Boysenberry and Plum Cobbler

INGREDIENTS:
makes one 9 x 13-inch cobbler
  • 2½ lb small plums
  • 13 oz boysenberries
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • 1¾ cup (230 g) + 2 Tbspn all-purpose flour
  • 2 tspn baking powder
  • ¼ tspn salt
  • ½ cup (115 g) heavy cream, plus extra for brushing
  • 1 Tbspn (15 g) crème fraîche
  • ½ cup (115 g) whole milk

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 230° C.
  2. Quarter and pit the plums, resulting in about 2 lb of plum flesh. Combine the plums in a bowl with the boysenberries. Toss with the coconut sugar and 2 Tbspn of all-purpose flour. Spread the fruit in the bottom of one 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the remaining 1¾ cup (230 g) of flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cream and crème fraîche. Gently fold the cream into the flour mixture, being careful not to overmix. When incorporated, gently fold in the milk in three additions, resulting in a sticky mess rather than a uniform dough. Gently form the dough into a loose ball. Break off large hunks of dough and place on top of the prepared fruit in the baking dish. Brush the tops of the scone dough with heavy cream.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and the cobbler is golden on top. Remove from the oven and let cool briefly before serving. Serve warm, with a dash of cream or a scoop of ice cream, if desired.

Apricot Plum Crisp with Maple Nut Froyo

INGREDIENTS:
Apricot Plum Crisp
makes one 8 x 8″ baking dish

for filling:

  • 1 1/2 – 2 lb. apricots and plums, combined, pitted and sliced
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 Tbspn corn starch

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 205 degrees C.
  2. In a bowl, toss and combine all of the filling ingredients. Spoon into an 8×8″ baking dish. Set aside and make the crisp topping.

for crisp topping:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbspn buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tspn baking powder
  • 3/4 tspn salt
  • 1 tspn cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter, cold and cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup 2% Greek yogurt

METHOD:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients except the butter and yogurt in a bowl.
  2. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut the butter and yogurt into the flour mixture until the butter is the size of small peas and evenly distributed throughout the mixture. Do not overmix.
  3. Spoon the topping over the fruit in the baking dish, patting it down if you need to pile more on.
  4. Bake for ~20-30 minutes, until the top is brown and the insides are bubbly. Remove and let cool briefly before serving.
Maple Nut Froyo
for stir-in walnuts:

  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbspn dark amber maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cup walnuts (~150 gr), toasted for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven and then chopped coarsely
  • large pinch of salt

METHOD:

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the maple syrup just until it comes to a boil.
  2. Add the chopped walnuts and salt and return to a boil. Stir and cook for 10 seconds, then remove from heat and let cool completely.

for froyo base:

  • 3 cups 2% Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup dark amber maple syrup

METHOD:

  1. Whisk together the yogurt and maple syrup. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.
  2. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s directions. Fold in the prepared maple walnuts in the last few minutes of freezing.
  3. If needed, put frozen yogurt in freezer to continue freezing until about the consistency of soft serve, about 1-2 hours. Serve with apricot-plum crisp.

Peanut Butter Banana Granola

Peanut Butter Banana Granola

Peanut Butter Banana Granola Ingredients

 

INGREDIENTS:

(Makes about 3 cups)

  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips(optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts(optional)

METHOD:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the banana, oats, syrup, peanut butter, oil, cinnamon, vanilla and salt until evenly mixed.
  3. Spread the oats out in a thin layer on a non-stick baking surface.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, breaking up the oats into clusters about 20 minutes into baking.
  5. When the clusters are golden and firm, remove them from the oven and let them cool.
  6. Once the granola has cooled, add chocolate chips or nuts if using. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator when not eating. 

Cardamom, Orange & Honey Granola

IMG_0671

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 C canola oil
  • 4-6 Tbsp. honey, depending on how sweet you like it
  • 2 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom (1 1/2 if you love it like I do!)
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 3 C gluten rolled oats
  • 1/2 C finely chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 C finely chopped prunes or dried pears
  • 3/4 C raw nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, chopped brazil, pecan, or a mixture)
  • 2 Tbsp. flax seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
  • Zest of one large orange

METHOD:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180˚C and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. (You can make this recipe raw if you have a food dehydrator, just set the temp on low and let it dry for a couple days)
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the oil, honey, orange juice, salt and cardamom. Heat on low and stir well.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir until well mixed.
  5. Dump the whole lot out onto the parchment paper and spread out evenly.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring once about midway through cooking.

