Category Archives: Recipe

Retro Recipe: Chocolate Cake with Minty Green Custard

Ever since I served up a giant helping of school dinner style chocolate cake with chocolate custard to my family last year, I’ve been itching to make a version of that which many people who went to primary school in the 1980’s will remember fondly – chocolate cake with minty green custard. It’s a similar recipe, but the custard is green and flavoured with peppermint. 

If you didn’t go to primary school in the 1980’s, then this pudding may be a bit alarming to look at. I make no apologies for that. The version I remember was a slightly less vibrant shade of green, but this slightly too green version appealed to my son, who said it looked like a Minecraft block. I will take that as the compliment it was clearly intended to be.

Retro Recipe: Chocolate Cake with Minty Green Custard

Chocolate Cake with Minty Green Custard

Ingredients
250g baking margarine or unsalted butter
250g golden caster sugar
4 medium eggs, beaten
250g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp dark cocoa powder
50g dark chocolate chips or dark chocolate, grated
1 tsp vanilla extract
100mls milk, warmed slightly

For the custard
1 pint of milk
3 tablespoons of cornflour
3 tablespoons of sugar
Green food colouring
Peppermint essence

Retro Recipe: Chocolate Cake with Minty Green Custard

How to make your Chocolate Cake with Minty Green Custard:

Preheat the oven to 180° degrees and grease and line a square 20cm cake or brownie tin with baking paper.

Beat the butter and sugar together until soft, light and fluffy; I use an electric hand mixer for this, but a wooden spoon or a stand mixer work just as well.

Add the eggs one by one, beat well after adding each egg. Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa into the mixing bowl and mix well, once combined, add the chocolate chips or grated chocolate and stir through.

Add the vanilla extract and enough of the warm milk to create a smooth mixture with a dropping consistency. Pour into the tin and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Once baked, pull it out of the oven and leave to cool a little on a baking tray. This cake is good served warm or cold.

To make the custard…

To make the custard, mix the cornflour, sugar and a dash or two of the milk and mix it together to make a smooth paste. Add more milk if you need to.

In the meantime, put the remaining milk in a pan and heat until it is almost at boiling point. Once it’s almost boiling, remove the pan from the heat and pout the hot milk into the bowl with the cornflour paste, keep whisking until it dissolves and there are no lumps.

Adding the paste to the milk instead of the powder should mean you don’t get a lumpy custard!

Pour the milk back into the pan and return to the heat, stirring continuously until thickens and the custard reaches almost boiling point again. Once it’s thickened and smooth, turn the heat off.

Now for the exciting bit, cautiously add a few drops of the green food colouring, whisk the colouring through and add more if you want until you get to your desired shade of green. Traditionally it’s a fairly pale but distinctively green shade, but you can go darker if you dare!

Similarly it’s time to add some of your peppermint essence. I urge caution at this stage, add a few drops at a time, whisk through and taste as you go. Too minty and it’ll taste like toothpaste, but a few drops is probably all you need.

To serve, cut your cake into handsome squares (warm or cold, your choice), and generously top with your minty green custard. Guaranteed clean plates all round.

Retro Recipe: Chocolate Cake with Minty Green Custard

If you enjoyed this, you might also like my recipe for school dinner style cornflake pie.

Retro Recipe: Chocolate Cake with Minty Green Custard

Recipe: Ginger Loaf Cake with Zesty Lime Icing

With my son at home, I’m having to up my snack game. He gets the usual healthy offerings of fresh fruit and yoghurt, but sometimes a slice of cake can be just the motivation he needs to plough through his home learning for the afternoon. This simple ginger loaf cake is a quick and fairly frugal bake which will satisfy even the hungriest little learner.

Ginger Loaf Cake with Zesty Lime Icing

When I bake this, I usually double the recipe and make two. I wrap the second one up for later in the week and the cake is usually even better after a couple of days resting in an airtight tin.

