Nutty Chocolate and Cranberry Spotted Puppies

When it comes to the simple pleasures in life, there are few things I love more than buttered bread hot from the oven, cake and chocolate. Thankfully this recipe is an amalgamation of all of those things! I’m a total bread fiend (hence working for free in a bakery last year) and have already waxed lyrical about my love of Spotted Dog when I made it earlier this year here. These Spotted Puppies are mini versions, like little scones, of the popular and traditional Irish Spotted Dog.

Butter Is Good For The Soul, Especially When Eaten On Top Of These Bad Boys
Butter Is Good For The Soul, Especially When Eaten On Top Of These Bad Boys

The Spotted Dog is basically a slightly sweet and fruity soda bread. I decided to pimp these puppies out with dried cranberries, chopped walnuts and dark chocolate chips. Sorry to be boastful, but they were incredible. Make sure to eat them hot from the oven slathered in salted butter… Delicious!

Buttery Little Bundles Of Chocolate, Cranberry and Walnut Glory
Buttery Little Bundles Of Chocolate, Cranberry and Walnut Glory
Warm From The Oven With The Chocolate Still Gooey
Warm From The Oven With The Chocolate Still Gooey

Ingredients:

450g plain/cream flour

1 tsp bread soda (bicarb of soda)

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

350ml buttermilk

1 egg

100g dark choc chips (I just chopped a bar into little chunks)

100g cranberries

75g chopped walnuts

  1. Preheat your oven to 220C. Sieve the flour into a bowl (I actually never sieve it because I am lazy, but it helps get more air into the mix), stir in the salt, sugar, Β walnuts, chocolate and cranberries. Make a well in the centre of the mix.
  2. Your wet mix (buttermilk and egg) should make 400ml, to be safe pop your egg into the measuring jug and then add the buttermilk until you hit the 400ml mark. Give it a quick whisk.
  3. Pour the wet mix into the dry mix and start bringing it together by using your hand (stiff like a claw) to bring the dry mix into the centre. Keep doing this until just combined. The most important thing with this, or any soda bread, is not to overmix it or it will become tough.
  4. When just combined divide the mix into six portions and pop it onto an oiled tray. Put into the oven immediately, again if you leave it out before putting it in the oven it will loose it’s lightness.
  5. After the first 5 minutes you can turn the heat down to 200C, then let them bake for another 15 minutes.
  6. When cooked slice open and butter with generous helpings of salted butter immediately! No need for jam. it will just mask the flavours of your beautiful fillings.
  7. Enjoy!
Stir Your Buttermilk Into A Well Into Your Beautiful Spotted Dog Mixture
Stir Your Buttermilk Into A Well Into Your Beautiful Spotted Dog Mixture
Your Spotted Dog Mixture Is Ready To Be Turned Into Puppies Once It Has Just Come Together Like So
Your Spotted Dog Mixture Is Ready To Be Turned Into Puppies Once It Has Just Come Together Like So
These Chocolatey Cranberry and Walnut Puppies Are Ready For The Oven
These Chocolatey Cranberry and Walnut Puppies Are Ready For The Oven
Hot From The Oven - Eat These ASAP To Enjoy Maximum Melted Chocolate Pleasure
Hot From The Oven – Eat These ASAP To Enjoy Maximum Melted Chocolate Pleasure
These Chocolate Spotted Puppies Make A Perfect Tea Time Spread
These Chocolate Spotted Puppies Make A Perfect Tea Time Spread

Purple Basil (Yes PURPLE Basil) And Lemon Ricotta Pasta

This pasta looks the business doesn’t it? Well it tastes amazing too. In actual fact, it’s super quick and easy to make, and cheap as chips too. All you have to do really is cook the pasta and stir in everything else.

As this is a simple dish you’re relying on the lemon, basil, parmesan and black pepper to give it a bold kick of flavour, so be generous with each of them. Purple basil tastes the exact same as normal basil, so don’t despair if you can’t get your hands on it, this will turn out the exact same with the regular stuff. Whip this up for a fancy looking but super simple supper after work during the week to put a pep in your step!

The Easiest But Prettiest Cheesy Pasta You Could Hope To Make
The Easiest But Prettiest Cheesy Pasta You Could Hope To Make
Dig In To Pure And Utter Cheesy Carby Deliciousness
Dig In To Pure And Utter Cheesy Carby Deliciousness

Ingredients (serves 2):

200g pasta

100g Ricotta

2tbsp Grated Parmesan

Zest of 2 Lemons

Basil (purple if you can find it!)

Salt & Pepper

Lemon Ricotta And Purple Basil Pasta - A Thing Of Beauty Really
Lemon Ricotta And Purple Basil Pasta – A Thing Of Beauty Really
  1. Boil the pasta in salted water according to the packet instructions. I take mine off a minute or two early so that it’s al dente. Reserve a little of the cooking water.
  2. Roughly chop your basil and set aside. I use a good bit, about a handful.
  3. Stir in the ricotta, Β parmesan, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Β Have a taste and adjust with more salt, pepper or cheese if needed. You may need to loosen it out with a little of the cooking water or even some olive oil for a silky finish.
  4. Top with more grated parmesan and black pepper and an artistic sprig of basil! Enjoy.
The Bones Of Your Ingredients - Simple But Great Quality
The Bones Of Your Ingredients – Simple But Great Quality
Feel Free To Go Crazy With The Pasta If You're A Fan Of The Novely Factor Like Me
Feel Free To Go Crazy With The Pasta If You’re A Fan Of The Novely Factor Like Me
Stir In Your Ricotta - Be Generous With The Cheese
Stir In Your Ricotta – Be Generous With The Cheese
Add In Your Lemon Zest, Pepper, Parmesan and Salt
Add In Your Lemon Zest, Pepper, Parmesan and Salt
Stir In Your Purple Basil... Yes PURPLE Basil
Stir In Your Purple Basil… Yes PURPLE Basil
Dig Into Your Fancy Purple Basil and Lemon Ricotta Pasta
Dig Into Your Fancy Purple Basil and Lemon Ricotta Pasta