You may have noticed that things have been a little quiet around here recently... life is so hectic at the moment, and there is so much going on that I haven't even found the time to bake anything new, let alone write up and share any of my recipes.
So, in the run up to Christmas, and over the festive period, I am going to take a much needed break from this little blog, hidden away in a corner of the internet, and enjoy getting into the festive spirit as we come up to our first Christmas in our own home.
I hope to be back in the new year with a more consistent routine as I settle back into every day life after the manic couple of months that November has been, and December will no doubt will be.
Anyway, ta ta for now. And happy holidays to all!
Tuesday, 25 November 2014
Monday, 3 November 2014
James and I hosted a Halloween quiz night at the weekend, and put on a bit of a spread - using Tom Kerridge recipes for inspiration for the best part of it. This tart recipe is a slight adaptation of his Cheats Chocolate Tart, using my favourite spiced rum, Old J. It's rich and velvety, and the spiced rum cuts through the creaminess of the milk chocolate. Plus it's super easy to make, and very impressive!
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
This week a colleague brought a bag full of home-grown grapes into work that were free for the taking. Naturally, the first thing that came into my head was cake. I’d never made a cake with grapes before, and wasn’t entirely sure if it would work so I perused the internet for inspiration. After looking at a handful of recipes that included dessert wines, I found this New Zealand recipe for a simpler, lighter cake. I’ve adapted it slightly, and the end result is actually much better than I had expected! The recipe has no butter, oil or lard, but it makes such a light, moist sponge, that’s a little sticky on top. Go on, try it! You’ll be surprised!
Saturday, 18 October 2014
I made this cake for my Nan’s birthday. She loves coconut and glacier cherries, so I figured I’ll fill a cake with both of them! It’s simple, but delicious. The recipe makes a small two tiered cake (about 15cms in diameter) so if you want to make a full sized sandwich cake, double the recipe.
Monday, 13 October 2014
Oh yes! While helping my Mum clear out her attic long before we moved, I came across an old Nordic Ware stove top waffle iron. Not sure of where it came from, she was going to send it to the charity shop, but I claimed it for my own and it got added to our boxes ready for our house move. I finally got around to unpacking it at the weekend and couldn’t wait to try it out! James isn’t one for sweet breakfasts, so we tried a cheesy waffle mix (adapted from here) and served them with crispy bacon (and maple syrup for me). The waffles are so light and fluffy, and I was really impressed with the bit of kit too, especially given that it’s older than I am!
Wednesday, 8 October 2014
I made this cake for my Mum’s birthday earlier this week. It’s actually the first cake I’ve ever made in our new house, in the tiny crappy oven… My baking supplies are very limited at the moment, with things still in boxes here and there, but I managed to find out one cake pan and mixing bowl to be able to make this yummy chocolate chip ginger cake. It’s a simple, easy recipe, but tastes so good! Sorry about the photo too – I forgot to take one until we’d already cut it up and started eating it!
Monday, 29 September 2014
This is a great alternative to a lemon drizzle cake - not that there's anything wrong with a lemon drizzle cake, of course! And if lemon isn't your thing, try using the juice and zest of oranges instead.
Tuesday, 16 September 2014
Ok, so this isn't really baking, but it's too tasty not to share with you! This pulled pork recipe works EVERY time. It's a real crowd-pleaser and is relatively cheap - a £4/5 piece of pork shoulder would easily feed six people, and you'd still probably have left overs (unless your friends are greedy like mine!). It takes a little preparation, and a long time to cook, so it's definitely not a last minute meal but it's totally worth it.
Monday, 8 September 2014
I'm back with my first bake in weeks, but I went back to my Mum's to use her oven... ha ha. Our house is still a little dusty from all the work we're doing so I thought it would be better to go back to where I knew it was clean! The blackberries used in this recipe were picked just around the corner from my house, and combined with the spices in the sponge, they make for a great transitional flavour combination as we head from summer to autumn.
Monday, 1 September 2014
Firstly, sorry for my complete lack of posts during August. It's been a long, hard, busy, stressful month.
Secondly, as we are nearing the point where we should be actually moving into our new home, I thought I'd share my new baking space with you!
Thursday, 14 August 2014
Sorry about the lack of recipes around here these past few weeks. James and I finally got the keys to our first house on the 31st of July and we have spent every day since at the house, replacing ceilings, moving stud walls and generally demolishing everything we wanted to change. It's been hard, and a little bit stressful, but it will all be worth it in the end. It's probably going to be another couple of weeks before we actually move in and I get a bit of time to myself again, but for now, here is a little cookie recipe.
I took yesterday evening off to watch the Great British Bake Off with my Mum, and as it was biscuit week, I adapted this recipe from No. 2 Pencil to make just two cookies that we could eat warm whilst watching it. Also, sorry for the awful photo... I was tired...
