Ravioli Lasagne

2015-09-27 19.04.51

Rich bolognese packed with layers of tasty ravioli and melted cheese. Such a deliciously comforting dish with approximately 500 calories per portion makes it a healthier option without compromising on the taste.

This recipe was heavily influenced by a recipe my Mum made a few times when I was growing up. All I could remember was the recipe used ravioli instead of lasagne and had a bolognese style sauce. I’m pretty sure it had some form of white sauce as you would usually expect from a lasagne too but I can’t be sure. Instead of asking my Mum to hunt around for the recipe, I thought I would take elements of it and make my version of it. This also meant I could try and keep an eye on the calories in it too!

We have become a little bit too relaxed with healthy eating in my house recently so we decided enough was enough and are back on track trying to watch what we eat a bit more. This doesn’t mean I won’t have treats, but where I can I’ll try and make things a bit healthier.

This recipe is an example of this as I have used lean beef mince – although it won’t make a massive difference, every little helps! I’ve also used parmesan cheese and half – fat mozzarella. With parmesan, a small amount goes quite a long way and although the mozarella like all low-fat cheese options may not melt as seductively as normal cheese, it still tastes great and doesn’t make you feel as guilty! Obviously you do not need to use the low fat options, but in my opinion there really is no reason not to.

As well as making a very tasty dinner, we had plenty of leftovers for lunches which was equally as tasty. What this recipe lacks in prettiness, it definitely makes up for in flavour!

500g lean mince beef
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
2 sticks of celery, diced
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp mustard powder
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp rosemary, chopped
½ tsp pepper
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tin of plum tomatoes
2 Oxo beef cubes
Spray oil
400g ravioli – I used beef and wine ravioli
225g half fat mozzarella
40g parmesan

  1. Put a pan on a medium heat and spray with oil. Once hot, add the onion and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes until the onion starts to soften and go translucent, but not brown

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  1. Add the mince and using a wooden spoon, break the mince up into small pieces so you don’t get big lumps. Stir until all the meat is browned
  2. Once browned, add the celery and carrot. Add the tomato puree and stir before adding the herbs, Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder, salt and pepper

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  1. Add the tinned tomatoes and then fill the empty tin with water from a recently boiled kettle – be careful as the tin will be hot, add it to the pan and stir
  2. Crumble in the Oxo cubes and let is simmer for a minimum of 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can leave it on a low heat to blip away for a few hours, just make sure you add some more water if it starts looking dry

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  1. The liquid should have reduced so that it coats the meat but isn’t too wet – you don’t want too much liquid as it will be too wet when you bake it

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  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC while you assemble the lasagne
  2. Using a large oven proof dish, layer the base with half of the ravioli and then cover with half of the meat mixture

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  1. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella and parmesan over the meat and pasta and then repeat using up the rest of the ingredients

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  1. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted

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  1. Serve with a side salad or whatever else you fancy

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

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Milk Chocolate Tart

2015-10-04 16.40.55

Crisp shortcrust pastry filled with rich, soft and deliciously smooth chocolate. This tart is chocolate heaven!

This week was chocolate week on GBBO; always a good week in my opinion. The contestant’s made chocolate tarts, chocolate souffle and a chocolate sculpture. If you follow my blog you’ll know by now that I wasn’t ever going to attempt a chocolate sculpture and a souffle seemed too scary; so a tart it was!

My tart experience is extremely low. Last year when I was baking along to the Bake Off, I made a savoury tart and that was my first. Baking along this year has meant I have made my second tart! I would like to get more practice with tarts and pastry in general. As you can see from my photos, my pastry isn’t the neatest but I suppose that will improve with practice.

