A Breakfast Shared with Brioche Pasquier

PARTNEREDPOSTBrioche Pasquier have been making traditional brioche and other French pâtisseries since they were founded in 1936 in a small village bakery in Les Cerqueux, France.

Founder Gabriel Pasquier taught his traditional levain-based recipes to his sons who built the business into Brioche Pasquier, now a large and successful company with over 3,000 employees. Levain, (sometimes called leaven in English, but more commonly referred to as a starter) is a natural raising agent which not only raises the dough but contributes a welcome acidity and flavour to the finished bread. All products are free from artificial colours, flavours, hydrogenated fats and preservatives. This has made the brand into one of the most popular brioche brands on the market.

Shared Moments with Brioche Pasquier - Kavey Eats (1)

As an avowed Francophile (and slightly rusty francophone) I adore brioche – indeed I eat brioche buns for breakfast at least two or three times a week. There’s something rather wonderful about the light, egg-enriched dough that I can’t get enough of.

The Brioche Pasquier offering is lovely and light with an excellent flavour – nice on its own but even better with salted butter and homemade jam. In the unlikely event you don’t eat the whole loaf in very short order, it also makes a really superb bread and butter pudding. The soft style butter croissants and pains au chocolat are also very enjoyable – with jam, chocolate hazelnut spread or dipped into a French-style bowl of hot chocolate.

The pre-sliced brioche loaf and the individually wrapped pains au chocolat, croissants and pain au lait (milk bread) rolls are perfect for a shared weekend breakfast, a more continental alternative to a full cooked breakfast and much quicker to serve too.

And when we book self-catering holidays in the UK, these are exactly the kind of products we take with us to stock the cupboards on our arrival – not only for breakfast but as perfect on-the-go snacks while we are out and about, or a welcome bite between meals.

 

Kavey Eats was commissioned by Brioche Pasquier to create this post and participate in the #shareamoment campaign.

Save

Save

Save

Paul A Young’s Brownie Pudding with Sea-Salted Caramel, Tea & Figs | from Chocolate by Dom Ramsey

I recently reviewed Chocolate: Indulge Your Inner Chocoholic. This lovely book by my friend and chocolate expert Dom Ramsey is the perfect gift for anyone who loves good chocolate and wants to learn more about its history, how it’s made, where it’s grown, what fair trade and bean-to-bar mean, and even how to make your own chocolate from scratch. There are also lots of delicious recipes, including this gorgeous brownie pudding from one of my favourite chocolatiers, Paul A Young.

Three lucky readers can win their own copy of Chocolate by Dom Ramsey but everyone can enjoy this delicious recipe, which publishers Dorling Kindersley have given me permission to share with you.

00991244

Paul A. Young’s Brownie Pudding with Sea-Salted Caramel, Tea & Figs

Extracted from Chocolate by Dom Ramsey, with permission from Dorling Kindersley

This sticky-toffee-brownie pudding hybrid is the ultimate comfort food. It incorporates my award-winning sea-salted caramel, along with chocolate, figs, and tea. If you want to make this the day before, brush the top of the pudding with warm caramel as soon as it comes out of the oven, for a sticky toffee glaze.

SERVES 10–12

Time 50–55 mins

Ingredients
90g (3¼oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
180g (6¼oz) self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
250ml (9fl oz) strong English breakfast tea
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200g (7oz) dried figs, chopped
90g (3¼oz) dark muscovado sugar
90g (3¼oz) golden syrup
2 medium eggs
½ tsp sea salt flakes
150g (5½oz) good-quality dark chocolate, 70% cocoa, chopped
roasted cocoa nibs, to decorate (optional)
clotted cream, to serve
For the sauce
200g (7oz) unsalted butter
200g (7oz) dark muscovado sugar
1 tsp sea salt flakes
200ml (7fl oz) double cream
50g (1¾oz) dark milk chocolate, 60% cocoa, chopped

Special Equipment 20 x 25cm (8 x 10in) cake tin

TIP: If dark milk chocolate isn’t available, use good-quality dark chocolate.

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Grease the tin, dust lightly with flour, and set aside. Combine the tea, bicarbonate of soda, and figs in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, and then immediately reduce the heat. Simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool. Once cooled, mix well with a wooden spoon, until the pieces of fi g break down and the mixture forms a paste.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and golden syrup, using a wooden spoon. Add the eggs and whisk together until the mixture is smooth. Mix in the flour and salt until combined.
  • Melt the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring until smooth. Do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the water. Add the melted chocolate to the fl our mixture, along with the fi g paste, and mix well.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 30–35 minutes until the pudding has risen and the middle is still slightly gooey.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Melt the butter, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan over a medium heat, stirring well to combine. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the double cream and dark milk chocolate, whisking well to combine.
  • When ready to serve, cut the pudding into 10–12 pieces and plate them up individually. Pour over the warm sauce, decorate with cocoa nibs, if using, and serve with clotted cream. You can store the pudding, covered in the fridge, for up to 5 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months.

 

This recipe extract was published with permission from Dorling Kindersley. Chocolate | Indulge Your Inner Chocoholic | Become A Bean-to-Bar Expert is available from Amazon.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

What Will You Do With Your Extra Hour?

PARTNEREDPOSTIn the words of Ned Stark, ‘winter is coming’. But in the real world that’s less a sign that white walkers will soon be invading our land so much as the onset of grey gloomy skies, cold wet weather and long, dark nights.

I always hate the switch to British Summer Time in the spring – that loss of an hour feels so much more than a mere 60 minutes. But at least it’s offset by the delights of spring, with days growing ever longer and brighter, and a calming profusion of lush green and colourful flowers.

In contrast, winter is heralded by the return to Greenwich Mean Time with clocks going back by an hour on the 30th of October. Most years, I greedily take that as an extra hour in bed, or at the very least an hour longer to read a good book or have a long hot soak in the bath.