Tuesday, 29 July 2014
This just takes cookies and cream that one step further. Oreo upside down cake! I made this as a birthday cake for another colleague, and I had it in my head that I needed make a cookies and cream cake, with fresh cream. I thought that with the thick layer of cream in the middle, covering the whole thing in buttercream too would be just a bit too much (if there is such a thing), so to make the top look a little more interesting, I decided to try making an upside down cake with whole Oreos. It's not as tidy as I was hoping, as the cake batter got under some of the cookies, but it still looks, and smells, pretty good!
Monday, 21 July 2014
Last week was a hard week. There are so many changes are happening at the moment, both good and bad, and I've lost myself a little bit along the way. I needed something simple and comforting, which is why these cakes came about on Friday. Fresh strawberries and whipped double cream make the perfect and impressive summery topping for these simple vanilla cupcakes.
Wednesday, 16 July 2014
As I mentioned before, it was my Grandad’s birthday recently, and he is seriously the hardest person to buy presents for! I mean, what do you buy someone who already has everything they need?! After a lot of thinking and fruitless shopping trips, I finally decided to make him up a hamper of fancy tea, posh jams, clotted cream and some homemade scones - an ‘Afternoon Tea’ Hamper if you will. I knew he loves fruit scones, but I couldn’t decide whether to make them with raisins or glacier cherries, so I ended up doing both. These are super easy to make, and the end result is very light scones, studded with lots of fruity goodness! I soaked the raisins in whiskey for an hour before adding them to the dough, for an added kick.
Thursday, 10 July 2014
Our neighbours daughter lives in Canada and after a recent trip to visit, they gave us a tin of proper maple syrup - I think we must have mentioned our love of it to them at some point - and as soon as we heard my Dad shout to say that we’d just been given some, both my Mum and I turned to look at each other and said ‘pancakes!’. We were patient enough to wait for Sunday morning to come around, and while Mum was out walking the dogs, I made our pancakes for breakfast. These pancakes are great – they’re so easy to make, and as they’re thick and fluffy, it’s a million times easier to flip them than the thin crepe like pancakes we eat on Shrove Tuesday. If you’re not a fan of maple syrup, try topping them with crispy bacon and a knob of butter, or fresh fruit and a dusting of icing sugar – what ever takes your fancy. And here’s a tip – make the batter in a jug. It’s a lot easier to pour small round pancakes with the spout of a jug than it is with a ladle! To give you an idea of serving size, I made 15 pancakes with this batter, and we had 5 each in a stack.
Monday, 7 July 2014
It’s my Grandad’s 65th birthday today, so we had a big family BBQ last night to celebrate. After a lot of umming and ahhing, I decided to try making a banoffee cake for his birthday cake and I’m glad I did, because everyone loved it! The whole thing was demolished within about 10 minutes, even after everyone said that they were too full on BBQ food to eat anything else! So, of course, I had to share the recipe!
Friday, 27 June 2014
I made this as a 50th birthday cake for a colleague. She loves lemon cake, and I’ve wanted to try making something funfetti-fied for a while now, so I figured I’d combine the two in this colourful cake! It's lovely and light and is bound to brighten any one's day!
Monday, 23 June 2014
I made these little quiches for a birthday picnic at the weekend as I knew mini ones would be a lot easier to dish out than a big one. They're so quick and easy to make, and they serve as great finger food for summer picnics, BBQ buffets and lunch boxes as they can be eaten hot or cold. Also, you can now follow me on Instagram:
Monday, 16 June 2014
After having spent an amazing couple of nights in Bude and taken part in Spin for Life, I wasn’t left with much time to prepare for Father’s Day… I’d got a card and present sorted for my Dad, but my sister was hosting a BBQ at her house in the afternoon and come 11am Sunday morning, I still had nothing to take with me. Looking through the cupboards, I could only find the bare essentials for making cupcakes, so I figured, why not just make traditional butterfly cakes? I think I’ve got so lost in coming up with new ideas, and trying different flavours, that I’d forgotten how good a plain old butterfly cake can be! So, here’s to going back to basics!
Thursday, 12 June 2014
I am SO far behind with recipes at the moment! I’ve got about a dozen lined up as drafts waiting for me to decipher my notes and type up or finish adding photos, but things have been so hectic the last few weeks that I just haven’t had time to catch up.
