Tag Archives: Baking

♥ Baking: Biscuits

Baking biscuits.

I don’t buy biscuits.  I simply don’t because I might simply scoff the lot.  Plus there is the vexatious question of dubious ingredients in some shop bought biscuits (think additives and trans fats).  However I do have a sweet a tooth so I occasionally bake a batch of biscuits. These vanilla biscuits are one of the first things I learnt to bake many years ago; they are beyond easy to make and if you exclude the cooking time the making of them takes just five minutes.  You should get about twenty from this recipe.

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♥ Baking: Bread

I love the glorious aroma of freshly baked home-made bread.  However I have limited bread making skills and I am rather scared of using yeast so other than occasionally making focaccia I tend to stick to baking breads that don’t require it.  The yeast free spelt bread pictured above is very easy to make; it is just the thing when you want to cut back on your wheat intake and it tastes delicious.  The recipe comes from ‘Cornucopia at Home: The Cook Book’.

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♥ Mango and Walnut Scones

Am I alone in sticking to a very limited choice of foods to eat for breakfast?  I usually select either the healthy option of a bowl of porridge with yogurt or the not so healthy alternative of a scone.  In an effort to make some tiny changes to my breakfast routine, when I was baking a batch of scones for the freezer I added walnuts and dried mango instead of the usual couple of handfuls of sultans.  I try to avoid dairy as much as possible but I have never been able to find an acceptable substitute to use for baking, if anyone knows one please let me know.

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♥ Chocolate Tart

I am of the make-your-own-pastry-tribe but if you’re not and would like to make the tart you could always seek out a good ready-made pastry.   When a recipe calls for a pastry shell to be baked blind, I adopt a twenty-four hour approach to tackling it; I make the pastry and bake the shell the evening before it’s needed and then all I have to do the following day is make the filling and cook off the tart.  This is a Simon Hopkinson recipe, I suspect everybody is probably into Simon Hopkinson’s latest book, The Good Cook, post his recent BBC series, but the chocolate tart recipe is from his older and excellent book Roast Chicken and Other Stories published by Ebury Press in 1994.


 For the pastry

175g butter

65g icing sugar

2 egg yolks

225g plain flour

For the filling

3 egg yolks

2 whole eggs

40g caster sugar

150g butter

200g dark chocolate broken into pieces (I used one with a 70% cocoa content)


To make the pastry, put the butter, sugar and egg yolks in a bowl (or food processor) and work together quickly.  Blend in the flour, and work to a homogenous paste.  Chill for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 180°C .   Roll out the pasty as thinly as you can and use it to line a 20.5cm tart tin.  Bake blind in the oven for about 25  minutes or until pale biscuit in colour, but thoroughly cooked through.  Remove. Increase the heat of the oven to 190°C.

To make the filling, put the egg yolks, whole eggs and sugar in a bowl and beat vigorously together, preferably with an electric mixer until really thick and fluffy.  Melt the butter and chocolate together in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth.  Pour on to the egg mixture while just warm.  Briefly beat together until well amalgamated, them pour into the pastry case.  Return to the hot oven for 5 minutes, then remove and leave to cool.  Serve with thick cream.


Note: To bake the pastry case blind I lined it with tin foil and weighed it down with uncooked rice.


Filed under Food/Wine, Recipes

♥ Bake my Cake

What do you do if you qualified as an architect in Dublin, just as the world economy wobbled spectacularly, the Irish property market imploded and construction in Dublin lurched to a shuddering halt?  When Catherine De Groot completed her degree in 2008, she briefly worked in an architectural practice but when her hours were cut, she decided to supplement her income by transforming her childhood passion for baking into a business.  For a while she beavered away at the cake making plus the architecture but the fledgling baking business was so successful that she decided to leave architecture and in November 2010 she found a suitable premises and opened Bake My Cake.

The shop is on Booterstown Avenue in South Dublin, it’s long, narrow and the white-painted walls are a perfect foil to the splashes of colour supplied by: the shelves of brightly-hued products, the painted logo created by a graphic designer friend, the colour blocked take away coffee cups and the pretty polka dot cake boxes.  The gorgeous baking aroma transfixed me the moment I walked through the door, it comes from the heart of the business,an open plan kitchen, at the back of the shop, overlooking a small garden.

The business has three distinct parts.  Firstly there’s the baking side; should you be looking for a bespoke cake for a special occasion (wedding, birthday, christening…) you can sit down and talk to The Bake My Cake team and they will come up with a design that matches your requirements.  There is also a list of deserts, cupcakes and other treats available to order.  Secondly, if you are a devoted home baker the shop is a place where you can source all manner of cake-centric things such as: fondant icing, cake tins, colouring, cutters, edible food writing pens, cake decoration and cup cake cases.  The third part of the Bake my Cake business is the treats section at the front of the shop where there is a daily changing choice of goodies (cup cakes, brownies…) as well as ice cream and coffee for sale (take out only).

A special thank you to Neil, one of Catherine’s team for answering all my question.

Note; Bake My Cake, 45 Booterstown Avenue,Blackrock, Co. Dublin. Website: http://www.bakemycake.ie  Phone: 00353 1 2784478.  The shop is open, Monday – Friday: 8.00a.m. – 6.00p.m. and Saturday: 10.00a.m. – 4.00p.m.


Filed under Cake, Celebrations, Dublin, Food/Wine, Shops/Shopping

♥ Orange Breakfast Bars

This Sunday’s weather made it very difficult to believe that we are just ten days away from Midsummer.  The sky was dull and dark in these parts and misty, gauzy, grey rain floated incessantly to the ground.  A soft day!  To cheer myself up this evening I did a spot of comfort baking and whizzed up a batch of orange and cinnamon breakfast bars, for the freezer.  The recipe comes from Jane Clarke’s book  Body Foods for Life.

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♥ Tea Brack Recipe

Tea brack

Sometimes eating something sweet, old-fashioned and comforting on a Sunday afternoon is just what I need. This tea brack fits the bill perfectly.  The recipe comes from Theodora Fitzgibbon’s book A Taste of Ireland.

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