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Tag Archives: recipe for the weekend
  • Posted on February 15, 2018

    Warm spinach with currants, pine nuts and yogurt

    The Iranians, the Lebanese, the Turks and the Moroccans all have their own variations of this velvety dish of cooked spinach combined with yogurt. Served as mezze in restaurants throughout the Middle East, this is a delicious way to enjoy spinach. Pulled from several traditions, this version includes currants, onions and pine nuts, served warm with dollops of cool, garlic-flavoured yogurt and chunks of crusty bread.

    500 g/1 lb. 2 oz. fresh spinach leaves, thoroughly washed and drained

    250 ml/1 cup thick, creamy, yogurt

    2 garlic cloves, crushed

    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    2–3 tablespoons olive oil

    1 red onion, cut in half lengthways, in half again crossways and sliced with the grain

    1–2 teaspoons granulated sugar

    1–2 teaspoons finely chopped dried red chilli/chile

    2 tablespoons tiny currants, soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes and drained

    2 tablespoons pine nuts

    freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon

    warm crusty bread, to serve

    Serves 3–4

     

    Place the spinach in a steamer, or in a colander placed inside a large pot partially filled with water. Steam the spinach until soft. Drain off and squeeze out any excess water, then coarsely chop the steamed spinach.

    In a bowl, beat the yogurt with the garlic. Season with salt and pepper and put aside.

    Heat the oil in a heavy based pan and stir in the onion with the sugar for 2–3 minutes to soften. Add the chilli/chile, currants and pine nuts for 2–3 minutes, until the currants plump up and the pine nuts begin to colour.

    Toss in the spinach, making sure it is mixed well, and add the lemon juice. Season well with salt and pepper and tip the spinach onto a serving dish.

    Make a well in the middle of the spinach and spoon some of the yogurt into it. Serve while the spinach is still warm with chunks of crusty bread to scoop it up.

     

    This recipe is from Mezze by Ghillie Basan, photography by Jan Baldwin © Ryland Peters & Small


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

  • Posted on February 7, 2018

    Raspberry Meringue Kisses recipe

    Who will be getting a kiss from you this Valentines Day? A raspberry meringue one that is from Mat Follas' brand new book Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe.

     

     

    PREPARE 20 MINUTES / COOK 45 MINUTES

    RASPBERRIES

    200 g/1 1⁄2 cups raspberries

    freshly squeezed juice of 1⁄2 lemon

    or 40 g/11⁄2 oz. dehydrated raspberry powder

    MERINGUES

    200 g/1 cup caster/superfine sugar

    100 g/1⁄2 cup egg whites (approx. 3 large/US extra-large eggs)

    BUTTERCREAM

    50 g/31⁄2 tablespoons butter, softened

    100 g/3⁄4 cup icing/confectioners’ sugar

    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    piping/pastry bag

    2 baking sheets lined with baking parchment

    MAKES 12

     

    For the raspberries (if using fresh raspberries), preheat the oven to 90°C (195°F). Place a sheet of baking parchment over a wire rack.

    Spread the raspberries over the baking parchment and sprinkle with the lemon juice. Place in the preheated oven and leave in the oven overnight, or for at least 8 hours. Once dried, blitz the raspberries in a food processor until they form a fi ne powder, then pass them through a sieve/strainer.

    For the meringues, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6. Ensure the bowl you use is perfectly clean. Sprinkle the sugar over a non-stick baking sheet and place into the preheated oven. At the same time, place the egg whites into a stand mixer fitted with a balloon whisk (or use a mixing bowl and a hand-held electric whisk) and start mixing until stiff peaks form; this will take 5–8 minutes. Remove the, now hot, sugar from the oven and turn the oven down to 100°C (210°F).

    Add about one-quarter of the sugar to the egg white mix. Whisk for a couple of minutes, then repeat until all of the sugar has been combined.

    Whisk for another 5 minutes, checking that the mixture is fully combined and that no graininess remains. Finally, add about three-quarters of the raspberry powder and fold together, but leave some patterns in the mixture.

    Spoon the meringue mixture into the piping/pastry bag and snip off the tip. Pipe the meringue mixture onto the lined baking sheets, making about 24–26 5-cm/2-inch kisses. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Check the outer layer of meringue has fully cooked and is crispy; continue cooking in 10-minute intervals if not. Switch the oven off and leave the meringues to cool in the oven for at least 30 minutes. Store the meringues in an airtight container until you are ready to serve.

