Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Oat and Raisin Pancakes.

I haven't made pancakes for aaaaaaaaaaaggggges. Don't know why really, probably because I am a FOOL. What's been even longer though is the time I've been meaning to try an oat and raisin pancake recipe. It's been so long that I had the recipe bookmarked in a little folder named 'Recipes to try'...that's right, pre-Pinterest times...otherwise known as The Dark Ages. Or have I got that confused?

I made these the other morning as a treat to myself after the Mr had FORCED me to go to the docs, which I hate above most things, because I'd run out of migraine pills....and he finds it quite unpleasant to come home to me in the fetal position in agony...gaaawd, such a mooooanerr.

Anyhoo, I went and turns out the Dr wasn't an ogre that day and it was fairly painless so I probably didn't even deserve pancakes...but we'll keep that quiet for now.

But deserving or not, these pancakes are special and are based on a the classic oat and raisin cookies. Helllooooo....cookie pancakes? Everyone deserves theeese. With Love and Cake.

Oat and Raisin Pancakes.
Adapted from a Joy the Baker recipe

A few notes:
  • I actually used sultanas instead of raisins...they're just juicier. Do as you will.
  • These spread out a fair amount in the pan, so use a bit less mixture than you think you want for each pancake.
  • These are not the most robust pancakes; when they're only cooked on one side and need flippin' they are a bit delicate...not in a disastrous way though, all you need to do it make sure you don't make them too much bigger than your flipping utensil and have a second spatula near by for extra help. When the second side starts to cook they're happy to be flung around as you wish.
Makes plenty, at least enough for 4 people
You will need

2 eggs
250ml buttermilk
55g butter, melted
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
180g plain flour
50g oats
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
pinch salt
50g raisins

  • Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl.
  • Fold in the rest of the ingredients until everything is well combined.
  • Heat your best pancake pan (I like a large, shallow non-stick frying pan) over a medium to high heat.
  • Add a little oil to your pan if you need it (I don't because my pan is nice and non-stick) and fry tablespoonfuls of pancake mix until bubbles start to rise on the top.
  • Flip the pancakes gently (see notes), and cook for a further few minutes, until the second side is dark and firm.
  • Set aside while you cook the rest of the mix, keeping cooked pancakes in a warm oven until you're ready to which point add lots of syrup and raspberries. 

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Double Salted White Chocolate and Oat Cookies.

You may not think it from just a glance, but these, I think, are mighty fancy cookies. Like Coco Chanel, they've taken off their extra accessories at the door to allow their understated chic-ness to do all the talking. That's right...I just compared Coco Chanel to cookies.

Think of the salt ('double' because there's table salt IN the cookies and sea salt ON them) as diamonds and the white chocolate as pearls tumbling down their back a la Coco. And all the rest is a little black dress. Nothing frilly...just taste.

They're the sort of biscuits, no sorry cookies...because they're big and bendy...that you could serve for a dessert with coffee. If you're a dinner party type that is. 

Or if you're feeling less fancy you could do what I did last night and use them to make ice cream sandwiches...can't quite imagine a Parisian fashion Goddess doing as such but I live in Fife, it's not quite the same. With Love and Cake.

Salted White Chocolate and Oat Cookies.
From a recipe

A few notes:
  • You could very happily change the chocolate here...super dark would be fab.
  • This makes a fair amount of cookies, and they spread out a lot on baking, so you'll need lots of space on your baking sheet. I therefore find it easiest to bake in batches...but you could use multiple baking sheets and swap their positions in the oven around half way through baking.
  • Use the best white chocolate you can justify...Green and Blacks is my fav.
Makes 20-24
You will need

a baking sheet, greased

200g butter, at room temperature
200g caster sugar

1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
130g plain flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp table salt
55g soft brown sugar
210g oats
180g best white chocolate, roughly chopped
sea salt

  • Preheat your oven to 180°c.
  • Cream together the butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
  • Gently stir in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, table salt and brown sugar until fairly well combined.
  • Tumble in the oats and and chocolate and stir in until evenly will look like you're adding loads and that you'll never stir it all in, but keep going and you will.
  • Pull off pieces of dough, about 1 tablespoon at a time, and roll it into a ball in your palms.
  • Flatten a little as you place them on your baking sheet, leaving enough space for each one to at least double in size...for me this means baking in batches (see note).
  • Sprinkle each little patty with a good pinch of sea salt before baking for 13-16 minutes....look for them to reach a pale gold colour if you want them to remain a bit bendy when cooled. This will mean they are very soft straight out of the oven so leave them to firm up for a few minutes on the baking tray before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Sunday, 21 July 2013


HaHa...HobNOBS......ok moving on.