I had a look through some recipes and decided that I wanted to have a go at a milk chocolate tart with normal shortcrust pastry. On the show, most of the contestants used chocolate shortcrust pastry and mentioned that it was harder to work with so I thought I would keep it as simple as I could and find a recipe using normal shortcrust pastry. The recipe I found was by Andy Bates on the Food Network UK website (http://www.foodnetwork.co.uk/recipes/milk-chocolate-tart.html). I only realised while I was writing up this recipe that there was a video as well as instructions (my iPad didn’t want to share this with me!). After watching the video, I think mine turned out quite well in comparison. I was pleased to see that his pastry was quite crumbly too – my crust in particular proved tricky to hold together when cutting.

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The recipe requires a 28cm tart tin, however mine was roughly 24cm and not quite the 4cm deep required. I had pastry and chocolate filing left over, so I made two mini tarts too. I used the same method and timings all the way through until when I baked them with the filling, the small tarts only needed 25 minutes.

My Mum has kindly lent me her food processor which her Mum bought for her years ago (possibly over 25 years ago). Since borrowing it I have used it when making chutney, buttercream and the pastry for this recipe. I thought using my K-Mix to make buttercream was fast but the MagiMix was something else – silky smooth buttercream in seconds! Making this pastry was also a breeze – add all the ingredients and pulse a few times and you’re done. I’ll definitely be adding one to my Christmas list!

The tart is very rich so I recommend a small slice. If you’re feeling really extravagant, you could serve the tart with some cream or ice cream. The chocolate filling is so soft and smooth it really does melt in your mouth.

For the shortcrust pastry
225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
75g icing sugar
Pinch of salt
150g butter
1 egg
1 egg yolk

By hand

  1. For the pastry, mix together the flour and sugar. Add the salt and butter and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs
  2. Beat together the egg yolk and whole egg and gradually add these at the same time as bringing the dough together until a ball forms
  3. Wrap the dough in cling film and allow to chill in the fridge for at least half an hour

Using a food processor

  1. Add all of the ingredients and pulse until the mixture forms a ball of dough

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  1. Wrap the dough in cling film and allow to chill in the fridge for at least half an hour
  2. Preheat the oven to 160ºC
  3. Lightly flour the surface and roll out the pastry to a thickness of 2mm

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  1. Carefully line the tart tin (28cm) cutting off most of the excess, I leave a small amount hanging over to allow for any shrinkage during cooking

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  1. Put the tart tin on a baking tray and allow to cool in the fridge for 20 minutes
  2. Line the tart tin with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Make sure you get them as close to the edges of the tin as possible as this will help the pastry keep its shape. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes

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  1. Remove the greaseproof paper and baking beans and return to the oven for 5-8 minutes until the pastry starts to tun golden brown

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  1. Using a sharp knife, cut off the overhanging pastry

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  1. Turn the oven down to 140ºC

For the filling
450ml single cream
600g milk chocolate (over 35% cocoa)
150ml whole milk
3 eggs

  1. Break the chocolate into pieces in a large bowl

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  1. Bring the milk and cream to the boil and then pour over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is combined. It will look a little messy at first but keep stirring and it will come together

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  1. Allow the chocolate mixture to cool for 5 minutes and then add the beaten eggs. Stir until the eggs are completely combined

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  1. Fill the tart with the chocolate filling. Carefully put the tart in the middle of the oven to bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until the filling looks set but has a slight wobble when shook

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  1. Allow the tart to cool to room temperature before serving

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Mummy Mishaps



Please visit www.mummymishaps.co.uk and http://www.bakingqueen74.co.uk to check out what everyone else has been baking for #GBBOBloggers2015 and #PerfectingPatisserie

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Chocolate Éclairs

2015-09-26 12.57.33

Crisp, airy pastry filled with vanilla cream covered in delicious chocolate. Éclairs are fantastically indulgent and one of my favourite treats.

I love éclairs – fresh cream and chocolate can never be a bad thing. The choux pastry acts a tasty shell for the softly whipped cream and is then smothered with melted chocolate. I was inspired to make these by GBBO, however I was definitely not even slightly tempted to make a structure out of them like the contestants did! I haven’t baked along for a couple of weeks now due to being on holiday for pastry week and then just not being interested in Victorian baking. So when I realised éclairs were on the show, I knew I coudn’t give them a miss.

