Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes

If you are a parent and have children, you will know that from year 6, exams become an important part of their lives. Whether it’s SATS, GCSE’s, A Levels. College or University exams. The end game always focuses on tests or exams. Since today is the start of GCSE’s here in England these Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes, are designed to lift the spirits and fill the tummies of all students sitting their exams.

FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes with coffee – study fuel!

Of course these cupcakes could and should be made all year round, such is their delicious simplicity. Chocolate cake topped with the ultimate white chocolate vanilla frosting. Perfect for chocolate lovers everywhere.

FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes the reflect balance of flavours.

Since these cupcakes can be made, from start to finish in under an hour, they are also handy for short notice or unexpected guests. Likewise they can be whipped up, literally, in moments. The comforting aroma of home baking, wrapping around your weary children, like a cosy, soft blanket, when they arrive home.

FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes comfort at the ready.

While my hard working teens are sitting and studying for their exams, I can be found in the kitchen. Busy rustling up delicious, sustained energy food and lots of treats. The amount of energy burned up during studying is vast. Since this can be a tough time of year for them, their usual ‘healthy’ food intake is topped up with extra yummy goodies!

Recipe: Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes makes 12

100g/4oz Unsalted Butter – softened to room temperature

50g/2oz Caster Sugar

50g/2oz Light Brown Sugar

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

3 Large Free Eggs

60g Plain White Flower

1tsp Baking Powder

40g Cocoa Powder – I use Callebaut

For the frosting:

150g/5oz Icing Sugar

75g/3oz Unsalted softened to room temperature

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste

100g/4oz White Chocolate

Sprinkles of your choice

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

First of all line a 12 hole cupcake tin with cupcake cases.

  • Into a medium sized bowl add the butter, both sugars and salt. Beat together until the mixture is free from lumps and smooth.
  • Now add the vanilla extract and all three eggs.
  • Sift in the flour, cocoa and baking powder.
  • Beat/whisk all of the ingredients together until fully mixed.
  • Divide the mixture between the 12 cupcake cases – approximately one dessert spoonful of mixture per case.
  • Place the cupcake tin into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • The chocolate cupcakes are baked when they spring back from a light touch.
  • When baked remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes  before transferring to a cooling rack. Allow to fully cool.
FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Making, filling and baking chocolate cupcakes.
  • Preparing the frosting and decorating the cupcakes:
  • Note – due to the high chocolate content of the frosting it is advisable to make it directly before piping, while it is soft.
  • Firstly, break up the white chocolate and place in a heatproof, microwaveable bowl. Set to one side.
  • Into a separate bowl add the icing sugar, butter and one teaspoon of very hot water, from a recently boiled kettle. Whisk until almost combined.
  • Place the bowl with the white chocolate into the microwave. Heat for 20 seconds, stirring in between, until the chocolate is liquid.
  • Pour the warm, melted chocolate in with the butter and icing sugar mixture.
  • Whisk the ingredients together immediately and then continue to whisk until the frosting is light and fluffy. During the whisking add the vanilla bean paste.
FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Making the frosting, piping and decorating the chocolate cupcakes.
  • Fit a large piping bag with a large closed star piping nozzle.
  • Fill the piping bag with the frosting and proceed to pipe rose swirls on each cupcake. Starting in the centre of the cupcake, pipe the shape of an ‘e’ then continue around until the cupcake has a complete swirl on top.
  • Finally, sprinkle over your choice of decoration.
FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes so good!

Serve with a hug, smile and a hot drink!

FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes much needed.

Store these cupcakes in an airtight container where they will last for three days.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes you may also like these:

Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes

FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Gluten Free Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes

Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes

FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes

Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookies

FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookies

While cupcakes are delicious, the cookies are for those meltdown moments when the pressure is simply too much. Firstly, so that whoever reads this blog post realises that they aren’t on their own. Sometimes it all gets too much. Fresh air, good music and a break all help. As do hugs, talking and simply letting it all out.

Wishing anyone taking exams, all the very best. If you do your best, no one can expect more of you than that x.

Sammie xx

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Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut

Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut, perfect any time of the year. Most especially when shared with friends and a great cup of tea. Recently having seen a list of the most popular cakes depending on season, there wasn’t any surprise when Lemon Drizzle made all four lists.

