Tag Archives: cinnamon

Banana and Cinna-nom Muffins

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 This is a great way to use up those over-ripe bananas you have hanging around the kitchen. It’s taken from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook which I must say, reliably delivers some of the tastiest cake recipes of any book I own. Not too sweet, I imagine these are the type of muffins normal people would get away with eating for breakfast. I, on the other hand, have absolutely no qualms about eating any kind of muffin for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Nom.

ImageMakes 12-18 (depending on the size of your muffin cases).

Ingredients

350g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
150g sugar
70g butter, melted
400g slightly over-ripe banana (approx. 3 large)
375ml butter milk (or milk with a teaspoon of lemon juice)
1 tsp vanilla extract (1/4 tsp paste)
1 large egg

for the cinnamon sugar:

3 tsp sugar
1/2 – 1 tsp cinnamon

Method

Add the dry ingredients – flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarb, cinnamon and salt – to a bowl. Mix to evenly distribute. In a separate jug, measure out the milk, add the egg and vanilla. Mix gently just to break up the egg. Add the butter and the milk to the dry ingredients and use an electric whisk on medium speed to mix them thoroughly. In another bowl, mash up the banana, leaving a few medium sized chunks. Add to your muffin mixture and beat to make sure it’s all combined.

Spoon into muffin cases and sprinkle over a bit of the cinnamon sugar for a slightly crunchy topping. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 160-170. If you have any cinnamon sugar left, sprinkle over the muffins as they come out of the oven.

Serve warm with tea if you can’t wait. As with most muffin recipes, these are better left for a day or so to mature – I find you lose less of the mix stuck to the paper.

I heard they freeze well, but I am yet to find out for myself.

W

Potato & Toasted Chickpea Curry

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Originally I intended this to be a sweet potato and chickpea curry, however when I went to retrieve the desired ingredients the “sweet potato” in my cupboard turned out to be a very red-skinned standard potato! Shocking, I know.

Not to be deterred however, I bravely soldiered on and thus present you with the fruits of my labour. I really think toasting the chickpeas is worth it, you get so much more from the spices and it’s not exactly much of a faff! It looks like a lot of ingredients but it really isn’t complicated to cook. That’s one of the reasons I love curry – you can turn out something incredible with very moderate effort!

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

1 large waxy potato, cut into 2.5cm cubes
2 medium carrots, cut into rounds
2 medium onions, quartered and sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red chilli (or more if you’re a fan of heat) finely chopped
1 tin chickpeas, drained, washed and patted dry
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin coconut milk
1-2 cups frozen peas
handful green beans
1 cinnamon stick
1 2.5cm piece fresh ginger, grated
glug of golden syrup
parathas to serve

Spice mix

3 tsp curry powder
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin seeds, roughly ground
2 tsp fennel seeds, roughly ground
salt and pepper

Method

Mix up the spices and set aside. In a large casserole dish heat a little oil over a medium heat and add the onions. Sweat for 8-10 minutes before adding a glug of golden syrup, garlic, grated ginger and 2/3 of the spice mix. Give a good stir and cook for a further five minutes, adding a splash of water every now and again if anything starts to stick.

Add the chopped tomatoes, coconut milk, potato and cinnamon stick, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Make sure everything is covered in liquid – if not add a little water. Cover and leave to simmer to 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally to remove anything stuck to the bottom of the pan. Check the potato and carrot every now and again with a knife – once they start to go soft add the peas and beans and cook for a further five minutes.

Meanwhile heat some oil in a separate frying pan. Add the drained/patted dry chickpeas and fry for 5-6 minutes over a medium-high heat. Shuffle regularly to get an even covering. Add the remaining spice mix and continue to toast for a further couple of minutes until golden brown. Throw into the curry, stir everything around, season to taste (I always keep the spices I have used to hand during cooking so they can be added when necessary). Chug in one final glug of syrup and serve with a paratha.

