Buckwheat Flour And Sweet Potato Cookies

I almost didn’t bother taking photos. Glad I did now.


Sneaking flowers into everything here.

Yo, Dear Reader, I’m reminded often that it has been a long journey to the place I am currently at with food, as when I was making these I went through the apology state, where I’m sorry that something about this isn’t a match for a wheat based version, then I remember I don’t care about that, then I thought that there isn’t a wheat based version and then I was worried about the sugar levels and thought about low sugar diets and naming and I ended up where I am these days: These are my recipes, mostly for me, but shared with anyone who may want them, but when you take it you get just the recipe, you can have help, I’m always here to help, Dear Reader, but I’m not holding onto my anxiety, this is a simple site, not a monkey making enterprise, but it has so much to offer and I do myself a disservice when I overthink these recipes. I’m getting back to a better place with food, but I still have my own self-imposed limits alongside my intolerances and allergies, so I won’t be back to baking as much as I was or as sweet as I have been known to be, still able to bake sweet enough to kill delightfully, just don’t want to these days. Food will always be a complex thing with me, likely you too, Dear Reader, but moments where I can just enjoy it are becoming more frequent again and I’m sticking to the balance I have now found and created. If that gets us a recipe here and there then good and well, if not then same.

They’re super fast, maybe ten minutes prep.


Wasn’t joking about drills and orchids going hand in hand here.

This is a mishmash of recipes, the base is mostly Buckwheat Flour Cookies, but other ideas and changed up ratios bring them to a less sweet, much less heavy state. You can easily add more sugar to these and they follow the usual style of recipe I go for these days: Fast. I have to cook and bake every day so I have streamlined most of what I do, even then it takes so much time, I think that’s why I have fallen out of love with a lot of baked goods. Part of that is the weight-loss, but I’m not discontented, if I do make something I like it fast and simple, but with all I’ve learned over the years it usually turns out well. I had Roasted Sweet Potato Puree made for muffins, These, and as I wanted a quick cookie I thought about the original recipe, which is a denser, sweeter and still buckwheat flavoured cookie, you can’t escape that strong taste and colour and after years I wouldn’t want to. So I used my Microwave Mug Cake to get it faster, I melted the butter which keeps it light, even rubbing or creaming the butter doesn’t do much to counter the buckwheat’s density, I cut things down, flour and sugar, and left others, the egg and use a little sweet potato to moisten and help thicken out the dough, which was a dough instead of a scoopable thick batter which I had anticipated. They rolled in my hands cleanly and baked without much spreading, they’re a crisp exterior with a soft and light interior, that as I say isn’t the usual sweet, but still has enough sweetness to pass for a cookie, everyone knows free from baking stretches the definitions here and there of everything. They’re solid and simple, I’m staying away from icing sugar these days so these will just be frozen for eating plain. They made more than I needed, but I won’t complain.

I get these moods and then get bored for a while. Nice to still have new things to share though.

These were a seat of the pants, spur of the moment creation, but good enough to share with you, Dear Reader, as you know I’d never post a recipe I wouldn’t stand behind. Even if some are now recipes I can’t eat myself I still know they were good enough and remain so. The weather has been miserable so I’ll likely fill up my freezer. I have bought another orchid, yet another old measuring jug is conscripted into service after a bit of drilling and sanding, funnily I again saw a yellow orchid that I decided against for the second year running, then went out the next day to buy it and it turns out the powder had gone out at the supermarket and when I went the next day, lot of walking, Dear Reader, they hadn’t any more yellow. Surely next time, Dear Reader, maybe even next year, for now the white one will hold me over. I’ll be back again soon, Dear Reader, until then stay safe and take care.

Ingredients

112g Buckwheat Flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder
60g Butter, Melted and Cooled
1 Large Egg
50g Light Brown Sugar
25g Sweet Potato Puree
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Makes about a 12 Cookies.

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 175c (Fan) and line a baking trays with greaseproof paper.
  2. Add the Egg, Sweet Potato Puree, Melted Butter, Vanilla Extract and Sugar to a bowl and then beat until combined.
  3. Stir in the Flour and Baking Powder with a fork until a firm, slightly sticky dough is formed.
  4. Scoop 1 Tbsp worth of dough and roll into a ball, flatten onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving an inch between Cookies, and repeat until all dough is used up. Bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly golden and slightly firm to the touch. Transfer to a wire-rack to cool completely.

Same Old, Same New: Dark And Bitter, Not Me!, Biscuits

Despite being a while it’s always the same brand available.


The Bouquet rose is blooming all over.


Rhubarb and Orange Jam and Rhubarb and Ginger Jam.


There have been many harvests and I keep forgetting to take a photo. Golden Acre are a great small variety.

