Saturday, 27 October 2007

Nutty Flapjack

I found this recipe in one of my nan's old cook books and as my sister was coming to stay I decided to make some for her. It went down really well and disapeared out of the biscuit tin like gold dust!

All you need is:

125g (4oz) margarine
1 tablespoon syrup
125g (40z) caster sugar
60g (2oz) oats
60g (2oz) Self raising flour
90g (3oz) crushed cornflakes

Heat the oven to 190C, 375F, Gas Mark 5 and grease a sqaure baking tray with a little margarine or butter.

Simply melt the margarine and syrup in a pan over a low heat. Meanwhile, mix the sugar, oats, flour and crushed cornflakes in a bowl and once the margarine has melted pour it into the bowl and mix until all the dry ingrediants are covered. Pour the mixture into the baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes until just firm.

Remove from the oven and leave it to cool in the tin. Cut into sqaures while it is still hot! The flapjack is a lovely golden colour that matches the colours of autumn! Enjoy!

Saturday, 20 October 2007


Shortbread is made using only 3 ingrediants and doesn't take long to make at all. It makes me think of traditional things and naturally of scotland! Shortbread has a lovely melt in your flavour!

All you need is:
275g (9oz) plain flour
75g (3oz) caster sugar
175g (6oz) butter
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas mark 4 and gently grease a baking tray.
Mix the flour in a large bowl with the sugar and then fub in the butter. Once the mixture looks quite crumbly begin to knead it until all the crumbs have stuck together and it forms a soft smooth paste. Roll it out using a rolling pin and use cutters to cut out shapes. I used stars, circles, pumpkins and witches!
Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes and leave to cool. Do you like the pictures?

Monday, 15 October 2007

Halloween Cupcakes

On saturday afternoon I made some delicious cupcakes for some friends that were coming over to dinner. I used the same recipe as I did for the victoria sponge cake and then covered then in yellow icing and dipped them in sprinkles. A good tip for using colouring with icing is to use a cocktail stick and dip that into the bottle of colouring and add it slowly to the icing. This means that you get the colour you require rather than a really deep yellow! Another good idea for treats on Halloween don't you think?! Check out the pictures below-Do you like my autumn themed cupcake cases?!

Monday, 8 October 2007

Chocolate Brownies

After spending a week in America I just had to come home and make chocolate brownies. The gooey rich soft texture is just irrestiable. I love brownies and I think autumn is the perfect time to eat them. There is nothing better than coming in from a wet chilly dark evening to a freshly cooked chocolate brownie with a large mug of hot english tea.

All you need is:
300g (10oz) plain chocolate (broken up)
225g (7.5oz) butter, softened
3 eggs
225g (7.5oz) sugar
75g (3oz) self-rasising flour (sieved)
175g (6oz) walnuts (broken up)
200g (7oz) milk chocolate

Make sure you preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas mark 5 and grease a shallow baking tin; you need one about 11 x 8inch.

Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat and add the broken up chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted throughly. In a separate bowl beat the eggs and the sugar and then add in the chocolate and the butter mixture. Stir in the flour, walnuts and the broken-up milk chocolate pieces.

Pour the mixture into the tin, level the surface with the back of a metal spoon and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes. You want your brownies to have a firm crust but you want them to be soft and gooey underneath so make sure you do not overcook them. Remove from the oven and leave the brownies to cool in the tray. Once they are cooled chop them into squares and eat!

Sorry it has taken me so long to upload the photos, what can i say apart from it's been such a busy week. I thought these would make great treats to give out on halloweeen wrapped in tissue paper and ribbon!

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Lemon zest cake

I arrived back from my holiday yesterday and couldn't wait to get back in the kitchen and get baking! I decided the first thing I would bake would be a lemon cake as I put a little poll on my blog a few weeks ago asking what I should bake next and the lemon cake won, so here it is! I've just eaten a slice and I have to say lemon cake is so delicious with a real tangy kick.
You will need:
125g (8oz) margarine
125g (8oz) caster sugar
125g (4oz) self-raising flour (sieved)
2 medium eggs
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 unwaxed lemon
For the lemon icing:
250g (8oz) of icing sugar (sieved)
2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Take a 7 inch cake tin and line it with grease proof paper and grease the sides with a little margarine or butter.

