Tag: Snack

Wholegrain Crackers with Homemade Hazelnut Butter and Strawberries

Wholegrain Crackers with Homemade Hazelnut Butter and Strawberries

Last week I made some delicious hazelnut butter, now it’s time for something to it with! I’ve found it really good as a sandwich filler, a porridge topper and a yoghurt pal, however if you want to make something specific to pair with your creation look no further than these delicious wholegrain crackers.  These can taste a little bland on their own, but they’re the perfect carrier for all kinds of toppings from caramel, to nutella to this nut butter.

I’ve also found by topping it all with some fresh berries you can end up bringing some sweetness to the package which makes a great little healthy, filling snack!

Recipe

Makes 18 biscuits

Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

For the crackers

  • 160g Whole-wheat flour
  • 55g Sesame seeds
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 60ml Olive oil
  • 4-5 tbsp Water

To top

  • 3 tbsp Homemade nut butter (see last week’s recipe for how to make your own!)
  • 4 Fresh Strawberries
  • A few Mint leaves to garnish

Method

  1. Begin by making the crackers. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Mix the flour, sesame seeds and salt in a large bowl. Then add the oil and mix it in with a fork to make a crumbly texture. Add the water and then mix with your hands until a smooth dough comes together.
  3. Roll the dough out between two sheets of baking paper until the thickness of a 1p coin. Cut rounds out of the dough with a cookie cutter, transferring the crackers to your lined trays as you do. Make sure to space them out enough so they’re not touching.
  4. Bake the crackers in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Leave to cool completely.
  5. When cooled spread your nut butter over the crackers. Hull and slice the strawberries and arrange them on top of the crackers. Garnish with a little mint and then serve!

Alternatives:

Why not try topping the crackers and nut butter with…

  • Sliced banana and chocolate shavings
  • Fig quarters and a drizzle of honey
  • Raspberries and white chocolate

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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Nut Butter

Nut Butter

So, exciting news – in a few weeks I’ll be moving into a house with some friends for the next year of uni! Not only will this be a great chance to live a bit more independently from the comforts of college, but will also come with a gorgeous kitchen to go crazy in (seriously – it’s nicer than my kitchen at home!). Somehow I’ve ended up in a house full of some amazing international students, so it’s going to be really cool seeing all the different cultures and traditions coming out in the kitchen.

Over the past year my friend Kat has been telling me about all the things her family make from scratch back in Kuwait. They make their own bread, chocolate and even nut butters! Whilst this is fairly normal for them, however, in the UK we’re so used to buying everything pre-made from the shops. Recently I’ve become a lot more aware of all the processed foods I’m eating, so now with a summer of time on my hands I’m really keen to start making things from scratch myself – starting with some delicious nut butter!

The idea of making something from scratch that you’d normally get in a jar from Tesco can feel a bit pointless, but this is so so easy to make! Just grab some nuts, throw them in a food processor and 10 minutes later you have the smoothest, purest nut butter you can imagine – it’s even easier than going to the shops.

Recipe

Makes 1 Medium sized jar

Time: Around 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 400g Nuts of your choice (I went for hazelnuts)
  • ½ tsp Vanilla extract
  • A pinch of Salt

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200˚C. Place the nuts of your choice into a small roasting tin and roast in the oven for 5-8 minutes until starting to turn golden brown and smell (if your nuts have shells on them you’ll need to remove these first).
  2. If using skinned hazelnuts you’ll now need to remove the skins. To do this turn the roasted hazelnuts out onto a clean tea towel. Then fold the towel over them and roll the nuts around until most of the skins flake off.
  3. Tip the nuts into a food processor and blend on full power for 10-12 minutes until a smooth butter forms. It’ll take time but have patience!
  4. When smooth add the vanilla and salt and blend again for 30 seconds to mix.
  5. Transfer to a sterile jar or pot (see how-to below) and keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks!

How to Sterilise Jars

(Useful for jams, nut butters and chutneys)

  1.  Soak your jars (I find washed-out old jam jars the best for this as they’re made for purpose!) in warm, soapy water for 5 minutes and then rinse in clean water.
  2. Leave for 10-15 minutes on a drying wrack to partially air-dry.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 140C.  Place the jars standing upright in a roasting tin and then heat them in the oven for 15 minutes.
  4. Leave to cool a little and then fill with your contents. (If filling with jam or chutney make sure to do this when the mixture is still hot and then place a wax disc on top to prevent mould from growing, before sealing with a lid – for nut butter you can get away with just using a lid).

Thanks for reading – keep an eye out for recipes you can use this delicious nut butter in,  coming soon!

Emma x

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Almond, Apricot and Ginger Bars

Almond, Apricot and Ginger Bars

There’s something beautifully ironic about writers block becoming the key topic I seem to be writing about on here. For the past 3 weeks my tongue’s been as tied as my headphones after a day of being in the bottom of my bag and there’s no sign of that changing. Maybe it’s because life has taken over a bit recently, but there are very few things I can think of to say about snack bars.  It actually feels pretty inane to talk about a recipe through a long, sensual description in order to encourage you guys to make it anyway. Of course I can see the general point of it all, but when ice caps are melting, plastic is flooding the ocean, and God knows what is going on in my brain right now I’m just going to leave it at the classic: these are pretty tasty and pretty easy to make – so I’d recommend making them!

(Also small side point: since leaving veganuary I’ve decided to return to the land of vegetarianism and refined sugar-free-ness. That’s one of the reasons I love these so much – if you make them without the icing they’re 100% refined sugar free, and so even though they’re really sweet (and probably aren’t that good for you) they make a great treat whilst on this diet!)

