Life: Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast. People

Hello my lovelies! I’ve been hanging out with people who make bread. I’ve been making bread for others. And later this week I’ll be spending time with the woman who taught me to make bread! It’s taking over my life and I’m cool with it.

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Cacao Nib Shortbread

 Prep Time : 10 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! I like butter. I like cookies that are crisp. So naturally shortbread is a go-to. There are other shortbreads up on the site already but this is one of my favourites. The nuttiness of the butter goes beautifully with the fruitiness of the raw cacao nibs. We need something quick and simple after our bread efforts earlier this week. I exhort you to bake your shortbread until it is golden. It gives it so much delicious toasted butter flavour. This is a small batch, just enough for a couple of people. If you want more just scale up as needed. I used Roar raw cacao nibs. You should be able to find cacao nibs in your local health food store. They have quite a different flavour to processed cocoa and cocoa nibs. They are very fruity and much more interesting so well worth the effort to seek them out.

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No-Knead Beetroot Bread

 Prep Time : 15 + 10 Minutes | Cook Time : 40 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! Here we are again. Making delicious interesting breads. Getting over our fear of yeast. We are using the “no-knead” method popularised by Jim Lahey. Which is made up of techniques that have been used for years. It requires very little effort. And the results are fabulous. This recipe is visually striking and delicious. The dough is deep red while it’s raw and when it bakes it ends up quite golden and studded with pink spots where the grated beetroot pieces are. Beets are awesome. Such a great colour. And so good for you. Love them. They give this loaf an unexpected sweetness and depth. The method below uses a cast iron casserole. If you don’t have one you can still make this bread. There are baking instructions in the notes. I prove this dough in a cane basket specifically for this purpose. But I’m a bread nerd who has all the bits and pieces. There are a lots of tricks to shape and prove without one so don’t worry. If you want to get a proving basket for a reasonable price head to eBay. This recipe has only 5 ingredients. All it really needs is a bit of patience.

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Life: Wild Winter

Hello my lovelies! It’s been pretty wild out there. I’ve been very grateful to be working from home. I’ve replenished my soup supply. I’m planning how to spend a little of my tax refund. And I’ll be hanging out with Zoltan and the crew at Doppio this week.

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Fig, Apricot + Ginger Cake

 Prep Time : 15 + 5 Minutes | Cook Time : 45 Minutes | Total Time : 2 hours | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! Fruitcake is a polarising food. People love it or hate it. I personally love it. But I am alone in this in our household. So the solution? A smaller cake that you can have to yourself of course! This makes a 6 inch cake which will last a brave fruitcake lover for a good week. In addition to being delicious fruitcake keeps well. If you’re not alone in your affection for fruitcake just double the recipe and bake accordingly. Adjustments are given in the notes. This is a fairly untraditional version. No raisins here. I love the traditional flavour combination but this one has a lot of my favourite things. This cake is lighter than a Christmas cake and comes together easily in a pot. There’s a bit of waiting time in the middle but the effort expended is minimal. If you don’t like or don’t have any of the fruits in this particular cake, just make up the same weight of fruit with whatever you do like. We’re not here to judge. Just make cake.

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Rosewater + Cardamom Panna Cotta

 Prep Time : 5 + 5 Minutes | Cook Time : 5 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! This is another one from the collection of stupidly easy recipes that look fabulous and taste better. I had never made panna cotta before. There was this background sense that it was difficult or unreliable. I have made this base recipe perfectly every time. It has essentially 2 steps and you can make it ahead. The trick is…. forget about trying to turn them out. So liberating. Just choose pretty serving bowls or glasses to hold the servings. Top with bonus pistachio brittle – which is a little harder to make – and a few rose petals. All done. Use champagne saucers, stemless wine glasses, cut glass tumblers or whatever gorgeous things everyone has at the back of the cupboard but never uses. This recipe is velvety and soft. With a luxurious combination of rose and cardamom. If you don’t want to tackle the brittle recipe as well, serve with crisp cookies on the side and sprinkle the top with chopped pistachios and rose petals.

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