Monthly Archives: April 2011

>Cinnamon buns for Sunday brunch


I borrow this recipe from the Avoca café in Dublin. I love cinnamon in all its guise and will be baking these for my children as a holiday treat for Sunday brunch!
Those buns are chewy, moist and deliciously flavoured – perfect for brunching.

Ingredients List:
Strong white flour 450g
Pinch of salt
Caster sugar 50g
Butter 50g
Milk 200ml
Dried yeast 1 Tbsp
Egg 1, plus extra to brush on

For the filling:
Butter 100g
Golden brown sugar 100g
Cinnamon 1 Tbsp

Sieve the flour, salt and sugar into a big bowl.
Rub in the butter.
Heat the milk to blood temperature and pour into the yeast.
Combine with the flour.
Beat in the egg.
Combine well using a dough hook if you can and knead until soft and springy.
Leave to rest under some cling film.

Combine the cinnamon and sugar with the soft butter and mix well.
Knead the dough and take a fifth of it to line a cake tin or  any other oven-proof dish.
Roll out the rest of the dough as a wide rectangle.
Spread the filling generously all over. It will get messy but be generous!
Roll up the rectangle like a big swiss roll!

Cut this into several thick slices.
Place the slices on the lining. Leaving gaps in between because they will expand quite a bit.
Egg-wash the top and sprinkle with more sugar and cinnamon.
Cover in cling film and leave to rise 30 min or until it as doubled its volume.

Preheat the oven to 180° and put in a hot oven for 30 minutes.

Serve warm or cold but they are best eaten the same day.



Homemade granola

>Ingredients list:

45 g butter

2 Tbsp rapeseed oil

1Tbsp treacle

200g porridge oats (I used a blend of oats and quinoa flakes)

2tbsp agave syrup

150g raisins, nuts and seeds mix : linseed, sesame or pumpkin are all good!

Melt the butter in a medium pan.

Add the 
Agave syrup and the treacle. It is easier to get the treacle out if you use the spoon you have just dipped into the warm butter.

Add the oil. Keep aside warm.

Put all the dry ingredients together 
in a big bowl, then pour in the melted butter and mix.

A wild garden, last summer

Now choose a healthy mix of nuts, seeds and dry fruit. Choose anything you like! My own favourite is a blend of currants, sesame seeds, linseeds, pumkin seeds and brazil nuts, roughly chopped up. Mix it in.

Pour on a tray, being careful not to have too thick a layer or it will roast unevenly.

Bake in a hot oven (180°) in the middle shelf for about 20 min but watch and shake from time to time so it does not burn! It does so very quickly and you want golden, not black…

Enjoy with yogurt and fresh fruit for breakfast or after a light dinner. Here you are, Pauline, as requested – Hope you didn’t have to wait too long!

>Mussels and tuna lasagna

>Mussels up!


Dinner ready!

Tuna and Mussels lasagna

Ingredients list:
½ onion
rapeseed oil
Butter 20g
½ tin of chopped mushrooms
!/2 tin of tomatoes in juice
Tomato paste 2 tbsp
Passata 500ml
Glass of water
1 stock cube
Salt and pepper
Cooked and Frozen mussels 3 big handfuls
Tuna 1 tin
Mixed parsley and thyme 1 Tbsp
Crème fraiche 3 Tbsp
Spinach lasagna 5 sheets
Grated cheese 50g
Make the sauce in a large pan or wok: Fry the chopped onion first.
Add all the ingredients but the cream and let it all bubble up. It needs to cook and thicken nicely.
When the sauce has reduced, pour the cream in. 
Take off the hob.
Layer the spinach lasagna in a rectangular gratin dish then pour some of  the sauce and add one more layer.
Add sauce and lasagna sheets till all is used up.
Add grated cheese on top.
Bake at 180° for 25 min.
Serve hot with rocket salad and ketchup!
This is a great way to get some shellfish and zinc into the family diet. Really delicious and popular too.
I find its a nice twist on the traditional lasagna and because it uses fish rather than red meat, it is a welcome alternative.  

Scottish fruit loaf


This is a lovely treat, between a cake and a bread.

Fruit loaf

Ingredients list:
Plain flour 450g
Baking powder 2 tsp
Bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp
Butter 75g
Caster sugar 140g
Currant and sultanas mix 280g
Mixed citrus peel 2 Tsp (I used candied ginger instead)
Almond essence 1 capful
Dark Rum 3 Tsp
Buttermilk 220ml

First you need to soak the raisins in the rum for a little while.
Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate into a large bowl.
Rub in the butter.
Fold in the dry fruit and the sugar.
Wet with the buttermilk and mix in to get a light but soft mixture.

Turn this mixture into a rectangular cake tin, lined and oiled.
Pre-heat the oven to 180°, then bake for one hour.
Turn the temperature down to 160° and leave for another 45 min.

This loaf is best eaten the next day and can be kept for a few more in a plastic or tin air-tight recipient. It is delicious toasted and spread with butter or cream cheese!
One of the best cakes I have made this year, according to my children!

Perfect tea-time treat…