Sunday, 19 April 2015


So I decided I wanted to make cornbread and once I started I couldn't stop.  I really went to town with this one and we've been eating corn bread with everything.

I started with a plain cornbread that went well with soup and was a good excuse to use my cast iron cornbread pan, the fact that it gives you the cutest little ears of corn makes means everyone can't resist them.

Next came mini corn dogs, my children loved these and they were so quick to make. I oiled a mini muffin tray, poured in some of the cornbread batter then divided frankfurter sausages into 8 pieces and popped them in the middle.  Bake for 10-12 minutes till golden.

I then moved on to adding some extras to boost the flavour and to be honest it became a meal in itself, perfect for picnics and packed lunches. I added cheese, sweetcorn, chilli, coriander and onions and next time I think I'll also throw in some chorizo. Butter an oven proof dish and bake for 20-25 minutes.

The final dish in this cornbread fest is chilli with a cornbread top, if you try this use half the quantity of ingredients.  Make your chilli, pour the batter on top and bake for 20-25 minutes and serve immediately.

The hardest part of this recipe is finding the cornmeal.  I got it in an international food store but if you can't find it, use polenta instead.  It will be a little courser but does the job just as well.

Basic Cornbread

250g Cornmeal
120g Plain Flour
30g Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp White Pepper
65g Butter melted
2 x 284ml Buttermilk
2 Eggs

Added Extras
60g Chedder grated
200g Sweetcorn
3 Spring Onions chopped
1 tsp Chilli Paste
Small Bunch Fresh Coriander chopped

Grated Parmesan to finish

To make the basic cornbread, mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.  In a jug whisk the wet ingredients together then combine the two.  Fold everything together till you have a thick batter with no dry lumps.  If you're adding the extra ingredients stir them through now.

Pour everything into a buttered baking dish,  and cook at 200C fan for 20-25 minutes till firm to touch and golden brown.  Leave it in the dish to cool then cut into portions.

Thursday, 2 April 2015


It's quite well documented that I'm not the biggest fan of fruit cake or marzipan but I do like marzipan cooked into cakes. Marzipan gives it a chewy texture that I can't resist hence my Simnel Scones recipe.  Nigella does a delicious Simple Almond Cake in her Domestic Goddess book that really is simple to make and irresistible to eat and it's all down to the marzipan.

So this recipe is almost like a Simnel cake but I think a little lighter to eat.  The warm spices give it the flavours of hot cross buns and it's just as moreish warm from the oven or cold if it lasts that long.

Heat the oven to 160C fan and line a 2lb loaf tin, I use ready made loaf liners. Cream together 110g Butter with 110g Sugar. Then add 225g Self Raising Flour, 225g Mixed Fruit, 2 Eggs, 50ml Milk, 
1 tsp Cinnamon and 1/2 tsp Mixed Spice. Mix everything well till combined.

Now cut 80g Marzipan into small cubes and put to one side, I like the natural whiter marzipan but you could use the yellow version if you prefer. Put half the cake mixture into the loaf tin then top with 1/3 of the marzipan cubes.  Now add the rest of the mixture and finish with the remaining marzipan cubes, press them in lightly so you can still see them.

Bake for 50-60 minutes till cooked through. To finish, warm
1 tbsp Honey and brush the top of your cake with it. Use another 80g Marzipan to decorate the top.  Divide it into 2 pieces and roll them into sausages, gently twist them together to form a rope and place them on the cake to make your cross.  You could leave it like that or give it a quick blast with a cooks blow torch.  If you don't have a blow torch grill it, but keep an eye on it so you don't burn your cake.


Wednesday, 25 March 2015


How cute are these! They're what I made with my Junior Chefs this week.  A delicious lemon curd cupcake topped with marshmallow bunny ears.

We used the same technique as the chrysanthemum cupcakes but with large size marshmallows.  Cut the marshmallow in half diagonally and dip the sticky cut edge into coloured sugar.  we also coloured some coconut with green colour paste for grass and used a tiny mini egg as a nose.

Lemon Curd Cup Cakes

50g Butter
70g Sugar
2 tbsp Lemon Curd
1 Egg
125ml Milk
175g Self Raising Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder

Lemon Curd, Buttercream, Desicated Coconut & Marshmallows to decorate

Cream together the butter and sugar till fluffy then add the remaining ingredients and combine to make a smooth batter.

Divide the mixture between 12 cupcake cases and bake for 20-25 minutes at 180C

Once the cakes have cooked and cooled, remove a small piece of the sponge from the tops of each cake to make a small hole.  Fill the holes with lemon curd then cover the surface with buttercream.

Pop on your bunny ears and a nose then finish with a sprinkle of coconut.