Going crackers!

A few weeks ago a friend of mine gave me a simple recipe for crackers made with nuts and seeds. The minute I baked them, the crackers vanished, so it seemed only natural to bake them again :)  This time, I added some chopped fresh garlic and sprinkled it over the crackers before baking.  Feel free to top with chilli flakes, chopped fresh rosemary or even dried dill.

Here is what you need to make around 10 large crackers (slightly smaller than a Ryvita)
Before Baking

50g almonds (raw with skin on)

50g sunflower seeds

50g linseeds

50g pumpkin or courgette seeds

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 egg

1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Chop the almonds as finely as you prefer.  I leave mine quite large (around a quarter of an nut). Next chop the pumpkin seeds. Add all the nuts, seeds to a bowl and stir in the egg.  I do not chop the sunflower seeds or the linseeds!

Add the oil a tablespoon at a time, making sure that the mixture is not too liquidy.  The amount of oil you need will depend on the size of the egg you use.

Once your mixture is stirred well, spread it on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.

Using a spatula or the back of a spoon shape it into crackers.  I suggest that the size is not too big as they will easily crumble otherwise.  Also make sure to have a thin layer of mixture as if the cracker is too thick, your cracker you will not have a crunchy bite to them.

Bake at 180C for about 10 to 15 minutes but this really depends on your oven.  A good indication is that the almonds have taken a golden hue.  It is normal to have some "foam" ooze out of the crackers whilst baking. Also note that the crackers will harden on cooling, so don't worry if they are still soft when you take them out of the oven.  

After Baking

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Just a pot of cream

I know it's the trimming, slimming, detoxing season but when your local supermarket gives you cream for free, one just has to give in  :)

So Saturday morning, after cashing out, a little fridge standing at the exit of the supermarket with a sign saying "a donner" (to give away), music to my ears

I took a couple of jars and quickly set about using my new Christmas gift - a butter churner.
I poured 300ml of the cream into the jar, cranked away for about 10 mins then voila, the butter was made.
A photo posted by Baking In Belgium (@bakinginbelgium) on

But after you make the butter, you're left with a lot of buttermilk ! and there are two uses for that in our household -
1. Buttermilk Pancakes
2. Irish Soda bread

So soda-bread it was!

Back to Base

Seems like it's been ages ago, but the time is ripe.
I'm just back from Malta and still very keen on eating Maltese foods and using Maltese ingredients. I must admit they are VERY hard to come by in Belgium, but with the help of my family, I do keep a constant supply of a number of items including kunserva, pastizzi and of course twistees !

This summer I tried to see what was new on the market and new Maltese products seemed to be sprouting. New cheese spreads, new brands packing bigilla and of course gbejniet.

My girls gave me a butter churner last Christmas which was put to good use a few days later when the local supermarket was trying to get rid of a large amount of soon-to-expire cream. We made butter, which we ate, froze and even made bread with the buttermilk.

They also gave me a book about cheeses and butter which I must admit I have not really used except for the part where it explains how to make butter.

Having come back from Malta though, I was keen to try my hand at making Gbejniet.  These are little cheeselets made from goat's or sheep's milk and do not taste anything like the goats cheese we find here, chèvre.

I have found a recipe from Marlene Zammit who lives in Australia and runs Maltese Mouthful. Her recipe for gbejniet seems very authentic however, the ratio of milk to rennet varies completely to the once published by Pippa Mattei.  I just need to source the fresh goat's or sheep's milk and try the recipes out! 

Look out for more updates on my Instagram or Twitter accounts !