Scrumptious Scones

Being a proper foodie you’d expect and not be surprised that I watch the Food Network Channel. I love discovering new chefs and also watching repeats of my favourite series.

Anna Olson is a chef I’m unfamiliar with, however since watching her ‘Bake’ series I have been hooked. She explains the methods so well and it makes you feel confident enough to try new recipes and you feel reassured that they will be a success.

My dad makes amazing ‘traditional’ English scones, you can see the recipe here English Cream Tea
However, I liked Anna’s American twist on the English classic. I loved the unusual shape, as usually I do them round and the filling of cranberries, I normally use sultanas. Here is how they turned out:

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Before the icing….

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…and after. A real treat.
Of course you wouldn’t have them with clotted cream and jam, however they were certainly different and I loved the hint of lemon and the icing on top. Delicious. I believe it’s worth trying a variation on a recipe from time to time and you know what they say; you should try something new everyday, why not these Lemon and Cranberry Scones?! 

Stephy x x

Marvellous Market

It has been talked about recently whether organic food is of benefit or not. Some say it is better for you, others say it costs too much and getting a standard product is just the same, there is no difference.

I have to say I’m not sure, however I do believe in shopping locally. My local town has a regular food market, selling a wide variety of produce, including fruit, vegetables, near, fish, cakes, breads, pastries and much more.

All items are reasonably priced and I love the atmosphere and the general friendliness of the people when you buy. Keeps the community atmosphere alive I feel which is a very good thing.

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I conscientiously try to shop from the market to ensure all my ingredients are fresh. You receive a good peace of mind knowing where the produce has come from. As to whether it is organic I’m not sure. However, I believe if you shop local and fresh that’s as good as organic to me.

If in doubt, shop local and support your towns market/local store/farmers market to receive excellent produce without the huge price tag.

Happy shopping

Stephy x x

Snog Frozen Yogurt 

Fro-yo for those of you that don’t know is ‘Frozen Yogurt’ a healthier alternative to ice cream. It’s been quite the thing this summer, forget instagramming ice cream people have been snapping pictures of their fro-yo’s. 

I try to limit the amount of dairy I eat due to health reasons so ice cream isn’t always a wise choice for me but you know what they say; everything in moderation. 

Whilst I was in London, perusing the countless shops and cafes in the charming Covent Garden I happened upon Snog! It was rather eye catching with bright lights and quirky, colourful decor with some great tunes playing. I couldn’t resist. 

There’s lots of choice for different topping and fro-yo flavours. I stick with the classic flavour fro-yo and opted for blueberries, strawberries and chocolate hearts topped with chocolate sauce – I don’t do things by halves. 

It was gorgeous. Low in calorie, in comparison to an ice cream, and super tasty. I didn’t feel guilty at all. 

   
Fancy a snog?? Yes please….. đź’‹

Classic Victoria Sponge Cake 

This classic British cake needs no introduction. The Victoria Sponge is a firm favourite of mine, quick and simple to make. 

Here’s my mums recipe for this delicious afternoon treat.

   
Victoria Sponge Cake 

Ingredients 

For the Cake 

  • 8oz Butter, softened 
  • 8oz Caster Sugar, sifted 
  • 4 Large Free Range Eggs 
  • 8oz Self Raising Flour, Sifted 

For the Filling 

  • 375ml Double Cream 
  • 200g Strawberry or Raspberry Jam 
  • Icing Sugar, to decorate 

Method 

Preheat the oven to 180degrees or 160degrees for a fan assisted oven. If using cake tins grease them well however I used silicone tins so no need to grease them. I used 9” sized round tins. 

Cream together the butter and caster sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time missing well. Then sift in the flour and evenly distribute the mixture between the two tins. 

Place in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25mins. When cooked through allow to cool completely. 

Whisk the double cream until thickened, but still soft in texture. Spread the jam onto one cake with the topside up and then add the cream on top. Place the other cake on top but with the bottom side places on the cream. To finish dust with icing sugar. 

Enjoy! 

