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#figbarcookbookclub: Classic Koffmann: 50 years a Chef

#figbarcookbookclub: Classic Koffmann: 50 years a Chef

“The difference between good food and bad food is a pinch of salt.” Pierre Koffmann (and probably my favourite quote from this book). When I first began dating a chef (oh, hi there, husband), this was indeed the secret he taught me in the kitchen. Clearly, it’s the secret of many kitchens!

September’s Cookbook Club pick from our home shelves is the brilliant Classic Koffmann: 50 years a Chef by the incomparable Pierre Koffmann. These recipes are indeed delicious, easy to follow, and contain simple ingredients. In the opening, Chef Koffmann recommends gathering ingredients for home cooking “everywhere, except for meat or fish; for these need a butcher or fishmonger you trust.” And we’d have to agree. Here in Norwich we have an array of brilliant local producers that are easy to find (nod to the Norwich Market!), many that are family run and independent businesses who really know their stuff. Having these types of ingredients helps all of the recipes in this book truly shine. You can find 6 sections: 1) entrees (appetizers), 2) poultry, meat and game, 3) fish and seafood, 4) sides, 5) desserts, & 6) Chef’s Essentials. I think the chapter that gets the most use in our household is Chef’s essentials. There are lovely recipes for stocks, mayonnaise, vinaigrette, and beurre blanc alongside choux and puff pastry recipes that you know will work. This trust is an invaluable resource for the home cook ready to further experiment. Now, all you need to add is a pinch of salt.

We’ve made Creme Caramel and highlighted the recipe below. It’s SO PERFECT you’ll never need another creme caramel recipe in your life. Don’t be scared of it: the satisfaction of watching the caramel slide out from the ramekin onto the plate is worth it.

Creme Caramel

Ingredients:

500ml milk

1 vanilla pod, split and scraped

3 egg yolks

2 eggs

80g caster sugar

For the caramel:

130g caster sugar

130ml water

Method:

Line a large roasting tin with newspaper and place four 10cm ramekins inside the tin- the newspaper prevents bubbles from forming in the caramel.

You need to start by making the caramel. Place the sugar and water in a large heavy-bottomed stainless-steel saucepan over a medium-high heat. Heat, until the caramel turns from a golden to a darker brown, then immediately remove from the heat and very carefully pour it into the bottom of the ramekins to create a layer about 3mm thick (you my have some left over caramel). Set aside at room temperature to cool and set.

Heat the oven to 130*C.

Bring the milk to the boil with the vanilla pod and seeds, then remove it from the heat and remove the vanilla pod. Whisk the egg yolks, whole eggs and sugar in a bowl until thick, then pour the hot milk over this mixture, whisking constantly, until smooth. Pour the custard over the caramel in the ramekins, then pour some boiling water into the tin containing the ramekins so that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Transfer the tin to the oven and cook for 30 minutes, or until set- you can check this by inserting a small knife into the centre; if it comes out clean, the caramels are ready. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for about 20 minutes.

To serve, simply turn each ramekin upside-down on to a plate- the caramels should slide out easily.

nb from Chef Jaime: You can experiment with this recipe by infusing the milk with different flavors (than the vanilla) like herbs or teabags.

#figbarathome: Cold Brew Tiramisu

#figbarathome: Cold Brew Tiramisu

Cold Brew Tiramisu

Our fine city has had some SUNSHINE this summer haven't it?? We've had the oven on in Figbar and in our house regardless (bakers gonna bake!), but it's also super nice to have elements that require refrigeration, because any reason to open the fridge or freezer when it's hot out- am I right? 

This simple, yet DELICIOUS, dessert is easy to pre-prepare for a BBQ or dinner party, but it does require use of the hob, the oven, and the fridge. Feel free to make the elements in whatever order you need- all will keep for a week properly stored- and bring together when you need it for a light, but decadent, dessert! 

Cold Brew Tiramisu

Cold Brew Mousse

Ingredients:

450 ml heavy cream

45g caster sugar

65g tahini

35g cold brew coffee

pinch of salt

Method:

1.     In the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the cream into stiff peaks (about 5-6 minutes).

2.     Add sugar, tahini, cold brew, and salt to whisked cream. Whisk to combine.

3.     Place either in serving cups or into a large container (to store) and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

 

Cocoa Crumble

Ingredients:

70g cocoa powder (best quality and darkest you can find)

6g salt

5g cornflour

100g light brown sugar

120g plain flour

120g melted butter

Method:

1.     Preheat the oven to 150°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

2.     In the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment, combine cocoa powder, salt, cornflour, light brown sugar, and plain flour.

