Monday, 23 September 2013

Double Chocolate Chip Cup Cakes

I found this recipe on the Annabel Karmel website and decided to try it to keep little man entertained while we emptied the house ready for our move! Plus little man has been invited to a birthday party and they are not providing egg free cakes. Unfortunately I have lent out the cake pop maker so will be trying this as a cupcake recipe. This makes 12 cupcakes.
They didn't sink! Yeah. 


  • 145g sifted plain flour 
  • 150g caster sugar (or vanilla sugar) 
  • 20g nice quality cocoa powder 
  • 62g vegetable oil 
  • 175ml water 
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 
  • small pinch of salt 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
  • 100g of choc chips


  • pre-heat oven to 180C / gas mark 4. 
  • Set out the cupcake cases
  • In a bowl, sift the flour, bicarb of soda, salt and cocoa powder. Mix well. 
  • Add sugar and mix well 
  • Add oil, water, choc chips and vanilla essence and mix well
  •  Pour into cupcakes 
  • Cook for approx 22 mins


Original recipe says it serves about 6, so I'm guessing a 8" tin, and says to grease a tin and pour in to the baking tin/ring and bake for 1 hour in the middle of the oven or until a knife inserted in to the centre comes out clean.
These tasted a little funny to us... The taste of bicarbonate of soda seemed to come through. Will be trying again with self raising flour or adding some orange/lemon juice to balance it out. I think even a bit of vinegar would help. 

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Leftovers and garden fruit

Well this week the little one didn't get involved in the baking (I really do need to fit some time at the weekend for this so he doesn't miss out) although he did help daddy get the ingredients for the custard ready!

I had half a can of condensed milk left over from making the cakes for the birthdays, and some cooking apples from the garden. I did try and find something that would use my cupboard ingredients and these two items in one recipe, however no luck there so I ended up doing an apple pie and making some fudge.

The Fudge

I found an Ultimate Fudge recipe on the Carnation website which I modified a little bit, as no demerara sugar in the house. I wanted to use up some older sugar I had floating around ready for the house move in the next week or so....

200g condensed milk
75ml milk
200g light brown sugar
25g dark brown sugar
57g butter cut into cubes

  •  Line a tin with baking paper. I used a 20x10 tin for this recipe
  • Stick all the ingredients into a saucepan, I didn't have a non stick pan and it didn't seem to make any difference to the cooking. You need to put it on a low heat (I have induction and I started on 2 and went up to 3 on the heat setting) to melt the butter and dissolve the sugar.  You need to keep stirring. This takes way longer than I expected.
  • Once everything has dissolved/melted put the heat up and bring to the boil
  • Simmer for 15 mins (making sure you continue to stir) (you can test the fudge by dropping it into a bowl of ice cold water - it should solidify into fudge when ready. The recipes talk about a ball of fudge, mine was more a line but still worked!)
  • Remove from heat and then beat with a wooden spoon for around 10 mins, until thick and starting to set. WARNING This is VERY hard work!! Gosh was my arm sore by the end, I definitely earned a taster!
  • Tip into the tin, and spread with the back of a spoon, I used a bit of baking paper on top to stop it sticking to the spoon!
  • Wait to cool and then cut and enjoy!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Now for a girl's first birthday cake

Design ideas

After looking on the internet for ideas for my little girls first birthday, I had two criteria, one it had to be simple and two it needed to have some items that could be taken off and kept (like my boys train and cubes from his first cake).

This 1st Birthday Party supplies page has some cakes on it, including a baby pulling down a cake but was much too complicated, but perhaps I could include a baby on my cake somehow? It also showed a lovely cake with a girl on the top, and spots over the cake itself. I really like this cake. This two coloured cake of pink and green was lovely, and the bear very cute. 

With these, and my daughters cot toys, in mind I got out my iPad and using a Paper app I started sketching out ideas. These are not shared here as I am a TERRIBLE drawer and they are awful!! However they helped me pull together a couple of thoughts. 

The Plan

So I had a basic design, and I was going to reuse the recipe from my little boys cake. First it was off to the cake shop in Shrewsbury Market Hall (the ladies are so lovely and helpful) to get my supplies, I even managed to save a little by getting some flower paste icing on sale to make the baby skin (and with a little food colouring the dress too!).

