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Baking

Baking

Breakfast Flapjacks

November 12, 2017

This week I was set a challenge… to come up with a healthier version of the humble flapjack. At first I thought to myself it would be pretty impossible to get anything close to resembling a ‘traditional’ flapjack… however with perseverance and lots of experimenting, I think I may have cracked it!

Now, don’t be under any illusion that these are ‘like for like’ flapjack swaps, as you’re never going to get a healthier version to taste like the buttery golden syrup stodge that we all know and love – that’s just crazy talk! However, I’ve developed a recipe that is sweet, sticky and doesn’t fall apart when you pick it up (key boxes ticked off) and they will make a delicious afternoon snack or if you’re in a hurry before work or school, grab a couple of slices and have for your breakfast.

To make these flapjacks lovely and sweet, I’ve used ripe bananas in the mix. I’ve tried a few recipes before that use mashed banana and they have always turned out a little bit hit and miss, sometimes too ‘banana-ry’ and have a strange chewy taste which I’m definitely not keen on. So as I’m aware of this issue with some healthier alternatives, I’ve made sure the banana isn’t the overpowering ingredient by adding honey, sultanas and coconut to equal out the taste.

Bananas can be overpowering, but this recipe is just right!

Another little tip is to use porridge oats instead of chunky steel cut oats, they tend to absorb the wet ingredients better and keep the flapjacks soft and held together. Also after baking turn out them out onto wire rack with the bottom facing up and this will help them to be more crispy – because nobody likes a soggy bottom!

Feel free to swap the sultanas for other dried fruit or even nuts, seeds or chocolate chips.

You will need:

  • 200g porridge oats
  • 25g desiccated coconut
  • 100g sultanas
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp of ground ginger
  • 200g ripe banana (approx 2 medium)
  • 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 40g of coconut oil
  • 40g of honey or maple syrup
  • Optional – 2 tbsp of milled linseed

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°c and line a square tray with baking paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the oats, coconut, cinnamon, ginger and sultanas (or other dried fruit) and stir together.
  3. Peel and mash the banana in another bowl until puréed.
  4. Add the coconut oil, honey (or maple syrup) and vanilla extract to a pan and gently heat until melted.
  5. Pour the melted ingredients in with the oat mixture, and add the mashed banana. Stir together until completely mixed and a sticky texture starts to form.
  6. Tip the mixture into the square tray and using the back of a spoon, squash it down to about 1cm in depth and smooth over the top making sure the flapjack is compact.
  7. Pop in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Leave to cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack with the bottom facing up, this helps to make the flapjack more firm while it cools. Cut into 12 slices and store in an airtight container.

 

Baking

Apple & Blackcurrant Crumble with Coconut Cream

October 22, 2017

Autumn, my most favourite time of the year.

As the clocks go back and the days begin to get shorter, I always start to crave more warming dishes, from chunky vegetable soups through to comforting bowls of sweet dessert. A crumble hits the spot every time, and you can’t get much better than the classic combination of apple and blackcurrant.

This recipe is surprisingly simple, and I’ve created it so it’s gluten & dairy free and also vegan friendly too. I always think if there’s a way to share recipes with more people who may be intolerant to certain foods etc then the more the merrier! And I certainly wouldn’t want to keep this recipe all to myself, it’s that delicious.

I’ve used frozen prepared apple and blackcurrants in this crumble from Field Fare however you can use fresh instead, just be sure to peel the Bramley apples first. You could also use blackberries instead of blackcurrants if you prefer, any sort of dark berry would work well with the apple.

To accompany the crumble, I whipped up some coconut cream, this is super easy to make and adds a little twist to the dish. You will need 100g of creamed coconut and a 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract. Using an electric whisk, simply whisk the two ingredients together until it starts to thicken.

