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Home Sweet Home Bakealong 58: Cinder Toffee Cupcakes

June 11, 2016

The best thing about these is how easy it is to make home-made Crunchie. Sugar and golden syrup + bicarb. I say easy, I failed the first time but not looking at the packet and using cream of tartar. Not pleasant. Anyway, these will be heading to our church’s street party in honour of HMQ’s 90th tomorrow.


As with all the HSH cupcake recipes the main body of the cake is easy and works well. I don’t think I’d ever make them another way now. There’s too much icing but you can freeze it. The cinder toffee is a case of guilding the lily but it’s an easy and quite impressive looking addition. You’ll have loads left over but you can drizzle chocolate over it and make your own crunchie bites.27500888032_8169c2e43e


Cinder Toffee Cupcakes
from Home Sweet Home by the Hummingbird Bakery

Makes 12-16
70g unsalted butter
170g plain flour
250g caster sugar
50g cocoa
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2tsp salt
210ml milk
2 large eggs

Cinder Toffee:
75g golden syrup
170g caster sugar
30ml water
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

450g icing sugar
60g cocoa powder
160g buttter
60ml milk
Join Beckie and me in our Epic 100 part bakealong. Next: Vanilla Fudge (should have been before this.. I’m putting it off!)


Home Sweet Home Bakealong 57: Peach Pie

May 30, 2016

I nearly didn’t make this since it’s exactly the same as  Cherry Pie (no 31) but with a different fruit. This seemed rather cheeky to me and given that we’re not big fruit pie fans in this house (give me a crumble any day) it wasn’t going to be the most popular bake. But, the completist in me wouldn’t let it go and thus you see before you a tiny peach pie:


Using 1/3rd rye flour made for a very bite-y pastry which I really liked. No need for the extra sugar in the filling mixture though. Seriously?! I made 1/2 the amount and the rest of it was used to make chocolate hand pies.

I’ll give it to HSH though. No faffing around with bling baking and still not a whiff of a soggy bottom. Should I ever desire to make a fruit pie, I might just use this recipe.


Peach Pie
from Home Sweet home by the Hummingbird Bakery

220g unsalted butter
450g plain flour (I used 2/3rd plain white and 1/3rd rye flour)
160g caster sugar
3 large eggs

700g drained tinned sliced peaches (or …y’know FRESH!)
50g caster sugar (totally unnecessary)
30g cornflour (stops the sog)
1/2tsp vanilla extract
1/2tsp ground cinnamon
1/4tsp ground nutmeg

Make the pastry, chill, roll out and create pie base, chill again.
Add filling and lid.

Join Beckie and me in our Epic 100 part bakealong. Next: Vanilla Fudge (oh dear)


Home Sweet Home Bakealong 56: Chocolate Shortcakes with a Peanut Butter Filling

May 22, 2016

Beckie is way ahead of me at the moment.  I’ve been baking – just not stuff from here. Actually. I haven’t been baking that much, which makes me sad. It was great to get back to it with these and they really hit the spot for an easy and rewarding bake. I like Beckie’s version in a wedge shape too.

As always, I winged it a bit. Luckily the recipe was very forgiving and whilst they are a bit ‘hulk’ like in their deportment, the essence of these shortcakes is still there and they still taste good. You can’t really go too far wrong with chocolate and peanut butter. Especially in a home of two runners.

If you’re not American then don’t be deceived – this is not shortbread…it’s basically a scone.


Chocolate, cream cheese and peanut butter you say? Oh ok then.

Chocolate Shortcakes with a Peanut Butter Filling
from Home Sweet Home by the Hummingbird Bakery

Makes 6
340g plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4tsp salt
80g caster sugar
65g butter
85g chocolate chips
60ml double cream (I used 50g greek yoghurt and 10ml milk mixed together)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs + another to brush egg over the top before cooking
to sprinkle – demerara sugar

280g full fat cream cheese (I used 200g and 80g thick greek yog)
60g crunchy peanut butter
60g icing sugar
I added a little vanilla

Mix the dry ingredients until breadcrumby + stir choc chips through
Mix the wet ingredients, then add to dry and mix to make a dough
Pat out to 1 inch thick
Use a cutter to make the discs and place on greased baking tray in the freezer for 20mins
Brush with egg
Bake for 20-25 mins
Leave to cool

Whisk all filling ingredients together
Sandwich between two shortcakes.

Join Beckie and me in our Epic 100 part bakealong. Next: Peach pie …I think?!


Home Sweet Home Bakealong 55: Flourless Chocolate Cake

April 9, 2016

I am extremely excited about the Peanut Butter and Chocolate Shortcake recipe coming up next in the series but I am being good and not skipping ahead.

After the Rose-Chocolate debacle last time I was ready for something easy and crowd pleasing. This is both of those things. Even better, it is ideal for looking after the gluten dodgers in your life.


The cake is made by whisking up a lot of eggs with sugar (not even any separating of white required -yes!) and then stirring in a melted chocolatey syrup mixture. Dead simple.

I made a 4/5ths sized cakes (the recipe states 5 eggs, I had 4).  Which made one small cake 6 little ones (sounds like countdown). The cake took a lot longer to bake than the recipe said. I reckon it was in there for 1 hr 30 instead of 50. Make sure your tin is water tight. I got a bit of water ingress at the bottom of mine which wasn’t a huge issue but just made the bottom a bit more moist. You can see the ‘sag’ in the photo above. It did give people an excuse to scrape the bottom with a spoon so no-one was complaining. Come to think of it, that’s probably why it took ages to bake.

