Thank You Leeds

Well what can I say? It has been a blast. Leeds, and the people I’ve met during my 8 years in it, has completely shaped the person I am today. I’ve had laughs, tears, pure undiluted joy and moments of out and out despair. It introduced me to the best people I have ever met. It provided me with the best job of my life so far (yes O2 Academy Leeds, that’s you). It broadened my horizons. It introduced me to all kinds of food, people and music that I’d never have experienced otherwise.


So I am going to say Thank You.


Thank you for the friends.


Thank you for all the pizza; Cano (which fuelled my uni years)/Box/Ecco/Dough Boys.


Thank you for the nights spent drunk in various gutters and on various floors with my best friends.


Thank you for the Milner Game and Drop Trou.


Thank you for introducing me to Frosty Jacks (ok, not really).


Thank you for nights at the cockpit dancing like an idiot to songs I’ve liked since my teenage years.


Thank you for nights in Mojo/Santiagos and Calls Landing.


Thank you for all the god damn burgers.


Thank you for the House Shows, the stage dives and the human pyramids.



Thank you for the food, all of it. Leeds is the reason I am overweight.


Thank you for introducing me to about 80% of the bands I listen to.


Thank you for introducing me to some ridiculously talented and hardworking people:  Rob Lynch, Kamikaze Girls, The Lion and the Wolf, Jimmy Holland, Pinky Swear Recs, Pinky Swear/Slam Dunk, Hello Bastards etc To name but a few.




Thank you for introducing me to baking, and to blogging.


Thank you for ruining my body and my mind.


Thank you for putting up with my grouchy & miserable attitude to life.


Thank you for everything, I will miss you, but I will be back soon.


Sticky Ginger Loaf

Sticky Ginger Loaf

It was my Gran’s 90th Birthday last weekend and I was asked to make a selection of cakes/brownies for a crowd of 60. I also knew that a few other people were baking things so I just went for a couple of things instead of the 3 or 4 my mum asked me for (surprise, surprise there was way too much). I decided to make my usual batch of triple chocolate brownies and a couple of sticky ginger loaves.

Sticky Ginger Loaf

I’ve been looking for a really good ginger cake recipe for ages. I’ve tried a few over the last 6 or so months to no avail. They’ve either been too dry or not sticky enough. I think I’ve finally nailed it. This recipe is beautifully moist and sticky. With heaps of ginger and really dark colour. I added some crystallised ginger to give it an extra hit. Both this

Sticky Ginger Loaf

Both the loaves and the brownies went down really well, as did the other bakes. My cousin, who runs a cake decorating company in her spare time, made a very impressive 4 tiered cake as the centre piece.

Sticky Ginger Loaf

I’m also trying out some new photo editing software, let me know what you think.

Sticky Ginger Loaf
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 1 loaf
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 115g butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
  • 115g dark muscovado sugar
  • 115g black treacle
  • 115g golden syrup
  • 250ml whole milk
  • 85g crystallised ginger
  • 1 egg
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan assisted). Grease/line the greaseproof paper.
  2. Mix the flour with the bicarb and the spices. Rub the butter into the flour with your hands until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  3. Mix the sugar, milk, treacle and syrup in a saucepan over a low to medium heat. Stir gently until the sugar is completely dissolved then turn up the heat and bring it to just below boiling point.
  4. Add the ginger to the flour mix, pouring in the treacle mixture stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Once this is combined, beat in the egg and mix until it’s combined. Resembling a thick pancake batter.
  5. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes to an hour. Until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin on a rack until it’s completely cool.
  6. I then added a lime drizzle, but you could add a lemon one if you wished.

Sticky Ginger Loaf

Leeds Bucket List

I started thinking up my “last two weeks in Leeds” bucket list. I realised that it’s almost entirely food, and that there is no way I could possibly eat this much food in the remaining time I actually have left in the city. It’s looking something like this:

– One last pork pie from the Duck & Drake.
– Slice of Dough Boys
– Burger from Patty Smiths
– Last film at the Hyde Park Picture House
– Last pizza from Ecco
– Last ever Slam Dunk
– Whiskey Wednesdays
– Grab a cushion from the Little Button Co.
– Tattoo commemorating my time here (this is less time sensitive)
– One last Canal Mills.
– Get a pint from as many of the Leeds microbreweries as possible: Ilkley Brewery, Leeds Brewery, Kirkstall Brewery, Burley Road Brewery etc.
– Pickles and Potter/Hepworths deli
– Pitza Cano (for old time’s sake) & Box Pizza
– 4am Chicken Cottage/Little Oven
Last lonely Hearts & Souls club

What will actually likely happen is I just end up in Bundobust 5 times and drunk in the Palace.

