Blackberry and Lemon Curd Swiss Roll

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Ah, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted on my lovely little blog. No, I haven’t just forgotten about it for the passed 2 months, and I feel awful for not committing to not posting. I think part of the reason why it’s been so long is to do with the shame of coming back after such a long time. I’m sorry…

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I also feel awful because I didn’t post any lovely little Christmas recipes over December, which I would have enjoyed because it’s my absolute favourite time of the year. But Christmas is over now, and even though it’s ridiculously depressing that it is, I believe that in life you always need something else to look forward to once something amazing has passed. And what is there to look forward to after winter??? SUMMER!

I’m already sick of he cold weather that bites at you and makes you wish you didn’t wear a skirt to school, and especially after winter, the cold seems rather pointless. So I thought I’d cheer myself up on this weekend by making something that would remind me of the sun to come. And what better way is there to do that than to throw berry’s and citrus fruit at a cake? ((There isn’t one))

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This swiss roll is sure to knock your fluffy socks off and demand you to put on your beach sandals. Truthfully, I’ve never made a swiss roll before and I was nervous about the outcome (there’s this whole letting it cool wound up thing that I didn’t get but now totally do), but they’re surprisingly easy to make and are absolute delicious (who’d of thunk that a cake with no butter would taste so good? No one).

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I found that the sweetness of the jam and the tangyly sour taste of the lemon curd complimented each other perfectly inside the gorgeously light sponge wrapped around it. You don’t even have to use blackberry jam, you can use any of your choice – raspberry would definitely be delish.

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The cake consists of 4 incredibly straight forward ingredients: eggs, sugar, flour and vanilla. That’s it. How easy is that?

Okay, sure, the method might make your arm want to drop off but if you have an electric mixer then you’ll be fiiiiiine (if not then I’m incredibly sorry for doing this to you).

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I’m having as much fun eating this cake as I did making it. I can’t wait for summer…

My recipe:

  • 4 free range eggs
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 75g self raising flour

For the filling:

  • heaping tbsps blackberry jam
  • heaping tbsps lemon curd

Start by preheating your oven to gas mark 5/190°C/375°F and grease and line a long, level rectangular baking tray with grease-proof paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Beat these together until the mixture becomes light, thick and fluffy (it should roughly double in size). Sift in your flour and fold with a metal spoon very gently. If you just stir it will knock out all of the air that you’ve worked so hard to put in there. Transfer this mixture to your prepared tray and bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes or until slightly firm to the touch.

Cut a piece of grease-proof paper roughly the size of the baking tray but bigger and dust it with cast sugar. When the cake is done, remove it from the tray and transfer it (face down) onto the sugar covered parchment then peel off the grease-proof the cake was baked in. Starting from one end, start to roll the cake with the grease-proof paper until you achieve a cylinder shape. Let this cool completely. Rolling the cake with the parchment will help it remember it’s “roll” shape when you come to fill and finish it.

Soften up your jam and your curd then roll out the cake that’s wrapped with the baking parchment. Spread out the jam to cover the cake then lay on the curd and spread out evenly on top of the jam (do this carefully so you don’t end up blending the two together). Starting from the end that you started rolling the parchment in, roll the cake over the filling, making sure not to push down too hard or wrap it too tightly or the filling will just ooze out.

Et voila! A beautiful rolly polly cake that just whispers summer is coming. Enjoy!!

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Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Okay, we may be going back to basics here, big time, but I honestly think that sometimes the simple chocolate chip muffin is so underrated, and also done in completely the wrong way.

And also, I completely disagree with this accusation that “muffins are just ugly cupcakes” because it is completely untrue. Are you not seeing how beautiful these muffins are?! Besides. Muffins beat cupcake by a long shot. Cupcakes are dry and far too small, muffins are moist, delicious, huge and packed full of anything you want to put into them. I wanted chocolate chips.