    For the buttercream, in a mixing bowl, whisk the butter and icing/ confectioners’ sugar together to form a smooth cream. Add the vanilla and a couple of dessertspoons of water. Whisk until a smooth, light buttercream is made. To serve, place a teaspoon of the buttercream onto the flat side of one meringue and stick it to the flat side of another. Sprinkle a little remaining raspberry powder over the top to decorate.

     

    For more delicious recipes from Mat Follas, check out Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe

    Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe

    Photography by Steve Painter © Ryland Peters & Small


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

  • Posted on January 31, 2018

    Tempting Weekend Bakes

    Weekends are for baking, and so as a very special treat we have two brand new and quite frankly totally delicious recipes to share with you from two books coming out this Spring.

    First up we have a banana and rye bread perfect for a lazy breakfast from our lovely author Bronte Aurell and her new book Scandikitchen Summer, then an indulgent chocolate tiffin from Masterchef winner Mat Follas and his new book Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe.

    We couldn't wait to share these books with you guys, so here is a sneak peek of some of the tempting recipes you can expect to find...

     

    Rye & Banana Bread

    At our café, people used to ask for banana bread a lot. As it’s not really a traditional Scandinavian thing, we wanted to make it our own with a Scandi twist. So, we created this version with rye flour to make it more wholesome. We like to serve it with a delicious cinnamon butter, that just melts on toasted slices of this loaf.

    banana and rye bread

    4 very ripe bananas

    100 g/scant 1⁄2 cup Greek/plain Greek-style yogurt

    1 tablespoon lemon juice

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla sugar

    125 g/1 cup minus 1 tablespoon plain/all-purpose flour

    125 g/1 generous cup wholemeal/ wholewheat rye flour

    1⁄2 teaspoon salt

    1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/ baking soda

    125 g/11⁄8 sticks butter, softened

    150 g/3⁄4 cup dark brown soft sugar

    2 UK large/US extra-large eggs

    cinnamon butter, to serve (optional)

    500 g/1 lb. loaf pan, lined with non-stick baking parchment

    Makes 1 loaf

     

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

    Mash the bananas and mix with the yogurt, lemon juice and vanilla and set aside.

    Mix the flours with the salt and bicarbonate of soda/baking soda and set aside.

    Cream together the butter and dark brown soft sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a hand-held electric whisk. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition to ensure they are fully incorporated.

    Add the mashed banana mixture and mix until incorporated, then add the flours and mix briefly until smooth. Do not over-mix.

    Spoon the mixture into the lined loaf pan. Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for around 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out just clean. Leave to cool a little before turning out of the pan. Cut into slices and serve toasted, with plenty of cinnamon butter (see below).

    Cinnamon butter

    Mix three tablespoons of strong cinnamon sugar (ratio 1:3) with half a packet of soft unsalted butter – re-chill and use as needed.

     

    You can pre order your copy of Scandikitchen Summer here for UK and here for US.

    Plus you sample more of Bronte's recipes from the book in a FREE sample of the book, downloadable from here.

    Scandikitchen Summer

     

    White chocolate & strawberry tiffin

    Delicious with coffee, these tiffins are fun to make with children. Be inventive with swirly toppings and fillings.

    PREPARE 20 MINUTES / COOK 10 MINUTES

    strawverry and chocolate tiffin

    250 g/21⁄4 sticks butter

    120 g/generous 1⁄2 cup caster/ granulated sugar

    120 g/6 tablespoons golden/ light corn syrup

    200 g/7 oz. milk chocolate

    100 g/3⁄4 cup mixed dried fruit and nuts (almonds, sultanas/golden raisins, cherries)

    100 g/1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped

    450 g/1 lb. digestive biscuits/ graham crackers, crushed

    450 g/1 lb. white chocolate

    non-stick 30 x 20-cm/12 x 8-inch brownie pan, lightly oiled and lined with baking parchment

    MAKES 18

     

    In a saucepan, place the butter, sugar and golden/light corn syrup. Warm on a low heat until melted and stir to mix together.

