Bacon, Balsamic & Black Pudding Risotto – Organic September

bacon balsamic black pudding risotto

We are coming towards the end of Organic Food Month and I’ve been trying to do my bit. I will admit to thinking in the past, that organic food was mainly for the rich and picky, expensive cuts of meat and teeny vegetables. I have been educated over the past few months though, and it is great to see that organic products feature more and more on our supermarket shelves. Sainsbury’s have been celebrating Organic Food Month with #OrganicSeptember – they currently have over 250 So Organic food products stocked in stores with more being added all the time.

I was set the challenge of producing a recipe using organic products – I wanted to use every day ingredients that we would have in our fridges and cupboards. The weather started to change last week so I was right in the mood for a comforting risotto. I’ve talked about my love for risotto dishes before and am very familiar with preparing them.

organic food sainsbury's


Bacon, Balsamic & Black Pudding Organic Risotto

Serves 2-3
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Snack
Misc Serve Hot
Organic Bacon, Balsamic & Black Pudding Risotto - Tasty, filling and warming for a cold winter's day


  • 6 Rashers of smoked back bacon
  • 1/2 Small Onion (Chopped finely)
  • 250g Sainsbury's Organic Arborio Risotto Rice
  • 1l Vegetable Stock
  • 2 Slices of Black Pudding
  • 1 knob Butter
  • Sainsbury's Organic Balsamic Vinegar


Chop the bacon into 1-2 cm pieces and cook through at the bottom of a large risotto/saute pan
Remove the bacon from the pan, leaving to one side and add the onions. Sweat in the bacon fat until transparent
Add the Risotto rice and approx 100ml of the vegetable stock, stirring continuously
Keep adding the stock as it evaporates, while still stirring - Do not allow the pan to run dry. This will take approx 15 minutes until the rice is lovely and tender
Meanwhile, grill the black pudding slices for 3 minutes each side and remove from the heat. Chop roughly into chunks - I like some small and some more hearty.
When the rice is just about al dente, add the black pudding and stir through for 1-2 minutes. This will help break down the pieces too.
Season with Salt & Pepper and remove from the heat.
Serve in large bowls and drizzle a generous helping of organic vinegar over the top

What I used: Like a lot of people, I thought that buying organic meant spending a lot. I worked out the following costs for the ingredients I used:

Organic Risotto Rice = 80P (£1.60 per packet)
Organic Onion = 11p
Organic Balsamic Vinegar = erm 5p? (£2.00 per bottle)
Black Pudding (unfortunately I was unable to get organic BP) = 65p (£1.25 for 4 slices)
Vegetable Stock = 20p
Organic Bacon = approx £1.50 (This was the item that was the greatest difference between regular and organic)

Total cost of Risotto for 2-3 = £3.31

Disclosure: I was sent a variety of Sainsbury’s Organic Products and vouchers to cover the costs of any other ingredients used. I was given free choice what recipe to come up with.

Toad in the Hole & Gin & Lime Cake: Great British Dishes with Waitrose

gin lime drizzle cake recipe

I was set the challenge by Waitrose to recreate some good old Great British Dishes recently. I like to think that my cooking repertoire is fairly full of traditional British dishes that I will pass onto my girls as they grow older. There’s plenty of time in life for the fancy food but a family of 5 needs good solid meals to function on. These are the sort of dishes that take hardly any time to prepare and can be waiting for us when we get home from dancing/swimming/brownies/gymnastics …

Both of the recipes that I have come up with below started life off as quite normal recipes – I can never leave well along though, and constantly have to meddle with recipes.

toad hole onion chutney

I used Waitrose’s own ingredients for each and was really happy with the outcome – Even better, the kids loved both!

I love Toad in the Hole but have to admit, its sometimes not that interesting – I added some onion chutney painted onto each sausage and suddenly the dish was so much exciting. It takes mere seconds to do and you will think the chutney will slide off but somehow it doesn’t. If it was a weekend, I may have made my own chutney but this was a Wacky Wednesday and Waitrose’s Red Onion Chutney was just perfect.

