Friday, 15 July 2016

Sweet and Salty Honey Roasted Nuts

Here's a really simple recipe I made last week as a birthday present. Sweet from honey but with a salty tang from sea salt, these nuts taste awesome. Don't use peanuts still in their skin though, as the honey caramel doesn't stick to them after roasting! I used a bag of mixed nuts, containing peanuts, almonds, walnuts and Brazil nuts, and they were all delicious. I'm sure cashews would also work really well. Store them in an airtight jar, but if they're like the ones I made, they'll be devoured speedily! If you like your nuts extra salty, add more sea salt to taste :)

Makes 1 large jar (around 500g)


  • 400g (around 2 1/2 cups) mixed nuts (natural i.e. not roasted) - I used a combination of almonds, walnuts and peanuts
  • 175g (1/2 cup) honey (i used a set honey, but runny honey should also work)
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 30g (2 tbsp) butter
  • 1-2 tsp coarsely ground sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 160c/ 320f/ gas mark 3. Add the butter, honey, cinnamon and 1 tsp sea salt to a saucepan and place on a medium heat. Heat until all of the butter has melted, then leave bubbling for 2-3 minutes. 

2. In a mixing bowl add all of the nuts, then pour over the honey/butter mixture. Stir to combine.

3. Pour onto a large baking tray lined with baking parchment. Bake the nuts for 10 minutes. Stir the nuts (to prevent the ones on edge of the tray from catching), then bake for another 10 minutes. Leave the nuts to cool for 20-30 minutes.

4. Break the nuts apart - this is time consuming but the end result is so good, you'll be glad you did it! 

5. Sprinkle the granulated sugar and the other teaspoon of salt over the nuts.

6. Enjoy!

Diary of an imperfect mum
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Sunday, 3 July 2016

Chilli Chocolate Biscotti

This week I made a new kind of biscotti - chocolate and chilli! It's a well-used combination of flavours known to work well in sweet and savoury settings. In this biscotti, I make a chilli caramel, which isn't tricky but requires some precautions to prevent sneeze-a-thons and watery eyes. To the biscuit dough I added a high quality cocoa powder. 
My warnings with the chilli caramel - do not eat it before adding it to the biscuit dough - it will be very strong (but the flavour is dampened down by all of the other biscuit ingredients to give a nice warm sensation at the end). Also, after blitzing in a food processor, try not to inhale the sugary dust - the chilli fumes are pretty strong. 
Despite that, these biscotti are delicious, and well worth the effort! Amazing on their own, and even better dunked in a warm cup of tea. YUM.

Makes 36 biscotti

  • 160g blanched whole almonds
  • 3 red chillis, seeds removed and diced
  • 420g caster sugar
  • 300g plain flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100g dark chocolate
1. Preheat the oven to 180c/320f/ gas mark 4. Line the base of two baking trays with baking parchment.

2. In a medium pan add 300g caster sugar, 150ml of water and the diced chillis. Heat (without stirring) until the sugar has dissolved. 

3. Boil mixture rapidly for 3 -5 minutes, until the syrup is a nice-caramel colour. Swirl the pan regularly (do not stir). Pour onto one of the lined baking trays and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes.

4. Once solid, break into chunks and blitz to a fine dust in a powerful food processor. Alternatively use a pestle and mortar to crush the caramel.

5. In a large mixing bowl, mix the crushed caramel with the plain flour, 120g caster sugar, and baking powder. Add the eggs and almonds, and bring the mixture together into a big ball of dough.

6. Divide the dough into two. Roll out each piece into a sausage shape about 5cm thick.

7. Place onto a lined baking tray and flatten with your hands slightly. Bake for 30 minutes.

8. Leave to cool for at least half an hour. Once cool, slice diagonally into slices about 1cm thick.

9. Bake for 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

10. Once cool melt the dark chocolate by placing in a bowl, and microwaving on full power for 30 second bursts. Stir after each burst, until the chocolate has melted. 

11. Pour to chocolate into a piping bag, snip off the end of the bag, and pipe lines back and forth over the biscotti.

12. Enjoy!

Diary of an imperfect mum
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