Tag Archives: cheese

Cheddar and Fig White Soda Bread

I have been busy starting work recently and loving it so far! I have however also managed to fit in lots of baking as well – macarons, cakes for BBQs, desserts for dinner parties..lots to come! Sometimes though I really just fancy baking something savoury and today is time for one of those savoury blog posts. If I want to bake something that is quick I often turn to scones, but when I fancy making a loaf of bread that is speedy then I always turn to soda bread. Ilove it, so easy to make, so delicious and you can jazz it up by adding what you like to it! In this case I opted to make a white soda bread with cheddar cheese and dried figs (something I had in my cupboard after making this fruit cake with figs!) and it really, really works – scrumptious! Try it sliced, served warm and spread with butter ….. mmmmm! Give it a try!

Cheddar and fig soda bread

To make this Cheddar and Fig White Soda Bread you will need:

300g white flour
50g porridge oats
1/2 tsp bicarb
1/2 tsp salt
25g butter
250ml buttermilk (or natural yogurt)
80g grated cheddar cheese
90g (approx) chopped dried figs



Mix the 250g of the flour with the oats, bicarb and salt. Rub the butter into this mixture. Add the cheese and chopped dried figs and mix in. Finally add the buttermilk and incorporate into the dry ingredients, bringing the mixture together to form a dough. If the dough is too wet then use the remaining 50g of flour until you have a dough that you can work with. Lightly dust a surface with flour and gently knead the dough to bring it together. Place on a greased baking tray and cut a deep cross on the surface of  the dough using a serrated knife. This not only looks effective once it is cooked but by cutting deeply it also helps the centre of the loaf to cook. Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for approx 45 minutes.



The next step is to enjoy a slice!



Tonight is a big night in the world of baking with the return of the Great British Bake Off. Exciting! Last year I hosted a GBBO blog challenge, you can see lots of the entries here and here. Maybe I will bring it back this year!

Lottie xx


I have entered this into November’s Tea Time Treats Challenge – dried fruits!

This is hosted by Lavender and Lovage and What Kate Baked.

tea time treats

Sun-dried Tomato and Parmesan Bagels

I am writing this post having just been up the Orbit at the Olympic Park this evening, a great experience and an awesome view. This Sunday is the Paralympic Closing Ceremony so I am very excited, I will be walking out into the stadium again. To make it even more exciting my boyfriend and my family all have tickets and to make it yet even more exciting, Coldplay will be there!! I absolutely cannot wait. However, at the same time Sunday is really going to be quite sad, it will be the end of London 2012, I will really miss it! I will have to find something else to keep myself busy….baking?

This bake is another bake that is inspired by the Great British Bake Off. I had never made bagels before but I thought I would give it a go because the idea of boiling the dough was so fascinating! It worked though and I was rather pleased with the result, I think it is something I will try again. The basic recipe I used is from Dan Lepard’s Short and Sweet, a really lovely book that seems to have a recipe for absolutely everything! Dan uses a different kneading technique in the book for these bagels which involves minimal kneading. You knead the dough for 10 seconds, leave it for 10 minutes and keep repeating. I was slightly nervous about this but I did some research on the Internet and people seemed pleased with the results, so I gave it a go and it worked! Try it! I opted for savoury flavoured bagels rather than sweet and used sun dried tomatoes and parmesan cheese to flavour them.

To make these bagels you will need:

300g strong white flour
1tsp fast action yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1tbsp caster sugar
275ml warm water
1tbsp white wine vinegar
50g brown sugar
100g sundried tomatoes (chopped)
parmesan cheese (finely grated)

Start buy mixing together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add the warm water and vinegar and stir to form a dough. Cover the bowl and leave it for 10 minutes. Knead the 10 for 10 seconds (do this on a lightly oiled surface and lightly oil your hands), put back in the bowl, cover and leave for 10 minutes. Repeat this 10 seconds of kneading and leaving for 10 minutes twice more. After this cover the dough and leave for an hour. Now you can add the tomatoes to the dough by gently kneading them in until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Shape each one into a ball, cover and leave to rise for 20 minutes. To shape the bagel stick a finger through the centre and stretch the dough into a ring. Make the hole slightly bigger than you want it as it will close up a bit. Put the brown sugar into a pan of boiling water and drop the bagels into the water one or two at a time. Boil for about 30-60 seconds on each side. Put the boiled bagels on a lightly oiled tray, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes in a preheated oven at 200C.

I am entering these into the Bake Off Challenge that I am running. You can find out how to enter your Bake Off inspired bakes here. Anything related to the Great British Bake Off is eligible!

