Saturday, 12 July 2014

Wholemeal Pitta Bread

Pitta Bread is definitely a winner if you are in need of a light yet filling lunch and this recipe is da boom and you should give it a go. Bread always seems like an daunting thing to bake but trust me pitta bread is easyyy to make and does not take to much time to do so! "Trusss me on dis 1"

Wholemeal Pitta Bread:
1 cup lukewarm warm water
2 tsp Active Yeast
3 cups Plain Wholemeal Flour
2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Olive Oil

1. Mix the yeast and water together and leave to froth for 15 minutes.
2. Add 2 and a half cups of the flour, the olive oil and the salt into the yeast mixture to form a soft dough.
3. Using the extra flour knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
4. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and leave to rise for 1 and a half hours.
5. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and flatten into thick round disks and sprinkle with a little more flour.
6. Roll each disk into an round 8-9 inch disk that is 1/4 of an inch thick.
7. Warm a frying pan on an medium heat and drizzle with a little olive oil.
8. Place one rolled out pitta bread onto the warmed pan and leave for 2 minutes (air bubbles should form; if they do not then lightly press down on the pitta bread). Then flip the pitta bread and cook for another 2 minutes. Repeat with the rest of the pitta breads.

So I decided that this time I would take pictures of all the steps to show ya'll that I am not kidding; it is really easy to make!

Adding a sprinkle of paprika onto homos is so delicioussss especially with pitta bread!

Voilllaaaaa; that's all it takes to make pitta bread!

Monday, 23 June 2014

Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake


This strawberries and cream cheesecake is heaven in a tin. Who doesn't love cheese, strawberries, biscuits and cream? That is basically what this recipe is all creamed into one tin.

This cheesecake is perfect for this time of year; with summer blooming and Wimbledon beginning (you could make this recipe as a twist on the classic strawberries and cream) what better time to make this recipe then now?

 Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake:
*Adapted from the hummingbird bakery recipe*
220g Digestive Biscuits
100g Melted Butter
200g Chopped Strawberries
100g Strawberries halved for the topping
180g Caster Sugar
600g Cream Cheese
2 Eggs
100g Mascarpone Cheese
20g Icing Sugar
100ml Double Cream

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 3. Line the base of the tin with baking paper. Blitz the biscuits into crumbs using a food processor or crush them by putting them in an sealed bag and bash with a rolling pin.
2. Combine the biscuit crumbs and melted butter into a bowl. Tip the crumbs into the prepared tin and pat down making sure they are evenly dispersed. Leave to set in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3. In the mean time put the strawberries, 80g of th sugar and 50ml of water into a saucepan. Bring to the boil then leave to simmer until the strawberries are soft and the water has reduced to half its original size. Leave to cool.
4. For the cheese topping, whisk together the cream cheese and remaining sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and continue to whisk to well combined. Fold in the cooked strawberries.
5. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the prepared tin. Put in the oven to bake for 30 minutes, until firm on top but slightly wobbly in the center. 
6. Allow the cheesecake to cool and then place in the fridge to set for 2 hours.
7. Meanwhile, beat the mascarpone cheese and icing sugar until smooth. In a separate bowl whip the double cream until stiff peaks form and then fold into the mascarpone mixture.
8. Take the chilled cheesecake out of the fridge and pour the mascarpone cream on top of the cheesecake and spread evenly. Place back in the fridge for a few hours, or preferably overnight to set.
9. When ready to serve remove the cheesecake from the fridge and top with the fresh halved strawberries.

Voillaaaaa done! There are a lot of steps to this cheesecake I know; but trust me it will be worth it once you get to tuck in!

Monday, 9 June 2014

Oven Baked Mini Chocolate Doughnuts

Doughnut, donut who doesn't love them! The good thing about these doughnuts is that you don't feel soo guilty having more than one as they are only mini! (That's just my way of justifying scoffing down a load of these little goodies).

This oven baked doughnut recipe is so easy to make and I reallyyyy recommended you to give the recipe a try even if you're not that into baking. I loved these doughnuts so much that I am going to, in the future, experiment with the recipe to try out different flavour combinations.