Onion Chutney Toad in the Hole

Serves 5
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Hot
Wholesome family food Toad in the Hole made more interesting with the addition of onion chutney


  • 12 Waitrose Pork & Herb Sausages
  • 4 Medium Eggs
  • 8fl oz Milk
  • 8oz Plain Flour
  • 8 teaspoons Waitrose Onion Chutney


Grill the sausages until they are just about cooked - They will continue cooking as the Toad in the Hole cooks so you don't want them charred to start off with
Remove from the grill and leave to one side - Make sure the oven is preheated to 230C. Place an oven dish in the oven to heat up.
Whisk the eggs and slowly add the milk and S&P whilst continuing to whisk
Add the flour, a tablespoon at a time and whisk until all the lumps have gone and you have a smooth batter
Spread 1 teaspoon of onion chutney over the top of each sausage - doesn't have to be too tidy
Remove the oven dish from the oven and place the sausages at the bottom straightaway.
Pour the batter over the top and place straight back into the oven.
Bake for 30-40 minutes - I'm still constantly amazed that it rises and works every time but it does!
I serve with corn on the cob and onion gravy - I have to admit to the lazy way of making gravy on a weeknight: Chop 2 shallots finely, sauté in a small pan then add a pot of onion gravy and top up with boiling water. Tastes delicious and a lot less faff than making gravy from scratch!

onion chutney toad in the hole

I know that there isn’t much Gin in the Gin & Lime cake but wasn’t going to chance turning my girls into zombies so baked them a simple Lime Drizzle cake – More Gin cake for me & Mr C! They were very content with their very own cake too.

Gin & Lime Drizzle Cake

Serves 10+
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Serve Cold
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party
Light fluffy lime sponge cake with a crunchy gin & lime topping


  • 8oz Butter (Leave at room temp for 15 minutes before using)
  • 8oz Caster Sugar
  • 4 Medium Eggs
  • 3 Limes (Zest & Juice)
  • 10oz Self Raising Flour
  • 3 tablespoons Milk
  • 25ml Gin (I used Tanqueray from Waitrose as it was on offer)
  • 2oz Granulated White Sugar


Preheat the oven to 160C and line a 10" square cake tin (or 1x8" and 1x6" if you are wanting to do a gin-free cake for the kids)
Using an electric whisk, mix together the caster sugar and the butter until light and fluffy
Whisk the eggs and add, one at a time whilst still whisking on a medium speed. Then add the milk until combined.
Add the juice of 1 time and the grated zest of 2 limes
Turn the mixer down to a slow setting and add 1 tbsp flour at a time until just combined
Pour into the cake tin(s) - Divide if using 2 by putting 1/3 in the smaller tin and the remainder in the large tin and bake for approx 30 mins, until golden
Meanwhile, mix together the remaining lime juice, granulated sugar and gin (take 1/3 of the mixture away before adding the gin if doing a child friendly version)
As soon as the cake is out of the oven pour the sugar/gin mixture over and leave to cool in the tin.


Disclosure: I was asked to recreate Great British Dishes by Waitrose and sent vouchers to cover the cost of any ingredients bought. I have never used Waitrose home delivery service before but found their customer service exceptional. Our delivery driver was super polite and friendly. I found that there were some excellent offers on food and that the quality of the products we used was excellent.

Linking up with Lucy at SuperGoldenBakes for her Cook, Blog, Share linky


Award Winning Lemon & Lime Sandwich Biscuits – Bake of the Week

lemon lime sandwich cream biscuits

Award winning I tell you! Well, almost – I came second at our WI Craft Night. These biscuits were a miracle that they came to exist at all. I needed to be there by 6.30 but only got home at 5.15 … and still managed to make them, decorate them, cook the girls’ tea and get ready. A one woman mission with a lot of help from Miss M.

