Iced fig slice difficulty ** #80

Cuts into 12 
Preparing time: 25 minutes 
Cooking time: 60 minutes 

  • 225 g ready-made puff pastry 
  • 175 g slightly salted butter 
  • 175 g caster sugar 
  • 200 g self-raising flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 eggs 
  • 6 figs
For the icing: 
  • 100 g icing sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  1. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a greased 23 cm square shallow baking tin or small roasting tin 
  2. Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans 
  3. Bake in a preheated oven, 200 C(400 F),Gas Mark 6, for 15 minutes 
  4. Remove from the oven, and remove the paper and beans 
  5. Reduce the oven temperature to 180 C(350 F),Gas Mark 4
  6. Beat together the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and eggs in a bowl until pale and creamy 
  7. Spoon over the pastry base and level the surface 
  8. Arrange the figs over the top 
  9. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes or until risen and golden 
  10. Leave to cool in the tin 
  11. Make the icing 
  12. Beat together the icing sugar and lemon juice in a bowl to make a smooth, spoonable icing 
  13. If necessary, beat in a dash of water or extra lemon juice 
  14. Drizzle the icing over the cake, then cut into squares or fingers.
  15. Enjoy! :-)


Scones with jam & cream difficulty ** #79

Scones with Jam & CreamMakes 10
Preparing time: 15 minutes 
Cooking time: 12 minutes 

  • 225 g self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 40 g slightly salted butter, chilled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar 
  • 125 ml milk, plus extra to glaze
To serve
  • strawberry jam
  • clotted cream

  1. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl or food processor 
  2. Add the butter and rub in with the fingertips or process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs 
  3. Add the sugar and milk, reserving 2 tablespoons of milk, and mix or blend briefly to a soft, slightly sticky dough 
  4. Add the reserved milk if the dough feels dry 
  5. Knead the dough lightly on a lightly floured surface until smooth, then roll out to 1.5 cm thick 
  6. Cut out 10 rounds using a 5 cm plain biscuit cutter, re-rolling the trimmings to make more 
  7. Place slightly apart on a greased baking sheet and bush with milk 
  8. Bake in a preheated oven, 220 C(425 F),Gas Mark 7, for 12 minutes until well risen and golden 
  9. Transfer to a wire rack to cool 
  10. Split the scones and serve topped with jam and cream. 
  11. Enjoy! :-)


Chai teabread difficulty * #78

Cuts into 10
Preparing time: 15 minutes 
Cooking time: 75 minutes 

  • 5 chai tea bread
  • 300 ml boiling water 
  • 250 g self-raising flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 150 g light sugar
  • 300 g mixed dried fruit
  • 50 g Brazil nuts 
  • 50 g butter 
  • 1 egg

  1. Stir the tea bags into the measurement water in a jug and leave to stand for 10 minutes 
  2. Mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, dried fruit and nuts in a bowl 
  3. Remove the tea bags from the water, pressing them against the side of the jug to squeeze out all the water 
  4. Thinly slice the butter into the water and stir until melted 
  5. Leave to cool slightly 
  6. Add to the dry ingredients with the egg and mix together well
  7. Spoon the mixture into a greased and lined 1 kg or 1.3 liter loaf  tin and spread the mixture into the corners
  8. Bake in a preheated oven, 160 C(325 F),Gas Mark 3, for 75 minutes minutes or until risen, firm and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean 
  9. Loosen the cake at the ends and transfer to a wire rack 
  10. Peel off the lining paper and leave to cool
  11. Spread the top with Chai Cream Frosting, if liked 
How to make 

For chai cream frosting, to spread over the cake, put  50 ml milk and 3 chai tea bags in a saucepan and bring to the boil.Remove from the heat and leave the tea bags to infuse in the milk until cold. Discard the tea bags, squeezing them to extract the liquid. Beat together 200 g cream cheese and 25 g very soft unsalted butter in a bowl until smooth. Beat in the flavoured milk and 75 g sifted icing sugar. 

Enjoy! :-)


Coffee & walnut cake difficulty ** #77

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

  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder 
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water 
  • 175 g slightly salted butter, softened 
  • 175 g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs 
  • 175 g self-raising flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 50 walnuts, finely chopped, plus extra walnut halves to decorate 
For the buttercream 
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons boiling water 
  • 100 g unsalted butter, softened 
  • 150 g golden icing sugar 

  1. Dissolve the coffee in the measurement water 
  2. Beat together the butter, sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder in a bowl until pale and creamy 
  3. Beat in the coffee and chopped walnuts 
  4. Divide the mixture evenly between 2 greased, base-lined and floured 18 cm sandwich tins and level surface 
  5. Bake in a preheated oven, 180 C(350 F),Gas Mark 4, for 25 minutes or until firm to the touch 
  6. Loosen the edges, turn out on to a wire rack and peel off the lining paper 
  7. Leave to cool 
  8. Make the buttercream 
  9. Dissolve the coffee in the measurement water 
  10. Beat together the butter, icing sugar and coffee in a bowl until smooth and creamy 
  11. Use half the buttercream to sandwich the cakes together, then spread the remaining buttercream over the top and decorate with the walnut halves. 
  12. Enjoy! :-)