Tag Archives: Easy

Banana bread 17/52

27 May

A quick and tasty bake. Perfect for freeing your house of manky bananas 🙂  This one had the welcome addition of figs for a bit crunch.

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A good addition to any (every) lunchbox.

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Chocolate, Pear and Hazelnut cake 13/52

8 Apr

Mmm. Yummy if I do say so myself.

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This cake benefits from the moistened of the pears combined with the richest dense crumb that comes from supplementing the flour with ground hazelnuts. Shards of dark chocolate stop the sweetness of the pears from becoming overwhelming.

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Another classic from the Good Housekeeping 101 Cakes and Bakes we had this whilst it was still warm as a desert with creme fraiche. Today I will serve it with tea for a mid afternoon delight.  Definitely one to make again.

Lemon and Blueberry Muffins and Floral Cupcakes 12/52

1 Apr

A week of small delights. MUFFINS for the team and cupcakes showing off the joy of decorating with edible flowers!

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The lovely local green grocer provided me with a great excuse to add some blueberries to my normal muffin mix au citron. 6 punnets (of slightly manky berries of blue) for a £1? Yes please kind sir.

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I whipped up a basic muffin mix (wet and dry ingredients are mixed separately and then combined to make a slightly lumpy batter) with plenty of lemon zest. At the end I rolled some blueberries in flour (to help ensure even distribution of them) and voila – muffins were ready for baking.  25 minutes later they emerged from the oven with a light tan. I treated this batch to a lemony glaze and fed them to my colleagues. Hopefully a win!

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Part 2of this week’s culinary adventure were some cupcakes that took advantage of the edible violas in the garden. They look gorgeous and didn’t taste too bad either!

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Chocolate Nutella Tear and Share bread 11/52

24 Mar

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I made this simple recipe for a picnic with our lovely friends, the mother in law and nephew’s. Fortunately I can confirm that this was universally popular 🙂

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Essentially comprised of a sweet dough mix, laced with chocolate chunks and smothered with Nutella and hazelnuts this bake was scrumptious. Most closely resembling a chocolate Chelsea Bun,  I will definitely be making this again.

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Scones 10/52

11 Mar

If you have ever made a homemade scone you will be amazed at how rewarding they are for something that requires so little effort! And you will never enjoy a shop bought one again!

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They take about 5 minutes to make and 10 to bake. Then if you are particularly greedy,  you can eat them hot from the oven dripping with cream and soaked with jam!

Simply rub some self raising flour, extra baking powder, salt and butter together with your finger tips. Once you have an even mix, stir in milk until you get a smooth dough. I use a knife for this part. Like pastry, scones dough is better if you touch it as little as possible.

Flour your surface and pop the dough on it. I don’t roll mine out I just beat it with the edge of my hand until it is about 2cm thick. Dip your cutter in flour between each slice. This helps your scones to rise.  Cut out as many thick rounds as you can, bake and enjoy!

As I have been a real bumpkin in the past few weeks I was able to serve these with homemade jam.

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I took advantage of a ridiculous offer of £4 for 2kg of cherries and made masses of cherry jam and conserve. The conserve benefited from a slug of damson gin and some vanilla.

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Rhubarb and vanilla is my favourite and made with early forced rhubarb its a delightful pink colour!  I have also finally sorted out a custom stamp so my baking creations can now be labelled up!

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Bara Brith 8/52

23 Feb

Yummy tea cake this week 🙂 

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My favourite part of this recipe is soaking the dried fruit in Earl Grey tea and dark brown sugar. Why? Smells amazing. Looks like the most unctuous brown goo you have ever seen. I know that the juicy plump fruit will be sweet and bergamot scented and will explode with flavour when I eat a slice slathered with salty butter!

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I first made this cake when I worked for the wonderful Sheelin Davies at her Deli about 7 years ago. It was a really good seller and introduced me the delights of cake that you eat with butter (the savoury ambrosia as I like to think of it)!

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So once my fruit was soaked (raisins and figs,  none of the devil food peel) this was simples. Just add eggs, flour, oil and beat till smooth. Cook the batter inappropriate loaf tin for about an hour at 150C.

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Turn out, cool. Serve with a brew and some butter. Keeps really well and is a less stick to your teeth version of malt loaf!

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I also managed to squeeze in the making of some baby girl cupcakes for the latest arrival in the gorgeous Neale family. Mini cupcakes to celebrate my Mum’s house move also went down well!

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Peanut butter cookies 7/52

19 Feb

Gooey, salty, nutty, choc chip heaven. These are my favourite cookies and so simple. Another Hummingbird Bakery classic which I love to make.

