Friday, 24 December 2010

Cake Decorating

Today is Christmas Eve and so my final day for blogging this week. I thought I would leave you with something a bit different. I know a few of you have asked me for various recipes and please keep an eye out as these will be following in the New Year. However, for today, I give you...

How to make a Penguin

Please forgive me, this is my first attempt at something for YouTube. I'm hoping between the three of us we will show you how easy it is to make these delightful little characters. My girls are only 2 and 4 years old, so if they can do it you can surely give it a go!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Making the most of your Double Cream!

So today is about my lunch. I fancied bread today and as I considered the option (it being late in the morning and so yeast bread wasn't an option) I landed upon the idea of soda bread! It's not as easy as that though as soda bread is traditionally made with buttermilk, something i didn't have. So today I give you...

Making the Most of your Double Cream!

Take one 300ml pot of double cream and beat! That's it! It will start off by thickening and then all of a sudden separate. Strain this through a sieve and it's ready to use. Take the butter that is left over and squash into a dish. So now you have you own butter and butter milk!  

Brandy Butter
100g Soft Brown Sugar
100g Butter
6tbs Brandy

Cream sugar and butter together until combined. Slowly add brandy a spoonful at a time making sure thoroughly combined. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Soda Bread
200g Plain Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
100 ml Buttermilk

Preheat Oven to gas mark 6 (200)
Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and add the buttermilk (you can always add milk if you run out!)
Kneed gentle to make a dough and shape into a ball
Flatten slightly to about 5cm high and flour all over
Place on baking tray and cut a cross in the top almost through to the bottom
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the base.
Cool and scoff with your own butter!

And so now when Christmas is done and you are wondering what to do with all that cream in your fridge, wonder no longer! Happy New Year!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Christmas Muffins

Today is the turn of my Christmas Muffins (click here to print out the recipe) 

This makes a lovely gift, so if there is someone you need a last minute present for just buy a jar and layer the dry ingredients. Then pop a note on the gift tag explaining how to make them! 

Christmas Muffins
300g Self-Raising Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
2 tsp Ground Mixed Spice
25g Ground Almonds
150g Mixed Dried Fruit (Raisins, Sultanas, Mixed Peel, etc.)
100g Dark Brown sugar
2 Eggs
300ml Milk
100g Butter (melted)

Preheat oven to gas 4 (180C/350F)
Combine all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cinnamon, mixed spice, almonds. mixed fruit and sugar) together in a mixing bowl
Combine wet ingredients (milk, eggs and butter) in a separate bowl
Pour wet ingredients into the centre of the dry mix bowl, combine quickly, but do not over mix
Divide between 12 muffin cases and bake for 20-25 mins


Tuesday, 21 December 2010


When I was growing up my gran used to make these. It's something that really reminds me of Christmas. what I didn't realise was that across Germany, Austria and Switzerland each region has it's own variation so trying to recreate the recipe myself was not easy! After searching long and hard and making nice biscuits but not Lebkuchen, I bring you the closest thing to my Austrian Gran's recipe..



350g Flour
250g Brown Sugar
100g Ground Almonds
75g Mixed Peel (blitzed in food processor) 
1/2tsp Baking Powder
2tbs All Spice 
50g of honey
2 eggs
Rice Paper (not completely necessary but traditional and stops them sticking!)
1 egg yolk

50g Melted chocolate 
100g Icing Sugar
1 Egg White

Preheat oven to gas 4 (180C/350F)
Easy recipe this! Mix everything (except egg yolk) together until a dough is formed 
Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 mins, preferably overnight
Roll into balls about the size of small golf balls and place on top of a circle of rice paper, squash slightly
Brush with egg yolk
Bake for 20 mins

For topping 
Mix icing sugar and water.
Dip each biscuit in mixture and spread all over
Leave in warm place to dry

Monday, 20 December 2010

Christmas Count Down

So here we are on the Monday before Christmas. With snow piling up, here's hoping Santa isn't relying on Amazon this year! I have recently been asked for a few recipes for the Christmas period so I thought this week I would give you something new each day to try. 

Today, I would like to start with something for my gluten-free friends...

Chocolate pudding


100g Divine Dark chocolate with orange and ginger
(Please note this may contain traces of gluten so if needs be switch to something completely gluten free)
100ml Warm Water
100g Butter
1tsp Vanilla Extract
75g Caster Sugar
3 Medium Eggs separated
25g Rice Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1tsp Mixed Spice
Icing sugar to dust

Serves 4

Preheat Oven to gas mark 6 (200°C/400°F)

Melt butter and chocolate by breaking into small pieces and placing in a bowl over simmering water. Once this is done add water, sugar and vanilla extract and mix until throughly combined and smooth.
Lightly beat egg yolks and add
Sift flour, baking powder and mixed spice and fold into mixture
Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks and fold gently into mixture.
Pour mixture into pudding basin or 4 ramekins
Place into a bain marie of hot water and bake for 10 minutes (for the single bowl), then reduce the temperature to gas mark 3, 325°F, 170°C, for a further 20-30 minutes. If you are using ramekins, the puddings will be cooked in about 15 minutes without reducing the temperature. The pudding should be firm on top but still soft and fudgy underneath. Dust with icing sugar and serve hot with cream.