Look, I even managed to take a photograph this time!

J

Yummy Scrummy Curry

Turkey Tagine

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So my dad got given a 16lb turkey for Christmas by his work and bearing in mind there are only 4 of us in my family it’s safe to say we had a little left over. Some has gone into left-over pies (recipe coming soon) and some into this tasty tagine. Luckily we went to see family today so a good chunk of turkey got gobbled up but somehow the carcass is still not bare!

I have to say this is probably the best thing I’ve had with Christmas dinner remains. I like how it’s completely different to a rehashed roast. It’s also very straightforward, essentially a one-pot stew.

This recipe is completely adjustable to whatever you have leftover from Christmas. For example we had half a cabbage and half a butternut squash so I threw them in. To be honest I’m not entirely sure on the quantities I used myself, it was somewhat thrown together…

Serves 10 (with rice and naan breads)

Ingredients

1.2kg cooked turkey, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 litre turkey stock
4 red onions, cut into wedges (halve then halve then halve again)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tins of chopped or plum tomatoes
juice of 1 lemon
olive oil
golden syrup
few handfuls raisins
5-10 dates, chopped
10-15 dried apricots, chopped

Spice Mix

2 tsp Ras El Hanout*
2 tsp whole cumin, roughly ground
2 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp paprika
3 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
LOTS of black pepper
good sprinkling dried coriander leaf
4 thumb-sized pieces fresh ginger, grated
1 thumb-sized piece of fresh turmeric, grated

*in no way essential but I got given some for Christmas, hence why I used it. It’s essentially a combination of all the other spice mix ingredients; paprika, cinnamon, ginger etc. I realise that’s a LONG spice list and I would say so long as you had cumin, coriander, paprika & cinnamon you’re pretty well set.

Method

Put the turkey in a large bowl with the apricots, dates and raisins then drizzle with a good glug of olive oil, the lemon juice and a tablespoon of golden syrup. Add two of the garlic cloves. Mix up the spices in a separate bowl and pour half over the turkey. Get yer hands in there and squish it all around, ensuring a good coating/fairly even distribution. Cover the bowl with cling film and stick in the fridge (preferably overnight).

When you’re ready to cook the tagine heat some oil over a low heat in a large casserole dish (in fact, in the end I had to use two, but it’s probably easier to start with one). Once hot, add the onions, a tablespoon of golden syrup and sweat/stir for 5 minutes before adding the remaining spice mix and garlic cloves. Sweat for a further five minutes – if the spices start to stick to the pan just add a dash of water and keep stirring.

Add the chopped tomatoes and turkey stock and simmer with the lid on, stirring occasionally, for half an hour. Fetch your turkey and throw in (this might be the point at which you need to divide into two pans (unless of course your pan is sufficiently well-endowed…). Simmer and stir with the lid off for a further half hour or until the sauce is sufficiently thickened.

Serve and enjoy, preferably in the merry company of others!

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

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There’s something really nice about how peanut butter cupcakes sounds as it rolls off the tongue. I think it might be the combination of Nuh-Buh-Cuh, if you get what I mean? No…well, I don’t blame you.

I made these a while ago and unfortunately, as tends to happen, life got in the way of me uploading the recipe. They were for my housemate’s birthday and I had to make them, wash up and tidy away in under an hour to keep them a surprise! I ended up icing them in my bedroom just in case she came into the kitchen…

They are relatively “mild” on the peanut butter front. Or at least I think so. Feel free to use substitute more of the butter for peanut butter. God knows I would, but not everyone likes peanut butter as much as I do…

Makes approx 12-14

Ingredients

75g butter
110g peanut butter
200g brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
260g plain flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
180ml milk

Icing

75g butter
165g icing sugar
3 tsp water
1 tsp cinnamon

Method

Preheat the oven to 180oC/350oF/gas mark 4 and line a muffin tray with muffin cases.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, peanut butter and brown sugar. It helps if your butter is soft to begin with, so either take it out the fridge and stick it in your warming oven for a few minutes. Careful not to let it melt though. Once “fluffy and light” or once your arms get too achey to cream anymore, beat in the egg and vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, sieve together the flour, salt, baking powder, bicarb and spices. Add about a quarter to the butter/sugar/egg mix, stir in, add a quarter of the milk, stir in and then repeat until you have no flour or milk left. Fill the cupcake cases ¾ full and stick in the oven for approximately 20 minutes.

