After a string of problems technical mostly, I am Now able to be back blogging and sharing 


Paul xx



The ink had stoped fallled by myself.. At posting daily. somthing stopped me dead in my tracks it is i assume not visbal to the naked eye as I write Iknow this might seem odd even to me.

week 8 the first week since starting this were be it became difficallt were this was started as a happy accident Ididnt want to write to be honest and maybe the novelty had gone glad its not actully the case reading is still coming on allowing me away from daily life which im not glad this week was supossed to be cheese on #favouriterecipe which is a staple food in my life, love it and endvour to catch back upxxx

Black & white brownies

Black & white brownies



  • 250g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 50g white chocolate
  • 375g golden caster sugar
  • 5 medium eggs
  • 50g plain flour, plus 1 tbsp
  • 85g cocoa
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 200g tub cream cheese
  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line a 20 x 30cm tin with baking parchment. Finely chop 150g of the dark chocolate, and roughly chop the remaining dark chocolate and the white chocolate. Put the finely chopped chocolate in a bowl and melt over a small pan of gently simmering water, or in the microwave. Set aside to cool a little.
  2. Put the butter and 350g of the sugar in a bowl, and beat until light and fluffy. Add 4 of the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition, then sift in the flour, cocoa, baking powder and a good pinch of salt. Finally, stir in the melted chocolate and the chopped chocolate chunks. Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface.
  3. Working quickly, tip the cream cheese into a bowl and beat to soften with a spatula. Add the remaining egg, flour and sugar, and mix until just combined. Spoon blobs of the cream cheese mixture onto the brownie until all used up, and use the end of a cutlery knife or a skewer to swirl the 2 mixtures together to create a marbled effect. Bake for 30 mins until just set – it should still have a little wobble when it comes out of the oven, and a skewer inserted into the centre should come out with sticky crumbs. Cool completely in the tin before cutting into squares to serve.


Week 4 Chocolate Day 6 and 7 Catch up

Week 4 Chocolate Day 6 and 7 Catch up


Chocolate & spice hot cross buns


zest and juice 1 large orange

sunflower oil, for greasing

For the dough and crosses

225ml semi-skimmed milk

50g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

1 large egg

450g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting

2 tsp fast-action yeast

50g golden caster sugar

For the flavouring and glaze

140g raisins

100g chocolate, 70% cocoa solids

1 tsp ground cinnamon

4 tbsp golden caster sugar

100g plain flour

Make the dough first. Heat the milk in a pan until steaming. Remove from the heat, and drop in the butter. After a couple of mins, beat in the egg and half the orange zest. The liquid should be just warm for step 2.

Mix the strong flour, yeast, 1 tsp salt and the sugar in a large bowl, then tip in the liquid and stir to make a soft dough without dry patches. Flour the work surface and your hands, then knead the dough for 5-10 mins until smooth and elastic. Use a stand mixer or processor if you like. Oil a large bowl, sit the dough inside it, then cover with oiled cling film. Rise in a warm place for about 1 hr or until doubled in size.

Put the raisins and half the orange juice in a small pan or covered bowl, and either simmer for a few mins or microwave on High for 1 min until hot. Cool completely. Break the chocolate into a food processor with the cinnamon and 2 tbsp sugar, then pulse until very finely chopped. Mix in the rest of the zest. If you don’t have a processor, chop it by hand or grate it, then mix with the other ingredients.

Turn the risen dough onto a floured surface and press it out to a large rectangle, a little bigger than A4 paper. Scatter it evenly with the chocolate mix and the raisins, which should have absorbed all of the juice (drain them if not). Roll the dough up around the filling, then knead it well for a few mins until the chocolate and fruit are evenly spread. Some raisins and chocolate will try to escape, but keep kneading them back in.

