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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. 


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. 


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. 


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.


    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. 


    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.