This Cinnamon Scone Cake was actually the first of the Giant Scone Cakes. I had the idea of a cinnamon flavoured scone smothered in clotted cream and honey and I couldn’t rest until it had been created!
450g self raising flour
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
100g butter, softened
1 1/2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
Just under 300ml milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice added* (or 300ml buttermilk)
2 tbsp brown sugar + 1 tsp cinnamon
50g icing sugar + cold water
– Heat the oven to gas mark 5 /180C and line a baking tray.
– In a large mixing bowl mix the flour, salt and baking powder.
– Rub the butter into the flour mix until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
– Add the sugar and cinnamon and stir lightly.
-Mix in the milk quickly and thoroughly but be careful not to over mix the dough.
– Trn the dough out onto the baking tray and use floured hands to shape into a round.
– Slice though the dough to to the number of sections you want.
– Brush the top with a little milk and a sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon.
– Bake for ~30 minutes until the sugar on top is caramelised and the scone cooked through.
– Mix the icing sugar with just a little water then drizzle over the top.
– Serve with clotted cream and honey. Plain butter is also delicious!
I love sitting in the garden in the summer surrounded by flowers with a big pot of tea and scones for tea! So what could be better than a Giant Victoria Scone Cake. One giant scone, sliced in half and filled with freshly whipped cream, homemade jam and berries from the garden. Yum!
Makes 1x 9″ or 2x 7″ scone cakes
450g self raising flour
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
100g butter, softened
2 tbsp caster sugar
Just under 300ml milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice added or 300ml buttermilk
– Heat the oven to gas mark 7 and line a large baking tray.
– If using milk and lemon juice, combine in a jug now and let it sit for a bit.
– Place the flour, salt and baking powder in a large mixing bowl and give a quick stir to combine.
– Add the butter and use your fingers to rub it in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
– Add the milk and mix until all the flour is incorporated. Try not to mix too much, a light hand gives a better scone.
– Tuen out the dough directly on to your lined baking tray. Scrape down the sides for any spare dough as this mix should be quite sticky.
– Flour your hands well and lightly pat the dough into a round cake.
– Brush the top with milk.
– Bake for 25 minutes until firm and just browned.
– Leave to cool almost completely before splitting in half and spreading with jam. Fill with whipped cream and fresh berries. Dust with icing sugar and enjoy!
The last of the home grown rhubarb is coming this month, after that you need to let the plants rest and regroup. So I whipped up this Rhubarb and Orange Frangipane Tart to make the most of it while it’s still with us!
The later season rhubarb isn’t as vibrantly coloured as the younger forced rhubarb you get at the beginning of the year, if you made it with that then this would really be a pink showstopper! However, the regimented rows of rhubarb are very pleasing to me and the taste is amazing!
The natural tartness of the rhubarb and the sweetness of the orange frangipane go together so well and make a wonderfully refreshing tart that’s full of flavour.
Makes 1 rectangular tart
One sheet ready rolled sweet shortcrust pastry (or make your own but I was short on time!)
~4 sticks rhubarb
85g butter, softened
85g caster sugar
85g ground almonds
zest of one large orange, finely grated
1 tbsp caster sugar
- Heat the oven to gas mark 7 and grease your loose bottomed rectangular tart tin well.
- Shape and roll the pastry to fit (I had to trim a bit off the sides to make an extension, the scraps then went for jam tarts!)
- Press the pastry into the tin carefully, leaving a small overhang around the edge.
- Slice your rhubarb into batons the width of the inside of the pastry shell.
- In a small mixing bowl combine the butter, sugar, egg, ground almonds and orange zest and beat until well combined and smooth.
- Scrape the frangipane mixture into the pastry.
- Place the rhubarb on top of the frangipane evenly.
- Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tbsp sugar.
- Bake for 30 minutes until the top of the frangipane is golden brown and the pastry an even colour.