Yo, Dear Reader, there hasn’t been much to do with food recently, bar fresh produce, mostly because I have long since hit a limit on what I can eat and what I can do with what ingredients I can use. I did buy some carob powder and promptly forgot about it. No, I’m not joking, I just decided to make some cookies and went with the Buckwheat Peanut Butter Biscuits, no I’m not being confusing on purpose, this my natural state, when I say cookies, and I will, Dear Reader, I mean biscuits…though they are more of a cookie in the version. They turned out well, they’re fast and I sped things up a bit, I’ll elaborate on that in a moment, but I am reminded that most people really dislike carob, for various reasons, and I have struggled to find the best use for it and I had a moment when I first tasted these. They’re strongly flavoured with carob, it cuts through everything else, thankfully it doesn’t dry them out much, that’s one unfortunate downside of carob, it’ll dry out anything and won’t take on moisture to counter that fact. I realised that even with a good bit of sugar it did nothing to the carob’s bitterness, but it’s similar to coffee’s bitter notes, taken on it’s own merit it has value, you could dump sugar into it and it would only increase the bitterness, whereas like an espresso, I’ve had a few in my time, a few in the last hour, the bitterness as the main flavour note allows the other flavours to recede a little and you can just enjoy it as it’s own taste. It paired super well with coffee and I wish I had had some kind of coffee powder to complement it. Peanut butter has also always worked well with carob in my opinion.

With more “Bouquet” roses starting I may need new names.


You should’ve seen the smile on my face, Dear Reader.

So, if you take carob as a dry and bitter flavour, don’t try to tamp it down, I always find sugared coffee just feels off, that’s my taste so take all of this as the same, you might have much better luck. I’d like to try it as a drier biscuit with some kind of coffee flavour, be it a glaze or just as an additional dry ingredient. Won’t happen right now, Dear Reader, but I think carob is an underrated ingredient. I’ve done a lot with it and it isn’t the best, but it has some uses and does add a lot of goodness to whatever you add it to. I do warn again about the idea of the healthy dessert, there are the obvious issues that even if you reduce sugar and try to replace ingredients with healthier choices that you might still have something that would still struggle to be called healthy, it’s why there are so many of those protein based fruit bars, they seem better than the yare, which is mushy nuts and dried fruit, but what I think is the bigger issue is that by trying to recreate something that is based in sweetness and unhealthy choices you lose the joy inherent in that choice and also you tend to think less of completely new recipes and dietary replacements. Which is why so much terrible gluten free food is so popular, I’ve talked about it in the past and I still feel taking these new ingredients, well, newer to some of us still, and using them on their own merits is much better than using them as substitutes. They aren’t perfect, but I really think so much can be done with them if we just start from scratch, check out the carob tag to see what I have done. Yes, I am still a food blogger, I’ve just put in years of work and hit a good point, anyone can ask for a recipe or help, but I have my own life to live and my own health to consider and experimenting with sweet isn’t as viable as it once was.


They’re a beautiful rose.


A little pink has appeared on the white hydrangea.


More lilies. A little later this year I think.

So, that was Jack The Food Blogger, Dear Reader, it’s like a switch clicking in my head, so many considerations, so many diets, so much responsibility, but that’s why I mostly go with the chill garden posts these days. I’ve more than paid my dues to all the blogs that helped me and I hope that I have been a help to others over the years. The knowledge is always there, Dear Reader, but I do need to put myself first and these days it is getting harder to get the usual pantry staples never mind new ingredients to play around with. I do often think that I could just repost old recipes, try to build a userbase and then I just laugh and laugh and realise that’s the lie we’re all sold online, that we too can be a success. The people selling us these sites and lies surely make money, but the average blogger will likely fade into obscurity long before they see any indication of fame. For me I found friends here, I found loyal Dear Readers who have stuck with me, whom I hope enjoy these posts as much as I do writing them, for me that’s success enough. As long as I have all of that then I feel the blog is a success. I’ll be back again soon, Dear Reader, until then stay safe and take care.

The mystery rose that always shoots up after the yellow dies back, this is the chunk I took off and planted last year.


Can’t even tell if they’re early or late anymore.


Somehow tomatoes got into the back and are flowering outside?! Wait…I did this? I think.

Buckwheat and Glutinous Rice Flour Savoury Waffles

I’ve been making these a lot, but keep forgetting to take a photo and type up the recipe. Better late than never.

Yo, Dear Reader, this is one of those recipes I hesitated on posting, not because it isn’t good, it’s really great, I’m as surprised as anyone, Dear Reader, it just works so well for so little effort, but because it feels almost too simple for requiring such specific ingredients, but then I remember I’ve been there countless times: Having bought a bag of flour, or flours on the promise of so many wonderful recipes only to find the usual contenders and often hardly even that. I’ve often tried to make up the absence of recipes like these, so I thought put it up. I really like he texture of the glutinous rice flour, but too much makes it a little too gooey in the wrong way in some recipe, but balancing it with buckwheat, I went through a few trial runs, increasing ratios as I went, yo end up with he best of both, while each counter the others weaknesses. Buckwheat is dry and all buckwheat waffles do tend towards the crisp, but dense, the addition of the rice flour means you get a lighter waffle, with just a little chew and spring. These aren’t extraordinary, but on a limited diet like mine these are a wonder. You tend to see a lot of wild clams when it comes to any gluten free versions of any recipe, I never do that, Dear Reader, I respect my readers far too much to deceive them. These are a little fluffy, a tad crunchy and really quick to prepare, waffles have been a great replacement for frozen loaves as I like harder, crusts over soft breads, but the best part is they’re fresh. I still freeze so much, but being able to throw these together in minutes is really so very useful. Buckwheat and Glutinous Rice Flour  is turning out to be an amazing combination I hope to be able to ind more uses for this duo, for now this’ll do. Until later, Dear Reader, take care and stay safe.

