Blueberry muffins

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I once made up and wrote down a very good blueberry muffin recipe and of course kept it in a very safe place. So safe in fact I had to write a whole new recipe because I couldn’t bloody find it. Nevertheless I have created another equally delicious blueberry muffin recipe for you to enjoy!

I was given a couple of blueberry punnets from work so they wouldn’t go to waste so immediately my mind went to muffins because the only way I can stomach blueberries is if they are encased in some sort of cake. For Christmas two years ago I received a packet of tulip muffins cases (you know the big brown ones you get from a bakery or supermarket). A great present I know. I was actually thrilled. Well I haven’t used hardly any of them, so I dug them out.

The recipe itself much like all recipes here is simple. Not a lot of skill required and barely any time needed. Just one not so secret ingredient. Yoghurt. I may have spoken about it before in a recipe but yoghurt brings out such a great texture in a sponge or muffin. It gives that added flavour that an extract would but I don’t often have blueberry extract to hand. I am no Nigella, in more ways than one…

jessicabakes

Makes 6

Time to prep 10 mins

Time to bake 20 mins

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 160g butter
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g self raising flour
  • 2 tbsp. blueberry yoghurt
  • 200g blueberries

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Place six muffin cases in a muffin tray.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing between each addition.
  4. Then sieve in the flour, add the yoghurt . Fold in the mixture.
  5. Then add the blueberries. And combine together.
  6. Place the mix in the cases and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Once baked, cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

Courgette and lime swiss roll

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It was inevitable that yet again this year we would be bombarded with courgettes. Every year most people think ‘hey you know what would be a great idea?’ ‘If I grew an abundance of one vegetable that no body really cares for and is pretty cheap to buy’. Madness. Still, something must be done with those green bastards. And so the idea for a courgette and lime swiss roll was born.

My mum and dad are usually the poor people I force my baked goods upon. Poor them. And I know they are both a fan of the old courgette and lime cake, therefor this should go down a treat. The only problem with a swiss roll is the size. Size does in fact matter when it comes to cake and realistically a swiss roll can only feed 3 people for one sitting. No one wants the end piece or a pathetic slither. So it’s just as well that they are incredibly easy to make!

Makes enough for 6

Time to prep 10 mins

Time to bake 10 mins

Recipe

Ingredients

– 3 eggs
– 80g caster sugar
– 1 lime, zest and juice
– 80g self raising flour
– 1/2 a courgette, grated and dried with kitchen roll

– 200g cream cheese

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a Swiss roll tin with greaseproof paper.
2. Whisk the eggs and sugar until thick and pale. This will take about 5-10 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when you take the whisk out and it leave a trail on the top of the mix for 3 seconds, before sinking back into the mix.
3. Add the lime zest. Sift in the flour and gently fold it into the mix.
4. Gently pour it into the tin, not holding it too high above otherwise the air will be knocked out.
5. Bake for 10 mins. It should spring to the touch.
6. Once done tip upside down onto a piece of greaseproof. Then peel off the paper from the sponge and use the paper underneath to roll up the roulade long ways. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
7. Whip the cream cheese and add the juice of one lime.

8. Unroll the swiss roll and spread over the cream cheese, leaving a little extra to decorate. Roll up tightly. Slice off the ends. You can decorate your swiss roll however you want. I used a small star nozzle and piped lines across the top and added some lime slices and zest. Enjoy!

Rhubarb meringue pie

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Having made a lot of ice cream recently, I have found myself with an abundance of egg whites. So immediately my mind turns to meringue. I’m not a huge fan of the classic baked meringue, but I do however quite enjoy an Italian meringue. It’s fun to make and has a much nicer texture. So I needed something sharp to go alongside the sweet meringue. And what better to accompany it than good old faithful rhubarb.

I love using rhubarb at this time of year because there is a PYO fruit farm that has a huge plot of rhubarb not too far from me. What’s great is, you get to pick the size and amount you want and it’s bloody cheap. None of this chunky expensive stuff you get in the supermarket. Real, fresh, delicious rhubarb. Alright. Enough rhubarb talk Jess.

I must stress that this recipe makes a lot of meringue. I have tried to reduce the quantities but it never turns out the same. However the meringue does freeze well for about a week so it is possible to re-use. Also this recipe does require a few different pieces of equipment. The blow torch isn’t vital but does give that more aesthetic look. Also some sort of cooking temperature gage is required to know when the sugar is done. I used a meat probe but I really should invest in a sugar thermometer. And finally a stand mixer isn’t essential but really does help, because you want to be able to be mixing the egg whites whilst pouring the sugar. But like I said, it can be done without, it just makes your life easier to useget gadgets. As much as I hate to admit it.

