Coffee Melting Moments – Bake of the Week

homemade coffee melting moments biscuits

Having a bank of easy, quick biscuit recipes saves my bacon on so many occasions. I’ve talked endlessly about wanting the kids to eat less pre-produced food and snacks are one of our worst offenders. Last week was crazily busy (in a good way) but our eating habits did suffer. I declared on Sunday night that this week was a homely, eat-better week (The kids interpreted this as ‘Fruit & Vegetable week but that’s a battle for another time)

Melting moments are definitely a throwback to my youth – Every time I make them, I forget how easy they are and how scrumptious. Mr C still marvels at them going into the oven as balls and coming out as flats.

Coffee Melting Moments – Bake of the week

Serves 30
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold
Light and soft homemade coffee melting moments biscuits - Easy and quick to make

Ingredients

  • 8oz Butter
  • 6oz Caster Sugar
  • 2 Medium Egg Yolks
  • 2 teaspoons dried coffee granules
  • 10oz Self Raising Flour
  • 5-6oz Porridge Oats
  • 1/4 Pecan Nuts for each biscuit for decoration

Note

I've adapted this recipe from when my Mum used to make Melting Moments when I was little. I always loved the name and definitely loved the taste. I can't remember her ever making coffee flavoured one - I presume we had vanilla melting moments. Sadly, I'm not sure where the original recipe came from either.

Directions

Preheat the oven to 180C - Line 2-3 baking trays (depends how big your baking trays are - These do spread a fair bit so you need at least 1.5cm between each biscuit)
Using an electric mixer, mix together the sugar and butter until pale and fluffy.
Mix together the dried coffee granules with 1 tsp boiling water until combined and allow to cool.
Add the eggs to the sugar/butter mixture and then add the coffee whilst still mixing.
Add the flour until just combined.
Using your hands or a teaspoon, make around 30 little balls of dough (rather a loose dough)
Roll each ball around in a small bowl of the porridge and place on the baking trays.
Press down gently with a quarter of a pecan and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool

Huge thank you to everyone who is joining our Bake of the Week community – There are some amazing bakers out there. My ‘to be baked’ list is growing every bigger!

I want to pick out just a few of the entries this week but the large picture below shows you all the entries with a link to their bakes below:

 

I love love love the neatness of the Chocolate Cheesecake all the way from Lucia in Italy. Mr C has requested a chocolate bake for Father’s Day this weekend, reminding me that I don’t cook with chocolate nearly enough.

I’m a sucker for Toffee flavours – I can’t get over how much I want to make this Toffee Apple Fudge from Jenny at Mummy Mishaps – Would you just look at how light and airy that cake is?!

New Bakers are often asking me what recipe they should have in their repertoire – They don’t come much better or traditional than this Victoria Sponge from Camilla at Fab Food for All. Start with the basics and then start to experiment is my advice every time!

online baking group

1. Chocolate Cheesecake – Lucia from Tortadirose
2. Bahlsen Baking Challenge from Jenny at The Brick Castle
3. Toffee Apple Fudge Cake from Jenny at Mummy Mmishaps
4. Victoria Sponge from Camilla at Fab Food For All
5. Shortbread Biscuits from Eileen at ET Speaks From Home
6. Chocolate Eton Mess Cake from ChocLogBlog

baking linky

7. Bucket and Spade cakes from Kirsty at Hijacked by Twins
8. Courgette Cake – Hay in a Day
9. Elderflower Flapjacks from In The Playroom
10. Lion Food birthday cake by Jenny from Mummy Makes Cakes

New linky is now open for your new Bakes of the Week – Don’t forget you don’t have to list a recipe. All bakes are welcome, biscuits, cakes, breads, tarts and all are commented on, pinned and tweeted. I’m going to be trialling Google+ – ing the links too this week – Feel free to add me to your circles so I can find you easily

Add the Bakeoftheweek badge to your post and share the love!

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I’m linking up with A Mummy Too, Recipe of the Week, Honest Mum, Tasty Tuesdays & SuperGoldenBakes, CookBlogShare and Javelin Warrior, Made with Love Mondays, The Baking Explorer and The Cakeyboi who is hosting Treat Petite this month

Made with Love Mondays, hosted by Javelin Warrior

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coffee melting moments

Homemade Lemon Iced Gems – Bake of the Week

homemade iced gems recipe

We eat biscuits like they are going out of fashion in this house. A packet can disappear in instants. I’ve really cut down though on how many biscuits we buy this year. I’d much rather bake the biscuits so we know exactly what the girls are eating.

