Sunday, 28 July 2013


These are insanely addictive, more so than any other type of flapjack I have made and I DO NOT KNOW WHY. I just cannot figure it out.

What I do know however is that for the sake of our health I should not make them too often, two people should not eat 16 flapjacks in 3 days...

Chocolate topped flapjacks 

makes 16

150g plain flour
215g oats
175g light brown sugar
135g butter
45ml golden syrup
120g dairy milk

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C FAN and grease a square or rectangular dish. I used a square silicon mould which does not need greasing.

Mix the oats, flour and sugar in a large bowl. Put the golden syrup and butter into a pan over a gentle heat, stir occasionally, until melted. Tip into the dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated.

Press into the prepared pan until level. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden.

Leave in the pan until fully cool. Once cool gently melt the chocolate and spread evenly over the top. Leave until the chocolate has set then cut into pieces and EAT!

Friday, 26 July 2013

Rosemary, honey and poppy seed bread

Rosemary is on of those herbs that I have grown to like much more as I have gotten older. That said, a careful hand is needed, the right amount brings amount a lovely fragrance and taste, too much and the whole meal is left tasting of perfume and soap!

I recall one such instance in which the university cooked carrots in what appeared to be a whole rosemary bush, I honestly did not go near rosemary for over a year.

Thankfully I am over it or this bread would never have been born.

This loaf goes fantastically well with lamb. I had it alongside a lamb salad and also for a sandwich with lamb and pesto, both were equally delicious.

Rosemary, honey and poppy seed bread

makes 1 small loaf

125g white bread flour
125g wholemeal bread flour
1 sachet yeast
15g poppy seeds
1/2 tsp salt
Sprig of rosemary, finally chopped
175ml warm water
1 tbsp honey

Mix the flours, yeast, poppy seeds, salt and rosemary together in a large bowl. Stir the honey into the warm water to dissolve it.

Slowly add the water mix to the dry ingredients and combine to form a soft dough, The dough wants to be soft but not overly sticky, you may not need all the water, I had about a tablespoon leftover.

Lightly coat a worktop with olive oil and knead the bread for 5-10 minutes until smooth and springy. Place the kneaded dough into an oiled bowl, cover with film and allow to rise for 1-2 hours.

Knock back the dough and then shape it into a small loaf, any shape you like. I had a moment of creativiy so mine ended up braided!

Place onto a baking tray and allow to rise again for ~30  minutes. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C FAN. 

After the dough has risen for a second time place it in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until deep golden and the base sounds hollow when tapped.

Allow to cool on a wire rack and then enjoy!

This bread reminded me just how much I enjoy making and eating my own bread, the flavour is unlike that of the supermarket and the combinations are endless. 

p.s. sorry for the alarming photos, I had to take them with my phone but the camera will be back soon!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Cookie dough marshmallow

Dom over at Belleau Kitchen runs a random recipe challenge. The logic behind this particular blogging challenge is simple. How many of us have many many recipe books, magazines and cut outs? How many of us bookmark so many different things to make but then never quite get round to it? Baking instead another batch of the same (but delicious) brownies/cookies/victoria sponges. There is of course nothing wrong with a tried and tested favourite but the idea of this challenge is to not let those recipe books go to waste and find new exciting dishes and have some fun along the way.

I decide to join in this month. It is the challenges 30th 'birthday' and we were instructed to count along to our 30th book and make whatever was on page 30. All the rules in detail can be found here.

So off I went and counted and I landed on the cookie dough lovers cook book. This seemed a good start as I think I have only made 2 or 3 things from the book.

On page 30 were cookie dough marshmallows. I immediately loved this challenge as I absolutely adore marshmallows and have been meaning to make them for AGES but once again never got round to it.

The author of the book has her own blog and the recipe for these can be found here.

The verdict? Homemade marshmallows are divine. Fact. The flavour and texture is amazing. I do have one quibble with these particular ones though. The cookie dough adds a gritty crunch from the sugar. I want my marshmallows to be completely meltingly soft.

Saying that these are divine for topping my hot chocolate!

I have fallen in love so much that I am going to make a second batch this weekend (flavour to be decided) to fully test the soft fluffy goodness of my own marshmallows.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Strawberry, poppyseed and orange cake

This is one of the more delicious cakes I have had recently. The cake itself has a lovely crumb and texture and the flavours are a little different but amazing.

The orange creme fraiche and Greek yoghurt filling is fresh, zingy and a nice summery alternative to cream. The poppy-seeds work really well too, adding a subtle flavour and nice texture contrast.
This is a good food magazine recipe, it can be found here.

