Slow Roasted Cider Pork

I really enjoy roasting a large joint of meat. Not only does it really feel as though I am preparing a feast, it also is difficult to over cook the meat. This Slow Roasted Cider Pork is so easy to cook and the flavour it outta this world!

FF Slow Roasted Cider Pork
Slow Roasted Cider Pork melt in the mouth meat and the best crackling!

This beautiful, bone in, tied shoulder of Pork came from  Graig Farm . It weighed 4kg and so was a whopper of a joint.

Cooked on a bed of fresh herbs and onions, with a bottle of Thatcher’s Gold Cider poured under it, the Pork, tightly wrapped in aluminium foil, cooks slowly and steams in the herby, cider.

FF Slow Roasted Cider Pork
Slow Roasted Cider Pork such a delicious way to roast pork shoulder.

In the United States Pork Shoulder is also referred to as Pork Butt. The joint comes from the front shoulder of the pig, so needs long, slow cooking, to break down the the muscle. The result is effectively pulled Pork. Don’t expect to carve this joint, as it literally falls apart once cooked.

Oh and have I mentioned how easy it is to cook this Slow Roasted Cider Pork?

Once prepped you pop it in the oven and just let it do it’s gloriously tasty, deliciously melting, cooking. A great dish if you’ve got a busy day ahead.

FF Slow Roasted Cider Pork
Slow Roasted Cider Pork look how tender this delicious meat is?

The bones literally pulled  clean out from the pork.

From this one joint you can go on to make other dishes in the week – watch out for my Chipotle Pulled Pork Fajita’s coming soon 😉

Some people can’t be bothered with the hassle of cooking a Sunday Roast. For our family it is not only tradition, but also provides leftovers for meals during the week such as my Roast Chicken Noodle Soup.

Slow Roasted Cider Pork can be served with the traditional Sunday sides of roast potatoes and vegetables, or Mashed Potatoes for the ultimate comfort meal. There are dozens of ways to serve pulled pork and I intend to add plenty more recipes to this blog!

FF Slow Roasted Roast Pork
Slow Roasted Cider Pork infused with cider and fresh herb flavours.

This one joint would easily feed 15-20 people, depending on how you were serving it. The pork I used for this joint was organic. I can honestly say that the flavour is far superior to the pale, mass produced alternative. Economically, this meal made four dinners for a family of 5. With 3 growing teenagers, that counts as 5 adults in my book.

This Slow Roasted Cider Pork goes a long way and that that certainly helps with theconomics of buying such a large joint. As I’ve said before we are not a meat eating family, so the meat we do eat goes further. Take a look at Graig Farm’s website, there is 10% off for new customers and they always have special offers on. They are a family run farm who genuinely care for the animals that they rear.

I have been buying meat from them for the last few years and I have never had a bad meal, cooked with their meat.

This is not a sponsored post. I paid fair and square for the Pork Shoulder, I just really like their farming ethos, they are very nice people and their meat is outstanding!

Recipe: Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder

3-4Kg Bone in Pork Shoulder Joint – if cooking a smaller joint reduce the temperature to 120C

Fresh Herbs – I used Bay leaves, Sage, Thyme and Rosemary – woody herbs work best

1 Large Onion – peeled and cut into quarters (or 2 small onions halved)

1 Bottle Cider 500ml I used – Thatcher’s Gold

Sea Salt – I use – Maldon

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

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

  • Remove the pork from the fridge 1 hour before cooking. Remove all packaging set on a large plate and pat dry with kitchen roll.
  • In the base of your roasting tin add the fresh herbs and onions quarters.
  • Pour in the bottle of cider.
  • Sit the pork joint on top of the onions and herbs.
  • Sprinkle over freshly ground pepper, rub sea salt and a little fresh thyme into the skin.

FF Slow Roasted Cider PorkSlow Roasted Cider Pork

    I know you can’t see the cider I poured it under the pork after it was placed in the tin!
  • Cover the pork with aluminium foil, making sure that it does not touch the actual joint. Crimp the foil tightly around the edge of the tin so that it seals in the pork and cider.
FF Slow Roasted Cider Pork
Slow Roasted Cider Pork ready for it’s low and slow roasting.
  • Place the roasting tin into the lower part of the oven and allow to cook at the preheated temperature for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes has passed reduce the oven temperature to 150C/130C fan, gas mark 2 and cook for a further 6 hours.
  • You can take the joint out after 3 hours and baste with the herby cider juices as I did. Remember to tightly cover with foil before putting back into the oven.
FF Slow Roasted Cider Pork.
Slow Roasted Cider Pork basted with the cider halfway through cooking.
  • If you want to go out for the day, please don’t worry about the basting. The steamy, herb infused, cider atmosphere in which the pork cooks will still be deliciously full of flavour.
  • After 6 hours has elapsed remove the joint from the oven and check how tender it is. I simply pull at the meat with a fork, if it comes away easily the park is cooked.
  • Increase the oven temperature up to it’s original preheated level and place the pork back in the oven for 20-30 minutes to crisp up the crackling and create the crusty pork ‘bark’ at each end of the joint.
  • When the skin has crisped up and you have crunchy crackling remove the pork from the oven.
  • Remove the pork joint from the tin and place on a platter or carving board.
  • Being extra careful as it is very hot, I then snip and remove any string, before using scissors to cut away the crackling, which I then pop back in the oven whilst the roast potatoes cook.
  • Cover the pork with foil and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes.
  • Using two forks pull the pork apart and pull out the bones, they will come out cleanly.
  • FF Slow Roasted Cider PorkYou can see how cleanly the bone came out on the left.

Serve the Slow Roasted Cider Pork with roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables and enjoy the soft, tender meat and crunchy, tasty cracking.

The perfect roast to fead a crowd, so invite all you family round, get everyone to pitch in with a dish and enjoy fun, feasting, friendship and laughter together. There’s nothing like a good meal and great company to hhelp people relax and unwind.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Slow Roasted Cider Pork you may also like these:

Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb

FF Redburrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb
Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb

Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken

FF Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken
Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken

Garlic Rosemary Roast Potatoes

FF Slow Roasted Cider Pork
Garlic Rosemary Roast Potatoes

 

Do you enjoy cooking a roast for all the family, or is it too much hassle?

Thank you for all your photos and feedback via the comments section, Instagram and Twitter. I really do appreciate you making and baking my recipes and love yo see how they turn out, so please keep the pictures and comments coming.

Whatever you are making and baking the Bank Holiday Monday, I hope you have fun creating your delicious feasts and sharing your wonderful bakes with lots of smiles.

Sammie xx

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Strawberry Eton Mess

Oh how I love summer fruit. Ruby red strawberries, crimson through to black cherries, tart yet sweet raspberries and the array of different currents. I am definitely a soft fruit fan and love to eat them freshly picked, or use them in delightful, dessert recipes. This Strawberry Eton Mess is a classic English dessert, that is best made with fresh, local strawberries.

FF Strawberry Eton Mess
Strawberry Eton Mess a delicious trio of ingredients.

Homemade pavlova provides a crisp and marshmallow like texture that I’ve enveloped in lightly whipped cream, with sweet luscious strawberries.

FF Strawberry Eton Mess
Strawberry Eton Mess the perfect make ahead dessert.

This Strawberry Eton Mess is so easy to assemble and is brilliant as a make ahead dessert. The pavlova can be made the same day, or even the day before, strawberries can be hulled, quartered and left covered in a bowl and the cream takes only a couple of minutes to whisk by hand.

All the ingredients can be assembled prior to serving, for a stress free delectable dessert!

FF Strawberry Eton MessStrawberry Eton Mess a classic English summer dessert.

True to my word, I am adding more desserts to Feasting is Fun. My family are loving the new-ish aspect to my blog!!

This Strawberry Eton Mess is probably one of my favourite desserts. The differing textures within the pavlova and the fresh local strawberries really make this a stunning dish. As with all recipes, especially those that have few ingredients, it really is worth buying the best that you can afford. Or in the case of this dessert, taking the time to make your own pavlova.

I know ready made meringues are easily available in supermarkets, they won’t give the marshmallow inner softness that a homemade pavlova yields. If you make your own ice cream like my  Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream then you will be left with 4 eggs whites. The exact amount needed for this recipe.

FF Strawberry Eton Mess
Strawberry Eton Mess topped with a drizzle of strawberry jam.

