Jazzed up flapjacks to comfort me through an exciting – if exhausting – week

Last week I started on a work experience placement with Food and Travel magazine in London and five am starts along with four hours of commuting a day, combined with the draining effects of getting used to a new job, nerves and a desire to make a good impression, have left me unbelievably tired and without a lot of time to bake or write anything. I did, however, manage to quickly throw a batch of flapjacks together last weekend and I am beyond glad that I did. Come four pm every afternoon, they serve as a near essential energy boost to get me through to the end of the day and the long commute out of London.

Being away from home also means I’m away from my camera….so sorry about the poor photo quality, I’m having to make do with just my phone!

Fruity flapjacks Continue reading

Flooding and festive porridge

A view from yesterday’s train journey.

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At close glance, those of you familiar with my train journey down to the south west might think I was somewhere a little past Exeter, looking out over the sea.

But no… that is a field. See the tree? That’s a real bit of flooding going on there!

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Thanks to the flooding, it meant having to get a coach for the second half of my journey. Normally, this kind of thing – extending my three hour journey home to a seven hour one – would put me in a bit of a mood. Continue reading

Mince pies at last!

If Christmas had a taste, it would have to be mince pie flavour. To me, nothing says Christmas more. FODMAP friendly mince pie

Until this week I really hadn’t caught the ‘it’s nearly Christmas’ feeling. There’s been far too many other things going on for my brain to even manage Christmas thoughts… things like getting a new job and relocating back to Cardiff at two days notice…which has been stressful and exciting in equal measure. Fortunately for me I have the most amazing cousins, who conveniently happened to be making numerous drives between Cardiff and my home town last week, meaning I could grab a lift up to Cardiff with my stuff…I’ve no idea how I’d have done it without them. Also rather conveniently, they have now gone on a four month ski season in France -envious much- leaving a house in Cardiff in need of house sitting…ideal! The house also happens to be next door to my boyfriend’s…Now things can’t really get any more convenient, or freakishly coincidental, or brilliant than that. Continue reading

Mini chocolate-courgette cakes

Nine times out of ten – no, maybe make that nine point five times out of ten – whenever I bake something, out pops the perfectionist in me trying to fish out the flaws in whatever I’ve made. Was it, perhaps, a touch too dry, too sweet, a bit dense, not flavoursome enough or the spice too overpowering? What does it need to step it up from really good, to amazing?

But when I took my first bite of one of these little chocolate and courgette cakes, the perfectionist was well and truly silenced. All I could think was amazing… perfect, even. Continue reading

The best granola yet?

Pretty much every time I make up a batch of granola my Mum says something along the lines of it being the best I’ve ever made. It was flattering the first couple of times, but after hearing it every time, the compliment began to grow a little thin. Surely not every batch of granola I make is better than the last. Was she sure she wasn’t just unfairly comparing a toasty, crispy, extra fresh batch with the tired, somewhat stale, several week old remnants of the previous lot?

And so, when she once again told me that my last batch of granola was ‘the best yet’, I (most likely) pulled a face of distrust (I have been told that pulling faces, more often than not unattractive ones, is somewhat of a habit with me. It’s mostly in the eyebrows, apparently, ‘expressive eyebrows’…) and I refused to buy into the compliment. Although I would go as far as agreeing that this particular granola was a very, very, good one. But I wasn’t willing or bold enough to go about casually using superlatives. Continue reading

Marmalade cake with sultanas and pecans

I’ve had a series of failed recipes this week, including a cocoa and almond granola which was totally bland and unimpressive, and a nasty rice pudding (and I have a huuuuge thing for rice pudding, so I found this failure highly distressing!) So when my marmalade cake didn’t fail – didn’t even come close to failing – I was over the moon happy to have finally broken free from the failed recipe rut.

As much as I don’t want to knock this cake in any way, if I’m going to be completely honest the marmalade I used, which was a home-made grapefruit one, was a touch too bitter for me. The cake itself was just perfect though, gently sweet, with a very light, loose crumb which was wonderfully soft and tender to eat. The orange soaked sultanas and pecans added interest with their juicy/nutty bursts. But you could always leave them out if you prefer a simpler cake, the sponge is definitely good enough not to need any extra adorning. Continue reading