Sunday, 28 June 2015

Cinnamon Buns

Well, i bet that title post is what made you click. There is no shame in admitting it, because those two words put together = heaven. Don't even try to deny it, because I know you would be lying, as no one can resist sugary, buttery, cinnamony goodness. There just so yummy, i get distracted and casually invent new words! 

These are no ordinary cinnamon buns, as they are super rich and buttery. They are also folded in a traditional Nordic way, and as well as being loaded with cinnamon, they have cardamon in them as well. They are almost like a hybrid between croissants and cinnamon buns, as they have layers which are soft and flakey, almost pastry like.

Feel free to add your own flavours, such as vanilla or saffron, or if you don't like cardamom feel free to remove it. I also added a lot more cinnamon than the recipe suggests, the filling didn't  taste that nice on its own, but since the cinnamon is distributed throughout 16 buns it tasted fine( and actually needed more to suit my tastes).


135g caster sugar
100g butter
700g plain flour
18g dried yeast
1 egg
200ml milk
100ml cream

90g caster sugar
150g unsalted butter
1-2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp cardamom seeds from pods, ground( to taste)

Glazing syrup 
1 egg, beaten
50ml golden syrup or treacle, mixed with 1 tbsp water
2 tbsp caster sugar

1. Beat together the butter a and sugar until light and fluffy
2. Add in the egg and beat for a further 2 mins
3. Fold in the sifted flour and yeast, alternating with the milk and cream, until you have a smooth and slightly sticky dough
4. Knead for 15 mins until the dough is smooth and elastic, cover and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour
5. Shape the risen dough into a rectangle, roll out to 2cm thick, keeping in as much air as possible
6. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, add in the cinnamon and cardamom to taste spread evenly over the dough
7. Fold the dough in half, the half again, keeping in a rectangle shape
8. Roll out again to 1.5 cm thick, cut the dough into 2cm wide strips, it should make about 16 strips
9. Roll each strip around 3 fingers twice, using your thumb as an anchor point, fold the end of the strip over the loops & tuck it under. Or roll into snail shapes.
10. Place onto lined baking tray, and cover with a tea towel, and allow to rise for 45 mins
11. Preheat the oven to 200°c, gas 6
12. Brush the buns with beaten egg. And place in the oven for 10mins or until golden brown
13. Once cooked immediately brush with the syrup and sprinkle with sugar.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Lemon and Elderflower Madeleines

It's the same story every year; i make the elderflower cordial, i give a couple bottles away, and then keep the rest for my family. As usual, i started looking for recipes that i can use it in, my pintrest addiction being put to use for once! Since, i haven't used my madeleine tin yet (I've had it for a year!). I thought it was about time i christened it, and I'm glad i did, with something so delicious!

These are the perfect afternoon tea cakes, they look pretty without being a difficult and fiddly. Or ideally served, with a coffee, at breakfast, not to mention on a little Paris balcony, ideally with a view of the Eiffel tower.No? A girl can dream...

Other than, that they look pretty, another reason why i like these, is that they let the elderflower "sing" on its own, unlike previous recipes which also contain fruit of some sort (but are just as delicious). If you want to you could add raspberry, just push them into the mixture, once in the moulds. If you don't have a madeleine tin, you could put it into mini cupcake tins, although it would look quite similar to my canape. If you didn't have either of those tins then my blackberry,lime and elderflower slice, might be a bit easier.


2 eggs
75g caster sugar
100g plain flour, sifted 
1/2 tsp baking powder
75g melted butter, cooled
zest 1 lemon
3 tbsp elderflower cordial 

melted butter to grease 
flour to grease elderflower syrup, to glaze
icing sugar to dust(and make look beautiful and ladylike )

1. Whisk the eggs and sugar together, until thick and pale and fluffy
2. combine the butter, elderflower cordial and lemon zest
3. fold in the sifted flour and baking powder, alternating with the butter mixture
4. rest the mixture for about for 4 hrs, or longer(up to 3 days)
5. when ready, preheat the oven to 200°, gas mark 6
6. grease the moulds with melted butter, and dust with flour. place in the freezer for 2 mins to chill
7. fill each mould 3/4 full or almost full
8. bake for 8- 12mins depending on the size of your madeleines, or until golden and spring back when touched
9. brush immediately with elderflower syrup 
10. dust with icing sugar to serve 

Friday, 19 June 2015

Harissa Salmon with Lemon and Herb Giant Couscous

Ending the week with my Birthday tea. I realise it was quite a few weeks ago, but haven't had time to share this with you yet, but i just had too, because it's just so good. Before you ask, and start accusing me of claiming my mums cooking, um no, I cooked my own birthday tea, as she was busy and i didn't want to wait( probably until next year). Before we continue, I would like to apologise for the salmon juices leaking onto the plate, I was in such a rush, I didn't have time to drain the salmon juices properly.
My favourite fish paired, with lemony couscous just a marriage made in heaven, obviously the lemon had something to do with( the obsession continues, i bought 10 lemons yesterday). I also love this recipe because, it's super quick and easy, just marinate the salmon before you go to work, chop the herbs up while you're waiting for the oven to heat up, then the it's only 10 mins until the salmon is ready!
I used wholewheat giant couscous, as it's healthier and gives a lovely nutty flavour, but feel free to use white giant couscous, or normal couscous would give the same effect. If you want something different, to impress someone, you could always use rose harissa, to give a delicate floral flavour. I served it with asparagus, as it was in season, and my birthday meal always has to contain asparagus, but feel free to swap it, with something else, or if you've already had your 5 a day, you can leave it out.

