Sorghum Flour Crumble

 photo WP_20170615_027_e_zpsfwbkheqe.jpgAll my crumbles look the same and come in the same dish.

I’ll be honest with you, dear reader, I can’t even remember which crumble recipe is the original any more. They’re all pretty much the same, the only change is the flour and that works because of the ground almonds. It’s a pretty nice crumble, can’t grumble. I usually make crumble to either use up flour that leftover or to use fruit that’s been in the freezer for too long. I realise I’m not selling you on this, but if you want crumble, here it is, if not, meh. I’m making room in my freezer for my imagined bountiful harvest of fruit. The raspberry harvest is picking up and the yellow strawberries are dong decently. I’ll probably make a few jellies rather than jams, though I do want a yellow strawberry jam for novelty, because the raspberries are really seedy and they get stuck in my teeth. Besides, I can buy jam easily, but jelly is apparently too exotic. Worry not about waste, the compost will be enriched by the seedy pulp. I may also go harvesting wild blackberries. I’ll start saving small jars now and hopefully have enough. Well, that’s it for me, just a quick recipe. See you later.

Ingredients

100g Berries, or Other Fruit, of Choice
35g Sugar
35g Ground Almonds
35g Sorghum Flour
35g Butter, Cold and Chopped

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 180c (Fan).

2. Place the Berries in an oven proof dish. Set aside.

3. In a bowl mix together the Ground Almonds, Sorghum Flour, Butter and Sugar. Work together with fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs,

4. Sprinkle Crumb Mixture over the Berries and cook for 15-20 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Quinoa Flour Crumble

 photo WP_20170427_005_e_zpsi5nhnts8.jpgDisposable trays are great for crumble.

I seem to have set myself the challenge to find all the ways that you can use single flours. I don’t think I’ll ever find them all, but there will be a lot of recipes when I finally run out of creative juices. When that happens, dear reader, just plant my dried up husk in the garden and water me occasionally. Then when more of me pop up, well, that’ll be terrifying. What hath you wrought, dear reader!? Hmmm, oh yeah, crumble. I like berry crumble because I always have frozen berries at hand. I did worry that the strong taste of quinoa flour might cause troubles, but something special happened thanks to the absorbent nature of the flour that makes any lingering after-taste an afterthought. Instead of the berries bursting and the juice softening the crumble, it instead absorbed into the flour and made a gooey, in the good way, not the free-from raw feeling way, dessert. The sweet berries contained in the still slightly crunchy crumble. It was really delicious, it might actually be my favourite of all the crumbles I have on the site. I did pretty well with my tiny, but still absurdly expensive, bag of quinoa flour. Three new recipes, all successes. Not too bad, now I’ll go back to keeping an eye out for discounted quinoa flour. Once spoiled, twice, er, hesitant to buy at full price? I’ll work on it, until later, dear reader.

 photo WP_20170427_006_e_zpsxmjxdebh.jpgThe ground almonds are used throughout these crumbles, but the flours still change the crumble’s texture.

Ingredients

100g Berries, or Other Fruit, of Choice
35g Sugar
35g Ground Almonds
35g Quinoa Flour
35g Butter, Cold and Chopped

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 180c (Fan).

2. Place the Berries in an oven proof dish. Set aside.

3. In a bowl mix together the Ground Almonds, Quinoa Flour, Butter and Sugar. Work together with fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs,

4. Sprinkle Crumble Mixture over the Berries and cook for 15-20 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Buckwheat and Almond Cookies

 photo WP_20170215_002_zpszjw5d0dg.jpgNondescript brown blob. Buy yours online from my store…no, I’m joking, get back here!

