Category Archives: recipe

Lebkuchen – We Should Cocoa

Lebkuchen, a traditional soft German biscuit, has been a part of my Christmas from long before I can even remember.  My Oma would send over packets of Chocolate Lebkuchen and Pffernussen for our Christmas treats.

I have been buying Bahlsen Lebkuchen for years but for the last couple of years I have found it increasingly difficult to find them so have decided to try my hand at making my own.  The recipe from Woman and Home looks the most authentic one looking at the list of ingredients, except I am leaving out the mixed peel & crystallised ginger.  I am most looking forward to dipping them in chocolate!

I’m entering this blog post into the we should cocoa monthly challenge hosted by The Chocolate Teapot  and Chocolate Log Blog – this month it’s to make something with chocolate and cinnamon.

Lebkuchen – adapted from and inspired by Woman and Home Recipe.

Ingredients

250g plain flour
75g ground almonds
2 tsp ground ginger
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of ground nutmeg
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
200g honey
75g butter
150g plain chocolate

Method

1.  Combine the flour, almonds, spices, cocoa powder, baking powder and
     bicarbonate of soda into a medium sized bowl.


2.  Melt the butter and honey in a pan over a low heat, stirring until the
     butter melts.

3.  Pour the honey butter mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well to
     make a stiff dough.  Chill if the mixture is a touch sticky to work with.

Heat your oven now to 180 C/160 C fan/gas 4.


4.  Shape the dough into small golf ball sized balls.  Place on a lined
     baking tray, well spaced apart, I used my macaron pans, I love my 
     macaron pans.  Flatten each one to make a round biscuit.


5.  Bake for about 15 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.


6.  Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a bowl over simmering
     water, heat gently.  When melted dip the biscuits into the chocolate then
     leave to cool again on a wire rack.

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Stollen Pastries

My lovely Oma, who Miss ND is named after, would make many Stollen every Christmas and send out to all of her family.  Even when I left home to live the single city girl life and then the married coastal life, she still sent me one every year.  She was the best baker I knew and her recipes live on with us. 

Stollen, pronounced Sch-toe-len, is a traditional German rich yeasted bread made with dried fruits, mixed peel and almonds usually in a loaf shape, this year I’m making Stollen pastries for munching with gallons of tea in the run up to Christmas.

Ingredients

500g strong white bread flour
7g sachet easy bake yeast
3 tablespoons light muscovado sugar
2 rounded tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp salt
90g unsalted butter – softened
200ml semi-skimmed milk
1 tablespoon black treacle
1 large free range organic egg
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
250g mix raisins/sultanas/mixed peel/
              chopped glace cherries
zest of 1-2 clemantines and 1 lemon
250g golden marzipan
flaked almonds to decorate to your taste

Glaze
1 medium free range organic egg
1 tablespoon milk

Icing Wash
50g icing sugar
4 tablespoons hot water

Method

1.  Combine the flour, yeast, sugar, spice and salt together in a large bowl,
     then rub in the butter.

2.  Warm the black treacle with the milk then beat in the egg and oil.  Add
     this to the flour/butter mix and stir in well moulding into a ball.  Leave
     for 10-15 minutes.  Then knead the dough before covering and leaving
     to rise until it has doubled in size.


 

3.  Roll the dough out to a large rectangular size and scatter with the dried
     fruit and zests.  Knead the dough again until the ingredients are well
     combined.

Pre-heat your oven now to 200°C/180°C/Gas 6.

4.  Roll the dough out to a large rectangular shape, about 18″ x 6″ (or
     thereabouts), dampen the edges to help the dough stick together when
     rolled. 

5.  Place the marzipan on one edge of the dough and roll the dough
     around it.  Pinch the edges to seal.

6.  Slice the dough into 15 or so rounds and place on a couple of lined 
     baking trays, well spaced out.    
 

7.  Beat the medium egg with the milk and glaze the tops of the pastries.
     Sprinkle with the flaked almonds generously.

8.  Bake for around 15-20 minutes.  Whilst still warm brush over with the
     icing wash as desired, I do some with and some without (for me & TC).

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas around here!

