[veuillez défiler vers le bas pour la version française] Porridge? Bleurgh; not for me (unless I’m camping, in which case I’ll tolerate it). Combine oats with sugar (lots of it) and syrup, and it’s a different story: I’m the sort of person who’ll eat flapjack mix straight from the saucepan, and who can’t resist a crumbly, oaty biscuit fresh from the oven. It doesn’t take long to whip up a batch of these scrummy little snacks – and, in my house at least, it takes a serious amount of self-restraint not to demolish them in even less time.
In my Easter chocolate rankings, Mini Eggs sit right up there with the Lindt Gold Bunny. (Cadbury Creme Eggs, if you were wondering, are right at the bottom. I just can’t stand them.) Two for me, one for you; that’s my approach to sharing a bag of these beauties. I’ve made a few batches of fridge cake in recent months – it’s an easy-peasy bake, with very little washing up involved (win-win) – and decided to chuck a bag of Mini Eggs in last time for an Easter-y treat. Happy Easter!
[veuillez défiler vers le bas pour la version française] If you ask me, Wales’ culinary offerings are often overlooked. And yet, the humble Welsh cake (which in fact is not a cake, but rather a scone-like snack cooked on a griddle and sprinkled with sugar) and teatime staple bara brith (which is more than just a fruit loaf) are two of my favourite sweet treats. Currants and candied peel are steeped in sweet tea overnight, then stirred into a lightly spiced cake batter, hence the literal translation ‘speckled bread’.
[veuillez défiler vers le bas pour la version française] Christmas, for me, is all about spending time with my nearest and dearest (who these days don’t live so very near to me), playing board games one after the other (Scrabble, Articulate, Monopoly – you name it, we’ll be playing it) and indulging in festive treats (especially sweet festive treats). When Laurence told me that Sainsbury’s were selling mince pie flavoured cookies, I couldn’t resist picking up a bag on my way home from work. (Could you?) I saved the packet, checked the ingredients and spent that weekend making some tweaks to my tried-and-trusted cookie recipe. Featuring a generous helping of currants, sultanas and mixed peel and a dash of cinnamon, they taste like Christmas in a cookie (if I do say so myself).
I’ve been a fan of The Great British Bake Off for years and while I’m not quite sold on the new judging line-up, I still can’t resist tuning in to see the latest batch of bakers demonstrate their baking prowess under the watchful (and piercing) eyes of Paul and Prue. This year, Laurence and I decided to ‘bake along’ and attempt a challenge each week – so today’s post is a run-down of what we made and how our bakes turned out.
[veuillez défiler vers le bas pour la version française] Marmalade, in my eyes, is synonymous with a certain bear from deepest, darkest Peru. Whilst Paddington slathered his on slices of bread and squirrelled said sandwiches away under his felt hat, I prefer mine mixed into a cake batter. (Let’s face it, cake might as well be my middle name.) Adding both marmalade and orange zest to the batter ensures you get the slivers of orange rind running through the cake and the zesty punch of a fresh orange; it’s a win-win if you ask me (not that you did). The result? A moreish snack to accompany my mid-morning cuppa on the weekend, and a tasty addition to my packed lunch for the week.
Easter conjures up memories of egg hunts, of stirring golden syrup, butter and cocoa powder together to make chocolate nests, of devouring fruity hot cross buns whenever the opportunity presented itself. I used to be one of those people who gobbled their hot cross buns up in a few bites, as they were: plain, sans beurre. These days, I’m more likely to wedge them in the toaster (if I’m short on time) or whack them under the grill (if time’s on my side), slather them in jam and enjoy them warm. Although there’s any number of flavours to choose from these days – including ‘Toffee Fudge and Belgian Chocolate’, ‘Apple and Cinnamon’ and ‘Mango, Pineapple and Papaya’, to name but a few of the traditional hot cross bun’s exotic cousins – I’d much rather have the original, full of juicy sultanas and mixed peel.