Silent Sunday

Great Blogger Bake Off - Week 6 - Marmalade Ginger Tea Loaf & Chelsea Buns

I have a very soft spot for freshly baked cushion soft buns, laced with dried fruit, each mouthful bliss, washed down with tea, even better!

This week on the Great British Bake Off the bakers had to tackle tea breads, Apricot Couronne and sweet buns.  I would be happy to make any of them and equally consume all of them!  And I really will try a Couronne, the culinary delights I have promised Mr J when he buys me a new kitchen, I may not surface for months!

My first bake is a *Marmalade Ginger Tea Bread, tea breads are really easy to put together if there is no cake in the cupboard and the options are endless. This one is very simple, not too sweet and lovely when slathered in butter!

Marmalade Ginger Tea Bread

Pre-heat your oven to 170 C

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Baking Time:  Around 1 hour

Makes 7-8 generous slices


200g Plain flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking powder
40g light soft brown sugar
50g unsalted butter, softened
75g marmalade
1 organic egg, lightly beaten
80ml semi-skimmed milk
30g mixed candied peel, chopped


Grease and line a loaf tin, I have a standard sized one, not sure of its volume, I use the loaf tin liners, which makes it easy!

Sift the flour, ginger and baking powder into a bowl, then stir in the sugar.  Rub in the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

In a separate bowl, mix the lightly beaten egg with the marmalade and around two-thirds of the milk.  Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to make a nice soft dough, adding any extra milk as you go along as necessary, I used all of mine.

Turn the dough into your prepared loaf and smooth the surface, then sprinkle the mixed peel on top and press lightly into the top.

Bake for around 1 hour or so until well risen and firm to the touch, take a cocktail stick just to make sure it comes out clean.

Cool onto a wire rack, slice, serve with or without butter.  Optional:  warm some apricot jam or marmalade and glaze the top.

And as Mr J loves *Chelsea Buns, I thought I'd treat him to some this weekend, I made so much dough last weekend on the Bread Making Workshop you'd think I would have had my fill, but I loved it so much I will be trying all sorts!

Chelsea Buns

Pre-heat your oven to 180 C

Prep Time: 1-2 hours (includes allowing the dough to rise)

Baking Time:  25 minutes

Makes 10-12 


7g sachet dried yeast (double if using fresh yeast)
450g strong plain flour
1 tsp salt
125g unsalted butter
50g golden caster sugar
1 large organic egg, lightly beaten
200ml lukewarm milk (whole or semi-skimmed)
¼ tsp ground mixed spice
zest of 1 orange
75g sultanas
75g currants

Optional: sugar glaze

60g golden caster sugar
80ml water


Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl.  Add in the dried yeast, then rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs then stir in the sugar.

Mix the beaten egg with the milk pour into the flour mixture and blend together until the dough is soft and pulled together.

On a floured surface knead the dough for a few minutes until smooth and elastic.  Place in an oiled bowl covered with oiled cling film.  Leave somewhere warm to rise for about an hour or so, I placed mine in a warmed top oven to hasten proceedings!

Turn the dough out again onto a floured surface and knead again, lightly this time, until smooth.

Roll out to a square of about 12"/30cm.  Mix together the mixed spice, currants, sultanas and zest and scatter over the rolled out dough, leaving a margin all the way round.  Sprinkle a teaspoon or two of sugar at this stage if you like the buns sweeter.  

Roll up like a swiss roll, then cut into 12 equal slices, pop into a baking tin, cover with oiled cling film and leave to prove again for around 20 minutes until they have doubled in size.

Bake for 25 minutes, cool slightly, then turn onto a wire rack.

Optional sugar glaze, dissolve the sugar into the water on a low heat then boil briefly until the solution becomes like syrup.  Pour tablespoons over the warm buns.

Linking up again this week with Helen from The Crazy Kitchen and Jenny from Mummy Mishaps for the Great Blogger Bake Off!  


Link up your recipe of the week

*Both recipes inspired by my very old recipe book from Good Housekeeping circa 1993! 

