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Inspiration

Ingredients and what to do with them

  1. Malted Sourdough Apple Crumble Muffins

    Malted Sourdough Apple Crumble Muffins
    Whether you have an apple tree in your garden or you spot some on offer at the market, it’s been a great year for apples.  While I do love apple crumble, my children don’t want to eat it every night, so I’ve come up with an alternative - apple crumble muffins.  They are deliciously aromatic, with raisins, cinnamon and that...
  2. Sekowa Malted Rye Loaf

    Sekowa Malted Rye Loaf
    The Germans are known the world over for their rye breads. They also have a hugely popular product called Sekowa, which is essentially a ferment not dissimilar to sourdough that they use to bake long slow fermented bread with. Unlike sourdough though, Sekowa is made using honey, organically grown peas, wheat and maize and the microorganisms are a result of...
  3. Heritage Flour Blended Loaf, 50%

    Heritage Flour Blended Loaf, 50%
    Baking with heritage flours compared with modern varieties can present some interesting challenges which are worth the effort to overcome. Some will, if used as a direct replacement for a modern fluffy white flour will give a denser texture, which of course would have been the norm. However, what they lack in bounce they more than make up for in...
  4. Instant Cranberry & Orange Mincemeat

    Instant Cranberry & Orange Mincemeat
    Makes 2 x 440g jars Prep time 15 minutes Cooking time 15 minutes Ingredients 200g soft brown sugar 200ml dark rum 300g fresh cranberries 170g sour cherries 200g mixed currants and raisins 130g candied orange peel 30g peeled, very finely grated fresh ginger 1 tsp Fairtrade ground nutmeg 1 tsp Fairtrade ground cinnamon 1 tsp Ndali Fairtrade vanilla powder Christmas can be a really busy time, and I’m always grateful for any ideas that help me get everything done without too many late nights or tantrums. So while in a perfect world, we might all be stirring our mincemeat together during November, the truth is we sometimes put things off until the last minute. So here’s a recipe for a really delicious mincemeat that doesn’t have to be made weeks in advance… you can even keep the ingredients in the store cupboard as an insurance policy against the mince pies all running out on Christmas Eve. Mincemeat is a peculiarly English invention. In the Middle Ages, our ancestors didn’t have our inhibitions about mixing meat, dried fruit and spices together, and the use of expensive imported ingredients meant you could demonstrate your wealth (and not as is sometimes suggested, cover up the flavour of rotting meat!). Then, as merchants travelled farther afield, they discovered new and exotic ingredients such as sugar, aromatic spices and citrus fruit.  As sugar became cheaper, mincemeat became less a savoury dinner course, and more a sweet end to the meal, and by the 1840s, Eliza Acton is writing a mincemeat recipe where the only meat is beef suet. Continue reading →
  5. Crusty White With Sekowa Spezial Backferment

    The Sekowa Spezial Backferment is an alternative to fast-acting yeasts and to sourdoughs or levains. It is a honey-based ferment very popular in Germany since it gives many of the qualities of sourdough breads without the need to look after a starter. Read More
  6. Roast Barley Malt Flour Loaf

    This beautifully tasty loaf was made using a standard wholemeal sourdough bread recipe, with a small proportion of RBM flour added which lifted both flavour and colour to produce a delicious loaf that once tasted will be gone. Read More
  7. Malted Caramel Slices

    Caramel slices have never - until now - been high on my list of sweets. Usually the biscuit base is too dry and the rest just sweet and rather tasteless. Not so with these! Muntons gave me a recipe to try using their Spraymalt (dried malt extract, DME) and malt extract in place of some of the sugars and golden syrup in the traditional recipe, in both the base and the caramel, from a staff member there called Patsy. What a transformation. The overtones of Ovaltine/Maltesers makes these really delicious with a much more complex flavour. It has been a job to keep them long enough to grab a photo. Read More
  8. Making a Sekowa Baking Ferment Starter

    A good way to use the Sekowa Baking Ferment is to make up a batch of starter from it which is then consumed as you make your bread recipes. This article shows how to make a batch of the starter (not a sourdough starter) which will keep in your 'fridge for a couple of months, to be used as you need it. Read More
  9. Marzipan & Orange Mince Pies

    Marzipan & Orange Mince Pies
    Come, guard this night the Christmas-Pie, That the thief, though ne'er so sly, With his flesh-hooks, don't come nigh To catch it From him, who all alone sits there, Having his eyes still in his ear, And a deal of nightly fear To watch it.   Robert Herrick (1591-1674)   Makes: 12 Prep time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes Suitable for freezing?: Yes For the sweet pastry: 250g 00 flour, plus extra for rolling pinch of sea salt 50g Fairtrade icing sugar 125g unsalted butter (cold), plus extra for greasing the tin 2 free range medium egg yolks, beaten 1 tsp Arancio extra Calabria orange essence up to 30g ice-cold water For the Frangipane: 100g unsalted butter, chopped (room temperature) 100g Fairtrade caster sugar 100g ground almonds 3 – 4 drops Amaretto di Saronno Lazzaroni bitter almond essential oil 2 free range eggs 50g plain flour 1 tsp baking powder For the filling: 440g Instant Cranberry & Orange Mincemeat *See recipe 120g marzipan divided into 10g discs 30g flaked almonds Brandy Butter 250g unsalted butter, softened but not liquid 250g Fairtrade icing sugar 2 tsp Ndali Fairtrade vanilla powder about 100 – 150 ml brandy Though Herrick’s Christmas Pie was probably filled with meat and gravy, rather than mincemeat steeped in rum or brandy, I almost want to recommend that you similarly sit up to guard these marzipan and orange mince pies, made with sweet all-butter shortcrust pastry. They really are that good.  There is a natural synergy between almonds and oranges, but mixed with warm spices and a touch of vanilla there is magic to be found. Continue reading →