Tag Archive for 'maple syrup'

Pumpkin, Maple and Walnut Bread

Pumpkin has entered center stage in my kitchen over the past few weeks. I love it in in all shapes and forms, in soups, salads, sides, mains and especially deserts. I have been trying out lots of recipes recently and this pumpkin bread is one of my newest inventions. I had some roasted pumpkin left over from a major Sunday dinner experiment – a whole stuffed and roasted pumpkin. I filled a rather big white (also called “Ghost” or “Casper”) pumpkin with rice, Moroccan spices, chickpeas and apricots and roasted it for 2 hours. As this was an experiment, I had no clue how much time everything would take to cook, which led to an overcooked pumpkin and undercooked stuffing. Aside from that, the pumpkin also ruptured and all the lovely juices escaped. Not good! I salvaged the whole thing by cooking the stuffing with some of the pumpkin and more chicken stock and turned it into a Moroccan pumpkin risotto. Unusual, not overly attractive, but delicious nonetheless. My kids warned me however to not post this one on my blog, which I reckon was good advice.

The left-over pumpkin was delicious, beautiful dark orange in color and very sweet. Perfect for pumpkin bread. I added some lovely spices to it and sweetened it with maple syrup. It turned out delicious and I can’t wait to make it again. It’s great for breakfast with maple sweetened yogurt or afternoon tea with a dollop of whipped cream.

Note: I made this recipe again with roasted butternut squash. The squash was much moister than the pumpkin I used initially and the bread turned out very “soggy”. My advice would be to either drain the roasted pumpkin/squash over a towel-lined colander for an hour or to use less of it. Another option is to use raw grated pumpkin (a food processor does the trick) the same way you use carrots in a carrot cake. I used this method successfully with 3 cups of raw grated pumpkin. Good luck!

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Spelt and Buckwheat Banana Muffins

I know what you’re going to think. “Who needs another banana muffin recipe?” There are “only” about 304,000 results when you do a search on google. And I have tried many of them on my decade long quest to come up with the most delicious, healthy, light on the inside, crisp on the outside, sweet but not too sweet, banana muffin. It has to be whole grain and believe me, I have tried many variations. Whole wheat, spelt, buckwheat, barley, quinoa, maple syrup, brown sugar, agave syrup, canola oil, coconut oil, olive oil, butter, apple sauce, eggs, no eggs, you name it. You see, my middle son, Frederick, loves banana muffins and has the sweetest smile on his face when he finds a batch in the kitchen. He would never eat a banana in any other state, after all the only fruit he likes is apple. But then again, he doesn’t appreciate those in muffins. He loves all of my experiments around the banana muffin, so when I found some sad looking bananas yesterday, I gave it another go. They turned out super delicious and therefore I wanted to share this recipe with you.  But be careful, after the great muffin onslaught in the afternoon, no one was hungry for dinner yesterday and for once we have lots of left-overs…

This recipe is equally suitable for banana bread. Just lightly grease a loaf pan, pour in all of the batter and bake at 180C (350 F) for 50 minutes to an hour or until toothpick comes out clean. 

Just a note, I usually use only maple syrup as a sweetener for my muffins and prefer organic, cold pressed canola oil to butter, but since I don’t have much of either at hand at the moment, I decided to use brown sugar and a mixture of butter and canola oil instead. If I would be in the States right now, I would use 1/2 cup of maple syrup instead of the sugar and 1/3 of a cup of canola oil plus 1/3 of a cup of apple sauce. Because of the extra liquid, I’d reduce the buttermilk to 1/4 of a cup. So depending on the inside of you cupboard, you can use whatever you prefer or have most of.

Makes 12 (+1)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 5 tablespoons (70g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

Preheat oven to 180 C (350F). Line a 12-cup muffin tray with paper liners. I always have a bit too much batter and usually need a ramekin for an extra muffin.

Sift together flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix melted butter, oil, eggs, sugar, buttermilk and vanilla. Add mashed banana.