- Remove from the oven and trim away the excess pastry from the edges with a sharp knife.
- Leave to cool completely in the tin then carefully unmould.
- Serve with fresh clotted cream for a delightful afternoon treat!
I can’t remember where I first came across the recipe for French Yogurt Cake. It’s always just been there. But I never once felt the need to try it. There were always more exciting, more challenging cakes to try. Why go back to basics with a cake intended to be made with the help of toddlers?
This is why, my friends!
Beautiful, light, fluffy cakes that are the perfect teatime pick me up… or breakfast, coz it’s got fruit and yogurt in and that’s a breakfast food, right?
And, even though I possess no toddlers of my own (Darcy isn’t too good at baking, even though he loves the tasting part!) I can say with my limited knowledge of the species that this would be an absolutely brilliant recipe to bake with kids. No faffy weighing, just measure everything out using a yogurt tub and mix it up. Simple!
And so quick. The thing that takes the most time about this recipe is waiting for the oven to heat up! (Or sometimes it’s the pressing need to pop to the Co-op as you realise you’ve run out of eggs half way through!) We all know there are some days when you just want to get something in the oven without any hassle, these can be whipped together and out of the oven in less than half an hour (although I assume if you do choose to involve kids it will take longer…)
Don’t delay, give them a go today!
1 x 125g tub natural yogurt
2 tubs self raising flour
1 tub golden caster sugar
1/2 tub rapeseed oil
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of one lemon, grated*
~ 1 tub frozen raspberries
– Heat the oven to gas mark 4 / 180C.
– Prepare a tray with 6 mini loaf cases. Alternatively you can make this as a large loaf and just increase the cooking time.
– Put all of the ingredients except the raspberries in a mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Use the yogurt tub to measure out each of the ingredients.
– Divide equally between the mini loaf tins. (Space them well as this mixture rises!)
– Scatter the top of each cake with frozen raspberries.
– Bake for 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. (If cooking as a large loaf 45 minutes to an hour)
– Allow to cool until just warm them devour! Also excellent when you allow them to fully cool before consuming!
Instead of Lemon and Raspberry these can be adapted to any flavour you like. I have also had great success with Chocolate Orange, just replace the lemon zest with orange zest and add 2 tbsp cocoa powder and a tub of chocolate chips instead of raspberries.
These Apple Pie Slices are a quick and easy way to bake up some lovely pastries for guests, snacks, afternoon tea or even a naughty breakfast! (What? Apples are a fruit ergo it’s healthy!)
They are deliciously flakey and actually not too sweet. They are also super quick and easy to throw together!
They use my Apple Pie Jam as the filling but you could substitute with a bought apple jelly if you preferred. I would add a pinch of cinnamon to it though for maximum tastiness!
I also use bought puff pastry because nobody outside of the Great British Bake Off tent has time for that nonsense!
1 sheet pre-rolled puff pastry
1/2 jar Apple Pie Jam
3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp demarera sugar
- Heat the oven to gas mark 6 and line 2 baking trays.
- Cut your pastry into 16 equal pieces.
- Put a spoonful of jam in the centre of half of them.
- Prick the remaining slices with a fork to make little holes in the top.
- Put these pieces on top of the jam ones and press down all around with a fork to crimp the edges closed.
- Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for 20 minutes until the tops are golden brown. You will probably have to switch the trays over halfway through if they are on different shelves.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little before you eat them. They are equally good cold!
This one is a great Friday bake! It’s the end of the week and we’re all a bit tired. Chocolate will help. Specifically a No Bake Chocolate Truffle Torte! All of the flavour, none of the faff!
It’s a biscuit based crust with a smooth and silky chocolate ganache centre. Yum!
Look at those frills! This makes an excellent centrepiece dessert, or even an afternoon tea… I may have had it for lunch at one point too… shh!!
It’s quick, it’s simple, its packed full of chocolate. You should definitely make this!
