Saturday, 24 September 2011

The perfect scone and a fish finger sandwich..

My blog has been very neglected these past few weeks and i may have to become a budget baker from now on and live off baked beans and fish fingers.. I am eventually, and very happily a university student!

I would love it if anyone could suggest any tasty, student and vegetarian meals and i will be sure to cook and post the best one! In the mean time i am just going to get used to my new surroundings and my new kitchen, which needs a lot of cleaning!  I still have a few reviews to post and recipes too (oopsie).

I was in Cornwall a few weeks ago and happened to eat a lot of cream teas, unsuprisingly! Even though we are quickly decending into the horrible cold depths of winter i thought i would still share with you my favourite scone recipe and some pictures of the delicious cream teas i tasted in Cornwall!

The best scones, from How to be a Domestic Goddess
Makes 12

500g plain flour
2 tsp bicarb of soda
4.5 tsp cream of tartar
50g cold butter, diced
25g trex
300ml full fat milk
1 free range egg, beaten

6.5 inch cutter, 1 baking tray and none stick lining paper

Into a large bowl sift the flour, cream of tartar and bicarb then rub in the butter and trex until the mix resembles damp sand. Add the milk in one go then mix very very briefly. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until a dough is formed. Roll it out to a 3cm thickness then stamp out as many scones as possible, you may have to re-roll to get 12. Put on a baking tray and brush the tops with beaten egg. Put in a preheated oven and cook for 10-12 minutes on 220 degrees until risen and golden.

Eat straight away with clotted cream and jam and fresh berries, yummy!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Strawberries & Cream Chocolate Birthday Cake!

I've been far too busy to even think about blogging recently, my life seems to be so hectic that i literally have a huge back log of posts that i can't find the time to finish. Despite my lack a time i wanted to share what i made for my mums birthday- somthing simple yet impressive and delicious at the same time.

In case you are thinking i've said this alot recently then you're right, i will try make more time in future!!
I have a few review posts coming up, including Nigella Lawson and Prince Charles' favourite place to eat in Cornwall and Rick Steins tapas bar and seafood restaurant (yes i went on a gastonomic tour of Cornwall-it wasn't as good as it sounds)

Anyway i hope you enjoy the birthday cake recipe as much as my mum did!

Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver

Chocolate Cake:

you will need 2 x 20.5cm cake tins
145g flour
35g cocoa powder
1.5 tsp baking powder
170g caster sugar
3 free-range eggs
50g good quality dark chocolate
2 tbsp milk

Heat the milk and chocolate in a bowl above some gently simmering water and stir, once melted leave aside to cool.
Add all the other ingredients into a bowl and mix until completely incorperated. Add the cooled chocolate then mix again. Divide between two lined cake tins and put in a preheated oven at 170 degrees for 25-30 minutes.


150ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp caster sugar
handful of flaked almonds
punnet of strawberries, washed and halved

Whip the cream then add the sugar and vanilla. Spread over the cooled cake base then sprinkle with flaked almonds and the strawberries.

Chocolate Icing:

50g dark chocolate
50ml double cream
20g unsalted butter
30g icing sugar

Put all the ingredients in a pan above simmering water and heat until melted and smooth. Leave to cool until slighty thickened then pour over the cake!


Saturday, 20 August 2011

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Yum yum yum.. I saw this recipe on Stuff I make, bake and love and remembered i had seen it in one of my newly aquired Green & Blacks cookery books- it was delicious. And even better it was so easy! It was a perfect way to celebrate- i'm going to university in september, yeyyy!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as i did, and thank you Lilly- your picture totally convinced me to make this, it really does taste as good as it looks!

I made 2/3rds of the mixture but that involved using 3.3 eggs so i wouldn't recommend it! I also didn't like the look the almonds dusted in the tin gave so i left them out of the recipe below! The full recipe needs a 23cm cake tin with removable base.

300g good quality dark chocolate, (I used Green & Blacks 85% cocoa solids)
275g caster sugar
165g unsalted butter
5 large free range eggs
1 heaped tbsp ground almonds

Melt the chocolate, butter and sugar together then set aside to cool slightly. In another bowl whisk the eggs and ground almonds together. Fold the eggy/almond mixture into the chocolate which should thicken pretty quickly. Pour into a 23cm buttered cake tin, and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for around 35-40 minutes. Leave to cool and decorate however you like!

