Steamer Trading Host Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea

Mother’s Day will soon be upon us. Sunday March 26th 2017 here in the U.K. To help celebrate Mothering Sunday, Steamer Trading asked me to help them set up an Afternoon Tea. I jumped at the opportunity, knowing that the quality and variety of kitchen and cookware they sell is outstanding. While also confident that some easy bakes would partner perfectly with beautiful table and bakeware. See for yourself how Steamer Trading Host Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea.

FF Steamer Trading Host Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
Steamer Trading Host Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea beautifully laid out delightful sweet treats.

Homemade cakes and treats always taste much better than shop bought. If, however, baking is an area where confidence is lacking here’s the perfect solution. Buy a few pretty cakes and then make the scones, Super Light Scones . Since this recipe is the easiest on Feasting is Fun and guaranteed to bring a smile to Mum’s face. Add a pot of luxurious clotted cream and strawberry jam to turn this Afternoon Tea into a real feast!

FF Steamer Trading Host Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
Afternoon Tea using the Burleigh Felicity tea set

No Afternoon Tea is complete without a beautiful tea set. Having been sent a Burleigh Felicity Teapot I decided to start a collection. Tea cup and saucer, large dinner plate, side plate, pasta bowl and finally a sugar bowl. All bought to start my own collection. As a result of having built a whole set over time. The pattern and style have a timeless quality and style.

FF Steamer Trading Host Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
The domed two tier cake stand takes centre stage.

Within the items sent to me was this Domed Slate Cake Stand. Perfect for keeping bugs out and cakes fresh. Since the slate cake stand also stands alone, the wooden base and dome may also be used to display another tasty item. Maybe cheese and crackers. Most of all, the packaging keeps the cake stand and dome well protected between use. While the slate is sturdy and creates a solid background from which to display the cakes.

FF Steamer Trading Host Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
Heart shaped Strawberry and Cream Victoria Sponge.

Picture above is Sophie Conran Cake Server. Highly polished, with a simple, smooth design. As beautiful sitting on the table as it is practical in serving the Heart Shaped Strawberry and Cream Victoria Sponge. Baked using the  Springform Heart Tin. In addition to baking cakes, because of the springform element, this tin would be especially good for creating cheesecakes.

FF Steamer Trading Host Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
Afternoon Tea display enhanced by beautiful tableware, fresh flowers and tasty treats.

Bowls of fresh strawberries with both large and smaller vases of flowers enhance not only the table setting, but add to the special theme of Mother’s Day. Also, they can be wrapped up, alongside any leftover cakes and scones, for Mum to take home with her. As a result Mum receives a double treat. After all, Mother’s Day is a special day, set aside to thank Mothers.

FF Steamer Trading Host Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
Tiny little Turkish Delight cakes along with regular cupcakes add quaintness to the pretty table setting.

Since I had been sent Masterclass Mini Muffin Tin, I made tiny, pixie cupcakes. Turkish Delight in flavour, their larger cupcake cousins were also baked. Impressed with the strength, non stick coating and durability of the mini muffin tin, I would definitely look to this brand for larger fairy cake and cupcake tins.

FF Steamer Trading Host Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
Treat Mum to a special Afternoon Tea in your own home.

Finally, no Mum, or Afternoon Tea is complete without a touch of chocolate. Chocolate Drizzle Cake Squares are easy to make and even easier to eat!

Recipe: Chocolate Drizzle Cake Squares makes 15

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter – softened

175g/6oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

3 Large Free Range Eggs

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

75g/3oz Good Quality Cocoa Powder

125g/4.5oz Plain White Flour

1.5tsp Baking Powder

200g Bar Each of Milk and White Chocolate

Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3.

  • Lightly grease, with butter a 28cm x 20cm x 5cm ( 12″ x 8″ x 2″ ) tin and line the base with baking parchment.
  • In a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt. Whisk until pale and fluffy.
  • Next add the eggs, vanilla extract and milk. Then sift in the cocoa, flour and baking powder on top. Whisk slowly until all of the ingredients are combined.
  • Spoon the chocolate cake batter into the prepared tin. Smooth the batter so that it fills the tin evenly.
  • Place the tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes.
  • The cake is baked when it springs back form a light touch. It will also be coming away for the sides of the tin.
  • Once baked remove the tin from the oven and set to one side to cool.
  • When the cake has cooled, tip out on to a parchment lined, flat board.
  • Remove the parchment from the base of the cake and for afternoon tea portions, slice the cake into 15 x 2″ (5cm) squares.
FF Steamer Trading Host Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
Chocolate Drizzle Cake Squares
  • Place the cake squares on to a cooling rack that is placed over a large baking tray.
  • Into separate, heatproof, microwaveable bowls, break up the white and then the milk chocolate.
  • Place one bowl at a time into the microwave. Heat for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each zap.
  • When both the white and milk chocolate are completely melted transfer into 2 medium disposable piping bags.
  • Start with the milk chocolate, snip the very end of the piping bag off leaving a small hole. Pipe in a zigzag pattern across all of the chocolate cake squares.
  • Turn the baking tray and pipe as before, except you will now be piping across the chocolate milk, forming a criss-cross pattern.
  • Allow the chocolate to partially set and then transfer the chocolate squares to a clean piece of baking parchment, on a tray and leave to one side to set. Note – in warmer weather it may be necessary to place in the fridge for a few minutes to allow to set.
  • Store in a baking parchment lined container, using parchment to separate layers.
  • These Chocolate Drizzle Cake Squares will last upto 4 days in an airtight container.
FF Steamer Trading Mothers Da Afternoon Tea
Chocolate Drizzle Cake Squares perfect to serve with Afternoon Tea.

Different types of cake provide a beautiful setting and greater sense of variety.

FF Steamer Trading Host Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
Afternoon Tea

Finally Remember

While the tableware and homemade goodies look beautiful set out for Aternoon Tea, here are some added little touches that take it to the next level.

Doillies – in contrasting and complimenting colours.

Fresh flowers – placed in large and/or small vases. Clean jam jars make inexpensive vases and flowers picked from the garden can look beautiful.

Rose petals – one rose had a limping flower head. Break off the petals and scatter around the table.

Bowls of fresh fruit. Strawberries are always popular and provide balance to the cake and scones.

Cellophane bags of truffles, tied with a complimenting ribbon, add an extra wow factor.

FF Steamer Trading Host Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
Complimentary bags of truffles enhance the look of the table.

Lastly, don’t panic. Relax, enjoy yourself and your Mum will too. If you can’t bake then buy the cakes. Afternoon Tea on Sunday 26th March is about celebrating Mother’s. Your Mum, important female figures in your life, will be thrilled and honored that you took the time to celebrate them, with Steamer Trading helping you to Host Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea.

I hope that you have enjoyed Steamer Trading Host Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea, here are some recipes you may also enjoy:

Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes

FF Steamer Trading Host Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes

Iced Bakewell Tart

FF Steamer Trading Host Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
Iced Bakewell Tart

Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits

FF Steamer Trading Host Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits

Whatever you make, bake and create to celebrate Mother’s Day, have fun enjoying you feast.

Sammie xx

Steamer Trading provided me with the five items directy linked to their site. All opinions, views, content and photography are my own. I was not paid for writing this post. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart

Some ingredients, when cooked together, simply bring out the best in each other. As is the case with this Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart. Also, the leek’s subtle onion flavour is enhanced by the crumbled Stilton cheese, in an egg and cream custard base. The nutty pastry crust provides the perfect crunchy texture and flavour. A delightful balance, that is a treat to our tastebuds.

FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart
Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart a delicious combination of flavours.

While the chopped walnuts give the pastry a rustic, wholemeal look, it is, in fact light and crumbly. Adding additional flavour to the finished bake. Likewise, the crumbled Stilton cheese mellows on baking. Providing a salty contrast to the mild egg custard. Surprisingly, the mild onion flavour of the leeks doesn’t get lost in this tart. Rather, it brings everything together and sings on the tastebuds, above the other flavours.

FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart
Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart a feast for the eyes.

Slices of leek are sautéed gently, before placing in the tart. This not only ensures they are soft in the baked tart, but also concentrates the flavour. While baking, the rings separate and rise up through the tart. Also ensuring that each bite has tasty fresh, green leek in it.

FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart
Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart crunchy and creamy.

This tart is perfect for a light lunch, with salad, or as a main meal with a hot, buttered jacket potato. Also, it makes perfect picnic or buffet food, as it can be served at room temperature. The added nutmeg is barely noticeable, yet enhances all of the tart’s flavours. Leave it out and the finished bake tastes as though it is missing something. I encourage you to include it, freshly grated, if possible!

Recipe: Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart serves 4-6

For the pastry

200g/7oz Plain White Flour

50g/2oz Walnuts – finely chopped

1/8tsp Salt – I use Maldon

1/8tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

125g/4.5oz Cold Unsalted Butter

60mls Cold Tap Water

For the filling

100g/4oz Stilton Cheese

1 Large Leek

4 Large Free Range Eggs – plus 1 extra for the egg wash

3tbsp Double Cream

1/4tsp Nutmeg

1/4tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Method:

A loose bottom tart tin that is approximately 25cm wide x 5cm deep or 10″ x 2″ is needed for this recipe.

Making Walnut Pastry Crust

  • First of all, in a large bowl add the flour, chopped walnuts, salt, pepper and diced, cold butter. Then using your hands, or a pastry cutter, rub/cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs with pea sized chunks of butter present.
  • Now make a well in the centre of the mixture and add the cold tap water 10mls at a time. Using your hand, fingers bent and shaped like a claw, mix the dough after each addition. Work quickly to avoid the dough warming up and becoming oily. You may not need the full amount of water specified. Stop adding water once the dough comes together to form a rough ball. Set the bowl to one side.
  • Wipe the worktop with a clean, damp cloth. Then place the cling film (approximately the size of a large baking sheet) directly on to the damp surface. It will ‘stick’ and not move around.
  • Finally, tip the walnut pastry dough on to the cling film. Knead the dough lightly into a disc shape. Avoid working the pastry for too long as this will result in a hard, tough, crust.
  • Wrap the pastry disc in the cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or until it is chilled. Making pastry the night before use allows it to chill thoroughly before rolling out.

FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart

    Making the Walnut Pastry Crust.
  • 10 minutes before rolling out the pastry, preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7.
  • If you wish, lightly butter your tart tin, I never do. Place the tart tin on to a baking tray and put to one side.
  • Place the chilled pastry on to a clean worktop and roll out evenly, until it is a slightly larger circle than the combined width and depth of the tin. Approximately 30cm/11″ in width.
  • Roll the pastry around the rolling pin and transfer to the tart tin. Allow the pastry to settle into the tin. DO NOT stretch it as it will only shrink while baking.
  • Ensure the tin is fully lined and then trim away any excess pastry.
  • Dock the base of the pastry tart with a fork and then line with baking parchment. Fill the lined tart with baking beans, or ceramic balls and place into the top of the oven.
  • Bake the pastry for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and lift out the baking parchment and beans.
  • Return the tart to the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes.

Filling and Baking the Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart

FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart
Preparing the Leek and Stilton filling.
  • While the pastry is baking, prepare the leek. Strip the outer 2 layers, cut off the root end and top, then rinse thoroughly with cold water.
  • Cut the leek into whole rings, approximately 1cm deep and the gently sauté in a dry pan over a medium/low heat for 10 minutes, or until slightly softened.
  • Remove the pastry shell from the oven when baked.
  • Carefully transfer the whole leek rings to the tart shell. Add any odd pieces of leek around the whole rings in the tart.
  • Cut the rind away from the Stilton. Now, using a fork, break up the Stilton, on a board, into crumbs. Sprinkle the crumbs over the leek  in the tart shell.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6.
FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart
Preparing the egg custard and decorating the tart.
  • Crack 4 eggs into a large jug. Add the double cream, nutmeg and pepper. Whisk together using a fork, until the mixture is uniform.
  • Pour the egg custard carefully into the pastry tart.
  • Carefully, as the tart is still warm, run a piece of butter around the top perimeter of the tin. This will stop any pastry decorations sticking.
  • Gather together the pastry offcuts. Roll to the thickness of a one pound coin.
  • Use a 1 inch/2.5cm approx. cutter to cut out about 25-30 circles. These will be placed around the edge of the tart.
  • Break an egg into a small bowl, add 1tsp of cream or milk and whisk together. This is the egg wash.
  • Take the first cutout and with a pastry brush, dipped in egg wash, brush both sides of the circle. Place the circle on to the edge of the tart. The centre of the circle should be in contact with the edge of the tart. Continue, using the same egg wash method and placing the 2nd circle so that just overlaps the first disc.
  • Keep going until the whole perimeter of the tart case is covered. I used 22 pastry discs. The number you need will depend on the size of your tart, how much the discs overlap and other variables.
  • Finally, when the decorations are in place, pour any leftover egg wash into the tart. As long as there is room.
  • Place the tart carefully into the centre of the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes. The tart is baked when there is no wobble in the centre, the filling has set and the egg custard is golden.
  • When fully baked remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool before removing from the loose bottom tart tin.
FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart
Golden Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart

This tart is delicious served warm for lunch or dinner, Also is is very tasty eaten cold or at room temperature, making it ideal for summer picnics and buffets.

It will keep for up to 3 days, stored in a container or, wrapped in cling film and kept in the fridge.

If you have enjoyed this recipe For Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart you may also like these:

Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche

FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche

Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts

FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart
Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts.

Quiche Lorraine

FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart
Quiche Lorraine

Homemade quiche and tarts taste a million times better than most shop bought varieties available. Seasoning, ingredients and indeed the pastry can all be tailored to our own personal tastes. While I haven’t taken on the challenge of Filo Pastry yet, shortcrust is incredibly easy, see Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry.

Whether served with a jacket potato and salad for a substantial meal, or grabbing a slice to eat whilst on the go, tarts and quiches are easy to make. They are also very satisfying to eat.

Do you have a favourite flavour combination for quiches and tarts?

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun.

Sammie xx

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Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes

Who doesn’t love a cupcake? A beautifully decorated, perfectly portioned, whole cake to yourself. While I’m known for encouraging people to share, here on Feasting is Fun, that’s not a problem with cupcakes. Simply bake a batch and share them with whoever you want. These Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes are perfect for sharing.

FF Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes
Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes beautifully delicious.

Cupcakes are great for those who struggle to share. Indeed I used to not be as keen on sharing when I was younger. Nowadays, however, if you visit, knock on the door, clean the windows, etc I am more than willing to give you a cookie or cupcake. Since cupcakes come as a complete package, they are easier to share. Our window cleaners and post lady were very appreciative of these Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes that I gave them today.

FF Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes
Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes great with Afternoon Tea.

Light sponge tinged pink with chopped maraschino cherries, topped with a swirl of frosting and a whole cherry. Dark chocolate is drizzled over the frosting. Resulting in a perfect balance of flavours. The dark chocolate tempers the sweet frosting and compliments both the cherry and almond flavours.

FF Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes
Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes so cheerful.

The unique flavour of maraschino cherries can be tasted through every single bite of these cupcakes. Adding almond extract to the frosting emphasises their flavour too. Substituting glacé cherries wouldn’t give the same result. Maraschino cherries are easily found in the supermarket. Usually near the alcoholic drinks section.

FF Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes
Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes pretty perfect!

Since these cupcakes are each topped with a bright red cherry, they would also make a great ‘Red Nose Day’ bake!

