Stuffed chickpea crepes

Try these! They are delicious!
To make my crepes, I adjusted Madhur Jaffrey’s recipe, using the same quantities of gram flour (140g) and water (250ml), but adjusting the spices. I used ½ tsp of cayenne, 1 tsp coriander, 3-4 crushed garlic cloves and ½ tsp chilli powder. You end up with something  that looks like this:
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My main tip is not to worry about the consistency of the batter – it’s a lot more watery than milk-and-egg based crepes but it cooks up fine. The quantity here makes about 4-6 large crepes depending on the size of your pan.

Step 1 Make batter
Step 2 Heat 1-2 tsp vegetable oil in a frying pan, evenly coating the base of the pan
Step 3 Pour in enough batter to cover the base of the pan with a thin layer, as you would for a standard crepe
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Step 4 Fry on a medium heat until the top of the pancake starts to form air bubbles, then flip using a spatula

Stuffed chickpea crepes Toppings! The possibilities are endless. I have covered mine with all sorts of things including:
• A layer of grated cheddar cheese, a handful of spinach and an egg
• A layer of leftover cooked rice mixed with leftover curry, and an egg
• Softened onions, spinach, egg
Once you have piled your toppings on, fold the crepe over into a half-moon shape and cook, turning once, until the egg is cooked to your liking.
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I find the topping holds together quite well and with a bit of care these can be wrapped up in foil and taken as a packed lunch.

Beware, these crepes are so scrumptious your pets may try to mug ypu for them. This is Gustav, looking hopeful.
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Batty for biscuits

I experienced an uncanny craving for biscuits on Sunday – and it was incredibly easy to whip some up. In just an hour I managed to make four varieties, so our biscuit tins will be full for a few weeks!

Oat, Honey and Nut Crumbles

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These have proved a big hit with my partner and I suspect they’ll become a lunchbox staple. I used wholemeal, but you can use plain or a mixture of both. If you like a springier biscuit – more like an American cookie – use self-raising flour or add a teaspoon of baking powder. And for extra chew, use a mixture of Demerara and Muscovado sugars. You can also experiment with additions like dried fuit, coconut, chocolate – whatever you like!

Ingredients

75g flour

75g oats – I used jumbo oats for texture

50g chopped walnuts

75g brown sugar

75g butter

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp milk

Method

Preheat your oven to 160C. Put the flour, oats, nuts and sugar into a mixing bowl. Next, melt the butter, honey and milk in a pan until heated through and fully combined. Stir the mixture into the dry ingredients until fully combined. Using a teaspoon, drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto a lightly greased baking tray and flatten into a biscuit shape (round, square, triangular). Bake for 8-12 minutes (depending on the temperament of your oven) or until golden brown and leave to cool for five minutes before removing from the tray (otherwise they will burn your mouth and break to pieces!)

Chocolate, spice and peanut butter

I used BBC Good Food’s Basic Biscuit Dough Recipe as a starting point, with the following amendments:

#1 – I mixed the wet ingredients as described in the BBC recipe, and then divided them in half to make two separate mixes.

#2 For the spice biscuits I added 1 heaped teaspoon of mixed spice and 150g of whole wheat plain flour. I chilled the dough for 15 minutes, then divided it into little balls and pressed them into flat biscuit shapes. In my oven, they took 8 minutes at 160C.
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#3 For the plain chocolate biscuits, I added 150g plain white flour and 2 tsp cocoa powder.
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After chilling the dough, I divided it into small balls and pressed them down with my fingers before making indentations with a fork. These took about 8 mins to bake at 160C.
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#4 For the peanut butter chocolate biscuits I took half the chocolate dough and pressed it into a rectangular shape about 6in long. I then spread it with peanut butter and rolled it into a sausage shape before cutting it into 1in slices.
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I baked them at 160C for 8-10 mins.
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Gaiju Cake

One of the things I particularly like to do is invent special cakes for friends’ birthdays. This decadent little number was for my friend Daniel. He’d mentioned he was serving bourbon at his birthday party and I wanted to bring something with spice in it that would complement the flavour. But you don’t need whiskey to enjoy this cake! It’s great for any special occasion.

For the saffron and cardamom sponge:

  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 3-4 strands saffron
  • 175g butter (room temperature)
  • 175g sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 175g flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp milk

Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods and crush them with a pestle and mortar, then soak the saffron strands in a teaspoon of boiling water. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy and then beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then the spices. Finally, stir in the flour and baking powder. Divide the mixture between two greased sandwich tins and bake at 175C for 25-30 minutes.

For the saffron cream:

  • 60ml double cream
  • A few strands saffron
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar

Soak the saffron strands in 2tsp boiling water and leave to soak for a few minutes before adding to the cream. Whip the cream and saffron into stiff peaks, then combine with the icing sugar.

For the buttercream:

  • A few saffron strands soaked in 1tbsp boiling water
  • 140g butter (at room temperature)
  • 280g icing sugar

Put all the ingredients into a bowl and beat until they form a smooth cream

Once the cake has cooled, assembly is easy – spread the saffron cream on one of your cakes and place the other on top. Then smother the whole thing with buttercream, using a palette knife for a smooth effect – then enjoy!