Stealing from myself somewhat, ah, well.  Today we have a new cookie, lighter than the all buckwheat version and perfect for dunking in your tea. I had ground almonds that were just sitting there and a hankering for a cookie. So I decided to go with brown sugar and more egg this time around. I’ve made these cookies, the original that is, quite often and I’m always pleasantly surprised how nice textured an all  buckwheat cookie can be. The replacing of some of the flour with ground almonds does cause some stability issues, but it adds a richness and  a lighter texture that really works well. I like using buckwheat and almonds, they’ve worked well together. Be it in bread or in biscuits. It’s difficult at times to know what to say. What can be the most help to someone trying to make this recipe? The dough is a tad stickier than in the original recipe. Not by much, that’s just the loss of the dry buckwheat flour. Just scoop it with a tablespoon measure and thwack it on the rim of the bowl. I did find it took a while to really work in the butter, perhaps it was the ground almonds soft texture as opposed to the grittier buckwheat which would create more friction and help the whole come together faster. Nothing much to screw up here, just make sure your brown sugar isn’t too hard or lumpy.

 photo WP_20170215_003_zps1y6uckas.jpgLovely neat rows. I said neat rows!

This is a case of do as I say and not as I do. I didn’t know they’d spread quite so much, though they still get a nice rise and are airy, so I advice you to leave about two inches between each cookie. I almost left off on posting this, but they tasted so good. They have a light, moist crumb. They’re somewhere between a sponge and a biscuit. A sponcuit. A Bisconge. Er, a cookie. They look flat, but they had a nice dome and just enough bite. Thinking of them now, I’d say they’re somewhat like what a Jaffa Cake bottom is. Yeah, pretty sure. It’s been a long time since I ate a Jaffa Cake. If you give them ample room to spread they should be perfectly round, but even if they turn out oddly shaped they’ll still taste the same. Funnily though there is quite a lot of sugar these don’t taste too sweet, just right. After baking they absorb liquid and hold their shape when wet, which is wonderful if you’re a dunker. They taste of sweet buckwheat, that’s really all I can describe it as. The buckwheat when coupled with the sugar is really delicious. Quick and simple. Add it to the recipe pile and we’ll come back again someday. Next time they’ll look prettier. Perhaps. Until then, dear reader.

 photo WP_20170215_006_zpsiiov67fa.jpgIgnore the dog bowl.

Ingredients

150g Buckwheat Flour
75g Ground Almonds
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
115g Butter, Chilled and cut into Chunks
100g Light Muscovado Sugar
1 Large Egg (70g to 75g in Shell)

Makes 16 Cookies.

Method

1. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

2. Add the Flour, Ground Almonds, Sugar and Baking Soda to a bowl and set aside.

3. Rub the Butter into the Flour Mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs, then mix in the Egg with a fork, until combined. Knead together in the bowl until a soft sticky dough has been created. Form into a ball and leave in the fridge for 30 Minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 175c (Fan). Scoop 1 Tbsp worth of dough and roll into a ball, flatten onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between Cookies, and repeat until all dough is used up. Place one tray in the fridge if baking in single batches. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and slightly firm to the touch. Let cool on tray for 10 minutes and then remove to wire-rack to cool completely.

Buckwheat Flour And Almond Bread

 photo WP_20170105_005_e_zpsfbcpcope.jpgBrain: Start it with “What up chicken butt”, It’ll be hilarious. “No!”

See what I save you from? Truly I am a bastion of staunch decorum. Still on a temporary keyboard, I hope to have my new one soon. I’ve spent far too long on gaming keyboards to be comfortable on anything else. These keys are too close together, they need to make room for Jesus. I should change that, but I can’t stop laughing. Forgive me, dear reader, I know what I do, but I just can’t stop myself. I might be the only one laughing at these posts, but even if I’m not I’m laughing the hardest. Anyway, bread. Yup. Buckwheat has become something akin to plain flour to me, it finds a use in every recipe. Here I use it because an all almond loaf would be costly, about six Euro a loaf, smaller and possibly mushy. So, I followed in the idea of a Buckwheat and Flaxseed bread and took a little guidance from these scones. Since I don’t use gums or added starches I need to use what I can to keep the breads together. Thankfully buckwheat more than fits the bill, not only does it hold, but it also makes a wonderful loaf.

 photo WP_20170105_006_e_zpsi5sf8tu6.jpgThe tops are always funky.

