About stephandpenny

Dave & George. Prosecco. Baking. Shoes. Running. New York. Leeds. Ideal Home Magazine. Wedding freak & Supernatural geek. Instagram: stephandpenny1

Sultana, Orange & Oat Cookies

imageHealthy. Cookies.

Genius or sacrilege?

Whatever your view point, these are yum! Originally a recipe from Leiths, the prestigious school of cookery, I was weary about the sheer amount of ingredients involved, but of course, my concerns were unfounded!

Perfect when in cahoots with it’s partner in crime: Tea ❤️

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Ingredients

100g butter at room temperature
1 egg
50g mashed ripe banana
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g light soft brown sugar
Grated zest of 1 orange
100g wholemeal flour
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
100g rolled oats
25g desiccated coconut
50g chopped walnuts
75g sultanas

Recipe:

1. Heat your oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4

2. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy

3. Gradually beat in the mashed banana, vanilla extract and egg. Add the Orange zest and mix well

4. In a separate large bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, oats, coconut, walnuts and sultanas. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet and mix thoroughly until a thick dough is formed

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5. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Drop heaped tbsps onto the sheet, leaving a around 2cm space around each one, and press down lightly with the back of a spoon

6. Bake for 15-20 mins until lightly browned

7. Leave to cool and then devour!

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Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes

IMG_5049I was subjected to two wonderful realisations last weekend….1) The days are (finally) getting longer and 2) we have an abundance of rum! 😀

With this in mind, I set to digging out a recipe I have been wanting to try for a while. Lovely sunny little cakes doused in rum and loaded with coconut – a match made in heaven!

I originally found this recipe on the BBC food website, but as always, i’ve made my own amendments to the recipe!
I know that some people aren’t a big fan of coconut *sob* so if you want to give these a whirl but coconut isn’t your thing….just leave it out 🙂

Although they are ‘mini’ they are certainly filling and one will easily feed two….unless you are greedy like me, in which case, you would never dream of sharing!

Please note: you will need six ramekins for this recipe

 

Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

For the topping:

  • 50g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 50g soft brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp rum (I used a spiced rum)
  • 6 canned pineapple rings (keep some of the juice!)
  • 6 glacé cherries

For the cake:

  • 140g butter, softened
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 65g desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp of the pineapple juice

Recipe:

1. Start by preparing your ramekins, you will need to make sure these are really well greased. I just used a thin layer of butter but you can also use a grease and release cake spray.

2. Next, heat the butter, sugar and rum in a small saucepan over a low heat until dissolved and bubbling for a few minutes to ensure it has thickened slightly.

3. Divide the butter, sugar and rum mixture equally between the 6 ramekins.

4. Add a pineapple ring with a glacé cherry in the middle to each ramekin.

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5. Now heat your oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

6. Beat together the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy.

7. Gradually beat in the eggs, then fold in the flour, baking powder and coconut.

8. Next, add the vanilla essence and the pineapple juice.

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9. Finally stir in the milk and divide the mixture between the ramekins. Put them on a baking tray and cook for 30-40 mins until risen, golden and springy to the touch.

10. Remove from the oven and set them aside to cool in the ramekins for around 10 minutes

11. To remove the cakes from the ramekins, gently run a knife around the edge of each cake before placing a plate on tip and tipping the ramekin upside down.

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Tip: You may have to tap the cakes out or run the knife around the edge again but they should come out fairly easily.

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Love S & P xx

White Chocolate & Oreo Fudge

IMG_4951Happy, happy, happy Saturday!!! 🙂

Hope you’ve all had a good week? Mine has been pretty hectic but I decided to say ‘screw it!’ and last night we ordered pizza (lots of it) and ate some of the fudge that I had made a day or so earlier – the best kind of Friday nights.

Dave kissed me goodbye as he left for his second job (superstar DJ) and I settled down to watch Castle with George. Bliss.

This recipe was sent to me by the lovely Claire, a gorgeous gal that I went to school with  – she said it was a dead easy recipe and she wasn’t wrong! Thank you Claire 🙂

This fudge is a quick tray bake but without the baking (bonus!) – guaranteed to brighten your dull days and put a smile on your face 🙂 enjoy!