FF Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut
Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut perfect for sharing.

Since this week is National Doughnut Week, a baked giant doughnut was the desired way to celebrate in our home. Honestly though, it’s never difficult eating a doughnut! Still this had to be a celebratory doughnut. As mentioned before, lemon drizzle is not only the Nation’s favourite, it is ours too, here at home.

FF Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut
Even on an overcast day, this Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut is full of sunshine.

Light, lemon sponge, filled with the best lemon curd from Hawkshead Relish piped, whipped cream. Topped with another deliciously lemon sponge and then drizzled in fresh lemon icing. Finally, finished with colour co-ordinating sprinkles, for fun and added crunch.

FF Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut
The whipped cream cuts through the delicious tart lemon flavours.

The silicone moulds needed to bake this giant doughnut are available online, Amazon or from Lakeland. Inexpensive and easy to use, I can guarantee you will not regret buying. If that is beyond your means then this doughnut can be baked in two 7-8″ sandwich, cake tins. Perhaps add the moulds to a birthday or Christmas list?

FF Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut
Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut dessert anyone?

Due to the flavour and presentation of this bake, it is perfect to serve for dessert, or any time you have friends or family pop round.

Recipe: Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut serves 8-10

200g/7oz Unsalted Butter softened to room temperature – plus a little extra to grease the moulds

200g/7oz White Caster Sugar

1/8th tsp Salt – I use Maldon

5 Large Free Range Eggs

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Masey

200g/7oz Plain White Flour

2tsp Baking Powder – note Waitrose is gluten free

1 Large Lemon scrubbed clean – zest of whole lemon and juice of half used in the Sponge batter

Filling and Icing:

3-4 tbsp Lemon Curd – I use Hawkshead Relish

1/2 juiced lemon – see above

200g/7oz Icing Sugar

Optional – Yellow Gel Food Colouring – I use Wilton

300ml Double/Heavy Cream

Sprinkles of your choice

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

  • First of all, grease the silicone moulds well, with softened butter.
  • Now into a large bowl add the caster sugar, butter and salt. Whisk/beat until very pale and fluffy.
  • Next, add the vanilla extract, lemon juice and sift in the flour and baking powder. Lastly add the lemon zest.
  • Finally mix all of the ingredients on slow, or by hand. This is called the all-in-one method and works particularly well with this recipe.
  • Divide the mixture between the two moulds and place them on baking trays. Unless you’re trays are large enough to accommodate 2 moulds without squishing them.
  • Place the baking trays, evenly spaced in the preheated oven.
  • The doughnut sponge will take between 30 and 40 minutes to bake.
  • The sponge is baked when golden in colour and springs back from a light touch.
  • Once baked remove the moulds from the oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then turn out the doughnut sponge halves onto a cooling rack.
FF Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut
Creating, making and baking the giant doughnut.
  • While the sponges are cooling, the lemon drizzle icing can be made.
  • Weigh the icing sugar into a bowl containing the juice of half a lemon.
  • If desired add, no more than the tip of a cocktail stick, which has been dipped in yellow gel food colouring.
  • Stir vigorously, ensuring a uniform colour. If the icing seems too thick to drizzle add a drop more lemon juice or cold tap water.
  • Cover the icing with cling film placed directly in contact with the top of the yellow icing. Doing so stops the icing from drying out.
  • For the whipped cream, pour 300mls of cold cream into a bowl. Whisk lightly until the cream just holds a stiff peak.
  • Place the whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a round piping nozzle, approximately 1cm diameter. Place the piping bag into the fridge until needed.
  • When the sponges are completely cool, decide which one will be the top and the bottom of the doughnut.
  • Place the bottom doughnut sponge, flat side up on a serving plate.
  • Spoon the lemon curd on top and spread with a knife so that it covers evenly.
  • To pipe the whipped cream, firstly see the picture below. Start just inside the outside edge, piping single ‘blobs’ around the outside. Continue with two more rows of piped cream, until the base is prettily covered.
  • Now place the top of the doughnut evenly on to the base.
  • Spoon the lemon drizzle on to the top sponge, leaving any drips as they add to the finished look.
  • Scatter sprinkles over the drizzle icing while it is still wet. This ensures that the sprinkles will stick to the icing.
  • Finally stand back and admire your beautiful handiwork!
FF Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut
Building and decorating the Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut.
  • Serve this delicious doughnut chilled and with a smile.
FF Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut
A generous slice of Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut.

