Sourdough Pumpkin Bread (Vegan)

Having recently revived my sourdough starter, my collection of sourdough discard has started up again. Since it’s the spooky season (a.k.a October), it only felt appropriate to make a vegan pumpkin bread version of my sourdough banana bread!! Using homemade pumpkin puree I had planned on doing this a few weeks ago but found I there was NO CANNED PUMPKIN PUREE in stock anywhere near me & ordering it online would’ve cost £3 a tin! Who’s buying up all the canned pumpkin!? Anywho, I’m no stranger to making my own purees so I went ahead and bought a cooking pumpkin, cut it in half & roasted for an hour then scooped the flesh out & blended it up to make some puree. However I found that this homemade puree was much more watery than the canned puree so the loaf turned out gummy and crumbly. An intense few weeks of shoots got in the way but this week I got round to retesting it with homemade pumpkin puree which I strained in a cheesecloth-lined strainer set over a bowl for 3 hours. I also gathered up the edges of the cheesecloth after this time and gently squeezed until no more […]

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sourdough pumpkin bread sliced with a cup of tea

Having recently revived my sourdough starter, my collection of sourdough discard has started up again. Since it’s the spooky season (a.k.a October), it only felt appropriate to make a vegan pumpkin bread version of my sourdough banana bread!!

a loaf of vegan sourdough pumpkin bread with tea being poured and winter squash

Using homemade pumpkin puree

I had planned on doing this a few weeks ago but found I there was NO CANNED PUMPKIN PUREE in stock anywhere near me & ordering it online would’ve cost £3 a tin! Who’s buying up all the canned pumpkin!? Anywho, I’m no stranger to making my own purees so I went ahead and bought a cooking pumpkin, cut it in half & roasted for an hour then scooped the flesh out & blended it up to make some puree. However I found that this homemade puree was much more watery than the canned puree so the loaf turned out gummy and crumbly.

An intense few weeks of shoots got in the way but this week I got round to retesting it with homemade pumpkin puree which I strained in a cheesecloth-lined strainer set over a bowl for 3 hours. I also gathered up the edges of the cheesecloth after this time and gently squeezed until no more water was coming out. This resulted in a texture which was much more like the canned pumpkin puree I buy. I tried it in a loaf and it worked a treat!!

a sliced sourdough pumpkin loaf on a plate with a cup of tea

Luckily, I’d had a conversation with someone on my IG DMs about converting my banana bread into a a pumpkin bread (shout out to Kelsey!!). She actually tested the recipe too – telling me her changes of increasing the sugar slightly & lowering the pumpkin slightly – and declared it a success 🙂 I’ve made it both with 150g sugar and 200g sugar and they both work out so it’s up to you and your preferred level of sweetness.

As well as these changes, I made a custom pumpkin spice blend for the cake with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves & ginger for that Autumnal flavour. As I had some oranges to hand, I grated in some zest too as I always find it helps to round out the spices in things like carrot cakes & pumpkin breads. This is such a delicious, soft loaf and is VERY moreish. Perfect for a cuppa as an afternoon snack!

Other sourdough discard recipes

Sourdough Pumpkin Bread (Vegan)

Sourdough Pumpkin Bread (Vegan)

Yield: 1 loaf (serves 12)

A warmly spiced vegan pumpkin bread which uses sourdough discard!

Ingredients

  • 200g (3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp) pumpkin puree* (SEE NOTES if using homemade)
  • 150g (3/4 cup) to 200g (1 cup) light brown sugar*
  • 90g (1/3 cup + 2 tsp) neutral oil or light olive oil
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • zest of 1 orange, finely grated
  • 1/4 tsp fine table salt
  • 150g (3/4 cup) sourdough starter/discard (100% hydration)
  • 120g (1 cup) plain white (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

Topping (optional):

  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp pumpkin seeds/pepitas

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan (350°F). Grease a 2lb loaf tin with some oil and line with a sling of baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, sugar, oil, spices, orange zest and salt until smooth. Stir in the sourdough starter. Lastly, add the flour and bicarbonate of soda. Fold together until just combined.
  3. Pour the batter into your lined loaf tin. Sprinkle with the topping of light brown sugar and pumpkin seeds, if using.
  4. Bake for 55-70 minutes - a toothpick inserted into the centre should come out clean. If the loaf looks like it's browning too much but is not cooked through yet, tent the top with foil for the last 20 minutes of baking.
  5. Allow to cool before removing from the tin, slicing & serving.

Notes

Adapted from my Sourdough Banana Bread (vegan)

Amount of sugar: use 150g for a slightly less sweet loaf or 200g if you prefer things sweeter

If using homemade pumpkin puree: it is essential that your pumpkin puree is drained before weighing & using in this recipe. To do this, line a sieve (mesh strainer) set over a bowl with 2 layers of cheesecloth. Fill with your homemade pumpkin puree and leave to drain for 2-3 hours. After this time, gather up the edges of the cheesecloth and twist together at the top. Gently squeeze the bundle of puree to remove any last bit of water - don't squeeze too hard or the puree may start to seep through the cheesecloth! The texture should be very thick just like canned pumpkin puree. You can now measure it out and use it in the recipe.

To make homemade pumpkin puree: cut your pumpkin in half. Place cut side down on a baking tray and roast at 180C fan (350F) for 1-2 hours until completely soft. Remove from the oven, flip over and scoop out the seeds then discard them. Scoop the flesh into a blender/food processor/bowl with sitck blender, discard the skin. Blitz the flesh until smooth then drain as instructed above.

What is 100% hydration sourdough starter? This means that when feeding your starter, you're using an equal weight of flour & water (e.g. feeding it with 50g flour & 50g water each time).

Non-Vegan option: use 100g butter, melted, in place of the oil.

Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

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Caramelised Banana Buckwheat Bread

Thanks to Doves Farm for sponsoring this post. Doves Farm has a new feel-good, colourful look, which celebrates the joy of home baking. To celebrate this, I’m sharing 2 of my favourite feel-good recipes. Banana bread must be one of the most well-loved things to bake in the UK! It’s not surprising though as it’s such a simple thing to make and uses up those brown bananas from the fruit bowl or freezer. When I was growing up my mum would bake a simple banana bread, often with walnuts and demerara sugar on top for crunch. We’d eat slices of it with cream cheese as a comforting afternoon snack. It’s such a classic, easy bake which everyone loves, which makes it ideal as a feel-good gift for friends and family. Over the years I’ve made many iterations of banana bread. One of my favourite little twists to do is to swap out a portion of the plain flour for Doves Farm organic wholemeal buckwheat flour. I find this makes for a very tender, light banana bread with a nutty, earthy flavour which goes so well with the sweetness of the bananas. Due to the lack of gluten in buckwheat flour, […]

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Thanks to Doves Farm for sponsoring this post. Doves Farm has a new feel-good, colourful look, which celebrates the joy of home baking. To celebrate this, I’m sharing 2 of my favourite feel-good recipes.