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Super Seeded Bread

I recently purchased Lee Holmes fabulous book Supercharged Food, I’ve tagged all the recipes I want to try, the Super Seeded Bread is first on the list.  I’m not a huge bread eater but was looking for something different and this bread is gluten-free, dairy-free, packed with healthy seeds and uses stevia and coconut milk.  Stevia is a new ingredient for me, it is a natural herbal sweetener that’s more than 200 times sweeter than sugar, with no calories and no carbohydrates, which is used as an alternative to sugar.  I put a tiny bit on my tongue to taste and it really is very sweet so a little goes a very long way! 
The only adaption I have made to the recipe is to use olive oil instead of grapeseed oil.  For my seed mix I used pumpkin, sunflower, sesame and linseeds.


Super Seeded Breadmakes 1 loaf

Pre-heat your oven to 175C/160C fan – Grease and flour a 20×9 cm (8 x 3½”) loaf tin.

Ingredients

350g gluten-free self-raising flour

1¼ cups mixed seeds

¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp Pure Via stevia
4 organic eggs

1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 tblspn olive oil
3 tblspn coconut milk
125ml water
extra sunflower seeds for topping
Method
Combine the flour, mixed seeds, salt and stevia in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes until pale and fluffy.  Stir in the vinegar, olive oil, coconut milk and water.  Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, then smooth the surface with the back of a tablespoon.  Scatter extra seeds over the top.

Bake for about 40 minutes or until a cocktail stick inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
The bread will keep well for a day or two at room temperature, then keep in the fridge.  It can also be wrapped tightly and frozen for up to 6 weeks!

I ♥ this bread


Recipe printed with kind permission from Lee Holmes, author, Supercharged


Carrot Cake

I overdid the carrot grating somewhat with my trusty food processor this week whilst making my veg-packed tomato sauce, so there was nothing for it but to bake a carrot cake! I do love carrot cake but am not always keen on eating cakes with buttercream on but I didn’t slather it all the way round the sides so a little concession, I think! I’m not a great fan of spices in cakes but have put a touch of cinnamon – nutmeg, ginger or mixed spice could also be used.  This recipe contains nuts, please omit if allergic.

 


 

Ingredients

150g unsalted butter, nicely softened
100g soft light brown sugar
3 organic free range eggs

200g Allinsons wholemeal self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 generous pinches of salt

Zest of 1 large orange plus 1 tblspn of the juice
200g grated carrots
80g walnuts, chopped
6-8 walnut halves to decorate
80g sultanas

Buttercream Icing

125g Cream cheese
50g unsalted butter
250g icing sugar

 

Method
Pre-heat your oven to 180C or 160C fan, line the bases of 2 x 7″/18cm sandwich tins with parchment paper and grease the sides with butter.

1. In a large mixing bowl beat the softened butter & sugar together until pale and creamy.
2.  Add the eggs & beat until combined.
3. Mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and fold gently into the wet ingredients.
4. Fold in the grated carrots, walnuts, sultanas, orange zest & juice.
5. Divide evenly between the 2 baking tins and bake for 25-30 minutes until a cocktail stick comes out cleanly.
6. Cool on a wire rack.
7. For the buttercream icing, beat the butter and cream cheese together, then add the icing sugar gradually and beat until combined. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
8. Once the cakes are cool enough, slather buttercream icing over one half and sandwich the other half on top, then cover the top of the cake with the remaining icing. Decorate with walnut halves.
9. Make a pot of tea, cut a slice and enjoy.

Nutritional Info:
Carrots Beta-carotene, Vitamin A, B-complex, E, K, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese and phosphorus.
Walnuts omega-3, B6, E, calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, vanadium and zinc, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, including phenolic acids, tannins especially ellagitannins and flavonoids.

Blackberry Yoghurt Muffins

Just when I thought I’d picked the last of the blackberries from the garden, another lot pops up all glossy, black and ripe waiting to be harvested.  The  birds don’t seem to want them, unlike my apples and cherries, maybe because of the thorny branches they grow on, I always seem to get a thorn or two attached to me when picking!

 

We’ve been having the blackberries with our breakfast and baked into the odd apple pie, but today I made a few, quick Blackberry Yoghurt Muffins, mostly for Toddler ND but also to satisfy my cakey cravings!  I do enjoy yoghurt in cakes for the moistness it brings and also the added protein to give it balance.  I’ve added orange and lemon juice and zests which give the cakes a lovely fruity tang.
Ingredients: *This recipe contains nuts*

120g Butter
90g Whitworths Golden Natural unrefined caster sugar
1 Organic free range egg
Zest of ½ lemon and orange
Juice of ½ lemon and orange
2 generous tablespoons of Total Greek Yoghurt
120g Self raising flour
½ Baking powder
60g Ground Almonds
100g Blackberries
Method:
Preheat your oven to 180°C. 
1.  Beat the butter and sugar together until lovely and smooth, I used my fabulous KitchenAid, so quick and easy to use.
2.  Add the egg, orange and lemon juices and zests plus the yoghurt and beat in.
3.  Stir in the flour, baking powder and ground almonds until well combined.  Stir in the blackberries carefully so as not to crush too much, some will break but you will get some lovely whole blackberries in each bite too.
4.  Dollop into a prepared 12 hole muffin tin lined with baking cases until ¾ full.  Bake for 20 minutes until risen and lightly golden.  Cool on a wire rack.  Makes 12 medium sized muffins.