Suggestions welcome in the comments below. Current suggestions from the Facebook pals were a mixture of sensible and life threatening:

– Roundhay Park/Tropical World
– Break in to cockpit and have my own gig
– Have sex in the field outside my house (like the couple he just saw out of his office window)
– Get a pint in the Duncan without being stabbed.
– Otley Chevin
– Knaresbrough

Current listening:

I need a better alarm clock

Ah, holidays, those wonderfully stress-relieving times of year. When you only have a couple of things to worry about and a constant supply of alcohol & good food. Stress? What’s that? Or at least, that’s normally the case. This time around I had the most stressful start to a holiday I have EVER had.

I was due to catch the 5am train from Leeds to London Kings Cross, to give me ample time to get to Heathrow for our 11.50am flight. I was all packed, my alarm was set for 4am and I was tucked up in bed by 12 (having popped for a friend’s leaving meal earlier in the night, at which I didn’t drink).

I woke up at 7.13am.

Shit. Fuck. Bollocks. All of these profanities escaped my mouth as I jumped out of bed grabbing my phone and dialling my friend Tom (who I was making the trip with). He quickly checked some train times while I chucked on clothes, and discovered there was a train at 7.38am that would get me to London with a very slim chance of making the plane. I live a 15-20 minute walk from Leeds station. I managed to be out of the door and out in under 5 minutes. I didn’t even put socks on.

I made the train at 7.37.


We made the check in at 11.04 (check in closed at 11.05). And finally, made the gate at 11.28 (it closed at 11.30).

Never again.
Let me put the above in perspective. I never sleep right through. I always wake up every couple of hours. I’m an awful sleeper. I had a couple of very lough alarms set. When I know I have to wake up for something I usually wake up even more. I slept straight through for 7 hours. This just does not happen.

But, we made it. And that means you all get to endure me doing several blog posts about the trip and raving about deep dish pizza.


Don’t worry, I’m going to get some actual bakes up in between. Currently thinking of finally blogging about my ginger cake w/ dark rum drizzle and lime buttercream and also some pumpkin spiced cake.

I also have to move soon, which means giving my laptop back to work, and also may mean internet/baking downtime, so I’ll apologise now for any lack of updates. I have however added a new comment section using Disqus, and finally added some social sharing buttons. So share away.

Sweet Potato Paleo Brownies

Sweet Potato Brownies

First of all, I’m sorry. I’ve been really bad with baking updates the last couple of weeks. While I hope you all enjoyed my Scotland updates (you can see part 1, part 2 and part 3 here), I understand that they aren’t what you likely come to this blog for. I am warning you now that there will likely be one from my Chicago trip next week as well… featuring a lot of Pizza.

Anyway, before I get sidetracked rambling about pizza and my travels I thought it was time to do something a bit different. A week or so ago one of my closest friends put out a Facebook status declaring she wasn’t doing too good and asking someone to send her cake. So I am. She is currently doing a Paleo diet, which is something that I’m not even going to begin to pretend I’m an expert on. So she sent me across a few ideas she’d found while she herself had been doing Paleo cooking research.

Sweet Potato Brownies

I opted for Sweet Potato & Ginger Brownies. A lot of the Paleo recipes I came across asked for ingredients which I likely wouldn’t use again, unless I was to regularly do Paleo things. This meant that I wanted to be careful with what I was baking and not shell out for a heap of fancy ingredients. Being my first attempt at this sort of thing I also wanted to keep it simple. These Sweet Potato Paleo Brownies were just right. With the only slightly awkward (read: Expensive) thing I needed to buy being Coconut Flour. I opted for this recipe here.

Sweet Potato Brownies

Plenty of the Paleo recipes call for sweet potato or avocado, often both. They help replace a lot of the flour, butter and chocolate, the avocado being naturally oily and also creamy. The sweet potato being good to bake and help hold things together. A few other recipes that use these sorts of things can be found here.

Sweet Potato Brownies

Oh yeah and the big news? I’m moving to London at the start of October.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Sweet Potato Paleo Brownies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12
  • 1 Large Sweet Potato (approx. 2 cups once mashed)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 57g Butter
  • 60ml Honey
  • 3 Tablespoons Coconut Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 75g Dark Chocolate, chopped roughly.
  1. Peel and dice the sweet potato. Place in a pan of boiling water and boil until tender.
  2. Mash the potatoes until smooth.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180 °C(160 °C fan assisted) prepare and line a 9x13 inch brownie tin.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the potato, butter, honey and vanilla.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and mix well, then stir in the chocolate.
  6. Pour into the prepared tin and spread into the corners.
  7. Place in the middle of the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes (a tooth pick inserted into the middle should come out clean).
  8. Remove from the oven and place on a rack, only removing from the pan once cooled.