Banana bread must be one of the most well-loved things to bake in the UK! It’s not surprising though as it’s such a simple thing to make and uses up those brown bananas from the fruit bowl or freezer. When I was growing up my mum would bake a simple banana bread, often with walnuts and demerara sugar on top for crunch. We’d eat slices of it with cream cheese as a comforting afternoon snack. It’s such a classic, easy bake which everyone loves, which makes it ideal as a feel-good gift for friends and family.

Over the years I’ve made many iterations of banana bread. One of my favourite little twists to do is to swap out a portion of the plain flour for Doves Farm organic wholemeal buckwheat flour. I find this makes for a very tender, light banana bread with a nutty, earthy flavour which goes so well with the sweetness of the bananas. Due to the lack of gluten in buckwheat flour, I like to combine it with a small amount of plain white flour to help the loaf hold together well.

This batter is super easy to blend up so takes little time to prep. I use really ripe, frozen bananas which I’ve let defrost at room temp until they’re completely soft. They usually seep some liquid when this happens so make sure they’re in a shallow bowl of some kind as you don’t want to lose any of that moisture!

I sprinkled some buckwheat groats onto the cake batter before baking which crisp up in the oven for an easy, crunchy topping to the cake – delicious but optional! You can always replace the buckwheat groat sprinkle with some roughly chopped walnuts or pecans.

Stockists for Doves Farm Organic Wholemeal Buckwheat Flour are Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose & Partners, dovesfarm.co.uk


Caramelised Banana Buckwheat Bread

Yield: serves 12-16

A vegan caramelised banana loaf cake made with nutty buckwheat flour & topped with crispy crunchy buckwheat groats

Ingredients

Banana Buckwheat Batter:

Caramelised bananas:

  • 1 or 2 small, ripe bananas
  • 30g (2 tbsp) unsalted butter or vegan butter
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp buckwheat groats, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan (350°F). Grease and line an 8-inch square cake tin or a 2lb loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. Place the overripe bananas, sugar, oil, salt and cloves into a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth (or alternatively use a stick blender in a large bowl to blitz together). Add the flours and bicarbonate of soda and blend again to combine.
  3. Pour the batter into your prepared cake tin and set aside.

For the caramelised bananas:

  1. Peel your 1 or 2 ripe bananas (I like to use 1 if I’m making a loaf cake or 2 if I’m baking a square cake) and slice in half down their length.
  2. Heat the butter, maple syrup and cinnamon in a medium non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Once the butter has fully melted, add the bananas cut side-down into the frying pan. Fry for a couple of minutes until the undersides start to get a bit golden.
  3. Gently lift the bananas from the pan, taking care not to touch the hot caramel. Place them, cut side-up onto the cake batter. Drizzle over any remaining caramel from the pan then sprinkle on the buckwheat groats (if using).
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes (if baking in a square tin) or 50-60
    minutes (if baking in a loaf tin)
    until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

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Walnut Whip Cake

Thanks to Doves Farm for sponsoring this post. Doves Farm has a new feel-good, colourful look, which celebrates the joy of home baking. To celebrate this, I’m sharing 2 of my favourite feel-good recipes. As I’ve been stuck at home in London since March, a trip to visit my boyfriend’s family in Hampshire this weekend will be a welcome change! I made this cake, inspired by the Walnut Whip, for my boyfriend’s mum’s birthday to bring along too – I’m always travelling with cake or cookies (or even sometimes cookie dough) for celebrations. I started with a classic Victoria sponge cake base but swapped in some ground walnuts for added texture & flavour. The remaining sponge is just butter, eggs, sugar and self-raising flour! Super simple to make! I used Doves Farm Organic Self-Raising White Flour in the sponge which simplifies things (no need to add raising agent) but also, I find, makes the cakes extra light and soft. A little extra tip I’ve recently discovered is that when making vegan cakes, using self-raising flour will really help you get the fluffiest texture (which can sometimes be lacking in vegan cakes). I love using Doves Farm flour range for baking […]

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walnut whip cake on pink cloth

Thanks to Doves Farm for sponsoring this post. Doves Farm has a new feel-good, colourful look, which celebrates the joy of home baking. To celebrate this, I’m sharing 2 of my favourite feel-good recipes.

As I’ve been stuck at home in London since March, a trip to visit my boyfriend’s family in Hampshire this weekend will be a welcome change! I made this cake, inspired by the Walnut Whip, for my boyfriend’s mum’s birthday to bring along too – I’m always travelling with cake or cookies (or even sometimes cookie dough) for celebrations.

I started with a classic Victoria sponge cake base but swapped in some ground walnuts for added texture & flavour. The remaining sponge is just butter, eggs, sugar and self-raising flour! Super simple to make! I used Doves Farm Organic Self-Raising White Flour in the sponge which simplifies things (no need to add raising agent) but also, I find, makes the cakes extra light and soft. A little extra tip I’ve recently discovered is that when making vegan cakes, using self-raising flour will really help you get the fluffiest texture (which can sometimes be lacking in vegan cakes).

2 slices of walnut whip cake on pink cloth

I love using Doves Farm flour range for baking with as I know it’s easy to get (the self-raising flour is available from Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Tesco & dovesfarm.co.uk) and is always high quality. They’re my go-to when I need to get a specific type of flour (e.g. pasta flour, buckwheat flour or rye flour) as they have 20 different flours in their range! And since I bake *quite* a lot with all types of flours, they’ve been a staple in my baking cupboard for years.

sliced walnut whip cake with one piece on a plate

For the filling and drip-glaze on the cake, I went for a milk chocolate ganache. You only need to make one bowl of ganache – some you leave at room temp so it remains pourable. The rest you chill so it firms up and then whisk until it’s light and fluffy for sandwiching the cake layers together.

The last element is the outer frosting – a vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream – which basically tastes like eating a cloudy marshmallow with a hint of buttery richness to it. Just perfect for this cake! I even used some of the leftover buttercream to pipe little rosettes on top of the cake and topped each one with a walnut. I love cute, simple ways to decorate cakes like that.

Hope you give it a go and happy baking.

Stockists for Doves Farm Organic Self-Raising Flour – Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Tesco, & dovesfarm.co.uk

Walnut Whip Cake

Walnut Whip Cake

Yield: serves 8-12

Ingredients

Walnut cake:

Chocolate ganache:

  • 200g milk chocolate
  • 200ml double cream

Vanilla swiss meringue buttercream:

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 110g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 160g unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or vanilla extract
  • Pinch fine grain salt

Instructions

For the walnut cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) fan. Grease and line three
    6-inch round cake tins. If they’re loose-based tins, place them onto a couple of baking sheets.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between additions.
  3. Pulse the walnuts in a food processor or blender until they break down into a fine mealy texture (like ground almonds).
  4. Add the ground walnuts, Doves Farm Self-Raising Flour and salt to the bowl. Fold together until no floury patches remain.
  5. Divide the batter between the 3 cake tins evenly and spread out in the tins evenly.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cakes spring back when poked (or when a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean).
  7. Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before running a butter knife around the edge to loosen and tipping them out of the tins to a wire rack so they can cool completely.
  8. Once completely cool, use a serrated knife to remove any domed tops on the cake layers so they are level. Remember to remove the circle of baking paper from the bottom of each layer as well.

