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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Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut

Ooh this Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut has been made twice now, once using regular flour and then using gluten free flour. Nobody could tell the difference! Delicious, light vanilla sponge, sandwiched with strawberry jam, whipped cream and topped with chocolate piped strawberries.

FF Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut

    Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut perfect with fresh summer fruit.

Piping the strawberries with white and dark chocolate takes this cake to the next level in terms of prettiness. That said, beautiful, lush summer strawberries, left un piped would still look fabulous.

FF Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut
Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut such a pretty cake.

Having made this cake with both whipped cream and whipped buttercream, I have to say we all preferred the whipped cream. I have given quantities for buttercream in the recipe for those who prefer it.

I don’t know about you, but I love making the most of our delicious, homegrown, seasonal strawberries in summer. Yes I am guilty of buying the occasional punnet of imported ones during the colder months. With the invention of poly tunnels and huge greenhouses, we are increasingly able to buy British grown berries over a longer period. Thank you farmers!

FF Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut
Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut this is the gluten free version.

As you can see from the photographs there is no real visual difference between the gluten free and regular Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut. Only the size of the strawberries! The ones in the photo above were huge, which made them easier to pipe. Whereas the smaller ones were more tricky. If possible choose longer strawberries as they look more effective with the piping on. That said, I’d definitely choose flavour over size any day. The strawberries above may have been big, but they were also utterly delicious!

How do I tell if they are going to taste good? I smell them. If the punnet smells of warm summer strawberries they will taste delicious, however, if you can barely detect that delicious strawberry smell, move on as they will be bland.

Both of these giant doughnuts were made to go with afternoon tea and they were a huge hit. So, whether you are on a restricted diet or not, you can make this Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut and feast!

Recipe: Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut serves 8-10

225g/8oz  Plain White Flour – or gluten free flour I used Doves Farm

2tsp Baking Powder – ensure certified gluten free

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature – plus a little extra for greasing the silicone doughnut moulds.

225g/8oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Salt I use Maldon

5 Large Free Range Eggs

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – or Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

10 Good Quality Strawberries

2tbsp Good Quality Strawberry Jam – I used Hartleys Best Strawberry Jam

300mls Cold Double Cream – alternatively for buttercream use 300g/11oz icing sugar and 150g/5oz butter and a drop of vanilla extract

50g/2oz White Chocolate

50g/2oz Dark Chocolate

Optional – edible glitter

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

  • Grease both the silicone doughnut moulds thoroughly with butter. Place on a large baking tray.
  • Into a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt.
  • Whisk/beat for a good few minutes – 5 minutes ideally – until pale and creamy.
  • Add in the vanilla bean paste (or extract) and beat until incorporated.
  • Next add all 5 eggs. Continue whisking/beating until the mixture is pale and creamy. If the mix looks as though it has split (curdled) add 1 tablespoon of the weighed flour, continue mixing and it will pull back together.
  • Sift in the flour (gluten free or regular) and the baking powder.
  • Fold in the flour until just combined.
  • Divide the batter equally between the 2 doughnut moulds.

FF Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut

    These silicone doughnut moulds from Lakeland are so easy to use.
  • Place the baking tray into the centre of the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes.
  • The sponge is baked when it is a golden colour and springs back when lightly pressed – note – the gluten free doughnut was slightly paler than the regular doughnut, this is nothing to worry about.
  • Once baked remove the baking tray from the oven and allow the doughnuts to cool for 10 minutes before turning them out on to a cooling rack.
FF Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut
Leave the doughnut halves to cool completely on the rack.
  • Whilst the doughnut’s are cooling, break up the white and dark chocolate and place into separate heatproof, microwaveable bowls. Zap until just melting and stir until completely melted. Fill 2 small disposable piping bags with each melted chocolate. Snip off the very end, leaving a small hole. Place the strawberries on baking parchment or a silicone mat placed on a baking tray (helpful if you need to move them). Pipe some with white chocolate zig zags and others the same using dark chocolate. Allow to set, in hot weather pop in the fridge for a few minutes to set.
  • When completely cooled place one doughnut half, flat side up on to a board or plate.
  • Whisk the cream (or icing sugar/butter/vanilla) until it holds its shape (or until the buttercream is pale and creamy).
  • Spoon the strawberry jam on to the base of the doughnut and spread so that it almost reaches the edges.
  • Fill a disposable piping bag, fitted with a large star tip, with the cream/buttercream.
  • Pipe some cream on top of the jam.
FF Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut
Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut – luscious swirls of cream inside the doughnut!
  • Place the other half of the doughnut, flat side down, on top of the base.
  • Pipe swirls of cream/buttercream around the doughnut and then pipe stars around the centre, on the side.
  • Top the swirls with chocolate piped strawberries and sprinkle with edible glitter.
FF Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut
Beautiful swirls of whipped cream are topped with chocolate piped strawberries.

