Category Archives for Afternoon Tea

Recipe: Apple Flapjacks

Oats, apple, golden syrup and just the smallest hint of cinnamon. What’s not to love about these meltingly soft, sweet apple flapjacks?

The great thing about flapjacks is that despite the fact that they’re clearly a yummy little treat; sweet and gooey like a slice of cake, they’re made from oats and so they somehow seem really rather healthy. To be clear, I’m not saying that they are (in fact, to do so would be to completely ignore the artery clogging amounts of butter and the tooth rotting levels of sugar and syrup..) – but it’s certainly easier to maintain the illusion with flapjack than with a big slab of chocolate cake.

apple flapjack

Apple flapjacks are frankly even more virtuous. They’ve got one of your five a day in them for goodness sakes! They’re practically a health food. So what I’m saying is, in this month of over-indulgence, these flapjacks are a little something which you can enjoy without too much guilt.  It’s nearly Christmas after all!

apple flapjacks

Gotta taste for apples?  I’m here for you…

Salted caramel apple crumble

Apple & Blackberry Cheesecake

Spiced Apple Butter

Apple & Pear Turnovers

Apple Flapjacks
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Ingredients
  1. 350 g butter
  2. 4 tbs golden syrup
  3. 100 g light brown sugar
  4. 500 g oats
  5. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  6. 2 apples, peeled, cored and finely sliced
Instructions
  1. Line a tin with grease proof paper and pre-heat your oven to 170 C (fan)
  2. Add the butter, sugar and golden syrup to a small pan and stir regularly until the butter has completely melted
  3. Put the oats and ground cinnamon in a large bowl and add the melted butter mix. Stir well.
  4. Add half of the oat mix to the baking tin and flatten down firmly
  5. Now add the sliced apple and cover with the rest of the oats. Flatten again to prevent crumbling later
  6. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the edges are starting to brown
  7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly
  8. Now slice while still in the tin and leave to cool completely before turning out on to a board or plate
Notes
  1. After much experimenting, I have found that the jumbo oats are much crumblier, so if you want a sturdier flapjack, I would use the smaller oats.
Eat Drink Cook http://www.eatdrinkcook.co.uk/
 Now, these are fab for breakfast, for pudding or just as a little something sweet with a nice cup of tea.  

Recipe: Pear & Apple Turnovers

Eat these still warm from the oven, jammy fruit, almost too hot, oozing from the cracks as you take a bite. A spoonful of cold clotted cream adds just the right contrast to the syrupy apple and a cup of tea completes the moment of pure bliss…

When I think about my favourite parts of the day, food nearly always plays a role.  Saturday breakfasts in bed – a perfectly cooked poached egg served with tea and a couple of hours of peace. Family suppers around the table, catching up on each others’ day over a bowl of something warming and restorative.  Even lunches at work; microwaved leftovers which often taste even better the next day, enjoyed with a few pages of a good book or a quick catch up with a friend.

apple turnovers

Even as a child, coming home after school was one of my favourite times of day – not just because it was good to have finished lessons but because I would come home to a cup of tea and a snack.  Sometimes rice cakes and Marmite, fig rolls, ginger cake or once in a while, apple turnovers.  

What a treat! What an indulgence! What little miracles these beautiful pillows of buttery puff and jammy apple were!  

Pear & Apple Turnovers

As a student, living away from home for the first time, I still remember the wonderful day when, shopping in Kwik Save for the usual basics of pasta, cardboard sliced white and tinned tuna, I discovered a pack of apple turnovers for the very reasonable price of 99p! It seemed almost inconceivable that such luxury could be possible for under £1…

Needless to say, this recipe beats the lot.  Homemade, eaten still warm from the oven with a mug of steaming tea and if you’re feeling particularly decadent, a dollop of cream, of either the iced or clotted variety.