2 tbsp Harissa
1 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
5 salmon fillets, or one large 600g fillet
1000ml chicken/ vegetable stock
500g giant couscous 
Olive oil
Handful fresh flat leaf parsley
Handful fresh mint
Handful fresh coriander
Salt and pepper

1. Mix half the lemon zest with Harissa, and crushed coriander seeds.
2. Rub the mixture over the salmon. Leave to marinate for 30 mins, or longer.
3. Preheat the oven to 170°c, gas 3.
4. Whilst the ovens heating up, roughly chop the herbs
5. Roast the salmon for  10-12mins( it's ok for both sizes of fish, just bunch the individual fillets together, mine were just removed from the fridge), or until just cooked through. 
6. Meanwhile, bring the stock to simmer, add the couscous, cook for 6-8 mins until tender. Drain.
7. Cool slightly, toss in the herbs, lemon zest and juice and oil. Season.
8. Flake over the salmon, serve with asparagus if wished. enjoy.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Lemon Buttercream Icing

Cake is x1000 better than lemonade, right? So, when you buy lemons, (because nothing in life, is free; life never gives you lemons) you should make this cake. Not to mention, its the perfect summer cake, as lemons just scream summer, particularly as this one contains lemon curd, which is refreshing. Just in case you needed any more persuading, then i thought i should mention, it was my birthday cake, and obviously put more effort into my own cake, than anyone else's(bit selfish like that, but i do share!)so its super tasty and obviously looks good(cant deal with ugly looking cakes!).
lemon and poppy seed cake with lemon buttercream and lemon curd swirls
Lemon cake, is my favourite type of cake (coffee comes second) and if you hadn't noticed, regularly appears in many of my cakes, paired with other flavours, such as my lemon and cardamon cake. I also added lemon syrup on top, to make it extra moist, mainly because i accidentally cooked it for a bit longer than i needed (trust me to ruin my own birthday cake!). Luckily, the almonds and the poppy seeds in the sponge, make it quite a moist sponge anyway.
lemon and poppy seed cake with lemon buttercream and lemon curd swirls
To make this cake super lemony, i added lemon curd to the icing, because i love it, and honestly wish i lived in a warmer country, so i live amongst lemon trees,and smell of lemons, and eat lemons in everything. I just love lemons! OK. Feel free to omit the poppy seeds if you don't like them, but personally, I wouldn't as they look so pretty, in the sponge anyway. I also did a thin layer of lemon icing, then lemon curd, then another thin layer of icing in the middle, plus dollops on top, because lemon curd is so good, i like to use as much as of it as possible. 
lemon and poppy seed cake with lemon buttercream and lemon curd swirls

lemon and poppy seed cake with lemon buttercream and lemon curd swirls

lemon and poppy seed cake with lemon buttercream and lemon curd swirls

lemon and poppy seed cake with lemon buttercream and lemon curd swirls

lemon and poppy seed cake with lemon buttercream and lemon curd swirls

lemon and poppy seed cake with lemon buttercream and lemon curd swirls

lemon and poppy seed cake with lemon buttercream and lemon curd swirls

115g butter
115g caster sugar
4 large free range eggs
125g self raising flour
180g ground almonds
40g poppy seeds
2 lemons, zest and juice

Juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp caster sugar

175g butter
350g icing sugar 
1 lemon, zest, juice to taste
Poppy seeds, to finish

1. Preheat oven to 180c, gas 4. Grease and line tins with baking paper 
2. Beat the butter and sugar, until light and fluffy.
3. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition 
4. Fold in the almonds, flour, poppy seeds, lemon zest and juice.
5. Spoon into the prepared cake tins, bake for 30mins, or until golden and cocktail stick comes out clean.
6. Remove from the oven, leave to cool
7. Meanwhile make the icing.