Ingredients

60g Buckwheat Flour
40g Glutinous Rice Flour
80ml Low Fat Milk
30ml Water
1 Egg, 60g-65g in Shell
15ml Olive Oil
1 Tsp Baking Powder
Pinch Salt
Pinch Sugar

Method

1. Turn on Waffle Iron.

2. Mix together the Egg and Oil add in the Flours, Baking powder, Salt and Sugar and mix together, finally add in he Milk and Water and mix everything until a light, slightly lump, batter has been formed, add more Water if too thick.

3. Add enough Batter to warmed Waffle to fill the plates, close and cook for 7-10 minutes until waffles are golden brown and the bottom is crisp. Remove with a rubber spatula and let cool for a few minutes, Waffles will crisp up further as they cool. Repeat until batter is used up.

Buckwheat and Glutinous Rice Flour Crepes


Any batter with glutinous rice flour seems to be guaranteed a few lumps, hey don’t affect the crepes at all, but beat it well.


I made three times the recipe in a big pan and none tore, which is nice.


I really wasn’t planning on making so much, but here we are.

Yo, Dear Reader, I wasn’t really planning on typing up a recipe today, but as this worked so well, you can tell the time of year by when I make crepes it always whenever there’s salad ingredients to hand in the garden, I figured I should type it up properly. I’ve talked about crepes before, they’re pancakes that require patience, but do reward those who persevere. I’ve tried to put the steps as clearly as possible in the recipe, but if you, kind patient soul, are reading this in the hopes that there will be something to elaborate, well, I can’t let you down, Dear Reader, can I? So, one main point is that you’re heating the pan separately from the butter, which runs counter-intuitive to most frying techniques, but you heat crepes on a high heat fast and having butter hit the pan at high temperature will result in burnt butter and that taste will transfer to the crepes, it’ll also cause them to look more done than they are resulting in sadness and sodden flaps of batter. I left out he oil I usually add, by mistake, but these are just fine with just the butter, the glutinous rice flour tends towards the moist so you’ll be better off without them being too oily. The second part that you may stumble on is having the pan be too hot for he batter, yes I’m aware I said they cook on a high heat, think about pouring the batter, it cooks the second it hits the pan, you can swirl set batter, so you stop the butter from burning and when that melts the pan cools a hair and the batter swirls and everything goes onto the heat again. Over and over and in time you get into the rhythm. These flip just fine, they fall back if they fold and they’ll be cooked once you flip if they’re the right thickness. I usually go by about a third of the pan, I just eyeball it mind, you do you, Dear Reader, whatever works.


Will it rip is where these often fail and I end up covered in filling.


Will it hold I ask having made them impractically large.


It held and didn’t fall apart. I’m shocked, this was just a rough and ready recipe, but I have learned a lot about utilising individual strengths.

As I said above they held perfectly, they have a slightly more elastic feel, not quite rubbery, but nearly there, if you dislike this flour this won’t change your mind. They don’t have much taste, which I prefer, whether I’ll use them savoury, most likely, or sweet, probably once and that’ll be it, I want them to work without interfering with the other ingredients. These are really great to be honest, I’m as surprised as anyone else, they’re not some magical combination, the rice flour isn’t going to make elastic light dough, it’ll make dough, but it’ll be more along the chewy, gooey joy that is the trademark texture of this flour. For now, Dear Reader, I have “wraps” that’ll make it easier to grab some salad ingredients, shove those and meat into a bit of bread and not have to think too deeply about what I’ll eat on a given day, that’s a blessing currently. I’ll probably be back soon with another variation style recipe like this, waffles with this combination seem to work well, I’ll have to try it again and get back to you. Stay safe and take care, Dear Reader.

Ingredients

56g Buckwheat Flour
28 Glutinous Rice Flour
1 Large Egg
80ml Low Fat Milk
80ml Water
Pinch Salt
Butter for frying

Can be Frozen, wrap in clingfilm or layer between grease-proof paper.

Method

1. Place Flour and Salt in a bowl and Make a small well in the middle. In a jug whisk together Egg, Milk and Water and whisk it into the flour and Salt until a mostly smooth, there will be some slight lumps, thin Batter has formed.

2. Heat a non-stick pan on a medium high heat and remove from the heat add a small bit of Butter, swirl to coat, when coated add enough Batter to cover 1/3 of the pan, swirl it to coat the bottom of the pan and return to the heat. Cook crepe until lightly browned and slightly dry to the touch, about 1 minute, then flip, cook the same way and then transfer to a wire-rack. Remove pan from heat before adding Butter for second crepe as Butter may burn. Repeat until Batter is used up.

Tigernut and Buckwheat Flour Waffles

That’s roasted garlic, yes, I’m using a coffee cup I have plants in my ramekins.

Ah, Dear Reader, okay then until next…what? You want to know what these are like? Edible?…I mean edible, but. You know me, Dear Reader, I place a great deal of value in understand all that can be made from these various free from flours, but some just aren’t very good or worthwhile at all. Of course the question then becomes Why, Jack, why share? Because you and I, Dear Reader, have probably been in a situation where we’ve had a bag of some, apparently heretofore unheard of flour and nary a recipe to use it in. I place recipes in a few categories, the traditional categorisation and in the less conventional like: Edible, but nah. See, recipes like these are vital in free from cooking and baking because they inform, there is nothing worse than hearing about the value of some new food that might be crucial to your continued dietary choices, I’m okay without these thankfully, but having no idea what it works as, or doesn’t. So, yes, you know me, ever conscientious Jack, I’ll will share what works, even if I’d never make it again, Dear Reader, but I will wring ever bit of knowledge I can from the experience and pass it on.

