west ealing neighbours public meeting 25th June

Just a short reminder that we are holding a public meeting at St John’s Church, Mattock Lane on Thursday 25th June starting at 7.30pm. The main subjects for discussion are:

The Lido Junction
The regeneration of Green Man Lane Estate
The Councils plans for sprucing up West Ealing

Please come along for an informative and interesting evening with lots of lively debate!


lime cheesecake

I was looking for something different to make and thought of cheesecake! This recipe appealed as looked easy to make (always my first criteria!) and I liked the idea of using zest and juice of limes and lemon.

It is supposed to serve 8, however when I served it up two of us managed to eat half in one sitting! I gave the rest to the friend who came round for dinner and he managed the other half over 2 days!

I have made it since and took to a bbq on Saturday, everyone was suitably impressed and it was a very popular choice amongst the array of desserts on offer.


225g digestive biscuits
110g Butter
grated zest and juice of 1/2 Lemons (I used 1 which was sufficient)
grated zest and juice of 3 limes
115g Sugar
350g full-fat cream cheese
150ml double cream

1. Crush the digestive biscuits into crumbs.

2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat. Mix together the biscuit crumbs and melted butter, mixing thoroughly.

3. Press the biscuit crumb mixture into a 20cm loose-based flan tin.

4. Place the cream cheese in a food processor or mixing bowl. Add the sugar, lemon zest and juice and lime zest and juice. Mix together thoroughly.

5. Whisk the double cream until soft peaks form. Fold the whisked cream into the cream cheese mixture.

6. Put the combined mixture into the loose-based flan tin lined with biscuit crumb mixture.

7. Chill overnight in the refrigerator until set. Serve with the raspberries.

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battenburg cake 

At work last week we were discussing food we had as kids and battenburg (or battenberg as it is correctly spelt I believe) cake came up in the conversation. It just so happened that one of the girls was going to Marks and Sparks and lo and behold she came back with said Battenburg. Our eyes lit up and we hurried off to make a cuppa to have our slice. Oh what a disappointment it was! Sickly sweet and dry this surely wasn’t the cake of our childhood we cried! I checked the ingredients out and sugar was listed first – no wonder it tasted so cloying.

None of us had baked a battenburg before so I rose to the challenge and volunteered to make one. We all agreed that marzipan would probably be better than almond paste and there are plenty of recipes with both. I bought my marzipan as the cake was a little fiddly to make without the palava of making the marzipan too!

Here is the recipe and a picture too! Enjoy….


100g soft margarine (you can use butter)
100g caster sugar
2 large/extra large eggs
50g ground rice ( I bought this from Broadway International Food Centre as Sainsbury’s didn’t stock it. They were very helpful)
100g self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
a few drops of almond essence
red food colouring
3-4 tablespoons apricot jam (I used strawberry)
225g marzipan

Preheat the oven to 160c/325f/Gas 3.

I have checked quite a lot of recipes on the internet to find out the best way of cooking the cake – either one large square tin (20cm) or two separate loaf tins. I opted for the latter as I have two small loaf tins identical in size and I thought it would be a neater finish. If you don’t have the luxury of two tins, divide the tin in half with a strip of foil folded into a double thickness.

Make sure you butter and line the tin or tins with baking parchment.

Beat the butter, sugar, eggs, ground rice, flour, baking powder and almond essence for two minutes until smooth.

If using two tins place half the mixture in the tin and add a few drops of red food colouring to the rest of the ingredients then place in the second tin. The cake will take around 40 minutes, test with a skewer to check if done.

Don’t turn the cakes out until they have had some time to cool otherwise they will be too crumbly. Trim each of the two cakes into two cuboids, each with the same square cross-section, so that you can put them all together. Warm your jam (I used Sainsbury’s basics strawberry jam as it has no pips and therefore ideal for this recipe) in a saucepan until it is runny and spread able, and assemble the cake in the traditional chequerboard pattern.

Roll the marzipan into an oblong big enough to wrap the cake in. Put some more jam on the now glued-together cake, and roll it all up in the marzipan, smoothing the join.

Top tip
When rolling the marzipan place on baking parchment so it doesn’t stick to the work surface, this also means you don’t have to use any icing sugar on the rolling pin.

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banana bread cake 

This is the banana bread cake recipe from the baking day. I have made it loads of times and it always turns out really well. It keeps lovely and moist wrapped in tin foil for up to a week (if it lasts that long!) I was talking to someone on the baking day and they put nuts into their banana bread cake – I shall certainly try that next time.


3 ripe bananas
225g (8oz) self-raising flour
175g (6oz) caster sugar
100g (4oz) butter softened
2 eggs
2 tablespoons of golden syrup
a pinch of salt

1. Pre-heat oven to 150c/300F/gas 2.
2. Peel bananas, slice into a bowl and mash with a fork until smooth.
3. Beat in all the remaining ingredients until smooth. This could also be done in a food mixer or food processor.
4. Spoon the mixture into a greased and lined with baking parchment 900g (2lb) loaf tin and bake for one and a quarter to one and a half hours until risen and firm to touch.
5. Leave to rest for 10-15 minutes before turning out of the tin.
6. The cake is now ready and can be served warm as a pudding or just left to cool.

Top tips

1. For a richer ‘toffee’ flavour, replace the golden syrup with black treacle.
2. Melt some chocolate and pour over the top for a banana and chocolate cake.
3. For a nutty flavour, top the cake with 50g (2oz) of chopped nuts before placing in the oven.
4. For the ultimate finish, serve with vanilla Ice-cream and chocolate sauce.

chocolate chip cookies

Hi all as promised here is Fran’s chocolate chip cookie recipe from the baking day. They didn’t spread that much on the baking sheet. I re-rolled some of the cookies to make slightly less than 30 (probably around 25) as the first batch weren’t flattened down very well so stayed as cookie balls rather than nice, flat, round cookies!

Top Tip – Don’t cook any longer than 15 minutes maximum as I burnt some and the attendees were none too happy that THEIR cookies were burnt! They do harden up when cooled.

Ingredients Makes 30
115g butter, softened
115g caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
225g plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
However many chocolate chips you’d like

1. Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the egg, a little at a time, beating well between each addition.
3. Sift in the flour, baking powder and cocoa and add the chocolate chips. Mix well with a wooden spoon to form a dough.
4. Roll with your hands into 30 balls. Place on a baking sheet and flatten. Leave a gap between them as they will spread. Bake for 15 minutes and then cool them on a wire rack.

Baking Day Recipes

For those of you interested in the recipes from the baking day on Saturday 6th June, click on the link for 101things and you will find the bread recipe and how to ‘make’ butter.  Did you know making butter was as simple as double cream, a jar, and some shaking?!

I will post the banana bread recipe and also get the chocolate chip recipe from Fran too.  Happy baking!

baking day – saturday 6th June

Hi all just a short comment on the baking day that took place on Saturday 6th June at St James church hall, West Ealing. Around 34 people turned up, with a good mixture of children and adults.  It was busy, noisy and sometimes a little bit messy, but such good fun!  We had some great feedback with lots of people asking when the next one is!

I will be posting video footage and pictures of the event very soon so watch this space.

a late easter offering

I am a bit late posting pictures of these lovely chocolate brownie cakes.  It took me ages to find chocolate eggs with the right colour foil to place on top of the cakes as decoration and they were expensive too! I made 32 cakes – for work and my sons nursery.  Needless to say they went down very well!

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