Thursday, 28 April 2011


I found an easy looking recipe for ciabatta and decided to give it a go - My first attempt at ever making any kind of bread, I've only used yeast once before and that was for hot cross buns.

It made a reeeally sloppy dough, and made me 2 large loaves.  I made it the night before and left the dough in the fridge to rise as I didn't have time on the day.  I found it difficult getting it to cook through without overcooking the crust of the bread, but then realised this was probably because I forgot to bring the dough to room temperature and baked it straight from the fridge.  

I have no idea how to get it in the normal ciabatta shape without some kind of mould because the dough just spreads itself out, but it did taste very good, and didn't last very long in my house!

Monday, 25 April 2011

Chocolate & Raspberry Cookies

I was dying to try a cookie recipe I found online because of all the good comments, saying the cookies come out as american style gooey cookies, so decided to bake some for my friends.  I followed this recipe: but used 150g plain chocolate plus about 85g of raspberries and they turned out delicious!

 They do spread alot when cooking so you have to be careful, I baked them in 4 batches and the recipe made me 36 cookies!
They were really delicate, some broke in half quite easily, but it was all worth it, the texture reminded me alot of Millie's cookies.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Simnel muffins

My first ever post and I'm excited about sharing my food with you.  I had to use the fact that it's Easter as an excuse to bake, so I decided to make a muffin version of the traditional simnel cake.  So basically a mixed spice and raisin muffin with a layer of marzipan.. yum! 

Ingredients (for 12 muffins)

250g dried fruit (raisins/sultanas)
1 orange
175g butter
175g caster sugar
3 eggs
300g flour
1tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (I replaced this with cinnamon)
5 tbsp milk
175g marzipan

You need to start off by soaking 250g of raisins in the zest and juice of an orange.. the longer you leave it, the better the flavour! (I left mine in the fridge over night.) If you don't have time you can stick it in the microwave for 2 minutes.
Preheat the oven to gas 4/180C and line the muffin tin.  Prepare the marzipan by dividing into 12 pieces and rolling into balls. Beat all the ingredients except the marzipan until light and fluffy, then stir in the fruit.  Put a little mixture into each case, just under half full, then flatten each marzipan ball to make a circle and top the cake mixture with these, followed by the rest of the mixture.  Bake for 25-30 minute and... voila!

Mine sadly didn't turn out quite as expected, there was so much mixture that I made 3 fairy cakes as well as the muffins.  Because I put so much mixture in each case they spread alot, but didn't rise much so were pretty flat.  I think the reason was that I placed too much mixture in the first layer before the marzipan, so there wasn't much mixture on top left to rise, hence why I've added into the recipe for the marzipan to be put in a little less than halfway.  Not tried yet, but I'm sure that will create better results!

Now to make the cakes look a little more Easter-like, I mixed up some icing, with just icing sugar and the juice of an orange, and topped with some mini mini eggs (yes, even smaller than mini eggs, they were Asda own brand and cheaper!).

 They taste amazing, and I will be wrapping the uneaten ones in silver foil to hide as part of an Easter egg hunt in my friends' garden tomorrow; the mini eggs qualify them for part of an egg hunt haha.  Try these out, not just for Easter, they are scrumptious!