Nutella and Banana Muffins

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To me these muffins taste like Paris. They remind me of banana and Nutella crepes by the seine amidst carousels with their dancing horses whirling. Banana Crepes made freshly by a man in a wooden booth. Ladalling the mixture onto a round hot plate, spreading it thinly with a deft, uninterested flick of the wrist, expertly twirling his wooden spatula. As soon as the crepe is golden, another casual flick turns it out onto a paper plate. Then for the important bit. He dips into a huge tub of ...

Banana Bread

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Banana Bread is one of those wonderful, everyday kind of cakes. It's really simple to make, uses cheap ingredients and has a vague suggestion of health around it which somehow makes it acceptable to tuck into a mid afternoon slice on a fairly regular basis.Every recipe I've ever seen suggests that you need really ripe bananas, the ones that are almost black with a bit of an unpleasant squishiness. In my house this just doesn't happen. Bananas hardly get chance to ripen to a pleasing yellow ...

Crusty Farmhouse Loaf

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Bread. Could it be just the best food? Remember those conversations with your best friend at school, or cuddled up late at night trying to discover everything about someone special. Did you ever ask this question? If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Well my answer would be bread.Not sliced, processed, factory bread. Oh no. I mean real, freshly baked bread. Crusty white loaves, crispy baguettes, ciabatta, focaccia, naan, chewy bagels. Smothered in butter, ...

Lindt Melting Middle Muffins

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A few weeks ago I posted nervously about a big interview I had coming up. Well,despite forgetting the words to 'The Grand Old Duke of York', I got the job! Such events call for celebration cakes and this gives me the perfect excuse to try out a naughty treat that's been on my to-bake list for a while. Imagine the melting gooey chocolate perfection of a Lindt Lindor truffle.Biting through the crispy outer chocolate case to the delicious smooth truffle centre. Couldn't get much better could it? ...

Apple and Cinnamon Scones

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Being out here in Hong Kong I often get a little bit homesick for the people and places of England.  Many discussions among us ex-pats are about the things we miss from home and when these conversations start, they don't take long to turn to food. I miss proper crusty bread and the smell of the bread aisle at the supermarket. I constantly miss real Cheese, all types. Every now and then I get an overwhelming craving for real fish and chips. I smell something deep fried and find myself yearning ...

Moroccan Cigars

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One of my favourite things to eat is Mezze. I sometimes think all meals should come to us on platters, laden with hummus, falafel, assorted olives, Baba Ganoush, all manner of kebaby things, and stuff that's been wrapped up in filo pastry, not to mention the freshly baked pitta bread.  When heading out for Middle Eastern, with my friends, it's not unheard of for the waiters to have to restrain us when we're ordering. You see their eye-brows begin to raise about half way through our order, and ...

Lemon Drizzle Biscuits

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Lemon Drizzle Biscuits. Or should that be cookie?  I was born and raised in a sleepy village in England where we most defiantly ate biscuits. Jammie Dodgers pulled apart to lick out the sugary middle, soggy ginger biscuits dunked into weak orange squash at Sunday School, Chocolate Hob-Nobs for special occasions, trays of home-made biscuits cut into dinosaurs for birthday parties, stars for Christmas. Biscuit crumbs sticking to your face, or hiding down the side of the sofa. Biscuits smeared with ...

Chicken and Ham Tangle Pie

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I first came across this amazing pie on a fantastic baking blog - The  Cake Hunter. Her pictures, of a beautiful crispy filo topping and a delicious creamy filling, sold me instantly. I had to have that pie! I first made it for a group of four big hungry men and it disappeared in minutes. So fast in fact I'm sure I didn't get my fair share! I just had to make it again last night, although this time it was only to feed two of us so I halved the recipe. The recipe below is for the full pie,which ...

Guinness Cupcakes

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It seems everyone is having a 'dry January' this year. Girl chats over a bottle of wine have been replaced, much to the barman's dismay, with diet cokes all round. Saturday night cocktails are on hold until February. Gin and Tonics on ladies nights have been substituted with pyjamas and blankets on the sofa. Not that I'm an especially big drinker. Yes, I do love a good glass of red after a long day, and there's nothing quite like an ice cold beer sitting out in the sun, but I don't need alcohol ...

Blueberry and White Chocolate Cookies

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Tomorrow I've got a big interview coming up for a teaching position. For the interview I'll have to give a teaching demonstration to a larger, and younger, class than I've ever taught before. I've trawled through pages and pages of internet advice and videos, I've practised my nursery rhymes and honed the finger movements to Incy Wincy Spider. Now I'm just ready to get it over with. So today, instead of panicking about whether I needed to make puppets,or imagining myself sobbing as two year olds ...