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Category: Baked Goods

Caramelized Blackcurrant & Thyme Red Onion & Brie Tartlets

Caramelized Blackcurrant & Thyme Red Onion & Brie Tartlets

Caramelized Blackcurrant & Thyme Red Onion & Brie Tartlets

 

250g  Ready-made Shortcrust Pastry

2 tbsp Oilve Oil

2 Medium Red Onions – peeled and sliced

3 tbsp Blackcurrant & Thyme Vinegar

125g  Brie – cut into 24 small pieces

Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper – to taste

 

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Roll the pastry to 0.25cm and cut 24 5cm circles from it using a cutter. Prick the circles with a fork and place on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through and golden brown, then remove and set aside to cool. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the onions and fry over a low heat stirring regularly until softened. Add the Blackcurrant & Thyme Vinegar and continue to cook, stirring well, until the onions have caramelized. Season as required. To assemble the tartlets, spoon some of the red onion mixture into each pastry circle and top with a piece of brie.

Pistachio Muffins

Pistachio Muffins

Pistachio Muffins

 

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup milk

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 3.4 oz box pistachio instant pudding mix

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

Coarse sugar for the tops if desired

 

Optional: ¼ c. chopped pistachios (add to batter)

 

Preheat oven to 425° F. Line muffin tins with muffin liners (I used parchment paper liners (link in recipe card) and they worked great). In a medium bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, sugar, eggs, almond extract, and milk until fully combined and fluffy. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, pudding mix, baking powder, and salt. Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients and stir, just until mixed together. Lumps are okay. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling each cavity 3/4 of the way full. Sprinkle with coarse sugar if using. Bake at 425° for 6 minutes, then reduce the heat in the oven to 350° and continue cooking another 11-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not over bake. Allow muffins to cool for about 5 minutes before removing them from the muffin tin and transferring to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Summer Solstice Herby Honey Cookies

Summer Solstice Herby Honey Cookies

Summer Solstice Herby Honey Cookies

 

1 & 3/4 cups of flour

¾ cup softened butter

¼ cup honey

¼ cup brown or cane sugar

1 teaspoon minced thyme

1 teaspoon lavender buds

1 teaspoon minced rosemary

1 teaspoon minced sage

a few crushed cardamom seeds

pinch of salt

 

NOTE: I used more like a tablespoon of each herb in my cookies, but this might be too herbaceous for some, so adjust accordingly. And I also added 3/4 cup oatmeal to another batch of cookies and cut back on the flour. Feel free to experiment or use whatever cookie recipe you like…after all it’s not the cookie that matters as much as the spirit!

 

Icing:

 

3 teaspoons milk

1 cup icing sugar

a wee bit of grated lemon rind. (I also added lavender buds to the second batch of icing)

Coloring. I used a combination of golden beet juice, St. John’s Tincture and a pinch of turmeric powder, but of course, you could use a store-bought natural food dye.

 

Combine your milk and icing sugar. Slowing add in your coloring and mix until you find the desired color/consistency

 

Preheat Oven to 300 F. Beat flour, sugar and soft butter together until creamy. Slowly drizzle in honey while beating until mixture pulls together. Add minced herbs and petals, mix well through the dough. Divide into four balls and chill for an hour or so. Roll out and cut into round shapes. Add flour as needed.

Bake at 300 for 10-15 minutes. Let cool. Decorate using the flowers and herbs of the sun: petals of calendula, lawn daisies or ox-eye daisies (not store bought daisy chrysanthemums), St. John’s Wort, rose, or sprigs of rosemary, thyme and sage.

Spellbinding Sweet Woodruff Prosperity Cake for May Day Eve

Spellbinding Sweet Woodruff Prosperity Cake for May Day Eve

Spellbinding Sweet Woodruff Prosperity Cake for May Day Eve

Sweet Woodruff is a common ground cover garden plant, and while it is native to Europe it has naturalized in many of our forests. Leaves and flowers should be harvested just before and during blooming, but they must dried or at least wilted before using to capture their flavor/aroma. The stems are bitter, so make sure you just use leaves and blossoms.

 

By baking this magical Sweet Woodruff cake we can combine our magical powers together and cast a powerful blessing to enrich us, one and all and make our hearts merry. And here’s a little prosperity spell to say over your cake, while you’re making it, while it’s baking or just before you serve it. Abracadabra!

