Scandinavian Shrovetide Cardamom Buns With Vanilla Cream & Marzipan

 

Unlike our cousins in Catholic countries who celebrate Lent with street carnivals and fiestas, up in the frozen North we mark the beginning of Lent with what we do best: buns. Well you need something tasty to power you through day-long cross country ski trips in the mountains, non?

Light, pillowy cardamom buns filled to the brim with vanilla whipped cream and marzipan, that’s what we mark Lent with. Good marzipan makes all the difference, if you make your own then this is the perfect opportunity to show it off as Scandi shrovetide buns are so much more than the sum of their parts. Or you can buy Odense 60% from the excellent Scandi Kitchen and Odense 50% from Ocado (the percentage indicates how much almond content there is, typically marzipan in British supermarkets only has around 25% almonds, which is fine but I find it too insipid and sweet.)

The flavours of these buns are irresistible together (I’ve seen grown men of a loquacious nature rendered speechless when eating Scandi shrovetide buns. Ladies, take note.) but being something of a heathen I play around with the filling, usually opting for this classic version below, occasionally plumping for a crushed almond and vanilla custard variation as seen in the first photo above from Scandilicious Baking’.  

Puritans will invariably tut with disapproval at any messing about with the sacred Shrovetide semla (as it’s known in Sweden) or fastelavensbolle (as we call it in Norway), to which I sweetly reply: almonds, cardamom, vanilla…these are hardly indigenous ingredients to Scandinavia are they now, so please check your food fundamentalism at the door, tusen takk.

Here’s the classic recipe, hope you give them a go – I’ll certainly be eating them throughout Lent…

Fastelavensboller or semlor

MAKES 14

  • 25g fresh yeast
  • 375ml lukewarm whole milk
  • 50g butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 500g refined spelt (or plain) flour
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 medium egg beaten (plus additional beaten egg, to glaze

Filling:

  • 300ml whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 100g marzipan, or more if preferred (I use Odense 50% or higher marzipan, the more almonds in the marzipan, the better the flavour and texture)

Method

Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm milk in a bowl. Add the melted butter and stir through. Sift the flour, cardamom, sugar and salt together in a large bowl and then stir the milk mixture and one beaten egg in with a large spoon until you get a sticky dough.

Turn the dough on to a floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes until it starts to feel smooth and elastic. You may want to use a dough scraper during the early stages of kneading. Put the kneaded dough back in the mixing bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and put in a warm place to rise. Leave it for about 1-1½ hours until it has doubled in size.

Tip the dough on a floured work surface and punch once or twice to knock it back. Knead in to a log, then slice into 14 pieces of roughly equal size. Shape these in-to balls and carefully place them on some parchment paper on a large baking tray. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place to prove and double in size again (20-30 minutes).

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC fan/gas mark 6 while the buns are proving. Once they have risen, lightly glaze each bun with a little beaten egg and bake on the upper shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Allow to cool on a wire rack while you lightly whip the cream with the vanilla extract and sugar in a medium bowl. Cut the marzipan in 30-40 thin slices – I use a clean handheld cheese slice or sharp knife. Slice the buns in half and place 2-3 marzipan slices on each bottom half. Spoon or pipe a generous helping of cream on to the marzipan, carefully place the bun ‘lid’ on top and dust with icing sugar. Serve piled high on a plate, with spiced blueberry juice to accompany. Eat with messy enthusiasm!

This recipe is from ‘Scandilicious: Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking’

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Food books of 2013

As if there haven’t been enough “books of the year” lists, but I felt there were a few in this year’s batch that needed highlighting.

Happy new year to you all!

Brilliant Bread

A cracking book on bread from Great British Bake-Off finalist James Morton, an immensely likeable medical student with a penchant for baking who I hope we see more of (and not because I’m some sort of depraved quasi-cougar thankyouverymuch). The book covers everything from bread basics to the science of bread (yes!) and tempting recipes like IPA and cardamom loaf, sourdough English muffins, challah, stollen and – wait for it – panettone. For a first book that’s a fearless approach to bread baking. More please.

