Showing posts from July, 2012

Cinnamon buns

My friend and her family went to Norway on holiday recently, and she sent me a postcard, in English, with the recipe for cinnamon buns [kannelbullar]. Presume kannel means cinnamon like cannelle in French. I just had to try some. I decided to use my bread maker to make the dough, and then just had to roll it out, fill, roll it up, cut and give it a second rise. It worked out really well, and I'm very happy with the result. You can, of course, make the dough by hand. The recipe said it made 12, but I made one too big so only got 11! Dough: 2 tspns instant yeast [I used 1 sachet and it worked fine] 60g butter 50g sugar 150ml milk which has been scalded and cooled 1 egg 1/2 tspn salt 1 heaped tspn freshly ground cardamom 325g strong white flour Filling: 60g soft butter 60g caster sugar 3 tspns ground cinnamon pearl sugar Beat the egg and divide in half - half for dough and half to glaze buns. Bread machine - put all the ingredients into the bucket and run on

Honey and nut cookies

Now that my son is living at home, we seem to get through an awful lot of biscuits and cakes. I thought I'd start to make my own biscuits/cookies to fill the biscuit tin, so at least I know what's in them. I love most  American cookies as well as lots of great British favourites like digestives, shortbread, bourbon etc. so thought that in the next few weeks I'd bake a mixture. With cookies, once you've found a good basic recipe, you can adapt it in many ways. When we lived in the US, my lovely neighbour gave me lots of her family recipes, including a basic one for cookies. This is it, adapted to UK measures and ingredients. Oven 190C/375F/gas5. Grease a baking sheet or line with parchent paper or a silicone sheet. Basic recipe 225g soft butter 140g caster sugar 1 beaten egg yolk 2 tspn vanilla extract 280g plain flour pinch salt Beat butter and sugar together in a bowl with a wooden spoon, then beat in egg yolk and vanilla essence. Stir in the flour

Peanut butter cup bars

If you like Hershey's peanut butter cups, then these are for you. They aren't the healthiest of options, but as a treat they're very moreish. Great as a packed lunch surprise for no1 son, who's working long hours during the Olympics. - hope it will give him extra energy! . 120g unsalted butter 175g icing sugar 260g smooth peanut butter 12 digestive biscuits made into crumbs 60g unsalted butter 90g chocolate chips or chopped chocolate You don't need an oven to make these. Line a 20cm square cake tin with foil, leaving some hanging over the sides and butter the foil. Melt the 120g butter in a saucepan over a low heat. When melted, take off the heat and add the icing sugar. Stir till smooth. Add the peanut butter and the crumbs and again stir till smooth. Spread this mixture into the cake tin and smooth the top. Melt the 60g of butter in the same saucepan and add the chocolate.Stir till it's nearly melted, then take off the heat and stir till it

Great buys!

Thought I'd post my newest acquisitions from charity shops and a school fete. Have run out of shelf space, but am sure I'll find room for them somewhere. I've wanted this book for ages as it's a classic of its time.  I know it's not the first edition, but it's a fair-sized tome and cost me £2 in a local charity shop, a bargain. Can't wait to try out some of the cakes! It's a good read for wet weather!  This is my second find. I've been rewatching the series after SK, so to find the book for 75p in my local school fete was great. I've already marked several recipes to try. Watch this space! My last find, again in a local charity shop [we have a lot of them in town] and it cost me £1. I recorded the series a while ago, when it was yet again repeated, on the Food Channel, I think. I love their style, especially Clarissa. They both are larger than life, as is some of their food!

Our favourite chocolate cake

Chocolate cake 'fashions' have come and gone over the last 30 odd years. There was the Black Forest gateau, the Sachertorte, truffle torte, lots of poor imitations of the River Cafe's gorgeous Nemesis cake to name but a few. I've tried most of these, but the recipe I come back to when the family want a chocolate cake is this one. I've been making it for a long time, but think it was originally a Delia recipe. I like using oil in cakes, and this one is really moist and keeps well - a joke in this house! It's a good sized cake too, and it can be dressed up for an occasion with ganache or whatever you fancy. Today's version is unadorned except for a filling of Nutella and a smattering of icing sugar on the top. 275g plain flour 3 tbspn cocoa powder 11/2 tspn baking powder 11/2 tspn bicarb. of soda 215g caster sugar 3 tbspn golden syrup 3 eggs [large] 225ml sunflower oil [I use rapeseed] 225ml milk 2x 20cm sandwich tins [about 4cm deep], greased and


I love the French macarons, buut I also like English macaroons. Think they both come from the same root - A macaroon  is a type of light, baked confection, described as either small cakes or meringue-like cookies depending on their consistency. The original macaroon was a "small sweet cake consisting largely of ground almonds"similar to Italian amaretti. [Wikipedia] Had some almonds lurking at the back of the cupboard so this is a great recipe to use them. Haven't bothered with the rice paper you usually find on them. Makes about 28 200g ground almonds 200g caster sugar 1/4 tsp finely ground cardamom 2 egg whites (from large eggs) approx. 25g blanched almonds for the top of the macaroons. Preheat the oven to 200ºC//gas 6 and line a baking sheet with baking parchment or preferably a silicone sheet. Mix together the ground almonds, sugar, ground cardamom and egg whites, and knead with your hands or use the flat beater in a freestanding mixer until you ha