8. Beat the butter and icing sugar together.
9. Add in lemon zest.
10. Add in lemon juice and lemon curd, until desired consistency is reached

11. When the cake is cool, sandwich together with a layer of lemon icing and lemon curd.
12. Place the remaining icing and on top and gently bring down the sides
13. Top with lemon curd and scatter poppy seeds if wished.

lemon and poppy seed cake with lemon buttercream and lemon curd swirls

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Canapés: Elderflower, Raspberry, Almond Cake with chargrilled Apricots, and quenelle of Marscaspone

Just one of those posts, that make you feel like a professional, as you did it so long ago (March), when the main ingredients were out of season(it was a nightmare, finding apricots, and had to resort to tinned, sadly). I did have a reason though, instead of seeming incredibly organised, which i wish i could be. The main reason why i held off sharing it, was because it was the winning canape (i won something for the first time in my life!!) so i wanted it too appear first (in all it glory) at the event.

I created it for the London produce show, the brief was to create a seasonal cold canapé, for the event. Simples, nope, not really. You might have gathered from the majority of my posts, that i have a sweet tooth, so of course it had to be sweet, not to mention i couldn't think of a good savoury one, without tomatoes or peas/beans, as i knew everyone else would use them. 

Feel free to change the apricots, if you don't like it, to another stone fruit e.g. nectarine or peach, and just grill the same, although you might want to cut them a little smaller. You could also switch up the base flavour, with lime or add in blackberries like my favourite slice here. Also feel free to take out the lemon basil (which a didn't actually use, it was just for the recipe) and replace with tiny normal basil, or mint leaves.

So, after many hours of brainstorming, searching pinterest, looking back at old recipes, and double checking that the fruit was definitely in season, i finally came up with my canapé.

My inspiration behind the recipe:

"I wanted to create something delicious with several of my favourite foods, using ingredients that I personally eat seasonally.
I chose a sweet canapé, because I have a sweet tooth, and I like making things look pretty.
I forage for elderflower every year, make it into the cordial, and am always looking for an excuse to use it because I enjoy its flavour.
I also wanted raspberries in the canapé, as they are my favourite fruit, and I only tend to eat them when they are in season, as they are most flavoursome then.
I used an almond sponge as I enjoy the taste and texture of almonds, but also because I wanted to create something lower in gluten, as it’s becoming more popular to eat less gluten."

Makes 48 (4.5cm cake tin), preparation(including cordial):-approx. 49hrs, preparation(excluding cordial):- approx. 30mins Cooking time:- approx. 1 hrs.
For the cake:
225g butter
50g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
200g almonds
225g caster sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
4 eggs
2 packs raspberries(300g)
100ml undiluted elderflower cordial(can also use bought)
Juice 1 lemon
1tbsp caster sugar

8 apricots
100g Sugar
200g Mascarpone
250g Pistachios
1 pack Raspberries(150g)
Lemon basil to garnish

To make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 180c°.Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, one at a time, making sure everything is incorporated, before adding more. Fold in the almonds, flour and baking powder. Place into greased tins, about half. Put one raspberry in each, and press down. Bake for 15 mins, or until risen and golden on top. While the cakes are baking, stir together the cordial, lemon juice and 1 tbsp sugar. When the cakes are done, remove from the oven. Spoon the syrup over the cakes whilst still hot. Leave to cool.

To finish:
Cut the apricots into 6ths, dip into the sugar. Place on a preheated and lightly oiled griddle/barbecue. Cook the apricots for 1-2 mins or until caramelised on both sides. or sprinkle with sugar and blowtorch. Leave to cool.
Cook the raspberries until they start to break down. Blend the raspberries, sieve to remove and seeds. Set aside to cool.
Chop up the pistachios, set aside.
Quenelle the mascarpone and place on top of the cakes.(if you don't have small spoons feel free to pipe).
Place the apricot on top of the mascarpone, place on the pistachios, drizzle with the raspberry coulis and garnish with lemon basil.

Monday, 8 June 2015

May Favourites 2015

First of all, sorry about the lack of posts, the end of May is particularly busy, with my birthday, then my dads birthday, just a few days later. Unfortunately for the blog, its been busier than normal, with finishing college and events(more on that in tomorrows post). Now, onto this months favourites, not that there are many!

1. Green Tea- I admit, i started drinking it again because i heard of the health benefits, but now i cannot go without a cup after I've had my breakfast, if i don't i feel weird.

2. Topshop White Shirt- If i could, i would wear this everyday, its so light and airy, but covers my shoulders, which might sound like a weird thing; but personally, i prefer wearing light shirts to vests, as like yesterday proves, i burn easily (should probably learn to put sunscreen on).

3. Chili flakes- I put these on literally everything, kind of obsessed. If i using tinned tomatoes and tomato puree, this goes in as well.

4. Lemons- As the saying goes" when life gives you lemons, make lemonade", oh wait sorry cake because cake is x1000 better than lemonade( keep any eye out for that next week). I also love adding the juice to salads, instead of vinegar, for a more refreshing taste.

And i shall bid you goodbye, until tomorrow, leaving you with a picture of Fleur.Let Me know what have been your favourites, is there anything i should try?

Sorry for all the plugs in this post, and no i wasn't sponsored by myself, to plug myself(insert winking emoji). Sorry not sorry.