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Shane's 26th Birthday - Grape Poke Cake

So the past couple of weeks, I have been trying to figure what I was going to make for Shane's birthday. I was searching the net for something unique and came across the Poke Cake. I knew he would love it and I wanted to do it in his favorite flavor Grape. Luckily we had brought back some Jell-o from our recent trip to the States. The only item I couldn't find was White Cake Mix, which was fine, so I searched for a homemade version. There are so many out there and I didn't have time to test it out with the Poke Cake recipe so I decided on this White Butter Cake. The White Butter Cake was lovely but not the right cake for the Poke Cake recipe, you will see below in the pictures. The Jello just soaked right through the cake rather then staying in the poke holes. So it had the great flavor just not the the same streaky line effect. Does anyone have a recipe that replicates the Betty Crocker White Cake? Guess I will just have to do some more experimenting! Shane didn't seem to care as he loved the cake and has already had 3 big squares of cake! At the end of the day, that's all that matters!

Courtesy of KraftRecipes with my little tweaks
1 pkg. white cake mix or use a homemade cake
1 US cup boiling water
1 pkg. (3 oz.) JELL-O Grape Flavor Gelatin
1/2 US cup cold water
300ml Whipping Cream
1 Tbs Icing Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Handful of red grapes, chopped
Purple Glimmer Sugar

  1. PREPARE cake batter and bake as directed on package for 13x9-inch pan. Cool cake in pan 15 min. Pierce cake with large fork at 1/2-inch intervals. 
  2. ADD boiling water to gelatin mix in small bowl; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in cold water; pour over cake. Refrigerate 3 hours. 
  3. WHIP the cream together with the icing sugar and vanilla extract. Frost the cake. 
  4. CHOP the grapes into quarters and put into a sandwich bag. Pour some purple glimmer sugar in the bag. Shake the bag up so the sugar sticks to the grapes. Scatter the covered grapes all over the frosted cake. 

Happy 26th Birthday, Shane!

Weekend Baking: Part 2 - Olive Bread Swirls

Even though this is part two of my weekend baking, I actually started making this first before the Cheesy Bonfire Bread. I loved the idea of it the moment I saw them on the BBC GoodFood site. They look just like cinnamon rolls but are a savory version called Olive Bread Swirls. I was a bit more worried about making this as it involved yeast and needed to sit around to rise quite a bit. I was afraid it wouldn't rise but as you can see in the picture that it did, in fact it doubled in size! As I don't have my stand mixer yet, I kneaded this for 10 minutes by hand. It reminded me of being a kid and playing with play-dough. I really enjoyed making it and watching it rise. I will have to practice the part where you roll the filling in it, to try to get more perfect swirls, but I was really happy with how they turned out. They tasted lovely straight out of the oven. It would be nice served with marinara sauce or some garlic butter to dip it in. This completes recipe 100 of "My 100" list.
Courtesy of BBC GoodFood
500g strong white flour, plus extra for rolling
1 tsp salt
7g sachet easy-blend dried yeast 
6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus a little for brushing
small bunch of basil 
170g pitted kalamata olives (about 200g unpitted weight)
1 garlic clove, crushed 
50g pitted green olives 
  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, yeast, 1 tbsp olive oil and 300ml warm water, to make a soft dough. Knead by hand for 10 mins or with the dough hook in a food processor or mixer for 5 mins. Put the dough back in the cleaned out mixing bowl, then cover the bowl with oiled cling film. Leave to rise for an hr in a warm place until doubled in size.
  2. Meanwhile, make the filling. Discard any tough basil stalks (leave tender ones on) and put in a mini food processor or hand blender beaker with the black olives. Add 4 tbsp olive oil, the garlic and the anchovies, if using. Whizz to a rough paste.
  3. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan. Line a shallow baking tin about 30 x 20cm with non-stick paper. On a floured worktop, roll out the dough to a rectangle roughly 30 x 40cm. Spread the olive paste all over and arrange the whole green olives in a line down one of the short edges. Roll up the dough like a Swiss roll, starting at the short olive-encrusted end to make a sausage shape.
  4. Cut the dough into 12 slices, then carefully lift each one into the tin, to make 4 rows of 3 swirl shapes. Lightly brush all over with the remaining olive oil. Loosely cover with cling film, then leave to rise for 20 mins or so, until slightly puffed up and filling the tin. Cook for 20-25 mins until golden, then leave to cool in the tin. 

