Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies

Valentines Day is only couple of weeks away. Yet, although it is nice to take one day out of the year to tell those you care about how much they mean to you, I don’t believe that should be kept for just one day. Showing people that we love and appreciate them should be an everyday occurrence. Not the insincere gushing of some, who say the word love too easily and yet have not the slightest comprehension of what real love truly is. No, showing love in a quiet, sincere way. A gentle loving way, so as not to embarrass those we care about. A few encouraging words, a hug, or a small token, such as these Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies.

FF Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies
Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies

Since we are talking about love, did I mention how much everyone here at Feasting headquarters loves these cookies? Oh they do. Rich, buttery shortbread with thick, milk chocolate on one half. While these cookies are solid enough to be dunked in a hot drink, they also crumble beautifully on the tongue. Not just a Valentines Day bake!

FF Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies
Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies

Since I couldn’t find my collection of different size heart cookie cutters, my dear, late friend Pat, was here to help me. Amongst the baking items I had been given by her family was a perfect sized heart. Smaller than I had initially wanted for this recipe, it turned out to be the perfect size. Each cookie being exactly the right size.

FF Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies
Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies

Use whatever size cutter available to you. The recipe yielded 40 cookies using a 5cm x 5cm heart shape cookie cutter.

Recipe: Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies

100g/4oz Caster Sugar

200g/7oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

1/4 tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

1 tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

50g/2oz Corn Flour (also known as corn starch)

250g/9oz Plain White Flour – I use cake and pastry flour from Shipton Mill

300g/10.5g Milk Chocolate – I use 34% milk chocolate callets from Callebaut

Method: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan, 350F, gas mark 4

  • First of all add the butter, caster sugar and salt to a large bowl.
  • Whisk together until fully combined, pale and creamy in appearance.
  • Add the vanilla extract and whisk again until combined.
  • Sift the plain flour and corn flour into the bowl together.
  • Using a spoon gently mix the ingredients until it comes together in clumps.
  • Wipe the worktop with a damp cloth and lay a large piece of cling film on to the damp surface; it will stick to the worktop.
  • With clean hands bring the dough together into a ball.
  • Place the shortbread dough on to the cling film and wrap into a disc shape.
  • Chill the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • While the dough is chilling line 2 large baking trays with baking parchment paper.
FF Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies
Preparing the shortbread dough.
  • As soon as the dough is chilled remove from the fridge.
  • Knead lightly and then roll out the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper. Roll to a thickness of 5mm.
  • Using a heart cookie cutter cut out the first batch of cookies. Placing them carefully on to the baking tray.
  • Because the dough is cold the cookies do not spread on baking, so they can be placed close together on the baking tray.
  • As soon as the baking trays are full place them into the middle and lower shelves of a preheated oven.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until they are a pale golden brown. Baking time will depend on the size and thickness of the cookies.
  • While the shortbread is baking gather together any remaining dough, wrap in cling film and chill.
  • Once baked remove from the oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes on the tray and then transfer the shortbread hearts to a cooling rack.
  • Allow the baking trays to cool completely.
  • Flip over the baking parchment on each tray and using the chilled dough proceed to roll out and cut out the cookies as before. Laying them on the baking trays and baking as before.
FF Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies
Cutting out the shortbread hearts.
  • Cool the shortbread hearts completely before the next step.
  • Chop up the chocolate and place into a microwaveable, heatproof bowl.
  • Place in the microwave and heat on medium power for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each burst. As soon as the chocolate starts to melt remove the bowl and stir continuously until all of the chocolate has melted. An extra burst of heat in the microwave may be needed to ensure the chocolate is completely smooth.
FF Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies
Dipping the shortbread hearts in melted chocolate.
  • Lay a long strip of baking parchment on to the worktop.
  • Take one shortbread heart at a time and hold on the opposite side that is to be dipped.
  • Carefully dip the shortbread into the melted chocolate, using a spoon (a long handled sundae spoon is ideal) to help cover one half of the cookie completely in chocolate.
  • Allow any excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl, then place the chocolate dipped heart on to the baking parchment.
  • Continue this process until all of the cookies have one half completely dipped in chocolate. If necessary, halfway through the process, place the chocolate back into the microwave for a 20 second heating burst, to ensure the chocolate remains fluid enough to easily work with.
  • Once finished leave the chocolate to set completely on the cookies.
FF Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies
Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies.
  • Store the finished shortbread hearts in an airtight container.
FF Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies
Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies

Share these cookies with those you love. Package a few in a small cellophane bag, tied with pretty ribbon and give as gifts.

Eat within 5 days, if they last that long!

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies you may also like these:

Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites

FF Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies
Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites.

Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova

FF Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies
Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova

Chocolate Heart Cookies

FF Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies
Chocolate Heart Cookies

 

Showing appreciation and love in a way suited to the recipient is a gift in itself. A small thank you, or a handwritten note, even a text, sent in love is how we share our feelings with others. While not done for our benefit, it is good for us too. Even when the emotion felt is gratitude, not love, it is good to express thanks. Surely the gift of love is the best gift ever? See Important Stuff.

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

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks

Cheese, loved by so many, is also such a versatile ingredient. Something magical happens to the flavour when it is heated. Becoming more savoury, salty and intense on the palette. Even when eaten with crackers it benefits vastly when left out of the fridge to come up to room temperature. Since I won some Vintage Cheddar in a Twitter competition I wanted to create a new, delicious snack recipe. These Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks tick every, single, box.

FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks

The combination of good quality mature, or vintage cheddar with fresh thyme gives a distinctly savoury flavour to these breadsticks. Also, the addition of Parmesan cheese to the bread dough enhances and reaffirms their cheesy flavour. While pastry cheese straws can be oily at times, that is not the case here. No greasy fingers whilst munching on these!

FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks

As well as tasting delicious on their own, these cheesy breadsticks also make a perfect accompaniment to soup, such as Hearty Minestrone Soup. While sounding an unlikely combination, we ate these with a simple beef casserole that had been bubbling away on the hob all day. Not so surprising when Cheddar is often used in the pastry of well made beef pies.

FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks

Recipe: Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks makes 32

320ml Tap Water at room temperature

7g Dried Yeast

500g Strong White Bread Flour

2 tbsp Olive Oil plus extra for oiling the baking trays

7g Sea Salt plus extra for sprinkling – I use Maldon

50g Parmesan Cheese finely grated

3 tsp Fresh Thyme Leaves plus an add 2 tsp for sprinkling – halve the amount if using dried

1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper plus extra for sprinkling on to breadsticks

50g plus an additional 75g Mature Cheddar Cheese – I used Vintage Cheddar from Wyke Farms

1 Free Range Egg beaten with 2 tsp cold water to use as an egg wash

Method:

The method given uses a stand mixer with dough hook attachment to make the dough. Of course this may be made by hand.

