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Baking – Eat Like a Girl

Blueberry and Cardamom Frangipane Tart

I was thinking of Scandinavia when I made this. Their love for cardamom in their pastries, and blueberries which are plentiful when in season. I adore cardamom too, spice generally, and knowing how much blueberry and cardamom love each other, I wanted to make something bright and delicious to help my February sing. It is a short month, but at times it feels like the longest of the year. We are teased with bright blue skies, and spring is near. 

I was also thinking of my lovely rhubarb and rose pistachio frangipane tart which I made last year. These are siblings. Alike but still very different, coming from the same place but each choosing a different path. 

The joy of this tart lies not just in the flavours but also in its simplicity. It takes little effort with shop bought pastry, and you end up speedily with a gorgeous tart. A bright swift remedy for dark days or nights that demand it. This is packed with joy and speed and simplicity. Enjoy! And if you make it, let me know how it went here or  share it with me on twitter or instagram using the hashtag #EatLikeAGirl. 

Enjoy!

Blueberry and Cardamom Frangipane Tart
Rate this recipe
6ratings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: serve 6 - 8

Blueberry and Cardamom Frangipane Tart

Blueberry and Cardamom Frangipane Tart

Ingredients

    Cardamom Frangipane
  • 100g ground almound (almond flour)
  • 100g butter (or coconut oil if you can't have dairy)
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 8 cardamom pods, split with seeds removed and ground to a powder in a pestle & mortar
    blueberries
  • 200g fresh blueberries and extra to serve (if you like)
    pastry
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry approx 30cm x 20cm and a tray that will accommodate it (shop bought is fine)
  • 1 egg
    to serve
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar (confectioners sugar), to serve

Instructions

  • First make your frangipane by mixing the butter, almonds, ground cardamom and sugar until you form a well combined paste. Add the egg and mix it in. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 200 deg C. Butter or lightly oil your baking tray and place the pastry sheet on it. Using a sharp knife score the pastry an inch in, the whole way around, creating a border, like a picture frame. Don't cut right through the pastry. Beat the egg, and using a pastry brush or teaspoon, egg wash the border only (brush with the egg). This will ensure it is lovely and golden when baked.
  • Spread the frangipane evenly over the pastry centre, keeping the inch border free. Stud the frangipane with the blueberries, pushing them gently in. Bake until golden and risen. You want the frangipane to be starting to brown but not actually brown. This should take 20 - 25 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Dust with icing sugar (put the icing sugar in a sieve and pass over it). Eats well warm or cold, with extra blueberries if you like!
  • https://eatlikeagirl.com/blueberry-and-cardamom-frangipane-tart-easy-recipe/

    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 very messy too, but this is a little liberating. When the dough is ready, you just slap it out, and squish it, spread the butter, gently roll and slice. They are wonderful fresh out of the oven, but like all pastries of this type, they fade and toughen up fast. The best thing to do is eat the ones you want on the day, and once cool immediately freeze all of the others, bringing them back to life in a medium oven when you want one. They won’t be quite the same as fresh, but they will be better than most from the shop.

    I topped these with a very simple runny ganache which works very well, especially when the buns are hot. I had planned to make a cream cheese icing to go on top, with maple and rum and candied clementines. Lets save that for next time, it is too good not to appear here. For now, we will stick with chocolate, which is perfect in its own way.

    Enjoy and have a wonderful Christmas! 

    Recipe: Chocolate and Cardamom Sticky Buns

    Ingredients

    Buns 

    450g plain flour
    50g good cocoa
    1 tsp dried yeast
    75g brown sugar
    50g butter
    300ml full fat milk
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1/2 tsp sea salt
    1 egg

    light oil 

    spiced butter filling: 16 cardamom pods, 100g butter, 75g light brown sugar, 50g dark chocolate (in chips or grated)

    glaze: 75ml single cream, 50g dark chocolate (chopped small)

    1 beaten egg, to glaze

    2 x 10 inch circular cake tins, greased with butter or lined with baking parchment 

    Method 

    Heat the milk and butter in the same pan until it is just comfortable to put your finger in it, neither hot nor cold, body temperature. Any hotter and the milk will kill the yeast.

