recipes

Recipe : Dairy Free & Low Added Sugar Banana & Apple Bread

Are any of you GBBO fans?  I’m a major GBBO-er!

That’s Great British Bake Off, in case you’re still pondering about the acronym.

I was a tad sad that Tamal didn’t win and then I Twitter stalked him a bit because why not.  He’s @DrRayBakes BTW.

Anyway, I must have been totally inspired because one evening, after another tiring day at work, I decided NOT to watch Netflix { !!! } and baked instead.

I kinda read a few recipes and then decided to go freestyle and concocted something extremely yummy – Banana & Apple Bread – and because I substituted butter for oil and I hardly put any sugar in it, it got major thumbs up from the fam because it was definitely more bread-like than cake-like.

The crust is all kinds of amazing!!!

dairy free apple and banana bread

I’ve made it 3 times now and I’ve tweaked it to the point where it’s dairy free and has low added sugar – so you can eat another slice { toasted and laden with butter – which totally defeats the dairy free part, I know! } without feeling too guilty!

Plus it is super duper easy to make!!!!

Ladies and gents, I give you Dairy Free & Low Added Sugar Banana & Apple Bread.

I hope you enjoy it like we do!

Dairy Free & Low Added Sugar Banana & Apple Bread

Loosely based on this recipe.

Ingredients

[ A ]
2 ripe bananas
4 small to medium-sized apples { any variety & mixture }
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil { I used canola but I’m sure you could try olive oil }
1/4 cup almond milk { or full fat milk if you aren’t lactose intolerant like me }
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp sugar { or 1 tbsp if your bananas are super ripe looking }
Dash of cinnamon powder
Dash of salt

[ B ]
2 cups of plain flour
2 tsp baking soda

Method

1.  Preheat oven to 170 degrees.  Line a large loaf tin with greaseproof paper.

2.  Place all of the [ A ] ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

3.  In a bowl, sift [ B ] ingredients together.

4.  Pour blended ingredients into dry ingredients and fold until all flour is incorporated.

5.  Place mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 1 hour.  If the loaf browns too quickly, use foil to cover the top.  Check it with a skewer to make sure it is cooked.  If the skewer is not coming out clean with a few sticky crumbs, return to oven until it is ready.

6.  Remove out of loaf tin and leave to cool on cooling rack.  Or if you can’t wait, just dig in and serve with butter…or peanut butter…or Nutella…or cheese { my MIL’s pick! }

banana and apple bread

{ FYI, bake times have varied for me.  The first time took an hour and it was perfect.   The second time I made it, I substituted the sugar for honey so it was very wet but I stupidly took it out of the oven around the 50 minute mark.  It was underbaked but we still ate it all.  The third time I made it, I had to bake it for 80 minutes.  So yeah, it’s rather inconsistent…gah….  However, I will update this post when I get a more consistent time. }

if you haven’t demolished it within a day, wrap it up in cling film and have it the next day.  Slice ’em up and pop it in the toaster to warm it up and whack on some butter.  Great with a cuppa tea!!!!

Let me know if you made this recipe and what changes you have made by leaving a comment.  Thanksssss!!!

Recipe : Dairy-Free Chicken, Bacon & Leek Pie

If you’ve been wondering where I have been lately, wonder no more.  3 words – TV, work and food.

I watched all 5 seasons of Downton Abbey within a week.  It was THAT good.  Netflix is awesome.  I’ve now started on the new season of Masterchef and one of the reasons why I really like it is that there is a Glaswegian amongst the finalists.  The accent is so comforting and reminds me of home.

I’ve been working like a dog…woof woof.  I’ve also been attending a lot of courses – for the CPD points as required by my profession.  And I’m also increasing my work hours and days which is good news for my bank account but bad news to my already limited free time.  Boohoo, right?!

Apart from glueing my eyeballs to the big box and slaving away at work, I have been STUFFING MY FACE!

chicken bacon leekpie

One of the yummy things I have eaten this week – TWICE ALREADY – because it was THAT yummy is this Chicken, Bacon & Leek Pie that I made.

It is so comforting and warm to eat.  Plus it is dairy free so perfect for lactose intolerant peeps like moi. Definitely a family favourite.  Totally delish!

Without further ado, here is the recipe.

Dairy-Free Chicken, Bacon & Leek Pie

A modified version of Family Chicken, Bacon and Leek Pie
Serves 4

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
6 chicken thighs (around 750g, deboned, skinned and chopped into small chunks)
4 streaky bacon rashers (chopped)
1 leek (sliced into 1cm thick slices)
2 shallots (finely sliced)
1/3 cup plain flour
2 cups reduced salt chicken stock
4 large sprigs thyme (stalk removed)
2 tbsp fresh parsley (chopped)
ready rolled puff pastry
1 egg (lightly whisked)

Method

1.  Heat oil in a large pan and brown the chicken pieces for 2 minutes.  Transfer to a plate.  Mix in the herbs.

2.  Add the bacon, shallots and leek to the same pan and cook for 5 minutes until the leek is softened and the bacon is slightly golden.  It will smell delicious already!

3.  Add the flour and cook, stirring for 30 seconds.  Remove the pan from the heat.  Gradually stir in the stock until well combined.

4.  Add the chicken and herbs back into the pan and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Season with black pepper, if you wish.

5.  Transfer to pie dish.  Preheat oven to 220 degrees.

6.  Place puff pastry on top to cover the chicken mixture.  Depending on how large your pie dish is, you may need to use 2 pastry sheets.  Seal the edges by pressing down with a fork.  Use the fork to pierce the pastry all over.  Paint on the egg wash.  Bake for 20-30 minutes until puffed and golden.

Serve with mash potato and a side of veggies.

Recipe : The Best Homemade Sticky Toffee Pudding

I had been craving the good old British classic dessert Sticky Toffee Pudding for a while.

The Aussie equivalent Sticky Date Pudding did not hit the spot as it doesn’t have that rich dark treacle-y goodness.

So I scoured the interwebs for a recipe that I could make and after a couple of trials, I have come up with a winning recipe.

the best homemade sticky toffee pudding recipe

It may not be the best Sticky Toffee Pudding { that award goes to The Grill On The Corner in my hometown, Glasgow! } but it is the best homemade Sticky Toffee Pudding!

And like all good things, I shall share this with you 🙂

Enjoy!

sticky toffee treacle pudding

The Best Homemade Sticky Toffee Pudding

A modified version of Ultimate Sticky Toffee Pudding

Ingredients

[ For the pudding ]
200g pitted dates – chopped
175ml boiling hot water
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g butter – softened
30g brown sugar
2 eggs – beaten
4 tbsp treacle
175g self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
100ml milk (I used almond milk)

[ For the toffee sauce ]
100g demerara sugar
1 tsp brown sugar
50g butter
300ml thickened cream
2 tbsp treacle

1.  Soak the chopped dates in the hot water and add the vanilla extract too.

2.  Butter and flour 6-8 ramekins (or cupcake tins) – it just depends what size you want your puddings.  And preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

3.  Whizz up the date mixture in the food processor.

4.  Cream the butter and sugar together for 2 minutes.  Then add the eggs a little at a time, beating well between additions.  Then beat in the treacle.

5.  In a separate bowl, mix the flour and bicarbonate of soda together.

6.  Then sift a third of this flour mix into the main bowl and fold the flour in gently.  Then fold in half the milk, then more flour.  Repeat until all flour and milk is used.  Be careful not to overmix!

7.  Gently fold in the processed dates.

8.  Spoon the mixture into the ramekins.  Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes at 180 degrees until a skewer comes out clean.

 

9.  To make the toffee sauce, place the sugars, butter and half the cream in a pot.  Bring to the boil whilst stirring all the time until all the sugars have melted.  Add the treacle and let it bubble away for 2-3 minutes until it is a rich dark toffee colour, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn.  Take the pot off the heat and stir in the rest of the cream.

10.  Serve pudding warm with a gooey puddle of sauce with a side of cream / custard / ice cream.  Whatever you like!

P.S.  There will be a considerable amount of washing up to do!  Best left for the better half to do, of course!

 

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