All posts filed under: Baking

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Roman Style Potato Pizza, with Guanciale

Jump to recipe Potato pizza. Yes! It is a thing. And yes, it is wonderful. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! (Twirls!). I first had it on my first trip to Rome at an innocent 19. I was to discover pizza a tavola and gelato and I would speed from a tiny size 6 (US size 2) to a still small but bigger size 10 that summer. The die was cast. I wish I had such problems now!   I was living in Nice for the summer, and it was only my second time outside of Ireland. I already knew I wanted to travel a lot, and I really have no idea why I picked Nice as a place to start, but that is where I went. I think I chose France because I spoke French, and I was curious after 6 years of studying it. Nice is lovely, that long beach, the wonderful light. So hot, too hot for me. When I first arrived and didn’t put sunscreen on the side of my feet I learned the …

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Breakfast Bacon & Egg Pizza: Because You Can (and Should)

I like to cook in batches. Even though I am generally cooking for just one or two. Some stuff just makes sense that way: big pots of stock, beans, a roast hunk of meat that can become 4 dishes in the day after, pizza. One big bowl of dough will keep well if you let it rise gently overnight in the fridge. And you can eat it for every meal that day. And you really can, you know? Or you can have a pizza party.  This morning as I looked at the bowl of dough that I had just retrieved from the fridge I was thinking, oh yes, egg & lardo pizza. Because you know those are two of my very favourite things. I quite like to cover my egg yolks with lardo anyway. And I have lardo in the fridge. (Lardo? Cured gorgeous pork fat, mouth melting and divine. Not lard. Which is also great but for different reasons). But I have something even better too. Guanciale! Roman cheek bacon, the very best bacon there …

Chocolate and Cardamom Buns

Chocolate and Cardamom Sticky Buns with Chocolate Ganache Topping

More chocolate and more spices. I just can’t get enough. And another post so quickly after the last one, but I really wanted you to have this for Christmas.  Before we begin, cast aside any ideas about a traditional cinnamon roll recipe that you might have. Their dough is firm and easily manipulated, and yes, they are a joy. But these are different. These are based loosely on the idea of a Swedish kanelbullar (Swedish cinnamon roll) but the dough is very loose and very sticky, so that the buns will be gorgeously soft. I have been playing around with cinnamon rolls for some time now, and I wondered what a chocolate one might be like. I pushed the dough until it was as loose and as sticky as it could be to yield a soft bun when cooked. It also makes them so easy to put together. I chose cardamom over cinnamon, because I love the chocolate and cardamom combination, and felt cinnamon did not need to be involved. These are simple, and not too sweet. They are …

Chocolate and Hazelnut Cakes with Chocolate Butter and Caramelised Cocoa Nibs

Chocolate and Hazelnut Cakes with Chocolate Butter and Caramelised Cocoa Nibs

This year has definitely heralded the arrival of a sweeter tooth than what I have had before. I was never that bothered. I enjoyed the occasional cake, and complete surrender to some rhubarb and custard haribo, but if I was ever craving anything, it was usually composed of salt and probably fat. I have always liked chocolate though. Chocolate is savoury first and foremost, with a layer of sweet on top. It is the gateway sweet for any savoury person. I was in Grenada earlier this year and I checked in an extra suitcase, mainly for chocolate, cocoa nibs, pure cocoa, cocoa butter and nutmeg. I keep it in an airtight box which I visit every now and then when I have a craving that needs to be satisfied or an idea that needs to be executed. Chocolate is so satisfying that I am happy after I have had my fill. All week long I have been thinking of combining some of my Grenada cocoa and cocoa nibs with some lovely hazelnuts that I brought …

Purple Hasselback Potatoes with Pumpkin, Chorizo, Cheddarm Chilli and Thyme

Hasselback Purple Potatoes with Chorizo, Squash, Green Chilli and Cheddar

I love potatoes. They are just the best thing. I have always been a fan, as a child I had a phase where I would eat nothing else, and I have found a myriad of things to do with them since. I grew up surrounded by potato fields and we would collect the unwanted baby ones to make things with at home. Now of course they are trendy and more expensive than the bigger ones. Life is a funny thing.  My potato joy expanded when I discovered that there were more types than just the potato that grew in the field behind my house. There were waxy and floury, red skinned and blue fleshed. There are even yellow fleshed potatoes from Peru. Of course all potatoes are from Peru originally, but you know.  Occasionally I can get my mitts on purple potatoes at my farmers market. They used to be at the supermarket too but I guess maybe I was the only person buying them as they don’t sell them anymore. It is hard to beat a …

