Heaven scent Hot Cross bun and butter pudding

For a decadent pud in a hurry, I can think of no better way to use up the last pack of hot cross buns…

Hot X Bun & Butter pudding

Hot X Bun & Butter pudding

You will need:

5-6 sliced and buttered with real butter hot X buns

300ml pot double cream

100ml milk

2 tbsp golden caster sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

1tbsp whisky

How to:

Preheat your oven to 170C/150C fan/ gas mark 3 and butter an ovenproof dish. Arrange your sliced and buttered hot X buns in the dish with crosses on top.

In a jug or mixing bowl whisk the cream, milk, 1 tbsp sugar, eggs, vanilla, lemon and whisky and pour over the buns, pressing down and leaving for 20 mins.

Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the top of the pudding and bake until golden and crisp on top and set underneath. Leave to stand for 5 minutes then serve with a little more cream and ice-cream.

Variations 

You could change the citrus to orange and the liqueur to bourbon, or dried apple and brandy and you could add marmalade to the buns for a more intense flavour. If you are partial to a chocolate hot X bun you can make in the same way with the addition of orange zest and liqueur.

Easter egg loaf

Break bread this Easter with those you love the most by making a simple flavoured plait decorated with hand dyed eggs – so pretty and so much fun to prepare this is certain to become a new Easter tradition.

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You will need: For the bread 500g strong white bread flour 50g golden caster sugar 2 ½ tsp dried fast action yeast 1 tsp sea salt 200ml milk 2 x star anise Zest of 1 orange 60g salted butter, softened 2 organic eggs, large   For the coloured eggs To dye your own eggs, dilute gel paste food colouring in water. Place the eggs in a bowl and pour over the coloured water. Wrap the eggs with elastic bands if you wish to leave undied stripes. Allow to soak for 24 hours before draining.   For the Glaze 2 tbps icing sugar 1 tbsp hot water   To make the dough: In a pan place the milk and star anise. Heat gently until nearly boiling then remove from the heat and leave to cool and the star anise to infuse. Once cool, strain the milk and set to one side. In a large mixing bowl place the strong white flour, golden caster sugar, yeast, sea salt and orange zest and mix lightly to combine. Make a well in the centre and add the butter, eggs and milk. Work the mixture into a dough. Knead, by hand for at least 10 minutes until the dough is even in texture. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and place in a draught free spot to rise for 60 minutes or until doubled in size. Once the dough has risen, tip onto work surface and knead lightly to knock it back. Divide the dough into three equal pieces and roll each out into a very long sausage. Pinch together the three lengths at one end, tucking under for a neat edge then plait together and tuck the other end under. Place onto a well greased or lined baking tray. Gently ease apart the dough in equally spaced positions and insert a coloured egg between the plaited sections. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise again for 30 minutes or until doubled in size Preheat oven to 200C/ 180C fan/ gas mark 6. Bake in the preheated oven at  for 25 minutes or until well risen, golden and the base sounds hollow when tapped. Prepare the glaze by mixing together the icing sugar and water to make a very thin consistency.  As soon as the bread comes out of the oven brush over the glaze and add sprinkles if you desire.

 Variation:
For full Easter fragrance I also like to infuse the milk with 2 cloves, 1/2 grated nutmeg, pinch saffron strands, 1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Heaven scent!

Green machine banana bread, because even cavemen would have chosen cake if on offer, no?

sweet, nutritious and family friendly,  the perfect paleo pick-me-up 

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You will need: 4 bananas,

mashed 4 x organic eggs

110 g pumpkin seed butter

56g butter or coconut oil

80g coconut flour

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp gluten free baking powder

1 tsp vanilla bean paste pinch sea salt

For the crunchy topping: 2 tbsp mixed chopped nuts and seeds 1 tbsp honey 1/2 tsp vanilla  

Photo on 03-02-2015 at 12.05 #4
How to:
Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas mark 4. Grease and line a 21b loaf tin with baking parchment.
In a large bowl combine the bananas, eggs, pumpkin butter and grass-fed butter until you have a smooth batter. Add the coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and sea salt and mix well then pour into the prepared tin.
Mix the seeds, nuts, honey and vanilla until coated and drop on top of the batter.
Bake for 50-60 minutes until golden and a skewer when inserted into the middle comes away clean. Remove from oven and turn out onto a cooling rack and serve once cool. Really rather special with a slather of butter on top and a cup of good black tea!

My Ahaaaa moment…Parsnip and butternut hash

Anyone tried low carbing? If you have, you must know (especially fans of India Knight & Neris Thomas From Pig to Twig http://www.pig2twig.co.uk)  there are recipes that transform your commitment to the cause, like steak with blue cheese sauce made with real double cream, real blue cheese and the juices from the steak pan OMG! This recipe is just as decadent, delicious and frankly feels like it can’t be paleo diet friendly but praise be, clap your hands and squeal with delight..it is!

Photo on 06-08-2014 at 13.39

For one starving gal or two with a salad, you will need:

2 parsnips, peeled and grated

1 leek cleaned, trimmed and grated

1/3 of a large butternut squash, peeled and grated

3 grinds of fresh back pepper

1 level tsp hot smoked paprika

2 pinches of sea salt

2 organic eggs

1 tbsp coconut oil

Opt. olive oil to drizzle

How to:

After cleaning, peeling and grating your veg simply mix together in a dish and season, mix again. Add the coconut oil to a sauté pan, once hot add your veg and move to get brown in parts.

Veggies at the ready

Veggies at the ready

Make two wells and crack in your eggs, transfer from hob to oven if you like your eggs cooked all the way through like I do.

Eggs in...

Eggs in…

Season the eggs, drizzle with a little olive oil and serve in the pan on a heatproof mat on the table if sharing. If enjoying solo, plate as carefully as you can as it’s a pretty good looking dish and oink with delight that you have stuck to the paleo plan for yet another satisfying meal.

Pefection in a pan, you won't want to share!

Perfection in a pan, you won’t want to share!