Life with two Smalls and a fistful of daydreams

Dessert week, one of my favourites! Last year I made Toffee Apple Trifle which was delicious (and on my list of things to make again with this year’s apples!) and this year there was no second thoughts about what I was making – Self-Saucing Pudding for sure!

I don’t like coffee which ruled out the Tiramasu Cake and I didn’t really have the time to attempt a baked Alaska anyway – but seriously, who can resist a self-saucing pudding?

Admittedly I have only ever made such things in a microwave before (self-saucing chocolate microwave cake is the BEST last-minute pudding of all) so adapting the recipe to work in the oven was an adventure that I wasn’t sure would work. Turns out I should have more faith in myself!

Golden Syrup Self-Saucing Pudding



  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 100g butter (melted)
  • 1 egg
  • 1¼ cups self-raising flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1½ cups boiling water


  1. Thoroughly grease an ovenproof dish and preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Put ¼ cup of the brown sugar in a bowl with the flour, milk, melted butter, egg, milk, 2 tablespoons of the golden syrup and all of the spices and mix until well combined into a smooth batter.
  3. Pour the batter into the dish.
  4. In a separate bowl mix the rest of the sugar with the cornflour.
  5. Sprinkle this sugar mixture over the top of the cake mixture.
  6. Put the last 2 tablespoons of golden syrup into a mixing jug with the boiling water and stir until dissolved/combined.
  7. Gently pour this over the top of the sugar and batter.
  8. Put the pudding in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes – it is ready when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  9. EAT!


This should probably have served 4-6 people but Caius and I demolished the whole lot ourselves. It is seriously tasty and moreish – it would go very well with ice cream, custard or cream too. If you can resist just eating it straight out of the dish that is!




I’m taking part in the #GreatBloggersBakeOff2014
To see the other great entries in Dessert Week click here to see the linky on MummyMishaps

 241auI seriously advise that you never bake this cake because it is alarmingly addictive.

242auTori got a belated birthday present yesterday and today we all sat down to make it together. (Needless to say, Artie got bored once we’d found all four corners and Tori got fed up once she had made Rapunzel and Pascal so I finished the rest.)

243auTori got her medal and certificate for completing the libraries Mythical Maze Summer Reading Challenge today.

244auToday the Smalls and I went on an adventure with Nannan and Grandad to Powis Castle – the Smalls ticked off a few more of their 50 things and had a fab time.

245auWe decided that today was going to be our last PJ day of the Summer Holiday – this is Tori and Arthur flopped out watching their third episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic of the day. They love this show at the moment and I am quite enjoying the break from Frozen, Cars and Thomas the Tank Engine!

246auToday we finished up the last of the school shopping and then Caius and I headed out with Liberty and Liam for a meal and drinks to belatedly celebrate Liam’s birthday. (Please excuse my disgracefully dirty mirror!)

247auWe had a day trip up to Leeds today to visit my Grandparents and our friend Dom. We spotted these rather impressive Ferraris in the service station car park on our way home which was a fun way to round off the day.


TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

I have noticed recently that there are several books on my shelves that are book two or three or even later in a series that I just haven’t got around to reading yet so I have decided I am going to do a bit of a series catch up.

I need to read the next two instalments of The Mortal Instruments series, starting with City of Fallen Angels (#4) which have been sat on my shelf since Christmas because book #3 felt like such a proper ending that I never felt the need to read the next book. I did start it, I think, but I don’t remember anything so will have to start again. I have a feeling book #6 has happened since I bought the series so I may have to find that after I finish #5 too, for the sake of completion.

I need to read The Order of the Scales and The Black Mausoleum (Books #3 and #4 of The Memory of Flames series by Stephen Deas) – I have had book #3 on my shelf since March 2013 and I won book #4 in a Twitter contest not long after that. I loved the first two books and I’m not sure why I never picked number three up straight away.

I also need to buy and read book #3 in John and Carole E. Barrowman’s Hollow Earth series – The Book Of Beasts. Mostly because I want to read it but also because Liberty and my mum also want to read it and rely on me to provide them with my copy to borrow as I have done with the rest of the series. Sometimes I feel like a library…

That gives me 5, potentially six books to read through September, October & November – assuming I can get hold of that final Mortal Instruments book from the library as I don’t want to buy it. I should be able to manage that!

Final week of the Summer Holidays, hard to believe next week is going to be September – the year is flying by!

Monday: Cheese & Bacon Quiche with salad

Tuesday: Stuffed marrow

Wednesday: Chicken with vegetables & new potatoes

Thursday: Pasta bake

Friday: Sausages, chips & peas

Saturday: Make your own pizza

Sunday: Honey & Mustard chicken with rice & mixed vegetables

I'm linking up with Mrs M's Meal Planning Monday linky

I’m linking up with Mrs M’s Meal Planning Monday linky


Bread Week fills me with fear but is never as disastrous as I expect – I should really make bread more often.

So, I don’t like Rye bread so that ruled that out, I’ve made ciabatta before (and they were so *cough* wonderful *cough* that I gave them to somebody else) so that just left the stuffed/filled showstopper loaf option.


