Chocolate marmelade/jam cake

I had to google my blog several times because I was sure I had posted this recipe before.  I mean, really, it’s a staple in our household.  Fantastic warm from the oven.  Cold with cream or ice-cream.  Or reheated a week later – if there are leftovers – and eaten with custard.  Yum!  But apparently I never got round to sharing the recipe, so voilà!

A tiny last slice for little old moi! 🙂

It’s another (fantastic) recipe from (fantastic) Nigella Lawson.  From her Domestic Goddess book.  Which is fantastic.  (As are all of her cookery books…)  You can use any type of marmelade or jam.  I made the cake a couple of weeks ago when I was decluttering my cupboards as part of the Super Fling Boogie – because I discovered a glut of three jars of orange marmelade, just waiting to be used 🙂

Two’s company, three means it’s time to bake a cake! 😉

You’ll need:

  • 125g butter
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 300g orange marmelade, apricot, plum or cherry jam
  • 150g sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g plain flour or self-raising flour
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of baking powder (if you aren’t using self-raising flour)

Melt the butter and chocolate in a large pan over a very low heat.  Remove the pan from the heat when the butter is melted – then keep stirring until the chocolate has melted.

Add the sugar and marmelade and mix well.

This will bring down the temperature of the mix and then you can add the eggs.  Then the flour, baking powder and salt.  Giving it a good mix til it’s nice and smooth.

Pour into a tin lined with paper (for easy removal and clean-up).  The original recipe calls for a 20cm tin (8″) but I always use my Ikea one which is 22cm (9″).


Pop into a preheated oven at 180c or 350f.  You’ll be baking it for about 45 minutes, but start checking the middle of the cake after about 35 mins with a knitting needle or skewer.  You want it just set, not overcooked.

Leave it to cool then enjoy in small slices.  It doesn’t really need any embellishment or icing – but I sometimes dust it with a bit of icing sugar, edible silver or glitter, or drizzle on some ganache.  Got visitors coming?  Add a bowl of whipped cream/crème fraîche and some fresh fruit or fruit salad.  Sorted!  🙂

Bon appétit!

Have a terrific Tuesday! 🙂

Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread

I’m terribly behind with the recipes I’ve been ‘decluttering’ for my Little Red File blog.  But I’m going to do as the Flylady says – and just jump in where I am. So be prepared for a deluge of cookery posts! 😀

This recipe came via my sweetie online Flybaby friend Pam. She got the recipe from but I’ve – of course – made my own shortcut version.  Because I always ‘springe over hvor gærdet er lavest‘ (jump over the fence where it’s lowest) as they so neatly say in Danish! ;D

You’ll need:

  • 225g or 2 sticks butter
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 135g or 2/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 300g or 2 1/3 cups plain flour
  • one teaspoon of vanilla extract (I used vanilla sugar)
  • 130g or 1 cup unsalted pistachios, chopped
  • 150g or 1 cup dried cranberries, chopped

Put the butter, salt and sugar in your kitchen mixer and let her rip.  Stop the motor when it’s combined, add the flour and let her rip again.

Once the flour is mixed in, add the pistachios and cranberries and let her rip.  Again!

Roll the mixture into ‘squarish’ logs – I used greaseproof paper and made four logs.

I put one log in the fridge to harden and froze the others to use over Christmas.  And lookie here, I even remembered to write on the date and baking instructions – woop, woop! 🙂

The really pretty part comes when you cut the logs into thin slices, ready for baking.  Aren’t these adorable?!

Bake at 160c or 325f for about 10-15mins.  The original recipe said 15-20mins, but I find they cook pretty fast and you do NOT want these to be brown around the edges…just pale yellow and cooked through.  Leave to cool and then…attack!

And the verdict?  DH said, “Wow, these are really good.”  We’re on to a winner, methinks.  Thank you, Pam!

Bon appétit!

I’m off right now to get the very last log out of the freezer because my bff is coming over for coffee later.  Have a terrific Tuesday! 🙂

Banana Oat Muffins

My sweetie friend V were down at the beach for our daily skinny dip in the Danish sea this morning and I brought these banana muffins for us to munch on.  ‘Cos it’s nice to have a shivery bite and a cup of hot tea after splashing around in water which is 3c/37f… ;D  V asked me if the muffin recipe was going to appear on the blog…  Well, værsgo’, here you go, V!

