An Angel in the Kitchen is a real food and family recipe blog.
A place to be able to find our recipes again & remember how we made stuff!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Roasting Coffee

There is nothing in all the world like freshly home-roasted coffee. There is also no way to describe the smell involved in roasting coffee unless you have been involved in the process before. It is not that wonderful coffee smell you think it will be. That comes later. Roasting coffee beans produces pungent "burnt toast" fumes best confined to the garage or other out- house...definitely not for the regular urban kitchen setting. 
Otherwise know as the "C lab": 
Simple process really, refined from information found via Begin with a good supply of green coffee beans, like these:
I use a popcorn maker and heat them til they look like this.
Quite a lot of husk will come off the beans as they heat up.
While they are still warm, pan roast the beans over high heat, keeping the lid on most of the time, shaking around frequently & spraying with a fine mist of water from time to time so that the beans don't become too dry.
 (this photo was taken before my 'C' lab was exiled to the garage)
Here are the 3 stages.
Roast til they look like this.

Now it starts to smell good. Just like coffee should!
Cool and store in a fabulous coffee jar for 24 hours before making the first brew.
Grind fairly finely.
Expresso style!

Cheers Rob

Monday, December 20, 2010

Quark Stollen for Christmas ♛

This is a wonderfully easy way to make stollen without yeast, yet it is still utterly delicious & keeps very well.

Soften 125g chopped butter
Add 350 g quark (a smooth, low fat soft white cheese)
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence
Freshly grated nutmeg
Beat together till smooth
Add 2 eggs
Zest of an orange or lemon
then, 500g mixed fruit...or any combination of dried fruit, peel, almonds etc that takes your fancy
3 cups flour & 3 tsps baking powder. Or- 1 cup ground almonds, 1 cup coconut flour & 1 cup of spelt flour (or whatever you like to use) & the baking powder.
Mix it all in to a softish dough & using wet hands shape in to oblongs on a greased baking tray (or line with baking paper)

 Bake for 55- 60 mins at 180 degrees C & when partly cooled brush with a little melted butter & drench with icing sugar.

It's soo easy to make some smaller ones to give away out of this recipe too which is nice : )
If you'd like to have a go at making stollen using yeast then pop in here to David Lebovitz living the sweet life in Paris.
for a wonderful Christmas ♥

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Apricot & Honey Balls

These are so quick & easy to make, full of flavour & really healthy too!
Soak 2 cups of dried apricots in 1/2 c of orange juice for at least a couple of hours or overnight until the fruit has plumped up & the liquid has been absorbed. I have used 1/2 c of organic dried mango in this batch.
Tip in to a food processor & add 1/2 to 1 cup of ground almonds
1/2 cup of nice honey & a dsp of rosewater
pulse until it all comes together in to a ball
make in to balls with wet hands, 
rolling in coconut as you go
in warmer weather keep in the fridge
they are not too rich or sweet & have a lovely tang to them
 Feel free to adjust the recipe to suit your own taste.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Caramel Square

Caramel Square is a perennial family favourite so here it is so that we know where to find the recipe : )

Cream 300 grams of butter with a cup of brown sugar
add 1 tsp vanilla essence
mix in 3 cups of flour (1/2 wholemeal eg. zentrofen 5 grain is good)
Press half in to a decent size greased tin.

Caramel: melt 150g butter with 6 tbsps golden syrup & 2 tins of sweetened condensed milk
stir over low heat until melted & well combined
spread over the base
I know this is not in focus..I'll take another photo NEXT time I make this ; )
 Add 1 cup of walnuts to the remaining mixture & crumble over the caramel.
 Press down lightly.
 Bake for 30 mins at 180 degrees C
 Cut when cold.
Hide it..well, ok not from yourself!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Christmas Fruit Mince

Having come across a couple of recipes for fruit mince recently I thought that I'd have go at making some and have come to the conclusion that it is the most versatile & delicious recipe of the season.
I am a give-me-the-recipe, show-me-the-lovely-pictures, then-make-it-up-as-you-go-along sort of girl. I have had to do a wee bit of research on this one as fruit mince has never really made much sense to me apart from being delicious & usually hidden in wee pies. It really does carry quite an aura of mystique about it & harbours just a suspicion of trickiness pfff....if you can chop stuff you can make fruit mince...& who said that it had to be minced anyway!!???
It's a pretty medieval concoction (literally) & was banned at one stage before making a comeback in smaller pie form. The traditional lard ie beef fat was probably originally added as a preservative as was the spice & the plonk, however, all that is really required is a quantity of dried fruits to taste & budget & availability.

