Month: March 2014

Labour Day and ‘that’ peach pie


PEACH PIE RECIPE A few weeks ago, along with a bunch of mummy and foodie bloggers I was invited to see a preview of the new film ‘Labour Day’. I have to admit I was a bit miffed as to how I was going to link this film to my baking blog. Then about 30 minutes into the film I got it. It was the peach pie.


 ‘Labor Day is about 13-year-old Henry Wheeler, who struggles to be the man of his house and care for his reclusive mother Adele (Kate Winslet) while confronting all the pangs of adolescence. On a back-to-school shopping trip, Henry and his mother encounter Frank Chambers (Josh Brolin), a man both intimidating and clearly in need of help, who convinces them to take him into their home and later is revealed to be an escaped convict. The events of this long Labor Day weekend will shape them for the rest of their lives.’

You can see the trailer here.

Now, I’m not going to give the game away and tell you the whole film (including the ending like some bloggers have done! I mean really?!?!) but I am going to share this amazing looking pie with you.

In the film Frank simply throws this pie together with a bucket full of over ripe peaches and it’s a really sensual and romantic moment (did you watch the trailer! OMG!). There’s lots of hands in the squishy peaches, all fingers entwined and gentle caressing – think Ghost and that pottery scene. Frank says that the trick to making this pie was putting a pinch of salt in the pastry and then before he added the peaches to the pastry (which he had baked blind) he sprinkled the secret ingredient – tapioca! Have you ever seen that done before? Me neither.

Peach pieBut what really grabbed me was the way he literally piled the peaches sky high in the dish and covered them in pastry. I mean I would never think to put such a lot of peaches in a dish like that. He was teaching Kate Winslett and her son that you don’t have to worry about it being perfect and tears in the pastry and bits crumbling off don’t matter, just press that torn piece back over the peaches and bake it. Let me tell you, it looked so delish I wanted to bake it right there and then. But then I am a bit of a sucker for a romantic moment.

Peach pie recipeSo the next day I tried to recreate that pie at home and it was pretty close. I’m not a huge fan of peaches – and as they are out of season I had to use nectarines instead and they weren’t exactly ripe- in fact they were rock solid! I also didn’t peel them – which I regretted as the skin stayed hard and I think it would have tasted even better had I done that. But it tasted pretty amazing any way. But just look at it!

Labour day Peach pie recipeLabour day stunning peach pie recipe

Shortcrust pastry

  • 250g plain flour
  • 140g cold butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 egg white – for brushing the pies before baking
  • pinch of salt

The Filling

  • sprinkle of tapioca
  • 8 ripe peaches peeled and cut into slices
  • 50g brown sugar
  • egg white for white wash
  1. Sieve the flour into a bowl. Cut up the butter into small cubes then rub into the flour to form a breadcrumb consistency.
  2. Mix the water and egg yolks together then pour into a well in the bowl and mix into the flour/egg mix with a knife. Add a pinch of salt
  3. Keep mixing until well blended but don’t over mix or the dough will become tough and you’ll loose that light, light texture.
  4. Bring all the crumbs together with your hands then wrap the dough in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Heat your oven to 180ºC (Fan oven160ºC).
  6. Roll out the dough and place in your dish.Scrunch up a piece of baking paper then flatten it out and place over the pastry. Fill with Ceramic Baking Beans(or rice if you don’t have baking beans). Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. place the cut up peaches in a bowl and add the sugar. Use your hands to cover the peaches with the sugar- this is actually fun- I love the squidgy bit!!
  8. Remove the pastry dish from the oven and take out the baking paper and baking beans – careful those beans get really hot!
  9. Sprinkle tapioca into the base before adding the huge pile of peaches in the dish and covering with more rolled out pastry. make a few holes of the steam to escape and brush the whole of the top of the pie with egg white so you get that nice deep brown shiny case.
  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.
  11. Serve immediately with a dollop of ice cream. Yummarge!


I have to thank my taste testers – The Poopah and Theoda who both enjoyed the pie. I think this would make a really great pie to take to someone’s house. It’s got rustic wow factor.

