21 October 2014

Bread and Butter Pudding

This recipe is quite useful in situations when you have a surplus of bread or an old, stale loaf. Rather than throwing it away you can turn it into a lovely pudding - and if you have *a lot* of it, you can easily cut into portions and freeze for cheeky wee sweet later.

I made this pudding when my other half came home with 8 loafs of bread one night (just couldn't walk past a good yellow label deal...). I used some of it for breadcrumbs, some  of it went into burgers, and some of it ended up like this:


  • 700-800g of white bread (fresh, frozen or stale)
  • 500g mixed raisins, candied peels and dried fruit
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 700 – 800 ml milk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 150g sugar
  • zest 1 orange
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 100g butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • demerara sugar (for sprinkling – about ½ cup, depending on the pudding surface size)
  • chocolate custard (for serving)

  1. If you’re using fresh bread, tear or cut it up into small bits in a large mixing bowl and add the fruit, spices and milk. If you’re using stale or frozen bread, warm up the milk very slightly (just so that it’s warm) and soak the bread in it until it’s completely soft.
  2. Mix the bread, milk, fruit and spices well together and completely break up the bread, until it has the texture of dough. Add the eggs, sugar and orange zest. Stir well, then set aside for 15 mins to soak.
  3. In the meantime, preheat oven to 160C (fan). Line a 20cm a square cake tin with baking paper AND butter it (otherwise the pudding *will* stick to the paper).
  4. Stir the melted butter into the pudding mixture.
  5. Pour the pudding into the tin, sprinkle with demarara sugar and bake for 1½ hrs until firm and golden.
  6. Serve with chocolate custard. (this part is vital).

20 October 2014

DIY Ghost for Halloween

Really easy and fun to make, regardless of age. :)

You will need:

  • 2 tbsp of starch
  • 500ml + 1/2 glass water
  • cheese cloth (large enough to make 1 ghost)
  • wire
  • a ball
  • a vase/boottle/tall glass for the body (I used a cocktail shaker)
  • 2 small, round bits of black felt or fabric (for the eyes)
  • glue (any type should do - I used a simple glue stick)

  1. Bring 500ml of water to boil.
  2. In the meantime, mix the starch witch 1/2 glass of cold water. Add to the boiling water and mix until it thickens. Once it starts to thicken, take it off the heat.
  3. Leave it to cool until it's safe to touch and dip your cheese cloth in it. Squeeze out any excess. 
  4. Using the ball for head, the wire for arms and the bottle for body, construct a mould for your ghost. Place it on a flat, washable surface.
  5. Spread out the cheese cloth and place it over the ghost mould (see below).
  6. Allow it to dry overnight, then lift the cheese cloth up - this will take a bit of work as it will likely be stuck to the surface. Don't worry though, you don't have to be too gentle with it. It should still keep its form.
  7. Glue the eyes onto the face. And there you go! You've got your very own ghost. :)

Once Halloween is over, if you want to get rid of your ghost you can simply put it under warm running water and wash out the starch to re-use the cloth next year.

Starch should be easily available in any Polish shop or Polish section in a supermarket, but if you can't get your hands on it you can use fabric stiffener instead, which should be available in any DIY shop.