Gastronomically Terrific

May 8, 2015

Rocky road to Emmaus

Filed under: biscuits, Cake, Easter — Tags: , , , , — lawsonanna @ 10:30 am

Daffodils I’m probably writing about these a little late, but over the Easter weekend I did a range of baking, primarily in preparation for a Bank Holiday visit and Easter Egg hunt with four toddlers (and their, rather hungrier, parents). This is the first of three bakes I made.

Once again, it’s a relatively simple recipe from Hallelujah! Easter cook book, in order to make my life simple. You melt together butter, golden syrup and chocolate, then add this mixture to bashed up biscuits, raisins and rum. Once the mixture has cooled slightly you add marshmallows (unless you’re making the vegetarian version to keep your husband happy, in which case you leave out the marshmallows altogether. I did both – some wRocky road CUith, some without).

Once you’ve poured the mixture into a baking tin, all you need to do is leave it in the fridge to set. No oven needed, and the result is some very chocolatey rocky road.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Hallelujah! Easter, Wendy Dyer, Honor Harris and Judith Merrell, pg. 55


December 4, 2014

Rocky road

Filed under: biscuits, Sweets — Tags: , , , — lawsonanna @ 9:04 pm

Rocky roadThis was another tasty treat for us to eat during the run-up to Christmas. Well, I say us – I cruelly added marshmallows so that Dan couldn’t eat any. But I really like marshmallows, and my friends and I enjoyed them!

Rocky road isn’t actually that hard to make – there’s no baking, and the toughest part of the whole experience is probably bashing up the biscuits into the correct-sized chunks. Once you’ve done this, you melt together butter, plain chocolate and golden syrup (in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, not in the pan like I originally nearly ended up doing  – I should know better). Then add the bashed-up biscuits, some rum (’cause, well, it’s rum) and some raisins (’cause that makes it healthy), wait for the chocolate mixture to cool down, and add the marshmallows (if you add them too soon they melt).

Then stick the whole gooey mess in a tin and put it in the fridge to harden. Nice and speedy, and makes a lovely (if horribly unhealthy) treat.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Hallelujah! Easter, pg. 55

September 29, 2014

Chocolate and ginger banoffee pie

Filed under: pudding — Tags: , , , , — lawsonanna @ 9:08 pm

Wanting to make a relatively easy-effort dessert for when my parents were here, I thought a banoffee pie might be a good choice. Now, the recipe I have lying around incorporates a ginger caramel syrup into the pie. I wouldn’t necessarily normally choose this, but I know my mum loves ginger, so I thought I’d give it a go.Basically you just add ginger conserve to the condensed milk for the caramel layer.

Other than this, the other elements of the pie are no different to a standard banoffee pie – you make a biscuit base with melted butter, add the caramel layer, add chopped banana, then whip double cream and layer this over the top. Finally, you melt some dark chocolate and drizzle this over the cream (obviously that stage isn’t compulsory, but I think it looks – and tastes- better with it. I would; it’s chocolate). All pretty easy and overall, it took me about half an hour to put together. Simple, looks fairly impressive and tastes good.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: The Co-Op food magazine

September 27, 2014

Annabel’s no-bake train cake

Filed under: biscuits, Cake, party — Tags: , , , , , — lawsonanna @ 8:49 pm
The evening before...

The evening before…

And so, the piece de resistance – a birthday cake that a 2-year old will love. As the title suggests, this cake actually required very little baking. This was a choice I made for two reasons; I recently made a work-intensive cake (see my baby in a pram party cake), and as I have already mentioned, my son isn’t a huge cake lover. What he does love, however, are chocolate fingers and biscuits. And trains. He really, really loves trains. That made this cake the perfect choice for him and me.

The idea behind this cake is that you buy a whole load of food that you wouldn’t normally let your child eat (chocolate fingers, chocolate swiss rolls, sweeties, jammy dodgers, chocolate Matchmakers etc), that put them together in order to form the shape of a train. It actually works really, really well – and took less than an hour to do, which I wasn’t expecting at all. We’d given ourselves a whole evening to put it together. The only things I did make were some chocolate buttercream (so that the sweeties and biscuits stuck on to the carriages), and I melted some chocolate to coat the engine. The latter wouldn’t have been necessary if we’d bought chocolate-coated swiss rolls, but we hadn’t.

