Tag Archives: Breakfast

Doughnut holes without the deep-frying faff

Anything that requires deep-frying intimidates me.  There’s something about the combination of a large pot of burning hot oil and me trying to dunk things into it that just sounds like a recipe for disaster.  I’m accident-prone at the best of times, so there’s no need to set myself up for mishap.  So I keep well away from any recipe requiring deep-frying, including doughnuts.  Which is a shame, because I rather like doughnuts…  Theresa from The Craving Chronicles seems to share my apprehension when it comes to deep-frying, and about a year ago I came across a recipe for baked doughnut holes on her blog.  It sounded like a perfect compromise to me, so I bookmarked the recipe and then never really quite got round to trying it out (I probably got distracted by something shiny).

Then in June, as I was trying to use up as many of my baking supplies as possible before moving out of the flat in St Andrews, I needed a recipe that used tinned pumpkin.  It was finally time to try out the baked spiced pumpkin doughnut holes recipe.  Kat, Craig and I had them for brunch and they were rather deliciously scrumptious.  And no big scary pot of hot oil required – win!  They don’t quite have the same taste as a proper yeast doughnut, but they’re so good that it doesn’t really matter.

When I made them, it didn’t really matter that it was June – the weather in Scotland is pretty autumnal all year round anyway (grumble grumble) – but I decided to wait to share them until it was autumn and pumpkins were in season again, even though the recipe requires tinned pumpkin rather than fresh pumpkin.  When I was in Waitrose yesterday, I noticed that they had massive big huge pumpkins in (they were pretty sizeable), which means that pumpkin season is upon us, and it’s finally time to share these delicious baked spiced pumpkin doughnut holes

Baked spiced pumpkin doughnut holes

Makes 18-20 doughnut holes
Slightly adapted from The Craving Chronicles

I haven’t adapted this recipe very much, but I’ve converted it all to metric rather than American cups so I’m posting it anyway, rather than just linking to the original recipe.  The cinnamon sugar coating is totally optional – the doughnut holes are delicious both with or without it.  If you do decide on the coating though (which I would recommend…), only add it on the day that you’re planning on eating them.  So you could make the doughnut holes the day before, store them in an airtight container overnight and then just dip and coat them just before breakfast.  Not all the butter will get used in the coating, but it’s to ensure that there is enough butter to dip the doughnut holes in.

Ingredients

For the doughnut holes:
220g all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
½ tsp ground cloves
Pinch of salt
1 egg
75ml sunflower oil
100g brown sugar
185g tinned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
120 ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the coating (optional):
75g unsalted butter (this probably won’t all be used)
130g granulated sugar
3 tbsp cinnamon

Directions

For the doughnut holes:
1.  Butter 18-20 holes in a muffin/cupcake tin (depends on whether the muffin tin is for normal-sized or huge muffins) or set out silicon muffin moulds.  Pre-heat the oven to 175°C.

2.  Sift the flour, baking powder, spices and salt into a medium-sized bowl and mix together.

3.  Lightly beat the egg in a large bowl, then add the oil, brown sugar, pumpkin, milk and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth.  Gently mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined (like with muffins, don’t over-mix!).

4.  Divide the batter between the muffin holes or moulds (don’t fill them too much – about 2-3 tbsp per hole will be enough, because these are supposed to be doughnut holes not actual muffins!) and bake for 10-12 mins until a toothpick comes out clean.

For the coating:
5.  Whilst the muffins are baking, melt the butter in a small heat-proof bowl over a pan of boiling water.  In a different small bowl or dish, mix together the sugar and cinnamon.  When the doughnut holes are baked, remove from the oven, allow to cool for about 2 mins until you can handle them, then dip each one into the melted butter before rolling in the cinnamon sugar to coat.

Enjoy!

