August Break Day 29 Listening

Counting Crows - Possibility Days

Other songs on my recent play list:

Little Mix - Move
Train - Bullet Proof Picasso
Pitbull - Give Me Everything
Rupert Holmes - Escape (pina colada song)
Mamma Mia - Lay All Your Love On Me
Jewel - Hands


August Break Day 28 In My Bag

1. Vans flamingo hand bag bought circa 2005
2. paracetamol - you just never know
3. Ted Baker color lip gloss
4. Lush liquid lipstick - Perspective: Now I can see clearly.
5. Balmi lip balm - cherry
6. keys - with Make Cupcakes Not War Johnny Cupcake key chain
7. Good Fish Guide
8. wallet - TK Maxx find
9. Tic Tacs
10. Pen from Kyoto Sushi in Minneapolis, Minnesota
11. notebook

What's in your bag?


August Break Day 27 Favorite Recipe

It's hard to choose just one favorite recipe, but these chocolate chip cookies never fail me. It's a Nigella recipe from her book Kitchen. It can also be found here.


August Break Day 25 Green

Missed like all of the middle August Day prompts, but hey ho that's life. 

Green is my favorite color. 

Here are a few of my favorite green things! 


Two Ways with a Gypsy Tart

I just realised that my title could be taken the wrong way … if you are inclined to think that way. Something that I’ve learned is that it’s actually how a lot of people think. Being one of the small percentage of people who don’t always get innuendo I say a lot of things that get laughed at. I would relay some of the these instances, but we don’t have all day. Just take my word for it.

It’s not the first time I shared a Gypsy Tart on United Cakedom, but I thought I would try something different this time. Then it didn’t turn out so well and I hadn’t accounted for a couple of things. With a little improvising and adjusting I sorted it out and ended up with two different way to make a gypsy tart!

The filling is the same, it’s the base that changes. First I made mini tarts with a sweet shortcrust pastry. Then when I was stuck with a lot of extra filling because I didn’t think to half the recipe or something I made a quick cookie/biscuit base to bake the rest of the filling over with successful results!

Just like the title of this post could be taken two ways this gypsy tart can be made two ways...here's how:

Gypsy Tart


(makes enough for 24 mini tarts or 12 mini tarts and 7inch Gypsy Tart)

451ml (1 can) of evaporated milk
300g muscovado sugar

Whip them together for 15 minutes until light, fluffy, and tripled in size.

Mini Gypsy Tarts:

sweet shortcrust pastry

300g plain flour
4 tablespoons of golden caster sugar
200g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cold water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whisk the flour and sugar together before rubbing the cubed butter into the flour/sugar until it resembles bread crumbs. Add all the other ingredients and bring together with a spatula or your hands until it makes a smooth dough. Make into a ball and squish a little to make a fat disk like shape, wrap in cling film and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough and cut out 12 circles to line each muffin hole. Gently press down into the corners, use a fork to put holes in the base of each pastry case before leaving in the fridge to chill for about 15 minutes. The follow the instructions below for blind baking.


Pre-heat the oven 200C - Line each pastry case with a square of baking paper and fill with ceramic beans. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove ceramic beans and bake for a further 10 minutes until pastry turns a light brown.

to finish 

Fill each pastry case with the gypsy filling and bake for 5-10 minutes. Do not bake for 15 minutes as I did and had them collapse on me. Which I then whipped up some whipped cream and drizzled raspberry sauce on top!

Cookie Base Gypsy Tart 

cookies base 

213g chocolate chip hobnobs
50g melted butter

Blitz the cookies in a food processor, then add the butter and pulse a couple of times. Line a 7inch circle cake tin with the cookie mixture.

to finish

Pour the remaining gypsy filling into the tin and bake for 15 minutes. Leave to cool in the fridge for 2 hours before slicing and enjoying!

notes: Gypsy Tart is a pretty basic recipe, but this one was adapted from Eric Lanlard's Tart it Up! I wrote about it here the first time I made it. This is my #thepastrychallenge entry which I host with Jen at Jen's Food. There is still time to link up here!


Sweet Potato & Sweet Smoked Paprika Bread

This summer has been pretty disappointing. We had some glorious weather early on and that was about it. With the cooler weather lately I have already been thinking of fall/autumn flavors. Dinner has already started changing from chicken salads and sandwiches to creamy delicious macaroni and cheese and cottage pies! If dinner is already changing why not my baking!

With bread being the star of The Great British Bake Off this week, plus I just received a new bread book, and I had a whole bag of strong white flour in my cupboard I thought I’d make a loaf of bread! With fall/autumn like weather I decided to go with a sweet potato and paprika flavored bread.

You know how when decorating a room you either have plain walls with decorative accessories or you have fun wall paper and plan accessories. That’s how bread is. You either have plain bread with flavor packed toppings or flavor packed bread with butter or for dipping in soup. If done tastefully you can decorate a room with wallpaper and colorful accessories and that goes for bread too. If you know how to pair it just right you get yummy fillings/toppings to go with your flavor packed bread.

Well, after that load of ramble here is how I made this loaf of Sweet Potato and Paprika bread. The recipe comes from Simply Good Bread: Delicious home-baked recipes for everyone by Peter Sidwell. Somewhat adapted as my method varied from his direct instructions. The title says it all the recipes all seem pretty simple and easy for everyone. There are even instructions for those who are using a bread maker.

Sweet Potato & Sweet Smoked Paprika bread

200g sweet potatoes, baked/soft
500g strong white bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fast action yeast (about 1/2 of a 7g sachet)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
300ml water
1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika

Start by baking the potato(s) and mashing them. Set aside.
Mix the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a measuring jug measure the water before adding the yeast, sugar, and paprika - stir to combine.
Make a well in the centre of the flour/salt and pour the liquid mixture in the middle. Add the mashed potatoes before using a spatula gently bring the dry and liquid ingredients together before using your hands to start to work the dough. Once it starts to come away from the bowl tip out on to a well floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes. The dough is sticky so keep floured and have a dough scraper near by.
Once kneaded place back in the bowl and leave to rise until doubled in size should take 30-40 minutes in a warm place.
When it’s ready gently tip it out and knock it back or gently knead for about a minute. Then place in a 1kg or 2lb loaf tin, grease if it’s not non-stick. Leave to double in size while you pre-heat the oven to 200C.
Bake in the heated oven for 40 minutes until golden brown on top. Gently tip the loaf out and knock on the bottom, if it sounds hallow then it’s ready. If not cook for 5-10 more minutes.
Slice and enjoy!

notes: I hope break week on The Great British Bake Off encourages you to give bread a go! If you do you should enter it into Jen’s Food and Utterly Scrummly’s Bread Challenge - Bready Steady Go! I did!

To see a few other books I recently added to my bookshelf beside's Mr. Sidwell's check out my last post here!


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