Chocolate Caramel Biscuits by Kevin

This is another one of the numerous biscuits myself and the sister make together. I oddly don't have a picture of the finished product. I guess I'll have to make them again.....

What you'll need:

for the biscuit

  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 175g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

for the caramel

  • 1⁄2 of one 379g of condensed milk
  • 3 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon golden syrup

for the topping

  • 125g dark chocolate

For the cookies, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the egg, mix well, add flour and baking powder. Combine. Shape the dough into a log about a thumb in diameter, wrap in cling and leave in a fridge for 1 hour.

When the dough is firm, preheat the oven to 165°C/gas mark 3. Slice about 15 biscuits. Place on a prepared baking tray. Bake for about 15mins. They might be a bit ready beforehand pop them out once they're a pale golden colour. They'll be soft. Leave them on the tray for about 10min and move them over to a rack ro cool.

While the biscuits are cooling make the caramel, place all ingredients in a small pot over a low heat. Stir regularly, allow the mix to thicken. The moment you see the caramel setting on the side of the pan it's ready. Transfer to a shallow pan and cover in cling, let it cool for 30min. Once it's cool, divided it into 15 balls and place it on top of each biscuit. Flatten.

Melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water. Once it's melted make a mess....or use a slotted spoon. Dip the biscuit into the chocolate and leave to sit on a rack in the fridge to set.


Imagine lovely chocolate dipped biscuits.....maybe i'll just make more...and take a photo and eat more....


Supper Happened! July 11th by Kevin

Apologies about that massive delay! It's been all go here lately. There are many plans in the works!

So I decided on this supper around the same time that i had decided to do te July 4th dinner. I had been in Galway and met James McGeogh. Who kindly gave me some of his AMAZING smoked black pudding. James studied butchering for seven years in Germany, where he gained his interests in air dried meats and smoked meat.....anyway, he gave me some of his black pudding and the idea popped into my head that it would go wonderfully with really well with some kind of sweet compote. So I needed a platform to deliver it. I decided that scotch quail eggs would be the answer.

The dinner was well and truly booked out when  found out one of the attendees was wheat and cows-milk intolerant. She offered to eat around anything that contained wheat (she had not looked at the menu) once I explained there was no escaping wheat she offered to not attend, but I insisted that I could make everything to suit her diet. With a few substitutions I soon had a wheat/gluten/cows-milk free meal under way.

I prepared the quail eggs by soft boiling them, letting them cool then wrapping them in the black pudding that I minced further down and added some cream. For the alternative I made  smoked mix of sausage meat and treated them the same. Rolled everything in polenta and left to stiffen up in the fridge.

The yorkshire puddings were a bit more of a challenge in the intolerant department..I used a mix of self raising flour, xanthan gum, egg and goats milk....they were more Yorkshire muffins in the long run, but I was informed were rather tasty. Everyone had steak the one way (no substitutes there) I deglazed the pan with some madeira wine and my salsa verde mix.

Finally came the wonderful challenge of a tolerable pasta. There was a huge amount of ideas, recipes and tips (which always worries has really got a simple working idea for it) I knew I didn't need it to be overly elasticy, so I just needed to make sure there was lots of protein to bind it all together so I decided on fresh duck eggs, with an extra yolk throw in on top for good meusure..

and it worked! Success. I filled all the ravioli and that was that! I was done. Ready to serve and everybody could eat and enjoy.

Here are photo compliments of Liz, who was one of my intolerant people!

Chocolate Covered Orange Blossom & Cointreau Biscuits by Kevin

Image So this was one of the many biscuits we made on our day of many biscuit making. The recipe was originally from Willie's Chocolate Bible with a few tweaks...

What you'll need:

  • 170g unsalted butter, softened
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp orange blossom water
  • 1 tbsp cointreau
  • 150g plain flour
  • 150g fine semolina
  • 300g good dark chocolate


Beat sugar and butter in a large bowl till light and fluffy. Pour in blossom water and cointreau. In a seperate bowl soft together both flours, mix them into the butter mixture till it forms a soft dough. Wrap in cling and chill in a fridge for 40min.

Preheat the oven to 150°C, line two baking trays with baking parchment. I rolled our the dough on a semolina covered surface. Roll it out to a thickness of about 1cm, get a 6cm biscuit cutter and cut out about 24 biscits. Space them away from each other on the trays. Put them in the oven for 18-20mins, until golden at the edges.

Remove from the oven leave on the tray for 5min then transfer them to a wire rack.


While they are cooling prepare the chocolate, for dipping biscuits it's best to temper by seeding the chocolate.

