Double Cheese, Prosciutto & Sage Scones

For me there’s nothing better than a freshly baked scone. Whether it’s sweet and slathered in clotted cream and the very best jam or simply savoury I will go out my way to bake homemade scones. Whilst I absolutely LOVE sweet scones, I do also really enjoy a good Cheddar cheese scone. There’s something about a piping hot, freshly baked scone straight from the oven and slathered in lots of salted butter that I adore. But like most of my recipes, I like to put my own twist and take on the classic. My scone recipe is packed full of two cheeses, sage leaves and salty cured prosciutto for a little twist. The recipe combines my love of traditional British food and Italian cuisine- two of my favourites. These are light, buttery and one is never enough!

scones recipe

When I first baked these scones I wasn’t entirely sure how they would go down with my family. I knew I would love the flavours because I’m a big fan of cheese scones or any savoury scones and the recipe combines some of my favourite baking ingredients. But I was completely shocked by my sister (who is the hardest to please!) who enjoyed the flavour and asked me to baked another batch! This time I decided to swap the proscuitto for smokey, salty pancetta. It was just as amazingly tasty as the original scone!

scones easy recipe

These are simply, the cheesiest, tastiest, crumbliest, butteriest and delicious savoury scones I have ever eaten.

I just know I’m going to be baking more and more batches of these scones during the Autumn to serve alongside many delicious bowls of soup. They would also make a brilliant breakfast recipe for a lazy Sunday morning!

Ingredients- (Makes 8 Scones)

225g of self-raising flour, sifted

50g of cold unsalted butter, cubed 

50g of Cheddar, freshly grated

90g of good-quality Proscuitto or pancetta cut into small pieces 

8 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped

1 large free-range egg

100ml of buttermilk

Topping-

1-2 tbsp of buttermilk or milk

25g of parmesan

25g of Cheddar

scones whatjessicabakednext

This is the first time I’ve baked scones in a square shape, traditional scones in the UK are always round, but cut the dough out into your preferred shape. Triangles also look really amazing too.

Method- 

1. In a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, add the flour and cold butter. Mix on low speed for a few minutes or until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

2. Then add the cheddar, proscuitto (or bacon) and sage. Mix through, then add the egg and buttermilk, using a butter knife, mix through until you have a soft dough- be careful not to overwork the dough at this point! 

3. Line a baking tray with non-stick paper. Tip the scone dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Spread out into a rectangle about 3cm in depth. Cut into 8 squares and then place on the baking tray. Brush the tops with the buttermilk, then sprinkle over the cheeses.

4. Bake at 200 degrees C Fan for 12-14 minutes or until golden and slightly risen. Leave to cool on tray for a few minutes.

5. Serve warm and toasted with butter. Enjoy!

scones sage

Enjoy the recipe guys!

jess

Sticky Toffee Pudding Cupcakes {The Great Denby Cake-Off}

I’ve always LOVED sticky toffee pudding, but I wanted to give this classic recipe a twist. So I decided to make a cupcake, perfect for a afternoon tea. This recipe is everything quintessentially British, it’s sweet, sticky and scrumptious. If you’ve never tried it before, then you’re seriously missing out!

This recipe came about because last weekend I received a lovely email from Denby regarding a competition called the ‘Cake-Off’. If you didn’t know already, Denby is an English pottery company, they create the most beautiful and mesmerising bowls, plates and different crockery that is high-quality and simply stunning. The Cake Off is to celebrate the current series of the GBBO (Great British Bake Off), which is airing in the UK at the moment. So when I read the email, asking me to take part, I jumped at the chance! So here is my bake, which I hope you will all love!

sticky toffee cupcakes

cupcakes denby

These cupcakes are fun, sweet and look super cute! They’re are just as good as the classic and are perfectly moist, molasses-y, sweet and melt in the mouth good. I’ve also created a toffee buttercream, which again is totally addictive, I could easily eat it by the spoonful…

The recipe would be perfect for any afternoon tea spread, I love to decorate with fudge cubes and even more sauce! The sauce compliments the sponge and adds a little bit extra indulgence!

plate cake off

denby cake off recipe

Ingredients- (Makes 12 Cupcakes)

150g of pitted dates

70g of unsalted butter, softened

150g of light brown sugar

2 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

1/2 tsp of vanilla bean paste or 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract

150g of self-raising flour, sifted

1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda

Toffee Sauce- 

115g of unsalted butter, cubed

115g of light brown sugar

140ml of double cream

Toffee Buttercream-

100g of unsalted butter, soft

150g of icing sugar, sifted

4-5 tbsp of homemade toffee sauce or readymade dulce de leche (caramel)

Method-

1. To make the cupcakes: Soak the dates in 150ml of boiling water for 20 minutes. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together for 5 minutes, until really light and fluffy. Then add the eggs, one by one and mix on a low speed until just combined. Then add the flour and mix until there no are lumps of flour left and the cake mixture is smooth. Break up the dates in the water and add all the date liquid/mixture to the batter.

