Cranberry and Peach Crumble

To be honest, this is not really a recipe.  More a throwing together of a few ingredients and cooking, and hoping for the best!  I have a few packs of cranberries which I had frozen, and somehow I have not had the chance to use them yet.  So, in spite of it being summer – not classic crumble weather – I thought I’d give this a go.  I wanted something very simple.  I like my cranberries on the sharp side, and in order not to add too much sugar, I balanced the sour / sharp with the sweetness of tinned peaches.  I do also have the awful habit with certain things (crumble topping for one….) not to use a recipe but to throw in the basic ingredients and hope for the best!

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So I emptied a packet of frozen cranberries into the dish, added two tins of peach segments (drained) and sprinkled some light muscovado sugar over the top.

My crumble topping was just plain flour, butter and golden caster sugar. And into the oven it went, until hot and bubbling.

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Yes, I admit that photo doesn’t look that appealing, but trust me, in real life it did look a whole lot better!  A portion of this, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream……

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Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I wish you all a peaceful weekend 🙂

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Banket

P1000807Some of my family come from the Netherlands and every year relatives there would send us a box of goodies. Salted Liquorice, chocolate (usually in the shape of our initials), a Delft tile and Banket. Banket is a sausage roll-shaped pastry with an almond filling.  It is not something I have seen anywhere else and so after a while when family passed away and we no longer received these boxes I would think longingly of this pastry.

Fast forward a few years and I saw a recipe in a magazine for Galette des Rois.  It looked interesting, it was disc shaped and had an almond filling.  I baked it but found it too greasy. And so I tweaked the recipe….and tweaked it….and tweaked some more. And then I thought – the filling is rather similar to that of Banket, why don’t I tweak a bit more and try to recreate this pastry….and so I did. And so, here, dear readers, is my version of that pastry.

Ingredients:

70 butter at room temperature

80g golden caster sugar

1 medium egg, lightly beaten

300g ground almonds

1 tablespoon Amaretto liqueur

1 tablespoon almond extract

400g ready-made puff pastry

Preheat the oven to 190ºC(fan oven).

Unroll the pastry and place it on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.  Cut the pastry in half along the width and slightly separate the two pieces of pastry. (Yes, I hang my head in shame, I always buy ready-made pastry, life is too short to make my own).

Beat the butter with the caster sugar using an electric whisk, until light and fluffy. Whisk in the egg.  Stir in the ground almonds, the alcohol and the almond extract.

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Divide the mixture in two, and spoon over the centre of each of the pieces of pastry.

Lightly wet the edges of the pastry with a bit of water and carefully fold the pastry over the filling, along the ends and the length, pressing carefully to seal the edges.  Each piece should look like a large thick sausage roll. If you’re feeling posh, brush some eggwash over the top of the pastry (it is worth it, it makes it look beautifully golden).

Place in oven for 30 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.  Breathe in that lovely almond fragrance!  This can be eaten hot or cold, but is really best when lukewarm.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I wish you a peaceful weekend 🙂

 

 

 

Double Chocolate Chunk & Peanut Cookies

I am a lazy baker, I admit this.  I tend to go back time and again to recipes I love, and that I know won’t fail.  After all, why not just keep making the bakes that you enjoy?!  But I am making an effort. Really, I am!  And so today’s bake was a recipe I have not tried before.  Who doesn’t love a crunchy & chewy chocolate chip cookie? And when salted peanuts and peanut butter are added – how could I resist?  And of course, I do have a thing for that sweet-and-salty mix.

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When I try a recipe for the first time, it can be nerve-wracking, sometimes it works really well, and sometimes I get that uneasy feeling – is this how it is supposed to look? Surely that shouldn’t have happened? That looks wrong, how do I rescue it?  But I ploughed on regardless……and lost my concentration, and forgot to take photos….

I wasn’t convinced, I kept checking and re-checking the recipe……I had added all the ingredients…..it said it would make 12 cookies but there didn’t look nearly enough mixture to manage that….P1000796

The recipe said it would be a soft batter which would just drop off the spoon….it wasn’t and it didn’t….. But, you know, sometimes you think sod it, I’ve got so far, I’m going to finish this off. And I did.

I ended up with 14 large cookies!  They smell divine! They just need to cool off a little bit before they can be eaten.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I wish you a peaceful weekend 🙂