Healthy Turkey Mixed Pepper Chilli

Winter, the season where stews and casseroles become feasts that fill us with warmth and comfort. Chilli certainly is a giant, teddy bear hug in a bowl. Spiced meat, peppers and beans, cooked gently and slowly, providing a warm, filling dish. Here, the emphasis has been to keep the recipe low fat and healthy. Let me share my Healthy Turkey Mixed Pepper Chilli.

FF Healthy Turkey Mixed Pepper Chilli
Healthy Turkey Mixed Pepper Chilli

While traditionally Chilli-Con-Carne is made with beef mince, substituting turkey mince would have been the obvious choice. Yet, I wanted, indeed needed a Chilli with texture, such as this Chunky Chilli. Since turkey breast is a naturally low fat meat, using breast steaks provided the ‘bite’ required. Cooked low and slow this dish is as easy to make as it is delicious to eat.

FF Healthy Turkey Mixed Pepper Chilli
Healthy Turkey Mixed Pepper Chilli

Since the meat is seared separately, removed while the onion is sautéed and then added back into the dish, this recipe could easily be made in a slow cooker. Either cooked on the hob or in a slow cooker there are no difficult processes involved in making this Chilli. Simplicity in the kitchen is always welcome during a busy week.

Recipe: Healthy Turkey Mixed Pepper Chilli serves 4-6

500g/1lb 2oz Turkey Breast Steak

2 tbsp Ground Cumin

1 tbsp Raspeseed Oil (Canola oil) – I use Borderfields

2 Large Onions

4 Bell Peppers

2 x 400g Tins Chopped Tomatoes

2 x 400g Tins Red Kidney Beans rinsed and drained, or 500g cooked red kidney beans

3 tbsp Tomato Purée

1/2 tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

1 tsp Chili Flakes – adjust according to taste

2 Cloves Garlic – crushed

1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

3 tsp Corn Flour (corn starch) – I use Doves Farm

Method:

You will need a large heavy bottomed pan for this recipe. A Dutch oven (cast iron casserole dish) is ideal. While the recipe calls for simmering on a hob, alternatively the assembled dish can be left in the oven on a low heat.

  • First of all cut up the turkey breast into bite size chunks. Toss the chunks in the ground cumin so they are all coated in spice.
  • Place a heavy bottomed pan on a medium heated hob. Add half the oil and then when hot place the turkey chunks, spaced evenly apart, into the pan. Brown the meat, turning to ensure each piece is seared in the hot pan. As soon as the meat is seared on all sides remove from the pan on to a clean plate.
  • While the meat is searing prepare the onions. Peel and cut into medium dice (approximately 1.5cm/0.5”).
  • With the meat removed from the pan turn the heat down to low. Tip in the diced onions and add the salt. Sauté on a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Prepare the peppers while the onions are cooking. Wash, de-seed and cut into large dice – 2.5cm/1” pieces.
  • As soon as the onions have started to soften add the seared turkey chunks and the mixed peppers into the pan.

 

FF Healthy Turkey Mixed Pepper Chilli
Preparing the Chilli.
  • Add the crushed garlic, chili flakes and black pepper to the pan.
  • Next pour in both tins of chopped tomatoes. Rinse the tins with cold tap water, keeping any tomato juice and fill three quarters full, add this to the pan.
  • Tip in the drained and rinsed kidney beans and add the tomato purée.
  • Stir all of the ingredients together, adding more water if needed. The meat and peppers should be just covered with liquid.
  • Bring to a simmer on the lowest heat, uncovered on the hob for 1.5 – 2 hours. Stir occasionally.
FF Healthy Turkey Mixed Pepper Chilli
Slow cooking the Chilli.
  • The liquid should be reduced by half. Place a lid on the pan if it reduces too quickly.
  • Spoon the corn flour into a small bowl. Add 2-3 tablespoons of cold water and stir to mix.
  • Pour the corn flour slurry into the Chilli and stir immediately to mix.
  • Gently simmer for a further 10 minutes. Stir frequently while the liquid thickens.
FF Healthy Turkey Mixed Pepper Chilli
Healthy Turkey Mixed Pepper Chilli

To serve ladle the thickened, spicy Chilli into warmed bowls. Fresh homemade bread such as Seeded Cob Loaf, baked tortilla chips or rice all make tasty accompaniments. Also a sprinkle of fresh coriander (cilantro) or parsley, provides the finished dish with a fresh, herb hit.