    In a mixing bowl, grate 100 g/31⁄2 oz. of the milk chocolate, then add the dried fruit and nuts, strawberries and crushed digestive biscuits/ graham crackers. Pour in the melted butter, sugar and syrup mixture. Fold together until thoroughly mixed, then spoon into the lined brownie pan. Smooth the tiffin base to make it level, then place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

    Melt the white chocolate by breaking it up and heating three-quarters of it in a microwave on high in a microwaveable bowl. Use the microwave in 10-second bursts, stirring the chocolate in-between until it is all melted.

    Now, add the remaining one-quarter and mix together to form a smooth, just-melted chocolate.

    Remove the tiffin base from the refrigerator and pour the white chocolate over the top. Tilt the pan until the topping covers the tiffin base and is smooth and even.

    Now melt the remaining milk chocolate in the same way (melting three-quarters of it, then adding the final one-quarter at the end). Pour the milk chocolate over the white chocolate in thin lines. Use a cocktail stick/toothpick to drag the milk chocolate over the surface to form patterns.

    Return to the refrigerator for at least an hour, before removing and portioning with a hot knife.

     

    Pre order your copy of Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe by Mat Follas here for UK and here for US orders.

    Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe


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

  • Posted on January 25, 2018

    Crispy Mock Duck Pancakes recipe

    Congratulations to everyone who has given Veganuary 2018 a go! It’s been almost a month and we’re sure you’re missing some of our favourite dishes, but don’t give up yet! We’ve got a vegan take on a classic takeaway favourite for you to enjoy as a special treat for the last weekend in Veganuary.

    Everyone loves duck pancakes when you go out for a chinese meal and with a few little tricks, it’s super simple to make a vegan version of this dish. You can also use this ‘duck’ in a warm salad or as a stuffing with some vermicelli noodles in a spring roll. You can buy canned gluten mock duck from a Chinese supermarket, and sometimes they have a frozen version too. The key is to empty the contents of the can into a sieve/strainer and rinse well with warm water, using your hand to rub off any excess brine and squeeze out the water.

    mock duck pancakes

    280-g/10-oz. can gluten mock duck, well rinsed

    4 tablespoons hoisin sauce (see below or use readymade)

    6 spring onions/scallions, trimmed

    ½ cucumber

    10 Chinese-style pancakes, frozen

    2 tablespoons plum sauce (optional)

    To make the hoisin sauce

    4 tablespoons agave syrup

    2 tablespoons black bean paste

    1 tablespoon garlic paste or powder

    1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine

    3 tablespoons water

    2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

    ½ teaspoon Chinese five spice

    2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

    ¼ teaspoon Sriracha (or use a pinch of chilli/chili powder)

    baking sheet, oiled steamer basket

    Serves 2–3

     

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

    To make the hoisin sauce, place all the ingredients into a small pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 4–5 minutes until the sauce is thickened and glossy. Cool and pour into sterilized jars, where it will keep for several months in the fridge.

    Ensure the mock duck is well rinsed, and then shred it into smaller pieces and strips using your hands. Add 2 tablespoons of the hoisin sauce and mix well with your hands.

    Layer the pieces onto the prepared baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 20–30 minutes, turning halfway through. Cook until the edges are crispy but not burnt.

    To prepare the vegetables, use a large, sharp chef’s knife to slice the spring onions/scallions in half, then slice each piece lengthways, trying to maintain the shape. Then slice each piece lengthways again, several times, to create spring onion/scallion strips.

    Slice the cucumber lengthways and, using a small spoon, scoop out the seeds. Slice each half across the middle, to create four pieces, then cut each piece into thin strips.

    Place the steamer basket over a small pan that allows it to sit atop the pan without falling to the bottom. Add about 5 cm/2 inches of water to the pan and bring it to the boil. Add all of the pancakes to the steamer and place it on the pan. Cook the pancakes for about 10–15 minutes until all the pancakes are softened and warm. If you don’t have a steamer, you can also place the pancakes, still wrapped, in the microwave for 20 seconds.

    To serve, add the remaining hoisin and the plum sauce (if using) into two little pots, alongside the shredded vegetables, steamed pancakes and crispy mock duck. To fill the pancake, spread either hoisin or plum sauce onto the pancake, add a couple of pinches of shredded vegetables and a spoonful of mock duck. Wrap, roll and eat immediately.

