15 Minute Chocolate Orange Cookies

Nothing pleases me more than having the urge to bake and realising I have all the ingredients in the cupboard.  Truth be told, these quick cookies started out as chocolate chip only, but I found some orange blossom in the cupboard and threw in a teaspoon for good measure.

I have baked these cookies…a lot! I’ve messed around with the temperature from bake to bake to get a gooey-in-the-middle finish.  Honestly, this batch was the best I’ve done.  Probably because a) I’m on a diet and b) the house was stoney silent with the children in bed and the husband out.

What I used:

One teaspoon of Orange Blossom, 140g of dark chocolate chips, a squirt of syrup, 115g of butter, 170g of self-raising flour, 85g of caster sugar and half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda.

FullSizeRender
Ingredients

What I did:

I melted the butter with the syrup and orange blossom over heated water – they key is to melt the butter slowly, if it’s too hot the chocolate chips will melt.   Whilst this is melting, mix together the flour, sugar and bicarbonate of soda.  Once the butter is melted, allow to cool and add to the floury mix, then stir in the chocolate chips.  Once all mixed together, make little circles/ dough balls about 3cm or 4cm diameter  and place on baking paper on a baking tray.  I usually get 12 to 15 cookies.  Make sure you leave enough space around the cookies to grow – around 5cm.  Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170 for 11 minutes.   Cool on the tray for five minutes then move to wire rack.  Once cooled, moved to a cake/biscuit tin…if they last that long!

IMG_8485
Pre-cooked cookies, 3cm – 4cm circles.

My husband couldn’t wait to get his mitts on these cookies – sampling them whilst still warm (and repeatedly afterwards).

IMG_8490
Chocolate & Orange Cookies

Enjoy! X

Easy Peasy Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips

My New Years Resolution was to waste less food. Every Saturday I used to throw away at least two carrier bags of uneaten, out of date food, mostly fruit and vegetables.  So my plan was to buy less and eat more and avoid the wastage situation.  

Today, I walked passed the fruit bowl and saw a bunch of pesky bananas poking out.  Although not instantly recognised as bananas by their cheetah-like skins and squidgy texture.  I picked them out, the thought of eating four bananas before my shopping arrived in 20 minutes was unthinkable.  So, I set about making banana bread.  Don’t be worried about the bananas being too old, mine were seriously old and black (see below).

  

What I used:

Four, dodgy looking bananas, 250g of caster sugar, two eggs, 250g plain flour, two teaspoons of baking powder and 120g of milk chocolate chips.

What I did:

I chopped up the bananas and wisked with the sugar until fluffly.  I then added the eggs, one at at time with a tablespoon of flour.  I then sieved in my flour with the baking powder and folded together.  I added the chocolate and folded gently.   

Once folded, I poured the mixture into a lined loaf tin and baked at 190 for 50 minutes.   

After you’ve taken from the oven, allow to rest for five minutes in the tin before turning out on to a wire rack to cool.  Once cooled, make yourself a cuppa and indulge!

Enjoy! X 

Easter Bunny Carrot Cake…

Honestly, I’ve never made Carrot Cake in my life before today.  Partly because I don’t like it, partly because the ingredients list is incredibly long and anything over six ingredients sends me into a spin! However, Pats (Mother) is over tonight and I know she’s partial to a bit of Carrot Cake so I thought I’d try and get in her good books.

I couldn’t resist the cute little chocolate, carrot toppers in Sainsburys – so these are very little effort, they’re shop-bought! This Carrot Cake is a doddle to make!  Honestly, even I was surprised by how little effort it takes.  The hardest part is lining your baking tin with parchment paper!

Because I’ve never made a Carrot Cake before, I used the Yummy Scrummy Carrot Cake recipe from Good Food (love their recipes, particularly the ones rated five stars) and went freestyle on the chocolate carrots!

This is not the prettiest cake in the mixing however, it smells delicious.  Once the mixture is poured into the square tin – the rest, they say, is history.  The house was scented with an almost Christmassy smell – it was delightful.

IMG_8322

After being baked in the over for 45 minutes, cooled on a wire rack, I mixed the icing sugar with the juice of half an orange and stirred until yoghurt-like texture.  I drizzed over the cake and added my creative, chocolate carrots. Ha!

