Tag Archives: breakfast

APPLE PIE SCONES

Apple pie scones

My mums apple trees are very prolific. They produce more apples than they can actually consume. I always like to come up with ways that she can use them to provide a bit more variety to the usual pies and crumbles (not that I would ever turn down a bowl of my mums apple pie or crumble!)
Last year she made my lovely honey apple oat cake (https://colonialcravings.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/apple-honey-oat-cake/) but this year I thought I would suggest these as an ‘anytime’ treat. These are yummy for breakfast, lunch or dessert!
The chunks of apple add great texture and the spices give them a lovely autumnal feel.
I reckon these would make an excellent base for the traditional Cornish delicacy of ‘thunder and lightning’, that’s scones topped with clotted cream and treacle. Because cream teas aren’t just for summer!

Apple pie scones

Ingredients
makes about 15
500g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate or soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp allspice
pinch of salt
10g sugar
70g butter
1 large eating apple (about 200g before it’s peeled and cored)
250-300ml buttermilk or milk soured with lemon juice
brown sugar to decorate

Apple pie scones

Pre-heat the oven to 200°c and put a large non-stick baking sheet in there to get nice and hot.
Sift together the flour, raising agents and spices into a large mixing bowl. Use a fork to mix through the salt and sugar and then lightly rub the butter into it with your finger tips.
Peel and core the apple and then cut it into small dice. Toss this through the flour mixture and then make a well in the centre of the bowl. Pour in about a third of the buttermilk/milk and stir it together. Keep adding more milk and mixing until you have a nice soft, but not sticky, dough. You might not need the full 300ml.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently pat it out until it’s around 1″ thick. Stamp out circles of the dough, being careful not to twist the cutter and re-rolling the dough as necessary until it has all been used.
Take the hot tray out of the oven and arrange the scones on it. Brush the tops of them with a little milk and then sprinkle them with a little brown sugar.
Bake the scones for 20-22 minutes, until they are well risen and nicely browned. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool and eat them with clotted cream or enjoy them whilst they are still a little warm with lashings of butter.

Apple pie scones

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BUTTERNUT SQUASH & APPLE MUFFINS with orange glaze

Butternut squash & apple muffins

I’m pretty certain that if you didn’t know these were vegan then you wouldn’t be able to tell.
I quite enjoy a bit of vegan baking but I have encountered some recipes that seem to be missing a certain flavour or have a slightly disappointing texture from the various dairy and egg substitutions. Not so with these. They’re light, tender and full of flavour, the way a muffin should be.

Butternut squash & apple muffins
I make my butternut squash puree by cutting the squash in half scraping out the seeds and roasting it until it’s tender. Then I pull off the skin and blend the flesh until it’s smooth and creamy. I don’t add any oil or seasonings, it’s easier to keep track of them in the recipe that way. I like to keep my applesauce on the chunky side but make the squash puree really smooth. This way the squash just sort of melts into the texture of the muffins but you occasionally get little bites of apple. Yummy.

Butternut squash & apple muffins

Ingredients
makes 12

120g plain flour
60g wholewheat flour
60g oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
pinch of grated nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
80g brown sugar
170g butternut squash puree (about 1/2 a small squash)
150g unsweetened, unseasoned applesauce (from about 2 apples)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cider vinegar
100ml water
1 tbsp honey

glaze
5 tbsp icing sugar
1 tbsp orange juice

Butternut squash & apple muffins

Pre-heat your oven to 190°c and line a 12 hole muffin tin with wrappers.
Sift together both of the flours, the spices and the raising agents into a large mixing bowl. This is just to get them all really well combined so make sure that you tip any wheat bran that’s left in the sieve back into the mixture. Whisk in the sugar, salt and most of the oats, keep a few of these back to sprinkle on the top of the muffins.
In a separate jug or bowl, whisk together the squash puree, applesauce, oil, honey, cider vinegar and water, making sure that they are really well blended. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the wet mixture in. Fold it together with a spatula so that it is only just combined. Be careful not to over-mix it.
Spoon the batter into the prepared cases and sprinkle the reserved oats on the top. Bake the muffins for 20-22 minutes. They should be well risen and golden with a little spring to them. Give them a poke with a cake tester or skewer if you want to be sure.
Leave them to cool on a wire rack for a bit.
Mix together the icing sugar and orange juice until smooth and then drizzle it onto the muffins, let it set a bit before enjoying.

