Blackberry and apple loaf

My husband reminded me I had a bag of wild blackberries stashed away in the freezer, hint, use them or lose them. So I looked for a nice new recipe to try. Last year I chose a blackberry pie slice and it was lovely (and there’s an old blog post about it) but I wanted something different that I could freeze in portions for quick sweet snacks in the future.

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I forgot to take a photo of the finished loaf before slicing it up, so here’s a slice!

This recipe stood out to me as I rarely make loaf cakes and it sounded tasty with the apple, orange zest and cinnamon mixed in. I used ‘Stork for Cakes’ rather than butter, which did melt a bit in the breadcrumb making stage instead of making fine, dry breadcrumbs. This didn’t seem to ruin the recipe however.

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Not quite fine, dry breadcrumbs

I used the blackberries straight from frozen instead of defrosting them so they wouldn’t turn to mush before mixing into the cake mix.

The recipe suggested checking the cake after 50 minutes that it wasn’t browning too much, and mine wasn’t, neither was it 15 minutes later, nor in the final 15 minutes, so all good there.

Once cooled and cut, I discovered the cake could have done with an extra five or ten minutes in the oven as it was very moist inside. This could be due to the amount of blackberries in it too, so next time, I’d bake for longer and adjust the amount of fruit I put in. Still, it’s a very tasty loaf cake.

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Tasty!

Recipe here: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/533324780856418892/

Garlic croutons

A little-seen savoury recipe for today, rather than the usual sweet treats I try out. I had some slices of white bloomer bread left over from the weekend that had gone stale and I fancied making some croutons to go with an evening meal.

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Leftovers

Embarrassingly I didn’t know how to make croutons properly – I thought it was a case of toasting the bread and then cutting it into cubes, which you can do but it makes for a very boring crouton. Instead I looked on Pinterest for some more exciting ideas and I found this pin for ‘easy garlic croutons’. Easy is always a key word in my Pinterest searches. And it was indeed an easy make. Cut the stale bread into cubes, sprinkle with salt, pepper, dried parsley and garlic.

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The main ingredients

The recipe suggested garlic powder but as I didn’t have any, I used crushed instead. Then drizzle oil over the bread and mix well before putting it all onto a baking tray and into the oven. I went for 190°C for 10 minutes, turning halfway.

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Halfway through

They turned out very tasty and went well sprinkled on top of the evening’s pasta dish. I’d try the suggested garlic powder next time, or crushing the garlic more, to avoid the chunky, slightly burnt bits left on the tray. They last well in an airtight container for several days.

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Finished and delicious

Recipe here: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/AX7H8LIUVHgrVLNYX4hmEQe2TX70t0nOJY6k3gkF08hhZXlOhfJJre0/

Cinnamon rhubarb muffins

My faithful patch of rhubarb in my garden has produced what I think will be its last crop of the year, so I turned back to an old favourite bake of mine – muffins. However I have made rhubarb crumble muffins loads of times (see previous post) so I looked for a new recipe to try out. I chose this recipe as it didn’t call for too much rhubarb (I only have a small patch) and it used an exciting new ingredient, soured cream… It ain’t just for nachos!

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Cinnamony-rhubarby goodness

Muffins are always an easy make and this was no exception, but it did create a lot of washing up, boo! The wet ingredients had to be mixed in a separate bowl to the dry; the butter had to be melted in a bowl; the rhubarb had to be chopped and kept somewhere – I chose another bowl; the lovely cup measures were used again. I’m sure I probably could have doubled up the use of some of the bowls and not made as much mess.

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Just *some* of the utensils used!

All in all, these are a lovely muffin and the cinnamon sugar on top is delicious, so move over rhubarb crumble muffins, these may now be my favourites.

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Uncooked, with the cinnamon sugar on top
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Close-up time

Recipe here: http://pin.it/esKi0_z

Spiced plum crisp

I had some plums to use up before going away on holiday so turned to trusty old Pinterest for some inspiration. One of the first pins I found was for this, a spiced plum crisp, which on the picture looked suspiciously like a crumble. And like a crumble it was.