So, I bought the tigernuts on a whim, they’re somewhat reminiscent of coconut flakes, slightly sweet, but mouth dehydratingly dry. I popped them into my old coffee grinder that has never seen a coffee bean and they ground with easy, they’re dry so they won’t turn to butter, they’re also soft enough to blend to a fine meal, you need them super fine because if there is a single chunk there is a horrible soggy crunch, no other word does it justice, Dear Reader. I put them with buckwheat because I doubted they’d hold well on their own, lift a flexible waffle attests to this, they smell like porridge while cooking, but where you may find this impossible is that they’re almost mushy, not quite, but too soft, I have issues with that personally, but where I struggled was the slightly, sickly sweetness. I think if you needed these you could make it work by disguising the flavour more, it can be masked, but I would say you need to blend them with a better structural flour. I may try them in a sweet application, perhaps to cut through buckwheat’s dryness. As it stands they remind me of banana flour: Just not that interesting or useful. They might be one of the rare occasions where a strained milk may well be the best use of them. I will never stop trying everything out hat I can eat, Dear Reader and I will never lie to you about how I fare. Until later, take care.

Ingredients

50g Buckwheat Flour
50g Tigernut Flour
100ml Water, More as Needed
1 Large Egg, 65g-75g in Shell
15ml Olive Oil
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
Salt to Taste

Method

1. Turn on Waffle Iron. Beat the Egg, Olive Oil and Salt until combined, then beat in Flour and Baking Powder. Finally add water, gradually, until a stirrable, but still thick batter has formed.

3. Add enough Batter to warmed Waffle Iron to fill the plates, close and cook for 7-10 minutes until waffles are brown, dry and firm. Remove with a rubber spatula and let cool for a few minutes. Waffles will soften as they cool.

Buckwheat Carrot Cake With Cardamom Buttercream

I used what I had left after the first big harvest and still had some leftovers.

You can probably skip the “Grow Your Own Carrots” step if you’d like.

Our kitchen is small and doesn’t make for attractive photo backgrounds.

Yo, Dear Reader, this has been on my bucket list for even longer than I have been growing carrots. I’ll tell you the bald truth, Dear Reader, I can’t look at sweets like these the same way I used to, some of that is the weight-loss journey, but some of it is the trauma I’m still dealing with. A lot of what happened with the weight isn’t really open to me, I don’t have an reference to map my experience so it comes in dribs and drabs if at all, I’m okay with not making much like his these days, but I’d still like to try my hand without the feeling that this isn’t some kind of enjoyable. I’m proud of what I can do in the kitchen, I’m no one’s idea of an amazing cook or baker, but the sheer volume of what I’ve learned and the variety of what I know and can do makes me aware that I have a talent and I should be proud. I’ve honestly never eaten carrot cake, I know, but I will be absolutely critical of this, if it isn’t worthwhile I will go as far as  thrashing this post. Which is being typed piecemeal as I get the elements ready, no rushing to eat it as soon as possible for me anymore, Dear Reader. I know my cakes because I’ve had to start from scratch twice and I never start and assume I know everything or anything, you know me, Dear Reader, I might be a Jack of all trades, but I know what I’m doing and why. So, in this post I’ll share the recipe, the whys and hows and hopefully insert a few general tips I’ve picked up about cake making as I won’t be doing this again for a long while.

I like to see batter in the tin before baking, it shows what rise to expect.

Not very much rise, but that’s preferable to keep the cake stable.

So, this is a pretty basic recipe, but then again most cake recipes are usually fairly straightforward. Every cake’s quality is often extremely reliant on the baker more so than the recipe because sometimes we need to be able to elevate a simple recipe beyond what can be mad with he ingredients, this can be done with eternal additions, the frosting, extra flavour via toppings or fillings. Obviously you need to make it well, there’s no question that many bakers can take lazy, often foolishly self-assured, steps that damage the overall quality of the cake, but when you know what you’re doing to a goodish degree and are making a recipe from scratch you can create something greater than the elements that go into it. The synergy between ingredients is key here. What do I mean? Okay, let’s go, Dear Reader. Hotchpotch Cake lesson time.

My tins are getting worm so there was a moment where it seemed stuck. A skewer around the topmost edges freed it.

I left this overnight. Lovely even texture.

This is just pulled partly from a few recipes, all from commercial sites, I’m not going to steal from users, have no fear there, Dear Reader, and from my own experience in cake making. The fact that it makes such a large cake with so little flour is really interesting to me, I wanted to keep as closely as I could to the average carrot cake recipe, but as I couldn’t use sultanas, or orange which seems a pity, I went with a darker sugar and added a fair pinch of spices. Already the denser, dark sugar is working twofold, the moistness of the carrots, that will release as the cake bakes, and the moisture in the sugar help make the cake less dry, I’m using buckwheat flour which can be extremely dry, naturally the oil helps here and replaces the need for water all these ingredients play a part in making the cake moist, changing any one will change the cake and that’s a vital part of understanding cake making, learning requires you to tweak recipes and watch what occurs or what doesn’t. The darker sugar compliments the spices used perfectly too, the spices in the cake and buttercream are matched as well so the two elements blend better together. I couldn’t get suitable cream cheese or use orange so I went a completely different way. It’s important to know what can be done with different ingredients so you can use them effectively like this. Naturally that comes with practice and understood failures. I went with two eggs for stability and texture. I used very little baking soda as I went by the flour’s measure, the eggs help with the rise so it all works. The carrot is coated in the flour to stop it sinking to the bottom as it bakes, same as with fruit cakes. Simple when explained, isn’t it, Dear Reader?

