Jammy Dodgers biscuits.

Jammy Dodgers biscuits

I have a very tasty recipe for you – Jammy Dodgers biscuits and I am sure you are familiar with these!

Everyone loves biscuits and we crave them more when we haven’t got them. So I have created my own Jammy Dodgers biscuits.

The world has gone a little bit crazy recently and we all are familiar with the recent news of social distancing, lockdown and quarantine. People have gone crazy in many countries and bought much more food than they have needed. Now the sad reality is some of us can’t get the basics products including biscuits.

Jammy Dodgers biscuits

I know many of you will agree with me that home made goods are much tastier and baking helps bond us. So I came up with this simple recipe to make Jammy Dodger biscuits that would vaguely resemble the well known brand. Why vaguely? Well because these are much tastier and healthier than the shop alternative.

Live Bake Along!

On Sunday afternoon 2pm UK time many of you from all over the world have tuned in and we have baked all together. People from New Zealand, Argentina, Poland, Germany, UK, America just to name a few countries, all in different time zones connected by the love of baking!

We had tiny kids, teenagers, parents, mums, dads even grandparents baking with us. People who never baked before and those who are very experienced!

Even though we were separated we were still together! Please join us HERE 

Many of you haven’t had all the ingredients and I have worked out some substituted as times are tough.

The recipe is super easy and quite quick covering many key points of learning for kids so another winner.

Right, I will stop convincing you to make them, just go ahead and try it!

 

Method.

To make Jammy Dodgers biscuits you will need:

  • 260g of plain flour
  • 160g of icing sugar
  • 3 heaped tbs of corn or potato flour
  • dash of vanilla extract or 1/4 of tsp or real vanilla beans
  • 200g straight from the fridge cold butter, chopped finally

Put all the above in a bowl and work it with your hands for all the ingredients to incorporate.  You can use a mixer if you wish but we quite like using hands for this recipe.

When nice and smooth, flatten it and put in a fridge for 20-30 minutes and turn on the oven to 180C top and bottom heat to warm up.

When the dough is rested, take it out and cut in half.

Start with rolling one half to 5mm thickness using plenty of flour to avoid sticking to the worktop.

Cut even amount of circles and in half of them cut a small shape, weather it is a heart, star or just a smaller circle.

Jammy Dodgers biscuits

If you roll it and cut it quite fast you can start baking it straight away. If you can’t work quite fast then chill again in the fridge for a few minutes.

When you are ready put it in the oven for 9-10 minutes but keep a close eye on them as they bake very quickly.

 

When they are ready leave aside to cool down and firm up.

Jammy Dodgers biscuits

You will also need one or a selection:

  • jam or marmalade
  • chocolate spread
  • any nut butter
  • lemon curd, etc.

After cooling spread a nice dollop of one of the above and cover with another biscuit with a cut shape.

Sprinkle with icing sugar if desired.

 

Voila!!

Enjoy and let me know in the comments below your thoughts.

 

Happy baking,

Aggy Dadan

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Gin Cookie Cupcakes?

My simple, easy and totally delicious Gin Cookie Cupcakes are such a treat you might not want to share them with anyone.

Gin Cookie Cupcakes are light, crumbly yet moist cookie cases filled with delicious sweet & sour cherries and white chocolate. You can eat them cold or hot, almost naked with just a sprinkle of icing sugar. Or you can go full on and top it off with a swirl of white chocolate and violet ganache decorated in edible flowers.

A little secret…

I’m going to tell you a little secret about me. In my previous life I’m a trained mixologist. At Christmas I put this talent to good use and one of my favourite cocktails is an Aviation.

For those of you who have never head of Aviation cocktail let me explain and you can see how this beauty of a drink inspired me.

The Aviation cocktail is a classic made with gin, maraschino liqueur, crème de violette, and lemon juice. All sounded like an a perfect match made in heaven. To make it more decadent I am adding white chocolate.

 

Gin Cookie Cupcakes are very easy and reasonably quick. Best way is to watch my Deadpool Christmas Special and you will see for yourself how simple Gin Cookie Cupcakes are.I am sure as soon you try it once you will love it for life!

What Gin Cookie Cupcakes taste like?

Delicate bitterness of gin, sweetness of the cherries and white chocolate and subtle freshness of lemon zest. Already a winner! Now to put it into the practice!

Today in my recipe I will be adding my favourite Aviation Gin (pun not intended it really is my favourite). However if you are feeling generous and decide to share these definitely adult only treat with the kids you can leave the gin out and add a splash of vanilla!

 

Method.

Turn on the oven to …. and set aside clean and dry cupcake tin

Put in your mixer bowl

  • 200g sugar
  • 225g butter, soft, room temperature

Cream the above together in the mixer until light and fluffy.

Add

  • 2 eggs

and continue until mixed well.

In the meantime prepare

  • 120g grounded almonds
  • 320g plain flour
  • Couple of shots of your favorite gin
  • 3/4 tsp lemon zest

Add it all to the mixing bowl and incorporate well. Tip it onto a baking paper and roll a long about 2″ thick sausage. Put the Gin Cookie Cupcakes dough in the fridge. Rest it for a while (you can leave it for an hour or two or even overnight) until nice and firm and easier to cut.

The white chocolate and cherry filling.

When dough is resting prepare:

  • white chocolate buttons and
  • a can of sour cherries in compote

To make perfect caramelised cherries for the filling is easy. Put the cherries in to a pan and bring them to boil. Cook it slowly on low heat until the compote is reduced and the cherries are sticky and shiny.

You can watch my recipe movie ‘Baking with Aggy’ – ‘Deadpool Christmas Special’ for the step by step instructions.

Preheat your oven to 175C fan.

When you dough is set slice it to 12 discs of 3/4″ (just under 2cm) thick and 12 1/2” (around 1cm) discs and fill all the 12 cupcake wells in your cupcake pan with the thicker pieces. You don’t need to grease it or use any cases as the dough is already full of butter and will pop out easily.

Press is gently making sure the dough is well distributed and make small indentations for the filling.

Put some cherries in each one and top it with some chocolate buttons. Then take the thinner slices and press firmly around to seal the Gin cookie Cupcakes so the filling doesn’t run out.

If the dough is still cool to touch you can bake it straight away otherwise put in the fridge for 10-15 min.

When ready put it in the oven and bake Gin Cookie Cupcakes for 15-17 minutes or until golden.

If you can’t wait to try (I can imagine how your kitchen smells like now) just sprinkle with icing sugar but if you want to save them for later top it off with some white chocolate ganache!

Voila!

Bon Appetite!

 

I know you will enjoy Gin Cookie Cupcakes as much as I do!

Happy baking and until next time!!

Love,

Aggy xxx

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Pancake Day is almost upon us. Today I have for you super delicious Apple pancakes!!

Don’t worry if you a vegan or dairy free as you can easily make Apple pancakes suitable for yourself.

Crazy about (Apple) pancakes?

In our house pancakes come as a regular thing… weekends, during the week, doesn’t matter. As soon we think about pancakes there is more likely one or a dozen going to magically appear on our table… Even Zara can whip up her own batch and guess what – her signature are chocolate ones obviously!

We eat them sweet or savory adding various fillings depending on mood, weather, season of the year you get the idea.

I don’t think anyone ever can get bored of traditional lemon pancakes though and because we like variety I am saving it for Pancake Day next Tuesday.

 

Thick, chunky (apple) pancakes? Sounds intriguing?

Yesterday I have made some super tasty, super delicious Apple pancakes. 

Apple pancakes can be eaten topped or plain because the apples I have used are already sweet.

Well, I have to admit, yesterday I have made it extra naughty. I have topped it with agave syrup and cream brûlée ice cream. Because Apple pancakes contain fruit I counted it towards my 5 a day.

The apple slices inside were still warm and slightly crisp. I have used my all time favorite Gala apples as those are the ones that we always have in the house. However if you prefer it less sweet or have your own preference you can use pretty much any apple brand.

What do Apple pancake taste like?

Crunchy apples dipped in cinnamon sugar covered in delicious, melting in mouth batter.

The pancake mix keeps the apple rings from fully cooking and it gives Apple pancakes a tasty, warm bite. The apples are sweet and juicy and the soft warm pancakes literally melting in your mouth!!

An absolute must try if you ask me plus super simple.

Method.

Peel

  • 5 to 6 apples

Slice it into 3 to 4 rings each and core each ring. Drop the apple rings in cinnamon sugar. Set aside.

