Posts Tagged With: baking

Baby carrot cake

Another baby-led weaning recipe, sugar-free carrot cake. It’s not very cakey but I actually think this is really delicious and would make it just for myself! It comes from the baby-led weaning cookbook.

200g wholemeal flour

3 tsp baking powder

110g dates, finely chopped

50g ground almonds

50g dessicated coconut

3 tsp ground mixed spice

110g melted butter

110g sultanas

1 large carrot, grated

Grated zest of 1 orange

2 tbsp orange juice

2 eggs

Put flour and baking powder in a bowl

Add the dates, coconut, nuts and spices

Mix thoroughly

Combine the butter, sultanas, carrot, orange zest and juice

Add to the dry ingredients

Combine to make a thick paste

Beat the eggs and add them

Spoon into a cake tin and bake for 45-50 mins. Check with a skewer that it comes out clean

This froze well so I could give it to baby in portions

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Christmas cake

I am baking some cakes for Samantha and Mark’s naming party and have borrowed the recipe from my friend Angie, as she used it for her wedding cakes so figured it was a good one! It’s quite expensive as you’d expect, but extremely easy to do… Although we had to make two trips to the local shop during the baking process because although I’d carefully bought all the tricky ingredients, I forgot to buy eggs and butter! But I made it with Samantha’s help so not too tricky! The main things to remember are you need to soak the fruit the night before, and you need plenty of time to bake it… And it’s a low oven so you can’t have it in at the same time as your dinner!

125g halved glacé cherries

100g chopped dried apricots

600g mixed currants, raisins and sultanas (recipe said 200g of each, but cheaper to buy a mix… Mine had a few bits of peel in too)

75g candied peel

100g dried cranberries

150ml sherry, brandy, rum or tea (I used tea but we’ve just remembered we’ve got a bottle of corvoisier in the cupboard for the next one)

Zest and juice of 4 clementines (panther ate the rest after I’d juiced them!)

250g butter

250g light soft brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla

4 eggs

200g plain flour

2 tsp mixed spice

50g flaked almonds

50g chopped hazelnuts

The night before soak the fruit in the tea or alcohol… I used a big Tupperware for this

Grease bad line a 20cm round or 18cm square tin (the recipe suggests you wrap around the tin… I didn’t bother!)

Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy (I used real butter and had to use an electric mixer)

Beat in the eggs one at a time

Add the flour and mixed spice

Add the fruit in its liquid, the nuts, and the clementine zest and juice

Mix well

Pour into a cake tin and use a spoon to make a little dent In the middle

Bake for 90 mins at 170 (preheat the oven)

Cover with foil (do thus earlier if the top is burning)

Turn den to 140 and bake for 45-60mins 

When it’s ready if you insert a skewer/knife, it will come out  clean… Mine took the full 60 minutes

When it’s cooled wrap in foil and store in an airtight tin for up to 6 months. 

Feed every few weeks by piercing with a skewer bad sprinkling with more alcohol/ tea

With such a tricky and expensive cake, even I followed the temperatures and times really carefully! I have one more to make!

The original recipe comes from

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Easter egg rocky road

This is a reader recipe from the latest good food magazine and it was so yummy! Such a fun thing to make with panther for Easter. A little expensive as you need a whole 2 bags of mini eggs, but luckily I already had the cranberries and I always use cheapo chocolate in recipes. Well worth a try!

200g dark chocolate (recipe said 225 but this is daft, awkward and unnecessary!)

100g butter

2 tbsp cocoa powder

2 tbsp golden syrup

100g rich tea biscuits

50g mini marshmallows

50g dried cranberries

200g chocolate mini eggs (2 bags… Quite an expensive recipe really!)

Start by lining a tray… You could make them thin in a traybake tin but I used a loaf tin with a liner. It makes about 10 bars at 399 calories each

Put the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of boiling water and melt until smooth and glossy

Remove from heat and add cocoa and syrup

Mix together

Leave to cool for 15 mins

Bash the biscuits in a freezer bag using a rolling pin (fun for kids!)

Stir the biscuits, cranberries, marshmallows and 2\3 of the mini eggs into the chocolate

Our the mix into the tin and press down until even

Scatter the remaining eggs over it (to make it look eastery!)

Chill in fridge for 1 hour, then cut into bars

Apparently this will keep for a week… Not sure whose house that’s in though, wouldn’t last that long here!

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Guinness and black cake

We were very pleased with this idea! Forphilip’s 21st we made a cake themed on his favourite drink, and decorated it like a pint… Genius! 


The basic recipe is by nigella and can be found here and we then filled it with black currant jam and decorated it with black icing, using the cream cheese icing (which in the original recipe was way too runny) for the head of the pint. It looked and tasted amazing, yay! I would definitely recommend this as the birthday cake of choice for the Guinness and black drinkers in your life… Ok so I guess that’s not many people, but it really is a yummy cake!

