Homemade Sourdough Bread recipe

If you are already baking your own bread, like our Simple Loaf recipe, you might feel ready or curious to take your baking to the next level. Sourdough, with its peculiar bitter taste and its all-natural, simple process, is the perfect step to that next level. When I decided to begin my sourdough voyage, I made mine from scratch in ten days, using the process suggested by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, and which I will share with you in this recipe. Continue reading “Homemade Sourdough Bread recipe”

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Pain au Chocolat

It’s chocolate week in the UK this week, and to celebrate we are going for a bit of an elaborate baking recipe here on Blender and Basil. The supreme French pastry, pain au chocolat, also known as chocolatine in the south-west of France, is a wonderful parcel full of chocolatey richness. Certainly, a lot of work is required to achieve an incredibly satisfying result – but take your time and enjoy it as a fun family day and it will be all worth it in the end! With this recipe, taken from The Spruce, we managed to get some fluffy brioche-like pain au chocolat, most of which we stored in the freezer. In that way, we stack them in the oven to warm up as needed, and each time it’s as if they were freshly baked! Continue reading “Pain au Chocolat”

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Five Minutes Chocolate Cake

Back in Italy, the best colazione (breakfast food) to have at home would be a homemade cake shared with the family. True to my origins, I often crave something sweet for breakfast and I get itchy for the next baking mission. This time, I quickly put together some very basic ingredients I had at home and the perfect homemade cake came out with only 5 minutes of preparation and 30 minutes in the oven. This simple chocolate cake will stay perfectly fluffy and spongy for a few days (even if you store it in the fridge). Savour it for breakfast with a cappuccino or with a glass of milk as a snack. Or bring it to that last minute dinner invite! Continue reading “Five Minutes Chocolate Cake”

Sugarless apple, cinnamon and veggie muffins – perfect for babies

To kick start our new category of recipes (due to one of us having a baby who’s now eating solids), we thought we’d share this apple, cinnamon, carrot and courgette muffin. It uses a flour and banana base – the banana’s there to add some extra sweetness. All our baby recipes will be sugar and salt free, and as our baby has cow’s milk allergy, we’re using margarine (Pure, to be specific, as recommended by the GP). This recipe is inspired by the courgette muffin recipe from BBC Good Food.

Also, with our baby recipes, as all mamas are probably running low on time, we’ve gone for the method with the least amount of prep work. In this case, we’re doing as much as possible in the blender. You’ll still get a nice and fluffy texture following these steps!

These make a nice batch of 12 muffins. The prep takes around 5-10 minutes, and it cooks in 25 minutes.

Continue reading “Sugarless apple, cinnamon and veggie muffins – perfect for babies”

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Strawberries and cream cupcakes

It might be a good year or just the wonderful local Turkish shop where I buy my fruit, but this year I had the best strawberries in a while. From mid May till now, I always
have a box in the fridge ready to dig into! Then, when a special co-worker was leaving, she said she likes Victoria sponges, cheese cake and cupcakes. So I decided to bake her a batch of these wonderful cupcakes made with strawberries and ricotta. Strawberries and cream cupcakes are the perfect summer recipe I found in the book Eat Me! By Cookie Girl, a great source of inspiration when I feel like baking something special and getting creative with the decoration! This time I knew I had to decorate the cakes last minute in the office – which is why I did as little preparation as possible and decided to go for a messy look, like in the photos! This will make 12 cupcakes.

Continue reading “Strawberries and cream cupcakes”

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Espresso macarons recipe – a guest post

This is a guest post by Isaac from Baken.

Having a bit of a sweet tooth means that I often find myself taking unintended trips down the dessert aisle at my local supermarket. One observation is the increasing number of “healthy” and “wholesome” desserts, but that is not a surprise given our ever increasing health conscious lifestyles. It’s not all gloom and doom for us sugar tooth fairies though!  Luckily, I have noticed one sugar filled product that is becoming more and more common place. The macaron. The internet is littered with recipes, McDonald’s now serve them around the world and even Tesco is selling them at a very reasonable price.

I am all for making food more accessible and offering more choice but having sampled a lot of these I do feel that they are often very one dimensional with an overpowering sweetness. Compared to the more traditional boutique patisseries such as Ladurée and Pierre Hermé, these “mass market” macarons lack the depth and character I want to be able to associate with such a luxury.

That is why I want to share this espresso macaron recipe, the bitterness of the coffee beans balances out the inevitable sweetness of the macaron shells. The espresso infused ganache not only adds yet another layer of complexity to the flavour but also extra texture to help the dark chocolate bond the two halves of the macaron together. Don’t just take my word for it, go see for yourself below!

Let’s get started! For this recipe we will need:

Ingredients
125ml double Cream

200g dark Chocolate (85% cocoa)
20 – 30g freshly ground coffee beans
15ml coffee extract
1g brown food colouring
125g ground almond
200g icing sugar
50g caster sugar
120g egg white
2g cream of tartar (optional) Continue reading “Espresso macarons recipe – a guest post”