Sunday, 30 June 2013

Triple Chocolate Muffins

Unfortunately, this will be my last post for a week or two because I'm going on holiday next week! I've already bookmarked some lovely looking cake shops to try though so I might attempt to feature a couple of them on here when I come back. Until then, I decided I needed fuel to pack and organise all of my holiday things, so chocolate muffins made an appearance.

These are really tasty but not too sweet, which is normally what puts me off chocolate muffins. Using melted dark chocolate instead of cocoa powder gives quite a nice marbled effect in the cake and makes them less rich than standard triple chocolate muffins.

The melted chocolate also makes sure they're quite moist, especially with the milk as well. These are definitely a bit of an indulgence bake but perfect if you need some energy for packing like I did!


100g dark cooking chocolate
300g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g dark muscovado sugar
250ml milk
50g melted butter
2 eggs, beaten
50g milk chocolate chips
50g white chocolate chips


1) Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6.
2) Break the dark chocolate into a bowl and heat over a pan of simmering water until melted.
3) Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl, then in a separate bowl, mix the muscovado sugar, melted chocolate, butter, milk and eggs.
4) Carefully fold the wet mix into the dry mix then stir in the chocolate chips.
5) Spoon the mixture into a lined 12-hole muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes.
6) Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Apple Crumble

I've been a bit busy recently as I've now moved out of my student house and back home, so my past week or so has been cleaning and packing! I did manage to make this apple crumble for the boyfriend as a bit of a surprise for him though. I love a good apple crumble with custard, and they're so easy to make that it didn't matter that I was quite busy. 

Apple and cinnamon is one of my favourite combinations and the freshness of the apples in this means that it's still quite a light and summer-y dessert. They're really cheap as well, you can buy tinned apples for less than a pound and it's an easy way to get one of your 5-a-day. I added oats to the crumble topping to give it a bit more texture and I definitely recommend making this as a bit of a treat for dessert or for entertaining.


150g plain flour
85g muscovado sugar
100g butter
Handful of oats (depending on personal taste)
Teaspoon of cinnamon
1 tin of dessert apples
2 tablespoons of muscovado sugar
Teaspoon of cinnamon


1) Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas mark 4.
2) Place the flour, cinnamon, and sugar in a large bowl and mix well.
3) Add the butter and mix with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs, then add the oats.
4) Place the apples in your crumble dish and sprinkles on the sugar and cinnamon, ensuring they are all covered equally.
5) Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top.
6) Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.
7) Allow to cool for a few minutes then serve with custard or cream.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Chocolate Chip Ginger Nuts

It was Father's day this weekend so I decided to make these for my dad as a bit of an extra present. He always complains about my baking (even though he always seems to be able to eat it) but I know he likes ginger so I thought these would be good for him. 
I had a bit of an issue with this recipe myself, as I found the dough originally quite crumbly and I couldn't form the balls without it falling apart! But if you find this is the case as well then just add some more golden syrup until it sticks together by itself.

I'm not a massive fan of ginger myself but I do quite like these; I think the chocolate dampens down the ginger in it so there is just a bit of an after taste in them. If you wanted them a bit more ginger-y then you can use a bit less chocolate and add some more ground ginger, it's up to you really! 


50g dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
1 tsp ground ginger
110g self-raising flour
10g cocoa
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g butter
40g granulated sugar
50g golden syrup (around 2 tbsp)


1) Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4 and line a baking sheet.
2) Sift the flour, cocoa, ginger and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl.
3) Using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
4) Stir in the sugar and chopped chocolate.
5) Add the golden syrup and mix everything with a wooden spoon.
6) Squeeze the mixture together with your hands, then divide the mixture into 16 portions.
7) Roll each portion into a ball then place on the line sheet, well spaced apart as they spread a bit whilst cooking.
8) Flatten each slightly then bake in the centre of the oven for 15-20 minutes.
9) Cool on the baking tray for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Dinner Rolls

These are really simple and easy to make and are perfect just with butter, or even toasted for breakfast. I first made these a while ago but I haven't had a chance to make them again since because you do need a bit of time to be able to prove the dough and I've been massively busy this year with my university work. Seeing as I have now officially finished my degree, expect quite a few new blog posts for a few months!

Don't be worried about the fact you have to knead the dough; this is probably the most simple recipe I have found and it's really easy to follow. They're really rustic and add a bit of an extra edge compared with shop bought bread rolls; perfect for dinner parties or just as a bit of extra baking! I'm definitely going to try and make more bread-based items this summer, I make my own pizza dough quite regularly but I would love to make some more flavours of breads as there are a lot of different things you can do with bread and so many different varieties you can make.


