Hazelnut Ficelle – Bake of the Week

hazelnut oil bread

… or scrawny baguettes as Mr C likes to call them. My love of baking bread is still on-going. This was the most successful outcome yet and had me squealing every time I saw how light, airy and perfect they were inside.

After all the sweetness of chocolatey Easter, I wanted this week’s Bake of the Week to be a savoury one. It nearly didn’t happen, we have a child down with Scarlet Fever (I’m not convinced it is … the rash has disappeared). Baby T is generally very inside out but did have a huge sleep this afternoon, so on with the baking!

I think true Ficelles are supposed to be a lot longer than mine – I cut my ‘fingers’ ‘sticks’ in half to make them more manageable and loved the size. The Hazelnut taste is very subtle – I used a combination of olive oil mixed with Hazelnut Oil and sprinkled over chopped hazelnuts. I also made half of the batch, thyme flavoured. I’m more than addicted to the thyme breadsticks that Tesco sell and wanted to make my own version.

thyme bread

My original recipe is inspired by Paul Hollywood and his Truffle Ficelles. I was sent some ingredients from Mielle and challenged to use them in a recipe – I have got great plans for tomorrow’s evening meal but for now its about the bread.

Hazelnut Ficelle

Serves 4
Cook time 2 hours, 32 minutes
Allergy Wheat
Meal type Appetizer, Bread, Side Dish, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
By author Paul Hollywood
Deliciously light mini bread baguettes - flavoured with hazelnut or thyme - this recipe contains enough for a mixture of both


  • 250g Strong White Bread Flour (Plus extra for work surface)
  • 1 packet Dried Yeast (Mine was a large packet at 7g so I didn't quite use it all))
  • 2 pinches Salt
  • 200ml Lukewarm Water
  • 25g Hazelnuts (Chopped into small pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon Hazelnut Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil (plus another teaspoon for mixing with the hazelnut oil for the topping)


The Bread
Put your flour, yeast and salt in a mixer and add 3 tablespoons of the water. Start the mixer on slow and continue to add the water. Try to keep the salt and the yeast separated until the water has started to be added.
Add the tablespoon of olive oil and continue to mix for at least 5 minutes. The dough will be REALLY sticky when it comes out of the bowl.
Leave to prove in a oiled bowl for around 1 1/2 hours. I have found that my bread proves best in an oven that I turned on at 175C for 10 minutes and turned off a few minutes before putting the dough in - Just my version of proving. Am all for ideas!
When the dough has doubled in size, put it on a work surface with lots of flour on it - You will need loads as it will be even stickier. DO NOT KNEAD! You are gently stretching and pulling the dough until you get a rectangle - about 9" x6".
Cut lengthways into 6 strips and cut these in half. (I use a pizza cutter)
Divide the dough across 2 baking trays that have been lined with baking parchment.
Brush one half of the sticks with hazelnut oil (mixed with the olive oil) and sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts on the top. The other half, I brushed with just olive oil and sprinkled dried thyme on the top.
Leave to prove again for 40 minutes then cook for 12 minutes at 230C - I alternated the 2 trays after 10 minutes of baking
Serve with dipping balsamic vinegar and olive oil mixed.

It was a mega week last week for Bake of the Week entries – Thanks so much to everyone who is getting involved. You know I love you all and you are welcome to come an administer my child her antibiotics?

I have GOT to draw attention to this magnificent Orange Chiffon Cake by Sadaf from My Culinary Adventures – If you are ever wanting to know what to bake me, you are pretty safe with Orange.

orange chiffon cake

Another recipe that I’m desperate to try is a Baked Alaska – Everyone says that they are much easier than you think so perhaps I will give it a go soon. Jenny from The Brick Castle has made this look so easy!

Baked Alaska recipe containing coffee beans

Our most regular entrant, Kirsty from Hijacked by Twins didn’t disappoint as ever this week – I’ve even now a started bossing her about telling her what to enter! She is too good and gave us Hot Cross Buns this week.

Hot Cross Bun Recipe

Would you look at this M&M Cake from ET Speaks Home? Brilliant and just up my street how neat it is. This was just one of her 2 recipes entered this week (Its fine to enter more than once by the way!) – We also had a Tiramisu Steamed Cake – Cor!

