Almond Caramel Apple Shortcakes

Today’s post is proudly inspired by Mary Berry.


If you’ve never heard of her, firstly, do you live under a rock? Secondly, I’d like you to Google the Great British Bake-Off. I’ll give you a moment to catch up with the rest of the world before coming back to this post. Are we all on the same page now? Good, let’s continue.



Last week my mum and I were watching her cooking show, Mary Berry Cooks, this particular episode being about summer entertaining and afternoon tea. In case you missed it: last week I hosted a Wimbledon afternoon tea party that included this cake. I opted to make one large strawberry shortcake but Mary Berry chose to make several smaller scones to make serving (and thus eating and clean-up) easier. As someone who had heaps of cream dropped over the table, chairs and floor next week, I can testify that making individual shortcakes is a superior method- plus they still look just as appetising.




I paid tribute to Wimbledon with the classic strawberries and cream last week, so I decided that this week would belong to a different combination- apples, cinnamon and caramel. Trust me, it will not disappoint you.



What are some of your favourite flavour combinations? I’m looking to be more adventurous in my recipe testing and I’d love to hear from some of you!

Almond Caramel Apple Shortcakes

Ingredients

For the scones:

  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar + extra for dusting the scones
  • 2 tsp baking powder*
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup (8 tbsp) cold butter, grated like cheese or cut into small cubes
  • ¾ cup buttermilk, cold
  • 1 egg (optional, the recipe still works well without it)
  • a handful of crushed slivered almonds, optional

For the apples:

  • 2 large Granny Smith apples, sliced thinly
  • 4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup whipped cream
  • 2 tsp icing sugar, optional

For the caramel sauce: 

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp fresh cream
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence

Method

  1. Start by baking the scones. Preheat your oven to 180°C/350F°. Grease a large rimless baking sheet and like with parchment paper.
  2. Sieve the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and toss to combine. Add the butter to the dry mixture and use our hands to rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles a dry coarse sand.
  3. Whisk the buttermilk and egg (if using)  together in a large measuring cup or a small bowl, making sure there are no streaks of egg yolk remaining. Reserve about a tablespoon of this mixture for brushing the scones.
  4. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Be careful not to overmix. The dough should be slightly wet but not so much that it is sticking to your hands. If the dough is too wet then add flour, one tablespoon at a time until it holds together.
  5. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and use your hands to press it into a large circle, about 2 cm/¾ inch thick. Use a cookie cutter or a small glass to cut the dough into scones. Gather any remaining scraps of dough and mould them together to make one huge scone.
  6. Add the cut scones and your scrap-scone to the prepared baking sheet. Brush with the reserved egg/buttermilk mixture before topping with the granulated sugar and almonds. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are just starting to turn golden brown. Allow to cool at room temperature before serving.

Prepare the filling:

  1. Whilst the scones are baking, core the apples and cut into thin slices. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon. Toss with the apples, making sure to coat them in the lemon juice. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Prepare the caramel. Add the brown sugar to a small saucepan on medium-low heat. Allow the sugar to melt, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula to prevent it from burning. Once the sugar has melted completely and you have a smooth dark brown liquid, pour in the fresh cream. The mixture will sputter and spurt and that’s okay. Cut the butter into the hot brown sugar and stir until it’s completely melted. You should have a smooth, golden brown caramel. Stir in the vanilla essence and a pinch of salt, if desired.
  3. Once the scones have cooled, cut them in half. Layer first with sliced apple, followed by whipped cream and finally topping with warm caramel. If desired, you may dust with icing sugar. Enjoy!
Advertisements

My Trip To Europe!