Tempering Chocolate:*

Split the chocolate up into 200g & 100g. Roughly chop the 200g chocolate and finely grate the 100g. Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof dish above a pot of very gently simmering water. If you have a thermometer it really helps here, heat the chocolate to about 45°C and melted. Try not to stir the chocolate and make sure the bowl is not touching the water below it. Once at the correct tempature remove from the pot and stir in the grated chocolate. You want to keep stirring the chocolate till it drops to a temperature of 28°C for dark or 26°C for milk. Once at this temperature place back on top of the gently simmering water and bring the temperature back up to 33°C. Chocolate is now tempered. Taking the time to do this with your chocolate will make everything better in the long run.

*Seemingly 300g of chocolate is the smallest amount of chocolate to successfully temper. I've never really tried anything smaller.

Place the wire rack over a baking tray.vTake each biscuit and dip the top into the choclate mixture, place back on the rack. Once the choclate is cooled. EAT THEM.

Making/baking with the sister 2 by Kevin

  Michelle arrived early Wednesday morning, I had just gotten back the evening beforehand. I had to get everything ready that night! So we had a bit of a busy morning. We got right to it..we went for breakfast. Then went looking for biscuit cutters. Then we decided to start getting ready. We got around to making 3 things.

























Whiskey Marmalade Cake for Silke & Patsy, with icing by Kevin

So I stayed in a wonderful woman house in Galway named Patsy, Silke of Corleggy Cheeses was also there! So I promised them dinner and dessert for one of the evening I was there. So I decided that they'd appreciate this cake. So..i've used 'so' alot in this post.


What you'll need:

for the cake

  • 150g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • Zest of 2 organic unwaxed oranges, plus juice of 1 orange
  • 3 large eggs
  • 14 teaspoon salt
  • 75g of whiskey marmalade
  • 175g self-raising flour

for the icing

  • Juice and zest of ½ orange
  • seeds of ½ vanilla pod
  • 100g or so of icing sugar

Preheat oven to 180°C/gas 4, Butter a 1kg loaf tin and line with baking paper.

Beat softened butter with both sugars in a large bowl till very pale and fluffy. Add orange zest and mix. In a jug crack in eggs break the yolks up a little with a fork. Slowly begin adding eggs to the butter mixture, beating till it's fulling incorporated.


Add the orange juice, salt and marmalade and mix very well. Sift flour over the top and mix just enough to combine. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure you've gotten all the butter. Give it one final mix and spoon into the tin.

Bake for about 45min. Remove from the over and allow to cool for 10min in the tin. Once removed from the tin leave to cool on a rack.

While it's cooling make the icing. In a jug, whisk together the orange juice, zest, vanilla seeds and icing sugar (about 1 tablespoon at a time till it's slightly thick)

Pour over the top of the cake and let it run down the sides.

...wrap it nicely and bring to Galway on a train the next day.


Gingerbread women, men & men dressed as women by Kevin

Well we went shopping, found people shaped biscuit cutters and a new rolling pin. We decided it was necessary to have some kind of biscuit baked each time we do this, so this time round gingerbread people! I also wanted these buscuits to go with the Elderflower Icecream for that evenings supper.


Yes I'm aware of the spelling mistake.

What you'll need:

  • 350g plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 150g light soft brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 tablespoons golden syrup

Preheat oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Line a baking tray with baking paper.


Sift flour, ginger and bicarb into a bowl. Rub in the butter till you get a sand like texture, then stir in sugar. In a separate bowl whisk together golden syrup and beaten egg in a bowl. Mix it in the dry ingredients to form a dough.


Roll out the dough on a floured surface till is about 3mm thick. Cut out you gingerbread:

  • Women
  • Men
  • Snails
  • Whales
  • Hedgehogs
  • Foxes
  • and so on


Place them on the prepared tin, with a tooth pick give them faces and angry eyebrows. Bake for about 10min or till golden. A tip also which I forgot with the first batch, give them a bit of space. Let them cool for about 5min on the tray then transfer to a rack.

Terribly Chocolatly Chocolate Brownies by Kevin

So we decided Brownies and ginger bread men would be our baked goods for the day. We also made a Whiskey Marmalade Cake!


What you'll need:

  • 300g dark chocolate chopped, plus 150g extra
  • 100g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100g plain flour


Preheat your oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Grease a 20cm square baking tin and line with baking paper, get it around the edges too. Place 300g of chocolate, butter and salt in a heatproof bowl over gently simmering water. Let it melt down slowly. In another bowl, break up the eggs and add the sugars and vanilla till its all incorporated.


Whisk it into the melted choclate mixture. Gently fold in flour and 150g of roughly chopped chocolate till just mixed. Pour into prepared tin. Bake for 25min or till it's set. Leave them to cool entirely in the tin. Cut into squares. Eat!


Michelle's Chocolate Cookies by Kevin

So we were so prepared and moving with great speed and poise Michelle decided she'd make a batch of chocolate cookies. She had been given a recipe from a friend but decided to tweak and change a few things today.