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The leftover plums

The description says “the easiest, most delightful dessert you will make”, and this was no lie. Chuck the plums in an ovenproof dish with some sugar and flour. Make the ‘crisp’ (aka crumble) topping and stick it on top of the plums. Bake and voilà!

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With and without the ‘crisp’

It’s an American recipe so it meant I could dig out my lovely ceramic cup measures again and not worry about converting the measurements to grams. Though I did need to google what 350°F is in Celsius… 176.667°, if you’re interested.

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I got to use these again 🙂

I think what makes this a ‘crisp’ rather than a ‘crumble’ is, it’s American (haha) and the topping contains oats, although I often do add oats to my crumbles for some extra texture. I overdid the spice a bit so would use less next time to enjoy the flavour of the plums more, but the recipe was both easy and delightful overall.

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Lovely with a dollop of vanilla ice cream

Recipe here: http://pin.it/7IB1Bz-

Spiced pear baked oatmeal

After being given some ripe pears, I set about finding a recipe to use them up, and liked the look of this flapjack-style snack.

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The end product

It was a quick make – only about 20 minutes to prepare, and then 25 minutes to bake. I was concerned at how wet the mixture was compared to the flapjacks I have made before, but it did firm up once baked.

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Rather runny!

The end result was very tasty, though I’d half the amount of ground cloves another time as some mouthfuls were overpoweringly clovey. The lovely spice mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove does go very well with a cuppa and has a Chai quality to it.

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Delicious!

I enjoyed this recipe as it was so quick and tasty, and it gave me the chance to use my lovely ceramic cup measures as it’s an American recipe.

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Little-used cup measures 🙂

A word of warning though – eat these on the day they are made, or keep them in the fridge. I tried one a few days after baking and it had turned rather rancid – yuck!

Recipe here: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/533324780855508743/

Rhubarb shortbread

Move over, rhubarb crumble muffins, this is my new favourite rhubarb recipe! I saw a picture for this on Instagram and when my small patch of rhubarb had grown substantial enough, I jumped at the chance of trying it out, and it’s delicious.

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Rhubarb shortbread

It starts with a simple, plain shortbread base which is part-baked before adding a liquid rhubarb mix on top and baking further. I was a bit concerned at how liquid-y the rhubarb mix was, but it works. It makes for a gooey, sweet, slightly stodgy texture on top of the crisp, rich shortbread base.

I was also concerned that the shortbread might get stuck on the foil lining (I’ve never used foil to line a baking tray) but luckily it didn’t.

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See, no sticking!

It is best eaten on the day it is made as the rhubarb topping has a slightly crunchy caramelised top which after a few days does get a bit soggy, though the shortbread remains solid rather than also going soggy, which was my fear. This is absolutely delicious and I highly recommend it!

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This square of loveliness made 16 portions

Recipe here: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/533324780854982837/

 

Raspberry and apple muffins

I had an urge on the weekend to bake something quick and easy, and muffins certainly are that. So I searched through my previously saved recipes and found this one, which uses store cupboard staples (and raspberries). The great thing about muffins is that you can just bung everything in one bowl, mix a bit and that’s it.

I used frozen raspberries as I didn’t have any fresh ones around and I substituted roughly half the brown sugar for normal as I didn’t have enough for either. I like the caramelised look of the muffins from the brown sugar and slight crunch to the top.

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The finished product

I did find there wasn’t enough liquid to mix all the dry ingredients together, so I added a splash more milk, which worked well. I also baked them for 15 minutes rather than the suggested 10-12. I made 14 muffins in the batch as the recipe simply says ‘serves 8’ – perhaps I should have filled them less to make 16?

These are lovely, moist and sweet with the occasional tart raspberry-y mouthful.

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Yummy

Recipe here: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/533324780854765706/