Thursday, 5 November 2009

Spice Men

I made these Spice Men for a school Hallowe'en Disco last week, so I decided to put some icing eyes and buttons on aswell to entice people to buy them!

I also made some for my little next door neighbour, Emma, who came to the door looking all hopeful with her 'swag bag'. She was the first trick-or-treater I've ever had knocking on my front door, and I had to send her away with an IOU note!! I made it up to her the next day (I hope), by giving her six little Spice Men with pink buttons.

I've blogged about these before, I've just realized, but here's the recipe again.

Put syrup, sugar, water and spices in a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add butter and bicarb. Tilt pan around until butter is melted, then stir together.

Sift in flour a little at a time, mixing well after each addition, until a smooth and manageable dough is formed. You may not need all the flour, or you may need to add more.

Cool dough for 30 minutes. Roll out on lightly floured surface to around 3 mm thickness and cut out shapes. Cook for 7 - 10 minutes at 180 C. Cool on tray for a few minutes before removing to cooling rack.

75 g soft brown sugar
3 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp water
1 tsp mixed spice (I use around a tsp of cinnamon with a grating of nutmeg and a tiny bit of ground cloves) - (or cinnamon and ground ginger if you prefer)
95 g butter, cut up
1/2 level tsp bicarb
220 g plain flour

Sunday, 1 November 2009

One Bowl Chocolate Pudding

I've read about the mug chocolate cake before, and the other day I saw it on The Saucy Onion blog and decided to try it. Mine worked well, even though it overflowed.

Later that day I made another one, this time in a breakfast bowl using double the recipe, and it also worked well, and there was enough for all of us to have a little serve with cream.

Stir dry ingredients in a bowl.

Add eggs, oil, vanilla and milk...

...and blend together to make a batter.

Put in the microwave on high - mine took just under 3 minutes, but this will vary between ovens. (I checked mine after 2 mins and decided it could do with a little bit longer.)

A little unusual-looking, but it looks like the real thing when you scoop some out...

Not bad when you consider it took a bowl, a spoon, a few ingredients and 2 and a bit minutes in the microwave!

And really it's more of a pudding than a cake - you scoop some out and put it in a bowl rather than slicing it up.

Below are the ingredients for a small bowl; halve the amounts for a mug cake.

8 tbsp plain flour
8 tbsp granulated sugar
4 tbsp cocoa
2 eggs
6 tbsp full-cream milk
4 tbsp olive oil
splash of vanilla essence