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Brilliant Bubble and Squeak Cakes

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Brilliant bubble and squeak cakes, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free

It’s suddenly all about the leftovers. With Christmas over for another year, it’s time to think up ways of eating all the festive foods without feeeling like you’ve eaten the same meal for multiple days in a row. We’re definitely in comfort food territory, food to warm the soul on brisk chilly days, and potatoes lend themselves so well to this.

D and I are fans of the odd cabbage based dish but I’ve never managed to persuade the girls – I guess it’s always been thus with children and cabbage. But hidden in potato could work?

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The brilliant part of these bubble and squeak cakes is that they’re naturally dairy-free, with no fat included in the recipe to bind them together – sure you have to roast the mini potatoes originally, and then fry them to give a crispy outside but it’s not so naughty. The potato cake is also the most fabulous carrier of any green veg really, enrobing it in comforting mashed and roasted potato. I’ve always found the name very appealing too, the bubble and squeak being from the sound makes while cooking.

I’ve used cabbage here, but this recipe will work brilliantly with chopped up roasties from your Christmas or Sunday lunch, and any leftover veg you fancy. Try these with any left-overs or as part of a full English breakfast. Veggies and non veggies will love these.

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Bubble and Squeak Cakes

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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free-from potato cakes

Serves 4

2 large baking potatoes, baked and still warm

2-3 small to medium potatoes, cut into small cubes

Green or cabbage of choice, shredded and blanched

Salt and pepper

  1. Roast the potato cubes in oil and seasoning (plus any herbs optional) for about 30-40 minutes at 180 degrees centigrade, until golden and crispy. Set aside.
  2. Using a potato ricer (my preference), rice the insides of the large cooked baked potatoes. (Keep the skins to make stuffed potato skins!). Stir in the mini roasties and cabbage/greens, season well.
  3. Press into a ring that is on baking paper and then place in the fridge to firm up.
  4. Fry in flavourless oil until golden on each side and then transfer to a hot oven for 15 minutes.
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veggie full English with bubble and squeak cakes

Mustardy potato and green bean salad

potato and green bean salad

It’s still Jersey Royal season, and I’m determined to use this wonderful seasonal produce as much as possible, while it’s still at its best. Most people prefer new potatoes very simply boiled, I like to cook them ‘en papillotte’ – so simple and no chance of getting them waterlogged. But still we’ve started to tire of them that way too, which is such a shame when they’re so wonderfully delicious.

So, here is a stunner of a potato salad recipe to fire up your imagination and add a bit of interest to your new potatoes when you’ve tired of the traditional recipes. As far away from a mayo-based traditional creamy affair as possible, and all the better for it, the strong mustardy dressing adds powerful background flavour and warmth, pepped up with the twang of shallots, chives and pretty chive flowers. The idea of honey in the dressing may seem crazy – honey with potatoes anyone? – but it is only a light touch which lifts the mustardy flavours without giving any noticeable sweet effect. The green beans add a little green crunch and I recommend them, although the salad remains almost as majestic without.

I can see this becoming my go-to potato salad recipe this summer.

Mustardy Potato and Green Bean Salad (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan) N.B. contains mustard

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200g new potatoes, boiled whole in their skins until tender
100g fine green beans
1 small bunch of chives, finely chopped
Chive flowers to garnish (optional)

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For the dressing;

1 tbsp whole grain mustard (yes really)
1 tbsp wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/2 tsp honey
Salt and pepper

  1. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and set aside.
  2. Top and tail the green beans and cut in half, blanch for 3-4 minutes and then plunge in cold water. Boil or steam the potatoes, until tender.
  3. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut into chunky slices and pour over 2/3rds of the dressing. Gently toss to combine. Leave to fully cool.
  4. Once cool, stir in the blanched green beans, chives and the additional dressing. Garnish with chive flowers.
  5. This salad is best eaten at room temperature.

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Salt and Pepper Oven Fries

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Who doesn’t love a bowl of fries? The ultimate junk food with their fried, crispy, savoury moreish-ness.

This healthier oven-cooked version gives perfect results – crispy and light with only a tiny amount of oil. Add some salt and pepper and they’re ready with little fuss, in no time at all. Whilst it may seem a faff to soak and thoroughly dry the potato batons prior to cooking, it’s quite essential if you want a perfect fluffy inside and crisp outer. Never need your table be disgraced by soggy frozen chips again!

Salt and Pepper Oven Fries (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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Serves 2, multiply as necessary

  • 2 medium to large potatoes
  • 1 tsp oil of choice
  • Salt and pepper

– Leaving the skin in, chop the potatoes into chip sized batons.
– Soak in cold water for at least half an hour.
– Thoroughly pat dry
– Toss with the oil and seasoning
– Scatter on a baking sheet in a single layer, use more than one baking sheet if you have lots of fries
– Bake for 30-40 minutes at 220 degrees centigrade/Gas Mark 6, tossing once or twice during the cooking

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Perfect Cinnamon Buns

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Who doesn’t love cinnamon buns? Not only are they light, fluffy and sweetly spicy, but they also make your house smell heavenly as you make them. I’ve tried many versions over the years, but never been totally happy with the results until now. As I’ve said before, I often shy away from egg-replacers and prefer to use standard store cupboard essentials. I don’t know why really, it’s just how I like to cook. This is the first recipe I’ve developed which only used ingredients you would find in any household store cupboard and can easily be pronounced!