Makes 1 8″ torte
300g chocolate biscuits (I actually used some of my Easy Chocolate Biscuits but you could use store bought too)
150g plain dark chocolate
150ml double cream
350g plain dark chocolate, broken into chunks
50g white chocolate to decorate
- Crush the biscuits into crumbs. You can leave some chunks if you like but I prefer crumbs.
- Melt the first 150g chocolate and mix with the biscuits.
- Press evenly into a fluted ring (the one I use doesn’t have a base, it rests on a baking sheet and lifts off). Use the back of a spoon for a smooth surface.
- Heat the double cream in a small pan until at a full rolling boil.
- Put the 350g chocolate and butter in a mixing bowl.
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and butter.
- Leave it for a minute or two, then mix to form a smooth ganache with no lumps. The cream should be hot enough to melt all of the chocolate if you squish it against the side of the bowl.
- Pour the ganache into the biscuit shell.
- Melt the white chocolate and drizzle or pipe over the top of the ganache to decorate.
- Leave to set for at least 1 hour before serving.
I have a real love for Afternoon Tea. To my mind there’s something deliciously civilised about sitting down with a friend to eat cake, drink tea and just chat about the world.
The ritual of setting out the cakes and making tea is so very soothing. It sets aside this time for you and your considerations. The world around you can wait. You have tea and cake to focus on!
I love preparing for an afternoon tea. My Fruit Scones are quick and simple to whip up and are always a delight. I can spend hours fussing over making little dainty sandwiches and tartlettes.
But what if you have no time? What if your oven has broken? What if you just can’t bake?!
(You can, if you can read a recipe you can bake a cake. You only need to believe in yourself and have a go, make a few biscuit cakes (wrong flour, oven too hot) and do your best!)
Well, my friends, even I have found myself in these circumstances. Sometimes you need the ritual of afternoon tea to step away from your hectic, chaotic world without the chaos of hours of prep in the kitchen. Here is my advice: You Cheat. Mr Kipling is your friend.
Even if you have a reputation as a superb baker no one will mind if you have cheated. It’s taking the time to sit with friends with a little something sweet and a relaxing cup of tea that is important. With a nice cake stand and some pretty china (charity shops are a gold mine for this stuff!) take the time instead to lay a pretty table and forget about the stress of baking for a while. Sometimes it is simply the more civilised thing to do!
A quick silly one for you this week as I’m concentrating on the fact that I will be running 5k tomorrow!!! Donate Here!
Did you know you can decorate your bananas?
It’s so simple! Just take a banana and a blunt writing implement and trace your design on the skin of the banana. Don’t press too hard and break the skin. Leave for a few hours and the design develops into a brown ‘bruise’ on the skin as it oxidises. Simple!
Excellent for labeling food or leaving notes or drawings in lunchboxes to bring a smile!
Ah, Quiche! The poor quiche has a bit of a bad rep simple because it has a bit of a funny sounding name! But we should not mock the quiche for it is delicious! Throughout the summer months I will frequently have one in the fridge just waiting to be grabbed for causal lunches, a picnic, a light supper. It’s a very versatile dish and once you have the basics down you can whip one up in no time!
This little quiche is an asparabacon quiche. Asparabacon is one of the finest flavour combinations so adding it to a quiche seemed like a brilliantly obvious step!
I’m not going to lie though, I think I’ve had it with pastry! I CAN make pastry, sure. It’s not that hard… but I hate it. It’s just one of those fiddly jobs that I just don’t really enjoy. I think that these days you can get some good ready made pastry at a decent price in any supermarket so I may just throw the towel in and go for an easy life! We shall see!
There’s an entire bundle of asparagus in this small quiche, which is a lot, yes, but ASPARAGUS! Fresh, British Asparagus too! If you want to dial back the asparagus that’s cool, but why not indulge yourself a bit?