Make sure you take a photo of your beautiful Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut, as once it is assembled I can guarantee that it will not last long!

I have specified more strawberries in the recipe than you see on the cake. This is so that everyone gets a delicious, chocolate piped strawberry with their slice.

Served with a proper cup of tea, I can think of no better way than feasting on this delicious treat any afternoon.

I bought the giant doughnut silicone mould from Lakeland at a silly price in the sale. That said, they are so much fun, I’d happily pay full price for one!

If you have enjoyed the recipe for Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut then you may like these too:

Raspberry and Cream Giant Doughnut

FF Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut
Raspberry and Cream Giant Doughnut

Black Forest Giant Doughnut

FF Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut
Black Forest Giant Doughnut

Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake

FF Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut
Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake

The idea of Afternoon Tea really appeals to me. Even if I can’t be fussed to make finger sandwiches and the like, making a treat for Sunday afternoon, where we sit down and enjoy as a family, is becoming a tradition.

Quite often I will bake the cake/giant doughnut on the Saturday, ready for icing the following day. We give a lot of the sweet treats that I make away. Primarily because as a family we love sharing, we are also conscious of our health too.

If you have family traditions I’d love to hear about them. Leave a comment for me to read in the comments section?

Sammie xx

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Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake

For for those of you who have visited Feasting is Fun before, you will be very aware of my love affair with lemons. I absolutely adore not only their tart, intense flavour, but also their ability to transform a sweet or savoury dish. After using lemon curd to create my Lemon Ripple Ice Cream, I decided to use it in a bake. Specifically this delightful Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake.

FF Lemon Curd Cake
Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake perfect for afternoon tea.

A wonderfully moist, damp cake, the lemon curd injects a wonderful tartness in the centre that is balanced by the lemon swirled buttercream on top.

If you love lemons, then I’ll guarantee this Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake will delight you!

FF Lemon Curd Cake
Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake whatever time of year brings the sunshine indoors.

Baked as a whole cake, that is then cut in two, this refreshingly flavoured cake is simple to make and decorate.

FF Lemon Curd Cake

    Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake with an added sprinkle of glitter.

I was sent a new cake tin to try out, so I decided on this Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake. The cake batter has both finely grated lemon zest and lemon extract oil in it. I’ve given an alternative for the oil in the recipe, although I do recommend buying some if you can. It brings another level of lemonyness to the cake and unlike fresh lemon juice, does not cause any curdling of the cake batter or buttercream.

FF Lemon Curd Cake
Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake look at how the light shines through the lemony yellow of the cake?

Lemons have such a sunny yellow colour that they really do bring the sunshine indoors whatever the weather!

Recipe: Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake serves 8-10

You will need an 8″/20cm diameter cake tin that is 3″/7.5cm deep

275g/10oz Unsalted Butter – plus a little extra for greasing

275g/10oz Caster Sugar

1tsp Lemon Oil – I use Nielsen-Massey

6 Large Free Range Eggs

275g/10oz Self Raising Flour (if using plain add 2tsp baking powder)

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon Sea Salt

Grated Zest of 1 Whole Lemon

4-5tbsp Lemon Curd – I use Waitrose luxury lemon curd – make sure you pick a tart one

For the icing:

100g/4oz Unsalted Butter

200g/7oz Sifted Icing Sugar

1/2tsp Lemon Oil – or 1tbsp Lemon Curd

2tbsp Very Hot Water from a kettle

Optional – Sprinkles and edible glitter

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

  • Grease with butter and line the base of the cake tin with baking parchment. I was  testing a new PushPan. I still greased and lined the tin.
  • Into a large bowl add the butter, salt and sugar.
  • Whisk/beat until pale and creamy.
  • Add all 6 eggs (I crack mine into a separate bowl first) and the lemon oil/substitute with 1tbsp of lemon curd if no lemon oil is available.
  • Sift in the self raising flour.
  • Mix on a low speed until just combined.
  • Add the finely grated zest of one whole lemon.
  • Mix the cake batter until just smooth – I do this by hand using a spoon.
  • Spoon the Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake batter into the cake tin and smooth the top.

