Monday, 22 August 2016

Maple Cinnamon Apple Crumble

maple syrup infused cinnamon apple crumble

When we moved into our new home this year, I knew we had a couple of apple trees in our back garden. I wasn't sure what sort of apples they were, some people telling us they were more than likely crab apples.

As the summer has gone on however, our apples have grown and we have regular apples, although not sure exactly what type.

homegrown apples

We had a bad storm a couple of weeks back and there was a lot of windfall, which we picked up and kept aside to make something with. We had Gladys over for dinner at the weekend. Gladys is Disneyboi's nephew's wife's mother. A tenuous connection, but she is totally part of the family and a great laugh.

maple syrup infused cinnamon apple crumble

For dinner I made a lasagne and with the apples, which Disneyboi diligently peeled and chopped, I made an apple crumble. I added the usual cinnamon to the dish, what are apples without cinnamon after all? But I had been sent some maple syrups to try from We Love Maple, which came in four varieties and a wee pot of maple sugar.


The maple syrups ranged from a light coloured one, quite mild in flavour to an Amber syrup which is strong and robust. They were all very sweet and mapley, in their own way, and I opted for the medium one for adding in this recipe.

I didn't realise that maple syrups could vary so much in flavour, nor did I realise the benefits of maple syrup which you can read about on their website.

The apples were stewed along with the maple which led to an amazing smell going on in the kitchen. For the crumble topping I also added maple sugar, which is crystallised maple syrup, in the mix. A double-whammy of maple, top and bottom.

maple syrup infused cinnamon apple crumble

I baked it for around 25 minutes and the maple smell really stood out. When we were eating the crumble itself (with my favourite addition, evaporated milk), the maple added an extra depth of flavour which you couldn't quite put your finger on, but if it wasn't there you would really have missed it.

maple syrup infused cinnamon apple crumble

Gladys loved her dinner and gave a thumbs up to the crumble, made with our very own apples. Expect much more apple based desserts over the next few months!

Here's how I made it...


print recipe

Maple Cinnamon Apple Crumble
apple crumble with added cinnamon and maple syrup
Ingredients
  • 800 grams apples
  • 2 tablespoons dark maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanila extract
  • 100 grams plain flour
  • 50 grams porridge
  • 100 grams cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 50 grams maple sugar (or brown)
Instructions
Chop the apples into cubes, place into a saucepan with the maple syrup, vanilla extract half the cinnamon and place on medium heat with the lid on for 10 minutes.Pre-heat the oven to 200C (180C fan).Prepare the crumble topping by placing the butter, flour, oats, sugar and remaining cinnamon in a bowl. Rub together with your fingers until the mix resembles rough breadcrumbs.The apples should be mushy at this stage, if not continue to stew for another 5 to 10 minutes.Once ready, place the apples in an oven-proof dish and top with the crumble topping evenly.Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until the top is golden brown and the apples are bubbling.Serve warm with cream ice cream or my favourite evaporated milk.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 to 5 servings



maple syrup infused cinnamon apple crumble

Here are some more maple infused recipes to try out:

Parsnip and Maple Syrup Cake - The Baking Explorer
Sticky Maple Apple Traybake - United Cakedom
Chocolate Maple Truffles - Tinned Tomatoes
Bramley Apple, Pernod and Maple Syrup Summer Pudding - Belleau Kitchen
Maple Spice Brownie Cupcakes - Cakeyboi

Disclosure Statement: I was sent the maple syrups and sugar free to try. Any opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Banana and Blueberry Pie

crumb crust pie filled with bananas and blueberries baked and enjoyed either warm or chilled with cream


I had recently bought a huge punnet of blueberries in the supermarket, half of which we’d enjoyed with some Greek yoghurt. They were lovely big juicy ones too, I just love blueberries.


The other half were languishing in the bottom of the fridge and I wondered what I could make with them. Also, we had Disneyboi’s brother and sister-in-law coming for dinner, so I needed to rustle up a dessert.

graham crackers waiting to be blitzed in a food processor

I decided that a banana and blueberry pie was the order of the day. There were a couple of frozen bananas in the freezer plus I had bought graham crackers in the Chinese supermarket. I wanted to give these a try as part of a biscuit base instead of the ubiquitous digestives that we use in the UK.