In a large bowl cream the sugar and the butter together until it looks light and fluffy. Add in one beaten egg and mix together. Add the second egg with a tablespoon of flour and mix again. Add the rest of the flour and fold it into the mixture, followed by two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. Using an unwaxed lemon grate in some lemon peel to really set the flavour alive with lemon zestiness! Make sure everything in mixed in and pour into the cake tin. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Once the cake looks golden and your kitchen is filled with a lovely lemon smell remove it from the oven and leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes remove it from the tin and leave it to cool.

To make the icing sieve 250g (8oz) of icing sugar into a bowl and mix it with 2-3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. You want your icing to be quite thick; if it is too runny add more icing sugar. Once your cake has had time to cool, pour the icing onto the cake and use a metal spoon to spread it around, let the icing drizzle down the sides and decorate how you wish. I used some liitle autumn leaves that I bought in america!

Wednesday, 3 October 2007


The reason that I have not been baking much this week is because I am on holiday over in America visiting family. I have been totally inspired while here by all the autumn (or should I say fall!) decorations, the beautiful colours, pumpkins outside all the shops, halloween decorations hanging up everywhere, there is a real sense of magic in the air that I think is sometimes missed in England. So, I've decided to dedicate this month's blog to the lovely autumn month of October to bring all things related to this season. I'll be making pumpkin cookies, caramel apples, gingerbreads, cinnamon toast and other delicious treats to celebrate the change of season with. Ooh, I can't wait to get home and get started! The curtains are closing on those long summer breezy nights (not that we had many!) as the fresh chilly autumn air takes over and the leaves change to the rusty golden colours of orange, yellow and brown. Autumn has arrived!

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Baking Tips - Making Cakes

Here are some tips for making the perfect cake that the cookbooks never tell you.

1. Buy an oven therometer (they are not expensive) to ensure that your oven is cooking at the right temperature. If your oven is too hot then your cake may form a dome.

2. Always preheat the oven before you begin doing anything else. It takes about 10-15 minutes for an oven to reach the required temperature. Grease your baking trays or cake tins at this point too to ensure the cake mixture is not sitting around in the open air for too long as your cake may begin to rise.

3. Always use ingrediants at room temperature.

4.For a lighter cake, fold in one tablespoon of hot water to the mixture after you have added the flour.

5. NEVER open the oven door within the first ten minutes of baking as the cake will not rise properly.

6. Always allow the cake to cool on a wire tray. Only when the cake is cooled should you begin to add the frosting, buttercream or icing otherwise it will fall straight of the cake.

Hope you find them useful!

Monday, 1 October 2007

Baking Tips - Eggs

I thought it would be useful to write down some tips every now and then that I have found helpful when baking. Eggs are used so much in cooking and baking and are a delicious and healthy food. I always buy free-range eggs no matter what and sometimes organic eggs depending on what I am making. I think that you can really tell the difference between free-range eggs and non-free range by the colour of the yolk. My husband's father keeps his own chickens and waking up to fresh eggs that have just been laid is something special. The colour of the yolk is a deep yellow orange like a sunset. I usually cook with medium sized eggs unless I specify otherwise.

1. Eggs should be stored at a constant temperature below 8oC/46.5F in the refrigerature and should be stored away from any strong smells that may effect them.

2. About an hour before you begin baking remove the number of eggs required from the refrigerature. Eggs that are used at room temperature make better cakes.

3. Always make sure your eggs are fresh. You can test this by placing the egg in a glass of cold water. If the egg is fresh it will sink to the bottom of the glass. An old egg may settle part way up the glass or if it is really old will rise and float at the top. This shows that the egg is bad and should never be used in baking.

4. When cracking eggs into the cake mixture make sure that you crack them into a small bowl first. This is to prevent any bits of shell falling into the mixture.

5. When adding eggs to cakes always add a spoonful of flour with the second egg to prevent the mixture from curdling. If you are making a large cake that uses many eggs it may be good to add a sponnful of flour after every second egg.

That's all folks!