Monday, 29 September 2014

Apple & Autumn Berry Crumble

Crumble is one of my all time favourite desserts - if it's on the menu I'll most definitely be ordering it. This seasonal apple and Autumn berry crumble is a must try. Once you experience the smell of it baking in the oven you won't be able to resist !After all everybody needs a little comfort food at this time of year.
(Makes 6 portions)


6 Cooking Apples (peeled, cored and sliced)
3 Cups of Frozen Berries (blackberries, raspberries, blackcurrants work best)
6-7 tbsps Caster Sugar


2 cups Plain Flour
1.5 cups Brown Sugar
Half tsp Cinnamon or Mixed Spice (sieved)
1.5 Cups Butter (softened)




1) Peel, core and slice the apple. Add it to your pot with 3 tbsp of sugar and 3 tbsp of tap water. Stew the apple by bringing to the boil and allowing to simmer for 5 minutes. Stir constantly. Leave to one side.

2) In a separate pot, add the berries and the remaining caster sugar. Again, stew by bringing to the boil and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Leave to one side and, once cool, combine the apple and the berry mixtures.

3) Preheat your oven to 180C/ 350F/ Gas Mark 4.

4) To make the crumble, add the flour, sugar and cinnamon/ mixed spice to a bowl and combine. Cut the softened butter into cubes and, using your fingertips rub together until the mixture takes on the consistancy of breadcrumbs.

5) To assemble, fill each ramekin with the fruit and top with crumble. Place on a flat baking tray and stick in the oven for approx. 8 minutes until the crumble is golden brown in colour.

*You can store the fruit in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week. You can also store the crumble in a separate sealed container in a cool dry place for 4 -5 days before baking.*

These gorgeous mini ramekins from Viking Direct are ideal for making individual crumbles. There's something that bit nicer about tucking into your own little ramekin of deliciousness !Viking Direct have a massive selection of kitchenware and bakeware on their site - you'll be sure to find something you love.

The crumble is delicious served with a scoop of Carte D'or Vanilla Icecream on top, a dollop of Chantilly Cream or a spoon or two of Creme Anglaise -serious comfort food!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Blackberry Scones

I've become blackberry crazy over the past few weeks. I use them in everything - when they grow right outside the door surely it would be a sin not to use them up! I fancied fresh scones this morning but when I realised I had no raisins I didn't know what to throw in. I went for a few blackberries I had picked with my little godson the day before.They  worked a treat. The delicious smell of these bad boys baking will be sure to have the troops out of bed and at the breakfast table in no time. 


Plain Flour
100g Caster Sugar
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 cup Milk and Water to bind 
Handful Blackberries 


1) Preheat your oven to 180C/ 350F/ Gas Mark 4 and line a flat baking tray with grease proof paper. 

2) Add all of the dry ingredients along with the butter (cut into cubes), to the bowl. Using your fingertips rub the butter into the floury mixture until combined. 

3) Add half the milk and water to the bowl and stir - continue to add until the mix binds like a dough. 

4) Empty the bowl onto your flour dusted work surface and fold in the blackberries. Roll until the dough is about an inch thick and cut with your scone cutter. 

6) Place the scones onto your lined baking tray and bake for 15- 20 minutes until golden brown. Leave the scones to cool on a wire rack or enjoy hot with melted butter - yum!!!

*Store the scones in an airtight container
 (if they happen to last past the cooling rack that is!) *

Monday, 15 September 2014

Mixed Berry Compote

Kids are heading back to school which means that Summer is coming to an end but that Autumn is just around the corner. Colourful walks through the leaf-strewn woods, fresh seasonal berries and fruits to bake with, wrapping up because its getting that little bit nippy - what's not to love? 


 There are so many baking possibilties with what Autumn has to offer. One of my favourites, although its not really baking, has to be fresh Autumn berry compote. I for one never thought that making berry compote could be so easy. Who knew it could be ready to eat in a matter of minutes! 


350g Frozen Berries 
Fresh Blackberries (throw in whatever you have harvested)
6-7 heaped tbsp Light Brown Sugar
2 tbsp Lemon Juice


1) Add the berries, lemon juice and sugar to a large pan and stir.
2) Allow the mixture to come to the boil and then to simmer for 4-5 minutes.
3) You can serve the compote warm or hot but, before storing allow it to cool. Store the compote in the fridge once cool. It keeps for up to a week days although it never lasts quite that long in my house! 

I used my gorgeous preserve jars from Viking Direct to store the compote. They're perfect for keeping the compote fresh and they look that bit nicer than a regular jam jar!Viking Direct have a great range of bakeware and kitchenware - you'll be sure to find something you'd love on their site.

My favourite way to enjoy berry compote is to stir it into my bowl of porridge along with Linwoods Milled Organic Flaxseed. I mean who wouldn't love healthy pink porridge? 

Serving Suggestions

sponge cake 
sweet bread

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Autumn Berry Smoothie

It's that time of year again which means that blackberries are everywhere! I picked a bucketful last week and knew instantly that I had to make something seriously purple with my find and this autumn berry smoothie was it! It's super easy to make - simply blend all of the ingredients below together and enjoy!


2 bananas
2 apples 
2 pears
2 cups blackberries
1 cup apple juice
6 tbsp yogurt (Glenisk Pure Original Blueberry Yogurt is great!)
Half a cup of crushed ice

Chocolate Meringue Feast

I was invited for Sunday lunch last week so thought that I better whip up something special for dessert. I considered a sundae or something small but felt creative and went all out instead. I had never combined meringue with sponge cake before but had always thought that it looked pretty good. I whipped up a sticky chocolate fudge sauce to pour over the top and used Chantilly Cream for the filling - yum! 



6 Egg Whites
150g Caster Sugar


2 Egg Yolks
150g Sugar
50g Plain Chocolate
3  tbsp Water
50g Butter


250g Caster Sugar
250g Butter (softened)
4 Eggs
250g Self Raising Flour
6 tbsp Cocoa Powder


250ml Whipping Cream
2 tbsp Icing Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract



1) Preheat your oven to 110C/ 230F/ Gas Mark 1/4 and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
On one of the sheets, draw a circle around an 8 inch round baking tin and leave both to one side.

2) Whisk the egg whites in the electric mixer until when lifted, the beater forms a peak in the mixture. Add the sugar, a few spoons at a time and continue to whisk again until the mixture forms a peak when the beater is lifted.

3) On one tray, using a piping bag and star nozzle, pipe the mixture into small shapes like you would icing on top of a cupcake. On the other tray, pipe the mixture so it fills the 8 inch circle shape you drew earlier.

6) Place both trays in the oven and bake undisturbed for 1 and 3/4 hours.



1) To make a syrup, dissolve the sugar in the water in a saucepan and bring to the boil until it has reached 110 degrees on your sugar thermometer.

2) Whisk the syrup and the egg yolks until the mixture is thick and mousse-like and leave to one side while you melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water.

3) Leave the chocolate to cool slightly for 5 minutes. Then beat the butter and chocolate together and add the syrup mixture and continue to beat.



1) Preheat the oven to 180c/ 350F/ Gas Mark 4 and grease and line an 8 inch round baking tin.

2) Cream the butter and sugar together in your mixing bowl until creamy and pale in colour. Add the eggs and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Then add the flour and cocoa powder, one spoon at a time and beat further until of light and fluffy consistancy again.

3) Pour the mixture into your tin and bake for approx. 40 minutes until firm to touch.