Pear & Apple Turnovers

The recipe makes 6. I recommend starting with a double batch…

Pear & Apple Turnovers
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Ingredients
  1. 2 apples
  2. 2 pears
  3. 1 tbs lemon juice
  4. 1 tbs flour
  5. 3 tbs granulated sugar
  6. 3 tbs water
  7. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  8. 1 sheet of ready-made puff pastry
  9. 1 tbs light brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Line a couple of baking trays with greaseproof paper
  2. Peel and core the apples and pears and chop into cubes of approximately 1.5cm
  3. Put the fruit into a pan with the lemon juice, water, flour, sugar and cinnamon and mix together
  4. Pre-heat your oven to 180 C (fan)
  5. Heat for 5 minutes, stirring until the juices are syrupy
  6. Leave to cool
  7. Lay out the puff pastry and cut into 6 squares
  8. Dollop a spoonful of fruit on one diagonal half of each square and then fold over the other side of the pastry and seal the edges with a fork.
  9. Use the fork to pierce a few holes in the top of the turnovers and then place them on the baking trays
  10. Put in the oven and cook for 20 minutes, until crisp and golden
  11. Sprinkle with light brown sugar once out of the oven
Notes
  1. The pastry is best handled while still cold from the fridge. Once it starts to warm, it becomes much gooier (that's a word!) and harder (or in fact, much softer) to work with.
Eat Drink Cook http://www.eatdrinkcook.co.uk/
 If you’ve enjoyed this recipe then I’d be super duper pleased if you shared it with your chums!

Recipe: Spiced Apple Butter

Filling your entire home with the smell of apples and spice, every mouthful packs an autumnal punch. Enjoy the sheer alchemy as the apples, cider, cinnamon, cloves and brown sugar are transformed into a mass of molten, burnished heaven…

spiced apple butter

How many crumbles does it take to empty an apple tree?

If you’re lucky enough to have an apple tree in your garden – or to have access to someone else’s then this time of year is generally filled with crumbles, pies and apple cake. Not a bad way to console yourself at the end of summer but occasionally, dare I say it? One feels the need for a bit of a change… After all, there are only so many crumbles and pies you can eat in a day. Personally, I draw the line at one of each but then I’ve always been a bit of a stickler.  

spiced apple butter

The thing is, even a strict regime of a pie and crumble a day doesn’t even come close to diminishing the apple glut.  Don’t get me wrong, of the gluts you could suffer, apples are probably one of the best, but it’s a glut that still needs tackling, and tackle it I will!

A sticky solution to a sticky problem

This spiced apple butter is rather wonderful.  Firstly, there’s no need to peel the apples – a job I find quite therapeutic for the first apple or two but by number five or six, I must say it’s pretty tiresome. 

spiced apple butter

Secondly, it’s a multi-purpose apple butter.  It makes a wonderful accompaniment to cheese and biccies but can also be used in sweet treats such as apple tarts or turnovers.

Wait! Before you gasp in awe and reach for your preserving pan, there’s more! This sweet, sticky, spiced apple butter comes in jars and you all know the rule about food that comes in jars right?  

“If it comes in a jar then it can be given as a gift.”  

I’m sure that’s a Shakespeare quote … or perhaps it was Martha Stewart…

spiced apple butter

Anyhoo, I’ve heard a rumour that Christmas is just around the corner so it seems that this glut of apples, plus a recipe for them that can be put in jars and given as gifts might be rather handy?

Spiced Apple Cider Butter
Yields 3
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Ingredients
  1. 2.5 lbs cooking apples
  2. 1 stick of cinnamon
  3. 3 cloves
  4. 1 lemon
  5. 1 pt dry cider
  6. Demerara sugar (approx 500g)
Instructions
  1. Roughly chop the apples - no need to peel (hurrah!)
  2. Add them to a large saucepan or preserving pan along with the spices, chopped lemon (the whole thing) and cider
  3. Bring it all to the boil, then turn down to a simmer, cover and leave for an hour until the fruit has completely softened and collapsed
  4. Blend until smooth - the easiest way is with a hand blender but a food processor is fine too
  5. Now pass the mixture through a fine sieve
  6. Weigh what's left and then put it into a clean pan
  7. Measure out 80 g of demerara sugar for every 100 g of apple mixture that you have
  8. Now add the sugar to the pan over a low heat and stir constantly until it has all dissolved
  9. Bring it back to a simmer and let it bubble gently, stirring regularly, until it has approximately halved. This will normally take between 30-60 minutes.
  10. You will now have something gloopy and the consistency of thick custard.
  11. Using a funnel, pour into your warm, dry jars and leave to cool.
Eat Drink Cook http://www.eatdrinkcook.co.uk/
 After more Gourmet Gifts?

I’ve got you covered buddy – check out the gourmet gift section of the blog 🙂

Gluten Free Recipe: Pear & Almond Cake

Subtle, sweet pear and unctuous almond make this gluten free cake moist, luxurious and incredibly more-ish (Don’t say you weren’t warned…)

It’s a funny thing, having a food blog.  People assume that you’re suddenly an expert in all things cooking and baking.  