3.     Add the melted butter and mix to cluster.

4.     Evenly spread the crumble onto the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, push the crumble about a bit, preventing it from sticking and having too big of pieces. Bake for another 10 minutes.

5.     Remove from oven and allow to cool completely (again breaking up if necessary).

 

Cold Brew Syrup

Ingredients:

100ml cold brew coffee

70ml caster sugar

Method:

1.     In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk the cold brew and the sugar to combine. Bring to the boil and allow to boil for about 5 minutes until reduced and syrupy. (nb from Chef Jaime: This is a bit of a ‘feeling’ kind of a cooking situation. Reduction by half may be helpful for some, maple syrup consistency to others, but mostly, it’s how thick you like. You can also double or triple this recipe if you like to get more syrup drizzle or to reduce it further if you like it super sticky).

 

To Serve:

Either:

1)   sprinkle cocoa crumble on top of the prepotted mousse and drizzle with cold brew syrup

OR

2)   sprinkle cocoa crumble on the bottom of a serving dish, quenelle (or spoon) mousse on top, sprinkle more crumble, and drizzle with cold brew syrup

#figbarcookbookclub : Let's Eat!

#figbarcookbookclub : Let's Eat!

Apologies for missing June's cookbook club post!!! Rest assured, that means TWO recommendations are coming for this fabulous month of July... First up for this month's Figbar cookbook club selection (straight off of our home shelves!) is Elly Pear's Let's Eat!. What can I say about this lovely cookbook except, it's fab! A lot of cookbooks claim to be approachable and fun, but this one actually is. I love the layout of chapters which includes "Freeze for Ease", "Building Blocks", "Menus".  I love the creative and intuitive movement of the dishes; for example, the "Freeze for Ease" section gives a base dish and then multiple recipes which use it to create interesting and varied meals. I love the fun and realism (Menus include "dinner for four when you want to show off a bit but not stress" which has recipes for seared scallops, smoked haddock tart, Stephen Fry cabbage, cocktails, and spiced plum dessert!). It's just a great all-rounder of a book with some delicious recipes. Can't go wrong.

What really sold this book to me was a full page dedicated to this: "I have a hashtag on Instagram solely for ideas to use up that bag of kale in the fridge, so there's no excuse to waste any! #100wayswithkale" YES, ELLY! 

To highlight this cookbook's brilliance, and why we have it in our home kitchen, we've made the Lentil, Tomato, and Coconut Dhal. It's included in the following recipes: "as a soup", "with a 6-minute egg", "with wilted greens", and "with seared tofu, avocado, pickles and seeds". We made it with the seared tofu here, but have the rest of the dhal neatly stacked in our freezer for more when we need a quick and healthy dinner.

Lentil, Tomato, and Coconut Dhal

Ingredients:

4 Tbsp oil 

2 medium onions, peeled and finely diced

5cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated or finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, peeled and grated or finely chopped

3 tsp vegetable bouillon powder

2 tbsp garam masala (nb: Elly includes a recipe to make your own if you want!)

1-2 tsp chilli flakes, to taste

2 tsp black mustard seeds

500g red lentils, rinsed

2 x 400g tins plum tomatoes

1 x 400g tin coconut milk

flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Method:

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat, add the onion, ginger, garlic and a big pinch of flaked sea salt and cook for 10 minutes until softened but not coloured, stirring occasionally.

Dissolve the bouillon powder in 1 litre of boiling water for the stock. Add the garam masala, chilli flakes and mustard seeds to the onion mixture in the saucepan, stir thoroughly, then add the lentils. Give everything a good mix. Add the tomatoes and the stock and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down tot low and cook for 20-25 minutes until the lentils are tender and retain no bite, stirring frequently and deeply so the lentils don't stick and crushing the tomatoes a bit as you go. Add the coconut milk, remove from the heat and season to taste with flaked sea salt and pepper.

 

(nb: Elly also gives instructions here on how to freeze this dish, how to chill it, and exactly what to do. Worth having this book on your shelves to help with meal prep!)

