Wednesday, 17 February 2021

American Style Cinnamon Rolls

Fluffy and sweet cinnamon rolls that you need for an indulgent breakfast or snack!

As always I've done my research to the origin of cinnamon rolls and just like I thought, the history is a hotly debated topic. While Sweden claims to have to made the original 'cinnamon buns' called 'kanelbullar' these are a lot less sweet than the Philadelphia style ones in America. The iced ones in America are essential whereas in Sweden they sprinkle with a little pearl sugar. Even so, they are both so delicious and I don't know a single person who would say no to a cinnamon roll. I absolutely love them; the soft fluffy dough, the sweet cinnamon feeling and creamy icing on top, what's not to like? So this recipe is more like the American ones and don't worry, I'll be making the Swedish Kanelbullar soon!



That being said, I have put off making cinnamon rolls for so long as I was never confident enough to make the dough. Not to say that this recipes requires too much skill as it doesn't, but I do believe there are certain elements to consider when you make these; you want to knead the dough for at least 10 minutes and if you aren't sure you can do the finger test - press your finger into the dough lightly and if it springs back it is ready to proof/rise. When you leave the dough to rise you want to leave it somewhere warm (not boiling), yeast like's a cosy place and this will help it double in size which is what you want. And if you manage these tips, you're on your way to creating some delicious cinnamon rolls!

Check out my other recipes for more inspiration!

Recipe

Prep: 15 minutes + 2 ½ hours rising time OR overnight
Cook: 20-25 minutes
Serves: 12 rolls

Ingredients

Rolls
215g Plain flour
215g Wholemeal/White bread flour
7g Easy bake yeast
50g Caster sugar
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Vanilla extract
50g Butter, melted then left to cool
270ml Soya milk, warm
Filling
50g Butter melted
100g Light brown sugar
2 tbsp Cinnamon
Icing
120g Icing sugar
2 tbsp Soya milk

Method

✿In a large mixing bowl, combine both flours, then add the sugar and salt to one side and yeast to the other and stir. 
✿Add the vanilla, butter and soya milk and mix into a rough dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead together. The dough will be very sticky at first but do not add more flour as it will come together the more you knead. 
✿Knead for 10 minutes and do the finger test - if the dough springs back it is ready to proof, if not keep kneading until ready. It should be more elastic and smooth that's how you know you have worked the gluten.
✿Shape the dough into a ball, lightly oil the mixing bowl and place the ball of dough in it. Cover the dough with cling film leaving some air to get in and place in a warm place for about 1 hour until doubled in size. Alteratively, place in the fridge for it to rise overnight - if you do this remove the bowl from the fridge about 30 minutes before you start the next steps. 
✿Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured work surface and roll into a large rectangle as even as possible. Brush over the melted butter and then sprinkle over the sugar and cinnamon evenly. 
✿From the long side of the rectangle, begin to roll to meet the other side so that you have a long log shape. 
✿Cut into 12 slices (they won't be even in size) and place in a greased baking tray of 20x30 cm roughly. Space them out evenly as they will spread when they rise.
✿Cover the tray with a tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise for about 1½  hours.
✿Preheat the oven to 180 when the dough has 10 minutes left. Brush the rolls with some melted butter or soya milk to give a nice golden colour. 
✿Place in the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown - I like to rotate the rolls about half way for even baking but you may not need to if you have a better oven.
✿Remove from the oven and leave to cool a little.
✿To make the icing, simply mix together the icing sugar and soya milk in a bowl and then when the rolls are still a little warm (not too hot) you can drizzle over the icing to cover the rolls. 
✿Best enjoyed fresh or within a few days. Keep any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature. Enjoy!

Christina 
xx
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Friday, 12 February 2021

Valentines Rocky Road - No Bake!

No time for baking? Have this dessert prepped in less than an hour for an easy no-bake chocolate treat for Valentines day!


