Archive | April, 2013

Jammy Donuts

19 Apr

The recipe for ‘Jammy Donuts’ Muffins in Baking Magic (by Kate Shirazi) took my fancy recently. I suppose they’re kind of like baked donuts? No doubt healthier than their cooked-in-oil counterparts, but every bit as delicious.



300g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
150g caster sugar (and extra for the tops)
250ml buttermilk (I used milk mixed with a little natural yogurt and it was fine)
1 beaten egg
50g melted butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
4 tbsp raspberry jam

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.

Combine the flour, baking powder and sugar.

In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, egg, butter and vanilla, then pour into the dry ingredients. Mix together gently.

Spoon a small amount into each muffin case. Make a small indentation and add a teaspoon of jam, then cover with more mixture.

Bake for around 20 minutes.

The recipe suggests sprinkling caster sugar over the muffins when they are still warm, but I found that the sugar didn’t really stick. By using a little water brushed over the tops, I got a much better donut-like effect.

‘Baking Magic’ is currently £9.59 with free delivery on Amazon – right here.

The Cake & Bake Show, Manchester

18 Apr

On the 5th April we visited the Cake and Bake Show at Manchester Central. I’d previously snapped up tickets for only £7, which I think was a bargain considering all of the free samples we rounded up!


We took the tram into Manchester, stopping to assist a man, lost with a delicious-looking tray of bread covered in grapes. I suggested he come with us seeing as we were all heading to the same place. He chatted to us about baking at home (and the lack of signage in Manchester..), and we later realised it was Brendan Lynch of The Great British Bake-Off fame. He was so down-to-earth and my son is now his biggest fan! He kindly stopped for a photo with my very enthusiastic son.


The arena was full of stalls boasting squidgy brownies, cupcakes, occasion cakes, cake decorating equipment (hundreds of different types of sprinkles and cake cases) marshmallows, pies, breads, cookbooks and baking paraphernalia.




Of course, we found the ideal photo opportunity in a giant icing sugar box…

Brendan Lynch and Catherine Dresser in action:

A giant gingerbread house:

It was a fantastic day out, especially after the so-busy-you-can’t-push-the-pushchair-even-one-inch-ness had passed. I may even have bought a new cookbook (psssst it’s ‘Glamour Cakes’ by Eric Lanlard..), so I’m looking forward to trying out some new recipes and techniques!

Spinningfields Duck Race, Manchester

18 Apr

On Good Friday, we went into Manchester for the annual duck race. We try to go to local family events as often as possible, and we were determined to make it to the duck race after missing it last year.

Our day started with hot chocolates and sweet treats, before we walked across to Spinningfields for the race.


There was a small area with a couple of fairground games (hook a duck, obviously..), stalls, a bouncy castle and a giant inflatable duck. Our 4 little ducks joined thousands of other little ducks in the race down the canal! We were clearly on the wrong side of the canal as there appeared to be a BBQ on the go on the other side.




Unfortunately, we didn’t win, but we all had fun watching the ducks make their (rather slow) way to the finish line.