Maple and Oat Scones

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Hey – first let me say something I say quite often: sorry! Sorry for not posting anything for such a long time, sorry for not baking anything in a couple of weeks and sorry for it still taking a week for me to post the bake I did. Let’s just say I’ve been crazy busy.

I do say I’m sorry quite a lot – people often tease me with it or say that I should not say it that often. But it is difficult – it has entered my system haha. And I do truly mean it when I say it – however, I often mean the more kind of ‘ I’m sorry for you/that sucks/that is so unfortunate/I wish I could do something to help/that’s a shame’ and not the ‘ I’m sorry because I am the one to blame’. Nevertheless, this time I am sorry as in I am the one to blame for not posting something in quite a while. I tried to remember very hard what my last post actually was and then I realized it was before easter – BEFORE EASTER. That feels so long ago. I’m sorry. H

Nevertheless, I had a really nice easter weekend – I went and visited my parents in Mildura. And I did actually bake (twice!) something there, together with Nic. We had a dinner on the first night in Mildura and I offered to bake something. One of the children that came for dinner was gluten-free, so there I got a challenge. I searched the web a bit and found this yummy sounding almond and orange cake, but also a yummy sounding almond and apple cake. So what to do? Combining it! So we made a gluten-free almond, orange, lemon and apple (first time, but pear second time) cake. And it turned out to be very delicious! Soon I will make it for my blog as well!

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After the Easter the weekend, the chaos began. I had to work a lot on the cookbook that I am volunteering for which I still enjoy a lot – but it also took a couple of long days of hard work to get it where it is at now. Besides that, I had this big assessment due for my Spatial Design class. We had to design a house of 10 square meters, with everything in it – bathroom, kitchen, dining/living and bedroom – which is a pretty hard challenge. Nevertheless, after a weekend of late nights, stress, stress, stress, freaking out of a stupid model, Google Sketchup, printing a poster, I presented my ‘Mountain House’. My design was a 10 square meter permanent shelter in the mountains for temporary stay for mountain climbers. So happy that that is done – now onto the next assessment.

And of course it stayed busy after – until now – when I have finally found a moment to post up these yummy, delicious, health-ish, high-tea-indulgencing, maple and oat scones. When I was deciding on my bake for the week, I felt like making something a bit less cakey, or sweetish. I was contemplating of going all the way to the savoury side – but scones seemed like a good in between. Besides that, I had never actually made them myself (but have indulged on them in the UK the last time I was there) and I had no reason for never making them (because I really like them, I have made tea biscuits before which are really yummy as well – maybe on my blog sometime soon?), so it was time! I did some research on scone recipes on my good old friends BBC food and BBC Good Food. However, none of the recipes seem to please me enough to get excited to start making them. So I went of my computer, back into real cookbook and got the scones recipe from A Piece of Cake by Leila Lindholm. I planned on making her recipe – but I wanted to change it a bit, so I could create it for my own blog. So I wondered around the internet a bit more and stumbled across the Oat and Maple Syrup Scones from Smitten Kitchen.

So in the end I did what I did with the gluten-free cake as well – I made a recipe which combined both Leila’s recipe and the Smitten Kitchen scones. And well – they turned out pretty delicious. Good as afternoon tea, good for breakfast, good for during a group meeting for a presentation, good with jam, good just by it self, buttery, flaky, yummy.

So no more sorry’s for today – and no more talking 🙂 get your English high tea mood on with a hint of Canadian syrup and enjoy :)!

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Oat and maple scones

Makes about 8 large scones

  • G 80g oats
  • 220g whole wheat flour
  • 150 all-purpose flour
  • 1 very heaped tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 120g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup mil
  • 1 egg and oats for finishing

 

 

  1. JPreheat the oven to 220C and place a sheet of baking paper on a baking sheet
  2. Mix together the oats, flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Dice the butter and mix it with the dry ingredients with your fingertips to make breadcrumbs.
  4. Whisk the egg together with the milk.
  5. Mix the mixtures and the maple syrup and the dry ingredients together to make a stiff dough. Add more flour if the dough is still too sticky and add more milk if you think the dough it too dry. (I had to add some more flour)
  6. Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it out to about 2.5 – 3cm thick. Use a Ebiscuit cutter to cut out eight rounds.
  7. Put them on the baking sheet. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with oats.
  8. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 20 – 25 minutes or until golden.
  9. Serve by themselves, or with jam (and maybe whip cream?) and enjoy :)!

 

 

 

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Let me know what you think? And what is your favourite bake for a high tea?

Breakfast Muffins

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Hello – a sunny morning to you ( okay, maybe not  – the Sydney sky is pretty grey today haha)

5I’m glad it is weekend – although I of course have lots to do this weekend as well. Last week was very busy for me since I had two assignments for my study due and was working on my cookbook volunteering job a lot as well. But oh well – after 1.5 week of not sleeping that much everything got handed in that had to be handed in. And I was quite pleased with my end results. Now onto the next assessment 😉 (yes they never let you take a break haha). But I will make time for breaks and for BREAKfast muffins :)!

