Baking

Cat Cupcakes

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Cat Cupcakes

My nephew Marcus is 2 today! I decided to make some cupcakes to take with us when we go to see him. I just used a standard sponge recipe with butter icing on top. I decorated them with writing icing pens. It was rather tricky. I have very shaky hands, especially when squeezing the tube so my kitties are all a bit wonky. It was fun though.

Cat Cupcakes

Granola Bars

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Flapjack

I am always on the look out for the perfect flapjack/granola bar and I think I’ve finally found it. So many I’ve tried have been too buttery, too soggy, fall apart too much or just don’t taste nice. This one is just right (I feel like Goldilocks!)

You can mix up the nuts, seeds and dried fruit and try different combinations, just think of the possibilities! I might try chopped up dried apple next time instead of sultanas – it will taste great with the cinnamon.

I found this recipe on the BBC website and made a few tiny changes. One thing is *really* important; if you have a fan oven (like we do) then make sure to turn the temp down or they will end up far too crunchy!

Ingredients

  • 100g butter
  • 200g porridge oats
  • 150g mixed seeds (I used sunflower, pumpkin and linseed)
  • 50g chopped walnuts
  • 3 tbsp syrup
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100g sultanas
  1. Heat oven to 160C/(fan oven 140C)/gas 3. Butter and line the base of a 18 x 25cm tin. Mix the oats, seeds and nuts in a roasting tin, then put in the oven for 5 mins to toast.
  2. Meanwhile, warm the butter, honey and sugar in a pan, stirring until butter is melted. Add the oat mix, cinnamon and dried fruit, then mix until all the oats are well coated. Tip into the tin, press down lightly, then bake for 30 mins. Cool in tin, then cut into bars.

Orignal recipe from BBC Food

Flapjack

Macaroons

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

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I’ve been baking lots this week including macarons and macaroons (yep they’re different!). Daz requested some coconut macaroons so I found this recipe and got baking. After many experiments with baking I’ve decided my oven is hotter than it says it is as everything cooks much quicker than the recipe says. Also, I don’t think they’re meant to spread out that much!

Despite oven issues, they taste delicious. We didn’t have any chocolate to dip them in so I used Nutella to create a macaroon sandwich – YUMTASTIC!

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Fudge

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

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I made fudge! We’re not spending lots on Christmas this year, instead everything is going to be handmade. Last year I made truffles so I’m trying a few different things this year.

I used this recipe. It was hard work with all the stirring and beating but definitely worth it. It’s delicious! I want to make a few variations like chocolate and ginger. The only difficult part will be not eating it all before I give it away.

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Gluten Free Crumble Recipe

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

I *love* crumble!

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This is yum. The oats and nuts give the crumble a lovely crunchy texture and you’d never know it was gluten-free.

4oz Sugar
4oz Butter
4oz Gluten Free Oats
4oz Gluten Free Flour
20z Chopped or Ground Nuts

Put all the dry ingredients in the food processor and blitz them together to break down the oats a bit and mix it well. You don’t have to do this but I like the oats to be a bit smaller. Then rub in the fat (I just chucked it in the food processor and let it do it for me because I’m lazy but you can just use your hands)

Once done you can put whatever fruit you like in a dish, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and then pour the crumble over the top and level it out. Don’t press it down.

Put in the oven at 180 degrees C for 30-40 minutes.
I made the mistake of putting it in a too hot oven after cooking our main meal resulting in the top cooking too quickly and the apple was cooked but not perfect squishy appley mush! Silly impatient me.

Gluten Free Chocolate and Beetroot Cake

Monday, September 26th, 2011

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One of the things I hate about most gluten-free baking is that everything feels like eating chalk because it’s so dry and not all that nice. This cake is awesome, even Daz likes it and he normally hates all gluten-free stuff. The beetroot might sound like an odd thing to put in a cake but it’s amazing and does something magical to create a lovely moist cake.

75g Cocoa powder
180g Plain flour (I use Doves Organic GF Flour)
250g caster sugar
250g cooked beetroot
3 large free range eggs
200ml vegetable oil of choice
1 tsp vanilla extract
(Jam, optional)

  • Preheat oven to 180c and lightly butter a 20cm round cake tin (or two if you want to make a sandwich cake).
  • Sift the cocoa, flour in a bowl. Mix in the sugar.
  • Blend the beetroot in a food processor. Add the eggs, one at a time, oil and vanilla. Process until smooth.
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, add the wet mixture and lightly mix.
  • Pour into cake tin and bake for 50-60mins or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  • Cover loosely with foil if the cake starts to brown at 30minutes. (expect the top to crack!)

I used two tins so I could put a layer of jam in between two layers of cake. Yum!

update 2011/10/22
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I made cupcakes using the same recipe and then vanilla and beetroot icing. You only need a tiny bit of blended beetroot to make the icing bright pink. They’re yummy too.

Lemon Curd

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Having chickens means we get lots of eggs (2-3 a day) so I’m always on the lookout for interesting egg recipes, especially for sweet stuff! I *love* lemon curd so when I discovered how easy it was to make I was over the moon. I made up a big batch so I could take some with me last weekend for my family.

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180ml fresh lemon juice (about 4-6 lemons depending on size) Do NOT use bottled lemon juice
Zest of two lemons
175g sugar
3 whole eggs and one extra yolk
125g unsalted butter, cubed

In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the sugar, then add the rest of the ingredients. Cook over medium-low heat until thick enough to hold marks from whisk. Make sure to heat it slowly and don’t boil it.

This makes about 2 jars. I doubled it to get what you see in the picture, two of the jars are pretty big though. If you want to make it look pretty, cut a circle of fabric about 3 inches wider than the lid of the jar. Place the fabric over the top of the jar and secure with an elastic band or a ribbon.

I like it spread thickly on toast, yum.

Freshly made custard is another of my favourites. Have you got any tasty eggy recipes?

Gingerbread Cats!

Friday, July 15th, 2011

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I got the cutest ever cookie cutter a few months ago, I found it on eBay and they seem pretty easy to get hold of. Really great if you’re entertaining cat people or you just want you food to be cuter.

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It’s easy to use, just use the cutter as normal and then press the face into it. It works better on biscuits that don’t rise like shortbreads etc but it still works on other types so experiment!

I used this recipe for my gingerbread cats. I love ginger so much, I could eat it all day. What’s your favourite biscuit?

Ingredients
350g plain flour (I use a blend of Doves Gluten-Free brown bread flour blend)
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
100g butter (I use vegetable fat rather than butter)
150g brown sugar
3 tablespoons golden syrup
1 egg (from our very own chickens)

Method

  • Preheat oven to 190 C / Gas 5.
  • Sift together the flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda. Dice the butter and rub in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.
  • Beat together the syrup and the egg, and stir into flour mixture. Knead with floured hands to form a smooth dough. If you’re using gluten free flour you might need to add a bit more at this stage as they all soak up moisture differently.
  • Roll out on a floured worksurface about 0.5cm thick. Cut shapes until all of the dough has been used, rerolling the trimmings. Lay these on lined baking trays.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

I had a crisis whilst baking these. My oven doesn’t heat evenly so I have to turn things round half way through. I was mid turn when I dropped the tray and half the biscuits went crashing down to the bottom of the oven, getting stuck in the hinges. As this was happening the door bell rang, it’s always at the worst moment isn’t it! I rescued what I could and thankfully I had another tray of them baking at the same time.

Edit: I baked these again and added a small bag of chopped mix nuts and it made them even more yummy!