It’s a Winnie the Pooh time of year again, which means pretty much any time is the time for a little something, so long as that something includes some honey! Knowing this, I made sure to stock up on honey this week, because come Winnie the Pooh Day, we’ll be having honey everything. For human children though, jars of honey don’t seem to be sufficient picnic food, so I’m adding a few delicious honey-based recipes to our honey – repertoire.
These honey dough balls are traditionally an Italian recipe, but I’m sure they won’t mind sharing it with Winnie the Pooh, because really, dough balls smothered in honey? Pooh’d love it. I did consider drizzling condensed milk over – Pooh’s other favourite – but that’s just too much sweet for me.
“Pooh always liked a little something at eleven o’clock in the morning, and he was very glad to see Rabbit getting out the plates and mugs; and when Rabbit said, ‘Honey or condensed milk with your bread?’ he was so excited that he said, ‘Both,’ and then, so as not to seem greedy, he added, ‘But don’t bother about the bread, please.”
These little blissful bites are sticky and crunchy and chewy at the same time. As soon as the honey is poured they’ll still be warm but very sticky. If you leave them to cool the honey will harden a little, making them less messy to eat. Skewer the honey dough balls with fondue sticks, and tuck in. (I think these would be awesome with vanilla ice cream too, but it’s a bit cold to test that right now!)
Isn’t it funny that the bear likes honey.
Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz.
I wonder why he does.
~ Winnie the Pooh
- 200g water (50g more if you're using organic flour)
- 70g vegetable oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 340g all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 170g honey
- 85g sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Heat the oven to 400F/200C
- In the Thermomix®, add the water, oil and salt.
- Bring to boil 4mins/Varoma/Speed 2/No MC
- Open the lid and add the flour to the side (so it doesn't get stuck on the blades)
- Mix for 1mins/Speed 1
- Add two eggs through the lid
- Mix for 2mins/speed 2
- Scoop out the dough about ½ a teaspoon at a time, making balls in the palm of your hands.
- Lay them out on a tray. They don't rise, so you don't have to worry too much about extra space.
- Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, depending on your oven. (My oven burns really hot at the top, and much cooler at the bottom, so after 10 minutes I turned it all out into a glass dish and baked the other side)
- Set aside to cool in a heat proof dish
- In a clean Thermomix® bowl, add the honey, sugar and cinnamon
- Boil 5 minutes/Varoma/Speed2
- Pour the hot sugar syrup over the dough balls, using a spoon to make sure it's all coated.
- They are very sticky, but if you leave them to cool the honey mixture will harden. It's still sticky, but easier to eat.
Well, that’s a mouth full, isn’t it? And for those who don’t know, don’t worry – no bunnies are harmed in the making of this South African Lamb Bunny Chow curry. Why it’s called a bunnychow I couldn’t tell you, but since it’s #NationaCurryWeek, I wanted to share a delicious curry recipe with you, made with succulent, tender Welsh lamb.
When I decided I was going to make a bunny chow for my #NationalCurryWeek contribution, I Googled Bunny chow recipes, and one of the first that came to my attention was this one, from my countryman Jeanne from Cooksister, on whose blog you can also read all about the origins and intricacies of this street food dish, while Lavender & Lovage has a different origin story with her chicken bunny recipe here.
One thing I know for sure about curries is that everyone’s tastes differ, even within our own family, so I’ve made a few adaptations, and Thermified the recipe too.
I would definitely recommend that you start this dish off by making your own Garam Masala. I think a fresh batch makes all the difference. Adjust the curry depending on how hot you like it – I feed two small children, so we don’t make it hot at all. You can even add chillies.
Traditionally you would use a square unsliced bread for the ‘bowl’, but we use whatever bread we have. In the photos we’ve used French bread sticks for smaller meals, and individual giant rolls for bigger meals. I don’t think the bread matters too much, in reality.
If memory serves, you can make a bunny with chicken, lamb, pork or rabbit, as well as beans or root vegetables.
