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  • Posted on December 13, 2017

    A Free-From Christmas Dinner

    Tired of turkey and needing some delicious free-from alternatives for your Christmas dinner? We've put together a free-from Christmas menu with veggie, gluten free and vegan options that we guarantee everyone will enjoy!

    Starter

     

    Vegan Spiced carot and lentil soup with cashew cream

    Full of winter spices, this vegan soup makes a perfect starter for your Christmas dinner. You can find the full recipe over on MindfulnessETC.com

     

    The Main Event

    Even if you love the traditional turkey, try these vegan side dishes alongside your roast spuds and veg so that everyone can enjoy something special this Christmas dinner.

     

    Vegan Jerusalem Artichokes with garlic cream and hazelnut crust

    vegan artichoke gratan

    1 kg/2 lb. 4 oz. Jerusalem artichokes

    4 shallots

    6 garlic cloves, left whole

    ½ cauliflower, cut into florets

    1–2 tablespoons olive oil

    1 teaspoon white pepper

    425 ml/1¾ cups almond milk or other vegan milk, plus extra if needed

    2 tablespoons lemon juice

    ½ teaspoon mustard powder

    1 teaspoon onion powder

    1 teaspoon salt

    1 slice brown or rye bread, blitzed to rough breadcrumbs

    3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs

    1 tablespoon freshly chopped marjoram or parsley (or ½ teaspoon dried)

    2 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped

    SERVES 4–6

     

    Peel the Jerusalem artichokes and slice into 5 mm/¼ inch thick discs. Set aside in salted water to prevent them discolouring. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F) Gas 7.

    Lay the shallots, garlic and cauliflower florets on a baking sheet and drizzle with half the olive oil. Season with half the pepper and toss slightly. Lay the Jerusalem artichokes on another baking sheet, drizzle with the rest of the olive oil and season with the remaining pepper. Place both baking sheets in the hot oven and roast for about 30 minutes until the cauliflower and artichokes are tender.

    Transfer all the roasted vegetables to a food processor or blender, add the almond milk, lemon juice, mustard powder, onion powder and salt. Blitz until very smooth. Add more milk if necessary, to make a smooth, pourable sauce. Adjust the seasoning to taste if needed.

    Layer the Jerusalem artichokes in a deep baking dish and then pour over the sauce. Sprinkle both type of breadcrumbs, the herbs and chopped hazelnuts over the top. Place in the hot oven for about 20–30 minutes until golden on top and bubbling. Serve immediately.

     

    Vegan Winter Veg Bowl

    Liven up your veg with this delicious vegan recipe. You can get the full recipe over on MindfulnessETC.com

     

    Veggie Slow Cooked Onions with Nut Stuffing

    A veggie Christmas dinner? No problem! We love this twist on a regular nut roast. Plus, if you make sure to choose vegan bread, it is a perfect vegan main too!

    nut stuffed onions

    8 medium-sized onions, peeled

    1 tablespoon olive oil

    2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

    2 teaspoons dried thyme

    2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

    2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

    70 g/11⁄3 cups day-old spelt breadcrumbs

    70 g/21⁄2 oz. sun-dried tomatoes in oil, finely chopped, plus 2 teaspoons oil for brushing

    finely grated zest of 1 lemon

    sea salt and cracked black pepper

    chopped parsley, to serve

    Low 5–6 hours / High 4–5 hours

    Serves 6

     

    Trim the root end of each onion to make a flat base. Using a small sharp knife, slice the top off each onion then cut out a deep hollow, leaving a 1.5 cm/3 ⁄4  in. thick onion shell. Reserve half of the scooped-out onion (save the rest for another recipe) and finely chop.

    Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan/skillet, add the chopped onion and fry for 8 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, thyme, pumpkin seeds and chopped walnuts and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the breadcrumbs, sun-dried tomatoes and lemon zest until combined. Season the stuffing mixture with salt and pepper.

    Brush the outside of each onion with the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes. Generously fill each onion with the stuffing, pressing it down as you go and mounding the top.

    Arrange the stuffed onions in the slow cooker pot – they should fit snugly. Cover and cook on low for 5–6 hours, or high for 4–5 hours. The onions should be beautifully tender but still keep their shape. Serve sprinkled with parsley.

     

    Desserts

    And to finish, something sweet!

     

    Gluten Free Mince Pies

    From start to serve: 1 hour l Prep: 30 minutes l Bake 15–20 minutes

    1 batch Shortcrust Pastry at room temperature

    350 g/12 oz. gluten-free mincemeat

    2 tablespoons brandy (optional)

    1 beaten egg, to glaze

    icing/confectioners’ sugar, to dust

    a 10-cm/4-inch round cookie cutter

    a star or round 7.5-cm/ 3-inch cookie cutter

    a 12-hole muffin pan, greased

    MAKES 12

     

    Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) Gas 5.

    Lightly knead the room-temperature pastry on a clean, cool work surface and then divide into two pieces, one that is roughly double the size of the other. Lay a large piece of clingfilm/plastic wrap onto the work surface and lightly dust with plain/all-purpose gluten-free flour. Place the larger pastry ball in the middle and gently press it into a disc shape with your hands.

    Lay a second piece of clingfilm/plastic wrap over the top and, with a rolling pin, roll out the pastry quite thinly.

    Remove the top layer of clingfilm/plastic wrap. Stamp out discs using the cookie cutter, gently lifting and press each disc into a hole of the prepared pan, easing it into the corners. Re-roll the trimmings until all the pastry is used up and all of the pan is lined. If there are any cracks in the pastry, use the trimmings to patch them back together – as ever, don’t panic!

    In a bowl mix together the mincemeat and brandy (if using), then spoon a heaped teaspoon of the mixture into each pastry case.