 

Money, money come to me

In abundance three times three

May I be enriched in the best of ways

Harming none on its way

This I accept, so mote it be

Bring me money three times three!

 

1 cup & 2 tsp. of DRIED Sweet Woodruff leaves and flowers (no stems!)

4 large egg yolks

4 large egg whites, at room temperature

3/4 cup organic cane sugar (or whatever sugar you like)

2 tablespoons cold water

8 tablespoons melted butter

3/4 cup of wholewheat, or spelt, or all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tsp. lemon zest

2 cups light cream

Powdered icing sugar for dusting

 

Three days before making your cake: Take your dried sweet woodruff and place in your cream. Stir well. Cover and allow to sit in a warm place for 24hrs. Then transfer to fridge. After two days, strain the plant material from the cream. Line a 8 X 8 inch square pan with sheets of parchment paper. Leave a generous amount sticking out from the sides. These will be your “handles” when you take the cake out of the pan. Heat Oven to 325°F. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks, sugar and water together until creamy and the sugar is dissolved. 5 to 6 minutes. Drizzle in the melted butter into the egg yolk mixture and mix well. Add in the flour, lemon zest, salt and two tsp. of dried woodruff (crumbled into a powder) then blend until fully combined. Add the milk or cream and mix them in gently. Whisk the egg whites on high speed until the egg whites hold stiff peaks. Add the egg whites to the yolk mixture and flour mixture. Stir VERY gently with a large spoon just a dozen or so times, leaving large clumps of egg whites in the batter. Do not overmix! Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until the edges are set, the top is a warm brown, and the center is still a wee bit wobbly. 50 to 55 minutes. Leave the cake in the pan at room temperature until completely cooled. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Best left overnight. Dust with icing sugar and serve!

Bewitching  Maibowle Cream Cake for Beltane

Bewitching  Maibowle Cream Cake for Beltane

Bewitching  Maibowle Cream Cake for Beltane

 

3-4 tablespoons dried/wilted sweet woodruff

2 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

½ cup may wine

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar

Powdered sugar, for dusting cake (optional)

Whipped cream, for serving (optional)

 

Glaze

½ cup white sugar

¼ cup butter

¼ cup white wine

1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar, or as needed

 

Place dried/wilted woodruff, whipping cream into a pot and set on lowest heat. Bring just to a simmer, then allow to cool completely Strain out the leaves, then chill in the fridge. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Sift flour mixture and set aside. In a bowl, whip the infused cream on low, gradually increasing speed to medium-high as the cream thickens, until stiff peaks form. In another bowl, whisk together wine, eggs and vanilla. Gradually add egg mixture; beat until thickened (like mayonnaise) and well combined. Gradually add sugar. Gently fold half the flour mixture into the cream mixture until flour is dissolved and well combined. Repeat the process with the remaining flour mixture. Transfer batter to the prepared cake pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, 25 to 35 minutes. Combine 1/2 cup white sugar, butter, 1/4 cup white wine together in a saucepan immediately after removing the cake from the oven. Cook sugar mixture, stirring constantly, over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted 3 to 5 minutes. Spoon 1/2 the glaze over the cake while the cake is still warm. Let cool. Invert the cooled cake onto a cake plate and spoon remaining glaze over top of the cake. Allow the cake to absorb glaze, about 15 minutes. Using a metal spatula, loosen the top edges of the cake and invert onto the prepared wire rack. Let glaze set. Before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

 

Maibowle Wine

A handful of wilted woodruff leaves (preferably harvested the previous day)

1 bottle of sparkling wine

2  bottles of  white wine,

¾  cup of sugar

Juice of ½ lemon

Directions

 

Pour one bottle of wine into the punch bowl, add the sugar and lemon juice stir until it has fully dissolved in the wine. Add the woodruff and let steep for 20 – 30 minutes. Remove the woodruff and discard. Add the remaining white wine and top off with the sparkling wine.  Chill and serve with ice and strawberries.