There was no way in hell that I was going to spend a month away from home and you guys would not hear a single word about it. In fact, 3 weeks from now you’ll most likely be begging me to stop talking about it.

img_9136-1

This trip changed me in more ways than I could possibly describe or convey to another person. It feels like a veil has been lifted from my eyes and I can see the world in more ways than I could have ever dreamed. Although this was not my first time travelling outside my home country of Zimbabwe, this was the first time I got to do it alone. With my parents sitting comfortably (or should I say anxiously) at home more than 10,000 km away, I was left without the usual cosy nest we call ‘parental guidance’. It was up to me to evaluate the options and make careful decisions. It was up to me to make sure that I booked the right train and arrived at the station on time and descended the train at the right station AND remembered all my belongings. Spoiler alert: I failed dismally at these 4 things.


It was a glimpse of what my future college life is going to be. Some parts of it look glorious: walking along the pier at sunset, chattering away with new friends in the park and discovering new parks and restaurants to visit. Other parts of it are unglamorous: scrubbing away at messes you’ve made, miscalculating your transport time and having to sprint for a train (I have calculated that you only make the train 4,87% of the time #alternativemaths), and the absolute killer: the persistent feeling that you have no idea what you’re doing. Much to my relief, I discovered that this a sentiment shared by several adults, the aim of the game is to be confident in yourself and believe that what you’re doing is right.

img_9138
I could write for hours on end about my experiences, my mishaps and the lessons I’ve learned but I’ll be breaking those down in a series of posts on the subject of this particular trip. Today, I’d just like to give you a quick synopsis of the places I visited, the things I saw and the activities I did there. Are we ready? Let’s dive in.

1. Geneva, Switzerland

This metropolitan city remains my favourite in Switzerland. There is no shortage of things to do here. Most of my time was spent here, as I was staying with my aunt when in the city, and in hostels when in other cities. This was my third time visiting Geneva and it never fails to disappoint.

post italy geneva (100).JPG

Lac Léman is stunning from all angles, but it is truly breathtaking when the Jet d’Eau is spurting water to a height of 140 metres (460 feet!).

DSC_0228.JPG

Geneva is beautifully modern but also dedicated to sustainability. You’ll find several recycling bins, electric cars and bike stations around town.

DSC_0302

Geneva is also the headquarters of the United Nations. The Swiss people are generally placid i.e. cool, calm and collected. They abstained from both world wars which is why they are notorious for being peaceful.

DSC_0292.JPG

2. Montreux, Switzerland

Montreux is a resort town, known for it’s iconic Jazz festival in July (happening this week and I’m back at home!), the gorgeous views it provides of the Alps and Lac Léman, and the iconic Chateaux Chillon, the pinnacle of Swiss middle aged architecture.

DSC_0529.JPGDSC_0500

3. Rome, Italy

Let’s take a break from Switzerland to talk about Italy for a second. Although the journey to the Swiss-Italian border is less than 2 hours from Geneva by car, the difference in the 2 countries is stark. I found Italy to be more fast paced, much noisier and more crowded than Switzerland. It all comes down to the culture and the people that live there, and one has to be able to appreciate diversity in order to truly enjoy the uniqueness and beauty of different cultures.

DSC_0555
Say hi to Ruva! (And the Colosseum- under construction)

 

It was at this point that I was joined by my travel buddy Ruva; we were at school together for a year before she left to spend a year on exchange in the dairy state, Wisconsin, USA.

We only had a day in Rome so we visited all the typical tourist sites, the Colosseum, Gianicolo Hill & Torre Argentina. Torre Argentina is he place where Caesar is believed to have been stabbed 23 times by his closest friends, and is now home to a horde of stray cats- because birds of a feather stick together.

DSC_0723

4. Venice, Italy

Upon arrival in Venice, we were greatly surprised to discover that there was not a single canal in sight.

DSC_0853

‘But what about all the photos we’ve seen? Are we in the wrong place?’, we lamented. It was only later that evening during a frantic Google search at our hostel that we discovered that the canals are on the island of Venice, whilst we were staying on mainland Venice- known as Venezia-Mestre. Fortunately, the island was only 20 minutes away by bus, hip hip hooray!

