Tag Archives: sweet

Winter Warmers 2: Apple Spice Muffins

For this second recipe in this series, I wanted to post something sweet that reminds me of the Autumn and Winter seasons. Apple Spice Muffins bring together the fallen apples in Autumn along with warming Christmas spices and your house will smell heavenly when you bake these! I really hope you give these a go so you get what I mean ūüôā

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This was one of my first muffins I made and it was adapted from a recipe by Susan Reimer. But unlike the original recipe I wanted to find out a way to make these without eggs without losing out on the moisture. These muffins are great for so many different occasions: breakfast, brunch, picnic, tea time snack etc. I have also measured the wet and dry ingredients in advance, so when I want to make them I just need to mix the wet and dry ingredients together and it becomes even simpler and hassle free!

NOTES:

If you don’t have the individual spice powders below you can just use 1.5 teaspoons of Mixed Spice.

I prefer to use Granny Smith apples in this recipe but you can use any really.

My favourite nuts to use in this recipe are Pecan nuts, but walnuts or hazelnuts are also fine.

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Apple Spice Muffins

Makes 12 standard size muffins or 8 large muffins

What you need:

  • Self raising Flour – 225g
  • Baking Powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Cinnamon – 1tsp
  • Ground ginger – 1/2 tsp
  • Nutmeg – 1/4 tsp
  • white granulated sugar –¬†100g
  • Apple – 170g (approx) – peeled and chopped finely
  • Raisins/sultana’s –¬†30g
  • Chopped nuts –¬†30g
  • Milk – 150ml (I used Almond milk to keep this recipe vegan but you can use any milk)¬†You may need to add more to get a thick dropping consistency. I end up using¬†between 150ml – 180ml.
  • Vegetable oil – 100ml

For the topping:

  • 60g chopped nuts
  • 3 tablespoons (apporx) of brown (demerera) sugar

How to make it:

  1. Prepare your muffin tin by greasing them or lining them with cases. Pre-heat your oven to 190 deg C (375 F).
  2. Keep the apple, raisins and nuts aside.
  3. Put in all your other dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, spices) together in a bowl and mix well.
  4. Then measure out your milk and oil and then add these wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and work swiftly to combine them well with a wooden spoon.
  5. Add the apple, raisins and chopped nuts and mix well so that are evenly distributed in the mixture. The batter should have a thick dropping consistency.
  6. Spoon the mixture into your tin and sprinkle with the sugar & nut topping. Bake for about 20 – 25mins until the the tops of the muffins are browned and spring back when pressed lightly.
  7. Cool on a rack. I like to eat these warm from the oven but if you are not eating these straight away then you can just put them into the microwave for 10 seconds.

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Filed under Baking, brunch, dessert, Dinner, Food, Mornings, mykitchenadventures, Snack, sujiskitchen, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetarian

Cookies through the letterbox!

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When you send someone something, why get them to wait for a parcel or bother getting it from the Post Office if they’ve missed the delivery? Well Decadence Delivered have a fab solution to sending DELICIOUS COOKIES¬†which fit through a letterbox without the hassles or sending a parcel!

I was very lucky¬†to receive a sample of these cookies by Decadence Delivered and it was such a lovely surprise when I found them waiting for me at home from the Postman. No waiting around at home for a delivery….no delays… no annoying notice from the Post Office saying I had missed the delivery…. and no driving to the Posts office to collect it!

The box is very elegant and simple and I could feel there was something very special inside. And I wasn’t disappointed ūüôā Inside were a set of beautifully made cookies each individually wrapped and the inside cover of the box indicates which flavour you have received. ¬†It’s great packaging as it ensures the cookies are not damaged en route and presented very elegantly on opening.

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So the important question of taste. Well you can tell these cookies are made from high quality ingredients when you bite into them. The texture is perfect – a combination of a chewy and crumbly cookies are just what I expected and for me, the sweetness was spot on as I am not a sweet tooth and I can’t stand sickly sweet cookies. I tasted the milk chocolate cookies which has cute¬†milk chocolate buttons ¬†to make a very pretty cookie.¬†I would love to try¬†the salted caramel ones next! There are currently five different cookie flavours you can choose from and you can see the choices on their website:

www.decadencedelivered.co.uk

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In addition to the choice of cookie, you can also personalise it if you are sending them as a gift, for whatever occasion. I imagine these would be perfect gifts for this Christmas! ¬†And there is 20% off your current order, so there’s a¬†good deal to be had. Whether you want to get these cookies for yourself or for friends and family, these delectable cookies will surely bring a huge smile to whoever gets to eat them!

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Dessert – GBBO week 6

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Well what a fab episode about all things sweet! I really enjoyed watching all the different roulades and Andrew, Selasi and Jane did particularly well on these. I think my favourite flavour Roulade was Andrew’s tropical holiday Roulade as it’s the kind of flavours I would enjoy ūüôā It was the first time I had heard of a ‘Marjolaine’ and these were a toughie for the technical challenge. Precision and the chewiness of the meringue layer were criticised and Andrew’s bake was the obvious first place. The final showstopper challenge was interesting and all the bakers struggled to get their mousse cakes set on time. There was some great flavour combinations but I think my favourite was Selasi’s lemon, raspberry and passion fruit one – the one that saved his place I think!