And the film? I have to say that I really enjoyed it. It moved at a good slow pace. You really got to feel each situation and emotion. It is a girly film and I have to say I was in tears – big fat tears, but I’m not going to spoil it for you, I’m just going to say that I want to see it again and that’s always a good sign.

Labour Day is out in cinemas now (March 2014)






My fave baking bloggers Interview: Frugal Feeding

Frugal Feeding Blood Orange Cake
Blood Orange Cake :

Meet Nick from Frugal from FrugalFeeding His is one of the first blogs I ever started following. I remember seeing his Welsh cakes whilst sitting on a train platform heading into London wishing I was back home so I could make them immediately, melt some butter on top and devour right away! I also made his tiramisu for New years eve last year and it went down a storm.

Although the main theme for the blog is obviously frugal food that isn’t why I’ve been following him for years. It’s the amazing variety of dishes from egg fried rice to sour dough French toast. You never know what is coming next but I’ll tell you what, it always looks delicious and it’s always a really easy to follow recipe with ingredients you can find in your supermarket easily.

Nick kindly took the time to answer a few questions.

 What made you start your start your blog

Being a poor student and wanting to save some money while still eating well. It helped a lot and I actually started eating a lot better!

 How long have you been blogging for?

Since January 2011

How did you get into cooking and baking?

It’s always played an important role in my family – my Grandmother and Mother were/are great cooks – so it’s kind of carried on from there.

Who inspires you most in the cooking arena and why?

I can’t really narrow this down to any one person. No one person really inspires me. It’s more about the whole blogosphere, be it on Pinterest or the masses of other blogs I follow.

What’s your favorite cook/ baking blog?

Again, it’s difficult to really single one out. Whenever people ask me this I tend to choose different ones. Today it’s going to be Cooking in Sens. Written by a lovely woman called Rosemary, this blog features some wonderful food (not always or even usually frugal) and fantastic photography.

What do you do for a living?

I’m a copywriter for an organization called Localworld. So, I do things like write SEO friendly copy for businesses around the UK.

What’s the best part of blogging?

It helps me improve my writing/photography/website skills, amongst other things.

Tell me about your Blood Orange cake recipe?

This Blood Orange Cake (above) is topped with a simple cream cheese and sugar mixture. It’s divine, simple, light and delicious. You can’t really go wrong. The orange slices in the middle add a fantastic, refreshing element to the whole cake.

What’s been your most successful post?

My recipe for Mocha Mousse is by far and away my most popular recipe. It’s simple and contains a lot of chocolate – that’s the key.

What do you do for fun/ to relax?

I cycle a lot, anywhere from 30 to 130 miles in one go. We actually have a 200 mile ride planned for April, hopefully.

Are you a Tea or coffee drinker? 

Coffee. And lots of it.

 Where is your favorite place to go out to eat? 

There’s this little pub/restaurant in Bristol called no.1 Harbourside. You guessed it, it’s near the harbour and serves up some amazing seasonal food for very little money. You even get a free bowl of soup as a starter, free of charge!

What kitchen gadget could you not live without and why?

My all-in-one stick blender. From hummus to soup and peanut butter it can accommodate any sort of blending/food processing.

(Emma here- This one is great )

What’s your fail safe dinner party dessert?

Again, my mocha mousse – you can’t really go wrong. Though tiramisu is also a good choice and it’s perhaps even simpler.

What’s your guilty food pleasure?

Marmite and soft cheese spread together on toast. I don’t really know if that’s guilty, but it is amazing.

What is your best baking tip?

Be patient.


Big thanks to Nick for taking the time to answer my questions and for sharing his amazing Blood Orange Cake recipe with us. You can find Nick at  Be sure to check it out and say hello.