DSC_0848

Venice is all about getting lost, and get lost we did. Turning down side streets, dead-ends and walking into large open squares, I logged about 13km in my step counter that day. The island of Venice is wonderfully iconic with it’s flowing canals and traditional gondolas, but this is not a city for those of us on a budget. Trust that I will be writing a more in-depth review about Rome & Venice in particular, I think it’s important to present both the good and the bad to potential tourists.

DSC_0961

5. Annecy, France

After a week in Italy (and over 50km covered by foot) we were knackered upon our return to Geneva. It was to be 3 more days before we hungrily set off for Annecy in France.

DSC_0265.JPG

DSC_0325.JPG

This city is picture-perfect, just like a postcard. With breathtaking views of Lac Léman and the French alps, this town is resort-like in its charm. We only spent a couple of hours here, but it’s bookmarked for my next trip to Europe, this town is like a magnet and something about is pulling me back.

6. Interlaken, Switzerland

La retour à la Suisse! This is where Ruva and I parted ways, her to Slovakia and me to Interlaken. That was incredibly disastrous for me as I fell asleep on the train, missed a connection and found myself in Zurich- more than 100km away! Although I am not one to shy away from adventure, the CHF66 (about USD68) dent that it left in my pocket was enough to frighten me away from exploring this particular city.

DSC_0011 (2).JPG

When I finally arrived in Interlaken, 3 hours after I was originally expected to arrive, I instantly fell in love with this city. The gentle looming mountains, the crystal blue waters of the lakes Brienz & Thun and the tranquil atmosphere of the city were all persuading me to stay. If it wasn’t for the fact that I was meeting my mother in Basel in 2 days time, I would still be there right now.

DSC_0585.JPG

DSC_0440.JPG

Interlaken is a city of adventure but with my budget cut short by the stern (yet friendly and helpful) train conductrice, I could only afford to ascend Schynige Platte and spend the day hiking the various trails there.

DSC_0558.JPG

7. Basel, Switzerland

This sleepy little town didn’t give me much to see, but it was here that I was reunited with my mother after having been away for 3 weeks. We spent the afternoon bonding doing some much needed retail therapy before settling down to enjoy the sunset.

DSC_0153.JPG

Fun fact: Switzerland is no man’s land on Sundays. Whether you’re in Basel, Geneva or Bern, everything shuts down on Sunday. Unfortunately for me, I was in Basel on Sunday. I don’t have much to report about this city aside from the interesting architecture and fascinating statues.

8. Lausanne, Switzerland

Lausanne is beautiful. I know this not from my visit but from photos. ‘But Andrea, why would you write about this city if you didn’t visit it?’ you ponder. The answer: I visited Lausanne on a rainy day when my camera battery had died (I left my charger in Geneva, how clever). Even under the dreary storm clouds, I could still remark on the stunning landscapes, rolling hills littered with neat rows of grapevines leading down to the omnipresent Lac Léman. Lausanne, I will be back for you, one day.

DSC_0173
Lausanne, just before the heavy clouds rolled in

As we are approaching the 1500 word mark, this is where I shall end off for today. Fear not dear readers, I will be posting more detailed versions of my excursions to the various cities, this is merely a summary and a glimpse into what will come next. As always, I invite you to comment your own European experiences, travel stories from anywhere in the globe or opinions about these particular cities. Challenge me to a duel on the subject of the beauty of the Italian countryside (trust that I’ve been battling this out on Facebook already), lament to me about the misfortunes of travelling by train (seriously, it is not as easy as you think it is), or chatter away to me about the wonders of globe trotting! Question of the day: how does one deal with the millions of mementos that you inevitably end up with at the end of a holiday?

IMG_9135

Sending you warm summery vibes,

x Andy

Vegan Lemon Coconut Cream Pie

I’ve been dying to try out a vegan dessert that isn’t based on soaked cashews and this is THE ONE.


