November 25, 2013

Spicy Squash & Coconut Muffins

For our last week of ‘Baking November’, I wanted to share another very seasonal recipe: little spicy squash and coconut muffins. I’m a big fan of using vegetables in cakes; they often go unnoticed to the taste but add something very special in terms of texture and of nutrition. In this case, the squash blends in so well with the spices and the coconut. Since I have discovered how to make whipped cream with coconut cream, I can’t get enough of it whether to have with fresh fruits or as a topping for cakes, like in this recipe.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s challenge and that you’ve had the opportunity to get in the kitchen and bake. After this sweetness overload, I shall be back with something on the savoury side of things in my next post, before starting to think about the festivities ahead of us. Have a great week!

Spicy Squash & Coconut Muffins – makes 10 muffins

• 150g coconut flour
• 150g light spelt flour
• 2tsp baking powder
• A pinch of salt
• Seeds of 2 cardamom pods, crushed
• 1tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp all spice
• 100g butter
• 6tbsp maple syrup
• 3 eggs, beaten
• 250g squash purée*
• 80g walnuts, chopped
• 250g coconut cream, chilled in the fridge for a few hours
• 1tsp set honey
• 1tsp corn flour
• Lemon and orange zest + finely chopped walnuts, to decorate

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a muffin dish with paper cases.
2. In a large bowl, mix the coconut flour with the spelt flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom, cinnamon and all spice. Make a well in the centre.
3. In a small saucepan, gently heat the butter and maple syrup until the butter is melted. In a bowl, mix the eggs with the squash purée. Add the butter and maple syrup to it and mix well.
4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ones and mix well. Add the walnuts and mix to incorporate. Put spoonfuls of the mixture into the paper muffin cases. Place in the oven and cook for about 25min until golden and cooked through.
5. Prepare the icing by placing the coconut cream, honey and corn flour into a bowl. Whisk with an electricwhisk until the cream is slightly whipped. Place in the fridge to chill.
6. Leave the muffins to cool down on a wire rack and wait until they are completely cold to add the icing on top. Sprinkle with lemon and orange zest and finely chopped walnuts to decorate.

*to make the squash purée: preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut a red kuri squash in half and remove the seeds. Place it face down on a baking tray and bake for 35-45min until the flesh is soft. Scoop the flesh out with a spoon and blend in a food processor until smooth. Keeps in the fridge for a few days.

Muffins Epicés Courge et Noix de Coco – pour 10 muffins

• 150g de farine de noix de coco
• 150g de farine d’épeautre
• 2cc de levure chimique
• 1 pincée de sel
• Graines de 2 gousses de cardamome, moulues
• 1cc de cannelle en poudre
• ½ cc de 4-épices
• 100g de beurre
• 6cs de sirop d’érable
• 3 œufs, battus
• 250g de purée de courge*
• 80g de noix, émincées
• 250g de crème de noix de coco, gardée au réfrigérateur pendant quelques heures
• 1cc de miel épais
• 1cc de maïzena
• Zest d’1 citron et d’1 orange + quelques noix finement émincées, pour décorer

1. Préchauffer le four sur 180°C. Chemiser un moule à muffin avec des casettes en papier.
2. Dans un saladier, mélanger la farine de noix de coco avec la farine d’épeautre, la levure, le sel, la cardamome, la cannelle et le 4-épices. Creuser un puits au centre.
3. Dans une petite casserole, ajouter le beurre et le sirop d’érable et faire chauffer à feu doux jusqu’à ce que le beurre soit fondu. Dans un bol, mélanger les œufs avec la purée de courge. Y ajouter le beurre et sirop d’érable et mélanger.
4. Ajouter les ingrédients liquides aux ingrédients secs et mélanger. Incorporer les noix. Répartir la pâte dans les cassettes en papier. Mettre au four et faire cuire 25min jusqu’à ce que les muffins soient dorés et qu’une pique en bois insérée au milieu en ressorte sèche.
5. Préparer le glaçage : mettre la crème de noix de coco dans un bol avec le miel et la maïzena. Fouettez à l’aide d’un batteur électrique jusqu’à ce que la crème ressemble à une chantilly. Mettre au réfrigérateur.
6. Laisser les muffins refroidir sur une grille et attendre qu’ils soient complètement froids pour ajouter le glaçage. Parsemer de noix émincées et de zestes de citron et d’orange pour décorer.

