Nutella Cake

Nutella Cake125g butter
165g sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
200g flour
1 tub of nutella (warmed in the oven for liquidity)

  1. cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs one by one (keep beating), add the vanilla.
  2. combine the flour, salt and baking powder, then add in 3 batches to the above.
  3. pour half the mixture into the baking vestibule, spoon over as much liquidy nutella as you dare, then add the remaining mixture. marble it up with a knife.
  4. Bake on 170c for 1 hour.

1/2 Pint Choc Muffins

Translated from an American recipe, measured in cups – a cup is about half a pint, so here’s a good use for that half pint glass hiding at the back of the cupboard…

The liquid

  • 0.75 hp sugar
  • 0.5 hp melted butter
  • 1 hp Greek yogurt / milk mix
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil

The Solid

  • 1.75 hp plain flour
  • 0.33 hp cocoa
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp salt

The Chocolate

  • 1 hp Chopped dark choc / chips

Do It

  1. Mix the liquid until combined.
  2. Sift the solid.
  3. Add liquid to solid, mix only until combined – not a moment longer!
  4. Add the chocolate
  5. Spoon into muffin cases, bake at 170C for 20-25 mins


Pain d’Epi Enriched

The previous Pain d’Epi lasted for a whole 2 hours before being devoured by hungry Martels. We really need something that stays fresh for a week so we can spread out the scoffing… Time for some enrichment!

  • 500g flour (3 parts strong white to 2 parts plain)
  • 300ml milk
  • 100ml water
  • 40g butter
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 30g sugar
  • packet o yeast

Heat the milk and butter in the microwave to get them nice and warm, then add the water to take the edge off it. Mix all ingredients, kneed for 10 minutes, cover and leave to rise for 1 hour, then knock back, shape into a baguette (this one ended up being wreath shaped due to the size of my tray), cover with oiled film and leave for 20 minutes.

Dust with flour then cut to shape and bake for 30 minutes at 200.

Mince Pies 2012 – Trial Run Review

The Good:

  • The pies kept their shape and are edible without a requiring a plate – an absolute requirement for office treats.
  • No filling escaped!


  • The pastry could be thinner and slightly shorter – icing sugar?
  • The ‘el cheapo’ mincemeat has quite a harsh aftertaste – next attempt can be augmented with raisins, lemon peel, orange peel and cinnamon.
  • Get some proper pastry cutters!


Mince Pies 2012 – Trial Run

Shortcrust pastry is 2 parts flour to 1 part fat with a pinch of salt.

  • 300g flour (sifted)
  • 150g butter (cold)
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 3 tbsp water
  • Standard, ‘El Cheapo’ mincemeat

Combine the pastry ingredients in the food processor until ‘crumby’, add a few drops of water then bring pastry together with hands. Cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out on a floured surface to 2mm thickness. Cut bottoms using a 75mm serrated cutter and tops using a 60mm serrated cutter. Build pies without over-filling, brush water between top and bottom to seal. Dust with caster sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 200C.

Le Lievre’s have run out of pastry cutters (D’Oh!), so I’ve improvise cutters from a biscuit tin and a glass.



Pain d’Epi

  • 275g Strong White Flour
  • 175ml warm water
  • 1 packet instant yeast
  • 1 tsp salt

Simply mix all the ingredients, then knead for 10 minutes. Shape into a baguette, place on a floured tray covered with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes. Shape by cutting 3/4 way through with scissors at a 45 degree angle, then pulling each section to the side, alternating left then right. Bake at 180 for 25 minutes – use steam for a more satisfying crust.