Parkin

Posted 30 October 2013 by
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Parkin is a traditional gingerbread recipe from the north of England. Yorkshire parkin is probably the most famous, but Lancashire have their own too. It’s a gorgeous, spicy, sticky thing; the black treacle immediately brings Bonfire Night to mind, and the spices add more autumnal yumminess. I’ve adapted this recipe from a few different ones I found. I’m not sure where it falls on the Lancashire/Yorkshire divide, although apparently Lancastrian parkin tends to have more flour and less oatmeal.

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Tres Leches Cake

Posted 27 September 2013 by
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This is a recipe for tres leches cake, a Daring Bakers challenge.

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Ultimate Chocolate Cake

Posted 1 September 2013 by
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This recipe for “Ultimate” chocolate cake comes from the BBC Good Food website. It is indeed very chocolatey. It’s moist, gooey and dark, definitely one for chocaholics. I can see this being a “go to” recipe, although perhaps reserved for those who really like dark chocolate! It is covered and filled with ganache, although I decided to use a chocolate fudge icing for the filling, just to sweeten it slightly as the ganache is quite strong. I think if you’re not so into dark chocolate, you would still like the cake itself, but then a sweeter, less intense icing might be better.

Ultimate Chocolate Cake

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Indian Spiced Meatballs with Pasta

Posted 31 August 2013 by
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I’ve been loving the new series of Celebrity Masterchef, and in one episode recently, John Torrode made these Indian spiced meatballs with pasta for the palate test. The contestants had to work out what the ingredients were, and then recreate the dish. I thought it looked pretty tasty, and luckily, the recipe (“Pappardelle with curried meatballs”) was on the BBC Food website.

Indian Spiced Meatballs with Pasta

I really enjoyed this dish. The combination of spices is absolutely delicious, but not too hot. I must admit, I found the lime pickle a little unusual, not having tasted it before, but it definitely added something. I decided not to make my own pasta and I couldn’t get hold of pappardelle, so I used tagliatelle, and I used turkey mince in place of the chicken. If you don’t have a small food processor capable of grinding the spices, you could obviously use ground spices, although I guess they wouldn’t be quite so flavoursome.

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Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Posted 31 July 2013 by
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Strawberry cheesecake cupcakes are another recipe from the delectable Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. As their name implies, they are the flavours of strawberry cheesecake in cupcake form.

Strawberry cheesecake cupcake

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Strawberry and Mint Curd

Posted 30 July 2013 by
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Strawberry is such a great summer flavour, not least for its association with summer picnics and Wimbledon. This strawberry and mint curd is a sweet summer treat and a good way to use up the strawberries that finally ripened here (if they really need using up). Mint goes well with strawberries, and the fruit/mint combo reminds me of a jug Pimm’s.

Strawberry and mint curd

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Lemon Cupcakes

Posted 29 July 2013 by
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This recipe for lemon cupcakes comes from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. Adding a little lemon curd to the centre of each cupcake makes it a little bit more special, and the tang goes nicely with the sweet lemon butter icing.

Hummingbird Bakery recipe lemon cupcakes

Just a word of warning: the recipe for the lemon butter icing makes a large quantity, and I used probably less than half of what I made, so you could easily scale that down unless you are planning to be really generous with the topping!

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Strawberry, Black Pepper and Balsamic Jam

Posted 28 July 2013 by
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Like the plain strawberry jam I made last month, this recipe for strawberry, black pepper and balsamic jam is adapted from one by Pam Corbin in the River Cottage Preserves book. (Fabulous book, I definitely recommend it.) Balsamic vinegar and black pepper are both classic ingredients to combine with strawberries, and their addition here make a lovely rich, spicy strawberry jam. I used about 1 tsp of ground black pepper, but you can add more or less to suit taste.

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Tiger Bread

Posted 27 July 2013 by
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Tiger bread (aka Dutch Crunch bread) is something I’ve wanted to try for a long time. Years ago, I’d see it on the supermarket shelves, and thought it was covered in cheese. Disappointed to discover it was not, I avoided buying it for some time. Cheese-less as it is, it is still delicious. It’s soft and slightly sweet, with a hint of sesame, and of course that famous crunchy top.

Tiger bread loaf

This recipe is for a July’s Daring Baker’s challenge. In a “celebration” of past Daring Baker and Daring Cook challenges, Lisa challenged all of us to search through the Daring Kitchen archives and pick any one we’d like! The REAL challenge was picking which delicious recipe(s) to try!

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Toffee Nut Blondies

Posted 22 July 2013 by
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Apparently there are some people who don’t really like chocolate. Shocking, I know. For those kinds of people (and even the rest of us), these toffee nut blondies are a nice alternative to brownies. You can use whatever nuts you like, I used Brazil nuts here. For the toffee, use any kind of shop bought toffees or caramels that are firm, but still chewy. I used Werther’s Chewy Toffees, and just cut them into quarters. The Caramacs add a definite “something”, but if you can’t get hold of them you could use white chocolate instead. They have a gorgeous salty-sweet toffee taste along with a chewy-nutty texture.

Toffee Nut Blondies

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