2. Scoop evenly into 12 cupcake cases and bake for 15-20 minutes at 180 degrees C Fan until nice and golden and make sure a cake tester comes out completely clean. Once cooked, cool in the tin for a few minutes, then carefully remove and cool fully on wire rack.

3. For the toffee sauce: Make the toffee sauce by placing the butter, sugar and cream in a saucepan, heat gently and stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Then carefully pour into a bowl and place into the fridge until needed (chill for at least an hour before making the buttercream.)

4. For the buttercream: In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the icing sugar with the softened butter for 5 minutes or until really pale and fluffy. Then on a low speed add your desired amount of toffee sauce- don’t add too much as you don’t want the icing to be too runny. Fill a piping bag fitted with your favourite nozzle (I used a small open star-tip) and pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes.

Finish with chopped walnuts or fudge pieces and make sure you serve each cupcake with extra sauce!

cake off recipe

Have a great weekend everyone!

jess

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chunk Granola

This granola has to be my favourite breakfast in the whole wide world! It’s amazing, so simple to make and it actually encourages me to get out of bed in the morning- which is usually very hard! It’s tasty, chocolaty, peanut butter-y and heaven on your taste buds! And certainly any PB & chocolate lovers dream and I’ve probably already made the recipe a billion times because it’s that good! I’ve tried to give this granola a little healthy twist- I like to use rapeseed oil, which is really good for you, but I do love the addition of chocolate and peanut butter because it’s makes the recipe taste so amazing and brings a little bit of indulgence! And peanut butter + chocolate = match made in flavour heaven, right?

With ONLY 5 ingredients, healthy, simple to make and with NO added sugar, this granola needs to be right at the top of your baking list ASAP! Enjoy guys!

granola recipe blog

pb granola easy

peanut butter granola

This granola is sweet, savoury, chocolatey, perfectly crunchy and toasted and so flavourful. Bake to crispy, toastie perfection, then toss through your favourite chocolate! 

pb gran

 

Ingredients- (Makes 10-12 Servings)

2 1/4 cups of rolled oats

2 heaped tbsp of smooth peanut butter

1/4 cup of pure maple syrup

1/4 cup of rapeseed oil

1/2 cup of chocolate chunks or chocolate chips- I used milk chocolate, but I’ve also used dark chocolate chunks before 

Method- 

1. Preheat your oven to 160 degrees C Fan.

2. In a small saucepan, add the peanut butter, maple syrup and oil. Heat gently, and stir until melted.

3. Add the oats to a large mixing bowl, pour over the peanut butter mixture and stir to coat the oats fully. Then spread out evenly on a large baking tray- break up any clusters- but I like to leave a few for texture! Bake for 15-18 minutes or until nice and toasted and lightly coloured. {Toss the oats around about half way through the cooking time to ensure even colouring.}

4. Allow to cool completely on the baking tray, then stir through the chocolate chunks/chips. I like to eat mine with almond milk, but it’s great with normal milk or your favourite natural yogurt. Also, take it to the next level by topping with sliced banana- tastes amazing!

granola ramekin

pb chunk granola recipe

 

jess

Pesto Linguine with Halloumi & Roasted Tomatoes

This is my ultimate go-to comfort dish- it’s full of all my favourite foods and will take you just minutes to make from scratch. This recipe combines my love of food from my travels. The pesto pasta is inspired by Italy and the addition of halloumi and lemon brings a Greek twist and makes this pasta dish very unique! It’s the kind of pasta dish that reminds you of the summer and warm weather, perfect for remembering those long summer days eating al fresco with family and friends. My simple pesto recipe is so versatile, not only is it great tossed into the linguine, but it’s also great spread over salmon, baked with roasted veggies or served as a crostini. Trust me this recipe will become a firm favourite of yours! Enjoy!

pesto linguine with halloumi

This pesto recipe is something special. Even pesto haters LOVED the taste! Most pesto’s you buy in the supermarkets taste really gross, they’re either too artificial or have a really bitter flavour. But my tried and tested recipe is amazing, my twist on classic pesto genovese is I like to add lemon zest, for me it brings a natural freshness and a subtle sweetness.

ingredi dish

ingredients pasta dish

My love of homemade pesto is very great. It’s fresh, summery, fruity, salty and sweet and totally addictive. If you’re a fan of courgetti (or zoodles), you could use courgette in place of the linguine, so this recipe is brilliant for those who enjoy a low-carb, healthier dinner.

