A Cornish girl's food adventures

Tag: spices

Chocolate, hazelnut & coriander shortbread

Chocolate, hazelnut & coriander shortbread

Since I changed the name of this blog I’ve been thinking about how it’s maybe a bit strange that there aren’t actually that many recipes on here that use coriander. It’s my name so I feel a little bit like it should be my trademark. […]

Cardamom buns

Cardamom buns

I’m almost certain that homemade bread is good for the soul. The process of making the dough, the smell as it bakes and that first taste when it’s fresh from oven – it really does make me feel good. I love making a batch of […]

Plum & cinnamon cobbler

Plum & cinnamon cobbler

Yeah! You did it! You made it through January. I don’t know about you but my January was 178 days long and I’m pretty sure that it rained every day. But it’s February now which means that it won’t be long before we can start to look forward to some brighter weather and longer days.
I’m not going to get ahead of myself though, I know it’s not quite time for spring yet. There’s still a nip in the air so comfort food is still on the menu – and what’s more comforting than a lovely warm pud! This cobbler has a deliciously jammy fruit layer made of sweet, tart plums with a light fluffy topping and a yummy crunchy crust. Perfect served with hot rich custard or cool, silky clotted cream.

Ingredients
serves 4
enough ripe plums to fill your baking dish (I used 8)
3 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tsp cornflour
25ml port (I’ve used cherry gin in this too, which is yummy!)
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
50g sugar
pinch of salt
70g butter
6 tbsp buttermilk

Pre-heat your oven to 220°c.
Whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon and cornflour in your baking dish. Slice the plums in half and remove the stones before tossing them in the sugar mixture in the baking dish. Sprinkle over the port and the vanilla. Bake the fruit for 10 minutes whilst you prepare the topping. This should let it start to become a bit jammy.
Sift together the flour and baking powder and whisk in the sugar and salt. Rub through the butter but leave it fairly chunky. Bring the dough together with the buttermilk and then briefly knead it. Roll the dough into golf ball sized pieces and then arrange them on top of the hot plums. Brush them with a little buttermilk and then sprinkle them with sugar. Pop the cobbler back in the oven and bake it for 30 minutes, until the top is puffed and golden and the fruit is bubbling around the edges. Leave to cool for five minutes before serving.

Gingerbread Honeycomb

Gingerbread Honeycomb

What do you call this? Honeycomb? Cinder toffee? Hokey pokey? Mr Colonial Cravings always laughs at me when I call it hokey pokey, but that’s what we call it in Cornwall and I think it’s pretty cute. Whatever name you have for it, this gingerbread […]

Gingerbread Viennese Whirls

Gingerbread Viennese Whirls

Oh my word these are good! I didn’t think Viennese whirls could get any more delicious but this festive twist really is good. Melt in the mouth, crumbly, buttery biscuits spiked with fiery ginger and fragrant spices, filled with gooey toffee and rich brandy buttercream? […]

Apple and cranberry chelsea buns

Apple and cranberry chelsea buns

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.

Ingredients
makes 8
dough
150g strong white bread flour
80g wholemeal flour
7g easy blend yeast (1 sachet)
1 tsp sugar
big pinch of salt
25g butter
125ml warm milk
1 egg
filling
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.

 

Pumpkin chocolate cake (vegan)

Pumpkin chocolate cake (vegan)

When we lived in America people would get very excited about the fact that on 1st November all of the Halloween candy in the shops would be super-cheap. I’m not sure that you could make candy corn cheap enough for me to eat it! We […]

Pear and ginger pudding cake

Pear and ginger pudding cake

I’ve made this a few times now and it always gets a really warm welcome at the table. It’s what autumn puddings should be, rich and warming and packed with flavourful spices. The sponge is wonderfully light with a gloriously sticky crust, the pears are […]

Crispy tofu tacos – with avocado coleslaw

Crispy tofu tacos – with avocado coleslaw

Before I lived in the States I only ever really thought of tacos as the hard, crunchy shells you buy from the supermarket and fill with chilli and cheese. I was utterly oblivious to the world of deliciousness which ‘proper’ tacos provide, there are so many possibilities. I think even when we travelled in Mexico I missed out by virtue of being a vegetarian.
Mr Colonial Cravings still lets out a wistful sigh upon recalling one particularly good taco al pastor purchased from a food truck in Austin TX (henceforth known as ‘the best taco ever’).
I’ll be the first to admit that these ones aren’t particularly conventional but that doesn’t make them any less tasty, and anyway, why should the meat eaters have all the fun!

Ingredients
serves 3-4 (depending on greed)
coleslaw
1/4 red onion
200g red cabbage
1 medium carrot
small bunch of fresh coriander
1 large ripe avocado
1 lime
salt and pepper to taste
crispy tofu
200g extra firm tofu (pressed for at least 20 mins and patted dry)
2 tbsp cornflour
pinch each of salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp chipotle powder
oil for frying
flour tortillas (if you’re making this for vegans make sure these aren’t made with lard)

Slice the onion, as thinly as you can, and macerate it in the lime juice. Set this aside until later. Grate the carrot and shred the cabbage. Roughly chop the coriander and toss it together with the carrot and cabbage. Add the onion and lime juice. Blend the avocado flesh with the salt and pepper until it is really smooth and creamy and then use this as the dressing for the coleslaw.


Mix together the cornflour and spices in a shallow dish. Slice the tofu into bite sized cubes and toss it in the spiced cornflour blend. Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a large frying pan and carefully place the dusted tofu into it. Let the tofu sit for a few moments to become crispy and golden before turning it. Keep turning the tofu until it is nice and golden on all sides.
Warm the tortillas, either in a dry pan or just by microwaving them, and then pile them up with the coleslaw and top them with the spicy, crispy tofu.

Sour cherry and cinnamon jam

Sour cherry and cinnamon jam

I’ve told you before about how much I love cherries. I’ve probably mentioned the tears that ensued when I swallowed a cherry stone as a child and my dad told me a cherry tree would grow out of my head. Ordinarily cherries are far too […]