Valentines Day will be a little different for us all this year - even the ones without partners - but it doesn't stop you making delicious treats to gobble up with your loved ones or even if you're alone this time of year, don't let it stop you feeding your soul of your favourite things! I love rocky road because of it's simplicity, there isn't the pressure of cooking and its really about throwing lots of yummy sugary things in a bowl, mixing with melted chocolate and chilling till you're ready to enjoy. And this Valentine's themed one is all things pink and pretty filled with delightful mini jammy dodgers (so cute!), marshmallows, dried strawberries and lots of sprinkles. And because I wanted more pink, as you do, I dyed some melted white chocolate with a little pink food colouring to give it that extra something :)

Check out my other rocky road recipes for more inspiration!



Recipe:

Prep: 10 minutes + 1-2 hours chilling time
Cook: n/a
Serves: 15 medium squares

NOTE: every ingredient I use is vegan so make sure you check your ingredients if you're following a Vegan lifestyle.

Ingredients

450g Dark chocolate
150g Mini Jammy Dodgers roughly chopped
100g Mini marshmallows
100g Dried strawberries or cranberries
2 tbsp Butter melted
50g White chocolate
1 tsp Pink food colouring optional
Pink heart sprinkles
Red sprinkles
Freeze-dried strawberries

Method

✿Prepare a 21 cm baking tray and line with baking paper. 
Melt the butter and dark chocolate together in the microwave until just melted, don't overheat otherwise the chocolate will seize. Mix it together well.
In a large bowl, add the jammy dodgers, marshmallows and dried strawberries. Pour over the melted chocolate mixture and mix everything together to coat in the chocolate. 
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread out evenly. Place into the fridge to set for a minimum of 1-2 hours.
When ready to serve, melt the white chocolate and then mix in the pink food colouring if using. Drizzle over the rocky road diagonally then before it sets, sprinkle on the sprinkles all over.
Use a sharp knife to cut the rocky road into 15 medium sized squares or cut smaller if serving more people. Best kept at room temperature in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Christina
xx

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Monday, 1 February 2021

Chocolate Orange Marble Loaf Cake

Chocolate and orange are the perfect combination in this beautiful marble loaf cake!

I can't express enough how delightfully light and soft this cake is. I wasn't even aware that it would turn out like this, I thought because of the chocolate it might be a bit heavy but it's lighter than air and such a delicious sponge. The marble effect is really what this cake is all about, if you don't fancy the effort of combining the sponges alternately in the process, you may need to look else where! Or if you wanted to make a cake that looked half orange and half chocolate that could work I guess :) I promise it isn't too much effort, and on the plus side I find the results of how it looks definitely worth it. If you're not a fan of orange but want the marble, leave out the orange extract and zest and you can make it vanilla instead as that will still grant that pretty marble effect. Also for an extra addition of chocolate orange, because I can't get enough, I used Doisy and Dam's Goji and Orange Dark Chocolate bar, to give it a bit more zest, but have normal dark chocolate if you wish!

Check out my other cake recipes for more inspiration!


Recipe

Prep: 15 -20 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Serves: 8

Ingredients

325g Self-raising flour
4 tbsp Cornflour
170g Caster sugar
1 tsp Baking soda
Pinch of salt
300ml Soya milk + 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
160ml Vegetable Oil
1 tsp Orange extract
Zest of half an orange and save the rest for decoration
Chocolate cake addition
3 tbsp Cocoa powder
4 tbsp Soya milk
Chocolate Glaze
3 tbsp Soya milk


Method

✿Preheat the oven to 180℃ and grease and line a 2lb loaf tin. 
Mix together the soya milk and apple cider vinegar in a jug and leave to curdle to create a vegan 'buttermilk' about 5-10 minutes. 
In a large add he flour, cornflour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix together. Make a well in the centre and pour in the 'buttermilk' and vegetable oil and whisk together and just combined - do not over mix. 
Half the batter into a separate bowl and add the cocoa powder and milk and stir to combine. In the other bowl add the orange extract and orange zest and mix. 
To assemble the cake - use a separate tablespoon for each batter, spoon 1 tbsp of the orange batter in the middle of the loaf pan, then place 1 tbsp of chocolate batter directly on top of the orange one. Keep alternating between the two batters placing one on top of the other - the batter will spread out on it's own and fill the loaf tine. 
Once you have used up all the batter, give the loaf tin a few taps on the work surface to release any air bubbles and help it spread just a little bit more. 
Then place in the oven for 50 minutes to bake - about 30-35 minutes through cover the tin with some foil so it doesn't burn. 
To check if the cake is done, insert a knife in the centre and when it comes out clean it is baked. 
Leave to cool in the tin before removing onto a cooling rack.
To make the glaze, melt the chocolate over a bain-marie slowly, don't let the water come to a boil as this add steam to the chocolate. Add the soya milk and stir to combine.
When the cake has cooled down, spoon the chocolate glaze over to cover completely spreading out to all sides. Garnish with the other half of the orange zest and then serve. Best kept at room temperature in an airtight container, if you slice it this is easier. Enjoy!

