Desserts & treats

Walnut & Date Loaf

I love a slice of this traditional walnut cake in the afternoon with a hot cup of tea, it’s the perfect pick me up before shcool run! It’s a traditional recipe and I love the combination of the crunchy walnuts and sweet pieces of dates in the loaf. There’s not too much icing on the top but you can layer it thicker if you like. I like a thin layer as I feel it adds just enough sweetness to the cake.

You can also vary the toppings on the top of the cake, I’ve added some crunchy chopped walnuts but you could also add date pieces or leave it just as plain simple icing.

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Vlog 1 – Walk in the Forest & Parsnip Cake

I love a slow walk in the old forest at any time of year but late winter often brings such cold temperatures. There was a touch of warmth today from the sun and it lifted my cold winter spirit and brought such hope and excitement for the warmer seasons ahead.

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Coconut & Orange Cake Bars

These delicious cake bars are perfect for packed lunches, school break snacks, take to work snacks and afternoon pick me ups for those busy work at home mums! These fluffy cake bars are delicious with a thin coating of orange icing on top. You could also skip the icing and just eat the cake bars on their own too.

You could also add a delicate sprinkle of desiccated coconut on the top also but I enjoy these with a light sprinkling of grated orange zest. It adds a bit of colour.

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Iced Ginger Sponge

Adapted from Janet Murray’s CookbookWith a fine feeling for food, 1972

I love old cookbooks especially Scottish ones, I love to think and imagine the foods of my ancestors…how they prepared foods, what was available and what they thrived on locally. This delicious recipe is adapted from an old family Scottish Cookbook.

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Scottish Pancakes

I don’t think any Scottish foodie blog would complete without these delicious pancakes. You can serve them simple with melted butter or jam or for that special treat with some crispy bacon and eggs on the top.

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Breakfast Peanut Bars

I love a nice warming family breakfast in the winter months and nothing hits the spot like a bowl of creamy porridge with a variety of toppings and a drizzle of raw honey!

Time is not always on my side in the mornings though and these breakfast bars are the perfect alternative to my fave breakfast porridge. They are not served hot but they certainly hit the spot with a little fruit and yoghurt on the side.

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Luxury Lemon & Lime Curd

Lemon curd… oh how we love your sweet taste in this household! This traditional recipe is high in butter, sugar and eggs so if your on a diet check out my egg and dairy free recipe for lemon curd here its probably a tad healthier lol!

If you want the real thing though hang around for this delicious Luxury Lemon & Lime Curd.

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Sticky Toffee Apple Pudding

The New Year is here and many of us are hitting the gym and pounding the streets with new trainers and sports gear….

…meanwhile I’m in the kitchen creating delicious full fat hearty puddings for the family drizzled in toffee sauce and lashings of thick fresh cream! Oops!

I do promise some healthier winter recipes are on their way but in the meantime please enjoy a slice of this divine Sticky Toffee Apple Pudding with some thick cream.

This pudding is certainly a well deserved treat in the cold winter months. We were out in the garden planning and plotting our growing adventures for this year and it was super cold.

I left the family defrosting by the fire and rustled up a delicious lunch of pan fried duck breast with a side of seasonal slaw and for a treat we had this delicious sticky toffee apple cake drizzled in toffee sauce and cream to warm everyone up. It’s fair to say it went down well with the kids!

I have used organic ingredients in this recipe but you can use non organic if you desire. Its important to use the golden caster sugar if you can source it as I think the flavour is better for the purpose of this recipe.

Ingredients

Toffee Sauce

125g of unsalted butter

60g of golden caster sugar

60g of muscovado sugar

200ml of thick double cream

Pudding Batter

60g of unsalted butter

80g of golden caster sugar

70g of muscavado

2 medium eggs

180g of plain flour

1tsp of baking powder

1tsp of bicarbonate of soda

1tsp of cinnamon

1tsp of ground cloves

1/2tsp of salt

200g of grated apple (2 med apples)

90g of chopped walnuts

Heat the oven to 180 and butter a suitable baking dish.

Add all the sauce ingredients into a small saucepan and gently heat through until the butter has melted.

Bring to a bubbling boil and stir for around five minutes or until the sauce has thickened enough to stick to the spoon or whisk.

Pour half of the sauce into your buttered baking dish and leave to cool while you make the cake.

Beat together the butter and the sugars, then add the eggs to the mixture and continue to beat together until it is all well combined.

Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt into the mixture and mix again to blend together. Add in the grated apple and the chopped walnuts and mix together gently.

Spoon all of the mixture into the baking dish on top of the sauce and bake in the oven for around 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the hot cake comes out clean.