For the chocolate ganache:

  1. Chop the milk chocolate up into small pieces and place into a heatproof bowl.
  2. Heat the cream in a small pot until gently steaming then remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate in the bowl. Ensure all the chocolate is submerged in the cream and set aside for 5 minutes. Once the 5 minutes is up, stir together until smooth.
  3. Remove about 100ml (a scant 1/2 cup) of the ganache and set aside at room temperature.
  4. Chill the remaining ganache for 45-60 minutes until it is
    completely cool and starting to thicken. Use an electric whisk (either a stand mixer or a hand held whisk) to whip the ganache until pale and fluffy.

For the vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream:

  1. Place the egg whites and sugar in a large, heatproof bowl. Set over a small pan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn't touching the water, and stir often. We want the sugar to dissolve and the whole mixture to warm up. Keep stirring until the mixture measures  71°C(160°F) on a kitchen thermometer.
  2. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk until very thick, pale and completely cooled to room temperature (you can do this in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or you can do this with handheld electric beaters).
  3. Once completely cool you can start adding the butter. It's important you do this very gradually and that the butter is soft so that the mixture can emulsify properly.
  4. With the mixer running on a medium speed, add the butter one or two cubes at a time, allowing them to become completely mixed in before
    adding a couple more butter cubes. Continue like this until all the butter has been added. It may look like the mixture is starting to curdle before you've added all the butter but this is normal, just keep whipping.
  5. Mix in the salt and vanilla then set this SMBC aside at room temperature.

To assemble:

  1. Take one cooled cake layer and place onto a serving plate. Place half of the whipped ganache on top. Spread it out so it covers the top of the cake layer evenly.
  2. Top with the second cooled cake layer and another layer of whipped ganache. Finally, top with the third cake layer.
  3. Using about 1/3 of the Swiss meringue buttercream, thinly frost the top and sides of the cake then chill for 10 minutes so the layer can firm up. This is called the crumb coat.
  4. After the cake has chilled, use the remaining Swiss meringue buttercream to frost the top and sides of the cake again, this time with a thicker layer of buttercream. You can reserve a bit of it if you’d like for piping rosettes on top of the cake like I did.
  5. Grab that reserved ganache from earlier – the portion at room temp which should be cooled and slightly thickened but pourable. If it’s not liquid-y enough to pour, just warm it over a pan of simmering water gently until it loosens up a bit.
  6. Pour this ganache over the top of the cake and gently coax it towards the edges so it can drip decoratively down the sides.
  7. If you reserved any Swiss meringue buttercream, pop it into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and pipe 8 rosettes on the top of the cake. Top each one with a walnut. Chill the cake until the ganache has firmed
    up properly then serve.






Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

The post Walnut Whip Cake appeared first on Izy Hossack - Top With Cinnamon.

Blueberry Muffins – Baking Basics

My mum (who’s American) was the blueberry muffin baker in our house. She’d sometimes make that internet-famous ‘Jordan Marsh from scratch’ recipe for weekend breakfasts and – between the 4 of us – the whole dozen would inevitably be gone by Sunday afternoon. She taught me how to make them as well and through my own trials and internet reading, I’ve come up with my best blueberry muffin: soft & fluffy (not tough), not too sweet & packed with blueberries but not soggy!!! I’ve got a few secret ingredients up my sleeve too which make these taste SO blueberry-y (almost like a Starbucks muffin?!). Lastly, they’ve gotta have the crunchy cinnamon-sugar on top (DUH!) – fun fact, that’s the reason my site is called Top with Cinnamon – it’s because I loved the cinnamon topping on blueberry muffins (and coffee) so much. My secret ingredients for these blueberry muffins: This muffin recipe contains all the usual suspects – plain flour, butter, eggs & granulated sugar. I use baking powder & soda to leaven them but you can just use self-raising flour instead if that’s what you’ve got. I make them without vanilla extract as I find it redundant when using […]

The post Blueberry Muffins – Baking Basics appeared first on Izy Hossack – Top With Cinnamon.

a halved bluebery muffin

My mum (who’s American) was the blueberry muffin baker in our house. She’d sometimes make that internet-famous ‘Jordan Marsh from scratch’ recipe for weekend breakfasts and – between the 4 of us – the whole dozen would inevitably be gone by Sunday afternoon. She taught me how to make them as well and through my own trials and internet reading, I’ve come up with my best blueberry muffin: soft & fluffy (not tough), not too sweet & packed with blueberries but not soggy!!!

I’ve got a few secret ingredients up my sleeve too which make these taste SO blueberry-y (almost like a Starbucks muffin?!). Lastly, they’ve gotta have the crunchy cinnamon-sugar on top (DUH!) – fun fact, that’s the reason my site is called Top with Cinnamon – it’s because I loved the cinnamon topping on blueberry muffins (and coffee) so much.

a halved blueberry muffin on a plate and some whole blueberry muffins on the side

My secret ingredients for these blueberry muffins:

This muffin recipe contains all the usual suspects – plain flour, butter, eggs & granulated sugar. I use baking powder & soda to leaven them but you can just use self-raising flour instead if that’s what you’ve got. I make them without vanilla extract as I find it redundant when using my secret flavour boosting ingredients (however if you’re not adding the secret ingredients, you can whack 1 tsp of vanilla extract in the batter!).

I use a couple of secret ingredients which really enhance flavour of the muffins (but which can also be easily replaced, although the substitutes just won’t give as much flavour).

  1. My first flavour enhancer is frozen wild blueberries – I know these are common in America but in the UK I’ve only just discovered them. I’ve seen them in Whole Foods (so only available if you’re in London) but have found out that Picard (a French frozen food brand) sells them on Ocado (the supermarket delivery service). Anyway, wild blueberries are smaller, so you can pack more into each muffin, and they have a more concentrated flavour. If you can’t get them, just go for standard frozen blueberries which will also be delicious.
  2. My second special ingredient is blueberry yoghurt – It’s only a small amount of yoghurt in these (100g) so you don’t get TOO much blueberry flavour but I find that this really is the KEY to adding the most blueberry-y flavour in an easy way. It happens because the yoghurt contains a natural blueberry flavour extract so, when stirred into the batter, it really boosts these muffins to the next level. I’ve used Liberté blueberry yoghurt (it’s a 0% fat one, but works perfectly here) in mine. If you can’t get blueberry yoghurt, go for a plain yoghurt, sour cream or even buttermilk.
  3. My last special ingredient is ground coriander seed – I found this trick via Stella Parks on Serious Eats and also from the River Cottage. The flavour of the coriander seed enhances the flavour compound found in blueberries. That’s some cool food science for ya! If you’re not keen, just leave it out!

