Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Cake'n'Bake Wedensday: Bailey's Blondies

These Blondies are also known as "Monica Geller's" because they came to be due to my uncontrollable need to please people.

What happened was this: on the day of our December meeting we had a few last minute cancellations, which under normal circumstances wouldn't pose a problem, but because of the Secret Santa theme we had in December 2012 it meant that some bakers would not receive their "gift" (i.e. have their word baked) and that simply wouldn't do.

I generally finish work at 5pm, and on club nights aim to get to the Friends Meeting House by 7pm to start setting up. Usually I take my bake club things to work with me in the morning, stay at work until 6:30pm and go straight from there, as work is about halfway between my house and the meeting house. This time, however, to ensure that everyone got their words baked, I left work bang on 5pm, ran to the supermarket to buy some ingredients, ran home, and started baking like a mad-woman! Anyway, I ended up getting a taxi up to the meeting house, and the brownies were still lovely and warm by the time I got there. Thankfully, Ruth had arrived before I did and started setting up shop :-) We then sat and ate some of the gooier brownies with spoons. It was a good day.

Anyway, the words that needed to be baked were Bailey's, Stars and Red. so below is my recipe for Bailey's Blondies with white chocolate stars and red edible glitter to decorate!

200g slightly salted butter
100g white chocolate
2 medium eggs
135g caster sugar
100ml Bailey's Irish Cream
300g plain flour
Edible glitter and white chocolate stars to decorate (optional)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 - 40 minutes
Makes 16 blondies

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 and line a square tin with baking paper.
  2. Put the butter into a small microwavable bowl and melt in the microwave. Place this to one side to cool.
  3. Melt the white chocolate, either in the microwave in 20 second blasts, or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Once melted, place to one side to cool.
  4. Put the eggs and caster sugar into a large mixing bowl and beat until frothy. Beat in the cooled melted butter, Baileys and white chocolate. Finally add the flour to the mixture and fold in until just combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepare cake tin, then sprinkle on the edible glitter and white chocolate stars, if using, to decorate.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown in colour, and springy but still moist to touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan before turning out and cutting into 16 gorgeous, gooey brownies! (Blondies...!)

Happy Thoughts

Friday, 6 December 2013

Celebration Brownies

Ho ho ho!

I said I'd be back with Christmas bakes... and here we are!

Growing up, it was an absolute guarantee in my house that we'd have enough tins of chocolate to open up our own shop. My mum would always buy in some tins for when we had visitors, and the visitors would always bring along a tin so as not to come empty handed. We always had enough Roses, Quality Street, Celebrations and Heroes to last us well into the New Year, so that's my inspiration for this festive bake. I took these into work last week, and my colleagues loved them. Especially trying to figure out which chocolates appeared in their brownie - there was a good 10 minutes worth of "I think it's a Milky Way," "I had a Snickers", and "Oh my god there was a whole piece of Galaxy in that bite!" :-D

Prep time: 15 mins
Bake time: 40-45 mins
Makes 16 brownies

225g margarine
75g cocoa powder
4 medium eggs
300g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
150g self raising flour
Half a box of Celebrations (around 20 sweets)

  1. pre-heat the oven to 180 and line a square brownie tin with greaseproof paper
  2. melt the margarine in the microwave for 30 seconds, then stir in the cocoa powder. Place this to one side to cool. (You might want to start unwrapping the sweets at this point!)
  3. in a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla until pale and foamy. Whisk in the cooled cocoa mixture until well combined.
  4. sift half of the flour into the bowl and fold into the mixture. Sift the other half of the flour into the bowl, then add the sweets before folding in until all combined.
  5. pour your mixture into the prepared brownie tin and level with the back of a spoon. Pop this in the oven for 35-40mins - when done the brownies should be springy to touch but still a little gooey in the centre
  6. remove from the oven and allow the brownies to cool in the tin. Once cool, take out of the pan and cut into 16 pieces.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Cake'n'Bake Wednesday: Ginger and White Chocolate Cheesecake

The club had decided to try not to repeat themes from the previous year, but we also decided that we couldn't NOT do Christmas in December, so we put a Secret Santa spin on it. Each member had to put a word or phrase which made them think of Christmas into a hat, and then the words were drawn out at random for another member to use as baking inspiration.