Weekend Baking: Part 1 - Cheesy Bonfire Bread

I decided to bake some bread recipes this weekend. I found two recipes on the BBC GoodFood website that I wanted to make ever since I added them to "My 100" list. We were having a chilled out evening with one of our friends and planned on snacking all night. They wanted a rustic type bread so I thought this Cheesy Bonfire Bread recipe would be great to try out. I had fun baking this one. The only other bread I have baked before was Banana Bread, which is a completely different process. I really enjoyed kneading the dough, mixing in the chargrilled peppers, cheese and pumpkin seeds.  It was very easy to make and the flavour was great. It tasted great with some onion chutney spread on it. I will be making this one again to enjoy by a bonfire or as we did last night by our chimnea. This recipe completes recipe 99 of "My 100" list.

Courtesy of BBC GoodFood
200g wholemeal flour
200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
2tsp cream of tartar
1tsp salt
25g butter, melted
300ml milk, at room temperature
175g cheddar, coarsely grated
3tbsp pumpkin seeds
85g chargrilled peppers from a jar, drained and chopped

  1. Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl and make a large well in the middle. Combine the melted butter and milk, then pour into the well. Mix to a soft dough.
  2. Dust the work surface with flour. Add most of the cheddar, 2 tbsp of the pumpkin seeds and the chopped peppers to the dough. Gently knead to combine on the floured surface. Divide into 8 lumps and shape into rough rounds two finger-widths deep.
  3. Place the pieces side by side on a floured baking sheet, scatter the remaining cheddar and pumpkin seeds over the top and bake for 30 mins until golden brown and the cheese is bubbling. Cool on a wire rack and eat while warm. BQVN4DD8UR7G

Cake Mug... again!

Shane loved last's night cake so much, that he made me make it again tonight! I had some caramel candy and decided to add those in. As you can see from the picture the caramel did not melt. The cake only cooks for a few minutes, so it was not long enough to melt the caramel. Next time I will chop the caramel up or make some fresh caramel sauce. The addition of fresh cream was really nice! This recipe is so easy and really good! This will be my go to recipe for when I need a little chocolate cake fix! What can I add to it next time?!


Vote for my mug cake on BakerStreet's bloghop at the bottom of this post!

Bake a Cake in a... Mug!

I received this tweet from one of my followers! I have heard of recipes to make a mug cake in the microwave but never tried making one. I sent this Molten Mug Chocolate Cake recipe to @fauxpaschick last night. She tweeted back later saying how great it turned out and is even going to add in different flavours. So I thought I should try the recipe out and see how it goes. Here is the result of my cake in the mug.

Courtesy of GoodFood BBC
1 coffee mug
4 Tbsp. cake flour (plain, not self-rising)
4 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. cocoa
1 egg
3 Tbsp. milk
3 Tbsp. oil
Small splash of vanilla

  1. Add dry ingredients to mug, mix well with a fork.
  2. Add egg, mix throughly.
  3. Pour in milk, oil and vanilla, mix well.
  4. Put mug into microwave and cook for three minutes on 1000 watts. Cake will rise over top of mug. Allow to cool for 2 minutes.

Mixed and ready for cooking

Just out of the microwave

Flipped onto plate and cooling

Ready to eat!

Not the prettiest cake but super easy to make and very tasty!! It tasted great on its own very moist and spongy. Next time I would maybe serve it with some cream and caramel drizzled on top, custard, or a dollop of peanut butter cooked in the center. This recipe is perfect for when you are craving cake and just want a small serving for 1! Try it out with your own modifications. Let me know how yours comes out!

Coffee Granita

I was watching the Good Cook show the other day, and he was making a Coffee Granita. I have never heard of it before but it seemed like a great recipe to try out for the summer. Granita is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and various flavorings. Originally from Sicily, although available all over Italy, it is related to sorbet and italian ice. It is extremely easy to put together and tastes very nice. I have modified his recipe, see it below. Or try your own combination of ingredients. I am going to try making some fruit granitas in the future. This recipe completes number 85 of "My 100" list. 

My Recipe
Coffee Granita
  • 4.5 Cups Double Strength Coffee (I used 10 scoops of coffee grounds)
  • 170g Sugar
  • 225ml Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Almond Extract
Whipped Cream
  • 250ml Double Cream
  • 1 Tbs Icing Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

    • Cinnamon (optional)
    • Demerara Sugar (optional)
    • Caramel (optional)

    • Brew coffee 
    • Pour sugar into a mixing bowl, add in the vanilla and almond extracts.
    • Once coffee is brewed, pour into mixing bowl and whisk everything together
    • Pour into a 8" x 8" glass pan
    • Place carefully into freezer
    • Check in an hour, use a fork to rake through the mixture
    • Continue to check every 30 minutes and rake through the mixture
    • It took 5 hours for mine to complete, but it all depends on your freezer
    • Once you are ready to serve, combine the 3 ingredients for the whip cream.
    • Whip it to a soft peak
    • Scoop on top of the granita
    • Sprinkle with your choice of topping
    Last addition of milk
    Ready for the freezer

    Halfway thereAlmost done

    Ready to eat!Whipped Cream Topping