While they’re baking, cream all the icing ingredients together in a bowl. Again, soft butter helps here (though I wouldn’t put it in the oven this time). Try not to “over” cream it as it will start to separate, for reasons unbeknownst to me!

Check the cakes in the usual manner by inserting a knife or skewer into the middle of one of the cakes to see if it comes out clean – if not put back in for a couple of minutes and check again/repeat until done.

Leave to cool before icing, otherwise the butter will melt and you’ll have some fairly disgusting looking cupcakes. I topped mine with a dollop of peanut butter and various nuts to make them as birthday-tastic as I could.

SOMUCHNUTTINESS

Orange & Raisin Sticky Toffee Pudding

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There are times in life when you happen to find yourself with a big bag of dates lacking a little purpose. Or is that just me? Assuming I’m not alone in experiencing this situation I shall continue…

The answer? Give your dates a purpose. And what better purpose than filling up your grumbly tummy with some sweet, indulgent Sticky Toffee Pudding?

Basic recipe courtesy of Be-Ro. But we have snazzed it up a little and reduced the sugar slightly. To be honest I might even reduce the sugar further in future…

Serves 8 FATTIES or 16 skinnies

Ingredients

Pudding

250g stoned dates, chopped
50g raisins
220ml boiling water
150g self-raising flour
110g butter
150 soft dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
zest and juice of 2 oranges
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger

Sauce

110g butter
125g soft dark brown sugar
150ml double cream
zest of two oranges
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger

Method

First, find a tin and casserole dish combination so that your tin will sit easily in the dish as you will need to steam this pudding in a “bain-marie” stylie. DON’T make the mistake we did and pour your mixture into a tin first before realising you don’t have a casserole dish/other receptacle large enough to accommodate the tin! Grease your tin well and/or line with baking parchment. One 20cm square pan will do it, we did ours in 2 loaf tins which lead to “taller” puddings. It makes no difference really, other than they took a little longer to cook through.

Add chopped dates and raisins to a bowl and pour over the boiling water. Squeeze in the juice of one of your oranges, add the bicarb and leave to stand until the raisins are plump and the dates get…mushy…for lack of a better word. Approximately 10 minutes, anyway.

Preheat the oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas Mark 4. Cream together all remaining pudding ingredients in a large bowl until “light and fluffy”. Use an electric whisk, or shear brute strength, the choice is yours! Add the dates/raisins to the cake mixture and pour into your tin. Cover with a layer of parchment paper and a double layer of foil – folding the edges under and ensuring it’s well sealed. Try to avoid having the parchment dip into the mix if possible.

Place tin in casserole dish (or roasting tin) and pour poiling water into the dish until half-way up the pudding tin. Stick in the oven for an hour. Take out, check the middle and cook for more time if necessary – make sure to replace the foil lid. Meanwhile, make the sauce! This is so easy it hurts. Add everything to a small pan. Warm gently until sugar has dissolved, stirring constantly to ensure everything disperses evenly. See – EASY.

Serve pudding while hot, slathered in sauce. And, if you’re being particularly greedy, cream.

Or custard.

Or ice-cream.

Or all the above.

Fatty.

Spiced Mincemeat Swirls

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It’s November and now Hallowe’en is over, it’s officially acceptable to begin thinking about Christmas! What better way than to bake these INCREDIBLE little beauties – a wonderful amalgamation of cinnamon swirls and mince pies.