I was not sure what I was going to make this week, I had not put much thought in it to be honest since my head was everywhere and nowhere (and my brain was not functioning as it should). However, in the last couple of days I got some inspiration for this weeks bake! Nicolas has to get up very early for his job everyday and does not really have time to make a nice breakfast in the mornings – so I figured I might try to find a bit of a solution (just for the coming week) for that: breakfast muffins! They should be healthy, filling, easy to take, nutritious and tasty! I did some research online and ended up making a whole wheat/oat/banana/hazelnut/dates/coconut/spices/coffee (yes caffeine is needed in the morning) mixture – which turned in muffins after being in the oven. So they are completely butter/oil free and they have no refined sugar (only natural fruit sugars).8The muffins are also whole wheat and whole grain (if you use whole grain oats). They are very filling (good for breakfast!) (and the recipe makes a lot haha), they are also not very sweet – which might be better for breakfast (but you can increase the dates or add some sugar if you want – and I think they will be sweeter with more overripe banana’s – because mine were still quite ‘new’). I did like them a lot – but next time I would put some fruit in them as well – maybe blueberries or apples. In my opinion, the muffins were quite heavy in texture and taste and the only thing breaking away from that were the hazelnuts. They can be frozen (and then taken out the night before you want to have them for breakfast) or just stored in an air-tight container (but make sure you eat them within 4 – 5 days if you don’t freeze them). I hope you like them – but do feel free to experiment with different nuts or the addition of some fruit (dried or fresh)!

3Breakfast muffins

makes 15 big muffins

  • 200g whole wheat flour
  • 200g whole grain oats
  • 100g desiccated coconut
  • 2 tsp ground flaxseed (optional)
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 3.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 150 g roasted and chopped hazelnuts (or other nuts)
  • 1 1/2 cup milk (can be replaced with non-dairy milk – and feel free to add a bit more if the batter is very dry)
  • 1/2 cup cold coffee
  • 3 banana’s (preferably very ripe)
  • 120g dates
  • 2 eggs, divided1
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Roast the hazelnuts for 8 minutes (stir them around after 4 minutes). And line your muffin tin with muffin paper cups. 2
  2. Combine the flour, oats, coconut, flaxseed, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in a big mixing bowl. Chop the cooled hazelnuts into coarse pieces and add them to the dry mixture.
  3. Mash the banana’s into a puree. Process the dates in a food processor with a bit of warm water to make a soft paste. Insert the banana’s and process a little more. 11 10
  4. Add the banana and date mixture to the flour mixture. Add in the milk, coffee and egg yolks. Mix all until well combined. Feel free to add more milk if the texture seems a bit dry. (If you want to add any fruit – I would do it at this stage).
  5. Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks (I recommend using an electric mixer to do this). Fold the egg whites carefully into the batter.
  6. Divide the batter between the muffin cups – you can probably fill up more than 15 muffins if you prefer smaller muffins.
  7. Bake the muffins for 25 – 30 minutes in the oven. But check them every now and then. If a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean and not very wet, they should be done. If you are not sure, take one muffin and break it open. The inside should be moist but dry – so not looking like batter any more. Leave them in the tin for 5 minutes before taking them out. They can be enjoyed warm or cold! I hope you like them!

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Almond and lemon biscotti

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Two posts in one week – woah! (Okay, okay, I did delay my post from last week with a week, so really it is not that impressive haha). Today in Sydney was a very gloomy, rainy and cold day. So after my lecture this morning and a meeting for the cookbook which I am working on, I got home and felt like crawling into bed, drinking tea, sleeping – but most of all: baking! And can you come up with anything better to do on a rainy day?! (Even if you can – baking is probably still a very good option!). IMG_1592I had been thinking over the last week what I wanted to make and decided that I do not often make cookies. Why? I do not know. It’s not that I dislike cookies, not at all, maybe it is just that I have made more muffins and cakes in my life so I am more able to adapt them while baking.

