Rugelach Two Ways

 Prep Time : 10 + 20 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 2 hours | Difficulty : Not Bad

Hello my lovelies! I was gifted a copy of Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh over the weekend. So naturally I had to bake something straight away. I started simple-ish with the rugelach. I’ve been a bit intrigued for a while but didn’t realise JUST HOW GOOD THEY ARE. So flaky and delicate and jammy and crunchy. The original recipe has quince paste which I do have on hand. My parents make it. But I had to give them my own twist. Or two. We’re doing two sets of flavours. neither are traditional for rugelach. But they’re great combos all the same. Raspberry and Almond. Tahini, Ginger + Lemon. Because I used the same batch of dough to make both flavours I kept it simple. Just as Yotam says to make it. These seem fiddly but they’re actually much easier than they look. The dough comes together in the food processor. Rolled out into circles and spread with fillings. Cut up like a pie and rolled up. Fabulous. I haven’t added a lot of sweetness to the fillings. Raspberry jam is plenty sweet enough to carry the almonds. There is a lot of sweetness in the crystallised ginger and peel. You can always dust the baked cookies with icing sugar if you need to.

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Beer + Cheese Pull-apart Loaf

 Prep Time : 20 + 10 Minutes | Cook Time : 30 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Bread

Hello my lovelies! As promised my bread-fatigue doesn’t last long. Today we’re making a delicious savoury snacking bread. Perfect for sunny afternoons on the deck. Or cool evenings tucked up inside. Crack one of your favourite beers into this dough and pop the rest on ice for when the baking is done. And cheese goes on everything. We’re adding a little bit of wholegrain mustard to the cheese for interest and bite. Cramming it all into a pan to bake until golden on the outside and gooey on the inside. There’s something for everyone. Chewy edges and toasted cheese. Soft middle bits. No snack preference left behind.

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Toasted Sesame Baby Bao

 Prep Time : 20 + 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 8 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Bread

Hello my lovelies! We are mixing up our bread efforts today. Making fluffy delicious bao. Steaming rather than baking. You can get a bamboo steamer for hardly any money at any asian supermarket. Mine has two layers and a lid and cost around $12. These bao are soft and fluffy with a hint of nuttiness from the sesame seeds. It balances perfectly with the sweetness of the dough. You can shape these in the traditional bao ‘foldover’ style or just make neat round buns to slice and fill. They will look small when they have proved but they puff up even more as they steam. Use them where you would normally use a small roll or even to make a warm sandwich. The are also addictive on their own to be honest. Be careful if you have gas burners that the flames don’t curl around the bottom of the pot. Hijinks will ensue.

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Lemon + Vanilla Marmalade

 Prep Time : 30 + 30 Minutes | Cook Time : 1 1/2 Hours | Total Time : 2 1/2 hours | Difficulty : Jam

Hello my lovelies! Jumping back into it with one for all my lemon loving friends out there. You never see marmalade made with just lemons. We’re totally going to make it a thing. It’s so delicious. It’s much mellower than you would think and the vanilla takes the edge off any bitterness. Choose ripe, unblemished lemons of a thin-skinned variety. We don’t want too much white pith. This marmalade is made in two stages with an overnight soak in the middle. This method gives the absolute best textured marmalade. Allow about 30 minutes the night before to prep the lemons and the rest of the time the next day to boil and jar the marmalade. I used up some amazing lemons from the Hawkes Bay gifted to me by my friend Marie. They were very dark yellow and perfect for imparting lots of lemony flavour. Be patient. The timings are estimates. Look for the signs of doneness at each step before moving on to get the best results.

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Sundried Tomato, Feta + Pinenut Scones

 Prep Time : 10 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 30 Minutes | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! I tried to make you a cake. But it’s not 100% yet. It will be here later in the week or next week. I promise. In the meantime let’s have a salty satisfying snack. Rocking two kinds of cheese. Umami rich sundried tomatoes. Golden pinenuts. All great friends getting together in these easy peasy scones. A scone is a great vehicle for all sorts of flavours. Once you’ve got the method down they’re so quick to whip up for a warm tasty lunch or snack. I wasn’t always good at them. But every time they were better than the last time. Keep practicing. And keep trying new flavours. Make sure your butter and milk are very cold before you start. Choose a firm feta cheese so that your chunks won’t be obliterated when you are bringing the dough together.

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Buckwheat + Honey Madeleines

 Prep Time : 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 6 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Moderate

Hello my lovelies! I love to experiment with different flours. One of my all-time favourite books is Alice Medrich’s Flavour Flours. I made the buckwheat genoise sponge from that book and it was utterly delicious. It set my little brain in motion. Wouldn’t buckwheat madeleines be a great idea? As a jumping off point I made my normal recipe with a 100% substitution of buckwheat flour and swapped the butter for oil on Alice’s recommendation. And it was excellent. No tweaking required. The cakes are bouncy and soft. The amazing nuttiness of the buckwheat comes through. The only addition is a tiny lemon drizzle to give a little sharp contrast. Whenever I make madeleines I kick myself for not making them more often. There’s a little bit of fiddling making sure you prep the pans properly but with a stand mixer they actually take very little effort at all. No more than any cupcake. Less really. And you’re meant to enjoy them straight away. My kind of cake. These have the added bonus of being both dairy and gluten free. Everyone should get to have cake.

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Homemade Cultured Butter

 Prep Time : 5 + 60 Minutes | Cook Time : 0 Minutes | Total Time : Overnight | Difficulty : A bit messy

Hello my lovelies! I’m a fan of butter. Especially on toast. There’s nothing like it. And I can’t go past a good DIY. Cultured butter tastes more buttery. If you can believe it. Which you should. The flavour is intensified and a slight acidity balances it out. And it’s super easy to do. We are basically going to make a light yoghurt using double cream. Then whip it to separate the glorious butter. A bit of rinsing and you’re moments away from an epic toast experience. You need to allow a bit of time to do the beating and rinsing. And you need to start the process before bed the night before. If you want a more intense cultured flavour start an extra day in advance the let the culturing go a bit longer. We should all be prepared in advance for this to make a bit of a mess. Clear the bench so nothing gets drops of cream on it and have a cleaning cloth handy to keep things under control. We need to use a fresh natural yoghurt with no sweeteners or additives because we want to capture the live yoghurt cultures.

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