11 March 2010

Apple Crumble

Apple Crumble

I think certain deserts are underestimated; an easy recipe can be just as delicious as a complicated one. In fact chefs nowadays seem to be signing the praises of just such an idea.

I have always loved apple crumble, all the wonderful taste of apple pie, without fiddling around with rolled-out pastry. The crumble for this recipe actually comes from Ottolenghi’s carrot muffins. I think it is the addition of black sesame seeds and honey that makes this buttery crumble so fabulous. Your taste buds will thank you!

You can adapt this recipe using white sesame seeds if you don’t have black ones, pears instead of apples and cook the crumble for 10 minutes longer at 150°C if you prefer a softer fruit texture.

See link ‘apple crumble’ below for recipe:

Apple Crumble



19 January 2009


HONEY CAKE, oh honey honey!

Happy New Year! My warm wishes for 2009 are a little late coming this year , as I caught a nasty flu bug my 1st week back to work & it wouldn’t let go. However I am now feeling much better and am back in the kitchen to prove it.

To get the ball rolling I decided to make my Aunt Elise’s New Years Honey Cake.  However on reading down the list of ingredients I hit a road block…. self raising flour…. why oh why…. well I can tell you why, my aunt is from England, as is her recipe and like most English baking recipes it lists this kind of flour. The only problem is, you CAN’T BUY IT in Switzerland.  But you can make it! So if you can’t move the mountain to Mohamed, move Mohamed to the mountain –  I like applying this philosophy to the kitchen!

Self-Rising flour is simply flour that contains baking powder and salt. Mystery solved. However I do not normally use this type of flour 1. because I cannot buy it locally  & 2. because I prefer to add my own baking powder and salt – it has a better raising effect. Plus if you store self raising flour for too long the baking powder loses some of its strength and your baked goods don’t rise as nicely.

Self raising flour basic recipe:

  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon  salt
  • 1 cup (125 grams) of all-purpose flour

Mix the ingredients well together, and voila!



5 December 2008



Leafing through my cookbooks in preparation for Christmas baking, I realised that cookie making really falls into three main categories:

  1. drop cookies
  2. cut-out cookies
  3. cylinder cookies

DROP COOKIES: are those that require just a finger and a spoon, to drop small quantities of dough onto cookies sheets. This is the no fuss no muss method, especially handy when baking with children.

CUT-OUT COOKIES: the pretty though time consuming cousin… involving the chilling & rolling out of dough, to make lovely shapes, that can be iced and decorated.

CYLINDER COOKIES:are made by rolling the dough into a cylindrical form & then slicing it into rounds. Often used to make shortbread cookies (sablés).

My recipe for honey almond cookies falls into the first category, for though I love making pretty cut-out cookies, and will soon be doing so for the holiday season, I often need a quick baking solution after work.

So where is the ‘click & sniff’ button when you really need it – there is a button for just about everything else now a days, and it would definately be worth while, as the scent of toasted almonds with caramelising honey, will leave you fainting from felicity.


Sablés lavande miel

{PETITS SABLES AUX FLEURS DE LAVANDE ET MIEL} This past weekend I escaped from the city to the French countryside …. peace and quiet from all the tourists in town, cool breeze, listening to the cow bells, reading Marianne Paquin’s ‘Cueillez, c’est prêt!’ cookbook, and finding inspiration in a lavender bush!

For me lavender is the true ‘parfum de Provence’ (the perfume of Provence). However when it comes to cooking I think there should be a warning label: ‘this flower is sweet BUT strong …. therefore do not run a muck, suppress your enthusiasm to add more, or your desert will taste like a bar of soap! A little goes a long way

Sadly I did not have these words of wisdom when I first made ‘a lavender & apricot compote’…. wild horses could not have stopped me from adding an overly abundant amount of this innocent looking purple flower. The result was overwhelming and not in a good way.

Keeping this experience in mind as I read Marianne’s recipe for lavender cookies, I decided to make the recipe as follows: omitting the lavender essence as I simply didn’t have any and thought that the flowers alone would be enough. I replaced 25g of white sugar with orange blossom honey, and added a little extra flour to the dough – which instead of rolling out, I made into two long thin rolls which I chilled and then cut into circles. The result was a delicately subtle perfume of lavender, that tickles your sense as you nibble on these golden shortbreads.