There are pancakes and then there are souffle pancakes! These aren’t the enormous Japanese style souffle pancakes (I’m not together enough in the mornings to make them) but they are gorgeously fluffy, pillow-like pancakes made by whipping the egg whites into a meringue before folding […]
I might have mentioned this before but my family doesn’t eat Christmas dinner (we have it on Christmas Eve instead) but we do enjoy a Christmas day brunch before the present opening begins. And this is the perfect recipe to kick off the big day. It’s rich and crunchy and full of classic gingerbread flavours – absolutely delicious served with thick creamy Greek yoghurt and fruit.
The beauty of homemade granola is that it’s so easy to adapt it to you own tastes. Potty for pumpkin seeds? Pile them in. Fan of figs? Go ahead! Crazy about cashews? Well you get the idea. Use whatever dried fruit, nuts and seeds you like (I’ve opted for sultanas, hazelnuts and pecans) but try to keep to a ratio of 2/3 fruit to 1/3 nuts and seeds. I also think that it’s better not to bake the fruit as it tends to make it a bit too chewy, I think it’s better to add it at the end.
150g nuts, dried fruit and seeds (see note above)
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp crystalised ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp sea salt
Preheat your oven to 170°c and line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or baking parchment.
Toss together the oats with the nuts, seeds and crystalised ginger (keep back any fruit that you’re using) in a large mixing bowl.
Gently warm the maple syrup, sugar, oil, spices and salt so that they are all nicely melted together but not too hot (or the sugar will burn). Pour this mixture over the oaty blend and stir well, so that everything is nicely coated.
Spread this out on the prepared baking sheet, pressing it down slightly. Bake the granola for 20 minutes, turning it half way through.
Once the granola is baked scatter the fruit over it and then leave it to cool completely before breaking up the clusters a little and storing in an air-tight container.
You could put this in a pretty jar and give it as a lovely edible Christmas gift!
How does this look for a summer brunch!? Golden fluffy pancakes that will help you on your way to your five-a-day? Yes please! I’m a sucker for anything that involves dill so these are a winner for me. They make a pretty hearty breakfast but have got lots of light summer flavours.
You can use whatever type of squash is in season, I actually wanted yellow courgettes but I think I was a bit early for them so I had to settle for a green one. You can also top them with whatever you like. We enjoyed them with gravadlax (mmmm, more dill) but smoked or even poached fish would also be nice .
1 medium yellow or green courgette/squash
200g plain flour
2 tbsp baking powder
salt and pepper
30g butter (melted)
2 tbsp finely chopped dill
oil for frying
poached eggs, gravadlax, sour cream to serve
Grate the squash and then wrap it up in a clean tea towel and give it a good squeeze to remove some of the excess moisture. Set aside.
Place the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl and whisk them together. In a seperate jug beat together the buttermilk, eggs and melted butter. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet mixture. Gradually mix the wet into the dry to leave you with a thick smooth batter.
Add the grated squash and the chopped dill and mix through, ensuring that everything is well combined.
Heat a little oil in a frying pan and pour the batter into the pan to create the pancakes, make them as big or small as you like (although smaller ones are easier to flip!). When little bubbles start to form around the edges of the pancakes they should be ready to turn over. Cook until both sidea are golden brown and serve topped with cured or smoked fish, poached eggs or a little sour cream.
You just can’t go wrong with a Chelsea bun. Soft enriched dough crammed full of rich, sweet fillings and covered in finger-licking sticky glaze. Always a winner!
I love these warm for wintry breakfasts or with a cup of piping hot tea on a chilly afternoon. The soft sweet apple and tart, chewy, jewel-coloured dried cranberries are a perfect combination for this time of year.
150g strong white bread flour
80g wholemeal flour
7g easy blend yeast (1 sachet)
1 tsp sugar
big pinch of salt
125ml warm milk
250g(ish) cooking apples
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
35g soft butter
75g dried cranberries
pinch of ground allspice
icing sugar and milk or warmed honey to glaze
Sift the flours into a large bowl and mix through the salt, sugar and yeast. Rub the butter into this mix. Warm the milk a little (so it’s just tepid) and use a fork to beat the egg into it. Gradually pour the egg/milk mixture into the dry ingredients and bring it all together to form a soft dough. Remember that the flour may not be able to absorb all of the liquid, so it’s a good idea to add the wet ingredients a little at a time.
Once you have a nice soft ball of dough, turn it out onto a very lightly floured surface and knead it for a few minutes until if feels smooth and springy.
Wash and dry the bowl you mixed the dough in so that it’s nice and warm and lightly oil it. Pop the dough in the bowl, cover with oiled cling film and put it somewhere warm for about an hour, until it has doubled in size.
Whilst the dough rises you can prepare the filling. Peel and core the apples before chopping them into quite small pieces. Whisk together the sugar, cornflour and allspice in a large mixing bowl and then toss the apple and cranberries in it.
Once the dough has risen take it out of the bowl and knead it again for a minute or two on a lightly floured surface. This means that all the air bubbles will be evenly distributed throughout it. Roll the dough out into a rectangle, a little bigger than a piece of A4 paper. Spread the surface with the butter and then scatter over the filling mixture. Roll the dough up tightly, starting at the long edge. Cut it into eight even-sized pieces and place these, cut-side down into a generously buttered baking dish. Re-cover with cling film and put the dish back in a warm place for another hour until the buns have risen and are sitting quite snugly in the tin.
Pre-heat your oven to 190°c. Bake the buns for about 30 minutes until they are golden brown.
Make a simple glaze by combining a couple of tablespoons of icing sugar with a splash of milk and brushing onto the buns or simply warming some honey and drizzling it over them.
When I was younger I would generally end up dodging breakfast, much to my mothers frustration I should imagine. I always felt that the extra 15 minutes in bed was far more preferable! I’m quite different now and get positively excited about the first meal […]