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 Many of these are sample recipes taken from my already published recipe collections, while some are new and unpublished, and the great news is you can download the book for (virtually) free.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:

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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 

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!

Carrot and Honey Cake

I’ve always been a big fan of carrot cake, in fact I’m such a fan that the middle layer of our wedding cake was carrot and walnut!

But I guess I’m not alone. Apparently in 2001 the Radio Times conducted a survey and found that carrot cake was the UK’s favorite type of cake, and it’s easy to see why. Not only is is delicious and exceedingly “moorish” but it’s also very easy to make (and more to the point, very hard to get wrong!)

Carrot cakes tend to use oil, rather than butter and can usually be simply mixed without having to “gently fold” in the flour and worry about keeping the air in the mixture.

Anyway, this recipe is from my latest book, Carrot Cake Recipes – How to Bake Carrot Cake Like A Pro! and I hope you love it!

Honey Carrot Cake

Ingredients

For the cake:
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1½ cups honey (place the jar in a shallow bowl of hot water for 5 minutes to loosen)
¾ cup buttermilk
3 eggs
½ cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups carrot, grated
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup walnuts, chopped

For the frosting:
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese (at room termperature)
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and grease a 9×13 inch baking pan. I like to also wrap a double layer of brown paper around the outside of the pan and tie off with string, which prevents the edges from getting too brown!

In a large mixing bowl, combine together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
In a separate bowl, beat together the honey, buttermilk, eggs, oil and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. Mix well until all the ingredients are combined. Add the flour buttermilk mixture to the flour and mix well. Then add in the carrot, pineapple, and walnuts. Give this a good final stir, making sure all the ingedients are evenly mixed and there are no pockets of flour left. Transfer the mix into the prepared pan.

Bake for 50 minutes. The cake is done when a skewer pushed through the middle comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting

In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, honey and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Mix until smooth, then use a palletet knife to spread over the cake.

Ham Stuffed Aubergine

Anyone who’s been following my Twitter the last few days will know that I’ve had an excess of gammon which needed using up. So last night, I experimented with a variation of an old favorite – stuffed aubergine.

To be honest I was in a hurry, and just needed to get a meal on the table quickly since it had been a long day, and this could certainly be improved but it was still tasty and made a change from the usual ways I use up ham or gammon!

Ham Stuffed Aubergine

1 large aubergine (egg plant)
200g (8 oz) cubed ham or gammon
50g cubed feta cheese
2 tbps olive oil
1 slice of bread
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp mixed herbs
1/2 can of chopped tomatoes
Black pepper

Method

Simply mix together the cubed ham, onion, garlic and tomatoes together in a bowl with a few turns of black pepper.

Slice the aubergine in half lengthways, and use a spoon to scoop out most of the flesh leaving a 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) thick shell. Place the aubergine halfs in a baking tray, and brush with the olive oil.

Finely chop the aubergine flash and mix into the ham mixture, then spoon this into the 2 aubergine shells, mounding it up high.

Tear the slice of bread into pieces and blitz in a blender to form crumbs. Add the mixed herbs, and blitz for another couple of seconds. Scatter the cubed feta over the stuffed aubergines, then spoon over a generous layer of breadcrumbs.

Bake in the oven until the breadcrumbs are a golden brown, and the aubergine flesh is soft (approximately 25 minutes) and serve with a mixed salad.

Correction (wrong link and free book)

Really sorry to everyone who has been trying to download my scones book for free today, looks like I set the promotion wrong and it’s not free today at all… but I set my cheesecakes book free by mistake instead!

Sincere apologies, I will make up for it by doing a free giveaway on the scones book later in the month, but if you want to grab a free recipe book today you can download my cheesecake book at $0 for another 12 hours or so:

US store link : The Cheesecake Recipe Book

UK store link : The Cheesecake Recipe Book

Free books and brand new free newsletter

Wow what a crazy couple of weeks.  First of all, thanks to everyone who has left a review on Amazon for me, it’s really great to read all those positive comments!

I have 2 announcements today.  First of all, my new scones recipes book is now available on Amazon, and as a special thank you to readers of this blog you can grab it free if you visit Amazon via this link tomorrow (20th Jan 2012). It will only be free for 24 hours so don’t delay.

I hope you like it. All I ask is, if you do download it free and you like it please leave a short review on Amazon for the book. It really helps other people to get an idea of what my books are all about when readers leave honest reviews for them.

Secondly, even more freebies…

I’ve taken the decision (actually I’ve been persuaded by my nephew) to start an email newsletter. It won’t be too regular (no more than once per week) and will be a mixture of recipes, tips and ideas along with occasional notifications of when I do special giveaway promotions like the one above.

Find out more on the newsletter page, or click here to subscribe (you can unsubscribe at any time through a link at the bottom of each email, we’ve tested it and it works really well)

Well that’s it. If you have any questions or comments please leave a comment below, and if you have suggestions of what you’d like to see in the newsletter you can email me, leave a comment or send me a Tweet!

– Judy