Have you broken your new year’s resolutions yet? I’m very good with mine. I never make any. Heh. I just carry on trying be to as healthy as possible. I’m looking at carrots currently, not at this moment, just in general. I think I prefer a little bite in my carrots, I want them toothsome not toothy, mind. Come on! That was clever…ish. I might try them in a bread or muffin. Watch this space. As far as the exciting details of my daily trials and tribulations goes, well, let’s see….Oh! I have, let’s get this right, ten raspberry plants planted in six seventeen litre pots. They’re currently lined up against the wall, where the bindweed was. Still is I suppose, smothered in its slumbering repose. Well deserved if you ask me. I’ll remember to take a photo yet.

 photo WP_20170105_010_e_zpsciiietvx.jpgEat the heel whilst the bread is warm, it’s one of the baker’s true joys.

So bread, yeah. This is a simple load so I won’t try to do too much in describing it. It’s your standard buckwheat bread, just a hint of crustiness, but thanks to the ground almonds you get a lovely springiness tempered to a slight firmness by the buckwheat. All buckwheat makes for a dry loaf in my opinion. Edible, but there are better options. Flax, chia, almonds. Even hemp hearts helps. Of course with bread it’s what you put on it that matters, right?

 photo WP_20170105_012_e_zpssqgmg3em.jpgBlueberry and Strawberry Chia Jam.

I’ve gone off jam, too much sugar sneaking into my diet. So there dieth (It’s in the bible, it’s a word!) the jam. Instead I made some chia jam and froze it. It’s not exactly the same, but the trade off is that you get a jam with way less sugar. I find all strawberry needs too much chia to thicken, whereas blueberries just thicken up just right. A mix of the two was just what the baker ordered. A little butter and a scoop of jam and alls right with the world. So, not much else to say. I have reached a fun point in my reading, which when the gardening starts might take a slight hit, I’m currently on my fifty fifth P.G Wodehouse book. I think he wrote over ninety novels so I have a ways to go yet. Speaking of the garden. As if I talk about anything else? Dear reader you wound me. Hrmph, anyway, I think my legs need a bit of reconditioning. All the squatting over the last few days, when you’re my height squatting helps, has really made my legs ache. I’ll get back on form soon enough, plenty of bags of compost to lug, wheelbarrows to push to and fro, soil to be forked and forked again. Fun times. Okay, I’m glad to finally have a recipe to share, I do worry about you, dear reader, are you sure you’re eating enough? Of my food I mean, I can only assume you’d never go to any other site for recipes, right?!

 photo WP_20170105_015_e_zpsk43wgj5a.jpgHard to tell if I’m joking. Even I’m not sure.

Ingredients

125g Buckwheat Flour
75g Ground Almonds
100ml Water
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Large Eggs
1/3 Tbsp Baking Soda

Makes one small loaf.
Can be frozen.

Method

1. Preheat oven to 175c (No Fan).

2. Grease (With Butter or Olive Oil) and line a 6×3 inch loaf pan.

3. In a large bowl mix together the Egg and Olive Oil. Add the Buckwheat Flour, Ground Almonds and Baking Soda and stir until combined, then gradually add the Water and stir until a thick Batter has been formed. Add more Water if too thick.

4. Pour batter into prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes, turning halfway if needed, until dark brown and a skewer comes out clean.