Pour wet ingredients into flour bowl and stir in gently, careful not to overmix as that will make the muffins too dense. Fold in walnuts and divide batter into muffin cups.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from muffin tin and let cool on wire rack.

Spelt Cinnamon Rolls

It’s almost time to go on holiday, but before I can go, I promised to post the recipes and a few picture of the May/June cooking classes. Not really knowing what to expect initially, I really enjoyed the experience, except on the day when just before class, I jammed the most gigantic splinter in my index finger by throwing a stick for my dog. It took 3 lidocaine injections before the doctor could pull it out, but thankfully that kept my finger numb for the rest of the morning and we went ahead and cooked.

My family loved all this new food on the dinner table almost every night. Once my husband looked in the pot just before dinner time and said disappointedly “Oh, we have had this before”. So yes, they got pretty spoiled. The experiments for the “sweet delights without the guilt” were especially popular, although quite a few ideas got thrown out because they tasted just a bit too healthy. Not so the cinnamon rolls, which need a chunk of butter and plenty of brown sugar to go with. Not really sure what to expect, when we took them out of the oven, we took one bite and oh what bliss. The flavor and texture turned out just amazing, if I say so myself. Since we already ate about 3 different types of cakes that day, I froze half of the rolls. I have been counting the days until I can take them out again and today’s the day. I’ll  let them defrost on the counter over night, stick them in the oven for 25 minutes in the morning and more bliss:-) Check them out, I even added a few pictures documenting the process. Sorry about the poor photo quality, the new camera is on it’s way!

These can be filled with any filling of your choice. Dried cranberries or cherries are nice, as are walnuts, but pecans with maple syrup got to be my favorite.

To avoid having to get up at 5 am for the rolls to be ready at breakfast time, make the dough the day ahead, fill it, roll it up, cut it into rounds and place in baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and stick in the fridge overnight (freezer is fine too, they’ll stay good for about 1 month- but need about 12 hours defrosting on the counter overnight). In the morning, remove wrap, brush rolls with remaining butter and sugar and bake. Yummie!

For the dough:

  • 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 cups whole spelt flour
  • 2 cups white spelt flour plus a little extra if dough is too sticky

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, orange juice and sugar.  Add the yeast and stir to combine.  Leave for 5 minutes until bubbles appear on the surface. (If nothing happens, start with a new package of yeast.) Mix in yogurt, egg and oil. Add the salt, oats, and one cup of the flour.  Gradually stir in the remaining flour until the dough begins to form and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead, adding a little more flour if dough is too sticky. Once you have a smooth dough, place is in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until almost doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours).

When you are ready to shape the rolls, mix the sugar, cinnamon, maple syrup and salt together in a small mixing bowl and set aside.  Lightly grease a 9 by 13 inch baking dish or cake pan and set aside.

Punch down the dough, and roll out, on a lightly floured surface, into a large rectangle, 18 to 20 inches long. Spread about 3/4 of the melted butter over the dough, leaving one long edge uncovered so that your roll will stick together later.  Then, drizzle the sugar/maple mixture over the butter and spread evenly. Finally, sprinkle with nuts.

Roll the dough lengthwise (so that you end up with 18-20 inch roll), starting with the side that has the filling right up to the edge.  Press the uncovered edge down to seal the roll so that the rolls will not come apart when you cut them.  Cut the cinnamon rolls by looping a piece of dental floss underneath the dough, criss-crossing the ends over the top, and pulling tight to slice through the dough, or use a sharp knife.  This recipe will make about 15 large and thick cinnamon rolls, but you can also cut smaller rolls, if you prefer. Transfer each sliced roll to the greased baking pan, placing them cut side down. Spread them out evenly in the pan, cover, and let rise for about 1 hour.

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180C).  Once the rolls have risen, brush the tops with the remaining melted butter, and drizzle with maple syrup.  Bake for about 25 minutes.

Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.