Recipe: Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes makes 12

125g/4.5oz Unsalted Butter softened

125g/4.5oz Caster Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Extract

2tsp Liquid from the maraschino cherry jar.

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

50g/2oz Maraschino Cherries plus 12 whole cherries to top the cupcakes

150g/5oz Plain White Flour

1.5tsp Baking Powder

For the frosting and decoration:

400g/14oz Plain White Icing Sugar

200g/7oz Unsalted Butter softened

1tsp Almond Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

2tbsp Very Hot Water – from a recently boiled kettle

50g/2oz Dark Chocolate minimum 70% Cocoa

Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3

  • First of all, line a cupcake or muffin tin with 12 cupcake cases.
  • Remove 12 nicely shaped, maraschino cherries from the jar and place on to kitchen towel to drain. Weigh out slightly more than 50g of cherries and place into a bowl. Tip away any excess liquid that collects in the bowl. Follow, by cutting the cherries in the bowl into small pieces and set to one side.
  • Next, into a large bowl add the sugar, butter and salt. Beat until pale and creamy.
  • Add the vanilla extract and 2 teaspoons of liquid from the cherry jar. Now beat these into the mixture.
  • Using the ‘all in one’ method, add the eggs to the bowl and then sift in the flour and the baking powder. Finally add the chopped cherries and gently mix the ingredients together until they are combined.
  • Fill each cupcake case with one dessert spoonful of cake batter.
  • Place the tin into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • The cupcakes may look a little darker than usual. This is due to a combination of the cherries in the batter and the liquid from the jar added to the cake batter.
  • They are fully baked when the sponge springs back from a light touch, or an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Once baked remove the cupcakes from the oven.
  • Remove the cupcakes from the baking tin and place on a cooling rack.
FF Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes
Making the batter, filling the cases and baking the cupcakes.
  • While the cupcakes are cooling make the buttercream frosting.
  • Into a large bowl add butter and then sift in the icing sugar.
  • Next add the hot water and almond extract.
  • Start whisking on a very slow speed, until the butter and icing sugar have combined. Then gradually build up the whisking speed to high. Continue whisking until the frosting is pale and fluffy.
  • Spoon the frosting into a piping bag that has been fitted with a large star tip. I use a Wilton #1M.
  • Starting at the outside edge, on the top of the cupcake pipe a complete swirl. As the next swirl overlaps, lift the piping bag to bring the swirl inwards. Continue piping in swirls, finishing in the centre, by pulling the bag away. Similar to piping a Mr Whippy ice cream.
  • Continue until all of the cupcakes have been piped with frosting. Do not worry if there is a little buttercream left in the piping bag.
  • Next place a cherry on top of each cupcake.
FF Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes
Making the frosting, piping and decorating the cupcakes with maraschino cherries.
  • Allow the icing to set on the cupcakes.
  • While the cupcakes are setting, make the chocolate drizzle.
  • Break up, or chop the chocolate and place into a small, heatproof, microwaveable bowl. Heat for 20 seconds at a time, in the microwave. Making sure to stir the chocolate after each heating. When the chocolate has completely melted pour into a small, disposable piping bag.
  • Snip the very end of the bag off and drizzle chocolate over each cupcake.
FF Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes
Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes melted dark chocolate drizzle adds the finishing touch.

Finally, allow the chocolate to set before serving these Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes.

FF Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes
Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes

These cupcakes will last for 5 days if kept in an airtight container. However, it is doubtful, once shared that they will last that long 😉.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes you may also like these:

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

FF Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes
Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes

FF Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes
Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes with a gluten free option.

Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes

FF Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes
Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes

Sharing baked goodies, not only makes others happy, but also keeps waistlines from expanding! While selling my own bakes is not something I ever wish to do, sharing them allows me to follow my real passion. Since that is recipe development, mixing flavours, textures, being creative, giving away baked treats actually helps me. Resulting in smiles all round!

Do you enjoy baking for others?

Sammie xx

 

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Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova

Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova a delicious crisp outer shell, with a deep, brownie-like inner, topped with whipped cream and chocolate dipped strawberries. The perfect dessert to share with those you love.

FF Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova
Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova perfect for sharing.

I adore pavlova. Both making and eating it! This chocolate heart pavlova is so pretty and also easy to make. Simply follow the recipe and instructions and you too can bake this beautiful dessert.

FF Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova
Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova ideal for Afternoon Tea.

Last week Valentine’s Day was celebrated, I wanted to create something that would be perfect to share with those I love. That said, everything posted on Feasting is Fun, is designed to be shared! Since, hearts, strawberries, chocolates and flowers are all associated with February 14th, I wanted to incorporate as many of these as possible. Resulting in a beautiful and tasty dessert that should not be confined to one day of the year, in my opinion!

FF Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova
Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova with added chopped strawberries for extra decoration and flavour.

For this pavlova the heart is piped, with swirls around the outside, defining the heart shape. It is not difficult to do and creates a different, yet pretty finish, once baked. Also, this heart pavlova contains only cocoa, not chunks of chocolate, making it possible to pipe. The resulting meringue mixture resembles a light, airy mousse. Which, once baked keeps its shape perfectly.

FF Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova
Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova each layer distinct.

Lightly whipped double cream tops the chocolate pavlova, rather like a down duvet covers a bed. Moulding and fitting to the contours. Creating a soft, velvety contrast to the crisp and fudgey pavlova. Chocolate dipped strawberries add the final touch of decadence, crowning this dessert with their contrasting colours.

FF Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova
Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova served on heart embellished china.

One mouthful of this delightful dessert and you are lost to the complimenting flavours and contrasting textures. Fortunately, one serving provides plenty of time to fully appreciate this beautiful pavlova. However, I wont tell if you go back for seconds!

Recipe: Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova serves 6-8

4 Large Free Range Egg Whites

200g/7oz Caster Sugar

1tsp Balsamic Vinegar

50g/2oz Cocoa – I use Callebaut

1tsp Corn Flour – I use Doves Farm

300mls/ 1/2 pint Double Cream

400g Fresh Strawberries

100g/4oz Milk Chocolate

50g White Chocolate

Method: Preheat the oven to 200/180C fan, gas mark 6

Prior to starting ensure the bowl used to mix the meringue is scrupulously clean. Wipe around the inside of the bowl with half a lemon to ensure no fat is present. The presence of fat, or oil will stop the egg whites from whipping up and incorporating air.

Also line a large baking tray with baking parchment. Draw a large heart on the reverse of the parchment with pencil, approximately 25cm wide by 27.5cm high, 10″w x 11″h.