Wood Sorrel Cream Tarts

Wood Sorrel Cream Tarts

Wood Sorrel Cream Tarts

 

2 cups of wood sorrel

1 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of sour cream

1/2 cup of full-fat Greek yogurt

1 cup of graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup of butter

1/2 tsp. ground cardamom

1/2 tsp. salt

Directions

 

Remove stems from your wood sorrel leaves. Place in a food processor with sugar, then blend thoroughly. Remove sugar and place in a bowl with sour cream & yogurt. (Save about 2 tablespoons of sugar for garnish) ​Line a sieve with cheesecloth and put in your mixture. Place the sieve in the fridge overnight -with a bowl underneath – to drain.

 

​Crust: ​Preheat oven to 350 F. ​Melt butter on low heat. Mix melted butter, ground cardamom into graham cracker crumbs. Blend well. ​Press firmly into mini-cupcakes tins to form tarts. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool.

Tart Assembly: Remove your drained wood sorrel cream from the sieve. Dollop about a tablespoon in each tart shell. Sprinkle with wood sorrel sugar. Ready to serve!

Sticky Onion Tart with Sweet Garlic, Fresh Thyme, Bay and Buttery Puff Pastry

Sticky Onion Tart with Sweet Garlic, Fresh Thyme, Bay and Buttery Puff Pastry

Sticky Onion Tart with Sweet Garlic, Fresh Thyme, Bay and Buttery Puff Pastry

 

4 medium yellow onions, ends cut off and papery skins removed

1/4 cup unsalted butter

4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed 2 tablespoons Demerara sugar (or dark brown sugar)

1/4 cup cider vinegar

8 cloves garlic (or more), peeled and cut in half

11 ounce high-quality puff pastry sheet, thawed but cold

Goat cheese

 

Peel the onions and halve across the middle. Place the butter in a 26cm non-stick ovenproof frying pan on a medium heat. Strip in the thyme leaves and add the bay, shake the pan around and get it bubbling, then add the sugar, vinegar and 100ml of water. Place the onion halves in the pan, cut side down. Peel and halve the garlic cloves and place in the gaps, then season generously with sea salt and black pepper. Cover, turn the heat down to low and leave to steam for 10 minutes to soften the onions slightly, then remove the lid and cook until – very importantly! – the liquid starts to caramelize, gently shaking the pan occasionally to stop it from sticking. Place the pastry over the onions, using a wooden spoon to push it right into the edges of the pan. Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed up (it will look quite dark, but don’t worry!). Using oven gloves to protect your hands, pop a large plate over the pan and confidently but very carefully turn out. Delicious served with goat’s cheese, a simple salad and a cold beer. Tip: Shallots, leeks and spring onions all make wonderful tarts – just make sure they’re soft and caramelized before covering with pastry. Slice into wedges and add a dollop of goat cheese to eat with the tart.

Butternut Squash Tart with Chile-Honey Drizzle

Butternut Squash Tart with Chile-Honey Drizzle

Butternut Squash Tart with Chile-Honey Drizzle

 

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, at room temperature, plus more for the pan

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Kosher salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

 

1 butternut squash (1 3/4 pounds), peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick half-moons

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage

3 tablespoons honey

Kosher salt

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs

1 1/2 cups gruyere cheese, cut into small cubes

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

 

Special equipment: a 9-inch springform pan. For the crust: Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Put the flour, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and process until thoroughly combined with no visible chunks of butter. Add the egg and pulse until the dough just starts to clump. Transfer the dough to the springform pan and press it evenly on the bottom and 1 inch up the sides. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. For the filling: Adjust an oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Toss the butternut squash slices with the melted butter, sage, 1 tablespoon honey and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Sprinkle the Parmesan and breadcrumbs evenly on the bottom of the crust, then scatter over 1/2 cup of the gruyere cubes. Lay out a single layer of butternut squash slices, breaking off pieces of squash to fill any gaps. Scatter another 1/2 cup of gruyere over the squash. Top with the rest of the butternut squash slices and then the remaining 1/2 cup gruyere. Put the springform pan on a baking sheet and bake, until the squash can be pierced easily with a knife, about 1 hour and 40 minutes to 1 hour 50 minutes. (If the crust gets too dark, cover loosely with foil.) Meanwhile, combine the vinegar, crushed red pepper and the remaining 2 tablespoons honey in a microwave-safe bowl large enough to contain it (the honey may boil over in the microwave). Microwave for 30 seconds to heat up the honey and infuse the chile flavor. Reserve. Drizzle the tart all over with the chile-infused honey and serve immediately.