Great Bloggers Bake Off Week 5 - Tray Bakes, Biscuit Towers and Tuiles!

Linking up again this week with Helen from The Crazy Kitchen and Jenny from Mummy Mishaps for the Great Blogger Bake Off!  If you haven't joined in yet, have a go, it is a lot of fun, especially the outbakes!

This week on the Great British Bake Off we saw the entrants making Traybakes, Tuiles and Biscuit Towers.  Which to attempt to bake this week??  I bake brownies fairly often as Mr J loves them, this week I've added walnuts and cherries for a soft, gooey, crunchy bite.

I make two different brownie recipes, one intensely chocolatey with three different chocolates, very dense and one small bite is plenty!  The other below is a lighter, fudgy bake that I can ring the changes by adding extras.

Cherry & Walnut Brownie Traybake

Pre-heat your oven to 160 C

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Baking Time: 25 minutes

Makes 16 


100g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids) - broken into pieces
110g unsalted butter - softened
150g light muscovado sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
110g plain flour
80g glace cherries, quartered
50g walnuts, roughly chopped

Melt the chocolate over a bain marie (simmering water) until melted, let cool.

Beat the butter and sugar together until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Add the beaten egg in 2 or 3 additions, sift in the flour and add the melted chocolate, cherries and walnuts.  Gently fold everything together.

Pour the mixture into a 20cm square tin lined with baking paper and spread evenly into the corners and smooth the top.

Bake for around 25 minutes, then let cool in the tin.  Cut into 16 squares. 


I wasn't even going to attempt Tuiles, they looked extremely fiddly and I'm not the best in the patience department!  I made a small quantity of batter and tried out a few in the oven, the first 4 went in the bin, they cooked so fast and came out tinged and crispy.  The next 4 below fared better.  I don't think I'll be making them again, they tasted fine but really not worth the faff, but something to tick off my invisible baking bucket list!

Pre-heat your oven to 160 C and line a baking sheet with baking paper.


1 large egg white
50g caster sugar
25g plain flour
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
25g melted, cooled unsalted butter
handful of flaked almonds to decorate


Beat the egg white and caster sugar until frothy.

Sift in the flour and stir in with the vanilla extract.

Stir in the melted butter and continue to blend until smooth.

Drop teaspoons of the mixture onto the baking paper a few cm apart then smooth into circles with the back of a spoon until you have the desired shape and thin-ness

Sprinkle each tuile with flaked almonds.

Bake for about 5 minutes until pale golden.  Take from the oven and slide a fish slice or palette knife until each one and lay over a rolling pin or something similarly shaped.  You have to be quite quick before they harden up!

Cool the shaped tuiles on a wire rack until firm.  

These were the best of the bunch!


Baker Days Letter Box Cakes - Tasty Review

When Baker Days approached me with a chance to review one of their letterbox cakes I said yes please immediately.  Cake.  We love cake.  I was asked how they could personalise the cake for me and at once I thought of TC, but as she had an enormous cake in the shape of number 3 for her birthday I thought let's have something that features both of us as mummy and daughter.

What better than the Multi Layer Mummy logo/avatar on the blog header.  I didn't hear back for a few days until a package plopped onto the door mat.  I can't tell you how excited I was to open the box and then the tin to find this!

TC and myself jumped up and down clapping, Cake!! TC exclaimed - she learnt that word very early, I wonder why!  

The cake arrived intact in excellent packaging inside a cute little round reusable tin with "Just for You" embossed on it, just lovely.

As a bonus there was also balloons, blowy thing (what are they called??), candles with holders and a personalised card, everything you need for a mini celebration.

The vanilla sponge cake itself was moist and really delicious, although I really did not want to cut into it, I loved the personalisation so much.  I would definitely order one for family and friends especially good for thank-you's and celebrations, a really special way to say it with cake!

Baker Days have a huge range of Photo cakes, Personalised cakes and Cupcakes to choose from take a look at their range here.