The brief was Sandwich Biscuits which filled me with all sorts of possibilities but I had bought a huge bag of limes that morning, so Lemon & Lime it was! I didn’t want to chicken out on the decorating and actually really like the semi-circles with basic piped icing (Its supposed to look like sliced limes, in case you can’t tell!)

Lemon & Lime Sandwich Cream Biscuits

Serves 18
Prep time 55 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 10 minutes
Meal type Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Occasion Barbecue, Birthday Party, Casual Party
Tangy lemon & Lime filled sandwich biscuits made with a shortbread base


  • 170 + 50g Butter
  • 115g Caster Sugar
  • 320g Self Raising Flour
  • 2 Zest of Limes, Juice of 1
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 100g Icing Sugar (Plus extra to decorate)
  • 1 Lemon - Zest & Juice


You should get approx 18 filled biscuits out of this mix, depending on how thick or thin you roll out the dough. The dough can be frozen completely before cooking.


Whisk the 170g of butter and caster sugar on a medium speed until well combined, light and fluffy
Add the egg and continue whisking
Add in the zest and juice of the limes and reduce the speed of the mixer to slow
Spoon in the flour until just combined. Turn out onto a floured work surface and bring together into a dough.
Split the dough into 2 and wrap each half in cling film.
Freeze for 30 minutes - Preheat the oven to 180C
Remove the biscuit dough from the freezer and roll one half at a time out to a thickness of about 8mm
Cut into circles then use a pizza wheel to score in half - Keep the halves together. This will make the outside edge neat later
Bake for 12-15 minutes until just golden and leave to cool completely on a wire rack once out of the oven
Cream Filling
Mix the remaining 100g, icing sugar and lemon zest & juice until a thick cream filling - You might want to add a little more icing sugar if it is too sloppy.
Once the biscuits have fully cooled, they should be easy to snap into two semi-circles.
Pipe a pale green line around the edge of one of the halves and leave to set
Fill in with slightly looser white icing and allow to set again
After about 5 minutes, fill lines in from the centre with the rest of the green icing to look like sliced lime (or lemon, if you use yellow)
Spread a small amount of the filling on top of the non-decorated half and add the iced biscuit on top.

 It was so difficult to choose a featured bake this week but I just about managed. I’ve gone for Firsty from Hijacked by Twins for her Earl Grey Cake. She has even managed to make tea bags looks decorative with her presentation! I’ve never tasted Earl Grey cake (that I can remember anyway) so definitely one on the list to try!

Earl grey cake bake of the week

The good news is that I am ‘almost’ caught up from my hols so will be able to plug Bake of the Week a lot more from now on. Great that we are still playing along and attracting new members – even in the midst of GBBO mayhem! I’m finding myself craving savoury food a bit at the moment due to all the sugar, are you?

bake of the week onine baking group

1. Kiwi Cupcakes – Lancashire Food – I haven’t had Kiwi in yonks, these cakes have made me determined to try them on the kids!
2. Doesn’t this Chocolate Savarin from Baking Queen 74 look so rich and luxurious? One for those winter nights I reckon!
3. A very warm welcome to our newest member, I’d Rather Bake Than – I saw her Sprinkle Dipped Viennese Fingers online this week and just hoped she would join in!
4. My Little Italian Kitchen describes the combination of chocolate & pear as ‘timeless’ – I think I agree. She has produced a divine looking Chocolate & Pear Cake this week
5. Love the idea of these Blackberry & White Chocolate Volcano Cakes – So seasonal from Chocolate Log Blog
6. A true signal that we are in autumn when we see Apple & Blackberry Crumble appearing from Julie’s Family Kitchen. Just yum!

Thanks again for joining in this week everyone – Our new link is now open! The badge is below if you could add to your post and share the love!

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I’m way for a couple of days next week so the linky will be open until the Wednesday night (will tell you more about it on my return! :-)) The roundup will be up on the Thursday and I’ll continue sharing like mad throughout the week.

