Squidgy pear & hazelnut chocolate spread cake

IMG_20151018_185716

I first saw this recipe two years ago and have wanted to try making it ever since. Every time I’ve had some pears I’ve considered it but the thought of using a whole jar of chocolate spread (yes – a whole jar) has always put me off a little bit. Anyway, last weekend I decided to get over this and just give it a go. I’ve made something similar before when I made Jo Wheatley’s chocolate and pear torte.
Continue Reading…

Pumpkin passion cupcakes

SONY DSC

Now, I’m not normally one to get really excited about a vegetable based cupcake but these were goooooood (and I mean really good). So good I had two in fact! After trundling around Sainsbury’s on Saturday evening and being persuaded by Mr Birdie to buy a pumpkin to make soup (which turned out to be pretty horrible) because they were cheaper than a butternut squash I was left with a whole lot of pumpkin to use up. Luckily I had seen this BBC Good Food recipe so off I set.
Continue Reading…

Blackberry and apple loaf cake

IMG_20151015_220338

I had a bit of a baking spurt towards the end of last week starting with this blackberry and apple loaf cake. Mr Birdie’s mum and dad came to stay a couple of weeks ago and we ventured out for a walk through our local countryside to the beach (stopping for coffee and cake of course). I managed to probably double the length of time we took by stopping to pick blackberries. I was surprised to find so many that were still pickable (is that even a word? If not it should be!) I did consider this Bramley and blackberry traybake but we are still (yes still!) without a hob so instead I opted for this Jo Wheatley recipe which is in her ‘A Passion for Baking’ book.
Continue Reading…

Nigel’s chocolate muscovado banana cake

SONY DSC

If I was to count up all the cakes I have ever made, banana loaf cakes would definitely be at the top of the list. I have made a fair few such as wholewheat banana nut loaf; Paul Hollywood’s banana, walnut and chocolate chip loaf; Nutella swirled banana bread and banana and pecan fudge loaf. I think it mostly comes from my hate of overripe bananas. The smell and texture seems to take me back to childhood memories of squished bananas in the bottom of school rucksacks. There are only two things they are good for: smoothies and any form of banana cake.
Continue Reading…

Dorset apple traybake

SONY DSC

Autumn is well and truly here. The weather this week has literally thrown everything at us. Rain, wind, sunshine and the temperature has most definitely dropped. This recipe is definitely inspired by autumn and makes a good Sunday roast dessert. Last weekend gave me my first real opportunity to get back to baking following the work to our kitchen (which you can read about in my last post). Our fruit bowl has been bursting at the seems so I decided it was time to use some of it up. I had bought some Bramley apples at our local greengrocers and decided to give this BBC Good Food Dorset apple traybake a go. I made a similar Mary Berry one last year but decided to give this recipe a go instead.
Continue Reading…