NB: (from Steph)- pictured here is our go-to 1x1 flatbread (again! Three times we have featured variations of this!). This time it's 1-to-1 plain yogurt to plain flour with 2 gloves grated raw garlic and 1 tsp black sesame seeds and a strong pinch of Maldon sea salt, rolled and pan-fried in a little olive oil for a quick and easy naan-type flat bread. 

#figbarcookbookclub : #RECIPESHORTS

#figbarcookbookclub : #RECIPESHORTS

I cannot help but love a good gimmick, and so this book jumped straight off the shelves and into my arms. I am so so glad that it did. Hot pink spine, bright orange cover, and every recipe guaranteed to fit into a 140 character tweet. I was sold. #RECIPESHORTS by Andrea Stewart is a go to favourite from our bookshelf because of the sheer joy of reading a recipe that concise. Though seemingly simple, I will warn you that this book isn't for those new to the kitchen (as you'll see in the recipe we've made below) because certain instructions just won't fit into the 140 character limit (for example, how high of heat or what to 'whiz' with, or even how to serve). There are a few cheats on the pages (as seen below "garnish with fresh lime"), little boxes that add a bit of extra info to the tweetable recipe, but I just consider it a reply from another user and call it a day :-)

You'll find breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, snacks, and sides. All relatively simple (only so many ingredients fit in 140 characters). There are beautiful pictures, strong typeface, and all around social media happiness. A great range of recipes that simply work. You'll also find a glossary for the inevitable abbreviations (I'm getting too old for text speak tbh <--- see what I did there? ;-)), so it's also a cool way to cook and keep up with the kids these days (without aging myself too much, but srsly, the new grammar and text is cray). 

As an aside, part of what I adore about this book is how it highlights the movement of the English language so beautifully. It's absolutely fascinating that we are able to watch the morphing and changing of our language in real time through social media. It's even more interesting that we are able to see the progression of emotion into print. For example, using a full-stop to answer a text question shows a bit of agitation and and indication that the conversation is over: "yes.".  Meanwhile answering the text "yes" without punctuation is a simple answer. There now are new uses for the ellipsis to encourage completion of thought: a reply like "OK..." instead of "OK".

I LOVE THIS STUFF SO MUCH! I could go on and on, but instead, the recipe from the talented Andrea Stewart.

 

SW.POT PNUT SOUP

Sweat 1 chop'd onion,1Tgrlic w/2t garam masala, +600g sw.pot&300g carrots &1.2L chix stock. Whiz w/60g pnut butt. S&P

(text box: garnish with fresh lime. Serves 4-6.)

 

THAT'S IT! Genius. (also... so.deliciously.good!) #dinnersorted

(n.b from Chef Jaime: Pictured here is our home go-to super simple easy flatbread recipe mentioned in the Hugh post with a variation from flatbread to crouton. 1 to 1 self-rising spelt flour to greek yogurt. Spoon drop balls of batter about 1 tsp in size into hot veg oil to fry till crispy. Scatter on top of the soup. Note reply from Steph- how did Andrea Stewart do it!? We couldn't even make a recipe with 2 ingredients that we've written here before fit in 140 characters! Go buy this book.). 

#figbarathome : Island Banana Bread

#figbarathome : Island Banana Bread

When I (Steph) was growing up, my mom used to make banana bread once every week or two. She'd bake it at night, and then she would allow it to cool under tea towels until breakfast in the morning. When I finally was gifted her recipe for my own, I shouldn't have been surprised to discover it was actually banana cake that we were lucky enough to eat for breakfast smothered in butter and honey. I have taken this entirely to mean: if we cook it in a loaf tin, we can call it bread and eat it for breakfast. 

This recipe is originated with my mother's, but Chef's jazzed it up to bring a bit of summer and brightness... and if we throw in extra fruit, we can definitely call it breakfast, right?

 

Island Banana Bread

Ingredients:

1 banana, mashed

250g self-raising flour

225g sour cream

115g coconut oil, melted

200g caster sugar

2 eggs

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

The juice of 1 lime (about 1 Tbsp)

25g desiccated coconut

60g chia seeds

500g frozen mango, defrosted and drained

for top: flaked coconut, chia seeds, and sliced banana

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 160C. Butter and flour 2 loaf tins (or cake tins if you like, I used one loaf tin- for breakfast and one small 6-inch cake tin, for slices with my cuppa. The only variation to watch out for is the cooking time).

2. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except desiccated coconut, chia seeds, and mango. Once combined, fold in desiccated coconut, chia seeds, and mango until even throughout.