You’ll need:

  • 3 very ripe bananas (bananer)
  • 1 egg (æg)
  • a third of a cup of oil or butter (flydende fedtstof
  • a quarter cup of sugar (sukker)
  • half a cup of flour (mel)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder (bagepulver)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda (natron)
  • about 1 cup of porridge oats (havregryn)
  • about ½ a teaspoon of salt (salt)

Put the bananas, egg, oil and sugar in a bowl.  Mash the bananas into the other ingredients and give it a good mix.

Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Then start to mix in the porridge oats.  I worked out that it’s roughly 1 cupful, but just keep adding them til the mixture starts to come together.  Make sure it doesn’t get too ‘dry’ and don’t overmix.

Spoon into your muffin pan (I like to put papercases in the pan).  I also use an icecream scoop, as it makes it much easier to get equal amounts and avoid spillage.  You should get around 12 muffins.  Bake at 175c (or 350f) for about 15 minutes.

I decided to do 9 large ones and 12 teeny tiny ones using the mixture. The wee ones only took about 10 minutes to bake.


Hope you have a terrific Tuesday! 🙂

Summer Swimmer Cake

Okay, I have to apologise in advance for inundating my blog with foodie stuff right now. (On Friday I posted a Taco Salad we made for the After School Party salad competition – and won!)  But, hey, it’s high season for school events (4 days of term left to go – hooray!!!) – and this cake we’ve just made to take into DD9’s class tomorrow is just too cute not to share! ;D

DD9 and I got the idea from (they have lots of summer cakes here).  It’s one of my absolute favourite websites for crafts, recipes and games.  They even have a video for the snorkeler cake, showing exactly how to make it.

We used shop-bought cake layers and used the Danish sweets we had to hand.

We used liquorice for the hair, marshmallows/M+Ms for the eyes,

biscuit for the nose and ‘shoe lace’ liquorice for the mouth

It took about 15 minutes to assemble – including the time to dig out the snorkel set and give it a rinse (yep, there was still sand on it from last year…). And the clear up was nice and easy too! 

Bon appétit!

Hope you have a marvelous Monday! 🙂

Mix and Bake Cake

Okay, we’re just coming into the month of June which means that we’re well and truly back in the season of school trips, end of term parties and summer picnics 🙂

Here’s a really simple ‘mix and bake’ cake that I’ve been making for years.  So simple that DD9 can make it all on her own – though I generally get left with the washing up while she licks the bowl…  It’s a plain ‘tray bake’ kind of cake which doesn’t need any icing – which means even less work for the cook!  The dried coconut makes it lovely and sweet and moist.  You can, if you wish, jazz it up by adding chocolate chips or e.g. cranberries – that way, people won’t notice that you keep bringing the same cake to parties! ;D

You’ll need: 

  • 800 ml dried coconut (use a jug to measure)
  • 150 ml plain flour (use a jug to measure)
  • 400 ml sugar (use a jug to measure) – you can use less if you wish
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla powder
  • 250g butter or margarine (one tub)
  • 4 eggs
  • OPTIONAL: about 100g (4oz) cranberries, raisins, chocolate chips, chopped apricot, chopped nuts 

Put everything into a bowl.  (I take the butter or margarine out of the fridge about 1 hour before I’m going to use it – that way you can mix it straight in.  If you’re running short of time, go ahead and melt it.)  Mix well to make sure that everything is moist.  That’s it! 😀  Remember to mix in any optional extras like chocolate chips.

Pour the mixture into a baking tray (I always line mine with baking paper for easy removal and wash-up) – size approx. 30×40 cm – and spread it out evenly.  Pop into the oven for about 30 minutes at 200c (400f).

Check after 30 minutes.  If it isn’t golden brown and springy, give it another 5 or 10 minutes.  Let it cool in tray and then slice into squares.

Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of the finished cake…DD9 took it to school before I could snap one!  Luckily, there were two pieces left.  One of which I ate (mmm!) and the other tiny piece is Daddys! ;D

Bon appétit!

