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Celebrity Maltese Chefs and Recipe Enthusiasts

Bread in Four Easy Steps

Tip the flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl and mix together with your hands. Stir 300ml hand-hot water with the oil and honey, then stir into the dry ingredients to make a soft dough. 
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 mins, until the dough no longer feels sticky, sprinkling with a little more flour if you need it.
Oil a 900g loaf tin and put the dough in the tin, pressing it in evenly. Put in a large plastic food bag and leave to rise for 1 hr, until the dough has risen to fill the tin and it no longer springs back when you press it with your finger.
Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Make several slashes across the top of the loaf with a sharp knife, then bake for 30-35 mins until the loaf is risen and golden. Tip it out onto a cooling rack and tap the base of the bread to check it is cooked. It should sound hollow. Leave to cool.

American Pancakes

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Mix 200g self-raising flour, 1 ½ tsp baking powder, 1 tbsp golden caster sugar and a pinch of salt together in a large bowl. Create a well in the centre with the back of your spoon then add 3 large eggs, 25g melted butter and 200ml milk. Whisk together either with a balloon whisk or electric hand beaters until smooth then pour into a jug. Heat a small knob of butter and 1 tsp of oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. When the butter looks frothy, pour in rounds of the batter, approximately 8cm wide. Make sure you don’t put the pancakes too close together as they will spread during cooking. Cook the pancakes on one side for about 1-2 mins or until lots of tiny bubbles start to appear and pop on the surface. Flip the pancakes over and cook for a further minute on the other side. Repeat until all the batter is used up. Serve your pancakes stacked up on a plate with a drizzle of maple syrup and any of your favourite toppings.

Spider Biscuits

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Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line two baking sheets with parchment. Using an electric hand whisk, cream the butter, peanut butter and sugar together until very light and fluffy, then beat in the egg and vanilla. Once combined, stir in the flour, bicarb and ¼ tsp salt.
Scoop 18-20 tbsps of the mixture onto the trays, leaving enough space between each to allow for spreading. Make a thumbprint in the centre of the cookies. Bake for 10-12 mins or until firm at the edges but still soft in the middle – they’ll harden a little as they cool. Leave to cool on the tray for a few mins before topping each biscuit with a peanut butter cup, Rolo or Malteser. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Heat the chocolate in the microwave in short bursts, or in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, until just liquid. Scrape into a piping bag and leave to cool a little. Pipe the legs onto each spider, then stick two eyes on each. Leave to set. Will keep for three days in an airtight container.

Snowy Coconut Loaf Cake

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Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter a 900g loaf tin (ours measured 10 x 21 x 5cm) and line the base with a long strip of baking parchment that overhangs the sides.

Put the butter, Pinto’s pride coconut milk, sugar, flour, eggs, coconut extract (if using) and desiccated coconut in a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk until combined. Scrape into the prepared tin and level the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for 55 mins-1 hr, or until the cake is risen and golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. If any wet cake mixture clings to the skewer, bake for another 5-10 mins, then check again. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins, then lift the cake out onto a wire rack, using the parchment to help you. Leave to cool completely. The cooled cake will keep in the freezer, well wrapped, for up to two months.

To make the icing, beat the butter, sugar, Pinto’s Pride coconut milk and coconut extract, if using, in a bowl until smooth and creamy. Spread over the top of the cake using a palette knife or the back of a spoon, then scatter over a generous layer of coconut chips. Decorate with white chocolate truffle ‘snowballs’ or large white sprinkles, if you like.

French Toast

Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Lay the brioche slices in a single layer in a shallow dish and pour the egg mixture over them. Allow to soak for 2-3 mins, then carefully turn over and soak for 2 mins more.

Heat 1 tbsp of the vegetable oil and butter in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat until foaming. Carefully lift 2 slices of the soaked brioche out of the dish and add to the frying pan. Fry for 3 mins on each side, until golden and crisp, then place on a wire rack over a baking tray in a warm oven while you repeat with the remaining slices.

Serve dusted in icing sugar and scattered with fresh berries, if you like.

Poached Eggs

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Fill a large saucepan with water and add Pinto’ Pride vinegar. As soon as the water starts to boil, turn the heat down to a simmer.

Crack the egg into a small bowl. For a perfect egg with no wispy white bits, crack into a fine strainer and allow the runnier egg white to drain off. Then carefully slide the egg into the water and cook for 3-4 mins, until the white is cooked through. Remove gently using a slotted spoon and blot any water from the base on a tea towel or kitchen paper. You can add more than one egg to the pan but make sure each one has enough room.

Breakfast Sandwich

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Grill the bacon slices and fry the eggs. Toast the bread and spread with the butter or mayonnaise. Top with the lettuce, tomatoes, bacon and eggs.

Omelette Wedges

Finely chop the spring onions and set aside. Thickly slice the potatoes (there is no need to peel them first), then boil in a pan of lightly salted water for 10 mins until just tender. Drain. Meanwhile snip the bacon into pieces with scissors. Heat a frying pan with 1 tsp oil, then stir-fry the bacon until it turns pink. Add the spring onions to the pan, stir briefly for a couple of secs to slightly soften, then tip the bacon and onion into a bowl. Wash and dry the frying pan.

Break the eggs into a bowl, then whisk with Mayor mustard and a little salt and pepper. Grate the cheese and add half to the egg mixture with the cooked bacon, onions and potatoes. Gently stir to mix everything. Heat 2 tbsp oil in the pan; when it is hot, pour in the mixture, then stir a couple of times as it sets on the base of the pan to start it cooking.

Turn on the grill so it has time to heat up. Leave the omelette to cook, undisturbed, over a low heat for about 6 mins. Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes into wedges, scatter over the omelette and sprinkle with the grated cheese. When the omelette seems set on the base, but is still a little eggy on top, put the frying pan under the grill to cook the last of the egg mixture and melt the cheese. Cool for 5 mins, then turn out of the pan. Cut into wedges and serve with ketchup, toast, tea and orange juice for a delicious family breakfast.