Tag Archives: honey

LAVENDER AND HONEY MADELEINES

Lavender & honey madeleines

I realise that having a third madeleine recipe on here may be a bit extravagant, a second floral themed one at that, but when I scavenged some lavender flowers from my mums garden I couldn’t resist using them in some of these pretty little cakes. Plus it totally justifies the fact that I even own a madeleine tin at all!
I’m not normally a massive fan of lavender, I think that I associate the smell of it with having migraines, but these are actually very nice. The lemon zest really perks them up so that the lavender isn’t too perfumy. They go very well with a cup of earl grey tea too.

Lavender & honey madeleines

Ingredients
makes 12

65g butter
50g sugar
1 tbsp lavender flowers
zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 egg
85g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp milk

Melt the butter and use a little of it to brush your madeleine tin. Dust the tin with a little flour too and shake out any excess. Put the tin in the fridge to chill. Set the remaining butter aside to cool.
Put the sugar, lavender and lemon zest in a dinky food processor and whizz it up for a few moments. This will get some of the oils from the flowers and zest into the sugar.
Beat together the egg and the sugar until it is thick, pale and fluffy. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and then fold this into the egg mixture.
Mix the honey and milk into the butter, making sure that the honey blends in. Stir this into the batter and then let it stand in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Lavender & honey madeleines
Towards the end of the resting time pre-heat the oven to 220°c.
Spoon the batter into each of the little shell shaped cavities of the chilled madeleine tin. You don’t need to worry too much about spreading it out to fill them, the batter will do this of its own accord once it hits the heat of the oven.
Bake the madeleines for three minutes and then turn the oven down to 180°c and leave them for a further five minutes.
Once the little cakes have risen and become golden brown take them out of the oven and place the tray on a cooling rack for a few minutes. When they’ve cooled a bit you can carefully lift them out of the tin and let cool completely on the rack before sprinkling them with a little icing sugar.

Lavender & honey madeleines

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BLUEBERRY & LEMON GREEK YOGURT ICE POPS

blueberry & lemon yogurt pops

Coming from the UK I would never complain about the warm weather that we get in Maryland during the summer months. That said though, it does get ridiculously muggy at times. Seriously, the humidity some days makes it feel like we’re living in the tropics. Ice lollies, of all varieties, are one of the best ways to cut through this cloying stickiness. (Apart from maybe a chilly G&T!)
These make such a handy summer-time snack I should imagine that there’ll always be a few stashed in the freezer. They’re pretty low in fat (depending on the type of yogurt that you choose), are packed with calcium and let’s face it blueberries are pretty awesome for you too. It’s almost like you’re doing your body a favour by eating them!
I like these to be quite tart and tangy for maximum refreshment, but feel free to add more honey and sugar if you have a sweeter-tooth than me. If you are making them for kiddy-winks then they’ll almost certainly want them to be a touch less sharp.

blueberry & lemon yogurt pops

Ingredients
makes 4-6 (depending on the size of your moulds)

300g Greek yogurt (any type)
2 tsp honey (more if you want it sweeter)
100g blueberries (I use part frozen and part fresh)
2 tsp sugar (again add more if you want them sweeter)
juice and zest of 1 lemon
splash of milk/cream (you might not need this)

Combine 80g of the blueberries with the lemon juice and sugar and gently heat them until they become thick and syrupy. Just swirl the pan rather than stirring it so that you don’t beak up the fruit too much. Leave this to cool.
Whisk together the yogurt, lemon zest and honey until they are well combined. If it seems a touch too thick to easily fill the lolly moulds then add a splash of milk/cream too.
Toss the reserved, uncooked fruit into the blueberry compote and then swirl it into the yogurt mixture to give it a nice marbled look. Spoon or pour this into the moulds, leaving a little room in each to allow for it to expand as it freezes. Give each of the moulds a bit of a shake or tap to get ride of any air bubbles too. Freeze until solid.
Once they are frozen solid I unmould them and store them, wrapped in cling film, in a tupperware tub so that I can free-up my ice lolly moulds for other frozen treats.

blueberry & lemon yogurt pops

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BOURBON BERRY FOOL

Bourbon berry posset

A fool is a distinctly British dessert that it seems I may have previously over-looked on here. It’s so ridiculously easy to make and produces such delightfully fluffy fruity clouds, it’s the perfect summer pud. Fools are essentially just fruit puree combined with cream but I have seen them made with custards and yoghurt too.

Bourbon berry posset

Obviously, as you will have noticed by now, I love to make a boozy dessert. If you can’t choose between having dessert or after dinner drinks you should always have them both. Simultaneously. This one has been inspired by a cocktail I tried recently made with raspberries muddled with Drambuie and whiskey. I actually ordered it but rather selflessly swapped it with Mr Colonial Craving when he didn’t like the one he ordered. It has left me pining for another taste of it so I’ve come up with this deliciously creamy homage to it.
You can make the fruit puree in advance if you need to too but I wouldn’t recommend combining it with the cream until about an hour before you want to serve it. If you make it too far in advance the air tends to come out of the cream and you get a sort of boozy, creamy syrup at the bottom of the glass.