Get discounted cake supplies from my favorite cake shop

Hello all,

I have some great news for you today. You know how I am always talking about those lovely cake ladies at my local cake decorating shop, saying how they are the font of all cake decorating knowledge? Well guess what? They have given me a super, duper discount code for all your baking, decorating, sugarpasting, cookie cutting, drum board covering, cake box delivering and ribbon tying needs!

cake craft discount voucher

Now, just so you know this is a ONE use offer so make sure you get everything you need on your first shop! But let me just tell you- if you need anything for cake decorating Cake Craft World has it and not only that, they have it in a lot of different colours and sizes too!!! So, go have fun and don’t forget to add the code at the checkout for your 10% discount. There’s no time limit so if you don’t need anything at the mo remember to bookmark this post so you can come back to it. Or better yet subscribe to receive regular posts so you can find the link to the right of this post.

Have fun bakers


The disclaimer part: This is a brand spanking new affiliate link. Every time anyone buys anything with this code I get a small commission.  I wouldn’t recommend anyone or any product I didn’t whole heartedly feel I would use myself. 

Feel the cake fear and do it anyway!

Cake disastersI want to share something with you. I get scared before I make any new cake. There. I said it! It’s not a confidence thing or an experience thing. It’s a perfectionist thing. I want each cake to be worthy of a customer at Fortnum and Mason. I want the birthday boy to say ‘Wow’. I want the anniversary couple to say “It’s too good to cut” and that’s the fear that holds me back each time.

Let’s chat

I’ve had loads and loads of new comments and questions on the blog this week on different posts from the past, some about measurements, some about how to sugarpaste a specific design and most had this common fear. The aprehension we amateurs all feel just before we are about to slice a cake in half- “Eeeek I hope it cuts level” or shape it, – “Is it going to be even on both sides?” (in my case probably not!). “How on earth am I going to get the arms to stick on the sides without them falling off”. “How many road bumps are there on the way to the party?”. With a cake in the boot it’s a very slow ride – hands up who’s been there, done that? But mostly the fear comments this week been about baking big cakes for the first time.

So, I’m putting it out there. It’s a fear of the unknown and we’ve all been there. It doesn’t go away with experience. I’ve been making cakes for 4- 5 years now and I still get nervous when I have a new or tricky design to work out. But what I will say is I have learnt to plan waaaay in advance (Tim stop laughing. I said plan not start!) and that you have to actually cut the cake to get the shape not just stand there and stare at it so ‘Just do it’. You have to slice a cake in two to add buttercream so,  ‘Just do it‘. Just don’t think about what could go wrong and get that knife out and slice! Do it, do it , DO IT!!!

So, what are your biggest fears when cake baking, slicing and decorating? I’d love to know. Why not post a comment below and share your fears?

Oh and by the way the pics above are just a few of my flops, wonky cakes and cakes with bits that have fallen off on route – wedding cake included!!


  1.  My poor nephew Asher! It always seems to be his cakes that get the rough treatment. This is the castle cake I made for him last year. I couldn’t get the turrets to stick and stand upright and by the time I had cut it out there wasn’t as much cake as I wanted. This year he got a wonky Legoman. It’s a good job he loves me. 
  2. Dahlia’s ‘lets not think this through and try to deliver a cake already on a cake stand cake!’ I only had to drive one mile. I only got around the corner! 
  3. My little nephew Lawrence’s 1st birthday cake – steps to come soon. I couldn’t get the face to look cute. He just looked angry! 
  4. This is a coffee cake I made when my sister held a tea and cake charity afternoon. Hot cake + buttercream = big mess!!
  5. I made this cake for my sister in a big rush and the diamond ring and box were far too wonky! 
  6. How deep is this cake? Not at all! 
  7. Before I learnt how to stop a cake from doming. I used to have a lot of waste or should that be increased waist! 
  8. Shortbread. It’s my enemy when a mould is involved !!!!!
  9. This was a cake I made for my mum to take to her quilting class to celebrate  her 40th Wedding anniversary. Although I love the way the cake looks the ’40’ isn’t central or straight. It bothers me every time I see this pic. 
  10. The anniversary cake I made for my parents on their 40th Wedding anniversary for our family meal. It was supposed to be a replica of their wedding cake. Can you tell what it is? No it’s not a letter ‘U’. It’s a horse shoe…… honest! 