I knew I was never going to make a ‘showstopper’ beauty so decided to just try and pull off a successful bake. I kept it simple and had a fairly ‘dry’ filling to try and minimise gaps and unbaked middles – Prosciutto & Parmesan Bread.

bread2Prosciutto & Parmesan Bread


  • 450g strong plain white flour
  • 50g grated parmesan
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp ground black pepper
  • 7g sachet fast action yeast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 250ml lukewarm water
  • 50g Prosciutto ham
  • Extra flour for sprinkling OR cornmeal


  1. Put the flour, cheese, yeast, salt and pepper in your mixer and, using a dough hook, mix in the olive oil, egg and water on minimum speed until it forms a soft dough.
  2. Knead for one minute on minimum setting and then four minutes on speed 1 or until the dough is soft and elastic. Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover it with a damp teatowel or lightly oiled cling film and prove in a warm place for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
  3. Use the dough hook on minimum speed for 30-60 seconds to gently knock the dough back. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and divide into two. Flatten each half into a round and sprinkle over half of the ham.
  4. Fold each piece of dough in half then sprinkle over the remaining ham.
  5. Roll each piece up and tuck in the sides to form stubby loaves.
  6. Transfer to a floured baking sheet (or one dusted with cornmeal if you have some to hand), leaving a gap between the loaves. Cover again and leave to rise for about 30 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200·C
  8. Brush the tops of your loaves with water and sprinkle with flour/cornmeal. Slash the top of the loaves then bake for 20 minutes or until the loaves are golden and sounds hollow when tapped.
  9. Cool on a wire rack.
  10. Slice and serve!


I didn’t really slash my loaves bravely enough so they looked quite plain and I think I left them in a few seconds too long as they were edging out of the ‘golden’ colour range and into the ‘dark brown’ one. I also didn’t distribute my ham very evenly in one loaf as it was about four slices in before I got to any. When I did find it though, it made a very pretty swirl which was satisfying.

The bread itself was a lovely texture and not too dense, it has a soft crust and has a subtle cheese flavour that isn’t overpowering and is well complemented by the sweet, salty Prosciutto. It is incredibly moreish.



I’m taking part in the #GreatBloggersBakeOff2014
To see the other great entries in Bread Week click here to see the linky on MummyMishaps

234auToday was an extra special day as it was the Christening of not one but two very special little ladies – Edith & Lily. I am one of Edith’s (very proud) Godparents and this is a picture (clearly taken by Caius and not me, as I’m in it) of the two stars of the show and their parents and godparents with the minister who held the service.

235auOver the last couple of weeks these two have got a little fed up of each other’s company and there have been lots of fights, including a bit of blood loss on ocassion, so it was nice to see them having big relaxed cuddles watching TV this morning.

236auWe went to visit baby Edith again today and had some more awake cuddles than we had on Sunday. She is a whole month old today and all kinds of gorgeous.

237auTori rediscovered her Fuzzy Felts today and made this picture of Nannan and Grandad’s house. Apparently that is also Grandad’s car, although I don’t remember it looking quite like that last time I was in it…

238auWe went to visit English Folkfan this afternoon and the Smalls had fun discovering and playing with a lot of Caius’s old toys – here they are exploring his old bath toys and later they moved on to playing with his old dolls.

239auI have been meaning to have a go with the ice cream maker attachment on my Kenwood for a while and tonight I made apple, blackberry and cinnamon frozen yoghurt in it. It is very yummy!

240Today I got down to my Great Bloggers Bake Off attempt – bread week is scary. I think the last time I made bread was last year’s bread week! The results are incredibly tasty – turns out Parmesan and Prosciutto Bread is good stuff.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Ah biscuit week. The one where I always think ‘oh I can do that’ and then fail miserably. Last year we had to make towers of biscuits and this year the challenge once again involved precarious balancing and a certain amount of artistic talent – something I don’t have much of.

First up I decided I would ignore the 3D challenge and just try out a new recipe. I have had the Hummingbird Bakery Home Sweet Home recipe book for months but have never dared attempt any of the beautiful recipes inside – this was the perfect excuse.

I picked out the reasonably simple but tasty looking Linzer Cookies and set to mixing and making. It made a very nice smooth dough which was easy to cut after chilling in the fridge however I should have kept a closer watch on them in the oven as instead of being pale and beautiful the majority of mine looked more like they should have been chocolate flavoured. ‘Over-Baked’ would have been understating it a bit – I took photos of the best ones to save face ;)

linzer cookies

I could have left it at that but I just wasn’t happy with them so I decided the next day to have another go but this time just use a simple vanilla sugar cookie recipe and try to construct a 3D scene.

I happen to be the proud owner of the Lakeland range of Doctor Who cookie cutters and decided I would try to make a scene of Daleks trying to surround the TARDIS (in honour of the new series starting next week) – I have no idea why I thought this would be a good idea after my failure at getting biscuits to stand up last year…

I did commit the cardinal sin and used ready to roll icing for decorating my biscuits but the artwork was all hand drawn on with an edible ink marker pen. This took aaaaages but was quite good fun.


Once the ink was dry I mixed up some thick icing with water and icing sugar (in hindsight I should have added some egg too, but never mind) and began trying to get my three Daleks to stand up around my TARDIS.

The TARDIS was a total pain and had to be propped up with a rolling pin and various other kitchen implements to prevent a total collapse – it still looked a bit drunk in the end though. (Or, as my Dad said, ‘it’s just dizzy from whizzing through time and space.’)

The Daleks worked quite well though and once the icing had set I was able to remove all the props and nothing fell down!

Picdalek2Not the neatest 3D scene ever but I was pleased with it and it’s very tasty! There isn’t much left already!!


I’m taking part in the #GreatBloggersBakeOff2014
To see the other great entries in Biscuit Week click here to see the linky on MummyMishaps

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