Sweet, Traybake, Uncategorized

Spiced pumpkin loaf

Last year I bought a tin of 100% canned pumpkin from the supermarket, mainly because I was excited to see it as its not as common here as in America. I had no idea at all what to do with it so I googled some ideas as I saw pumpkin loaf. I liked the simplicity of it and decided to play around with the recipe a little and see how it came out.

Spiced pumpkin loaf

80g butter or margarine
Half tin of pumpkin puree
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup self raising flour
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon bicarb
One teaspoon all spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 180c

In a bowl put the dry ingredients – flour, spices, bicarb and sugar in then give them a little mix together

Next add the butter or margarine and stir till combined.

Add the egg and pumpkin and stir till you have a nice smooth mixture.

Line a rectangular loaf tin and put your mix in.

Bake in oven for 40-50 minutes. You may need longer depending on how well your loaf tin cooks so have a look and see if a toothpick comes out clean.

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was going to add in some cherries to the mix and I think it would be really good to do this but unfortunately mine went out of date last year!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

Chocolates/Truffles, Sweet

White chocolate Rocky Road recipe – an easy children’s bake

My daughter now has a little brother but until 6 months ago she was an only child; luckily we do have a street full of other children to play with.

The problem is me, I’m starting on the new adventure of parenting called ‘Entertaining other people’s children’! So on a Saturday morning in the summer I ended up with 6 girls playing in my garden (sometimes happily, sometimes bickering) but only one was mine.

I thought it would be a good idea to invite them in to come and make cakes which they were very excited to do.

I told them all to ask their parents whilst I set up my kitchen for something I was hoping would be a fun task for them all… And it was!

After diligently washing their hands each girl had their own little bowl and a teaspoon, and in the middle of the table I set up an array of things. There were lots of cupcake cases, rice crispies, glace cherries, marshmallows, raisins and my special case of cake decorations. I did the job of melting white chocolate over a bain marie then gave each girl two tablespoons of white chocolate. I instructed them to add their own treats and stir all together. Once complete they each put them into two cupcake cases, decorated with random decorations like silver balls and voila! 6 happy girls and 12 awful looking (but lovingly crafted) rocky roads.

It was a lot of fun and surprisingly easy to clean up. Bowls in the dishwasher, left over marshmallows in the bin and a quick hoover.

If you ever need ideas for a baking party then this is definitely it. They were proud of their cakes and so were the parents. Next time it’s decorating cupcakes…


White chocolate rocky road cakes

  • Large bar of white chocolate
  • Little marshmallows
  • Dried fruit (glace cherries, raisins)
  • Anything for optional crunch (rice crispies, nuts)

In a bain marie melt the chocolate slowly whilst stiring. A bain marie is a pot over hot water without the bottom of the pot touching the water. You can do it in a microwave as well but be careful to melt in short bursts and keep stirring.

Take the bowl off the heat (or out of the microwave) and stir in handfuls of the other ingredients till they stick together nicely without too much extra chocolate about but also not too dry they won’t hold their shape.

Then either pat down gently into a tray or spoon into individual cupcake cases. Whilst the chocolate is still warm sprinkle any decorations you like.

Chill in fridge for half hour till set.

Don’t worry, they are never going to be the cutest of cakes but kids and adults will love them! And they’re great for no baked cake emergency.

Cupcake, Sweet

Halloween Strawberry Brain Cupcakes

I had really intended to post this on Halloween but as usual the time has completely ran away from me and before I realised it is over a week into November. 

It might be a bit late but I was really happy with the way these came out and they were so easy to do that I wanted to share the recipe so that everyone can make them.

No one can say that baking doesn’t make you clever, after making these you’ll feel very brainy! Hehe.


Strawberry Brain Cupcakes

This recipe will make 12 average size cupcakes or 9 larger muffin ones (larger will need longer cooking).
image

4oz Sugar
2oz Margarine
2oz Butter
4.5oz Self Raising Flour
2 eggs
1-2tbls Whole Milk
1-2tsp Strawberry Essence
Red or Pink Gel food colouring (if using liquid colour then do not add the milk) I used claret gel colour.

Pink buttercream:
2 – 3 large tablespoons of butter or margarine
Icing sugar
Red or pink food colouring

Pre-heat oven to 180c Gas 4

In a bowl cream the butter, sugar and margarine till it becomes pale.
Mix in the food colouring till completely combined.
Add one egg and half of the flour, try not to overwork this.
Add the second egg and rest of the flour.
Stir in the milk (if using gel colour) and the strawberry essence.

You should now have a lovely very vibrant colour. The colour should be brighter than you think it needs to be as it will lose some colour once baked.

Divide the mixture into your cake cases and bake in the oven till the tops of the cake spring back after a gentle poke. This should take 18-20 minutes.

Once cooked, cool on a wire rack.

Whilst the cakes are cooling make the buttercream.
The best way to make the buttercream is by taste. Add 2-3 large tablespoons of butter or margarine in a bowl and stir in 3-5 tablespoons of icing sugar and a enough food colouring to give it a very bright pink colour. If you think it needs a little more icing sugar then add more to taste. You’ll be surprised how much icing sugar you can add to a buttercream.

Once the cakes have cooled fully, fill a piping bag with a small star nozzle.

To decorate – pipe 2 lines down the centre of the cake the either side pipe tight zigzags. This will give you a lovely brain look!

Experiment with colours and zombie brains, I’d love to see any pictures if you make some.