I was fortunate to win some Hartleys strawberry jam on Twitter. Warmed slightly, so that it becomes a sauce, it adds the perfect finishing touch to this dessert. The bright red colour contrasts beautifully with the pale cream meringue and it lends an extra strawberry hit as you take your first mouthful.

Recipe: Strawberry Eton Mess serves 6

For the pavlova:

4 Large Egg Whites – preferably free range or organic

150g/5oz – 1 US Cup Icing Sugar

2tsp Corn Flour – also known as corn starch

1tsp White Wine or Cider Vinegar

1/2tsp Vanilla Extract – I use –Nielsen-Massey

For the Strawberry Eton Mess:

400g/ Fresh British Strawberries

300ml Double Cream

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – again I use Nielsen-Massey

1tbsp Caster Sugar

1tbsp Strawberry Jam – I used Hartley’s Best Strawberry Jam – warm slightly before drizzling onto the Strawberry Eton Mess

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

  • Line a large baking tray with baking parchment that has a 20cm circle, drawn in pencil, on the underside.
  • Into a spotlessly clean, large bowl place the egg whites.
  • Whisk until the egg white hold a stiff peak.
FF Strawberry Eton Mess
The meringue peaks stand proud.
  • Whilst whisking on a medium speed gradually add the sugar. Continue whisking until the meringue is glossy and shiny.
  • Sift in the cornflour and add the vanilla and vinegar.
FF Strawberry Eton Mess
Shiny, glossy meringue, ready to have the extra ingredients folded in.
  • Using a large metal spoon gently fold in the added ingredients into the meringue, turning the bowl until they are fully incorporated.
  • Spoon the meringue on to the baking parchment, keeping within the circle marked on the reverse.
  • Spread the meringue out so that it forms a circle and slightly build up the sides so that they are a little higher than the centre.
FF Strawberry Eton Mess
This pavlova is ready for the oven.
  • Place the pavlova into the centre of the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 140C/120C fan, gas mark 1.
  • Bake for 1 and 1/4 hours. Then turn off the oven and leave the pavlova to cool inside the oven with the door very slightly ajar.
  • Once cooled removed the pavlova from the oven.
FF Strawberry Eton Mess
The cooked pavlova.
  • Cover the pavlova and baking tray in cling film until ready to use.

Assembling the Strawberry Eton Mess:

  • Hull and cut the strawberries into halves or quarters, depending on their size.
  • Into a large bowl add the cream, vanilla bean paste and caster sugar.
  • Whip the cream until it thickens, but is still floppy – not stiff.
  • Add the strawberries, break the pavlova up into bite size chunks and add those too.
FF Strawberry Eton Mess
Strawberry Eton Mess you can see the marshmallow insides of the pavlova.
  • Fold all the ingredients together with a large metal spoon.
  • Serve in pretty glass bowls with a drizzle of slightly warmed strawberry jam.
FF Strawberry Eton Mess
Strawberry Eton Mess serve with a spoon and a smile.

Such an easy to assemble dessert, with a little preparation beforehand, you too can sit down and enjoy eating this with family, friends, or whoever you have invited round.

If you wanted to up this Strawberry Eton Mess to the next level, a drizzle of my Boozy Berry Sauce, served cold, on top would be a fantastic idea! That’s one for the adults though.

Strawberries and cream are such a classic combination and here, in this dessert, they are lifted by the presence of amazing, homemade pavlova.

Tip: The pavlova itself can be covered in whipped cream and tart berries (passionfruit is also exceptionally good). One recipe two desserts!

If you have enjoyed the recipe for this Strawberry Eton Mess here are a few others you might like:

Lemony Strawberry Pavlova

FF Straw Eton Mess
Delicious Lemon Pavlova slathered in cream, decorated with strawberries and finished with a limoncello drizzle.

Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae

FF Strawberry Eton Mess
Vanilla ice cream layered with chocolate meringue and unbelievably good raspberry sauce.

Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake

FF Strawberry Eton Mess
Light Raspberry Cheesecake on a Chocolate Brownie base – so good.

Do you enjoy desserts?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and have been encouraged to make and bake a pavlova. It doesn’t matter if they sink, or crack as it can all be covered with cream and fruit, or crumbled into the best Strawberry Eton Mess you have ever eaten!

Have fun making and baking in your kitchens. Keep the photos and comments coming, I’d especially like to see ones of you sharing your delicious feasts?

Sammie xx

This is not a sponsored post, the jam was won in a competition on Twitter.

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Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry

Are you daunted by the prospect of making your own pastry? Many people are. Today I am going to show you how to make foolproof, Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry, that works for both sweet and savoury bakes.

FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry every time.

Having been taught to make pastry from an early age, I wonder if the fear that surrounds making it is simply the fact that skills are not being passed down, through the generations. like they used to be.

Watching cooking programmes, where they actually portray the ‘art’ of pastry making as such a complicated process, it is understandable that some people are terrified and therefore never attempt it. Well I am with you today to show you how simple it is to make Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry, that will turn out beautifully every single time!

FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry great for quiches.

Firstly, just to reassure you, no kitchen machinery is used. Not even a food processor. To be completely honest, setting the food processor up, in my kitchen, takes longer than actually making the pastry by hand. I really can’t be bothered with the hassle. Instead the only two pieces of equipment I use are a dinner knife and pastry cutter.

If you haven’t seen or heard of a pastry cutter, this is what they look like!

FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Pastry Cutter

They can be purchased inexpensively from Amazon or kitchenware shops. A quick glance on the Internet has assured me that the still cost £5 or under. Money well spent I’d say.

The simple key to making good pastry, every single time, is to work quickly, yet not rush and in doing so keep everything as cold as possible. Please, please do not become neurotic about it, as I have seen of some people.

From personal experience every time I am stressed, rushed or uptight about something, when I bake, it inevetiably goes wrong. Or at least isn’t my best baking. Making pastry whilst relaxed and knowing that the recipe is going to work, can make a whole world of difference.

FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Fabulous pastry for all your tarts and quiches.

Right that’s mindset and equipment sorted, next are ingredients. I use unsalted butter in all of my baking, simply because it tends to be better quality than salted and also allows me to control the amount of salt in the recipe. Plain flour and free range eggs are the other two ingredients to note.

The quantity of cold water added is a guide as different batches of flour, butter, the weather, can all affect how much water is needed to bring the dough together.  Don’t panic I will walk you through every step.

You can make Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry 😉

Recipe: Makes 825g Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry – enough to make 2 large quiche/tart cases.

400g/14oz Plain White Flour

200g/7oz Unsalted Butter – cold from the fridge and cut into cubes

1/4tsp Sea Salt Flakes – I use Maldon

2 Large Free Range Egg Yolks

Approx 180-200ml Cold Tap Water

Method:

  • Into a large bowl add the flour, salt and cubed butter.
Ready to start 'cutting in' the butter.
Ready to start ‘cutting in’ the butter.
  • Using the pastry cutter, push and twist it into the flour, rotating the bowl occasionally. Scrape any butter that has become stuck on the pastry cutter off using a regular dinner knife.
  • Keep cutting the butter into the flour until it is about the size of peas.
You can clearly see pieces of butter throughout the flour.
You can clearly see pieces of butter throughout the flour.
  • Note: the flour does not look like breadcrumbs. This is traditionally how pastry making has been taught, to rub, or cut into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. If you do this your pastry will be ok. However, if you leave pea sized pieces of butter in the flour you will end up with Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry.
  • Next add the 2 egg yolks into the centre of the mix.
Look how beautifully golden the free range egg yolks are?
Look how beautifully golden the free range egg yolks are?
  • Add 150ml of cold tap water and stir the pastry using a regular dinner/butter knife.
  • Continue adding water, in small amounts, 10mls, at a time, stirring with the knife until the pastry starts to come together.
  • Now switch to using your hands. Create a claw-like figure with your fingers. Gently bring the dough together, adding a little more water as necessary, until it just holds together in a rough ball shape.
The perfect All Butter Shortcrust Pastry ball.
The Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry ball.
  • Wipe the worktop surface with a clean, damp cloth, then lay over a large piece of cling film – the wet surface helps the cling film to stick and not move about.
  • Tip out the ball of pastry onto the cling film.
  • Wrap and shape into a large disc.
Your All Butter Shortcrust Pastry is now ready for some relaxation time!
Your Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry is now ready for some relaxation time!
  • The Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry now needs to be placed in the fridge for an hour to chill and relax – literally!
  • Pop the kettle on and congratulate yourself on making Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry 😉

This recipe made enough pastry to bake a full sized quiche, a smaller deep tart and a Strawberry and Cream Filled Tart. Not bad for a few minutes of early morning pottering in the kitchen.