    Combine the flour, dried yeast and cocoa. Create a well in the centre and add the milk and butter mixture, and the egg, mixing with the flour as you do. Mix well in the bowl (you can do all of this in a mixer too). 

    Leave the dough to rise in a warm part of your kitchen or your home. While the dough is rising, prepare the spiced butter filling. Lightly bash the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar, remove the seeds and discard the pods, then grind the seeds as fine as you can. Add the sugar to this, and grind gently. Empty the spiced sugar into a bowl and mix well with the butter so that it is soft and pliable. 

    When the dough has doubled in size (this should take no longer than an hour), knock the dough back, knocking any air out. Lightly oil the surface that you plan to shape the rolls on and turn the tough on to it. Flatten the dough out until it is about 45 cm long and 3o cm deep. 

    Spread the spiced butter evenly over the dough and sprinkle the chocolate over it. Gently roll the chocolate dough, as you would for a swiss roll. Don’t worry if it is very squishy. Cut into 14 equal pieces, gently pulling them apart to expose the layers, as you lay them flat. Arrange the buns with 7 in each tin, 6 in a circle and one in the middle. 

    Preheat your oven to 200 deg C. Allow the buns to rest and rise for half an hour, then bake for 15 minutes. They will be done when the top is crisp. Some of the spiced sugar and chocolate will have settled and caramelised at the bottom, making them gorgeously sticky. 

    When the buns are done, prepare the ganache. Heat the cream in a pan until it is hot but not boiling. Take off the heat and add the chocolate, stirring through until melted. Drizzle over the buns, and pull apart to eat.

    Enjoy!  

     

    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 back from Piedmont, and that I need to use. Chocolate and hazelnut are a familiar and excellent combination. You know nutella of course, that deeply addictive chocolate spread based on gianduja from Northern Italy, a combination of hazelnut paste and chocolate. Nutella was originally called Pasta Gianduja. I make my own chocolate peanut butter at home, and my own riff on nutella too. Most recently, I made these gorgeous little cakes based on the same flavour profile.

    If you love nutella, you won’t be able to get enough of these.

    For intolerances or allergies – you can comfortably substitute coconut oil for butter here, for gluten free you can substitute rice flour or a gluten free flour of your choice, as the gluten isn’t key here.

    Recipe: Chocolate and Hazelnut Cakes with Chocolate Butter and Caramelised Cocoa Nibs

    Makes 6 small cakes
    takes 45 minutes

    Ingredients

    Chocolate and Hazelnut Cakes

    3 large egg whites
    25g plain flour
    75g icing / confectioners sugar
    75g ground hazelnuts (use blanched hazelnuts)
    25g cocoa
    100g butter

    Chocolate butter

    100g chocolate
    100g butter

    Caramelised cocoa nibs

    3 tbsp coarsely chopped cocoa nibs (or hazelnuts if you can’t source them)
    2 tbsp butter
    2 tbsp brown sugar

    butter or light oil greasing the tin
    bun tin or similar (I used a silicon canelé mould as I love the shape)

    Method

    Preheat your oven to 200 deg C.

    Prepare your tin by greasing with butter or oil.

    Sieve the flour & icing sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the ground hazelnuts and stir through.

    Whip the egg whites until fluffy but not stiff.

    Melt the butter (or coconut oil) and add to the dry ingredients. Add the egg whites and stir through.

    Fill tin until just below the top. There is no raising agent in this recipe but they will rise a bit.

    Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until a skewer comes out dry when you test it.

    Allow to cool before removing very carefully.

    Melt the butter and the sugar and leave over a medium heat for a few minutes taking care not to burn it. Add the cocoa nibs or hazelnuts and stir until full coated. In a separate pan over a low heat melt the butter for the chocolate butter, then add the chocolate and remove from the heat. Stir until it has melted in.

    Serve the cakes warm with some chocolate butter spooned on top and some cocoa nibs.

    Enjoy!

    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 purple potato, both for visuals and flavour. They have wonderful sweet rich flesh (although nowhere near as sweet as a sweet potato, they are still quite savoury too). 

    I have made crisps with them before (I love crisps), and served them with a chilli mayo dip. This time I went the hasselback route, cutting the potato into thin long wedges and roasting until crisp. Increasing the surface area this way not only looks superb, but it tastes great too. Especially when you baste them with butter relentlessly. And I did. They also look a lot more complex than they are. They are just potatoes that are not quite sliced through, and carefully. 

