Archive | May, 2013

Bready, steady, go

31 May


I think I may have mentioned the Hoxton Bakery before. They do fan-ruddy-tastic Brownies. They also do bread pudding. It’s pretty fine too. Dense, squidgy, rich, packed full of dried fruit & candied peel, tooth-achingly sweet (this is a good thing people), and eco friendly (because its recycling yesterday’s leftover bread, yeah?)

Bread pudding is not to be confused with bread & butter pudding. It’s more of a tray-bakey-cakey type of thing, to be served sliced and cold with a big cup of tea. You could try Nigel Slater’s bread pudding recipe.

I did some baking this week, a semolina lemon drizzle mash-up, but this bread pudding was far superior so you get a picture of it instead*, and a plea to seek out the Hoxton Street Bakery to try some.

*photo taken from the Hoxton Bakery’s twitter feed

Slate and Soya

23 May


First triathlon of the year for the boys, first spectator event for me. It was the Snowdonia Slateman in and around Llanberis last weekend. A quick dip in the icy Llyn Padarn, an undulating cycle round and about, followed by a sunny sprint up and down the local slate quarry. It did look fun, but I had to settle for ringing my chain reaction cycles cow-bell for all I was worth to cheer on the athletes. Well done one and all!


Seeing as I was in a support role I provided baked goods for the weekend, a pear & chocolate upside down pudding to fortify the troops the evening before, and the delectable Dan Lepard’s soya and linseed loaf for breakfast. Mr Bakes and I have been big fan of Vogel’s soya and linseed bread for many a moon, until we discovered we could make our own, with Dan’s recipe. Seriously, if you like Vogel, you’ll love this. Try it!

Blondies have more fun

16 May


We’ve all eaten Brownies, right? Dark, bitter, squidgy, rich and very chocolatey. Head to the new Hoxton Bakery on Hoxton street and you can buy yourself one of the finest examples of brownie-ness ever.

But what happens when you want that squidge, but without the chocolate? Blondies happen! Just like a Brownie, but minus the chocolate (unless you decide to stir in some chocolate chips, that’s totally okay). Violet do some rockin’ Butterscotch Blondies, but these here are Malted Banana goodies.

Malted Banana Blondies

125g butter
150g dark muscovado sugar
75g caster sugar
1 large egg
Pinch salt
125g plain flour
75g horlicks powder
1 large banana, mashed

Butter and line an 8 inch square cake tin. Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas mark

Melt the butter and whisk in both sugars, then beat in the egg. Fold in the salt, flour and horlicks powder and finally mix in the mashed banana.

Pour the cake batter into the lined tin and bake for 20 minutes until just done. You want the cake to still be a bit squidgy, just like a brownie…

Leave cake to cool on a wire rack until cool, then cut into squares, rectangles, whatever shape you fancy really. I went for 16 squares!

buıppnd ɹɐǝd & uoɯɐuuıɔ ‘ǝʇɐןoɔoɥɔ

7 May


Upside down pudding, one of Granny’s favourites. It’s also one of my favourites when Granny cooks it. This was going to be the classic pineapple upside down pudding, using tinned pineapple*, seeing as how I can’t stuff enough of the totally tropical fruit down my gob these days. However, we had 3 ripe pears in the fruit bowl that desperately needed using up this weekend – so pear, chocolate & cinnamon it is. Pineapple, your time will come!


Chocolate, Pear & Cinnamon Upside Down Pudding

3 ripe pears
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 cinnamon stick
150g butter
50g dark muscovado sugar
100g caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
150g self-raising flour
25g cocoa powder

First, poach your pears. Peel, half and core them and place in a pan with the granulated sugar and the cinnamon stick. Cover with water and simmer for 30 minutes or so until soft but not falling apart.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas Mark 4 and grease and line 20cm round cake tin.

Cream together 50g of the butter with the muscovado sugar before spreading it over the bottom of the tin. Lay the pear halves on the layer of butter and sugar in any pattern you see fit!

Cream the rest of the butter with the caster sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the egg, and beat well. Fold in the flour & cocoa powder, and then add 2-3 tbsp of the cooking liquid from the pears. You want the batter to have a dropping consistency. Spread the cake batter on top of the pears.

Bake for around 35 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean from the centre of the cake. Turn out the cake onto a plate with the pear side upwards. This is delicious as a pudding with custard or ice cream, or served cool as a cake with your coffee.