Rum Kugelhopf

Rum Kugelhopf

My favourite way to start the day – this kugelhopf is more savoury than sweet and packs a punch with the addition of rum soaked prunes. The dough is left to rest in the fridge for two days – imparting the delicious yeasty flavour of freshly baked sourdough.

Kugelhopf is great dunked in coffee in the morning, drizzled with honey as an afternoon snack or lightly toasted and served with cheese after supper.

Rum Kugelhopf

Ingredients:

For the Dough: 300g Strong White Bread Flour, 60g Caster Sugar, 1sp Sea Salt, 1tsp Dried Yeast, 75g Unsalted Butter (Cubed and Softened), 125ml Semi-Skimmed Milk, 1 Large Egg (Beaten)

To Finish: Small Handful Blanched Almonds, 80g Prunes, 3tbsp Dark Rum, 1 Large Egg, Icing Sugar

Method:

1) Place the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a mixer with a dough attachment – mix a little to combine. Pour in the milk and egg and mix for 5-10 minutes on medium speed until the dough is elastic. Slowly add the butter whilst mixing over a period of around 5 minutes until fully combined into the dough. Transfer the dough to a large bowl and cover with cling film. Transfer to the fridge and allow to rest for 48 hours. Soak the prunes in the rum and transfer to the fridge for the same period.

2) Grease a kugelhopf mould with a little softened butter – place an almond in each/some of the grooves in the bottom of the tin. Remove the dough from the fridge and scrape out onto a clean surface. Lightly drain the prunes and gently fold into the dough. Mould the dough into a ball and make a large hole in the centre. Place the dough in the mould and brush  with a little of the egg wash.Cover the mould with a damp tea towel and transfer to a warm area. Allow to rest until the dough has doubled in size (around 2 hours).

3) Pre heat the oven to 200c. Transfer the kugelhopf to the oven and bake for around 30 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar.

Enjoy!

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White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Delicious, super sweet white chocolate chunk cookies with a big hit of vanilla.

I always favour thinner cookies over thicker – crisper at the edges and (providing you watch the cooking time) gloriously gooey in the centre!

White Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Makes 20-24 Cookies

Ingredients:

170g Unsalted Butter (Room Temperature), 130g Plain Flour, 1/2tsp Salt, 3/4tsp Baking Powder, 1 Large Egg, 160g Light Brown Sugar, 30g Caster Sugar, 1/2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste, 125g White Chocolate (Chopped)

Method:

1) Pre heat the oven to 200c and line a baking tray with baking paper.

2) Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and two sugars together with a mixer on medium speed until well combined (2 minutes). Add the egg and vanilla to the mixture and beat on medium speed until fluffy (2 minutes). Add the flour and fold to combine. Add the chocolate chunks and fold lightly to combine.

3) Spoon heaped teaspoonfuls of the dough on to the baking parchment, leaving a good 2″ gap around each spoonful. Bake in the oven for 6 minutes or until brown round the edges. When ready, remove from the oven and allow to cool a little before transferring to a wire rack to cool fully. Continue to cook the mixture in batches until exhausted.

4) Store the cookies in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

Courgette and Feta Fritters

Courgette and Feta Fritters

These fritters are super easy to make and cook – great as a snack, canapé or starter!

Served with a spiced lime and coriander dip, the fritters are super light and moreish!

Courgette and Feta Fritters
Serves 4 (As a starter)

Ingredients:

For the Dip: 150ml Soured Cream, 5 Cardamom Pods (Ground), Zest and Juice 1 Lime, Large Handful Chopped Coriander, Sea Salt, Cracked Black Pepper

For the Fritters: 2 Large Courgettes (Grated), 1/2 Small Onion (Finely Sliced), 2 Garlic Cloves (Crushed), 70g Self Raising Flour, 2 Large Eggs (Whisked), 1tsp Ground Coriander, 1/2tsp Ground Clove, 150g Feta Cheese (Diced), 4tbsp Vegetable Oil

Method:

1) Make the dip by mixing together all of the ingredients (seasoning with salt and pepper to taste) in a small bowl. Cover and set aside until ready to serve.

