Making Crème Fraîche at Home Has Never Been Easier

A few months into my first year in college, I realized that I hadn’t prepared for such brokeness. In an attempt to pull myself out of college poverty, I applied for a waitressing job at a local brewpub. Aside from some insignificant retail jobs that la…

A few months into my first year in college, I realized that I hadn't prepared for such brokeness. In an attempt to pull myself out of college poverty, I applied for a waitressing job at a local brewpub. Aside from some insignificant retail jobs that lasted maybe a few weeks, I had no relevant work experience. So when it came time for my interview, I did what I seem to do best: I winged it. I spoke about everything that wasn't relevanthow pretty the detailing on the general manager's shirt was, how nicely designed the restaurant was (it had a hideous interior), how challenging school was, etc.

Eventually I had to face the music and come clean, admitting to having no experience, but really, really needing money. The general manager was visibly bummed; she genuinely wanted to hire me, but how could she at this point? She looked down at my application and said, "Well, okay, so you have no experience. I can teach you how to juggle tables. I care more about people who know and like food. Can you answer this: What is crème fraîche?" My eyes lit up immediately.

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Sticky Toffee Pudding for 2 (vegan)

Since London has moved into new restrictions for covid I’m not going home to my family so Christmas will be small with just me and my boyfriend. I wanted to come up with a dessert I could easily make to serve just the two of us for Christmas day. Most Christmas desserts are way too large to be a good option so I thought I’d small-batch a British classic – sticky toffee pudding!! The cake batter is easy to make (just two bowls and some utensils, no mixers or anything like that!). It includes soaked dates, of course, which I mash up with a fork instead of blending. This way you end up with small chunks of dates throughout the cake which adds a nice variation in flavour and texture. The dates are soaked in black tea (I just used a Yorkshire tea bag) but you can soak them in boiling water if you don’t have tea. To make two individual servings I baked the batter in a muffin tin, just filling two of the wells with batter. If you have little metal pudding basins, ramekins or even a couple of sturdy ceramic mugs, those will work too. The toffee […]

The post Sticky Toffee Pudding for 2 (vegan) appeared first on Izy Hossack – Top With Cinnamon.

vegan sticky toffee puddings for two, individual servings on plates drizzled with dairy free toffee sauce

Since London has moved into new restrictions for covid I’m not going home to my family so Christmas will be small with just me and my boyfriend. I wanted to come up with a dessert I could easily make to serve just the two of us for Christmas day. Most Christmas desserts are way too large to be a good option so I thought I’d small-batch a British classic – sticky toffee pudding!!

an individual serving of vegan sticky toffee pudding drizzled with toffee sauce and soy cream

The cake batter is easy to make (just two bowls and some utensils, no mixers or anything like that!). It includes soaked dates, of course, which I mash up with a fork instead of blending. This way you end up with small chunks of dates throughout the cake which adds a nice variation in flavour and texture. The dates are soaked in black tea (I just used a Yorkshire tea bag) but you can soak them in boiling water if you don’t have tea.

To make two individual servings I baked the batter in a muffin tin, just filling two of the wells with batter. If you have little metal pudding basins, ramekins or even a couple of sturdy ceramic mugs, those will work too.

The toffee sauce is very simple to make too, no thermometer needed, as it relies on dark brown sugar for that caramelised flavour rather than actual caramelisation of the sugar. I like to make it without treacle in the cake/sauce as I find it can be a bit too strong a flavour but feel free to swap out some of the sugar in the cake/sauce for a bit of treacle if you want that deeper flavour.

The hot toffee sauce is poured over the warm cakes before serving and, if you like, you can drizzle on a bit more soy cream (or add a scoop of non-dairy vanilla ice cream).

two servings of sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce and soy cream with a bite taken.

Sticky toffee pudding without eggs or butter

As this is a vegan version, the cake uses oil to make it dairy-free and soaked oats to make it eggless! If you’d prefer to use eggs, you can switch the oats for 1/2 a beaten egg.

