Category Archives: Baking

Christmas Ginger Muffins


I’ve been making these muffins for the last two years at Christmas. I don’t like other Christmas spices but I loooove ginger. I’ve had a few requests for the recipe so here it is. It’s adapted from one by the Pink Whisk

Dry ingredients 

250g self-raising flour

4tsp ground ginger
120g soft light brown sugar (or half and half dark brown sugar and white caster sugar)

2-3 tbsp of stem ginger in syrup chopped into very small pieces (buy it in a jar or make your own). Reserve the syrup for later.

Wet Ingredients 

100g butter, melted 

2 eggs, beaten

180ml milk 

2 tbsp golden syrup or black treacle (or 1 tbsp of each) 

1 tbsp syrup from the jar of stem ginger

To Finish

Syrup from the jar of stem ginger (optional) 

150g icing sugar, sifted

Juice of half a lemon 
Note

You don’t need to be terribly precise about the measurements. 

Method 

Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 6 / 200 C.

Melt the butter and leave to cool. 

Sift the flour and ground ginger together, then mix in the rest of the dry ingredients and the stem ginger.

Mix the melted butter together with the other wet ingredients. 

Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix by hand, or slowly with an electric mixer. The ingredients should be only just combined. 

Scrape the mixture evenly into 12 muffin cases. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops are risen, golden and springy to the touch. The colour will vary depending on the ingredients used.

If you can spare any ginger syrup, inject a small amount into the centre of each muffin. (Children’s medicine syringes are great for this).

Sift the icing sugar, and gradually add and mix in a teaspoon of lemon juice at a time until you get a spreadable consistency. Spoon some icing on top each muffin and spread with the back of the spoon. 

Enjoy these with a cup of tea for ‘second breakfast’ (a favourite Christmas holidays tradition).

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Sweetie Cake

A slight variation on the Chocolate Finger & Malteaser cake, or the Kitkat and Smarties cake, here is a ‘sweetie’ cake I made for my son’s 7th Birthday Party last weekend.

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It’s a Chocolate Fudge Cake (recipe here), filled with white chocolate buttercream, smothered with chocolate ganache and surrounded by chocolate fingers, and topped with chocolate fingers, malteasers, mini marshmallows and smarties.

You might notice a row of smarties around the bottom – that wasn’t part of the original plan! After I had filled the cake, it was slightly taller than the fingers, so I needed to raise them a bit! I think it worked out well!

Thanks for visiting!

Dee x

Cookies n’ Cream Crispies

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Very more-ish white chocolate and Oreo Rice Krispie squares. No-bake and simple to make. You don’t need to be very exact with the measurements.

Ingredients

  • 400g Marshmallows
  • 50g Butter
  • 200g White Chocolate
  • 250g Rice Krispies
  • 20 Oreos (approx 1.5 packs)

Method

  • Break the Oreos into small pieces.

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  • Melt the marshmallows and butter in a bowl set over hot water or at intervals in the microwave.
  • IMG_2054Stir until smooth (tip – grease your spoon with butter to help).

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  • Stir in the Rice Krispies and 2/3 of the Oreos (keep the rest for the topping).

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  • Spread the mixture into a greased rectangular dish (mine is 21cmx28cm) using a large spoon or spatula. (another tip – let it cool for a minute to make it easier to spread around)
  • Melt the white chocolate in a bowl set over hot water or at intervals in the microwave.
  • Pour 3/4 of the white chocolate on top of the Rice Krispie mixture and spread it using the back of a spoon or a spatula.
  • IMG_2058Sprinkle the remaining Oreos on top.
  • Lastly, drizzle the rest of the white chocolate over the oreos. You can put it in a sandwich bag with the corner cut off; or you can be a bit lazy like me and just use a spoon. 🙂

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  • Chill in the fridge, then slice and enjoy!

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Kitkat & Smarties Cake

My littlest boy turned 2 recently.  He’s Toy Story mad at the moment so I bought some little figurines in the Disney Store to put on top of his cake.