  • Pour the egg whites into the large clean, prepared bowl.
  • Whisk until the egg whites hold a stiff peak.
  • Continue whisking on high, adding the sugar one tablespoon at a time until it is all incorporated. The meringue should be white and glossy, holding a stiff peak. Rub a little of the meringue between your finger and thumb, it should feel smooth. If at all gritty, continue whisking, as not all of the sugar is dissolved into the egg white. Continue until the mixture is smooth.
  • While the egg whites are whisking fit a large piping ba with a large, open star nozzle, I use Wilton  #1M.
  • Once the meringue has been whisked sift in the corn flour and cocoa. Then add the balsamic vinegar.
  • Using a large, clean, metal spoon fold all of the ingredients together carefully. Taking care not to knock out the air that has been whisked into the egg whites.
  • Place four dots of meringue in the corners of the baking tray, then place the baking parchment on top. This will hold the baking parchment in place.
  • Place a large spoonful of chocolate meringue into the centre of the heart. Spread the meringue with a palette knife, so that it fills the heart outline. There is no need to be too precise as it will be piped over.
  • Fill the piping bag with the remaining chocolate meringue.
  • Pipe swirls around the outline of the heart, leaving the bottom point and the top dip until last. Pipe a swirl at the bottom of the heart and then the top dip. Next pipe stars, inside the heart, on the base.
FF Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova
Making and creating the chocolate heart pavlova.
  • Place the pavlova into the centre of the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 160C/140C gas mark 3. Do not open the oven door whilst baking!
  • Bake for 1 hour exactly. After the baking time has elapsed turn the oven off and open the oven door a fraction, so that the pavlova cools slowly. I place a wooden spoon between the door and the oven.
  • While the pavlova is cooling the strawberries can be prepared. Into separate, small heatproof, microwaveable bowls, break up and add the milk and white chocolate, separately. Heat for 20 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chocolate has melted. Spoon the melted white chocolate into a small piping bag.
FF Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova
Preparing and decorating the strawberries.
  • Select 10 of the biggest strawberries and leave their tops on. Dip 5 of the large strawberries into the milk chocolate, using a teaspoons to help fully cover them. Place the dipped strawberries on to some baking parchment. Tip – if the strawberries are kept in the fridge until needed they will be chilled. This will help the chocolate set quickly.
  • Next pipe lines across the 5 chocolate covered strawberries and also the 5 un-dipped ones, this gluten free recipe also uses chocolate strawberries. Leave to set on the baking parchment. In warm weather place in the fridge for a couple of minutes.
  • When the pavlova has completely cooled it can be removed from the oven.
  • Pour the cream into a bowl and whisk until it has thickened but is not stiff.
  • Gently run a palette knife under the pavlova to loosen it from the baking parchment. Place the pavlova on to a flat plate, or stand from which it is to be served.
  • Spoon the cream inside the shell of the pavlova.
FF Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova
Preparing the cream and filling the pavlova.
  • Arrange the chocolate dipped strawberries on the top of the cream, removing the tops if necessary.
  • If liked, chop the remaining strawberries into fairly small pieces and sprinkle around the whole strawberries.
FF Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova
Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova ready to be served.

Now all that is needed is someone to share this stunning dessert with!

FF Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova
Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova served with a hot cup of tea.

Serve sliced, ensuring each portion has a chocolate strawberry.

This Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova is at its best eaten on the day assembled. The pavlova can be made the day before and left to cool, overnight in the oven. The strawberries can be prepared 4 hours ahead and left in a cool place. Likewise the cream can be prepared at the same time as the strawberries and left in the fridge, it may need a quick whisk to bring it back to the consistency required.

The Pavlova will last, covered in foil, in the fridge for 2 days after assembly.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova you may also like these:

Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova

FF Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova
Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova

Lemony Strawberry Pavlova

FF Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova
Lemony Strawberry Pavlova

Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova

FF Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova
Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova

All of the pavlova recipes on this blog are gluten free. Making them a suitable dessert for more people. Ensure that the corn flour used in each recipe is certified gluten free.

Since it is in my nature to be as inclusive as possible, serving a naturally gluten free dessert to friends and family ensures that everyone feels special. Likewise, no one can feel that they have been ‘too much bother’ due to any dietary limitations they may have. Resulting in a relaxed, enjoyable meal and atmosphere.

Have fun creating, making, cooking and baking in your kitchens.

Sammie xx

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Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread

If you are a frequent visitor to this blog, you will know how much I enjoy making bread. While I am very happy to let kitchen appliances carry out the hard work, indeed for this loaf they are necessary, shaping the dough is always fun to do by hand. Since I first tried an eight strand plaited loaf last year, I have become hooked on intertwining lengths of dough and observing the final, baked result. This Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread is delicious and easy to make.

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread a delicious breakfast.

Having re-tested the recipe and technique I have full confidence that you too can make this delicious bread. Even if you have never plaited before, the step by step photographs will show you how. Such a small amount of extra effort and you will be rewarded with a stunning loaf. While the smell of cinnamon dough, baking, will have you counting the minutes until your first slice!

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread golden and bronzed with a hidden inner.

When baking, it always pays to use the very best ingredients available. However, not everyone’s budget can stretch to premium ingredients. If you can make one change here, I strongly recommend using free range, or organic eggs. Their golden yolks are what help give this loaf its amazing colour. Both in the bread itself and the egg wash, brushed on before baking. Resulting in both the golden and bronzed baked crust.

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread beautiful inside and out.

Serving this bread, sliced for breakfast or as an afternoon treat with a hot drink, is sure to brighten anyone’s day. Since it is a large loaf, why not take it to work, pre-sliced and share with your colleagues? Since all food tastes better when it is shared, that is the only way to improve this bread. Simply by sharing it.

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread simply delicious.

Recipe: Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread 

300mls Whole Milk

2 Large Free Range Eggs

1tsp Caster Sugar

10g Dried Yeast – I use Allinson in the green tub or sachets

600g/1lb 5oz Strong White Bread Flour – I use Shipton Mill

50g/2oz Unsalted Butter

10g Salt – I use Maldon

For the cinnamon filling:

75g/3oz Light Muscavado Sugar – I use Billington’s

4tsp Cinnamon

1 free range egg plus 1tbsp milk to brush over the loaf.

Method:

The method given for making this Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread uses a dough hook fitted to a stand mixer. The enriched dough is very, very sticky, prior to its first prove. Using a stand mixer ensures that the dough is kneaded properly. Resulting in a light textured crumb once baked.

  • First of all ensure that your kitchen is warm. It will really benefit the yeast, during the dough making process.
  • Measure the milk into a jug and warm in a microwave for 20 seconds. Ideally the milk should be body temperature 37C. However, do not overheat as it may kill the yeast.
  • Pour the milk into the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Crack 2 eggs into the jug and add these to the milk in the bowl. I always break eggs into a separate container first. If any shell escapes it can then be removed and also, extremely occasionally, should an egg be bad, it will not spoil the whole recipe.
  • Next add the sugar and yeast. Swish the liquid about with clean fingers to break up the eggs and mix lightly.
  • On top of the liquid mix add the flour.
  • Now add the butter and salt.
  • Lower the dough hook into the bowl and mix on the slowest speed for 5 minutes. Then, gradually increase the speed to medium and mix for a further 5 minutes.
  • After the mixing time has elapsed stop the mixer.
  • Remove a small piece of dough and stretch it between your fingers. The dough is kneaded when it can be stretched so thinly that light can be seen through it. This is called the windowpane test.
  • If the dough tears before it can be fully stretched, lower the dough hook and continue mixing, checking every 3 minutes, until it passes the windowpane test.
  • Once the dough passes the windowpane test it is ready to prove. Scrape the dough from the dough hook and allow to drop into the bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and place somewhere warm and drought free.
  • Allow the dough to prove until doubled in size – approximately 1 hour.
  • While the dough is proving grease a large baking tray with butter. Also, into a small bowl, weigh out the sugar and add the cinnamon. Stir to mix and break up any large sugar lumps using your fingers. Set to one side.
  • Once doubled in size turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface. Use your hand, or a dough scraper to remove all of the dough.
  • Shape the dough into a round and then weigh it. I use digital scales, placing the dough on to a piece of baking parchment. Make a note of the weight of the dough. Now divide that figure in 3.
  • Cut the dough into 3 pieces that are equal in weight.
  • Roll each piece of dough into a length and then flatten, using your hands or a rolling pin. Each flattened length of dough should measure 50cm/20″.
FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Preparing three dough strands for the cinnamon/sugar filling.
  • Sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon mixture down the middle of each piece of dough. Dividing it equally between three strands.
  • Dab a little tap water down the right side of the first strip of dough. Now bring the left side over and pinch to secure the sides together. Similar to making a sausage roll.
  • Continue until all three lengths of dough have their filling securely encased.
  • Roll each length of dough so that the join is underneath and not visible.
  • Join all three lengths of dough at the top. Place on top of each other and pinch together to secure.
FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Filling, securing and attaching the top of the plait.
  • Plaiting the dough:
  • Starting from left to right, number the strands 1, 2 and 3. Number 1 strand will always be to the left, 2 in the middle and 3 on the right.
  • Pass strand 1 over strand 2.
  • Now pass strand 3 over strand 2. Ensure the strands are not pulled tight and likewise there should be no gaps.
  • Repeat the past two steps until the plait is finished. (Strand 1 over 2, then strand 3 over strand 2 and repeat.)
  • Pinch the bottom 3 strands together so that they are secure and look tidy.
  • Lift the plait using both hands at either end and place diagonally on to the greased baking tray.
  • Cover with a clean tea towel and leave, as before, in a draught free place.
  • While the plaited dough is proving preheat the oven to 240C/220C gas mark 9. Break an egg into a bowl, add the tablespoon of milk and whisk with a fork to mix. This is the eggwash.
  • Once the plaited dough has doubled in size use a soft pastry brush and carefully brush the egg wash over.
FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Plaiting the dough strands, proving and egg washing before baking.
  • Place the egg washed Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7. Continue to bake for a further 15-20 minutes.
  • The bread is baked when a deep, golden crust has formed and the base sounds hollow, when rapped with a knuckle.
  • Once baked remove the bread from the oven.
FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Beautifully baked Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread.
  • Slide a pallet knife under the baked bread, then carefully transfer to a cooling rack.
FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread cooled and sliced, revealing the hidden centre of each strand.