Hobnobs are undoubtedly the king of know, out of the ones you buy. Oh no wait, what about custard creams....oh I forgot fig rolls, and digestives are pretty unbeatable. OkOk they are in the top ten of all the biscuits.

A tweety chat the other day prompted the same train of thought regarding Springsteen could neverEVER choose a fave, too many winners. Same with books, does anyone actually have a top book...or film?

But homemade, wWOWzers, definitely in the top 5 biscuits I've ever made...yes probably definitely. And they are not one of those pale imitation homemade things...when you're like 'mmm yes homemade, well done me, *whispering* but why don't they taste as good as the shop's ones?'.  No these are winners, because they have the taste and crispness of proper Hobnobs but are bigger and sturdier and actually feel like food rather than sugary air that doesn't reach your tummy...which is how I always thing of shop bought biscuits. So go forth and's easier than shopping anyway. With Love and Cake.


A few notes:
  • You need to cook these a couple of minutes longer than feels right (to me anyway). You want them to go from pale gold to deep bronze for that crispyness to really set in.
  • When they first come out of the oven they will be all gooey and bendy, don't worry though, as long as you've got them deep bronze they will crisp up as they cool.

Makes 20-30, depending on how big you make them
You will need

a large baking sheet, greased

225g self raising flour
225g caster sugar
225g oats
225g butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp hot water
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda 

  • Preheat the oven to 180°c.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar and oats.
  • Melt together the butter and golden syrup in a medium saucepan over a low heat.
  • Stir in the hot water and bicarbonate of soda.
  • Pour the golden liquid over the dry ingredients and mix to thoroughly combine.
  • Pull off balls of dough, about walnut sized, and squash into discs onto your baking sheet leaving plenty of space between each biscuit, I'd say they about double in size. You will likely need to bake in batches unless your baking sheet is huuuuge.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until they've gone from the pale gold they'll be after about 15 minutes baking to a deep bronze.
  • Leave to firm up on the baking sheet for a moment or two before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Watermelon and Strawberry Ice Lollys.

So this heatwave thing is getting serious then. For quite a number of weeks I kept coming across articles and blog posts entitled something on the lines of 'how to beat the heat' know, as a runner. I always skipped them "hahahaaa" I would sarcastically laugh in my head, "(un)fortunately for me it's not South California that I reside, it's Scotland for me, and I don't need no 'get up early to run before the heat sets in' advice thanks".

Turns out this is the best thing ever to be wrong at. Well, not best when you're running midday and it's a long one and you get kind of lost and you're not carrying any provisions and your mouth starts to gum up and the story of the sinking of the Essex comes into your head....waterwater everywhere but not a drop to drink (I know, drama queen much, but I was by the sea and such thoughts seemed appropriate at the time), being correct and prepared would have been best then.

 But for the rest of the time, when you can wander in the evening sun and feel it on your back and run your hands through the grasses at the side of the path, or when you can still put washing out at 5pm, or when the most pressing question is which tan line to work on today...yeah being wrong is pretty darn grand.

Se here's a super swift, super healthy (no honestly, not even in a 'there's oats next to the kilo of sugar soooo, your doc would probs say it was fine' kind of way, this is full on good for you) treat to celebrate the whole being warm thing. Man I could have done with these on that run yesterday...does an Ice Lolly Belt exist? With Love and Cake.

Watermelon and Strawberry Ice Lolly.

A few notes:
  • This is not really a recipe as such...more of a to do list. Sizes of melons vary, as do lolly makers, so a tweak here and there may be in order...but it's sunny, no one wants strict right?
  • Don't worry about the melon seeds, they pretty much get whizzed up. Extra fibre.

Makes 4 lollys
You will need

1 x lolly maker, mine is just like this

about a quarter of a small watermelon, flesh removed from rind and cubed
5ish strawberries, hulled and quartered

  • Whizz the watermelon in a blender, it shouldn't take 2 secs for it to turn into lovely pink juice.
  • Divide the juice between each section of your lolly maker, though don't fill them right to the top, you need space for the strawberries.
  • Speaking of which, poke a few pieces of strawb into each lolly.
  • Pop the tops on and freeze for a good few hours.
  • To remove, just dunk the lolly maker in a bowl of freshly boiled water. I found these way easier to get out than my last foray into lollys, they popped out really easily.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Frozen Honey Cheesecake.

