Cake bombs…

Ever got leftover cake? No, me either! But if you do, and that cake is even a little dried out, here’s something yummy you can transform it into. Little bombs of Baileys and coffee soaked cake crumbs, encased in a chocolate shell. Pretty little treat. And it uses up leftovers, which always pleases me! Hope you like it!
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Baileys cake bombs
300g leftover cake crumbs
30 ml hot water
1tsp coffee
30ml of Baileys
200g of tempered dark chocolate

Make sure the cake crumbs are fully crumbled!

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Dissolve the coffee in the hot water. Add the Baileys. Mix well into the cake crumbs. If your crumbs were quite dry, you may need a little more Baileys. You want the crumbs to stick together when you roll them into about 16 balls.

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Dip them into your tempered chocolate and allow to set.
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Humble apple crumble muffins

I’m calling these muffins, humble because they owe their existence to four sad, lonely red apples that didn’t get eaten last week. And when the time came to restock the fruit bowl with more luscious looking new apples, I didn’t have the heart to give them to the birds. It’s not their fault that the bananas were in favour this week, and in fairness to the bananas it’s usually them that end up in a cake because they didn’t look so pretty any more. But now I’ve got this recipe, I’ll be hoping there’s apples to use up more often!

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humble apple crumble muffins
320g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
115g butter
180g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs at room temp
180 ml buttermilk ( or milk curdled with tsp lemon juice)
4 medium eating apples coarsely grated (or a mix of eating and cooking apples )
The crumble topping
70g plain flour
60g butter
100g soft brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
Turn your oven to 180 C. Put your muffins cases in your muffin tin. In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and spices.
Beat the butter till it turns paler and add the sugar and vanilla and beat for a further two minutes. Beat in your eggs one at a time. Slowly add the milk. It will look curdled but that’s ok. Gently mix the flour through and then fold the apples through. Spoon into your cases.
To make the crumble topping, rub the butter into the flour coarsely and mix the sugar and spices through. Sprinkle over the muffins and bake for 20-25 mins or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Eat warm on the day of baking!
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Recipe critic, Naughty Nigella

Sorry Nigella, for calling you naughty but you really are…four hundred and seventy five grams of chocolate in twelve cookies?!! It’s kind genius, in an incredibly wicked way, and unfortunately this is what makes them taste so good! I buy slabs of plain chocolate for this and chop them up into chunks with my extra sharp knife. You can find this recipe along with many more in Nigella Express, another well used book on my cookery bookshelf, well worth buying!
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nigella’s totally chocolate chocolate chip cookies
125g dark chocolate
150g flour
30g cocoa sieved
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
125g soft butter
75g light brown sugar
50g white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg cold from the fridge
350g dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 170C. Melt 125g dark chocolate. Cream the butter and sugars. Add the melted chocolate and mix. Beat in the vanilla and egg and mix in the dry ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chips. Using two lined cookie sheets, scoop 12 equal sized mounds, 6cm apart. Do not flatten. Bake for 18 minutes. Leave to cool for 4-5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to harden.
the verdict The recipe is nice n easy to follow, I love that there’s no faffing around getting sticky hands, you just scoop the mixture straight onto the tray. The only bad thing I have to say about this recipe is the amount of chocolate used, which on the other hand just happens to be the best thing! How did the finished result go down with my hungry hordes? Let’s just say, these are just a little bit too good for under 12s! Nigella, I have to give you 5 out of 5 *****

The softest chocolate cupcakes ever!

“Sugar”, that’s what I said as I screwed up my face. Thankfully my naughty little secret of licking my little finger after scooping the last spoonful of mix into the last cupcake case, came in very useful today. I’d forgotten to add the sugar earlier and only for licking my pinky, I’d have been non the wiser until someone else had taken a bite into those sweet less cupcakes….now for me , that really would be embarrassing! But all the same, what a waste of my beautiful golden cupcake cases. Each one destroyed as it was scooped out, to add in the forgotten sugar. But alls well that ends well, the batter didn’t seem to mind being manhandled and I hope I’ve learned my leasson!
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softest chocolate cupcakes
130g plain flour
200g caster sugar
70g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (I use a level 2.5 ml side of a medicine spoon)
1 tsp of baking powder (I use a level 5ml side of a medicine spoon)
1/2 tsp of salt
1 egg
125ml full fat milk
60ml of vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
125ml boiling water
1 tsp coffee powder
Preheat you oven to 170 C. Put your cupcake cases (fairly large ones)into a tin. In a large bowl whisk the six first dry ingredients together to add air and get rid of any clumps. In another bowl whisk together the egg, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla together and then add to the dry ingredients. Mix well to combine. Dissolve the coffee in the boiling water and slowly add to the mix. Beat it all together for a couple of minutes. Fill the cupcake cases three quarters full and bake in the oven for 14-16 minutes. Leave to cool.
vanilla bean buttercream
100g butter
300g icing sugar
Large pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or indeed extract if that’s all you have)
4 tbsp cream or milk

Beat the butter with a wooden spoon until softened and lightened in colour. Add one third of the icing sugar, beating in well after each addition. Add the salt, vanilla bean paste and one tablespoon of cream at a time and keep beating until you have a smooth buttercream. Fill your piping bag and decorate your cupcakes as you please. I promise you, they’ll go down a treat!
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Holiday brunch

No….reason….to….get….up….the best feeling in the world ever! Ok, so that’s not entirely true, there are four reasons to get up, even in the holidays! Theres only so long a movie can stave off the hunger pains! Good job I love the feeding part of my job!
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French toast in a clementine sauce
The sauce
The zest of 6 clementines
The juice of 6 clementines (obviously use the ones you zested!)
3/4 cup orange juice
2 tbsp sugar
The segments of 3 clementines

The French toast
6 slices of white bread
3 eggs
1/2 cup of sugar
1 cup of milk
Butter

Start by making the sauce. In a pan, add the zest and juice of the clementines, orange juice and sugar. Reduce for about five minutes. Add the pieces of clementines and turn off.
Next make the French toast. Whisk up the eggs along with the sugar. Slowly whisk the milk into the eggs. Turn on a large frying pan to a medium heat. Add some butter to grease the pan. Hold the bread down in the egg mixture making sure it’s nicely soaked through. Make sure the pan is good and hot.(but not burning hot!) Cook the soaked bread, till it’s golden (for about three minutes) and turn and cook on the other side. You should feel some resistance when pressed when it’s cooked. Serve hot with the clementine sauce.

Lemon meringue cheesecake

Should I really be giving away this recipe?…I mean, surely it should be one of those top secret recipes that you guard with your life. Nah, I’m just too generous! But it does come with a warning, you are either going to love me for it or, sadly, hate me. Love me because well, make it and you’ll see. Hate me because it’s just too good and it sure isn’t gonna make you thin. But save it for special occasions then you can share the love!
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lemon meringue cheesecake
250g digestive biscuits(or graham crakers)crushed
100g butter melted
250g cream cheese(Philadelphia or such like)
1 tin of condensed milk
3 eggs separated
1 tsp lemon zest
4 tbsp lemon juice
150g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vinegar
3/4 tsp corn flour

Preheat the oven to 180 C. To make the base, mix the crushed biscuits with the melted butter. Press into the base of a 20cm loose bottom tin. To make the filling start by beating the cream cheese and then gradually beat in the condensed milk, followed by the egg yolks and lemon zest and juice. Pour immediately into the base as it will start to thicken after you add the lemon juice. To make the meringue, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, then gradually add the sugar, vinegar and corn flour until stiff and shiny. Dollop onto the filling, covering it. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 180 C then turn down to 150 C for a further 25 minutes. Cool completely and remove from tin. Slice and serve. Oh la la!

By request…yogurt and banana cake

It’s such a humble thing, banana cake, mainly because the only reason it’s made is to use up those old bananas nobody wants to eat. But in my eyes bananas were meant to get old just for this very purpose….once they are transformed into this homely cake, they aren’t so humble anymore.
This recipe makes two loaf tins.
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yogurt and banana cake
170g softened butter
250g caster sugar
3 eggs
320g plain flour
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
260ml natural yogurt
1 large over ripe banana mashed well
1 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
the glaze
230g icing sugar
1 tbsp corn flour
3-4 tbsp of water
1/2 tsp of vanilla bean paste.(or vanilla extract)
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Line and grease two loaf tins. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, flour, bicarb, and mixed spice. Beat well and then add the banana, yogurt and vanilla and combine well. Pour into the prepared tins. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the top springs back slightly when touched. Cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
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When cool, mix together the icing sugar, corn flour, vanilla, with enough water to make a thick paste. Pour over the cakes.