mincemeat pudding cake

Do you know Nigella Lawson’s marmalade pudding cake? A little bit soggy or slightly underbaked texture, really moist, chewy and sweet. If you’re from UK I’m sure you know pudding cake texture. If you’ve never tried, I encourage you to try to prepare it – it’s pretty easy and very quick. This mincemeat pudding cake is based on the Nigella’s recipe idea. To be honest, it was supposed to be sticky toffee pudding, although dates were not available in the store, which are the key ingredient of this cake. But instead, my attention was drawn to a jar of mincemeat standing on a shelf with products for baking. If you don’t know what mincemeat is, it is not minced meat at all, but a mixture of dried fruit, raisins, apple, spices and some alcohol like brandy or whiskey. It’s very popular in UK during Christmas period. English recipes from the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries describe a fermented mixture of meat and fruit used as a pie filling. Originally, mincemeat always contained meat. The use of spices like clove, nutmeg, mace and cinnamon was common in late medieval and renaissance meat dishes. The increase of sweetness from added sugar made mincemeat less a savoury dinner course and helped to direct its use toward desserts. That’s how instead of sticky toffee pudding I invented mincemeat pudding 😉

In the end, from a few recipes found on the internet, I put together one and here’s what came out. Sweet, quite moist, but quite well-risen pudding cake with a festive character and aroma of burnt sugar. Very Christmasy and smelled amazing!

If you don’t have a jar of mincemeat on hand, you can make your own version of it with raisins, currants, soaked in hot water, then drained and slightly blended. Then mixed with brown sugar, nutmeg, grated apple and some alcohol, like whiskey or brandy. You can also add some more Christmas spices like ginger, cinnamon, orange zest etc. You can use it also as a pie or tart filling.

You can serve mincemeat pudding in two versions: very simple warm (or cold) drizzled with some cream or little bit more fancy – warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and/or whipped cream, for an adult version – drizzled with a little bit of Christmas flavour liqueur.

mincemeat pudding cake

NOTE: my measuring cup is 250ml regular glass

INGREDIENTS (for a dish size about 27×27 cm / 10×10 inch):

• 150 g butter
• 6-8 tbsp brown sugar
• about 400 g mincemeat (you can replace it with raisins, currants, soaked in hot water, then drained and slightly blended, then mixed with brown sugar, nutmeg, grated apple and some alcohol, like whiskey or brandy)
• 2 large eggs
• 1 cup of plain flour
• pinch of salt
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp baking powder
• for sauce: 250 ml double cream + 3 tsp brown sugar

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Beat the butter and sugar until smooth, then add the eggs and beat again. Add all the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly until combine. Finally, add mincemeat (or mix of dates).
Put the batter into a baking dish, place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. In the meantime, mix cream with brown sugar and pour it over the top of the cake, piercing it in many places with a fork. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, making sure not to burn.

Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream, although when eaten cold with a spoon straight from the dish it tastes equally good 🙂

Enjoy!

christmas cinnamon & apple roses

This Christmas cinnamon and apple roses, are a great festive recipe. The roses look really impressive and they are quite simple and quick to prepare. You will be surprised that you can create something so pretty with such a little effort. If you like to spend some time in the kitchen to prepare a special gift for your loved ones, you can make this roses. I’m sure they will appreciate such a beautiful bunch of edible flowers 🙂

And you need only couple cheap and basic ingredients: some flour, butter, couple apples, some sugar and cinnamon plus a lot of love and some creativity.

They might seem to be quite complicated to prepare, but actually when you give it a try, you’ll see it’s very easy. When you get into practice, you will be able to make several dozen, for all the family and friends 🙂 Just take some time to slice the apples quite thin, also do the same with the dough. If you make the dough quite thin – roses will be more crunchy. Or if you like shortcrust as much as I do, roll it slightly thicker – roses will be more substantial. For even quicker and easier option, or simply when you have no baking skills, you can use ready-made shortcrust pastry dough.

