NEW BLOGSITE!

Hi!

Thank you for visiting my blogsite – I hope that you have enjoyed the recipes that are listed here.

I also make bespoke bakes and I have now added this blogsite onto my webpage so if you would like to visit www.heather-brown.com then you can enjoy more recipes and find out more about what I do – along with some (hopefully) beautiful pictures.

See you there!

love Heather x

 

photo-11

Christmas Craft Fair.

A mini Winter Wonderland full of beautiful craft, delicious hot drinks and scrumptious Christmas bakes and the best bit… it will be raising money for charity too! Continue reading

Raspberry Jam.

I use this jam in a lot of my recipes as its brilliant sharpness helps to cut through some of the sweetness and balance the flavours. As a bonus – this jam is really easy to make too! 

IMG_3660

Ingredients

  • 1kg Jam Sugar
  • 1kg fresh raspberries
  • Juice from 1 lemon
Method
Place a small saucer into the freezer (that sounds weird … but trust me). Also – if you are using jars, then make sure you sterilise them first – either by heating them in a pan of boiling water for 5 minutes or by running them through a hot dishwasher.
Add all of the ingredients to a large saucepan over a medium heat and stir the ingredients together as the sugar dissolves. When the mixture reaches boiling point, stop stirring and let the mixture boil for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes – take the saucer from the freezer and drip some of the mixture onto it (this cools the jam very quickly). Push the mixture with your finger and if it wrinkles then it is set. If it is not, boil for a further 2 minutes and re-test.
If you would like a jam without seeds (arguably better for use in cakes), then push the jam through a sieve before putting it into jars.


Makes about 8-10 small jars of jam. 

Cheese Scones.

This is my favourite treat after a long day.

It might seem at first like too much work to make scones when you are tired but they are ridiculously easy, barely any washing up and just SO good straight from the oven with cold butter and nice cup of tea – 100% worth the effort. 

Cheese Scone

Ingredients.

  • 8oz self-raising flour
  • 1.5oz butter
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 50g mature cheddar cheese (or whatever you have)
  • 150ml milk

Method. Makes 4 large scones. 

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/160 fan/gas 5. Line a tray.

Place the flour in a bowl and add the salt and sugar. Add the butter in smallish pieces and ‘rub together’ (this simply means to rub together the butter with the dry ingredients between your fingers and thumbs until the mix ends up looking like breadcrumbs).

Grate in the cheese and give a quick stir. Then pour in the milk bit by bit until the mix comes together to form a dough (you might not need all of the milk so go steady).

Sprinkle your work surface with a bit of flour and tip the dough. Gently pat out so its a bit less than 1 inch thick and cut with a round cutter, placing the scones onto the tray. I usually don’t bother with all that though – I simply break the dough into pieces and place on the tray.

Brush the top with a little milk (or dribble on if no brush/cant be bothered to wash brush!) and place into the oven. Bake for something like 15 minutes until golden on top (the bottom will sound ‘hollow’ when you tap it too).

Tips.

  • Don’t knead the mixture much at all (otherwise it can get tough and dry)
  • If your dough is too wet, just add a little more flour.
  • This is a very forgiving recipe so don’t worry all that much about being completely accurate – often my butter just gets chucked in and I rarely measure the cheese or milk out.
  • You can add any extras you fancy… like chopped olives, sun-dried tomatoes, cooked bacon pieces…
  • Half of the above recipe is enough for one hungry person for dinner and makes two large scones.

Enjoy! 

Cookie Dough Brownies.

These treats combine the oh-so-delicious cookie dough with a dense and chocolatey brownie base. These are super sweet but also super tasty. 

Cookie Dough Brownie by Heather Brown UK

Ingredients. 

For the cookie dough.

  • 180g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150g soft brown sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 190g plain flour
  • 200g dark chocolate chips
  • a little milk (if needed)

For the brownies.

  • 50g butter
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 50g soft brown sugar
  • 40g golden syrup
  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 2 eggs
  • 40g plain flour

Method. 

Line an 8″ square tin and preheat the oven to 180 degres/160 fan/gas 5.

To start, make the brownies by gently melting together the butter, caster sugar, soft brown sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan until the mixture is smooth. Melt into this mixture the chocolate  and then take off the heat. Stir in the eggs and then the flour.

Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 15-20 minutes. When it is cooked, the cake should start to crack at the edges and the top should change from glossy to a matt finish. Leave the brownies to cool completely in the tin.

Once the brownies have cooled – beat together in a bowl the butter and sugars until well combined. Add in the vanilla and then mix in the flour (adding a tablespoon or two of milk if the mixture is too stiff). Stir in the chocolate chips.

Squash this mixture into the brownie tin and press down onto the brownie base. This then needs to be chilled for about 1 hour until it can be sliced up and scoffed.

A tip for when you slice, heat the knife in hot water and wipe the blade clean between each slice.

Makes 20 small pieces. 

Viennese Fingers.

These are another of my childhood favourites… buttery biscuits filled with sweet buttercream and dipped in smooth, dark chocolate. Yum. 

Viennese Fingers by Heather Brown

Ingredients.

  • 6oz butter
  • 6oz caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 oz plain flour
  • 8oz icing sugar
  • 4oz soft butter (spreadable butter works really well)
  • dark chocolate

Method. 

Line 2 baking trays and preheat the oven to 200 degrees/180 fan/gas 6.

Mix together the butter and sugar until the mixture turns pale and creamy (about 5 minutes with a spoon and about 2 minutes with an electric mixer). Add the eggs and mix in well. Stir in the flour. Place the mixture into a piping bag and pipe onto the tray – either in lines or in swirls.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes (or until golden) and allow to cool completely.