5. Cool in tin for 20 minutes, then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Banana Flour Crumble

I would post a photo, but I ate it before I took one. Seriously, I was ravenous, which isn’t at all like me. I think the bug drained me more than I knew. Thankfully I’m back to normal. It’s really strange to think that only a few years ago, well nearly seven now, I spent all my time ill, always sick and miserable. It’s scary what becomes normal. I don’t have much to say here, this is just a very basic crumble, based on this, the sugar cuts out the banana flour flavour and it isn’t too dry. This is the last of my banana flour recipes. So, farewell to banana flour, you were mostly a gimmick, but I beat you! Hah! I’m in the process of tagging grain free recipes, I don’t follow a grain free diet, but did you know that most of the recipe on here are grain free? Me neither. Heh. I cover such a wide variety of diets and I like to list them when applicable. I’ve added a Freezer Friendly category too.

You ever feel the need to talk, for no other reason then to kill time? That’s the one benefit of these posts, dearest reader, I have an imaginary captive audience. You could skip or skim all of this and I’d never have any idea, happy in my ignorance. So, your pal Jack, your forever friend, the man of many names, well, two, hasn’t been doing much. The Winter months are tiresome. I’m really glad I finally got into music, it’s funny how I spent years being assured that I should enjoy what others did and just couldn’t see the attraction. It takes finding our own preferences to really get into anything, doesn’t it? I’m of the school of thought that everyone should be let enjoy what they do, assuming no one gets hurt by it. I’m one of those people who’ll give anything a fair shake and don’t look down on anything. I’m currently repeatedly playing the newest Icon for Hire album. It’s independently released so you can support them directly. It’s something I wish I’d had growing up, a positive message without the usual banal generalised platitudes. From a place of experience. Of course it’s cut with the newest EP from Band Maid because I tend towards the non-mainstream and you can’t beat Kanami’s insane solos. I find music helps me to stop dwelling, whenever I’m doing something repetitive my brain refuses to stop thinking, so the headphones go on when preparing meals and it all become a better experience. Now, I’m not one of those people who insist that you’ll love this song, or band, or book, really I doubt if you will, but maybe you’ll surprise yourself. I don’t push things like that onto people. I spent the other night, feeling better for the first time in three days, reading the newest volume of Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun and laughing out loud. Which is a rarity, your friend is pretty quiet in the real world, shocking, eh? Manga, Japanese comics, have supplemented my reading for, what, fifteen years, probably more. It’s strange to read a series over a decade, volume by volume. Worst is when they get cancelled, which happened in the thirty-sixth volume of Negima after reading it for a decade. It was a painful experience I can tell you that. Why so much Japanese interest? No idea, it just resonated with me and I know there are those that take it too far and can’t accept that people don’t like it, like there are those that can’t accept when people do, but the way I look at it is this: I found something that’s continually made me happy for a long time now. Why should I worry what others think. It’s all to easy to start in on the sanctimonious, elitist, supercilious idea of what is “proper” to enjoy. Do what makes you happy, life is too short not to and made too long by people who can’t accept that. All this ramble for a crumble, well, the internet, am I right? See you soon.

Ingredients

100g Berries, or Other Fruit, of Choice
35g Sugar
35g Ground Almonds
35g Banana Flour
35g Butter, Cold and Chopped

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 180c (Fan).

2. Place the Berries in an oven proof dish. Set aside.

3. In a bowl mix together the Ground Almonds, Banana Four, Butter and Sugar. Work together with fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs,

4. Sprinkle Crumb Mixture over the Berries and bake for 15-20 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Zero Icing Sugar Dilemma

 photo WP_20160708_012_e_zpslqd6g3iq.jpgFor the bread check this post.

As always just follow the blue hyper-links to get the recipes. You thought I was just making bread, didn’t you? Hah! Or rather: Nah. I was also making cake and curd. I accidentally bought grapefruit. Hmmmm? How does one go about accidentally acquiring grapefruit? Well, I hefted some rather large oranges and after marvelling at their size tossed them unceremoniously into the shopping trolley. Then discovered my blunder when I unpacked the shopping. No harm, no foul. I just took my Curd recipe and with one tweak I made grapefruit curd. The trick, why you’ll have to subscribe to my special recipe plan, joking, I boiled down the grapefruit juice, I started with 300ml and ended up with 100ml. I only used 80ml per the recipe. I also used a lot of zest, too much maybe, but it worked. I take it off in long strands rather than flecks. It turned out lovely and thick, there is a slightly strong taste from the grapefruit, but that balances with the sugar. Oh! I also used plain sugar, not caster and it was fine. All the changes or additional options will be added to the recipes on their respective pages. If anything here is unclear just ask me about it. I’ll make it even more unclear, no charge at all.

 photo WP_20160708_013_e_zpsx7tpozrw.jpgCurd. Fancy curd because I use a double boiler. Nah-nah-nah-nah-na.

