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Showing posts from January, 2013

Brooklyn Blackout Cake

  I suppose in a bit of a perverse anti-New Year kick, and to satiate Josh and Ben's seemingly endless requests (and appetite) for something that they are pleased to tuck into, I've been looking for more chocolate recipes. Yet, while Josh and Ben can gallop through goodies with the pace only teenage boys can, I am increasingly conscious of the fact that Mike and I need to shape up a bit. We are in our mid-forties with a soon-to-be 18 month old toddler, and the thought of running around after Sam for the next few years, in the state of fitness I have now, is not appealing.     The exercise bit I have yet to figure out, as I'm so busy it really is hard to find time when I'm not so tired (yes, I've just read that back and it sounds a lot like an excuse to me, too). But as far as diet goes, we are trying to eat healthier and with moderation for any treats as an approach. So I was looking for something that would satisfy the boys, yet could provide Mike and

Lime Tart and Continental Drift

  One of my all time favourite desserts is Lemon Tart (or Tarte au Citron when I'm feeling posh). So when I was looking for a suitable Nigel Slater recipe for Dish of the Month, and I found Lime Tart amid the January recipes in Kitchen Diaries I, I knew I had found my bake.     Dish of the Month is a new blogging challenge organised by Janice at Farmers Girl Kitchen and Sue at Heaven on a Plate . The aim is to prepare a Nigel Slater recipe every month and share your post via a linky. It's inspired by a love of Nigel's writing and recipes in the Kitchen Diaries II , but you don't need to confine yourself to that particular book. I must admit that while Kitchen Diaries I and II is fairly regular bed time reading for me, I haven't tried many of the recipes. But ever since buying Appetite when it was published, I love how Nigel writes, and when he writes about, for example, the perfect knife, melded into his hand with just the right weight, I get it. It&

Devil's Food Cupcakes

  It's been a while since I blogged - or I suppose made - anything that was specifically designed to appeal to my boys. I felt I was starting to neglect them, so I decided to rectify that. Chocolate is usually a sure fire hit in that regard.     These little cakes certainly fulfilled that part of the brief, as the sponge is dark and intense, and richly chocolatey. The frosting is a US-style 7 minute frosting and is very similar to the marshmallow filling in the teacakes I blogged recently. So, it is very, very sweet.    While I seem to have developed an incredibly sweet tooth since falling pregnant with Sam, I must admit, I found it a little much, and given that I had piped big swirls of frosting, ended up scooping about half back off in order to eat a cupcake.        Devil's Food Cupcakes   Ingredients (makes 12)   125g plain flour 30g cocoa powder 1/2 tspn bicarbonate of soda 1/8 tspn salt 90g softened unsalted butter 125g golden

Orange Buttermilk Cake

For a brief time yesterday, we had sun. It seemed weird when the weather forecasters had predicted snow for large parts of the country.   While it was cold, the morning gave that hint of the promise of spring. Our cats basked in the sun in the garden. We even had a visit from a grey squirrel, who turned 180 pretty quickly after seeing the feline population suddenly become much more alert than they had been a few seconds before. .    After the indulgence of the festive season, it seemed a good time to try something lighter. At least in taste, if not calories.   Citrus is always a good bet for that in my book. The zingyness of lemon, the tartness of lime, or the more gentle hue of orange. They're all refreshing and have a way of perking up your palate in the same way a glint of sunshine can lift your mood.          This is a easy, lazy cake, with the all-in-one method as its base. The glaze is simply icing sugar mixed with a little OJ and water, th

Little Apple Pies

We took the Christmas decorations down today. As usual, the house feels bare, and a little bleak. It is strange to think that the next time they will go back up, Sam will be over 2 and will probably have an inkling into what is going on, and will have his first, excited, Christmas. Santa will probably visit, after having taken a break over the last few years. We'll need to leave a little something out for him, of course. Poor Santa - I happen to have it on very good authority - can get a little bit fed up of mince pie after mince pie at every house, which is what we have left out for him before. So when he visits in 2013, he may have a bit of a change.  This recipe is actually the last of my festive baking, and was supposed to be an entry for 'Forever Nigella' , the blogging challenge organised by Sarah of Maison Cupcake , and for which December's theme was Christmas (and was hosted by Laura Loves Cakes ). But Christmas turned out to be a bit of a mad rush, an

Coconut Marshmallow Teacakes

I've discovered something. There's a reason these little cakes / biscuits / whatevs were chosen as one of the technical challenges on last year's series three of Great British Bake Off. While they are delicious, and probably make up at least one childhood memory of most adults in Britain (Tunnocks Teacakes anyone?), they are one of the most fiddly things I have ever made in my life. What with tempering chocolate, making the biscuits, and then faffing with marshmallow. And doing them against the clock? I should have known from watching the programme. Especially with poor Kathryn's encounter with chocolate that failed to harden. But, and this might seem a tad egotistical, watching Paul Hollywood's later teacake 'Masterclass' (you can find the recipe on line here ), as he made it all seem so simple, I started to think 'what's so hard about that ?'.  Little did I know ... So, here you go. My attempt at Teacakes. But , these are tea