Tag Archives: Breakfast

Four Great Almond Recipes

I know what you’re thinking, ‘Really, Chris another Almond recipe’, but I bet I’m not alone here, one of my favourite things to cook with is almonds. Flaked, chopped, toasted or salted. You name it I like almonds. Sadly, we haven’t yet finished building our new kitchen, so I can’t actually cook any new almond recipes and show them off yet. Fear not. Here’s a list of all my top recipes with almonds.

Twisted Almond Loaf

1. Toasted Almond Krantz Loaf
This is a tweak to Yotam Ottolenghi’s krantz loaf recipe that’s traditionally made with pistachios. Don’t get me wrong pistachios are great. They’re just not almonds.


2. BlackBerry & Almond Tart
We discovered this in our local coffee shop and spent ages trying to replicate it in our little seaside kitchen. Fresh blackberries melted into toasted almonds and almond butter, makes this our perfect teatime treat.


3. Lemon Tart
Technically this is a lemon recipe, but without the ground almonds it might as well be lemonade.

Chocolate Rolls

4. Salted Chocolate Almond Rolls
Step forward the mighty little salted chocolate almond rolls. Enriched dough, smothered in chocolate, sprinkled in salted almonds, then rolled and baked into little chocolate gems.

Sport Snack Pretzels

While I do like to be adventurous when it comes to live sport snacks (ever tried a pickle egg?) there is some real snack fatigue going on. Unless some idiot decides to bring along some fresh fruit, you’re usually in for a safe ride of crisps, peanuts or the recently popular wasabi peas.

England were hardly good football material this year, so perhaps my enthusiasm for live sport snacks waned simultaneously with their goal scoring abilities. My predicament is that this is the year of sport in England, so I’ve got mountains of junk food to consume. Unless of course I can somehow find a better alternative.

Look I won’t lie to you, this wasn’t as simple as I thought it would be. First there’s the dough, then the incredibly complicated fold, followed by poaching and finally they get baked. So a long process, but one that makes you look super flash on the snack front.

What you’ll need make roughly 28 – 30 small pretzels
440ml warm water
3 tablespoons of castor sugar
1 packet of active dry yeast
750g all-purpose flour and some for dusting
1 tablespoon of salt
2 teaspoons of olive oil
37g baking soda
1 large egg
Sea salt

Pour 1 tablespoon of the sugar, the warm water and stir to combine. Sprinkle the yeast on top and leave for ten minutes until it starts to foam.  Then add 150g of the flour (a handful will do) and combine with a wooden spoon. Gradually add the rest of the flour, a handful at a time until the dough feels a little stretchy. If wet and sticky, just add a little bit more flour. Then knead for about a minute. Pour the oil into a large bowl, coat and pop in the dough mix. Lay a tea towel over the top and leave in a warm spot for an hour or so.

Take the dough out, give it a little punch in the middle to remove the air and knead a couple of times. Flatten it out and cut into 28 pieces. As even as you can, but don’t worry if they’re not perfect.

This was complicated. I mean really complicated. Plus if you’re not careful, they end up looking like a little salty poop and that’s never a good feature for a snack. Roll each piece into a 30cm strip before you fold. I laid out a ruler in advance and kept rolling to that length. For some reason it seemed impossible to roll on a floured surface. Try it on a clean worktop if you’re struggling.

To fold you need to adopt the lasso approach which just seemed impossible. An over eager employee from Auntie Annie shows you how, but I couldn’t muster it. So I ended up with the flip, twist and hope for the best approach. If you can do it better, please share and gloat because you’ll deserve the credit. Once you’ve mastered the technique, leave them for 15 minutes on a grease proof papered tray to rise a little.

Fill a large pan with water and bring to the boil. Add the baking powder and stand back till it settles, then add the remaining sugar. Gently drop three at a time into the water and poach for around 30 seconds on each side. Drain, then transfer back onto the grease proof papered tray. I managed to only do eight at a time on a tray

Beat the egg and brush each of the pretzels with the glaze. Sprinkle the salt on top and pop into a hot 230 degree over (gas mark 8) until golden brown. It’s amazing how good they look and I was proud as punch when they came out.

The Dip
Now any good sporting snack needs a good dip to dunk it in. I tried to get flash with a red pepper chilli dip, but it was a little too fresh. Mustard is the most traditional, but what’s mustard without a bit of salt beef. The best I found was cream cheese with heaps of ground black pepper.