I’ve only made choux pastry once before when I was in my third year of uni. Don’t all third year uni students spend their evenings baking? It was my friend’s birthday and I can’t remember if I asked her what she would like me to make her, or whether I just remembered her telling me her Nan usually makes her profiteroles. Anyway, I decided to make profiteroles for her. Unfortunately there is no photographic evidence of the profiteroles, but I do remember them being huge, much more like choux buns. She did say they were very tasty though, but she is so lovely she could have just been being polite!

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So four years later, I decided it was time to give choux pastry another go. I chose Paul Hollywood’s recipe because I thought it was a safe bet (http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/pauls_chocolate_clairs_59944). I was really chuffed with how they turned out! The only thing I will change next time is to put slightly more pressure on the piping bag as I’m piping the dough as this creates a slightly fatter éclair. Some of the first one’s I piped were a little thin as I didn’t put much pressure on the piping bag. They still looked good, but they didn’t have as much room inside for the cream! So a nice thick éclair means more room for cream!

I took these to my friend’s house who was holding an Afternoon Tea as a baby shower for another of our friends. The éclairs went down very well, someone said they were exactly like shop bought éclairs. Rien said they tasted even better than éclairs you can buy in shops – very unlike him to give such a nice compliment unprompted!

For the choux pastry
65g plain flour
pinch of salt
50g unsalted butter
2 eggs

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC and line a baking tray with baking parchment
  2. Put 120ml of water into a medium sized pan along with the salt and butter. Heat gently until the butter melts making sure you do not let the water boil

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  1. Once the butter has melted, quickly bring the mixture to the boil and then add the flour. Remove the pan from the heat and beat furiously with a wooden spoon until it comes together in a smooth dough

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  1. Put the pan back on a low heat and beat for a minute to slightly cook the dough, it should come away from the sides of the pan and become smooth and glossy
  2. Tip into a bowl to cool until it is only slightly warm

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  1. Beat the eggs and then gradually add them to the dough and mix. Keep adding the egg until the dough falls off a spoon when lightly shaken
  2. Spoon the dough into a piping bag with a 1.25cm plain nozzle. Pipe 12, 10cm lengths onto the baking tray

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  1. Sprinkle the tray, not the dough, with a few drops of water and bake in the oven for 15 minutes
  2. Without opening the oven, reduce the oven to 170ºC and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown and crisp
  3. Take the tray out of the oven and make a small hole in the side of each éclair with a skewer to allow the steam to escape. Put them back in the oven for 5 minutes

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  1. Allow the éclairs to cool completely on a wire rack

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For the filling
200ml whipping cream
5 tsp icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form

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  1. Carefully cut down the side of each éclair and pipe in the whipped cream

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For the topping
100g milk chocolate

  1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water – make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl
  2. Spoon chocolate in a strip over each éclair. Allow the chocolate to set before serving

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Make sure you head to www.mummymishaps.co.uk and www,bluebirdsunshine.co.uk to see what else people have baked for #GBBOBloggers2015

Mummy Mishaps
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Roasted New Potatoes

2015-07-12 19.28.41

Crispy skinned new potatoes which are fluffy inside flavoured with herbs make the perfect side dish for any meal.

New potatoes have always been my least favourite type of potato because to be honest I find them a bit boring. We used to have them quite a lot , especially in the summer, when I was a child and although they are nice for a change, it felt like we had them for every meal (I may be exaggerating slightly).

My preferred way of eating new potatoes is to roast them with herbs as the skin turns nice and crispy but they’re still fluffy inside. I almost feel a little bit cheeky calling this a recipe because it is so simple, it is more like assembling rather than an actual recipe! This way gives them a lot more flavour in my opinion than just boiling them in salted water. They are really simple to prepare this way, but I think it makes them look like you’ve put a bit more effort in.

