Autumnal Dream Cake

pumpkin cake 2

Hurray for Halloween. I realised this halloween that I still think of myself as a child. This realisation came when I sat in my living room slightly scared of the witches in Hocus Pocus just incase they came and wanted to suck the life out of me. Then I realised they wouldn’t want to do that – they only go after children and I am not a child anymore. Oh well. Hopefully the fear will one day subside but until then it makes Halloween that little bit more exciting.

The other exciting thing about Halloween – Pumpkin Cake. Yes pumpkin cake, with toasted marshmallow filling and cinnamon icing. It sounds good right? Well it was pretty delicious, nice and moist and very autumnal. So if you have the odd pumpkin lying about and fancy having a go I thoroughly recommend it.

Pumpkin Cake

Makes 4 Mini cakes ( 12 cupcakes) (1 small cake)


4 oz Butter

4 oz Caster sugar

2 Eggs

5oz Self Raising flour

The flesh of half a Small Pumpkin – peel, chopped, steamed and mashed ( or you can buy canned pumpkin)

½ tsp Cinnamon

½tsp Nutmeg

For the filling:

3 handfuls of Mini Marshmallows

1oz Butter

3oz Icing Sugar

For topping

2 oz Butter

4oz Icing Sugar

¼ tsp Cinnamon

A handful of Pecans for decoration


  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and prep your pumpkin
  2. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar
  3. Then whisk the eggs until they are light and fluffy
  4. Measure out your flour, cinnamon and nutmeg, add the eggs to your creamed butter and sugar bit by bit, intermixing with your flour if it gets too runny
  5. Add the rest of you flour and stir until everything is combine
  6. Finally carefully add your mashed pumpkin and stir gently to combine
  7. Pour into your cake tins and bake in the oven for about 25 mins (the timing differs depending on what tins you are using so keep and eye on this)
  8. Whilst your cake is baking you can sort out the filling and the icing
  9. For the filling cream the butter and icing sugar together and set to one side
  10. For the Icing cream the butter, icing sugar and cinnamon together and set to one side
  11. Once your cakes have cooked remove them from the oven and leave to cool for about 15/20 mins
  12. In the meantime place your marshmallows on a non stick baking tray
  13. Place in the oven and let them colour slightly and melt – this does not take long ( about 1 min) and you don’t want burnt marshmallows so keep and eye on them
  14. Once they have softened remove from the oven and quickly mix into your filing mixture, they will clump a bit but if you just keep stirring you should get a nice consistency
  15. Once you cakes have cooked place the filling in the middle and sandwich your two sponges together
  16. Finally add a touch (literally a few drops) or water to your cinnamon icing to loosen it slightly and ice the top of your cakes. Sprinkle with pecan nuts and serve

Voila the perfect autumnal cake, ideal for eating in a warm house with a cup of tea. Looks like my afternoon is planned perfectly!


Double Chocolate Chip Nutella and Caramel Stuffed Cookies


Yes, these are some chocolatey cookies. I found a recipe for these ( which I shared on Saturday) last week and was desperate to give them a go they just sounded too damn good not to try. Luckily I had promised to do some baking so they seemed like the perfect treat to share around. 

These cookies seem to me almost a cross between a brownie and a cookie, they have a cakey element but with a crunchy outside and a gooey middle. Basically the perfect cookie to devour straight out of the oven when curled up on the sofa.

Sounds like Autumn to me!

So on with the recipe. 


8oz Butter

8 oz Brown Sugar

2 oz Caster sugar

2oz Cocoa Powder

2 Eggs

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp Baking Powder

12oz Plain Flour

200g Dark Chocolate roughly chopped

3 packets Rolos 

Nutella to fill


  1. In a pan melt your butter over a low heat
  2. Remove from the heat and add both sugars, stir until combined and then mix in the eggs 
  3. Next stir in the cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Mix until fully combined
  4. Finally add the flour and stir until you can’t see any more flour
  5. Place in a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to chill for a few hours (you don’t have to do this but you will get very sticky hands shaping your cookies if you don’t!)
  6. Once your mixture has chilled for a few hours it should be easy to shape into balls. 
  7. Preheat your oven to 180C degrees
  8. With each cookie ball push a rolo into the centre and add 1/2 tsp of Nutella fold the rest of the dough over and reshape into a ball
  9. Place on a baking sheet and repeat with the rest of your cookies
  10. Bake in the oven for 10-12mins

And that’s it. Leave them to cool for at least 5 mins but then feel free to devour. Although for the sake of your health – it might be worth sharing a few!

