Tag Archives: food photography

Spelt Focaccia Bread

I’m no Paul Hollywood but I have to say I’m quite liking my bread making experience recently. For Christmas I got Ajay a bread making course. I thought it would be a nice brother sister bonding day making bread together…etc.etc. Although the class wasn’t as mind blowing as I thought but I did learn how easy Focaccia bread is to make!

Serving 2

For me this is one of those things to make on a Sunday when bored! The smell the bread makes whilst in the oven is incredible! I know it’s strange to say but personally I feel like an old Italian grandmother when making this. You seriously don’t need any special equipment just the tools god gave you (your hands)!

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I think you can add anything to this bread…from peppers to oregano, even to different infused flavoured oils…it’s one of those chuck it all in and see what we get types of dishes!

 

Yeast mix

The base to every bread is Yeast, Sugar, Warm water and salt…then you’re ready to go!

 

Flour

As you can see the post is called ‘Spelt’ Focaccia so I’m obviously going to be using spelt flour. You can use normal white flour just be careful how much flour you add. And don’t panic if you get carried away with the flour, just add a drop of water. I am one of those, ‘Organic is best’- but if you cant get it don’t worry tesco values is just as good (I’m lying).

 

And no I don’t think your dumb if you don’t know how to knead. There is kind of an art to it! once you mix the dough till smooth, plonk it on the table. Make sure you’ve sprinkled a little flour on the table!

Kneading 1

Push the dough, using the bottom of your palm away from you.

 

Kneading 3

Then pull the furthest tip back toward you and repeat the process for a good few minutes. This is if you using spelt flour. If using normal white flour knead for 10-15 minutes! By the end of it you’ll have a good set of guns!

 

Kneading 2

You’ll notice you’re folding makes layers. With White flour the kneading makes the dough more stretchy, that will be the gluten-Food Devil. Why I think its the devil is because that is what bloats you, making it a bad carb! Yes my mum is a health food addict! she is the reason I made this with Spelt flour-so she could eat it!

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To make that authentic Focaccia style. you literally just dab 2 fingers into the bread, to create those dimples. Obviously you start from one corner to the other.

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Ingredients:

  • 200ml of lukewarm water
  • 1tsp of dried active yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sugar (this is to feed the yeast and help it grow!)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Spelt Flour or Flour (Now I haven’t given a precise amount because it can vary. Just have at least 1/2 a pack at your side)
  • 1 Sun-dried Tomato
  • 5 olives (either colour)
  • A Few sprigs of Rosemary
  • Olive Oil/Rapeseed Oil (I use basil infused oil. Try Garlic oil or even chilli oil)
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning on top
  1. Add together the water, yeast, sugar and salt and whisk together. I would advise leaving it for a couple of minutes
  2. Gradually add the flour until a good consistency. You would rather add less flour to start so you can add more when kneading. Especially with spelt flour, use less flour and see.
  3. Now, use those guns and knead the dough for a good 3 minutes!
  4. Put in a bowl and cover with cling film. leave in a warm place for an hour. I usually leave the oven on and keep the door slightly open. that’s my warm spot!
  5. after 40 minutes place into square tray and flatten down. using your 2 fingers dab all over and sprinkle your delicious toppings and oil.
  6. Whack it in the oven on 200c for 30 minutes or until golden!
  7. leave to cool for another half an hour and enjoy!

 

serving 1

I love this literally cut up and served with Balsamic reduction and olive oil! you could even use chilli oil with some salt rocks in it!

 

The idea of this is to give you inspiration to jazz it up yourself. add more crushed salt, experiment with different herbs, go wild. Just don’t forget to mention me when you get asked for the recipe!

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Chocolate Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie is my all time favourite dessert – with ice cream = MY HEAVEN!

Arji requested this the other day, so I thought maybe I should also share with y’all my recipe. I have to admit…I did fuck up the presentation but this is what I get for trying too hard! Soz that it looked a little strange!

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I don’t know why but I have a weird obsession with pecans. At least once a day I will have a ‘small’ handful of pecans with another ‘small’ handful of salted almonds. I know it strange but its sooo good! thought I’d share that with you for no apparent reason!

 

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As you can see at the beginning it started of well…just…once it went through that hell of an oven it got worse…and worse.

I know people find it offensive using shop brought pastry but I’m sorry I seriously don’t think its wrong to by a pack of ready made. So bite me if you think I’m being too lazy! just remember Gordan Ramsey said there is nothing wrong with shop brought pastry! Just sayin!

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So I seen this style crust done on Pinterest and thought I’d give this a go. Looks good here but just wait!

