Tablespoon Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan) 268-2

If you’ve ever been on Pinterest before, you’ll probably have seen a few photos pinned from the likes of the dreamy shops of Food52 Provisions, Herriott Grace, Ariel Alasko and Sweet Gum Co. – gorgeously styled images of beautiful hand carved spoons, rolling pins, cheeseboards and bowls. I have definitely spent a lot of time lusting over all that tableware and the fact that it’s all hand made just makes it extra special. The problem is that they’re all based in the US and either don’t ship to the UK or else the cost of the shipping overseas is like £20 (*sad trombone*).

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About a year ago my brother found a shop in Hackney called ‘Barn the Spoon’, owned by Barnaby Carder who sits inside the tiny, glass-front shop all day, surrounded by feathery shavings of wood, carving spoons. Intrigued, I visited the shop a couple of times (and if you’re ever in East London, I definitely recommend it as a place to drop by!) to check it out for myself and buy some presents. A few months later I went to his studio in Stepney Farm and we chatted about him making a custom spoon for me (dream. come. true.).

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As a baker I’m used to having normal wooden spoons for mixing batters but that’s a bit boring, isn’t it!? A wooden tablespoon measure is anything but. This adorable little 15ml scoop, carved out of English sycamore, is what we settled on (I have some pics of the process of making it below).

I thought it’d be a cool idea to challenge myself to make a ‘tablespoon recipe’ – using only the scoop as my measure! I ended up creating this small-batch recipe for vegan chocolate chip cookies. It only makes 4 small cookies so it’s perfect for when a craving hits and you don’t want to be standing in the kitchen scooping cookie dough all evening (plus, because there’s no egg in the dough you can go to TOWN on eating it raw).

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If you want to treat yourself to a little English tablespoon measure too, you can find a few of them for sale on my portfolio website here all the spoons have been sold! Hopefully I’ll be able to re-stock in the new year. There’s a very limited supply of them as they’re super labour intensive to make and will be sold on a first-come-first-serve basis. I’ll be shipping them out from the 16th onwards with first class mail in case you’re in a rush for a Christmas prezzie ;)

Tablespoon Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan) 335

Otherwise, treat yourself to some chocolate chip cookies!!! They’re slightly chewy with a crunchy edge and have a hit of coconut flavour from the virgin coconut oil. If you’re not a coconut fan just sub some plain vegetable oil instead and of course you can switch some of the flour out for cocoa powder for double choccy bites!

Tablespoon Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan) 190

Tablespoon Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan) 234

anigif Barn the Spoon 018

 

Notes:

- Don’t like the taste of coconut? Use plain vegetable oil instead of the coconut oil!
- Use vegan chocolate chips, if needed (such as the Enjoy Life brand).
- For double chocolate cookies: reduce flour to 2 1/2 tbsp and add 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder.

Small Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan)
1 tbsp coconut oil, softened
2 tbsp raw sugar
4 tbsp all purpose flour
pinch of baking powder
~3/4 tbsp water
splash of vanilla extract
2 tbsp mini dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
flaky salt

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C)

Cream the coconut oil and sugar together. Add the flour and baking powder and rub into the oil mixture with your fingertips until crumbly. Pour in the water and vanilla, knead together into a dough then knead in the chocolate chips.

Divide into 4 balls (roughly 1 tbsp of dough each) and flatten onto a parchment lined cookie tray, sprinkle with flaky salt. Bake for 8-10 minutes until they are starting to turn golden.

http://www.topwithcinnamon.com/2014/12/small-batch-chocolate-chip-cookies.html

Gingerbread Layer Cake with Salted Whiskey Caramel

When it comes to gingerbread cookies I’ve never been that enthusiastic. I don’t think I’ve ever made them at home and successfully made them taste gingery or spicy enough (anyone got tips!?) but gingerbread cake is a whooole different ball game. I love when it has a syrupy, dense texture with a richness almost comparable to a brownie. Last year I created my all time favourite recipe for gingerbread cake in loaf form (it has pumpkin in it which I think is why it’s so ridiculously moist) which I knew I had to put in my book because it’s just so damn moreish.

read on to get the recipe!

