Dorset apple traybake

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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.
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Chocolate damson cake

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I am typing this to the sound of rather loud drilling, for as I type our kitchen is currently being dismantled – well more than dismantled it’s pretty much non-existant at the moment. No sink, no oven, nothing. We’re knocking through to make a kitchen/diner and having very lovely, sleek grey units put in along with new flooring. Blogging over the next couple of weeks could be interesting…time to investigate some no bake, microwave and slow cooker recipes I think!
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Almond and plum slice

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Last year I made this yellow plum and vanilla jam and it has sat in the fridge ever since not being used! We are in the process of having a new kitchen and recently bought an integrated fridge/freezer which is smaller than our old one. In the process of trying to cram everything into the new fridge I decided I really had to use this jam. At the time of making it, I had seen this Jo Wheatley recipe which used plum jam. I decided it was time to give it a go. I love Jo’s recipes – there always simple and taste fantastic.
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Strawberry and pistachio cake

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This week marks the start of Wimbledon. Strawberries and cream, Pimms and champagne are the first things that spring to mind when you think of this quintessentially English tennis competition. If you’re planning on celebrating the competition with a tea party or barbecue, this cake would make a great addition. The fresh strawberry icing and the green pistachio crumb fit nicely with a tennis theme. As it’s also strawberry season, the cake also makes the most of strawberries which are currently at their ripest and juiciest.
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Whole cherry brownies

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We’re developing quite a love of our local greengrocers in the Little Birdie household. I’ve read before that having a local greengrocers can help raise the price of your house if you’re selling it and this would appear to be true as a house round the corner is currently on the market and our local independent greengrocers is mentioned in the sales details! At this time of year berries are plentiful and cheap. Last weekend they had 2kg boxes of cherries for £3. We bought one but knew we would struggle to eat them all so I decided to put some of them to use in some baking. I knew I’d seen this John Whaite recipe last year so I decided to give it a go.
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Salted caramel brownies

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Happy bank holiday to you! I hope the bank holiday weekend has provided you with sunshine (however fleeting this may have been), relaxation and the opportunity to bake. Today was the first opportunity in quite a while that I had to bake. Life has been a little crazy recently with SATs tests to organise at school, residential visits, sponsored walks and car shopping.
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Carrot cake traybake

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When our lovely admin lady at work offered me some carrots for my rabbit April – I gladly took her up on the offer whilst telling her that although some of them would find their way to April I would also be making carrot cake. I saw this Jo Wheatley recipe a while ago and thought it would be a good opportunity to try it out – especially as carrot cake is one of my colleague’s favourite cake.
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Spiced Dorset apple traybake

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The weather has been decidedly autumnal this weekend with endless showers interspersed with beautiful sunshine. I picked up some Bramley apples whilst shopping and had originally thought that I would make a crumble with them. However, I then decided that I would make something to take to work tomorrow as we have a training day and will need something to keep our brains going as we tackle computer programming! After a bit of research on Pinterest I decided to bake something based on Dorset apple cake. I had spotted this Marry Berry recipe for a spiced Dorset apple traybake a few months ago.
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Autumn Traybake

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I made this a few weeks ago back in August when it was feeling decidely autumnal as there was a chill in the air and the sun seemed to have disappeared. This is one of my favourite times of year as it’s blackberry season. Last year I made blackberry and apple crumble muffins, a blackberry and apple crumble and a mixed berry plaited pie using blackberries and I intend on making quite a few blackberry based recipes again this year. A really good tip I read recently for when you’re out and about collecting blackberries is to take an empty milk bottle with you to collect them as this has a handle which is useful for carrying if you’re picking when you’re on a walk. I’ll definitely be trying this out this weekend!
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Beetroot brownies

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We were at home in Devon last weekend celebrating Mr Birdie’s grandparent’s diamond wedding anniversary – what an achievement! Whilst there we also visited his other grandparents (who celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary earlier this year!) who gave us some homegrown carrots and beetroot. I decided that I wanted to give baking something with the beetroot a go. Of course baking with vegetables is nothing new – carrot cake is a staple on many tea room and cafe menus. I’ve seen recipes for cakes using parsnips, bread using potatoes and tried making a chocolate and courgette cake a couple of years ago.
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