Tag Archives: yumm

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)!

checking

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!

holes

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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Let’s Get Sconed!

Day 3

I have been meaning to make scones for a while. And well really didn’t know where to begin. So I remember making scones in year 8, they were decent I can tell you that. I remember the day Mrs Abbots told the class to bring in the ingredients for scones and said we can do fruit, cheese or plain. And the whole class moaned that we wanted chocolate chips in them so every single one of us brought in a bag of chocolate chips and chunks besides this one girl, can’t really remember her name. But besides that, she was the only one who went for the cheese option. We all looked at her as if he was from another planet. “eww cheese in the scones? That’s rank” we all said. Now I guess I’m eating my own words, huh? I remember the last time I made the scones and well they turned out like hockey pucks. God they were rank! But using the same recipe and sticking to the ingredients and weighing them out you can never go wrong with this. So I wanted to see if I had still had the curse of the hockey pucks so I made 4 of each.

1 cheddar and caramelised onion | 1 plain sweet.
scones

I did forget to say that i was only experimenting, so i only made 4 of each and cuttheminhalftomakethemlookmore. I know I’m a little embarrassed to say that my eyes are greedy. Aww hell I make myself sound like a pig anyway. Notice how the 4th Cheese and onion scone is missing, blame mum. She was dying to try and nicked it, before i could look she chomping it down!

cook book

So I guess you can say I’m still gonna stick to what I know, so I still used this recipe book. Mrs Abbotts would be proud! Don’t laugh but I still keep it with my other Recipe books. I am a bit of a holder.

This is the Basic/Simplist recipe for a scone that im sure even your grandmother used to use.

Plain

  • 225g self raising flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 55g butter, I would say roomish temperature cubed or in small chunks
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 150ml Milk

recipe:

  1. place all dry ingredients and butter in a mixing bowl. with a wooden spoon start to tear at the butter coating it in the flour mixture as you do.
  2. once the butter is more easier to cope with (not to big to rub together). With you thumb, index and middle fingers rub the butter between them. its messy but fun! you may get a finger cramp so apologies but, no pain no gain!
  3. once the mixture in the bowl resembles sand as my tutor taught me then with that wooden spoon start to pour the milk in slowly.
  4. when the dough is done place onto work top and pat down to bring together, 2 inches tall, get a cutter or for more rustic feel a cup and cut you desired shapes. it wont look like there’s enough dough but you need pat it together again when you have ran out of space to cut. this should make about 8.
  5. place onto a baking tray and brush with a little egg or milk and bake in a 180c pre-heated over for 20 minutes.
  6. serve the traditional way with clotted cream and raspberry/strawberry jam. Or like dad, just how they are!

Cheese and Onion

  • 225g self raising flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 55g butter, I would say roomish temperature
  • 25g grated cheddar
  • 1 Red onion
  • 150ml Milk
  • 1 Tbsp of brown sugar

Recipe

  1. to caramelise the onions, small dice them and place in a sauce on low heat with a tsp oil and brown sugar. get a piece of grease proof paper and wet it under the tap. place over the onions and leave to sautee. cook until brown and soft, slightly wet. Then leave to cool for 30 mins.
  2. complete the stages like previously but add the onion and cheese before the milk!
  3. when the dough is done place onto work top and pat down to bring together, 2 inches tall, get a cutter or for more rustic feel a cup and cut you desired shapes. it wont look like there’s enough dough but you need pat it together again when you have ran out of space to cut. this should make about 8.
  4. place onto a baking tray and brush with a little egg or milk and bake in a 180c pre-heated over for 20 minutes.
  5. when 10 minutes are complete, grate some cheese over the top, too early and it may burn<clever thinking ey?
  6. I kinda like the idea of making it almost like a sandwich with some butter and rocket in the middle. Delish.

now for some pictures!

I’m sort of getting there with photography no. any tips, please comment. i take this shit seriously.

Cheese and onion SconesLove the Cheese ontop! you can see what I mean with the rocket right?

Plain Scones

I’m quite proud of this one! Look at how wonky they are!

Red OnionNow this is my Favourite. i was literally just testing my shots and this baby was born!

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Simple Springy Cake Recipe.

I have finally found the Perfect Recipe which is the simplest. I don’t care what anyone says, I think this is the one for me! See now I have this theory that whenever you don’t put effort into something you make, it comes out DELICIOUS and PERFECT. Yet whenever I actually make an effort, it comes out like turd. All I’m saying is that I may have found the ratio which I can do.

cake pic 1

I just love the golden crust you get on a simple sponge.

Recipe:

  • 150g Butter, Room temperature and cubed
  • 1 Cup of Caster Sugar
  • 1 Cup of Plain Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • ¼ cup of milk
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ tsp on Vanilla extract
  • ¼ almond extract – can use a different flavour or add orange zest as well as the almond extract.

Okay so it is as simple as making the batter….