Brilliant Bread by James Morton (Ebury Press) 

Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation

Foodlovers revere Michael Pollan, and with good reason. He asks intelligent questions about the state of food, and in our discombobulated food system we really need more erudite voices asking those questions.  Pollan’s lecture on “Cooking as a political act” at the LSE in May was a highlight of the 2013 food calendar for me, which shows you how often I get out.

If you want to flex those little grey cells, then buy Cooked. And Pollan’s website is well worth checking out too.

Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan (Allen Lane)

Eat: The Little Book of Fast Food 

All books written by Nigel Slater are keepers, but there’s something especially tactile and wonderful about this compact, diminutive edition. The recipes are, as ever, reliable and the writing is a joy to read. While the book bills itself as little, it is in fact bursting with solid content and there is something for everyone here. Yet again Nigel reminds us that you don’t have to spend hours slaving over a hot stove to cook great food, it can be simple, quick to prepare and delicious to boot.

Eat: The Little Book of Fast Food by Nigel Slater (Fourth Estate)

Food DIY

Damn that Tim Hayward, the rogue only went and wrote the book I wish I had written. Food DIY is quite possibly my favourite book of the year, along with Smashing Plates and The Ethicurean  (see below). From Tim’s book we cooked one of the best dishes of 2013: Coq in Hock, a shimmering, succulent delight of a dish (and not because I have a fondness for all things Riesling…*hic*…) This is a book that celebrates food geekery in all its glory.  If you’ve ever been tickled by the idea of making EVERYTHING from scratch (I have, but then as you might have noticed I don’t get out that much), be it pickles, gravlaks, smoky, meaty, manly joints of dead animal and other sexy geeky foodstuffs we’ve spent too long outsourcing to restaurants and big food corporations then buy this book. As Tim writes, “Because geekery and experimentation in an enjoyable end in itself.”

Amen to that.

Food DIY by Tim Hayward (Fig Tree)

Healing Foods : Neal’s Yard Remedies

A quick gander at Amazon’s food & drink bestseller list in 2013 will tell you how demented Britain’s relationship with food is. Top sellers run the gamut of: diet/baking/diet/baking/diet/baking/diet/baking, etc., etc., what next? A baking book for dieters? The skinny baker’s book? If a publisher so much as even thinks of doing this I will stage a protest and pelt their offices with a truckload of skinny muffins, agave syrup and acres of kale.

The relentless churning out of faddy, ill-informed, pseudo-scientific diet books is depressing and shameful, we just don’t need any more Dukan/Atkins/5:2 nonsense, what we all need is an understanding of basic nutrition, how to cook a few very good, very tasty dishes, a diversity of real, affordable food such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, good fats, some meat, fish, cheese, real bread* AND – there is no way around this – we have to get off our tooshies and move more. For the love of god, we need to stop buying into these celebrity-driven diets. The reason celebs look the way they do is because they have an army of personal chefs/trainers/masseuses/facialists/designers/makeup artists to look after them. Plus, duh, there’s a little something called PHOTOSHOP.

*Rant over*

So I doff my metaphorical hat to Dorling Kindersely for publishing a series of clear, sensible and informative books on health and wellbeing from Neal’s Yard Remedies. Blissfully free of celebrity endorsement and hyperbole, these are the best health books on the market and if you are thinking of starting 2014 on a health kick avoid all the ridiculous diets you’ll read about in the coming weeks. Save your money and the yo-yo-ing of your waistline and invest in Healing Foods. You’ll learn more from this one book than you will in any other diet book published this year, nay in the last decade. Plus I can vouch for the fact that the recipes work, and taste absolutely delicious. I loved this book, and, as you’ve already surmised, that’s not something I would say about health books as a genre.

Healing Foods – Neal’s Yard Remedies (Dorling Kindersley)

* Carbohydrates are not, I repeat, NOT evil. Processed, sugar-laden, industrial manufactured carbs are most likely going to turn you into a human doughnut, but real bread, and the occasional slice of homemade cake will not. Joyless carbophobes need to get a grip.

How To Cook : Leiths School of Food & Wine

Practical, accessible and so utterly useful if you’re a novice cook and want to understand how to actually cook something, and then understand why sometimes things go wrong in the kitchen (because they do, we’ve all been there). This is the updated version of the classic, troubleshooting Leiths Bibles, of which I still have my battered and splattered editions from when I was a student at the school. The recipes in  How To Cook are foolproof thanks to being tested a gazillion times. In one word: reliable. Which is more than you can say for about 3/4 of cookbooks on the market today.