Fresh or frozen blueberries – which is better?

I always opt for frozen blueberries when baking muffins. You need to mix them into the batter still frozen (so DON’T thaw them!). I like frozen ones for a few different reasons:

  1. Frozen blueberries are a LOT cheaper in the UK than fresh ones. I know this may not be the case in some places so go with what fits your budget better. You can always freeze the fresh blueberries.
  2. Frozen are great quality all year round. They’re usually harvested in season and then frozen and stored for months so you get a great flavour from them.
  3. They mix into the batter a lot more easily. The frozen bluebs hold up to the mixing motion so they don’t all get smushed when you stir up the batter.

Now all that said, you CAN use fresh blueberries in your muffins. You just need to follow the directions in the heading below.

How do you stop the blueberries bleeding when mixing into the batter?

A lot of the time when you’re stirring blueberries into batter, they’ll ‘bleed’ causing the batter to discolour and turn purpley-blue. You can remedy this by tossing the blueberries in a bit of flour before mixing them in and ALSO by stirring gently. Using frozen blueberries helps too as they’re less likely to squish when stirred. However’ I’ve found that even if they do bleed when mixing, the purple batter will usually revert back to a cake-y colour once baked so don’t panic if your batter turns blue!

How do you stop the blueberries sinking?

A common myth is to toss the blueberries in flour to stop them sinking. This doesn’t actually work, it mainly prevents them bleeding into the batter (see above). To prevent them sinking you need to have a thick batter (like this recipe)! And/or layer your blueberries into the batter instead of mixing them in – to do this, half fill the muffin cups with batter, sprinkle on half the blueberries, top with remaining batter and finally remaining blueberries.

a whole blueberry muffin

Ingredient substitutions

  • If you want to make these with self raising flour: replace the full weight/volume of plain flour with self raising flour. Do not add the baking powder/baking soda.
  • If you want to make these without yoghurt you can use milk (cow’s or non-dairy) with 1 tsp of vinegar added so it can curdle before using it in the batter.
  • If you don’t have frozen blueberries (only fresh): don’t fold the fresh blueberries into the batter – the batter is THICK and if you try this, the fresh blueberries will end up smashed. Instead, half-fill each muffin case with the plain batter. Sprinkle half your blueberries over the batter in the cups. Top with the remaining batter and sprinkle with the remaining blueberries, pressing them down slightly into the muffin batter.
  • If you want to use vegetable oil or coconut oil: instead of the butter, use 100g (3.5 ounces) of melted virgin coconut oil or vegetable oil. You’ll also need to add an extra tablespoon of water to the muffin batter.
  • If you want to use oats: oats can add a nice texture to these muffins. To use them here, replace 60g (1/2 cup) of the plain flour with 40g (1/2 cup) rolled oats.

Are these vegan/can they be veganised?

Whilst this muffin recipe isn’t vegan (it contains eggs & dairy) you can easily veganise it. Replace the butter with melted vegan block butter. Replace the yoghurt with a soy-based, dairy-free yoghurt. Replace the eggs with 2 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 6 tbsp hot water, mixed in a small bowl and left until gelatinous, before adding to the batter.

Storing/freezing blueberry muffins:

You can store blueberry muffins at room temperature overnight – they’ll last like this for up to 4 days. Just keep them in an airtight tupperware box and they’ll stay moist & delicious. You can even warm them up in the oven (180C/350F for 5 minutes) or microwave if you prefer.

As for freezing them, just pop them into a resealable sandwich bag and freeze for up to 3 months. You’ll want to let them defrost at room temperature overnight before eating, though.

Other muffin recipes:

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

Yield: 9 muffins
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

These blueberry muffins couldn't get any easier! A simple batter to mix up by hand to make moist & fluffy muffins, packed with blueberry flavour (just like Starbucks!).

Ingredients

  • 230g (2 cups minus 1 tbsp) plain white flour (all-purpose flour)
  • 160g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1/2 tsp fine table salt
  • 115g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 100g (1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp) blueberry yoghurt (or plain yoghurt if you can't get blueberry)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 200g (1 3/4 cups) frozen blueberries, preferably wild

Sugar topping:

  • 2 tbsp caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) fan. Line a standard muffin tin with 9 paper muffin liners.
  2. Place the flour, sugar, coriander seed, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Stir with a whisk to combine.
  3. Pour in the melted butter and stir with the whisk until the mixture becomes too clumpy to stir. Then use your fingertips to rub the butter into the dry ingredients until you have a sandy mixture with a crumbly texture (try to break up any large clumps of mixture).
  4. In a medium bowl whisk the yoghurt, water and eggs together until smooth. Pour this into the crumbly mixture in your large bowl. Stir together well until combined (try to make sure there are no large clumps of the sandy mixture remaining). The batter should be quite thick!
  5. Add the frozen blueberries and fold into the batter. They will most likely bleed and make the batter turn purple but this is absolutely fine! Just try not to smash up the blueberries as you fold.
  6. Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Mix the caster sugar & ground cinnamon together in a small bowl and sprinkle the mixture over the top of each muffin. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cracked on top - a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin should come out without any batter attached to it (but will probably have some blueberry juice on there).
  7. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before eating.
  8. To store: keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days. To freeze, pop into a resealable sandwich bag and freeze for up to 4 months, letting them defrost overnight at room temp before eating.

Notes

No butter? use 100g vegetable oil or melted coconut oil instead and add an extra tablespoon of water to the batter

No baking powder/soda? Use self-raising flour instead of the plain flour

No yoghurt? Use buttermilk or sour cream instead. If you don't have those either, use an equal amount of milk mixed with 1 tsp vinegar and let it sit until curdled before adding to the batter.

Vegan: use melted vegan butter, use a soy-based yoghurt & use 2 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 6 tbsp hot water instead of the eggs.

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Tahini Caramel Apple Tart

I’ve been thinking about this French Apple Tart ever since I saw Ina make it – I’m usually not a tart kind of person because lining a pastry tin is not my idea of fun, but this recipe is SO simple, there’s no faffing around. You roll out a flaky pastry into a rectangle, top with sliced apples and sugar and bake. Now, Ina brushes the apples with an apricot jam glaze (a trick my mum always uses too) but I opted for a tahini caramel sauce instead – drizzled over the tart whilst still warm. It’s a little bit nutty and isn’t too sweet but if you’re daunted by caramel making you can always stick with the jam if you want!    

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slices of tahini caramel apple tart

I’ve been thinking about this French Apple Tart ever since I saw Ina make it – I’m usually not a tart kind of person because lining a pastry tin is not my idea of fun, but this recipe is SO simple, there’s no faffing around.