But this year I’ve been asked by Elizabeth Shawto use that hour do something thoughtful for someone else instead’. I love this idea! It’s a perfect reminder that a single hour is enough time to make a difference to those around you. It’s easy to be put off thinking about what you could do to help others because of the assumption that you can only contribute usefully if you volunteer several hours a week on a regular basis or take part in a huge time- and energy-intensive event.

Of course, that’s not true at all and what I want to talk about are the easily achievable small gestures you can do to improve someone else’s day and bring a little more happiness into the world.

Homeless sign with text and (c)
Source image from shutterstock.com, text added by me

I am lucky to know many enormously decent, kind and lovely people. When I asked for their ideas on the kinds of things we can do to help others if we have just one hour to give, the response was staggering (in a good way) and hugely inspiring. I want to share with you all the things my friends do to make the world a brighter place.

All of these are ideas that you can do if you have an ad hoc hour or two spare.

  • Does your area have a local homeless shelter? (Citizens Advice should be able to provide a list). Instead of going shopping for yourself, go out and buy items to give to the shelter which they can distribute amongst their residents. A friend of mine who does this whenever she can recommends asking the shelter for guidance, first. For example, if you’d like to buy food items, ask whether residents have access to cooking facilities and if so, whether they have use of an oven, a stove top, a microwave, a fridge… and choose your donations accordingly. Ask what toiletry and hygiene items are most in need – toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, female sanitary items, shaving foam and razors
  • In a similar vein, get in touch with your local food bank and ask how and when to contribute. At mine, you can leave donations pretty much any day of the week, but with others they are only able to accept donations on certain days. Your food bank will be able to give guidance on what they are particularly short of as well as items that are considered a special treat. I like to donate a mix of affordable food essentials – pasta, sauces, tinned food – with a few items that may be a welcome treat – chocolates, good quality biscuits, a nice jar or honey, jam or chocolate spread. (And a note for fellow food and drink bloggers – if, like me, you are often sent product samples beyond what you need for review, consider donating what you can – just make sure everything you give is within the use by period).

shutterstock (food donations)
Image from shutterstock.com

  • If you grow fruit and vegetables in your garden or allotment, you’ll almost certainly already be sharing gluts with friends, family and colleagues. You may also be able to donate fresh produce either to a food bank (check if they can handle fresh produce first), or to a local homeless shelter or other organisations that cook and feed those in need.
  • Even if you can’t offer your time on a regular basis, local charities can often use help on an ad hoc basis. Organisations that provide meals to the homeless are often happy for help with kitchen prep, even if you can only offer it now and again. If you have specialist skills, can you offer to help with their accounts, tax returns, website or marketing? Maybe the organisation in question has an administrator who could do with better Excel skills – commercial training courses can be expensive, but a one-to-one lesson from a patient and willing helper could be just as useful. One of my friends is a master chef and he donates his time by way of cooking classes for a community cooking school, for various events and demos, and at his local shelter. A family member of mine has run cooking classes for a local education group, helping parents learn to make good, affordable and nutritious food for their families.

Cake Sale Jo Brigdale Brazilian-Orange-Lime-Cakes-KaveyEats-KFavelle-7
Cake sale image by Jo Brigdale, individual orange cakes

  • Have you got a spare hour in the  kitchen? Bake a cake (or two or three) to give as a gift or donate for fundraising. One of my friends suggests freezing extra cakes, and she can then donate several at a time when there’s a bake sale. Another loves to surprise neighbours with cakes and other baked treats now and then, just because.
  • One of my favourite ideas for those who enjoy baking is a scheme called Free Cakes For Kids, run entirely by volunteers. Members provide birthday (and other celebration) cakes for children (and occasionally adults) who wouldn’t otherwise have them. A friend of mine has signed up to her local group and finds it a lovely way to do something small that has a huge and positive impact on someone’s day. Recipients can be referred by schools, social workers and other aid organisations. The requests are sent out to volunteers by email, and there are enough volunteers in my friend’s group that there is virtually always a volunteer who can accommodate each request.

Cakes Collage Jennie
Cakes made by my friend Jennie for Free Cakes For Kids

  • One way of doing something that can benefit a whole community is to join a community group that organises activities in your neighbourhood. A few of my friends belong to church groups and other community groups, and one is a member of Good Gym, a community of runners who combine exercise with doing good. Members of these various clubs take part in group activities such as litter picking, weeding and gardening in parks, community gardens and other communal areas, fixing or painting park benches, fences and railings, planting trees, running fundraisers or community social events, and helping elderly locals with home and garden chores. The advantage of these groups is that while some members may be able to attend every time, those who can only attend sometimes are still welcome.

On a more personal note, there are plenty of small gestures that can make such a big difference.

  • If you have any elderly or housebound neighbours, go around for a cup of tea and a chat, perhaps taking a cake or some biscuits with you. Those with reduced mobility and living on their own, can easily become lonely and isolated. If you don’t know anyone personally, contact Age UK (a merger of Age Concern England and Help the Aged) and ask if they know anyone in your vicinity who may appreciate a visit.
  • One of my friends helped a neighbour decorate their home for Christmas. Getting decorations down from the loft and putting the tree up can be difficult, and for some it might be easier not to bother with a tree at all than to ask for help from others. A good tip from my friend is not to just tell someone to ask you if they need any help, but to make a few suggestions of specific tasks you could help with – it’s easier for people to say yes to a specific offer of help than to ask for something they feel may be too much of an imposition.
  • What kind of tasks could you offer to help with? An hour’s time is plenty to mow a lawn, tidy up a garden, sweep autumn leaves or clear the front path of snow, or do other small maintenance tasks such as repainting a front door or garden fence.  Perhaps you could do someone’s weekly shop for them at the same time you do your own – it can give more peace of mind to have a friend or neighbour to do this rather than relying on supermarket deliveries – especially for those who are not confident ordering online. Think about whether any of your neighbours or friends could benefit from this kind of help, or again, ask Age UK if they know of people in your area.

