Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Raspberry Muffins.

I recently spotted these delicious muffins on My Baking Addiction and immediately wanted to bake them. I had some blueberries and raspberries so I made some of each. I didn't get around to doing the glaze but they are so delicious and moist its hard to only have the one. I even made Ger take some to work so I wouldn't eat them all myself  lol!

Recipe for Raspberry/Blueberry Muffins


Makes 12




  • Zest of 2 lemons 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 1 1/3 cup fresh blueberries/raspberries


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin, or line with 12 paper muffin cups.
  2. In a bowl, combine the lemon zest and sugars. Mix the zest into the sugars until it is moist and fragrant.
  3. Cream together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugars until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla, beating to combine.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined. Fold in the Raspberries/blueberries. I used more berries than the recipe says,just be sure not to overload the mixture.
  5. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pan, filling the cups 2/3 full.
  6. Bake the muffins for 15 to 17 minutes, or until they’re a pale golden brown and a cake tester ( I use a skewer) comes out clean.

These really wont last long!


Shirley x

Monday, May 28, 2012

How to make wooden letters.

This is a total random post but I was so proud of my craftiness over the weekend,I felt the need to share.

My sister Aishling was doing up a playroom for her little boy and really wanted his name up on the wall. After searching all over the Internet,the cheapest she could get in Ireland with P&P was approx. €50 per letter!! Crazy! There probably is cheaper out there but we couldn't find it if there is!

So I decided to take it upon myself to get a bit crafty it couldn't be that hard after all............and it isn't :)

I started off on Microsoft word. Go into Word Art,decide what font you want and stretch the letter to fit the A4 page. Then simply cut your letters out.

I went to our local hardware shop and bought a sheet of mdf (3/4" thickness) and traced the letters onto the board. The mdf cost €20 and I only ended up using half of it. I bought a large sheet just in case I messed up some of the letters and had to re-do them,luckily that didn't happen :)

I must admit I had help,Ger cut the letters out using a jig saw and I sanded. Thanks G!

I had to do a little freehand with the "u" and "m" but wasn't too much trouble,just a lot of patience.I was so happy with the way they turned out and  Aishling was delighted with them.She cant decide whether to paint them or cover them with fabric. I'll pop a pic up when she decides and they are completely finished.

Hope ye all had a great weekend.

Shirley x

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Soccer ball cake.

A friend of mine asked me to do a cake for her OH whose a massive Manchester United fan. I automatically thought of a soccer ball cake. I don't own one of the soccer ball cake pans so I had to put my thinking cap on.

"How to make a Soccer Ball Cake?"


What you need

  • Chocolate Biscuit cake
  • Large heatproof bowl, greased
  • Buttercream
  • Fondant, black, white
  • Cake board
  • Edible glue


  1. Make up your biscuit cake and place it in your greased heatproof bowl. Using the back of a spoon or a spatula press the cake firmly into the bowl. Try and smooth out as much as possible as this will be the bottom of your cake. Leave cool, overnight preferably.
  2. Whip up your buttercream. Remove the cake from the bowl, place on cake board. Coat your cake with the buttercream for a smooth finish. You will have holes and chunks from where the biscuit settled so be sure to fill and smooth these over with the buttercream. Chill. Re-coat with second layer of buttercream if desired.
  3. Roll out white fondant and cover cake. Using the template below cut out shapes in black and white. I started with a top black one (shape on the right) and then surrounded it with the white (shape on left) and so on. Put some edible glue on shapes and stick them on to your fondant. If you cant get your hands on edible glue use a tiiiiny bit of buttercream, just enough for them to stick.
  4. I ordered a edible image of the crest online and stuck it on. I covered the board with green fondant, stuck with buttercream and hey ball cake!

I'm sure you could use a regular cake mix for this cake and bake it in the Pyrex bowl, just remember to adjust the cooking time and such.

Shirley x

Friday, May 11, 2012


(Photo Credit~Gary Rhodes)

It being the long weekend,I decided to do something I have never done before and have my very first dinner party. First problem that came to mind was "where was I going to fit everybody?". There is eight in my family and I have a four seater table,umm. As luck would have it all the boys were off doing their own thing and Callum has his highchair,crisis averted!

Next up,"what will I make?". This was like heaven to me,I could spend hours reading through copious amounts of cookbooks with a pot of tea by my side.

In the end I went for :

Mini Tuna Vol-au-vents.

Cesar Salad.

Main Course
Lemon Roast Chicken.

Brown-Sugar Pavlova with Cream,Strawberries and Blueberries.

Tuna vol-au-vents are always at my family get togethers because they're super easy and yum!

For the Starters I went for Cesar salad,it's so simple to put together,all ingredients into a blender and you have your dressing (there's some good ones on the Internet and homemade is sooo way nicer,trust me!), croutons,lardons,Parmesan...done!

The Lemon chicken I had never made before but was pleasantly surprised,if any one has Gary Rhodes "Food with friends" and you haven't tried this,go do it,the sauce is to die for!

And last but not least the yum Pavlova!

Recipe for Brown-sugar Pavlova



  • 6 eggs whites 
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 55g soft,light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 300ml double cream


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper and using a cake tin base,mark a 20cm (8in) circle.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites to form soft peaks. Gradually add the sugars, whisking well. Whisk in the vinegar and cornflour with the last of the sugar.
  3. Spread the meringue mixture on to the baking paper within the circle, building up the sides slightly. Bake for 1 hour.
  4. Turn off the oven but leave the meringue inside to cool  completely. When cool, carefully remove from the baking sheet, peel off the baking paper and place on serving plate.
  5. Whip the cream and spoon onto the meringue. Arrange fruits on top and your done!

It's actually pretty easy so it was perfect for a dinner party,I was so scared it would all go wrong so I whipped up some ice-cream with the leftover egg yolks but thankfully it didn't!

Have a nice weekend.

Shirley x

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Castle cake

Right in the middle of about eight kids picking and pulling at the cake,my other half Ger pipped up "Did you take a photo of the cake?" Ummmmm NO!

So yet AGAIN this cake is too battered.

When will I ever learn?!

A couple of bits are missing,such as flags and glittery butterflies but you get the jist...hopefully lol!

Shirley x