Flashback Friday: Apple & Bramble Crumble

Originally posted: October 19th 2013

Autumn is a yucky time of year – the nights start drawing in, the weather gets properly minging with lots of grey skies and windy days, leaves fall off the trees making the likeliness of standing in dog poo a whole lot more likely as it’s hidden under all those mulchy leaves! What to do? Bring out the comfort food, and take advantage of the season’s harvest! This recipe should serve about 6-9 people depending on how big you make your portion sizes.20131012-233555.jpg

Ingredients
For fruit filling:

1 large cooking apple (or 2 medium ones)

2 punnets of blackberries (AKA brambles!)

25g light muscovado sugar

25g golden caster sugar

For the crumble:

175g plain flour

75g golden caster sugar

100g unsalted butter

Method

Preheat your oven to 180°C (fan assisted oven) 200°C (normal oven)

Grease your pyrex dish with a teeny bit of butter (this will make it your crumble way easier to extract and your dish easier to clean later!)

To make the crumble mix, chop your butter into smaller pieces, then put your butter, flour and sugar in a mixing bowl. Rub it all together with your hands until it all looks like breadcrumbs, then set to one side…

Rinse your fruit. Peel and chop your apple(s) into bite size pieces. Make sure you’ve got no leaves or anything attached to your blackberries!

Spread fruit evenly in the pyrex dish, sprinkle your sugar over the fruit.

Sprinkle your crumble mixture over the fruit til it is completely covered.

Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes until the crumble is golden and fruit is bubbling. It might need 5-10 minutes longer depending on your oven.

Bring out leave to cool a little bit, then serve with cream or ice cream (or whatever you like).

This can also be split into portions and frozen – that’s if none of your friends or relatives are helping you to eat it that day! 😉

Flashback Friday: Banana Breakfast Muffins

We’ll ignore the fact today is actually Saturday, but I forgot to post anything yesterday, and I saw the Uni Mummy request some snack recipes. This is one of my old recipes I used to make mainly for the purpose of keeping in my bag as a post work/pre gym snack. When I was doing my postgrad diploma I used to make Chocolate Banana Teabread and would freeze portions to take in with me. This is slightly healthier!
Ingredients:

3 ripe bananas

4 fl oz semi-skimmed milk

3 eggs

4 oz unsalted butter

2 tbsp honey

8oz self raising flour

4 oz of bran flakes

4 oz porridge oats

2 handfuls of raisins

2 handfuls of chopped nuts

Method

Preheat oven to 150 C

Melt butter and honey in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally (do not let it boil!!) 

Peel, then mash the bananas in a mixing bowl. Put bran flakes in a plastic bag (I usually use a freezer/sandwich bag) make sure the bag is closed then bash with a rolling pin to crush the bran flakes – then put to one side.

Add milk, eggs, melted butter & honey to the bananas and whisk together.

Add the flour, crushed bran flakes, oats, nuts and raisins and stir it all together. You do not want to stir too much, just enough so that everything is mixed in to create your muffin mixture.

Divide equally between 12-16 muffin cases. The muffins will not rise much, so you want the cases fairly full (fuller than you’d have for cupcakes).

Put in oven for around 25-30 mins where they should be golden on top.

If you put the muffins in a sealtight container, they can keep for up to a week. They work great as a snack as they full of fibre and more complex carbs for slower-release energy in place of a chocolate bar! Also useful for the mornings where you sleep in and don’t have time to make breakfast, or when you are about to go to the gym and your stomach is rumbling it wants tea and is threatening to ruin your workout. 🙂 The use of honey, bananas and raisins means they still taste sweet, but the sugar is more natural and better for you than refined sugar used in cakes (and most definitely better than artificial sweeteners – please insert my usual rant about so-called ‘diet’ drinks and people putting sweetener or faux sugar in their tea or coffee here).

BK’s Grouch Cure: Double Chocolate Raspberry Brownies

Sunday, I was DONE. I was done with politics. I was done with idiots who think that gun control means taking their right to have gun taken away. I was done with God. I was done with friends. I was done with trying to find work. I was done with living on toast. I was done with being a Landlord. I was done with trying to sleep. I was done with working with Girlguiding. I was just DONE.

And so after having a rant and a cry to myself. I decided that what I was most of all done with was eating toast (in case you are wondering, this is because money is so scarce right now I’d been trying to save money by living on bread, cheese and strawberries) and that I was going to take some money out of my emergency savings and went to the supermarket to get ingredients to attempt to make Brownies. My friend K makes THE BEST brownies. I’ve never made them, but she always inspires me and encourages me to try baking and cooking. I’m an ok baker, but I’m a terrible cook.

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And so after looking at four different recipes for Brownies in my cookbooks, all with different quantity ratios and varying ingredients for the basic brownie mixture… I decided to experiment and make my own.