Tying the Knot


Recently I have been trying to be good and steer clear of eating too much bread. So I haven’t really been doing much baking. But the other day I got a real craving for some lovely garlic bread. You know the sort, plenty of garlic and flavour, and lovely and crispy. That extra bit of goodness that makes your pasta dish really sing. There is nothing like moping up tomatoey juice with lovely crisp garlic bread. But seeing as I am trying to be healthier stuffing a lot of garlic butter into bread didn’t seem quite right. So instead I plumped for Garlic Bread Knots.

Beautiful and crispy knots of dough that when drizzled with garlic oil satisfied my craving completely.

I know what you are thinking – If you are just making Garlic Bread Knots then call the post that – we all got excited.


I have news…

Whilst I am tying bread knots, I am also ‘tying the knot’ with Monsieur from Scratch!  I know, you didn’t see that coming, well neither did I – he surprised me in Paris with the most wonderful proposal ever and I won’t leave you in suspense, obviously I said yes. So now I get to have all the fun in the world planning a really fun party to celebrate my love with all my family and friends for summer 2014!

So I am letting you know in advance now, this blog may occasionally wander into wedding land – I mean I can’t plan the whole thing and not share some of the fun.

I know you must all be wondering about that all important question– will I be making the cake… well… how brave/ stupid do you think I am? Very!

Anyway enough of those knots and back to the breaded kind, we are all hungry now.


Garlic Knots

Pizza Dough – Recipe here
4 Cloves Garlic
Handful of Parsley ( you can change this to whatever herb you fancy – rosemary would also be lovely)
2 Tbsp Oil

1. Pre heat your oven to 180C degrees
2. Make your dough and leave to rise for an hour
3. Knock back and roll out
4. Cut into strips about 2/3cm thick and 20cm long
5. Simply knot them as you would if they were string making sure you don’t pull on the knot too tightly
6. Once you have knoted all of your dough, place on an oiled baking tray and leave for 15mins
7. Bake in the oven for about 20mins until golden
8. In the meantime crush your garlic, chop your parsley and mix in the oil
9. Once your bread is cooked removed from the oven and pour the garlic mixture over, leave to cool slightly and then eat.


And that’s it. Let’s just hope wedding planning is just as easy.

I hope you all have fantastic weeks!

Bramley Apple and Greengage Scrumble


So it shouldn’t really come as surprise to any of you that I love desserts. I write about them often enough. And Autumn is such a great time for dessert, pies, crumbles, tarts, puddings galore. Now I have already done a few crumbles this year and fancied doing something a bit different. And that’s when I discovered the Scrumble. No it’s not a spelling mistake, I actually mean SCRUMBLE. A scone crumble hybrid that brings a bit more cakey goodness. In short it’s a crumble with a little bit extra. And if you want something filling this should be your dessert of choice.

I choose bramley apples because I just love them and apple crumble is the greatest dessert ever and then spotted some punnets of greengages that were being discounted. Yes discount fruit. Well I have never cooked with greengages, actually strike that, I have never even eaten one. Never fear though, I have now rectified this great wrong by making the perfect Autumn pudding out of them.

Yes, you guessed it my Bramley Apple and Greengage Scrumble! 

Want the even better news, just like pretty much everything else I put on the blog this was very easy and looked impressive. So if you need a dessert for an upcoming dinner party, why not give this a try.


2 Bramley Apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks

500g Greengages stoned and cut into halves and quarters

4 tbsp Apple Juice

250g Plain Flour

120g Butter

100g Caster Sugar

4tbsp Milk

1tsp Vanilla extract

50g Chopped Hazelnuts

Handful of chopped Almonds

100g Light Muscavado Sugar


  1. Preheat your oven to 180C degrees
  2. Place your apples in a small sauce pan on a low heat with the apple juice, place the lid on the pan and leave for 5mins to soften
  3. Add your greengages to the pan, replace the lid and leave for a further 10 mins
  4. In the meantime in a food processor mix your butter, flour, caster sugar, milk and Vanilla until it forms a cake batter
  5. Once your fruit mixture is ready place in an oven proof dish, then spoon the batter on bit by bit, until you have covered the whole top with batter
  6. Then sprinkle on the nuts and sugar and bake in an oven for 50mins until the fruit is bubbling and the top is golden

There you have it simple scrumble. Delicious with cold ice cream or hot custard. Or just by itself.