Easy-peasy deliciousness

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes

There is something about cupcakes that makes them so irresistable, even more so than cake. Too often i bite into a piece of cake that is dry and over cooked  or in some cases not cooked in the middle at all! So i like to think that cupcakes are a safer option I also worked out that they cause fewer arguments as noone can accuse anyone of getting too big a piece or cutting the cake wonkily (something i often do). So as the name of my blog suggests i think i may steer more in the cupcake direction in future.

I'm not used to failure, or complete disaster infact but i think that i would prefer both of those over disappointment. So this post is my attempt at getting over the disappoinment of my Black Forest Gateau- beautiful yet tasteless. I stayed with the chocolate cherry combination because i think it works perfectly, but i discounted any cream that you would find in a gateau. What makes these cupcakes better than any i've ever tasted is the addition of the morello cherry jam, it makes the cupcakes so wonderfully moist and dense and leaves a subtle cherry after taste.

 Nigella, you are a genious.

Recipe: adapted from How To Be a Domestic Godess
Makes 12 large cupcakes

125g unsalted butter
100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids at least)
300g morello cherry jam
1 tbsp kirsch
150g caster sugar
2 large free range eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g self raising flour

Melt the butter and chocolate together until smooth and set aside to cool slightly. In a bowl beat the eggs with the vanilla and kirsch then mix in the sugar. Add the cherry jam to the chocolate then the sugar and egg mix and stir well. Sift the flour into the chocolate cherry mix and stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is properly incorperated. Divide into 12 cupcake cases and bake at 180C for 25 minutes.

Chocolate Ganache

100g good quality dark chocolate
100g double cream
1tbsp kirsch
12 glace cherries

Heat the cream and chocolate in a pan and stir until melted then add the kirsch. Ice the cupcakes however you like and put a cherry on top of each!

Something i've always meant to try is dipping some fresh black cherries in dark chocolate and then put them on top of the cupcakes, but of course then it starts getting very expensive and time consuming!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte

Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte or Black Forest Cake, whichever way you say it it was still a disaster. So the chocolate cake was nice, the chocolate cherries were nice, the morello cherry jam and kirsch drenched cherries were nice but it was still one big (although attractive) disappointment.

I went to visit my sister in the Black Forest last week, hence my lack of blogging, and on my return i was inspired to make this traditional black forest cake. I'm not sure whether it was because i had such high hopes for this that i was disappointed or that a cake or gateau would never work covered in whipped cream. I have however not yet posted one of my favourite recipes for chocolate cherry cupcakes, so i will post that soon in replacement of my failed kirshtorte.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Pistachio Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

After making these i have decided that my Canon powershot simply doesn't do my baking any justice and at the next possible present recieving opportunity i will have to get a good camera. However i tried my very best to make these look as appealing as they were! My favourite blogs are the ones with beautiful photography so i would really love to be able to take lovely pictures of my food too, in the mean time i will just have to make up with really nice recipes?!

I've also lost all faith in following recipes exactly, it's no fun and i like to make things my own. I originally thought of pistachio cupcakes and rose water frosting? but i worried it would end up tasting like perfume! I would love to try it in a recipe sometime but i decided that this wasn't the one.

Pistachio cupcakes: makes 10

60g pistachios
115g butter
120g sugar
2 large free range eggs
100g self raising flour
1tbsp milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Process the pistachios in a food processor until it ressembles fine grit, don't worry if it's not really fine!
Then beat the butter and sugar in a seperate bowl, gradually incorporating the eggs then the milk and vanilla. Fold in the pistachios, followed by the flour. Put into cupcake cases and bake for 20 minutes at 180C.

Cream Cheese Frosting

I really don't know the quantities of the cream cheese, butter and icing sugar i just made it to taste! i also added a little bit of pink colouring to the icing then scattered some crushed pistachios on top. Buttercream would taste lovely on top too or just some royal icing.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Strawberry Vanilla Cheescake!

At last. I have eventually  finished school and now i have the whole summer to bake, eat, bake some more and blog! I don't make cheesecake often and somehow i managed to throw out the magazine with this recipe in it but i decided to post it anyway!
The base of this recipe was what really made me make this. Instead of the usual crushed digestives it was a mixture of ground almonds butter and flour baked in the oven to make a cruchy almond base. Although i do really love crushed digestives mixed with melted butter i thought the almond base was slightly more sophisticated?