I had to buy some fresh bananas too and cream, but that was all really. I set about making the pie crust by crushing the crackers, adding sugar and melted butter. I pressed this into a pie plate and baked it for a few minutes whilst I chopped up fresh bananas into coins about a half centimetre thick. I also squeezed out the defrosted bananas into the bowl.

crumb crust pie filled with bananas and blueberries baked and enjoyed either warm or chilled with cream

I find bananas which have been frozen result in an intense ‘nana flavour and have a wet consistency, perfect for using as part of a ‘sauce’ for this pie. I chucked in the blueberries; some vanilla, cinnamon and cornflour which would help the fruit filling thicken.

crumb crust pie filled with bananas and blueberries baked and enjoyed either warm or chilled with cream

I poured the filling into the pie shell and baked for around 25 minutes.

I removed it from the oven, let it cool and then whipped up some cream which I piped all over the top. I chilled the pie until it was ready to serve.

crumb crust pie filled with bananas and blueberries baked and enjoyed either warm or chilled with cream

The pie was lovely with its buttery biscuit crumb, very banana flavoured filling and the juicy blueberries bursting throughout. It was great chilled, but I would also recommend eating it warm. Obviously the cream would have to be added on the side and not as a topping.

With the leftovers we did just that. Scraped the cream to the side, popped it in the microwave for a few seconds and the pie was a warm, gooey fruity delight.


There you have a pie you can enjoy one of two ways. Here is how I made it…

print recipe

Banana and Blueberry Pie
A pie filled with bananas and blueberries that you can enjoy hot or cold
Ingredients
  • 100 grams graham crackers (or digestives)
  • 45 grams granulated sugar
  • 55 grams unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon (divided) cinnamon
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 5 fresh bananas
  • 150 grams fresh blueberries
  • 2 teaspoon cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon Brown sugar
  • 200 ml double cream
Instructions
Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan).Crush the biscuits either in a bag using a rolling pin or in a food processor.Add the granulated sugar, melted butter and half teaspoon of cinnamon and stir until all combined.Press the crumb mix into a 8” pie dish, going up the sides also.Bake in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, just until you begin to smell the biscuit.To make the filling, in a large bowl add the two frozen bananas and mash with a fork until liquid.Cut the fresh bananas into coins and add to the bowl along with the blueberries.Add the vanilla extract, cinnamon and cornflour and stir to combine.Tip into the baked pie shell and place back in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the blueberries begin to pop.Remove from the oven and serve at this stage if you’d like the pie warm.If serving chilled, wait for the pie to cool and then place in the fridge.Whip the double cream until thick and spread on top of the pie, or pipe over the top.Garnish with more blueberries before serving.Enjoy!
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 8" pie

crumb crust pie filled with bananas and blueberries baked and enjoyed either warm or chilled with cream

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Cookie Dough Stuffed Oreos

Oreo cookies with a cookie dough filling

I’m a bit obsessed with cookie dough. As I’m sure I’ve said before, I love scraping out the mixing bowl when making cookies or cake.

Some people say it’s dangerous to eat raw cookie dough (but do we actually know anyone who died from doing so?)! However, this recipe uses a recipe for cookie dough that skips the egg part and tastes just like the real, unbaked thing.


How else could I indulge in cookie dough, aside from just spooning it straight into my mouth? Sandwiched between Oreo cookies of course!

Oreo cookies with a cookie dough filling

I do love Oreos too. It’s funny to think that not too many years ago, you couldn’t even get them here in the UK. I do love the American ones especially though, they taste different somehow and in the US they are always bringing out limited edition flavours, such as Birthday Cake, Red Velvet, Cinnamon Bun etc.

Having said that we are getting different flavours here in the UK too. Aside from original and double (no longer stuff L) chocolate crème, golden and peanut butter you can also pick up strawberry milkshake flavour and I believe that mint flavour are around the corner too.

Combining my love of Oreos with my love of cookie dough sounded like heaven! And it was super easy to do too.

Oreo cookies with a cookie dough filling

I had to split Oreos in half – carefully with a knife if using original, easier if it’s double stuff. I scraped out the stuff and saved this for later. I then whipped up a batch of cookie dough in my mixer (Sage scraper mixer pro, which is great for getting right to the edges of the bowl and makes creaming butter and sugar so easy).


I then transferred the cookie dough to a disposable piping bag to pipe onto one half of the Oreos. You could just use a knife, or you could use a plastic food bag with the corner snipped off.