When I was thinking about this one, I came across a couple of obstacles. #1 being how does one make pastry vegan? Figure that one out and all problems would magically disappear. Shortcrust pastry is basically flour, butter, salt and water; the only non-vegan ingredient in the equation being the butter. Well butter is desired here for it’s fatty content, right? So what else is rich in fats but does not come from an animal? Spoiler alert: vegetable oil. As it’s already liquid, this completely eliminates the need for us to include water.


The second thing I had to think about here was the filling. My traditional lemon curd recipe used egg yolks to thicken it, but that was not an option here. Next best thing was cornflour. I was a bit worried about the cornflour drastically altering the flavour but thankfully it remained just as lemon-coconutty as ever.


Despite my many fears when making this (Will it set? Will the pastry fall apart? Will it taste good?) this dessert turned out to be a delight. Now that I can add this notch to my belt, I’m ever more motivated to try out more vegan desserts!


Vegan Lemon Coconut Cream Pie

For the crust:

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • ¼ cup dessicated coconut
  • ¼ cup icing/powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup neutral vegetable oil e.g. sunflower, canola

For the filling: 

  • 1 and ½ cups lemon juice
  • 1× 14 oz can coconut milk
  • ½ cup castor (granulated) sugar
  • 2 tbsp grated lemon rind
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • ½ cup cornflour + ¾ cup water
  • 2 drops yellow food colouring (optional)

For the topping: 

  • 1 cup coconut cream (or 1 cup aquafaba)
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon rind
  • 1 tbsp dessicated coconut

Method

  1. Start by making the crust. Sift the flour, coconut, sugar and salt in a large bowl and shake to combine. Make a well in the centre and pour in the oil. Use a wooden spoon to mix until it comes together. Shape into a ball, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a large saucepan on medium high heat, combine the lemon juice, coconut milk, sugar, lemon rind and vanilla. Whisk to combine and bring to a boil. Dissolve the cornflour in the water and stir well to ensure there are no lumps. Pour the cornflour into the lemon coconut mixture and whisk vigorously to prevent lumps from forming. Reduce the heat to low and stir continuously until the mixture has thickened considerably and coats the back of a spoon. If you find that the colour is too pale, add the food colouring drop by drop until you’re happy with the colour. Remove from heat and set aside
  3. Preheat your oven to 180°C. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out into a 10 inch circle. Grease a non stick 9 inch springform pan. Line the bottom and sides of the pan evenly with the pastry, using any scraps to go around the sides. Top the pastry with some parchment paper and pastry weights (you can use dry unsoaked beans in this case) and blind bake the pastry for 25-30 minutes or until it is golden brown. Set aside to cool before filling.
  4. Spoon the lemon coconut filling into the baked pastry case and level off with a spoon. Refrigerate for about 2 hours to set.
  5. Add the coconut cream and icing sugar to a small bowl and whisk until thickened and fluffy. Use this to top the pie once set. Decorate with lemon rind and dessicated coconut. Serve chilled and enjoy! Will keep for 3 days in the fridge.

Baked Spinach Quinoa Falafels

In other words: my latest obsession.


It’s taken me way too long to get a falafel recipe right. believe me, I’ve tried almost everything this year from lentils to mushrooms to wild rice. I just could not create a falafel recipe that

a) Didn’t fall apart in my sandwich

b) Wasn’t drier than the Sahara desert

c) Worked every single time

UNTIL this one happened.


Believe me, I’d long given up on the falafel dream, resigning myself to order from the Lebanese lady at the farmer’s market. If you’ve read my vegan carrot cake pancakes post then you’ll know about the abundance of home grown produce in my home. Among these vegetables, we have some leafy green spinach hanging around. To put it to good use, I blindly added it to my food processor with some chickpeas and quinoa. And whoa. And I mean WHOA. These beautiful things came around.


I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that this is all I ate for a week. I could not believe that they were this good and came from my own kitchen. And now, I’m posting the recipe here so that you too can experience heaven in a bite!


