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Tag Archives: sweet
  • 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 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 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 October 17, 2017

    Behind the Scenes - Fantasy Cakes

    As a special mid-week treat, we're letting you in on what goes on behind the scenes in our photoshoots, with these sneak peak pics from our brand new baking book coming out next month! These photoshoots are hard, serious work and never involve any taste testing ... Ok, we wouldn't believe us either! This particular photoshoot involved lots and lots of cake!

     

    All the prep is done so the photoshoot can run smoothly...

    Behind the scenes fantasy cakes

    On your marks, get set...BAKE!

    Behind the scenes fantasy cakes

    Some have to be taste tested...of course!

    Behind the scenes fantasy cakes

    Now it's time to get messy!

    Behind the scenes fantasy cakes

    Sneak peek of the finished product before it's photographed for the book...

    Behind the scenes fantasy cakes

    Everything coming together after a busy day...

    Behind the scenes fantasy cakes

    Thanks to all the team!

    Behind the scenes fantasy cakes

    Keep an eye out next month for Fantasy Cakes by Angela Romeo.

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  • Posted on September 28, 2017

    Poached apples with maple pecans

    These simple juice-poached cinnamon apples make the most of natural sweetness and make a lovely Autumnal dessert. Serve these warm with the creamy topping of your choice and don’t skip the maple pecans – they’re super easy and make for good snacking if you have some leftover.

    the new nourishing poached apples

    2 sweet apples (I would use Honeycrisp or Pink Lady for this)

    ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

    235–350 ml/1– 1 ½ cups unfiltered apple juice

    40 g/1⁄3 cup pecans, roughly chopped

    1 teaspoon coconut oil

    1 teaspoon maple syrup

    vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or yogurt, to serve (optional)

    SERVES 4

     

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

    Cut the apples in half widthways and scoop out the seeds in the centre with a spoon to create a little well.

    Sprinkle the white apple flesh with cinnamon. In a small roasting pan with high sides (I use a 20 x 20-cm/8 x 8-inch one), place the apples face-down and pour in the apple juice, making sure that it covers the entire base of the roasting pan and comes a quarter to a third of the way up the apples. Bake in the preheated oven for 45–55 minutes until the apples are tender.

    Meanwhile, toast the pecans in a dry frying pan/skillet over a medium-low heat for about 4–5 minutes, tossing a few times, until fragrant and beginning to turn golden.

    Move the pecans to one side of the pan to clear a little space. Add the coconut oil and allow to melt. Add the maple syrup and stir into the oil using a rubber spatula (it should be bubbling a bit). Stir to combine and evenly coat the pecans. Remove from the heat and transfer the pecans onto a piece of baking parchment. Leave to cool and set fully before serving (I pop them in the fridge to speed the cooling time if the kitchen is warm).

    Serve the poached apples topped with the pecans and ice cream (vegan ice cream is encouraged), whipped cream or yogurt.

     

    This recipe is from The New Nourishing by Leah Vanderveldt.

    The New Nourishing

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  • Posted on September 14, 2017

    Genoise sponge with raspberries

    This light and airy sponge cake hails from the Italian city of Genoa. Created with no chemical raising agents, the cake’s incredible lightness comes solely from ultra-whipped eggs. Feel free to decorate your Genoise sponge as you choose, but we think it is a perfect way to use up all the delicious fresh raspberries that are being harvested at this time of year. The simple light sponge and cream will perfectly compliment the tangy raspberries - delicious!

    LOLAs raspberry Genoise_sponge

    Genoise sponge with raspberries

    30 g/1 /4  stick butter

    6 eggs

    200 g/1 cup caster/granulated sugar

    160 g/scant 1 1/4  cups plain/ all-purpose flour

    25 g/1/8 cup cornflour/cornstarch

    250 ml/1 cup double/heavy cream, softly whipped

    400 g/14 oz. fresh raspberries

    icing/confectioners’ sugar, to dust

    23-cm/9-inch round loose-bottom or springform cake pan, greased and lined with baking parchment

    MAKES 1 LARGE CAKE

     

    Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) Gas 3.

    Melt the butter and set aside to cool.

    Place the eggs and the sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or use a hand-held electric whisk and large mixing bowl) and beat together on a high speed until trebled in size and a light and creamy colour. This will take about 5 minutes.

    Carefully sift the flour and cornflour/ cornstarch onto the egg mixture and slowly fold in using a metal spoon to combine.

    Gently fold through the melted butter – you do not want to lose all the air that you have whisked into the eggs at this point, so take your time to combine everything.

    Pour the mixture carefully into the prepared cake pan and bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until well risen, golden and springy to the touch.

    Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then slowly run a knife around the edge of the pan to release the cake. Turn it onto a wire rack to cool completely and remove the baking parchment while still warm.

    Using a serrated knife, slice horizontally through the middle of the sponge to create two even layers. Spoon the whipped cream onto the bottom layer of the sponge and arrange half of the raspberries in a circular pattern. Place the other layer of the sponge on top, then decorate with the remaining raspberries. Lightly dust with icing/ confectioners’ sugar.

    Serve straightaway with a cup of tea or glass of champagne if you wish – delicious!

     

    For more tempting cake recipes, check out LOLA's A Cake Journey Around the World.

    LOLAs A Cake Journey

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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 baking, recipe for the weekend, sweet

  • Posted on August 10, 2017

    Vegan Fruit Tea Bread recipe

    This recipe is a great, not totally naughty but lovely and indulgent, afternoon treat! The healthy combination of ingredients are transformed, with a little love and effort, into a very tasty loaf that will make the whole family happy. Not to mention the fact that many ingredients in this recipe can be replaced with any of the fruits, seeds and nuts that have been cluttering your kitchen cupboards for months!

    the vegan baker teabread

    Vegan Fruit Tea Bread

    60 g/1⁄2 cup dried plums

    60 g/1⁄2 cup dates

    40 g/1⁄3 cup dried cranberries

    2 tablespoons dried goji berries

    60 g/1⁄2 cup raisins

    330 ml/11⁄2 cups strong, hot tea (eg. rosehip and aniseed)

    3 tablespoons brown rice or pure maple syrup

    freshly squeezed juice and grated zest of 1 orange

    65 g/1⁄3 cup sunflower oil

    200 g/1 1⁄2 cups flour (eg. unbleached spelt flour plus unbleached plain/ all-purpose flour)

    1 teaspoon baking powder

    1 teaspoon bicarbonate of/ baking soda

    1⁄4 teaspoon salt

    1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

    1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger

    110 g/2⁄3 cup chopped cashews

    110 g/2⁄3 cup chopped walnuts

    3 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts or pine nuts

    1-kg/2-lb. loaf pan, oiled

    Makes 8–10 slices

     

    Chop all the dried fruit into pieces roughly the same size as the raisins. Take the strong, hot tea and pour over the chopped fruit in a mixing bowl. Allow it to steep for at least 30 minutes or longer.

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

    Add the syrup, orange juice and zest and the oil to the bowl of soaked fruit and mix well.

    In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of/baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cashews, walnuts and hazelnuts or pine nuts. Add them to the fruit mixture and mix again with a wooden spoon until incorporated.

    Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared loaf pan and spread level with a spatula. Bake in the preheated oven for 45–55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

    Serve a slice of the cake with a cup of hot tea, of the same type used in the cake!

     

    For more sweet and savoury vegan bakes, check out The Vegan Baker by Dunja Gulin.

    The Vegan Baker

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  • Posted on July 28, 2017

    Chocolate and Hazelnut Squares recipe

    These Swedish cookies are from our new book The Lagom Life and we think they're the perfect bake for a lazy Sunday afternoon. So take some time out for a little fika and give them a try!

    chocnutsquares

    'nötchokladrutor' chocolate and nut squares

    When my parents had gatherings at home with friends or family, after dessert there always had to be a  kaka till kaffet, which basically means a “biscuit with coffee.” When coffee was served, you also wanted something a little bit sweet to go with it, so my mom would often bake these. They are quick to make, the perfect lagom size, and my favorite from the cookie tray. I particularly love the crunch of the hazelnuts on top.

     

     Makes about 20 squares

    7 tablespoons/100g butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing

    scant ¾ cup/140g superfine/ caster sugar

    ½ teaspoon baking powder

    2 tablespoons cocoa powder

    1 egg

    1 teaspoon vanilla sugar or vanilla extract

    ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon/75g all-purpose/plain flour

    ¾ cup/100g chopped hazelnuts

     

    Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/

    Gas 6. Grease a baking sheet about 10 x 14 inches/25 x 35cm or larger, and line with parchment paper. If using a larger baking sheet, only prepare an area no larger than 10 x 14 inches/ 25 x 35cm. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, using a hand-held electric whisk or a balloon whisk. Add the baking powder and cocoa and blend until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla sugar or extract and whisk until incorporated. Sift in the flour and mix until blended and you have a batter that resembles smooth butter. Spread the batter evenly on the baking sheet. Scatter the chopped nuts on top.

    Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes and cut into squares while still warm. Let cool and store in an airtight container.

     

    For more fika recipes, check out The Lagom Life by Elisabeth Carlsson.

