– Mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarb and salt in a small bowl.
– Cream together the butter, sugars and vanilla.
– Add a spoonful of the dry mix to the butter mix and beat well to combine.
– Gradually add the remaining flour mix, beating well between additions until a smooth, dark dough is formed.
– Add the chocolate chips and mix in.
– Divide the dough in two, press down into rounds on a baking tray and sprinkle with the salt flakes.
– Bake for 12 minutes. The cookies are ready when the tops have cracked. If the tops aren’t cracked, they’re not done.
– Remove from the oven and leave on the tray for at least 5 minutes. This is very important! The cookies will be soft when they come out but will solidify in those 5 minutes. Leave them a further 10 minutes before eating for best results.
A very quick post today as I know some people are eagerly awaiting this recipe for Salted Caramel Sauce. It’s simple once you know how and absolutely amazing! I have had to restrain myself from simply eating it from the jar!
Makes 1 jar
250ml double cream
1 cup granulated sugar
– Pour the cream into a small pan and heat to just short of boiling. Turn off the heat and set aside.
– Place the sugar in one flat layer in a large, heavy bottomed pan. You need it to be much bigger than you think as when you combine the ingredients it can bubble up and rise to nearly 10 times the height! Also, thin pans mean that the sugar may quickly burn as the heating is more intense. Heat your sugar on a LOW heat. It will take time (about 8 minutes to start to melt) but if you heat it too intensely then the sugar may burn and cause problems for you. Do Not Stir!
– Once about 8 minutes has gone by you should be able to see the sugar melting around the edges. At this point you can gently turn the sugar so the melted stuff on the bottom comes on top and the solid sugar on top gets to the bottom. Your sugar should be turning from white to golden caramel. Don’t rush, it will get there.
-Once your sugar is all melted with no lumpy bits take it off the heat.
– Pour half your hot cream into the sugar. It WILL bubble, spit and rise up. Stir vigorously the whole time.
– When it has died back down pour the remaining cream in, remembering to keep stirring. It will usually rise and spit again. It will look like a lumpy mess. This is normal.
– Return the pan to a low heat and keep stirring. The lumpy mess will slowly melt back in and you will get a smooth pale caramel sauce. This will probably take about 10 minutes. If you have any huge lumps it may take longer but they will eventually dissolve. You don’t want the mixture to boil so keep it on a nice low heat and it will get there!
– When you have a nice, smooth sauce sprinkle over the salt and give it a good mix then pour into a heat proof container.
– I store mine at room temperature but that’s because it doesn’t last long at all! If you plan to be more restrained in your consumption then you can keep it in the fridge but be aware that it will stiffen at a lower temperature.
Sometimes you need cake. Chocolate Cake. Special Cake. And sometimes you need two Very Special Mini Chocolate Cakes!
One for you, one for a friend… Or something! Mini cake is always a good idea, right?
Basic Cake Mix:
180g self raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 pinch salt
40g cocoa powder
125g caster sugar
150ml olive oil
2 tbsp golden syrup
– Heat the oven to gas mark 4 and grease and line your chosen cake tins.
– Sift the flour, bicarbonate, salt and cocoa into a large mixing bowl.
– Mix the sugar and wet ingredients together in a large jug.
– Stir the wet I to the dry and mix well until thoroughly combined.
– Divide between your chosen cake tins.
– Bake! 4″ tins should take around 25-30 minutes, 8″ sandwich tins around 30-40 minutes and if you want to bake it all as one huge cake (23cm springform) then you’re looking at about an hour. Check regularly and test to ale sure a skewer comes out clean before removing from the oven.
Chocolate Fudge Icing:
200g icing sugar
45g cocoa powder
4 tablespoons milk
– Melt the butter in a medium saucepan.
– Sift in the icing sugar and cocoa powder.
– Add the milk and mix well until smooth.
– Leave to cool and thicken before spreading on the cakes or pour over as a glaze.
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!
A lovely simple biscuit, quick and easy to work with and it gives a delightfully crisp buttery biscuit. Nothing fancy at all, as simple and wholesome as a biscuit can get! These biscuits remind me of some I had as a child at a farmhouse on the way to the lake district. There were no such things as hygiene certificates then, this was literally the farmer’s wife selling tea and biscuits in her kitchen and they were some of the best I’ve ever had!
Makes 18 biscuits
125g butter, softened
70g golden caster sugar (Plus a few tsp extra for sprinkling)
1 egg yolk
160g plain flour
small pinch of salt
Heat the oven to gas mark 5 and prepare two baking trays with baking paper.
Cream together the butter and the sugar in a small mixing bowl.
Add the egg yolk and beat well to combine.
Add the flour and the salt (if your flour is at all lumpy do sift it in as it will mix easier).
Bring all the ingredients together into a soft dough. It can help to use your hand to get it all together in the last bit.
Pinch off small walnut sized balls of dough and roll them in your palms to shape into rounds.
Place on the baking tray and use the heel of your palm to squish them flat.
Sprinkle the tops with the extra sugar.
Bake for 10 minutes until the edges are just starting to colour.
Remove from the oven and allow to sit on the tray for 5 minutes before trying to move them as they will break otherwise.
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.
Hi, I'm Anna and this is what's going on in my kitchen and growing in my garden.
Everything you see here is how it looked as I cooked and ate it. I don't like to make things too fussy. I want you to know that if you try one of my recipes what you see is what you'll get.
Don't forget to leave a comment, I love to know what you're thinking and if you do try out a recipe then let me know how it worked for you. Happy cooking!