This recipe gave the most perfect results – the dough is soft and silky without a hint of stickiness and an absolute joy to work with. The filling packs the right kind of cinnamon punch. My only comment really is that they’re really not terribly sweet, and whilst still moreish, I did add an extra drizzle of cinnamon icing to appeal to the younger palates.

Cinnamon Buns (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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  • 300ml dairy-free milk, I used Oatly
  • 3 tbsp dairy-free spread, such as Pure
  • 400g plain flour
  • 2 tsp dried yeast
  • 50g or 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cornflour

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup soft brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp dairy-free spread

For the glaze:

  • 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp pearl sugar/sugar crystals

And/or:

  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • Sprinkle cinnamon
  • Water to make into a runny paste

– Melt the spread and milk together – you want it to be warm and melted but not hot
– In a bowl mx together the flour, yeast, sugar, cinnamon, cornflour and salt
– Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm milk mix
– Bring together to a soft dough and knead until its smooth and bounces back when poked
– Cover and let double in size
– Knock back and roll out to a large rectangle
– Smear on the dairy-free spread

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– Sprinkle over the sugar and cinnamon, then roll up tightly into a long sausage
– Cut into even slices – I managed to get 25 small slices from mine
– Place on lined and greased baking pans and leave to rise again for another half an hour

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– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 4/375 degrees F
– Bake for 17-20 minutes until risen, golden and cooked through

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– Melt the brown sugar with the water and brush over the top and sprinkle with the pearl sugar (if using)
– Remove from the pans and peel off the paper
– Drizzle with the cinnamon water icing

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Chocolate cake with Fudgy lotus/biscoff glaze

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This recipe is the result of a total experiment involving an ignored jar of Lotus caramelised Biscoff spread that was sitting in the larder, looking all lonely and sorry for itself. I’ve used it before to great success in these little stuffed chocolate pillows of biscuits, but although it would seem like a great substitute for peanut butter, however, we find it far too sweet to use as a spread. So the jar has been sitting there for many months, looking less and less loved. While it may be on the sweet side for a spread – which is only our opinion, some people can’t get enough of the stuff – I reckoned it could have some other interesting uses.

The above mentioned cookies paired the sweet caramel flavour with chocolate to great success, and this is a repeat of that combination. This is basically a riff on a chocolate fudge cake – the sponge is supremely moist and delicious, not at all dry and crumbly like some dairy and egg-free cakes can be. The Fudgy lotus topping gives a wonderful sweet glaze and compliments the deep chocolate flavour rather perfectly.

Chocolate Cake (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, can be soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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makes 1 2lb loaf

  • 1 cup plus 2tbsp plain flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup soft brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup dairy-free yogurt
  • 1/3 cup sunflower oil

– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade/Gas Mark 4
– Line a loaf tin
– Sift together the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl
– Stir in the sugars
– In a separate bowl, mix together the yogurt and oil
– Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix until thoroughly combined
– Pour into the lined loaf tin and bake for 40-45 minutes, until a knife comes out clean and the top of the cake is springy to the touch
– Cool in the tin before transferring to a wire rack

Fudgy Caramelised Icing Glaze (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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  • 1/4 cup lotus spread (I used crunchy but smooth would work even better)
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp golden or maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp dairy-free milk, I used Oatly
  • 1 tbsp dairy-free spread, such as Pure

– Melt together all the ingredients
– Bring up to a boil and simmer for a couple of minutes to thicken
– Cool slightly then pour over the cake
– Decorate if you wish, then leave to set.

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Plum tart

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This is such a simple, stunningly pretty tart you’ll wonder why you ever thought a tart needed anything more than fruit and pastry. And it was a great way of using up a pile of slightly over-ripe plums from Clive’s Fruit Farm.

You could just use the soft stone fruit and pastry which works impressively enough, but a few grinds of black pepper and drizzles of honey (or maple syrup) give this simple dish a much more special feel. I have to admit that the concept behind this recipe isn’t my own, I came across the idea online (somewhere) a while back, but only with the divine Opal plums from Clive’s did the idea resurface.

Plum Tart (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan if use maple syrup)

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Serves 4-6

  • 1/2 sheet puff pastry
  • Plums, halved to cover the pastry
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • A few grinds of black pepper
  • Honey or maple syrup to drizzle

– Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade/Gas Mark 4
– Roll the pastry out to an even rectangle (or whatever shape you like)
– Score a frame around the edge, about 1 cm in.
– Fill the centre with the plum halves, some facing up and some down, then sprinkle over the caster sugar

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– Grind over the black pepper
– Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are browned and all the pastry is cooked through
– Drizzle with the honey or syrup
– Serve at room temperature with a scoop of dairy-free ice cream

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