Oven Baked Mini Chocolate Doughnuts: (Makes 24)
250g Plain Flour
2tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
2 Eggs
130g Soft Light Brown Sugar
120ml Milk
4 tbsp Melted Butter
120g Natural Yogurt
3 tsp Vanilla Extract
For The Glaze:
100g Milk Chocolate
100g Dark Chocolate
5 tsp Golden Syrup
4 tbsp Butter

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4. Line a mini doughnut tray with butter and flour.
2. Mix the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and nutmeg into a bowl.
3. Whisk the eggs, milk, brown sugar and natural yogurt together in an separate bowl until well combined, add the melted butter and vanilla extract into this mixture; mix till well combined.
4. Pour the wet egg mixture into the dry ingredients and mix till well combined.
5. Put the batter into the greased doughnut tin until half full. It will be easiest to do this using a piping bag.
6. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
7. To make the chocolate glaze melt all the ingredients and mix them together. Once the doughnuts have cooled dip the top of them into the chocolate glaze and then leave to cool, the golden syrup should give the chocolate glaze a nice shine.

I highly recommend only filling the doughnut tin half full as otherwise, like what happened in my first batch, they will rise to high causing there to be no whole in the bottom. However, this is easily solved by pushing the whole through after the doughnuts have been baked butttt it will be a lot easier if you do not overfill them to begin with!

If you think 24 sounds like too many doughnuts to make trust me you will have wished you had made more as they will be gone in no time!

Monday, 2 June 2014

Grissini Breadsticks

These crispy, thin, salty snacks are an great snack for on-the-go or a great lunch if you were to have them with dips such as hummus or even salsa.

The dough for these little grissini breadsticks is basically thinly rolled out pizza dough which is super easyyy to make. 

The great thing about grissini breadsticks is that they have a rustic style so you do not need to spend ages on the presentation of them; which is a massiveee bonus and makes them even less time consuming!

Grissini Breadsticks Recipe (Makes 24):
60g Wholemeal Flour
180ml Warm Water
1tsp Honey
7g Active Dry Yeast
180g Plain Flour
3tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil plus extra to grease the bowl
1 and a 1/2 tsp Salt
Topping Options: Finely chopped fresh or dry herbs, Parmesan Cheese, Poppy Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Salt or Black Pepper.

1. Combine the wholemeal flour, water, yeast and honey in an bowl till well combined. Leave for 10 minutes until the mixture is bubbly and foamy. 
2. Add the plain flour, olive oil and salt to the mixture, mix till well combined. Knead for 10 minutes until smooth.
3. Place the ball of dough into an lightly oiled bowl, cover with a towel and leave to rise in an warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
4. Preheat the oven to gas mark 7 and line 2 large trays with butter and flour or baking paper.
5. Once the dough has risen punch the dough and then if adding herbs or any other spices knead them in now.
6. Pat the dough into an rectangle. Slice this rectangle into very thin slices long ways. Roll these slices out to your desired length for the grissini breadsticks and place onto the baking tray.
7. If you wish to coat the breadsticks in any topping such as poppy seeds or Parmesan cheese now is the time to do it.
8. Leave to rest for 15 minutes until they get a bit more puffy.
9. Bake the grissini breadsticks in the preheated oven for 15 minutes checking on them every 5 minutes to ensure they do not burn.
10. Leave to cool and then hey presto easy as pie you have a batch of homemade grissini breadsticks!

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Healthyish Coconut Cake

Now that summers coming up everyone in my house is trying to watch what they eat....which it very tricky when I am baking 24/7; so I decided to make my recipes a bit more healthy. So if you're looking for a healthy coconut cake recipe...well healthyish, this is the place to look.

I say healthyish because coconut has many health benefits and I also substituted the white flour for wholemeal flour and cream for no fat natural yogurt. However, there is no beating around the bush a cake is still a cake and not all that good for you! This recipe just makes it slightlyy better for you and you could make it even better by substituting the butter for coconut oil but we did not have enough coconut oil left in the house for me to do this.

This cake is moist yet has texture due to the desiccated coconut which makes it extra scrummyy. It also has a creamy topping of natural yogurt and desiccated coconut which adds that finishing touch to the cake.

Coconut Cake:
175g Butter
175g Wholemeal Plain Flour
175g Golden Caster Sugar
3 and a 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
3 Eggs
50g Desiccated Coconut plus extra to decorate 
2 tbsp Natural Yogurt plus extra to decorate 

1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4.
2. Cream together the butter,flour,sugar,baking powder and eggs until well combined.
3. Add the coconut and yogurt into the mixture, mix gently.
4. Pour the mixture into a prepared buttered and floured cake tin.
5. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes on gas mark 4 then turn the oven down to gas mark 3 and cook for a further 15 minutes.
6. Leave to cool, remove the cake from the tin and cover with natural yogurt and desiccated coconut to decorate.

This cake is best served with an extra dollop of natural yogurt!

What are your tips to make your baked goods healthyish?