Cranberry & Walnut Challah Bread 062

I’m on another visit-a-friend-at-uni trip this week (this time Bristol, which I’m loving so far!) but fear not, there’s still a recipe for you. I made this challah of GB Chefs a while ago and the recipe is now up on their site here. I was using fresh cranberries and, as I’d usually use dried ones in bread, it took a bit of thinking to get the right method for incorporating them into the dough. I ended up making a super thick cranberry sauce (cos dayuumm they have a lot of pectin in them) and rolling it into the dough. Therefore I think that you can probably use leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving if you still have some instead of making that sauce if you want.

I’ve got a new brunch review to write up (I found some GOOD PANCAKES guys, omg. So yes, there is a syrup pouring shot involved….) for next week.

Cranberry & Walnut Challah Bread 008

(P.S. I’ve already said this on my instagram but AHH I love how much sliced challah looks like clouds!! It makes the cutest French toast ever)

Bagel Bread Loaf

My parents are bagel snobs. Having lived in New York for a number of years, they both have very high standards when it comes to this particular breakfast item. You can get alright bagels here in the supermarket (and really good ones from Brick Lane but, allow, that’s the other side of London) however apparently they’re not as good as the ones in NYC.

In fact, my mum is so insistent on boycotting the ones here that a few years ago after visiting her friend in New York she came back with half a suitcase of bagels from The Bagel Store in Brooklyn. She brought me a French Toast one – heelloooo yes, yes I will eat that. (Maybe that should be the next bagel bread loaf flavour adventure?). They were much chewier than the ones I was used to with a kind of sticky texture which welcomed a layer of cream cheese.

Bagel Bread Loaf

 Due to this bad bagel situation I did attempt making them once in the past – half of them worked beautifully and the other half kind of looked like someone had sat on them… They just deflated :/ So I was like eff that, I can live without bagels and resorted to spreading poppyseed-sprinkled cream cheese onto my regular toast. (It does taste pretty good but not as good as the real deal)

I think that recently bagels have started to have a bad rep due to how ‘calorie dense’ they are. I’ve seen breakfast suggestions on health websites being all like ‘half a whole wheat bagel topped with 1 tsp of low fat peanut butter’. Errrm I don’t know about you but if I’m eating a bagel I am committed to it. I will put the whole damn thing in the toaster, spread on as much cream cheese as I dare and eat it all. I do know people who would probably only be able to eat half  of one and some who could eat WAY more than one so I came up with a solution.

Bagel Bread Loaf

 A sliceable bagel loaf.

Want half a bagel? Sure! Grab a slice, the rest won’t go stale.

Ate one bagel and still feel like you want another half? GO FOR IT. Three slices and you won’t piss anyone off by leaving half a bagel in the bread bin.

It applies the same method as regular bagel making – boil risen pieces of dough briefly in some water pre-bake – but simplifies the shaping step and is baked in a loaf tin instead of separately.

Of course, this is just a basic recipe here (the only slight twist was using some whole wheat flour because I like the flavour, but you can swap that out for plain if  you wish) so you can change it as you please. I adore cinnamon-raisin bagels (who would have guessed?) so next time I make it I’ll probably knead some into the dough after the first rise and maybe sprinkle the outside of the loaf with cinnamon-sugar.

Whatever, the world is our bagel oyster. All hail bagel-loaf!!

Bagel Bread Loaf

 

Notes

- Recipe adapted from the ‘New York Bagel’ recipe in Hand Made Baking by Kamran Siddiqui
I’ve used all the water stated in the recipe every time I have made this but, as Kamran says in the recipe, you may need less water depending on the flour you’re using.
- If you don’t have anywhere to leave the dough to rise you can create the perfect environment using your oven: boil some water and pour it into a shallow bowl or tray, place this inside your oven right at the bottom then turn the oven light on. Place your dough into the oven to rise – it should stay nice and warm in there without being too hot.
- Some bagel recipes require you to egg glaze them, some don’t. I added the egg glazing step to the recipe to ensure the pieces of dough stuck to each other after baking so the loaf would stay whole and also so the seeds on top would adhere well.