Cardamom-Lime Sweet Rolls

INGREDIENTS:

Dough:

  • 1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (about 10 1/2 ounces), divided
  • Cooking spray

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lime rind
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted, divided

Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

METHOD:

  1. To prepare dough, dissolve yeast in warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes.
  2. Combine sour cream and next 5 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl, stirring until well blended. Gradually stir yeast mixture into sour cream mixture. Lightly spoon 2 1/3 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 2 cups flour to sour cream mixture, stirring to form a soft dough.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel slightly tacky).
  4. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (30°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.)
  5. To prepare filling, combine brown sugar, rind, and cardamom. Divide dough into two equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time, roll dough into a 12 x 10–inch rectangle; brush with 1 tablespoon butter. Sprinkle half of filling over dough. Beginning with a long side, roll up jelly-roll fashion; pinch seam to seal (do not seal ends of roll). Repeat procedure with remaining dough, 1 tablespoon butter, and filling. Cut each roll into 12 (1-inch) slices. Place slices, cut sides up, in a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
  6. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  7. Uncover dough. Bake at 180°C for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in pan 5 minutes on a wire rack.
  8. To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar and juice, stirring until smooth. Drizzle glaze over warm rolls.

Double Banana Pancakes

1-double-banana-pancakes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 2 bananas
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil

For the Banana Topping:

  • 2 bananas
  • 2 tablespoons butter

banana-pancakes

METHOD:

For the Banana Topping:

  1. Cut the bananas in about 1 ½ inch thick slices. Heat a medium size skillet on medium heat. Add the butter to the skillet. As soon as it melts, add the bananas. Turn the bananas as they cook until all sides are a golden brown color. Set aside while making the pancakes.

For the Pancakes:

  1. In a medium size bowl add the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, almond milk, egg yolks, and melted butter. Whisk together and set aside for quick moment. Add the bananas to a small bowl and smash them with a fork. Then add to the flour mixture and stir together. Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add a third of the canola oil (assuming that based on the size of the pan used you’ll need to make 3 batches of pancakes to use all of the batter).
  2. Then ladle the batter into to skillet to make the pancakes. As soon as the bottom side of the pancake turns a golden color (about 3 minutes), turn it over to cook the other side until it turns the same color. Continue adding the canola oil each time before adding the next batch of pancake batter to the skillet. Serve right away while hot and top with the browned bananas and your favorite syrup.

19-slice-banana

20-brown-bananas-in-skillet

21-browned-bananas

12-smash-banana

14-add-banana-to-batter

18-cooking-pancakes

23-bananas-on-pancakes

28-syrup-on-pancakes

Baked Orange French Toast with Almond Crumble

Baked Orange French Toast with Almond Crumble

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 loaf challah bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup half and half or whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons Cointreau or other orange liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
for almond crumble
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest

METHOD:

  1. Slice challah bread in 3/4″ thick slices and set aside. Whisk eggs in a 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup and then add half and half, sugar, vanilla, Cointreau and orange zest and whisk well.
  2. Butter a 2 quart baking dish and layer 5-6 slices of bread in the bottom so the bread fits together tightly without much gap. Evenly drizzle half of the egg mixture onto the bottom layer of bread and then add another layer of bread on top and drizzle the remaining mixture.
  3. Add the brown sugar, butter, almonds, oats and orange zest to a small bowl and mix ingredients together with fingers until well incorporated. Sprinkle on top of the bread, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 4 hours or overnight.
  4. To bake, preheat oven to 180 degrees. Remove casserole from refrigerator and bring to room temperature, about a half an hour. Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until top is golden. Remove and let set for 5 minutes and serve with maple or raspberry syrup.

Spanish Donuts with Spiced Chocolate (Chocolate con Rosquillas)

Image

INGREDIENTS:

Spanish Donuts

(makes approx 30 pieces)

  • 280g self raising flour
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 30g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 60ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 115g caster sugar mixed with 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon in a shallow dish and set aside
  • Canola oil

METHOD:

  1. Sift into a large bowl the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon and mix to combine.
  2. Whisk in a separate bowl the milk, eggs and cooled melted butter. Add liquid ingredients to flour and whisk together to form a thick batter (it’ll be a little sticky).
  3. Heat about 4 cm of oil in a pan to 180°C (it’s the right temperature when a piece of bread cooks to golden in 30 seconds).
  4. Dust your hands with flour and form teaspoon-sized balls and drop into pan. Cook each side for about a minute until evenly golden. Don’t cook too much at one time or it’ll drop the temperature of the oil, which will make the donuts really heavy with grease.
  5. Remove with a slotted spoon and toss in the cinnamon sugar until coated. You can keep the donuts warm in a low oven (about 100°C) until all of it has been cooked. Best eaten warm on the day.