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Ingredients:

550g Belgian White Chocolate
397g tin Condensed Sweetened Milk
1.5 packets of Oreo cookies
Pinch of salt

Recipe:

1. Prep your baking tray with grease proof paper (I used a rectangular 8 inch x 6 inch tray)

2. Break the white chocolate up in to squares

3. Cut the Oreo cookies in to halves and/or quarters

Tip: Try to make sure that you only use ‘chunks’ of Oreo cookie and don’t add in any crumbs – this will only make your fudge turn and unattractive grey colour and it will taste gritty.

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4. In heavy saucepan and over a low heat, melt white chocolate squares, sweetened condensed milk and salt.

5. Remove mixture from the hob and stir in crushed cookies.

6. Spread evenly into your prepared tray

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7. Chill for 2 hours or until firm.

8. Turn fudge onto cutting board; peel off paper and cut into squares

Tip: Store leftovers in the fridge, covered up.

IMG_4952Love S & P xx

 

 

Banana, Blueberry & Coconut Bundt Cake

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That, ladies and gentlemen, is an all natural coloured blueberry glaze. Allllllll natural…!

I baked this little beauty on a hot sunny day last August. It followed on from the success of the gin cake….i’m obsessed with bundt tins! I really loved making this cake, it was easy to make and easy on the eye! Tasted  pretty damn good too!

Ingredients:

For the cake:

255g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 large free range eggs
270g golden caster sugar
2 over ripe bananas (mashed)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
120ml corn oil
285g of blueberries
100g toasted coconut, (Optional: plus 50g more for sprinkling on top)

To make blueberry glaze:

75g blueberries
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon golden caster sugar
450g icing sugar

Recipe:

1. Preheat your oven to 175c (350f) and lightly grease your bundt pan with butter before dusting with flour.

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2. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set to one side.

3. In a separate bowl, cream your eggs and sugar until light and fluffy!

Tip: Don’t skimp on this part!

4. Add in the mashed bananas, vanilla extract and oil and mix until well combined.

5. Pour the cake batter in to your bundt tin.

Tip: The batter will seem very thick and gloopy – its ok!

6. Bake the cake for round an hour (start checking after 45 minutes). The cake will be ready when an inserted skewer comes out clean and free of cake batter.

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7. Set your cake aside to cool completely

8. To make the blueberry glaze: Place the blueberries, water and caster sugar in to a pan and heat until the mixture boils and the blueberries burst.

9. Remove from the heat and push the mixture through a sieve; set aside to cool.

10. Once the blueberry mixture has cooled, sift in the icing sugar and whisk until smooth.

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Tip: If the glaze is too thick, add a tbs of water at a time to achieve a pouring consistency.

11. Pour the glaze on top of you Banana, blueberry and coconut cake and sprinkle with left over coconut!

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Enjoy! 🙂

Love S & P xx

2014 {A Review}

So, it’s been a while…..

I wasn’t sure how to write my first post of 2015, after all, it has been a while since I last updated my blog(!)

I decided the best way to ease myself back into the blogosphere and update you all on the last 5 months, was to post a (photo) review! Ever so slightly indulgent, but, I’m excited!

2014 was filled with so much love, my little heart could burst! We experienced 3 amazing adventures; Budapest, Israel and New York (!), Dave proposed ❤ (I said, yes!), we bought our first ever home together (yes, the search finally ended!), I was reunited with my uni girls after 14 months apart, we celebrated the births of our friend’s babies and attended 3 utterly perfect weddings! I know it’s uncouth to brag, but…..wow, what a year.

I promise, promise, promise, that you will get a recipe tomorrow!

For now, I hope you enjoy our little 2014 photo college below ❤ they are in no particular order – I think it’s more fun that way!

P.s……spot the Ghostbuster!

 

I hope you all have a wonderful 2015 ❤

Love,

S xx

 

Gin Cake

gin cakeLast weekend it was The Boy’s birthday 🙂 ❤ (Happy Birthday gorgeous boy!)

Lots of fun and gin was had by all…..in fact, I would probably say that the weekend was sponsored by Gin….!

Dave has recently re-discovered his love for the stuff and as a surprise I ordered him the Alexander & James Tanqueray Gin Set – it’s amazing! As a double whammy, I made him a gin cake! *Drool*

The original recipe for this cake is from Lucy at Pudding Lane – a very lovely little part of the blogisphere 🙂 Her blog is gorgeous and her food photography puts mine to shame!

