Watercress, Beetroot, and Goats Cheese Salad

For this salad I went straight to my favourite vegetarian restaurant, which is David Bann's in Edinburgh.

I would like you to remember I have a demanding new baby, so when I say went, I meant virtually.

I headed straight for their website and I was easily able to choose a salad I loved, to recreate.

It is a very simple salad, with good earthy flavours.

Salad of Watercress, Beetroot, and Goats Cheese


½ bag watercress, washed and dabbed dry
4 beetroot, roasted, peeled and sliced
½ cup cashew nuts

Goat's Cheese Toasts

4 slices of crusty bread (I used a white bloomers bread)
olive oil to brush onto the toasted bread
1 clove garlic
4 slices goats cheese


1 tsp pesto
1 tsp white wine vinegar
3 tsp olive oil
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Wash your beetroot, to remove any of the garden that is still clinging to it. 
  2. Trim down the beetroot, so that there is a little stalk and root left on before wrapping each beetroot in tinfoil. Place on a baking tray and cook in a preheated oven (180c/350f/gas 4) for 1 hour. 
  3. Allow the beetroot to cool in it's foil for 10 minutes or so before peeling the beetroot and slicing. 
  4. If you want a quick alternative, there is no reason not to use the ready cooked beetroot available in vacuum packs in any supermarket, although the roasting does bring a lovely flavour.
  5. Scatter a handful of watercress on each plate. Top with slices of beetroot and scatter some cashew nuts across the salad.
  6. Brush the slices of bread with olive oil before toasting lightly. Rub a cut clove of garlic across the surface of each toast, top with a slice of goat's cheese and return to grill, until the cheese is warm, soft and golden. Place a toast on each salad.
  7. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and season, then drizzle across the toasts and salads. Serve while the toasts are still warm.

Serves 4

This makes a great starter and even though it is very simple, the flavours really stand out.

David Bann
56-58 St. Marys Street
Edinburgh EH1 1SX
0131 556 5888


Katie's Cheesecake Brownies

I was very excited when I saw these brownies on Katie's blog - Katiecakes.

They more than lived up to my expectations. The sweet, milky cheescake topping is a lovely contrast to the rich chocolate flavour of the brownie base.

Oh, I must go have another slice just now, I will just have to carefully and slowly move the baby off my lap, so I don't wake him. Wish me luck!

Aren't husbands lovely? One slice of yummy brownie, a glass of raspberry milkshake and a still-sleeping-soundly, cute little baby on my lap. Life is sweet!

OK, back to business. I converted the recipe into cup sizes, but you can see the original metric recipe over at Katiecakes. If you do head over there, you will notice that Katie's brownies are not as deep as mine. There is a good reason for that. I didn't have enough plain flour left, so after a bit of research I found out that some brownie recipes call for self-raising flour. I decided to go for it and see what happened and they turned out great! Perhaps more sticky cake-like rather than intensely fudgey. So if you like a cakey brownie, use self-raising flour and if you like your brownies more fudgey, then use plain flour.

Katie's Cheesecake Brownies

Brownie Base:

175g/1 ½ sticks unsalted butter
1 cup self-raising flour
1 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
3 tbsp cocoa powder

Cheesecake Topping:

1 cup ricotta
¼ cup caster sugar
1 large egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 180C/350f/gas mark 4 and grease a 30cm x 18cm brownie pan.

In a medium saucepan melt the butter over a low heat. Once melted stir in the cocoa powder and sugar, combining till smooth.

Add the egg, beating the mixture till fully incorporated before adding the flour. Stir through until smooth and add to the prepared pan.

To make the cheesecake mixture combine the sugar, cheese and egg and beat until smooth. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture on top of the brownie base. Take a sharp knife and run it through the batter creating a marbled effect. (Just add a little at a time for a nice marbled effect. I used the whole amount and ended up with a cheesecake topping, but not much in the way of marbling. Check out Katie's post to see how good they can look, when done properly.)

Put the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 35 minutes. Testing regularly with a cake skewer.

Thanks for the recipe Katie, I will be enjoying this one again and next time, I will try making it with plain flour, so I can decide which style I prefer. Hopefully my marbling will improve next time.

Rolo Cake Topped with Gooey Snowballs

Let me paint the scene! A get together of good friends, their partners/husbands and children. The promise to bring a cake. The need to try something new and exciting. I know who I turn to first, dah, dah, dah - The Caked Crusader!

And was I disappointed? Heck, no! I was spoilt for choice, as I knew I would be. I decided chocolate was the way to go and I wanted something pretty spectacular, so I plumped for The Caked Crusader's Rolo Cake. It is a moist chocolate cake, with rolos baked into the cake, smothered in chocolate frosting, topped with more rolos and gooey Tunnock's Snowballs or on The Caked Crusader's cake, hedgehogs. Yes, I did say hedgehogs!

I am posting the recipe in cup measures, but if you want it in metric and you do want this cake, believe me, then head over and have a look at The Caked Crusader's original cake. You will soon be drooling over all the gorgeous photos!

Rolo Cake


For the cake:

200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1⁄3 cup caster sugar
4 large eggs
1 ½ cup self raising flour
2⁄3 cup cocoa powder
100g Rolos, halved

For the buttercream:

1 cup icing sugar
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp cocoa powder

To decorate: I used Tunnock's Snowballs and a few more rolos, but The Caked Crusader recommends crushed Flake, chocolate vermicelli, chocolate caramel curls or whatever takes your fancy!



Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.

Line a 20cm springform round tin with baking paper.

Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, then add the eggs a little at a time and add some of the flour if the mixture starts to curdle.

Gently stir in the flour and cocoa, before stirring in the rolos.

Spoon into the prepared cake tin and bake for approximately 30-35 minutes or until a skewer comes out cleanly. The cake will settle on cooling but this is because it’s so rich and squidgy.

Leave to cool in the tin, on a wire rack.

Buttercream Frosting

When cool make the buttercream: cream together the icing sugar and butter until smooth. (don't have baby head like me and throw the icing sugar and butter into the bowl together and then try to blend or you and the kitchen will be covered in a thin layer of white powder. No, please think this through and blend the butter first, until soft and creamy and then add the icing sugar a little at a time)

Beat in the vanilla extract and cocoa powder.

If the mix is a bit solid, add a dash of milk to soften and slacken.

Spread over the cake and decorate as required .

And... this is how it looked after it had been plundered! Look at all that gooey mallow oozing across the top of the cake. Mmmmmm, sugar high!

And now for some shots of how the professional does it.

Doesn't that just look fabulous? And aren't those hedgehogs so cute? And look, smooth buttercream frosting. I bet that kitchen didn't experience a snow storm of icing.

Thank you so much for continuing to make my day, every day I visit your blog CC. You are a baking superhero!
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