2) Place the courgette in a bowl and sprinkle with a little salt. Leave for 10 minutes then squeeze out the majority of the water and transfer to a clean bowl. Add all of the other ingredients to the bowl (except the feta and vegetable oil) and mix well to combine. Add the feta and fold to combine.

3) Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil and shallow fry tablespoonfuls of the mixture for 3 minutes each side – pat the spoonfuls down slightly when they are in the pan. Once cooked, drain and keep warm. Continue to fry in batches until the mixture is exhausted.

4) Serve the fritters with the soured cream dip and lime wedges.

Enjoy!

Sausage Rolls, Truffle Mayonnaise

Sausage Roll, Truffle Mayonnaise

This is ultimate comfort food – fragrant homemade sausage rolls served with a rich and tangy homemade truffle mayonnaise!

Homemade mayonnaise is so simple to make yet gives fantastic results – a much smoother and thicker texture than shop-bought with a fresh and tangy flavour. Don’t overdo the truffle oil and you’ll have a great comforting supper.

Sausage Rolls, Truffle Mayonnaise
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Sausage Rolls: 500g Pork Sausagemeat, 2tbsp Chopped Fresh Sage, 4tbsp Chopped Fresh Parsley, 1tbsp Finely Chopped Lemon Rind, 2 Red Onions Finely Chopped, 1tsp White Pepper, 1tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg, 1 Sheet Ready Rolled Puff Pastry, 1 Egg Yolk

For the Mayonnaise: 2 Egg Yolks, 1tbsp Dijon Mustard, 2tbsp White Wine Vinegar, 300ml Sunflower Oil, 1tbsp Lemon Juice, 1tsp White Truffle Oil

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 190C. Fry the red onion in a little olive oil over a medium heat for 10 minutes until soft but not coloured. Allow to cool then combine with the sausagemeat, herbs, lemon rind, white pepper and nutmeg in a large bowl until fully mixed.

2) Cut the puff pastry in half and form the sausagemeat mixture along the centre of each half. Fold the pastry over itself and seal together. Glaze the pastry with egg yolk and transfer the rolls to a lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven at 190C for around 30 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

3) Meanwhile make the mayonnaise. Place the egg yolk, vinegar and mustard in a food processor. Start the processor and slowly pour in the sunflower oil whilst blending – do not rush this stage or the mayonnaise may split. The mayonnaise will emulsify and turn to a thick consistency. Add the lemon juice and truffle oil and blend to combine. Store in the fridge until ready to use.

4) When ready, remove the sausage rolls from the oven, cut into portions and serve with the truffle mayonnaise.

Enjoy!

Coconut Meringue Pie

Coconut Meringue Pie

This delicious Caribbean recipe is taken from a prized Barbados cookbook!

A gluten free biscuit base is covered with a layer of creamy coconut filling before being topped by super fluffy meringue.

The gluten free digestive biscuits in the base can easily be replaced by regular biscuits if required.

Coconut Meringue Pie

Ingredients:

For The Pie: 300g Gluten Free Digestives, 80g Unsalted Butter, 1/2 Pint Semi-Skimmed Milk, 85g Desiccated Coconut, 60g Caster Sugar, 1/2tsp Grated Nutmeg, 1tsp Vanilla Extract, 3 Egg Yolks (Beaten)

For The Meringue: 3 Egg Whites, 115g Caster Sugar, 1/2tsp Vanilla Extract

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 200c. Place the digestives in a food processor, whilst blitzing slowly pour in the butter until well combined. Transfer to a medium lined cake tin (preferably spring form). Bake the base in the oven for 10 minutes, remove and set aside.

2) Heat the milk in a large saucepan over a medium heat, stir in the coconut, caster sugar, nutmeg, vanilla and egg yolks and allow to thicken slightly. Pour the mixture onto the base and return to the oven at 200c for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 190c and bake for a further 10 minutes or until the filling has set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

3) Whilst the pie is cooling make the meringue. Beat the egg whites in an electric mixer until stiff. Add the sugar and vanilla a little at a time whilst mixing slowly until fully combined. Spread the meringue over the filling and return to the oven at 190c until the meringue has browned slightly on top. Remove and allow to cool.

