These paprika candied nuts are dangerously good. Ridiculously delicious and moreish. I know they aren’t technically baking, but they’re good enough to bend the blogs rules for! This batch disappeared very quickly with very few people involved in their consumption. These are perfect to nibble before a dinner party, while you’re watching a movie or to bring on a picnic. Pop them in a nice jar or bag and they also make a super cute edible gift.

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Wholemeal Soda Bread

Wholemeal soda bread is a favourite  recipe of mine. It is possibly the quickest and easiest bread to make. It also includes one of my most raved about ingredients, buttermilk. I am continuing on my crusade to encourage more people to bake and cook with this delicious product. It is tangy and rich, and incredibly low in fat. Some people use an egg in their soda bread, but I find a rich, thick buttermilk has enough flavour and depth to stand alone.

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Fruit Soda Bread and Butter Pudding

‘Rankin Selection Fruit Soda Bread and Butter Pudding is a recipe by my first guest blogger Paul Rankin. Oh yes, I just casually said Paul Rankin. You see, when Northern Ireland’s first ever Michelin Starred chef asks to write a blog post for your little baking blog, you do two things. First you check that someone is not playing some kind of cruel joke on you, and then you gleefully accept their offer! Rankin Soda Bread and Potato Farls kept homesickness at bay for the years that I studied in the UK, so I have a nostalgia for this recipe. It’s perfect for the week that is in it and a great way to use Irish products. So, I’ll hand you over to Paul (Yes, Paul Rankin! I never thought I would see this day….)’ 

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Two tone granola is my favourite granola recipe. I feel a little like I need to defend my choices because granola recipes and preferences vary so much (so please excuse me if my tone seems somewhat combative!). For me, this is everything granola should be. It’s crumbly, oaty, fruity and nutty. It has hints of sweetness that comes from the fruit. The basic premise of this recipe that you make a base mix, split it, add different things to both halves and bake them separately. Then you can serve them together or separately.  The variety of the two mixes means that it doesn’t get monotonous, either because of combining them in a bowl or because you can eat a different one every morning! With yogurt , berries and maybe a squidge of honey, this is a totally delicious breakfast or snack. Continue reading

Having bought mini bundt tins, Spiced Red Velvet Bundt Cakes with Baked Cream Cheese Filling seemed like an obvious option. Yes, I know, I am a little obsessed with red velvet cake, but these little beauties will help you understand why. The hint of cinnamon really emphasised the chocolate flavour while the characteristic light crumb melted on your tongue. Throw in the excitement and luxury of a baked cream cheese filling and you’re onto a winner.

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Courgette, Lemon & Elderflower Drizzle Cake really is a delicious treat. The combination of courgette, lemon and elderflower in a cake is one that I hope will appeal to gardeners! I grew up on an organic farm and the realities of seasonal foods were an everyday normality for me. More than that, the relationship between the soil and the land around me with the food I ate was a natural and obvious connection. I believe that my interest in cooking stemmed at least in part from a desire to find ways to use up a glut of that eggs or make something of the crab apples growing in the hedgerows.

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Crystallised flowers and petals  are the perfect decorations I think. They have the simplicity and beauty of nature, with a  little touch of glamour. Sometimes I like to just scatter the unadulterated petals on top of a cake…I love vivid pink against a dark chocolate cake, but often this gentle process of crystallising flowers and petals is the perfect finishing touch to a baked delight.  petals on cake Continue reading

(This recipe for cranberry, orange & ginger mincemeat was also featured on Getrealirishtours.com)

When I made this cranberry, orange & ginger mincemeat , the house was instantly transformed by the festive smells. People were trickling into the kitchen and even the collection of ingredients piled on the table spoke of the warmth and familiarity of a traditional Christmas. This recipe is, however, a twist on a classic, using the tart cranberry flavour in fresh and dried forms to offset the sweetness of the orange and other dried fruits. Cranberries are so delicious and I need to use them as much as I can during their short season! I can’t resist dried figs either – they are such a luxurious touch, especially when they are all bathed together in cherry brandy. The Christmas smells really come from the aromatic fresh ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.

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