The word I drew out of the hat was "Ginger". Originally I was planning to bake a gingerbread house that we could assemble together at the meeting, but as I did the draw I knew that another member had gingerbread, so I decided to go for something a little bit different. A ginger and white chocolate cheesecake!

200g gingernut biscuits
100g margarine
30g crystallised ginger, plus extra to decorate
150g white chocolate
300ml double cream
300g cream cheese
150g icing sugar
A little bronze lustre dust
Gold edible shimmer spray

Prep time: 20 minutes
Chill time: 3 hours (minimum)
Serves 8-10

  1. Crush the gingernut biscuits into fine crumbs, either by putting in a blender, or by bashing with a rolling pin the old fashioned way.
  2. Melt the margarine and mix into the biscuit crumbs. Pour the biscuit mixture into the cake tin you are using (I used a 7 inch springform pan) and press down with the back of a spoon to flatten. Pop the tin in the fridge to allow the biscuit base to set whilst you make the cheesecake filling.
  3. Start by chopping the crystallised ginger into teeny tiny small pieces, and put these to one side. Melt the white chocolate - either in the microwave or in a bowl over hot water - and put this to one side to cool.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the double cream to soft peaks, then whisk in the cream cheese and icing sugar. Separate 250g (approximately 1/3) of the filling into a smaller bowl, and stir in the chopped ginger and bronze lustre dust. Put this to one side.
  5. Whisk the cooled white chocolate into the remaining cheesecake mixture.
  6. Remove the biscuit base from the fridge and start to layer the cheesecake fillings on top of this, making sure to level the top of the cheesecake between each layer. Start with half of the white chocolate filling, then all of the ginger filling, then the remaining white chocolate filling.  
  7. Spray the top of the cheesecake with the gold shimmer spray, then place one or two pieces of ginger in the centre to decorate. Pop the cheesecake in the fridge for at least 3 hours to set before serving. (It's best to leave it overnight, if you can!)

Happy Thoughts

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Pudsey's Spotty Sponge

Well hello there! I know I said I wouldn't be posting regular content until December, and that's still the plan, but last night I baked this cake for a Children in Need bake sale and I thought it would be a shame not to share it!

It's a quick and simple Victoria sponge with a spotty surprise... I hope you like it! If you're feeling generous, text DONATE to 70705 to donate £5 to Children in Need :-)

200g margarine
200g caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g self raising flour
40g colourful sprinkles (I used some multicoloured sugar pearls)
3 tbsp raspberry jam
150g trex
300g icing sugar
100g white chocolate
1 tube smarties

1) pre-heat the oven to 180 and grease and line two cake tins.
2) beat together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, followed by the milk and vanilla extract.
3) fold in the flour until the mixture comes together to form a smooth batter. Tip the coloured sprinkles into the mixture and stir in - but be careful not to overmix as you don't want the colours to run!
4) split the mixture evenly between the two tins and bake for 20 minutes,  or until golden and springy to touch. Remove the cakes from the oven and put to one side to cool.
5) whilst the cakes are cooling, prepare the icing. Melt the white chocolate and put this to one side to cool. Beat together the trex and icing sugar until smooth and creamy, then fold in the cooled white chocolate. Put half of the icing into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.
6) Once the cakes have cooled, place one of them on to a serving plate. Spread the jam over this, then pipe on the icing. Gently place the second cake on top of the frosted layer, then spread the remaining icing over the top of this. Decorate with the smarties, serve and enjoy!
Until December, happy thoughts x

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Autumn Spiced Cookies

I promised you a recipe for halloween... so here it is! These cookies are quick and simple to whip up, and great to give out to trick or treaters! These cookies are autumnal in flavour due to the spices, and the pumpkin seeds give a lovely crunch!