Christina
xx
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Sunday, 24 January 2021

Blueberry and Lemon baked Oats

Kick off your morning with this delicious breakfast or brunch recipe sweetened with blueberries and some zesty lemon!



I have been loving my porridge so much that I thought I needed to switch things up a bit. I've seen lots of delicious baked oats recipes and knew I needed to try my hand at it and I fancied something a little lighter and sweet. Blueberries and lemons are a delightful pairing, so sweet and citrusy is just what these baked oats needed. I liked to serve mine with vanilla yoghurt. These oats also make a nice dessert if you looking for something other than cake although I never say never to cake :)

Check out my other breakfasts for more inspiration!

Recipe

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Serves: 2

Double the recipe to make more!

Ingredients

1 Banana
90g Oats
1 tbsp Chia seeds
150ml Soya milk
100g blueberries
1 Lemon juice and zest

Method

✿Preheat the oven to 180℃ and grease a small oven proof dish or use a small baking tray with baking paper.
Mash the banana in a bowl and then add the soya milk and lemon juice and zest and mix together.
Add the oats and half of the blueberries and stir till everything is combined. 
Spoon the batter in the dish or baking tray and smooth out evenly. Place the rest of the blueberries on top and then place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes until slightly brow and set.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before serving in two bowls. Add more lemon zest for extra flavour if you like. Enjoy!

Christina
xx
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Friday, 22 January 2021

Cherry Bakewell Flapjacks

 If you love cherry bake wells, you'll love these flapjacks even more!

Sometimes you need a cherry Bakewell, and sometimes you need a gooey flapjack and I've brought you both as that's even better! The flavours of the almonds and cherries are what makes the Bakewell so more-ish and I just knew I could easily pair it in a flapjack. And what's not to love about a classic flapjack? The crumbliness of the oats and all that sweetness is why they make the perfect grab-and-go breakfast or an easy snack with a big mug of tea (or coffee, I'm so a coffee person these days). I can't do much more convincing other than say you need to try these, they are delicious!

Check out my flapjacks recipes for more inspiration!


Recipe

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Serves: 12-15

Ingredients

300g Porridge oats
90g Plain flour
75g Ground almonds
300g Butter, melted
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp Almond extract
6 tbsp Golden syrup
150g Cherries, halved -I used fresh or you can use glacé cherries
Icing
50g Icing sugar
2 tbsp Boiling water
Flaked almonds optional


Method

✿Preheat the oven to 180℃ and grease and line an 8x8cm baking tray with baking paper.
In a large bowl combine the oats, flour and ground almonds. Add the wet ingredients and mix everything together.
Spoon half of the batter into the baking tin and spread out evenly. Then place all of the halved cherries on top. Add the remains half batter from the bowl and smooth evenly on top of the cherries.
Sprinkle on a handful of flaked almonds if using and then place in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown on top.
Once baked, remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack too cool a little. 
Meanwhile make the icing by mixing the icing sugar and boiling water together. Stir until you have the right consistency - if you want it thicker add more icing sugar and add more boiling water if you want it thinner although it will become transparent once it settles. 
Drizzle the icing on top of the cooled flapjacks, cut into squares (15 smaller or 12 larger) and serve. 
Best kept in an airtight container at room temperature up to a week. Enjoy!

Christina
xx

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Thursday, 14 January 2021

Easy Vegan Egg Substitutes





One of the most common questions I get asked is "How do you replace eggs when you are baking?" There are always going to be obstacles when it comes to vegan baking but I make all of my recipes accessible and catered for hopefully everyone. So I wanted to give you the tools and information to make it easier for you when it comes to understanding what goes into my recipes and just how easy it is for egg-free/vegan baking whilst still getting amazing results. I've also described how to use them with some examples of recipes you can use them in. 