Yummy pancake recipes for Shrove Tuesday

Pancake recipesHow much do you like pancakes? We love them in our house- well me and the girls do anyway and I am sure that’s due to the amount of honey and maple syrup we put on them! We like all flavours and even when I sneak fruit into them the girls still love them so I thought I’d share my recipes for this year with you all.

But, before I get to the pancakes I have to back up a bit.

Have you ever walked through a supermarket and seen some electrical kitchen gadgets and thought

“Oh I could really do with a new blender/microwave/ kettle/ toaster- but how do I know this own brand stuff  is up to scratch? I’ll have to go home and Google some reviews!”  

Well, I know I have. I’ve walked past this hand held mixer in Sainsburys so many times but something was always holding me back. I think it was the desire to have a Kitchenaid or Dualit mixer – a named brand. So, when I got an email from Sainsburys about pancake day I knew it was fate! They sent me the mixer to give a ‘test run’ and I have to say it was love at fist whisk.

Why is this Sainsburys five speed hand held mixer a winner?

To start with it’s fast. I mean REALLY fast. Even speed No.1 whizzes round at 100 miles an hour. Sainsburys hand held mixerIt also has a turbo button for when you want to add speed for just a second.  It’s easy to use and has a really sturdy base for when the whisks are left dripping over a bowl. Mixers I’ve had in the past have been really unstable and needed propping up which is really annoying.

It comes with stainless steel beaters for cake mixes and to turn egg whites into stiff peaks in minutes as well as dough hooks to make tasty breads. I can’t wait to give it a go with cakes. So far I’ve only made pancake batter with it and I got a bit carried away. You know what it’s like when you have a new toy? You do what you need to do. Enjoy it. Then look around for what else you can whisk- hence I have three pancake recipes for you today!

So I am seriously impressed with the  Sainsburys Kitchen Collection 5 Speed Hand Mixer, £29.99 It was so much better than I expected and at this price a bargain!

Pancake recipesApple and cinnamon pancake recipe 

  • 1/2 pink milk
  • 150g (1 cup) Self Raising flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Apple- peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • A little oil for the frying pan

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well blended. Heat up your frying pan then place a little amount of batter in the centre. Leave to cook until the edges are done and the middle looks almost done. You will get a few bubbles throughout the pancake. That’s when to flip it and give it a minute or two on the other side.

Pile ’em up and enjoy!

Banana and Honey pancakes

  • 1/2 pink milk
  • 190g (1 ¼ cup) Self Raising flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 banana mashed
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • A little oil for the frying pan

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well blended. Heat up your frying pan then place a little amount of batter in the centre. Leave to cook until the edges are done and the middle looks almost done. These pancakes are quite thick so cook them up on a lower heat for a little longer but watch that they don’t burn. They’ll be a bit squidgy when they are cooked and really hot!

Blueberry and choc chip pancake recipe

  • 1/2 pink milk
  • 150g (1 cup) Self Raising flour
  • 1 egg
  • 50g choc chips – I used dark but anything goes
  • 100 blueberries – crushed just a little so they can be covered in batter
  • A little oil for the frying pan

Place the milk, flour and egg in a bowl and whisk till blended. Add the blueberries and choc chips and blend again. Heat your frying pan till moderately hot and add some batter to the middle. Once the edges start to cook through turn the pancake over. The choc chips do burn quite quickly so keep a close eye on them. Once done remove and carefully wipe the frying pan with some oiled kitchen paper. You’ll need to clean the frying pan after each pancake – but trust me, it’s worth it. You end up with a moist, chocolately tangy pancake. These were definitely my favourite!

I made these pancakes yesterday, placed them on a plate and covered them in cling film then popped them in the fridge. This morning we had some for breakfast. I popped them in the microwave to heat them through (just for 10 seconds). They were just as delicious. Don’t try and be clever like I did this morning and put them in the toaster! Let’s just say it doesn’t work!!!!!!


Happy pancake day bakers




Disclaimer: The product in this post was provided by Sainsburys for review. All thoughts and opinions and entirely my own 

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