You may remember that we had a glut of eggs when we looked after our neighbours chickens whilst they went on holiday. Well, we had a freezer rearrange last week and realised that we had some egg whites that needed using. We also have a huge 1 kilo bag of dessicated coconut (not in the freezer!), two of the main ingredients needed for macaroons.
Seeing as it’s also Valentine’s Day we thought we’d make them a little extra special and made some coconut macaroon hearts drizzled in dark chocolate.
They probably take 10 seconds or so longer to make into hearts than the traditional dome shapes but don’t they look pretty?
If you prefer, you could also dip each heart into the melted chocolate instead of drizzling it… or omit the chocolate altogether, if you prefer.
I never realised that they were so quick and easy to make – just throw all the ingredients into a bowl, stir then spoon them on to a well greased or tray or parchment paper. A quarter of an hour in the oven, and they’re done!
We absolutely love our butter in this household, it’s quite alarming how much of the stuff two people get through! With all the bread and cake baking, it’s not surprising, really.
When I saw this butter-licious, American butter-dipped biscuits recipe on Pinterest my mouth immediately started watering.
It may look like a lot of butter but it isn’t really – a mere 113 grams (that’s how much is in an American ‘stick’ of butter). Anyway, it’s been decided by all those hugely intelligent scientists that butter isn’t bad for you!
You’ve probably noticed from the photos that it’s not anything like what the average British person would call a ‘biscuit’. American biscuits are what we over here might refer to as scones (whether you pronounce it to rhyme with ‘gone’ or ‘bone’).
I had one with a fried egg (as you can see in the main photo), and another with some mature cheddar. I must say, I’m not used to having savoury food with a sweet bread product – it took a bit of getting used to, but I’d definitely be making them again.
If you’re not vegetarian like me, try them with chilli con carne, sausages, bacon & eggs – especially if the meats are sweet-cured or maple-glazed. Or, have it like the Americans do, with even more butter as a side to a main course dish and/or with gravy!
We were sent a pizza steel kit to review last week and thought we’d give it its first trial in this week’s Cakes & Bakes post.
It’s a pizza steel, so of course that was going to be the thing we made! After making last week’s loaf we had some left-over ingredients so we thought beetroot and goats cheese pizza would be a great choice – waste not, want not! And we always have batches of home made tomato sauce in the freezer… we’ll share that recipe next week as it’s a very flexible and useful staple to have available.
The kit is available in two sizes (depending on the width of your oven) and comprises a steel, a pair of aluminium combi peels for preparing the pizzas and a stainless steel dough cutter.
Prior to use, the steel needed to be ‘seasoned‘. This entails it being wiped all over with some kitchen roll impregnated with olive or rapeseed oil and putting it into a hot oven (250ºC) for an hour. Once that’s been done it keeps the steel non-stick, makes it easier to clean and stops it from rusting. So long as you maintain it properly by not washing it in soapy water, keeping it dry and resealing it with oil when necessary.
Before using it to cook your pizza, it needs to be preheated in the oven for 45 minutes (a pizza stone needs up to twice that length of time to achieve the correct heat).
Even if you don’t make pizza that frequently, the steel can be used to make home-made loaves, rolls, baguettes… any sort of bread product.
Prior to using the pizza steel, our home-made pizzas usually take about 25 minutes to cook. This batch of beetroot and goats cheese pizza took a mere 12-15 minutes – and the base and crust had a far superior texture.
We can’t recommend the pizza steel highly enough for producing professional looking and tasting pizzas. In fact, we can safely say it’s going to revolutionise our pizza and bread making!
My Pinterest stream is always full of food photos – predominately cake, fudge, biscuits and bread. One in particular caught my eye last week… a beetroot loaf. The colour is amazing and I love beetroot anyway.
I had a search through many of my cook books and finally found a beetroot loaf recipe in Bread. The recipe is designed for electric bread-makers (there’s a whole section of bread-maker recipes in the book if that’s your preferred way of making bread!) but it’s fine to use if you’re making it by hand.
Just mix the yeast and sugar in the water using a small measuring jug or cup, combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl making a well in the centre, pour in the yeast mixture and bring together roughly. Chuck in the beetroot, spring onions and butter (I omitted the last two ingredients) then knead well for about 10 minutes. Cover the mixing bowl in cling film (or put it inside a big clear [reusable] plastic bag like I do). Allow it to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl, punch down and put it into a loaf tin or well-floured banneton. Allow to double in size again before (transferring from the banneton to a greased oven tray) baking in a preheated oven at 220ºC/425ºF/Gas mark 7 for 30-40 minutes or until it sounds hollow when knocked on the base.
It was beautiful and absolutely delicious! Slightly sweet with a slightly earthy flavour. I had it with goats cheese and horseradish and Justin had the same in addition to a char-grilled sirloin steak.
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
Pour the water into the bread pan. Sprinkle over the grated beetroot. If the instructions for your machine specify that the yeast is to be placed in the pan first, reverse the order in which you add the liquid mixture and dry ingredients
Add the chopped spring onions. However, if your bread machine offers you the option of adding any extra ingredients during the kneading cycle, set the spring onions aside so that you may add them later on
Sprinkle the flour over the beetroot and water, ensuring it covers them both. Add the butter, salt and sugar in separate corners. Make a small indent in the centre of the flour (but not down as far as the liquid) and add the yeast
Set the bread machine to the basic/normal setting, medium crust. Press start. If you like, slash the top of the loaf with diagonal slashes just before the baking cycle starts
Remove at the end of the baking cycle and turn out on to a wire rack
If you prefer an all-over red loaf rather than speckled, purée the raw beetroot in a mini-food processor instead of grating it
We’ve finally polished off all the Christmas Day left overs. I made a (surprisingly delicious) fritata using up a couple of sliced up roast potatoes, sprouts and stuffing. It’s amazing what you can throw together to save on wasting food!
Today has been frosty all day and at times like this, all the body craves is comforting carbs. This hot, creamy cardamom rice pudding just hits the spot!
It’s quick to pull together, foolproof and is delicious served hot with a side of pouring cream or vanilla ice cream.