Homemade seeded oatcakes difficulty ** #68

Makes 20 
Preparing time: 15 minutes 
Cooking time: 25 minutes

125 g medium oatmeal 
75 g plain flour 
4 tablespoons mixed seeds
1/2 teaspoon celery salt or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
50 g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
5 tablespoons cold water 

  1. Put the oatmeal, flour, seeds, salt and pepper in a bowl or food processor
  2. Add the butter and rub in with the fingertips or process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
  3. Add the measurement water and mix or blend to a firm dough, adding a little more water if the dough feels dry 
  4. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 2.5 mm thick 
  5. Cuts out 20 rounds using a 6 cm plain or fluted biscuit cutter, re-rolling the trimmings to make more 
  6. Place slightly apart on a large greased baking sheet 
  7. Bake in a preheated oven, 180 C(350 F),Gas Mark 4, for about 25 minutes until firm 
  8. Transfer to a wire rack to cool 
  9. Serve with cheese 
  10. Enjoy! :-) 


New Year cake difficulty **** #67 

Cuts into 10 
Preparing time: 60 minutes 
Cooking time: 25 minutes 

  • 175 g slightly salted butter 
  • 175 g caster sugar 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 175 g self-raising flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk 
For the buttercream 
  • 250 g unsalted butter, softened 
  • 325 g icing sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • drop of pink colouring 
  • 2 teaspoons boiling water 
To finish 
  • 5 tablespoons strawberry jam 
  • 200 g small sweets, such as dolly mixtures, sugar sprinkles 

  1. Beat together the butter, sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder in a bowl until pale and creamy 
  2. Stir in a little milk so that mixture drops easily from the wooden spoon when tapped against the side of the bowl 
  3. Divide the mixture evenly between 2 greased, base-lined and floured 18 cm sandwich tins and level the surface
  4. Bake in a preheated oven, 180 C(350 F), Gas Mark 4, for about 25 minutes or until risen and just firm to the touch 
  5. Loosen the edges, turn out on to a wire rack and peel off the lining paper 
  6. Leave to cool 
  7. Make a buttercream 
  8. Beat together the butter and icing sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy 
  9. Add the vanilla, pink food colouring and measurement water and beat well 
  10. Sandwich the cakes together using jam and a quarter of the buttercream 
  11. Spread the remaining icing over the top and side of the cake 
  12. Scatter with the sweets and sugar sprinkles 
  13. Add several sparkler, if liked :-)
  14. Enjoy in the new year!
Happy New Year! 2016 :-) Welcome MMXVI


Easy almond macaroons difficulty * #66

Makes about 15
Preparing time: 10 minutes 
Cooking time: 15 minutes 

  • 2 egg whites 
  • 100 g golden caster sugar 
  • 100 g ground almonds 
  • blanched almonds, to decorate 

  1. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl with a hand-held electrical whisk until peaking 
  2. Gradually whisk in the sugar, a spoonful at a time, until thick and glossy 
  3. Add the ground almonds and stir in until combined
  4. Drop dessertspoonfuls of the mixture, slightly apart, on a large baking sheet lined with baking parchment
  5. Press an almond on top of each 
  6. Bake in a preheated oven, 180 C(350 F),Gas Mark 4, for about 15 minutes until the biscuits are pale golden and just crisp
  7. Leave on the paper for 5 minutes, then transfer to the wire rack to cool.
  8. Enjoy! :-)


Christmas gingerbread cookies difficulty ** #65

Makes: 35-40
Preparing time: 20 minutes 
Cooking time: 8 minutes 

  • 150 g unsalted butter 
  • 125 ml cup golden syrup
  • 110 g cup brown sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 450 g plain flour 
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1 egg lightly whisked
  • writing fudge and rainbow chocolate chips, to decorate
  2. 1.   Preheat oven to 180°C. 
  3. 2.   Line 2 large oven trays with baking paper.
  4. 3.   Place butter, golden syrup and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  5. 4.  Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Remove from heat. 5.   Add bicarbonate of soda and stir to combine. 
  6. 6.   Transfer to a large heatproof bowl. 
  7. 7.   Set aside to cool.
  1. 8.   Sift flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and baking powder over butter mixture.
  2. 9.   Add the egg and stir until combined. 
  3. 10. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until smooth. 
  4. 11. Divide dough into two portions. 
  5. 12. Shape each portion into a disc and cover with plastic wrap.
  6. 13. Place in the fridge for 45 minutes or until firm.
  1. 14. Roll one portion between 2 sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick. Using a 6-7cm Christmas pastry cutters, cut shapes from dough, re-rolling scraps.
  2. 15. Place on the lined trays, 3cm apart to allow for spreading. Repeat with remaining gingerbread portion.
  3. 16. Bake in preheated oven, 1 tray at a time, for 8 minutes or until just firm to touch. 
  4. 17. Remove from oven and set aside on trays for 5 minutes to cool before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. 18. Decorate gingerbread using writing fudge and rainbow choc chips, if desired.

Traditional Christmas gingerbread

19. Enjoy:-)


Date & banana ripple slice difficulty ** #64

Cuts into 10 
Preparing time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 85 minutes 

  • 250 g stoned dates, roughly chopped 
  • finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon  
  • 100 ml water
  • 2 small very ripe bananas
  • 150 g slightly salted butter, softened 
  • 150 g caster sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 100 ml milk 
  • 275 g self-raising flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  1. Put 200 g of the dates in a small saucepan with the lemon rind and juice and measurement water
  2. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes until the dates are soft and pulpy
  3. Mash the mixture with a fork until fairly smooth 
  4. Leave to cool 
  5. Mash the bananas to a puree in a bowl, then add the butter, sugar, eggs, milk, flour and baking powder and beat together until smooth 
  6. Spoon a third of the mixture into a greased and lined 1.25 kg or 1.5 litre loaf tin and level the surface 
  7. Spoon over half the date puree and spread evenly 
  8. Add the half the remaining cake mixture spread with the remaining puree
  9. Add the remaining cake mixture and level the surface 
  10. Scatter with the reserved dates and bake in a preheated oven, 160 C( 325 F),Gas Mark 3, for about 1 h 20 minutes or until risen and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean 
  11. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then loosen at the ends and transfer to a wire rack 
  12. Peel off the lining paper and leave the cake to cool completely.
  13. Enjoy! :-)