Autumn thoughtfulness
Collage created using images from shutterstock.com

  • Do you have friends suffering from depression or anxiety? Offering to accompany them for a walk in a nearby park or the local neighbourhood can be hugely appreciated; a way to get some fresh air and a different perspective.
  • Professional babysitting services can be very expensive and many people simply can’t afford them and may have no extended family who can help. Offer to babysit for a friend (whose children know you) or have their children over to yours for a few hours so the parent(s) may enjoy some time out.
  • Do you know someone who is a full time carer to an elderly, disabled or chronically ill relative? Perhaps you could take their place to allow them to get out of the house for an hour or two – not everyone has extended family that can share the role. If you don’t know anyone personally, you may be able to find a local carers support organisation that could connect you with someone in your vicinity.

Although I’m focusing predominantly on the kinds of gestures you can make even if you only have the odd hour or two now and again, my friends also mentioned many ways of volunteering for those who can give time more regularly.

  • These range from joining your children’s school Parent Teacher Associations, where there are all manner of activities you can help with, to becoming a leader for a local Guide or Scout group – a great way to help children in your community learn new skills, develop confidence and be more active.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

To make a small gesture of their own, Elizabeth Shaw are offering a hamper of their delicious products to one reader of Kavey Eats. Click here to find out more and to enter.

Kavey Eats was commissioned to write this post by Elizabeth Shaw Luxury Chocolates. All opinions and suggestions are my own.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Kimchi Biscuits | Ferment Pickle Dry

I recently reviewed new cookery book release, Ferment Pickle Dry. This lovely book by Simon Poffley and Gaba Smolinksa-Poffley shares a wide selection of recipes for preserving food by fermenting, pickling and drying. More unusually, the book also provides ‘partner recipes’ that showcase how the preserves can best be put to use in your cooking.

Two lucky readers can win their own copy of Ferment Pickly Dry in my giveaway but everyone can enjoy these delicious kimchi recipes from the book, which publishers Frances Lincoln have given me permission to share with you.

Ferment Pickle Dry cover Ferment Pickly Dry - Kimchi biscuits (small)
Book cover, kimchi biscuits made with different kimchis – image by Kim Lightbody

Kimchi Biscuits

Extracted from Ferment Pickle Dry by Simon Poffley and Gaba Smolinksa-Poffley

These moist, almost cake-like savoury biscuits are a brilliantly healthy and filling snack. They have the same satisfying bite of a falafel, but with a spicy kick. You can make these recipes with napa cabbage kimchi, fermented pink turnips, carrot kimchi or baby courgette kimchi for a variety in colour and flavour.

Makes 10-12 of each biscuit

Ingredients
100g/3½oz/¾ cup wholewheat flour, plus extra for dusting
50g/1¾oz/½ cup quinoa flour 50g/1¾oz/½ cup buckwheat flour
150g/5½oz/²⁄³ cup butter, softened 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
clip_image001100g/3½oz of fermented pink turnip cut into small pieces
100g/3½oz napa kimchi

Note: Replace the napa kimchi and pink turnip with the same quantities of carrot kimchi or courgette kimchi for biscuits with different flavour and hue.

If you make the courgette kimchi biscuits, try adding 2 tablespoons spirulina powder for a vivid green colour and health boost.

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 230°C/425°F/ gas mark 7. Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.
  • Process the flours, butter and salt in a food processor until the mixture starts to turn into a dough, then remove half of the mixture and set aside.
  • Add the pink turnip to the remaining mixture in the food processor and process until all the ingredients are well combined, about 2 minutes. Remove the turnip dough from the food processor and set aside on a floured work surface.
  • Return the remaining half of the flour and butter mixture to the food processor, add the napa kimchi and process until all the ingredients are well combined, about 2 minutes. Remove the kimchi dough from the food processor and set aside on a floured work surface.
  • Roll out the turnip dough on the floured surface into a 15cm/6in long, thick sausage, then cut into 2cm/¾in- long pieces.
  • Roll each of these pieces into balls and place on the prepared baking tray. Use the bottom of a glass to gently press the balls into discs about 5mm/¼in thick.
  • Repeat this process with the other kimchi dough.
  • Place both baking trays in the oven and bake for 12–15 minutes.
  • The biscuits won’t go hard, but will crisp up slightly on the top

 

This recipe extract was published with permission from Frances Lincoln. Ferment Pickle Dry is currently available from Amazon UK for £16.59 (RRP £20).

Pride and Pudding | Bakewell Pudding by Regula Ysewjin

A few days ago I shared my review of Regula Ysewjin’s Pride and Pudding: The History of British Puddings published by Murdoch Books. Click through to read more about this absolutely beautiful and fascinating book that shares a slice of Britain’s culinary history through the stories of its puddings and do enter my giveaway to win your own copy here.

Today I’m happy to share a recipe from the book, a historic Bakewell Pudding. I’ve also provided Regula’s puff pastry recipe, which is used in the pudding.

bakewell-pudding-regula-ysewijn-5943-postcard-shop

Regula Ysewjin’s Traditional Bakewell Pudding

Extracted with permission from Pride and Pudding: The History of British Puddings by Regula Ysewijn

All of the 1830s recipes for Bakewell pudding are quite different in character, which makes it hard to define the ‘real’ Bakewell pudding. There are also very strong similarities with a Sweet-meat Pudding from Eliza Smith’s book The Compleat Housewife (1737). Some Bakewell puddings have a layer of jam, others have a layer of candied peel and preserves as in the sweet-meat pudding. Some use bitter almonds, others do not. It leads me to believe that the Bakewell pudding wasn’t a pudding invented in an inn in Bakewell, as the popular myth likes people to believe; it was an existing pudding that was renamed thus to attract customers in the nineteenth century. And because it became famous in that locality, it disappeared in the rest of the country, making it a regional dish.