Have a terrific Tuesday! 🙂

Eve’s Pudding

Mum and I often made Eve’s Pudding (from the Be-Ro cookbook) when I was a child. (You can read about it and my other favourite cookbooks right here.) Anyway, Eve’s Pudding is a great British winter pudding – nice and warming after you’ve been out shovelling (yet more) Danish snow! ;D

View from my front step at 5pm tonight. 

You could halve this recipe, if you like – the original recipe calls for only half – but I feel you need this quantity. And the leftovers taste great!

You’ll need:

  • about 6 apples
  • 100 g (or 4 oz) margarine or soft butter
  • 100 g (or 4 oz) sugar
  • 100 g (or 4 oz) flour
  • 2 eggs

Peel the apples. I used six cooking apples (from the trees in our garden).

Slice the apples – not too fine, otherwise they disintegrate after cooking – we don’t want mush… Put in a baking dish and sprinkle (liberally) with sugar.

Cream the butter and sugar.

Add one egg at a time, plus a little flour, and beat well.

Fold the remaining flour in gently.

Spread over the sliced apples.

Ready for the oven and time for spoon licking! 🙂

Pop into the warm oven 350f or 180c for about 30 minutes.

It’s ready when slightly puffed and golden brown.

Best enjoyed with icecream or – my personal favourite – a big dollop of whipped cream…mmmm!

Bon appétit and a very Happy Thanksgiving Thursday to my American chums! 😀

Christmas cake is in the oven!

Did you see my post yesterday? Lookie here if you didn’t. The kids helped me to bake our Christmas cake today. I set out the ingredients… 

DS10 measured them and put them in a large bowl for DD8 to mix…

They carried the bowl through to DH (who, poor thing, is on a 24hr Ikea furniture building spree), so that he could – as tradition dictates – give the mixture a stir and make a wish… He played along nicely, even though he thinks it’s a load of baloney 🙂

And – just so we could really get into the seasonal mood – we listened to a “Now Christmas” CD while we measured, mixed and stirred. I just have to hear the first bars of “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses and I’m looking out the window for snowflakes! ;D

Into the oven went the cake…

and now – for me – it’s officially the Season to be Jolly. Autumn is over, roll on Winter, yay! 😀

Want to join in the Christmas fun? Go check out the Flylady’s website – it’s never too late to jump in… Or check out what my twisters are up to – see the Linky below…

Have a super seasonal Sunday! 🙂

Set Your (Flylady) Timer Muffins!

You all loved the ‘Set Your (Flylady) Timer Cake’ demonstration so much that I decided to bake again today. Did you miss the first cake? Don’t worry, it’s here.

So today we’re baking All Bran Muffins. A great – fairly healthy – muffin recipe which I heard of through my Belgian ‘twister’ Kim 🙂 Great for a guest breakfast, served with orange juice, coffee and some chunks of cheese and/or fruit and veg. Great for an autumn picnic. Or an afternoon snack. I added cinammon to the recipe, put on white icing and a single red and green M+M and we had them for breakfast on Christmas Day with a glass of Buck’s Fizz…you can see them here. And they’re just right as a treat in DD8 and DS10 packed lunch box tomorrow because it’s Sports Day..

Just exactly how long did they take to bake, from setting out the ingredients til the muffins were sunning themselves in the oven? Read on and find out! (Note: you might want to hold on to those hats.)

You’ll need:

  • Plain flour – 1 and a quarter cups
  • Sugar – recipe calls for half a cup, I only use about half of that
  • Baking powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Salt – half a teaspoon
  • All Bran cereal – 2 cups
  • Milk – 1 and a quarter cups
  • Egg – just one
  • Vegetable oil – a quarter of a cup

Heat your oven to 400f/200c and start that timer! Measure the All Bran, milk, oil and egg into a bowl. Leave the wet ingredients to soak while you measure out the next lot.

I use the same pyrex jug I used to measure the wet ingredients for the next lot of dry ingredients (saves on the washing up). Here I’ve got flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. 4:56 on the timer!

Mix the whole shebang together and use an icecream scoop to spoon the mixture into muffin cases. Using the icecream scoop means you get even portions – easy for the kids to use too. Okay, we’re ready for the oven. Time taken? 9 minutes and 10 seconds!

Here they are in my giant) a hot oven (400f/200c). Don’t forget to reset your timer! Bake for approximately 20 mins until they’re golden brown.

