23 Dec 2016

Snowball Cookies

Snowball cookies

Dear Christmas. I’d love to tell you that my fireplace is fully decorated ready for Christmas with all the stockings and everything festive, but that would be lying. The truth is, I’ve only got a partially decorated tree up, and might I add – a 6ft slim one this year, (slim: as I’m going to be going for that look myself once Christmas is over and all the dessert is eaten). And I’ve only partially decorated the house, as I figured the more I put up, the more I have to take down in a couple of weeks, right? Is that sort of a Grinch attitude to have? Oh dear.

I’ve been trying to write this post for a few days now, having made these over the weekend, a good couple of times. I’m not too happy with my shots above/below though (the perfectionists in me). So, I think I will repeat this recipe again pretty soon, and update the photography one day, so stay tuned. But for now, they are here and waiting for you with all their festive goodiness!

11 Dec 2016

Christmas Clafoutis

 Clafoutis 


Hi there.
I've had Thanksgiving Pecan Pie recipe up for long enough now, so here is a recipe for the unusually pronounced, clafoutis (cla-foo-tea). Plus, another reason for a quick new post, is I'm here in the UK and we don't really observe Thankgiving, so although I get a few online visits from the US, I don't think there's enough of you to be subject to see that recipe for another week longer past Thanksgiving Day!  

But here's something you didn't know about me and is worth a mention... half my family live in the states and my Grandma is currently over here now about to depart back to Tampa in time for Christmas, I will miss her. :-(

Anyway, I have made you no-frills Clafoutis! and by no frills I mean no orange cream, no fancy frosting, just the sweet and spongy delight of clafoutis with raspberries to go. The most 'exotic' ingredient I think it requires, is Creme Fraiche, the rest, you may already have in your fridge! This dish is best eaten warm and perfect for Sunday afternoons like today.


24 Nov 2016

Thanksgiving Pecan Pie Bars recipe

Today is Thanksgiving in the US. Happy Thanksgiving to ya’ll. I have something for you.
Pumpkin pie may always be on the list at Thanksgiving, but the true hero of the dessert table is pecan pie. And these ones come in bar form, so you can take them with you!

pecan pie bar

They’re pretty simple to make, you don’t need much kit, and they utilize a shortbread type of base. For a more UK alternative, check out good old apple crumble. You can't go wrong with that.

17 Nov 2016

Jamie Oliver's Brilliant Brownies

Very often, I pick a recipe because of it's picture. I'm also guilty of dismissing a recipe book if it doesn't have enough photos. I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this?

This brownie recipe offered some pretty appealing pictures, and I'd wondered if mine was going to turn out looking at least half as delicious? As someone once told me you eat with your eyes, right? and Mary Berry always says "presentation is key" throughout Great British Bake Off?
So, I knew, if this is a well written recipe (which it should be coming from famous named Jamie Oliver) and I follow it down to a 'T', it should come out just like its photo!
And you know what, it's not done too badly! I was quite pleased! Of course I will let you be the final judge, see below. ☺


I have to stress, with all my previous Brownie recipes – from my first, to my last – I do always have to use one thing, without fail; and that is to use Green & Black's cocoa powder. Maybe that's because should I choose to drink it by itself (which I do sometimes) I'm assured it tastes grand. (Incase this happens to sound like one – rest assured this is not a sponsored post. I genuinely off my own back buy and use the stuff). Real talk!


13 Oct 2016

Lemon Drizzle Muffins



Hello, is it the weekend already? Good! I was looking through my stats the other day and was reminded how popular my post on Lemon Drizzle Cake is. At the moment we have an unexpected collection of lemons in our fridge, probably due to the fact we forget we already have some and keep buying more in Morrisons.

So, I thought, let me make muffins, especially as a reader had once asked me if the Lemon Drizzle Cake recipe converts nicely into cupcakes/ muffins. And yes, it does convert well, the proof is definitely in the pudding.

I had some unused tulip muffin cases that I'd once purchased from Sainsbury's and basically put together the original Lemon Drizzle Cake recipe with some small alterations, that nobody would probably notice. I don't often make cupcakes, so it was a nice change from the normal recipes I bake.



30 Sep 2016

Heating-On weather Recipes

Today marks the first day after the summer that my central heating went back on. I was at my computer and felt a nip in the air and decided, it's time. To be fair, I have waited long enough and we are on October's doorstep. I think I have done well, all things considering!

So, to celebrate, here are my favourite Heating-On weather bakes.

• Number One, has to be Apple Crumble. There is no negotiation on this one. Apple Crumble is where my baking began and may it continue. No doubt I would have drawn out this recipe and executed many times before Christmas.


perfect Apple Crumble | www.bakeandthecity.co.uk


• Autumn or Fall, marks pecan harvesting season in the USA and I do tend to notice better deals on packs of pecans around this time over here, so we must not forget my Pecan Pie Bars recipe.


Baked Cheesecake for its dense nature and hint of warming nutmeg, will leave you pretty satisfied after one slice.


Baked Cheesecake | www.bakeandthecity.co.uk



Thin Pear Tart just because it looks so elegant. One to bring along to those cold autumn evening dinners.


Pear Tart | www.bakeandthecity.co.uk


• And, finally, the list is topped off with an honourable all-rounder 'whatever the weather'. Banana Cake. As this is a recipe that I bake so often, I can't help feeling like an expert, here are some tips you may find useful.

Banana Cake | www.bakeandthecity.co.uk


That's all folks. Hopefully we will be set for a warmer winter this year.

7 Sep 2016

Honey Oatmeal Raisin Cookies


Honey_Oatmeal_raisin_cookie | www.bakeandthecity.co.uk

When I find a new favorite thing, I keep going back to it. New favourite shoes will get worn everyday; favourite nail polish, will get worn to death; a new lunch inspiration will eaten every lunch-time until I tire of the taste. You get the point.

So when I find a new cookie recipe, that is chewy with a bit of nutty-ness and oaty goodness and is quick to make, it will get baked repetitively. They are a bit more healthier than most too. I've made these twice this week already. The last time I felt this passionate about a cookie was with my White Chocolate and Lime cookies, they are brilliant too.

Don't forget to take you butter out of the fridge beforehand, so it's near room temperature, or you can choose one of my quick methods to softening butter. And the best thing about cookies in general is that they only take minutes in the oven!
Behold my Honey Oatmeal Raisin Cookies!

11 Aug 2016

Hints & Tips

To prevent the knife from sticking or tearing when cutting cakes, pies and tray bakes, simply dip your knife in a glass of warm water after each slice and dry both sides of the blade with a firm wipe of a clean towel.

26 Jul 2016

Strawberry Banana Popsicle Ice lollies

strawberry ice lollies popsicle

This is not cake?
I know. But you need these in your life. This recipe will break the internet, hopefully. These are super simple to make and taste heavenly in this heat-wave we seem to be having in the UK at the moment.

Do you have strawberries? A banana? A few dates, maybe? Good. You could probably even skip the dates if they're too fancy, but don't skip the ice lolly/ popsicle moulds. You will need those.
Please note that I said: "heat-wave". So we will be back to cake with cold weather in no time, right?
Good old English Weather.

Strawberry Banana Popsicle Ice lollies
1 ripe banana
7 strawberries
2 Tbsp of coconut milk (I used tinned)
2 Tbsp of water
3 dates
an ice lolly mould (with 4-5 sections)

Makes about 5 ice lollies/ Popsicles

Peel the banana, hull and cut the strawberries into quarters. Remove any stones from the dates and add all the ingredients to a blender or similar Nutribullet type device. Blend to a smooth consistency and pour neatly into your moulds. Freeze for a minimum of 5 hours or overnight.

Bee's Notes: We use the term ice-lolly more frequently than popsicle, here in the UK. But I believe they are the same thing. And I also bought a bargain mould from Robert Dyas, it did the job at only £1.99. But next time, I should fill the mould all the way to the top with the mixture, to avoid that gap between the lolly and the stick. Or these mini icepop ones were cute.

strawberry ice lolly popsicle

22 Jul 2016

Hints & Tips

Easily remove pies and cakes from loose bottomed cake tins by simply standing the tin on top of a can and sliding the sides down!

30 May 2016

Perfect Pecan Pie Bars recipe

pecan_pie_bar

I probably should have posted this recipe ages ago. But you know how I roll. I procrastinate. Then, I get writer's block and don't know what to say. So today, for the sake of getting this post out, so that I can do the hoovering, I am not going to say a lot. The pecans in this recipe will do the talking.

One more thing, pecans can be a bit on the pricey side, so I get mine from Lidl or Aldi. They are much more easy on the pocket there. This recipe is so good for the nut lover in need of something more than Peanut Butter Cookies.

24 Mar 2016

Baking Powder vs. Baking Soda



You can be forgiven for once thinking that Baking Soda and Baking Powder were the same thing. If you were ever tempted to substitute one for the other, do not be fooled, here are the differences to help you become a better baker.

baking_soda_bicarbonate_powder


Baking Soda (also known as Bicarbonate of Soda)
Baking Soda is an alkali agent that helps to raise your sponge. It needs something both liquid and acidic to kick start the process. Interestingly enough, Baking Soda is also an ingredient found within Baking "Powder" and once in the oven it can speed up the browning process, causing your cakes go golden-brown on top. Be careful when measuring Baking Soda, as it can leave a tangy aftertaste if used too much.