Preserving the season: Plum Jam

Plum Jam

I love jaming. It brings so much joy. It is like capturing a moment, wrapping it up in loveliness and devouring it bit by bit through the cold winter. There is something so comforting about preserving and building stores. There must be some sort of primitive need underlying the pure joy one can receive from a well made Jam.

I think creating Jam is a the culinary equivalent to photography. It captures a beautiful time, it’s so reminiscent and nostalgic – a real piece of evidence of a season past.

This year I had my heart set on making some plum Jam. Plum Jam reminds me so much of my family. Especially the Plum Summers as we used to call them, when the Plum tree in the back garden overflowed and my mum made Plum Jam practically every week. 

With this in mind, I couldn’t resist getting a couple of punnets of Victoria Plums and having a go myself.

Plum Jam is gloriously simple. Plums are one of those fruits with plenty of pectin so there is no need to fear an unset jam. If you haven’t made jam before I really recommend giving it a try. Why not capture your own summer memories and try and preserve the season that little bit longer.


500g Stoned and halved Plums

350g Sugar

120ml Water


  1. Preheat the oven to 180c degrees
  2. Sterilise your jars by washing them in hot water and placing them in the oven
  3. Place a clean side plate in the freezer and leave there for testing the set
  4. Put the plums and water into a heavy bottom pan and simmer until the fruit is tender
  5. In the meantime place the sugar in an oven proof bowl and place in a oven
  6. Once the plums have softened add the hot sugar to the pan and gently stir
  7. Leave this on a low heat for about 15mins until the sugar has dissolved, you can stir gently to ensure your jam doesn’t stick
  8. Once the sugar has dissolved rapidly boil for about 12mins
  9. After 12 mins remove the jam from the heat and test the set by dropping some onto the plate from the freezer, if the jam crinkles/moves together as one then your Jam is set, if not place your pan back on the heat and boil for a further 5mins
  10. Once you are happy with the set leave the jam for 15 mins to settle then pour into your jars and seal

And that is it, A lovely sweet preserve and the perfect reminder of summer.




Kale Chips


Now I am calling these chips, but I guess they are actually more akin to crisps. Everyone seems to be raving about Kale all of a sudden. It seems to be in every recipe I see. Now don’t get me wrong, Kale is great and really good for you and the perfect veg portion of a lot of dishes. But when everybody goes gaga for something I tend to be a little sceptical.

However recently I have been getting curious about Kale Chips – the idea that one of the best possible vegetables I could eat is being transformed into something akin to a bag of crisps is enough to sway my scepticism.

So when I was testing out my Beetroot Burgers, I decided Kale Chips would be the perfect and simple accompaniment that my healthy burger needed.

And guess what – they are good – actually really good. I think they are at the best when they are warm straight from the oven, but they do the job when they cool down as well. Think delicate and crispy with a lovely hit of salt. You could even cover them with chilli or another flavour if you wanted flavour crisps. In short these would be great for any pre-dinner snack or as an accompaniment to the main event. 

The best part, there isn’t even really a recipe.

Here is what you need to do:


Handful of Kale washed

Sprinkle of Salt (literally a sprinkle – these bad boys don’t need much)

A drizzle of Olive Oil 


  1. Remove the stalk sections of your kale and lay your kale out on a baking sheet
  2. Heat the oven to 150C degrees/ a little cooler if you have a hot oven
  3. Drizzle the olive oil over the kale and sprinkle on your salt
  4. Place in the oven and leave to bake for about 15/20 mins 

Then you are done. Obviously remove them from the oven. But, then you are done.

It really is that simple. So why not have a go, just for curiosities sake. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

And it seems I am not the only one excited about Kale – the folks over a Jigsaw sent over there Eat Seasonal Post ( which includes a delicious looking Mushroom Tagliatelle recipe) and they seem to have mutual love for Kale – you can check it out here. They have a great list of why we should be eating the stuff – which gives you all the more reason to add it to this months shopping basket.