Grease then line a large baking sheet with baking parchment. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Shape into buns by pinching each ball of dough into a purse shape, concentrating on making the underneath of the ball (which will be the top) as smooth as you can. Put the buns, smooth-side up, onto the baking sheet, leaving room for rising. Cover loosely with oiled cling film and prove in a warm place for 30-45 mins or until the dough has risen and doesn’t spring back quickly when prodded gently.

Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. To make the paste for the crosses, gradually stir 6-7 tbsp water into the plain flour to make a smooth, thick paste, then put in a food bag and snip off the end to about 5mm. Pipe the crosses, then bake for 20-25 mins until the buns are risen and dark golden brown.

Mix the rest of the orange juice with the remaining sugar and let it dissolve. Brush the syrup over the buns while they are hot, then leave to cool. Eat on the day of baking, or toast the next day.


Glad Im not alone

Up till a few days back I was posting every day with the Start of positive post and things like picture challenges and favorite recipe keeping me busy but ultimately the poetry and stories had dried up and to be honest I was starting to feel I had let myself down, Self doubt number one of life Little curve balls that comes out. Taunting my brain because I hadn’t posted anything really personal for a bit. Dont get me wrong I still was avidly reading thanks to amazon kindle app on my phone and the reader on word press but on the whole my productivity and input level had taken a break and I found myself playing Facebook games then giving myself a hard time for not being on here as much.

last night and tonight have been somewhat almost like a treasure map knowing showing me the way. As I sit here poised for another week I know that whatever happens I’m not alone

Week 4 Day 3 Glazed chocolate custard cake

Glazed chocolate custard cake


Serves: 12 

150g plain flour

200g caster sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

175ml milk

75g margarine

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


5 tablespoons caster sugar

2 tablespoons cornflour

1/8 teaspoon salt

350ml milk

2 egg yolks, beaten


60g cooking chocolate

45g butter

120g icing sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons hot water

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Prep:45min  ›  Cook:35min  ›  Ready in:1hr20min 

Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease and flour one 23cm round cake tin.

Beat the flour, 200g sugar, baking powder, salt, 175ml milk, margarine, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla at low speed, scraping bowl constantly for 30 seconds. Beat on high speed, scraping bowl occasionally for 3 minutes. Pour cake mixture into the prepared tin.

Bake at 180 C / Gas 4 for 30 to 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted near the centre comes out clean. Remove from the tin and let cool on a wire rack.

To Make The Cream Filling: In a 2 litre saucepan, mix 5 tablespoons of sugar, the cornflour and salt. Stir in the milk gradually and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir at least 1/2 of the mixture slowly into the egg yolks. Return egg yolk mixture to the saucepan and boil and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the 2 teaspoons vanilla. Let cool to room temperature.

To Make Chocolate Glaze: Heat the cooking chocolate and 45g butter over low heat until melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the icing sugar, and vanilla. Stir in the water, one teaspoon at a time, until glaze is of desired consistency.

To Assemble the Cake: Split the cooled cake in half to make 2 thin layers. Fill the layers with the filling. Then spread the chocolate glaze over the top. Refrigerate any leftover cake. 


Week 4 Chocolate Day 2



Week 4 Chocolate Day 2

  • 400g (14oz) good quality plain chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 400g (14oz) butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
  • 200g (7oz) caster sugar
  • 200g (7oz) light soft brown sugar
  • 200g (7oz) plain white flour
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the filling

  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons boiling water
  • 250g (9oz) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 300g (10 1/2oz) icing sugar
  • To decorate

  • chocolate curls, to decorate
  • chocolate ice cream or whipped cream, to serve

Method Prep:45min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Ready in:1hr25min

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease two 23cm/9in sandwich tins with butter and line with baking paper. Put the chocolate and 400g butter in a large, heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Heat gently until smooth but not hot. Stir together and remove from the heat.
  2. Using a wooden spoon, beat in the caster and brown sugar. Gradually stir in the flour. Beat the eggs and the vanilla extract in a separate bowl, then beat well into the chocolate mixture. Turn the mixture into the prepared tins and spread out evenly.
  3. Bake the cakes for about 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.
  4. Meanwhile, make the filling and topping. Put the cocoa powder in a small bowl, add the boiling water and stir to form a smooth paste. Leave to cool. Put the butter and vanilla in a large bowl, sift in the icing sugar and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Beat in the cooled cocoa mixture.
  5. When the cakes are cold, remove from the tins and sandwich together with half the filling. Swirl the remaining mixture over the top of the cake, then top with chocolate curls.