Lottie xx

Blackcurrant cheesecake with a brownie base

Blackcurrant Cheesecake with a Brownie Base

Borough Market are running a competition for food bloggers to create a post about an ingredient that you love at Borough Market. I absolutely love Borough Market so this sounded perfect. It is great place to spend a few spare hours taking in the sights and the smells of the food, drink and fantastic atmosphere. Yesterday I took myself off to Borough Market to see what ingredient inspired me. It was difficult, there was just too much to choose from. So much fruit that would be perfect for baking with, vegetables of every kind and arrays of spices. I was particularly in awe of the range of tomatoes that were there, some of them were amazing shapes and sizes. And there were a few strange vegetables that I had never seen before too, I think one of them was called long, thin aubergines. And of course I can’t fail to mention the fantastic lunches there, I had the biggest and best Halloumi wrap ever. But I couldn’t wander around all day and in the end I opted for some lovely shiny, juicy blackcurrants from Chegworth Valley. I chose these because they are delicious and summery but I don’t seem to be able to buy them any where else, the shops are full of strawberries and raspberries, but never blackcurrants. In summer I love baking with summer ingredients and these blackcurrants just scream of summery desserts. The punnets of blackcurrants also smelt divine. I’ve heard it said that 70% of taste is smell and smelling these blackcurrants it did taste like you were drinking the juice. So I chose these to go home and create something with them. I came up with a Blackcurrant Cheesecake with a Brownie Base, inspired by the mountains of delicious looking brownies that I saw as I wandered around Borough Market.

To make this cheesecake you will need:

For the brownie base:

90g dark chocolate
75 g unsalted butter
70g caster sugar
1 egg
80 g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a pan. Take off the heat and stir in the sugar. Add the egg and mix well. Fold in the four and baking powder. Pour the mixture into a lined cake tin and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for about 20 minutes until it is firm to touch.

For the cheesecake:

600g cream cheese
150ml soured cream
180g caster sugar
3 eggs (discard the white of the third egg)
1tsp vanilla extract
2tbsp plain flour
50 g blackcurrants (stalks removed)

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and beat until it is all combined. Finally fold in the blackcurrants and pour the mixture into the tin on top of the cooked brownies. Bake at 180C for about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan before chilling in the fridge.

To make the blackcurrant topping:

150g blackcurrants
2tbsp blackcurrant jam
2 tbsp caster sugar

Heat all the ingredients in a pan until the blackcurrants just start to break down and there is a nice syrup. Pour the blackcurrants over the cheesecake and serve.


Some pictures from Borough Market:

If you find yourself near London Bridge I recommend you take a visit to Borough Market, you won’t be disappointed and the variety there is incredible. I also recommend these delicious blackcurrants, they burst in your mouth and explode with flavour!


Lottie xx

Please leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @lotts_louise! Thanks!

As this fits into the We Should Cocoa theme of Blackcurrants and Chocolate I have entered this into the challenge this month. It is hosted by Choclette at Chocolate Log Blog and Chele at Chocolate Teapot.







Jammy Jubilee Cupcakes and Jubilee Celebrations!

Happy Jubilee Weekend! I have been celebrating with a street party in my street today and have just popped in to write this blog before the Jubilee is over. The party is in full swing, there was a big lunch, races (Russ didn’t win the sack race), a 50s exhibition in the church, facepainting and our balcony doors are open so I am listening to the live band outside play some Elvis at the moment. Sounding good!

Yesterday Russell and I braved central London and went to watch the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. It was packed but there was a great atmosphere around, and it wasn’t until after the pageant that the rain really started to come down. We found a little stool and both managed to balance on top of it to get a view over the crowds of the boats that went past. We managed to get a view of the Queen’s boat!

As my family demolished the Jubilee Celebration Cake I made last weekend, I made some Jubilee Cupcakes as my offering for the party today! They disappeared before Russell could even get one! These cupcakes use the same recipe as these cupcakes that I have posted before. They are vanilla cupcakes with a vanilla and cream cheese frosting. The only difference is that I gave these Jubilee ones a raspberry jam filling. The decorations 0n the top are hand made, I am quite proud of the union jack ones in particular!


Enjoy the rest of the long Jubilee Weekend!

Please leave a comment below and follow me on twitter @lotts_louise if you are a tweeter! Thanks!

