30 Jun 2013

White Choc Lime Cookies

I'm here writing to you and eating one of these cookies at the same time (multitasking), before I go and watch The Great Gatsby with the other half. I know I can easily say that I like cookies. And I know you’ve probably heard me say that before, but can I just tell you about these ones, please? Before I tell you about anything else – as nothing else is more important right now – these cookies are were so delicious! I don’t even want to say 'delicious' as that word is so over-used here. I need a new word for delicious to describe these cookies. When I first embarked on baking these, I did think: “these cookies are going to taste funny, as they have lime in them”. And cookies are meant to have sweet ingredients in them, right. We all know this. But was I wrong. I don’t know how, but together, the lime and white chocolate really work.
And the best thing about cookies in general – they're finished baking in 10 minutes! Normally with cookies I personally have a tendency to over-bake them, and then they end up like crunchy biscuits, but I did exactly as it said ‘on the tin’ this time and they came out perfect.

P.S: the secret to a good tasting white choc chip cookie, I believe, is to use a good quality chocolate chip! I have used Dr. Oetkers chocolate chunks.

20 Jun 2013

Stay Connected

For the love of baking
Having to have a password for every single online account couldn't be more annoying. That's why I've been so late on the scene with Twitter. There's so many social networking sites nowadays: Facebook, Stumbleupon, Pinterest, Twitter, how does anyone have the time to keep up, I thought? But now, for the love of baking, I have myself been 'Tweeting' and haven't looked back. It's been so instrumental in finding new baking friends, taking part in baking challenges and just generally keeping up with what the baking community is doing. There's an army of us baking bods out there and Twitter has helped, to remind those at least that there are normal lives operating behind the computer screens of these polished blogs we see. I'm not the only one that's late with my posts, gets writer's block or rushes like a mad woman to photograph a cake before the sun goes down. If you too are synonymous with the above, or simply want to have a peak of 'behind the scenes' then I'd love you to join me on Twitter.

12 Jun 2013

Mini Very Berry Victoria Sponge cake

mini victoria sponge cake

After all this tart baking, I decided I needed some cake. But not just any cake, mind you. And I didn't fancy doing a big lahh-dee-dahh cake either. I didn't know exactly what I wanted, I just wanted some cake. Then it hit me. Like a bat out of hell, I saw what I was looking for! Thanks to SupergoldenBakes this recipe hit the spot! Not only was it individually sized and just enough for one person to eat a whole cake themselves without really eating a ‘whole cake', but I got to bake it with an ingredient I'd never used before in a cake ...and with a method unorthodox to my little baking mind!! Oh, it's too much, can't take the excitement!! Instead of mixing with butter, we use cream; and instead of baking in your round cake tin we use a tin can! No?! Say what!? All you need to know is…
it works. End of story.

P.S: This cake was so fab’, the other half loved it! Remember, I told you about him, he hardly eats my type of cakes and biscuits, but scoffed two of them! So that's quite a big deal for me. It must be Christmas.

mini victoria sponge cake

3 Jun 2013

Kiwi Strawberry Banana Tart

Today everything seemed like hard work. It's Sunday and I got stuck in a house-work rut. One chore led to another. And before I knew it I'd spent my whole morning and afternoon doing house-work. Even just going to the next room to use my computer is feeling like an effort for me, as I lay on my bed writing this post from my iPhone.

Maybe it's just 'lazy-itis' today.
However I did make the time to photograph today's creation. The final product tasted delightful, the fruit was sweet and the custard was light. My friends put in a 'special request' for this one to be made again.

This creation was more of a lesson for me. I made my own pastry here. And I can't deny I did find it a wee bit of an effort today. I've always made my own, but whilst battling with the evil dough, a small voice popped in to my head: "maybe using shop-bought pastry instead of making my own isn't so bad?" Gasp! Oh gosh, who said that?! Now, such an idea is a bit controversial coming from some one who is meant to be "baking" in every sense of the word! I know, I know. Seriously, after the way I feel today, if you try this recipe and decide to forgo the pastry-making part and use shop-bought stuff instead, I completely understand!

fruit tart

14 May 2013

Dreamlike Shortbread

Shortbread biscuit
I wanted something quick and very easy to do this week, so I chose these. Dreamlike Shortbread. I had a lot of errands to get through this weekend and one of them was to get en edge-trimmer for our lawn. The other-half has taken up the chore of mowing the grass occasionally; I think to get out of doing house-chores. The grass gets cut with the mower, but he can never get round the lawn’s edges close enough and it ends up looking spiky like Bart Simpson’s head.

So, we get home with the edge-trimmer, thinking we can just plug it and go, but oh no, there’s some small amount of assembly to do. To the instruction manual we go, only to find pictorial instructions which can be interpreted any which way but the right way. Why can't I have words? Why do they do that? I want words AND pictures! Needless to say it took much longer to assemble this thing than it should have. People, please – I have limited time for gardening.

With only five ingredients, your preparation for this shortbread is half done. My little head got distracted by one of the ingredients, though – Rice Flour. I had never baked with this before, but luckily found a bag in Sainsburys (in their gluten-free section). As this recipe only uses 60 grams, God knows what I'm gonna do with the rest of it! Any ideas? Answers on a postcard please. (or in the comments box below  :-)

Dreamlike Shortbread biscuit Lorraine Pascale

7 May 2013

Strawberry Mascarpone Tart

Strawberry-mascarpone tart

Strawberry-mascarpone tart
Very pleased this week. One of my posts have made it onto Foodgawker. Peanut Butter cookies is my first ever, and has made their criteria to be featured on their site! I haven't even added a token glass of milk in the background or tied my cookies up in string, either! (So many other cookies tied in string/ ribbon pics out there on the net). I call it 'cookie-bondage'. And let's be honest now, 'cookie-bondage' is not good for rapid cookie consumption. (E.g: see Cookie Monster).

Anyway, lets not digress. You came here for Strawberry tart and yesterday was tart day for me. I actually saw this recipe on Tutti Dolci and it inspired me to create my own. I have adapted it slightly, to have shortcrust pastry and being in the UK, I'm not too familiar with using US cup measurements. Yet. I am debating whether or not to feature more US cup measurements or continue to use grams and ounces if it's okay for my US visitors? The tart was lovely to say the least and it made such a pretty picture. The fresher and sweeter your strawberries, the better. And the honey coating on the top makes this tart taste even more special.

26 Apr 2013

High Five For Friday

After having a past few weeks where I've taken a few days off here and there during the week, working for a full five days seems so torturous! I'm linking up with Lauren in the USA to highlight my week so far.

1/  I made lemon cake this week! It was the first time I have ever, ever made this and it turned out perfect! I love it when a plan comes together!

2/  Thank God for Post-It notes. This week, I've had so much on my mind, I've had to write a list to remind myself to make a list.

3/  The heel of one of my fave pair of shoes broke the other month and I couldn't bear to throw them away! It took ages to get them sent away to be fixed so now feels like I got a new pair of shoes when I collected them this week! (not exactly 'new shoe' feeling, but close!)

4/  Thursday this week actually felt like Spring had finally sprung! Just ignore the forecast for the rest of the week.

5/  No more squashed morning train commute to work! So glad its Friday.

 photo H54Fbutton-triangle_zps678b65ba.jpg

25 Apr 2013

Nigella Lawson's perfect every time Lemon Drizzle Cake

lemon drizzle syrup cake

lemon drizzle cake

When life gives you lemons, make Lemon Drizzle Cake! Why? Because this was the first time I have ever made this cake and the recipe was perfect! Hence the title. The most glamorous job a lemon has performed in my kitchen was to star in honey and lemon tea for a cold. Now we're really branching out here with cakes! A welcome change from all these cookies I've been baking too!

This cake is a great choice for a spring day (like today)! So I couldn't skip it. I polished off three slices yesterday with a cup of tea. Then I did the professional thing and got my two 'Cake Testers' (work colleagues, eh hem, eh hem) to sample a slice and the verdict was "very nice, moist but light and not too sweet or lemon-flavoured"   
I think we can trust their verdict. They have also been fans of my banana cake and White Choc-chip cookies   :-)

For something uncomplicated, give this one a go: If you follow this recipe spot on, it will come out perfect for you too! Not much needed in the way of utensils either, just a loaf tin. 

P.S: It helps to have your butter at room temperature too.

22 Apr 2013


baking beans
'Cookie' cookie mould, long tart tin, Baking beans

Some things are worth the fuss. Some things aren't.
Who has baking beans in their cupboard? I do, I do, I do! 
It was my birthday a few weeks ago and a good friend bought me some baking accessories! Amongst the useful cookie mould and fancy long tart tin (which I am eager to find a recipe for just so I can use it) (- found one!), were some ceramic baking beans. Now although I am a keen baker, this was one thing I just never had in my cupboard. And the one thing that's so boring to buy for yourself! It's like buying door handles. These are the thing to use when baking the base of your pies. As a substitute, I used to use scrunched up foil, or even rice, but they just didn't cut it as well as this will.
Happy Days.

New for 2014, here.

15 Apr 2013

Peanut Butter Cookies

peanut butter cookie

Hi. I’ve been gone a while. I Know. ‘Life ‘ was busy being a bit unfair to me. I'll tell you about it one day. But I’m back now, and look what I’ve made you!