Bourbon berry posset

Ingredients
serves 4

150g mixed raspberries and blackberries (frozen ones work fine)
50ml good bourbon (I used Gentleman Jack)
200ml double (heavy) cream
2 tbsp floral honey

Blitz together the bourbon and the fruit in a little food processor until it is well pureed. Pass this through a fine mesh sieve until you are just left with the seeds of the berries in the sieve and a bowl of fruit puree. Toss the seeds away.
Whip together the cream and honey until they are quite stiff and then fold or whisk in the fruit puree (you should have about 130ml of fruit). You can either make the fool look a uniform colour, like mine or leave it marbled and rippled. Both will taste absolutely glorious.
Divide between 4 pretty glasses and put them in the fridge to chill for a while. Before serving you can garnish them with a few extra berries and a sprig of mint.

Bourbon berry posset

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HONEY-PAPRIKA CORNBREAD

honey & paprika cornbread

Do you like rice or cornbread with your chili? I can never decide which I prefer. Brown rice with lime and coriander is always pretty tasty but Mr Colonial Cravings likes being able to mop-up the last bits of chili with his cornbread. I aim to please so cornbread won the debate for our most recent chili-fest (fiesta?)
This recipe makes quite moist and fluffy cornbread with a delicious crust. The honey and paprika are a great combination and the perfect accompaniment for richly flavoured chili. Yummy! It’s got a bit more fat and sugar than the apple sauce cornbread that I’ve made previously (https://colonialcravings.wordpress.com/2015/02/09/apple-sauce-corn-bread/) but it does taste a little more indulgent because of it so it makes a nice occasional treat. Plus I tend to serve it with vegetarian chili so I like to think that I’m saving myself some of the fat there!

honey & paprika cornbread

Ingredients
makes 10 pieces
85g plain flour
75g cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp sweet paprika
pinch each of salt and pepper
about 1/4 of a medium white onion
about 4 tbsp sweetcorn (canned or frozen & thawed)
35g butter (melted)
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil
1 egg
150ml buttermilk

honey & paprika cornbread

Pre-heat the oven to 220°c and lightly grease a 8-9″ cake tin. Whisk together the flour, corn meal, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, pepper and paprika in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Roughly dice the onion and whizz it up in a food processor along with the sweetcorn until it is mushy but not totally pureed.
Whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter, egg, honey and sweetcorn mixture in a separate bowl or jug.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir together a few times so that it is just combined. Don’t over-mix it or it will become tough rather than tender.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake it for around 25 minutes, until it has risen and is golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before serving warm.

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SQUIDGY (egg and dairy free) CHOCOLATE CAKE

Dairy & egg free avocado chocolate cake

This is an absolute revelation, for me at least. This decadent cake isn’t actually that decadent! I would not have thought that this was totally free of eggs, butter or milk if I hadn’t made it myself. Rich, squidy, fudgy and indulgent but with about the half the calories of a standard chocolate cake. Amazing!
I was curious as to how this compared to a traditional chocolate cake so sent the recipe over to the lovely Claire at http://www.ukdesperatehousewifeusa.com to look at with her nutritionist hat on. This is what she sent back;

Nutrition Facts
Servings 8.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 182
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11 g 17 %
Saturated Fat 1 g 7 %
Monounsaturated Fat 7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 141 mg 6 %
Potassium 460 mg 13 %
Total Carbohydrate 20 g 7 %
Dietary Fiber 2 g 10 %
Sugars 10 g
Protein 3 g 7 %
Vitamin A 1 %
Vitamin C 4 %
Calcium 2 %
Iron 4 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty pleased with that!

Dairy & egg free avocado chocolate cake
I’d started thinking about making dairy free desserts when a lactose intolerant friend came to stay with me back in October. I didn’t know she was lactose intolerant until she arrived and felt very bad that she couldn’t partake of the cheesecake and cobbler that everyone else was enjoying. Incidentally the delicious honey that I’ve used in this recipe came from her bees! It’s got lots of floral notes that work really well with the almonds and chocolate in the cake.
I for one am very excited to have discovered something that can taste so sinful but actually be very virtuous…

Ingredients
serves 8
140g very ripe avocado flesh (about 1 medium fruit)
2 tbsp olive oil
75g flavourful honey
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp sugar
75g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp dark cocoa powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
50g ground almonds
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp cold water

chocolate and toasted flaked almonds or icing sugar to decorate (optional – this will change the nutritional content)

Dairy & egg free avocado chocolate cake

Pre-heat your oven to 180°c and brush a 7-8″ spring-form tin lightly with oil and then dust it with a little flour. Shake out any excess flour.
Beat together the avocado, oil, honey, salt and sugar until it’s really smooth. If your avocado is really nice and ripe then you can use an electric mixer to do this, otherwise you may want to stick it in a food processor. Sift in the flour, raising agents, cocoa and cinnamon, altogether so that they are well blended and beat the mixture again.
Stir in the ground almonds, vanilla paste and almond extract. Finally mix in the water to loosen mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes. Remember that this meant to be squidgy cake so you don’t want to over bake it. It doesn’t have any eggs in it so you don’t need to worry about it too much (this also means that you can really enjoy licking the bowl!)
Cool the cake in the tin for an hour, then run a palette knife around the edge and release it from the tin. Decorate with a dusting of icing sugar or drizzle it with melted chocolate and toasted flaked almonds or just leave it plain.

