Sunday, 26 May 2013

Cardamom and Rose Kheer with Roasted Rhubarb

So I have signed up to be part of a set of folk who will be selling sweet treats at a dessert market next weekend. I decided to test out a recipe today. Needing something that was easy to portion, tasted good hot or cold, and wanting to stick to an Indian theme, I opted for Kheer (plus, here in Berlin people seem to love a bit of milchreis a.k.a rice pudding). Cardamom and rose seemed like an excellent paring, and I thought a little rhubarb at the bottom would balance out the sweetness of the rice. Sprinkle on some crushed pistachios and you're on to a winner!

This will make 4 decent sized portions
this is only three, though


1 tsp oil
8-10 cardamom pods, seeds out and ground
50g short grain round rice (risotto type)
750 ml milk
30g sugar
30 ml pouring cream
2 tsp rose water
pistachios, crushed, to decorate 

2 sticks of rhubarb
a sprinkling of sugar


-take a large pan and pour in the oil. Add the cardamom and fry until fragrant then add in the rice and stir to coat in the oil
-pour in the milk and stir. Add in the sugar - half first then more after tasting. Stir and cook on a low heat until you can't feel the sugar scraping along any more then whack up the heat 
-once the milk has begun to boil, turn it down and gently simmer for 40-50 minutes, stirring every 5, and watching more closely at the end. By this point the milk should have all buy been absorbed and it should be thick and creamy
-stir in the cream and carry on cooking
-meanwhile preheat the oven to gas mark 6, wash and chop the rhubarb in to 4-5cm long pieces and place in an oven proof dish. Sprinkle with a little sugar, cover in foil and roast for 15 minutes
- add the rose water to the kheer, stir and remove from the heat.
- mix the cooked rhubarb together to mingle the colours and spoon in to 4 glasses/bowls. Top this with the kheer and then adorn with lovely crushed pistachios. 
 to be enjoyed hot, warm or cold! 
NB: if having cold, assemble but wait to add the nuts until ready to eat

Oaty Waffles

A change from porridge!

Hello, hello! It has been a very long time since I've actually posted any thing on here. I didn't realise how long until just now. I went on holiday to Japan to visit a friend back in March, hence no posts, and since then I've been baking old recipes. 

So today, a new post! I generally eat porridge for breakfast every day. Today I wanted a little change. So I wondered if porridge could be turned in to waffles...IT CAN! Just blend up the oats and use instead of flour. Bada-bing. This recipe serves two people, making 3 wee ones or 2 larger ones each.


100g oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla sugar
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon
100 ml skimmed milk
1 medium egg
1 tsp (low fat - what I had) butter
few drops vanilla extract

to serve
2 bananas
low fat natural yogurt


- plug in your waffle iron and set to medium-hot
- using a hand blender, whizz up the oats to a fine powder. Add in all the dry ingredients and mix together.
- melt the butter in a measuring jug in the microwave. Add in the milk, egg and vanilla and whisk. Pour this on to the oaty stuff.
- whisk together
- spoon a 1/6 (for small sized) of the batter on to the iron, close the lid and cook!
- repeat and serve with banana, some yogurt and a little more cinnamon!
Just as good for you as a bowl of porridge - but stacked. Bernard Black would be proud.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Bakewell Tart

So! This Friday a friend and I spent a long time in the kitchen. The oven was on for 14 hours. We had a stall at a Market over here and I made lots of sweet things, she made all the savoury stuff. It was a really great experience - we got to learn a lot about having a stall and what sorts of things we need to prepare and take along with us. Logistics and that. We even got business cards printed up! 'Crumbs in Berlin' - so it sort of matches what I have here. Del made quiches and tasty roasted veg topped bread, and I made brownies, gingerbread, carrot cake, cupcakes (vanilla, chai and ganache topped orange drizzle), scones, a delicious honey and orange blossom cake and some bakewell tarts. It went really well and hopefully we can do some more!
Here's the recipe for the bakewell. No real pictures, but I can always make it again!

