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Friday, 29 May 2015

Breakfast Inspiration - A Sweet Way to Start Your Day



I have been working on this delicious little post for a while now. You may have noticed I have added a new Ideas and Inspiration tab to the blog. I am going to fill the ideas and inspiration page with post that bring together lots of the yummy ideas featured on the blog, in the hope that I can make some of my recipes and ideas easier to access and arrange them in a way that is more useful for you all. 

 So far I have posted a Cupcake Inspiration post and a Miniature Cupcake Inspiration post.  I will be adding lots more inspirational posts over the next few months, starting with this delicious Breakfast Inspiration post.  Not only will I be bring together existing recipes into one handy little post but I will also be including lots of new recipes and ideas.

This Breakfast Inspiration post will of course include lots of the obvious breakfast bakes you have no doubt come to expect from me, we're talking Muffins, Waffles, Doughnuts and Pancakes. These are what I would call naughty breakfasts or weekend breakfasts but I have also included some healthier fruity feasts, the kind of breakfasts I eat every day.

As the title of this post suggests I have not included any savoury breakfast options, I think you all know by now that my blog is almost entirely sweet centric.


Fruity Breakfast Ideas

Perfect Papaya

This gorgeous little papaya situation is one of my favourite breakfasts and one I have often.  It is so quick and easy to make and unbelievably delicious. Better yet it is a pretty healthy breakfast option, particularly by my standards. It is so yummy that you won't feel like you are missing out even if everyone around you is having something decidedly less nourishing.




To make, simply halve a papaya, wrap one half in cling film or plastic wrap and pop it back in the fridge for the next day. Scoop the seeds out of the papaya half with a spoon and set the papaya on a plate.  Fill the cavity with Greek Yogurt, top with raspberries and sprinkle with toasted coconut and chopped nuts. If you are naughty like me you can even dust with a little powdered sugar.

 You can add any fruit you like to the top of your yogurt, small fruits or small chunks of fruit will work best. A combination of berries is absolutely delicious. 

Greek Yogurt is a must for this recipe, Natural Yogurt or standard fruity yogurts will generally be too liquid and will start to drip down the sides of your papaya.

Prepping a little Tupperware container filled with Breakfast Sprinkle will make your breakfasts even quicker to make. Simply combine chopped mixed nuts with toasted coconut in an airtight container and store in the cupboard to sprinkle on top of all sorts of breakfasts whenever the fancy takes you. This is also a great for sprinkling on ice cream.

Mango, Blackberries, Natural Yogurt and Toasted Coconut



Fruit and Yogurt is a pretty typical breakfast for me, I generally like to eat pretty light in the mornings. Above I have cubed mango, added freshly picked blackberries and served the fruit with Organic Natural Yogurt and sprinkled the whole lot with toasted coconut.

Fruity Porridge

Porridge is a great breakfast, it is seriously filling and will definitely keep you going until lunch.  My boyfriend is a classic sort of guy and always has his porridge sprinkled with dark brown Muscovado sugar. The sugar melts into beautiful sweet molasses, it's a classic for a reason and like him it is totally delicious.

I like to get a little more creative with my Porridge. Below you can see two different versions, both favourites of mine. 

On the left I have piled chunks of Pineapple and Mango on top of the porridge and drizzled with organic honey. 

On the right is my Very Berry Porridge, served with a beautiful pile of blueberries, raspberries and cherries and a little dusting of powdered vanilla sugar. 


“Porridge”/“Porridge”/


To Make your Porridge:

You will need approximately 50g of porridge oats and 350ml of milk or almond milk per person.

Put the oats and milk in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Gently simmer the oats for around 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. I always stir in a teaspoon of sugar to my porridge at the end but as you may have noticed I have a pretty serious sweet tooth and it is not really necessary, especially if you are topping the porridge with something sweet.

To serve, pour the porridge into bowls, spoon on your desired topping, drizzle with honey or syrup or dust with a little powdered sugar.

