It’s Christmas! I love this time of year because for me it means lots of yummy food, seeing friends and family and ending the year on a high. I love to bake at this time of year (or any time of year to be fair) and this weekend was gingerbread time.
After making a huge mess in my kitchen, I wrapped some gingerbread up in cellophane, added a festive ribbon and gave them to my friends and they loved it. It’s a small gesture but tends to put a smile on peoples faces. This way I have an excuse to turn my kitchen into a baking station, whilst blasting ‘Bad and Boujee’ on my stereo.
Sometimes I think we need to pull it all back and just remember that it’s nice to spend time with your nearest and dearest without all the expensive presents. Why not make homemade edible gifts this year? It shows people how much you care and gives a personal touch to your gift.
I followed a recipe from BBC good food for my gingerbread and it worked a treat. Although I used dark soft brown sugar for that extra caramel flavour and added a pinch of nutmeg to the mix for extra spice. I also like to slightly under bake the biscuits so that they still have a soft texture to it.
So rather then spending hours in the shops tackling through the crowds, why not give home baking a go. It’s great fun!
I’m not sure about you but I am definitely feeling the cold! Dark mornings and frosty streets tells me that winter is upon us. I don’t mind the winter, as long as I am wrapped up at home with a blanket and a good book 😉
Something else I like during this cold season is a warm comforting dessert on a Sunday evening. Dessert after Sunday dinner is good for the soul, that’s what I think anyway.
Why not try a really simple dessert of apple crumble? Its something that can be whipped up in no time, or something that is good to get the kids involved with. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really use a recipe for this apple crumble because I only wanted to make enough for 3 people.
So all I did was chop up 3 small apples (with the skin left on) and put them in a pan with a knob of butter, a tablespoon of brown sugar and a pinch of cinnamon and ginger powder. Put the pan on a low heat and stew the apples for a few minutes, not too long though or you will have apple mush. You can add any flavour you want to your fruit, so be creative! I added raisins to mine (doesn’t sound very creative but it tasted lovely). Place the apples in a oven proof dish and place aside.
Then all you need to do is make the crumble mix. You can find lots of recipes online or use equal quantities of flour, sugar and oats, and half the amount of butter. For example, I used 40g of flour, sugar and oats and 20g of butter. Rub all the ingredients together until you have a breadcrumb like consistency and scatter over the fruit mixture. And there you have it! Place the crumble in the oven for about 30 minutes at 180 degrees C.
Serve with either custard or vanilla ice cream. Ooh its yummy! What other combinations do you like?
Hello all! I know I have not posted in a couple of weeks, I have been a busy lady! But I am back now 🙂 Let’s see what’s cooking.
Chocolate and orange is one of my favourite flavour combinations and since we had a bowl full of oranges at home, I couldn’t help myself but to bake a cake. I have never tried to make a marble cake before but I thought it looked like fun. So I gave it a try.
I got the recipe from BBC Good Food and it worked perfectly. Its a simple cake batter that is divided into two, and then flavour one with cocoa powder. All you have to do is add a spoonful of each mixture into the tin, one after the other and then run a knife through the mixture to add the marble effect. Now I admit, my marbling skills need some work as I was too afraid to over mix it and lose the effect. But at least I tried! Next time I know that I can be a bit more adventurous when mixing. Ooh.
It took forever to bake but it was worth it in the end. A really soft and airy sponge with a lovely hint of orange coming through. I drizzled some good quality dark chocolate over the top and this finished it off perfectly. This one is going in the recipe book.
Have you got any ideas of what I can make next? All ideas welcome!
So you see the word ‘healthy’ before something that is supposed to be a treat, and you automatically think it is going to be horrible right? Wrong! I’ve never tried one of those recipes that replaces every normal ingredient for something exotic and hard to find because I simply can’t be bothered to look for these ingredients. Plus the staff in the supermarkets might think I’m weird if I start asking for agave nectar and egg substitutes.
But I found this recipe for carrot muffins on cookieandkate.com and they are absolutely delicious. Kate uses coconut oil in this recipe instead of butter and sweetens it with maple syrup and the natural sweetness from the carrots and the raisins. It even has yogurt in there!