This is possibly the easiest cheesecake ever. No foil, no bain maires, not even any baking, which means you don't really have to worry about having the exact sized cake tin or reaching the perfect ratio of set vs. wibbly.'s basically a combination of ice cream and cheesecake....and I'm preeeeetty sure that they are the top 2 non-chocolate based desserts ever and that that makes this one of THE top desserts. 

It's also a fabby-pants thing to make ahead, even a few day ahead, if you've got a little soirée planned...

...or if, maybe, you're home alone for a while because you're Mr is far away doing important work things (read: boat bound, playing with seals and porpoises in the most beautiful weather of the year), making it less than ideal to have a whole fresh cheesecake to be get through alone.With Love and Cake.

Frozen Honey Cheesecake.
Recipe adapted from The Essential Dessert Cookbook

A few notes:
  • Choose a honey that you like the taste of on its own; it can be a strong taste and really comes through despite how little you use and they vary greatly.
  • I think you get the best out of this beast if you slice and plate about half an hour before you serve, so it gets a little bit melted and soft. Put any that you're not going to eat back in the freezer for another day.
  • The easiest and most hassle free way of making this will be with a food processor. If you are without one however, don't make the base just pop the biscuits in a plastic food bag and bashbashbash them with a rolling pin, then stir in the butter. The filling would just need an extended beating with a hand whisk.

Serves 8-10
You will need

1 x 23cm springform cake tin, greased, and base lined

For the base
250g digestive biscuits, crushed
75g butter, melted

For the filling
250g mascarpone, at room temp
250g cream cheese, at room temp
397g can condensed milk
60 ml honey
315ml double cream

  • Process the base ingredients to a powder and press into the bottom of your cake tin using your fist or a spatula. Pop in the fridge.
  • Wash up your processor bowl and blade and process all your filling ingredients to a smooth, glossy mixture.
  • Pour the filling over the base.
  • Pop in the freezer for at least a couple of hours; until firm and properly frozen.
  • Serve as detailed above in the 'notes'.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Strawberry Biscuits.

I know, I know, I'm so very behind on the whole strawberries and cream thing. Mr Murray did that whole winning thing agggggessss ago. But for me that was kind of the point. You see what happened tennis club (read: friends that live near by and collectively have nothing better to do that get together for chats and dress it up into clubs so we sound club, tennis club etcetc, there was no actual tennis achieved on our part) and I had planned a Pimms Party to accompany Sunday's Wimbledon finale (yes finalE).

Turned out one half of tennis club (yes there are pretty much only 2 members, myself included...let me finish my STORY would you) had double booked, and you can't reschedule the Wimbledon final.

Turns out you can though, or at least you can reschedule a Pimms Party and, would you credit it, my TV does this new fangled thing where you can record things and watch them another day. So Sunday was spent, surrounded by strawberries, in complete radio silence. I was NOT going to find out the result if it meant digging a hole and sleeping in it for 24 hours.

It was worth it for me, Pimms Party a day late was brill....but I'm sorry I didn't get this recipe to you in time for me to force you to have your own Pimms Party on Sunday. Ahhh well, I don't think a Wimby final is 100% could probably have one next weekend without the police getting involved, the celebrations of the win will probably still be going. With Love and Cake.

Strawberry Biscuits.
adapted from a recipe

A few notes:
  • These are biscuits in the American Brits would more readily call them scones. So do split and butter or clotted cream them if you fancy...though I would highly recommend keeping a vat of Eton Mess nearby so you can combine the two.
  • Treat these like you would scones in the making process too; as in, as little pressing and pushing and working as poss. I used my food processor, until the part where you add the strawberries, to help with this.
Makes 9
You will need

1 baking sheet, greased

280g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
50g granulated sugar
pinch salt
85g cold butter, cubed
about 130g ripe strawberries, large ones quartered, littler ones halved

  • Preheat your oven to 220°c.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, either in a bowl or by pulsing in your food processor.
  • Rub in the butter with your finger tips or by whizzing in the food processor, until it mostly looks like coarse breadcrumbs with a few pea sized bits of butter left floating around.
  • Sir in the don't want to use your food processor for this bit.
  • Then add milk, a tablespoon at a time, while gently bringing together to a soft dough. Stop at the point where everything has just come together, it's better that it's a bit straggly than you overwork it to a smooth shiny dough.
  • Transfer to a clean floured surface and gently shape into a square, about 2.5 cm in thickness...I think it's easiest and most gently just to use your hands here.
  • Cut into 9 squares, 2 cuts one way and two the other, and transfer each square to your baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15 minutes until golden and the strawberries have started to go leaky and sticky...mmmmm.