*pour faire la purée de courge : préchauffer le four sur 180°C. Couper une courge/petit potiron en deux et en retirer les graines. La mettre sur une plaque à four recouverte de papier sulfurisé, face coupée vers le bas et mettre au four pour 35-45min jusqu’à ce que la chaire soit tendre. Retirer la chaire à l’aide d’une cuillère et mixer de façon à obtenir un mélange crémeux. Se garde au frais pendant environ 5 jours.

November 18, 2013

Sweet Grape Bread

Making bread is art in itself, but I also believe that everyone can make delicious bread at home, even without being an expert. The pleasure of eating bread straight out of the oven is unbelievable. And the smell in the kitchen…yum!
For this month of baking I thought it’d be great to share a seasonal bread recipe: a rich sweet loaf that will accompany perfectly an autumnal cheese and fruit platter, unless you prefer having it sliced for breakfast with honey or jam. I have to say that it looks pretty impressive, and is as good as it looks appetising.

I was going to make it with a mix of spelt and wholewheat flour, but found myself instead reaching for a bag of khorasan flour which I bought at the grocery store the other day, which made the bread even more special. While it was cooking, I went on the Internet and did a bit of research on khorasan – an ancient wheat variety, rich in proteins and minerals and milled the old fashion way. Khorasan wheat is considered a high energy wheat and has got a lovely nutty flavour. If you don’t find khorasan flour, you could easily substitute it for spelt or wholewheat, but if you do find some, try it, and I hope you’ll love it as much as I did.

Sweet Grape Bread – makes 1 large loaf

Recipe inspired by the ‘Sweet Grape Flat Bread’ recipe found in Leanne Kitchen’s Grower’s Market cookbook
• 2tsp sugar
• 270ml lukewarm water
• 1 ½ tsp dry yeast
• 600g khorasan wheat flour
• 5tbsp grated coconut
• 50g butter, melted
• 8tbsp natural yogurt
• 100g raisins
• 300g black seedless grapes
• 1tsp sugar

1. Mix 2tsp sugar with the water and dry yeast in a small bowl. Leave to stand for 10min.
2. Place the flour in a large bowl, add coconut and mix. Make a well in the centre. Add the yeast mixture, melted butter and yogurt and start mixing to bring the dough together and form a ball. Take the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 10min.
3. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm place for 2 hours.
4. Knock the dough back down and knead it again for 2min. Tear it in half and form two balls. Flatten them in a 20cm diameter circle. Place one of the circles on a baking sheet covered with baking paper. Sprinkle with 2/3 of the raisins and grapes. Place the other circle on top and seal around the edges by pressing with your fingers, to enclose the raisins and grapes. Sprinkle with the rest of the raisins and grapes, cover with a tea towel and set aside for another hour.
5. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Sprinkle the bread with the remaining sugar and place in the oven for 40-50min or until golden. Eat warm or leave to cool down on a wire rack.

Pain Sucré au Raisin – pour 1 grosse boule

Inspirée par la recette ‘Sweet Grape Flat Bread’ trouvée dans le livre ‘Grower’s Market de Leanne Kitchen
• 2cc de sucre
• 270ml d’eau tiède
• 1 ½ cc de levure de boulanger
• 600g de farine de khorasan
• 5cs de noix de coco râpée
• 50g de beurre, fondu
• 8cs de yaourt nature
• 100g de raisins secs
• 300g de raisins noirs sans pépins
• 1cc de sucre

