12 February 2013

Perfect Pancakes

You must have pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. No ifs or buts it should be compulsory. It's the one time that you can eat pancakes and not feel guilty.

Over the years I have tried many different pancake recipes however I came across this one at Christmas time. It was featured in an episode of Jamie Oliver and it has to be the easiest pancake recipe EVER. 

These are now a firm favourite in the 'Kiss of Cookies' household and I often make a batch on a Saturday morning. They are light and fluffy American style and we love to eat them oozing with syrup however as today is a school day, I thought we would go with the healthier option of fruit, Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey.

This recipe makes about 12 small pancakes however you can make the pancakes as big (or small) as you want.

American Style Pancakes

1 cup Self Raising Flour
1 cup Milk
1 Egg
Pinch of Salt

1) Heat up a frying pan on a medium heat.
2) In a bowl, add the flour, milk, egg and salt. Mix together well until all of the ingredients have been incorporated into a smooth batter.
3) Melt a knob of butter in the frying pan. Spoon a small amount of the pancake batter into the pan. I can usually make 3 pancakes at a time.
4) When small bubbles start forming, flip over the pancake and cook until golden.
5) Carry on until all of the mixture is used up.

28 October 2012

Ghastly Ghouls

Last year I made several different cupcakes for Halloween. This one is from Lily Vanilli's A Zombie Ate My Cupcake book.  It is full of fabulously weird cupcake recipes perfect for this time of year. I loved the book so much that I bought a copy for my sister-in law and my cousin.

The meringue frosting is quite messy (that may be just me) but it is totally worth it.

Instead of using black fondant for the eyes, I used silver and gold edible balls which were really effective.

Ghastly Ghouls
(Makes 12 cupcakes)


One batch of vanilla cupcakes
12 White Marshmallows
Black fondant or chocolate chips

For the meringue frosting:

4 Large Egg Whites
200g Granulated Sugar
¼ tsp cream of tartar
Pinch of Salt


  1. You will need a small saucepan and a heatproof bowl that will sit neatly on top of it (or use a double boiler, if you have one). Pour a few cups of water into the pan and bring to the boil. The water should not touch the base of the bowl.
  2. Whisk the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt in the bowl using an electric mixer, then place the bowl above the boiling water and continue whisking until the mixture is hot to touch and all the sugar has dissolved – about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and, using the mixer on medium-high speed, beat until the eggs form a cool stiff meringue, about 5 minutes or until hard peaks have formed.
  4. Secure a marshmallow vertically in the centre of each cake using a tiny bad of the meringue, and use a spoon to heap frosting on top of each cupcake to make a ghost shape. Smooth the edges with the back of the spoon.
  5. Use black fondant or chocolate chips to create 'eyes' with suitably menacing expression.

Halloween Cupcakes

I also made the above cakes using a basic chocolate cupcake then using butter cream icing to make the mummies and the brains. A very quick and easy way to make cupcakes for Halloween parties.

Witches Fingers

I hope that you agree that these witches fingers biscuits look quite repulsive but they do taste very good. The melted chocolate under the nails give the impression of dirt.  
I made these at Christmas time but added some green food colouring to the dough turning them into Grinch's fingers. 

Witches Fingers


100g Butter
100g Caster Sugar
200g Plain Flour
Few drops Vanilla Essence
Whole Blanched Almonds (one per biscuit)
Milk Chocolate


  1. Preheat over to 180C,
  2. Mix together the butter, sugar, vanilla essence and flour into a firm dough.
  3. Shape into 'fingers' marking with fine lines across the middle to look like knuckles, and flatten slightly at the top end to look like a finger nail. Press in a blanched almond into each finger.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden then remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  5. Melt the chocolate, remove the almond from the finger and paint over the fingernail area with the melted chocolate and immediately replace the almond nail.

25 October 2012

Good Food Show - Friday 19th October

I am a huge fan of The Great British Bake Off and as far as I am concerned Mary Berry is a living legend. My first ever cake book given to me as a teenager was one of Mary's which I still have and is used regularly. And as for Paul Hollywood, a man that can bake can do no wrong in my eyes.

