Raspberry Brioche Pudding

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Another use up the leftovers I’d forgotten about recipe. The brioche was lurking in the dark depths of the bread bin, the jam was one of many opened over Christmas and the cream was a remnant from a pavlova. Together they made a harmonious cloud of sweet deliciousness, the perfect Sunday night pudding. You can adapt this to whatever you fancy or need to use up. Chocolate chip brioche rolls would work nicely, with cocoa powder in the custard to make a chocolate version. Or add some dried fruit. Or use up your panettone. Or whatever!

For 4-6 portions you need:

  • 8 slices of brioche
  • Raspberry jam
  • 250ml double cream
  • 125ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
  1. Make jam sandwiches with the jam and brioche. Don’t butter the brioche as it’s already enriched and will go too greasy.
  2. Place the brioche sandwiches in an ovenproof dish.
  3. Mix together the cream, milk, eggs, caster sugar and vanilla. Pour over the brioche and leave to stand for 15 mins.
  4. Sprinkle the demerara sugar over the top and then bake in a bain marie for 30-45 mins at 170 degrees. The pudding should be crispy on top and puffed up. The custard should just set.
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24 Hour Risen Garlic Bread (v)


I love baking bread, especially now I know that leaving it to rise slowly in the fridge not only makes it a lot easier to control and ensure it works, but it also tastes divine. The recipe below was supposed to make two meals worth of bread but, er, we ate most of it in one go because it was so tasty.
For 2 garlic breads that will feed 3-4 each you need
500g plain flour
7g dried yeast
½ tbsp. sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
300ml water
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
2-3 tbsp olive oil
Simply place everything in a bowl and mix till it forms dough (I use my kenwood). Tip into an oiled bowl, cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to slowly rise in the fridge for 24 hours. Gently shape into ovals and top with olive oil and crushed garlic. Bake in a hot oven for 20 mins and then scoff. Feel utterly smug you have home made bread on a weekday work night. 

24 hour pizza dough (v)

I’ve long read about slow proving of dough – where you leave it to rise slowly in a cool environment – but until now I’d never done it. However the imminent expiry of a pack of quorn pepperoni inspired me to try it out. I mean, how else would I have been able to put home made pizza on the table by 6pm when I don’t get home from work until 5.15pm?! The dough was a triumph. Chewy and tasty and easy to work with. I’ll definitely be doing this again.
The dough recipe below makes a LOT of pizza but as I planned to eat it up over the next few days for lunch this wasn’t an issue. If you don’t want to feed the 5000, or be eating it for days afterwards, either freeze the dough you don’t use or make a half recipe.  
For 4-5 pizzas you need
1kg plain flour (don’t worry about it being strong or 00 or whatever, bog standard plain flour is just fine)
14g dried yeast, the sort you don’t need to reactivate in water first
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
600 ml water
4 tbsp olive oil
Place everything into the mixing bowl of a food mixer with a dough hook and leave the machine to knead for about 10 mins or until the dough has become elastic and pliable. Alternatively work out your frustrations by mixing by hand.
Turn the dough into an oiled bowl (I just use the kenwood bowl to save on washing up!) and cover with oiled cling film. Leave in the fridge for 12-48 hours until you need to use it. When you’re ready to use it, knock back gently and then cut off and shape the dough you need. If you want to freeze the dough, cut into portions and wrap and freeze. Leave to defrost thoroughly before using.
Shape into pizzas and top with whatever you fancy. Bake in a hot oven for 20 mins or so until risen, crispy and delicious.


Moroccan Spiced Foccacia (v)

This was made to go with the Roasted Veg soup we had earlier in the week. Using my food mixer I was able to get all the dough mixing done in 10 mins, so it was very low labour for a week day night.

For one large foccacia you need
350g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp easy blend yeast
2 tbsp olive oil
210ml warm water

Olive oil , sea salt and moroccan spices for the top.

Place the dough ingredients into a food mixer and using the dough hook mix slowly until it comes together. Knead for about 10 mins until the dough is light and springy. Cover with a cloth and leave to rise for about an hour in a warm place (use a bowl of warm water if you’re in a hurry, it cuts the proving time to about 45 mins).

Once the dough has risen, turn out and place on an oiled baking sheet. Stretch to fit the sheet and then prod holes with your fingers into the top. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with spices. If you have time leave it for a further 20 mins to rise again but if you haven’t bake in a hot oven for 20-30 mins until risen and light and airy.

Cinnamon and Nutmeg Apple Breadcrumb Pudding

A brilliant way to use up stale bread and dodgy apples by turning them into a nourishing and comforting pudding. This is based on a recipe in River Cottage Everyday.

