Victoria Sandwich

I have a new oven… That cooks things…..in the time it’s supposed to! So to celebrate and test out said new oven I thought I’d christen it with a classic Victoria sponge sandwich. I can report it had a nice even bake and no noticeable hot spots. For the last few weeks I have been redecorating and sprucing up my tiny kitchen so will have to wait a while before I put the oven to more testing. In more exciting news, I’m thrilled to have been shortlisted in this years Pink Lady Food Photography Awards. Now I have a tense wait to find out if I make it to the final again. Fingers crossed!

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Bounty Bar Cake

Last weekend I was feeling a need for dense chocolate cake and an even greater need not to have to get dressed and buy ingredients or spend ages baking so I remembered this super easy Bounty Bar Cake from the River Cottage Handbook No 8 – Cakes by Pam Corbin. Aside from having the patience and fore thought for soaking the coconut for a few hours, it’s almost an all in one recipe and it hit the spot with a hot mug of tea.

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Hot Honey, Lemon & Ginger Drink

Happy new year! Hope 2016 has been kind to everyone so far. Last week my friend Michael asked on Facebook what he should do with  lemon and ginger to help his man flu so thought this hot honey, lemon and ginger recipe might be useful for others too during the winter months. I store the infusion in a jar in the fridge for up to a week. 

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Rosemary Gimlet

I had plans to reshoot this as a winter cocktail but wanted to wish everyone a happy new year so at the 11th hour I bring you a rosemary gimlet. I saw this recipe on the wonderful David Lebovitz’s blog a month or so ago and knew I had to give it a go. Rushing ahead of the Christmas period my rosemary died unused, so I hastily repurchased and shot it yesterday.

I’m hoping to get back on track with things in the new year as 2 surgeries and a possible broken arm that was not cast has hindered my photography terribly. Wishing you health and happiness in 2016!

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Cornish Sea Salted Caramels

I can’t remember where I found this Donal Skehan recipe for sea salted caramels but glad I took a screen shot of it on my phone as I can’t find it online now. Donal being Irish, the original recipe calls for Irish sea salt but I love the Cornish sea salt so I used that instead. These caramels are soft and chewy so don’t need a warning for those with fillings and make an ideal christmas gifts. The salt balances the sweetness of the caramels and makes them pretty easy to eat.

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Sugar & Spice Candied Nuts

I saw this Sugar & Spice Candied Nuts recipe on the Smitten Kitchen site last Christmas but I had already made all my gifts/run out of time so I made sure to fit these in this year. They are very quick and easy to make but are very difficult not to keep snacking on. I made up jars for friends and kept the left overs for myself for Christmas time but unfortunately polished them off today on the first day of my 2 week holiday. Oops!

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Salted Butterscotch Popcorn Cheesecake

This salted butterscotch popcorn cheesecake from Rosie Birkett’s book A Lot On Her Plate must be the showstopper dessert of 2015. I have long wanted to try the recipe and last week whilst recovering from surgery finally gave it a whirl in a pre Christmas trial run. I will definitely be making this for the Christmas night buffet as its a very simple no bake cheesecake but it looks and tastes amazing.

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Tuna Cat Treats

I’m still alive! Sorry I’ve been so rubbish on the blogging front, I’ve been quite stressed recently with work and that and the never ending list of jobs to do on the house seems to have stolen my mojo and got me quite down. I also had a few baking disasters that didn’t turn out quite as planned so haven’t made it here yet (curses gas oven).

I’m trying to get into the Christmas swing and planning my edible gifts. Strictly these aren’t Christmas cat treats and to be honest I made them to try and bribe the two cats I rescued last month into being more friendly but I’m sure a jar under the tree wouldn’t go a miss with the felines in your life! The recipe comes from the marvellous Joy the Baker.

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Walnut & Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping

So I’m back and mostly unpacked. I could say this amazing cake from Roger Saul’s Spelt cookbook is a seasonal cake arrived just in time for the walnut harvest but sadly I wasn’t that thoughtful. I made and shot this cake a month ago to christen my new kitchen and test out the inherited gas oven. I’m not sure whats worse, a painfully slow gas oven that takes twice as long to cook everything or the left handed sink that forces me to wash up like I’m wearing a straightjacket or so it seems. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to get this post together but thankfully most of the work was done last week as my newly broken arm is going to hamper the return to cooking, baking and blogging, as well as the last of the unpacking, furniture shabby chic-ing and other DIY projects that are joining a growing list.

Those keen eyed amongst you will realise there are only walnuts atop this cake, my newly restocked cupboards didn’t stretch to oats at the time of baking so I had to improvise. I have been assured the streusel topping is worth the effort so will be trying that next time.

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Peach Melba Squares

Yesterday’s persistant rain was the perfect climate for some lazy baking in the form of these peach melba squares from BBC Good Food’s website. I’ll admit the main motivation was to have something cakey to enjoy with a big mug of tea but I had lots of peaches and raspberries that needed using up and this recipe wouldn’t pair badly with custard either on a grey wet summers evening. The house purchase is looking like it will complete immenently so its unlikely normal service will be resumed for a little while yet as I have the joy of unpacking all my stuff that went into storage in March. A new house with new light is calling.

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