Spiced Chocolate

  • 250ml milk
  • 200ml pouring cream (thin cream)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground all-spice
  • 40ml brandy or liqueur such as Grand Marnier (optional)
  • 250g good quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces

METHOD:

  1. Combine milk, cream, spices and liqueur (if using) in a pan and bring to the simmer over low heat. Add chocolate and stir continuously over low heat until melted and combined. Keep warm while you cook the donuts.

Note: To change up the chocolate, use Grand Marnier and replace spices with large strips of rind from an orange (in which after you bring it to a simmer, cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly over low heat to infuse. Strain to remove rind and then add the chocolate as instructed). Alternatively use a different chocolate flavoured with orange, mint or spices.

If you want your chocolate to be thick add a little cornflour.

Chocolate Banana Bread with Cinnamon Butter

INGREDIENTS:

  • 195g plain flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 120ml canola or vegetable oil
  • 190g light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups of banana mash (about 3-4 small bananas)
  • 100g dark chocolate, melted

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C and grease a large loaf tin (mine was about 22 x 13 x 8cm).
  2. Sift the flour, bicarb, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into a bowl and set aside.
  3. With an electric mixer, whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract for a couple of minutes until well blended.
  4. With a wooden spoon, stir through the banana mash then add the sifted flour mixture and gently stir until just combined (do not over mix). Divide the batter into two portions then add the melted chocolate into one portion and stir to combine.
  5. Add random dollops of each batter into the tin then grab a skewer and start swirling. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until the bread has risen and a skewer comes out clean. Ovens and tins can vary in each household so if the top is browning too quickly, loosely cover with foil and continue baking until done.
  6. Cool on wire rack then remove bread from tin. Can be served plain at room temperature but for something extra special, warm up a slice of bread in the oven until toasty then spread with some cinnamon butter.
  7. Bread can be frozen or kept for a few days if well-wrapped or in an airtight container.

Cinnamon Butter

  • 125g salted butter, softened
  • 2-3 Tbl of light brown sugar, firmly packed (or to taste)
  • 2 tsps ground cinnamon (or to taste)

METHOD:

  1. Using a mixer, a wooden spoon or food processor, whiz all the ingredients up until combined and fluffy. Tip out butter onto a sheet of plastic wrap and roll it up into a sausage shape. Twist the ends to secure and refrigerate until firm. Slice and serve with warm or toasted banana bread. Alternatively you could just serve the butter in a bowl.

Apple and Zucchini Bread with Honeycomb Butter

INGREDIENTS:

  • 195g plain flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 120ml canola or vegetable oil
  • 190g light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large (or 2 small) zucchini, grated (to make about 1 to 1.5 cups) (or courgette)
  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled and grated (to make about 1/2 cup)
  • 50g chopped roasted walnuts (optional)
Honeycomb Butter
  • 250g salted butter, softened
  • 110g honeycomb, crushed (or you could use a chocolate honeycomb candy bar)
  • 2 Tbl golden syrup
METHOD:
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a large loaf tin (mine was about 22 x 13 x 8cm).
  2. Sift the flour, bicarb, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into a bowl and set aside.
  3. With an electric mixer, whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract for a couple of minutes until well blended.
  4. With a wooden spoon, stir through the grated zucchini and apple then add the sifted flour mixture and nuts and gently stir until just combined (do not over mix).
  5. Scrape into the loaf tin and bake for 55-60 minutes or until the bread has risen and a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Cool on wire rack then remove bread from tin. Can be served plain at room temperature but for something extra special, warm up a slice of zucchini bread in the oven until toasty then spread with some honeycomb butter.
  7. Bread can be frozen or kept for a few days if well-wrapped or in an airtight container.
Honeycomb Butter
  1. Add all of the ingredients into a food processor and whizz them up until it comes together. Tip out butter onto a sheet of plastic wrap and roll it up into a sausage shape. Twist the ends to secure and refrigerate until hard.

