Summer Berry Crepe Cake


For a woman who is constantly making pancakes of sorts – thin, Scotch, puffy, buttermilk, Dutch – it would seem surprising that I have never made a Crepe Cake.

Until now.

[Read more…]

Blackberry and Apple Tea Cakes


These easy tea cakes are a great way to use up any remaining Bramley apples you may have from this summer’s harvest. Throw in some blackberries, fresh or frozen, to enhance this seasonal, fruity, light cake. [Read more…]

Four Fruit Kringle


If you follow this blog regularly you will know that I have a real soft spot for sweet dough – mixing, proving, baking and of course, consuming.  In my mind, there is nothing better than a freshly baked pastry and your favourite hot drink. [Read more…]

Blackberry and Lemon Balm Ice Cream


It may come as a surprise, but I have never really been a huge fan of ice cream.

As a child I used to enjoy the occasional treat from the local ice cream van – my favourite being an ‘oyster’ – two shell shaped wafers joined together with a coconut coated marshmallow, filled with soft, whipped vanilla ice cream. As an adult I could really take-or-leave ice cream, apart from two very notable occasions. [Read more…]

Late Summer ‘Sangria’

sangria-1-7Nothing says late summer to me more than blackberries and apples. Foraging for blackberries is a summer past time for us and the abundance of glorious apples cannot be ignored. Nature intended for these fabulous seasonal fruits to be served together! [Read more…]

Lemon and Blackberry Cupcakes


The Contented Baker turns ‘1’ today and to celebrate I thought cupcakes might be in order.

So what have I made of my first year of blogging? Well, it has been an incredible learning journey. To put it in perspective probably until 18 months ago I had no knowledge of blogs, had minimal contact with social media and my IT skills were stuck in the early ‘noughties’. Then, through my passion for home baking I stumbled across beautiful food and baking blogs. What better way to document your bakes, learn from others and share inspiration with like-minded folk? I wanted to try it! The Contented Baker came into being. [Read more…]

Marbled Brownie

marbledbrownie-1I think you will like these Marbled Brownies.

They are  intense dark chocolate brownies swirled with crème de cassis, soaked berries and a creamy soft cheese topping. I baked them a couple of weeks back when I hosted a charity coffee morning, a ‘Great Pink Bake Off’ for Breakthrough Breast Cancer. It was a very popular bake and many of my friends requested the recipe, so here it is.


I have adapted it from an excellent article in The Guardian, ’10 Best Chocolate Recipes’. I have adapted mine by increasing the chocolate intensity, reducing the sugar slightly, substituting the raspberries for various dark berries and currants that I have in my freezer. Those of you who have followed the blog know I have a freezer full of gorgeous summer berries, the fruits of our numerous pick your own labours this summer. I have soaked these blackberries, blackcurrants and blueberries in crème de cassis but this is purely optional. I have used salted butter as I love the ‘salty/sweet’ taste with the dark chocolate. I have also changed the quantities of goat’s and cream cheese. I find there is nothing more irritating than buying an ‘out of the ordinary’ ingredient – for example, the goat’s cheese here and having to buy two packs, knowing you will only use one and a half of the quantity. I have played around with these quantities to make this bake more practical and economic, at the same time as making it still taste delicious.

marb-2These brownies are very easy to make and there is little room for error. They are deliciously ‘fudgy’, which goes wonderfully with the tartness of the berries and the creaminess of the soft cheese topping.


These Brownies go a long way too – you will get 24, good portions from this bake. Perfect with morning coffee, afternoon tea, or served with a spoonful of cream for a lovely dessert. Just as well really…


Marbled Brownie

Approximately 24 portions


  • 180g mixed berries & currants - blackberries, blueberries and blackcurrants
  • 2 tbsp. of crème de cassis (optional)
  • 300g dark, good quality chocolate (70% cocoa)
  • 175g salted butter
  • 125ml whole milk
  • 375g unrefined golden caster sugar, or caster sugar, plus 40g for the topping
  • 1 tsp. vanilla paste
  • 5 eggs (4 eggs for the Brownie, plus 1 for the topping)
  • 130g plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 150g soft goat's cheese
  • 150g full fat cream cheese


  1. Rinse the berries and currants and pat dry. Place in a bowl, add the crème de cassis, if using, mix and set aside.
  2. In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Prepare a 20cm x 30cm baking tray by greasing and lining with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, or Gas Mark 4.
  3. In a large saucepan, over a low heat, melt the butter and chocolate together. Once melted set aside to cool before adding the milk. Whisk. Add 375g of sugar and the vanilla paste and combine. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in approximately half of the berries and currants, along with the juices. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared tin and distribute evenly.
  4. In the bowl of a freestanding mixer, or with a hand held electric whisk, beat together the goat's cheese, cream cheese, the remaining egg and 40g of sugar. Once light and fluffy, fold in the remaining fruit.
  5. With a large spoon, drop portions of the goat's cheese mixture onto the brownie mixture. Swirl the mixture with a knife, ensuring that you get a good 'swirl' but without over mixing.
  6. Bake the brownie for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to sit in the tray for 10 minutes before removing from the tray and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. Once cool, cut into portions and serve. Store in an airtight container.

Source: Adapted from Faith Durand’s recipe as seen in The Guardian’s ’10 Best Chocolate Recipes’


Blackberry and Apple Flapjacks


These fruity flapjacks are homework ‘fuel’ for the whole family.

