Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category

Rosewater the delicate and versatile kitchen staple

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Welcome to a new regular series spotlighting one of the Steenbergs products. The first of these is on the Steenbergs Organic Rose Water.

Rose water was cultivated in Iran with more than 18, 000 cultivars and have been traditionally scattered at weddings to ensure a long and happy marriage as it’s been cited as a symbol of love and purity. In fact apart from it’s pretty name, rose water has  been used to reduce blood sugar and also been used as a cough syrup and to treat acid reflux. Rose water is truly a wonderful staple that is used in Middle Eastern cooking. It is a key ingredient in many sweets such as baklava and Turkish delight and can be used to give a wonderfully sweet and florally aroma to your pastries and cakes such as Persian yazdi squares.

They’re very easy on the eyes and once you take a bite you will taste the rose water which has beautifully perfumed the cake with the ground cardamom. Cardamom helps to lower blood pressure as well as helping with bad breath and even help with cavities.

Steenbergs Organic Rose Water adds a wonderful floral flavour to baking and savoury dishes.

Steenbergs Organic Rose Water adds a wonderful floral flavour to baking and savoury dishes.

All you need is:

Ingredients:

(Makes up to 20 cake squares)
(Use organic/natural real food ingredients where possible)

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 25 minutes (to include cooking time and pouring over the rosewater syrup)

For the yazdi cake:

220g of almond flour
150g of coconut sugar
200ml of almond milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of baking powder
100g finely ground pistachios
100ml of coconut oil, melted
1/s teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt

 

For the filling and topping:

200g of pistachios, crushed
8 cardamom pods, deseeded and crushed
100g coconut sugar

 

For the rosewater syrup:

150ml of filtered water
2 teaspoons of organic rosewater
50g coconut sugar (all melted together in a small saucepan for 5 minutes)

Yazdi Squares created by NikiBakes and featuring Steenbergs Organic Rose Water.

Yazdi Squares created by NikiBakes and featuring Steenbergs Organic Rose Water.

From your kitchen:

A wooden spoon
A sharp knife
A griddle pan
A silicone spatula
A couple of teaspoons and tablespoons for measuring
A few mixing bowls, small and large
A chopping board
A food processor or pestle and mortar
A square brownie baking dish
A couple of small saucepans
A sheet of greaseproof paper

 

Method:
Step 1:

Preheat your oven to gas mark 4 or 180°c and grease your square brownie baking dish with extra coconut oil and line with greaseproof paper. Whisk your melted coconut oil and coconut sugar with your vanilla extract, set aside.

Step 2:

In a larger mixing bowl whisk together your dry ingredients which include the almond flour, baking powder, ground pistachios and Himalayan pink salt and start to fold in your ingredients with your wooden spoon. Spoon out half of your cake mixture and fill you cake with the pistachio- cardamom mixture, leave ¾ of this for the topping of your cake.

Step 3:

Once you have poured over the other half of your cake batter, sprinkle over the remaining pistachios and cardamom topping and bake in your oven for a minimum of 20 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack and allow it to cool slightly.

Step 4:

Finally, prick your cake very gently with a fork and pour over the rosewater syrup, allowing it to seep through to your cake. Once completely cooled cut into squares and serve with some strong black tea, delicious!

 

Rose water is well paired with cardamom here and brings the flavours of the Middle East to your kitchen with ease. Give rose water a go today and see how versatile it truly is.

This article has been written and researched by

Niki Behjousiar

Recipe Creator and founder of nikibakes 

www.facebook.com/nikibakes

www.nikibakes.co.uk

Twitter: @Niki_Beh

nikibakes has been blogging for over 10 years and has a passion for gluten free and dairy free recipes. She’s a Persian chef who loves all things spice and particularly enjoys Asian and South American cuisine. She’s always on the lookout for fresh and delicious flavour combinations and uses our spices daily in her cooking and on her blog.

Steenbergs Extracts and Flower Waters now registered with Vegan Society

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

We’ve successfully registered Steenbergs’ extracts and flower waters with The Vegan Society. This is the start of a process that will see Steenbergs include vegan branding into our bakery range over the next few months.

As part of this, we’ve delisted anything that is not vegan within the range of Steenbergs-branded products. So, for example, all the baking decorations have been delisted, because some included shellac and others carmines, while milky oolong has been removed because it contained milk flavour.

We feel this tidies up what Steenbergs does, so that we can now say Steenbergs’ products are animal-free, vegetarian and vegan. Not all are registered (in fact most aren’t) but we’ll work on it over the next few years.

We’ve still got to review non-Steenbergs products and what we’re doing with them…but that’s for another month.

Update 26/1/2017: Following a review of branded products on www.steenbergs.co.uk, we are delisting the Fish4Ever range of fish and seafood, and the Pukka ghee.  This will mean that by mid-year (when these have sold through) Steenbergs will be a strictly vegan brand across all its activities.