FF Lemon Curd Cake

    Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake ready for the oven.
  • Place the cake tin into the centre of the oven and bake for 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes. The cake is baked when an inserted skewer comes out clean. My cake took 1 hour 15 minutes to bake.
  • Once the cake is baked remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the cake tin.
FF Lemon Curd Cake
Baked Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake cooling in the tin.
  • When the cake is cold remove from the tin.
  • With the PushPan tin I used, I simply popped the pan on to a tin of beans and pressed the sides down. The cake released from the tin very easily.
FF Lemon Curd Cake
Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake easily released from the PushPan

Making the lemon buttercream:

  • Into a large bowl add the softened butter, sifted icing sugar, lemon oil or curd and 2 tablespoons of hot water.
  • Whisk slowly at first, increasing in speed as the icing sugar is absorbed. Continue whisking on high for a couple more minutes until you have a pale, creamy, light buttercream.
  • Scoop the buttercream into a disposable piping bag fitted with a large closed star tip.
  • Carefully cut the cake in half horizontally, so that it becomes a sandwich cake.
  • Spoon enough lemon curd on to the bottom layer to cover it generously.
FF Lemon Curd Cake
Add a generous layer of lemon curd.
  • Place the top of the cake back on and pipe six buttercream swirls around the edge and one in the centre of the cake.
FF Lemon Curd Cake
Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake so pretty but there’s room for a finishing touch.
  • Add sprinkles and edible glitter (if using) and your Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake is ready to be sliced and served.
FF Lemon Curd Cake
Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake sparkling deliciousness.

I do love a slice of cake for Sunday afternoon tea, or any day of the week afternoon tea, when the cake is this good!

FF Lemon Curd Cake
Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake perfect for any occasion, but especially afternoon tea.

I honestly think the pictures in this post speak for themselves. This Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake bursts with lemony yellowness once cut and tastes absolutely perfect. The soft buttercream and tart lemon curd, with a deliciously moist lemon cake.

Today will not be the only time I make this cake!!

If you have enjoyed the recipe for this Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake here are some others you may also enjoy:

Glazed Lemon Bundt Cake

FF Lemon Curd Cake
Glazed Lemon Bundt Cake

Lemony Strawberry Pavlova

FF Lemon Curd Cake
Lemony Strawberry Pavlova

Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars

 

FF Lemon Curd Cake
Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars

Whilst this Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake looks pretty with the buttercream swirls, it really is the layers of lemon flavour that make this cake so enticing.

Whatever you are making and baking in your kitchen this weekend I hope that you are having fun. As I popped a couple of slices of this yummy cake over the back fence to our neighbours, almost blinded by the glitter sparkling in the sunlight, I was reminded of how much I simply enjoy sharing.

Baking for my family, friends, neighbours, postman and postlady, random delivery drivers, makes me feel good. Why?? Because it puts a smile on someones face. The heart of this blog is to share, enjoy feasting with people and have fun whilst doing so.

There is no price to making someone smile.

Who will you make smile this week?

Sammie xx

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Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Each box contains:

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

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

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

Recipe: Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake serves 8

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

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter – at room temperature

5 Large Free Range Egg

225g/8oz Plain White Flour- sifted

2tsp Baking Powder

1/4tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

2 Fresh Limes

250g Icing Sugar

Optional – sugar flowers and coloured sprinkles

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

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

Making the icing:

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

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

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

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

Glazed Lemon Bundt Cake

FF Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake
Glazed Lemon Bundt Cake

Mini Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cakes

FF Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake
Mini Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cakes

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

FF Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

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

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

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

Sammie xx

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

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Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

Whilst I love a beautifully decorated cake, sometimes a delicious cut-and-come-again cake is what I crave. This delicious Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake certainly delivers on flavour. Packed full of chocolate chips and made with sour cream, it is utterly yummy!

FF Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake
Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake simply really good cake!

This delicious cake however, was made at the request of our eldest daughter. Chocolate cake with chocolate chips and NO icing. In all fairness she has never been a lover of anything creamy, so I was more than happy to oblige and decided to make a Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake.

FF Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake
Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake fancy icing not needed.

This cake may have a simple recipe but boy does it win in the flavour votes. It is a really chocolatey, chocolate cake. In fact served warm with custard, ooh and a scoop of Very Vanilla Ice Cream and this would make rather a delicious pudding.

I just love it when a cake can be dual purpose!!

FF Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake
Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake however you eat this cake it is utterly yummy!

After making yesterday’s Coffee and Walnut Cake  I was really regretting not making an extra cake for us! The smell of the coffee cake cooking and the walnuts toasting, had my tummy rumbling. In truth it would only have been Hubby and me that ate it. Coffee cake is not our children’s favourite – although two of them will eat Tirimasu???

Without further ado, let’s get to the recipe so that you too can bake this delicious cake!

