Hi! Welcome to my blog. I am a major foodie, with a haphazard cooking philosophy, currently making that transition from cooking and baking for friends and family to 'wonder if I could make this my career'. Follow me for recipes, the outcomes of a few experiments, and general lovely foodiness. Opinions, reviews and recommendations are all my own.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

A Totally Versatile and Foolproof Flapjack Recipe

This post is a little late in coming, but worth the wait I promise! A while ago, I was contacted to take part in a BakingMad.com campaign about summer recipes. For those of you who aren't aware, BakingMad.com is a great site created from a collaboration of Allinson Flour, Billington's Sugar, Silver Spoon, Askey's and Neilson Massey (makers of the greatest vanilla extract in my opinion). It is a great place to go for ideas, tips, recipes, offers and competitions, a real hub for the nations bakers, and worth an hour of your time to go and browse all they have to share. 

The brief for this challenge was to share my favourite summer-time recipe, and believe it or not, this is it. Not only are flapjacks a great picnic treat, and perfect for taking on a summer-time adventure, but for a person who works from the driver's seat of their car, the summer months prove difficult to take a lunch that doesn't melt, curdle, dry out or just generally turn warm and mushy, flapjack are a great, versatile and filling treat to have in my bag that won't spoil in the warmth. Plus, this recipe is so easy to adapt, I can add all kinds of great flavours and make really tasty, nutritious variations. 

Honey, Tropical Fruit and Nut Flapjacks - recipe here

The Basic Recipe

100g salted butter
100g clear honey
100g golden caster sugar
200g rolled oats

Combine the butter, honey and sugar in a pan, and place over a low heat until the butter and sugar have melted. Remove from the heat and pour over the rolled oats in a mixing bowl. Mix well until all the oats are coated. Transfer to an 8 inch lined tin, and press the mixture down evenly with the back of a spoon. Bake at 170 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown all over. Remove from the oven, and take a knife immediately and mark where you want to cut slices. Allow to cool completely in the tin. Turn out, and cut into slices.

The beauty of this recipe is that you can add just about anything to the basic ingredients, dried fruits, flavours, nuts, chocolate chips, between 100 - 150 grams of additional ingredients to the above recipe will work. 

Almond and Cherry Flapjacks

This is my latest favourite flavour combination, with the hint of a Bakewell Tart in a portable oat-y form! Using the above recipe, just add 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, and 1/2 tablespoon cherry brandy to the melted butter mixture, and 50g ground almonds and 100g chopped glace cherries to the oats. Simples! 

Almond and Cherry Flapjacks
Check out more great picnic recipes over at BakingMad.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Titan's September Supper Club: Tarte Tatin

In September I was asked to take part in a new blogging challenge run by Titan Travel, called the Titan Supper Club. To raise awareness of their great travel deals, every month they host the supper club, inviting us all to take part in making one dish inspired by one of their travel destinations. For September, they chose an English/French fusion in the form of an Apple Tarte Tatin, and making the link to the launch of the latest series of the Great British Bake Off they chose a recipe from last year's runner up Brendan Lynch. You can find the full recipe here.

My Tarte Tatin waiting to be upturned

I will be honest and say that I was a little dubious about the recipe to start with, as it calls for strong bread flour in the rough puff pastry, and no less than 14 apples for the filling! It seemed a little excessive. Never the less, as part of the challenge is to follow the recipe to the letter, I carried on regardless.

The pastry dough came together as a very wet mixture, and again I wasn't sure that the quantities and method were entirely right, but I pulled the mixture together, formed it into a ball and wrapped it in clingfilm to refrigerate as instructed. 

The finished Tarte Tatin ready to be served

Low and behold, after resting in the fridge for an hour, the dough had a very smooth and elastic texture, score one to Mr Lynch!

The issues that I did have however were around the lack of detail in the recipe, no size of tin, or temperature for the oven were given. I don't own a specific tarte tatin dish, and used a large flan dish, however the lower lip allowed a lot of the juices and caramel to run over the side when cooking, and resulted in a HUGE oven cleaning operation the day after... 

Spiced Caramel Apples and Flaky Pastry

All this being said however, the proof really is in the pudding, and neither me nor Gary could fault the taste and texture of this dish, the spices were just right, and the rough puff pastry held firm under the soft fruits. We ate it hot with some Cornish Butterscotch Ice Cream and it was a serious delight on a cold rainy September day.

I really enjoyed taking part in the Titan Supper Club, now we just need to book a holiday! 
Served with Cornish Butterscotch Ice Cream
Disclosure: I received the cost of ingredients to make the dish featured in this post. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Sunday, 20 October 2013

A Kick At The Pantry Door: Update

Hello Strangers!

I need to apologise for the absence in September and October, there have been a few things keeping me from A Kick At The Pantry Door, namely Gary's new job (very exciting) my job (not quite so exciting but somewhat hectic recently) and a little trip to the hospital (not at all exciting, but thankfully all is well now). 

Anyway, I'm back, and I have some great recipes to share with you over the next few weeks, not to mention catching up with a few reviews and back posts. Those of you that have submitted Apple recipes to Feel Good Food, please be assured that the round up will appear soon, thank you for your patience! 

I must add, the past few weeks haven't been entirely unproductive on the Pantry Door front, so I'll leave you with a few pictures of what I've been up to away from the computer keyboard...!