Cakes & Bakes: Coconut macaroon hearts

Home-made coconut macaroon hearts | H is for Home

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.

Coconut macaroons mixture | H is for Home

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.

Coconut macaroons mixture formed into hearts | H is for Home

They probably take 10 seconds or so longer to make into hearts than the traditional dome shapes but don’t they look pretty?

Cooked coconut macaroons hearts | H is for Home

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.

Cooked coconut macaroons hearts drizzled with dark chocolate | H is for Home

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!

Cooked coconut macaroons hearts drizzled with dark chocolate | H is for Home

Click here or on the image below to pin the recipe for later!

Pin this coconut macaroon hearts recipe for later! | H is for Home

Coconut macaroon hearts
Yields 32
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Cook Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 200g/7oz dessicated coconut
  2. 200g/7oz caster sugar
  3. 4 medium-sized egg whites
  4. 1tbsp cornflour
  5. pinch of salt
  6. 2tsp vanilla extract
  7. 75g/2⅔oz dark chocolate
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 150ºC/300ºF/Gas mark 2
  2. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut, sugar, cornflour, salt, vanilla extract and egg whites
  4. Form the mixture into little heart shapes using a small cookie cutter placed on the baking tray
  5. Bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes until the macaroons begin to turn golden brown Allow to cool for 5 minutes before lifting the hearts off the greaseproof on to a wire rack
  6. Break the chocolate up into chunks and melt by putting it into a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water
  7. Lightly drizzle over the macaroons
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Chocolate and beetroot cake

Slice of home-made chocolate and beetroot cake | H is for Home

We’re still in the throes of our love affair with the humble beetroot! The two previous recipes we shared here were savoury bread products. Today it’s a chocolate and beetroot cake.

Grating fresh beetroot | H is for Home

I borrowed a recipe from Jamie Oliver – it’s a ‘healthy eating’ one that he devised for cooking with children.

Melting chocolate in a glass bowl over a saucepan of water | H is for Home

Instead of flour, it contains ground almonds and there’s a minimal amount of sugar as the beetroot gives sweetness.

Separated egg yolks, grated beetroot and dry ingredients | H is for Home

The beetroot also gives it a deep and slightly earthy flavour – and works surprisingly well with chocolate.

Chocolate and beetroot cake batter in a loose-bottom cake tin | H is for Home

It doesn’t have a light and airy consistency, it’s more like brownie than sponge cake – even with carefully folding in the egg whites…

Cooked chocolate and beetroot cake cooling on a wire rack | H is for Home

…not that I’m complaining – it was really, really good!

Home-made chocolate and beetroot cake with chocolate drizzled over the top | H is for Home

If you have kids (or even adults!) that won’t eat their vegetables – this is a wonderfully clandestine way of sneaking some into their diet!

Click here to save the recipe to Pinterest for later!

Chocolate and beetroot cake
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 300g/10½oz dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
  2. 250g/9oz raw beetroot
  3. 4 large free-range eggs
  4. 150g/5¼oz golden caster sugar
  5. 120g/4¼oz ground almonds
  6. 1 tsp baking powder
  7. 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  8.  
  9. Home-made chocolate and beetroot cake ingredients
  10.  
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4
  2. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 20cm/8" spring-form cake tin
  3. Use scissors to cut out a circle of greaseproof paper, roughly the same size as the bottom of the tin, and use it to line the base
  4. Break 200g of the chocolate up into small pieces and add to a heatproof bowl
  5. Place the bowl on top of a small pan of simmering water over a medium heat, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn't touching the water, and allow to melt, stirring occasionally
  6. Once melted, carefully remove from the heat and set aside
  7. Peel & grate the beetroot then tip it into a large mixing bowl
  8. Separate the eggs, placing the whites into a large clean mixing bowl and adding the yolks to the beetroot
  9. Stir the sugar, almonds, baking powder, cocoa powder and melted chocolate into the beetroot and combine well
  10. Whisk the egg whites until you have stiff peaks
  11. Using a spatula, fold ¼ of the egg whites into the beetroot mixture to loosen then, once combined, fold in the rest trying not to over mix
  12. Add the mixture to the prepared cake tin and spread out evenly using a spatula
  13. Bake for around 50 minutes, or until risen and cooked through
  14. To check if it's done, insert a skewer into the middle. If it comes away clean the cake's cooked
  15. Allow the cake to cool slightly, then carefully turn it out on to a wire rack to cool completely
  16. Once cool, melt the rest of the chocolate (in the same way as above), and drizzle over the top
Notes
  1. Serve with crème fraîche or Greek yoghurt
Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Kitchen Garden Project
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Butter-dipped biscuits

Home-made butter-dipped biscuits with fried egg | H is for Home

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.