M & M cake tiramisu steamed cake

I almost made one of these surprise inside/pinata cakes this weekend but ran out of time – I’ll have to wait until next Easter now to put my idea into place. Jenny from Mummy Mishaps didn’t run out of time though, she entered this fabulous Easter Piñata Cake

surprise inside cake

My lovely rookie at Britmums this year even entered this week – Julia from AWannaBeFoodie seems to feel the same way about bread that I do so was equally made-up when her English Farl Loaf turned out a treat.

english carl loaf recipe

Great to see a savoury entry too in the form of Caramelised Onion & Goats Cheese Tarlets – These look very professional by Kanchan from The Intrepid Misadventurer.

onion goats cheese tartlets

And last but not least, a recipe that is Celebrity endorsed! We expect nothing less on Casa Costello ;-) Emma from Farmer’s Wife and Mummy is setting the world on fire with her Nutty Banoffee Fairtrade Cake – Congrats!

nutty banoffee cake

Again, massive thanks to everyone who got involved – the link is now OPEN for this week’s Bake of the Week. As usual, all entries will be pinned, tweeted and commented on. Please include the badge to let people know you have entered and I look forward to seeing all your magnificent creations next week. (If you enter, feel free to leave me a comment to let me know – if it is your first time of entering Bake of the Week (welcome!) then I may have to authorise your picture – I’ll do it asap. Thanks x)

Casa Costello
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Disclosure: I was sent the Hazelnut Oil by Mielle. I had free reign over which recipe I chose and all opinions are my own. recipes using hazelnut oil

As usual I’m entering this recipe into this week’s Tasty Tuesday – There’s some jaw dropping recipes on there every week. Why not pop over and take a look? Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

You can also find this recipe and more over at Emily, A Mummy Too’s Recipe of the Week

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Caramel & Pecan Fudge – An Alternative to Chocolate at Easter

pecan white chocolate caramel fudge

I try every year to come up with an alternative for giving an egg at Easter. Fudge is incredibly versatile – you can just serve it up on a plate or gift wrap and show a little more thought. This is a crumbly type of fudge that I’ve made many a time when I’ve needed something homemade NOW! Its certainly not posh, its for a recipient that appreciate the homemade gift that is a little rustic. One of its massive plus points is that this recipe is quick!

One of the most important things about this fudge is to score the lines for chopping it into square (or triangles if the mood takes you) – If you forget its even harder to get proper shapes. I will admit we have often just picked it out of the silicone mould – its really crumbly…but amazingly moreish.

Caramel & Pecan Fudge


  • 300g caster sugar
  • 30g butter
  • 175g Campbell's Tinned Caramel (About half of a tin)
  • 200g white chocolate chopped into small chunks
  • 1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 50g pecans (chopped into thirds)


Melt the sugar, butter, caramel in a large pan - stirring continuously for at least 5 minutes. Don't allow the sides to catch - keep scraping them down. Keep it bubbling on a medium to low heat for at least another 5 minutes.
Take off the heat - Stir in the vanilla and the white chocolate and keep stirring - I waited until about half of my chocolate had melted as I wanted some little chunks remaining in the fudge.
Stir in the pecans.
Pat down into a 9" square tin, lined with baking parchment and score out lines with a knife where you will cut the fudge - I'm not promising they will be perfect squares, this is not that sort of fudge recipe - think rustic!
Refrigerate for about an hour an you are done!

  As usual, this recipe is being entered into Emily from A Mummy Too’s Recipe of the Week…Pop over and read the other tastebud inspiring posts.

Link up your recipe of the week

Also entering into Honest Mum's Tasty Tuesday

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Mini Marzipan Birds’ Nests Tutorial – Center Parcs Family Blogger April Challenge

how to make mini marzipan birds' nests

Even I think these are cute! Tiny mouthfuls of marzipan with a mini egg all disguised as Birds’ Nests. For people that are rather fond of grammar, I’ve had massive arguments with myself about where the apostrophe goes!

I’ve was set the task of designing (and making) a Bird’s Nest as part of my involvement with the Center Parcs Family Blogger club. There’s all sorts of tips for having a go and making your own on their website – why not have a go? CP suggested using liquorice laces which gave me the inspiration to use marzipan strands – and I could nibble it as I went along!

