The Seasonal Baker
Former Bake Off contestant Michelle was known on the show for her flavoursome, colourful bakes and for championing seasonal, locally sourced and homegrown produce. Whether it’s a simple loaf for breakfast or a striking showstopper cake for a celebration, she loves using seasonal food to create tasty recipes for the whole family to enjoy.
Rainbow Chard Quinoa Crusted Quiche
We love quiche, and using cooked quinoa instead of pastry as a base elevates this quiche to the next level. The delicious, crispy, chewy crust makes a nice change to traditional pastry.
You will need
- 2 large egg whites
- 250g/9oz cooked quinoa
- 400g/14oz rainbow chard
- 170g/6oz smoked bacon
- 1 small onion
- 80g/3oz mature cheese (grated)
- 2 large eggs
- 200ml/7fl oz double cream
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Oil/butter for greasing
- You will need a 20cm/8in round fluted tart tin
Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan oven) Gas 6 and lightly grease the tin.
Whisk the two egg whites in a bowl and add the cooked quinoa, reserving a tablespoon of the egg white. Mix together to coat the quinoa, then tip into the tin. Using the back of a spoon, press the quinoa firmly up against the sides and onto the base of the tin. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until the case is dry to touch and shrinks away from the sides a little. Brush the sides and base with the remaining egg white and pop back into the oven for 5 minutes.
For the filling, trim the leaves from the rainbow chard and roughly chop. Steam the chopped leaves and stems for 5–10 minutes to soften and place them on kitchen paper to absorb the moisture.
Cube the bacon and finely dice the onion. Gently fry them over a medium heat, then transfer to a bowl to cool using a slotted spoon.
Place the cooled bacon, onions and chard leaves into the base of the crust, top with grated cheese, then arrange the chard stems in a circular pattern starting from the outside and working inwards, shaping the chard with your hands as you go.
Whisk the two whole eggs with the cream and season with salt and pepper. Fill the tin halfway with the creamy mixture, then transfer it onto the shelf of the oven and fill to the top. Bake for 25–30 minutes until golden with a slight wobble in the centre.
Leave to cool in the tin, then transfer to a board or platter and slice.
Apricot and Almond Flapjacks
These flapjacks are studded with juicy apricots and crunchy nuts and seeds. The condensed milk adds extra creaminess, taste and texture. They are the perfect tasty snack and a great addition to any lunchbox.
You will need
- 150g/5oz unsalted butter
- 115g/4oz condensed milk
- 100g/3½oz soft brown sugar
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 70g/2½oz dried apricots
- 35g/1oz blanched almonds
- 300g/10½oz porridge oats
- 30g/1oz mixed seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, poppy and linseeds)
- You will need a 23cm/9in square tin
Preheat oven to 190°C (170°C fan oven) Gas 5 and line the tin with baking paper.
Place the butter, condensed milk, sugar, golden syrup and vanilla into a saucepan and heat gently until all the mixture has melted and is smooth.
Roughly chop the apricots and almonds and add these to the saucepan (reserving a few for the top) along with the porridge oats and mix well. Scatter in the seeds, roughly mix and pour the mixture into the tin.
Press the mixture into the tin with the back of a spoon and scatter the remaining apricots and almonds on top. Bake for 20–25 minutes. This makes a soft chewy flapjack, so bake it a little longer if you prefer yours firmer. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
Lift the flapjack out of the tin using the baking paper and cut into squares or slices.
For soft and chewy flapjacks that melt in the mouth, make sure you don’t overbake them. They will continue to cook in the residual heat of the tin as they cool and firm up.
Win a copy of The Seasonal Baker
For your chance to win a copy of The Seasonal Baker, please email your name, address and telephone number to: email@example.com
Closing date: Thursday, 1st September 2022
The Seasonal Baker: Baking for All Seasons by Michell Evans-Fecci is out now (£20, Robinson)
All images © Ben Fecci