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

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

Cadbury Crème Egg Chocolate Brownies

Admittedly I have a sweet tooth and this recipe certainly hits the spot! Chocolate Brownies are a definite go-to comfort food but these are on another level completely. Imagine the rich, dense brownie mixture with the added indulgence of a Cadbury Crème Egg on top! Seriously this is a mega cherry on top if there ever was one!

I found this recipe online at BBC Good Food

It was simple to follow and worked out beautifully first time. Just be aware when chopping the chocolate eggs in half, they don’t always cut clean in half, use a sharp knife.

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As you can see from the picture a couple of the eggs leaked slightly but I think this added to it’s homeliness and indulgence factor.

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I hope you enjoy making and consuming this as I did. They don’t hang round for long and who could resist these little beauties. Give them a try, forget a cherry on top; try a Crème egg!

Stephy 🙂 xo

Madeleines with Chocolate Sauce

Madelines….They. Are. Delicious.

I recently bought a Madeleine tray from my local hardware shop. They are not something you see much in English shops, being French. So when I saw it I jumped at the opportunity. Only costing £12 I was well chuffed.

I recently watched a cookery series by Gordon Ramsay called ‘Ultimate Cookery Course.’ I really enjoyed it and it was great as he didn’t swear either! I bought the book to accompany the series and saw his recipe for madeleines and decided to make them for breakfast.

Having travelled to France I was surprised to discover they are not something as common as I once thought. Everyone seems to eat brioche, perhaps it’s a regional thing I’m not sure.

They were delicious and I have to say it was very satisfying having got up early especially to make this little sweet treats. They don’t keep well so it’s best to eat them fresh that very morning.

Here’s the recipe I used Madeleines By Gordon Ramsay

Viola….

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I heated 100ml of double cream until it was boiling and turned the heat off and added 200g of good quality milk chocolate and whisked well to form a chocolate dipping sauce. C’est tres bon!

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These little cakes are great for a leisurely weekend breakfast or if you have family or friends round for breakfast. You can make the batter in advance the night before, leave it in the fridge and then prepare your Madeleine tray, add the mixture then bake them.

Hope you enjoy these, I love their shell shape, so pretty. Just the thing I want to see and eat in a morning.

Stephy x x

Malted Chocolate Cake with Maltesers

Do you like chocolate??? More of a rhetorical question really, of course you do!! I’ve been searching for a new take on the chocolate cake for a while and this is it! It’s rich and yet has a malty flavour which adds depth but an unexpected lightness which lifts this cake to another level along with the sweet chocolate icing and Maltesers; the crowning jewels to this grandiose cake.

Here is the recipe from Mary Berry Malted Chocolate Cake

What a treat!

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Excellent as it doesn’t take too long and is simple. Perfect as a family treat or special occasion. Thanks Mary Berry, yet another beautiful recipe. Another favourite! Highly recommend you make this for the weekend.

Enjoy Stephy x x

Yorkshire Parkin Cake

Heralding from Northern England Parkin is a real family favourite. It is a gingerbread cake traditionally made with oatmeal, treacle and syrup. As a child I have to admit I didn’t eat lots of it but just recently I can’t get enough of it!

My mum is very fond of it, so I wanted to make her a batch but struggled to find a reliable recipe. Finally, after much research I stumbled across this recipe and it works! I have tried it several times and it always turns out the same. This is surprising as it can be difficult to get consistency with cakes that contain syrup/treacle as the measurements can vary each time and effect the bake.

A cracking cake served warm with custard or you can leave it for a few days or more, if you can resist, to get more moist and sticky. Give it a try a Phenomenal Parkin

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Betty’s Tea Room, York

I’ve always wanted to visit Betty’s in York, UK. A very traditional tea rooms established in 1919, it’s quintessentially British, from the service to the staff attire.

Due to it’s high standard and excellent reputation it gets exceedingly busy. When we went they were queuing out of the door today! Foreseeing this, I pre-booked a table in their Belmont Rooms, on the first floor. We were sat down much quicker, avoiding queuing in the cold.

We were made to feel very welcome; sat on a beautifully laid table. The staff couldn’t be more helpful, so respectful and attentive. We felt very special and well looked after.

I ordered Betty’s Earl Grey Tea. It was so lovely; served in a traditional tea pot with the leaves and a tea strainer – as it should be in my opinion.

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We were then presented with an exquisite afternoon tea stand with sandwiches including; coronation chicken, roast ham with a sweet whole grain mustard, egg with cress and prawn. They were extremely tasty, freshly prepared and they were more than willing to bring more if required. I thought about it but looking at the rest of the stand I wanted to make sure I had enough room for the cakes! After all that’s what it is all about the sweet treats. Hehe.

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I then sampled the stunning homemade sultana scones with jam and clotted cream – need I say anymore. An absolute pleasure to eat!

Then the highlight (in my opinion) the patisserie cakes.

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The fruit tart was particularly good but my ultimate indulgence was the Black Forest macaron with a rich, chocolate cream filling with fresh cherries and an alcoholic kick at the end. Divine.

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We had a delightful afternoon, the ambience was fabulous, with a lady playing the piano, it was extremely relaxing. If you’re ever in York you must visit Betty’s, to experience a traditional and friendly food experience. There are not many like Betty’s around these days sadly. We are swamped with franchises setting up coffee shops and cafés, don’t get me wrong I like some of them but feel we should maintain our traditions and heritage in the classic and individual tea rooms of English history and culture. I understand you pay the price but it’s a small price to pay when you receive an excellent service and a day you won’t ever forget for being so lovely!!

Please note Betty’s also sell cakes, bread, souvenirs and gifts which are worth looking at. As well as being a fabulous tea rooms they also sell excellent produce, perfect for a gift or to take home for yourself.

Betty’s Tea Room a must to visit and the perfect way to spend my New Years Eve. Have a lovely evening everyone.

Stephy x x