Friday, 21 November 2014


It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago. Every year since I entered adulthood I would go out and buy myself a birthday cake. Well, I would buy a cake. Chocolate tart, Swiss chocolate roll, a small chocolate gateau from Patisserie Valerie.... you see, all chocolate based! So this year I had a change of heart. I did not a chocolate cake anymore. I wanted something else. I wanted something easy yet tasty. As I like baking I thought it would be a great idea to bake my own birthday cake for a change. So after researching recipes for hours online, I opted for an Angel food cake. This is a fat free cake which is very light and airy and only takes minutes to make.


I know, it does sound odd! But you know me - always willing to try out a new recipe, no matter how weird it is!
I came across it in a Waitrose magazine back in September 2013. At the time they had a campaign about putting veg in cake. There were three recipes in total and I finally came round to having a go at this one.

I agree with the author - courgette and chocolate might seem an odd choice of flavour combination but you end up with a very dark, rich squidgy cake


This is a twist of the French classic Clafoutis with cherries. A very simple and easy recipe to make, it  is a great dessert for children as well as adults. It is airy and light and only took 15 minutes to make (plus 40-45 minutes baking time). You can use any fruit you like, including frozen (you don't need to defrost).
You need 400-500 gr of fruit (I used 2 cans of sliced peaches, drained).
4 eggs
300ml milk
80gr butter
85gr sugar
30gr flour (plain or self-raising)
1tsp vanilla essence
a handful of chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat your oven to about 175 degrees (fan-assisted).
Butter an ovenproof dish well. Assemble the fruit so the dish is fully covered.
Melt the butter in the milk over low heat. You don't need to stir if using a Teflon covered saucepan.
In a medium sized bowl mix the sugar, flour and chopped walnuts if using. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Add the milk mix slowly whilst continuing to whisk. Add the vanilla essence.
Pour over the fruit.
Put in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown on top and set in the middle.

The dessert puffs up in the oven but goes down once its cooled.

Serve cold.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Where it all began

I love baking. I always have and probably always will. As a child I loved nothing more than watching  ( and dare I say 'helping') my grandmother and my mum whilst making cakes and bakes. There was something so special in seeing how a few basic ingredients turned into something which smelled good and tasted even better. I should ask really ask my mum how old I was when I made my first cake. I recon I was probably around 8. I went through my mum's recipe books (yes, it was pre-Internet!) , chose a recipe and went for it. Luckily the recipe seemed to have been quite simple and easy to follow as I kept baking and the cakes kept coming out quite well baked and well, tasting good. Or so I was told. I must confess I do not remember clearing up afterwards - poor mum, I am sure the kitchen was a mess every single time. But I am also sure that I must've put a smile on my parents faces when a cake was waiting for them at home after a long day in the office. On a few occasions my cakes were taken to parties (and no, no one got poisoned!;)) I never did any baking as a teenager and then life took over... Fast forward 2012 - The Great British Bake Off was introduced to me. I was hooked on baking once again. Paul and Mary were really scary at first and although I wanted to make pastries, cakes, savarins and brioche they made me feel that these are almost impossible tasks for novice bakers. So I made a simple loaf instead and stuck with baking one loaf after another. Autumn of 2013 a friend introduced me to Country Living magazine. Their December 2013 issue had a lovely recipe for pandoro - I tried it, it worked and all of a sudden baking was not scary at all. The last 10 months have been loads of fun, trying out various recipes and perfecting techniques. So now I would like to share what I have learnt so far and hope you will follow me in my journey as I continue the explore the wonderful world of baking.