Allow the loaf to cool to body temperature before slicing. Attempting to slice while the bread is still hot will compact the bread. Also eating freshly baked, hot bread, is not good for our digestion!

Serve sliced with a smile and a complimenting drink.

Placed in a bread bin, or wrapped loosely in foil, once fully cooled, this loaf will last up to three days. It can be toasted, although I’d advise not to use a toaster due to the sugar present. Under a grill, or even better, in front of a log fire, this bread makes excellent toast!

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread you may also like these:

Large White Bloomer

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Large White Bloomer

Knotted Poppyseed Rolls

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Knotted Poppyseed Rolls

Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

Homemade bread is the most luxurious food, for me, to bake. Enticing smells as it is baking, make our house feel like a home. Appreciative comments when a fresh loaf is on the table, to be served with dinner, or for breakfast, make me smile. Not for the accolade, or indeed achievement, from others, of having made my own loaf. Simply the fact that I am giving my family, delicious, additive free, tasty bread, is enough to keep me baking.

What do you really enjoy cooking and baking? Who do you like to share it with?

Sammie xx

 

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Lloyds Chocolatiers Product Review

Carrying out reviews is always a pleasure and sometimes a challenge here at Feasting is Fun. While taking great care to bring an honest, thorough review, creating new recipes can sometimes stretch me. Yet challenging myself to come up with new ideas, is, ultimately, what delivers the most satisfaction. With this in mind, I hope you enjoy my Lloyds Chocolatiers Product Review.

FF Lloyds Chocolatiers Product Review
The product selection I received from Lloyds Chocolatiers.

Receiving such a varied selection was a real treat. Allowing me to get creative with my recipes. Since Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us, the chocolate hearts immediately grabbed my attention. A delicious variety of truffles, filled with ganache, whipped fruit fillings and the most incredible caramel. These chocolates became the inspiration behind my Chocolate Heart Topped Rose Bundt Cake . Perfectly complimenting the rose and vanilla flavoured cake, I highly recommend them.

FF Lloyds Chocolatiers Product Review
Chocolate Heart Topped Rose Bundt Cake

Included in the package were also some beautiful Rose and Violet chocolate fondants. The finish on these chocolates is outstanding and our daughter observed that they resembled marbles, such was the shine. These chocolate fondants would also work well with the Rose Bundt Cake. While the Rose fondants had a subtle flavour, similar to turkish delight, in comparison the Violet fondants were stronger. Reminiscent of years gone by, both flavours were enjoyable.

FF Lloyds Chocolatiers Product Review
Rose and Violet Chocolate Fondants.

Presentation of all the chocolates was outstanding. Great care had been taken to ensure that they arrived in perfect condition, always a consideration when ordering any product online, especially food items. Also, each individual product’s packaging was sleek, streamlined and designed to show the product off at its best. While it also protected the chocolates.

FF Lloyds Chocolatiers Product Review
Lloyds Chocolatiers Product Review bags of boozy truffles.

Chocolate truffles are a weakness of mine. Add in a splash of something boozy and I’m sold! Yet, occasionally I am disappointed. Too much alcohol and the truffle is ruined. Not so with these delicious beauties. The gold wrapped chocolate truffles contain just the right amount of whiskey and are finished with a dusting of cocoa. While the vermicelli covered chocolate rum truffles just edged past, in terms of my flavour preference. Both are delicious and highly recommended.

FF Lloyds Chocolatiers Product Review
Lloyds Chocolatiers Product Review the chocolate bars.

Finally, the chocolate bars. The milk chocolate was creamy, yet not too sweet. This is a great chocolate bar. When ordering chocolates as presents, one or two would also be added to the basket! The white chocolate bar is sublime. Most white chocolate is very sweet. Too sweet. Not Lloyds Chocolatier’s white chocolate bar. A great balance of creaminess and vanilla. This simple, yet excellent bar of chocolate could well be my undoing! While a little on the pricey side, the flavour is absolutely worth it, for both chocolate bars.

White Chocolate Valentine’s Bark

FF Lloyds Chocolatiers Product Review
White Chocolate Valentine’s Bark.

As part of the Lloyds Chocolatiers Product Review this White Chocolate Valentine’s Bark was made. The recipe is simple and requires only 2 ingredients.

1 x 110g White Chocolate Bar – from Llyods Chocolatier’s

Heart Sugar Sprinkles – available from most supermarkets.

Making the White Chocolate Valentine’s Bark:

  • First of all, line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  • Next chop up the white chocolate until it is in small pieces. Less than 1cm in size.
  • Place approximately two thirds of the chopped white chocolate into a heatproof, microwaveable bowl.
  • Heat the chocolate for 20 seconds at a time, stirring in between each heating.
  • As soon as the chocolate is melted add the remaining chopped chocolate to the bowl and stir until all of the chocolate is completely melted. If necessary, heat for a further 10 seconds at a time, in the microwave.
  • Once melted stir to ensure the melted chocolate is free from lumps.
  • Pour the melted chocolate on to the baking parchment.
  • Using either an off set spatula or the back of a spoon spread the chocolate out into a rectangular shape.
  • Ideally the chocolate should be about the thickness of a one pound coin, 3-4mm.
  • Scatter over sugar heart decorations, while the chocolate is still tacky.
  • Place the baking tray somewhere cool to allow the chocolate to set. During very hot weather it may have to be placed in the fridge for a few minutes.
FF Lloyds Chocolatiers Product Review
Making the White Chocolate Valentine’s Bark.
  • Once the chocolate has set it is ready to be cut.
  • Use a sharp, un-serrated knife to cut 4 lines, equally spaced, from top to bottom.
  • The chocolate will naturally crack into shards.
FF Lloyds Chocolatiers Product Review
Notice how the chocolate splits and cracks.
  • Place the heart studded chocolate shards in a pretty bowl to serve.
FF Lloyds Chocolatiers Product Review
Lloyds Chocolatiers Product Review with homemade White Chocolate Valentine’s Bark.

The White Chocolate Valentine’s Bark can also be placed into cellophane bags, tied with pretty ribbon and given as presents.

Considering that all of the chocolates are handmade by Lloyds Chocolatier’s, I was very impressed the the sharp snap of the chocolate bark. While tempering chocolate can be quite a procees. Certainly one I am happy to leave to the proffessionals. In comparision the easy tempering technique used here gave great results.

Whatever type of chocolate you enjoy, or wish to give as a gift, I highly recommend Lloyds Chocolatiers. From variety to beautiful packaging, they certainly make great chocolate.