Time taken to eat them with a glass of milk? 2 minutes and 30 seconds!

If you wanted to make them extra fancy (but less healthy) you could, as I said, add some icing on the top. [Did you hear that, Elisa?!] Today we topped a few of them with a sheet of chocolate and popped them back into the warm oven for a few minutes…


Mmmm! Enjoy! 🙂


Have a thoroughly thrilling Thursday!

Set Your (Flylady) Timer Cake!

Apples are now falling from the two trees in our back garden faster than we can pick them up (eek!) and what better way to mark the occasion than a spot of baking? Apple crumble, apple puffs, apple cake? Which sounds all very homely and seasonal and warming and romantic. Except it was Friday afternoon and I was e-x-h-a-u-s-t-e-d after a long week. But, as usually happens (though not always when you most want to hear it…), Flylady‘s voice came out of nowhere and said “Set your timer! You can do ANYTHING for 15 minutes!”.

So that’s what I did. Instead of counting down from 15 minutes, I counted up. To see how long it would take to get the darn cake into the oven… (If you want to play along, the apple cake recipe is on my blog here. After a little story about Emilie cracking the reading code…) Back to the recipe, which is now on my kitchen counter. Three seconds already on the clock, let’s move!

Here I am mixing the first ingredients together (sugar, oil, vanilla, eggs, lemon juice, salt). Three minutes on the clock.

Mixing in the flour and baking soda. Five minutes and eight seconds.

Now for the job which I think is going to take f-o-r-e-v-e-r. And, if I’m perfectly honest, the reason why I didn’t really want to make the cake. Peeling and chopping the apples. Ugh.

…which didn’t take nearly as long as I thought. Of course. Three apples peeled and chopped and I’m still only at nine and a half minutes 🙂

One minute later and they are mixed into the cake and we’re ready to bake this baby!

I’ve prepped the funnel cake tin with a bit of butter/oil, so it doesn’t take me another 15 minutes to get the cake OUT of the tin… ;D

Job’s done – ready for the oven – fourteen minutes and six seconds! 😀

Maybe I should do the kitchen clean up NOW and THEN sit down with a cuppa while the cake bakes? Time taken 3 minutes and 40 seconds. Shiny sinks of the world unite! 😀


Oh, you want to see the finished product, do you? Voilà – here it is! (Recipe is here, remember.) I love lots of white icing on the top of things (yep, it’s a Scottish thing) but you could just leave the cake as it is…

On Saturday we got a phone call from (good) friends asking if they could (hint, hint) pop in and see us. Which basically translates as: we’re inviting ourselves round for dinner. To which we could reply: Yes, because we have cake! Yes, because dinner is already planned and we’ve got extra food in the cupboards! Yes, because the house is shipshape!

Thank you, Flylady… 😀

PS: If you’re wondering where my official Flylady timer is…it got pinched and is currently on DD8’s desk.

Pavlova versus Lego Men

Last night’s dessert was a huge hit. So much so, that it was devoured in one fell swoop. Not one measly crumb left for tonight, boo! 😉

I started by making a pavlova (which is basically a chewy meringue and, apparently, the national dessert of New Zealand…). This particular recipe – which comes from Nigella Lawson – had cocoa powder and balsamic vinegar added…

We topped it with whipped cream

And strawbs

And my personal favourite – raaaaspberries 😉

And – for the pièce de résistence – some chocolate Lego men

I bought the icecube trays from the shop last week

And those little chocolate Lego men are just too dang cute!

Have a super sweet Saturday! 🙂

No more half-baked excuses – Farewell Old Friend!

We’ve had 15 really good years together. In fact, now that I come to think of it, maybe as many as 17 or 18? But last week I had had enough and it was time to face facts. Things just weren’t working out for us anymore… Oh yes, I tried to patch things up. A good rubdown and a few delicate sprays of WD40. But the result was still the same. Sunken in the middle, half-mixed and a patchy, white bottom…

I’ve been in denial for the last month. ‘Old faithful’ was tired. Had worked hard for me for years and was slowly grinding down. Or not grinding at all! 🙁 My old friend…the Panasonic Bread Bakery. Not a fancy machine. Just Bake and Timer. The Rapid programme took 3 hours. No viewing window. But repeatedly ‘best in test’. Purchased in Edinburgh, spent most of it’s life in Luxembourg and now destined for the recycling centre in Copenhagen. Farewell Old Friend…

And say Hello to my new friend, the Tefal Home Bread machine. Complete with all the mod cons we expect in 2010. A viewing window. 12 different programmes. Anyone for homemade pasta or jam? Don’t like a soft crust? No problem, you can have it as dark as you like. Heck, we can even rebake day-old bread in it. And this machine does b–i–g loaves. Or small. It’s your choice. You want your bread right now? Okay, pressing the start button…

…and here it is, 1 hour and 17 minutes later.