Perfect tea-time treat for little fingers, full of fresh fruit goodness. 
Delicious!

Nuutritional Info:
Blackberries: 
Rich in antioxidants, high in fibre and flavonoids.  See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackberry#Nutrient_content_of_seeds 

Totally Delicious Yoghurt Cake

TOTAL Greek Yoghurt very kindly sent me a few of their products recently to try.  My 2 year old loved the split pots immediately and got stuck in with a spoon and later with her fingers!  She loved the novelty of the fruity bit that we mixed with the yoghurt swirling to make pink yoghurt!

The 0% split pot yoghurts come in lots of different flavours from honey to berry fruits and the classic plain yoghurt in 3 choices – 0%, 2% fat and full fat.

TOTAL Greek yoghurt is produced from cows’ milk and has added live, active yoghurt cultures.  This helps create the signture mild taste.  The TOTAL process also means that 4 litres of fresh pasteurised cows’ milk go into each, single litre of  TOTAL Greek Yoghurt.  Their unique straining technique removes all of the watery whey leaving only thick, deliciously creamy yoghurt.

There are no added sugars (only naturally occurring milk sugar), sweeteners, thickeners or artificial additives. TOTAL is 100% natural and because it’s strained, it has more protein than other yoghurts too.

I made a simple yoghurt cake with almonds topped with yoghurt frosting and pistachio nuts – light, moist and tangy with a hint of lemon running through it, made with 0% TOTAL Greek Yoghurt.  I am not an advocate of low fat for young children and I need the calories to keep up with a lively toddler so I have also made this cake with the full fat version too with fruit for her, both are equally delicious!

Ingredients – *This recipe contains nuts*

50g unsalted butter, softened
150g natural golden caster sugar
2 large organic free-range eggs
225g TOTAL Greek 0% Yoghurt
80g ground almonds
zest of 1 lemon
150g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
Pistachio nuts to decorate
7″ round baking tin, bottom line with baking paper and oil

Method

Heat the oven to 170C, 150C fan.

I used 3 bowls for this recipe, in the first bowl (large) cream together the butter and sugar for a few minutes, then add the eggs one at a time and beat until pale and thick.

In the second bowl mix the yoghurt, lemon zest and salt until combined.

In the third bowl sift together the self-raising flour and baking powder, then add the ground almonds and stir together until combined.

Add the yoghurt to the butter/sugar/egg mixture and gently stir together, then fold in the flour/ground almond mixture until combined.

Pour into the prepared baking tin and bake for 40 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean.  After about 30 minutes cover the cake tin with foil to prevent overbrowning.  Cool on a wire rack, then cover in frosting and decorate with chopped pistachio nuts.

Frosting

Take ¾ cup of 0% Total Greek yoghurt, ¼ cup of cream cheese and 2-3 tablespoons of icing sugar, whip together for a minute until firm, chill for an hour if you can before slathering over cake!  Decorate with chopped pistachio nuts.

Nutritional Info:

Eggs – Protein, Iron, Vitamin A, D, B2, B3, B5, B12, E, K, Biotin, Choline, Folic Acid, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Calcium, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Lecithin, Magnesium, Molybdenum, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium, Sodium, Zinc, Omega 3 EFA’s.
Almonds – Vitamins, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, E, Biotin, Folic Acid, Calcium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium, Zinc, MUFA’s, Omega 6 EFA’s, Omega 9 fatty acids, Laetrile, Protein, Fibre.
Yoghurt – see above
Pistachio nuts – Calcium, Iron, Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, E, Folic Acid, Zinc, Phosphorus, Manganese, Selenium, Copper, Potassium, Lutein.

Disclaimer:  Total Yoghurt sent me some product to try without request to mention them or the company on my blog, I love baking and a low fat, protein rich yoghurt cake was born!  Thank you TOTAL the cake was totally delicious!