The version with just a layer of jam is the one that the Bakewell bakeries adopted as the true recipe. But if you would like to taste the earlier sweet-meat pudding version, here it is. I use powdered raw sugar, as early recipes often ask for loaf sugar, powdered, and it works better indeed. If you have a heatproof plate that will go into your oven, use that instead of a pie dish, as I believe this was the original vessel used to bake this pudding.

Makes 2 puddings in 23 cm (9 inch) shallow plates

Ingredients
25 g (1 oz) bitter apricot kernels
1 teaspoon rosewater
110 g (3¾ oz) clarified butter, melted
110 g (3¾ oz) raw sugar, powdered in a food processor
5 egg yolks
1 egg white
1 quantity puff pastry (see below)
2 tablespoons raspberry jam
50 g (1¾ oz) candied lemon peel, cut into strips

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Blanch and skin the apricot kernels by pouring boiling water over them to make the skins come off. Rinse under cold water and dry them using a clean tea towel (dish towel) to rub off the last of the skins.
  • Using a mortar and pestle, pound up the blanched apricot kernels with the rosewater. This will prevent the apricot kernels from producing oil and also will add a heavenly scent. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in the clarified butter and the sugar, whisking until creamy. Add the eggs and whisk to combine. Don’t be alarmed if the filling seems runny to you, it is normal.
  • Line a pie dish or plate with the puff pastry rolled out as thin as you can manage and spread the raspberry jam over it, leaving a 2 cm (¾ inch) border that will become the rim. Neatly arrange strips of candied lemon peel over the jam, then gently pour in the filling mixture.
  • Bake in the bottom of the oven for 15 minutes, then move to the middle of the oven and bake for a further 15 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and golden brown.
  • Serve on its own or with fresh raspberries and maybe a little whipped cream.

 

Regula Ysewjin’s Puff Pastry

Extracted with permission from Pride and Pudding: The History of British Puddings by Regula Ysewijn

Makes enough for two 20 cm (8 inch) pies. It works better to make the whole recipe and freeze the remainder if you only need half the pastry.

Ingredients
225 g (8 oz/1½ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
½ teaspoon fine salt
240 g (83/4 oz) cold butter
130 ml (4¼ fl oz) ice-cold
Water

Method

  • Put the flour in a large bowl, or the bowl of a food processor, and put it in the fridge to get cold.
  • Meanwhile, cut the butter into small cubes and put it into the freezer with the water for a few minutes.
  • Put the flour into the food processor and toss in the butter. Before you start the processor, use a knife to stir the mixture so every cube of butter is covered in flour. Give two short pulses of about 1 second, then add half the water, pulse again for 3 short pulses, then add the rest of the water and pulse 6 times.
  • Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Don’t be alarmed if you think the dough is too crumbly; it’s supposed to be that way. Pat the dough into a sausage, then use a rolling pin to flatten it out to a rectangle. The dough should be quite rough and very marbled with butter. If it is barely holding together at the edges, this is normal.
  • Fold the right side of the rectangle to the middle and then do the same with the left side of the pastry. Flatten the dough slightly with the rolling pin, then fold up the bottom third of the dough,
  • followed by the top third, to make a small square of dough.
  • Again, flatten the dough slightly, wrap in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • Roll out when needed and proceed as instructed in the recipe.

 

Kavey Eats received a review copy of this title from publisher Murdoch Books. Pride and Pudding: The History of British Puddings by Regula Ysewijn is currently available from Amazon for £16.59 (RRP £20).

Save

Save

Save

Save

B is for Brownie | Interview, Review, Giveaway & Reader Code

I do love a good chocolate brownie and for me that means dense and gooey – none of this crumbly cake-like stuff – and redolent of top quality dark chocolate. I want the texture to be rich, fudge-like, just short of too sticky to hold and I want to taste the natural flavour of the cocoa bean from which the chocolate was made.

When such a brownie can be mine for twenty-odd quid and a day or two’s wait for it to made to order and sent to me by post, there’s absolutely no reason not to indulge from time to time. And of course, it means I can spread the love by sending lovely parcels of deliciousness to friends – for a birthday or anniversary, as a thank you gift, as a get well message or just because I know someone who will utterly adore them!

B is for Brownie offers such a service, selling handmade single origin chocolate brownies across the UK via an online shop.

B is for Brownie on Kavey Eats-8642 B is for Brownie on Kavey Eats-8643
B is for Brownie on Kavey Eats-8647 B is for Brownie on Kavey Eats-8651

I recently tried their offering (see my review below) and had a chat to founder Lou Cox. I also have a box to giveaway to a lucky reader, and a reader discount code to share too.

B is for Brownie | Interview

When did you decide to launch a business selling your brownies to the public? And when did you launch?

My decision to go into brownie baking happened in the autumn of 2014. I was on a mission to produce the very best brownie that I could. There was lots of experimentation during which I discovered that you could taste the character of different origins of chocolate in the brownies and that seemed like the most obvious route for me to take. The online business launched in August 2015.

How did you come up with the name and brand design for B is for Brownie?

My partner came up with the name and it just sounded right. I worked on the brand design with a very talented web designer called Sarah Webb. I didn’t initially want a black and white design, but in the end the logo looked so clean and fresh and timeless that I went with it.

All your brownies are gluten free. Was that a conscious decision based on a personal need to avoid gluten, a desire to be suitable for gluten-free consumers or simply that your favourite brownie recipe happened to be gluten free?

During the development stage I decided to offer a wheat free version. When I baked with wheat free flour I was so impressed by the texture that I felt that the brownies actually benefited from being wheat free, so that’s the recipe I now use. I don’t shout about it, it just happened to be the best thing for my brownies.

Where do you source the chocolate for your single original chocolate brownies, and how do you select it?

I source by flavour, it must have plenty of character to shine through in the baked brownie. I prefer chocolate without vanilla and soya lecithin where possible.

For your Grenadan brownies, you actually make the chocolate yourself from the bean, before using it in your brownies! Why did you decide to take this approach? Can you tell me more about how you chose these Grenadan beans and how you make your chocolate?

