Peach Cobbler

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The sun is shining and Summer is in the air. Not for long I know –  this is England after all –  but the peaches in my fridge were beckoning and I thought I would try my hand at a peach cobbler. I only had three peaches left so I improvised and added a pear. Absolutely delicious!

Ingredients:

For the peach filling:

  • 4 peaches, peeled, stoned and sliced
  • 3 tbs sugar
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp ginger (powder, not fresh)

For the cobbler:

  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tbs unsalted butter

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C. Place all the peach filling ingredients in a saucepan and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid it sticking at the bottom of the pan. Next put the butter in an oven proof dish (mine was 22x 15 cm but you could use a slightly bigger dish) and place it in the oven to melt. In a bowl, mix together the flour and sugar then whisk in the milk to make a smooth batter.

Remove the dish from the oven and pour the batter into it, without stirring. Pour the peach filling on top and place in the oven. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the batter is well risen and golden brown.

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Serve with single cream or vanilla ice cream.

Scrumptious Carrot Cake

IMAG0866This cake doesn’t last long in my household, after one slice you just keep coming back for more! As with most of my favourite recipes, it is quick and easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • 300g carrots (approx 3 medium carrots)
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 125ml sunflower oil
  • 65g caster sugar
  • 65g brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the icing:

  • 3 tbs unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 tbs cream cheese
  • 8 tbs icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a square 20cm x 20cm baking tin. Cut the ends off the carrots and grate coarsely. In a separate bowl  beat together the eggs, sugar and oil. Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate and cinnamon. Lastly fold in the carrots then pour into baking tin and bake for about 40 minutes. Leave to cool.

To make the icing beat together the butter and sugar then gradually beat in the cream cheese and vanilla. Once the cake is cooled, spread the icing on top and serve immediately.

Red Velvet Cup Cakes

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These cup cakes are so easy to make and perfect for a Valentines treat.

Ingredients:

  • 250g plain flour
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 175ml buttermilk (or juice 1/2 lemon mixed with milk to make up 3/4 cup)
  • 2 tbs cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp red food colouring

For the icing:

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 100g cream cheese
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Preheat your oven to 180C and line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases. Mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder and soda in a bowl (no need to sift it, just mix it with a spoon to get rid of lumps). In a separate bowl, cream the softened butter and sugar together, then mix in the vanilla extract and red food colouring. Beat in the eggs then finally alternate mixing in the flour mixture and the soured milk or buttermilk until you get a smooth batter. Divide the batter between the cupcake cases and place in the centre of your oven to bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

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While the cakes are baking, prepare the icing. Put the softened butter in a bowl (I soften it in the microwave on the lowest setting) and add the icing sugar. Beat with a small whisk until smooth. Now add the vanilla extract and cream cheese and beat well to get rid of any lumps. Taste your icing and add a squeeze of lemon juice if it is too sweet for you.

Once the cup cakes have cooled, ice them and for a decorative touch add some chocolate or pink sprinkles on top. Enjoy!

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Smarties Birthday Cake

IMAG0773I made this chocolate smarties cake for my son’s 6th birthday party and it went down a treat! The cake is chocolatey but not too sweet and ever so easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • 60g cocoa
  • 5 eggs
  • 330g light brown sugar
  • 225ml sunflower oil
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a rectangular tray bake tin (I used my lasagne pyrex dish which is 23cm x 30 cm).

Whisk the cocoa with 250ml boiling water, making sure to get rid of any lumps. Set aside. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, sugar and oil. Sift in the flour and baking soda, and lastly stir in the cocoa solution. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake  for 45 to 55 minutes, until the centre of the cake is firm to the touch or a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool while you make the icing.

For the icing you will need to gently melt in a saucepan 100g milk chocolate, 35g dark chocolate, 25g unsalted butter and 5 tbs of milk. Stir over a low heat until all the chocolate is melted and smooth. For those who like their icing more chocolatey, reduce the amount of milk chocolate and substitute with dark chocolate.

Once the cake has cooled down, place it on a serving tray and spread the icing on top. Decorate with smarties, 100s and 1000s and for that extra special birthday look, sprinkle some edible gold powder on top.