Chemical Analysis of Steenbergs Organic Rose Water

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

We are often asked quite detailed technical questions about Steenbergs’ organic rose water.  In particular:

  • What type of water is used? Tap water
  • Is the water distilled water? Yes
  • Does the water contain pesticides or heavy metals? No
Steenbergs Organic Rose Water

Steenbergs Organic Rose Water

Firstly, the rose water is organic and distilled from organic rose petals picked and processed in the Rose Valley of Bulgaria.  It is certified as organic by Ceres, a German certification agency.  So it is grown and processed in an organic way, however that (as many customers keep telling me) does not preclude contamination from other surrounding farmland, so see below.

Secondly, on the water itself, the water used is standard potable water, i.e. it’s not borehole water or the like, but a “tap water” and this meets EU government guidelines on drinking water.

However, in the process, the water is distilled through a double water-vapour distillation process – the first is a standard distillation through a still, and the second runs the distillate a second time but this time through a cohabation column.  So in answer to the question, the water in the rose water is distilled.

This second distillation concentrates the flavour by roughly ten times, and is called “cohabation” – the rose oil tends to float on the top of the distillate so this second distillation dissolves more of this floral flavour into Steenbergs rose water.  For reference: 1.4kg of fresh rose petals yields 1kg of rose water.

Thirdly, as for the possibility for contamination of the water, our most recent tests of the organic rose water are as below and they contain no pesticides, agrochemicals and the levels of heavy metals are well within guidelines:

  Steenbergs Organic Rose Water UK Drinking Water Standards What standard used?
Pesticides Not detected 0.5 µg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
Agrochemicals:
  Nitrates 0.4 mg/l 50 mg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
  Nitrites <0.01 mg/l 0.50 mg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
Plant treatments:
  Chlorates <2 µg/l <10 µg/l EU Recommendation 2015/682
  Perchlorates <0.5 µg/l <10 µg/l EU Recommendation 2015/682
Metals/heavy metals:
  Aluminium <2 µg/l <200 µg/l UK National Requirements
  Arsenic 1.40 µg/l <10 µg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
  Cadmium 0.01 µg/l <5 µg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
  Copper 0.09 mg/l <2 mg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
  Iron 37.06 µg/l <200 µg/l UK National Requirements
  Lead 5.62 µg/l <10 µg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
  Manganese 4.46 µg/l <50 µg/l UK National Requirements
  Molybdenum <0.03 µg/l No standard
  Nickel 4.05 µg/l <20 µg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
  Selenium 0.48 µg/l <10 µg/l EU Directive 98/83/EC
  Zinc 191.14 µg/l No standard*

*there is a complex proposed standard that proposes 10.9 bioavailable plus Ambient Background Concentration (μg/l) dissolved that I really don’t understand, while Australia and Canada have limits of 3 – 5 mg/l (5000 µg/l).

Go Fresh with Meera Sodha’s new cookbook

Monday, July 25th, 2016

cover.jpg.rendition.460.707What strikes you first about Meera Sodha’s new cookbook FRESH INDIA, is the vibrant colour: orange and green for the cover and a bright pink inlay, intertwined with bold Indian prints and photos of mouth-watering cuisine.

Following her successful debut book MADE IN INDIA, Meera’s second book, published by Fig Tree London (£20), is a collection of 130 ‘quick, easy and delicious vegetarian recipes for every day’. It includes sections on everything from Starters & Snacks; Rice; Pulses; Squashes and Pickles & Chutneys to a great chapter dedicated to the humble Aubergine.  Interspersed within the food groupings are handy chapters on Menu Ideas and Presentation Skills – invaluable for making your homemade curry look appetising for Instagram!

RAINBOW.CHARD.SAAGALOO0030

Rainbow Chard Saag Aloo

Meera talks candidly about her life growing up as a Gujarati in Lincolnshire, of family recipes and traditions and above all a life filled with delicious fresh vegetables.  Her recipes use herbs and spices to enhance the flavours in a huge variety of vegetables. Using different blends of traditional Indian spices such as black mustard seeds, chilli, cumin, coriander and turmeric in her Rainbow Chard Saag Aloo and Baked Onion Bhajis, and adding in the ‘subtle jabs’ of star anise, lemon and curry leaves in her nostalgic Gujarati Dal.

GUJURATI DAL eps

Gujarati Dal

BAKED ONION BHAJIS

Baked Onion Bhajis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All of the recipes looked really inviting but the baking ones are always the most appealing, especially now the children are off for the school holidays.  We decided to try the Banana & Cardamom Buns for a weekend brunch and they did not disappoint.

IMG_1027

Not overly sweet, but with a lovely subtle hint of cardamom, these were loved by adults and children alike. They were delicious eaten fresh from the oven with a cup of coffee, but also in a more English way halved and buttered like a scone or with, dare I say it…Nutella!