... And the evening after

… And the evening after

The reaction from our son, and other guests alike, was totally worth it. Everybody was impressed beyond the effort that had gone in to creating the cake. Plus, you can make the train any length you like, meaning it can feed as many – or as few- guests as you want it to. Needless to say, we made way too much.

Who made it: Anna and Dan

Recipe: Annabel Karmel’s Complete Family Meal Planner, pg. 164-5

April 28, 2014

Easter biscuits

Filed under: biscuits, Easter — Tags: , , , , , , — lawsonanna @ 9:22 pm

Easter biscuitsAn easy bake to use up ingredients I had been baking with over the past week or so, I admit I was a few days late with making my Easter biscuits. I make these biscuits most years, and know basically what I’m doing – although there are a number of variants to the recipe, and I don’t follow exactly the same one every year.

This year I chose to use caster sugar instead of soft light brown sugar (although I think, on the whole, I probably prefer brown sugar in these), and I used orange juice instead of lemon juice. I almost always use lemon juice, but I had an orange to use up in the fridge and no lemon. So that decision was made for me. The recipe is simple – cream together sugar and eggs, add the dry ingredients and juice, then add enough milk to make a dough.

This year, perhaps the most enjoyable part of the baking was letting my 20 month old son get involved in cutting out the shapes. I let him choose the biscuit cutters, then push them down into the dough. Admittedly, he picked completely inappropriate cutter shapes for Easter biscuits, and needed some help with the actual cutting, but overall we both really enjoyed the process. And I made sure I made some traditionally shaped ones too!

Who made it: Anna and Joe

Recipe: Hallelujah! Easter, pg. 22-23

April 5, 2010

Bittersweet Easter Basket

Filed under: Sweets — Tags: , , , , — thinkingdan @ 10:44 am

There is nothing bitter about this basket of goodness.  Take a look:

Chocolate cookies, Lindt Bunny, grapes, mini-eggs and Lindt eggs. Mmmm.

Again my photography skills have let the baking down – the chocolate cookies here are really divine; melty and oh so chocolatey. The weird thing about them is they have marmalade in.  As with all biscuits, they are actually done before they look done – the ones on the middle were soft and the edge ones were hard.  Which way you like it might be a matter of preference, but for me the gooey meltiness of the “just-done” biscuit is divine.

I’d really want to make these again and try to get the whole batch gooey because the extreme chocolatyness was overwhelmingly tasty.

Ingredients: 110g margarine, 50g soft brown sugar, 110g plain chocolate (melted into the mixture), 110g milk chocolate (chunks), 2 tablespoons marmalade, 175g self-raising flour.

Who made it: Anna did everything.

Recipe: Baking, Making and Sharing, by Susan Over, page 14.

Spiced Easter Biscuits

Filed under: Sweets — Tags: , — thinkingdan @ 10:26 am

Spiced and non-spiced, our recipe book claims that these originated in the West Country as an Easter tradition.  We’ve always been keen on tradition when it involves tasty food.

Spiced Easter Biscuits

There are two types of biscuits here – some flavoured with cinnamon with caster sugar, and others with golden caster sugar.  There is a definite difference, with the golden caster sugar giving a more subtle, buttery taste and of course the cinnamon ones tasting of cinnamon.  The cinnamon batch were just slightly overcooked so the comparison isn’t really fair, but we think the golden ones were the best.  Both are quite heavy in consistency, quite shortbread-like, and are very more-ish.

This is a tricky recipe for biscuits, involving separating egg yolk from white. Only the yolk goes into the main mixture, with the whites being painted on the top halfway through cooking to give a lovely crisp shiny appearance.  Additionally, there is mixed spice and candied peel in both types of biscuit, giving a slightly spicy flavour.  Other than that its the usual mix of butter, flour and currents, with just a dash of milk to soften the consistency.

I’d recommend trying these biscuits – they are not like anything you can buy from the supermarket, and apparently keep for a while in an airtight container (we’ll see – probably not unless it has a lock!).

Who made it: Anna did everything.

Recipe: Golden: “Cakes, bakes, puddings and prayers” by Susan Over, page 56.  Cinnamon: “Mary Berry’s Ultimate Cake Book”, page 149.

Blog at