You roll out a flaky pastry into a rectangle, top with sliced apples and sugar and bake. Now, Ina brushes the apples with an apricot jam glaze (a trick my mum always uses too) but I opted for a tahini caramel sauce instead – drizzled over the tart whilst still warm.

A sliced apple tart drizzled with tahini caramel

It’s a little bit nutty and isn’t too sweet but if you’re daunted by caramel making you can always stick with the jam if you want!

 

 

slices of tahini caramel apple tart

Tahini Caramel Apple Tart

Yield: serves 8-12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

An easy tahini caramel sauce drizzled over a simple apple tart with homemade flaky pastry!

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

Ingredients

For the pastry:

  • 2 cups (240g) plain white (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup (165g) unsalted butter, cold, cubed
  • up to 1/2 cup (125ml) ice water

For the caramel:

  • 1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp (30g) unstalted butter
  • generous pinch salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean powder
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 4 tbsp milk

For the top:

  • 3 to 4 Bramley apples, peeled and cored
  • ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into little cubes

Instructions

Make the pastry:

  1. Place the flour, salt, sugar and butter into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to cut the butter in – you want a mealy mixture with a few pea-sized lumps of butter remaining. Drizzle in the water (start with 4 tablespoons) and pulse in, adding more water a tablespoon at a time if needed. The mixture should be moist enough so that if you squeeze some together, it’ll stick.
  2. Tip the pastry mixture out onto a piece of cling film. Pat together with your hands into a rectangle then wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile make the caramel:

  1. Place the sugar and water in a large saucepan (silver/white ones a best so you can see the colour change). Place over a medium heat on the stove and stir just until the sugar dissolves then stop stirring. Let the mixture cook, tilting and swirling the pan, until it has reached an even, golden colour.
  2. Turn the heat all the way down, add in the butter, salt and vanilla. Let that butter melt a bit before picking the spoon back up and mixing it in. Once smooth, add the tahini and milk and stir through until smooth. Take off the heat and set aside.

Rolling and baking:

  1. Once the pastry has rested, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) fan.
  2. Cut the apples in half and then slice into half-moons about ¼-inch (5mm) thick.
  3. Cut a piece of baking paper to fit a large baking tray. Unwrap the pastry, place onto the baking paper and dust with flour. Roll the pastry out into a rectangle slightly smaller than the piece of baking paper. Trim the edges so they are straight then transfer the pastry (on the baking paper) onto the baking tray.
  4. Place overlapping slices of apples diagonally down the middle of the tart and continue making diagonal rows on both sides of the first row until the pastry is covered with apple slices. Sprinkle with the 1/4 cup of sugar and dot with the butter.
  5. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the tart is dark golden around the edges and the apples have coloured slightly. Drizzle with the caramel (you may need to re-warm it over a low heat on the stove to get it drizzle-able again) then allow to cool before slicing and serving.

Notes

  • if you want to speed this recipe up, you can use a block of puff pastry or shortcrust pastry in place of making your own. 

Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

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Millionaire’s Shortbread – Baking Basics

I remember being in primary school and checking a baking book out of the library – once home I photocopied a bunch of recipes from it, one of which was for Millionaire’s shortbread (also known as caramel slice in some parts of the world). It was something I’d had the shop-bought version of (in those clamshell plastic tubs!) and LOVED but had never made before. Now that I had a recipe for a homemade version there was no turning back! My brother and I made it many times – it’s such an easy bake and really requires minimal effort. They’re also VERY rich (hence why they’re called ‘Millionaire’s shortbread) so I often only need one square to satisfy my sweet tooth. Recipes for millionaire’s shortbread are usually pretty similar. I think the BBC /Nigella /Jamie Oliver versions all have the same components with very similar ingredients. A shortbread base, a caramel filling made using sweetened condensed milk from a tin, and a plain chocolate topping. Some versions use golden syrup in the filling (I make it without) to prevent the sugar from crystallising. I’ve tweaked the recipe here and there to make my best version which is what I’m posting […]

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a stack of millionaire's shortbread

I remember being in primary school and checking a baking book out of the library – once home I photocopied a bunch of recipes from it, one of which was for Millionaire’s shortbread (also known as caramel slice in some parts of the world). It was something I’d had the shop-bought version of (in those clamshell plastic tubs!) and LOVED but had never made before. Now that I had a recipe for a homemade version there was no turning back! My brother and I made it many times – it’s such an easy bake and really requires minimal effort. They’re also VERY rich (hence why they’re called ‘Millionaire’s shortbread) so I often only need one square to satisfy my sweet tooth.

overhead shot of squares of millionaire's shortbread with marbled chocolate

Recipes for millionaire’s shortbread are usually pretty similar. I think the BBC /Nigella /Jamie Oliver versions all have the same components with very similar ingredients. A shortbread base, a caramel filling made using sweetened condensed milk from a tin, and a plain chocolate topping. Some versions use golden syrup in the filling (I make it without) to prevent the sugar from crystallising. I’ve tweaked the recipe here and there to make my best version which is what I’m posting today!

I’ve even got a lil video below so you can see step-by-step how to make it 🙂

How to make crumbly shortbread for the base:

My shortbread base includes ground almonds – they are optional as you can swap out for rice flour/plain flour, but they do help the shortbread base stay nice and crumbly. They also have a nice buttery note to them and, unlike rice flour, don’t add a gritty texture.

Can you make millionaire’s shortbread without condensed milk?

Usually the caramel is made with sweetened condensed milk cooked with sugar and butter until it caramelises and thickens. For my filling, I simply swap the condensed milk for tinned carnation caramel (a.k.a. dulce de leche) instead. This tinned caramel is actually made from sweetened condensed milk so it’s essentially the same thing but it’s pre-caramelised for you! I like using the pre-made carnation caramel instead of sweetened condensed milk as I think it (1) has a deeper flavour, (2) it doesn’t seem to burn as easily as plain sweetened condensed milk does (3) it seems that post-pandemic, sweetened condensed milk is often out of stock in my supermarket whereas the carnation caramel is plentiful! You can’t just use the caramel straight from the tin though as it won’t set properly so you do have to cook it with sugar & butter to get it to thicken up.

All that said, you can use sweetened condensed milk here instead of the tinned caramel if that’s all you can get. It will work just as well but you might have to cook it for longer to get the right consistency AND you’ll have to be more careful that it doesn’t burn.

How do you thicken the caramel?

The caramel & butter & sugar are cooked on the stove in a pot, stirring often to melt everything together and thicken things up. This happens because the heat causes the mixture to boil, releasing some of the water in the ingredients as steam. It takes around 7 to 10 minutes of cooking over a medium-low heat to get this effect. You have to be careful as you thicken the mixture though as the high sugar content means it’s likely to burn easily – this can be prevented by stirring often (and scraping the base and corners of the pan with a silicone spatula). Bare in mind that the caramel will also thicken & harden as it cools in the fridge so it will seem thinner when it’s hot.