Butternut squash & apple muffins

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CHERRY-CHEESE BRIOCHE

cherry cheese brioche

Summer weekends are all about long lazy breakfasts. I spent so long never having a proper weekend that I don’t think the novelty of spending days off with Mr Colonial Cravings will ever wear off.

This, and a cup of strong black coffee, preferably eaten al fresco, is how I’m currently starting my weekends. Well, I suppose if I’m honest I’m starting my weekends by baking the brioche on a Friday afternoon, but I love making brioche so there’s no real hardship there.
The finished dough for this, once it’s enriched with all that lovely butter is so nice to work with that baking the bread is certainly more of a pleasure than a chore. I set my hands to some rhythmic kneading and then let my mind wander to wherever it pleases and before I know it I’ve got myself a soft, smooth, bouncy ball of dough that’s ready to rise.

cherry cheese brioche

Ingredients
makes 1 large loaf

dough
350g white bread flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 sachet yeast (7g)
3 eggs
100ml (ish) warm milk
75g room temperature butter, cut into small cubes

filling
150g pitted cherries
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cornflour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
juice of 1/2 a lime

150g cream cheese
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla paste

Get the dough started by mixing together the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large bowl. Lightly beat the eggs and set aside 1 tbsp for glazing the loaf later. Mix the remaining eggs into the flour. The dough will look very dry and crumbly at this stage. Use just enough of the milk to bring the mixture together to form quite a stiff dough.
Put the dough on a clean, lightly floured work surface and knead the butter into it, a couple of pieces at a time. This is quite messy, time-consuming work but once all the butter has been incorporated you will have a lovely smooth soft dough. If it gets a little sticky as your hands warm it up then you can work a tiny bit more flour into it, but try to keep this to as little as possible.
Wash the mixing bowl and lightly grease it with a little butter, pop the ball of dough in it, cover it loosely with cling-film and leave it somewhere warm to rise until it has doubled in size.

cherry cheese brioche

Whilst the dough is rising you can make the cherry filling. Cut the cherries in half and mix them with the sugar, cinnamon, cornflour and lime juice in a small pan along with a couple of teaspoons of water. Gently heat this, stirring it occasionally until it becomes quite jammy. It should only take a few minutes then leave it to cool.
For the cream cheese you simply need to mix together the cheese, sugar and vanilla until it’s smooth. It helps if the cheese is at room temperature when you do this.

When the dough has risen you can take it out of the bowl and give it a very brief knead, just to make sure the air is evenly distributed throughout it. Roll it out into a large rectangle, this can take a bit of persuading but ideally you want it to be a little wider than your loaf tin.
Spread the cream cheese over the surface, leave about a 1″ gap around the edges and then cover this with the cherries. Roll up the dough and press down the edges to seal it. Put the long edge on the bottom and then tuck under the ends. Place this in a buttered loaf tin and re-cover it loosely with cling film. Leave it to rise again. Pre-heat your oven to 220°c.
Just before baking give the top of the loaf a generous egg wash with the beaten egg which you kept back earlier, sprinkle it with almonds and cut a few slashes in the top.
Pop it in the oven and after it’s had five minutes turn the temperature down to 160°c and leave it for another 40 minutes.
Leave the loaf to cool completely (out of the tin) before thickly slicing. This will be the hardest part because it will smell amazing.

cherry cheese brioche

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AVOCADO AND RASPBERRY THICKSHAKE

raspberry & avocado shake

Note to supermarkets – if you make avocados 50 cents each I’m going to buy way too many of them. This in turn means that I’m going to have a lot of very ripe avocados to get creative with and there’s only so much guacamole that even I can eat. I bought six of these super cheap super fruits, hence the appearance on here of many avocado based recipes and this was what I made with the last (exceedingly ripe) one.
I think that this makes a really good dairy-free alternative to a milk shake and it feels a bit more indulgent than a smoothie. It’s very thick and creamy. Raspberries with avocado is one of my favourite combos, I think that their sharp tang really compliments the creaminess of the avocado.
This is packed with fibre and vitamin C and obviously you’ll be getting all the usual avocado based benefits too, so next time you get bored with your bowl of bran flakes maybe you should treat your tummy to one of these for breakfast!