1. Mélanger 2cc de sucre dans un petit bol avec la levure et l’eau tiède. Laisser de côté pendant 10min.
2. Mettre la farine dans un grand saladier, ajouter la noix de coco et mélanger. Faire un puits au milieu. Ajouter le mélange de levure, le beurre fondu et le yaourt et commencer à mélanger, de façon à former une boule de pâte. Transférer la pâte sur un plan de travail fariné et la pétrir pendant 10min.
3. Mettre la pâte dans un saladier huilé, couvrir et laisser lever pendant environ 2h.
4. Pétrir la pâte de nouveau pendant quelques instants. Diviser la pâte en deux boules. Former deux cercles de pâte d’environ 20cm de diamètre. Mettre le premier cercle sur une plaque à four recouverte de papier sulfurisé. Parsemer le cercle des deux tiers des raisins secs et raisins frais. Couvrir avec le deuxième cercle de pâte. Presser les bords pour enfermer les raisins. Enfin, parsemer du reste des raisins secs et frais, couvrir avec un torchon et laisser de nouveau lever pendant environ 1h.
5. Préchauffer le four sur 180°C. Parsemer le pain du sucre restant et mettre au four pour 40-50min, jusqu’à ce que la croûte du pain soit dorée. Déguster tiède ou laisser refroidir sur une grille.

November 11, 2013

Baking November - Lemon Drizzle Cake

To me, cakes usually need to contain either chocolate or fruits. For years, when going to a café or baking in my kitchen, I would stay away from plain cakes and would always go for something chocolaty or fruity – for no other reason that because that’s what I like the most. Or similarly, when going to the restaurant, my dessert of choice would very certainly be a chocolate pudding of some sort. But years go by and more recently I’ve wanted to become a bit more adventurous and I now make a conscious effort to try things that are slightly out of my comfort zone.

Take lemon cake. For a long time, it would have felt into the ‘plain cake’ category for me, and I wouldn’t have thought about baking this, let alone ordering it in a café. Little did I know how tasty it can be and what I was missing out! Now that I’m getting a bit older (and lemon cake feels like an adult’s cake), I dared baking it and loved so much its tanginess as well as the crunch of the poppy seeds. I wondered why on earth I had ever thought that lemon cake was plain! I am now pleased to have added it to my repertoire and will certainly bake it again for a posh afternoon tea or simply for the pleasure of it.

Lemon Drizzle Cake – makes 1 loaf

Inspired by Jamie Oliver’s recipe:

For the cake:
• 150g ground almonds
• 150g light spelt flour
• 2tsp baking powder
• 3tbsp poppy seeds
• Finely grated zest of 2 lemons + juice of 1 lemon
• 100ml rapeseed oil
• 80ml honey or maple syrup
• 3 eggs
For the lemon syrup:
• Juice of 2 lemons
• 80g golden caster sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. In a large bowl, mix the ground almond with the spelt flour, baking powder, poppy seeds and lemon zest.
3. Gently heat the oil and honey in a small saucepan until liquid. Take off the heat and mix in the lemon juice.
4. Beat the eggs in a small bowl and add the oil/honey/lemon mix to it. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the liquid ingredients in it. Fold the mixture until smooth.
5. Line a loaf tin with baking paper and pour the cake batter in it. Put in the oven and cook for 40min, or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
6. Make the lemon syrup by placing the lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar has dissolved.
7. While the cake is still warm, unmold it, and make lots of little holes on the top using a skewer. Pour the syrup over the cake, and let it finish cooling down on a wire rack.

Cake au Citron – pour 1 cake

Inspirée par la recette de Jamie Oliver:

Pour le gâteau :
• 150g de poudre d’amandes
• 150g de farine d’épeautre
• 2cc de levure chimique
• 3cs de graines de pavot
• Zeste finement râpé de 2 citrons + jus d’1 citron
• 100ml d’huile de colza
• 80ml de miel ou de sirop d’érable
• 3 œufs
Pour le sirop de citron :
• Jus de 2 citrons
• 80g de sucre brun en poudre

