burnt toast

Tag: walnuts

Berry Bircher Muesli with Toasted Walnuts

img_7926Oh hey kids. Ready for some super delicious, comforting breakfast fare? Then read right on. A well-known Swiss staple, folks eat it in all kinds of combinations at all times of day, knowing that besides Rösti and Fondue, this too will give them enough stamina to wrestle a herd of cows any day. The exciting lives we lead, people.

In all honesty, and I do say this a lot, this might be my favourite version ever. I’ve had my fair share over the years and can give you a few pointers of what I think should be included (or excluded):

  •  Always add a grated apple. And try to let it sit overnight. It sort of melts into the mixture by the following day, and forms a lovely flavour base together with the dates.
  • Only add fresh fruit when ready to serve, or else make a compote or jam. I hate fresh fruit going mushy, but I do like the flavour they add. To intensify this flavour, compote is the way to go.
  •  If adding nuts, roast them and do so at the end as well. Soggy blandness is never the answer.
  •  Don’t go crazy on the sweetener at the beginning. The rest of the ingredients will omit their own share of sweetness during the resting period, so let them do that first. You can always add more later.
  • Stick to only a small number of different fruit, about 2-4, but don’t add anything ridiculous like kiwi fruit or pineapple. This isn’t a fruit party.
  • And last but not least, add that pinch of salt, to everything, always. It makes it taste so much better.

 

Berry Bircher Muesli with toasted Walnuts

Serves 4 – This’ll keep nicely in the fridge for a few days. Just give it a good stir when you get it out.

150g instant oats

350 ml full fat milk

350g plain yoghurt

2 Tbsp cream or sour cream (optional)

1 Tbsp maple syrup or honey

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 pinch of salt

1 large apple, grated (with skin on)

6 dates, quartered and chopped into small pieces

20g (small handful) of cranberries, roughly chopped

 

200g berries, I used blueberries and strawberries, chopped if needed

2Tbsp raw sugar

¼ tsp vanilla essence

 

100g walnuts

1-2 Tbsp maple syrup or honey

sprinkling of salt

 

more berries, to serve

 

This is best made the day before, or at least two hours in advance, so plan accordingly.

Get a big container that comes with a lid and combine the oats, milk, yoghurt and cream in it. Give it a good stir, then add the maple syrup, cinnamon and salt, as well as the apple, dates and cranberries. One last stir, then pop the lid on and transfer to the fridge.

In the meantime, combine the berries with the sugar and the vanilla in a small pan. Cook over low heat until it starts to thicken into a delicious smelling, syrupy fruit jam. Remove from the heat and pour into a little jar. Let it cool at room temperature before screwing on a lid and packing it into the fridge to join his oat friend.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper, and add the whole walnuts, spacing them out. Bake for about 5 minutes, then drizzle over the maple syrup and sprinkle over the salt. Give it all a good stir, then return to the oven for about 10 more minutes – you might need less, so keep your eyes peeled. The nuts are good when they have taken on a slightly darker colour, and the maple syrup has more or less “evaporated”. Remove from the oven and cool. Chop into small pieces and transfer to another jar.

A couple of hours or even a day later, Take out your oats. Give them another stir before adding the berry jam and about half of the nuts and most of the fresh berries. Gently combine them so that you can still see a few streaks of purple from the berry jam. Top with the remaining nuts and whatever berries remain. Eat.

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Yes, I really love using this bowl. And no, unless you gift me with a better option, I won’t stop using it in my shoots.

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Caramel and Walnut Cookies

caramel and walnut cookie

If I were to ask you what your favourite type of cookie was, would you belong in group a.) Nothing too soft, no oats or other wannabe health food ingredients, no currants, and preferably with Lindt chocolate chunks or toasted walnuts. b.) Aaaaaaaaah anything? or c.) I don’t eat cookies unless they’re made from organic triple-distilled unicorn butter. I’d say I (obviously) belong to the a-team, although I’d admittedly really appreciate you as a human if you were from group c, because you’re funny and probably will never know.

This cookie is the leader of the a-team. The one with the I’m-so-cool-I’m-not-even-trying attitude, which they can totally pull off because they’re friggin awesome to hang out with. Everyone can do with one of those on their team. They’re good value. And might I also say delicious. The brown sugar does a wonderful job at providing a depthy caramel flavour, while the walnuts add a further dynamic with their toasty vibes. These cookies are even better and crunchier the next day, so keep a few to the side.

 

Caramel and Walnut Cookies

Adapted from orangette

Makes around 30

 

200g unsalted butter, at room temperature

250g / 1 ¼ cups brown sugar

1 large egg

2 tsp vanilla essence

250g / 1 ¾ cups plain flour

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

100g / 1 cup finely chopped walnuts

 

Preheat the oven to 190°C and line two baking trays with baking paper. In a medium bowl, whisk the butter and sugar with a hand-held mixer until well combined. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to incorporate. Throw in the flour, baking soda and salt, and mix until it all comes together. Finally, add the walnuts. Once they’re more or less evenly distributed, roll heaped tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and flatten them with your fingers to about 1 cm thickness on the baking sheet, making sure they have a 5cm gap between each other. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned. Carefully transfer them to a wire rack or plate to cool while repeating the same process with the rest of the dough.

Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.

More chocolaty than chocolate

chocolate brownie

Ever since I can remember, I have been a worshipper of the brownie. The reason for this, as it is for many things when you are small, was because it was a special occasion thing. So from an early age, I knew. I knew what a good brownie was. It was heaven it was. It was chocolaty and delicious. This object of desire should be chewy and dense. If it needed icing someone was obviously trying to hide its lack of character. A perfect brownie must contain walnuts, as they offset its fudgy texture and cuts through the richness. Those children’s birthday buffet-style lumps of sugary brown foam, now they didn’t deserve to be called brownies.

I took it upon me to make an end to the disappointment, and succeeded. Or at least I thought so, until I stumbled upon something so very much better.

A brownie more chocolatey than chocolate. The perfect balance of fudge, chocolate chip and walnut crunch. It is beautiful. It is intense. It is the missing part of the puzzle. You will want to take it out to dinner, introduce it to your parents, and have its babies.

chocolate crumbs

Eat responsibly.

Best Brownies, Ever

This recipe is adapted from this lovely place. Check it out sometime.

250g dark chocolate

250g unsalted butter

300g caster sugar

3 eggs

60g plain flour

60g good quality cocoa powder

½ tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla essence

100g walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 24cm x 24cm baking tin with baking paper.

Now to end up with the perfect fudgy consistency, here a little trick. Or rather a big square ice-filled trick. Get a baking tray bigger than the one you’re using, and fill it with 2cm of cold water, and as many ice cubes as you can find. This will stop the brownies cooking any further.

Melt the butter and 200g of the chocolate in a large saucepan (this is my way of using as few dishes as possible. You’ll see how soon). Remove from heat. Stir in sugar. In a jug, whisk eggs with a fork, then slowly incorporate into the chocolate mixture. Stir in the flour, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla, then add the remaining 50g of chocolate, which you have finely chopped, and the walnuts. Give it a nice good stir and then pour into the prepared tin. Bake for 35 minutes, but start checking at 30, because the last thing you want is a cakey brownie. When tested with a toothpick, it should come out sticky, but not coated with raw mixture. Take the tin out and place it into the prepared water bath. Leave them to cool for about an hour before cutting them into squares. Little sqares. That way you can have two.

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