If you have enjoyed this post Lloyds Chocolatiers Product Review you may also like these:

Luxury Amaretto Hot Chocolate

FF Lloyds Chocolatiers Product Review
Luxury Amaretto Hot Chocolate.

Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova

FF Lloyds Chocolatiers Product Review
Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova

Chocolate Sunflower Cake

FF Lloyds Chocolatiers Product Review
Chocolate Sunflower Cake.

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day, or not, creating something delicious for loved ones is always fun. Either adorning a cake with beautiful chocolate hearts, or making chocolate bark with the children, a personal touch can add so much more, any day of the year. Such as remembering someone’s favourite chocolates.

Whatever you are baking, making and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing your feast and remember, food always tastes better when it is shared.

Sammie xx

Lloyds Chocolatiers provided me with the chocolates in this post, for the purposes of a review. All content, photography, opinions and views are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Chocolate Heart Topped Rose Bundt Cake

Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us and whether you subscribe to red hearts, roses and all things lovey-dovey, or not, walk down any high street and you can’t fail to avoid it. For me, each day is about expressing my love to those around me. Most importantly my hubby, our children and then my beautiful sister and her amazing family. Whether you celebrate February 14th as a specific day to show people your love, or choose other days, every single day, this Chocolate Heart Topped Rose Bundt Cake is sure to be well received.

FF Chocolate Heart Topped Rose Bundt Cake
Chocolate Heart Topped Rose Bundt Cake shimmering in the sunlight.

Love, for me is about showing someone I’ve thought of them. It can be a small act of making a cup of tea and a kiss, or it can be a grander gesture, such as buying theatre or concert tickets. One way I like to show loved ones that I’ve thought of them is to bake or cook for them. Making their favourite meal, baking cookies such as these Chocolate Heart Cookies, all adds to the love in our home.

FF Chocolate Heart Topped Rose Bundt Cake
Chocolate Heart Topped Rose Bundt Cake says “I love you”.

Something absolutely guaranteed to win most people round is chocolate. Having been sent a beautiful selection of chocolates from Lloyd’s Chocolatiers, I wanted to show them off. As the chocolate hearts are filled with delicate whipped creams, caramel, praline or divine caramel, they provide the perfect decoration to this lightly flavoured cake. Easily removed when served, they create a stunning addition to any plate.

FF Chocolate Heart Topped Rose Bundt Cake
An elegant dessert plate accessorised with heart chocolates.

Made with love. Served with love. These beautiful and varied chocolate hearts create a stunning dessert plate. This definitely says “I love you”.

FF Chocolate Heart Rose Bundt Cake
Chocolate Heart Topped Rose Bundt Cake

While baking a chocolate cake may seem an obvious choice, I instead decided to choose a flavour to compliment the chocolates. Keeping the rose flavour subtle within the cake also stops it from overpowering the chocolates. Since the aim is, that each should compliment the other. Finishing with an un-flavoured glaze and dust of glitter, takes this cake from pretty to elegant.

Recipe: Chocolate Heart Topped Rose Bundt Cake serves 8-10

For the cake batter:

275g/10oz Unsalted Butter softened

275g/10oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

2tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – or Vanilla Extract

6 Large Free Range Eggs

1tsp Rose Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

300g/11oz Plain White Four

2tsp Baking Powder

100g Full Fat Natural Yoghurt- I use Yeo Valley

For the icing and decoration:

450g/1lb White Unflavoured Icing Sugar

100mls Cold Tap Water

Edible Glitter – I use My Cake Decor gold glitter pump spray

Chocolate Hearts

Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3

First of all, ensure the Bundt pan is clean and dry. Shake the can or bottle well. Spray, or brush Wilton cake release thoroughly using a soft pastry brush. Note – if the weather is cold the liquid in the bottle may be difficult to squeeze out and brush. Stand the bottle in a jug of hot water for 10 minutes, shake well and use.

  • Making the cake batter: Into a large bowl add the softened butter, sugar and salt.
  • Whisk/beat together until well combined, pale and creamy.
  • Next, into a separate bowl, sieve the flour and baking powder together – dry ingredients.
  • Into the creamed butter bowl add the vanilla paste, rose extract and 2 eggs. Then add one third of the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  • Add a further 2 eggs, another third of the dry ingredients and mix as before.
  • Finally, add the last 2 eggs, yoghurt and the last third of the dry ingredients. Mix until thoroughly combined, however take care not to over mix.
  • Spoon the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan, pressing down as you do. Smooth the top of the batter with a spoon.
  • Place the Bundt pan in the centre of the oven and bake for 1hr – 1hr 15 minutes.
  • The cake is baked when it is golden in colour, shrinking away from the sides of the pan and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Once baked remove the cake from the oven.
FF Chocolate Heart Topped Rose Bundt Cake
Preparing the Bundt pan, filling and baking the cake.
  • Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
  • Now turn out the Bundt cake on to a cooling rack.
  • Leave the cake to cool completely before icing.
FF Chocolate Heart Topped Rose Bundt Cake
Beautiful definition from the Chiffon Bundt.
  • While the cake is cooling, make the glacé icing.
  • Sift the icing sugar into a bowl.
  • Add the water and stir thoroughly, until a smooth consistency is achieved.
  • When cool, place the cake on the cooling rack, over a clean baking tray. This will catch any excess icing drips.
  • Start to spoon the icing over the top of the cake, working your way around the cake.
  • Continue to spoon icing through the central hole and around the outside until the cake is fully covered.
  • Leave the icing to naturally drip from the cake and finally set.
  • If using, dust the cake with edible glitter.
  • Move the cake on to a serving plate or stand.
FF Chocolate Heart Topped Rose Bundt Cake
Covering the cake with icing and dusting with glitter.
  • Place the chocolate hearts on top of the cake, reserving some for serving alongside.
FF Chocolate Heart Topped Rose Bundt Cake
Chocolate Heart Topped Rose Bundt Cake adorned with delightful chocolates.

Serve with love and a smile.

The cake will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days. If it lasts that long.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Chocolate Heart Topped Rose Bundt Cake then you may also like these:

Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake

FF Chocolate Heart Topped Rose Bundt Cake
Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake

Strawberry Sweetheart Cake

FF Chocolate Heart Topped Rose Bundt Cake
Strawberry Sweetheart Cake

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

FF Chocolate Heart Topped Rose Bundt Cake
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

Nordic Ware have a range of different shapes and styles of Bundt Pans. Since they are not cheap they are an investment worth looking after. Especially, if like me, cake decorating isn’t your strongest point. Yet, if looked after properly, the detailed Bundt Pans will last you a lifetime. Because each cake baked has love stirred into it, nothing else can compare with the taste. Ultimately they pay for themselves, with magnificent cakes that aren’t bought from a bakery.

On Valentine’s Day and everyday, I wish you love, health, peace and happiness.

Sammie xx

LLoyds Chocolatiers sent me the chocolate hearts to try. All content, photography, views and opinions are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut

Who doesn’t love chocolate? Not me! Yet after the festive season, well, to be truthful, unwrapping and eating another choccie, can, lose its appeal. Since wasting chocolate is an option that cannot even be considered, incorporating it into bakes and desserts seems the perfect answer. Hence, I present to you my Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut.

FF Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut
Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut topped with Fererro Rocher.

While I used Fererro Rocher to inspire and top this bake, another Christmas chocolate was also used for the drizzling. Look away now if you love Teddy Bears, I used a whole Lindt Christmas jumper bear, melted down. To say this was an indulgent bake, would be to understate. Serving this for dessert, would, without doubt, bring about happy smiles and much excitement.

FF Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut
Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut sandwiched together with whipped cream and chocolate hazelnut spread.

Creating a giant, baked doughnut, using silicone moulds, readily available online – mine were bought from Lakeland, makes an unusual and fun change from a sandwich cake. If however, you cannot source the moulds, this recipe can be baked in two, greased and lined 6 – 7 inch sandwich tins. Baking time will be approximately the same.

