I always save the pumpkin flesh from my pumpkins when I’m carving them for Halloween. This is the advantage of growing your own pumpkins as a shop bought pumpkin usually has little flavour but if you can choose your variety you can get the best of both worlds. Although, to be honest, the spice in this mix means this would taste great even with a less flavoursome pumpkin!
These can be treated as either cupcakes or muffins, with icing it’s a cupcake, without it’s a nice, moist spicy muffin. The icing takes it to another level but it’s still delicious without.
This recipe makes an awkward 18 so what I did was make 12 cupcakes and 6 mini brioche shapes, which are great for a nice grab and go breakfast option.
Makes 18 cupcakes (or un-iced it’s a muffin!)
• 2 large eggs
• ¼ cup (59ml) milk
• 1 cup (236ml) vegetable oil
• 50g butter, melted
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 270g pumpkin puree*
• 200g dark brown sugar
• 90g granulated sugar
• 350g plain flour
• 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
• 1 tsp salt
• 2 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 tsp mixed spice
• ¼ tsp nutmeg
⁃ Heat the oven to 170°C and line a 12 hole muffin tray with paper liners and an extra 6 either cupcakes or a silicone tray if that’s easier.
⁃ Beat together the eggs, oil, melted butter milk and vanilla essence.
⁃ Add your pumpkin and sugars and mix well.
⁃ Add the flour, bicarb, salt and spices and fold in until totally incorporated. Try to to over mix but get all the flour broken down.
⁃ Pour into lined or silicone muffin holes.
⁃ Bake for 20 minutes until the cake is set and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
⁃ Leave to cool before icing.
– Cut your pumpkin flesh into rough chunks the same size and steam them in a vegetable steamer for 15 minutes until a knife inserted goes in smoothly.
– Mash the soft pumpkin flesh with a fork or a potato masher until smooth.
Salted caramel buttercream
• 100g unsalted butter (softened)
• 200g icing sugar
• 1 tbsp milk
• 4 tbsp salted caramel
⁃ Beat together all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl until smooth.
These Very Berry Breakfast Muffins are nothing less than an experiment in how much summer fruit it is possible to cram into a muffin and still maintain structural integrity! (About 300g as it turns out.)
The summer fruits are cropping heavily with cherries, raspberries, strawberries all ready now and the blueberries soon to ripen (confession: some bought blueberries went in here too!)
I am the furthest thing away from a morning person it is possible to be so easy, quick to ‘grab and go’ breakfasts are a must for me. These are packed full of homegrown fruit and the oats add a nice breakfasty touch too! You can whip them up in about 30 minutes start to finish too, which is always nice!
50g dark muscoavdo sugar 125ml milk 1 egg 1/2 tsp vanilla essence 40g butter, melted and cooled 150g self raising flour 1 tsp baking powder pinch of salt ~300g mixed summer fruits (can use frozen if fresh not available!)
8tsp porridge oats
8tsp Demerara sugar
– Heat the oven to gas mark 6/200°C and prepare 8 holes of a muffin tin with paper cases. – Beat together the sugar, milk, egg and vanilla essence then add the butter and beat again. – Add the flour, baking powder and salt into the mixture. – Fold in gently. – Add the fruits and stir in to the mixture to evenly distribute. – Divide the mixture evenly between the cases.
⁃ Sprinkle the top of each muffin with a teaspoon each of oats and Demerara sugar. – Bake for 25 minutes. (Check after 20) – Remove from the oven and leave to cool a little in the tin then place on a wire rack to cool completely or serve warm. These will be much less stable when warm but the berries taste amazing!
– First, prepare your pecans either by finely chopping by hand or by pulsing gently in a food processor. (My stick blender came with a small chopper attachment, which is perfect for these kind of jobs when you just need a small amount of something.)
– In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter sugar and maple syrup.
– Add the flour and pecans and mix to combine. At first it will not come together but you can bring it together easily with your hands at the end.
– Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
– Prepare the pecans by roughly chopping them, leave a few bits that are chunkier.
