Date, Apricot & Walnut Loaf Cake

Date, Apricot & Walnut Loaf Cake

Up until the end of my third trimester of pregnancy, the only things we had in our freezer were ice, a champagne jacket, frozen blueberries and petit pois. So much of what we eat is quick to cook or relies on an abundance of fresh ingredients, it barely seemed worth the hassle to prepare, pack and label portions of any given meal, let alone the time it would take to defrost before we wanted to eat. It wasn’t until the teacher at our ante-natal classes drew a twenty four hour clock portioned into hour long pieces for baby feeding, bathing and nappy changing on repeat that I realised a few pre-made meals might come in handy for the weeks after Nino arrived. Continue reading

Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream

Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream

This Friday just gone I finished work. Our little loaf is due in just over two weeks and I’m finally ready to admit that my forty five minute commute on the tube twice a day is getting a little tiring. Although it’s weird handing over your working life for a year – holiday time! I can hear mothers all around me chuckling – I’m ready to start nesting, preparing our home for this little life to be. The next two weeks will be spent tidying cupboards and sorting last minute decorations, maybe a pedicure for those feet I can no longer reach, long walks with my mum and lunches with friends. People keep saying I should take some quiet time before this little man drops in and changes our lives forever, and I will, but busy is my default setting and just what I enjoy. Which I guess stands me in good stead for the months and years to come. Continue reading

Squidgy Chocolate Apricot Loaf Cake

Chocolate Apricot Loaf Cake slice

If, like me, you watch more than your fair share of food programmes, you’ll be aware of a running theme. Every time a presenter takes a bite of the food they’ve just prepared or been served or discovered by the side of the road in some exotic country – Great British Bake Off judgement and soggy bottoms excluded – they declare it the best they’ve ever eaten. Food bloggers can be guilty of the same hyperbole – it’s so easy to get caught up in the moment that nothing else compares; it’s not exaggeration, it’s how you actually feel. So here goes . . . this is the most delicious chocolate loaf cake I have ever eaten.

Continue reading

Afternoon Tea + a Homemade Memories Blog Tour!

Afternoon tea menu

This Saturday just gone I hosted my first ever afternoon tea at Sonny’s Kitchen in Barnes. Having not catered a proper event before – the Homemade Memories launch party doesn’t count in my mind because people weren’t paying – there were a few stray butterflies in my stomach, but as soon as I got into my kitchen comfort zone, rolling biscuit dough and cutting out scones, I had a feeling it was going to be good. Continue reading

Peach & Almond Bun Cakes

Peach Almond Bun Cakes Brown Sugar

Peaches rarely make their way into my baking. Fruit salads and ice creams or simply eaten whole over the sink, juices spilling down my chin, are all regular occurrences, but subjecting a peach to heat takes a bit more planning. If the fruit is too perfect, it disappears from its brown paper bag before I can even think about cooking; too soft and it won’t withstand the oven’s heat. But every so often I find a contender (or two), and on this occasion a pair of not-quite-perfect peaches made it into these simple little bun cakes. Continue reading

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crumb Cupcakes

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Sauce

I’m not normally what you’d call a cupcake person. Rugged muffins, buttery financiers and slabs of brownie I can get behind, but American-style cupcakes weighed down with buttercream and covered in sprinkles? Not so much. Yet try as I may, there’s something so birthday-appropriate about a cupcake and with two to celebrate this weekend just gone, I’m going against my better nature and sharing these peanut butter beauties. Continue reading

Rhubarb & White Chocolate Jaffa Cakes + a Video

Rhubarb White Chocolate Jaffa Cakes RecipeA shop-bought Jaffa cake is one of those goodies somehow so much greater than the sum of its parts. The cake-y base is drier than you average sponge, the jelly too sticky to wobble and the outer coating too thin for a proper chocolate fix. Yet somehow, combined, these elements make a uniquely satisfying and more-ish mouthful. Better still, have you ever tried making your own Jaffa cakes at home? Now that’s where the magic really begins to happen . . .

Continue reading

Flourless Lemon, Almond & Ricotta Cake

Flourless Lemon Almond & Ricotta Cake Raspberries

While I’d never say no to a mini egg, my Easter dessert of choice nowadays doesn’t tend to involve chocolate. I’d rather something zesty and bright to sit (slightly) lighter in the stomach, something I can serve with fresh fruit, make well in advance and bring out the next day for any friends and family popping round over the holiday. This flourless lemon, almond and ricotta cake fits that bill on all counts. Continue reading

the Little Loaf cookbook recipe testing

raisin scones My first book deadline is just a couple of weeks away and my fridge and freezer are groaning with food, my recipes are out with an army of testers and I’m finalising the ingredients and anecdotes in every spare moment. For those of you who don’t follow me on Instagram, here’s a sneak preview of some of what I’ve been working on.   Continue reading

Three Years Blogging + Cake

chocolate_caramel_cake-053Last week, reading this post, I realised that I’d managed completely miss my blog birthday. Again.

On 23rd February 2011, I published my very first post.  Three years later, although there’s so much more I want to learn about photography and recipe writing (and life), I’m extremely proud of how far I’ve come. Those original photos make me cringe just a little (look them up, you will laugh), my enthusiasm for what is clearly not the lightest of loaves is unbounded, but it’s a record of where I was, a marker for where I am now, and for what, in three years’ time or more, I could be.   Continue reading