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Well, actually, my mum wanted chocolate chips. My parents are going away to France this weekend to visit my Nan. When we were shopping, my dear mother said “we need to go and get some cakey things for me and dad to eat on the boat” no, woman. You have a baker in the house. I will bake for you dammit. And that’s how these gorgeous creatures (can I call a muffin a creature?!) were born.

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Also, did I tell anyone that I’m going to America in a week? Yep. 1 week in San Francisco, 1 week in Los Angeles and the final week in Las Vegas. Ohmygod so excited.

The most exciting thing for me about this holiday will be all of the new and exciting food that I can never get my hands on (because England is a deprived country) and I’ll get to bake completely awesome things in an awesome country in a new and awesome kitchen. I’ll bring my own utensils though.

Boring part (my actual life) of the blog over, let us direct our attention bake to muffins. Yummm.

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A mixture of dark and milk chocolate chips in this recipe is ideal; you get little hits of super sweet (milk) and rich (dark), which compliment each other b-e-a-utifully.

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My secret moistening agent is sour cream. Truth be told, I made my friend a chocolate fudge birthday cake for her birthday, and I had sour cream left over after making it. So why should it be wasted when it can be used so beautifully?!

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I’ve talked enough, here’s my recipe (makes 9 muffins):

  • 130g unsalted butter
  • 80ml sour cream
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 250g plain (all purpose) flour
  • 1 1/2 tsps
  • 80ml milk
  • 80g milk chocolate chips
  • 80g dark chocolate chips

Preheat the your oven to gas mark 5/190°C/375°F and line a muffin tray with 9 muffin liners. Melt your butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Keep an eye on it and remove from the heat once the butter begins to foam.

In a large bowl, beat together the sour cream and the eggs. Add in the melted butter and beat again to incorporate. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, sugar and baking powder.

Add all of the flour/sugar/baking powder in one go and fold together until just combined. Add in the milk and whisk together until combined.

Toss the chocolate chips in a tablespoon of flour and then fold 3/4 of them into the batter. You’ll need to reserve a 1/4 to sprinkle on top of the muffins, make ’em look all pretty and what not.

Using an ice-cream scoop or two tablespoons, fill the muffin liners with the batter, then sprinkle on a few of the reserved choco chips for decoration.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the middle muffin comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the tray for an hour, then transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.

Then just eat them. 

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You are welcome 😉

Healthy Banana and Peanut Butter Ice-Cream (vegan friendly!)

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It’s a well known fact that, in Britain, as soon as the sun begins to poke out of the ever-present grey and miserable clouds, Summer has begun. In total, we’ve probably had about 3 decently hot days (all of which we’ve all complained that it was “too hot” ) but that will not phase us! No! It is summer.

And obviously, along with summer comes ice-cream.

I love ice-cream. It’s a beautiful creation, don’t you think? But (I’ve found) you can’t really have an ice-cream without feeling guilty afterwards… oh… you may think you’re at a stalemate…  well think again and hold that guilt for I present to you a healthy (yes, it’s actually good for you) ice-cream involving only two ingredients: (getting Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food Ice-Cream Cake flashbacks) bananas and PB.

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This is such a simple recipe and it’s so delicious. It’s perfect for breakfast, maybe with a little granola sprinkled on top, or just as an after dinner treat. If you want my advice, use incredibly ripe bananas when making this recipe. I mean it. Borderline death-bed material. This will ensure a creamier texture (more like ice-cream) and a faaaarrr better taste.

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Here’s the recipe:

  • 4 (very) ripe bananas
  • 2 (heaped) tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter (I used Whole Earth because of it’s natural ingredients)

Chop up all of your bananas and shove them in a plastic container to freeze over-night

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Throw all of the frozen banana chunks into a blender and blend to a smooth paste. It will take some time and regular prodding to move about the frozen banana

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Once smooth, transfer back to the container and stir in the PB. Put back in the freezer for 2 hours to firm up before serving

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Mmmmmmmm, creamy perfection…

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