Enjoy!

Caramel Cheesecake

Caramel Cheesecake

A deliciously decadent cheesecake – packed full of caramel richness. This gluten free version uses a gluten free biscuit base which is topped with a mix of cream cheese and dulce de leche.

Crunchy caramel shards add great contrast of texture and make for an impressive dessert. Whilst a thin topping of sour cream stops the cheesecake from becoming too sweet.

Caramel Cheesecake

Ingredients:

For the Base: 300g Gluten Free Digestive Biscuits, 85g Unsalted Butter

For the Cheesecake Mixture: 750g Cream Cheese (Full Fat), 3 Large Eggs, 1tsp Vanilla Extract, 1 Tin Dulce De Leche, 2tbsp Corn Flour, 100g Caster Sugar

For the Sour Cream Topping: 600ml Sour Cream, 25g Caster Sugar, 1tsp Vanilla Extract

For the Shards: 220g Golden Caster Sugar, 80ml Water

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 200c. Place the digestives in a food processor, whilst blitzing slowly pour in the butter until well combined. Transfer to a medium lined cake tin (preferably spring form). Bake the base in the oven for 10 minutes, remove, set aside and turn down the oven temperature to 160c.

2) Meanwhile make the cheesecake mixture; place the cream cheese, cornflour, eggs, caster sugar and vanilla extract in a mixer and mix until well combined. Add the dulce de leche and continue to mix until well combined. Pour over the biscuit base and bake in the oven for 45 minutes the remove.

3) Meanwhile, combine the sour cream, 25g of caster sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl and mix well with a whisk. When the cheesecake has been removed from the oven, pour the sour cream mixture over the cheesecake and bake for a further 15 minutes before turning the oven off and leaving the cheesecake to cool in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove and transfer to the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours.

4) Make the shards by combining the caster sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Place over a high heat and cook to a medium-dark caramel. Transfer to a baking matt and spread to form a thin sheet. Allow to cool then break into shards before serving with the cheesecake.

Enjoy!

Carrot and Walnut Cake (Gluten Free)

Carrot & Walnut Cake (Gluten Free)

My mum’s tried and trusted recipe for gluten free carrot cake is always a winner! Hands down the finest example I have tasted, a zingy citrus drizzle keeps the cake super moist whilst lots of chopped walnuts add great texture.

This cake is sandwiched and iced with orange cream cheese frosting and topped with a few whole pecans, but any thick frosting will work well!

Gluten Free Carrot Cake

Ingredients:

For the Sponge: 100g Walnuts (Toasted and Chopped), 200g Gluten-Free Plain Flour, 175g Soft Dark Brown Sugar, 200g Grated Carrot, 2 Large Eggs, Juice and Zest of 2 Clementines, 150ml Sunflower Oil, 1tsp Xanthan Gum, 1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda, 100g Sultanas, 3tsp Ground Cinnamon

For the Drizzle Syrup: Juice of 2 Clementines, Juice 1 Lemon, 75g Soft Dark Brown Sugar

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease and line two 8″ round baking tins.

2) Beat the eggs, sugar, clementine juice and zest and oil together in a large bowl. Fold in the (sifted) flour, xanthan gum, bicarbonate of soda and ground cinnamon to make a smooth batter.

3) Into the batter mixture, fold in the carrot, walnuts and sultanas.

4) Divide the mixture evenly between the two sandwich tins (I usually weigh them).

5) Bake in the middle of the oven for around 35 minutes – or until a metal skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

6) Meanwhile make the syrup by combining all the ingredients into a saucepan over a medium heat. Heat to dissolve the sugar but do not boil.

7) When the cake is ready, remove from the oven and pierce each cake several times with a metal skewer. Pour the syrup over each cake. Allow to cool in the cake tins.

8) Once cooled, remove the cakes from the tins. Sandwich the cakes with your favourite icing – saving some for the topping and top with a few pecan nuts.