To make the buttercream icing simply beat together the soft butter and icjng sugar. Taste and if not sweet enough, simply add some milk and then add some more icing sugar.

For the finished biscuit – take one line/swirl and spread a thick layer of buttercream over the bottom (the flat side of the biscuit) and press the base of another biscuit to it. Melt the dark chocolate and dip each end of the biscuit in the chocolate and leave to set on a wire rack.

Alternative – if you would like chocolate biscuits, substitute 2oz of flour for 2oz of cocoa powder.

Makes about 20 biscuits. 

Chocolate Chip Muffins.

This is one of my favourite recipes as it is both simple and quick but super delicious! My secret is simple – I just add lots and LOTS of chocolate chips! If you always sometimes have the need for chocolate cake, then this recipe is for you! 

choc muffins 1 (2)

Ingredients. 

  • 6oz caster sugar
  • 6oz butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 6oz self raising flour
  • 1/2tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g chocolate chips

Method. 

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees/180 fan/gas 6. Place paper muffin cases into a 12 hole muffin tray.

Mix together the butter and sugar until the mixture turns pale – this can be done with a wooden spoon but a mixer will make this quicker (and easier on your arms!). Beat in the eggs and vanilla really well (the mixture may look ‘curdled’ at this point but the flour will sort this out). Mix in the flour until combined (go easy with the mixing at this point) and then stir in the chocolate.

Spoon into the cupcake cases and bake for 15-20 minutes until brown on top and middle cakes in the tray are ‘springy’ to the touch. Check the muffins after 15 minutes and rotate the tray if necessary so they brown evenly.

These are great eaten warm but if you don’t manage to eat the whole tray warm from the oven (!) then 10 seconds in the microwave is enough to just melt the chocolate chips to make this delicious snack even better!

Makes 12 muffins. 

Coconut Lime Biscuits.

I have had to endure that horrible wait in between finally ordering something you have longed to own, and it actually arriving! (I know, I know #firstworldproblems). This recipe book is written by a Canadian baker and can be hard to order here in the UK (even Amazon keeps being out of stock!) – but I finally received it yesterday and it is worth waiting for!

Barely was it opened before I was reading (and salivating) at the recipes and here is one for you as a teaser. To buy your own copy of the recipe book , it is called Back to Baking: 200 Timeless Recipes to Bake, Share, and Enjoy by Anna Olson and retails for about £25.

Lime and Coconut biscuits by Heather Brown

Coconut Lime Biscuits. 

  • 250g desiccated coconut
  • 250g plain flour
  • 60g caster sugar
  • zest from 2 limes
  • pinch of salt
  • 125g butter
  • 1 egg white (to glaze – you can use melted butter here instead).

Method.

Grease and line a baking tray.

Mix together in a large bowl the flour, sugar, salt, zest and half of the coconut. Add in the butter and, using your hands, mix in the butter until the mixture comes together in a soft dough. Roll the dough into a long sausage shape (or 2 shorter lengths) and wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 2 hours.

Preheat the over to 180 degrees/160 fan/gas 5.

Take out the wrapped dough, unwrap, brush the egg white over them and then roll them in the remaining coconut until completely covered. Slice the dough into rounds about 1cm thick and place on the tray, squashing them slightly (you can dip these in the coconut too if you have any left).

Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until they have hardened slightly and golden brown.

I have added some lime icing dribbled over the top. To make this, simply squeeze some juice from the limes you zested and add icing sugar until it makes a dribbly paste and cover the biscuits.

Makes about 20 biscuits. 

 

Lime Squares.

These light and zesty squares can be served warm from the oven with a big dollop of cream for pudding or on their own as a perfect accompaniment with your morning latte. 

key lime bar

Ingredients: 

  • 3 limes (juice and zest)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 tin condensed milk
  • 15 digestive biscuits
  • 4 oz butter

Method: 

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees/160 fan/gas 5. Grease and line a 7″ x 10″ tin.

Crush the biscuits by placing the biscuits in a double layer of sandwich bags and bash with something heavy like a book or rolling pin). Melt the butter and stir in the biscuits crumbs well. Squash the mixture into the base of the tin and set aside.

Separate the eggs into 2 bowls. Add to the yolks the condensed milk, lime zest and lime juice and mix together. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks. Fold the whites into the yolk mixture. Pour this mixture over the biscuit base and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the edges have cracked slightly and the top starts to brown.

Remove from the oven and either cut immediately (and carefully!) and serve warm for pudding or leave to cool. If they don’t get gobbled up the day they are baked, then cover and store in the fridge.

Makes 12 pieces. 

The humble Rock Cake.

This cake is the buttery sister to the fruit scone. Best eaten warm from the oven with a hot cup of tea. This cake is a fond memory from my childhood and thank you to my brilliant Mum for this recipe. 

The humble Rock Cake. by Heather Brown UK

 

Ingredients:

  • 8oz self raising flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp mixed spice
  • 4 oz butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3oz demerara sugar
  • 5oz dried fruit
  • small amount of milk.

Method: 

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees/180 fan/gas 6. Grease and line a baking tray.

Mix together the flour, salt and spices. Rub in the butter (between your forefingers and thumbs, rub the butter and flour together until you end up with lots of golden crumbs). Stir in the sugar and dried fruit. I used a combination of dried cherries, cranberries, raisins and sultanas but the great things with this recipe is that you can use what ever dried fruit you fancy – apricots, currants, apple, pineapple etc.

Mix in the beaten egg and add tiny amounts of milk to the mix until it has formed a thick paste.

Place onto the baking tray in rocky heaps and sprinkle with a bit more sugar. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden.

Tips: If the mixture is too wet, the cakes will flatten too much and you will end up with pebbles. Rectify this with a little extra flour.

Makes 5 large or 8 small Rock Cakes.