  • Weigh the water into the bowl of the stand mixer.
  • Add the dried yeast and flour.
  • Now add the olive oil and salt.
  • Lower the dough hook and mix on low speed for 10 minutes, increasing to medium speed for a further 3 minutes.
  • While the dough is mixing lightly oil 4 large baking trays. Also preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan, 400F, gas mark 6.
  • Stop mixing and check the dough. It should stretch without tearing. Indeed you should be able to stretch it so that light can be seen through it. This is called the windowpane test. If the dough does not pass this test lower the dough hook and continue to mix on medium, stopping and checking every two minutes until it finally passes the test.
  • As soon as the dough is ready stop mixing. Add both the finely grated Parmesan cheese and 50g of the cheddar. Also add 2 teaspoons of fresh Thyme leaves and half a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.
  • Lower the dough hook and mix on a low speed for two minutes.
  • Stop the mixer, scrape any dough from the dough hook into the bowl, cover with a cloth and leave in a draft free place until doubled in size.
  • Lightly flour the worktop and tip out the dough, so that the top of the risen dough is on contact with the worktop.
FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
The Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks dough.
  • Dust the dough with flour and roll out to 50cm x 30cm (20in x 12in).
FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Preparing the dough to become breadsticks.
  • Sprinkle over the rolled out dough, 75g finely grated cheddar and 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves.
  • Fold the dough in half.
FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Folding and cutting the dough into breadsticks.
  • Gently roll over the folded dough with a rolling pin, sealing the cheese inside.
  • Cut the dough in half across the middle. Next cut 1cm (1/2in) strips in the dough.
FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Preparing the breadsticks for baking.
  • Removing one dough strip at a time, stretch and twist it before placing on a prepared baking tray. The dough can be pressed on to the tray and will stick, holding the twist in place. Place eight breadsticks on each tray.
  • Brush each breadstick lightly with egg wash and sprinkle over 1/2 teaspoon of thyme (for each eight breadsticks). Also grind black pepper and sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over the tray.
  • Place two baking sheets in the oven on separate shelves and bake for 15-20 minutes.
FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Freshly baked, golden, Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
  • The breadsticks are baked when they are a light golden brown. If baked for longer they become hard and lose the soft, fluffy inner.
  • As soon as the breadsticks are baked remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
  • Continue with the other half of the dough, cutting, twisting, egg washing and sprinkling and finally baking as before.
FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
The soft inner crumb of these Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks.
  • Wait until slightly cooled before stealing a bite into one of these deliciously cheesy breadsticks, with its soft, fluffy inner.
FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks

Serve slightly warm to allow for the best possible taste experience. At there best enjoyed on the day these are made.

Since this recipe makes a big batch of Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks, they can be enjoyed at larger gatherings and are ideal for adding to a buffet table.

To make ahead, bake as usual, cool and freeze for up to two weeks. Remove from the freezer when needed, place on a baking tray in a warm oven for 10 minutes to defrost and warm through.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks you may also like these:

Seeded Multigrain Baguettes

FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Seeded Multigrain Baguettes

Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread

FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread

Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones

FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones

Creating recipes using ingredients that compliment and enhance each other is at the heart of Feasting is Fun. Likewise, encouraging people to share. Baking extra so that a gift may be given to an elderly neighbour or new family, is easy. Especially when you are in the kitchen already, whipping up a batch of breadsticks, cookies or cupcakes. The enjoyment seen on someone’s face, simply because they have been thought of, is priceless.

Who will you share with?

Whatever you are making, baking or creating in your kitchens, enable fun preparing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins

Coffee shop style muffins, it would seem, are here to stay. Big, light, tulip wrapped delights, packed full of chocolate or fruit. Why fight a trend that is clearly doing so well? Since we enjoy this style of muffin too, I have embraced everything about them and come up with my own recipes. These Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins are utterly delicious.

FF Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins
Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins

While the texture has more in common with a cake, than a true muffin such as Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins , there is room for both in our home. Because not everyone is keen on whipped buttercream that tops most cupcakes, these light, raspberry filled treats are a great alternative. As well as being not-too-sweet, the raspberries on baking become jammy pods within the muffin.

FF Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins
Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins

White chocolate chips within and on top of the muffin, provide small, sweet burst of vanilla chocolate flavour. While balancing the slightly tart flavour given by the raspberries. Together they create a delightful flavour pairing within the lightest of muffins.

FF Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins
Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins

Baking the Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins in tulip wrappers allows for a generously sized muffin. Also it adds to the coffee shop style of these muffins. If not using tulip wrappers to bake with, use the deepest muffin cases and fill two thirds full. As a result the baked muffins may bake over the muffin cases. If this happens, simply run a blunt butter knife between the muffin and tin to release.

FF Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins
Tulip wrappers pull away easily revealing the baked muffin.

Recipe: Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies makes 26-30

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

225g/8oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

4 Large Free Range Eggs

100g/4oz Full Fat Yoghurt – I use Yeo Valley

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

1.5tsp Baking Powder

275g/10oz Plain White Flour

125g/4.5oz White Chocolate Chips

150g/5oz Raspberries – I used frozen

Method: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan, 350F, gas mark 4

  • First of all line a 12 hole muffin tin with tulip wrappers or muffin cases.
  • Into a large bowl add the butter, sugar, salt and whisk until well combined.
  • Then add the eggs, vanilla extract and yoghurt. On top of these wet ingredients sift in the flour and baking powder. Finally add the raspberries and 100g/4oz of the white chocolate chips.
  • Using a large spoon gently fold all of the ingredients together until just combined.  Take care not to break up the raspberries.
FF Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins
Making the batter for Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins
  • Spoon the batter into the wrappers, dividing equally between them.
  • Finish by sprinkling over the remaining white chocolate chips on to the surface of the un-baked muffins.
  • Place the muffins into the centre of a preheated oven and bake for 25-35 minutes.
  • The muffins are baked when they are golden, just firm to touch and an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean, without any batter attached.
FF Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins
Filling and baking the Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins
  • As soon as the muffins are baked remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin if using tulip wrappers. Otherwise, if using muffin cases, cool for 10 minutes in the tin then remove and place on a cooling rack to finish cooling.
FF Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins
Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins

I like to serve these muffins warm. While the chocolate chips are still slightly melted. Although they are fine to serve cold as well.