15 Comments

Filed under Recipes, Sweet Foods

Breakfast Club #13: Banana, raisin & chocolate Crispy Minis crumble muffins

The challenge for this month’s Breakfast Club was to do something exciting with Cereals.  When I first read the theme of the challenge, hosted by Helen at Fuss Free Flavours, nothing particularly inspiring sprang to mind.  After a few weeks of thought, I decided to fall back on the fail-safe, but still wonderful, option that is the muffin.  I ignored the minor detail of not really knowing how I was going to incorporate cereals into a muffin recipe up until yesterday when I realised I should probably get round to actually giving the muffins a go.  Whenever I bake something, I’ve usually at least roughly planned it and can make sure that I have all the required ingredients, but these muffins ended up being rather haphazardly thrown together…

There was a rather lonely-looking, very ripe banana sitting in the fruit basket which I decided would be perfect to go into the muffins, and would keep them moist.  Plus fruit is healthy, so ya.  Since the muffins were to be for breakfast, I also decided that some dried fruit would be a good addition, being energising and all, so I decided I would throw in some raisins, too.  I still wasn’t really sure how I was going to include cereals (or even which cereals I was going to use), but decided that was still a minor detail and set about looking for a suitable recipe.  I have a muffin recipe which contains banana and porridge oats, and on reading that I suddenly realised that perhaps I could substitute crushed cereals instead of the oats and then sprinkle some crushed cereal over the tops of the muffins to give a slightly crunchy topping.  Problem solved!

I only had about half the amount of banana required for the recipe, but I couldn’t really halve the whole recipe since only one egg was required and I wasn’t about to start faffing around trying to measure out half an egg, so I fiddled around with the quantities of dry ingredients.  Out of the three boxes of cereals in the cupboard, I decided that the Weetabix chocolate Crispy Minis (that I inherited from my flatmate when she moved out of St Andrews and had sort of forgotten about – I don’t tend to eat much cereal) seemed the most promising choice, with the bonus that chocolate goes well with both banana and raisins.  Sorted!  So I enthusiastically crushed the cereal, substituted it for porridge oats, messed around with the quantities of flour and sugar, threw it all together and hoped for the best.  Much to my astonishment, the muffins worked wonderfully and were delicious both as an afternoon snack (I made them yesterday afternoon – I obviously had to taste one…) or for breakfast!  Although I must say that by breakfast this morning the topping was a little less crunchy than it had been yesterday afternoon.  Sad times, though still totally yummy!

Banana, raisin & chocolate Crispy Minis crumble muffins

Makes 9 muffins
Adapted from Mad About Muffins

These can be made the evening before, left to cool and then stored overnight in an airtight container ready for breakfast the next day.  I used Weetabix chocolate Crispy Minis, because that’s what I had, but any other flavour or similar cereal would probably work just as well.  Sprinkling cereal over the top gives a slightly crunchy top layer which is balanced by a lovely, moist muffin.

Ingredients

50g all-purpose flour
45g wholemeal bread flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
80g Weetabix chocolate Crispy Minis (or similar)
60g butter
80g light muscovado sugar
1 very ripe banana
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
45g very hot water
70g raisins

Directions

1.  Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C.  Line a muffin tin with 9 liners or lay out 9 silicone moulds on a baking tray.

2.  Sift the flours, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a medium-sized bowl.  Tip in any bran from the wholemeal flour that didn’t go through the sieve.  Place 50g of the Crispy Minis in a zip-lock bag and crush them finely using a rolling pin before adding them to the flour mix and stirring all the dry ingredients together (set the zip-lock bag aside for later).

3.  Melt the butter in a large, heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water.  Once melted, remove the bowl from the pan, add the sugar and mix thoroughly.

4.  Peel the banana and mash them with a fork in a small bowl.  Add to the butter and mix thoroughly.

5.  Lightly beat the egg using the same fork and bowl that you just used for the bananas.  Mix the egg and vanilla extract into the butter mixture.

6.  Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly.  Stir in the hot water, followed by the rest of the flour mixture.  Stir in the raisins and spoon the batter evenly into the muffin liners/moulds (don’t overfill the liners).

7.  Place the remaining Crispy Minis in the zip-lock bag and roughly crush them (not too finely!).  Sprinkle the pieces over the tops of the muffins.