Ginger loaf cake with zesty lime icing

Ingredients
200g self raising flour
200g soft brown sugar
5 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
55g baking margarine, plus extra for greasing
1 medium egg, beaten
2 tablespoons of golden syrup
240mls hot but not boiling water
Lime icing
100g icing sugar, sifted
1/2 a lime
Zest of 1 lime

Ginger Loaf Cake with Zesty Lime Icing

How to make your Ginger Loaf Cake

Preheat the oven to 160c. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment. I like to use loaf tin liners because they’re much easier.

Put all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl, with an electric whisk (or a big spoon if you prefer) combine all the ingredients into a smooth batter. It will look a bit runny, but it’ll be ok once baked, I promise.

Pour the mixture into your prepared tin. Bake in your pre-heated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until golden brown and the top is springy to the touch. If the top is browning too quickly and you’re worried about it burning, cover the tin with tin foil.

Once your ginger loaf cake is baked, leave it to cool thoroughly, I usually leave mine overnight to make sure it’s properly cool.

Ginger Loaf Cake with Zesty Lime Icing

To ice your cake; zest a lime and put the zest to one side ready to sprinkle over the top. Sift your icing sugar into a bowl, then gradually add in the juice of half a lime, stirring until you get a stiff but spreadable consistency.

Spoon the lime icing over the top of your ginger loaf and then sprinkle the zest over the top. If you’re a neat and tidy person, you might want to leave it to one side for a few hours for the icing to set. Although if you’re greedy like me, then you can just slice it into thick pieces and gobble it down quickly with the icing still dripping.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like to try these Grasmere ginger biscuits or this sticky ginger cake with cinnamon frosting.

Ginger Loaf Cake with Zesty Lime Icing

Recipe: Heart Shaped Danish Butter Biscuits

Valentine’s Day is the ideal opportunity to show off your baking prowess to any potential or existing beau. During these long lockdown days, we’ve been baking a lot more than usual, so we needed to come up with a romantic treat which is a bit different to our usual bakes. Step forward, heart shaped Danish Butter biscuits.

Danish Butter Biscuits are a real classic. I remember tins of them around my Grandmother’s house at Christmas time. They seemed so fancy and posh at the time, and so different to the hard biscuits of my childhood. Danish butter biscuits are soft and short and crumbly in all the right ways. They’re also pretty easy to make, the hardest part is piping them out; but if you don’t fancy doing that, you can just bake dollops of them and they still taste as good.

Recipe: Heart Shaped Danish Butter Biscuits

Heart Shaped Danish Butter Biscuits

Ingredients:
375g butter, room temperature
250g caster sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
500g plain flour
Milk (entirely optional)
Glacé cherries

Method:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla essence and mix in thoroughly.

Beat in the plain flour, I tend to do this in batches so the kitchen doesn’t get covered in a flour cloud. Once it’s all mixed in, you need to decide if your mixture is loose enough to pipe, or if it needs letting down a bit. My hands are a bit arthritic, so I added a couple of tablespoons of milk and beat the mixture again.

Heat the oven to 180° and line some large baking sheets with parchment paper. If you’re choosing to pipe your biscuits, select a wide piping nozzle and put in your piping bag. I prefer to use disposable piping bags and a Wilton 1M nozzle, but you use whatever you’re comfortable with.

Carefully pipe heart shapes onto your parchment paper. I used a knife to help poke them into shape as my piping was a bit rusty. Once you’ve piped a tray (leaving room for them to spread a little), pop a glacé cherry in the centre of each one and sprinkle them with a little extra sugar. Put them in the oven to bake for 12-15 minutes. You don’t really want them to get brown, because like shortbread, these Danish Butter biscuits are supposed to be pale and interesting.

Once you’ve removed them from the oven, leave on a cooling rack until they are properly cool. Resist the urge to eat them all, as you’ve baked them for your paramour, but maybe you could sneak one or two for yourself.

Recipe: Heart Shaped Danish Butter Biscuits

If you’re gifting them, wrap them in tissue paper and pop them in a box for your intended. If you’re keeping them all for yourself, they keep very well in a tin for a couple of weeks; though I doubt they will last that long.