I also made my basic Flourless Nut Cake. Which no-one has ever made and that makes me sad, sure it’s a bit involved, but it really is good. I swear! Ah, well, maybe some day. I blanched, peeled and ground my own almonds. So I know now that that works. Handy, huh? To blanch just cover the almonds in boiling water, cover those with a tea-towel and let sit for a few minutes, then peel by squeezing, dry and chill in the freezer before grinding. Less risk of mess that way. So, I made he cake and then realised I have no icing sugar for buttercream, but you know what? It’s lovely as is. I’m a bit ashamed that I so often masked the flavour of the cake in so much sugary goodness. I did try it with curd because I have no great sensibility when it comes to my sense of taste. I had it with coffee for crying out loud, don’t come here for flavour combinations and expect to come away satisfied. If anyone is ever willing to try this cake, well I’d be gladdened, that’ll buy you a wealth of nothing dear reader, but you’ll make this poor sap really happy.

 photo WP_20160708_016_e_zpsoa11bnhl.jpgIt’s spongy and light. An original recipe too.

So, there we are. i got you recipes like promised. I have garlic drying in my shed, failed tomatoes in the compost. Chillies flowering, purple for some reason. And books to read, I’m also looking for a long book to tackle, I’ve gone through quite a few, but I never tire of recommendations, hit me up and if I’ve read it we can feel superior to all the other who haven’t. Joking, we’re not elitist here. Unless you make my cake and then we’ll lord it over every other reader. Okay, I’ll see you again. Spare a thought for Jack, he has squash the size of two fists and is scared they won’t make it. Don’t take my squash, don’t take dear Cyril!

 photo WP_20160708_018_e_zps3q69l517.jpgGrapefruit, coffee and peanut butter that classic combination. *Urk*

Buckwheat Flour and Almond Scones

 photo WP_20160611_010_e_zpsg3xtbvyf.jpgIgnore the dirty sink and tea towel and…just ignore everything.

Isn’t this? Yes, it’s this and also kind of this depends on which you see first. But this time we’ve spared no expense and are using ground blanched almonds. A quick run down on how to blanch almond. Pour water from a kettle that is almost boiled into a bowl, jug whatever, of almonds, rest for 3 minutes and drain and then rinse with cool water. Then squeeze each almond, the most boring thing possible, until the skin comes off. Repeat ad naseum. Then pop them in the freezer for a few minutes and grind in a coffee grinder or food processor. The freezing stops them becoming butter, skip it if you want, but be weary of overworking. Mine were coarse, ground, but still somewhat lumpy rather than fine. You might be able to skip all that and just use ground almonds, I’m not sure and I can only list what I used myself. The almonds I’m using are so cheap compared to what I used to pay, so the extra work isn’t a problem for me. Okay, let’s hope that made sense.

 photo WP_20160611_011_e_zpslzdf60am.jpgThey gain a golden hue from rich egg yolks and the almonds.