– put the pecans in an oven proof dish and mix with the maple syrup.
– Sprinkle the sea salt on top.
– Bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 170°. (You can do this at the same time as your first batch of biscuits.)
– Roll out your chilled dough to a thickness of 5 mm between two silicon sheets. (By using the silicon sheets instead of extra flour your dough will not get too dry. But if you don’t have these just sprinkle the worksurface and rolling pin with flour and work quickly to stop it sticking).
– Cut out your shapes, I prefer a maple leaf but they can be any shape you like, and place on a lined baking tray.
– Put the tray in the fridge to chill for at least 10 minutes. This will stop the biscuits from spreading when you bake them so if you’re not using a delicate shape and don’t mind this then you can skip that step.
– Re-roll your dough, but if it gets too sticky you may have to put it back in the fridge for a few minutes to solidify again.
– Heat the oven to 170°C and bake each tray for 10 minutes until just starting to turn golden brown then remove the tray From the oven and leave the biscuits to cool on the tray.
– To prepare the glaze mix together the icing sugar and melted butter in a small bowl. Gradually out of the maple syrup until you get a fairly thick but runny consistency. You may have to add a little more icing sugar or maple syrup to get the consistency you want. It wants to be somewhat like Greek yoghurt, not too thick but not so runny that it slides off your biscuit.
– Once your biscuits are cool, dip each one top down into the glaze then gently shake it back and forth so that the excess glaze falls back into the bowl. Then place back onto the baking tray and sprinkle with your pecan topping mix.
– Repeat for all of your biscuits then leave the glaze to set before serving or putting in an airtight box to store.
These spooky eyeball chocolate chip cookies are great easy Halloween cookies! I bought a packet of these sugar eyeballs ages ago but never really found a need to use them until now! These cookies are a great Halloween treat and you can use the technique with your own favourite cookie recipe if you prefer, no need to follow this one (though it is great!) You simply press the eyes into the cookie when it comes straight out of the oven and then leave to cool.
Makes 18 cookies
200g melted unsalted butter 220g light muscovado sugar 100g caster sugar (If you like the grainyness of the M&S cookies feel free to use granulated, I don’t like it so I use caster) 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 egg 350g plain flour 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 200g chocolate chips (I use one bag of dark and one bag of milk for variety)
One pack sugar eyeballs
– Heat the oven to Gas mark 3/170C and prepare two baking trays. – Melt the butter, I put it in the microwave for 1 minute but microwaves vary so be careful! – In a large mixing bowl mix the melted butter with both sugars until smooth. – Beat in the vanilla and egg until smooth. – Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until it forms a dough. – Mix through the chocolate chips. – Divide the dough in to generous balls, slightly larger than a ping pong ball is best. Roll briefly in your hands to make a round ball and place 6 on a baking tray. Make sure they cookies are well spaced apart as they spread. – Bake one sheet at a time in the top of the oven for about 15-17 minutes. The cookies will still be soft but the edges should be a little brown. – As soon as they come out of the oven press the sugar eyeballs randomly into the cookies. Leave to cool on the tray for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely/eat. – Repeat with the remaining trays of cookies.
Super quick and simple to make this Japanese Tori Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken) really hits the spot! You can add garlic and ginger to the marinade if you like for a little extra flavour but I don’t usually. For authenticity make sure you’re eating it with Kewpie mayonnaise!
Chicken breast (or thigh) chopped into bite size chunks
1 tbsp cooking sake
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp corn flour
Large pinch of salt
– Marinate the chicken in the sake and soy sauce (optional: garlic and ginger pastes) for at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight in the fridge.
– Heat a pan of oil to 180°
– Drain any excess liquid from the chicken.
– Add the corn flour and salt and mix so the chicken is well coated.
– Drop into the hot oil a piece at a time, cook in batches if necessary so it’s not crowded.
– Cook for 3 minutes until golden brown.
– Remove from the oil with chopsticks (or tongs) and place on a sheet of kitchen paper to drain.
– Serve hot or cold with mayonnaise and a lemon wedge squeezed over.
– 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.
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!