Monday, 27 May 2013

Monday Bake - Farmhouse Sultana Cake

This weeks recipe comes from this seasons edition of Sweet - the baking magazine from the same people as Mollie Makes.  I really like this magazine - at £7.99 it is slightly expensive (the first one was £7.99 but the last one was £6.99?) I have made several things from the other two plus the articles and pictures can send me off to a cake shop dream world.....heaven.

You can find the recipe here.  The recipe in the magazine stated 170g plain flour and 170g ground almonds.  Which is what I did here.

The smell while baking was really good - I love using mixed spice.  Also this fruit cake is best eaten straight away - no waiting for it to mature.

We packed this cake up as part of our picnic (Minibakebakegirl opted out and had some biscuits instead) and cycled off to have lunch with Hubby at the allotment - a May bank holiday tradition!

He has been busy down there.

I fashioned the bird scarer in the middle picture from some bamboo hoops, twine and old cd's.  Those free cd's from newpapers I have been collecting have finally come in handy!

Hubby said to me we must be getting old as we visited two garden centres this weekend.  We went to Dutch Nursery yesterday in Brookmans Park.  Minibakebakegirl had been here before with TheInlaws, I had never been but I would definitely go back.  It was a nice afternoon out as we also popped in to see TheInlaws on the way. 

Hope you have had a lovely weekend too,

Todays top three Spotify songs:

1. Crash - The Primitives
2. All Star - Smash Mouth
3. Atomic - Blondie

Monday, 20 May 2013

Monday Review - London

Sister and Family arrived on Friday night, The Nieces have a long weekend from school in May and aren't back at school until Wednesday.

On Saturday we all went into London, we decided we would decide on the train to Kings Cross where we were going to go.   We picked up the 2 for 1 leaflet at the station and also had our National Trust and English Heritage membership cards - so there were several possibilities. 

Our first stop was The Monument in Pudding Lane which commemerates The Great Fire of London.  We climbed the 311 steps up the spiral staircase.  At the top the view is amazing.  Directly opposite on the other side of the Thames is The Shard which is currently the tallest building in Western Europe.  

After lunch we passed through Borough Market - the stalls looked great - so many delicious things - we bought pretzels for the girls but sadly I didnt take any pictures - it was just too busy.  I would like to go back another time - probably earlier in the day for a proper look around.

We then walked round to the The Golden Hinde II which is a reconstuction of Sir Francis Drake's famous galleon.   We are definitely much taller than the people who would have been on that ship as the adults were very stooped as we made our way round!  Luckily there were no bumped heads but there were lots of "Mind ye head" signs. 

We decided to get the bus to Spitalfields for dinner, we did this back in December as it is quieter and easier to get a table for something to eat in the centre of London.  We went to Giraffe.   This is a good place to eat with a large group of people as I find their menu has a good selection.  I had the Falafel "deluxe" burger which was delcious and then for pudding I had the Key Lime Pie which was amazing.  So light, and the lime marmalade on the side complimented it perfectly.

Thanks for visiting,


Todays top three Spotify songs:

1. Good Morning Freedom - Blue Mink
2. Daylight - Maroon 5
3. Love Came Looking For Me - Thea Gilmore

Monday, 13 May 2013

Monday Bake - Lemon Polenta Madeleines

Cake Club.  My favourite time of my working week ;o)  Four friends and I take it in turns to bake something gluten free every week.   I think my last post about Cake Club was when I made Nigella's Olive Oil cake.  I try to do a new recipe each time so I was very pleased when @Silverpebble posted two gluten free recipes on her lovely blog.  For my turn last month I made the Lemon Polenta biscuits in my Madeleine tin.  

The recipe is really simple and very delicious.   Some of mine didn't come out of the tin very easily - hence why my Madeleine is upside down in the picture (!) I only greased the tin so I think next time I will grease and flour the tin.

Last week I made the Chewy Chocolate Biscuits.  This is also a great recipe which everyone enjoyed but can you believe it - I forgot to take a picture.   I will just have to make them again :o) 

Here are a couple of my Cake Club friends bakes:

Blackberry and Almond Cake

Chocolate muffin

Yesterday we went to The Festival of Living Crafts at Hatfield House.  

This was my first time of going and I will definitely go again - so many tents packed full of lovely things: jewellery, pottery, handbags, pictures, sculptures to name a few.  There are also areas where you can have a go at making things like spinning, weaving, pottery and basket weaving.  

There were Morris Dancers in the middle area.   We saw them use sticks and hankerchiefs in their dances.

We picked the best day to go, there was heavy hail showers on Saturday.  As you can see from my photos it began to cloud over and by the time we got home it was raining.

Thanks for visiting.


Todays top three ipod songs:

1. (Reach up for the) Sunrise - Jason Nevins Remix - Duran Duran
2. Come Undone - Duran Duran
3. Planet Earth - Duran Duran

Monday, 6 May 2013

Monday Bake - Courgette and Maple Syrup Cake

The weather has been glorious all weekend.  It's been a bank holiday here today and the sun shone all day - makes a change from the usual dull rainy ones we seem to have.  

Hubby finally got his allotment and has been popping off in the evenings to dig over the ground and start planting.    We have got a lovely plot - there is a row of Hazel at the bottom - providing a bit of a hedge between us and the car park.  My plan is for this bottom part to be mine!   Once we have a wee tool shed in place - I will bring our current garden bench down and - oh yes I can see myself sitting there quite happily, watching Hubby doing all the hard work...hee hee.   

Today he set off about 10am (I was sorting out our garage - eugh - it is just full of "stuff" - big trip to the recycling centre this week me thinks).  Then Minibakebakegirl and I cycled down at lunchtime with a picnic - we sat by the hazel (yes it is a perfect spot)   The allotment is near a river so we went for a wee wander - we raced dandelion flowers in the water - a lot of Minibakebakegirls got stuck!   After lunch we cycled home.

I really should have made this cake this morning to take with us for our picnic.  Even though we are not growing courgettes this year, we have in the past and one little plant does produce quite a few!

225g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
50g caster sugar - plus a little extra for dusting
100g sour cream
100ml maple syrup plus 1tbsp for the glaze
75g unsalted butter - melted
1 medium egg
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
75g sultanas
125g coarsely grated courgette
1 tsp dark rum

Preheat the oven to 190c/170 fan/GM5.
Line a 2lb loaf tin.
To a large bowl add the flour, baking powder and sugar.
To a medium bowl add the sour cream, maple syrup, egg, butter and lemon zest and whisk all together.  To this bowl add the sultanas and courgette.
Tip the wet ingredients to the dry and loosely combine.
Pour into the tin and smooth the surface.   Dust with the sugar and bake for 45 - 55 minutes until golden and crusty and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Mix the 1tbsp maple syrup with the rum and drizzle over the top.
Leave in the tin for 30 minutes and then leave to cool on a wire rack.

Hope you have had a lovely Monday too.


Today's top three radio songs:

1. Magnetized - Johnny Hates Jazz
2. Don't Go - Yazoo
3. People Everyday - Arrested Development