Monthly Archives: February 2011


Terry’s Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Chocolate and orange has to be one of my favourite flavour combinations so I thought it about time to pay homage to the ultimate Terry’s ball of joy with this cupcake concoction: a chocolate orange sponge, with orange buttercream topped with a segment of the real deal…


140g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter, softened
125g light brown soft sugar
1 large egg
55g dark chocolate, melted (I use 50% min. cocoa solids)
115ml milk
½ tsp vanilla
grated zest of one orange

for the icing
250g icing sugar, sifted
80g butter
zest of one orange
few drops of milk


  • Preheat the oven to Fan 160°C and line a muffin tray with 12 large cupcake cases.
  • Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
  • In a separate bowl cream together the butter and the sugar until pale and fluffy
  • Add the egg and beat until evenly incorporated.
  • Now pour in the melted chocolate and stir until well combined.
  • Add half of the flour mixture and stir through.
  • Slowly pour in half of the milk and vanilla extract whilst mixing slowly.
  • Repeat until all ingredients are incorporated and the mix is smooth.
  • Finally stir through the grated orange zest.
  • Spoon the mix into the prepared cases and place the tray in the oven for 15 minutes until well risen and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • To make the icing, cream together the butter, icing sugar and orange zest until pale and fluffy. Add a few drops of milk and beat until you have a good piping consistency.
  • Leave the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack before icing and topping with a segment of Terry’s Chocolate Orange.

Banoffee Cupcakes

This is one of my favourite creations to date… Banana cupcakes with spiced rum soaked sultanas, a toffee sauce centre topped with toffee buttercream. There are a few components to these cupcakes so they’re not the quickest to make but trust me…they are so worth it!


for the toffee sauce
50g dark brown soft sugar

65ml double cream
25g butter

for the cupcakes
50g sultanas
35ml spiced rum
90g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
60 unsalted butter, melted
50g golden caster sugar
1 egg
2 small-medium bananas, mashed
½ tsp vanilla extract

for the icing
40g unsalted butter, softened
125g icing sugar, sifted
50g toffee sauce
a drop of milk


  • Begin by putting the sultanas in a small bowl and pouring over the rum. Leave to soak for at least an hour.
  •  To make the toffee sauce, put all of the ingredients in a small saucepan over a low heat. Stir the mixture together and once evenly blended let it bubble over a medium heat for 5 minutes to thicken. Remove from the heat and cool before transferring into a tupperware and putting in the fridge to chill and set.
  • Now for the cupcakes, preheat the oven to Fan 170°C and line a muffin tray with 8 large cupcake cases.
  • Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt together into a bowl and set aside.
  • Mix together the melted butter and sugar until smooth.
  • Beat in the egg followed by the mashed banana, vanilla extract and sultanas, including any rum that hasn’t been absorbed.
  • Finally fold in the flour mixture.
  • As the mixture is quite runny, I find it easiest to transfer it into a jug and pour it into the cupcake cases. Fill them about 2/3 full before placing the tray in the oven for 15 minutes.
  • Once they are well risen, springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean, remove them from the oven and leave to cool completely on a cooling rack.
  • Meanwhile make the icing by creaming together the butter, icing sugar and 50g of the toffee sauce until smooth. Add a drop of milk to the icing and continue beating to give it a nice smooth consistency which is soft enough to pipe easily.
  • Once the cupcakes are cool, take a melon baller and scoop out the top of each cupcake.
  • Place a spoon of toffee sauce in the hole in each cupcake.
  • Finish the cupcakes off by piping a swirl of toffee buttercream on top.
Makes 8 cupcakes.


Honey, Maple & Pecan Granola Muffins

This is my take on Primrose Bakery‘s Honey & Granola Cupcakes. I have reduced the sweetness greatly to change them from a sickly cupcake to more of a breakfast muffin. Delicious served warm from the oven with your morning coffee.