Second it was tripling up the recipe and getting all the ingredients, this is because the recipe is for one 6" cake and I wanted to make two 8" cakes to put on top of each other with some butter icing. I had set aside Friday before the party (Sunday) to get the cake cooked and iced, although the other half was off too I was hoping to send him off on the bike or something!

The Reality

In fact I started the characters on Thursday evening, as I was loosing sleep about how to do them. This turned out to be a good thing as they took much longer than expected to make. I'm sure if I had all the tools and some training they would be dead easy to make but each character took approx 2 hours!! The first one made was the bunny, which used toothpicks to hold head to body and ears to head. 
Friday morning I baked the cakes, these are a bit more dense than normal egg cakes but still taste yummy and the cake was polished off at the party which I took to be a good sign. They did take approx 2 more mins to cook than on the recipe, and the first sank a fair bit in the middle. Otherwise I did not modify this at all. After the cakes had cooled it was time to stick them together with a fair bit of butter icing (the two tops together so they didn't look sunken with icing on). I then stuck the cakes in the fridge to let the icing go hard before adding the jam, marzipan and royal icing to the cake. While they were in the fridge, I made the little baby girl/doll.  This was using flower paste icing as it let me go finer in rolling out for the dress and hair. I used toothpicks to hold arms and head to the body.
Once the cake had the base icing on it was time to stick on the spots and make the monkey (this was a copy of a toy that my daughter was given at birth by her Nana and Granddad). I ended up doing this on Friday night once the kids had gone to bed, so I was pretty tired at this point so it wasn't brilliant. Anyway the final cake....

Daughters first birthday cake

Thursday, 22 August 2013

That time of the year - The Third Birthday Minion Cake

13:Well it's that time of the year and it has come around very quickly this year - the dreaded Birthday. Last year I cheated on the cake and managed to buy an egg free cake suitable for turning into a lorry for my chaps birthday. This year I'm going to attempt to make it from scratch - wish me luck! I'm planning a Despicable Me minion cake - I will update this post as I go along.

The Plan

The recipe:

The Design

Rather than putting this in a round cake as the recipe suggests I will be trying this in a rectangle cake tin to make the minion (mine is going to lye down rather than sit up, as per this: I want to make two cakes, sticking them together with some butter icing and jam to give it some decent dimensions. I will use marzipan and icing for the decoration.

As I'm a waste not want not kinda girl I'm planning to mix the left over crumb cakes to turn into some mini minions. (A combination of these How to make fondant minions and Crumbled Cake Mini Minions).

The Reality..

11:45am - Oven warming up, I had planned to double this recipe to cook twice in a rectangular cake tin, however double the recipe only filled the tin once, so my minion will now be a bit thinner than I thought. 
12:45pm - after discussions with mum and other half decided to make a second cake after all...without  the sweetened condensed milk I have tried a hybrid recipe using my flaxseed. 
175g self raising flour, sugar and margarine (again running out of butter!), 3 tbl flaxseed & 9 tbl water, 2 tbl orange juice, 1 tsp of baking powder. This is in the oven. Fingers crossed!
1:05pm - umm flatter than the first cake, as other half would say, more biscuit! Plus took out of tin too soon so broken all down in one corner
1:30pm cool enough to build....

  • Stuck the two cakes together using jam and butter, rebuilding the brocken corner at same time with the butter icing.
  • A thin layer of marzipan added to the cake, suck on with more jam. I think I've used nearly a third of a jar! Then covered the whole cake with some yellow icing I've mixed up. 
  • Hair done with liquorice cut in half, stuck with water
  • Eye was done by cutting out white icing with a cup, using the outside of the cup to make the googles with grey icing, once the grey icing was dry I coloured over it with a silver writing icing. The brown eye was created by melting chocolate and the black dot just left over icing.
  • Hands, roll a tube of black icing and cut with a knife twice to make the three fingers, then stretch out the top to fit over the ends of the arms.
16:00pm Done! Very tired now. Shan't be making the mini minions, haven't had lunch or anything so left over cake & a cuppa now!