Sunday, 7 July 2013


These is really nothing special about these biscuits, but I don't mean that in a bad way. No, it's really the very point that they are nice and unassuming. They are a vehicle to a higher power....namely, in my case, that of my homemade Nutella.

See, I know you CAN eat it just plain with a spoon, and I would NOT judge others for doing so. But I am a laaaaady, and like to pretend that I could probably be Queen one day if the chance arouse, and I think that my chances would be scuppered if such behaviour was revealed.

So here is what I do....I bake biscuits....definitely Queenly behaviour, especially when they're digestives and all 'why would you ever make them when you can buy them for 17p' type biscuits, then I spread on Nutella and shut all the doors and close all the curtains and scrape it off with my finger straight onto tongue. 

Yes I realise this is WORSE than eating it with a spoon but it is NOT as bad as burning hundreds of people at the stake a la past Queenly behaviour...and I would absolutely promise I would NEVER do that's fair I think. With Love and Cake.

Recipe from Hamlyn All Colour Teatime Favourites

A few notes:
  • Like the lazy fiend that I am, I knocked these up in my food processor, but don't worry if you don't have one, just combine the dry ingredients, run in the butter with your fingertips, then add the milk and bring together by hand.
  • Once you've made the dough, it will happily sit in the fridge, uncooked, wrapped in clingfilm, for a few hours.
  • If you're not making these just for dipping in Nutella, you could make them into chocolate digestives by melting about 150g of your fav chocolate and spreading over the biscuits.

Makes About 20
You will need

1 x baking sheet, greased

175g wholemeal flour
25g oatmeal
pinch salt
1 tsp baking powder
75g butter, at room temperature
40g soft brown sugar
2-3 tbsp milk

  • Preheat the oven to 190°c.
  • Pop the flour, oatmeal, salt and baking powder into your food processor and pulse to combine.
  • Add the butter and whizz until it looks like fine breadcrumbs.
  • Pulse in the sugar.
  • Add 2 tbsp milk and pulse so it starts to come together. Add the rest of the milk if you need to allow it to form a dough.
  • Tip the mixture out onto a floured surface and roll out so it's about 5mm thick.
  • Cut out rounds using a 6cm cutter or similar sized upturned glass.
  • Transfer onto your baking sheet, don't worry too much about gaps between them, they don't expend very much, and bake for 15-20 minutes, until deep gold.
  • Remove to a wire rack and cool.
  • Time for dunking.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Pound Cake French Toast.

Soooooo French Toast....made.of.cake. I'm not really sure why, after eating this, one would ever think it a good idea to dip bread in egg and fry it in butter, when you can do the same WITH CAKE. This solves all my problems with French Toast; when you chew past the buttery egg layer, you're not greeted with soggy toast which makes you think 'mmmm I think someone's got this wrong....didn't we invent toasters?' but 'Oh good heavens, it's all sweet and buttery, with added sweet and buttery...this is CRAZY GOOD'.

It also means that when you make a fairly giant sized cake that is pretty much solely consumed by oneself, you feel less bad about it because French Toasting it turns it into a meal, an actual meal that you need, rather than an afternoon snack that you just plain because you're greedy.

Have you ever noticed how good I am at justifying the consumption of cake. I reckon that's a very particular skill....I should probably add it to my CV.

Justification #273: there is fruit, and it is very much fruit season in Fife and I can't get through it quick enough. There...turns out it's pretty much mandatory to make this....GO. With Love and Cake.

Pound Cake French Toast with Raspberry Compote.

A few notes:
  • A pound cake is the perfect sort of cake for soaking and frying, it's firm and sturdy so isn't going to disintegrate on you. I wouldn't suggest trying it with something delicate or crumbly.
  • You could quite happily sub frozen raspberries or in fact any berries you fancy.
Serves 2 greedies
You will need

For the compote
100g raspberries
1 tbsp icing sugar

For the French toast
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tbsp icing sugar

  • First make the compote by mixing the raspberries and icing sugar in a small saucepan and heating gently until the raspberries have broken up, bubbled a bit and you're left with a thick crimson sauce.
  • Whisk the egg, vanilla and icing sugar together in a shallow dish.
  • Soak the slices of cake in the egg mixture for a minute or so on each side.
  • Meanwhile heat a medium frying pan on a medium heat and add a big fat knob of butter to it.
  • Fry the cake a couple of minutes each side, until golden and crispy.
  • Serve topped with the compote and dusted with icing sugar.