Recipe: Makes one Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter – at room temperature

175g/6oz Soft Light Brown Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paster -can be substituted with vanilla extract

3 Large Free Range Eggs

150g/5oz Sour Cream – I find it easier to measure by weight

1/4tsp Salt

125g/4.5oz Plain White Flour

50g/2oz Good Quality Cocoa Powder

2tsp Baking Powder

200g/7oz Milk Chocolate Chips/Chunks – use dark/white if preferred

Method: Preheat the oven to 155C/140C fan, gas mark 2

  • Grease and line the base of a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment.
  • Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl.
  • Whisk/beat until pale and creamy.
  • Add the 3 eggs and vanilla bean paste and whisk for a further 5 minutes until all the ingredients are fully combined.
  • Add the sour cream and sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and add the chocolate chips.
  • With a spoon fold all the ingredients together until just combined.
  • Spoon the cake batter into the prepared loaf tin.
  • Place into the middle of a preheated oven and bake for 45-50minutes.
  • The cake is baked when it is firm to touch. I don’t suggest inserting a skewer, as if it goes through a warm chocolate chip you may think that the cake is still uncooked.
  • Once baked remove the Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake from the oven.
FF Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake
Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake don’t work about the crack on top – it proves its a good homemade cake!
  • Allow the cake to cool in the tin until it is warm, or preferably cold.
  • To remove from the tin, gently go around the outside edge, between the cake and the tin with a palette knife. Place a plate or cooling rack on top of the tin and flip over. The cake should release easily.
FF Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake
Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake sliced and ready to be eaten!

In complete honesty, I must say that the cake was still warm when removed from the tin. Such was our eagerness to taste it!! My family have got used to waiting for the blog photos to be taken. Two minutes after the above photo was taken, the slices of cake you see were plated and dished out with forks.

Still slightly warm, with nuggets of semi melted chocolate chunks throughout, this cake made for very nice elevenses with a cup of tea!

We seem to have got into a habit of having cake or a sweet treat such as my Lemony Strawberry Pavlova on a Sunday, not necessarily a bad thing I think!

This cake, should there be any left, will keep for 4 days in an airtight container. Actually from experience it tightens up a bit on the second day and is not only easier to cut, but also improves in flavour – I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether to wait 😉.

FF Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake
Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

This delightful cake is perfect for picnics, afternoon tea, or elevenses in the garden, when the sun is shining as beautifully as it is today! I’m not a big fan of taking iced cakes on picnics, as the extra sugar seems to be a magnet for bugs!

Do you enjoy eating outside when the weather is nice? Do you have a favourite bake that you always make before a trip to the seaside, or picnic in the park?

Asking these questions reminds me of mug Grandma, who always spent the day before a family outing baking. The only thing I consistently remember her baking was Rock Buns. I’ll have to dig out a recipe – for those of you who aren’t familiar with them, they are fruit filled buns, halfway between a cake and scone. Any tips please let me know in the comments section?

If you have enjoyed this Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake here are a few more recipes you may like to try:

Glazed Orange Bundt Cake

FF Glazed Orange Bundt Cake
Glazed Orange Bundt Cake perfect for afternoon tea.

Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake

FF Cherry Almon Sandwich Cake
Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake with pretty feathered icing.

Chelsea Buns

FF Chelsea Buns
Chelsea Buns easy to make and easier to eat! www.feastingisfun.com

Whatever you are making and baking in your kitchens today, make each mouthful a feast and have lots of fun.

Sammie xx

 

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Classic Coffee Walnut Cake

There are many classic flavour combinations; strawberries and cream, rhubarb and custard, apple and cinnamon. They don’t need tinkering with because they work so well together. Like here in this Classic Coffee Walnut Cake.

FF Classic Coffee Walnut Cake
Classic Coffee Walnut Cake a great flavour combination.

Recently a few people have asked if I have a Classic Coffee Walnut Cake recipe and whilst it’s a cake that I’ve baked many times over the years, I realised it wasn’t on here. So, in a attempt to rectify that and make my Father – in – law’s favourite cake, here it is.

FF Classic Coffee Walnut Cake
Classic Coffee Walnut Cake a real treat.

I tried to make this cake relatively small as it will be shared between two people. In reality I failed! Even though this cake was baked in my small 7 inch sandwich tins, I have packed so many walnuts into the centre, this Classic Coffee Walnut Cake will easily feed 8 people!

If you want a slightly smaller cake (don’t laught at me) I suggest cutting down on the walnuts – not the cake 😉.

FF Classic Coffee Walnut Cake
Classic Coffee Walnut Cake a delicious thank you gift.

Hubby is, as I write this, undergoing a hospital procedure and as a way of distracting myself and thanking my wonderful in – laws for taking him, I made this cake. I am also trying to distract myself by writing this post – I’ll have to see how much editing is needed at the end to know how well I managed.

As I mentioned I have made lots of coffee and walnut cakes over the years and I do usually add chopped walnuts to the cake batter. In this instance, especially as the cake sponges are quite small, I decided to pack chopped walnuts into the centre of the sandwich cake. This cake was made to be given away, however, now I’ve made it I really fancy a slice!!! Expect another coffee cake recipe on here soon 😉.

FF Classic Coffee Walnut Cake
Classic Coffee Walnut Cake plenty of delicious, toasted, chopped walnuts fill the centre of this cake.

I also made a mistake whilst decorating this cake. After piping the 8 swirls around the edge, I piped a monstrously hideous circle in the centre. As I photographed the cake I became more and more disheartened by this huge swirl of buttercream spoiling the look of the cake. This is where buttercream is a dream to work with – using a small palette knife it lifted right off the cake. I then dusted the cake with icing sugar and replaced a single walnut half, with a dob of buttercream in the centre.

Sometimes less is more (never with glitter!) and that was definitely the case with this Classic Coffee Walnut Cake.

I have shown you a photograph of the centre of the cake as this could easily be the top. If you aren’t confident piping buttercream just use half in the middle and spread half on top of the cake. There are plenty of walnuts in the recipe, enough for you to chop and cover both the middle and top layers and your cake will still look delicious and inviting.

Recipe: Makes one Classic Coffee Walnut Cake – serves 8

150g/5oz Unsalted Butter

150g/5oz Caster Sugar

3 Large Free Range Eggs

1tsp Vanilla Extract I use NIELSEN-MASSEY

1/4tsp Salt

150g/5oz Plain Flour – self raising can be substituted DO NOT add extra baking powder

1tsp Baking Powder

2tsp Instant Coffee

150g/5oz Unsalted Butter

300g/11oz Icing Sugar Sifted plus 2 teaspoonful for dusting the cake

125g/4.5oz Walnut Halves

Method: preheat oven to 155C/140C fan, gas mark 2

  • Butter 2 x 7″ (17cm) sandwich tins and line with baking parchment.
  • Place the instant coffee into a cup and add 30ml of boiling water. Stir to dissolve and set to one side to cool.
  • In a large bowl add the butter and sugar. Whisk/beat until pale and creamy.
  • Next add the 3 eggs, vanilla extract and 3 teaspoons of the cooled liquid coffee. Whisk/beat for 2 minutes until combined.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl.
  • Fold the dry ingredients into the wet until just incorporated. This will ensure a very light sponge.
  • Divide the batter equally between the 2 prepared cake tins. Use may use digital scales to ensure your quantities are even, or just eyeball it as I did.
FF Classic Coffee Walnut Cake
Two coffee cakes ready for the oven.
  • Bake the cakes in the centre of the oven for 25-30 minutes.
  • The sponges are baked when they are golden brown and spring back from a light touch.
  • Once baked remove the cakes from the oven, place the tins on a cooling rack and leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes.
FF Classic Coffee Walnut Cake
Beautiful cooked coffee cakes.
  • When they are cool enough to handle turn the cakes out of their tins, ensuring one sponge is the right way up, for the top of the cake.
  • Allow the turned our sponges to cool completely before assembling the cake.
  • Place the walnut halves on to a baking tray and place in the hot oven for 5 minutes to toast. Remove and leave to cool on the baking tray.

Making the buttercream:

  • Place the butter, sifted icing sugar and 3 teaspoons of liquid coffee into a large bowl.
  • Whisk until pale and creamy. Taste the buttercream, add more coffee if desired.
  • When cooled place the bottom half of your cake, flat side up, onto a cake stand or board.
  • Using a palette knife spread half of the buttercream over the sponge, not quite reaching the edges.
  • Set aside 10 nice walnut halves to decorate the top of the cake ( it’s always good to have one spare 😉)
  • Roughly chop the remaining walnuts and place on top of the buttercream.
  • Place the top half of you cake, rounded side up, on top of the bottom half.
  • Fit an icing bag with a French star tip (or whatever tip you prefer).
  • Fill the icing bag with the remaining buttercream.
  • Pipe 8 small swirls equally around the top edge of the cake. Pipe the same small swirl in the centre.
  • Top the buttercream swirls with walnut halves.
  • Pipe little swirls around the middle of the cake, where it is sandwiched together for a pretty finish.
  • Dust with a little icing sugar.
FF Classic Coffee Walnut Cake
Classic Coffee Walnut Cake light coffee sponge with toasted walnuts.

Classic Coffee Walnut Cake such a beautifully delicious, easy cake to make and the perfect gift for any coffee cake lover.

I love my husbands parents very much. Hubby and I will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary this year. My relationship with my in – laws has not always been smooth or plain sailing. We have been through a lot together and I honestly love and respect them as if they were my own parents.

Thank you Ma and Pa, we couldn’t have gotten through the last 20 years and especially the last year without you x.

I really enjoy baking for other people. It’s such a fantastic feeling when you see the look of surprise and joy on their face when I give them a cake, or whatever goody I have baked. Hubby should be home soon and I have managed to keep myself distracted whilst he has been gone.

