mango cupcakes

The other day someone gave me a bowl of a very delicious mango ice cream, made from a simple combination of mango puree, coconut milk and cream, simply blended and frozen with a bit of stirring every now and then.  It tasted a little like a solero, only much more fabulous.  That experience got me thinking about mango puree (I have time on my hands).  A trip to a large Sainsbury’s yielded a 900g tin for less than £1.50 and I was off.


This recipe will make either 12 large (muffin case-sized) cupcakes, or one large round cake, which will take a little longer in the oven.

For the cakes:

  • 75g butter
  • 75g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 450g mango puree
  • grated rind of 1/2 lemon
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

For the icing:

  • 150g (5oz) mascarpone
  • 4 tablespoons icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • juice of half a lemon

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and line a muffin tin with paper cases.

Next, beat the butter and sugar until it becomes light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well, then add the lemon rind and mango and beat until the mixture is smooth.

Stir in the sifted flour and bicarbonate of soda, then fill your cake cases to about 3/4 full.

Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until cooked. To test if they are cooked press in the centre and if they spring back they are done.  Remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.

For the icing, simply add the mascarpone and icing sugar to the lemon juice and mix well, then spread over the cupcakes.  I finished mine off with a sprinkle of coconut and some white chocolate chips for a little extra oomph.


nutella-filled muffins

Summer is here (though didn’t we think that in April and then get rained on for the next four weeks?) and with it comes the opportunity for picnics.  These muffins were a somewhat impromptu response to a picnic invite, using up whatever was in the cupboard…..which is a common theme in the Flyingdebster kitchen.

The result?  A traditional muffin with a pleasant surprise.  Don’t be greedy and put too much nutella in or you will end up with a chocolate-hazelnut volcanic eruption.

  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 50g cold butter, chopped into small pieces
  • 80g soft brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 225ml milk
  • nutella for filling (about 12 heaped tsp)

First, preheat the oven to gas mark 6 and line a muffin tin with paper cases (this recipe should make about 12 muffins).

Then, place the butter, flour and baking powder in a bowl and rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.

In a separate jug, beat the eggs into the milk, then pour into the dry ingredients and stir a few times until just combined.  Don’t worry about lumps and bumps, it shouldn’t look smooth.

Place a good spoon of batter into each muffin case, then blob a teaspoon of nutella on top, and finally cover with another spoon of batter.  Bake in the oven for about 20 mins or until the muffins are risen and firm to the touch, then leave to cool on a wire tray.

Lemon Macadamia Biscuits

Flying Debster sends apologies for her absence over the past month…….but is now back with a super-delicious recipe.

In a recent taste-test by the volunteers at the Ilkley Oxfam shop, these came out on top when compared to the competition from the biscuit tin (a bourbon biscuit, a very old hob-nob and any number of Jacobs crackers that someone had kindly but rather mysteriously donated).  Unfortunately, the light in the dingy basement kitchen didn’t lend itself well to photos, but here to make up for it is the Angel of the North sculpted from bourbons:

Macadamia nuts are admittedly rather pricey, but happily they were included in the Holland and Barrett half price sale at the time of writing.  Normally they would be beyond my means so I’d throw in some raisins, or if you come across some bargain brazil nuts or pine nuts then try those instead (toast the pine nuts first to avoid them tasting of Radox).

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 2 egg yolks (use the whites for meringue or add to an omelette, or they freeze well too)
  • grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 225g plain flour
  • 100g macadamia nuts, chopped
  • 6 tbsp cornflour (secret tip:  I used custard powder as I had no cornflour.  Works fine and makes the biscuits a lovely deep yellow.  Just make sure you use “real” custard powder, not the instant stuff)
As usual, firstly preheat the oven to gas mark 4 and then line a baking tray with foil or baking parchment.
Then, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy and then beat in the egg yolks.  Don’t worry if it curdles, all will be well.
Stir in the lemon juice and rind, then add the flour and cornflour, and finally the nuts.
Roll the mixture into walnut-sized balls and place on the tray with plenty of room to spread, pressing them down slightly as you go.  Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden, then move onto a wire rack to cool.

seedy teabread

That’s seedy as in “contains seeds”, there is no funny business on this site I promise.

I’ve just been away for the weekend in the lovely Shropshire countryside, with plenty of walking (and a bit more than we bargained for thanks to estimating distances with the “my hand equals three miles” method).

Luckily we had this cake with us – it’s best toasted and buttered but was extremely welcome in squashed form from the bottom of a rucksack when I started having a meltdown.  It’s also remarkably tasty for a wholesome and healthy cake.

