Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Irish Soda Bread

I was feeling patriotic after watching 'The Gangs of New York' so I decided that this week I would make a traditional Irish soda bread! Only problem was I soon discovered you can't buy soda flour in Wales, but also found this recipe works well with strong wholegrain flour if you cannot obtain soda flour :)

  • 500g Soda Bread Flour (or Wholegrain)
  • 1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 30g Caster Sugar
  • 425ml Butter milk
  • Butter to grease a baking pan
  1. Sift flour, bicarb and salt into a mixing bowl (re-add the bran from the flour that has been separated)
  2. Pour in the buttermilk and using a palette knife of silicon spatula and mix together, then use your hands to bind mixture evenly - add more buttermilk if needed.
  3. Grease a baking pan.
  4. Roll dough into a ball, then throw onto baking pan to form a dome shape, then sprinkle with some rolled oats.
  5. Bake at 190C for 30 mins, then reduce heat to 150C and bake for a further 30 mins until slightly risen, slightly browned with a firm crust.
  6. Remove from the oven and wrap in a cloth to cool.
This bread goes really nicely buttered with a broth, with meant and pickles, as a breakfast or with a cooked breakfast :) And once again this freezes well if you have more than needed.

Next week I will show you how to make a traditional leek and potato soup that goes really well with this bread!

Thanks for stopping by
Siobhan xoxo

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Tripple Chocolate Cookies

These cookies are more cakey than my other recipe and so are more suited to tea parties, as they suit well to tea and coffee and are quite filling. I also find that they make a really tasty raw dough in comparison to most cookie recipes if they don't quite get to the oven ;)

  • 180g Butter
  • 150g Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 225g Plain Flour
  • 1 Heaped tbsp Cadburys Coco Powder
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 75g Plain Chocolate
  • 75g White Chocolate (chopped)
  • 1 Dessert Spoon Milk (chopped)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees C.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale (a silicon spatula makes this process much faster), then whisk in the egg.
  3. Sieve in the flour, coco powder, salt and baking powder and mix into a dough. Don't be afraid to use your hands as long as you don't mind mess. If your dough won't combine use a dessert spoon (no more) of milk to help kneed the mixture into one ball.
  4. When you have a smooth dough kneed in the chocolate, you can always use 150g of milk chocolate if you prefer.
  5. Drop dessert spoon sized portions (well spaced from each other as the mixture spreads when cooking) onto a baking sheet greased well with vegetable oil.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes until the mixture has spread and set.
  7. Once removed from oven, leave to cool on the baking tray or five to ten minutes, once slightly hardened transfer to a cooling rack.
  8. Enjoy!
These cookies cook so fast making them very convenient, and they also freeze down well if you make too many or wish to keep the aside or another occasion :) You can also experiment by using extracts in the mix such as orange or vanilla or experiment with the quantity or type of chocolate to suit your own tastes :)

Thanks for stopping by
Siobhan xoxo


I know I haven't posted in a while but that's because I have been turning all my time and efforts to my studies, however my exams are all over and I will be back to blogging every week! :D
Thanks for stopping by
Siobhan xoxo

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Banna Loaf

Sweet, Healthy, Filling and tasty! This recipe is fab and a great way to get younger children to eat their fruit, as well as satisfy their sweet tooth without sending them up the wall. This is a great lunch box filler as well as fab for a healthy treat when your dieting :) Another great thing about this recipe is it makes the best raw batter ever if your a "lick-the-bowl" kind of person!

  • 115g Butter
  • 200g White sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 340g Mashed Banana (approx. 2-3)
  • 250g Plain flour
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  1. Preheat an oven to 170 degrees C, and grease a loaf tin.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy/smooth, then carefully beat in with the eggs, followed by the banana.
  3. Sieve in the flour and baking powder and mix together but stop as soon as the mix is combined.
  4. Carefully pour into your loaf tin, avoid any spillages on the side as this will most likely burn. Bake for around 1 hour until cooked all the way through, you will be able to tell if this is so when if you poke a skewer through the center, no uncooked mixture sticks to the skewer.
So simple and yet so tasty :) And if you have a busy schedule this is ideal as the preparation takes very little time, and you can get on with other tasks when your waiting for it to bake! This bread freezes down really well too if you find it makes a little too much :)

Sorry about the lapse this week, I am currently struggling to upload the photos! :L

Thanks for stopping by
Siobhan xoxo

Friday, 10 September 2010

Tasty Cheddar Crackers And Italian Dip

These tasty little crackers make a perfect snack for an afternoon tea party, mums meeting, appetisers or even as part of a buffet. The rich and spicy flavours of the crackers match effortlessly with the zingy, fresh flavours of the Italian dip.

