Spiced Blueberry Pancakes recipe – Champagne Twist

Spiced Blueberry Pancakes recipe | Champagne Twist.jpg

Well, it’s the first day of a brand new decade.  It’s a sobering thought that we are now in the new 20s era.  Personally, I’m hoping that this decade is better than the last one, and that all my plans and hopes pan out in a positive way.

With that, here’s the new look Champagne Twist YouTube Channel, the theme for this year being “New Vision”.

This year I’m starting with a bang food wise, with an easy and delicious recipe for Spiced Blueberry Pancakes.  These pancakes don’t have any sugar as the sweetness is derived from the blueberries, the vanilla yogurt and just a drizzle of maple syrup. You can of course use a cheaper golden syrup, but I think the Maple syrup adds a unique spicy hit which compliments the mixed spices, so is for me worth the extra expense.

When combining fruit with spices, the usual go-to flavour pairing with blueberries is cinnamon.  As it is still the Christmas season, I wanted to keep the festive flavours, but add a slight twist. So I plumped for a mixed spice blend, which does include cinnamon, as well as other spices – dill, coriander, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.

So here’s the recipe, let me know if you try this and what you think of it, it would be great to hear your considered opinions.

Here’s wishing everyone a peaceful, fun, healthy, happy and safe new year.

Spiced Blueberry Pancakes, with vanilla yogurt and maple syrup

Ingredients

  • 200g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 egg
  • 300ml milk
  • knob of butter, melted
  • 150g fresh blueberries
  • oil or butter for cooking
  • maple syrup and vanilla yogurt to serve

 

Method

  1. Mix together flour, baking powder and mixed spices in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate, small bowl, beat the egg, then add the milk and melted butter and combine.
  3. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dr, to form a smooth batter.  Fold in the blueberries.
  4. Heat a teaspoon of oil or butter in a non-stick frying pan.
  5. Pour a small ladleful of batter into the pan.
  6. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes, until golden brown.

Serve with vanilla yogurt for a healthy breakfast, and with maple syrup for a pudding or treat.

Mince Pie Filling Recipe| Champagne Twist

This is a quick and simple recipe for the festive season. You can use this recipe for mince pies, or as an ingredient for fruit cakes. A useful store cupboard standby.

Mince Pie Filling Recipe | Champagne Twist

 

Ingredients:

  • 100g glace cherry halves
  • 400g jumbo raisin mix
  • 200g dried cranberries
  • 100g mixed citrus peel
  • 100g ginger
  • 1 tbsp of ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of brandy
  • 1 cup of orange liquor

Equipment:

  • 1 large bowl
  • 1 spatula or spoon
  • 1 large sterilised glass jar

Method:

Mix all the fruit and spices together in a bowl and then fill your sterilised glass jar, ensuring that you leave room for the alcohol.

In the same bowl or jug, mix together the vanilla and alcohol, then pour over the fruit mix in the glass jars.

Allow the mixture to steep for at least a week in a cool dark place. The longer you leave it, the better.

mince pie filling - champagne twist
mince pie mincemeat filling recipe

There you go – proper luxury mincemeat. Also serves as a lovely Christmas foodie gift. Just grab a label and some ribbon and you’re done! It’s also a good way to use up all those half empty bottles of alcohol.

Apple Oat Breakfast Muffins recipe | Champagne Twist

Apple Oat muffins | Champagne Twist

Using apples from my recent fruit and veg shopping trip at the Chiswick House Kitchen Garden sale, I decided to make something healthy and delicious for breakfast, making a welcome change from the usual cereals and scrambled eggs.

Apple Oat Breakfast Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup medium stoneground oatmeal
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup golden caster sugar
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 125g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup of semi-skimmed cow’s or plant based milk (almond milk adds a lovely nutty flavour which compliments the apple)
  • 2 large apples (approx 1 1/4 cups), peeled and diced

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 F/ 177 C/ Gas Mark 4, then line a 12-cup muffin baking tray with cup cake cases.
  • In a medium sized bowl sieve the flour, oats, baking powder and cinnamon.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, butter and milk.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, followed by the apple.  Using a folding motion, combine all the ingredients gently together to form a thick batter.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups. I used an old fashioned ice cream scoop, but a 1/4 cup measure can also be used.
  • Place the tray on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for about 20 mins, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Allow the muffins to cool in the tray for 5 minutes, before removing them to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  • Serve warm for breakfast with a cup of your favourite brew, or for lunch with a cheese salad.

Let me know if you try this recipe, it would be lovely to hear your feedback.  Thanks for reading, and enjoy your baking.