1. Préchauffer le four sur 180°C.
2. Dans un grand bol/saladier, mélanger la poudre d’amandes avec la farine d’épeautre, la levure, les graines de pavot et le zeste de citron.
3. Dans une petite casserole, faire chauffer l’huile de colza avec le miel tout doucement, jusqu’à ce que le mélange soit liquide. Retirer du feu et incorporer le jus de citron.
4. Battre les œufs et les incorporer au mélange huile/miel/citron. Faire un puits au milieu des ingrédients secs. Y verser les ingrédients liquides et bien mélanger.
5. Chemiser un moule à cake de papier cuisson et y verser la préparation. Mettre au four et faire cuire 40min, ou jusqu’à ce qu’une pique en bois insérée au milieu en ressorte sèche.
6. Préparer le sirop de citron : faire chauffer dans une petite casserole le jus des deux citrons avec le sucre en poudre jusqu’à ce que le sucre soit dissout.
7. Tant que le cake est encore chaud, le démouler et faire plein de petits trous sur le dessus à l’aide d’une pique en bois. Verser le sirop sur le cake et laisser refroidir sur une grille.

November 02, 2013

Baking November - Hazelnut & Pumpkin Seeds Flapjacks

It’s already November, and the weather has turned to pretty awful recently. I often call this ‘cake weather’. This is when it’s dark and cold outside, and all I fancy doing is to stay in the cosiness of my home and enjoy a piece of cake. It seems that November was therefore a perfect time to have a month of experimenting with baking and I have named it ‘Baking November’. I’d love to hear whether you’re up to doing some baking too, so leave comments below and let’s inspire each others!

To start with, I have chosen to make good ole flapjacks. The first ever recipe that I posted on foodmoods was actually a recipe for ‘yogurt coated raspberry flackjacks’, and to this day it seems to be the recipe that has had the most views on the blog. However, when having a look at it recently, I couldn’t believe the amount of butter and sugar involved! This recipe is a lot more on the healthier side of things, but still remains super tasty. The recipe makes plenty and we had them all week long in our lunch boxes, and they were also a real success when I shared them with colleagues, one of them suggesting that they could even be eaten as breakfast.

Flapjacks before cooking

So here is to Baking November! Have fun and enjoy x

Hazelnut & Pumpkin Seed Flapjacks – makes 18

• 400g oats flakes
• 150g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
• 100g pumpkin seeds
• 100g raisins
• 2tsp ground ginger
• 50g honey
• 50g coconut oil
• 300g unsweetened apple sauce

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. In a large bowl, mix the oats with the hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, raisins and ground ginger.
3. Place the honey and coconut oil in a small saucepan and heat gently until melted and smooth.
4. Add the honey and coconut oil, as well as the apple sauce, to the dry ingredients and mix well so that they are well coated.
5. Line a baking sheet with baking paper and spread the mixture in a large square, about 6-7cm thick. Flatten it with the back of a spoon. Place in the oven for 20-30min until golden. If the edges tend to burn, lower down the oven to 170°C.
6. Take out of the oven, leave to cool down for 10min and cut into squares or rectangles (I made 18 large rectangles). Leave to cool down completely. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

Flapjacks aux Noisettes et Graines de Courge – pour 18 barres
• 400g de flocons d’avoine
• 150g de noisettes, grossièrement hachées
• 100g de graines de courge
• 100g de raisins secs
• 2cc de gingembre en poudre
• 50g de miel
• 50g d’huile de noix de coco
• 300g de compote de pommes non sucrée

1. Préchauffer le four sur 180°C.
2. Dans un grand bol/saladier, mélanger les flocons d’avoine avec les noisettes, les graines de courge, les raisins secs et le gingembre en poudre.
3. Mettre le miel et l’huile de noix de coco dans une petite casserole et faire chauffer à feu doux jusqu’à ce que le mélange soit liquide.
4. Ajouter le miel et l’huile, ainsi que la compote de pommes, aux ingrédients secs. Bien mélanger.
5. Couvrir une plaque à four de papier cuisson. Etaler le mélange sur la plaque, pour former un grand carré de 6-7cm d’épaisseur. L’aplatir avec le dos d’une cuillère en bois. Mettre au four pour 20-30min jusqu’à ce que le flapjack soit doré. Si les bords ont tendance à brûler, baisser la température du four à 170°C.
6. Sortir du four, laisser refroidir 10min, puis couper des rectangles ou carrés (j’ai fait 18 rectangles). Laisser refroidir complètement. Se garde dans un récipient hermétique pendant une semaine.