Do you enjoy baking for others?

If you’ve enjoyed this Classic Coffee Walnut Cake then you may also want to take a peek at these recipes:

Raspberry Almond Cream Cake

FF Raspberry Almond Cream Cake
Raspberry Almond Cream Cake

Strawberries and Cream Cake

FF Strawberries and Cream Cake
Strawberries and Cream Cake

Strawberry Sweetheart Cake 

MT Strawberry Sweetheart Cake
Strawberry Sweetheart Cake

I’d love to see photos of any bakes that you have made as gifts. Please pop a pic on Twitter or Instagram and tag me in. Or do you have a story linked to a special bake? Tell me about it in the comments section, I love reading all of your comments.

Enjoy baking and making in your kitchen, have fun and enjoy feasting with family and friends.

Sammie xx

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Hot Cross Buns

It is that time of year when the spicy scent of Hot Cross Buns hits you as you enter the supermarket. Somehow though, I’m always a bit disappointed with the slightly squished, supermarket Hot Cross Buns. Yes they may be convenient, but, I’m here to persuade you to try the homemade version.

Hot Cross Buns
Fresh homemade Hot Cross Buns – yum!

The beauty of making and baking your own Hot Cross Buns is that you can add exactly what you like to them. Oh and leave out all the additives that you don’t need.

Our eldest daughter and myself are both allergic to orange, in any form. It brings on really nasty migraines (see here if you’d like to know more). So although orange is a traditional addition to these buns, by making them at home I can leave it out.

Hot Cross Buns
Delicious split and spread with butter, these Hot Cross Buns are sure to be a hit.

Speaking of our daughter, for one entire year, when she was a toddler, a Hot Cross Bun would be what she ate for breakfast. In fact she suffered very badly with tonsillitis and had to undergo a tonsillectomy when she was two and a half. We already had another little ‘un and I’d just found out I was pregnant with our son. Times were busy!

Anyway, her operation was during her Hot Cross Bun phase. So I buttered one, wrapped it up and took it to the hospital. I honestly didn’t think she would eat anything after undergoing her procedure, but sure enough, chicken nuggets and chips for tea. Then, the very next morning she devoured her Hot Cross Bun!

She is 16 now and has just shared a bun with me. It got 10 out of 10 which, from a life-long lover of Hot Cross Buns, was all I needed to hear.

Hot Cross Buns
I was going to pop some of these Hot Cross Buns in the freezer, but I don’t think they’ll last that long!

I really do enjoy making food that my family and friends love. It was one of the reasons that I started feastingisfun, so I could share my own recipes with others.

Now I never actually believed anyone, other than family, would read this blog. But it seems you do and you enjoy it. Not only that but it has helped people, in a number of ways. Last Sunday I know of two people who specifically made recipes from this blog – and they turned out well. That puts a huge smile on my face.

Also others have been able to connect with me, as I understand, due to my own health issues (see Living With Seizures) and have found comfort in knowing they are not alone.

The backbone of this blog is sharing.

Sharing recipes, fun, love, encouragement and always a hug when ever needed.

The inspiration for this Hot Cross Bun recipe comes from the great baker Mr Paul Hollywood. I did actually start by looking at his recipe. However, me being me, I wanted to add some bits, change others, adapt the recipe for a bread maker/stand mixer. So in fact the recipe and method are mine, but thank you Paul for getting me off the starting blocks.

Recipe: Makes 12 Hot Cross Buns

500g/1lb 2oz Strong White Bread Flour

140ml/scant 5fl oz Whole Milk – slightly warmed (body temp)

120ml/4.5fl oz Water – slightly warmed (body temp)

2 Large Eggs – I use free range

1tbsp Honey

10g/1.5 Sachet Fast Acting Dried Yeast

10g/ approx 1tsp Salt

50g/2oz Unsalted Butter at room temp.

3tsp Cinnamon

150g/5oz Sultanas or Raisins

For the crosses:

50g/2oz Plain flour

50ml/2fl oz Water

Apricot jam or honey to glaze approx 2tbsp

Method: This method is for use with a bread maker or stand mixer, if you wish to make by hand, I suggest you look to the original recipe in Paul Hollywood’s book ‘How to Bake’ ISBN 9781 4088 19494.

The ‘bowl’ refers to the bowl of a stand mixer or the mixing compartment of a bread maker.

  • Add both the milk and water to the bowl.
  • Next add both eggs, the honey and yeast.
  • Swish about with clean fingers to mix.
  • Now add the flour on top of the liquid mixture.
  • Place the salt and butter on top of the flour.

