Archive for the Treats Category

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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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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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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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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Crostata di marmellata: Daring Bakers’ Life of Pie

Posted 27 June 2013 by
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Crostata di marmellata — that’s Italian jam tart to you and me. This was a Daring Bakers challenge, and one of four pie options to choose from. The other pies looked amazing , and I was seriously tempted to bake some of those too, but with only so many people around to help eat them, I stuck to just this one.

Strawberry jam crostata

I haven’t baked with sweet enriched pastry before, and it turned out to be quite a challenge, particularly on a warm day. As a result, I was a little disappointed with the apparance of the finished tart, but it was really tasty, and that’s the main thing.

Crostata di marmellata

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Hummingbird Bakery Lemon Loaf

Posted 9 June 2013 by
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The weather has finally improved here and it’s so nice to take advantage of the Amalfi lemons that are in season. Lemon is such a summery flavour. This lemon loaf from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook is the perfect vehicle. It’s a lovely sweet loaf, but what really makes it special is the lemon syrup drizzled on top.

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Nutella Swirl Brownies

Posted 27 May 2013 by
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I made these nutella swirl brownies to take to the end-of-year “party” to celebrate completing a course I’m doing. (When I say “party” — of course I mean a portfolio discussion helped along by Pringles, brownies and orange Matchmakers). The brownies were a hit, especially with my tutor, and were hopefully enough of a bribe to ensure that I pass.

Nutella swirled brownie batter

That day was a bit of a rush, so I needed something quick and easy, brownies being the obvious choice that sprung to mind. Nutella* seems such a natural addition to brownies, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t tried it before. Oh but wait, I have… This time, I wasn’t going for a nutty brownie, I just wanted the nutella to add an extra bit of yumminess, which it did. These are seriously good.

Nutella swirl brownies

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Buttermilk Pound Loaf

Posted 10 May 2013 by
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Just as soon as the sunny weather arrives, it’s cruelly snatched away from us again. It’s a rainy day in May, and what better to lift the spirits on a damp afternoon than a spot of baking? This is another recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, which I’ve some good successes with so far. This one is for buttermilk pound loaf and, because the recipe said I could, I’ve added some dark chocolate chips.

Buttermilk pound loaf with chocolate chips

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Hummingbird Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies

Posted 24 April 2013 by
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I remember when American-style cookies were quite a small player in the UK biscuit market. I also remember the vast majority of them being quite crunchy, and a lot smaller than most you get today. More like the British biscuits. Or, they’d be mostly crunchy, with a lovely, surprising bit of chewiness in the middle. An unexpected bit of indulgence, like you’d eaten it too soon from the oven.

Hummingbird Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of my earliest childhood foody memories is visiting my grandmother (who had spent time as a 1950s American housewife) and tucking into her walnut and chocolate chip cookies. They weren’t like anything else I’d tried at the time.

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