Prepare batter. Mix together gently:

  • 250ml milk (or coconut milk if making Apple pancakes VEGAN)
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar (optional)
  • dash vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Semi warm up a frying pan. I have use non stick pan with a tiny bit of coconut oil.  Depending on your pan and preferences you can as well use 1 calorie spray oil for super light Apple pancakes or fry it in a dash of sunflower or rapeseed oil.

Dip earlier prepared apple rings in batter and fry it for couple of minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Enjoy hot or cold.

Bon appétit!

 

Ps. What will you top your pancakes with this year?

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‘Deadpool Christmas Special’ and ‘Baking with Aggy’.

 

Well, when thinking about new projects it can be hard and daunting to get the idea processing in my head. On this occasion however I’m still not sure how I came up with Deadpool Christmas special. Could of been one to many aviation cocktails but it just seamed perfect.

Deadpool Christmas Special

Deadpool, everyone’s favourite anti hero, a bad guy who gets rid of the worse guys. Immortal mutant who fought this heartless disease that in current day affects so many of us!

What a perfect person to invite round to do some baking with. It sounded ideal. 

So, I have picked up the phone & made some calls and Deadpool was in.

Real life Heroes!

But we don’t need to watch a movie to see a hero. In Deadpool words ‘I might be super but I’m not a hero yet’ and I decided to dedicate this short story to real life heroes!!

 

We have heroes around us everywhere.

One of them is my friend Ryan. 

He is one of the bravest, positive people I have ever meet. Why is he a hero you would ask? Well, he is a fireman and he protects and saves others life’s. In my eyes whatever the definition of a hero might be he is definitely one of them.

Other hero is Ryan’s wife Lucy who has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. 

Lucy is a fighter and with the support of her friends and family she is tackling this awful disease head on! However Lucy need to take regular trips to St Richards Hospice in Worcester where she is receiving treatment and help. 

So me and Deadpool came out with a little plan. Deadpool Christmas Special was a perfect excuse to have a little play.

St Richards Hospice Worcester.

St Richards Hospice is where you can find the real super hero’s.

This place is run by staff with the fantastic and generous support of many volunteers. Selfless souls who help those who have life-limiting illnesses and to thank and help them run the place I have decide to raffle off a Unicorn cake and all the proceeds to donate to the Hospice.

Shootings Star Chase Hospice.

By downloading Avid Merrion’s Proper Crimbo song for 99p that plays near the end of movie you also support Shooting Star Chase Hospice.

Thank you everyone!

Win a Unicorn cake!

The idea is simple. Each donation of a £5 will get you one raffle ticket and you can get as many tickets as you like. 

{HERE you can donate in exchange for your raffle TICKET(S)}

Unicorn cake, Edible By Aggy

The money is donated straight to St Richards Hospice. All you need to do after donating is email us on deadpool@ediblebyaggy.co.uk with your name, address or just a postcode so we know the area where to deliver the cake. Please don’t forget to add the ideal date you would like me to deliver the cake to you! 

You can pick any date in 2019 and within a reason if I have the space I will make the cake for that date. Otherwise we will agree another suitable day. This raffle is for a Unicorn cake but I’m happy to make a Pegasus (unicorn with wings) similar to the photo below.

The raffle will close on the 6th of January 2019. There is no cash price or money exchange in any circumstances. 

Details of the cake to be agreed between winner and myself.

Cookie cupcakes recipe that we make in Deadpool Christmas special.

If you fancy trying Gin Cookie Cupcakes we are making with DP  in our Christmas special you can find the recipe and how to prepare it HERE!

So while I am having fun baking with Deadpool don’t forget to check our short movie HERE if you haven’t seen it yet and buy some tickets!!!

And lastly I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Be good, remember Santa is always watching. 

 

Happy baking,

Aggy x

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Thanksgiving this week…

And today I have Pumpkin Sponge for you.

I haven’t got a lot of knowledge about this holiday but one thing I know is that I love pumpkins.  Round ones, skinny ones, ghost and grey ones, huge and small.  You name it I have probably seen it all.

As long as they are organic I will always have an idea to make something amazing.  Sweet or savory, main or a treat they are very versatile.

Pumpkins are not only delicious but also they are very good for you.  Pumpkins contain loads of vitamin C & A, potassium, zinc, are high in antioxidants and fiber.  Sadly we don’t appreciate this amazing fruit enough in the UK.  To start you slowly if you are not familiar with it give a try and make this super tasty Pumpkin Sponge.

Not just ordinary sponge. It’s Pumpkin Sponge.

My Pumpkin Sponge is not too sweet, velvety and moist. Can be eaten on its own as we found out pretty much straight away .

But if you have more patience than us you can top Pumpkin Sponge with many different creams.  Sadly I haven’t had a chance to make any toppings because the minute I took Pumpkin Sponge out the oven it was almost gone.

The next time I make Pumpkin Sponge I will top it with vanilla whipped cream or simple cream cheese frosting.  I think this would be the perfect combination for it’s delicious and delicate taste to compliment the pumpkin and aromatic aftertaste of the spices.

Ideally you can just cover the top, sandwich it or even stack a few layers deep together.  That is only if you can wait that long.

 

Method.

Turn on your oven to 155C fan, 165-170C without fan.

Prepare 8″ or 9″ round tin depending  how would you prefer to present it. I wanted this to be a little bit flatter as I was planning on one layer of cream and baked it in 9″ pan.

Grease the tin and line with baking paper. Set aside.

Prepare all the ingredients.

Melt in a cooking pan on a low heat stirring regularly:

  • 250g mascarpone
  • 250g white chocolate
  • 450g pumpkin puree (you can use canned or make your own – recipe to follow soon)
  • 400g sugar

Wet ingredients for Pumpkin Sponge

Sieve all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and stir evenly.

  • 150g self raising flour
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp powder ginger depending on your taste

Check the cooking pan and if all the ingredients are combined and melted add a

  • dash of vanilla and

half of the dry ingredients.

Gently mix together Pumpkin Sponge.  Be careful don’t stir to vigorously or for too long as you don’t want to knock any air bubbles out.

Add the other half of dry ingredients, stir gently again and pour in the tin.

Bake for approximately 90 minutes.

Voila!

Happy baking.

Aggy xxx

 

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Easy Coffee meringues recipe Edible By Aggy

This week is National Coffee Week so whats better to celebrate it with than a Coffee meringues.

Fresh, moist, crunchy and chewy and full of whipped cream.

Coffee meringues recipe

Coffee Meringues, a trip down memory lane

My childhood memories give me a lot of inspiration for my cooking and baking today. Watching Celebrity Bake Off a few weeks ago reminded me about one of my favourite Coffee Meringues. A special simple desert from the best bakery in town where I was born.

Every time I went there the choice was pretty difficult. No only the well known classics to choose from but now and again a special new treat was popping in. In almost all cases my first choice were Coffee Meringues. 

Pretty. Flawless. Always fresh and full of whipped cream.

Easy Coffee meringues recipe Edible By Aggy

We were allowed to eat Coffee Meringues because it was made with Inka. We have this special wheat coffee in Poland. It is extremely tasty and contains absolutely no caffeine.  When I was younger Inka was served with breakfast or with supper. It was very popular and probably even more consumed than hot chocolate at that time. Usually made with only milk or half and half with water.

Therefore it was totally safe for us or any kids to have Coffee Meringues. 

Today I am recreating my childhood taste with some Inka that I have left over from my latest trip to Poland. When making Coffee Meringues you can use ordinary instant coffee or any other alternative as it only contains tiny amount.

Tasty clouds of happiness.

Coffee Meringues are very easy to make. They don’t require any special skills or equipment. You can eat them straight away or leave to soften for a few days.

Giant, delicate, light, crunchy and gooey Coffee Meringues  are sandwiched with delicious whipped cream. When fresh the crunchy shell brakes as you bite it and it’s soft centre amazingly complimented by the cream.

Easy Coffee meringues recipe Edible By Aggy

Method.

Turn the oven to 145C.

To make 8 giant halves you will need:

Start by whisking on fast speed for a few minutes until the mixture become stiff.

While the mixer is still on add slowly to the mixture, spoon after spoon:

  • 300g sugar

Prepare coffee.

  • 3 tbsp instant coffee
  • 2 tsp spoons of boiling water

Gently stir in the coffee into the mix.

Easy Coffee meringues recipe Edible By Aggy Dadan

Spoon it on to a baking sheet. The recipe makes 8 large Coffee meringues. That’s about 2 spoons of mixture each.