Such a sunny and beautiful treat. Why wouldn’t you want to share it?

FF Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut
Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut ooh so good.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for a Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut then you may also like these:

Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut

FF Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut
Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut comes with a Gluten Free recipe included.

Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut

FF Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut
Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut.

Raspberries and Cream Giant Doughnut

FF Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut
Raspberries Cream Giant Doughnut.

I hope these delicious recipes have shown how versatile the silicone doughnut moulds can be?

The gluten free recipe for the Strawberry Doughnut, should also work well for both the Raspberry and Lemon Drizzle. Please ensure that any decorations, baking powder are certified gluten free. I am sure that anyone on a restricted diet, would be thrilled with a giant doughnut as a birthday cake!

Sammie xx

 

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Fruit Filled Butter Scones

Today it is Mother’s Day here in the U.K. A day where mums, aunts, grandmothers and other significant women in our lives are celebrated. My Grandma had a hugely positive input into my upbringing. Indeed it was at her apron strings that I learned the basic fundamentals of baking, that I still employ today. The day prior to any beach trip, picnic, or family celebration, she would be found, busy baking in the kitchen. I am certain she would enjoy these Fruit Filled Butter Scones.

FF Fruit Filled Butter Scones
Fruit Filled Butter Scones perfect with Afternoon Tea.

Afternoon Tea may consist of small cakes, pastries, finger sandwiches and other sweet or savoury nibbles. Yet it is incomplete without the inclusion of delicious scones, clotted cream and jam. Also small plates are used as it is small portions that are served. Enough to keep you going until dinner, yet not enough to spoil the main meal later in the day.

FF Fruit Filled Butter Scones
Fruit Filled Butter Scones served with clotted cream and strawberries.

Even young children, supervised by an adult of course, can easily make these scones. Also if you choose not to have clotted cream, these are light, not dry or claggy. So, perfect to eat unaccompanied. Since both the fat and sugar levels are fairly low, they can also be enjoyed by those watching their weight. As a result, these are an the ideal treat.

FF Fruit Filled Butter Scones
Flaky layers within the Fruit Filled Butter Scones

Did I mention that they take approximately half an hour from make to bake. What’s stopping you 😉?

Recipe: Fruit Filled Butter Scones makes 12 scones

200g/7oz Plain White Flour

2tsp Baking Powder

50g/2oz Cold Unsalted Butter cut into cubes

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

2tbsp Caster Sugar

75g/3oz Sultanas

165mls Buttermilk – alternatively add 1tsp/5mls of lemon juice to 160mls of milk and stir. Wait 5 minutes before using.

1 Free Range Egg plus one tablespoon of milk combined for the egg wash

Method: Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7

Prior to starting line a large baking tray with baking parchment.

  • First of all, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large mixing bowl. If using sea salt crumble straight into the bowl.
  • Next add in the cubed butter and rub into the flour, or cut into the flour using a pastry cutter. The mixture should resemble breadcrumbs with some pea sized lumps of butter present.
  • Now add in the caster sugar and mix lightly.
  • Make a well in the centre of the ingredients and pour in the buttermilk. Follow by mixing with a butter knife 4-5 times.
  • Add the sultanas and bring the scone dough together with one hand.
  • Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured, clean surface.
  • Knead the dough lightly until it forms a disc. Gently roll out the disc until it is 2.5cm/1 inch thick.
  • Use a 4cm/just under 2 inch deep cutter to cut out the scones. Do not twist the cutter when pushing down, as this can affect the rise.
  • Place each cutout scone on to the lined baking tray.
  • Combine leftover scone dough pat out and cut out more scones. Continue until all of the dough has been used.
FF Fruit Filled Butter Scones
Making and cutting out the Fruit Filled Butter Scones.
  • Brush the top of each scone with egg wash and then place in the top of the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes.
FF Fruit Filled Butter Scones
Egg washed and then baked.
  • The scones are baked when they are golden, well risen and sound hollow when tapped on the base.
  • As soon as they are baked remove from the oven.
  • Transfer the scones on to a cooling rack.
FF Fruit Filled Butter Scones
Fruit Filled Butter Scones cooling on a rack.