A general rule that I use (not sure if it's accurate) BUT

1 medium egg = 50-60g

Use the above to work out how much egg you need to replace the eggs (if using an existing recipe), alternatively if creating your own recipe it's all trial and error. So when I want to use banana or applesauce, I sometimes use that weight of the egg to know much to use if that makes sense. Bear in mind that not all egg substitutes will work in the same way as eggs - eggs not only add moisture to a recipe, but they act as a leavening agent encouraging bakes like cakes to rise and they bind ingredients together which is why sometimes chia/flax seeds work better. Without this in a recipe you have to add things like baking soda and apple cider vinegar. 

Also if a recipe calls for more than 3 eggs, there's a reason that recipe needs more eggs as it is probably reliant on the flavour which is hard to replicate.

Egg replacement Powders

✿Now in the UK the only egg replacements I have found have been Orgran No Egg and Vegan Hearts, both of which you can get in Holland and Barrett and probably in other health food shops. I haven't used this religiously as I like to experiment with other methods too much so I'm still learning the best way to use this. In my research however I have learnt that once you mix the powder with water (quantities on the packet) you leave it to sit for a few minutes to thicken before using it. Or you can even put it in a food processor/blender and whizz for about 30 seconds to make it lighter creating fluffier recipes.

HOW TO USE: using recommended quantities, mix powder with water and leave to sit
Example: Orgran No Egg suggests 3g egg replacement powder with 30ml water.

Recipes using egg replacer: Cinnamon Roll Blondies,  Lemon Meringue Pie, 

Pumpkin/Sweet Potato Purèe

✿I LOVE this replacement so much especially in brownies or with anything chocolatey as it really enhances the flavour and makes everything so gooey!

HOW TO USE: Measure how much purèe you need based on recommended weight mentioned above depending on the need for eggs in the recipe. Peel and chop your pumpkin/sweet potato and then steam for about 15-20 until soft and able to mash.
Place in a food processor and blitz until smooth and creamy. This is now ready to use. I have tried to use this by whisking together with sugar like you would an egg and I think it works. Give it a try.

Recipes using sweet potato/pumpkin: Chocolate Orange Brownies, Pumpkin Pancakes, Pumpkin Bread,


Chia Egg

✿A super healthy replacement, packed full of nutrients, chia seeds probably aren't expected when you think of eggs. However once they are mixed with a bit of water they form a gel which has an egg-like consistency forming a 'chia egg' an excellent substitution. I would recommend only using the 'chia egg' in darker bakes i.e chocolate cakes, cookies, etc as the seeds can be noticeable one baked. They're not the cheapest to buy, but if you're becoming a regular at vegan baking I would highly recommend investing.

HOW TO USE: 1 tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp water = chia egg, leave to form a gel for about 5-10 minutes then this is ready to use. 

Recipes using chia egg: Courgette, Pistachio and Lime Loaf Cake, Blueberry Pancakes,

Applesauce

✿I really enjoy using applesauce as it is a natural sweetener and its really good for added moisture. But it's important to use it according to what you would need the egg for. If the recipe calls for egg as a binder then you can use applesauce, but if the recipe calls for egg as a leavening agent to help something rise the applesauce won't work. It's also worth noting that it may alter the flavour of a recipe and if you use chunky applesauce you will be ale to see/taste chunks of apple in your recipe. 

HOW TO USE: Use straight from the jar or if making from scratch this is a good recipe to follow.

Recipes using applesauce: Bourbon Brownies, Fruit Tea Loaf Cake, 

Banana

✿Another brilliant substitute and one I've used a lot. It's important to remember that using bananas in recipes can alter the flavour, so I recommend to use it with bakes that will match the taste it brings - some of the best combinations to use it with are peanut butter, chocolate, fruits, nuts, so really there are lots of reasons to use it! 

HOW TO USE: depending on how much you need, usually ½ a banana = 1 egg. Simply mash the banana until no more lumps are visible, can also be put in a blender/food processor to speed this up.