These Homemade Lemon Iced Gems go down really well – plus they are super cute and oh so summery! They are so dinky that even the most calorie conscious guest cannot refuse one (or maybe more!)

The sugar cookie recipe is one of my upmost favourites. It can be halved or doubled easily and is so adaptable – Any shapes of cookies are possible and the consistency is just right for icing on. These biscuits are great for freezing (without the icing) both cooked and the dough before cooking. At the risk of sounding like Nigella, I ALWAYS have a supply of dough ready in the freezer for emergencies. Everyone has biscuit related emergencies?

If you are not so keen on the lemony taste, you can omit it for vanilla extract or even almond.

Lemon Iced Gems

Serves 10+
Prep time 1 hour
Cook time 14 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 14 minutes
Meal type Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party
Super cute little lemon sugar cookies with a tangy icing top

Ingredients

  • 3oz Butter
  • 2oz Caster Sugar
  • 1 Medium Egg
  • Juice & rind of 1 lemon
  • 6oz Plain Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 50g Royal Icing powder
  • 2 tablespoons Water (approx)
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon Curd
  • 1 tablespoon Boiling Water

Optional

  • Yellow Food Colouring

Directions

The Biscuits
Preheat the oven to 180C and line 2 baking trays
Using an electric whisk, beat together the sugar and the butter until pale and fluffy
Beat the egg and add gradually, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Add 1/2 of the lemon juice.
Add the flour and baking powder, one spoonful at a time.
Pour out onto a lightly floured surface and bring together in a dough.
Separate into 2 or 3 balls of dough and wrap in cling film. Refridgerate for at 30 mins.
Remove the dough, one ball at a time and roll out. Cut out using a really small circle cutter, the size that you want the biscuits to be. I collect round objects that can be used as various sized cutters - Fruit Shoot lids & Cocktail Stick tubs are good.
The Biscuits.
Tip: Keep covering the cutter with flour - it will make the dough press out easier. I get at least 80 biscuits from this mixture but this will depend on the size of your cutter.
The Biscuits
Arrange with a 1/2cm gap between biscuits on a baking tray and freeze for 15 minutes.
Bake for at least 14 minutes - you may want to swap the trays around in the oven for an even bake after 10 minutes.
Remove when the biscuits are golden and leave to cool on a wire rack.
The Icing
I use packet Royal Icing - I know its cheating but I don't like my girls eating raw egg plus I can moderate exactly how much icing I get. Make the icing up according to the instructions on the packet then add a little more icing powder - you want the icing really quite stiff.
Add the grated rind and the remaining half of the lemon juice and mix in thoroughly. Add a little yellow food colouring if you are using some.
Mix together the lemon curd and the boiling water and paint lightly over the biscuits - This takes no more than 5 minutes!
Using a star nozzle and a piping bag, pipe a small star of icing on top of each biscuit.

how to make your own iced gems

Bake of the Week continues to show some brilliant bakes as usual. My To Be Baked list is never going to shrink with all these lovely ideas.

Corina from Searching for Spice satisfied my Oat obsession with these Oaty Raisin Bites

oat raisin bites

I love using yoghurt in baking recipes – One of my fridge essential items is a pot of natural yoghurt. I use it in everything! Cheryl from Madhouse Family Reviews added Strawberry drinking yoghurt to her Pear Myrtle Cherry Yoghurt Muffins. They look great!

pear myrtle muffins

I just love this Summer Berry Gateaux from Kirsty at Hijacked By Twins – Perfect for a bank holiday.

summer berry gateaux

I keep going back to this Pound Cake from Sadaf’s Culinary Adventures – It looks such a good bake – The texture is perfect.

pound cake

We have a new member of our Bake of the Week team. Joining us for the first time this week is Elizabeth from Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary. I am in awe of the fabulous pictures of this wonderful Rhubarb and Saffron Cake.

rhubarb saffron cake

And I’ve saved my favourite for last – I was yearning for Julie’s Apple & Cinnamon Scones already but then I saw that she served them with caramel on top. WoW!!

apple cinnamon caramel scones

Thanks again to everyone who has taken part in Bake of the Week this week. I will be back on Monday night with another round up. The link is open for you to add your Bake of the Week – remember, all cakes, pies, tarts, biscuits count.