    Repeat the rolling-out process for the remaining piece of pastry and then use a star or smaller cutter to cut out festive lids for the pies and place on top. Brush the tops with the beaten egg and bake in the preheated oven for 15–20 minutes until golden brown.

    Put the pan onto a wire rack and allow the mince pies to cool before serving. If you try to take them from the pan too soon the risk of the mince pies breaking is much higher. Once they are cooled, be delicate when removing these from the pan, and loosen the edges with a table or small palette knife if required.

    Dust with icing/confectioners’ sugar before serving. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

    Note If you haven’t taken the pastry from the fridge in advance, give it a 15–20 second blast in the microwave before kneading.

     

    Shortcrust pastry

    Prep: 10 minutes l Chill: 2 hours

    460 g/3 cups plain/

    all-purpose gluten-free flour

    1 teaspoon xanthan gum

    1 teaspoon salt

    225 g/15 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

    1 egg

     

    Using either the basic or chocolate quantities of ingredients, put the dry ingredients and cubed butter into a food processor and pulse until they reach a fine crumb consistency.

    Pour in the egg and 1–2 teaspoons of water and mix until completely combined. The mixture will start to come together.

    Use your hands, being sure to avoid the blade, to bring together the dough, then lightly knead on a lightly floured worksurface.

    Put the pastry ball onto a piece of clingfilm/plastic wrap, press into a disc shape and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, until firm.

    Notes: To make the pastry by hand, put the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix. Add the butter and rub in using your fingertips to fine crumbs. Make a well in the centre and add the egg and water and then mix well with a table knife, until the mixture starts to clump together. Bring together and knead, wrap and chill as above.

    When rolling out, don’t use too much flour, as this will dry it out – I advise instead rolling between two sheets of clingfilm/plastic wrap to prevent it sticking without the need for excess flouring.

     

    Vegan Chocolate Ganche Tart

    1⁄2 quantity Sweet Pie Dough

    For the ganache

    620 g/1 lb. 6 oz. plain, soft tofu

    390 g/3 cups finely chopped vegan dark/bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa)

    grated zest of 21⁄2 lemons

    brown rice syrup or other sweetener, to taste

    non-dairy milk or cream, if needed

    For the mousse

    450 ml/2 cups chocolate soy or oat milk

    160 g/11⁄4 cups finely chopped vegan dark/bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa)

    85 g/1⁄3 cup brown rice syrup

    90 g/7 tablespoons cornflour/ cornstarch

    28-cm/11-in. springform cake pan or loose-based tart pan

    Serves 6–8

     

    Make and refrigerate the Sweet Pie Dough.

    For the ganache, blanch the tofu in boiling water for 2 minutes.

    Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Do not let the base of the bowl touch the water. Put the blanched tofu, melted chocolate and lemon zest in food processor.

    Blend until smooth. Taste and if it’s not sweet enough, blend in syrup to taste; if too thick, add a little milk or cream while blending.

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

    Take the dough out of the fridge. Place it between 2 sheets of parchment paper and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to a circle about 31 cm/ 13 inches in diameter. Loosely roll the dough circle around the rolling pin and unroll it over the tart pan. Neatly line the pan with the dough and trim off any excess from the edges with a pastry wheel or your fingers. Patch up any holes with dough off-cuts. Prick the base all over with a fork and bake in the preheated oven for 8–10 minutes. Leave the oven on.

    Remove the pan from the oven and pour the ganache into the tart crust.

    Spread level with a spatula. Put back in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the edges turn lightly golden. Allow to cool completely in the pan.

    For the mousse, heat the chocolate milk in a saucepan, then add the chocolate and syrup and whisk until the chocolate has melted. Mix the cornflour/cornstarch into 5–6 tablespoons water. Slowly add this to the saucepan over low heat, whisking vigorously. Keep whisking and it will start to thicken once it reaches the right temperature. Allow to cool slightly.

    Spread the mousse over the cold ganache in the tart case with the spatula. Refrigerate but allow to come to room temperature for 20 minutes before serving. Cut into slices with a sharp knife dipped in hot water.

     

    Sweet pie dough

    400 g/3 cups unbleached plain/all-purpose flour

    150 g/1 cup fine cornmeal

    3 teaspoons baking powder

    1⁄2 teaspoon salt

    240 g/2 cups nonhydrogenated margarine, chilled

    130 g/1⁄2 cup brown rice or agave syrup

    grated zest of 1 lemon

    70–110 ml/1⁄3–1⁄2 cup ice-cold water

    40 x 28-cm/16 x 11-in. baking pan (for a thinner crust) or 23 x 30 cm/9 x 12-in. baking pan (for a thicker crust)

     

    Put the flour, cornmeal, salt and baking powder in a food processor and pulse to mix. Add the margarine and pulse 6–8 times until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

    Add the syrup and lemon zest and pulse again a couple of times.

    Add ice-cold water one tablespoon at a time, pulsing until the mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it's ready.

    If it doesn't, add a little more water and pulse again. Do not add too much water otherwise it will make the dough tough.

    Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Knead it just enough to form a ball but do not over-knead it. Shape it into a disc, wrap it in clingfilm/plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days. If you’re in a hurry you can chill the dough in the freezer for 15 minutes. If refrigerated, allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 5–10 minutes before rolling it out.

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4 and continue with the relevant recipe.

