Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

Cakes & Bakes: Carrot muffins

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

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Home-made carrot muffins | H is for Home

Earlier this week, Justin bought a big bag of special offer carrots… and then, couple of days later, his mum gave us half a bag of her bulk buy special offer carrots. We had a sudden glut!

grated carrot, sultanas and chopped walnuts

So this week’s cake baking had to utilise some!

Adding pineapple to egg white, milk and vegetable oil mixture

Fortunately we do love a good carrot cake, but decided on a little twist by making some carrot muffins with spiced Quark topping.

Spooning carrot muffin batter into cases

Cinnamon and pineapple are the dominant flavours – there’s a hint of ginger in there too.

Carrot muffins cooling on a wire rack

Quark a fairly unusual ingredient with a taste and consistency somewhere between crème fraîche and cream cheese. We think it worked really well.

Quark, sugar and cinnamon for muffin topping

The resulting muffins are moist and full of flavour – and just a little bit different.

Adding Quark topping to the carrot muffins

It’s an easy recipe, so a batch can be knocked up quickly.

Home-made carrot muffins | H is for Home

They’re a great partner for that afternoon cup of tea we talked about recently.

Carrot muffins
Yields 12
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Cook Time
25 min
Cook Time
25 min
For the muffins
  1. 2tbs vegetable oil
  2. 100g/3½oz plain flour
  3. 100g/3½oz wholemeal flour
  4. 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  5. ¼tsp salt
  6. 1tsp ground cinnamon
  7. ½tsp ground ginger
  8. 2tbsp caster sugar
  9. 2 egg whites
  10. 5tbsp semi-skimmed milk
  11. 225g/8oz canned pineapple chunks in juice, drained & chopped
  12. 250g/9oz carrots, grated
  13. 40g/1½oz sultanas
  14. 40g/1½oz walnuts, chopped
For the topping
  1. 250g/9oz Quark (or any low-fat soft cream cheese)
  2. 1½tbsp caster sugar
  3. 1½tsp vanilla essence
  4. 1½tsp ground cinnamon
  5.  
  6. Home-made carrot muffin ingredients
  7.  
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas mark 5. Oil a 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable or line it with muffin paper cases
  2. Sift the flours, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger into a mixing bowl. Add the caster sugar and mix together
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg whites then pour the milk and the oil and mix together
  4. Mash the pineapple chunks, then add to the egg mixture
  5. Add the carrots, sultanas and walnuts and stir together gently
  6. Add the fruit mixture to the flour mixture and gently stir together until just combined. Do not over-stir the mixture - it is fine for it to be a little lumpy
  7. Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 cups in the muffin tin or paper cases (they should be about ⅔s full)
  8. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until risen and golden
  9. While the muffins are in the oven, make the topping. Put the Quark into a mixing bowl with the caster sugar, vanilla essence and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Mix together well, then cover with clingfilm and transfer to the fridge until ready to use
  10. When the muffins are cooked, remove them from the oven, put them on a wire rack and leave to cool. When they have cooled to room temperature, remove the topping from the fridge and spread some evenly over the top of each muffin
  11. Lightly sprinkle over the remaining cinnamon and serve
Adapted from Muffins
Adapted from Muffins
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Marzipan refrigerator cookies

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

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Home-made marzipan refrigerator cookies and mug of tea | via @hisforhome

I had a large lump of marzipan and some chocolate ganache left over from making last week’s petit fours. I HATE throwing food away so I decided to make a batch of marzipan refrigerator cookies.

Marzipan refrigerator cookie dough

It was a quick and easy recipe.

Slicing marzipan refrigerator cookie dough

They can be cooked off in small or larger batches – the dough can live happily in the fridge for a week or so – or freezer more indefinitely.

Cooked marzipan refrigerator cookies cooling on a wire rack

Nothing beats a homemade biscuit – and we loved the sweet, almond flavour of these. If you prefer your cookies to be soft & gooey rather than crisp, lower the heat of the oven to about 150ºC.

Marzipan refrigerator cookies
Yields 35
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Cook Time
12 min
Cook Time
12 min
Ingredients
  1. 225g/8oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  2. 1tsp baking powder
  3. 110g/4oz butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
  4. 175g/6oz caster sugar
  5. 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  6. 100g/3½oz marzipan
  7.  
  8. Home-made chocolate caramel chestnut cake ingredients
  9.  
Instructions
  1. Sift the flour & baking powder into a large bowl
  2. Add the butter and rub it with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs
  3. Stir the sugar, add the eggs and combine to form a soft, loose dough
  4. Cut the marzipan into small cubes
  5. Turn the mixture out on to a lightly floured work surface, roll in the cubed marzipan and shape the dough into a log shape about 3cm/1¼inches in diameter
  6. Wrap the log in parchment paper or cling film and then in foil and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or until required (I put one of the logs in the freezer to use at a later date)
  7. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas mark 5
  8. Grease a large baking sheet (or a few if you're making a big batch)
  9. Slice the dough into as many 8mm/⅜-inch slices as required
  10. Place the slices on the greased baking sheet, spaced well apart
  11. Return any remaining dough to the fridge for up to a week or freeze for up to 6 months
  12. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown
  13. Leave on the baking sheet to cool slightly for 2-3 minutes before transferring to cool completely
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Petit fours

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

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Plate of various petit fours with espresso | H is for Home

We have a few friends coming over for dinner this weekend.