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 12-15 minutes
Makes 14 cookies

75g margarine
90g golden granulated sugar
50g golden syrup
1tsp vanilla extract
100g self raising flour
3tsp mixed spice
50g pumpkin seeds
50g white chocolate chips

1) pre-heat the oven to 180 and line a baking tray with grease proof paper
2) cream the margarine and sugar, then add the golden syrup and vanilla extract and continue the beat until combined.
3) fold in half of the flour and all of the mixed spice. Stir through the chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds, then add the rest of the flour to the dough.
4) split the dough into 14 pieces and roll into a rough ball in your hand. Place on the baking tray making sure you leave at least an inch between each, and pop in the oven until golden brown.
5) allow the cookies to firm up on the tray for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack to cool
Note, when you take the cookies from the oven they'll still be super gooey! Don't worry,  they will set as they cool :-)

I'll return to weekly posts in December, but until then, my friends -

Happy thoughts

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Hello stranger!

It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me, hasn’t it?
I don’t actually have an excuse for this, other than not being able to find the time to commit to writing this blog over the past few months, and for that I’m very sorry! So, what’s been eating my time? Well, in July I got a new job, and in August I got a new boyfriend, and whilst I’m very fond of both of those things I have to admit that they are accountable for rather a lot of my time and energy over the past few months! I also started driving lessons this summer, and passed my test in September. I’m still learning to dance Ballroom and Latin, and recently started Boxing (I know, right!?) Not to mention all the baking I’ve been doing… because I have been doing it, I’ve just not managed to find the time to type up the recipes!
So, I’m going to spend a little time over the next month or so re-organising the blog; it needs a bit of a refresh, my recipe indexes are WAY out of date, and I have to type up some recipes! I will start posting weekly recipes again in time for Christmas (yay!), and I’m hoping to whip up a little something for you for Halloween (again, yay!) – so please bear with me!
Happy thoughts,

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Cake'n'Bake Wednesday: Meringue Ghosts

Here's the final of my "Trick or Treat" themed bakes from Cake'n'Bake Club's October 2012 meeting. I had some egg whites leftover from my pumpkin pie mixture that I needed to use up, and thought that these meringue ghosts would be a great way to do just that. And I really like baking things for Halloween. So here are my meringue ghosts!

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Makes 18 ghosts

2 egg whites, room temperature
60g golden caster sugar
60g icing sugar
Coloured sugar ball decorations for the eyes

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 1, and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
  2. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, then add the caster sugar a little at a time, whisking well between each addition to ensure the sugar has dissolved. By the time you've whisked in all of the caster sugar, you should have a really thick, pillowy and glossy meringue.
  3. Gently fold in the icing sugar with a spatula until it's all mixed in, then spoon the meringue into a large piping bag. 
  4. Snip of the end of the piping bag and pipe hap-hazard spirals onto the baking sheet, about 2 inches tall. Carefully stick two sugar balls into each meringue pile for eyes.
  5. Bake the meringues for 1 hour 30 minutes, then turn off the oven and allow them to come to room temperature with the oven door still closed. This will ensure you have super crisp, super yummy meringues!

Happy Thoughts

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Cake'n'Bake Wednesday: Mummified Mini-Pizza

Here's the second recipe I baked for Cake'n'Bake Club's October 2012 meeting - Mummified Mini-Pizzas. I ended up making quite a lot for the Halloween themed meeting, simply because I love Halloween bakes! I'd recommend eating these warm straight from the oven, as they are then REALLY tasty.

Prep time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook time: 25 - 30 minutes
Makes 16 mini pizzas


For the pizza base:
3g (1/2 packet) dried yeast
1tbsp sugar (any kind)
2 tbsp olive oil
150ml warm water

175g white bread flour
75g wholemeal bread flour
Pinch of salt

For the topping:
50g tomato puree
One red pepper
Half a bag of grated mozzarella (can also use cheese strings, but I find that grated mozzarella tastes nicer!)

