Category Archives: cinnamon

Christmas Morning Muffins. (My way.)

Muffins

Christmas morning is not Christmas morning without these muffins now. I only started making them three years ago but they are now a family tradition. This year, I got up and made them with my boy. Well, being 11 months old, he just pootled around playing with his drawer of kitchen utensils (i.e. anything he can’t hurt himself with).

Christmas Morning Muffins

Makes 12 generous muffins

  • 1 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • freshly grated nutmeg (this is pretty much the only time I will be like this: If you don’t have fresh nutmeg, don’t bother. Freshly grated nutmeg is so radically different to the stuff in the jar that they shouldn’t be compared. Leave it out. Then go and get someone to buy you a microplane grater and some whole nutmegs. Rant over.)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Juice and zest of 2 oranges
  • 55g butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 75g craisins (or dried cherries. Or both. I’ve done both before.)
  • 75g chocolate chips
  • raw sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 200C.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and orange zest.

In a measuring jug, pour in the milk and add the orange juice until you have 2/3 cup of liquid. Add the melted butter and the egg and stir to combine.

Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined i.e. it will be lumpy and should be lumpy!

Fold in the dried fruit and chocolate and mix again very gently.

Divide into muffin tin and sprinkle with raw sugar.

Bake for 1o minutes.

Perfection.

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Apple Strudel (Or: I really like apples)

In a lovely coincidence, I happened to make Apple Strudel the same week that the lovely lads and ladies on the Great British Bake Off had a strudel challenge. It’s like it was meant to be. It probably had more to do with the 1kg of apples I had picked up at the market the week before that were judging me from their fancy fruitbowl. Whatever the reason, strudel was made and I carted it off to a dinner party/games night at a lovely friend’s home and it was a tasty to ending to a deliciously autumnal meal (yes, spring is here, no, I don’t accept it, AUTUMN FOR PRESIDENT).

Disclaimer: We are a cooking blog, but we are people too. I find that I have things in my life that I prefer to do that don’t involve the multi-hour process to create butter puff pastry, so I tend to buy the fanciest brand I can afford from the frozen section and call it a day. If you can actually tell the difference, you impress me, because I’ve made many kinds and I really can’t. It is just not worth it to me for a casual meal, and if you can play with store-bought and get it to do what you want, I say take that extra time you have to drink a cider, eat some good cheese and pat yourself on the back for your excellent time management choices.

One day we’ll probably do puff pastry and I’ll be all “IT’S SO WONDERFUL I DON’T KNOW WHY I DON’T MAKE IT ALL THE TIME”, and you can point me back to this post and heckle me if you like, I won’t care though, because no matter what, in the end, I’ll have a belly full of pastry!

So, back to the strudel. I have a fear of runny liquid insides ruining my strudel, so these apples are cooked twice before they are rolled inside pastry for the final filling. This means that it is a very soft filling once cooked for the second time. All the apples collapse into the raisins and disappear into your tummy in seconds.

I made two, and the four of us ate it all.

Continue reading

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Apple and Cherry Crumble

Apples and cherries should just get married, they’re so perfect together. I enjoy eating this crumble so much, and have been making it fairly regularly through Winter and into Spring. It is friendly to variations like subbing out either of the fruits for apricots/blueberries/rhubarb (with extra sugar)/plums/peaches but the cherry and apple combo is my favourite.

You can leave the apple peel on if you like (as I’ve done here), but if you’re being fancy, or like me you enjoy it when the fruit collapses all willy-nilly into itself, then peeling the apples is your best bet.

Apple and Cherry Crumble

Time: 20 mins prep, plus 35 cooking time
Yield: Serves 4 – 6 with cream/icecream

1 kg apples (I like Granny Smith’s)
500g box  frozen cherries (or about 700 grams of fresh cherries, which you’ll need to pit)
1 lemon (or 1 tsp lemon juice)
3 tbsps brown sugar
2 tsps ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tablespoon cornflour

for the crumble topping:
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tbsps brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
100gms butter, cubed

Do ahead

Grab a large pie dish, using one of the cubes of butter, rub all over the inside of the pie dish and lick your buttery fingers.

