Whilst I’ve been doing all this Brexit Baking, I’ve also been working on some breakfast biscuits. I eat a lot of ‘breakfast biscuits’, the biscuits you buy that are sandwiched together with chocolate, and make you feel like you’re having dessert for breakfast (something I am thoroughly in support of). But they’re all individually wrapped, and that’s a lot of plastic, and a fair amount of money, not to mention a lot of random ingredients including palm oil that I’d rather not have. So I decided to make my own. Continue reading “Breakfast Biscuits”
OH MAN. My oven still isn’t fixed. It’s not great, but I’m learning to work around it (although hopefully not for too much longer…). An oven-free week has led to me making this super tasty honey mustard chicken casserole, and the best breakfast I’ve had in a while – aka, lemon ricotta pancakes. I can’t remember the last time I went to work when I wasn’t hungry when lunchtime came around (without spending the morning snacking), but these pancakes are super filling, and so good. It also seemed like destiny, because I had some leftover buttermilk that was probably going to go off soon, so it was, all in all, a good pancake opportunity.
I really love breakfast (read about that here), and so much of the time I just don’t have anything in the house that is breakfasty enough to keep me full until lunch. This has led me to believe I should always eat pancakes and fruit for breakfast. Not really cost-effective though. I will be looking into this. Breakfast suggestions welcome.
One of the reasons I hadn’t made these pancakes before was that there’s a section of my list which I’m reserving for summer. I’m one of those people who is pretty strict about not buying fruit that’s out of season that’s been shipped from Kenya or whatever. Blueberries in December? I don’t think so! The recipe suggests you should serve the pancakes with raspberries, but English raspberries aren’t going to be around for at least another month or two. I was in the process of trying to reconcile myself with buying some from Spain, when I realised that (slightly unbelievably) there were some strawberries from Sussex. I am fully aware that the amount of energy it took to grow strawberries in England before the summer is probably comparable to them just being shipped from Spain where they probably do just grow normally in April, but it made me feel better okay? I felt better about eating strawberries that came from Sussex.
Hopefully next week we will be back with an oven, otherwise it’ll be another non-oven recipe, or I will use my other option, baking at my parents’ house. It’s Easter, and I really wanted to make something awesome and chocolatey, but at the moment it looks like I’ll just be making chocolate cornflake cakes (which do fit the previous description, but aren’t really what I had in mind).
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Raspberries (or whatever fruit you feel like) from Dorset Cereals Breakfast Book
225g plain flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large free-range eggs, separated
60g caster sugar
185g ricotta cheese
finely grated zest of 1/2 an unwaxed lemon
2tsp butter, melted
1 punnet of raspberries (or strawberries)
1 tbsp caster sugar (optional – or maple syrup is good too!)
1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, bicarb and salt. In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk, egg yolks, sugar, ricotta and lemon zest. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour and stir until just blended – there may be a few lumps.
2. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold the egg whites into the batter until just blended.
3. Place a large griddle or frying pan over a medium heat until hot. Brush the pan with some of the melted butter. Put one ladleful of the batter into the hot pan (you can do them more than one at a time, depending on the size of your pan – I did two at a time). Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until small bubbles appear on the surface, the edges start to look dry and the bottoms golden brown, about 4 mins.
4. Carefully turn the pancake over and cook until lightly browned on the other side – about a minute. Transfer to an ovenproof platter and place in the oven to keep warm (heat the oven to about 120C). Do not cover the pancakes or they will go soggy! The batter will make about 16 pancakes. Serve with fruit and sprinkle with sugar (or maple syrup).
I’ve had the French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook for about 2 years now. No, in case you’re wondering, I’ve never used it. But it had some interesting recipes, and I liked the concept, even though I was never going to actually follow the diet. To be honest, I admire anyone who is willing to spend a weekend only eating leek soup, and have one of their breakfast staples be “magic breakfast cream”, which sounds really suspect until you read the ingredients list (yogurt, lemon juice, cereal, walnuts, in case you’re wondering). One of the main things that stood out for me from the book was the brunch section, and particularly lemon toasts. They’re basically a slightly classier version of French toast, but super tasty and REALLY filling. The recipe says to use brioche, and when I went to buy it, I was faced with plain or chocolate chip. Both the same price. Obviously I got the chocolate chip (because as can be seen here, chocolate makes everything better).
Also, because this is the most basic and quickest thing I’ve baked so far this year, I thought I’d share some of the other things I’ve been baking this week, namely apple pie, and PIZZZAAAAA. When I went back to my parents’ house the other week, I was given some apples (some of the vast stock left over from this autumn). I finally got around to using them, and even when your apples are so soft that it’s initially really difficult to peel them, they still make good pie. I got the Observer Food Monthly last weekend, which contained bread recipes from Nigel Slater. So I made a massive batch of dough (1.6kg to be precise), and made one loaf, two pizzas, and some rolls. I was going to make maple and walnut buns, but I already have so much cake-related food in my house, that I just can’t take anymore. The pizza was particularly fantastic – sausage, goat’s cheese and mozzarella, really simple to make (once you’ve got bread dough), and can be seen here. If you feel like making some bread, and focaccia and pizza and buns, then you can find Nigel Slater’s recipes here (as soon as you see the photos, you’re going to want to, believe me).
Lemon Toasts (from ‘The French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook’ by Mireille Guiliano)
(serves 4 – I underestimated this, but it’s definitely true. I still have some left to use for breakfast another day)
1 egg white
6 tbsp sugar
90g ground almonds
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp orange zest (or, if you’re me, 1 tsp of orange juice)
4 slices of brioche (or 2 little brioche rolls per person)
1. Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5
2. In a bowl, whisk together the egg white and sugar until creamy. Add the ground almonds, lemon juice and zest, orange zest, and mix until smooth.
3. Place the brioche slices on a greaseproof-lined baking sheet and cover the top of each with an even layer of the lemon-almond mixture. Place in the oven and bake until lightly golden, 8-10 mins. Serve warm.
Next week: a Mother’s Day surprise!