Cakes & Bakes: Sourdough waffles

Cooking home-made sourdough waffles in an old-fashioned cast iron waffle iron | H is for Home #recipe #sourdough #cooking

Just a couple of weeks ago, we featured a round up of waffle irons on Price Points. This week, I’ve made my first ever batch of sourdough waffles; the miracle of internet shopping!

Our new Rome's Original Old Fashioned Waffle Iron | H is for Home

I wanted a cast iron, stove-top waffle iron that I could store away in a drawer when not in use – and this is the one I finally decided to purchase.

Seasoning our new Rome's Original Old Fashioned Waffle Iron in our wood-burning stove | H is for Home

As with all new cast iron pans, it needed to be seasoned well before its maiden voyage. With all the snow and freezing temperatures we’ve had recently, our wood-burner has been chuffing away almost constantly – so that was the ideal place to do it.

Sourdough batter for making sourdough waffles | H is for Home Melted butter and milk mixture for sourdough waffles | H is for Home

This sourdough waffle recipe – as with most that use a starter – needs some forward planning. Ideally, you’d get your starter/flour/sugar/salt combined the night before if you want waffles for breakfast.

Cooking home-made sourdough waffles | H is for Home Cooking home-made sourdough waffles | H is for Home

The iron produced delicious crispy waffles. Justin and I both fancied maple syrup with them, but then we diverged slightly.

Plate of home-made sourdough waffles with bacon & maple syrup | H is for Home

He went for the sweet/salty thing and opted to serve with crispy bacon. I chose sliced bananas. The possibilities are endless of course. The caramelised bananas I made for this series a couple of weeks ago would work a treat. Also, any other fresh fruit, compotes or preserves, yoghurt, honey and cream would be perfect. They’re going to be a regular breakfast/brunch from this day forth!

Plate of home-made sourdough waffles with banana & maple syrup | H is for Home

Click here to save the recipe to Pinterest.

Sourdough waffles
  1. 115g/4oz butter
  2. 225ml/8 fl oz milk
  3. 275g/9¾oz sourdough starter (100% hydration)
  4. 1tsp salt
  5. 1tbsp soft brown sugar
  6. 170g/6oz plain flour
  7. 2 eggs
  8. ½tsp bicarbonate of sodaHome-made sourdough waffles ingredients
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
  1. Combine the starter, salt, sugar and flour so it forms a thick batter
  2. Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside at room temperature for 8-12 hours. If you do this before going to bed, you can time the batter to be ready for breakfast the following day
  3. In a small saucepan over a low flame, heat the butter and milk until the butter has melted. Put the mixture aside and allow it to cool to room temperature
  4. Preheat your waffle iron for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Uncover the batter and whisk in the eggs
  6. When the waffle iron is ready, add ½tsp bicarbonate of soda to the batter. Do not over mix or you'll beat the air out of it
  7. Carefully pour enough batter onto the hot waffle iron to cover the base. Place the lid of the waffle iron on top
  8. Cook on one side for about 3 minutes before flipping the waffle iron over and cooking the other side
  1. You can store any uneaten waffles in zip-lock bags in the freezer for up to 3 months.
H is for Home Harbinger

Price Points: Waffle makers

Selection of waffle makers | H is for Home

I love making pancakes and Yorkshire puddings. One thing I’ve never attempted to make – probably because I don’t have the proper kit – is waffles.

The waffles that you tend to find in supermarkets never look very appetising and the ones at foodie markets are always really expensive. Waffles, like pancakes and Yorkshire puds, are basically eggs, flour, milk and fat… with the addition of yeast or baking powder.

I think I’d make good use of one of these waffle makers – or waffle iron – especially one that can store away in a kitchen drawer when not in use. I don’t have the spare counter-top space to have one permanently out on show – even if it’s as attractive to look at as the Dualit example. Also, much as I like its dual-purpose as a toasted sandwich maker, I think I’d choose the mid-range Nordic Ware version.

  1. Double waffle maker: £18.99, Clas Ohlson
  2. Nordic Ware original stovetop Belgian waffle maker: £62.50, Divertimenti
  3. Dualit toastie & waffle contact toaster 73010: £199.99, Nisbets

shop waffle makers

Double waffle maker
Double waffle maker
Nordic Ware original stovetop Belgian waffle maker
Nordic Ware original stovetop Belgian waffle maker
Dualit toastie & waffle contact toaster 73010
Dualit toastie & waffle contact toaster 73010
Double waffle maker
Double waffle maker
Nordic Ware original stovetop Belgian waffle maker
Nordic Ware original stovetop Belgian waffle maker
Dualit toastie & waffle contact toaster 73010
Dualit toastie & waffle contact toaster 73010
Double waffle maker
Double waffle maker
Nordic Ware original stovetop Belgian waffle maker
Nordic Ware original stovetop Belgian waffle maker
Dualit toastie & waffle contact toaster 73010
Dualit toastie & waffle contact toaster 73010

Check yourselves in for festive fun at Hotel Chocolat

Hotel Chocolat chocolate Christmas tree

We’ve been busy doing lots of Christmas-themed posts in the past couple of weeks. So much so that we need to give our own Christmas plans a little more attention maybe – especially on the Yuletide gift front.