These muffins are best eaten within 24 hours of being made. Yet they can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. During warm weather refrigerate.

 

FF Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins
The whole raspberries distribute evenly throughout the muffin.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins you may also like these:

Double Strawberry Almond Muffins

FF Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins
Double Strawberry Almond Muffins

Chocolate Madness Muffins

FF Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins
Chocolate Madness Muffins

Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars

FF Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins
Double Cherry Oat Bars

Since actually making these muffins took mere moments, why not try them yourself? Making use of frozen raspberries allowed the fruit to keep its shape more easily. Yet, if fresh raspberries are in abundance or growing in the garden absolutely use those. Deep blush streaked muffins, warm from the oven taste good any day of the year!

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

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Warming Winter Vegetable Soup

As soon as Winter hits, there is one thing I crave. Soup. It’s warming, almost insulating properties feel like a hug on the inside. Whether it be a smooth, blitzed soup or a chunky textured version, it is my food of choice, seeing me through the short, wind blown days of our coldest season. Today I share with you my Warming Winter Vegetable Soup. Developed specifically to battle cold viruses and yet be thoroughly enjoyable to eat.

FF Warming Winter Vegetable Soup
Warming Winter Vegetable Soup

While, to ease sore throats, this soup can be blitzed, the soft, gently cooked vegetables are easily swallowed. Making the most of what was left in the fridge at the end of the week, turned this soup into a five star recipe. Also using frozen vegetables is a good way to bulk out this dish. Adding in anything that will work with the slightly sweet, spicy flavour.

FF Warming Winter Vegetable Soup
Warming Winter Vegetable Soup

Winter root vegetables have a natural sweetness, more so after the first frosts. While deep green, leafy brassica’s, rich in iron, provide a more meaty, sometimes slightly bitter taste. Together, in this Warming Winter Vegetable soup, the flavours come together and perfectly compliment each other. Spiked with warmth from the chili adding a more lasting warmth.

FF Warming Winter Vegetable Soup
Warming Winter Vegetable Soup

Since this soup is a comforting and warming, adding freshly sliced mild red chili and spring onions to the top provides a burst of freshness. Almost a zesty burst hits the tongue when warming and cold hits. Not only does the addition of fresh parsley look good, it also provides extra Vitamin C!

Recipe: Winter Warming Vegetable Soup serves 6-8

1tbsp Olive Oil

1 Large Onion

3 Celery Sticks washed and trimmed

1/2tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

2 Leeks trimmed and washed

1 Large Potato

2-3 Large Carrots

100g/4oz Green Beans trimmed (frozen is fine)

1/2 Savoy Cabbage – Kale, sprout tops, other cabbage (except red or white) can be used

Small Swede/Turnip

2tbsp Pearl Barley

4tbsp Lentils – I used orange

2 Garlic Cloves

1tbsp Tomato Puree

Fresh Thyme – approx 1tsp chopped

Vegetable Stock Cube – I use Knorr

Pinch Chili Flakes – depending on preference

1tsp Black Pepper – to taste

Cold Water

Fresh Mild Red Chili and Spring Onions finely sliced to top

Fresh Parsley

Method:

A large, heavy bottomed pan is needed for this recipe.

  • First of all, place the pan on the hob and add the oil.
  • All of the vegetables in this recipe should be cut into small dice, starting with the onions and leeks.
  • Turn the heat to medium, allow the oil to warm, add the chopped leeks and onion. Also add 1/4tsp salt, sauté until softened but not browned.
  • Next add the carrots and celery, again cook until softened.
  • Now add the garlic and fresh thyme. Pour over enough water to cover the vegetables.
  • Cut the cabbage into thin strips and chop the beans into thirds, then add these to the pan. Also prepare both the potato and swede and add to the soup.
  • Finally add the lentils and pearl barley, top the pan up with water so the vegetables are just covered. Crumble in a stock cube and add a good grinding of black pepper. And also the chili flakes to your preference.
  • Bring the soup up to a simmer, place a lid on the pan.
  • Simmer until the root vegetables are tender – approximately 30 minutes.
FF Warming Winter Vegetable Soup
Warming Winter Vegetable Soup topped with fresh chilli, parsley and spring onion.

Serve in warmed bowls with freshly sliced mild chili’s, spring onion and sprigs of parsley. Add warm, crusty bread such as Seeded Cob Loaf to create a hearty meal.

To store, cool the soup completely. Spoon into sealable containers and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Alternatively, place in the freezer and eat within one month.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Warming Winter Vegetable Soup you may also like these:

Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup

FF Warming Winter Vegetable Soup
Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup

Creamy Low Fat Mushroom Soup

FF Warming Winter Vegetable Soup
Creamy Low Fat Mushroom Soup

Carrot Soup

FF Warming Winter Vegetable Soup
Carrot Soup

Because most soups, including this Warming Winter Vegetable Soup, are easily made and easily stored, making a big batch seems to make good sense. More so in the Winter, when after a long, cold day, comfort is merely moments away. Since frozen soup can be popped from its container into a saucepan over a gentle heat, with the addition of a little extra water and reheated. Most importantly, dinner or lunch is only a little stirring by the stove away.

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

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit

Here on Feasting is Fun we encourage sharing. Whether it be bakes freshly made in our kitchens, or inviting friends and neighbours round for a cup of tea and a natter. As part of this I get asked by different companies to review products or produce. Resulting in me getting to share with you, my lovely readers, great products that really do earn their place in the kitchen. Today I share with you the Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit Review.

FF Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit
Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit Review

Elizabeth Harris learned to bake when she was young, in her Mum’s kitchen. Her love and passion deveolped over the years and she is now renowned for making bespoke cakes for every occasion. Developing her own product range, including the Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit, is a step further to equipping and teaching others how they too can create stunning cakes.

Few people have the luxury of large kitchens with empty cupboards waiting to be filled. Items that take up valuable storage space need to earn their place. Everything needed, except for ingredients, to decorate a cupcake is contained within the sturdy, neat tin. First impression when handling the tin and it’s contents is of quality as well as a beautiful design.

Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit
Elizabeth Harris Perfect Decorating Cupcake Kit tin and contents.

