The Hairy Bikers’ Big Book of Baking

No recipe-wrangling this week — I’ve been having some fancy ready meals to celebrate the autumnal equinox — so instead I’m going to wurble a bit about one of my favourite recipe books, which was published as a tie-in to the series Hairy Bikers’ Bakeation, wherein Si and Dave travelled to various parts of Europe to discover various forms of baked yumminess.

I’ve been working out of this book a lot recently, doing a baking experiment every other week or so and sharing it with my parents. The Norwegian lemon and cardamom cookies and the linzertorte are favourites that I’ve made occasionally for a while now — they always tend to disappear rather quickly when I bring samples over to my parents’ place!

Other recent success stories include the Scandinavian rye bread, the Spanish olive bread and  especially the spelt bread with chorizo and ham — yum yum! The rye bread, as it turns out, goes really well with taramasalata, and the Spanish olive bread (which, following the recipe, is made as a batch of rolls) is divine on its own or with charcuterie, while the spelt bread with chorizo and ham tastes a little bit like pizza (from the chorizo oil) and is absolutely delicious on its own — I intend, next time I make it, to dial the amount of meat up a ways and knead it directly into the dough, rather than rolling things up Swiss-roll-style, to see if this increases the effect ^^

Since the weather is rapidly cooling towards autumnal temperatures, I’m going to be making a few of the savoury recipes for my suppers in the coming weeks. I’m particularly looking forward to the Austrian pork meatloaf, which appears to be potentially very juicy and flavoursome.

Bon appetit!


Cauli-ing for a bit of cheese

Cauliflower and broccoli cheese this week!

Results were…a bit mixed, I have to admit. The broccoli and cauliflower cooked up just fine, but the cheese sauce (which the recipe instructed be made with milk thickened with cornflour) turned out kinda pallid and a bit watery. I don’t know whether that was down to me screwing up the procedure somehow, or a small but critical typo somewhere in the recipe — in any case, next time I make this recipe I’m going to use a proper roux for the sauce, and damn the calories XD

At the end of last week, I finished writing a small novella — a piece of original fiction which I have every intention of publishing as an e-book. I’m currently letting the manuscript rest for a week or so before I start editing 🙂 I’ll make sure to mention significant updates here!

Capping things off with caponata

Urgh… This weekend’s been pretty intense — longish proofreading job with an extremely tight deadline. It’s money in the bank, so I’m not griping too hard, but that sort of thing is not something I’d recommend doing on a regular basis because of exhaustion and disruption to sleep schedule…


This week’s recipe — caponata pasta! The recipe is for ‘courgette caponata’, but I left out the courgettes and capers because I can’t stand ’em — this left me with a lovely zingy tomato-and-pepper pasta sauce. Very nice! I got four good portions out of the recipe, too, so I’m not going to go hungry for a bit ^^


Wiley Humanities Festival 2018: Why Technology Matters: The Humanities in the 21st Century — The Philosopher’s Eye

The field of humanities is changing rapidly, along with the world, as new technologies alter centuries of tradition in various disciplines. In this, the third year of the Wiley Humanities Festival, we’ll focus on the digital humanities, and how technology has revolutionized the way the humanities will be taught, learned, and researched for years to come. The […]

via Wiley Humanities Festival 2018: Why Technology Matters: The Humanities in the 21st Century — The Philosopher’s Eye

Stirrin’ some tofu

Tofu stir fry this week 🙂

As ever, I made a few tweaks to the recipe:

  • Egg tofu instead of a block of silken — I find egg tofu easier to wrangle, personally, and I prefer the flavour and texture. Plus, it holds together a lot better under force (as happens in a stir fry)
  • Omitted the asparagus and chilli — the former I find to be somewhat pallid and unappealing in flavour whatever is done to it, and the latter I omitted as I simply didn’t feel like having much spice
  • Golden syrup instead of honey — that was what I had in the cupboard
  • Half quantities generally — low appetite, as well as the worry that the stir fry wouldn’t freeze well and wouldn’t last for more than a day or so in the fridge.

All in all, it turned out pretty darn well! The stir fry tasted good, and once I’d finished chopping the ingredients it came together very, very quickly 🙂 One to remember for the future, I think ^^