A fantastically easy and delicious recipe for a sticky toffee date cake here. This can be enjoyed hot or cold and keeps incredibly well for up to 5 days if you can resist it for that long. The dates turn into fudgy little nuggets in a moist caramel sponge for ultimate comfort. Great served with caramel sauce, custard, ice cream, yoghurt or even eaten on its own with a brew.
200g of dried dates, roughly chopped
275ml of boiling water
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
175g soft light brown sugar
150g baking margarine, room temperature
3 eggs, beaten
175g self-raising flour
A pinch of salt
Pour the boiling water over three quarters of the dates
Leave to soak for 30 minutes
Preheat the oven to 160C fan/180C conventional
Blending together the butter , sugar and the soaked dates (including the soaking water)
Add the eggs and finally stir in the self-raising flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda
Finally stir in the remaining unsoaked dates
Pour into a 30cm square cake tin lined with greaseproof paper
Here’s how to make authentic-tasting Chicago deep dish pizza. Complete with the buttery crust, slightly sweet tomato sauce, and a thick layer of cheese.
Pizza Crust (makes 2):
For the pizza dough:
450g strong white bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon caster sugar
2 x 7g sachets fast action dried yeast
300ml warm water
2 Tablespoons good olive oil
Tomato Sauce for Both Pizzas:
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, grated (about 1/3 cup)1
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional, but recommended)
3 garlic cloves, minced
one 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes1
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
Toppings for Both Pizzas:
4 cups coarsely grated smoked Scamorza cheese (or mozzarella if you can’t find it)
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
optional and what I use:handful of pepperoni or chorizo per pizza,
additional optional toppings, add enough to suit your tastes:cooked and crumbled ham, thinly sliced green peppers and/or onions, sliced mushrooms
You will need two deep dish 9×2 inch round cake pans if you are making both pizzas at the same time. You can also use 9 inch spring-form pans.
For the crust: Place salt, garlic powder, dried thyme and flour into a large bowl. Add the sugar and yeast but do not let the yeast directly contact the salt.
Pour in the water and olive oil. Mix together with your fingers.
Work the dough into a soft warm ball then slap it onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until soft and elastic.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled, large bowl and lightly oil the dough itself so a crust does not form. Cover the bowl with foil and leave in a warm place for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.
For the sauce: Place butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and allow it to melt. Once melted, add the grated onion, salt, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Once the onion has slightly browned after about 5 minutes, add the garlic, tomatoes, and sugar. Turn the heat down to low-medium and allow it to simmer until it’s hearty, fragrant and thick- about 30 minutes. You’ll have about 2 and 1/2 cups of sauce at this point. If you have more than that, keep simmering until the amount has reduced. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to be used. You may store the sauce in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days if planning to make the pizza another day. You may freeze this sauce for up to 2 months as well.
Preheat oven to 200C degrees.
Assemble the pizzas: After the dough has risen, divide it into two halves. Keep one ball of dough in the refrigerator as you work with the first one. Roll it out on a lightly floured work surface, working it into a 12-inch circle. Using your rolling pin as a guide, place over a 9×2 inch deep dish cake pan. Using your fingers, press the dough into the cake pan. Make sure it is nice and tight fitting inside the pan. Trim any excess dough off the edges with a small knife. Repeat with 2nd dough. Brush the top edges of the dough with a little olive oil, which gives the crust a beautiful sheen. Fill each pizza with 1/2 of the cheese (about 2 cups per pizza), then your toppings which I’ve listed as optional in the recipe ingredients. On top of those optional toppings is the sauce. Pour about 1 and 1/4 cups of sauce on top of each. Sprinkle each with 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.
Place the cake pans on top of a large baking sheet, which will catch anything potentially spilling over the sides of the pans. Bake for 20-28 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Feel free to loosely cover the pizzas with foil after the 15 minute mark to prevent any heavy browning and uneven baking. Remove the pizzas from the oven and allow to cool in the pans placed on a wire rack for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, slice, serve, and enjoy.
A visit from my family and a day spent walking around nature trails and foraging saw me gathering a rather large harvest of blackberries. Here is one of the ways I put them to good and tasty use.
½ Large Bramley apple, peeled, cored and grated
1 tsp ground cinnamon
125g baking margarine
2 Tbsp golden syrup
85g soft brown sugar
A pinch of salt
1 tsp each ground cinnamon and mixed spice
Place the blackberries in a small saucepan and put over a very gentle heat. Allow the berries to soften slightly and the juices to release. Remove from heat, fold through the grated apple and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line and grease a 20cm square tin.
Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup together in a large saucepan. Remove from the heat and stir in the porridge oats, salt and spices.
Spoon just over half of the oat mixture into the prepared tin. Spread evenly with the back of a spoon and push the mixture into the edges and corners ensuring the mixture is level throughout the tin. Squeeze the blackberry and apple mix on the side of the saucepan to remove excess liquid then distribute evenly over the first layer of flapjack. Leave a small gap around the edges so it doesn’t ooze out during baking. Add the remaining flapjack mixture and distribute evenly, again pushing the mixture into the tin with the back of a spoon.
Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes until the top of the flapjack is a rich, golden colour. Cut immediately into portions (I made 16). Allow to cool completely in the tin.
With this spell of hot weather, I just can’t eat my bananas quick enough before they go ripe so I have had to come up with lots of baking banana recipes to put them to good use. First world problems hey?