Serve slightly warm or cold. Since these scones have sultanas in, they can be eaten as is, with butter or clotted cream. Also, fresh fruit is nice served alongside. Rather than one single tea, offer a selection, including fruit teas.

FF Fruit Filled Butter Scones
Fruit Filled Butter Scones with tea and fresh fruit.

Most of all serve with a smile.

If you have enjoyed these Fruit Filled Butter Scones, you may also like these:

Iced Bakewell Tart

FF Fruit Filled Butter Scones
Iced Bakewell Tart

Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea

FF Fruit Filled Butter Scones
Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea

Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes

FF Fruit Filled Butter Scones
Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes 100% gluten free.

Since creating the Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea for Steamer Trading, I have enjoyed creating small, bitesize treats. As well as being able to have a little taste of everything, afternoon tea is the perfect opportunity to share. Food, conversation, fun. Most importantly love and creating memories.

Sammie xxx

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Steamer Trading Host Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recipe: Chocolate Drizzle Cake Squares makes 15

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter – softened

175g/6oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

3 Large Free Range Eggs

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

75g/3oz Good Quality Cocoa Powder

125g/4.5oz Plain White Flour

1.5tsp Baking Powder

200g Bar Each of Milk and White Chocolate

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

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

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

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

Finally Remember

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

Doillies – in contrasting and complimenting colours.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes

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

Iced Bakewell Tart

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

Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits

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

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

Sammie xx

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

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Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recipe: Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes makes 12

125g/4.5oz Unsalted Butter softened

125g/4.5oz Caster Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Extract

2tsp Liquid from the maraschino cherry jar.

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

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

150g/5oz Plain White Flour

1.5tsp Baking Powder

For the frosting and decoration:

400g/14oz Plain White Icing Sugar

200g/7oz Unsalted Butter softened

1tsp Almond Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

2tbsp Very Hot Water – from a recently boiled kettle

50g/2oz Dark Chocolate minimum 70% Cocoa

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

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

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

FF Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes
Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes

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

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

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

FF Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes
Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes

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

Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes

FF Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes
Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes

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

Do you enjoy baking for others?

Sammie xx

 

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Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Recipe: Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut serves 8

For the Doughnut Sponge

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

200g/7oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

6 Large Free Range Eggs

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

100g/4oz Plain White Flour

75g/3oz Cocoa Powder – I use Callebaut

1.5tsp Baking Powder

Filling and Topping the Doughnut 

200ml/8fl oz Double Cream

3tbsp Chocolate Hazelnut Spread – I use Jim Jams Spreads

100g/4oz Milk Chocolate

2tbsp Chopped Roasted Hazelnuts

8 Fererro Rocher or other chocolate to decorate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Black Forest Giant Doughnut

FF Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut
Black Forest Giant Doughnut

Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut

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

Raspberries Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut

FF Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Giant Doughnut
Raspberries Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut

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

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

Sammie xx

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Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recipe: Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars makes 12

Shortbread Base

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter softened

150g/5oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Salt I use Maldon

1 Large Free Range Egg Yolk

1tsp Vanilla Extract I use Nielsen-Massey

275g/10z Plain White Flour

For the Sponge Topping

4-5 tbsp Lemon Curd I use Hawkshead Relish

100g/4oz Unsalted Butter softened

100g/4oz Caster Sugar

2 Large Free Range Eggs

100g/4oz Plain White Flour

1tsp Baking Powder

200g/7oz Fresh Blueberries

Finely Grated Zest of 1 Lemon

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

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

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

The lemon curd is perfect in these bars.

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

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

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

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

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

FF Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars

FF Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars

Bakewell Shortbread Bars

FF Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
Bakewell Shortbread Bars

 

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

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

Sammie xxx

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

 

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Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread

Nothing smells better than the aroma of homemade bread, baking in the oven. As many of my regular readers will know, I adore making bread. Yet sometimes, time is the enemy. Especially if it’s needed for breakfast and we have run out. The solution is to bake this beautiful and delicious Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread.