What I loved about this recipe is that it used ingredients that you are bound to find in most homes. I didn’t have to go searching the aisles for any unusual ingredients and could whip them up really quickly.
It’s also great to give to children (or hungry husbands) and you don’t have to feel too guilty about it. Now I am all for a treat now and again, but I seem to crave it too often so this is a great alternative. Plus they taste really good!
Click on the link above to see the recipe and give them a try. You won’t be disappointed!
Baba Ganoush! Have you ever tried it? I think I just made it because I like to say it…Baba Ganoooooush. Go on say it with me, I can hear you trying to pronounce it.
Baba Ganoush is a mezze or dip that is made from roasted aubergines and it widely eaten in Lebanese cuisines. Now I know what you are thinking, it is not the most attractive looking dish, but what it lacks in appearance it makes up in flavour.
It is very easily made and you can whip it up in no time. Just roast an aubergine in the oven until dark and soft (don’t forget to prick the aubergine with a fork before roasting, otherwise it will explode and you will end up wearing it) and leave to cool afterwards. Then scoop out the flesh and roughly chop it up. After this, simply add 1 tsp tahini (sesame seed paste), 1 fresh garlic clove (minced), lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper and extra virgin olive oil. You can spice it up a bit with some cumin seeds if you want that extra flavour and it’s done!
It’s a great dip that can be eaten with flatbread, pitta bread, or veggies. Yes it is slightly unusual and people might frown at it, but my husband is known for loathing aubergines, and he happily lapped this up. I think the freshly baked bread helped though.
I made a flatbread called ‘Maneesh’ from Paul Hollywood’s recipes (click here for the recipe) and it is so delicious. Easy to make and soft and airy.
So next time you have some people over, why not give it a try? Thanks for reading!
I know I know, its January and we are all supposed to be super healthy, but life is too short. And what am I supposed to do when I have extra double cream in the fridge? I can’t let it go to waste. That would be wrong.
There is something very satisfying about a Victoria sponge. Two layers of light and fluffy sponge baked freshly at home, brought together with a layer of jam and cream. Mmm. I used Mary Berry’s recipe for this cake and it works like a dream.
Although after baking this cake a few times, I have picked up a few tricks that have really helped me bake a beautiful light airy sponge. First of all I made sure that all my ingredients are at room temperature, so that my butter is nice and soft and easy to cream and my eggs are not too cold.
I use an electric hand mixer to whip up as much air into my butter and sugar because let’s be honest, my arms are just not cut out for the job. It really does make a difference and saves you a lot of time.
Lastly, I put both cake tins on the same shelf in the oven (luckily they fit) because then it ensures an even bake. And I was very careful to not over bake it. I hate a dry sponge don’t you?
Sandwich the two cakes with a layer of jam and whipped cream, of course the cream is optional, but when given the option why would you say no? And I know what you are thinking, why did I have double cream in my fridge in the first place? Well that’s another story.
Merry Christmas everyone! It’s the best time of the year, a time when you can bake as much as you want and not feel guilty about it. So this year I decided to make gingerbread and oh my gosh they are so delicious and dangerously easy to keep eating.
Now please don’t laugh at my attempt at decorating. I am fully aware that one of my gingerbread men looks like he has had a bit too much sherry. I have no skills in decorating because whatever I make doesn’t seem to last long enough in my house.
I got this recipe from BBC Good Food and it is definitely one that I will keep. The gingerbread is not too sweet and has the right amount of spice. It is also slightly soft and chewy on the inside (if you don’t over bake it) and crisp on the outside, which I love.
They are great fun to make, especially if you have kids. I am a big kid myself so I was quite content making them for myself. So why not give them a go this Christmas?
Get cosy with a nice hot chocolate topped with marshmallows, perfect for dipping your gingerbread man in. All you need now is a classic Christmas movie, some warm socks and someone else to do the dishes. After all, this is the time to relax and treat yourself. But don’t eat too many!
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! Thanks for reading and have a lovely holiday!