The topping consists of a tub of marscapone, i do remember that much! which made it lovely and smooth and creamy. I also added a tablespoon of vanilla bean paste (i know that seems rather a lot but i love it so much!) Then i folded in some whipped double cream and greek yoghurt and put strawberries on top!
i served it with some homemade strawberry coulis too.

My next post is definitely going to include more detail than this! I'm really looking forward to spending more time blogging, and i hope to try out some recipes i like from different blogs soon.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Asparagus Risotto

I haven't found anymore time recently to bake or not enough time to bake anything thats blogworthy at least so this is what i made at the weekend. Either the colour of this puts you off or it really makes you want to eat it. Green risotto- i love strange coloured food!

I found this recipe in The Times magazine and I love the bright green asparagus puree you make to put in this, it makes the risotto a lovely colour and it tastes so fresh and summery!

I can't wait for the next few (incredibly busy) weeks to be over then i can catch up on all the great posts i've missed! I hope you enjoy my recipes in the mean time <3

Recipe: serves 4

500g asparagus
75g butter
1 litre vegetable stock
1small onion, finely chopped
1/2 glass dry white wine
250g risotto rice
5tbsp grated parmesan

Start by snapping off the woody ends of the asparagus. Snap the tips of the asparagus off and cut the remaining stalks into 5cm lengths.
Bring the stock to boil in a pan and add the asparagus tips and boil for 1 minute. Remove the tips and put them to one side. Then boil the stalks in the stock for a few minutes until they are soft and remove and put them in a blender/food processor with a large knob of butter, then blend to make a smooth puree.
Sautee your onion in half of the remaining butter making sure it's softened but not brown
Add the risotto rice and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring continuously. Then add the white wine.
Add the stock a ladelful at a time, making sure the rice absorbs all the liquid before adding the next ladelful.
Stir untilcooked, it should take around twenty minutes.
Once your rice is cooked through add the bright green puree, the remaining butter, the parmesan and the asparagus tips. Cook for a couple of minutes then serve with parmesan shavings on top.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Cherry Clafoutis

I feel almost guilty i haven't posted in so long! And then i could hardly decide what to post out of all the things i've had time to bake (but not post) in the last few weeks. I've never tried cherry clafoutis before so i was a little unsure what i should expect and what i should eat with it. It turned out that it was so good that me and my mum (who normally loves anything you can pour custard on) ate it straight from the dish.


Recipe from Nigel Slater. Serves 4

400g cherries
70g butter (melted and cooled slightly)
80g caster sugar
2 free range eggs
90g plain flour
150ml milk
teaspoon vanilla extract

Start by stoning the cherries (arrgh, i am not patient at all but i managed to persevere!), then butter a 20cm baking dish and dust with some sugar and tip in your cherries. In a bowl beat the sugar with the eggs (one by one) then beat in the flour, milk, vanilla then finally the melted butter. Pour all over the cherries and bake at 180C for 35-40 minutes until puffed up and golden brown. Dust with icing sugar and serve with cream.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Gruyère and Spinach Soufflè

I have literally no time at the moment, i'm so busy with school and revision that i have no time to post! I crazily bake something in whatever free time i manage to get but then that leaves me with no time to post what i've made! I'm currently in the middle of baking cherry calfoutis, which is not going so well since i cannot find any plain flour anywhere but when i manage to make it i will make sure to make time to post it on here.

I don't usually make savoury things but these souffles are super cute and they are so fluffy and light they make great starters, main courses or whatever else you can think of! And they are really good as an alternate vegetarian main course. This recipe has been adapted for just one person and makes two small-ish souffles. That would be the right amount for two people as a starter though. I don't actually know where the recipe came from, it's something my mum tore out of a food magazine once and has adapted since then. I hope i will get more time soon so i can comment on all the lovely things you're making and hopefully find some other blogs to read and inspire me!


