Monday, 10 February 2014
Even though I loved Pudding Month it reminded me why I don't usually write a series of posts about similar recipes. The variety keeps things fresh and balanced - both on the blog and on my plate.
Pudding Month led to an intense craving for oats. I've been indulging in several ways. I've made batches of my granola with different variations (I'm very into dried cherries at the moment). I've also made lots of these biscuits. Even once I'd got them right I couldn't stop (maybe because oats can be sexy?).
The biscuits are made from porridge oats, salt, brown butter, maple syrup and water. The nuttiness of the oats is developed by the brown butter. There is a hint of sweetness from the maple syrup. They're crunchy, sturdy and keep well.
After several different combinations I hit on using porridge oats and blitzing half of them to a rough flour. It does add an extra step and more equipment but it produces an excellent result I can't recreate without it. To save on washing up I just wipe down the dusty processor parts.
Though I mainly eat them plain, I've also been enjoying them with thin slices of very mature cheddar or a gooey bit of Pave D'Affinois. A slick of jam is also good - I think raspberry is my favourite.
Finally, Em from mbakes recently asked me to do an email interview about blogging and how I find inspiration for posts. It's now been published: Five Minutes with Emma Gardner of Poires au Chocolat. I loved seeing which posts and photos she picked to illustrate the piece.
(I started with Hugh F W's recipe for oatcakes)
140g porridge oats
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
50g unsalted butter
1 tbsp maple syrup (I use grade B)
75ml boiling water
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F (fan). Line a big baking tray with baking parchment. Blitz half (70g) of the oats in a processor until finely ground (the second photo from the top shows the before/after). Tip them into a bowl with the rest of the oats and the sea salt. Place the butter in small saucepan and melt. Keep heating until the butter foams up and browns (see foundation if you're not used to brown butter). Pop the kettle on and then pour the brown butter and maple syrup into the bowl. Stir together until the oats are covered. Add the boiling water and stir together. Bring into a rough ball - it will feel too wet but just leave it for a minute or two and don't worry.
Sprinkle a worktop generously with flour then place the dough on top. Dust again with flour then roll out evenly, trying to keep it in a square/rectangle, until thin - it should be about 2-3mm. Use a sharp knife to cut into squares - I make mine about 5x5cm (any bigger offcuts can be baked too). Use a palette knife to transfer each biscuit to the baking tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes until deep golden brown. Cool on the tray. They keep in an airtight tin for 3-4 days (possibly longer, I tend to have eaten them by then).
(Makes around 20, depending on size)
Three more oaty recipes:
Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies