Easy Swiss Roll

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Love this cake. So easy and just super yummy.
easy lemon curd swiss roll

Recipe

4 large eggs
100g caster sugar
100g self raising flour

You need a Swiss roll tin.  I use lakeland baking flexi sheet.  It’s 37 x 27cm. I also use lakeland cake release to grease the sheet.

Preheat oven to 220oc or 200 fan oven.

Step 1

Whisk eggs and sugar together until mixture is light and frothy and leaves a trail when you lift the whisk out.

Step 2

Sift the flour into the mixture carefully folding it in.

Step 3

Turn the mixture into your tin or tray and shake to allow the mix to find its own level. Bake for approximately 10 minutes until golden brown and shrinking from the edges.
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Step 4

While the cake cools a little lay a sheet of baking paper slightly bigger than your tray onto a table and sprinkle with caster sugar. Turn your cake onto this upside down. So the top is face down on the table. While still warm trim the edges to neaten your cake. About 3cm in from the bottom score a line in the cake. This will be where you start to roll. Roll your sponge and leave to cool rolled up.
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Step 5

Once the cake is cool you can unroll and fill. Take your pick and choose a filling you love. It could be your favourite jam or you could add some cream too. Cream with fruit is nice but don’t put fruit more than half way down or it will overfill. Coffee buttercream for those coffee lovers out there. Don’t worry if it cracks slightly as you roll it as this is a feature of this type of cake.
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Dust your cake with icing sugar for a finishing touch. I chose lemon curd that’s my favourite.
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Totally yummy I think this might be my new favourite bake.


Love life and my babies.

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Love winters days but there is one thing this time of year makes me think about.  No it isn’t Christmas.  It’s the birth of my baby boy.  Zachary was born at 29 weeks.  That is almost 3 months premature.  My experience giving birth to him wasn’t exactly run of the mill vi was pretty out of it and the following few weeks were some of the most emotionally charged days of my entire life.  That experience changed me.  Becoming a mother has changed me but that few weeks definitely had an impact on me.
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He fought for life. As he fought for life I discovered a love that I will fight for all my life. Of course that tiny baby who fought so hard for life is a strapping young man who is soon to be 8. He has made me a better person. More thoughtful less selfish. He has taught me I can’t control life or how it pans out and sometimes we just have to go with the flow. He has helped change my life in so many ways that I really do realise how lucky I am to enjoy the simple things.
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It is mostly because of him that I had his sister who brought a very different baby experiences and a new world of things to learn and love.
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Yes I am very lucky to be me have all the things I love and have these two wonderful people in my life helping me to remember to laugh every day and simply live in the moment. And of course this week I have a birthday cake to plan and buy supplies for lol.


Baking and family dinners. Perfect winters days.

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The weather has turned super cold. The forecasters have been telling us to expect snow so we know it’s super cold.  That said this week we have had some perfect winters days.  Blue skies and bright winter sun.  Great for showing off all those amazing winter colours.  This morning I took a moment to photograph the berry bush at the back of my house.  Pj’s and ugg boots with a big thick cardigan lol.
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It’s also that time of year for planning Xmas baking and this year as well as the usual mince pies I plan to try meringue kisses and marshmallows in different flavours. 
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I spent a wonderful hour on my sofa the other evening browsing the lakeland catalogue. In my imagination I spent a fortune. I had no idea there were so many things I really wanted in my kitchen until I saw them lol. Made deciding what to ask for Xmas really easy. Lakeland vouchers please lol. Once I had browsed I then hit Amazon. Ii was ordering Xmas presents anyway so added in a couple of books for me. Right now all the cookery books seem to be on offer too for ridiculous prices like £4 or £5.

I had both kids at home today as my son had this awful cough. I still baked for his school cake bake but my Mum had to pop up to deliver the bake into school.
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They aren’t my perfect cake I personally prefer cream or buttercream but perfect for school. Mind you we also had some fun with multi coloured cupcakes.
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Must confess I smothered mine in buttercream lol.


Winters days can be beautiful

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Winters days in Britain can be beautiful.  Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that the world can be awesome right on our doorstep. 
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This is certainly a beautiful time of year when all the trees change colour and the winter berries come out.  The sun when it does shine has a sharpness and crispness to it that summer days don’t have.
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Most importantly I think it’s probably one of those life lessons that it can take a long time to learn.  To appreciate what you have rather than always want something else.  My life can be exhausting at times.  I live with a child with ASD and another who is under 2 and a typical growing developing toddler who wants to explore and learn every day.  It would be easy to wish for things I don’t have but nicer to see the joy in what I do have. 
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Having children does help.  Especially a very young one who is delighted by discovering the simplest of things like water in my neighbours bird table.
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It’s a reminder to us adults who can become so wrapped up in the responsibilities of life and so easily forget to live in the moment sometimes and simply be imaginative that life can be simple and yet amazing. 
Love life and life will love you back.

Then of course there is winter food too. Ratatouille on toast for lunch yum. Can’t beat something warm and comforting in the cold.
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Bake or iron? Brioche and playtime.

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Today is one of those days where I plan sewing projects, tidy house while eldest kid plays at Grandma and Grandpa’s for the day and perhaps bake too. 
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Well I must be honest if it’s a choice between tackling the ironing pile and a baking project baking wins every time.  Especially on cold winter days.

My grandmother on my mum’s side would always put her ironing to one side in favour of playing with the kids or having a chat with you. Why do the housework when there are buns to be made or fun to be had. I think that’s such a lovely sentiment for life. I like to combine the two sometimes so regularly have a helper or two in my kitchen.
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So while our potato wedges which we will have with cheese and ham cook I will sort through the ironing and play at jigsaws too then turn to baking
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The only reason and I stress only reason I am even sorting the ironing is to give the eggs and butter chance to come to room temperature.

Today’s baking will be from Paul Hollywood’s How To Bake book and will be Brioche. Enriched dough will be a first for me so fingers crossed.
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One of the things I remember my mum teaching me about baking was to organise myself. To weigh everything out into little bowls so that it’s all ready and to clean up as I go along. She also taught me that baking is like science. You break the recipe into steps and simply follow the instructions.
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I am a Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood fan and love the Great British bakeoff. So today not content with preparing the Brioche dough I will also be diving into one of Mary Berry’s books for shortbread.

Recipe for Brioche:
500g strong white bread flour
7g salt
50g caster sugar
10g instant yeast
140ml warm milk
5 medium eggs or 4 large
250g unsalted butter

This dough seems super easy.

Step 1
I measure the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl careful to keep the yeast and salt separate. So that’s flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Make sure you use your dough hook in your mixer.
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Step 2
Add the milk and eggs to the dry mix. Mix the flour, salt, sugar eggs, milk and yeast for about 2 minutes on slow then 6 to 8 on medium.

Step 3
Add butter bit by bit and keep mixing for another 5 or 6 minutes until the butter is all combined. Keep scraping down the sides to make sure all the butter is mixed in.

Step 4
Now the boring bit. The dough has to chill for minimum 7 hrs? Wow should have done this before bed and left it overnight. So I suggest making this in the evening and leaving it overnight
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Once I had finished the brioche dough and placed it in the fridge to chill I whipped up some shortbread dough too.

Step 5
When you are ready to prepare your dough tip it onto a lightly floured surface and fold it in on itself a few times to knock the air out. I stuck to the instructions and cut 8 pieces forming balls which I arranged into a ring with one piece in the middle.
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If I did this again I might make smaller pieces. I did add some chocolate chips to mine.

Step 6
This needs to go on its tray or tin into a clean bag to prove for another 2 to 3 hrs.

Step 7
Heat your oven to 190oc or 170oc fan oven. Bake your brioche for 30 to 35 minutes.
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Mary Berry Shortbread
I will add this recipe or a link to it another day.
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Meanwhile our potato wedges with ham, cheese and mushrooms for lunch was yummy.
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You can’t beat comfort food at the end of a busy week and on a cold winters day it’s even more perfect.
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Chewy Golden Oat biscuits

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I made these delicious oat biscuits a couple of days ago and figured I would write the recipe up. They were a bit hit especially with my youngest who is 20 months old. We will definitely be baking more very soon.
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Ingredients

175g butter or marg
250g soft light brown sugar
350g golden syrup
3 egg whites
250g oats
280g plain flour
Pinch salt
1 tsp baking powder

Oven heated to 180oc or 160oc fan oven.