And you can add as much or as little cookie dough filling as you like. Just make sure you chill them when not enjoying them as the filling goes a bit soft otherwise!


Here’s how I made them:



Oreo cookies with a cookie dough filling


I'm entering these cookies into this month's Treat Petite hosted by myself and Kat at The Baking Explorer. Anything Goes this month!


Love Oreos? Here are a few other ways you can use your favourite cookies:

Peanut Butter Oreo Truffles - The Baking Explorer
Oreo Poke Cake - United Cakedom


Monday, 8 August 2016

Lavender Apple and White Chocolate Scones

lavender apple white chocolate scones

Disneyboi was having some friends round recently and asked if I would make something for them to have with a cuppa.

I thought a batch of scones would be nice, with a little pot of butter on the side.

As ever, I didn’t want to make any old scones, but something with a bit of flavour. I looked in the cupboard and found a jar of lavender sugar which I hadn’t used in a while.


The sugar is infused with real lavender and has the rich familiar scent of the plant. It has to be used sparingly, otherwise instead of giving a delicate floral note to whatever you incorporate it into, it can end up tasting a bit soapy.

You can read how to make your own lavender sugar here.

I also had some apple pie filling on hand and white chocolate. So lavender, apple and white chocolate scones was the recipe!

The apple adds moisture to the scones and doesn’t come through too strongly, but it also adds a touch of sweetness. The white chocolate is simply drizzled on at the end, so could be easily eliminated if you didn’t have any, or didn’t fancy it.

To make the scones, I used my Multicooker from Redmond.

redmond multicooker

The RMC-M4502E model multicooker is a great tool in the kitchen. It has many functions and can steam, fry, cook pasta, stew, make porridge, make soup and bake in the machine. There are 16 automatic functions and 18 manual programs.

The machine can also prove bread, make baby food, sterilise items and even make yoghurt! It truly is multifunctional.


To make the scones, I rubbed the butter into flour, added the sugar, then mixed in the wet ingredients which in this case was an egg and apple filling (or apple sauce would also do).

redmond multicooker

The dough was then pressed into the multicooker bowl in an even layer. I took a plastic scraper and cut the scone round into wedges before setting it to cook. (I forgot to give my scones a glaze with some egg wash before baking but even without they did brown nicely).

I set the multicooker to bake for 30 minutes and during that time, it smelled amazing!

redmond multicooker

After baking time was up, I removed the bowl from the machine and allowed the scones to cool a little in there, before then removing them from the bowl. They slid out effortlessly.

lavender apple white chocolate scones

To finish the scones, I melted a little white chocolate and drizzled this over the top and sprinkled on a little of the lavender sugar.

The Redmond RMC-M4502E multicooker makes baking scones so easy. No cutting out shapes, simply press, score and go!

lavender apple white chocolate scones



Here’s how to make them;




print recipe

Lavender Apple and White Chocolate Scones
Scones made with lavender sugar, apple sauce and a white chocolate drizzle
Ingredients
  • 250 grams self-raising flour
  • 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
  • 40 grams unsalted butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 10 grams lavender sugar
  • 15 grams caster sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 50 ml approx. apple pie filling or apple sauce
  • 20 grams white chocolate
Instructions
In a bowl sieve together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir through both sugars into the flour mix.With your hands rub in the butter until pea sized bit of butter and dotted through the mixture.In a measuring jug, crack the egg and beat it with a fork. Add enough apple sauce to reach the 100ml mark.Stir the apple sauce and egg and together and pour into the dry ingredients.With your hands, mix the wet into the dry until a dough forms.If the mix doesn’t come together, add a little milk.Place into the bowl of the multicooker and press down until even. Score into wedges.Set the multicooker to bake for 30 minutes.Allow to cool once baked.Melt the chocolate in a jug in the microwave. Heat for 20 seconds and stir, the repeat for 10 seconds more until fully melted.Drizzle over the scones and sprinkle more lavender sugar over the scones.Enjoy with a schmear of butter.(The scones can be baked in a conventional oven also at 180C for around 20 minutes or until golden brown.)
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8 scone wedges

lavender apple white chocolate scones

Here are some more scones recipes to try out:

Cheese and Marmite Scones - The Baking Explorer
Caramel Apple Pie Scones - United Cakedom
Hot Cross Scones - The Crafty Larder
Lemon Zest Scones - Belleau Kitchen 

Disclosure Statement: I have received payment for creating this recipe and received the multicooker free to use.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Awesome Fictional Foods and Beverages You Can Now Try in Real Life


The most attractive thing about going on holiday for many people is the ability to try new foods and gastronomies – so what if you could step inside your TV set or cinema screen and gorge yourself on all of the impossible goodies that have been dreamt up by the imaginations of writers? Well, the good news is that now you can!

