Tag Archives: recipe

PB&J Bars

I know I know I have been terrible with the blog recently, embarrassingly I haven’t given you a new recipe since back in November, ill go and hang my head in shame shall I? As im sure you can guess ive been pretty busy the last few months. In the last week I moved house and now live in London. Im staying with a friend for a few weeks while I look for my first apartment and my first ever kitchen of my own, I cant wait to get it all set up and ready to go. Anyway now im getting back into the swing of things I thought I would share a new recipe of mine. It was inspired by watching some American comedy and they were making peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches and whilst im a big fan of both jam and peanut butter I had never had together in a sandwhich. And no dont worry the recipe isnt for a sandwhich but and PB&J shortbread bar. Its so easy but also delicious.

PB+J Shortbread Bars

450g Plain Flour

300g Unsalted Butter

150g Caster Sugar

1/4 tsp salt

150g smooth peanut butter

250g jam (choice up to you)

1. Press a piece of foil into the base and up the sides of a 9×13 baking pan. Preheat the oven to 350F/175C.

2. Place the flour, butter, sugar and salt into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse until the ingredients form a dough.

3. Tip the dough out onto the worksurface and lightly knead until it becomes uniform. Remove a third of the dough and wrap it in clingfilm and refrigerate until needed. Press the remaining dough evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 mins or until lightly golden around the edges. leave to cool for 20 mins.

4. Spread the peanut butter evenly on the cooled base then repeat with the jam. Remove the third of dough from the fridge and crumble into pieces and scatter evenly over the jam. Bake for a further 25-30 mins or until the crumbled dough starts to colour a little bit. Cool completely before cutting into 12 large squares.

Pumpkin Pie

I have a brand new favourite when it comes to autumnal dessert and it’s an American classic, pumpkin pie. You can forget apple pie, pecan pie and even Mississippi mud pie my new love is pumpkin. Actually scratch that I don’t think I could choose a favourite, how about we just say I love pie! Now first off I must say this recipe isn’t groundbreaking, it doesn’t use any weird ingredients. In fact the recipe comes from the back of a can, the Libbys pumpkin purée can to be exact. Yes I really am posting what must be the most commonly used pumpkin pie recipe around, the pastry recipe is one of mine though and hopefully it might encourage other Brits to try this American classic. Continue reading

liquorice Ice Cream

In the post about Nanaimo Bars I mentioned that I had tried something called Tiger Ice Cream, which is basically just liquorice and orange ice cream swirled together. I absolutely loved it, ever since I’ve been hoping i come across an ice cream shop over hear that makes it, but i’ve never seen it outside Canada. I don’t have two ice cream makers so can’t see how I would be able to make it so I decided to just make the liquorice ice cream. None of my books had a recipe, which I guess isn’t surprising as it’s not exactly the most popular flavour, so I turned to Twitter for suggestions. I was given a couple of suggestions but someone was even kinder to send me Claudia Flemings recipe from her book “The Last Course” a book I have wanted for a long time but which is unfortunately out of print and now ridiculously expensive to buy, so unless anyone wants to give me a copy I won’t be getting it anytime soon. Now, I will admit that at one stage this ice cream looked disgusting, the custard was the most unattractive green colour. I’m sure this is down the the brand of liquorice I used, so I decided I had to add a little colouring to darken it and in the end it looked okay but next time I’ll choose a different brand, because I hate colouring ice cream. Continue reading

Chocolate Peanut Crinkles

Super simple but impressive cookie recipe today. These are not traditional cookies, they dont have the same texture, they are actually nearer brownies, although not gooey in the same way. The impressive thing about these is that they are rolled in icing sugar so that when they are baked they crackle and reveal the chocolate cookie beneath. The recipe makes loads, I got 45 from the cookie dough, thankfully they were baked as a favour for an event so they didnt go to waste. The recipe comes from the new book by the White House pastry chef Bill Yosses, The Perfect Finish. The book has some wonderful sounding recipes from a Chocolate and Salted Caramel Tart to Chocolate Chip Cookies with Nutella, I cant wait to try some more. Continue reading