Glorious Granola

“Granola”/
“Granola”/

I am such a huge fan of Granola, you can fine my recipe here:


I have included two flavours in the recipe above but I have also given you suggestions for a whole heap of gorgeous flavours in the same post so go crazy.

Pistachio, Coconut, Pineapple and Papaya Granola and Blueberry, Maple and Pecan Granola are also favourites of mine. This Granola is gorgeous just with milk or almond milk but I have included a few other serving suggestions to get you inspired.

Below I have served my Granola with Mango, Raspberries, Organic Natural Yogurt and a generous sprinkle of chopped Pistachios. Plus check out the epic fruit plate on the side, Watermelon slices, with Mango and Mixed Berries.



Mango and Pistachio Granola served with Organic Natural Yogurt and sliced Nectarines.



Mixed Berry Granola served with Greek Yogurt sprinkled with chopped Pistachios, Grapes and little Kiwi hearts.  



To make the little Kiwi hearts, peel a Kiwi fruit and slice into thick rounds. Use a little heart shaped cookie cutter to stamp out little heart shapes from the centre of each round.


Muffin Recipes

We are now entering the naughtier realms of breakfast deliciousness. From here on out we are pretty much in weekend breakfast territory.

It's obvious that I was always going to be a muffin fan. Muffins are, after all just cupcakes without their clothes on.  Here are a few of my favourite Muffin Recipes.


These gorgeous muffins are one of my absolute favourites, they are packed full of White Chocolate Chunks and sprinkled with chopped Pistachios, Coconut and Demerara Sugar.  They rise beautifully and everyone who has tried them absolutely loves them. 



These little bad boys are seriously delicious, they are so beautifully light and fluffy with a lightly cinnamon and coconut scented interior and an ever so slightly crisp shell. They really are the most heavenly little muffins.



Blueberry Muffins are a classic for a reason, you just cannot go wrong with light and fluffy muffins, studded with beautiful purple blueberries.



Both of these delicious recipes make slightly healthier muffins, the operative word being slightly. Both are more unusual flavours that I absolutely love and highly recommend.

“Marmalade“Caramelised


English Pancakes or CrĂªpes

I love pancakes. English, American, I'm not fussed, pancakes are just the best.

I decided to include my English Pancake recipe in this post instead of American Pancakes because we have waffles coming up and I wanted a little variation.  These pancakes are so easy to make and can be served with literally anything you like. Here I have stuck to the traditional Lemon and Sugar, it's my favourite and in my opinion the absolute best way to eat English Pancakes.


To make the Pancakes you will need:

125g plain flour
pinch of salt
2 large free range eggs
350ml milk
20g unsalted butter, melted plus extra for the pan

To serve:

lemon wedges
caster sugar

Sift together the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Hold the sieve high above the bowl to air the flour as much as possible. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the eggs. Begin to whisk the eggs, incorporating a little of the flour as you mix, gradually begin to pour in the milk, just a little at a time, continuing to whisk the entire time.

Once all of the milk has been incorporated, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure that all the flour is completely combined. Whisk once more and ensure that the batter is completely smooth. Add the melted butter to the batter and whisk until completely incorporated.

Place a non stick flying pan over a high heat until really hot, turn the heat down to a medium and add a little butter to the pan. Once the butter has melted take a folded piece of kitchen roll and smear the butter around the pan.

Ladle a small ladle-full of batter into the frying pan, as soon as the batter touches the pan, tilt and tip it from side to side to evenly coat the entire base of the frying pan with an even layer of batter.  Your pancake will only take a minute or so to cook.  Use a palette knife to gently lift the edge of the pancake, the underside should be lightly browned.

Flip the pancake over using a palate knife and cook the other side for a few seconds. Slide the pancake out of the pan and onto a plate.

Continue, repeating this process until all of your pancake batter has been used up.

To serve, squeeze a little lemon juice over each pancake and sprinkle with a little caster sugar.  Using your palate knife, fold the pancakes in half and then in half again to make little triangles.

Makes 10-15 depending on the size of your pan.