  1. Using the electric whisk or mixer if you’d prefer, mix the butter, sugar and eggs together until pale yellow.
  2. Sift flour and Baking powder in and whisk for 3 minutes.
  3. Add milk bit by bit until it feels like lightly whipped cream
  4. Pour into prepared tin and bake in the 150 degree Celsius oven for 45-60 minutes. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN WITHIN THE FIRST 40 MINUTES.

Because it’s just a simple cake using a prettier cake tin sets it off. Or you can even put it in a loaf tin and slice it up like bread and sandwich 2 with jam and whipped. Now that is cute when you have friends or family over.

with the ring tin, like i used you can spread chocolate ganache over the top.

cake 2

Usually with other recipes I make, I get a thick crispy crust and this time I got no major crust just a smooth springy cake. Please tell me what you think and if you have any suggestions as to how to improve ‘develop’ the recipe.

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fu-fu-fu-fu-fu-fudge!

Fudge headerso I’ve been off for a bit and thought i’d make something quick and simple. For some reason chocolate was on my mind. god knows why and no not that time yet, but I was CRAVING it! And since Ajay was coming back from his first official week at uni (manchester). I thought it’d be nice for him to come home to some of my sweet treats. Brownies were my first intention, so i looked for my trusty brownie recipe from Nigella. But flicking through the pages I saw cookies. I’ve made them before and loved it. not sure if everyone else did. BUT then like fate, the page landed on FUDGE. I’ve had this on my list to make but I’ve always been abit umming and arring whether to or not.

Now this isn’t the typical creamy fudge we’re used, where it’ll melt like butter on your tongue. this is slightly more truffle like, but still just as yummy. The typical recipe is a chocolate and pistachio but my twist is chocolate, almond and sea salt fudge. sounds grown up right? I guess being 18 has matured my taste buds.  I have these craving where I like to mix sweet and savory in every dish, which just puts it up there.

I only used Almonds because i didn’t have enough pistachios. Sorry I know I am so lazy in that sort of sense. But it gives a big crunch into the fudge that breaks the texture and i reckon is better than pistachios.

So I made the fudgey little monsters on Tuesday and let it set all night and Wednesday I cut them up. when everyone came home on Wednesday they were going like gold dust. And this is unusual for my cooking.

Now look at the lovely easy recipe and my beautiful pictures i did with my lovely new camera!

RECIPE:

  • can of condensed milk
  • 350g of dark choclate (the proper stuff, 70%+)
  • 30g Butter
  • 1 heaped cup (200-250g) lightly crushed Almonds
  • 1 1/2 tsp of Maldons flaked salt

so just start by melting the butter, milk, chocolate in a pot over the hob until all melted like a ganache.

melting cream and choc-fudge

In a dry frying pan, add the blanched Almonds into the pan and  gently wobbling the pan to prevent the burning. as you can see on my right they look abit like pine nuts. trut me it might be a little extra coloured BUT if gives this odd popcorn taste. RANDOM but nice. Anyway, Crush those beautiful TOASTED blanched almond the only way I can, old fashioned way with my trusty rolling pin and a tea towel. DO NOT over crush them because you want to bite into a few whole ones to give the extra crunch.

blanched Almonds-fudge

Add the salt once the ganache like fudge has cooled. you’d be surprised this gives the chocolate a coffee taste, which helps to enhance the chocolatey goodness.

Sea Salt and fudge

ADD the NUTS after the salt. Fold it mix, however you want. Just don’t over mix it, because you don’t want the salt to dissolve. remember you want whole bits of salts to melt on your tongue. the texture will be like brownie batter and trust me that’s good!

nuts and salt mixed in fudge

MAKE SURE YOU APPLY GREASE PROOF PAPER on the bottom so you wont struggle to get it out! And then just pour it in and bung it in the fridge to set for a couple of hours.

Fudge in tin

after a few hours or until it feels rock solid, pick it out and cut into squares. Now my good friend Nigella, says it cuts into 36 pieces BUT i found its more. the smaller and bitesize piece you can cut the more you can eat! don’t you just love the way the nuts come through like in nougat. and you cant even see the speck of salt so its soo unexpected like a little surprise your hoping to get in each bite.

Cubed Fudge

please keep in the fridge as it tend to ‘melt’ and when i say melt i mean warm slightly. I guess that’s why i liked these, because they have this truffle like texture. HONESTLY these can be put in anything. melt a few chunks and pour over ice cream, add it to muffins, melt it to a ganache; ENTIRELY UP TO YOU. Hey if you want to use upstairs in the bedroom that’s entirely up to you, no ones judging you [WINK WINK].

Since Ajay came down for a few days from uni (Manchester). I thought i’d make breakfast, pancakes for him at 11.30 as you do. But Ajay had a bizarre idea to add them in the pancakes like chocolate chips. after you pour the pancake batter in, add sliced fudge on the batter and spoon little dribbles of batter on top. This helps to stop the BURNING from the chocolate. Don’t go there I’ve done that, made choc chip pancakes and burnt all the chips.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~GOOD LUCK and tell me how it goes ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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