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Butter is creamed with 2 types of sugar (muscavado and caster) until light and fluffy. A generous few dollops of chunky peanut butter and some vanilla essence are beaten in with an egg. Bicarbonate and some flour finish the essential mixture (chocolate is apparently an optional ingredient in some parallel universe!)

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Dollops of mix were spooned onto baking trays and then baked for 10 minutes at 170C.

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It’s important with cookies that you allow lots of space for spreading and that you cook them for as long as the recipe says. They will be gooey when you take time out of the oven. This is important to keep the central gooeyness which is integral to an A grade cookie! As the cool. The butter in them solidifies, giving them a crunch and goo all at the same time! Happy days.

These were yummy, but I knew they would be as it’s a recipe I have made quite a lot! Opted for something simple this week as we have been in DIY chaos!

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Maybe Bara Brith next week 🙂

Plum Crunch Cake 3/52

22 Jan

This cake was the reason I bought a particular cookbook. I love plums (as you may have guessed I also love cake) so this seemed like a pretty good idea. As an added incentive I knew that somewhere in my freezer lurked a bag containing the remains of the Victoria Plum harvest from our tree.

I seem to do a lot of the baking for this blog at the end of the week and it was Friday before I had a chance to start this (mind you I’ve done a lot of baking this week, home made passion fruit curd, scones, the pink cupcakes below, cookies and this cake).

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As usual this recipe started with creamed butter and sugar. Eggs were lightly beaten and then added with the zest of a clementine and some of its juice. In went the flour,some creme fraiche and the chopped and stoned plums. The batter was poured into a tin and baked for an hour at 150 c.

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Once golden brown it was cooled slightly, then Mr M took over (I had to get to the cinema to see ‘The Artist’ very good it was too) to make the crunch. As with drizzle cake caster sugar was mixed into lemon/clementine juice and poured onto the warm cake. For added crunch slightly bashed up sugar cubes were added.

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The finished effect was quite pleasing, sort of rustic. The cake scores high on the taste scale with a warm autumnal essence from the clementine and the slightly almond plums. The sugar topping prevents it becoming sour. I was disappointed with the texture as I think it was a bit too gooey, Plums tend to lose their structural integrity when frozen and I think the ones I used were a bit sloppy for cake (crumble or jam next time). Nonetheless thoroughly enjoyable with a cup of tea 🙂 I will remake this with fresh plums when I have some…

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Next time it has to be a chocolate cake! I have my eye on one in the Tea with Bea cookbook I acquired 😉 watch this space!

Doughnut muffins – 2/52

13 Jan

In November 2011 there was a recipe and a boy.  The boy liked the recipe very much. It was for doughnut muffins. In the months that followed the boy could be heard to proclaim often and a great volume in an inquisitive tone DOUGHNUT MUFFINS?!?

One day in January 2012 when the boy had been very good his plea for doughnut goodness met with success! And so his very nice wife got to work.

Flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and nutmeg were mixed together. The wet ingredients of buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla essence and an egg were beaten together. The two were combined to make a loose cake batter.  This was then poured into the muffin trays and cooked for 30 minutes until golden brown.

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Once removed from the oven they were immediately dipped in melted butter and rolled in caster sugar. Afterwards they were injected with strawberry jam.

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Whilst still warm they were gobbled. The boy was very happy and said thank you!

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The recipe was from an extract the Tea with Bea cookbook in Easy Living magazine, which has has now become another book for me to lust after!

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These were pretty damn tasty,  but it think most stuff would taste Amazing if you dunked it in butter and covered it in sugar! They are also super calorific and even the boy could only eat one. There are 8 left!

Pistachio Loaf Cake 1/52

6 Jan

I first laid eyes on the recipe for this whilst staying with friends for New Year, the vibrant green of the nuts in the photo lured me in. Suffice to say my decision to get on Amazon and purchase the Hummingbird Cake Days book was pretty immediate.

The day after its arrival I assembled the ingredients and got to work. Mr M kindly chopped the nuts whilst I creamed butter and sugar, added eggs, followed by flour, creme fraiche, vanilla essence and the pistachios. The mix went into a loaf tin and from there into an oven pre-heated to 170 degrees celsius for an hour until golden.

After cooling on a rack I glazed it with a simple runny icing and tipped it with finely (almost dust) chopped pistachios. I had intended to give it a rose water glaze, but alas we were out of this fab flavouring.

So I would rate this as easy to make, its just a variation on a creamed sponge mix. It creates a light crumb and the pistachios bring their unique flavour and beautiful colour to the cake. It tastes pretty fine, if I were to make it again I would flavour the glaze and maybe top it with crystallized rose petals for contrast.

All in all I am pretty happy with this, especially as its quite a big loaf and there is plenty to be eaten 🙂

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