Wierdly Wonderful Aquafaba!

I’ve friend recently told me about aquafab.  Aqua-what??  When she explained that people were making meringues out of chickpea liquid I was pretty puzzled and started to investigate.  It seems that if you whisk up the liquid from a can of chickpeas, it miraculously forms a stiff, frothy consistency, which with sugar added can be baked into egg-free-meringues.  Amazing right?  I can’t say I’m a fan of meringues, so looked into other uses, and it seems that it can in fact be used for an all purpose egg replacer in many different recipes.
So the experimenting began……

One of my favourite recipes of all time is a pumpkin muffin recipe that I have tweaked over time.  I tweaked this further to make it vegan, swapping eggs for aquafaba, and butter for sunflower oil, I was very happy with the results!  I made it as a cake (well 2 cakes!), and it came out exactly the same as the original recipe….  sweet, sticky, and rich!  It tastes very similar to Yorkshire parkin, another of my favourites!

The recipe….

This makes 12 rather large muffins, or 2 medium cakes.

6 tablespoons aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas!)
350g dark brown sugar
200g sunflower oil
230g golden syrup or black treacle or honey (I like to use half treacle, half syrup)
450g cooked, mashed pumpkin (or butternut squash)
400g self raising flour
3 tablespoons dried cinnamon
2 tablespoons dried ginger

Whisk up the aquafaba with an electric whisk until it is light and fluffy (and looks like whipped up egg whites).  Whisk in the sugar, then the sunflower oil. You should have a thick, creamy consistency.
Add the syrup (or treacle, or honey), then the pumpkin. I like to add this whilst it is still warm from steaming it, as it helps to melt the syrup/treacle, making it easier to mix in.
Mix together, then fold in the flour and spices.
Divide into muffin cases or lined cake/loaf tins.

Bake at 180c / gas 5 until risen, slightly brown on top, and firm to the touch.

Enjoy! 🙂

A trip to Angelsey….

We spent a wonderful weekend camping in Anglesey….   somewhere we return to time and time again.  Its such a magical place, with so much history, and beautiful scenery.
Each time we visit, we tend to return to our favourite spots, but always try to squeeze in somewhere new. On this occasion our ‘new bit’ was a trip to the north of the island, and we camped next to Cemaes Bay and watched the most beautiful sunset!  A visit to Angelsey wouldn’t be complete for us without a visit to Beaumaris, as well as the Lligwy area, walking to the 12th century ruined chapel, and the ruins of a 4th century settlement.  The views from the chapel are so beautiful, and the 4th century settlement is perfect for a quiet picnic!
Oh Anglesey…  we will return again very soon!

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Kitchen garden

My garden has been loving the crazy weather we’ve been having here in Yorkshire! Glorious sunny days interspersed with heavy downpours has really given some extra ‘ooooomph’ to the vegetables we’re growing. We’ve already been eating lots of chard, spinach, kale, and now the broad beans are looking fantastic….  broad bean bruschetta this evening I think!

The tomatoes are coming along nicely, and the pak choi and potatoes should soon be ready, but the thing I’m most excited about is the tomatillos!  Its the first time I’ve grown these, and they look fantastic. Lots of pretty papery lanterns have formed, I just hope we will get plenty of fruits forming inside!

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tomatillos chard

Adventures in sourdough…..

One of my passions is bread baking, I try to bake all of our own bread, and over the last year I have been baking sour dough breads more regularly, after capturing some wild yeasts under an apple tree last summer. This sour dough starter we call Alfred, and I’m probably imagining it, but I’m sure he has an appley tang!!
Last week I was kindly given two more sourdough starters by a wonderful local bakery, a wholemeal and a rye, the rye is over thirty years old and originates in Russia. These I have named Wyomarus and Maud (does anyone else name their sourdough starters???). Maud the rye starter has a wonderful honey aroma, and now lives in my great grandmother’s bread crock (my mum recalls her using it to rise her dough in front of the fire).
The arrival of new sour dough starters has meant even more bread experiments, and very tasty they have been too!!

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Learn how to make your own sour dough starter here 🙂

Summer is here!!

Well I think summer is finally upon us here in Yorkshire!  ….its actually been sunny for 3 day in a row!
We had a wonderful weekend in the sunshine, on Saturday we visited a deli market at Kirkstall Abbey. We sat chatting on the grass with friends and bought herb plants and honey from some of the stalls, the honey is produced locally and is beautiful!
It was nice to just wander round the ruins too….

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Something else that we have been up to since we have been able to move the (now grown up!) seedlings out of the polytunnels, is weaving!!  We were lucky to be given a free standing warp weight loom, and a polytunnel seemed to be the perfect place to set it up for the summer and have a go at weaving! I have no experience in weaving, but a keen interest in textile history, and a love of learning new crafts. This is how we have got on so far…..
We have warped the top beam, and separated out the warps ready to hang weights on. Next step after weighting it is attaching one lot of warp threads to a heddle rod.  Watch this space!!

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