8.  Bake for 30-33 mins or until the muffins are well-risen and golden and a toothpick comes out clean.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before storing in an airtight container until breakfast.

Enjoy!

PS – If you read my blog regularly and are thinking that this recipe looks a little familiar, I realised halfway through making the muffins that the recipe I was adapting was, in fact, the same recipe that I had adapted when I made the banana, date and pecan loaflets for the very first Breakfast Club challenge that I took part in…  Woops?

2 Comments

Filed under Recipes, Sweet Foods

Breakfast Club #12: Berry crumble bars

I was super-enthusiastic about the theme for this month’s Breakfast Club challenge, which is “Berries,” chosen by Nayna at simply.food.  Along with warm sunshine, summer berries have to be one of my favourite things about summer.  Fife seems to have a lot berry farms, and I think it might be one of the main raspberry-producing areas in the UK – with good reason, because the local raspberries are absolutely scrumptious.  So that’s one of my favourite summer things sorted.  As for sunshine, well, although St Andrews is apparently one of the sunniest spots in the UK, I still feel that the heat of a proper summer is distinctly lacking.  I suppose you can’t have  everything, and it would seem that local, tasty summer berries and a hot, sunny summer are too much to ask for.  So, as a whole bunch of clouds appear out of nowhere and the temperature drops to prove my point, let’s focus on the fruit.

There are so many breakfast possibilities involving berries, and the first that sprang to mind were granola, pancakes or muffins.  I decided that I wanted to try something a little less obvious, particularly since I have time to try things out at the moment (and all those baking supplies that I need to work my way through).  I happened across a recipe for some fruity crumble bars the other day, and not only did they look super tasty but the recipe was easy to adapt depending on whatever fruit you want to use.  So I decided to try the recipe out last night, ready for breakfast this morning.

Since Tesco (my local supermarket) conveniently had a whole bunch of locally-grown berries at half price, I decided to make the crumble bars with a selection of berries.  I picked up some raspberries, blueberries and strawberries (they didn’t have any blackberries sadly) and headed home to attempt the bars.  In a vague attempt to make this slightly healthier, I added some porridge oats to the crumble mixture, which worked nicely, adding a little bit of subtle crunch.  I actually really enjoyed having these for breakfast, they’re filling and tasty and a little different from what I usually tend to eat for breakfast, but they would also work as a post-lunch or mid-afternoon snack if cut into smaller squares, although they’re quite crumbly and not necessarily all that transportable unless in a box.

Berry crumble bars

Makes 12 squares
Adapted from Shop.Cook.Make

You can easily adapt these depending on which fruits you have at home or are in season.  You can also use whichever type of jam you want, and if you really like marmalade, you can also use that (I did, and it was yummy, though make sure to spread it thinly so the bitterness of the peel doesn’t overpower the rest of the bar too much!).  I was worried that keeping them overnight in an air-tight box would make them go a bit soft, but they were absolutely fine.

Ingredients

230g all-purpose flour
50g porridge oats
150g demerrera sugar
225g unsalted butter
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
Pinch salt
Jam of your choice, to spread
200g of mixed fresh berries or fruit

Directions

1.  Line a 19 x 25 cm baking tin with baking parchment (this will make it easier to lift out of the tin when cooled so that it can be cut into squares).  Pre-heat the oven to 175°C.

2.  In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg.  Cut the butter into small cubes and add to a large bowl with the flour, oats, sugar, beaten egg, baking powder, vanilla extract and salt.  Work the ingredients together using your hands to make a lumpy crumbly mixture (don’t worry if you think that the mixture is unlikely to turn into anything resembling the end product, or is a lot more buttery than a normal crumble mixture – this is normal).

3.  Gently press about half of the crumble mixture into the baking tin.  Spread a thin layer of jam/marmalade over the top of the crumble mix, leaving an edge of about 1cm.  Spread the washed and dried fruit (if using strawberries, do chop them up, and rip raspberries or blackberries in half as well) over the top of the jam, and then crumble the rest of the crumble mixture over the top of the fruit.  Don’t press the mixture down, but make sure that it’s more or less evenly spread across the bars.