Bagel Bread Loaf
2 cups (250 g) white bread flour
1 1/3 cups (160 g ) wholemeal bread flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp active dried yeast
1 1/4 cups (310 ml) warm water
For boiling & finishing:
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp golden syrup, malt syrup or sugar
1 egg, beaten
Sesame seeds or poppy seeds for sprinkling

Stir together the flours and salt in a large bowl.

In a jug, mix the sugar, yeast and roughly half of the water together. Set aside for 5 minutes until slightly bubbly. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the yeast mixture in. Add half of the remaining water to the bowl as well. Stir it all together with your hands, adding more water as needed*. Tip the contents of the bowl out onto a clean work surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and firm.

Lightly oil the bowl, return the dough to the bowl and turn to coat. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise for an hour.

Punch the risen dough down and divide into 5 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and flatten into a thick oval. Place onto a floured baking tray and cover with oiled cling film. Leave to prove for 30 minutes in a warm place.

Meanwhile, bring about 2 litres of water to the boil in a large pot. Stir the baking soda, salt and syrup/sugar into the water and leave to simmer. Oil or butter a large loaf tin and use the sesame or poppy seeds to 'flour' the tin (if you don't want to use seeds, just oiling the loaf tin is fine).

Preheat the oven to 350 F (200 C). Use a slotted spoon to drop one oval of dough into the simmering water - boil for 1 minute then flip and boil for 1 minute on the other side. Remove from the water with the slotted spoon then place into the loaf tin. Repeat with the other ovals of dough, lining them up inside the tin next to each other. Brush the cracks in between the dough ovals with beaten egg to ensure they stick together during baking. Brush the top of the loaf with beaten egg and sprinkle on more sesame seeds or poppy seeds. Bake for 30-40 minutes until dark golden. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing.

http://www.topwithcinnamon.com/2014/11/bagel-bread-loaf.html

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Brunch at St Clements - Parsons Green {Review} - 201 New Kings Road, London

I’ve mentioned it before and I’m gonna say it again: I LOVE BRUNCH.

As a maple syrup enthusiast, it’s the perfect opportunity to seize that bottle and get pouring – pancakes, waffles, crepes and baked oatmeal all become way better with some syrup. The thing is, I’m perfectly capable of making some kickass pancakes myself. I’ve been disappointed many a time from ordering pancakes because a) they’re always boring as heck in the UK (the word ‘buttermilk’ is the most extravagant it gets) and b) NOT ENOUGH MAPLE SYRUP. They usually give you a drizzle of syrup already on the plate and when the dish itself costs more than a bottle of the stuff, ummmm I’d like a bit more. I’m a maple monster, guys. Plus drizzling it onto the pancakes? That’s a big no-no for me (unless it’s for aesthetic reasons, yo). I like to have a little puddle of syrup for dipping cos then you get to taste all that tree sap goodness.

Big pancake rant over. Sozza for that, had to get it off my chest and also explain why I keep ordering eggs at brunch places.

So yes, the primary reason is the pancake disappointment (although I WILL keep searching for a good pancake place in London) the secondary reason is that I suck at cooking eggs. I even had to come up with my own method for frying eggs because it was the only way I could make them the way I like.

Enter this new series on here – it’s brunch review time! I’m going to be going around London hitting up some fancy cafés and brasseries all for the sake of pancakes and eggs. If you have recommendations you’d like me to check out, please tweet me that jazz! I’m also working on a ‘London’ page on here for visitors! It’ll have little tips and my personal fave places with hyperlinks to any reviews I do.

Brunch at St Clements - Parsons Green {Review} - 201 New Kings Road, London

 

First up, St Clements – a relatively new café in Parsons Green, a little area in my West London borough of Hammersmith & Fulham. It borders on Chelsea so I knew the vibe would be quite chic with that messily-organised edge. Weck jars and tinted bottles stacked up on shelves, big beautiful salads and sky-blue tiled tables. Not an overly-extravagant pastry in sight but a large variety of goodies from brownies to streusel cake, you know, the type of thing your mum would make for you as an after-school snack. This was just to my liking!

