Fluffy, wholemeal, Greek yogurt pancakes

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I first found the idea of Greek yogurt pancakes here:
http://lecremedelacrumb.com/2014/12/greek-yogurt-pancakes.html but since then I’ve tweaked the recipe to achieve a healthier version which fluffs up really well during cooking.

Serves 2 (or 1 if feeling greedy!)

Dry ingredients:
60g wholemeal self raising flour
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt

Wet ingredients:
1 egg
2 tsp rapeseed (canola) oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 drops almond extract (optional but adds a lovely flavour)
100g Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp vinegar (you can’t taste it but it helps the bicarb bubble)

2-3 tbs milk (I used skimmed)

Method:

1. Whisk together the dry ingredients.

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2. Whisk together the wet ingredients, leaving out the milk.

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3. Add a third of the wet ingredients and whisk into the dry. Continue in this way until the wet ingredients are mixed in.

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4. Add 2-3 tbs milk to loosen the mixture until it will slowly drop from a spoon.

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5. Heat a frying pan with a little spray oil (I used coconut oil and the Tefal pan so I can see when it is fully heated). Drop large spoons of the mixture into the pan and press down slightly. I used an ice cream scoop.

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6. Once the edges begin to look dry and lots of bubbles are appearing, flip them over. Don’t be too keen at this stage – they need to look really bubbly.

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7. Leave for another minute or two
until the other side has browned well and serve immediately.

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These are delicious served with berries and maple syrup.

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Enjoy!

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Dastardly Dino Cake

Dino cake side 2This year’s project for the hubby’s April birthday. Thankfully it falls in the school hols so I had time to create this. It took far longer than I expected!

I used Delia’s all in one sponge recipe doubled, the Hummingbird Bakery’s vanilla buttercream, Tesco’s finest raspberry preserve and Tesco fondant coloured with Wilton colour right System.

The head was made from Rice Krispy treats using the Debbie Brown recipe (1 1/2 times). I moulded it with my hands but rubbed Trex (shortening) on them first so it wouldn’t stick. If it began to harden before I was finished, I would give it a few seconds in the microwave then continue. Once I had the shape, I pushed 3 wooden dowels/ kebab sticks into it as supports and I let it harden in the fridge sat in a tall mug packed out with kitchen roll.

Once it was hard, I gave it a thin coat of green buttercream and put it back in the fridge. When the icing had crusted, I made sure my khaki fondant was soft by kneading with Trex and sort of smushed it on, smoothing it out with my hands until it was covered.

I added the details the next day when the fondant was a bit harder. These were all made with fondant and painted with Wilton gel colours and a little bit of vodka.

Dino head

What I would improve:

  • The mouth and teeth weren’t quite right – he had an overbite! The mouth wasn’t open wide enough so I needed to rest it in such a way that the mouth was held open while it hardened. The teeth would have been better if made a few days prior with gum paste so they wouldn’t bend.

The cake was 3 layers of Victoria sponge with buttercream and jam filling. To prevent any spill out I used a dam of thicker icing (the same batch with extra icing sugar added) piped around the outside of each layer. I then crumb coated, leaving it in the fridge to crust and did a final buttercream coat in green buttercream. I smoothed it with a metal dough scraper and again let it crust. I then added some of the leaves and details ready to add the dino the next day.

Cake no dino

The final decoration was the dino and all the leaves. After starting this cake I realised I didn’t have all the leaf cutters I thought I did so I used ivy plunger cutters but other leaves were made with either full heart shaped cutters or cutting a heart shape in half and adding veining with a knife. It was hard to do without cutting too far through. I used three different green fondants for variety. This took a huge amount of leaves to cover it!

What I’d  improve:

  • Use more leaf tools to get better veining.

  • Use a ribbon around the board not just leaves as you can see the silver.

  • Make the wood effect more apparent on the gate.

dino cake front

 

 

Healthy Pepper Quiche cups

cooked peppersI love quiche but it is rarely the healthy option with so much pastry involved. With these pepper cups you cut out the pastry and replace it with lovely roasted pepper cups, beautifully adding to the flavour, making them a real treat. As they aren’t loaded with the fat and carbs in the pastry you can afford to be a little decadent with the filling if you want to.

