COOK - BAKE - LEARN - SMILE

Mince Meat and Mince Pies


Finally, it is this time of year again.

I adore Christmas time, the chance to eat a little more than usual and indulge with friends and family.

I love to make my own mincemeat and mince pies - frankly there is not a shop bought recipe that comes close.

The mincemeat is aromatic and stuffed full of plump fruit. The pastry is so short that it only just holds the mince meat in the case.

My recipe is based around Delia’s - the same recipe that I grew up with as a boy. Over the years I have upped the booze and spice to suit my tastes.

I often add other seasonal favourites such as dried cranberries and walnuts to my mincemeat.

Mince Pies : Close Up

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Macaroon Loaf


I was playing around in the kitchen yesterday afternoon, as the weather was rubbish - and I have ample time now that I am not copying and pasting 8 hours a day - trying to rebuild the website! Sad

I wanted to create a light sponge that had the sticky chewy texture of a macaroon.

I cooked the cake on a slightly higher heat than normal, so that the edges become chewy and delicious!

The cake really does take fantastic. You may omit the lemon sugar crust - but it definitely helps to liven up and round out the taste.

It amazes me how playing around with a sponge batter can create so many wonderful variations.

Cherry Coconut Loaf : Cross Section

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Boozy Easter Cake


Since Christmas, I have had a number of request to make another boozy fruit cake.

Easter seemed to be an appropriate event to make a cake for.

The cake is light, but packed full of moist plump fruit. The recipe is based off Delia’s fruitcake, however, it uses significantly more spice and booze!

I fed the cake twice a day for two weeks with a combination of Brandy, Rum, Amaretto and Armagnac. I really think you should not drive after eating this cake!

This cake is most certainly not for the drop zone!

Boozy Easter Cake

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Dropzone Coffee Frosted Walnut and Coffee Sponge


So, at last a decent weather weekend and we are off to the Dropzone.

My second passion, after cooking, is falling through the sky with style


Nothing in this recipe is difficult - just take your time and follow it. Each stage of whisking is important!!

CookBakeSmile Flying Headown over Sibson

Me flailing around!

This cake is wonderful, sweet and bitter. A perfect pick me up during the middle of the day.

A delight with a decent Americano!
Not something we are likely to get at UK Parachuting Sibson

Coffee Walnut Cake


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Dark Jamaican Ginger Cake packed with Rum Raisins


Ever since a small child, I have loved Dark Jamaican Ginger Cake. I adore the heat coming from the ginger and the moistness from the rum soaked raisins and dark molasses.

Once you have tried this cake, I can promise you - the £1 specials sold in the shops will never set foot past your front door again.
*Horrible, tasteless, stodgy excuses that they are!*

This is a
must try cake, it is really easy to make, and you probably have the ingredients in the larder already.

Dark Jamaican Cake : Time for a slice


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Lemon Drizzle Loaf


This is such a simple recipe, but never fails to produce a light, moist and zesty cake. The granulated sugar topping gives a tangy crunchy bite.

The almond flour cannot be tasted, but keeps the cake lighter and more moist than normal.

With the lemon being the star of the show, I prefer and would recommend buying unwaxed lemons.

Lemon Drizzle : Side Shot


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Triple Choc Chip and Fudge Brownie


A gooey scrumptious triple chocolate brownie with fudge. Indulgent, moist and naughty!

I wish I got better photos, but it was late and I had just finished making all the sandwiches behind!

Triple choc chip and Fudge Brownie


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Never Fail Cherry Loaf Cake


This is a bullet proof recipe. It is based on Mary Berry’s, but I prefer not to use the all-in-one method.

Cherry Loaf Cake



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Carrot Cake with Lime Frosting


A moist, light, spicy and slightly caramely carrot cake with a soft tangy frosting. The pecans and lime zest really “pop” the flavour.

This was made as a special Birthday request!

Carrot Cake


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Apple Sultana and Walnut Cake


It’s Friday and I wanted to rustle up a cake for the Drop Zone for the weekend. A quick peek in the cupboards and I came up with this.

I simple cannot believe the weather is good enough to skydive in March!

Apple raisin walnut cake


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Ginger Stem, Coconut and Lime Cupcakes


Gorgeous light zingy cupcakes. A doddle to make!

“Ginger

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Apple Cinnamon and Pecan Cake


A firm family favourite. The cake matures over time in the tin, with the apples leaching their delicious caramel notes into the cake.

Apple Cinnamon and Pecan Cake



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