Why is my caramel too thin?

The caramel will be too thin if you haven’t cooked it for long enough on the stove. To test whether you’ve cooked the caramel for long enough, I like to use a simple trick. I place a small plate in the freezer before I start making the caramel. Once the caramel is looking darker and thicker than before I remove the plate from the freezer and place a little blob of hot caramel onto it. I set the plate aside for a minute or two so the caramel can cool down. Once cool to the touch, I run my finger through the blob. If the caramel is correctly cooked, the line will remain in the caramel. If it needs to be cooked for longer, the caramel will start to run back together, filling in the line.

a side shot of a square of millionaire's shortbread

What type of chocolate should you use?

I quite like a dark chocolate for the topping as it really helps to balance out the sweetness of the other ingredients. A 70% or even 80% are great but go with what you know you like. For this batch, I swirled on a bit of white chocolate into the dark for decoration but that’s totally optional.

How to cut Millionaire’s shortbread neatly:

I have a kitchen blowtorch which I use to gently warm a sharp knife before cutting into the shortbread. This helps to create the neatest edge as it melts through the chocolate and caramel as you apply pressure, meaning the chocolate wont crack or cause the caramel to squash out! If you don’t want to mess around with a blowtorch, you can fill a jug with boiling water and pop your knife blade in there for a minute or so. Wipe the blade dry before using it as it’ll be wet! With both these methods be careful not to touch the blade while you cut as it’ll be very hot. Also, wipe the blade with a piece of kitchen roll between cuts to ensure the knife is clean & dry.

Can you put it in the fridge or freezer?

I recommend storing the cut squares in an airtight container in the fridge. It’ll ensure they keep for longer (up to 1 week!) and will stop the chocolate/caramel getting all melty. You can freeze these too – cut them into squares and pop into a resealable sandwich bag for up to 1 month. Let them defrost at room temp before eating.

Other bar recipes:

Millonaire's Shortbread

Millonaire's Shortbread

Yield: 16 squares
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

A British classic traybake, so easy & perfect for bakesales! Made with tinned carnation caramel (dulce de leche) or sweetened condensed milk on a crumbly shortbread base with a snappy dark chocolate topping.

Ingredients

Shortbread:

  • 50g (1/2 cup) ground almonds
  • 60g (1/4 cup) caster sugar or granulated sugar
  • 200g (1 2/3 cup) plain white flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 150g (1/2 cup + 3 tbsp) unsalted butter, cold, cubed

Caramel:

  • 1 (397g/14 ounce) tin carnation caramel (dulce de leche) OR sweetened condensed milk
  • 100g (7 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar or granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt

Chocolate:

  • 150g (5.3 ounces) dark chocolate (I used a 70%), broken into chunks
  • 50g (1.8 ounces) white chocolate, broken into chunks

Instructions

For the shortbread:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C fan. Line an 8- or 9-inch square baking tin with a sling of baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl place all of the shortbread ingredients. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients using your fingertips until crumbly. Knead a few times in the bowl to form a cohesive dough.
  3. Crumble up the dough into the lined tin. Use your hands to flatten into an even layer then use the back of a spoon to smooth out.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top.

For the caramel:

  1. Place the caramel (or dulce de leche or sweetened condensed milk) into a medium pot with the butter, sugar and salt.
  2. Heat on medium, stirring often, until the butter has melted. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring often, for 7-10 minutes until the caramel has thickened and darkened. (NB: if using sweetened condensed milk here, it may be necessary to cook for slightly longer to get it to the right colour. You will also have to watch the caramel more closely & stir more often as it is more likely to catch and burn).
  3. Pour the hot caramel over the baked shortbread and spread out into an even layer (an offset spatula works well but you can also use the back of a spoon). Chill for 10 minutes so the caramel can firm up as you prep the chocolate.

For the chocolate top:

  1. Place the dark chocolate and white chocolate into two separate, heatproof bowls. Place each bowl over a pan of simmering water on the stove, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn't touching the water. Stir occasionally until melted and then remove the bowls from the pans of water.
  2. Pour most of the melted dark chocolate over the cooled caramel. Spread out into an even layer and then rap the whole tray against the work surface a few times to help the chocolate settle into a smooth layer.
  3. Dollops random blobs and swirls of white chocolate over the dark chocolate. Dollop the remaining dark chocolate on top in random spots. Rap the whole tray against the work surface again a few times to help the chocolate settle. Use a toothpick to swirl the dark and white chocolate together to create a marbled pattern.
  4. Chill for 10-20 minutes until set.

Remove from tin & cut:

  1. To remove from the tin you can either use a kitchen blowtorch to briefly warm the edges of the tin (only if the tin is metal!) which will help melt the chocolate and caramel at the very edges so you can lift out the whole thing with the sling. The other method is to dip a butter knife into boiling water, wipe it dry, then run it around the inside edge of the tin to release the chocolate from the edge of the tin.
  2. Cut into 16 squares using a hot knife (warmed either by running a blowtorch over the blade or by dipping the blade into boiling water & wiping dry) making sure you clean the blade between cuts for the neatest edges.
  3. Store cut bars in an airtight container. I recommend keeping them in the fridge (especially if your kitchen is warm!) for up to 1 week. They're delicious cold from the fridge or at room temp.





Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

The post Millionaire’s Shortbread – Baking Basics appeared first on Izy Hossack - Top With Cinnamon.

Eccles Cakes

Thanks to Stoves for sponsoring this post If you haven’t lived in the UK, you might not know what an Eccles cake is. They are a very traditional bake, made up of a filling of currants & spices encased in flaky pastry. The name comes from the town of Eccles which is near Manchester. They’re very moreish and go extremely well with a cup of tea, of course. You can eat them warm from the oven or at room temperature. Stoves, began as a manufacturer of gas heaters when founded in 1920 on valentine’s day! They moved on to make gas cookers and eventually range cookers which they are still a leading manufacturer of in the UK today.  To celebrate Stoves’ landmark 100th year, I was tasked with making a recipe from a 1920s cookbook. Although there were many classic pastries in the book, the Eccles cakes were something I had always wanted to make so I settled on that recipe. The ingredients are quite basic, a lovely buttery flaky pastry is made, rolled out and cut into disks. A filling of currants, mixed peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter and sugar is stirred together and spooned onto each circle. The edges […]

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Thanks to Stoves for sponsoring this post

If you haven’t lived in the UK, you might not know what an Eccles cake is. They are a very traditional bake, made up of a filling of currants & spices encased in flaky pastry. The name comes from the town of Eccles which is near Manchester. They’re very moreish and go extremely well with a cup of tea, of course. You can eat them warm from the oven or at room temperature.

Stoves, began as a manufacturer of gas heaters when founded in 1920 on valentine’s day! They moved on to make gas cookers and eventually range cookers which they are still a leading manufacturer of in the UK today.  To celebrate Stoves’ landmark 100th year, I was tasked with making a recipe from a 1920s cookbook. Although there were many classic pastries in the book, the Eccles cakes were something I had always wanted to make so I settled on that recipe.