Please add the badge to your post to let people know you are part of the Bake of the Week gang.

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I’m entering this week into Tasty Tuesdays which for this week is being hosted by Franglais Cooking & Emily’s Recipe of the Week – Hop on over to see the other entries if you get a chance.

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com recipe-of-the-week

 

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

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

 

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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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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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

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
DSC_0268
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

 

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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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Panforte – Nibbles for Visitors

christmas baking, panforte, cherries, nuts

I always thought that Panforte had to contain chocolate. I loved it when other people made it but never really felt inspired to make my own – There was always enough chocolate around our house at Christmas to sink a ship. When I started researching the history of Panforte though, I discovered that it doesn’t HAVE to have cocoa or chocolate, that just seems to be a popular combination. I set off to make my own recipe and came up with this.

There’s not many recipes that I say, you must wait a few days before eating but this is definitely one of them. Left in a tin for approx 5 days helps the flavours to melt together and the bars to soften up – believe me, your teeth will thank me for waiting!

PLEASE NOTE: This recipe should also include 100g of finely chopped dates which are added to the Nut and Cherry mixture. For the life of me I cannot find how to edit the recipe plugin!

Panforte – Nibbles for Visitors

Panforte – Nibbles for Visitors

Ingredients

  • 200g Nuts (I spread mine fairly equally between Pecan, Almonds & Macadamia) Whole hazelnuts & Walnuts work equally well.
  • 50g Glace Cherries
  • 1 tsp Mixed Spice
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 150g Dark Soft Brown Sugar
  • 40g Butter
  • 150g Runny Honey
  • 75g Plain Flour
  • Large Pinch of Ground Pepper (White or Black)
  • Icing Sugar to sprinkle on before serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C
  2. Chop some of the bigger nuts into halves - I like a mixture of big and small nuts to remain in the bars. Chop the cherries into halves too.
  3. In a large saucepan over a medium heat, melt the butter and the sugar until the sugar has just dissolved.
  4. Add in the honey.
  5. Take off the heat and add the flour and the spices and mix until just combined.
  6. Add to the Nuts and Cherry mix until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. It will be a really tough mixture so use some elbow grease.
  7. I added mine to a 9" square silicone cake tin and pressed it down. If you are using a metal tin you will need to grease and line it.
  8. Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes - do not allow to catch on the corners, check after 30 mins.
  9. As soon as it comes out of the oven, make lines where you are going to divide the mixture into portions - This will make it easier to cut when it is cool.
  10. Allow to cool fully in the tin and break into small portions - Mine in the picture are quite large!
  11. If you can leave in a air proof tin for around 4-5 days
  12. Dust with Icing Sugar just before serving.
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I am adding this recipe to Tea Time Treats as hosted by Karen at Lavender & Lovage and Kate at What Kate Baked

I am also entering this recipe into the One Ingredient challenge which is this month hosted by Laura at How To Cook Good Food – One of my favourite blogs!

One-Ingredient-Dates-1024x848

And another, You can find this recipe over at Emily’s Recipe of the Week linky

recipe-of-the-week

Halloween Cookies

Halloween Cookies Recipe

It’s been ages since I had time to have a play around with some Halloween cookies. I’d forgotten how time-consuming they can be but also how much fun it is getting stuck in, icing flowing everywhere and just generally messing around.

I used to make hundreds of Halloween goodies for a charity trade show I used to do at Littlewoods every year – I loved it there, they really went to town on dressing up both themselves and the building (An old airport hanger in Liverpool in case you are interested). We were never big ones for doing Halloweeny stuff at home – doesn’t sit well with Catholics but having 3 children sort of means I’ve got sucked in to the fun element. We do have a pumpkin outside and we do answer the door to the hundreds of trick or treaters that we get. I’m not sure I’d want to part with my Halloween cookies though!

Mummy Cookies

I will have to practice a bit more with my runny royal icing – I was running out so didn’t want to make it too runny so it ended up being a little bit thick. But never mind, they taste gorgeous!

I also used a slightly different recipe than usual. I made syrup Halloween biscuits from the Baking Mad website. They turned out really well and didn’t spread too much. Some were slightly rounded on top but delicious to eat and I especially liked that after cutting the shapes I didn’t have to put them back in the fridge before baking.

Many thanks to Baking Mad me to do this post and sending me a bag of goodies!

