Custard Cream Hearts

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I've got a lovely collection of cookbooks. There are some books my grandma used to cook from years ago; there are some of my Mum's books contain all my doll and ballerina shaped childhood birthday cakes, childhood memories tucked away between the pages; there are books purely dedicated to cupcakes or chocolate; books about Indian, Greek and German cooking; there are reams of new books, Nigella, Jamie Oliver, James Martining, Paul Hollywood. Unfortunately my collection of cookbooks is currently ...

Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I've got a bit of a thing for brown sugar. Maybe it's because it feels a bit decadent, it's richer, gooier, more scented than white sugar. Maybe because it reminds me of  holidays and treats. Christmas cake, ginger bread parkin for bonfire night, Siminel cake for Easter, they all need brown sugar. It's been finding it's way into everything at the moment; cake, marinades,  sauces... Brown sugar has all kinds of hidden depths. I saw this recipe on Joy the Baker.  I've adapted them to make them a ...

Tangle Bread

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Last night I got back from a really amazing few days on Malapascua Island in the Philippines.  It really is a little paradise island, but more about that coming soon! Until then I've got one of my favourite new bread recipes for you today. I have to admit that we've developed a bit of a problem in my house. I've spoken before about my all consuming love of bread before, well, since being able to make decent bread myself, it's become a bit of a problem. You see, loaves just don't last any more. ...

Croissants

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I did something very exciting this morning; I made croissants! I'm still on a baking (or should that be butter?) high, and really wanted to share them with you because, frankly, they're so much easier than they look. I've missed out on years of croissant making because I always assumed they'd be really hard and hold strange mysteries I could never hope to master, but they're not, they don't. They do take a little time though, making them the perfect Sunday treat. Make the dough Saturday ...

Steamed Sponge Cake for Chinese New Year

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Kung Hei Fat Choi! Chinese New Year is a really exciting time around Hong Kong. All the shop fronts are decorated with blossoms and little kumquat tress, their pots wrapped in gold fabric and their leaves adorned with red packets and ribbons. The buses and trains are crowded with people carrying branches in bud, and garlands of flowers to decorate their home. The shops are full of oranges, endless piles of boxed biscuits and chocolates to give as gifts. Each supermarket has a wrapping station ...

Secret Heart Cupcakes

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Moist chocolate cake, rich butter cream, a secret little surprise hidden within. Could there be any better baked representation of love? Valentine's Day is just around the corner. I love the romance, the flowers, the cards. I know it's irrational, but I still want it. Unfortunately my boyfriend isn't so keen. Perhaps these cute little cupcakes will give satisfy my need for hearts and flowers and take the pressure off him this year! I've seen lots of these cakes popping up over the internet, with ...

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? ...