Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Lost and Delicious

So back in November, my phone got stolen. This was inconvenient in many ways but mostly because I lost two recipes that I had stored on it. One was an Oreo cupcake recipe that I had adapted from someone's blog post. It was probably the best cupcake I have ever made, ask Jane Inman if you want proof as she said it was.

The other was a Terry's Chocolate Orange cupcake recipe, once again adapted from two different recipes. These, I do not think, are recoverable. So all we have is pictures of how yummy they were. See below:

Those were the choc orange numebrs. Here are the Oreo ones. It breaks my heart to see them:

We can admire them, but we can never truly experience them for ourselves. May these recipes rest in peace.

A x

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Ore-oh why not

Restrain yourself ladies! Stop licking the screen!

These beauties are Oreo cheesecakes, mini ones, perfect for parties or perhaps just for snuggling up under a blanket and snarfing them all. Don't worry, I won't tell.

These are super easy so please give them a try. I found them on a great blog called Grace's Sweet Life, check it out. When buying paper cases to pop them in, get the very cheapest white ones possible. You want them nice and thin so that the word 'Oreo' comes through from the cookie. My only disappointment was that I had to go to a big supermarket to get Oreos. If anyone knows anywhere independent that sells them, please do let me know. Now, are you sitting comfortably? Then let's begin.


42 Oreo cookies (about two packets)
908g of full fat cream cheese
225g sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
4 large room temp eggs, beaten a bit
230g sour cream


Preheat your oven to 135 degrees Celcius or there abouts then pop a cupcake case in each spare spot of a muffin tin. Put a whole Oreo in the bottom of each case. Looks good already huh?! Be aware that the recipe makes THIRTY.

Beat the cream cheese up, in a mixer if you have one, then slowly beat in the sugar and vanilla until well combines and smooth. Next beat the eggs a dollop at a time until all nicely beaten in. Next slop the cream cheese in too and keep beating. you don't want it as runny as single cream mind, so just beat until smooth, runny-ish and well combined.

Next pop the remaining 12 or so Oreos into a sandwich bag or similar and smash them up with a rolling pin. Awesome fun. Throw them in the bowl with the cream mix and stir in. Put a large dollop of the mixture into each case, filling most of the way to the top, these little things barely rise and aesthetically the cases look better full. Pop in that there oven for between 22 and 28 minutes, until the filling is set.

Get them out and let them cool completely on a rack. Now for the hard part: put them in the fridge and LEAVE THEM ALONE! They really do taste better after a night's stay in your fridge. If you can't wait, still give it at least three or four hours. 

THEN EAT THEM ALL! Haha. If you find that the 'Oreo' bit isn't showing through well, get a dish full of water, wet your index finger and rub over the Oreo with a little force. This will bring it up nicely and it stays this way too, magic.

These look quite impressive I think so if you do manage to get out the house with some left on the plate then take every opportunity to bask in the glory of your superior baking.

Cheesecake? Oreo-oh why not.

Ash x

Wednesday, 14 March 2012



Who wouldn't want to make PacMan cakes? Probably someone who doesn't want to spend the afternoon rolling colour into icing. If this is you, look away now.

...Still here?

Good! Then let's get on with it.

The fairy cake recipe itself is just a simple one courtesy of Mary Berry. Use your own if your prefer. Add flavourings. Sprinkling in sultanas. Whatever floats your bun-related boat.The idea for the PacMan icing came from a 'Cakes for Geeks' blog. Google it to see the original, and slightly better, version. They didn't include a recipe. Bastards.


For the cake-

100g butter
100g caster sugar
2 large free range eggs (it doesn't work with caged hen eggs. The cakes will spontaneously combust)
100g self-raising flour
1 level tsp baking powder

For the icing-

Ready-to-roll icing, white. Food colourings of every kind. Well, black, green, blue, yellow, red, purple at least. Or combo different colours to make new ones. Like primary school but fun!


Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees celcius. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and BEAT THEM TO DEATH. Just kidding. Beat them a regular amount. Fill up some cupcake cases with the mixture, about two thirds full, and bake for 15-20 minutes. Wow! Simples ay?

While they are cooling comes the real labour. You will need to cut off a large chunk of icing and spread a little of the black colouring onto it using a toothpick or similar. Next massage the colour into the icing. This will take some time to get a good rich black. Repeat this process with different colours (most will only need a small amount of icing) until you have all the coloured icing you require. Roll out the icing pin with a rolling pin as required.

I used a cookie cutter to cut the black discs for the background, that was the easy bit. Use a little icing sugar mixed with water to glue the icing discs in place. I purchased an arts scalpel from a stationers for less than £1 and used this to cut out most of the shapes you can see. The cherries, coins and PacMan are cut using various size bottle tops, adapted with the scalpel. The blue maze was made by rolling the icing in my palm to make a snake shape which I then pressed flat and cut and bent to shape.

Do not be fooled, this is a labour intensive icing project but it is NOT, I repeat NOT, difficult. It just takes time. Be patient, not every shape will come out right first time. Remember to stick them on using runny icing as they have a tendency to drop off.

If you have any questions, drop me a line. It's kinda hard to explain how exactly to do each shape. It's intuition as I made it up as I went along. You'll be FINE. Mail me pics if you try it, I'd love to see other 80s cakes!

Hope you get the high score,
A x

Friday, 20 January 2012

God Rest Ye Merry Biscuit

I'm just gonna say it: I made the nativity out of biscuit. On Christmas Eve I sat for several hours at my aunt's kitchen table (literally probably a four hour job) and make the nativity out of biscuit. The previous Christmas, my cousin and I found a nativity cookie cutter set in Lakeland for just a few quid but never then did I dream I would be the one to secure my place in heaven by making it.

I used the biscuit recipe available in a post below but removed the chocolate in favour of a large teaspoon of cinnamon. If you don't have the cookie cutter set, which I can only imagine to be the case, then God speed young baker. If you do, then my top tip is to use the cutters to cut the outlines and bits of the figures. No point in a recipe for this set, it's really just a blog post to pat myself on the back.

What a thing of ethereal and, sadly, ephemeral beauty.

I made two shepherds (one is hiding behind the barn with the other sheep), two sheep, three kings, three camels, Mary, Joseph, Baby J and a donkey. Plus star and barn:

My brother bit this off on Boxing Day...

I hand mixed the icing, with a little assistance from various family members, as it allowed to do a lot more colours without having to buy all the different colours. The kings were probably the most fun to do:

The front one melted a little it seems... I ate him and his camel whilst stuck on a train on the 27th. So this nativity basically saved my life.

I hope you all had a merry and biscuit-filled Christmas and New Year,

A x

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Read all about it!

Good news baking fans! I have my very own website now! I won't reveal it yet as there's nowt on it- but when there is, you'll be able to read this blog, my enviro blog, my radio musings and hear my soon-to-be-born podcasts all in one place. Oh how lucky you are!

Got a very special recipe for you today that I stumbled on over the Internet. Excuse the pics- they were taken on a camera phone as, let's face it, I couldn't be arsed to find my camera. Take a peek at this beauty:

Oh my life! Check it. THAT my friends, is a PASTA PIE. 'What?!' I hear you cry! Yep, pasta in a pie shape. So unnecessary but SO much fun. The recipe was thought up by Noble Pig whose blog you should text for more good food ideas. So let's go!


Bag of rigatoni
500g minced beef or similar
2 garlic cloves
1 can chopped toms
Lots of cheese of your choice


Pre-heat the oven to 200 deg cel. I used a tin with a removable base to make this, springform job. If you haven't got one then I would find some other kind of crazy pasta-based dinner to make. You need to make a bolognese sauce which I am sure you've done before but if not, fry up the meat with your onion and garlic. You need to add seasoning at this stage so the meat sucks it up. Essential are pepper, salt and mixed herbs but the rest is up to you. Sal likes to add chilli flakes. Maybe you like a bit of mixed-spice. Be free, my friends. When you've done that throw in the chopped toms and simmer it for a bit. Wicked.

