Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

Cakes & Bakes: Pitta and hummus

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

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home made pitta and hummus | H is for Home

You can say one thing for our recipe posts – they’re definitely international!

pitta and hummus ingredients | H is for Home

We’ve gone from China, via the USA to this week where we’re in the North Africa/Middle East region with pitta and hummus recipes.

yeast & water mixture | H is for Home

Pitta and hummus is a mainstay in our house. It’s a quick, healthy snack when you don’t feel like cooking.

pitta dough | H is for Home

They’re both fairly inexpensive to buy – both less than a pound for a standard pack.

mixing olive oil and salt into pitta dough | H is for Home

Being so easy to pick up in the shops, I’ve never really thought to make my own at home.

rinsed chickpeas | H is for Home

What was I waiting for? Home made versus shop bought – now I know – there’s no comparison, home made wins hands down!

husked chickpeas | H is for Home

So long as there’s a tin of chickpeas in the larder and a jar of tahini in the fridge, you can whip up a delicious batch of hummus in 5 minutes flat… and make it just to your taste. As much or as little lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper as you like – and the consistency you prefer.

hummus mixture | H is for Home

Lots of people insist on making hummus using dried peas. Yes, it will probably turn out even better – but unless you own a pressure cooker (I don’t) which will cook the beans in under half an hour, that quick snack will have to wait until tomorrow. I’ll make some using dried beans some day soon to see how it compares.

hummus mixture in a bowl | H is for Home

You can spice things up a little (or as they say on the X Factor, “Make it your own”). Add a little smoked paprika, ground cumin, caramelised onions, sun dried tomatoes, chopped chillies, coriander or parsley – just not all at once mind!

pitta dough preparation | H is for Home

You can make and cook off a big batch of pitta and store the excess in the freezer  – just defrost as needed and pop them in the toaster.

pitta cooking on a stone in the oven | H is for Home

 I have to say that they were delicious straight from the oven though…

pitta sliced with bowl of hummus | H is for Home

… and there weren’t any left from this batch for the freezer!!

Pitta and hummus
Yields 8
so much better than shop bought!
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for the pitta
  1. 1tbs instant dried yeast
  2. 350ml/12 fl oz lukewarm water
  3. 375g/13oz wholemeal bread flour
for the hummus
  1. 1tbs tahini
  2. ½tbsp olive oil
  3. 1 300g/10½ tin chickpeas
  4. 1 small clove garlic
  5. ½tbsp lemon juice
  6. ½tbsp sea salt
  7. pinch of ground black pepper
  8. pinch of smoked paprika or ground cumin (optional)
  9. few sprigs of coriander or flat leaf parsley (optional)
For the pitta
  1. In a measuring jug, sprinkle the yeast over the water and stir to dissolve
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add flour and form a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture
  3. Bring the flour and yeast mixture together to form a dough
  4. Leave the mixture to rest for 15 minutes before adding the olive oil and salt and mixing well again until the dough begins to stiffen
  5. Using the dough hook mix on a low speed for 5 minutes (or knead by hand for 8-10 minutes) until smooth & elastic
  6. Cover the bowl in cling film and leave in a warm place to prove until doubled in size (at least an hour)
  7. - You can use this time to make the hummus -
  8. Once risen, preheat the oven to the highest setting, placing a knock back before dividing the dough in half
  9. Divide each half into 4 equal pieces and flatten each piece into a ovals around ½cm thick
  10. Layer & wrap the ovals loosely in a clean, damp tea towel preheat your oven to the highest setting and put a baking stone or griddle pan inside to heat up
  11. Carefully put 2-3 pitta ovals onto the stone/pan leaving space between each
  12. Bake for 3-5 minutes until the bread has puffed up like a balloon
  13. Allow to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before serving
for the hummus
  1. Put the tahini & olive oil into a mini food processor and whiz for 30 seconds
  2. Rinse the chickpeas under cold running water and, if you have the patience, pinch the husks from each chickpea (it took me about 15 minutes); this gives the hummus a smoother consistency
  3. Add the chickpeas, garlic and lemon juice to the mini food processor and purée for 30 seconds
  4. Take the lid off the processor and scrape the mixture down off the sides and whiz again to remove any lumps. If the mixture is stiff, add a tablespoon of water and pulse for a few of seconds
  5. Add salt & pepper and adjust to taste
  6. Sprinkle with smoked paprika or ground cumin, drizzle with olive oil, garnish with coriander or flat leaf parsley and serve
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

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Slice of triple chocolate cheesecake | @hisforhome

I consider myself something of a greedy chocoholic (who edges the cake knife round a few millimetres when no ones looking to get a bigger piece). But faced with this triple chocolate cheesecake, a small slice was sufficient… even for me! 

