Thursday 17 September 2015

Potato & Black Pepper Oatcakes from 'Baking With Vegetables' by Parragon Books *REVIEW* & *RECIPE*

BAKING WITH VEGETABLES - add kale to your cake and feel virtuous while you bake! 

This month I was sent another fab cookery book from Parragon Books to put through its paces. 'Baking with Vegetables' is a lovely full colour, hardback book bursting with inspiring recipes to sneak vegetables into the unlikeliest of foods. 

We've all seen beetroot in a chocolate cake and courgette in a loaf of bread, but how about potatoes in a muffin, sweet potatoes in a brownie or cauliflower in a cheesecake?? Sounds mad doesn't it? But this book seems to make it work - pairing fresh fruits, herbs and spices with complimentary vegetables that as if by magic just seem to sound 'right'. 

The book is broken down into chapters...

1. Cakes, Small Bites & Breads
2. Cookies, Bars & Slices
3. Pastries & Fancies
4. Pies & Desserts

There is a short introduction which covers why we should all be upping our intake of fresh vegetables, the vegetables vs fruit debate, how to source your veg, when to buy and what to buy. It also covers all the essential baking equipment you'll need to work through the recipes in the book - handy! 

I love the sound of lots of the recipes in the book, but not one to 'bake for the sake of it', I wanted to road test a recipe that would compliment a meal we were already planning to eat that week. 

Now that the nights are drawing in, we are falling back to our favourite autumn/winter recipes which are usually slow cooked stews, warming casseroles and the such. One of our favourites is a version of a campfire stew - a grown up, from scratch, homemade "sausage & beans" (like the tins from our childhoods'), if you will. It's nice and easy to make, uses up store cupboard ingredients, has a nice kick of spice - and best of all cooks all day in the slow cooker, filling your house with the most amazing paprika, smoked frankfurter sausage and tomato aromas. Usually we would have crusty bread to dunk in this comforting dinner, but when I saw the recipe for potato and black pepper oatcakes in 'Baking with Vegetables' I knew they'd be the perfect accompaniment. 


Homely mashed potato and a generous grinding of black pepper add the wow factor to these delectable oatcakes. Pleasantly chewy but crisp at the edges, they are equally delicious plain or served with butter. 

MAKES 9 (I found it make about 12)


10g butter, for greasing
2 floury potatoes (about 250g), cut into chunks
25g butter
¼ tsp salt
½ - 1 tsp pepper (depending on how peppery you like it!)
50g oatmeal
25g porridge oats
10g plain flour, for dusting


1. Preheat oven to 200℃. Line a baking tray with a silicone sheet or well-greased baking paper. 

2. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the potatoes, bring back to the boil and cook for 10 minutes until tender.

3. Drain the potatoes, then return them to the pan and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave to stand for 5 minutes to absorb the excess moisture. Mash until smooth, then stir in the butter, salt, pepper, oatmeal and porridge oats. 

4. Pack the dough together well and turn out onto a well-floured board. Using a well-floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to a thickness of about 5mm. 

5. Cut into rounds with a 7cm cutter. Lift the rounds carefully onto the prepared tray, using a spatula. Re-roll and cut the trimmings until all the dough is used up. 

6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, turning the tray halfway through the cooking time, until the cakes are golden at the edges. Remove from the oven. Leave to cool on the tray until firm, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

T'ah d'ah! Finished oatcakes waiting for a slathering of salty butter and a dip in our sausage & bean stew. 

The close up! Oaty, peppery, potatoey goodness! 

Still a little warm, theres nothing quite like something savoury with melted butter! 

The perfect companion to a warm, smokey stew! Dip, dip! 

We really loved these versatile little oatcakes - not only were they super-simple to make, but they used no 'special' ingredients, and instead were a great way to use up the ends of packets in my cupboard, and the last slightly manky potatoes in the veggie drawer. 

Personally, I'm a massive fan of black pepper (I put it on everything!) so I would probably double the amount that's stated in the recipe. You could also really play about with flavours - adding herbs or spices such as paprika or cayenne - you could even add a little grated parmesan over the top for the last few minutes of baking...the possibilities are endless. 

I also think these little oatcakes would taste delicious with cheese instead of crackers, or covered in streaky bacon and eggs for a different breakfast option. 

The next recipes on my list to try from this fabulous book are:

Kale, Shallot & Blue Cheese Scones
Honeyed Carrot & Pecan Squares
Chocolate-dipped Parsnip & Pistachio Cookies and
Courgette & Parmesan Bread

Thanks to Parragon for another corker of a book, and watch this space for something truly indulgent and SUPER-chocolatey next month...

Mrs B


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Disclaimer: I received this product from the publisher for free. However, they have not paid me for this review, and they do not exercise any editorial control over my review or anything else on this site.