I was lucky enough to be given these potatoes by Rien’s Nan who had grown them in her garden. She was so excited when I said I’d like them because I don’t think the rest of the family tend to use them. I think things like vegetables are always that little bit tastier when they have been home grown for some reason.

You can use whatever herbs you would like. I like to use a combination of thyme and rosemary because these are two of my favourite herbs, but often just use one of the other depending what I have. There is no need to pick the leaves off the stalks as during cooking, the leaves seem to fall off themselves. This then makes it really easy to just pick out the stems once the potatoes are finished cooking.

The below amount should be enough for four people as a side dish.

500g new potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 ½ tsp sea salt
A few sprigs of the herbs of your choice

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Thoroughly wash the potatoes and remove any black bits

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  1. Drizzle some of the olive oil into a roasting tin. Add the potatoes, cutting any large ones in half to make the potatoes roughly the same size
  2. Drizzle over the rest of the olive oil before sprinkling over the salt and adding the herbs

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  1. Roast in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes, turning the potatoes half way through the time, until the potatoes are crispy on the outside but cooked through; I check this by poking them with a sharp knife. Remove the herb stalks and serve
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Sugar-free Lemon Cake


Week 5 of the Great British Bake Off was Free From week. The challenges included sugar free cakes, gluten free pitta breads and then dairy free ice cream rolls. I have had a go at making gluten free bread before; albeit with gluten free flour and not the powder they were using on the show, so I decided to have a go at making a sugar free cake.

I was trying to get ahead so searched for my sugar free cake recipe and bought my ingredients before the show aired. The recipe I found was for a sugar free lemon drizzle cake and used a plant based sugar substitute called Xylitol. The contestants on the show used honey, agave syrup and fruits to sweeten their cakes so were slightly different to mine. Not all of their cakes were successful, some were too moist and a couple weren’t sweet enough. I was pleased I’d used the Xylitol as the cake turned out really well and was sweet enough.

Xylitol has less calories than normal sugar and is therefore healthier, but it is quite pricey! Don’t get me wrong it is by no means extortionate (£2.70 for 225g), but when you compare it to normal sugar it is quite a bit more expensive. The original recipe was for a lemon drizzle cake, but for two reasons I didn’t add the drizzle. I’ve never been a fan of the drizzle as I don’t like the crunchy sugar, but for this recipe I needed a whole pack of the sugar for the cake, and then 50g extra for the drizzle. I didn’t want to buy another pack to just use a little bit and then for the rest to sit in my cupboard for years. So that sounded like a good enough reason to keep the cake drizzle free to me.

225g self raising flour
½ tsp baking powder
225g xylitol
2 lemons, zest only
2 large eggs
125ml sunflower oil
1 tbsp milk
200g 0% fat yogurt

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan). Line and grease a 2kg loaf tin with baking parchment
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, Xylitol and lemon zest together in a bowl

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  1. In a separate bowl or jug, whisk together the eggs, sunflower oil, milk and yogurt. Once mixed, add the wet mixture to the flour and mix until fully combined

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  1. Pour the mix into the tin and smooth the surface if needed and bake for 1 – 1 hour 10 mins. Check the cake after 50 minutes and if it is getting too dark, cover it loosely with foil

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  1. Let the cake cool slightly in the tin before turning out and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack

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The original recipe can be found here – http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1940674/sugarfree-lemon-drizzle-cake-

Head to www.mummymishaps.co.uk to check out the rest of the #GreatBloggersBake2015 entries.

Mummy Mishaps
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Summer Berries & Mascarpone Cake

2015-07-11 09.37.05

Light and fluffy sponge cake with delicious fresh summer berries and smooth mascarpone; the perfect cake for a summer afternoon.