Top 120 Recipes for 2013

Our house has a LOT of cookbooks, no even more than a lot, nearly hundreds! We use them a lot but I’m finding increasingly that we are turning to the iPad for quick how-tos. At any one time though, I have a huge list of recipes I’d like to make out of the books – well, this will be the year that the list gets some attention. I’ve tried to reduce it too ‘just’ a 100 but there’s just so much I want to get through.

Since giving up the cake business last summer, we have really worked hard to eat well and cook from scratch – I have to be honest that we were a jar family eating a lot of convenience food when we were constantly surrounded by food. We concentrated on the basics first conquering risottos, yorkshire puddings, homemade pizza dough, palovas, lasagne sauces, shepherds pies and basic pasta dishes during the last year so we are ready to move onto to some more challenging dishes.

I’m not promising to get through the whole list in a year (nearly 2.5 new dishes a week might be a step too far for the kids and the budget) but will do my best. Some are really simple and you might find yourself saying “she doesn’t know how to make that?” (Corned Beef Hash anyone?) but its our project, so bear with us!

I’ve arranged the recipes in food groups but unsuprisingly there are tons of cakes and biscuits! Once I’ve blogged about a recipe, I’ll come back here and link back to the post.

What about you? Do you have a wish list of food you’d like to try/cook? Feel free to pinch this one if there are any that you fancy.

And now to the list …

Mousses/Souffles

  • 1. Lemon/Orange Mousse
  • 2. Passion Fruit Souffle
  • 3. Tangerine Mousse with Sweet Pink Grapefruit & Crispy Phyllo Ruffles

Jams/Chutneys

  • 4. Lemon Curd
  • 5. Passion Fruit Curd
  • 6. Hot Chilli Jelly

Soups

  • 7. Seafood Chowder
  • 8. Roasted Red Pepper Soup
  • 9. Chestnut Soup with Bacon & Thyme
  • 10. Pea & Ham Soup

Cakes

  • 11. Battenburg
  • 12. Hazelnut Meringue Cake
  • 13. Simnel Cake
  • 14. Raspberry, Lemon & Almond Cake
  • 15. Dark & Sticky Gingerbread
  • 16. Lemon Drizzle Swiss Roll
  • 17. Raspberry Meringue Roulade
  • 18. Whole Orange Poppy Seed Cake
  • 19. Fluffy Coconut Cake with Passion Fruit Filling
  • 20. Hazelnut Raspberry Layer Cake
  • 21. Apple Walnut Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 22. Dump Cake
  • 23. Polenta Cake
  • 24. Sticky Ginger Cake

Cheesecakes

  • 25. Carrot & Almond Cheesecake
  • 26. Lemon Cheesecake
  • 27. Lemon-Blueberry Cheesecake with Cornmeal Crumble Crust
  • 28. Raspberry Marzipan Cheesecake
  • 29. Lime & Passion Fruit Cheesecakes with Coconut Crumb
  • 30. Grand Marnier Cheesecake

Puddings

  • 31. Sticky Toffee Pudding
  • 32. Cherry Crumble
  • 33. Upside Down Peach Cobbler
  • 34. Molten Chocolate Orange Puddings

Scones/Biscuits/Bars

  • 35. Buttermilk Scones
  • 36. Melting Moments
  • 37. Brandy Snaps
  • 38. Quickly Sticky Biscuits
  • 39. Bitesized Bacon & Cheese Scones
  • 40. Cheats S’Mores
  • 41. Flapjacks
  • 42. Gingersnaps
  • 43. Raspberry Linzer Bars with Almond Glaze
  • 44. Peach-Brown Butter Shortbread
  • 45. Butterscotch Cashew Bars
  • 46. Sour Cherry & Almond Biscotti
  • 47. Coffee & Hazelnut Macarons
  • 48. Orange Mini Muffins with Smoked Turkey & Cranberry Sauce
  • 49. Grasmere Gingerbread
  • 50. Baklava
  • 51. Maple & Cinnamon Kisses

Buns/Bread

  • 52. Pecan Sticky Buns
  • 53. Brioche
  • 54. Dumplings
  • 55. Eclairs
  • 56. Croquembouche
  • 57. Crumpets
  • 58. Pitta Breads
  • 59. Focaccia
  • 60. Breakfast Rolls
  • 61. Tea Cakes
  • 62. Almond Croissants
  • 63. Raspberry & Passion Fruit Muffins

