Tag Archives: Baking

Baking Not Bad Brownies

24 Jun

The idea of a recipe that only need THREE INGREDIENTS appeals to me. Because there’s obviously a lot less chance of me mucking it up. And so I was keen to try these Nutella Brownies that only need: Nutella, Eggs and Flour – that’s right, just three things.

How hard could it be? Well not very is the answer, in fact even though they were rather basic they were easy and delicious and worked for me. So how did I manage to find a way to ruin it all? Read on…b1

Nutella, flour and eggs mixed in a bowl. I know – so far so good right?b2Mixture spread into a greased dish and baked for 15 minutes:b3Delicious brownies as a result. Soft and springy and edible.


Buoyed up by my success and the surprise of my family who actually ate them. I made some more the very next day but – of course – thought I would add to them. Maybe try and make them a bit healthier. I replaced one of the eggs with mashed banana and some of the Nutella with oats.

Thinking I would still have the basic success and taste of the Nutella brownies but with a hint of oaty banana goodness I made this unappetising looking mix to start:

b4My son thought it looked like bird spit and I have to say I didn’t disagree with him. However I was still reasonably confident at this stage.

After 15minutes in the oven sadly I didn’t pull out the same sweet and delicious brownies I thought I had mastered and made my own. They were tasteless and damp and quite dense. How could such innocent tweaks make such a difference?

Well I suppose if you already have a recipe that’s as simple as only having three ingredients then maybe you shouldn’t muck about with it?

They’re still in the cake tin, no one wants them. I shall stick to the originals next time. If there is one.






Cheese Stake That Vampire

16 Sep

I’m a bit of a fan girl, if I love a film or TV show I’ll happily buy into the whole thing. I have a Game of Thrones mug (Lannister House of course), Breaking Bad t-shirts and once dressed up as Harry Potter to get into a midnight bookstore opening. So I was very happy to be sent the True Blood: Drinks & Bites Cookbook.
It will go marvellously well with my Merlotte’s Bar & Grill Waitress t-shirt and ‘I Want To Do Bad Things With You’ shopping bag (don’t judge me).
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Mummy Pig Bakes Cakes

13 May

I’m not a fan of Peppa Pig.
It’s nothing personal and I think Daddy Pig is quite cool, I just can’t bear her terribly squeaky voice and the fact I had to sit through hours of her shows for years. She’s no where near as bad as that awful Lola though from Charlie & Lola, what a selfish sister she is? Totally ruined Charlie’s birthday party.
Anyway, I digress, my son used to be a big fan of Peppa and her family, and as you know is also a big fan of making cupcakes, we do it often.  So when we saw this kit in the supermarket I thought it was worth a go:
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Surplus Chocolate Cupcakes Success

18 Apr

Sometimes things go right, but also sometimes too right…

We had loads of chocolate left over from Easter, and as none of us are great chocolate snackers so I thought I would make cupcakes out of the remaining eggs. Even if they were inedible at least my son and I would have some fun and he’d get to see the food being used up.

I used a basic cupcake recipe and because I was expecting the inevitable disaster (as can be seen here and here) decided to quarter the ingredients so we only had six to ruin.

I let my son scatter the mix with some buttons from his little kiddy eggs. I melted the rest of the chocolate into a liquid using my own cobbled together version of a bain-marie:
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Hot Cross Rock Cake Drop Scone Buns For Easter

2 Apr

Easter. Another excuse to make and eat lots of things that you wouldn’t any other week of the year.
Such as Mini Eggs, Simnel Cake (what is that anyway?)

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and hot cross buns!
I’ve never made hot cross buns before, and after this week I probably never will again…
I had seen others touting their seasonal wares on my various social media outlets and thought I should give it a go too. So Easter Saturday my son and I set to in the kitchen using a recipe posted by Nigella. I promised him by that afternoon we would have some lovely hot, fragrant steamy buns to break over our tea time drinks.

I started off following the recipe to the letter, infusing warm milk with cardamom and orange zest (although I had forgotten the cloves – so maybe not exactly to the letter) and then adding it to eggs, flour and dried fruit to make a dough.
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Birthday Cake Ache

6 Nov

Birthdays! A cause for celebration? A chance to make someone happy? A time to try hard for the ones you love?