  1. Start by making your pizza dough. tip the yeast, sugar and olive oil into a jug with the warm water and stir well. Put this to one side for a few minutes to allow the yeast to start working.
  2. Tip both kinds of flour and the salt into a large mixing bowl, and mix together with your hands. Make a well in the centre of the bowl of flour and pour in your liquid mixture. Stir the flour from the sides of the bowl into the wet mixture with a fork until a rough dough forms. Tip this out onto a lightly floured surface a knead for a good 10 minutes before returning to the mixing bowl and covering with clingfilm. Leave in a warm place for an hour to prove.
  3. After an hour the bread should have double in size. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. 
  4. Tip the bread dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly for a minute or so to knock out the air. Roll the dough out to around 0.5cm, then cut circles out of it with a cookie cutter. Place these circular pizza bases onto the baking tray and bake for 10 minutes before removing from the oven to cool slightly before adding the toppings.
  5. Meanwhile, cut small "eyes" out of the red pepper. Was the pizza bases are cool enough to handle, spread a little tomato puree on each one. Give each pizza two red pepper eyes, and then arrange the grated cheese around the eyes, leaving gaps in between to look like bandages.
  6. Bake for a further 15 - 20 minutes until the cheese has melted and started to brown, and the underside of the pizza is completely cooked. Serve immediately - we don't want those Mummies to escape!

Happy Thoughts

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Cake'n'Bake Wednesday: Mini Pumpkin Pies

I LOVE pumpkin pie! So when "Trick or Treat" was selected as the theme for our October 2012 meeting, I simply HAD to make pumpkin pie. I decided to make individually sized portions of pie for club as they are just that little bit easier to share.

I followed one of the other members' recipes for pastry, and so glad I did as it was my most successful attempt at making pastry to date! Long-term readers of the blog will know that pastry is my weakness...


For the pastry cases:
200g slightly salted butter, chilled and cubed.
400g plain flour
80g icing sugar
2 medium eggs, beaten

Note: you could always use store bought pastry, if you wanted to. Mary Berry said it was OK. If using store bought pastry, skip to step 3.

For the pumpkin filling:
1 large egg, plus 1 yolk
125ml double cream
200g condensed milk
220g pureed pumpkin
1tsp ground cinnamon

Makes 16 - 18 tarts, depending on the size of you pan (I made mine in a muffin pan)

  1. Start by NOT preheating the oven. You want the kitchen to be as cold as possible whilst you're making the pastry. Tip the cold, cubed butter and the flour into a large mixing bowl, and rub in between your fingers until it resembles fine bread crumbs. 
  2. Mix in the icing sugar by hand, then cut in the beaten egg with a knife until the mixture starts to come together to form a dough. Press the mixture together into a ball, wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
  3. Whilst the pastry is in the fridge, prepare your pie filling. Start by whisking the egg and egg yolk together until light and frothy. Add the cream, condensed milk, pureed pumpkin and cinnamon and continue to whisk for 3-4 minutes, until the ingredients combined to form a custard-like consistency.
  4. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4, and grease a deep muffin pan.
  5. Turn the pastry out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it lightly, before rolling out as thinly as possible. Cut circles out of the pastry and place this into the muffin pan, using the end of a rolling pin to help you push the pastry into the muffin holes. Prick the pastry cases all over with a fork, then blind bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Take the pastry cases from the oven, and carefully remove the foil and baking beans used for the blind bake. Fill each pastry case with 2tbsp of the pie filling, then return to the oven for another 30 minutes, until the pie filling is completely set (you can test with a cocktail stick, if you'd like to.) You'll noticed that the pie filling has risen into a dome shape - this will deflate as the pie cools. Don't worry, this happens to mine all of the time and as far as I can tell it's normal. At the very least - they still taste good!
  7. Allow the pies to cool in the muffin pan, then keep refrigerated.

Happy Thoughts

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Cake'n'Bake Wednesday: Raspberry Meringues

This is another recipe I baked for September 2012's "Five-a-Day" theme, and it's one of my favourite EVER recipes. The meringues take a long time to cook, but are SO worth the wait. You can use either fresh or frozen raspberries.