Preheat your oven to 190C (fan forced)

Prep the fruit

In a small bowl mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and cornflour, using a fork to break up any lumps.

Peel, core and chop the apples into about a 1 inch dice (or the size of your cherries). Squeeze half of the lemon over the apples to stop them from browning.

If you are using fresh cherries, wash and pit them. If you are using frozen cherries, give each of them a quick squeeze as you drop them into the bowl to make sure the pit has been removed.

In a large bowl, combine the lemony apples, cherries, and the sugary spiced mixture. Using your hands, mix gently to coat the fruit.

Pour the fruit ino the buttered pie dish. Push it down so that there is a small lip around the edge for the crumble to sit in and then you really want the fruit to sit up above the lip  a little in the middle, so mound it up, as it will collapse a bit during cooking.

I was trying to be fancy and cut the fruit into thin slices, don’t be like me, it went to mush. Boo.

Making the Crumble

Add the flour, sugars, cinnamon and butter to a bowl. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until you have a sort of rubble texture.

Carefully pour/plop/pat this on top of the fruit mixture. Pat down firmly.

Set pie dish on a tray/cookie sheet covered in baking paper and put into the middle of your preheated over for 25 – 40 minutes. If the top starts to brown too much, remove the crumble from the oven, break the topping up a little and then place back into the oven (this lets ALL of the crumble bits have a chance to brown).

Serve with cream or icecream.

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Fancy French Toast (Or: Remember that time we made challah and I froze some?)

Long time readers (like, since August), might remember the successful Challah making that took place at New Fat Ladies headquarters (there was dancing, and celebrating). I am only one person and could not quite manage to eat a whole loaf of delicious challah in one go, so I sliced up a few very serious sized slices and sealed them in zip lock bags and tossed them in the freezer ready for a future brunch adventure. That adventure turned out to be brown sugar-y french toast!

Fancy French Toast

Time: 20 minutes, 2 minutes bread prep the night before
Yield: 2 serves

5 – 6 thick slices of challah (or brioche, or any decent sturdy bread)

6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
butter (for frying)

2 large ripe bananas
Maple Syrup for drizzling (or, um, drowning in if you’re me)
1/2 cup whipped cream

Note: If your bread is frozen, leave it out to thaw overnight so it’s ready for the morning. If using fresh, slice and leave it out overnight so it gets slightly stale. French toast is always better when made with slightly stale bread.

In a dish that will comfortably fit half of your bread, use a fork to whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Lay 3 slices in the eggy mixture and leave for 3 – 5 minutes. Carefully turn slices over and soak the other side.

In a large frying pan, gently melt a knob of butter (enough to coat the bottom of the pan) until it bubbles a little. Drain the excess eggy mixture off and add the slices to pan. Fry over a medium/low heat until it is deep gold and caramelises a little, turn and do the same with the other side. Remove cooked bread to a plate to keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the other slices of bread.

Timing tip: When you remove the first batch of bread, add the remaining slices to the eggy mixture, turn those when you turn the ones frying.

Pile the bread up on a plate, cover with banana slices, a dollop of whipped cream and drizzle maple syrup all over the pile. Share with someone else if you like, or shovel it into your mouth until you explode. Your call.

I think you know which decision I made.

p.s. you’ll probably have leftover eggy mixture at the end, you can just discard it, or if you whisk in some flour and a little baking powder and a splash more milk to get it to pancake batter consistency, you can whip up a few pancakes and make a brunch buffet 😀

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Sticky Caramel Scrolls (or: the best cinnamon scrolls you will ever stuff into your mouth)

S-J and I are both a little bit silly, and decided that after work on a Wednesday night is the PERFECT time to try out a multi-step, dough based, multiple rising recipe. Honestly, what could go wrong with that logic? But, it was an excellent idea after all! These delicious little scrolls are, if possible, actually more delicious the next day so I would encourage you to try this as a make-ahead for a breakfast or morning tea.