What you'll need:

  • 140g unsalted butter, softened
  • 90g brown sugar
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 150g dark chocolate, min 70%
  • 200g chocolate chips

Beat butter and sugars in a bowl till it's nice and creamy. Add the whole egg and mix, the add the yolk and mix again. Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate together and gently mix into the mix. Leave to once side. Place a bowl over a pop of gently simmering water and melt down the 150g of dark chocolate. Once with melted add the the mixture. Mix well to combine. The mix is stiff so don't worry if it's difficult to stir. Finally mix in chips.


Preheat your over to 180ºC/ gas 4. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper. Using an icecream scoop pick up big helping of the cookie mix and place on the trays with a good with of space between each mound. we made rather large cookies today so we just had 10 mounds. You could easily half the size for more cookies in the end. Bake for around 25min if you are making large cookies, otherwise jsut 18-20 for smaller. They'll come out of the oven a little soft. leave them on the tray for 5min then place onto a wire rack to cook completely.


Lemon Drizzle Cake by Kevin

So I asked Michelle last week what she'd like to learn to bake, she said "ice-cream" that was find....then she said "Lemon Drizzle" a few days later. So that was also grand, talking to her yesterday I found out we were going to make both :) This was actually the second thing we started this morning. We began making ths once the custard for the ice-cream was cooling. But not to worry we'll begin here!

What you'll need:

For the Cake:

  • 175g softened butter, plus a bit to grease the loaf tin
  • 175g caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • Finely grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 2 eggs
  • 75ml milk
  • 175g plain flower
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

For the glaze:

  • 100g caster sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Preheat your over to 170°C/gas 3. Butter a 1kg loaf tin and line the bottom with baking paper. Beat the softened butter, sugar and salt in a large bowl till light and fluffy. Add lemon and whisk well till it's incorporated. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after you add in each one. (it kinda looks like scrambled eggs at this stage) Then add the milk. Combine. Sift in flour and baking powder together. Fold the mixture till it's well combined. Try not to over mix! Pour it into the prepared tin and level it off. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Leave it to stand in the tin for about 15 minutes. Turn it out onto a rack and leave to cool the rest of the way. Once cooled place it on your serving tray. To make the drizzle combine the lemon and sugar in sausepan. Stir gently till the sugar is dissolved. Keep heating till it becomes syrupy. Don't let it boil!

Prick the top of the cake, then pour the syrup all over the top. Don't let hot sugar land on your's not cool. The cake keeps in an airtight tin for about 4 days.

Semolina Sponge Cake for Lorraine! by Kevin

So as it says above this cake was for Lorraine. It was Lorraine's birthday so I decided she would need a cake! I had the idea for this cake on Father's Day when I was teaching my sister how to make a Victoria Sponge. There's 3 main things needed to make this cake. SO this is my first recipe post so you know....bear with me. There's also fondant involved for the lettering.

nom nom nom nom I loe Alt-text.

What you'll need to make this cake!


For the sponge

  • 6 eggs, seperated
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 240g semolina flour
  • Grated Zest of 1 organic unwaxed lemon
  • 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder

For the salted caramel sauce

  • 1 can of condensed milk (379g)
  • 150g soft dark brown sugar
  • 150g butter
  • pinch of maldon salt end up with some extra caramel sauce...but that's never a bad thing.

For the Apricot Butter Cream

  • 227g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 lots of caster sugar 50g each
  • 8 fresh apricots

or if you get apricot jam just use 1 lot of caster sugar.

  • 2 egg yolks

Ok so that's everything! So we'll begin!

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and grease a 20cm cake tin with butter. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until smooth then gradually whisk in small amounts of the flour. Add the lemon zest. In a seperate bowl whisk egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then fold into the mixture with the baking powder. Pour into the tin and bake for 30-35 minutes. Pop it out and let it is in the tray for 15 minutes. The flip it upside-down on a wire rack and leave to cool. It should look a little like this:

A sponge cake! With no filter.

Once it's cool slice it in half like so:

golden wonderfulness.......

Ok I have acidtate strips that wrap around and keep everything in place, if not place the bottom half of the pizza back in cake tin.

Ok so caramel sauce, in a saucepan melt the butter and sugar together till it's smooth. Once all the sugar is dissolved pour in the condensed milk. Stir it continuously till the first bubble appears. Don't let it boil!

Pour it over the bottom half and leave it to cool in the fridge for a half hour.


Pop it back out and put the top half on.

Now last but not least the apricot butter cream:

In a small pop cook down the apricots with 50g of sugar....or if you have apricot jamdo nothing. Beat the butter till it's pale and creamy. Beat in the remaining sugar, apricots and egg yolks. Mix it till its very smooth.

Spread it over cake and add small insult.


I also made a box for the cake...there's no recipe for this but you can have a look.


Ok. Done. Yay.