Recipe: Blackberry and ginger muffins

11902476_10153622352913804_6158422640430648284_nA necessary batch of muffins this week after collecting kilograms of blackberries from my brother’s allotment.

Following recipe is for 12 muffins.


85g unsalted butter

200g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

100g caster sugar

pinch salt

200ml buttermilk

1 large egg

zest of lemon

200g blackberries

3 tablespoons chopped stem ginger

3 tablespoons ginger syrup from stem ginger jar

2 tsps ground ginger


Heat oven to 200degreesC fan

Melt butter and leave to cool

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and ground ginger in a bowl

Mix beaten egg, buttermilk and butter together

Slowly add wet ingredients to dry

Add chopped ginger and blackberries and gently fold

Share the mixture evenly between muffin cases in muffin tin

Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer comes out with no mix other than blackberry juice. Turn out of tin onto cooling rack. Can be eaten warm but hot blackberries burn!

My brother, sister in law and  nice proudly displaying their harvest. Niece maybe less proud, more angry but not sure why! :)

My brother, sister in law and nice proudly displaying their harvest. Niece maybe less proud, more angry but not sure why! ūüôā



Recipe: Really easy mocha banana cake

mocha choco cakeThis recipe for a mocha banana cake¬†is adapted slightly from one which first appeared in The Fairtrade Everyday Cookbook. It’s incredible! Apparently it is easily made in the tin but because of my lack of ability to skillyfully line a tin I did it all in bowls as usual.

I used all fairtrade ingredients where available.


  • 2 large extra ripe bananas
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 155g plain flour
  • 120g white granulated sugar
  • 25g cornflour
  • 25g cocoa
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Half teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • 80ml vegetable oil
  • 1tbsp vinegar

For frosting:

  • 120g unsalted softened butter
  • 230g sifted icing sugar
  • 30g cocoa
  • 1tbsp coffee granules
  • 2 tbsp milk


1. Preheat oven to 180¬įC, 170¬įC Fan,Gas mark 4. Grease and line an 8″ square cake tin.

2. Slice bananas and blend until smooth. Stir in coffee granules and 1 tsp vanilla essence and put mixture to one side.

3.  Mix the flour, sugar, cornflour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt together in a bowl.

4. Add the egg, oil, vinegar and banana mixture and stir until combined well.

5. Pop in the oven for 25 – 30minutes.

6. Let it cool in the tin.

7. Make the frosting by combining the butter, icing sugar, cocoa, coffee and milk well with a whisk until it is light and fluffy. This will take as long as you think then a lot longer!

8. Spread the icing on the cake as thick as you like and a sprinkling of icing sugar looks nice.

Note:  The cake is very soft and fragile so transfer carefully to serving dish (or eat straight out of the tin Рyum yum in my tum!)


Sorry for the rubbish instagram photo. My camera battery ran out so Rob took this and he can’t resist a filter.

Recipe: Toffee apple cake

toffee apple cakeConsidering I baked this post migraine and in a kitchen that was hot and humid it turned out ok!

22cm (9inch) round springform tin


200g  unsalted butter at room temp plus a bit extra for greasing

50g caster sugar

250g apples, peeled, cored and diced

150g soft, light brown sugar

3 eggs

150g self raising flour

1 heaped teaspoon baking powder

icing sugar to dust


1. Preheat oven to 180degrees (170 fan)

2. Grease and line tin with baking parchment.

3. In a large frying pan, melt the caster sugar with 50g of butter until golden brown. Keep the heat low and constant and I found I needed to stir pretty much constantly. If the butter starts to separate add a teaspoon of water (you might need to do this more than once. Mine was particularly challenging as the kitchen was hot!)

4. Add the diced apple and fry gently for about 10minutes until the apple is getting soft and the sugar caramelising.

5. While the apples cook (keep an eye on them!) In a bowl whisk the brown sugar and remaining butter together until light and fluffy.

6. Add the eggs, one at a time whisking well between each.

7. Sift in the baking powder and flour into the wet mix, a little at a time, and fold into gently.

8. Take the apples off the heat and use a slotted spoon to pop them across the bottom of the tin.  Set the cooking juices aside for use later.

9. Dollop the wet mix evenly across the apples.

10. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

11. Remove from oven, leave for a few minutes then turn upside down (apple side up) onto a baking tray.

12. Gently reheat the apple juices and pour over the top of the cake. Lightly dust with icing sugar if you fancy and serve warm.

Apparently it keeps for 3 days in a  tin but I doubt it will be around that long!


New Recipe: Citrus cod with green beans

citrus codAnother week, another bash at an easy, healthy recipe. This is citrus cod which I served with green beans with pine nuts and new potatoes.

Ingredients to serve 2:

2 fillets of sustainably sourced cod (or haddock would work.) Approx 150g per serving.

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Juice and zest of 1 lime

Olive oil

2 teaspoons clear honey

2 tablespoons chopped tarragon

2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

100g of fine green beans per person

50g pine nuts

75g of new potatoes per person

Oven at 180 degrees fan (200 degrees non-fan)

1. Mix the juice of half the lemon, the juice and zest of the lime, honey, 2 tsp olive oil together well. Add tarragon and parsley and mix further.

2. Pop the cod in an oven proof dish and pour the mixture over. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked.

3. Meanwhile boil the new pots for approx. 20 minutes.  Steam if you prefer.

4. Trim the green beans and boil for 3 minutes then drain.

5. Heat 2 tsp of olive oil and then fry the beans with the pine nuts for a further 3-4 minutes.

Serve all the nomminess together!

I was a bit worried the amount of citrus would overpower the dish, and the fish was a little zingy so reduce the amount of juice if you fancy it less zingy! I didn’t use the leftover sauce as a dressing for that reason so had a little olive oil spread on the potatoes. ¬†I’m not usually a fan of parsley but this worked nicely.

This hits the low salt, low fat, low saturated fat and good source of protein buttons.