Ben & Jerry’s style cookie dough ice cream

IMG_7696What glorious weather we’ve been having in what has ultimately been a really sad week for the people of Manchester, the UK, and well, the world 😦IMG_7636I can’t not mention it really, and I know there are lots of injustices the world over, every day, but that particular one last week literally hit very close to home. The thing to focus on I guess is how the community of Manchester came together; so many stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to help each other, which shone a little light in a dark few days. IMG_7667IMG_7707Also, give blood! {- but in the right way} There were understandably lots of people wanting to help out after the attack, queuing outside donor centres in Manchester. Whilst their intentions were {incredibly} well placed, most people don’t realise that blood takes a while to process, so any that was used to treat the victims of the attack was from donors who gave a few weeks ago. What we need are more new and regular donors: did you know only 3% of the UK population who can donate, do? IMG_7653 Continue reading

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orange + poppy seed cupcakes

IMG_7571IMG_7499IMG_7572Mes amis, did you enjoy Eurovision on Saturday night? We had a party as uni tradition now dictates, with every guest assigned a country to support until the bitter end. I had Belgium, and decorated myself with cardboard cutouts of beer and chocolate; the boyf had Denmark, so ended up with bacon and Lego 😛

It was a great night as per usual. Exam season is drawing nearer for all those still at university so it’s good to get everyone together to blow off some steam and celebrate sparkles, yodeling and questionable dance moves.  Continue reading

garlic bread

fullsizeoutput_203cfullsizeoutput_203aHappy Easter, all! I’m at home, the Easter bunny has been and I may or may not have eaten chocolate for breakfast. The four-day-weekend is truly a glorious thing.fullsizeoutput_2037I have a bread recipe to share with you today. I made these garlic rolls last weekend to go alongside our Sunday dinner of summer veg pasta {really recommend that recipe, I’ve made it a couple of times now}. It was the perfect sunny day bake. Minimal effort required – so I could read and sunbathe on the roof whilst all the proving was going on – but maximum garlic goodness. fullsizeoutput_2040fullsizeoutput_2036

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Easter nest {lemon + coconut} bundt cake

Easter bundt (4)Geez, the recipe names around here just keep on growing 😉

This deceptively simple and appropriately Easter-themed cake comes from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I was cruising through Pinterest last weekend and wondering what to bake, saw this, and thought ‘I’m not even going to try and come up with something new, I’m just going to make that‘. Easter bundt (1)I’m a bundt novice, for sure, and the past few have sadly ended in disaster. They’ve all tasted good but half of them have stayed in the tin. Case in point: I most recently made a lime and zucchini one for one of my workmate’s last days, which looked more like a pile of green crumbs and white icing than a cake – and that was before the bus journey. Easter bundt (7)Easter bundt (5) Continue reading

matcha blondies

Matcha Blondies | Tolley BakesMatcha blondie mix, ready for baking | Tolley BakesFirst day of spring, my arse.

I’ve got the day off work today so I went to a café this morning to edit the photos for this post and watched in dismay as the rain came howling down, a few times horizontally into the window. Matcha powder | Tolley BakesMatcha blondies (or matchies!) | Tolley BakesThat being said, I really love this time of year though, when the magnolia trees are all in bloom, there are tiny little neon green leaves on hedges and velvety buds on trees.

And -awesome segue alert- speaking of green, here we have the greenest blondies you’ve ever seen. Swamp brownies, basically.Matcha Blondie Mix | Tolley BakesMatchies | Tolley Bakes Continue reading

rhubarb, rosewater + cardamom custard tart

^say that 3-times fast, drunk, and I’ll bake you one of these 😉Rhubarb, rosewater and cardamom custard tart | Tolley BakesAs with most of my baked goods, this tart started with a challenging new ingredient: Mum brought me a bottle of rosewater when she and Dad came to visit a few weekends ago, and I had no idea what to do with it. Pinterest is always a good place to start for inspiration, but most of the rosewater combinations on it involved raspberries {hello, it’s March, not gonna happen} or pistachios {woah there – two unfamiliar ingredients was a step too far}.  The other ingredient it was paired with was rhubarb, so that was that.

Rhubarb ready for roasting | Tolley BakesRoasted rhubarb syrup | Tolley BakesI hail from God’s Own County – i.e. Yorkshire – where we have God’s Own Rhubarb Triangle; a trio of country towns where the majority of the nation’s forced rhubarb is grown around this time of year. I was hoping to get some in the supermarket, shopping seasonally and all that, but all I could find was rhubarb from the Netherlands. Frustrating, particularly as if I’d been at home, I could have gone and got rhubarb from the garden, let alone the Triangle.

Cardamom pastry, all rolled out | Tolley BakesRoast Rhubarb | Tolley BakesBut anyway, foodie first world problems aside, the little I knew about rosewater was that it is typically used in Middle Eastern cuisine. To amp up those flavours I also used some ground cardamom in the pastry, because I have an open packet that never seems to end {see also: chai spiced rollscardamom + chocolate brioche rollscardamom + orange blondies}.  Continue reading