Step 1

Mix butter, sugar, syrup and egg whites in a bowl.
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Step 2

Gradually add the flour, oats, salt and baking powder .
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Combine until completely mixed together.
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Step 3

Drop round spoon fulls spaced well apart on baking sheets. The larger the blob the bigger the biscuits.
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Step 4

Bake for approximately 12 minutes until golden.

Drizzle with icing sugar. Yummm

I split my mixture into separate bowls and mixed one bowl with raisins.
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When life gives you lemons make …. lemon cake

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There are just some days that seem destined to be dull and dreary.  My car won’t start so we can’t go anywhere and we do live on the very outside of a rural town so it’s too far for walking.  It just so happens to be a wet cold cloudy day anyway so we aren’t too bothered about being indoors but car trouble is always a nuisance.  There is a saying. When life gives you lemons make lemonade. It’s really about turning negatives into positives which is a terrific saying.  For me there is only one answer to a wet dull day and it isn’t make lemonade.  Get the oven on and bake something delicious.  Since lemons are on my mind the answer is easy.  My favourite lemon drizzle cake.

lemon drizzle

The recipe for the lemon drizzle is on an earlier baking post here. I also have a recipe for golden syrup oat crunch biscuits which seem yummy.  Bet the kids will love them.
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Here is the recipe for the chewy oat cookies.


Home made caramel sauce

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Home made caramel sauce is super easy,  super cheap,  and will last for ages in the fridge.

home made caramel sauce recipe and tutorial

1 cup white sugar – 225g
4 tbsp water
1/2 cup cream – 120 ml
1/3 cup butter – 80g

Step 1

Melt and boil sugar and water in a pan.  This will bubble and boil for about 10 minutes.  You need to watch this until it starts to turn golden and brown.  No stirring.

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Have your butter and cream ready in the fridge.

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Step 2

When it starts to turn golden and brown add your butter and whisk.

Step 3

Add the cream and continue to whisk.

Step 4

Once the butter and cream are whisked into your pan your caramel is ready to pour into a nice jar or pot. Let it cool a little before you put it in the fridge.

That’s it 4 easy steps.
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Hey presto quick easy home made caramel sauce.  I keep one in my fridge.  I use it for pavlova or cheesecake or biscuits.  You can warm it if you need it runny but it will harden a little when cooled.

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Later on I just couldn’t resist an afternoon snack with some of the fresh still runny caramel sauce. Yum yum
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Weekend creative projects.

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Weekends for me are all about playing with the kids and planning my creative projects. 

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I have two sock monkeys to be finished a memory bear all ready for sewing and a couple of dressmaking projects.  I have been promising to make some denim dungarees for my best friends little boy for months.

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I just need to lay the pieces out and cut them.  I always start with copying the pattern pieces on to new pattern paper so I can keep and reuse the original pattern.  This actually takes quite a lot of time.  I have a blog post planned for this process.  Meanwhile job number 1 is the memory bear.

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It’s a beautiful brightly coloured set of clothes so it should become a lovely bright bear. 

I also need to get my baking note book out and find my gingerbread recipe.

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I found this cute gingerbread man lego person.  Someone sent me a link on Facebook to reindeer gingerbread heads made from gingerbread man cookie shape so I plan to have a go.

This weekend it’s also remembrance Sunday so we will be going to our local cenotaph to watch the laying of the wreath.  I think it’s important to remember all those who have given their lives so we can live ours in peace.


Memory bears in pink.

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Pink Baby Memory Bear

I always love creating a new bear.  These bears are so special because they are made from treasured items of clothing that hold special memories.  This bear is for a little girl.  Her mummy and grandma picked out their favourite baby clothes.

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When the bag arrives it’s exciting as I look forward to having a look at the clothes and planning out the new bear.

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Straight away I knew which parts I would use for the belly and the feet then the rest came together naturally.

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I was really pleased as I started to sew the pieces together. I could tell that the bear would be lovely. At the end when it was finished and ready to stuff I couldn’t wait for my baby girl to see Teddy.  She likes to give them all a cuddle.  The finished bear is adorable xxx

Memory Bear