So when I found out that Queen of Cakes Mary Berry and Master Baker Paul Hollywood were going to be appearing at the BBC Good Food Show in Glasgow I knew I that I had to get there. I persuaded my mum to come along with me and luckily I managed to get the day off work.

We arrived just after 10am and after spending several hours sampling all of the various delicacies on offer we made our way to the Super Theatre where The Great British Bake Off was giving a masterclass.

Mary and Paul were on good form with Paul joking that Mary (affectionately known as Bezza) is an expert darts player and can be regularly found at her local pub playing a game. 
Mary gave a demonstration on how to make a simplified version of a Frasier whilst Paul made a batch of iced fingers filled with cream and jam. There was even a surprise guest of James from series 3.

There were also separate demonstrations from Paul and Mary at the Love Food Hate Waste stage. Paul wowed everyone with his 8 plait loaf which I wont be trying at home. Mary made a delicious looking fish pie and a festive bread and butter pudding.

The day wouldn't have been complete without seeing Mary and Paul at the book signing. The queue for the first signing was too long however I was prepared for the next session arriving an hour and 15 minutes early securing a spot near the start. I patiently waited my turn and the highlight of my day was speaking to Mary.

19 September 2012

Cupcake Cookies

I have a major cupcake obsession and will buy almost anything with a cupcake design on it. My obsession is that bad that I even have a cupcake tattoo on my wrist. So you can imagine my delight when I opened up a recent copy of  Cake Decorating Magazine to find a cupcake cookie cutter.

As my Jane Asher cake book was still lying about from making the Ice Cream & Jelly Cake I decided to use her Vanilla Cookie Dough recipe. 

280g Plain Flour
200g Firm Butter
100g Icing Sugar
2 Egg Yolks
1 tsp Vanilla Extract / Essence


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C / Gas mark 6. Gease two baking trays or line with baking parchment. 
  2. Put the flour in a bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mix looks like breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the sugar, egg yolks and vanilla extract / essences and mix to a dough.
  4. Put in a plastic bag and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut out as required. 
  6. Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Leave to coll and harden on a wire rack.

8 September 2012

Jelly & Ice Cream Cake

For mini me's birthday this year she asked for a jelly and ice cream cake. Normally I would bake several cakes plus cupcakes for party bags but this year I was really disorganized and hadn't prepared anything. Fortunately Jane Asher has a very quick and easy recipe which requires no baking what so ever. 

Perfect for parties, BBQs and as it keeps it in the freezer it lasts a long time.My only warning is the jelly goes a bit hard in the freezer so if it isn't getting used in the one sitting remove the jelly before putting it back in the freezer.

I went for a Raspberry Ripple cake but I think this would be delicious with chocolate swiss rolls and mint choc chip ice cream.

3 Large Swiss Rolls
2 Litres Soft Ice Cream
3 Different Coloured Packets of Jelly
1 Quantity Butter Cream

  1. Cut all the swiss rolls into slices approx 5mm thick. Line the base of a springform tin with the slices, and then add a layer round the side.
  2. Fill with the ice cream, making sure it is well pushed down. Cover the top with more swiss roll, then wrap in clingfilm and freeze. This can be done a couple of weeks ahead.
  3. Make up the jellies separately but using only half the amount of water for a firmer set. Pour each jelly into a non-stick cake tin / swiss roll tin and chill to set.
  4. Put a sheet of baking parchment on a board or tray. When the jelly is set, turn it out on to the baking parchment and return to the fridge until all 3 colours are ready.
  5. Cut jelly shapes with cutters and keep them on a tray lined with baking parchment in the fridge until needed. This can be done a few days ahead.
  6. Undo the side of the cake tin and remove the ice cream cake. Put it on the cake board and cover it with a thin layer of butter cream, using a hot palette knife to smooth it evenly. Keep the cake in the freezer until ready to serve.
  7. When ready, position the jelly shapes and serve the cake immediately.