How to cook : Leiths School of Food & Wine (Quadrille)

Modern Art Desserts

This was a birthday gift from my friends Mungo and Eleonoora, who really nailed it with their choice of cookbook. Modern Art Desserts is an absolute delight to read, everything from the vivid Mondrian-cake cover photo to the step-by-step instructions on how to construct desserts inspired by Warhol, Jeff Koons, Lichtenstein, Frida Kahlo, et al. made this one of the most covetable food books on my shelves in 2013. In all honesty I can’t claim that it’s the most essential or practical cookbook you’ll ever purchase but top marks to Caitlin Freeman and Ten Speed Press for originality and whimsy, both under-rated virtues in cookbook publishing nowadays.

Modern Art Desserts by Caitlin Freeman (Ten Speed Press)

Pitt Cue Co.

Disclaimer: I tested some of the recipes in this book so forgive the obvious bias but if you love smoky, sticky, beefy, piggy, man food then Pitt Cue Co. will likely be the book for you. Everything from the bold, neon-coral cover to the stiffer-than-stiff cocktails, snacks such as smoked ox cheek on toast with pickled walnuts (their unabashed love of pickles is what sold me when I first ate at the restaurant), chipotle and maple wings, bright and colourful salads and indulgent desserts suggests that these fellas not only know their food but are bursting with love for it. The meat is glorious, yes, but there’s a surprising lightness of touch to many of the other dishes within this book.

Pitt Cue Co. The Cookbook by Tom Adams, Jamie Berger, Simon Anderson, Richard H. Turner (Mitchell Beazley)

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen

Illustrated comic/cartoon books on food: we could definitely do with more of these. Lucy Knisley’s Relish is replete with brilliant illustrations, snappy recipes, stories from her childhood and is just plain fun to read. If, like me, you like comics you’ll love this.

Relish: My life in the kitchen by Lucy Knisley (First Second) 

Smashing Plates

A strong contender for cover of the year within the food book category, Maria Elia’s Smashing Plates is a bright, sparkling jewel amongst 2013′s vintage of cookbooks. With its stark, graphic photography and clever, inventive recipes, this is the book on Greek food I’ve long been waiting for. Maria guides you through the Greek pantry and recipes like ouzo and lemon cured salmon, taramasalata and salt cod croquettes, pumpkin snail pies, wild fennel and halloumi stuffed rabbit are just some of the inspired selection within Smashing Plates that exude supreme confidence from a woman who really knows her food.

συγχαρητήρια Maria!

Smashing Plates: Greek Flavours Redefined by Maria Elia (Kyle)

The Taste of America

I have Sarah Chamberlain of TOAST to thank for showing me this book one rainy November afternoon while we were ambling through Foyles. Colman Andrews’s The Taste of America is an unexpected delight. This isn’t a recipe book per se but rather an idiosyncratic exploration of the quintessential American ingredients and dishes that reflects America’s rich culinary diversity. As a half-American who spent many happy summers in New England I found much to rejoice in this book and the drawings are really the icing on the proverbial cake, or key lime pie if you will. Superb.

The Taste of America by Colman Andrews (Phaidon)

The Ethicurean Cookbook

Much praise has already been heaped on the guys and gals at The Ethicurean, it is pretty much universally agreed to be one of the most dynamic, clever, creative hubs of delicious cooking in Britain today. Given their mantra of “eat local, celebrate native foods, live well” the seasonal focus of the cookbook makes eminent sense and I found their gentle, meandering journey through a year’s bounty of food not only inspiring but oddly calming.

This is a tome of modern British cooking at its very best, and, unlike many of its peers, I suspect The Ethicurean Cookbook will pass the test of time, inspiring readers for a good few years to come with a cornucopia of beautiful recipes that make the heart sing. I’ve bookmarked a few to try in the new year, including sweet cure mackerel with morels, spelt soda bread and horseradish; Japanese inspired trout with kelp and shiitake stock, rice, flat beans and sea kale (umami on a plate!); salsify and ogleshield gratin, because as any true caseophile will tell you, there are few greater pleasures in life than a socking great cheese gratin.

