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Archive for the ‘Biscuits & Buns’ Category


When I first spied this recipe over on englishmum.com, I knew I had to make it. I love finding alternatives to butter in cake baking, and though I had started cooking with rapeseed oil, I hadn’t yet baked with it. This cake also has ground almonds, which I love. They give a great almondy flavour which isn’t overpowering, and I find a cake stays moist for much longer with ground almonds in it. I was so impressed with this recipe that I made it again, this time adding in a few tablespoons of poppy seeds and splitting the mixture between muffin cases. Another top result.  This is a really simple batter to put together – no waiting about for butter to soften – and the most time-consuming part is zesting the lemon, which, let’s be honest, doesn’t take very long at all.

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It began last week. I started thinking about apple turnovers. You know, the puff pastry, icing sugar-dredged, appley confection to be found in any self-respecting bakery in Ireland. You bite in, the pastry flakes everywhere. Someone makes you laugh mid-bite, you exhale rapidly out your nose sending icing sugar and flaky pastry flying onto your lap, into your tea, everywhere. Ah, the humble apple turnover.

I needed one. Now.

I wasn’t near an establishment that sells them (the University needs a bakery), so instead I had some cake. The cake was good (it was tart actually, bakewell. yum indeed), but it wasn’t an apple turnover.

I was craving them by now. So I bought some apples. And I took the frozen sheets of puff pastry out of the freezer – the sheets that I had been saving for some special savoury inspiration. Feck savoury, I wanted sweet, sweet apple!

I made the first batch using raw, cubed apple and a few frozen raspberries. They dripped everywhere in the oven and could have done with a bit more sugar. For the second batch, I stewed the apple and let it cool before using. The result was better, sweeter (I added more sugar to the cooked apple) and just as drippy in the oven.

Moral of today’s baking lesson: if you’re trying this at home, cook the apple first, add more sugar than you’d think, and use less filling than you’d think (or they will explode mid-baking. not a dramatic explosion, but still, you’ll need to clean up).

They tasted great even if they weren’t so photogenic. 😉 Alternatively, save yourself the hassle (and the washing up), take the easy route and just walk into town to buy some.

But then, this blog has never been about taking the easy route. 🙂

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I’ve never made blondies before. To be honest, I’d never really thought much about them.

Aren’t brownies better, anyway?

Turns out that brownies are great and all, but blondies are just a whole different animal. Imagine, if you will, a big, thick, chewy cookie. There’s never enough of the chewy part before you get to the thinner, crispier edges.  Enter: blondies. 🙂

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One of my housemates rescued a little puppy earlier in the year, so along with the kitten we rescued, our house is turning into a zoo! Seeing as kitty cat has been included in the Christmas present buying (we bought the loudest, most potentially annoying toy in the shop, perhaps a bad decision in retrospect), it’s only right and fair to include the doggie to0 🙂

This is a quick and easy recipe for little treats for man’s (and woman’s) best friend. I used a bone-shaped cookie cutter, but a plain cutter/glass will work just fine. They are vegetarian, mainly because I had no idea where to locate bacon fat, and I had peanut butter in the cupboard. 🙂

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For years and years, I really didn’t like mince pies. This is related to my dislike/fear of things like raisins, currants and mixed peel. I still haven’t got past the mixed peel (ugh) but I’m getting there with the rest. So, this is my first time ever making my own mice pies.

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Firstly, I have news! I have a new, under-cabinet, kitchen light. Yay!  I can now actually see what I’m doing in the kitchen!

And my photos are marginally better.  About time really. 😉 Next step: a proper camera. Santa? Hello?

Santa?

No, ok then. So, for now, let’s concentrate at the task at hand: using up some mincemeat!

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Let’s face it, it’s not Autumn without English Mum’s Bakeoff. Woop!

(Rule: Always say ‘Woop!’ after ‘English Mum’s Bakeoff’. Woop!)

Sure, it may be the first Autumn Bakeoff (Woop!), but I can’t imagine another Halloween coming around without the chance to show off my disasterous decorating skills to the public. So, English Mum, keep ’em coming! 😉

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