Or in my case grit your teeth and have a go at making a cake…
Regular readers will know the problem I have with celebratory cakes and how I usually solve that problem – see here and here.  (Basically get someone else to make them)

But this week was not only my husband’s birthday but our wedding anniversary, so I felt I should make a bit of an effort and attempt his favourite cake – the coffee and walnut.

Now, I will be honest, I have never made a two-tier cake. Is that what you call one made of two halves with stuff in the middle? Basically using two cake tins? Of course I wanted to make a proper coffee and walnut cake so out came two tins…

All the recipes I found were about the same. Whip up a cake mix but add some kind of coffee flavouring and chopped walnuts.
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Gingerbread Son

15 Oct

Look at this Gingerbread Man:
Not bad right?
Not burnt, not broken.
Quite well shaped, actually recognisable as a human

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Good positioning of the currant facial features and buttons.
A nice chewy texture.

Made by my four-year old son.
Not me.

Diving into a Sussex Pond – a drunken tale in two parts

16 Sep

Let’s get this out of the way straight away, I was drunk when I made this. DRUNK!

Not ‘tipsy drunk’, and not ‘let me tell you a story drunk’ but properly ‘reel around the fountain before getting down onto the train tracks drunk’.
And like most who get that drunk I became invincible, capable of ANYTHING.
Most normal, invincible drunks turn into superheroes and get on the roof of the nearest tall building to see if they can fly – I too try something I am unable to do in regular life: cook something extraordinarily difficult…

I had been focussing on the notoriously complicated and completely out of my league Sussex Pond Pudding for a while. I considered that because I lived in Sussex (and born in the county) I should at least try it once. I also love lemon puddings and suet puddings and the Sussex Pond is a combination of both so… win, win.

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One Year On… A Poem!

21 Aug

So Alice Can’t Cook is one year old.
It’s the first birthday of my blog and if I may be so bold?
I shall celebrate with a rhyme or three…
Remembering the best and worst of my cookery

So I’ve served raw eggs to an unborn baby
Made a risotto so solid it could have plastered a wall, maybe
My roasted vegetables just won’t roast
But now and again I can have a bit of a boast

My self-imposed Veg Box Challenge was really trying
The hideous shrunken-head celeriac had me crying
I created some fruit compote that ended up in the sink
And a toxic hummous that kicked up a stink

Jamie Oliver’s Fritters won the vote but still got burnt
I’ve been a student but still haven’t learnt
There has been SO much trouble with eggs and rice
But thankfully I have a failsafe dish that usually turns out quite nice

Toad in the Hole nearly burnt the kitchen down
And even an easy kids recipe made me frown
A slimy festive turkey had me skidding across the floor
But my Christmas kit cakes had them crying out for more

Just don’t talk to me about curry!
I either make it like soup or a nasty slurry
My pretend birthday cakes reveal me to be a bad mother
But this years castle creation has made me think not to bother!

I’ve made my dog sick and my son scream
But weirdly my really difficult salmon dish turned into a dream
In the past year I’ve laughed and I’ve cried
I’ve served crap food but still no one has died.
Thanks for reading this year, for all your helpful comments and the laughs!
Alice Can’t Cook (still)…
But She’s Getting Better x

A Half Decent Banana Bread

18 Jul

My son is still insistent that I cook with him on a regular basis, honestly I don’t know why he still bothers with me. A classic case of the journey being more important than the outcome obviously. But I mean bless him I have made him cry countless times thanks to my bad baking.

This week he wanted to make a big cake, I had some bananas going brown in the fruit bowl and you know how I feel about my fruit surfeit… so Banana Bread it was!

I found a fairly easy looking recipe online, but this also used plain flour and after my hideous sunken cakes from last week I decided to add absolutely LOADS of baking powder, I mean at least three spoonfuls and then a little bit more. No, this banana baby was rising up out of that tin. (Unlike my previous attempt at a loaf, oh and this one too)

Everything was going well until I had to add some lemon juice to some milk before adding to eggs and butter. Was it meant to curdle like this?
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