Irish Apple Crumble Cake

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It’s definitely been a very autumnal weekend here in Hampshire with wind, rain and a definite drop in the temperature. We were in need of some afternoon entertainment yesterday so I decided it was a good opportunity to get in the kitchen, use up some Bramley apples and make something comforting and warming. I’ve been pouring over apple cake recipes for a few weeks now and had contemplated making a Dorset Apple Cake but then found this Donal Skehan recipe I’d saved to my Pinterest account.
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1-hour chocolate birthday cake

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It was Mr Birdie’s birthday today so of course myself and my little helpers had to make him a cake. I spotted this Tesco recipe a few weeks ago on my Pinterest feed and saved it thinking it might come in useful. I’m not sure if it truly takes only an hour (especially as I had my little helpers assisting me) but it definitely is a quick and easy recipe that results in a pretty impressive cake.
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Blackberry and peanut butter swirl brownies

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By some kind of miracle I’ve managed 2 bakes in the last week – mostly inspired by the stash of blackberries we’ve gathered on quite a few walks around our local area over the last few weeks. They’ve mostly come to an end now and I’m glad to have stashed some in the freezer but on Tuesday afternoon when I had 2 toddlers to entertain I was glad of the ones that were lurking in the fridge. I decided we’d give this Sainsbury’s Magazine recipe a go. Peanut butter and blackberry is not a combination that I’d initially think of but they do actually work and make a nice alternative to your usual apple and blackberry based autumnal bakes.
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Bramley & blackberry pie

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Well autumn has very definitely arrived which means it’s definitely blackberry and apple pie weather. My little ladies started preschool a few weeks ago and their weekly learning theme for last week was apples. As parents we were actively encouraged to enjoy some apple based activities so I decided it was a good opportunity to make a blackberry and apple pie so we could look at some Bramley apples and enjoy some baking together. Now I’m normally a crumble rather than a pie girl as pastry scares me however I have to say I was pretty pleased with how this turned out. This is a BBC Good Food recipe.
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Raspberry ripple blondies

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When we moved into our house, we were very lucky to inherit some raspberry canes which touch wood have given us an amazing crop every year. We always seem to be a bit overwhelmed with far too many to eat so I decided some baking was in order. I’ve made these chocolate raspberry brownies before but decided after the success of my rhubarb and custard blondies that I would try some blondies instead. I had a few recipes saved to my Pinterest page but I decided to try this Sainsbury’s Magazine recipe. I was a little worried after reading some of the reviews but actually I was pleasantly surprised with how well they turned out and they were well received by everyone who tried them.
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Rhubarb & custard blondies

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And so the lockdown baking continues. What week of lockdown are we in now? The days and weeks have definitely blurred into one. Work provides some kind of routine and I decided a little Friday treat was needed for myself and my colleagues. Mr Birdie had bought some rhubarb and I had been wanting to try making these BBC Good Food rhubarb and custard blondies for a while so I decided to give them a go. I was definitely not disappointed!
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Easy baking with children – Banana and chocolate chip muffins

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If you’re looking for an easy recipe to bake with some little people to keep them entertained during lockdown then this is the recipe for you. We picked up some reduced bananas this week that were a bit past their best so I decided they would be perfect for baking with. After some searching I found this recipe which had good reviews and seemed perfect for making with my baking sidekicks as you literally pop all the ingredients in a bowl, mix it up and 25 minutes later have some delicious, moist muffins. It does however contain eggs and self-raising flour which despite the initial shopping craziness of lockdown having seemingly subsided are still in short supply in our part of Hampshire. I’m now rationing my plain flour so was happy to find these used self-raising flour (what crazy times we live in!)
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Creamy chicken and leek pie

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Now I’m not normally one for a savoury bake but this weekend for our Sunday dinner I decided to try something a little different. After investigating the deepest depths of the fridge and freezer and finding some chicken and leeks I decided chicken and leek pie would make a change from our usual Sunday roast dinner. I don’t usually have the time to make anything as involved as we are usually out and about on the weekends but lockdown has meant that life is lived at a more leisurely pace so I decided to give it a go. I’d saved this Hairy Bikers’ recipe a little while ago and had the ingredients it needed so off I went!
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Easter egg cookies

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And so another 3 weeks of lockdown begins. My aim a few weeks ago was to try and blog more often. I wasn’t expecting these to be the circumstances that allowed me to do it. Today was the first rainy day in a very long time and with two toddlers to entertain I decided baking would provide some good afternoon entertainment. Should you have any leftover Easter eggs (I know with lockdown this could be a slim possibility but if not I’m led to believe there are some bargains to be had in the supermarkets) these are the ideal cookies to make. These cookies use white chocolate, plain chocolate and mini eggs so even if you don’t have any leftover Easter eggs you might be able to improvise with what you already have at home. These are very easy to make and only need one bowl, no resting time and only need one egg if you’re finding eggs are still in short supply.
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Chocolate fudge crinkle biscuits

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Well the world is a very different place since I last posted. Coronavirus, panic buying, social distancing and lockdown may have affected how you are cooking, baking and eating at the moment but hopefully you might be finding some solace in being in the kitchen. You may also be trying to entertain and educate some little people in which case I can highly recommend this recipe. I’ve been blessed with two little ladies who have luckily inherited their Mummy’s love of baking and this was the perfect afternoon activity for two three year olds who were desperate to be let loose in the kitchen! Also if you’ve not braved the shops or you’re finding it tricky to source ingredients, these use ingredients you are already likely to have at home. The only fresh ingredients they use are eggs.
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