Friday, April 18, 2014

Simnel cake...

Easter in full swing! I've heard many times about simnel cake but never ever made it before. What a shame! If you've never eaten simnel cake I can tell you it's lighter version of the Christmas fruit one. There's no booze in it and less spices - only cinnamon. It's moist, sweet and very rich. What's important - it's easy to prepare :) I hope you'll try it - it definitely is my new Easter tradition!

"The Simnel cake is a symbolic Easter cake and is decorated to signify aspects of Christianity. The eleven marzipan balls around the cake represent the 11 disciples, though there were 12 – Judas Iscariot betrayed so he is omitted! Some people just put a large ball in the centre of the cake to signify Jesus." - by

"Simnel cake is traditionally eaten on Easter Sunday. In olden days female servants would bake this fruit cake using all the ingredients that had to be used up before the fast and abstinence of Lent. They would take this home on their rare visits to their mothers on Mothering Sunday." - by

Recipe taken from Paul Hollywood's book "How to bake".

How to make it...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Walnut and honey loaf / cupcakes... by The Hummingbird Bakery

I know it says loaf in the title and that's exactly what you'll find in The Hummingbird Bakery cook book, but I found some time ago, that cupcakes have a better chance of being successful (meaning eaten!) in my house.I guess they fit a pair little hands perfectly ;) I've also noticed that cupcakes will disappear within the day, two tops, whereas the cake can last even 4 days.
This recipe (either you'll chose to make loaf or cupcakes) is a perfect marriage of walnuts and honey. The cake itself is soft and moist (from the honey syrup you pour over) and chopped nuts inside give you a little bit of crunch. As with all The Hummingbird Bakery recipes I have tried to date, with this one as well I reduced the amount of sugar I used - especially that you're adding honey to the batter too.
Do try those! They're perfect with a cup of strong coffee! :)

How to make it...

Friday, April 04, 2014

Rajma - red kidney bean curry...

If you're reading Anula's Kitchen for a while now, you know I love Indian cuisine, so when I came across this new (to me) recipe I just couldn't not to try it. I have never before came across red kidney beans in a curry - always thought more of lentils, chickpeas and vegetables like cauliflower or aubergine. Rajma turned out to be very tasty and quite filling meal - one that I'll make again and again in the future! I read that traditionally it should be served with rice, but as I already had some naan bread at home I ate it with that and a side of cauliflower steaks :)

"Rājmā is a popular Indian vegetarian dish consisting of red kidney beans in a thick gravy with lots of Indian whole spices and usually served with rice and roti. Although the kidney bean is not of Indian origin, it is a part of regular diet in Northern India. This dish developed after the red kidney bean was brought to the Indian subcontinent from Central Mexico and Guatemala." - by
Recipe taken from

How to make it...

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Gorgonzola, walnuts, apple and honey crostini...

Recently I have promised myself that I'll buy and try one new thing (food related) every week. This is my very first purchase of the sort and it's Gorgonzola - Gorgonzola Dolce to be exact. I've heard about this cheese many times, saw many recipes with it but have never, ever tried it. What a shame! I was pleasantly surprised with it! It had creamy texture, had to spread it on my crostini rather than be able to slice it. I was afraid that the blue veins will be too strong - no, they aren't! They give a little hint of something, breaking the creaminess of the cheese itself, but in no way it's too strong. It also smells very light and mellow.

"Gorgonzola is a veined Italian blue cheese, made from unskimmed cow's milk. It can be buttery or firm, crumbly and quite salty, with a "bite" from its blue veining. It is mainly produced in the northern Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy. Whole cow's milk is used, to whichstarter bacteria is added, along with spores of the mold Penicillium glaucum. Penicillium roqueforti, used in Roquefort cheese, may also be used. The whey is then removed during curdling, and the result aged at low temperatures.
During the aging process metal rods are quickly inserted and removed, creating air channels that allow the mold spores to grow into hyphae and cause the cheese's characteristic veining. Gorgonzola is typically aged for three to four months. The length of the aging process determines the consistency of the cheese, which gets firmer as it ripens. There are two varieties of Gorgonzola, which differ mainly in their age: Gorgonzola Dolce (also called Sweet Gorgonzola) and Gorgonzola Piccante (also called Gorgonzola Naturale, Gorgonzola Montagna, or Mountain Gorgonzola). " - by

PS. Can I really call my toasts a "crostini"? Isn't it too big for that...? ;)

How to make it...