Hotel Chocolat packaging | H is for Home

We’ve just been sent a beautiful chocolate parcel by Hotel Chocolat and it got us thinking… chocolate has to be the best foolproof Christmas present ever. We’re don’t know the exact percentages involved, but surely there aren’t many people who don’t like a bit of chocolate! In fact, in all my years, I’ve only ever met one person that doesn’t like chocolates… and I think they were just in denial! You can be pretty confident that a present involving chocolate will be a big hit with most people.

Christmas Hotel Chocolat

The standard newsagent bar of chocolate is fine for everyday consumption however, at Christmas you want something just a little bit special – whether it be superior quality, creative flavours or festive themes & packaging. Fortunately, Hotel Chocolat has built it’s reputation on fulfilling all three.

Hotel Chocolat Christmas stocking | H is for Home

Chocolate is the perfect gift idea for grown ups and for children. Kids especially like the fun shapes, novelty packaging, exciting flavours and quirky twists on a Christmas theme. The chocolate parcel stocking we received contains some lovely little treats including creamed caramel puddles, a sleigh team and Santa on a stick!

Children's chocolate from Hotel Chocolat | H is for Home

The kids’ section on the Hotel Chocolat website contains a myriad of chocolate-themed Santas, snowmen, robins, penguins, snowflakes, puddings and the like. We’re looking forward to trying our novelty reindeer/ we enjoyed sampling our novelty reindeer, but perhaps most grown ups will be looking towards more sophisticated options.

Hotel Chocolat & Prosecco gift box

The classic champagne & chocolate springs to mind. A variety of choices are available on this front. There are other boozy options too including gin, Prosecco or even beer & chocolate collections. Or how about incorporating the chocolate into the drink itself with delicious salted caramel cocoa vodka?

Hotel Chocolat wreath box

There are things for the whole family to share – such as Christmas crackers, advent calendars and tree decorations. There are hampers too with something for everyone to enjoy. Some of the hampers and boxed collections are so attractive that they’d make a wonderful centrepiece display for those festive get together meals and parties.

Hotel Chocolat subscription box

The Hotel Chocolat website is a joy to browse – full of tempting choices for all occasions. Chocolate is wonderful gift for Christmas, however – Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day and anniversaries provide plenty of other chocolatey opportunities too!


Luxury home-made mincemeat

Jars of home-made mincemeat | H is for Home #recipe #Christmas #ChristmasFood

Many people don’t like thinking about Christmas until the beginning of December – I know I don’t! However, there are a few things that need to be prepared well in advance for them to be at their peak for the big day. Christmas cake, sloe gin, piccalilli  and home-made mincemeat are just a few.

Home-made mincemeat mixture | H is for Home

I’m very fussy about my mincemeat; I don’t like it to be overly citrusy – so, very little orange or lemon zest & juice and no mixed candied peel. In addition, it needs to be veggie – so can only contain vegetarian suet. The only way to ensure it tastes the way I like it is to make it myself. A very easy job and well worthwhile. It works out much cheaper than the cost of ‘luxury’ jars of the stuff in supermarkets. Once made, potted up and put away correctly, it stores unopened for years!

Home-made mincemeat mixture being decanted into jars | H is for Home

Save my luxury home-made mincemeat recipe to Pinterest!

Luxury home-made mincemeat
  1. 200g/7oz currants
  2. 200g/7oz raisins
  3. 200g/7oz sultanas
  4. 100g/3½oz dried cranberries
  5. 100g/3½oz figs, roughly chopped
  6. 100g/3½oz prunes, roughly chopped
  7. 30g/1oz blanched almonds*, roughly chopped
  8. 1 medium cooking apple, peeled, cored & finely diced
  9. 300g/10½oz muscovado sugar
  10. 200g/7oz vegetable suet
  11. zest & juice of 1 lemon
  12. 3tsp mixed spice
  13. ½tsp cinnamon
  14. ¼tsp nutmeg
  15. 6tbsp rum or brandy
  16. 100g/3½oz butter, cubedHome-made mincemeat ingredients
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
  1. Put all the ingredients except the alcohol into a large saucepan over a low heat
  2. Stir to ensure the contents are well combined and the suet and butter have melted (about 10 minutes)
  3. Allow to cool completely before stirring in the alcohol
  4. Decant into sterilised jam jars - gently bang the bottom of each jar to fit as much of the mincemeat in as possible.
  5. Seal the jars immediately and store for at least a month before use
  1. *To blanch almonds, put them in a heat-proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to stand for 1-2 minutes before draining through a sieve. Pat them dry on some kitchen paper or clean tea towel. You can quickly get the skin off one by one by pinching the broader, rounded end of the nut
H is for Home Harbinger

