Category Archives: Baking and Cooking

DIY: Gingerbread Christmas Puddings

Happy Christmas Eve Eve! This season I have been wanting to make these little puds and thought that today was the day to do so. I am not a huge fan of Christmas Puddings – I don’t like dried fruit – but I love the traditional look they have on the Christmas table. When thinking of another desert that could work, I felt gingerbread muffins were just as warm and festive because they use cinnamon and ginger. Cinnamon has such a wonderfully Christmassy scent! And, of course, they are brown and could disguise themselves as puddings.  I hope you all have a lovely Christmas!x

What you’ll need:
250g Self Raising Flour                    1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
½ Tsp Bicarb                                        175ml Milk
½ Tsp Salt                                              Pinch Nutmeg
2 Tsp Ground Ginger                         150g Soft Light Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Syrup                         1 Tablespoon Treacle
85g Unsalted Butter                           1 Egg

For the icing:
Ready to roll royal icing in White, Green and Red                      Scallop Circle Cookie Cutter
Holly and Berries Cutter                              Apricot Jam

Step One:
Preheat your oven to 190°C and line your muffin tin with cases.

Step Two:
In a large bowl, measure out and add in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. Use your hands to combine your dry ingredients.


Step Three:
Put your wet ingredients into a small saucepan and heat until the butter has melted and mixed with the milk and syrups. At this stage I recommend not adding the egg – to avoid a scrambled mess!! Coming from experience, scrambled egg muffins are not nice. ;)

Step Four:
Add your wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in your large bowl. Whisk your egg in a little bowl and then add into your mixture.

Step Five:
Spoon your batter into your muffin cases! I used an ice cream scoop to make sure they are all even. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Step Six:
Allow your muffins to cool completely before starting to ice. Royal icing heats up quickly and becomes extremely hard to use!

Step Seven:
Add a dollop of Apricot Jam into a saucepan and heat up until warm and pliable. Then roll out your white icing until about 2mm thick. Cut out your little circles. On the reverse side, paint on some hot apricot jam to your white circle. This acts as a glue!

Step Eight:
Take the cases off your muffins ready for assembly. Then place on your white sticky icing circle and pat down gently.

 

Step Nine:
Next, roll out and prepare your green icing. Cut out your holly and berry shapes and apply some jam to the reverse side also. Stick onto your white icing! Then just roll some tiny little berries using your red icing. And ta-dah!

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Fireworks Night

Enjoy your bonfire night everybody! I am having some friends over for burgers, homemade rocky road & flapjacks and beers. And a little sparkler or two. Hurrah!

 

 

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Autumn Leaves

October 1st! I love the chill in the air with the last of the summer sun. Autumn for me is: wooly cardigans; fluffy boots; pom pom hats; knitted scarves; hot lentil soups; cosy nights with the Mr; crunchy leaves; squirrels; rabbits; apple trees; pumpkins; cosy quilts; mustard colours & mustard in foods; logs on the fire; coffee; take-away coffees on long walks; porridge; plum coloured everything; umbrellas; berries on trees; boiled eggs; french toast; robins & wrens; jam making; slippers & fresh Pjs; raincoats; birthday celebrations.

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Banana & Chocolate Muffins

Yesterday I woke up and had a notion to bake. I always get little urges to bake but never really get around to it anymore. Baking is a luxury and something I would love to do more regularly. Maybe one day I will be able to bake every Sunday night for the week ahead. But for now, I will see it as a little reward!

We had some bananas that needed using up and making banana loaves/muffins/cakes is like my go-to, staple recipe. It’s my favourite thing to bake because it is simple and quite frankly, can never go wrong. With the added bonus of it being one of the most light and delicious cakes around! Heres the recipe.. Try it! You will love it.

Ingredients: 
3 bananas. Fairtrade, always.
3oz Unsalted Butter
3oz Caster Sugar
1 Egg
8oz Self Raising Flour
1/4 Teaspoon of Bicarb.
2 Tablespoons of Milk
100-110g Milk and Dark Choc mix

What to do:
This recipe is one we have used within the family for years and years. I never quite understood why it was in ounces, but it’s been that way for as long as I can remember and I have never thought to convert it.

Literally, all I do for this recipe is dump all ingredients into the food processor. I find the food processor is the best tool in the kitchen for cooking and for baking. So, add all the ingredients and whiz until smooth and together. Cut your chocolate into little pieces and hand mix through your mixture.

I use an ice-cream scoop to put my mixture into the cake cases – it keeps them the same size so they cook evenly at the same rate. Place in the oven for about an hour at 180 degrees. Aga users – I put it into the baking oven and then the last 10-15 minutes, I brought it up to the roasting oven. To make them more golden and with a little crunch on top.

That’s all there is! It’s so simple and easy to do. And is fabulously tasty with a cold glass of milk. Or, a hot coffee. Y’know.

 

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Veggies in Brown Bags

As a big organic and sustainable produce lover, I am always looking for beautiful delicatessens with a homegrown and local ethos. It’s something I am passionate about and always prefer to support small independents & also environmentally friendly businesses.  A trip to Locavore on Nithsdale Road this weekend has fufilled all my brown packaging and homegrown needs. An excellent shop with organic and eco-friendly goods.. Perfect for the lovers of the earth. Like me and you.

 

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Chives

Summer is my favourite time of year. I love seeing all the beautiful flowers and herbs flourishing in our garden – and especially having a glut of herbs & using them for cut flowers in the house! Chive flowers completely amaze me. They look like pompoms, are such a wonderful lilac colour and can be used for food seasoning and salads! A multi-functional herb, indeed. xx

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A little spot of baking.

I haven’t really had a chance to bake recently due to lots of shop orders and my online store launch. But baking soothes me and is something I enjoy greatly. So my plans this weekend are to bake a little sweet treat – maybe a muffin, maybe a loaf. It doesn’t have to be a complicated recipe.. I love making simple loaves and eating a slice (ha!) with a coffee on a Sunday morning. I think I need to remember to take a bit of time each week to do something that relaxes me, even for an hour or two! x

 

 

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