Anzac Biscuits

Anzac biscuits were originally made to send to Army Corps from Australia and New Zealand, serving in Gallipoli. Although ‘Anzac day‘ is traditionally celebrated in Australia and New Zealand, on the 25th of April, I decided to bake these delcious biscuits for Remembrance Sunday, November 11th. I also added some raisons to my batch.

Ingredients

  • 85g porridge oats
  • 85g desiccated coconut
  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 60g raisons or sultanas (optional)

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C.
  2. Measure out the oats, coconut, flour, baking powder and sugar in a bowl.
  3. Melt the butter in a small pan and stir in the golden syrup.
  4. Once the butter and golden syrup has melted, pour this into your bowl of dry ingredients. Add raisons if you are using them. Mix the biscuit dough well.
  5. Take small handfuls of the mixture and make a little patty in your hand, put these on greaseproof paper and bake for about 10 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool and enjoy!

Sticky Toffee Cupcakes

If you love Sticky Toffee Pudding then these cupcakes will be just your thing. They are deeply satisfying and any caramel lover will adore them.

Ingredients

  • 200g pitted dates, chopped
  • 180ml boiling water
  • 80g butter
  • 150g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 180g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1tbsp caramel (Carnation Caramel or Dulce De Leche)

And then for the frosting

  • 160g butter
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 50ml whole milk
  • 100g caramel
  • Mini fudge to decorate

Method

  1. Put the chopped dates in a bowl with the boiling water and leave to soak for 30 minutes
  2. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees and line your muffin tin, this makes around 14 cupcakes
  3. Beat the butter and sugar and then add the eggs one at a time and beat
  4. Add the flour, baking powder and vanilla essence
  5. Pour in the date and water mixture
  6. Beat until smooth and add a tablespoon of caramel
  7. Fill your cake cases and bake for 20 minutes
  8. Allow to cool whilst you make your frosting
  9. Beat your butter and icing sugar, add the milk and then the caramel and beat until smooth and icing like
  10. Spread on to your cakes and decorate with mini fudge pieces
  11. Eat and enjoy comments from your friends/colleagues

Jammie Dodger Cakes

These little cakes are perfect for any upcoming Jubilee plans you may have, they look very  British. Sainsbury’s also have cupcake cases with the Union Jack flag on for some extra Jubilee glitz. Inspired by something I saw on sale on Fortnum and Mason, this recipe was free styled.

Ingredients

  • 200g butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 200 self raising flour
  • Half a teaspon of baking powder
  • Jar of Strawberry or Raspberry Jam
  • Mini Jammie dodgers
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 160g butter for icing
  • Splash of milk

Method

  1. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees
  2. Cream the butter and sugar and then add the eggs one at a time and beat
  3. Add the flour and baking powder and beat well
  4. Add a few teaspoons of jam into the cake mix
  5. Add a splash of milk if the mix seems to stodgy
  6. Now spoon some cake mix into your cake cases
  7. On top of that spoon a teaspoon of jam and then put more cake mix on top
  8. Bake for around 15-20 minutes or until golden brown
  9. One the cakes have cooled, on to the icing! Beat the icing sugar and butter, add some milk if needed, add some strawberry jam to give it a lovely pink colour
  10. Pipe or spread your icing on your cakes and decorate with a jammie dodger!

Hazelnut Praline Cakes

This is another Hummingbird Bakery  inspired recipe, I would recommend the ‘Cake Days’ cookbook again to any keen baker, it has become my baking bible. These bad boys are great for Nutella lovers!

Ingredients

  • 300g plain flour
  • 145g caster sugar
  • 1tbsp baking powder
  • 250ml whole milk
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 large eggs
  • 85g melted butter
  • 150g chocolate hazelnut spread (Nutella)
  • 30g chopped hazelnuts

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees and line a cake bun tin with cases, this recipe makes around 10-12 muffins
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, 115g of the caster sugar and baking powder
  3. In a jug break the 2 eggs, add the whole milk and vanilla essence and beat until mixed
  4. Melt the butter, I used the microwave on a low heat
  5. Add the wet and dry ingredients together (so now in a bowl you have the flour/sugar mix, butter, milk and eggs)
  6. Beat in the hazelnut spread, the mixture should become smooth
  7. Spoon the cake mix into the cases
  8. Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts and caster sugar on top of the cakes
  9. Bake for 25 minutes or until the muffins bounce back when pressed

I have to admit that I ended up smearing more Nutella on these muffins when eating them, yes I am very gluttonous!

