Strawberry Galette

As we inch toward September and the winds of fall, I’m here to remind you to be sure not to let the chance to make a fresh fruit galette pass you by.  In my opinion, fruit galettes are a must have every spring and summer.  A free form version of pie, they are much easier to make and one of the most delicious things you can eat during our fabulous fresh fruit season.  Nothing really beats the contrast of buttery, crisp and flaky pastry and the sensation of pampered fruit.At the renowned Chez Panisse in Berkeley, fruit galettes have always been central to their daily dessert menu at the upstairs café.  When I interned there, I saw some of the very best fruit produced in the country float through the door.  Just amazing color, texture, taste.  So I clearly understood how much this dessert is beloved by their patrons and so very rightly so.One of the basic components for assembling the galettes at Chez Panisse is what they call “moon dust,” a simple mixture of equal parts almonds, flour, sugar and pulverized amaretti.  These ingredients are ground in a food processor and sprinkled on the pastry dough before the fruit is arranged on top.  This layer of moon dust prevents the crust from getting soggy and adds a subtle almond note to the finished product. Although I really love the fall season, I’m not quite ready for the shift.  There will be plenty of time for chocolate and nuts, apples and pears.  But for now, if you can locate some delicious fresh peaches, nectarines, apricots, figs or plums, don’t let them pass you by.  I happened to have some strawberries.  Whichever fruit you choose, it’s a delicious pastry to close out the summer.Bench notes:- It’s very important that the butter and water for the pastry dough are very, very cold.  If the butter is warm or soft, it blends too much with the flour and there won’t be the pockets of butter necessary to produce flakiness.  – The finished dough will look like a pile of small bits similar to cottage cheese.  Resist the temptation to knead it, which will toughen it.  Just place the pile on a sheet of plastic wrap and pull it together as you wrap it tightly.  As it rests in the refrigerator, it will all come together.- So why chill the dough after mixing?  Because it allows the gluten in the flour to relax (which means the dough won’t spring back when you go to roll it out), the water to be fully absorbed and the butter to firm up.- I like to roll out my dough on a silpat or piece of parchment so I can lift the whole thing onto the baking sheet without stretching or tearing the dough.- Mix the fruit and sugar just before you’re ready to assemble the galette.  If it sits too long it will begin to macerate and you’ll have too much of the juices flowing.- Amaretti are traditional almond flavored crunchy cookies from Italy.  They’re made from noyau, the kernel found inside the apricot pit (almonds and apricots are botanically related).  If you don’t have access to amaretti, use another almond cookie you love.  – You can make a larger quantity of moon dust and store it in an airtight container.Strawberry GaletteServes 6Galette Dough 1 cup (5 oz) flour 1 1/2 teaspoons (6 grams) sugar1/8 teaspoon salt3 oz (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter1/4 cup (2 oz) very cold waterMoon Dust1 tablespoon ground almonds                             1 tablespoon (9 grams) flour        1 tablespoon (13 grams) sugar                                       1 tablespoon ground amaretti                    Filling1 lb fresh strawberries3 tablespoons (39 grams) sugar, to taste1/4 oz (1/2 tablespoon) unsalted butter, melted sugar for sprinklingTo prepare the galette dough, place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and blend.  Cut the cold butter into 1/2” pieces and add to the flour mixture.  Pulse until the butter is the size of small peas.  Add the cold water and pulse just until the dough starts to clump.  The dough will not look smooth but rather clumpy and a bit like small curd cottage cheese.  Gather the mixture and place on a sheet of plastic wrap and wrap tightly.  Shape into a flattened disc and chill thoroughly.For the moon dust, place all the ingredients into a food processor and process until finely ground.  Pour into a bowl and set aside.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.When you’re ready to roll out the dough, unwrap and let it rest on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper or silpat for just a few minutes.  It needs to warm up just enough to handle without a lot of resistance and cracking.  Roll the dough out to about a 12” circle and 1/8” thickness, gently lifting and moving the dough after each roll and keeping it lightly floured as needed. When you have the desired shape, brush off any excess flour and lift the dough along with the parchment or silpat onto a baking sheet. Chill while you prepare the fruit.Hull and slice the strawberries in half and place in a bowl.  Toss with 3 tablespoons of sugar, to taste.Remove the prepared dough from the refrigerator and sprinkle 1/4 cup of the moon dust evenly across the pastry, leaving a 1 1/2” border around the edges.  Arrange the fruit on top of the moon dust.  Lift and gather the edges up and over on top of the fruit, being careful not to create any cracks that will cause the galette to leak.  Work your way around the circle with both hands, pleating and pressing gently to keep the dough in place.  Chill if the oven isn’t ready.Brush the border of dough with melted butter and dust with a light sprinkle of sugar.  Bake until the dough is crisp and browned and the fruit is bubbling, about 40 minutes.