I almost frosted the middle twice.

There it is, simple, but well made.

So, a simple batter is formed, poured into the tin, a very deep tin, about 3×6 inches if I’m thinking right, it goes into the oven for half and hour, gets flipped, depending on your ovens quirks you may not need this step, then it gets covered for the final fifteen to prevent burning and ensue the centre is well cooked. The top softened quickly, but I’ll rest it overnight regardless, cake always tastes its best when rested overnight, I don’t know if it’s the sugar dissolving or softening, it happens with gluten and gluten free baked goods so it must be something other than the flour. Patience is a huge asset when baking, Dear Reader. One thing i wonder about, though I haven’ much experience, or any really, with carrot cake I do think that either fresher or failing that smaller carrots might be the best. The larger the carrot the more of the centre, the core, can toughen and though baked for a long time I still think you’d be best not trying overly large carrots. The ones I used, from tiny to decent, went through the grater with surprising ease, skins and all, what skin there is. I’m glad I finally gave this a chance, as I said it’s been in my mind for a while. I think I’ve covered the batter and baking side, next up is the texture and frosting, then the taste. A longer post than usual, Dear Reader, but while I’m here I might as well be thorough, I won’t be baking cake again for a while after all.

Funnily, it does resemble my vegetable bread and I’ve never thought of it that way.

So cutting the cake, thankfully it cut smooth with no crumbs at all. It has a firm, spongy texture, light and moist and you can taste the carrots, but mostly the sweetness thanks to all the sugar, the spices provide a gentle backing of warmth. Not a complex recipe, but these are often the ones that showcase mistakes easier. Now, the buttercream is a very simple recipe, I make mine in a jug if I’m doing a small batch, it keeps everything together and stops it spreading itself too thin around the bowl and not mixing. Test it as you go, you don’t want a gritty buttercream, nor do you want it runny, it will set up later, but runny will stay soggy even after setting. I frost the inside with a little left off the edges, so when the top compresses it doesn’t squirt buttercream everywhere and I frost the top and bottom separately, leave them for twenty minutes or so and then join them, gives the buttercream that slight firmness that stops it spreading too much from the top half’s weight. I just scooped the buttercream on as you can see, this is just me testing his out and I’m not messing with nozzles for that. As for the taste with the buttercream, well, it delicious, the slight tang of the cardamom, with a pinch of turmeric for colour, and the dark, warm flavour of the cake go together perfectly, not always a given or easy, Dear Reader, to match like that, I Google pairings often to see what flavours match well. The texture of the slightly dry cake, the carrots add moisture as you bite in, and the soft, airy frosting are a match made in heaven, sure cream cheese would have been great, but this isn’t too shabby either. Not much else to add, Dear Reader, hopefully you enjoyed this, as I say I don’t do this often, there is a lot of work involved in making and typing it up and I just don’t eat like this as much as I used too. Nice for a change of pace. Until later, Dear Reader.

Cake

Ingredients

112g Raw Buckwheat Flour
2 Large Eggs (Roughly 55g to 65g)
100g Grated Carrot
85ml Olive Oil
75g Dark Muscovado Sugar
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
1/2 Tsp Ginger
1/6 Tbsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC (No Fan). Grease a Loaf Tin with and line the bottom with grease-proof paper.

2. Add the grated Carrot to a bowl and then add the Sugar, Buckwheat Flour, Baking Sode and Spices. Stir everything together until the Carrot is completely coated in the Flour Mixture.

3. Whisk the Eggs, then add to the bowl, add the Vanilla Extract and finally add the Olive Oil. Stir everything together with a fork until completely combined. Batter will be runny and pourable.

5. Pour into the prepared tin, Bake for 45 minutes, turning after half an hour and covering for the last 15 minutes with grease-proof paper. Make sure top is firm to the touch and a knife comes out clean. Let cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then let cool completely on a wire-rack. Rest overnight before cutting.

Buttercream

Ingredients

200g Icing Sugar
50g Butter/Marg, Softened (Ratio of 4 Sugar to 1 Butter)
2 Tsp Milk, More as Needed
1 Tsp Ground Cardamom
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Essence
Pinch Ground Turmeric

Method

1. Place Butter, Icing Sugar, Spices, Milk and Vanilla in a bowl and beat until completely smooth and aerated.

2. Slice cake down the centre and use half the buttercream to frost the centre, leave a gap near the edges to stop overfilling, add the top and use remaining buttercream to frost the top. Let Buttercream set completely before serving.

Same Old, Same New: Crepes Revisited

I’m still getting the hang of not stuffing them so much they burst. Still, progress.