Neatly packaged within the tin are the following items:

  • 12 cupcake cases.
  • 3 piping nozzles of different sizes and shapes.
  • Cupcake corer, used to remove the centre of a cupcake so that it can be filled.
  • Sturdy 14in/35cm reusable piping bag.
  • Splatter proof, fully comprehensive instruction guide, including basic cupcake and buttercream recipe. Also step-by-step photographs showing how to achieve 3 different cupcake decorations.
FF Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit
Three of the many designs that can be made using the Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit

Since the instruction guide provides a reliable cupcake and buttercream recipe, it is ideal for those who are just learning to bake. Likewise, the quality of the nozzles and variety of decorating designs is perfect for both the inexperienced and more proficient cake decorator. A washable reusable piping bag not only helps the environment, but also saves money on buying their disposable counterparts. Finally the addition of a cupcake corer allows the baker to fill the cupcake with a sweet surprise.

While reviewing the kit, the basic cupcake recipe included in the instruction guide was used. Three different flavoured cupcakes were made. Vanilla, rose and lemon and peach with an apricot jam filling. Flavour extracts were used for the cake batter and food colours for the buttercream. The recommended buttercream recipe was also used.

FF Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit
Using the Elizabeth Harris Perfect Decorating Cupcake Kit to create 3 differently decorated cupcakes.

Recipe used from the instruction leaflet. Makes 12 cupcakes.

  • 110g/4oz Butter softened at room temperature
  • 110g/4oz Caster Sugar
  • 1/8tsp Salt – added as unsalted butter was used
  • 2 Free Range Eggs – I use large – lightly beaten
  • 1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey
  • 110g/4oz Self Raising Flour
  • 1-2tbsp Milk
  • Optional 1/4tsp each Lemon and Rose extract. Also available from Nielsen-Massey
  • Optional 15 drops Peach flavouring available from – Foodie Flavours. Apricot Jam for the hidden filling.
  • Gold Sugar Balls

Method: followed from the instructions given.

Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan, 350F, gas mark 4.

  • Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake cases.
  • Cream together the butter, salt and sugar in a bowl, until pale.
  • Add 1tbsp of flour, vanilla extract and slowly beat in the eggs to the mixture.
  • If using flavourings add and beat into the mix.
  • Gently fold in the remaining flour, adding 1-2tbsp milk until the cake batter just drops from a spoon (dropping consistency).
  • Spoon the cake batter to half fill each cupcake case.
  • Place the muffin tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes.
  • The cupcakes are baked when they are golden in colour and an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean. As soon as the cupcakes are baked remove from the oven.
FF Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit
Making and baking the cupcakes.
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool for 10 minutes in the tin then remove and place on a cooling rack to completely cool.
  • For apricot jam filled peach cupcakes, once cool, place the cupcake corer on to the centre of the cupcake. Twist until the corer touches the top of cupcake. Remove and add 1/2tsp of jam. Press the top of the corer and the cake plug will be released. Place on top of the jam filled cupcake. Continue until each cupcake is filled.
  • Proceed to pipe a hydrangea pattern, using the medium star nozzle, as detailed in the instructions. See below for buttercream recipe.
FF Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit
Apricot jam filled peach cupcakes with hydrangea piped buttercream.

Making the buttercream:

  • 140g/5oz Butter softened
  • 280g/10oz White Icing Sugar
  • 1-2tbsp Milk
  • Food Colouring – I used gel colours available from Wilton

Whisk the butter in a bowl until softened. Add the icing sugar and whisk slowly to start, increasing in speed. Add milk if the mixture is too stiff. Continue whisking until the buttercream is pale and fluffy. Divide the buttercream into separate bowls and colour as desired. A cocktail stick dipped into gel colouring allows control of depth of colour. While carrying out the review I created a light and dark orange. Finishing the frill and hydrangea cupcakes with these colours.

FF Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit
Two different coloured icings.

While simply spooning alternate colours into a piping bag gave the hydrangea cupcakes a pretty, range of colours. Just like on a real flower.

Using deep orange buttercream with the flat nozzle fitted to the piping bag, the frilled cupcakes were decorated. Since the nozzle was the wrong way round each frill faced downwards creating a ballerina tutu effect. Gold sugar balls topped off these vanilla cupcakes.

FF Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit
Gold topped ruffle decorated vanilla cupcakes using the Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit.

Finally the rose and lemon cupcakes, topped with a deep red edged cream frosting. A technique that is easier than it looks. Since, as suggested in the instructions dual coloured icings can be spooned either side of the piping bag, fitted with the large star nozzle, giving a pretty coloured rose when piped. Yet a different effect can also be achieved by dipping the blunt end of a wooden barbecue skewer into your chosen colour food colour. Place the gel end of the skewer into the empty piping bag, nozzle attached and wipe the gel up once side of the bag. Repeat on the other side. Fill the bag with uncoloured buttercream.

To decorate, squeeze out some buttercream into a bowl until the colour starts to show. Spoon  back into the piping bag. Starting in the centre of a cupcake, keep an even pressure and pipe a swirl as detailed in the instructions. As each cupcake is frosted the intense colour will pale in colour. Finally giving variation, similar to real roses.

FF Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit
Rose Topped rose and lemon flavoured cupcakes using Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit.

After washing, drying, reusing and storing every part of the Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit, I am thoroughly impressed. The instructions are clear and easy to wipe down for the messy baker! Each piece of equipment feels strong and sturdy. Three decorating ideas are given, each with great photos and easily understood. More ideas are available on Elizabeth’s YouTube channel here.

Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit is available to buy from larger Home Bargains stores nationwide. An ideal present for a beginner baker, or someone who bakes but wants to learn decorating techniques. Finally a warning, cake decorating can become addictive. Elizabeth Harris has a beautifully designed range of cake decorating equipment, bakeware and items for the kitchen, simply visit her website.

FF Elizabeth Harris Cupcake Decorating Kit.
Learn how to create beautiful cupcakes with the Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit.

If you have enjoyed this review of the Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit you may also enjoy these cupcake recipes to use with your kit:

Maltesers Popping Candy Cupcakes

FF Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit
Maltesers Popping Candy Cupcakes

Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes

FF Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit
Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes

Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes

FF Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit
Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes

Carrying out reviews allows access to products that I may not normally come across. Creating cupcakes with this Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit taught me new decorating techniques. Also, developing new cupcake recipes is always a bonus. Quite often I give away reviewed products. Not so with this kit. It has found a permanent home in my newly decorated kitchen. It will be bought and given as gifts.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchen, have fun preparing your feast.