Note - buy ready made black icing! I swear it feels half the time has been spent trying to get the icing black! 

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Chocolate Oaties

This week we did two lots of baking, on Monday we did the apricot & coconut cake as an actual cake rather than cake pops, which didn't last two days thanks to visitors on Tuesday morning (I've updated the blog post with a photo of the proper cake)! Therefore on Tuesday afternoon when my little one asked about baking we decided to make some cookies. I did think about trying my egg free cheesecake recipe, but I would like to try that unwatched/ unhelped first! As we had some left over oats from a past recipe so I decided to use them for our baking. My little one loved the melted chocolate stage, and everyone was a big fan of the final product.

  • 125g soft brown sugar
  • 125g butter
  • 125g self raising flour
  • 125g rolled oats
  • 50g raisins (optional)
  • 1 tbl spoon golden syrup
  • 100g chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Preheat oven to 165C (fan assisted)
  • Measure butter and syrup into a saucepan & stick on a low heat
  • Add self raising flour, oats, raisins, bicarbonate of soda & sugar into a big bowl and give to little one to mix while you continue to melt the butter and syrup together.
  • Once the wet ingredients are melted and mixed, add to the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon.
  • Get out two baking trays (I used non stick)
  • Roll into balls slightly smaller than golf balls (my mix made 14 cookies)
  • Put on tray & lightly press down
  • Cook for 15 mins, until golden brown
  • Leave in tray for 3 mins to 'set'
  • Put on cooling tray to cool.
Chocolate Topping
  • Melt the chocolate on a low heat (I've got induction, a 1 or 2 works best, I also used the saucepan from melting the butter & syrup together as butter gives chocolate a nice sheen, this did not work too much but did save on washing up!)
  • Once melted I let my toddler lick the spoon while I painted the biscuits
  • Using a pastry brush paint half the cookies with chocolate. 
  • Put back on the cooling tray. 

The final produce waiting to set

Update 01/07/2016: I've just done this again, added 40g chopped cashew nuts, 40g chopped dry dates and a mashed banana. This meant adding more flour and oats. Did this ad hoc during the mixing stage. 

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Apricot and Coconut Cake in Cake Pop Maker

Last week I took the kids to see the grand parents rather than do the usual cooking thing, this was due to them being 'missing' for the last 6 weeks visiting my brother in Australia. This week our cooking experience has occurred on Thursday as I had to work on Monday and Tuesday of this week.

I have tried to be daring again this week, by not even starting with an egg free recipe, rather a lovely cake recipe off the BBC website ( Very brave after trying my own, adapted, egg free Blueberry (or strawberry) crumb cake in the pop cake maker (tasted ok but were a bit flat)! On starting this recipe I was hoping that the apricot would act as a structure to hold up the pop cakes (as the strawberries did when I modified the Blueberry crumb cake to be strawberry crumb cake!). This turned out to be the case, the cakes were very airy but kept their shape. However this trial was more error to start with! My little boy enjoyed the final product but the in the first batch some cakes tasted kind of fizzy (see the second point under notes for more info).

  • 200g fresh apricots chopped small (this worked as 4 stoned apricots, which I then sliced one way & the other)
  • 275g self raising flour
  • 75g desiccated coconut
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 125g softened butter
  • 100g soft margarine
  • 1 & a half bananas (mashed) (substitute for 2 of the 4 eggs required for recipe)
  • I used milk, but guessed-emated based on recovering mix (see second point in notes) - I would say get half a cup and slowly add until the consistency seems right (a whole cup is too much - see my notes from 19th August!)
  • Measure all dry ingredients into large bowl (dry)
  • Mix the margarine and butter, then add the puree (wet)
  • Add the dry & wet ingredients together
  • Beat well for 2 min
  • Add to pop cake maker (or look in notes for how to cook in oven)
  • Leave to cool on wire rack
  • I have modified this recipe in two main ways, first is obvious - I removed the four eggs, the second is I added butter with the margarine as most agree that butter gives a better taste to baking than margarine does. 
  • The first time I tried this I substituted 2 of the 4 eggs with a baking powder & vinegar mix that I added last. It made some of the cakes taste almost fizzy (not sure if it was because I mixed them together first & the mix was then absorbed by the apricots, or due to too much baking powder & soda in the mix). To 'repair' the mix for second cooking I picked out all the fresh apricots, added in dry, as I had run out of fresh, added more flour, coconut & some milk. They turned out MUCH nicer! 
  • If using the oven preheat to 160C/ 325F (Gas mark 3), pour mix into a 2 litre loaf tin that has been well greased. Bake for 1 & 1/2 hours or until skewer comes out of cake clean. 
  • Leave to cool in tin for 10min and turn out 
Below is our third attempt, I added too much milk so added more flour to balance it out. Ended up making a batch of pop cakes on the first day, refrigerating the mix for a couple of days & then cooking in the oven. This took about 1hour 15 mins at 165 C. This was very yummy, more moist than the cake pops, but also more banana tasty. Think if doing it this way need to wizz the banana rather than just mash it. Might try some proper fruit purée next time....
The cake straight out of the oven, it was very yummy!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Chocolate & Marshmallow Cornflake Cakes