Next, the star of the show…

You will need:

For the filling

  • 300g of bramley apple slices (fresh or frozen)
  • 100g of blackcurrants (fresh or frozen)
  • 20g of soft brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 60ml of water

For the crumble

  • 100g of oats
  • 100g of ground almonds
  • 40g of soft brown sugar
  • 40g of pecans
  • 40g of coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°c.
  2. Begin by making the filling by adding all of the ingredients to a pan, ensuring the apples are peeled and sliced first. Heat on a medium flame and using a spoon, stir the filling every so often until the sauce thickens and the fruit begins to become soft.
  3. While the filling is cooking, make the crumble. Add all of the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir together.
  4. Melt the coconut oil briefly (I popped it in the microwave for 30 seconds) and then add to the mixing bowl. Stir together until the crumble is coated with the coconut oil.
  5. Using a pie dish, spoon the filling into a thick layer on the bottom.
  6. Next, gently spoon the crumble mix over the top of the filling until it’s completely covered. You can be quite generous with the crumble mix, however this recipe makes enough mix for two crumbles. Put the remaining crumble mix into a zip lock bag and pop in the freezer to use for next time.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling.

Serve with the whipped coconut cream, custard, ice-cream or simply on it’s own. If you try this recipe out, don’t forget to share your pictures with me over on Instagram and let me know what you think!

Enjoy x

Baking

Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

June 20, 2017

Cookies are one of my favourite treats to make when I’m craving something sweet, they take about 20 minutes from start to finish – it’s little wonder that I don’t make them every single day!

Hazelnut and chocolate chip is a classic combination, and these cookies are delicious eaten straight out of the oven whilst they’re still warm… I’ve made this recipe using half ground hazelnuts and ground almonds, as that’s all I had in the cupboards, but you could easily make them completely with just ground hazelnuts (I imagine they would probably taste even better!)

This recipe is also suitable for vegans and coeliacs, I’d love to hear your thoughts if you decide to make them. And don’t forget to tag me in your creations using @jennifermakes or #jennifermakes on Instagram, I love seeing what you think.

You will need:

  • 75g ground hazelnuts
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 40g of dark or light brown sugar
  • 40g of dark chocolate chips (I used a mixture of dark and milk – substitute for vegan chips if needed)
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 2 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp of milk (I used almond)

How to make:

Preheat the oven to 180°c (fan) and line a baking tray. In a mixing bowl add all of the dry ingredients and stir together. Melt the coconut oil by heating in a pan or pop in the microwave for 60 seconds until dissolved. Pour into the mixing bowl with the milk and stir until a sticky dough ball forms. Using a spoon divide the mix into 8-10 balls and flatten in your hand, pop on the baking tray and bake for 15 mins. Leave to cool a little and then enjoy!

Baking

Raspberry & Coconut Loaf

May 14, 2017

Raspberries & Coconut = delicious!

Another take on my favourite banana bread recipe, this time combining the sweetness of coconut with the sharpness of raspberries, it’s definitely one for the fast approaching Summer!
I like to use very ripe bananas as they naturally begin to become more sweet over time, meaning you don’t need any extra sugar in this recipe (aside from dates, but you can even leave these out if your prefer). I’ve been tagged in lots of photos of you trying out my blueberry banana bread recipe, which you can get {here} and the feedback has been great so I know that you all love it as much as me! Don’t forget to tag me in your pictures via Instagram using @jennifermakes as I absolutely LOVE seeing what you think of my recipes.

Back to this yummy loaf, it would be perfect lightly toasted and smothered in almond butter – yes, I have tried several slices like this already, it would be rude not to… all in the name of taste testing obviously!

You will need:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 50g of dates (soaked in hot water)
  • 2 eggs (I used medium)
  • 200g of plain flour (rice flour would also work great)
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • 75g of raspberries
  • 75g of desiccated coconut

How to make:

Preheat the oven to 160°c (fan) and line a loaf tin with parchment paper or grease with a little coconut oil. After pitting the dates, cover in hot boiled water and leave to soften for a few minutes.

Using a food processor, add the bananas, eggs, flour and soaked dates (drain the liquid away) and blend until a thick batter like consistency. You may need to add a tbsp of milk to make the mixture smooth. Spoon into a mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Before adding the raspberries, coat them in a little bit of flour to prevent them from sinking in the loaf.

When all combined, spoon into a loaf tin and smooth the top. Pop into the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for half an hour or so before slicing. Enjoy!

raspberry banana bread

Baking

Blueberry Banana Bread

February 19, 2017

Banana bread has become a staple bake in my house, a few slices smothered in peanut butter or simply munched with a creamy coffee is my idea of heaven. I’ve tried lots of ‘healthy’ versions and many of them still ask for large amounts of sugar – and personally I think ripe bananas (spottier the better) make the bread sweet enough without adding extra sugar. Having said that, I have thrown in some dates to this recipe as I’m using two bananas rather than three (as I would have used in previous breads) but you can easily leave the dates out if you prefer.

