Marshmallow Krispie Bars

26 October 2013

Here's another fab recipe for making with the kids during half term. I made them with the darlings over the summer and they loved helping. 

Lydia's getting much more interested in baking now. Up until quite recently, she lost interest after a few minutes but now she'll help me with the whole recipe. I love having some little helpers in the kitchen.

The little diva doesn't like getting her hands dirty though! And if you ask her what does mummy do? she replies 'mummy's a baker'! Unfortunately I'm not!

These Marshmallow Krispie Bars are so quick and simple to make. No baking required which is fab if you're pushed for time. I think they would be great for childrens parties and you can top them with anything. I used smarties as that's what was in my cupboard but chocolate chips, caramel chips, sprinkles or drizzled with chocolate would all be fab. 

Marshmallow Krispie Bars

Preparation time 15 minutes

215g marshmallows
45g butter
150g rice krispies

Line a 20cm baking tin with non stick paper.

Put the butter in a large pan and put the marshmallows on top of the butter. Melt gently over a low heat, stir it regularly until it's all melted and combined.

Take the pan off the heat, tip in the rice krispies and stir until they're all coated.

Tip into the baking tin and level it with the back of a fork. This is the hard bit because it's so sticky but keep going and push it down and into the corners with the fork. Leave it aside to set then decorate however you like!

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Monday Motivation #3

21 October 2013

How was your weekend? We had a wonderful time at Disney On Ice yesterday. I loved it as much as the darlings and I'm not ashamed to say I had to gulp back the tears watching the looks of amazement and joy on their little faces. Whatever you got up to this weekend, I hope it was a good one.

So here we are at Monday again. The start of a new week, our chance make it a fabulous one. I love today's Monday Motivation quote. A friend shared it on Facebook and I knew I had to share it here. No matter how much you have or what you do for a living, loving and being loved makes it all worthwhile.

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Banana Choc Chip Bites

18 October 2013

Hands up who's looking forward to the half term holidays. I for one, can't wait. Poor Oliver really needs a rest bless him. He started in reception in September and while other parents were telling me how tired their child was, Oliver was as bright as a button. However as the weeks have passed he's got more and more tired, despite sleeping for 12 hours every night. All that brain work is really taking it's toll and the break will do him good.

So with half term looming and the UK weather up to it's usual tricks, it's the perfect opportunity to do some baking with the kids. Oliver's learning about weighing things and comparing heavy and light items. Baking is a great way to reinforce this at home, so I've got a few kid friendly recipes to share this week.

These banana choc chip bites are perfect for the kids to help with. Oliver and Lydia had a bowl each, we measured the ingredients into each bowl and they gave it all a good stir. Mummy got the messy job of rolling the mixture into balls as my diva kids didn't want to get their hands dirty!

This recipe makes around 32 bites so its great for big families or just big appetites!

Banana Choc Chip Bites

Makes 32
Preparation time 10 minutes
Baking time 20 minutes

2 bananas mashed
150g plain flour
70g dessicated coconut
250g porridge oats
225g caster sugar
1 large egg, beaten
150g chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 180C {350F} gas mark 4. Line a baking tray with baking or greaseproof paper.

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl with a wooden spoon. Now get your hands in there and scoop out golf ball sized amounts, roll into a ball and place on the baking tray. When you've used up all the mixture, slightly flatten the balls with a damp finger.

Pop in the oven for 20-25 minutes until they turn a light golden colour. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Pop over to A Mummy Too for lots of yummy recipes!

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Monday Motivation #2

14 October 2013

How was your weekend? We had a quiet one and spent most of the weekend at home due to the terrible weather. Anyway, Monday is here again which means the start of a new week, so let's take hold of it with both hands and make it a great one.

This weeks Monday Motivation is a reminder that it's ok to say no. It's sometimes easier to say yes to everything which can make life a little crazy. So take a moment to think and if something really doesn't make you happy don't do it!