Elizabeth Harris sent me the Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit to review. I was not paid for carrying out this review or writing this blog post. All opinions, observations, product/ingredient recommendations are mine alone. No part of this blog post may be copied or reproduced without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Pomegranate Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake

Welcome to a New Year and a whole host of recipes and product reviews to come here on Feasting is Fun. Easing into 2018 with a simple, yet stunning and delicious bake, is this Pomegranate Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake. While making the most of seasonal pomegranates which are readily available in most larger shops at this time of year. Also added is a healthy dose of lemon, helping our bodies fight off any nasty bugs. We are almost making a health food here!

 

FF Pomegranate Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake
Pomegranate Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake

Since this cake has such a light texture the additional crunch from the pomegranate seeds provides added texture and flavour. Inside the cake their juices release, complimenting the lemon zest. While the garnet nuggets used for decoration provide an unexpected fresh burst of juice. Meanwhile the lemon drizzle lends an intense, lemon tang on the tongue.

FF Pomegranate Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake
Pomegranate Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake

Each bundt pan is different. Yet some share similar moulding, creating a range of pans. Lemon Lime Gin Heart Bundt Cake uses the elegant heart pan which has the same deep grooves as the elegant party Bundt used here. Deep, regular grooves define the entire shape of the baked cake. Indeed a light dusting of icing sugar would enhance, in a much simpler way, the outline of this bundt cake. A useful tip should the drizzle icing be a step too far!

FF Pomegranate Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake
Pomegranate Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake

Recipe: Pomegranate Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake serves 10-12

Cake:

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter – softened to room temperature

225g/8oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

4 Large Free Range Eggs

3tbsp Sour Cream

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

225g/8oz Plain White Flour

2tsp Baking Powder

2 Whole Lemons – finely zested

125g/4.5oz Pomegranate Seeds – *I bought 2 packs 125g each from Waitrose

Glaze and decoration:

200g/7oz Icing Sugar – sifted

Juice of 1 Lemon

Pomegranate Seeds please see * above

Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3, 325F

Note: you will need a 10 cup Bundt Pan (tin) for this recipe. If using a smaller tin ensure that it is not filled more than 2/3 full. Also for guaranteed release of the cake once baked I highly recommend using Wilton cake release. Spray or brush on to the inside of the bundt pan, taking care to cover every part.

  • First of all prepare the Bundt pan as detailed above.
  • Place the butter, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Whisk together until pale and creamy.
  • Next add all 4 eggs, sour cream and vanilla extract. Sift the flour and baking powder on top of the wet ingredients. Finally add the finely grated zest of two lemons and 125g of pomegranate seeds.
  • Carefully fold the ingredients together until fully combined.
  • Spoon the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Smooth the top for an even finish.
FF Pomegranate Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake
Making the cake batter.
  • Place the cake into the centre of a preheated oven and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes – 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • The cake is baked when it is golden in colour, shrinking away from the sides of the tin and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Once baked remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
  • After the initial cooling time has passed turn out the cake on to a cooling rack.
  • Leave to cool completely before decorating.
FF Pomegranate Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake
Baking and turning out the bundt cake.
  • While the cake is finishing cooling prepare the lemon drizzle.
  • Into a bowl containing the sifted icing sugar add the juice of one lemon. Stir until thoroughly combined and free from any lumps.
  • As soon as the cake is cool it can be decorated.
  • Place the cake on to a plate or board.
  • To decorate, use a teaspoon to pour approximately 1/2 a tsp of lemon drizzle on to each groove of the cake. Start at the top of the cake and work around until each groove has icing reaching the base both on the inside and outside.
  • Top each indent on the cake with a pomegranate seed, adding an additional two seeds, or more, to each groove.
FF Pomegranate Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake
A slice of Pomegranate Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake

Serve the cake sliced with a complimentary drink (lemon tea goes well) and a smile.

Store the cake covered securely in cling film, or alternatively in an airtight container and eat within 5 days. During warmer weather it is advisible to refridgerate this cake.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Pomegranate Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake you may also like these:

Chocolate Cherry Chiffon Bundt Cake

FF Pomegranate Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake
Chocolate Cherry Chiffon Bundt Cake

Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake

FF Pomegranate Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake
Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

FF Pomegranate Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

Bundt Cakes are a real favourite of mine. While the pans may be on the pricey side, look on eBay for special offers, theyproduce outstandingly beautiful cakes with very little effort required from the baker. No further decoration is ever actually needed for a Bundt cake. Yet it is fun to play around with icing and additional decorations, as seen in the examples above. When baking a Bundt cake you can be sure to produce a show stopper every time.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchen, have fun preparing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this blog post may be reproduced or replicated without the written permission of the own. Please see my Disclosure Policy  for full details.

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Cherry Bakewell Rocky Road Bars

When it comes to entertaining, especially during busy times of the year, it’s really handy to have a few no bake recipes tucked up your sleeve. Also, should you need to transport your creation, something that won’t leak all over the car and travels well is a definite bonus. These Cherry Bakewell Rocky Road Bars tick all the boxes and taste utterly delicious to boot!

FF Cherry Bakewell Rocky Road Bars
Cherry Bakewell Rocky Road Bars

Since McVities Digestive Nibbles became available I take full advantage of skipping the ‘biscuit bashing’ step. Similar to my recipe for Caramel Crunch Rocky Road Bars. Anything that makes life easier is a bonus in my book. Chocolate covered biscuit balls combine with whole, toasted almonds, providing great crunch and texture. While glacé cherries and mini marshmallows add sweet chewiness, held together in a thick chocolate sauce.

FF Cherry Bakewell Rocky Road Bars
Cherry Bakewell Rocky Road Bars

Each bar is finished with a double chocolate drizzle, flaked toasted almonds, more glacé cherries and sparkling silver balls. Most of all, the combination of ingredients ensures traditional cherry bakewell flavours are in every chewy, crunchy, delightful bite. Resulting in a delicious sweet treat that is as ideal to make and serve at home as it is easy to transport.

FF Cherry Bakewell Rocky Road Bars
Cherry Bakewell Rocky Road Bars

Each one of these Cherry Rocky Road Bars is a feast in itself. What better time to share these with friends and family, than over the holidays. Since sharing food makes it taste so much better, these also make a great edible gift. Pop into cellophane bags tied with festive ribbon and give as gifts. A perfect festive treat.