Falafels are traditionally eaten in a pita with cucumber and a yogurt sauce. Today we’re keeping it strictly vegan with an avocado sauce that I will also be posting soon. I didn’t have any pitas on hand, but there was some naan dough that I had frozen, so I whipped up a batch of fresh naan and can I just say, BEST LUNCH EVER. So I encourage you today, reader: go forth and make delicious falafel balls!

Baked Spinach Quinoa Falafels                                                              makes about 20 falafel

Ingredients

  • ½ cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups soaked chickpeas, rinsed
  • ½ cup fresh spinach
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper

Method

  1. Start by cooking the quinoa. Add the quinoa to a medium saucepan and cover with a cup of boiling water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the water has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Remove the cooked quinoa to a bowl and allow to cool.
  2. To a food processor, add the cooked quinoa, chickpeas, spinach and olive oil. Process until combined, about 5 minutes. Remove the vegetable mixture to a large bowl before adding the flour, baking powder, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Use a rubber spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the vegetable mixture, stirring carefully to ensure there are no pockets of flour.
  3. Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking pan or line with parchment paper/aluminium foil. Dampen your hands to make it easier to shape the falafel. Use a tablespoon to portion out the falafel and use your hands to shape into a sphere before adding to the baking pan. Repeat until you’ve used up all the mixture. If the mixture fails to hold together, add flour 2 tbsp at a time until it does. Refrigerate the falafel for 20 minutes whilst you preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F.
  4. Bake the falafel for 15 minutes before gently turning over and baking for another 10 minutes. Serve warm in a pita with cucumber and tomatoes. Enjoy!

How to Plan Your Mother’s Day Breakfast In Bed

Greetings all! Welcome to the first of a series of posts that focus on all things outside the kitchen. Think hosting dinner parties, sustainability and food security, DIY projects and basically everything else that’s on my mind. Today, we’ll be talking about setting up an epic breakfast spread for Mother’s Day.


For all my regular readers, you’ll know that I am no stranger to breakfasts in bed. If you’re new around these here parts, I’d just like to say hello, I’m glad you’re here! If you’d like to dig around in my archives, here are my 2 previous breakfast in bed posts, one with lemon ricotta pancakes and the other with berry waffles. Featured in this post are these Carrot Cake Pancakes


There’s nothing much to creating a memorable breakfast in bed, there are just a couple of points to consider whenever you’re planning a breakfast in bed:

  1. Is there anything messy that could ruin your bedsheets?

There is nothing more aesthetically pleasing yet heart wrenchingly terrifying than a photo of a large breakfast spread on stark white bed sheets. Sure, we’d all like to wake up to that, but not all of us would like to then be responsible for the sticky bright orange juice stain on the Egyptian cotton sheets. People with fur babies at home, please be especially cautious about this. I’m not saying that you’re not allowed to enjoy a glass of freshly squeezed OJ at brekkie, I’m just forewarning you of any possible outcomes. The last thing you’d want is to stress your mum about is the clean-up.

Beware of these culprits: maple syrup/honey, fruit juice, tea or any beverages, jam or marmalade.


2. Consider the whole picture

There are 4 elements that I like to include in every breakfast of bed that I plan. These are something sweet, something savoury, something to drink and something pretty. In this particular one, I have these carrot cake pancakes, avocado toast, orange juice and flowers. For aesthetic purposes I have also included a newspaper and a ramekin of strawberries.


To me, breakfast in bed is about providing the hotel experience, lots of choices involved. What separates this from a hotel breakfast (apart from the fact that it’s free) is that this is done from the heart. That means making everything from scratch. This is something I refuse to budge on. You don’t have to create something elaborate, 2 options is better than none. I can almost guarantee that your mother would greatly favour your burnt cinnamon rolls and soggy toast over supermarket croissants. I don’t care how good your local baker is, this is non-negotiable. This is about a gesture of goodwill towards your mother, in the spirit of celebrating her, the least you can do is make an effort.