Coconut Pancakes with Grilled Bananas and Salted Caramel Rum Sauce

INGREDIENTS:

Pancakes

  • 225g plain flour
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • 1-2 Tbl of dessicated coconut
  • 300ml coconut milk
  • 50ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 30g (2 Tbl) butter, melted
  • Bananas

METHOD:

  1. In a mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the brown sugar and dessicated coconut and whisk to combine, breaking up any clumps.
  2. In another bowl or jug, whisk together the coconut milk, milk, eggs and melted butter until combined.
  3. Make a well in the flour then add the liquid ingredients and whisk until combined and mostly lump free. Rest for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, peel and chop the bananas then sprinkle with a little caster sugar. Grab a blowtorch and fire them up until they’re golden and burnished (or grill them underneath a broiler or roast in the oven).
  5. Heat up a non stick frypan and brush lightly with extra melted butter. Ladle spoonfuls of batter and spread out to make large pancakes or leave it in dollops to make smaller pikelets (whatever size you prefer really). When the tops are all bubbly, flip and cook the other side until golden.
  6. Remove pikelets to a warm plate and continue with the rest of the batter. Pancakes can be kept warm in a low oven while you finish the rest. Take care not to overlap them as they might get soggy.
  7. Serve warm with grilled bananas and lashings of salted caramel rum sauce.

Salted Caramel Rum Sauce

INGREDIENTS:

  • 200g caster sugar
  • 300ml pure cream or light thickened cream (35% fat content and pourable)
  • 30g butter
  • 1-2 tsps sea salt flakes (add maybe 1/2 tsp first then add more to your personal taste)
  • 2 Tbl of rum

METHOD:

  1. Heat a deep heavy-based saucepan over low heat. Add the sugar in an even layer and leave to melt. As the edges start to liquify and brown, use a silicone spatula to ‘fold’ the liquid edges towards the centre. Just a few gentle folds should do it. It’ll start to clump but don’t worry, just leave it over low heat to do its thing and soon, every little clump will melt into a glossy amber liquid. As it melts, continue to ‘fold’ in the liquid edges until everything has melted. Note – If you get too enthusiastic and over stir it into a clumpy rock-like mess, just leave it over low heat and eventually it’ll all melt.
  2. Keep a watchful eye because it doesn’t take long for caramel to burn. You want to cook this until it’s a darkish brown golden colour. Too light and it’ll just be a sickly sweet flavoured caramel. You want to take this a few notches before the burnt stage to have a lovely sweet smokey caramel with the slightest hint of bitterness.
  3. When it’s ready, take it off the heat and add a good splash of the cream. It’ll bubble up furiously so be careful (caramel is pretty much like molten lava on the skin). When that settles, add the rest of the cream and the butter.
  4. The caramel will seize and harden but no worries. Just stick it back over the low heat and stir gently until everything has melted into a luscious sauce. Stir through the salt and rum then allow to cool a little before serving.
  5. Serve with the coconut pancakes or over ice cream etc.

Brioche French Toast with Bananas, Crème Patissiere and Salted Caramel

INGREDIENTS:

Vanilla Crème Patissiere:
  • 160ml milk
  • 1 vanilla bean / 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 14g plain flour
Salted Caramel Sauce:
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100ml pure cream or light cream
  • 1 Tbl unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt
French Toast:
  • 4 thick slices of brioche loaf (recipe below if you wish to make it yourself)
  • 2 eggs
  • 60ml milk
  • 2 tsps caster sugar (plus extra for bananas)
  • 2 Tbl unsalted butter
  • 2 large bananas, peeled and sliced thickly

METHOD:

  1. To make the crème patissiere, halve the vanilla bean, scrape the seeds then add both pod and seeds to a pan with the milk. Bring to simmer, remove from heat and steep for about 10 minutes to infuse before removing the pod (if you’re using extract or paste, just add to milk, bring to simmer then remove from heat).
  2. In a bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale. Whisk in the flour until combined. While continuously whisking, add a bit of the hot milk to the eggs then pour the egg mix back into the pot.
  3. Place over low heat and stir constantly until custard is thick, rich and creamy. Pour into a bowl then cover the surface directly with cling film to stop a skin from forming. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate until needed.
  4. To make the caramel sauce, heat a deep heavy-based saucepan over low heat. Add the sugar in an even layer and leave to melt into a golden caramel. When it’s ready, take it off the heat and add a good splash of the cream (it’ll bubble up furiously so take care). When that settles, add the rest of the cream and the butter. Place it back over low heat and stir gently until everything has melted into a luscious sauce. Stir through the salt then cool.
  5. For the french toast, whisk the eggs, milk and sugar until frothy. Dip each slice of bread, both sides, into the egg batter until soaked. Heat up the butter in a pan then fry each side of the eggy brioche slices until golden then set aside.
  6. Sprinkle the banana slices, cut side up, with a little white sugar then blowtorch until golden and bruléed (feel free to torch the other side too if you wish).
  7. To assemble, spread crème patissiere thickly on one side of the brioche then layer the bananas on top. Spoon a little caramel over the top then sandwich with the other brioche slice. If you wish, serve with ice cream and extra caramel sauce.

Brioche

INGREDIENTS:

  • 70ml milk, room temperature
  • 65g caster sugar
  • 1 packet / 7g of dried yeast
  • 500g unbleached plain flour
  • 1.5 tsp fine sea salt
  • 6 eggs
  • 350g unsalted butter, softened then chopped into about inch-sized pieces
  • 1 extra egg for egg wash

METHOD:

To make the dough

  1. Whisk one tablespoon of the sugar into the milk then the yeast until dissolved. Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for about 10 minutes until frothy.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the flour, salt, eggs, remaining sugar and frothy yeast mixture. Mix on low speed to combine then turn it up one notch and knead for 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then knead on medium speed for 10 minutes. Dough should be smooth and elastic.
  3. Add a couple of pieces of butter into the dough then after it’s incorporated, turn the speed to low and add the rest of the butter one piece at time, waiting until it’s mixed in before adding the next.
  4. When all the butter is in, turn up the speed and knead for at least 6 minutes, until the dough is very smooth, shiny, unsticky, elastic and comes away from the sides of the bowl perfectly (it’ll make slapping sounds while it’s kneading).
  5. Remove the dough hook then cover the bowl with cling film and leave to rise at room temperature (24°C) for about 2 hours until doubled in size.
  6. Knock the dough down a couple of times then cover tightly with cling film and refrigerate for at least several hours (not more than 24 hours). The dough is now ready to use.
*At this point you could wrap the dough up well and freeze in an airtight container (to reuse, thaw overnight in the fridge and continue with the recipe).
To make the loaves
  1. Butter two medium-large loaf pans. Remove dough from the fridge and divide in half (dough will feel like cold playdoh). On a lightly greased or floured bench top, mould each half into a loaf shape then place in pans.
  2. Cover the tins lightly with cling film then leave to rise in a warm spot (no warmer than 24°C) for about 4 hours or until the dough has doubled in size (bread should feel light, soft and pillowy). It should rise to about 1cm below the rim of the tin and have a rounded top (bread will rise more in the oven).
  3. Meanwhile preheat oven to 175°C / 350°F and position the rack to the centre. In a bowl, whisk up 1 egg then gently brush the tops of the loaves from the outside in.
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the loaves are deep golden and it sounds hollow when you tap the top of the breads (internal temperature should be around 87°C/190°F).
  5. Check after 10-15 minutes of baking. If it looks like it’s browning too fast, tent it with some foil then continue baking. Cool on wire rack for about 30 minutes then turn it out and cool completely.
  6. Brioche can be stored at room temperature, well wrapped in cling film for up to 2-3 days or in the freezer for a few weeks.

Breakfast Bars with Tart Cherries, Toasted Pecans, and Chocolate Chunks

INGREDIENTS:

Makes 12 bars

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat or spelt flour
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ or bran, or oat bran
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup chopped dried sour cherries (or other dried fruit)
  • 3/4 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans
  • 3 ounces (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted (optionally browned)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (dark or light)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 orange

METHOD:

  1. Position a rack in the oven and preheat to 175ºC (350ºF).
  2. Line an 8×8″ pan with parchment paper, letting the sides hang over like a sling. (This will make removing the bars a cinch.)
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the dries to combine. Stir in the dried fruit, chocolate and nuts.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the wets to combine. Pour them into the dries and stir to combine thoroughly.
  5. Spread evenly in the parchmented pan, and bake for 30-40 minutes. The Bars should feel set and firmish in the center, with browned edges.
  6. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cut while still warm into 12 bars. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to a week or so, or wrap tightly and freeze for up to a couple months.

