Take a banana malt milkshake with a side of cookies, then convert that into a cake. Read More
These malted milk treats have a beautiful fudgy flavour thanks to the malted milk powder that I use in the baking process. There are a couple of brand names if you’re looking to pick it up for yourself. The ones that are easiest to find in the supermarket are Ovaltine & Horlicks.
Allegedly, the malted milk that I like is used in a large Irish diner-style chain of restaurants for their malted milkshake. Ever wanted to make one yourself at home? Simply add a couple of tablespoons to some quality partially melted vanilla ice cream.
The first thing you could do with the malted milk is to include them in some food-themed gifts for Christmas.
That includes some fudge cookies in a jar inspired by The Pink Whisk:
Also some malted hot chocolate inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe from an old show of his. Both gifts will go down splendidly well.
What will be a huge hit though have been my malted milk malteaser cookies. As per usual with my cookies, the dough can be chilled in advance and baked within 3 days or frozen for up to a month before baking. This recipe makes approximately 20 large cookies which are chewy in the middle and crunchy on the outside.
Ingredients Method Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celcius and line 2 baking trays with greaseproof baking paper. Cream the milk extract, caster sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Beat in the 2 eggs until fully combined then add the flour and baking powder and mix again. Finally crush the malteasers in your hands before stirring them into the cookie dough. Using a dessert spoon, spoon the mixture directly onto the tray, leaving a lot of space between each cookie. I normally bake only 4 on each tray so you will need to rotate your trays, however it’s rare you’d bake the whole batch all at once. That is, unless your step-daughter decides to stick her fingers in each of the cookies on one tray as soon as they come out of the oven. Ahem. Bake in the oven for between 9-12 minutes. As soon as they start to turn golden brown, remove the trays and leave the cookies on the baking paper for 10 minutes before gently moving with a spatula to a cooling rack. The cookies will keep for up to 7 days in a sealed container kept in a cool, dry location but honestly I’d refrigerate or freeze your dough and bake these cookies fresh.
make ahead cookies
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celcius and line 2 baking trays with greaseproof baking paper.
Cream the milk extract, caster sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Beat in the 2 eggs until fully combined then add the flour and baking powder and mix again. Finally crush the malteasers in your hands before stirring them into the cookie dough.
Using a dessert spoon, spoon the mixture directly onto the tray, leaving a lot of space between each cookie. I normally bake only 4 on each tray so you will need to rotate your trays, however it’s rare you’d bake the whole batch all at once. That is, unless your step-daughter decides to stick her fingers in each of the cookies on one tray as soon as they come out of the oven. Ahem.
Bake in the oven for between 9-12 minutes. As soon as they start to turn golden brown, remove the trays and leave the cookies on the baking paper for 10 minutes before gently moving with a spatula to a cooling rack. The cookies will keep for up to 7 days in a sealed container kept in a cool, dry location but honestly I’d refrigerate or freeze your dough and bake these cookies fresh.
I’ve had to test a lot of brownies in the past few weeks as I tried to refine some new recipes. To cut a long story short I ended up making a lower fat brownie mixture by accident. Little did I know how much of a hit the lower fat brownie would be!
I don’t know what it is but the cold weather we’ve been having lately has brought on the urge to bake up sweet treats. It helps when I have fantastic ingredients to work with. Just before Christmas Lily O’Brien’s got in touch and asked would I like to try out baking with their chocolate buttons which come in large bags. Let me tell you those bags are HUGE.
a bit a lot of a strawberry jam glut here. Imagine that! I ran out of jam jars and space to store them in, leaving me with the jam in the bottom of the pan. It’s my moral obligation to make sure that the jam doesn’t go to waste so it might as well go to waist.
Daft puns aside.
If you’re going to eat something with sugar in it, eat a bun, not a cupcake. Based on my own expert (cough) visual inspections, a bun is about half the size of a cupcake. Meaning they are easier to portion and just eat the one. Cupcakes are lovely but flipping huge and a bun is just the right size. Read More
By special request, I’ve collated some of my best apple recipes, along with a new recipe for an open apple pie, in the one spot. This will make it easy for that somebody who has a glut and there are a couple of savoury options as well as sweet. My big secret with apples is that I use them instead of a sweetener such as sugar or even honey in recipes. They boost the flavour in a sauce or a soup and I even use the peel to make my jams and marmalades set. It’s no wonder they are one of my favourite seasonal and Irish fruits!
*Cough* It is World Pi Day after all… ;)If you’re wondering what to do with your apples, here are some ideas for you to consider:
I love a regular Victoria Sponge but I’ve recently started to make buttermilk cake as an alternative. Buttermilk cake has a lighter texture than an all butter cake and just as simple to make. With the addition of this warm white chocolate ganache, the buttermilk cake becomes a serious treat. As the ganache is sweet, I’ve lowered the sugar in the cake mix. I also used this basic cake mix to make some banana cake last week. It was more bread-ish than cake-ish if you get what I mean. Still it was the perfect snack for my elevenses – a time when I find I’m dipping in energy during the day.
