Recipes for a tasty May by Sue Riches
Great uses for old fruit — and a forgotten bottle of beer
This bread isn’t light and fluffy like a bakery loaf – it’s denser but that’s how it’s meant to be.
It uses store-cupboard staples, useful when it’s difficult to get to the shops. It takes under five minutes to make and there is no kneading or rising.
Use the worse beer you have on hand: the long-forgotten bottle lurking in the back of the fridge, the one you won at the Church fete — it might even have expired and no one will touch it. The alcohol evaporates in the oven. You can also use 50-50 wholemeal flour.
The loaf can be eaten warm or when it’s cooled down; it’s very good toasted – you can have it with peanut butter, Marmite, avocado, tomato or hummus.
- 450g plain flour (or use self-raising and omit the baking powder)
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 375ml beer (or make up the extra with water).
- Finely chopped onion or red onion
- Grated cheese
- Sprinkle of paprika and/or oregano
- Salt and pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Some other ideas to add to the dough: olives, capers, Parmesan , chopped sun-dried tomatoes, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seed.
Method: Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a small/medium loaf tin with greaseproof paper. In a mixing bowl put the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Stir to combine. Add any seeds you may want. Pour in the beer/water and stir again to combine into a sticky dough. Scrape in to the prepared tin with a spatula and smooth out. Sprinkle with the toppings you like and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake in the oven for 40 minutes – it will have risen and will be puffed up and golden. Serve hot or warm with any toppings you like: it’s delicious with butter and cheese. Once it has cooled down it’s very good toasted and will last for several days, if you can manage not to eat all at once!
We all needs treats at the moment. Our favourite is chocolate brownies, I cut them into small about 1in squares, so we are not tempted to eat too many in one go!
Line an 8in square tin with greaseproof paper. Melt 200g dark chocolate with 140g butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. When melted, stir in 225g of 50/50 soft brown sugar and caster sugar. Add 2tp vanilla essence.
Whisk together 2 large eggs and 1 yolk. Beat into mixture. Sift in 85g of plain flour. Beat for about a minute till thick and smooth. Pour into the prepared tin and bake in a moderate oven for about 40 mins. Test with a skewer which should come out with crumbs attached, it should be slightly sticky. Cool in the tin and cut into squares with a sharp knife.
Omelette Souffle (2)
If you just have a few eggs in the kitchen and not much else, this is a delicious and easy pudding; and if you have found some fruit at the bottom of the freezer, it can be a good way to use it up.
Whisk 4 egg whites until stiff but not dry. Beat egg yolks until they are thick and lemon-coloured. Gently fold in the yolks. Put a good lump of butter in a frying pan with a lid and melt. Pour in the mixture. Cook over a medium heat and after a couple of minutes put on the lid. Cook for about 10 more minutes. Remove the lid, it should be set.
Put in the sugared and warmed fruit, flip into half and put onto a dish. Sprinkle with a little more sugar and serve. You can turn this into a savoury omelette by adding cheese, warmed tuna or vegetables.