A selection of my latest bakes

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lemon Butter Cake.

This cake is so delicious, that it deserves two pictures. And if you make it, I am sure you will not stop at one slice only. I didn't.

Lemon butter cake has got to be the easiest and quickest cake to make. From heating the oven to tasting was exactly 40 minutes. So ideal to make when you have guests coming and want a quick cake.

You will need....

250g BUTTER.


250g S.R.FLOUR (sifted)

3 EGGS (beaten)



Melt butter in microwave on 50% power.

Stir in sugar, then the flour, add the eggs
and the zest from the lemon. (Keep the juice from lemon for later)
Pour into a shallow tin which you have greased or lined with parchment paper. And bake in oven at 180c for approx 20 - 30 minutes.
Mix juice from lemon with enough caster sugar to form a paste, and spread on cake while still hot from oven.

As I have only two slices left of this delicious cake, I shall be making it again at the weekend. I wonder what it would be like with orange, instead of lemon. Hmmmmm.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gingered Oat Biscuits

This is a recipe from Violet's mum, Violet being the Violet from Violet's Pantry. A members only forum to which I belong. I thought at first that I would not like these, so I decided to add ground ginger. It did add a nice warmth to the biscuit, but you could leave it out if you wish.

4 oz/100g self raising Flour.
4oz/100g porridge Oats.
½ level teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda.
4oz/100g Butter.
4oz/100g granulated sugar.
1 rounded tablespoon Golden Syrup.
1/2 tablespoon of ground Ginger.

Heat the oven to 180 c. Grease a large baking tray with butter or line it with parchment paper. Mix flour, oats, ground ginger and bicarbonate of soda together in a bowl put to one side.
Put butter, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan and heat on a low heat until butter and sugar are melted, stir occasionally, take off heat and stir in the oat mix, beat well with a wooden spoon. Scoop dessertspoons of mixture up and make into ball shapes and place on the prepared baking tray, when the tray is full slightly flatten the balls out with the back of the dessert spoon. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes, when ready remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving onto a wire rack.

I actually doubled this recipe and had two trays of 15 biscuits each in the oven at one time.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fruit and Nut Chocolate Brownies.

A very simple chocolate brownie recipe with the additions of Sultanas and chopped Walnuts.


200 gms. Milk Cooking Chocolate.
125 gms. Butter.
1 cup Brown Sugar.
2 teaspoons Vanilla Essence.
2 Eggs. (lightly beaten)
1 cup Self Raising Flour.
1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts.
1 cup Sultanas.


Preheat oven to 160c.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a large bowl over
simmering water.
Stir in the sugar, vanilla essence and the eggs.
Mix well.
Add the flour, sultanas and walnuts and stir well.
Pour the mixture into a lined 28 x 18 cm slab tin.
Bake for 45-50 minutes.
Leave in the tin to cool.
Dust with icing sugar, if you wish.

These are really delicious when served still slightly warm from the oven and, just before going to bed with a big dollop of cream and a cuppa.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Gateau au Yoaout.

This is a delightfully tasty, moist and very easy cake to make. It comes from the blog of dear Pi, who has now gone to feed the angels. http://pistachioenlacocina.blogspot.com

G√Ęteau Au Yaourt

2 eggs
1 cup of whole milk plain unsweetened yogurt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder (1 envelope)
1 teaspoon vanilla paste/extract
1 tablespoon light rum

Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F), line the bottom of a round ten-inch (25cm) cake pan with parchment paper and grease the sides. In a large mixing-bowl, gently combine the yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla, oil and rum. In another bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the flour mixture into the yogurt mixture, and blend together -- don't overwork the dough. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. Let stand for ten minutes, run a knife around to loosen, and turn out on a rack to cool.

The chances I made..
Used Rice Bran Oil instead of vegetable oil.
Used Greek yogurt instead of plain yogurt.

And I iced the cake with a simple butter icing with lemon essence.
This is a MUST try cake. ( Forget you not Pi)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank you George.

The very talented writer, George, over on http://culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess.wordpress.com has just awarded this to me and a few others too. I asked her if it was for this blog only and she said "No, for both your blogs" How special is that?
Please come and see me at http://salsgardensanctuary.blogspot.com/
It is tradition with these awards, that you pass them on to the blogging community, so here goes.