   
 

Lemon Squares 

One of my favourite flavours is lemon. It was not so long ago though when I didn’t like lemony things, funny how your taste buds change as you grow up. Now I can’t get enough of it!! Some previous recipes I have shared including lemon are; Lemon Cupcakes and Lemon Madeira Cake 

To add to the collection I stumbled across a recipe for Lemon Squares and decided to do my take on them. The texture resembles a meringue On top, quite soft and light but they are like a biscuit/cake on the base. So light and zesty, a firm favourite now. Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed – I certainly wasn’t. 

  
Lemon Squares 

Ingredients
-100g Plain Flour 

– 35g Icing Sugar, sifted 

– 75g Butter, chilled and cubed 

– 3 Large Eggs

– 275g Caster Sugar 

– Grated Zest 1 Lemon 

– 150ml Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice 

– 50g Plain Flour, Sifted 
Method 

Preheat the oven to 180degrees. 

Oil and line a 18cm square tin. 

Rub together the butter, icing sugar and flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Tip into the prepared baking tin and press firmly down forming an even layer. Prick with a fork and bake for 12-15mins until lightly golden. 

Reduce the oven temperature to 150degrees. 

Whisk the eggs, sugar and lemon zest until smooth. Gradually add the lemon juice whilst still whisking. Then finally add the flour and stir to combine. 
Tip onto the baked base. Bake for 35-40mins so the top is set and slightly crispy. 

Leave to cool completely. 

Remove from the tin. Lightly dust with icing sugar and cut into squares. 

Enjoy! 
   
 

Bourbon Biscuits

I thoroughly enjoy traditional, quintessential English baking, in particular biscuits. Perfect with a coffee or tea, remind me of my childhood, eating biscuits at my grandparents house on a Sunday. It was the highlight of my evening raiding the biscuit barrel.

Nowadays you can buy biscuits fairly inexpensively at supermarkets but nothing beats the satisfaction of baking your own and of course the flavour of homemade far surpasses bought ones.

I’m obsessed with kitchen gadgets so when I spotted these biscuit stamps I was like a child in a sweet shop; excited and desperate to get home and try them.

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I was so chuffed as it also contained stamps for other traditional biscuits such as custard creams (another personal favourite).

I’ve started by making the Bourbon biscuits; what a delight!

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Bourbon Biscuits

Ingredients

225g Plain White Flour
125g Butter
75g Cocoa powder
125g Golden Caster Sugar
2tbsp Golden syrup
1tsp Bicarbonate of soda
3tbsp Milk

For The Filling

3tbsp Custard powder
100g Icing sugar 
25g Cocoa powder
75g Butter (unsalted) softened
2tsp Milk 
Method 

Blend together the flour, butter, cocoa powder, sugar, syrup and bicarbonate of soda. When it resembles chunky breadcrumbs gradually add the milk to form a dough. 

Bring it together into a ball and wrap it in cling film and chill for 15mins in the fridge. 

Remove from the fridge and unwrap. Roll the dough to about 1cm thickness. Then using a bourbon cutter, cut and press out the biscuits. 
   

Then place on a baking tray to chill in the fridge for 30mins. Preheat the oven to 180degress or 160degrees for fan oven. 

Remove the biscuits from the fridge after they have firmed up a little and bake for 20-25mins and leave them to cool. 

To make the filling, mix together the softened butter, icing sugar, cocoa powder and custard powder. 

When the biscuits have cooled, pipe the filling onto one biscuit and sandwich another on top. 

Enjoy! 

Chocolate Cake For Chocoholics

Like most girlies, I love chocolate. Although I always seem to be watching my weight, at times you deserve a treat. This is the perfect way to break the diet – I don’t do things by halves!

One of my favourite chefs is Mary Berry – what a lady and a legend. All her recipes are tried and tested, if I’m ever stuck I know I can rely on her expertise. This recipe is no exception. I first saw it on one of her recent cookery series on the BBC and had to try it. It is a show stopper, looks so pretty with the feather icing and is so simple – if I can do it, you can.

I found the recipe on the BBC website, Chocolate Tray Bake

It was very moist and would keep well, although you find when it is made it doesn’t last long!! The icing on top, more like a ganache, was divine. I struggled to resist eating it straight from the pan.

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As the image shows it’s really simple to do feather icing. Mine wasn’t perfect but it definitely looked homemade!!

Thanks Mary Berry for a delightful recipe. Please give it a try, it tastes and looks amazing, even if your feather icing goes a little wonky. Haha.

Stephy x x