I just wanted to take the whole process further and I enjoy experimenting. I have a science degree, and spent nearly six years working for Hotel Chocolat within the development team. So felt confident in my abilities to take brownie baking to the next level. I simply chose the Grenadan beans for their character and also from a practical point of view I am a very small business and cannot justify buying tens of kilos at a time. The bean to brownie is intended to be a limited edition brownie baked simply without any additional flavour to show case the cocoa bean. I intend to change the bean origin from time to time.

The process for making chocolate is very simple but a little time consuming. Basically you roast some beans, allow to cool remove the shell, grind to create small nibs then heat the nibs and add to a grinder and grind for 4 hours. [You can read more about Lou’s methods and equipment in Lou’s recent blog post, here.]

Which is your best seller?

The sea salted butterscotch without a doubt!

How do you develop new brownie flavours?

Firstly they need to be able to withstand the character of the chocolate, secondly I tend not to blend flavours through the brownie batter as this would mask the flavour of the single origin chocolate. I like the contrast or harmony between the topping and the chocolate. Sometimes you get more topping than brownie and sometimes more brownie!

Can you tell us about flavours currently in development and coming soon?

I’ve just developed The Hazelnut Gianduja Brownie for which I am making the gianduja myself – roasting and blending hazelnuts with chocolate and sea salt – before submerging chunks into a brownie slab just before baking.

I’m also looking at a Rum & Raisin brownie for summer / Father’s Day. I am soaking flame raisins in spiced rum before baking them into the brownie.

Sum up your brownies in 5 words or less.

Immensely dense, intensely good. Truffley (not really a word I know!)

B is for Brownie | Review

My brownies arrive securely packed in a sturdy box that should fit readily through most letterboxes. Inside, the brownies are beautifully wrapped in branded paper tied with ribbon, and also in parchment paper, so they arrive safe and sound.

B is for Brownie on Kavey Eats-8652
B is for Brownie on Kavey Eats-8648 B is for Brownie on Kavey Eats-8655

Lou hand-makes the brownies to order so they are freshly baked when posted and remain in good condition for about a week after arrival. You can also freeze some of the pieces if you like, to spread the enjoyment out; I froze a couple of mine, wrapped tightly in some of the parchment paper they arrived in, and can confirm that they freeze and defrost well.

The slab Lou made for me is single origin Madagascan chocolate and she created a mix of flavours so I could get a feel for her range. Fingers crossed that a similar assorted brownie slab will be available for order in her shop soon as I love the idea! From left tor right the flavours in my slab are Sea Salted Fudge, Raspberry, plain Madagascan and Hazelnut Gianduja [coming soon].

Unlike many flavoured brownies I’ve tried before, Lou doesn’t mix her flavourings into the batter as she is keen for the flavour of the single origin chocolate to shine through. Instead, she adds ingredients as toppings or – like the Hazelnut Gianduja – pushes a layer down inside the batter so it bakes into the middle. This tactic works really well and the flavourings complement rather than overwhelm the chocolate. And with chocolate this good, that’s a very good thing – the delicious red berry fruit notes typical of Madagascan chocolate sing on the palate.

I love all four that I try but I think my favourite is the raspberry jam – the fruit accentuates the natural flavours of the cacao so perfectly!

Most of the B is for Brownies range is priced between £18 and £23 per 500 gram slab. The Goldie is the outlier priced at £30, not unreasonable given the brilliant bling of 23 carat gold leaf that adorns it. Delivery is an additional £3.35 per box.

Hint: If ever you want to get in my good books, a box of Lou’s brownies would go a long way towards ensuring your place!

B is for Brownie | Giveaway

PRIZE

B is for Brownie are offering a box of single original brownies in their latest flavour, Hazelnut Gianduja, to a reader of Kavey Eats. The box will contain a 500 gram slab of handmade chocolate brownies and includes delivery to a UK address.

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the giveaway in 2 ways – entering both ways increases your chances of winning:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
What new brownie flavour would you like to see B is for Brownie developing next?

Entry 2 – Twitter
Follow both @Kavey and @Bisforbrownie on Twitter. Existing followers are, of course, welcome to enter! Then tweet the exact sentence (shown in italics) below.
I’d love to win a box of single origin chocolate brownies by @Bisforbrownie from Kavey Eats! http://bit.ly/KE-BIFB #KaveyEatsBIFB
(Do not add my twitter handle or any other twitter handle to the beginning of the tweet or your entry will be considered invalid.
Please don’t leave a blog comment about your tweet either; I track twitter entries using the competition hash tag.)

RULES, TERMS & CONDITIONS

  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Friday 24th June 2016.
  • The winner will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator.
  • Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
  • Where prizes are to be provided by a third party, Kavey Eats accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of that third party.
  • The prize is a B is for Brownie box of Hazelnut Gianduja brownies. Delivery to a UK address is included.
  • The prize is offered by B is for Brownie and cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only. You may enter both ways but you do not have to do so for each individual entry to be valid.
  • For Twitter entries, entrants must be following @Kavey and @Bisforbrownie at the time of notification.
  • For Blog comment entries, entrants must provide a valid email address for contact.
  • The winners will be notified by email or Twitter so please make sure you check relevant accounts for the notification message.
  • If no response is received from a winner within 10 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

B is for Brownie | Reader Code

If you would like to order a box of single original chocolate brownies for yourself or a friend (and I’m telling you, you or the friend will love you for it!), B is for Brownie are offering 15% off to Kavey Eats readers. Enter KAVEY2016 on checkout; valid till 30th June 2016. Discount applies to contents of  cart; delivery cost remains the same.

Kavey Eats received a review box of chocolate brownies from B is for Brownie.

This giveaway is closed. The winner is twitter entry @bexyboo4000.

Sweet Potato & Marshmallow Cake

A few days ago I shared my review of Grow Your Own Cake, published by Frances Lincoln. Click through to read more and to enter my giveaway to win your own copy of the book.