Certain invented foodstuffs from the worlds of literature, TV and cinema have apparently been so mouth-watering that some industrious and inventive chef has translated them into real life commodities. Here are eight of the most delicious foods and beverages from the realm of fiction which have strayed into real life, ready for your sampling pleasure.

Big Kahuna Burger

image source
Forget the Royale with Cheese or the Big Mac, the real star of the show in Pulp Fiction is the Big Kahuna Burger. So popular that it’s become the feature of posters and t-shirts sold all over the world, this calorific snack has now been given the reality treatment and can be made by following a simple recipe in your own home. Mhmm… this is a tasty burger!

Krabby Patty Burger

image source
Despite the misleading name, any keen watcher of SpongeBob SquarePants will be quick to point out that Krabby Patties don’t actually contain crab – instead, they’re made from chum, which is basically random flotsam and jetsam found around your kitchen cupboards. That gives you free license to create your own rendition from pretty much anything, but if you’d rather go with a tried and tested rendition, here's one we found earlier.

Duff

image source
“Beer! The cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.” Never a truer word was said by Homer J. Simpson, and in July of last year, 21st Century Fox finally announced they were releasing Duff beer to the non-yellow-skinned and non-four-fingered populace of planet Earth. With initial releases in Chile, the popular beverage is scheduled to hit shelves in Europe in 2016.

Butterbeer

image source
The reason Matt Groening resisted the release of Duff so long was because he didn't want to encourage drinking in children. Luckily, Harry Potter has come to the rescue with the introduction of the delicious-sounding Butterbeer. Though many copycat and DIY recipes for this elixir exist on the internet, if you want to try the real thing you’ll just have to take the Warner Brothers Studio Tour and visit Diagon Alley, Hogwarts and the rest yourself. You won’t regret it!

Slurm

image source
From one sublime-sounding beverage to a ridiculous one, Slurm was Fry’s drink of choice in the hugely-underrated show Futurama. The beverage was available to consumers as a marketed brand at the height of the show’s popularity but has since been discontinued (at least in the UK). Not to worry though - you can now make your own with just a few key ingredients.

Soylent Green

image source
Another foodstuff with a dubious sounding name, any fans who have seen the movie will know that the actual ingredients of Soylent Green were far more macabre than imagined. Fortunately, the real life version is not comprised of anything nearly so squeamish (we hope! Probably best to check the nutritional information before indulging, though).


Disclosure Statement: This is a collaborative post.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Treat Petite August 2016



Thanks to everyone who took part in Treat Petite last month over on The Baking Explorer. We love seeing everyones entries of petite treats.

To make things a bit easier to enter at the moment, we've gone 'theme-free' and basically anything goes...


So if you've made anything this month which is a shareable individual treat why not enter it into August's Treat Petite?

With it being so warm outside, why not enter something non-baked, or chilled?  But really, anything you make is welcome in Treat Petite land...

Here's the rules:

Treat Petite is for all of those delicious bites, which can be individually portioned. Tray bakes are fine, cookies, cupcakes, brownies, macarons and so on. No cakes, puddings, whole loaves – you get the idea… here are the all-important rules:

1. Add your petite treat to the Linky Tool at the bottom of the current month's post by the 25th of the month, midnight at the latest

2. Post your bake onto your blog and link back to Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer, stating who is hosting this month

3. Follow Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer blogs on Google+ (see sidebar links), if you haven't already.

4. If you tweet or use Instagram use #TreatPetite and mention @MrCakeyboi and @BakingExplorer - we will retweet and like

5. Add the challenge logo to the post and 'Treat Petite' as a label to the post

6. Use any recipe as long as the source is noted

7. If you like, add your photo to the 'Treat Petite' Pinterest board (request access from Cakeyboi)

8. Feel free to enter old posts as long as you update the post and meet all the requirements above!

As always, above all else - have fun!!