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Apple Crumble Cake

EXAMS ARE FINISHED! Now that my exams are finished I thought I would celebrate with this apple crumble cake, I mean whats better than apple crumble and cake combined?

Now this cake really is delicious and sounds very impressive yet is easy peasy to make.

Apple Crumble Cake
*Adapted from the Hummingbird recipe*
For the Cake:
60g Butter
140g Plain Flour
100g Caster Sugar
1 Egg
1tsp Vanilla Essence
1tsp Baking Powder
80ml Milk
3 Granny Smith Apples
For the Crumble topping:
140g Plain Flour
1tsp Ground Cinnamon
80g Butter
140g Soft Light Brown Sugar

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 3, then grease a round tin with butter and dust with flour.
2. For the crumble topping sift the flour and cinnamon into a bowl. Add the butter and using your fingertips rub the ingredients together until they look like breadcrumbs.Stir in the sugar and set aside.
3. For the cake cream together the butter and sugar using a whisk until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla essence and make sure all the ingredients are well combined.
4. Sift half the flour and baking powder into the cake batter then add half the milk into the batter, mix until well combined then repeat this. Pour into the prepared cake tin.
5. Peel, core and slice the apples into thin slices or thicker ones if you want the apples to have more of an crunch. 
6. Arrange the apples onto the cake batter in the cake tin making sure it is arranged evenly.Then sprinkle with the crumble topping making sure you do so evenly.
7. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the crumble is golden brown and when a skewer is inserted into the cake it comes out clean. Then voila enjoyyyyy! (best served warm with custard or cream orrrr Ice Cream)

If you love cake and crumble this is sure to be the cake for you; you get the best of both worlds!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Oven Dried Tomato and Pepperoni Pizza

Whenever I want to eat something comforting the thing I turn to is good ol' trusty pizza. Now, as my stress levels are through the rooooof at the moment due to the fact that my As levels are in one month x_x pizzas are the perfectttttttt de-stresser as you get to knead the dough which is kinda like a stress ball and then you get a nice break from revision with a comforting piece of pizza. (I highly recommend.)

Toppings. Its always a tough one picking which topping to have; it can really-make-or-break your meal. If unsure I always sway towards the trusty pepperoni pizza and I lovee it with roasted tomatoes and jalapenos. (We didn't have jalapenos in the house to put on mah pizza; ohh well)

Oven Dried Tomato and Pepperoni Pizza (Makes 2):
500g Plain flour
2 tsp Salt
1 x 7g Sachet of dried yeast
350ml Warm water
Breadcrumbs or Semolina for dusting
Whatever ya like but I used:
4 Cloves of garlic
Cherry Tomatoes
Olive Oil for drizzling
350g Passata
8 pieces of Salami
150g mozzarella cheese

1. To make the pizza dough combine the flour salt and yeast in a bowl. Then gradually add the warm water incorporating with your hands until you form a ball (add more flour or water if needed). Cover with a cloth and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
2. Knead the dough for 10 minutes and then split the dough into two balls. Sprinkle flour on a clean kitchen towel and then place the two dough balls on the towel. Cover with a damp towel and leave to rise for an hour.
3. Preheat the oven to gas mark 9.
4. Once the dough has doubled in size roll the dough out and then place on a tray lined with a sprinkle of the breadcrumbs or semolina. 
5. Then go crazay with the toppings. I just spooned the passata on to the pizzas. Ripped up the mozzarella and scattered it on top along with some torn salami. I also scattered a few roasted tomatoes on top (you do this by chopping the tomatoes in half then adding them onto a tray along with the roughly chopped garlic cloves a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Then roast them for a good hour at gas mark 6.) 
6. Bake in the top shelf of the oven for 12 minutes.
7. One tip I do have is don't put the herb of your choice on until after the pizzas have cooked; you don't want them to burn!

I always find that homemade pizzas are sooo incredibly stuffing! But who am I kidding I don't stop eating till its all gone.

What is your favourite pizza topping?

Monday, 14 April 2014

Hot Cross Buns

With Easter coming up I thought I would make some Hot Cross Buns and share the recipe with you all.

Now, let me tell you I am not normally a Hot Cross Bun kind of girl but after trying these I am converted. Homemade really does taste better; the apple chunks in the buns make them particularly delicious.

The crosses are a bit wonky; but I guess that's what gives them that special homemade touch.

