Buttermilk Squash Spiced Waffles

I had some Crown Prince squash leftover from dinner so I decided to put it to good use for breakfast. And to make it easy on myself, I made the waffles the night before. Once they were cold, I wrapped them tightly in plastic wrap and froze them. The morning you want to eat them, just preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Once the oven is hot, place the waffles directly on the oven rack and bake them for about 8 minutes till warm and crispy. No fuzz breakfast!

This recipe makes about 6 waffles

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup of self-rising flour

1 1/4 cup of buttermilk

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 egg

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1/2 a cup of squash puree (or pumpkin)

Pinch of salt

3 tablespoons of sugar

1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder

Extras:

Creme fraiche

Pomegranate seeds

Maple syrup

 

To make the squash puree, just chop it into big slices (Remove the seeds but you don’t need to peel it). Place the slices on a plate and cover it with plastic wrap. Microwave it for about 8 minutes or till the squash is tender. Be careful not to burn yourself with the steam that comes out when you remove the plastic wrap. Or just let it cool down a bit before you remove the plastic wrap. Scoop out the flesh of the squash and mash it with a fork.

To make the waffle batter, just blend all of the ingredients together.

Preheat your waffle iron. Brush it with a bit of vegetable oil or spray it with non-sticking cooking spray.

Pour some of the waffle batter into the preheated waffle iron and cook till golden-brown. I like to serve them with a dollop of crème fraiche, pomegranate seeds and some maple syrup.

If you freeze them, just warm them up  in a 180C/350F preheated oven for about 8 minutes. Place them directly on the rack so that they become crispy again.

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Burrata with Balsamic & Honey Glazed Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Seeds

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When it comes to entertaining friends or family, my preference goes into making simple dishes so that I can also enjoy their company, instead of being fully occupied in the kitchen. This is a super easy appetizer that you can make in advance and just garnish before serving. I sliced the butternut into very small cubes and then glazed it in a pan with balsamic vinegar and honey. It goes so well with the creamy burrata and the slight tartness of the pomegranate seeds. This is a perfect use for burrata this fall/winter.

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This recipe is for one burrata, but you can always double or triple it if you are feeding a large crowd.

Ingredients:

For the glazed butternut squash:

2 cups of finely cubed butternut squash

1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of salt

Pinch of cayenne

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

1 ½ teaspoons of honey

Extras:

1/4 cup of pomegranate seeds

1 baguette, sliced and toasted with olive oil

Chili flakes

Garden cress

A drizzle of olive oil

 

To make the glazed butternut squash, place the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the diced butternut squash, salt and cayenne. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring from time to time. Then add the balsamic vinegar and cook for an extra 3 minutes until it has reduced, don’t forget to stir. Finally add the honey and cook for an extra 2 minutes. Taste it and adjust the salt and cayenne to your liking. Transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool down a bit.

In the meanwhile, toast the bread with some olive oil.

To serve, place about ¾ of the butternut squash on a plate. Place the burrata on top. Add the remaining butternut squash on top of the burrata. Finish with a sprinkle of chili flakes, garden cress and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with the toasted bread. Enjoy!

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Maple & Pumpkin Soft Pretzel Wreath

Soft pretzels, fall edition. These bread wreaths are flavored with pumpkin puree, maple syrup and spices. All with the soft pretzel crust. They are best when they are hot, right out of the oven. You can make them any shape you wish, I just went with wreaths this time. It’s easier if you make them small, since the dough is quite soft. If you make them too big, you risk the dough falling apart while transferring it to and from the water bath. So keep that in mind. This is not a very sweet pretzel, but you can always brush it with a bit of melted butter after it is baked and sprinkle a bit of cinnamon sugar on top.

This recipe makes 3 medium wreaths.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

1 cup of warm water

1 package of dry yeast (7gr)

2 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled

3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

¾ cup of pumpkin puree

1 ½ tablespoons of maple syrup

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

½ teaspoon of ginger powder

½ teaspoon of nutmeg

For the water bath:

10 cups of boiling water

2/3 cup of baking soda

For the maple egg wash:

1 egg

2 tablespoons of maple syrup

Extras:

Vegetable oil

 

 

To make the pumpkin puree, just chop a small pumpkin into chunks (skin and all). Place it in a microwave-safe plate. Cover it with plastic film and microwave it for 10 minutes until the pumpkin is soft. Then remove the seeds and scoop out the pumpkin flesh. Place the pumpkin flesh in a bowl and mash it. Allow it to cool down.

Place the warm water and the yeast in the bowl of the stand mixer. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients for the dough. Knead the dough with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Do it on low speed for about 5 minutes, until it stops sticking to the edges and it forms a ball. You can also knead it by hand.

Remove the dough from the bowl. Clean the bowl and then grease it with some vegetable oil. Place the dough back in the greased bowl and cover with plastic film. Let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until it has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 230C/450F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Lightly grease the parchment with vegetable oil.

Start making the water bath. Mix the boiling water with the baking soda in a large pot.  Make sure it is not completely filled to the top because the baking soda bubbles a bit. Leave the heat on medium, while you work on the dough.

Place the dough in your working area sprinkled with a bit of flour. Divide the dough into 3 pieces.