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Hot Cross Chelsea Buns

I’ve been making different versions of hot cross buns each year – last year it was bagels, the year before that a HCB loaf. I also made Earl Grey

Tahini Caramel Apple Tart

Thanks to Food Network UK for sponsoring this post and to you guys for supporting me!
At uni for the past two years I’ve been lucky enough to live with two friends from my course – we all study Food Science

Carrot, Pine Nut,

Although I consistently love tomato sauce on pizza, I do like to have a few alternatives up my sleeve to keep pizza night interesting. Some previous faves have been basil pesto (obvs because are you even a student if you don’t like pesto??) and blended sweetcorn (inspo from Homeslice in London!).

When flicking through my good friend Eva’s new cookbook, First We Eat*, the title of this recipe immediately caught my eye. Creamy roasted garlic sauce, eh??? I like all of those words… As I read through the recipe I realised it was almost like a super cheesy pesto – two WHOLE HEADS of garlic get roasted until soft and sticky, blended with a shit load of parmesan, olive oil and some other bits to make a creamy, tangy sauce. (N.B. another delicious way to use this is to stir a spoonful into some cooked veg. We did this with green beans and it was sooo good. I imagine it would be incredible in mashed potatoes too). On baking, the sauce bubbles and oozes making a sort of pimped-up garlic bread. There are carrot ribbons too, piled high, which slump down into sweet, al-dente slivers.
In the book, Eva uses a garlic sourdough for the crust but since I don’t have sourdough on the go, I’ve used my go-to No-Knead pizza dough from my own cookbook* . She also cooks the pizza IN A FIRE which is so cool and something I definitely want to try. For now, I am without a fire, so I’ve included both the original method and the stovetop/grill method for you.
*affiliate link

Carrot, Pine Nut, and Parmesan Skillet Pizza with Creamy Roasted Garlic Sauce

Recipe adapted from First We Eat by Eva Kosmas Flores
Makes two 9-inch pizzas

For the pizza dough:

1/2 tsp instant yeast (easy bake yeast)
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp (225g) lukewarm water
2 1/2 cups (300g) white bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil

For the creamy garlic sauce

2 heads garlic
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp (90ml) extra-virgin olive oil
3 ounces (85g) Parmesan cheese (grated)
3 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbsp fresh lemon thyme leaves
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp water
1/4 tsp teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

For the toppings:

2 medium carrots (peeled and shaved into thin strips using a mandoline or vegetable peeler)
1 1/2 ounces (43g) Parmesan cheese (shaved)
2 tbsp pine nuts
1 tbsp fresh lemon thyme leaves

Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). 

For the pizza dough:

Place the lukewarm water into a medium bowl. Stir in the yeast. Add the flour, salt and olive oil. Stir together well to make a shaggy dough. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside for 2-5 hours. (If you want to leave for 8-12 hours instead, only use 1/4 tsp of yeast.)

For the creamy roasted garlic sauce,

Cut the top quarter of the heads of garlic and place the heads in the center of a sheet of foil. Drizzle with 2 tbsp oil and wrap them, leaving a small opening at the top for steam to escape. Place the foil packet on a small pan and roast until the garlic is fragrant and golden, about 35 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature. Squeeze the roasted cloves from the papery husks into a bowl, discarding the husks. 

Add the roasted garlic, Parmesan, pine nuts, remaining oil, lemon thyme, vinegar, water, and pepper to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Set aside. 

For the skillet pizza:

Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a ball. Set aside to rest for 15 minutes. 

Take one ball of dough, flour it, and use your fingertips to gently press and stretch the dough out (start at the centre and work towards the edge) into a 9-inch circle. 

Place a 9-inch cast-iron skillet on the stovetop and preheat your oven grill to the highest setting with the oven rack at the top of the oven. 

Once the skillet is hot, place the shaped dough into it and let it cook until the dough starts to puff up. Spread the creamy roasted garlic sauce on the pizza, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges, and top with the carrots, Parmesan, and pine nuts

Take the skillet off the heat and place into the oven under the grill. Grill for 3-5 minutes until the edge of the dough is browned and the carrot ribbons are softened. 

Remove the pizza from the hot skillet to a cutting board, garnish with more lemon-thyme and slice into 8 pieces. Repeat the dough shaping and baking as before with the other ball of dough. 

To cook it in a fire: – Bury a lidded 12-inch (30.5-cm) cast-iron skillet in the glowing red embers of a fire that has burned down a bit and has a mix of glowing embers and small flames. Allow the pan to preheat for 30 minutes, adding more wood to the fire, as needed, to maintain a low flame. – Transfer the crust to a pizza peel well-dusted with rice flour. Use heatproof gloves to remove the pan from the fire, remove the lid from the pan, and immediately transfer the stretched dough to the peel and into the pan. Top with the sauce, carrots, pine nuts and parmesan as per usual. – Cover with the lid and bury the pan in the embers. Cook until the dough is puffy and there are some deep gold or charred marks on the carrots, 5 to 20 minutes, depending on the heat intensity of your flame. Keeping the pan in the fire, expose the lid and remove it, allowing the pizza to cook for a few minutes more, uncovered, until the crust is completely cooked through in the center.

The post Carrot, Pine Nut,

Yorkshire Pudding Pizza Recipe

If you’re not familiar with Yorkshire pudding, let me quickly explain. Although it’s a ‘pudding’ this is neither a dessert nor a viscous custard. A simple batter, very similar to the one used for crepes but more eggy, poured into scalding hot beef dripping in a muffin tin. You pour it, it sizzles, they bake, they puff. They’re similar to choux pastry in the theatrical, airy size they achieve in the oven but are much quicker to make. People in the US might recognise them as a wider, more bowl-like popover or a miniature ‘Dutch baby’ pancake. Their purpose is pure and simple: the carby accompaniment to your Sunday roast (they’re excellent for mopping up gravy).
So in a way, they’re one of the many iterations of a pancake. That’s why a couple of weeks ago when the stars aligned and my birthday pancake day coincided (best day ever), I decided a huge Yorkshire pudding was going to feature for my dinner. As I’m mostly vegetarian now I don’t have the roast situation going on in my life any more so I had to come up with something else savoury to do. I’d made a socca pizza before so I was like BAM – Yorkshire pudding pizza. Pretty simple really.
I baked the batter in an oven-proof frying pan, topped with sauce cheese other goodies then baked again. Thin crust, crispy edges and melty cheese. What more could you want?

Yorkshire Pudding Pizza

makes two 8 to 9-inch pizzas

For the Yorkshire pudding

3 large eggs
120 g (1 cup) plain flour
120 ml (1/2 cup) milk (you can go dairy-free here if needed)
1/4 tsp salt

For the toppings:

a 400 g tin (14oz) chopped tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and black pepper
125 g (4.5oz) fresh mozzarella, torn into bite-sized pieces
olives, basil, fresh rocket, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts
Parmesan cheese, finely grated

For the frying pan:

2 tbsp rapeseed oil (or vegetable oil)

In a jug, stir together all the Yorkshire pudding ingredients (flour, eggs, milk, salt) with a whisk until mostly smooth. Refrigerate until needed.

Make the sauce:

In a medium pot place the chopped tomatoes, garlic and mixed dried herbs. Heat on medium-low, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half. Stir in the balsamic and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Set aside off the heat. 

