Friday, 8 March 2013

Slimming World Lemon Meringue

                                                         Whole lemon meringue 10syns

Lemon layer
2 eggs                                                                  
1 lemon- rind and juice
2oz Quark
2 sheets gelatine

2 egg whites
50g caster sugar

Place 2 gelatine sheets into cold water to soak for about 10 minutes.
Place eggs, lemon juice and rind in a bowl whisk together.
Place bowl above a saucepan of simmering water.
Keep stirring until thicken. - be careful not to over cook or will end up with scrambled eggs!
Take off the heat.
Give the gelatine leaves a squeeze to remove water and stir into lemon mix until disolved.
Stir in the Quark.
Place in oven proof dish and chill.

Pre heat oven to 160c.
Whisk egg whites until forms stiff peaks.
Add the sugar slowly whilst whisking.

Place meringue on top of chilled lemon layer.
Bake in the oven until lightly coloured. - Dont over bake or end up with lemon flavored scrammbed eggs!

                                                         2.5 syns portion - delicious!

I don't put any sweetner into the lemon layer as I like it quite tart, can add sweetner to taste.
The meringue could be made with sweetner instead of sugar and would then be syn free but I HATE the taste of sweetner and if you are having a treat it sould be just that!

Note- meringue made with sweetner will not go crisp.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Oat and chocolate chip cookies - The best cookies I have EVER eaten!

It was my first free weekend since way before christmas. It was just lovely knowing I didnt have to be anywhere or do anything. So of course the first thing I did was bake! I asked the h2b (husband to be) what he would like and he asked for cookies or carrott cake. You will see from a previous blog he loves carrott cake, but it was not to be, we did not have the ingredients and I had no intentions of leaving the house. So cookies it was. I decided I wanted something a little different from the oatmeal and raisin cookies that we love so decided to try oat and chocolate cookies. I have never had an oat and chocolate cookie that I could remember so just combined some tried and tested recipes.
270g Unsalted butter
160g Golden caster sugar
140g Soft dark brown sugar
20g Soft light brown sugar
2 Eggs
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla extract
380g Plain flour
1 teaspoon Salt (you could really taste the salt, I like that with a cookie but use less if you dont.) 
1 teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda
110g Rolled oats
220g Mixed chocolate chips - I used milk, white and dark.
Preheat oven to 170c
Mix sugars and butter using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix. sift the flour and add along with the salt, bicarbonate of soda and oats and beat until well mixed. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Arrage the cookie dough on baking trays lined with grease proof paper. Space well apart as will spread when baking. Cook for about 10-12minutes. check them regularly to make sure they are not burning. Remove from the oven and leave to firm on the baking tray for a minute or two then cool on a wire rack.
I then flatten them down a littke with my hand.

I also only bake them until very lightly golden and just set. This way they are stil soft and chewy rather than crisp. If you prefer them crisp just bake a little longer. 
I am a little obsessive about my cookies all being the same size, I now use a cookie scoop this was a size 40. I bought mine in America but you can buy them from amazon. Before this I would weigh the each ball of cookie dough, sad I know!  

Just make sure it is a heavy metal scoop as the cookie dough mixure is quite thick.
I hope you enjoy the cookies as much as I did. Any questions just ask. 

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Baking in America - Cranberry Raisin Scones

Whilst out in America I ended up having to bake twice. Like many bakers I couldn't go two whole weeks without baking. I start getting withdrawal, the symptoms of which include frequent dreams of cakes, reading and re-reading of baking blogs, recipe book shopping, baking equipment shopping and ingredient shopping. As you can tell, the withdraw symptoms can get expensive!

As you can see, my symptoms must have been bad. I returned to the UK with a very full suitcase. I was worried that I might be stopped at customs and have to explain my baking obsession. I thought they may think it wasn't all for personal use!

I noticed that there were often recipes on packets of flour, sugar, raisins and many other store cupboard ingredients. I didn't have to look far for some insparation. I was quickly drawn to this recipe found on a packet of flour. It was for an american style scone. I had tried a pumpkin scone whilst out at starbucks a few days before. It was delicous. American scones are fairly dry in texture, but full of flavour. There is a thin layer of icing that does add some moisture.

I was very excited to be using an american recipe as I was able to bake using cups. It was such a quick and easy way to bake. I dont know why I hadn't tried it sooner.

