Blood Orange and Almond Muffins

Blood Orange and Almond Muffins with Candied Blood Orange Slices

I’ve made a few howlers in the kitchen recently.  I tried my hand at making Pastel de Nata for the first time the other day, and I don’t know if it was me or whether the recipe was a stinker but I bit into one and it was basically a quiche/scrambled egg cup.  Yeesh!  You win some, you lose some, I guess.  (Try asking Sunny about the chilli and chocolate chicken I once made for him.  *shudders*)

Anyway, I wanted to bake something summery – since the weather’s cheered up over the last few days – but after the whole Pastel de Nata fail wanted to keep things a bit simple, so I came up with these Blood Orange and Almond Muffins.  I made them yesterday morning before it got really hot, then went out for a walk around the field with Bungle.  They were the perfect treat to come back to, but honestly, the best part about them is the candied blood orange segment on top.  Yum.

Blood Orange and Almond Muffins (with candied Blood Orange segments)

Ingredients

  • 200g self raising flour
  • 1stp baking powder
  • 1stp ground cinnamon
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 100g demerara sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 125 ml milk 
  • 4 tbsp melted butter 
  • Zest of 2 Blood Oranges (save the juice for the glaze)

For the candied Blood Oranges and Glaze:

  • 2 Blood Oranges cut into slices
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200ml water
  • For the glaze gradually add some icing sugar to your blood orange juice until you reach the consistency you want.
  1. Preheat the oven to 180° and fill a muffin tray with muffin cases.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together your dry ingredients – that’s the flours, ground cinnamon, baking powder, ground almonds and sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, milk and melted butter before stirring it into the dry ingredients.  Once combined, mix in your blood orange zest.
  4. Share the batter between twelve muffin cases, then bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Once the muffins are cooked, set them aside and leave them to cool.
  6. To make the candied blood oranges first bring a deep saucepan of water to the boil and soak the blood orange slices for 3 minutes until the peel is soft.  Have a bowl of cold water ready, and drop the slices in there to cool.
  7. Heat up a saucepan with the sugar and water – don’t be tempted to stir, leave it until the sugar all dissolves and then add the blood orange slices.  Let them simmer in the sugar water for 30 minutes, making sure you soak both sides, then put them on a sheet of baking paper and leave to cool.
  8. Glaze the muffins and then top with a candied blood orange segment. 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone – enjoy the sunshine! (…while it lasts!) 🙂

Dutch Baby

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If there’s one thing I love about weekends (…there are many things, obviously, but here’s one for free) it’s brunch.  Bungle’s waking up before 6am most mornings at the moment, so during the week I get up and walk him, while Sunny gets ready for work.  We always eat breakfast together but it’s rushed and we’re both far too dog-tired (I’m starting to understand the origin of that phrase…) to care what we quickly swallow down before the day gets going.

But on the weekend?  Oh the weekend!  We take it in turns to have a lie in and then once we’re both up, we eat a fancy brunch.  No half burnt toast or lukewarm porridge… nope, we celebrate the weekend with something a bit special – whether that’s pancakes, a full English, or pink poached eggs… or, a new fave of mine: Dutch Babies.


Not babies wearing clogs, let’s call these what they really are, and what they are is basically a massive, sweet Yorkshire Pudding.  It’s what happens when you pour pancake batter into a hot skillet, and instead of frying, you bake it in the oven for thirty minutes.  It goes golden brown, the edges puff up and and go crispy and create a bowl for whatever filling you fancy!  And, they’re really easy to make; you can whip up the batter the night before and there’s nothing technical to worry about.  Perfect for lazy weekends 🙂

Dutch Baby (makes two mini babies, or one big baby 😉)

Ingredients

  • 200ml Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tbsp Caster Sugar
  • 70g Plain Flour
  • A little butter for greasing
  • Filling of choice: I used grilled nectarines, strawberries, shaved coconut and a bit of cream
  • A little icing sugar for dusting
  1. In a measuring jug, whisk together the milk, eggs and sugar.  Gradually add the flour, ensuring the mixture is smooth and without any lumps or bumps.
  2. Leave the mixture in the fridge overnight or for an hour.  Then, when you’re ready to cook, stir and allow it to warm to room temperature.
  3. Set the oven to 220°, putting your skillet or heatproof dish inside to heat up with it.  Once both have heated up, remove the skillet/dish from the oven and grease with butter.  Pour in the batter, then bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  4. After twenty minutes, the sides should have puffed up and turned golden brown.  Turn down the temperature to 160°, and bake for a further 10 minutes whilst you prepare your filling of choice!
  5. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.  Yum!

Have a great weekend everyone!  (Hopefully we’ve finally seen the back of Spring-ter…) 🙂

Cream Egg filled Donuts

I’ve had the idea of wrapping a ball of chocolate inside a donut for a while now.  I mean what could be better?  You wrap it inside the dough and then while you’re cooking the donut, the ball of chocolate inside slowly melts and… *sigh*  Anyway, the plan was originally to use a chocolate truffle, but then I had this bag of mini cream eggs bashing around the cupboard and had a brainwave.  I mean, I love cream eggs, but am I the only one who thinks the mini ones are a bit pointless?  Well, no more!  I’ve found the perfect use for them!