Recipe: Cherry Bakewell Rocky Road Bars makes 24

For the bars:

200g/7oz Dark Chocolate minimum 70% cocoa solids

200g/7oz Milk Chocolate

100g/4oz Unsalted Butter

1/4tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

3tbsp Golden Syrup

100g/4oz Whole Almonds lightly toasted and cooled

3 Packs McVities Digestive Nibbles total 360g available from most supermarkets. Alternatively crush 360g digestive biscuits into roughly 1cm sized pieces

100g/4oz Glacé Cherries

175g/6oz Mini Marshmallows

Optional 1/2tsp Almond Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

For the topping:

100g/4oz White Chocolate

100g/4oz Milk Chocolate

50g/2oz Flaked Almonds lightly toasted and cooled

50g/2oz Glacé Cherries cut in half

Silver Sugar Balls

Method:

  • First of all line a 22.5cm x 30cm (9” x 12”) deep tin with aluminium foil.
  • Next, into a large microwaveable bowl add the milk and dark chocolate, broken up or chopped into pieces. Also add the butter and sea salt.
  • Heat the chocolate and butter in the microwave, on medium power for 30 seconds at a time. Stir the mixture between each heating burst. As soon as the chocolate and butter start to melt stir continuously until completely liquid.
  • Add the golden syrup and stir to combine. Stir in the almond extract if using.
  • Into the bowl add the toasted almonds, glacé cherries, digestive nibbles (or broken biscuits). Finally add the mini marshmallows.
  • Mix to combine all of the ingredients, ensuring everything is slicked with the chocolate mixture.
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, pressing with the back of a spoon and making sure that the tin is filled evenly.
FF Cherry Bakewell Rocky Road Bars
Cherry Bakewell Rocky Road Bars
  • Break up the milk and white chocolate and place into separate heatproof, microwaveable bowls.
  • Heat separately, as before, on medium. Stir after each heating burst until the chocolate is completely melted.
FF Cherry Bakewell Rocky Road Bars
Preparing the chocolate drizzle
  • Starting with the milk chocolate, use a teaspoon to diagonally drizzle the chocolate over the rocky road.
  • Continue with the white chocolate in the same manner.
FF Cherry Bakewell Rocky Road Bars
Milk and white chocolate drizzle
  • While the chocolate is still un-set, sprinkle over the flaked almonds. Place the cherries evenly over the flaked almonds and finally scatter over silver balls for extra sparkle.
FF Cherry Bakewell Rocky Road Bars
Finishing the rocky road and then cutting into even bars.
  • Cover the tin tightly with aluminium foil and place in the fridge, or somewhere cool to set. I actually placed the tin in our very cold porch overnight!
  • Once set, lift the block of marshmallow and chocolate loveliness out of the tin. Peel away the foil and place on to a board.
  • Using a sharp knife cut across the width of the block, dividing it into four equal portions. Cut downwards through the middle and then again through the middle of each larger quarter, creating 24 individual bars.
FF Cherry Bakewell Rocky Road Bars
Cherry Bakewell Rocky Road Bars

Serve on a pretty tray or platter. A silver tray highlights the silver balls on top of each bar, giving them a festive look.

Store in an airtight container, keep in the fridge during warmer weather. They will keep for up to one week, if they last that long!

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Cherry Bakewell Rocky Road Bars you may also like these:

Maltesers Popping Candy Cupcakes

FF Cherry Bakewell Rocky Road Bars
Maltesers Popping Candy Cupcakes

Almond Cacao Nib Shortbread Bars

FF Cherry Bakewell Rocky Road Bars
Almond Cacao Nib Shortbread Bars

Double Strawberry Almond Muffins

FF Cherry Bakewell Rocky Road Bars
Double Strawberry Almond Muffins

 

Making food for others is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Since taking time to create something special to be shared amongst those you love, care and appreciate is not only fun, but also a great way to show that you are thankful to have them in your life. Especially during Christmas time, sharing is important. Helping us to not become self centered and to put others first. For the ultimate selfless act please see Important Stuff.

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

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or replicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies

Chocolate and Christmas go together like strawberries and cream in summer. Add in traditional candy canes and you have an incredible combination.  Using a fantastic Classic Brownie Kit makes baking these Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies a super delicious Christmas treat.  And don’t worry if you can’t get hold of the kit, there’s a link before the recipe to help you make them from scratch.

FF Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies

While I enjoy baking from scratch, I am not averse to keeping good quality mixes and baking kits in the kitchen.  Using the Classic Brownie Kit to whip up a batch of Brownies, makes the house smell amazing.  Adding extra mint chocolate chunks and a topping of crushed candy cane turns these into a festive treat. Especially handy during the busy Christmas holiday season.

FF Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies

As soon as you bite into these rich chocolate brownies a range of textures hits your mouth.  Soft fudgey chocolate brownie, crisp mint chocolate chunks, chewy crushed candy cane all blend together to create a flavour sensation.  Perfect for a quick bake when unexpected guests arrive.  Welcoming them in with the aroma of baking chocolate. Is there anything better?

FF Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies

Everything you need to bake delicious Brownies is included in the kit.  Yet, if you are unable to get hold of the Classic Brownie Kit then please use the recipe for Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites.  Either halve the recipe, or double the quantity of candy canes, chocolate drizzle and mint chocolate.

Recipe: Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies makes 9

Classic Brownie Kit available from If I Knew You Were Coming

2 Large Free Range Eggs

115g/4.5oz Unsalted Butter softened at room temperature

50g/2oz Dark Mint Chocolate chopped into chunks – I use Elizabeth Shaw Chocolates

100g/4oz Milk Chocolate

2 Peppermint Candy Canes

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

  • First of all set out the baking tin included in the kit and place on to a baking tray.  Alternatively line a 9” x 9” square tin with aluminium foil.
  • Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof microwaveable bowl and heat on medium powder until just melted. Stir until completely liquid and set to one side to cool.
  • Whisk the eggs and sugar together until fully combined.
  • Pour the eggs slowly into the cooled chocolate mixture and stir to incorporate.
  • Sieve the cocoa and flour into the chocolate/egg mix and fold in until just combined.
FF Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
Making the Brownie batter.
  • Pour the thick, chocolate, brownie batter into the prepared baking tin.
  • Scatter over the chocolate chips from the kit and the mint chocolate chunks.
  • Place the Brownies into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
  • The Brownies are baked when the top is set and shiny with a slight crackle. There should be a very slight jiggle in the centre.
  • Once baked remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • As soon as the Brownies are cooled peel away the foil.  Cut into 9 even sized squares and place on a cooling rack, spaced well apart.
FF Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
Making, baking and cutting the brownies.
  • Melt the milk chocolate for drizzling in the microwave and transfer to a small, disposable piping bag.  Alternatively use a plastic zip lock bag and cut one corner off, leaving a small hole.
  • Take the candy canes and place in a small plastic bag.  Place on to a solid surface and use a rolling pin to break the canes into small pieces.
  • Drizzle melted chocolate over each individual brownie, then sprinkle over some crushed candy cane.
FF Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
Finishing the Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies

Serve straight away, while the chocolate drizzle is still gooey.  Leave to set before storing in an airtight container.  Eat within 5 days.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies then you may also like these:

Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies

FF Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies

Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies

FF Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cupcakes

FF Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies

Baking should be fun and not stressful. Having some reliable mixes and baking kits in the kitchen cupboard, especially during extra busy times of the year such as Christmas, simply makes sense. Also they make great presents for those who are just learning to bake. As well as being reliable the Complete Brownie Kit is also versatile see my recipe for Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake.

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

Sammie xx

If I Knew You Were Coming provided the Complete Brownie Kit for me to make this recipe. I have not been paid to write this post. All content, opinions and photography are my own. No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns

Christmas will soon be upon us and among the festive food chocolate plays a prominent role.  Whether in advent calendars, selection packs, gold coins or the many foil wrapped, boxed and displayed chocolate treats, it is central to celebration feasting.  Therefore these Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns are the perfect treat to share and enjoy over the holiday season, or any special occasion.

FF Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns
Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns

Since, if you’re going to make a chocolate bun it really should be THE BEST tasting chocolate bun ever.  Light and fluffy, packed with chocolate chips and finished with a thick chocolate icing.  These buns tick every box.  Not too sweet, not too rich, simply the perfect balance of flavour and texture baked into the very best tasting breakfast bun.  Alternatively eaten with coffee as an afternoon treat, these buns need no excuse to be eaten!

FF Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns
Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns

While these incredible tasting, chocolate packed buns were made with Christmas in mind, there really is no reason at all to stop you baking them at other times.  Any chocolate lover would appreciate a birthday breakfast of Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns.  Friends staying, sleepovers, special occasions, all the perfect excuse to bake.  Finally, they are made and left to prove overnight, so all that’s left to do is bake and glaze in the morning.  Easy.

FF Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns
Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns

As soon as my chief taste testers, here at Feasting headquarters had tasted these buns, success was proclaimed.  Even from the harshest of my critics.  Yummy, mmm are there more, escaped from messy chocolate mouths.  As for me, the harshest judge of all, well, I am impressed.  All of the attempts at making the perfect chocolate swirl bread had paid off.  Flavour and texture in perfect chocolate swirled harmony.

Recipe: Double Chocolate Iced Buns

300ml/10.5ml Whole Milk

75g/3oz Unsalted Butter

7g Dried Yeast

2tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

1tsp Caster Sugar

2 Large Free Range Eggs

50g/2oz Cocoa Powder – I use Callebaut

500g1lb 2oz Strong White Flour

7g Salt – I use Maldon

250g Milk Chocolate Chips or chopped chocolate – do not use stabilised chocolate chips, as you would for chocolate chip cookies, the chocolate should melt when baked.

Glaze:

250g/9oz Icing Sugar

50g/2oz Cocoa Powder

Method:

Note: I strongly recommend using a stand mixer with dough hook attachment for mixing the dough.  The chocolate dough has a high butter content and is extremely sticky.  Using a stand mixer ensures thorough mixing of the dough.

  • Measure the milk into a microwaveable jug and then add the butter broken into small pieces.  Zap in the microwave until the milk is slightly warmed.  It should feel the same as body temperature.  Also the butter will soften and start to melt.
  • Pour the warmed milk/butter into the bowl of the stand mixer.
  • Add the yeast, sugar, vanilla extract and both eggs to the bowl.
  • Next add the flour, cocoa powder and salt.
  • With the dough hook attached mix slowly until the ingredients are combined into a dough.  Continue mixing on medium speed for a further 20 minutes.
  • Stop the mixer, lift the dough hook and scrape any dough back into the bowl. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in a draft free place until doubled in size.  This first prove may take up to 2 hours.
  • As soon as the dough is ready, turn out on to a lightly floured worktop.  A plastic scraper will help release all of the dough from the bowl.
  • Using the technique shown in Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf, pull out the dough and press into the centre. Continue around the edge until the dough is neat and smooth.
  • Roll the dough out until it is 30.5cm D x 35.5cm W (12” x 14”) rectangle.
  • Sprinkle the chocolate chips/chopped chocolate evenly over the dough.
FF Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns
Making the dough and preparing the chocolate buns.
  • Rolling from the wide side of the dough, take the front edge, starting at one side, roll and tuck the chocolate and dough.  Continue across the front edge of the dough until you have formed the beginning of a roll.  Evenly roll the entire dough, tucking and ensuring it is even.  Finish with the seam underneath the finished roll.
  • Using a sharp knife cut off the uneven sides.  Divide the roll in half and then cut 5 even potions from each half.  Saw through the dough, using the blade to cut through.
  • Place the buns into a large, well buttered baking tin with deep sides. Alternatively  butter 2 deep 8 inch cake tins and place 5 chocolate buns into each.  Cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight.  The dough will prove very slowly in the cold fridge.
Creating the perfect chocolate swirl.
  • The next morning remove the chocolate buns from the fridge and allow to come up to room temperature, approximately 30 minutes.
  • While the buns are warming preheat the oven 200C/180C fan, 400F, gas mark 6.
FF Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns
Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns before and after an overnight prove.
  • As soon as the buns have warmed place in to the centre of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • While the buns are baking make the chocolate icing glaze.  Weigh the icing sugar and cocoa into a large jug.  Add approximately 6 tablespoons of hot water and stir to mix. The icing should be thick yet still able to pour.  If needed add extra hot water one tablespoon at a time.  Note – the icing will thicken on cooling.
  • Check the buns after 30 minutes.  They are baked when the top of the buns are firm and sounds hollow when tapped.
  • Once baked remove from the oven.
  • Run a palette knife around the outside edge of the buns, carefully lifting the edge of the buns as you do so.
  • Place a large board, (I use a chopping board) over the top of the baking tin. Using oven gloves to protect from the heat turn the buns out of the tin.
  • Again place a serving dish over the board flip over and the chocolate buns will be right side up, ready to be glazed.
  • Use a knife to gently cut through where each bun joins the next.  Move the buns so there is a small gap between them, this ensures the glaze can drip down the sides.
FF Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns
Baking and turning out the buns.
  • While the buns are still hot pour over the thick, glossy, chocolate icing.
FF Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns
Glazing the Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns

Serve the buns warm for breakfast as an extra special treat.  While these buns are best eaten on the day they are baked they will keep for 2 days in an airtight container.  A quick 10 second zap in the microwave warms cold buns ready to eat.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns you may also like these:

Homemade Chelsea Buns

FF Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns
Homemade Chelsea Buns

Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread

FF Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread

Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf

FF Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns
Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf

Make ahead recipes are a fantastic way to enjoy incredible feasts without having to get up early or spend all day in the kitchen. Spending time with family and friends enjoying food together is always more important than being stuck in the kitchen, away from the fun. While it is fun to bake and cook together, not everyone has large, open plan kitchens that make this possible. Therefore having this recipe enables you to serve freshly baked buns with minimal effort.