Lottie xx


Cheddar and Apple Soda bread

I’ve been pretty busy recently travelling to and from Watford Hospital and learning how to deliver babies, although it has been rather exciting too and I have been having an amazing time. It has been nice to relax this weekend and it has been a lovely weekend with  some good food. It was a friend of mine’s birthday celebration yesterday and she created a lovely Ottolenghi style meal complete with 3 absolutely gorgeous cakes! Then today was a very nice day with my parents and Russell’s Dad  over for lunch. I managed to make a successful chicken cacciatore and lemon pudding. Pretty full now and sitting down to write a Sunday evening blog post. I’m quite into bread at the moment, creating a fresh loaf of bread is very satisfying. My recently created sourdough starter is bubbling away in the fridge right now (it will have its own blog post very soon!), so I think a bread blog post is due! Tonight it is Cheddar and Apple Soda Bread. I love making soda bread, it is cheap, quick and easy so with very little work you get a lovely loaf of dense bread. This recipe has cheese and apple in the dough, which keeps the bread nice and moist.

You will need:

170g wholemeal flour
170g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
290ml buttermilk (or natural yogurt if you can’t get hold of buttermilk)
100g grated cheddar cheese
2 apples peeled and roughly diced

Preheat the oven to 200C. Put the flours, baking powder, salt and bicarbonate of soda in a mixing bowl and mix together. Add the diced apple and 3/4 of the grated cheese and mix in. Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk. Mix everything together ot make a soft dough. Knead the dough briefly on a floured surface but this is difficult with the apple chunks. Form the dough into a round, slightly flat shape and place on a floured baking sheet. Cut a cross across the top of the dough and sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese. Bake at 200C for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. This bread is best eaten on the day it is made.


I absolutely love reading and get through mountains of books. This number has increased even more since I got my Kindle, perfect for reading on my train commute everyday. My Dad has recently branched out into writing books, his first book is called Out of Sync and he has self published it on Amazon. I have read it several times and can honestly say that is a fantastic book and definitely worth a read! It is one of those books that you can’t put down once you start reading it! It follows the life of Charlie Breeze, a boy born out of synchronisation with the rest of the world and the chaos that ensues because of this. You can buy and ebook on Amazon here for only £1.28. Give it a read, you will love it!

Happy baking!

Lottie xx

Thank you for reading, please leave a comment, I appreciate every comment left!

Follow me on twitter @lotts_louise for updates on my blog!


Lovely Lemon Cupcakes

I have gone a bit lemon crazy recently and these cupcakes were one of the results. I made these to take to lectures as a thank you to people reading my blog! So here are another set of cupcakes that survived the journey all the way across London, and on the tube in rush hour, I think they deserve a round of applause. These are lemon cupcakes with a lemon curd filling and a lemon cream cheese icing, lemon lemon lemon!

So, if you want to make these luscious lemon cupcakes, you will need:

For the cake:

6oz butter or margarine
6oz caster sugar
3 eggs
6oz self raising flour
splash of milk
zest of 1 lemon

Cream together the butter and the sugar and then beat in the eggs one at a time. Add a little bit of the flour if the mix starts to curdle. Once the eggs are beaten in then fold in the flour. Finally mix in a splash of milk and the zest of 1 lemon. Line a muffin tray with cupcake (muffin) cases and spoon the mixture into the cases. This recipe will make 12 cupcakes. Bake in the oven at 180C for 15 minutes until the cakes are springy to touch. Cool on a wire tray.

Then you will need:

Lemon curd

Once the cakes are cool use a small sharp knife to cut away a small circle from the top of the cake. Fill the hole with lemon curd and replace the top. Your cupcakes will now burst with lemon when you bite into them.

Next comes the fun part, icing! You will need:

500g icing sugar
100g unsalted butter (softened)
250g cream cheese
zest of 1 lemon

Beat the icing sugar and butter together, trying not to get icing sugar flying everywhere as I normally do. Add the cream cheese and beat until well incorporated, light and fluffy. Mix in the zest of a lemon.

Now you are ready to spread on your icing, or get piping! I used my trusty Wilton 1M nozzle to pipe these. I did half of the cakes using the white icing and decorating with lemon zest. The other half I did two tone pink piping and decorated with fondant butterflies. To do the two tone piping read my Winter cupcake (some cupcakes that are quite apt for today’s snowy weather) blog post here.

And as a special addition to today’s post and the results of getting my sewing machine down from the loft….. here is my Lottie’s World of Cakes and Bakes apron that I have made!

Wrap up warm everybody and enjoy the snow!

Lottie xx (PS. if you haven’t done so yet, follow me on twitter! @lotts_louise )!

If you like this post then please leave a comment!

I am entering these cupcakes into the AlphaBakes Challenge hosted by The More than Occasional Baker (this month’s host) and Caroline Makes.