     

    These recipes have been taken from (in order listed):

    Superfood Slow Cooker by Nicola Graimes

    My Vegan Travels by Jackie Kearney

    The New Nourishing by Leah Vanderveldt

    Superfood Slow Cooker by Nicola Graimes

    This is Gluten Free by Victoria Hall

    The Vegan Baker by Dunja Gulin

    All photography is © Ryland Peters & Small


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with christmas, vegan, baking, savoury, vegetarian, Gluten-free, sweet

  • Posted on December 12, 2017

    Decorate Your Christmas Table with William Yeoward

    Hurrah for Christmas! It’s one time of the year to really let rip in the dining room. It’s time to ferret in the loft, burrow in the drawers and pull out all those trinkets and baubles. Break all the rules, disregard the barriers between traditional and modern, dust off everything that sparkles and shines and rediscover all the rare and wonderful things kept for “best”. A Christmas table does not have to be a cliché, but it does have to be personal, and it should most definitely have a sense of humour.

     

    FAIRYTALE CHRISTMAS

     

    “Full-on fantasy never disappoints. Be brave and never ask for others’ opinions. It’s all about you!”

     

    William Yeoward Christmas table decorations

    William Yeoward Christmas table decorations

     

    Time for some magic. For a family gathering, I pulled out all the stops to present the full tinseltown crystal and candlelight experience.

    I took inspiration from those rich, dark, Dutch Old Masters like Vermeer whose velvety layers of darkness are punctuated with slots of colour and shafts of light. I do try not to take my Christmas decorating too seriously. I’m not one for the designer tree with themed baubles. If Christmas is a family tradition, then it should reflect past history. We do buy a little bit of something new every year, but old favourites never lose their status, and that includes the slightly tatty fairy with just the one wing. Her place at the top of our tree is sacrosanct.

     

    MODERN ALPINE

    William Yeoward Christmas table decorations

    William Yeoward Christmas table decorations

     

    A complete change of scene here, far away from family traditions of tinsel and crackers and dusty heirloom decorations. The setting for this youthful Christmas is an apartment in the Alps. Far from the wintering gloom, crackling fires, Christmas Specials on the television and the glow of candlelight, this setting makes the most of the sunlight that comes bouncing off the snow and streaming though the windows.

     

    A TOAST TO TRADITION

    “Sometimes it is right to relax into the embrace of Christmas past and go with the flow of tradition. A white tablecloth, cut glass and red flowers will never hit the wrong note, and it just takes a little twist to bring the party right up to date.”

     

    William Yeoward Christmas table decorations

    William Yeoward Christmas table decorations   William Yeoward Christmas table decorations

     

    Christmas is, of course, the one time of year when the decoration of the room does not have to speak in any way to the decoration of the table. The table is the star performer, and everything else justfalls away. I’ve chosen red raffia placemats, just the right size to peek out from under the bone china plates with their thick gold trim – definitely a touch of the luxurious. The informality of the placemats is picked up with the raffia napkin rings – too much luxe can be counterproductive. The crystal is clear, and the tall red coupe cocktail glasses add their zing of colour and are perfect for all the toasting that will no doubt take place as the meal progresses. As this is likely to be a long and leisurely evening, I’ve used shaded candle holders that take tea lights, so there’s no danger of the candles burning down to the wick before the Christmas pudding appears.

     

    This blog has been extracted from William Yeoward Blue & White and other stories with photography by Gavin Kingcome © CICO Books

    William Yeoward Blue and White


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with christmas, interiors, festive, decoration, table

  • Posted on December 7, 2017

    Meringue snowmen cookies recipe

    We're starting to get that festive feeling! These cookies are topped with 3D snowmen made with meringue resting on a white chocolate snow scene. The cookies are bursting with white chocolate chips and are flavoured with Lotus Biscoff crunchy spread which gives a delicious caramel flavour. If you do not have cookie spread then you can replace with smooth peanut butter instead.

    Snowmen Cookies

    FOR THE SNOWMEN

    1 egg white

    60 g/5 tablespoons caster/ granulated sugar

    FOR THE COOKIES

    115 g/1 stick butter, softened

    130 g/2/3 cup caster/ granulated sugar

    60 g/scant 1/4 cup cream cheese

    60 g/2 oz. Lotus Biscoff spread or peanut butter

    170 g/11/4 cups self-raising/ self-rising flour

    100 g/31/2 oz. white chocolate chips

    TO DECORATE

    140 g/5 oz. white chocolate, melted

    3 tablespoons icing/ confectioners' sugar, sifted

    orange and black food colouring gel

    piping/pastry bag, fitted with a large round nozzle/tip

    2 large baking sheets, lined with silicon mats or baking parchment

    cocktail sticks/toothpicks

    Makes 14

     

    Preheat the oven to the lowest possible setting, about 130°C (260°F) Gas ½.

    Begin by making the snowmen. Whisk the egg white to stiff peaks. Add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking constantly until the meringue is smooth and glossy. Spoon the meringue into the piping/pastry bag fitted with the large round nozzle/tip. Pipe 14 circles of meringue about 3 cm/1 inch in diameter on one of the baking sheets. On top of each of these, pipe a smaller ball for the snowman’s body and then a third slightly smaller one on top for the head. Bake for 45–60 minutes until the meringue is crisp.

    Leave to cool on the baking sheet.

    Increase the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

    Whisk together the butter, sugar and cream cheese until light and creamy. Add the biscuit spread and whisk in. Sift in the flour and whisk in, along with the white chocolate chips. Place 14 spoonfuls of the dough on the second baking sheet a small distance apart. Bake for 10–15 minutes until the cookies are lightly golden brown. Leave to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

    Spoon a little of the melted white chocolate over each of the cookies and place a meringue snowman in the centre of each.

    In a mixing bowl, mix the icing/confectioners' sugar with a little water and colour with a few drops of orange food colouring. Use a cocktail stick/toothpick to draw small orange noses on each of the snowmen. Add a few drops of black food colouring to the orange icing and then use a second cocktail stick/toothpick to add small black eyes, mouths, buttons and arms. Leave for the icing and white chocolate to set.