FF Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread
Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread crowned with cherries.

An un-yeasted bread, made even easier by using a packet of Wrights Scofa Bread Mix. All this tasty loaf requires is a little mixing, shaping and popping in a preheated oven to bake. The addition of cherries and flaked almonds gives this loaf the wow factor. Especially with the almond flavour icing, temptingly drizzled over the loaf and finished with ruby red, glacé cherries.

FF Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread
Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread hearty and delicious.

Since this loaf takes less than 45 minutes from start to baked, it is perfect for lazy weekend breakfasts. Still, if you are in a real rush, ditch the icing and crown of cherries and serve this sliced, warm from the oven, with butter if desired.

FF Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread
Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread perfect for afternoon tea.

While this bread can be made and baked in under an hour, leaving to cool allows for simple, yet stunning decoration. Thick, almond icing, draped over the rustic loaf, simply topped with jewelled cherries. Creating a sensation for the eyes as well as the palette. Cooled and sliced, I found this delicious, hearty loaf needed no further addition. Each bite full of almonds, cherries and rustic, wholemeal bread.

Recipe: Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread

1 Packet Scofa Bread Mix available from Wrights Baking

Cold Water

150g/5oz Glacé Cherries

100g/4oz Flaked Almonds

3tsp Almond Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

200g/7oz Sifted Plain Icing Sugar

Method: Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7.

  • First of all, remove 12 whole glacé cherries and set them to one side for decoration.
  • Next cut all the remaining cherries in half.
  • Place the volume of water, as specified on the packet, into a large bowl.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of almond extract to the water. Swirl to mix.
  • Add the entire packet of Scofa Bread Mix.
  • Now add the cherry halves on top of the bread mix, lightly dusting them with the mix to stop them sticking together.
  • Reserve one tablespoon of flaked almonds for decoration and add the rest to the bowl.
  • Use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture until it comes together.
  • Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured work top and shape into a round.
  • Place the shaped dough on to a greased baking sheet.
  • Cut a deep cross into the dough, if not icing, sprinkle the remaining almonds over the bread.
  • Next place in the centre of a preheated oven.
  • Bake the bread for 30-35 minutes. Once baked it will sound hollow when rapped on the base with your knuckle. Note – this baking time is slightly longer than specified on the packet. This is due to the addition of cherries and almonds.
  • Once baked remove the bread from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
FF Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread
Making, shaping and baking the Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread
  • Note – the bread doesn’t change colour very much whilst baking.
  • Allow the bread to completely cool before icing and decorating.
  • To make the icing: Add 2 teaspoons of almond extract to the sieved icing sugar. Now add enough water, approximately one tablespoon, to the icing and stir. It should be a thick paste that can hold a figure of eight for a few seconds.
  • Place the cooling rack with the bread on it, over a baking tray, to catch any drips.
  • Start in the centre. Spoon thick icing over the bread, encouraging it to drape down over the sides of the loaf.
  • Continue until the bread is evenly drizzled with the icing.
  • Next, place the reserved cherries on top of the bread, forming a crown-like circle.
  • Finally, scatter the reserved almond flakes over the bread.
FF Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread
Icing and decorating the Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread
  • Set the decorated bread to one side to allow the icing to set.
FF Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread
Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread deliciously easy to make.

Serve this delicious bread sliced, for breakfast, lunch of afternoon tea. In fact, it is perfect for anytime of the day.

Store in an airtight container. This bread is at its best when eaten wishing 24 hours of baking. That shouldn’t be too much of a problem!

If you have enjoyed the recipe for this Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread you may also like these:

Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

FF Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread
Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf

FF Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread
Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf

Toffee Banoffee Waffles

FF Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread
Toffee Banoffee Waffles

Making something different for breakfast at the weekend is a real treat. Whilst most of my baking is made from scratch, the convenience of having good quality packet mixes in the cupboard cannot be denied. Balancing time spent together as a family with, the time it takes to create a feast, is important.

Do you make breakfast more of a treat at the weekend?

After all, it is the most important meal of the day?

