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 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!
Gotta taste for apples? I’m here for you…
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.
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!
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.
The recipe makes 6. I recommend starting with a double batch…
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.
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!
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.
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…
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?
I’ve got you covered buddy – check out the gourmet gift section of the blog 🙂
I am SO happy about this recipe. It’s perfect if you love the autumnal combo of apple and blackberry but you’re looking for a change from the usual crumbles and pies.
Cheesecake is one of those desserts that’s an ultimate treat for me. Growing up, we rarely had pudding but occasionally, Mum would thrill us by disappearing into the kitchen as we cleared our plates and returning with a gleam in her eye and a cheesecake in her arms. Heaven!
One day, she and I came up with a cheats version which delighted us with its simplicity. Weekend lunches often consisted of cheese and biscuits and one magical day, it occurred to one of us (I forget who) that by spreading some cream cheese on to a digestive biscuit and then topping with strawberry jam, we could create an almost perfect (in our eyes) cheesecake. We weren’t put off by a lack of cream cheese either and just replaced it with a slice of Cheddar. It was just as good – honestly!
Crumbles were another family favourite, whether it be apple, blackberry, rhubarb or whatever else could be gleaned from the garden. Now, crumbles remind me of those autumnal weekend afternoons. Returning from a woodland walk to look for Mum’s favourite mushrooms (Shaggy Caps), she would fry them up and serve them all gleaming with butter, on toast. Then we would settle down cosily to our own pursuits, each with a bowl of steaming hot crumble, drizzled with chilled single cream. Fire on, Dad would be watching the rugby, Mum and I playing cards and my younger brother rushing around with a towel strapped to his back and a plastic ice cream carton on his head, pretending to be Superted.
This recipe for Apple & Blackberry Cheesecake is a combination of both of those childhood favourites and each mouthful tastes of simple comfort, happiness and home.
It’s a funny thing, having a food blog. People assume that you’re suddenly an expert in all things cooking and baking.
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!
‘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.
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).
I love food.
I really love food that tastes amazing.
But I really, REALLY love food that tastes amazing AND looks beautiful.
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…)
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 🙂
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?)
(Makes 1 oh-so-pretty-oh-so-tasty mugful – not to be confused with ‘muggle’)
I meant to post this recipe over the Wimbledon fortnight – it just seems so fitting as it contains all the great British ingredients that we associate with those two weeks of guaranteed sunshine (yeah right..) and great British tennis (yeah ri…you get the idea…)
Anyhoo, I didn’t get around to it, and I’m certainly not waiting a whole year for the next one so here we are. I think it’s still valid, because while it certainly does have a Wimbledon feel to it, this recipe also represents British summer in general. I mean if you had to name the food and drinks that sum up a British summer for you, wouldn’t strawberries, cream and Pimms be on the list? If you think about it, even the fact that it’s frozen in summer is kinda British too!
This is one of those great recipes that frankly looks and tastes a lot more impressive than it is to make. Serve it to your chums when they come round for dinner and they’ll think you’re ever so clever! I mean, making your own ice cream for goodness sake? Not just your normal, ‘scoop it out’ sort either. Oh no – this is a fancy ice cream loaf that you can slice and present all prettily!
Obviously you’re not bothered about all that nonsense though (yeah ri… ok I’ll stop now), you just want to know if it tastes good! Well I’ll tell you. Yes – it tastes amazing! Of course it does. Didn’t you read what was in it?? Strawberries? Cream (double, no less), Pimms?? I haven’t even mentioned the meringues and shortbread yet have I? Sold? Then read on dear chums….
White Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae with Summer Berries & Fudge Sauce – Lavender & Lovage
Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Pie – smitten kitchen
Strawberry & Vanilla Arctic Roll – The Crazy Kitchen
If you’ve enjoyed this post then please do let me know in the comments and share it with your friends. It’ll make a poor struggling food blogger very happy!
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!
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.
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
225 g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
100 g white chocolate chips
50 g raspberries
This recipe is dedicated to my friends, Nick and Elise, whose new house we visited last weekend, and who, very kindly, allowed me to go and fill a bag with apples from the two trees in their garden.
I could I suppose have given them the crumble I made by way of thanks, but, umm, well, I thought it was important to test it first. Maybe I’ll give them the next one…
Don’t fancy crumble? Why not try my Apple & Blackberry Cheesecake?
Pre-heat the oven to 200 C
You will need:
3 tbs golden syrup
3 tbs demarera sugar
1/2 oz unsalted butter
2 tbs single cream
1/4 tsb vanilla extract
1 tps sea salt flakes
For the apples
1 lb apples (weight after peeling and chopping)
3 1/2 oz unsalted butter
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
For the topping
4 oz wholemeal flour
2 oz unsalted butter
5 tbs demarera sugar
3 tbs chopped walnuts
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…
Makes about 18
You will need:
150g butter (room temperature)
80g golden castor sugar
80g granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
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