I don’t drink gin, I don’t like it……….or at least, I didn’t think I did.

As a conscious decision, I never eat my bakes (aside from trying a tiny slice to make sure it isn’t poisonous 😉 ) I usually give them away to friends, family and work colleagues – after all, the more they eat, the less I do! Anyway, I digress…….this cake is amazing and I definitely ate more than Dave…..! Clearly I was wrong about gin! (It happens from time to time)!

As this is in no way my recipe, I recommend you check out Lucy’s blog for the full details! I used Hendricks Gin but the recipe doesn’t specify, so go ahead and use your favourite gin tipple 😉 I used a Bundt tin instead of a loaf tin and decorated my cake with lime wedges for a bit of colour 🙂

Gin cake

Gin cake

Gin cake

Gin cake

Tanqueray Gin Set

The gorgeous (!) birthday boy ♥

Enjoy! Love S & P x

My Kind of Therapy…..

bakingBaking and cooking…….my therapy.

Baking is my way of taking back a little time for me and cooking is always something that Dave and I do together – It’s fun and a great way of ensuring that we spend time together doing something after the working day that doesn’t revolve around the sofa!

I’m always on the lookout for new inspiration....so, what’s your therapy?

Hope you are all having a lovely day xx

Smarties Surprise Cupcakes!

Smarties cupcakesSURPRISE! 🙂

I’m posting these little beauties to make up for the fact that I have been away for so long…*sob*…….although, please don’t feel too sorry for me, I have been on my holidays! 🙂

After copious amounts of sunshine and frolicking in the warm waters of Israel and the not so warm waters of the Isle of Wight, we came back to a beautifully warm Leeds (for nearly 2 weeks!!) which was amazing but also meant that it was just too hot to bake in our tiny one-bedroomed shoe box that we call our home!

This week the weather has cooled and I have been able to get my bake on once again, it makes me happy 🙂

These are incredibly chocolatey, they feel like a really indulgent treat…definitely the best chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever made – I will undoubtedly be sticking with this recipe! It’s a Hummingbird one, so not to be sniffed at!

The trick with these is to add the smarties only an hour or so before serving. As the cupcakes are so rich and moist, adding the smarties any earlier will mean they go soft and start to lose their colour, especially after they have been iced.

See below for ingredients and recipe and enjoy 🙂 Let me know what you think! 🙂

Smarties cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cake:

100g Plain flour
20g Cocoa powder
140g Caster sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoons baking powder
A pinch of salt
40g Unsalted butter (at room temp)
120ml Whole milk
1 Egg
1/4 Tsp Vanilla extract

For the Cupcake topping:

100g Good quality dark chocolate
100g Good quality milk chocolate
225g Unsalted butter (at room temp)
1 Tbsp Whole milk
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
250g Icing sugar (sifted)
2 packets of smarties

Recipe:
(Makes 6 using a muffin tray) 

1. Preheat your oven to 170c (325f) Gas 3

2. Put the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in to your stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or a big enough bowl if using a hand mixer) and beat on a slow speed until you get a sandy consistency

3. Whisk the milk, egg and vanilla extract together in a jug and then slowly pour the about half in to the flour mixture. Beat to combine and turn the mixer up to high for a few minute to beat out any lumps

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4. Turn the mixer down to a slower speed and slowly pour in the remaining milk mixture. Continue mixing for a few more minutes until the mixture is smooth

Top tip: Don’t over beat the mixture, it will result in a too heavy sponge

5. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases in your muffin tray until 2/3rds full and bake for 20-25 minutes

Top tip: Sometimes it can take slightly longer, keep checking every couple of mins after 20minutes. A skewer interred in the centre should come out clean

6. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the muffin tray for around 15 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool

7. To make the icing, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and stir every couple of minutes until you have a smooth, rich consistency. Leave to cool slightly

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8. In a separate, large mixing bowl beat the butter, milk, vanilla extract & icing sugar until smooth – this can take several minutes using an electric hand mixer

9. Add the melted chocolate and beat again until thick and creamy – if it looks too runny, simply keep beating until you reach a suitable consistency

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10. Using a sharp knife, cut a hole out of the middle of each cupcake, in an inverted cone type way

11. Pour in the smarties in to the holes of each cupcake and ice however you wish!

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Smarties cupcakes


Smarties cupcakes

Enjoy!