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It’s an expensive cake to make!  But it’s simple to do and a huge crowd-pleaser.  Plus the 2-year-old just loved it and that’s the main thing.

The cake itself is three layers of a chocolate orange sponge, filled and covered with chocolate ganache and decorated with Kitkats and smarties.  I used 24 2-finger Kitkats and 4 regular-sized tubes and 8 mini boxes of smarties.

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I had no cake board (bad planning!) so I cut out a 12 inch scalloped circle from card using my Cricut machine and glued some sugarpaste letters to it.  I cut the letters out with Windsor Groovy Clikstix cutters.  (A tip someone gave me recently was to take the back ruler off the clikstix….it makes things so much easier!)  I finished it off with a red ribbon and bow.

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Nick’s card was a bit last minute. I cut out all the shapes using my Cricut machine and Cricut Craft Room.

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Thanks for visiting!

Dee*

Jen’s Buns

This is a simple recipe for all-in-one buns that I got from my friend Jen. She got it from her Mam, (who does not like buns being called cupcakes!) and the recipe has changed a few times along the way!

Ingredients
150g butter (softened)
3/4 cup caster sugar (170g)
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1.5 cups flour (210g)
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 cup milk (60ml)

Method
Cream the butter and sugar together.
Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat well.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into another bowl. Add half of this into the first bowl and gently combine. Add half the milk and gently combine. Repeat with the rest of the flour mix & milk.

You can also take the lazy route and bung all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and whizz until combined.

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Fill bun cases to 3/4 full (12 large muffin-sized ones or 18 fairy cake size).
Bake for 5 mins at Gas mark 7 / 220 Deg C. then reduce the temperature to Gas mark 5 / 190 Deg C and bake until golden on top and spongy to the touch (another 15 mins for large buns, 10 mins for small).

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The last time I made these I made a hole in each (cooled) bun with a cupcake plunger and filled the hole with raspberry jam before topping with buttercream. Delicious!  (If you don’t have a cupcake plunger, you can use an apple corer or a teaspoon).

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Do give these a try, and leave a comment below when you do!

Dee x

First attempt at Distress Inks

SO my crafty new year’s resolution was to try out Distress Inks.  I was advised to start with light colours to start with, so I bought ‘Old Paper’ and ‘Spun Sugar’ by Tim Holtz, and a blending tool.

 

The first card uses ‘Old Paper’ and an image from Saturated Canary, coloured with Promarkers.

I am entering this card in the Saturated Canary Challenge – Song Inspiration.  This engagement card is inspired by the song ‘Make You Feel my Love’ by Bob Dylan, more recently covered by Adele.

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This next card also has an image from Saturated Canary, coloured with Promarkers.  This time, I used ‘Spun Sugar’ Distress Ink.

I am entering this card in the following challenges:

In the Pink – Pink and Pearlie

Sketch Saturday – Week 240

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The last card has some distressing aswell, but not with inks!  I used some Core’dinations black card, and distressed the edges with a scissors to show the white core.  The image is from Mo Manning (I use this one a lot!), coloured with Promarkers (Cool Grey 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5).

I am entering this card in the following challenges:

Mo’s Digital Challenge – Anything Goes

I Love Promarkers – Monochrome

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I attended the above wedding over a week ago, the day after Christmas, but with it being a busy time, I only got around to making the card yesterday!  My gift for the couple was 120 cakepops for the wedding!  The colour scheme was purple, so I got some purple lollipop sticks and purple gel food colouring from Cake Couture so that they would match.  You can see my tutorial for cakepops here.

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Thanks for visiting!

Dee*

 

Chocolate Biscuit Christmas Pudding

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I don’t like dried fruit, or Christmas spices, therefore I don’t like Christmas pudding. My husband makes it every year and the smell of it makes me gag! Well if you’re anything like me, you’ll like this alternative Christmas Pudding, made from Chocolate Biscuit Cake. This has proven very popular this year! Here’s a rough guide on how to make one.