3. Think about how long it will take to prepare breakfast and plan accordingly

I’m lucky to live in a household where I don’t have to worry about my mother leaving her boudoir until about 10am, leaving me plenty of time to prepare. For those who are not as fortunate, it would do you well to prepare the night before lest you think about waking up at 5 am to have breakfast ready. Due to the simplicity of breakfast in bed, many elements can be prepared the night before and assembly is the only thing left for the morning.


To be done the night before:

  • Cutting and arranging the flowers
  • Wrapping the present and writing the card
  • Preparing any yeasted dough e.g. croissants, kouign amann, cinnamon rolls or bread that can then be baked in the morning
  • Organising the add-ons such as jam, butter, fresh fruit
  • Preparing pancake/waffle batter, though I wouldn’t advise keeping these around for more than 12 hours

Although most recipes let you know how long it will take you to prepare it, give yourself an extra 15 minutes for every hour, so if the recipe says 30 minutes, give yourself about 40 minutes; if it says 2 hours, give yourself 2 hours and 30 minutes. This is just to allow for any unfortunate happenings that may become you when you’re in the kitchen. The last thing you’d want is to keep mum starving.


All these points taken in consideration, you should be set for a stellar Mother’s Day breakfast. I wish you the best of luck for this Sunday! If I missed anything or if you have any more points you’d like to bring up, leave a comment below!

Until next time loves,

x Andy


 

Spicy Marinated Halloumi and Veggie Wraps

I can’t believe that it took me this long to get into halloumi.


I’d never really been big on cheese, unless it was on pizza or in pasta. On the other hand, my mum eats either camembert or brie as a post-dessert palette cleanser. It’s also an excuse for her to drink wine and feel fancy. Sigh, the things that go on in my house.


To be fair, this lunch spread was an excuse for me to feel fancy. In an effort to terrorise my mother, I’ve been using various wooden bowls ,that previously housed ornaments, as crockery for my food shoots. Because aesthetic, obviously.


I’ve also been bullying my brother into posing for me. In case you couldn’t tell, the background of this photo is his penguin onesie, the new love of his life. Last week he got a break when my neighbour volunteered his hand for this vegan pot pie recipe. This week, he wasn’t as lucky.


This was shot on one of those days that I just felt like cooking. I roasted some chopped potatoes with cayenne pepper, garlic powder, mixed herbs and S&P; threw together a quick strawberry basil salad and rolled up these kick-ass wraps to go with them. How’s that for a healthy balanced lunch?


Spicy Marinated Halloumi and Veggie Wraps                                            makes 2-4 wraps

Ingredients

For the halloumi:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp oregano
  • a pinch salt and black pepper
  • 100g halloumi, sliced into small rectangles

For the wraps:

  • 1 medium carrot, grated (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup chopped baby spinach
  • ¼ cup chopped basil
  • ¼ cup sliced strawberries (optional)
  • 2-4 tortillas

Method

  1. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, chilli powder, garlic powder, oregano, S & P. Add the halloumi and toss until coated. Set aside for 10 minutes whilst you prepare the filling.
  2. Combine the grated carrot, spinach, basil and strawberries in a medium bowl and toss to combine. Divide the veggie mixture between the tortillas, on one side only.
  3. Heat a skillet on high heat and fry the halloumi for 2-3 minutes on each side or until crispy. Top the veggies with the halloumi and roll up to create your wraps. I like to pan fry my wraps for a minute on each side just to warm the filling and create that beautiful grill pattern but this is completely optional. Serve and enjoy!

Roasted Buffalo Chickpea and Cauliflower Stuffed Baked Potatoes

The recipe title is a mouthful, but this meal is every bit as tantalising as you would expect it to be.