The ingredients are quite basic, a lovely buttery flaky pastry is made, rolled out and cut into disks. A filling of currants, mixed peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter and sugar is stirred together and spooned onto each circle. The edges of the circle are gathered at the top and pinched together to seal the filling within a layer of pastry.

These are little pastries, similar in size to a cookie, as they are quite rich from all the butter & dried fruit! This batch makes quite a few Eccles cakes, and although they’ll keep well for ~5 days in a sealed container, you can also freeze them if needed.

Although it is traditional to use lard in flaky pastry (in place of all or some of the butter), I go for all-butter. So yes, these Eccles cakes are vegetarian, but some that you might buy from traditional bakeries will contain lard.

Eccles Cakes

Eccles Cakes

Yield: 20-22
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

Flaky pastry:

  • 226g (2 cups minus 2 tbsp) white bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp fine table salt
  • 170g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 70ml (1/4 cup + 2 tsp) very cold water

Currant filling:

  • 120g (3/4 cup) currants (or raisins)
  • 40g (1/4 cup) chopped mixed peel
  • 40g (3 tbsp) caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 40g (3 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Demerara sugar (raw sugar), for sprinkling

Instructions

For the pastry:

  1. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter and rub in with a pastry blender/a pair of butter knives/your fingertips until the majority of the mixture has a breadcrumb-like texture with some pea-sized lumps of butter remaining. (If you have a food processor or stand mixer with paddle attachment, you can also do this step in there, pulsing to combine until you reach the consistency mentioned).
  2. At this stage, drizzle in the cold water and gently toss to combine. Give it a bit of a knead in the bowl until the dough starts to come together then tip the shaggy mass out onto your work surface. (Again, if doing this in a food processor/stand mixer, just pulse until the mixture starts to come together then tip out).
  3. Gather the mixture into a mound and use a rolling pin to roll it out into a smallish rectangle. It will likely seem very messy and might stick to the rolling pin, this is fine! Just scrape any dough off the rolling pin and add back to the rectangle. Fold the rectangle into thirds like a business letter. Rotate the dough 90 degrees then roll out into a rectangle again. Fold into thirds again. Then use your hands to press down to compact it into a nice little package.
  4. Wrap in a resealable sandwich bag and chill for at least 1 hour.

For the filling:

  1. Mix the currants, mixed peel, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Stir to combine then pour over the melted butter. Stir again to incorporate and set aside.

Roll out and shape:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C fan (400°F) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and from the sandwich bag. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface, dusting with flour on top as needed to prevent the dough sticking to the rolling pin. Also make sure you’re checking underneath the dough as you do this by gently lifting the edges up and dusting flour underneath as needed to prevent it sticking to the work surface. The dough should be about 3 to 4mm thick.
  3. Use a 4-inch (10cm)round cutter to cut circles from the dough. Place a teaspoonful of filling in the centre of each circle. Wet the edges of the circle with a fingertip dipped in some water. Gather the edges up at the top and pinch together to seal the filling within. Flip over so the seam side is underneath and place onto a lined baking tray. Repeat with all the circles, re-rolling pastry scraps as needed until you’ve used all the filling/pastry.
  4. Cut 3 slits into the top of each Eccles cake with a sharp knife. Brush with the beaten egg and then sprinkle with some demerara sugar.
  5. Bake for 15 to 20minutes until well browned.


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Stuffed Aubergines with Mozzarella & Tomato

A delicious summery dinner you can make as a vegetarian centrepiece for dinner parties or even a weeknight meal. These aubergines are stuffed with a tomato sauce filled with capers and shallot, fresh mozzarella cheese and breadcrumbs. These taste almost like a classic aubergine parmigiana but (a) a lot prettier and (b) a lot easier to make (no frying involved = much less hassle). I know aubergine skins can often become tough and chewy when baked but here, they are soft and melty! The inner aubergine flesh is scooped out and cooked into the tomato sauce which makes it silky smooth and means you don’t waste any part of it. I think these are the perfect thing to make for a Summer-y yet comforting meal and are a bit fancy looking too so are great for when guests come round. Serve them up as a starter (just 1/2 an aub per person) or a main (1 aub per person) with a side salad & some bread.

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a plate of stuffed aubergine halves with tomato, mozzarella and basil

A delicious summery dinner you can make as a vegetarian centrepiece for dinner parties or even a weeknight meal. These aubergines are stuffed with a tomato sauce filled with capers and shallot, fresh mozzarella cheese and breadcrumbs.

stuffed aubergine half with mozzarella, tomato and basil

These taste almost like a classic aubergine parmigiana but (a) a lot prettier and (b) a lot easier to make (no frying involved = much less hassle). I know aubergine skins can often become tough and chewy when baked but here, they are soft and melty! The inner aubergine flesh is scooped out and cooked into the tomato sauce which makes it silky smooth and means you don’t waste any part of it.

I think these are the perfect thing to make for a Summer-y yet comforting meal and are a bit fancy looking too so are great for when guests come round. Serve them up as a starter (just 1/2 an aub per person) or a main (1 aub per person) with a side salad & some bread.

Stuffed Aubergines with Mozzarella & Tomato

Stuffed Aubergines with Mozzarella & Tomato

Yield: serves 2-4
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 medium aubergines
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • salt
  • 1 shallot (or 1/2 small onion), finely diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g (7 ounces or ~4 medium) tomatoes, roughly diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp capers (optional)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 Ryvita dark rye breads
  • 25g (1/2 cup) Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
  • black pepper
  • 125g ball fresh mozzarella, drained and diced
  • fresh basil/thyme leaves for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C fan (350F).
  2. Cut the aubergines in half down their lengths. Use a spoon to scoop out the centre flesh of the aubergine leaving a 1cm thick border. Save the flesh for later.
  3. Place the aubergine halves on a baking tray, cut side up, and drizzle with some olive oil. Use a pastry brush or your fingers to spread it around over the cut surface of the aubergine and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
  4. Bake for ~20 minutes until soft.
  5. Roughly chop up the aubergine flesh from earlier. Set aside for now.
  6. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the chopped aubergine flesh and a pinch of salt to the dry pan. Cook until the aubergine has shrunk and is starting to brown then add 1 tbsp olive oil and cook for a few minutes more to help the aubergine soften.
  7. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until translucent (~5 minutes). Next stir in the tomato and garlic. Finally stir in the balsamic vinegar, capers and tomato paste. Take it off the heat and set aside.
  8. Place the ryvita rye breads into a sandwich bag and bash them up until broken down to the size of small breadcrumbs. Mix with the pecorino, thyme leaves and a few grinds of black pepper in a bowl and set aside.