I forgot to take any pictures as I was going along and only have pictures of the dough after it had been cut up. As you can see, american scones are triangular!

All ready to go in the oven. The recipe said it would make 8 scones and it did. Although the scones were quite large and could have been smaller. They were great as a breakfast scone and were not overly sweet.

Once the scones came out of the oven I topped them with the glaze. I had to add more powdered sugar (icing sugar) than this as I found it to be too runny.

The finished scones, yum, yum!

Cranberry raisin scones
2 cups Self Rising Flour
4 tablespoon sugar
¼ cup Butter
2 eggs
1/3 cup of milk
½ cup each dried cranberries and raisins

Combine flour and sugar in a mixing bowl.
Add butter and mix untill the flour resembles a course meal.
Add eggs and milk and blend well with a spoon.
Stir in the cranberries and raisins.
Knead the dough on a floured surface untill the dough is smooth.
Divide the dough in half and make two 6inch circles.
Cut into four wedges.
Place wedges 2inches apart on a baking sheet.
Bake for 12-16 minutes. 

Orange glaze

1 cup powder sugar
2 tablespoon orange juice

Combine together in a small bowl.
Drizzle over hot scones, leave to cool.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Visiting Houston.

In September I made my first ever trip to America, and to say I was excited was some what of an understatment. I found everything exciting: the yellow school buses, the huge drains, fire hydrants, newspapers on peoples lawns, the massive roads (for the massive cars), the traffic lights. And the thing I found most exciting....the supermarkets. They were just HUGE and had so much to choose from. Also, there were so many samples to try on your way around the store that my boyfriend and I would go for a free lunch! One time we had orange juice, apple danish, burger and crisps, a stew, and a rice cake. What a feast!
Just look at all the different candy to choose from.

This is a selection of some of the cakes on sale in one of the local supermarkets. The flowers are all made of buttercream. They were amazing.

I was very excited to visit the Oh La La cake shop, It would be my first experience of an american cupcake.
The shop was beautiful and there were so many to choose from. I went for a red velvet, as did my boyfriend. I make my own red velvet cupcakes and they are a definite favorite in my house.

It looked so pretty and was huge. As i was told, everything is bigger in texas!

I couldn't wait to dig in, it looked light and fluffy and I liked the sponge to buttercream ratio.

I could have not been more disappointed. It was dry and pretty flavorless. The buttercream was very light but tasted synthetic. At least I wouldn't be wanting to eat my body weight in cupcakes!

One lunch time we went to Champs, an american sports bar. I decided to go for a blue cheese and bacon burger - it was amazing, the best burger I think I have ever eaten. I struggled to eat it all and ended up with a tummy ache, but it was so worth it. My mouth is even watering just writting about it!

I was in america for 2 weeks and there is no way I could go that long without bakingI In fact I ended up baking twice. I will share the recipies on here soon. 

Friday, 25 November 2011

Christmas Cupcakes

I wanted to make something with all the taste of christmas but much lighter than a rich fruit cake. I think these cupcakes did just that. They were light as you would expect from a cupcake but have a huge about of christmas flavour. To get the christmas flavour I made a plain cake batter and added some homemade mincemeat and spices. I topped these cupcakes with creamy cinnamon buttercream.

Homemade mincemeat, ready to be stired in to the cupcake batter.

The cake batter with the added mincemeat, it looked amazing and smelt glorious.

Almost ready to go in the oven. Whilst cooking the house was filled with a lovely christmas smell.

The "naked" cupcakes

Christmas Cupcakes recipe

150g Caster sugar
150g Butter
150g Self raising flour
3 Eggs
2 Tablespoons of mincemeat
1 Teaspoon mixed spice

Pre heat the oven to 170oC.
Cream the butter and sugar together for 5 minuets until very light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time and mix until combined.
Now fold in the flour.
Add the mincemeat and mixed spice, mix until well combined.
Spoon into cupcake cases and bake until golden brown this should take about 20 minuets.
Leave to cool before topping with buttercream.