So, why you ask. What you query. Exhales: I was curious on the effects of almonds on the original recipe, that if you don’t already know is very dry, so I thought why not? I accidentally omitted the sugar too and it really didn’t need it, the almonds bring their own sweetness. The dough became oily, perhaps due to the nuts natural oils. Other than that it was mostly the same to prepare. I had to form a dry dough and add milk to that until it came together. Which is strange, adding a liquid to a dough rather than to crumbs awaiting their chance to become dough. It absorbed and then the dough came together properly. Oily sure, but firm. I then baked them the usual way, they did bake faster than usual, I’d say it was all the oil, you could see it bubbling on the scones, though they weren’t oily to taste. The taste was sweet as I’ve said, much nicer than all buckwheat. They were somewhat lighter, though not that noticeably. They’re still prone to breaking, you’re not getting the traditional twist in half scones here, but they are an improvement on the original.

 photo WP_20160611_014_e_zpsjhmw9lfh.jpgDense, but not heavy. If that makes sense.

So why the split? Why not list it as a variation? I found them different enough, they come together differently and bake faster. They’re also better in my opinion. I may try to get these lighter and less brittle. Though I can’t say how I could accomplish that yet. I’ve found buckwheat and almond to be a winning combination in the past and it holds true here. They come together fast and make for a handy snack, a rather filling snack admittedly. You could make these savoury too I imagine. Sweeter as well if you’d prefer. If you have to blanch your own almonds then this will be time consuming. Worth it occasionally if you ask me. You know, I do wonder if I undersell these recipes with my slightly dry delivery. I’d like to be bubbly and vivacious, like so many bloggers out there, perhaps more interesting and engaging. I don’t know. I’ll stick with: Here’s the recipe, go make it or whatever, for now. I must be tired, just ignore my complaints and go make some scones. Until next time. Thank you for your continued support.

Ingredients

125g Buckwheat Flour
75g Ground Blanched Almonds
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
45ml Olive Oil
1 Medium Egg, Beaten (Or 2 Flax Eggs)
Milk or Water as Needed

Method

1. Preheat oven to 200c (Fan) and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2. Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl and then stir in the Olive Oil with a fork until combined, then mix in the Egg until everything has mixed together and a crumbly oily dough has formed. Finally add in the Milk, a little at a time, until the dough starts to come together and stops crumbling. Knead as necessary. Dough should be firm and oily. Form into a ball.

3. Dust a work surface lightly with flour and either press the dough flat, about an inch thickness, and cut into wedges or roll out and cut into rounds using a cutter. Then place onto the prepared tray.

4. Bake for 8-10 minutes until scones are firm and a light gold colour. Transfer to a wire-rack and let cool. Best eaten warm and on day of baking.

Banana Oat Bread

 photo WP_20160425_004_e_zpsik5dmrxu.jpgBe bold, bloody and…wrong post.

Since this is a slight deviation from the norm I’ll deviate too and be irreverent, no not irrelevant!, facetious, no poop jokes!, and, hmmmm? How is that any different from usual? Well, you’ve got me there, reader. So how does this post differ from the usual? Well, to be honest I actually haven’t eaten this myself. Woah! Get back here. I’m just passing this on for anyone who wants to try it, I’ve made it checked it and doubled check it, it was made for a friend and they loved it so I thought I’d just pass it along regardless of my having had tried it. The bread is fine from what I can tell, I made a mistake with the tin size as I assumed there’d be some rise. I’ve never made a porridge bread before so now I know. Just use the recommended tin and you’ll be fine.

 photo WP_20160421_001_e_zpsgqe31p9l.jpgThis looks…I know I make that joke a lot. You shut up.

This is a really loaded bread. You can probably wing it with some of the ingredients, the banana, egg and chia are the binders so be careful when substituting those. I had chia but no blueberry mix so I just blended fresh blueberries instead and it worked fine. I was worried that whole ones would burst and make the bread crumbly. You could try it if you’d rather it’s up to you I won’t be fiddling with this recipe I’ll leave that you you ever intrepid reader, no, not tepid, it means. Just forget it…fathead. You could sub out the nuts with something else, maybe other nuts or seeds. Whatever you’d rather. This doesn’t rise as I said and it is rather dense, but it does have a slight springiness to it which is surprising. Yeah, I cut it in half to make sure it was baked, I couldn’t give it partly raw to someone could I?