My sister asked me if I could make a cake for a colleague’s birthday quite last minute. When people know you make cakes, they seem to sometimes think you do nothing else so their last minute cake request isn’t a problem. I do love baking and hate to turn people away, especially family, so I squeezed this in around the wedding taster cupcakes I was making.

My sister said she was ideally looking for a cake with fruit, so with that and knowing she doesn’t like cream or buttercream, I came up with this cake. I was very pleased with how the cake turned out and it went down extremely well and I even received my first thank you note which was incredibly kind.

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I split the batter into three tins but you can always just use two if you’d prefer. You can also use vanilla extract if you don’t have vanilla bean paste but I really like the specks of black throughout the sponge because then you know vanilla is in the cake.

For the cake
225g caster sugar
225g butter or margarine 
4 eggs
225g self raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp vanilla bean paste 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line 3 8inch sandwich tins
  2. Beat the sugar and butter together until pale and fluffy. Then add the eggs one at a time, mixing between each before adding the vanilla bean paste
  3. Add the flour and baking powder and mix until completely combined and then divide into the tins

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  1. Put in the oven for 17-20 minutes until a cocktail stick comes out clean. Allow to cool for a few minutes in the tins before turning out and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack

For the filling
400g strawberries
300g raspberries
200g blueberries
200g mascarpone
200ml fromage frais
½ tsp vanilla bean paste

  1. Wash all of the fruit then hull and slice the strawberries
  2. Beat the mascaropone, fromage frais and vanilla until smooth and velvety

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  1. Place one of the cake layers on your cake board or plate so that what was the top is now the bottom. Spoon a third of the mascarpone mix and spread out to cover the cake. Arrange a layer of the fruit and then repeat with the next two layers of cake

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The lady that the cake was for wrote my a lovely card to say thank you for making her the cake which made my day!

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Soda Bread

2015-08-20 20.01.18

Crusty bread that you can be tucking into in just over an hour – what could be better?

Week 3 of The Great British Bake Off was Bread week and the bakes were quick breads, baguettes and bread sculptures. I definitely didn’t need to bake enough bread to open my own bakery so the bread sculpture wasn’t going to happen. I was tempted by the baguettes but they sound a little tricky and time consuming they would need to wait for another time when I was less busy. I had been wanting to make Soda Bread since Rien bought me Paul Hollywood’s ‘Bread’ book for my birthday. I had gone to make it a few times and then realised I needed buttermilk and didn’t have any so decided to make something else instead.

So finally I was going to actually get round to making soda bread. I rushed into Waitrose on my way home to find an empty shelf where the buttermilk was meant to be! A lovely lady went and had a look out the back to see if they had anymore and what must have been about 5 minutes later, back she came with some. I definitely learnt my lesson to buy my ingredients before Bake Off airs! Although you can make your own buttermilk by adding 1 tbsp of lemon juice to 1 cup of milk and letting it sit for 10 minutes; I thought I better use the real deal for my first attempt at soda bread!

From watching the show, I learnt that you need to be gentle and handle the dough as little as possible. So don’t go crazy and start kneading the dough like you would when making other types of bread. It is also what makes it the easiest bread I have made because it is so simple and quick.

I was very pleased with how the bread turned out, but as it is best eaten on the day it is baked I took some of it into work the next day (I thought seeing as it came out of the oven around 9pm, the following morning counted as the same day!). They were all very grateful and complimentary – one of my colleagues even said it was divine! It was good to know it actually tasted like it should because I’ve never eaten soda bread  before.