The Great Bloggers Bake Off - week 4 - Pies

Week 4 of the Great British Bake Off and I'm feeling exhausted watching some of it, I do love it but I also feel for some of them as I know I could not take the pressure of hours of baking with such scrutiny!

I was going to tackle the egg custard tart but as so many the bakers had so much trouble with them I thought it best to step away from that one!  I'm not a pie-maker, I leave that to Mr J who is a fabulous one, he can whip up cakes and pies in a flash without even breaking a sweat.

I chose to make an Apple & Sultana Pie because of the multitude of apples we still have in our garden, we have blackberries too but TC has decided she loves them and I don't want to put her off eating them, they will be gone all too soon.   The pie is a bit "rustic" looking but tastes good!

I made a rich shortcrust pastry with plain flour, salt, butter, sugar, egg yolk and water.  No Kitchen Aid this time, quite therapeutic watching Saturday Kitchen whilst rubbing butter into flour!

For the filling:

500g Bramley apples
grated rind of ½ a lemon and orange
40g golden granulated sugar
40g light soft brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
pinch of nutmeg
¼ tsp cinnamon
70g sultana's
25g (ish) unsalted butter

To Finish:

Egg yolk
Golden caster sugar

Take ⅔ of the pastry that has been chilling in the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface and line your dish.  Put back in fridge along with the remaining pastry (wrap in cling film).

For the filling, peel, core and slice or chop the apples into a bowl of lemon water, to stop them going brown.  I slice mine because I have a great new contraption that does it all for me with much less effort than manual peeling, you can see it over on Nutritious Deliciousness

Mix the sugars, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon and orange rinds together and sprinkle some onto the pastry base.  Add a good layer of apples and sultana's then sprinkle half of the sugar.  Repeat again using all the remaining apples, sultana's and sugar mix.  Dot the butter all over.

Roll out the remaining pastry and cover the pie, seal edges with a fork.  Cut two lines in the top to let the steam escape.

Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle caster sugar on the top.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.

I'm serving with home-made vanilla ice-cream made with double cream, delicious combination!

Linking up as usual with Helen from The Crazy Kitchen and Jenny from Mummy Mishaps for the Great Blogger Bake Off, come join in, the more the merrier!

mummy mishaps

Sunday Prop Shop

I love photography, my father introduced me to it as a young child, as I grew I would help him develop his prints in the room under the stairs known as "the dark room", he's gone now but he left me his camera collection.  Things have moved on a pace and now my 3 year old is showing distinct signs of wanting to use the camera.  So far she has managed 76 selfies on Mr J's phone and a few point & shoots on an old camera of mine.  Every click brings a wow! from her which I love, hope her interest grows and grows.

Over the years I have picked up a few things here and there that caught my eye, I still have a lot them and now they will be making themselves useful as props in my photos.  And with Lucy from Capture by Lucy starting the Sunday Prop Shop linky it is a great place to showcase some of our finds.

I'm collecting mostly for my food blog over at Nutritious DeliciousnessI love food photography and food styling, it has become a real passion of mine.  At the moment everything is all over the place but I have promised Mr J that it will all be properly stored in a huge cabinet in my studio.   

Although I didn't know where to start, here are a few little gems I found recently along with a couple of fun buys for food posts.

a set of 3 beautiful teacups and saucers for £1.50

I bought this plate yesterday for 75p, it said Minton Bone China on the back and when I googled it, they go for up to £15.50!

and just for fun, love these primary school milk bottles, the paper straws remind me of being back there.

Now to organise that cabinet!

Pop on over to Lucy's to see what everyone else has collected, her blog is a beautiful place, looking forward to more styling tips too!

Great Blogger Bake Off - Petit Fours

On week 3, the #GBBO bakers tackled gorgeous trifles, Iles Flotants and Petit Fours.  I love a good trifle, but when you have to make all the components yourself rather than buy the swiss roll, jelly and custard I knew it would take me all week to put together and we've been too busy enjoying the last drops of the summer sunshine, so it had to be quick and easy.

