We've been wondering how I've had this blog going for the best part of a year and not yet posted this recipe? It's one of my family signature snacks, so it was always going to end up on here. The truth is that I think I simply hadn't made it in that time; you might say it was taking a bit of a break, but this time it certainly came back with a bang. One of the best batches ever made.

There are tonnes of chocolate and bicuit based fridge-set traybake (just 'traybake' for short) recipes out there, they all offer something slightly different. I've experimented with various additions and quantities in developing this over the years and settled roughly at the recipe you'll see below. It's a development of my Grandma's recipe, which has been a staple at many a family get together and always eagerly looked forward to. You can muck around with it, but please (for mine and my Grandma's sake) don't switch the biscuits for Ginger Nuts and don't add marshmallows. That's not traybake.

...well, go on muck around if you must. That's what baking's about, but keep it quiet.

• Melt the butter and chocolate in a pan over a very low heat. Keep an eye on it, stirring often.
• Meanwhile, crush the biscuits and hazelnuts in a mixing bowl with the end of a rolling pin. You want a good variety of biscuit piece sizes, ranging from around 1p coins to dust. If you want my opinion it's best at around 25% larger pieces, the remainder as dust. You just need to crack the hazelnuts.
• Add the fruit and coconut to the bowl and stir through.
• Drizzle the condensed milk over the mix then pour in the chocolate and stir thoroughly.
• Press down flat in a 20 x 20cm tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate until set.
• When it is set, cut into squares or if you want, melt a further 4oz of chocolate and spread over the top and set before cutting.

• The condensed milk is a 397ml can so you want about 200ml. It keeps for a week or so (maybe longer??) in a container in the fridge so you can make another batch.
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Nan Bread...

I didn't make these, but rather my lovely wife did as she embarked upon making bread for the first time. We topped with some toasted mustard and cumin seeds before baking (That's as much as I got involved) to complete the Indian flavour.

1 tbsp Caster Sugar
200ml Warm Water
7g sachet fast acting Yeast
300g Strong White Flour
200g Plain Flour
1 tsp Salt
125ml Natural Yoghurt
40g Melted Ghee
Various Seeds

• Mix sugar, water and yeast together (leave to stand for 5 minutes if not fast-acting yeast)
• Mix the flour, salt and yeast mixture together in a separate bowl.
• Whisk the yoghurt and ghee together.
• Combine all ingredients together to form a dough.
• Knead for 10 minutes, place in a oiled bowl coating the dough in oil then cover and leave in a warm place for 1-3 hours.
• Place a tray in the oven and preheat for 15 minutes to 230°C.
• Punch down the risen dough, knead for 2 minutes more then leave aside for 15 minutes.
• Divide into 8 balls, shape/stretch into teardrops (leave the other balls covered when not working with them).
• Place on the baking try, dampen the top and sprinkle with seeds.
• Bake for 4-5 minutes. (optional - you can brush with melted ghee when cooked).
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Bacon Gratin Pie...

Sometimes you need to branch out at dinner time and try something different. In this case, dream up something different. It was far from perfect and needs some development to make it really work but a general success and pretty tasty. Anyway, it's something you can work with as an idea. It's just a puff pastry sheet with a tasty filling topped with sliced potato and cheese. In this one I fried up onions, garlic, leeks and smoked bacon to make a filling, topped it with sliced boiled potatoes and cheese and carefully poured over a little beaten egg and milk mixture then baked it for about 30 minutes at 200°C.

The result is something of a cross between a pie, a gratin and a fritata. A welcome break from the norm.
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Hazelnut Cake...

This cake is divine. I saw it and wanted it immediately. But... we didn't have enought hazelnuts so had to wait. It's taken directly from Rachel Allen's Bake, with no modification besides the decorating (although i found it more practical to do things in a different order). There's no flour, just ground hazelnuts so the end result is moist, whilst the whipped egg whites keep it light. Sorry this photo is so boring, it doesn't to the cake justice really (see it in a different guise) but believe me* it tastes good.

• 200g Hazelnuts
• 1 tsp Baking Powder
• 1 tsp Cinnamon
• 100g Butter
• 5 Eggs, separated
• 175g Caster Sugar
• 1 tsp Vanilla Essence

• Preheat oven to 170°C and line a tin with baking paper.
• Grind the hazelnuts on the food processor until finely ground; blend in the baking powder, cinnamon and butter to a coarse paste.
• In a bowl, whisk the egg whites thoroughly until you have stiff peaks.
• In another bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar together until moussey, then add the hazelnut mixture.
• Fold the whites into the hazelnut mix in 3 stages.
• Pour into the tin and bake for 55-60 minutes until the edges are coming away from the pan.
• It is suggested you don't open the oven during cooking until close to the end of the time.
• Cool for approximately 10 minutes in the tin before turning out to cool fully.
• Decorate with a little buttercream icing and chopped hazelnuts.

* Don't take my word for it. I made this for a cake competition and came away with 'Best Tasting'.
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