Monday, 11 May 2015

spiced tea loaf

traditional, tea loaf, recipe, tea bread, vegan, vegetarian, egg free, dairy free, recipes, baking, cakes, fat free cakes, dried fruit,
spiced tea loaf
I love a cup of tea and a nice slice of traditional tea loaf. A much healthier alternative to cake, this fat free and low sugar recipe is great as a snack for packed lunches and picnics too. It's dairy free, vegetarian, vegan and has a portion of your daily fruit too - and such a quick and easy recipe to put together. The addition of wholemeal flour adds a great depth and 'bite' to this tea loaf and the end result is still moist and light - unlike a lot of baking recipes I have tried in the past with wholemeal flour.  

I also have it on good authority that they are a good fuel for cyclists out on a long ride due to their combination of slow and fast release carbohydrates. Any excuse for a slice of cake!


I spiced my tea loaf with quatre epices - one of my favourite spice mixes. Quatre-├ępices is a blend of allspice, nutmeg, clove, ginger and pepper.  It's often used to flavour pain d'epices and in savoury dishes such as pates and rillettes here in France. I use it regularly as an alternative to mixed spice in cakes and bakes.


I hope you enjoy. Bon appetit!


adapted from this recipe from the lovely Bit of the Good Stuff


preparation time: 4 - 5 hours soaking + 10 minutes 

cooking time: 60 - 75 minutes 

ingredients:

1 cup dried fruit (whatever you like or have in the cupboards - e.g. sultanas, citrus peel, cherries, dates)
1 1/2 cup strong brewed tea
1 cup plain white flour
2/3 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbs honey
1 tsp quatre epices (or mixed spice)
pinch of salt

method:

  1. in a large bowl add the tea to the fruit and soak for 4-5 hours (or see my tip below to speed up the process)
  2. preheat the oven to gas 3/160C
  3. line/grease a 2lb loaf tin
  4. add the honey, sugar and spice mix to the soaked dried fruit and stir well
  5. sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into the mix and fold in 
  6. pour into your prepared baking tin and bake for 60-75 minutes - it's cooked when a skewer comes out clean
  7. leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes before turning out to cool completely. Serve in slices. 
hints & tips:
  • You can use whatever type of tea you like - they will each add their own subtle difference to the finished loaf. I used a traditional English tea blend, but you can use Earl Grey, Chai or Green like in the original recipe.
  • You can speed up the dried fruit soaking process by adding the fruit and tea to a saucepan and bringing to the boil for 5 minutes. Leave to cool for 30 minutes before using in the recipe. This will help plump up the fruit in a much shorter space of time. 
  • This tea loaf is delicious served as it is, but is great with a bit of butter and jam too. 
  • a great way of using up leftover cold tea and odds & ends of packets of dried fruit.

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Monday, 4 May 2015

potato & lentil curry with lemon & fresh mint

curry, dhal, dal, spicy, lentils, curry, recipe
potato & lentil curry with lemon & fresh mint
I have always loved curry and they were a family favourite when I was growing up. After fairy cakes and cheese on toast they were one of the first things I learnt to cook. I remember my mum going to an Indian cookery class when I was young and enjoying sampling and trying out the recipes from her spice splattered note book when she was back at home. 

Don't be put off by the long list of spices and ingredients - it really is a simple recipe to put together and the spices are easy to get hold of in most supermarkets. Smoked paprika is not a usual curry spice but I really like the smoky depth of flavour it adds to the dish.  

I hope you try out and enjoy my curry recipe this Meat Free Monday. Do get in touch and let me know what you have been cooking recently too. You can leave your recipes and links in the comments below. I look forward to hearing from you. 

serves: 6-8
preparation time: 20-30 minutes 
cooking time: 60-90 minutes
recipe author: Ema at De Tout Coeur Limousin 

ingredients:
400g white potatoes chopped
400g sweet potatoes chopped
450g cooked green/brown lentils (you can use pre cooked tinned lentils or cook according to packet instructions)
300g sliced onions
250g cauliflower broken into florets
200g spinach
4 cloves garlic crushed
2 inches fresh ginger grated/finely chopped
1 fresh chilli finely chopped (I used a mild long green 'finger' chilli with the seeds) 

whole spices:
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp onion/nigella seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
3-4 cardamon pods cracked 
2-3 dried chillies (or to taste)
2 bay leaves 

ground spice mix:
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon 

1 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 litre vegetable stock
400 ml tin coconut milk (or an extra 400 ml vegetable stock) 
1 tbsp oil
splash of vinegar
salt & pepper

to serve:
small bunch of fresh mint chopped
lemon wedges
yogurt
rice or flat bread

method:
  1. heat the oil in a large deep frying pan and add the whole spices - allow them to 'crackle' before adding the onions with a bit of salt and pepper. Gently cook until they are soft and caramelised. This will take about 20 minutes or so. If it starts to 'catch', turn down the heat and add a splash of cold water to prevent this. 
  2. in a separate pan par-boil your chopped potatoes in salted water with a splash of vinegar for 5-10 minutes - until just starting to get soft. Drain and leave to one side.
  3. when the onions are soft and caramelised add the ginger, garlic and fresh chilli, followed by the drained potatoes and ground spices. Stir well and cook for a few minutes to coat all the potatoes with the spices.  
  4. add the rest of the vegetables, tomato puree, coconut milk and stock and bring up to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for about an hour. I like to cook this slowly on a low heat as it gives the spices and flavours a chance to mix and develop.  
  5. serve with chopped mint, a squeeze of lemon and a dollop of yogurt. It's good served with a plain white rice or flat bread.  Bon appetit! 
tips:
  • don't skimp on the time it takes to caramelise and brown the onions. It is this slow cooking that adds the depth of flavour to the curry and allows the spices to release their essential oils. 
  • you can substitute different vegetables in this curry according to your own preferences - I just used what I had in the fridge and store cupboard. 
  • add a splash of vinegar to the potato boiling water as it helps keep them firm and hold their shape. 
  • a really economical and cost effective dish and a healthy meat free option too packed with superfoods and spices. 


potato, lentil, vegetable curry, vegetarian, vegan, healthy food, vegetable recipes,
potato & lentil curry with lemon & fresh mint

Thanks for stopping by. You can say bonjour and connect with us on FacebookTwitterInstagram & Bloglovin too and sign up to our newsletter hereWe look forward to welcoming you soon at De Tout Coeur Limousin.  


retreat, France, travel, Creuse, singing, wellbeing, wellness, from the heart
Bienvenue to De Tout Coeur Limousin

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For more of my recipes click here




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