Monday, May 27, 2013

Chocolate Currant Oatmeal Bake

I have been feeling super tired recently as I have to prepare for the exams. I have much less time for baking and that makes me feel so bad. I can't wait to pass all the examinations and go on holiday! As a reward, I promise to bake something reeealy good. Probably a big fat cake or a cookie pie with some homemade ice cream (which I've been craving to make for such a long time). But for now I make foods which don't require lots of time. Breakfast made of oats always lifts my mood and makes me feel good. This oatmeal bake has everything I need to feel happy. A healthy amount of chocolate and some tart berries. Honestly, this is my new favourite breakfast. Of course, I often eat it for the supper, too. Believe me, you have to make this. It's sweet, tart, chewy and healthy!

Chocolate Currant Oatmeal Bake

2 cups quick oats
500ml milk
100g unrefined brown sugar
pinch salt
vanilla extract (optional, sometimes I use it, sometimes I leave it out)
1/2 - 1 cup red currants (You may use other berries or a mixture of them but currants are tart and this creates a perfect balance between sweet and tart)
1 egg, lightly beaten
50g semisweet chocolate, chopped into chunks

1) In a bowl, mix together the quick oats, brown sugar and pinch salt. Add in the berries and toss them to coat. Place the mixture into a 20x20cm baking dish.

2) In another bowl, combine together the milk and the egg. Pour this onto the oat mixture and stir with the fork so it is evenly distributed. sprinkle the chocolate on top. Do not mix.

3) Bakefor 30 - 40 minutes or until golden brown on top and the center is firm. (I don't remember the time as I always check it by inserting a toothpick into the center. So probably you should check it earlier as the ovens differ)

P.S. I recently noticed that my pictures often get lost in pinterest or tumblr so I decided to write the name of the blog on the pictures so people can find the recipes easily. I don't know if it's a good idea but let's try and see how it works!

Recipe by collecting memories

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Healthy Cookie Dough

Eating raw cookie dough is such a tempting thing. But honestly, I never do it. I simply don't like the idea of eating raw eggs. So after seeing so many bloggers using chickpeas for various sweets, I decided to make a healthy alternative to cookie dough. There are no raw eggs, no flour, no butter or oil! And it's sweetened with honey! That means you can have the whole batch and eat it without any guilt. And what is best, it tastes amazing. I won't lie - it's not exactly the same as cookie dough which I think it's impossible wo make. But believe me, it's good enough for you to make it, believe me. Try and you'll see! 

And now about the recipe. You can add more/less honey according to your taste. And the type of chocolate also depends on you. I used dark chocolate because it's healthier. But you may use milk or a combination of both.

Healthy Cookie Dough

250g chickpeas
2 tsp vanilla sugar
8 tbsp honey
100g homemade coconut butter
1/4 tsp salt
100g chocolate, chopped

1)  Cook the chickpeas and drain well. Remove the skins (Yes, you'll need patience but you don't want to taste skins in your cookie dough). It is easier to do this by rubbing the chickpeas gently between two towels. After this, mash them with a fork so no big chunks are left.*

2) Now make the coconut butter. In your coffee grinder, process dried unsweetened coconut flakes until it starts resembling softened butter.

3) Mix the chickpeas with vanilla sugar (or use vanilla extract but add less, there's no big difference), honey, coconut butter and salt. Mix until very well combined. You may need to use your hands to help you. Work in the chocolate chunks.

4) Now roll them into balls (as shown below), or simply put in a bowl and eat with a spoon!

*You may mash the chickpeas with a food processor. I suppose It's much easier so you can simply throw all the ingredients (except chocolate) and process until smooth. Unfortunately, I don't have a food processor!

Recipe by collecting memories

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Homemade Potato Garlic Gnocchi

It's gnocchi time! Making them is a very fun process even if I'm not very good at making these grooves. But anyway. Who cares? I knew I was going to fry them so it didn't really matter. And frying them in brown butter is the best part. Oh, no, eating is the very best part.

Homemade Potato Garlic Gnocchi

2 small potatoes, boiled
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
pinch pepper
large pinch salt
100 - 125g flour

1) Mash your potatoes with a fork and mix together with garlic. Add the egg and all the seasonings. Start adding flour and when it starts to be hard to mix the batter, transfer it to the board and start kneading. When it almost stops sticking to your hands, stop adding flour.

2) Roll the dough into a 1-2 cm thick log and cut it every 2-3 cm. Make grooves with a fork, make an indentation with your thumb or simply leave them as they are. (I'm not very good at making grooves so next time I'm not going to torture myself trying to make them). 

