Chocolate Orange Cupcakes With Orange Blossom Glacé Icing

As-Salaamu Alaykum,

Apologises for my lack of posting in recent months.

Here are some yummy cupcakes to re-break the blogging ice.

My first lot of Chocolate Orange Cupcakes I made way back in 2012 are still great but this time I chose to put a layer of orange blossom water glacé icing on top of each cupcake instead of a mountain of buttercream.  

The orange blossom water cuts through some of the sweetness of the cupcake, yet your sugar craving is well and truly satisfied. 

The baking cups I used were deep so the mix made 10 instead of the usual 12 and even then, they didn't rise to the top. This of course can be avoided if you use regular cases (liners). Do let me know if you try the recipe how it worked for you.

Chocolate Oranges Cupcakes With Orange Blossom Glacé Icing 

Makes 10-12 portions



150 grams slightly salted butter (softened)
150 grams caster sugar (i prefer to use golden)
175 grams self-raising flour
25 grams cocoa powder 
3 medium size eggs
zest of 1 large orange (i used navel)
orange blossom water / orange juice

Glacé Icing

200 grams icing sugar 
1 teaspoon orange blossom water
1 -2 tablespoon water


sprinkles of your choice


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Lay out baking cups on a baking tray.
  2. Using an electric mixer or with a wooden spoon and bowl mix together butter and sugar till light and fluffy (5-10 minutes)
  3. Beat in the orange zest.Add eggs one at a time, ensuring each one is thoroughly incorporated before adding the next (5 minutes)
  4. Sift flour and cocoa powder into bowl and with a large metal spoon fold into the mixture until just incorporated. 
  5. Lightly mix in enough orange blossom water/orange juice until you get a dropping consistency.
  6. Using a 1/4cup or ice cream scoop, divide into baking cups. Bake in centre of oven for 15-20 minutes until firm to touch.
  7. Remove from oven and leave to cool.
  8. Once cupcakes are cool make the glacé icing; in a large bowl sift in icing sugar, add orange blossom water and 1 tablespoon water, gently mix adding more water as needed until it's just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  9. Top each cupcake with a generous teaspoon of glacé icing and decorate with your favourite sprinkles.

Fudgy Brownies (chocolate cherry)


As-Salaamu Alaykum,

Baking in recent months has taken a bit of a back seat but that doesn't mean I've lost my passion for it, no siree!

These chewy crusted, rich fudgy Brownies engrained in me that yes you can be pushed for time, with children pulling at your apron strings (metaphorically speaking) and still make a really tasty treat in less than an hour.

I used a naturally flavoured cherry cocoa powder I bought from sugarandcrumbs they stock a variety of flavoured cocoas and icing sugars all a bit pricey but a little goes a long way as they are strongly flavoured.

The kids and I lapped these brownies up and although yes the cherry flavour was pleasant it was the texture that made these brownies irresistible.

I'm not a black sour cherry fan, which begs the question I ask myself, why go out of your flavour comfort zone? Well I did get inspired when I saw the hairy bikers make a B.F.G. (Black Forest Gateau) a while ago on TV and thought yes I'm onto a winner so when I was umming and arrring (Yorkshire talk for pondering) over which flavour to choose from the array of flavoured cocoa and icing sugars over at sugar and crumbs, cherry came in at no.1 I have to say I can't wait to try their coffee and caramel flavoured icing sugars next, insha'Allah

For the original recipe click here but as I used wholemeal flour and I reduced the sugar a little due to the flavoured cocoa containing dextrose here is my recipe.

Fudgy Chocolate Cherry Brownies


2grams baking soda
80ml sunflower oil
150ml boiling water
380grams white sugar
2 medium eggs
80ml sunflower oil
165grams wholemeal plain flour (allinsons brand I prefer)
2grams fine sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the cocoa and baking soda. Add 80ml sunflower oil and boiling water. Mix until well blended and thickened. Stir in the sugar, eggs, and remaining 80ml oil. Finally, add the flour and salt; mix just until all of the flour is absorbed. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool before cutting into desired portions.


North African Inspired Lamb & Lima/Butter Bean Soup

As-Salaamu Alaykum,

In my opinion we all need one more soup recipe. This is one i found and adapted ever so slightly from UmmSafia

I'll admit I don't know much about beans, dh brought these home and they look a lot like Lima/Butter beans, no? I'm sure you could substitute these for any other type of bean if you prefer.

A great tip I learned recently from a friend; when soaking any dry beans/pulses overnight, use boiling water from the kettle. I hadn't been doing this previously, it's total common cooking sense which as you can tell I'm still working on.

Important: when your sautéing your vegetables/meat, season! this will draw the moisture out and speed up the softening process.

This recipe is similar but not quite the same as another Algerian favourite of mine Loubia which uses large white haricot beans without the extra vegetables.

You can use as much lamb as your budget dictates, on or off the bone but remember on = more flavour.

I substituted chicken stock for a vegetable stock cube, but again the choice is yours.


Lamb & Lima / Butter Bean Soup

adapted slightly from ummsafia
Serves 4


Note: UK Cup = 250ml

1 Cup dried Lima / Butter Beans
2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
250g-750g Lamb (on or off the bone)
2 Medium brown Onions, finely chopped
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
2 Teaspoon Ras El Hanout (or garam masala / spice blend of your choice)
Salt, Black Pepper
2 Medium Carrots, coarsely chopped
2 Celery sticks, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 vegetable stock cube dissolved in
2 Cups Water (from boiled kettle)
4 Cups boiled water
400g Chopped Tomatoes (fresh or tin)


1. Place beans in a large heat proof bowl and cover with boiled water, leave to soak overnight. Drain and rinse well before using.
2. Heat Olive Oil in a large pan on medium heat, add onions, meat, garlic Season with salt and pepper, add carrots and celery cook for 5-10 minutes add ras el hanout cook for 1 minute.
3. Add beans, stock, water. Cover pan and bring to boil, reduce heat to a simmer cook for 1 hour, every 20mins skim surface from any white foam.
3. After 1 hour, check / adjust seasoning also you can remove lamb and cut it into smaller pieces if you prefer. Return meat to pan along with the tomatoes, cover and simmer soup for 1 hour more.
4. Check seasoning then serve. Feel free to sprinkle soup with coriander and lemon juice and serve with crusty bread.


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