 

You will need:

Mixing Bowl

  • Spoon
  • 2 pint pudding bowl
  • Rolling Pin
  • Sharp Knife
  • Holly cutters (optional)
  • small paintbrush

Ingredients – Pudding

  • 375g biscuits, all digestive or a mixture of a few types
  • 225g milk chocolate 
  • 225g dark chocolate (break the chocolate into squares) 
  • 150g butter (chopped into small cubes)
  • 225g golden syrup
  • 100g marshmallows/rolos/malteasers or whatever

 

Ingredients – Decoration

  • Ready-to-roll icing in white (250g), green and red.
  • Icing sugar or cornflour to dust
  • Edible glue, water or clear alcohol (vodka)

 

Method

  1. Grease the pudding bowl well with butter. (This really helps the pudding to come out of the bowl easily when set).
  2. Break half the biscuits into small pieces. Make the other half into fine crumbs using a blender or put them in a sandwich bag and bash with a rolling pin.
  3. Melt the chocolate, butter and golden syrup together.  Do this slowly over a saucepan of hot water, or at intervals in the microwave. Stir it lots and remove it from the heat before it’s fully melted and keep stirring until it’s smooth. 
  4. If you want your pudding to have a nice shiny appearance, spread a little of this mixture around the inside of the pudding bowl. You can also reserve a little of it to make the top of the pudding smooth (which will be the bottom!)
  5. Mix the melted mixture with all the bicsuits. Don’t add your chosen extra ingredient yet.
  6. Pour 1/3 of the mixture into the greased pudding bowl and push down well with a spoon or potato masher. Bang the bowl on the counter to ensure there are no holes in the sides of the pudding. 
  7. Place half of your malteasers etc on top of this mixture, evenly spaced. 
  8. Repeat Steps 6 &7 until the bowl is almost full. 
  9.  If you reserved any of the chocolate/butter/syrup mix, pour it on the top now.
  10. Put it in the fridge to set overnight. If the pudding will not come out easily, pour some warm water over the outside of the bowl.

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Decoration

  1. Dust your worksurface with icing sugar or cornflour and roll out the white icing to your desired thickness.
  2. There are two ways to do the white icing; flat, or on the bowl.
  • For the flat method, you can make a template from a piece of card to help. Put the template on top of the icing and cut around it using a roller cutter or sharp knife. Lay the cut icing on top of your pudding and smooth it down using your hands.

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  • For the bowl method, dust the outside of your pudding bowl with icing sugar or cornflour. Lay the uncut icing on top of the bowl, and smooth it down using your hands. Using a roller cutter or sharp knife, cut out your desired design. Lay the cut icing on top of your pudding and smooth it down using your hands.

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3. For the Holly, you also have options. You can use plunger cutters (pictured below), which are handy because they are easy to use and do the veining on the leaves for you. I found them a little too small for a 2 pint pudding, so I used a holly cookie cutter instead. I did the veining on each leaf with a vening tool, but you can use a sharp knife either. The third option is to cut it by hand. I would advise making a template from card first, so that all your leaves are the same size.

 

 

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Roll out your green icing and cut your holly leaves using your preferred method. Attach them to the pudding with some edible glue, a tiny bit of water or clear alcohol.

This photo shows leaves made with a cookie cutter and a veining tool.20121222-215125.jpg

 

 

This photo shows holly leaves cut with a plunger. I put them on a smaller pudding.20121222-215131.jpg

 

4. Roll some holly berry balls using the red icing. Attach them to the holly leaves as before. Et voila! Chocolate Biscuit Christmas Pudding! Slice and enjoy!

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PS. This will keep for a few weeks (if it lasts that long).

PPS. Individual puddings make great gifts. I used yogurt cartons and baby food bowls instead of pudding bowls. Wrap them up with some cellophane and Christmas ribbon.

PPPS. I also make a mint version of this. Use some mint flavored dark chocolate and some mint aero bubbles, after eights (frozen), mint matchsticks and/or viscount biscuits in place of the malteasers. 

 

– Dee x

 

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