Sunday, 4 September 2011

Had A Lovely Day Today...

Sunday's are my favourite day...not a common opinion considering it's Monday the next day which normally means work for everyone...but they are.

Sunday's are my day for being extra Mumsy & housewifely.

After what is usually a hectic or long week, Sunday is the day I get to concentrate on my little family.
Cook, clean, bake, wash - my son as well as our clothing. I love Sunday's.
I go to bed feeling content & with a great sense of achievement, knowing that my 2 favourite men are fed, watered & comfortable.

Today was extra specially lovely as I got to look after my brand new nephew for a little while. He's just 2 weeks old, gorgeous nephew & he was so good. I fed him, burped him & changed his nappy, he didn't cry angel. There's something so peaceful & serene about new born babies.

When I got home I wanted to bake something, something that reminds me of home, families...I thought about these muffins straight away.

Apple Crumble Muffins. My Mum used to bake home made apple crumble, we loved it.

I know what you're thinking...'more muffins? One trick pony this one is'

I promise my next post will NOT be muffins or cupcakes...he he!!

I got the recipe from but left the custard out...I think I'll try it with custard next time.

I make muffins the most as they're easy, I'm definitely going to have to start trying more complicated recipes...

This is how easy it is - 4 parts, that's all:

I think this is one of the easiest recipes in my book...apart from One Bowl Choc Cupcakes.

Mix all wet ingredients:

1 egg.
190g chopped apple (I like to grate it, saves loads of time).
150ml milk.
90ml vegetable oil.

Sift dry ingredients:

250g plain flour.
1tbsp baking powder.
1/2tsp salt.
2tsps cinnamon (in the end I added about 2tbsps as I couldn't really smell much of it with only 2tsps, oh & I love cinnamon)...

...add 160g caster sugar...

...and a bit more cinnamon...

To make the crumble:

1 cup soft brown sugar.
1 1/2 cups plain flour.
50g butter.

I'm not a big fan of getting my hands messy when baking/cooking, I also made a mess with it which sent my OCD into overdrive!

I'm THAT person who cleans & tidies up as I go along whilst baking/cooking so 2 seconds after I took this picture I was wiping the sides down.

Spoon the batter into muffin cases & cover with 1 & a bit tablespoons of crumble.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until skewer inserted comes out clean.

And voila...

...they look & smell amazing fresh from the oven... amazing that hubby's had 3 over the course of the evening :0)

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Whole-grain Blueberry Bran Muffins

Last weekend we had a baking marathon in my kitchen.

6 different types of muffins, at least 18 muffins of each - that's a lot of muffins.

We also did cupcakes in jars...lemon drizzle...

...Devil's Food & Banoffee with Cream Cheese Frosting...they were delicious.

This was the finished product...a box of assorted muffins for the 4 lovely ladies who are helping myself & Chris (my hubby) out by looking after our little boy over the school holidays.

Lemon meringue, Banoffee, Devil's Food, Blueberry, Chocolate Chip & Lemon Drizzle.

They went down very well...even if I do say so myself...and the lovely ladies who received them did say they enjoyed them all :0)

Think I'm getting off point aren't I...well one of the muffins was Blueberry...

...these are the 1st muffins I baked when I started baking.

I never used to like Blueberry Muffins until I started to bake my own (not bragging or anything...) the recipe is from my 'perfect cupcakes, cookies & muffins' book. I love this book.

125g chopped fresh (or frozen) blueberries

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6 (400F 200C) & line your muffin tray.

155g wheat bran
250ml skimmed milk

Soak the bran with the milk for about 30 minutes.

125g unsalted butter at room temperature
220g lightly packed light brown sugar (but I like to use dark brown sugar)

Cream the butter & sugar together (the part I hate unless the butter is already really really soft).

1 egg (lightly beaten)

Beat the egg into the butter and sugar - another part I'm not keen on as I always panic when it starts to split...then I calm down again once it all comes back together...daft aren't I?!!

Add the bran mixture.

315g whole-wheat (wholemeal) self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Sift together the flour & baking powder.

Mix the flour & bran mixture together well & spoon into the waiting muffin cases...

Bake until the muffins are golden brown on top or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean...

...and voila...