I’ve also used plain flour for this bread recipe however if you are gluten free, you can substitute with rice flour. I usually make banana bread with rice flour and it turns out lovely. I find it to be quite light and one of the better types of gluten free flours to bake with.

Although it’s called bread, I would probably say it’s more of a cake like texture. But you will find most of the banana bread recipes out there to be similar, and I can’t get enough of it!

You will need:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 50g of dates (soaked in hot water)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 175g of plain flour
  • 50g of oats
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • 80g of blueberries
  • 2 tbsp of desiccated coconut
  • 2 tbsp of sunflower seeds (or seeds of your choice)
  • 1 tbsp of ground linseed (optional)

How to make:

Preheat the oven to 160°c (fan) and line a loaf tin with parchment paper or grease with a little coconut oil. After pitting the dates, cover in hot boiled water and leave to soften for a few minutes.

Using a food processor, add the bananas, eggs, flour, oats and soaked dates (drain the liquid away) and blend until a thick batter like consistency. You may need to add a tbsp of milk to make the mixture smooth. Spoon into a mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Before adding the blueberries, coat them in a little bit of flour to prevent them from sinking in the loaf.

When all combined, spoon into a loaf tin and smooth the top. Pop into the oven and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for half an hour or so before slicing. Enjoy!

 

Baking

Chocolate Orange Bean Brownies

February 8, 2017

These brownies are a revelation. Butter beans are the secret ingredient, yes you heard right, I did say BUTTER BEANS! Not only are they made out of beans, you can whizz up the whole mixture in a blender… now that’s magic.

As crazy as it sounds, there is zero flour in these brownies (I still don’t quite understand how that works?!) and they’re crammed full of beans, raw cacao and a hint of orange extract. The orange extract works amazingly in baking, it appears to grab hold of the chocolate and a little really does go a long way.

I’ve tried them with chickpeas too, and they’re pretty similar in taste and texture, so if that’s what you’ve got in the cupboard feel free to swap out the butter beans for chickpeas instead.

These sweet brownies are naturally gluten free (ideal for coeliacs) and I’m working on a vegan option too, so I’ll be sure to let you know how my experiments go!

You will need:

  • 1 tin of cooked butter beans
  • 40g of raw cacao
  • 75g dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs (I used large eggs)
  • 30ml of milk
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp of orange extract
  • 75g dark chocolate chips

How to make:

Preheat the oven to 180°c (fan) and line a square baking tray with parchment paper. Drain and rinse the butter beans then add to a blender. Weigh out the rest of the ingredients and pop into the blender too, except for the chocolate chips.

Blend for a few minutes until smooth (I have a NutriBullet and use the larger cup to mix it in) and then transfer to a bowl. Stir through the chocolate chips and spoon out the mixture into the tray. Smooth out into all corners and pop into the oven on the middle shelf. Bake for 25 minutes and leave to cool before slicing into squares.

Baking

Chocolate Orange Cookies

January 31, 2017

Chocolate. Orange. Cookies. Three words that can only mean one thing…. YUMMY!

I’ve been making gluten free cookies for a while now, and each time I play around with the flavours, try new ingredients and consequently tend to devour a whole tray of them before they’ve even had chance to cool… The main reason I experiment with gluten free baking is because a friend of mine is a coeliac, and there seems to be so many below average (and extremely expensive) treats in the supermarkets that I was sure I could create something tasty, and so that’s how these cookies were born.

This recipe is also suitable for vegans, so another box ticked if you have friends that prefer sweet treats totally cruelty free!

Although these cookies are chocolate orange, I’ve also added raisins throughout the dough. The cookies become more sweet and chewy with the addition of raisins but if you’re not keen (and prefer to make them just chocolate) then substitute the raisins for extra chocolate – 50g to be precise.

You will need:

  • 150g ground almonds
  • 100g raisins
  • 30g of dark chocolate (chocolate chips work fine too)
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of orange extract
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of maple syrup

How to make:

Preheat the oven to 180°c (fan) and line a baking tray. In a mixing bowl add all of the dry ingredients and stir together. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup and orange extract to a pan and melt together (or pop in the microwave for 60 seconds until dissolved). Pour into the mixing bowl and stir until a sticky dough ball forms, add 1 tbsp of milk if the mix is a little dry. Using a spoon divide the mix into 8-10 balls and flatten in your hand, pop on the baking tray and bake for 15-20 mins. Leave to cool and then munch away!