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Vegetables in Disguise

I really love tomato based sauces, I can find a use for a tomato sauce in so many dishes that we eat.  The one I make the most at the moment is the vegetables in disguise version for my toddler girl, she eats plenty of fresh vegetables but occasionally when she is fussy this sauce packs a lot in! 
My personal recipe goes something like this:

Take a good glug of olive oil and gently fry a medium onion with a small clove of crushed garlic, I see some slicing of garlic in recipes but I prefer the good, intense garlic taste that crushing gives a dish.  Toddler ND is well used to garlic and onions in her food thankfully as we eat a lot of them!

Next grate 2 medium carrots, ½ a large courgette or 1 small one and a 2″ chunk of sweet potato and saute with the onions and garlic for a few minutes without browning. 

Add chopped tomatoes, I really love Sainsbury’s Polpa Fine, they are just right in texture, the 500ml box is perfect for this recipe, but if I have a glut of tomatoes I will roast some the day before, whiz them up a little in the blender and use those.  Even if I don’t have a glut I will often use fresh tomatoes, just depends how fast I need to whip this up!

Then add around 200ml of vegetable stock (I make 300ml in case I need a little extra), I like the Kallo brand, its gluten free too, a teaspoon of tomato puree and ½ teaspoon each of basil and oregano completes the dish. 

Simmer for around half an hour, then freeze into small batches and either add to other dishes or add rice to make mini toddler “chilli” with kidney beans or pasta for a “bolognaise”-type meal.   This recipe is ideal for toddlers as it makes a lovely sweet sauce but is chock full of vegetables in disguise!

For us, I use the same recipe, rehydrate sun-dried tomatoes in boiling water,  saute in olive oil and another clove of garlic (I love the aroma of freshly crushed garlic so much I could dab it behind my ears!), add to the sauce and whiz it up till smooth.  I like to freeze this so I have a quick rich sauce that can be defrosted fast and have other ingredients thrown in, prawns being a favourite of mine.  It is great on its own though run through olive oil coated pasta.  Simple, very tasty and full of goodness.  Season as you wish with black pepper or whatever you love!  Bon Appetit!

Nutritional Info:
Onion – B1, B6, Folic Acid, C, Chromium, Copper, Manganese, Molybdenum, Phosphorus, Pottasium, Iron, Selenium, Sulphur Compounds,  Flavonoids, Fibre –  rich in Quercetin
Garlic – Manganese, B1, B6, C, Phosphorus, anti-viral, anti-bacterial , selenium, calcium, copper
Olive oil
Tomato – Vitamin A, C, E, K, B1, B2, B6, Folic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Iron (little), Lycopene, Lutein, Phosphorus, Zinc
Courgette – Vitamin A, C, Manganese, Potassium, Magnesium, Vitamin K, Folate
Sweet Potato – Beta carotene, B1, B3, B5,B6, C, E, Biotin, Folic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Phosphorus, Selenium, Zinc, Fibre

Carrots Beta-carotene, Vitamin A, B-complex, E, K, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese and phosphorus.



Chocolate and Avocado Dessert

My baby girl who is rising 2 years old has not tasted chocolate yet and I’m looking to find some super nutritious desserts with lots of beneficial ingredients that she will love just in case she gets the taste for chocolate like me!   I’ve been experimenting with hiding extra goodness into her food and also presenting the food to her, sometimes its a yum yum thanks mum and other times its a definite no-no-no.

Chocolate and Avocado dessert, made with raw cacao powder, which is packed with anti-oxidants, is also a very luxurious, seemingly naughty pud.   Avocado and chocolate??  I know, sounds crazy but once blended together you will never know there is actually avocado in it.

I’ve made a small taster amount to see what works and Mr J is standing by to taste test it without knowing about the avocados!

1 avocado (small – medium size)
1 heaped tablespoon raw cacao powder
(I got mine from the
Raw Chocolate Company)
1 tablespoon honey or other natural sweetener of your choice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt

Blend all ingredients in a food processor, pop into fridge for a bit, then eat, easy as that!

This was delicious and Mr J could indeed not identify the mystery ingredient.  I shall be experimenting further with raw cacao, the aroma is divine and the health benefits make it a great addition to desserts.

Nutritional Info:

Raw Cacao Powder – rich in antioxidants, Sodium, Iron, Magnesium, Calcium

AvocadoVitamin A, Folic Acid, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E, Potassium