I'd say transfer to a wire rack & allow to cool...but I always have to eat one straight from the oven...and usually end up burning my mouth...

...enjoy :0)

Monday, 4 July 2011

Lemon & Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Lemon Drizzle

I love lemons.

Oh & limes...but not strange?!

They have such a beautiful vibrant colour to them. They make me smile...the same way a sunflower makes me smile whenever I see favourite flower.

I love the tang lemons have (I think that's why I like sour sweets so much too), their freshness, the way they clean your palette & these cupcakes have a lovely tang to them. I use low fat natural yoghurt so I don't feel too guilty when I eat 2 or 3, oh who am I kidding, ok 4!!!

220g plain flour.
125g caster sugar.
1 tsp baking powder.
3/4 tsp bicarb.
1/4 tsp salt.
1 tbsp lemon zest.
2tbsps poppy seeds.
85g unsalted butter, melted.
250g low fat natural yoghurt.
1 tbsp lemon juice (although I like to use more).

Lemon Drizzle:
80ml lemon juice (again I used more as I like it extra tangy).
4 tbsps sugar.
2 tsps lemon zest.

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6 or 400f.

Line a cupcake/ muffin pan with sooooo...

In a bowl mix all your dry sooooo...

Melt the butter & in another bowl mix all you wet sooooo...I'll stop now I promise ;0)

Mix both bowls together until just moist, then spoon batter into the cases....

Pop in the oven & bake for 20/25 minutes.

Lemon drizzle:

In a small pan mix together & heat the lemon drizzle ingredients...

Bring to the boil & then simmer gently until the sugar dissolves...

Once the muffins are ready prick the tops 5 or 6 times...mmm...I think they look good just as they are but they're about to get even better.... :0D

Spoon the drizzle over the warm cupcakes.....

...and, if you're as impatient as I am, enjoy whilst still warm.

Don't they look delish....

Credit: - I changed it slightly by adding poppy seeds.

Lavender Shortbread (1st attempt)

A friend of mine sent me a recipe for lavender cupcakes. They sounded so nice I went out & bought a lavender plant. After seeing a recipe for lavender shortbread I decided to make these instead.

I rarely make biscuits, cookies or shortbread for fear of getting it wrong.

Aaaaaaand because the only time I made choc chip cookies, they weren't very good :0/

I got this recipe from You Tube. I did already have a recipe in one of my books but wanted to see someone actually make the biscuits.

So here goes:

2 cups of plain flour.
8 oz unsalted butter.
4 tsps lavender.
1/2 cup granulated sugar.

I ground the lavender in my mini food processor, added the sugar & ground it up some more.

I would've used my husbands coffee grinder but after 3yrs of it being used solely for coffee beans & not being cleaned once this recipe would've ended up as lavender & coffee shortbread....doesn't sound too appealing to me.

I softened the butter with my favourite spatula....sad I know...I have a favourite utensil.....I actually think I'm in love with this spatula....weird I know but you know when something feels so comfortable & right in your hand? No? Ah well, it makes sense to me :0)

I actually bought this for my son to use when he helps me bake but I've found I use it more than any of my others.

Cream the butter & sugar together (this is my least favourite bit of baking, I usually try & get a recipe that doesn't involve this as, I have to admit, I am a bit lazy).

Mix in the flour until it forms a dough.

Roll out to whatever thickness you like, just remember you'll have to adjust the baking time the thicker they are. I like the shortbread stick look. Easy to dunk in a lovely cup of tea.

Bake for 22-25 minutes on gas mark 2.

And there we have it.....

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Hello Out There!

This is my very first go at blogging so bare with me won't you? :0)

I've gotten into baking....big started with me buying 'perfect cupcakes, cookies & muffins'.

Since I bought that book I have not been able to stop baking.....mainly muffins....but I have now forced myself to branch out.

I also enjoy cooking for my little family.

And last week I got an almighty urge to start my own blog........about food I like to cook, bake & eat.

I've been collecting recipes from the internet, cook books, friends, family & anywhere I can really.

I'm mostly self taught when cooking & baking....even though my Mum & Grandma used to cook & bake around us all the time....I never paid that much attention which I wholly regret now.

Please keep an eye out on my blog.......I hope you enjoy it.