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My Beatles-inspired baking challenge: Eight bakes a week

Eight bakes a week
I love you
Eight bakes a week
Is not enough to show I care 

It’s been a busy week in my kitchen. After baking two things in one day (hello, dishes), I decided to give myself a Beatles-inspired challenge: eight bakes a week.

It sounded like a good idea on day one and, after a few last-minute recipe searches, it was mission accomplished at the final hour. I tried to lay off the sweets and sink into the breads, breakfasts and savoury treats.

Here’s how my week went down.
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Around the World in 80 Plates: Cheddar Oatcakes, Scotland 10/80

Oatcakes are perfect bite-sized crackers, but why bother slicing cheddar for an oatcake snack when you can bake the cheese straight in?

I always thought crackers would be hard to make at home. Turns out I couldn’t be more wrong.

As long as you can roll out dough rather thin and keep an eye on the batch in the oven, oatcakes are simple to make.
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Around the World in 80 Plates: Vegetarian Goulash, Hungary 7/80

I certainly hope you’re hungry!

Goulash is usually a very non-vegetarian dish, but if you make it at home, all you need to do is omit the meat and it’s a delicious, paprika-flavoured vegetarian soup.

With a big dollop of sour cream and a side of pogácsa (a Hungarian savoury scone, recipe coming soon), I promise you it’s a filling meal.
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Around the World in 80 Plates: Cardamom-Mashed Sweet Potato with Pepper Relish, Tanzania 6/80

To be honest, this is an odd one.

Cardamom isn’t a staple in our kitchen and while we love potatoes, our mash is usually made with white spuds, not sweet potato. Throw some zingy pepper relish on top and it’s even more out of our usual repertoire.

Let me tell you: this is strange, but it does work.

The ingredients themselves are common enough, it’s just the combination that’s unique.
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Around the World in 80 Plates: Blackberry Pastilles, France 5/80

Pastilles, wine gums, pâte de fruit, gumdrops. So many different names, one delicious candy.

These blackberry pastilles take some time and attention, but compared to most other pastille recipes, they use relatively common ingredients.

You probably don’t need to do any digging around in your local shop to find anything. The same can’t be said for recipes that require ingredients like pectin, glucose or gelatin (the last of which sadly takes most jelly sweets off the cards for vegetarians).

All you need for this simple recipe is fruit, more fruit, fruit juice, sugar and water. Easy peasy.
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Around the World in 80 Plates: Soda Bread, Ireland 4/80

Soda bread is possibly the easiest, quickest bread you can make.

No kneading, no waiting for the dough to prove and best of all: only one dish to wash.

Soda bread has fast become my go-to loaf when we’re out of bread and I can’t be bothered to run to the shop (and I happen to have buttermilk on hand).

It’s quick, filling and best fresh out of the oven.

Start to finish, it can be made in under an hour. That’s usually unheard of for homemade bread, so this is a great recipe to get your bake on even if you’re strapped for time.
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Around the World in 80 Plates: Miso Soup, Japan 3/80

Ever bought those little packets of instant miso soup? It’s mainly powder with a few pieces of dehydrated tofu and spring onions. Maybe some seaweed if you’re lucky.

It’s as easy to prepare as making a cup of tea but once you’ve made your own from scratch, you’ll never go back to the instant stuff again.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the heartiest (and easiest) miso soup you can have at home, but you’ve got to make it yourself.

Don’t worry, once you know where to get the ingredients, it’s pretty simple to make.
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