Triple chocolate cheesecake ingredients | @hisforhome

It is is the richest, most decadent chocolate fantasy I’ve ever made or eaten. A quick tally of all the ingredients brings it in over 2 kilos!

Oreo cookie cheesecake base | @hisforhome

There’s a base made from crushed Oreo cookies…

Melting dark chocolate in a glass bowl | @hisforhome

Melted dark chocolate and cheesecake mixture | @hisforhome

…a thick, intense dark chocolate middle layer…

Adding melted dark chocolate to cheesecake mixture | @hisforhome

Uncooked triple chocolate cheesecake | @hisforhome

…and a sweet, white chocolate ganache topping (with dark chocolate flakes to decorate of course!)

Triple chocolate cheesecake | @hisforhome

It was a real winner with everyone who tried it… and there’s now a note in my recipe file for “must make again!”

Triple chocolate cheesecake
Serves 10
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For the biscuit base
  1. 2 x 154g packets Oreo cookies
  2. 60g/2oz unsalted butter
For the cheesecake filling
  1. 3 x 280g tubs cream cheese (at room temperature)
  2. 165g/6oz icing sugar
  3. 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 300g/10oz dark chocolate
For the ganache topping
  1. 180ml/6 fl oz double cream
  2. 175g/6oz white chocolate
  3. Extra dark chocolate for garnishing
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4
  2. Put the Oreo cookies into a food processor and pulse until they have turned to fine crumbs
  3. Put the butter into a microwave for 10-15 seconds to soften
  4. Combine the butter with the Oreo cookie crumbs and spoon the mixture into the base of a 28cm/11inch spring-form cake tin pressing it firmly & evenly with the back of the spoon
  5. Bake for 10 minutes then set aside to cool
  6. Break the dark chocolate into pieces, putting them into a glass or pottery bowl
  7. Put the bowl into a saucepan of water (just enough so that the bottom of the bowl doesn't come into contact with the water) and heat on a low flame until the chocolate has melted
  8. While waiting for the chocolate to melt, put the cream cheese, icing sugar and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl and combine well
  9. Break the eggs into a measuring jug, whisk lightly until just combined before adding little by little into the cheese/sugar/cocoa mixture, stirring after each addition
  10. Add the melted dark chocolate to the mixture and combine well
  11. Pour the mixture on to the biscuit base and bake in the oven for 60 minutes
  12. Switch off the oven, leave the oven door slightly ajar and allow the cake to cool for half an hour
  13. Put the cake on a wire rack until it has cooled completely
  14. Break the white chocolate into pieces, putting them into a glass or pottery bowl with the double cream
  15. Put the bowl into a saucepan of water (just enough so that the bottom of the bowl doesn't come into contact with the water) and heat on a low flame
  16. When the chocolate has begun to melt, stir the mixture well and allow to cool until it has thickened but still pourable
  17. Pour evenly over the top of the cake allowing some to drip down the edge
  18. Serve at room temperature or refrigerated
  19. Keep refrigerated and consume within 3 days
Adapted from Oh My God Chocolate Desserts
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

‘Preserved Children’ recipe

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

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Vintage recipe tin

We usually post recipes on a Thursday, but we’ll make an exception for this one.

Recipe for preserving children from a vintage recipe tin

We added this 1950s recipe tin to the H is for Home shop today. On the inside of the box is this charming “recipe for preserving children”. All very quaint and Famous Five-ish!

Vintage recipe tin with cards and tabs

The tin itself is rather lovely with the utensil & ingredient design. It even has its original cards & dividers. Surely there must be space for a home-made ginger beer recipe, so that we can serve lashings of it to those excited, preserved children frolicking around the meadow on a hot summer day.

Jiucai you bing

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

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Sliced jiucai you bing or scallion pancake with chilli, garlic, ginger sweet dipping sauce | @hisforhome

Shrove Tuesday falls on 17th February this year and Chinese New Year (it’s the year of the goat which is my sign) follows on the 19th. To celebrate both days, I’ve tried my hand at jiucai you bing.

