Monthly Archives: September 2012

Raspberry and White Chocolate squares


Raspberry, almond and white chocolate squares

For my daughter’s early ‘ birthday cake’, as she is leaving for university a week before her twentieth, I decided to make these as I had some ground almonds (in fact I seem to have a lot of panic bought ground almonds) and some frozen raspberries. I substituted half spoon for ordinary caster sugar but thought I had better keep the butter instead of changing for apple sauce as birthday cake is not a good time to experiment.  This is the recipe I used which was my own one adapted after reading many of the recipes already out there with a pic of the finished articles.

For those interested in Weightwatcher pro-points, the cakes made with half-spoon sugar are still 9pp if cut into 16 largeish squares so totally naughty. It would also be lovely as a dessert with cream.

Raspberry, almond and White Chocolate squares

You will need:

4 eggs

120 ml skimmed milk

260g plain white flour

2 tsp baking powder

110 g of ‘half spoon’ white or brown sugar (or 220g of normal sugar)

200g ground almonds

200g raspberries (defrosted if frozen to reduce water content)

2oog white chocolate

250g butter or suitable spread for baking (I used Olive spread)

A square brownie type pan lined and greased or if a silicone pan just greased will work usually. You could also make these as muffins or cupcakes using paper cases.


Preheat your oven to 200°C (gas mark 6, 400°F). Place the eggs and sugar in a  mixing bowl and whisk until they thicken nicely.

Heat butter or spread in a pan until melted then remove from the heat and put 150g of the chocolate (broken or chopped) into the butter to melt.

Meanwhile sift flour and baking powder into the egg and sugar mix and stir. Add the milk at this point if the mixture becomes too stiff. Mix in the ground almonds and then the chocolatey butter and the milk if not already added. Gently fold in the raspberries and the remaining white chocolate chopped into small chunks.

Pour into your prepared case and bake for between 18-25 minutes depending on your oven. Mine took 20 mins in a fan oven and when they came out were nicely brown on top and passed the cocktail stick in the middle coming out dry test.

Enjoy!  They are quite rich and indulgent but lovely and moist with a tartness form the raspberries..


Big Bang Theory


I finished this quilt recently. I named it ‘Big Bang’  as it reminded me of cosmic explosions and intergalactic phenomena and for a more prosaic reason in that I had just watched the entire boxed set of Big Bang Theory in the space of around 4 weeks. As quilty people probably know, the pattern is actually New York Beauty. I used fabric foundations for the blocks and embellished it with beading as I had been recently inspired by a mini workshop at the Creative stitches show. I love the idea and practice of beading but am not really a jewellery sort of person so needed to find a way to use the lovely colours and textures of the beads in my work. I need to become a better photographer!

Here is a shot showing some of the beading detail.

I love this quilt pattern and have many more ideas for it when I have the time. I am gradually going to show my other finished quilts and their stories.

Blackberry and Apple Muffins


I promised to tell you about the blackberry and apple muffins. I like to bake but I have been following Weightwatchers now for over six months and so have been steering well clear of making cakes for obvious reasons.  I thought, however, the time had come to experiment a little and see if I could bring the calories down enough to allow myself a wee treat and my kitchen offered up a couple of sad Braeburn apples and some frozen blackberries foraged a month or two ago so I adapted a recipe using substitutes for oil and sugar.  If you are following Weightwatchers Propoints then these work out at 3pp each (if you make 18 decent sized muffins as my mixture did). The are nicely cakey and moist because of the fruit and even my fussy OH liked them. As there was no fat at all in the recipe, I sprayed the paper cases lightly with Frylight as I was worried they would stick to the paper. This did seem to help.

Blackberry and Apple waistline friendly muffins.

You will need:

2 eggs

240 ml skimmed milk

375g plain white flour

120 g of apple sauce (or vegetable oil if calories not an issue)

100 g of ‘half spoon’ white or brown sugar (or 200 g of normal caster sugar if you just don’t care)

4 tsp baking powder

200 g blackberries

2 peeled and chopped eating apples

pinch of salt

tsp of cinnamon powder


Preheat your oven to 200°C (gas mark 6, 400°F). Place the wet ingredients (eggs, apple sauce and milk in a  mixing bowl and beat together with the sugar.

Sift flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon into the wet mixture and stir in thoroughly. Add your fruit to the mixture being careful to not squash it all up. Spoon your fairly runny mixture into prepared cake cases which you may have sprayed with oil and sprinkle a little more sugar over the tops of the muffins. Bake for between 18-25 minutes depending on your oven. Mine took 20 mins in a fan oven.

Enjoy! They seem to come out of the paper better when cold. I put half in the freezer as cakes with no fat do not normally keep as well as the regular recipes but the way everybody was tucking in, this is not a major problem.

Blog virgin here


Hello whoever you are – welcome to my ramblings. I intend to tell you about things I have cooked, things I have sewn, things I have crocheted, papier mached or beaded, things I have seen, things I have learned and things I have grown and also things I may one day get around to cooking, sewing, crocheting, seeing, learning and growing if I have time.

I actually set this blog up mainly to share some recipes I have been adapting so that I can still bake whilst trying to lose some weight. First post will probably be Blackberry and Apple muffins if I can get a picture of them before they are all eaten.Although I sadly have to work for a living, my ‘real’ life would be one of harvesting delicious things from my bountiful garden (this is a dream remember where I have a big garden) and turning them into wonderful dishes, preserving them for the winter and whist it was all bubbling away, creating awesome quilts (my little bit of immortality) before going for great long uplifting walks in amazing countryside in perma-sunshine (so I am obviously lithe and toned too in this dream) with my little dog who will live as long as I do (not the measly 12-14 years he is allotted) and whichever members of the family wish to accompany me. There would be blackberrying and other general foraging taking place here too and the woods would abound with wild garlic, beech nuts, mushrooms and all sorts of other things we rarely find…

That is the dream life so read on to see how much of it can actually be incorporated into the real everyday experience.