Here’s how to make your own Mini Marzipan Easter Birds’ Nests:

how to make edible bird's nests

You will need:

  • Marzipan (about 100g makes loads!)
  • Rolling Pin
  • Knife
  • Small Mould/Mini cake tins – I used a tray for making chocolates
  • Petit Four cases
  • Brown Food Colouring
  • Sugar Glue (or cooled boiled water)
  • Mini Eggs

1. Colour most of your marzipan brown leaving a small amount for making the ‘straw’

2. Line the tray/mould with the cases shaping them to fit – mine were rectangles

3. Place a small flattened circle of brown marzipan in the base of each case

  how to roll out marzipan

4. Glue around the edge of the circle with the sugar glue (try not to touch the cases with the glue but its not the end of the world if you do)

5. Roll out the brown marzipan until quite thin and cut into thin strips

6. Wrap the strips inside the petit four cases, building up and sometimes overlapping the edges

7. Leave to dry/harden for approx 2 hours

8. Roll tiny sausages of natural marzipan to look like straw and drop into the nests

9. Unpeel the cases away from the nests and plop in a mini egg (or a furry chicken)


edible bird's nests tutorial

‘I’m a Center Parcs Family Blogger and visited Whinfell village with my family. If you want to enter to win a place as a wildcard winner just go to the challenge page to find out how http://bit.ly/1okzxJv

Raspberry, Almond & White Chocolate Loaf Cake – Bake of the Week

Tasty Loaf cake recipe using raspberries & white chocolate

We had a wonderful day yesterday – an impromptu visit to Abersoch, one of our favourite places in the world. We couldn’t fit in a night away but decided to go for it and do the 2.5 hour journey and back in one day. With LOTS of stops and a Huuuuge picnic.

Of course, no picnic is complete without a slab of cake so on Saturday morning I got out the Loaf tin and made a Raspberry, White Chocolate and Almond Loaf. I believe you must do rustic for a true picnic so there was no decoration and just a few fingers crossed that the raspberries didn’t all sink to the bottom (They didn’t!) I rolled the raspberries in the flour and ground almond mixture before adding to the cake mixture.

If I could recommend one tin to have in your cake tin collection, it would be a loaf tin. You need a really sturdy one but it will be used time and time again. And they are much easier to cut into portions that a round cake.

I love extra almond flavour so am liberal with the almond extract – you might want to tone it down a bit if you are not as obsessed as me.

Raspberry, White Chocolate and Almond Loaf Cake – Bake of the Week

Serves 12
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 55 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Occasion Barbecue, Casual Party
Rustic raspberry, white chocolate & almond loaf cake recipe - Perfect for picnics


  • 150g Caster Sugar
  • 150g Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 40ml Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Almond Extract (Can use less if you don't want a strong taste of almond)
  • 200g Self Raising Flour
  • 1 zest Lemon (plus the juice of half of it squeezed)
  • 100g Ground Almonds
  • 100g White Chocolate (Chopped into small chunks)
  • 1 Punnet Raspberries
  • 50g Flaked Almonds for sprinkling over the top


Preheat the oven to 180C and line a Loaf Tin - I have Loaf tin liners which save oodles of time.
Using a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy
Add the eggs, one at a time, cleaning down the side of the bowl until all mixed together
Add the milk and half of the flour alternately - it may look a little curdled but will still work out. Add the lemon zest and the Almond Extract, mixing on slow speed.
In a bowl, dunk the raspberries in the flour, ground almond mixture until covered
Fold in all the dry ingredient (inc the White Chocolate) until just combined
Add the raspberries, gently folding in - I like mine quite squished so I tend to be a bit rough
Sprinkle the flaked almonds over the top of the cake
Cook on 180C for 30 mins then reduce the heat to 160C and cook for a further 15-25 minutes. A skewer should come out clear - the outside will be darker than the inner cake. Make sure you are not skewering through a piece of white chocolate.

I’m going to be showcasing a lot of loaf cake recipe over the next few weeks – Honest answer, I need somewhere to keep them and here’s as good a place as any! If you would like to link any of your favourite loaf cake recipes too, please shout and we can keep them safe all in one place.