Make many holes in the top of the pudding with a fork and pour the remaining sauce over the top of the pudding. Leave to soak into the cake for a few minutes and then serve in squares with extra cream on the top.

Enjoy!

Hazelnut & Chocolate Stollen

This version of the traditional Christmas Stollen is absolutely delicious!

If you make just one thing this Christmas let it be this ‘Chocolate & Hazelnut Stollen’ bake filled with the colourful sweetness of cranberries, apricots, chocolate chips and the delicious blend of Christmas spices.

We enjoyed a slice of this warm with some delicious warmed spice apple juice. It’s so quick to pop on this delicious warming drink while you wait for the dough to rise and it makes the perfect accompaniment with a slice of Stollen by the fire. I have included the recipe below for you.

Spiced Apple Juice Recipe

4 liters of apple juice

1 sliced apple

1 handful of dried cranberries

2 cinnamon sticks or 4tsp of cinnamon

2 tsp of ground cloves

2 tsp of allspice

Pour all of the juice into a huge pot, I love my huge cast iron pot for this with the lid. Add all the spices, apples and cranberries and adjust to your tastes. Simmer for an hr or so and leave on a low heat to serve all evening.

This lasted us a few nights but you could also half the recipe. Its also important to use good quality pressed apple juice instead of concentrate which tends to be too sweet.

Stollen Recipe

100g of dried cranberries

30g of chopped hazelnuts

50g of dried chopped apricots

200ml of warm apple juice (you can use the drink above too, it works really well just make sure its not too hot)

1tbsp of dried yeast

250g of strong white flour (an additional 50g when fruit is added)

2tsp of cinnamon

2tsp of allspice

1/2tsp of ground cloves

80g of chocolate chips

10g of coconut oil

2tbsp of icing sugar

100g of chocolate chips (for melting)

Soak the dried cranberries, hazelnuts and dried apricots in 100ml of hot water and set aside (you can increase the quantities of fruit if you prefer it sweeter).

Add the warm apple juice to a small jug and sprinkle in the dried yeast. Stir gently and set aside to bubble and activate for 15-20mins.

Add the flour, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and coconut oil and mix together. I use the dough hook on my kitchen aid for creating the dough but you can, as described in this recipe, knead by hand.

Once the yeast has been left to activate add it into the flour and spices in the bowl. Mix together to create a smooth dough, adjusting the flour or adding a little water if necessary. You should have a relatively non sticky dough which can be handled without feeling too sticky in your hands. If its too sticky add a little extra flour.

Remove the dough from the bowl for kneading. Add a little vegetable oil to your hands to reduce sticking whilst kneading. Knead for 10 minutes until completely smooth and pliable.

Place in a bowl which has been lightly oiled and cover with a clean dish towel and leave to rise somewhere warm for one hour.

Remove from the bowl again. Drain the soaked dried fruit, nuts and chocolate chips and add to the dough. You might need some additional flour at this point so that the dough doesn’t become sticky due to the extra moisture. Knead for a further 10mins.

Leave to rise again for another hour in the same warm place.

Shape into a rounded loaf shape and bake at 180oc for 30-40minutes or until lightly brown and when tapped on the bottom it should sound hollow.

Leave to cool on a wire cooling rack for around half an hour.

Add the icing sugar into a small bowl with a little water to create a thick but runny paste. You can either paste this onto the whole top of the loaf and finish with a dusting of icing sugar or you can drizzle it as I have in the image above.

Melt the chocolate and drizzle across the loaf. Sprinkle with some additional chopped hazelnuts and slice to serve.

Enjoy!

Granny’s Gingerbread

I love a hot latte style drink and a thick slice (emphasis on the thick!) of this delicious sticky gingerbread. I use this to create a hearty and warm filling breakfast with some stewed slices of apple on the top and a sprinkle of additional walnuts. It also makes a great after school snack or wrapped in a little beeswax a school break time piece.

Follow the recipe below for a delicious addition to your Autumn faves!

Ingredients

125g of butter

50g golden syrup

175g molasses

225g spelt wholemeal flour

2tsp of baking powder

1 tsp of ground ginger

75g of soft brown sugar

2 eggs

50g chopped walnuts

150ml almond milk

1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda

Turn on the food mixer or processor and cream the butter, golden syrup and molasses. Add in the flour, baking powder, ground ginger, brown sugar and mix further. Whisk the eggs with a fork in a cup and add to the mixture, mix further on a medium setting. Add in the chopped walnuts and milk and bicarb, mix further and pour ino a lined or buttered loaf tin. Bake at 160oc for 1hr and 30 mins. Remove, cool and serve.

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