    Of course you can use normal white potatoes and they will be just as good, but do keep an eye peeled for the purple ones just to try them. They are addictive and I think would be perfect for Halloween too, no? 

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

    Serves 2 (or you know one for now and one for lunch the next day as I did)

    Ingredients

    4 medium potatoes, skin on, washed
    125g butter (yes it is a a lot but the potatoes don’t absorb all of it)
    75g chorizo, sliced in half lengthways and then chopped into horizontal slices
    1 small pumpkin or squash (not a munchkin though!), deseeded, peeled and diced
    1 mild green chilli
    a few sprigs of thyme
    100g cheddar, finely grated
    sea salt
    fresh ground black pepper

    Method

    Preheat the oven to 200 deg C.

    Prepare your potatoes by slicing them with a sharp knife not quite through to the end every 3mm or so.

    Grease a baking tray and place the potatoes in. Divide the butter in 5 and firmly squish one fifth on top of each potato. Leave the remaining to the side. Sprinkle with sea salt and some of the pepper.

    Put in the oven for 20 minutes, after which you should baste the potatoes with the melted butter, and continue to do this every 20 minutes. They should be finished after 60 minutes but this will depend on the size of your potatoes. They will be done when nice and crisp on top and soft within (test with your sharp knife gently).

    While the potatoes are cooking, in a separate oven proof dish add the remaining butter, chorizo, chilli, pumpkin, thyme and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Mix well and put in the oven once the potatoes have been in a half an hour or so. Take them out after 10 minutes and give them a good stir. These should be cooked (when the pumpkin is tender), once the potatoes are done. If done before the potatoes, remove them and put back in the oven for 5 minutes before serving.

    Serve when done with a quarter of the cheese on each and the chorizo and pumpkin mix.

    Enjoy!

    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 a lot. For pancakes, waffles, bread and now banana bread, the nutty flavour goes very well with the bananas here. It is gluten free as it isn’t actually a wheat, and as I used coconut oil too, this bread is dairy free also.

    A quick word on coconut oil, I know it is being heralded as a new discovery and superfood, but you know, in Asia they have been using this forever, and in Asian shops it is very easy to buy, and much cheaper too (ok, so it isn’t extra virgin, but you know). Often in bottles, which in Asia wouldn’t be a problem as it being warm, the oil would be liquid. Here, I put mine in a pot of hot water so that it melts a bit and I can pour it. You can get jars too.

    Once I discovered that coconut oil was a good butter substitute (I am lactose intolerant so I must take care), I started using it for fruit curds and in cakes that demanded to be dairy free. Texturally it is similar, unlike oils, and so it works very well. I should really share my lactose free life hacks with you some day. I have many! Of course you can use butter instead, if you prefer. Buttery bananas are good.

    Lets crack on with the recipe, shall we? This banana bread is dense and fruity with nutty pops of hazelnut. It didn’t last a day in my flat, and I ate most of it. I am going to make more this weekend.

    Enjoy – recipes now have their own page in my new website design, so that you can save and print the recipe on its own. PDF downloads are coming soon too. Both reader requests, and good onse I think! Let me know if there are any bugbears or things that you would like to see changed too!

    Oh and you know what, the Moomin coffee was actually ok! :)

     

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

    Ingredients

    175g buckwheat flour
    100g soft brown sugar
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp good vanilla extract
    4 very ripe bananas, mashed (mine came to 250g when peeled)
    75g coconut oil (or butter if you prefer)
    50g blanched hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

    one loaf tin, I actually used a pie dish as I couldn’t find my loaf tin :)

    Method

    Preheat your oven to 180 deg C.
    Mash the bananas and mix in the sugar and coconut oil. Beat with a wooden spoon until well combined.
    Add buckwheat flour, a pinch of salt and vanilla and mix through until you get a well blended batter.
    Stir through the hazelnuts and spread he batter into your greased tin.
    Bake until a skewer comes out dry when the cake is pierced with it. Mine took 30 minutes, keep an eye on it from 25.
    Lovely as is, hot, cold or toasted.
    Enjoy!

