Sunday, 5 February 2017

Choc Nut Babka Loaf

We made a batch of enriched dough (same as for Pain ua Choc Fingers and Cinnamon Buns) using the following ingredients -

175g bread flour (we used Dove's farm gluten free which includes xantham gum - of yours doesn't you'll need ¼tsp xantham gum)
2¼tsp fast action dried yeast
50g caster sugar
2tsp baking powder (we used Dr Oetker gluten free)
50ml olive oil
50ml warm water (you may need more)
1 medium egg
1tsp vanilla extract

Putting the liquid into a bowl, we used a hand mixer with dough hooks to incorporate all the dry ingredients a spoonful at a time... and then mixed for about 4-5mins till binding well.

The dough was placed in an oiled bowl, covered with oiled cling film and put in the airing cupboard to prove for about an hour.
Once proved, the dough was rolled out to a large rectangle (roughly 35cmx25cm) and covered with  the warmed choc nut spread using a silicone spatula (we used about two Tablespoons of spread, which had been warmed in a small pan so it was more pliable).  Next a handful of chopped nuts (macadamia, pecans, hazelnuts all work) were sprinkled over. 

The dough was rolled from the LONG side to form a cylinder. 

This was then cut down its length leaving one end in tact.  The pieces were then twisted over one another (doesn't matter if this is messy... it likely will be!)  and the 'plait' was placed in a non-stick loaf tin.

Putting the dough, in its tin, to prove for another 45mins to an hour (again having covered the dough with oiled cling film)

The oven was heated to 170C (fan) and then the loaf was baked (having removed the clingfilm) for about 25 minutes, checked and then returned to bake until golden brown (you'll have to adjust this based on your oven and tin size... a more compact cake will require a longer bake).

It was left to cool in the tin and turned out when completely cooled.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Trilobite 'tatoes

We are always on the look out for really simple 'dishes' to make.. and these potatoes, a variation on Hasselback, work out well every time they are made.

Starting with some mid-sized potatoes (we used King Edward), they were cut in half along the 'long' axis. 

Placing the potato, cut side down, on the work surface next to the chopping board, a sharp knife was used to slice finely without going through to the surface (the chopping board ensures the knife doesn't cut all the way through.)

Once all the potato halves were sliced, they were put in a pot, drizzled with oil (we used sunflower) and shaken to ensure an even coating.

The potatoes were transferred to a baking tray (cut side down), seasoned with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt, and roasted in a pre-heated oven (170C fan) for about 20 minutes.  After this time, they were checked, and returned to the oven until they were thoroughly cooked.

When cooked, the potatoes open up slightly and have a lovely, fluffy interior with a crispy base.  We find this is a quicker and more reliable way to make crunchy-enough potatoes for J to eat!

Friday, 16 December 2016

Cheese and Chilli Whorls

Today was a 'make it' day... with not much time.  The oven was on and we needed some savoury snacks for the weekend.

A fridge audit revealed some Silly Yak pastry and grated mature cheddar... and an idea was forming.

Using half a pack of Silly Yak gluten free puff pastry, it was rolled out into a rectangle (about 3mm thick). 

The cheese was mixed with a Tablespoonful of paprika and smoked paprika, and a 'generous' sprinkle of chilli flakes.  These were then spread over the pastry, patted down and the pastry was rolled from one of the long sides... into a swiss roll shape.

Cutting the pastry roll into slices about 1.5cm thick, they were placed on a non-stick baking sheet and then put in a pre-heated hot oven (180C) for 10 minutes; they were checked and cooked for another 2 minutes until crisp and bubbling. 
Cooling them on the baking tray for a few minutes, they were removed and allowed to cool completely. 
A delicious, simple and spicy savoury treat.  Prepared and baked in 20 minutes - that's my type of cooking!