So for now, here’s a quick recipe for some soft, chewy flapjacks. I forgot to take a photo of them straight after baking, and then before I knew it, they’d all gone! So sorry there’s not a photo for this one, but you all know what flapjacks look like, right? ;)
Saturday, 7 June 2014
I make a mean fish pie. Fact. Over the last couple of years I've made dozens of versions, and every time I think 'this is it, this is the best fish pie ever'. But I can't help but keep tweaking and trying different ideas. Last time I added red curry paste to the roux, and was blown away by the outcome. We didn't have any red curry paste this time round, so I tried green instead, and I genuinely think that this one is my favourite.
There are quite a few steps for this pie, but it's TOTALLY worth it, I promise! I often make it as a mid-week dinner, after work, so it doesn't take all that long really, but you could also make it ahead and freeze it. I used a combination of sea bream and rainbow trout in this pie, but any fish works great - try smoked haddock and salmon too!
Monday, 2 June 2014
Wednesday, 28 May 2014
Monday, 19 May 2014
I am a little behind my on my recipes this month... It was my birthday last Monday and things have been a bit hectic all week! Plus, I have been sharing recipes on Jade Bakes for a whole year today! How time flies!
To celebrate, I'm sharing with your a recipe for some very moreish peanut butter cookie bars; another of the tray bakes I made for my sister's house warming party last month. The white chocolate frosting is also a dream - you can use it to top cakes, dip cookies or if you leave it to cool, you could even make truffles from it!
Friday, 9 May 2014
This is what I created for my boss' birthday this year. A biscuit base, with a chocolate cake that's midway between sponge and brownie, topped with lots of gooey toasted marshmallows. It looks a little messy, but tastes damn good!
Thursday, 8 May 2014
My lovely sister and her boyfriend have finally got their first house up together, and were able to host their house warming party a couple of weekends ago. My contribution was a dessert buffet for their party, and this is the first of three recipes I'll be sharing from the buffet. As there were going to be a lot of people there, I opted for a couple of tray-bakes and some muffins, things that are easy to eat with your fingers whist standing around chatting. I first made these about 5 years ago, and they've been a firm favourite with my family ever since so I re-invented them slightly for the party.
Tuesday, 29 April 2014
There seems to be an abundance of lemon based recipes popping up all over the place at the moment. After seeing a recipe for lemon cookies, it got me thinking - I should try making cookies with a lemon curd filling. These cookies are amazingly soft and chewy; I only had wholemeal flour, and I think that adds to their taste.
If you're not keen on lemon, try using raspberry jam or Nutella instead - this recipe is so easily adaptable!
If you're not keen on lemon, try using raspberry jam or Nutella instead - this recipe is so easily adaptable!
Wednesday, 23 April 2014
This is a bit of a 'retro' cake - I remember pineapple upside down cake from when I was really little, and I haven't really seen it around much since. I don't know why - it's light and fruity, perfect for pudding after a heavy meal, and it makes a fun centre piece on a dessert table at parties. Plus it's fun to make!
Thursday, 17 April 2014
When deciding what to make for Easter this year, the only thing I knew it needed to contain was mini eggs and chocolate. I couldn’t decide whether to make chewy chocolate cookies, rich chocolate sponge cakes or gooey chocolate brownies… so I though sod it. Why not just make all of it? And then, why not make all of it in one amazing, indulgent gateaux, overloaded with chocolate?! After all, that’s what Easter is really about, right? So this, my friends, is my wonderful creation: Death by Mini Egg Gateaux. A chocolate cookie base, topped with a chocolate sponge cake, finished with a thick layer of chocolate frosting and oodles of crushed mini eggs. Seriously bad for you. But totally worth it.
Monday, 14 April 2014
I came up with this idea whilst trying to decide what dessert to bake for after our Sunday Roast this weekend. I spotted a bag of mini eggs in the cupboard and instantly set about making them go further; traybakes are more of an afternoon cuppa bake, so I opted to turn a blondie into a pie. So here it is, my mini egg blondie pie.
Friday, 11 April 2014
I made these yummy shortbread biscuits as Mother's day gifts - they're rich and buttery, with subtle flavours that are not-too-flowery. Perfect with an afternoon cuppa.Plus they're super easy to make!
Wednesday, 2 April 2014
Technically, I didn't make these this year. I made them 2 years ago when they were all over Facebook, and I am by no means claiming this recipe as my own, but they went down so well, that they're too good not to share! Plus I had a request from a good friend for the recipe that I used :) This recipe has been slightly adapted from Precious Little Words recipe, and sorry about the photo - I didn't take a proper one of the brownies at the time, only one of the egg I almost lost!
Monday, 31 March 2014
I had a few egg whites left over from a recipe that I will share with you soon, and rather than see them go to waste (or to the dog) I thought I'd use them to try making chocolate meringues. They're so simple, and would be great served with fresh berries and cream, or even chopped banana and hot chocolate fudge sauce!
