Fail-proof Blueberry Muffins

This recipe is based on a muffin recipe from PPK but I’ve never been one to exactly follow things to the letter, especially when I’m not a fan of a certain ingredients. Seriously, that would just be silly wouldn’t it, making something you couldn’t benefit from when your family are sat munching haha yes I am that greedy!!

I haven’t posted pictures from the prep because, there really is no prep involved that needs pictures, it’s not complicated at all, I promise 🙂

Oven: 375f/ 190c/ gas mark 5

Makes 12

Ingredients

2 cups plain flour

2/3 cup caster sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda/baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup cranberry juice

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients with a hand whisk, the manual kind! Doing this saves any messing around with sieves and mixes everything nicely.

In a jug, mix all of the wet ingredients.

Pour your wet ingredients into your dry and mix by hand. When the mix is just combined, but still lumpy, add in your blueberries, then continue to mix briefly.

Fill your muffin liners about 3/4 full and bake in a preheated oven for 23-27 minutes.

VOILA! For those of you with super beady eyes, yes, I had to use Christmas muffin liners because I’d run out of plain ones haha they look ever so pretty with their holly liners though don’t they!!

These muffins can be switched and changed to anything though, all you have to do is adapt the juice element and the berry element, so for example, choc chips and milk, orrrr blueberries and FRESH orange juice? That would be nice! The thing with this actual recipe is, I used Ocean Spray cranberry juice so you can’t actually taste the juice, whereas with fresh juice you can. But at least by using juice you’re not using excess oil for moisture, you still have a healthy element in there. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it anyway 😉

These really are the quickest and easiest muffins ever, totally fail proof and idiot proof to be honest. I can’t wait to try some more adaptions.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to feed my face with lots of baked goods!!

 

 

XOXO

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Pumpkin Muffin update

I’ve just had this in the oven to warm it through (ended up finishing it off in the microwave though due to my lack of patience), popped a small scoop of ice cream on and a drizzle of maple syrup and OMG…..I have no words, I’m in actual heaven. I ready to go put another in the oven but, you know that moment when the second time around just makes you feel ill and you start to regret even the first dish!

 

I had to let you all in on this though, for those of you that are going to make these, this is a great little tip, especially a couple of days down the line when they’re going a bit moist in the tin or a bit stale. HEEEEAAAAVEEEEENNN.

 

Xoxo

Preparing for Pancake Day/Shrove Tuesday

Pancakes have always been a huge part of my life, for a British girl I take my pancakes seriously! Usually on Pancake Day I try to have pancakes at lunch or for dinner, Marks and Spencers do them that you can pop in the microwave and SMOTHER in Lyles Maple flavoured Syrup. Now, part of me feels that this product is the work of the devil because it’s so addictive and delicious and…..I’m drooling now, I should stop!! It got to the point though that I was having this on EVERYTHING, porridge, pancakes, honeyloaf, rice pudding. EVERYTHING.

Since I had to do the whole liquid diet thing just over a year ago though I tend to have some trouble with eggs, so where possible I do try to eat cakes etc without egg, those that are homemade anyway, I don’t see there being that many eggs in supermarket cakes given the size of the cake batter they must use in the mass production! This is a slight problem though where pancakes are concerned as you can imagine. Until now. I have just discovered this recipe by the blog Art of Dessert and it sounds pretty good. Also, it sounds like it would be pretty easy to make the dry mix in advance and just add the liquids on the morning you’re wanting to make the, how simple!

Makes 8-9 pancakes

2 Cups Plain Flour

1/4 Cup Sugar

1 1/2 Tbsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

2 Cups Milk

1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil

1/4 Cup Orange Juice

1/4 Cup Melted Butter

  • Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, oil and orange juice. Slowly add in the melted butter.
  • Pour about 1/2 cup of batter onto a hot nonstick pan. (This batter is tends to bubble up and thicken due to the baking powder. You can gently stir it to break down some of the bubbles to bring it back to a pourable consistency.)
  • Cook until you see a few bubbles rise to the surface and it’s dry around the edges, then flip over to cook the other side until lightly browned.
  • Serve!!

Now, I haven’t tested these myself yet, but if you do please let me know how you get on. As soon as I make them I’ll post pictures, if they last that long! CAN.NOT.WAIT.

The amazing IHOP!

Dennys Pancakes, en route to Lake Tahoe

Butterscotch Pancakes from IHOP, Lake Tahoe! And yes, I ate the lot 🙂

I really do love pancakes.

XOXO

Oh Paris……..

Paris is fast becoming the place I obsess about, the place I dream about and a major factor in whose profile pages I stalk on Facebook. An old friend from school has just got back from Paris, she went for her birthday and, as if I wasn’t hankering after the City of Lights enough, she opened my eyes to THIS…..

Heaven

More heaven

Dead!!

All of these pictures come from the master that is, Pierre Herme. Have you ever seen anything as perfect in your life?!!

 

So I am now sat, on a Monday night, in my onesie, stalking Paris!! I also adore the blog by http://nomadgrad.com/ who is currently living the dream in Paris.

 

Does it show that I REALLY want to go to Paris?! How do I convince my boyfriend that this is the place we need to visit next *sigh*.

 

I’ll spare you all my whines and sobs anyway and leave you with this…..

 

City of Lights

 

Xoxo

Box of Chocolates Chocolate Birthday Cake

Here it is folks, as promised, I’ve finally shifted my lazy ass and put the pics of my cake onto the laptop. I’m really really happy with how it turned out, it got the seal of approval from all our guests and got plenty of compliments. Just be aware, you need self control, the chocolates sitting on top are far too easily removed and eaten before you realise what’s happened (that’s not just me right?)

You will need:

3, 8inch Springform Cake Tins

Tin foil (just in case)

Greaseproof paper

Spatula

Food Mixer

Kebab sticks/Cocktail sticks

Sift

Large bowl

Ingredients – Chocolate Cake (2 layers)

3 Cups Plain Flour

2 Cups Castor Sugar

2 tsp Baking Powder

1 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda)

3 Tbsp Cocoa Powder (sifted)

1 Tbsp Camp/Coffee

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Cup Oil (I used Sunflower but Vegetable would be fine)

1 1/3 Cup Milk

1 Tbsp Cider Vinegar

Ingredients – Vanilla Cake

1 1/2 Cup Plain Flour

1 Cup Castor Sugar

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda)

1 Cup (250ml) Milk

1 Tbsp Cider Vinegar

1/2 Cup (4oz/100g) softened Butter

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Ingredients – Frosting

About 2 Cups (20 oz/500g) softened Butter (I used 2 Stork packets)

1/2 Cup sifted Cocoa Powder

3 Cups Icing Sugar

1/4 Cup Milk

1 Tbsp Camp/Coffee

Now with the frosting, it’s all about taste, if you want more cocoa powder in then just adapt to how you’d like it.

  • Preheat oven to gas mark 5/190c
  • Prepare your 3 cake tins. Line the base with greaseproof paper.

Chocolate Cake

  • Into a large bowl, sift your flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.

Flour Mix

  • Into a large jug, pour your milk and cider vinegar and leave to sit for 5 mins.
  • Stir the milk mix as it will look curdled by now, it’s supposed to resemble buttermilk. Of course I guess you could buy buttermilk if you so wished.
  • Add in the oil, Camp/coffee and vanilla extract and mix very well again.
  • Pour your flour mix into the food mixer, begin to slowly beat and gradually pour in the milk mix.

I always use the beater attachment

  • When you have a well mixed batter, medium consistency (I messed up at first and the mix was very thick, but just keep adding milk until you have a pudding like consistency)
  • Evenly distribute the batter between 2 cake tins and pop in the oven for 30 mins.