Recipe

Makes 9 slices

Time to prep: 30 mins

Time to cook: 15 mins

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 225g plain flour
  • 150g butter
  • 40g icing sugar

For the filling

  • 600g fresh rhubarb, in chunks
  • 1tsp ground ginger
  • 200g caster sugar

For the meringue

  • 4 egg whites
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 20g liquid glucose

Method

  1. To begin, make the pastry. In a bowl rub together the butter and flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Then stir in the icing sugar. If the mix is too dry add a table-spoon of milk and bring together.
  2. Wrap the pastry in Clingfilm and place in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  3. Make the filling. In a medium sized saucepan, add the rhubarb, sugar and ginger. Heat until the rhubarb breaks down and is now a stewed consistency. This should take around 10 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180C. Locate your pastry case, I used one about 20cm wide.
  5. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the pastry into a large circle big enough to fit into the pastry case.
  6. Line the tin with the pastry and prick the base with a fork. Line the tin with foil and place baking beans or rice on top and bake for 10  mins.
  7. Then take the beans and foil out and bake again for 5 mins.
  8. Once the pastry is baked fill it with the rhubarb.
  9. Meanwhile make the meringue. In a stand mixer or using a hand whisk beat the egg whites until they are relatively stiff.
  10. In a small saucepan add 75ml water, liquid glucose and sugar, place on a medium heat and stir until the mix becomes thinner and the sugar begins to dissolve. When the mix is bubbling stop stirring. Use a sugar thermometer to measure the temperature and as soon as it reaches 118C take it off the heat and pour into the egg whites as you are whisking. Remember to steadily pour so the sugar doesn’t curdle the eggs.
  11. Keep whisking until the meringue is thick and glossy about 10 mins.
  12. Spoon the meringue onto the rhubarb and make peaks using the back of the spoons.
  13. Use a blow torch to crisp up the outside of the meringue. If you do not have a blow torch, you can bake the pie to crisp up the meringue. Enjoy!

Kinder Bueno ice cream

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My love for ice cream continues. I just can’t get enough. After digging out my mums ancient ice cream machine the other day I thought I just wasn’t’ ready to bury it back in the cupboard.

Who can honestly say that they don’t love a Kinder Bueno? How can a chocolate bar get any better than that! I was in Nice recently and there were so many different ice cream to chose from. Kinder Bueno being one of them. So I had to try it and it was so incredibly delicious. We just don’t get the choice of those sorts of flavours in England that you get abroad . But why? We’d all appreciate something a little more creative than mint choc chip now and again.

This recipe is unlike any to ice cream I have made before. Usually there is some sort of heat involved to cook off the eggs and thicken it like a custard. But I looked online for a few ice cream tips and found that it isn’t always necessary to cook your mix. Which is actually much better because once you’ve heated it, it can take a long time to cool down and if it’s not fully chilled then it won’t set as well. I’ve learnt that the hard way.

jessicabakes

Makes 500ml – serves 4

Time to prep – 20 mins

Time to set – overnight

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 120g caster sugar
  • 120g hazelnuts
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 150ml double cream
  • 250ml hazelnut milk
  • 1 tbsp. nutella
  • 4x Kinder Bueno packets

Method

  1.  In a small saucepan heat 150g of sugar until it turns into a golden caramel. Then remove from the heat and add the nuts. Mix together and pour onto a piece of grease proof paper to set.
  2. Once the praline has set. Blitz it to a crumb in a food processor or mini chopper. Add a splash of hazelnut milk to make a paste.
  3. Whisk the yolks and sugar until pale and thick. Then add the hazelnut paste and mix again. Add in the milk and cream and mix together. Place the mix into an ice-cream machine for 1 hour. (Alternatively if you do not have an ice-cream machine you can go ahead and add the Kinder Buenos now and then, pour into a container and place in the freezer. Just remember to bring it out and stir it every hour.)
  4. Once it has thickened slightly, pour into your chosen container and add in 3 Kinder Bueno bars, some whole pieces and some crushed. Then place a lid on top and freeze overnight.
  5. To serve, melt your Nutella in the microwave for 1 minute. drizzle over the ice-cream and add a Kinder Bueno half to decorate. Enjoy!

Cherry chocolate scones

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It’s definitely now the time of year for scones. So why stay traditional? As long as you can cover it in lashings of clotted cream and jam, you can’t go too far wrong.

