Friday, 31 July 2015

Blackberry Spelt Buns

Hey, how's everyone doing? The past few weeks for me were like... WOW! I expected some time to unwind, sleep in, cook, bake and get creative in- and outside of the kitchen, meet friends, catch up with relatives and just get some university applications done on the side...

 Instead it turned all upside down, and always out the other way round.. The german post strike w/ university applications almost not reaching their destination, re-organizing my room (and I always thought my sister doesn't even like my clothes.. wishful thinking!!), running more errands in a week than I thought were possible and of course seeing more trains from the inside than daylight hours outside. If I was lucky enough I only had to pack my backpack every few days and being at home four days a week felt like a win because it meant I was home the majority of the week. A lot of visits and university test travels later (plus a short sweet weekend in Milan :) ) I'm now ready for some serious relaxed sunny summer days. Two weeks on holiday until the whole "circus" will go back to business as usual :D.

But I won't leave you empty handed! The german heat and humidity was just perfect for some yeasted dough: spelt meets sun-kissed wild blackberries. It's basically just mix, quick knead, rise, heat, mix and cool down the blackberries, assemble, bake and enjoy - 2 hours in total yet just about 20 minutes hands on time max. The super sweet in season berries charm the wholesome soft spelt dough like a needed finishing touch. It tastes like an upgraded version of a blackberry jam sandwich yet with a lot more flavor and natural goodness packed inside. A sweet breakfast treat, mid-day or afternoon snack. So you can rock those summer days! Or act like a magic super hero and pull some out of your picnic box on your way to were ever these weeks may lead you.. Enjoy!

Blueberry Spelt Buns
makes six 
- 300g whole spelt flour plus more for dusting
- 2 tsp dried yeast
- 150 ml warm tap water
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp nut butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 120g fresh or thawed blackberries
- 3 Tbsp coconut sugar, honey or other natural sweetener

1. Mix the yeast, water, 2 Tbsp honey, coconut oil and nut butter. Whisk until well combined. In a medium mix the flour, spices and salt then stir in the yeast mix. Knead for 5 minutes until a soft dough ball forms and cleans the bowl. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for 1-1.5 h or until doubled in size.

2. Preheat your oven. Lightly flour your working surface. Divide dough into six pieces. Roll each into a ball between your palms and press slightly to flatten. Put the formed buns onto a greased or parchment lined baking sheet.

3. Heat your blackberries in a small saucepan, stir in the coconut sugar. Keep it on low heat for three minutes. Using the back of a spoon press a small hollow into each bun. Spoon the blackberries into the hollows. Cover the sheet with cling film and let the buns rise for 20 minutes. Unwrap and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned and bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool for five minutes before serving. They taste great with a dollop of natural (greek) yoghurt or some extra honey drizzled on top. Enjoy!

Monday, 13 July 2015

Cherry Tart with mixed Nut Frangipane

"Hallihallo!" Soo, I'm back from my year in London and oh dear it was fuuuun!! Magic city, cool markets, great people... But let's keep that on another note - there will be a detailed post with all experiences, tips etc. coming soon. For now: Cherry Frangipane Tart.

Refined sugar free Cherry and mixed Nuts Frangipane Tart to be exact. We bought 2 kgs cherries yesterday - dark red, juicy, ripe goodies who just seemed to scream at me from their place in the fridge. 20 minutes later some of them were resting atop a smooth frangipane wrapped in a crunchy crust in the hot oven. 30 minutes later the alarm goes off and the tart was transferred into a cooler environment on the countertop. 15 minutes of further patience testing aka cooling time. Then the tart was cut and devoured right from the pan - an edible taste of summer! As civilized human beings do we laid the table, tablecloth, dishes, cups, forks and all necessities, sat down and enjoyed a taste of summer.

Print Recipe
Cherry Frangipane Tart                           
- makes one 8 inch/20 cm tart, serves 6
For the crust:
- 200g flour
- 120g coconut oil
- 3 Tbsp honey or agave syrup
- 1 tsp salt

For the franigpane
- 120g mixed nuts, ground- 2 eggs, can be substituted with flax eggs (4 Tbsp flax seed meal mixed with 5 Tbsp water)- 60g flour, I used white spelt flour- 80g honey or agave syrup for a vegan version- 40g butter or coconut oil/plant based spread if you follow the vegan version
- 130g fresh Cherries, pitted and halved (equals 150g fresh, unpitted cherries) or canned, drained and mixed with   1 Tbsp flour
  1. Prepare the crust: mix all ingredients together until a smooth dough forms. Wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
  2. Frangipane filling: Beat together the butter/coconut oil and honey for about 2 minutes until pale and fluffy. Add in the eggs or flax eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the ground nuts and the flour.
  3. Grease and flour a 8 inch/ 20 cm tart pan. Take the crust out of the fridge and press into the prepared pan. Prick with a fork a couple of times and bake it in the oven for 10 minutes until slightly browned.
  4. Pour the frangipane batter into the crust. Assemble the cherries on top, the cut side facing upwards.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes until slightly browned.
  6. Remove from the oven, let cool for 15 minutes before removing the pan. Enjoy! Great served with creme fraiche or greek yoghurt!

Friday, 3 July 2015

Strawberry 'n' Crumb Buns

Breakfast Buns filled with Strawberries

One thing I'll miss out due to my time in London is my family's annual strawberry-picking-and-jam-making-marathon.. My grandma's birthday is in the middle of June and as they have got a pick your own field close by every birthday visit wouldn't be complete without picking at least 6 lbs of fresh, ripe, red, flavour bursting strawberries, driving them all the 200km way home and then finishing the day off by cooking countless glasses of gloriously bright red and flavoursome jam. No question that the plamned evening salad always ALWAYS gets replaced by a proper slice of toasted bread, good butter and the still warm strawb jam. Or two, maybe three or even.. Well lets leave it at that. 

This year I faithfully leave the jam making duty to my family and enjoy punnets full of british strawberries instead. I can't complain!

Breakfast Buns with Strawberries