110g unsalted butter, softened
120g dark brown muscovado sugar
100g runny honey
2 large eggs
220 plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
65ml milk
65g greek yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g maple & pecan granola
  • Preheat the oven to 160°C and line a muffin tray with 10 cases.
  • Cream together the butter, sugar and honey for 5-10 minutes until pale and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
  • Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt.
  • Stir together the milk, greek yoghurt and vanilla extract.
  • Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat until smooth.
  • Now add 1/3 of the milk mixture and beat until smooth.
  • Repeat this process until all of the flour and milk has been added and the mixture is smooth and even.
  • Finally, gently fold in the granola before spooning the mixture into the prepared cases.
  • Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Makes 10 muffins

Cranberry, Orange and Macadamia Cookies

This morning I had a bit of a clear out of the cupboards. After a job well done, I thought it only fitting to reward myself by creating a recipe using bits of ingredients that needed using up, thus killing two birds with one stone! Odd bits of sugar, nuts and dried fruit resulted in these yummy chewy cranberry, orange and macadamia cookies…


225g unsalted butter, softened
85g light brown soft sugar
85g dark brown soft sugar
180g golden caster sugar
400g plain flour
a pinch of salt
2½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
50g dried cranberries
70g toasted macadamia nuts, chopped roughly
grated zest of 1 orange


  • Preheat the oven to Fan 170°C.
  • In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugars until pale and fluffy.
  • Meanwhile sift together the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and grated nutmeg.
  • Add the eggs one at a time to the creamed butter and sugar mixing well after each addition.
  • Now fold in the flour followed by the orange zest, cranberries and nuts until it forms a smooth dough.
  • Line 4 baking trays with greaseproof paper.
  • Form the dough into golf-ball sized balls and space well apart on the baking sheets. I only put 6 cookies on each tray.
  • Very slightly flatten each ball of dough with your hand before placing in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • The cookies should be golden brown around the edges but will still be very soft.
  • Leave to cool on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring onto a cooling rack.
Makes 20-24 cookies.


Cherry & Amaretto Cupcakes

I vowed to myself that I would have a week off baking cakes this week. Having said that, it is impossible to turn my mind off cakes and thinking up recipes. Yesterday evening I got the urge to try out this idea for a cherry and amaretti cupcake and as they only take minutes to knock up, I decided to break my promise and put my idea into practice. I have to say I’m pretty glad I did as they came out exactly as I’d hoped: a light and fluffy sponge with sweet cherries and almond essence topped with a rich icing, amaretti crunch and a sticky cherry on top!


90g golden caster sugar
90g unsalted butter, softened and diced
2 medium eggs
90g self-raising flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp vanilla extract
30g ground almonds
60g glacé cherries, ripped into pieces
1 tblsp amaretto

for the icing
250g icing sugar, sifted
80g unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp milk
4 tsp amaretto

optional garnish of crushed amaretti biscuits and glacé cherries.


  • Preheat the oven to Fan 160°C and line a muffin tray with 6-8 large cupcake cases.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl.
  • Add the sugar, diced butter, eggs and vanilla extract.
  • Beat until smooth and even but don’t overmix.
  • Fold in the ground almonds, amaretto and cherries.
  • Spoon into the cupcake cases filling about two thirds of each case and bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Once they are well risen, springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean, remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
  • To make the icing, cream all the ingredients together until pale and fluffy before piping onto the cooled cupcakes.
  • Garnish with crushed amaretti biscuits and half a glacé cherry.
Makes 6-8 cupcakes, depending on the size of cases you use.


Dinosaur Monster Cake

This is a cake that I made for my boyfriend’s 26th birthday. Proof that you don’t need to be a kid to have a fun cake! I think this cake would appeal to a 6 year old just a much as a 66 year old. Who wouldn’t enjoy decapitating a monster? Especially when there’s lashings of buttercream and jam to enjoy in the centre.
Cocktails and monster cake

The moment of decapitation

Gory but tasty insides…dig in!

Traditional English Fruit Scones

You can’t beat a traditional English scone so I thought it was about time I shared with you my favourite fruit scone recipe. The basics can be fiddled with to suit your taste but I love them quite plain with an abundance of juicy sultanas.