I recommend using a 20-25cm non stick frying pan.


Waffles


I absolutely love waffles and these little mini waffles are absolutely heavenly.


Click the link below to take you to the recipe, where you will also find my scrumptious Nutella Dipping Sauce Recipe.


Doughnuts

I thought I would round up this post with what has to be the naughtiest breakfast of all naughty breakfasts. Doughnuts!

These delicious Brioche Doughnuts are just the best, I love them so much I am only allowed to bake them a few times a year otherwise I would literally be the size of a house.

These doughnuts are my go-to birthday breakfast, I know you will absolutely love them. Follow the instructions to the letter and you are guaranteed prefect doughnuts.



That's it for now but I will continue to add to and update this post on occasion. 

I hope I have left you suitably inspired and whatever your breakfast plans, have a great one.

X





Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Spring Time Carrot Cake Recipe



Carrot Cake has always been one of my favourite cakes and this beautiful Springtime version is just gorgeous.  


My love for carrot cake has a lot to do with the cake, light but robust and sweetly cinnamon scented, it really is heavenly but my love for carrot cake also has a lot to do with the frosting. Cream Cheese Frosting is without a doubt my favourite frosting, I love the silky smoothness of it, that slight tang behind the sweetness, it really is perfect.


I have decorated this carrot cake with pretty flowers from my garden and cake crumbs. I bake the cake in four layers and level off the top of each layer, reserving the cut offs to crumble and sprinkle all over the cake.  

I make this cake a lot, below you can see another version, with crumbs but without flowers. 

I do not think this cake needs to be too heavily frosted, the frosting is creamy and sweet and a little goes a long way but if you prefer a thicker coating or more frosting between layers you can absolutely scale up the quantities in the frosting.


Grate your carrots before you begin and tip them onto a plate covered with kitchen roll, I like to take a few extra pieces of kitchen roll and pat the grated carrots to absorb some of the excess moister before proceeding with the recipe.

Carrot Cake

325g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
4 large eggs
295g caster sugar
150g light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla paste
225ml unrefined cold press organic sunflower oil
425g grated carrot

4 x 20cm springform cake tins

To make the cake:

Preheat the oven to 160C.

Butter and flour your 4 cake tins and set aside,(I like to add a little cinnamon to the flour before dusting).

In a medium bowl sift together the plain flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt, set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl beat together the eggs and both sugars until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla paste and beat until evenly distributed.

Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and stir just to combine.

Stir in the oil and grated carrot, ensuring the carrot is evenly distributed and no traces of oil remain.

Divide the mixture between the 4 cake tins and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for 10-20 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

150g butter, room temperature
375g icing sugar
275g cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla paste

Beat the butter for 1-2 minutes until soft and smooth. Add the icing sugar and beat for a further 2-3 minutes scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl halfway through.

Add the cream cheese and vanilla paste and beat just until creamy, smooth and fully incorporated. Do not over beat.

To Assemble:

Level your cake layers if you wish, taking just a little off the top to flatten the surface. (Reserve the off cuts for decorating the cake). Frost between each layer and then cover the top and sides of the cake. 

Crumble the off cuts into fine crumbs and sprinkle over the cake.



Enjoy!

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies




I feel I should probably start this post by promising that this will be my last coconut themed bake for at least a little while. I think I've posted three coconut based recipes in as many weeks.


I just couldn't help myself! These cookies are so yummy!



They are like the chocolate chip cookie version of a Bounty chocolate bar and I am well and truly hooked. I make mine with big fat chocolate chunks that melt into glorious pools of molten chocolate when baked.

You can use Milk, White or Dark Chocolate, or indeed a combination of chocolate like I have here. 



Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 10 Large Cookies

180g plain flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
100g coconut oil
60g light brown sugar
75g caster sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla paste
30g shredded coconut
75g milk chocolate, chopped into chunks
50g white chocolate, chopped into chunks

Preheat the oven to 180C (170C Fan).