Dry ingredients for butter-dipped biscuits | H is for Home

When I saw this butter-licious, American butter-dipped biscuits recipe on Pinterest my mouth immediately started watering.

Melted butter and butter-dipped biscuits dough | H is for Home

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!

Uncooked butter-dipped biscuits | H is for Home

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’).

Freshly baked butter-dipped biscuits | H is for Home

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.

Freshly baked butter-dipped biscuits detail | H is for Home

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!

Butter-dipped biscuits
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Cook Time
25 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 113g/4oz salted butter
  2. 300g/10½oz plain flour
  3. 1½ tbsp granulated sugar
  4. 1½ tbsp baking powder
  5. 250g/9oz buttermilk
  6.  
  7. Home-made butter-dipped biscuits ingredients
  8.  
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 230ºC/450ºF/ gas mark 8
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl (or the dish the biscuits are being cooked in if it's microwave-safe) melt the butter in the microwave
  3. Put the melted butter into an 20cmx20cm/8"x8" baking dish
  4. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and baking powder
  5. Pour in the buttermilk and stir until a loose dough forms
  6. Pour the biscuit dough into the baking dish (on top of the melted butter.) Some of the butter will run over the top of the dough, that's perfectly fine
  7. Cook for 20-25 minutes (rotating the dish 180º once during baking) - the biscuits should be golden brown on top and spring back to the touch
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/
Click on the image below to pin the recipe for later!

Home-made butter-dipped biscuits recipe | H is for Home

Home-made tomato sauce

Home-made tomato sauce | H is for Home

Justin doesn’t normally get involved with the Thursday recipes – well, apart from taking the photos! However, this week, he’s actually done the cooking too. Don’t worry though, you’re in safe hands – as he was a chef for about 15 years before re-inventing himself as Mr H is for Home – and he does most of the savoury dishes in our household anyway.

Finely sliced garlic and olive oil in a saucepan | H is for Home Finely sliced garlic, tomato pureé and olive oil in a saucepan | H is for Home

We mentioned this lovely all-purpose tomato sauce in last week’s pizza post. Most people list tinned tomatoes in their store cupboard essentials, but we always have batches of this home-made tomato sauce in the fridge or freezer.

Home-made tomato sauce with basil | H is for Home

It’s quick – only taking about an hour – and very straightforward too.

Home-made tomato sauce being sieved through a colander | H is dfor Home Sieved home-made tomato sauce | H is for Home

It’s so flexible. The addition of ground black pepper and Parmesan makes for a simple yet delicious pasta sauce. It also provides the base for a myriad of other recipes. You can add all sorts of ingredients to it for some wonderful dishes – meatballs, chicken, fish, olives, roasted aubergines & peppers to name but a few. If you reduce it down and concentrate it a little further it makes the perfect tomato sauce for pizza topping. The recipe can be scaled up to suit requirements. You can also tweek quantities to suit your own taste – more garlicky, more olive oily etc… and add other herbs if you like too.

Storing home-made tomato sauce for freezing | H is for Home

We make up a batch of home-made tomato sauce every few weeks and put a couple of two-portion containers into the freezer – ready to grab as required.

Click here to pin the recipe for later!

Home-made tomato sauce
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Ingredients
  1. 4 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  2. 6-8 tbsps olive oil
  3. 6 cloves garlic
  4. 1 tbsp tomato pureé
  5. 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  6. bunch fresh basil
  7. salt
  8.  
  9. Home-made tomato sauce ingredients
  10.  
Instructions
  1. Put the olive oil in a thick bottomed pan with the chopped garlic
  2. Gently heat until the garlic starts to colour
  3. Add tomato pureé, tinned tomatoes, torn basil leaves, salt and sugar
  4. Simmer very gently for approximately 1 hour
  5. Remove from the heat and strain.
  6. Put through a second, finer sieve for an even smoother consistency
Notes
  1. Quantities of ingredients such as the olive oil and garlic can be adjusted according to strength preference
  2. Other herbs such as oregano, rosemary, thyme and parsley can also be added if desired
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Beetroot and goats cheese pizza

Home-made beetroot and goats cheese pizza | H is for Home

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.