Sammie xx

Wrights Baking supplied me with the mix to create this recipe. All views, content and photography are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits

Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits sandwiched together with a light, white chocolate ganache. These light, melt in your mouth biscuits are perfect for an Afternoon Tea treat.

FF Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits.
Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits perfect for Afternoon Tea.

The first time I made Chocolate Dipped Viennese Fingers was an experience, shall we say. It was relatively early on in my blog and in my wisdom I decided to set the dipped Viennese biscuits on a cooling rack!

Most of them stuck. Badly.

I had a kitchen full of broken biscuits and managed to salvage just enough for a decent photograph.

FF Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits
Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits far more remained intact this time!

These light, meltingly delicious Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits are so yummy and are my wonderful hubby’s favourite.

As part of the #GBBOTwitterBakeAlong run by Jackie Heaton and Rob Allen, both amazing bakers and huge encouragers, I wanted to really make an effort. Each week will have a different theme, this week’s being biscuits.

Now we all know I am a self confessed Cookie Monster. In fact I think our whole family are. When I was younger my Grandad would bring my youngest Auntie, my sister and I a cup of tea, in bed, every morning. No one made tea like my Grandad. Anyway we would always get three biscuits, which we would swap so that we had our favourites – I still cannot understand the appeal of custard creams, but each to their own.

FF Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuirs
Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits the perfect way to start my day.

Ever since I was little, staying in the comfort and security of my grandparents home, that was my routine. It still is. I can miss breakfast and lunch, so long as I’ve had a cup of tea and a biscuit or cookie first thing in the morning. It is the one thing I would not choose to ever give up. It is part of my morning routine, so much so, that when I was in hospital last year see here, I would save my packet of 3 biscuits given out with the hot chocolate in the evening, so that I could have them with my morning tea.

Growing up, although my Grandma was an accomplished cook, I cannot recall her making biscuits. For me though, it was the very first skill I mastered in the kitchen. These days I tend towards lazy cookies rolled into balls, or scooped with an ice cream scoop. So to actually pipe biscuits, make a ganache and sandwich them together, well that’s a first for me – not the piping, I’ve definitely never made sandwiched biscuits.

I made and baked one batch of my Chocolate Dipped Viennese Fingers and then tweaked the recipe to make a chocolate version. There’s a tiny bit more icing sugar in the chocolate finger biscuits as I wanted to offset any bitterness from the cocoa.

FF Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits
Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits perfectly presented.

Tomorrow morning, I will have a luxury start to my day. A Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuit to accompany my morning cup of tea!

Recipe: Makes 18-24 Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits

200g/7oz Very Soft Unsalted Butter

60g/5.2oz Icing Sugar – sifted

Pinch 1/8tsp Salt – I use Maldon

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

15g Corn Flour – approx 1tbsp

50g/2oz Cocoa Powder

50g/2oz Plain White Flour

100g/4oz Self Raising White Flour

100g/4oz White Chocolate – for dipping the ends of the biscuits

100g/4oz Dark Chocolate – for dipping the ends of the biscuits

For the white chocolate ganache:

100g/4oz White Chocolate

100mls Double Cream

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

  • Line 2 baking trays with non stick silicone mats or baking parchment.
  • Whisk the butter until it is very soft and pale – approx. 5 minutes.
  • Add the sifted icing sugar and vanilla extract and continue whisking for 2 minutes.
  • Next sift in the cocoa powder. Whisk for a further 2 minutes until the mixture is a dark, chocolatey brown colour.
  • Sift the corn flour, plain and self raising flour into the bowl.
  • Using a metal spoon mix the ingredients together until the are just combined, with no visible white streaks present.
  • Fit a large piping bag with a large, Wilton #1M star tip.
  • Fill the piping bag with the soft, chocolate biscuit dough.
  • Pipe 3″/7-8cm lengths of biscuit dough on to the lined baking tray.
FF Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits
Piped Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits ready for the oven.
  • Place both trays of piped biscuits in the centre and lower part of the oven.
  • Bake the biscuits for 12 minutes. They will be firm to touch and may have spread a little.
  • Once baked remove the biscuits from the oven and allow to cool completly on the tray.
FF Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits
Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits beautifully baked.
  • Whilst the biscuit fingers are cooling it is worth making the White chocolate ganache that will be piped on the underside of the fingers and used to sandwich them together.
  • In a heatproof, microwaveable jug add the white chocolate and double cream.
  • Zap for 1 minute on medium power.
  • Remove from the microwave and stir. If there are still lumps of unmelted chocolate, pop it back in for a further 30 seconds on medium.
  • Stir the ganache until the melted white chocolate is fully mixed into the cream.
  • Whisk the ganache to cool it and continue whisking until the ganache thickens and becomes airy – today it was so warm that I wasn’t able to get the ganache to solidify.
FF Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits
Whisk the ganache until it is cool and thickened.
  • If the weather is cool the thickened ganache can be scooped into a piping bag with a medium round tip fitted – I poured the ganache into a disposable piping bag, which I then sealed with an elastic band and I placed it into the coldest part of the fridge until it had thickened.
  • Whilst the ganache was cooling I melted both the dark and white chocolate in small heatproof, microwaveable bowls.
  • Dip the chocolate fingers into the white chocolate and the vanilla fingers into the dark chocolate. Lay the dipped biscuit fingers on to anon stick silicone mat or baking parchment.
  • Not all of the biscuit fingers will be dipped in chocolate, that’s fine it is nice to have a variety.
  • Once the ganache has firmed up to piping consistency, think buttercream, then you are ready to assemble your biscuits.
  • Pipe a line of white chocolate ganache down the length, flat side upper, of one biscuit.
  • Place a similar sized biscuit on top and set aside.
  • Continue until all of the biscuits are sandwiched together.
FF Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits
Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits sandwiched together with ganache.
  • NOTE: Due to the fragile, melting nature of the Viennese biscuits, it is inevitable that some will break. I thoroughly enjoyed ‘taste testing’ the few breakages with our 2 daughters!
  • I ended up with 18 perfectly sandwiched biscuits.
  • Due to the heat I popped all the filled biscuits on to a baking tray and placed them back into the fridge to set, before taking the photographs.

To store I placed the Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits into a shallow tin and place them back in the fridge. With temperatures set to rise over the next few days, assuming they last that long 😉, they will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge.

FF Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits
Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits ooh I bet you go back for seconds!

Serve on a pretty plate, adorned with flowers from the garden. These Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits are perfect with afternoon tea, or morning coffee.

If you have enjoyed these Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits here are some other recipes you may like:

Apricot Oat Crumble Cookies

FF Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits
Apricot Oat Crumble Cookies

Bakewell Shortbread Bars

FF Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Fingers Biscuits
Bakewell Shortbread Bars

Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars

FF Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits
Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars

Sitting together with friends over a mid morning coffee, or with family for afternoon tea, doesn’t have to be a formal occasion. Yet when a little extra effort is made, for example, adding the rose to the centre of the plate, it really lifts the occasion.

All food should be feasted on and enjoyed, not just eaten for the sake of it (unless circumstances, for example illness, dictate otherwise). Food shared, tastes better and eating with company can be more fun.

Make the most of what’s left of the summer to eat outside. Watching the butterflies, listening to the birds, bees and ruffling leaves of the trees, adds an extra element of fun to our feasting.

Sammie xx

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Monster Mint Chocolate Cookies

This this week just happens to be National Afternoon Tea Week. Not that we need an excuse to enjoy a good cup of tea with a little something on the side, however, I decided to get into the spirit of things and make these Monster Mint Chocolate Cookies.

FF Monster Mint Chocolate Cookies
Monster Mint Chocolate Cookies perfect for Afternoon Tea.

Afternoon Tea is traditionally served with dainty finger sandwiches, delicate pastries, intricately decorated cakes and the like. I seem to have stamped all over tradition with these Monster Mint Chocolate Cookies!

I do not apologise for this.

For one simple reason, these cookies are really, really good.

FF Monster Mint Chocolate Cookies
Monster Mint Chocolate Cookies packed full of crunchy dark chocolate mint crisps.

I seem to have got out of my regular cookie baking. There was a time when I made almost all of our biscuits and cookies along with our bread. I’m still keeping up with the bread making see here, but have been remiss with baking cookies.

Sometimes I think it is good to be reminded just HOW much better homemade food is. Instead of ripping open a packet of bourbon biscuits I made these cookies this morning. Boy am I glad I did!

