

Stage 2
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon apple cider / white vinegar


Method
Combine the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, powdered milk, egg and water in a bowl and beat using an electric mixer for a minute or so or longer if using a wooden spoon. The batter should be smooth and thick. Add a little more water if necessary.
Cover batter and place in a warm spot until the batter is really ‘bubbly’. This could take an hour or longer depending on the warmth of the location.
Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the water and mix into the batter and then add the vinegar.
Heat the griddle / electric frypan to medium heat.
 Oil the crumpet rings and wipe a little oil over the frypan. Spoon the crumpet batter into the oiled crumpet rings until approximately half full.
Cook crumpet until the surface is dry / almost dry and not wet or shiny. Air bubbles should appear.
Turn crumpets over and cook a little further. I remove them from the rings first so that the tops get browned.
Remove crumpets from the pan. Serve immediately or cool on a wire rack.
Crumpets can be stored in the fridge and then toasted. They also freeze well.

Serve with butter and honey

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Caramel Brownies

There are many ways to include a twist to to your favourite recipes. Brownies are my most commonly baked or go to slice and a recipe that is so easily adapted. I have given the basic recipe for Brownies here. Recently I have been making the caramel version, same recipe but substituting white chocolate for the dark chocolate and dark brown sugar for the sugar. Adding some other flavours can be a good way to create your own version.  These two variations of the Caramel Brownie have been very popular. 



This is the basic caramel brownie with chopped or broken Oreo cookies mixed through. We love ours slightly underdone so the middle is still a bit gooey.

Caramel Oreo Brownie
Ingredients for full quantity

250 gms butter
400 gms white chocolate
4 eggs
2 cups dark brown sugar
2 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (not essence)
1 pkt Oreo Cookies, broken into small chunks

Ingredients for half quantity

125 gms butter
200 gms white chocolate
2 eggs
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup plain flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (not essence)
½ pkt Oreo cookies, broken into small chunks



Method
Place chocolate and butter in glass bowl and melt in microwave. Use the melt function or medium heat. It should take about 3 minutes. Alternative method, use a bowl over hot water. Stir regularly until mixture is smooth.

Add sugar to mixture and stir well, then add vanilla, eggs and flour. Mix well.

Stir through the Oreo chunks.

Place mixture into a greased and lined tin making sure the Oreo chunks are evenly distributed.

Bake at 1600 until firm on the edges and slightly soft in the middle. It will take about 40-60 minutes depending on the depth of the tin. See below.

Allow brownies to stand for a few minutes and then lift out and place on cooling rack.

Cut up brownie and place in an airtight container or jar.

Use a large slice tin for full quantity. I use a rectangular slice tin that is approximately 21 cm wide, 29 cm long and 3 cm deep. For a half quantity I use a square cake tin 18cm wide, 18cm long and 4cm deep.



For this variation I reduced the amount of dark brown sugar and added treacle along with some spices to give a gingerbread flavour. The Pfeffernusse cookies add a little texture.

Gingerbread Brownie
Ingredients for full quantity

250 gms butter
400 gms white chocolate
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
2 cups plain flour
2 tablespoons treacle
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 - 1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 pkt Pfeffernusse cookies, cut into small chunks

Ingredients for half quantity

125 gms butter
200 gms white chocolate
2 eggs
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup plain flour
1 tablespoon treacle
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg(generous pinch)
1/2  pkt Pfeffernusse cookies, cut into small chunks


Pfeffernusse cookies are a soft gingerbread cookie with a thin shell of white icing, available in supermarkets.

Method
Place chocolate and butter in glass bowl and melt in microwave. Use the melt function or medium heat. It should take about 3 minutes. Alternative method, use a bowl over hot water. Stir regularly until mixture is smooth.

Add sugar to mixture and stir well, then add vanilla, eggs and flour. Mix well.

Stir through the Pfeffernusse chunks.

Place mixture into a greased and lined tin making sure the Pfeffernusse chunks are evenly distributed.

Bake at 1600 until firm on the edges and slightly soft in the middle. It will take about 40-60 minutes depending on the depth of the tin. See below. It is best to undercook than overcook.

Allow brownies to stand for a few minutes and then lift out and place on cooling rack.

Cut up brownie and place in an airtight container or jar.

Use a large slice tin for full quantity. I use a rectangular slice tin that is approximately 21 cm wide, 29 cm long and 3 cm deep. For a half quantity I use a square cake tin 18cm wide, 18cm long and 4cm deep.

Caramel Brownie
Ingredients for full quantity

250 gms butter
400 gms white chocolate
4 eggs
2 cups dark brown sugar
2 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (not essence)

Ingredients for half quantity

125 gms butter
200 gms white chocolate
2 eggs
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup plain flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (not essence)



Method
Place chocolate and butter in glass bowl and melt in microwave. Use the melt function or medium heat. It should take about 3 minutes. Alternative method, use a bowl over hot water. Stir regularly until mixture is smooth.

Add sugar to mixture and stir well, then add vanilla, eggs and flour. Mix well.

Place mixture into a greased and lined tin.

Bake at 1600 until firm on the edges and slightly soft in the middle. It will take about 40-60 minutes depending on the depth of the tin. See below. It is better to undercook than overcook.

Allow brownies to stand for a few minutes and then lift out and place on cooling rack.

Cut up brownie and place in an airtight container or jar.

Use a large slice tin for full quantity. I use a rectangular slice tin that is approximately 21 cm wide, 29 cm long and 3 cm deep. For a half quantity I use a square cake tin 18cm wide, 18cm long and 4cm deep.














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