Goosebumps aka Gooseberry muffins

Deliciously simple, the goosebumps come from the texture of halved plumptious berries breaking through the crust and the fear that they may be too tart or too sweet….
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You will need:

150g self raising flour sifted

50g golden caster sugar

1/4 tsp salt

2 x medium eggs beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract or paste

50g vegetable oil

2 tbsp milk

200g gooseberries: washed, topped and tailed and cut into two if large

12 muffin cases

How to:

Preheat your oven to 200C, 180C fan, gas mark 6

Add the ingredients one by one except the gooseberries in a large mixing bowl and lightly combine. Stir through the gooseberries to distribute and divide between the cases.

Place in the centre of the oven until golden on top, approx 25 minutes.

Optional

Add 2/3 tbsp elderflower cordial to the batter if you have it, for the ultimate gooseberry treat. The combination is stunning.

Drizzle the cakes once cooled with elderflower honey and serve with good ice cream.

Lavender sugar

My girls have their jars at the ready…

thecookingcuddle

I adore the heady spice of lavender in many sweet treats from shortbread to cheesecake almost as much as the simple task of picking fresh and dry flowers on a warm sunny day and shaking free any adorable crawlies before jarring with bright white caster sugar. So simple, yet so satisfying, make sure you make this perfumed sugar once your own lavender comes into bloom.

lavender+sugar

To make:
Add 1 tbsp of fresh lavender flowers (grown without chemical sprays) picked on a dry day, to a jam jar of caster sugar, shake and leave to infuse for at least one week before using.

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Summer muffin’ had me a blast ….summer muffin’ happened so fast

Watching Grease with my cherubs on the first day of the summer holidays, I feel the urgent need to bake a treat to celebrate the cosy calm…

Dairy free banana mini muffins

Dairy free banana mini muffins

Like Old Mother Hubbard my larder is practically bare of delicious treats so I use what I have – 5 small over ripe bananas that have been begging to be baked into a banana bread for days. I want something more portable than a loaf cake as the cherubs are nagging to go swimming, so spotting my new bottle of sunflower oil I choose fluffy light muffins over heavier banana bread and reason that it is more summery too. To pep up the flavour I grab vanilla extract (always Nielson Massey) and white couverture powder (Mortimer Chocolate Company) so this decadent muffin is dairy free.

Makes 12 muffins 18 + smaller buns

You’ll need: 3 large or 5 small over ripe bananas 125ml vegetable oil or light olive oil 2 large eggs 100g golden caster sugar or soft brown muscovado for maximum flavour – Billingtons is delicious in baking, it lends toffee/caramel notes to your favourite recipes with no extra effort! 60g Mortimer Chocolate Co White Couveture powder 1tsp vanilla extract/vanilla bean paste 1tsp bicarbonate of soda 225g self raising flour

How to: Preheat your oven to 200C/ 180C fan/ gas mark 6 and line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases. In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas by hand or with a hand mixer. Add the oil, vanilla, eggs then sugar, beating between each addition. Sieve in the flour, chocolate powder and bicarb then beat until thoroughly combined. Pour into cases up to 2/3 full and bake for 15-20 mins until risen, golden and a skewer when inserted comes away clean. Allow to cool for 5 mins before removing from tin and cooling on a wire rack.

Watch as happy faces devour your first batch in moments prompting to you to start the process again!

Alternatives: You can swap the chocolate couverture for cocoa or chocolate chips! For more muffin rise fill cases fully. I tried to make the mix go further but we ate the whole batch whilst still warm regardless!

Lavender sugar

I adore the heady spice of lavender in many sweet treats from shortbread to cheesecake almost as much as the simple task of picking fresh and dry flowers on a warm sunny day and shaking free any adorable crawlies before jarring with bright white caster sugar. So simple, yet so satisfying, make sure you make this perfumed sugar once your own lavender comes into bloom.

lavender+sugar

To make:
Add 1 tbsp of fresh lavender flowers (grown without chemical sprays) picked on a dry day, to a jam jar of caster sugar, shake and leave to infuse for at least one week before using.

Heaven scent Hot Cross bun and butter pudding

For a decadent pud in a hurry, I can think of no better way to use up the last pack of hot cross buns…

Hot X Bun & Butter pudding

Hot X Bun & Butter pudding

You will need:

5-6 sliced and buttered with real butter hot X buns

300ml pot double cream

100ml milk

2 tbsp golden caster sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

1tbsp whisky

How to:

Preheat your oven to 170C/150C fan/ gas mark 3 and butter an ovenproof dish. Arrange your sliced and buttered hot X buns in the dish with crosses on top.

In a jug or mixing bowl whisk the cream, milk, 1 tbsp sugar, eggs, vanilla, lemon and whisky and pour over the buns, pressing down and leaving for 20 mins.

Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the top of the pudding and bake until golden and crisp on top and set underneath. Leave to stand for 5 minutes then serve with a little more cream and ice-cream.

Variations 

You could change the citrus to orange and the liqueur to bourbon, or dried apple and brandy and you could add marmalade to the buns for a more intense flavour. If you are partial to a chocolate hot X bun you can make in the same way with the addition of orange zest and liqueur.

Easter egg loaf

Listening to #JohnnyCash sing #HowGreatThouArt and baking this loaf for church #HappyEaster x

thecookingcuddle

Break bread this Easter with those you love the most by making a simple flavoured plait decorated with hand dyed eggs – so pretty and so much fun to prepare this is certain to become a new Easter tradition.

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You will need:For the bread 500g strong white bread flour 50g golden caster sugar 2 ½ tsp dried fast action yeast 1 tsp sea salt 200ml milk 2 x star anise Zest of 1 orange 60g salted butter, softened 2 organic eggs, large  For the coloured eggs To dye your own eggs, dilute gel paste food colouring in water. Place the eggs in a bowl and pour over the coloured water. Wrap the eggs with elastic bands if you wish to leave undied stripes. Allow to soak for 24 hours before draining.  For the Glaze 2 tbps icing sugar 1 tbsp hot water  To make the dough: In a…

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