To make it in a loaf tin (these are half the original amounts)

125ml Guinness

125g butter

37g cocoa

200g sugar

70ml sour cream

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

137g plain flour

1.5 tsp bicarb


150g cream cheese

75g icing sugar (as often happens, I found I needed loads more than this. Make sure you’ve got plenty to hand, and keep adding it until it’s thick enough not to just slide off the cake!)

62ml double cream


Black icing (I used 1 Pack. Well, chris actually iced it)

Black currant jam

For the cake

Heat the Guinness and butter in a saucepan until the butter has melted

Whisk in the coca and sugar

Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla

Add this to the Guinness mixture

Beat in the flour and bicarb

Pour into your greased, lined loaf tin and bake for 45 mins to an hour… Weirdly, even though my oven isn’t very hot, this was done after 45 mins

Cut cake in half and fill with jam (or you could bake in two loaf tins)

Use jam to help you stick the black icing on. You need to roll it out, but I find it tricky. For icing I use icing sugar to roll on… When this is for rolling black icing, the white sugar, which is hard to remove, ruins the effect. 😦

Ice the head of the pint with a little bit of cream cheese icing. Thinking about it, the proportions I gave were way too much for just the head. Make much less, unless you want to use it under the black icing, or potentially in the middle.

If you feel like it, you could use writing icing to make the symbol, like chris has.

It make a yummy, moist cake. My brother loved it.

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Salted Caramel brownies

These are from the latest edition of good food, which I appear to have lost, but luckily they are also now on their website. I made these for my mum and mum-in-law’s birthdays, which are together. They are quite easy- I hadn’t been bothered to make them the night before but managed to make them before the 9am pre-school run whilst looking after a pre-schooler and baby, although admittedly the pre-schooler was quite helpful! She even cracked the eggs into a bowl completely by herself (for the first time). The use of the caramel in the brownie mixture itself is great for the texture and I like the strip of it in the middle. I didn’t have the right salt, so just used table salt, which was fine in the caramel itself but I couldn’t use it as decoration sadly. Definitely worth making and eating. Apparently these are 345 calories and 19g fat, eek! 

 200g butter 

200g dark chocolate (she specifies a complex chocolate combination- I used value and can’t honestly see how the use of different chocolates could have improved it) 

Carnation caramel, 

1 can
1 tsp salt (should be flakes, I used table!) 

200g golden caster sugar

 4 eggs 

100g flour 

50g cocoa

Melt butter in a pan

Break in the chocolate. Take off the heat and stir to melt

Mix 175g caramel with some salt

Use an electric mixer to beat the rest of the caramel with the sugar and eggs

Whisk in the butter and chocolate mixture

Beat in the flour, cocoa and a pinch of table salt

Pour half the mixture into a greased lined tin… I used two loaf tins

Spread half the caramel on top… It will firm a stripe inside it

Put the rest of the mixture in and top with the renaming caramel

Drag a knife or fork through the caramel to make a feathered pattern (if you can be bothered!)

Bake fur 25-30 mins. When done it will jiggle a little but when you shake the tray

Cool then turn out and cut into 16 pieces

I think ths recipe would work really well with Easter eggs at Easter! 2 years ago I made creme egg brownies by topping with halved  creme eggs, yum yum! Ths would be good with this recipe I think.

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Made this for the fair/ autumn party too as it’s seasonal and it was yummy! We had to eat it straight away as made it that morning, but it’s better of you keep it a bit.

200g butter
1 egg
4 tbsp milk
200g golden syrup
85g light soft brown sugar
100g oatmeal
250g sr flour
1 tsp ginger (I used a little more)

Beat egg and milk together
Melt sugar, butter, syrup and treacle together in a pan
Add the dry ingredients, then the egg and milk mixture, and mix together
Line a square tin and pour the mixture in
Bake for 50mins to 1 hour
If possible wrap and save for 3-5 days before eating
Apparently it keeps for 2 weeks and becomes softer and stickier, but ours was eaten straight up!

The original recipe is from good food website

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Basic sweet pastry

Been using this recipe from good food for all my recent pies etc. dead easy, no idea why I’ve always been so scared of pastry!

225g plain flour
110g butter
80g caster sugar
1 egg (I’ve used milk instead when I halved the recipe/ didn’t have eggs)

Rehab in the flour and butter
Stir in the sugar
Mix in egg/ milk until forms a good dough
It’s often best to leave in fridge for a bit before using if you have time

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Simple gingerbread house

I saw some of these in morrisons and had a real urge to make a Halloween haunted house. Then found that Lakeland sell cutters to make your house, making it easy enough even for me! We stuck this together with dark chocolate and made spiders, spiders’ webs and ghosts to decorate it, it looked amaxing! A photo will follow eventually but it’s on my old phone 😦 planning to do a Christmas one using white chocolate soon! Most recipes say to use icing to stick it together, but I find chocolate sets quicker and harder. What’s really good about this is that the biscuits were actually really delicious to eat, even after several days, so nothing was wasted!

