6 October 2010

Busy Baking

The other day I got home from college and it was all grey and miserable and despite having so much to do I decided to put it all on hold and have a bit of baking afternoon.

I made hazelnut and fig crunchies ... a recipe of my own. I've been scouring cook books and websites looking for some sort of biscuit/bar that was healthy but filling that I could take with me to college and came up with this. It's scrumptious, too nice in fact (but not too healthy with all that butter).

Michelle's hazelnut & fig crunchies

7 oz figs roughly chopped (I used dried figs)
6 oz plain flour & 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda sieved
6 oz soft brown sugar
31/2 oz porridge oats
2 handfuls of chopped hazelnuts
6oz butter

Put all dry ingredients in a bowl and rub in the butter.
Press half the mixture into a square tin (mine is 9x9") like as if you were making a cheesecake.
Scatter over all the figs and then sprinkle over the rest of the mixture.
Bake 180 C(350F) for approx 40 mins or until all the sides start to go a darker colour. Leave to cool in the tin and then chop up how you like.

Finally I have something to fill my 'homemade' jar from TK Maxx.

I also made delicious treacle and walnut bread. I can say that with confidence as I think half my class at college now possesses this recipe and all love it. I got it out of the RTE Guide a few weeks ago, you've so got to try it !!

Treacle & Walnut Bread

courtesy of Edward Hayden via the RTE Guide

350g/12oz wholemeal flour
50g/2oz plain flour
50g/2oz porridge oats
pinch of salt
1 level tsp bread soda
2 large eggs
1 dessert spoon of treacle
75g/3oz chopped walnuts
500ml/18floz buttermilk

Pre heat oven to 170 C(325 F, Gas 3)
Put all dry ingredients (except walnuts) in a bowl and mix.
In another bowl beat the eggs and oil together and add to dry ingredients.
Add the buttermilk and mix.  It will be very sloppy and you'll think this is wrong but it's fine.  Then add the treacle and walnuts.
Pour into a 1kg (2lb) loaf tin and sprinkle with some porridge oats.
Bake for 1 hour.  Then remove the loaf from the tin and return to the oven for a further 20 mins. 

Finally, whilst the oven was hot and I was on a role I made a pear and almond crumble.  Another concoction simply put together because I had pears that were getting over ripe and I fancied some crumble with custard.   I have no pics of that as I packaged it up and sent it off with my Dad for his tea but I did have a taste and it was scrummy :o)  Here's the recipe if you want to try for yourself ....

Pear & Almond Crumble

4-5 pears chopped roughly
5oz plain flour
3 oz butter
1oz porridge oats
3oz light brown sugar
1 oz ground almonds
handful of flaked almonds

Place pears in an oven proof dish. 
Mix oats, flour and ground almonds and add butter, form into breadcrumbs
Sprinkle over pear mixture and then scatter over the flaked almonds.
Bake 180C(250F) until it's crunchy and golden



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