Baking, Brunch, The Basics



I’m trying to eat more fruit and healthier breakfasts so have started making batches of granola to eat with fresh fruit and homemade yoghurt in the mornings. Granola isn’t as healthy as muesli as it has some oil and sweetener in it but I do like the crunch and if you make your own you can control how sweet it is and add whatever healthy extras you like.

I start by preheating the oven to about 175 degrees C or 350F. Then I put 500g rolled oats and 200g – 250g of mixed nuts and seeds into a large roasting tin, here I used cashews, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds. I start these off first in the oven and bake them for about 10 minutes. Then to this I add about 50ml of coconut oil, 120ml of honey (if you want a sweeter version add some a bit more honey) a pinch of salt and a few grating of nutmeg (you can use cinnamon if you prefer) and mix everything together and put it back in the oven. After about 10 mins. I take it out and stir it and add about 150g of dried fruit, here I used dried mango and sultanas. I put it back for about 10 minutes checking and stirring it after 5 mins. The oats should be golden brown. Take it out of the oven and allow to cool and then store in an airtight container.

Brunch, Soups, Thai Food

Veggie Khao Tom


Kao tom

This makes a good brunch, or a meal if you are feeling under the weather and want something quite plain and comforting to eat. It’s normally made with pork or seafood but here I’ve made a veggie version the flavor will depend on the stock you use so I would recommend using a good / homemade stock. This will make 4 bowls of Khao Tom.

So what do you need?

  • 1 cup of jasmine rice / brown rice (I used a white jasmine rice which had some other rices mixed through it)
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • a small bunch Chines celery
  • 1 cup of chopped mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup of other veggies (I used diced carrot and some chopped broccoli)



  • 4 or 5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp. oil (I used sesame)
  • 1 inch of ginger peeled and very finely sliced
  • a couple of chopped spring onions and a handful of coriander leaves
  • a sliced red chilli
  • Chilli powder
  • Soy sauce
  • Pepper

So what do you do?

Start by putting the rice in a saucepan with the stock and soy sauce and bring it to the boil. Meanwhile chop the mushroom and the Chinese celery and add them to the saucepan and boil for about 10 minutes then add the other vegetables and boil for 15 – 20 more minutes until the rice is soft. The cooking time will depend on the rice you use but it should be well cooked and soft. The rice will absorb most of the stock and swell up, if necessary add more stock and stir occasionally as the Khao Tom thickens up to stop it sticking to the saucepan. Taste and if necessary add some more soy sauce.

While the rice is cooking prepare your condiments. Finely chop the garlic and fry it in the oil until golden brown and put in a small bowl. Serve the Khao Tom in bowls and allow people to flavour it themselves adding the condiments they like.



Baking, Brunch

Classic cheese scones


I’ve previously posted a recipe for cheese and herb soda bread scones. These are classic cheese scones based on Felicity Cloake’s How to make the perfect cheese scones recipe. They are very moreish served warm split open and buttered. This will make two dozen scones.

So what do you need?

  • 600g plain (all purpose) flour
  • 4tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp. bicarbonate of soda (or 3tsp more baking powder)
  • 120g butter
  • 300g mature cheddar
  • a small bunch of spring onions
  • 2 tbsp. natural yoghurt
  • 2 tsp. wholegrain mustard
  • 140ml milk
  • 140ml water
  • 1 free-range egg

So what do you do?

Start by preheating your oven to 220 degrees C / 425F. I cook my scones on a pizza stone so I put this in the oven to heat up too. Then sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Chop in the cold butter in small bits then rub it into the flour with your fingertips. It will become like breadcrumbs. Add the spring onions finely chopped and most of the cheese, prated. Mix these in. In a measuring jug mix together the yoghurt, milk. mustard and water and then pour it into the mixing bowl. Stir everything together to make a soft ball of dough. Lift it onto a floured work surface and then roll it out to about 3cms thick. Use a 6cm cookie cutter to cut out the scones. Roll together any offcuts of dough to make more scones. Put the scones on a pizza stone / floured baking sheet and glaze the top with some egg wash (egg beaten with a little milk) then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the scones and bake for about 12 minutes until golden brown. Allow to partly cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!


Baking, Brunch, Something fruity

Breakfast bars


I’ve made these the last couple of Sundays so that I have something healthy and easy to eat in the mornings rather than just eating toast. They keep longer if you make them without  the bananas. You can adapt the recipe adding dried fruits and nuts of your choice. I either make them in a tray and cut them into squares or in individual portions in a muffin tin.

Today I used:

  • 2 ripe bananas (optional)
  • 1/3 cup (rice bran) oil (coconut oil works too)
  • 1/4- 1/3 cup honey (maple syrup or muscovdao / unrefined sugar are good too)
  • 1 cup of dried fruit (chopped dates and sultanas)
  • 1 cup of nuts (I used peanuts)
  • 1 handful of chopped crystalized ginger (or a tsp. ginger powder or other spice of choice)
  • 4 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp. sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp. perilla seeds
  • 2 0r 3 cups of porridge oats

Start heating your oven to 175 degrees C / 350 F. Then mash the bananas (if using) and  mix in the oil and honey. Then mix in the dried fruit, seeds and spices saving a couple of tsp. of sesame seeds to sprinkle on top. Finally stir in the oats to make a thick mixture. If you don’t add bananas then you won’t need as many oats. Then press down in a lined baking tin or in individual portions in cake cups in a muffin tin and sprinkle the remaining sesame seeds on top. Bake for 15 mins for individual portions or about 20 mins for a large baking tray, until they it browns on top. If you have made them in a try cut into 12 pieces while warm and the allow to cool and keep in an airtight container. If you’ve added bananas you can keep them in the fridge so they last longer if you live in a hot climate like I do.