Eat them on the day, preferably whilst still warm, and serve with your choice combination of butter, jam and cream. If they don’t all get eaten (unlikely as they’re incredibly moreish!), simply freeze them on the day of baking and warm them through in the oven another time for an instant fresh tasting batch.


450g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
a generous pinch of salt
85g refrigerated unsalted butter
85g golden caster sugar
125g sultanas
milk (up to 250 ml)

1 egg and a splash of milk beaten together to form an egg wash.


  • Preheat the oven to Fan 200°C
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  • Dice the chilled butter into the flour and rub in the fat with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Stir through the sugar and fruit until evenly combined.
  • Gradually add the milk, stirring the mixture with a knife until it comes together to form a dough. The amount of milk seems to vary greatly so just keep adding it a tablespoon or so at a time until you reach the correct consistency. If it becomes too sticky just add a little flour.
  • Lightly flour a work surface and knead the mixture until you have a smooth dough.
  • Roll out the mixture about an inch thick and cut into circles before placing on a baking tray.
  • Brush each scone with egg wash and bake for 7-15 minutes depending on the size.
Time will vary greatly depending on the size of your scones. This recipe will make 12 large scones which usually take between 12 and 15 minutes. The scones should be a dark golden brown and should have lost their doughy texture. The base will be brown and when tapped on the bottom should give a hollow sound. If the scones are colouring too much and still seem doughy, turn the oven down 10 or 20 degrees.

For something a bit different, try them without or with different fruit and experiment with the addition of various spices.


Valentine’s Cupcakes

Personally I’m not celebrating St. Valentine’s Day this year but here is my festive offering none-the-less. I simply made Hummingbird Bakery chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream and scattered with home-made sugarpaste hearts.Any excuse to use my little cutters!

In case you’re not familiar with them, pictured below are a selection of little plunger cutters which are very effective for decorating cupcakes and cakes alike. They are also a very good way of using up leftover coloured sugarpaste. Simply stamp out little sugarpaste shapes, leave them to harden slightly and scatter over cupcakes or stick to cakes with royal icing. I like to make large batches with my leftover sugarpaste and then store them in a pot ready for any time I need to add an extra little something to a cake.


Simple Decorated Chocolate Cake

I made this cake for my auntie’s 50th. It is chocolate truffle with lashings of my favourite chocolate buttercream covered in chocolate sugarpaste and decorated with vanilla buttercream and a sugarpaste rose. Delicious!….Unfortunately the cake is going in place of me to her birthday lunch so I’m not going to be around to eat it!

Dundee Marmalade Cupcakes

‘Tis the shortlived Seville orange season and my mum has just finished making her second batch of Dundee Marmalade using these glorious fruits. I have created these little cupcakes to showcase the very king of marmalades. Perfect for breakfast (or any time really), this recipe is versatile and you can tweak it to suit your taste with the optional additions of nuts and marmalade glaze. One thing that’s a given though is that you have to have the very best marmalade you can find (in my case my mum’s) and the oranges have to be Seville. Nothing beats that delicious bitter orange taste.

These are a quick and easy solution for whenever you need cake or sustenance in a hurry. They can be knocked up in half and hour and are delicious straight from the oven.


65g unsalted butter, softened
65g soft brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
65g self-raising flour, sifted
15g toasted nuts (optional, walnuts or pecans work well)
1 tblsp quality Dundee marmalade (plus optional extra to serve)


  • Preheat the oven to 160°C and line a muffin tray with 4 large cupcake cases.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar. (As this is batter is quite small in quantity, this is best done in a bowl with electric hand whisk as opposed to a free standing mixer.)
  • Gradually add the beaten egg and mix until combined.
  • Gently fold in the sifted flour followed by the nuts and marmalade.
  • Divide the mixture between the 4 cases and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  • The cakes are ready when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Transfer the cakes onto a cooling rack and glaze with a teaspoon of marmalade (optional).
  • Leave to cool for 5 minutes for immediate devourment or cool completely and store in an airtight container for later.
Makes 4 cupcakes