Cinnamon Buttercream

250g icing sugar, sifted
80g butter
25ml milk
1-2 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix icing sugar and butter with a whisk until well combined.
Add the milk and mix well untill light and fluffy.
Stir in the cinnamon, add as much as you like, I added 2 teaspoons as I love to really taste the cinnamon.
Pipe onto the cupcakes.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Apple Crumble Pie

My boyfriend started a new job on monday, so I decided I wanted to make him a yummy dinner. For the main we had fish pie, which he just loves. To me a dinner is not complete without a pudding. I had been asking my boyfriend for a while what pudding he fancied and he asked for an apple pie. I though an apple pie just sounded a little dull but I wanted to give him what he wanted, he often ask's for something quite simple and I make something the complete opposite. So I started to make the apple pie. Call it fate or luck on my part but I did not have enough butter to make enough pastry. So thinking on my feet I thought, what else can I make, I thought I could just make an apple cumble, another of my boyfriends favourites, but this just didn't seem special enough for the occation. I thought why not combine the two! A moment of genius I thought! It turned out just scrummy. The pastry was crisp, the apples were rich, soft, buttery with lots of cinnamon and the cumble was light and biscuity.  

The apples cooking with butter, sugar and cinnamon, it smelt delicious. Be careful not to over cook them as they will be cooked again once in the pie.

The pie ready to go in the oven, I brushed it with milk, I should have used egg so that it went golden brown, it was a little pale, as you can see in the picture below.

The finished pie, I served it hot with some vanilla icecream. And most importantly my boyfriend loved it. Which is a good job as it is a large pie and we will be eating it for days!

Apple Crumble Pie.


250g Plain Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
110g Butter

Put the flour, salt and butterin an electric mixer and mix until a sandy consistency and is all combined. Add a tablespoon of water and beat until well mixed, then add a second tablespoon of water and beat until you have a smooth even dough, if still too dry add a little more water. 

wrap in cling film and leave to rest for an hour. During this time make the apple filling. 

Apple Filling

100g butter
1.5kg apples, peeled and sliced
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
180g caster sugar

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, once the butter has melted add the apples and stir until they are well coated in butter, then add the sugar and cinnamon. Cook untill soft but not too soft as they will be baked again inside the pie. Then leave the filling to cool. Meanwhile make the crumble.

Crumble topping

110g butter
55g caster sugar
55g demerera sugar
200g flour

Rub the butter, sugar and flour together until you have crumble.  


Pre heat the oven to 170oC. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured board then line a deep pie dish. Trim the edges to make it neat. Add the cooled apple filling and top with the crumble. Brush the pastry edge and any pastry decoration with beaten egg. Cook on the middle shelf for 35-40 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool for half and hour then slice and serve with vanilla icecream.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Summer berry sponge cake with creamcheese buttercream.

With all the rain we having be having lately I was being to feel a little fed up, so what could I do to cheer myself up, well bake of course! I decided to make a summer berry sponge as I had been berry collecting in by Nanna's garden and had loads of blackberries, I also had some strawberries and raspberries to use up so these also went in.

The cake batter looked glorious with the colourful berries running through it, my mouth was watering even before baking it.

The sponge it's self was light and fluffy with the lovely soft fruits, I ate the first slice whilst it was still slightly warm, I just couldn't wait. It was delicious. I then had to trim off some of the cake to make it look untouched as I was taking it with me to my mum's for lunch. I hope I am not the only one that occasionally has to trim off extra pieces of cake, or arrive with one less cupcake than intended!

I decided to proceed and cover the rest of the cake (well what was left of it!) with creamcheese buttercream. I make creamcheese buttercream a lot but this time I had a box of organic unrefined icing sugar from m&s to use so I thought I would give it a go. This made the buttercream a rich golden colour, it looked lovely but was actually a little to sweet, everyone loved the way it looked, but agreed that my normal creamcheese buttercream is actually much nicer.

Summer Berry sponge recipe

225g Butter or margarine
225g Golden caster sugar
225g Self raising flour
4 eggs
125g summer berries

pre heat the oven to 170oC

Cream butter and caster sugar together, until very light and creamy. I do this for at least 5 minuets

Add eggs one at a time with a little flour, mix until all the eggs are combined

sift in the flour and fold in.

stir in the berries.

Add to a greased and lined baking tin and bake until golden brown.

Cream cheese buttercream recipe

300g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold

Beat icing sugar and butter untill the mixture comes together and is well mixed, add the cream cheese in one go and beat untill it is completely incorporated. Then mix on a high speed untill light and fluffy.

do not overbeat, as it can become runny.