 

FF Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut
Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut perfect for sharing.

While a single, regular doughnut is perfect for one person, this giant doughnut is perfect for sharing. Since it is my belief that all food tastes better when it is shared, surely this can only be a good thing!

Recipe: Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut serves 8

For the Doughnut Sponge

200g/7oz Unsalted Butter – softened, plus extra to grease moulds

200g/7oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

6 Large Free Range Eggs

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

100g/4oz Plain White Flour

75g/3oz Cocoa Powder – I use Callebaut

1.5tsp Baking Powder

Filling and Topping the Doughnut 

200ml/8fl oz Double Cream

3tbsp Chocolate Hazelnut Spread – I use Jim Jams Spreads

100g/4oz Milk Chocolate

2tbsp Chopped Roasted Hazelnuts

8 Fererro Rocher or other chocolate to decorate

Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3

  • First of all, grease the insides of the doughnut moulds with softened butter. Then place them on a baking tray, ensuring that they don’t touch. The silicone mould could easily be misshapen if pressed.
  • To make the batter, start by placing the butter, salt and sugar into a large bowl. Whisk/beat together until pale and creamy.
  • Next add all 6 eggs and the vanilla extract.
  • Now sift the cocoa powder, plain flour and baking powder into the same bowl.
  • Whisk/beat all the ingredients until they have just come together. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl then give the batter a final mix.
  • Divide the batter equally between the two moulds. Finish by smoothing the surface of the batter to ensure an even bake.
FF Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut
Silicone giant doughnut moulds filled, ready for the oven.
  • Place the baking tray, with the moulds on, into the centre of the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes.
  • The sponge is baked when it feels firm to touch and springs back when lightly pressed.
FF Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut
Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut perfect flat tops from low and slow baking.
  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the moulds and then turn the doughnut halves out on to a cooling rack. Cool completely before decorating. Since this doughnut was baked in the evening, it was stored, with baking parchment underneath and between, in an airtight container. Ready to be filled and decorated the next day.
  • Assembling the Giant Doughnut: First of all, pour the double cream into a large bowl and whisk until it just starts to thicken. Continue whisking slowly until it just holds its shape. Take care not to over whisk so that it becomes stiff, this will make it difficult to pipe.
  • Now take the half that is to be the top part of the doughnut and spread the chocolate and hazelnut spread evenly on to the flat underside.
  • Place the bottom half of the doughnut, flat side up, on to the plate or stand on which it is to be served.
  • Fill an icing bag fitted with a large star tip – I use Wilton #1M – with the whipped cream. Pipe a swirl pattern on to the bottom doughnut – as seen in the pictures. Alternatively you can spoon the cream on to the doughnut.
  • Place the top half of the doughnut on to the bottom half.
  • Pipe cream stars all around the centre, where the two halves meet. This creates a beautiful finish.
FF Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut
Assembling the Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut.
  • Decorating the doughnut: Break or chop the chocolate into small pieces and place into a heatproof, microwaveable bowl. Zap in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring, between each heating. As soon as the chocolate starts to melt remove the bowl and continue stirring until the chocolate is liquid.
  • Drizzle the chocolate, using a teaspoon, over the doughnut.
  • Next, working quickly before the chocolate sets, add the unwrapped Fererro Rocher to the top of the doughnut. Holding each one in place for a few seconds so that it sticks to the chocolate.
  • Sprinkle over the toasted, chopped hazelnuts and allow the chocolate to fully set before serving.
FF Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut
Warm, drizzled chocolate adorned with Fererro Rocher and toasted, chopped hazelnuts.

As soon as the chocolate is set this Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut is ready to be served.

FF Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut
Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut so inviting.

To serve, cut using a sharp knife, wiping the knife clean, between each cut, will keep the slices tidy. The sponge, whipped cream and chocolate hazelnut layers are clear to see.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. While best on the day assembled, this doughnut will keep for up to 2 days.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut you may also like these:

Black Forest Giant Doughnut

FF Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut
Black Forest Giant Doughnut

Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut

FF Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut
Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut gluten free recipe option available.

Raspberries Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut

FF Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut
Raspberries Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut

Since something as simple as a silicone giant doughnut mould can create such fun and show stopping desserts, I highly recommend them. Most of all, if you serve up a Giant Doughnut as dessert to dinner guests, they are not only likely to be impressed, but also inquisitive about how it is made. Certainly, the variety of bakes are as limitless as our own imagination.

Baking should be fun, creative and adventurous. Best of all, it should be shared.

Sammie xx

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Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars

In an ideal world, all food consumed by myself and our family would be homemade. Reality dictates that is not feasible. Yet certain products, made with natural ingredients make that dream, a step closer. For example the lemon curd used in my Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars, tastes as good, if not better than that made at home. Resulting in a delicious recipe, made one stage easier by a product already available.

FF Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars simply delicious.

Creating a bake that is sturdy enough to withstand transport in a school backpack or briefcase can have its challenges. Yet, a sturdy, buttery, shortbread base ensures these bars remain intact during transit. Since hubby does not always have time for a set lunch break, knowing he has something he can munch with a coffee makes me happy. Of course, he functions better when his energy is topped up too.

FF Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars a tasty, not too sweet, treat.

There are a variety of traybakes here, on Feasting is Fun, including Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars and Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks. Some considered more ‘healthy’ than others. With respect, anything cooked at home, using good quality ingredients and made with love, is, in my opinion far better than a mass produced product with a shelf life of months!

FF Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars with theee clearly defined layers.

Biting into a bar really is a taste and texture sensation for your tongue and tastebuds. Each blueberry, when baked, turns into its own little pod of jam. Yet without the added sweetness of preserves. The cake layer, moist and light contrasts beautifully with the tang of lemon and defined shortbread base. Resulting in a complete mouthful of joy with each bite.

Recipe: Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars makes 12

Shortbread Base

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter softened

150g/5oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Salt I use Maldon

1 Large Free Range Egg Yolk

1tsp Vanilla Extract I use Nielsen-Massey

275g/10z Plain White Flour

For the Sponge Topping

4-5 tbsp Lemon Curd I use Hawkshead Relish

100g/4oz Unsalted Butter softened

100g/4oz Caster Sugar

2 Large Free Range Eggs

100g/4oz Plain White Flour

1tsp Baking Powder

200g/7oz Fresh Blueberries

Finely Grated Zest of 1 Lemon

Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3

Line a 20cm x 28cm x 5cm (8″ x 11″ x 2″) tin with baking parchment, ensuring the parchment is higher than the sides of the tin. The tin does not need to be greased first.

