Cinnamon & nutmeg baked oatmeal with plums & toasted hazelnuts

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Porridge divides our family. On the one side, mum adores it. On the other, my dad thinks it’s the foodstuff created by the devil (I’m really not exaggerating). As with plenty of other things, such as coffee versus tea or even rainbow trout, I sit firmly in the middle. I don’t love the stuff, but I don’t hate it either. A little bit of sugar, milk and a sprinkle of raisins is good enough for me, but I only eat porridge a couple of times a year, mostly in the winter.

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That being said, I adore baked oatmeal. Why? Well, if you’ve never had baked oatmeal, you’re missing out, even if you despise it as much as my dad. Baked oatmeal is basically the child of a flapjack and a cake. Take a slice and warm it up in the microwave, add a bit of milk or even a bit of caramel sauce, and it’s probably one of my favourite sweet breakfasts (but not too sweet, cause that’s not my thing (unless we’re talking caramel, of course…)). On top of that, it’s super customisable; don’t like hazelnuts? What about almonds, pecans? And the plums? I love raspberries and blackberries in my baked oatmeal, but apple and pear slices are always a great substitute. Nutmeg and cinnamon could be swapped to cardamom or allspice — or even everybody’s seasonal favourite, pumpkin spice!

The handy thing with baked oatmeal, is that it’s delicious fresh out the oven, but it keeps well in the fridge for a few days. However, my favourite method when I’m making baked oatmeal for myself at university is to slice it up when it’s cold, wrap it in greaseproof paper and place in a container in the freezer. Then all I have to do is take out one slice in its paper, place it on a plate, defrost it in the fridge overnight and microwave it in the morning for a few minutes — tastes good as new (seriously)!

Makes about 6 large servings.
Adapted from here. Read More

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Rhubarb tart with citrus glaze

I have never been a fan of rhubarb. To which I can only ask of myself, what was I thinking? Rhubarb is totally delicious, with that slightly tart-sweet flavour, which citrus brings out so well. And it’s perfect with vanilla ice-cream.

So I’m glad I saw the light. Expect to see more rhubarb recipes in the future, since we’ve got a whole forest of them growing in our garden and my parents are begging me to start chopping away at them to use in recipes.

So today, I present you an easy-peasy rhubarb tart made with pre-made puff pastry (well…you can make it if you want from scratch, but I won’t be joining you) and a lovely orange and lemon glaze that really brings out the tartness of the rhubarb.

Makes 2 tarts, serves about 8 in total.  Read More

Blood orange sponge loaf with icing and candied oranges

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What can I say? It must be one of the prettiest things I’ve ever baked. I am actually so pleased with the result of this cake, mainly because I stand by the fact that I am not the best baker around, but this loaf is incredible. Honestly one of the best cakes ever made, if I throw modesty out the window 😛

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This recipe is adapted from the blood orange cake recipe by Annie’s Eats, combined with the lemon loaf recipe from the first book by the Hummingbird Bakery. The result is a delicious firm sponge-loaf cake hybrid, that’s both firm and creamy, and a little more tart than overwhelmingly sweet despite all the sugar syrup, candied fruit and icing–all thanks to those blood oranges.

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This recipe takes a little bit of time to make all its components, but the other steps you can mostly make whilst the cake is in the oven, and it keeps really well in a sealed container — I was perfecting this recipe a week ago, and the cake still tastes like new! What a superhero.  Read More

Blackberry & Dark Chocolate Crumble Pots

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I absolutely love apple crumble, but recently, on at least 3 occasions I’ve last had it, it’s been a disappointment. One was soggy, one had barely any apple to be found and the other had a strange after-taste as well as the charming texture of baby food. Lovely.

Thoughts about making some sort of cobbler/crumble dish had been floating around in my head for some time now, but I didn’t want to make a massive pie dish for a minimum eight people when there’s only 3 of us in the household. Sure, you can divide, but I always think there’s a reason for the quantities used, so that flavours develop properly.

But! Then, we had these little desserts from our fancier supermarket around, which left us with these one-portion ceramic pots that the packaging encourage you to re-use or recycle. They were adorable, and came in multiple colours depending on the dessert in them. Thus, armed with some money, I went back to the store and bought one colour of each, shared the desserts with my parents, and then washed them for my new collection of adorable pastel pots! Dessert and a free dessert dish? I think more supermarket products should be like that! 🙂

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Blackberries are my father’s favourite fruit, after the number one; cloudberries, which are pretty hard to get a hold of around here when we’re not in Sweden, so I made this as a sweet substitute. I’d forgotten how much I loved blackberries, and a local farm shop had some beautiful punnets of them for sale, picked that day.

At that point, I got googling, and found out the wonderful combination of blackberries and chocolate, which I thought sounded lovely (even as a person who really doesn’t get all that fussed about chocolate *sins*). I changed it up by adding lime juice and dark chocolate, which makes the dessert a little more rich, rather than sweet.

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Our berries were a wonderful mix of sweet and tart; just how we like them, but depending on your measure for how tart/sweet you like your berries, adjust the sugar in this recipe accordingly.

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They came out a little messy, unfortunately, since the recipe bubbled over, and the fruit juice hardened into a delicious, slightly sticky sauce that, despite my scrubbing for the photos, didn’t come out (but no fear, with some soap and a soak in hot water, it went away!) but I couldn’t not share this with you all. A little lactose-free cream topped over, and it was a deliciously naughty little treat for a warm summer evening.

Makes 8 small pots Read More

Grilled Watermelon with Cinnamon and Honey

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This is just an easy-peasy delicious BBQ recipe, more like a laundry list than an actual recipe. Grilling watermelon changes its texture, like it’s been baking in a pie for about an hour or so–still solid, but slightly softer, and a lovely flavour that’s enhanced by honey, to add some sweetness, and cinnamon for a flavour kick.

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The above picture is me trying out what this one recipe suggested; adding salt to ease out some water, letting it drain, then rinsing and patting it with towels. To be quite honest, I wouldn’t really recommend this strategy, I’d just go straight to patting it with some paper towel first. The whole process didn’t really seem to make much of a difference…

Serves 4

4 large slices of watermelon
4 tbsp of runny honey
4 tsp of cinnamon

Heat up the BBQ on high. On each slice, sprinkle over one teaspoon of cinnamon, and then drizzle over one tablespoon of honey.

When the BBQ is ready, grill the watermelon cinammon and honey side down first, about five minutes and hopefully, some grill marks should appear (or the honey will start to blacken the edges). Flip over, and grill for another three to five minutes.

Remove from the grill when marks have appeared on both sides, and the watermelon is softened. Serve immediately with a scoop of ice-cream.

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