Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category

Pumpkin scones

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

Pumpkin Scones 

250g self raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
25g caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp mixed spice
pinch salt
60g chilled unsalted butter
2 eggs
100g baked pumpkin (split pumpkin in half then bake in hot oven for 1 hour, remove seeds & skin)
milk for glaze
cinnamon sugar to decorate

Preheat oven to 170c.  Line a baking tray with baking paper and sprinkle on a little flour.

Blitz flour, baking powder, sugar, spices, salt and butter in food processor for 30 seconds until fine.  (or gently cut up butter into everything else, then blend with fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs). 

Blend the eggs and pumpkin together, then carefully stir into the dry ingredients with a knife until it comes together as a dough.

Flour a surface, divide the dough and pat into two circles of about 2cm thick.  Place the dough circles on the baking tray and cut both into 6 triangles, pulling each segment away a little.  

Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with a little cinnamon sugar.  Bake for 15-20 mins until light brown on top.

Cheese & Seedy Breadsticks (adapted from Dan Lepard’s recipe)

Saturday, October 6th, 2012


1/2 cup sunflower and pumpkin seeds
50g unsalted butter, cubed
100ml warm milk
1 tsp fast-action yeast
200g plain flour
25g grated parmesan
50g grated cheddar
3/4 tsp salt

Toast seeds.  Add butter and milk to a bowl, then add the seeds.  The heat should make the butter melt.

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix to a soft dough.

Cover and leave to prove for an hour in a warm place.

Heat the oven to 170c.

Roll out the dough to 1.5cm thick and cut into 1cm strips.  Roll into rods and place on non-stick paper lined trays.

Bake for 30 mins until crisp and brown.

(varient is to use pancetta which has been dry fried until crisp, then drained instead of the seeds – you’ll need to heat the milk in order to melt the butter though)

Mini pikelets as Blini

Thursday, December 30th, 2010


Fed up with hunting down blini for the New Year’s Eve canapé, and then finding them a bit tough and dry?  Make your very own with this lovely recipe, which I’ve adapted from Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall’s.

500g plain white flour
350ml warm milk
350ml warm water (approximately)
5g powdered dried yeast
5g salt
1 tsp baking powder
A little sunflower or vegetable oil

Whisk together the flour, milk, water and yeast in a bowl and leave in a warm place to get bubbly for an hour (or more).

Heat a heavy frying pan or skillet and grease lightly with a piece of kitchen towel dipped in oil.  Make sure the heat is medium.  Whisk the salt and baking powder into the batter.  The batter should be the consistency of thick cream.

Drop a small spoonful of batter into the pan (the size you’d like the blini or pikelets to be).  When you see bubbles on the surface, flip it over and cook for a couple of minutes on the other side – you can take a peek and see if it is brown.  Remove to a warm plate.

Now drop in several spoonfuls and repeat until all the batter is finished.  You can re-grease the pan as necessary.

These are delicious with a spoonful of sour cream, a dollop of caviar and some chopped chives.  Alternatively they make a superb breakfast loaded with butter and jam, marmite, nutella or golden syrup.  Reheat them gently under the grill or in a toaster (for the bigger ones).

You can keep them for a couple of days in a plastic bag in the bread bin, but ours never last that long!

Tray Bake Snake Cake

Monday, February 1st, 2010

This is a very easy cake I made recently for a child’s birthday party and am posting the recipe as several of you have requested it!  There are no organic veg in here though…

We made a tray of brownies and a tray of flapjack, let them cool, and cut them into small squares.  We then laid the squares out alternately in a snake shape on a low table, and decorated the snake with smarties and candles.

As soon as the last candle had been blown out… the hordes descended and within 20 minutes all that was left were a few crumbs.  Highly popular with parents and babies alike and not a smudge of icing in sight.


200g butter
100g cocoa powder (the posher the better)
4 eggs
400g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
100g wholemeal SR flour
100g choc chips (or cranberries; raisins; dried apricots; dried cherries…)

Preheat oven to 180c.  Line a shallow baking tin with baking paper.

Melt the butter in a pan, then stir in cocoa powder well to remove any lumps.  Beat the eggs in a bowl, then beat in the sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Add cocoa/butter mixture and stir.

Slowly add flour and choc chips until all well combined.  Pour into tray and bake for 20-25mins.  The less time you bake them for, the softer and gooier they will be.  For making this cake, you may need a couple more minutes as they need to be firm enough for little hands to grab. 

NB For more depth of flavour I sometimes substitute 20g of the cocoa for green & blacks drinking chocolate.


150g butter
150g muscovado sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
450g oats
75g mixed fruit (or raisins etc as above or just add more oats for plain)

Preheat oven to 160c.

Grease a shallow tin.  Melt the butter in a pan, then stir in the sugar, syrup, oats and fruit.

Press mixture into tin until flat using a spoon and bake for 30mins.  Leave to cool before cutting and removing.  Again the timing on this one depends on how crunchy/chewy you like your flapjacks to be.  I’ve given a slightly firmer timing to make them work for the cake.