Earl Grey Tea Bread 

Surprisingly for someone who loves tea as much as I do, it took me until my 32nd birthday to try tea bread. 
I don’t know why I never had this before its lovely!  And as you’d expect from the name it goes perfect with my copious amounts of tea. 

My boyfriend bought me my first ever one as a birthday present and it came from an expensive artisan shop so when I tried it it was beautiful.  The next one I tried was from Aldi as I never noticed it in there before but now I suddenly saw it. Now had I tried the Aldi one first I’d have loved it but as I had the Buxton tea bread it just didn’t taste anywhere near as good. 

As usual this prompted me to try and make my own version. 

Good to know – Tea Loaf

This is the recipe I have used for my base but instead of Roobios I have used a lovely loose Earl Grey tea to infuse my fruit. I left it for about 5 hours to soak and I also added some extra mixed spice and some cinnamon. To top the cake off, for the last 20 minutes I have sprinkled the cake with a mix of brown sugar and cinnamon. 
Now unfortunately I can’t tell you how this has come out yet because although the cake looks and smells amazing, it says to wait at least two days! 

Now I’m stuck looking at a lovely hot cake which I can’t eat. I really hope it’s worth it because I don’t have much restraint for resisting cake but if it makes it special then it’ll be worth it. 

The cakes who can travel: standby brownies 

Today it was Mcmillan charity cake day at work and naturally I offered to bake something for it. 
The problem was that in my head I was going to bake a quick fruit cake and ice with a nice funny phrase. What actually happened was the day of the bake sale I had to work 50 miles away from my office at another site and the day before I had to do a 100 mile round trip for work! Dilemma. 

I wanted to bake but they had to be something sturdy, easy to transport and ok to sit in my car whilst I drove around and attended a meeting. In the end I settled for chocolate brownies, the wonderful sturdy baked goods. Not fancy but very tasty and most importantly able to withstand my driving. 

The recipe I used was from Donna Hay: http://www.lifestylefood.com.au/recipes/15140/standby-brownies

I saw her bake this recipe on TV one day and then my auntie bought me her cookbook as a present when I was visiting in Australia.  Since first seeing it on TV I’ve never used another brownie recipe since, honestly this never fails and chocolate doesn’t keep in my cupboards (yes. I mean I eat it!) so this is perfect. 

I was going to put the chocolate chips inside but I kinda forgot so they became a good sprinkling. 

Although I didn’t get to go to this bake sale, I did hear that the brownies sold quickly so I’m glad I got to make a small but chocolatey contribution. 

And the place I went for work today had their own cake sale so I had cake for breakfast and lunch… Shh. 

A very quick bake: Chocolate orange muffins 


Tonight is Great British Bake off night and for any aspiring baker from the UK it’s the program to watch. 

I love it which is why I had a dilemma – watch bake off or bake? 

In the end I managed to do both because I made a very quick batch of chocolate muffins and flavoured them using Sugar and Crumbs Jaffa Twist icing sugars.

I haven’t actually tried one of the muffins yet so I’m hoping they are ok. Its the first time I’ve swapped normal sugar for icing sugar but I thought I’d give it a go. 

This recipe literally only makes 6 average sized muffins so its good for just a few cakes around the house. They look right so let’s hope they taste good too. 


Chocolate orange muffins 

I used this recipe from the BBC good food: Chocolate muffins

I adapted the recipe slightly by adding in chocolate chips and using the same weight of flavoured icing sugar instead of normal sugar. 

They took exactly 20 mins in the oven.

Little baking and a high school fairy cake recipe 

My mini me loves to bake, it’s one of our favourite Sunday afternoon things to do together. 

She was only 18 months old the first time we started baking and by 3 years old she won our local under 12s bake off at a charity day.  I even too photos of her baking to show she made it all! (weighing and oven things excluded)

So as today is Sunday I thought I’d write this post about her. We nearly always bake a very basic fairy cake recipe that I learnt at school. I still have the original one I wrote in cookery lesson, it’s never failed once to come out perfectly, even for little hands.


Easy (fail proof) cakes for children 

4oz Margarine
4oz Self Raising Flour
2 medium eggs
Vanilla Extract

Buttercream to decorate – margarine mixed with icing sugar and a little vanilla extract. No need to measure, just beat in enough icing sugar till it tastes good.

Pre-heat the oven to 180oC Gas 4

In a bowl cream the sugar and margarine till light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time with some of the flour and beat in gently.
Spoon the mix into fairy cake cases (these are the small cupcake ones). You should be able to get 12 out of this mix.

Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes. Test by gently pressing the top, it should spring back up.

Allow to cool and decorate with a little blob of buttercream or icing sugar mixed with a little water. If you’re feeling really retro – add a glacé cherry.

My little monkey decided she wanted to decorate with fresh strawberries and glitter. She was very specific.