3) Cook in a salted boiling water. Just don't pack the pot! Cook half of these at first. When they come to the surface, let them cook for a few minutes and remove from water.

4) To make them crispy, melt about a tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan. Cover and let the butter brown over medium low heat, stirring occasionally. When It starts smelling yummy, add half of the gnocchi and increase the heat. Let cook until golden brown on both sides. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi and a tablespoon of butter.

Serves 2-3.

Recipe by collecting memories

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I recently discovered a new obsession - roasted vegetables. With a dash of brown butter or olive oil and a blend of my favourite spices they can be a perfect and a quick meal.

Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts

200g brussels sprouts, halved*
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp sesame seeds
25g butter
salt and pepper, to taste
a dash of olive oil

*I had some leftovers brussels sprouts so in this recipe I used them already cooked. I'm sure this doesn't make a big difference (only takes more/less time) and you can use both raw brussels sprouts or cook them in advance.

1) Place butter in a pan and and melt over medium heat. Reduce the heat, cover and let brown a bit for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly brown and fragrant. Add the sesame seeds and let them brown also, stirring occasionally. Add minced garlic and stir again.

2) Place brussels sprouts into a pan cut side down. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, cover, and let saute over medium-low heat. Once they begin to brown, keep your eye on them so they don't burn. Flip them over and brown the other side. (If you notice that the brussels sprouts need more butter, add some more or drizzle with a dash of oil.)

3) Serve as a side with anything you like. I served with rice as a light vegetarian dish.

Serves 1 - 2.

Recipe by collecting memories.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Carrot Fritters

I've been baking less sweets recently. I don't remember when I made a cake or cupcakes with a tall frosting for the last time. If I bake something sweet, it would probably contain honey instead of sugar and applesauce/bananas instead of butter. But to be honest, I can't describe how much I miss a fat, creamy and large cake. I guess it's time to check out the recipes and make one for myself. Ahh.. that's so dangerous. You see, I can't eat just one slice of cake. I can't eat just two. Sometimes even more. So it happens very often that my all day meals include cake, cupcakes and cookies. Sounds tempting, but not very healthy. And just because I can't survive without something sweet a day, I try to make things healthier. 

And now about these carrot fritters. This is a super simple recipe. You need no more than 5 or 10 minutes to mix it up and enjoy a healthy and delicious breakfast, supper or any time you wish. I have been making veggie pancakes very often recently and have written down lots of recipes. So make a batch of these and wait for the next!

Carrot Fritters

2small carrots, grated
2 garlic cloves, grated
1/2 onion, grated
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 heaping tbsp whole wheat flour
1 heaping tbsp all purpose flour
pinch chilli powder
3/4 tsp salt, or to taste
olive oil for frying
sour cream, to serve

1)  In a medium bowl, mix together the carrots, onion and garlic. Mix in the eggs.

2) Add in the flour, chilli powder and salt. Mix to combine.

3) Heat the oil in a skillet. Fry the pancakes until golden brown on both sides. Serve with sour cream.

Makes 4 pancakes.

Recipe by collecting memories

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Double Chocolate Chunk Muffins

Sometimes I need a dose of chocolate. Really. If  I crave it, I must get some. A similar situation occured yesterday. I couldn't stop dreaming about large dark rich chocolate muffins full of chocolate chunks. Without thinking too much, I mixed up the batter and enjoyed these in less than one hour. I didn't even cool them and ate warm straight from the oven. And, oh, what a shame to confess, ate six of them. Yes, it's not a mistake. And yes, they're large. I guess I really needed that dose of chocolate... If you sometimes find yourself in situations like this - make these muffins and problem solved! This is a chocolate lover's dream.

Double Chocolate Chunk Muffins

250g flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
60g cocoa powder
180g sugar
250g full fat milk
90ml oil
1 large egg
vanilla extract (optional)
300g semisweet chocolate chunks

1) In a large bowl, mix together the first 6 ingredients. Mix in the chocolate chunks and set aside.

2) In another bowl, beat the egg and add in the milk, oil and vanilla extract, if using. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones. Mix just until combined.

3) Preheat oven to 190 degrees C. Divide the muffins among 10 - 12 muffin cups lined with paper liners or parchment paper and bake for 5 minutes, than lower the temperature to 175 C and continue to bake for another 15 minutes.

4) Cool on a wire rack and serve. Or eat warm when the chocolate is melted...

Recipe by collecting memories
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