Line 2 cookie sheets with baking paper and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl sift together the flour, salt, bicarbonate soda and baking powder, set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl with a handheld mixer, cream together the coconut oil and both sugars.

Add the egg and beat until fully incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the vanilla paste and continue to beat for 1 minute.

Gradually add the flour mixture, beating at the lowest speed until the dough just comes together.

Fold in the coconut and the milk and white chocolate chunks.

Divide the cookie dough into equal rounds and place on the prepared cookie trays.

Place the cookie trays in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or until the cookie dough rounds feel firm to the touch.

Place the cookie trays in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 10-12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are golden brown.  

Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheets for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.




Enjoy!

Friday, 10 April 2015

White Chocolate, Coconut and Pistachio Muffins



These muffins are like a little breakfast day dream.

They combine so many glorious ingredients, white chocolate, pistachios, coconut, a glorious sprinkling of demerara sugar. 

I wasn't actually planning to post this recipe, I just whipped up a batch for my sister but as soon as I tasted them I knew I had to share the deliciousness with you all.


I used homemade sweetened grated coconut to top my muffins, you can find my recipe here: Brown Sugar Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

Follow the instructions for making my toasted coconut but bake the coconut for the initial 40 minutes only (at 100C) and then remove from the oven and allow to cool before using. You do not want to toast the coconut yet as it will toast in the oven as the muffins are baking.

You can uses sweetened, unsweetend, grated, desiccated or shaved coconut to top these muffins so feel free to use what you have handy.


White Chocolate, Coconut and Pistachio Muffins

Makes 10 large muffins

For the Muffins:

250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder 
3/4 tsp salt
110g unsalted butter, room temperature
165g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla paste
125ml milk
85g white chocolate, chopped into chunks

For the Topping:

20g pistachios, finely chopped
25g grated, shaved or desiccated coconut
20g demerara sugar 


Preheat the oven to 190C.

Line a 12-hole muffin tray with 12 cupcake cases and set aside.

Begin by making your topping: combine the chopped pistachios, grated coconut and demerara sugar in a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a separate large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla paste and beat until combined.

Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk and beat on a low speed just to combine. Do not over mix. Gently fold in the white chocolate chunks, ensuring they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Divide the batter between the 12 holes of your prepared muffin tray, sprinkle the top of each muffin with the pistachio and coconut topping, turn the oven down to 170 C  and bake for around 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the centre of one of the muffins comes out clean.

Remove the muffins from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate Macarons



Salted Caramel Macarons are almost certainly one of mankind's greatest achievements. I mean really, have you ever tasted anything more jaw droopingly delicious? 


The very first macaron I ever ate was a Salted Caramel Macaron and I was lucky enough to be eating it in Paris. My infatuation was instant and I made my first ever batch of macarons the very day I landed back in the UK. 

These delicious little macarons combine not one but two of the most delicious things known to man, salted caramel and chocolate.

My Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate Macarons are sandwiched together with silky smooth Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate Ganache and an extra drizzle of Salted Caramel for good measure.

You will probably have a little salted caramel left over, I highly recommend adding a teaspoon or two to your coffee or drizzling the caramel over ice cream or hot chocolate.


Salted Caramel

150ml double cream
150ml golden syrup
75ml sour cream
sea salt to taste

Combine the double cream and golden syrup in a large heavy based saucepan. Place over a medium heat and allow to bubble for around 10 minutes until thick. Do not stir.

Remove the pan from the heat and without stirring, pour the caramel into a clean bowl and allow to cool before adding the salt to taste.

Caramel Macarons

160g icing sugar
160g ground almonds 
5g cocoa powder

4 medium egg whites, separated into two equal batches

160g caster sugar
50ml water

Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sieve together the icing sugar, ground almonds and cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the first batch of egg whites (unbeaten) to the almond mixture but do not mix. Set aside.

Tip the second batch of egg whites into the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment.  