Jerk Seasoned Roasted veg with rice - Caribbean food month | ChampagneTwist.com

Caribbean Food Month – Jerk Seasoned Roasted Vegetables​​ – Champagne Twist

Hello, happy 1st of August and happy Caribbean Food Month here on ChampagneTwist.com!

We’re deep into summer now and the heatwave we’re currently enjoying in the UK is akin to the summers enjoyed in the Caribbean. All that’s needed is a golden sandy beach, a bowl of rum punch and a tropical music soundtrack.

Well, I can’t provide the beach or the soundtrack, but I may be able to produce a few food and drink ideas for the Champagne Twist, Caribbean Food Month.

Caribbean food month, August 2018, Champagne Twist.jpg

Kicking off this month’s culinary extravaganza is Jerk Seasoned Roasted Vegetables. Jerk seasoning is fairly well known as a Jamaican herb and spice blend used to season meat, particularly chicken. But in this recipe, I thought how could vegetarians get in on the act?

This is an easy, flexible recipe staple which allows for a quick exit from the kitchen – let’s face it, who wants to spend hours in a hot kitchen in 32-degree heat? Make a large batch and portion up for healthier frozen meals or barbeque side dishes.  The vegetables are cut into different shapes, of roughly the same size to provide visual interest and to ensure even cooking.

Jerk Seasoned Roasted Vegetables | Champagne Twist

Serves 2 as a main meal or 4 as a side dish.

Fresh vegetables - Caribbean Food Month | ChampagneTwist.com
Fresh vegetables | ChampagneTwist.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium white onion, finely sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, finely sliced
  • 3 or 4 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 medium butternut squash, cut into batons
  • 1 large tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1 large broccoli head, cut into florets
  • 1 large carrot, cut into batons
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium courgette/zucchini, cut into batons
  • 1 corn on the cob, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/2tsp jerk seasoning (try Dunns River)
Cut vegetables Caribbean food month | ChampagneTwist.com
Cut vegetables – Caribbean Food Month | ChampagneTwist.com

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4.
  2. In a large mixing bowl add all the ingredients and ensure all the vegetables are completely coated with the coconut oil and jerk seasoning. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Place the contents of the bowl into a large roasting tin. Roast for about 45-60 minutes until the vegetables are roasted.
  4. Allow to cool slightly before transferring into a serving dish. Enjoy with plain white or coconut rice.  You could also create a rice salad by simply mixing the seasoned veg with the rice. Try substituting with brown rice for a nuttier flavour.
pre roasted root vegetables - Caribbean Food Month | ChampagneTwist.com
Pre-roasted vegetables | ChampagneTwist.com

Remember with Jerk seasoning, a little goes a long way. Err on the side of caution, use a scant 1/4 tsp of Jerk seasoning if you prefer a mild flavour. Don’t be too heavy-handed, it will taste great, but it will feel like your mouth is on fire. Use the wet mix, not the dry spice blend.

Jerk seasoned roasted vegetables | ChampagneTwist.com
Jerk seasoned roasted vegetables | ChampagneTwist.com
Jerk Seasoned Roasted veg with rice - Caribbean food month | ChampagneTwist.com
Jerk Seasoned Roasted veg with rice ChampagneTwist.com

 

 

Lemon and elderflower cake recipe - Champagne Twist

Lemon and Elderflower Royal Wedding Cake (aka Sussex Violet​ Cake) – recipe | Champagne Twist​

No sooner had I posted my predictions for Spring food trends 2018, Meghan and Harry announced that their wedding cake was going to be made with lemon and elderflower!

So not only am I going to call it and say that Champagne Twist is the social media network to get accurate predictions in regards to anything food, arts and crafts, I’m now going to reveal my version of the wedding cake.  Enjoy!

Lemon and Elderflower Cake (aka the Sussex Violet Cake)

Ingredients:

For the cake

  • 8oz butter, softened
  • 8oz golden caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 8oz self-raising flour, sifted
  • zest of 2 unwaxed lemons

For the glaze

  • 1 tbsp elderflower syrup or cordial (I used Ikea but would also recommend Belvior)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar (reserving 1 tbsp for decoration)

plus fresh edible flowers such as violets, roses, elderflowers, for decoration.

original picture source - Kensington​ Palace twitter
original picture source – Kensington Palace twitter

I used violets in tribute to Violets Cakes and the creator of the original Royal Wedding cake for Meghan and Harry, now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.  In a nod to the wedding couple, I also renamed my version of the cake the Sussex Violet cake.