FF Healthy Turkey Mixed Pepper Chilli
Healthy Turkey Mixed Pepper Chilli

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Healthy Turkey Mixed Pepper Chilli you may also like these:

Winter Warming Vegetable Soup

FF Healthy Turkey Mixed Pepper Chilli
Winter Warming Vegetable Soup

Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole

FF Healthy Turkey Mixed Pepper Chilli
Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole

Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta

FF Healthy Turkey Mixed Pepper Chilli
Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta

Chilli can be enjoyed in the summer as well as in winter. Yet when the weather is cold warming food really adds an extra layer of comfort. It is also a versatile meal. While amounts have been specified in the recipe, adding extra tomatoes, beans or peppers will allow this dish to stretch to feed more people. Since feasting with friends can only improve on how good food tastes.

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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Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf

Today is Valentine’s Day and I have baked bread. While there is nothing unusual in that, I have baked bread with a bit of a difference. Since hearts abound on this day, more than most, I toyed with the idea of baking a heart shaped loaf. Practicality got the better of me. It always does! Unsure of how the finished loaf would be sliced I decided instead to create a heart pattern on a cob loaf. I share with you my Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf.

FF Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf
Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf

A lighter wholemeal style bread packed full of sunflower seeds, this loaf is as tasty as it is pretty. Since this loaf is baked without the use of steam. Usually a bowl or tray of water is placed in the base of the oven, allowing maximum oven spring before the crust sets. Yet in this case, as the dough is brushed with water prior to being baked, it expanded well, without any cracking. Resulting in a really crusty finish.

FF Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf
Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf

While on the theme of hearts, this bread is ‘Heart healthy’ too. Since the addition of one third wholemeal flour provides added fibre. Also sunflower seeds are high in polyunsturated oil and contain Vitamin E known for it’s anti inflammatory properties. Most of all for those who do not like the density of one hundred percent wholemeal loaves, this bread provides a healthy alternative.

Recipe: Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf

350ml/12 floz Tap Water at room temperature

7g Dried Yeast – I use the green tin/sachets from Allinson

2 tsp Runny Honey

150g/5oz Strong Wholemeal Bread Flour

350g/12oz Strong White Bread Flour

1 tbsp Rapeseed Oil – cold pressed I use Borderfields

7g Sea Salt – I use Maldon

50g/2oz Sunflower Seeds plus extra for creating the heart

Method:

The method given uses a stand mixer to mix and knead the dough prior to proving. You may of course make the dough by hand.

  • First of all weigh the water into a bowl (of a stand mixer with dough hook attachment).
  • Add the dried yeast and honey to the water.
  • Next add both wholemeal and white bread flour.
  • Now add the salt and oil.
  • Lower the dough hook and mix on low speed for five minutes.
  • Add the sunflower seeds to the dough while mixing.
  • Increasing the speed for a further 5-10 minutes. To check if the dough is ready perform the windowpane test; stop the mixer, remove a small piece of dough and stretch it between your fingers. When fully kneaded/mixed the dough will not tear and you will be able to see through it.
  • As soon as the dough is fully kneaded stop the mixer and lift up the dough hook. Scrape any dough from the hook into the bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a draught free place to prove until doubled in size.
  • Turn the dough out of the bowl on to a lightly floured worktop, the top of the dough should be at the bottom. So that it is in contact with the wotktop. Working around the outside, pull out the dough and then press into the centre. Continue 5-6 times pulling out and pressing in until you have a neat and tidy lump of dough. This process creates tension across the top (bottom at this point) of the dough.
  • Flip the dough over and use both hands to cup and shape the dough, turning it as you do so. Resulting in a round cob shaped loaf.
FF Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf
Shaping the dough.
  • Place the shaped dough on to a lightly oiled baking sheet. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to double in size in a draught free place.
  • Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, 425F, gas mark 7.
  • While the dough is undergoing it’s second prove make a heart stencil.
  • Fold a piece of A4 paper in half. Using scissors cut out half of a heart.
FF Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf
The finished shaped cob loaf and heart stencil.
  • As soon as the dough has doubled in size brush the entire loaf with warm water.
  • Place the heart stencil over the dough.
  • Sprinkle sunflower seeds inside of the stencil and then lightly dab them with water using a pastry brush.
  • Remove the stencil.
FF Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf
Creating the sunflower seed heart on the proved cob dough.
  • Place the baking sheet into the centre of a preheated oven and bake for 40-50 minutes.
  • The bread is baked when it has a deep, golden crust and sounds hollow when tapped.
  • As soon as the bread is baked remove from the oven and carefully (it will be very hot) place the cob loaf on to a cooling rack.
FF Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf
Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf

Delicious, crusty, nutty flavoured bread.