This is my own special, still tweaking pilot batch of Brunette Koala Double Chocolate Raspberry Brownies.

Ingredients:

4oz unsalted butter
4oz plain chocolate
5oz plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 large free range eggs (beaten)
8oz fairtrade golden caster sugar
100g (just under 4oz) white chocolate chips
100g (just under 4oz) fresh raspberries

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180 (160 C for fan assisted). Melt the chocolate and butter in a saucepan. Put all the flour, baking powder, cocoa sugar and beaten eggs in a mixing bowl. Add the melted butter and chocolate. Stir until you’ve got a smooth brownie mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and raspberries. Spread evenly in a brownie pan (the one I used is about 20×30 cm I think?). Bake in oven for approximately 30 minutes. Take out, allow to cool for 10 minutes, then cut into squares and allow to cool until ready to eat.

Since making the brownies, I have enjoyed taste testing them. They were a little drier around the outside than I wanted, so I think I want to lower the temperature a little, and I’m going to try making them without the cocoa powder. I took them to my friends’ toddler group and the Mums there who gave my brownies a try seemed to like them ok. Or they were super polite and really sneaky about spitting them into baby wipes when I wasn’t looking.

But more than that, my day did actually improve. Sure, that improvement may have gone downhill since Monday evening…but if I make more Brownies, all these problems will magically get better.

Right?

BK’s Christmas Recipes…

Since coming back to Edinburgh, there have been a few traditions that have been inserted into my family that dentists would not be happy about. I’m not a fan of cooking, but I sure do like making sugary treats for everyone to enjoy. And during the ‘holiday’ season, there are a few traditional treats I make for my friends and family. Christmas temping in shops this year and last year has cut into my previously emptier December, so perhaps that’s why friends are now asking for the recipes I’ve not been making!

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Chocolate fudge icing is my favourite thing, and something I started making for my “I’ve finally finished with university” chocolate cake back in 2006! At Christmas time I use it to ice Chocolate Cranberry cupcakes, to go over Berry Cream Panettone (as shown above from Christmas 2012) or as side for Pandoro.

At Christmas time I like to use Green & Black’s Maya Gold chocolate.

You’ll need:
3oz Dark Chocolate (broken into pieces)
3 fl oz full fat milk (or semi skimmed)
2oz caster sugar
1oz unsalted butter

To make:
Put milk and sugar into a small saucepan and bring to the boil
Once at boiling point, turn down slightly and stir constantly for 5 minutes.
Take off the heat, then add your butter and chocolate to the sugar and milk mixture. Stir until the butter and chocolate is fully melted.
Place into a bowl or jug and let it cool.
You can place in the fridge to thicken (but it will go to the consistency of soft fudge if left for too long).

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White Christmas Slice is always popular and last year I made it for the staff in both of the shops I worked in to keep everyone going on Boxing Day. I hope to do the same this year for the staff in the shop I’m working in. I’ve also made it for Christmas Craft Fairs and bakesales.

You will need:
500g coconut cookies
300g Dark Chocolate
200g unsalted butter
2 tbsp honey
300g white chocolate
75g desiccated coconut

To make:
Take a 20x30cm roasting tray and line it with greaseproof baking paper.
Put coconut cookies into a bowl and crush them into crumbs by bashing them with the end of a rolling pin.
Place dark chocolate, honey and butter into a large saucepan and melt together on a low heat.
Take saucepan off the heat, then stir in your coconut cookie crumbs.
Pour your mixture into the lined roasting tray and spread evenly.
Melt your white chocolate on a low heat, then pour over the top of your chocolate biscuit base. Sprinkle the desiccated coconut over the top.
Leave to cool, then place in the fridge for 1-2 hours to set.
Take out the fridge, leave for 30 minutes and cut into square pieces.

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And of course, no Christmas Eve would be complete without ‘Koala Friendly Mulled Wine‘. (No wine is actually involved, which is what makes it koala friendly…because this koala is a wee bitty allergic to wine). This will make up to 6 servings so you can increase the amounts accordingly. And some people like to add alcohol to it which you can do if you want to. I’m told vodka works well.

You will need:
500ml Red Grape Juice
500ml Cranberry and Raspberry Juice
200ml water
2 mulled wine spice sachets
1 orange or large clementine

To make:
Pour grape juice, cranberry & raspberry juice and water into a large saucepan. Add the mulled wine spice sachets and heat until almost boiling.
Allow the mixture to simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Slice orange/clementine into thin slices while the mixture simmers.
Turn off heat, remove the mulled wine spice sachets from the saucepan and add orange slices to garnish.
Serve in mugs while hot.

So there you go friends! Have a lovely Christmas, put your feet up, read some good books, play games with family and friends, watch films and be cosy and stay well.