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Goodies Galore in my Degustabox


I recently received a new Degustabox to enjoy and I wanted to share with you all the goodies that were inside.


Degustabox is where you sign up to receive a box every month, which is full of surprise products, new to the market. For £12.99 a month (or £11.99 if you pay bi-annually) you are guaranteed tastiness coming to your front door, 

I don’t know about you, but I love trying all the new products when having a wander about the supermarket. I pick things up thinking I must give that a try. And with more and more online shopping, I don’t tend to see as much sadly.

But having a Degustabox dropped off once a month, packed with lots of new stuff to sample, is a great way of still getting my fill of the new items of supermarket shelves.

In the July Degustabox was a great assortment of different items.

First off was a bottle of Sarsons vinegar. But not any old vinegar, balsamic from Modena. This is a slightly sweet vinegar, delicious in salad dressings or even great paired with some strawberries.


Next we had some pickled gherkins from Felix. I love crunchy gherkins and these ones are sweet and tangy. I usually pop them chopped into my daily salads for lunch. They are also great sliced and popped on top of a burger.



Now, in the box was a couple of packs of Itsu crispy seaweed thins. I LOVE crispy seaweed which I regularly pick up from the Chinese supermarket. In Asia, people scoff seaweed like crisps. They taste of the sea and contain lots of healthy minerals and vitamins, plus are only 2 calories per thin. I love these with a glass of wine.


Also great with a glass of wine, the Seabrooks crisps in the box were a big hit. These are thick and crunchy Lattice Food Heroes and in my box I got chicken jalfrezi flavour. Full of flavour, these also have a handy way of opening and resealing on the top which is perfect for sharing.



There were a few drinks to give a try in the July box also. Great for this balmy summer weather.

There was Rejuvenation water, which is packed with amino acids, good for the immune system, fights anxiety, depression and helps with digestion. In my box was Spanish Orange flavoured water. I had this with some lunch one day and it tasted very refreshing.


There was also a carton of Cracker Drinks pineapple, coconut and lime flavour fruit juice. I like fruit juice with my breakfast and this juice provides you with one of your five a day, has no added sugar or fake sweeteners. (This juice is also tasty with some vodka btw as Disneyboi can attest to!)


ALO drinks are made with real aloe vera, and in the Degustabox I received a bottle of the ALO drink with honey. I have to say this one was not a hit with me personally, but it’s good to give these things a try.


Now, I hate cucumber - it's the one thing I say no to when I order my sub at that famous sandwich chain. But Qcumber water, which was in a can, is very, very refreshing. It does taste of the vegetable but in a good way, if like me you are not a fan. In fact I had some with some gin, and this paired together very well!


Another item I received was two cans of were Berrywhite sparkling organic fruit drink. In my box I received lemon and ginger and cranberry and guava. The latter was very thirst quenching over ice. The lemon and ginger wasn't for me though and tasted like drinking a fruit lozenge sadly.


For breakfast lovers, which I am one, Jordan’s new no added sugar swiss style muesli was in the bag. This is a traditional muesli with oats, wheat flakes, raisins and almonds. Drenched in milk, this is an extremely enjoyable way to start the day.


On to the sweet side of things, and there was plenty for us sweet-toothed people to enjoy.

Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles are a well-known sweet here in the UK and have been for decades. They have now brought out a range called Infusions, with fruit fusion flavours going on. In the bag are tangy orange and grapefruit, berrilicious raspberry and pomegranate and floral apple and elderflower. These really do make your mouth water.


Bahlsen biscuits are another favourite of mine, especially with a cuppa. The choco Leibniz biscuits are not new to the market. But they now come in handy two in a pack portions. So you can enjoy your biscuits set into chocolate in a lunchbox or generally on the go.


Lastly, Brookside chocolates. Nothing to do with the much-missed Channel 4 soap opera! These are dark chocolates filled with fruit flavours. In my box was acai and blueberry. These are fruity and sweet in equal measure. They come in a resealable bag so you can enjoy a few at a time, or have as many as you want.


Imagine getting a box delivered every month, stuffed with goodies such as these. Well you can sign up at the Degustabox website and I have an exclusive £7 discount for you. Simply enter BLDEG15 where it asks for a discount code, apply and it's as simple as that.

Why not pop over and start your Degustabox taste adventure now!

Disclosure Statement: I received the Degustabox free to review. Any opinions expressed are my own.
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