FF Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf
Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf

Allow the bread to cool prior to slicing and serving.

Ideally store the cooled bread in a bread bin. Plastic wrap or cling film may cause the bread to sweat and it will lose it’s crunchy crust and become soft.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf you may also like these:

Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread

FF Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf
Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread

Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

FF Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf
Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

Seeded Multigrain Baguettes

FF Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf
Seeded Multigrain Baguettes

Bread baking is a passion that I have. Creating a tasty loaf that has flavour in it’s own right and is not simply a carrier of flavours makes the little effort it takes worthwhile. Our home is filled with the smell of freshly baked bread on an almost daily basis. If I could only bake one thing it would be bread. Wholesome, hearty, crusty and nutty this loaf ticked every single box. Bread truly is at the heart of any feast.

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 duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Marshmallow Topped Rich Chocolate Brownies

Marshmallow Topped Rich Chocolate Brownies are a perfect party portion. Decadent, fudgy, chocolate brownies splashed with edible coloured candy and scattered marshmallows. Easy to make and bake, fun to decorate and perfect for sharing with family and friends.

FF Marshmallow Topped Rich Chocolate Brownies
Marshmallow Topped Rich Chocolate Brownies

Since it is half term this week, here in England I created a bake that children can get involved in. While adult supervision may be needed for certain stages of brownie baking process, decorating is child’s play. Whether that be children in your care, or the inner child within us all. Simply looking at these brownies screams fun and that is of upmost importance to us here at Feasting is Fun!

FF Marshmallow Topped Rich Chocolate Brownies
Marshmallow Topped Rich Chocolate Brownies

While many children are happy to share, some thrive better when given their own blank canvas (or brownie in this case) to with. Because it is easy to divide the baked brownie in half, or quarters, or however many children you have helping, decorating these brownies couldn’t be more fun! Disposable piping bags are easy to get hold of, check the baking aisle of your local supermarket. However small sandwich or freezer bags can double as a great substitute. Simply cut a small hole in one corner, once the bag is filled.

FF Marshmallow Topped Rich Chocolate Brownies
Marshmallow Topped Rich Chocolate Brownies

Likewise, should very young children be taking part, icing sugar with a little water and colouring added, removes any risk from piping warm chocolate. Be prepared. If making these brownies with children of any age, including some adults, things will get messy and get eaten! Yet that is the fun of making and eating these brownies. Make sure there are plenty of paper towels to hand.

Recipe: Marshmallow Topped Rich Chocolate Brownies

For the brownies:

250g/9oz Milk Chocolate

250g/9oz Dark Chocolate

1/4 tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

275g/10oz Unsalted Butter – cut into squares

5 Large Free Range Eggs

2 tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

275g/10oz Light Brown Muscavado Sugar – I use Billingtons

1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

100g/4oz Plain White Flour

For the topping:

100g/4oz White Chocolate

100g/4oz both pink and red Rainbow Dust Colour Melts available from Party Animal Online

Large and Small Marshmallows

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

You will need a 34cm x 24cm x 5cm (13.5in x 9.5in x 2in) tin lined with baking parchment.