Collection of recipes baked in a loaf tin

 Lovely to see that Bake of the Week is getting regular contributors – Lets spread the word this week and get some of our fellow bakers joining in.

Kirsty from Hijacked by Twins gave us a wonderful Chocolate Marble Cake – I always forget how fascinated kids are by the effect of marble. Must bake one with them very soon.

recipe for chocolate vanilla marble cake – I’m hoping Kirsty links up her Easter Hot Cross Buns this week!

Otilia from p://www.romanianmum.com/2014/02/valentines-day-cupcakes.html#.U0WFJtytGlI” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>Romanian Mum delighted us with these pretty pastel cupcakes – Almost too good to eat (I said almost!)

romantic cupcakes

The linky is now open to join in with this week’s #Bakeoftheweek – Don’t forget to add the badge below to your post to let others know you have entered. Entries close next Monday – Let’s see lots of Easter bakes this week!

Casa Costello
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I’m entering as usual into Honest Mum’s Tasty Tuesday linky – Why not hop on over and visit some of the other entries?

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Caramel Coconut Creation – Bake of the Week

Caramel Cookies with chocolate & coconut

This one took me completely by surprise by how popular it was. I say was because it is long gone. This was definitely one of those ‘messing around’ recipes that just seemed to work. It started as needing something to give the kids the next day and being really tired. I knew I wasn’t up to hours of preparation – I just wanted something that came together quickly, I could bung in the oven and wouldn’t make tons of washing up. The Kitchen Aid was redundant for the night!

I love that there are loads of possible combinations for this recipe – Look out for more ‘Creations’ coming this way over the next few weeks. Great for just using up whatever is in the cupboard – there’s a fantastic nutty version of it too.

Caramel Cookies with Chocolate, Cherries & Coconut

Serves 16
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 35 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Crunchy Biscuits with a delicious chocolate, coconut and caramel topping


  • 200g butter
  • 16 Digestive Biscuits (Crumbled)
  • 100g White Chocolate (Chopped into small pieces)
  • 100g Milk Chocolate (Chopped into small pieces)
  • 100g Glace Cherries (Chopped into quarters)
  • 100g Desiccated Coconut
  • 1 can Tinned Caramel


Preheat the oven to 180C. Line an 9" square cake tin.
Melt the butter in a large pan and add the crumbled digestive biscuits. Mix well until the butter is soaked up and spread evenly about the biscuits.
Press the biscuit mixture firmly at the bottom of the tin. I use the back of a dessert spoon but your knuckles do just as good a job.
Sprinkle over the chocolate, coconut and cherries so they are spread evenly over the biscuit base.
Pour over the can of caramel and bake for 35 minutes - you may need to turn down the oven to 160 for the last 10 minutes to stop it catching on the edges.
As soon as the tin is removed from the oven but keeping the 'creation' still in the tin, mark out cut squares. This will make it so much easier to divide into portions when it has properly cooled.
Leave to cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.

Slightly late with Bake of the week this week – the Easter holidays have beaten me. My kids are all go 24 hours a day but wouldn’t change them (well maybe the arguing!)

Some very creative entries in last week’s Bake of the Week:

Have you ever seen a cuter Turtle Cake? – Searching for Spice Some great instructions on how to recreate your own. I have to admit to loathing bananas but would definitely revisit this for turtle ideas!

Banana Turtle Cake

There was this truly gorgeous combination of Lemon and Berries presented beautifully by Hijacked By Twins

lemon strawberry cake

And an Easy Peasy Chocolate Torte by Muma Leary – Just look at the picture of what her little ones got up to as she was making it though. I did chuckle!

chocolate torte

I’m entering this into Emily’s Recipe of the Week linky, Honest Mum’s Tasty Tuesdays & Romanian Mum’s Foodie Friday (even though it is none of those days!) – why not hop over and share the love?

Romanian Mum
Link up your recipe of the week

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com


Casa Costello
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The link is now open for entries for Bake of the Week – The link will close on Monday morning as usual and the round up will be up on Monday night. I will tweet and Pin any entries to the Bake of the Week Pinterest Board – Why not follow it to see the other entries we’ve had so far?