Cardamom Honey Granola

Makes 3 – 4 cups

Just a heads up – the pistachios must be added at the end to the baked granola; if baked into the granola, these delicate nuts will burn before the rest of the granola has finished baking. Pistachios’ mysterious flavor pairs nicely with the honey and cardamom, but you could substitute cashews (and add them with the almonds). If only whole, green cardamom pods are available, crack them open and pull out the black seeds to make a teaspoon. The amount of cardamom here is subtle but still noticeable. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/2 cups (1/2 pound) whole oats
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) whole, raw almonds
  • 1/3 cup (2 ounces) light brown (or unrefined) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black cardamom seeds, pulverized in a coffee grinder
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons / 3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons (2 ounces) mild-flavored honey
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (yes, 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) unsalted pistachios, lightly toasted

METHOD:

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 160 ºC (325ºF).
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Have a second rimmed baking sheet and piece of parchment ready.
  3. Combine the oats, almonds, sugar, and ground cardamom together in a large bowl.
  4. In a small saucepan, melt together the butter, honey and salt, stirring to dissolve the salt. Pour over the oat mixture, tossing to combine thoroughly.
  5. Dump the mixture onto the lined baking sheet, and spread it into a thin sheet no thicker than an almond. Ideally, the edges will be slightly thicker than the center as they will bake faster.
  6. Lay the second piece of parchment over the granola, and place the second sheet pan on top, right-side up, making a little granola sandwich.
  7. Slide the whole thing into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Rotate and continue baking another 10 – 20 minutes, peeking under the parchment to make sure the edges aren’t burning, until the granola is a rich golden brown. It will still be soft, but should crisp up as it cools. (If the granola is still soft after cooling, return it, uncovered, to a low oven (around 65ºC / 150ºF) and let it dry out for 20 minutes or so.
  8. Let the granola cool completely in the sheet pan sandwich, then break up into large sheets or clumps, add in the pistachios, and store in an airtight container for up to a month (or possibly more.)
  9. Enjoy over fruit and yogurt for breakfast, alone for a crunchy snack, or over ice cream for a decadent dessert.

VERSION 2

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/8 cup sesame seeds
  • 6 Tbs. grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 6 Tbs. honey
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup pitted, coarsely chopped dates (about 4 large)
  • 1/2 cup raisins

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet (the kind with 4 sides) with parchment paper, or lightly coat with oil.
  2. Mix oats, pecans, and sesame seeds in a large bowl; set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine oil, honey, cardamom, and salt until heated through.
  4. Stir oil/honey mixture into the bowl of oats; spread mixture into prepared pan.
  5. Bake, stirring once, 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and toasty.
  6. As the granola cools, stir in chopped fruit.  By the time the granola is cool, it should be nice and crispy.

Chocolate Granola

You could take this recipe in many other directions. Try one of the delicious dark milk chocolates on the market now, such as Scharffenberger. Vary the nuts, or add cocoa nibs, orange zest, espresso powder, shredded coconut, cinnamon or cardamom. If you add dried fruit or candied ginger, however, do so after baking, when you stir in the chocolate.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/2 cups (8 oz.) old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) whole almonds
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown or unrefined sugar (or use maple syrup or agave nectar)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (2 oz., or half a stick)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC (350ºF).
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the oats and almonds. Melt together the sugar, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Remove, and stir in vanilla.
  5. Toss the butter mixture with the oat mixture to coat thoroughly.
  6. Spread evenly on the sheet pan. Bake for ten minutes, then take the granola out and stir it with a metal spatula.
  7. Repeat this process two or three times, for a total of 30-40 minutes of baking time, until the oats are golden and toasty. They will still be soft, but will crisp up when they cool.
  8. Set the pan on a cooling rack, and let the granola cool completely, about 1 hour.
  9. Place the granola in a medium bowl, and reserve the sheet pan and parchment.
  10. Place the chocolate in a metal bowl and place the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is completely melted. Remove the bowl from the pot, and let the chocolate cool, stirring frequently, to about 80º.
  11. It should feel cool when you touch it to your lip, but still be liquid enough to coat your granola. This tempers the chocolate. (You can skip this step if you’re over it, and just melt and fold the chocolate into the granola, but the chocolate may “bloom” and look unattractively streaky.) If the chocolate cools down too much, just place over the pot of barely steaming water and stir constantly until re-melted.
  12. Fold the chocolate into the granola to coat thoroughly, and spread on the parchmented sheet pan to cool and set up, about 30 minutes.
  13. Break up and store in a jar or airtight container at room temperature, up to a couple weeks.

