Thursday, March 16, 2023

Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

For Valentine’s Day this year, I made decorated sugar cookies for the first time in a couple of years.  I wanted to make my cookies gluten free to share them with others, so I used this recipe.

I love how gluten free recipes have really stepped up in recent years. Once, there was a compromise on flavour or texture, or the need to use loads of different flours. Now, provided that you have a good gluten free flour mix and xantham gum, both of which are now readily available in supermarkets, the sky is the limit, and you can’t tell the difference between the gluten free versions and their glutinous counterparts.

 I used royal icing to decorate the cookies. Because I was worried about running out of icing, I outlined the cookies first and them flooded them, so the outlining dried and didn’t blend with the flooding. They are still pretty though, I think, and were appreciated by those I shared them with.

If you are looking for a good gluten free sugar cookie recipe, I can recommend the one that i used, linked to above.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

TWD - Carrot Muffins

This week’s Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Carrot Muffins. These are not your average muffins in that there is quote a number of steps and ingredients that you probably don’t need to make muffins. That said, these muffins are delicious.

 I subbed date syrup for pomegranate molasses (because I had the former but not the latter), and for the dried fruit component, I used cranberries.

I recommend using your food processor if you have one to grate the carrots, because it saves an awful lot of time.

These muffins are attractive to look at and nice and moist to eat. They taste good, undoubtedly. However, they are a little fussier to make than your average muffins, so do bear that in mind if you decide to make them.

To see everyone’s bakes this week, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Bara Brith

For St David’s Day, the Welsh National Day, I made Nigella’s Bara Brith recipe. You can find it online here.

 You can mix up the flavours of the Bara Brith by using different dried fruits and different flavoured teas to soak the fruit in. While currants are a must, I went non-traditional with the rest of the fruit, using cranberries and dates. This was of necessity to use what I had rather than by design, but it turned out well.

You can butter the slices of Bara Brith as Nigella suggests, but I served it without, like any fruit cake.

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

 Ok, I know this photo doesn’t exactly look appetising, but it’s a photo of what was a truly delicious meal.

The meal is Slow Cooker Beef Stew, made from this recipe on the BBC website.

Onions, garlic and celery are fried up with carrots, bay, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and water.  

The stewing steak is browned and added with the vegetable mix to the slow cooker, then two beef stock cubes are crumbled on top, and everything is seasoned with salt and pepper. I also added frozen peas.

The slow cooker then does its work (8-10 hours on low or 4 hours on high). 

If you want to thicken the sauce, two tablespoons of cornflour made into a paste with water are added to the slow cooker and is left to cook for another half an hour.

Once cooked, the stew is served on mashed potato.

This stew has a deep, rich flavour and is very satisfying. And of course, the slow cooker makes it very low maintenance cooking.

If you like stew, then I recommend giving this recipe a go.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

TWD - Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, Parisian Style

This week’s Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, Parisian Style.

These cookies are heavy on the peanuts - peanut butter, peanut praline spread, chopped peanuts, peanut praline sprinkles, and in my case, Reeses pieces in place of chocolate chips. Go big or go home, I say.

These cookies are big but delicious. I’d make them again but maybe take the shortcut Biscoff spread option and leave out the peanut praline.

To see what everyone else made this week and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

TWD - Swedish Fika Cake

 This week’s Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Swedish Fika Cake. It’s a buttery cake topped with a caramel-almond mixture that is designed to be enjoyed with coffee or tea for a morning or afternoon break.

All I can say about this cake is yum!! Caramel + almonds + buttery cake is my idea of delicious.

Do yourself a favour if you can and make this cake!

To see what everyone else made this week and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

TWD - Potato-Parm Tart

This week’s Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Potato-Parm Tart.  This involves making a savoury galette dough, rolling it out flat, putting a cream-cheese-milk-parmesan mixture on top, then arranging thin slices of red potato (and in my case, apple) on the cheese mixture, with more parmesan and thyme. The base is pre-baked, and then baked again to cook the topping. 

This tart was delicious- I would definitely make it again. It was a little time consuming to make  with its various steps, but not difficult.

To see what everyone else made this week and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

TWD - Iced Honey-Apple Scones

 Today’s Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Iced Honey-Apple Scones with Spelt. In my case, the scones are sans spelt, as I replaced it with wholemeal flour.

These are not like any scones I know - they are more like little apple cakes, and they remind me of the apple cakes you buy from old fashioned bakeries in Australia.

I think I would have preferred these scones without the icing, as they are already quite sweet from the honey in them.

I made a half recipe to yield six scones.

To see what everyone else made this week, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Berry Ricotta Baked Cheesecake


Cheesecake is one of our family's favourite desserts, so while I was on vacation with my mother, she hankered after a berry cheesecake.  Mum had seen a raspberry baked cheesecake on Good Chef Bad Chef, so I found the recipe online here

The recipe creates a vast cheesecake, so I halved it, which still created a very nice sized cheesecake.  We also used frozen mixed berries instead of fresh raspberries.

I really liked this cheesecake.  The mixture of ricotta and cream cheese makes for a cheesecake that is less dense than its all-cream cheese counterparts, and the digestive biscuit base gives it a nice earthy flavour.

To make this cheesecake (half size), you will need:


150g digestive biscuits
50g softened butter
15g brown sugar  


250g cream cheese
375g ricotta
125g sugar
2 1/2 large eggs
1 tablespoon lemon zest
250g berries, fresh or frozen
pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease and line an 8" round springform tin.

Process the biscuits, butter and brown sugar together in a food processor until crumbs form.  (Interestingly, there is no need to melt the butter - I will use this technique again.) Scrape the crumb mixture into the prepared springform tin, and spread out evenly, pressing into the tin to create a flat base for the cheesecake. (I think your fingers work just as well as anything for this purpose.) Place into the fridge to chill while you make the filling.

Put the cheeses, eggs, lemon zest and sugar into a food processor  and process until smooth.  Remove the bowl from the food processor, take out the blade, and gently fold through the berries with a spatula.

Pour the cheesecake mixture over the chilled base, and bake the cheesecake in the oven for 40 minutes or until cooked through (ie firm to the touch on top but still a bit jiggly).  Mine took ~ 50 minutes.  You can turn off the oven and leave the door slightly ajar with a wooden spoon, leaving the cheesecake to cool in the oven.  However, I just removed the cheesecake from the oven immediately and left it to cool on a rack without any ill effect.

Once cool, chill the cheesecake in the fridge for at least a couple of hours or overnight to allow the flavours to meld and the texture to smooth before slicing and serving.