Recipes using banana: Peanut butter banana blondies, Fudge Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, Banoffee Pie Cupcakes,


Tofu

✿The only time I have used tofu as an egg replacer was in a quiche and for scrambled "eggs" which you might have seen a lot. In terms of desserts, you'll want to use silken tofu, which creates a more dense, moist bake and works well in brownies, cheesecakes or even tarts. Again, tofu doesn't have any leavening properties so its only purpose will be to add moisture and especially in terms of cheesecakes/tarts, it is the main ingredient replacing both the 'cheese' and especially for baked cheesecakes where eggs would be used, tofu is the replacement.

HOW TO USE: For desserts, puree the silken tofu first in a blender/food processor then add to your mixture. 

Aquafaba

✿My first reaction to using aquafaba was not very optimistic. I too was confused about using the water from a can of chickpeas, but alas, it works wonders and I salute whoever first discovered the magic of it. Aquafaba can be used to replace meringues, macarons, ice-creams and mousses and there are many more ways to use it. Aquafaba is most definitely affordable and found in all supermarkets. I buy it every week because I am obsessed with experimenting with it and it encourages you to get creative!More recently I've found an interest in using it in brownies, especially when whisking it with the sugar it aerates the mixture creating the best brownie texture. 

HOW TO USE:  3tbsp AF = 1 whole egg

Recipes using aquafaba: Bakewell tart, Chocolate Coconut Macaroons, Biscoff Brownies, Wagon Wheels,



I really hope this has encouraged you to think outside the box when you start baking, there are so many ways to replace eggs and may even make your bakes even more delicious! So get your aprons on, mixers at the ready and start baking.


Christina
xx
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Sunday, 10 January 2021

Biscoff Cookie Cups

Delicious chocolate chip cookie cups filled with a beautiful Biscoff buttercream!

Another cookie cup recipe for you as I loved the others so much I had to make them again. And of course, they had to have some sort of Biscoff addition didn't they. I was going to simple fill them with melted biscoff but I thought that was toooo easy, and Biscoff buttercream is my favourite. In fact, cookies with buttercream is highly underrated in my opinion. I've also realised I never took a photo of the inside of these cookies, but if you were to cut one open, you would see a thick cookie cup filled with buttercream and that image alone should entice you to bake these :)

Check out my other cookie recipes for more inspiration!

NOTE: every ingredient I use is vegan so make sure you check your ingredients if you're following a vegan lifestyle.


Recipe

Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Serves:
 
Double the recipe to make more of these cookie cups!

Ingredients

100g Caster sugar
150g Plain flour
1 tsp Vanilla extract
80g Butter melted
50g Chocolate Chips
Buttercream
3 tbsp Biscoff
100g Butter
300g Icing sugar
Biscoff biscuits
Biscoff spread melted

Method

✿Preheat the oven to 180℃ and grease a cupcake tin with a little oil or melted butter.
✿Place the sugar, vanilla and melted butter into a bowl and whisk together. Then add in the flour and mix until you have a dough-like consistency.
Lastly fold in the chocolate chips till evenly combined.
Take a couple of tablespoons of the dough and press into one of the cupcake holes to make a cup shape and make sure to make a hole in the middle. This can be quite messy and I spent time making the cups look neat but it is up to you how you want them to look in the end.
Place into the oven to bake for 9-10 minutes or until golden brown. TIP: don't over bake as when set they will be quite hard and they are best when chewy.
Once baked remove from the oven and leave to cool completely in the tins before removing.
Meanwhile make the buttercream. Beat the butter in a mixing bowl until smooth and creamy. Add the icing sugar gradually and mix together until combined, add more sugar if you like it really sweet. 
Then add the Biscoff and mix until combined evenly. Spoon into a piping bag ready to pipe into the cookie cups.
When the cookie cups are completely cool, spoon a bit of melted Biscoff into the bottom of the cookie cup and then pipe the buttercream into each cookie cup or spoon into it. I melted a little more Biscoff and drizzled this on top of each cookie cup too and even crumbled some Biscoff biscuits on top. 
Place in the fridge to firm the buttercream about 30 minutes-1 hour and then remove when ready to serve. Keep stored in an airtight container to keep them soft. Best eaten within a couple of days. Enjoy!

Christina
xx


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