Pizza steel kit | H is for Home

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.

Pizza dough in a steel mixing bowl | H is for Home

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.

Pizza dough and Pizza Steel dough cutter | H is for Home

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.

Pizza dough shaped on Pizza Steel piza steel | H is for Home

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).

Dressed beetroot and goats cheese pizza prior to going into the oven | H is for Home

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.

Detail of the crust from a home-made beetroot and goats cheese pizza on a Pizza Steel steel | H is for Home

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.

Slices of home-made beetroot and goats cheese pizza | H is for Home

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!

What’s your favourite pizza topping(s)?

Click here to pin the recipe for later!

Beetroot and goats cheese pizza
Yields 2
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Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
For the pizza bases (makes 2)
  1. 450g/16oz Italian Tipo 00 flour
  2. 300ml/10½fl oz warm water
  3. 10g/⅓oz fresh or dried yeast
  4. 25ml/1fl oz olive oil
  5. 10g/⅓oz salt
For the topping
  1. 200ml/7fl oz tomato sauce
  2. 125g/4½oz goats cheese log, sliced
  3. 1 raw beetroot, peeled and sliced thinly
  4. 6tsp pesto (or my nettle pesto)
  5.  
  6. Home-made beetroot and goats cheese pizza ingredients
  7.  
Instructions
  1. Place the flour in a mixing bowl fitted with the dough hook attachment
  2. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and add to the bowl
  3. Mix at slow speed until you achieve a dough texture
  4. Cover with cling film or a large clear plastic bag and rest for an hour
  5. Add the olive oil and salt to the dough and mix slowly for a further 4 minutes
  6. Rest for ½ hour
  7. Shape the pizza and leave to prove for 12 minutes
  8. Add the tomato sauce, and other toppings and bake at 230ºC/ 450ºF/Gas mark 8 on a pizza steel for 25 minutes
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/
Have a look at this Pizza Steel clip – doesn’t it just make you want to get baking?!

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Cakes & Bakes: Beetroot loaf

Home-made beetroot loaf | H is for Home

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.

Grated beetroot, yeast mixture and mixing bowl of strong bread flour | H is for Home

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.

Ball of beetrot loaf dough | H is for Home

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.

Home-made beetroot loaf with wooden handled bread knife | H is for Home

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.

Click here or the image below to pin the recipe for later!

Home-made beetroot loaf | H is for Home

Beetroot loaf
Yields 1
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SMALL
  1. 150ml/5fl oz/⅔ cup water
  2. 140g/5oz/1 cup grated raw beetroot
  3. 2 spring onions, chopped
  4. 375g/13oz/3¼ cups unbleached white bread flour
  5. 15g/½oz/1tbsp butter
  6. 1½tsp salt
  7. 1tsp granulated sugar
  8. 1tsp easy-blend (rapid-rise) dried yeast
MEDIUM
  1. 170ml/6fl oz/¾ cup water
  2. 225g/8oz/1½ cup grated raw beetroot
  3. 3 spring onions, chopped
  4. 500g/1lb 2oz/4½ cups unbleached white bread flour
  5. 25g/1oz/2tbsp butter
  6. 2tsp salt
  7. 1tsp granulated sugar
  8. 1tsp easy-blend (rapid-rise) dried yeast
LARGE
  1. 280ml/1ofl oz/1¼ cup water
  2. 280g/10oz/2 cups grated raw beetroot
  3. 4 spring onions, chopped
  4. 675g/1 ½lbs/6 cups unbleached white bread flour
  5. 40g/1½oz/3tbsp butter
  6. 2tsp salt
  7. 1½tsp granulated sugar
  8. 1½tsp easy-blend (rapid-rise) dried yeast
Instructions
  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Remove at the end of the baking cycle and turn out on to a wire rack
Notes
  1. If you prefer an all-over red loaf rather than speckled, purée the raw beetroot in a mini-food processor instead of grating it
Adapted from Bread
Adapted from Bread
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/