The Ethicurean Cookbook: recipes, foods and spirituous liquors, from our bounteous walled garden in the several seasons of the year (Ebury)  (try saying that three times after you’ve imbibed a few spirituous liquors…)

In sum: 2013 saw some stellar food books published. We could do with more of the kind listed above in 2014 and fewer TV/celebrity/brand/restaurant (with a few notable exceptions) led cookbooks published in the future. More narrative, better writing, clever, creative recipes, fun, whimsy, eccentricity, and yes, more comics, drawings and illustrations please. In other words, less of the bland, the boring and the predictable, and more risk-taking.

 

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EatScandi Cardamom Doughnuts

 

Cardamom Doughnuts from an EatScandi brunch

As I often say in cooking demos and classes, spices aren’t just for Christmas, they’re for baking and cooking with all year. Cardamom and sweet enriched dough go together like porridge and jam, like salt and caramel, like French toast and maple syrup, damnit. Separately they’re delicious but combine the two and you wonder why you ever kept them apart.

It defeats me why cardamom isn’t used more in yeast baking here in the UK. In Norway we always add a generous spoonful of the stuff to our classic bolledeig, or bun dough, and without that heady scent of cardamom I find buns are really bland and flat tasting. What’s the point of going to all the effort to bake something, say a cake, and then not adding good vanilla extract? Start thinking that way about cardamom and enriched doughs and you’ll soon see what I mean.

The recipe for these voluptuous cardamom doughnuts is always the most sought-after whenever we host our EatScandi brunches in north London. Truth be told these pillowy beauties are adapted from an excellent recipe in The Fabulous Baker Brothers first book, which I recipe tested a few winters ago. I’d always shied away from making doughnuts as previous attempts resulted in perfectly decent tasting buns but they weren’t as soft and fluffy as I would have liked. And given that my first experience of doughnuts as a child living in Munich was of the magnificent German krapfen, filled with astringent plum jam, it’s safe to say I wasn’t going to be settling for any old recipe off the interweb.

These are without hesitation the very best doughnuts I’ve tasted and our guests concur. The dough takes a little time to prepare so save this foray into the kitchen for the weekend, or for a day off work when you don’t fancy tackling household chores/need to vent some steam/want to seduce someone. Seriously, no one falls in love with a cook who feeds them kale. Give them homemade doughnuts and you will be immortalised in their minds as a true kitchen god/goddess.

* Normally we increase the quantities in this recipe by 50% to make enough for our brunches. This batch makes around 16 doughnuts.

Ingredients

1) Stage One:

  • 120ml lukewarm water
  • 15g fresh yeast (7g dried)
  • 120g refined spelt flour

2) Stage Two:

  • 15g fresh yeast (7g dried)
  • 125ml lukewarm milk
  • 10g vanilla salt (Halen Mon make the best one)
  • 250g refined spelt flour
  • 250g strong white flour
  • 80g golden caster sugar
  • 1.5 tsp freshly ground green cardamom
  • 6 medium egg yolks

3) Stage Three:

  • 75g good butter, softened and cut into small pieces
4) Stage 4:
  • 1 litre plain vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 1 medium bowl full of caster sugar mixed with 1 heaping teaspoon (or more) of freshly ground cardamom

Method:

Stage One

In a medium-large bowl stir together the water, yeast and flour from Stage One. Mix with a wooden spoon or a spatula until you have a thick, gloopy paste. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Keep an eye on it as the mixture really starts bubbling up if the room is quite warm. The idea of this first stage is to get the dough going before adding the sugar in Stage Two, as a lot of sugar in the dough can knock out the yeast.

Stage Two

Beat in the yeast listed in the Stage Two ingredients above into Stage One. Finely crush the vanilla salt and allow to dissolve for a minute or two in the lukewarm milk. Add this and all the remaining ingredients in Stage Two to the mixture in the bowl and knead for 10 minutes until you have a soft dough. It’s best to do this by hand as the dough is quite a tough little monster at this stage but fear not, your bingo wings will be banished and if need be just turn on some very loud music, shake your toosh and do a little dance while you pummel that dough into submission.

