Beer and raisin slice difficulty ** #40 

Cuts into 10
Preparing time: 15 minutes 
Cooking time: 55 minutes 

  • 150 g raisin 
  • 300 ml strong ale 
  • 150 g dark sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 egg
  • 175 g self-raising flour 
  • 150 g plain wholemeal flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  1. Put the raisins and ale in a small saucepan and bring just to the boil
  2. Pour into a large bowl and leave to stand until cold 
  3. Stir the sugar, caraway seeds, if using, and egg into the beer mixture
  4. Add the flours and baking powder and stir in 
  5. Spoon the mixture into a greased and lined 1 kg loaf tin and spread in the corners 
  6. Bake in a preheated oven, 180 C(350 F),Gas Mark 4, for about 50 minutes until risen
  7. Firm to touch and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean 
  8. Loosen the cake at the ends and transfer to a wire rack 
  9. Peel off the lining paper and leave to cool
  10. 18+ dessert, but children can also try a slice. :D


Vanilla fudge nuggets difficulty** #39

Makes 16
Preparing time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 75 g golden caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk 
  • 1 tablespoon egg white 
  • 150 g self-raising flour 
  • 8 pieces of soft vanilla fudge 
  • icing sugar 
  1. Beat together the butter and caster sugar in the bowl until pale and fluffy 
  2. Beat in the egg yolk and white, then add the flour and mix to a firm dough 
  3. Knead into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes 
  4. Divide the dough in half, then press half the dough into 16 mini silicon muffin cases arranged on a baking sheet 
  5. Push a piece of fudge down into the center of each case 
  6. Divide the remaining dough into 16 pieces 
  7. Roll each piece into a ball using lightly floured hands and flatten into a round roughly 5 cm in diameter 
  8. Push a round of dough into each case covering the fudge, press it down firmly around the edge 
  9. Bake in a preheated oven, 190 C(375 F),Gas Mark 5, for 15-20 minutes or until slightly risen
  10. Leave to cool in the cases for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely 
  11. Serve lightly dusted with sifted icing sugar.
  12. Enjoooy! :-D


Fruited friands difficulty ** #38

Makes 12
Preparing time: 20 minutes 
Cooking time: 25 minutes
  • 175 g unsalted butter 
  • 75 g dried strawberries, sour cherries or cranberries 
  • 2 teaspoons orange juice
  • 6 egg whites 
  • 225 g caster sugar 
  • 75 g plain flour
  • 125 g ground almonds 

  1. Melt the butter and leave to cool 
  2. Put the strawberries, cherries or cranberries and orange juice in a saucepan and heat until the mixture is hot, then turn into a bowl and leave to cool 
  3. Whisk the egg whites in a large clean bowl with a hand-held electric whisk until frothy and increase in volume but not peaking 
  4. Add the sugar, flour, and ground almonds and stir in until almost combined
  5. Drizzle the melted butter over the mixture, then stir together gently until just combined
  6. Divide the mixture evenly between the holes of a greased 12-hole muffin tray
  7. Scatter the strawberries, cherries or cranberries on top 
  8. Bake in a preheated oven, 200 C(400 F),Gas Mark 6, for about 20 minutes until pale golden and just firm to the touch 
  9. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes
  10. Transfer to a wire rack to cool 
  11. Serve sprinkled with caster sugar and ice-cream, if liked. 
  12. Have a nice dessert :-)


Blueberry bakewell difficulty ** #37 

Cuts into 18
Preparing time: 20 minutes 
Cooking time: 60 minutes 

  • 350 g ready-made sweet shortcrust pastry 
  • 6 tablespoons blueberry jam
  • 125 g slightly salted butter 
  • 2 eggs
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 125 g self-raising flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract 
  • 100 g ground almonds 
  • 4 tablespoons flaked almonds 
  • 75 g icing sugar, sifted 
  1. Roll the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a greased 28 x 18 cm shallow baking tin 
  2. Line the pastry case with baking parchment and baking beans 
  3. Bake in a preheated oven, 200 C(400 F),Gas Mark 4, for 15 minutes 
  4. Remove the paper and beans and bake for further 5 minutes 
  5. 'Reduce the oven temperature to 180 C(350 F),Gas Mark, 4
  6. Spread the base of the pastry with the jam
  7. Beat together the butter, caster sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and almonds extract in a bowl until smooth and creamy 
  8. Beat in the ground almonds 
  9. Spoon the mixture over the jam and spread gently in an even layer 
  10. Scatter with the flake almonds and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes until risen and just firm to the touch
  11. Leave to cool in the tin 
  12. Beat the icing sugar with a dash of water in a bowl to give the consistency of thin cream 
  13. Spread in the thin layer over the cake 
  14. Allow to set, then cut into a squares or fingers.
  15. I really hope, you'll enjoy in making this cake! :-D


Blue cheese & thyme straws difficulty * #36

Makes 40
Preparing time: 15 minutes 
Cooking time: 15 minutes

  • 100 g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme, plus extra for scattering 
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 100 g firm blue cheese 
  • 1 egg yolk 
  • sea salt

  1. Put the flour and thyme in a bowl or food processor 
  2. Add the butter and rub in with the fingertips or process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs 
  3. Stir in the cheese and egg yolk and mix or blend to a dough 
  4. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth, then roll out to 5 mm thick 
  5. Trim the edges and cut int sticks 5 mm wide and about 9 mm long 
  6. Place slightly apart on a greased baking sheet 
  7. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake in a preheated oven, 200 C(400 F),Gas Mark 6. for about 15 minutes until golden 
  8. Leave to cool slightly on the sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely 
  9. Serve scattered with extra thyme. 
  10. I hope, you'll enjoy ! :-D