  • First of all break/cut both milk and dark chocolate into small pieces, approximately 1cm.
  • Place the chocolate and butter into a heatproof, microwaveable bowl.
  • Heat in the microwave on medium for 30 second bursts, stirring after each heat burst.
  • As soon as the butter is melted remove the bowl and stir continuously until all of the chocolate is melted and combined with the butter. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • In a separate bowl add the eggs, salt, sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk together until fully combined.
  • Pour the cooled chocolate into the egg mixture, stirring as you pour to combine both liquids.
  • Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda on to the chocolate mix. Fold the flour into the chocolate mixture until is just combined.
FF Marshmallow Topped Rich Chocolate Brownies
Making the rich chocolate brownie batter.
  • Pour the chocolate brownie batter into the prepared tin.
  • Rap the tin hard on the worktop twice to release any trapped bubbles.
  • Place the tin in the centre of a preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. The brownies are baked when the top has set and there is a very slight wobble in the centre. Over baking the brownies will cause them to be dry, instead of rich and fudgy.
  • As soon as the brownies are baked remove from the oven and leave to cool completely in the tin. Any cracks or crackles on the surface of the finished bake will close on cooling. Also the top is to be decorated and so they will be covered!
FF Marshmallow Topped Rich Chocolate Brownies
Baking the rich chocolate brownies.
  • As soon as the brownies have cooled they are ready to be cut and decorated.
  • First of all using the baking parchment lift the brownie slab from the tin and place on a board.
  • Use a palette knife, run the flat side between the base of the brownie and the baking parchment.
  • Cut across the brownie in three equal portions. Now cut downwards five times, creating fifteen equal sized brownie squares. Alternatively cut the brownies into smaller portions.
  • Into three separate, heatproof and microwaveable bowls add the coloured rainbow melts and broken up white chocolate. Since it is easy to overheat white chocolate and especially the melts, heat each bowl separately in short bursts, stirring in between. As soon as the rainbow melts, or white chocolate start to melt remove from the microwave, stirring constantly until completely melted.
  • Decant each separate colour into a small, disposable piping bag. Just prior to using cut a small opening at the tip of the bag.
  • Starting with the darkest colour first pipe across the brownies in a diagonal fashion. Continue piping with the next colour, reserving the white chocolate for last.
  • Place a large marshmallow on to each individual brownie. With Valentine’s Day nearly upon us I used marshmallow hearts. Also sprinkle over smaller, mini marshmallows.
FF Marshmallow Topped Rich Chocolate Brownies
Decorating the brownies.
  • Next pipe the runnier white chocolate over the entire brownie, including the marshmallows.
  • Finally sprinkle over more mini marshmallows. These will stick to the melted white chocolate.
  • Set the brownies aside in a cool place to allow the chocolate to set. During warmer weather place in the fridge to set.
FF Marshmallow Topped Rich Chocolate Brownies
Fully decorated Marshmallow Topped Rich Chocolate Brownies

You can choose any colour combination you like. Even personalising the brownies by piping names or Happy Birthday. Also for special celebrations sprinkle over edible gold stars or coloured sugar balls. The simple rule to remember when decorating is to use the darkest colours first, finishing with the lightest. Resulting in a creation that really pops.

FF Marshmallow Topped Rich Chocolate Brownies
Marshmallow Topped Rich Chocolate Brownies

To serve the brownies cut through the chocolate and marshmallows at the same point where the individual brownies had previously been cut.

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

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Marshmallow Topped Rich Chocolate Brownies you may also like these:

Caramel Crunch Rocky Road Bars

FF Marshmallow Topped Rich Chocolate Brownies
Caramel Crunch Rocky Road Bars

Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies

FF Marshmallow Topped Rich Chocolate Brownies
Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies

Maltesers Popping Candy Cupcakes

FF Marshmallow Topped Rich Chocolate Brownies
Maltesers Popping Candy Cupcakes

While making these brownies I did not have any little people to help me. Yet when writing up this blog post and especially, choosing and editing the photographs it struck me that this is exactly the sort of fun, mess filled activity that children enjoy. And yes I completely acknowledge the inner child in me and the fun I had while decorating these brownies. If you have play dates arranged, these brownies make great gifts for them to take home.

Also, it has to be said, these brownies taste amazing!

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 duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Pink Heart Topped White Chocolate Cupcakes

Cupcakes in themselves are moments of happiness. It must be impossible to be angry whilst eating a cupcake? An entire, miniature cake all to ourselves. Cute and delicious let me share with you these Pink Heart Topped White Chocolate Cupcakes.

FF Pink Heart Topped White Chocolate Cupcakes
Pink Heart Topped White Chocolate Cupcakes

Since Valentines Day is only a few days away, creating a beautiful and tasty cupcake seemed a good idea. While I have mentioned in previous posts such as Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies, that every day should be an opportunity to show those we love and appreciate them, February 14th is the day of love. So to celebrate, these white chocolate chip cupcakes frosted with a velvet white chocolate buttercream, finished with a pink chocolate heart, fit the bill perfectly.

FF Pink Heart Topped White Chocolate Cupcakes
Pink Heart Topped White Chocolate Cupcakes

As these delightfully light cupcakes are so pretty they are also perfect for parties, celebrations and of course to serve at a wedding. Because who wouldn’t want to receive one of these cute cupcakes?

FF Pink Heart Topped White Chocolate Cupcakes
Pink Heart Topped White Chocolate Cupcakes with complimenting sugar balls.