If you enjoyed this, you might like to try;

Recipe: Heart Shaped Danish Butter Biscuits

Easy Christmas Recipe: Mincemeat Filo Rolls

I do love mince pies, but sadly the pastry doesn’t love me. This Christmas I thought I’d try making a batch of alternative mince pies, but with filo pastry and in the style of a spring roll. These Mincemeat Filo Rolls were really, really lovely. The great news is they didn’t take very much time at all and I managed to roll up the lot whilst sat at my kitchen table watching The Motherland Christmas Special, which was only 30 minutes long.

Easy Christmas Recipe: Mincemeat Filo Rolls

This recipe makes 24 mincemeat filo rolls and they would keep well for a few days in an airtight container. You can eat them cold or warm them in the oven if you prefer. They’re lovely dipped in brandy cream or just as they are.

Mincemeat Filo Rolls

Ingredients:
1 packet of filo pastry
2 jars of mincemeat
100g melted butter
Icing sugar (optional)

Easy Christmas Recipe: Mincemeat Filo Rolls

How to make your Mincemeat Filo Rolls:
You’ll need to work pretty quickly as once the filo pastry is out of the packet it starts to dry up.

Line two large baking trays with baking parchment and pre-heat your oven to 180°.

Unroll your filo pastry and cut into quarters. Open your jars of mincemeat and get your melted butter ready. Below is a pictorial guide on how I put them together. I took one quarter of a sheet, brushed it with melted butter and put another sheet of filo pastry on top. I then put a heaped teaspoon of mincemeat on the pastry and brushed the edges with melted butter.

Easy Christmas Recipe: Mincemeat Filo Rolls

As you can see, I folded the filo in on the long sides and dabbed some more melted butter along the edges to seal everything in, then rolled them up tight. I put each one with the edge side down on a baking sheet, and once I’d finished I brushed them with more melted butter and put them in the oven.

Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes. Check on them at about 20 minutes and remove from the oven when they’re golden and crisp looking. Leave them to cool because hot mincemeat is essentially fruity lava, once they’re cooler you can dust with icing sugar if you like and serve them with boozy cream or brandy butter.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like to try –

Easy Christmas Recipe: Mincemeat Filo Rolls

Homemade Gifts: Peppermint Bark Buttons

Homemade treats make for really lovely gifts at Christmas. These Peppermint Bark Buttons are really fun to make and they’re delicious too.

I’ve been making variations of these chocolate buttons since I found a silicone mould in a charity shop for £1 a couple of years ago. They couldn’t be more simple; melt some chocolate, pour it in the mould and decorate however you want.

Homemade Gifts: Peppermint Bark Buttons

These are a slightly tidier looking version of the classic Peppermint Bark we all know and love. Peppermint Bark is just layers of melted chocolate mixed with some peppermint extract, which is then sprinkled with crushed candy canes. It’s simple, but these Peppermint Bark Buttons look a bit more sophisticated and are ideal for bagging up and giving as Christmas gifts.

Homemade Gifts: Peppermint Bark Buttons

Peppermint Bark Buttons

Ingredients:

200g of milk chocolate
A few drops of peppermint extract
200g of white chocolate
3 candy canes

How to make your buttons…

Boil some water and pour the water into your pan so it’s about 3cm deep. Carefully place a glass bowl in the pan making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. This is called a bain marie.

Break or chop your chocolate up into small pieces and put it in the glass bowl. The water in the pan needs to be at a gentle simmer, not bubbling and boiling. Stir the chocolate until it is melted.

OR… you can melt your chocolate in the microwave, I do it in 30 second bursts and I stir in between to help melt the chocolate. If you microwave it for too long the chocolate will go all grainy and will be ruined, so be careful.

At this point you need to put a few drops of the peppermint extract in the melted milk chocolate and give it a good stir. I put in 5 drops and that was enough, so go carefully, you can always add more but you can’t take it away once it’s in there.

Using a spoon, scoop out about a teaspoon of the melted milk chocolate into each of the moulds. Try and put an equal amount in each. Gently shake the silicone tray so the chocolate settles. Pop the tray into the fridge while you crack in with the next steps.

Homemade Gifts: Peppermint Bark Buttons

Now melt your white chocolate either in the microwave or on the hob in a bain marie. Once it’s melted, grab your mould from the fridge and scoop another teaspoon of white chocolate over the top. Once you’ve finished, give the tray a shake and all the melted chocolate should level off.