One of the moistest cakes I’ve ever eaten. Stick-to-the-back of your fork moist. I am normally not a huge icing fan but the cream cheese frosting, both sweet and tangy, takes this cake from good to greatness. This cake packs mega banana flavour. It is very buttery and cakey from creaming the butter and sugars.
This recipe makes loads of frosting. You don’t have to use it all but it is addictive. If you don’t use it all, I suppose you’ll just have to bake another cake and that’s no bad thing.
The banana cake is dense, but not heavy. The crumb is still very soft and this is down to buttermilk, the moist-maker. The cake wouldn’t be what it is without it. I rarely have buttermilk in my fridge, unless buying it for a specific baking recipe so I usually sour whole milk instead. For this recipe, you’ll need 1 and 1/2 cups of buttermilk. So here’s what I do instead: measure 1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar then add enough whole milk until I reach 1 and 1/2 cups. Stir it around, let it sit for a minute then pour into the batter. To keep the cake extra rich, I do recommend whole milk.
For the Cake:
3 large ripe bananas (about 1 and ½ cups mashed)
3 cups (375g) plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
½ cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 and ½ cups (360ml) buttermilk, at room temperature1
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces (224g) full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
½ cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3 cups (360g) icing sugar, plus an extra ¼ cup if needed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease and line a 9×13 inch tin.
Make the cake: Mash the bananas with a fork. Set mashed bananas aside.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy. Add both sugars and beat until creamed together. Add the eggs and the vanilla and a spoonful of the flour (to stop the batter separating). Beat until combined then add in the mashed bananas. Add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk and mixing each addition just until incorporated. Do not overmix. The batter will be slightly thick and a few lumps are OK.
Spread batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Baking times vary, so keep an eye on yours. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. If you find the top of the cake is browning too quickly in the oven, loosely cover it with aluminium foil.
Remove the cake from the oven and set on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely.
Make the frosting: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Add 3 cups of icing sugar, vanilla and salt. Mix together slowly to start with then beat until well combined. If you want the frosting a little thicker, add the extra 1/4 cup of icing sugar. Spread the frosting on the cooled cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. This helps sets the frosting and makes cutting easier.
Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the fridge for 5 days.
When university exams loom, what better way to procrastinate than with a spot of baking? While they’re in the oven you might possibly be able to fit 5 minutes of revision in for which you must be rewarded with incredible baked goods. The muffins are tender and soft yet still rich and bursting with spiced pumpkin goodness. The cinnamon sugar coating adds a nice crunch to each bite while the Biscoff filling is simply heaven. There are always retakes.
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg plus 2 egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (mashed pumpkin)
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup Biscoff spread
Cinnamon sugar coating:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the muffins:
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake cases.
In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice.
In a medium bowl whisk together the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin, and milk. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
For the filling:
Pour 1 tablespoon of batter into each case. Top with a 1/2 teaspoon of Biscoff. Top with about another 1 teaspoon of batter.
Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, or until the batter is set. Let cool.
For the coating:
Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Dip each muffin into the melted butter then coat in the cinnamon sugar. Serve.
This pull-apart bread hits the spot. It’s buttery, salty, bagel-y, flaky, cheesy, garlicky, soft in the centre, crisp on the edges and addictive! You’ve been warned.
Unlike a traditional loaf, the dough is rolled out and a cheesy filling is spread on top. The dough is then cut into disks and slotted into a loaf tin to create textured layers of cheesy, doughy goodness.
2 teaspoons yeast
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
3/4 cup (180ml) whole milk
3 Tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 large egg
2 and 1/3 cups (290g) plain flour, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Filling:
8 ounces (224g) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
3 Tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1-2 teaspoons mixed herbs
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 cup (70g) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried onion powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried garlic flakes
1 teaspoons coarse salt
2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, melted
Make the dough: Place the yeast and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Heat the milk on the stove or in the microwave until warm to touch. Pour warm milk on top of yeast/sugar. Whisk gently to combine, then loosely cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. The mixture will be frothy after 5-10 minutes.
Add the butter, egg, flour, and salt. Mix lightly for 3 minutes. Dough will be soft. Transfer it to a lightly floured work surface. Using lightly floured hands, knead it for 1 minute. If the dough is too sticky to handle, add 1-3 more Tablespoons of flour but you want a very soft dough. Shape into a ball.
Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with cling film. Place in a slightly warm environment to rise until doubled in size, around 60-90 minutes.
As the dough rises, prepare the filling and topping in the next steps and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
Make the cream cheese filling: In a large bowl, beat all of the filling ingredients together until combined. Cover tightly and set aside until ready to use.
Make the topping: Combine the poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried minced onion, dried garlic flakes, and coarse salt together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Assemble the bread: Punch down the dough to release the air. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface and with a floured rolling pin, roll out until the dough is about 1/4 inch thick. The dough can be any shape, just as long as it’s around 1/4 inch thick. Spread cream cheese filling on top. Using a 3.5 – 4 inch circle cookie cutter, cut into circles. I get about 12 circles. Fold circles in half and line in prepared baking pan, round side up.
Cover cling film and allow to rise once again in a slightly warm environment until puffy, about 45 minutes.
Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position then preheat oven to 170°C.
Brush dough with the 2 Tablespoons of melted butter and sprinkle bagel seasoning on top.
Bake until golden brown, about 40-45 minutes. If you find the top of the loaf is browning too quickly, tent with aluminium foil. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove from the pan and serve warm.