Would you like more make ahead recipes, here on Feasting is Fun?

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

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Coffee Pecan Nut Glazed Bundt Cake

Every year I try to make my Father in law’s birthday cake. Since his favourite cake is Classic Coffee Walnut Cake, creating twists on the original are fun. So, this year I switched things up and made a Coffee Pecan Nut Glazed Bundt Cake. Baked in a beautiful Bundt pan and finished with a latte coloured coffee glaze. I am assured that this cake was a big hit.

FF Coffee Pecan Nut Glazed Bundt Cake
Coffee Pecan Nut Glazed Bundt Cake

While the nuts may have been switched up, the cake still has to deliver one hundred per cent on flavour. Using espresso powder gives an intense coffee flavour, without being overpowering or bitter. Adding chopped pecans provides crunch against the super moist crumb of the cake. Finally, a simple coffee icing glaze not only picks out the detail of the cake shape, but also provides a first, sweet, coffee bite into the cake.

FF Coffee Pecan Nut Glazed Bundt Cake
Coffee Pecan Nut Glazed Bundt Cake

Since a birthday must be celebrated and a celebration demands a cake (or it is just a meeting), baking a beautiful cake is something I take pleasure in. As much as everyone takes pleasure in eating it! Candles, beyond a certain age, most definitely become an option. Yet, a little sparkle adds a special edge. So edible gold glitter, liberally sprayed over provides the ‘wow’ that sets this cake apart from others.

FF Coffee Pecan Nut Glazed Bundt Cake
Coffee Pecan Nut Glazed Bundt Cake

Photos were taken with artificial light, never ideal, show this cake as yellow gold. However, in natural light the glaze is a latte colour with a slight shimmer from the glitter.

Recipe: Coffee Pecan Nut Glazed Bundt Cake serves 8-10

Cake:

300g/11oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

300g/11oz Caster Sugar

2tsp Espresso Coffee Powder dissolved in 1tbsp hot water and allow to cool – alternatively use 4tsp Camp Coffee

1/4tsp Salt I use Maldon

5 Large Free Range Eggs

1tsp Vanilla Extract I use Nielsen-Massey

100g/4oz Natural Full Fat Yoghurt such as Yeo Valley

150g/5oz Chopped Pecan Nuts

275g/10oz Plain White Flour

2.5tsp Baking Powder

Glaze:

400g/14oz Icing Sugar

1tsp Espresso Coffee Powder dissolved in 1tbsp hot water or 2tsp Camp Coffee

Optional – Edible Gold Glitter – available from My Cake Decor

Method: Preheat oven to 160C/140C fan, 325F, gas mark 3

Note – this recipe uses a 10 cup Harvest Leaf Bundt Pan from Nordicware. Ensure you use a 10 Cup Bundt. I recommend Wilton cake release spray (also available in a bottle, shake and brush on to the cake tin), to ensure the cake releases from the Bundt Pan.

  • First of all prepare the Bundt pan. Spray with cake release and use a pastry brush to ensure every part of the Bundt interior is completely coated.
  • Next, in a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt. Whisk together until pale and creamy.
  • Now add the eggs, vanilla extract, espresso and yoghurt.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl. Whisk all ingredients together until just combined.
FF Coffee Pecan Nut Glazed Bundt Cake
Making the Bundt cake batter.
  • Finally add the chopped pecans to the cake batter and fold into the mix with a spoon.
  • Now spoon the pecan studded cake batter into the prepared Bundt Pan. Push the mixture down into the pan so the every part of the intricate mould is filled.
FF Coffee Pecan Nut Glazed Bundt Cake
Preparing and filling the Bundt pan.
  • Place the cake into the centre of a preheated oven and bake for 60 – 70 minutes.
  • The cake is baked when it is golden in colour and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Once baked remove the cake from the oven and leave to sit for 10 minutes in the pan.
  • Then turn the cake out on to a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
FF Coffee Pecan Nut Glazed Bundt Cake
Baking and turning out the Bundt cake.
  • As soon as the cake is cooled it is ready to decorate.
  • Sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the espresso liquid and enough water to create a thick glaze.
  • Place the cake, still on its cooling rack, over a clean baking tray.
  • Due to the addition of coffee in this glaze it forms a crinkle skin quickly. Work quickly, without rushing, when glazing the cake.
  • Starting at the top of the cake spoon over the thick glaze. Continue spooning the glaze around the cake until the entire cake is covered. If necessary spoon glaze that has dropped through to the tray over the cake, covering any holes in the glaze finish.
FF Coffee Pecan Nut Glazed Bundt Cake
Glazing the Bundt cake
  • As soon as the glaze has stopped dripping and is starting to set transfer the cake to a board or plate.
  • Dust the cake with edible gold glitter once the glaze has fully set.
FF Coffee Pecan Nut Glazed Bundt Cake
Coffee Pecan Nut Glazed Bundt Cake finished with a spritz of glitter.

I couldn’t resist a photograph with fairy lights!

FF Coffee Pecan Nut Glazed Bundt Cake
Coffee Pecan Nut Glazed Bundt Cake lit up!

Slice the cake to serve.

Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Refrigerate during warmer weather.

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FF Coffee Pecan Nut Glazed Bundt Cake
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FF Coffee Pecan Nut Glazed Bundt Cake
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Baking for others is a great way show you care and treat them at the same time. While a birthday without a cake is unthinkable in many homes, other bakes can also be made. Our youngest daughter usually prefers this Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova, for her birthday and our eldest always has two cakes. An ice cream cake and a baked one. Whatever is baked and celebrated with, it contains one thing it’s mass produced copies don’t. Love. The most important ingredient in any bake.

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

Sammie xx

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