Tuesday, October 31, 2017


High days and holy days, it seems, are the only times I drop by here. Despite the fact I bake EVERY Tuesday for The Great British Bake Off. Too much to do, too little time, my friends. Anyway, the new twist on my brack is rum. And it's yum! It came about because the heroine of my next novel, Becoming Belle (out Aug. 2018) eats rum cake with her father and I wanted to make it for Christmas. Hallowe'en seemed as good a time as any to try it.

I'm reducing wheat at the mo due to that stomach thing I picked up in China last year, so I've used a mixture of rice and spelt flour, but you can use any flour.

A bench, by night, on the grounds of Belle's Galway home,
Garbally Park, Ballinasloe



150ml tea
50ml dark rum
225g mixed dried fruit
75g brown sugar
1 beaten egg
60g melted marg
125g wholegrain spelt flour
125g self raising rice flour
1tsp bread soda
1 tsp mixed spice


- Soak the fruit, sugar, rum and tea in a bowl - leave until cold
- Preheat the oven to 180C
- Grease and line the bottom of an 8" round tin (I used a 2lb loaf tin, this time)
- Add the melted marg to the fruit mix. Stir through.
- Add the beaten egg. Stir through.
- Sieve then fold in the flour, bread soda and spice
- Pour into the lined tin (insert wrapped coin or ring at this point, if using)
- Bake for 55 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean
- Cool in the tin for 10 mins then turn onto a wire rack.

Eat plain or buttered with a cup of tea. Delish!

Friday, March 17, 2017


Happy Saint Patrick's Day!!

I only had one egg left when I went to make buns today, so I had to find a recipe that needed just one egg. I flicked through my books and found a Snickers and Peanut Butter Mufffins recipe in Nigella's Domestic Goddess. I don't keep Snickers bars about my person, but I always have dark choc chips to hand for baking, hence the change. I also halved Nigella's recipe, to make buns rather than muffins, but it only yielded nine buns. Anyway! Here we go:

I used my Orla Kiely bowl for the day that's in it

Peanut butter & choc chip buns


125g plain flour
3 tablespoons caster sugar
3/4 tablespoon baking powder
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons peanut butter
30g butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
90ml milk
50g dark choc chips


·         Preheat oven to 200˚C
·         Line a 12-space bun tin (my mix made 9 buns)
·         Throw all the dry ingredients into a bowl, mix
·         Add the peanut butter and mix until you have a breadcrumby texture
·         Add the melted butter and egg to the milk and stir gently into the bowl
·         Mix in the chocolate chips
·         Plop the mixture into the bun cases using two spoons
·         Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until golden on top and firm to the (light) touch
·         Cool on a wire rack