Well, this baking weekly effort has been hard to maintain. Mainly as we have to keep eating it & I'm still trying to lose some of that illusive baby weight. So will admit to finding other things to do with our days!

I have been trying some proper home made dinners, they don't really need to go in this blog as they never had egg in the original recipes. Mind you I still might add them as notes on what I did, what worked and what has failed. At the moment the notes are in magazines!

I know this recipe doesn't have egg in it anyway, and I know that there are loads of these recipes out there.. Still, added this one as it is our first step back to baking for a while, and although it is a non egg recipe anyway I wanted something that slowly introduced us back into cooking this week, with a non baking option. Straight to fridge!

Plus this is a tweaked recipe, I've cut out a little of the syrup as seemed too much & added the marshmallows. As far as I can work out from forums etc the syrup is for added sweetness & leaves the cakes slightly sticky, you could miss it out if you want the final cakes to be more 'solid chocolate'.

  • 80g Cornflakes
  • 50g butter
  • 50g mini marshmallows
  • 100g milk chocolate
  • 2 1/2 tbl spoons Golden Syrup

  • Melt together the butter, chocolate & syrup (with induction just put ingredients straight into a saucepan and heat on 2 or 3 for around 5 mins)
  • Put cornflakes & mini marshmallows in a very large bowl if you've got a little one doing the stirring! I let my little one do a bit of mixing here before adding the chocolate mix
  • Add the melted chocolate mix to the dry ingredients
  • Stir until everything is covered in the chocolate
  • Spoon into approx 12 cupcake cases.
  • Put in fridge & let to 'set' (approx 2 hours)

Monday, 10 June 2013

Chocolate Brownie Cake pops

Well the choice was made, and baking we did this Monday. We ended up with no time for baking over the weekend. The choice of recipes was left to other half, who really fancied the brownie recipe, although i planned to modify it a little and add choc chips to keep the little tyke happy! This recipe has been half(ish) cooked, the rest is in the fridge for another day.

So far the mix has made 24 balls.

Update: the mix makes 38 balls in total. I left some mix in the fridge over night, then took it out, let it get to room temp & cooked for 5 mins as mix seemed stiffer. This made them nicer (my opinion, other half thought both were good). Let me know which you perfer! 

  • 1.5 cup self rising flour 
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup castor sugar 
  • 100g melted butter 
  • 1/2 cup milk 
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa 
  • 1 medium banana mashed 
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds 
  • 1/4 cup choc chips 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • In a big bowl, Combine flour, oat, sugar and cocoa in a mixing bowl. 
  • In another bowl, whisk together butter, milk, banana and vanilla extract 
  • Add wet mixture to the dry ingredients, stir. 
  • Fold in chopped almonds & choc chips  
  • Add to pre heated pop cake maker 
  • Cook for 4mins. 
  • Cool on a wire rack 
  • These are soft on leaving the pop cake maker, use a plastic spoon to get them out & preserve their shape until they have cooled, when they get cool they get a crispy shell.