500g strong white flour
1 tsp salt
7g fast-action dried yeast
350ml lukewarm water
Oil for greasing


1) Place the flour in a large bowl then stir in the salt and yeast.
2) Make a well in the middle and pour in the water gradually to make a soft and fairly sticky dough.
3) Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic.
4) Shape into a round then place in a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with oiled cling film then leave to rise in a warm place for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.
5) Lightly oil 1 or 2 baking trays.
6) Divide the dough into small balls. You can make the balls as large or as small as you like. The original recipe says make 18 but I made 6 quite large ones, so it depends on what you need. Fold the sides to the middle to form the balls and get the cracked feature on top.
7) Arrange on the trays, leaving room for expansion, then cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave to rise again for 20 minutes or until doubled in size.
8) Bake in a preheated oven at 190C/Gas mark 5 for 20 minutes or until golden, then allow to cool on a wire rack. If you're making slightly larger ones like I did, make sure you increase the time a little bit to ensure they're cooked all the way through.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Cake Pops

I've never made cake pops before so this was a bit of an experiment. I have a silicone cake pop mould which has never been used until now (and I've had it around a year or so) so I figured I would finally use it! I couldn't manage to find any specific recipes to make cake pops with a mould as most of them involve baking a cake then mixing it up with frosting, but I find these kinds of cake pops a bit too heavy for my tastes so using the mould definitely works better for me.

I decided to use a Madeira cake recipe for the pops, as I figured the denseness of this cake would mean they could withstand being put on a stick and dipped in chocolate. I also had a lot of fun decorating these, due to my endless supply of sprinkles!

This recipe would make around 40 cake pops, which is quite a lot so you can reduce it to make as many as you wish. I made the full mix then made 9 cupcakes on the side as well.

These would make a really cute present for someone's birthday, and if you're feeling adventurous then you can ice "Happy Birthday" into individual cake pops. 


175g butter
175g caster sugar
3 large eggs
Few drops of vanilla extract
200g self-raising flour
50g ground almonds


For the cake pops:-
1) Heat oven to 170C/Gas mark 3 and butter the cake pop mould thoroughly.
2) Beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy then beat in the eggs one at a time.
3) Add the vanilla extract and almonds and beat until you get a thick batter. If it seems a bit dry then add a splash of milk.
4) Fill half of the cake pop mould to the top. Don't worry about overfilling it as you want it to rise fully to the top half and you can always cut around the balls if there's excess mix.
5) Place the top half on and bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes.
6) Allow to cool fully before removing the cake pops from the mould.

To decorate:-
150g milk chocolate
150g white chocolate
Sprinkles of your choice

I used chocolate to cover my cake pops, but you can use candy melts if you prefer. The method for decorating is the same whichever you use.

1) Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.
2) Dip one of the cake pop sticks into the chocolate then into the cake pop. I thought I'd show a picture of what they're meant to look like here in case it's a bit confusing. Dipping the stick into chocolate first means that they stick to the stick a lot more.

3) Place the pops immediately in the fridge to allow the stick to fully set in the cake.
4) Carefully cover the cake pops with the melted chocolate then add sprinkles if required.
5) Allow to dry then store in the fridge to give them an extra crunch when you bite in.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Fruity Sausage Plait

This is a regular for teatime at university for me because it is so nice! I got the recipe from one of those recipe cards that supermarkets give out to prompt people into cooking more themselves, and I'm really glad I decided to make it. It's more of a winter/Christmas style meal but I think you can definitely have it other times of the year.
I didn't make the pastry myself I'm afraid, a combination of laziness and impending oral exam, but ready-made pastry is still really good and it definitely saves you time if you have a family.
It's also really good cold the next day for lunches, so if you have some left-over don't be afraid to put it in your packed lunch!


350g puff pastry
454g sausage meat
3 tbsp cranberry sauce
1 small cooking apple, peeled and grated
1 tsp dried sage
1 beaten egg, to glaze


1) Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas mark 6.
2) Roll of the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle around 20cm x 30cm.
3) Place the sausage meat, cranberry sauce, apple and sage in a bowl and season well.
4) Mix the ingredients together then form into a rectangular shape in the centre on the pastry.
5) Cut slits into the pastry at a diagonal angle, 1.5cm apart at both sides of the sausage meat.
6) Fold the top end of the pastry over the meat, then alternately cross the cut pastry over, to form a plait effect.
7) Carefully lift onto a floured baking tray then brush with the beaten egg.
8) Bake in the oven for 35 minutes, until the pastry is golden.