Feel free to enter as many bakes as you like – Old baking posts are fine as long as they link up to this week’s post. I share all entries on Twitter, Google+, Comment and link to them all in the weekly roundup. I also pin each entry – Feel free to follow the Bake of the Week Pinterest Board here

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I’m linking up to a few other blogs as usual this week – A Mummy Too’s Recipe of the Week, Honest Mum’s Tasty Tuesdays and Supergolden Bakes’ Cook, Blog, ShareAaaand CakeyBoi‘s & The Baking Explorer’s Treat Petite

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No-Cheese Smoked Haddock Omelette – Cage Free Eggs from Sainsburys

no cheese smoked haddock omelette

I first started getting concerned with what eggs I used when I was at the peak of Aardvark Cakes’ wedding season. It wasn’t unusual to use 70+ eggs. I just couldn’t bring myself to use eggs from caged hens although they were significantly cheaper. Slowly more and more customers were asking if I used free-range eggs and it was such a relief to be able to say yes. I searched everywhere for decent priced free-range eggs and found them at my local farm shop.

A few years on and it seems the world has caught up. It more unusual to see eggs from caged hens now but I will admit to not knowing what sort of eggs are used in ready made products that I have bought. Sainsburys are very proud that they are the first major retailer to use cage free eggs as ingredients in all of their own brand products. I really like this declaration – Makes me feel more confident about what I’m buying. Does that mean I’m really grown up? ;-)

Sainsburys have produced a rather cute (and short) video to celebrate all their products containing cage free eggs here.

I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t share a recipe while I’m on the subject of eggs. Miss Millie has been continuing with her Food Tech lessons at High School. We’ve moved on from Hot Drinks and are now onto proper food. Last week it was omelette – A cold, floppy, rather undercooked omelette arrived home at 3PM. I couldn’t possibly say if it went straight in the bin but a couple of days later, I showed Millie the joy of a properly cooked, tasty omelette.


No Cheese Smoked Haddock Omelette

Serves 1
Prep time 3 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 13 minutes
Allergy Egg, Fish
Meal type Breakfast, Lunch, Main Dish, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Hot
Super tasty Smoked Haddock omelette with a cheese free interior


  • 2 Eggs
  • 150ml Milk (+ 2 extra tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons Oil
  • 1 Shallot (Chopped finely)
  • 1 Small Smoked Haddock Fillet
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Parsley


In a jug, whisk together the eggs and the 2 tablespoon of milk. Season with S & P.
In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and sauté the shallot until transparent and soft
Add the Haddock, remaining milk and dried parsley. Put the lid on the pan and cook for approx 3-4 minutes until the haddock is just cooked and flaky. Remove the fish and the majority of the onions from the pan.
In a frying pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and add the egg/milk mixture. Spread the mixture as far around the pan as possible and heat until it just starts to bubble - DO NOT STIR!
Use a spatula to lift the edges of the omelette
Add the haddock/onion mixture to one half of the omelette.
Flip over the other half and turn the heat off immediately.
Eat straightaway - I serve with something green!


Disclosure: I was asked to share a recipe that I make using eggs and given voucher to cover the cost of the ingredients.


Non-Alcoholic Peach/Mango Bellini Cocktail

non alcoholic bellini cocktail recipe

One of my most favourite cocktail experiences ever was visiting The Living Rooms in Liverpool having their Peach Bellinis. Over the years (and it is years since I was in there!) I have messed around with various recipes to recreate the magic. I’m pretty chuffed with my non-alcoholic Bellini for taste, speed and appearance. Definitely one to give the Grandmas on Christmas Day!


* Crushed Ice
* White Grape Schloer
* Lemonade
* Mango or Peach Sorbet

To Make:

* Fill a champagne glass about 1/3 full with crushed ice.
* In a jug, add one scoop of sorbet with about 50ml of Schloer and mix well.
* Pour into the champagne glass and top up to the top with lemonade.
* Decorate with fanned peach and a cocktail cherry and Ta-Dah! You are back in the 80′s!