for the pastry
125g plain flour
75g cold butter, diced
20g vanilla sugar
1 egg yolk
some iced water

for the almond filling
raspberry jam
150g butter, sofened
150g sugar
150g ground almonds
3 eggs, beaten
the zest of one lemon
1/2 tsp almond extract
icing sugar
sugar nibs

- make the pastry. Rub the butter in to the flour. When it resembles breadcrumbs, stir in the sugar then tip in the egg yolk and a tablespoon of water. Mix together with a round ended knife and add more water as needed until a dryish dough is formed. Bring together in to a ball. Knead briefly then wrap up and rest in the fridge for half an hour. 
- preheat the oven to gas 4. Roll out the dough and lay it in a tart tin. Cover with baking paper and fill with baking beans/rice and bake for 12 mins. Take out, remove the insides and bake again for 5.
-whilst that's in the oven, make the delicious filling. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs gradually and then fold in the almopnds, zest and extract. 
-spread a good layer of jam on to the pastry and then spoon the mix on top, spreading evenly. Bake for around 20 minutes until slightly risen and golden.
Make a simple water icing and drizzle on the top, then sprinkle with sugar nibs for extra crunch!

Mini Bakewell tarts!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Buttermilk Waffles

AND they're heart shaped. So work well for heart day! <3

Yesterday was Shrove Tuesday. My flatmate and I were both busy with various bits and pieces, and as we both had a lazy lie in the next day, we opted in stead for Waffle Wednesday!
It was nice: Tea, TV, waffles, What more could you want?
I was equally excited to get the waffle iron out and do some practice runs for the food market we are both selling at in a few weekend's time, and that I could again whip out my German waffle and pancake book, attempt some translation and hope for the best.
Of course I didn't have all the relevant ingredients for any of the recipes, so I just sort of mixed and matched and did what I thought would be tasty.
By the way, this made enough to feed two hungry (and greedy) girls.

105g flour
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
40g ground almonds
200ml buttermilk
15g butter, melted and cooled
1 egg, separated
sugar nibs/icing sugar to dust
strawberries/sliced banana
honey and yogurt

-first thing's first - stick the waffle iron on and get yourself a couple of bowls ready
- in a large bowl stir together all the dry ingredients.
- in another bowl, mix together the butter, buttermilk and egg yolk. Whisk together to combine.
-in yet another bowl, whisk up the egg white until nice and fluffy and a bit stiff. Mix the milky-buttery stuff in to the floury bowl and whisk. Then fold in the egg white.
-spoon 1/4 of the mixture in to the waffle iron, close the lid and cook on high for about 4 minutes until brown and cooked through. Slice up/layer with fruit, dollop on the yogurt and drizzle with honey. A dusting of sugar wouldn't go amiss either.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Honey, Lime and Ginger Cheesecake

Not the prettiest, but it was darn tasty!
I have recently joined up with a cooking community called Kitchen Surfing! It looks like it could be a lot of fun. Basically it means that if someone likes the look of the food I make (mostly curries) and the cakes I bake, then they could hire me to come and cook in their home! Fun! There also seems to be market selling opportunities too. In any case, this links in to this post as I had to cook some dishes to take to an interview/tasting to see what sort of things I make. This cheesecake was one of them. 

I love cheesecake and usually stick to my chai baked one, but this time wanted to have the flavours reflect the wintery months. Honey, lime and ginger was the winning combination as this is what you need when you start to feel a bit poorly - and they are a tasty trio.
Topped with honey and fresh ginger syrup for extra oomph.