Bake the Yorkshire pudding:

Preheat the oven to 200C (400F). Place 1 tbsp of the rapeseed oil into an 8 or 9 inch oven-proof frying pan or skillet – you want one which is relatively deep. Place into the oven for 5-10 minutes so the oil gets nice and hot. Carefully pull the rack of the oven out and pour half of the Yorkshire pudding batter into the frying pan. Push the rack back in and close the oven door. Bake for 12-15 minutes until it’s puffed up gloriously and golden all over. 

Remove the hot frying pan from the oven (leave a tea towel on the handle so you don’t end up grabbing scorching hot handle!!), spread a few tablespoons of the tomato sauce into the base of the pudding. Dot with half of the mozzarella and top with whatever toppings you’d like (I leave basil/rocket leaves to sprinkle on after it’s baked). Sprinkle on some grated parmesan, salt and black pepper. Return the Yorkshire pud to the oven to bake for another 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Slide the pudding out of the frying pan onto a cutting board and cut into slices using a large knife.

Repeat the baking and topping of the Yorkshire pudding to make 1 more pizza (using the remaining oil, batter and mozzarella) as before. 

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Vegan Molten Chocolate Cakes for 2

Is there one dessert that you will always order if it’s on a menu? For me, it’s always molten chocolate cakes (especially if there’s a scoop of vanilla ice cream involved). After having them once in a restaurant when I was younger, I became hell bent on finding a recipe to make them at home. After trying quite a few out I settled on my favourite – Delia Smith’s recipe. It makes 8 puds so I’d usually quarter it to bake two for me and a friend as a quick dessert.

I hadn’t made them in a while until someone sent me a message on instagram asking if I had a veganised version. I told them I didn’t but that I’d get to work trying it out. With the recent discovery of aquafaba (chickpea water) which can mimic egg whites extremely well, I thought they might be useful! After 4 different versions I finally managed to make my ideal recipe. This makes 2 smallish cakes (when they were larger I’d end up feeling a bit sick after eating them as they’re so rich. That said, if you know you’ll want big’uns you can always double the recipe!) which are perfect for dessert for Valentine’s day… or just bake one for yourself and put the other in the fridge for up to 5 days so you can bake it up when you want it.

Vegan Chocolate Molten Cakes (for 2)

serves 2

45 g (3 tbsp) aquafaba (the liquid from a can of cooked chickpeas)
a pinch salt
20 g (1 tbsp 1 tsp) granulated sugar
50 g (1.7 oz) dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
15 g (1 tbsp) oil (I use refined olive oil)
1 tbsp non-dairy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking powder
10 g (1 tbsp) plain white flour
20 g (2 tbsp 1 tsp) ground almonds

If baking now – preheat the oven to 180oC (350oF). You’ll need 2 small ramekins for this recipe. 

Place the aquafaba in a large bowl. Whisk with an electric whisk until it starts to froth up. Add the salt and keep beating for 1 minute. Slowly stream in the sugar a little at a time as you continue to whisk – keep it going until you get stiff peaks in the mixture (this will take a bit longer than whisking egg whites usually does – just keep going and it’ll get super fluffy and stiff). 

In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate on a low heat in the microwave, taking it out to stir every 20 seconds to prevent it burning. Mix in the oil, vanilla and milk. Pour the chocolate mixture around the inside edge of the bowl of whisked aquafaba.

Sift the flour, baking powder and ground almonds into the bowl of whisked aquafaba. If you have some pieces of ground almond which didn’t get through the sieve you can pour those into the bowl too. 

Fold everything together gently, taking care to deflate the aquafaba as little as possible. Once no white streaks remain, divide the mixture between 2 small ramekins

If baking now – place the ramekins on a baking tray and into the oven. Bake for 8-12 minutes until the edges are set but the centre is still gooey. Eat immediately (with non-dairy ice cream!) 

If not baking now – place into the fridge for up to 5 days. (When you do bake as usual – you’ll need 10-12 mins).