    These cookies will keep for up to 3 days, but are best eaten on the day they are made.

     

    For more festive bakes, check out Cute Christmas Cookies by Hannah Miles.

    Cute Christmas Cookies


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with christmas, baking, recipe for the weekend, sweet, cookies, festive

  • Posted on December 5, 2017

    Christmas Gift Guide

    Whether they're a foodie, a gardener, a coffee expert or a star baker, we have a book they'll love this Christmas!

     

    GIFTS FOR FOODIES

    From quick family favourites to indulgent weekend meal ideas or healthy eating motivation for the New Year, you're sure to find the perfect gift for a foodie with our great range of recipe books...

     

    Flavours of the world...

         

     My Modern Indian Kitchen by Nitisha Patel  - over 60 recipes for home-cooked Indian food

    Laura Santtini's Pasta Secrets - over 70 delicious recipes from authentic classics to modern & healthy alternatives.

    Real Mexican Food by Ben Fordham - Authentic recipes for burritos, tacos, salsa and more

    Sushi Made Simple by Atsuko Ikeda - From classic wraps and rolls to modern bowls and burgers

     

    Healthy Eating and Free From...

       

    The New Nourishing by Leah Vanderveldt - delicious plant-based comfort food to feed body and soul

    Super food Slow Cooker by Nicola Graimes - Healthy wholefood meals from your slow cooker

    My Vegan Travels by Jackie Kearney - comfort food inspired by adventue

     

    Recipes for the weekend...

       

    Party Food to Share by Kathy Kordalis - Small bites, platters & boards

    The Lambshank Redemption Cookbook by Lachlan Hayman - 50 blockbuster movie-inspired recipes

    Saturday Pizzas from the Ballymaloe Cookery School - The essential guide to making pizza at home, from perfect classics to inspired gourmet toppings.

     

    GIFTS FOR BAKERS

    They'll be star bakers in the making everywhere this Holiday season with our range of baking books - bring on Bake Off 2018!

         

    LOLA'S: A Cake Journey Around the World by LOLA's Bakers - 70 of the most delicious and iconic cake recipes discovered on our travels

    This is Gluten Free by Victoria Hall - Delicious gluten-free recipes to bake it better

    Fantasy Cakes by Angela Romeo - magical recipes for fanciful bakes

    Japanese Patisserie by James Campbell - Exploring the beautiful and delicious fusion of East meets West.

     

    GIFTS FOR DRINK LOVERS

    Whether it's time for a cup of coffee or a cocktail, we've got your covered!

     

    Winter Warmers...

       

    Easy Leaf Tea by Timothy d'Offay - Tea house recipes to make at home

    Hot Drinks - Over 25 warming recipes for cold days

    Coffee Drinks by Merlin Jobst - An illustrated infographic guide to what's in your cup

     

    Cocktail Time...

         

    The Curious Bartender's Rum Revolution by Tristan Stephenson

    Gin Tonica by David T Smith - 40 recipes for Spanish-style gin and tonic cocktails

    Prosecco Cocktails by Laura Gladwin - 40 tantalizing recipes for everyone's favourite sparkler

    Dr. Adam Elmgirab's Book of Bitters - The bitter and twisted history of one of the cocktail world's most fascinating ingredients

     

    Wine Lovers...

     

    Natural Wine by Isabelle Legeron - An introduction to organic and biodynamic wines made naturally

    Wine and Food by Jane Parksinson - Perfect pairings every time

     

    GIFTS FOR INTERIOR DESIGN

        

    The Scandinavian Home by Nicki Brantmark - Interiors inspired by light

    Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors - Show-stopping looks for unique interiors

    New Nordic Colour by Antonia af Petersens - Decorating with a vibrant modern paletteo

    Books Make a Home by Damian Thompson - Elegant ideas for storing and displaying books

     

    GIFTS FOR GARDENERS

    Whatever size your garden, you can get green fingered with our range of gardening books.

         

     My Gardening Journal & Planner

    Tiny Tabletop Gardens by Emma Hardy - 35 projects for super-small spaces - outdoors and in

    The Art of Living with Nature by Willow Crossley - 50 beautiful projects to bring the outside in

    Teeny Tiny Gardening by Emma Hardy - 35 step-by-step projects and inspirational ideas for gardening in tiny spaces

     

    STOCKING FILLERS

    These little books are perfect to pop in a stocking and make someone smile this Christmas!

         

    What Your Dog Breed Says About You by Jo Hoare - A fun look at the peculiarities of pets and their owners

    So You Think You're a Hipster by Kara Simsek - Cautionary case studies from the city streets

    Don't be a Nordic by Jo Hoare - Why embracing the Scandi lifestyle won't change your life

    The History of Insults - Over 100 put-downs, slights and snubs through the ages

     

         

    The Little Pocket Book of Natural Beauty by Karen Gilbert - 35 step-by-step projects for homemade beauty

    ScandiKitchen: The Essence of Hygge by Bronte Aurell

    Easy on the Eyes by Lisa Potter-Dixon - The pocket book of eye make-up looks in 5, 15 and 30 minutes

     

    GIFTS FOR KIDS

    Meet the cute characters in our range of gorgeous and fun kid's books this Christmas.

       

     Talulla Bear Goes Exploring by Heather Roan Robbins - A Mindful Tale of Discovery

    Shady Bay Buddies: Archie Goes to the Doctor by Emma Brown

    Shady Bay Buddies: Archie's First Day at School by Emma Brown


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with christmas, interiors, drinks, gift, kids, gardening, books, food

  • Posted on November 29, 2017

    Chai Tea recipe

    Sweet, spicy and comforting, this chai tea recipe is the perfect winter drink. You can buy ready made blends of chai tea, but by making your own you can personalize the blends of spices to create your perfect cuppa!