Ingredients- (Serves 4-6)

500g of dried linguine (you can use any other pasta, penne, spaghetti or amori also work well)

1 pack of Halloumi, cut into 8 slices 

Roasted Oregano Tomatoes- 

100g of cherry tomatoes, halved

Salt and black pepper

1/2-1tsp of dried oregano

Pesto Genovese- 

1 clove of garlic, peeled

Large bunch of fresh basil leaves, picked

1/4-1/2 tsp of fresh lemon zest

25g of pine nuts, lightly toasted 

Large handful of freshly grated parmesan

4 tbsp of good extra virgin olive oil

Salt and black pepper, to taste 

Method- 

1. Cook your pasta in boiling, salted water according to the packet instructions- mine took about 10 minutes to cook until al dente.

2. To make the pesto, place all the ingredients listed in a food processor/small blender, reserving 2 tbsp of the oil. Blitz until smooth and well combined. Then stir through the extra oil and season to taste.

3. Drizzle the the tomatoes with olive oil and roast in an 180 degrees/350 F oven until blistered- for approx. 7-10 minutes.

4. Brush the halloumi slices with oil, grill until golden on both sides.

5. To assemble: Drain the pasta well, stir through the fresh pesto, then serve up into pasta bowls. Top with the roasted tomatoes, halloumi and garnish with extra pine nuts and lemon wedges. Enjoy!

pasta dish easy copy

So good, so simple and super delish! You need to give this recipe a go!

So as the Summer draws to a end, I thought it would be fun to share a selection of your favourite recipes from this Summer!

summer 2014 recipes

These recipes were colourful, tasty and super delicious and combine my love of fresh Summer fruits and locally-sourced produce. I really LOVED the Melba Crunch Popsicles especially! Also the Strawberry Shortbread Ice-Cream and Eton Mess Cheesecake brought a lil’ British twist! And as well as those, you can understand from this recipe today how much I adore simple, easy savoury recipes perfect for Summer al fresco dining!

It has been an amazing a few months full of delicious bakes, now I’m looking forward to sharing many Autumnal recipes, I’ve got lots and lots of posts lined up for you all!

jess

Damson Crostata {Italian-style Jam Tart}

Since being home I’ve missed the Italian lifestyle and most importantly the food. There’s one classic recipe in particular I’ve always wanted to bake and subsequently eat, the classic Crostata. If you were wondering, a Crostata is a delicious jam tart. It’s simple, but so good and possibly one of my most favourite desserts now. I have fond memories of eating jam tarts from my childhood, I remember my favourites were blackberry and lemon curd and I would always pester my Mum to buy me some- she always gave in! Traditional British jam tarts are so similar to the classic Crostata you can buy in Italy, the pastry is just as light, buttery and zesty and the filling, perfectly sweet and oozing full of jammy goodness. I was really pleased with the finished result, not bad for my very first attempt!

crostata slices

This Crostata recipe uses the very best pastry, it’s light, sweet and short and the addition of lemon and vanilla gives it that unique Italian flavour. I’ve used a rotella- which I bought home from Italy. It’s perfect for Italian jam tarts, because it gives the authentic and beautiful lattice design.

Perfect to slice up for that afternoon-pick-me-up, but I also have to admit I very much enjoy a slice for breakfast.  If you make this recipe, you will find it’s sweet, zingy and the absolute reminder of Summer days.

tiptree jam

I found a taste of home (quite literally) whilst I was visiting Volterra. I grew up eating Wilkin & Son Tiptree Jam and the actual factory is not that far away from where I live, so I made sure this recipe was a fusion between Italian and British produce. This Crostata wouldn’t be as special if it didn’t use British jam! And as you can tell from this photo there are so many different flavours and varieties of jam, but I love Damson jam so that was my choice.

homemade lattice crostata

Love how the pastry is speckled with lemon zest and vanilla bean

crostata icing

jam tart fork

Ingredients (Makes 1 Crostata)

Recipe adpated from italyonmymind

125g of unsalted butter, softened 

20g of icing sugar, sifted

240g of plain flour, sifted

1/2 tsp of vanilla bean paste

Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

Pinch of salt

1 large free-range egg

1/2 jar of good-jam- I used Damson (use any of your favourite jams, this recipe is very versatile)

To serve-

Clotted cream, lightly whipped cream or vanilla bean ice-cream

Method- 

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C Fan (350F). To make the pastry, in a stand mixer beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Add the flour and salt and beat until crumbs form. Add the eggs and just mix until it’s comes together- try not to over mix at this point. Wrap the pastry in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes or until a little firm.

