Archive of ‘Recipes’ category

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

I have been a bit quiet on the food blogging front lately, I have been baking and making new things but the dark evenings are making food blogging difficult. There have been rhubarb buttermilk cakes, cupcakes, a couple of tarte tatins and the best custard ever, but sadly my camera wasn’t a guest at these baking sessions!

These cinnamon roll cupcakes are a little bit different, and I couldn’t wait to try them. So I had a day off and the light was good, perfect!

I’ve never been much of a fan of cinnamon rolls, often they are dry and the cinnamon far too over powering- and also covered in sickly icing which ruins the pastry. I always thought them hard to make because of making a dough and making them cook through just right.

I spotted a couple of cinnamon cupcake recipes whilst googling due to cravings, and they seemed easy and well… ever so cute.
It is not a cupcake as such, it is just cooked in a cupcake tin with liners. This means each roll cooks quickly and you have instant individual portions. Because the rolls are squished up nicely in the cake liner they rise upwards and you have lots of pretty little rolls.

The recipe itself is fairly easy – you need time to wait around for it to prove and rest and you need to make sure you work it to a nice soft dough. After the first prove and the first rest you spread a wonderful mix of cinnamon, lots of sugar and butter onto a rolled out rectangle. Once rolled up and chopped into pieces you prove once more and bake in the oven. The cinnamon sugar crisps up on top and inside it caramelises for a lovely gooey caramel surprise.

You will eat at least two of these in a row when they are still warm from the oven, promise you.

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes
Makes about 12 – 14 rolls/cupcakes

for dough
1/2 pack of instant yeast (about 3 g)
1/4 cup of  granulated sugar divided into two
1/2 cup warm milk (whole or semi skimmed)
2 tbsp melted butter
1 egg
pinch salt
2 cups of strong white bread flour
dash of cinnamon

for cinnamon sugar filling
1/2 cup of granulated or brown sugar
1 heaped tablespoon of cinnamon
approx 3 tbsp softened butter / 25g

Dissolve the yeast and half the sugar in the warm milk (whisking helps it combine), leave for 10 minutes til it is foamy.
Then add in your eggs, melted butter, rest of the sugar and the salt. Mix well then sift in your flour and cinnamon. Mix until it becomes more dough like and then knead for a few minutes til you have a soft and smooth dough. Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for 1 hour to 1 hr 30 mins – until the dough has doubled in size.

After the first prove turn the dough out on to a board, roll it in to a rough rectangle, about 1 inch thick. Leave to rest uncovered for 10 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 400f / 200c / gas mark 6.

Roll out your dough til it is about 1/2 in thick, you want it to be rectangular so cut off the edges to form a rectangle – you can use the trimmings to make some more rolls after the first batch.

Mix together your cinnamon sugar filling in a small bowl then spread the mixture over the rectangle, leaving about 1 cm from the edge of the dough. If you have any leave over dough trimmings leave some sugar mix to spread on that.

Carefully roll your dough and sugar mix in to a sausage shape, cut in to 12 pieces.
Fit them snugly into some cupcake cases in a cupcake tin, you want big muffin/cupcake sized tin and cases rather than small fairy cake type ones.

Cover the cupcake tin with a tea towel and leave to prove for 30 minutes.
Once proved bake in the oven for 10 minutes til the dough is cooked through and the sugar bubbling away. Keep an eye on it as the sugar can burn quickly – some of mine caught slightly because I got distracted with jewellery things 😉

Leave to cool for a bit before eating, they’ll be very hot.
You can also add in a cream cheese or simple caramel frosting, but they are just as good on their own!

Risotto with Baked Ricotta, Tomato and Herbs

I won something! I never win anything!
I entered a competition on the Laverstoke blog to win a parcel of their lovely buffalo ricotta and I won!
What was even better is that they sent me a whole array of goodies, I got two pots of their fresh mozarella, some of their smoked streaky bacon, a big pot of ricotta and a carton of buffalo milk.

We have enjoyed the mozarella on pizza and the bacon in sandwiches (naturally) and diced and combined with some ricotta gnocchi (I used the rest of the ricotta here). We aren’t sure what to do with the buffalo milk, I could make burrata (although I do have a lot of mozarella already) or we could just have it in our tea!

