· By Oonagh Simms
Autumn baking hacks
High five, weather fans, because Autumn is absolutely here. Brimming with evenings that smell of bonfires, tights that crumple at the knee and streets filled with damp leaves.
Autumn is definitely the most sensual of seasons- it makes me want to embrace flavours that pack a warmer punch and tastes that deliver comfort. It’s the time for slow cooking, for stewing and a leisurely bake. But it’s also the time of year when I want to go on long walks or drink red wine and read books. So, if you want to cheat your way to producing some lovely Autumnal treats without having to while away the whole day in the kitchen – here’s my top 3 cheats for seasonal deliciousness.
If you haven't posted 20 pictures of a pumpkin on Instagram then is it even Autumn? But, a terrifying 12.8 million pumpkins are expected to be left uneaten this year. So, lets get using them and start adding some pumpkin seeds to your bakes. I like to caramelise mine by mixing the seeds with brown sugar and butter, adding a shake of cinnamon, spreading over a sheet of baking paper and toasting in the oven. You can then add them to cakes- like carrot cakes with spiced cream cheese frosting, apple tarte tatins, warm salads or even as a crunchy topping to your marshmallows.
Eat whilst wearing a camel polo neck jumper and watching You've Got Mail on Netflix ( the cosiest of all films)
Now, you know that I never use flavourings in my marshmallows, however, this product is the exception to my experimentations. Colgin's Pecan Liquid Smoke is a great way of adding smoky notes to your baking, cooking and drinking. You can pop a couple of drops into spiced rum cocktails for a bonfire night warmer or add a dash to a fruit tart (such as plum) for a flavour of sweet burnt toastines.
Blackberry & Ginger Quick Jam
100ml oz water
400g jam sugar ( with added pectin)
juice of 3 lemons
a 3cm knob of fresh ginger ( or to taste)
Wash the blackberries and pop in a pan with water and lemon juice and bring to the boil.
Leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the sugar and grate the ginger ( as much or as little as you like) , stir until it has dissolved and boil for a further 15-20 minutes - until it has reached 105C on a sugar thermometer.
Transfer to sterilised airtight jars to cool. When it has cooled, chill in the fridge where it will thicken to a jam-like consistency.
Smear this over crumpets or toast, have a cup of tea and stare wistfully at the rain.
pumpkin spice teacakes
how laid back do you want to get about this baking business? Because if curling up on the sofa and being spoon fed autumn sounds like your idea of bliss then you need to must taste our new teacakes. Our seasonal box contains the dreamiest of limited edition flavours, including our pumpkin spiced teacake. a warming spiced mallow with a gooey roast pumpkin jelly and a twinkly glaze of milk chocolate. We even handpaint each chocolate shell to look a little bit firworkey....oooh! Only available until the end of the month so don't miss out.