Foodies100 Index of UK Food Blogs

Cheese scones with courgette soup and a ‘Soup Walk’

Surely nobody knows how to make a good scone better than Mary Berry. So where else to turn to for a scone recipe than Mary Berry’s Baking Bible? I have been in a bit of a savoury mood lately so fancied making some cheese scones – a lovely savoury treat! And I knew they would go down well with my boyfriend who is always asking for more savoury baking. He pretends he doesn’t share my sweet tooth, but when presented with a cake he can never resist! Mary Berry suggest serving the scones with soup so I decided to make a Roasted Courgette soup to go with the scones for a lovely weekend dinner.

So here is the recipe I used for Cheese Scones, from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible.

The recipe is to make a cheese scone round, of 6 wedges. I used the dough to make round scones instead.
You will need:

[wpcol_1half id=”” class=”” style=””]225g self-raising flour

1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp baking powder
25g butter
150g mature cheddar, grated
1 large egg

[/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id=”” class=”” style=””]


Preheat the oven to 220C and grease a baking tray.

Mix the flour, salt, mustard powder, cayenne pepper and baking powder. Add the butter and use your fingers to rub it into the flour until you get very fine breadcrumbs. Stir in 100g of the cheese.
Break the egg into a jug and make it up to 150ml with milk. Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients until you get a soft dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly. Roll out the dough to a 1cm thickness and use a cutter to cut the dough into circles of whatever size you want. I misplaced my cookie cutter so used a wine glass, which was a nice size! Or if you are making a round, roll out the dough to a 15cm circle and mark into 6 wedges.
Brush the scones with a little milk and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Bake the scones for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and eat fresh!

Cheese scones

To make the courgette soup I used 2 courgettes, 1 onion, vegetable stock, 2 small potatoes, flat leaf parsley, lemon zest, black pepper. Slice the courgettes and the onion and roast in the oven with some olive oil and black pepper until starting to go brown and nice and soft. Meanwhile boil 2 small potatoes until soft and make up some vegetable stock. In a blender add the cooked courgette, onion, potato and vegetable stock. How much you add really depends on how thick or thin you like your soup! Blitz it until quite smooth. Add some chopped parsly and lemon zest and season to taste. Blitz again. Pour into a saucepan and heat up. Serve with some cheese and warm cheese scones.


Courgette soup

The Soup Walk

My sister decided that we should go on a soup walk. This being a walk in the countryside, talking a stove and some tins of soup (and cheese scones!) and making some soup half way!n So we did and here she is enjoying her soup walk!


Soup time

Look who we found on our walk!


Lottie xx

Follow me on Twitter @lotts_louise

Plums, plums and more plums!

Every year we get an absolute bounty of plums from the tree in the garden. It’s a game of getting them before they all suddenly drop at once and become unusable. This year was no exception and my Dad presented me bowlfuls of plums to bake with. So we had plum and goats cheese tarts, plum and almond tray bake, plum crumble (of course!), sweet plum tarts and plum compote! All in one day! So here they are……

Plum and Goats Cheese Tarts (it was about time I posted something a little bit more savoury!)

Plum and Goat's Cheese Tarts

These are super easy to make. You just need:
Puff pastry (yes, I cheated and bought it ready made!)
Plums thinly sliced
Goats Cheese
Black Pepper

Roll out the pastry and cut out circles of pastry and put them on a greased baking tray. Crumble the goats cheese and top the pastry circles with the goats cheese. Next add the slices of plums on top of the goats cheese. Drizzle each tart with a little honey, some sprigs of fresh time and a sprinkle of black pepper and pop in the oven! Easy and yummy! And to make the sweet tarts, just do the same but without the cheese, thyme and black pepper.

Plum and Almond Tray Bake

Plum and almond tray bake

6oz self raising flour
6oz light brown sugar
6oz butter or margarine
3 eggs
50g almonds
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
splash of milk
plums halved and stoned
flaked almonds

Mix the flour, sugar, butter, eggs, almonds, vanilla and milk together and pour into a greased and lined tray. Top the cake mix with with the halved plums and sprinkle with ground almonds. Pop in the oven at 180C until done. Voila, another plum recipe done!

Plum Crumble

Plum Crumble

For the plum base:
About 20 plums
150g caster sugar
Juice of half a lemon
Put the plums and lemon juice into a greased oven proof dish and sprinkle with sugar.

For the crumble:
6oz plain flour
2oz caster sugar
2oz light brown sugar
4oz butter
Put it all in a bowl and use your fingers to crumble it all together. The top the plums with the crumble and sprinkle with flaked almonds to make it look nice. Bake at 180C for about 40 minutes.

I think that’s enough plum recipes for now!

Lottie xx