Brunch, Something fruity

Yoghurt pancakes with apple and sultanas

These make a great breakfast / brunch for two and are pretty healthy.

So what do you need?

  • 1 free-range egg
  • 1 cup plain yoghurt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla essence
  • 1 cup of plain (all purpose) flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda or baking powder
  • 1 handful sultanas
  • 1 apple
  • A knob of butter
  • Maple syrup / honey to serve

So what do you do?

Crack the egg in a mixing bowl add the yoghurt, and vanilla essence and beat them together with a hand whisk. Next add the flour and baking soda and beat them in. Then add the sultanas and grate in the apple flesh, skin too, and mix them in. Heat a large thick based frying plan and melt a little  butter in it. Then ladle in four portions of the mixture and cook until they begin to firm up, turn them over and cook the other side. Serve hot with maple syrup or honey.

Baking, Brunch, Something fruity

Cinnamon roll loaf


This makes a delicious treat for breakfast or brunch. You can make it the night before and let it rise overnight in the fridge so all you need to do in the morning is pop it in the oven.

So what do you need?

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 250ml milk
  • 1 free-range egg (beaten)
  • 450 g strong plain (bread) flour
  • 2 tsp. quick action yeast
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 50g soft brown sugar
  • 150 g sultanas / raisins
  • 1/4 cup of strong
  • 2 tsp (freshly ground) cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. honey

So what do you do?

First put the sultans / raisins in a bowl with the tea and leave them to plump up. Next in a small saucepan gently warm the milk and the butter until the butter starts to melt then turn off the heat. Meanwhile put the flour. yeast, salt and 1 tbsp. of the sugar in a mixing bowl add the egg and then pour in the milk and butter which should be warm but not too hot. Mix everything together and then knead for about 10 minutes either in a food mixer or on a floured work surface. Then leave the dough in a covered bowl to rise for about 45 mins. or so until it doubles in size.

Grease your loaf tin with some butter. Then drain any excess liquid from the dried fruit and grind your cinnamon and the cinnamon and the remaining sugar to the fruit and mix together. Next knock back the dough and put it on a floured work surface.  Shape it out into an oblong shape a couple of centimeters thick about the width of your loaf tin or slightly narrower. Then sprinkle the fruit mixture over the dough evenly leaving a couple of centimeters clear around the edge. Then roll up the dough. Roll it into the centre of a piece of baking parchment as wide as the length of your loaf tin and long enough to go up the sides of the tin and leave a bit of paper so that you can easily lift the loaf out of the tin when it’s cooked. Then lift the loaf into your loaf tin. I then cover the loaf tin with a loose plastic bag and put it in the fridge to rise overnight. You can obviously allow it to rise outside and then bake it. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees C / 400 F then ‘paint’ the top of the loaf with some milk and put it in the oven. Cook for about 45 mins. check after 30 mins and if it’s browning too quickly on top turn your oven down slightly or place a piece of tin foil on top of the loaf. Once it’s cooked lift it out of the loaf tin and allow to cool on a wire rack. Glaze the loaf with some honey and eat while warm with a cup of tea.


Baking, Brunch, Snacks, Something sweet


I’ve never made crumpets in the UK as they’re readily available in the shops but here in Chiang Mai I’ve never seen them for sale so the only option is to make them yourself. They’re great for breakfast or as a tea time treat. If you want to have them first thing in the morning then make the yeast batter the night before and put it in the fridge and just add the bicarbonate of soda in the morning. This recipe is based on Paul Hollywood’s and makes a baker’s dozen.

So what do you need?

  • 150g strong (bread) flour
  • 150g plain (all purpose) flour
  • 2tsp quick acting yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 150ml hot water
  • 150ml milk
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp salt
  • 125ml warm water

So what do you do?

Put the flour, yeast, and sugar in a bowl or a mixer. Mix the milk and hot water together in a measuring jug and put it in to the bowl. Mix everything together for about 3 -4 minutes. This will help make a good batter. Then cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour. Then mix the bicarbonate of soda and salt into 125mls of warm water and add this to the batter and mix it in. Leave the batter for 15-20 mins and it should be quite frothy / bubbly.

Oil a thick bottomed frying pan or a flat griddle and heat it up on a low is heat. Then put 4 greased crumpet / egg rings on it and  laden some batter in each of the rings. Don’t make them too thick or the won’t cook through about 1.5cms of batter should be enough as they will bubble up a bit while cooking. You need to cook them quite slowly so that they cook through without burning on the bottom. They will bubble and slowly cook through. When they are dried out run a knife round the rings to remove the crumpets and flip them over to cook on the other side. Note if you make them too thick and the tops haven’t dried out during the first stage of cooking the holes will be sealed up by the wet batter when you turn them over, if this happens you can split them when you serve them as they will still have holes in the middle. It takes a bit of experimentation to get the thickness and heat right, whatever I’m sure they will be delicious. Serve hot with plenty of butter and honey or jam. They are also good with butter and marmite, and toasted with cheese, if you prefer something savoury.