Nanaimo Bars

I seem to have formed many of my childhood memories around food, for example I remember being shocked as a six year old being served a whole fish, head and eyes included, on holiday in France, or ordering  “dos of them please” pointing at doughnuts in spain when I was seven and not knowing a word of the language. Sometimes the food in those memories sticks with me for years. One of those memories is Nanaimo Bars. When I was eighteen I spent a month travelling across Canada from Calgary over to Vancouver Island, travelling across the Rockies and visiting family in Vancouver. It was one of the best holidays I have ever had and the memories will stick with me for a very long time. The two foods that I often crave from the trip is Tiger Ice Cream and Nanaimo Bars. Tiger Ice Cream is so different and wondeful, its licorice ice cream swirled with orange ice cream and trust me the stuff is seriously good. Nanaimo Bars come from a town in western Canada and they are a stupidly simple, no-bake recipe. They are rich and indulgent so of course I love them. This recipe was given to me by Jane of http://www.virtuousbread.com/ (on twitter as @virtuousbread) and its really good. Continue reading

Carrot Cake

For a self proclaimed pastry geek I read some exciting news this week. Claire Clark the former pastry chef of the world renowned French Laundry is coming back to her home shores to do a pop up patisserie at Harvey Nichols in London (13th sept -18th Nov). You will be able to get afternoon tea (first two weeks) as well as individual purchases. The idea is to serve patisserie inspired by Claires childhood, so things like Jaffa cake macarons. Last year I heard she was coming to London to open her own place but in the end went to work in the Bahamas (told I was a geek). Hopefully the pop up is just a prequel to her opening her own patisserie but until then you could always look up her book Indulge. I bought it years ago and for some reason never baked from it and left it neglected. After I heard about the pop up it prompted me to delve back in and take another look. I’m not sure why I overlooked it because it really is a beautiful book and I actually found lots of things I wanted to make. I decided to try something simpler first, mainly because I wasn’t in the mood to try anything complicated but also because it was something I love, carrot cake. I don’t have a go to recipe and was hoping this might be it. The flavour is pretty good although I would up the spicing a bit as I found it fairly subtle. I was rushing a bit when I made It so didn’t make it perfectly and it was flatter than it was supposed to be be but it was still very good. Continue reading

Great British Bake Off – Episode 2

I meant to write a post last week about my experiences of the show and of the cotswolds but never quite got around to it so this week I was prepared. I loved filming this weeks episode, the weather was so much better than the previous week. You couldn’t tell on the show but it rained almost the whole weekend and it was bitterly cold as well. Scotland was warm and sunny and when we were not filming we were out enjoying the sun. I also felt very comfortable in the kitchen compared to the week before, I was relaxed and excited to be there doing what I love.

For the first challenge we had to make biscuits and yes my definiton of biscuits includes cookies! I went with my oatmeal raisin cookies which were inspired by and adapted from a recipe from a New York bakery called Momofuku Milk Bar (original recipe here). The really interesting thing about the recipe is that they used milk powder to make crumbs to add a creaminess which I loved. So I played around and came up with a recipe using the same idea. For the show I adapted it further and changed the way I make them to make simpler and more straight forward. The recipe I used on the show isnt on the BBC website but my original adaption is here.

The Second Challenge was scones and, well… yeah I didnt do great on the challenge. I grew up on my mum’s wonderful scones and holidays in devon with real cream teas, but the ones my mum taught me to make are slightly more rustic so maybe ill just brush over this challenge…

The third and final challenge was the big one, macarons, meringues and choux buns. I make macarons a lot but not so much choux pastry and meringue but i wasn’t uncomfortable with them either. My macarons were filled with raspberry jam and a rose flavoured French buttercream. If you want to look at the recipes I use most often take a look at this post here.