Yo, Dear Reader, I wasn’t certain I’d write this, but then I thought of the many Dear Readers out there like myself that might have been discouraged at a failure or two and then decided to type this up, also the batteries died in my Nintendo switch so here I am. Jack is all heart, Dear Reader. So, firstly I do have a Crepe recipe, joking I have three: And here and here, nope, four apparently. When I say I’ve been around I’m not joking, Dear Reader, but crepes have always caused issue with me. Whenever I’d defrost some they’d be too brittle to work with, I’ve only recently found that defrosting hem in the microwave straight from frozen then giving them a little reheat makes them as pliant as fresh. They still tear if they’re too full, I’m trying to gauge my lettuce and misjudging it to the point I can’t taste anything, I’m learning, this is a learning experience, Dear Reader, life I mean, not crepes. So, having solved that, I never thought much about it as I have other baked goods I use, but with the need for wraps the crepes have come back into fashion. Did you know that crepes were invented because crepe paper tastes terrible? For a brief moment you thought I was in earnest and I’ve let you down, Dear Reader, and I’m not sorry….okay I am. Onto the vague guide/ramble.

So, crepes aren’t all that complex, they’re almost a production line in that you start and go through the exact same motions and if done right you end up with extremely thin crepes. I’l try to guide you through my method, it’s basic, but works consistently.

An Extremely Hot Pan: Not too large or they’ll take too long to cook, I’ve made that mistake before, you want this on a high heat getting nice and hot.

A Bitty Bit of Butter: I like butter here, but oil might work too, the crepes have oil in them so you need the barest bit of butter, just a little piece that will evaporate almost instantly. I’m talking an eight of a teaspoon. Why? Because if you make the crepes too oily they’re get soggy. To me a while to realise the crepe will release when it’s cooked.

The Heats Off: Okay, I take the pan off the heat, give it a breath and toss in the butter, quickly swirl and then add about a third of batter, you want enough heat to cook, but not too much to heat all the batter right away. Gentle swirl it, the thinnest batter layer will stick and cook and the rest will fill in a neat, mostly neat, circle. Then back onto the heat.

One Two, Off You Go: You literally just need a minute or two a side, the crepe will release when the first side is done, just flip and cook again, then toss it onto a wire-rack and pull the pan of the heat and repeat. I let two cool and then stack those when the third is ready. I made four times the recipe above and they all came out fairly consistent.

Wrap it Up: When they’ve cooled I just stack two on a square of grease-proof paper and turn the corners in to make a parcel and into a bag they go to be frozen.

It’s simple, but much like scrambled eggs when you want them done exactly the same each time and want them to taste as good as they can you need to know the technique rather than a recipe. I love that buckwheat can be savoury or sweet, these work either way, I prefer savoury uses these days, but here’s nothing quite like a warm crepe filled with ice-cream. Just a quick bit of guidance, Dear Reader and a gentle reminder that this is still a recipe blog, even if the garden is busier than the kitchen currently. I’l be back again soon, Dear Reader, if you have any questions or need anything clarified just drop a comment below. Until later, take care.

Same Old, Same New: Baffles and Raps

I had quinoa flour, but wanted a change from the usual.

They’re nice and springy, but not that different from most of my savoury waffles.

Yo, Dear Reader I was looking through AIP recipes for the blog that I could eat, but apparently we’re very mismatched, but that’s the norm for me and pretty much every dietary plan out there. Still, I’ll keep an eye out, I hope that the kitchen aspect of the garden will start to pick up steam, once the weather warms I can start planting seeds in the greenhouse. As it stands right I have onions starting, garlic that looks healthy and strong and not much activity on the food side. It’s early days yet and the flowers are beautiful. I had a lot of eggs that need to be used up, but since my Bap recipes uses round tins that I can’t get the tins I decided rectangle baps were fine. too. So: Raps are born! Heh. All you need is about an inch of batter, the size of the tin is irrelevant, but you have to amount for the amount of batter available for each tin, my tall loaf tins worked just fine as you can see.

It’s rare I have quinoa flour so readily available to purchase.

I wasn’t going to photograph t cut, but, I don’t like when others hide what the bread looks like cut.

While I was making those I wondered if I’d still get the same springiness that makes these such great alternative to the usual loaves in a waffle. It worked well enough that the Baffle, Bap Waffle, was born! Seriously, it’s just a plain waffle, but convenient if you have a waffle iron and need something that isn’t as dry as they can be when using a single flour. The waffle is just half the batter with no other changes. It’s a surprisingly complex recipe despite its simplistic steps. The main part is in working each flours strength to counter the weakness of another. The quinoa’s natural lightness helps alleviate the buckwheat’s dryness which helps stabilises and firm the texture that would be mush with the flaxseed which in turn hold everything together and increase the springy texture. And so on. It tastes strongly of quinoa flour, no way around that, but look at the health benefits and stick something strong tasting in it. I’ll be back again sooner rather than later, Dear Reader, until then take care.

Buckwheat Flour Pumpkin Pie

Freshness Update: Even after two days in the fridge, aside from some shrinkage and sweating, the pastry and pie both remain delicious. You’d be best to let it rest overnight and there are methods to avoid shrinkage, but I have absolutely no experience with baked custards so I can only advice you look it up if you need a pristine pie. For Jack this is enough. I still have to test a freezer pie and when I do I’ll report back.

A mixture of Honeybear and Sweet Dumpling.

“Breadcrumbs”.

Wrap it up, toss it in the fridge, gets easy with practice.

