Archive of ‘Recipes’ category

Dairy-Free Spiced Chocolate Muffins

Recently many of us lovely bloggers have been lucky enough receive some Stork and fabulous spices from Steenbergs so we can carry on and bake in the aftermath of the Great Bloggers Bake Off!

I was thrilled when my Stork arrived to discover it was dairy-free which meant I could use it to cook for my children, one of whom is currently on a strict dairy-free diet. He loves chocolate and so I had a look in my Marks and Spencer Chocolate Box cook book for inspiration. And there, on page 60, was a recipe for spiced chocolate muffins. Something which would use both of my recently gifted ingredients whilst satisfying every member of my sweet toothed family!

Here’s the recipe, adapted to be fully dairy-free.


100g Stork (the foil wrapped variety, not the one in a tub!)
150g caster sugar
115g brown sugar
2 large eggs
150ml Alpro soya cream
5 tbsp soya milk
250g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp cocoa powder (I used The co-operative’s Truly Irresistible Fairtrade Drinking Chocolate)
1 tsp Steenbergs organic mixed spice
200g dark chocolate chips (I used Silver Spoon chips)


Line a 12-cup muffin tin with muffin paper cases and preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5.

Place the Stork, caster sugar and brown sugar in a bowl and beat well. Beat in the eggs, soya cream and soya milk until thoroughly mixed. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa and space mix into a separate bowl and stir into the mixture. Add the chocolate chips and mix week. Divider he mixture evenly between the paper cases. Place in the pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container until needed!


Delicious! 😉

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Dairy-Free Chocolate and Beetroot Cake

This week for the #greatbloggersbakeoff I was excited to try and make a vegetable cake as my middle child is currently on a dairy-free diet and this fitted the bill perfectly! The dietician recommended a chocolate and beetroot cake and as this recipe had ground almonds in it as well it was another way of getting my son to eat some foods he probably, in any other circumstance, wouldn’t touch! I found this recipe on delicious and changed it slightly. The recipe called for raw beetroot which I could not find, and the icing contained sour cream, which isn’t dairy-free, so I made a buttercream icing with dairy-free spread instead. My son randomly wanted me to make it into the shape of a vacuum cleaner, but I’m afraid I wasn’t that brave!

Here is the recipe for this week…


250g dairy-free plain chocolate, broken up
3 large free-range eggs
200g light muscovado sugar
100ml sunflower oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g self-raising flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder
50g ground almonds
150g cooked beetroot (original recipe said 250g raw beetroot)
For the icing

150g dairy-free plain chocolate
100g icing sugar
50g Pure dairy-free spread

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Grease a 22cm round, loose-bottomed cake tin with a little butter and line the base with baking paper.
2. Place the plain chocolate in a bowl and set over a pan of gently simmering water. Allow the chocolate to melt slowly until smooth, then set aside to cool.
3. Place the eggs, sugar and sunflower oil in a large mixing bowl and whisk together, using an electric hand whisk, (I did this by hand as I have no electric whisk!) for about 3 minutes until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in vanilla extract, then sift over self-raising flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and gently fold in, together with the ground almonds.
4. Using a pair of rubber gloves to protect your fingers from staining, peel and grate the beetroot, then squeeze out the excess liquid. Fold the beetroot into the mixture with the cooled chocolate, until thoroughly mixed.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes-1 hour. Cover with foil if the cake browns too quickly. Test the cake by inserting a skewer into the centre to see if it comes out clean. Cool for a little while, then remove from the tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
6. For the icing, place 150g plain chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Allow to melt gently until smooth. Set aside to cool, then beat in icing sugar and Pure spread until you have a thick, creamy and spreadable icing. Spread it over the top of the cooled cake. I didn’t have enough to spread over the sides as well so I used a ready made sorry icing which was also dairy-free. I added Sainsbury’s dairy-free buttons to decorate the top. If I’d had enough I might have though about doing the sides as well! And there you have it, a delicious chocolatey dairy-free cake!

Thank you, as always for reading and for Helen and Jenny for hosting. If you’d like to join in the link or read lots more yummy recipes then click on the badge below!

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Apple and Plum Couronne

Oh I did enjoy The Great British Bake Off this week, and was so pleased that my attempt at a couronne actually worked out well enough for me to write a blog post about it! (unlike my shortbread lighthouse, aka a willy with a nipple on the top, from last week’s attempt at a biscuit show stopper)

Now I’ve never used yeast before (terrible I know!) but was determined to push myself, once again, out of my comfort zone and try something new. (I get bored very easily, love new things!) I liked the look of Paul Hollywood’s couronne a lot, but fancied trying to change a few things and make it my own, double pushing myself into new baking territory!