All ready for the oven

  • After 30 mins turn the oven up to gas mark 6/200c for another 30 minutes. My oven was a little slow on this day and took a while to bake, if yours does the same don’t panic, cover with tin foil for 20 minutes or so, depending on how underbaked your cake is)
  • Wash up and get ready to start on the middle layer, the vanilla cake layer.

Vanilla Cake

  • Preheat your oven to gas mark 5/190c
  • In your food mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy.
  • Sift together your flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) in a separate bowl.
  • In a jug, pour your milk, add the cider vinegar, leave for 5 minutes then stir.
  • Add your vanilla extract to the butter mix. Beat briefly until the vanilla is well mixed in.
  • Alternately, beginning with the flour mix, pour in your flour and milk mixes to the butter, eg, 1/3 of your flour mix, 1/2 of your milk, 1/3 flour mix, 1/2 milk, 1/3 flour mix.
  • Be careful not to overbeat.
  • Pour the whole mix into one cake tin and place in the oven for 25/30 minutes.

Chocolate Frosting

  • Place your butter in the food mixer and beat until creamy.
  • Add your Camp/coffee.
  • Add half of your cocoa powder and beat.
  • Add your icing sugar gradually, if the mix gets thick, add your milk.
  • Add the rest of your cocoa powder until you have a fudgey frosting. It may look a lot but remember, you have a 3 layer cake to cover and fill.

Once your cakes have cooled, begin to assemble them onto a cake board. I misplaced my icing turntable, utter nightmare, the cake gets very heavy! Frost inbetween each layer, carefully assembling. Any excess, just spread it down the sides.

Assembled cake

Now, very very carefully, taking a sharp knife, cut out a ring on top of the cake. Luckily, on this occasion, I had a hump on top of my cake so cut that out.

The chocolates will sit in this hole

The cake scraps could freeze ready for cake pops, or you could just nibble at them all afternoon long so that by teatime you can’t face food (this happened!!)

I had a couple of cracks, as you can see just at the front, but you can cover this with your frosting if you’re careful with how you handle the cake. Once you have covered the whole cake, I would advise using some fondant to line the inside where the chocolate will sit. Spreading frosting inside that dip is no easy task, crumbs will come away and stick to your spoon/spatula but don’t fret. Fondant was my saviour on this day and covered up the mess in the middle, nobody had a clue….until now!

Finished product

 

Picture 2!

 

I hope I’ve explained everything clearly in this post, if not please just ask if you have any questions!! This cake feeds soooo many people but lasts about a week if you keep it in an airtight container.

 

Ciao for now

Xoxo

Hello bloggersphere!

Well, here goes my first blog!

I realised today whilst browsing on www.pinterest.com (it’s becoming an addictive habit!) that this time of year is possibly the best time of year for heart warming food (something about the spices that we seem to dust off in Autumn/Fall just gives me a warm glow inside!) I came across an amazing recipe for Cinnamon Buns (as soon as I make them I’ll post it on here), a recipe for pumpkin scones, and some marvellous crock pot recipes.  If you’re a crafty person as well as a foodie then I cannot recommend this site enough, I’ve got so many interesting ideas for handmade Christmas presents its untrue!

Anyway, I digress, what I’m really trying to say is I’m going to be taking some inspiration from this site and baking/cooking so many different Autumn/Fall goodies that I decided to share my obsession with the blogging world! It’s becoming a bit of a standard joke now with my boyfriend that whenever we go out I’m always taking pictures of my food to show my family what cool things I’ve tried, so it makes sense to share my thoughts and recommendations with you all. One example is my dessert below, an edible chocolate bowl, I mean seriously, how amazing!! This was from a restaurant in Halifax where I’ll be going again for Sunday Lunch with a girl friend this weekend so I’ll post a link and other pics Sunday!

You can't go far wrong with brownies, ice cream and a white chocolate edible bowl!

They were so accommodating because I have problems with too much egg in products, they gave me raspberries and orange to make up for my lack of brownie bites!

Anyway folks, I’m off to get my Gleek on and ponder what recipes to make first from my collection on Pinterest!

Ciao xoxo