4.  Bake for about 45 mins, until golden on top.  Allow to cool fully (it will harden up as it cools, which should take about 40-50 mins or so) before lifting out of the tin and slicing into squares.

Enjoy!

8 Comments

Filed under Recipes, Sweet Foods

Breakfast Club #11: Goat’s cheese & rosemary muffins

This month’s Breakfast Club challenge is hosted by Johanna at Green Gourmet Giraffe, and the theme is “Savoury vegetarian.”  Sounds straightforward enough, but it was actually a real challenge for me, because I’m not really a savoury breakfast person – sweet breakfasts all the way, thanks very much.  Still, that’s the whole point of a challenge, so time to bite the bullet and come up with something savoury (I wasn’t too worried about the vegetarian thing – I’m not a fan of meat in the morning anyway, so that was unlikely to be an issue).

So, a savoury breakfast.  Gosh.  I’m a total cheese fiend I quite like cheese, and will happily eat it at pretty much any time of day, and I absolutely love muffins, so I decided to go down the cheesy muffin route.  I had some goat’s cheese in the fridge that conveniently needed using up, and some rosemary in the freezer that also needed using up, and they happen to make a lovely combination, so I decided to give goat’s cheese and rosemary muffins a go for breakfast this morning.

The problem with making muffins for breakfast is that they take forever to make.  Well, ok, not forever, but I’m a pretty impatient person, especially in the morning.  But oh they are so worth it.  Yummy.  They’re tasty both warm or cold, and whilst lovely for breakfast, they would also work wonderfully as picnic food, or an afternoon snack (I might be munching on one as I write this).  I have to admit though, I’m still firmly in the sweet breakfast camp.

Goat’s cheese & rosemary muffins

Makes 16 muffins
Adapted from Mad About Muffins

These are lovely warm, but are also super tasty when cool, which makes them great for picnic food.  The original recipe calls for thyme rather than rosemary, and I’ve made both versions, and they’re both yummy, so really just use whatever you’ve got to hand (assuming it will go with goat’s cheese).  Using a goat’s cheese log with a soft rind means that you don’t have to remove the rind and it will melt into the muffins.  Also, using a cheese that hasn’t matured too much means that it will be easier to cut and separate.  If you’re making these for vegetarians, do make sure you choose a goat’s cheese suitable for vegetarians.

Ingredients

200g goat’s cheese
100g butter
300g all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
15g caster sugar
Pinch salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
5g fresh rosemary (about 5-6 sprigs) + extra for topping
2 eggs
185ml milk

Directions

1.  Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C.  Grease and flour 16 muffin tins sections, or line with paper liners or set out silicone moulds.  Roughly chop the goat’s cheese into 1cm dice.  Melt the butter in a small saucepan.

2.  Sift the flour, baking powder, caster sugar, salt and pepper into a large bowl.  Tip any bits of black pepper that haven’t gone through the sieve.  Strip the leaves from the rosemary and roughly chop them, before adding to the dry ingredients, stirring well.

3.  In another bowl, beat the eggs and milk together with a fork.

4.  Pour the egg and milk mixture and the melted butter to the dry ingredients, and fold together with a metal spoon until just combined.  Then add the diced goat’s cheese, and fold in gently (try not to over-mix).  Spoon the batter into the muffin tin sections/liners/moulds.  Top each muffin with a small sprig of rosemary to decorate (optional).

5.  Bake for 22-25 mins until golden and well risen and the tops spring back when gently pressed (watch for hot cheese).  Transfer to a wire rack to cool before eating (though they are also tasty warm).

Enjoy!