Earl Grey Tea Cupcakes

This recipe comes with inspiration from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook and has become a household favourite of ours. Funnily enough these go really well with a cup of earl grey tea!

Ingredients for the sponge

  • 3 earl grey teabags
  • 3tbsp just boiled water
  • 80g butter
  • 240g plain flour
  • 280g caster sugar
  • 1tbsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 200ml whole milk

Ingredients for the earl grey frosting

  • 50ml whole milk
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 160g butter

Method

  1. Pour 3tbsp of just boiled water on top of the three earl grey teabags and leave to brew in a cup
  2. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees
  3. Mix the butter, sugar, flour and baking powder together until it looks like breadcrumbs
  4. Beat the milk and eggs together in a jug and then pour this into the breadcrumb like mixture and beat well
  5. Add the earl grey tea mixture. Keep the earl grey tea bags in the cup and add the whole milk for the frosting
  6. Once the cake batter is smooth, fill your cupcake cases. The recipe makes around 12-16 cupcakes
  7. Bake for around 20 minutes
  8. Once cooled make your icing by beating the butter, icing sugar and the earl grey milk mixture
  9. Ice your cakes and eat them, they are both interesting and delicious

Simple Peach Traybake

For me, Sunday afternoons spell baking. You know I have had a busy weekend if I go into work on a Monday morning without a tin of cakes or cookies I baked over the weekend.

This weekend was no exception, inspired by the sun I tried my hand at a peach traybake.

Ingredients

  • 250g butter
  • 300g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • drop of milk
  • 50g almonds
  • 5tsp raspberry jam
  • Tin of canned peaches in fruit juice (or use fresh if they are in season)
  • Handful of flaked almonds

Method

  1. Grease your traybake tin and preheat the oven to 170 degrees
  2. Cream the butter and sugar
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well
  4. Add the vanilla essence
  5. Add the flour and baking powder
  6. Add the almonds and mix well
  7. Add a little milk if the mixture seems to try and too hard to beat
  8. At the bottom of your traybake tin put some sliced peaches, cut the rest and mix them into your cake mix
  9. Pour the cake mix into the tray on top of all the peaches in the tray
  10. Add a few blobs of raspberry jam in places and top with flaked almonds
  11. Bake for around 1 hour, until golden brown

My colleagues gave fantastic feedback, and we think it would be fantastic as a desert served with warm custard.

Fruity Flapjack

Flapjacks are delicious, a perfect lunchbox filler that accompanied with a cup of tea is sure to help revive you at that 11am slump. These flapjacks are chewier than usual as they contain banana and lots of fruit. My main issue when working on any recipe is that I am awful at weighing out ingredients. I prefer the judging by eye method, so as always, feel free to mix it up a little:

Ingredients

  • 140g butter
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 50g golden syrup
  • 350g porridge oats (I use Quakers)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (if like me you love cinnamon, why not add a little more)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 mashed ripe banana
  • 1 grated apple, no need to peel
  • 30g chopped dates
  • 100g raisons or sultanas
    (We also added 50g of Goji berries as we happened to have them, do feel free to add any dried fruit you like, apricots could be good!)

Method

  1. Grease your tin and preheat the oven to 160 degrees
  2. Slowly melt the butter, sugar and  golden syrup in a saucepan on the hob
  3. In a mixing bowl, add the porridge oats, cinnamon and baking powder
  4. Once the butter/syrup/sugar mix is melted, mix this into to the mixing bowl with the porridge oats
  5. Add your mashed banana and mix
  6. Add your grated apple and mix
  7. Add your fruit and mix well
  8. If your mix looks too dry and your porridge oats are not coated in the syrupy mix then add a little more golden syrup or honey, add more dried fruit if you like
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown, leave to cool and eat!