Have you noticed when cooking certain items, the smell is very tantalising? Whenever I am cooking cakes and my husband walks into the kitchen, immediately he wants to know when they will be ready! Bread is another ‘smelly’ food and as a friend told me when he worked in a certain supermarket, they sprayed bread smells to encourage people to buy more! 

Of course some smells are just as nice like curry, but that is harder to get rid of. Below are a few recipes that are easy enough to try, especially if you want to make your house smell good when you have prospective buyers coming round as per this month’s feature on pages 34-36.

If you have anything you are struggling with and would like me to feature on this page, please email me at costacalidachronicle@gmail.com 

Buen Apetito  

Irish Soda Bread Muffins

  • Baking spray
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp chilled butter
  • 1 cup 1% buttermilk
  • 3 tbsp honey 
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 oz raisins, (about 2/3 cup)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray muffin tin with baking spray. In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, stir together buttermilk, honey (or agave) and egg until blended. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir to combine. Stir in raisins. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centre of one muffin comes out clean.

Banana Cake

  • 140g butter, softened, plus extra for the tin
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 50g icing sugar
  • Handful dried banana chips, for decoration

Heat oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan/gas 4. Butter a 2lb loaf tin and line the base and sides with baking parchment. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then slowly add the eggs with a little flour. Fold in the remaining flour, baking powder and bananas. Pour into the tin and bake for about 30 mins until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then remove to a wire rack. Mix the icing sugar with 2-3 tsp water to make a runny icing. Drizzle the icing across the top of the cake and decorate with banana chips.

Lemon Drop Scones

  • 115g whole meal flour
  • 1 tsp. baking of powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 25g fructose
  • 1 egg
  • 2 lemons
  • 6 tbsp skimmed milk
  • 15g butter

In the bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the butter, fructose and beaten egg. Grate the rind from the lemons and squeeze the juice into the mixture. Add some milk a bit at a time to the mixture until it makes a thick batter. Finally add the rind to the mixture. Cook on a griddle or grease a tray and heat in the oven until really hot and then drop the mixture in a spoonful at a time and cook oven 220ºC immediately. Drop scones are best eaten hot but can also be eaten with butter cold. 

Churros with Hot Chocolate

  • 250ml water
  • 50ml sunflower oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 200g flour
  • 115g dark chocolate
  • 1 litre milk
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • Oil for frying 

Put the water, oil and salt into a heavy pan and boil. Turn the heat down and add the flour and beat together until the mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat. In the meantime heat the oil for frying until very hot. Using an icing syringe, pipe thick strips into the oil and fry until golden brown. Place on a plate and sprinkle with sugar.


Place the chocolate and half the milk in a pan and heat. Dissolve the cornflour in the rest of the milk and mix with the chocolate together with the sugar. Continue heating the mixture on a low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and whisk until smooth and serve with churros.

Apple and Nut Bread 

  • 1 large finely diced, peeled apple
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup of apple sauce (one apple cooked and mashed)
  • 1½ cups white whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • Pinch allspice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Baking spray
  • 1½ oz chopped walnuts

In a medium bowl combine apple, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, honey and lemon juice. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°C. Spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with baking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and salt with a wire whisk. In a large bowl mix oil, egg whites, sugar, apple sauce and vanilla. Beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture, then blend at low speed until combined. Do not over mix. Fold in apples and walnuts. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake in the centre rack about 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Let the pan cool at least 20 minutes. Bread should be room temperature before slicing.