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Cream Egg filled Donuts (makes eight)

Ingredients

  • 75 ml of warm milk
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar (plus a couple more mixed with cinnamon for coating)
  • pinch of salt
  • 25 g melted butter
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 sachet of instant yeast
  • 150 g plain flour (plus a little extra for kneading)
  • 300 ml oil for frying
  • 1 pack of mini cream eggs
  1. If you’ve got a bread maker then throw all the ingredients in (flour on top, liquid on the bottom) and set to program 6 (or whatever the dough program is on your machine).  If not then you’ll have to mix the yeast with the milk and sugar and wait for it to form bubbles, then mix and knead in a bowl with the other ingredients.
  2. The dough will be sticky and hard to work with – but persevere!  Turn it out onto a surface with plenty of flour and knead until it’s more manageable.  Then separate into balls.  Unwrap your cream eggs and wrap each one inside each dough ball, making sure they’re sealed up.
  3. Pour the oil into a pan and heat it up (be careful!).  You’ll know it’s ready when you can drop a little bit of bread into it and it sizzles and crisps.  Turn down the heat – if it’s too hot then the balls will cook on the outside but not on the inside – and one by one drop the balls into the oil.
  4. Once golden, take them out, dry the oil off with a paper towel and then roll them in  plenty of cinnamon sugar.  Yum!  They’re best eaten while they’re still fresh and warm so you can bite in and enjoy the cream egg at its most gooey 😉

Happy Easter everyone! 🐰

Banana Crumble Cake

We had another helping of snow over the weekend, and I don’t about you but I’d already kind of had my fill of it from last time.  In fact there was still a bit of snow left on the ground last week which my Mum very ominously explained was “hanging around for more.”  Ugh.  I groaned and rolled my eyes when I ripped open the curtains on Sunday morning, but the truth is that a heavy helping of snow is a great excuse to:

  1. Trudge to the local newsagent to buy “supplies” (Alllllll the chocolate).
  2. Eat said supplies whilst binge-watching something (Sunny and I discovered Suits a couple of weeks ago and WE. ARE. OBSESSED.).
  3. Bake some banging banana bread.

I probably wouldn’t have bothered had it not been for the snow, but I had a few manky-looking bananas sitting in the fruit bowl looking sorry for themselves and kind of needed a break from Suits (because the theme tune was ringing in my ears and I was punctuating every sentence with “God Damn it!”).  I didn’t fancy making bog-standard banana bread though, so I decided to experiment, and – sweet jesus – the end result was perhaps the best banana bake I’ve ever made.  Seriously.  Fluffy cake, crunchy crumble topping and a sweet and sticky  cinnamon drizzle.  I won’t bother making banana bread again, this will be my go to.  So I guess I can thank the surprise snow for that!




Banana Crumble Cake (with Cinnamon Drizzle)

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 250g Self Raising Flour
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 3 Ripe Bananas
  • 100g Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 100ml Milk

For the Crumble:

  • 50g Butter (Cold!)
  • 100g Flour (plain or self raising, doesn’t matter)
  • 50g Demerara Sugar
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 75g Roughly Chopped Walnuts

For the Drizzle:

  • 100g Icing Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Water
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  1. Line a deep, rectangular baking dish/tray and set the oven to 180.  To make the cake, sift together the flour, salt and baking powder in one bowl then set aside.  In another bowl, roughly mash the bananas and then mix in the butter, sugar and eggs.  Next, gradually add the flour and milk – alternating between the two.  Pour the mixture into the baking tray, then set aside while you make the crumble.
  2. Now for the messy bit!  In a bowl rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until the mixture looks a little bit like fine breadcrumbs.  Stir in the sugar, cinnamon and chopped walnuts.
  3. Sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly over your cake batter, then bake in the oven for about 50 to 60 minutes (or until a skewer comes out clean).
  4. While the cake is cooling, make the drizzle.  Stir the ingredients together to make a runny icing – adding a little more water or icing sugar until you reach the right consistency. 
  5. Once the cake is cool, drizzle the icing over the top and then cut into squares.  Serve warm! 🙂

Spring’s taking its sweet time this year!  Can’t wait for some warm, sunny weather! 🙂

Pink Poached Eggs

How’s this for a bit of Friday Food Frivolity (…yikes, try saying that when you’re drunk!)?  I’m going to be absolutely clear on this one; this recipe is purely for the ‘gram.  There’s nothing out of the ordinary here – bog standard eggs, bog standard toast and a little bit of spinach and seasoning – the only thing that’s different is that the egg is pink!  There’s absolutely no culinary reason to make your poached egg pink – it won’t taste any different to a normal poached egg – but, it’ll definitely bring a smile to your face. I mean, isn’t everything better when it’s pink? 😉

If I was going to open a brunch cafe (and wanted to be a total douchebag about it) I’d probably call these Sunrise Eggs (…in fact, I’m having that one just in case – remember I called it!).

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Pink Poached Eggs

Ingredients

  • One or two fresh (that’s very important when cooking poached eggs!) eggs
  • 1 Tbsp Vinegar
  • 100ml Beetroot Juice (or if you’re boiling beetroots, just hold back the water)
  • Boiling water
  • Toast
  • Butter
  • Spinach (or smashed Avocado)
  • Ground black pepper
  • Pinch of chilli flakes
  1. Set the water to boil, then prep your toast and greens.
  2. Once the water is close to boiling, add your beetroot juice and vinegar and whisk.  You’re going to want to whisk the water until it creates a whirlpool, and then crack the egg into the middle before it settles.  This method will wrap the white around the egg.  Usually.  It doesn’t always work for me.
  3. Cook the egg for a minute then serve up on toast and spinach.  Season with black pepper and chilli flakes.

 

What are you up to this weekend?  What are your breakfast/brunch plans? 🍳