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Honeyed Nectarine and Plum Scones August 05 2018, 0 Comments

It has been about two months since the first good summer fruit hit the stands at our local farmers' market, which kickstarted my obsession with perfecting my ideal scone recipe. My interest in scones began while I was living in the UK, then peaked when I returned home to California to find their popularity had grown while I was away. Suddenly, scones were everywhere. American scones are very different from their British counterparts, but there are major reasons to love both. Their soft, crumbly texture and buttery, mildly sweet flavor make scones the perfect vehicle for summer fruit, spices, nuts, cheeses...just about anything you can dream up.

This recipe uses homemade jam as the filling, but you can easily substitute fresh fruit, cheese and caramelized onions or candied nuts. The possibilities are endless. These scones aren't traditionally British, but they aren't quite American either. They are my ideal combination of both styles with a few little twists.

This recipe makes twelve scones. 

FOR THE JAM:

I cut and pitted 4 large nectarines and 4 red plums, put them in a small pot with about a 1/4 cup of golden cane sugar and a 1/4 cup of honey and reduced them for 2-3 hours. Stir occasionally and you'll end up with a super easy, ridiculously delicious stone fruit jam. I ended up with exactly two cups of jam and used it all in the gorgeous scones. Preparing and refrigerating your jam one or two days prior to making your scones will deepen the flavor result in a thicker consistency.  

 

FOR THE SCONES:

DRY INGREDIENTS - 

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup sugar (I generally use golden cane sugar)

1 teaspoon good quality ginger powder (I always use Oaktown Spice Shop)

5 teaspoons baking powder (I know this seems like a lot)

1 teaspoon salt

Coarse sugar for sprinkling (Turbinado and Muscovado work well) 

WET INGREDIENTS:

1 cup (two 113g sticks) very cold, good quality butter

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons good quality vanilla (I always use Oaktown Spice Shop)

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cup honey (I used Bee Seasonal's Marmeleiro, but feel free to use your favorite)

METHOD:

Preheat your oven to 400F (200C) and place two racks in the middle of your oven. Put your cup (two sticks) of butter in the freezer to get it very cold while you prepare your other ingredients. Prep two cookie sheets with parchment/baking paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together your flours, baking powder, sugar, salt and ginger until thoroughly combined and free from lumps.  

In a medium bowl, whisk together your eggs, yogurt, cream, vanilla, honey and almond extract. 

 Remove your butter from the freezer, cut into small cubes and incorporate into your flour mixture using a pasty blender until the butter is the size of small peas and well distributed. Make a well in your flour mixture and pour in your wet ingredients. Mix with a wooden or silicone spoon until combined, make sure not to overwork, then place in the freezer to chill.

Prep your countertop with a large piece of floured parchment/baking paper. Take your jam from the fridge and give it a quick stir.

Remove your dough from the freezer and roll it out into a long rectangle, about a 1/2 inch thick. The dough can be a bit wet and difficult to work with, so make sure your rolling pin, hands and work surface are well floured.

Pour your jam into the middle of your rolled dough and spread evenly.

Lift your paper and fold your dough half way (see photo below) and then fold the other side of the dough over on itself into a cylinder. 

At this point some of your jam will inevitably spill out, making your dough difficult to work worth. A bench scraper or spatula will come in handy for cutting the dough and scraping it off of your work surface. Remember to keep your hands and tools well floured. 

Cut your cylinder into 12 scones and gently place them onto your baking sheet using your bench cutter or spatula. If you lose some jam along the way, scoop it up into your scones. This is a messy recipe, but well worth it. 

Sprinkle with coarse sugar and bake in the center of your preheated oven for 22-25 minutes, or until golden brown. I find scones are best eaten the day you bake them, but still lovely the next morning if well stored at room temperature. 

 

 

 

 


Double Chocolate Banana Muffins (Dairy Free) June 06 2018, 0 Comments

These are quite possibly the lightest, most tender chocolate muffins ever. At the same time they taste incredibly rich with the help of a double dose of chocolate and sweet, overripe bananas. The addition of finely ground almond meal and a pinch of nutmeg add depth and nuttiness. Honestly, I don't even miss the browned butter I usually use in my chocolate muffins. 

THIS RECIPE MAKES 12 BIG TOP MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (Bob's Red Mill)

1/2 cup finely ground almond meal 

3/4 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened baking cocoa)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (Oaktown Spice Shop)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup caster or granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)

1 cup chocolate chips 

1 cup almond milk 

3 large egg whites 

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (Braggs)

2 large overripe bananas 

1/2 cup canola oil (feel free to use your favorite baking oil)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (Oaktown Spice Shop)

METHOD:

Preheat your oven to 350F/180C and grease a 12 hole cupcake/muffin tin.

In a large bowl, sift together your flour, baking soda and powder, nutmeg, salt and cocoa powder, then stir in your almond meal and sugars. 

In a medium bowl, mash your bananas with a fork until smooth, then mix in your egg whites, vanilla and oil. Stir in your almond milk and apple cider vinegar. 

Make a well in your flour mixture and add your banana mixture. Stir until just combined, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl with each turn. Gently fold in your chocolate chips. About four folds should do it. Be careful not to over mix or you will lose the lovely airy texture. 

Scoop your batter into your muffin tin, filling them nearly to the top. This will give you that big bakery style muffin. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until your cake tester or a tooth pick inserted into the center of your muffin comes out clean. Transfer the tin to a rack and allow to cool for at least 15 to 20 minutes before removing. These muffins are incredibly light and tender. Giving them time to cool will keep them from crumbling when you take them out of your tin. 

You can enjoy these muffins for three to five days after baking or freeze them for up to two months. They are perfect with a cup of hot coffee or large glass of milk. 


Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins May 02 2018, 0 Comments

These crave-worthy muffins are tender and light, mildly sweet, packed full of fresh banana flavor and are a filling treat any time of day. This recipe comes together quickly and handles substitutions well. Feel free to replace the chocolate chips with nuts or dried fruit and use wheat bran or another nutrient rich grain instead of oats.

This recipe makes 24 muffins.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup greek yogurt

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/2 cup butter (melted and cooled)

  • 5 large over-ripe bananas

  • 2 tsp vanilla 

  • 1/2 brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup golden caster sugar

  • 2 cups oats (I use Bob's Red Mill Extra Thick Rolled Oats)

  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour 

  • 4 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I like to Guittard chocolate chips. A 1/2 cup of 46% and a 1/2 cup 63%)

METHOD:

 

Preheat your oven to 375F (190C) and grease two 12 cup muffins tins. 

In a large bowl, whisk together your flour, baking soda and powder, nutmeg, salt and oats. Stir in your chocolate chips and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mash your bananas with a fork until you have only a few small lumps. Then add your melted butter, yogurt, eggs, vanilla and sugars and whisk well to combine. 

Add your banana mixture to your flour mixture and stir gently with a spoon or spatula until just combined. 12-15 full scrapes of the bowl should do it. Be careful not to over stir, as this can result in tough muffins. 

Spoon your mixture into your muffin tins, filling each hole nearly to the top. Give your pans a hard rap against your counter top or table to release any large air bubbles and place both pans in the oven. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until your muffins are golden brown and a tooth pick or cake tester comes out clean.

Allow your muffins to rest in the tins for 5 minutes, then remove and place on a cooling rack.

 

I love these muffins just as they are or a little cream cheese. My husband loves them with a bit of peanut butter. There are no rules! Enjoy!