For a bread maker, set the cycle to dough and press start. When prompted by the machine, or 5 minutes before mixing stops, add the cinnamon and Sultanas. Allow the bread maker to complete the dough cycle.

When the bread maker has completed the dough cycle, ensure the dough has doubled in size, if not wait until it has. Then re start the dough cycle for 2 minutes, this will ‘knock back’ the dough for you.

For a stand mixer attach the dough hook. Start mixing on a low speed. Once the contents of the bowl resemble dough continue to mix on medium/slow speed for 5 minutes. Stop the mixer. Scrape all the dough, from the hook, into the bowl. Add the cinnamon and Sultanas. Lower the dough hook and mix on medium speed for a further 5 minutes.

After the 5 minutes mixing is complete, stop the mixer. Scrape all the dough back into the bowl, it will be very sticky – don’t worry. Cover with a damp cloth and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size – 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

Once the stand mixer dough has doubled in size, lower the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes, this will ‘knock back’ the dough for you.

Shaping the Hot Cross Buns – Grease a large baking tray with butter.

  • Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Hot Cross Buns
Shape the dough into a ball and using a dough scraper or large knife, cut the dough in half.
  • Roll each half into an even log shape.
Hot Cross Buns
Cut each half into 6 equal pieces.
  • Using your hands form each portion into a ball with the seam underneath.
  • Place the dough balls onto the greased baking tray, evenly spaced apart.
Hot Cross Buns
Cover with a damp cloth and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size – approx 1 hour.
  • Whilst the buns are proving, mix the 50g of white flour with 50ml of water.
  • Spoon into a small piping bag, or a small plastic sandwich bag.
Hot Cross Buns
When you are ready snip the end/corner off to give a small hole.
  • 10 minutes before the Hot Cross Buns are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7.
Hot Cross Buns
When the buns are double in size pipe the crosses on.
  • Place the buns in the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes. They are baked when they are golden brown and sound hollow when rapped on the bottom with your knuckle.
Hot Cross Buns
The smell that fills the air whilst these Hot Cross Buns are baking is wonderful.
  • Immediately transfer the Hot Cross Buns onto a cooling rack.
  • Heat the 2 tablespoon of apricot jam, in a microwave proof bowl, on medium stating, in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  • Brush the hot jam over the buns whilst they are still warm.
  • Leave to cool completely.
Hot Cross Buns
As they cool the jam soaks into the Hot Cross Buns.

These are absolutely THE best Hot Cross Buns I have ever tasted, let alone smelt whilst they were cooking.

Although there are a few steps, most of the hard work is done for you by kitchen machinery. I for one, would not be able to bake the quantity of bread and other items, if it weren’t for a little help in the kitchen.

Hot Cross Buns
Homemade Hot Cross Buns you can’t beat them.

We ate one of these Hot Cross Buns split and buttered, not even toasted and they tasted AH-MAZE-ZING. Please try, just this once, to make your own Hot Cross Buns.

I am available via the comments section of this site or alternatively over on Twitter @sammiefeasting. It is true, I have been known, whilst on holiday in Devon, with a really dodgy signal, to give advice to someone baking these Crusty Baguettes so please don’t worry, ask.

Who will you share your homemade Hot Cross Buns with?

If you had fun, feasting on these Hot Cross Buns, you may like these recipes:

Chelsea Buns

Spiced Fruit Loaf

Sammie xx

A great tray for baking all of these Hot Cross Buns would be British Bakeware Extra large baking 40cm x 28cm x 2.5cm

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Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

It’s Sunday, time for a little treat?? So how about these Vanilla Bean Cupcakes? Moist, vanilla flavoured sponge, topped with the lightest, most dreamy vanilla buttercream and a pearl, because you are special.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes individually portioned treats. www.featingisfun.com
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes individually portioned treats. www.featingisfun.com

Look how pretty these cupcakes are. So beautiful, that I almost called them antique Vanilla Bean Cupcakes, although I thought better of it. I’m pretty sure everyone would have imagined them as hard, mouldy, relics of the past – yep not conjuring up the image I’d like!!!

How stunning are these cupcake cases. A wonderful Christmas present from a much loved friend.

Soo Pretty
Soo Pretty

Actually I received quite a few cooking and baking related presents last year, for both Christmas and my birthday. The little, cute, individual cupcake stand was a present from my hubby and I adore it.

I was very excited to receive four cookbooks, which I enjoy reading, as if they are novels. Even though I very rarely follow a recipe religiously, I gather inspiration and ideas from my ever increasing cookbook collection.

Am I alone in my cookbook obsession collection?  Thought not!!!

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes perfect for afternoon tea.
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes perfect for afternoon tea.