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Frozen Inspired Food – Marshmallow Olafs

frozen olaf food

It was a very exciting day for my children yesterday. Violet has never been the same since we took her to see the movie, Frozen just after Christmas. She has lived and breathed that film. Like a lot of children, she knows every word of every song. She spends many an hour ‘researching’ the film on the internet (YouTube!). She has waited and waited, and asked and asked near enough every day, ‘When is Frozen out on DVD?’ and yesterday was THE DAY!

Off she went to school with me promising to get the DVD (Nah, I’m not organised enough to pre-order it) and so off I tripped to the supermarket. I decided we would make a celebration of film night by having a Frozen inspired tea.

Here’s what I came up with – I’m pretty impressed with myself considering I only had an hour. Once Tara got the drift of what I was doing she was solo excited – I’ve never seen her jump up and down so much. Really cute!

I had seen on Pinterest, a few people have had Frozen parties and loved the idea of Olaf noses (Carrots!) so there was one dish.

olaf noses

We had snow topped pizza (Marguerita with some extra Mozzarella) cut into mountain shaped peaks.

My ultimate favourite (and the one that took the most time) has got to be the Marshmallow Olafs – 3 marshmallows stuck together with sugar glue. Matchmakers for arms. Mini chocolate drops for buttons and orange marzipan noses, I drew the mouth and eyes with edible pen. As you can see from the picture below, Tara was more than chuffed with her Olaf! God knows why, but all 3 girls changed into white onesies for the film – bit strange at 4pm in the afternoon but who am I to argue?

Frozen inspired food

Millie made us some paper snowflakes …

disney frozen food
We had snow topped popcorn (Freshly popped kernels with melted white chocolate mixed through it), Snow Mice, Snow topped Marshmallows (dipped in blue icing and edible sparkles), Blue shortbread cookies (which were vile – far too sweet)

frozen white chocolate mice

And best of all…Me & Derm had Chilli for tea (Get it?)

The girls had a ball and were high as a kite from all the sugar when Grandma came to visit as we had parent’s evening.

I think I earned some Mum Brownie points and I did it all without the help of gin!

Oaty Cookies – Bake of the Week

oat cookies biscuits

These are perfect to bake with toddlers. They don’t use too many ingredients, not too complicated and they are robust enough that even a toddler can mess around with them and they still turn out. I’ve never found it easy baking with toddlers – I always get stuck after the whisking of the eggs – frightened that they will over mix and the bake will come out rock hard. I am getting better though and honestly really enjoy making these with Tara. She really enjoys it too as the photo below shows. Yeah, I know my utility room is a mess and I haven’t eaten all of those Creme Eggs, honest!

Toddler baking

The first few times we made them, I thought she wouldn’t like them – there’s something about oats that makes a child suspicious! Too healthy. All 3 of my kids really like these though and we frequently have to make double.

Oaty Cookies

Serves 24
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 35 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Meal type Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold
Oat Cookies that are quick and simple to make. Ideal for baking with the kids.


  • 2 heaped tablespoons Golden Syrup (This is a rough measurement - I tend to just pour it into the pan so it looks about half the butter)
  • 4oz Self Raising Flour (No need to sieve)
  • 4oz Light Soft Brown Sugar (I have used dark brown and it works just as well)
  • 4oz Porridge Oats
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Ginger (I have also used Mixed Spice & cinnamon and they are nice too)
  • 4 tablespoons Tap Water
  • 4oz Butter


In a large pan, melt the butter and the syrup. Once melted, take off the heat and allow to cool.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oats, ginger and sugar
Stir in the melted butter/syrup and mix (by hand is fine)
Add the water and bring together in a dough.
By hand, roll into balls (I like to cover my hands in a thin layer of oil to stop it sticking first) and place about 12 on each baking sheet
Cook for 20-30 minutes. Once golden, remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

There were some delicious looking bakes entered into last week’s Bake of the Week.