Buckwheat and Hazelnut Banana Bread (Gluten and Dairy Free Recipe)

Buckwheat and Hazelnut Banana Bread [Gluten & Dairy Free Recipe]

It was one of those mornings. I was out of eggs – what, how could I let that happen?! – and out of coffee beans. I was staring glumly at a bag of Moomin coffee, a hasty Helsinki airport purchase, and wondering how nasty that might be and what I could have for breakfast. On my counter were some very brown bananas, barely a patch of yellow left. I had some buckwheat flour, but not a lot, and a bag of hazelnuts. I thought I might try a new take on banana bread. It is worth buying bananas and letting them go really brown to make banana bread and pancakes. This is when they are at their best for cooking, rich and syrupy sweet. I never do this intentionally. I buy bananas and let them sit on the side. I feel guilty when I see them every day. I worry about waste, and then eventually they go completely brown, and they become banana bread or pancakes. I love the flavour of buckwheat, I use it …

Peach, Almond & Bourbon Pie, an Update on Sponsored Content & Project Bacon

Well, hello folks. Greetings from the Tyrrhenian Sea. I am on a short cruise checking out the offerings of Indian chef Atul Kochar on the P&O Ventura cruise ship. I was in two minds about cruises. In hindsight, for someone who loves boats, ferries and slow travel, this seems a little daft. You know when you sometimes just get an idea in your head? Anyway, while not actually on holiday (I have freelance work to do, and I am finishing Project Bacon), I am loving the lull of it all, punctuated with the pop of activity when we dock at a port. It suits my binary speed setting. I love to be busy buzzing around checking out new things and new eats, but when I am not, and when I can, I love to relax, read, watch films, and drink wine. It comes at the end of a crazy week. I spoke at a great new blogging festival Blogstock, which I really enjoyed. It was on Food Blogging 101, and when I get time, I will …

Boozy Raspberry Chocolate Brownies

I am up to my eyes in bacon boxes, book writing and other work, so today I must be brief. Rather than disappear as I have done when very busy lately, I will write briefer posts and today, I will share with you one of my favourite indulgent recipes, my recipe for boozy raspberry chocolate brownies. If you are afraid of baking, this is the recipe for you. So easy, and very delicious, this rich dark chocolate batter, spiked with pops of bright juicy raspberry is virtually impossible to screw up. I promise you. It also tastes like it was much harder work. The perfect recipe?

Rhubarb, Pistachio & Rose Frangipane Tart (Recipe)

Rhubarb, Pistachio and Rose Frangipane Tart Recipe

I am not an obsessive baker. Certainly not in the sweet sense. I love salt, broth, tender meat, spritely vegetables and all the other things that make savoury sing. I have always loved confectionery, especially making it, and I am partial to a lemon meringue pie, victoria sponge, swiss roll and lots of old school classics, but that was it when it came to home baking. I simply wasn’t all that inspired to explore beyond that. I was happy with my salt. Then something changed. In the last few months I have developed a sweet tooth (which sits nicely next to my very happy salty one). In fact, I think that all of my teeth might be salty, and now there is one shiny sweet tooth in the mix. And then there is rhubarb. Lovely pink tender rhubarb. Slender and elegant, the rhubarb of January in the UK is Yorkshire forced rhubarb (also called champagne rhubarb), grown in the dark in long sheds in the Yorkshire rhubarb triangle, and harvested by candlelight (it is an …

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Recipe: Banana, Coconut & Lime Bread

As with most children, I was a fan of cake. All kinds of cake, except coffee cake. That, to me, was a filthy abomination. I mean WHY would anyone put coffee in a cake, especially for children? I couldn’t understand it. Cake was a place for jam, cream, ice cream, lemon curd, chocolate, lots of things, but definitely not for coffee. (I get it now before you try to persuade me I should try it :) When I heard that we would be making banana bread in school, I thought that we were progressing down a similar path. We had cooked mackerel, and I was starting to become suspicious that perhaps Home Economics would not be fun after all. Despite growing up almost on the Atlantic shore, as a child I hated fish. Or, at least I thought I did. So, mackerel, then banana bread, I was losing faith. What does banana bread even mean anyway? It isn’t really a bread, there is no yeast or rising process, but then there isn’t for soda bread …