Now you need to crush your candy canes. You can do this by putting them in a zip lock bag and smashing them up with a rolling pin. If like me for some reason your candy canes were soft and bendy, then you can just cut them into small chunks with a pair of scissors. Sprinkle your little candy cane pieces over the top and then put your buttons in the fridge to chill for at least two hours. I left mine overnight.

Homemade Gifts: Peppermint Bark Buttons

If you don’t have anything like my lovely button mould, then you could make little circles of melted milk chocolate on some baking parchment, then top with a similar amount of while chocolate and then sprinkle your crushed candy canes over that. I am sure they will look just as pretty.

Once they’re set you can put them in little cellophane bags and decorate with ribbons ready to give as sweet little gifts for loved ones.

If you liked this recipe, you might also like to try these fruit and nutty buttons.

Peppermint Bark Buttons

Easy Recipe: Sticky Ginger Sponge Cake with Cinnamon Frosting

I love a bit of ginger cake and at this time of year it’s a lovely warming bake to make for the family. It’s sticky and spicy and you can dress it up for Christmas, or dress it down for every day cake eating if you prefer. This sticky ginger sponge cake with cinnamon frosting is special enough to serve for an occasion, or you could glitz it up a bit more and serve it as an alternative Christmas cake, and it’s about as easy as can be.

Easy Recipe: Sticky Ginger Sponge Cake with Cinnamon Frosting

It is a really simple bake, do not be alarmed by how much water you need to use, or how wet the batter is when you put it in the oven. It comes out beautifully. It’s also worth noting that if you can bake the layers and leave them wrapped up for a few days, the ginger flavour improves. So it’s a good make ahead bake if you need that.

If you like ginger but don’t want it to be too strong, you can always reduce the amount you use in the recipe. I like it to be quite feisty, so I’ve used quite a lot here.

Sticky Ginger Sponge Cake with Cinnamon Frosting

Ingredients
400g self raising flour
400g soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
110g baking margarine, plus extra for greasing
2 medium eggs, beaten
4 tablespoons of golden syrup
480mls hot but not boiling water
To make the frosting you will need…
250g unsalted butter
350g icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
Milk, a couple of tablespoons
To decorate, 3 ginger nut biscuits and some gold glimmer sugar

Easy Recipe: Sticky Ginger Sponge Cake with Cinnamon Frosting

How to make your Sticky Ginger Sponge Cake

Preheat the oven to 180C/350FGas 4. Grease and line 4 8inch cake tins with baking parchment.

Put all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl, with an electric whisk (or a big spoon if you prefer) combine all the ingredients into a smooth batter. It will look a bit runny, but it’ll be ok once baked, I promise.

Pour the mixture into your prepared tins, make sure there’s an equal (ish) amount in each tin. I weigh them to make sure they are more or less the same. Bake in your pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and the top is springy to the touch.

Leave them to cool in the tin. Once cool, you’re ready to build your cake.

To make your buttercream frosting beat the butter and icing sugar, ground cinnamon and 1-2 tablespoons of milk together until smooth. Taste the buttercream, you can add more cinnamon if you prefer and more milk if you feel it needs to be softer.

To put you cake together, cut the domed tops off 3 out of your 4 cake layers, saving the best looking one for the top. Put your first later on your cake stand or plate, carefully spread some of the buttercream on top. Top with the second layer and cover that in more buttercream. Do the same with the third layer and then top with your prettiest layer.

You can decorate it however you want, there was enough buttercream for me to smooth some around the sides of my four layer cake tower, and I think it made the cake look a bit prettier. I piled the rest of the buttercream on the top of the cake and then crushed some ginger nut biscuits and mixed in a couple of teaspoons of some glittery sugar I had left over from another bake, then spooned them over the top.

This ginger sponge cake looked very pretty and tasted absolutely fantastic. This is such a good cake for a ginger lover. Lovely stuff.

For the people asking how do you make ginger cake sticky, I think it’s the golden syrup. I think it sort of seeps out of the sponge over time and makes it all sticky and lovely. I might be wrong, feel free to correct me in the comments!