Simple and easy to make, this recipe is designed so that novice bakers can follow and bake incredible cupcakes. Also the buttercream is piped without a nozzle, therefore deleting a need for more equipment. Since a plastic freezer bag can double as an icing bag, simply cut off one corner to leave a 1cm opening, this recipe really is for everyone.

Recipe: Pink Heart Topped White Chocolate Cupcakes makes 12

For the Cupcakes:

100g/4oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

100g/4oz Caster Sugar

Small Pinch 1/8tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

2 Large Free Range Eggs

1 tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

2 tsp Whole Milk

100g/4oz Self Raising Flour, alternately use the same quantity of Plain White Flour and add 1 tsp baking powder

50g/2oz White Chocolate Chips

For the Buttercream:

125g/4.5oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

250g/8.5oz Icing Sugar

150g/5oz White Chocolate suitable for melting

Up to 2 tbsp Whole Milk

Pink Jazzy Hearts available from Amazon

Optional pink/white sugar balls

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

  • First of all, line a muffin tin wth 12 cupcake cases.
  • Place the butter, sugar and salt into a large bowl.
  • Whish together until pale and creamy.
  • Add the eggs and vanilla extract to the bowl. Also, sift the flour (and baking powder if using) into the same bowl.
  • Whisk the ingredients together adding milk as you whisk. Continue until the mixture is uniform in texture, avoid over mixing as this can cause a tough, baked cupcake.
  • Add the white chocolate chips and fold into the batter.
FF Pink Heart Topped White Chocolate Cupcakes
Making the cupcake batter.
  • Spoon the cake batter into the cupcake cases, dividing it evenly between them.
  • Place the cupcakes in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 20-30 minutes.
  • The cupcakes are baked when they have risen, are golden in colour and spring back from a light touch. An inserted skewer or tooth pick will come out clean.
FF Pink Heart Topped White Chocolate Cupcakes
Filling the cases and baking the cupcakes.
  • As soon as the cupcakes are baked remove from the oven.
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin and then transfer them to a cooling rack.
  • While the cupcakes finish cooling make the buttercream.
  • Break up the white chocolate and place into a heatproof, microwaveable bowl. Heat on medium for 30 second bursts, stirring after. As soon as the white chocolate starts to melt remove from the microwave. Continue stirring until all of the chocolate has melted. Set to one side to cool slightly.
  • Place the butter and icing sugar into a bowl. Whisk until just combined.
  • Pour the melted white chocolate into the bowl and continue whisking, adding milk, a little at a time, to achieve a good piping consistency.
  • Place the piping bag, without a nozzle attached, into a large jug. The piping bag should have an opening of approximately 1cm.
  • Fill the piping bag with the white chocolate buttercream.
FF Pink Heart Topped White Chocolate Cupcakes
Making the white chocolate buttercream.
  • As soon as the cupcakes are cold they can be decorated.
  • Keeping even pressure on the piping bag pipe a double swirl on top of each cupcake.
  • Top each cupcake with a pink heart and add sugar balls if wanted.
FF Pink Heart Topped White Chocolate Cupcakes
Piping and decorating the cupcakes.

The outside of the buttercream will set slightly. If adding sugar balls do so immediately after frosting the cupcakes.

FF Pink Heart Topped White Chocolate Cupcakes
Pink Heart Topped White Chocolate Cupcakes

Happiness is found in a delicious cupcake!

FF Pink Heart Topped White Chocolate Cupcakes
Pink Heart Topped White Chocolate Cupcakes

Serve the cupcakes to those you love and care about. Also share with those people you appreciate. While photographing the cupcakes our postman came to the door, he went away with a cupcake and a smile on his face.

Store these cupcakes for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Refrigerate during warm weather.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Pink Heart Topped White Chocolate Cupcakes then you may also like these:

Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes

FF Pink Heart Topped White Chocolate Cupcakes
Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes

Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Set

FF Pink Heart Topped White Chocolate Cupcakes
Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit

Black Forest Cupcakes

FF Pink Heart Topped White Chocolate Cupcakes
Black Forest Cupcakes

Pink Heart Topped White Chocolate Cupcakes a simple recipe, available to all bakers regardless of skill level. Because, everyone should be able to create something beautiful and delicious to share with those they love. Even those who are too shy to say how they feel, or write it in a card, can make a cupcake that says it all. Who knows, baking a cupcake could break down awkwardness between someone and their secret love. Ah the romantic in me is running away with itself!

However you spend Valentines Day, I would like to thank each and every one of you who reads, comments and supports Feasting is Fun. You are very much appreciated, every single day of the year.

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

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