 photo WP_20160421_002_e_zpsbtcnmgci.jpgI’ve seen a lot of raw centres in my time *Shudders*

This is a pretty common recipe these days, there’s even a version with just yoghurt (Egg replacer) and oats. Porridge oats and rolled oats are one in the same, that’ll save you some confusion. But if a recipe called for quick oats or microwave oats that’ll be different. Not much else to say here, I’m sure no-one will mind an untasted recipe once in a blue moon. I’ll probably hold off on the garden posts for a while as you might be tired of them. I had my first flower open today, which is pretty awesome. I’ve had a squash flowers by the dozen, but no decorate ones. I think it’s cool at least, you probably do too my botanical-hearted friend. I’m sure you do. No don’t protest, leave Jack to his imaginings. Until later.

 photo WP_20160421_003_e_zpsmwlgwyxt.jpgFlat is fine. Remember that, it’ll be true a lot in GF baking.

 photo WP_20160421_005_e_zpstq0mzxs6.jpgThere’s a lot going on in there.

Ingredients

120g Rolled Oats/Porridge Oats
80g Shelled Walnuts
50g Chopped Almonds
3 Medium Eggs
2 Medium Bananas
4 Tbsp Milled Chia Seeds
20g Fresh Blueberries
4 Tbsp Dessicated Coconut
2 Tbsp Raisins
2 Tbsp Ground Almonds
2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180c (No Fan) and grease and line a 6×3 inch loaf pan.

2. Add all the Dry Ingredients to a bowl and set aside. Add everything else to a blender or food processor and blend together until smooth. Pour into the Dry Mix and stir together until a batter has been formed.

4. Pour batter into prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes, turning halfway if needed, until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.

5. Cool in tin for 20 minutes, then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Moroccan Macaroons

 photo WP_20160416_024_e_zpsz84gftww.jpgGrind in a food processor…no, no, just no.

This is a rarity, I used a back of the packet recipe. I have no idea what a Moroccan Macaroon is, I don’t know if it’s really from Morocco or whether it’s actually even a macaroon. What is it is a pretty nice cookie. I had to cut down the recipe as it made 72 cookies and would require four packets of almonds and I only accidentally picked up two. One is for butter which will work out at 1/7th of its usual price. I may have to stick to home-made butter if all goes well. At least until these almonds go off the gluten free list. So, cookies by the back of a packet. What could possibly go wrong?!

 photo WP_20160416_032_e_zps6uhidkj4.jpgWho ever writes these really assumes you know every technique by heart.

I stupidly tried the food processor and no, they’re way too hard, either a coffee grinder or one of those fancy food-processors. Dear God, not the blender like they suggested! Anyway, back to the post. You know what I want to know? How much does a recipe need to guide you? I think that there are two kinds of worthwhile recipes: The first is one that’s clear and understandable and lists all you’ll need, that includes technique and what have you, while the other teaches you the techniques and educates you on every step. Sadly I’m not the worlds best teacher, but I at least hope I fall into the first category. The original recipe was fairly vague in some parts and missing others. I’ve cleaned it up and hopefully it’ll be clearer, but if ever you’re stuck just ask. I’m an old-hand at this, I know my way around these ingredients, anyone can if they invest the time to learn, it’s just hard to know where to draw the line between informative and over-elaborate. The original recipe would make you believe that the dough forms with no effort as if by magic due to the exclusion of any mention of kneading or bringing the dough together. You do have to use your own sense in any recipe, but knowing the size of an egg does help. Like I say I hope my recipes are at-least clear in that regard.

 photo WP_20160416_033_e_zpsndldhcne.jpgSticky as sh…er…shugar? Ah, shucks.