Arista --- http://aristolafood.blogspot.com
Kerry --- http://kerry-meandmythree.blogspot.com
Coby and the girls --- http://vipantrywedonthaveablogblog.blogspot.com

Come and get it girls, copy and put on your blog, then pass it on please.
These lovely ladies keep me blogging.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A dear friend has been taken

Yesterday, a dear friend called Pistachio was taken from us, far too early.

I first *met* Pi at Nigella.com and then again at a foodie forum I joined where Vi and Pi were admin.

Pistachio passed peacefully with her family around her. Two days after her 61st birthday.

Pistachio (Lorrainne) will be sadly missed by the forum, the blogging world and all those who knew and loved her. My heart goes out to her husband Thomas.

Sleep well Pistachio.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Potato Salad.

Do you ever get fed up with the same old boring potato salad? You know the one, potatoes, mayo, chives and sometimes a hard boiled egg thrown in.
Well, I have found an alternative.

3 large POTATOES (peeled and cut in to chunks)

1 ONION (diced)

150gms BACON (also diced)


Boil the prepared potatoes until cooked, but still firm. While these are cooking, fry the onion until it is clear then toss in the bacon, flipping and turning until the bacon is cooked. 2 or 3 minutes. Drain the potatoes and leave in the saucepan. Add the bacon and onion mix and lightly mix together. Stir in the sour cream. Do all this while it is still warmish, as it is easier. Transfer to a nice serving bowl. Now all the messy stuff is in the saucepan, ready to be washed up.

Enjoy, we did tonight with a green leaf salad and tinned beetroot.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The birthday cake.

As promised on the 30th October, the birthday cake.
Inspiration for this came from Vicky over on http://ahealthyappetite.blogspot.com
Vicky had made a Simple Chocolate Cake that she used from http://www.easylivingmagazine.com/Food/Recipes/ChocolateCake/Default.aspx

I doubled all ingredients and used butter not margarine.

Here is the original recipe.

175g (6oz) margarine or softened butter
175g (6oz) caster sugar
3 large eggs
150g (5oz) self-raising flour, sifted
50g (1¾oz) of cocoa, sifted
1tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

For simple chocolate icing
100g (3½oz) of dark chocolate
100g (3½oz) of chopped butter

1. Heat the oven to 180C (gas mark 4). Lightly grease an 18cm (7in) round cake tin with a little extra butter or margarine and cut a piece of greaseproof paper or non-stick baking parchment to fit the base of the tin. I greased mine with butter and then sprinkled cocoa powder into it to give it a nice chocolaty edge.
2. Put all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or a hand-held mixer for 1 minute, or until just combined. It's important not to beat the batter too much just long enough to make it smooth.
3. Pour or spoon the mixture into the tin, smooth the top and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for about 45-50 minutes. The cake is cooked when it looks well risen and golden; the top should spring back when lightly touched with a fingertip. Another test is to insert a skewer into the centre of the cake - it should come out clean.
4. Let the cake sit in the tin for 5 minutes, then gently run a knife around the edge and turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool.

Because I doubled everything, I used a bigger tin (24cm or 9 inches) and made 10 cupcakes as well. The cupcakes of course, cooked in 20 minutes and the cake took 50 minutes.

For the icing, I wanted something a little bit special, so I sort of made it up as I went.

I bar of Lindt (80% cocoa) milk chocolate.
200gms of softened butter.
3 cups (maybe more) Icing sugar (sifted)
A good slurp or two of Tia Maria.

Melt chocolate over simmering water on stove. Soften butter in microwave, pour chocolate into the butter and add the icing sugar, mix well. This is where you add the Tia Maria too loosen it a little. (If needed) If not, drink the Tia Maria. (HIC)

Spread on to the cooled cake.

I then melted dark Lindt chocolate and dipped the strawberries in, to decorate the cake. (And cupcakes)
Opppps!! I forgot to say. I cut the cake, once cooled and spread strawberry jam to sandwich the two together. (Use a good quality jam with whole strawberries in)
Chocolate and strawberries together, my son's two favorite foods.