raspberry & avocado shake

Ingredients
serves 2

125g raspberries (frozen ones work fine and keep the whole thing nice and chilled)
1-2 tsp honey (to taste)
squeeze of lime juice
1 very ripe avocado
350ml (approx) unsweetened almond milk

Whizz together the raspberries, honey and lime juice in a blender or food processor until they are well pureed. Add the avocado and the almond milk and blitz again until everything is thick, creamy and smooth, you don’t want any lumps of avocado that can get stuck up your straw!

raspberry & avocado shake

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BAKED AVOCADO EGGS

baked avocado eggs

Mr Colonial Cravings is a sucker for an eggy breakfast and he’s particularly partial to any that involve rich sticky, runny yolks. Add to that some jammy roasted tomatoes and creamy avocado and you’ve got a winner as far as he’s concerned. I on the other hand can’t bear eggs that haven’t had the life beaten out of them so this recipe is all for him. That also means that he was chief taste tester on this one but he assures me that it was yummy! If you’re having a particularly lazy day then you could do a lot worse than to kick it off with this…

baked avocado eggs

Ingredients
serves 1
handful of cherry tomatoes
1/2 avocado
1 egg
salt, pepper, chili and olive oil to season.

Pre-heat your oven to 200°c.
Cut the tomatoes in half and toss them in a tiny bit of olive oil along with chili flakes and sea salt. Pop them in a small oven-proof dish and bake them for around five minutes.
Meanwhile, halve, peel and pit the avocado. If the cavity left by the stone isn’t very large use a teaspoon to hollow it out a bit more, remember you need to fit an egg in there.
Once the tomatoes have had their head start on roasting, remove them from the oven and place the avocado in the middle of them cut side up. Try to use the tomatoes to support the avocado a bit and then crack the egg in the hollow where the stone was. Sprinkle with a little black pepper and then bake for about 15 minutes, or until the egg is done to your liking. Serve with lots of hot, buttered toast for dunking in the egg yolk and smearing with creamy avocado.

baked avocado eggs

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BISCUITS WITH BLUEBERRY-BLACK PEPPER COMPOTE

Biscuits with blueberry and black pepper compote

Our most recent road-trip adventure took us in a southerly direction to Tennessee (amongst other places). Now, I’m not going to lie to you, during this road trip I ate A LOT of biscuits (the US sort not the UK sort). I think I must have had one everyday. I’ve been doing double P.E at the gym to make amends ever since! Some were good, some were like stale hockey pucks but hands-down the most delicious ones were at the Tupelo Honey Cafe in Knoxville TN. They were so light and fluffy and melt-in-your-mouth delicious that I had to look up how to make them as soon as I got home. If I become morbidly obese I’m going to blame the internet for allowing me to find out this recipe. Thinking about it maybe Mr Colonial Cravings needs to set up some sort of filter on my laptop.
The reason, I found out, that their biscuits taste so amazing is that they’re made with cream. It seems so obvious now I know! Because, and I know we’re never supposed to mention this, fat makes food taste great.

blueberry & black pepper biscuits
Tupelo Honey Cafe advise using a particular type of self-rising flour but I never have self-raising flour in the pantry so I used plain four with some raising agents. Also I want to be able to make these when I move back to the UK and our self-raising flour works differently to American self-rising flour. Or at least in my experience it does.
So this is my version of those deliciously fluffy biscuits. You say rip-off, I say tribute. Po-tay-to-Po-tah-to.
You obviously don’t have to include the black pepper if the idea scares you at all but I think it adds a nice little bit of warmth to the flavour and perks up the blueberries. I’ve also kept these deliberately small in the interests of portion control but you can of course make them as thick and as big as you like, just adjust the baking time accordingly.

