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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Raspberry doughnut muffins

Makes 6 large muffins or 12 small 


125ml buttermilk 
75ml sunflower oil 
1 egg 
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

200g plain flour 
1 tsp baking powder 
100g sugar 

6 tsp raspberry jam 

100g melted butter 
100g granulated sugar on a flat plate. 

Pre-heat oven 190oc 
Prepare 6  large or 12 small muffin cases in  tin. 

Beat milk, egg, oil and vanilla 
Pour  the wet mix in to flour, baking powder and sugar 
Mix well but don't over beat otherwise you will have tough muffins 

Pour 2/3 of the mix in to each lined muffin tin. 
Add a tsp of raspberry jam in to each muffin then top with remaining muffin batter. 
Bake for 25 minutes at 190 degrees 

 Remove from muffin tin and cool for 10 minutes. 

Dip top of the muffins into melted butter 
Then dip in to the sugar. 

Eat warm enjoy X

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Chocolate Orange Tart

I love making this tart.
its very popular and quite easy to make. That's if you don't find pastry a chore.

You will need a 23 cm or 9,1/2 inch flitted tart tin and some rice or baking beans to blind bake later.


Sweet Pastry:

175g or 6oz plain flour
85g or 3oz real butter
1tbsn caster sugar (you may use icing sugar but its makes the pastry a little harder to work with ).
2 egg yolks
1 Tsp vanilla extract

In a large bowl
Rub the flour and butter together
Until it represents fine bread crumbs
Add sugar
Finally mix in the egg yolks and vanilla with a dinner knife until a ball forms.
If the pastry looks too wet add a little flour if it is too dry add a splash of water.
Wrap in cling film and chill for 20 minutes
Then grease your baking tin
Roll out the pastry as thin as possible
Roll the pastry back on the roller and lay flat over the tin and gently press in to the edges.
Cut off the excess
If it breaks fill in the gaps with left over scraps
Don't worry no one will see the mistakes when it's finished !
Line with baking parchment
Add the baking beans or rice
Blind Bake in 160oc oven for 15-20 minutes

Remove beans and cool

Ingredients for filling:

500ml cream
500g dark chocolate chopped
Zest of 2 oranges


This method and quantity is know as a ganache
Very versatile recipe to know can be used as a cake filling , homemade truffles , when made cooled and set. If melted down again it can be poured over cakes to give a beautiful gloss for a professional finish.

Boil cream
Have chocolate and orange zest in a bowl
Pour on top of the chocolate and orange zest.
Don't stir it for a few seconds as the ganache may become grainy otherwise.
Whisk until combined
Pour the silky chocolate ganache in to the tart shell and chill for 2-3 hours.
Serve with ice cream
Enjoy !


Add some chopped chilli for a exotic bite
Fresh/ frozen raspberries

Experiment with what ever you fancy

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Captain Morgan Rum, Vanilla and Orange Pancakes

Just made these and they are delicious.

Not one for kids

Serve with Vanilla Ice Cream yum yum

Use my pancake recipe as before and add these to the batter and blend

Zest of 1 Orange

2-3 caps of Captain Morgan Rum

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

50 g caster sugar

Thursday, February 7, 2013


They don't need a intro we all love pancakes and everyone embraces them on shrove Tuesday. Lets get flipping !!

A good non-stick pan is a must.

A palette knife or a very flexible and thin fish slice

Makes 10-12


225g plain flour
Salt just a pinch
2 large eggs
600ml full fat milk
Knob of butter melted not too hot.

Flavourless oil. Sunflower or vegetable oil


Blitz all the ingredients or whisk them

Leave to rest for 30 minutes if possible
(We do this to let the batter relax and thicken if you need to add a splash more milk you can do it at this stage then)

Heat the pancake pan to a medium heat

Add a little of flavourless oil

Spoon one ladle of the batter

Swirl the pan so it coats the base of pan thinly

If it sticks at this stage don't panic it happens to everyone

This is a good indication whether you need to thin down the batter with milk or add a little more flour

Start again heat the pancake pan

Add oil

Ladle the batter and swirl it thinly around the pan

Leave to cook for a minute or so

Using the palette knife have a little peep under the pancake if its golden brown your ready to flip

If your confident flip the pan if not use your palette knife to flip the pancake

When brown on that side add to a warmed plate and repeat.

Serving suggestions are endless and everyone has their own favourite.