2. Once the dough is fully chilled, lightly dust a work surface with a little icing sugar, roll the pastry until it’s slightly larger than the tin. If your pastry reaches more than half-way up the case, trim away gently using a knife. Roll the excess pastry into a ball and place in the fridge for the time being.

3. Spoon the jam onto the pastry base. Take the remaining pastry, roll out and then cut strips with a zig-zag cutter- the lattices should be long enough that the strips touch the edges of the crostata.  Brush with beaten egg yolk. 

4. Bake for 40-50 minutes, remove from the oven when the the tart is nice and lightly golden on top- if it’s colouring too quickly, just cover with foil. Cool in the tin, then carefully remove, cool completely to room temp. Dust lightly with icing sugar, then slice up!

crostata

Happy Weekend!

jess

Limoncello Cheesecake {No-Bake}

I’m still reminiscing about my trip to Italy this Summer. So I’ve been baking lots of Italian-inspired recipes for the blog lately to remind me of our memorable trip. And everyone knows how much I LOVE cheesecake. Specifically I like no-bake cheesecakes, because they’re so easy to make and are great for when it’s too warm to be baking in a hot kitchen. I wanted the recipe to represent the taste of Italy. So when I found this recipe, I knew I needed to try it out! And for me, limoncello is definitely one of the most Italian drinks out there (plus it’s my ultimate favourite liqueur). So I thought why not combine the two?! Well, it definitely worked, as I think this is one of the best cheesecake I’ve ever tasted, so amazing and packed full of lemony limoncello-y yumminess! It’s makes an amazing boozy lemony weekend treat and definitely another must make recipe! Enjoy!

cheesecake weekend

cheesecake limoncello

Top off with fresh summer berries for even more extra deliciousness

limoncello cheesecake slice

 I thought I would share a snapshot from my holiday. Most nights in Italy we would venture out to some beautiful old towns just to walk around and soak up the evening atmosphere. As you walk into San Gimignano, many of the shops would sell little boot-shaped bottles full of limoncello (picture below). I have to say, I was very much tempted to buy one (or a maybe a few…).

limoncello

cheesecake college

Each slice cuts perfectly, it’s smooth, mousse-y, luscious, lemony and super delicious! (I hope I’m convincing you to make this amazing recipe?!…) If I was to describe it I would say it’s tastes like something very close to heaven. Really! The base is crunchy, buttery, just perfect. And then you taste the filling, which is the most amazing creamy, airy goodness! Definitely  a must make if you’re a lemon lover just like me!

cheesecake bite

I also love the fact this cheesecake is speckled full of vanilla and lemon zest! It looks super pretty and makes the cheesecake taste so, so good!

 

Makes 1 Cheesecake (Serves 10-12)

Ingredients-

Base-

250g of digestive biscuits, roughly broken (graham crackers or plain white cookies can be used)

150g of unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling-

600g of full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature

3 tbsp of icing sugar or caster sugar

1/2 tsp of vanilla bean paste

Juice and zest from 1 large unwaxed lemon

2 free-range egg yolks

14g of powdered gelatine (2 x small packets) (I use Vegetarian)

3 free range egg whites

300ml of double cream, chilled

50ml of Limoncello (2 shots)

To serve- 

Fresh berries, such as raspberries, blueberries etc

Method- 

1. For the base: Blitz the biscuits in a food processor until fine. Or bash with a rolling pin in a bag. Mix together with the melted butter. Press into a 23cm springform cheesecake tin until well compact (I like to use the back of a spoon or glass to smooth over.). Place in the fridge whilst you make the filling.

2. For the cheesecake filling: Cream the cream cheese with the sugar and vanilla paste until smooth. Add the lemon juice and zest and the egg yolks and beat until well combined.

3. In a small bowl, add 3 tbsp of boiling water and sprinkle over the gelatine, stir until dissolved. Then add the gelatine to the cheesecake filling, beating continuously.

4. Beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks and fold into the cheesecake filling. Then beat the cream until soft peaks form and fold in gently along with the limoncello.

5. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours or overnight. Serve with fresh berries. Enjoy!