The mix
The mix in pop cake maker

First batch out, success!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Sorry for the clip post

You may, if you visit this blog more than once, have noticed no new blogs since mid May. This has been due to three things, the main one is the weather, as it has been improving I have been encouraging my little ones to play outside, we have been doing a lot of out door painting, this gives us less time to cook, especially as it included body painting!

Playing in the garden
Secondly, I (we) have been trying to finesse some of my existing tries (for example I had a second go at the Blueberry crumb cake, with more success with cut up strawberries giving them the extra support needed to hold the shape of the cake, however my second try of the banana cake, walnut free, was less successful). I have updated those blog posts rather than create extra blog posts on those experiences. Finally I think we have all been a little sick of all the cake in the house (to the point where there was left over cake mix left in the fridge for Way Too Long!!)

 Still this weekend we have friends over for a BBQ,  and I'm wondering whether to use the opportunity to try a new recipe or revisit an existing, successful, one.  So the main question for me is do I try a new brownie mix (plus try it in the pop cake maker)? Do I re-make choc chip scones (sons favourite)? Do I try new choc chip cake mix? Or do I just wait to during the week to make with little ones and no extra audiences? I will let you know the choice I go for.. or if I find another option...

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Blueberry Crumb Cake in Pop Cake Maker

I found this recipe while looking for a new experiment for our cooking. I ummed and arrhhed about doing this 'traditionally' in the oven or using the pop cake maker. As usual I turned to other half and little one for help on the decision! Funnily enough they pumped for the cake pop maker! I am liking the different stages of this as can get little one to help with mixing wet ingredients while I mix the dry (which seems to get messier with lo as he likes to pour the flour over his hands!). He is also very good (as I discovered using the pancake recipe) in adding the dry ingredients to the wet mix (which is the wrong way according to original recipe but again works better for us).

This made loads of cakes, thank goodness, the first lot I did I over filled the wells, the second lot sank, the third I forgot to turn the maker back on after cleaning it (muppet) (see photo below for these attempts).

Anyway, the next time I made them was more successful, so that is what I've recreated below. They did deflate after coming out - very light cakes indeed, and very more-ish. They got eaten over two days. For more consistent ones that stayed round please read the notes for the ones I made out of strawberries, I think one of the problems with this is that the blueberries deflate when cooked so collapse the cakes.

    Dry Ingredients
    • 190g sifted plain flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 150g caster sugar
    Wet Ingredients
    • 2 eggs worth of egg replacer, I used 2 tbl spoon flax seed, 6 tbl spoon water
    • 250ml yoghurt
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Optional Flavours (and/or)
    • 125g fresh blueberries
    • 60g tablespoons chopped walnuts
     Topping/ Crumb Ingredients
    • 5 tablespoons caster sugar
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • In a medium mixing bowl sift flour with the rest of the dry ingredients
    • In a large mixing bowl separate bowl combine the wet ingredients
    • Pour the flour mixture into the wet mix and beat until smooth. 
    • Add the mixture into the pop cake mixer, so the bottom well is half full.
    • to each pop cake set in one of the blueberries into the centre of the mix (although the recipe says about walnuts my lo isn't a fan so didn't add them this time around), add a small amount of mix to the top to help cover the blueberry.
    • I didn't bother with doing the crumble as couldn't work how to do it in the pop cake maker. In a small bowl, combine the crumb mix with a fork until it resembles breadcrumbs
    • Put in the pop cake maker for 5/6 mins. 
    • When using a normal cake tin/ oven combination the recipe recommends setting the oven to 180 C / Gas 4, and using a greased 23cm square cake tin. Spread the mixture in the tin after mixing the wet and dry ingredients and then sprinkling the blueberries  and/or walnuts  over the mixture, stirring slightly so that they stay in the top layer. Then add the crumb mixture on top.
    • Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool slightly before serving
    • Additionally, I've made these a second time, this time with self raising flour, slightly less sugar (140g) and 200ml of yogurt with 50ml of milk. I also used chopped up strawberries instead of blueberries. These came out dead yummy & sweet thanks to the strawberries, I seem to be getting there making them perfectly round, I think they fail as soon as you get one overflowing. 
    The first try using blueberries, not so round as half round half flat!