Place the 50ml water and the caster sugar into a small saucepan and place over a medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the syrup registers 110C on a sugar thermometer, at which time start beating the egg whites in the stand mixer on a high speed. Once the syrup has reached 118C remove the pan from the heat and immediately pour it slowly down the side of the mixer bowl, avoiding the still spinning whisk. Continue to whisk on high until the mixture has cooled slightly and you have a shiny peaked meringue mixture - the bowl should no longer be hot to the touch, but still warm. 

Tip the meringue onto the almond mixture and gently fold together. It is important not to over-mix the batter - it should fall in a thick ribbon from the spatula. The ribbon should fade back into the batter within about 30 seconds - if it does not, fold a few more times.

Heat the oven to 170C/160C Fan/ gas 3-4. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a plain round nozzle. Pipe rounds onto the prepared baking sheets, knock the air out of the macarons by giving the bottom of the tray a whack on the kitchen counter and leave to rest for 30 minutes, or until the macarons have developed a skin. 

Bake the macarons for around 14 minutes or until they no longer wobble when pushed gently with a finger. Once out of the oven immediately slide the parchment onto a work surface and cool for a few minutes before gently peeling the shells off the paper.

Pair up your macaron shells ready to fill.



Milk Chocolate Salted Caramel Ganache

50g unsalted butter
175ml salted caramel
150ml double cream
120g milk chocolate finely chopped

Place the butter, caramel and double cream in a small saucepan and heat just until it begins to boil. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the cream mixture over the milk chocolate.  Stir the ganache until all the chocolate is melted. Set the ganache aside to cool before beating until you reach a piping consistency.


To Assemble:

Pair up your macaron shells, pipe or spoon Salted Caramel Ganache onto the flat side of one macaron in each pair, drizzle with a little extra Salted Caramel and top with the remaining macaron shell. Repeat until all of your macaron shells are sandwiched together.

Enjoy!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Brown Sugar Toasted Coconut Ice Cream



This delicious ice cream blew my little mind. 

I absolutely love this flavour!
The ice cream itself is not actually overtly coconut flavoured. The toasted coconut, coconut milk and brown sugar culminate in a beautifully smooth nutty depth of flavour, giving this ice cream a more complex flavour profile. You can tell it's special the second you taste it.


I made my Toasted Coconut from freshly grated coconut and it was absolutely amazing! I will never buy sweetened, unsweetened, shredded or desiccated coconut from a store ever again.

To make my freshly grated coconut I pierced the 'eyes' of my coconut and drained the liquid, I called in my boyfriend and his trusty hammer to crack it open. He struck halfway down the coconut with the hammer and to our surprise it split perfectly in half.  I used a blunt knife to ease the white flesh away from the shell and grated it using a fine cheese grater.

I then mixed the grated coconut with a little icing sugar and popped it in the oven. I dried it at a low temperature first and then turned the oven up to toast until golden brown.

It is entirely up to you how you use your toasted coconut, you can reserve it all for sprinkling on top of the ice cream before serving or you can add half of the toasted coconut to the ice cream during the last minute of churning.

I personally like the ice cream smooth and silky with the toasted coconut sprinkled liberally on top.


Toasted Coconut

100g freshly grated coconut
20g icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 100C.

Combine the grated coconut and icing sugar in a small mixing bowl, stirring to combine.  Spread the coconut out onto a parchment lined baking tray and bake for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the coconut feels completely dry to the touch.

To toast the coconut turn the oven up to 170C.

Bake the coconut stirring occasionally until golden brown all over. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container for storage.


Brown Sugar Toasted Coconut 
Ice Cream

2 large eggs
165g light brown sugar
550ml double cream
200ml coconut milk

toasted coconut

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs for 1-2 minutes, add the sugar and continue to whisk for a further 2 minutes.

Pour in the cream and coconut milk and whisk to blend.

Pour the ice cream mixture into your ice cream maker and churn as per the manufacturers instructions.

You can add half of your toasted coconut to the ice cream during the last minute or so of churning if you wish, reserving the rest for sprinkling or reserve the whole lot for sprinkling and garnishing.


Enjoy!