    Got the buckwheat bug? Here are some more buckwheat recipes to try:

    Buckwheat Pancakes with Plums, Almonds and Honey

    Buckwheat Waffles with Rhubarb, Apple & Candied Hazelnuts

    Homemade Matcha Soba Noodles & A Recipe for Matcha Mari Soba

    Love Bananas?! Me too! 

    Black Sticky Rice with Banana & Coconut Cream

    Banana, Coconut & Lime Bread

    Chef Baka’s Banana Fritter Recipe (from Palm Island)

     

    Mango & Lime Friands (Two Versions: Buttery & Dairy Free)

    Sweet! I want something sweet! And full of sunshine. I can no longer take the grey, grey sky that hangs so low over my head.

    Friands remind me of Australia. Bright blue skys, rolling frothy seas, cliff walks, great breakfasts, and all of their wonderful cafés. We have many great Australian cafés in London now too, and the friands are popping up, but like everything, you really can’t beat making them at home. They are so simple and take a maximum of 10 minutes to prepare, and 12 – 15 minutes to bake. You will be stuffing your face with friands in no time, and your biggest problem will be trying not to eat them all.

    I love a friand but I don’t need twenty of them squeaking at me from the kitchen – eat me! eat me! eat me! – 6 is too many but it is the least you can make so make sure that you can share them with someone, or some colleagues. Maybe you are not like me and have some self control, but I know that if there are 6 in the kitchen, then I can and will eat 6 of them. I will start with one, have a second, contemplate a guilty third, and from then on it is pure trauma as I try to battle their sirens call.

    The recipe is simple. Based on the French financier, but using only egg white (which makes them so light), the friand is composed only of butter, sugar, egg white, flour and ground almonds with the fruit of your choice. I chose mango and lime today as there was the most gorgeous mangoes flirting with me from outside the window of my local Caribbean butcher. Divine. Lime gives it the perk it needs, and gives me that gentle hint of invisible sunshine, which I really need right now.

    Friand tins can be hard to come by, use a muffin or fairy cake (cupcake) tin if you don’t have one. A financier tin will do nicely too.

    Can’t eat dairy? Don’t worry! I tested a dairy free version too. It is super simple, just substitute the same amount of coconut oil for the butter, and the results are great. It would be very easy to make these gluten free too, as there is such a tiny amount of flour in there. Substitute the plain flour with the gluten free flour of your choice and off you go.

    Enjoy!

     

    Mango & Lime Friands
    Rate this recipe
    2ratings

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook Time: 15 minutes

    Total Time: 25 minutes

    Yield: makes 6

    Mango & Lime Friands

    Mango & Lime Friands (Recipe)

    Ingredients

    • 3 large egg whites
    • 25g plain flour
    • 100g icing / confectioners sugar
    • 75g ground almonds
    • 100g butter (or 100g coconut oil for a dairy free version)
    • 75g mango, peeled & chopped into small dice
    • zest of 1 lime, grated fine
    • extra icing sugar for dusting
    • butter or coconut oil for greasing the tin

    Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 200 deg C.
  • Prepare your friand (or muffin) tin by greasing with butter (or coconut oil if doing dairy free).
  • Sieve the flour & icing sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the ground almonds and lime zest and stir through.
  • Whip the egg whites until fluffy but not stiff.
  • Melt the butter (or coconut oil) and add to the dry ingredients. Add the egg whites and stir through.
  • Fill your friand tin until just below the top. You want the friands to just pop over. Remember, there is no raising agent in this recipe so you can fill them up.
  • Divide your mango between the friands and pop them on the top, dipping them in, ever so slightly.
  • Bake for 10 - 15 minutes. I find 12 minutes is perfect with my oven.
  • Allow to cool before removing very carefully with a palette knife or slim spatula.
  • Dust with a little icing sugar, and they are ready to go.
  • Enjoy!
  • https://eatlikeagirl.com/mango-lime-friands-two-versions-buttery-dairy-free/

     

    Boozy Raspberry Chocolate Brownies

    Boozy Raspberry Chocolate Brownies

    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?

    Boozy Raspberry Chocolate Brownies

    Boozy Raspberry Chocolate Brownies

    Continue reading

    Rhubarb, Pistachio and Rose Frangipane Tart Recipe

    Rhubarb, Pistachio & 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 old Victorian technique). It spends a lifetime stretching for the light but never reaching it, trapped beneath the terracotta urn that houses it. Yorkshire rhubarb brightens January, and I always look forward to it.