     

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


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

  • Posted on January 18, 2018

    Vegan Coffee Toffee Cookies recipe

    Even in Veganuary, sometimes it’s just one of those afternoons and a biscuit is in order! Well with this delicious recipe you don’t have to miss out on the office tea round – sit back wth your cuppa and cookie and enjoy!

     vegan Coffee Toffee Biscuits

     

    30 g raw cocoa beans (or nibs) or 30 g cocoa powder

    100 g coconut oil

    100 g Demerara sugar

    60 ml plain soy milk

    2 teaspoons coffee extract

    1⁄4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

    200 g unbleached spelt flour

    1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder

    1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds

    1⁄4 teaspoon bourbon vanilla powder

    2 tablespoons ground almonds

    1⁄4 teaspoon salt

    1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    chopped nuts, for sprinkling

    For the icing

    65 g Demerara sugar

    1 tablespoon cornflour

    2 tablespoons plain soy milk

    1 teaspoon coffee extract 

    baking sheets, lined with parchment paper

    Makes 25

     

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

    If using cocoa beans, grind them in a coffee or spice grinder to a fine powder.

    If the coconut oil has solidified, put the jar in a bowl of hot water until the oil has softened. Whisk together the oil, sugar, milk, coffee extract and vinegar.

    In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder, then stir in the flaxseeds, vanilla powder, ground almonds, salt and cinnamon. Tip into the bowl of wet ingredients and mix into a smooth dough with a spatula.

    Divide the dough into 25 and roll into balls. Arrange them on the prepared baking sheets about 2 cm apart. Gently flatten each ball with the back of a spoon, trying to avoid making cracks. Bake in the preheated oven for 9–10 minutes. Do not overbake them – they should still be a little soft. Allow to cool completely on the baking sheets.

    For the icing, it's better to finely grind the sugar in a coffee or spice grinder, but you can also try without grinding it. Mix the cornflour into the milk in a heatproof bowl. Add the coffee extract and sugar and mix. Set over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water) and whisk well for a couple of minutes to allow the starch to thicken slightly over the steam. Remove from the heat, then allow to cool for 10 minutes.

    Spoon some icing over each cold cookie and sprinkle chopped nuts over the top. Allow to set for at least 1 hour after which the icing shouldn't be sticky, but smooth and firm to the touch.

    Store in an airtight container at room temperature, or, in the summer months, in the fridge. They will keep for up to 2 weeks.

     

    This recipe is from The Vegan Baker by Dunja Gulin, Photography by Clare Winfield © Ryland Peters & Small

    The Vegan Baker


    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, recipe for the weekend, sweet

  • Posted on January 4, 2018

    Vegan Coconut Bircher Muesli recipe

    With all of our great vegan cookbooks, we couldn't not embrace Veganuary this year! And of course, it wouldn't be fair not to share with you all, some of the delicious vegan recipes in them!

    We thought we'd kick off with the most important meal of the day, breakfast. This bircher muesli is great to make the night before so you can just grab it and go in the morning. All that’s left to do is add your toppings.

     vegan bircher muesli

    95 g rolled oats

    235 ml coconut or almond milk

    1 medium sweet apple (such as Honeycrisp or Pink Lady), grated

    1 tablespoon flax seeds

    1 teaspoon maple syrup

    ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

    pinch of salt

    1 teaspoon lemon juice

    FOR THE BERRY COMPOTE

    300 g mixed fresh or frozen berries (I love a mixture of raspberries, blueberries and/or blackberries)

    1 teaspoon maple syrup

    pinch of ground cinnamon

    1 teaspoon chia seeds (optional, although you will have to extend the cooking time by a little if you leave them out)

    OPTIONAL TOPPINGS

    toasted nuts and seeds

    toasted coconut flakes

    hemp seeds

    almond butter

    2 medium-sized sterilized jars with lids

    SERVES 2

     

    In a medium bowl, mix the muesli ingredients together until well combined. Portion between the two jars, cover with the lids and refrigerate overnight. (This gives the oats plenty of time to soften and soak up the flavours).

    Make the berry compote straight after preparing the oats. Combine the mixed berries, maple syrup and cinnamon with 120 ml water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over a medium heat, then stir in the chia seeds (if using). Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 7–8 minutes, until the liquid has reduced and the mixture is taking on a jammy consistency. If you are not using chia seeds, the mixture will need cooking for about 10–13 minutes. Allow to cool, then place in the fridge overnight with the oats.