Ah, Dear  Reader, this has been in the pipeline for, oh, three years or so. What? I get it done, eventually, heh. In all honesty the major difficulty with a recipe like this is twofold: Firstly I’ve never eaten, seen it in person nor heard anyone ever mention, Pumpkin Pie. So I have no frame of reference as to what it should be like. Recipes, like the one I based this on, never say anything about how it should turn out or taste, then they pose photos to further obfuscate matters, so the second problem occurs: I’m a stickler for details when I’m sharing something, I will wrack my brain to wring out every necessary description, step and variable. Which is exhausting. When large recipes sites fail to do this you’d think I’d give myself a free pass, but I never do, not that it really does anything tangible, I never know who uses these recipes outside of a few dedicated Dear Readers, but it is stressful, it’s why I often shy away from these kinds of recipes, but an abundance of squash forced me to reconsider and, well, here we are. If ever you feel that Jack deserves something for his work remember that a share, like, comment or a coffee really do make a difference. Anyway, onto the breakdown, no, not the break-dance. Stop doing the worm!

I didn’t realise it’d make five. I jut kept returning the scraps to the fridge.

Plop.

Trim the edge with the back of a butter knife. Always away from you.

Fix the edges with a fork.

A little about pumpkin and squash flesh variations. Pumpkins are more watery in composition, because they’re big probably, I just grow things, Dear Reader, I don’t quickly Google and then copy and paste, and fresh squash such as the kind I used are much drier. This is annoying because it reduces the cooking time, which can make it confusing for anyone making these, add to the fact these are individual pies and you’re better doing the double test of a knife  coming out clean and a press for firmness. For the most part, aside from the sweetness naturally present in the flesh, you’re okay with any squash or pumpkin, but do make sure that you’re using the flesh and not the fibres that surround the seeds. You’re making a dense, cream custard not an abomination. The taste isn’t all that much with the squash alone, between the sugar and spices, and whatever topping you decide on, I wish I’d had some whipped cream, you’re going to find them the main cause of taste. As an aside: I’m really not huge into sweet treats anymore, it’s part of the lifestyle, so if at any point I seem less than enthused about any of this just remember I’d never share I recipe I wasn’t happy with and willing to eat myself. I just can’t muster the energy to care all that much about sweet things. The work of eating as I do is draining at times, Dear Reader, but know the recipes when they appear will be great and this is no exception.

Buckwheat bakes fairly grey in pastry, don’t over bake.

Leftover apple thingy.

You’ll have some left over. Hard to guess at this perfectly.

Squash and milk.

All the rest.

Look at me, Dear Reader, and hearken: I don’t know what baked custard is. I was flying by the seat of my pants, thanks to the lack of description in the original, and many others. You’re pouring a mixture of vegetable, fruit really, but anyway, sugar, milk and eggs into pie shells. That isn’t anything like the food I grew up on. Pumpkin pie is this strange concoction from America. With the quick bake, again probably freshness and dryness, I was weary. It looks odd, feels strangely firm until you cut it. When I ate some, hot, but much better cool, I’m freezing two as a test I’ll update whenever, it wasn’t a lot of things, bear with me, it wasn’t mousse, it was too dense for that, it wasn’t baked cheese cake, it was creamier and lighter than that, it wasn’t mashed squash, it was too sweet and gently spiced for that, it really is just it’s own textural experience. If I had had more chances to try foods way back when I may have a better descriptor for it, but as it is, to me at least, it isn’t a lot of things, but it’s really delicious. The pastry might be a little harder than you’re used to and the taste is stronger if you more accustomed to wheat flours, I’m so long at this this is the norm to me so I can’t approach in the other direction in my write up. But, for a dry flour, it yields a delicate pastry, the slightly drier texture always suits me with a moist filling, moist but not soggy, it doesn’t look that was, but it’s firm and just dissolves on the tongue. But it doesn’t look like it should, which is what cause me such confusion eating it. A really interesting taste too, the spice is just there enough, the sweetness is just right, you could top it with more sugar if you’d like it sweeter, or ice-cream say, a double melting delight.

I made way too many.

It looks like custard from a packet, then again, so does blended squash.

They cooked fast and didn’t brown much, the pastry would’ve been burnt if in any longer.

Firm to the touch and just melts in the mouth. Strange.

Cut hot because I’m impatient.

As for the assembly, it’s all really simple once you’ve made the pastry, which with practice is simple. I’ve frozen two, as I said, wrapped in cellophane and tinfoil as per directions, somewhere, and I’ll update with the results of the freezing. As I say I just don’t want this much these days, it’d be fine if I could store them guaranteed, but even then I just feel better without all this unnecessary food hanging around. I’m not on my best form today, so if I’ve missed anything or you have any questions about this recipe just ask below. I’ll be back again soon, Dear Reader.

Ingredients

Pie Crust

440g Buckwheat Flour
200g Butter, Very Cold, Cut into Cubes
2 Chia Egg (2 Tbsp Ground Chia in 6 Tbsp Water for 10 minutes in fridge)
2 Medium Eggs (60-65g in Shell)
60g Caster Sugar
4 to 6 Tbsp Ice Cold Water (Only if Needed)

Pumpkin Custard Filling

750g Steamed Squash Puree
140g Caster Sugar
2 Tsp Pumpkin Spice (More as desired)
2 Medium Eggs (60-65g in Shell)
25g Butter Melted
175ml Full Fat Milk

Makes five 6 inch tarts.