I’m hosting a competition in association with Shloer to win 1 year’s subscription to OK! Magazine – Click here to enter

Entering into A Mummy Too‘s Recipe of the Week.


Muesli Brandy Snap Baskets – Eat Natural Cereal Review

edible muesli brandy snap baskets bowls

You know I love a challenge, right? Well I do. I’ve challenged myself to come up with an alternative way of presenting and eating cereal – Eat Natural cereal to be precise.

I love the idea of getting my girls to eat more cereals – Not the processed kind covered in chocolate but natural goodness. I’ve always been a fan of cereal with yogurt and fruit as I’m not really a milk drinker and am working on the girls. Millie is up late most nights as she trains so hard with synchro and manages to get herself up and out at the crack of dawn each day – I’m conscious all the time that she must not burn herself out and how important a good snack is to keep her energy maintained.

I’m also very intrigued by the world of edible bowls and know they are just the thing to get my girls trying new foods. This recipe for Muesli Brandy Snap Baskets is a real novelty – It may contain sugar but also contains the goodness of the Eat Natural cereals, we were sent to try. We love the extra flavour that the seeds and nuts bring to the baskets. Mr C is rather addicted to the cereal with yogurt and Millie has been devouring it with tons of bananas.

edible bowls


Muesli Brandy Snap Baskets

Serves 10
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Meal type Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold
You won't believe how delicious these Muesli Brandy Snap Baskets are served with ice cold yogurt - I prefer peach or passion fruit yogurts with a generous sprinkling of more cereal.


  • 55g Butter
  • 140g Caster Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Golden Syrup
  • 45g Plain Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 80g Eat Natural Muesli (I used the Vine Fruit variety and picked out a few of the larger raisins)


Using an electric mixer, whisk together the sugar and the butter until pale and fluffy.
Add the syrup and continue to whisk for a couple of minutes until combined.
Add the flour and the ginger and fold through.
Place the muesli into a dessert bowl. Pick up the mixture (it will be like a loose dough) and place on top of the muesli.
Press the muesli into dough until it has all been picked up and is evenly distributed.
Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes until chilled.
Preheat the oven to 190C and line a baking tray with baking parchment or a reusable baking sheet.
Divide the mixture into 10 balls and place 5 well spread out onto the baking tray. The mixture can burn easily so I only cook 5 at a time.
Slightly press the balls down with a thumb and bake for 14-16 minutes. Keep an eye open towards the end as they catch quickly.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for approx 2 mins only. They will still be hot but will have set enough to handle - Any longer and they will solidify too much.
Mould on top of an upturned ramekin or bowl - I find a wooden bowl best - The mixture tends to slip down a china bowl or cup.
Serve with yogurt, fresh fruit and a sprinkling of more Eat Natural cereal.

cereal edible basket bowls

Disclosure: I was sent some Eat Natural cereal boxes to try. I didn’t have to blog about them but wanted to as we genuinely are enjoying them (we still have some left – It lasts ages by the way!)

Entering into A Mummy Too‘s Recipe of the Week.


Sweet Chilli Oat Biscuits – Bake of the Week

sweet chilli oat biscuit crackers

I’m so pleased with this recipe – Completely made up of course, but pleased nonetheless. I’ve been demolishing Tesco’s Sweet Chilli Oat Biscuits for a while and its been bugging me that I’m paying for such a small packet (There’s only about 10 biscuits/crackers in the box). I’m always up for a culinary challenge so have come up with my own version. Mr C highly recommends these – He liked them on their own but certifies them as ‘gorgeous’ with lashings of Soft Cheese on them.

If you like them really spicy you can add an extra 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper or even sprinkle some on top of the soft cheese – The fresh chilli was enough for us though. These definitely have a kick!