Gluten Free Pear & Almond Cake

Pssst! I’ve got a little secret for you… I’m really not! Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook and to tinker in the kitchen, trying this and that. Generally, I’m pretty happy with the results…when I’m cooking. Baking is, and always has been, a bit hit and miss.  Sure, I can follow a recipe, but the whole science behind it is a bit hazy.

For further proof of this, take a look at one of my first ever posts last year!

Gluten Free Pear & Almond Cake

‘Come on Colette, what do I want, your autobiography?? Make with the recipe already!’

Wow – a bit grumpy today?  I guess you definitely need some of this cake then.  The point that I was TRYING to make, before you got all impatient, was that making this gluten free cake barely qualifies as baking. It’s really just dumping a load of ingredients in a bowl, mixing them up and shoving them in the oven.

Gluten Free Pear & Almond Cake

The results are a bit of a miracle.  I claim no (or very little) responsibility.  The recipe is inspired by one of Nigella’s (Apple & Almond Cake) and is unbelievably moist and buttery (especially considering the complete lack of butter in the recipe…)

No raising agents make it a dense cake, but it doesn’t feel too heavy, and a big slice can be gobbled down with no effort at all (quite un-befitting of the delicate tea service you see pictured above I’m afraid).

Pear & Almond Cake
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Ingredients
  1. 3 pears
  2. 2 tbs sugar
  3. 1 tbs lemon juice
  4. 8 eggs
  5. 325 g ground almonds
  6. 275 g caster sugar
  7. 1 tbs lemon juice
  8. 1 tbs ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Peel, core and roughly chop the pears
  2. Put them in a pan with the sugar and lemon juice, and bring to a simmer
  3. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes
  4. Leave to cool
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C and grease a 10 inch, loose bottomed cake tin, and line with grease proof paper
  6. Use a food processor to blitz the pears with the eggs, almonds, sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice
  7. Pour into your tin
  8. Bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown.
Notes
  1. The cake in the picture is decorated with edible flowers - fun, if you want to make pretty for guests but certainly not needed for the taste!
Eat Drink Cook http://www.eatdrinkcook.co.uk/
 Enjoyed this recipe? Then I’d be ever so pleased if you’d share it with your chums! 🙂

Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate

Soothing, warm and creamy, this liquid heaven in a cup contains the classic combo of rich white chocolate, & sweet, tangy raspberries. Add the delicate floral undertone of lavender and you’ve got something pretty special…

(or is that pretty AND special??)

I love food.

really love food that tastes amazing.

But I really, REALLY love food that tastes amazing AND looks beautiful.

Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate

This recipe sort of fits the bill. It hits two out of three of my criteria.  It tastes unbelievable, it looks so pretty that you almost can’t bring yourself to touch it (almost…) but, it’s not technically, well, ‘food’.

So yeah, you got me – it’s a drink.  I guess the title of the post kind of gave me away. The good news is, chocolate in its liquid form actually contains no calories!* Hurrah!

(*this is what’s known as literary licence. go with it…)

Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate

For Emergencies ONLY

Now, I have to be quite strict about this. A warm, luxurious mug of Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate is not to be made (or drunk) lightly.  It is the absolute height of indulgence and should be saved for occasions fitting of such extreme deliciousness.  I’m talking, being dumped, getting fired or accidentally shrinking your favourite outfit here.  This isn’t for minor disasters like nail breaks or unwelcome pimples.

For further guidance on the correct foods to eat when life throws you a curve ball then please read my ‘Food Hugs’ series 🙂

Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate

Now, I don’t want to seem over-dramatic here, but (in the words of Jack Bauer) hundreds of thousands of people may d…desperately need this kind of solace in a mug. Don’t you think it’s your duty to help me get the message out there?

Go on, do your good turn for the day and tweet it out!

Right, now I think you’ve earned the actual recipe for this masterpiece in a mug, this classic in a cup, this treasure in a tankard…(actually, you’d have to be a pretty hardcore chocoholic to drink a whole tankard of it. It’s pretty rich…still, challenge extended, I guess?)

Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate

Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate

(Makes 1 oh-so-pretty-oh-so-tasty mugful – not to be confused with ‘muggle’)

Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate
Serves 1
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Ingredients
  1. 100 g raspberries
  2. 1 tbs icing sugar
  3. 1 tsp corn flour
  4. 300 ml milk
  5. 1/2 tsp edible lavender
  6. 50 g white chocolate
Instructions
  1. Push the raspberries through a sieve, into a small bowl and then mix in the icing sugar and corn flour to make a smooth syrup
  2. Meanwhile, put your milk and lavender on a low to medium heat, watching it carefull to ensure it doesn't boil
  3. Once it is steaming and just bubbling around the edges of the pan, take off the heat and strain to remove the lavender
  4. Now add back to the pan and put back on a gentle heat
  5. Add 3 tbs of the raspberry syrup, whisking in each one as you go
  6. You can now add the chocolate a bit at a time, continuing to whisk to help the chocolate to melt
  7. Pour into your mug and drink your troubles away into creamy, chocolatey oblivion 🙂
Eat Drink Cook http://www.eatdrinkcook.co.uk/

Recipe: White Chocolate & Raspberry Cookies

Warning: This page contains cookies

A little techy pun for you there (Mum, if you’re reading this, I’ll explain it later!)

I’ve always been a fan of cookies.  I remember being incredibly jealous when I was about 13 and went to a friend’s birthday party. Rather than having the normal birthday cake she had an enormous birthday cookie. Needless to say, my mind was blown. (In fact, I think I’ve just had an idea for another post….)

Anyway, over 20 years later, I have only recently discovered just how easy cookies are to make, and with frankly tastier results than the shop bought versions (which, don’t get me wrong, are pretty darn good too!).

This is actually my third batch of blog cookies.  After realising how easy they are, I became rather obsessed with finding new and wonderful combos and so my Choc Chip & Marshmallow and Lemon Meringue Cookies were born.  This time however, I’ve stuck with the classic combo of white chocolate and raspberry.  These are always my first choice if hubby brings home a selection from the supermarket and now I can have them a mere 20 minutes after a craving hits!

White Chocolate & Raspberry Cookies

 

Classic cookie combo for a reason

I like my cookies to have a bit of crunch to them but with a soft, gooey centre.  These fit the bill perfectly.  As you take a bite, you get  the first satisfying crunch of biscuit and then you hit the soft centre, with the occasional hit of plumptious, tangy raspberry and smooth, sweet white chocolate.  You’ll never look back.

White Chocolate & Raspberry Cookies

White Chocolate & Raspberry Cookies

Makes about 18

You will need:

150 g unsalted butter (room temperature)

80 g golden caster sugar

80 g granulated sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

225 g plain flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/4 tsp salt

100 g white chocolate chips

50 g raspberries

White Chocolate & Raspberry Cookies

  • Pre-heat the oven to 170C (Fan)
  • Line a couple of baking sheets with greaseproof paper
  • Mix together the sugar and butter until smooth
  • Add the vanilla extract and egg and mix again
  • Now sieve in the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda and mix again
  • Finally, add the chocolate chips and raspberries and mix again (don’t worry about breaking up the raspberries – this is what you want!)
  • If you have one, use a small ice cream scoop (if not, a couple of teaspoons will do) to place small mounds of the dough on your baking trays (about the size of a large walnut)
  • Bake for 12 minutes
  • Leave to cool slightly and then move to a wire rack to cool completely

 

Lemon Meringue Cookies

If you want the sweet, zingy freshness of a lemon meringue pie, but in the form of a gooey cookie, then these little babies are for you.  You can whizz them up in 15 minutes and devour at your leisure (probably less than 15 minutes…)

I made a batch to take as a gift to some friends who have just moved house.  I’m fairly sure they won’t make it that far.  Sorry guys…

Lemon Meringue CookiesLemon Meringue Cookies

Makes about 18

You will need:

150g butter (room temperature)

80g golden castor sugar

80g granulated sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

225 g plain flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/4 tsp salt

The zest from a whole lemon

The juice from half a lemon

4 tbs lemon curd

4 mini meringue nests

  • Pre-heat the oven to 170C & line a couple of baking trays with greaseproof paper
  • Mix the butter and sugar together until smooth
  • Add the vanilla extract, egg, lemon zest and juice and half of the lemon curd. Mix again.
  • Now sieve in the flour, salt and bicarb and mix again.
  • Now crumble the meringue nest in so you still have some fairly big chunks (you don’t want it to all turn to powder!) and fold gently into the mix along with the remaining lemon curd
  • If you have a small ice cream scoop, then I highly recommend using this to form your cookies – if not, a couple of teaspoons will do the trick.  Just place the cookie dough in small balls (about the size of a large walnut) on to your trays and then bake for 10 -12 minutes
  • Take them out of the oven and leave on the trays to cool for about 5 minutes.  Then transfer to a wire wrack to cool completely (if you can resist them for that long!)