In the toffee sauce I used vegan butter (tub or block butter will work) and soy cream or oat cream. These are easy to switch for their non-vegan alternatives if you’d like.

Can it be made in advance?

Yes you can bake the cakes and make the sauce up to 2 days in advance. Just make sure you wrap the cakes up in a resealable bag and keep in an airtight container. Put the sauce into a lidded jar and keep in the fridge. Just reheat everything before serving (see below)

Can it be frozen?

Yes you can freeze the cakes as long as they’re cooled & wrapped tightly in a resealable bag. Let them defrost overnight at room temperature OR reheat in the oven at 180C for 15-20 minutes / microwave in 10 second bursts until warmed through.

How to reheat sticky toffee pudding:

For the cakes: unwrap the cakes and put onto a tray in the oven at 180C (350F) for 10 minutes (if fridge-cold) or 15-20 minutes (if frozen) or microwave in 10 second bursts until warmed through.

Sauce: Warm the sauce in a small pot on the stove (adding a little splash of water to loosen if needed) or remove the lid and microwave in 10 second bursts, stirring between bursts, until hot.

Sticky Toffee Pudding for 2 (vegan)

Sticky Toffee Pudding for 2 (vegan)

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 50g pitted dates (weigh after pitting them)
  • 100g boiling water
  • 1 English breakfast tea bag (optional)
  • 2 tbsp porridge oats
  • 50g plain white flour
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar (muscovado)
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Toffee Sauce:

  • 20g vegan butter (block or tub)
  • 3 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tbsp soy cream or oat cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C fan and grease two of the holes in a muffin tin with vegetable oil.
  2. Place the pitted dates, tea bag and oats into a small bowl. Pour over the boiling water and set aside for 10 minutes to soak. After they've soaked, remove the tea bag and use a fork to mash up the dates as much as you can.
  3. In a medium bowl mix the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt. Pour in the date mixture, oil and non-dairy milk. Stir to combine - don't overmix.
  4. Divide the batter between the two muffin holes - you should be able to fill them right to the top.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until well-risen and, if you gently press the top of the muffins, they spring back.
  6. Gently loosen the cakes from the tin with a butter knife and tip them out onto a plate. Set aside.

For the toffee sauce (make this while the cake is baking):

  1. Combine the butter, sugar and salt in a small pot. Melt over a medium-low heat and, once fully melted, allow to bubble for 1 minute to melt the sugar. Next stir in the vanilla and cream then mix to combine and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until slightly thickened.

Serve:

  1. Place each warm cake onto a dessert plate. Pour over the warm toffee sauce (and extra cream if you like). Eat!


Notes

No muffin tin? Use ramekins, mini pudding basins or even sturdy ceramic mugs/small ceramic bowls instead

Make it non-vegan: use 1/2 an egg in place of the oats. Use dairy butter & cream in the toffee sauce.

Want to make it ahead? Wrap and chill for for to 2 days or freeze for up to 2 months. Put the sauce in a jar and store for up to 1 week in the fridge. For more detail see the post above.

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 Sticky Toffee Pudding for 2 (vegan) appeared first on Izy Hossack - Top With Cinnamon.

The Indian-Inspired Dessert I Make to Celebrate My Hybrid-Culture Diwali

I grew up with a deep desire to learn about the traditions and culture that my parents left behind when they emigrated from India. I had always experienced an “Indian-ness” to my everyday American life: We spoke almost exclusively in Gujarati at home, …

I grew up with a deep desire to learn about the traditions and culture that my parents left behind when they emigrated from India. I had always experienced an “Indian-ness” to my everyday American life: We spoke almost exclusively in Gujarati at home, ate daily home-cooked Indian meals, and always seemed to be planning our next family vacations to India.

Despite this exposure to my cultural heritage, it always seemed hard to fully experience and understand Indian holidays as a kid growing up in the U.S. For example, my parents would share the most joyous childhood memories of celebrating Diwali, the four-day festival of lights that culminates in the celebration of the Hindu new year, but recreating those memories in our American lives was a different story.