250g plain wholemeal flour
250g plain white flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
420ml buttermilk 

  1. Put both of the flours into a large bowl along with the bicarbonate of soda and salt and mix together
  2. Add the buttermilk and mix using a wooden spoon or your hand to form a sticky dough
  3. Lightly flour the work surface and tip the dough out onto it. Gently roll and fold the dough to bring it together making sure you don’t knead it

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  1. Shape the dough into a ball by turning it around on the surface between your cupped hands and then flatten it gently with your hand

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  1. Place the loaf on a baking tray lined with baking paper and then dust the dough with white flour. Using a large knife, score the loaf deeply, dividing it into quarters. Open the scores slightly to allow the heat to get into the centre

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  1. Set the loaf aside for 30 minutes to allow the bicarbonate of soda to work. In the mean time, heat your oven to 200ºC. If you are in a rush (or just don’t want to wait!), you can bake the loaf as soon as the oven is hot
  2. Bake the loaf on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown on top and pale brown at the base of the cross. The bread should sound hollow when tapped at the bottom

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  1. Allow the loaf to cool completely on a wire rack. It is best eaten on the day it is made but can keep for a day or so if needed

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Make sure you check out the rest of the Bloggers baking along as part of the #GBBOBloggers2015 by visiting www.mummymishaps.co.uk

Mummy Mishaps
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Mexican Sweetcorn Salad

2015-08-02 19.50.35  Slightly charred sweetcorn with a slight chilli kick and freshness from the lime juice. This makes a perfect side dish for all Mexican food and is so easy and tasty.

If you follow my blog regularly, you’ll know a couple of things about me; I’m quite fussy and I love Mexican food. I was looking for a sweetcorn side dish and this recipe caught my eye on Pinterest. As with a lot of recipes, I had to make a few adjustments like leaving out the coriander and red onion (I can’t stand coriander and don’t like raw onions – see I told you I was fussy!) After adapting the ingredients it left a fantastic side dish using one of my favourite ingredients – sweetcorn!

When I was younger, like all children I often fancied a snack when I came home from school. One of my favourite things to eat was sweetcorn straight from the tin. My love for sweetcorn is quite specific though – it has to be tinned and it has to be with added salt and sugar. Frozen sweetcorn just doesn’t cut it and although I do occasionally have corn on the cob in restaurants I like, more often than not I don’t.

This recipe has quickly become one of our favourites. As there are only two of us, I started off by making half the amount but I quickly started making the full amount so that there are left overs but more often than not we have to stop ourselves demolishing the whole lot!

680g sweetcorn (2 large tins)
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
½ tsp chilli powder
salt and pepper to taste
feta cheese to sprinkle on top

  1. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the sweetcorn and let it cook until it starts to char making sure you stir it occasionally

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  1. In a bowl mix together the mayonnaise, lime juice, garlic, chilli powder, salt and pepper
  2. When the sweetcorn is nicely charred, let is cool for a couple of minutes before adding to the mayonnaise mix
  3. Keep any leftovers in the fridge for a couple of days

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Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

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Fruity Biscotti

Cat Biscotti 1 copy

Photo by Betty

Crunchy biscuits packed with fruits and nuts with a subtle hint of spice, perfect dipped in a cup of coffee.

Week 2 of GBBO is biscuit week! As with most things, I am quite fussy when it comes to biscuits. I will never be the person getting exited over a bourbon! The one biscuit I cannot resist is a chocolate caramel digestive biscuit which is strange as I’m not usually a fan of caramel. It is just not safe if they’re in the house because I do find myself eating more than I should!

The three bakes were Biscotti, Arlettes and a 3D box made of biscuits, filled with biscuits. For Christmas last year I made Fruity Biscotti as part of my Chistmas Menu but never got round to blogging about them so now was the perfect opportunity! After looking at a number of recipes I decided to make this one by Good Food because of how many different fruits and nuts were in it and it went down very well. The original recipe can be found here http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/8022/fruity-christmas-biscotti

One of the great things about biscotti is that you can make a batch and keep it in a airtight container for up to a month. This makes it perfect to make ahead and bring out at family occasions – particularly Christmas. They also make really lovely gifts put in cellophane bags and tied with ribbon.

