“My Favourite Citrus Cake” from “Stirring Slowly”


Tom: Well, this is epic! It’s moist, but it’s sort of crystalline and crunchy, too. Yum.

Kirstin: That’ll be the golden caster sugar. Let’s not talk about the amount of sugar in this recipe though.

Tom: Is that you not talking about it?

Kirstin: …

Tom: Ah, yes. It is. Well, this is great. Would anyone like to split another slice with me?

Kirstin: …

Tom: Damn.

Kirstin: So should I take the rest of this into work then?

Tom: NO!

“My Favourite Citrus Cake” from “Stirring Slowly”

“Nutella Brownies” from “Simply Nigella”


Kirstin: I”m not a big fan of baking. Cooking, sure. But I just don’t have the time to spend whisking eggs and butter to make cakes, and all the more so as I don’t have a particularly good track record with baking in general. So I was intrigued when I saw this recipe. It has just three ingredients; salt, nutella and eggs. How could that even possibly make a brownie? I had to give it a go. I whisked up the eggs to their full fluffiness and then started to feel this might be another disaster as I slowly added the nutella and watched them lose all their air. I have to admit at this point I was desperately thinking what I could serve as an alternative dessert, but stuck them in the oven nevertheless. And wow, was it worth it! They were divine and quickly disappeared!

I know that this recipe will be made over and over. It is perfect for those short of time, ideal for students who want something quick and yummy, perfect for those who come home from work and want something home baked and easy after dinner and most importantly will ensure that this book stays in heavy rotation on the shelf in the kitchen. Give them a go yourself! You will not be disappointed.

Genius, Nigella. You are a bloody genius!

“Nutella Brownies” from “Simply Nigella”

Madeleines from “Skinny French Kitchen”

Kirstin: I had to make these as Ella’s middle name is madeleine, but blimey it took me a while to find the madeleine tin. She says each of these cakes is just 87 calories, but of course they are so delicious, it’s difficult to eat just the one!

Would I make these again? Yes, but they were quite a labour-intensive thing to bake. And I managed to burn them slightly (or at least our oven did).

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Madeleines from “Skinny French Kitchen”

Italian Apple Pie

Kirstin: This cake was one of the easiest cakes I have ever made. I bunged most of the ingredients in the food processor and then whizzed away. The apples on the top were a pleasure to arrange as they looked so gorgeous!

Tom: Well it tastes delicious.

Kirstin: And it’s perfect for this time of year too, with all the apples and all. I love the story behind it too. The recipe came from one of her twitter followers and we all know how much I’m trying to get into twitter at the moment.

Tom: It’s perfect for an autumn evening.

Kirstin: Indeed!

Italian Apple Pie

“Cookies and Cream Cupcakes” from “The Primrose Bakery Book”

This recipe was a special request from Nicholas, to make for his 9th birthday party. I’m sorry to deviate from our usual format. Frankly, though, if I were to record the conversation of Nicholas and his friends at cake time during the party, there would be *a lot* of discussion about films, superheroes, football and other subjects and no discussion of cake. So this is my recap of the recipe.

The boys LOVED it. The adults liked it more than we thought we would, but it still wouldn’t be a firm favourite. They did look pretty, though.

The chocolate cupcake itself was fine. However, the recipe itself was a bit of a faff, involving multiple bowls, the separation of eggs and the beating of egg whites. The chocolate cupcake recipe that I usually do, which doesn’t involve any of those things, is just as good and not nearly as big a hassle.

Also, to file under “forewarned is forearmed” because you’re beating egg whites to add some structure to the cake itself, I did find that they collapsed on themselves once they cooled down a bit. This could have been operator error, and they still tasted fine, but certainly it’s not a good look.

Finally, a word on the icing. This is not a traditional buttercream icing. You are, in fact, making the American delicacy called “Fluff” (it seemed to me), which is ultra sweet, sort of fluffy and also readily available to buy on Ocado. The good news for me is if for some reason I can’t find it, I’ll know how to make it, which is important to anyone who wants to make Whoopie Pies, as it’s used for the filling.

But as a cupcake icing, I have to say I wasn’t convinced. I think a buttercream icing works better for a cupcake. It wasn’t terrible, I just think there’s better options.

So in summary: the sun shone for our party, the boys liked the cupcakes, and a wonderful day was had by all. But I probably won’t be making these again.

“Cookies and Cream Cupcakes” from “The Primrose Bakery Book”

“Corn Muffins” from “The Primrose Bakery Book”

Nicholas (8–But not for long!): Yum! These are nice.

Maureen: What do you like about them?

Nicholas: I like the sweetness.

Maureen: Yes, I suppose you would, since we’re eating them with chilli. What do you think Andrew?

Andrew (12): They’re good.

Maureen: These are nice. I thought they’d be sweeter, since you add honey and sugar, but they’re not at all.

Continue reading ““Corn Muffins” from “The Primrose Bakery Book””

“Corn Muffins” from “The Primrose Bakery Book”

“Brownies” from “The Primrose Bakery Book”

Nancy: This is a rather eggy brownie, gooey on the inside and crisp on the outside.

Kirstin: I had a total nightmare with this recipe. For a start it doesn’t say how big the tin should be. And then half way through the recipe it starts talking about using two tins. And at one point it told me to beat the eggs and vanilla extract gently. How does one do that, I wonder, but the real disaster was that it needed a tablespoon of baking powder and 6 eggs, which I felt was a little excessive. Of course then it looked totally mad in the oven, but who is to say I should have used a smaller tin?

Continue reading ““Brownies” from “The Primrose Bakery Book””

“Brownies” from “The Primrose Bakery Book”

“Victoria Sponge” from “The Primrose Bakery Book”

Kirstin: Do you like this cake Ella?

Ella: This cake is definitely not a lie!

Kirstin: It’s my first Victoria sponge. Possibly the easiest cake I’ve ever made and totally delicious too.

Ella: It’s epic! Can you make it again please?

Tom: Yes, it was perfect with a cup of tea on a rainy Sunday. Thank you.

“Victoria Sponge” from “The Primrose Bakery Book”

“Pear, almond and chocolate crumble” from “Easy Meals”

Georgia: I’ve yet to warm to Rachel O’Rachel, but I warm to this pudding, for some reason. What’s her thing?

Kirstin: Simple and straightforward. I’ll show you the book.

Georgia: I’ve got one of them, but never cooked anything from it. So how is it organised? Five ingredients or less? Hmmm? Or fewer, surely?

Tom: Ouch! That’s because the supermarket gets it wrong too.

Continue reading ““Pear, almond and chocolate crumble” from “Easy Meals””

“Pear, almond and chocolate crumble” from “Easy Meals”