3. Pour mixture into prepared tins about 3/4 of the way full. Sprinkle the top with flaked coconut and chia seeds and decorate with sliced banana. 

4. Cook at 160C for 1 hour and 15-30 minutes (loaf tin). (nb: the 6-inch cake tin took 40 minutes in our home oven. Our recommendation would be to check every 10-20 minutes by inserting a sharp knife or cake tester. When the cake is cooked, the knife should come out clean).  

5. Allow to rest 10 minutes, then gently tip from loaf tin onto a cooling rack.

6. Serve slightly warm with butter or at room temperature (also with butter if you like! Or honey... or nutella... or maple syrup... or more banana!). 

#figbarcookbookclub : The French Laundry

#figbarcookbookclub : The French Laundry

We have a love of cookbooks; some may even call it an addiction to them. They are such a fascinating insight to the minds of Chefs, the creativity of different cooks, and the inside running of restaurants. When Chef Jaime and I eat at different restaurants, we tend to collect it's cookbook for our collection. After we had one of the top meals of our life at Thomas Keller's Per Se in New York City, we obtained his cookbook for his first restaurant The French Laundry. 

This beautiful book is a fine selection of images, recipes, and knowledge. It shows passion and participation in every process of the creation of a beautiful dish. The simplicity of the dishes is surprising, but it's the care and time that goes into every element that truly makes this collection of recipes phenomenal when you make them. Rest assured, none of these dishes will be ones you can make without dedicating a full day (or even weekend) to, but each bite will be worth the time and effort.

It can be a bit daunting to pick up a recipe from a chef the caliber of Thomas Keller (fangirling a bit- he's incredible), but the instructions throughout this book are detailed, thorough, and thoughtful. It absolutely does take time and patience to create these dishes, but they are achievable in your home kitchen. Sometimes special equipment is needed (an ice cream machine, for example), but generally not. We chose to highlight a lobster dish from this book (mostly because, yes please lobster every time!). You can see from the recipe it won't be repeatable here, as you have to refer back to other recipes to make it (I'll include where other recipes are found throughout the book with page numbers in the ingredients list itself if you are able to pick up a copy). You can get a good sense of this book's simplicity and an understanding of how this collection of recipes works by reading through it, and I hope it encourages you to peruse a copy or try it for yourself!  

 

"Macaroni and Cheese" 

Makes 6 Servings 

Ingredients:

2 cups creamy Lobster Broth (page 35)

1/2 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta)

2 Tablespoons mascarpone

Kosher salt

Three 1 1/2-2-pound lobsters, "Steeped" and meat removed (see page 124; reserve knuckle meat for another use)

1 1/2 cups Beurre Monte (page 135)

1 Tablespoon minced chives

Coral oil (page 167, in a squeeze bottle)

6 Parmesan crisps (page 37)

 

Method:

Place the lobster broth in a saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Reduce the broth to a sauce consistency; you should have 1 to 1.25 cups. Set aside in the pan.

Cook the orzo in boiling lightly salted water until just tender. Drain the cooked pasta in a strainer and rinse under cold water. Shake the strainer to remove excess water and add the orzo to the lobster broth.

To Complete: If the lobster pieces have been refrigerated, bring them to room temperature.

Heat the orzo and lobster broth to a simmer. Add the mascarpone and season with salt to taste. Let simmer for a minute, then remove the pan from the heat and keep warm.

Meanwhile, place the lobster pieces in one layer in a large saucepan. Pour in the beurre monte: the lobster should be almost covered. Heat gently to warm the lobster.

Stir the chives into the orzo. Pipe a 2-inch circle of coral oil in the centre of each serving dish. Place about 1/3 cup of orzo in the center of the oil, allowing it to spread the oil out into a larger circle. Arrange a piece of lobster tail and a claw in the center of the orzo and top each serving with a Parmesan crips. 

#figbarathome : churro muffins with pear chocolate jam

#figbarathome : churro muffins with pear chocolate jam

With two little figs running around our house (ages 1 and 3 years-old), we love recipes that involve a bit of a 'project'. Filling these muffins with pear chocolate jam is just the ticket for a little bit of extra fun (and mess! I can't lie!). Plus, the left over pear chocolate jam is a great 'special treat' (as our girls say) on rice cakes for snack times later on in the week. With a bit of freshly sliced pear layered over top, you can also enjoy 1 of your 5 a day!