Stage Three

Once the dough bounces back when you poke it and looks quite smooth, start adding the pieces of softened butter, one at a time. Make sure you work in the butter slowly so that it incorporates into the dough. If you’re impatient at this stage the butter will just end up sitting on the surface of the dough like some greasy slick of, well, butter. Keep persisting and give this stage a good 5-10 minutes. Just keep thinking about those bingo wings disappearing.

Once all the butter is mixed in pop the dough back in the bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Set aside for 30 minutes to rest before you divide the dough into equal-sized balls.

Stage Four

Gently tip the dough onto a clean surface and using a sharp knife or dough scraper portion the dough into 16 even-sized balls. Clutching each ball in your hand and rolling it around inside a claw like grip on the kitchen surface means you can get a pert bun shape.

Place the balls on a tray, allowing space for each one to expand so they don’t cluster together (if they do it’s much harder to maintain the ball shape when you lift them into the fryer). Cover the doughnut balls with a damp tea towel in a warm-ish place and allow to double in size. They’ll need about 30-45 minutes depending on how warm the room is and how active the yeast is. Check that they’re ready by inserting your pinkie finger into the underneath of the ball and if the indentation doesn’t spring back the dough is fully proved and ready to go.

Heat a deep fat fryer to 160 C degrees, or heat the oil in a large saucepan using a temperature probe/thermometer to keep an eye on the heat. Only fill the pan 1/3 of the way up with oil to allow space for the doughnuts and to minimise the risk of hot fat spitting in every direction. Keep an oven glove, a lid and a long slotted spoon or spider draining spoon nearby for when you’re ready to fry the doughnuts. Prepare an assembly line with one plate lined with kitchen paper to absorb excess fat when you remove the hot doughnuts from the pan and a shallow, wide bowl with the cardamom sugar ready for tossing the doughnuts when they’re cooked.

Depending on the size of the pan lower 4-5 doughnuts into the hot oil at a time, setting a timer for 2-3 minutes and gently flipping the doughnuts over, repeating with a further 2-3 minutes cooking before removing from the pan. They should look golden-caramel. Too dark and they’ll taste across, too pale and they’ll be undercooked. Practice makes perfect, so don’t despair if the first couple of doughnuts aren’t quite right, you’ll get there.

Drain the excess oil from the doughnuts on the kitchen paper, allow to cool for a moment before tossing in cardamom sugar and serving warm. You can fill them with jam, I like a thick, tart raspberry jam or plum jam heavy on the fruit, less so on the sugar. Or leave them plain as we do.

That’s it, you’ve now made doughnuts, pat yourself on the back and scoff away!

* Seasonal variations: we made a gingerbread sugar for these doughnuts around Christmas time which was immensely popular. Just substitute the cardamom with a mix of nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, clove, some cardamom, along with a little black pepper for a true Scandi pepperkake effect. Vanilla sugar is also excellent and you can do interesting citrus variations using lemon and/or orange/clementine zest too.

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Scandilicious Baking Publication Day | Win Signed Copies!

Hello there!

I can’t quite believe publication day for Scandilicious Baking is finally here, am still pinching myself that the second book was commissioned and that I’ve had the good fortune to work with such a brilliant publisher at Saltyard Books – many thanks to Elizabeth Hallett, Bryony Nowell, Tara Fisher, Annie Rigg, Eleni Lawrence and the whole team of ace people who made the book what it is. I can only take credit for the recipes, they all worked incredibly hard to put the book together and I hope they’ll be as proud of it as I am. I also have Dan Lepard and Lorraine Pascale to thank for so kindly endorsing Scandilicious Baking.

If you fancy a sneaky preview then recipes have already been featured in the Mail on Sunday  and are in today’s Times. There is a recipe extract in this month’s Marie Claire magazine and delicious. magazine made it their Book of the Month for August with a recipe for my blueberry and elderflower upside down cake for you to try.

I hope you enjoy baking from the book as much as I enjoyed recipe testing it and the pages of your copy are splattered with flecks of flour, sprinkles of sugar and good butter in years to come. As part of the book’s launch I have five signed copies to give away to UK readers over on the Scandilicious Facebook page so if you fancy trying your luck then click here

Thanks for tuning in, if you live in London and would like to sample real Scandinavian cooking then do book a place (or two) and EatScandi supper and brunch club :)

Right, enough shameless self-promotion. Thanks for tuning in!