  • Whilst the Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry is resting in the fridge, it is an ideal time to prepare the filling.

Making the Red Pepper Mushroom Ale Jelly Quiche:

  • Deseed and slice half of a sweet red pepper. Slice 4-5 small button mushrooms.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a heavy based frying pan and gently sauté both the red pepper and the mushrooms, until cooked through. Set to one side.

Rolling out the Pastry:

  • Remove the pastry from the fridge. Place on a lightly floured surface and knead lightly.
  • Cut the pastry into 4 pieces.
  • Shape one piece of the pastry into a ball.
  • Roll out gently from the centre of the pastry to the edge. Ensure the pastry keeps moving by dusting underneath lightly with flower.
  • Ideally the pastry should be about the thickness of a £1 coin – approx 1/4 inch.
FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
You can see the pieces of butter clearly in the rolled out pastry.

Lining a Tin with Pastry:

  • Loop the pastry around the rolling pin – this makes moving it easier and stops it stretching.
  • Gently allow the pastry to loosely fill your tin, remove the rolling pin.
  • Ease the pastry into the tin, if it is fluted be sure to press the pastry into each of the flutes avoiding stretching it.
FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Don’t worry about the excess pastry draped over the sides of the tin.
  • Roll your rolling pin over the top of the tin and it will cut the edge of the pastry perfectly. See the first picture at the top of this blog.
  • Dock the bottom of the tin with a fork – this helps steam escape and creates a flat base.
  • Place the tart tin back in the fridge for 30 minutes, this really helps the pastry keep it’s shape when being baked.
  • Cut some baking parchment larger than the width of your tin.
  • Scrunch up and then lay on top of the pastry in the tin. Fill the baking parchment with ceramic baking balls.
FF Perfect ButterShortcrust Pastry
The ceramic baking balls keep the pastry’s shape as it bakes in the oven.
  • Place the pastry lined tins onto a baking tray and put in a preheated oven at 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6. Bake for 15 minutes.
  • After the baking time has elapsed remove the tin from the oven.
  • Using the baking parchment, lift the baking balls free from the pastry lined tin.
  • Place the baking balls in a heatproof bowl to cool.
  • Put the tart tins back in the oven and bake for another 5 minutes if using for a filled tart or quiche. If baking the tart shell until cooked, depending on size, bake for a further 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and cooked through.
FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry.
Beautifull be golden tart shell.

Making the Red Pepper Mushroom Ale Jelly Quiche:

  • After the further 5 minutes bake, without the baking balls, remove the tart tin from the oven.
  • Place the red peppers in the base of the tart. Next add a tablespoon of Ale Jelly. Then add the sautéed mushrooms.
FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Add a few fresh thyme leaves.
  • In a jug mix 4 large eggs with a tablespoon of milk. Add a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground pepper. Whisk all the ingredients together.
  • Pour the egg mixture on top of the peppers and mushrooms. Fill until it is near the top.
FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Slightly under fill the tart shell as the eggs puff up whilst baking.
  • Carefully place the quiche in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. The quiche is baked when the egg is set and feels firm to the touch. There shouldn’t be any wobble to the egg filling.
  • Once baked remove the quiche from the oven and leave to cool. Serve warm for dinner/lunch. Cool completely for storing in the fridge, well wrapped in cling film.
FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Beautiful, golden yellow quiche with red peppers, mushrooms and fresh thyme

Look at the gorgeous Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry crust. Deliciously light and buttery.

FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Such a tasty quiche, the ale jelly brings out the sweetness in the red peppers.

The Ale Jelly from Hawkshead Relish also works well with the earthy, meaty flavour of the mushrooms.

As you can see from the photos this recipe really does produce Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry. The pastry has such a delicious flavour of it’s own and becomes part of the dish, not just a carrier of other flavours.

Unused Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry can be kept wrapped in cling film, in the fridge for up to 3 days, or it can be frozen, wrapped in cling film and popped into a freezer bag for up to 3 months.

Top Tip: Freeze any leftover pastry and after a while you’ll have enough for a recipe!

If you have enjoyed this Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry here are some other recipes you may like to try:

Quiche Lorraine

FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Smoked ham and cheese create a classic Quiche Lorraine.

Spicy Sausage Rolls

FF Perfect Pastry Shortcrust Pastry
Spicy Sausage Rolls can easily be made with Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry.

Blackberry Nectarine Tart

FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry works well in place of puff pastry for this beautiful Blackberry Nectarine Tart.

Phew, I know this has been a long post, but I really wanted to show you just how easy it is to make your own pastry. This recipe can be used for sweet and savoury dishes. I always make double and freeze half down, which effectively is what this recipe already is. Except I was recipe testing over a few days and made 6 different quiches!!!

If you have any questions regarding pastry, especially if you are making it for the first time, I am always happy to answer. Either leave a comment, or for a quicker reply send me a Tweet.

Have fun making and baking in your kitchens. Preparing for feasting over the bank holiday weekend.

Sammie xx

Hawkshead Relish provided me with the Ale Jelly for this recipe. This is not a sposored post and I have not received payment for writing it. All opinions, view, photographs and content are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

So, if you’ve spent a little time on this blog, you’ll know that I am a self confessed Cookie Monster. Cookies are my favourite go to sweet treat. Maybe that’s why there are 21 cookie recipes on here??!! Anyway I try to keep on the oat/nut/fruit side of things but I craved CHOCOLATE! So I caved and made these unbelievably good Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies.

FF Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies perfect with chocolate milk.

They are so good!

FF Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies stacked high.

Oh yes I did. I totally stacked a piles of these very yummy Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies. Because what’s better than one cookie? A stack of them!

There you go, that’s my kind of maths 😉

Adding oats to cookies does two important things; it nudges them slightly more toward the healthier end of the nutritional spectrum and it gives them a wonderful, chewy, almost nutty flavour.

FF Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies perfect for sharing.

Now, you all know how much I love and adore my family. I have the best hubby in the world, who has all but given up his office, so that I can store baking equipment. Bundt tins take up a lot of room you know! Then there’s my Star and Snugs, our two gorgeous girls who, help me so much – cooking dinner, cleaning, vacuuming and much more. Last but definitely not least is our little man, who isn’t so little anymore so I’ll call him by his best friends nickname, Bob. He is growing into a loving and strapping lad who is always ready to help, especially fixing things. Bob has definitely inherited his paternal Grandad’s capability with his hands.

So you see I love them all – but – they also are cookie monsters. Which is fine I make food to be eaten, except out of this batch of 18 cookies I only ate 1. It didn’t help that I’d spent a few days in bed (see here ) after making these. Yes they bring me cups of tea, but as I’d ordered some shortie biscuits, which I love, they brought those with my hot drink. It was only a few days later, when I was able to venture downstairs that I realised they’d all gone!

FF Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies these have proved very popular!

I was sad for a teeny tiny moment and then very thankful and flattered that my lovely family had enjoyed them so much.

They are my biggest supporters, along with extended family and it really gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside knowing I’ve made them something that they  have really enjoyed. Being stuck in bed is not fun, knowing there is a tin full of cookies downstairs in the kitchen, helps me to feel that I am more present, than in reality I am.