    Chai Tea recipe

    Chai Tea originally comes from India. In Kolkata, one of world’s great tea-trading cities where chai is known as cha, it is often served in wonderful hand-thrown terracotta cups which seem to add an earthy sweet taste to the tea. In other areas conical recycled glasses are used to serve chai, often one within another to protect your hands from the piping hot frothy drink. The chaiwallahs who make these concoctions on street corners across the country are often famous for their special recipes. Below is a simple chai blend recipe you can personalize yourself and some simple instructions for making chai the easy way.

     

    Chai Blend

    Across India, there are regional differences in chai recipes. This recipe is based on a chai from the north-east of India but feel free to add small amounts of other herbs and spices, such as star anise, fennel seeds, peppercorns, nutmeg and bay leaves.

    50 g/1¾ oz. Orthodox Assam

    20 g/¾ oz. cardamon

    10 g cinnamon

    18.5 g dried sliced ginger

    1.5 g cloves

    Makes 100 g/3 oz.

    If possible use a fuller fat milk like the buffalo milk often used to make chai in India as it will give the drink a lovely richness that a skimmed milk cannot. In India good CTC (the very small curled leaf tea) black tea is usually used and it is fine for a chai blend. My personal preference is always for a strong Orthodox tippy Assam. You may want to gently crush the spices before making the chai to release more of their flavour. My method of brewing chai is to use the cups you will drink from to measure the amount of milk (approximately 2 cups) you will use. By gently warming the milk and making sure not to scald it by going over 70˚C/158˚F, you should be able to make a naturally sweet drink but if you enjoy your chai very sweet do feel free to add sugar at the end.

    Chai Tea

    14–16 g Chai tea

    340 ml/11½  oz. whole milk

    Makes 2 servings

    Pour the milk into a saucepan. Alternatively you can measure how much you will need by using the two cups or glasses you will drink from. Gently warm the milk on a low heat for 2–2½ minutes. Add the chai tea and slowly stir the milk and tea in the saucepan.

    Keep the milk at a temperature of between 55˚C–60˚C/130˚F–140˚F while the chai brews. You may have to occasionally remove the saucepan from the stove to keep the milk within these temperatures.

    Taste the tea with a spoon to check how it is brewing and when it has reached your desired strength, remove the saucepan from the stove and pour the chai into your two cups or glasses.

     

    This recipe is from Easy Leaf Tea by Timothy d'Offay, with photography by Jan Baldwin © Ryland Peters & Small

    easy leaf tea


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with winter warmer, drinks, recipe for the weekend, hot drinks

  • Posted on November 23, 2017

    Vegan Salted Caramel Cake recipe

    Epic vegan cake anyone? This sweet, salty, caramel number hits all the right flavour notes.

    vegan Salted Caramel Cake

    Ingredients:

    1 quantity of Vegan Chocolate Sponge mixture (see below) baked in three greased and lined 18-cm/7-inch cake pans for 30–35 minutes until an inserted cocktail stick/toothpick comes out clean, then cooled

    1/2 quantity of Brilliant White Buttercream (see page 21, but replace the water with 2 tablespoons of the vegan salted caramel sauce)

    2 teaspoons mixed gold, silver and bronze cake sprinkles (optional, see vegan tip)

    2 teaspoons rock sea salt

    200 g/1 cup caster/superfine sugar

    5–6 blackberries

    few sprigs of lemon thyme

    edible gold spray (optional, see vegan tip)

     

    For the vegan salted caramel sauce

    250 g/11/4 cups caster/superfine sugar

    150 ml/2/3 cup coconut milk

    2 tablespoons cornflour/cornstarch

    rock sea salt, to taste

    baking sheet, greased with sunflower oil

    SERVES 20

     

    For the vegan salted caramel sauce, place the sugar in a saucepan with 4 tablespoons of water, place over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir through the coconut milk (be careful as it will bubble). Return to the heat; mix the cornflour/cornstarch with 4 tablespoons of water and stir in to the pan, simmer for a further 5–7 minutes until thickened. It will thicken further on cooling. Add salt to taste. Set aside to cool completely (see cook’s tip).

    If necessary, trim the tops of the cakes to make level. Sandwich together using 350 g/12 oz. of the buttercream – the bottom side of the top cake should be facing up. Place the cake on a serving plate. Crumb-coat (see page 11) the cake using the remaining buttercream. Smooth and remove the excess buttercream with a palette knife/metal spatula.

    Mix the cake sprinkles (if using) with the 2 teaspoons sea salt. Set aside.

    For the caramel shapes and shards, gently heat the sugar in a pan until melted and golden. Shake the pan towards the end to allow any unmelted sugar to melt. Spoon half the caramel onto the greased baking sheet, then drag it outwards with the back of the spoon to create a rough square shape with one thinner, uneven side. Sprinkle the cake sprinkle mixture over part of the rectangle. Use the spoon to drizzle the remaining caramel into spiral shapes and zig-zag patterns. Leave to harden. Break the square shape into shards.

    When ready to serve, push the caramel shapes into the top of the cake, drizzle with the caramel sauce and decorate with the blackberries and lemon thyme sprigs. Spray with the edible gold spray (if using).

    Cook’s tip: You’ll have some caramel sauce left over; it’s great served with the cake for those wanting an extra drizzle! It’s so delicious you’ll want to pour it over every cake and dessert – keep any remaining sauce in the fridge, covered, for up to 1 week or allow to cool for 5 minutes, reserve what you need for the cake and ladle the remaining sauce into a sterilized jar. Seal and allow to cool. It will keep for up to 3 months.

    Vegan tip: Always check ingredients on individual products to ensure they are suitable for a vegan diet. Different brands may vary.