Kirsty from Hijacked by Twins gave a brilliant play on words with her entry – A ‘Baton’Berg which was made to celebrate the tour of the Sports Relief Bloggers Baton. I nearly got my hands on this at Saturday synchro training in Sale – It left the building a mere 2 minutes before we arrived! Anyway, back to the cake – how fab is this?

bake of the week

Jenny from Mummy Mishaps is a lovely blogger that often comes up with excruciatingly tempting bakes. This week is no exception – I know a 3 year old that would love these Malt Loaf Chocolate Brownies!

bake of the week

And lastly, Sarah from Crew Cut and Newt gave us a tip for when a bake doesn’t go quite right (Happens all the time round my house!) – Serve it as a pud! With this Cherry coulis, I reckon it sounds divine.

bake of the week

Thanks loads to everyone who took part in this week’s Bake of the Week – The link is open for everyone to enter again now. Remember, it doesn’t have to be cake…bread, biscuits, tarts, flans all count. I Pin and tweet every entry and mention in the weekly roundup on a Monday evening. The linky is open until Monday morning 7th April.

Please display the badge to let everyone know that you have entered #Bakeoftheweek


Casa Costello
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Have a great week everyone!

I’m also entering this Oaty Cookie recipe into Emily’s Recipe of the Week linky …

Link up your recipe of the week

And once more, this recipe can be found over at Honest Mum’s Tasty Tuesday linky

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

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Sticky Gingercake – Bake of the Week

ginger cake gingerbread recipe

Well, we’re back from a fantastic time at Center Parcs. Lots more about that to follow but for now I want to share my latest Bake of the Week entry.

I make this Sticky Gingercake a lot when we are going somewhere for a few days – It lasts really well and the stickiness gets even better if you can leave it alone in tin foil for about 3 days. I tend to make double so we have some to eat while the rest is ‘improving’.

Sticky Ginger Cake

Meal type Dessert, Lunch, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold


  • 8oz Butter
  • 8oz Soft Light Brown Sugar
  • 6oz treacle (I tend to just pour it in and guess - these are rough estimates)
  • 8oz Golden Syrup (Again just pour it in over the sugar and butter)
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 7oz plain flour
  • 2oz porridge oats
  • 2 large eggs (whisked)
  • 1/2 pint Milk (I use Semi Skimmed)


Preheat the oven to 160C and line a 10" square tin (not a loose bottomed one)
Melt the butter, sugar, treacle, syrup and ginger in a pan, slowly - When melted, remove from the heat and allow to cool
In a large bowl, add the flour and oats. Make a well in the middle.
Gradually add the eggs and then the cooled butter/syrup mixture - keep mixing together.
Whilst still mixing, add the milk.
When all combined, pour into the tin (it will be a pourable consistency) and bake for 45-55 minutes
A needle should come out clear and the cake should be fairly crisp on the top. Enjoy!

Lovely to see that there was an entry for the first ever week of Bake of the Week – Kirsty from Hijacked by Twins entered the richest looking St Patrick’s Chocolate & Guinness Cake.


The link is now open for this week’s Bake of the Week – Don’t be shy, get entering. I will tweet and Pin any entries swell as commenting and having a good old root around your blog! any baked items will do – bread, cakes, biscuits, tarts, desserts – in fact, why stop at one? Feel free to pinch the badge below and let other knows that you have entered (not compulsory)


Casa Costello
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I’m also entering this Ginger Cake recipe into Emily’s Recipe of the Week linky.

Link up your recipe of the week

And a new one … I’m getting involved this week with Honest Mum’s Tasty Tuesday. Why not head over to see what other tasty treats have been consumed over the past week?

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

The lovely Romanian Mum has resurrected her Friday Foodie linky so I’m supporting her by linking up this recipe once again.

Romanian Mum
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Happy St Patrick’s Day Cake

irish green cake recipe

Happy St Patrick’s Day – Have some cake! (and possibly some Guinness to wash it down with!)How will you be celebrating or do you not bother? I’ll be going to a cookery demonstration tonight with WI pals and maybe persuaded to pop into a local pub afterwards.

I made this cake yesterday and there’s still plenty left. Its not a particularly irish recipe in that its a vanilla sponge cake but I have given a nod to the Emerald Isle with green frosting and a sprinkle shamrock on the top.

Doesn’t stop it tasting gorgeous though and somehow it seems to last longer than other vanilla cakes. I swore I would never share my vanilla cake recipes but quite honestly, its easier for me knowing where they are, when I need to make one. So go for your life …bake and enjoy!