250g butter
200g dark muscovado sugar
7 tbsp golden syrup
600g plain flour
2 tsp bicarb
4tsp ground ginger

Melt butter, sugar and syrup in a pan
Stir in flour bicarb and ginger, it makes quite a stiff doug
If you don’t have cutters you need to google a template, or make your own
Roll some dough out to a thickness of 2 £1 coins and cut out 4 sides and 2 roof tiles, plus any people etc you want (my set also included windows)
When cutting out the sides and roof you need to roll your dough out on the greaseproof paper, remove the extra bits, and lift the paper onto the tray. Don’t try to lift the gingerbread on its own as the shape will distort and then your house won’t work.

You need to construct your house in stages. Start with the 4 walls. Use melted chocolate (plenty) to stick them together, place cups in the middle to hold them up, and put in fridge for 10/15 mins
Then put roof on in same way. I was worried about this, but mine was easy.
Decorate with whatever ingredients you have / want. We used leftover coloured icing, initially bought from morrisons for the honey bee biscuits, which was very useful.

This is a great recipe, strongly recommended for some fun time in the kitchen!

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Pumpkin pie

Samantha’s pumpkin obsession continues! She loves buying them, lifting them and playing with them, and quite likes eating them! She randomly requested the pumpkin pie so I made her one. He first time I did it in a proper tart tin, pre-baking the pastry case etc, but this makes 8 portions which is a lot for us. The second time I halved the proper quantities (and I’m going to give the halved quantities below) to make 4 portions. I didn’t have a small pie tin so I used my pie dish, which serves 4. I put the pumpkin stuff on the bottom, and the pastry on the top (my pastry was 2 wet so used it as a kind of cobbler topping). I then just baked the whole thing for about 50 minutes. If you’re serving this to others used the proper recipe here but for a quick family pudding, and to avoid eating it all week, this works fine.

375g pumpkin purée (I baked my pumpkin whole and cut out the flesh, puréed it with a stick blender then used it in a range of recipes including this one)
175g sweet Shortcrust pastry (made this myself, will share recipe later)
70g caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
12g melted butter
85ml milk

Combine the dry ingredients
Mix in the eggs, butter and milk and stir to combine
Add in the pumpkin and mix until fully combined
Lightly grease pie dish and put the custard mixture in
Top with your pastry. Roll out it you can, or just do blobs
Bake for 40-50 mins until quite set
Serve like a crumble, with custard or cream, yum yum!

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Apple and cheddar crust pie

I don’t make apple pie very often, but panther asked for it when we had been to the apple day at calke abbey last week so I thought why not, this recipe from a recent olive magazine appealed to me as we had tried apple pie with cheese, apparently a Lancashire delicacy, at my grandma and granddad’s party a few year’s ago, and it kind of stuck in our memories! This is mega easy, and I really like it as there’s no pre-cooking of the apples, you just bung it in. I am halving the original recipe, so it makes a pie serving 4 people, as this is more suitable for the three of us, or we would be eating it all week. The original suggests making a woven pie top, which looks awesome, but there’s no way I’ve got the patience for this! I just rolled out the pastry and bunged it on. When the custard’s on nobody notices anyway! Apparently 548 calories if you serve 4 with this, so not exactly good for you but a nice Sunday pudding treat! Whilst copying this up I’ve spotted that this is intended to be a double crusted pie (ie. pastry on bottom and top). I did top only and thought there was quite a lot of pastry! To make it healthier you could halve pastry amount and do top crust only

1 Bramley apple (needed as will go mushier than eating ones)
3 dessert apples (slightly more than recipe says, but I thought it could take more apple
Lemon, 1 zest end (used bottled lemon juice as didn’t have this)
1 tsp cornflour
1.5 tbsp golden caster sugar

100g butter (or use 25g lard and rest butter, but I didn’t have this)
225g plain flour
75g cheddar cheese

Make pastry by rubbing in flour and butter
Add cheddar, grated, and 1-2 tbsp cold water and mix into a dough
Knead briefly and chill for 30 mins
Roll out just over half the pastry and line pie dish with it
Chop apples and mix in bowl with rest of filling ingredients until well mixed. Recipe says to peel the apples but I didn’t bother
Put filling in pie dish
Roll top of pastry out and put on, or mess about making a lattice!
Cut a steam hole in centre and bake at 200 for 45-50 mins until golden brown
Enjoy with custard after Sunday dinner!

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