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. […]
Tag: maple syrup
What better Autumn teatime treat could there be than a slice of sweetly spiced loaf cake baked with butternut squash and sweet dried apricots? This cake is deliciously moist (sorry, I don’t have another word for it!) and a little like a fruitier carrot cake. […]
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 of the day. Who wouldn’t get excited about the prospect of a stack of fluffy coconut and raspberry pancakes. Yeah, that bowl of corn flakes doesn’t look too great now does it?
1 tbsp melted butter
220g plain flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
30g desiccated coconut
1 tbsp sugar
Whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a jug blend the buttermilk, eggs and melted butter. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in about half of the wet mixture. Use a whisk to stir it into the dry mixture until you have a thick smooth batter. Add the remaining wet ingredients and mix it again to thin out the batter.
Lightly grease a large frying pan and place it over a low to moderate heat. Drop spoonfuls of the batter into the pan, allowing them room to spread and place a few raspberries into each one. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface and the bottoms are golden and then carefully flip the pancakes over to cook the other side. Serve immediately with a smear of butter and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Some mornings nothing’s as good as a muffin. A bowl of bran flakes just doesn’t compare to biting into a soft, sweet, fruity muffin still warm from the oven. One of these and about a pint of black coffee help to make me into much more of a morning person.
Having said that though, these are really good at any time of day. Mid-morning snack, afternoon tea, supper-time treat – these have got you covered. I always like to re-warm mine a little in the oven before I serve them so that the tops go a little crisp and crusty. And as we all know the tops are the best bit of any muffin, especially one with a butterscotch-ey maple glaze!
makes 6 big muffins
100g plain flour
50g whole wheat flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
50g maple syrup
40g melted butter
1 tbsp sour cream (optional)
80g mixed frozen berries (don’t defrost them)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp butter
Pre-heat your oven to 190°c and line a six hole muffin tin with paper cases.
Sift together the flours, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl. Whisk in the salt.
Use a separate bowl or jug to whisk together the syrup, butter, egg, sour cream and buttermilk until they are well blended.
Very briefly mix the wet mixture into the dry mixture, so that it is only just combined. Fold through the berries, you might want to keep a few to push into the tops of muffins before baking though. Divide the batter between the muffin cases and bake the muffins for 25 minutes.
Transfer the baked muffins to a wire rack to cool. If you want to glaze them (and why wouldn’t you?!) simply melt together the butter and syrup and let them bubble for a moment. Brush the glaze onto the muffins and allow to cool a little.
Parsnips should be more than just an accompaniment to your Sunday roast. They should be cake in fact. If it’s good enough for carrots then it’s good enough for parsnips! This recipe makes a wonderfully moist sponge with a nice amount of spiciness and warmth […]
We took a little road trip up to Vermont in October to meet up with a couple of our friends from back home. This nicely coincided with my friend’s birthday. We also realised whilst we were away that we’ve known each other for 25 years, which means that this year is our Silver Friendiversary (or something like that – I’m sure Hallmark can come up with a catchier name for it).
Anyway, I wasn’t going to turn up in Stowe without a cake for my friend, but I did need to come up with one that could survive the 500+ mile journey up there. I’m pleased to say that this performed admirably. The cake has plenty of moisture from the pears and the frosting is less prone to melting than others that I’ve worked with.
The flavours of this are quite subtle, I didn’t want anything to be too over-powering. However if you want to amp-up the rosemary then just put the sugar for the sponge in a container for a few days with several sprigs of rosemary that you’ve bashed with a rolling-pin and it’ll take on a bit more of the flavour.
2-3 pears (depending on size)
handful of rosemary sprigs
150g sugar (or rosemary infused sugar)
pinch of salt
250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
250g pear puree
2 tbsp milk
100g icing sugar
4 tbsp maple syrup
225g cream cheese
You need to start by making the roasted pear puree, this can be done a few days in advance if you like. It’ll be quite happy in the fridge.
Peel, core and quarter the pears, mix them with the rosemary on a baking tray and roast them at 190°c until they are really soft and tender. How long this takes really depends on how ripe the pears are to start with, so keep checking them. Once they are soft, let the fruit cool and then puree them (discard the rosemary) in a food processor until they are really smooth. I like to sieve mine too so that there are no lumps at all. Set this aside.
Once you have your pear puree you can get cracking on the cake itself. Pre-heat the oven to 190°c and grease and line a couple of sandwich tins.
Cream together the butter, salt and sugar until it’s fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, following each one with a spoonful of the flour to stop the mixture from curdling. Sift in the remaining flour along with the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and briefly beat it together. Add the pear puree and milk and beat the batter again so that it is well combined.
Divide the batter evenly between the tins, smooth off the tops and bake the sponges for 25-30 minutes. Test them with a skewer but they should be lightly browned and feel springy to the touch.
Remove the cakes from the tins and leave them to cool on a wire rack.
The frosting is very easy to make. Simply beat the butter, salt and sugar until they are fluffy then add the maple syrup and briefly beat again. Add the cream cheese and beat the whole lot until it’s thick and creamy. Use about a third of this to sandwich the two cooled cakes together and use the remainder to frost and decorate the cake however you like. There are some videos on youtube that will show you how to do the ‘basket weave’ piping that I’ve used. It’s really very easy (I promise!).
These are such lovely, autumnal flavours. The sweet fig, the rich, sticky maple syrup and the warm spices all blend so nicely together. And of course a steamed pudding is just wonderfully comforting anyway. It’s not heavy though, not the sort of thing that my […]