IMG_1027We were a little free with the quantities, having added 2 whole bananas, but some extra flour and a little extra yeast made for a sticky but manageable dough which rose well during the proving stage. You could have ground your own cardamom pods but we used the handy Steenbergs organic ground cardamom.

Our buns definitely didn’t look as round and pretty as the picture in the book but the egg wash gave them a lovely crust and the soft bready texture was delicious.

Definitely one to add to the repertoire!

 

Delicious Family Favourites from Nadiya Hussain

Friday, May 27th, 2016

9780718184513_Nadiya'sKitchen_COV.inddHave you ever looked for alternative recipes for black sesame seeds, star anise or mustard powder? Have you wanted to add a little twist to your family meals? Then look no further than the new cookbook from 2015 Great British Bake Off Winner Nadiya Hussain.

spiced parsnip cake 2

Parsnip & Orange Spiced Cake

Nadiya’s Kitchen (Penguin, HB, £20) is a collection of over 100 of her favourite family recipes and includes delicious twists on classics such as Mustard Kale Mac & Cheese and Parsnip & Orange Spiced Cake – a twist on the traditional carrot cake but with added sweetness and flavour from the parsnips.

peanut brittle 4 resized

Peanut, Black Sesame & Ginger Brittle

Another ingenious idea is Peanut, Black Sesame & Ginger Brittle, with the black seeds giving extra theatre and the ginger adding a lovely warm kick. We’re really keen to try out the the Chocolate Fondants with Star Anise too. The star anise is ground in a pestle & mortar and then passed through a fine sieve, creating a delicious fondant that is: “crusty on the outside, warm and gooey on the inside with the distinctive, lingering aroma of anise.”

cod clementine process 13 resized

Cod & Clementine

Here at Steenbergs we are always trying to find new ways to add a bit of extra spice to our dishes and Nadiya definitely uses them with style and experience. Her unusual but delicious dish of Cod & Clementine, one of her Mum’s regular recipes, includes a great combination of spices to liven up the fish, and the clementine peel adds a fresh, zesty finish.

The book is filled with chapters ranging from ‘Lazy Sunday Mornings’ to ‘Midnight Feasts’ and ‘Snacks and Sharing’ to ‘Dessert for Dinner’. Sweet treats vie for attention with aromatic savoury snacks and we mustn’t forget the famous birthday cake that Nadiya created for Her Majesty The Queen; a delight of orange, fondant and roses.

queen's cake 1

Her Majesty’s Cake

For more information on Nadiya, please visit her website: www.nadiyahussain.com.

To buy any of the herbs and spices mentioned in the recipes, just visit www.steenbergs.co.uk or click on the images below. Happy cooking!

star anise yellow mustard powder black-sesame-seed-60g

 

 

 

 

Click here to view this promotion.

 

 

Hemsley & Hemsley’s new cookbook Good + Simple

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

cover jpegThe lovely Hemsley & Hemsley sisters are back again, with a great new book packed full of ‘Good + Simple’ recipes. Still with the same philosophy for eating food that is ‘delicious, nutritious and sustainable’, they aim to create ‘fast food that is good for you’.

Their dishes are packed full of nutrient laden foods to create a happy, healthy gut and therefore ultimately leading to a healthy body and mind.  There are plenty of vegetables, lots of interesting herbs & spices, but definitely no lack of meat – in fact the sisters advocate ‘boiling the bones’ to make nutritious stock. Natural fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, butter and egg yolk are also encouraged as great ways to add taste and give sustainable energy but they do steer clear of grains, preferring fibre-filled pseudocereals such as quinoa & buckwheat.

From a breakfast of Butternut & Almond Butter Porridge, to lunch of Noodle Pots, soups and salads, these are healthy recipes that also fill you up.

Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros

Take the Huevos Rancheros, which is one of Melissa’s all time favourite recipes.  A delicious spicy tomato sauce, zesty guacamole and handfuls of spinach all enveloping the comforting baked eggs – definitely the perfect brunch!

For the full recipe take a look at our website here or catch up with Jasmine and Melissa’s new TV show on Mondays at 8pm on Channel 4. The baked eggs were in the first show aired on Monday 9th May and the show runs for 10 weeks so there will be plenty of delicious recipes to feast your eyes on.

Here’s a trailer for Eating Well:

Here at Steenbergs, we do love to get baking and were so excited by the delicious recipes that we tried some out ourselves! The Carrot Cake was nutty, satisfying and particularly moreish and is now a favourite with gluten free friends…

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

and the Blueberry Muffins were lovely and fruity and made a very healthy snack – perfect with a cup of Steenbergs Rose & Bergamot Tea.

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

We’d love to see photos of any of your creations so do share with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and don’t forget that many of the ingredients are available to buy online at www.steenbergs.co.uk. Happy cooking!

For more information on Hemsley and Hemsley, please visit their website: www.hemsleyandhemsley.com

Enter for the chance to win a signed copy of Henrietta Inman’s Clean Cakes cookbook and Steenbergs goodies

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

Click here to view this promotion.