3 Comments

Filed under Recipes, Savoury Foods

Breakfast Club #10: Fig, orange & honey pancakes

This month’s Breakfast Club is hosted by Krithi’s Kitchen and she has chosen “Pancakes” as the theme.  Now, I have a confession: whilst I make crêpes from time to time, I’ve never made pancakes before.  Oh my God, shock horror, etc.  Yes, I am 22 and have never made pancakes.  I actually just never really think to make them, perhaps because they’re not something my mum ever made for me (they’re not very French).  Though having said that, my mum never really made muffins either (they’re also not very French), and I absolutely love them and bake them on a regular basis.  So that’s actually a bit of a crap excuse.  Whatever the reason though, the point is that I’ve never made pancakes.

Whilst this means that I get to try something completely new (to me), it also means that I don’t have a tried-and-tested basic pancake recipe to expand on.  Or any pancake recipes in general actually – though the internet rapidly solved that issue.  The only rules for this challenge were no beef (easy), no pork (easy) and no alcohol (I’m a student, so uhmmm…  Just kidding – I can cope) which gave me a wide scope for experimenting.  I had some dried figs that I wanted to use up, and decided to pair them up with orange  after nearly taking myself out when I knocked off a jar of orange blossom honey of a shelf in my cupboard (things falling from the sky is not my usual source of inspiration, but whatever works).

So having decided on a combination of fig and orange (which work wonderfully well together, by the way!) I found a blueberry pancake recipe online that looked straightforward enough, and sort of adapted it as I went along.  This could have gone horribly wrong, but thankfully didn’t.  I’m actually quite happy with my first attempt at pancakes – whilst they might not be all that presentable, they tasted lovely.  The dried fig sweetened the pancakes up a little as did the honey (unsurprisingly), whereas the orange zest and juice made them taste quite fresh and light.  Because the recipe made 12 pancakes and there’s only 1 of me, and well, it’s “Ball Season” at the moment, so becoming obese isn’t really one of my goals (getting all my dresses altered would be a bit of a pain), I had a bunch of leftover pancakes.  I toasted some of them for breakfast this morning and guess what?  Scrumptious!  Though the amount of honey that I drowned them in drizzled all over them may have somewhat nullified my whole I-probably-shouldn’t-eat-12-pancakes thought process.  Oops.  Totally worth it though, and I’ll just take a little trip to the gym – sorted!

Fig & orange pancakes

Makes 12
Adapted from Verses from my Kitchen

Make sure to chop the fig as finely as possible and spread the chopped fig out a little so that you don’t end up with a clump of fig bits in the middle of the pancake.  The pancakes can be made as big or as small as you like, though you’ll obviously have to adjust the cooking times accordingly.  Any leftover pancakes can be stored in an airtight box and toasted for breakfast the next day and served with honey or butter.  I served these with orange blossom honey because I happened to have some, but acacia honey would also be lovely.

Ingredients

80g dried figs
1 unwaxed orange
125g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 large egg
About 250ml milk
20g butter + extra for cooking
Honey, to serve

Directions

1.  Chop the dried figs as finely as possible, and mix with the finely-grated orange zest in a small bowl.  Sift and mix together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

2.  Juice the orange and make the liquid up to 300ml.  Add to a medium bowl with the egg and whisk together.  Make a small well in the dry ingredients and add the liquid progressively, whisking until smooth.  Gently stir in the melted butter, chopped figs and orange zest.

3. Melt a knob of butter over medium heat in a large non-stick frying pan.  Drop about 2 large tbsp of into the pan for each pancake (you’ll have to do this in batches) and cook for around 3 mins or until small bubbles start to form on the top surface.  Flip and cook further for about 2 mins.

4.  Serve drizzled with honey and extra chopped figs if you have any.

Enjoy!