Sweets

  • 64. Fudge
  • 65. Honeycomb
  • 66. Salted Cashew Toffee
  • 67. Sea Salted Caramels
  • 68. Fortune Cookies
  • 69. Peppermint Creams
  • 70. Sugared Pretzels
  • 71. Nougat
  • 72. Pistachio Opera Fudge

Dips/Canapes

  • 73. Salsa Romesco Dip
  • 74. Tostaditas with Roast Corn Salsa

Pies

  • 75. Key Lime Pie
  • 76. Caramel Apple Pie
  • 77. Toffee Apple Pies

Chocolate/Brownies

  • 78. Heart of Darkness Brownies
  • 79. Butterscotch Blondies
  • 80. Snickerdoodles
  • 81. Chocolate Brownies

Christmas Dishes

  • 82. Panforte
  • 83. Homemade Mincemeat
  • 84. Homemade Stuffing
  • 85. Mulled Wine

Fish

  • 86. Seared Salmon with Sweet Pea Guacamole
  • 87. Fishcakes
  • 88. Prawn & Rocket Risotto
  • 89. Mauritian Prawn Curry
  • 90. King Prawn & Monkfish Curry
  • 91. Mussels with Salsa Cruda
  • 92. Classic Prawn Cocktail Puffs
  • 93. Griddled Scallop Croutes with Sweet Chilli Sauce & Creme Fraiche
  • 94. Salmon & Broccoli Quiche
  • 95. Roast Cod with Dressed Crab Mash & Lobster Sauce
  • 96. Tomato Spiced Mussels & Spagetti

Meat

  • 97. Beef Wellington
  • 98. Rack of Lamb with Pistachio Crust
  • 99. Chinese Lettuce Wraps
  • 100. Green Thai Curry
  • 101. Chicken & Cashew Nut Curry
  • 102. Sausage Rolls
  • 103. Ham Hash with Parsley Sauce
  • 104. Ham & Cheese Muffins
  • 105. Sausage Casserole with Savoy Cabbage & Butter Beans
  • 106. Corned Beef Hash
  • 107. Lazy Tray Baked Chicken
  • 108. Maple Glazed Gammon with Chilli Pineapple Salsa & Crunchy Potatoes

Salads

  • 109. Parma Ham & Peach Salad
  • 110. Bacon & Scallop Salad

Vegetable Dishes

  • 111. Patatas Bravas
  • 112. Potato Scones
  • 113. Stuffed Potato Cakes
  • 114. Ratatouille

Ice Creams

  • 115. Lemon Meringue Ice-Cream
  • 116. Christmas Cake Ice-Cream
  • 117. Baked Alaska
  • 118. Gingersnap Dulce de Leche Ice-cream Sandwiches
  • 119. Brown Sugar Ice-Cream
  • 120. Frangipane Ice-Cream

I reckon there’s enough there to keep us busy – I still intend on keeping up with the month of soup project, cake of the week and finally mastering the slow cooker. I’m on the search for a pressure cooker – anything to improve efficiency as we start the many long journeys to synchro training again soon.

 

 

 

 

Lavender Shortbread – Prepped: Vanessa Kimbell

I am so glad I’ve finally made these – Have no idea what has taken me so long but they are fabulous.

I have got to know Vanessa Kimbell through Twitter and had a lovely telephone chat about this time last year about her upcoming cook book, Prepped. Vanessa is a real foodie and like me, incredibly busy. She decided to change her life in a year, write a cookbook and see how it went. The idea of the book is that you can prepare one meal while preparing another meal for freezing at the same time. This is great for me, I always envision my freezer being full of ready cooked homemade meals but the reality is I barely get time to cook what we are eating that day.

When the book arrived, it was just as beautiful as Vanessa had said. I’m a sucker for a bright pink cover but inside it is just as good. There are 11 different chapters sectioned into different foods. Eg Vanilla, Plum, Elderflower, Rhubarb. So far, I have cooked from the Chocolate (surprise!), Lemon and Lavender.


The first thing I had to do was pour a drink – so I did with the help of the Lemon Syrup recipe (except I had no lemons so used limes instead)

Ingredients and instructions on how to make Lemon Syrup can be found on Vanessa’s Blog.

I had friends round for coffee last Friday and family round for tea so in my best Desperate Housewife mode, I served Homemade Lavender Shortbread (Please don’t be fooled, I normally give people Asda’s own cookies!)