Recipe: Choc Chip Marshmallow Cookies

Sweet, fluffy marshmallow & little bursts of chocolate in cookies which are crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside…

I’ve got to admit, I didn’t realise until recently, just how easy cookies are to make!  It’s as quick to whip up a batch of homemade ones as it is to drive to the supermarket to buy them.

An added bonus is that you can experiment with wild and wacky variations that you might not normally see in the shops.  My little boy is a big fan of marshmallows in his hot chocolate so we always have a bag of the mini ones in the cupboard.  One day, I decided to take his favourite drink and transform it into cookie form…and so my Choc Chip Marshmallow Cookies were born…

Choc Chip Marshmallow Cookies

You will need:

choc chip marshmallow cookies

150 g butter (room temperature)

80 g dark brown sugar

80 g caster sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

225 g plain flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/4 tsp salt

100 g chocolate chips

100 g mini marshmallows

  • Line a couple of baking trays with greaseproof paper
  • Put the oven on to 180 c (fan)
  • Mix your butter and sugars together (easiest if you have a mixer but can be done by hand).  Make sure your butter is at room temperature!
  • Once all mixed until smooth, add your vanilla extract and egg and continue to mix
  • Sieve the flour, bicarb and salt into the bowl and gently mix in
  • Lastly, add in your choc chips and marshmallows and gently mix again
  • Using a couple of teaspoons (or an ice cream scoop if you have one), place the dough on the baking trays in little balls (about the size of a large walnut)
  • Bake for 8-10 mins – they will seem quite soft and gooey when they come out – don’t panic!  Leave to cool slightly for a few mins and then transfer carefully to a wire tray.  They will harden more as they cool but retain their gooey centre! YUM!Choc chip marshmallow cookies

Back to Food Hug series

Recipe: Chocolate Orange Cheesecake Muffins

Choc Orange Cheesecake Muffin

Chocolate Orange Cheesecake Muffins

Makes 12

You will need:

For the centre/frosting:

1 x 220 g pack of cream cheese (no low fat versions please!)

100 mls Orange Curd (for best results use my recipe of course)

digestive biscuits

For the muffins

eggs

125 ml plain yoghurt

125 ml milk

125 ml orange juice

8 oz self-raising flour

0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda

8 oz castor sugar

2.5 oz cocoa powder

pinch of salt

  • Turn the oven on to 180C (fan) and add some muffin papers to your muffin tray (or grease)
  • Leave the cream cheese out until it is at room temperature and then mix with the orange curd until smooth (I use a mixer for this but it can easily be done by hand!)
  • Bash the digestive biscuits into a fine rubble and then add about 2 thirds of it to the cream cheese mix and set aside

digestive biccies

  • Lightly beat the eggs in a big bowl and add the yoghurt, milk and orange juice
  • Sieve the flour, bicarb. and cocoa and then add to the liquid along with the sugar and gently mix together to form a batter
  • Fill the muffin papers about a third of the way up with the mix and then put a rounded teaspoon of the cream cheese mix in each one and finally, cover over with the remaining muffin mix
  • Bake in the oven for approx. 25 mins (check with a skewer to see if done – if the skewer comes out dry then you’re good to go!)
  • Leave the muffins to cool and then liberally spread with the cream cheese mix and a sprinkle of the remaining digestive rubble
  • Make yourself a cuppa and enjoy!

chocolate orange cheesecake muffins with gooey centre

Orange Curd

Orange Curd (1)O range Curd

You will need:

3 large oranges

1 lemon

1 lb castor sugar

6 eggs (beaten)

4 oz butter (unsalted)

  •  Peel the zest from one of the oranges and the lemon – I use a potato peeler rather than a zester as it will all be going in the food processor anyway)
  • Add the zest to the food processor along with the sugar and blitz until you are left with just an orangey, tangy sugar with flecks of zest
  • Place a large heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water (make sure the bowl isn’t touching the water)
  • Gently melt the butter and while it’s melting, juice the oranges and lemon
  • Add the zesty sugar, the juice (through a sieve to avoid pips) and the eggs to the bowl and stir until the sugar has melted
  • Keep heating gently and stirring occasionally until the mix starts to thicken (approx 50 mins)

Don’t panic if this happens – it will come together at the end!

curd early1

  • Pass the whole lot through a sieve (this isn’t necessary unless you’re puritanical about wanting a completely smooth curd – otherwise you can keep it with flecks of zest)
  • Ladle into hot, sterilised jars and seal
  • Keeps for approx 2 weeks in the fridge