A Cornish girl's food adventures

Tag: spices

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 […]

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? Yes please! Secure your place on the nice list and leave these out for Santa…

Ingredients
makes 8 sandwich biscuits
125g very soft butter
25g soft light brown sugar
125g plain flour
25g corn flour
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp of ground ginger
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
toffee
60g soft brown sugar
25g butter
30ml double cream
buttercream
50g very soft butter
75g icing sugar
50g soft brown sugar
30ml double cream
25ml brandy
finely chopped crystalised ginger

Pre-heat your oven to 190°c and line a couple of baking sheets with baking parchment or silicone mats.
Cream together the softened butter, salt and sugar until it is quite fluffy. Sift the cornflour, spices and plain flour into this mixture. Beat this all together until you have a very soft batter-like dough.
Fill a piping bag fitted with a very large star shaped nozzle with the dough. Pipe the biscuits in swirls (obviously) onto a lined baking tray, make sure you leave space between them to allow for spreading.
Bake for 15 minutes until they are lovely and crisp and then pop the biscuits onto a wire rack to cool.


To make the toffee layer combine the ingredients in a pan and heat gently. Allow to softly bubble away for a few minutes and then set it aside to cool and thicken to a soft, spreadable consistency. Be very careful with the toffee whilst it’s still hot.
Beat together all of the ingredients for the buttercream until you have a thick, fluffy, frosting. Match biscuits of similar sizes, spread one half with a little of the toffee and pipe the buttercream onto the other and top with a little of the chopped ginger before gently sandwiching them together. Dust with icing sugar and perhaps a little edible shimmer if you’re feeling particularly kitsch!

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 […]

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 soft and fruity and there are occasional fiery little nuggets of stem ginger, just to keep things interesting. I like this best served warm, five or ten minutes after it’s come out of the oven (so you don’t burn your mouth on the pears) but it’s also delicious served cold and keeps for several days because the sponge is so moist.

Ingredients
serves 6 generously
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp very hot water
50g butter
65g soft dark brown sugar
pich of salt
1 egg
90g golden syrup
50ml warm milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
140g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch ground allspice
2 pieces of stem ginger
1 tin of pear halves, drained (you can use fresh if you prefer but you’ll need to poach them first)

Pre-heat your oven to 180°c and grease and line a springform baking tin. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the hot water and set it aside.
Cream together the butter, salt and sugar until it is nice and fluffy and then beat in the syrup and egg. Stir in the milk, vanilla and bicarbonate of soda mixture. Sift together the flour, baking powder and spices to ensure that they are well blended and then briefly beat this into the wet mixture. Finely chop the stem ginger and fold it through the batter.


Pour the sponge mixture into the prepared tin. Arrange the pears on top and push them into the batter a little. Bake the cake for 45 minutes, covering the top with some foil if it starts to get a bit too brown in the last 15 minutes or so. Once the cake is done it should have risen up nicely around the pears and feel springy to the touch.
Serve warm with cream, ice cream or custard.

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 […]

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 […]

Heirloom tomato and fennel tart

Heirloom tomato and fennel tart

When you get really good ingredients it’s worth using them in a recipe that really shows off their full potential. That’s how I feel about these beautiful heirloom tomatoes anyway.
So often the fruits you find in supermarkets are insipid and disappointing but if you come across tomatoes like these, or are lucky enough to be green fingered and grow your own then you’ll know they’ll be packed with flavour and worthy of a bit more love than just tossing them into your Bolognese!
Look at how pretty the colours look in this tart, it’s a picture perfect summer dish. It tastes pretty wonderful too. The fennel seeds in the buttery pastry crust really bring out the sweetness of the tomatoes. Delicious!

Ingredients
150g plain flour
50g wholemeal flour
100g butter
pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp fennel seeds
splash of ice cold water
5-6 heirloom tomatoes (different varieties if you can)
3 tbsp polenta/semolina
1 tbsp freshly grated parmesan
seasalt, black pepper and fresh oregano

Whisk together the flours and then lightly rub in the butter until it looks like breadcrumbs. Mix through the salt and fennel seeds and then use a little splash of water to bring it all together to form a soft, but not sticky, dough. If you prefer then you can do all this quite quickly and easily in a food processor, which also means there’s less chance of over-working the dough and ending up with tough pastry. Wrap the dough in some cling film and pop it in the fridge to rest for at least 15 minutes.
Pre-heat your oven to 230°c and cover a large baking sheet with some baking parchment. Wash, dry and slice the tomatoes, so that the slices are about 5mm thick. A serrated knife is the best thing to use here.


Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until you have a large roundish shape, a few millimetres thick. Carefully place this on the prepared baking sheet. Scatter the polenta or semolina (whichever you’re using) over the pastry, leaving a few centimetres gap around the edge. This will help soak up all those lovely tomato juices and stop the pastry becoming a soggy mess. Arrange the tomato slices on top, overlapping them as you go. Season really well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and then dot the surface with a little butter. Sprinkle over the parmesan and a little chopped fresh oregano. Carefully fold up the edges of the pastry, gathering it a little where you need to.
Bake the tart for 20 minutes before reducing the oven temperature to 190° and baking for a further 25 minutes. The pastry should be crisp and slightly golden when it’s done. Leave to cool to room temperature before serving.

Miso caramel doughnuts

Miso caramel doughnuts

If you’re a fan of salted caramel but you’ve never tasted miso caramel then you really (like, right now) need to try it. It’s got all the sweet and salty joy of salted caramel but with a little bit of umami complexity added for good […]