Bake at 145C preheated oven for approximately 1 hour.

In  the meantime you can whip

  • small pot of double cream
  • 1 – 2 tbs icing sugar

Keep it in the refrigerator until the Coffee meringues are ready.

Sandwich Coffee meringues with the cream as soon they are fully cooled. Eat straight away or keep it for later.

 

I am sure you will love these!!

Happy baking.

Aggy x

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Crunchy and simple biscuits that look like beautiful pastry Princess plaits.

Princess Plaits biscuits

What are Princess plaits and where did they come from?

Originally this was my grans recipe and she called it Kindling. I guess because Kindling, now Princess plaits were crisp, snappy and very light. They were eaten at the end of carnival season just before lent and Ash Wednesday.

The Polish tradition of Kindling slightly faded in our house. Mainly because we do a lot of baking so keeping up with additional sweets proves too many cakes. Also because Zara loves helping so we make these as an afternoon treat, when she wants to make something different.

Why should you make it?

Princess plaits are the tastiest way of using left over egg yolks after making Coffee meringues (recipe coming up soon) which you also must try!!

Besides Princess plaits are perfect for kids motor skills and believe me the small hands become faster with each plait! Check the video below. Zara is a master at it now.

I’ve slightly improved and speed up the way of doing Princess plaits in my recipe. It use to take so much longer hence Princess plaits have been made only at special occasions. Making this now quite efficient, pain free and speedy process so Princess plaits were just perfect name for it.

Unlike any other biscuit.

The biscuits are quite light and soft but you need to try it yourself to understand the texture. It’s this kind of consistency between crunch and crumble that I cant really find a word to describe.

Freshly cooked they are delicate, puffy and delicious. Left aside to cool they become crunchy and snappy unlike any other pastry I have ever tried.

Princess plaits biscuits when fresh are perfect on its own or lightly sugar dusted.  They can be sprinkled with cinnamon sugar or dipped in a chocolate sauce.

Princess plaits

 

Method.

Put all the ingredients in a mixer bowl:

  • 450g plain flour, sieved
  • 5 large, organic egg yolks
  • 1 or 2 spoons of your strongest alcohol (rum, brandy or vodka type)
  • 200g natural yogurt

You can try making Princess plaits by hand but much quicker and easier will be using a mixer as it requires good beating. Mix using the beater end, the idea behind it is to incorporate as many air pockets as possible.

Start mixing it on a slow speed slowly increasing. Eventually turn it on on maximum and watch the mixer as it might turn a little bit violent. Continue mixing the dough on high speed for at least 15 minutes.

Place aside to relax wrapped in cling film or a sandwich bag for at least half an hour.

Put the Princess plaits dough back in the mixer and continue to beat it on high speed for additional 15 minutes. Wrap again and put in the fridge for another half an hour.

Fun part!

When ready, roll very thinly approximately 1.5 to 2 mm. Use pizza cutter to cut 1.5″ wide strips then make diagonal cuts about 3″ apart to create the individual pieces. Then cut each piece carefully through the middle leaving about 3/4″ uncut space at each end.

 

Gently twist one end through the middle cut to create Princess plaits look alike. Once again please check my video above when Zara is making it very easy.

Warm up in a pan

  • 2 cups of oil suitable for frying (rapeseed or coconut are best)

and fry on medium heat for a few minutes each side until golden. At this stage please keep little people away from the pan. It can get very hot and it might make the process difficult. They cook very quickly and no one would enjoy a burn Princess plaits biscuit.

You can eat it immediately or save (if there are any left) for later.

Princess plaits when still warm go best with a little sprinkle of icing sugar but you can enjoy it with anything you like.

 

 

I hope you will like Princess Plaits biscuits as much as we do!

 

 

Enjoy!

Until next time. Happy baking.

Aggy x

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Yesterday we had our friend Nick over for lunch. As it was a last minute kind of thing, I quickly made some Cheese onion chutney soda bread to have with our lunch!

Cheese onion chutney soda bread

Cheese onion chutney soda bread

I haven’t made my Cheese onion chutney soda bread recipe for a little while. Mainly because I ran out of my organic home made onion chutney (its been so long, we nearly forgot how to make it!) , and secondly, I had almost forgotten how delicious it is. This time, I had to resort to a shop bought jar which comes in at a close second to my home made version – organic red onion chutney. We actually liked it so much, I have made another one today!

When I was little, I used to go through colds and flu more frequently than other kids. I always preferred home remedies, and often I was served onion syrup. One day, having bad cough as an adult and not able to shift it, I decided to try onion treatment from my childhood.

How Cheese onion chutney soda bread was made.

I had a lot of sugary onion left after a recipe I was using one day. As I don’t like wasting food, I thought I’d try making onion chutney. If it went wrong, it wouldn’t be a massive waste, as I had already extracted and used the syrup.

Playing around with the remaining onion, adding various seasoning and vinegar, I came up with a pretty tasty onion chutney (recipe to follow). I wasn’t sure why I hadn’t ever tried onion chutney in my baking – it was so tasty! At the time, we were making a lot of courgette soda bread. It is my favourite savoury bake, especially when these amazing vegetables are in season.

Soda bread, what is that?

I remember the day I tasted soda bread for the first time…

Years ago, when I first arrived in England, I was working in a pub, owned by an Irish chef, as a barmaid. New to the pub (and the country), the chef fed me all sorts of new stuff every day. One reason was to become familiar with the menu, and in case any of the customers asked. Another reason was to prove to me how good his cooking was! I was allowed to pick anything from the menu, and that day I had spotted a new dish, accompanied by soda bread! Being very curious what this type of bread was, I decided to try it immediately.

To my pleasant surprise, I fell in love with this new thing straight away and have never looked back. Now I make all sorts of flavours pretty often, besides it is a great side dish for any meal.

Cheese onion chutney soda bread is so simple to make that quite often Zara can make it herself. She still requires a bit of supervision when she is preparing the ingredients. However, even the least experienced baker will be able to make this, if you follow the instructions carefully. It literally takes five minutes to weigh, mix and put it in the oven.

Absolutely divine.

Cheese onion chutney soda bread tastes divine. If you never had this type of bread the texture will be hard to describe. So, I would wholeheartedly recommend you to make it and try it for yourself. Cheese onion chutney soda bread is a little sweet and savoury at the same time. Is moist inside and crunchy outside, and my favourite way to eat it is just plain covered in salty butter. Oh my I love my butter! Still solid, straight from the fridge so you can slice it like a cheese whilst the Cheese onion chutney soda bread is still hot!

Method.

Turn on the oven to 200C, 180C fan.

You can prepare the whole Cheese onion chutney soda bread recipe in one bowl –  minimising the cleaning afterwards!

Prepare in a bowl:

  • 400g sieved self rising flour
  • 50 – 80g of chunky oats
  • 2 tsp. of bicarbonate soda
  • 3 – 4 tbsp of red onion chutney
  • 150g of grated cheddar or gruyere (or any other strong, hard cheese)
  • 4 rounded tsp of dry dill

Mix well with a wooden spoon (or with your hands). Personally, I prefer to use a spoon when I am making it myself, it’s quicker and less messy. However, when Zara is helping, she likes to use her hands.

Cheese onion chutney soda bread

Add:

  • 200g kefir or buttermilk
  • 100g natural Greek yoghurt

Stir well but not too long. Only a few minutes maximum, or will become stodgy!

To bake Cheese onion chutney soda bread, I use my pizza stone. Firstly covered in baking parchment to avoid the dough from sticking.

Make a ball out of the dough, place on the stone (if you haven’t got stone, an ordinary baking tin will work too) and cut a deep cross on the top. Open it gently and allow to spread so it can rise evenly.

Cheese onion chutney soda bread

Bake for around 40 minutes on the parchment, and for further 20 minutes without to crisp up the bottom of your Cheese onion chutney soda bread.

Remove from the oven and leave on a cooling rack.

Voilà!

Bon appétit. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do!

Aggy x

 

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Woke up this morning to an amazing white scene outside and started craving a slice of Christmas mincemeat sponge.

Christmas mincemeat sponge

I love snow, probably as much as I love cake. Especially because it reminds me of cold, snowy, Christmassy mornings when I was a kid. Every time when we had fresh snow, and usually in Poland snow was quite deep, we would go sledging. I was one of those lucky kids living next to a hill. In summer we called it Green Hill but obviously in winter it metamorphose into the best sledging course. Thinking about it now it was actually quite scary and super fast course about 150 metres long. Playing with all the kids racing we would spend there almost a whole day coming back knackered and hungry.

As soon we came home we either would have dinner or in most cases hot chocolate and slice of cake!

And because is almost Chrimas this was a perfect excuse to bake Christmas mincemeat sponge.

Christmas mincemeat sponge

 

Some might ask what mincemeat is?

I have never heard of mincemeat before coming to England. Apart from that one time when Rachel from Friends wanted to make British Christmas trifle-pie. Everyone remember this episode, right?

In the UK everyone knows what mincemeat is and all the stores sells at least a few different types. Mincemeat despite the name is a sweet mix of dried fruit soaked in alcohol. Mainly used in Christmas bakes like Mince pies but this time I have used it in Christmas mincemeat sponge recipe.

 

This particular recipe is probably more than 30 years old and belonged to Zara’s great grandma… or possibly ever her great great grandma. I found it in her little recipe box and one day decided to give it a go.

We love great grandmas Christmas mincemeat sponge so much we make it during the year as well as for Christmas.

 

Christmas mincemeat sponge is a quick, easy and very tasty treat even for those who have a limited baking repertoire.

What does it taste like?

The Christmas mincemeat sponge is not too sweet, bit tangy with characteristic mincemeat flavour. Light and delicious. With little bursts of juicy fruit surrounded by rich and moist sponge. So unlike the traditional Christmas cake which can be quite heave and stogy with strong aftertaste.

 

You can eat it plain…

Christmas mincemeat sponge

…or filled with Mincemeat cream cheese frosting (recipe to follow) and drizzled with white chocolate sauce to make it more festive.

 

 

Method.

You will need greased and flour small round cake tin 7 – 8″ or a pretty bundt tin. Set your oven to 175C, fan 160C.

Place in a mixer bowl:Christmas mincemeat sponge

  • 170g of butter or vegetable oil spread
  • 2 eggs
  • 110g soft dark sugar

Beat until well combined.

Add:

  • 1 jar of mince meat (around 400-450g)

Mix on slow to medium speed for couple of minutes but be careful not to overmix. Sieve and carefully fold in:

  • 225g self raising flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Scoop the mixture into the tin and sprinkle with some extra soft brown sugar if you wish for a nice crusty finish.

 

Place in the oven and bake until brown, approximately 50 minutes to 1 hour.

When ready remove from the tin. You can eat it warm.

If you decide to layer your Christmas mincemeat sponge with cream first let it completely cool down.

Enjoy with freshly sliced fruit as a dessert or Christmas afternoon cup of tea.

Bon appetite,

Aggy x

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Strap yourself in, today we have an interesting one, Chimney cakes.

Chimney cakes

Chimney cakes are like a perfect marriage between churros and a warm fluffy doughnut. Ideally with a little scatter of cinnamon sugar. Filled or empty, with or without nuts and sprinkles, literally you can eat it how you please.

 

We tried making the Chimney cakes for the first time ever a couple of days ago. We really liked the outcome and the idea so decided to share the recipe with you.

How did we come up with Chimney cakes you might ask?

Recently we went for a road trip around Europe. We were lucky to visit some beautiful and interesting places and a few with a nostalgic warmth.

One of the places we visited was Wrocław* in Poland (*read Vrotswav).

When I was younger  I spent several years living and studying there. And as I haven’t been back there for a 10 or so years I decided to stop for a few days.

While walking and admiring old haunts our attention straight away was caught by every single cake shop. In some of them we even had double helpings or bought something to take away to munch later. This time while walking through Old Town and Market Square we could smell an interesting sweet mixture and got intrigued.

A little hidden away shop front with a massive queue outside so decided to have a nose around. This later happen to be a Chimney cakes shop which was one of our favourite treats on this trip. There were so tasty we needed to recreate them as soon as possible. There was no way we could wait any longer to have another bite.

 

Originated from Transylvania.

Chimney cakes originally came from Hungarian-speaking part of Transylvania, Romania. They are also known within the culinary heritages of other European countries like Hungary, the Czech Republic and Austria.

Chimney cakes are made from rolled sweet yeast dough. The dough traditionally is wrapped around a special wooden rolling pins and baked constantly turn over a grill. Chimney cakes are then topped with sugar and all sorts of things.Chimney cakes

The name comes from the effect that Chimney cakes create when taken off the baking pins after baking. When they are very hot they steam from the middle, soft part of the bake that looks like a smoking chimney.

But don’t worry I have managed to adapt it for everyone to try it at home without a fancy ovens and wooden pins.

Why should you make it?

I shouldn’t really have to convince you to make Chimney cakes as they are simply amazing. Maybe a little bit time consuming as all yeast dough bakes but otherwise I would eat it warm every day.

Chimney cakes taste divine. Soft, fluffy and not too sweet. You can eat the Chimney cakes creamed inside with almost anything you can come up with. From some soft fudge, chocolate or caramel, jam or marmalade, fresh cream or even topped with ice cream. Often paired with crushed peanuts, pistachios or almonds.

Method.

This recipe will make approximately 12 chimneys.

To make Chimney cakes you will need:

  • 520g plain flour
  • 25g fresh yeast*
  • 90g icing or confectionery sugar
  • 200ml warm milk

If you are using fresh yeast make a starter as directed here fresh yeast starter.

*If you are using dry yeast you can convert it here.

For the next step I use my mixer with paddle attachment. You can also work it by hand but the dough will be slightly wet and quite sticky so I prefer to avoid all the mess.

When your starter is ready place it with the remaining ingredients in a mixer bowl.

Add:

  • 2 large organic eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 80g melted but cooled unsalted butter

Mix it on a medium to high speed for a few minutes until it becomes stretchy and smooth. Move the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with a cloth.  Let it rest for one to two hours until at least double in size.

Homemade Chimney cakes baking pins.

In the meantime prepare some Chimney cakes pins. As mentioned earlier Chimney cakes are originally baked on wooden rolling pins that are spinning over a grill or fire. We haven’t got the luxury of the special equipment so I came up with those simple cheat baking pins.

You will be able to use them over and over again if you are careful enough. Don’t worry to much if they get damaged as they are cheap and quick enough to make some fresh each time.

What you will need:

  • baking paper
  • tin foil
  • a few empty kitchen paper towels rolls, ideally 6 – 12 tubes

Roll each tube in tin foil and push the ends inside the tube. Follow this step for each tube and then follow the same with baking paper.

Turn on the oven to 200C, 180C fan.

Shaping the dough.

Take the dough for Chimney cakes out and slightly work it again. It will be quite sticky but you can use some plain flower to sprinkle for easie rolling.

Roll the dough quite thin, approximately 1/4″(1cm) and neat rectangular shape around 15″(45cm) long by 12″ (30cm) wide. The tidier the rolling, the easier the next step will be.

Cut it with a pizza cutter to straight, 1″ (2.5cm) wide strips. You should end up with 12 strips. Roll each strip on the mock up baking pins and tuck the ends under the dough.

When you wrap it around the tubes it might have some gaps but that’s ok. Roll it a few times like you would roll a rolling pin. TOP TIP. I push my tubes onto a rolling pin for easier rolling. Make sure there are no gaps in the dough after rolling. Then press and roll it in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Put it in the oven standing up. I remove all the oven shelves and use my lid rack to keep the tubes in place. Bake for around 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown but do not overbake. They need to be on a lighter spectrum from the inside.

Standing my Chimney cakes was easier and quicker to turn them around so they bake evenly. If you haven’t got anything to hold them securely you can also use a narrow baking tin ad hang them on long skewers.

 

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Simple Cinnamon sugar.

One of my favourite spices is Cinnamon. Cinnamon is very versatile and I have used it many time in sweet and savoury dishes. Today is a quick note on how to make Cinnamon sugar. 

I always keep a box of Cinnamon sugar in the cupboard as it can be used with almost anything. From cheeky coffee in the morning, home made custard or use it in a (Aggy’s) cake recipe.

Cinnamon is a spice which is ground from the inner barks of trees in the Cinnamomum genus. It comes in two forms, as a powder and rolled chunks of bark. It has a characteristic aromatic sweet flavour. Uniquely spicy in a woody type of way, with a strong, warm, pleasant aftertaste slightly similar to ginger.

How to make good Cinnamon sugar?

To make my Cinnamon sugar I use very fine sugar but you can use a coarser type.

The amounts are approximate and you can adjust to your personal taste.

You will need:

  • 200g fine sugar, preferably caster
  • 4 – 6 hipped tea spoons of powder cinnamon

Simply mix together. Store in a air tight box or a container. Use within a few months.

 

Perfect for rolling the Chimney cakes in.

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Pearfect turnover, lazy pear and cream cheese puff pastry wrap.

We have all been in the situation where you need to bake something quick and have no idea what to make. We were sat on the sofa having a rare lazy day when we had that freshly baked craving, but didn’t want anything to time consuming. Having this feeling I have thought of a solution the Pearfect turnover.

Looking through the kitchen I found ready made puff pastry and bag of pears so quickly created this tasty bake.

Pearfect turnover

Pearfect turnover is ideal, whether it is…

… for a last minute dinner party and you need a quick desert.

… friends or family are coming over and you need something for afternoon tea.

… or it’s one of those lazy Sundays when it’s raining and nothing you can find tempts you. Only something freshly baked and hot from the oven will do.

So that’s how the Pearfect turnover was born.

 

Pearfect turnover that I came up with is the simplest, tastiest sweet treat ideal for any occasion. When you bite into the Pearfect turnover immediately can taste the juicy pear with flaky puff pastry covered in cream cheese. It isn’t overly sweeet but natural and fresh pear flavour makes it perfectly balanced. The pear will become soft and juicy which will complement the crunch of the puff pastry.

Minimum effort, maximum taste.

This Pearfect turnover really is the minimum amount of effort with maximum taste. I think baking can be cheating sometimes. It doesn’t have to be hours of preparation or following complicated recipes. If that isn’t you try this simple recipe and you can see how much fun baking could be.

This is exactly what we made a beautiful juicy pear wrapped in puff pastry straight from the oven. Enjoyed with some fresh double cream, this really is as simple as baking can get.

Pearfect turnover. A pear and cheese puff pastry wrap, easy and quick to bake.

 

Method

1 pack of ready rolled puff pastry

3 Pears

200g of soft cheese like Mascarpone or similar

3 tbsp. of dark soft brown sugar

some spare large grain sugar for the top, I have used Demerara

 

Pre heat the oven to temperature marked on your pack of pastry.*

Put the soft cheese in a bowl, beat until smooth. Add in the soft brown sugar to taste and mix until combined.

Peel the pears and cut into half’s, remove the seeds. Unwrap and unroll the readymade pastry and cut into 6 equal squares.

Divide the cream cheese and put into the middle of each square of the pastry. Gently press the pear half diagonally on the pastry, sprinkle with brown sugar.

Fold up the corners and pinch at each end to make a boat shape. Fold the corners across the pear, gently press to stick together like so:

Place in the oven and bake as directed on the pack or until golden brown.*

When baked remove and place on a cooling rack You can eat it hot straight from the oven with some fresh cream or leave to cool and enjoy later. They keep very well and you can even freeze them for another day (if there is any leftover).

The sweetness from the cream cheese and baked pear go perfectly and the flakey puff pastry really makes this a tasty treat for any occasion.

If you have no pears you can swap them for apples, peaches, plums or any other ‘firm’ fruit.

 

Keep an eye out for more quick and tasty treats to enjoy.

 

*I haven’t been specific with temperature and baking time as the pastry will vary slightly from brand to brand.

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Perfect pizza base recipe  

Perfect pizza base recipe

Since I was little, myself and my brother were always in the kitchen. Eating and baking simple cakes or trying to master our ever changing pizza base recipe.

A long, long time ago, when there was no internet… oh my I sound old… we had to be very creative and try to guess our own Perfect pizza base recipe.

We had pizza at least once a week. Thin base pizza, crispy base pizza, stuffed crust pizza, thick base pizza… You get the idea.

 

To the last crumb

We always liked what we created and in most cases pizza was gone before it managed to cool down.

The other day I was on the hunt searching for a Perfect pizza base recipe again. This time, being  a busy mum and running my own business I needed something as little time consuming as possible. It happen that we were talking pizza with my brother and he gave me this Perfect pizza base recipe!

I am not entirely sure where he got it from but he reassured me I wont be disappointed! This Perfect pizza base recipe is absolutely amazing. Not only you make it in the morning or a day before but also can freeze some for later. It definitely is the Perfect pizza base recipe as you can adapt it if you prefer thick or thin and crispy.

Perfect pizza base recipe is very easy and takes less time when you use a standing mixer.

I use fresh yeast but luckily it’s become more popular and easy to buy these days.

If you sprinkle some semolina when rolling, Perfect pizza base recipe will get a perfect texture to it. {No soggy bottoms here.}

 

Perfect pizza base recipe

 

You can top it with absolutely anything you like. Be creative with your choices or use the traditional margherita combination.

 

Method:

For the Perfect pizza base recipe you will need:

  • 800g plain flour
  • 450 – 480ml room temperature water (some brands of flours will require more liquid)
  • 1/2 tsp rock salt
  • 1.5g fresh yeast
  • 30ml olive oil

Top tip. I always use my scales to measure the liquids like water, milk or olive oil to be more precise.

Put everything in a mixer and work it on medium speed until well combined. It will become quite still. Mix on faster speed with a hook or paddle till stops sticking to the sides and will be easy to handle. About 10 – 15 minutes depending on the power of your mixer.

If you want thin and crispy divide the Perfect pizza base recipe to four balls. Place in the fridge covered in cling film for at least 8 hours.

 
Perfect pizza base recipe
Perfect pizza base recipe
Perfect pizza base recipe

Sometimes when I am busy and super organised I will make this a night or two before but only save two balls which feeds the three of us. I put the other two parts in the freezer for another time. When you ready just place in the fridge for a couple of hours before you will want to use it.

When you ready warm up the oven to 185C/175C fan.

Roll each ball to 12″ circle on a surface sprinkled with

  • couple of handfuls of semolina

 

I bake mine on a pizza stone. It’s a great invention and keeps the Perfect pizza base recipe hot during the dinner!

When rolled and ready top it with some tomato or BBQ sauce, cheese etc.

 

Perfect pizza base recipe

Perfect pizza base recipe    Perfect pizza base recipe

 

Bake for around 20 minutes until the crust is golden brown. If you unsure you can lift up slightly one of the sides with a long knife to check underneath.

 

I hope you will enjoy it as much as we do!

 

Until next time.

Keep on baking,

Aggy x

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Appreciation of cake, savoury Goat cheese cake in this case

In our house we love cake. We eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and we are snacking on cake in between meals… We also love cheese, ideally cheese and olives…

Goat cheese cakeOne day I had a brain wave and wanted to make a savoury cake. Can you see where I am going here?  {That’s how savoury Goat cheese cake was made.}

Goat cheese cake

 

You might ask how did I come out with such a mix of ingredients for Goat cheese cake?

Our fridge is always full of cheese. In the fridge I have spotted a jar of my home-made onion chutney. Immediately decided to pair it with the goat cheese!

Goat cheese and onion chutney were my all-time preferred choices and hot or cold always full of flavour. I have also picked from my pantry some almond stuffed olives for crunch and texture and some red pesto for colour. Goat cheese cake already was a winner.

Goat cheese cake

 

Why should you bake it?

Goat cheese cake is another one of my easy and quick, almost one bowl recipes where you can’t go wrong. Myself, an experienced cook can make this in one hour but if you never baked you shouldn’t be much behind.

Goat cheese cake is very tasty savoury alternative to a sandwich or a side dish complementing your lunch or dinner. Goat cheese cake is light and moist and perfect to eat it straight from the oven or as a packed snack. It taste almost like a cross of soda bread with a ciabatta except is flavoursome and doesn’t need any fillings.

Method

Prepare 10 or 12″ round baking tin. Personally I like Goat cheese cake to be flatter hence bake it in the larger tin.

Line it with tin foil first then with baking paper. This will allow you to get it out easily out the non-spring form without falling apart. Brush the paper with a small amount of olive oil, set aside. Turn the oven to 175C/165C fan.

For the top of Goat cheese cake you will need:

  • 180 – 200g log of good quality goat cheese

Slice it carefully and set it aside.

To make mouth-watering Goat cheese cake you will need:

  • 600g of natural or Greek yoghurt at room temperature
  • 130 – 140ml of olive or avocado oil
  • 2 large organic eggs
  • 2 or 3 tbsp. of Maggi (it’s a liquid seasoning, but you can skip if you haven’t got it or replace by 1 – 2 tbsp. of dark soya sauce)
  • 120g of sliced almond stuffed green olives (or 100g olives of your choice with a handful of blanched almonds soaked for couple of hours in boiling water)
  • 2 large dollops of red pesto
  • 2 large dollops of home-made onion chutney
  • 1/2 tsp of rock salt
  • 1/4 tsp of freshly grounded black pepper
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped or squeezed

Optional:

  • 100g of grated hard cheese of your choice

All the above ingredients place in a large bowl and mix well.

Goat cheese cake

 

Important last mixing

Grab your mix and sieve:

  • 500g of plain flour
  • 2 tbsp. of baking soda

Mix well but gently for approximately 1 minute. Do not overmix as it will loose all the air and will become stodgy. The dough will be quite thick.

Place it in the tin and arrange the goat cheese on top.

Goat cheese cake

 

Put in the preheated oven for 55-60 minutes or until golden brown.

 

You can enjoy it straight from the oven or cold. If last long enough keep it in airtight container or freeze in portions after fully cooled.

 

Until next time.

Keep baking,

Aggy x

 

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Today we have a special bake Babcias strawberry crumble cake*.

What an amazing hot summer we are having in the UK right now!! First time in years I am actually able to slow down for a little while and admire the surroundings. I have finally managed to expand my beautiful organic allotment and we have picked our first large crop from the strawberry patch. As soon I have picked the first strawberry I knew what I am going to make. My thoughts took me to my late grandma and her amazing Babcias strawberry crumble cake!

Babcias strawberry crumble cake 

My grandma, in polish babcia* who of course had a massive influence on my food journey was an amazing cook. She was always cooking or baking and was always offering food to anyone who walked through the door. Her and granddad (dziadek*) had a massive fruit and vegetable garden where they were growing many organic fruits. She was the master queen of yeast dough and in the summer her signature bake was this simple berry cake. Preferably topped with strawberries or raspberries and it had to be sprinkled with some delicious crumble.

 

 

This tasty and delicious Babcias strawberry crumble cake is a must in the current weather. You can have it as light breakfast with a glass of milk or a quick bite with afternoon ice tea.  It’s great for a picnic or lunch out as it keeps really well and could be a healthier alternative to a doughnut.

Don’t worry there is no kneading or hard work involved as you normally would expect when working with yeast. The hardest part is watching and waiting for the dough to grow but believe me it’s so worth it!

Babcias strawberry crumble cake can be eaten hot, almost straight from the oven or even cold the next day… but it never lasts that long.

Babcias strawberry crumble cake is flavoursome, light and fluffy almost like the Italian Panettone cake. With fresh, juicy sweet and sour burst of strawberries nicely ‘melting’ in the dough. Coated in sweet, golden, buttery crumble!

 

Method:

The dough part for Babcias strawberry crumble cake.

In a medium bowl prepare the starter.

  • 50g fresh yeast
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar

Using back of a spoon crush and blend together. Add

  • 1 tsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp. warm milk

Mix well together and leave it aside in a warm place covered with a cloth until double in size.

In the meantime prepare:

  • 100g unsalted butter, melted and cooled but still liquidised (if the butter is too hot it will kill the yeast)
  • 1 tbsp. organic olive oil (I have used avocado oil)
  • 250ml warm milk + 50g glucose
  • 1 whole organic egg + 2 egg yolks beaten with 150g sugar

Add all of the above including the starter into

  • 500g sieved plain flour

You can mix with a large wooden spoon until well combined, approximately 10 – 15 minutes. Alternatively  to save time and energy I am using my free standing mixer with beater end. Leave in warm place covered with a cloth till at last double in size. Approximately 45 minutes to an hour. I don’t usually rush this step so sometimes let it stand even slightly longer when I go out or carry with other jobs.

When the Babcias strawberry crumble cake mixture is growing I prepare the strawberries. You will need

  • 800 – 1000 g of strawberries (or if you prefer other red berries)

Wash them, clean and dry thoroughly. If they are a little bit on the sharp side, mix it with a few table spoon of sugar and leave on a sieve to let the juice out.

Crumble part for Babcias strawberry crumble cake.

  • 160g sieved plain flour
  • 110g cold (from the fridge) and chopped unsalted butter
  • 100g sugar

Chop all the ingredients together to crumble like mix and place it in the fridge.

Assembling Babcias strawberry crumble cake.

You will need 10 or 12″ square tin or a equivalent lined with baking paper. After an hour or so of resting the yeast dough mix it briefly again and spread it in a tin. Evenly cover with fruit and levse for another 15 – 30 minutes to rest.

Warm up over to 190C. Sprinkle crumble all over the Babcias strawberry crumble cake and place it in the over for around 45 minutes. Bake to golden on top or check it with a skewer.

Remove from the oven and slice it straight away or leave it to cool.

 

I hope you will enjoy it as much as we do and will bake it over and over again.

 

*Ps. A quick Polish lesson,

Pronunciation: babcia = babcha, dziadek = jadek

 

 

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Magic banana cake

Magic banana cake

As you might be aware we are one of those “weird” families who home school. Having this amazing advantage and being able to bake we always make something new. Our usual baking story begins as always we wanted something sweet and tasty but we didn’t want just an ordinary bake. When baking there is always space for learning and Magic banana cake was a pretty awesome and delicious lesson. Now it has become one of our favourites and we had to share it with you.

Using my chemistry background and the ‘little bit’ of knowledge I gained when studying chemistry we decided to create this Magic banana cake.

Magic banana cake

So, how does it work?

Magic banana cake is based on a simple chemical reaction between sunflower seeds that are acidic and baking soda that is alkaline. Sunflower seeds in Magic banana cake contain chlorogenic acid which reacts with the baking agents when is heated. When cooled down the seeds turn various shades of green and turquoise. Banana on the other hand will oxidize and react to the baking temperatures and turn purple when mashed properly.

The Magic Banana cake is moist and stays fresh for quite a long time if you manage to save any. We eat is on it’s own as its absolutely delicious therefore perfect for packed lunch or a picnic. But also amazing with yoghurt, drizzled chocolate ganache, pistachio ice cream or even elaborately decorated in any cream.

Sorry about the rubbish pictures, as Magic banana cake doesn’t stay around for long. As soon I bake another one it probably will be gone as soon I open the oven.

Magic banana cake

To make it you will need:

  • 200g butter
  • 300g sugar
  • 3 large organic eggs
  • 125 ml milk mixed with 2-3 spoons of lime juice
  • 500g of ripe bananas, well mashed (the best bananas are the ones started to show brown marks)
  • 210g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp of rock salt
  • 2tsp of baking soda
  • 150g sunflower seeds

Magic banana cake

Turn the oven to 155C fan. Prepare two 8″ tins, grease the sides and put baking paper at the bottom.

Cream the butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add one egg at the time until incorporated well. Then add milk & lime mix and bananas and combine.

In a separate bowl sieve the dry ingredients and mix with sunflower seeds.

Mix it all together and split equally between both tins.

Put it in the oven for 30-35 minutes until golden brown or check with a skewer if cooked. Keep Magic banana cake in the tins for another 5 minutes and then fully cool on a rack.

 

I really hope you will try this recipe and experience the magic and taste yourself.

 

Until next time.

Happy baking,

Aggy xxx

 

 

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Nutty Sunshine Torte

Nutty Sunshine Torte

I am quite fussy when it comes to food and I don’t like walnuts in brownies but fancied creating the texture they give. One day I really wanted a sweet, nutty treat and I have decided to replace the walnuts with sunflower seeds.

When sitting and testing for the first time I had another genius moment and just spotted peanut and almond brownie laying around. Put the two together with a little bit of cream and that is how Nutty sunshine torte was made.

Nutty Sunshine Torte

Nutty sunshine torte is very easy bake and you can make it in only one bowl with a couple of utensils.

It taste a little bit like cake version of Snickers bar. Chocolatey yet crunchy, full of chewy peanuts, slightly salty, topped with delicious fluffy cream.

Nutty sunshine torte a perfect afternoon tea treat or birthday cake all depending on your creativity and imagination when decorating.

Nutty sunshine torte is an easy, simple perfect brownie Snickers cake.

Nutty Sunshine Torte

The recipe

For the first layer you will need:

  • 210g white sugar
  • 160g soft brown sugar
  • 85g cocoa powder
  • 150g plain flower
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp rock salt
  • 180g sunflower seeds
  • 4 organic eggs*
  • 225g melted unsalted butter
  • dash vanilla

*TOP TIP. If you are baking with your kids let them crack the eggs. The easiest way is to open them over a sieve in case any shells breaking in. Then simply whisk it through.

Heat the oven to 175C or 155C fan.

Sieve all the dry ingredients in to a large bowl. Add the rest and mix it with a whisk or a wooden spoon until well combined.

Line 9″ spring form with baking paper and put the mixture in the tin.

Place it in the oven and bake the first layer for 30 minutes. In the meantime prepare the peanut layer.

For peanut layer

use the same bowl and utensils and mix through after adding each ingredient:

  • 120g crunchy peanut butter
  • 40g of peeled and roughly chopped monkey nuts
  • 70g melted unsalted butter
  • 130g white sugar
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 2 organic eggs
  • dash of vanilla
  • 110g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp of rock salt

After baking the first layer for 30 min take it out the oven carefully. Try to complete the next step quickly.

Very gently top the the peanut butter mix on to brownie layer. Bake for additional 30-40 minutes at the same temperature until golden brown. Leave to cool.

The cream

  • 90g unsalted butter
  • 45g cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • dash vanilla
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 2 to 4 tbsp milk

Put all in a mixer and slowly work to a paste then beat on high speed for a few minutes to light and fluffy.

Spread on the cake and decorate as you wish.

Nutty Sunshine Torte

I decorated mine with some toasted in sugar sunflower seeds, mascarpone and some dark chocolate sauce.

Nutty Sunshine Torte

Nutty Sunshine Torte

Enjoy!

Aggy x

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Very berry cookie dough cake

Very berry cookie dough cake

Last summer we spend an amazing few weeks in Poland. The weather was outstanding, almost every day over 30C and the gorgeous weather meant there was plenty of juicy and delicious fruits to be picked.

Originally Very berry cookie dough cake was my mums recipe that she made over and over again for us when we visited. She made it with apples and cherries but we adapted it slightly and came up with this Very berry cookie dough cake version.

Very berry cookie dough cake

The Very berry cookie dough cake is a fresh, quick and easy reminder of those long hot summery days. It taste perfect when eaten warm with ice cream or cold even on its own!

The base.

For the Very berry cookie dough cake base you will need:

  • 400g plain flour
  • 4 organic egg yolks
  • 200g sugar
  • 250g cold, unsalted butter
  • dash of vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Sieve the flour. Chop the butter in to small cubes and place all the of the ingredients in a food processor. If you haven’t got a food processor you can ‘rub’ it with your fingers. It suppose to make a loose crumble like texture. Put a side.

Meringue.

In the meantime prepare:

  • 4 egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 100g brown sugar

Whisk the egg whites with salt until stiff. Slowly add sugar and set aside.

Fruit mix.

Very berry cookie dough cake

You will need :

  • 1200g – 1500g fresh or frozen mix berries*
  • 4-5 tbls of corn flour depending on type of fruit you use
  • couple of spoons of sugar to your taste*

*I have used frozen mix of summer berries (red currants, black currants, strawberries and raspberries) with some extra frozen strawberries which allowed me to skip the sugar. We prefer our fruit to be slightly sour in taste especially when the cake and meringue are quite sweet. I have also added two crunchy apples, chopped to small pieces for the texture but again you can leave it out.

Mix the fruit with corn flour (and sugar) so it is coated evenly.

Very berry cookie dough cake

Warm the oven to 180C or 160C fan.

TOP TIP. First line a 10″ baking tin with tin foil making sure it overhangs the tin (this is to help to remove the cake later). Then using one, large piece of baking paper place it on top and press it into the corners again making sure it overhangs slightly.

Assembling the layers for Very berry cookie dough cake.

Depending if you are using fresh or frozen fruit please follow step 1 or step 2!

  1. Fresh fruit baking.

Sprinkle evenly 3/4 of the crumble mix in the baking tin. Gently cover with the fruit and then spread the meringue. Crumble the remaining mix on the top.

Bake for 45-50 minutes till golden brown.

  1. Frozen fruit baking.

Sprinkle evenly 3/4 of the crumble mix in the baking tin. Gently cover with the fruit and place it in the oven. Bake it for 25 minutes. Take it out and quickly top it up with the meringue and crumble the remaining mix on the top.

Bake it for 50-60 minutes till golden brown.

Very berry cookie dough cake

 

You can enjoy a slice or two straight from the oven but cool completely before removing from the tin.

I hope you like it as much as we do!!

Aggy, Andy & Zara

xxx

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Aggy’s chocolate orange gateau

Aggy’s chocolate orange gateau

Slow almost lazy you would say Saturday at home. I felt like baking something light and naughty. Usually we are ending up with our favourite chocolate brownie cake but this time it didn’t feel quite right… so I came up with this amazing “Aggy’s chocolate orange gateau”.

It can be as easy as you like or you can decorate it with elaborate sugar work.

Aggy’s chocolate orange gateau is a slightly chocolaty, light and moist sponge with delicate creamy orange after taste. Almost like a cake version of the famous orange chocolates.

Aggy’s chocolate orange gateau

For the Aggy’s chocolate orange gateau cake prepare:

  • 280g caster sugar
  • 8 organic eggs (room temperature)
  • 200ml water
  • 200g dark chocolate (I have used 60% cocoa but you can use higher if you wish)
  • 280g plain flour
  • dash of vanilla
  • 1tsp of baking powder

Whisk sugar and eggs on high speed until almost white.

In the meantime boil the water and let it cool down slightly. Smash the chocolate into small pieces. Use a plastic bowl preferably and slowly mix the water into the chocolate until combined and smooth.

Sieve and mix the flour and baking powder. Fold it in slowly simultaneously with melted chocolate in to the egg mixture in few portions.

Prepare two 8” tins. Do not grease the tins! Instead only use paper circles for the base.

Split the mixture evenly and bake it at 160C fan for around 55 minutes. If unsure check with a skewer.

When ready take out the oven and cool in the tin for 15 minutes. Then cut around the sides, turn up side down and remove the paper. Turn the right way up on a rack and leave to completely cool.

Cut both cakes in half.

TOP TIP. The easiest way to cut neatly and accurate that works every time! Mark around your cake lightly with a sharp knife. Take about two foot long piece of dental floss and wrap around the cake. Cross the floss at the front and gently pull through until it comes out the cake.

Aggy’s chocolate orange gateau

Filling.

  • 750g mascarpone cheese
  • high quality organic orange marmalade (I have made my own, if you’re brave enough give it a go keep an eye out for the recipe in one of the upcoming posts)

Add to taste, mix it trough.

Aggy’s chocolate orange gateau

Assembling Aggy’s chocolate orange gateau.

Additionally you will need

  • juice from 2 organic oranges

Drizzle each cake with some orange juice and sandwich with the cream. Decorate as you wish.

Aggy’s chocolate orange gateau

 

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Hello my dears,

and Happy New Year!! I hope you had an amazing Christmas.

 

Cherry, vanilla mousse cheesecake with chocolate and vanilla cookie.

cherry vanilla mousse cheesecake with chocolate and vanilla cookie

 

I have made a new light and delicious recipe, cherry, vanilla mousse cheesecake with chocolate and vanilla cookie.

If you are like us and love food you probably indulged yourself over the Christmas period quite a bit. After all the rich and heavy food, I was craving a simple and light dessert. I love cherries and cookies and always have a spare jar of cherries in the pantry. So I came up with cherry, vanilla mousse cheesecake with chocolate and vanilla cookie bake.

cherry vanilla mousse cheesecake with chocolate and vanilla cookie

cherry vanilla mousse cheesecake with chocolate and vanilla cookie

 

It’s quite easy to make it and you can eat it almost as soon as it is out the oven. First taste is almost like warm marshmallows and if you manage to save any to the next day it will become a light moussy cheesecake texture.

It tastes very delicate and light . A little burst of slightly sour black cherries, followed by subtle vanilla cheese layer with soft and crumbly vanilla and chocolate cookies.

cherry vanilla mousse cheesecake with chocolate and vanilla cookie

cherry vanilla mousse cheesecake with chocolate and vanilla cookie

To make the cookie dough you will need:

  • 450g all plain flour
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 80g icing sugar
  • 250g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • dash of vanilla

—— sieve and put aside —–>

  • 2 slightly hipped tbls of dark cocoa powder

The quickest way is to place all the ingredients in a mixer with plastic dough knife. Otherwise rub flour and butter together. When ready quickly combine all the ingredients together. Do not overmix.