75g Gruyere cheese, grated
100g Spinach, cooked and chopped
12g Plain flour
12g Butter
150ml Milk
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 large egg, seperated

In a little saucepan melt the butter and sieve in the flour then cook for one minute. Whisk in the milk and continue mixing until it's a smooth, thick sauce. Then stir in the grated gruyere and mustard until it's almost melted. Fold in the egg yolk and the spinach. Whisk in the egg white and fold into the mix. Divide into two buttered ramekins and cook for 15-20 minutes until risen and golden on top at 200C.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Chocolate Meringue Pie

I admit that there is nothing better than lemon meringue pie but when i saw this recipe i had to make it! The creamy chocolate custard filling is so delicious i could have probably eaten it on it's own but because of it's richness it meant that the meringue and pastry were hardly detectable. So basically it was just chocolate pie. But don't be put off though, it was delicious in it's own right- creamy chocolatey and light at the same time but i think i love lemon meringue pie so much my expectations were too high!

(from green and blacks ultimate chocolate collection)

140g plain flour
30g icing sugar
75g butter
1 large egg yolk (free range!)

Sift the flour and icing sugar together and rub in the butter. Add the egg yolk and combine then shape into a smooth ball. Wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Once it's chilled roll out into a 24cm tart tin. The pastry is very crumbly but don't worry just fill in the gaps! Bake at 220C for 15 minutes or until golden then leave to cool!!

Chocolate filling:

4 large egg yolks
45g caster sugar
20g plain flour
350ml full fat milk
70g good quality dark chocolate

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until creamy then sift in the flour. Heat the milk in a pan until it bubbles then pour over the egg, whisking constantly. Then pour it back into the pan and bring it to the boil continuing to whisk for a further five minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the chopped chocolate and mix until thats melted and it's smooth and chocolatey. Leave to cool!!


4 free range egg whites
200g caster sugar

Whisk the egg whites until stiff as possible then whisk in the sugar, a little bit at a time so it's glossy and thick.

Pour the cooled chocolate custard into the pastry case then dollop over the meringue. Put in the oven at 180C for thirty minutes until the meringue is golden and crisp on the outside.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

White chocolate and raspberry cupcakes

I think that these are the prettiest cupcakes i've ever made, and the raspberries make the icing the lovliest colour! The original recipe used blackberries in the icing instead of the raspberries but i couldn't find blackberries anywhere! And besides i think that i prefer pink cupcakes?

Recipe adapted from Green&Blacks Ultimate Chocolate Collection.


For the cupcakes

150g butter
150g caster sugar
3 large free range eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of milk
180g self raising flour
100g white chocolate, roughly chopped

Start by creaming the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition, then add the vanilla extract and the milk. Gently mix in the flour making sure you don't over mix! Finally fold in the white chocolate chunks and divide between 12 muffin cases. Bake at 190C for about 20 minutes.

Raspberry buttercream (enough to cover 12 whole cupcakes)

230g Icing sugar
450g Butter, softened (under no circumstances use margerine or any other alternative, the icing will turn to an unattractive slop)
120g Raspberries (or blackberries if you prefer!) Leave 12 to decorate.

Beat the icing sugar and butter together until smooth. Add the raspberries and beat in. Pipe onto the cupcakes and decorate with a whole raspberry!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Chocolate Nut Brownies

I suddenly realised the other day that i couldn't possibly have a food blog without a brownie recipe on it! I have tried quite a few recipes and i always go back to this one. I've adapted it so many times that i think it's less like Nigellas and more like my own, which is probably why they quantities seem rather odd! My photography skills are lacking slightly too so i am rather disappointed that in this picture they look slightly dry? I think that is probably the last thing you want a brownie to be but (despite the picture) these are really gooey and dense. mmm..


190g butter
190g dark chocolate (min 75% cocoa solids)
3 large (free range!!) eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
250g light brown sugar
110g plain flour
150g mix of pistachios and walnuts (or any other nuts prefer)


In a heavy bottom pan melt the butter and chocolate and set aside to cool slightly. In a bowl beat the eggs and vanilla then add the sugar and beat well. Once the chocolate has cooled add the egg and sugar mixture then the nuts and flour, beating well.  Scrape the mix into a lined brownie tin and bake at 180C for 22-25 minutes. Be super careful not to overcook, the brownies will continue cooking slightly in the tin so they should be gooey in the middle.

