Peshwari naans

Slightly fed up with the never ending stream of sweet treats that I really shouldn’t eat sitting around in the kitchen to tempt me, this weekend I decided to do some savoury baking (as well as a chocolate truffle pie for the pony which I’ll blog about soon!)

A little while ago, I attempted some curried naans for my first ever Random Recipes challenge. They turned out ok, but I wasn’t too impressed with the frying method, so this time I decided to try a baked recipe.

The basic naan dough is really simple, and you could add in whatever flavours you want – if I go to an Indian restaurant I usually order a peshwari naan which is what inspired the flavours in this.

I would definitely make these again, although possibly with apple sauce added to the filling for a bit of extra moistness and sweetness- I’ve seen it in a couple of recipes and thought it sounded quite interesting, so if anyone has tried it and can let me know if it works that would be great!

Peshwari naans (adapted from Curry Focus)

Makes 3

  • 2 tbsp warm water
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp dried yeast
  • 250g plain white flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 75ml warm water
  • 3 tbsp ground almonds
  • 3 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 3 tbsp sultanas

Note – you need to start this in the morning to be ready for dinner!

Dissolve the sugar in the 2tbsp warm water, then sprinkle the yeast on top and leave for 20 minutes. Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl, make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast mixture, yoghurt and water. Bring the mixture together using your hands, then turn out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, or until soft and pliable. Put the ball of dough back in the bowl, cover with lightly oiled clingfilm and leave for 6 hours to rise.

After 6 hours, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead a few times to knock the air out. Divide into three pieces, then roll each out into a square-ish sort of shape. Sprinkle one tbsp of almonds, coconut and sultanas in the middle of each.

Fold in the corners of each piece of dough to cover the filling and pinch together the edges. Turn over, and roll out again, into a roughly tear-drop shaped flat bread. Prick with a fork then place on a baking tray.

Bake at your oven’s hottest temperature for about 10 minutes, turning half-way through, then finish off under a hot grill to brown each side. Serve with an Indian dish of your choice – we had them with a vegetable biryani and it was delicious!


Coconut and lemon cream sandwich cake

With the gorgeous weather we’ve had this past week, baking with winter flavours has been out – bright, light, summery baking was needed to see in the spring.

This coconut and lemon cream sandwich cake fits the bill perfectly with two of my favourite fresh flavours combined in a simple but tasty cake.

The only downside of this cake was that I went a little over the top with the filling – after a 20 minute drive to work it had all spilled out the sides and needed quite a bit of a tidy before it was fit to be seen!

Another reason I loved this cake was that I got to use my new cake plate and dome that I was given for my birthday for the first time  – finally I can present my baking in something slightly nicer than a tupperware tub!

Coconut and lemon cream sandwich cake (my own recipe)

Cuts into 8 big slices

  • 225g butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 75g desiccated coconut
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 3-4 tbsp lemon curd (I made mine following the Pink Whisk’s recipe)
  • 150ml double cream

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the lime zest and juice and coconut. Sift in the flour and baking powder and lightly fold into the mixture. Divide between two greased and lined 8″ round cake tins, and bake at 180 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until risen and golden and a skewer comes out clean.

Leave the cake to cool, then spread the lemon curd on top of one half. Whip the cream until it holds its shape, then spread on top of the lemon curd. Top with the second sponge, then dust with icing sugar to serve.

Flour, sugar and dairy free chocolate fudge bites

My next door neighbour Jo has, for some reason I will never understand, given up flour, sugar and butter for lent. Insanity!

I didn’t really like the idea of going 40 days without taking her any baked goods, so when I saw these German chocolate fudge bites on Chocolate Covered Katie I knew instantly they would have to be made for Jo.

As well as being free of pretty much everything bad for you, they’re also incredible quick and easy to make, and use just four ingredients (possibly four of my favourite ingredients) AND are only 50 calories each!

Sounds too good to be true, but they really do work!

Flour, sugar and dairy free chocolate fudge bites (recipe adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie)

Makes 15 small bites

  • 120g pitted dates
  • 50g pecan nuts
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder, plus extra to coat
  • 2tbsp desiccated coconut

Put all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until everything is well-chopped and well-mixed. Transfer the mixture into a bowl and knead until it comes together. Roll out 15 small truffle-sized balls, and chill in the fridge for half an hour. Roll each bite in more cocoa powder before serving.

Fudgy coconut brownies

With all the hectic Christmas baking that’s taking place at the minute, I needed something quick, easy and chocolatey to feed the friendly pony.

He hasn’t been best pleased, seeing me make biscuits, truffles and cakes to be given away as gifts, rather than eaten by him, so I wanted to make something that he could have all to himself.

Enter these fudgy coconut brownies, from the BBC Good Food site.

I’ve had them bookmarked for a while, but never got round to making them – I’m always seduced by more complex looking recipes!

More fool me, as these were great – thick, dense, chocolatey and definitely fudgy, with the coconut adding a subtle flavour and also some chewiness to the texture.

You’d never guess that they were made with cocoa rather than melted chocolate – a definitely winner!

Fudgy coconut brownies (from BBC Good Food):

Makes 16 squares

  • 100g cocoa powder
  • 250g butter
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 100g desiccated coconut
  • 100g self raising flour

Grease and line an 8×8″ square tin. Put the butter, cocoa and sugar in a saucepan and heat gently until melted – keep stirring so it doesn’t stick on the bottom. When the butter has melted and sugar dissolved, beat in the eggs one at a time, then fold in the coconut and self raising flour. Pour the mixture into the tin, then bake at 180 degrees for 45 minutes – the top should crisp up and a skewer should come out with damp crumbs. Leave to cool, then cut into squares and serve.

Coconut and raspberry loaf cake

After one of my colleagues bought a delicious banana and raisin loaf into work last week, I’ve found it hard getting loaves off my mind.

I think sometimes they get a bit overlooked in favour of fancier cakes piled high with icing, or cupcakes and bars that come in convenient bite size pieces – but that’s a shame as boring shape doesn’t at all mean boring taste!

I first made this loaf a few months ago, as a thank-you present for my aunt and uncle for letting me stay at their house. Unfortunately I didn’t get to try any then, so I knew I’d make it again at some point.

It’s adapted from a Levi Roots recipe for a simple coconut loaf, but with a handful of raspberrries thrown in to make it even more delicious.

The original is my go-to for a basic coconut sponge, as the addition of lime really makes it taste tropical and delicious, and the texture is perfect.

Make this cake!!

Coconut and raspberry loaf cake (adapted from a Levi Roots recipe):

  • 175g butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 200g raspberries
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the lime zest and juice. It’ll probably look a bit curdled at this point, but don’t worry. Beat in the desiccated coconut then sift in the flour and baking powder and fold until just combined. Toss the raspberries in a little flour (to stop them sinking) then layer up the cake batter and raspberries into a medium sized greased and lined loaf tin. Bake at 180 degrees for about 50 minutes, until the top is golden and a skewer comes out clean. Slice thickly and enjoy!