These Vanilla Bean Cupcakes were the final bake for a review I have been carrying out. So after much discussion with my daughter, regarding flavour combinations, we decided to settle on a classic vanilla sponge, with the addition of vanilla bean paste instead of extract. Although I kept to vanilla extract for the best buttercream icing ever!

Look at that delicious swirl of buttercream.
Look at that delicious swirl of buttercream.

The result being, the best cupcakes I have made, this year!

Recipe: Makes 12 deep filled Vanilla Bean Cupcakes or 18-20 standard ones.

150g/6oz Caster Sugar

150g/6oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

150g/6oz Plain White Flour

1 1/2tsp Baking Powder

1/4tsp Salt

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste

3 Large Eggs – I always use free range

25ml/1fl oz Whole Milk

Cupcake cases

For the buttercream

400g/14oz Icing Sugar -sieved

200g/7oz Unsalted Butter – very soft

1/8tsp Salt

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

3tbsp Boiling Water

Edible pearls or sprinkles for decoration

Method: Preheat the oven to 175C/160C fan oven.

Into a large bowl add the butter and caster sugar.

Whisk the sugar and butter together until pale and creamy.
Whisk the sugar and butter together until pale and creamy.
Add the eggs, milk, vanilla bean paste and salt to the bowl. Mix to combine be.
Add the eggs, milk, vanilla bean paste and salt to the bowl. Mix to combine.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl.
Fold all the ingredients together until combined. This will ensure the Vanilla Bean Cupcakes are light and fluffy.
Fold all the ingredients together until combined. This will ensure the Vanilla Bean Cupcakes are light and fluffy.
Fill each cupcake case half way with cake batter.
Fill each cupcake case half way with cake batter.

Place the cupcake tray into the middle of the preheated oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes (a shorter time will be required for smaller cupcakes).

The cupcakes are baked when they are golden brown and spring back when pressed lightly in the centre.

When baked remove the cupcake tray from the oven.

Baked, golden Vanilla Bean Cupcakes.
Baked, golden Vanilla Bean Cupcakes.

Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then place them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

To make the Buttercream Frosting:

Place the butter, salt, vanilla extract, sifted icing sugar and boiling water into a large bowl.
Place the butter, salt, vanilla extract, sifted icing sugar and boiling water into a large bowl.
Starting on a low speed, mix all the buttercream ingredients together, gradually increasing the mixer speed.
Starting on a low speed, mix all the buttercream ingredients together, gradually increasing the mixer speed.

For the very lightest, creamiest buttercream, continue mixing for 10 minutes. The result will be the dreamiest buttercream icing you will ever have tasted.

The addition of very hot water to the buttercream mix, stops it from forming a hard crust. I cannot remember when I first started adding boiling water, that shows it was a very, very long time ago!!

Fit a large piping bag with the tip of your choice – I used a large French star tip. Fill the bag with buttercream and fold over the top of the bag.

Using a circular motion, pipe buttercream in a swirl effect, onto the top of each cupcake.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes swirling, light buttercream, adorns the tops.
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes swirling, light buttercream, adorns the tops.
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes an edible pearl provides the finishing touch to these edible treats.
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes an edible pearl provides the finishing touch to these edible treats.

I hope you’ll agree with me, that these cupcakes are elegantly beautiful ?

Usually I cannot wait to sprinkle edible glitter on, well pretty much anything I bake, but these Vanilla Bean Cupcakes looked so perfect after the addition of the pearl, that I managed to restrain myself.

The result a spectacularly elegant cupcake, that tastes every bit as good as it looks.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes timeless elegance, in cake form.
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes timeless elegance, in cake form.

I have really enjoyed carrying out the review for British Bakewaretheir cupcake pan baked goods evenly, was very easy to clean and I absolutely recommend it.

These Vanilla Bean Cupcakes did not last very long in our home, although I did give our neighbours a couple. I believe food tastes better when shared. Even though I only spent 10 minutes with them, we had a lovely catch up chat and they were thrilled with the cupcakes I gave to them.

During the winter months especially, weeks, indeed months can easily pass without people living in close proximity, exchanging a word. So it really is worth taking a few minutes out of our day once a week, or so, to make the effort to talk to those who live close by.

Are you friendly with your neighbours?

Do you keep a check on elderly or infirm neighbours, especially during the cold, winter months?

Next time you are baking, how about popping a few cookies or cupcakes on a plate and sharing them with your local community?

Please let me know if you do. I love to read your comments.

If you enjoyed this recipe for Vanilla Bean Cupcakes, then I hope you’ll like these too:

Black Forest Cupcakes

V Black Forest Cupcakes
Black Forest Cupcakes chocolate, cherries and dreamy topping.

Bakewell Cupcakes

V Bakewell Cupcakes
Bakewell Cupcakes utterly delicious.

 

Happy baking.

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest

 

 

 

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