New addition

I am so excited to announce a brand new addition to our family! Her name is Gracie- 13 weeks old.  She moved in with us on April 6th and we love her to bits!

Gracie

Gracie

Gracie is a Bichon Frise and is great for our family as Yanis and myself suffer from asthma.

Gracie loves to play and explore especially in our back garden.

Bicho Frise Puppy

There will be many puppy pictures over the next few months… years  🙂

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Isn’t she adorable?

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It’s Christmas

Hello, I am back! I have had my craziest, busiest year yet. Since my last post, close to a year ago (how time flies!), I have opened a Retail Shop. This, and the online shop have taken up a lot of my time and have not had much time to write or bake.   My year can be summarised by one word… TOUGH! I cannot believe Christmas is just 6 days away.

As it’s Christmas I thought I’d share a current favourite in our home- Mincemeat Muffins.

mincemeat muffins

Mincemeat Muffins (makes 12-15)

280g self raising flour

1/2 teaspoon mixed spice or cinamon

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

pinch of salt

80g soft brown sugar

90ml vegetable oil

240ml buttermilk

300g mincemeat

1 egg

 

Method

  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees C Fan/ 190 C conventional. Line muffin tray with muffin cases or grease tin if not useing liners
  • Sift together the dry ingredients into a large bowl
  • In a separate bowl mix together the eggs, oil, mincemeat, sugar and milk
  • Stir liquid mixture into the dry, taking care not to over mix
  • Fill each muffin case 2/3 full with mixture. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes or until
    a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean

Have a great Christmas!!!

Fi x

 

 

 

Home-made corner Extensions for Cake Boxes

Deep boxes can be quite pricey and occasionally I get carried away with cake designs and end up with a cake a lot taller than initially designed. It is then that I discover that I actually need a deep box to allow for the design change (several times this discovery is made at 2am and the cake is due to go out the next day. Too late to order on-line, and no sugar craft shops are open at that hour!- So I thought I would share a very quick and inexpensive way of making corner extensions (cheaper than buying a giant cupcake box/ extra deep cake boxes at current prices). This is a cost you can cut down on quite easily

Cricket cake

 

 

All you need is some scissors and cardboard (I used a cake box lid-)

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Cut into 4 equal strips, about 8cm wide in this case

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Fold the strips into half lengthwise

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Tuck them into the corners of your assembled box. Tip- do the far corners first

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You can staple them to secure them, but I find I never need to

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Place cake onto box and repeat same process with the near corners

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Place lid on- Nice and secure way of transporting you cake

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Mango and Lime Muffins

Mango and lime Muffins

I happened to have some mango pulp leftover from when I was having a go at replicating Nandos Mango and lime chicken from scratch. I love mango cake but have actually never had mango muffins. (I am a big fan of muffins, they make me feel like I’m being good too, though I get carried away and eat too much at times which defeats the whole purpose!)

I decided to throw bits together hoping it would work and it did! They came out really well, moist and fluffy.

I used:

  • 100ml oil
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • grated zest of 1 lime
  • 250g self raising flour, sifted
  • 240ml mango pulp (available in foods of the world isles in supermarkets)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Method:

  1. Prepare your muffin tin with liners if using and preheat oven to 170ºC fan/ 190ºC Conventional
  2. Beat together oil,egg, lime zest  and caster sugar until well mixed
  3. Stir in flour alternating with the mango juice (I mixed the lime juice with mango pulp beforehand), beginning and ending with the flour. I use a metal spoon for this to avoid overmixing
  4. Spoon into prepared tins,I use an ice cream scoop so my muffins are the same size
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes (Tops should be golden and if skewer is inserted in the centre it should come out clean)

Quick Meringue Buttercream

I am a huge fan of Swiss Meringue buttercream.Though delicious, it is a little time consuming to make. If you need a great alternative in a rush this will be perfect I have been working on perfecting this for the past few days and I have to say I was most pleased with my last result.

Up until now when in a rush I have been using Jessicakes marshmallow fluff buttercream recipe which is brilliant too. Definitely worth checking out.

To make my version you need:

2 tablespoons (15g)pure albumen powder or Meri white
120ml hot water
200g granulated sugar
450g butter
125g sifted icing sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Method
Dissolve Meri White in the water and commence mixing using the whisk attachment on your mixer whilst gradually adding the sugar. Continue whisking until full peak is obtained (about 8 to 10 minutes at full speed)

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Once full peak is obtained swap whisk for paddle attachment and add butter gradually (it may curdle,don’t panic just carry on mixing. Add vanilla extract and continue beating mixture for a further 2 to 3 minutes.

Add sifted icing sugar and beat until nice and fluffy.

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Egg Free Sponge Cake Recipe

My 4th blog post! I know it’s early days yet but am pretty excited that I have kept up with my blog. Hope I keep it up :).

I shared this recipe a little while ago on my old blog which I have since taken down. I felt I needed to start over again in the hope that I will enjoy the new start and  keep myself motivated. Seems to have worked thus far.

A few people have also asked if I have dairy AND egg free version of this recipe. I do not have  tried and tested one yet, but will work on it.

This cake is pretty simple to make and is stays moist for days. I used a 9 inch round pan to make this.

egg free sponge cake

You will need:

315 g Self raising flour
1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
397g can of condensed milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
225g unsalted butter melted
225 ml orange juice

Method;

  • Preheat oven to 150°C fan/ 180°C Conventional. Grease and line baking pan
  • In a bowl sift together the dry ingredients
  • In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients, then pour into the dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until golden and skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. This takes about 45 minutes in my oven
Happy baking!

Chocolate Brownie Recipe

I shared a picture of one leftover chocolate brownie yesterday and had a few requests for the full recipe so I thought I’d do a full blog post of it, as it will make finding it much easier than on the facebook photo comment.

To make them you need:

  • 185g dark chocolate, melted
  • 185g Butter, melted
  • 250g Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100g plain flour
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • handful white chocolate chunks (optional)

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*To Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. (careful not to allow the bowl to to touch the water)

 

Place ingredients into a large mixing bowl in order above. Stir until well mixed.

Bake in a greased/ lined 20cm square baking pan for 20- 25 minutes in a preheated oven at 160 C fan/ 180 C conventional.

When cooked they should be just flaky on the top but soft inside