IMG_8340

I’m sure I’ll be making this one again – Pats is currently sat opposite me telling me how “moorish” it is!  That’s good, right?

Enjoy!

Easter Cakes… Remember these?

Remember when you had time to be bored? The school holidays were the worst for boredom.  My mother, Pattie (or Pats as she’s now known) used to spend a small fortune on caster sugar, eggs, flour and chocolate in the hope that the Bero Baking book would, once again keep me entertained.  And, it always did.  The well-thumbed, uncoated pages of that small book used to keep me going days.  I always wanted to make those Chocolate Kisses three quarters of the way through the book, but never did.  They looked too difficult, too much effort. Rice Crispie cakes were a particular favourite, enveloped in the shiniest, prettiest cases I/Pats could find.

These cute little Easter cakes are of the same level.  Shredded Wheat and melted chocolate,  Boom!  I haven’t grown out of the pretty little cases, these are the bite-sized, petite fours cases from Waitrose.  I used to decorate them with Mini Eggs, but the magpie in me spotted these metallic covered eggs….the rest is history.

What I used

One Shredded Wheat, 100g of milk chocolate and a small amount of butter.

What I did

I melted the butter in a bowl over boiling water, I added some fat (butter) and took off the heat and stirred well to ensure the butter was fully melted. I crumbled a Shredded Wheat into the melted chocolate, mixed together and spooned in to the petite four cases.

My husband has walked past the table way too many times than usual and popped one in his mouth on each passing. Must be good!

Enjoy! X

Slow Cooked Beef Fillet 

This recipe is a little indulgent for a slow cooker….but it’s so good.  It literally takes minutes to do.  I throw all the ingredients into the slow cooker, with the exception of green beans and leave for ten hours.   Whilst my children are eating their way through their cereals, I warm up the slow cooker and take the ingredients out of the fridge/vegetable basket. Just before we hear the school bell (we live next door to the school) I unwrap the ingredients and place the potatoes and baby carrots at the bottom of the slow cooker, place the steaks on top and pour the beef stock in.  I turn the slow cooker on low and race out of the door.



My husband gets back at 330pm and adds the green beans.

The smell is so welcoming, I literally cannot wait to get involved with the tender meat and perfectly cooked vegetables with a dollop of English mustard.

Edit

What I used

200ml of beef stock, 2 fillet steaks, a handful of green beans, baby carrots and baby potatoes. 

What I did

I threw everything into the slow cooker at 8.50am, putting the vegetables at the bottom.  Added the green beans at 330pm. Ate at 8pm. Ha!

This is a seriously easy recipe and I encourage you all to cook…at least once.

Enjoy! 

Mother’s Day Madeleine’s 

So, Mother’s Day was upon me and I’d managed to buy something lovely from The White Company.  However I wasn’t sure of the Mother’s Day politics on children, my children.  Should they get something for their grandmother?  I decided to rustle something up. That ‘something’  was the little French beauties, Madeleine’s.  I’d always fancied making them  and quickly ordered a pan from Amazon.

Surprisingly, (and this is what I’m all about) these delicate looking Madeleine’s are a doddle! The most difficult bit is getting the right amount of mixture in the pan – not too much, not too little and the same quantity in each mould.

Here’s what I used:

100g of caster sugar, 2 medium sized eggs, 100g of melted unsalted butter, 100g of plain flour and 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder.

Here’s what I did:

Mix the eggs and the caster sugar together until fluffy.  I mixed for about five minutes in a KitchenAid. Add the melted butter (keep some for later), flour and baking powder. Mix again, lightly.  Leave to stand for 20 minutes.  While the mixture is resting, brush the Madeleine tin with the melted butter, leave to cool and sieve plain flour over the pan.  Knock out any excess flour. After twenty minutes, spoon out a tablespoon of mixture into each mould.  Put into a preheated oven at 190c for eight minutes.  I checked at eight minutes and put them in for another two.  The edges needs to be crispy.  Allow to cool in the tin for five minutes, then slip out and cool on a wire rack.

I bought some cute little gift bags from icedjems and carefully slipped them in the bags and asked Edie (daughter) to write the tags.  The White Company dressing gown was cast aside as Freddie (son), lovingly handed these over to his Grandma.

These are seriously impressive cakes, they taste delightful and look too pretty.  Due to the ease of the Madeleine’s, I made five batches. Ha!

Enjoy! X