 

Muffins will keep in an airtight container for up to a week or two months in the freezer. 

 

 


Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies January 20 2018, 0 Comments

That's right, breakfast cookies. This has become one of my most requested recipes. I make these cookies almost weekly for my family and they are my go-to treat when we have friends over for brunch. This recipe is dairy-free, full of protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. They make an easy grab-and-go breakfast and a great guilt free treat. They are also the perfect snack for nursing mamas. I survived on these cookies for the first few months of motherhood. 

INGREDIENTS:

DRY:

2 cups rolled oats (I always use Bob's Red Mill Organic Extra Thick Rolled Oats)

3/4 cup organic whole wheat pastry flour (Also Bob's Red Mill)

1/4 cup ground flaxseeds (Usually I use Spectrum, but this week I lazily found some at Trader Joe's)

1/2 cup cranberries

2 oz semisweet baking chocolate, chopped (64% cacao)

4 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

 

WET:

3 large overripe bananas 

3/4 cup coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

This recipe handles substitutions very well. Feel free to switch out the whole wheat flour for grain-free. I love the tartness of cranberries, but raisins and other dried fruits work just as well. 

METHOD:

Preheat your oven to 375F and prepare two baking sheets with non-stick paper or silicon baking sheets.

In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer and large bowl, throughly combine your coconut oil and brown sugar. Add your bananas and vanilla extract. Mix well until there are almost no lumps. (A wooden spoon and some upper body strength will get the job done just as well.) 

Sift in your flour, cinnamon, baking powder and soda, then add your oats and flaxseeds. Mix well. Your dry ingredients should be fully incorporated.

Add your chopped chocolate and cranberries. Stir until combined.

Using your hands or an ice cream scoop, drop large rounds of dough onto your baking sheets. This recipe makes 12 large cookies.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the edges of your cookies are crisp and golden brown. 

I hope this becomes one of your favorite oatmeal cookie recipes. It is definitely one of mine. 

 


Apple Brown Butter Muffins December 15 2017, 0 Comments

These muffins are wonderful any time of year, but I especially love the smell of warm apples and cinnamon on a cold winter's day. There is something so familiar and heartwarming about that scent. This recipe is so easy to whip up and the end result is a soft, airy muffin, overflowing with apples, rich and complex from the addition of spices and brown butter. I like to use flaxseeds in this recipe to give the muffins a little more nutrition, for a quick morning breakfast. 

 

INGREDIENTS:

DRY:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (fine milled wheat flour)

3 tablespoons ground flaxseeds 

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup caster or granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

a pinch of nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

 

WET:

1/2 cup butter (melted in a sauté pan until light brown, set aside) 

2 large eggs (room temperature)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 medium apples, peeled (chop one, dice one and finely mince one) I love Opal apples for baking. They are firm and tart like Granny Smiths, but have a sweetness and floral quality unlike any other baking apple. 

 

 

METHOD:

Preheat your oven to 350F and grease or line a 12 hole muffin tin. 

In a medium bowl, sift together your flour, flaxseed, spices, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

In a large bowl whisk together your browned butter and sugars. Add your eggs one at a time and whisk throughly. 

Pour the flour mixture into your butter mixture and stir just a few times, then add your apples and stir until just combined.

Scoop into your muffin tin and bake on the center rack of your oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a cake tester or tooth pick comes out clean. If your oven tends to be a bit hot, check your muffins at 18 minutes. 

 


Gingerbread Apple Cider Cake November 20 2017, 0 Comments

This recipe quickly made it's way to the top of my Thanksgiving and Christmas baking lists. An incredibly moist cake, full of warm spices and fresh apples with a gorgeous crumb, made deliciously complex by the addition of homemade apple cider syrup, fresh and ground ginger and over a pound of apples. It bakes up perfectly in a bundt pan or as a layer cake in two 8 inch cake pans. I used Opal, Jonagold, Granny Smith and Honey Crisp apples. I love the different levels of sweet and tart, crisp and juicy. You can just as easily use one variety. 

APPLE CIDER SYRUP:

Reduce one bottle or can of apple cider on medium heat with two tablespoons of maple syrup for about 15 minutes, until it has reached a thick honey like consistency. I like Golden State Cider, Mighty Dry Hard Cider. It is perfect for drinking and cooking.

GINGERBREAD APPLE CIDER CAKE

WET INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup butter, (8 tablespoons) at room temperature

1/2 cup apple sauce

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Apple cider syrup (see directions below)

2 cups peeled and shredded apples (about four medium apples)

1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

DRY INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

 

METHOD:

Place rack in center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease your bundt pan or two 8 inch round cake pans with melted butter or cooking spray. 

Wash and peel your apples, then shred into a large glass measuring cup. You will need 2 cups, about four medium apples. Add your vanilla extract and grated ginger. Stir to combine. Set aside.

Sift your flours, spices, baking powder and soda together in a medium bowl.

In a stand mixer (or large bowl and hand mixer) cream together your butter and sugars until fluffy. Mix in your apple cider syrup, then add your eggs one at a time, until fully incorporated. 

Add your flour in two parts, alternating with your shredded apples. With each addition mix only until just combined. Overbeating will cause your cake to be dense and tough. Scrape the sides of your bowl to ensure all of your ingredients are mixed in.

Pour the batter into your pan and smooth out the top. Tap the pan on your countertop to reduce bubbles and place in the oven on the center rack.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until your cake tester (or a tooth pick) comes out clean.

Let your cake cool in the pan for 20-30 minutes, then place a cooling rack on top and invert your cake for easy removal. 

 

This cake is the perfect way to end a holiday gathering or warm up a cold weather brunch. Serve as dessert with homemade caramel sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream or at breakfast with coffee and good quality butter.


Spiced Banana Bundt Cake November 05 2017, 0 Comments

There are so many reasons to love this bundt cake. A tried and true recipe, which bakes up perfectly every time and slips right out of the pan. Giving you all of the definition and rich color you could want in a bundt cake with a little something extra...FLAVOR!

I love the look of bundt cakes, but I am almost always disappointed by the lack of flavor, with most recipes relying on vanilla or simple citrus for taste. This bundt cake is filled with warm spices, sweet bananas and has a gorgeous crumb. It is so simple and quick to prepare. If you can make banana bread, you can bake this beautiful spiced banana bundt cake! 

DRY INGREDIENTS:

 - 2 cups whole wheat flour

 - 1 cup all purpose flour

 - 1 teaspoon cinnamon

 - 1/2 teaspoon ginger

 - 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

 - 2 teaspoons baking soda

 - 1 teaspoon baking powder

 - 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

 - 1 cup brown sugar

 - 1/2 cup caster or granulated sugar

 

WET INGREDIENTS:

 - 1 cup unsalted butter (two sticks, room temperature) 

 - 2 large eggs (room temperature)

 - 4 large, overripe bananas

 - 1 cup Greek yogurt (room temperature)

 - 1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract (we use Oaktown Spice)

 

METHOD:

Generously grease your bundt pan with melted butter or cooking spray.

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

Sift your flours, spices, salt, baking soda and powder together into a medium bowl.

In your stand mixer (or a large bowl using a hand mixer) cream the butter at medium speed until pale and fluffy.

Add your sugars and beat for a few minutes until smooth. Mix in your vanilla, then add your eggs one add a time until fully incorporated.

Reduce your mixer speed to low and beat in your bananas until creamy. 