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Double Chocolate Muffins

8 October 2013

 double chocolate muffins

These Double Chocolate Muffins were my contribution to the Macmillan Coffee Morning that we held at work last week. I wanted something that would be quick and easy to bake but a crowd-pleaser. I made some over the summer and they were a huge hit with everyone so thought they'd be a safe bet.

But I made a classic schoolgirl error. I couldn't remember which recipe I'd used! I searched through all my recipe books but nothing looked familiar. So I went on the hunt for a new recipe and found a couple that I kind of threw together to make this.

double chocolate muffins

These pictures are of the muffins I made back in August which were perfectly respectable but this time they turned out even better! They looked like the kind of muffins that you get in coffee shops and bakeries with a big over flowing muffin top and big chunks of chocolate on top. It's a shame I didn't take any photos but I made them in the evening and I hate taking photos in artificial light.

Oh and they sold really well at the cake sale. I didn't beat my existing record of selling out within 6 minutes but they were gone in about 15 minutes and I had people coming up to me all morning telling me how lovely they were.

double chocolate muffins

Double Chocolate Muffins

Makes 10
Preparation time 15 minutes
Baking time 20-25 minutes

250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 tbsp cocoa powder
½ tsp salt
100g caster sugar
100g plain chocolate chips
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
250ml milk
90ml vegetable oil
50g milk chocolate, cut into chunks 

Preheat the oven to 190C {375F) Gas Mark 5. Put 10 paper muffin cases into a muffin tray. 

Put the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder, salt, caster sugar and chocolate chips into a large bowl and stir well to mix everything {I don't sift anything when I make muffins} 

In a measuring jug, beat together the egg, vanilla extract and milk. Add the oil and stir well. 

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon until just combined. The golden rule with muffins is not to stir vigorously or over-mix it, it only needs mixing until the flour disappears. 

Spoon into the muffin cases, no more than 3/4 full. Sprinkle 5 or 6 chocolate chunks over the top of the mixture then pop in the oven for 25 minutes. They'll be ready when they spring back when gently touched and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Take out of the muffin tin immediately and leave on wire rack to cool.

Link up your recipe of the week

Monday Motivation #1

7 October 2013

I hope you had a fantastic weekend. It's Monday, the start of a new week. It's our chance to start afresh, embrace the week and make it a good one.

Here's some Monday Motivation to bring you a few words of inspiration, motivation and food for thought.

What nice things have you done lately? How did it make you feel?


3 October 2013

What a fantastic week on The Great British Bake Off this week. It was all about pastry and the challenges involved making suet puddings, Choux Religieuses {little choux buns that vaguely resemble nuns!} and puff pastry. 

I thought all the contestants did an brilliant job but I was quite pleased that Glenn left as it's all women left in now! Last year was an all male final with the lovely John Waite taking the crown, so it'll be nice to have another female winner to join Jo Wheatley who won series two.

Anyway, I was totally inspired after watching this week and determined to  try something new.  So I decided to have a bash at making choux pastry as it looked easier than the other two options. And to my shock it totally worked! The choux puffed up beautifully and were perfectly crispy with not a soggy bottom bun in sight!


Makes 24
Preparation time 25 minutes
Baking time 25 minutes

Choux pastry
100g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
75g unsalted butter, diced
175ml water
3 large eggs, beaten

500ml double or whipping cream
4 tablespoons icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate sauce
100g plain chocolate
25g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons icing sugar

Sift the flour onto a sheet of greaseproof paper. Put the water, butter and salt into a pan and heat gently until the butter has melted. Now bring to the boil for a few seconds then remove from the heat. Immediately tip the flour in one go and stir like crazy. The mixture will quickly come together and form a ball of smooth heavy dough.

Leave the dough to cool until it's barely warm. Slowly pour in the beaten eggs and stir really well after each addition. I used my electric hand mixer but a wooden spoon and lots of muscle power works well too. The dough will become very shiny and paste like, it should be stiff enough to pipe.

The dough can be kept in an airtight container for up to 4 hours at cool room temperature but it's best to use it straight away. I did the school run at this point and mine turned out great!