Deep chocolate biscuit, flavoured with peppermint extract and chunks of Elizabeth Shaw Dark Mint Chocolate Crisps throughout, make these cookies an unforgettable experience. The crunch from the mint crisps only serves to add to the variety of textures from soft cookie, melted chocolate and crisp, crunchy mint pieces.

Yep. These are pretty much Mint Chocolate Cookie perfection in plus size.

FF Monster Mint Chocolate Cookies
Monster Mint Chocolate Cookies perfect with a cup of tea.

You could of course make these smaller, but I think you’d lose the thickness and density these cookies need to conceal their hidden mint chocolate delights. Besides having one Monster cookie simply stops you going back for a second one!

FF Monster Mint Chocolate Cookies
Monster Mint Chocolate Cookies with a little help from Elizabeth Shaw Chocolates.

Recipe: Makes 14 Monster Mint Chocolate Cookies

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter softened to room temperature

150g/5oz Light Soft Brown Sugar

1 Large Free Range Egg Yolk

1tsp Vanilla Extract

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

1tsp Peppermint Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

50g/2oz Cocoa Powder – I use Callebaut

225g/8oz Plain White Flour

1 box Elizabeth Shaw Mint Crisp Dark Chocolates – unwrapped and broken into quarters

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

  • Line 3 large baking trays with baking parchment or a non stick silicone mats.
  • In a large bowl add the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla and peppermint extract.
  • Whisk/beat for a good 5 minutes until the mixture is pale and very creamy.
  • Add the egg yolk and continue to beat for a further 2 minutes.
  • Next sift in the cocoa and flour.
  • Add the broken mint crisp chocolates.
FF Monster Mint Chocolate Cookies
Monster Mint Chocolate Cookies in the making.
  • Mix by hand using a large spoon until everything is combined – don’t over mix or you’ll end up with tough cookies (which make be a good personality traight but not so pleasant to eat 😉).
  • Using a large, spring loaded ice cream scoop, scoop out mounds of delicious mint chocolate cookie dough on to lined baking trays.
  • Using a damp hand press lightly to flatten the cookie.
FF Monster Mint Chocolate Cookies
Monster Mint Chocolate Cookies ready for the oven.
  • Place all three baking trays in the oven, rotating them twice during the 20 minutes baking time.
  • Remove from the oven after 20 minutes and allow the Monster Mint Chocolate Cookies to cool on the baking trays.
FF Monster Mint Chocolate Cookies
Monster Mint Chocolate Cookies cooling.

Once the Monster Mint Chocolate Cookies are cooled, make yourself a proper cup of tea and enjoy.

FF Monster Mint Chocolate Cookies
Monster Mint Chocolate Cookies perfect for sharing.

I have to confess, deeply chocolate cookies are not my favourite kind. In general I prefer oat/fruit combinations. These cookies though, with their refreshing, lingering minty aftertaste are utterly scrumptious. Even on a hot, Summer’s afternoon, I felt thoroughly refreshed after my tea and cookie.

I like pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. Making a cookie that isn’t necessarily my ‘cup of tea’ for the children. This time they’ll have to watch out for mum raiding the cookie jar 😉

If you have enjoyed the recipe for these Monster Mint Chocolate Cookies, here are some others you may also like:

Cherry Bakewell Cookies

FF Monster Mint Chocolate Cookies
Cherry Bakewell Cookies.

Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

FF Monster Mint Chocolate Cookies
Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Caramac Caramel Cookies

FF Monster Mint Chocolate Cookies
Caramac Caramel Cookies

I am known as a bit of a Cookie Monster. The cookies mentioned are but a small representation of the recipes on my site. Type cookies into the search bar and see what else you may like to make.

Thank you for you photos on Instagram and Twitter. It really makes my day to see you having fun making my recipes. I also love reading your comments.

Is there a cookie recipe that you would like to see on Feasting is Fun?

Would you like to share a favourite family recipe that has been passed down through the generations?

Let me know and I’ll do my best to create cookies for you to share and feast on.

Sammie xx

Elizabeth Shaw provided the chocolates used in this recipe. All opinions, views, content and photography is my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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