Monday, November 10, 2014


Now that I'm a little more settled I've finally found some time to get down to some baking, something I've really missed doing while being at university.  I had a good think and realised that I'd never actually baked a lemon drizzle cake before, so I decided it was high time I gave one a go.

The lemon drizzle cake
I wanted to keep things relatively simple so I used Mary Berry's all-in-one method.  As you could possibly guess from the title of this post, I'm a massive Bake Off fan and I especially love Mary Berry.  Her recipes are simple and reliable, perfect for home cooking as you know if you follow the recipe it will turn out exactly as you expect.

The ingredients
For this lemon drizzle cake you simply add the self-raising flour, softened butter, caster sugar, eggs, baking powder, milk and grated lemon rind to a bowl, then mix until you have a smooth batter.  Pre-heat the oven, grease a baking tray and bake the tray bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until it is brown and risen.

The finished product
For the glaze you just need to mix lemon juice with granulated sugar and drizzle over the cake while it's still warm.  Cut into squares and enjoy with a nice cup of coffee (I acquired this habit while in Germany where 'Kaffee und Kuchen' - coffee and cake - is very popular).

Well-risen, a nice crumb and not a soggy bottom in sight!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween Fondue

You're probably wondering what makes this fondue particular to Halloween.  Well, rather than using a fondue set or a bowl I decided to use a pumpkin!  Not only does this dish look really cool, it tastes awesome too!

The ingredients
The pumpkin
Once you've carved a lid off the pumpkin and scooped out the centre, put the lid back on, place the pumpkin on a baking tray and bake in a pre-heated oven.  As my pumpkin was reasonably large it needed 1 and 1/2 hours in the oven, but baking times will vary.

While the pumpkin baked I peeled and chopped up the potatoes, par-boiled them for twenty minutes and heated some olive oil in a roasting tin in the oven.  When the pumpkin had fifteen minutes left I put the roast potatoes into the bottom of the oven.  I then turned them and transferred them to the top of the oven when I removed the pumpkin.

The potatoesIf, like mine, liquid has gathered in the bottom of your pumpkin scoop as much out as you can before adding the cheese and creme fraiche. I used cheddar, emmental and comte (but gruyere would work too).  I also added a crushed clove of garlic and a finely chopped shallot.  I also recommend adding a couple of tablespoons of white wine to give it a little something extra.  I used a white Rioja but most dry white wines would work well.

Return the pumpkin to the oven and bake it for another 30 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling.  Remove the pumpkin and the potatoes from the oven, season the cheese, grab some slices of some nice crusty bread and dig in!

The fondue