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like to try these Grasmere ginger biscuits.

Easy Recipe: Sticky Ginger Sponge Cake with Cinnamon Frosting

Halloween Recipe: Creepy Chocolate Bark

With half term in full swing and the weather being predictably dismal, we’ve got a packed week of baking and crafting planned to keep us busy. One of the easiest things we do is chocolate bark, I’ve no idea why is called chocolate bark, but it is. With Halloween just days away,  we thought I t would be rude not to make a batch of Halloween Chocolate Bark.

Chocolate bark is essentially melted chocolate with sweets, dried fruit or nuts sprinkled on top. Leave it to set and then chop it up into chucks to be gobbled down by the family. It’s easy and a fun thing for kids to get involved with.

Halloween Recipe: Creepy Chocolate Bark

When we’ve had play dates (in pre-covid times) we’ve often done something like this as an activity. At the start of the play date, they decorate their own melted chocolate puddle with sweets, and by the time it’s time to go home, they can take home their own little bag of chocolate bark.

You can theme these up depending on the time of the year. I’ve done Easter and Christmas bark, all with seasonal treats. This week, with it being Halloween at the weekend, we made Halloween chocolate bark. Lots of supermarkets and sweet shops have spooky themed sweets. I spotted some perfectly grim things in Co-op to make our Halloween chocolate bark extra gruesome. Go wild, go grim, let your imaginations run wild.

Halloween Recipe: Creepy Chocolate Bark

Halloween chocolate bark

Ingredients:
300g milk chocolate
A variety of sweets, I used brains, eyeballs and strawberry laces

How to make your Halloween chocolate bark:
Get a small baking tray and cover with baking paper, make some room in your fridge for the tray later.

Break the chocolate up into chunks and either carefully melt it in the microwave or over a Bain Marie (a bowl over a pan of hot water). I usually do this in the microwave in 30 second blasts, stirring in between. It took about 3 minutes to melt the chocolate for this. Do not do this all in one go as you risk your chocolate going grainy if you don’t keep an eye on it.

Once your chocolate is melted, carefully pour it out onto your baking paper and with a spoon smooth it out a little. You don’t want it spread too thinly, it needs to be at least the thickness of a pound coin.

Halloween Recipe: Creepy Chocolate Bark

Decorate the still warm chocolate with your spooky sweets. Once you’re happy, pop the tray in the fridge for an hour or so until it’s set. Once the chocolate has hardened, using a sharp knife, chop it up into chunky bite size pieces and gobble down greedily.

If you enjoyed this, you might also like to try these recipes…

Halloween Recipe: Creepy Chocolate Bark

Recipe: Yorkshire Creamery Macaroni Cheese

At the end of September I went to North Yorkshire for a foodie weekend away. While we were there, I wanted to visit the Wensleydale Creamery and have a look around. After enjoying the Cheese Experience we had worked up a good appetite and fancied lunch in Calvert’s Restaurant. Naturally we ordered fairly greedily, with an epic cheese board taking centre stage. Being hungry types, we also shared a gorgeous portion of Yorkshire Creamery macaroni cheese.

Recipe: Yorkshire Macaroni Cheese

The macaroni cheese was made with mature Yorkshire Cheddar and extra mature Yorkshire Red. They were the most delicious combination, so as we left, I picked up a wedge of each from the shop to make for myself once I got home. Here’s my recipe, and it’s not a bad recreation of the original.

This recipe feeds two heartily, and three or four as a side.

Recipe: Yorkshire Macaroni Cheese

Yorkshire Creamery Macaroni Cheese

Ingredients:
250g dried macaroni pasta
50g unsalted butter
50g plain flour
Approx one pint of milk, maybe more, maybe less
100g mature Yorkshire cheddar cheese, grated
100g extra mature Yorkshire red, grated
Salt and pepper
30g breadcrumbs

How to make this Yorkshire Creamery Macaroni Cheese:
To make this Yorkshire Creamery macaroni cheese; melt the butter in a saucepan, once melted, tip in the flour and mix well with a wooden spoon. Mix until it’s a paste and then cook the flour out for a minute. Add a splash of milk and stir until it turns into a paste again. Keep adding milk in splashes and mixing until it starts to turn into a silky sauce. The amount of milk will vary, but I’d say you need at least a pint of milk.

