Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Honey and banana cupcakes

A great way to use up over-ripe bananas.

Cream 5oz soft brown sugar with 5oz butter (warning -this mixture is addictive!). Gradually beat in two eggs. Add one mashed banana, 2tbsp runny honey and 1tsp cinnamon. Fold in 9oz self raising flour.

Spoon into baking cases in suitable bun tray. Bake at 180c until done, about 15-20 minutes.

Cool on wire rack.

Heat some honey until runny and brush over cupcakes while still warm.

These taste great when warm and fresh from the oven :-)

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Pumpkin and cumin soup

Here's a soup for when you are feeling Hallow'een-y. I don't particularly like soup but this is lovely.

Fry one or two chopped onions over moderate heat until soft. Add peeled, chopped pumpkin (approx 2 kg before peeling) and three crushed garlic cloves. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes. Add one tbsp soft brown sugar and 1tbsp cumin, mix well.

Add about a litre of vegetable stock and simmer until pumpkin is soft (about 30-40mins).

Remove from heat and blend until smooth.

Scatter with pumpkin seeds before serving.

Eat and enjoy.

PS picture doesn't do it justice - it didn't last long.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Pork and apple casserole

I made this the other night to use up some apples from the garden. The quantities are a bit vague as I made it up as I went along....

Brown some diced pork in a casserole dish. Add a chopped onion (leeks also work well). Add some chopped apples.

Add stock and a splash of apple juice - enough to ensure you have some sauce once cooked. Finish by adding a coupe of teaspoons of grainy mustard.

Bring to the boil then put in oven at 180c for about 40 minutes or until done.

Serve with rice or mashed potatoes.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Afternoon tea cupcakes

If you take a notion for a wee bun with your afternoon tea, these are really quick and easy.

Mix together 4oz (100g) self raising flour, 4oz butter, 4oz caster sugar, 2 eggs and 1tsp baking powder.

Place in prepared cupcake cases and bake at 180c for 15-20 minutes until done.

Cool on a wire rack.

For the icing, combine 6oz butter with 12oz sifted icing sugar, then pipe onto buns.


Friday, 4 October 2013

Irish Wheaten bread - cheating!

I am absolutely rubbish at making wheaten bread so here is my fail safe cheating method. There is no faffing around with yeast or anything either.

1- buy a packet of Neil's traditional wheaten bread mix
2- follow the instructions on the packet!

Hey presto - yummy wheaten bread.

The instructions were mix 330g flour with 280mls milk (real milk or buttermilk). Add 15ml olive oil. Pour into a greased loaf tin. Dust with flour and make a cut along the centre.

Bake at 220C for 30 minutes then turn onto a wire rack to cool.

Eat and enjoy!

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Coffee cake

Inspired by The Great British Bakeoff, I thought it was time I tackled Mary Berry's coffee Victoria sandwich.

It's easy peasy and tastes delicious.

Preheat oven to 180C / 160C fan and grease and line two tins.

Break four eggs into a bowl (I used duck eggs), then beat in 2 tsp instant coffee until dissolved.

Add 8oz softened butter, 8oz caster sugar, 8oz self raising flour and 2 tsp baking powder, then beat until thoroughly blended.

Add to tins then bake for about 25 minutes or until done. Cool on a wire rack.

Now the best bit - the buttercream icing! Blend 2oz softened butter, 6oz sifted icing sugar and 1 heaped tsp instant coffee dissolved in 1tbsp hot water.

Use some of the buttercream to sandwich the cake together then spread the rest on top. Don't forget to lick the bowl!

Eat and enjoy.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Summer fruit pudding

This taken from the July edition of Prima magazine. It is delicious!

Beat an egg and 15g caster sugar together until light and fluffy. Then beat in 40ml milk, 1tsp vanilla extract, 25g plain flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder.

Pour mixture over 400g mixed summer berries (I used strawberries, raspberries and blueberries). Slice strawberries in half.

Bake in preheated oven (200c, 180c fan) for 15 mins until cake cooked and golden.

Dust with icing sugar and enjoy!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Goats cheese filo parcels

These are yum!

Cut a strip of (shop bought) filo pastry and brush it with melted butter. Place another strip across it so you have a cross shape.

Put some slices of goats cheese and caramelised red onion chutney in the centre then wrap your parcels. Use the melted butter to seal the parcels and also brush the outside.

Bake in the oven at 180c for about 10 mins or until pastry golden.


The photos don't do these justice. And they didn't last long.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


It's Pancake day aka Shrove Tuesday so I decided to channel Nigella first thing.

Her home made instant pancake mix is ace! And you can look like a domestic goddess in seconds....

So, taken from Nigella Express -

Pancake mix:
600g flour, 3 tbsps baking powder, 2 tsps bicarbonate of soda and 40g sugar. Place in a container, put the lid on and shake to mix.

To make the pancakes:
Whisk together 150g pancake mix, 1 egg, 250ml milk and a tbsp of melted butter.

Spoon mixture onto hot pan, allow to bubble then flip. Cook until both sides golden brown.

Enjoy with golden syrup. Yum!

Ps they didn't last long enough to here's the pic from the book.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Home made beefburgers

I am relieved that I can honestly say I have never bought a value burger from any supermarket. In fact, I rarely buy any sort of burgers and do my best not to buy any processed food.

So, in light of the current horse meat in burgers scandal, a few thoughts.

1) support your local butcher
2) buy locally reared meat (or at the very least know where it comes from)
3) make you own burgers

Add a finely chopped onion to som minced beef. Season with herbs, e.g. Basil, sage, thyme (whatever you like). Add a beaten egg and mix together with your hands.

Shape into beefburgers and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Cook by either grilling or frying.

Serve with a ciabatta roll, cheese, slice of beef tomato and a dollop of mustard mayo (mix mustard and mayo together).


(Apologies for the photo quality - the first burger got eaten very quickly and this one didn't last long either).

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Mary Berry's carrot cake

I warned you there would be a lot of Mary Berry coming up!

This cake is delicious and moist, and much easier to make than I thought. And I am counting it as one of my 5 a day.

Measure into a large bowl: 225g self-raising flour, 2tsps baking powder, 150g light muscavado sugar, 50g chopped walnuts, 100g grated carrots (mind your fingers!), 2 mashed ripe bananas, 2 large eggs and 150ml sunflower oil.

Beat until smooth and turn into 8 inch deep round cake tin, base lined with baking parchment. Bake at 180C (160C fan) for 50 - 60 minutes.

For the topping, beat 175g full fat soft cheese, 50g softened butter and 100g sifted icing sugar.

Decorate with walnuts.


Saturday, 12 January 2013

Mary Berry's Victoria sandwich

Quite a lot of my posts from now on are likely to start with "Mary Berry's..." - I am currently working my way through her Baking Bible, which was a wee Christmas pressie from my father-in-law.

I have been following Mary's all-in-one method. Up until now I creamed the butter and sugar before folding in the flour. However everything has turned out perfectly!

For the Victoria sandwich, mix together 8oz butter, 8oz sugar, 8oz self raising flour, 2tps baking powder and four eggs.

Divide mixture into two greased and lined eight inch sandwich tins and bake at 180C (160C fan oven) for about 25 minutes.

Traditionally, a Victoria sandwich is sandwiched with strawberry or raspberry jam; however his one was sandwiched with buttercream. (2oz butter and 8oz icing sugar), then dusted with icing sugar.

It didn't last long.