But this week – a challenge – cookies, and not just any cookies that I made before. No. This week I was going to make a kind of cookie I had never made before: biscotti. It is funny to discover how much more research I do into different recipes for the same baked good since I have started this blog (yes, I only want to give you the very best 😉 ). I used to always just google, often ended up on the BBC Food website, or just look in a cookbook, and as soon as I found a recipe for the thing I felt like making I would go with it. But not this week. I think I have probably looked at, hmmm let me think, 8 recipes for biscotti? Maybe even more – my brain is one big biscotti by now haha. I look at the BBC Good Food website, BBC Food, Smitten Kitchen, a cookbook that I owe (called ‘A Piece of Cake’) and lots more. They all used different amounts of sugar, flour, and other ingredients. I was really surprised by the fact that biscotti are made without butter – the things you learn from having a baking blog! Some were made with cranberries, others with hazelnut – I even found one with chocolate and OLIVE (okay – I HAVE to try that sometime – I just need to know if that combination actually works haha). But I decided to go for the more traditional one – almond and lemon (and a hint of cinnamon of course). Today was the perfect day for biscotti’s – in the middle of my crazy, busy, intense weeks (yes to bake is to have a break (and I needed one)), on a rainy, gloomy day – and they pair very well with either coffee or tea. I will stop rambling now. And just give you the recipe. Okay – one more thing – prepare yourself, your hands will get dirty, but it is worth every little bit (and it is actually quite relaxing, dirty hands and baking :)). I hope you like them – enjoy! Let me know what you think!

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IMG_1594 copyAlmond and lemon biscotti

  • 125g whole wheat flour
  • 175g all-purpose flour
  • 130g almonds, chopped and roasted*
  • 150g brown caster sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 3 eggs

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  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. And line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. Combine the flour, almonds, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and the zest of the lemons in a big bowl. Mix until combined
  3. Add the eggs in and let the dirty-hand-stage begin.IMG_1583 copyMake the mixture into a dough – you might need to add a little more flour if your dough still seems very sticky (mine was a little sticky, so I added some flour). Once your dough has come together, shape it into 2
  4. IMG_1585logs and place them on thebaking sheet. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes in the oven, until they are lightly browned. Cut one of them through the middle to make sure that they are dry inside.
  5. Transfer them to a cutting board and let them cool slightly.
  6. Cut the two logs at an angle into 1 cm slices. Return the slices to the baking sheet.
  7. Place them back in the oven voor 10 minutes, then turn the slices over, and bake them on the other side for another 8 – 10 minutes, or until they are golden brown. IMG_1586 copy
  8. Transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely (or eat them while they are still a little warm if you cannot wait). Enjoy them with coffee, tea, hot chocolate or just by themselves :)! If stored in an airtight container, they should keep up to at least 3 weeks.

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*Toast the chopped almonds for 5 minutes in the preheated oven, but let them cool a bit before you start making the dough – you do not want to burn your fingers on hot nuts :)!

 

 

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Banana And Coconut Bread

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There are not many things I do not like. Especially when it comes to fruit and vegetables. Sometimes I feel I can been seen as ‘fuzzy’ with food, since I am a vegetarian – but really, besides that, I would not say I am very difficult. However, there are of course I few things I do really dislike, raisins for example (so you will not find a recipe with raisins here – sorry to the raisin lovers), and even though I have a love for chocolate, chocolate and orange is a no-go combination for me! Banana’s are a fruit I do not strongly dislike, but I also do not really like to eat just by themselves. In my year living on my own I have never bought banana’s. So when I was in Canada last year and they decided to make banana bread as a lovely treat, I was a little apprehensive. I had eaten banana bread before, but was not jumping to have it again. But this banana bread changed my views on banana breads haha. Maybe because it also included coconut? Which gives it a lovely texture and just that little extra to lift it up. So, for the first time living out of home, I bought banana’s. Purely so I could make banana bread, and put the recipe up here, to share with you.2

After my brownies from next week, I decided to go for a bit more healthy bake this week. I have been following Solveig’s blog ‘Gluten-Free-Vegan-Girl’ for quite a bit now. She has a very inspirational blog on vegan food, but she also does not use refined sugar or oil (she does use coconut butter) in any of her recipes. I use her blog more as inspiration and to adapt my recipes sometimes, to make them a little healthier or to try something vegan. I have not been convinced by the gluten free trend yet, but I think leaving gluten out sometimes definitely cannot be bad (so maybe a gluten-free recipe will be up soon(ish)?). I used her recipe for Basic Gluten-free Vegan Banana Bread as a guideline to change some aspects of the original recipe. So after reassembling the recipe, today after my long day at the university I NEEDED a break – so why not bake (haha it even rhymes!)?! I mashed my defrosted banana’s, added dates, flour, spices, and coconut. After that, I popped it in the oven, and soon the house started to smell really nice. I took it out of the oven maybe slightly to early – another 10 minutes would have been nice. Nevertheless, it was very nice, moist, coconutty banana bread. So here is my adapted version of the delicious Banana and coconut bread I had in Canada. Let me know what you think! 3