Method:

For the cake –

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4.
  2. Line a 20cm round tin with parchment paper.
  3. With a food mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until pale in colour, and light and fluffy in texture.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating in the sugar-butter mix in between.
  5. Fold in the flour and lemon zest until well incorporated.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin, and place on the middle shelf of the video.
  7. Bake for 45-55 mins. To test if the cake is baked, use a skewer and poke it through the middle of the cake. It should come out clean when removed.
  8. When baked, remove from the oven and set aside. Add the glaze at this point (instructions below) still in the tin.
  9. Carefully remove the cake from the tin and place on a wire cake rack to cool completely.

For the glaze –

  1. While the cake is still hot, mix the syrup, granulated sugar and lemon juice together in a small bowl.
  2. Poke a few holes at random intervals through the top of the cake, with a skewer.
  3. With a teaspoon ‘feed’ the cake with the glaze, making sure to cover the entire top of the cake. The glaze should soak through quickly and will leave a sugary crust.  Leave the cake in the tin for about 10 mins.
  4. Carefully remove the cake from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. When the cake has completely cooled, sprinkle the reserved granulated sugar on top, and scatter violets or your edible flowers of choice on top. Serve with a cup of tea, perhaps Wedding Blend from Fortnums or Clipper’s mint and green tea.
Lemon and elderflower cake recipe - Champagne Twist
Lemon and elderflower cake recipe – Champagne Twist

Congratulations Meghan and Harry.

 

Lemon Cups – recipe | Champagne Twist

Hello, check this out! A lemon cup jelly based dessert that vegetarians and eat, and with a few minor adjustments vegans can enjoy too.

When I discovered Just Wholefoods lemon jelly crystals, I was over the moon that I could once again enjoy homemade jelly and ice-cream.

This is another easy dish, which can be made to look like you spent a lot of time and effort. Only 2 basic ingredients that can be used to top off a lovely meal or as part of an afternoon or high tea.

lemon cups

Lemon Cups – recipe | Champagne Twist

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of Just Wholefoods lemon jelly crystals
  • lemon yogurt (use a non-dairy alternative for vegan or plant only based diners)
  • lemon sugar crystals or lemon zest to decorate (optional)

lemon pots 2

Method:

  1. Make up the jelly according to the directions in a jug. Pour the jelly into the heat proof cups, dividing the jelly equally amongst each serving. Place in the fridge to set. You can lean the cups on one side to create the slanted effect.
  2. When set, remove the jelly cups from the fridge. Add 2-3 tablespoons of yogurt to each serving. Return to the fridge to chill.
  3. Remove the cups from the fridge 10 mins before serving, and sprinkle the lemon sugar crystals or lemon zest, if using, on top and serve immediately.

 

lemon cups 3

Golden Meringues – recipe | Champagne Twist

With just 2 ingredients, you can make these extra special meringues, which can be used for a wide number of puddings, desserts, tea time treats, or enjoyed on their own.

The distinctive colour and flavour of the meringues comes from the golden caster sugar used in this recipe.

The following recipe is enough for 1 large meringue nest which could be shared between 5-6 people as a pavlova, or about 6 mini sized individual nests. You could also create 2-3 medium sized meringues with this recipe.

Golden Meringues – recipe

by Champagne Twist

Golden Meringue nest

Ingredients:

3 large egg whites
150g golden caster sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 1.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with greaseproof paper, and set aside.
  3. Separate the egg whites, and keep the egg yolks for another recipe.
  4. With an electric mixer, using the balloon whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until firm.
  5. Slowly add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, until the meringue is stiff and shiny.
  6. Dab a little bit of the meringue on the underside of the greaseproof paper and stick on to the baking sheets. This will prevent the greaseproof paper from slipping.
  7. For a large meringue, use all the mixture to create 1 nest.. For medium sized meringues use 3 heaped tablespoons of the mixture for each meringue. There should be enough for about 2 or 3 nests. For smaller meringues use 2 heaped tablespoons. If you’re making medium or small meringue, make sure they are equally spaced apart. You can use the back of the spoons to help shape the meringues. Alternatively, you can pipe the meringues for a more uniform or decorative look.
  8. Place the baking sheets on the top and middle shelves of the oven, and bake for 45-60 minutes. Half way through baking, swap the trays around to ensure even baking.
  9. When finished, remove from the oven and set aside. The meringues should be allowed to completely cool on the baking sheets.

Golden meringues.jpg

You can freeze the meringues until ready for use. The meringue can be used in a number of different recipes, such as Berry Meringue Nests.