(For the crackers)
  • 250g Plain flour
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 60 Twists of ground black pepper
  • 1 heaped tsp of English mustard powder
  • 170g Butter (Chilled)
  • 70g Cheddar
  • 6 tablespoons of cold water (but add only as needed)
(For the dip)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 Large red onion
  • Oregano and Basil to taste
  • 1/2 a Red bell pepper
  • 1 heaped tbsp of tomato puree
  • 3 tbsp water
  1. In a large mixing bowl bowl, stir together the flour, salt, pepper and mustard. Using your finger tips (not palms) rub together the flour and butter (cubed) until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  2.  Stir in the cheese, then water one tablespoon at a time, until the dough is able to hold together. Press the mixture into a ball, wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Pre-heat your oven to 170 degrees.
  4. Grease a baking tray well with vegetable oil and set aside.
  5. Dice your red onion and pepper, then add to a pan with your olive oil, basil, oregano and season to taste, fry gently until softened.
  6. Add the pepper, water and pepper and cook gently until soft and well mixed, if the sauce is too runny, turn up the heat and reduce until thickened.
  7. Once cooked set aside to cool.
  8. Take out the dough ball from the fridge - by now it should be fairly firm.
  9. Flour a surface and a rolling pin, and gently roll out the dough until about 2- 3 mm thick, then using a square cutter cut the dough out, repeat this process until all the dough is used.
  10. Lay the squares on your baking tray, gently poke with a fork to create a quilted effect when cooked, then brush lightly with milk to help the crackers brown.
  11. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes until crisp and golden brown.
Once your crackers have cooled (though they are lovely to have a cheeky nibble when they are fresh from the oven and the cheese is gooey) serve with the dip. Easy :)

Let me know any variations you have tried on this recipe or simply what you think :)

Thanks for stopping by
Siobhan xoxo

Sunday, 5 September 2010

The best back to school cookies!

Thick, gooey, chocolaty and down right naughty!! Nothing will brighten you kids day more than one of these babies in their lunch box during a monotonous first week back at school! It's taken me about a year to get this recipe tweaked right, so I'm pretty confident that by this point, this is as good as its going to get :)

  • 250g Plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 170g Salted butter
  • 170g Light brown sugar
  • 100 g Caster sugar
  • 1 Capful of vanilla essence
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 150g White chocolate - cut into small chunks
  • 200g Milk chocolate at least 45% coco solids - cut into small chunks
  1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees, and grease a baking sheet or two well with vegetable or sunflower oil.
  2. Sieve the flour, salt and bicarb into a large mixing bowl and stir together.
  3. In a saucepan, gently melt the butter, once melted mix in the sugar until smooth and creamy, then mix in the vanilla, egg and yolk until creamy and smooth.
  4. Carefully mix in the flour and stir until the mixture has softened, then add the chocolate chunks (Don't worry if there looks like too much chocolate, its supposed to be that way), set aside to stand for about half an hour.
  5. Spoon lumps onto your baking tray and gently press with thumb slightly, bear in mind when deciding cookie sizes that your lumps will spread in the oven, for the same reason do not place the lumps too close together.
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden, them remove from the oven and allow to stand for two minutes, then using a spatula carefully lift the cookies and place on a plate to cool for about 5 minutes.
I love to eat these cookies when they are fresh from the oven when they are at their gooiest, but they do stay gooey when cooled :) plus if this mixture makes too many for you, these cookies freeze down really well so you can keep some for another day :)

Thanks for stopping by
Siobhan xoxo

Blushed Nectarines In Light Syrup

I love this dessert as its delicious, simple and you don't feel guilty after eating it! Great as a light yet luxurious dessert, perfect if you are dieting!

  • 2 fairly ripe nectarines
  • 200 ml of boiling water
  • 4 tbsp Caster sugar
  • Lemon zest
  1. Put the boiling water in a sauce pan and dissolve the sugar into it, and reduce very slightly.
  2. Add the nectarines and place the lid on the pan, lightly poach the nectarines for 2 -3 three minutes, turning over once to allow both sides to cook. Do not poach for longer than three minutes, as the fruits will loose their firmness.
  3. Using a spoon with holes in it, remove the nectarines from the syrup (which should have turned a pink colour from the fruit skins) and place on a plate top side down.
  4. Turn up the heat on the syrup, add the lemon zest and reduce until fairly thick in consistency.
  5. Carefully peel the skins from the nectarines, place topside down again, and pop to cool in the fridge for about an hour.
  6. Remove the syrup from the heat and set aside.
  7. When the nectarines are chilled, carefully spoon the syrup over them, and serve with either a curl of whipped cream or luxury vanilla ice cream/gellato.
This recipe is so simple, yet has a classy feel about it making it a perfect choice for a dinner party :) Let me know your opinions :)

Thanks For Stopping By
Siobhan xoxo