So the dough is pretty simple to pull together, you’ll have to knead it slightly, but damp hands make it fairly simple. Just knead it in the bowl to save making a mess. If you want an exact measure of rolling out scoop up some dough in a wet measuring tablespoon and whack it on the side of the bowl. This dough will jam a scoop within seconds. So smash and roll. You could make them 1/2 tablespoons and press in the almond. I ignored that as it would necessitate opening another bag that would have to be used within a month. Maybe pre-roast the almond to get a better taste than just using a plain one. Nothing much else to note here.

 photo WP_20160416_034_e_zpsnbtiucev.jpg72 (Seriously, three packs!) divided by 3 is 24 so I made these twice the size suggested. Still turned out fine.

So next up is texture, epicurious, that’s a pun I’m not that dumb, reader, well, these are crunchy outside, given more time in the oven they’d be even crunchier, but inside they’re fluffy and chewy. They have a lovely familiar almond flavour that neither I nor my brother could quite place, a little sweet for me, but really enjoyable. They are a little preparation intensive but if made into small decorated cookies they would present rather well. If you have the ingredients at hand and don’t feel like making almond butter (Soon, I swear) then these are a really enjoyable cookie to try. Okay that’s that. I’ll have a large gardening post to appease the agriculturally inclined soon-ish. I’ll have more recipes coming soon too. Busy, busy, busy. But I’ll always have time for you reader of my heart. Smooth, eh?

 photo WP_20160416_035_e_zps5ldm3x2x.jpgThey do stick slightly, I’m not sure if the cooling on a tray helps or hinders.

Ingredients

200g Whole Almonds, Skin On
100g Icing Sugar
1 Large Egg, Separated
1/3 Tsp Baking Powder
Pinch Salt

Optional: Additional Almonds for decorating. Press into cookie just before baking.

Makes 12 Cookies

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180c (Fan) and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2. Grind the Almonds, in a Coffee Grinder, to a fine powder. Transfer to a bowl and add the Icing Sugar, Baking Powder and Salt. Beat the Egg Yolk and then mix it into the bowl as well.

3. In a separate bowl beat the Egg White, using an electric mixer, until the soft peak stage has been achieved. Fold in the Egg White to the rest of the ingredients until combined. Wet hands and then knead the dough together until a sticky, firm dough has been created. Scoop out 1 Tbsps worth of dough and roll into a ball using damp hands. Press onto baking sheet about 2 inches apart and repeat until all dough has been used up.

4. Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned and firm to the touch. Cool on the tray for a further 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire-rack to cool completely.

 photo WP_20160416_040_e_zpsrlaq55fs.jpgThey, surprisingly, didn’t last long.

Chestnut Flour Crumble

 photo IMGP4090_e_zpskzqdxnnl.jpgThis is a “crumble” as I knew it growing up. Oats never factored in, nor did I ever eat a what some call a crisp. This is a crumble and this is my stand. Now, shush.

Quick recipe time today. I ripped off my Buckwheat Crumble to make this Chestnut one, I also took a little inspiration from an old wheat based recipe too, again mine. I’m now at the stage where I can just pilfer my own recipes. Okay, this is more akin to a coconut flour crumble, than the buckwheat one, by which I mean it’s a bit drier and softer on the underside. In saying that there is a really great taste from the chestnut flour and the juicy berries, blueberries and strawberries, which I can tolerate a little now, soaked into the underside and melded together really well. It’s simple, but I like these single serve recipes. I’ve made this one dairy free and vegan too as I haven’t had a vegan crumble before. I also think that coconut oil may work in my pastry, but it may have to be melted and then added as the oil stayed lumpy in parts and melted completely in others. Like I say, fast and simple. Until next time.

Ingredients

100g Berries, or Other Fruit, of Choice
35g Sugar
35g Ground Almonds
35g Chestnut Flour
35g Coconut Oil, Cold and Chopped

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 175c (Fan).

2. Place the Berries in an oven proof dish. Set aside.

3. In a bowl mix together the Ground Almonds, Chestnut Four, Butter and Sugar. Work together with fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs.

4. Sprinkle Crumb Mixture over the Berries and cook for 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.