Almond Coffee Cluster

Night starvation…It doesn’t sound very good does it? All my life, my grandfather has used the words ‘night starvation’. I thought it was just his way off getting in a few more biscuits before bed time. “Better have a little more, you don’t want any night starvation”…Don’t mind if I do Grandpa, biscuit number 43 should do it. I always thought it was just Grandpa’s way of looking out for me, and being lovely.

It turns out, that yes, he was looking out for me as there really was something called the dreaded ‘night starvation’. Horlicks invented it back in the 1930’s as a selling slogan. A cure of those terrible hunger pains that you may be prone to if you didn’t drink their lovely malted drink before bed time. So there you go…

So what’s that got to do with my Almond Coffee Cluster? This is my prevention of night starvation. I have a habit of being just a little peckish around 9pm, not one for hot malted drinks, the cluster is an easy one to pop in the freezer and break off a segment when I need to.

Night starvation prevented once more.

Almond Coffee Cluster

200mls luke warm milk

2 tps dry yeast

1 tps vanilla

1 egg

100gms softened butter

1/3 cup raw sugar

1 cup almond meal

1/4 cup espresso coffee

450gms flour (3 cups)

3 tbs olive oil

1 tps salt

almond flakes

Mix yeast in luke warm milk and set aside for 10 minutes. Mix remaining ingredients together and then also adding milk. Once mixed together, knead well until smooth and elastic. Cover and leave until doubled in size. Divide dough into 8 even balls. Placing in greased large springform pan. Scatter some almond flakes on top. Bake at 190C for approx 30-40 minutes.

After being generously given some chestnut flour from Celia, I thought I would give Chestnut Coffee Cluster a go as well. Tastes remarkably similar, a little darker in colour, the subtle tones of the coffee added to the nuttiness of the chestnut. Same recipe just substituting the almond meal for chestnut flour.

Night Starvation prevented yet again.

* This post submitted to Yeastspotting.

Apricot and Sunflower Sourdough

I have four new comers in my little kitchen at the moment and I love them all equally.

A flat bottomed wok- who knew cooking could be so quick and easy with this little fella.

A hand made wooden Huon Pine mini rolling pin- beautifully made. I fell in love with the workmanship and needed a smaller one than my broken handled marble one. It really is the perfect little roller. Light and smooth…(not generally like my pastry.)

A super sharp lame (French blade for cutting my sourdough)- slash, slash, slash!

and….my new Banneton. Otherwise known as Brotform or Brotformen…Other, otherwise known as a little basket to prove your bread in. This I have to say is my favourite. Lovingly stored away at night, ready to work its banneton magic on my bread the next day. If I tucked it up and gave it a good night kiss, I wouldn’t be surprised.

… Mr Chocolate might be though.

Apricot and Sunflower Sourdough

200gms starter

2 1/2 cups flour

1/3 cup dried chopped apricots

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

1 tps salt

3 heaped spoonfuls natural yoghurt

water: enough for elastic dough consistency

Mix ingredients together, then leaving for an hour or so. Into fridge for a lovely long and slow ferment for 12 hours. Out of fridge and fold the dough. Leaving to prove for approximately two hours. Fold again and popped into my lovely, lovely new banneton. Prove until, I couldn’t stand the excitement any longer and had to pop the dough in the oven to see how my new basket had shaped up. Baked at 250C with steam on top shelf for approximately 20mins and then down to the bottom shelf for a further 10 minutes.

This loaf I have made a few times now and I’m really happy with the results. It keeps beautifully and still toasting well a week later. Topped with the Lime and Cumquat Marmalade and my morning begins.

* This post submitted to Yeastspotting.