Leave your sauce to bubble gently on the hob while you put 250g of pasta to another saucepan of boiling water. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.

While your pasta cooks, grate your cheese and setting aside 70g of the Yorkshire red to top your bake with, add all of the rest of the cheese to your sauce. Stir, stir, stir your sauce and season with salt and pepper. I also like to add ground chilli flakes for a bit of a gentle kick, but you can leave that out if you prefer. Taste the sauce to check the seasoning; if it’s not cheesy enough for you, now is a good time to add more cheese. Now would also be a good time to pre-heat your oven to 220°.

Recipe: Yorkshire Macaroni Cheese

Once your pasta is cooked, drain it really well and tip it into your cheese sauce; stir that through and pour into a baking dish. Level the top gently with the back of a spoon.

Sprinkle over the remaining Yorkshire Creamery red cheese and the fresh breadcrumbs; pop it into the oven for 25 minutes, or until it’s brown and bubbly on top. Take it out of the oven and put to one side for five minutes. Serve with a big salad and crusty bread.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like to try this ham hock macaroni cheese recipe.

Recipe: Yorkshire Creamery Macaroni Cheese

Halloween Recipe: Gingerbread Mummies

I love gingerbread, it’s one of my guilty pleasures. Often when I pass the bakery on the way to picking my boy up from school, I’ll slip in and buy a couple of gingerbread men, women or penguins for us both as a little treat. I like my gingerbread spicy, so I’m always a little generous when I make my own, like with these spicy gingerbread mummies for Halloween.

Halloween Recipe: Gingerbread Mummies

This week we got a new set of kids baking equipment, so we were keen to test it out and I was keen to bake a batch of gingerbread people for Halloween. The recipe is a tired and tested one; I’m not sure where it came from, but it’s been used many times over the years and my butter and flour splattered recipe book can attest. Like I said, I like it extra spicy, so if you want a milder gingerbread, then maybe halve the quantity of the spices.

As Halloween is round the corner, we wanted to make Gingerbread Mummies. These are especially easy for kids and for not very confident decorators to do. You just drizzle the icing over to look like bandages. If I’d been more on it, I’d have bought a pack of sugar eyes which you can stick on to add to the spookiness.

Halloween Recipe: Gingerbread Mummies

This recipe makes a surprising number of gingerbread men. Admittedly I use a pretty small cutter, but I managed to make 40 of them. They didn’t last the weekend though, not with my greedy family. They keep well in a sealed tin or container, so don’t feel like you too have to eat them all within 48 hours.

Spicy Gingerbread Mummies

Ingredients
350g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
1 level teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
2 fairly heaped teaspoons of ground ginger
2 fairly heaped teaspoons of allspice
125g baking margarine
175g caster sugar or soft brown sugar
1 large egg
4 tbsp golden syrup
To decorate
100g icing sugar
Warm water, a few drops at a time
Sugar eye decorations (optional)

Halloween Recipe: Gingerbread Mummies

Method
Using a large bowl, sift the plain flour, bicarb of soda, ginger and all spice and the pan mix together, I use a food processor as it saves getting overly sticky fingers and it’s quicker.

Tip in the margarine and mix until it looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and then add a large egg and the golden syrup. This is where things get really sticky, mix thoroughly in the food mixer until it all comes together.

Wrap the dough in cling film, or pop in a clean plastic bag and refrigerate for half an hour or so. Once the dough is rested, it’s ready to roll!

At this point, I set up a bit of a gingerbread production line. I line two of my biggest baking trays with baking paper and pre-heat my oven to 180 degrees.
I divine the dough into four and on a floured surface, I roll out one of the pieces of dough. It needs to be about half a centimetre thick.

Carefully using your gingerbread cutter, cut out as many shapes as you can manage, roll out and cut again until you have filled your two trays. You need a bit of space around them, and I did trays of 8 figures, baking two trays at a time. In all I baked 5 trays, which is enough gingerbread mummies for a party!