Week 4 Chocolate day 1

Week 4



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For the cake:

  • 125g butter
  • 240g light brown muscovado sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 480ml cola
  • 125g cocoa powder
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • ½tsp bicarbonate soda

For the chocolate buttercream:

  • 200g icing sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 2-3tsp water

To decorate:

  • Cola bottles
  • Red M&Ms

Step 1

Preheat your oven 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3 and line 2x 21cm/9inch cake tins with greaseproof paper.


Step 2

Measure out the coca-cola in a jug and leave on the side to stand for 5 mins so it’s not too fizzy when you add it to the mix.


Step 3

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, butter and eggs with an electric hand whisk until combined.


Step 4

Gradually add in the cola and cocoa powder a bit at a time taking it in turns, one after the other, until you’ve added it all in. Whisk continuously until combined – make sure you don’t over whisk it. The mixture will be rather wet at this stage.


Step 5

Next add in the flour and bicarbonate soda. Fold this into the mixture with a wooden spoon until completely combined.


Step 6

Pour the mixture into the 2 cake tins, making sure you get an even amount in each. Bake in the oven for 25-30 mins until spongy to touch. You can check they’re cooked the whole way through by poking them with a knife – if it comes out clean they’re cooked, if not pop it back in the oven, checking every 5 mins until done.


Step 7

Leave the cakes in the tins for about 5 mins until cooled slightly. Run a knife around the edges of the tin and turn upside down onto a wire rack, carefully flip the cakes right side up and leave to cool completely.


Step 8

While the cakes cool, prepare the chocolate buttercream. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and water with an electric hand whisk and gradually add in the icing sugar and cocoa powder. Mix until smooth and combined. If the mixture is too thick, add a few more drops of water. Leave to one side.


Step 9

Decide which cake is going to be the base and which is going to be the topper. Cut the base across the top using a bread knife to make it level.


Step 10

Cover the base in a generous helping of chocolate buttercream, spreading with a spatula or spoon. Pop the top cake onto the buttercream and press down firmly.


Step 11

Spoon the rest of the chocolate mix into a piping bag and pipe swirls onto the cake.


Step 12

Finish by topping each swirl with a red M&M, decorating the rest of the cake in cola bottles.

week 3 Apple day 7 Dutch apple pancakes

week 3 Apple day 7

Dutch apple pancakes



Serves 6
2 tbsp butter
3 eggs
A pinch of salt
120ml milk
65g flour
Icing sugar (optional)

For the topping
100g brown sugar, packed
1½ tsp cinnamon
⅓ tsp nutmeg
3 medium cooking apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
6 tbsp butter

1 Preheat the oven to 210C/425F/gas mark 7. Put the butter into an ovenproof frying pan or dish and slide into the oven to melt.

2 Meanwhile, prepare your batter by beating the eggs in a large bowl. Add the salt, milk, and flour, then continue to beat until smooth.

3 When the butter has melted, swirl the pan to coat it, then pour in the batter. Bake for about 15-18 minutes without opening the oven door. The pannekoeken is ready when it is browned and crisp around the edges.

4 To make the apple topping, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. Add the apples to the bowl and mix gently to coat, then set aside.

5 In a large saucepan, gently melt the butter then add the apple mixture and cook over a medium heat until the apples are tender. Spoon over the hot pannekoeken, sprinkle with icing sugar, cut into wedges, and serve.