I love baking for the kids and filling their lunchboxes with fresh produce. The past few years I got into the habit of always making sure I have enough products in my ‘baking’ cupboard for any emergency baking required. The items I never seem to run out of are: flour, caster sugar, soft brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla essence and oil.
Over the weekend we found a bag of carrots in the fridge that were half eaten and about a week old. Instead of throwing them out I decided to bake spiced carrot and nut muffins using these still edible carrots. I used one of New Zealand’s famous bakers, Annabel Langbein’s Carrot, Orange and Honey Muffins but tweaked it a bit as I didn’t have walnuts so I replaced them with mixed nuts (brazilian nuts, almonds and hazelnuts). And for the kids lunch I baked mini spinach and feta cheese puffs. These are super quick and easy to make. I tend to deviate from the original recipe a bit by adding either ham, chicken, sun dried tomatoes or the feta and spinach. The base of the recipe is as follow:
- 1 cup flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 cups grated cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 200 C. Gently mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Drop large spoonfuls into greased patty tins or on a cold baking tray. Bake for 10-12 minutes until puffed and golden.
As part of my ‘The Great British Bake Off’ challenge, I also baked biscotti tonight. This was my first attempt and I am amazed at how easy it is. I definitely still need a bit of work on my technique as the dough was slightly sticky which Paul Hollywood clearly instructed it shouldn’t be at all, but it still came out dry, crispy and SO VERY TASTY! I selected the traditional ingredients of pistachio, cranberries and lemon for my first attempt, and am feeling confident to try various combinations of flavours with my next bake.
With all these little gems filling the kitchen counter and biscuit containers I might need to employ a taste tester soon.