I struggled for what to write here as anything I first attempted sounded flippant and vapid, making light of the situation and circumstances that each and every one of us are living through at the moment. What I wanted to do was…well to do “something“. I firmly believe in the calming and therapeutic powers of being in the kitchen. At the best of times baking for me offers a respite from daily chores and frantic everyday life, a place to get my headspace and mentally “breathe”.
My baking activity has definitely had an upsurge of late. In the uncertain circumstances of the world today I find there is a calming certainty in knowing that if I mix a certain bundle of ingredients together a known result will be achieved. Focusing on the task at hand helps to redirect my attention and anxiety away from the unnerving headlines and statistics we’re being bombarded with- a calm in the eye of the storm, no matter how briefly. I guess that’s what I’m trying to do here- pass on these moments of calm to you in some small way.
The recipes here offer little moments of indulgence and respite with minimal ingredients and skill needed. Hopefully most of the ingredients called for are already staples in your pantry or, failing that, will prove easy to get hold of. I hope you enjoy taking some time out and baking them.
Stay safe out there folks, see you on the other side.
You can find some further information on mental health considerations during COVID-19 Outbreak here
Shown here served with crème anglaise
• 2 cups chocolate hazelnut spread (I use Nutella – surprise!)
• 5 eggs
Preheat the oven to 375˚F (190˚C).
Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and place into two separate bowls
Mix the chocolate hazelnut spread into the bowl with the egg yolks
In the second bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form
Fold 1/3 of the whipped egg whites into the chocolate/egg yolk mixture until fully incorporated. Add the remaining egg whites to the mixture and fold gently, but thoroughly, until the mixture is smooth
Pour the mixture into the greased ramekins and bake for 15-17 minutes until risen
Shown here served with crème anglaise
Shown here served w/ Blueberry, Rosemary & Juniper berry conserve
3 1/2 cups All Purpose flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk*
Preheat oven to 450°F
Line a tray with baking parchment and dust lightly with flour. Set aside until needed
In a large bowl combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Whisk to combine and break down lumps. Make a well in the centre
Pour in most of the buttermilk
Using one hand stir the flour into the liquid from the outside of the bowl, turning the bowl as you do. Continue until the mixture comes together in a soft dough that is not too wet or sticky (you may need the remainder of the buttermilk here)
Turn the dough out into a lightly floured surface and knead lightly for a few seconds. Don’t over-knead here- you just want to do it enough so that it holds it shape. Don’t do it to the extent that you would with standard bread dough!
Using your hands, lightly floured, pat the dough into a round shape about 2 inches thick. Transfer to the floured baking sheet
With a knife (I use a bench scraper) score a cross into the top of the loaf, so that it goes almost all the way through the thickness and over the sides of the loaf
Bake in the preheated oven for 15mins then reduce the heat to 400°F and continue baking for an additional 20mins until cooked. The baked loaf will be deep golden in color and sound hollow when the bottom of it is tapped
Remove and cool on a wire rack
This type of loaf will cool with a hard, crispy crust. If a softer crust is desired wrap a clean kitchen towel around the hot loaf and allow it to cool
*If you don’t have buttermilk to hand you can make your own by combining 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon squeezed lemon juice or distilled white vinegar in a jug. Stir to combine and leave to sit for 15 mins. After 15 mins the liquid will have thickened slightly and small curds can be seen. Use in the recipe as required. Any remaining milk can be stored in the fridge.
