Bring sunshine to your SS18 baking repertoire with spice and citrus, saffron colours and golden grains…
Saffron semolina pudding with pomegranate syrup
Have ready 100g semolina. Grind 10-15 saffron filaments and infuse with 1 tbsp boiling water. Place the semolina in a nonstick pan with 75g white caster sugar. Pour in 1 x 567ml carton full cream milk and whisk until smooth. Add the saffron with its liquid and 2 thick strips of lemon zest and gently bring to the boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon: it will quickly thicken to a custard-like consistency. Give it a whisk and continue simmering over a very low heat for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, until well thickened (similar to polenta). Transfer to a bowl, discarding the zest, cover the surface with clingfilm and leave to cool. Transfer to a food processor and whiz until smooth and creamy. Spoon into a large bowl and fold in 150ml extra-thick double cream (or use Greek yoghurt if wished). Serve in individual bowls or one large one. Cover and chill for up to a day. Finish with a little pomegranate molasses drizzled over and a few pomegranate seeds.
FOR A CHOCOLATE VERSION
Omit the saffron and replace with 100g melted dark chocolate flavoured with orange. Use orange zest instead of lemon and omit the pomegranate toppings. Finish with a dollop of thick yoghurt, shaved dark chocolate and a sprinkle of orange zest.
Savoury cornbread loaf
MAKES 1 x 22CM LOAF
15g unsalted butter plus extra for the tin
1 small onion peeled and roughly chopped
125g drained tinned sweetcorn
sea salt and black pepper
125g cornmeal or polenta
140g self-raising flour sifted
15g golden caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder sifted
2 medium eggs
200ml whole milk
1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and butter a loaf tin about 22cm long and 1.3 litre capacity or equivalent. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for several minutes until softened without colouring, then add the sweetcorn and fry for a little longer, seasoning the mixture.
2. Combine the cornmeal or polenta, flour, sugar, baking powder and a teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk, then stir in the fried onions and sweetcorn. Tip the wet ingredients into the dry ones and loosely combine, leaving the mixture on the lumpy side (similar to when making muffins).
3. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and crusty on the surface and a skewer inserted at the centre comes out clean. Run a knife around the outside and turn on to a wire rack to cool. Keeps well for several days in an airtight container. Great as a breakfast bread with ham or bacon.
Spiced lemon traybake with pine nuts
MAKES 1 X 23CM TRAY
a little groundnut oil for the tin
140g ground almonds
75g fresh white breadcrumbs
150g golden caster sugar
1½ tsp baking powder sifted
1 tsp ground turmeric sifted
50g pine nuts
5 large eggs
110ml groundnut oil
110ml extra virgin olive oil
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1. Preheat the oven to 210C/190C fan/gas 6½ and brush a 23cm square baking tin or equivalent (for example, a brownie tin) with oil and line if wished. Combine the ground almonds, breadcrumbs, 130g of the caster sugar, baking powder, turmeric and half the pine nuts in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs thoroughly using a wooden spoon, then the two oils, and stir in the lemon zest.
2. Transfer the mixture to the tin and smooth the surface. Scatter over the remaining pine nuts and the remaining sugar and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cake is golden and a skewer inserted at the centre comes out clean. Run a knife around the edges and leave to cool before cutting into squares. It will keep loosely covered for a couple of days.
One-bowl orange-scented syrup cake
MAKES 1 x 20CM CAKE
180g unsalted butter softened and diced plus extra for the tin
200g golden caster sugar
3 large eggs
finely grated zest and juice of 2 small oranges
130g ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder sifted
FOR THE SYRUP
finely grated zest of 1 small orange
100ml smooth orange juice
40g golden caster sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Butter a loose-bottomed 20cm cake tin at least 5cm deep. Place all the ingredients for the cake in the bowl of a food processor and cream together: the mixture should be creamy but still appear grainy. Transfer to the tin, smoothing the surface with a spoon, and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden, risen and firm, and shrinking from the sides. A skewer inserted at the centre should come out clean.
2. While the cake is baking, place the syrup ingredients in a small pan, bring to a simmer,
reduce the heat and leave to bubble gently for 5 minutes, then set aside. Once the cake is out of the oven, drizzle the syrup evenly over the top, then run a knife around the sides and leave to cool before removing from the tin. The cake will keep for several days in an airtight container. Perfect on any cake occasion and also as a pudding with a spoonful of crème fraîche on the side.
Little almondy buns with raspberry topping
40g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g golden caster sugar
1 medium egg
125ml whole milk
40ml groundnut or vegetable oil
a few drops of almond extract
1 scant tbsp freeze-dried raspberry powder
icing sugar for dusting (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and arrange 12 fairy-cake paper cases inside fairy-cake tins. Sift the flour and baking powder into a medium bowl and stir in the sugar and semolina. Whisk the egg, milk, oil and almond extract in another medium bowl. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ones and whisk to a smooth lump-free batter. Transfer this to a jug and fill the paper cases by half.
2. Dust the raspberry powder over the cakes using a sieve so they are well coated. Now use the tip of a teaspoon to gently swirl some of the powder into the top of the mixture, creating a mottled effect. Bake for 15 minutes or until firm at the centre. Leave to cool and then dust with a little icing sugar, if wished.
Easy lemony courgette muffins
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and arrange 8 paper muffin cases (or use squares of baking paper) inside a muffin tray. In a large bowl combine 225g plain flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 100g golden caster sugar and ⅓ tsp ground cinnamon. Stir to mix. In a medium bowl whisk 200ml full-fat milk, 1 medium egg, 75g melted unsalted butter and the finely grated zest of 1 lemon. Stir in 125g coarsely grated courgette and 75g raisins. Tip the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and loosely combine – the mixture should look wet and slightly lumpy. Spoon it into the paper cases, filling them by two-thirds. Sprinkle over a little more sugar and cinnamon and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and crusty. Serve the muffins warm on their own or with butter and jam for spreading.
Recipes by Annie Bell. Food styling by Clare Lewis. Styling by Sue Radcliffe.