 

Recipe adapted from here

 

My Recipe Notes:

  • I use large free-range eggs.
  • For my own preference I like to use Vegetarian gelatine, but use whatever you have in your cupboard.
  • Try to use a really good quality limoncello- the flavour will be a lot better.
  • Regarding the biscuit base, you could also use Italian almond biscotti if you prefer to.
  • The cheesecake is best served chilled and it will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • You can add a little splash extra of limoncello if you like!

 

cheesecake pics

 Enjoy the recipe guys! 

jess

Tomato, Parmesan & Herb Focaccia

I love making homemade focaccia. What’s not to like about delicious olive oil bread, crispy on the base, soft and airy in the middle and topped with sweet, aromatic herby tomatoes and parmesan. I think breads like this one should be celebrated, they’re packed full of flavour, bright colours, are super simple to make and taste amazing! For me this focaccia is the taste of Summer, but could equally be enjoyed with a big bowl of homemade minestrone when the cold weather arrives. Every single flavour works hand in hand, the sweet tomatoes with the fruity parmesan and delicious herbs really create an authentic Italian taste. Slice up into large squares for the ultimate lunch time treat! Enjoy!

focaccia recipe pic

The recipe was inspired by my time in beautiful Tuscany this Summer. We tried this focaccia from a local panetteria (bakery), near where we we’re staying. We’d just got off our flight and  were pretty hungry after an early wake-up that morning (2 a.m and NO breakfast!!). So by lunch time I was completely and utterly ravenous to say the least! But this focaccia caught my eye straight away, it looked amazingly good and it tasted brilliant. We continued to buy it for our lunch most days it was that good. So I knew as soon as I got back into my kitchen, I needed to recreate it!

focaccia easy

This focaccia from my kitchen has exactly the same characteristics. Unbelievably soft and airated inside, with a subtle crispiness from the fragrant olive oil. A thin layer of Parmigiano-Reggiano, a layer of the sweetest tomatoes and then finished off with a good sprinkling of homegrown herbs and even more parmesan. Amazing. So simple, but delicious. I’ve used the best quality ingredients I could find and use of homegrown herbs really gives this focaccia that ‘authentic’ taste.

I’ve also used Pome Dei Moro tomatoes, which is an Italian variety of tomato, but they were grown here in Southern England. The tomatoes are perfect for focaccia, salads, or sauces because they’re have a distinctive and intensely sweet taste. So you can only imagine, after baking, the tomatoes get even more sweeter and flavourful.

making of focaccia

bread focaccia

(Makes 1 focaccia)

Ingredients- 

Focaccia dough- 

1/2 tsp of fast-action dried yeast

300g of strong white bread flour

1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp of salt

170ml of lukewarm water

Topping-

25g of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

200g of cherry tomatoes, halved

1 1/2 tsp of dried oregano (I used Italian origano)

A few sprigs of fresh thyme & rosemary

Method-

1. To make the focaccia dough: In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast, flour, olive oil, salt and water. Mix together with a wooden spoon to form a dough. Knead in a stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook for 5-7 minutes or until you have an smooth, elastic dough. (You can also knead by hand, just lightly flour a work surface, then knead until smooth for 10 minutes.)

2. To rise the dough: Once kneaded, pour a little olive oil over the dough and roll around to coat. Cover with a damp tea towel or some cling film and put somewhere warm for an hour or until doubled in size.

3. Put dough in the baking tray: Once doubled in size, spread and press the dough out into a lightly oiled medium-sized (20cm x 23cm baking tray). Using using fingertips, press holes into the dough. Then drizzle over another 1 tbsp of olive oil and leave somewhere warm for 20-30 minutes until a little risen.

4. To assemble: Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C Fan. First, sprinkle the  top of the risen focaccia dough with half the grated parmesan cheese. Then, top with half the chopped herbs. Now layer the halved tomatoes on top- making sure to gently press into the dough a little. Scatter over the remaining chopped herbs and the remaining parmesan.

5. To bake: Bake in the preheated oven (preferably on the middle shelf, where most the heat is) for 20 minutes or until slightly risen, and golden all over. Cool in tray for 10 minutes, then carefully remove and leave to cool fully on a wire rack.

Once cooled, slice up into squares and enjoy!

 Notes:

  • To make this recipe Vegan omit the parmesan.
  • Best enjoyed warm and toasted, but also great to pack up for a picnic.
  • Use more parmesan if you like, adjust to your liking.
  • Additional toppings: Add roasted red onion, olives or anything that takes your fancy. Make the recipe your own!

 

tomato foca

You will definitely find yourself going back for another slice! It’s too addictive!

Enjoy the recipe guys! 

jess