Christmas cinnamon & apple roses

NOTE: my measuring cup is 250ml regular glass

INGREDIENTS (for 12 roses):

  • 1 cup of plain flour (plus some for dusting)
  • about 80 g butter or coconut oil
  • couple tablespoons of very cold water
  • 2 large apples or 3 smaller ones
  • cinnamon
  • Demerara sugar/regular sugar or sugar alternative
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • powdered sugar or sugar substitute for decoration

Chop the flour and butter, add cold water and knead quickly, until the ingredients are combined. Form a disc and put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Wash the apples, do not peel them. In a pot, boil a little water with lemon juice (lemon will prevent the apples from darkening). Cut the apples in half, hollow the seeds. Cut them into very thin slices and put in a pot of water. Cook over very low heat for a couple minutes – until the apples are soft and more plastic. You have to make sure that they do not overcook. We just want them to be able to roll.

When the apples are soft, strain them on a sieve and set aside to cool.

Roll the cooled dough quite thinly into a rectangle – the longer side should be about 25 cm/10 inch. Cut the dough into stripes of about 5 cm/2 inch high.

Place the apple slices along the top edge of the dough stripe so that they extend 2/3 beyond the edge and overlap a bit. Exactly like in the photo. It is advisable to even lay out a bit more apple slices, I had the last two apples so I had to be less generous so that there would be enough for 12 muffins.

Sprinkle each stripe with cinnamon and sugar, then fold the lower part of the dough on the apple slices – the dough will hold the apples and it will be easier for you to roll up. The only thing left to do is roll the dough into a rose and put it in the muffin tray. Do exactly the same with each dough stripe until the muffin pan is full.

Preheat the oven to 190°C, put the form on the lower shelf of the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes. Lower shelf will be better, because we need to bake the dough until golden, to much heat over the apple part will make them dry.

Remove roses from the oven and set aside to cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and arrange on a tray or large plate.

Enjoy!

naughty sweet cinnamon pumpkin buns

That’s one before the last pumpkin recipe this Autumn (and get ready for some Christmas recipes). And it’s a naughty one – made with flour and regular sugar. So if you’re on a strict keto diet or absolutely can’t eat gluten, do not even look! I’ve stopped fooling myself that keto pizza dough or keto bread or buns, will taste “almost” the same as the regular one. This “almost” makes a BIG difference, and you won’t achieve the same result without using wheat flour. So I decided that sometimes when I’d like to be good to myself or others (which in some cases means you eat something unhealthy) I’ll make a REAL pizza or REAL fluffy hot cinnamon pumpkin buns. Even though my belly will have a lot to digest.

Gluten. It helps dough rise by trapping gas bubbles during fermentation and gives buns its unique texture. Gluten makes bread and pizza airy and satisfyingly chewy – it’s hard to imagine enjoying a chewy cake or a bread that crumbles like a cookie. That’s why sometimes you decide to eat gluten. If you can of course. If you can’t, don’t try it!

But if you can, and you desire to stuff your mouth with sweet, cinnamon, fluffy bun, go for it. A large sheet of hot pumpkin buns can brighten up even the most cloudy and rainy Autumn evening. Even those who do not like pumpkins will not resist the sweet, fragrant and sunny-yellow buns. The buns take some work and time, but absolutely worth it. You won’t regret spending this time in the kitchen.

The given amounts give you a full, large oven-sized tray (about 20) of buns. If you need 10-12 buns, reduce the amount of ingredients by half.

sweet cinnamon pumpkin buns

NOTE: my measuring cup is regular 250ml glass

INGREDIENTS for about 20 buns:

  • 250 ml milk
  • 150 g butter
  • 400 g pumpkin puree (I used tinned one, but you can bake or stem pumpkin to make your own puree)
  • 4 tbsp sugar (needed, so the yeast can work)
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 tsp natural rock salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tsp dried yeast
  • 4 cups plain flour
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup powdered sugar or powdered sugar replacement
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

DIRECTIONS

Heat the milk in a pot. It should be warm not hot, you should be able to put your finger in it (if it will be to hot it will kill the yeast). Add half the butter, 4 tablespoons of white sugar and yeast. Stir everything together until the yeast dissolves. Leave it for couple minutes so the yeast starts working.