Biscuits with blueberry and black pepper compote

Ingredients
Makes 20 ish

300g plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
60g very cold butter
100ml cream
150ml buttermilk
black pepper and extra melted butter

Compote
125g blueberries
juice of 1/2 lemon
scant tbsp sugar
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Biscuits with blueberry and black pepper compote

Pre-heat your oven to 220°c and brush a cake tin with a little melted butter. Baking these in something with quite deep sides will really help to support the biscuits as they rise.
Sift together the flour and raising agents into a large mixing bowl and then mix through the salt and sugar. Cut the butter into small pieces and lightly rub it through the flour. It doesn’t have to be too uniform.
Add the cream and buttermilk, a bit at a time as you may not need all of it and bring it all together to form a soft dough. Don’t over mix the dough or you’ll get tough biscuits. I use a fork to mix it so that my hands don’t warm up the mixture either.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it out to about 1/2″ thick. Fold it in half and then pat it out again. Fold it one more time and pat it out again so that it’s 1/2″ thick. Stamp out 2″ rounds using a pastry cutter. It’s very important that you don’t twist the cutter though. Put the biscuits in the buttered cake tin, it’s okay for them to touch. Brush the tops with a little extra melted butter, sprinkle with black pepper and bake for 15-20 minutes. Once they are all puffed up and golden you can let them cool a touch before devouring them whilst they’re still a bit warm.

blueberry & black pepper biscuits

For the compote use a small saucepan to combine all of the ingredients. Gently simmer them until the juices begin to thicken and become syrupy. Try not to stir the compote too much, you don’t want to mush up the fruit. Leave the compote to cool completely before serving it with the biscuits so that juices are syrupy when they soak into the tender crumb of the biscuits.

Biscuits with blueberry and black pepper compote

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CHOCOLATE ORANGE BUTTERMILK BRIOCHE

chocolate orange brioche

The holidays we used to take in France when I was a child were usually self-catered. I say  ‘self-catered’ but what I mean is ‘mum-catered’. As a result hours of fun were to be had exploring French supermarkets (my brother and I were usually to be found in the chocolate aisle.) One thing I remember that usually used to end up in the trolley were little pre-packaged fingers of soft brioche stuffed with chocolate. What a treat! These are a slightly more sophisticated version of those brioche buns. Soft, stretchy, chewy, sweet dough studded with little pips of dark chocolate. Add a cup of freshly brewed coffee and you’ll be in breakfast heaven. If you don’t like chocolate orange (and I know one of you in particular really doesn’t – you know who you are) then leave it out but add 1 tsp of vanilla paste (or the seeds from a pod) to the egg mixture.

chocolate orange brioche

Ingredients
makes about 10 little brioche or 1 loaf
250g strong white bread flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
pinch ground cinnamon (optional)
2 tsp dried yeast (about 1 sachet)
70g dark chocolate chips
zest of one very large orange
75ml buttermilk
2 eggs
50g butter (melted)

Whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, cinnamon, yeast and orange zest. Stir through the chocolate chips. In a separate bowl or jug beat together the eggs and buttermilk. Set aside two tablespoons of this for glazing the brioche later. Add the melted butter to the remaining egg mixture. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and mix it together. I find a butter knife is the easiest thing to use here, it doesn’t get all gummed-up the way a spoon would. Once everything has come together to form a nice soft dough you can turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it for a few minutes, until it starts to feel springy. Wash the bowl so that it is clean and warm then lightly oil it. Oil a piece of cling film too and put the dough in the bowl before covering it. Pop it somewhere warm and leave it for one hour, or until it has doubled in size. Lightly brush some brioche moulds/a cupcake tin/loaf pan with a little oil. chocolate orange brioche

Once the dough has risen (it should be quite soft and spongy) give it another quick knead. Either shape it into a loaf or, if you’re making little brioche, roll it into a sausage shape. Divide this into 10 equal pieces (you can weigh them if you’re a bit of a perfectionist) and then roll each piece into a ball. If you aren’t using brioche tins then these actually look quite pretty if you roll them out into smaller sausages and then tie them in a knot. Pop them into the prepared moulds and re-cover them with the cling film. Leave them to rise for another hour. Pre-heat the oven to 220°c. Once the dough has risen again you simply need to brush each brioche with a little of the reserved egg wash and then bake them for about 15 minutes, until they are golden brown. Leave to cool a little on a wire rack before removing them from the moulds. These are best eaten whilst they’re fresh but you can freeze them and then re-warm them a little before serving them. chocolate orange brioche

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