Tag Archives: butter

Pumpkin Bread- Halloween with a twist!

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere! They are literally in every shop, on every street.  And why not? Pumpkin pie is of course, on the agenda, with a secret recipe given to me by my great friend and blogging guru Evin. But for something different try these rolls. They use pumpkin puree, which, thankfully is getting more readily available. I get mine in Ardkeen Foodstores.

Pumpkin Bread Rolls- Halloween with a twist!

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread


235ml warm water

20g fresh yeast (10g dried)

2 tablespoon honey

1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoons salt

500g strong organic bread flour

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves


For the dough:  Pour the warm water into a jug and whisk in the yeast. Let sit until frothy, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the honey, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and the pumpkin puree.

Pumpkin Bread

In your mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.  Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients then pour in your wet ingredients.


On slow speed, mix all the ingredients together.  Knead the dough until it comes together in a smooth and elastic ball. Coat this dough with oil and leave to prove for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Pumpkin Bread

Preheat oven to 220oC, and divide the dough into equal pieces. You may also freeze the dough for up to three weeks.

To create the rolls: cut off sections of dough 20g at a time and roll them into a ball shapes.  Snip them with a scissors to give the traditional indentation of a pumpkin. Set aside and continue with the rest of the dough.  Leave to rest until puffed up.  Brush gently with beaten egg yolks. Bake for about 15 -20 minutes until cooked.  While the rolls are baking, in a bowl mix together the 1/3 cup olive oil with, salt, pepper, and oregano. When the knots are done, toss in the olive oil mixture to coat.

Pumpkin BreadDivine!

Butter, many forms, but pure flavour

Butter, for me, is the best way to introduce visitors to the Irish flavours in food.  You name it, we add butter to it.  Nowadays, of course you can get any amount of flavoured butters.  And recently we decided to have a tasting lunch. (Any excuse!!)


Many types of Butter

A melody of butters

We got a selection, of what I would call, gourmet types from Ardkeen Stores.  We knew we would definitely get a good selection as they always support Irish brands of quality. The Abernethy selection just looked so inviting.  And I’ve had a penchant for the Glenilen one anyway.  I love the texture and mouthfeel.  Which sounds a bit poncy, but this kind of product is a little posh, if the truth be told.

My ever resourceful husband put each on a plate with a different coloured knife so that we would know which we were tasting.  The other pre-requisites were blaas and my own brown bread.

Copyright Jeni Pim I think the colour of the butter is very important.  And this is, for me, an indicator of the quality of the product.  It generally has a pale golden colour from the Irish Cream that goes into it , but varies from deep yellow to nearly white, depending on the country of origin. Its unmodified colour is dependent on the animals’ feed and is often, unfortunately manipulated with food colourings in the commercial manufacturing process, most commonly carotene or annatto.  But back to pleasantries: (In no particular order)

Smoked butter-

I lovely smokey flavour which worked on both types of bread, and would be gorgeous, we felt with some fish.  A really Irish taste as far as I was concerned.


This was such a gorgeous colour, and although it was the first to be eaten, it was just because it was a familiar, homely flavour that we all know and love.  

Handcrafted Butter (Glenilen)-

As a small disclaimer, I’ve had this butter before.  Very regularly.  I really love it.  It’s my sandwich butter of choice.  And it didn’t disappoint in the tastings either.

Dulse & Seasalt-
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Dulse & Seasalt

This was the winner for us on the “lunch tasting”.  I think, in part, because of it’s unique flavour and look.  I’m all about the foraging and local resources.  And this just ticked all of those boxes.

However, I feel there can never truly be enough testing, so now I have an excuse to buy asparagus.  Not that I need an excuse. well, maybe a small one when it’s not in season.

And the verdict? FABULOUS!


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Steamed Aspargus with melted butter


Raspberry Butter Cake Recipe

It’s SO close to being summer, that I just couldn’t resist trying out some of my favourite soft fruit recipes.  This one being one of my favourites for that perfect companion to a cup of tea.  It even sounds delicious- Butter Cake …..

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Raspberries – ready for the cake (Not for snacking on!)

Raspberry Butter Cake Recipe

Ingredients: 225g butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing 175g ground almonds 100g whole-wheat flour 75g plain flour 35g wheat germ 2 teaspoons baking powder 200g plus 2 tablespoons caster sugar 1/2 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 7 large eggs 2 cups fresh raspberries, plus more for serving Whipped cream, for serving Method: Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter a 10-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with greaseproof paper. Butter this paper too. Whisk all of the flours with the wheat germ and baking powder until well blended.  Combine the butter with 200g of the sugar and the salt and beat at medium speed until pale yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in the vanilla, then beat in the eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the side and bottom of the 
bowl (the mixture will look broken).       Copyright Jeni Pim

Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until incorporated and the batter is smooth. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Arrange the 2 cups of raspberries in a single layer on top, then sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Bake for about 50 minutes, until the cake is golden and a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool for 15 minutes.

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Run a thin, sharp knife around the edge of the cake. Invert the cake onto a large plate; peel off the parchment paper. Turn the cake right side up on a serving plate and let cool until warm, about 1 hour. Serve with whipped cream and raspberries.  

Raspberry Butter Cake

Raspberry Butter Cake


Butter Chicken & Cardamom Recipe

I love cardamon.  I first tasted it when my sister in law cooked Pulla, a type of sweet bread flavoured with cardamom.  For years she would bring me back little packets of distinctive smelling goodness from her trips home to Turku.  Now, of course, you can get cardamom in most supermarkets. But I still prefer the pods.  Cracking them open makes me smile.  A foretaste of the banquet ahead.