Recipe: Makes 16-18 Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

225g/8oz Soft Light Brown Sugar – I used Billingtons

150g/5oz Unsalted Butter- at room temperature

2tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

1 Large Free Range Egg – plus

1 Large Free Range Egg Yolk

175g/6oz Plain White Flour

100g/4oz Plain Rolled Oats – not quick cook

1/2tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

Pinch of Salt

150g/5oz Milk Chocolate Chips or Chunks

50g/2oz Dark Chocolate 70% cocoa

Method: preheat the oven to 165C/150C fan, gas mark 3

  • Line 3 large baking trays with baking parchment.
  • Place the sugar and butter in a large bowl and whisk/beat for 5 minutes until pale and creamy – whisking for 5 minutes here and then after adding the eggs is very important to the finished texture of the cookie.
  • Add the vanilla extract and the eggs and continue whisking/beating for a further 5 minutes.
  • Sift in the flour, bicarb. salt and add the oats.
  • Add the chocolate chips.
  • Fold all the ingredients together until you have uniform cookie dough.
  • Using a medium sized ice cream scoop, or a spoon and your hands, scoop/roll 5cm/2″ ball of cookie dough and place onto the baking tray.
FF Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cookie dough balls.
  • With slightly dampened fingers (it stops the cookie dough sticking to them), press down on each ball to flatten slightly.
FF Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies ready for the oven.
  • Place the baking trays in the centre and lower parts of the oven. I rotate mine halfway through baking.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes. The cookies are baked when they have spread out and are golden brown.
  • Once bakes remove the cookies from the oven. They will still be very soft so leave on the baking trays to cool and set.
FF Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies baked and cooling on the tray.
  • Once cooled lift each cookie free of the baking parchment, use a palette knife to slide underneath the cookie first. Place the cookie back on the baking parchment.
  • In a heatproof, microwaveable bowl add the chopped/broken up dark chocolate.
  • Zap for 20 seconds in the microwave stirring after each heating session. When the chocolate is almost melted remove from the microwave and continue stirring until fully melted.
  • Pour the liquid chocolate into a small disposable piping bag.
  • Snip the very end of the piping bag off, creating a small hole.
  • Pipe swirls onto each of the cookies. Use all of the chocolate up, simply pipe over the swirls again.
FF Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies with swirls of dark chocolate.
  • Set the cookies to one side to allow the chocolate to cool and set.
  • Once the chocolate is set pop the kettle on, invite a neighbour round and spend some time chatting over a cup of coffee and delicious Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies.

In the United State and Canada where my friend Liz lives, they carry out cookie exchanges during the holiday season – usually from Thanksgiving through to Christmas. I love that idea! Baking up batches of cookies, sharing, swapping, making new friends, remembering old friends. In fact you should take a look at Teta Lizza website. Liz is an amazing cook and her attention to detail always leaves me impressed.

What do you think, should we have a cookie/biscuit exchange here?

Not because it’s ‘another American custom’ simply because it’s a great idea?

If you have enjoyed these Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies you may also like these:

Apricot Oat Crumble Cookies

FF Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Apricot Oat Crumble Cookies fruity and yummy

Caramac Caramel Cookies

FF Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Caramac Caramel Cookies delicious chewy bites of nostalgia.

Rolo Chocolate Cookies

FF Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Rolo Chocolate Cookies chewy bites of cookie heaven.

Thank you to everyone who reads this blog. I really do appreciate you. It’s been wonderful seeing all the bake photos that you have been putting up on Twitter and Instagram. Keep them coming and if you every have any questions about a particular recipe, either leave a comment, or probably for a quicker response send me a Tweet.

We have a 3 day bank holiday weekend coming up. Whatever your plans, i hope that they involve lots of smiles, laughter, fun and feasting with friends, family and neighbours.

Sammie xx

The lovely Renee at Bake Behaviour sent me some Billingtons sugar samples. This is not a sponsored post. All views, opinions, content and photographs are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream

I love ice cream. In fact I love it so much that I really enjoy making my own. There are endless flavour possibilities and combinations AND it’s made with real cream. No extra additives needed. Today I bring you Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream.

FF Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream
Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream perfect on a hot sunny day.

Dreamy, creamy strawberry ice cream, with an intense strawberry syrup rippled through. This isn’t any ordinary ice cream, this is THE best Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream you could ever imagine.

And you too can make it at home. It’s really easy!

You make a vanilla custard, make a strawberry coulis, mix, freeze and that’s when the magic happens!

Ok so there’s a tiny little bit more to it than that, but preparation time for this delicious ice cream is about 15 minutes.

FF Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream
Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream you know you want to dig in?

I love properly churned ice cream, by that I mean ice cream that is mixed whilst it freezes. It allows the ice crystals to stay really small and results in the creamy texture we all associate with ice cream.

As our old ice cream maker is literally on it’s last legs, I have a new one from Andrew James it can be found here and has won a coveted Which Best Buy Award. Having said before that any new piece of kitchen kit needs to earn it’s place in my kitchen, I’d say if you love ice cream, it definitely worth buying an ice cream maker. They are fairly small appliances and I keep the ‘frozen’ bowl part permenantly in the freezer, whilst the other parts stay in the box.

FF Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream
Bring out a tub of this Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream and see the smiles appear!

The ice cream custard base pretty much stays the same and then you can add whatever flavours – you just wait until I start making chocolate versions 😉.

So having an ice cream maker in our kitchen is essential. For those of you on a gluten free diet, ensure the corn flour that you but is certified gluten free, then you can happily make these delicious, dreamy treats. Everyone should be able to enjoy ice cream, so for those of you with lactose/dairy/egg intolerance I will be working on some extra recipes so that you too can enjoy this delightful, cooling treat during the summer.

There is one thing that I do feel passionately about and that is good quality, seasonal produce. If you grow your own fruit even better! Using British frozen fruit, which I do often during the colder months is a great alternative, as is using tinned fruit. I use tinned peaches to make my Peach and Banana Smoothie in the winter and it tastes utterly delicious. That doesn’t mean I don’t eat some imported produce, but here in the UK we have incredible ‘Pick Your Own’ farms, farmers markets and even some supermarkets that stock local produce.

I guess what I’m saying is, life is about balance. If we can support our Britsh farmers and even grow some of our own fruit and veg (watch out or an exciting new gardening diary, coming soon on this blog) we are not only getting the freshest produce, picked at it’s peak, but also supporting our farmers and local producers too.

FF Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream
Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream

Recipe: Makes 1 litre Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream

400g British Strawberries

2tbsp Framboise – raspberry liquer – substitute with apple juice if preferred

1tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice

8tbsp Caster Sugar

300ml Double Cream

300ml Milk – whole or semi-skimmed

1tsp Corn Flour (also known as corn starch)

4 Large Free Range Egg Yolks – the egg whites can be frozen for up to one month  (perfect for making Lemony Strawberry Pavlova)

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

Method: Ensure the ‘frozen’ part of your ice cream maker has been in the freezer for at least 24 hours – or according to manufacturers instructions.

Making the Ice Cream Custard Base:

For step by step photographs of how to make the ice ceram custard base please see here

  • Place the milk and cream into a heavy based saucepan over a medium heat.
  • In a heatproof bowl add the egg yolks, 6 tablespoons of caster sugar, vanilla extract and corn flour. Whisk until pale and frothy.
  • When the cream/milk in the pan has reached scalding point – small bubbles appear around the edge of the milky liquid, but it has not boiled – remove the pan from the heat.
  • With the whisk on slow speed gently pour the hot milky liquid into the bowl with the whisked egg yolks.
  • Once combined tip the whole mixture back into the saucepan and cook over a low heat until the custard thickens and covers the back of a wooden spoon.
  • Pour the hot custard into a heatproof bowl, through a fine sieve.
  • Place cling film directly on top of the custard to stop a skin from forming.
  • Allow the custard to cool slightly before placing the bowl in the fridge to chill.
FF Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream
Ice Cream base ready to be covered in cling film.

Making the Strawberry Coulis and Sauce:

  • Wash the strawberries and pat dry with a clean tea towel.
  • Remove all of the green stems (hull) and place the strawberries into a blender.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of caster sugar, the framboise and lemon juice.
  • Pulse and then blend on a high speed until you have a very smooth purée.
FF Strawberru Ripple Ice Cream
Fresh strawberry coulis.
  • Pour half of the strawberry coulis into a small saucepan and add 1 tablespoon of caster sugar.
  • Cover the other half with cling film and place in the fridge.
  • Gently bring the strawberry coulis in the saucepan up to a boil and continue to let it bubble until reduced by half. You will be left with an intensely strawberry, jam like syrup. Pour into a bowl to cool.

Churning the Ice Cream:

  • Set your ice cream maker up as per the instruction manual.
  • Pour the non concentrated strawberry coulis into the custard base and stir.
  • Pour the strawberry ice cream base into the machine maker and churn until you have a thick, but not solid, ice cream. Mine took approximately 20 minutes to curn to a thick, yet still soft, ice cream.
  • Stop the ice cream maker and remove the lid.
FF Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream
Creamy, thick strawberry ice cream.
  • Remove the plastic churning paddle and lick off all the soft ice cream to ensure it tastes good!
  • Using a silicone spatula transfer the ice cream to a suitable, freezer proof, ice cream tub.
  • Pour over the concentrated strawberry syrup and using a wooden spoon handle, ripple the intense strawberry syrup through the ice cream.
FF Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream
Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream such an intense strawberry colour.
  • Place the Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream into the freezer to completely firm up, 4-8 hours.
  • To serve, remove the ice cream from the freezer 10 minutes before serving. The small amount of alcohol added, stops this ice cream from setting completely solid.
  • Scoop into a waffle cone or bowl and enjoy!
FF Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream
Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream creamy, with an intense ripple of strawberry running through!

