Blackberry Buckle recipe

13 September 2013 § 3 Comments

A few weeks ago we had a lovely weekend with friends, Marianne and Erik, at their beach house. They love food and are fabulous hosts so we had a fantastically well-fed weekend – the culinary highlight being Erik’s 10-hour slooooooooooooow smoked ribs. During the weekend Marianne baked a truly delicious blueberry buckle that I became obsessed with. I tinkered with a few recipes – I made raspberry and peach buckle, which was fine, but blackberry was the winner. This blackberry buckle recipe is a perfect pudding for the slight fall chill in the air.  The recipe is in my What’s for Dinner? column on Barista Kids.


If you are missing summer already here are some photos of a glorious day we had at the Westhampton Farmers’ Market. « Read the rest of this entry »

Coconut and Key Lime Pie

25 June 2013 § 2 Comments

It’s getting hot in the kitchen check out my latest post on What’s For Dinner? on Barista Kids – Cool, refreshing coconut and Key Lime Pie. Inspired by a fabulous weekend in Montauk where I ate zesty, refreshing iced Key lime pie.

keylpieThe coconut and ginger crust make it  more tropical than your average Key Lime raising the delicious quotient.  You might find yourself dreaming of giant coconut pies.

Hot Apple Cakes Recipe

2 October 2012 § 1 Comment

With a slight chill in the morning air Fall fruit is definitely here. Apples and pears are just begging to be baked.

I’m trying to wean one of The Ladies™ from her strawberry fixation. It’s not even as if they taste that good at the moment but she will not be told and is only eating red fruit. Why are some kids so fussy? The other one will eat everything which goes to show it is not the parents. So I’ve taken to sneaking apples into baked products as it is one way to expand her fruit repertoire and save a bit on the grocery bills – those berries are not cheap.

This recipe that I posted on Barista Kids takes an apple and transfers it into a buttery and sugary treat. This recipe is a variation of traditional Welsh Cakes (basically substitute the raisins for apple) and is definitely to be enjoyed with a piping hot cup of tea or coffee.

You can even turn this into a craft activity by getting the kids to roll out the dough and get to work with their cookie cutters while you enjoy that cuppa.

The Chocolate Nutella Cake that saved Easter…

8 April 2012 § 3 Comments

You can read more about how this cake saved Easter in my article on What’s for Dinner on Barista Kids. I posted two easy chocolatey recipes: Nutella cake and nest eggs. I make no apologies for all the chocolate, it is Easter after all. One of the few days of the year when it is acceptable to have chocolate for breakfast.

This cake is so easy, The Ladies™ did most of the work, including devouring decorating with the mini eggs.

These two choc-tastic offerings are unbelievably easy and quick: The “cheat’s chocolate cake” has just a handful of ingredients and the chocolate nest eggs are so easy your kids could make them. Even if you don’t celebrate Easter these are great desserts to have in your repertoire.

If you have any mini eggs leftover (but c’mon who has mini eggs left over? What is wrong with these people?) then these nest eggs make a pretty dessert that the kids love. I make them with wheat flakes so they’re getting some fiber with their chocolate.

Happy Easter!

St. David’s Day – Welsh Cakes recipe

29 February 2012 § 15 Comments

As a proud Welsh woman  I will be wearing my daffodil with pride and eating lots of buttery food tomorrow to celebrate St. David’s Day.


Wales is known as both the land of song and a place with its own language of many consonants, vowels are generally in short supply. Take the village name – Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch as an example of Welsh language genius (or insanity.) « Read the rest of this entry »

Poptastic Birthday Cake Pops

1 February 2012 § 7 Comments

It has been a bit busy around here with the Ladies celebrating the fifth birthday last week. As if two dozen cowgirls yeehawing and galloping around the house would not be exciting enough I decided to try my hand at cake pops instead of goody bags.

I will be honest, cake pops are a bit more work than I thought they would be, but they don’t have to be. There are some shortcuts you could take such as using boxed cake mix or store-bought frosting but I was up for the challenge of making them from scratch.

The recipe is on my column What’s for Dinner? on Barista Kids. However I’m not suggesting you have them just for dinner, although breakfast is a different matter.

But to summarize with pictures, it all starts with a perfectly good chocolate cake (recipe here)… « Read the rest of this entry »

Cranberry, walnut and orange loaf

13 December 2011 § 2 Comments

If you over-bought for Thanksgiving, then you probably have a packet of cranberries hiding in your fridge. So before we get too carried away with the spirit of the holidays, let’s get frugal.

This bread would be good for breakfast – the cranberries and banana make it healthier than your average muffin. Also it is incredibly easy. « Read the rest of this entry »

Stone ground chocolate brownies

27 October 2011 § 11 Comments

This week I made brownies with Susan Fine, of The Chocolate Path. Actually, she made them. I watched, drooled and then ate some, and some more.

I met Susan a few weeks ago when she was giving a fascinating talk on dark chocolate at the Adult School of Montclair. She is an expert on dark chocolate and has worked hard to source pure products from the best small manufacturers.

She kindly invited me into her warm, sunny kitchen and shared her chocolate brownie recipe.

Susan used a dark organic stone ground chocolate – Taza Chocolate. This is a single-origin bar made with beans from the Dominican Republic. The beans are carefully roasted and then are stone ground using antique Mexican stone mills. Finally, they are refined with pure, organic cane sugar using our unique stone roller mills to create a 60% (cocoa content) dark chocolate bar.

These brownies are the perfect antidote to bad Halloween candy. Research has shown that chocolate can lower blood pressure and is high in antioxidants, but it has to be the right kind of chocolate with a high cocoa content, not the waxy sugary stuff. « Read the rest of this entry »

Apple Tarte Tatin or Apple Upside Cake

18 October 2011 § 15 Comments

I love tarte tartin –  plenty of butter and caramelized apples with a flaky, light pastry – how could you not like it? As the story goes a group of hotel guests in France certainly enjoyed it back in 1898.

It may be an urban myth but it is a good one – two sisters, Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin ran the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Bouvron, France. Poor overworked Stéphanie started to make a traditional apple pie but left the apples cooking in butter and sugar and burned them. She then tried to rescue the dish by turning upside down. This pleased the hotel guests et voilà the rest is history.

After the success of our Ottolenghi-athon fellow blogger, Kimberli, of The Mackay Way, asked if I would like to make a tarte tatin with her. She had just been apple picking so I naturally cleared my calendar pretty fast.

Here’s how to make it – first melt the butter on the stovetop in an ovenproof dish or pan.

Then add the sugar and arrange the apple slices on top of the butter. Then boil for about 20 minutes.

Put back on the stovetop on a high heat and cook until the apples brown. Then turn over the apple slices and cook the other side until they are golden and caramelized.

Roll out the pastry (a basic pâte brisée – that’s just French for pie dough) and add a dollop of a mixture of more butter and confectioners’ sugar. This makes the pastry flaky and, you guessed right, buttery.

Yes that is more butter and confectioners sugar

Fold the pastry over the butter and sugar lump to make a parcel and put back into the fridge to rest again.

Roll out the pastry parcel and cover the apple dish.

Bake. Then let cool for a out 15 minutes. Turn over and voilà!

This tarte tatin does come with a health warning. I’m not talking about the three sticks of butter, but the caramel. It is hot, hotter than Hades, which I would imagine is pretty hot.

So no matter how tempting it smells, do not try while cooking, or you may find yourself going to the Burns Unit at your local hospital. Also as the caramelization is done on the stove top be careful with small kids around as the smell is guaranteed to get them interested.

For the full recipe with precise ingredients – always useful for baking –  you’ll have to go to Kimberli’s recipe.

I was very happy when I ate their apples

Chocolate and beet cupcakes

10 October 2011 § 7 Comments

So here is the recipe I promised yesterday for This Little Piggy’s birthday cake – chocolate and beet cupcakes.

I’m not one for disguising vegetables, but if your kids are veggie avoiders this is a great one for them.

I will also confess, they are good, but not as good as Nigel Slater’s chocolate beet cake. If you want a luxuriously rich, moist, dense chocolate cake then take the extra time to make the Nigel Slater one – recipe here. If you don’t have much time and have a hankering for chocolate then this one-bowl wonder is the cake for you. « Read the rest of this entry »

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