- 10g ginger
- 10g garlic
- 1 medium onion
- 15g vegetable oil
- 5 - 20g curry powder, depending on how hot you like it
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 4 green cardamom pods, seeded
- 5g ground turmeric
- 200g water
- 1x400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 3-4 potatoes (1 per person, basically)
- 1kg lamb, cubed
- 15g Garam Masala
- a small loaf of bread per 2 people
- Fresh coriander
- Lightly brown lamb on the hob if you like
- Dice the lamb and the potatoes
- Add garlic and ginger to the Thermomix® bowl 10 seconds/ speed 5
- Add onion 5 seconds/speed 4
- Add 15g vegetable oil and sauté 3 mins/90C/speed 2
- Add the curry powder, cinnamon, cardamom pods, and turmeric and saute for a further 1 min/90C/speed 2
- Add tomato, water and potatoes and cook for 20 mins/Varoma/REVERSE speed 2
- Add lamb and garam masala and cook for a further 10 mins/100C/ REVERSE speed 2
- While the curry is cooking, cut the bread in half, and scoop out the soft centre
- Butter it if you want to - this is contestable, some of our family swear by it, some say it's sacrilege
- When the curry is cooked, taste and season if required
- Scoop the curry into the hollowed out bread, scatter fresh coriander, and replace the bread on top
- Serve while still warm
The Welsh Lamb in this Lamb Bunny Chow was provided to me as part of a promotion to promote Welsh Lamb
For Garam Masala, I’ve discovered, there are about as many recipes as their are people making it. There isn’t one authentic, or one original recipe, but rather it seems to be a matter of personal choice.
For a long time I would say that I didn’t like curries. I think this was because every curry I ever had from a takeaway was just an overkill of hot and I didn’t find that very pleasant. It was only when a friend served me a curry she made that I realised that there was a world of flavour out there that I knew very little about. Over the recent years I’ve learned to enjoy curries – but only those I make, so that I manage the heat!
Garam Masala is the foundation for many North Indian and South Asian dishes, but I’ve also learned that it can add amazing flavour to any meat dish without specifically making it a curry. Garam Masala actually means ‘warm spices’ and that’s precisely what these spices do – they add a warm depth of flavour to the meal.
As with all spices, if you’re able to blend it fresh when you need it, the flavours are stronger and richer, but I make a small amount at a time so that I make a fresh batch every month or so. You can freeze this and take it out as you need it, or just store in an airtight container.
- 1 Whole nutmeg
- 10 Whole cloves
- 1 Cassia Stick (sold as cinnamon sticks in supermarkets)
- 1 tsp Black Peppercorns
- 2 tbs Coriander seeds
- 1 tbs Cumin seeds
- 1 tbs Fennel seeds
- 1 tbs Cardamom pods (about 6 pods)
- 1 tsp Cayenne pepper (add more if you prefer a hotter spice, or substitute for dried chillies)
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- If you're using a Thermomix®, you can add all the ingredients to the bowl and whizz at speed 10 / 20 seconds. Check inside to confirm, but everything should be a fine powder.
- If you're not using a Thermomix® or similar high powered blender, add the first four ingredients, and blend for 30 seconds or until broken into pieces. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend for a further 30 - 60 seconds depending on your blender, until all the spices are crushed.
- Store in an airtight container and use within a month for the best flavours.
I bought pears a few weeks ago thinking my girls would eat them, but they were hard, and stayed hard, till they started looking beyond their best, so I decided to make a baked pudding with them. I have been trying to use my Varoma more, so thought a steamed pudding would be nice too, specially since this ‘summer’ is hiding behind thick rain clouds today.
I have no idea how you would steam a pudding on the stove top, but if you do, I’m sure this will be easy to make even without a Thermomix®.
I also think the flavours in this can easily be adapted – adding cloves, raisins, cardamom as you like. And I like to serve this with home made clotted cream or ice cream.
- 2 pears, cored and chopped in rough cubes
- 25g butter
- 20g sugar
- teaspoon cinnamon or all-spice
- juice of one orange
- 125g butter
- 110g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 130g self-raising flour
- zest from 1 orange
- Chop pears into cubes and place in the Thermomix® bowl.
- Add butter, sugar and spices and orange juice and cook 5 mins/ Varoma Temp/Speed 1
- Spoon into rammekins or heat-proof dishes
- In the Thermomix®, whisk the butter and sugar together for 50 seconds/speed 4
- Add the eggs, self raising flour and zest and beat together for 30 seconds/speed 4
- Spoon into rammekins, above the fruit
- Place the rammekins into bottom 'shelf' of the Varoma and put the lid on
- Add water up to the 1l mark in the bowl, place the Varoma on top and steam for 25 mins/Varoma Temp/Speed 3
- Turn upside down onto a serving dish and serve with clotted cream or icecream
It’s nutella and banana. Do you need any more convincing? I have a banana bread recipe that I love and use often, but sometime a little something different doesn’t hurt!
I would recommend using deeper muffin pans than the ones I used for these, as being able to cover the nutella completely is a bit more ideal, but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t.
Leaving the chocolate exposed will give it a crunch top layer, covering it will give you more oozy, yummy chocolatey goodness.