Sweet Chilli Oat Biscuits

Serves 25
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Meal type Appetizer, Lunch, Snack
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party
Oat biscuit crackers with a kick of sweet chilli - Perfect served with Soft Cheese as a snack


  • 150g Porridge Oats
  • 100g Plain Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Caster Sugar
  • 1 Red Chilli (Deseeded and very finely chopped)
  • 1 Clove of Garlic (Finely Chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons Tomato Ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 5 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 125ml Water


  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper


Preheat the oven to 175C and line 2 baking trays with baking parchment
In a blender, add the oats, sugar, salt and flour and pulse until fine crumbs.
Add the chopped chilli, garlic and ginger (and cayenne if you are brave) and pulse again until just combined.
Add the ketchup and the water and oil and blend until it just starts to come together as a dough
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 5mm thickness and cut out using a circle cutter.
Prick each biscuit 3 times with a fork and bake for 15-17 minutes - Turn the tray around half way through baking
Allow to cool and serve with Soft Cheese

sweet chilli oat crackers

What a fantastic week for Bake of the Week last week, great to see so many people enthused by the Great British Bake Off. I had a really hard job picking my featured Bake but I kept coming back to one – Lemon Drizzle Croissants from Patisserie Makes Perfect – Just lovely and I suspect the tang of lemon adds something wonderful to croissants. These are high on my list of bakes to make!

lemon drizzle croissants

As usual we had tons of other wonderful bakes shared with us – There must have been some delicious smelling houses around last week!
I’m starting the the unusual bakes – I love the internet for encouraging us to come up with unusual taste combinations.

Unusual Bakes


1. Cider Punch Drizzle Loaf Cakes – I cannot wait to give these a go. Love baking with beer and cider.

2. Swiss Roll SnowSkin Moon Cakes – I’ve threatened Eileen that I’m going with her next time she goes to Singapore to try some of these.

3. How amazing is this Almond Milk Dessert from Alida at My Little Italian Kitchen?

4. I love the unusual title of Marie’s Cut & Come Again Cake from The English Kitchen.

There were also plenty of chocolate bakes around …

chocolate bakes

5. They may be retro but I’ll always love Black Forest and these BF Cherry Friands are perfect for lunch boxes

6 & 7 We’ve had a twice this week! I don’t think its ever happened before but thanks to the GBBO we have 2 Chocolate Orange Custard Tarts from Emma at The Mini Mes and Me & Jenny at Mummy Mishaps. Great minds think alike eh? ladies?

8. Many Happy Returns to Janice at Farmers Girl – To celebrate she had Chocolate Banana Nut Cake


And some fruit and veg featured this week too ..

fruit vegetable baking

9. We just don’t hear enough about Blondies for my liking – I’m tempted by Corina’s Raspberry Blondies from Searching for Spice

10. Marianne at Mari’s World gor arty with her delicious looking apricot crostada

11. These Banoffee Buns from Kirsty at Hijacked by Twins are very cute!

12. And finally one that is definitely on my ‘To Bake’ list, Hayley from Hay in a Day shared her Chicken, Mushroom & Thyme Tart

Thanks again for everyone who is doing such a brilliant job of sharing Bake of the Week and visiting other entries – I’m loving our ever growing team!

Link now open for next week’s – I’m definitely going to round up next Tuesday so the link will close first thing Tuesday morning. Here’s the badge to include in your post…

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As usual I’ll share your bakes all around the net … tweeting, commenting, pinning and google+ing … and pretty much anywhere else that takes my fancy!

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Soreen Malt Loaf Rocky Road

soreen rocky road

I’ve always been a fan of Soreen Malt Loaf – It was like a big treat when my Mum used to buy it when I was a child. I’ve passed that love onto my girls thankfully – We now have to buy Soreen in 2′s as they don’t last 5 minutes in this house. (Handy Tip: If you have a toddler who is a little ‘bunged up’ Malt Loaf can help speed up their digestion and make them a little more regular – Now aren’t you glad I shared that!?)