The Iles Flotants were also very tempting and although I do love a good baking experiment, I can't justify experimenting with all those eggs, although if anyone bakes these please send me some to try :) 

So it's down to the Petit Fours.  Those sweet bite-sized, tempting morsels. I made these recently on the food blog, Blueberry and Lemon Friands, but what to bake this week.... 

Florentines are amazingly simple, melted butter with sugar mixed in and carefully boiled for a minute, stirring constantly, then all the ingredients you want to add stirred in.  Mine this time were glace cherries, mixed peel, chopped hazelnuts and sultanas but the options are many.  Add a tablespoon or so of cream too and stir until combined.

Bake very small blobs (they will spread) for 10 minutes until golden brown then tease & tidy up edges whilst still hot.  I also did some in my mini whoopie pie pan for more uniform shapes.

Once cooled and hardened, melt some chocolate and brush on the backs of the Florentines then take a fork for that signature wavy line.

Also made these very easy mini cupcakes, I do these quite often as nibbles for the girl, a hit of chocolate without eating too much, hers are without the ganache as it can look like an explosion of chocolate on her face!

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache


55g unsalted butter, softened
50g, golden caster sugar
1 large organic egg, lightly beaten
55g self raising flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon semi-skimmed milk

- Cream the butter and sugar together until light & fluffy then beat in the egg.

- Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and fold into the batter, then stir in the milk.

- Pop teaspoonfuls of the chocolatey batter into paper cases in a mini muffin pan (not more than half full as they will rise nicely to fill the cases).

- Bake in pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes until firm to the touch and have risen well.

- Cool on a wire rack.

Chocolate Ganache

100g plain or milk chocolate, broken into pieces
100 ml double cream

To make the ganache put the chocolate and the cream into a saucepan and heat gently, stirring until the chocolate has melted.  Transfer into a glass bowl and beat the ganache with an electric whisk until thickened, mine lost its gloss as I whisked for a bit too long!   Leave to cool, then pipe onto your cooled cupcakes.

They say the best things come in small packages!

Linking up again for #GBBO with 

Helen at The Crazy Kitchen and 

Jenny at Mummy Mishaps

mummy mishaps

Silent Sunday

A Shaggy Dog Story

When I first met Mr J he had a dog, a wonderfully hairy, shaggy, ginger dog called Bailey.  They came as a package and we became family.  A while later we added a feisty Yorkie Cross (something) to the fold and Bailey and Moxie became a team.

Until I had children of my own, these two were like my children, although now I see how easy they were compared to a human 2-3 year old!  We walked twice a day for miles even when I was pregnant and they gave us so much pleasure and unconditional love as well as chewed up shoes and extremely hairy carpets!

I did struggle with keeping the dog hair under control vacuuming twice a day and when I saw that Dyson vacuum cleaners had a version called the Dyson Animal with the promise of removing more pet hair from our carpets than our current one at the time, I had to try one.  I thought our carpets were relatively clean from the twice daily vacuuming and the amount of vacuum bags I filled, but when I saw the cylinder fill up as I sauntered from room to room I was sold on how effective these vacuums really are!  

I had 6 wonderful years with Bailey when he passed away at 14.  I cried for a week solid, my eyes were so swollen, I thought I'd never cry so hard ever again, I was wrong.  Moxie missed Bailey so much we decided to recruit another dog and the very next day Pet Rescue called us with a puppy needing a home immediately, destiny.  

Chesney was the image of Bailey, even though they were both mixed mutts, he was a gift from up above, someone was listening or fed up with all my wailing!  I forgot to ask what breed the dog was in my excitement, this tiny puppy looked like a Lassie dog and then grew into another huge ginger, hairy rug that that stole my heart for another 14 years.

All our dogs were/are rescue dogs, the stories behind each one is a story in itself, but it has been our utmost honour to give these dogs a home, they have repaid us a million times over with love, loyalty and a lot of licked faces, worth every hairy second.


Disclosure:  I was compensated for this post but all memories and opinions are my own.