Thursday, 28 October 2010

Gingerbread Skeletons

I may be getting a little carried away with Halloween this year… Just need to make my costume for Saturday night!

My gingerbread recipe is here.  I just painted little bones on them with some thick glacé icing!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Meringue Ghosts

These guys are more ‘Aawwww!’ than ‘Aaaargh’

This is the recipe I used for my little ghosts meringues.  

It gives perfectly crisp and crunchy meringues that hold their shape so is perfect for piping.  

I piped little mounds onto silicone baking sheets and baked them for about an hour, then turned the oven off and left it until cold.  I then painted little faces on them!  

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Chocolate and Ginger Brownies

Apparently, there are two camps when it comes to brownies.  Those who like the sticky fudgy ones and those who are more inclined towards the cakey ones.  I, firmly, sit on the fence.  Best of both worlds. 

These are definitely for ‘Camp Cakey’


125gr salted butter
125gr plain/dark chocolate
125gr light brown sugar
125gr plain flour
1 piece of stem ginger in syrup, finely grated
1tbsp of stem ginger syrup
2 tsp ground ginger (add more or less dependent on taste, I’d happily add 4tsp but I had to share these…)
2 eggs
3tbsp milk


1, Melt the butter and chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water
2, Beat in the sugar and set aside to cool
3, Line a 7 inch square baking tin with baking paper (or foil and grease it) and preheat the oven to 180o/c
4, Stir into the cooled chocolate/butter/sugar, the ginger (grated, syrup and powder), then the eggs, then the flour and finally the milk, beating well after each addition.
5, Pour into the cake tin and bake for 15-20 minutes until just springy to the touch
6, Cut into square and serve hot or cold

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Toffee Apple Cake

I love apples.  Especially these big red ones.  They sum up autumn for me. 

This cake is pure comfort food for me.  Brown sugar, apples, hazelnuts… heaven!


125 gr butter
150gr light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 large apples (about 100gr each whole), cored, peeled and grated
200gr flour (I use half plain flour and half wholemeal)
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp of each of the following: cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
50gr chopped nuts (use your favourite, pecans would be beautiful! I used hazelnuts)


1, Cream together the butter and sugar until pale
2, Beat in the eggs
3, Stir in the apples
4, Sift together the flour, spices and baking powder and mix well into the wet ingredients
5, Stir in the nuts
6, Line a 28cm by 19.5cm rectangular roasting dish with greaseproof paper and pour in the batter
7, Bake in a preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until golden and firm to the touch.  
8, Leave to cool slightly before cutting

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

We Should Cocoa: Chocolate Éclairs with Hazelnut Crème Patisserie

This is my second entry for We Should Cocoa and held by Choclette at Chocolate Log Blog.  The entries for last month’s Raspberry challenge were amazing and can be seen here!

I decided to brush up on my choux pastry skills for Christmas so this is the perfect excuse to give it a go!

Choux Pastry
70gr butter
150ml water
100gr plain flour
2 eggs
1tsp hazelnut liqueur or hazelnut syrup

White Chocolate Crème Patisserie
2 eggs
3tbsp caster sugar
2tbsp cornflour
300ml milk
1tbsp hazelnut liqueur or hazelnut syrup
50gr chopped white chocolate
50gr roasted and chopped hazelnuts

Chocolate Icing
25gr butter
1tbsp hazelnut liqueur or hazelnut syrup
1tbsp cocoa powder
100gr icing sugar
Roasted and chopped hazelnuts to sprinkle

Choux Pastry
1, Bring the water and butter to a light boil in a saucepan and tip the flour in all in one go.  Beat with a wooden spoon until it forms a clean ball.
2, Leave to cool for a couple of minutes before beating in the eggs and liqueur.
3, Preheat the oven to 200o/c and line a baking tray with baking paper.  Spray lightly with water.
4, Fill a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle with the choux pastry and pipe the éclairs onto the prepared baking tray.  Give them a quick sprinkle/spray with more water and bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until they are golden.
5, Remove from the oven, make a split in each éclair to allow the steam to escape and cool on a wire cooling rack.

White Chocolate and Hazelnut Crème Patisserie
1, Beat the eggs, sugar and liqueur/syrup until pale in a bowl and beat in the cornflour
2, Heat the milk until just boiling in a saucepan  and pour onto the egg mixture whisking hard.
3, Pour back into the saucepan and whisk gently until it turns thick and creamy.  Stir in the white chocolate and hazelnut and leave to cool

Chocolate Icing
1, Melt the butter and beat in the rest of the ingredients

1, Split the éclairs in half
2, Pipe the Crème Patisserie into one half of the éclair and top with the other half.
3, Spread the chocolate icing and sprinkle with the hazelnuts

Store in an airtight container in the fridge.  If you can get them into the fridge without them being demolished... My tummy still hurts...

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Brown Sugar Fudge

I’m pretty sure I felt my dentist shudder when I was measuring out the sugar for this…

775gr light soft brown sugar
100gr butter
120ml single cream
150ml milk
2tsp good vanilla extract

1, Place everything in a heavy bottomed large saucepan over a medium heat and stir continuously until the butter has melted. 
2, Bring to a slight boil and stir slowly for 2-3 minutes.
3, Bring up to a rapid boil, stirring occasionally, until it has reached ‘soft-ball stage’ or 116 degrees C (240 Fahrenheit) on a sugar thermometer.
4, Remove from the heat and let it cool for 2-3minutes and then beat it with a wooden spoon until it turns thick and pale and loses its glossy shine. 
5, Pour into silicon moulds (I made 12 of the hearts shown in the picture above) or into a 7x7inch square cake tin.
6, Cover with cling film and cool in the fridge until set.  

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Apple and Cinnamon Bread

I picked this Wessex Mill flour up in a local farm shop, it’s not milled locally but it smells amazing! It’s literally a strong bread flour with cinnamon, dried apple pieces and dried apple powder. 

I was up stupidly early this morning.  I cut off a slice, before resolutely slumping myself in front of my laptop for the frenzy that was about to ensue at 9am.  Glastonbury ticket sale day.  

500gr of apple and cinnamon flour

7gr  dried packet yeast or the fresh equivalent
1tsp salt
1tsp golden caster sugar
2tbsp olive oil (or melted butter)
320ml lukewarm water

1, Mix the dry ingredients together well and stir in the olive oil, quickly add the water and bring together to form a dough
2, Turn onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic
3, Pop the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave somewhere warm for 1-2 hours until the dough has doubled in size.
4, Turn the dough back out onto a floured surface and knock it back with your fist.  Give it another quick knead, only for a couple of minutes.
5, Line or grease a 900gr loaf tin and pop the dough inside.  Cover that with greased cling film and return to a warm place until it has filled the loaf tin nicely.
6, Preheat oven to 220o/c and bake for 20-25mins until golden and when the bottom of the loaf is tapped is should sound hollow. 

(We got our Glastonbury tickets by the way... After three hours... Phew!)