Rum and Raisin Cupcakes – a Boozy Bake for Old Time’s Sake

Rum and Raisin Cupcakes

Cupcakes | 8th June 2017 | By

These rum and raisin cupcakes are a delicious, but rather boozy bake. They’re reminiscent of Old Jamaica, a chocolate rum and raisin flavoured bar from my childhood. I used to save up my pocket money so I could occasionally indulge in what seemed to be a highly sophisticated treat at the time.


Kohlrabi Carrot Slaw – A Simple but Delicious Side

Kohlrabi Carrot Slaw

Salads, Sides | 19th May 2017 | By

Kohlrabi is one of those vegetables that’s lurking under the radar. Many people haven’t heard of it at all or if they have, they don’t know what to do with it. We had one delivered in our veg box this week along with a load of new season carrots. Instead of putting it on the veg rack to do something with later, I decided there was no time like the present and made this most delicious kohlrabi carrot slaw.


Snowdon Pudding – how to take your dessert to greater heights

Snowdon Pudding

Last year I visited North Wales for the very first time and completely fell in love with it. We had a view of Snowdon from our bedroom window and we got a lot of walking done. We didn’t, however, get even a sniff of Snowdon pudding, which is a bit of a shame as it’s the sort of rib sticker that would have helped sustain us on our treks up hill and down dale.


Spiced Rum Easter Chocolate Cakes – We Should Cocoa #67

Easter chocolate cakes

Easter is fast approaching and as it gets ever nearer, my thoughts turn to chocolate, although to be fair, my thoughts are rarely far from this exquisite food of the gods. Over the years I’ve made many Easter chocolate cakes, some more child friendly than others. These ones, containing rather a lot of rum are definitely of the adult variety.


Overnight Oats with Raisins, Apple and Pumpkin Seeds

Overnight Oats

Breakfast | 15th November 2015 | By

Porridge was a breakfast mainstay when I was growing up and it’s given me a love of oats that’s never left me. I use them in porridge, in my smoothies and in baking. But I rarely think about soaking them overnight and having a bowl of raw goodness for breakfast. Bircher muesli or overnight oats, call them what you will, is another tasty addition to have in one’s breakfast repertoire.


Quick Banana and Rum Soaked Raisin Bundt

Banana Bundt

Bundt | 17th May 2015 | By

We’re just about to set off on a week’s trip to North Wales where we’ll be staying with friends. It’s been a long time since we had a holiday and it’s much needed; I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve not been to this particular part of Wales before, but it’s CT’s old stomping ground, so he’ll have a lot to show me.


Pecan and Maple Ginger Tiffin – We Should Cocoa #56

Pecan Maple Tiffin

After all those amazing layer cakes in March, I thought something a little simpler might be in order this month. No bake chocolate treats it is. Think chocolate cornflake nests for Easter, tiffin to use up all those Easter chocolate leftovers or raw energy balls for a healthy post Easter detox.


Apple and Raisin Pancakes with Chocolate Sauce and a Frying Pan Review

Pancake StackHaving seen a a review of the Ozeri Green Earth Frying pan over at Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary with its toxin-free, non-stick qualities, I was keen to try it out for myself. I fell in love with the cheerful lime green colour, despite my desire for only red equipment in my kitchen. I particularly liked its non-polluting environmental credentials. I’ve always been very wary of non-stick cookware and have tried to steer clear of it due to its purportedly toxic nature. Made out of heavy-gauge anodized aluminium for even cooking, the natural ceramic coating on this pan is 100% PTFE and PFOA free, meaning there are no heavy metals or chemicals present. The surface is textured which apparently helps to prevent food sticking and also speeds up cooking times by allowing heat to flow underneath the food. Ozeri claim that the coating is more durable and scratch resistant than other non-stick pans – only time and use will tell on that one.


Non-Lardy Lardy Cakes aka Liskeardy Cake

5 Star, Bread & Buns, Cornish | 20th October 2013 | By

One of the few things I miss as a vegetarian is a good lardy cake. Our local bakery BlakesBakery does a particularly good one. Rich with fat, sugar and spicy fruit, it has a crunchy exterior with a lovely doughy interior. When I found out the #TeaTimeTreats theme was for yeast bakery this month, an idea was conceived. I would invent my very own non-lardy, lardy cake using white chocolate instead of lard, my own candied peel and very non traditionally, apples.


Chocolate Chelsea Buns

Bread & Buns | 1st August 2013 | By

Last week, I accompanied my mother to the bakers to buy some fresh yeast to make bread. She only wanted 1½ oz, but as they didn’t have any half ounce weights, she was only able to get 2 oz. It’s been a while since I made yeasted bread, other than my weekly sourdough, so on the spur of the moment, I said I’d relieve her of the extra ½ oz. Home I went, wondering what on earth I could make with ½ oz fresh yeast. I did what I suspect most of us would do and turned to Google. Three pages into the search, I was about to give up, when I spotted a recipe for Chelsea buns in amongst all the comparisons of the fresh and dry yeast equivalents. Marvellous, I thought: I’ve never made Chelsea buns before and I’ve never eaten chocolate ones at all. I’d been given a bar of dark chocolate with cranberries for my birthday and I thought this would be just the thing for these buns.

What can I say, they were very good and didn’t last as long as I’d planned. The chocolate proved to be an excellent way of counteracting the sweetness of the buns and adding a richness of flavour which was very welcome. They were definitely at their best on day one when the dough was soft and brioche like. By day two they had toughened, still good, but not as delicious. Note to self: remember to eat the whole lot on the same day next time.

As this was entirely made from scratch, I’m sending it off to Javelin Warrior’s Made with Love Mondays.

print recipe

Chocolate Chelsea Buns

by August-1-2013
Sweet fruity buttery yeast pastries with dark chocolate to give extra depth of flavour.
  • 15g or 1/2 oz Yeast
  • 120 ml Sour milk
  • 225g Strong white flour
  • 1/4 tsp Sea salt
  • 40g Unsalted butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 70g Dark chocolate with cranberries – chopped
  • 60g Raisins
  • 50g Dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Honey – I used dandelion honey
1. Melt 25g butter in a pan and remove from the heat.2. Add the milk and crumble in the yeast. Stir until smooth.3. Place the flour and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and poor in the milk. Add the egg and mix with a large metal spoon until combined.4. Knead for about 10 minutes. It’s quite a wet dough but I oiled my work surface rather than flowering it.5. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with a plastic bag and leave in a warm place for an hour or so until doubled in size.6. Gathered the dough and rolled into a large rectangle on a floured surface (about 30 x 23 cm).7. Melt the remaining 15g butter and brush over the surface. 8. Mix the sugar, raisins and dark chocolate and spread over the dough, leaving a 1 cm gap around the edges.9. Roll the dough up as tightly as possible on the long side. Seal the edges and cut into 12 slices. Place onto a lined baking tray or in my case a 23 cm square silicone mould. Cover and leave in a warm place to rise for another hour or so until doubled in size.10. Bake at 190C for about 30 minutes until golden brown. Warm some honey and brush over the hot buns. Turn out onto a rack to cool.

Yield: 12