Assemble and bake:

  1. Take your baked aubergine halves from earlier. Place a spoonful of the tomato mixture into the base of each half and spread out into an even layer. Top with a layer of diced mozzarella and a layer of the ryvita mixture. Repeat this layering once more to use all the remaining tomato/mozzarella/breadcrumb mixture.
  2. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and bake for a further ~30 minutes until the cheese has melted and they're golden and bubbling.
  3. Sprinkle with some fresh thyme/basil if you like and serve hot.

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Vegan Chorizo & Potato Tacos

Mexican chorizo, seasoned with spices like cumin, dried chillies and clove, is very different to what we in the UK know as chorizo (i.e. Spanish chorizo) which is predominantly flavoured with smoked paprika.  These tacos are inspired by the Mexican dish of chorizo & potato tacos – I’ve used Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Sausages, crumbled up and pan fried until a bit crispy. This is then seasoned with a blend of spices to bring that Mexican chorizo flavour, whilst still being veggie.  The combo of the spicy, meaty chorizo with the crispy potatoes is an excellent match and is perfect wrapped up in a warmed tortilla with some lime and coriander. 

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two vegan chorizo potato tacos on a chopping board with corn tortillas, cilantro and limes

Mexican chorizo, seasoned with spices like cumin, dried chillies and clove, is very different to what we in the UK know as chorizo (i.e. Spanish chorizo) which is predominantly flavoured with smoked paprika. 

These tacos are inspired by the Mexican dish of chorizo & potato tacos – I’ve used Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Sausages, crumbled up and pan fried until a bit crispy. This is then seasoned with a blend of spices to bring that Mexican chorizo flavour, whilst still being veggie. 

a pan of vegan chorizo potato mixture on a board with a taco, cilantro and lime

The combo of the spicy, meaty chorizo with the crispy potatoes is an excellent match and is perfect wrapped up in a warmed tortilla with some lime and coriander. 

Linda McCartney Vegetarian Sausage Chorizo and Potato Tacos

Linda McCartney Vegetarian Sausage Chorizo and Potato Tacos

Yield: serves 3-4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

A spiced vegetarian sausage and crispy potato taco

Ingredients

Chorizo Spice blend:

  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seed
  • 1 tsp coriander seed
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 1 dried ancho chili (see notes for substitutes)
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

For the tacos:

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Sausages, defrosted
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp chorizo spice blend
  • 2 medium potatoes, cut into ~3cm chunks
  • 1/2 white onion, roughly chopped
  • 6-8 small tortillas, warmed
  • Lime wedges
  • Fresh coriander, finely chopped

Instructions

Make the spice blend first:

  1. Toast the cumin, coriander, cloves, peppercorns and chilli in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until fragrant. Blitz with the bay leaves until powdery (or grind with a pestle & mortar) and then mix with the remaining spices. Set aside.

Start on the taco filling:

  1. Place the diced potato into a medium pot and cover with water. Place over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Cook for around 6-8 minutes until tender but not too soft. Drain and let them sit in the sieve/colander for a few minutes to allow the potato cubes to dry out a bit. 
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan. Once hot, crumble in the defrosted Linda McCartney’s sausages and let cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it starts to brown. Add the garlic and 1 tbsp of spice blend and stir through for 2 minutes. Transfer this sausage mixture to a bowl and wipe out the pan. 
  3. Return the pan to a medium heat and add the remaining oil. Add the cooked potato cubes and cook, stirring every now and then, until they become crisp all over. At this point, add the diced onion and stir through. Cook until the onion starts to become translucent (around 5 minutes) then add in the cooked sausage mixture. Stir together.
  4. Serve the sausage/potato mixture in warmed tortillas with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of coriander. 

Notes

  • *Ancho chili substitute: 2 tsp paprika + 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Make it Gluten-Free: serve with corn tortillas (ensure they're GF)

The post Vegan Chorizo & Potato Tacos appeared first on Izy Hossack - Top With Cinnamon.

Vegetarian Sausage & Broccoli Pasta

Thanks to Linda McCartney’s for sponsoring this post The pairing of fennel-seedy Italian sausages and broccoli is always delicious. Here the broccoli is cooked until super soft which, along with garlic, lemon and cheese, allows it to act as a kind of impromptu ‘pesto’ for the pasta. I’ve used Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Sausages, amped up with the addition of chilli flakes and fennel seed, instead of using an Italian sausage here to keep things vegetarian (or even vegan if you don’t use the cheese). This is a perfect weeknight dinner as it’s so quick to make and only requires one pot and one pan. 

The post Vegetarian Sausage & Broccoli Pasta appeared first on Izy Hossack – Top With Cinnamon.

Thanks to Linda McCartney’s for sponsoring this post

The pairing of fennel-seedy Italian sausages and broccoli is always delicious. Here the broccoli is cooked until super soft which, along with garlic, lemon and cheese, allows it to act as a kind of impromptu ‘pesto’ for the pasta.

I’ve used Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Sausages, amped up with the addition of chilli flakes and fennel seed, instead of using an Italian sausage here to keep things vegetarian (or even vegan if you don’t use the cheese). This is a perfect weeknight dinner as it’s so quick to make and only requires one pot and one pan. 

Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Fennel Sausage & Broccoli Pasta

Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Fennel Sausage & Broccoli Pasta

Yield: serves 2
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seed
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 200g dried pasta
  • 150 to 200g broccoli or tenderstem broccoli
  • 3 Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Sausages, defrosted
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 20g ricotta or Parmesan style vegan cheese, finely grated
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-low heat. Once hot, add the sliced shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden (around 5 minutes). Add the fennel seed and chilli flakes, stir, and let them warm through for 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile add the pasta and broccoli to a medium pot of well-salted, boiling water. Leave to cook until the pasta is al dente (for me this was about 10 minutes). 
  3. Break up the defrosted Linda McCartney Vegetarian Sausages into small chunks and add to the frying pan along with 1 more tablespoon of oil. Mash with the back of your spoon to break the sausage up and fry it for around 5 minutes, stirring often, to allow the sausage to brown and crisp up a bit. 
  4. Clear a space in the frying pan and pour the remaining tablespoon of oil here. Add the garlic to this pool of oil and allow to cook for a couple of minutes until starting to turn golden. Once this happens, stir it through the Linda McCartney Vegetarian Sausage. Add a splash of pasta water to the frying pan and use your spoon to scrape up any golden bits from the base of the pan. 
  5. Once the pasta is al-dente and the broccoli is cooked, remove the broccoli from the pot using tongs or a slotted spoon – it should be pretty soft at this point which will help it break down to form a bit of a sauce. Roughly chop the broccoli and add to the frying pan.
  6. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pasta to the frying pan too (or drain the pasta in a colander, reserving a mugful of pasta water, then add to the pan) and stir through, adding a splash of pasta water as needed to help make a saucy texture. Add the cheese and lemon juice, stir through and taste to check the seasoning. Add extra salt and some pepper as needed. Divide between 2 bowls and eat!

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