I’m glad to say my new Tefal is noisy – just as noisy as my old Panasonic. The Tefal actually got a bad review because of the noise it makes..but I like that! Because I have fond memories of my good friend M coming to stay with us in Luxembourg. DH and I had a small appartment. I was doing my ‘perfect hostess’ routine and had preprogrammed both the coffeemaker and the breadmachine. I ask you – is there anything better than waking up at 8am on a Saturday morning to the smell of fresh bread and coffee? I served breakfast and M had trouble looking us in the eye. He heard the banging noise during the early hours and thought it was DH and me – tee hee!

Have a fabulous foodie Friday! 🙂

PS: If you’re looking for a foolproof breadmachine recipe, I posted one last August. It’s right here.

Fan-flippin-tastic – Granny’s Pancakes

If you’ve been reading my posts regularly, you’ll know that I’ve been extending my breakfast repertoire. I’ve been setting the alarm clock (well, the ‘harp’ on my iPhone) to wake me 10 minutes earlier than usual and wowing the kids with a more exciting brekkie.

Here’s my (dearly departed) Granny’s pancake recipe. I must have written it down around 1981 because it’s written on the same pink paper I used to write down the lyrics to “Vienna” by Ultravox – which was a whole blogpost in itself! 😉

The recipe makes about 10 small, fairly thin pancakes – the type we call ‘dropped scones’ in Scotland – which is just enough for me and the kids’ breakfast (we eat them after we’ve had our müsli/porridge oats). If you like your pancakes bigger and thinner, add more milk. If you want smaller ‘blini’ style pancakes, use a bit more flour. If you want them fatter, add a teeny bit of baking powder. And if you want more pancakes, double the recipe! 😉

You’ll need:

  • 4oz or 100g or 4 heaped tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar (optional)
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of oil (doesn’t matter which kind)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 pint or 1/2 cup of milk

Beat the ingredients together with a fork or whisk. Pour small ladlefuls of the mixture into a hot frying pan. I can normally get three or four of them into the pan at a time. Flip them over when they look ‘dry’ on the top and finish cooking. Repeat until you’re done then…bon appétit!

Hope you have a simply super Saturday! 🙂

Cupcake Crazy

We’ve a new addition to our baking accessory family…isn’t she a beauty? 😉

Today we made a big batch of 24 fairycakes (cupcakes) in order to christen our little perspex baby. We decorated half the cakes, the rest have been stashed in the freezer for (lucky) impromptu guests 🙂

(Following recipe is from Nigella Lawson’s fan-flippin-tastic ‘Domestic Goddess’ book, she uses half this quantity for 12 fairycakes)

To make 24 fairycakes you’ll need:

250g of plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

[or use self-raising flour if you have it, not available in Denmark]

250g sugar

250g butter (one pack)

1 teaspoon vanilla powder (optional)

4 eggs

4-5 tablespoons milk

Put everything in your mixer, apart from the milk.

Whizz until smooth then pour in milk slowly and whizz again.

The mixture should be quite runny.

I use an icecream scoop to put the mixture into paper cases – it means they all come out the same size. Don’t put too much cake batter in each case…you want to leave room for a thick layer of icing! 🙂

Bake for about 15 minutes in a warm oven. 200c or 400f. Will be nice and golden. Cut off the little ‘bumps’ on the top – to give you a nice, flat surface for decorating. And, yes, you’re allowed to eat the ‘bumps’ while the cakes are cooling….

Then decorate according to your mood and/or age… We used three tiers of the cake stand for our display today but for those special occasions you can go with a towering inferno of five. I bought my stand quite cheaply from

Bon appétit!

Have a simply super Saturday! 🙂

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