Add your flour in two parts, alternating with the Greek yogurt. With each addition, mix until just incorporated. Overbeating will cause your bundt cake to be dense and rubbery. Scrape the sides of your bowl to ensure all of your ingredients have combined.

Pour the batter into your bundt pan and smooth out the top. Tap your bundt pan on the counter to reduce bubbles and place in your oven on the center rack.

Bake for 60-70 minutes or until your cake tester (or a toothpick) comes out clean. 

Let the cake cool for 20 minutes, then place a cooling rack on top and invert your bundt cake for easy removal. It should slide right out onto your wire rack. 

This cake is a prefect tea time treat, goes beautifully with your morning cup of coffee and makes an incredible dessert when served warm with a scoop of ice cream or fresh whipped cream. 


WE ARE RELOCATING April 30 2015, 1 Comment

We are happy and proud to announce our relocation to California. 

We would like to thank our very dear clients, friends and followers for their support and love.


Organic Raspberry Apple Coffee Cake March 08 2015, 0 Comments

Filling your house with the smell of sweet apples, tart raspberries, rich vanilla and warm cinnamon baking in this delicious breakfast cake is reason enough to preheat your oven right now. Seriously. I can't remember the last time our kitchen smelled this welcoming. Despite its name, coffee cake is not actually flavoured with coffee. Rather, it is meant to be enjoyed with a fresh hot cup. 

 

ORGANIC RASPBERRY APPLE COFFEE CAKE

DRY INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups organic wholemeal flour

1/2 cup organic oat flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt 

4 tablespoons organic milled seeds (we use a mix of 50% flax, 25% pumpkin and 25% sunflower)

1 cup organic coconut sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling 

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus 1 teaspoon for your fruit

 

WET INGREDIENTS:

2/3 cup organic coconut oil (we use Biona cuisine oil) plus a bit more to grease your springform cake tin 

2 large eggs

1 cup organic almond or coconut milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 small organic apples (for this recipe sweet, mild apples, such as Pink Lady or Gala are best)

1 heaping cup raspberries, plus a few for the top of your cake

 

METHOD:

 

Preheat your oven to 375F (190C) and grease your 9.5 inch springform cake tin

 

1. Peel, core and chop your apples. Place them in a medium bowl with your raspberries, add your tablespoon of ground cinnamon and toss to coat your fruit. Set aside. 

 

2. In a medium bowl, whisk your flours, baking soda, salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and milled seeds. 

 

3. Put your coconut oil and 1 cup coconut sugar into your stand mixer or large bowl and mix until light and fluffy.

 

4. One at a time, add the eggs to your mixer and mix until well combined. Make sure to scrape down the sides of your bowl with a spatula after each addition. 

 

5. Add half of your flour mixture to the sugar and eggs and mix until just combined.

 

6. Scape down the sides of your mixer, add your milk and vanilla and mix to combine.

 

7. Add the rest of your flour mixture to the batter and mix until just combined, scrape down the sides of your mixer, add the apples and raspberries and stir with your spatula until all of the fruit is thoroughly incorporated. 

 

8. Pour the batter into your greased cake tin. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of coconut sugar and raspberries on top of your cake and place in the oven. Reduce heat to 325F (165C) and bake for 60 minutes or until your cake tester comes out clean and your cake is pulling away at the edges slightly.

 

9. Leave your cake to cool in the tin for 15 to 20 minutes, then release the cake from your springform tin and leave on a rack until completely cool.

 

 

This sweet and tender cake is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of hot coffee or tea. It is also incredibly delicious served warm, with a dollop of greek yoghurt. 

 


Blood Orange & Dark Chocolate Marble Bread March 06 2015, 0 Comments

When bright, beautiful blood oranges make their way into our local market it is a wonderful omen.

Winter is coming to an end.

Don't get me wrong, I love waking up to a sparkling, snowy wonderland and drinking cinnamon tea in the evenings under a cozy blanket, but I enthusiastically welcome the inaugural flowers of spring and the warm sun on my formerly golden face. Normally the first bundle of blood oranges are made into a batch of our blood orange and ginger pirouettes. However, this morning I was craving chocolate and thought a twist on the classic combination of dark chocolate and orange would do the trick. 

 Blood Orange & Dark Chocolate Marble Bread

DRY INGREDIENTS:

2 cups organic wholemeal flour

3/4 cup organic sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/3 cup organic cocoa powder

WET INGREDIENTS:

3 large organic blood oranges

3 tablespoons organic coconut oil (melted) plus a bit more to grease your pan

2 egg whites

 

METHOD:

 

 1. Preheat your oven to 350F (170C) and grease your bread pan.

 

2. Zest and juice your blood oranges into your stand mixer or large bowl. You should have about a cup of juice. 

 

3. Add your melted coconut oil to your orange juice and mix well to combine. Then add your egg whites and mix thoroughly. 

 

3. In a medium bowl, sift your flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Then add your sugar and whisk to combine.

 

4.  Add your flour mixture to your blood orange juice mixture and mix until just combined. Scrape the sides of your bowl and stir in any bits that haven't made it into your mixture. Then transfer a little over half of your batter into a small bowl.

 

5. Add your cocoa powder to the batter in your mixer and mix to combine.

 

Make sure to read this next step carefully.

6. Using a soup spoon or tablespoon, drop heaping spoonfuls of batter into your bread pan, rotating your batter in a checkerboard pattern. One drop light batter, one drop dark batter, making three drops across and five or six drops down. Using a cake tester or toothpick, swirl your batter until it looks marbleised. Take care not to over stir. 

 

7. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until your cake tester comes out clean and your bread is pulling away at the edges slightly.

  

8. Remove your bread from the oven and let it cool in the pan for about 15 to 20 minutes, then tip over to remove and leave on a rack until cool completely.

Once cool, slice and serve. 

We love this bread as a weekend brunch treat with fresh berries and COYO natural yoghurt or for dessert, drizzled with melted dark chocolate and topped with Booja-Booja vanilla ice cream. 


10 Minute Organic Banana Cranberry Breakfast Oats February 23 2015, 0 Comments

Occasionally our weekday breakfasts start to feel a bit boring. It's difficult to take as much pleasure in boiled eggs and toasted bread as you would a fried egg sandwich or blueberry pancakes. We started experimenting with quick and healthy breakfast recipes for mornings when a green smoothie just won't suffice.

This is a gluten-free and vegan recipe, full of protein, fibre, omega 3 and antioxidants.

Serves 2 in 10 minutes with 3 easy steps.

Ingredients:

2 slightly green, organic bananas

1 cup organic rolled oats (we use Bob's Red Mill pure, traditional rolled oats)

1/2 cup organic cranberries (no sugar added)

1/4 cup organic sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon milled organic seeds (we use a mix of 50% flax, 25% pumpkin and 25% sunflower)

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon Grade A maple syrup 

1 cup organic, unsweetened almond milk 

Method:

1. Place a small pot on your stove over medium heat. Into your pot, cut your bananas lengthwise down the middle and then into bite size pieces. Pour in your maple syrup and stir to caramelise your bananas. 

2. In the same pot, add your almond milk, oats, cranberries, cinnamon, ginger and stir. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until your oats have absorbed must of the moisture from the almond milk. 