     

    Vegan chocolate sponge

    1 large ripe banana, 115 g/ 4 oz. peeled weight

    250 ml/1 cup soya milk

    75 ml/5 tablespoons vegetable oil

    425 g/generous 2 cups

    caster/superfine sugar

    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

    2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

    115 ml/scant 1/2 cup maple syrup

    575 g/generous 41/4 cups self-raising/self-rising flour, sifted

    75 g/3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

    1 tablespoon baking powder

    MAKES ENOUGH FOR 1 LARGE CAKE

    Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) Gas 4. Place the banana in a large bowl and mash until creamy. Add the soya milk, vegetable oil, sugar, vanilla extract, white wine vinegar and maple syrup. Beat with an electric hand whisk until combined. Sift over the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and fold through until combined. Transfer to greased and lined pans specified in each recipe (if using 18-cm/ 7-inch cake pans, ensure they are at least 4.5 cm/13/4 inches deep and lined with a 1.5-cm/2/3-inch collar). Bake for the time specified in each recipe.

     

    Brilliant white buttercream (vegan)

    500 g/1 lb. 2 oz. vegetable fat such as Trex or Cookeen, at room temperature

    1 kg/7 cups icing/confectioners’ sugar, sifted

    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

    MAKES 1.5 KG/3 LB. 5 OZ.

    Place the vegetable fat in a bowl with the vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons water and a few large spoonfuls of the icing/ confectioners' sugar. Whisk with an electric hand whisk until combined, then whisk in the remaining icing/confectioners’ sugar in manageable batches, until smooth and spreadable. Add another 1 tablespoon of water, if necessary.

     

    For more fabulous cake recipes and decoration ideas, check out Fantasy Cakes by Angela Romeo.

    fantasy cakes


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with vegan, baking, chocolate, recipe for the weekend, sweet

  • Posted on November 22, 2017

    New Nordic Colour

    New Nordic Colour

     

    New Nordic Colour

     

    New Nordic Colour

     

    New Nordic Colour

     

    New Nordic Colour

     

    These images are from New Nordic Colour by Antonia Af Petersens, photography by Beth Evans © Ryland Peters & Small

    New Nordic Colour


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with interiors, homestyle, nordic

  • Posted on November 16, 2017

    Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

    A vegan thanksgiving menu that everyone will want to try from Jackie Kearney's new book My Vegan Travels.

    Vegan Travels crumblepot

    Macadamia Crumble Pots with squash and chickpeas

     

    To make the crumble topping

    120 g/scant 1 cup plain/all-purpose flour

    80 g/scant 1 cup jumbo oats

    1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme

    80 g/3 oz. vegan ‘margarine’, such as Stork, chopped into pieces

    ½ teaspoon salt

    ½ teaspoon white pepper

    60 g/ ½ cup macadamia nuts

     

    To make the filling

    1 squash, peeled and chopped into 2-cm/3/4-inch cubes

    1 tablespoon vegetable oil

    1 small white onion, chopped

    400-g/14-oz. can chickpeas/ garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

    1 litre/4 ¼ cups vegetable stock

    2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

    250 g/9 oz. fresh spinach (or 100 g/3. oz. frozen)

    1 tablespoon freshly chopped thyme

    4 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped

    1 teaspoon cornflour/cornstarch

    ½ –1 teaspoon salt, to taste

    ½  teaspoon white pepper

    1 baking sheet, lightly oiled

    5–6 individual pots

    Serves 5-6

     

    Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF) Gas 6.

    Place the squash on the prepared baking sheet, drizzle over the oil and use your hands to ensure the pieces are well coated. Place in the preheated oven for 20–30 minutes, until it is golden brown with caramelized edges. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 180ºC (350ºF) Gas 4, if you are planning to cook the pots immediately once prepared.

    Meanwhile, prepare the crumble topping by placing the flour in a large bowl. Add the oats, thyme, salt and pepper, and mix well. Then add the margarine and, using your hands, rub the fat into the dry mixture to create a crumbly texture. Try to use the tips of your fingers so that the margarine doesn’t go too soft. Roughly chop the macadamia nuts and add to the crumble. Mix well, then set aside. In a large, deep frying pan/skillet or wok, saute the onion for about 10–15 minutes over low heat until soft and translucent. Add the chickpeas/garbanzo beans, stock, mustard, spinach and herbs. Bring to a simmer for a few minutes.

    Mix the cornflour/cornstarch in a little water and add to the pan, so that the mixture thickens slightly, then add the roasted squash, salt and pepper. Mix well and then taste to check the level of seasoning.

    Fill the individual pots about three-quarters full with the roasted squash filling. Then top with a few tablespoons of the crumble mixture. If preparing in advance, the pots can be chilled or frozen at this stage.

    To finish, place the pots on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 30–40 minutes until the crumble top is golden brown and the filling is starting to bubble underneath.

     

    vegan nut roast

    Savoy-Wrapped Quinoa Roast

     

    1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut butter

    1 red onion, diced into 5-mm/ ¼ -inch pieces

    ½ courgette/zucchini, diced

    1 carrot, diced

    1 leek, finely sliced

    5 chestnut mushrooms, diced

    100 g/generous ½ cup quinoa or couscous

    750 ml/3 cups vegetable stock

    150 g/1 ¼ cups cashews

    1 thick slice of wholemeal/ whole-wheat or seeded bread

    6 outer leaves from a Savoy cabbage, thick stalk ends trimmed

    1 flax 'egg' or egg replacer

    120 g/4 oz. silken tofu

    1 tablespoon freshly chopped thyme and marjoram (or ½ teaspoon dried herbs)

    120 g/4 oz. vegan ‘feta’ or ‘ricotta’ (optional)

    salt and white pepper, to taste

    loaf pan, oiled

    Serves 6

     

    Preheat the oven to 190ºC (375ºF) Gas 5.