Scallion pancake ingredients

Jiucai you bing is also known as scallion pancakes (scallions is ‘American’ for spring onions).

dough resting in a glass bowl

Apparently they’re eaten in China at breakfast time and are a widely available street food. They’re more like flatbread than what we’d usually recognise as pancakes. What they’re more similar to is Indian paratha.

Rolled out jiucai you bing dough

I don’t think I’ve ever come across these for sale in UK Chinese restaurants or supermarkets but after looking online they seem to be quite popular in the States.

Jiucai you bing dough filled, rolled and sliced

This was my first attempt at making them and they went down so well I think I’ll be giving them a go again very soon.

Jiucai you bing dough rolled, twisted and flattened

They’d make a great starter paired with a little bowl of soy sauce, peanut sauce or chilli, garlic ginger sweet dipping sauce.

Sliced jiucai you bing

Jiucai you bing
Yields 6
Chinese spring onion pancakes
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Ingredients
  1. 500g/18oz plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
  2. 1tbsp baking powder
  3. 2tbsp sesame oil
  4. Half a bunch of thinly sliced spring onions (about 6 stems)
  5. 2tsp chilli flakes
  6. ½tsp cracked peppercorns
  7. 1tbsp sea salt
  8. vegetable oil for frying
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a food mixer, combine the flour, baking powder and sea salt. Make a well in the centre
  2. Add 315ml/11fl oz water into the well and, using the dough hook attachment, mix until the dough comes away from the sides and forms a ball (less than a minute)
  3. Cover the bowl with cling film and allow the dough to rest at room temperature for about an hour
  4. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface, divide into halves, putting one back into the bowl and recovering with cling film
  5. Roll the first ball of dough out into a rectangle ½cm thick
  6. Brush the rolled out dough with 1tbsp sesame oil
  7. Sprinkle 1tsp chilli flakes, ¼tsp cracked peppercorns and half the sliced spring onions
  8. Roll up the dough tightly along the long side into a cigar shape and cut into 3 equal pieces
  9. One by one, gently stretch each piece before rolling it into a spiral and tucking one end under
  10. Flatten each spiral into a disc of about 1cm thickness
  11. Repeat stages 5-10 with the second half of the dough
  12. Put a heavy bottomed frying pan or skillet over a medium flame and add vegetable oil
  13. Once hot, fry the pancakes for 5-8 minutes on each side until browned
Notes
  1. Serve hot with soy sauce and/or sweet chilli, garlic, ginger dipping sauce
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Pizza

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

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sliced home made pizza | @hisforhome

It’s pizza for this week’s Cakes & Bakes. We’ve got a great pizzeria here in Todmorden – and we certainly can’t match their huge, wood fired oven… but we like to eat it in the house sometimes too!

pizza ingredients

A very simple list of ingredients for the dough.

yeast mixture yeast mixture next to the fire

With sub zero temperatures outside, the yeast mixture found the perfect place to come to life beside the fire.

pizza dough

The dough is simple to make and easy to work with.

risen pizza dough

Size and thickness is a matter of personal choice. In this house, Adelle has deep pan tendencies – Justin is a more thin & crispy kinda guy!

shaped pizza base

We rustled up a lovely tomato sauce. Olive oil, garlic, tomatoes & basil – cooked through, seasoned, reduced and strained.

tomato sauce being added to pizza base

This sauce was spread evenly over the pizza dough. Adelle then added roast aubergine, mozzarella and olives. Justin very similar, but he substituted Gruyère cheese for the mozzarella and also added red onion.

Adelle's pizza before being cooked Justin's pizza before being cooked

Both turned out very well – delicious in fact. We’ll continue experimenting with dough thickness, toppings and oven temperatures ’til we have absolute perfection!

Easy pizza base
Makes 3 medium-sized pizza bases
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tbsp fast acting yeast
  2. 1 tsp sugar
  3. 1 tbsp olive oil
  4. 300ml lukewarm water
  5. 500g strong flour
  6. ½ tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. In a measuring jug mix the oil, lukewarm water, sugar and fast acting yeast
  2. Leave in a warm place for 10 minutes for the yeast to begin foaming
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour and salt and make a well in the middle
  4. Add the yeast mixture and combine to a smooth, firm dough
  5. On a floured work surface, knead the dough for 5 minutes and form into a ball
  6. Put the ball into the large mixing bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place to prove until it doubles in size - about an hour
  7. Tip the dough back out on to the floured work surface, divide into 3 equal parts and flatten each into 1cm circles
  8. Leave to rest for 15 minutes before adding toppings and cooking
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/