4 large egg-whites (room temperature)
1tsp cream of tartar
115g caster sugar
115g icing sugar
50g raspberries

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Cook time: 1hour 30 minutes
Makes 18 meringues

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 1 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Chop the raspberries into small pieces.
  2. Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar together until the egg whites are thick, opaque, and stand in stiff peaks.
  3. Whisk the caster sugar into the egg whites one tbsp at a time, being sure to whisk well between each addition. If your sugar doesn’t dissolve into the egg whites properly at this stage you will end up with weepy meringues later! When all of the caster sugar has been added you should be left with a mixture that is stiff, smooth and glossy.
  4. Gently fold half of the icing sugar into the meringue mixture until combined, but be careful not to beat out too much of the air you’ve whipped in! Add the remaining icing sugar and the raspberries to the meringue bowl, and fold these in gently.
  5. Scoop the meringue mixture onto the baking tray using two tablespoons to shape into rough ovals, then bake for around 1 hour 30 minutes until golden brown and crispy on top.  Turn off the oven, but allow the meringues to cool inside the oven – this will create meringues which have a really crispy outer-layer, and a really gooey inside! Once completely cool, store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
Happy Thoughts,

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Cake'n'Bake Wednesday: Honey and Apricot Scones

Our theme for September 2012 was "Five-a-Day", or fruit and veg. The rule this month was simple - anything you baked had to contain at least one item from the fruit or vegetable family.

I had previously entered my Champagne Victoria Sponge recipe into a competition run by Natural Selection Foods and won a whole bunch of their dried fruits, so I wanted to use some in my baking for fruit and veg month. I chose the apricots as they were lovely and sweet, and really complemented the honey in this recipe.

225g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
50g butter or margarine
50g chopped apricots
2tbsp clear “runny” honey
100ml buttermilk
Beaten egg, to glaze

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
Makes 12 small scones

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Tip the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and mix together by hand. Add the butter and rub this into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the chopped apricot, honey and buttermilk to the mixture and stir with a spoon until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly for a few minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth.
  4. Roll the dough out to around an inch thick, cut out small scones using a round cutter, then place these on the prepared baking tray, leaving a space between each. Brush with the beaten egg to glaze, then bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown on top.
  5. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool – although scones are always best eaten slightly warm!
  6. Eat as they are, or serve with jam and cream.
Happy Thoughts

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Cake'n'Bake Wednesday: Ploughman's Picnic Rolls

This was my "main" bake for Cake'n'Bake Club's Perfect Picnic themed month back in August 2012. These picnic rolls are great for outdoor eating as the filling is baked inside them. The recipe below is for my ploughman's picnic rolls, but you could do almost any filling, sweet or savoury! There also really good for packed-lunches. Just bake a batch at the weekend, leave them to cool, wrap them well and store them in the freezer. When ready to use, remove from the freezer and place in the oven at gas mark 4 for around 10 minutes to re-fresh - delish!

Prep-time: 1hour 45 minutes
Cook time: 25 - 30 minutes
Makes 8 picnic rolls


For the dough:
300ml warm water
1tbsp brown sugar
2tbsp olive oil
7g sachet of dried yeast
500g strong white bread flour
Pinch of salt

For the filling:
2-3tbsp Branston Pickle (I used the small chunk variety)
4 slices of good quality ham
150g mature cheddar

1 small egg, beaten, to glaze
A little extra grated cheese, to decorate (optional)

  1. Place the water, sugar, olive oil and yeast into a jug a stir well. Leave this to one side for a few minutes. Meanwhile, sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and create a well in the centre. Tip the yeast mixture into the centre of the well, then work the flour into it using a fork.
  2. Once the ingredients have combined to form a rough dough, tip the contents of the bowl onto a clean dry work surface. Knead by hand for 5-7 minutes, until all of the flour is incorporated and you have a soft, springy dough. Place the dough into a large oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for one hour, until doubled in size.
  3. Whilst the dough is proving, prepare your filling. Slice the ham into strips and grate the cheese. Leave these to one side until ready to use.
  4. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knock back, then split into 8 equally sized balls. 
  5. Making one at a time, roll each ball out until around 5mm thick then spread a thin layer of pickle over the top, making sure to leave a space around the edges. Sprinkle on your other filling ingredients, then begin to roll the dough up Swiss roll style. Tuck the ends of the roll underneath to create and oval bun shape. Please the rolls on a floured baking tray and leave to prove for a further 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6.
  6. Once doubled in size, glaze the rolls with a little beaten egg, and sprinkle a little grated cheese on top of each one. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until golden brown all over, then remove and leave to cool.