This intriguing cookbook features 46 recipes for savoury and sweet cakes and bakes featuring vegetables and fruits you can grow yourself. The author Holly Farrell, an experienced gardening writer, shares invaluable tips on how to grow and harvest each crop, before putting it to use in the recipe provided. Photography is by Jason Ingram, who illustrates both gardening tips and recipes throughout the book.

growyourowncake grown your own cake sweet potato
Book jacket; sweet potato image by Jason Ingram

Pete and I have thus far made two recipes from the book, an Upside-down Pear Cake and this Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Cake, published below with permission from Frances Lincoln. I love the idea of taking a combination associated with American Thanksgiving menus and turning it into a cake.

We weren’t sure what to expect from this cake – in taste, in texture, in appearance. To our surprise the crumb is actually fairly light and not overly sweet, in fact it’s a lovely gently flavoured sponge which would work very well on it’s own, without the ganache filling or marshmallow fluff topping. We over-baked by just a few minutes, which gave the outside a slightly darker colour, but it didn’t affect the taste at all.

I am not sure adding mini marshmallows into the batter serves much purpose – as the cake cooks they seem to melt away leaving odd pockets in the sponge, lined with a crunchy sugar glaze – so I might skip those next time. The sweet potato cake is the real winner in this recipe, and you could lose the marshmallow elements if you wanted to and serve it as a simple unadorned sponge.

Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Cake on Kavey Eats (2)

Sweet Potato & Marshmallow Cake

If sweet potato & marshmallow casserole, the traditional Thanksgiving dish, is too sweet for your turkey dinner, use this great pairing in cake form instead. It is perfect after a long winter’s walk.

Makes a two-layer cake

Ingredients

Mashed sweet potatoes
800–900g/1lb 12oz–2lb sweet potatoes

Cake
400g/14oz plain flour
11⁄2 tbsp baking powder
3⁄4 tsp salt
1⁄4 tsp black pepper
1⁄2 nutmeg, finely grated, or 1⁄2 tsp ground nutmeg
165g/51⁄2oz unsalted butter
250g/8oz light muscovado sugar
4 eggs
450g/1lb mashed sweet potatoes
90g/3oz mini-marshmallows

Ganache
45ml/11⁄2fl oz double cream
100g/3oz white chocolate

Decoration
1⁄2 jar of marshmallow fluff (about 100g/31⁄2oz)
100g/31⁄2oz marshmallows

Equipment
2 × deep, round cake tins, 20cm/8in diameter, greased and base-lined

Method

  • For the mashed sweet potatoes, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Roast the sweet potatoes for around 45 minutes until they are soft. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely, then pop them out of their skins. Mash well (use a potato ricer if you have one).
  • For the cake, preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.

Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Cake on Kavey Eats-8309 Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Cake on Kavey Eats-8313

  • Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a bowl and mix well; leave to one side. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well to incorporate after each egg. Mix in the mashed sweet potato, then the flour and spice mix. Quickly stir in the mini-marshmallows and divide the cake mixture between the two tins. Make sure that all the marshmallows on the surface are coated with mixture to prevent them burning. Bake for 50–60 minutes. To check if it is ready insert a skewer into the cake; if it comes out clean the cake is cooked. Remove from the oven and leave for 10 minutes in the tins, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Cake on Kavey Eats-8314 Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Cake on Kavey Eats-8316

  • For the ganache, heat the cream in a small saucepan over a medium heat until just under boiling point. Pour over the chocolate and stir until it has melted and is smooth. Leave to cool until the mixture is thick enough to spread without running.

Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Cake on Kavey Eats-8319 Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Cake on Kavey Eats-8329

  • To assemble, sandwich the two cake layers together with the ganache, spread marshmallow fluff on the top and sprinkle with whole marshmallows.

Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Cake on Kavey Eats (1)

Kavey Eats received a review copy of Grow Your Own Cake from Frances Lincoln, part of Quarto Publishing Group UK. Grow Your Own Cake by Holly Farrell, photographs by Jason Ingram is currently available from Amazon for £14.88 (RRP £16.99).

Brownie Heaven Chocolate Brownie Scotch Eggs | Review + Giveaway

You might be wondering why I’m sharing chocolate eggs with you now, on Good Friday, when it’s a little late to get your hands on them in time? But the good news is that Brownie Heaven sell their amazing eggs all year round, so if you didn’t get the egg of your dreams this Easter, why not make up for it by ordering one of these beauties for yourself?!

I’ve been seeing a few of these brownie-coated egg creations recently but Brownie Heaven have been making them since 2010 and believe they are the original brownie egg baker! Their Chocolate Brownie Scotch Eggs are made by wrapping a Cadbury’s Creme Egg, Cadbury’s Caramel Egg or Ferrero Rocher in a thick layer of chocolate brownie mixture and baking it in an egg shape. The Creme egg ones are dusted in biscuit crumbs, the Caramel egg version are coated in salty pretzels and the Ferrero Rocher eggs are coated in crushed Ferrero Rocher chocolates.

Brownie Heaven’s range also includes regular brownies, not just plain chocolate ones but a riot of flavours including Chocolate Chilli, Cognac Truffle, Dr Pepper flavour, Irish Whiskey, Milk Chocolate Chip, Rocky Road, Salted Caramel, Sticky Peanut Butter and more. Brownie Heaven have been making and selling their brownies since 2007, starting in their coffee shop and catering business in East Yorkshire, before expanding to food festivals and markets, before finally setting up their website for online mail order.

Brownie Heaven - Kavey Eats -8235

They usually sell their Chocolate Brownie Scotch Eggs in boxes of four of one type, but recently sent me a mixed box for review with two Scotch Cream Eggs, one Salted Pretzel Scotch Caramel Egg and one Ferrero Scotch Brownie Eggcelente. A box of four Cadbury’s Creme Egg Chocolate Brownie Scotch Eggs or Ferrero Rocher Chocolate Brownie Scotch Eggs retails for £22.95, a box of Salted Pretzel Caramel Scotch Eggs is £23.95 and both prices include courier delivery in the UK.