Sig x

* Scandilicious Baking is available from Amazon, Waterstones and independent bookshops*

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Scandi Summer Beauty & Food Event | 28th June 2012

 

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Win a copy of Scandilicious Baking with Scandinavian Cookery Classes!

Scandilicious Baking (Saltyard Books, photography by Tara Fischer)

*Fancy winning a signed copy of my forthcoming book Scandilicious Baking? (RRP £25)*

Book yourself in for a Scandinavian baking masterclass below and you could win a copy of the book, getting a sneak peek at Scandi baking delights before the book is officially published on July 5th. The winner will be chosen at random and spaces are limited so pip pip, be quick!

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Cardamom Twists

Cardamom Twist

This week started with a baking spree and ended with a baking spree. I’ve been doling out cinnamon buns and cardamom twists to spread the carb love and show how great Scandinavian baking really is. We have some of the best buns in the world (pun intended, harhar!) so I reckon it’s about time the world snapped out of its love affair with cupcakes and embraced spicy baked buns.

These cardamom twists are a riff on the more familiar cinnamon bun. They look pretty and are a doddle to make. I had some spelt flour sent from Sharpham Park  so I simply used it to great effect in this recipe. You can of course use regular wheat flour, but I find spelt really digestible and the dough is always so pillowy and beautiful that I stick with spelt for bun baking, and bread baking in general. I’ll be serving these and lots more Scandi baked treats at my Eat Scandi Brunches this spring and look forward to hearing what diners think.

Hope you give these a go, and if you do let me know how you get on :-)

Happy baking,

Sig x

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Eat Scandi! Brunch & Supper Menus For Spring 2012

Gravlaks On Peter's Yard Crispbread (photo courtesy of Debi Treloar)

With spring just around the corner I’ll be starting a series of Scandinavian Smörgåsbords in London, thanks to the fabulous @chuchibum who has kindly lent me her place for each event. There will be two brunches and two suppers starting in mid-March. The idea is I’ll be cooking from my book Secrets Of Scandinavian Cooking…Scandilicious sourcing food from the best suppliers and each event will feature a selection of my favourite Scandi dishes. To tempt you along, I’ve included the draft menus here, with one or two minor tweaks yet to come.

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Sunday Brunch: Ricotta Hotcakes With Strawberry Freezer Jam & Greek Yoghurt (Gluten-Free Recipe)

Ricotta Hotcakes

It’s snowing in London and it’s the first Sunday I’ve had all year to enjoy a proper Sunday brunch – Hallelujah! Sadly it’s not quite enough snow to bust out the cross-country skis from the attic which is a pity, but still, London looks and feels very fresh and wintery today.

These little ricotta hotcakes are inspired by Australian chef and food writer Bill Granger who makes a mean hotcake. The ricotta is a delicious one from Laverstoke Park Farm made with buffalo milk which Niamh Shields of Eat Like A Girl recommended and I’ve completely fallen in love with (the ricotta I mean, not Niamh. Sorry hon!)

With a high quotient of ricotta these hotcakes are a high-protein, low(ish) carb treat for Sunday morning, they’re a cinch to make and endlessly versatile. I’ve been tinkering with gluten-free recipes for a while now so decided to add this to the “free-from” portfolio, using gluten-free flour in this recipe. You can of course adapt the hotcakes to your own needs – next time I’m thinking of using rye flour for a change. Finely crushed oats would also be delicious I imagine, but use what you’ve got and what you like.

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Blood Orange Cake (gluten-free)

A hearty and happy new year to you all. I’ve started the year as I intend to carry on – having my cake and eating it. You won’t find any self-abnegation in the Johansen household and as January sees the bodacious blood orange in its seasonal prime, I stock up on them daily (sometimes twice a day) from Andreas Fruit & Vegetables – the best greengrocer in London who also delivers to my local supermarket in Bloomsbury. I eat these crimson babies drizzled with pomegranate molasses on Greek Yoghurt most mornings throughout the new year and yesterday used a squirt of blood orange in a little larder cake rustled up from a few odds and ends lurking in the fridge and cupboards.

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