baking

Fruity pancakes

Posted on Thursday, 26th February, 2009. Filed under: baking, recipes |

I really have to write here more often, every time I come back it’s different and even more confusing… Anyway.

Between the ME and a yucky cold I wasn’t well enough to make pancakes on Tuesday, and felt very deprived! I’m finally feeling up to some light cooking, but although I’m not bad at the traditional thin British pancakes they’re a bit fiddly at the best of times, so I went for something I couldn’t mess up. I have a lovely new big, sturdy frying pan too because it had Ā£10 off šŸ™‚ Getting the hang of what setting the hob needed to be on with a new pan meant that most of them were rather black, until the last two perfectly golden ones, but they were still tasty!

1 medium banana, very ripe
175g forest fruits yoghurt
1 large egg
100g self-raising flour

With a fork, mash the banana in a bowl, then whisk in the egg and yoghurt. Add flour and mix thoroughly with a spoon. Drop in spoonfuls onto a hot, lightly greased frying pan. When bubbles form on the surface, flip over and cook on the other side until set and golden. Cool any you’re not eating immediately between layers of kitchen paper.

My yoghurt is a Lidl one because it’s the only unthickened one I can find these days – still haven’t forgiven Yeo Valley for putting yucky tapioca starch in theirs, which I used to love! – so you might need to add a touch of milk to slacken it off to the right consistency if you’re using a more typical one. And of course, forest fruits is just one I happened to have. Strawberry would be a classic combination with the banana.

Hmm, writing this is making me want seconds as I have leftovers cooling on the worktop… I ended up with I think 9 or 10, using a dessert spoon to drop them.

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Naan Bread

Posted on Monday, 8th September, 2008. Filed under: baking |

I’ve been wanting to make naan bread for ages, but seeing this recipe on TV finally prompted me into it as I particularly liked the look of it. I did make some changes. Rather than the seeds suggested I used black onion seeds, as they’re the ones that give the distinctive taste to every naan I’ve ever had. I used melted butter rather than oil, and sunflower oil to brush them with as olive oil just seems really wrong. Rather than two teaspoons I used 50g, mostly because that’s how much of a pack I had left and it was easiest to dump it straight in the pan from the wrapper, but also I thought it could probably do with a bit of extra fat as I could only find fat-free yoghurt. I cooked them under the grill rather than in the oven – it’s so much fun watching them puff up as they cook! – and wrapped them in teatowels to cool so they would stay soft rather than getting a crust on them.

There are no words for how well they turned out. The taste and texture are utterly divine. I will definitely be using this recipe again (and again), and probably adapting it to other types of flatbreads too.

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Bruschetta-flatbread thing

Posted on Sunday, 24th February, 2008. Filed under: baking |

It’s not what I’d normally regard as a bruschetta, but it’s my recreation of what comes under that name in my favourite deli.

BruschettaĀ flatbread

I used Nigella Lawson’s recipe for Garlic & Parsley Hearthbreads from How To Be a Domestic Goddess, but used basil instead of parsley in the topping, and then added tomato, onion and roasted red peppers (the latter from a jar) on top of that. It is gooood. I like it better than the deli one, actually.

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Seed cake recipe and sock yarn stash

Posted on Wednesday, 2nd May, 2007. Filed under: baking, recipes, yarn |

I always wanted to try seed cake as it was mentioned in so many old novels I read, but I didn’t even really have any clue what it was until last year sometime. After finally trying it, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it, both the flavour (liquorice-y) and the texture of the caraway seeds are very strange to find in a cake when you’re not used to it. However, a slice or two further in and I was definitely a fan. Unusual but delicious, and knowing it’s so old-fashioned just makes it more fun!

As usual, I’ve ended up coming up with my own recipe adapted from a combination of others in my collection of books and my own favourite ways of doing things.

100g butter
100g + 2tspn caster sugar
150g self-raising flour
2 eggs
3tspn brandy
2 1/2 tspn caraway seeds

Cream the butter and sugar (apart from the extra two teaspoons) until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a spoonful of flour with each. Add the brandy, and fold in the rest of the flour and two teaspoons of caraway seeds. Put into a 1lb loaf tin, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining sugar and half teaspoon of seeds. Bake at 160C/Gas Mark 3 for 50 minutes – 1 hour, until firm and springy and a skewer comes out clean.

Seed cake

And now on to the knitting. I finally got my yarn I’ve been waiting for! The first parcel ended up officially lost, I hate stupid Royal Mail!! And by the time this had been established, they (Violet Green) had run out of the yarn that made me order in the first place, as it reminded me of parrots. šŸ˜¦ They were very nice and helpful, though, and I chose some reasonably similar replacements.

yarnskeins.jpg

It’s such gorgeous stuff! I actually squealed and said “oh wow!” when I put my hand in the bag because it felt so soft and lovely. The ones on the left and in the middle (OK, I only bought an undyed skein because it was cheap) are merino, the one on the right is pure silk, so I’m still trying to decide how best to proceed with it for use in socks without falling down round my ankles. Although the fact that I like them not much above my ankles to start with will no doubt help. This is the first time I’ve bought yarn in skeins, and after winding that silk into a ball, I’ve decided I need a yarn swift. It took me over an hour! And my shoulder was so achey by the end. I actually enjoy winding balls of yarn and often rewind ones I’m using anyway, but it’s all the reaching to uncoil it from around my knees/feet (I haven’t decided which works best) that did me in.

I’ve knitted the first of a pair of Hedera in white On-Line (or whatever it’s called) yarn, also because it’s cheap. I don’t know when the other one’s going to get done though, as right now I’m starting on a pair in Regia cotton that I hope will be my first attempt at writing out a pattern properly! *I* know what I’m doing when I start experimenting, but getting it into a format that makes sense to other people is another matter. I’m very pleased with how they’re looking so far, hope I don’t mess anything up as they progress.

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