Although the dough can be a bit off a faff to make these taste lovely after a dinner and are prepared with minimal ingredients. Think of them like homemade After Eights.
1 egg white
350g icing sugar
3 drops peppermint essence (may need more just taste as you go)
1 bar of Bournville chocolate
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Melt the chocolate and leave to cool a little.
In a separate bowl whisk the egg white until frothy. Sieve in the icing sugar and mix well. Add the peppermint essence and mix well until you form a dough. You will need to use your hands for this. Once the dough comes together knead a little.
Break off small pieces of the dough and roll into small balls.
Flatten into discs and dip half into the melted chocolate.
Place on the baking tray to set (until chocolate had hardened).
Notes: Next time I would make these even thinner than shown in the photo.
Dates can be expensive so when I had some leftover dates from making Sticky Toffee Pudding, I wanted to find another use for them as to avoid wastage. The dates I had were quite dry, unlike the Medjool variety, so I couldn’t just add them to a salad. Then I thought about the exotic sounding date milkshake that’s served in our local lebanese restaurant and thought this would be the perfect way to use up my dates! What’s more is that this recipe is ready in a flash with only 4 ingredients needed! A win-win situation if you ask me.
20 stoned dates
250 ml milk
1 small handful ice cubes (about 3 large icecubes)
1 generous pinch ground cinnamon
Just chuck the dates into a liquidizer with the milk and blitz until smooth. Add the ice cubes and the ground cinnamon and whiz again. Serve straight away in tall glasses.
Note: if your milkshake is too sweet, add some more cinnamon to it. It will not have a strong taste of cinnamon but it will balance out the sweetness.
Probably the simplest recipe ever as it only requires one ingredient- sugar! Once you’ve let candy floss machine warm up simply pour the sugar into the centre of the machine and get your skewer ready to pick up all the candyfloss goodness. Yum!
1 tbsp soft butter (I can’t believe it’s not butter)
4 tbsp mixed seed (optional), such as linseed, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower, plus extra for sprinkling
Mix your choice of brown flour with the white, the yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Put in the butter and rub it into the flour. Stir in the seeds if using. Make a dip in the centre of the flour and pour in almost 300ml hand warm (cool rather than hot) water, with a round-bladed knife. Then mix in enough of the remaining water and a bit more if needed, to gather up any dry bits in the bottom of the bowl and until the mixture comes together as a soft, not too sticky, dough. Gather it into a ball with your hands.
Put the dough on to a very lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 mins until it feels smooth and elastic, only adding the minimum of extra flour if necessary to prevent the dough sticking. Place the ball of dough on a lightly floured work surface. Cover with an upturned, clean, large glass bowl and leave for 45 mins-1 hr or until doubled in size and feels light and springy. Timing will depend on the warmth of the room.
Knock back the dough by lightly kneading just 3-4 times. You only want to knock out any large air bubbles, so too much handling now will lose the dough’s lightness. Shape into a ball. Cover with the glass bowl and leave for 15 mins.
Now shape to make a tin loaf Grease a 1.2-litre capacity loaf tin (about 23 x 13 x 5.5cm) and line the base with baking parchment. Using your knuckles, flatten the dough into a rectangle about 25 x 19cm. Fold both shorter ends into the centre like an envelope, make a ¼ turn, then flatten again into the same size and roll up very tightly, starting from one of the short ends. Roll the top of the dough in extra seeds and place in the tin with the join underneath, pressing the seeds gently into the dough. Cover with a clean tea towel. Leave for 40-45 mins, or until risen about 5cm above the top of the tin.
Put a roasting tin in the bottom of the oven 20 mins before ready to bake and heat oven to 230C/210C fan/gas 8. Put the risen bread in the oven, carefully pour about 250ml cold water into the roasting tin (this will hiss and create a burst of steam to give you a crisp crust), then lower the heat to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Bake for about 30 mins or until golden, covering with foil for the last 5 mins if starting to brown too quickly. Leave in the tin for 2-3 mins, then remove and cool on a wire rack. If you tap the underneath of the baked loaf if should be firm and sound hollow.
100g of butter (block of salted kerrygold butter), or margarine, plus extra for cooking
50g of caster sugar (silverspoon) , plus extra for sprinkling
50g of greek currants (bellbake lidl)
1 egg, beaten ( asda 6 pack of free range eggs) with 3 tbsp milk (full fat)
1.Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl and rub in the margarine or butter. Add the sugar and currants and stir well
2 Pour the egg mixture in and mix until you have a stiff dough
3 Roll the dough out on a lightly floured board until 5mm (1/4 inch) thickness and stamp out rounds with a pastry/biscuit cutter
4.Heat the griddle over a medium heat until hot and grease with a little butter – the baking griddle should be well-greased, and then heated until a little water sprinkled on the surface skips about in balls, evaporating. A heavy cast iron frying pan makes a good substitute. Cook the cakes for about 3 to 4 minutes each side, until they are golden brown and have risen slightly
5 Serve immediately sprinkled with a little extra caster sugar
Notes for next time: roll thinner and cook on a low heat!
These Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies are easy to make, super-soft and chewy, and irresistibly delicious.
171g butter, softened to room temperature (not melted*)
100g granulated (white) sugar
100g packed light brown sugar
½ cup Lyles black treacle
264g plain flour
1/2 tbs ground ginger
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt. Set aside.
Using a separate mixing bowl, either with a stand mixer or a hand mixer, cream together the softened butter and sugars on medium-high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy and a pale yellow color, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides occasionally as needed. Mix in the eggs (one at a time) and molasses, and beat on medium-low speed until each is combined. Gradually add in the dry ingredient mixture and beat until it is evenly incorporated.
Transfer the dough to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until the dough is completely chilled.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
Roll the dough into small balls, about 1-inch in diameter. Fill a separate small bowl with sugar, and roll each ball in the sugar until it is completely coated. Place dough balls on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for about 8-10 minutes, until the cookies begin to slightly crack on top. (They will crack more while cooling.) Remove from the oven and let cool for 4-5 minutes. Then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
Serve warm and enjoy, or store in a sealed container for up to 4 days. Or freeze for up to 3 months.
Note: recipe also works with all white sugar if you don’t have any brown sugar
Not the prettiest looking thing I have made but this was a recipe I have been wanting to try for a long time. Can you believe I have not edited these pictures in any way, that deep, rich, golden colour is how the end product turned out! I had my reservations about making this recipe as I thought it was going to be dry but curiosity getting the better of me meant that I just had to make it. Babka also known as Krantz is a staple sweetened bread dough typical of Jewish cuisine, typically served during Hannukah. The pecans in this Babka just take it to another level!
Now this recipe is quite labour intensive and I have to admit I was quite relieved when I had finally finished making them. However, I did feel a great sense of achievement once they had been done. It was my first forray into making bread, even if my bread shaping skills could do with a little it of work! I was amazed that my bread actually rose as it was supposed to and I had successfully proved my first loaf. I managed to create something that actually resembled the tutorial in the book! The inside was light and fluffy and the chocolate flavour was good, I had feared it might have had a bitter taste because the colour looked very dark however that was not the case at all. I have already found another Babka recipe to try, this time with cinnamon and apple!
For the bread
530g plain flour
100g caster sugar
2 sachets (14g) dried yeast
zest of 1 orange (I would decrease the amount next time)
3 free-range eggs
1/3 tsp salt
150g unsalted butter, softened
sunflower oil for greasing
For the chocolate filling
50g icing sugar
30g cocoa powder
130g dark chocolate
2 tbsp caster sugar
120g butter, melted
100g pecans, roughly chopped
For the sugar glaze
260g caster sugar
In a bowl, add the flour, sugar, yeast and zest and mix together using your hands or a food processor with the dough hook. Add the eggs and water and mix for a few minutes until the dough comes together. Add salt and start adding the butter, a cube at a time, letting it all melt into the dough. Mix for five-ten minutes, until you obtain an elastic, smooth and sticky dough.
Grease a large bowl with sunflower oil, place the ball of dough into it, cover with cling film and leave to rise overnight or for at least half a day.
The next day, start by preparing the chocolate filling. Mix the icing sugar, cocoa powder, melted dark chocolate and melted butter. Beat until you get a smooth, spreadable paste.
Grease two 2lb loaf tins and line the bottom with parchment baking paper.
Divide the dough into two parts, work one part on a floured surface, leave the other part covered in the fridge.
Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough onto the surface, then trim the edges with a knife to obtain a 38cm x 28cm rectangle. Spread half of the chocolate filling over the dough, leaving a 2 cm border all around. Sprinkle half of the pecans and one tablespoon of caster sugar.
Brush a little of water over the long edge of the dough on your left. Using both hands, roll up the rectangle like a roulade, starting from the long side on your right, rolling towards the left side. Roll the dough completely into a perfect, thick log, sitting on its seam.
With a knife, trim off 2 cm of both ends. Gently, cut the roll into two, lenghtways, from the top to the bottom. Position the cut sides facing up, gently press the ends together.
Lift the right half over the left half. Repeat with the left half over the right half and press the ends together to seal it. Carefully lift the loaf and place into the tin.
Repeat the process with the remaining dough. Then, cover the loaves with a wet tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1/1.2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 170 °C. After the cakes have risen, remove the tea towels and place them on the middle shelf for 30 minutes.
Make the syrup while the cakes are in the oven. Place the sugar and water into a saucepan over a medium heat. As soon as the sugar dissolves and the syrup starts to boil, remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool.
When the cakes are baked and are out of the oven, brush them with the syrup. You may find that there is too much syrup, but the recipe recommends to use it all up.
Remove the cakes from the tins to cool down completely.