Tuesday, 25 March 2014
These were actually made following James' suggestion. Someone he works with was raving about Harrods' pistachio marshmallows, and as we live a long way away from Harrods, he said I'd have to make my own. So, I did, and this is the outcome! They're quite dense and are firmer than your average pink and white mallows, but they are very moreish! I've discovered that I can't have just one! This recipe is adapted from River Cottage, and can easily be changed to suit any flavour you want to try - don't be put off by the amount of steps, they're actually really easy to make.
Monday, 17 March 2014
I made this cake for my Grandparents’ Ruby Wedding Anniversary at the weekend – it was the obvious choice with it’s deep red colour and it made a great centrepiece on the dessert table. The buttermilk makes for a moist, dense sponge that is perfectly paired with this cream cheese frosting. It’s very rich though, so remember that a little goes a long way when it comes to cutting it into slices!
Thursday, 13 March 2014
Another recipe created with a handful of ingredients pulled from the cupboard that needed using up, these fruity chewy oat squares are a bit like flapjacks, but with less than half of the sugar. They're also dairy-free, making them perfect for anyone who is lactose intolerant! They'd be great with a handful of chopped nuts in too, and you can substitute the cranberries for any dried fruit you have in the cupboard.
Sunday, 9 March 2014
Oh yes! A colleague posted a no-bake creme egg cheesecake recipe to my timeline last month, and so for her birthday, I thought I'd recreate my own baked version! I love the hidden 'yolk' under the chocolate layer, and it's so simple to make!
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
This bake was one of those times where I just go to the cupboard, pull out a few ingredients and see what I can make with it. No recipes to follow, just my imagination. OK, so this doesn't always work, but 9 times out of 10, it ends in something amazing. This is definitely just that! I'd go so far as to say that this is probably the best thing I have ever made up. Ever. A lovely crunchy biscuit base, topped with a hazelnut 'blondie' style sponge, studded with gooey caramel pieces. What's not to love?!
Tuesday, 25 February 2014
I saw this recipe on BBC Good Food in the week, and knew right away I had to try it. It's so simple, but OH MY DAYS it tastes so good! It was definitely a crowd-pleaser in our household! What's more, it makes a great dinner served with spicy wedges and salad, or it can be eaten cold as part of a picnic or lunch buffet.
Wednesday, 19 February 2014
My sister and her boyfriend moved into their first house last week, and we've spent the majority of the weekend helping them strip wall paper, rip up carpets, clean tiles, paint walls and assemble flat pack furniture. All of which is pretty tiring work, I can tell you! So to keep us going, I baked a batch of these yummy Toblerone cookies - I doubled the recipe and ended up with about 60 cookies in the end, meaning that there was plenty left over for at home!
Wednesday, 12 February 2014
This coffee vodka cake is SO good! I'm not usually a fan of coffee cake, but since this is made with Tia Maria rather than cold brewed coffee I figured I had to try it. I think I've been converted...! I made this as a birthday cake for a colleague and we just ate it as a slice of glazed sponge, but I think ideally it should be served with a generous helping of clotted cream and a handful of fresh berries.
Tuesday, 11 February 2014
The first birthday cake of the year! This coconut lime gateaux is light and refreshing, and it has the BEST marshmallowy frosting! It does take a little more time and effort than your standard buttercream frosting, but it's totally worth it. I promise.
Monday, 3 February 2014
Another recipe adapted from Bake - this sponge is super light, moist and very moreish, plus it's really easy to make. We had this for dessert last night with single cream, but it would go just as brilliantly with an afternoon cuppa.
Monday, 27 January 2014
Friday, 17 January 2014
Another traybake I made for James' last day at work - we still had a tube of unopened Malteasers left over from Christmas, so I thought I'd used them up! Plus it's super quick to make! The original recipe left them a little firm and dry, so I've adapted it a bit to make them softer. Recipe adapted from Bake.
Friday, 10 January 2014
This is the creamiest cheesecake imaginable. Fact. The flavour is subtle with different textures from the biscuit base, dessicated coconut and coconut cream. It's great served for dessert after a spicy meal.
Wednesday, 8 January 2014
Monday, 6 January 2014
I know that now Christmas is over, you're probably all sick of chocolate and sugary treats, but this is a good way to add a little something to any left over Christmas chocolate you have. Between us, James and I were given four Terry's Chocolate Oranges this Christmas, so I used half of one of those to make these moreish flapjacks.
Thursday, 2 January 2014
I hope everyone has had a great Christmas! It's been great to relax and have some time to myself, but now I've got a few recipes to catch up on this month, starting with this lemon meringue trifle. We had this for dessert after our Christmas dinner, and it went down a treat. It's light, tangy and refreshing - perfect for after a big meal. Plus you get to play with a kitchen blowtorch!