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Cauliflower

 

Taco night is THE BEST. It’s one of my go-to ‘clear-the-fridge’ meals. Get some veg in there, cook up any kind of beans or lentils and a quick salsa or dressing.
This lovely combo of turmeric-roasted cauliflower and simple refried beans is from Sonja and Alex’s (of A Couple Cooks) new cookbook, Pretty Simple Cooking*. It’s a beautiful book packed full of everyday vegetarian recipes (perfect for my uni meal planning!). When I was on their podcast last year, we realised how closely our food philosophies aligned (i.e. no faddy diets, no ‘quick fix’ crap. Just delicious, vibrant FOOD!) – so if you’re into that vibe, definitely check out their new cookbook (and mine* ) for some accessibly healthy recipes.

Back to tacos – their original recipe included a chipotle aioli but since chipotles in adobo are v difficult to find in the UK, I subbed my favourite smoky paprika yogurt to drizzle on instead! And look, I know the ingredients list looks long on here but it’s mostly spices

Rhubarb

 

From living in Leeds for the best part of 3 years now, I’ve come to deeply appreciate the beauty that is forced rhubarb thanks to easy access to the Rhubarb Triangle.
It pops up at the market, gloriously pink with those yellowy, shrunken leaves in contrast. It comes juuust in time to save me from the inevitable boredom of eating apples for the past few months.
£1.50 a lb. Every time I tell my dad this he sends me a crying emoji (in London its about 5x this price). I bundle it up in my rucksack – each stalk is so long that it doesn’t *quite* fit so I carry it home with the leaves poking out the top, peeking over my shoulder.
There’s so much you can do with this stuff – my favourite being to roast it with sugar

Lemon

Gingerbread is one of those cookies that I’m always ‘meh’ about when I think of it. Each year I inevitably end up making some to turn into a gingerbread house (or this year, a Christmas tree made of stacked gingerbread stars!). Every time I end up snacking on the dough scraps and nibbling bits of baked rejected gingerbread. And every time I’m like ‘hmm this is actually pretty delicious’.

This year I deviated a bit from the regular gingerbread recipe, adding cardamom into the dough too. Adding cardamom into spiced bakes is something I’ve become accustomed to after eating many Swedish cardamom buns this year. If you’re a cardamom hater though, there’s no harm in leaving it out. Dipping the gingerbread in a lemon glaze, a trick I learnt a few years ago from Carey is something I also LOVE to do. That acidic coating on the spicy gingerbread is an amazing pairing and takes the cookies from ‘yeah it’s quite nice’ to ‘OMG GIMME MORE’. My favourite thing though is how it crackles once dry making making them look all frosty!
As Williams Sonoma is finally coming to the UK selling some food products in Harrods, much to my excitement, they sent me some kitchen goodies including their snowflake cutters which I used here. Gingerbread keeps its shape really well upon baking so those patterned cookie cutters/stamps do work properly. It’s also way way easier to use a textured stamp than pipe on icing to decorate the cookies (something I despise doing) and looks just as pretty.

Lemon

Cranberry, Oat and White Chocolate Biscuits

I’m hoooome! Back in London for Christmas break and I’m extremely relieved to be able to chill out for a bit. This has been an all-consuming semester so far. I said to my boyfriend last week ‘I can see now why people drop out in third year. I never understood before but I do now’. It was inevitable that this would be the most challenging year, surprisingly not academically, but mentally. It’s my final year of education after 15 years and I’m so close to being done which is a bit terrifying. I’ve also had less and less time this year for creative release which has always been my respite from academia (hence the existence of this blog). Having my ‘separate food life’ on the side of school has what has prevented me from having stress breakdowns before so it’s an essential part of what keeps me sane.

Now I’ve got a month “off” (that’s in quotes because I still have to revise for exams and work on my research project) so that means I can get back into the kitchen a bit more. Christmas is my absolute fave time for baking because it’s so cold that standing in front of a oven is incredibly enjoyable. It’s also a time for catching up with people at various gatherings – i.e. the perfect opportunity to bring along cookies or cake! I’d much rather gift my friends something delicious which some time and effort has gone into than buy some novelty gift that’ll end up in the bin.

These lil oaty biscuits from Ottolenghi