Saturday, 30 November 2013

honey, ginger and tea cake with poppyseed icing

I just kinda made this recipe up on the spot last night, it was absolutely delicious though so I thought I'd share it! Plus I want to cram in as many Christmas recipes as I can before it's over! I was pretty surprised that the photos came out at all because I was taking them at 4:30 and the sun had gone down and dark was setting in very quickly, twas very annoying indeed, anyhoo it is delicious.

So I was kinda thinking about gingerbread men to back but I couldn't be bothered with the fun yet pro-longed hastle of icing them all. I then thought about making tea bread and then though of mixing the two up and adding in some honey which hakes it sweeter but still not too sweet, it's also surprisingly light and the poppy seed icing has a really nice texture and just takes great with the ginger.

while making the cake I was thinking about putting in some dried fruit to make it more like tea bread, raisins, currents and dried cranberries would be SO delicious in it. But we had none. 
Secondly afterwards I thought it might be nice to substitute some of the honey for 2 tablespoons of molasses or black treacle to make it more like gingerbready and heavier.

honey, ginger and tea cake with poppyseed icing(makes one 2lb loaf

  • 225g unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 100g dark muscovado sugar
  • 50g clear honey
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon on mixed spice
  • 150 ml strong tea
  • (see adaptations for extra ingredients) 
  • 125 grams of butter (room temp)
  • 225 grams of icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 50 grams of poppyseed
  1. preheat the oven to 160 oC/ 140 fan/ gas mark 3, grease and line a 2 lb loaf tin
  2. beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy before beating in the honey and eggs, add a few tablespoons of flour to stop it curdling
  3. fold in the flour, ginger and mixed spice, followed by the tea and pour into the tin
  4. put in the oven for 1 hour - 1hour 15 minutes depending on your oven
  5. leaf to cool while making the icing
  6. beat the butter and sugar together, add in the vanilla essence, beat again and finally the poppy seeds
  7. once the cake is cool spread on the icing
  8. grab a slice and store in an airtight container for 3-4 days

Monday, 25 November 2013

citrus, cinnamon and chocolate popcorn (crimbo approaching!)

I've had this post ready for about 2 months but never posted it cos I've needed the time! Plus there were a lot of photos to pick from and edit......

Today we got told the school has an OFSTED inspection (a test to see if our school is okay and is getting good results and stuff), you only get 24 hours warning so the school is in panic mode! Because of all this my french speaking exam has been cancelled which I was gonna spend the whole evening revising for........ so blogging is now the priority!


I got this cute Victorian sweet jar glass from a pound shop the other day.... I thought it was adorable

I think this popcorn was delicious because it made me feel all festive (even in September when I made it) and the orange reminds me of the Christingle where everyone has a orange with a red ribbon and a candle to represent the world, blood and Jesus. PLUS IT HAS CHOCOLATE IN IT. I also added in some cayenne pepper so it tasted kinda warming by spice and is the perfect pick-me-up snack as it lasts for at least 3 days in an air tight container and is tasty but light! (just what you need in the Christmas run up)

After I made the popcorn I decided to melt some dark chocolate before pouring it into a cake tin and sprinkling on chocolate and EDIBLE STARS!! The best decoration ever. I thought it would make a real homemade present for someone if you wrapped it up in cellophane.

citrus, cinnamon and chocolate popcorn(serves 6)


  • oil
  • 50 grams of popping corn
  • 5 tablespoons of finely grated dark chocolate 
  • 2 teaspoons of orange zest
  • zest of one orange
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 100 grams of dark chocolate (optional)
  1.  pour some oil into a wide but shallow pan, you want enough to cover the bottom so no popcorn sticks, let it heat
  2. once hot add the popping corn and put the lid on straight way! Leave on for 5 - 10 minutes shaking every so often before you only hear a pop once every 10 seconds, be careful when checking on the pop corn as it will be very hot and could fly out and hit your face
  3. take off the heat and add in all the other ingredients except the optional dark chocolate
  4. shake the pan very quickly so all the ingredients get distributed and melt over all the freshly popped corn making Christmas in a pan
  5. either eat straight away with your friends or turn into a edible present for someone
  6. bring a pan of water to a boil before simmering, in a heatproof bowl break the chocolate into pieces and set over the simmering water
  7. stir occasionally and once melted take from the heat
  8. line a square cake tin with grease proof paper (mine was about 8inch x 8inch) pour in the melted chocolate and scatter with popcorn
  9. leave to cool