5 Comments

Filed under Recipes, Sweet Foods

Of penguins and porridge

I have serious issues with the Scottish weather.  This isn’t a new development, far from it, but I was particularly reminded of this over the weekend.  At the beginning of March, we had beautiful weather (and in fact at the end of February too, since I managed to end up with a sunburnt nose whilst fieldworking) – granted it wasn’t 25°C let’s-hit-the-beach-in-our-bikinis weather, but it was still warm enough during the day to swap my boots for ballet flats.  This is a major thing for me, because I get cold really easily.  The weather last week was a bit iffy – mostly sunny during the day, with a few unexpected rain showers in the evenings, but the main issue was the cold wind (and associated occasional horizontal rain).  St Andrews is coastal, so it tends to be quite windy anyway, but there were several days where walking down the street felt like you were participating in some sort of wind tunnel experiment.  Consequently, not only did I have to switch back to boots, but I spent most of last week sporting what can only be described as a bit of a macaroni penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus) hairstyle.  In case you don’t know, this is what a macaroni penguin looks like (from National Geographic Stock):

I know, I know, it’s a HOT look.  Though I didn’t have the yellow-and-black thing going on (how impressive would it be if the wind could do that?!), just the crazy side tufts.  And this is coming from somebody whose hair is usually always at least a little bit messy, and accepts it as such.  So anyway, despite the macaroni penguin hair, at least it was still mostly sunny.  Now I know it can’t be sunny forever, but it’s very nearly officially Spring, and I was quite a fan of this whole it’s-getting-warmer-let’s-pretend-it’s-nearly summer thing.  However, the weather clearly had other plans, because the temperatures dropped and it rained the entire weekend.  In true Scottish style, we were treated to every possible kind of rain – fat rain, misty drizzly rain, sideways rain, etc.  I even got caught in some upwards rain at one point (apparently Scottish weather hasn’t got the hang of gravity yet).  Oh and it briefly hailed, too.

This return to wet, wintry weather resulted in a sudden craving to have porridge for breakfast.  This happens to tie in rather well with this month’s Breakfast Club, hosted by Taste Space, who has chosen the theme “Whole grains.”  I hadn’t really decided what I wanted to do for the challenge yet, but porridge fits the bill perfectly, because guess what?  Porridge oats are whole grains, hurrah!  I get the impression that “Whole grains” were chosen because they are healthy, and we were probably supposed to come up with a healthy breakfast, which this might have been, if I hadn’t been slightly over-enthusiastic with the quantities of honey and whisky that I added the first time I made this (resulting in a great start to the day!).  Oh well.  It’s still whole grain-based.  And whisky is made from barley, and that’s a whole grain, too…  So ya, heather honey and whisky porridge – whole grains all round!  Oh and it’s yummy, too – it’s still raining (torrential at the moment) so I made it again for breakfast today (with slightly more sensible quantities of everything, as in the recipe below).

Heather honey & whisky porridge

Serves 1
Adapted from BBC Food

You could use clear honey and spiced rum instead of the heather honey and whisky.  Or any other combination of flavours.  I suppose the whisky (or rum) is optional, but why wouldn’t you want to add it?  I used Glenfarclas 10 year, because I think it tastes a bit like fruitcake, and I decided that was appropriate for breakfast.

Ingredients

40g porridge oats
2 tbsp double cream, plus extra to serve
200ml whole milk
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tbsp whisky
1 tbsp Scottish heather honey

Directions

1.  Add the oats, cream, milk, sugar and whisky to a small saucepan and simmer over a gentle heat, stirring occasionally (always clockwise if you’re a purist.  Before you ask, I have no idea why.) until thickened to your liking.

2.  Remove from the heat, pour into a bowl, stir in the honey and drizzle a little bit of extra double cream over the top.  If you like your porridge really sweet, sprinkle a pinch of brown sugar over the top.

Enjoy!

PS – Dear Scottish weather, could you please stop raining now?  Thanks ever so much.  Yours, etc., M.

4 Comments

Filed under Ramblings, Recipes, Sweet Foods

Banana, date & pecan “loaflets”

I’ve discovered the Breakfast Club – a challenge to make breakfasts “more than tea and toast” with a different theme each month (you were thinking of the film, weren’t you?)  I love breakfast, I genuinely cannot function without it, so this sounds like a lot of fun to me.  I actually discovered the Breakfast Club last month, and the theme was “Yoghurt” but due to a lack of both inspiration (I wanted to do something other than yoghurt with muesli) and time, I never quite got round to it.  This month’s theme is “To Go” – so breakfast on the commute, etc.