Happy Thoughts

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Cake'n'Bake Wednesday: Peanut Butter Fudge

In August 2012 the Cake'n'Bake Club decided to brave the British summertime and take our meeting outdoors for a picnic month. We also decided to invite along as many family and friends as possible, and ended up raising a nifty £105 for Marie Curie Cancer Care in the process! This peanut butter fudge is based on Sophie Dahl's recipe, which I stumbled across one day and have loved ever since! It is a very naughty, but very nice treat!

Time taken: 15-20 minutes for preparation plus 2 hours to set.

Makes 15-20 pieces

65g butter
250g brown sugar
65ml milk
150g crunchy peanut butter
1tsp vanilla extract
150g icing sugar

  1. Line a small tray with cling film, so that the cling film hangs over the sides. I used one of those plastic tubs that you often get take-away food in as they are the perfect size!
  2. Cut the butter into cubes, then melt in a saucepan over a medium heat.
  3. Once the butter has melted, stir in the sugar and the milk until all of the sugar has dissolved. Bring the mixture to the boil without stirring. Once the mixture is bubbling leave it on the heat for a further 3 minutes and then remove from heat.
  4. Add the peanut butter and the vanilla extract to the mixture and stir until all of the peanut butter has melted. Leave to cool for a few minutes, then tip the icing sugar into the pan. Stir until the ingredients have combined to form a smooth paste.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared tray and leave to cool to room temperature before placing the fudge in the fridge to set (this usually takes at least two hours).
  6. Once the fudge has set, use the cling film to help remove the fudge from the tray and cut into squares. Store the fudge in an airtight container.

Happy Thoughts

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Cake Mix Ice-Cream

There are very few things better than cake, but un-baked cake mix is definitely one of them. I decided a little while ago that I wanted to make a cake-flavoured ice cream, and on doing a Google search for such, found that rather a few people have had a much better idea: cake mix ice-cream!

I looked at a few recipes online, but in the end decided to just improvise with some custard. After all, cake and custard just GO, am I right?

284ml double cream
440g fresh custard
1 packet of cake mix
2 tbsp sprinkles

Prep time: [time] 
Makes approximately 1 litre of ice cream

  1. Get your ice-cream machine ready to use. For me, this means leaving it in the freezer for at least 12 hours before use.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whip the cream to stiff peaks. Fold in the custard and the cake mix into the cream until evenly combined, then pop into the freezer for 10 minutes to chill.
  3. Take the mixture out of the freezer, and pour into the ice-cream machine. Leave the machine running for around 20 minutes, until the ice cream is thick and has a "whippy" type consistency. Pop the ice cream into a freezer tub, and mix in the sprinkles.
  4. Pop the ice-cream into the freezer for at least 30 minutes to firm up. Try not to eat it all at once!

Happy Thoughts

Friday, 12 July 2013

Cadbury Fruit and Nut Tiffin

Right, it’s been a few weeks since we had a tiffin recipe, so I thought now would be a good time to share another of my tiffin selection box: Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut tiffin! I made this one with my dad in mind, who loves Cadbury Fruit and Nut. Obviously you don’t have to use Cadbury’s chocolate if you don’t want to, but if you don’t then you won’t get that authentic Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut taste! 

I thought I should mention that I’m not actually being sponsored by Cadbury for this post – I’m just a big fan of their chocolate. Of course, if anyone from Cadbury is reading this and would like to send me some free chocolate, I’d be cool with that!

Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Chill time: 1 hour
Makes 20 pieces

Ingredients :
400g Cadbury's Dairy Milk
90g butter
3tbsp golden syrup
150g digestive biscuits
100g whole almonds
50g dried fruit
  1. Start by lining a square brownie tin (20x20cm) with clingfilm or greaseproof paper.
  2. Break the chocolate into chunks, then pop 200g into a large microwavable bowl. Add the butter and golden syrup, and microwave on a medium heat in 20 second blasts, stirring between each blast, until the ingredients have melted together to form warm, gooey, chocolately loveliness. Pop this to one side to cool slightly.
  3. Put your biscuits into a food processor and wizz until they are mostly crumbs (a few small biscuity lumps is fine!!)
  4. Add the biscuit crumbs, almonds and dried fruit to the melted chocolate mixture, and stir until everything is coated.
  5. Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and flatten down with the back of a spoon. Pop this in the fridge to chill for 5 minutes, and then move on to the topping.
  6. Melt the remaining chocolate, and then carefully pour over the tiffin. Use the back of a clean spoon to spread this evenly over the tiffin, then return the tin to the fridge to set for at least 1 hour.
  7. Once set, turn the tiffin out of the pan onto a chopping board and cut into 20 squares.
  8. Pop one in your mouth and marvel at how something so tasty can be made so simply!

Friday, 5 July 2013

Oh, Pooh!

Disney bakes are back! Yay!! I had said I'd keep my Disney and Pixar baking collections up-to-date with each new release, so here we are with Winnie the Pooh. :-) Ok, ok, I know that this isn't exactly a new release - but when it was released I didn't realise it was in the Classics collection so I missed it *hangs head in shame*

At any-rate, I would like to get up-to-date with the Disney and Pixar movies, so Wreck it Ralph will follow shortly, followed by Monster's University (which is out next week!) and Frozen later in the year.  Exciting!

As with The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, this bake could only ever be based on one thing: hunny (honey!) I baked a big honey cake for The Many Adventures, so this time I wanted to do something a little different: honey buns! The basis for this recipe was Paul Hollywood's Chelsea Buns, but I dechelseafied them and then honeyfied them to make them more suitable for our silly old bear. These buns are super sweet, sticky, and delicious!

For the dough:
300ml milk
40g butter
1 tbsp runny honey
500g plain white flour
1 tsp salt
7g dried yeast
1 medium egg

For the filling:
3 tbsp honey
1tbsp cinnamon

For the topping:
100g icing sugar
2-3 tsps water

Prep time: 30 minutes (plus an hour and a half proving time)
Cook time: 25 minutes
Makes 9 buns

  1. Pop the milk, butter and honey in a jug and microwave in 10 second bursts until the butter has melted. Leave to one side to cool down to a lukewarm temperature.
  2.  Mix the flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl, then make a well in the centre and tip in the yeast. (This stops the salt from killing the yeast, don’t you know!)
  3. Pour the lukewarm honey milk into the well created in the flour. Add the egg and then stir with a fork until the mixture comes together to form a dough.
  4. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. You’re done when the dough is “smooth and elastic” (according to Mr Hollywood ;-) ) Pop the dough back into the mixing bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for one hour.
  5.  After the hours proving, the dough should have doubled in size. Tip it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out into an A4 sized rectangle.
  6. Prepare the “filling” by mixing the honey and cinnamon together. Brush 2/3rds of this over your dough, leaving plenty of space around the edges as the honey is probably going to ooze out at the next step!
  7. Carefully roll your dough up, swiss roll style, trying not to lose too much of that yummy cinnamon honey! Cut the roll into 9 slices.
  8. Grease a baking tray and place the buns, cut side up into the tray, leaving no more than 2cm gap between each (Paul says we want them to bake together so that we get a lovely soft edge!) Leave these to rise for another 30 minutes whilst you preheat the oven to gas mark 5/190.
  9. Once risen and rested, pop them in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and smelling lovely. If after 15 minutes the buns start to look a little too brown, just pop a bit of foil over them and let them continue to bake.
  10. Remove the buns from the oven, and brush with the remaining cinnamon honey. Mix the icing sugar and water together to make a slightlyrunny icing, and drizzle this over the buns.
  11. Allow them to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack, or a serving plate, if you can’t resist. These babies are best eaten warm!

Happy Thoughts