Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Scone in 60 seconds . . . . . . well, 20 minutes actually.

Scones, pronounced however you feel, are a small bread of Scottish origin, but eaten all over the world. Famous as a component of Devonshire Tea. Otherwise known as "Rock Cakes," "Fat Rascals," and "Singing Hinnies".
They can be awkward to get right, overcook them and they are more stone than scone, undercook them and they fall to pieces and taste yuck. I'm certainly no expert at making the perfect Scone, far from it, more disasters than successes. This is a recipe that seems to work for me.
As a variation, throw in a handfull of raisins, before adding the milk.

225g Self-raising flour
35g Castor sugar
Pinch of salt
30g Butter (extra for greasing, but I prefer to use a baking sheet)
up to 150ml Full fat milk (you may not require the full amount.)
1 egg, lightly beaten to glaze.

Serve with:
A quality clotted cream
A good jam of your choice. Strawberry is a favourite.

1. Pre-heat oven to 210c
2. Place flour, sugar, and salt into a food processor, and quickly mix. Add the butter and mix again until it looks kinda like small breadcrumbs.
3. Slowly pour in the milk, whilst mixing, until a dough forms, it needs to be quite moist, but not so it sticks to the side of the bowl. You may not need the full amount of milk, so go slow.
4. Heavily flour a clean work surface, make the dough into a ball, and flatten until about 2cm thick.
5. Using a 4-5cm round cutter, cut out the scones, this mix should make around 9-11 scones.
6. Place the scones on a lightly greased tray or I prefer to line one with a baking sheet, lightly brush the scones with the beaten egg, and bake for around 12 minutes, or until they have risen and turned a light golden brown. Remove from oven and slightly cool on a wire rack.
7. Best eaten warm, cut in half, then add a spoon of clotted cream, and a good spreading of jam.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Scrumptious Chocolate cup-cake type thingys

I have been through a bit of a baking experimental stage, of late. Cookies, cakes, bread, pastries and cup cake type thingys. "What is a cup cake type thingy?" I hear you all say. Well I keep forgetting to buy cupcake cases, so i improvised at little, by using a silicone muffin tray/mould, and no cases. This was the pleasant result I got. This mix makes around 10-12 cakes.

5oz Self raising flour
1 1/2oz Drinking chocolate
1 1/2oz cocoa powder
6oz Castor sugar
3oz Sunflower margarine
3oz Unsalted butter (softened) 
3 Large eggs
3 Tablespoons of hot water.

1. Preheat oven to 140 degrees.
2. Lightly butter the muffin tray, it does not have to be silicone. Place in fridge to chill the butter. (This will help prevent the cakes from splitting when removing from mould.)
3. Gently mix together all the ingredients, except the water. Do not over mix as this will make the cakes stodgy.
4. Slowly add the water, whilst mixing, until a smooth paste is formed.
5. Pour the mix nearly to the top of the moulds.
5. Place in the pre-heated oven for around 35 minutes, or until the cakes feel springy to the touch.
6. Remove from oven. Leave to cool in the tray for a few minutes, then gently prise from tin/mould and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

Coconut and Vanilla Frosting
4oz softened butter
6oz icing sugar
2 tbsp Coconut milk or coconut cream

Seeds from one vanilla pod, or 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

1. Beat the butter and half of the icing sugar until smooth.

2. Add the rest of the icing sugar, beat again until smooth. Scrape the sides of bowl to make sure all is mixed well.
3. Add the Vanilla and coconut milk/cream, beat until very smooth.

Constructing the cakes
1. Once the cakes are cooled, using a sharp bread knife, carefully cut the tops off, creating a nice flat surface. Using cookie cutters/shapes cut stars, hearts, circles or whatever takes your fancy, from the cake tops.
2. Place frosting into a piping bag, or a freezer bag with the corner cut off, and generously pipe onto the cake. Then add your cut out shapes, dust a few with icing sugar and impress your friends with the finished pieces of art!

You can also use the cut-off tops sandwiched together with the frosting, as shown.

Many thanks to Julia England (@ on twitter, who also has a great blog A wanna be foodie!) for providing me with the basis of this recipe, general advice and all-round-good-banter!

Thursday, 10 March 2011


Some of my twitter followers may be aware that I have recently purchased some vintage 1950's ice lolly moulds, especially Julia England (wannabefoodie76 on twitter), as Julia kindly bought my attention to the ebay auction, also the fact that she had forgotten her password and username, helped my cause no end!
These moulds are great, easy to use and the kids love them! So over the coming months and especially when Summer arrives I will be experimenting with flavours, textures and techniques, and hopefully bringing to you some amazing lollies!
Lolly moulds in all shapes and sizes are easy to find in most homeware shops, go get some!

Apple 'n' Cinnamon Ice Lolly.
A nice healthy easy one to start, and just three ingredients!
200ml of Pure Apple juice (as always, get the best that you can afford)
Pinch of ground Cinnamon 
A squirt of honey.

1. Place the ingredients in a jug, and mix well. (You may need to heat a little to get the honey to dissolve)
2. Carefully pour the mixture into moulds.
3. Place in freezer, being careful not to spill, and leave to set, around 3-4 hours.

Please adjust quantities to suit your moulds.