Method

1. Add the Butter, Flour and Caster Sugar and crumble together with hands until it forms a lumpy, dry breadcrumb like mixture.

2. Add the two Eggs, Chia and Chicken, and then mix with a fork without water. You shouldn’t need it.

3. Dust lightly with flour, knead into a ball and then form into a flat disc and place in fridge for 2 hours.

5. Grease the baking tin with Butter and scatter with Buckwheat Flour, shaking out the excess.

6. Divide dough into five parts, take o part from the fridge as needed, keeping the others chilled, roll out the Dough into a circle and place over the baking tin, trimming the edges as needed. Prick the bottom with a fork.

7. Blind bake, with baking beads or rice in crumpled greaseproof paper, for 10 to 15 minutes at 180c (Fan). Remove from the oven and remove the rice and greaseproof paper then bake for another 5 minutes or until centre is dry to the touch. Leave to cool in tins.

8. Pre-heat the oven to 200c (Fan) and add the Squash and Milk to a food processor and blend until smooth, then add the Sugar, Eggs and Pumpkin Spice, blend until uniform and smooth. Finally blend in the Butter until mixed. Pour into the baked shells.

9. Bake the Pies for 10 minutes and then reduce heat to 180c (Fan) and bake for a further 15-25 minutes or until pies are firm to the touch. Bake for longer if needed, but cover with grease-proof if the top starts to brown too much. When ready test with a knife and if clean leave the pies to cool completely before cutting.

Flowers, Like Stars, Cake Like….Beef?!

Yes, that is a roasting tray.

Double the cake, double the terror of failure.

Halfway: Wobbly. At end: Solid.

It will be, is, or was my birthday, depends on when I publish this really. Birthdays aren’t big here, lots of reasons, Dear Reader, none you need worry about. I do want to share my screwing around with my Buckwheat Flour Simple White Cake. I say it a lot, but you really don’t know who it’ll help. I’m writing this piecemeal so it’s not going to be a comprehensive look at cake making, just a look at what Jack did (Worst kid’s book series ever. Heh). I just wanted to screw around, I’ll be honest, I’m not really bothered about sweet things now. There’s a part of me that could be, much too much so, but the other part is getting stronger, the part that understands my complex relationship to sugar. It’s weird, there’s a gap between the me that was and that is and its widening, there’s just work to go. I hope by my next birthday the surgeries will be over. This is mostly for my nieces and nephew, a few friends and just, again, a bit of fun. Let’s not get heavy. It’s my birthday and I’ll maunder if I want to.

Stick a folded teatowel in between the rack and the cake and flip.

Double baking makes the edges a little hard.

I’m also using vanilla powder, which isn’t all that great. I couldn’t get my usual low alcohol essence.

Like I say I’m not breaking this down, it’s meringue topping, on the aforementioned cake, doubled and a caramel sauce just taken to the desired burnt stage, a hair more it was ruined. Sugar is hard to do, I’ll be the first to admit it. There’s a smell that appears when it starts to caramelize, then it goes, that’s when you pull it off the heat. I’m also doing whipped cream with this. We’re going all out, this is the last cake I’ll eat for a long time, but I have two more to help make and to decorate. I’ll share them here, one is using an icing sheet and the other has plastic toppers. Really basic stuff here, Dear Reader, but it’ll make people happy. Worth it for that really. That’s the reason for the unconventional tin, and fully lining it too, I’ll need two cakes, both rectangles, so I want to check it now rather than get caught when the time comes. More cake for everyone, it’s a win-win.

Ta-da…eh.

Have a kettle on the boil to avoid clean up.

It thickens to almost tar as it cools.

I’m going to be taking a lot of photos, or, rather having a lot taken of me. In my jeans. I tell you it was so hard to find jeans in a thirty eight inch leg. Getting the waist and leg was really just a matter of luck, I looked at the right time and bought a couple of pairs since the first fit. I was worried about sagging in places, but they seem to fit just right. I still like tracksuits, I have sensory issues and, honestly? I dress for me, for comfort. No one really notices unless you’re dragging dirt in so I’ll dress up once in a while, after that I’m in the garden and the plants aren’t worried. They’re all in the nude after all. Sorry, I’ve ruined jaunts through the garden, haven’t I?

You come here for my sparkling wit.

Oh, I turned the cake upside down so it sunk as it cooled and mostly evened out.

These really are beautiful. 

They’re so tiny.

Things are still slow, but it’s getting better. Every single year brings different weather, a different experience and different lessons. I still take such pleasure in the small shoots just starting to poke through the soil. My rhubarb crown, the new one, has poked above, it starts to appear and suddenly it’s so large. I should get a harvest this year from it. I seem to have squash seeds that didn’t rot in the compost popping up in the soil, they’re easy be rid of, but I’m really going to do better this year. With the surgery I couldn’t tend to the compost, it is a  living thing after all and needs proper care and attention. If I publish this tomorrow then I’ll try to add a few photos of the cake cut up and assembled. A bit glob of caramel and a blob of whipped cream. It’ll be fun being able to share a cake with people. Okay, that’s it for now, take care Dear Reader.

P.S If I have anything to add I’ll add it below.

I forgot the photo! Just one more slice.

There we go.