We are now in our second full week back at school and the carefree summer holidays are a bit of  a distant memory. After school, homework is order of the day – spellings, maths, reading, times tables with two weary children, plus a keen two year old eager to join the fray. It is not just the children that need a pick-me-up snack…I need it!

These chewy, fruit flapjacks hit the spot. (Indeed, even my husband has commented that I need to stop making these – I have made three batches – as they taste too good).


To be honest, I have never been a huge flapjack fan. They can so easily be dry, too hard, too greasy or just too sickly sweet. I think these have the potential to convert any flapjack cynic.

Yes, slightly more labour intensive as the fresh fruit is layered between two layers of flapjack, they are still quick and easy to make. So what makes these special? They are light, chewy, a little moist as a result of the fresh fruit content yet have a ‘crunch’ thanks to the addition of rice and buckwheat porridge flakes, in addition to the regular oats. I have used unrefined brown sugar and either, agave or golden syrup. Use whichever you have in the cupboard. I have also added a little salt to give that lovely salty/sweet aftertaste.

blackappleflapjack-1-2Not only do these taste good, but I think they look pretty. A great way to use the end of season blackberries and of course, all those apples that are abundant at the moment.



Blackberry and Apple Flapjacks

Approximately 16 slices


  • 150g blackberries, rinsed
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 180g unsalted butter
  • 175g Demerara sugar
  • 275g porridge oats
  • 100g buckwheat and rice porridge (you can use rice flakes, buckwheat flakes, or a combination)
  • 1/2 teaspoon course sea salt, ground
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 150ml agave syrup or golden syrup
  • 100g Bramley apple, peeled and grated (approximately half a large apple)


  1. Place the blackberries and caster sugar in a small saucepan and put over a gentle heat. Allow the berries to soften slightly and a syrup to form. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C, or Gas Mark 3. Prepare a 20cm square tin by lining with baking parchment.
  3. Put the butter, Demerara sugar, oats, porridge flakes, salt, water and syrup of your choice into a large heavy based saucepan and heat gently. Allow the butter to melt and the sugar to dissolve and mix thoroughly until well combined. Remove from the heat.
  4. Spoon just over half of the mixture into the prepared tin. Spread evenly with the back of a spoon, or fork, and push the mixture into the edges and corners, ensuring the mixture is level throughout the tin. With a slotted spoon, place the blackberries onto the mixture and distribute throughout. Grate the apple directly over the blackberries. Add the remaining flapjack mixture and distribute evenly, again pushing the mixture into the tin with the back of a spoon.
  5. Bake for approximately 30 minutes until the top of the flapjack is a rich, golden colour. Allow to cool completely in the tin. Remove from the tin and with a sharp knife, cut into portions.
  6. Store in an airtight container.

Source: The Contented Baker

Mixed Berry Fruit ‘Roll Ups’


These fruit ‘roll ups’ are a fun, homemade confection I wanted try for the children as they go back to school tomorrow.

I thought they would be great as a quick, after school pick-me-up snack but having made them, they would also be a hit at children’s parties. ( I am now thinking alternative flavour combinations for Halloween…)


As fresh berries are still so abundant for us right now, these ‘roll ups’ are a great use of them, and a completely different way of enjoying fresh fruit.

I have used a combination of blackberries, raspberries and strawberries along with Bramley apples which form the basis of this homemade confection.

The taste of these beauties is amazing! They give a sweet, fresh, blast of rich berries so intense that you instantly want to try another. Although I intended the ‘Roll Ups’ for the children, grown ups love these as well.

The method for making these is relatively easy – basically heat the fruit, puree in a blender, sieve and spread on a baking tray. The only drawback being the drying out time. They are not ready in an instant. If you want to give these a go, I would suggest starting them late afternoon/early evening, dry them on a low oven for 4-5 hours, transfer the papered rolls to a cooling rack and return to the oven (now switched off but still warm) and leave there overnight to dry out thoroughly.


This gorgeous snack, which I can’t rate highly enough, is also freezeable. The fact of the matter is though, that these will never make it to the freezer.

They taste so good they will be gone before school even starts.


Mixed Berry Fruit ‘Roll Ups’

Makes approximately 25-30 Roll Ups


  • 400g Bramley apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
  • 300g blackberries
  • 150g raspberries
  • 150g strawberries
  • 225g granulated sugar
  • 120ml water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Place all the ingredients into a large saucepan and heat gently. Cover with lid and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove lid, stir and continue to simmer for approximately 10 minutes until the apple becomes soft.
  2. Pour the heated fruits into a food processor and blend to form a puree. Place a sieve over a large bowl and pour the puree through it, so catching some of the fruit seeds.
  3. Prepare two baking trays by lining with baking parchment. Ensure the trays have edges so that the puree will not spill over. Divide the puree equally between the two trays and spread with a palate knife so forming a thin, smooth layer.
  4. Set the oven to 80 degrees C, or Gas Mark 1/4. Place the trays in the warm oven for 4-5 hours. After that time, turn the oven off, swap the baking trays for wire cooling racks and return to the oven (which is now switched off). By transferring to cooling racks, the bottom of the 'roll ups' can dry out sufficient. Leave overnight to dry completely.
  5. Test the 'drying' by peeling the edge of the 'roll up' away from the parchment. If it peels easily it is ready.
  6. When dry, with a sharp knife, cut strips about 2cm wide across the short side of the dried puree. Repeat until all cut. Roll up the strips and serve.
  7. Store in an airtight container. Suitable for home freezing.

Source: Adapted from ‘Waitrose Food Illustrated’