Meanwhile over here at my desk I’m finalising the arrangements to speak at a special conference for International Women’s Day on a topic close to my heart. I’m very excited to take part and as soon as the details are published I’ll let you know in case you’d like to come along! Read More
As the elder lemon in the family (who is studying for her Leaving Cert this year) started back to school over a week ago, it doesn’t feel like the 1st of September at all. It feels like we are already hurtling through the school year towards Hallowe’en! Still today marked the start of term for many Irish students and I’m back with a recipe for blueberry muffins that all my family love.
Wholemeal flour gives these blueberry muffins a lovely crunchy texture. The blueberries, paired with the crumbly oats on top make for snack perfection. Don’t be limited by blueberries though, use whatever fresh or frozen fruit you have to hand. My kids love these muffins made with over-ripe bananas, which is a great way to use up fruit that might seem past its best. Read More
Apparently simnel cake is traditionally eaten on Mothering Sunday. I have to say I never remember eating simnel cake then, but it always featured on our Easter table as I was growing up.
Technically simnel cake is a similar mixture to a Christmas cake, and has some of the same flavours. However unlike Christmas cake, you won’t find any sickly sweet white icing (be it fondant or royal), and the almond paste is baked into the cake, with a thin layer on top that’s caramelised under the grill before serving.
The thing is though, simnel cake is beautiful but a flipping heavy cake to make. It is prone to collapsing in the middle it’s so heavy. I’m cheating with these simnel cupcakes because they are so darn easy to make, bake, and then even freeze if you want to. I have cheated twice I’m afraid (sorry), because I used some ready-to-roll marzipan to make life even easier on myself. Read More
I’ve come over a bit romantic and have been revisiting my favourite recipes just in time for Valentine’s Day. This is not sugar-free, gluten-free or fat-free. This is a whole sugar, fat, wheat in your face kind of dessert that is perfect with a spoon of whipped cream or even eaten warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
I don’t want to be virtuous all the time, everything is okay in moderation.
Of course the raspberries are frozen as they’re out of season, but that’s okay! Read More
This morning a mist rolled down from the Mourne Mountains to the sea and enveloped our town in swirls of myth. I was half expecting to see Queen Maeve and her warriors charge past the front door as we piled into the car to get to school. It was the kind of mist that deadens the sound of engines, it made me feel like we were the only 2 people in the world walking home today. Just the small boy and I, wrapped against the frost and fog, racing back to get a hot mug of tea. Read More
In my last blogpost I shared a vlog of my own journey of getting fitter and losing weight. I am depending on nobody else to lose weight for me, or to help me get fit. It does help though that there is somebody else working alongside me, towards a similar goal. My husband and I are extremely competitive with one another so when he suggested he could do with getting more active himself it made it far easier. This morning he got a major boost where he lost enough weight to say he was the lightest he had been in over 15 years. So far he’s lost a total of 30 lbs.
Flipping heck! That’s a lot of weight!
It’s time to celebrate and this is recipe for sugar free brownies that I tested quite a lot last week. You will need either a food processor to make it or one of those mini-chopper gadgets that a stick blender fits into. It’s all-in-one so it’s nice and quick to make. I hope you like them, at 128kcal per portion they’re also low GI.
In the picture above you’ll see some cocoa nibs. I threw in an extra tablespoon of nibs into my mixture to increase the chocolate flavour without increasing the sugar. This is entirely optional though so feel free to leave it out! Read More
“An é seo folláin?”/”Is this wholesome?” My 5-year-old requires absolute honesty when we go shopping together. He won’t buy anything unless it’s “folláin” (the Irish word for wholesome). As I call out items from the list and he wanders around the supermarket; he’ll pick up items, and check the wholesome factor. It wasn’t always like this. A couple of years ago I wouldn’t have been able to walk the gauntlet that is the biscuit aisle, or the chocolate aisle, without picking up biscuits and treats. Now products that don’t pass his test get put back and he meanders on, scrutinising the shelves.
If I don’t buy the sweet treats then we don’t eat them. I confess that I find this exceptionally difficult at about 8pm when I make my last cup of tea of the day and crave something to dunk. I feel like I should reward myself for making it to the end of the day with the same number of children that I started out with. Every now and again the 2-year-old asks for some chocolate but he’s easily distracted with a square of bread and jam. You see it’s not that we don’t eat sugar, we just don’t eat as much as we used to.
The stand mixer has recently been relegated from the kitchen and I’ve stopped baking cakes every week. Read More