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Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Pots (for 2) – vegan option

Valentines day is aaaalmost here and as it’s my birthday the day before / it’s very hard to book a meal out on v-day, we’ll be staying in! I developed these cookie dough pots with a gooey centre to serve just 2 people; they’re not only perfect to share on date night but also for a gals night in …or… just for you! They keep, uncooked, in the fridge for a few days so you can always bake one and save the other for later in the week. Luckily these chocolate chip cookie pots are also incredibly quick to make. Just melt your butter, mix it all up, bake in ramekins. Done! As you can prep the dough ahead of time, my recommendation is to make the dough ahead of time, pop in the fridge, and bake just before you want to eat them as they’re best served warm from the oven. I also recommend a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top which tones down the sweetness a bit. I’ve included a vegan adaptation which I must admit didn’t look as good as these ones but tasted just as delicious! More Date-night desserts: Mini Flourless Chocolate & Pomegranate Cake […]

The post Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Pots (for 2) – vegan option appeared first on Izy Hossack – Top With Cinnamon.

Food blogger Izy Hossack makes Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Pots for 2 people with a vegan option

Valentines day is aaaalmost here and as it’s my birthday the day before / it’s very hard to book a meal out on v-day, we’ll be staying in! I developed these cookie dough pots with a gooey centre to serve just 2 people; they’re not only perfect to share on date night but also for a gals night in …or… just for you! They keep, uncooked, in the fridge for a few days so you can always bake one and save the other for later in the week.

Food blogger Izy Hossack makes Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Pots for 2 people with a vegan option

Luckily these chocolate chip cookie pots are also incredibly quick to make. Just melt your butter, mix it all up, bake in ramekins. Done! As you can prep the dough ahead of time, my recommendation is to make the dough ahead of time, pop in the fridge, and bake just before you want to eat them as they’re best served warm from the oven. I also recommend a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top which tones down the sweetness a bit.

A cookie dough pot with a scoop taken out

I’ve included a vegan adaptation which I must admit didn’t look as good as these ones but tasted just as delicious!

More Date-night desserts:

Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Pots (for 2)

Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Pots (for 2)

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 35g (2 tbsp + 1 tsp) salted butter
  • 40g (3 tbsp + 1 tsp) light brown sugar
  • 40g (1/3 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1/16 tsp (a pinch) bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp dark chocolate chips
  • flaky salt, to sprinkle

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C fan)/ 350°F.
  2. Melt the butter in a small pot.
  3. Put the sugar, flour and bicarbonate of soda into a medium mixing bowl. Pour the butter in and stir well to get a crumbly mixture. Stir in the egg yolk and vanilla to get a loose cookie dough. Fold in the chocolate chip (reserving a few for the top).
  4. Divide the cookie dough between two 4oz oven-proof ramekins (see notes if you don't have them). Flatten out the cookie dough and sprinkle on the reserved chocolate chips and some flaky salt if you want.
  5. Place onto a baking tray to make it easier to get them out of the oven. Bake for 9-12 minutes - the edges of the cookie dough should be set, the top should look dry and the centre should still be soft when gently poked.
  6. Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes, then serve.

Notes

  • No ramekins? I also tested this recipe in a standard muffin tin lined with paper liners and it works! You just need to bake the cookie dough cups for 12-14 minutes so keep an eye on them to make sure they're cooked around the edges but still soft in the middle.
  • You can make these ahead of time - just follow the recipe up to step 3. Pop the cookie dough pots in the fridge and chill (for up to 3 days) until it's time to bake. They may need 1-2 minutes more cooking time if you do this as they'll be cold going into the oven.
  • Vegan version: use vegan butter instead of the butter + replace half the brown sugar with maple syrup + replace the egg yolk with 1 tbsp non-dairy milk + ensure you're using vegan chocolate.

The post Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Pots (for 2) – vegan option appeared first on Izy Hossack - Top With Cinnamon.