Enjoy!

Blueberry New York Cheesecake

Blueberry New York Cheesecake

A delicious version of the classic New York baked cheesecake – a soft vanilla centre is topped with a vibrant, fresh blueberry jelly.

This recipe is made with a gluten free base (the topping is naturally gluten free) which can be substituted for an ordinary biscuit base if desired.

Blueberry New York Cheesecake

Ingredients:

180g Digestive Biscuits (Gluten Free)
85g Unsalted Butter (Melted)
750g Cream Cheese (Softened)
1 Can Condensed Milk
2tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
2 Large Eggs (Beaten)
1 Lemon (Juice and Zest)
150 Fresh Blueberries
1tbsp Cast Sugar
2 Gelatine Leaves

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 150C. Place the digestives in a food processor, whilst blitzing slowly pour in the butter until well combined. Transfer to a medium lined cake tin (preferably spring form). Bake the base in the oven for 10 minutes, remove and set aside.

2) Beat the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl until fluffy. Gradually beat in the condensed milk until fully combined. Add the vanilla and eggs – mixing well to combine. Pour onto the biscuit base.

3) Transfer to the oven and bake for around 40 minutes – until the cheesecake has the slightest wobble in the centre. Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for 30 minutes before removing. Transfer to the fridge to cool for a few hours.

4) Make the blueberry jelly: bloom the gelatine in a little cold water. Combine the blueberries and caster sugar in a pan with 4 tablespoons of water. Simmer for 5 minutes until the blueberries begin to break down. Add the gelatine leaves and stir to dissolve. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

5) Pour the jelly on top of the cheesecake and level. Transfer to the fridge to fully set – around 2 hours.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Coconut Slice

Chocolate Coconut Slice

This is the ultimate coffee break snack – soft coconut filling underneath a rich chocolate and peanut butter topping, all sitting on a crunchy biscuit base.

A mixture of milk and dark chocolate stops the slice becoming too sweet – making it the perfect accompaniment to a tall caramel latte!

You can easily substitute the digestive biscuits for a gluten free alternative which will not alter the flavour.

Chocolate Coconut Slice
Makes 12-24 Slices

Ingredients:
125g Digestive Biscuits (Crushed)
200g Desiccated Coconut
110g Butter (Melted)
400g Condensed Milk
175g Milk Chocolate (40%)
175g Dark Chocolate (70%)
130g Smooth Peanut Butter

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a medium sized baking dish with baking parchment. Pour the melted butter into the baking tin – topping with the crushed biscuit and levelling. Cover this with the coconut and then pour over the condensed milk.

2) Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until golden brown. Remove and set aside to cool slightly.

3) Melt together the chocolate and peanut butter in a bain-marie, stirring well to combine. Pour over the baked slice and allow to cool. Transfer to the fridge to set fully (around 2 hours).

4) Once set, cut into equal squares and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Enjoy!

Blueberry Breakfast Pancakes

Blueberry Breakfast Pancakes

These gloriously light pancakes make the perfect weekend breakfast – stacked high with a good drizzle of heather honey!

Adding fresh blueberries whilst the pancakes are cooking keeps their texture and flavour intact – lending the pancakes a delicious freshness.

Blueberry Breakfast Pancakes
Serves 4

Ingredients:
220g Plain Flour
25g Cornflour
50g Caster Sugar
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
450ml Milk
2 Large Eggs
4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter (Melted)
100g Blueberries
Heather Honey

Method:

1) Combine the plain flour, cornflour, caster sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs and milk. Gradually whisk the milk and eggs into the dry ingredients until fully combined. Whisk in 2 tbsp of the melted butter.

2) Heat a nonstick pancake or frying pan over a medium heat. Cook tablespoonfuls of the batter in a little melted butter – sprinkling a few blueberries onto the top of each pancake before flipping. Cook the underside until golden brown, flip and cook the other side until lightly brown (you don’t want the blueberries to break down too much).

3) Continue to cook the pancakes in batches, keeping those that are cooked warm. Serve with a good drizzle of heather honey.

Enjoy!