Vegan date & nut petit fours | H is for Home

We must like them because they’re getting 3 courses!

Vegan date & nut petit fours in a vintage tin | H is for Home

We tend to split the cooking – which works out well as Justin prefers to do the savoury dishes and I prefer making the sweets. It looks like it’s going to be poached smoked salmon & asparagus to begin. And he’s just set about making some home-made pies for the main course. They look delicious – and hearty too. Celeriac mash and roasted root vegetables on the side. No one will go hungry, that’s for sure!

Chocolate petit fours with bowls of various toppings | H is for Home

So, after all that, something light to finish seems in order. I often make panna cotta or crème caramel when a big pudding isn’t required. But I thought I’d go even more delicate this time with a selection of three different petit fours. I’m sharing their preparation as this week’s Cakes & Bakes recipe.

Marzipan petit fours | H is for Home

Our guests can have one or ten each, depending on how much room they’ve got left.

Dipping marzipan petit fours into chocolate glaze | H is for Home

Serving them in pretty petit four paper cases really enhances their presentation. They’ll be delicious with an after dinner coffee, port or brandy… a lovely way to end the meal.

Vegan chocolate petit fours
Yields 25
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Ingredients
  1. 300g/10½oz dark chocolate
  2. pinch sea salt
  3. 2tbs coconut oil
  4. 215ml/7½fl oz tinned coconut milk
  5. toasted desiccated coconut, chopped mixed nuts, icing sugar and/or cocoa powder to finish
Instructions
  1. Break the chocolate up into small pieces and put it into a large heatproof bowl
  2. Add the coconut oil and the salt
  3. In a small saucepan, bring the coconut milk to the boil before pouring it over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth
  4. Allow to cool, cover the bowl with cling film and leave to set overnight in the fridge (or at least 4 hours).
  5. Put the toasted desiccated coconut chopped mixed nuts, icing sugar and/or cocoa powder into separate wide-bottomed bowls
  6. Using a measuring teaspoon, scoop out a portion of ganache before rolling between your palms to form a ball before putting it on a plate or baking sheet
  7. Repeat until all the ganache has been used
  8. Cover the balls in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes
  9. Toss in the balls equally between the chopped mixed nuts, icing sugar and or cocoa powder, rolling around the bowls making sure each ball is completely coated
  10. Carefully place the balls on to a plate lined with parchment paper, recover carefully with cling film and put them back into the fridge to firm up again
Notes
  1. These can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/
Chocolate covered marzipan petit fours
Yields 45
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For the marzipan
  1. 150g/5oz ground almonds
  2. 200g/7oz icing sugar
  3. 2tsp almond extract
  4. 1 egg white
For the chocolate coating
  1. 50ml/1¾fl oz whipping cream
  2. 7g/¼oz sugar
  3. 12ml/½fl oz water
  4. 45g/1½oz dark chocolate, chopped
For the marzipan
  1. Put the ground almonds, icing sugar, almond extract and egg white into a food processor and combine until it comes together into a thick ball (about a minute)
  2. Turn the marzipan out onto a work surface and knead it a couple of times
  3. Form it into a pack of butter shape, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for about an hour
  4. Bring cream, sugar, and 60ml/2fl oz water to boil in heavy medium saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves
  5. Add the chocolate and whisk until melted and the glaze is smooth
  6. Slice the slab of marzipan into equal sized cubes before rolling each between your palms to form balls
  7. Using a tooth pick, dip each ball into the chocolate sauce before placing it on a tray lined with parchment paper
  8. Cover the petit fours carefully with cling film and chill for half an hour
Notes
  1. Any unused marzipan will keep for up to a month in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/
Date & nut petit fours
Yields 30
A delicious vegan after-dinner treat
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Ingredients
  1. 125g cashews
  2. 40g desiccated coconut
  3. 125g pitted dates
  4. 2tbs coconut oil
  5. ½tsp sea salt
  6. ½tsp vanilla essence
  7. 1tbs water
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, process blitz the cashews and desiccated coconut to fine crumbs
  2. Add the dates, coconut oil, vanilla and sea salt and process again until the mixture forms large, sticky lumps
  3. Scoop the dough using a measuring teaspoon before rolling between your palms to form balls. If the mixture is too crumbly add another tablespoon of water and blitz again for a few seconds
  4. Arrange on a baking sheet or plate lined with parchment paper
  5. Chill in the fridge for an hour before rolling in toasted desiccated coconut and/or cocoa powder to finish
Notes
  1. These can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for 6 months or more
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/