Churro Mini-Muffins with Pear Chocolate Jam

Pear Chocolate Jam

Ingredients

700g peeled & cored pears in a small dice

2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 Tbsp cold water

275g caster sugar

big pinch cinnamon

85g best quality dark chocolate chips

Method

In a wide mouthed pan over low to medium heat, cook pears, lemon juice, & water for about 5 minutes until the pears begin to soften. Add the caster sugar and cinnamon and stir to dissolve.  Leave to cook down for about 20 minutes, until the liquid is a bit gooey. Cool for about 10 minutes. Using a stick blender or food processor, blitz to consistency desired (note from Chef Jaime: we like to leave a bit of texture in our jam, so it’s not completely smooth).  Stir the chocolate into the warm mix until melted. Set aside.

 

Churro Mini-Muffins

(makes 24)

Ingredients

350g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

100g caster sugar

110g brown sugar

2 eggs, lightly whisked

240ml whole milk

85g butter, melted

 

Butter & Sugar Bath

6 Tbsp melted butter

100g caster sugar mixed with 2 tsp cinnamon

 

Method

1)   Preheat oven to 170°C. Butter and flour mini muffin tin and set aside.

2)   Place flour, backing powder, salt, caster sugar, and brown sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk to combine.

3)   Add eggs and milk, whisk again. With the whisk running on low, slowly tip melted butter into the batter. Whisk until fully combined.

4)   Fill muffin tins ¾ full and bake for 12-15minutes until the edges begin to brown.

5)   Allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Push the back of a spoon into the top of the muffin to create a small hole and wiggle around to create space in the center of the muffin. Using a piping bag with a small tip, pipe the pear chocolate jam into the middle until the muffin feels heavier and you cannot fit any more jam inside without the muffin exploding. Immediately dip top into melted butter and then directly into the cinnamon sugar mixture.

6)   Eat and enjoy!

 

Breakfast in Bed!

Breakfast in Bed!

Did you see the new Vanilla Magazine? It's a gorgeous collection of reasons to 'love your locals': fashion, beauty, homes, and (of course) food! Chef Jaime Garbutt features this month in their article 'Yes Chef!' with a recipe that will woo your honey or impress your mummy... Valentine's Day, Pancake Day, Mother's Day... we've got you covered! Breakfast in Bed anyone?

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Here's the rest of the recipe to complete the cake featured in Vanilla. It's time consuming, but so adorable! 

Vanilla Buttermilk Cake

See Vanilla Magazine Feb/March 2018 pg. 82 for Recipe (available at Figbar if you need!) 

 

Maple Milk

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp buttermilk

1 Tbsp maple syrup

Method:

Place buttermilk and maple syrup into a small bowl, whisk with a fork to emulsify. Set aside until required.

 

Maple Icing

Ingredients:

100g unsalted butter

75g maple syrup

250g icing sugar

1 tsp lemon juice

Method:

1)   In the bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment, whisk butter and maple syrup together until well combined.

2)   Sift the icing sugar into the maple mix. On a low speed, incorporate the sugar into the maple mix. Add the lemon juice, and mix again

3)   Turn the speed to high and whisk for about 5 minutes until the icing is light and doubled in volume.

4)   With a spatula, decant the icing into a piping bag. Set aside.

 

Maple Candied Bacon

 Ingredients:

4-6 strips of good quality bacon

2 Tbsp maple syrup

1 ½ Tbsp brown sugar

Method:

1)   Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a baking tray with aluminum foil.

2)   Place bacon strips in a single layer row on the tray and bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes until crispy.

3)   While the bacon is cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup and brown sugar until the brown sugar dissolves into the maple syrup. Set aside.

4)   Remove from the oven and, using a pastry brush, immediately coat the bacon pieces with the maple syrup mix. Flip the bacon and coat again. Use all of the mix.

5)   Set aside and allow to cool completely. Break the crispy bacon into small pieces. Set aside.

 

Vanilla Buttermilk American Pancakes

Makes about 25 bite-size pancakes

Ingredients:

125g  plain flour

2 Tbsp caster sugar

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp nutmeg

pinch of salt

240g buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg, beaten

60g melted butter

1 tsp coconut oil, for frying

Method:

1)   In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, mix together plain flour, caster sugar, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt.

2)   Add buttermilk, vanilla extract, beaten egg, and melted butter to the dry ingredients. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the mix to rest.

