Sunday, 27 February 2011


They look more like drop taste as crumpets should
you need:
  • 12g/½oz dried yeast
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 500ml/17fl oz lukewarm water
  • 225g/8oz strong bread flour
  • 225g/8oz plain flour
  • ¾ tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp bicarb of soda
  • 140ml/5fl oz warm milk
  • 2 tbsp oil, for frying

    1. For the crumpets, mix the yeast and sugar in a bowl with the water and leave to stand for ten minutes until foaming.
    2. Sift both flours and the cream of tartar into a separate bowl. Add the yeast mixture and beat well for 2-3 minutes. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave for one hour.
    3. Add the salt, mix and leave for another 20 minutes.
    4. In a separate bowl, mix the bicarbonate of soda with the warm milk, then add the mixture to the crumpet batter. Spoon into well-greased 8cm/3in metal chefs' rings placed in a heated frying pan with a little oil. You will probably need to do this in batches, depending on how many rings you have.
    5. Cook for 7-8 minutes, then remove the rings, flip over and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until golden-brown.

Lazy Soda Bread

This is Nigel Slaters recipe....
You need:
  • 225g/8oz self raising or wholemeal flour
  • 225g/8oz plain
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoonbicarb if soda
    350ml/12fl oz buttermilk

    1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 8. Put a large casserole dish and its lid into the oven.
    2. In a large bowl, mix the flours, sea salt, sugar and bicarbonate of soda together with your fingers. Pour in the buttermilk, bringing the mixture together as a soft dough. Working quickly (the bicarbonate of soda will start working immediately), shape the dough into a shallow round loaf about 4cm/1½in thick.
    3. Remove the hot casserole dish from the oven, dust the inside lightly with flour then lower in the dough. Cover with the lid and return to the oven.
    4. The bread should be ready after 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave in place for 5 minutes before turning out and leaving to cool slightly before eating. (Soda bread is best eaten warm.)

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Home made butter

So easy to do
1pint double cream
Salt or herbs if you wish
Put into a fast mixer and mix and mix and mix, it has to go past the whipped cream stage. It will start to turn pale yellow and go watery, like its split, once you see water appear, mix for a short time.
Pour mixture into a sieve and squeeze of all the liquid (whey) and then you have butter.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Plant pot bread...cheese

I made these mini plant pot rolls today and a cob loaf....
Either use a bread mix which i did and added some cheese and herbs and used the bread maker to the dough stage, then split the dough into the plant pots and made the cob with the remainder,let it prove one more time then baked for 25 mins on 200 degrees. Took the rolls out of the pots to cool, when cool put them back in.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

British v US ingredients conversion

US all-purpose flour and UK plain-flour can be substituted for one another without adjustment.
UK cornflour is the same as US cornstarch. 
UK castor/caster sugar is somewhat finer than US granulated sugar.
There is a product in the US called superfine sugar, which is about the same as UK castor/caster sugar.
UK Golden syrup, is the same as US corn syrup.
UK 4oz butter is US "stick" or 1/2 a cup.


Cinder Toffee

  • 100g golden syrup
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 40gr butter
  • 0.5 tsp vinegar
  • 1tsp bicarb soda
  • 2tbsp water

1. Line a 15cm square tin with greaseproof or parchment paper.

2. Put the syrup, sugar, butter and water into a large heavy-bottomed pan set over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, before turning up the heat and bringing to the boil.

3. Cook, without stirring until a teaspoon of the hot toffee mixture becomes a hard ball when dropped into a jug of cold water. If you have a sugar thermometer, it should register 138C. Remove the pan from the heat.

4. Add the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda to the pan - take care as the toffee mixture will bubble up and rise in the pan. Pour immediately into the lined tin and leave on one side.

5. After about 15- 20 minutes, when the mixture has begun to set, score the toffee in square shapes, using a sharp knife. Break along the lines when it has completely set. The toffee will keep in an airtight tin for up to two weeks.

Expresso Chocolate Shortbread

Makes 32 cookies
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon boiling water
8 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose (cake) flour
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (plain, or a toffee variety), finely chopped, or 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)
1. Dissolve the espresso in the boiling water, and set aside to cool to tepid.
2. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and confectioners' sugar together on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth. Beat in the vanilla and espresso, then reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, mixing only until it disappears into the dough. Don't work the dough much once the flour is incorporated. Fold in the chopped chocolate with a sturdy rubber spatula.
3. Using the spatula, transfer the soft sticky dough to a large freezer bag. Put the bag on a flat surface, leaving the top open, and roll the dough into a 9 x 10 1/2 inch rectangle that's 1/4 inch thick. As you roll, turn the bag occasionally and lift the plastic from the dough so it doesn't cause creases. When you get the right size and thickness, seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible, and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, or for up to 2 days.
4. Set oven to 160 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
5. Put the plastic bag on a cutting board and slit it open. Turn the firm dough out onto the board (discard the bag) and, using a ruler as a guide and a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1 1/2-inch squares. Transfer the squares to the baking sheets and carefully prick each one twice with a fork, gently pushing the tines through the cookies until they hit the sheet.
6. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. The shortbreads will be very pale-they shouldn't take on much color. Transfer the cookies to a rack.
7. If you'd like, dust the cookies with confectioners' sugar while they are still hot. Cool the cookies to room temperature before serving.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Red Velvet Cake

I made a red velvet cake today and decorated it for Valentines Day, i used fondant for mine, but the recipe for the frosting is below also
You need

Deep 9" tin or 2 sandwich tins 9"
12oz butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
12oz caster sugar
6 eggs
½ tsp vanilla ess
Pinch salt
10oz plain flour
2oz cocoa powder
50ml red food colouring
1tbsp baking powder

For the cream cheese frosting
400gr icing sugar
150gr butter
 250gr cream cheese

beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, vanilla and salt, and half of the flour to prevent the mixture from curdling. Add the remaining flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and give it a final beat to mix together. Add the food colouring and mix well. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes on 180 degrees, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Wedding cookies

Thought i would wrap them and give them a personal header card

Saturday, 5 February 2011


Made these today....think they turned out ok
Recipe is easy
200gr butter
200grm castor sugar
1 egg
mix together till mix is smooth and pale
fold in 400gr plain flour and some vanilla or any other flavour
When dough like...wrap in cling film and put in fridge for around 2 hrs till hard'ish.
Quickly roll so it doesnt go too soft, cut with cutters.
Bake 180 degrees till golden..around 12/15mins
Then decorate