3. Last, add your milled seeds and sunflower seeds. Stir to combine and serve. 


Organic Lemon Pancakes with Blueberry Maple Syrup February 16 2015, 0 Comments

I wish you were here. In our kitchen. Right now. The smell of golden lemon pancakes and warm blueberry maple syrup is something I'll remember until the next pancake day. This recipe is a nod to the classic pancakes my husband used to eat on Shove Tuesday when he was a child. He and his sister would eat them sprinkled with sugar and lemon juice. This recipe makes 6 fluffy, lemony pancakes and a half cup of syrup. 

 

BLUBERRY MAPLE SYRUP

Ingredients:

1 cup organic blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1/4 cup grade A maple syrup

Method:

1. Put your blueberries and maple syrup into a small pot, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.

2. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, smash the blueberries to ensure they have released all of their juices. Stir and leave to simmer for another minute. 

3. Put a sieve over a small jug and carefully pour in your blueberry syrup. Strain well and leave to sit. 

 

LEMON PANCAKES

 Dry Ingredients:

1 cup organic all purpose flour (We use Doves farm)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon brown sugar (Feel free to use any sweetener you like, so long as it dissolves easily. For our pancakes we use Tate & Lyle dark brown sugar)

Wet Ingredients:

 1 large organic egg

zest of one lemon

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3/4 cup almond milk

1 tablespoon melted organic coconut oil and a little extra for your pan or griddle (we use Biona cuisine oil) 

  

Method:

1. Pour almond milk, lemon juice and zest into a large bowl, whisk and leave to sour.

 

2. In a medium bowl, sift your flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. 

 

3. In a small bowl, whisk your egg, then add your melted coconut oil and whisk again.

 

4. Add your egg and oil to your almond milk and whisk. Then add your flour mixture and whisk until all of the lumps are gone. Set aside.

 

5. Heat your pan or griddle on medium and add your extra coconut oil.

 

6. Using a measuring cup or large ladle, slowly pour two to four even circles of batter, depending on the size of your hot surface. Leave until the top is bubbling and the underside is golden brown, then turn. About one or two minutes on each side should do it. Plate, drizzle with your blueberry syrup and enjoy. 


Gluten-free Dairy Free Banana Date Bread February 09 2015, 0 Comments

On Sunday afternoon we had friends over for lunch. If you're a friend of ours, you know a meal in our home will always end with something sweet, fresh from the oven. This recipe was thought up Sunday morning for our dairy-free and gluten-free party people. 

 

Dry Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (we use Doves Farm gluten and wheat free plain white flour blend)

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder 

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 heaping teaspoon cassava starch or xanthan gum (we use isabel's baking fix or Doves Farm)

1/3 cup organic dark brown sugar (we use Tate & Lyle sugars in all of our recipes)

1/3 cup organic caster sugar

 

Wet Ingredients:

1/2 cup organic coconut oil (we use Biona cuisine oil) and a little extra to grease your bread tin

3 overripe medium organic bananas 

10-15 organic Mejdool dates 

1 organic large egg

1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract

1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar (we use Biona unfiltered)

3 tablespoons organic almond milk 

 

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and grease your bread tin.

2. In a medium bowl, sift your flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and your cassava starch or xanthan gum.

3. In a small bowl, mash your banana with a fork. Do not over mash. Leaving some larger pieces will give your bread a better texture.

4. Pit your dates and cut into small pieces, about the size or your thumb nail and add them to your mashed banana along with your vanilla extract, almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Stir to mix.

5. In your electric mixer or large bowl with a hand mixer, cream your coconut oil until light and fluffy.

6. Add your sugars to your coconut oil and mix throughly. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the sides of your bowl to ensure your ingredients are well blended. Make sure to do this after each addition. Leaving flour or oil on the sides of your mixing bowl can effect the consistency of your bread. 

7. Add your egg to the sugar and oil and mix until well combined.

8. Add half of your flour mixture to your mixing bowl, stirring until just combined. Then add your banana mixture, also stirring until just combined.

9. Now add the last of your flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Be sure to scrape the sides of your bowl with your spatula to ensure all the ingredients are well blended. 

10. Pour your batter into your greased bread tin and put in the oven to bake for 35-45 minutes. When your bread is ready, it will be a deep golden brown and starting to pull away from the sides of your baking tin. 

11. Cool your bread in the tin for about 15 minutes, then turn over to remove and transfer to a cooling rack. Once cooled, slice and enjoy.

This bread makes a lovely treat on its own for brunch with friends and family, but we like it best served slightly warm with a drizzle of dairy-free salted caramel sauce and a scoop of Co Yo coconut milk yoghurt. 

You can find our recipe for dairy-free, cane sugar-free caramel sauce here: www.megpies.co.uk/blogs/megpies-blog/17096176-dairy-free-coconut-sugar-salted-caramel-sauce


Dairy Free Cane Sugar Free Salted Caramel Sauce February 09 2015, 0 Comments

Not too sweet and slightly salty, this rich salted caramel sauce goes well with just about everything.

You only need five natural ingredients to make delicious dairy-free and cane sugar-free caramel. This recipe makes a little over a 1/2 cup of caramel, but will not be quite as thick as traditional dairy and cane sugar caramel. 

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup organic coconut palm sugar (we use Biona)

4 tablespoons water

1 cup coconut milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

2 healthy pinches of sea salt 

 

Method:

1. Add your coconut sugar and water to a small sauce pan and bring to a slow boil, whisking occasionally to melt your sugar. 

2. Once your mixture has reached a boil, whisk in your coconut milk, vanilla extract and salt.

3. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 15 minutes. Watch your mixture carefully to ensure it does not burn or boil over. 

4. Once your caramel is a rich golden brown colour and has thickened slightly, remove from heat and allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. Your caramel will keep in the fridge for a week (if you can stop yourself from eating it all in one go!) in an airtight container and can be served cool or warm. 

We like to put this caramel on almost anything. Try it drizzled over banana bread, farm fresh green apples, sticky toffee pudding or ice cream. 

Organic coconut sugar is unrefined and made from the liquid nectar of the coconut blossom. Coconut palm sugar is a low GI sweetener with a glycemic value of 35, compared to regular cane sugar, which is typically GI 68. 


Meg's Bergamot Pear Bread January 20 2015, 0 Comments

 

This is one of my favourite easy and comforting recipes to make during the colder months. I love how quickly our house fills with smell of fresh citrus and sweet pears, baking in this flavoursome and delicate loaf. The taste of pear is very mild. Just an addition of sweetness to this aromatic bergamot bread. 

DRY INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups organic, fine wholemeal flour (we use Doves Farm)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt (we use pink Himalayan)

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

WET INGREDIENTS:

6 tablespoons coconut oil, (I think Biona cooking oil works well in this recipe, but feel free to substitute butter or your favourite oil)

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup caster sugar

1 egg and 1 egg white

1 large Comice pear

1 large bergamot 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract with seeds

 

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 175C (350F)

 

2. Grease your loaf pan

 

3. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger into a medium bowl

 

4. Peel your pear. In a small bowl, mash with a fork until all lumps are gone

 

5. In the same small bowl, zest and juice your bergamot. Mix with your mashed pear

 

6. In your stand mixer, cream your coconut oil for about three minutes, until light and fluffy. Be sure to occasionally scrape down the sides of your bowl (you can use a large mixing bowl and hand mixer)

 

7. Add your brown and white sugars to your coconut oil and mix for a few minutes until well combined.

 

8. Add your egg and egg white to your mixer one at a time, beating after each addition until smooth

 

9. Scrape the sides of your bowl, then add half of your flour mixture and mix slowly until just combined

 

10. Add your pear mixture to your batter, mixing until just combined, then gently fold in the rest of your flour mixture until (you guessed it) just combined 

 

11. Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan and bake until dark golden brown, about 40 minutes, or until your cake tester comes out clean and the sides of your bread are pulling away from your tin. 