    Tuesday, 7 May 2013


    I found this recipe on the blog  ArtofDessert  I have made these for Pancake day both this year and last. This years were more successful. Experience I guess, as I had a trial run the week before. I made these for Andrews birthday tea (which nicely fit with Ewans baking day!)

    • 2 cups plain flour  
    • 1/4 cup sugar  
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder  
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt  
    • 2 cups milk 
    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil 
    •  1/4 cup orange juice  
    • 1/4 cup melted Trex (or other butter substitute)
    • Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.  
    • In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, oil and orange juice. 
    • Slowly add in the melted Trex.  
    • Add the dry ingredients while whisking the wet ingredients (I whisked while lo added them cup by cup)
    • Heat the pan very hot with some oil in the pan, once the pancakes have started cooking I set the temp to 6 on the hob (ours goes up to 9)
    • Pour about 1/2 cup of batter into pan, (the recipe says make sure they are quite thick but I found it was ok to make them thin)
    • Cook until you see bubbles rise to the surface & have popped all over, it should be dry around the edges, then flip over to cook the other side until lightly browned.
    This batter tends to bubble up and thicken due to the baking powder, so ideally use straight away. I left mine in the fridge for around 30mins to go on a bike ride and although the recipe says you can gently stir it to break down some of the bubbles to bring it back to a pourable consistency I ended up having to add more milk.

    The first time I did this I didn't use orange juice but 1 tsp vinegar & water.

    Straight after adding the ingredients together

    Tuesday, 30 April 2013

    Peanut butter cookies

    Today we broke free of the pop cake maker to try out a new cookie recipe. This is one I have modified from a cookbook, replacing the egg with flaxseed. My little one wasn't too sure with the first cookie he tried, but soon decided they were "tasty" as he asked for more and more. This makes 16 cookies.
    The final product, the ones bottom left are the ones out of the oven after 10mins

    • 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
    • 1 tbsp flaxseed
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 & 1/3 cups plain flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • Preheat oven to 220C
    • Cream together the peanut butter & butter until light and fluffy
    • Beat in sugar
    • In a small bowl mix the water and flaxseed toget to make a glutinous paste
    • Beat in flaxseed mix & vanilla extract to mix - this makes the cookie batter
    • Sift together the flour, baking powder & baking soda
    • Slowly add the flour mix to the batter mix (mixing slowly) until just combined
    • Shape into one inch balls two inches apart on a plain baking tray
      The balls ready to go in the oven
    • Cook for 10 / 12 mins (until brown on edges).
    • Put on cooling rack
    I had to help the biscuit 'spread' with a fork in the oven as they cooked as they weren't doing it on their own, I did this after 5 mins. However I think they normally would spread on their own. I cooked these without the use of an electric mixer, allowing my son to do the mixing & adding of ingredients. This meant that the mixing was a bit hit and miss, and we had a small hiccup with the baking soda, he added too much (as in he tipped the entire packet in!) and it is possible I took too much out. He also tipped all the flour straight into the batter, which made it harder to combine and the mix ended up crumbly. I finished it off by almost kneading it together with my hands.
     I left my cookies in for 12 mins as thought they were too crumbly at 10 mins, I kept that batch out and just moved them a bit on the tray & then left them on the tray for a little bit before moving them, they held together ok after they cooled.

    Wednesday, 24 April 2013

    Banana cake (in Pop Cake Maker)

    Well I was going to make this as a proper cake that can be cut up, however it looks like the pop cake idea is popular with my other half as well as my little one, so once again the pop cake maker was put into action. Once again I enrolled my 2 year old to help with the mixing & mashing!

    This recipe made 21 balls.
    • 1 & a half medium bananas
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 100g butter
    • 45g light muscovado sugar
    • 45g dark brown soft sugar
    • 1 tbs ground flaxseed
    • 3 tbs water
    • 125g self raising flour (I used 50/50 plain & wholemeal)
    • Small bag chopped walnuts (optional)

    • Mix together the flaxseed & water until the mix goes gelatinous.
    • Mash together the banana, flaxseed mix & vanilla extract
    • Cream together the butter & sugar
    • Add the banana mix & walnuts
    • Slowly add the flour. (The mix should be firm - as the picture)
    • Add to cake pop maker, fill over the edge by a little bit
    • Cook for just under 5 mins 
    The mix just before it went
    into the pop cake maker
    With the first batch I didn't fill the maker properly, and I didn't cook quite long enough (4 mins) so they were a bit pale & misshapen (oh and raw inside!).
    The final 9 balls that I slightly over cooked

    The second batch I slightly over cooked (5 mins 30), as you can see.