So here is my…

I used Paul’s recipe to create the dough which goes as follows…


250g/9oz strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
5g salt
7g/⅓oz instant yeast
50g/1¾oz unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
105ml/3½fl oz milk
1 egg, lightly beaten


Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. Add the butter, milk and egg and mix to combine, using your hands. Continue to mix until you’ve picked up all the flour from the sides of the bowl. Use the dough to clean the inside of the bowl (and your fingers) and keep going until you have a soft dough.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and begin to knead. Keep kneading for 10-12 minutes. (This was a good workout for my arms!) Work through the initial wet stage until the dough starts to form a soft, smooth skin.
When the dough feels smooth and silky, put it into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave to rise for one hour, or until doubled in size. I put my bowl in the airing cupboard for an hour, but I think it might’ve been too hot as it didn’t rise very well, so I left it in the kitchen for a further 30 mins and that did the trick.

Whilst the dough was rising (or not at first!) I made the filling….


90g/3¼oz unsalted butter, softened
70g/2½oz light muscovado sugar
35g/1¼oz plain flour
60g/2¼oz raisins
65g/2¼oz chopped walnuts
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cooking apples chopped into small chunks
2 plums cut into small cubes


Beat the butter and muscovado sugar together until smooth. Add the flour, raisins, walnuts. Mix to combine.
Next heat a saucepan and add the lemon juice, a splash of water, the cinnamon, apples and plums. Cook until the fruit is just beginning to soften. Leave to cool and then add to the mixture and combine well.
Line a baking tray with baking parchment or silicone paper.
Turn the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface. Taking care not to knock the air out of it, roll out the dough into a rectangle, approximately 33x25cm/13x10in. (I did not measure mine!) Turn the dough 90 degrees if necessary, so you have a long edge facing you. Spread the apple and plum mixture evenly over the dough. Roll up the dough tightly (like a Swiss roll). Roll it slightly to seal, then cut it in half lengthways (you can leave one end joined to help you twist the dough and form the circular crown).
Twist the two dough lengths together to make a rope, then join the ends of the rope to form a circular ‘crown’. Transfer (carefully!) to the baking tray.
Put the tray inside a clean plastic bag and leave to prove for 30-45mins, (again I left this in my kitchen to prove) or until the dough springs back quickly if you prod it lightly with your finger. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
Bake the couronne for 25-35 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown. (It took mine 25 mins) Set aside to cool on a wire rack.

To finish…


50g/1¾oz apricot jam (if I’d have had plum jam I’d have used that!)
100g/3½oz icing sugar


Gently heat the apricot jam with a splash of water, then sieve it and brush it over the warm loaf to glaze. Mix the icing sugar with enough water to make a thin icing, drizzle over the loaf. Leave to cool before serving.

And there you have it! Tastes pretty good too even though I say so myself!
Thank you, as always for reading and for Helen and Jenny for hosting. If you’d like to join in the link or read lots more yummy recipes then click on the badge below!

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Apple, Stilton and Caramelised Walnut Pie

Pie: A pie is a baked dish which is usually made of a pastry dough casing that covers or completely contains a filling of various sweet or savoury ingredients.

Where has this week gone? Time once again to link up to the fab #greatbloggersbakeoff. At times this week has seemed like the longest week ever what with a poorly 15 month old and then me catching it too. The four year old had only been going to school from 1pm until 3pm daily as part of his ridiculously long settling in period and this hasn’t been easy not least because by the time I got home and put little one down for his much needed nap I was waking him up to go back to school all over again. We didn’t want to venture out too far in the mornings (nearly didn’t make it back in time on Tuesday) and so spent quite a lot of time feeling sorry for ourselves at home. Pie making was not top of my list of activities whilst my stomach was churning, but by Friday I was feeling better, had a brand new oven, and was ready to bake!

So without further ado (or unnecessary waffling on about my week) here is my recipe! It went down quite well at home and has sparked a debate as to whether it is a savoury or sweet pie. I wanted to drizzle balsamic vinegar over a rocket salad to accompany it and my husband wanted to slather it in cream. You can make your own mind up!

Apple, Stilton and Caramelised Walnut Pie


I started by making a basic shortcrust pastry…


250g plain flour
Pinch of salt
110g unsalted butter
2-3 tbsp cold water


Put the flour and salt in a large bowl, add the butter and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. (I love doing this, reminds me of baking with my mum when I was a child!) Next add the water a bit at a time until the dough binds together. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 10-15mins.

Whilst the pastry was relaxing in my fridge I made the filling…


6 apples (dessert if possible, mine were from the tree in my garden and they are a bit tart!)
150g walnuts
100g golden caster sugar
A good big wedge of Stilton (sorry I didn’t weigh it I just crumbled it all in!)