Sticky Caramel Scrolls

Adapted from Feast Magazine (online version found HERE)

Time: 3 hrs, including rising time
Yield: 20 scrolls

Dough
7g dried yeast
75g caster sugar (divided – take 1 tbsp out for the yeast activating part of the recipe)
125ml lukewarm milk
2 eggs
375g plain flour, plus extra, to dust
1 tsp salt
135g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, at room temperature (or, straight from the fridge and microwaved a little bit)

Saucy Business
125g unsalted butter
75g dark brown sugar
125ml whipping cream
60ml maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
150g roughly chopped walnuts, toasted

Squishy Buttery Filling Goodness
125g unsalted butter (very soft, for spreading)
165g (¾ cup firmly packed) dark brown sugar
3 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp salt

Making the dough

In the bowl of your stand mixer (if you have one, or a large bowl if not) gently combine the separate 1 tbsp caster sugar, yeast and lukewarm milk. Sit the bowl in a warm place for 5 minutes or so to activate (when it starts to bubble, you’re good to go!).

Whisk eggs lightly with a fork, then whisk into yeast mixture until smooth.

Fit the dough hook onto your mixer. In the same bowl, combine yeast mixture with the remaining sugar, flour and 1 tsp salt. Stick the bowl back on the mixer. Mix on low speed until a very soft, sticky dough forms. With the mixer running, add 125g chopped butter, one cube at a time, ensuring each piece is mixed through before adding the next. I needed to do a lot of stopping and scraping down the hook and bowl through this process.

Knead, using the mixer, on medium–high speed for 8 minutes (or your super strong arms), until dough is soft and silky. It is a VERY sticky dough to start off, I think I checked with S-J approximately 11 times whether or not we had added all the flour yet, but, it does all comes together after all that kneading and gets pretty sturdy.

Place dough in a lightly greased bowl. Melt remaining 10g butter and brush over the top of dough (or if you can’t find the brush because you’re in someone else’s kitchen like I was, rub the butter on with your fingers and then attack the cat with butter fingers). Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for 1½ hours or until the ball of dough doubles in size.

Making the sauce

Heat up a medium fry pan on over a low heat, add chopped walnuts, and shaking the pan fairly constantly, toast on all sides. Remove from heat and set aside.

To make caramel, stir butter, brown sugar, cream, maple syrup, vanilla and 1 tsp salt in a small saucepan over high heat until combined. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 – 10 mins, or until reduced and shiny. Pour two-thirds of the luscious sauce into your baking dish, tilting to coat bottom and sides, then sprinkle half of the toasted walnuts.

Leave the left over sauce in a warm place until the scrolls are baked (if it cools too much, reheat very gently over a low heat, just until runny enough to pour). Remaining walnuts are for the filling.

Making the filling

Clean the dough bowl and replace it in your mixer, with the whisk attachment fitted. Beat butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and ½ tsp salt for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Stir through the remaining walnuts.

Assemble!

Punch down your gloriously risen dough! Turn out onto a lightly floured bench. Using a rolling pin dusted with flour, roll out to a 1/3 cm-thick rectangle, or using gentle stretches, pull it into a thin dough sheet over the floured surface. Spoon small amounts of the filling over the dough and using your nice warm fingers, begin spreading the filling evenly over dough, leaving a 1 cm border (Note: HA! Evenly! A filling with sharp and nubbly bits of nuts pushed over a thin and delicate dough? NOT SO EVEN.).

Do you have four hands? If not, grab a friend and start rolling, this part was the easiest it’s ever been for either of us with the benefit of four hands! Starting from the edge closest to yourself, begin to tightly roll up the filling covered dough like a Swiss roll, then trim edges and cut into 20 even-sized pieces. Place cut-side up on top of caramel in prepared baking dish. (Note: you may want to vary the size/number of your pieces depending on the size of your baking dish as well, these scrolls are on the small/medium side.)

Place a slightly damp tea towel over the pan and place in a lukewarm oven (like one you made dinner in, then turned off and remembered about 20 minutes later) to rise for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven while it preheats.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until buns are golden brown and the filling is bubbling. If the buns are browning too quickly, cover with foil. Cool for 5 minutes, then spoon over the leftover caramel sauce that is hopefully still warm. Eat!

These are excellent the next day as well. I imagine they would freeze quite well at either fully baked stage, or before the final rising – if freezing before rising, allow to defrost at room temperature and then bake, once risen, for 30 minutes.

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