  • Making the Shortbread Base:
  • Place the softened butter, salt and sugar into a large bowl. Whisk or beat until the mixture is pale and creamy.
  • Next, add the egg yolk and vanilla extract. Continue to beat until all ingredients are completely incorporated.
  • Now sift the flour into the bowl and then, using a spoon gently mix all the ingredients until they just come together.
  • Spoon the shortbread mixture into the lined tin and then press into an even layer using your fingers. Use a fork to prick holes, known as docking, into the shortbread. This allows any steam to escape and create a golden base.
  • Place the tin into the centre of a preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes. Until the top is just turning golden.
  • While the shortbread is baking make the sponge topping – see below for instructions.
  • Once baked remove the shortbread from the oven. It is important to note that the shortbread is not fully cooked at this point.
FF Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
Making and baking the buttery shortbread base.
  • Making the Sponge Topping
  • While the shortbread is baking the cake batter can be made.
  • Into a large bowl, as before, add the butter and sugar. Whisk/beat until pale and creamy.
  • Next add the two eggs and continue whisking until the mixture is completely combined.
  • Now sift the flour and baking powder into the same bowl. Then add the blueberries and the lemon zest.
  • Using a metal spoon, fold the ingredients together gently, to minimise breaking up the blueberries. Set to one side.
  • Assembling the Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
  • Once the shortbread base is baked allow to cool for 5 minutes. Then spoon over the lemon curd, spreading so that it covers the base, yet doesn’t quite reach the edges.
  • Spoon over the cake batter. Dolloping it fairly evenly across the base. Finally, gently spread the batter so that it covers the base. Pay particular attention to the edges. Aiming to seal in the lemon curd, by ensuring the cake batter is in contact with the shortbread around the entire edge.
FF Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
Building the different layers of the Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars.
  • Place the tin back into the centre of the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes. The lower and longer baking results in an even bake with a flat surface.
  • The Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars are baked when the top is golden in colour and is firm to touch. Once baked remove the tin from the oven and set to one side to allow to cool completely.
FF Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
The finished bake cooling.
  • When completely cooled, remove the entire traybake from the tin. A fish slice or large palette knife is useful. Ease the knife under the bake, using it to lift and support as you move the traybake to a flat surface.
  • Using a sharp knife cut halfway through the width of the bake. Wipe the knife between each cut, this avoids spoiling the bake.
  • Following this first cut, now cut downwards, dividing the bake into four equal quarters.
  • Finally, cut each quarter into three equal sized bars.
FF Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars perfect for packed lunches.

The lemon curd is perfect in these bars.

Serve the Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars with a cup of tea, on some cheerful china, with a smile.

FF Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars taste better when shared!

Store in an airtight container. They will keep for 4 days. During warm weather, storing in the fridge is advised.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars you may also like these:

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

FF Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars

FF Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars

Bakewell Shortbread Bars

FF Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
Bakewell Shortbread Bars

 

Baking and cooking good, wholesome food for my family is very important to me. It truly is one of the ways that I show them my love. Knowing in the middle of a busy day that my hubby has something made with love, by me, to help him through. Well, it doesn’t get better than that when we are apart from each other. The oohs and aahs as each family member returns at the days end, to the comforting kitchen aromas, ensures they know that they are truly home.

Love, inquisitiveness and creating are the main motivational factors behind all of my cooking. What are yours?

Sammie xxx

Hawkshead Relish provided me with the lemon curd used in this recipe. All content, opinions, views and photography are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Amaretto Creamy Ice Cream

Winter and ice cream. Can they really hold hands and be friends during the coldest months? I say absolutely! My Amaretto Creamy Ice Cream scooped into a bowl and topped with hot, toasted, flaked almonds is perfect any day of the year. Ice cream is for every season, we just have to get creative!

FF Amaretto Creamy Ice Cream
Amaretto Creamy Ice Cream topped with toasted almond flakes.

Amaretto is an Italian Almond Liqueur. It’s flavour is of warm, toasted almonds which, when sipped, produces a warming feeling throughout the body. Add it to ice cream and two different things happen. First of all, due to the alcohol content, this ice cream does not need to wait around, warming up before it can be scooped. Furthermore, the ice cream becomes dreamily creamy. Creating a dessert that stands alone on its own merits, the toasted flaked almonds adding a crunchy texture to the smoothness of the ice cream.

FF Amaretto Creamy Ice Cream
Amaretto Creamy Ice Cream scooped into a glass.

However, the Italians have a wonderful dessert called Affogato. A scoop or two of ice cream, drowned in a shot of hot, intense, espresso . The coffee drowns the ice cream. The resulting effect being a meeting of ice cold, ice cream and scalding hot coffee. If you love coffee, then this is an incredibly stylish way to end a meal.

FF Amaretto Creamy Ice Cream
Amaretto Creamy Ice Cream with a shot of espresso poured over.

The combination of opposites; hot and cold, sweet and bitter, dessert and drink, create an exciting, enticing, taste experience. Most of all, that tastebud sensation is completely homemade. Because the dessert is created from scratch, the control of flavours is in your hands.

FF Amaretto Creamy Ice Cream
Amaretto Creamy Ice Cream a delightful dessert.

Recipe: Amaretto Creamy Ice Cream makes 750ml

300ml/ 1/2 pint Double Cream

300ml/ 1/2 pint Whole Milk

1tsp Vanilla Bean Extract I use Nielsen-Massey

4 Large Free Range Egg Yolks

5tbsp Caster Sugar

1tsp Corn Flour I use Doves Farm  as it is 100% gluten free

5tbsp Amaretto Liqueur

Method:

Ensure the freezing compartment of the ice cream machine has been in the freezer overnight, or as per manufacturer’s instructions.

For step by step photographs, showing the making of an ice cream base, please see Very Vanilla Ice Cream.

  • First of all, pour both the cream and milk into a large, heavy based saucepan and place over a medium heat. Allow to heat until small bubbles form around the rim of the saucepan – this is known as the scalding point. Once reached, remove the saucepan from the heat.
  • While the milk/cream mixture is heating, add the egg yolks, sugar, corn flour and vanilla bean extract to a large, heatproof bowl. Whisk until pale and frothy.
  • As soon as the eggs are mixed and the milk/cream have reached scalding point, continue with the following:
  • With the whisk still on slow, gradually pour the hot milk mixture into the bowl containing the egg mixture. Keep pouring until all of the hot, creamy liquid is mixed in.
  • Next pour the contents of the bowl back into the saucepan and place over a low heat. Keep stirring to ensure the custard base does not catch. Continue heating until the custard has thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat.
  • Place a sieve over a large heatproof bowl and pour the custard base through.
  • To ensure a skin does not form on top of the custard, place cling film on to the custard. So that it is in direct contact.
  • Set the bowl aside to cool and then place in the fridge to chill thoroughly.
  • When the custard has fully chilled remove from the fridge. Now is the time to add the Amaretto Liqueur. Stir to mix.
  • Set up the ice cream machine as per manufacturer’s instructions.
  • With the machine turned on, pour the deliciously scented custard base into the churning bowl.
  • Continue churning until the ice cream has a thick consistency.
  • Stop the machine and remove the lid and paddle. Scrape the ice cream from the paddle into a suitable freezer proof, airtight container. Then, using a silicone spatula, decant the rest of the ice cream into the container. Wipe away any splashes, clip on the lid, label and finally place the container into the freezer to finish freezing.
FF Amaretto Ice Cream
Amaretto Creamy Ice Cream ready to scoop straight from the freezer.

To serve, remove the ice cream from the freezer and scoop straight away. Since the ice cream contains a good slug of alcohol, which freezes at a much lower temperature, it is ready to serve immediately.

FF Amaretto Creamy Ice Cream
Amaretto Creamy Ice Cream one scoop or two?

To create an Amaretto Affogato, simply scoop one or two balls of ice cream into a heatproof glass. Immediately pour over a steaming, hot shot of espresso and serve.

Please make sure any dinner guests who are driving have an alternative. My Very Vanilla Ice Cream works very well in an Affogato. Likewise if you want the almond flavour, without the alcohol, you could add 2 teaspoons of good quality almond extract, instead of the Amaretto. The ice cream will need to sit for 20 minutes once removed from the freezer to soften.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Amaretto Creamy Ice Cream you may also like these:

Chocolate Orange Ice Cream

FF Amaretto Creamy Ice Cream
Chocolate Orange Ice Cream

Dark Chocolate Chip Vanilla Ice Cream

FF Amaretto Creamy Ice Cream
Dark Chocolate Chip Vanilla Ice Cream

Lemon Ripple Ice Cream

FF Amaretto Creamy Ice Cream
Lemon Ripple Ice Cream

Investing in an ice cream machine, need not only be for the warmer summer months. Cold ice cream melting over a warm Chocolate Fudge Brownie is my idea of comfort food heaven. I love the taste sensation of hot and cold together.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, make sure 2017 is the year you really do have fun.

Sammie xx

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