Price Points: Cold smoke generators

Cold smoke generators | H is for Home

A couple of weeks ago, we watched an ex-fireman show Nadiya Hussain how to easily and cheaply home-smoke food. All you need is one of these cold smoke generators and a cardboard box. I immediately thought I’d like to try my hand at it so investigated online how to get started.

The process of cold smoking is done without the need for actually cooking the food. This means it’s ideal not only for meats and fish but also – if you’re vegetarian like me – tofu, cheese, eggs, nuts and vegetables. Smoked almonds and garlic are amongst my favourite smoked foods.

There are lots of YouTube tutorials for making a cold smoker out of a cardboard box. However, if you’re not confident, ready-made ones are available from Hot Smoked. A variety of sustainable wood dusts are available to try when cold smoking such as alder, apple, beech, cherry, hickory, maple, oak and whiskey oak.

  1. 6”/12” stainless steel round pellet tube: from £6.59, eBay
  2. Jaeger Sparbrand stainless steel cold smoke generator: £24.46, Amazon
  3. Pro Q cold smoke generator by Hot Smoked: £34, Notonthehighstreet

Price Points: Coffee subscriptions

Coffee subscriptions | H is for Home

Last week, we featured online tea offers; this week, it’s only fair to investigate a few coffee subscriptions available. We only drink one or two cups each per day, but we like them to be made using good quality beans. Favourite of ours are full-bodied espresso beans – and decaf espresso beans for evening consumption.

  1. Coffee-Direct: from £5.99 per 227 sample bag (save 15% when bought on subscription)
    Probably the one of the three that has the most choice – there are 16 different Espresso roast coffees alone! Coffee-Direct explain:

    At the checkout you have the option to choose to receive your order periodically, at any frequency that suits you. What’s more, once your subscription is set up, you’re able to amend, skip, pause or delete your subscription at any time.

  2. Coffee REAL: subscriptions – £36 – £328 (3, 6 or 12 month coffee subscriptions, 6 – 52 bags of beans)
    Coffee REAL is a company with a charitable heart. 10% of the purchase price of their espresso blend goes directly to the Born Free Foundation – and, even better, the blend is made from 2 top coffees that originate in areas where Born Free run wildlife projects.
  3. Skinny Coffee Club: from £24.95 (28 day, 8-week and 12-week day/night programmes)
    Well, I never knew that you could drink coffee in an effort to help you drop a dress size or two! According to their blurb:

    Skinny Coffee Club is ideal for those looking to lose weight, fast. It’s tasty, organic and designed specifically to raise your metabolism, burn fat, fill you with energy throughout the day and leave you feeling fuller for longer.

    There’s only 63mg of caffeine and 6 calories in each cup. Skinny Coffee is comprised of ground coffee, ground green coffee bean extract, green tea extract powder, Garcinia Cambogia, Siberian ginseng powder and spirulina powder. I’ve no idea how much like traditional coffee it tastes but there are thousands of reviews on their website posted by satisfied (slimmer) customers!

Price Points: Tea subscriptions

Tea subscriptions | H is for Home

Working from home, we drink a lot of hot beverages during the day – the kitchen is less than 10 paces away from where we sit at the computer. We tend to have one or two cups of coffee in the morning, then switch to loose leaf teas for the rest of the day.

We drink all sorts of tea – black, white, green – depending on the time of day or what we’re eating. I also cook with tea leaves occasionally.

We tend to buy our ‘everyday’ tea (Yorkshire Tea) at the supermarket,our ‘special everyday’ tea from Fortnum & Mason, our usual brand white tea from Amazon and green and jasmine teas from a Chinese supermarket in Manchester.

Tea subscriptions were made for people like us. We’re always up for trying new ones that you wouldn’t normally find in the supermarket. What kind of tea(s) do you drink?

  1. Teabox: from £39.70 for 3 months
  2. Silver Lantern tea: from £36 for 3 months
  3. Fortnum & Mason: from £45 for 3 months