Ice Cream has to be right up, at the top, on my list of summer comfort foods. Whether it’s a sweltering hot day and I just want to cool down, or Wimbledon is on telly and I’m dragging out dinner, because the match is too good to miss. A cooling scoop of ice cream, in a cone, hits the spot.

If you haven’t tried making ice cream before, yet love it as much as I do, why not get an ice cream maker? You can play around with flavours, textures and make whatever combination you like!’

If you’ve enjoyed this recipe for Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream here are a couple of other recipes you might like too:

Blackberry Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

FF Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream
Blackberry Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream a great flavour combination.

Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae

FF Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream
Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae can be eaten any day of the week 😉

Very Vanilla Ice Cream

FF Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream
Very Vanilla Ice Cream great for sandwiching between two cookies!

 

Ice Cream is such a great dessert option for summer barbecues, where people have feasted on deliciously cooked fish and meat. It is portable in cones, and brings out the kid in everyone.

Let’s hope that the unpredictable British weather gives us a few good weekends, where we can have fun in the sun and enjoy the great outdoors.

Sammie xx

Andrew James UK Ltd provided me with this ice cream maker, for the purposes of review. All opinions, views, content and photography are my own. I was not paid to write this post. Please see my Disclosure Policy

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Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken

In practically every cook book that I own and there are a lot of them, roast chicken features as an easy, everyday roast. I completely agree that it is easy, but, I want to take my roast to the next level. Start with a great, free range bird, fresh herbs and tangy lemon and what you get is my Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken.

FF Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken
Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken taking your roast to the next level.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love roast chicken, as long as it’s a good bird. By that I mean free range or organic. Not only am I concerned for the welfare of the chicken during its life, the additional antibiotics and fast growing make me shudder at the thought. So buying well bred, slow growing birds not only ensures a better quality of life for the chicken, the resulting taste, when cooked, couldn’t be more different to a standard, supermarket chicken.

I have mentioned before our decision, as a family, to eat less meat, but what we do eat must be good quality. And yes that means paying more. Making the meat go further helps with the cost, but ultimately it is our personal choice. With less additives/antibiotics and a happier lifetime, each chicken we eat is cooked with respect for the bird and I aim to waste nothing.

FF Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken
Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken, this meat is finger licking good.

Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken makes an already tasty bird, utterly delicious.

I grow a lot of our own herbs in tubs and in the garden. Rosemary and thyme are probably the most frequently used herbs and being hardy I can still pick them in the winter, along with bay and sage. Most supermarkets sell freshly potted herbs at a great price. Next time you are doing your weekly shop, grab a couple of pots, plant them into larger tubs, or the ground (only plant mint in a pot – it’s a thug in the ground!).

As you can see from the photo above, my thyme is just starting to flower. Pretty, tiny pink flowers that are fine to leave on the stalks and add extra interest when used as a garnish.

So let me encourage you to buy, or should I say invest in a slower growing free range/organic bird and a pot of fresh herbs. I buy all of our meet from Graig Farm in Wales and have done so for the last few years. The chicken used for this recipe came from them and the taste was noticeably better than a mass produced, supermarket bird. The only way you’ll know is by tasting the roasted chicken.

With free delivery on all orders over £100 and a new customer discount, it is well worth taking at look at their website here. I generally buy our meat in bulk and then fill the freezer. I find buying larger joints of meat works out more economical and bigger cuts of meat, especially on the bone, taste so much better. I realise there are 5 of us in our house, so let me reassure you that they sell a wide range of meats, in different cuts and sizes. Also if there’s something you’d like and they don’t list it, give them a ring. Graig Farm’s customer service is excellent and they will always try to accommodate each individual customer’s requests.

Recipe: Make one 2.2kg/5lb Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken, serves 8

1 2.2kg/5lb Chicken – preferably organic or free range – ours was from Graig Farm

1 Fresh Unwaxed Lemon – scrub in hot water if waxed

Approx 10 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme

1tbsp Olive Oil

Sea salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to season

Optional – 6 rashers smoked streaky bacon – again preferably organic or free range

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

  • Remove the chicken from the fridge 1 hour prior to roasting.
  • Take the giblets out of the cavity and pat the outside of the chicken dry with kitchen roll.
  • Sprinkle a generous pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper into the chicken’s cavity.
FF Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken
As the chicken cooks the lemon and thyme flavours gently permeate throughout the meat.
  • Cut a lemon in half lengthways and insert into the chicken cavity.
  • Push the fresh thyme into the cavity with the lemon.
  • Place the chicken in a roasting dish that is just big enough to hold the bird.
  • Rub 1 tablespoon of olive oil all over the outside of the chicken.
  • Sprinkle over sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • If using, lay the strips of streaky bacon across the bird, as shown in the photo below.
  • Tuck the giblets down the side of the bird. Roasted these will add massive flavour to any gravy or stock.
FF Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken
Covered in streaky bacon that will baste the bird as it is cooking adding extra flavour.
  • Next tightly cover the chicken in aluminium foil.
  • Place the Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken into the middle of the oven and roast for 1 hour 40 minutes.
  • After the roasting time has elapsed remove the chicken from the oven.
  • Take off the aluminium foil and cooked bacon rashers – cook’s perk!
  • Baste with the juices and place back into the oven for a further 20 minutes to crisp up the skin.
  • NOTE: the cooking times are based on 20 minutes per pound of meat, plus an extra twenty minutes. So for a 5lb chicken like this one, the roasting time is 1 hour 40 minutes, plus an extra 20 minutes – adjust your timings to fit the weight of your bird.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven at the end of it’s cooking time.
  • Press a sharp knife into the thickest part of the chicken’s thigh. The chicken is cooked if the juices are clear. If there is ANY hint of pink pop the chicken back into the oven and retest after 15 minutes.
  • Once cooked take the Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken out of it’s roasting tin and place on a board or serving platter. You can use the leftover juices in the roasting tin to make a lemon and thyme flavoured gravy.
  • Cover the chicken loosely with aluminium foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes (or up to an hour).
FF Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken
Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken who’s ready for dinner?

Serve the Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken with traditional roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables, or in the summer with hunks of good, homemade fresh bread like this Large White Bloomer,  and a crisp green salad.

A delicious twist on a favourite roast, this Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken will awaken your taste buds and leave you wanting more!

If you’ve enjoyed the recipe for this Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken, here are few few more you might like:

Roast Chicken Noodle Soup

FF Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken
Roast Chicken Noodle Soup a great way of turning leftovers into a fantastic meal!

Chicken Herb Burgers

FF Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken
Chicken Herb Burgers ultimate summer barbecue food!

Chicken and Four Cheese Lasagne

FF Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken
Chicken and Four Cheese Lasagne delicious comfort food.

Do you love Roast Chicken?

Do you have an opinion on oraganic versus standard? Only polite answers please.

It has been amazing to see so many of you putting up photos on Twitter and Instagram where you have made my recipes. I honestly cannot express the gratitude I feel, when you place your trust in me. Ingredients cost money, which is why I test each recipe thoroughly to ensure you have the best possible chance of success when following them.

Seeing your makes and bakes keeps Feasting is Fun at the heart of what this blog is all about. Having fun whilst making and baking in your kitchens and then feasting and sharing with family, friends and neighbours.

That makes me smile!

Sammie xx

This is not a sponsored post. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Garlic Cheese Bombs

Who doesn’t love garlic bread, served alongside a great pasta dish, with a glass of something chilled? I certainly do and after seeing a fantastic foodie craze on Pinterest I knew I had to try it. Everyone is mad about these Garlic Cheese Bombs!

FF Garlic Cheese Bombs

    Garlic Cheese Bombs gooey melted cheese in a garlic roll, that’s utterly delicious.

In our house these are the BOMB 😉.

Everyone loves it when I make them and having successfully frozen them, uncooked, they are great to have on hand. Fresh or frozen.

