Showing posts from April, 2012

Pear and walnut muffins

  I still had a couple of pears left in the fruit bowl after making the pear cake, so decided to make some muffins. I played around with my basic muffins recipe and came up with this one - pears and walnuts are 2 of my favourite things. I usually make muffins in paper cases, but I've noticed that a lot of crumb gets stuck to these, so this time I decided to make them directly in the muffin tin. Although the tin is non-stick, I greased the holes and dredged over a little flour just to make doubly sure the muffins would pop out easily, which they did. 180ml milk 2 tbsp vegetable oil 1 large egg 225g wholewheat flour or white plain flour if you prefer 2 tsp baking powder ½ tsp salt ½ tsp ground cinnamon 150g demerara sugar 1 large firm but ripe pear 50g coarsely chopped walnuts 1-2 tbsp demerara sugar for sprinkling Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas mark 6, and lightly grease and flour a 12 hole muffin tin. Put the milk, oil and egg in a small mixing bowl and

Apple sour cream cake

We love apple cakes, and as there were a few wrinkly apples to use up, I found this recipe in my binder; it's one I've not tried before. Anything with cinnamon is a winner with me, and if it's easy to make, it's a double winner! The other good thing about this cake is that it freezes well [or so the recipe says]. 2 large apples, peeled and cored [ I used 3 Royal Gala] 125g butter or margarine, softened 125g caster sugar 2 eggs 1 tspn vanilla extract 200g plain flour 11/2 tspn baking powder 1 tspn cinnamon 100g sour cream or creme fraiche - I used creme fraiche 1 tbspn apricot jam Preheat oven 180C/gas4 Grease and line a 23cm tin. Beat the butter and sugar together till white and fluffy, then beat in the eggs. Add the baking powder and cinnamon to the flour and fold into the mixture, then add the vanilla and sour cream or creme fraiche. Mix together gently till smooth. Chop 1 of the apples into chunks and add to the mixture. Slice the other one. Spoon

Bara Brith

The Welsh name means speckled or mottled bread.  My Gran used to used make it regularly, and we loved it spread with butter. There are many versions of this recipe, some use yeast and others use baking powder. This is my Gran's recipe which I've tweaked a bit, and it's very easy to make. 450g/1lb dried mixed fruit 250g/9oz brown sugar 300ml/½ pint warm black tea [I used a Breakfast tea] 2 tsp mixed spice 450g/1lb self-raising flour 1 egg beaten.  In a large bowl soak the fruit and sugar in strained tea and leave overnight. Next day preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 3. Line a 900g/2lb loaf tin with baking parchment. Mix the remaining ingredients into the fruit mixture and beat well. The mixture will be soft and runny. Pour into the loaf tin and bake for 1½ hours or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Serve sliced and buttered.

Easter baking

I've been doing some Easter baking with my grandson and thought I'd post the things we've made. First were some chocolate nest cakes, you know the ones - cornflakes in melted chocolate. Quick, easy and fun. I'd made some chocolate butter icing for another cake, so I piped a bit under the eggs so they wouldn't fall off! We also made some rabbit biscuits.  Tom's favourite is the 3rd one from the left in the top row - he pulled the ear straight before we baked them! We used some silver balls for their eyes and some bits of glace cherries for their noses and mouths. We made 12 biscuits, and after Grandad and I had eaten one each, the rest went home for his brothers and parents. They were greatly appreciated, as were the chocolate nest cakes. Here's the recipe, which is from an Easter magazine supplement in 1985! 225g plain flour 175g butter or margarine 115g caster sugar 55g currants 1 medium egg yolk Preheat oven 180C/gas 4 Grease a bak

Apricot Kolaches

I've been watching the Hairy Bikers "Bakeation' and have enjoyed seeing the interesting breads and pastries which are made in Europe. I decided that I wanted to try one out, and found this recipe for 'Kolaches' in a cookery book about world cooking. They're Czech pastries and are often eaten at festivals such as Easter, so it's an appropriate time to make them. In the book there's a choice of 2 fillings for the buns - apricot or cheese. I decided on apricot, as I'd just bought some last weekend. The recipe uses a breadmaker, but they could, of course, be made by hand. I used my breadmaker the other day to make the dough for Hot Cross Buns, and this recipe has some of the same ingredients. It makes 16 pastries. 1 egg 120ml milk 60g butter 60g sugar 1/2 tspn salt 250g strong white flour packet quick yeast icing sugar to dust Beat the egg and milk together and pour into the breadmaker pan. Add the sugar, butter and salt and then the flou