How to Make Really Good Ginger Beer From Scratch

Homemade ginger beer can be a thing of wonder. Whether you’re a Moscow Mule fan or just enjoy sipping it in a tall glass with ice, making ginger beer at home might mean the end of your store-bought ginger beer days. The fermentation process is eas…

Homemade ginger beer can be a thing of wonder. Whether you're a Moscow Mule fan or just enjoy sipping it in a tall glass with ice, making ginger beer at home might mean the end of your store-bought ginger beer days. The fermentation process is easier than you might think: You'll just need brewer's yeast and more than 48 hours (it takes up to a week!). But don't worry; this ginger beer recipe below doesn't ask much of you. Just get it started and you'll be on your way to the best ginger beer you've ever had.

There are two types of people in this world: people who like their ginger beer sweet, subtle, and unassuming, and people who like their ginger beer to kick them hard in the back of the throat. (I guess there are also people out there who don't like ginger beer, but for now I'm going to pretend they don't exist.)

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How to Make a Funfetti Cake From Scratch

It’s always more fun (and fulfilling!) to DIY. Today, we’re making an artificially delicious childhood treat a little bit more authentic. Molly Yeh from My Name is Yeh shows us how.
Deep in the heart of Park Slope, my family and I sat at…

It's always more fun (and fulfilling!) to DIY. Today, we're making an artificially delicious childhood treat a little bit more authentic. Molly Yeh from My Name is Yeh shows us how.

Deep in the heart of Park Slope, my family and I sat at my sister’s wedding rehearsal dinner, eating and drinking merrily, as a wedding party does. Up until that point, my day had been spent in my small Brooklyn kitchen, baking cakes in five of my sister’s favorite flavors (pistachio, black sesame, lemon, chocolate, red velvet) for what would be my very first wedding cake. It was epic—enough for a wedding four times the size of my sister’s—and I was a very proud maid of honor.

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Yes, You Can Make Miso Paste at Home!

What is miso? Miso is a funky, salty-sweet, umami-rich paste of mashed, koji-kin inoculated and fermented grains or legumes, that forms the basis of much of Japanese cuisine. It is an ingredient rich in taste and function: whisk a barley-heavy mis…

What is miso? Miso is a funky, salty-sweet, umami-rich paste of mashed, koji-kin inoculated and fermented grains or legumes, that forms the basis of much of Japanese cuisine. It is an ingredient rich in taste and function: whisk a barley-heavy miso into dashi for a wintry miso soup, Mash a mellower miso into butter for a chicken thigh glaze that tastes like caramel corn. Or, lay leftover egg yolks in a bed of miso. The salt present in the miso will cure the yolks, yielding gratable, tiny suns.

Because of hydrolysis (the breakdown of starches to sugar, in the presence of water), the natural sweetness and roasty toastiness found in grains and legumes gets teased out. Meanwhile, koji-kin—a fungus also used in soy sauce and sake production—are hard at work, breaking proteins down into amino acids. These now free amino acids, or free glutamates are easier for our tongues to access, and hence detect as umami. Funk from the (managed!) decay of beans and grains, sweetness from the conversion of starch to sugars, saltiness from the salt working to inhibit bad bacteria, and umami from the koji-kin doing its enzymatic work.  

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How to Make Almond Paste From Scratch

It’s always more fun to DIY. We’re here to show you how to make small batches of great foods at home. Today: With Linda Xiao from The Tart Tart’s homemade almond paste, you can take your almond-based desserts and pastries to a whole new level.
Re…

It's always more fun to DIY. We're here to show you how to make small batches of great foods at home. Today: With Linda Xiao from The Tart Tart's homemade almond paste, you can take your almond-based desserts and pastries to a whole new level.

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How to Make Labneh at Home, Right Now

Every week, a DIY expert spares us a trip to the grocery store and shows us how to make small batches of great foods at home. Today, FOOD52 all-star Rivka Friedman shares some labneh wisdom that she picked up while living in Jerusalem. Rivka is the blo…

Every week, a DIY expert spares us a trip to the grocery store and shows us how to make small batches of great foods at home. Today, FOOD52 all-star Rivka Friedman shares some labneh wisdom that she picked up while living in Jerusalem. Rivka is the blogger behind Not Derby Pie.

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