Monday, 30 September 2013

Monday Bake - Caramel Apple Cake

Last apple season I didn't find any free/cheap apples, however, this year I found some free ones outside a house - with a sign saying "help yourself" - so I did to a huge bag - yay!

Today, I found some good apple recipes including a Caramel Apple Cake from Good to Know magazine.  You can find the recipe here.

Instead of drizzling the remaining caramel over the top.  I split the cake and spread it in the middle.  I wanted to keep the top crunchy.

Thanks for visiting,


Todays top three Spotify songs:

1. Love Me Again - John Newman
2. Nothing Else Matters - Metallica
3. Since Yesterday - Strawberry Switchblade

Friday, 27 September 2013

Friday Fun - Sloe Gin

Whilst chatting with Father In Law about foraging (after my bramble haul) I mentioned sloes - he said there were several in the woods at the bottom of their garden.   I was all set to pick them next time I went round; however, as if by magic Hubby appeared on Saturday with a huge bag of them that Father In Law had kindly picked for me.   I was going to make sloe vodka, as I don't like gin, but after speaking to Sister she assured me that it doesn't taste of gin as it completely transforms into a delicious liqueur. 

I used the recipe from the River Cottage Handbook.

It couldn't be easier - sloes, sugar and gin!

I now have to leave it till Christmas but the recipe states that the longer you leave it the better it will taste.    If I can manage to  keep it and not drink it, I just need to remove the sloes after 3 months. (Yikes, that will be Christmas Eve!)

Even since Tuesday the colour is a deep plum colour after shoogling every few days.

Have a lovely weekend.


Thursday, 26 September 2013

Thursday Makes - Hot Water Bottle Cover

In preparation for colder nights, I have finished a new hot water bottle cover.  I started this earlier in the year using the pattern from Knitty Gritty by Aneeta Patel.   This was the first time of doing moss stitch and I loved it - especially in this snuggly wool.   It was also my first time of doing button holes.  It is a great pattern - it is knitted in one piece which made the sewing up much easier.

Roll on the colder weather!


Monday, 23 September 2013

Monday Bake - Apple and Cinnamon Muffin Loaf

On Saturday Hubby whisked me off to London for a night in a hotel - just the two of us - time together and a perfect excuse to wear a new dress.   We stayed in Kensington,  we had a lovely dinner on Saturday night - I had the baked cheesecake for pudding - so light and yummy. 

On Sunday morning after a massive cooked breakfast we went for a walk. We weren't sure where we were going but we ended up walking in a bit of a big square.  Up Kensington Church Street, turned left along Holland Park Avenue and left again into Abbotsbury Road where we found Holland Park.   Whenever I have been to any green space in London it is exactly that - green grass with a few trees, however, this park is partly wooded and it really didnt feel like we were in central London.  We walked through the Kyoto Japanese Garden - so tranquil and pretty.

Today I made a muffin loaf, I usually make the recipe below but today I used a chopped pear inside the cake instead of an apple - worked just as well even if I did forget to put the cinnamon in!   

50g unsalted butter - melted and cooled slightly
1 egg
120ml milk
175g self raising flour
Pinch of salt
100g caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 small apples - 1 cut into chunks and one sliced into wedges
2 tsp demerara sugar

Preheat the oven to 180c/GM 4
Line a 2lb loaf tin with a loaf tin liner (I use Lakeland)
In one bowl mix the melted butter, egg and milk.
In another bowl mix the flour, salt, sugar and cinnamon and stir in the wet ingredients along with the chopped apple until just combined - don't over mix or your cake will be heavy.
Pour into the loaf tin and arrange the sliced apple down the middle.  Sprinkle over the brown sugar and bake for about 45-50 mins,  Check the cake is cooked - when an inserted skewer comes out clean of cake mix - if it doesn't pop the cake back in the oven for another 5 minutes - then check again - repeat as necessary.  

Allow to cool, slice and enjoy!

Hope to see you next week.

Todays top three songs:

1. Sun Goes Down - David Jordan
2. Sign Your Name - Terence Trent D'~Arby
3. Are You Gonna Go My Way - Lenny Kravitz

Monday, 16 September 2013

Minibakebakegirl Monday - Brownie In A Mug Cake

Hi! It’s minibakebakegirl here.  As you might know from previous posts I started secondary school a couple of weeks ago.   Being new, it was very difficult to find my way around at first, moving from class to class for different subjects; but it’s easier now.  I am involved in many clubs which are mainly dance and gym as I am very flexible. I have also made a lot of new friends. I have not had much free time because of homework, but at the weekend I decided to make a BROWNIE IN A MUG CAKE! There are lots of recipes on Tumblr,  so this is how I made it.