This recipe in its purest form, it is yogurt-and-spice-marinated chicken dressed in a velvety red bath comprising butter, onions, ginger and tomatoes scented with garam masala, cumin and turmeric, with a cinnamon tang.  And of course, my added cardamom.

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You can nearly smell the spices through the picture

Butter Chicken & Cardamom Recipe

Ingredients: 25g butter & 2 tablespoons butter extra

2 onions, halved and finely sliced

4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks

2 teaspoons each of garam masala, Turmeric and ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground fenugreek

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tablespoon finely grated ginger

12 cardamom pods, seeds removed

1 cinnamon stick

500g fresh tomato passata

50ml double cream

150ml yogurt

fresh coriander, chopped

cooked rice, to serve naan breads, to serve

Method: Heat some of the butter in a large pan and fry the onion over a medium heat for about 5 mins until soft.  Blitz the ginger and the garlic, then add this to the onion. Add the spices except the cinnamon and cardamom. Continue to cook, stirring, for about 7 minutes.

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Spices, onion, garlic and ginger

Remove this to a bowl for later. Add the chicken to the pan with some butter, and continue to fry until turning golden brown. Remove once almost cooked. Add the spices, garlic, ginger and cardamon and passata to the pan, with the cinnamon and cardamom.  Leave to simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.  Add the chicken back into the sauce and cook for a further 10 minutes, uncovered.

Butter Chicken with Cardamom bubbling away

Butter Chicken with Cardamom bubbling away

Just before serving, stir in the extra butter, yogurt and cream, season to taste and serve scattered with coriander, and with the cooked rice

and some naan breads on the side.

Copyright Jeni Pim

Burnt Butter Crumble Cake

Burnt butter doesn’t sound particularly appealing, does it?  But this simple cake uses it to impart an almost nutty flavour to what is really just a basic sponge.  The weighed butter is melted on a medium heat until the solids start to catch and “burn”, you just have to hold your nerve.  Remember though that once you turn off the hob the residual heat in the pan will keep cooking the butter, therefore it needs to be taken off the heat just before the butter is brown enough.

Butter- nearly burnt

Butter- nearly burnt

This is then put into the freezer to cool for a while.  Meanwhile I made the crumble portion, which I also stuck into the freezer.

Burnt Butter Crumble Cake



110g butter

150g plain flour

75g caster sugar

½ teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of salt


175g butter

300g plain flour

200g caster sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 ½ baking powder

Scant ½ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 eggs

110ml of sour cream (or plain yoghurt)


Combine the crumb ingredients in your mixer and pulse until they look like breadcrumbs. Freeze until required.

In a small saucepan cook the butter (cake ingredients) over a medium heat until the solids start to turn brown.  Transfer to a freezer proof bowl and put into the freezer for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180oC,  and line a 23cm loose ring tin.

Mix the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda and baking powder.  Scrape in the butter and mix well.  Add in the sour cream, eggs and vanilla essence and mix well again.

Transfer into the prepared tin and add the crumb to the top using a spoon, leaving it in clumps.

Cook for 50 minutes or until golden brown on top and a skewer comes out clean from the centre of the cake.

Leave to cool in the tin, serve with a dollop of softly whipped cream.

Burnt Butter Crumb Cake

Burnt Butter Crumb Cake

I subscribe to far too many online cookery newsletters, and this cake is based on one I found in Food & Wine, another good one is Bon Appetit, both are American publications as it happens (I also follow some French and UK ones too for balance!), but find it takes my a few goes at making them to get them right, probably as I’m converting the units of measurement badly!

Burnt Butter Crumb Cake

Burnt Butter Crumb Cake

Eggs- all in one basket…

I recently posted a quote on Facebook about the length of time eggs are around before they actually reach the supermarket shelves.

Thankfully the information I posted was not relevant in Ireland.  Here, thankfully, the egg moves from hen to shop in 4 days.  Which is very good news, further more, my good friend Ruth Conefrey told me ” little known fact … Every commercially packed egg is 100% traceable. They each have a stamp that identifies the county & unique identifier of the packing centre (where they are boxed). Then the packing centre keeps traceability records for all the eggs they pack – so an egg can be traced right back not only to the farm but also to the hen house! Very interesting things eggs!”

We have 11 hens at the moment, and have just ordered delivery of 3 more, with 3 ducks and a turkey!  Very exciting!

They live very happily behind a small electrified fence in the orchard on the farm, and the egs are collected by wiling hands every day, although the young ones soon learn not to put a hand in a nesting box with a hen in it, it’s the quickest way to get pecked! When collected, the date is put on them, and we try to keep track of how many eggs we get each day.

Happy Hens

Happy Hens


We were always told the Cuckoo Marron were the best layers and mothers, and we only have one of those left, (she’s the big speckled lady), but over the years have expanded into a number of breeds.  I have to admit to not having a single hen-whispering bone in my body, my eldest has that talent.  They love me to feed them, but NEVER go into their house when I want them too!

Freshly laid eggs

Freshly laid eggs

We tend to use all the eggs laid, I love a boiled egg on a sunday morning, with some freshly baked soda bread.  Nothing nicer, or more Irish I think.  With lots of tea, and followed up with some marmalade on yet more bread!

Boiled Egg with freshly made soda bread

Boiled Egg with freshly made soda bread