I am not a sweet tooth, which makes my Dentist happy, but I do really wish I had more cravings¬†for the yummy delights that I often see around me. ¬†I will definitely try any dessert but then the sweetness gets all a bit too much and I have to find someone to finish it off. It’s a ‘Catch 22’ situation at home as I love making desserts and baking cakes, but then I have to hunt down others to eat them as there is only so much my husband can consume¬†…lol ¬†ūüėČ

I got thinking after watching the mousse showstopper round and about the kind of desserts I have made which involved setting agents (as I don’t use eggs or gelatin in my baking). So the obvious one for me was Panna Cotta ūüôā It took a while for me to try out this delicious¬†Italian dessert the first time, as it always involved using revolting Gelatin. So it was very exciting when my lovely friend Kavitha told me about a yummy version of Panna cotta which was gelatin free! I tried this at her house and was really amazed by the texture and yummy flavour and it was great to know that you can make this without using Gelatin, phew!

So since then I have tried this recipe out a few times, with some failures (mainly because I didn’t follow the instructions on the setting agent…eeek!) and I can share with you two replacements for the Gelatin; Vege gel and Agar Agar. ¬†If you are a sweet tooth, then I have made some recommendations on how to make it to your taste. I love this recipe as it means you can make it the day before any guests are coming over and it makes a fuss free sweet and relatively light sweet at the end of a lunch or dinner. I also really like the way you can pair it with a coulis or sauce using seasonal ingredients. For example, recently I made a coulis with freshly grown Strawberries and during winter months you can just pour over some store bought Mango Pulp or use frozen Coulis. Easy peasy! ūüôā

* Vanilla Panna Cotta *

Makes x12 portions (you’ll want more than one ūüėČ )

What you need:

  • 500ml Double Cream
  • 150ml Milk
  • 1 vanilla pod – seeds scraped out
  • x2 7g packets of¬†Vege gel¬†OR¬†2 tsps Agar flakes
  • 50g white granulated sugar
  • x12 silicon muffin moulds or individual ramekins

How to make it:

    1. Heat the cream and milk in a medium sized saucepan (ideally with a spout) until almost at boiling point. Then lower the heat and the sugar and vanilla seeds and mix well.
    2. Prepare your setting agent. I use vege gel most often as it’s more easily available and the instructions on the Vege gel packets¬†I use states to dissolve the packets in cold water) and then add to the simmering cream and milk mixture and mix well. I find it helps using a whisk here to ensure the setting agent is evenly distributed in the liquid.
    3. Take the pan off the flame and keep aside for 2 minutes to cool a little and get your moulds or ramekins. SEE NOTE BELOW.
    4. Pour the mixture into your moulds/ramekins and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. I honestly think the overnight option is the best, especially when you have guests the following day so it will save you lots of time!

Serve with a refreshing fruit coulis ūüôā

      NOTE: Be careful not too cool the mixture too much in your pan as your setting agent (Vege gel or Agar Agar) may start to set the mixture. If you see your mixture starting to set in your pan then pour into the moulds/ramekins immediately.
      If you have a sweet tooth then you could add melted white chocolate for a more decadent flavour, but reduce the sugar to 25g.

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Filed under Baking, dessert, Food, GBBO, recipe, Uncategorized, vegetarian

Ganesh Chaturthi

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These sweet delights are a typical offering made in Hindu households to celebrate Ganesh¬†Chaturthi/Vinayaka¬†Chaturthi. They are known as ‘Modak’ in North India and ‘Modakkam’ or ‘Kozhukattai’ in South India¬†and Sri Lanka. They are usually offered to Ganesha (the¬†Hindu God who is said¬†to help remove all obstacles and difficulties), before a pooja¬†and then eaten¬†afterwards by those who have attended the event. This is a favourite in our house during these celebrations aswell at¬†other¬†occasions¬†and have to be strategically made in secret so that members of the household don’t eat all the sweet pooranam¬†before you have a chance¬†to make the Modakam’s! ūüôā Ganesha is also my personal favourite Hindu deity, bearing the head of my most favourite animal; the elephant. There is something about this Deity that, for me, brings hope and helps me get through difficult times. I can’t really describe in words how or why Ganesha makes me feel this way – he just does – and I am always¬†drawn to anything related to Ganesha or elephants. ūüôā

This year, the celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi falls on Friday 29th August. I hope to go to India one day and witness this amazing festival that brings family and friends together.

For those who are not familiar with this snack, it’s basically like a steamed dumpling with a sweet or savoury filling. I like both recipes but have written the sweet version here. Although you can use soft brown sugar in this recipe, I prefer using Jaggery/Gur (unrefined cane sugar)¬†as it gives a different taste and texture to the Modakams. Jaggery can be found in many Asian stores in Western countries nowadays, or online, so it’s worth getting it if you can. It can be kept for a long time if you keep it in an airtight container.

In Sri Lanka they often use red rice flour, which is not only healthier, but gives a great taste too. You can mix 1 cup of red rice to 1 tablespoon of steamed plain flour and then follow the same method. I am not keen on the bigger sizes of Modakam as I tend to be a bit clumsy and the filling just falls out everywhere when I bite into it! So I usually choose to make the bite-size versions. Find the recipe here.

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