Churros con Chocolate

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Here are two different versions of Churros con Chocolate recipes (very similar) I’ll let you choose which one you prefer 🙂

Version 1:

Ingredients for the Churros:

  • 200g flour
  • 50g butter
  • 200ml water
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • sugar
  • ground cinnamon

How to:

  1. Put butter and water in a pot over medium heat. Cook until the butter melts.
  2. Add flour and salt in. Mix well. Take off from the heat.
  3. Keep stirring until the mixture cooled down.
  4. Add eggs. Mix well.
  5. Get 3 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp ground cinnamon, mix well. Set aside.
  6. In a preheated deep fryer, test if the oil is at the right temperature. Put a tiny amount of the churros in the oil, if it floats right away then you’re good to go. The oil should be around 165 to 180 C.
  7. Place the dough in a piping bag with big star nozzle.
  8. Pipe around 7 to 10cm long and fry it right away.
  9. Cook until it has nice golden brown colour and take off from the oil.
  10. While they still warm, place them in the sugar-cinnamon mixture. Make sure the churros covered in the sugar.

for chocolate sauce:

  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 50ml cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp caster sugar (I like it sweet)
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter

how to:

  1. Heat the cream, sugar and vanilla until it reached the boiling point.
  2. Add chocolate and butter. Mix well.

Eat the churros while they still warm. I suggest to make the chocolate sauce first.

Dessert Recipe: Churros and Chocolate

Version 2:

Churros Balls with Warm Chocolate Dipping Sauce

For the cinnamon sugar:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

For the churros:

  • 1/2 cup whole or 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
  • Canola or peanut oil, for frying

For the chocolate dipping sauce:

  • 4 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped finely
  • 1 cup whole or 2% milk
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (or milk)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cornstarch

1. For the cinnamon-sugar, whisk together in a small bowl. Transfer to a shallow dish and set aside.
2. For the churros, combine the milk, water, butter, cinnamon stick, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium to medium-high heat, stirring once or twice, until the liquid begins to boil. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and discard the cinnamon stick.

3. Add the flour all at once, stirring vigorously to combine. Return the pan to medium heat to dry out the dough. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the dough forms a round mass and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 3 minutes. (There will also be a noticeable “film” of flour on the bottom and sides of the pan.)

4. Transfer the dough to a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat dough on low speed for one minute to cool and no longer steaming. Increase the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, until each is completely incorporated. Add the vanilla bean paste or extract. (At this point, the dough should be shiny and form a “rope” when the blade is lifted from the pan.) Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface. Allow the dough to rest while you heat the oil, at least 15 – 30 minutes.

5. Fill a large Dutch oven with about 2 inches of frying oil; heat on medium-high until the temperature reaches 190°C (375°F). Line a sheet pan with paper towels or a brown paper bag, and cover with a wire cooling rack. Use a small spring-form ice cream scoop to carefully release rounds of batter into the oil, about 6 or 7 at time. (Do not overcrowd the pot; they should not be touching.)

6. Flip the balls occasionally with long tongs or a spider to promote even cooking. Once churros are puffed and light amber/golden brown, about 2-3 minutes, remove to the wire rack to drain for a moment. While still hot, coat each churro in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place on a serving dish and continue frying the remaining dough. Make sure the frying oil comes back up to temperature between batches.

7. For the chocolate dipping sauce, combine the chocolate, milk, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is melted. Whisk the cornstarch into the heavy cream and add to the milk mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook for another 30 seconds, until the sauce is dark and slightly thickened, then remove from the  heat. Transfer to a bowl for dipping, whisking as necessary.

Recipe Notes:

  • If you do not have a stand mixer, you can beat in the eggs with either a handheld electric mixer or by hand. If mixing in the eggs by hand, allow the flour mixture to cool for 15 minutes before beating in the eggs.
  • To make traditional log shape churros, transfer the rested dough to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe 4-inch strips of dough, snipping with kitchen shears to release, into the hot oil and fry according to directions.
  • To bake the churros, preheat oven to 220°C (425°F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using the pastry bag fitted with a large star tip, pipe into 4-inch logs. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly puffed. Finish off under the broiler until golden brown and crispy. Dust in cinnamon-sugar mixture before serving.