I thought these were great fun, and a really unusual idea too, even if they’ve been much copied since. The brownie is dense and rich, so a quarter or half egg at a time is plenty, which means you can share these with a friend or just eke them out for a week! We shared ours with some friends who also really enjoyed them.

Brownie Heaven - Kavey Eats -8225 Brownie Heaven - Kavey Eats -8228

GIVEAWAY

Brownie Heaven are offering one mixed box of Chocolate Brownie Scotch Eggs to a reader of Kavey Eats. The box will contain two Scotch Cream Eggs, one Salted Pretzel Scotch Caramel Egg and one Ferrero Scotch Brownie Eggcelente and includes delivery to a UK address.

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the giveaway in 2 ways – entering both ways increases your chances of winning:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
If you were designing a new brownie for Brownie Heaven, what would you put in the centre of a Chocolate Brownie Scotch Egg?

Entry 2 – Twitter
Follow both @Kavey and @brownieheaven on Twitter. Existing followers are, of course, welcome to enter! Then tweet the exact sentence (shown in italics) below.
I’d love to win a box of Chocolate Brownie Scotch Eggs by @BrownieHeaven from Kavey Eats! http://bit.ly/KaveyEatsBH #KaveyEatsBrownieHeaven
(Do not add my twitter handle or any other twitter handle to the beginning of the tweet or your entry will be considered invalid.
Please don’t leave a blog comment about your tweet either; I track twitter entries using the competition hash tag.)

RULES, TERMS & CONDITIONS

  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Friday 6th May 2016.
  • The two winners will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator.
  • Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
  • Where prizes are to be provided by a third party, Kavey Eats accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of that third party.
  • The prize is a Brownie Heaven box containing two Scotch Cream Eggs, one Salted Pretzel Scotch Caramel Egg and one Ferrero Scotch Brownie Eggcelente. Delivery to a UK address is included.
  • The prize is offered by Brownie Heaven and cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only. You may enter both ways but you do not have to do so for each individual entry to be valid.
  • For Twitter entries, entrants must be following @Kavey and @brownieheaven at the time of notification.
  • Blog comment entries must provide a valid email address for contact.
  • The winners will be notified by email or Twitter so please make sure you check relevant accounts for the notification message.
  • If no response is received from a winner within 10 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

Kavey Eats received a review box of Chocolate Brownie Scotch Eggs from Brownie Heaven.

The winner of the giveaway was Lindsey Stuart.

Kavey’s Hot Multicultural Buns

Yesterday I read a news article mocking the English Defence League for failing to realise that a satirical news story claiming a bakery had decided to remove the ‘offensive’ cross from traditional hot cross buns was indeed a spoof and reacting with their usual rabid froth of outrage.

One indignant commenter declared, ‘What next, ”hot crescent bun” …?

And that was it, the idea for my Hot Multicultural Buns was born. I mean, if right-wing bigots think it’s a bad idea, surely it’s a bloody excellent one, right? And of course, I took it a few steps further too!

Kaveys Hot Multicultural Buns 1 mini

I enlisted Pete to help me make these buns today, so keen was I to counter the rhetoric of the EDL.

Using a Nigella Lawson recipe from her excellent book, Feast, we made eight buns. I pasted a traditional Christian cross on two, an Islamic crescent and star on two more, a Jewish star of David on another two and a Hindu swastika on the last pair.

My icing skills aren’t great and we forgot to egg-wash the buns before I piped on the shapes but you can just about make out the designs and I hope you’ll enjoy and perpetuate the idea.

Kaveys Hot Multicultural Buns 2 mini

Kavey’s Hot Multicultural Buns

Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Hot Cross Buns
Nigella makes 16 mini buns with this recipe; we made 8 regular sized ones instead.

Ingredients

For the dough
150 millilitres milk
50 grams butter
zest of 1 orange
1 clove
2 cardamom pods
400 grams bread flour
1 x 7 grams packet easy-blend yeast
125 grams mixed dried fruit
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 large egg
For the egg wash
1 large egg (beaten with a little milk)
For the multicultural patterns
3 tablespoons plain flour
½ tablespoon caster sugar
2 tablespoons water
For the sugar glaze
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon boiling water

Extra equipment: You will also need a clear plastic freezer bag or piping bag to pipe the multicultural symbols onto the buns.

Method

  • Heat the milk, butter, orange zest, clove and cardamom pods in a saucepan until the butter melts, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse as it cools down.
  • Weigh the flour, yeast and dried fruit into a large bowl and add the spices. When the milk has cooled to blood temperature remove the whole spices and beat in the egg. Pour the mix into the dry ingredients and bring together into a dough.
  • Knead by hand or with a machine with a dough hook; if too dry add a little more warm milk or water. Knead until the dough is silky and elastic, though the dried fruit won’t allow for a satin smooth finish.
  • Shape into a ball, place into a large bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to prove overnight in the fridge or for several hours in a cool room.
  • Take the dough out of the fridge and set aside for half hour to come up to room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF.
  • Punch the dough down and knead again.
  • Divide the dough into 8 portions and roll into rounds.
  • Line the buns up fairly snugly but not quite toughing on a silicon baking sheet or lined baking tray. Cover with clingfilm or a clean teatowel and leave to rise again for 45-60 minutes.
  • Brush the buns with an egg wash.
  • Mix flour, sugar and water into a smooth, thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag with narrow nozzle or plastic freezer bag, then snipping the very tip of the corner off.
  • Pipe crosses, crescents, stars of david and swastikas as you like.
  • Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
  • Just before taking the buns out of the oven, mix sugar and boiling water together for the glaze.
  • Brush each bun with the glaze as soon you remove them from the oven to give a sweet and shiny finish.