White Bread Bloomer
4 cups bread flour
2 1/2 teaspoons quick action yeast
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 Olive oil
1 1/4cups warm water
Lightly oil a large bowl and set aside for the dough later
In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the flour, salt (to one side), yeast (to opposite side) and brown sugar
Add in olive oil and 250ml warm water and mix on low setting to combine the ingredients. Add in remaining water, if needed, to achieve a soft, slightly sticky dough. Continue to knead in the machine for a total of 7 minutes. Proceed to Step 4.(If you’re mixing the traditional way, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and shaping you hand into a “claw shape”, with fingers slightly spaced, mix by hand until all the ingredients come together in a ball. Tip out onto a lightly oiled surface and continue to knead for 10 mins until the dough is soft and slightly sticky)
Tip the dough from the mixer bowl into the prepared oiled bowl, cover with lightly oiled cling-wrap and set aside to proof for at least 45 minutes, or until doubled in size
Once the dough has finished proofing, tip out onto a lightly oiled surface. Punch down the dough to knock bar the air and reduce it in size
You can either leave it as one large load or divide into two for 2 smaller standard sized loafs
Once the dough has been knocked back use oiled hands to shape into an oval shape and transfer to a large flour dusted baking sheet
Cover with oiled cling wrap, set aside and leave to double inside for apx 30-40mins
Whilst the dough is having it second proof, preheat your oven to 425°F
Once the dough has proofed and risen, bake in the preheated oven for 15mins, after which reduce the temperature to 390°F and bake for further 10-15mins until deep golden in color and the base of the loaves sound hollow when tapped
Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on a rack
Baked loaves can easily be frozen and saved for later. Wrap in cling wrap, place in plastic bag, seal and place in freezer. Defrost for a few hours when needed
PB & J Oat Bars
5 tablespoons salted butter, plus extra for the tin
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
8 tablespoons grape jelly (or favourite fruit flavour)
1/2cup light brown soft sugar, packed
2 cups rolled oats
Heat the oven to 350°F . Butter and line the base and sides of a 9” square cake tin with baking parchment
Set aside 3 tablespoons each of the peanut butter and jam in separate bowls for later. Combine the remaining peanut butter, jam, butter and sugar into a pan over a medium heat and stir until everything has melted together. Quickly stir in the rolled oats, then leave to cool for 5 mins
Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and gently press down with a small measuring cup
Dot over the reserved peanut butter and jam, then bake for 20-25 mins or until golden brown. Leave to cool completely in the tin, then turn out onto a board and cut into bars (2 x6)
Bars are best kept refrigerated in a sealed container for 2-3 days
Easy Shortbread Cookies
1 cup salted butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
Preheat oven to 275 degree
In the bowl of a stand mixer (with paddle attachment) oe using an electric hand-mixer beat the butter and icing sugar together well.
Slowly add in the flour (I use 1/4 cup increments) until it has all been added in. Once it all in, crank up the speed on you machine and whip it for 6 minutes. The mixture will become light and exceptionally fluffy
Using a small cookie scoop (size about 1- 1/2 tablespoon) scoop the dough out onto the prepared baking sheets
Bake in the preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes until bottoms of the cookies are browned.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes on the trays. Transfer to a rack to cool complely
Baked cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week
In the photographs shown I put a cherry on top of each prior to baking. The pre-baked cookies can be left plain or topped with whatever you like from your pantry such as chocolate chunks; nuts; candy pieces…whatever you have to hand in your pantry.
Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Peanut Butter
Preheat the oven to 350 degree. Line 2 cookie sheets with baking parchment
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a hand-held electric mixer, mix the ingredients together until well blended
Using a small cookie scoop (about 1-1/2 tablespoon size) scoop doughballs on to ungreased cookie sheet
Using a fork press down in one direction and then press again from the other side to form a criss-cross pattern on top
Bake for 12 minutes
Allow them cool on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely
Baked cookies will keep for 3-4 days at room temperature in a sealed container
I posted the recipe for this a couple of years ago. It such an easy thing to do but a lot of people think of it as a daunting task. You can find the recipe/method here
Well these seemed to go down pretty well when I posted about them on my social media feeds. For a while I’ve been trying out recipes looking for a good reliable peanut butter cookie, something classic and tasty that wasn’t too crispy. However- me being me I wanted to add layers of flavour. Before I knew it I had ended up with a cookie reminiscent of one of my favourite candy bars – Snickers.
A handy hint here is that dependant on the baking time a different texture of cookie will be achieved. Longer and lower for a chewier cookie. The time I give in the recipe below is for my personal preference, feel free to play around with it. If all else fails and the finished cookies are too crisp on their own you can always crumble and use as a tasty ice cream topping.