325g butter keks smashed to within an inch of their lives
30g oats
150g butter, melted
2 1/2 tblsp ground ginger

500g cream cheese(room temp)
100g sugar
100g honey
4 eggs (room temp)
250ml cream(room temp)
zest of 2 limes and the juice of one
1tsp vanilla extract
2 tblsp plain flour

thumb sized piece of ginger
2 tblsp honey

-Preheat the oven to gas mark 4. Line a loose bottomed, deep, round tin with paper and set aside.
-Make the buttery biscuit base: Pour the butter in to the smashed biscuits, oats and ginger powder and mix well. Tip in to the tin and press down firmly so it is tightly packed. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
-beat the cream cheese then add in the sugar and beat for a few minutes. Add in the honey and cream and whisk together until smooth.
-Add the eggs, zest, juice and vanilla and carefully whisk in. Sieve the flour over the top and gently fold. Try not to incorporate too mach air. Carefully bang the bowl on the kitchen side to remove large air bubbles.
- pour on to the prepared biscuit base. Bake for around an hour. It should rise up, nice and puffy, slightly brown around the edges and still have a wobble in the center. After an hour, turn off the oven and leave inside. Then after another hour, open the door and leave it for another hour. So 3 hours in total. You basically want to let it cool down as slowly as possible.
-to make the syrup, grate the ginger, squeeze the juice in to a small pan and put the ginger in too. Add the honey and a little water. Boil for a few minutes till thickened. Cool and pour over the cooled cheesecake!
Slice and munch.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Gooey Chocolate and Cardamom Tart

It cracked a bit, but that just means the top's all crispy!

I realised that it has been quite a while since I baked anything pastry based. I needed to make a few things today for a little thing I have going on tomorrow, and decided a cross between a tart and a brownie would be perfect! It slices, looks nice on a plate and will taste good, because let's face it - brownies always do. I added in a little cardamom for a little zing and it worked very well indeed.

For the pastry:
175g plain flour
85g cold butter, diced
1 tblsp vanilla sugar
1 egg yolk
up to 5 tblsp iced water

For the gooey chocolate filling:
125g butter, diced
160g dark chocolate (I used an equal mixture of 81% and 65%)
6 cardamom pods - just the seeds, crushed
60g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
210g sugar
3 eggs

- First things first, make the pastry. Using your fingertips rub the butter in to the flour and sugar until it resembles breadcrumbs. Then add in the egg yolk and 2 tblsp of the cold water and mix in with a round-ended knife. Keep adding water, bit by bit until the dough starts to come together - but is not too wet. Tip on to a board, knead very lightly to bring together, wrap in cling film and pop in the fridge for 30 mins.
- preheat the oven to gas 6. Roll out the pastry and use it to line a 25cm tart tin. Prick a few holes all over, cover in baking paper, fill with baking beans or raw rice and blind bake for 10 mins. Remove the beans and paper, and pop back in for another 10, remove and then set the oven to gas 4.
- for the filling, set a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water and melt the butter and chocolate together. Once silky, stir in the cardamom and set aside. 
- set another metal bowl over the same pan and place the eggs and sugar inside. Whisk with electric beaters on high until it pale, thick, creamy and tripled in size (you can do this without the additional heat but it would take a wee bit longer).
- Pour the chocolate in to the eggs and fold in with a large metal spoon. Sift the dry ingredients over the top and fold in until just combined.
-pour this in to your prepared pastry case, place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes (remember to turn the oven down to 4 though!).
- It's ready when there is still a slight wobble in the middle. This will set as it cools. Slice and enjoy with a cup of chai or cardamom tea!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Chocolate Orange Layer Cake

Huge sparkler candles for the occasion

I worked out that I hadn't seen my mum on her birthday for around six years or so, and thought that it was high time I did! I went back to the UK for a visit, saw some friends in Glasgow and the midlands, had some food, some wine and some fun and then carried on down the country to Devon to see my family. We went to one of the River Cottage canteens the day after mum's actual birthday (delicious, by the way), but on the day we stayed in. My sister cooked up a tasty curry and I was in charge of the cake. When asked what flavour she might like, mum replied "chocolate orange?" so I obliged!
It's a four-layer orange flavoured chocolate chip sponge, brushed with orange syrup and sandwiched with orange scented whipped cream - all covered in a dark chocolate ganache. 