    Rhubarb, Pistachio & Rose Frangipane Tart (Recipe)

    Rhubarb, Pistachio & Rose Frangipane Tart (Recipe)

    Rhubarb goes beautifully with pistachio and rose and I was recently reminded just how much I love simple frangipane when I baked David Lebovitz lovely Galette des Rois. Frangipane is a simple almond cream, made with ground almonds, egg, butter, sugar and aromatics (rum and almond extract for example), but it can also be made with ground pistachios, and in this case, rosewater. 

    I made this 5 times before I was happy with it. Or was that just an excuse to eat this gorgeous tart all week long?! I didn’t bother making pastry as puff pastry is such a faff and it is fairly easy to get all butter pre made puff pastry now, but I did play with frangipane to get it just so, and also the rhubarb, being oh so tender and slight, didn’t work pre-poached as it just fell to bits while roasting. So, I tried poaching, poaching so lightly in syrup before trying the very simple solution of putting the rhubarb on to the tart raw. Perfect. It doesn’t need extra sugar as there is plenty in the frangipane which will rise up around it.

    It is very important that you score the tart edges properly and try not to get the frangipane on or over the lines, I am clumsy and so did. But, learn from my mistakes. You may not use all of your frangipane either but why not make a couple of smaller hand pie size tarts on the side?

    Enjoy! It is very more-ish.

    Recipe: Rhubarb, Pistachio & Rose Frangipane Tart

    Serves 9 – 12 depending on how big you slice it

    Ingredientsffdd

    350g rhubarb, washed and cut into 2 inch lengths, halved lengthwise if thick
    1 sheet of all butter puff pastry approx 30cm x 20cm and a tray that will accommodate it
    1 egg beaten to egg wash the edges

    Pistachio and Rose Frangipane

    100g pistachio, shelled
    100g butter
    100g light brown sugar
    2 tsp rosewater
    ½ tsp vanilla extract
    1 large egg

    Method

    Preheat your oven to 200 deg C.

    Make your frangipane first. Using a food processor or blender, grind the pistachios to fine crumbs. Add the butter, sugar, rosewater and vanilla and mix well (very easy in a food processor but you can do it by hand too). Add your egg and incorporate it fully. Store in the fridge for at least 15 minutes while you prepare the rest of the tart.

    Prepare your rhubarb. Grease a tray that will accommodate your pastry sheet with butter and put the sheet on top of it. Using a sharp knife, cut a line one inch from the edge of the pastry all around it, taking care to cut almost but not completely through (this will allow the edge to rise). Prick the centre every now and then with a fork.

    Spread a thin layer of frangipane within the scored lines – you will notice I missed a few bits in my photo and my tart did suffer – any overlap will form an ugly frangipane crust on the edges.

    Layer the rhubarb on top and place in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes, when the edges will be risen and golden and the frangipane puffed up. Remove from the tray and leave to cool on a cooling rack. The tart will relax and become flatter.

    Serve at room temperature. Enjoy!

    Individual Toad in the Hole (aka Sausages Baked into a Yorkshire Pudding)

    I never even heard of toad in the hole as a child. I may have heard it referred to but I always thought that it referred to Toad of Toad Hall of The Wind in the Willows. I was quite surprised to discover it was a joyous and simple concoction of sausages roasted in Yorkshire batter. It is a favourite now, especially for one the days start closing in in Autumn and Winter. 

    How to Make the Perfect Toad in the Hole

    My recipe for this is very simple but there is are caveats

     – it is very important to allow the batter to rest once you have made it, for at least an hour, or overnight

     – cook the batter from room temperature for best results. If resting in the fridge overnight allow the batter to come to room temperature before you bake it.

     – for best results and a perfect rise, it is best to preheat the tin also.

    This recipe makes enough for two individual toads with two sausages each. Or if cooking for one as I was, enough for one toady and a big Yorkshire pudding for later. I often cook for one, almost always. I choose to cook because I enjoy it, it helps me relax and remove myself from the days stresses, and the results are delicious. I cook for pleasure, during and after. And the anticipation!