I first came across this idea here: http://theearthymama.com/pepper-quiche-cups/  but I made a few tweaks. With the above recipe I found I couldn’t fit much filling in each cup and they had a tendency to tip and spill so with this recipe I used a full pepper for each quiche cup. I also sat them in real cups to keep them upright. I found my baking cups worked best for this as the mug I used the pepper fell inside and was harder to remove.

Ingredients: Serves 2/3:

3 medium or 2 large peppers (I prefer red or yellow for flavour)
200ml milk

2 large eggs
2 tsp grated parmesan
2 rashers bacon (fat trimmed and cut into small pieces)
6 cherry tomatoes sliced up small

30g grated, strong cheddar cheese
1 tsp cream (optional but tasty)
A little spray oil

Seasoning to taste

 

 

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 170C (I used a fan oven).

2. Chop the top off each pepper and remove the seeds et from the inside.

2. spray each pepper with spray oil and rub over the outside with your hands.

3. Spray the inside of each cup with a little oil and spread out with a brush or hands.

4. Place each pepper in a shallow cup (I used my measuring cups) and place cups on a baking tray.

Pepper cups

5. In a jug crack the eggs, add the milk, cream (optional), the parmesan and salt and pepper to your taste. Whisk together well. Add a third of the cheese and whisk again.

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6. Pour the mixture into each pepper about a third of the way up.

Peppers part filled

7. Layer in some bacon, tomatoes and grated cheese then pour in more mixture. Continue to layer in this way until the mixture is just below the rim of the pepper.

7. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and place the baking tray in the oven for 40-45 minutes.

Peppers ready for oven

8. Once cooked they should have risen slightly above the pepper and browned on top. Remove from the cups with a slotted spoon and serve immediately.

cooked peppers

Make ahead tip: these can be made ahead and placed in the fridge but do not fair very well baked ahead as a lot of juice leaks out as they cool and whilst they still taste good they don’t look great.

 

Savoury, Herby Courgette Bread

BreadMy lovely friend Laura came over for lunch yesterday with her beautiful three month old bubba Ezra. I’d already made us some yummy carrot and parsnip soup from fridge leftovers but I wanted something delicious to go with it and ordinary bread just wasn’t going to cut it. I’d made sweet courgette bread before from the fabulous recipes at sallysbakingaddiction but I wanted something with warm, herby and cheesy deliciousness and here it is.

Dry ingredients:
150g wholemeal plain flour
150g plain flour (all purpose)
2 tsp baking powder
1 rounded teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 tsp vegetable stock powder
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried sage
5 tsp shaved parmesan
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil

Wet ingredients:
2 large eggs (room temperature)
100g rapeseed (Canola) oil
130g Greek yogurt (I used 0% fat)
1/4 tsp vinegar
3-4 tbsp water

Other:
2 medium courgettes – grated (zucchinis)

Toppings:
1 tsp butter, melted, to brush on top.
20g Cheddar

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200C (I used a fan oven).

2. Lay a double kitchen towel on a large plate and grate the courgette on to it. Fold the kitchen towel over and press it down and leave it like this to remove some of the moisture.

2. In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients so they are well combined.

3. In a jug or small bowl whisk together the wet ingredients until well combined.

4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix lightly until just combined. Take care not to over mix.

5. Add the courgette to the mix and fold in gently again taking care not to over mix.

6. If at this point the mixture is still a little dry you can add a few tablespoons of water and gently mix.

7. Pour into a standard size, non stick loaf tin sprayed with spray oil and then brush the top of the loaf with the melted butter. Pop it into the oven.

8. Bake for 10 minutes at the higher temperature and then reduce the heat to 170C and bake for another 55-60 minutes or until a knife comes out nearly clean.

9. Once the loaf is ready push any large lumps of cheese (we all know you get some when grating) into any gaps and sprinkle the grated cheese on top. Bake for a few more minutes.

10. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then remove and cool on a wire rack.

Bread 2

This bread tastes great warm or cold but is best used on the day of baking. Although it will still taste pretty good the day after, if kept in an airtight container, especially if warmed for a few seconds in the microwave. Mine didn’t last past day 2 so I cant tell you what it would be like after that!