    My little man didn't like the bigger pieces of walnut from my rough chopping of the walnut halves that I bought, so the second batch involved me breaking the pieces up some more with a fork in the mix! It turns out not enough - he still wasn't happy with "the bits" and in fact I noticed after that his arms were red...walnut allergy?? Next time I will split the mix so he can have some walnut free ones.

    These were again chrispy on outside but lovely on inside. As I say think I over cooked them the second time. However they did taste lovely.

    Tuesday, 16 April 2013

    Choc Chip scones (in Pop Cake Maker)

    These have been very popular in our house (a bit too much for our 2yr old who spent the days I made them asking for "one more ball mummy"). The recipe is a sweet mix, as opposed to the savoury one used for the cheese scones I made last week. This mix makes 48, so based on last week's going soft I kept the mix in the fridge and made them as needed over a few days so they always tasted fresh (don't leave the mix in fridge for longer than 3 days). They are chrispy outside, lovely & moist inside. I am now wondering if I can freeze the mix, but will have to hold off on that as it is full of puréed food at the moment for the youngest!

    You can see I over filled on my first batch, which was ok as the over spill was biscuity. Nice to pick at!

    • 1lb plain flour
    • 3oz butter
    • 2 heaped tsp baking powder
    • Between 1/4 - 1/2 pint of milk
    • 2oz caster sugar
    • Packet of choc chips
    • Mix together baking powder, flour & sugar
    • Rub in the butter so it resembles bread crumbs
    • Mix in the choc chips
    • Make a well in the middle and add the first 1/4 pint of milk. Stir in.
    • Gradually add the rest of milk until the mixture is sticky.
    • Make sure pop cake maker up to temp & sprayed with oil.
    • Add in mix so just over brim.
    • Cook for 4 to 5 mins.
    The final product, get them quick!

    Friday, 12 April 2013

    Cooking Cheese Scones (in Pop Cake Maker)

    Recently my mum got my son (2 and a half) a pop cake maker (from Gourmet Gadgetry) for Easter, as he is a real fan of baking, which we do once a week. I have been scouting around for egg free recipes for him to try (he was diagnosed allergic at 1). This one,,  was one I had used before to make scones, but they were a bit hit and miss on rising as I let my lo cut the scones. The recipe was simple enough for me to follow with a 2 year old jumping up and down asking to do it all himself! In fact, this time I let him do a lot more of the mixing & pouring after I did the measuring out than last time. It was good, as I didn't have to worry about the rolling out and cutting bit which caused my last batch to rise unevenly but I also knew it was tasty!

    This recipe created 30 scone balls, I have replicated it here. This went very well, normally he will help do the baking but only helps with the eating if it involves chocolate! These he wolfed down, although he only really liked them the first day.

    • 225g self raising flour
    • 55g stick cold butter, cut into small cubes
    • 1 level tsp baking powder
    • 1 cup grated cheese (make sure it has a good strong flavour - mild leaves them a bit too 'tasteless')
    • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 150 ml milk (you might not need all of this)
    1. Add together all the dry ingredients (flour, mustard, baking powder)
    2. Rub in the butter (I let my little one do this, telling him to tickle the butter into the flour)
    3. Mix in the cheese
    4. Make a well in the middle
    5. Stir in the milk making sure mixture doesn't get too wet
    6. When pop cake maker has reached temp use two teaspoons to fill in the holes, I used just enough to come over the bottom hole (leaving room for them to rise) - about a teaspoon and a bit
    7. Leave for 5 mins
    8. Put on wire rack to cool
    9. Done!
    These are lovely on the day, but will go a bit soft if left for a day before eaten (if they last that long)!

    I am wondering whether to try and fridge/ freeze half the mixture before cooking so we can have them fresh through the week.