How To Make A Proper Cornish Pasty

profilepicPlease take a moment to visit www.ProperPasties.com and support Billy Deakin’s Kickstarter campaign for his forthcoming book – How To Make An Award Winning Cornish Pasty.

Billy became the first ever Amateur Cornish Pasty World Champion at the inaugural World Pasty Championships last year, and then successfully defended his title at this year’s competition.  He’s also a 2 times Masterchef competitor who knows a thing of two about baking!  He’s seeking support to get his book published, and is offering some great rewards including ebooks and printed copies of his books, T-shirts, advertising spots on his web site and loads more.  You’ll also find some great recipes on his site so take a look!

Click here to view the project page and show your support!

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My latest recipe collection – for FREE!

The Happy Baker is a collection of 20 delicious recipes for cakes, scones, muffins, cookies, pancakes and more. Many of these are sample recipes taken from my already published recipe collections, while some are new and unpublished, and the great news is you can download the book for (virtually) free.

All I am asking you to “pay” for the book is a Tweet or a Facebook post!

That’s right, just click here or on the button below to “Pay with a tweet” and send a message on Twitter or Facebook to help get the word out about this free book, and you’ll get immediate and automatic access to the download link for the book – does that sound like a good deal?

Here’s the link, I do hope you enjoy the recipes:

Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes

Apologies, I know it’s been a while since I posted here but life is just plain crazy at the moment!  However, I came across a wonderful idea on a blog this morning and just had to share it.

The idea is for cooking baked potatoes in a slow cooker.  Such a simple idea, yet in all my years of cooking I’ve never tried it.  The original blog post was on the wonderful SkipToMyLou.org so please do take a look: Crock Pot Baked Potatoes

Disclaimer – I only read about this today so I’ve not tested it yet myself, but I will do so and post back with my results!  If you’re going to try this, I strongly suggest doing it while you’re at home the first time so you can keep an eye on them, and have a backup plan should they not turn out well!

The method is quite simply to wash and dry the potatoes, wrap them tightky in foil, place them in the crock with the lid on and cook on high for 8 hours.

Exact cooking times will of course vary depending on the temperature of your slow cooker, and the size of your potatoes.  Reading through the comments on that blog it seems that they must be done on a high setting and well wrapped, though some people reported good results from coating in oil rather than wrapping in foil.

Anyway, I thought it was interesting and worth sharing.  If you try this, please leave a comment to let people know how well it worked.  I’ll certainly be trying it myself, and if the results are good I’ll have to add a short note next time I update my Slow Cooker Magic Recipes book in Kindle!

Sensational Smoothies

I don’t usually review other books here, but I wanted some different smoothie ideas and found this last night.  It’s no messing around, just a ton of simple to follow smoothie recipes.

Don’t expect any fancy techniques, it’s simply throw all the ingredients into a blender and pulse, but there’s a nice variety of different flavours such as Carrot, Papaya and Passion Fruit Smoothie, Peanut Butter Chocolate Smoothie, Wheatgerm and Banana Breakfast Smoothie and even some “boozy smoothies” such as the wonderful sounding Pina Collada Smoothie which I’m sure would go well with my pina collada cupcakes at a summer barbeque!

Anyway, I liked the book and thought it might appeal to some readers here so thought I’d share!

Link on Amazon : 101 Sensational Smoothies – Issy Jones 

Converting weights, measurements and temperatures

Recently I’ve been putting all oven temperatures, weights and measurements in both metric and imperial in my books, and I’m in the process of going back and editing some of my older books so they also have both units.

This came to my attention recently when a reader left a review on Amazon for one of my earliest books saying that the book was good, but they would have to convert all the measurements to use any of the recipes.

So, while it won’t be long before all of my books have both Imperial and metric units, I thought it might be useful to write a quick post showing how easy it is to switch between either, for use with any of my older recipes or when you find a great recipe online or in an old book. When you come across a recipe which uses a system of weights and measurements you’re not used to, you basically have 2 options:

1. Use As-Is

Unless you’re using a really ancient set of scales, it almost certainly supports both Imperial and Metric. Analogue scales have both sets of numbers on the dial, while digital scales normally require a simple button push. It really doesn’t matter if you “know” or “understand” the “other” system, just read the number off the scales as you measure, and match the number on the scales to the number in the book!

2. Convert

This is actually pretty easy. For weight, think of 1 oz as 30 grams. It’s actually 28.35 grams, but go with 30 and you won’t be far off.

Same for fl oz which is roughly 30 ml (actually 29.57 so even closer than for dry weights!)

So, if a recipe calls for 150g of flour, that’s 5 oz (30 * 5 = 150)

Going the other way, if a cake needs 4 oz of butter, that works out to 120 grams… pretty easy huh!