Preheat oven to 200C {400F} gas mark 6. Line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper. Spoon the dough into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm round nozzle or snip off the end if it's a disposable bag. Pipe balls of the dough about 3cm wide onto the baking sheets leaving enough space for them to spread a little. 

Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180C {350F} gas mark 4 and bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove the profiteroles from the oven and make a small hole in the side of each one to let out the steam. Return to the oven and bake for 3 minutes. This will ensure the profiteroles are firm and crisp. Cool on a wire rack.

To make the filling, whip the cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract until it forms stiff peaks. When the profiteroles are completely cold {if they are still even slightly warm the cream will make them soggy} slice in half horizontally, spoon in the cream and sandwich back together.

For the chocolate sauce, put all the ingredients into a small pan and heat gently, stirring continuously until everything is melted and smooth.

To serve, pile the profiteroles on a serving dish or individual bowls and drizzle over the chocolate sauce.

I'm linking up with the Great Bloggers Bake Off hosted by Helen at The Crazy Kitchen and Jenny at Mummy Mishaps. It's a weekly linky based on what's been baked on each week's GBBO. Pop over to see what suet puddings, choux pastry and puff pastry everyone else has baked this week.

Date and Walnut Loaf

1 October 2013

date and walnut loaf

I think of this Date and Walnut Loaf as an old fashioned cake as it was a specialty of my 92 year old great auntie Edith. I remember her baking it when I was little and I suspect she was baking it for many years before that. 

She doesn't do too much baking nowadays {although she still bakes her own bread every day} but my dad mentioned how much he loved her Date and Walnut Loaf so I said I'd give it a go.

 date and walnut loaf

I've asked my mum to get the recipe from Auntie Edith but in the meantime I found a recipe by Mary Berry. One of my favourite recipe books is Mary Berry's Baking Bible. Lately it's almost always the first recipe book I reach for when I'm looking for something new to bake. Her recipes are foolproof. Simple but incredibly tasty.

date and walnut loaf

I did change a couple of things with the ingredients like soaking the dates in tea instead of just water and I changed the method too. 

The end result? A sweet cake with a hearty crunch from the walnuts. The loaf was soft and moist inside with a lightly crisp top. I think a slice of this is perfect smothered with butter and a cup of tea! It was very difficult to only have once slice.

My dad loved it and I also took a slice into work for my friend to try. She asked me for the recipe so it must be good! I only hope that one day I'll be half as good a baker as Auntie Edith.

date and walnut loaf

Date and Walnut Loaf

Preparation time 20 minutes
Baking time 1 hour 10 minutes

250g stoned and chopped dates
350ml boiling water
1 tea bag (regular tea not flavoured!)

40g softened butter
2 large eggs
200g dark muscovado sugar (but any brown sugar will do)
150g ground almonds
350g self raising flour
1 1/2 level teaspoons cinnamon
150g chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 180C {350F} Gas mark 4. Grease a 1kg {2lb} loaf tin and line the bottom with baking paper or parchment.

Put the boiling water and tea bag in a bowl and let it stew for a few minutes. Take the teabag out and add the chopped dates to the bowl. Leave for about half an hour until it has cooled down to room temperature.

In a large bowl, add the butter, sugar and eggs and mix with an electric hand held mixer until fluffy and smooth. Add the dates with the tea and stir. Add the almonds, flour and cinnamon and fold in with a metal spoon until fully combined. Lastly, stir in the chopped walnuts.
Spoon the mixture into the loaf tin and pop in the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. If the top of the loaf is browning too quickly, cover with some foil. When ready a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake will come out clean and the cake will spring back when lightly pressed with the finger. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

I'm entering this recipe into the One Ingredient Challenge hosted by Laura at How To Cook Good Food and Nazima at Franglais Kitchen. This month the ingredient is Walnuts!

Tasty Tuesdays on

Also entered into this week's Tasty Tuesdays linky hosted by Vicki of Honest Mum