Tag Archives: Snack

Breakfast Muffins

On Monday I went foraging. Well, when I say foraging, what I really mean is I went poking around the health food shop. If you been here before you’ll know this isn’t my normal hunting ground. I’m more at home around the glazed treats in our local patisserie or the aged meat section of the butcher. Not that my butcher (Hi Pete!) has a special section for old bits of meat, but you get the idea….anyway, back to the story.

So the reason I was in a health shop is because I’ve been running a bucket load lately. Which is great right? Well yes, but I’ve never been more hungry in all my life. I mean really hungry. Sadly this hunger monster isn’t brilliant at waiting around until lunch time, which means I’m eating rubbish just to keep the monster at bay. Don’t get me wrong, I have a hearty breakfast, but it’s the period between breakfast and lunch that I’m more likely to tuck into a bag of whatever’s in the vending machine. It’s got so bad I keep all my change so I can go to the vending machine. Skips are currently my top choice. Something needed to change. I needed some slow burning grains that would keep this hunger monster at bay.

Mashed Banana

Goji Berry & Pecan Mix

So here I am, walking around the health store, trying not to make eye contact with the lady who clearly has dry skin issues. Why don’t people in health stores look like supermodels, I think before stumbling onto bran and some Nu3 goji berries. Bran is good right? Sure it’s boring, but it’s a good slow burner to keep me from binge eating. Then there’s goji berries. They’re supposed to be a superfood, but they look dry and chewy. I thought to bake them into a something so they plump up again and it worked out pretty well. So here it is, my hunger monster ‘Power Muffin’ recipe

Dry Mix

Breakfast Muffins (makes 10)
2 eggs
90ml sunflower oil
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 ripe banana, mashed
3 tablespoons golden syrup
3 tablespoons apple sauce
4 tablespoons bran/ oat mix
200g wholemeal flour
6 tablespoons demerara sugar
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
handful of chopped pecans and Nu3 goji berries

Muffin Batter

Preheat your oven to 180° and line your baking tray with folded baking paper. Whisk your eggs in a large bowl, then slowly beat in the apple sauce, mashed banana, vanilla paste and golden syrup.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, sugar, bicarbonate soda, baking powder, bran mix and cinnamon. Then tip that into your wet mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the pecans and goji berries. Sprinkle some extra bran on top, but avoid sprinkling goji berries as they’ll just burn. Better to have them in the mix where they can soak and become more raisin like. Then spoon out your mixture into the paper muffin cases and bake for 30 minutes.

Muffin Mix

Salted Almond & Chocolate Rolls

We sure know about chocolate. Boy, do we know a thing or two about eating chocolate. On Anna’s birthday weekend we sampled the very finest chocolate high tea Sketch could offer, and even ended it with a slice of Chocolate Krantz loaf. We gained a lot of weight. It was a happy time.

So when it comes to saying we’ve found the perfect little chocolate teatime treat, we think in the world, it’s safe to assume it’s with a fair amount of authority. Step forward the mighty little Salted Almond & Chocolate Rolls. Enriched dough, smothered in chocolate, sprinkled in almonds, then rolled and baked into little chocolate gems. Behold, the mighty teatime treat recipe….

Dough(makes 10 – 12)
300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
50g brown sugar
1tsp dried fast-action yeast
grated zest of one lemon
1 large egg and one yolk
150ml warm water
pinch of salt
75g unsalted butter, cut into 2cm cubes, at room temperature
sunflower oil, for greasing

Zest

Combine the the water, sugar, salt and warm water together. Sprinkle the yeast on top and leave until it starts to get foamy, around 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining flour, egg, butter and lemon zest until combined. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, around 5 minutes. If it feels wet then just add a little flour, but not loads or it will be too dry. Place in a greased bowl, cover with a wet tea towel and leave for an hour to double in size.

Smashed Almonds

Salted Almonds & Chocolate
25g icing sugar
15g cocoa powder
100g dark chocolate
60g unsalted butter
100g salted almonds, with their skins on

Place the chocolate and butter in a bowl above boiling water, until melted. While it’s melting smash up the almonds a little and set aside for later. Take the melted chocolate and combine with cocoa powder and icing sugar to make a thick chocolate spreadable paste.

Chocolate Spread

Salted Almonds

Rolled Chocolate

Roll out your dough so it’s a couple of millimeters thick and lay on a large surface. Then with a palate knife spread the chocolate mixture over the dough rectangle, leaving roughly a 2cm border. Sprinkle most of the salted almonds on top of the chocolate mixture. Then brush a little water around the 2cm border so it sticks. Using both your hands roll it like a roulade and gently stick the wet edge down.

Sliced Rolls

Salted Almond

Salted Chocolate Rolls

Trim 2cm off the edges and discard. Then cut 10 -12 mini rolls out of the long rolled piece and add to a pre-greased baking tray. Leave under a wet tea towel for 90 minutes to proof. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 or 190ºC and bake on the middle shelf for 20 minutes. If you want to make them slightly more decadent, then combine 50g sugar to 150ml water, to make a syrup. Heat until combined and drizzle the syrup over each of the rolls, making them glossy and sticky. Leave to cool, put the kettle on and enjoy the tea time treat of kings.

Perfect Summer Garden Baking

You know what? I’m having an awesome summer. Don’t buy into this ‘but it won’t stop raining‘ chat. All this wet weather is perfect for a bumper crop of courgettes and you simply can’t miss them. It’s like walking onto the set of Day of the Triffids every time we’re in the supermarket. We’re simply swimming in them!

But, if I’m really honest, there are only so many savory things you can do with a courgette before the boredom sets in. This might come as a surprise to some of you, but we very much like a sugary treat. Then again, it’s summer, so we need to look our best right? Luckily, I discovered some amazing recipes at Smitten Kitchen, who helped inspire this treat. So here’s an attempt at taking what’s in abundance, that’s courgettes, and making them into a sweet and healthy(ish) treat.

 

The great thing about a courgette is that you can treat it a bit like carrots in a carrot cake. It’s makes the cake mixture soft, sweet and allows you to use less sugar. Stick with me here, they may sound odd but they’re flipping amazing. However, as I mentioned earlier we’re sweet food people, so I’ve added chocolate chips. Feel free to add walnuts instead. I won’t judge you for leaning to a healthier approach, in fact I applaud you.

What you’ll need (makes around 6 – 8 muffins)
260g of grated courgette
3 eggs
350g cups of brown granulated sugar
260g plain flour
135g wholemeal flour
150g olive oil
150g  plain yoghurt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
Sprinkle of nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
150g chocolate chips (keep some chips spare for decoration)

  

Beat the eggs for a couple of minutes by hand before individually adding the oil, yoghurt, sugar and vanilla essence until combined. Then stir in your grated courgette. In a separate bowl, combine all your dry ingredients together and add to your wet mixture. Then combine everything until it’s well mixed. You don’t want to overwork it too much, just enough to get it all combined. Turn your oven up to gas mark 4 or 180°C.

 

Line a baking tin with muffin cases, or use squares of baking paper like I used here. Add your muffin mixture and finish off with a chocolate button on the top of each one. It will melt into the middle and give you an amazing gooey treat when you bite into it. If you like a crunch to your muffin, then sprinkle a bit of sugar on top. Bake for about 20 – 30 minutes until cooked through. Allow to cool, make a cup of tea and enjoy your healthy(ish) courgette muffins.