Lemon and sugar

Chocolate sauce with ice cream

Nutella and banana

Maple syrup and cream or bacon


Also savoury ones are lovely,

Wild Mushroom and tarragon a la creme

Spinach, Parmesan and cherry tomato

Monday, January 21, 2013

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup topped with Toasted Pumpkin seeds

This Soup is a great winter warmer its also low in fat.
Butternut Squash is sweet in flavour which is quite good to eat when dieting as it can help prevent sugar cravings.

I don't peel the squash as it can be a nightmare sometimes instead I roast it cut in to wedges then peel it when its cooked.

Serves 4 


1 Large Butternut Squash cut in to wedges skin left on take out the seed though 

1 teaspoon ground Coriander 

1 tablespoon olive oil 

1 Leek or onion thinly sliced ( I used leek because I didn't have onions so don't be afraid to change recipes if you have similar ingredients)

1/2 Red chilli de-seeded

Thumb sized piece of ginger grated 

Zest 1 Orange 

1+1/2 litres Chicken Stock or Vegetable stock

Salt and Pepper 

Handful of Pumpkin Seeds 

Spoon of yoghurt 


Pre-Heat 180 oC

Toss the squash, coriander, olive oil and pinch of salt together.

Place on a baking tray and cook  for 45 minutes or until soft.

When cooked leave them to cool a little then peel off then skin and chop in to chunks.

While the Squash is cooking slice up the leek and Saute it in a little oil,butter or spray oil until soft.

Add in the chilli, ginger and chopped squash and stock.

Boil up and simmer for a few minutes just to let the flavours marry. 

Blend the soup if its a bit thick add a little more stock,water or milk to thin it out.

The add the zest of orange and taste to check seasoning.

Heat a dry frying pan and add the seeds toss them in the pan until well toasted.

Pour the soup in to warm bowls and top with a blob of yoghurt and seeds.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"Saturday Night Take Away" chicken parcels

This recipe low fat and for the weekend.
 There little bit of chopping for this recipe but if you have a food processor it'll do all the work for you.
Use won ton wrappers if you want and deep fry them.

Warning this recipe contains no MSG  :)

Serves 4


The Parcels;

1large head of Savoy Cabbage

Cut off the core and outer leaves from the cabbage and separate the leaves.
Blanch the leaves in salted boiling water for 1-2 minutes and cool down in either a bowl of cold water and ice or run a cold tap over them to stop them cooking too much and going soggy.
the reason why we blanch them first is that they become pliable for the parcels.

Use won ton wrappers instead of cabbage for the parcels if you want and deep fry them.

The Filling;

50 g fresh ginger or galangal
2 cloves garlic
1 large bunch coriander
1 Small bunch mint
2 chillies
4 scallions or 1 banana shallot \
1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
Juice 3 limes
1 tablespoon fish sauce
400 g chicken, prawns or any white firm fish such as cod,hake,haddock.
tiny pinch salt
(If worried about seasoning fry off a tiny piece of the mix and taste then adjust where necessary remember the fish sauce is salty so be careful with adding salt)


Pulse all the ingredients in a food processor except chicken, when they are nicely chopped add chicken and pulse again until it looks like mince meat rather than a paste.

Have the cabbage leaves stacked up on a plate ready to use one by one.

Place a heaped spoon of the chicken mix on the end of the cabbage leaf and roll it up and tuck under the sides and repeat, if they wont close just take out a little of the filling.

Have a steamer ready, place each parcel next to each other with no space as this will keep them closed while cooking.Pop the lid on and steam them for 8 minutes.
If your not sure if they are cooked take one out and cut it in half if its piping hot they are ready.

(the last time I made these my cabbage was far too small and had the filling left over, so I froze it for the next time ).

 Serve with soy sauce ,chilli sauce etc.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Know Your Flours

If your taking up baking as a new hobby for the new year this little guide to flour may help you along the way.

Plain Flour: Multi purpose mostly used for pastries, scones and cupcakes

Cream Flour: Also Multi purpose but contains a a low level of raising agents which I don't think many people know and use it in baking products that don't require any raising agents such as pastry and when baking blind a pastry tart it'll puff up too much and probably break.The manufacturers made this flour for the home cook to lend a hand in consistency, personally I don't like cream flour and never use it.

Strong Flour: Strong flour is made with harder wheat's to add strength to a bake,
perfect for use in Breads, Choux Pastry, Pizza Dough, Pasta, flat breads and Scones if you want them extra tall and uniform.

Whole Wheat: Whole Wheat flour is the whole wheat ground either fine or course or extra course its a natural flour and contains a lot of fibre.
Uses are, Irish Brown Soda bread, Digestive biscuits, Cheese crackers Whole wheat pasta and Whole wheat pastry.