You can use either smooth or crunchy peanut butter based on your personal taste. As expected smooth peanut butter will yield a smoother cookie. I personally prefer to use the crunchy butter variety as it gives a rather nice smattering of nutty pieces through the finished cookie.
1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick), room temperature
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy to personal taste
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 Caramel candies, cut into pieces
4oz semi sweet chocolate, cut into chunks
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
Chop the chocolate in chunks. You don’t want too fine a piece- irregular and varied sizes look a lot better in the finished cookie. Set aside until needed
Using a scissors, carefully cut the candy pieces into 3 or 4 pieces each and set aside until needed as well
Beat the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until creamy (about 10 mins)
Mix in the peanut butter, followed by the egg until fully combined
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the combined dry ingredients into the sugar/butter mixture. Mix until fully incorporated
Fold in the chocolate chunks, the caramel pieces and peanut butter chips. Mix until thoroughly mixed through the dough (I find here it easier to fold by hand rather than using a spatula or spoon. It just depends on what you’re comfortable with)
Cover the dough with cling wrap and refrigerate the dough for between 20- 30mins
Preheat your oven to 325°F
Using a medium cookie scoop shape the dough into 1 inch balls. Place the balls of dough about 3 inches apart on un-greased cookie sheet
Bake at 325°F until light brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool in their baking sheets for a minute. After a minute, transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely
*For chewier cookies, bake at 300°F for additional 5 to 10 minutes.
The baked cookies will keep for up to a week in an airtight container
I’ll say it now- I’m not a big fan of cheese dishes. Now that’s out of the way I will admit to having cravings for them on occasion. Specifically one dish- Mac and Cheese. The stalwart comfort food that’s good enough to dissuade even a turophobe like me. One evening I took a fancy to make mac and cheese. Along with fried chicken. Along with Southern buttermilk biscuits! Pairing the cheesy pasta dish with fried chicken and how could I not be on board? Whilst doing my research on fried chicken I came across “Comeback Sauce”. Originating in Mississippi this dipping sauce is a spicy condiment guaranteed to have you licking your fingers and indeed “coming back” for more. When put together all of this dishes are for me the ultimate comfort food dinner and well worth the effort. After posting about it on my social media I was surprised by the interest in it and after much feedback from you- here it is! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Cheese & Bacon Mac ‘n’ Cheese
2 cups diced bacon
1 1/2 tsp maple syrup
4 cups dried macaroni elbow pasta
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 ground white pepper
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup Velveeta processed cheese product
2 cups freshly shredded Gouda (smoked can be used)
1 cup freshly shredded sharp red cheddar
1 cup fresh shredded Jarlesburg
1/2 cup grated Parmesean
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp melted butter
Preheat your oven to 350F. Lightly grease/ butter a large casserole dish ( I used 11″x 11″x 2 1/2″)
In a frying pan or skillet fry the chopped bacon until lightly brown. Add the maple syrup and continue to fry until crispy. Remove from the heat, transfer to a plate and allow to cool. (When cool the bacon may stick together. Break up to smaller pieces if needed)
Cook the pasta according to package instructions, drain and return to pasta pot to keep warm. Lightly toss in olive oil to prevent clumping
Combine the shredded cheeses and set aside until needed
In a separate small bowl stir together the Parmesan cheese, panko breadcrumbs and melted butter. Set aside until needed
Prepare the cheese sauce base. In a large pot melt the butter. Add in the flour and stir to coat in butter. Cook over a medium heat until golden.
Gradually add in the milk, stirring constantly with a small whisk to prevent lumps
Once all the milk has been added cook the sauce over a medium heat until bubbling. Cook for 2 minutes, again stirring constantly, until thickened
Add in salt and pepper, and stir to mix
Reduce heat to low, add in the Velvetta and stir to melt
Once the Velveeta has melted, add in the shredded cheese mix in stages stirring between until each addition is melted. Once all the cheeses have been added continue to stir until smooth. Remove from the heat
Add the prepared macaroni pasta and crispy bacon pieces and stir well to combine ensuring all the pasta is covered in the cheese sauce. Transfer to your prepared casserole dish
Sprinkle the top of the pasta mix with the breadcrumb mix
Bake in the prepared oven for between 20-25mins or until the crumbs are golden.