3)   In a non-stick frying pan over low heat, melt coconut oil.

4)   Using a dessert spoon, spoon small rounds of batter into the frying pan. 

5)   Once bubbles begin to form in the frying batter, flip the cakes over.  Cook until lightly browned on both sides. Making the perfect pancakes is an art form and may require some practice. Don’t panic if the first set is overdone, turn down the heat and go again.

6)   Place cooked pancakes on a plate to cool. Continue with steps 4-5 until all the batter is used. Set aside to use for decorating.

 

To Decorate:

On each cooled cake, pipe maple icing in small rounds to build a beehive shape base. Sprinkle candied bacon pieces atop of the icing, paying particular attention to the sides. Place 2-3 mini pancakes on the top of the icing, gently pressing to create a solid foundation. Add two small pats of butter and just before serving, if you feel particularly fancy, drizzle with a little maple syrup so it drips down the edges of the pancakes. 

#figbarathome : Adnams Earl Grey Lager Bread

#figbarathome : Adnams Earl Grey Lager Bread

The most winning combination I can think of? Beer and bread. There is some yeasty magic behind how beautifully the flour and beer bubble together that cannot be topped. You can make a simple beer bread with just 3 ingredients (beer, self-raising flour, and sugar), or you can exercise your right to experimenting by adding extra elements. This beer bread recipe below does that, twice. We've taken one of our favourite lagers from Adnams (Earl Grey Lager, which we also have our our menu at Figbar) and upped the ante by creating a beautiful little beer bread bundt with it (we only did that for the alliteration, any bread tin or cake tin will do). The brilliance of beer bread (sorry, I love alliteration!), is that you can create so many flavors just by changing the beer you use in your basic recipe. What I love about this particular recipe we are sharing here is that the honey prevents the sweetness from distracting from the beer.

If you have ever tried the Earl Grey Lager by Adnams, then you'll remember the tea that lingers on your palette. This bread barely hints at the strength of the tea, but instead lends itself to a slight acidity with lovely buttery tang. We've included a variation with the ingredients to give more of an earl grey kick, but do try it each way and see which you prefer.

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Adnams Earl Grey Lager Bread

Ingredients

400g plain flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

80g honey (reduce to 75g if including optional ingredients)

1 x 330ml bottle Adnams Earl Grey lager

100g butter, melted

1tsp lemon juice (optional)

1 earl grey tea bag, contents only (optional)

 

Method

1.     Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Grease a 6 hole bundt tin with butter (see n.b for other options of bread tin).

2.     In a large bowl, place flour, baking powder, salt, and honey (if using lemon juice and tea leaves, add them now too)

3.     Pour Earl Grey Lager directly over the other ingredients, and, using a spatula or wooden spoon, mix until all ingredients come together. Do not over mix.

4.     Pour half of the melted butter evenly into the bottoms of the bundt tin. Use a pastry brush to push the melted butter into all the crevises.

5.     Evenly split the dough into each hole in the bundt tin. (It will about double in size, so try not to overfill your particular tin).

6.     Evenly brush the remaining 50g butter along the top of the dough.

7.     Bake for 20-30 minutes until the bread is golden and a knife inserted to the middle comes out clean. (Fair warning here, this is the trickiest part of the entire recipe and does take a bit of practice. A toothpick can come out clean, but you’ll slice the bread only to find the texture doughy to eat. Next time, add 5 minutes to your cooking time. If you do find this, I recommend slicing the bread and popping it into the toaster and then slathering with butter. J).

8.     Serve immediately from oven (though it’s still good for days in the bread drawer and makes a killer sandwich bread).

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n.b.

A few notes:

* You can use any bread tin your have, you’ll just have to adjust the baking times. For example, a 9x5x3inch standard bread tin will take 40-50 minutes to cook properly. I made this recipe in a large bundt tin and it cooked in 35 minutes. If you feel unsure, set your timer for 20 minutes and then every 5 thereafter until the bread is done. The sheer amount of butter drenching the top of this bread helps keep the browning turn to burning.

* It may help to ‘melt’ your honey a bit in the microwave so it cooperates when mixing.

* Try this same recipe with any brand or style of beer and taste the results! It’s super fun experimenting with flavours and styles (ale vs. lager, pumpkin vs. clementine,  American craft vs. British craft, etc.), and also great to know you can have good bread quickly just with a can of beer on hand!

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