    Alternative toads: I have also made this with the cocktail cooking chorizo sausages in a muffin tray. They were so cute I half wanted to tuck them up in bed instead of eating them. Chunks of pumpkin in place of sausages also works well as a toad alternative, even better, wrap the pumpkin in bacon. 

    RECIPE: Toad in the Hole

    Individual Toad in the Hole
    Rate this recipe
    312ratings

    Individual Toad in the Hole

    Ingredients

    • 1 egg
    • 50g plain flour, sifted
    • pinch of salt
    • 150ml whole milk
    • 2 sausages
    • one small tray that will accomodate two sausages and wiggle room
    • neutral oil or - traditionally - lard, you can substitute duck fat

    Instructions

  • Whisk together the salt, egg, milk and flour until there is no lumps and leave covered at room temperature for an hour.
  • Preheat your oven to 200 deg C and lightly roast the sausages in a little oil / fat until they are starting to brown.
  • Remove the sausages and add more fat, it should cover the whole of the bottom of the pan (or you won't get a nice crisp bottom). Heat in the oven then add the sausages and pour in the batter until it comes half way up the sausages. If you are not making two toads, pour the leftover batter in another small tin with fat to cook a Yorkshire pudding. You won't regret it!
  • Roast for 20 minutes, in which time the pastry will puff up and crisp.
  • Eat with gravy and lots of it. Delicious!
  • https://eatlikeagirl.com/recipe-toad-in-the-hole/

     

    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 either. It is made with baking powder, sugar, eggs, bananas, flour. Doesn’t that sound like a cake? But it really isn’t one is it? It can be light or heavy, depending on personal preference, but it is sweet and fruity. I was converted immediately. For me, banana bread is a delicious confusion, and I think I have improved it a step here with my twist.

    Stepping back a little bit again – I should explain that I have been travelling for over 24 hours and am writing my mini banana bread missive from Kyoto so forgive me when I inevitably ramble, as I am – banana bread was brought back to the forefront of my consciousness when I visited Vancouver. It was everywhere, and in many variations. They love it.

    Then more recently, in the Caribbean, I started thinking about the versatility of banana as an ingredient, and I have quite a few new recipes for you now that I developed last week, although I will spread them out over the next few months for I have no desire for this to become a banana blog, that would be a different thing altogether. I could call it bananas for bananas or something similar, but I won’t.

    Back to my banana bread. I love coconut as an ingredient too. Occasionally fresh when I have the patience, and maybe a hammer, more often I use coconut milk or coconut cream, and occasionally dessicated coconut. Coconut oil is a great cooking oil which I use a lot too, and it is a decent substitute for butter in baking when you are cooking for somebody that can’t eat it. I have a curd recipe which includes it, I really must blog it here. Lime goes especially well with it, as does banana. It was a no brainer really.

    I used a punchy little wrinkly lime from my local Indian shop. It had such sweet strong perfume, if you are in London, seek them out. If you can’t get them, don’t worry, a normal lime will do, just be sure to get a good one, as you don’t want waxed rind in your lovely bread. Dessicated coconut gives extra coconut flavour and texture and also lightens the crumb.

    I hope you like it as much as I do. It is nice and light and zingy. Dairy free too!

    Banana, Coconut & Lime Bread

    Banana, Coconut & Lime Bread

    Recipe: Banana, Coconut & Lime Bread

    Ingredients

    400g ripe bananas (over ripe work very well too)
    juice and zest of 1 lime
    160ml coconut cream (the small tins not the solid block, alternatively use the thickest part of a tin of coconut milk that has been allowed to separate by not agitating it)
    100g dessicated coconut
    200g flour
    3 tsp baking powder
    175g light brown sugar
    generous pinch of sea salt
    3 large eggs

    loaf tin or cake tin (I used an 8 inch sandwich tin), buttered (or oiled)

    Method

    Preheat the oven to 170 deg C.
    Whisk the eggs and sugar until they increase in volume and get a little creamier and thicker.
    Sift the flour and baking powder. Mash the banana and mix with the flour, baking powder, and all remaining ingredients.
    Pour into your prepared tin and bake until a skewer or knife comes out dry when pierced through. This will depend on whether you bake a shallow or deep cake but will take 55 – 60 minutes.