In a large bowl, mix together: pumpkin puree, spice, salt and egg. Add warm milk and combine again. Then add the flour and combine, first with a spoon, and when it gets very thick, start kneading the dough with your hand. Knead the dough adding some flour if necessary. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and leave it for an hour in a warm place (I heat the oven to 50°C and switch off, then put the dough inside).

After an hour knead the dough again and sprinkle it lightly with flour, using rolling pin roll it out into a 5 mm thick rectangular shape. Spread the entire surface with a mixture of: second half of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Then roll it along the shorter side.

Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Using a sharp knife cut the rolled dough into pieces of a few centimetres. Place the buns on the baking tray leave some distance between them. About 20 rolls came out of the given amounts. Put the baking tray back in a warm place for another hour (I just put it back in the oven).

Within an hour buns should double their size. If, like me, you have kept a baking tray in the oven, take it out, heat the oven to 180ºC. Put the buns in a preheated oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes until they are golden brown.

Prepare the icing: mix the powdered sugar with lemon juice and warm water – add the spoonful of water and mix. Add some more water if needed to get a thick but liquid frosting. Decorate hot buns with the finished frosting and wait for them to cool down a bit, and the frosting to set.

Of course, the buns taste best when fresh and warm, but you can easily store them for the next 2-3 days. They taste great when dipped in coffee or tea.

Enjoy!

turmeric latte – winter blend

You can easily buy ready made blend of turmeric latte, and that’s how I started. But it’s more expensive and less fun, than when you make your own mix. I enjoy making my own blend, I can add as many ingredients as I want, in proportions I like the most. And I love this winter flavor latte. Most often I make hot bulletproof latte for myself, and a smoothie for my partner, that he can take to work.

According to ayurvedic medicine that is one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems. It’s based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Ayurveda treats the body as a whole, not just the bunch of organs or systems that are not connected with each other. So in ayurvedic theory of disease, poor digestion is actually the root cause of most disorders. When the food we eat is not digested properly, and the by-product of poor digestion, builds up in the body, clogging the microchannels of the body. Not only does this further block the efficient flow of nutrients to the different parts of the body, weakening the immune system, but also make a good ground for bacteria and diseases.

That’s where the spices helps to make the magic. They not only helps to digest the food, but also to get rid of this unwanted by-product of metabolism. Turmeric, ginger and cinnamon helps to clean your body. Cloves are known to have antiseptic properties (and their smell is often associated with the dentist – oh I know something about it, mixing eugenol everyday for two years). But as with every natural remedies it need to be taken systematically, so they can work gently and gradually.

If you’ve never tried turmeric latte, I highly recommend it. It has a specific taste, but if you’ll like it you’ll love it 😉

 

turmeric latte – winter blend

INGREDIENTS (descending):

  • turmeric
  • cinnamon
  • desiccated coconut
  • cloves
  • ginger

DIRECTIONS

Proportions: Turmeric is your base, so it’s going to be your main ingredient. All depends how much of the blend you want to make. If you only want to try whether you will like it, one full teaspoon will be enough. I add one heaped teaspoon of blend for one cup of latte.

If you want to make a bigger batch, you’ll need a lot more. Add the rest of spices in proportions you like the most. I add quite a lot of cinnamon, because I like it’s sweet, warm and slightly spicy flavor. Coconut is for extra fat and flavor. You can grind it in a coffee grinder, to get more powdery consistency, but I don’t mind bits of coconut in my latte. Cloves gives a wonderful sweetness and aroma. And finally spicy ginger, but not too much, that’s why I add only a little bit.

You can use this blend to make a latte, smoothie or add to your morning porridge (if you eat porridge, ugh… I miss my morning porridge).

Enjoy!