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, very cold and cubed
1 cup cold buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Place the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl and stir to well combined
Add the cubed butter and cut into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter until coarse crumbs form
Make a well in the centre of the mixture. Pour the buttermilk on top. Stir everything together until just about combined– don’t overwork the dough. The dough will look like very crumbly
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently mould it into a rough looking rectangle using your hands. Next fold one side into the centre, then the other side. Turn the dough so it’s long horizontally. Gently flatten. Repeat the folding again. Turn the dough so it’s long horizontally once more. Gently flatten. Repeat the folding one more time
Gently roll the dough out with a rolling pin until it’s about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 3-inch circles. Re-roll any scraps until you have 9-12 biscuits
Arrange close together on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Make sure they’re touching
Bake for 15 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown on top.
Remove from the oven and, if desired, brush with melted butter. Enjoy warm. When cool, cover tightly and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days
12-16 chicken breast fillets
Canola oil for frying
4 cups Buttermilk
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
Whisk together the buttermilk and dry ingredients and place in a shallow casserole dish
Place the chicken pieces into the marinade and gently stir to coat. The pieces should at least be semi-covered in the liquid
Cover and leave to marinate overnight in the fridge
In another shallow dish or plate mix together the seasoned flour ingredients
Remove the chicken pieces from the fridge, remove from buttermilk (do not remove any excess marinade) and dredge one at a time in the flour mixture. Press the mixture into the chicken whilst dredging. Again do not remove or shake off any excess. Leave the coated pieces to rest on a plate to one side whilst you heat your oil.
Pour canola oil into a large, heavy-bottomed pot or pan, so that oil only comes halfway up the pot. Heat oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350 F (180 C). Add 4 pieces of chicken to the pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Fry chicken for 4 minutes per side, adjusting the heat so it hovers between 280 F (145 C) and 300 F (150 C)
Transfer chicken to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain (and check for doneness by opening chicken or using a probe thermometer to read 175 F). Cover with foil to keep warm and continue frying other chicken pieces *if oil temperature drops due to frying process, simple reheat to original temperature
Keep chicken pieces warm until ready to serve
2/3 Cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Mix all ingredients together until smooth and well combined
Following up on my previous post with three delicious ways to use this season’s favourite, the pumpkin, here a couple of other recipes in the form of the humble “cookie”. Snickerdoodles are everyone’s favourite. The addition of pumpkin elevates them to another level of seasonal Fall goodness. Autumn in a cookie! With the oatmeal cookies you a a much more rustic baked treat. These are a handful (literally!) and you’ll be all the better for it! The combination of soft-baked oats, pumpkin and Autumnal spices just begs for a tall glass of milk!
The recipes are ideal for baking with the little ones, however as always leave the oven work to the grown-ups. Get them rolling, scooping, drizzling and in no time at all you’ll have some very happy little tummies.
I hope you have fun baking and wish you and your families a very happy Halloween full of spooky, fun-filled goodness!
3 1/4cups All-purpose flour
1tspcream of tartar
1/4tspground mixed spice
3/4cuppacked light brown sugar
1cupsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1large egg yolk
3/4cupcanned pumpkin puree (make sure it’s 100%)
Sugar Crust Coating
1/4cup fine (caster) sugar
1 1/2tspground cinnamon
In a bowl combine the flour, cornstarch, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and mixed spice. Mix until well combined
In the bowl of a stand mixer (with paddle attachment), cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until combined. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl
Mix in egg yolk, followed by pumpkin puree and vanilla extract.
On a low speed, add in dry ingredients (I usually do it a couple of heaped tablespoons at a time) then mix until combined.