Well, it gets even easier. Good old Google has a conversion tool built right in which converts pretty much any weight or measurement for you. For example, type “convert 150 g to oz” into Google and you’ll get “150 grams = 5.29109429 ounces” as the result! Obviously you don’t need anywhere like that level of accuracy – so let’s just call that 5 ounces. Here’s a screenshot to show what the results look like in Google:

It works for pretty much any type of weight or measurement, including temperatures so give it a try.

Conversion tables

If you would prefer a conversion chart, here are approximate conversions for metric and Imperial weights, volumes, oven temperatures and “cup” measurements. You might want to bookmark this page to come back to, or print these off!

Weights
Imperial Metric

½ oz
¾ oz
1 oz
1½ oz
2 oz
2½ oz
3 oz
4 oz
4½ oz
5 oz
6 oz
7 oz
8 oz
9 oz
10 oz
12 oz
1 lb
1 lb 8 oz
2 lb
3 lb

15 g
20 g
30 g
40 g
55 g
70 g
85 g
110 g
125 g
150 g
175 g
200 g
225 g
250 g
275 g
350 g
450 g
700 g
900 g
1.35 kg

Volume
Imperial Metric

2 fl oz
3 fl oz
5 fl oz (¼ pint)
10 fl oz (½ pint)
1 pint
1 ¼ pint
1 ¾ pint
2 pint
2½ pint
4 pint

55 ml
75 ml
150 ml
275 ml
570 ml
725 ml
1 litre
1.2 litre
1.5 litre
2.25 litres

Oven Temperatures
Gas Mark °F °C

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

275°F
300°F
325°F
350°F
375°F
400°F
425°F
450°F
475°F

140°C
150°C
170°C
180°C
190°C
200°C
220°C
230°C
240°C

American Cup Conversions
1 Cup Imperial Metric

1 cup flour
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup soft brown sugar
1 cup fat (butter/margarine)
1 cup sultanas/raisins
1 cup currants
1 cup ground almonds
1 cup golden syrup
1 cup uncooked rice
1 cup grated cheese
1 stick butter

5oz
8oz
6oz
8oz
7oz
5oz
4oz
12oz
7oz
4oz
4oz

150g
225g
175g
225g
200g
150g
110g
350g
200g
110g
110g

Free Cupcake Recipes

Sorry I’ve not posted in a while, life has been quite crazy! Apart from all the general day to day hustle and bustle I’ve been entering baking competitions (and winning first prize in a pie competition!), working on a couple of new books, and going back and updating some of my older books.

One of those books I’ve updated is Cupcake Recipes – How to bake cup cakes and fairy cakes Like A Pro. A couple of people left reviews/comments on that one that while they liked the recipes, they wish there were more of them and more decorating tips! So, I’ve gone back and added some more delicious recipes, and also extended the icing and decorating section at the back.

To celebrate the launch of the new second edition, readers of this blog can download the book for free this Friday! Just visit this page on Amazon any time from 8am to midnight GMT (which is about 1am to tea time if you’re on the other side of the Atlantic!) and you can grab the book absolutely free.

If you already have the book, you’ll also be able to download the updated version at any time at no extra cost.

If you do download it (or already have it) and like it, please take a moment to leave a review on Amazon to let other people know. The couple of slightly negative reviews on there are now out of date (referring to the old edition) and I don’t want that to put people off!

And I promise to try and find more time for sharing some new recipes on the blog here soon ;)

Perfect Pancakes

It’s pancake day tomorrow, one of my favorite celebrations of the year! Shrove Tuesday marks the start of lent, and of course it’s traditional to eat pancakes so here’s a simple batter recipe that will have you turning out perfect pancakes…

Ingredients

120g (4oz) plain flour
2 eggs (free range)
200ml (7 fl oz) milk
100ml (3 fl oz) water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Pinch of salt

Method

Place the flour and salt into a mixing bowl, make a well in the center, and crack in the eggs. Beat with a wooden spoon to incorporate the flour, and slowly pour in the milk and water, beating all the time until you have a smooth batter.

Transfer into a jug and leave this to stand for 30 – 60 minutes at room temperature.

When you’re ready to cook your pancakes, use a non-stick frying pan that doesn’t have deep edges. Get it nice and hot, add a little knob of butter and then pour in a little batter, tilting the pan to coat the bottom. Cook for around 30 seconds, until the pancake is loose when you shake the pan. Either flip it, or turn with a spatula and cook the other side for 15 – 20 seconds and you’re done!

Stack them on a place covered in greaseproof paper, and cover with a clean cloth to keep warm while you cook the others, and serve with your favorite toppings of fillings.

If you want to try some more interesting pancakes, or some more exotic styles like Swedish Pancakes, Scottish pancakes or fluffy Canadian pancakes, and get a tone of lovely filling and topping ideas, plus hints on flipping, check out my concise guide to pancakes – Perfect Pancake Recipes – How to Make Pancakes Like A Pro!