    The Lagom Life

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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 chocolate, recipe for the weekend, sweet, lagom, fika

  • Posted on July 13, 2017

    Lime and Mint Granita recipe

    Simple and delicious, this ice-cold granita couldn’t be more refreshing on a hot summers day. Best served with a good helping of sunshine!

    lime and mint granita

    Lime and Mint Granita

    150 g/ ¾ cup granulated sugar

    grated zest of 2 limes

    100 ml/scant ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice

    90 g/4 ½ cups fresh mint (I like to use apple mint)

    lime slices, to serve

    SERVES 8

     

    Pour 600 ml/2 1⁄2 cups cold water into a small saucepan, add the sugar and lime zest and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved.

    Add half the mint (there’s no need to chop or remove stalks) to the saucepan, then take it off the heat. Cover with a lid and allow to stand for 10 minutes, then remove the lid and let the mixture cool to room temperature.

    Once cool, strain the mixture through a sieve/strainer into a large jug/ pitcher, pressing firmly on the mint to extract all the flavour. Stir the lime juice into the mint syrup and then pour into an airtight lidded freezer container, 30 x 15 cm/12 x 6 in.

    Place the granita in the freezer, then check it after 1 hour. Once it begins to freeze around the edges, take a fork and stir the mixture, breaking up the frozen parts near the edges into smaller chunks and raking them towards the centre.

    Return the container to the freezer, then check the mixture every 30 minutes, stirring each time and breaking up any large chunks into small pieces with a fork, until you have fine crystals of granita. If at any time the granita freezes too hard, simply leave it out at room temperature for a few minutes until it softens enough to be stirred again with a fork, and rake it back into crystals. Then return it to the freezer.

    Serve in small glasses decorated with the remaining extra sprigs of mint and lime slices.

     

    For more summer inspired recipes, check out Lemons and Limes by Ursula Ferrigno.

    lemons and limes by ursula ferrigno

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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 recipe for the weekend, sweet, summer, granita

  • Posted on July 6, 2017

    Chocolate Fudge Ice-Cream recipe

    On World Chocolate Day, what’s better, more simple and spectacular than rich chocolate fudge ice cream? Rippled with a simple fudge sauce, this chocolate ice cream is super indulgent, but isn’t that what you want? It was made to make you smile!

    chocolate fudge ice cream

    Chocolate Fudge Ice-Cream

    350 ml/1 1⁄3 cups whole milk

    500 ml/2 cups double/ heavy cream

    5 egg yolks

    125 g/1 1⁄4 cups soft light brown sugar

    150 g/1 1⁄2 cups caster/ granulated sugar

    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

    a pinch of salt

    40 g/1⁄3 cup cocoa powder

    125 g/1 cup dark/ bittersweet chocolate (70%), chopped

    Fudge ripple

    175 ml/2⁄3 cup double/ heavy cream

    75 g/3⁄4 cup soft light brown sugar

    4 tablespoons golden/ light corn syrup or liquid glucose

    100 g/3⁄4 cup dark/ bittersweet chocolate

    30 g/1⁄4 cup cocoa powder

    25 g/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    a pinch of salt

    Waffle cones

    6–8 waffle cones

    100 g/3⁄4 cup tempered dark/bittersweet chocolate

    chopped hazelnuts

     

    an ice cream machine

    Makes 1 1⁄2 litres/2 1⁄2 pints and serves 6–8

     

    To make the ice cream, heat the milk and half of the cream in a saucepan or pot set over a medium heat until just below boiling.

    Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks, both sugars, vanilla and salt in a large mixing bowl until smooth and light.

    Steadily pour 3–4 tablespoons of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly until smooth. Add the cocoa powder and whisk again. Add the remaining milk and whisk until combined. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Take care not to let it boil or the eggs will scramble.

    Tip the chopped chocolate into a large mixing bowl and pour the hot mixture on top. Add the remaining double/heavy cream and whisk until you have a silky smooth, chocolatey custard. Set aside until cool, then cover with clingfilm/plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare the fudge ripple. Put all of the ingredients in a saucepan or pot set over a low heat, and warm through, whisking constantly until smooth. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.

    Churn in the ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Spoon a quarter of the ice cream into a freezer container in an even layer. Top with a couple of tablespoons of fudge ripple and continue this layering, ending with a swirled layer of fudge ripple on the top. Freeze the ice cream overnight, until firm.

    To serve, dip each waffle cone in tempered dark/bittersweet chocolate and then in the chopped hazelnuts. Scoop the ice cream into the cone and enjoy!

     

    For more delicious chocolate recipes,  check  outChocolate at Home by Will Torrent.

    chocolate at home by will torrent

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