Costello Vanilla Sponge Cake

Costello Vanilla Sponge Cake

Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 55 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Serve Cold
This is a big cake. You will get 3 good sized 8" cakes out of this mix. The recipe can be halved by using 4 medium egg whites.


  • 675g Caster Sugar
  • 225g Butter
  • 7 Egg Whites
  • 1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 500g Self Raising Flour
  • 350ml Milk


Using an electric mixer, cream together the sugar and butter until light and pale.
Add one egg white at a time, whilst mixing thoroughly. Keep scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Add the vanilla extract.
Alternately, add one tablespoon of flour and a decent splash of milk, whilst still mixing together on a slow speed,until all the ingredients have been added.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl one last time and turn the speed to high for approx 15 seconds. It will splatter and bubble so prepared!
Pour into 3 x 8" lined cake tins and cook at 180C for around 40-50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. This is quite a flat mixture - it won't rise too much or give a big hump in the middle.

I am starting a new linky this week to replace Cake of the Week. A lot of my baking recently has been bread, biscuits and traybakes and I see some fantastic creations on blogs that I would love you to share.

The Bake of the Week linky will remain open until next Monday morning and I will post a roundup every Monday evening (starting 24th March). I will tweet anyone’s entries and also Pin them during the week. If you would be so kind to place the badge on any posts that you enter, that would be great. (Feel free to Grab the Bake of the Week badge to show that you take part if you like but not compulsory)

The only rule is that your Bake has to be from the previous week.

So Happy Baking!


Casa Costello
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I’m entering this cake in this month’s TeaTime Treats hosted by Karen of Lavender & Lovage & The Hedge Combers – The them is decorative cakes – I think I just about qualify – Its not one of my sugarcraft masterpieces but I must admit to loving the speed of decorating with buttercream!

Tea Time Treats Linky 5617″ />

Mini Lemon & Lime Scones

lemon lime scones curd recipe

Scones or scohnes?! Which are you? Being a northern girl, I’m definitely a Scones with an ‘o’ rather than an ‘oh’. Even though I love the comforting taste of scones and love how quick and easy they are to prepare, sometimes I just need something extra. A bit of tang, and extra aftertaste.

This recipe for lemon and lime scones is very versatile in that it can easily be adapted so its just lemon or just lime. I was a little alarmed the first time I made them as there seems to be far more fiddling about with them than is wise with a scone. I will never forget my first few attempts at scones baking – there are softer rocks holding up walls around the country. Interestingly, this recipe seems to work – the centre of the scones looks a little dense but is actually quite juicy and soft.

I used homemade lemon and lime curd because I needed to use up the fruit and whipped double cream – yep, once again, the diet is going well! I’ll post the recipe for the Lemon/Lime Curd next week – Its worth the wait – you’ll never buy it again!

Mini Lemon & Lime Scones

Serves 15
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 28 minutes
Total time 38 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold
Occasion Easter


  • 45g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Lemons (The Rind of)
  • 1 Lime (The Rind of)
  • 315g Plain Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 50ml Lemon/Lime Juice (Roughly even amounts of each - This is a total, not 50ml of each)
  • 150ml Double Cream (Plus more for spreading on after they are baked)
  • 125g butter (really cold but chopped into small chunks)
  • Lemon/Lime Curd


Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a flat baking tray (or 2) big enough to hold approx 15 mini scones.
Add the flour, baking powder, sugar and leon/lime zest to a large bowl
Add the butter, rubbing through with your fingers until just combined. Try really really hard not to over mix.
Add the mixture to a food mixer and add the cream and juices - Mix on medium until just starts to come together as a dough.
Roll the dough out onto a floured work surface and cut out using mini scones cutters. I leave mine so they are at least 1.5cm high - they don't tend to rise too much and there is no need to cut in half as the cream/curd will go straight on top.
Bake for 18 minutes or until the are quite golden on top. You will need to cook them for longer than you are used to cooking scones as the centres are quite moist.
As soon as they are cooled, spread lemon/lime curd and whipped cream onto the top.

Once again, I’m entering my recipe into Emily’s Recipe of the week. Last week, Emily was kind enough to feature my Lentil Curry so please do pop over and visit the other recipes …