Sweet, Traybake, Uncategorized

Cherry chocolate chewy flapjack

I’ve been eating a lot of porridge for breakfast but recently when I’d ran out of porridge oats I bought some cheap ones that I wasn’t keen on. I knew that it would be a good idea to save them for a day and when I could make flapjack and today was the day.

I have made chocolate flapjack before but my boyfriend loves cherry flavour so I decided to give these ones a little extra flavour. I was going to add in some cherries to the mix and I think it would be really good to do this but unfortunately mine went out of date last year!

If you don’t have cherry syrup then you can make them with any flavour coffee syrup or just leave them as chocolate. I also used ‘sugar and crumbs’ cherry flavoured cocoa powder but again, this is optional but if you can get it then it’s definitely worth it. I order mine online.

Chewy Cherry Chocolate Flapjack

500g cheap porridge oats
200g butter
160g white sugar
3 ½ tbs Golden Syrup

At least 2 tbs Cocoa Powder

2 tbs cherry syrup, I used Monin black forest cherry as its nice and thick and strong flavoured

Pre-heat the oven to 200c

1. In a large pan slowly melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup together. I know I have said before but make sure you sit the metal tablespoon in a cup of boiling hot water, this will help the golden syrup slide off easy.
2. Once melted add the cocoa powder and the cherry syrup.
3. Stir the mixture until all of the cocoa powder has mixed in and has no lumps at all.
4. Take off the heat and stir in the porridge oats until all of the mixture has coated them. With a chocolate flapjack this is easy to tell as it all turns brown.

5. Spread onto a square baking tray with sides, I used an 8″x8″ and pat down firmly with the back of a spoon until nice and squashed in. If you don’t squash it enough it’ll fall apart when you take it out. If its not a non stick tray or silicone then I suggest lining with greaseproof paper first.

6. Bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes. It should look firmer and the edges a bit darker but it will still be soft..
7. Remove from the oven, cover with a clean tea towel or kitchen roll.
8. Allow the flapjack to cool for 10-15 minutes then score with a knife into the size portions you would like.
9. Leave till completely cool before attempting to get it out of the tray.

Enjoy!

Biscuit, Sweet

Just like Millie’s – soft, chewy white chocolate chip cookies

I love stopping off at a Millie’s cookie stall whenever I go past one but unfortunately I don’t live close to one.. Therfore I have been practicing my cookies to try and make lovely soft cookies.

I think I have already created a good double chocolate chip which I will post soon, but now I have the white version to go with it.

Hopefully, as soon as my new niece or nephew is born then my sisters gestational diabetes will be gone and I can treat her by making a huge box of these. I might also include some fruit in them, raspberries would be perfect.

In the mean time, this is a very quick and simple recipe to make and even though my son is now 9 months he’s still not ready to nap so that mommy can bake too much.

I need recipes that are easy, allow me to satisfy my baking needs and do it all whilst entertaining a little man.


White chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients

  • 100g white sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 120g self raising flour
  • 30g all purpose plain flour
  • 100g chocolate chips

Method

Pre heat the oven to 180c

In a bowl cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together then mix in the golden syrup.

Add in the flours and mix it till it comes together. You can do it with a spoon but feel free to use your hands.

Once combined then add in the chocolate chips and mix them in. Try not to overwork the mixture, stop as soon as the chocolate looks evenly distributed.

Using a teaspoon measure out and roll into balls the size of cookies you’d like. I made 12 decent sized cookies. You don’t need to flatten them down, just put them on the tray in balls.

Bake in the oven for 12-14 minutes if you’ve made 12. Go for 12 minutes but if they haven’t settled too much then add another 2 minutes but no longer.

When they come out of the oven let them cool first otherwise you’ll just break them.

For a variation, add in a handful of raspberries after you’ve mixed in the chocolate chips.

Little tip – put the tablespoon in boiling water before using it to get out the golden syrup as then it’ll just slide off

Biscuit, Sweet

No sugar chocolate orange shortbread

My sister is currently pregnant but despite her healthy life (including running a half marathon just before getting pregnant) she has gestational diabetes.