 

12. Cool your bread in the tin on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then gently turn it out of the tin and leave upright on your wire rack to cool completely.

Once your bread has cooled, slice and share. This recipes doubles easily, freezes well, can be baked in a muffin or round cake pan and makes a lovely house warming or hostess gift. 

Enjoy a slice for breakfast with a cup of coffee or tea or throw together an incredible dessert by warming a piece in the oven, adding a dollop of coconut yogurt and a drizzle of Dulce de leche.


Meg's Perfect Pulled Pork January 10 2015, 0 Comments

As an American girl, raised mostly on delicious home cooked meals and scratch baked goods, some things grew more important to me as I started discovering a love for food at a young age. One: Learn to make chicken noodle soup as comforting as my mom's. Two: Figure out what my grandmother puts in her chicken paprikash to make it so amazing. Three: Master an impeccable, rich and spicy red wine bolognese. Four: Perfect a melt in your mouth tender, brimming with flavour, my friends have come over unannounced and are pressing their faces against my kitchen window, pulled pork recipe. I've covered all tastebud bases with this incredibly savoury dish; sweet, sour, salty, bitter, spicy...you name it, you'll taste it.

  

Ingredients:

 3.5 pounds (1,600 grams) boneless pork shoulder, cut in half or quartered if you're using a small pot

 1 cup broth (pork or chicken)

Preheat your crockpot or deep casserole dish, add your broth

 

In a large bowl:

 2 medium sweet yellow onions, chopped (we like Walla Walla or Vidalia) 

4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon hot chilli powder

1 heaping teaspoon cumin

a potent amount of freshly ground black pepper

the juice of two fresh limes (you may need more if your limes are dry or out of season)

1 large sweet red pepper, deseeded and chopped (we like poblanos or sweet banana peppers)

1 habanero chili, deseeded and minced (if you are not familiar with the heat level of these peppers, please taste before adding the whole chilli to your bowl and wear gloves whilst handling to protect your skin) 

1 heaping tablespoon cocoa powder (for this dish we like Green and Blacks)

a handful of cilantro (coriander) and parsley, torn 

Once you have added all of your ingredients to your large bowl, give them a stir then add your pork shoulder and toss throughly in your wet rub mixture. 

 Place your pork shoulder into your preheated pot, fat side up. 

Pour the wet rub mixture on top of your pork and cover with lid.

If you are using a crockpot, cook on high for 8 hours, or low for 12 hours

For a deep casserole dish, cook on medium-low for 8-12 hours

I like to serve this perfect pulled pork with Mexican style brown rice, creamy black beans and a spicy homemade pineapple, mango and pickled onion chutney. If we are in the mood for some southern hospitality, I'll toss the pulled pork in some Sweet Baby Ray's and pile it on a brioche or challah bun. 


Why no red velvet?! And Other FAQs January 08 2015, 0 Comments

We have the best customers and they ask the best questions. We usually reply to each one of you individually, but there are some questions we are asked so often, we thought it would be a good idea to post some answers on our blog page.

 

Why don't you have red velvet cupcakes on your menu?

It is pretty simple really, we do not use any artificial food dyes in our baked goods. Nearly 2fl oz of artificial red food colouring goes into making just one dozen of those big, bold red velvet cupcakes you see in your favourite bakeries. 

There are natural red food colouring options, but they are usually made from beets and have a very distinct and strong flavour so we choose to use them sparingly. Also, they will not give the same strong red colour as their chemical counterparts, so they aren't suitable for making the ever so popular red velvet cake. 

 

Does Megpies make gluten-free cupcakes?

Yes! We know following a gluten-free diet to manage celiac disease or gluten intolerance can be very difficult, but we don't believe it should keep you from the things you love. We have an entire menu filled with made without goodies, baked lovingly and carefully using gluten-free flour and rising agents produced by Doves Farm, who have worked closely with gluten-free groups, sufferers and nutritionists to develop their award winning gluten-free products. Our made without cupcakes, muffins and cookies are baked in the same kitchen as our traditional baked goods, therefore we cannot officially certify them as gluten-free. Please get in touch if you would like more information about our ingredients or baking techniques. 

Better Baking: http://www.vogue.co.uk/beauty/2013/10/08/calgary-avansino-indulgent-but-healthy-treats/gallery/1061903

 

Does Megpies do corporate orders?

Absolutely! We have many standing orders with local businesses for their corporate celebrations. We don't do edible printed logos, as they make us a bit queasy, (Printed logo ingredients: Distarch phosphate, Acetylated distarch adipate, maltodextrin, glycerin, sugar, water, Acacia gum, Microcrystalline cellulos, dextrose, emulsifiers, Polyoxyethylene sorbitan tristearate, Mono and diglycerides of fatty acids, Sorbitan monostearate, food color, Titanium dioxide, sucralose, citric acid, flavors, Potassium sorbate, hydrogenated coconut fat) but we love getting creative with marzipan and icing decorations.

Please have a look at our gallery page to get inspired for you next event: http://www.megpies.co.uk/pages/gallery



Does Megpies do larger celebration cakes?

Yes! We offer 9" double and triple layer cake versions of our popular cupcakes flavours. Please see our cake menu for flavour options or email info@megpies.co.uk with any questions. 

 

 If your question wasn't answered here, please email us and we will make sure you have all the info you need.


Farm to Fork January 04 2015, 0 Comments

KNOWES FARM

While in Scotland for Christmas and Hogmanay, we visited Knowes Farm Shop for some super fresh PYO veg, flavoursome house-made autumn fruit chutney, local honey and to say hello to the spritely little hens that would provide us with the eggs for our fluffy scramble the next morning.   

I can happily admit that we over indulged in a major way this holiday season, but that didn't keep us from our usual farm to fork eating habits. Even when we are away from home, we like to know where our food is coming from, shop locally and source our meals from neighbourhood farms and markets whenever possible. 

When you arrive at Knowes Farm Shop, you are immediately greeted by a large flock of very friendly little hens that call Knowes Farm their happy home. They kept a close eye on us as we explored the grounds. The hens roam freely and provide the beautiful eggs for sale inside the shop. 

The list of vegetables and herbs grown at Knowes Farm is too long to list here, incredibly fresh and available in the farm shop or you can wander the grounds and pick your own. Also available in the shop are house-made jams, chutneys and various spreads and sauces, as well as farm raised Scottish meats, seasonal game, local shellfish and ready to bake pies. 

 

If you have the pleasure of staying near or passing through East Lothian, Scotland we highly recommend a visit to Knowes Farm. Your mum will thank you for the chutney!


Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes December 22 2014, 0 Comments

Hopefully you have some lazy days coming your way this holiday season.

We think homemade blueberry pancakes are the perfect slow morning breakfast.

We have a few different recipes, but this is one of our favourites.

This recipe makes about 4-6 pancakes.


INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup almond milk (You can easily substitute your favourite milk, almond just happens to be ours)


2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (Any white vinegar will do, you can even use lemon juice, but we prefer the flavour and acidity level added by apple cider vinegar)

1 cup of organic self rising whole wheat flour (we use Doves Farm)

1 tablespoon sugar (Feel free to use any sweetener you like, so long as it dissolves easily. No one likes gritty pancakes. For our pancakes we use Tate & Lyle icing sugar or Blue Agave nectar)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon fine salt (We use Pink Himalayan)

1 egg 


1 cup blueberries

 

A little butter or coconut oil for your pan or griddle


METHOD:
1. Pour milk and vinegar together in a small cup or bowl and let sit to "sour" for 5 minutes. (Adding an acid to milk, such as vinegar or lemon juice, causes it to thicken, when mixed with baking soda it creates carbon dioxide bubbles that help our pancakes get their rise)


2. In a mixer or large bowl, vigorously whisk your egg.


3. Sift flour, sugar, baking soda and salt into you mister or large bowl with your egg.


4. Add your milk and mix gently, until just combined. Be careful not to over mix, then leave your batter to sit for a few minutes while you heat your pan. No more stirring!


5. Heat your large pan or griddle to medium heat and coat with butter or coconut oil. If your pan or griddle isn't large enough you can make two pancakes at a time, otherwise, pour 4 even circles of batter onto your skillet or griddle, then add your blueberries (as many as you like) to the top of your pancakes and cook until bubbles rise to the surface.


6. In a minute or two, check to see if the underside is nice and golden. Flip and cook until the other side is a lovely golden brown and your blueberries are warm and releasing their juices (warning: this will look delicious!) Plate your first batch, then add the rest of your pancake batter to your hot pan or griddle, again in even circles, and flip when ready.


We like to finish our pancakes with a touch of butter and a generous splash of good quality maple syrup.


Happy Holidays From Megpies! December 09 2014, 0 Comments

Hello sweet teeth! We want to help you celebrate the holidays with 10% off your next order. Simply type in the code HAPPYHOLIDAYS at check out for a very merry discount. With love, Megpies


Spiced Apple Crisp November 28 2013, 0 Comments

Today is a good day to tell our loved ones what we are thankful for. With the captivating smell of warm cinnamon, baking fruit and crispy oats making its way through our house, we are thankful for dessert!

 This recipe is the perfect ending to a fine feast or weekend dinner and will serve about 10 impressed guests 

 

Ingredients:

 FILLING

5 pounds (2200 grams) organic Granny Smith or Bramley apples (We buy our fruit from local farmers whenever possible and it is important for this recipe to choose firm fruit that isn't too sweet)

Finely minced zest and juice of 1 organic, unwaxed lemon

1/2 cup granulated sugar (We use Tate & Lyle Fairtrade in all of our recipes)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

 

CRUMBLE TOPPING

1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (We use Doves Farm)

1 cup organic oats

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light soft brown sugar, packed

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt (We use Pink Himalayan)    

225 grams cold organic, unsalted butter, cubed

 

Method:

 

Preheat the oven to 180c (350f) and butter a 9 x 14 x 2 inch oval baking dish.

Peel, core, and cut your apples into large wedges.

 

In a mixing bowl, toss the apples in your sugar, spices, lemon zest and juice. Pour into your baking dish. (To save time, this step can be done the evening before, covered and refrigerated overnight. Simply bring to room temperature before adding your topping and baking).

 

To make the topping, combine your flour, oats, sugars, salt and cold butter with a pastry blender or in your mixer on low speed until your topping mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas. Scatter evenly over the apples.

 

Place your baking dish on a piece of foil or a cookie sheet to prevent the fruit from creating a sticky mess on the bottom of your oven. Bake for 1 hour until the top is brown and the filling is piping hot and bubbling.

 

This lovely crisp is best served warm. We like to add a scoop of Booja Booja vanilla ice cream before serving. 


Healthy Asian Chicken Salad November 14 2013, 0 Comments

I've been told to stop calling this my lazy day lunch. I suppose it is a bit too much effort to really be referred to as a lazy lunch, but it is just so simple and delicious. I like to make this salad the day after we have roasted a chicken for dinner, having saved the breasts for this lovely, easy meal. For a vegetarian or vegan salad, simply omit the meat.

 Serves a hearty lunch for two or 4-6 small, side dish portions

 

INGREDIENTS

Dressing:

 2 tablespoons organic coconut or grape seed oil

1 tablespoon organic rice wine vinegar

tiny splash of sesame oil

1 teaspoon organic soy sauce

1 teaspoon organic, freshly grated ginger

2 teaspoons organic honey or agave

the zest and juice of 1 washed, small organic orange

1 garlic clove, very finely minced

1 tablespoon organic cold milled golden flax seed (flax seeds add Omega-3 essential fatty acids and fibre to this dish)

a pinch of coarse sea salt (we like to use pink Himalayan) 

black pepper to taste

 

Salad:

2 roast chicken breasts

1 very large handful purple kale (rinsed, dried and torn) 

1 very large handful organic green kale (rinsed, dried and torn)

1 small head of organic butter lettuce (you guessed it, rinsed, dried and torn)

(feel free to substitute any healthy greens you have on hand)

a sprig of fresh organic mint and coriander, finely chopped

3 large organic carrots sliced finely

1/4 cup organic cashews, roughy chopped

1/4 cup organic peanuts, roughly chopped 

 

1. To make your dressing: In a medium size bowl, vigorously whisk together your dressing ingredients and season with salt and pepper. You can also use your food processor or blender, but why dirty more dishes?

2. In a large bowl, toss your greens (and purples), carrots, cashews and peanuts.

3. Drizzle on your dressing, toss well and serve immediately.

 

This dressing also makes a lovely marinade for chicken, seafood and BBQ steak.


Winter is on its way October 25 2013, 0 Comments

Autumn has arrived and we couldn't be more excited. Sure, we love the warmth of the summer sun, the sand between our toes and an occasional Mojito, but we welcome the falling leaves, crisp October air and getting to use the "something warm would be nice" excuse for a second cup of hot coffee in the afternoon. However, with Autumn comes the dreaded cold and flu season. We can attempt to avoid the tube for a few months and run from sneezing strangers, but sometimes that common cold is inescapable. 

Any physician will tell you the key to avoiding colds and flu is keeping your hands clean. Wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes and always keep a good antibacterial gel handy. If you don't already know the nasty truth about most store bought hand sanitizers, please take a little time to research the effects their active ingredients, Triclosan (a chemical used in wastewater treatment and pestisides) and ethanol (pure Ethanol Alcohol.)

Although washing your hands throughly with soap and water is best, this natural, plant-based hand sanitizer is a safe and effective way to help prevent illness. 

This simple recipe is made with essential oils, organic aloe vera and spring water and makes one 60ml/2oz travel size bottle.

Note, it is always wise to be mindful of the senstivity of your skin when using new products.

 

Ingredients and method:

 

60ml/2oz glass or recycled, durable plastic bottle 

 

2-4 drops of the following four oils essential oils:

Cinnamon

Clove

Rosemary

Eucalyptus 

5-10 drops of lemon oil

About 2 tablespoons Organic Aloe Vera

Natural Spring water

 

1. Pour/squeeze your aloe vera into you chosen container.

2. Add your essential oils.

3. Fill the remainder of your container with water.

4. Shake, apply to hands and rub together until absorbed.

  

And now, just in time for All Hallows' Eve, some good, old fashion folklore:

This mix of essential oils is often referred to as Thieves or Burglars blend. It is based on the legend of the four thieves, said to be sons of herbalists, who were captured and charged with robbing dead and dying victims of the plague. The thieves were offered leniency for their crimes in exchange for the secret of how they resisted contracting infection. They told of a special concoction of aromatic herbs and spices they applied, drank and inhaled before and after committing their crimes.