Me: Of course I had to have a coffee so I went for my usual, a cappuccino – I was pretty impressed that they had a proper barista there as evident from the latte art, because I’ve only ever experienced this in places where the primary reason to go is the coffee. It wasn’t as strong as I would have liked (although I did have a cold so that probably contributed) but it had a good amount of foam, they used organic milk and the coffee had a great flavour so thumbs up from me!

He: Freshly squeezed orange juice and no complaints about it. Orange juice is pretty much always a fail-safe option.

Me: I was feeling the avocado vibe so I went for a pretty simple choice of fried eggs piled atop some thick, crusty sourdough and served with rocket, chilli flakes and an avocado half. The eggs were perfectly cooked – runny yolk and crispy edges with NO gross, undercooked egg white, thank goodness. As they have a griddle just behind the counter the eggs were piping hot, and as cold fried eggs suck I was very pleased by this. The only thing I would have liked more is if I had a bit of flaky salt to mash up with the avocado, 1/4 of which was also bruised. Sad face.

He: Is always hungry so ordered probably the heartiest dish on the menu – two eggs baked in a personal skillet with chorizo, tomato and spinach served with the same chunky, delicious bread. I had been eyeing this dish on the menu too and was planning to taste as much as possible so insisted on eating some. Again the eggs were great with a perfectly runny yolk, a quality which can be difficult to get when you’re baking them as it’s really easy to let the eggs go too far. The sauce was quite rich but not too acidic and, as I think eggs don’t stand up to acidity very well, it was appreciated. Surprisingly we both found that the flavour of the chorizo didn’t come through very much. It could’ve been that the type of chorizo used was a mild because I really couldn’t taste that smoky, spiciness which usually dominates any chorizo-infused dish. If you’d ordered it mainly for the paprika flavour of the meat I’d say you would’ve been disappointed, but it was still completely delicious in its own right.

Brunch at St Clements - Parsons Green {Review} - 201 New Kings Road, London

Unfortunately I didn’t get to try any of the treats in the photo above but, as I’m 200% sure I’ll be going back, I’ll have plenty of opportunities to do so in the future! So if you ever find yourself in Parsons Green, hungry and needing a caffeine boost, I’d recommend moving your legs asap past that Pain Quotidien by the tube station and over to this charming café.

St Clements Cafe 
Brunch and coffee for two – around £25
201 New Kings Road,
Parsons Green,
London
SW6 4SR

Triple Chocolate-Vanilla Swirl Crumb Cake {for How Sweet’s Baby Shower!!}

November 4, 2014

Cake is a celebration food to most people – you’ve probably heard the phrase ‘a party without cake is just a meeting’ – so I thought it would be ever so appropriate to make one for celebrating Jessica from How Sweet It Is’ virtual baby shower!! If you haven’t heard of her blog somehow you […]

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Healing Green Tea & Chickpea Soup with Garlic Tortilla Triangles

October 29, 2014

A problem I’ve discovered from hanging out with freshers* and going to freshers’ parties is that it’s really really easy to become ill. You might remember that I visited Leeds a couple of weeks ago when I wrote my post about mini lemon cakes. What I didn’t know as I sat there blabbing about food […]

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Chocolate Chip, Pumpkin and Rye Bundt Cake & a Carrot Cake

October 19, 2014

Now that I’ve broken the metaphorical cake-seal on the blog in my last post, it seems that the floodgates have opened and all I’m making is cake. There’s this pumpkiny one (because I had yet to make a pumpkin recipe this season), a maple pecan one from Linda Lomelino’s NEWLY TRANSLATED CAKE BOOK!!!! (coming soon…) […]

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Small Batch Lemon Cakes {Gluten Free, High Protein}

October 9, 2014

  Hello lovelies, I’m up in Leeds this week living the pretend-uni-life in my friend’s halls (she actually is at uni here though). I’ve got spag bol simmering on the stove and Swedish chocolate cake batter ready to go into a cake tin – I’m totally ready for this semi-adult life. I thought it was […]

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Vegan Coconut Bostock + We’re going on a blog tour……

October 1, 2014

…we’re going to catch a big one..(?) (I hope someone got the bear hunt story reference there) Hola everybody, The blog tour of my cookbook kicked off this week as it has just been released in America! For the next few weeks bloggers all over the place will kindly be posting recipes from my book […]

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