Makes about 20 medium sized squares.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Chocolate truffle raspberry tartlets

I have to be honest, i did feel incredibley piggy after making these. These are meant to be served as tiny sweet canapes but they sounded so good that i had to make them dessert size. I did offset the rich chocolateyness by decorating it with a few raspberries but when i came to eat it it was so rich i ended up putting another handful of them on top! If you do want to make them as canapes the recipe makes around 24 and if you are feeling greedy like i was then it will make five individual tartlets.

The chocolate pastry is very fragile but don't worry if it falls to pieces (mine did) just patch it back together making sure there are no gaps. You could also freeze it if you end up with some left over!


For the chocolate pastry:
(makes 300g)

60g butter
60g caster sugar
30g dark chocolate, melted and cooled
125g plain flour
15g cocoa powder
1 egg yolk (free range)

1. Beat the sugar and butter together until creamy and add the cooled chocolate. 2. Sift in the flour and cocoa to the sugar and butter then add the egg yolk. 3 mix to a smooth dough. 4. Shape into the ball and wrap in cling film then leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes. 5. Roll the pasrty out on a floured surface to about a 5mm thickness (make sure it's fridge cold). Cut around tartlet tins and press into them, pricking the bottom with a fork. Place in a preheated oven at 200C for 11-12 minutes. 6. Leave in the tins for 10 minutes to firm up then place on a cooling rack.

For the chocolate truffle filling:

150ml milk
250ml double cream
250g dark chocolate (70% minimum cocoa solids)

1. Heat up the milk and 125ml of cream in a pan. 2. Break up the chocolate in a bowl and pour over the heated cream and milk stirring until the chocolate is melted and smooth. 3. Whip up the rest of the cream to soft peaks and fold into the chocolate mixture. 4. Spoon into the tartlet cases and stud with raspberries and dust with icing sugar. Serve at room temperature.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Fudgey Chocolate Hazelnut Biscuits

These really remind me of a cross between a Ferrero Rocher and a chocolate brownie, but in a biscuit. I think the only problem with making such a biscuit is that once you've eaten one, you really want another. They are super good eaten warm, when they are still all soft and gooey or eaten with some red berries! I saw this recipe first on Nigel Slaters 'Simple Suppers' and they looked divine but the recipe states that it only makes nine large biscuits. I'm not sure of his idea of large but mine made 14 very very big chunky biscuits (4 inches across large!). However i am very pleased they made extra because they were eaten very quickly indeed!


200g dark chocolate (70% coco solids or more)
75g butter
225g light muscovado sugar
2 large eggs
teaspoon vanilla extract
60g hazelnuts
150g self-raising flour


Melt the chocolate and set aside to cool slightly. Beat the sugar and butter together until creamy (it should take about a minute). Add the egg one by one and the vanilla extract, beating all the time, then add the melted chocolate. Toast the hazelnuts in a pan until golden then grind the nuts in a food procesor until it resembles fine gravel. Add the flour and nuts and mix until combined. Put big spoonfuls onto a baking sheet (it should make about 10-14) and bake at 180C for 10-11 minutes. The biscuits should be really squidgey still and have spread out. As soon as they have cooled slightly place them on a cooling rack and dust with icing sugar!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Seafood Paella and Molten Babycakes

So this was what i cooked for my boyfriend on Saturday night! I've never tried paella before but it was delicious- exactly like the paella i ate in Spain a few months ago. I found the initial recipe in 'Kitchen' and adapted slightly to recreate the one i ate in Spain. Incase the paella went wrong i opted for something i know always works for desert. Chocolate molten baby cakes are my favourite, i've already posted the recipe but i made these ones extra chocolatey so i had to put the picture up!

For the paella:

(serves two)

Good pinch of saffron threads
30ml sherry
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 spring onions
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
150g paella rice
150g prawns/tiger prawns
1 large fillet of rainbow trout (or any other fish you like. I use rainbow trout because it stays in visible pieces rather than flaking up into nothing)
60g frozen peas
1/2 red pepper, sliced
250ml vegetable stock
handful corriander, chopped to serve


Warm the saffron threads in the sherry for a minute or so. Heat the oil in a wide heavy based pan and cook the spring onions then add the garlic. Add the rice, prawns, fish, pepper and peas and toss in the oil. Heat the stock and add it to the pan, followed by the saffron and sherry. Mix well then leave it to simmer very gently, uncovered for 15-20 minutes- without stirring. Once the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender fork the rice through to seperate. Serve with fresh corriander sprinkled on the top!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Coffee and Walnut cake

I know this may be a little unadventurous but who doesn't love a good coffee cake? This recipe is from one of Nigel Slaters books i recently acquired and this is definitely one of my favourite cakes ever.