4 large eggs
300g caster sugar
310g softened butter
310g self-raising flour
2 large oranges, both zested and juiced
50g dark chocolate bashed in to pieces - or buy some chocolate chips :)

70g extra sugar

500ml double cream
200g 70% dark chocolate, chopped up
1 tsp vanilla extract

as you can see my 'bash it and see' method of making
chips make for uneven distribution!
-preheat the oven to 160/gas mark 4 and line two 20cm round cake tins with baking paper and set aside.
-cream the butter and sugar together with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add in half the zest. Gradually add in the eggs, one by one, mixing as you go. Sprinkle in some flour after each addition to stop it from looking curdled. 
-Sift the flour over the top and stir in with the mixers first, then whisk quickly to combine well. Pour in 4 tablespoons of the orange juice and stir. Gently stir in the chocolate chips and then divide between the two prepared tins. 
-bake for around 30 mins, checking after 20. Test with a knife or a skewer - if it comes out clean, it's done! If not, leave them in a little longer.
-once cooked, remove from the tins and cool on a wire rack.

-make the syrup! Place the extra sugar in to a small pan and top up with an equal amount of the orange juice. Over a low heat, dissolve the sugar, then bring to the boil until it has a syrupy consistency. Leave to cool slightly.
-once the cakes are cold, split each in two so there are 4 layers. Brush the syrup on to the tops of each one.

- whip up 300ml of the cream with the rest of the zest and spread 1/3 on to the first cake. Top with another cake - spread more cream etc.
- to make the ganache, bring the remaining cream to the boil, take off the heat and stir in the chocolate and the vanilla. Leave for a few minutes to cool, then pour over the top of the cake. Either let it drip down or attempt (as I foolishly did) to spread around the edges of the cake...a bit messy without a torte ring!
top with candles and get singing

Friday, 11 January 2013

Apple and Sultana Buttermilk Scones

Light and fluffy and...low fat?!
This is my first post for a while - and indeed the first one this year! Christmas was fairly busy, milling around at my parent's house in the constant rain. Needless to say there was some extreme over-indulgence of the cheese/meat/chocolate/wine variety. Well, a new year and a new start! I am not going to even delude myself in to believing I could stick to a new year's resolution of less cake and or wine. I thought I would, instead, attempt a few bakes that were a little more kind to the waistline. First one? Scones! Not known for their slimming properties (epecially once laden with jam and lashings of clotted cream), I wanted to make them at least a little bit better for you - but without substitutes. Apple and sultanas meant less sugar, buttermilk is very low in fat and keeps them moist and I used less butter than usual. They turned out pretty well, I have to say! There's even some wholemeal flour snuck in, too. I don't have any cutters here, and the trick to getting well risen scones is to use something with a sharp edge - I resorted to a knife.
This makes 16 medium sized scones, weighing in at 175 kcal a piece with only 3g of saturated fat. Winner! 

400g plain flour
50g wholemeal flour
10g baking powder
5g bicarbinate of soda
pinch salt
85g cold butter, diced
50g sugar
100g sultanas
100g apple grated or diced fairly small
285ml buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1/2 a lemon

- preheat the oven to gas mark 7 and line a baking tray with baking paper. Set aside.
- tip the flours, raising agents, salt and butter in to a bowl. Rub the butter in to the flour using your finger tips until there are no large lumps left.
- add the sugar and stir. Add in the fruits and zest and mix well, making sure everything is well coated in the flour.
- warm the buttermilk and vanilla in a small saucepan or in the microwave until just steaming. Add 1/3 of the flour to a large bowl, then some of the liquid. Mix well using a round-ended knife. Continue alternating and mixing until used up. 
- tip on to a lightly floured surface and knead very gently until you have dough. Flatten out with your palm to about 4-5cm thick and then cut using cutters or a very sharp knife (glasses/cups don't work as well).
- arrange on the baking tray leaving a little room to rise and bake for 10 minutes. Check, then return to the oven for another 3 minutes.
 -cool on a wire rack, split open and enjoy with butter, jam, cream - anything! 

The apple and sultana could even be part of your 5 a day!