Being as the ricotta was the main prize I thought I’d come up with a nice recipe for you. This risotto is slightly summery but comforting enough to warm you up on this early autumn days. The ricotta is baked in the oven for 10 minutes which makes it meltingly tender and allows you to infuse it with herbs.

Risotto with Baked Ricotta, Tomato and Herbs
serves 2

Knob of butter
olive oil
approx 200g arborio rice
2 cloves of garlic
handful of cherry tomatoes
about 1 tablespoon of fresh italian herbs – I used sage and oregano
about 1 pint hot chicken stock
4 tablespoons of ricotta

First preheat your oven to a medium heat. Put your ricotta in a small ovenproof dish, spinkle with herbs, olive oil and seasoning. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes whilst you make your risotto base.

Chop the tomatoes into halves or quarters, add to a bowl and add a little olive oil, cider vinegar and seasoning.  Leave to stand whilst you make your risotto.

Next start to make your risotto. Melt your butter with a splash of olive oil in a large nonstick pan, add in your crushed garlic and fry for a minute. Then add in your rice. Stir quickly to coat all the rice in butter and oil. Cook for another minute. Then start to ladle in your stock in small amounts, stirring and waiting for the stock to absorb before you add the next ladle. Keep testing your rice for done-ness all the time, you might not need all of your stock.

When the rice is about 3/4 done add in your tomatoes, herbs, another knob of butter and about 2 tablepsoons of parmesan, stir to combine and melt the cheese and butter. Take your ricotta out the oven. Put half into your risotto and stir in.

Once the rice is done and everything combine in the pan serve in warmed bowls. Divide the rest of the baked ricotta between the plates and serve on top. Serve with a bit more parmesan and black pepper.


You can find Laverstoke in branches of Waitrose and some Sainsburys. You can also buy from their website.

Ginger Molasses Cupcakes – Happy National Cupcake Week!

Happy National Cupcake Week everyone!

I believe this week is just promotional for a baking magazine but it is a good enough excuse for me to bake cupcakes, so yay!

As the weather is getting colder and Autumn is approaching I thought I’d make something comforting and spicy. I had some muscovado molasses sugar in the cupboard and ginger seemed like a good match, a bit like sticky toffee pudding without the dates. I have iced the cupcakes with a light lemon cream frosting which goes really well against the rich sponge.

Ginger Molasses Cupcakes

 Makes 12 large cupcakes

100g butter, softened
175g dark muscovado or muscovado molasses sugar
2 eggs
dash of vanilla extract
zest of half a lemon – optional
175g self raising flour
175ml buttermilk or whole milk
1 heaped teaspoon of ground ginger – I opted for ground as I didn’t want stringy bits of fresh ginger in my cakes.

Mix together your butter and sugar until fully combined, you may need to blend it slightly to combine as the sugar is thicker and denser. Whisk in your eggs one by one using a hand whisk or an electric one. Then add in the vanilla, ginger and lemon if using.
Alternately add a small amount of your flour (sifted in) and buttermilk/milk til all of it is used up.

Fill cupcake cases up 1cm from the top, you want nice full cupcakes, and bake in a preheated medium oven for 15-20minutes until cooked through.

Light Lemon Cream Icing

Ices 12 cupcakes

100ml of double cream
juice of one lemon
3 tabelspoons of icing sugar

Whisk your cream with an electric whisk until it forms soft peaks, then slowly with a hand whisk combine in your icing sugar and lemon juice. Taste for sweetness/lemonness, add more to your taste.
Chill in the fridge until the cupcakes are ready to ice. These cupcakes are best iced just before you eat them so the cakes don’t get soggy. The icing will keep in a bowl in the fridge for a couple of days so you can ice as you go!
I topped mine with some cute little blackberries that I picked in my garden, they worked really well with the creamy gingery cupcake.

Yum! I hope you bake something yummy for national cupcake week.


ps – apologies for the quality of the pics, it is getting dark in the evenings! 🙁

Spiced One Bowl Brownies

I have encountered and made many brownie recipes, each one different from the next in technique and flavour. I like them with coffee, with nuts, even with bacon, but sometimes I want them to be quick and easy – because everyone needs brownies in a hurry sometimes.