Hot Cross Buns (Makes 12):
*Disclaimer: This recipe was adapted from Paul Hollywoods'*
300ml Milk
500g Strong white bread flour
75g Caster sugar
1 tsp Salt
7g Fast-action yeast
50g Butter
1 egg
230g Sultanas
1 apple cored pealed and chopped into small chunks
Zest of 2 oranges
2tsp Ground cinnamon
Olive or sunflower oil for greasing
75g Plain flour
A cup of water
6 tbsp Apricot jam

1.Bring the milk to the boil then leave to cool till it is warm.
2. Mix the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, butter and egg in a bowl till well incorporated.
3.Add the sultanas and orange zest to the flour mix. Knead the dough for 5 minutes until smooth and elasticy.
4.Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover the bowl with lightly oiled clingfilm; leave to rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
5.  Knock back the dough (the best partt) then divide the dough into 12 even pieces. (I did this by weighing each piece). Roll the dough into balls and if needed use a little flour. Place the buns on a baking tray lined with a coating of butter and flour leaving enough space between the buns so that they just touch when they rise and expand. Leave to prove for another hour.
6. Heat the oven to Gas Mark 7.
7. To make the cross mix the flour with just enough water for the mixture to form a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag. Pipe the crosses on each of the buns.
8. Bake for 20-25 minutes until nice n' golden.
9. Heat the apricot jam on a low heat, then sieve to get rid of any chunks. While the jam is warm brush over the warm buns (I just used the back of a teaspoon to do this) you can wait until they cool butttt these hot cross buns are sooo delicious fresh out the oven piping hot.

These hot cross buns are soooooo goood straight out of the oven with a thick coating of butter as the butter melts through the bun making them extra scrummy. Mmmm Mmmmm Mmmm.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Peanut Butter Milkshake

It'sssss peanut butter milkshake time, peanut butter milkshake time. (If you don't know what I'm talking about type peanut butter jelly time into you tube)

Butt anyway, yes, it is indeed peanut butter milkshake time as I thought I would improvise and make up this peanut butter milkshake recipe which was delicioussssss.

Peanut Butter Milkshake: (Serves 2)
500ml milk
250g natural yogurt
250ml vanilla ice cream
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tsp honey
About 7 ice cubes (adjust to prefrence)

1. Whiz everything up in a blender. 
(Hay presto easy peasy lemon squeezey.)

This peanut butter milkshake recipe is so scrummy, quick, easy and requires little ingredients; what more could you ask for!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Chocolate Chunk Walnut Pie

If you love chocolate, walnuts and pastry then trust me you will love this recipe. This pie is soooo indulgent and comforting you wont be able to get enough of it!....Me and my Mum ate the whole pie between us but shh no one has to know that! 

One thing I will say is that if your pie tin is quite big, double the pastry as I didn't and as you can see the edges are a lil' thin.

Chocolate Chunk Walnut Pie:
*Disclaimer this recipe has been adapted from the Humming Bird pecan pie*
110g Butter
225g Plain Flour
80g Caster Sugar
1 Egg
110g Butter
225g Soft Light Brown Sugar
110g Golden Syrup
3 Eggs
260g Roughly Chopped Walnuts plus 16 Walnut Halves
100g Dark Chocolate Chips

1. Using your hands rub together the butter and flour and then stir in the sugar and the egg. Once the dough has come together take it out and knead it gently on a floured surface.
2. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and put in the fridge to rest for 20-30 minutes.
3.Once the pastry has rested, unwrap it from the clingfilm and place into a buttered tin. Push the pastry to the sides and base until it covers the base and sides evenly. Alternatively you can roll the pastry till 5 mm thick then place it in the tin but I found the pastry too sticky to do this. Using a sharp knife cut away excess pastry. Then place the pastry back in the fridge for another 20-30 minutes.
4.In the meantime, preheat the oven to Gas mark 2.
5.Once the pastry has rested, line it with baking parchment and fill with baking beans (I just use pasta) and then place in the oven to bake blind for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the baking beans (or pastaaa) with the parchment, and bake the tart case for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
6.In a saucepan over a low heat, melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup together. Set aside to cool. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl and then pour the melted sugar mix into the egg mixture.Stir continuously until well combined.
7.Scatter the chopped walnuts and chocolate chips over the base of the tart and then pour the sugar-egg filling on top. Decorate the top with the halved walnuts.
8.Carefully place the pie in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, then bring the temperature up to Gas Mark 4 and bake for another 30 minutes. When cooked the pie filling should be set with a slight wobble-wobble in the center.
9.Voilla! Easy as pieeee.

Trust me when I say that this pie is best eaten piping hot! Also it seems to taste evennnnn better reheated the next day!