Sunday, 26 April 2015


I'm feeling very self righteous at the moment. This is down to me cleaning out my freezer. It has resulted in three things.  A gleaming freezer, a bizarre dinner combination and these little beauties.  Buried at the back was a packet of blueberries so I added some almonds and put this recipe together. They are so soft and moist and the blueberries give the effect of having the jam already in the scone.

Blueberry Scones 
300g Self Raising Flour 
70g Sugar 
160g Butter 
150ml Milk 
1/4 tsp Almond Extract 
40g Flaked Almonds 
150g Blueberries
Milk to Glaze

80g Icing Sugar
1/4 tsp Almond Extract
Water to mix

It's just as you would expect with scones, rub the butter into the flour then add the sugar.  Pour in the milk and almond extract and mix till it comes together as a soft dough, I find a knife the best thing for this.  Finally stir through the flaked almonds and blueberries, reserve a few almonds to scatter on the top.

Now lightly flour your surface and bring the dough together by very gently kneading it and forming it into a ball.  Pat it down evenly so you have roughly an 8" scone then divide it into 8 slices.  You may find it helps to flour the knife to get good clean cuts.

Place each scone onto a baking sheet lined with parchment, brush with a little milk and sprinkle on the remaining almonds.  Bake for 20-25 minutes at 200C fan.

Whilst they cook mix the drizzle icing.  Mix the icing sugar with the almond extract and a little water till you get a thick but runny consistency.  Once the scones have cooked, drizzle on the icing and leave to cool....if you can.....just a little!

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.