    Heat the oil or coconut butter in a pan and add the onion, courgette/zucchini, carrot, leek and mushrooms. Cook for 8–10 minutes until soft.

    Simmer the quinoa for 4–5 minutes in vegetable stock. Drain and set aside.

    Toast the cashews in a dry frying pan/skillet, then bash (or blitz in a food processor) into small pieces.

    Avoid over-blitzing the nuts to a powder or you will lose the texture. Blitz the bread into crumbs. Blanche the cabbage leaves for 2 minutes. Set aside.

    Mix the vegetables, nuts, breadcrumbs, flax 'egg' and tofu together. Add the fresh or dried herbs and season to taste with salt and white pepper.

    Line the loaf pan with the cabbage leaves, using five large leaves to cover the bottom and saving one leaf to seal the top. Half-fill the loaf pan with half of the mixture, firmly pushing it down with the back of a spoon. Crumble the vegan cheese (if using) over the filling, then add the remaining filling on top, again pushing down to create a firm shape.

    Fold over the edges of the leaves to cover the top of the roast, and then place the last leaf on top and tuck it into the sides. Cover the pan with foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then turn over, foil-side down on the baking sheet, and bake for 10–15 minutes more.

    Turn it the right way up again and remove the foil lid. Turn it out onto a board and serve.

     

    vegan ice cream cookie

    PECAN CRUMBLE COOKIE AND ICE-CREAM SARNIE


    TO MAKE THE COOKIES

    180 g/generous 1½ cups pecans, roughly chopped

    320 g/2½ cups plain/all-purpose flour

    1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/baking soda

    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    ½ teaspoon salt

    1 teaspoon cornfl our/cornstarch

    160 g/5½ oz. coconut oil or vegan butter

    150 g/¾ cup soft brown sugar 2 flax ‘eggs’ or egg replacer

    ½ vanilla pod/bean, seeds scraped (or use ¼ teaspoon vanilla paste)

    60 g/2¼ oz. vegan suet

    450 g vegan ice-cream

    2 baking sheets, lined

    SERVES 6

     

    Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F) Gas 4.

    Place the chopped pecans on a baking sheet and put in the oven for approx. 15 minutes until lightly toasted. Set aside.

    In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda/ baking soda, cinnamon, salt and cornflour/cornstarch. Then in a large mixing bowl, beat together the coconut oil or vegan butter with the sugar until it’s fluffy, light and creamy. Carefully beat in the flax ‘eggs’ and vanilla, and then add the flour mixture, to make a fairly stiff dough. Add the toasted pecans and suet and mix well.

    Wrap the dough in clingfilm/plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for several hours, or overnight is preferable. The longer the chilling, the better the cookie crumbles.

    Remove the dough from the fridge and let sit at room temperature for 20–30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

    Break off chunks of cookie dough and roll into balls, according to the size you prefer. Make 12 balls for large cookies or 20 or so for smaller cookies. Lay on the lined baking sheets leaving plenty of space between the dough balls.

    Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 10–12 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through, until the cookies are slightly golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets. The cookies will deflate slightly as they cool. If they look too puffy, flatten them gently with the back of a spoon. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.

    When ready to serve, remove the ice-cream from the freezer and allow to soften slightly for 10–15 minutes. Place a small scoop of ice-cream on a cookie. Spread slightly to ensure it almost reaches the edges. Top the ice-cream with another cookie, and, using your palm, gently press down to create a sandwich. Serve immediately.

     

     For more vegan recipes, check out My Vegan Travels by Jackie Kearney.

    my vegan travels


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with vegan, savoury, Thanksgiving, recipe

  • Posted on November 14, 2017

    Fantasy Cakes - from sketch to cake

    We are so excited that Angela Romeo's brand new baking book, Fantasy Cakes, is out this week! If you like baking we think you're going to love the fun, colourful and pretty spectacular designs for every occasion!

    We wanted to know more about how Angela makes these amazing cakes, from the first initial sketch to the delicious finished product and her tips for how to make them yourself. So, over to you Angela...

     

    Fantasy Cakes

    1. When/how did you get into baking these fantastic cakes?

    I’ve got to say my mum always baked great cakes and I was never very far away when she was! I would be simply hanging onto her apron (literally!), helping fold in flour, weighing ingredients or helping with the most important of all jobs ‘licking the bowl!’ Me and my brother always had fab homemade birthday cakes as kids. From mini football pitches, to 3 little ducklings, to a baby in a crib (!), to Hansel and Gretal-style houses, there was never a shortage of fanciful cakes in our house. I can’t forget to credit my dad as I only recently found out, whilst developing the recipes for this book, that it was my mum who did the baking of those cakes and my dad who did the decorating! My mum will freely admit he’s the more creative-arty one so that does makes perfect sense!

    In my working career I’ve also had some great baking briefs particularly at Seven publishing whilst working as the Senior Food Editor for Creative Services for Sainsbury’s. From designing and developing cakes for social media video such as an Easter cake with the ultimate ‘Wow!’ factor to a Halloween pumpkin-shaped cake. When a brief like that came in I would immediately pick up my pen and start scribbling designs with crazy-style enthusiasm!

    As a food team we went on to write the Sainsbury’s Cake cookbook which I loved designing and making a proportion of the cakes for from a Dragon cake to a Fairy Tale Castle cake to a Chocolate box cake. It enhanced my love for making imaginative, creative cakes using readily available products and that were also achievable.