350g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp mixed spice
250g caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
grated zest of 1 orange
85g raisins
85g dried cherries
50g blanched almonds
50g shelled pistachios

  1. Heat oven to 180ºC (fan 160ºC) and line 2 baking sheets with baking paper. Mix the flour, baking powder, mixed spice and sugar together in a large bowl. Stir in the eggs and orange zest until it starts to form clumps. Bring the dough together with your hands – don’t worry it will be dry at first but keep kneading until there are no floury patches left in the bottom of the bowl
  2. Add the fruit and nuts and knead them into the dough making sure they are evenly distributed
  3. Lightly flour your surface and tip the dough out onto it. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and then roll each piece into a sausage approximately 30cm long. Put 2 ‘sausages’ on each tray making sure they are well apart
  4. Bake for 25-30 mins until the dough has risen and feels firm to the touch, it should still be pale at this stage. Transfer onto a wire rack and allow to cool until they are cool enough for you to touch
  5. Turn down the oven to 140ºC (fan 120ºC). Cut the dough into slices about 1 cm thick on the diagonal using a bread knife and then lay them flat on the baking tray. You can cool the biscuits at this stage and freeze them flat on the baking tray, then put into bags and frozen for 2 months
  6. Bake for another 15 mins (20 mins if from frozen), turn them over and thne bake for another 15 minutes until dry and golden
  7. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack and then store in an airtight container for up to one month

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Make sure you check out the rest of the bloggers baking biscuits this week for the Great Bloggers Bake Off 2015 at http:///www.mummymishaps.co.uk

Mummy Mishaps
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Madeira Cake

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A close textured classic cake ideally with a dome and a crack. This cake signals the most exciting time in a baker’s year – the return of the Great British Bake Off! It also means the return of the Blogger’s Bake Along hosted by Jenny Paulin, which is something I joined in with last year and am very excited for again this year. I am due to move house towards the end of the Bake Off so I will join in for as many weeks as possible and pull a sad pouty face if instead of baking I am packing and unpacking!

Before the series started, we were treated to a preview of what the bakers would have as their first challenge in the tent. Week 1 was cake week which was a Madeira Cake, Walnut Cake and then a Black Forest Gateau. I’m not a massive fan of walnuts and didn’t fancy a Black Forest Gateau so decided to make a Madeira Cake. It also turned out that Madeira Cake is one of my Godmother’s favourite cakes and she was visiting from Aberdeen so it seemed like the obvious choice for the Bake Along.

I remember making Madeira Cake when I was a child using the recipe in my Mum’s Be-Ro book. I decided to use Mary Berry’s recipe from her Baking Bible because, well its’s Mary Berry. I didn’t realise there are ground almonds in a Madeira cake (there weren’t in the Be-Ro recipe anyway!) but because Mary Berry told me to, they went in the cake!

On the show, some of the contestants played about with the flavours but as this is such a classic cake, I decided to keep to the traditional recipe. I was pleased with how my cake turned out – I definitely had the dome shape needed and I’d go as far as saying as I had a pretty good crack in the top. I didn’t have a 7 inch cake tin so I used an 8 inch tin which is why mine may be a little shallower than usual. If you use an 8 inch tin, make sure you test the cake 5 – 10 mins earlier than the recipe suggests incase it has finished baking sooner.

175g softened butter
175 caster sugar
225g self raising flour
50g ground almonds
3 large eggs
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC or 160ºC fan. Line a 7 inch (18cm) deep cake tin with parchment paper
  2. Measure the butter, sugar, flour, ground almonds, eggs and grated lemon into a large bow and beat for approximately a minute

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  1. Tip the cake mix into the prepared tin and smooth until level

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  1. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Put the slice of citron peel on top of the cake and continue cooking for another 30-45 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean

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  1. Leave to cool in the tin for roughly 10 minutes before turning out an allowing to cool completely on a wire rack

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Mummy Mishaps
Make sure you check out Jenny’s blog, Mummy Mishaps – http:///www.mummymishaps.co.uk
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