Is there anything else to say..?

For the cake:

175g butter
175g golden caster sugar
3 large eggs
175g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 heaped teaspoons instant coffee granules
70g chopped walnut pieces

Coffee buttercream:

200g butter
400g icing sugar
2 teaspoons coffee granules
60g walnut pieces


Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time to the butter and sugar, beating well after each egg. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture and mix carefully. Dissolve the coffee granules in a tablespoon of boiling water and incorperate into the mix. Finally fold in the chopped walnuts. Divide the cake mix between two (i used three) 20cm lined cake tins and bake at 180C for twenty to twenty five minutes.
When they are cooled beat the butter and icing sugar together and as before dissolve the coffee in a tablespoon  of boiling water and beat into the butter and icing sugar until smooth. Ice the cake however you like and sprinkle with walnut pieces!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Pistachio Macaroons!

Ok so these would have been surprisingly easy to make had my mixer worked and my piping bag not burst. I got this recipe from 'How to be a domestic goddess', one of the easiest, nicest sounding recipes for macaroons i've come across however the recipe said the pistachios had to be like dust. My mixer did not have the capability to make dust, only fine pistachio gravel. I thought that this was the end of my pistachio macaroons but i actually found that especially in the filling that the small pieces were rather pleasant. So that was one disaster avoided, but then my new Tala piping bag burst. Never ever ever attempt spooning macaroons onto the baking sheet- however careful you are it does not produce uniform circles! I had no other option so although the macaroons tasted delicious, they looked awful. I promise that if you use a piping bag then they will be perfect macaroons!

For the macaroon:

75g pistachios
125g icing sugar
2 large egg whites
15g caster sugar

For the butter cream:

55g pistachios
250g icing sugar
125g butter, softened


Grind the pistachios and icing sugar in a food processer until they are like dust (i am not convinced this is possible, just try make them as fine as possible). Whisk the egg whites, gradually adding the sugar until stiff. Fold in the pistachio 'dust' gently. Pipe small rounds onto a baking sheet it should make approximately 40 rounds. Let them sit for ten minutes until they form a skin. Put them in the oven at 180C for 10-12 minutes until set. For the butter cream grind the pistachios and icing sugar as before then cream this with the butter. One cooled sandwich the macaroons together with butter cream and enjoy! They should make around 20.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

I wish...

I wish that i could eat macaroons everyday! I was in London on Wednesday and found the lovliest french patisserie called Pauls that made the best macaroons i have ever tasted- and i have tasted alot of macaroons.
If you are ever in London you have to find a Pauls, unfortunately i couldn't try everything but the bread looked amazing as well as the cakes. I also found out on my return to the countryside that they have a website and they do deliveries- hallelujah!

So i have decided that next weekend i am going to make my own macaroons, i've found a lovely recipe for pistachio ones so i will post them on here once i've made them!

Look at the website, the cakes look gorgeous!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Gooey Chocolate Puddings

I have to try seriously hard not to make these every single day, and i probably would if i could manage to eat all four. Quite honestly the first time i made them i was a little scared that they weren't cooked enough after 12 minutes but i've learnt that rather than being afraid of salmonella you have to embrace the gooeyness. They keep well in the fridge if you make them before you want to cook them but i do find they are best cooked from room temperature. Having made them so so many times i have thought of several variations should you find this recipe a little unadventurous!


60g caster sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
50g butter
60g dark chocolate (minimum 70% coco solids-i used Lindt)
50g plain flour


Melt the chocolate and butter together and let it cool for a couple of minutes. Then mix the sugar, egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract until it looks pale and thick. Pour in the melted chocolate mixture and mix until combined. Finally sift the flour into the mixture and fold in. Grease four small ramekins and dust with coco powder. Divide the mixture between the ramekins and pop into a preheated oven at 160C for 12 minutes.

I usually keep mine in the ramekins and serve them with ice cream!