    Serve the bircher muesli layered with or topped with the berry compote and any additional desired toppings.

     

    For more vegan recipes, check out The New Nourishing by Leah Vanderveldt, photography by Clare Winfield © Ryland Peters & Small.

    The New Nourishing


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with vegan, breakfast, recipe for the weekend, healthy, veganuary

  • Posted on December 20, 2017

    Chocolate Christmas Cake recipe

    If you've had no time to make a traditional Christmas cake this year, then we think this double chocolate Christmas cake from Angela Romeo's Fantasy Cakes is a pretty great alternative (if not even better!)

    chocolate christmas cake

    1 quantity of Double Chocolate Sponge mixture (see below) baked in three greased and lined 18-cm/7-inch cake pans for 40 minutes until an inserted cocktail stick/ toothpick comes out clean, then cooled

    1 quantity of Classic Buttercream (see below)

    40 g/generous 1/2 cup desiccated/dry unsweetened shredded coconut

    For the wild birch bark

    50 g/2 oz. dark/bittersweet chocolate, chopped

    300 g/101/2 oz. white chocolate

    2 baking sheets lined with baking parchment

    thin paintbrush

    retro Christmas cake decorations

    SERVES 22

     

    For the wild birch bark, melt the dark/bittersweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or microwave on high in 30-second bursts, stirring in between). Place the lined baking sheets so they are in a ‘landscape’ position in front of you. Using the paintbrush dipped in the dark/ bittersweet chocolate, brush small horizontal lines and 'knots' on the baking sheet (see chocolatey tip). Place the sheets in the fridge for 5 minutes to set.

    Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate in a separate heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or microwave on high in 30-second bursts, stirring in between). Remove the baking sheets from the fridge. Working on one sheet at a time, spoon over the white chocolate and spread out to a thin layer using a palette knife/metal spatula. Return to the fridge for 15 minutes.

    With the shortest side of the baking sheet facing you, gently roll up the baking parchment, allowing the bark to snap into thin-rectangular pieces. It doesn’t matter if you have a few irregular shards, these will still look really effective. Chill until needed.

    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 or cake board. Crumb-coat the cake using 450 g/1 lb. of the buttercream.

    Place in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes, then use the remaining buttercream to coat the cake in a second layer. Smooth and remove the excess buttercream with a palette knife/metal spatula – you don’t need to be too neat here as the whole cake will be covered in decoration.

    Gently press the bark into the sides of the cake, working around, until the sides are covered. Sprinkle over the desiccated/dried unsweetened shredded coconut, then position the Christmas cake decorations in place.

    Chocolatey tip: Have a small bowl of warm water nearby. If the chocolate starts to set on the paintbrush, clean the brush off in the warm water. Wipe with a paper towel and continue.

     

    Double chocolate sponge

    450 g/31/2 scant cups selfraising/ self-rising flour plus

    2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda, sifted (omit soda if baking with US flours)

    3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, mixed with 4 tablespoons just-boiled water

    500 g/21/2 cups caster/ superfine sugar

    240 g/21/4 sticks butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for greasing

    300 ml/11/4 cups buttermilk

    4 eggs

    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    150 g/51/2 oz. dark/bittersweet chocolate, melted

    MAKES ENOUGH FOR 1 LARGE CAKE

     

    Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) Gas 4. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and beat with an electric hand whisk until combined and smooth. 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.

     

    Classic buttercream

    300 g/23/4 sticks butter, softened and cubed

    200 g/7 oz. vegetable fat such as Trex or Cookeen, at room temperature

    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

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

    MAKES 1.5 KG/3 LB. 5 OZ.

     

    Using an electric hand whisk, beat the butter until light and creamy. Add the vegetable fat, vanilla and 2 tablespoons water. Gradually whisk in the icing/confectioners’ sugar in batches, until smooth and spreadable. Add another 1 tablespoon water, if needed.

     

    This recipe is from Fantasy Cakes by Angela Romeo, photography by Adrian Lawrence © Ryland Peters & Small

    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 christmas, baking, chocolate, recipe for the weekend, sweet

  • 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 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

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