Remove the dough from the bowl, wrap in cling warp and chill in the refrigerator for 30- 60 minutes
After the chilling time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie baking sheets with baking parchment
In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup granulated sugar with 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
Scoop dough out 2 tablespoons at a time and shape into a ball
Roll the dough ball in cinnamon sugar mixture to evenly coat then transfer to prepared cookie sheets, spacing cookies 2-inches apart.
Bake in preheated oven 14-16 minutes
Remove and leave cool on baking sheet about 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely
Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
For the cookies:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup Quick Oats
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups pumpkin purée (make sure it’s 100%)
For the glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons Ice-wine syrup (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line 2 cookie baking sheets with baking parchment paper
In a bowl combine the flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and nutmeg and mix until well combined
Place the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat until lightened in color and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl
Add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium until incorporated
With the mixer on low speed, add half of the flour/oats mixture and mix until incorporated. Add half of the pumpkin puree and mix until incorporated. Repeat with the remaining flour/oats mixture and pumpkin puree
Using a 1/4 cup, drop scoops per baking sheet (approximately 6-8) spacing them 2 inches apart on the prepared sheets. Reserve the remaining dough until needed
Place both sheets in the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Rotate the pans from top to bottom and front to back and continue baking until the cookies are golden brown on the bottom and around the edges, about 12 minutes more
When baked remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Using a flat spatula, transfer the cookies to the wire racks to cool completely.
Repeat with the remaining dough (you can use the same parchment paper). Leave all the cookies to cool completely before glazing
For the glaze:
Place all of the glaze ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth
Place all of the cooled cookies on the baking parchment. Drizzle the glaze over the cookies in a pattern of your liking
Let the cookies sit at room temperature until the glaze has set, about 20 minutes
Let’s get one thing outta the way. I kinda love October…in a BIG way! New food becomes seasonal, leaves turn amazing colours and the temperatures become a little bit more bearable. Oh and there’s Halloween! If you’re a Halloween-hater or nay-sayer then I’m afraid we can’t be friends. It just ain’t gonna happen. It’s become my family’s steadfast tradition at this point – December belongs to reindeer, candy canes and Father Christmas; October is ghosts, vampires and all things nocturnally unspeakable! The Season of The Witch reduces me to giddy school-kid levels of excitement and anticipation. The opening staccato of John Carpenter’s Halloween theme giving me bats in my tummy (you see what I did there?) In the space of a couple of days I’ll transform our house from a 2.4 family dwelling in to a suburban Gothic haven.
However enough about that- you’d didn’t come here to read of my penchant for ghouls, ghosts and creatures of the night. It’s impossible for me to think of October and Halloween without thinking of pumpkin. Image can be a powerful thing and as soon as the calendar turns to October 1st, scenes of those orange orbs of rustic goodness flood my brain- pumpkin patches; Jack O’Lanterns; pumpkin pies. So it only seems fitting to present to you some recipes as an homage to the humble Cucurbita Pepo. As always I try to give you something a little different not so much in the Pumpkin Pie variety of recipes! All of these recipes use canned pumpkin. I have enough labour what with all the carving and excavating of pumpkins for Jack O’Lanterns so I try to avoid it in other areas. When using canned pumpkin be sure to use those which are 100% pure pumpkin puree.
Brown Butter & Tonka Bean Pumpkin Madeleines with
Chai Caramel Dipping Sauce
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoon mixed spice
1 Tonka bean, grated
3 large eggs
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons water
1 1/4 cups cooking cream (35%)
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoon chai spice mixture
To make the madeleines
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 12-shell madeleine pans with baking spray or cake release. (Or brush with melted butter and coat with flour, tapping out the excess flour)
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until it is a brown color, It will now start to have a “nutty” smell. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool (You’ll notice small brown/black particles. Don’t worry these are all part of brown butter!)
In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, mixed spice and tonka bean. Mix to combine and set aside until needed.
In a stand mixer bowl add the eggs and sugar and with the whisk attachment mix on medium-high until the mixture is light in color, thick, and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the pumpkin puree and mix on slow until combined.