1/4 cup of plain flour
3 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 egg
3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp oil
2 tbsp chocolate chips
Dash of Vanilla Extract
A pinch of salt

Measuring cups

Place all the ingredients in the mug.

Stir until combined.

Microwave on high for about 2 minutes.

Maybe it's not the prettiest cake but Mum put a scoop of ice cream on top and we ate them warm for pudding- yummy!

See you soon,

Today's top three songs:

1. Save Rock and Roll - Fall Out Boy
2. Icarus - Bastille
3. ATTACK - Thirty Second To Mars

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Thursday Makes - Innocent Smoothie Hats

Last year I knitted some little hats for the Innocent Smoothie Big Knit using the simple hat pattern on their website. 

This year I have knitted the same little hats but given them wee faces.  

They are currently sitting on top of my television waiting to be parceled up and posted to Innocent Smoothies.  I will miss them, as I have been saying hello to them every morning, but it is for a good cause and I'm sure they will be happy in their new homes!


Monday, 9 September 2013

Monday Ta-da! - M&M birthday cake

We have had a very busy week which included Minibakebakegirl starting secondary school.  She has settled in quickly, making lots of new friends and looking very smart in her new uniform.  On Friday we went to a celebration evening of what the new students had been doing in their first week of getting to know the school and each other.  There was also a "freshers fair" in the gym showing you what clubs are on at lunchtime and after school.  So many good ones - the knitting club looked great!  Today is the first day of her new timetable and probably the start of homework...

Friday was also Hubby's birthday, so when we got home I went straight into the kitchen to make his cake. I made a chocolate cake and covered it in chocolate buttercream and M&M's.  Every year Hubby gets a box filled with M&M's from his Mum and Dad as part of his presents - this year it was a seed tin - which will come in handy at the allotment.  We enjoyed the cake with family on Saturday afternoon.    

When on holiday in Devon last month we visited Plymouth.  We learnt that the Mayflower set sail on Hubby's birthday on the 6 September 1620.   There is a plaque by the Mayflower steps that was unveiled 350 years later on the day Hubby was born.  

Thanks for visiting, see you next week,

Today's top three Spotify songs:

1. Swords of a Thousand Men - Tenpole Tudor
2. The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum - Fun Boy Three
3. Brilliant Mind - Furniture

Monday, 2 September 2013

Monday Bake - Bramble Sponge, Cheesecake and Jam!

On Friday Minibakebakegirl and I went paddling in the river beside the allotment to collect brambles.  Unfortunately, I was in bare feet and there was too many stones for me to stand for too long - we got quite a small haul. So yesterday morning I went back in my wellies and quickly filled a large tub;  enough to make 3 jars of jam, a sponge cake and a topping for cheesecake.   So this week's blog post brings you three recipes - get picking those brambles!

The recipe for the sponge was in this Saturdays Daily Mail magazine and is by Jamie Oliver.

125g unsalted butter, cubed and softened
125g caster sugar
3 large eggs
A splash of milk
125g self raising flour, plus 1tsp extra
350g brambles
Clotted cream to serve

Preheat the oven to 190c/GM5.
Grease a 20cm springform tin with butter, line the base with grease-proof paper.  Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until creamy.  Add the eggs one at a time.  Sift in the flour and fold in.  Add a splash of milk to loosen the mix (if needed).  Spoon the batter into the tin and smooth out.  Toss the brambles in a teaspoon of flour and scatter over the batter.  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in tin tin for 5 minutes, careful remove from the tin and cool completely on a wire rack.  Serve with the clotted cream.

The recipe for the cheesecake is from the Philadelphia website - you can find it here.
To make the topping, place about 200g of brambles in a saucepan with 3 tbsps of icing sugar.   Heat until the fruit has broken down, then leave to cool.  Layer on top of the chilled cheesecake.

For the jam - I used the recipe on the back of the Silver Spoon Jam Sugar packet:

800g fresh strawberries (I replaced this with brambles)
1kg jam sugar
knob of butter

Crush the fruit with a masher and place them in a saucepan.
Add the jam sugar and heat gently whilst stirring continuously until the sugar dissolves.  DO NOT BOIL at this stage.
Add the knob of butter
Keep stirring, increasing the heat and bringing it to a full rolling boil.
Boil for 4 minutes.
Remove from the heat and pour into warm sterile jars and cover.

See you next week,

Todays top three Spotify songs:

1. Flawless - The Ones
2. You Got The Love - The Source Feat Candi Staton  
3. Lola's Theme - The Shapeshifters