1. Chilli chocolate- Instead of using plain dark chocolate replace it with good quality chilli chocolate. It adds a bit of a kick to the pudding and is abit more adventurous!

2. Baileys and chocolate- Add two tablespoons of Baileys or Tia Maria or anything similar that you might prefer to the mixture before adding the flour.

3. Cherry chocolate- Similar to above but replace the Baileys with a cherry liqueur.

4. Coffee chocolate- dissolve one heaped teaspoon of instant coffee in one tablespoon of boiling water and incorporate into the mixture.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Baby Lemon Cakes

I make these cakes in my silicone muffin tin, which if you haven't got one then you really should! Any bakeware shop sells them and they make they cutest little cakes! If you don't happen to have these however then just make them in cupcake cases. Also if you happen to have any Limoncello in your house then the icing tastes super good with a splash of that in as well as the lemon juice. 

For the cakes:

125g butter
125g caster sugar
125g self-raising flour
2 large (free range!) eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1 large lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons milk

For the icing:

300g icing sugar
Lemon juice ( about 4 tablespoons works for me but it really depends how runny or thick you want your icing to be. Just add a little at a time until you get your desired consistensy)
Poppy seeds, for sprinkling on top.


Simply put all the ingredients but the milk and lemon juice into a bowl and mix. Once they are smooth add the milk then mix, then the lemon juice. Divide between the moulds or cupcake cases and bake for 15-20 minutes at 200C/gas mark 6. The mixture makes 10 mini cakes or 12 cupcakes.
To make the icing sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and add the lemon juice. Once the cakes are cooled ice each one and sprinkle with poppy seeds!

Banana, Honey and Chocolate Chunk Muffins

These are probably one of the easiest things to make, and if you omit the chocolate then they are pretty cheap too! I really like to eat them as breakfast muffins althought they are just as good at any other time of day. They keep well for a few days too, if you can manage not to eat them!


90g clear honey (3 tablespoons)
30g butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large or three small very ripe bananas
150g plain flour
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
1 level teaspoon of cinamon
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
50g dark or milk chocolate (whichever you prefer)


Melt the butter, honey and vanilla extract in a pan then leave it for a couple of minutes to cool slightly. Mash the bananas in a large bowl (don't mash it to a pulp it's better with a few lumps of banana in it) and pour in the melted butter mixture. Next measure all the dry ingredients together and sieve them into the banana mix. Chop the chocolate into small chunk and mix all the ingredients together, being careful not to over mix.
Divide into 10 muffin cases and put into a preheated oven at 180C/Gas mark 5 for 20 minutes until golden brown on top.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Crunchy Peanut Butter Squares

I found this recipe in a childrens section in one of Nigella's books and i couldn't resist making them! However I altered mine slightly by using crunchy peanut butter and slightly different quantities as i like abit more crunch in mine. And believe me when i say you only need tiny squares!

For the peanut butter base:

150g crunchy peanut butter
25g butter
100g icing sugar
25g light brown muscavado sugar

For the chocolate topping:

100g plain chocolate
70g milk chocolate
25g butter


Put all the ingredients for the base i a bowl and mix together- it will be pretty lumpy but thats ok! Then press it down into a small lined brownie tin making it as compact as possible(i find it easiest to use my fingers to do this). For the top melt all the ingredients together then spread onto the base. Put it in the fridge until the chocolate is set then cut into squares! It makes roughly 20 small squares.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Valentines Kisses

I thought these coconut kisses would be appropriate for valentines, they look cute and are so easy to make!

For the cupcakes:

125g butter
125g caster sugar
125g self-raising flour
2 large eggs( free range of course)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
50g desiccated coconut

For the topping:

200g white chocolate
110g shredded coconut


Cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs and vanilla extract and then sifted flour. Fold in the desiccated coconut and then divide into 12 bun cases. Bake in the oven for around 15-20 minutes on 200 C/ gas mark 6. As soon as they're cool melt the chocolate and stir in the coconut for the topping. Then using a teaspoon shape roughly into balls and pop on top of the cupcakes!

If only it were so simple Nigella...

I have probably baked everything in this book five times over at least and i still don't quite feel like a goddess (although my boyfriend insists i am!). I am determind that one day all of my horrible baking disasters will pay off!