Fruit Soup – recipe | Champagne Twist

Fruit soup Champagne TwistHello,

OK, so you’re probably thinking, “fruit soup? Is that a thing?”

Well as it may surprise you, the answer is yes. And you’ve probably have already heard of at least one type of fruit soup. May I remind you that one of the world’s most popular soups is made from fruit – remember our friend the humble tomato soup?

So carrying on this idea, I thought how fun it could be to create a soup from say berries. If you follow my Instagram account, you may know that I have a glut of blackberries growing in the garden.  I have already filled my freezer with tubs and tubs of blackberries, which should sustain me through the winter. I also plan to make blackberry and lavender jam, blackberry and apple pies, blackberry and apple pie filling for the freezer … yes just 3 weeks into the blackberry season and I’m fast running out of space, ideas and love for the berry.

Berry soup is the answer … which I’m enjoying most days for breakfast. The recipe, you may be glad to know, is ridiculously simple, with no prep dishes to clean up afterwards. You can also use this recipe as a base for smoothies or  sauces for pudding such as with ice-cream or frozen yogurt. Serve warm or as I prefer on a hot summer’s day, chilled.

Berry Fruit Soup – recipe by Champagne Twist

Serves 2

mixed berry and banana soup recipe by champagne twist
Fruit soup recipe | Champagne Twist

Ingredients

  • 8-10 strawberries
  • 10 blueberries
  • 10 blackberries
  • 1 medium size banana
  • 2 dsps natural or vanilla yogurt
  • mint leaves for decoration (optional)

Method

  1. Reserving 1 tbsp of the yogurt and a few berries for decoration, add all the fruit and the yogurt in a blender, and blitz until smooth.
  2. Divide the mixture equally between 2 bowls.
  3. To each serving, whirl 1/2 a tbsp of yogurt.
  4. Decorate with the reserved berries and fruit syrup if using. Finish with a sprig of mint for decoration, if you wish.
berry soup recipe by champagne twist.com
Fruit soup recipe | Champagne Twist

Courgette and onion medley open pie – recipe | Champagne Twist

Hello folks,

The weather is being a bit odd today. It’s either raining cats and dogs or grey and overcast.

Last week, I purchased loads of courgettes and rather than make the usual quiche for lunch, I wanted to make something different. The onion medley idea came from using up other ingredients in the fridge.

This is a quick recipe, which can be served hot, warm or cold.

courgette onion pie

Courgette and onion medley open pie – recipe | Champagne Twist

Ingredients:

  • 3 large courgette, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 banana shallot, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • pinch chilli pepper flakes
  • pinch of dried thyme
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 320g pack ready-rolled puff pastry
  • 50g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • splash of milk

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220C.
  2. Place the courgette slices in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the oil, leek, red onion, shallot, garlic, cayenne pepper, chilli flakes, thyme, salt and black pepper, to the sliced courgettes and toss everything together to ensure even covering. Set aside.
  4. Place the pastry on a baking sheet. Using the tip of a sharp knife, lightly score a 1 cm line around the edge of the pastry to form a ‘frame’.
  5. In a separate, small bowl or jug, add in the cream cheese and milk. Mix well until fully combined.
  6. Place the courgette and onion mixture on to the pastry base, in an even layer. Making sure not to cover the outer pastry ‘frame.
  7. Bake the pie on the middle shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the pastry has risen and golden brown.  Serve with a crisp green salad.

courgetteonion pie bake

 

 

lavender | www.champagnetwist.com

Lavender Syrup – recipe | Champagne Twist

Hello,

I’m still experimenting with lavender recipes. Being such a versatile herb, it lends itself to so many culinary uses.  Lavender syrup can be used as a base for a number of drinks including cocktails. It can also flavour baked treats.  This is a useful ingredient standby make and like lavender sugar, can be gifted.

lavender cookie 2

Lavender Syrup – recipe

Ingredients

  • 250g water
  • 250g caster sugar
  • handful of lavender flowers, including stems

Method

  1. Place the sugar and water in a medium sized saucepan. Place on the hob over a medium heat and simmer until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Remove from heat and add the lavender flowers. Let the lavender steep for around 30 mins in the syrup.
  3. Strain the syrup, then decant into a sterilised glass bottle.
  4. Store in a cool, dry place – the syrup should keep for at least 4 weeks.
home made lavender syrup, recipe by ChampagneTwist.com
lavender syrup, recipe by ChampagneTwist.com

Check out my other lavender recipes below:

What are your favourite uses for lavender? Please share in the comment box.

Thanks for reading.