Bake each tray for 12 minutes, maybe a minute it two more. They need to be lightly brown. Take them out of the oven and leave them to cool for 10 minutes or so. If you try to take them off the tray sooner, they will likely break. After 10 minutes, remove them from the baking paper and leave to cool fully on a wire rack.

Once they are cool, then you can decorate them. I sifted 100g of icing sugar into a bowl and gradually added drips and drops of water, mixing all the time. You need it to be thick but runny enough for it to drizzle off the spoon.

To decorate, I put my gingerbread mummies back on the baking paper I’d used (it saves you getting sticky icing everywhere) and using a teaspoon, I drizzled the icing across the mummies so it looks like bandages.

If I’d managed to get some sugar eyes, I would have stuck those on using some of my drizzly icing too. They looked pretty cool and my boy thought they were the perfect Halloween sweet treat.

If you enjoyed this, you might also like to try these recipes…

Halloween Recipe: Gingerbread Mummies

 

Recipe: Chilli Cheese Hot Dog Casserole

AD – I was sent some Ye Olde Oak Hot Dogs to create this Chilli Cheese Hot Dog Casserole recipe with. All images and opinions are our own. We have not been paid for this post.

I’m a big fan of cookery programmes and in the time before I got a proper job, I used to watch an awful lot of American cooking shows on Food Network. They generally made dishes fit for cowboys and truckers, but there was the odd recipe which really took my fancy.

In America they seem to be quite fond of something called a sandwich casserole. This is essentially a load of bread roll sandwiches put in a baking dish, brushed with butter and baked in the oven. I liked this idea, I liked it quite a lot, so when I was sent some Ye Olde Oak Hot Dogs I figured now was the time to make my American style sandwich casserole dreams come true.

Recipe: Chilli Cheese Hot Dog Casserole

They are really very easy to do. They’re great to make ahead and just bung in the oven for a quick feed. They make a lovely casual meal; ideal for play dates or if your BBQ has been rained off. They best thing is, you can mostly make them out of things you’d have in the cupboard already.

ye olde oak hot dogs

My recipe makes 6 hot dogs, but you can very easily double up, or triple up if you’re feeding a lot of hungry people.

Chilli Cheese Hot Dog Casserole

Ingredients
A packet of hot dog rolls
1 tin of Ye Olde Oak Hot Dogs
1 tin of tinned chilli (or homemade if you have it)
A packet of burger cheese slices
100g cheddar cheese, grated
50g butter
1 clove of garlic, crushed
Pepper, ground
2 good pinches of dried mixed herbs or finely chopped fresh parsley

Recipe: Chilli Cheese Hot Dog Casserole

How to make your Chilli Cheese Hot Dog Casserole

You will need a large oven proof dish. Melt your butter in a pan or microwave, add the crushed or minced garlic, a very good grind of pepper and your dried or fresh herbs. Using a pastry brush, brush the bottom of the dish with the melted garlicky butter and then put it to one side for later.

Slice your hot dog buns open, but not all the way through. Put a slice of burger cheese in each bun, then put a Ye Olde Oak Hot Dog on top of the cheese; top with some chilli. Fill the oven proof dish with your loaded hot dogs, nestle them in together so they’re almost spooning, but don’t squash them up too much.

Once you have filled your dish with chilli cheese hot dogs, brush the remaining garlic butter over the bread buns. Top with the grated cheddar cheese and cover the dish with foil.

Put into a pre-heated oven at 180°c for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 5 minutes or so; until the cheese is melted and everything is bubbling and delicious looking. Remove from the oven and serve.

Recipe: Chilli Cheese Hot Dog Casserole

This Chilli Cheese Hot Dog Casserole got the big thumbs up from my boy. You can top them however you want really, but the chilli and cheese combo is a winner! I was really impressed with how they came out of the oven; the bread bun was slightly crispy on top, but soft underneath. I’m so glad I tried the sandwich casserole idea, it’s one I’ll be playing with in various forms over the summer and beyond.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like to try these pizza hot dogs.

Recipe: Chilli Cheese Hot Dog Casserole