Posts Tagged ‘home made’

Homemade Tea cakes

I’d been eyeing up the teacakes in my Peyton and Byrne British Baking book for a while, but admittedly I was nervous about baking them; before last week I’d never made my own marshmallow and I’d heard plenty of horror stories about getting it wrong! Thankfully I had nothing to worry about –  the recipe is really easy to follow and the results are mouthwatering. The most difficult part is piping the marshmallow, but with a little practise, you’ll soon perfect your technique. The best tip I can give you is to put your piping bag in a pint glass, roll the sides over the glass edge and scoop the marshmallow in slowly with a tablespoon (that way you won’t end up covering yourself/the bag/the kitchen in marshmallow like I did the first time around…)

The original recipe also includes 1 tbsp of double cream in the biscuit base, but personally I don’t feel it adds anything to the taste or texture. Next time I’d love to try these with a layer of jam; I might even adapt the recipe to make homemade Wagon Wheels in the future.

Peyton and Byrne teacakes

The biscuit base:

  • 110g plain flour
  • 60g unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 2 egg yolks (save the whites for the filling)
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

The marshmallow filling:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp and 1 tsp of golden syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

The chocolate topping:

  • 250g of good quality milk chocolate (or dark if you prefer)


Make it!

  • Preheat the oven to 180/gas mark 4. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper and set to one side.
  • Grab a bowl and sift together the flour, baking powder bicarb of soda and salt.
  • In a separate, larger bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract and mix well, then add in the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  • Scoop the dough into 12 balls and roll gently in your hands before placing them onto a prepared tray. I found that the mixture doesn’t spread too far, so you may want to push down gently on the tops to prevent a biscuit mound and give yourself a flatter surface to pipe onto.
  • Bake for around 10 minutes, or until the edges turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.
  • Whilst the biscuits are cooling, you can move onto the marshmallow filling. Put all the ingredients into a heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan of boiling water. Whisk continuously by hand for 10-15 minutes (ouch) until all the sugar has dissolved and mixture becomes frothy and slightly opaque.
  • Remove the bowl from the heat and using a handheld mixer, whisk until you have the consistency of meringue. Once the mixture is white and holds its shape, it’s ready to pipe!
  • Pipe generous amounts of marshmallow on top of each biscuit. Don’t worry about creating perfect shapes – after all, you’re going to smother it in chocolate anyway.
  • Once the marshmallow has set (I found half an hour in a cool area was plenty of time) you can get to melting your chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. When the chocolate is ready, remove from the heat and leave to sit without stirring for 7-10 minutes.
  • Place a wire rack over a tray lined with baking paper, line up your teacakes and start spooning the melted chocolate over the marshmallow. The best method is to drop the chocolate directly over the top and assist carefully with a teaspoon to ensure full coverage.
  • Leave to set and then enjoy! Ideally the teacakes should be eaten on the same day as making and no mater than the following day.

Homemade Halloween

Originally this was going to be a straight forward “How To…Make A Poison Ivy Costume” post, but I had an absolute nightmare creating it and so, I’ve decided against that title – it’s entirely my own fault for being so stubborn and envisaging such a high calibre costume!

This Halloween my fellow hosts and I decided to run with a Batman villain theme; we had Bane, Scarecrow, Cat Woman, Two Face, the Joker, the Penguin, Harley Quinn and Black Mask. After some deliberating, I opted to dress more along the lines of comic book Poison Ivy than Uma Thurman’s portrayal in Batman & Robin, which meant I either had to go naked or find a green strapless bodysuit/leotard. Let me tell you now – unless you want to spend a fortune, it’s basically an impossible task! I preferably wanted a corseted bodysuit that would hold everything in, but it proved difficult enough to find anything that was long enough in the body AND kept my boobs under control.

Poison Ivy costume, Bane costume
Poison Ivy and Scarecrow

After checking eBay and Amazon everyday for almost a month, I cast the net wider and hit up every possible shop Westfield had to offer on the hunt for anything that looked remotely flattering and cost less than £30; I even resorted to riffling through the Ann Summers sale. Five hours later, I admitted defeat and it was only by chance that I found a black lycra bodysuit for £12.99 in TKMAXX the next day. My long red wig came from eBay for £10.99 (and was worth every penny) as did my Emerald Stargazer lipstick (£3.35) and I found some reasonably priced artificial ivy on Amazon for £4.90. My green tights came in at £1.50 from trusty old Primark and I used superglue (£4) to attach the leaves. Be warned – I spent hours sewing on an under layer of green fabric (I used my apron from last years costume) and I had to kindly ask my boyfriend to glue the ivy on to the bodysuit whilst I was a. wearing it and b. lying down to stop gravity taking its toll on the glue! I finished off the costume with black ankle boots and a green cardigan from my wardrobe. The cardigan was a stroke of luck as not only hid the back of the bodysuit – which I neglected after realising the leaves were going to fall off every 5 minutes – but it kept me warm on a cold evening.

PURSE FRIENDLY TOTAL = £37.73

I also made a few more tasty themed treats this year. The ginger dead men made a welcome return, whilst the pumpkin shaped rice krispie marshmellow bites and graveyard chocolate cake proved popular with our ghoulish guests. Charlie and I wanted to display our guacamole and crisps in an inventive way, so we carved a lovely vomiting pumpkin and spread the dip over a chopping board!

gingerdead man
pumpkin rice krispie treats
graveyard cake
vomit pumpkin