Unfortunately, she also has a sweet tooth just like I do and the lack of chocolate, cakes and biscuits has been really hard for her so I’ve started looking up recipes that she may be able to eat.

One I thought that would be extremely simple to do would be to make shortbread and swap the sugar for sweetener. Now I don’t advocate sweetener being any ‘better’ or healthier for you than sugar but it’s a way to enjoy a little treat when you can’t have sugar.

I can’t say this recipe will be good for everyone with diabetes as you’ll know your diet better than anyone but it has certainly worked for my sister.

I decided to make the recipe chocolate flavoured by using cocoa powder as this doesn’t actually contain any sugar. If you’ve ever been curious and tried cocoa powder you’ll realise it’s extremely bitter on its own. Remember – cocoa powder, not drinking chocolate. There’s a big difference between the two. Unless you can have sugar, don’t use drinking chocolate for this recipe!

To also try and take a little of the bitterness away I wanted to flavour the chocolate so used orange blossom water (Nielsen Massey Orange Blossom Water is the exact brand) and I checked out the ingredients to make sure it didn’t include sugar.

The end result was a little box of biscuits, which although may not taste as sweet as you’d expect, they’re a nice biscuit treat when you can’t have sugar.

No sugar chocolate orange shortbread

This made 7 cookies. Recipe easily doubles

Ingredients

  • 1.5 tablespoons Canderel (I used this as it’s the one I had but try other types of sweetener) If you wanted to make this recipe with normal sugar it would be 1.5 tablespoons granulated sugar which equals 1oz.
  • 2oz butter
  • 3oz plain all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1. 5 teaspoon orange blosson water (you can flavour with anything you like but check to make sure it doesn’t contain sugar in the ingredients) It might be even better if you finely grate the zest of an orange though I haven’t tried it yet

Method

Preheat the oven to 180c

Make sure your butter is at room temperature or soften in the microwave before using

In a bowl mix the Canderel, butter, flour, cocoa powder and orange blossom water. Basically all of the ingredients.

Mix till they just combine, you don’t want to over work the dough as this will make it tough.

Use your hands to bring the last part of the dough together and on a lightly floured surface roll out to about the thickness of a £1 or euro. I’m afraid I don’t know the American coin equivalent, but you don’t want these too thick or thin.

Cut out using your cookie cutter of choice and continue till all the dough has been made into biscuits. Try and get as many shapes cut out each time as the less times you re-roll the better.

Line on a tray with non stick lining on and chill in the fridge for 30 mins-ish. It’s not imperative you do this, it just helps the cookies keep their shape whilst baking.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 12 minutes.

The biscuits will seem soft when they first come out so don’t try and remove them immediately. Let them cool for 10 minutes then you’ll be able to move them onto a wire rack to cool.

There you have it! A rediculously easy shortbread recipe, sugar free.

Enjoy…just don’t eat too many too quick.

Cake, Sweet

Cherry scones recipe – because you can’t always go out for afternoon tea

I love going out for afternoon tea, it’s one of my favourite pastimes (I’ll write about some of my favourite ones) but alas it’s expensive.

It doesn’t stop me wanting one though!

Although it’s easy to buy or make cupcakes and Victoria sponge you need your scones freshly made, shop ones just don’t cut it.

Therefore I decided I wanted cherry scones… And had to make some.

The only thing I don’t like about scones is the baking soda in them as it means I can only eat one before they make my teeth feel fluffy, but this recipe doesn’t use any so you can eat as many as your stomach can handle.

These are definitely best eaten warm, but if not all straight away then the second day is good too. You can just butter them but to really enjoy them then good jam and clotted cream is best. I didn’t have any clotted but I did make whipped cream.


Yummy warm cherry scones

The original recipe I used came from the Good Food website (link below), however I did swap the raisins for glacé cherries so I have altered the recipe to be what I did.

BBC Good Food fruit scones

For the inside filling I used a tub of extra thick double cream mixed with a little vanilla extract and a good strawberry jam.

Perfect!

Ingredients

350g self-raising flour, plus more for dusting
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
85g butter, cut into cubes
3 tbsp caster sugar
175ml milk

+ a little to glaze

Glacé cherries – I think I probably used about 6 cut into little bits

1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Tip the flour into a large bowl with the salt and baking powder, then mix. Add the butter, then rub in with your fingers until the mix looks like fine crumbs. Stir in the sugar.