Last week, I picked up a bunch of cauliflower at the store so I had been meaning to make something along the lines of roasted cauliflower. The problem was: how would I turn that into a recipe? Would I serve it over rice and style it as General Tso Cauliflower? Or would I whip up an Asian style sweet and sour sauce and wrap them in lettuce leaves to make pretty wraps? There were so many options but none of them really stuck out at me. That was until I came across this recipe by The First Mess. Laura’s blog is super neat, and her website is a staple for anyone who’s already on a plant based diet or is looking to include more vegan recipes in their diet. She also just released her first cookbook and it’s full of the most amazing recipes!

I took a different path to Laura in this recipe by choosing to dip the cauliflower florets in batter and roasting them just to make them that much more crunchy. I also decided to roast the chickpeas because I was looking for something I could snack on during shooting #sorrynotsorry.


If there’s anything I’m going to tell you today it’s to stop everything you’re doing and make this right now. Understood? Good, now let’s get in the kitchen!


Roasted Buffalo Chickpea and Cauliflower Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Ingredients

For the buffalo seasoning:

  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • ½ tsp onion powder

For the potatoes:

  • 4 Russet potatoes, washed (leave the skin on)
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • ½ tsp garlic powder

For the stuffing:

  • 1 small head of cauliflower, about 3 cups chopped cauliflower florets
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 4 tsp of the buffalo seasoning, separated into 2 tsp + 2 tsp
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup soaked but uncooked chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For the buffalo sauce:

  • 1 cup hot sauce of your choosing
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (may increase if you want to reduce the heat)
  • 2 tsp of the buffalo seasoning
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Optional for serving: nutritional yeast flakes, fresh herbs, ranch dressing

Method

  1. Start by preparing the buffalo seasoning. Combine all the ingredients in a ramekin and mix well. Use as directed in the rest of the recipe. You may increase the quantity if you wish and keep any extras to use in other recipes.
  2. Add the potatoes to a baking tray. In a ramekin/small bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, mixed herbs and garlic powder for the potatoes. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork and drizzle the oil mixture over the potatoes. Bake in an oven at 180°C/350°F for approximately 1 hour, or until a fork easily pierces the potato.
  3. Whilst the potatoes are baking, chop the head of cauliflower into small florets. Line a 9×12 roasting pan with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, 2 tsp of the buffalo seasoning and water until you have a thick batter.
  4. Dip the cauliflower florets into the batter before laying them on the baking sheet. If you’re like me and the thought of dipping each cauliflower floret sounds like madness, add the cauliflower florets to the bowl and shake until the florets are covered in batter. Use a fork to transfer the florets from the batter to the roasting pan, letting any excess batter drip off. Roast the cauliflower at 180°C/350°F for 20 minutes.
  5. Drizzle the chickpeas with the olive oil and roast in the oven at 180°C/350°F for 20 minutes then remove the chickpeas from the oven and set aside. Meanwhile, prepare the buffalo sauce.
  6. Add all the ingredients to a medium saucepan and whisk to combine. Bring the sauce to a boil then turn off the heat but don’t remove from the pot as yet.
  7. Once the cauliflower has been roasting for 20 minutes, pour about a cup of the buffalo sauce over the cauliflower and toss until coated. Return the cauliflower to the oven for another 10 minutes or until the sauce has bonded to the cauliflower.
  8. Pour the remaining buffalo sauce over the chickpeas and toss to coat.
  9. Once the potatoes have finished baking, remove from the oven and let cool until you can handle them with your hands. Slice the potatoes in half longitudinally, and then scoop out the soft middle. You can mash this and eat separately if desired- I just mashed the insides and added them straight back to the potatoes. Add the potato halves back to the baking tray before spooning the buffalo cauliflower into the middle of the potato followed by the chickpeas. Repeat until you’ve used up all the potatoes. Return to the oven for 10 minutes to warm through then serve immediately with nutritional yeast, fresh herbs and ranch dressing. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The First Mess