Banoffee Pancakes


I want to pay tribute to a dessert hero of mine – Van Hargreaves from the Hungry Monk. Who? Well yes, you’ve probably never heard of him, but  I bet you would have heard of the humble Banoffee pie right? Well he’s the bloke who invented it way back in 1972, right here in East Sussex. It is such a popular pudding that the word ”Banoffee” has been entered into the English language and is used to describe any food that tastes or smells of banana and toffee.

So why mess with a British classic? Isn’t it already sweet enough? What’s wrong with oozing layers of whipped cream and toffee? These questions nagged at me as I stared at two old bananas. It was 9am on a Sunday, I was hungry and wanted pancakes but didn’t want to waste these old bananas. The problem was, all I could think of was Banoffee pie. In the end I decided to have them both and make Banoffee Pancakes.

This recipe was originally from an earlier Lazy Sunday Pancakes post a few months back. I combined it with a few tips on making banana bread, then finished it with a toffee sauce. A short tweet about my Sunday craving for pancakes and suddenly two hungry friends and their son were on our doorstep. I must be onto a winner here!

Pancakes – enough for 4
250g all purpose white flour
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
1tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt and nutmeg
1 large egg
500 ml buttermilk
2 very ripe bananas
1 tbsp melted butter

In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients and seperately mash up the bananas with a fork. Whisk your egg, buttermilk and then combine everything together. You can do this the night before if you prefer. When you are ready pour in the melted butter and fold in with as few strokes as possible.

Choose a thick-bottomed frying pan and lightly grease it. Make sure the pan is hot before you pour in the batter, but make sure you keep the flame underneath gently ticking along. Ladle out the batter and flip when big bubbles appear on the surface. It should take just under 3 minutes for each side. They are perfect straight from the pan however if you are making these for more than just yourself then you will need to keep the pancakes warm in the oven whilst you make each one.

Toffee Sauce
110g butter
250g brown sugar
225g golden syrup
150 ml double cream

This is the simplest bit. Add all the ingredients to a small pot and gently simmer away until you get the desired consistency. Make this in advance so when cool the sauce becomes that lovely thick toffee sauce you would expect in a banoffee pie. Pour generously over your pancakes and enjoy the breakfast of champions.

Lazy Sunday Buttermilk Pancakes

Fired up with New Year ‘live well & eat better’ vigour, I’ve been rummaging through the cupboards for healthy ingredients to start the day. I’ve had a week of dull and dusty muesli and needed a proper Sunday breakfast, but healthy of course. First up I find healthy porridge oats that haven’t been touched in a few weeks, but then I falter. What about this maple syrup? I haven’t used that in a while. Ooh and how about this left over streaky bacon in the fridge, I shouldn’t waste that being frugal is a resolution too right?

There and then I decide to make a new resolution, to be against boring breakfasts and champion all that is good and tasty on a Sunday morning – you should be able to get everything you need from a decent diet. So I decide on pancakes. Not just any old wafer thin pancakes, but proper oaty buttermilk pancakes. Like the ones I had with Anna at Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco. Covered in fresh fruit, maple syrup and finished off with a couple of crispy bacon rashers. Yum.

What you’ll need

240g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda and another teaspoon of baking powder
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 large egg with a pinch of salt
500ml buttermilk or 500ml milk with two teaspoons of lemon juice if you can’t find any
2 tablespoons of melted butter
150g jumbo porridge oats
Rashers of streaky bacon. Personally I think if it’s not smoked it can’t be bacon
Fresh fruit and maple syrup to finish

Mix all you dry ingredients together in a bowl and separately whisk the egg and buttermilk. Then stir and combine the mixture together. I’m using a recipe from Allegra McEvady who recommends making the batter the night before and keeping it in the fridge. Seems to make the pancakes a little bit more magic, just like if you make Yorkshire pudding batter the night before.

When you’re up and ready to get breakfast going, fold in the oats and melted butter. The trick is to do this with as little stirring as possible, it doesn’t matter if you have streaks of the melted butter left. Grease up a thick based frying pan or griddle if you want it to look fancy. A medium heat should do as you don’t want to burn them, but make sure the pan is hot.

Now each pancake should be about 4 tablespoons worth if you’re looking to be accurate. I found a soup ladle worked just as well. They’re ready to flip over when big bubbles start to appear on the top and around the edges, should be around 2-3 minutes. Then time for the flip, they’re fairly thick so be careful if you’re showboating and not using a spatula. Same amount of time for the other side or when they’re lovely and golden-brown. Serve straight away, with grilled crispy bacon, fresh fruit and a generous amount of maple syrup. Now that’s what I call breakfast.