I didn’t have much ingredients in the cupboard! Just enough to put this together and use half a jar of peanut butter that was due to pass its ‘eat before date’ in July of this year! I was pleased I found a cause for it!

But I’m gonna be honest with you, because I’m that type of girl: 
I made these; they came out right; they look good; and they were quite nice; but I'm just not that crazy enough about peanut butter! As I only ate one and a half!
Now you know that is not like me at all!  
See what you make of them...

peanut butter cookie

peanut butter cookie

27 Jan 2013

Carrot cake


I felt so uninspired this weekend. I just didn't know what to bake. I had baker's block.

My friend recommended this really cool cake I'd previously never heard of with Baileys, Guinness and something else in. But I just didn't have the 'oomph' to go to the shops and buy the fancy ingredients.

So I just settled with what my fridge could provide. And with the abundance of carrots sitting within it, my fridge told me to make Carrot cake. Seriously, it did. I opened its door, and it said "make–Car-rot–Ca-ake" like a dalek. So, I did. You know, I wouldn't want to mess with a fridge, now!


Anyway, it was good advice as I received rave reviews from everyone who tried it and it was pretty simple to throw together. That is, once you get over the task of grating one-million-and-two carrots. Okay, I lie. It was probably only six. If you're smart, you'll buy carrots already grated. Or you'll have one of those little elves that appear from the bottom drawer to do it for you. Or children with the ability not to grate their own fingers.

I digress. It produced a fluffy and moist cake with delicious sweet frosting and hints of orange zest. (Texture: think Marks & Spencer/ Pret-A-Manger). Except, without the walnuts. I swapped the walnuts in favour of cashew nuts! So much better don't you agree?

And be sure to use Philadelphia soft cheese for the frosting (I'm not advertising for them, I just feel its consistency holds better for the frosting).

Done. Now, I just have to think what to bake for next week?

20 Jan 2013

Perfect Apple Crumble

Apple crumble
Apple Crumble

Where It All Began

You may (or may not) know that apple crumble is where it all began for me. That is, where my baking life began. So its only fitting I have a dedicated post to it, right? Right.

So this post, imagine it's like the Queen! And all the others are mere servants! Get the picture?
No, seriously, I don't know what it is about this dessert that I love it so. The last twelve months alone has seen it appear from my oven eleven times. Gosh. maybe I need to get out more. And d'you know what? It's even more fitting now, being winter and needing the right sort of comfort food.

But I cannot fail to mention, mine always has to come with custard. This is unnegotiable. Some of you out there may favour the likes of cream instead of custard (that's okay, I'll let you off, we can still be friends). But I need custard.
(n.b: not sure if custard over here in the UK is the same world wide. Check out pic for a visual).

I must also stress, the recipe below is for those, that like me, enjoy apple crumble with sweet apple filling. Not the tart taste you get from cooking-apples stuff I've suffered before. To help me get that result, I either use Cox's or Braeburn apples.
....Cox's or Braeburns? This article, 34 Science-Backed Health Benefits of apples examines the varieties of apple and their fantastic health benefits among anything!


18 Jan 2013

High Five 4 Friday

Arhh, so relieved it's Friday. It's so nice not to have anything on the weekend to rush off for and be
able to take the day at your own pace. I'm linking up with Lauren in the USA to look back at my week
so far.

High Five For Friday

I had all my old school friends over last Saturday. We had fun finding clever use for the 'poop' symbol on WhatsApp. We may have had some wine to drink.

Its sooooo nice coming home to a warm house on Monday after temperatures in London have dropped to -3! Radiators are on MAX!

Sainsbury's "A Bag For Life" – not with my kitty. She doesn't need fancy toys. This cool cat finds an empty carrier bag enough entertainment for her small brain.

I ate this on Wednesday. It was delicious. Enough said.

My DVD arrived Thursday. I'm the last person I know to watch this film for the first time. It's meant to be good.

13 Jan 2013

Baked Cheesecake


Hi there! I'm still around. I've been away a bit longer than planned! But look what I've made for you... Cheesecake! It's a 'Happy New Year' cheesecake! Made with love and all the good thoughts a new year should bring!

This is my second attempt at doing cheesecake, this version is much more 'prettier' than the last. 

Look at the sprinkles of nutmeg on the top! 
It's a beautiful thing!


baked Cheesecake

I really love cheesecake. The thought alone excites me!!! I am quite particular about it too.
I like mine with a more crumbly biscuit base. No one likes a soggy bottom, now!

Try this recipe. It didn't take long to put together and it tasted so nice (not too rich or stodgy)! Oh, and one more thing, the berries, they
are optional, they were added for special effect!

When I find a new favorite thing, I keep going back to it. New favourite shoes will get worn everyday; favourite nail polish, will g...

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