Tag Archives: breakfast

A simple breakfast: Crumpets with Yoghurt and Blueberries

Toasted Crumpets with Rhubarb Yoghurt and Blueberries (9071)

I cannot tell you how easy this is to make. I will not even call it a recipe, because frankly it’s not. One morning I needed some cheering up. It was raining of course and I, like everyone else on this little island, was having a bad day. The rain would not stop. The town centre was completely flooded. After a while I stopped reading the papers; I just couldn’t take any more bad news. Thankfully, fingers crossed, the rain has now stopped and Spring is almost here. You can imagine the joy!

Continue reading A simple breakfast: Crumpets with Yoghurt and Blueberries

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry-Muffins-(6541)A very good friend of mine always asks me for more muffin recipes. I get this. Unlike cakes, my personal preference if I were to choose (I don’t think so), muffins are charming little things. Even though I may have a muffin with my coffee when out running errands, I prefer homemade ones. Somehow shop-bought ones seem too big, too out there if you know what I mean.

Sometime ago I was invited to a YSL event at a local store. In one corner the ladies prepared a spread of pretty little cupcakes, which seem to be all the rage nowadays. To me they looked more inviting than all the expensive stuff in the shop. They were good, a bit on the small side, but good nonetheless. One would argue that you cannot look sophisticated while devouring a large chunk of cake! I went home and I wanted to bake something in between.

Homebaked muffins will be smaller than the huge things you might get at the store but don’t let that deter you. You can make the mixture in five minutes flat and they are so convenient when you have people round for afternoon tea. All you need is coffee! Blueberries are great here, but you can use whatever you want…strawberries, raspberries, or perhaps a mixture of both. Makes 12.

  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 120g unsalted butter, softened almost melted
  • 120g golden caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 100ml milk, preferably full-fat
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 180g blueberries

Line a 12-hole muffin tray with muffin cases and preheat the oven to 190ºC.

In a large bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together and set aside.

In another bowl, beat the butter together with the sugar, eggs, milk, lemon zest and juice till everything is just combined.

Fold in the flour mixture gently into the wet ingredients preferably with a spatula. Tip in the blueberries, and don’t overmix. A lumpy batter is exactly what you want here!

Using an ice-cream scoop, distribute the mixture evenly in the tray and bake for approximately 15 to 18 minutes. They should be ready by then but always check by inserting a skewer in the middle of one muffin just to be sure.

Place them on a cookie rack to cool, and eat them when they are slightly warm on the same day. They should keep in an airtight container until the next day – good excuse to invite a good friend for tea. Enjoy!

Rob x

(Adapted from River Cottage Handbook No. 8: Cakes, Pam Corbin, Bloomsbury, 2011.)

I’m having this for breakfast…

Banana Milkshake (7466)…and it’s nothing too exciting. Lately I have been making the so-called most important meal of the day a priority. I have to say I love milk. I drink it alone, preferably cold straight from the fridge. Filtered and semi-skimmed. Of course, everyone has their own preferences. This milkshake obsession started as soon as J, J2 and I finished a walk around the Arundel area (near Slindon to be precise). We stopped for a coffee at Pappardelle in the town centre before heading home. We did, and we liked the place so much that we stayed a bit longer than planned. So I ordered a simple vanilla milkshake and wanted to stay there forever. (P.S. This is *not* a sponsored post, just in case you’re wondering.)

This is my method. I warn you: my concoction is a no-frills thing, no sugar no nothing; you don’t need it here. Just a banana or two, topped with milk. If you like you could always add one scoop of good vanilla ice-cream for your sugar fix if you really need one (preferably with those lovely brown specks of pods inside). A whiz in the blender and there you have it.

Now that I remember, I do have some vanilla pods waiting to be used. What is your favourite breakfast meal?