Anyway… this one’s a good ‘un.

Flourless Chocolate Cake
from Home Sweet Home by the Hummingbird Bakery

5 large eggs
290g caster sugar
125ml water
340g dark chocolate
225g unsalted butter

Beat the eggs and some of the sugar together. Make a syrup with the water and rest of the sugar then add the chocolate and butter. Combine with the eggs and bake in a bain-marie.




Join Beckie and me in our Epic 100 part bakealong. Next: Chocolate Shortcakes with Peanut Butter Filling. YUM!


Raw Vegan Carrot Cake…but it tastes good

April 2, 2016

This was one of those rare moment when a recipe an aggregated blog email actually turned into something in real life. You know the kind of thing “10 alternative easter treats” or “5 super quick cakes”. Usually I look at them, bookmark them and never get around to making them.


This one though caught my eye because it was one of those fancy ‘raw’ cakes but didn’t have a million ingredients that I’d have to go to a worthy health store to get. The only real expense was the coconut oil, but I got that from an indian supermarket near us and it was £2. Don’t bother getting it from a big place or health store. I also used coconut cream block as I couldn’t find coconut cream. The original recipe notes the issues with this but I got around it by adding extra liquid.


So I made it yesterday and it’s actually very easy to make. It also tastes great. Oh it’s not spongey and bouncy like a real cake I’ll agree, but it’s ridiculously  moreish.

I adapted the recipe from Sprinkle Of Green’s one  to make it a bit more achievable.


Raw Vegan Carrot Cake
(sort of healthy-ish maybe)

Makes 3 teacup sized cakes. Line teacups with clingfilm before starting.

Put 200g of cashew nuts into water to soak 2 hours beforehand.
For the Carrot Cake:
60g each of  walnuts and almonds [original uses pecans and walnuts]
30g cashews [original uses pistachios]
100g of pitted dates. I used the kind you get in a block [original states 15 medjool dates, pitted]
2  carrots, grated – about 150g [I think you could go for three to make more bulk]
40g desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla powder [I didn’t have any, used a touch of coffee essecnce]
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ginger
For the ‘icing’ (this will give you enough to ice each cake and some left over to go in the middle if you want a layer cake. You could halve the quantity.
200g cashews, soaked for 2+ hours
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 chunk of coconut cream block 1inch x 2inch, crumbled
1 tablespoon coconut sugar  I don’t think it need the sugar – up to you
1 teaspoon vanilla essence / paste
1 teaspoon matcha powder  I opted out of the green!
A big splash of almond / soya / other milk

Method for the cake:
If you’re using the blocks of dates, break the dates up and soak in water while you do the next stage.
Put the nuts into a food processor and blend until small but not ‘flour’ like – about the texture when you see bags of crushed nuts in the supermarket.
Add the dates and blend until it goes sticky.
Add the grated carrots, spices and coconut. Pulse until combined.
Divide the mixture between the teacups, press down hard and cover. Put in the fridge for an hour.
If you’re not eating the cakes straight away put them in the freezer, it’ll make them easier to ice and then you can leave them to defrost.

Method for the icing:
Drain the soaked cashews and put into a food processor with the crumbled coconut cream, coconut oil and vanilla. Start to blend and add the milk a splash at a time until you have a smooth but thick consistency.

Cover the cakes in the icing. Decorate with coconut / nuts / dried fruit etc. If you’ve had the cake in the freezer leave out to defrost or slice up and put back in the freezer for later. It’s the best way to make sure you don’t eat it all with a spoon in one sitting. Which I would never do. Obviously.

Home Sweet Home Bakealong 54: Rose Chocolate Cupcakes

March 31, 2016

Please avert your eyes now and go to Beckie’s page:


I tried. I honestly didn’t sabotage these cakes because I don’t like flower flavoured things. I did try. I spent a whole afternoon covered in a cloud of cocoa, icing sugar and cornflour. I even made the custard to go inside it (ha!). Look what I got for my efforts – lumpy icing, a weird floaty crust and a solid lump of cake, albeit  surprisingly good tasting cake.

Now, I should come clean and say that I can’t blame HSH-Hummingbird for this. I know that their cupcake recipe is pretty foolproof. Clearly this was one fool too far. For some reason I added a bit of the milk to the dry mixture before I remembered you weren’t meant to. Then  I realised I’d forgotten the sugar so had to add it to the wet mixture at the end. I guess that’s why it has the weird texture.

I made the custard and it came out ok -hurrah. It is meant to be hidden away in little pockets inside the cake before icing. The cakes were so solid under their little floaty sugar crusts that there was no way I could carve out a hole – boo.

I can only think that the butter was too cold when making the icing and that’s why it was lumpy. The more I make buttercream icing the more I dislike making it. Hrmph. Will someone please hurry up and make non-clouding icing sugar?

So, I’m not even going to post the ingredients to these because if you want to eat flowery flavoured things you can go buy some Parma Violets or lick the entire Cath Kidston store.

Grump over and out.

P.s they should look like this:


Beckie’s beautiful specemens

P.p.s I also made this yesterday. It is, worryingly, vegan and raw and scarily liable to be labelled “clean eating”. It also also rather good. More soon.


Join Beckie and me in our Epic 100 part bakealong. Next: Flourless Chocolate Cake. Hurrah!


North London Half Marathon Race Review

March 27, 2016

Over at Bland On The Run