FF Garlic Cheese Bombs
Garlic Cheese Bombs great for feeding a crowd.

Honestly these Garlic Cheese Bombs have become such a massive hit in our house. I’m really glad that they freeze well as my family would scoff the whole lot if I baked them all at once. I have learned from the first time I made them!

 

FF Garlic Cheese BombsGarlic Cheese Bombs

 

If you have little ones, they will thoroughly enjoy making these.

The only extra ingredient required to make the Garlic Cheese Bombs is a little patience. Making 30 – 40 individual, little cheese wrapped buns, could be seen as tedious – not here at Feasting is Fun though. We don’t do tedious!! So put on some great music or a play, clear the table and enjoy some therapeutic relaxation, whilst you play with dough!

Before you know it you’ll have two trays full of delicious, homemade, bread buns proving and you can give yourself a smug pat on the back, knowing that one tray is going to be stashed in the deep freeze.

Baking bread is a real passion of mine, second only to my faith see Important Stuff. As this week has been Real Bread Week it seemed fitting to end on a recipe that is fun to make and tastes best when feasting with family and friends.

FF Garlic Cheese Bombs
Garlic Cheese Bombs absolute fun to make and feast on!

I have made these Garlic Cheese Bombs using both my own dough recipe and a Wright’s bread mix. Truthfully and this almost hurts to write this, the children preferred the ones made with the bread mix.

Our children are very honest!!

Personally I think they are both great. The Wright’s bread mix is handy if you’re an infrequent bread baker, or haven’t made bread dough before and want to ensure they turn out great. My dough recipe is for those of us who are happy to make their dough from scratch. That said, there’s room in my kitchen for both.

Recipe: Makes 30 – 40 Garlic Cheese Bombs

1 quantity of dough that’s been proved and knocked back, from either my Farmhouse White Loaf or using Wright’s Baking Premium White Bread Mix

2 Tubs Mini Mozerrella Balls – there are approx 15 – 20 balls per tub

4 Fat Garlic Bulbs – or more if you want an extra garlic kick

100g/4oz Butter

4tbsp Olive Oil

1tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

1/2tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Bunch of Fresh Parsley to garnish and add flavour

Method: You will need a foil freezer/baking tray or 2 if you intend to freeze these.

  • Drain the mozerella balls well and count how many you have.
  • Make up the dough according to your chosen option.
  • Allow the dough to prove until doubled in size and then tip out on to a lightly floured surface.
  • For the very precise among you, weigh the bread dough and then divide that number by the number of mozerella balls. That will tell you exactly how much each piece of dough should weigh.
  • If you are more ‘laissez faire’ about things, like me, simply divide the dough evenly into 3 or 4 equal pieces (depending on whether you have 30 or 40 mozerella balls) and then divide each potion into 10.
  • Flatten a small portion of dough into a rough circular shape.
  • Place the mozerella ball in the centre of the dough circle.
  • Bring the edges of the dough up so that they cover the cheese and seal by pressing together.
  • Place the Garlic Cheese Bomb seam side down on a lightly oiled baking tray.
FF Garlic Cheese Bombs
After a while you get into a rhythm and the process becomes very relaxing.
  • Continue until all of the Garlic Cheese Bombs have been made, allowing space in between each one the tray so that it has room to rise.
FF Garlic Cheese Bombs
Cover with damp kitchen towel or oiled cling film.
  • The Garlic Cheese Bombs in the photo above are from the first batch that I made.
  • Leave until doubled in size.
  • Whilst the rolls are proving, make the garlic butter.
  • Place the butter, oil, crushed/finely minced garlic, salt and pepper into a small saucepan over a low heat.
  • Cook until all the butter has melted. Set to one side.
  • Preheat the oven to 209C/180C fan, gas mark 6.
  • When the Garlic Cheese Bombs have doubled in size, remove the damp cloth/cling film and brush liberally, using a pastry brush, with the melted garlic butter.
FF Garlic Cheese Bombs
You’ll be surprised at how much these delicious rolls puff up.
  • Now is the stage at which the Garlic Cheese Bombs can be frozen. Double wrap the foil tray with freezer safe cling film, label and pop in the freezer. They should be fine for at least one month in the freezer.
  • To bake the freshly garlic glazed buns, place into the middle of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown.
  • When baked remove the tray from the oven and immediately transfer the individual Garlic Cheese Bombs to a serving platter. Be careful as they will be very hot.
  • Pour over any garlic butter left in the tray and garnish with roughly chopped parsley,
  • Leave for 5 minutes before serving to allow thm to cool slightly.
  • Serve with a smile and watch as people break open these golden, light, cheesy rolls, flavoured with garlic butter.
FF Garlic Cheese Bombs
Garlic Cheese Bombs the perfect food for sharing, feasting and having fun.

Note: To cook from frozen, preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan, gas mark 5. Remove all cling film/foil. Place the frozen rolls into the middle of the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden and baked through. To test remove a roll and cut in half, if the mozerella is gooey and melted then the Garlic Cheese Bombs are baked. Serve as for freshly baked.

So you’ve got a party in the evening and you want to make these earlier in the day? I’d suggest making them the day, or even a few days ahead and stashing them in the freezer. Alternatively make them in the morning, glazed with garlic butter before their final prove (it’ll save you stinking of garlic as you great your guests 😉), wrap in cling film and keep in the fridge. Take them out 10 minutes before baking, whilst you preheat the oven and bake as for fresh.

Make ahead recipes are fantastic as they allow you to enjoy spending time with your guests, rather than being stuck, on your own in the kitchen!

If you have loved these Garlic Cheese Bombs, then here are some other recipes you might like to try:

Breadsticks with Garlic and Herb Dipping Oil

FF Garlic Cheese Bombs
Breadsticks with Garlic and Herb Dipping Oil

Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread

FF Garlic Cheese Bombs
Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia

 

I really hope you do try making your own bread. Most bread doughs can withstand a reasonable amount of mistreatment and still turn into fabulous loves, breadsticks, baguettes. The possibilities are endless and nothing, not even chocolate cake such as this White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake beats the smell of home baked bread.

Thank you for all you lovely comments, especially on Twitter regarding the great yeast debate – more on that in a future post! It really makes my day to see pictures of you baking my recipes and in most cases they look even better. Which I think is completely brilliant. You all inspire me to try harder and write easy to follow, delicious recipes.

Together we really do make Feasting Fun!

Sammie xx

Wright’s Baking provided me with the Premium White Bread Mix used in this recipe alongside my own bread dough recipe. All opinions, views, content and photographs are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake

A deliciously moist, Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake. Baked in a Bundt-style silicone mould, this cake is stunning to look at and equally flavourful to eat.

If you love cake, especially the fruity citrus types, then you must try this Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake. It is sublime!

FF Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake
Swirl Lime Drizle Cake utterly beautiful and equally delicious.

This cake is so pretty, I really cannot stop looking at. Light sponge, flavoured with the juice and zest of fresh limes, draped in a tangy lime glaze and finished with sugar flowers.

I adore Bundt pans. Their beautifully detailed moulding creates a beautiful cake without the need for excessive decoration. I have the Heritage Bundt pan from Nordic Ware, which is very similar to this swirl silicone cake mould.

Nordic Ware own the trademark name ‘Bundt’ in this country. So although this beautiful Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake may look similar to a traditional Bundt pan, technically it cannot be called a Bundt cake.

The name of this creation – Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake – accurately describes exactly what this cake it. Yet only a bite can really covey the tongue tingling, luscious lime flavours, locked within it’s beauty.

FF Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake
Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake full of zesty citrus flavour.

Lemon drizzle cake is one of my all time favourite cakes. This Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake delivers the same fresh, sharp flavour, softened by the buttery sponge into which the lime added.

By adding lime juice to the drizzle glaze your tastebuds are immediately awakened on biting into a slice of this cake. Next a golden, buttery sponge with a hint of lime and visible flecks of lime zest throughout the cake, give a pleasant rounded cake flavour.

FF Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake
Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake the silicone mould creates the beautiful shape.

The beautiful mould that was used to bake this cake was from the Bake Box. A monthly box full of baking equipment, recipe cards and instructions.

FF Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake
A monthly subscription that will expand you baking knowledge and teach you new techniques.