Rob xx

Jarlsberg and fennel muffins

Spelt and Jarlsberg Muffins (6856)

I was thrilled to see Signe Johansen on What’s Cooking last week. Signe, who is one of my very favourite food writers, grew up in Norway. I only got hold of her first book Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking…Scandilicious a month ago I’m ashamed to say, but I’m glad I have it now. I really love this book – I wouldn’t even mention it here if I didn’t – it is a great introduction to some ingredients which are not so familiar to me. Scandi cooking is very homely, very familial. It’s cozy, something I always look for. So this is an easy recipe from Signe’s repertoire, just to get you and me started. I have been baking lots of savoury cakes lately and this fits the bill quite well. There’s spelt flour and Jarlsberg here which of course, is typically Norwegian. If you can’t get hold of spelt flour (it’s easily found in supermarkets these days though) go ahead and use all-purpose flour mixed with wholemeal wheat flour.

  •  300g wholewheat spelt flour
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 loaded tablespoon Marmite, melted with two tablespoons of boiling water
  • 150g milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 40 g butter, melted
  • 100g Jarlsberg, coarsely grated, plus extra for sprinkling on top

Spelt and Jarlsberg Muffins (6849)

Spelt and Jarlsberg Muffins (6852)

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C for fan or 190 degrees C for non-convection, and line a 12-muffin tray with baking paper or muffin cups.

Measure the flour, fennel seeds, mustard powder, cayenne pepper, baking powder and bicarb of soda, and sift them into a large bowl, to make sure everything is distributed as evenly as possible.

Use a measuring jug for the milk, and add the melted Marmite to the jug. Add this mixture with the dry ingredients and stir for a few times before adding the grated cheese.

Distribute the muffin batter in each muffin cup, but don’t fill them to the brim. I use a small ice-cream scoop for this.

Bake for around 25-30 minutes, in the upper/upper-middle shelf of the oven.

When they are done, they should be golden brown on the top. Place them on a wire rack to cool and sprinkle more grated cheese on top.

They are good on their own but they are great with a proper brunch. One of my favourite recipes.

Spelt and Jarlsberg Muffins (6879)

Spelt and Jarlsberg Muffins (6861)

Thanks Signe!

Rob x

(Adapted from Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking…Scandilicious by Signe Johansen, Saltyard Books, 2011.)

From the archives: Pancake recipe

Blueberry-Pancakes-(4418)

I wrote about this recipe quite a while ago but today being Shrove Tuesday, a.k.a. Pancake Day, here it is again. I love pancakes and would eat them every week. If only!

Just a note before we start: instead of buttermilk, you can use the same quantity of milk and leave it at that. You can also add about 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to the milk and let it sit for around 15 minutes. Also feel free to leave the salt out completely. I prefer a salt-free batter personally but I know that J likes a slightly salty flavour. For extra taste and colour contrast J likes to add some blueberries, but you could add raspberries, or nothing at all.

  • 175g plain flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt – optional
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1¼ cups buttermilk
  • 35g butter, melted
  • 150g blueberries – optional
  1. If you don’t have buttermilk start off by preparing the milk as suggested above. If you’re using only milk then read on.
  2. Measure the flour, baking powder, salt (if you’re using it) and sugar and mix them in a bowl.
  3. For the waffles, or for fluffier pancakes, separate the eggs and use some muscle power to beat the whites into soft peaks. (Or use electric beaters!)
  4. Mix the milk/buttermilk with the egg yolks and melted butter. Pour these into the dry ingredients but try not to mix the batter too much.
  5. Fold the soft beaten egg whites into the mixture and use a ladle to pour a bit of the pancake batter on a preheated and greased griddle (or a good non-stick pan). Sprinkle in some blueberries if you want at this stage.
  6. Cook on one side until you see bubbles forming throughout the surface and the edges have solidified. Then turn the pancake over on the other side. Repeat until you have used all your batter.

Serve alone with some golden syrup or honey, fruit or my favourite treat, that marvellous hazelnut spread from the land of dreams: Italy. Or however you want for that matter! Enjoy!

Rob x