  • 275g self raising wholemeal flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 100g dried apricots, chopped (organic ones taste much nicer)
  • 250g fruit and seed mix (e.g. Holland and Barrett Breakfast Sprinkle)
  • 175ml apple juice
  • 4 tbsp runny honey

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 and grease a 2lb loaf tin.

Put the flour, baking powder, fruit and seeds into a mixing bowl, then stir in the apple juice and honey until you have a thick batter.

Turn into the loaf tin and bake for about half an hour until risen and golden.

Eat buttered and toasted, alternatively tear off by the handful and stuff into mouth when you have completely lost the ability to walk another step even though there is a pub waiting for you at the end.



chocolate orange shortcake

Spring is in the air and with it comes the opportunity to enjoy the sunshine with a walk and a picnic:

And, of course, no picnic is complete without a good biccy.  These shortbreads were inspired by a bar of orange shortcake flavour Galaxy no less, found on special offer at Smith’s.  What could be better than an orange shortcake studded with orange shortcake chocolate?  OK, there may be many finer things in life but it certainly worked for us.

  • 200g butter
  • 350g self-raising flour
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 1 orange
  • 100g chocolate (orange shortcake if you can find it, milk or plain if you can’t), broken into chunks

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.  Cut the butter into pieces and place in a large mixing bowl, then add the flour and sugar and rub in the butter until you have fine breadcrumbs.  Throw in the chocolate.

Next, grate the zest from the orange and add it to the bowl, then juice the orange and add that too, “cutting” it into the mixture with a knife.  Bring the mixture together with your hands (you might need to add a little cold water).  Once you have a ball of dough, turn it out onto a floured surface and roll out to about 1cm thick, then cut out rounds and place on the baking tray.

Bake for about 15-20 mins until they are golden and then place on a wire rack to cool.



chocolate whirls

I signed up for a women’s yoga day recently (thanks to Ange Yogamum for the invite, it was fab!) and this did of course provide an excuse to bake…..but I faced the following dilemma: are yoga practitioners fastidiously healthy, or do they eat chocolate biscuits?  Thus a test was formed in my mind.

These biscuits provided the perfect temptation – not too sweet and perfect for dunking in a cup of (herbal) tea.  Thankfully they had all disappeared by teatime and I was not faced with the embarrassment of taking home a full tub of treats.

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp cold butter, chopped
  • 3/4 cup milk, plus a little extra for glazing
  • nutella for filling

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 and line a baking tray with baking parchment.

And here is my favourite bit of all baking experiences- place the flour, salt, sugar and butter into a mixing bowl and rub until it resembles breadcrumbs.  It’s just so satisfying (or is that just me…).

Add the milk and stir with a fork until a rough dough forms, then turn on to a floured surface and knead about ten times.  Then, roll the dough out into a rectangle with the long side nearest to you.  The dough should be about half a centimetre thick.

Spread the dough with the nutella (using a knife dipped in hot water makes this a lot easier) then roll it up like a swiss roll.  Slice into about 12 whirls, place on the sheet with room for them to spread (you might have to do two batches) and glaze with the spare milk.

Bake for about twenty minutes until they are puffed and golden, then place on a wire rack to cool.

For a more sophisticated filling you could use grated plain chocolate mixed with a little softened butter.  For a less sophisticated filling (debatable) use strawberry jam.  Or experiment and let me know!

banana mango tea bread

Regular readers of this blog may notice that a theme is emerging……yep, I still haven’t quite managed to buy any eggs.  But I have bought an awful lot of bananas, many of which were long past their best when I stumbled across a recipe for eggless banana bread.  With a little tinkering here and there, namely the addition of a snack pack of dried mango that was lurking in the cupboard, I created this tropical-style treat.

Best served sliced and buttered, toasted if you wish.

  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 50g butter
  • 50g soft light brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp skimmed milk
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 50g dried mango

First of all, soak the dried mango in a cup of boiling water.  It will swell up and make for a lovely moist cake.

Whilst it’s soaking, preheat the oven to gas mark 3 and grease and line a loaf tin.

Next, place the flour and baking powder into a bowl, then rub in butter until you have a bowl of breadcrumbs.

Stir in the sugar, milk, bananas and drained mango until you have a soft mixture, then spoon into a prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes until it’s golden brown and leave to cool on a wire rack.

For extra desert island flavour, try adding some dried pineapple. coconut flakes or even a tot of rum.


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