These recipes require something which I don’t normally ever use in baking – a microwave. The butter and chocolate is melted in the microwave for a couple of minutes and then the other ingredients stirred in one by one.

I’ve adapted the recipe to include some spices (something that feels very autumnal!) – ginger, cinnamon and smoked paprika – trust me the smoked paprika is good.

I much prefer very gooey brownies but my husband prefers his more like a moist cake – these are more of a cakey brownie with a lightly crisped top. If you like gooeyness then use about 50g less of the flour.

Spiced One Bowl Brownies
adapted from all recipes

NB  – I made this recipe again but with only 75g of flour and 25g cocoa powder, it gave a gooier brownie with a crisper top, good if you like them this way!

100g good quality dark chocolate (70%), broken in to pieces
70g butter
100g sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
150g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinamonn
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Preheat your oven to 400f, 200c or gas mark 6

Put the butter and chocolate into a large microwavable bowl, microwave on high for 2 minutes.
Remove from the microwave and stir together til the chocolate is completely melted in with the butter.
Stir in sugar til combined.
Stir in your eggs one by one and then add in your vanilla.
Sift in your flour, baking powder and spices, fold in to combine.

Pour into a greased and lined, or non stick, square 9inch pan. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until just done – your knife should come out with a few crumbs when inserted – the great thing about brownies is that it isn’t a disaster if they are underdone because it equals more gooeyness!

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

I think this may well be the most perfect cake I have made. Hurray!

I cooked this cake in my lovely new non stick brownie pan, to get little squares of cake all neat and tidy. Yes I am weird.

I have made this cake before with blackberries and it was good then, but this time I spent a bit more time whisking to get a light fluffy batter, I had a nice cake tin and my oven was behaving.

I am a big fan of buttermilk in cakes, it stops any cake from becoming dry, and makes it easier to mix.
I also swapped out half the sugar for honey instead, which didn’t affect the flavour (in fact I think all sugar would have been too sweet) and makes it a teeeeny bit healthier (ish).You will also notice that this cake only has 50grams of butter in it!

This cake is very versatile, as I mentioned I have made it with blackberries before, you can swap out the raspberries for any small soft fruit – blueberries, strawberries-  maybe even some small plums halved. I might even give it a go with rhubarb as our plant has gone a bit huge! You could even use the cake mixture as a base for a nice chocolate chip cake – oooh now there is an idea! Anyway I am going off on a tangent here…

I made these with some sweet local raspberries from my local market, they are nearly at the end of the season now and this cake is a lovely last wave to the summer fruits.

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake
adapted from Smitten Kitchen & Gourmet

50 grams of unsalted butter (1 stick)
75g of caster sugar (1/3 cup)
75g honey (1/3 cup)
1 large free range egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of half a lemon – optional
1/4 teaspoon of salt
130grams of self raising flour (1 cup)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
110ml buttermilk (1/2 cup) – you can make buttermilk by adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar to cream or milk, leave for 10 minutes before adding.
150g fresh raspberries (1cup)

Preheat your oven to 200c / gas mark 6

Cream together your butter, sugar and honey – in a mixture or using an electric whisk is best – til light and fluffy. Add in your egg and whisk to combine. Then add in your vanilla and zest and combine again.

Then alternately add in your flour and buttermilk, adding a small amount of each, combining and adding the next. Have your mixer on a medium setting and your whisk on a medium too.

Once nicely incorporated spoon the mixture into a 9 inch round or square cake in, non stick or lined with paper. Then lay your raspberries on top.

Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar or you can instead drizzle on some honey.

Bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes until cooked through and golden brown.

Leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning out on to a board and then on to a plate.

UPDATE: I made this again a few days later with Rhubarb (yes we ate the raspberry one really quickly) and it was really good. I cut 2 sticks of rhubarb in to small chunks, sprinkled it with 1 tbsp sugar and let it sit for a 5 minutes then scattered over the top of the cake and baked in the oven as normal. I also added some ground ginger to the batter, yum!

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