Mystery and historic intrigue aside, studies have determined that several essential oils, including cinnamon, rosemary, clove, lemon and eucalyptus, effectively fight bacteria; specifically six Staphylococcus varieties, including the dreaded MRSA, four Streptococcus strains and three Candida strains. 

Additional info:

 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1693916/

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166445X06003407


Chouquettes October 22 2013, 0 Comments

For me, these sweet little choux pastry puffs bring back the loveliest memories of Paris. Staying in a flat above a boulangerie-pâtissière meant waking up every morning to the smell of warm butter and flaky pastries. My husband and I couldn't resist filling a paper bag with crisp, airy and dangerously easy to eat chouquettes to snack on while we wandered the city. 

 

This recipe makes about 20-25 chouquettes

240ml (1 cup) water

1/2 teaspoon salt (We use Himalayan Rose Pink Salt)

2 teaspoons sugar (We use Tate & Lyle golden caster sugar)

90g (6 tablespoons) organic unsalted butter, cut into small pats
140g (1 cup) sifted organic AP flour

4 large organic eggs at room temperature. Separate one egg. You will use the yolk for your wash and the white for your dough

See note above: 1 egg yolk, whisked with 1 teaspoon of almond milk (or your favourite milk) to make a wash

sucre perlé (Pearl or Nib sugar) for sprinkling. You can find this coarse sugar at most specialty food stores or French markets

     

    Method:

    1. Preheat the oven your oven to 220c (200 fan or 425f) and line a baking sheet with your silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

    2. In a medium saucepan heat your water, salt, sugar, and butter. Stir occasionally until the butter is melted and your liquid is nearing a boil.

    3. Do not remove from heat. Pour all of the flour into your pan and stir rapidly using a wooden spoon, until the mixture is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat.

    4. Allow your dough to cool in a mixing bowl for about two minutes or until lukewarm to the touch.

    5. One at a time, vigorously stir in the 3 eggs and 1 egg white with your wooden spoon until smooth and shiny.

    4. Using a pastry bag, pipe walnut size mounds of dough onto your baking sheet. Flicking the bag at the end will help to keep your chouquettes from having a pointed top.

    5. Brush the tops of each mound with your egg wash then sprinkle your coarse sugar on top. Be generous with your sugar, as it will give a sweet crunch and appealing look to your pastries. 

    6. Bake for 35 minutes or until puffed and well-browned. If your oven browns one side of your pan faster than the other, you can turn half way through. HOWEVER, resist the urge to peek! Opening your oven door can cause the chouquettes to deflate due to the drop in temperature. 

    If you would like to fill them with cream, simply poke a small hole in the side of your chouquettes after you take them out of the oven to let the steam escape and to keep them crispy enough to hold your filling. Using a piping bag and small tip, pierce the bottom of you chouquette and fill.

    Chouquettes are most delicious right out of the oven and best eaten the day they are made.


    Gluten-Free Pie Crust October 14 2013, 0 Comments

    Beautifully flaky, golden brown, gluten-free pie crust can be difficult to achieve, but this tried and true recipe is worth the effort.

    Start by reading our baking tips below to ensure a perfect pie every time. This recipe utilises a pastry blender. If you don't already have a pastry blender this is the perfect time to change that! Every kitchen should have one. 

    This recipe yields one 9" pie crust, but can be easily doubled.

     

    Ingredients:

    1 1/4 cups gluten-free flour (we use Doves Farm gluten-free plain white flour)

    1 tablespoon sugar (we use Tate & Lyle Fairtrade, but you can substitute coconut palm sugar or your favourite sweetener)

    1/2 teaspoon gluten-free xanthan gum (we use Doves Farm) 

    6 tablespoons organic, very cold butter (regular butter, not unsalted) and a little extra for greasing your pie pan

    1 large organic egg

    2 teaspoons organic apple cider vinegar

       

      Method:

      1. Lightly grease your 9" pie pan with the extra butter.

      2. In a large bowl, sift together your flour, sugar and xanthan gum.

      3. Cut your cold butter into small pieces then work into your flour mixture using your pastry blender until your mixture has a crumbly texture with some larger, pea-sized lumps of butter remaining.

      4. In a small bowl, whisk together your egg and vinegar until very frothy, then mix into your dry ingredients. Stir until the mixture holds together. You can add 1 to 3 tablespoons of ice cold water if your mixture is too dry to hold together.

      5. Shape into a ball, wrap in plastic, then flatten into a disk and chill in the fridge for at least one hour.

      6. After at least one hour, remove your dough from the fridge and allow it to rest at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before rolling.

      7. Roll your dough out between two sheets of parchment paper or on a silicone rolling mat.

      8. Gently transfer your dough into your pie pan, crimp, fill and bake as your recipe directs.

       

      BAKING TIPS:

      If the edges of your pie crust begin to brown too quickly, shield them with aluminium foil to prevent them from burning while the crust continues baking.

        If you are making a fruit pie, baking at a higher temperature for the first 20 minutes will help to prevent a soggy bottom. Bake at 220C/425F on the bottom rack of your oven for 20 minutes, move your pie to the middle rack, reduce the heat to 180C/325F and continue to bake until the crust is golden and the filling has begun to bubble. 

          If you're baking a custard pie, follow the directions above, then cool the crust until it is lukewarm to the touch before pouring in your custard. Bake your custard-filled pie according to your recipe directions. 

            Brushing your top pie crust with milk (feel free to substitute lactose free or your personal favourite) and sprinkling it with sugar before baking will add a sweet, golden crunch.


              Kale, Plum & Marcona Almond Salad October 07 2013, 0 Comments

               We love this salad as a side dish or on it's own for a bright and light Autumn lunch. Feel free to substitute your favourite citrus or leafy greens.

               

              Serves 4-6

              2 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil

              1 tablespoon organic balsamic vinegar

              1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (make sure to use unwaxed, organic fruit)

              1 teaspoon grated blood orange zest (see note above)

              2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

              2 tablespoons fresh blood orange juice

              a pinch of coarse sea salt (we like to use pink Himalayan) 

              a pinch of crushed black pepper

              2 very large heads of organic kale (rinsed, dried and torn)

              2 ripe organic black or red plums (pitted and quartered) 

              1/2 cup of Marcona almonds (feel free to substitute pistachios or your favourite nuts)

               

              1. To make your dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, citrus juices and zest and season with salt and pepper.

              2. In a large bowl, toss your kale, plums and almonds.

              3. Drizzle in your dressing, toss well and serve immediately.


              A Spoonful of Coconut Palm Sugar? October 01 2013, 0 Comments

              Made Without, Double Chocolate and Carrot Cupcakes

              We have to be honest, we love sugar. It's sweet, tasty and it makes many things oh so much better. Humans have been chewing on, cooking and using sugar cane to sweeten for thousands and thousands of years. However, the modern diet, health issues, allergies and other concerns have sent us searching for something else to stir into our coffee, sprinkle over our muffins and bake into our cakes. 

              There are many sugar substitutes out there, and like anything else, we recommend doing your research and finding the best option for you. We have an amazing "made without" menu, full of delicious cupcakes, muffins and cookies. To bake these goodies we use unrefined coconut palm sugar, honey, maple syrup, blue agave and xylitol. Please feel free to get in touch if you would like more information about our sugar-free sweet treats. 