To Make Lavender Shortbread:
200g Lavender Sugar (200g Caster sugar and 2 tsbp dried Lavender kept in a sterilised jar for between 2-6 weeks)
500g Butter
750g Plain Flour

1. Sieve the lavender from the sugar and cream the butter with the sugar until white and fluffy.
2. Add the flour and mix well before turning onto a work surface.
3. If the mix is too crumbly add a teaspoon of water and remix.
4. Roll out to about 1.5cm and cut out into whatever shape you like.
5. Place the biscuits onto a baking tray and bake at 150C for 18-20 mins
6. Cool on a wire rack and sprinkle with more sugar (use lavender sugar if you have made any more)

Can be frozen as dough.

What I thought and learnt:

Makes loads so its well worth the effort of making lavender sugar up in advance.
I had only made my lavender sugar up 2 weeks before so the lavender taste was quite subtle which I wanted.
These biscuits would be lovely with just normal caster sugar.
They taste really lovely and buttery.
I had to bake for at least 22mins.
I embossed the biscuits before cooking with a flower pattern.

Its was an important day in St Helens last Saturday. Saints Rugby Team played (and sadly lost) Leeds in the Super League Final – In honour of this event, I made some of the cookies rugby shaped.

Pina Colada Macarons – As seen on the Great British Bake Off

I went shopping for eggs yesterday and came back with the book to accompany the second series of the Great British Bake Off. Like millions of others around the country, I stop doing everything at 8pm on a Tuesday and settle down in front of the best hour of the TV week – I have become slightly obsessed with what Holly, Joanne, Mary-Ann etc are going to create.

This week was the turn of biscuits which produced its fair share of disasters – I have to say I’ve had more than a few biscuit disasters of my own in my time, so this was quite refreshing to see.

The grand finale of this week was to produce 120 macarons of 3 different flavours in 5 hours – One of the most successful contestants at this challenge was Jason who produced some Pina Colada Macarons. So off I went to my new book … and the recipe was there!!!

It is now twenty to one and I have a belly full of Pina Colada Macarons and a kitchen full of washing up. (Guess who didn’t read that you have to eat them all on the same day?!)
So how did I do?

The Ingredients:
For the Macarons:

3 Medium Egg Whites at room temp
225g sifted icing sugar
55g ground almonds
45g desiccated coconut

For the pineapple filling:

100g drained tinned pineapple
75g caster sugar
125ml whipped double cream

How to make: (approx. 34-40 individual macarons – 16-20 pairs – but you worked that out didn’t you?)

  • Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks.
  • Gradually whisk in half the icing sugar and continue whisking for 2 mins until thick and glossy (I was worried mine wasn’t thick enough but it was ok)
  • Combine the rest of the sugar, the almonds and the coconut and fold into the egg white mixture.
  • Spoon the Macaron mixture into a piping bag with a 1cm hole and pipe in 4cm rounds on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Flatten peaks with a knife. (The programme then showed that you have to bang the trays on the worktop to get rid of any air bubbles but this bit isn’t in the book) Have fun! Leave for 20-60 mins to form a crust/skin.
  • Preheat oven to 150C and bake for 14-16 mins (mine needed at least 16 mins). They should rise and be firm to touch. Transfer to a wire rack and cool.
For the pineapple filling:
  • Blitz the pineapple in a food-processor until coarsely chopped then combine with sugar in a small pan.
  • Cook over medium heat until sugar has dissolved and mixture thickens like jam. Allow to cool.
  • Fold approx 4tbsp into the whipped cream (mine only made about 4tbsp so I used it all)
  • Assemble by sandwiching the macarons together – Eat the same day.

Notes:

  • The jam would be really lovely on its own.
  • The macarons are far better and stronger if they are allowed to cool slightly before lifting off the baking tray.
  • The book didn’t say what colour to make the macarons but I went with egg yellow food colouring paste.
  • My normal camera is in for repair so these photos were taken on the iphone – sorry!

TWD Coconut Butter Thins


Wow! These were amazing! Notice I said ‘were’ – They didnt last very long even though the recipe made loads. I wouldn’t ever think of putting coconut, macadamia nuts and ground coriander and lime together but it works.

For the recipe see The Barefoot Kitchen Witch - Good choice Jayne! This was of course this week’s choice for the Tuesdays With Dorie baking group.

A definite make-again and it didn’t seem to take too long to put together. Dorie says enjoy with a cuppa so I did!

Next week Banana Creme Pie – Ugh! Can’t imagine anything worse – am going to have to find a substitute for Bananas … any ideas?