I made a couple of tweaks. There are two of us, I sense it is not the best for our health to attempt to eat a four layer cake, so I halved the recipe to make a two layer cake. The recipe also called for full fat greek yoghurt and creme fraiche. I had 0% fat greek yoghurt and 1/2 fat creme fraiche in the fridge. Waste not want not,  I used these and the filling turned out luscious and fine.
If you are a cake fan I urge you to make this beauty while British strawberries are in season.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Garlic and coriander flatbreads

I am loving this hot weather and I love cooking but combining the two is not bringing me joy, especially in my small kitchen. I also love a salad but just because it is hot does not mean that sometimes I want a little bit more.

I made these flatbreads to go alongside a greek salad, a fast and delicious super for the summer time.

Garlic and coriander flatbread

makes 4

115g white bread flour
50g wholemeal bead flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground coriander
50g of greek yoghurt
200ml boiled water
2 cloves garlic
Tablespoon of olive oil

Crush one of the garlic cloves (either with a garlic press or use a pestle and mortar, add to the oil and set aside to infuse.

Put the flours, baking powder, salt and coriander into a bowl and briefly mix. Crush a garlic clove and add to the greek yoghurt and stir in the water.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, a little at a time, mixing to form a dough. Knead the dough for a minute or two then leave to rest for a couple of minutes, this will make it easier to roll.

Flour a surface and roll out 1/4 of the dough a thin as possible. Heat a frying pan and add the flatbread to the pan (no oil). Cook for just over a minute on each side until browned and puffy, some flatbreads puff up alarmingly but do not worry.

 When cooked brush with the oil and store on a dinner plate covered with a clean tea towel while you cook the others.. This allows the flatbreads to steam and keeps them warm and soft.

The flatbreads are soft and full of favour, I will definitely be making again, and trying different flavour combinations. Enjoy them alongside salads, as part of a mezze or even wrapped around a burger!

I had half of the dough leftover. I wrapped it in clingfilm and stored it in the fridge until the next day when I made two more and wrapped them around homemade bean burgers and spicy relish. They were amazing but sadly no pictures as I was too busy stuffing my face and genuinely forgot!

I am going to enter these into this months alpha bakes as the letter if 'F'.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013


The letter for this months alpha bakes is F. I had a few ideas, none of which were initially florentines. However whilst flicking through John Whaites book I saw his version and realised a) I have never made one and b) I have never eaten one.

So florentines it was. I did change his recipe a little so have my version below.


makes ~15

60g butter
50g light brown sugar
15g golden syrup
50g sultanas, chop any big ones
30g dried apricot, roughly chopped
100g salted peanuts, roughly chopped
25g plain flour
50g dark chocolate

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C FAN and line two/three baking sheets with baking parchment.

Mix the dried fruit, nuts and flour in a bowl. Gently melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup, when fully melted tip into the dry ingredients and stir until fully combined.

Drop heaped teaspoons of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets.

Bake in the oven for 7-8 minutes until golden. Leave to cool on the baking sheets.

Once cool they can be peeled from the baking paper. Melt the chocolate and drizzle over the florentines.
These were pretty simple to make, I have a few different sizes, clearly I did not heap my teaspoon very evenly!

My first ever florentine did taste pretty good. Personally I think I would prefer my fruit, nuts and chocolate in an actual cookie but that is personal preference I guess.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Strawberry shortcakes

Summer is here and I seem to have been panic eating strawberries before it goes away again! Its no hardship really as I love strawberries and the British ones are in in the shops with abundance just now.

If you pop over to Edd Kimber's blog you will find a recipe for strawberry shortcakes which is just divine.

A couple of notes. His recipe states that the given quantities make 6-8, I divided by four to make two and they were massive. I am very glad I did no divide by three to make two, they would have been the size of my head! Secondly he cuts them out, I just heaped two high round dollops on to a baking sheets.

I also had mine with creme friache as opposed to cream, not that I have anything against cream I just fancied something a little sharper on this occasion. I can confirm it is a delicious tweak.

All in all  lovely summer dessert..

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Triple chocolate brownies, take two

After being away for a over a week, I feel like its time to get some baking done! I will hopefully have a free weekend to whip up some treats to go on the blog and more importantly EAT!

I did quickly make up a batch of brownies in response to a request for something chocolatey. I decided to have a second attempt at John Whaite's brownies.

You may recall that the first time I made these I forgot about them, overbaked them and consequently the texture suffered.

This time I did not overbake them, hurrah! The texture is dense and they are packed full of chocolate flavour, they are what I would call a 'professional' brownie. By this they cut very well and you could imagine them being packaged up without sticking.

Are they the perfect brownie? Hmm the juries out, they taste so rich and amazing yet there is just a little bit of gooey-ness missing in the centre. I do not think I could bake them any less though. I may give them one more try before setting back out on my quest for the ultimate brownie!

If you would like the recipe you will find it here.