Chocolate Chip Cookies with Chickpea Flour

Chickpea flour, also known as gram flour or garbanzo bean flour, is nothing other than dried chickpeas ground to a flour-like powder. It’s been a pantry staple of mine ever since I discovered what the Italians call ‘farinata’ – thick, pancake like slabs of chickpea flour batter, flavoured with rosemary and salt and that have been cooked (well, practically deep-fried given the amount of oil used) at a high temperature on well-oiled baking trays. Street food at its finest (and simplest). Chickpea flour is also great to have on hand when making veggie burgers as it helps absorb excess moisture. And, chickpea flour is a nutrition powerhouse, containing at least double the amount of protein than regular wheat flour while being rich in vitamin B6, iron, magnesium and potassium. Why should you care you ask? Because baking chocolate chip cookies with chickpea flour yields what are possibly the most delicious chocolate chip cookies ever (and that just happen to be gluten-free). Moreish,

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A lesson in pastry

Shortly after coming back from Laos and Thailand I packed my bags again, this time for a rather different trip.  I flew to London to take part in an intensive pastry course at the Cordon Bleu (and if you follow me on instagram you will have already seen some photos of what we baked).  While the trip to Asia was a chance to spend some more time together before Alessandro and I go back to long-distance dating, the trip to London was a present to myself before I start my new job and any kitchen experiments will again be limited to early mornings, late nights or the weekend. I ended up doing the course with a friend of mine – it just so worked out that both of us were between jobs with some time to spare (and with a shared passion for baking) and it was amazing to spent 4 days together not worrying about anything else other than

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Kamut and Polenta Bread

I have the habit of buying myself a Chrismas present each year. Nothing frivolous, but something I really want and something I might not otherwise buy. This time it was the third Tartine book – encouraged by a number of reviews, an article about the sheer amount of research Chad Robertson put into the creation of this book and my friend Sara who thought I would enjoy the book given the large number of recipes using ancient grains created by Chad. And Sara was right. I have only had the book for about a month, but in between the present-buying frenzy, traveling and Christmas itself, I have already baked the Chocolate Rye Cookies (crack in cookie form if you ask me), eaten far too many of a batch of the 50/50 sablés, munched my way through 3 loaves of the Toasted Buckwheat Bread and revolutionised my scones thanks to learning about Tartine’s technique of using both baking powder and sourdough

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Coffee and Toast … a dacquoise fit for breakfast

  Dacquoise. A French cake traditionally made from three disks of nut-studded meringue, filled and frosted with a coffee custard mousse and decorated with chocolate ganache, clusters of caramelised hazelnuts and crushed hazelnut praline. I had been meaning to bake a dacquoise for a while but kept on putting it off because it sounded like a lot of faff. But a combination of seeing how manageable it actually is thanks to the Great British Bake-Off and just wanting to finally give it a go had me start this on a Tuesday night the other week, assembling the various components on Wednesday night, just in time to have a dessert to follow homemade pumpkin ravioli (another one of those recipes I had put off too long until I was desperate for pumpkin recipes to use up a monster of a pumpkin in my fridge). Someone’s tweet about breakfast (Coffee! Toast!) is what ultimately decided I was going to use breadcrumbs instead of

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