Tag Archives: recipe

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).

Versatile Lemon Cake

This recipe is from Nigella Lawson’s book, ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’. She calls it ‘Lemon Loaf’, and combines it with a sweet, sticky lemon syrup. I have also used it for cupcakes and as a sandwich sponge.

Ingredients
125g softened butter
175g caster sugar (3/4 cup)
2 large eggs
zest of 1 lemon
175g self raising flour (1.5 cups)
pinch salt
60ml milk (4 tblsp)

Preheat oven to 180degC / Gas mark 4.

Method
Cream the butter and sugar together.
Beat in the eggs and lemon zest.
Fold in the flour and salt, and then the milk.
Bake until risen and golden. (Or for the time specified below, depending on what size tins you are using.)

Lemon Loaf
Bake for 45 minutes (a cocktail stick inserted in the centre should come out clean).
While its baking, make a syrup by heating the juice of 1 lemon and 100g icing sugar until the sugar dissolves.
As soon as it’s out of the oven, prick holes all over the top using a skewer. Pour over the syrup. Allow to cool completely before removing from the tin.

Lemon Cupcakes
Divide the mixture between 12 cupcake cases and bake for 20 minutes (they should be risen and golden). You can put lemon curd in the middle if you want; make a hole in the centre of the cupcake using an apple corer or cupcake plunger and fill with curd.
Top with piped buttercream and some white chocolate buttons or cigarillos or candied peel.

20121104-100920.jpg

Sandwich Sponge
Divide the mixture between 2x 6inch sandwich tins and bake for 25 minutes. If you want to make an 8inch sandwich, use 1.5 times the recipe.
When cooled, sandwich with lemon curd and top with buttercream.

20121104-095050.jpg
This slice of lemon sandwich has been topped with some white chocolate shavings.

Decorating with jellytots makes this into an easy birthday cake!

20121104-100758.jpg

Enjoy!

Big Chewy Cookies

I love the big chewy chocolate chip cookies from Marks & Spencer, and I tried many recipes until I found one that produced the right results.  These cookies, as the name suggests, are big, and have a lovely soft, chewy centre.  It’s all in the timing; when you take them out of the oven they should look like they’re not ready yet.  They continue to harden as they cool. (They’re even more delicious straight out of the oven though, especially with a scoop of icecream.)

These are definitely a favourite in my house; my husband often asks me to make them so he can bring them to work to have with his morning coffee. 🙂


Recipe

Makes 16 large cookies

Ingredients

  • 250g plain flour (2 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 170g melted butter (3/4 cup)
  • 100g white sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 220g packed brown sugar (1 cup)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 egg & 1 egg yolk
  • 335g chocolate chips (2 cups) (white chocolate buttons are nice in these.)

Method

  • Preheat oven to 165 deg C / Gas mark 3
  • Sift together the flour, soda & salt.
  • Cream the melted butter together with the white & brown sugars.  Beat in the vanilla and eggs until light and creamy.
  • Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.
  • Flour your hands and baking trays.
  • Make balls using the dough and place on the baking tray.  Make sure to leave plenty of space between balls as they will spread during cooking.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes; until the EDGES are lightly toasted.  The centre will still be soft.
  • Boil the kettle and enjoy a cookie with a cuppa.

Chocolate Biscuit Cake Recipe

I’ve noticed that a lot of the views of my blog come from people searching for chocolate biscuit cake recipes and ideas. I’m going to share the recipe that is tried and trusted by my mother and I. It has been served at many an occasion!

This cake is quite easy to make but is always a winner. Good quality chocolate is the key. I use Callebaut Belgian chocolate. You can make as a loaf, or a round or square cake tin. This recipe will do a small loaf. For a 6 inch round cake, double the recipe, and for an 8 inch round cake, triple the recipe, and for a 10 inch round, use 4 times the recipe.

Best Chocolate Biscuit Cake

Ingredients

  • 250g biscuits, all digestive or a mixture of a few types
  • 150g milk chocolate
  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 100g butter
  • 150g golden syrup
  • 75g marshmallows/raisins/malteasers or whatever

Method

  1. 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.
  2. Melt the chocolate, butter and golden syrup together.
  3. Mix the melted mixture with all the bicsuits and your chosen extra ingredient. Pour into a loaf tin and top with an extra 150g melted chocolate (optional).

For a special occasion, you can decorate the cake with Cadbury’s Chocolate Fingers and Malteasers. Attach the fingers and malteasers with chocolate ganache or buttercream. For an 8 inch cake you will need 3 packets of Chocolate Fingers (1 of each milk, dark and white) and one large bag of malteasers.

If you have a lot of mouths to feed and you really want the ‘Wow’ factor, you can do a double tiered cake.

 

Proper Chocolate Cupcakes

The best chocolate cakes, in my opinion, are not made with cocoa powder, but with real dark chocolate.  The quality of the chocolate makes a huge difference.  I always use Callebaut chocolate for baking.  It comes in the form of buttons in 2.5kg bags and I could happily sit with a bag on my knee and eat them as is.

Below are some chocolate cupcakes that I made for a first birthday party for a little girl called Laragh.  The big (adult!) ones are topped with mint buttercream and milk chocolate straws, and the mini ones are topped with chocolate buttercream and white chocolate buttons.  I find it best to do mini cupcakes for kids because more often than not, with large ones, they either take one bite, or lick the buttercream off and leave it.  I also do them in silicone mini muffin trays so there’s no messy wrappers.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here’s the recipe:

Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 12-15 large cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 115g (2/3 cup) dark chocolate
  • 85g softened butter
  • 175g (2/3 cup)sugar – white, caster or brown; whatever you have
  • 2 eggs, seperated
  • 185g (1+2/3 cup) plain flour, sifted
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 250ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degC / Gas mark 5.
  2. Melt the chocolate and leave to cool.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together.
  4. Beat the egg yolks into the butter & sugar mix.
  5. Add the chocolate and beat well.
  6. Combine the flour, baking powder & soda and salt.  Set aside.
  7. Combine the milk and vanilla.  Set aside.
  8. Alternate adding the flour mix and milk mix to the butter/sugar/egg/chocolate, beating each time.
  9. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Fold them into the batter using a metal spoon.
  10. Spoon into muffin cases and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes in the tine, then remove to a wire rack.
  11. Top with melted chocolate, or chocolate or mint buttercream.