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These are flavours which are just made to go together. They’re fragrant and exotic and generally a delicious combination. Cardamom is one of my favourite spices. I do love a no-churn ice cream recipe too, they’re always so quick and easy to whip up (no […]
Sometimes you want to be able to whip up a homemade sweet treat with the minimum amount of fuss. It’s nice to be able to sling a few ingredients into a bowl, give them a quick mix and be munching on the fruits of your (very little) labours 20 minutes later.
Muffins are almost always my favourite way of doing that, it’s so nice to have something freshly baked on the breakfast table but there’s no way that I’m prepared to get up extra early to achieve it!
If the addition of black pepper in these is a step too far for you then feel free to leave it out but I love it with berries, it gives things just a little bit of warmth rather than actual spiciness.
makes 10-12 depending on size
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
big pinch of black pepper
pinch of salt
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp melted butter
couple of handfuls of blueberries
Pre-heat your oven to 220°c and line a muffin tin with paper cases.
Sift together the flour and raising agents before whisking in the cornmeal, salt and pepper. Using a separate bowl or jug beat together the melted butter, egg, buttermilk and honey (it helps if you warm the honey a little). Once they are well combined stir the liquid into the dry mixture, using as few strokes as possible. Briefly fold in the blueberries and then divide the batter evenly between the cases. If you like you can add a little sprinkle of extra pepper to the top of each one.
Bake the muffins for about 15 minutes, until they are risen and golden brown on top. Enjoy warm or cold.
As our time living in America draws to a close I’ve been thinking about the way that I’ve been influenced by the food that I’ve eaten since I’ve been here. And whilst I will never understand why the cheese is bright orange and tastes quite literally of nothing there have been a fair few things that I’ve utterly fallen for and will no doubt recreate in my tiny terraced kitchen back home in Gloucestershire.
Biscuits definitely fall into this category. I’ve learned that well made ones can be a thing of beauty, and no, they aren’t just the same as scones. So I’ve decided to make myself an American-Cornish crossover by infusing some flaky, buttery biscuits with gorgeous golden saffron.
It works really well. The saffron flavour really shines through. They taste like rich buttery saffron bread (minus the fruit obviously) but with the lovely tender texture of American biscuits. Like all biscuits these are best eaten on the day that you bake them but if you don’t finish all of them (unlikely) they’re really good toasted and buttered.
makes 6 (but easily doubles)
big pinch of saffron steeped in 1 tbsp hot water
250g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
100g cold butter
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla paste
Steep the saffron in the hot water and set aside to cool.
Sift together the dry ingredients, into a large mixing bowl.
Cut the butter into cubes and lightly rub this into the flour mix. You don’t have to be too thorough about this, you’re trying to create thin sheets of butter rather than a breadcrumb type texture so you can leave it quite chunky.
In a separate bowl or jug mix together the buttermilk, honey, saffron water and vanilla paste. Make a well in the centre of the dry mix and pour in the wet ingredients. Use a butter knife to bring everything together to form a soft dough. Tip the dough on to a lightly floured surface and give it very brief knead (don’t overwork the dough). Roll the dough out so that it’s about 1 cm thick and then fold it into 4. This will create some nice flaky layers in the biscuits. Gently roll the dough again, but only until it is around 1″ thick. (Sorry for mixing my measuring systems there, it’s just how I think of it!) Cut out your biscuits, place them on a lightly greased tray, spaced a little apart and then put them in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.
Pre-heat your oven to 200°c and then bake the biscuits for 20 minutes. Serve hot or cold, clotted cream optional!
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