Part-cook the pasta and then run some cold water over it. Next stand the rigatoni upright one at a time in the pan. This is a bit tricky but persevere. Make sure they are packed in fairly tightly. Next take the sauce (make sure it is not boiling hot!) and using a spoon and your fingers, spread the meat over the pasta and poke it down into the rigatoni holes. This is gooey and super fun. Bake it for 15 minutes.

Lastly, grab it out the over and cover it all with a riduclously unhealthy amount of cheese. A mix of cheddar and mozzarella is fun. Bake it for about another 15mins or until turning golden brown. Cut into it with joy:

CRAZY GOOD! And makes loads, btw, so make sure you have lots of guests or freezer space.

Loving it,

Ash x

Monday, 12 September 2011

Heaven Is A Slice of White Bread...

While I was in America, I was forced to realise all over again a horrible fact: American bread is a disgrace. It is sweet, spongy and completely devoid of character. It makes neither a satisfying sandwich nor tasty toast. It is, in a word, minging. So upon my return to the UK I vowed to learn how to make my own bread and prove that the Yanks, in this respect, are being lazy. How hard could it be?

I've started off with a white bread recipe because a) white bread is ridiculously delicious when done right and b) apparently it's easier. This is my first loaf-making outing and so we are learning together. Here's the concoction I used:


500g strong white bread flour
1 packet (around 2.5tsp) of yeast
300ml water
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp oil


Get a generous bowl and mix the flour, yeast and salt. Just a wooden spoon is a fine weapon, no need to get fancy. Next pour in the oil and about half the water. Stir and stir. Add more water slowly until the dough is combined enough to get your hands in and start beating in around. You may not need all the water so add it in small doses. Unlike pastry, it doesn't matter if your dough is a bit too wet but it does matter if it's dry. Keep kneading and beating it until it sticks neither to your hands nor the bowl.

Next line the bowl with a drizzle of oil, plop the dough back in and let it rise for an hour. Don't be tempted to shorten this time, no good will come of it. After the hour's gone it should be looking a lot bigger. Flour a surface then beat the dough on it some more. Knead the hell out of it and let it rise for another hour whilst the oven is happily heating itself up to 220 degrees celcius. After the dough is risen, pop it in a loaf tin and shove in the oven for 25-30mins. My oven only took 25 so be sure to check it. You'll know it's ready when you turn it out and flick the bottom to hear a hollow noise. If there's no resounding tap then it's not done.

When you've eaten half of this loaf it will look like this:

Fantastic. Fluffy and light with a chewy crust. If this plus butter and Marmite doesn't do it for you then there's nothing more I can do.

With love,

A x

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Yum yum, damson plum

Hello again!

I have always wanted to be one of those incredible people (mostly women, of course) who are ready for Christmas by the time Halloween is over with. To that end, this weekend I have prepared my damson gin. For those of you who hate gin usually, do not be afraid, this is a fantastic sweet tipple that anyone with operational taste buds should enjoy.

First of all you need to locate some damsons. If you don't have your own tree, and none of your friends do either, they are available in fruit and veg shops at the moment. The season is not long so you should be looking for some now. Picking them is good fun. It took my friend Abi and I less than five minutes to pick enough damsons to make three bottles of gin.


450g damsons
85g sugar
1 small bottle of gin, I think they are around 380ml, you know the ones I mean.


So simple. Prick a hole or two in each damson with a skewer or similar pointy tool. Pop them into a kilner jar or other airtight container. Pour in the gin and the sugar and shake up well. Then you need to leave it for around three months. Be sure to cover all the damsons with the gin or the top ones will go funny. Shake regularly. Taste the gin after around two months. If it is too tart, add more sugar. And that's it!

Here's how mine looks right now:

Lovely colour ay?

Happy brewing!

A x