I will admit to never having thought about using Malt Loaf when cooking though – It doesn’t seem to last that long. Soreen challenged me to use a Malt Loaf in a recipe though so on with the challenge I went … I’ve gone quite simple with a Rocky Road – You still get the juicy tenderness and sweet taste of the Malt Loaf but also the famous taste of the chocolate and marshmallows. I didn’t expect to love this as much as I did though – Its very addictive – I reckon Soreen Rocky Road will now become a regular thing in our house!

Soreen Malt Loaf Rocky Road

Serves 10+
Prep time 10 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party
Adding a twist to a traditional Rocky Road recipe with the juicy texture and delicious taste of Soreen Malt Loaf


  • 1 Soreen Malt Loaf
  • 8 Digestive Biscuits
  • 150g Melted Milk Chocolate
  • 50g Glace Cherries
  • 50g Mini Marshmallows


This recipe also works brilliantly if you add chopped nuts or coconut.


In a large bowl, crush the digestive biscuits into small crumbs - a few small chunks are fine for texture
Cut the marshmallows into halves and some quarters and do the same with the cherries - Add to the biscuits
Chop the Malt Loaf into 1cm chunks - If you nibble on some you will be fine, there is plenty. Add to the rest of the ingredients in the bowl.
Pour the melted chocolate over the ingredients and press down into a 9" greased square tin. I use a silicone one to make it easier to get out at the end.
Mark out square portions with a kitchen knife before the mixture sets too hard - It will make it so much easier to cut later.
Refrigerate for at least an hour (if you can leave it that long)

Disclosure: I was sent Soreen Malt Loaves for inclusion in this recipe – I had free choice which recipe to make and genuinely loved the taste! For more recipe ideas and other Soreen products visit the website

Sharing with A Mummy Too, Honest Mum & SupergoldenBakes

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Pear & Pecan Cake – Bake of the Week

pear & caramel cake

I’m back! Still fighting my way through the mountain of washing and emails, but at least I’m back in the country. We had terrible internet connection in France this year so it definitely resulted in an enforced break from social media – I’d like to say my internet problems are behind me now but that wouldn’t be true – We are really suffering from poor connectivity via BT who seem less than interested. Just typing this short paragraph has resulted in me turning off and on at the wall.

But less of the moaning, let’s get back to baking. Aaaand relax … feeling better already!

I’m missing this week’s GBBO at the moment (recorded – don’t panic) but I have heard a rumour that pears feature quite heavily. Spooky that, they are here too!
We’ve gone all The Good Life here and have stripped our Pear Tree – we’ve never had such a good crop. I’m stewing away like mad to get them frozen. (Tip: My neighbour told me that stewing pears in lemonade is supposed to be excellent)

inside of a pear cake

This cake is perfect for a pudding at any time of year – Its even more delicious with homemade warm caramel sauce poured over it.

Pear Pecan Cake

Serves 10+
Prep time 1 hour
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 2 hours
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Light and sweet pear cake with crunchy pecans. Perfect served with homemade caramel and a side serving of stewed pears.


  • 6 Pears (Peeled and chopped into 1cm chunks)
  • 250g Caster Sugar
  • 200g Soft Dark Brown Sugar
  • 250g Pecans (Chopped into small chunks)
  • 2 Medium Eggs
  • 400g Self Raising Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 225ml Vegetable oil


In a large pan, add the chopped pears, white and brown sugar and the pecans. Mix thoroughly until all combined and soak for 30 mins.
Heat on a medium heat until just starting to bubble and reduce the heat - Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Bring off the heat and allow to cool for another 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 175C and line a 10" square cake tin
Sift the flour into the pear and nut mixture and add the vanilla.
Whisk the eggs and add while stirring each ingredient in thoroughly.
Add the oil and stir in until well combined - You will think that this is far too much oil but it will eventually mix in.
Add the cake mixture to the tin and bake for 1 hour until a skewer comes out clear.

pear caramel pecan cake

A massive thank you to the team that looked after Bake of the Week while I was away. I’m so grateful – I was really disappointed not to have been able to visit each post and share and comment as usual due to French internet but will catch up as soon as poss.

