homemade

Strawberry, vanilla and rhubarb jam

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Perfect on toast, or inside a Victoria sponge cake with cream. I thought why not use lovely fruits that are currently in season that I can enjoy in a jam with various treats. An easy and simple recipe, which is very versatile. 20140315-225725.jpg

Ingredients:
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Chopped 1kg strawberries
Chopped 1kg rhubarb
2 cups of jam sugar
1/2 cup of water
Squirt of lemon juice

Method- Step1) place a plate in the freezer for later testing of the jam. In a pan, add all of your ingredients and cook for between 10-15 minutes, until the fruit has soften and formed a jam like texture.

Step2) Sterilise your jars by filling with boiling water. Spoon a tea spoon of your jam mixture onto the frozen plate, if it forms a jam like consistency when cooled then it’s ready to jar, if not then continue cooking until it does.

Mini lemon meringue pies

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These cute little pies are a must try! Perfect for a dinner party or afternoon tea with friends.

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Ingredients: (to serve 6)
Ready rolled shortcrust pastry

For the filling-
Zest and juice of 4 lemons
250g caster sugar
150g unsalted butter
4 egg yolks
1 egg
For the meringue-
2 egg whites
100g icing sugar

Method:
Step1) Preheat oven to 190c/ 170c fan/ Gas mark 5. Cut pastry into squares or circles (to fit your tray) and place inside, cover each with baking parchment and baking beans and place in the oven for 10 minutes.

Step2) Put the pastry cases to the side while preparing the filling. In a large pan place the sugar, lemon zest and juice with 50ml of water and stir, before adding the butter and eggs. Stir until thick and the mixture coats the back of a spoon. When ready, put to the side, while you prepare the meringue.

Step3) In a bowl over simmering water whisk together the icing sugar and egg whites until it forms stiff peaks and resembles a marshmallow texture.
Spoon into a piping bag with a nozzle of your choice.

Step4) Spoon the lemon filling into the pastry cases before piping on the meringue, then place in the oven for 20 minutes and tuck in, best served warm!

Valentines cupcakes! ❤️

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It’s that time of year again, instead of going out for a romantic meal, why not stay in and bake some valentines cupcakes, it’ll be much cheaper…

With red velvet sponge, topped with buttercream and chocolate hearts they are fun to make and even more enjoyable to eat!

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Ingredients:
130g buttermilk
120g unsalted butter
180g caster sugar
200g plain flour
2 medium eggs
Red food colouring gel (I prefer this to liquid food colour as it gives a better colour and less flavour)
1tsp vanilla extract
1tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Plus Betty Crocker vanilla icing and decorations of your choice, I used Hotel chocolat valentines hearts

Method:
Step1) Preheat oven to 180c/ fan160c/Gas mark.
In a bowl cream together the butter and sugar, before beating in the vanilla extract, cocoa powder and eggs.

Step2) In a separate bowl stir together the butter milk and red food gel until it turns bright red in colour. Sift the flour into the cake mix and fold into the red buttermilk mixture.

Step3) Mix together the bicarbonate of soda and white wine vinegar before stirring into the cake mixture and distributing evenly between prepared cupcake cakes and placing in the oven for 20 minutes, or until risen. Top with icing and decorate.

Individual carrot cakes

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These cute little cakes baked in my new individual bake pan available from Lakeland are a take on a classic carrot cake recipe, finished with vanilla buttercream and sugar carrot decorations.

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Ingredients:

215g self-raising flour

1.5 tsp baking powder

140g light brown muscovado sugar

140ml sunflower oil

3 medium eggs

120g grated carrots

100g chopped walnuts

1 mushed banana

2 tbsp mixed spices

Decoration:

Vanilla buttercream (I used betty crocker) and Sugar carrots from amazon

Method-

Step1) Preheat the oven to 180c/fan 160c/ Gas 4. I used a non stick bake pan, but if you aren’t then line with baking parchment to ensure there isn’t any problems removing the cakes later on. In a bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar and eggs until well combined then add in the sunflower oil to produce a syrupy mixture.

Step2) Next add in the carrots, walnuts, banana and spices and give the mixture a good stir until it’s all combined, then divide the mixture evenly into the bake pan and place in the oven for around 15-20 minutes, or until risen and springy.

Step 3) When ready, remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack before icing and serving, I hope you enjoy!