Makes approx. 15.

Ingredients

for the sweet dough:
250g strong white bread flour
3/4 tsp salt
7g fast-action yeast
40g sugar
20g butter, softened
160ml warm water

for the filling:
10g butter, softened
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
250g (approx.) mincemeat

for the glaze:
2 tsp ginger jam (or apricot)
1 tsp water

for the icing:
4 tsp icing sugar
a little bit of cold water

Method

Make the dough by sieving the flour into a large bowl. Place the yeast on one side, the salt on the other and sprinkle the sugar all over. Add the softened butter to the middle, pour in about half of the water and mix with your hands. Slowly add the rest of the water whilst mixing until you form a soft dough that is ever-so-slightly sticky.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until evenly smooth and just springy. Roll into a long rectangle (roughly 20 x 40 cm) and press one end very firmly onto the work surface to stop it from moving. Spread a very thin layer of soft butter over the dough, followed by an even sprinkling of ginger and cinnamon, then the mincemeat. Roll up the dough from the free edge to form a tight roll. Slice into 1 cm sections and place on a greased baking tray leaving a roughly 2 cm between each.

Prove in a warm place for around an hour until the gaps between the swirls are filled. When proved, brush with milk. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 180*C until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and place to one side. Water down the jam a little to make the glaze and brush over the buns. Mix up the icing to a thick, piping consistency. Pipe thinly over the buns and leave to cool before eating.

Lamb & Sweet Potato Tagine

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Otherwise known as THE BEST DAMN RECIPE IN THE WORLD, EVER. (Especially after you’ve received a right royal soaking.)

We cannot claim to be the inventors of this recipe – it’s been stolen and borrowed and edited from many sources, from Rachel Allen to Antony Worrall Thompson. However it has quickly become a firm favourite and is one of the most regular dinners we rustle up. As a bonus it gives us an opportunity to break out the Le Creuset casserole dish, wahey!

This is an extremely versatile recipe and prone to tinkering every time we make it depending on what spices we have and what’s in the cupboard. The only question is how did it take so long to reach our blog? Well who cares, it’s here now!

Serves 4

Ingredients

300-400g diced lamb
2 red onions, chopped (quarter rings)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large sweet potato, chopped (2cm cubes)
1 tin chick peas, drained
1 tin chopped tomatoes
handful flaked almonds
handful chopped dates and/or apricots
1-2 tsp honey

Spice Mix

1/2 tsb hot chilli powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp turmeric
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander

Method

Chop everything that needs to be chopped, open all your tins, make up the spice mix in a small bowl. Put your chopped lamb in a large bowl and add half the spice mix, using your hands to coat the outside. Heat a little oil in a casserole dish (that has a lid), add the onion and, after a couple of minutes, the remaining spice mix, then after a couple more minutes the garlic. Sweat for a further 3-5 minutes, adding splashes of water when the spices start to stick to the pan. Remove from the pan and set aside for a few minutes

Brown the lamb in the same pan by adding a little more oil and then the spice-covered lamb, stirring to ensure sides are sealed. This keeps all the meaty juicy goodness in the lamb so once it’s cooked it will be incredibly tender and melt in your mouth. Omnomnomnomnom.

Add the onions to the browned lamb, along with everything else apart from the sweet potato. Put the lid on the dish and leave to simmer on a low heat for…well, an hour, ish…as long as you want really, so long as you check it every so often, adding water if it looks like it’s drying out. A lower heat for longer will lead to juicier, softer, melty meat.

About half an hour before you plan to eat, add the chopped sweet potato and top up with water so everything is covered. Replace the lid and simmer away for 20 minutes, taking the lid off for the last 10. Keep checking your potato, it might not need that long, it might need longer. Basically take the lid off when they are soft and then cook for a further ten minutes just to reduce the sauce down a bit.

Serve with couscous or our personal favourite; Hugh’s flatbreads.

J&W