My heart skips a beet

Beetroot Burgers

Don’t you just love beetroot! It used to be one of those foods I steered clear of. I think as a kid there is something about it that isn’t what you expect and I used to avoid it as much as possible. Convinced I didn’t like it. Then a few years back I tried some again and couldn’t believe it had been something I had been avoiding. It is delicious and the vibrant purply red is such a treat for the eyes in any dish. I love adding it to salads, slowly roasting in a root vegetable mix and baking as beetroot crisps. Well those were my favourite uses for it before this weekend. Because this weekend I discovered Beetroot Burgers! Thanks to Green Kitchen Stories I was inspired to try something different – a Healthy version of a burger and this seem to fit the bill perfectly.


Now before you stop reading and think I am ridiculous. Stop wait and listen. This might look like just a healthy burger alternative that you would never try unless you happened to be forced into be a vegetarian or were on a diet. But before you miss out on a great flavour experience due to vegetable prejudice. Listen. This passed the double boy test. Meaning I tried it out on two different boys who are used to double beef burgers with the works – and guess what they both liked them. Actually scratch that really enjoyed them, it was along the lines of ‘ lucy, that was class, when are you making them again?’ 

I thought that might get your attention!

Well now you are hanging on my every word. I am not going to waste that sort of attention – time to get to the recipe.

Bare in mind you can choose to add whatever accompaniments you choose to this burger but I guarantee you won’t go wrong with this combo: Lettuce, Ketchup, slow cooked Red Onions and sliced Avocado, served in a Multi Seed Wholewheat Bun. It is truly delectable. 

Right so let’s get on with the recipe.

Serves 4/ Makes 4 burgers


2 Large Raw Beetroot

½ Red Onion

1 clove Garlic

75g Porridge Oats

1 tsp Oregano

Salt and Pepper to Taste

200g Feta Cheese

1 Egg

1 tbsp Olive Oil



  1. Peel your Beetroot, Onion and Garlic and cut into large chunks, Grate these either in a food processor with grater attachment or with a hand grater
  2. Place this mix in a bowl, add the Olive Oil, Oats and Egg and mix together
  3. Next crumble in the Feta Cheese and add the Oregano, stir until everything is combine. Then season with Salt and Pepper
  4. Cover with a tea towel and leave on the side for about 30mins to allow the juices to soak into the Oats
  5. Next shape into patties and then place on the grill, or in a frying pan, – They take about 10mins to cook ( advice on cooking: they will go brown on either side but you need to make sure they cook through to avoid Beetroot Burger overspill!)
  6. Next serve as suggested above or go crazy and make up your favourite burger combo

Finally chow down and realise with great delight that I wasn’t lying. Beetroot burgers are great.

Beetroot Burger 2

I told you the beets would steal your heart.

Happy cooking!




The New Packed Lunch

Filo Parcels

Lunchtime during the working week can be one of the toughest things to get right. Buying lunch everyday can be an expensive habit, but faced with the prospect of soggy sandwiches or limp unappealing salads it’s no wonder most people run to their nearest lunch stall.

This might have once been the case but I don’t think most of us are really stuck in this situation anymore, we just think we are. Probably as a result of a mix of laziness and popular belief. In fact most of us work in a office that at least has a microwave so we can heat up soups, bring in leftovers and general eat a good meal for lunch and dinner.

As I said on Tuesday I have been in a very excitable going back to school state this week. None of this holiday hangover for me. I am leaping into September with relish. Who doesn’t love a chance to set down a new routine.

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Last of the Summer Pudding

Last of Summer Pudding

I have a confession to make. Before today I have never made a Summer Pudding. Shocking I know. 

Probably one of the simplest puddings ever, and more to the point delicious and unashamedly British. And whilst I mastered my scones at a young age, summer pudding just never really made it into my repertoire. SO this summer I was determined to change that. Did I though? Well as you already know I made one today so if you count early September as summer, then yes. If not, well, I got around to it eventually. So we can call this my ‘last of the summer pudding.’ And seeing as the weather is being so obligingly nice it feels like a fitting dessert for the week. 

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Weekend Love List


Gosh the weekend comes creeping around quickly doesn’t it! For me this has been a week of a lot of home cooking, with pretty much none of it being mine for a change. There is nothing like eating at other peoples homes to give you a bit of inspiration. 

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