Dairy & egg free avocado chocolate cake

Because this is such a moist cake it’ll keep quiet happily for up to three days in the fridge. (Maybe longer but it didn’t stand much a chance against Mr Colonial Cravings appetite.)
If you aren’t vegan/lactose intolerant this is wonderful served with pistachio ice cream. (Well I did save all those calories on the cake…)

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BEER MUSTARD

Beer mustard

I love mustard. More than is appropriate. I’ll cheerfully eat it straight from the jar the way other people eat ice cream from the tub. I have a particular love of dark, sweet, French mustard but I like to use coarser wholegrain mustards for cooking.

Home made mustard is so easy and takes very little time and effort. It also makes a really nice gift for fellow mustard-philes!

Choose your beer carefully for this because you will be able to taste it in the finished product. Make sure it’s a beer that you like drinking but choose ale or beer rather than lager obviously. Just because you like PBR doesn’t mean it’ll work in mustard.

I use a 50/50 mix of black and yellow mustard seeds but as black are the hotter kind feel free to adjust the ratio to suit yourself. You might also want to play around with the spices to find a combination that best compliments your beer.

beer mustard

Ingredients
makes one jar

50g yellow mustard seeds
50g black mustard seeds
125ml beer
1/2 tsp seasalt
50-75ml cider vinegar
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp ground ginger
small grating of nutmeg

Put the mustard seeds into a small bowl and pour over the beer. Cover the bowl and let it sit over night to absorb all of the beery goodness.

The following morning simply put the mustard seeds, along with all of the other ingredients, into a small food processor and blitz until it is as smooth or grainy as you like. Add a splash more vinegar if you need to loosen the texture a little. You can also use a pestle and mortar for this (which I think gives a better texture) but it does obviously take a little more effort. Don’t forget to taste the mustard and adjust the spices if necessary. Don’t panic if it tastes a little bitter, it should mellow after a day or so.
Store the finished mustard in a sterilized jar.

Beer mustard

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MINI FIG AND ROSEMARY CHEESECAKES two ways

Fig and honey cheesecake

Piles of beautiful black-skinned figs have started to appear in the shops and I’ve been desperate to make use of them. I’ve been a big fan of figs ever since my friends parents let us spend a week at their house in France which happened to have a fig tree in the garden, covered in sweet, plump fruit. We greedily devoured them every morning with greek yoghurt during lazy breakfasts.
I was pretty sold on the idea of using them in a cheesecake but couldn’t decide if I wanted it to be sweet or savoury…so of course I made both! To be honest, I’m still none the wiser as to which one is better, I love them both. I’ll almost certainly be making more savoury cheesecakes in the future, they make a perfect starter or fancy lunch.

Savoury fig & rosemary cheesecake
The savoury version has a slightly firmer texture and a lovely crumbly, oaty base. I should imagine that if you’re that way inclined you could switch the ricotta in it for some chevre. The sweet one has a wonderfully creamy texture and the rosemary is delicious with the figs and honey.

Ingredients
makes 6

Sweet base
6 tbsp digestive biscuit crumbs
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp chopped rosemary

Savoury base
3 tbsp digestive biscuit crumbs
3 tbsp oats
3 tbsp melted butter (the oats absorb a little more)
1 tbsp chopped rosemary

Basic filling mixture
150g cream cheese
75g ricotta cheese
1 egg

3 small ripe figs

Sweet additions
2-3 tbsp honey (depending on how much of a sweet tooth you have)

Savoury additions
4 tbsp grated parmesan
black pepper

Fig and honey cheesecake

Line a six hole muffin tin with muffin wrappers, I used silicone ones, which tend to be a bit sturdier.
Mix together all of the ingredients for the base of your chosen flavour. Press a heaped tablespoonful of the base mixture into each cavity of the muffin tin and place it in the fridge to chill and set whilst you make the filling. Pre heat the oven to 170°c .

Savoury fig & rosemary cheesecake
Beat together both of the cheeses until they are really nice and smooth. Next beat in the egg. This will give you a simple cheesecake mixture that you can play around with. Stir in the honey for the sweet cheesecakes or the parmesan and black pepper for the savoury version.

Fig and honey cheesecake
Spoon the filling evenly over the bases and carefully place half a fig (cut side up) on top of each one. The filling should be thick enough to support it.

Savoury fig & rosemary cheesecake
Place the tray into a larger deep tin (like a roasting tin) and fill that tin with boiling water. Put the cheesecakes in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Once cooked they should still have a gentle wobble to them. Slightly open the oven door and leave them in there until totally cool. Transfer to the fridge to chill completely before serving. I like to drizzle the sweet ones with a little honey when I serve them.

Fig and honey cheesecake

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