Saturday, 26 February 2011


There have been some sure-fire winners coming out of the oven lately.

Oreo brownies going into oven

The current favourite of No2 is Cookies and cream fudge brownies, by Lorraine Pascale.  I loved her Baking Made Easy series and have tried several of the recipes with great success.  I can also recommend the breadsticks and her meringue was perfect – soft and marshmallowy in the middle. Oh, and the crème brûlée


Oreo brownies on plate

I picked up a great tip in this series – to buy vanilla pods in bulk. It sounds a bit stingy, but I was finding it hard to justify spending almost £3 on just one pod for a batch of these brownies that got wolfed down by hungry boys, so a search online found me here. 25 pods for less than £10, now that’s more like it.  The smell was divine when I opened the package, which arrived the next day.


This fabulously sticky ginger cake is from River Cottage Everyday (I couldn’t find a recipe link).  It seems to get better and better the older it gets!


Sticky Jamaican ginger cake


My current favourite is packed full of currants – Hot Cross Buns, but without the crosses!  I have never made these before and I don’t really know why I was so surprised that they actually tasted like hot cross buns. I mean, what did I expect?!


Hot Cross Buns going in the oven


I think it was the jam glaze brushed on as soon as they came out of the oven, that made them look like the real thing.


Hot Cross Buns close-up


Yesterday, I made the same recipe but instead of making individual buns, I made it in a loaf tin and have been enjoying it sliced and toasted.

I am in a wonderful new relationship with the dough hook on my mixer and am no longer scared of yeast!  Today’s baking will be this… and this!


  1. Oh yum! Must start using my Baking Made Easy book. And I think that ginger cake would be perfect for the allotment cafe, especially if I can make it in advance. Now clicking over for bulk vanilla pods!

    K x

  2. Yumm-er-oo. I really enjoyed that Lorraine Pascale programme too. She shared some really great tips - I like the one about glueing down a big cake with a blob of icing before you begin to frost it to stop it from moving.

  3. I have watched a couple of Lorraine's programmes and found them excellent. I saw that she had a book to match the series in Waterstones. I resisted yesterday, but now I'm tempted, after reading your blog and seeing all your wonderful baking. I bet your family love it!

  4. Baking-tastic! I too have been making Lorraine's breadsticks, with great success. Missed the tip about vanilla pods, and am off to check it out right now. xx

  5. Oh yummy. I'm drooling at your baking efforts as my biccie tin is empty. Too much gardening and not enough baking. Hey, I need the Vitamin D from the sun. :)
    Enjoy your Sunday,
    Anne xx

  6. Goodness me! This is positively wicked - in a delicious way.

  7. Wonderful food! Especially the sticky ginger cake!

  8. I'm hungry! Glad you've been enjoying a bakey week. We have too, with the rainy days and half term hols! I've been watching the Lorraine programme on the iPlayer and really enjoyed it- it was 'user-friendly'. Can't remember the last time I watched a cookery programme and thought 'I could make that' and 'I really want to make that' over nearly everything they did!

  9. Oh. My.

    I've deliberately avoided that baking series as I knew I'd be unable to resist temptation, and ow all I see everywhere are pictures of baked gloriousness. There's no two ways about it, those brownies are Going To Be Made (and scoffed late at night when no one can witness it).

  10. you're cruel.

    Very very cruel.

  11. Your baking looks so professional and delicious! I'm sure nothing I make looks as good as that. I'm hungry now!! lucy x

  12. Oh wow! Every single bit of your baking looks so tempting... although I think those brownies might go top of my list!

  13. The only problem with that Lorraine woman is she doesn't look as if she ever eats any cake. Her waistline!

  14. That oreos brownie looks very tempting indeed!!!

  15. Fortunately, I don't have a sweet tooth.
    Oh, who am I kidding?!!!!!

  16. mmm-made hot cross buns today too, but put number '9's (as in name of caff) on top instead-they taste amazing! I brushed mine with golden syrup that I warmed in the microwave.
    Have made the oreo brownies too-the only brownie recipe I have ever made that tastes like a brownie actually should. I am thinking of making them with maltesers instead of oreos next. A bit of experimenting!x

  17. I've not had breakfast yet so after seeing your wonderful baking I am now really really hungry! Those brownies look rather special!

  18. Wow - how inspiring. They all look scrummy. A gingery cake we make here also gets better with age, so I tend to make it a good 4 days before it's 'needed'. Beautiful photos. :) x


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