I have used lots of apricots, prunes, golden sultanas & sticky raisins in this particular mix.
Dried currants, ginger, dried pear, figs, dates, cranberries, razz cherries etc are also possibilities.
I chose to slice the fruit in to slivers rather than dice it but feel free to make it up as you go along.
Add a tsp of really good ground cinnamon.
Lots of orange & lemon zest & juice..probably at least 3 oranges.
1/2 cup of brown sugar or runny honey. ( My favourite honey of all is rewa rewa.)
1/2 cup of brandy.
And 2 grated apples..wash, don't need to peel.
I have deliberately left out the suet, butter, mixed spice & artificial vanilla essence..ahh, much better!
Mix all together, cover & let it sit for 24 hours. Now, have a little taste & tell me that it'll make it to Christmas! You could seal it in jars but that would be silly really. It'll keep fine in a bowl or jar in the fridge.
This mix is superb with Greek yoghurt.

The Pear & Ginger version...very yummy!! 
diced dried pear ( I found this at Chantal recently)
+ equal quantity of golden raisins roughly chopped
1 tsp ground ginger
juice of 3 or 4 oranges
2 tbsp runny honey
an apple & a pear, grated
plus a good slosh of plonk (optional of course)
 up to you..I had some homemade limoncello lurking
 in a cupboard

as before: leave to "soak" for 24 hours
This wonderfully succulent mix can now be used
 in all kinds of ways.
Try adding 1/2 fruit mix 1/2 thick Greek yoghurt
 & another spoonful of honey.
 Chill, or partially freeze & serve on it's own
 or with strawberries...a perfect combination
Or..gently mix fruit in to softened good quality vanilla icecream & refreeze.

Oh yes, of course, you could now use either mix to actually make Christmas mince pies!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Prune and Ginger Loaf

A brilliantly simple loaf with loads of our Jamie would say

1 cup of pitted prunes ( I use them whole)
1/2 cup of drained or crystallized ginger
1 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp finely grated root ginger (optional)
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tbsps treacle
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp baking soda

Mix altogether.
Cool for a bit, then add 2 cups of wholemeal flour.
For this loaf I used a cup of blue konini wheat flour & 1 cup of 7 grain zentrofen.
I like to use good flours so that it's not just baking but more a wholesome food!
  Spoon in to a greased loaf tin & cook for around 50 mins at 180 degrees C
Ginger & prunes make a lovely combination. A very fragrant pruny gingerbread really.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sesame Lavosh

Lavosh is really handy, fun to make & so yummy & crunchy.
Also keeps really well...silly me, it won't last that long!
This recipe comes via Annabel Langbein.

1 cup plain flour 
1/3 cup wholemeal flour 
2 tbsp each black and white sesame seeds (or 4 tbsp just one kind) 
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried oregano 
1 tsp salt 
1/4 cup olive oil 
1 tsp sesame oil 
1/2 cup water 
To finish:  olive oil and flaky sea salt
Preheat oven to 165C/325F.  

In a mixing bowl stir together the flours, sesame seeds, oregano and salt. Mix the oils and water together and add to the dry ingredients, stirring to form a soft, pliable dough. 

Divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll each out on a lightly floured board as thinly as possible. Each quarter should yield a rectangle of about 34 x 16cm (13 x 6 inches). Cut each rectangle into strips of about 4 x 17cm (1.5 x 6.5 inches) and roll again - they need to be virtually see-through. 

Carefully transfer the strips to a baking tray, brush them lightly with oil and sprinkle lightly with flaky salt. Bake until they are crisp and pale golden, about 15-18 minutes. Allow to cool fully before storing in an airtight container. 
makes approx 40

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Best Apple Cinnamon Cake

This our best version of apple cake.
Matt & I have both recently had another go at making it & I'd say it's now pretty jolly good!
...really easy & always yummy!

Melt 150 grams butter
add 1 C brown sugar
1 dsp- tbsp of good cinnamon ( I have an organic Indonesian cinnamon at the moment that is amazing)
1/2 c raisins...or sultanas, sticky raisins, golden sultanas or mixed jumbo raisins
mix in 2 large, peeled & fairly finely diced apples
add 1/2 chopped walnuts
then 2 free range eggs
lastly, gently mix in 2c flour 
(I use 7 grain Zentrofen makes a slightly more crumbly 
cake but is better for you & has more flavour )
& 2 tsps baking powder
turn in to a greased tin lined with baking paper
 on the bottom
Bake at 160 degrees for 55- 60 mins
really nice as it is 
or brilliant served warm with thick Greek 
yoghurt & maybe a sprinkling of cinnamon

Katie x
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