     

    2. Where do you get your inspiration from for your designs?

    I get inspiration from everywhere, from friends or families favourite hobbies and passions to certain trends that keep popping up, for example ‘flamingos’ - I subconsciously start thinking how would I make a flamingo cake? (as you do!) I normally start to think of it in the literal sense - an actual flamingo-shaped cake, then the practical side of my brain steps in and says, ‘Whoa! Those skinny legs holding up a cake? That’s a bake-off style nightmare! I’d need the hubby to construct an iron leg-shaped stand for me!!’ So it may sit at the back of my mind for a while - then I could be using a leaf nozzle for another project and suddenly think - ‘OOOooh what if I used two tones of pink buttercream in this piping bag? That would make a great surreal nod to flamingo feathers especially if you piped them round the bottom of a cake! Oh! And that ‘water’ on that swimming pool cake I saw on Pintrest the other day that would make a great flamingo pond!’

     

    3. How many times do you have to practice the cakes before they are perfect?!

    I nearly always make a sketch of how I imagine the finished piece to look. For most cakes, I would practice the various techniques that are included in the design until I’ve mastered them. I don’t know if it’s because I studied fine art but I approach it a bit like an art project - researching and developing the different elements and then bringing it all together as a one-off. Obviously if you’re writing a recipe for it you may need to make the whole finished piece a few times to ensure the details are correct, which of-course also gives you a great opportunity make little improvements. But I also think it’s also very important with cake decorating to know when to stop.

    Fantasy Cakes

    film lover cake

     

    4. What is your favourite kind of cake to make/do you have a favourite in the book?

    As you’ll see from the book I love 3 layer cakes - I love a tall cake not only because it gives great impact but also because it gives you another surface as well as the top to work on. The deep sides are great for setting-a-scene or theme or for showing-off drips and drizzles. They also provide ample space for adding piped textures and of course it’s extra space and a great excuse to add more sprinkles(!)

     

    5. Do you have any tips for all the bakers out there

    1) Always read a recipe through from beginning to end before starting so you don’t have any surprises along the way.

    2) For fan ovens always remember to reduce the temperature by 20ºC or refer to the manufacturers instructions.

    3) Use an oven thermometer to check the temperature of your oven. Some ovens can run hotter or cooler than the dial/ digits reflect.

    4) Remember that most ovens will have hotspots and cooler areas. The most even temperature is in the centre of the oven. The top, bottom and rear corners can be a little unpredictable.

    5) Always ensure you use a kitchen timer – it’s easy to get distracted.

    6) A tip close to my heart is when you start tinkering with a cake at the very end of decorating it, trying to get that very last bit absolutely perfect. It probably is perfect to everybody else. I would advise to ‘step away from the cake’ (if that phrase enters your head then do exactly that!).

    7) Always allow yourself plenty of time, there’s nothing worse than baking and decorating in a hurry or a bout of ‘midnight-baking’ is never a good place to be!

    8) As generally most cakes need to cool completely before decorating, I would always try to bake the cakes the day before decorating. And if a design allows it (such a drip cake that doesn’t have anything pressed into a buttercream base) you could also, once the cakes have cooled, layer the cake and buttercream the sides so it’s well prepped for the next stage. This will also make it airtight so the cake will happily sit on the side in a cake box (providing you use a buttercream that doesn’t contain milk), until you are ready to complete it with your drips, drizzles and toppings!

     

    You can buy Angela's book Fantasy Cakes here!


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with baking, cake decorating, author interview

  • Posted on November 9, 2017

    Sushi Doughnuts recipe

    Sushi Doughnuts

    Sushi evolution is endless, and these sushi doughnuts are easy and fun to make. Colourful, playful and also very healthy, it’s like biting into a rainbow! To make the colourful rice base with use matcha for green and beetroot (beet) for pink. These are great to serve at a party.

     

    300 g (2 cups) seasoned sushi rice (cooked weight)

    a pinch of matcha powder

    a small piece of pickled beetroot (beet)

    30 g (1 oz) sashimi-quality salmon, thinly sliced

    30 g (1 oz) sashimi-quality sea bass, thinly sliced

    30 g (1 oz) sashimi-quality tuna, thinly sliced

    2 cucumber slices, sprinkled with a pinch of salt, then any excess water patted off

    10 g (2 teaspoons) garden peas, blanched, cooled in cold water, drained

    10 g (1/3 oz) yuzu-flavoured tobiko (flying fish roe), or other type of tobiko if yuzu is not available

    10 g (1/3 oz) lumpfish caviar

    6 lettuce or shiso leaves, to serve

    soy sauce, to serve

    6-hole silicone doughnut mould

    MAKES 6

     

    Divide the rice evenly into three separate bowls. Leave one bowl of rice plain. Colour the second bowl green by stirring through a pinch of matcha powder. Colour the third bowl pink with the pickled beetroot (beet) – aim for a soft shade of pink like cherry blossom and remove the beetroot (beet) from the rice before the pink becomes too intense.

    Place a mixture of the sashimi and cucumber side by side in the doughnut moulds. If you are using a non-silicone mould, wet the surface of moulds before adding the toppings or rice or simply line the moulds with clingfilm (plastic wrap) to prevent the sushi sticking.

    Put the garden peas, tobiko and caviar in the gaps between the sashimi and cucumber.

    Gently press the sushi rice into the moulds and flatten the top surface. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.

    Place a large serving tray on top of the doughnut mould, then turn upside-down and remove the mould. The doughnuts will tip out onto the tray.

    You could give your guests chopsticks for eating the doughnuts, but if you wish to serve them as finger food, then place each doughnut on top of a lettuce or shiso leaf (or alternatively place in a quartered sheet of nori) to make it easy to hold.

     

    For more easy and fun sushi recipes, check out Sushi Made Simple by Atsuko Ikeda.

    Sushi Made Simple

    Save

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    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with fish, sushi, savoury, recipe for the weekend

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