Split into three parts. Put two together in a sealed bag and place in the freezer. To the third part add the cocoa powder and place it in the freezer as well.

In the meantime prepare a 10″ square tin lined with tin foil and baking paper. I like this cheesecake to be quite tall hence I am using the smaller tin. However you also would be fine with a 12″ square or rectangular equivalent.

Cheese filling.

  • 5 egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 250g sugar
  • 750g mascarpone
  • 300g natural yoghurt
  • sieved 2 hipped tbls corn flour
  • dash of vanilla

Whip the egg whites with salt until stiff. Keep whipping while adding the sugar slowly. Mix the mascarpone well in a separate bowl and add in to the egg mix in 3 to 4 portions. Fold in the rest of the ingredients carefully not to knock the air out of the filling mix.

You also will need

  • large jar or tin of cherries

or some fresh or frozen if available. I like to add a spoon of corn flour to my cherry compote to make a light cherry sauce that you can use as well.

Putting the layers together.

For the bottom of the tin grate on a cheese grater the two vanilla dough balls and distribute the layer evenly. Gently put the cheese layer next followed by cherries. Top this off with grated chocolate cookie dough.

TOP TIP. Make sure you don’t handle the cookie dough to long otherwise it will start melting and will be difficult to grate.

cherry vanilla mousse cheesecake with chocolate and vanilla cookie

cherry vanilla mousse cheesecake with chocolate and vanilla cookie

Bake it in a preheated oven at 180C (160C fan) for 50-55 min. Cool in slightly open oven.

If you have any left after hot tasting drizzle with dark or white chocolate.

cherry vanilla mousse cheesecake with chocolate and vanilla cookie

cherry vanilla mousse cheesecake with chocolate and vanilla cookie

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Ghostbusters chocolate Slimer cake

Being a cake designer is a busy life and one where ultimately the customer has the final say on the look of the cake.

But, when given the opportunity to have totally free rain over a project I can take the ideas to another level. 
I very rarely get the chance to make something that I think of myself without consulting the customer. So I thought why not see what can be done within 24 hours or less in this case.

I didn’t have to think long! Who is the most famous ghost of all…?

You got it!

SLIMER!!Ghostbusters chocolate Slimer cake

 

One of my favourite characters from the amazing 80’s movie Ghostbusters.

As he is obviously a ghost the challenge was to make him as gravity defying and “floaty” as possible. I decided to make him stealing one of his favourite things, slice of pizza!

dscf6706

We had to start somewhere so I did a quick sketch of the stand and showed it to Andy. Within a minute we have agreed the theory and started with the process. I got on with the baking delicious green white chocolate cake to match Slimers rather green appearance.

Andy disappeared into his workshop and after a lot of sawing, bending, cutting and screwing he emerged with a fully built stand.

Meanwhile the ganache filling was finished and also very green!

 

Sculpting time

One of the most important parts when sculpting is shaping the cake… And is also one of my favourites, because who doesn’t love a break with a cup of green tea and some (very green!) off cuts!

Ghostbusters chocolate Slimer cake inside

He was just a simple, straight forward shape. Almost like a giant green potato except all the fat rolls.

I know I know, you might be thinking I could of just added the fat rolls made out of fondant later. This would be quicker and easier but honestly who would want to munch on a huge piece of sugar paste.

 

Ghostbuster chocolate Slimer cake
Andy is the kneading machine and in a couple of minutes all the sculpting paste was green. Covering was very easy and I must admit I did enjoy shaping all those fatty bits.

Ghostbusters chocolate Slimer cake

As for his face I wanted Slimer to look sneaky and I just love his cheeky smile. I hope I have managed to achieved it.

 

Slimer traveled with us to one of London’s TV studios for an exclusive Halloween party and has been demolished in minutes.

Ghostbusters chocolate Slimer cake

In total this cake took us 8h of work. It is cakes like this that really keep my passion for it alive!

 

 

dscf6702

Until next time, keep on baking.

 

Aggy, Andy & Zara

xxx

 

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Halloween Moss cake

Halloween Moss cake… Spinach and a cup of tea…….?!

No, really!

Halloween Moss cake with spinach may sound like a crazy idea but trust me and try this delicious cake with natural colouring.

I remembered this Halloween Moss cake recipe recently while thinking about how to change the artificial edible dyes full of chemicals. But there will be more about this in a future blog post.  I wanted a healthy, natural and friendly mix that won’t send little people a bit crazy sometimes. What better time than around Halloween when they are allowed that little bit extra?

I got a basic recipe from a friend years ago and I was just as sceptical as you probably are right now. But trust me you will be surprised how tasty it is and how well it works with an afternoon cup of tea!

I adapted it to make it more ‘halloweeny’ (if that’s even a word) and made it easy and fun for the kids. They can get involved in the making and decorating as well.

Now, you are probably wondering about the flavours and especially how the spinach works. So the cake is nice and moist with no taste of spinach but almost like a shadow of green tea and works amazingly well with the fluffy orange filling. It’s topped perfectly with little bursts of fresh blueberries and sweet fruity, flowery nectar like sweet papaya.

This recipe is perfect to fill an 8” (24cm) round tin.

Halloween Moss cake

 

Recipe

To make it you will need:

For the cake

  • 600g when frozen spinach, set aside and allow to defrost
  • 4 large eggs
  • 280g of fine sugar
  • 250g margarine, melt in the microwave, leave to cool
  • 450g plain flour, sieve, mix with baking powder
  • 3,5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbs vanilla essence

Cream

  • 400ml double cream
  • 1 hipped tsp of powder sugar
  • 1 orange powder jelly sachet
  • 200ml fresh orange juice or water

 Additionally

  • box of blueberries
  • ripen papaya

 

  1. Heat the over to 165C fan or 180 without (350F).
  2. Line the sides and bottom of the tin with baking paper.
  3. Whip sugar and eggs till white.
  4. Squeeze very well liquid out of the defrosted spinach and blend to puree with a little bit of melted margarine. When ready add the remaining margarine and mix together.
  5. In the meantime on slow speed on your mixer add flour combined baking powder to the eggs and sugar mix. Incorporate well but be careful not to over stir it.
  6. Add the blended spinach. Fold it in.
  7. Put it in the tin, smooth over and place in the oven for 55min. Check with a skewer if cooked if not allow some additional time.
  8. The filling. Dissolve the jelly either in fresh orange juice or water as per sachet instructions. Set aside to cool. When the jelly starts thickening whip the cream to soft peak. Mix in the jelly.
  9. Fully cool down the cake and slice across through twice so you end up with 3 pieces.
  10. Fill in with the cream and decorate with fresh fruit as you wish.

 

Halloween Moss cake

 

Aggy, Andy and Zara.

 

Until next time keep on baking.

xxx

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Teal and rose and Jimmy Choo’s.

As the madness around our TV cake for ITV2’s Celebrity Juice continues, we thought to show you our recent cakes.

We had two totally different designs to finish and deliver on the same day.

It proved a good test of time keeping and being able to switch from one to the other. One second we are covering a four tier wedding cake. The next we are piping royal icing onto an edible shoe!

We had a beautiful four tier wedding cake to be done. The guide we had was to match the colour of the wedding and include some frills. So we sat down and got drawing changing the design probably 7- 8 times before we finally decided on a final look.dscf5157The hardest part was to match the theme colour. It was a deep shade of teal.

dscf5126

A last minute stroke of genius saw Aggy draw an entwined painting of the couples initials and even incorporated a heart into it to really finish off the second tier.

 

 

 

The heart on top to be the last piece of the puzzle and we think it all fits together perfectly, to create a beautiful elegant wedding cake that fits into the decoration of the venue.

dscf5133e

The second cake was an amazing challenge. We needed to make a copy of the birthday lady’s favorite pair of shoes by Jimmy Choo. The set included a cake shoe box, beautiful red rose and of course an edible copy of the shoe itself. Jimmy Choo cake box

The board was made to look like cobble street which really set the whole cake off perfectly!

The shoe box was our gorgeous dark chocolate brownie cake and chocolate ganache. Stunning blend for the most indulgent of chocolate lovers!

Both cakes were delivered on the same day and really tested our smooth driving skills around the Cotswolds!Sugar red rose

TOP TIP. To really make your rose come to life you can airbrush the center of it. Simply spray with a slightly darker shade of red or dust it with edible powder.

 

Happy baking,

 

Aggy, Andy and Zara

xxx

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