Now, I don’t really do much commuting.  St Andrews is quite small and compact – from my flat, walking to the library takes 2 minutes, my seminars are about 8 minutes away and it takes 15 minutes to walk to the marine labs.  The only time that I tend to have breakfast “on the go” is when I’m running really late and have to grab a cereal bar on my way out the door and wolf it down whilst in a mad rush to wherever I should have been 10 minutes previously.

But that wasn’t going to stop me partaking in the “To Go” challenge.  I think if I did commute, I would probably eat a lot of muffins, just because they are so fun and I love them and if you put dried fruit and oats, etc., in them, I’m sure they would make a fairly healthy, filling breakfast.  I had some bananas that were ripening at an alarming rate, so clearly banana muffins were on the cards.  But then I realised that as much as I love muffins, they’re not the most practical shape if you’re a bit tight on space in your bag and have to take several with you.  Luckily, I have some mini-loaf tins, so I thought, “aha!  Rectangular muffins!  So much more practical to transport!”  In the end, their texture resembled that of a loaf more than a muffin anyway, thus my breakfast “loaflets” were born…

To make them substantial enough to last until lunchtime, I used a recipe that included porridge oats and wholemeal bread flour as a starting base, adding dates and pecans for energy and texture.  The crumbly topping gives the loaflets a nice bit of subtle crunch, though I suppose it makes them slightly less practical to transport – woops.  They turned out rather yummy!  I had one for breakfast yesterday and it kept me going all morning.  I’m sure these would work really well as a big sliced loaf, too.  I’ll try that out at some point and let you know…

Banana, date & pecan loaflets

Makes 6 5×8 cm loaflets
Adapted from several recipes in Mad About Muffins

These can be made the evening before, left to cool and then stored overnight in an airtight container ready for breakfast the next day.  If you’re eating them at home, they’re also yummy sliced in half and spread with butter.  If you are eating them on the go, they’re a tiny bit sticky so having a wet-wipe to hand might be a good idea.

Ingredients

For the batter:
60g all-purpose flour
50g wholemeal bread flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
60g porridge oats
60g butter
100g demerrera sugar
250g very ripe bananas (unpeeled weight)
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
35g very hot water
90g ready-to-eat dates, chopped

For the topping:
65g pecans, chopped
50g all-purpose flour
15g demerrera sugar
20g maple syrup
30g butter, softened

Directions

1.  Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C.  Grease 6 mini loaf tins (I’m sure this would work as a normal loaf – I haven’t tried it yet though, so I’ll keep you posted.  Do let me know if you try!).

2.  Prepare the topping by combining all the topping ingredients in a bowl and rubbing them together to get a crumbly, lumpy mixture.

3.  Sift the flours, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a medium-sized bowl.  Tip in any bran from the wholemeal flour that didn’t go through the sieve.  Add the oats and stir all the dry ingredients together.

4.  Melt the butter in a large, heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water.  Once melted, remove the bowl from the pan, add the sugar and mix thoroughly.

5.  Peel the bananas and mash them with a fork in a small bowl.  Add them to the butter and mix thoroughly.

6.  Lightly beat the egg using the same fork and bowl that you just used for the bananas.  Mix the egg and vanilla extract into the butter mixture.

7.  Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly.  Stir in the hot water, and then mix in the rest of the flour mixture.  Stir in the dates.

8.  Spoon the batter evenly into the mini loaf tins (I over-enthusiastically filled mine right up until the top).  Sprinkle the topping over the loaflets and press it down slightly into the batter.

9.  Bake for 30-35 mins (it will be longer if you’re making a normal loaf – I’ll get back to you once I’ve tested it) or until the loaflets are well-risen and golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

10.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before storing in an airtight container until breakfast.

Enjoy!

7 Comments

Filed under Recipes, Student Life, Sweet Foods