Peel the apples and cut into large chunks. Place in a saucepan with 2tbsp of water and cook on a low heat for 5-10 minutes. (they need to retain their shape) Put the sugar in a saucepan with 100ml of cold water. Bring to the boil and let it boil vigorously for 10 minutes. Then remove from the heat, add the walnuts and stir. I will warn you at this point that you may worry you’ve ruined a perfectly good saucepan as it will harden and appear impossible to remove. So…I solved this ptential nightmare by using a wooden spoon (not in frustrated anger!) and bashed them a bit until they were all nice crushed up, then they came out of the saucepan with no problem! Roll out half of the pastry into a circle and place in a greased pie dish. Put the apples on top so they cover the whole of the bottom. Next sprinkle the crushed caramelised walnuts over the apples and finally crumble the Stilton over everything. (I’m tempted, if I make this again, to add another layer of apples, but didn’t this time) Roll out the remaining pastry and place over the pie cutting a hole in the top to let the steam out as it cooks. Sprinkle with water and caster sugar and then place in an oven at 180 degrees for 35 minutes or until the top is nice and brown! (took a while for mine, but that could’ve been because it was a new oven and I’m not yet confident with timings!)

And there you have it, not too tricky to make at all…and as you can see from the photos I went for the rustic look! I did toy with the idea of cutting out apple shaped pastry pieces to put on the top to make it look pretty, but didn’t have time this week.

Thank you, as always for reading and if you’d like to join in the link or read lots more yummy recipes then click on the badge below!

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Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookie and Fudge Petit Fours

A petit four (plural: petits fours) is a small confectionery or savoury appetizer. The name is French, petit four (French pronunciation: ​[pə.ti.fur]), meaning “small oven”.

A week ago on Friday I met the lovely Jenny Paulin from Mummymishaps at Yeo Valley, and whilst we were eating their delicious home made cakes *mouth waters at the memory* we quickly got chatting about The Great British Bake Off…a programme a lot of us religiously watch every week, hoping that we may ourselves be able to recreate some of the amazing things they bake. Now, I’ve not been able to do any baking recently after my oven trouble but when Jenny told me about her linky #thegreatbloggersbakeoff I was desperate to join in and try something new. So try something new I have…and I could either be embarrassing myself totally by revealing my lack of cooking ability in this post….or you could discover a new recipe you’d like to try yourself! (Fingers crossed!)

So, with no oven (new one hopefully being bought this morning!) I plumped for making petit fours this week! Making petit fours that did not require any cooking. I thought about cheesecakes, but didn’t know how I’d make them so small as none of my kitchen utensils matched the ideas I had. Then, whilst I was brainstorming in the kitchen my middle son walked in asking for some chocolate (a regular occurrence) and I had a light bulb moment! Recently my son has been advised to avoid all dairy due to a nasty phlegm producing cough that just won’t go away. (sorry to mention the word phlegm in a cooking post, it won’t happen again!) Luckily in the supermarkets these days there are so many dairy free options that he still can have chocolate and baked treats, but I hadn’t yet done any real dairy free baking for him. As a child I loved chocolate refrigerator cake (who doesn’t?!) and so my offering for today’s Great Bloggers Bake Off is just that…

Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie and Fudge Refrigerator Petit Fours.


125g dairy free chocolate chip cookies (I got mine from Sainsbury’s)
150g plain dairy free chocolate
50g Pure dairy free spread
75g golden syrup
100g dairy free chocolate chips (Silver Spoon)
75g raisins
50g dairy free fudge, chopped into small pieces (from Asda)
Hundreds and Thousands (yes old school I know, but I had nothing else to decorate with!)


Put the chocolate chip cookies into a bag (top tip: use a strong bag to do this and not one that will burst like I did!) and hit them with a rolling pin until they are in lovely little chunks. Quite therapeutic I found! Then place the Pure spread, golden syrup and chocolate into a heatproof glass bowl and melt slowly over a saucepan of simmering water. Try and avoid having a taste at this point if you can, otherwise there may be none of this mixture left for the cakes!

Remove from the heat and add the fudge, biscuits, raisins and chocolate chips and mix them all together thoroughly. Now, don’t be too concerned at this point if the contents of your bowl represent something you’d find in your child’s nappy. It really does taste better than it looks I can assure you!

Next, grease your container (I used an old silicone one I had for weaning) with the Pure spread and fill with the chocolate mixture, pressing it down into the container firmly. (again, if it still looks unsavoury don’t worry, this is where the hundreds and thousands come in!)

Lastly sprinkle with hundreds and thousands, or glitter sugar, or dairy free buttons, or spray with gold food spray…be creative, I would’ve been I just didn’t have any of those things in the house! Then place in the fridge for one and a half to two hours and sit down and have a cuppa. When they are set remove them from the fridge and press out onto a chopping board.

Cut into petit fours size bites. (if I was actually on the programme I’d have measured each one to make sure they were of equal size obviously, however this time I went for the rustic look!) Then I chose to put mine in cases, but how you display them is up to you.

I did put a couple of sticks on two to make lollipops for the children which went down very well!

And then finally….eat them! They seemed to have gone down very well here and the boy loves his dairy free bite sized treats! Next time I may experiment with orange and chocolate flavoured bites as you can get dairy free orange flavoured chocolate; or add some dried apricots and cranberries. The possibilities are endless!

Right, I’m now off to do some oven shopping…for if I am to join in with pies next week I am going to need one!

Thank you, as always for reading and if you’d like to join in the link then make sure you visit Jenny Paulin at Mummymishaps! 😉

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