June 01, 2014

Homemade Granola

weekends are for the luxurious moments such as waking up to a bowl of goodness and deliciousness. Breakfast in bed is a small pleasure that when brought to you by a loved one puts a sleepy smile on your face and starts your day in the best possible way. 

I used a new recipe and put my own twist on it to add variety and excitement. Top with fresh blueberries and milk or greek yoghurt for a wonderful breakfast treat! From Leon's Baking and Puddings book, here's how to:


Porridge with Mixed Berries & Apples

mornings are made for delicious al fresco breakfasts in the beautiful spring sunshine. I tipped a handful of mixed frozen berries into a saucepan with a sliced braeburn apple, a dash of cinnamon and vanilla essence and a sprinkling of light brown sugar. Heat it all gently, mixing from time to time, until it comes together as a compote and then spoon onto hot milky porridge. Top with sliced almonds - the perfect start to your day. 


Carrot and Ginger Traybake

carrot cake is a personal favourite of mine, with a cup of tea in hand and a good friend to catch up with. I got bored of making carrot cake in the round, so went for a simple traybake instead and whipped up a vanilla infused cream cheese icing to lather atop once the cake had cooled. 

Hands were onto it before I could say "Jack-Robinson". It was even distributed at my gym to members (a well-earned treat after a good long workout I say!). 


Salted Caramel Millionaire's Shortbread

une surprise pour une jolie fille, une amie belge qui a 26 ans. I wanted to send something special to my wonderful friend who had moved to Australia for a short period of time and has been deprived of homemade goodies. Sent with a card from London, I was slightly worried border control might decide these were just too good to be allowed into the country. Luckily they made it in the end, but it would not be difficult to find the chocolatey culprit if they hadn't!

My favourite recipe can be found here online. To make the final layer as pretty as possible, pipe white chocolate lines either diagonally or horizontally across your dark chocolate and use a cocktail stick to draw lines in the opposite direction. 

At work, I was told my new office job was to finish my workload in the morning so that I could bake treats as good as these in the afternoon...


Easter Biscuits

milk & honey go hand-in-hand with one another and make for the best type of Easter biscuit there is. Open your spice cupboard and pull out cinnamon, ginger, allspice, mixed spice, cloves, nutmeg...the list goes on. The flavours of Easter with some mixed peel and sultanas makes a chilly afternoon that little bit more warming. 

I used a fluted cutter to give a crinkled edge and left the majority of these with my dear Grandma (who I believe has been saving them for special occasions only). The recipe came from a bit of Easter weekend reading of the Waitrose magazine, great for quick-fix baking inspiration. 


March 16, 2014

Glazed Cinnamon Buns

when i hear the word "cinnamon", I instinctively think of the fresh-out-the-oven buns that you'll find it the very best of bakeries. These were a special request from a household up North, where the anticipation of devouring these sticky buns is building. Hot out the oven on a Sunday morning and spread with cream cheese icing, they're best eaten when they're freshly baked and the inside is gooey. 

This is a traditional recipe for cinnamon buns, but you can mix it up by making chocolate and hazelnut or stuffing the insides with sweet cranberries. Grab your coffee and go!

Here's my favourite recipe:


March 07, 2014

Caramel Cookies

gooey caramel is a substance you can instantly fall in love with. My affair for the stuff stems from the toffee-like centres of banoffee pies and a moment of inner "ahh" as I pull a Twix out my bag when time only ever calls for chocolate. I used Werther's Chewy sweets here, which you can find in most UK supermarkets and paired them with a simple vanilla based crunchy cookie; hard on the outside and chewy on the inside...perfect with a cold cup of milk.



marshmallow is the substance of children's dreams; gooey, chewy puffs of well..pure sugar. Originally from Denmark, these chocolate covered marshmallow treats are a sweet confection famous in many countries. Known as "tea-cakes" in the UK, a "chocolate royal" in Australia and "melocakes" in Belgium, they are no doubt, by far, a sugar lover's favourite.

Recipe to follow this space! 


March 06, 2014

Almond Butter

nutty delights are what keep me going throughout the day and I have to say, I absolutely love my almonds. They are my go-to snack when I feel I need some pepping up and so ultimately, almond butter was a natural creation for me. Plus, it's super healthy and super easy to make - just ensure you have a heavy duty food processor.

Roast 2 cups of almonds at 180C for about 10mins until they are smelling divine. Allow them to cool for a few minutes before placing them in the food processor with a sprinkling of salt and then blending for approximately 15mins (yes, it will take this long - patience is always a virtue) until smooth and creamy. You may need to scrap down the sides a few times. Store in sterilised jars and either enjoy on toast, in puddings or simply on a teaspoon straight from the pot!


Spiced Moose Biscuits

having visited a wonderful friend in Bergen, Norway, I came away with the perfect souvenir that would bring much pleasure to my baking. Something with some character and a nostalgia of the beautiful country I stayed in for four days. If only if had been longer, for their breathtaking scenery and hikes are something I will now miss...

These biscuits were a delight to make and I shall have to make some more again some time! Use a recipe with an array of spices; ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and you will find that at Christmas, these are a treat for the tummy.


January 19, 2014

Hot Chocolate Spoons

brown paper packages, tied up with strings; these are a few of my favourite things. Especially when inside, there's an indulgent surprise of hot chocolate for two! I made these just before Christmas to give to friends and family, but got so caught up in the craziness of the festive season, didn't end up blogging!

Using Peruvian Clove & Cinnamon and a Butterscotch milk chocolate for my two flavours, I went to work melting each separately and filling my mini paper cases with the glossy liquids. Rather than using lollipop sticks, I chose birch spoons and packaged up some pink and white marshmallows to either toast over the fire or pop atop the hot chocolate.

Buy some retro straws and candy canes to finish off a truly delectable treat. Nothing beats a creamy hot chocolate on a cold winter night...


Nutty Granola 

try and beat a good fry up on a Sunday morning and you'll be hard done by. However, put in minimal effort and for the health-conscious out there, you can make a breakfast that is both satisfying and will set you up for the day with a spring in your step. Grab your favourite nuts (pecans, almonds, brazil and hazelnuts work best), some good wholegrain oats, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds and liberally drizzle acacia honey over your mixture, then bake on a low heat in the over for 45 mins or so. Let it cool and crunch up before serving with creamy greek yoghurt or milk.