For 4-6 portions you need
50g butter
6 dessert apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
100g caster sugar
175g freshly soft breadcrumbs
4 eggs
400ml milk
Nutmeg, vanilla paste and ground cinnamon

Heat the milk to boiling point. Meanwhile mix the eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla (1tsp of each) and 75g of the sugar in a bowl. Once the milk is hot, slowly pour into the egg mixture, whisking all the time, to make a thin custard. Add the breadcrumbs to the mix and set aside to steep.

Heat the butter in a pan and add the apple wedges and remaining sugar. Continue cooking until the apples are glazed.

Pour into a baking dish in a single layer:

Cover with the eggy, milky breadcrumb mixture:

And bake in a hot oven for 30 mins until it’s set but still slightly wobbly in the middle. Serve hot, warm or cold and with or without a bug fat dollop of jam. Lovely and comforting. 

Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms with Herb Crust

A simple lunch dish to use up some field mushrooms we didn’t eat for breakfast… And a good way to use up some of the cheese mountain left over from Christmas along with some bread that was going stale. Oh I am full of good intentions me.

For two people you need
3-4 field mushrooms
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated cheddar
4 tbsp cream cheese
salt and pepper
fresh herbs of you choice (I used sage)

Peel the mushrooms and place in a baking dish. Cut out the stalk and chop leaving to one side for the moment. Spread 1 tbsp cream cheese inside each mushroom and then top with the reserved chopped stalk and some salt and pepper.

Mix the breadcrumbs with the cheese and herbs (I just blitzed all mine in a food processor for speed). Top each mushroom with some crumbs and then bake in a hot oven for 15-20 mins until the topping is golden brown and crispy and the mushrooms are tender and juice. Serve with a salad. An attempt at healthy(ier) eating in the new year…

Chorizo and Butter Bean Savoury Crumble (v)

Over Easter we visited the continental market in Norwich and I got suckered in to buying seven salamis for £10. So of course now I need to use them up…! We’ve done pizza and risotto but I think this savoury crumble is my favourite. It uses two different types of smoked paprika to add depth to the flavour and the breadcrumb topping is a great way to use up a stale heel of bread. If you’re veggie/vegan then Redwood Vegan chorizo is an excellent substitute.

For 4 portions you need
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 salami chopped into bite sized chunks
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
1 can butter beans, drained
1 tsp vegan stock powder
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp sugar

Crumble Topping
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup mixed freshly chopped parsley and coriander
1/4 cup grated cheddar (omit if vegan)

In a large oven proof pan, sauté the onion, salami and garlic in the oil until the onions are translucent and the salami has released it’s fat. Add the remaining stew ingredients and bring to the boil. Check the seasoning and leave to simmer for 5-10 mins whilst you prepare the crumble topping.

For the crumble, mix the breadcrumbs with the cheese and herbs, and sprinkle over the top. Bake in a hot oven for 20 mins until the crumble is crunchy and browned and the stew underneath is bubbling. Delicious served with green veggies to contrast the spicy rich stew.

Salad of Haloumi and Croutons

A quick and easy salad to throw together from bits and bobs leftover from other days. And a useful way of using up stale bread too.

For 1 person you need:
1/2 pack haloumi cut into slices
lettuce
cucumber
red onion

For the garlic croutons you need:
1-2 slices stale bread
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil

Toss the crouton ingredients together in a bowl then toast in a hot oven for 5-10 mins taking care not to burn them. fry the haloumi till golden brown then serve with the salad and croutons. Yum.

Bruschetta with Pesto, Tomatoes and Mozzarella

Poor ickle blog. No posts for ages. Bad Becka. But here is a quick, easy and tasty end of work feed me now recipe to get me back into the blogging groove again…

For 2 people you need:
1 garlic ciabatta
1 tub fresh green pesto
1 pack mozzarella
1 cup baby plum tomatoes, cut in to quarters
1 red onion, finely diced
handful fresh basil leaves

Bake the ciabatta in the oven according to the instructions. Meanwhile mix the onions with the tomatoes and 2/3 of the pesto. Once the bread is cooked, place the pesto onion and tomato mix on the bread, top with the cheese and basil leaves. Drizzle over the remaining pesto and season with black pepper. Eat with your fingers and sigh with pleasure…

Easy Bread with Oats and Seeds (v)

This is my mum’s recipe and is so simple but makes a really tasty loaf that keeps well and also toasts well.

For one large loaf you need:
500g wholemeal bread flour
200g porridge oats
1 heaped tsp salt
1 scant tsp sugar
7.5g fast action dried yeast
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbs each sunflower, poppy and pumpkin seeds
350-450ml warm water

Place the yeast and sugar in a jug with 350ml warm water. Leave for a few moments till it goes frothy. Meanwhile place everything else in a bowl and mix. Add the yeasted water and mix to a dough, adding more water if necessary. Turn out and knead for about 10 mins till elastic. Leave to rise for 60-90 mins then knock back. Shape into a circle and place on a baking sheet. Cook in a hot oven for about 40 mins.