Baking powder
Baking Powder has become ever-more popular and is an ingredient called upon in many recipes nowadays. It actually contains a certain amount of Baking “Soda”, but unlike Baking Soda is does not need an acidic added to it and can rely on moisture alone to get it working. It is commonly used in cake making and has a neutral taste to it.


What they DO have in common is that both are leavening agents and once combined with wet ingredients, it is important to get cake mixtures into the oven as soon as possible. It is worth noting, Baking Soda is 4x stronger than Baking Powder, so where one recipe may call for 1 teaspoon of Baking Powder, the other recipe may need just ¼ teaspoon of the Soda stuff. Some recipes may even ask for both, to produce a more perfecting balance, like my Peanut Butter Cookies and White Chocolate Lime Cookies.








2 Mar 2016

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies


Macadamia Nut Cookies

When I was a child, I liked to eat a lot of biscuits and cookies. A lot. It tended to be the most accessible sweet thing in the house. Our biscuit tin was always in the same place in my house and was pretty easy to get to. 

I distinctively remember once my Mum had bought a packet of McVitie's Chocolate Digestives. I must have been quite idle at home that day and somehow managed to eat through the whole packet with nothing left but the crumbs. I knew when my Mum returned to see its empty packet in the bin, I would get into so much trouble, so I decided to hide the evidence: Mum remember the time you doubted if you had or hadn’t bought that packet of Digestives from the supermarket? Well you did. How could it have disappeared without a trace? Well Mum, that was me! I ate the whole lot and then craftily hid the wrapper until it was safe to throw away in an outside public bin

White Chocolate Macadamia cookies assorted

There, that’s one less confession off my shoulder.

Nowadays, I like to think I can consume a sensible amount of two or three biscuits at a time. Not the whole packet. One exception being these White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies or these.

For cookie eating instructions, click here . 

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
Adapted from Joy the Baker, for UK measurements; Makes about 12.

110 g/4oz butter, softened
200 g/7oz soft light or dark brown sugar
2 tbs milk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
200 g/7oz plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
100 g/4oz chopped macadamia nuts, toasted
150 g/5oz white chocolate chips



Method 
Preheat oven to 175°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl and cream together until just combined.
Stir in the egg, milk and vanilla and mix well.

Add the flour, baking powder, salt and mix well. Fold in the chopped nuts and white chocolate chips.

Scoop one-tablespoon-sized balls onto the lined baking trays, leaving enough space between them to spread out. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are golden. The cookies will be very soft and will harden as they cool.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool on baking trays.

16 Feb 2016

Peanut Butter Bear Cookies (gluten free)

peanut_butter_cookie_toddler

Put simply, one of the reasons that I haven't been able to post as frequently as I used to is down to me having a toddler and I have far less free time than I used to. However, nowadays, when I do bake, I'd like to be able to bake something for her too and these cookies are perfect right now. Not only are they easy to whip up, as the peanut butter does most of the work, but they do not contain the sugar like the ones she has started to notice and reach out for. In our house, my other half and I avoid eating normal biscuits and cookies in front of her as naturally, she wants to eat what we're eating!

There's no shame in these though, and I easily whip up a batch of these peanut butter cookies at the start of the weekend (only 7 minutes oven time needed) and share out to her as a treat.


3 Feb 2016

Valentine's Day White Chocolate and Raspberry Bake

So you've decided to surprise your loved one with a cake made just for them? The last thing you want ahead of your Valentine's day of romance is a complicated recipe with 50 different posh ingredients for one cake, right? This one is unknowingly simple to put together. With its uncomplicated nature this Valentine's day cake can see you buying your frozen raspberries ahead of time and storing them in the freezer. and don't feel slighted that they're frozen – they work. Go get some in Sainsbury's. This cake is always 'baked with love' when I make it

Chocolate Raspberry Tray Bake


Valentine's White Chocolate Raspberry Tray Bake
200g butter, softened
200g caster sugar
3 medium eggs, beaten
200g flour
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp Milk
100g White chocolate chunks
100g Frozen raspberries (defrosted and pat dry)

Preheat the oven to 160c/ Gas mark 4. Grease and line a 28 x 18 x 3cm tray with baking paper and set aside.

Cream together your sugar and softened butter until it is light and fluffy.

Gradually add the beaten egg a little at a time and beat well after each addition.
Gently mix in the flour until it is fully combined and then fold in the remaining ingredients being careful not to break up the fruit.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tray and roughly level the surface with the back of a metal spoon.

Bake for 50 minutes in the oven until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool before slicing.

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...

Back to Top