After removing the bowl from the mixer, fold in the flour mixture gently by hand. Once the flour is completely added, gently pour in the cooled melted butter and fold it into the mixture until completely incorporated. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure no pockets of unmixed ingredients
Pour the madeleine batter into a large piping bag (fitted with plain circular nozzle, or snip the end of the bag off)
Fill the prepared trays with batter in each mould to 3/4 depth
Bake the madeleines for 10-12 minutes or until puffed and golden
Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes and then move to a wire rack
*Keep in an airtight container for up to for 2-3 days. The madeleines can also be frozen for up to 2 months and then reheated in the microwave or in a 350F oven before serving.
To make the dipping caramel
In a heavy-based saucepan combine the brown sugar and water. Heat until the sugar dissolves.
Increase the heat and allow the sugar mixture to deepen in color, approximately 240F (Soft Crack on sugar thermometer)
*excercise care in these next few steps!
Remove the saucepan with the melted sugar from the heat and add in the salted butter. Whisk briskly and carefully so that it melts and becomes incorporated into the sugar mixture. It may hiss and spit so please take care!
Next add the cream in a steady stream and stir to fully incorporate. Again take care at this point.
Stir in the chai spice mixture
Pour into the small ramekins or mini-milk bottles to serve with the pumpkin madeleines
*The final caramel sauce will keep for up to 2 weeks in your refrigerator. I find it’s best if removed from the fridge about 30 minutes before serving to allow it the return to full “saucy goodness”. If you prefer it warmed, heat in a microwavable container in 10-15 second bursts until it at desired temperature
In a bowl beat together the filling ingredients until fully combined and smooth
Transfer to a piping bag and set aside until needed
To make the pumpkin loaf
Preheat your oven to 325F.
Prepare two 1lb loaf tines with cake release or grease with butter
In a bowl sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices
In a stand mixer combine the sugar, butter and eggs and mix for at least 10 mins
Add in the pumpkin puree and mix on slow until just combined
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add in the flour mixture by heaped tablespoon at a time. Keep the mixer going until just combined – make sure there are no white flour pockets. Scrape down the sides of the bowl at regular intervals
Remove the bowl and fold in the chocolate chips
Pour the mixture equally between the two prepared tins to 1/2 level
Pipe a stripe of cheesecake mixture from the piping bag into each tine. Ensure that the cheesecake mixture doesn’t touch the sides of the loaf tin
Once all the cheesecake mixture has been used, use the remaining pumpkin batter to fill up the loaf tins. Level the tops of the mixture
Bake in the oven for 60-70mins until a skewer comes out clean
Remove from the oven, and allow to cool in the tins until fully cooled. When cool wrap in clingfilm until needed
*These loaves get better over time- after a couple of days wrapped they develop a fudgy, sticky texture.
Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups golden brown sugar
3/4 stick unsalted butter
2 tsps vanilla extract
2 tablespoons ice-wine syrup
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside until needed
In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, mix together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 10 mins)
Add the egg, vanilla, ice-wine syrup, pumpkin puree and continue to mix until well combined
Add the flour mixture a heaped tablespoon at a time until well combined, with your mixer set to low. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Remove the fully mixed cookie dough from the bowl, divide into two and wrap in cling-wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least two hours or preferably overnight
When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350F, line two cookie trays with baking parchment, and dust a work surface with confectioners (icing) sugar)
Remove one of the batches of dough from the fridge and on the dusted work surface, roll to a thickness of 4-6mm. Cut out shapes using dusted cutter cutters. Lift the cookies with a spatula or palette knife and place on the lined cookie sheets.
Bake for 15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking. I find it works best baking them a tray at a time, so that whilst one tray is in the oven you can cut and place the cookies for the second tray
When baked remove the tray from the oven and let cool for 1 or 2 minutes before again using a spatula or palette knife transfer the baked cookies to racks to cool. Be aware that the baked cookies will be soft but they will firm up upon cooling
*The cookies can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week.
There you have it- three wonderfully, tasty ways to use the season’s stalwart staple…and not a pumpkin spice latte in sight. Enjoy!
Wishing you and yours a Happy Thankgiving and a sookily fun and safe Halloween from here in The Kitchen.