Serves 4 / Makes 1x 8″ quiche
150g plain flour
25g trex (or just 75g butter)
1-2 tbsp cold water
6 large eggs
200 ml milk
1/4 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 bungle asparagus spears, trimmed of the woody end
125g smoked bacon lardons
25g grated cheese
– Put the flour, butter and trex in a mixing bowl and rub together with your hands until it forms a breadcrumb consistency.
– Add the water a little at a time mixing until it comes together into a dough.
– Shape into a flat round, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.
– Heat the oven to gas mark 5.
– Roll out the pastry on a floured worksurface into a rough circle. It should be about the thickness of a £1 coin and large enough to cover an 8″ sandwich tin with a little overhang.
– Gently pick the dough up using the rolling pin and drape it gently into the 8″ sandwich tin, lightly press down into the edges and smooth up the sides and over the lip making sure there are no trapped air bubbles.
– Cover the pastry with foil and fill with baking beans.
– Place on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.
– Remove from the oven and gently remove the foil and baking beans. If it won’t release evenly put it back in the oven for 5 minutes.
– Bake uncovered for a further 5-10 minutes until the pastry is just cooked and has lost that sickly pale look!
-Prepare your filling: Whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper together in a jug.
– Scatter the bacon and asparagus evenly over the pastry shell.
– Pour the egg mixture into the pastry shell. If you’ve got it right and there are no holes this is where your filling should stay. If you’ve got it wrong, well, that why it’s on a baking tray!
– Scatter the grated cheese on top.
– Pop it back into the oven (if it’s leaking get it back in as quickly as you can so that egg seals the hole!)
– Bake at gas mark 5 for 45 minutes until the egg is set in the centre and the top is a golden brown.
– Leave to cool completely before running a sharp knife around the edge of the tin to loosen the pastry.
– Place the bottom on a sturdy bowl smaller than the tin and press down evenly to unmould it.
– Run a sharp knife between the pastry and the tin base to separate it.
– Serve and enjoy!
As with so many things in my life I blame Pinterest for these little morsels of joy! These Pinwheel Pizza Rolls are so simple to whip up and make a fabulous grab and go lunch. They’d also make great picnic or party food!
The only tricky part might be the bread dough but once you have the hang of that there’s nothing to it! It’s a good way to practice your techniques for bread too as there isn’t a proper crumb to mess up while you’re learning.
I love making bread of all kinds, its’s so satisfying! I love how it magically puffs up and fills out.
300g strong bread flour
3g fast action yeast (1 tsp / 1/2 a sachet)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
150ml warm water
5 tbsp tomato puree
3-4 large slices cooked ham
75g grated cheese
– Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and add the yeast on one side and the salt on the other.
– Mix together and make a well in the centre.
– Add the oil and almost all of the water, reserve a little in case
– Mix well until a dough forms. If it won’t quite come together add the remaining water until it does. You may not need it.
– Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured worksurface and knead for about 10 minutes until it is soft and elastic. If you’ve overdone it with the water you can add a little more flour if it is sticking very badly.
– Place the dough in a clean, oiled bowl and cover and place in a warm, draft free place for 1 hour until the dough it risen and doubled in size.
– Knock the dough down by ‘punching’ it in the middle, give it a little knead to pick up all of the dough into a ball and turn out onto a lightly floured worksurface.
– Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 30cm wide.
– Spread the tomato puree evenly over it.
– Sprinkle over the grated cheese and lay the ham on top.
– Roll the dough up into a long spiral starting from the long edge furthest away from you.
– Pinch the long open end closed so the the dough forms a tube.
– Slice into 9 equal pieces and place cut side up on a large baking tray evenly spaced.
– Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
– In the meantime get your oven preheating to gas mark 7 / 220C.
– Bake for 25-30 minutes until risen and golden brown.
– Leave to cool or enjoy warm, whichever grabs your fancy! (I know you’re going to eat at least one warm, fresh from the oven!)
– To heat up later simply microwave for 30 seconds.