It’s rare that you’ll find a recipe here that calls for a very specific ingredient but I hope that you’ll let it slide this time. You see, I have an obsession. A while ago the folks at Gran Luchito sent me a little parcel with some of their paste, mayo and honey. I’d seen Gran Luchito popping up around the internet and Rich is a chilli fiend so I was keen to give them a try.
This isn’t just a chilli paste, it’s something quite different. The taste is much more complex than just heat, though it is very hot, the chillies are smoked which gives a completely different dimension and there’s also a sweetness as well. Since I had Izzy, I’ve become a bit of a chilli wimp but there is something rather addictive about this. The mayonnaise is my favourite, perfect for dipping chips into or spreading on a sandwich. Since I’ve run out I’ve been making my own by stirring half a teaspoon of the paste into a couple of dollops of Hellmann’s. But I wanted to try something a little different with the honey. My immediate thoughts were to use it in a marinade but I was interested to see how it would work in something sweet.
I ended up making these chilli honey cookies. Very similar to Lebkucken, they are soft and almost cakey. The heat is gentle and leaves a tingle on your lips rather than a full on firey mouth feel, contrasting nicely with the sweetness from the honey. As chilli and chocolate is such a great combination there was little choice but to half dip them in chocolate. Continue reading
Autumn means the British apple season and what better way to get stuck in than combining it with the return of one of my favourite sweet treats to the Fishfingers for tea kitchen? This apple and cinnamon flapjack is just the ticket for the chiller days.
There’s a gentle hint of cinnamon in these moist rectangles of loveliness. And with the addition of sultanas along with the apple, you can tell yourself that you’re working on your 5 a day when you sit down with a piece and a cuppa.
I leave the skin on when I’m grating apples for these and tell myself that it’s to keep hold of those important nutrients. In reality I’m lazy. Continue reading
The first rule about Fight Club…no, wait.
The first rule about cooking with kids is to throw your expectations out of the window. Unless you are incredibly lucky it is doubtful you will emerge from a baking session with neat and tidy goodies, a kitchen that looks anything less than a disaster zone or without flour in your hair and a child who is covered in dough, butter and has somehow got jam in their ear.
It will be messy. There may be an uncontrollable urge to take over. There will be a certain amount of stress and possibly a tantrum while you wait for the oven to do its thing. The results will have a certain, um, rustic look to them. But it is fun and the sense of achievement a small person can gain from baking their own biscuits is huge. Continue reading
Along with struggling to find the time to blog at the moment, the amount of baking that’s happening in the kitchen is seriously reduced. It’s not that I don’t want to, I really do and I find myself wandering off into cake based day dreams but other things are more pressing at the moment.
Small people don’t accept the lack of time excuse though and when they come to you with an apron in one hand and a mixing bowl in the other then it’s time to put other things to one side and grab the scales. Continue reading
Sometimes I sit down to write a post here and I know exactly what I’m going to say. Other times I can’t get past “Make this. It’s nice” and sometimes it’s a bit of both. I find it’s the same in the kitchen. I can have an idea floating around in my head but can’t quite pull the details together. Other times it’s like the recipe falls in to my head in its entirety and all I have to do is make it.
I went against all sensible advice last week. I did the food shopping on an empty stomach and, inevitably, ended up grabbing the nearest thing from the till display. They’ve got the psychology of supermarket shoppers pretty much nailed. I ended up with a bakewell flapjack which was substantial enough to stop the tummy rumbles but left a nasty synthetic aftertaste. I really liked the idea though and spent the drive home recreating it in my head. Continue reading