Grab one piece and roll it into a rope of about 40 cm, then slice it into 2 lengthwise. Twist together the 2 halves and then pinch the ends together to seal them. Finally form a circle with it, tuck the ends underneath and give it a pinch to seal them. Repeat for the other 2 pieces of dough. It’s better not to make them too big. The circumference of each wreath shouldn’t be that much bigger than the circumference of your slotted spoon, otherwise it’s going to be hard to place it and remove it from the water bath. The dough is quite soft and you don’t want it to fall apart.

Place one wreath in the water bath for 30 seconds. Then carefully remove it from the water using a large slotted spoon an place it on the prepared baking tray (once you place it in the parchment paper, you can’t move the wreath anymore until it is baked, so keep that in mind). Repeat for the other wreaths.

Once they are all done, brush them with the maple egg wash.

Bake them for about 10 minutes until golden. Serve warm.

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Butternut Squash Barley Risotto with Oyster Mushrooms & Chorizo

 

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I can’t seem to get enough of butternut squash, I just keep buying it every week. I love risotto and this one with barley requires a bit less attention as you can just add all the stock in one go and just stir from time to time.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

1 Small butternut squash

1 ½ litters of chicken stock

1 white onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 cup of white wine

1 cup of barley

1/3 cup of cream

40grs of grated Parmesan

Chives for decoration

150gr of chorizo, thinly sliced

For the oyster mushrooms:

150grs of oyster mushrooms, chopped if they are too big

3 tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of garlic powder

Salt

Pepper

 

Slice the butternut squash into chunks. Take the seeds out and place the chunks on a plate. Cover the plate with plastic wrap and microwave for 9 minutes. Once the squash is cooked, be careful when you remove the plastic wrap so that the steam coming out doesn’t burn you. Spoon out the flesh of the squash. Blend the butternut with the stock until smooth. Set aside.

Saute the mushrooms with the olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper over medium heat until golden. Set aside.

In a large pan over medium heat, cook the chorizo until slightly browned and crispy on both sides. Don’t add any oil, enough fat will render out of it anyways. This will only take a few minutes. Transfer the chorizo to a plate lined with paper towels and set it aside. Keep one tablespoon of the fat.

In the same pan where you cooked the chorizo and kept one tablespoon of the rendered fat, cook the onions until translucent over medium heat. Then add the garlic. Cook it for one minute and then add the barley. Cook for two minutes while stirring. Then add the white wine. Stir until most of the wine has evaporated and then add all of the stock blended with the butternut squash.

Let it cook for 40 minutes, stirring from time to time, especially during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Once the barley is cooked through and most of the liquid has been absorbed, add the chorizo and mushrooms. You can save a few chorizo slices and mushrooms to use later as decoration.

Add the cream and Parmesan. Stir for a few minutes until the liquid has reduced and it has a risotto consistency. Taste for salt. Divide the risotto over two bowls, top with some of the chorizo and mushrooms if you set some aside. Sprinkle some chopped chives and enjoy!

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Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche & Caramel Corn

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I had a chocolate cake craving the other night. But I was too tired to make something, so the next day I made these. The pumpkin pure keeps these cupcakes moist. Dulce de leche is the delicious glue to the crunchy caramel corn. A really indulgent treat!

This recipe makes 10 cupcakes.

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

1 ¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon of cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 ¼ teaspoons of baking powder

¼ teaspoon of cinnamon powder

¼ teaspoon of fresh grated nutmeg

¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons of buttermilk

¾ cup of pumpkin puree

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

125gr butter, at room temperature

¾ cup brown sugar

¾ cup white sugar

3 eggs

For the caramel corn:

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

½ cup popcorn kernels

¾ cup of sugar

3 tablespoons of butter

¼ teaspoon of salt

1 ½ teaspoons of baking soda

¾ cup of water

Extras:

400gr of dulce de leche

 

To make the cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Mix all of the dry ingredients except for the sugar. In a different bowl, mix the buttermilk, pumpkin and vanilla. In a large bowl, beat the butter with the sugar until it becomes fluffy.  Then add the eggs, one at a time.  Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the eggs, until it is all mixed through.

Place the paper cupcake liners into the cupcake pan.  Spoon the batter evenly and bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Once they are baked, allow them to cool down for 5 minutes in the cupcake pan.  Then remove them from the pan and allow them to cool down completely on a wire rack.

To make the popcorn:

Brush a large bowl and two wooden spoons or rubber spatulas with vegetable oil (you can also use cooking spray).  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large pan with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the popcorn, cover and keep the pan moving until all the kernels have popped. Transfer to the greased bowl. Remove any unpopped kernel.

In a medium pan, combine the butter, sugar, salt and ¾ cup of water. Cook over medium high heat until the mixture becomes a light golden color, about 10 minutes. Stir constantly.  Remove from the heat and carefully whisk in the baking soda.  Be careful because the baking soda will make the mixture bubble up.

Pour the caramel over the popcorn and working very quickly, mix it all through.

Spread the popcorn into the baking sheet and try to make chunks about the size of the cupcake tops. Allow to cool at room temperature. Make the caramel corn once you are ready to serve the cupcakes, or make it and store it in an airtight container and decorate the cupcakes once you are ready to serve them. Otherwise the caramel in the corn will get soggy.

When you are ready to serve, spread some dulce de leche on top of each cupcake, this will glue in the caramel corn. Top with a big chunk of caramel corn and enjoy!

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