 

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See the Leaf thing really ain’t working! At least now you know don’t try this as pastry does shrink and it’ll look ridic!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack/500g of shortcrust pastry
  • 200g Caster sugar
  • 250ml of golden syrup
  • 60g butter
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 20g Dark Chocolate (70% is a must!)
  • 3/4 tsp of flaked salt
  • a pinch of grated lemon zest (4 strokes against the grater will do)
  • 120g pecans, chopped & some for decoration (like 12 halves)

 

Recipe:

  1. Roll out the pastry till thin enough (I would the thickness of £1 coin-that’s what Nigella says) then set aside in the fridge. Trust me this will help it later.
  2. Heat up the syrup and sugar on the cooker until the sugar has melted and leave to cool
  3. Beat up the egg and slowly pour the ‘cool’ syrup mixture into the eggs. make sure its steady and not all in one go otherwise you will regret this!
  4. Add your butter, vanilla, lemon, chocolate, salt and nuts! Then pour into the cold pie crust.
  5. Now you can whack in the oven for an hour. Make sure the oven is preheated at 170c.
  6. I would recommend that you leave this to set for at least 2 hours then demolish with ice cream. ENJOY!

 

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I genuinely love this recipe and have used it for soo many years so this is one you can actually use because its an actual recipe and not just me making it up as I go along!

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Hotel Praktik Bakery – Barcelona

Carrying on from my trip to Barcelona…

Its quite exciting this is my first hotel review I’m writing. but I’m mainly writing what you would see on tripadvisor just with extra pictures!

Anyway back to my experience The Hotel Praktik Bakery. You’ll notice the hotel from its famous yellow roof.  Honestly there was never moment where it was quiet in the bakery.

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I know you are probably going to hate me for saying this but when I’m in a foreign country I’m one of those typical ignorant Brits who cant speak a word of the language besides please and thank you and the odd hand gestures to ask for the bathroom. I have said this year I want to learn a new language, so Spanish it may be!

 

So every year my Christmas present budget for everyone is £40 as mum hates us spending too much on gifts (that’s more her thing). I still am in shock that that my trip cost me £150 for flights and hotel for THE BOTH OF US (for 2 nights, 3 day)! yes! I know! this amazing deal was found on lastminute.com by moi. I am advising everyone to have a look online if they’re looking for a small break.

 

I am 100% a lover for tripadvisor, from restaurant reviews to hotels; I would’ve most likely checked it out on tripadvisor before going. The review on here were majority positive but with the odd review moaning how busy and noisy it could be. Its a bakery in a hotel. What would you expect?!?

 

First of all the hotel location was too good to be true. Literally 2 blocks away from Passeig de Gràcia which personally I think is like our knightsbridge with shops, from Louis Vuitton to Stella McCartney. It is unreal! And the metro is soo easy to use. Again the station is on Passeig de Gràcia and is 2 stops away from Les Ramblas and 2 trains to Sagrada Familia. And the Metro Subway is so much cleaner than the London tube so I would honestly recommend it if you want to travel in Barcelona and so much cheaper (you can buy a travel card which has 10 travels for 10 euros)

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I have to admit it is a pretty unusual lay out. As soon as you walk in you greeted with the bakery and you’re not quite sure where the reception desk for the hotel is until you walk further down an notice the receptionist in a bright yellow blazer hidden on the of the counter shared with the bakery side. I will admit it was little annoying the fact that we arrived at the hotel 12ish and waited till 2pm to check in but our room still wasn’t ready. I guess it gave me more of a chance to try out more baked goods!

 

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This swirl in the middle was my FAVE! Cheese Bacon and puff pastry. That honestly is my heaven. The further you bite in the more cheesey bacony good is stuffed in there. I know you have 2 types of people in this world…those who like crispy bacon and those who like when the bacon is just cooked. I can’t really say I am just one. I mean I love crispy bacon with a fry up but I don’t mind a bit of just cooked bacon. This bacon was just cooked so the fat was still a little chewy which I love!

 

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Major PERK from staying here is that because the bread is baked freshly every morning, you get that freshly baked bread aroma oozing through the building. Seriously, what could be better than that? Nothing that’s what!

 

 

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This was my favourite part of the hotel- the lobby/bakery seating area. I just found it so soothing watching the bakers prepare the pastries and breads. I actually fell in love with one of the bakers. I seen him everyday whilst staying here and every morning he would smile whilst I creepily stared at him in awe whilst he rolled the pastries into cones to make croissants. Don’t worry this man was literally older than my dad with a peppered beard. I have to admit I feel like he looked like Pablo or maybe a Densel. I didn’t take a picture of him because well that’s a bit too far!

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This was my breakfast whilst at the Praktik Bakery. Toasted ham and cheese croissant. Sorry I’m just going to be showing my food!

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I loved loved loved their lemon cheesecake. seriously zesty and soo addictive!

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I know it’s so rude but no matter where I am, I always want proper cup of tea in the morning…PG Tips, milk, one sugar. This time at the bakery they did black tea (which is pretty much English breakfast), but with cinnamon. So I decided to go for an Earl Grey and I LOVED it! It basically a normal tea with a floral after taste! So now I just thought I’d share with you’s that I like a bit of Earl Grey (milk, one sugar).

Now for the Room itself although you could do what I did and stalk the reviews on tripadvisor but this just gives you an idea of what the rooms are like. from the reviews I think all the rooms are laid out the same just different views from the window.

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I love this picture! I love a town house. God knows why I find them ‘cultural’. I won’t bore you any more with my obsession of town houses.

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AND…

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Stepping out from the window literally you see this! Sagrada Familla.

I would honestly recommend this place to EVERYONE! from the price to the location. This is honestly one of my favourites and I am definitely returning next year (or even this year, maybe this summer…)

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Scoffing in Barcelona

As the Fabulous daughter I am, I decided to take my mum to Barcelona as her Christmas present! yeah I know, Daughter of the Year!

So the last time I was in Barcelona, was when I was 8 and all I remember is that awful football grounds. This time I wanted to return pretty much for the food. Not that I’m looking for the ‘perfect’ Paella just some good Mediterranean food for decent price!

I cannot explain how sick I am of food right now (which is seriously hard to believe). The first thing I did as soon as I came home was stand on the scales and wait anxiously to see how generous the scales have been to me-4 pounds in 3 days apparently! So currently I am on a detox as I am writing this to you!

 

Obviously when in Spain you have to try a paella which I did. Unfortunately I didn’t actually take a note of where the place was (just  that it is in Les Rambles). It was nice but  I just wasn’t blown away with it. Dare I say this is the downfall with having all these amazing food markets in London, you don’t get the shock of being surprised with the unusual flavours, it just makes you feel like you’ve had it before.

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So the Famous Food Market, La Boqueria Market was amazing! I literally was just in awe whilst strolling past the stalls. I loved the fact that this existed…

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This is literally ham in a cone! obviously it had to be jamón ibérico

 

In the market they had these amazing kitchen/stalls where you could sit and have the fresh seafood cooked right in front of you. Unfortunately I have this huge fear of pigeons and in the market all the friggin birds were literally at your feet, scavenging around the floor. So the idea of eating there was a no go from me.

 

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So I seen three Mexican food stands in the market but I just couldn’t face another bite after scoffing taster after taster! At least I managed to take a picture of these weird yet cool breakfast burritos.

 

Speaking of Mexican, Mum was dying to have churros in Barcelona. God knows why but I thought churros originated from Mexico but apparently they’re just of a Spanish origin. NERD ALERT: apparently Churro means course, rough. Yup, Google is my friend! of course I had to search this up!

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Look at how thick the hot chocolate is! It literally was like drinking melted chocolate. As soon as I realised this was how hot chocolate was done here, it instantly reminded me of my cousin Beaky AKA Jenny. she is a MAJOR chocoholic in my family. Whenever Beaks and I go for coffee she will always order a slice of chocolate cake and hot chocolate. Then she will dunk that whole slice in the drink and almost make like a pudding and eat it like a dessert! so weird I know!

 

 

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As you can see I very much enjoyed them!

Through out the whole trip mum took the best mug shots of me eating literally majority of them are of me ‘enjoying my food’. This was the funniest one, I have to say! I kinda think my mum is a better photographer than me!

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Cheddar and Dill Scones

I know I’ve already posted a recipe of scones but these I feel are so much better! I was inspired by the local farmers market near my work place where they sell baked goods for £1! Yes this is where my Indian side screams out “ by the whole stall!” but I have tamed myself to buying 2 items a week. So one week I brought cheesy scones where I was recommended to heath them up in the oven for 15 minutes and they’ll be all gooey inside. Well I forgot to take them home and had one whilst I working hard in the office. So I never did get to eat them warm which then made me think a lot about what they would have tasted like.

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  • 300g of plain flour
  • 150g room temperature butter
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp of natural yoghurt
  • Dash of milk
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 200g cheddar cheese grated
  • A handful of chopped dill
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180c and c rumble the butter and flour between fingertips and baking powder, salt, pepper
  2. Add yoghurt and mix with spoon
  3. Add herbs and 3/4 of the cheese and if a little dry add the milk
  4. Pour mixture onto floured surface and flatten slightly (2 inches thick) cutting out 7-8 pieces
  5. Brush the scones with milk and top each scone with finely grated cheddar and dill and bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes.
  6. These I would say are best served on the side of a hearty stew or as a bagel with salmon and cream cheese.

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Notice the specs of green from dill and the mountain of cheese, you just know its going to be delish out of the oven. Remember to keep the scone thick, so they don’t turn hard out of the oven.

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I can’t cope with how dark the cheese got whilst in the oven. my mouth is still drooling just looking at it.

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And another one.

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Ta-Dah!

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