Each box contains:

  • Inspirational theme
  • 6-8 bespoke bakeware items
  • 1 Specialist colour, dust or glitter
  • Unique recipes with a creative twist
  • 6 Full colour recipe cards

Each box is available on a monthly subscription at £14.99 (rrp £40). Personally I think this Bake Box is a great way to learn new techniques and at an amazing price. I am thinking of buying this as a subscription for my daughter’s birthday. Take a look at their website, Bake Box 3 has a back to nature theme!

FF Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake
Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake baked with the mould from Bake Box 1.

Recipe: Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake serves 8

225g/8oz Caster Sugar – plus 2tbsp butter for greasing the mould

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter – at room temperature

5 Large Free Range Egg

225g/8oz Plain White Flour- sifted

2tsp Baking Powder

1/4tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

2 Fresh Limes

250g Icing Sugar

Optional – sugar flowers and coloured sprinkles

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

  • Melt 2tbsp of butter. Brush the inside of the mould with butter, ensuring every part of the cake mould is buttered. Set to one side.
  • Place the sugar, butter and salt into a large bowl and whisk/beat until pale and creamy.
  • Add 1/3 of the sifted flour and 2 eggs. Whisk/beat until just combined.
  • Repeat the last step.
  • Sift the last of the flour and baking powder into the bowl. Add the last egg, the finely grated zest of 2 limes and the juice of half a lime.
  • Mix gently until everything just combines.
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake mould and fill no more than two thirds full.
FF Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake
Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake ready for the oven.
  • Place the filled cake mould on to a baking tray and place in the middle of a preheated oven
  • Bake for an hour. The cake is baked when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Once baked remove the cake from the oven.
FF Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake
Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake a beautiful even bake.
  • Allow the cake to cool until just warm, in the silicone cake mould.
  • When just warm carefully turn the cake out onto a cooling rack.
FF Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake
Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake the mould gives the cake such a beautiful pattern.

Making the icing:

  • Sift 250g of plain icing sugar into a bowl.
  • Add enough lime juice, squeezed from the zested limes, to produce a thick, yet just dripping, paste.
  • Ensure you have a clean baking tray under the cooling rack.
  • Carefully spoon over the lime drizzle, scooping drizzle from the tray underneath by sliding the cooling rack along, until the entire cake is completely covered in lime drizzle icing.
  • Add little sugar flowers and/or sprinkles, whilst the icing is still tacky.
  • Set aside to allow the icing to set.
FF Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake
Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake sure to impress everyone as it tastes as good as it looks!

Perfect for afternoon tea, or a celebration. This Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake certainly stands out, both for its swirl shape and delightful soft, lime flavour.

Lime has a slightly softer flavour than lemon and it works beautifully in this cake. A beautiful Spring cake that can be eaten throughout the year. The only rule is, this cake must be shared. It is too good to keep it all to yourself!

If you have enjoyed this Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake here are some other recipes you may like to try:

Glazed Lemon Bundt Cake

FF Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake
Glazed Lemon Bundt Cake

Mini Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cakes

FF Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake
Mini Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cakes

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

FF Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

I hope that you’ll agree, Bundt style cake moulds and genuine Bundt Pans really do produce beautifully patterend cakes, without any extra work from the baker.

That had got to be a good thing – right??

Whatever you are making and baking in your kitchens, be sure to have lots of fun and create a feast worth sharing, As food always tastes better when it is shared.

Sammie xx

Bake Box provided me with box 1 from their monthly subscription, for the purposes of review. All opinions, views, content and photographs are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake

Today it is National Devil’s Food Cake Day! Who knew there was such a thing? Not me! So, never one to shy away from a challenge, I decided it was time that this cake had a makeover. Meet my White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake.

FF White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake
White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake more chocolate is always a good thing.

I have taken the classic Devil’s Food Cake and given it a makeover!

Having a packet of Wright’s Baking Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix to hand meant that making and baking this cake was so easy. The only change I made was using 60ml of melted butter, rather than the oil stated on the packet. The reason for doing this – well I had completely run out of vegetable oil.

Improvisation should be my middle name!

FF White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake
White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake oh you so want to make this.

Whilst the cakes were cooling I thought about the icing. Chocolate ganache, the mixture of chocolate and double cream was what I needed for this cake.

Or so I thought!

It would seem adding Rolo’s to hot, chocolate ganache, where they melt and become one, utterly fudgey icing, was a brilliant idea!

I have them occasionally 😉

FF White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake
White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake look at how glossy the chocolate fudge icing is.

As the chocolate fudge icing cools, assuming you have some left after eating it from the bowl with a spoon, it retains a beautiful, glossy shine. The sun came out as I took these photos and the cake looked stunning.

As beautiful as this cake looked, draped in all it’s glorious chocolate fudge icing, it needed a lift.

Now I know there will be Devil’s Food Cake purists who disagree with the addition of dreamy, white chocolate swirls. That is why I have called this cake White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake – take off the swirls and you have a great Devil’ Food Cake.

FF White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake
White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake pretty delicious!

Personally I love the white chocolate swirls. I think they make the cake look classier, plus they add a great vanilla taste, which rounds out the dark chocolate fudge icing.

So I’m keeping them. If you want to leave them off that’s your choice and I will not judge you.

Recipe: Makes one White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake serves 10

1 Packet Wright’s Baking Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix – alternatively you can use the chocolate cake recipe from x

60mls Vegetable Oil or Melted Butter – plus a little extra for greasing the cake tins

300g Dark Chocolate

300mls Double Cream

4 Packet Rolo’s

50g White Chocolate

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

  • Grease 2 x 8″/20cm sandwich cake tins and line the bases with baking parchment.
  • Make up the chocolate fudge cake mix according to the packet instructions.
  • Divide the cake batter evenly between the 2 sandwich tins.
  • Place on the middle shelf of the oven.
  • Bake for 30 minutes. The cake is cooked when it springs back from a light touch.
  • Once baked remove the cakes from the oven and place the tins on to a cooling rack.
  • When the cakes are warm turn them out on to the cooling rack and allow to cool completely before icing.

FF White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake

    Chocolate Fudge Cakes cooling.

Making the Chocolate Fudge Icing:

  • Fill a small saucepan with approximately 1 inch of water and place over a low heat.
  • Break or chop up all of the dark chocolate and place into a heatproof bowl that sits on top of the small saucepan.
  • Add the double cream and place the bowl on top of the saucepan, ensuring the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. This is called a double boiler.
FF White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake
Double cream and chocolate melting together in a double boiler.
  • When the chocolate has completely melted and combined with the cream, add the 4 packets of Rolo’s.
FF White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake
Stir the Rolo chocolates into the hot chocolate ganache.
  • Once the Rolo’s have melted remove the bowl from the pan – be careful as it will be hot.
  • Continue stirring the chocolate fudge icing to help it cool down and thicken.
  • When the icing is cooled, but still pourable, it is time to assemble the cake.

Icing the White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake

  • Place the bottom cake, right side up onto a cake board or stand.
  • Pour over enough chocolate fudge icing so that when spread, using a palette knife, it almost reaches the edge of the chocolate cake.
FF White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake
A pool of glossy, chocolate fudge icing, that will sit in the middle of your cake.
  • Place the top half of the cake, right side up, on top of the icing filled bottom half.
  • Gently pour over the the chocolate fudge icing, starting in the middle. When the icing has reached the edge pour more icing around the outside edge so that it drips down and covers the sides.
  • Use a palette knife that has been kept in a jug of hot water and then wiped with a clean, dry cloth, to smooth the icing around the sides of the cake.
  • Set the cake to one side to set. In very hot weather place in the fridge to set.
FF White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake
Such a beautiful mirror shine with this chocolate fudge icing.
  • When the icing is set – note it will not set hard like chocolate – you can decorate your cake.
  • Break up the white chocolate and place into a heatproof, microwaveable bowl and zap for 20 seconds at a time, stirring after each zap, until the chocolate is almost melted. Remove from the microwave and keep stirring until you have liquid, vanilla scented, white chocolate.
  • Pour the melted chocolate into a small, disposable piping bag.
  • Snip off the very end and pipe swirls around the outside edge of the cake, Let your creativity flow and swirl away!
FF White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake
White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake allow the swirls to set.

This White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake is the perfect cake for feasting and sharing. It’s not everyday we make a cake like this, so when we do, invite all your friends and family round for some fun and cake!

FF White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake
White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake look at the gorgeous layers of chocolate fudge icing.