  2. Make a well in the dry mix, then add the liquid (milk and vanilla) and cherries and combine it quickly – it will seem pretty wet at first. Scatter some flour onto the work surface and tip the dough out. Flour the dough and your hands, then fold the dough over 2-3 times until it’s a little smoother. Pat into a round shape about 4cm deep.

  3. Take a 5cm cutter (smooth-edged cutters tend to cut more cleanly, giving a better rise) and dip it into some flour. Plunge into the dough, then repeat until you have four scones. You may need to press what’s left of the dough back into a round to cut out another four. I always make a little odd shaped one with what’s left of the dough – you don’t want to waste any!

    I always make a little odd shaped one with what’s left of the dough – you don’t want to waste any!

  4. Brush the tops with milk being careful not to get it down the sides, then put into the oven.

  5. Bake for 10 mins until risen and golden on the top.

    Finally serve with your choice of tasty insides.

Bread, Sweet

Accidental cinnamon roll loaf

My daughter always asks me why I don’t make pizza on Friday like her grandad does and unfortunately my answer is because I don’t have time when I’m back from work.

I love making bread and bread based things, there’s something so satisfying about doing it all by hand and the smell when they’re baking is just wonderful.

But with a full time job and 2 children I don’t get much chance to do it, so I decided – let’s make bread!

I was initially going to make bagles but I’ve decided to leave these till a weekend or Friday morning so we can have fresh ones when my daughter is home… Now we have cinnamon rolls instead.

Well, to be honest they expanded much more than I thought they would so instead of eating them as an individual roll, you cut a slice as they formed a nice loaf.

I kneaded these by hand, which was a really bad idea as I don’t seem to have enough energy to do that and the cramp wasn’t fun. Next time I’ll just get out the Kenwood mixer with the dough hook. They did get about 15 minutes kneading but I don’t know if this was enough so I’ll have to let you know when I’ve eaten all of it some.

I only made a small batch as everyone is on their post Christmas diets so this recipe just made 6 roles instead of 12.


Yummy squidgy cinnamon rolls (loaf)

IMG_20180530_184606_045.jpg

Makes 6 rolls or one loaf

  • 7g dried active baking yeast
  • 7 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 220ml warm water (should just feel warm on your skin)
  • 400g strong plain white flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons caster sugar mixed with ground cinnamon (or use sweet cinnamon, like I did which is already combined with sugar)

Method

Mix up the water, sugar and yeast in a bowl and leave it for a few minutes till it starts to look frothy.

In another bowl add the salt, flour, egg and oil. You can make a little well in the middle but if you’re doing the initial mixing in a bowl you don’t need to worry about it running off the kitchen counter.

Mix the water and yeast mix into the other bowl with the flour. You’ll need to stir till you have no lumps left and it’s starting to look like dough.

Now comes the hard work. On a floured surface knead your dough. It will be sticky and hard to work with but keep going (till your arms hurt and then some more) and it will start to stick to itself and not everything around it.

When it’s been kneaded for at least 10-15 minutes then put it in a bowl that’s been lightly oiled and cover with clingfilm or a tea towel.

Now you can rest and have a cuppa tea as you’ll need to just wait about an hour for it to rise.

After its risen and looks much bigger then take it out, give it a quick knead and divide into 6 pieces.

Roll each piece into a rectangle and spread over the cinnamon sugar mix to each bit then roll it from one end to the other.

Put all 6 little rolls into a non stick or oiled tray, close together but not touching and cover them again to let them rise. This will be 40 mins – hour depending on how warm your kitchen is.

For me I put them too close and they merged and made a very interesting swirl bread.

Pre heat the oven to 180c and bake for approx. 30 mins.

Cool on a rack

You can add whatever topping you like but I went with the classic cream cheese

Cream cheese mixed with icing sugar and a splash of milk. Otherwise you could have this with custard or just icing sugar and water.

I gave it a dusting of cinnamon, as you can never have too much and ta-dah all done.

It won’t last too long as it’s home made bread and also rediculously tasty but keep it in a sealed container.