A quick roundup for last week’s Bake, hosted by Lancashire Food. I’m still stunned that people are joining in on a bank holiday week and the last week of the school hols – Was anyone else on their knees with exhaustion by the time the kids went back to school?

courgette loaf

I love the green speckles of courgette inside Lyndsey’s Courgette Loaf – Like hidden gems of goodness! She really has got this courgette loaf cooked perfectly.

smarties cookies

Hayley from Hay in a Day has tempted me to sit down with a brew and one of her monstrous homemade Smarties Cookies – I’m all in favour of monstrous sizes, none of this teeny weeny business this week!

Pauline from Pauline’s Occasional Bakes has made the cake I’ve had in my mind all day – I love love love ombre cakes and this pastel version is just up my street. I hear what you are saying about the amount of washing up it created though, Pauline! Just fabulous! Your friend is a lucky lady.

pastel rainbow cake

The new linky is now open for entries for Bake of the Week – expect to see it mentioned everywhere you go this week, I’m on a mission! Don’t forget to add the badge to your post and share the word that Bake of the Week is open for business. All entries will be commented on, tweeted, pinned to the Bake of the Week Pinterest Board and shared on Google+ – I’ll choose a featured entry for next week’s Bake of the Week roundup and will link to all entries.

Casa Costello
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Lemon & Lime Swiss Roll – Great British Bake Off 2014!

lemon lime coloured cake swiss roll rainbow

There’s much excitement in the Costello Household tonight – Series 4 of The Great British Bake Off is back! My girls have dictated that we MUST be sat down at 8PM to watch together. Of course, for any important viewing there has to be snacks – I’ve heard a little rumour that tonight is Cake night and Swiss Rolls may feature. So I’ve made my own – Looks horrendous doesn’t it?

I present to you the brightest Swiss Roll you’ll see tonight – Its not as risen as I’d like but that is due to some over zealous stirring when I was adding the colouring. Its based on my previous Swiss Roll which is a recipe I love but I wanted a summery version. We are off on a picnic tomorrow so this will no doubt be joining us.

There’s still time to have a go before series 4 starts at 8PM. Here’s how:

Lemon & Lime Swiss Roll

Serves 10
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 11 minutes
Total time 31 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold
Occasion Barbecue, Birthday Party, Casual Party
A tangy Lemon & Lime Swiss Roll perfect for a summery picnic


  • 125g Caster Sugar (plus 2 Tablespoons of extra sugar for decoration)
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 Zest Lemon (plus half of its juice)
  • 1 Zest Lime (plus half of its juice)
  • 125g Plain Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 5 tablespoons Marmalade (I used Lemon & Lime)
  • 284ml Double Cream (Whipped until thick)


Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a baking tray or Swiss Roll tray with Baking parchment.
Sprinkle the extra caster sugar evenly over the baking tray - the cake will bake on top of this
Using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs and the sugar until thick, pale and fluffy
Add the zest and the juice - slowly folding through
Sift the flour & baking powder and fold in gently
Divide the mixture in half and colour one half yellow (mine is a bit orangey) and the other green.
Pour the mixture into 2 piping bags and snip a small hole at the top - Pipe even stripes lengthways down the tray. Hopefully your mixture won't be as runny as mine.
Bake for 11 minutes and remove from the oven.
As soon as the cake is cool enough to handle, roll up - its ok to do this with the baking paper still attached. It will unroll but this will still make it easier to roll when it is fully cooled.
As soon as fully cooled, spread the marmalade and the cream and roll as tight as possible - Ta-Dah!

coloured cakes
I’m entering this into one of my favourite links – Jenny from Mummy Mishaps is hosting The Great Bloggers Bake Off – Sadly I can’t partake every week but I’m in when I can!

gbbo badge

I’m also linking up to Karen from Lavender & Lovage and her Tea Time Treats linky:

Tea Time Treats