These are really delicious, moist and tasty. I hope you enjoy them too!
- 180g self raising flour
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 100g sugar
- 80g oil (not olive)
- 2 eggs
- 2 bananas
- 100g milk
- 120g Nutella
- Preheat oven to 180C
- Prepare your muffin pans
- Add all the ingredients except Nutella and mix at speed 5 for 10 - 15 seconds to make sure it's all blended.
- Spoon into muffin cases, and drop a little less than a full tablespoon of Nutella into each muffin case.
- Bake for 30 minutes to 45 mins, sticking a skewer in every 10 minutes after 20 minutes till it comes out clean.The size of your muffin tray is going to determine how long these takes, hence the variable time.
- Remove from muffin trays onto a wire rack, and leave to cool.
I enjoy my sourdough. I like sourdough bread. I feed my sourdough every day, like a good parent. But sometimes, I just don’t fancy a straight up sourdough bread.
One thing I really love is cinnamon. I have about 8 supermarket spice jars and a 1kg bag in the store cupboard! That’s some good stuff, cinnamon.
I decided to sweeten the bread with cinnamon sugar left over from making pancakes, and threw in a cup full of raisins, and see what happens. It was so good! My daughters love it, and it’s a favourite here now.
This is quite a dense bread, unless you leave it to rise for ages – it’s one of those sourdoughs that does better for a 12 hour rise.
It also makes a huge batch – two regular sized loaves. The Thermomix® TM31 copes with it, but just. The T5 should be better with the bigger capacity bowl. You can split the ingredients in two and just do the Thermomix® bit in two batches.
I hope you like this bread. We love it!
- 750g strong white bread flour
- 400g lukewarm water
- 40g olive oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 200g sourdough starter
- 100g sugar
- 10g cinnamon
- 150g raisins
- Add all the ingredients to the Thermomix® bowl
- Mix on speed 6 for 10 seconds to combine everything
- Then knead for 3 minutes on the dough setting (wheat sheaf)
- Meanwhile, oil or butter your loaf tin.
- Note: This makes a HUGE loaf, so if you're using a standard loaf tin, you'll need to separate the dough into two.
- Remove from Thermomix® and place on a tray. Halve the dough now if you're going to.
- You need to 'fold' it into a ball. Essentially treat it like a sheet you're tucking in to a mattress - take one side and fold it under, then the other, and fold it under, then the final two, till it's a 'ball'.
- Place in the bread tin, then cut deep slits along the top - this is to prevent the sides of the bread splitting apparently.
- Now here things get tricky. There are as many instructions for making sourdough bread as there are recipes, so here's what I did.
- Leave the dough to rest for six hours, in a warm, but not hot place.
- Heat the oven to 200C and cook for 30 - 40 minutes. Test to see if it's ready by knocking on the crust. If it sounds hollow it's ready.
- Leave the bread to cool slightly before cutting.
It’s a dull and dreary morning here on the Isle of Wight. It’s raining and I can barely make out the line between the sky and the ocean. Job prospects for my husband are still thin on the ground and I am feeling the pressure of being sole breadwinner for the family.
I need a pick me up, but a true pick me up, not something that’s going to spike my blood sugar and crash me down further.
Well, this recipe might be a false economy, since dairy blocks the absorption of flavenoids (or something like that) meaning the full effect of the cacao nibs won’t be felt, but it tastes good and after drinking this, the whole family managed to get out of bed and we’ll be off for a stroll on the beach as soon as the rain stops.
There’s a lot of room for movement on this recipe. I will try it with almond milk, or coconut milk next, and maybe with rapadura or honey for sweetening. But for today, this was perfect. Delicious, smooth, And a real lift to the mood.
If I didn’t have to share it with the kids, I’d probably add a pinch of cayenne pepper too, like a Mexican hot chocolate, with it’s aphrodisiac qualities… hmmm… save that for a rainy day when the children have left home 😉
For these Cacao Nib Lattes, I use the Suma brand here, but obviously you can use whatever works best for you. These are unroasted, and I don’t roast them, but you can.
- 30g cacao nibs
- ½ vanilla pod
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- seeds from 1 cardamom pod
- cream to top (optional)
- 500g milk
- 5g sugar/rapadura
- Add the cacao nibs and vanilla pod, cinnamon and cardamom seeds into a blender bowl and chop to a powder (Thermomix®: speed 6 for 20 seconds.
- Add milk and sugar and mix on speed 4/7 mins/80C
- Pour through a nut milk bag, or into a cafetiere to strain, then pour into cups.
- Top with cream, or not. It's delicious either way.