Kaveys Hot Multicultural Buns 3 mini

Enjoy warm, halved and spread generously with good quality salted butter, or leave to cool and serve toasted with butter and jam. Indeed enjoy them however you like, but I do hope you share them with friends of all colours, backgrounds and faiths!

Edit: Please be clear. The swastika iced onto my buns is a Hindu swastika, a symbol perverted by the Nazis to be sure, but reclaimed here as a symbol of the Hindu faith. I do not hold with suggestions that Hindus (and others) may no longer use the swastika, which has been associated with their faith for hundreds and hundreds of years. If you cannot see past Nazism, that is your prerogative, but this post is absolutely not showing any support whatsoever to Nazism or its supporters.

Maple Cinnamon Glazed Plum & Blackberry Sticky Buns

If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter or my blog’s Facebook page you’ll have noticed that I visited Canada recently, taking in Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto and the region around Niagara-on-the-Lake. I’ll be sharing lots (and lots and lots!) from that trip in coming weeks. I totally loved all the destinations I visited and cannot wait to go back with Pete for a self-drive holiday.

Our tour of the Niagara region was hosted by husband-and-wife chefs Michael and Anna Olson who not only took us to visit their favourite local producers, vineyards, restaurants and markets but also invited us into their home for dinner and breakfast. We learned several of their delicious recipes, getting involved, asking questions and taking photographs as we laughed and chatted the hours away.

A recipe we all adored was Anna’s Blueberry Sticky Buns, which she made for us with blueberries and peaches, both in season in the local area.

Keen to take inspiration from Anna’s reverence for local and seasonal ingredients, I switched the blueberries and peaches for plums and blackberries gathered from our allotment just hours before.

Plum and Blackberry Sticky Buns - Anna Olson Recipe - Kavey Eats © Kavita Favelle - textoverlay

Anna’s original recipe calls for buns to be cooked individually in a muffin tin, but I’ve followed the variation she showed us to tuck them all together into a baking dish and turn them out whole for a wonderful family-style tear-and-share result. Also following Anna’s example, Pete and I made the dough, filling and buns in the evening, popped them into the fridge overnight to rise slowly and baked them for a perfect Sunday breakfast the next morning.

Plum and Blackberry Sticky Buns - Anna Olson Recipe - Kavey Eats © Kavita Favelle-183230 Plum and Blackberry Sticky Buns - Anna Olson Recipe - Kavey Eats © Kavita Favelle-183757 Plum and Blackberry Sticky Buns - Anna Olson Recipe - Kavey Eats © Kavita Favelle-184852
Plum and Blackberry Sticky Buns - Anna Olson Recipe - Kavey Eats © Kavita Favelle-185252 Plum and Blackberry Sticky Buns - Anna Olson Recipe - Kavey Eats © Kavita Favelle-185301 Plum and Blackberry Sticky Buns - Anna Olson Recipe - Kavey Eats © Kavita Favelle-185335
Plum and Blackberry Sticky Buns - Anna Olson Recipe - Kavey Eats © Kavita Favelle-182704 Plum and Blackberry Sticky Buns - Anna Olson Recipe - Kavey Eats © Kavita Favelle-185736 Plum and Blackberry Sticky Buns - Anna Olson Recipe - Kavey Eats © Kavita Favelle-094608
Plum and Blackberry Sticky Buns - Anna Olson Recipe - Kavey Eats © Kavita Favelle-095403 Plum and Blackberry Sticky Buns - Anna Olson Recipe - Kavey Eats © Kavita Favelle-095417 Plum and Blackberry Sticky Buns - Anna Olson Recipe - Kavey Eats © Kavita Favelle-095614

I’m sharing Anna’s original recipe below.

To make my plum and blackberry version, just switch out the blueberries. Of course, you can use your choice of berries or chopped fruit.

To make the tear-and-share version, smear some of the maple-cinnamon filling across the bottom of a baking dish, and sit the buns side by side on top of that, within the dish. Either rise for half an hour at room temperature, or overnight in the fridge.

We found that the buns need an extra 10-15 minutes in the oven when cooked this way.

 

Anna Olson’s Blueberry Sticky Buns

Makes 12 sticky buns

Ingredients
Dough:
2 ¼ tsp / 8 g dry active yeast
¼ cup / 60 ml warm water
1/2 cup/ 125 ml milk, room temperature
1 egg, at room temperature
2 tbsp/ 25 g granulated sugar
2 ½ cups/ 375 g all-purpose flour
½ tsp / 2 g salt
½ tsp / 2 ml ground nutmeg
½ cup / 115 g unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup / 125 g cream cheese, room temperature
Sticky Bun Filling:
½ cup / 115 g unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup / 200 g packed light brown sugar
3 tsp / 45 ml maple syrup
1 tbsp / 15 ml cinnamon
2 cups / 500 ml fresh or frozen blueberries

Method

Sticky Bun Dough:

  • Dissolve yeast in water and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  • In a mixer, add milk, egg and sugar and blend. Add flour, salt and nutmeg and mix for 1 minute to combine. Add butter and cream cheese and knead for 5 minutes on medium speed.
  • Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rest 1 hour.

Sticky Bun Filling:

  • Combine butter, sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon. Spoon a tablespoonful of filling into bottom of each cup of a greased 12-cup muffin tin.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F / 180 C.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a rectangle 1/2- inch thick.
  • Spread remaining filling over the dough, sprinkle with blueberries and roll up lengthwise.
  • Slice dough into 12 equal portions and arrange them in muffin tin. Allow to rise for 1/2 hour.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, and turn out onto a plate while still warm.

 

Huge thanks to Anna for sharing and showing us her delicious recipe, and for giving permission to share it with you. And of course, thanks to all of those involved in making my trip to Canada so amazing. I can’t wait to share more with you soon!

Kavey Eats visited Canada as a guest of Tourism Quebec, Ontario Travel & Destination Canada. The Anna Olson recipe is reproduced with permission.