Recipe

Serves 16

Time: 10 minutes, plus cooking time

Ingredients

  • 7 tbsp Unsalted butter
  • 155g Ground almonds
  • 200g Flaked almonds
  • 3 tsp Ground ginger
  • 130g Runny honey
  • 75g Dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 1 Large egg
  • A large pinch of salt
  • 100g Icing sugar

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C. Line a 25cm square tin with butter and baking paper.
  2. Melt the butter in a small pan. Put the almonds into a bowl with the ginger, honey, chopped dried apricots and egg, and then pour in the butter.
  3. Mix until everything is combined and then pour into the tin and smooth over to make an even layer. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until starting to go golden brown. Leave to cool whilst you make the icing.
  4. Put the icing sugar and ½ tsp water into a bowl and mix together to make a pourable icing. If you need more water add a little bit at a time until perfect.
  5. Drizzle the icing over the tray bake, slice into 16 squares and serve!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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Mug Cake

Mug Cake

After spending 19 years of my life in the same house moving to uni has been a bit of a shock ngl. I’m still in my home city but living where I’m working, living with my friends, and most of all not cooking for myself (ironically my college is catered for) is taking some time to get used to. Luckily, whilst I am catered for, there’s a small kitchen upstairs from my room which I can use when I need to. A little while ago I decided to work on the perfect mug cake recipe for when I got to uni so that I had some comfort food ready for those times when I felt a bit isolated and confused by life. Funnily enough though I have an oven but no microwave, so it’s back to oven baked cakes for me.

Whilst I don’t have a microwave at the moment, since coming up with these I’ve been a little obsessed with microwavable cakes and I’m going to start seriously promoting them on here. They take minutes to bake and are so moist it’s amazing! Just whatever you do don’t over cook them or they taste like soil. You can also put things in the middle of your mug cakes to jazz them up. In these I put blueberries and a blob of nutella, but you could also use biscoff, peanut butter, nuts, chocolate or even jam to spice up your mug cake.

Recipe

Serves 1

Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 4 tbsp Caster sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp Milk
  • 2 ½ tbsp Cocoa powder
  • 6 tbsp Plain flour
  • ½ tsp Baking powder
  • Filling (optional but could be anything like chocolate, jam, peanut butter, Nutella etc)

Method

  1. Put the butter into a large mug and microwave for 30 seconds to melt.
  2. One by one beat the egg, sugar, vanilla, milk, cocoa, flour, and baking powder into the mug.
  3. Then make a well in the centre of the cake and fill with whatever filling you want.
  4. Pop the mug into the microwave and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes. I find that this is the perfect amount of time to cook the cake all the way through and keep a nice fudgy texture, but this might vary between microwaves. The trick is not to overcook it whatever you do or you’ll end up with the direst cake you’ll ever know. Eat right away!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe: Turkish Delight

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe: Turkish Delight

When I was younger one of my favourite book series was The Chronicles of Narnia, and my favourite of those was The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (or LW+W as I’ll refer to it from now on – great book but hella long title!) As you may have noted by all the other books that have inspired me this month, anything based in a fantasy world or with mystical imagery will tick my box, and so the idea of a land cursed with eternal winter appealed to me from a young age.  Those of you who’ve read LW+W will know the reason why I chose Turkish Delight as my inspired creation for this week (and those of you who haven’t should read the book!) and although I wouldn’t say it’s worth-betraying-my-family-to-the-white-queen good, it’s still pretty tasty!

Turkish delight is one of those things that is really easy to make… if you know how to make it. Those of you following my Instagram may have seen my first attempt at this which ended up as a burnt, black sludge that was binned pretty quickly. After a few recipe tweaks though I’ve ended up with this which I think is pretty successful and pretty easy to get right.  I’ve used a 20cm square tin here to set the sweets in which has made them a little flatter than you’d normally find Turkish delight – but hey, as long as they taste good right? If you prefer yours as proper cubes though just use a smaller tin.

Recipe

Makes 24 squares

Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Cornflour
  • 2 tbsp Icing sugar
  • 9 Gelatine leaves
  • 450g Granulated sugar
  • Few drops of rosewater
  • Few drops of Pink food colouring

Method

  1. Lightly oil a 20cm square tin. Then line the tin with cling film. Mix together the cornflour and icing sugar in a bowl and then sift it into the tin. Move the tin around so the sugar mixture dusts the whole inside, then tip the excess out for later and place the tin to one side.
  2. Pour 300ml water into a large pan. Add the gelatine and leave it to soak for about 5 minutes, until soft and pliable.
  3. Place the pan over a medium heat and stir gently until the gelatine dissolves. Then add the sugar and continue to stir until the sugar dissolves (you shouldn’t be able to feel anything gritty on the bottom of the pan).
  4. Bring the mixture up to the boil and then reduce the heat to low and leave the mixture to simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the rose water and food colouring until the colour is even through the mix.
  6. Pour the mixture into the lined tin and then leave to set overnight.
  7. The next day sift a little of the icing sugar/cornflour mixture from earlier onto a board or plate. Turn the Turkish delight out onto the dusted surface and, using a sharp knife, cut the Turkish delight into strips and then squares about 3x3cm.
  8. Use the rest of the dusting mixture to coat all surfaces of the Turkish delight to stop it from sticking to everything, and then it’s ready to eat! These should be stored in an airtight container, probably between layers of baking paper or cling film to stop the layers from sticking together, for up to a week.

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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