Love S & P xx

Green & Black’s Chocolate Strawberries

10388123_10152068654042096_7259499987072648998_n10155894_10152068713207096_8251646066935708489_n10390550_10152068739327096_1962195154212776210_n10343688_10152503516813023_8931396454492136735_nNot quite a recipe as such but some very pretty photographs I took of my yummy srummy Chocolate Dipped Strawberries!

An absolute treat that most definitely calls for luxury! I used the best strawberries I could possibly find (Marks & Spencer) and some very indulgent Green & Black’s Milk and White Chocolate! Mmmmmm…..! 🙂

These were a (very) quick treat to take around to Zoe’s for an impromptu BBQ (making the most of the sunshine in the UK) so I didn’t have time to properly temper the chocolate. Instead I went with the tried and tested method of melting the chocolate in a bowl over the hob!

1) It only takes a few moments but its dead easy, simply place the roughly chopped chocolate in a bowl. Half fill a saucepan with hot water, and put the bowl over it, making sure that the bowl does not touch the bottom of the saucepan.

2) Slowly heat the water, ensuring it does not boil. Stir regularly using a flexible spatula so that the chocolate melts smoothly. This way means that the chocolate is slightly thicker than it would be if you had tempered it but it’s still easy to work with! 🙂

3) Once the chocolate has melted, pour it in to a ramekin and grab your strawberries!

4) Dip your strawberries in to the melted chocolate and coat about half of the strawberry, place on to a sheet of baking paper to set and continue the same process with the rest of your strawberries.

5) Once you have finish place the baking tray with your strawberries on greaseproof paper in to the fridge to set for 30 minutes.

6) For the white chocolate decoration, simply follow the same melting directions and very carefully pour the melted white chocolate in to a piping bag (that is opened up over a tall glass) and leave for around 15 minutes for the chocolate the cool and slightly set.

7) Remove the strawberries from the fridge and decorate however you wish with the white chocolate before popping them back in to the fridge for another 20 minutes.

Enjoy with fizz!!!! Any excuse!

Love S xx

Coconut & Cherry Flapjack


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Sundaaaaaay baaaaaking! 😀

I’ve not put up an actual recipe for a little while, so I thought I would treat you all to this little delight…Coconut & Cherry Flapjack!

I often talk about my love for almonds, but did you also know I’m a sucker for oats and coconut too?! I know…all the best ingredients! 😉
The Boy has worked the past two nights, doing his DJing thing for the last time before starting up again in September. Thats right folks, I get him all to myself on the weekends allllllll through summer! (Think beer gardens, dancing, cocktail making and picnics)!

To celebrate, I baked this last night (around 12am, practically Sunday – all is fair in love and baking) ready for him to nibble on today with some coffee 🙂

The best thing about this recipe is that there is no need for a mixer (sorry, Penny) and you can pretty much whack all the ingredients in together…mixing, baking and cooling all in an hour.

You could be munching on these in 60 minutes! What are you waiting for?!

Anyway, enough talking….time to bake and eat, people 🙂

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Ingredients:

200g Unsalted butter
200g Demerara sugar
2 tbsp of Golden syrup
275g of Porridge oats
150g Desiccated coconut
100g Glace cherries (chopped)

Recipe:

1. Preheat the oven to 160c/325f/Gas Mark 3 and grease a baking tray (mine was 11 x 9 inch)

2. Heat the butter, sugar and syrup in a large saucepan over a low heat and stir gently until just melted

3. Once the mixture has melted, add in the oats, coconut and chopped cherries. Stir until evenly combined

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4.
Pour the mixture in to the baking tray and spread the mixture evenly. Use a spatula to press the mixture down and ensure a smooth surface

5. Bake in your preheated oven for 30 minutes

6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the baking tray for 15 minutes before using a sharp knife to cut the flapjack in to squares

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7. Carefully transfer your flapjack to a wire rack to cool completely

8. Enjoy!

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Love S & P x