Breakfast

Winter Granola

December 11, 2016

Christmas is almost upon us and although we’re all busy buying gifts for our loved ones, sometimes it’s nice to make your own presents and there’s nothing more tastier than a jar of homemade granola! I love making my own granola as it means I can play around with flavours and know exactly what the ingredients are rather than some of the sugar heavy store versions. There’s something really satisfying about making your own granola too, the kitchen smells amazing when it’s baking and it’ll make the perfect gift for that special someone!

Here’s how I make my own Winter Granola…

Ingredients

  • 150g oats
  • 125g mixed nuts (I used a mix of cashews, peanuts, macadamia and pecans)
  • 2 tbsp of pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp of sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of mixed spice
  • 1 tbsp of pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 75g of mixed dried fruit

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°c (160°c fan). In a pan, gently heat the coconut oil, maple syrup, cinnamon and mixed spice together until dissolved, be careful not to burn. In a large bowl, weigh out all of the other ingredients (excluding the mixed dried fruit) and stir together. Pour the liquid into the bowl and stir until the oats are completely covered. Transfer the mix onto a large baking tray and spread out evenly.

Pop into the oven and bake for 15 minutes, stir every 5 mins to ensure all of the granola is baked and golden brown. This also helps the nuts and oats to stop burning, this can happen pretty quickly if you don’t watch out!

When golden, remove from the oven and stir in the mixed dried fruit. Leave to cool before storing in an airtight jar.

granola2

Snacks

Apple & Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars

November 11, 2016

Apple. Peanut Butter. Oats. What more do I need to say?!

I’m always looking to find healthy alternatives to sweet treats, and today I’ve been experimenting with breakfast bars. Lots of the store bought versions are crammed full of sugar, additives and other names that we just simply can’t pronounce – and if you can’t say it, how are we supposed to know what we’re putting into our bodies?

I’m sure many of you are aware of my ‘overnight oats’ addiction (so flipping’ good!) and this inspired me to take some of the key ingredients and have a go making my own breakfast bars. As soon as they’re were out of the oven, the warm sweet scent filled the kitchen and I knew I was onto a winner!

The recipe is simple and easy to follow, and they make the perfect grab and go breakfast when times are hurried. They also taste awesome with a cup of tea as a mid afternoon snack. Brew anyone?

flapjack4

 Ingredients

  • 200g of oats (I used porridge oats)
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 2 apples, peeled and grated
  • 25g of sunflower seeds
  • 25g of pumpkin seeds
  • 25g of peanut butter (I used The Protein Works PB)
  • 25g of honey or maple syrup
  • 25g of coconut oil
  • 40g of 80% dark chocolate

Method

Makes 16 squares.

Preheat the oven to 180°c (160°c fan) and line a square baking tray. Peel and grate the apples into a bowl, add the oats, ground almonds and seeds and roughly mix together. In a pan, add the peanut butter, coconut oil and honey (or maple syrup) and gently stir on a low heat until melted. Be careful not to burn! Pour into the mixing
bowl and stir together until combined and sticky.

flapjack1Press the mix into the baking tray and flatten with the back of a spoon until compact. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

For extra yumminess, melt the dark chocolate and drizzle over the bars. Top with a sprinkle of seeds and enjoy!

If you have a really sweet tooth, increase the honey to 50g instead of 25g.

Sweet

Raspberry Coconut Macaroons

November 1, 2016

After discovering how delicious my blueberry almond cookies were the other day, I decided to experiment with new flavours and came up with this… Here’s how I made them:

Ingredients

  • 150g ground almonds
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 75g raspberries
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 2 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp of coconut sugar (maple syrup or honey)

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°c (fan) and line a baking tray. In a mixing bowl add all of the ingredients except the coconut oil and sugar, and stir together, squish the raspberries a little as you mix. Add the coconut oil and sugar to a pan and melt together. Pour into the mixing bowl and stir until a sticky dough ball forms, add 1 tbsp of milk if the mix is a little dry. Using a spoon divide the mix into 10 balls and flatten in your hand, pop on the baking tray and bake for 20 mins. Leave to cool ~ if you can resist!