              Meg's Roast Chicken September 03 2013, 0 Comments

              Whether you are craving a classic, having a romantic date night or needing a never-fail recipe for entertaining friends, nothing beats a golden roast chicken. Few things will give you more pride in the kitchen than opening your oven to see that deliciously crisp skin or carving into your perfectly herbed and juicy bird. This recipe is just right for four guests or a couple who love their left overs.

               

              You Will Need:

              1 medium roasting chicken (we recommend free range, organic or kosher)

              1 large organic unwaxed lemon

              1/4 cup minced fresh organic chive

              1/4 cup chopped fresh organic flat-leaf parsley 

              1 small organic onion, halved

              3 organic garlic cloves

              2 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil

              4 tbsp organic unsalted room temperature butter 

              freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to season

              kitchen twine

              roasting pan with rack

              (Need the perfect side? See our quick recipe for roasted veggies below. Start here first and make sure to purchase organic/locally sourced produce whenever possible)

               

              1. Preheat your oven to 250 C. While the oven preheats, pat your chicken dry and remove anything from the cavity. Set aside to reach room temperature while you prepare your other ingredients.

               

              2. Use a citrus zester or vegetable peeler to remove the zest from your lemon. Mince your zest and set your lemon aside for later use.

               

              3. In a medium bowl, mix together your olive oil, herbs and lemon zest. Season the mixture with sea salt and pepper to taste.

               

              4. Carefully slide your fingers between the skin and flesh of the chicken to separate the skin from the breast. This can be a tricky step for first timers. Be gentle and have patience. 

               

              5. Spread the lemon and herb mixture under the skin.

               

              6. Cut your zested lemon in half a place it inside the cavity of your chicken, along with the halved onion and garlic cloves.

               

              7. Rub your bird all over with the room temperature butter and season generously with sea salt and black pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine and place your chicken on roasting rack and pan. Place in the oven.

               

              8. Roast the bird for about 25 minutes until it is golden brown all over. (If you are making veggies, the 25 minute mark is the perfect time to turn them)

               

              9. Reduce your oven temperature to 150 C and roast for about 35 more minutes or until your chicken is cooked through. If it helps, feel free to use a meat thermometer. Your bird should read 74 C or 165 F when done.

               

              10. Remove your chicken from the oven and let it rest for about 20 minutes. Do not skip this step or you will lose the all of the juiciness and flavour.

               

              To make the perfect side:

               

              Roughly chop 1 onion, 6 to 10 baby or fingerling potatoes, 2 large sweet potatoes, 3 large carrots and 3 cloves of garlic and toss in olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Place in your roasting pan below your chicken and roasting rack and roast with your bird, turning the veggies once during cooking.

               


              Made Without August 31 2013, 0 Comments

              Following a gluten-free diet to manage celiac disease or gluten intolerance can be very difficult, but we don't believe it should keep you from the things you love. All of Megpies' decadent cupcakes and delicious muffins can be "made without" as well as some of our tempting cookies. We use gluten-free flour and rising agents produced by Doves Farm, who have worked closely with gluten free groups, sufferers and nutritionists to develop their award winning gluten-free products.

              Our "made without" treats are baked lovingly with gluten-free ingredients, kept separately from our traditional flours and baking tools. However, they are made in the same kitchen as our traditional baked goods, therefore we cannot officially certify them as gluten-free. Please get in touch if you would like more information about our ingredients or baking techniques. 

               


              Blueberry Pancakes July 29 2013, 0 Comments

              We love the weekends! Nothing says Saturday morning like fluffy blueberry pancakes drizzled with maple syrup. We have a few different recipes and this is one of our favourites. This recipe makes about 4-6 "American" size pancakes.

              INGREDIENTS:

              3/4 cup almond milk (You can easily substitute your favourite milk, almond just happens to be ours)

              1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (Any white vinegar will do, you can even use lemon juice, but we prefer the flavour and acidity level added by apple cider vinegar)

              1/2 cup organic all purpose flour (We use Doves farm. They produce lovely gluten-free alternatives as well)

              1/2 cup organic whole wheat flour (See our notes above :)

              1 tablespoon sugar (Feel free to use any sweetener you like, so long as it dissolves easily. No one likes gritty pancakes. For our pancakes we use Tate & Lyle icing sugar)

              1/2 teaspoon baking soda

              1 teaspoon baking powder

              1/4 teaspoon fine salt (We use Pink Himalayan)

              1 egg (You can use an egg substitute, bananas or flax seed, but keep in mind this can effect the the fluffiness of your pancakes)

              1 cup blueberries

              A little butter or grape seed oil for your pan or griddle

               

              1. Stir milk and vinegar together in a small bowl and let sit to "sour" for 5 minutes. (Sour milk is not the same as spoiled milk. Adding an acid to milk, such as vinegar or lemon juice, causes it to coagulate or thicken. When mixed with baking soda it creates carbon dioxide bubbles that help our pancakes get their rise)

               

              2. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a mixing bowl.

               

              3. Whisk egg into soured milk and pour into your dry ingredients. 

               

              4. Mix your batter until there are no lumps (careful not to over mix) and leave to sit for ten minutes. No stirring!

               

              5. Heat your large pan or griddle to medium heat and coat with butter or grape seed oil. If your pan or griddle isn't large enough you can make two pancakes at a time, otherwise, pour 4 even circles of batter onto your skillet or griddle, then add your blueberries (as many as you like) to the top of your pancakes and cook until bubbles rise to the surface.

               

              6. In a minute or two, check to see if the underside is nice and golden. Flip and cook until the other side is a lovely golden brown and your blueberries are warm and releasing their juices (warning: this will look delicious!) 

               

              7. Plate and eat!

               

              We like our pancakes with a touch of butter and a generous splash of good quality maple syrup. 


              Our Ingredients July 16 2013, 1 Comment

              We choose our ingredients thoughtfully. Megpies is a huge supporter of local farmers and organic, responsibly sourced products.  We believe that the finest ingredients make the finest muffins, cookies and cupcakes.  

              To give our cupcakes, muffins and cookies the perfect crumb we use Doves Farm organic flour. Doves Farm is family owned, based in Berkshire and dedicated to producing high quality, organic products. We use both traditional wheat flour and a gluten-free blend of rice, potato, tapioca, maize and buckwheat.  

              We use less sugar in our treats than most. Our sweetness come from Tate & Lyle who are fully committed to ethically sourcing the finest sugars and reducing the impact their business has on the environment.

               When substituting sugar, our baked goods are sweetened with agave, xylitol, coconut palm sugar or maple syrup.

              Nielsen-Massey have been crafting vanilla products for over a century, examining all of their vanilla bean by bean to ensure each bean meets their high standards. That is good enough for us.

              Megpies' flavours come from fresh local farmers' fruit, the finest chocolate, rich and aromatic espresso, fresh organic citrus, sweet and salty caramels, ethically sourced exotic fruit and special finds from Megs' travels. 


              Welcome to Megpies News Page! July 15 2013, 0 Comments

              Thank you for taking the time to visit us. Have a peek behinds the scenes and be the first to know about our seasonal flavours and special offers, get freshly baked tips and tricks from our kitchen and find ideas for custom cupcakes and more!  We hope you will check back often and stay in touch.