Banana and coconut bread

  • 4 medium size frozen banana’s (defrosted) or very overripe banana’s*
  • 1 cup dates
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1/4 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  •  2 cups flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat and 1 all-purpose)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup dried shredded coconut (desiccated)
  1. Preheat the oven to 175C. Grease the tin you want to use for your banana bread – I used a round one, but any will do!
  2. If your dates are a bit hard, soak them in hot water for 5 minutes.
  3. Mash the banana’s (and their liquid if you are using defrosted ones), until they are quite smooth. Don’t worry if you still have some lumps!
  4. Put the dates into a food processor, and blend them until they form a paste (you might need to add some of the soaking liquid to make it a little smoother). Add the date paste to the banana’s and whisk until well combined. 6
  5. Add the white wine vinegar to the mixture and give it a quick whisk.
  6. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon to the banana mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Add half of the milk, stir until combined, then add the other half.4
  7. Now you can add the coconut to your batter, just simply stir it in.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan you are using and but it in the oven. Make sure you check every once in a while with a small knife or skewer. You want the skewer to come out clean, the bread to look a golden-brown and the bread to become loose at the edges of the tin. It should take about 50 – 60 minutes.1 If the top is burning before the inside is ready, place some tin foil over the top – that will prevent it from burning.
  9. After your banana bread is done, let it sit (out of the oven) for 10 minutes before transferring unto a cooling rack. Then simply cut yourself a piece and enjoy :)!

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* To freeze bananas, choose overripe fruit (freezing is an excellent way of storing overripe bananas). Peel them and cut into larger chunks. Freeze overnight on a tray or in a container. Once frozen, transfer to a plastic bag, seal and freeze for up to 1 month. Place in a bowl to defrost at room temperature, and save the juices.

Sweet Potato Muffins

Happy Thursday!

Sweet potato muffins

Finally, I managed to persuade myself just to go with my new header, or my new blog in general. I have been wanting to start a baking blog (with the occasional dinner/lunch) for quite a while. Let me introduce myself first, before I start talking too much about other things. My name is Julia. I am nineteen years old and a student in Sydney, where I moved about a year ago. I grew up in Amsterdam, but decided to do my degree somewhere else. So here I am, in Sydney. I am studying Design (just started my second year) and have a passion for Graphic Design so I hope to get into that field later on. That is also why I spend quite a lot of time making a header, or making several ones, because I like to do things like that. But studying can be quite stressful (especially if you know me haha), so I like to bake things from time to time to relax. Muffins, cakes, pies, tarts, macaroons (never done those…so maybe soon?), and lots more! I am always changing recipes I use, so I would like to have a way of remembering my changes besides having a way to share my love for baking and my recipes so that you can enjoy these bakes as well! I often aim for a bit healthier options, but that doesn’t mean that they should taste horrible (or that I won’t make ‘not-so-healthy-things’ every now and then). I am also a vegetarian, just so you know, not that it influences bakes much. Photography is another thing I enjoy doing, so I figured by doing a blog I can experiment a bit with that as well! Oh well, what else can I tell you about me? I just got back from a big trip to Canada, Amsterdam and the UK to visit family and (family) friends, which was very nice!

Enough about me for now, maybe later more, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask!

IMG_1182So for my first bake, I decided to make something with sweet potatoes. I had a lot spare, and figured that it would probably work in a muffin, just like pumpkin is sometimes used. And it did! I looked up a recipe for pumpkin muffins and took these ‘Whole Wheat Pumpkin Oat Muffins‘ by Karen Troughton. IMG_1149 Instead of the pumpkin, I cooked some sweet potato and made it into a puree (you can either do this by hand or with a food processor, and you can add some water to make it a little smoother). I also reduced the amount of sugar a bit, and only used brown sugar. And, since I have a love for cinnamon (a reason for my blog name), I increased the amount of cinnamon. It was still experimenting, but the muffins turned out to be quite moist, flavoursome and not too sweet (which I like, but you can increase the amount of sugar if you rather have them a bit sweeter). Well not much more to say than just to give you the recipe 🙂 Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

  • 1 cup sweet potato puree
  • (a bit less than) 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk*
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats + 2 tablespoons for topping
  • 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking sodaIMG_1154
  • 2 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon**
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  1. Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease a 12-muffin-tin or line the tins with muffin paper cups.
  2. Combine the sweet potato with the brown sugar in a large bowl and whisk until well mixed. Add in the egg, whisk, add the buttermilk and whisk until combined.
  3. Add the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.IMG_1160
  4. Divide the batter among the 12 muffins and sprinkle the tops with the 2 tablespoons of oats. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. (I recommend checking after 10 – 15 minutes, and going from there, but my oven is quite unpredictable and temperamental)
  5. When the muffins are done, let them rest for 10 minutes in the tins before taking them out. They are very nice warm, but can definitely also be eaten cold!

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*Buttermilk can be replaced very easily by stirring 1 tablespoon of lemon or white wine vinegar into 1 cup of milk (can be plant-based milk as well) and letting it sit for 10 minutes.

**You can alter the amount of spices to your taste, of course 🙂