Christmas Cupcakes

Christmas-Cupcakes

 

Ingredients:

  • 280g plain flour + 1 tbsp baking powder (or simply SR flour)
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • pinch of salt
  • 115g dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 100ml milk
  • 6 tbsp sunflower oil (or 85g of butter melted)
  • 100g mixed dried fruit and nuts
  • 450g icing
  • 3 tsp apricot jam
  • sprinkles/icing sugar/coloured icing to decorate

Method:

  1. Sift together the flour (+baking powder), salt and allspice into a large bowl, then stir in the sugar.
  2. Beat together the eggs, oil and milk in a seperate bowl, making a well in the dry ingredients and pouring the mixture into it, along with the fruit and nuts. Stir until combined.
  3. Spoon into paper cases in a muffin tin and cook for 20 minutes at 200°/400°F/Gas Mark 6, leaving them to cool on a wire rack when ready.
  4. Knead the ready made icing then roll it out to approx 5mm thick, using a cutter/cup to cut out circles of icing.
  5. Heat the jam until runny, then brush over the tops of the muffins. Place an icing circle onto the jam, decorating as you wish, then leave to set in a cool place.
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Mocha Brownies

 

brownies

Ingredients

  • 55g butter (+ some for greasing the tin)
  • 115g plain chocolate
  • 175g brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee powder or granules
  • 85g plain flour + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (or just 85g self-raising flour)
  • 55g chopped peacan nuts
  • Cocoa powder (optional)

Method:

  1. Make up the coffee with 1 tbsp hot water and leave to cool.
  2. Grease and line a 20cm-square cake tin.
  3. Gently melt the butter and chocolate together, then leave to cool.
  4. Cream together the sugar and eggs, then fold in the cooled butter/chocolate mixture and cold coffee. Sift the flour (and baking powder) and fold into the mixture, before folding in the peacan nuts.
  5. Pour the mixture into the tin and cook for 25-30 mins at 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
  6. Run a knife around the tin edge and turn the cake onto a wire rack, then peel off the lining paper and leave to cool, before lightly dusting with the cocoa powder and cutting into squares.

Coconut Truffles

A really quick recipie perfect for those in a rush and small children alike as no cooking required 🙂

Ingredients

125g icing sugar

85g cocoa

3 tbsp milk

Coffee essence (alternatively you could use vanilla essence or experiment with 1/2 tsp spices such as cinnamon)

Desiccated coconut (or if you don’t like coconut you could use melted chocolate or more cocoa powder)

Method

1. Sift together the cocoa and icing sugar.

2. Add the milk and a few drops of coffee essence.

3. Roll the mixture into balls, then roll the balls in the coconut.

4. Leave them in a cool place (ideally in the fridge) for at least 1/2 hour to set.

5. Enjoy!

Sugarless Chocolate Muffins

Ingredients (for 12)

  • 4 tbsp cooking oil (sunflower or peanut work best)
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp all spice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 175ml unsweetened orange juice
  • 1 tsp grated orange rind
  • 40g fresh blueberries

Method

1. Line a muffin baking tray with either oil or paper cases

2. Sift the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and all spice into a mixing bowl

3. In a seperate mixing bowl whisk the eggs with the oil, then add the orange juice, orange rind and blueberries, stirring gently to mix it together.

4. Pour the orange juice mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until they are just combined

5. Divide the mixture into the muffin tray (each case should be about 2/3 full)

6. Place in a pre-heated oven at gas mark 6 (200°C/400°F) for 20 minutes, or until the muffins have risen and are a golden colour.

7. Serve immediately, or leave them on a wire rack to cool

Chocolate Orange Bakewell Tarts

Not everyone likes cherries and almonds so this is my take on the classic bakewell tart – enjoy!

Ingredients

1 block of Shortcrust Pastry (alternatively you could make your own pastry by mixing 55g margarine with 125g flour, then add a pinch of salt, as well as a couple of teaspoons of water if needed to hold it all together)

50g soft margarine

50g sugar

40g self raising flour

10g cocoa powder

1 egg

Marmalade

Icing sugar

Orange essence

Chocolate flakes or sprinkles to decorate

 

Method

1. Set oven to Gas Mark 5 (electric 190ºC)

2. Roll out the pastry to an even thickness and cut into circles using an 8cm cutter (a cup will work just as well)

3. Line the tart tins with the discs of pastry

4. Put about 1/2 teaspoon of marmalade into each tart

5. Make the cake mixture using the all in one method

6. Put a teaspoon of the mixture into each case making sure the jam is covered

7. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cakes are springy to touch

8. Cool on a wire rack

9. Mix icing sugar with small amounts of water and a few drops of orange essence and stir to make it the right consistency

10. Spread a bit of icing on top of each tart

11. Sprinkle a few flakes of chocolate (or sprinkles) on top of each tart to finish

Death and Destruction Pizza

A tongue-in-cheek take on the english civil war by the 11 year old me!

  

This recipe is for the most delicious, yet deadly Civil war pizza England has ever had to face.    

    To make the best pizza, you will need around 20 years to make it as so to enhance the flavour. With very important ingredients such as a king with divine right and a Parliament, that wants its own way this civil war pizza has some feisty flavours!

 

Ingredients

Political

1 King with Devine right

11 years tyranny

1 Irish rebellion

1 Grand remonstrance

1 attempt to arrest 5 MPs that goes terribly wrong leaving Parliament and London furious

1 king fleeing the capital

1 Argument over who should control the army

19 propositions

1 King who has had enough

 

Economic

1 Illegal ship tax and widespread refusal to pay it

 

Religious

1 Roman Catholic Henrietta Maria and a marriage to the King

Rumours of her bad influences and a potential Roman Catholic England

1 beautification of the church and a new prayer book

1 Scottish invasion and rebellion

1 Catholic massacre of Protestants

Religious arguments to get rid of Roman Catholic England

 

Method

1.    Take the king with Devine right and marry him to a roman catholic; Henrietta Maria. Sprinkle in a few rumours of her bad influences on the king, and a feared Catholic England.

2.    Mix in an illegal ship tax that was very unpopular and unfair. Keep stirring and gradually add more refusals to pay it.

3.    Add 11 years tyranny and an increasingly angry Parliament.

4.    Take Laud’s beautification of the church and new prayer book. Add an increasingly angry population as this is seen as steps towards a Roman Catholic England. Leave this to rise in a cool place.

5.    On a medium heat, mix the Scottish rebellion and invasion. Stir in an Irish rebellion. Pour in the catholic massacre of Protestants that will keep the nation on the look out. Keep stirring to make a thick red paste and then take it off the heat.

6.    Take the base and gently roll it out into a bigger, flatter round base. Then carefully spread over the red paste and make a nice even coating.

7.    Take the Grand remonstrance, finely chop it up and place evenly over the base. Do the same with the following ingredient in the order given. The king’s attempt to arrest 5 MPs that left parliament and London furious. Then add the king leaving the capital for safety. Add even more religious arguments to get rid of Roman Catholic England. Be careful when handling the argument over who should take control of the army; king or parliament. Add a parliament seizing control of the army.

8.    Sprinkle over 19 propositions to make a nice coating that will melt all over the other ingredients. Finally, season with a king who has had enough.

9.    Put in a hot oven and bake for a few days.  

 

Summary

This dish is all about a king and Parliament that are continually arguing over the three topics of religion, money and politics combining in different ways to make a very feisty civil war pizza. The dish is best served with a slice of garlic bread to add a bitter taste to it all. A great pudding would be a slice of a sharp, pointy and very tangy pie.