Decadent, rich, deep chocolate cake, with layers of THE best chocolate fudge icing, finished with elegant swirls of white chocolate.

Devil’s Food Cake you’ve had your day – this cake is on another level!

If you know a chocolate lover, make this cake for them.

Got a friend who is down in the dumps, make this cake for them.

Want to show someone how much you care, make this cake for them.

Do you know someone who loves baking, but is a bit short of cash? Print off this recipe and buy the ingredients and gift it to them.

FF White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake
White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake perfect with Wright’s chocolate fudge cake mix.

White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake – is the cake to bring a smile to people’s faces.

Who will you make smile??

If you have enjoyed this White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake then you may also like these recipes:

Glazed Orange Bundt Cake

FF White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake
Glazed Orange Bundt Cake using Wright’s new orange cake mix.

Classic Coffee Walnut Cake

FF White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake
Classic Coffee Walnut Cake an easy recipe from scratch.

Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars

FF White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake
Double Cherry Oat Bars oat shortbread with cherry jam and a cherry filled vanilla sponge top.

Feasting is Fun is all about sharing. I create great recipes for you to use and bake with and in doing so, hopefully encourage you to share your makes and bakes with others.

Never under estimate the power of a small, handmade gift. It can change a person’s day, make a family smile, or even make a lonely person feel cared for.

I hope you have fun making and baking in your kitchens. Thank you so much for sharing all of your bakes on a Twitter and Instagram, please keep them coming. I also love reading your comments, thank you for taking the time to write them.

Sammie xx

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Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake

Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake. Whipped mascarpone cheese with fresh raspberries over a deep, chocolate ganache topped brownie base.

If I had known you were coming I would have made this elegant Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake.

Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake
Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake

How pretty does this cheesecake look?

You too can make it, with the help of an IfIKnewYouWereComing Artisan Chocolate Brownie Baking Box!

A slice of Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake
A slice of Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake

Look at the gorgeously dense and fudgey brownie base to this cheesecake. Chocolate and raspberry flavours work so well together and this Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake really is a dream dessert.

Recently our youngest daughter revealed that she really didn’t like the traditional biscuit that usually is on the base of a cheesecake. She does however, love the creamy, top part. So this cheesecake was made with her in mind.

She absolutely loves brownies (as do the rest of us) and I wondered what she would think, of a cheesecake made with a brownie base. I decided to add a layer of deep, dark chocolate ganache to the top of the brownie base, primarily to stop the base from becoming soggy, but also to add an extra layer of chocolate to this cheesecake.

Each ingredient comes in a separate package all I neede to do was add butter and eggs and follow the recipe!
Each ingredient comes in a separate package all I needed to do was add butter and eggs and follow the recipe!

I was impressed with the ingredient packaging and the instructions provided with the Artisan Chocolate Brownie Bake Box. Baking these brownies was very similar to making my own homemade brownies, except someone had already weighed the ingredients out for me! All I needed to do was add butter and eggs.

Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake fudgey chocolate base covered in light raspberry mousse cheesecake.
Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake fudgey chocolate base covered in light raspberry mousse cheesecake.

This Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake is utterly stunning to look at and even more delicious to eat.

The whipped, mousse like, raspberry cheesecake layer, isn’t overly sweet. With an added splash of raspberry liquer and vanilla notes of white chocolate, this dessert is an awesome combination of flavours.

Layered together, with a final swirl of the best quality dark chocolate, this cheesecake may be my favourite dessert yet?!!

Recipe: Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake serves 10-12

1 Brownie Bake Box from IfIKnewYouWereComing

(alternatively use half of my Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites) recipe

115g Unsalted Butter

2 Large Free Range Eggs

300g/Raspberries I use frozen Raspberries from Waitrose when they are out of season

4tbsp Caster Sugar

2tbsp Framboise – raspberry liquer  – can be substituted for fresh apple juice

150g Dark Chocolate

300ml Double Cream

500g Tub Mascapone Cheese

100g White Chocolate

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

Making the Brownie Base:

  • Line the base of a 10″ (25cm) Springform cake tin with the parchment backed, tin foil provided.
  • Follow the recipe card provided to make the brownies.
  • Pour the brownie mixture into the springform tin and tap against the work top twice to release any trapped air bubbles.
  • Place the tin in the oven and bake according to the instructions – my brownie base took 15 minutes to bake.
  • Once baked remove the tin from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely.
Delicious brownie base studded with dark chocolate chips.
Delicious brownie base studded with dark chocolate chips.

Making the Chocolate Ganache:

  • In a heatproof bowl add 100g dark chocolate and 100ml of double cream.
  • Place the bowl on top of a small saucepan that contains approximately an inch of barely simmering water – this is called a double boiler.
  • Stir the chocolate and cream together until the chocolate has completely melted and the mixture is thick and glossy.
  • Pour the chocolate ganache over the cooled brownie base.
  • Smooth to an even layer using the back of a metal dessert spoon.
  • Place in the fridge until the ganache has set.
Glossy chocolate ganache not only adds an extra layer of deliciousness, but also stops the brownie base from becoming soggy.
Glossy chocolate ganache not only adds an extra layer of deliciousness, but also stops the brownie base from becoming soggy.

Making the Raspberry Cheesecake layer:

  • Place the raspberries, caster sugar and framboise (or apple juice) into a blender.
  • Pulse until you have a smooth, deep cerise, thick raspberry coulis. Set to one side.
  • Break up the white chocolate and place into a heatproof microwaveable bowl.
  • Zap for 20 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chocolate has almost melted.
  • Remove from the microwave and continue stirring until completely melted. Set to one side.
  • In a large bowl add the tub of mascarpone cheese and 200mls of double cream.
  • Using a hand mixer, whisk until fully combined.
  • Pour the raspberry coulis into the cheesecake mix and whisk until fully incorporated.
  • Next pour in the melted white chocolate.
  • Whisk all of the cheesecake ingredients together until light and creamy.
  • Spoon the raspberry cheesecake on to the cold, set, chocolate ganache covered brownie base in the springform tin.
  • Smooth the top of the raspberry cheesecake to ensure a flat, even finish.
  • Cover the cheesecake with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to allow to set.
Once you have smoothed the top of the cheesecake you can lick the spoon 😉
Once you have smoothed the top of the cheesecake you can lick the spoon 😉

Decorating the Cheesecake:

  • Remove the cheesecake from the fridge.
  • Run a palette knife between the outside edge of the cheesecake and the iside of the springform tin.
  • Place the springform tin centrally on a large tin of beans (or something equally as sturdy).
  • Release the springform catch and gently encourage the sides of the tin to fall away from the base.
  • Place the Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake on to a serving plate or cake stand – the base will still be attached, don’t worry that’s fine.
  • Use a palette knife, that has been kept in a jug of boiling water, to smooth the top and sides of the cheesecake.
  • Melt 50g of dark chocolate in a microwaveable, heat proof bowl, as before.
  • Pour the melted chocolate into a small, disposable piping bag.
  • Snip off the very end of the piping bag to create a small hole.
  • Pipe swirls of chocolate all around the edge of the cheesecake and larger loops in the centre. Continue piping over the swirls around the edge until the chocolate is all used.
Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake so beautifully decorated and yet so easy to achieve.
Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake so beautifully decorated and yet so easy to achieve.

Now stand back and look at the beautiful Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake that you have made and decorated.

Such a simple piping technique and yet incredibly elegant. This cheesecake is perfect for adding the wow factor to any dinner party or celebration. Pale pink and chocolate brown are a classic colour combination, ensuring this dessert looks elegantly appetising.

The taste and texture of the brownie base was perfect, just like homemade. I would definitely recommend it, especially if you bake only at weekends or for special occasions. As all the ingredients come pre-weighed, you can easily make and bake brownies in under 30 minutes!

If you have enjoyed this Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake then you may also like these recipes:

White Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake

FF Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake
White Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake.

Strawberry Chocolate Cheesecake

FF Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake
Strawberry Chocolate Cheesecake.

I like to make cheesecakes all year round. Frozen raspberries ensure that a glimpse of Summer can be seen and enjoyed, in the midst of the colder months.

Whatever you are making and baking in your kitchens, have fun feasting on all your creations.

Sammie xx

IfIKnewYouWereComing supplied me with the Artisan Chocolate Brownie Bake Box for this recipe. All opinions and views are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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