Scones are so simple and easy to make but I am yet to find the perfect recipe. I once worked with someone who told me their secret to a perfect scone and I would love to share it with you but unfortunately I can’t remember. Great story. It’s the rise that I struggle to get. They rise enough don’t get me wrong but I’ve seen some big scones in my time and I aspire to reach that goal someday.

In the recipe I talk about using a food processor to make the dough. Of course you can make them without but I just can’t stand the painful task of rubbing in the flour and butter. I have no time for it. Also please don’t make the mistake I did and forget to add the sugar. I realised as I put them in the oven, then had to rescue them and set them straight. I mention using just one baking tray for this recipe and you’ll be tempted to use two for space. However. Scones like to be close together when they bake, not iced bun close but just snug enough to stop them from rising at a wonky angle. I say they like to, I haven’t actually asked them. Just to clarify, I do not talk to scones. I’m not that baking mad. Yet.

jessicabakes

Makes 10 scones

Time to prep – 10 mins

Time to bake – 15 mins

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 450g self-raising flour, plus extra
  • 1 tsp.baking powder
  • 80g butter
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 200ml milk, plus extra
  • 100g dried cherries, soaked in boiling water and drained
  • 50g dark chocolate chips

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with greaseproof.
  2. In a food processor, add the flour, baking powder and butter. Pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and eggs and mix again. Add the milk, cherries and chocolate and combine.
  3. Turn the dough out onto the worktop and lightly flour. Use a rolling pin to roll out the mix until it’s the same thickness as your hand. Then use a 5cm fluted cutter to cut out the scones.
  4. Place them on the baking tray close together and brush the tops with milk. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy with plenty of cherry jam and clotted cream!

 

Salted caramel ice cream

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If you can imagine the taste of a wether’s original dipped in golden syrup and frozen. This is exactly what this icecream tastes like! Needless to say it is a little on the sweet side. I feel like I definitely didn’t need to use as much sugar and definitely needed more cream. But for a first attempt, not half bad!

I wouldn’t say you’d want to eat a huge bowl of this. Unless you don’t value your teeth. So I made some brownies to go along side. The richness of the brownie just takes away that extra sweetness of the icecream and it’s just an excuse to eat another dessert! Always looking for those.

jessicabakes

Makes 400ml – serves 4

Time to prep – 15 mins

Time to set – overnight

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 150g caster sugar
  • 250 ml double cream
  • 150ml milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ½ tsp sea salt

Method

  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the egg yolks and 50g of caster sugar. Whisk until pale and thick.
  2. Place a small saucepan on the hob. Add 100g of the sugar and 1tbsp water and stir. Allow the sugar to melt and boil.
  3. Shake the pan occasionally until the sugar melts to a light caramel colour. Beware, it can very easily burn.
  4. Add the double cream and bring back to the boil, then finally add the milk.
  5. Pour the hot caramel on to the egg mix and whisk well, then sieve and pour into a jug to cool.
  6. Once it has cooled, add the salt and churn in an ice cream machine. Without an ice-cream machine place into a sealed container and place in the freezer. Bring out every hour and give it a stir.
  7. Freeze in a plastic box with a lid. Best left overnight!

Triple chocolate cookies

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I want to dedicate these to my good friend Ellie and her love for triple chocolate cookies. She recently introduced me to Tesco’s finest triple chocolate cookies and having not been a cookie fan in the past, it’s safe to say I have been converted. Therefore I thought I should have a go at trying to replicate them. The original cookie is quite thin and chewy and after a few trials, I have finally found the perfect recipe. My main issue to start with was that they were rising too much, instead of spreading out. So I have decided that the egg in the recipe I was originally using is unnecessary.

There is only one tip that I hope you take when eating these cookies. Eat them pretty much straight after they come out of the oven. Warm is best. The melted chocolate inside is heavenly. So I ask you. One baker to another. Please don’t let them cool.

jessicabakes

Makes 12 cookies

Time to prep 10 mins

Time to bake 10 mins

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 150g butter, softened
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 150ml milk
  • 400g plain flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1tsp. bicarbonate of soda
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 100g milk chocolate chunks
  • 100g dark chocolate chunks
  • 100g white chocolate chunks

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Line two baking trays with greaseproof.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the milk and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
  4. Sieve in the flour, baking powder, bicarb and cocoa and mix in gently. Add the salt and chocolate chunks and mix again.
  5. Place a tablespoons of the cookie dough (2 inches from each other) onto the trays and bake for 10 minutes.
  6. Best served warm!