Chocolate Peanut Butter Drip Cake

The past fortnight has been a busy one here at home. Hospital appointments for me, rugby matches for our son and both of our girls working hard on their studies. Life has been hectic. Yet, during this time, we have also celebrated two special birthdays in our family. Amidst the coming and going, we made time for what is important. Spending time together. Celebrating birthdays and enjoying the company and love that we have for each other. Laughing, catching up, chatting, more laughter and sharing this delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Drip Cake.

FF Chocolate Peanut Butter Drip Cake
Chocolate Peanut Butter Drip Cake

For me, nothing is more important than spending time with those that I love. Whether family, friends or both. Yet due to the continued frequency of seizures see here, these occasions have been few and far between over the last two years. While I was able to attend the wedding of my amazing nephew and my new niece, there have been very many missed opportunities, simply due to my health. Hopefully, this trend is on the turn and change is afoot!

FF Chocolate Peanut Butter Drip Cake
Chocolate Peanut Butter Drip Cake

Since our son and my sister celebrate their birthday on the same day, it has become a tradition for them to see each other on their special day. While last year this event was cancelled, we more than made up for it this year! We gathered and celebrated this very special day together. Presents were unwrapped, cards opened, cuddles given. Most importantly we were a family celebrating together. Is there anything that is better?

FF Chocolate Peanut Butter Drip Cake
Chocolate Peanut Butter Drip Cake sliced with a cool glass of milk

Since having made our, not so little boy, a fruit cake for his birthday over the past couple of years, change was definitely needed! Knowing his love for Reeces Peanut Butter Cups I suggested a chocolate and peanut butter cake. A suggestion that was met with much agreement. Light chocolate and peanut butter sponges, sandwiched together with peanut butter icing, along with hidden, chopped peanut butter cups in the centre. Frosted all over with the same icing and decorated with a milk chocolate drip and more peanut butter cups. Finally, a sprinkle of bronze crunch added elegance to the finished cake.

FF Chocolate Peanut Butter Drip Cake
Chocolate Peanut Butter Drip Cake

The cake of our son’s dreams. Utterly thrilled with both the look and taste of his birthday cake, oohs and aahs escaped from everyone’s lips. While delivering completely on taste, as it did looks, this cake proved to be a huge hit. Most importantly from the birthday boy himself. Resulting in a day full of happy shared memories.

Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Drip Cake serves 10-12

Cake:

275g/10oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

275g/10oz Light Brown Sugar

50g/2oz Peanut Butter smooth – I use Reeces available from Amazon

1/4 tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

2 tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

5 Large Free Range Eggs

75ml/5tbsp Whole Milk

200g/7oz Plain Flour

2 tsp Baking Powder

75g/3oz Cocoa – I use Callebaut

Frosting and Decoration:

250g/9oz Unsalted Butter softened to room temperature

75g/3oz Peanut Butter smooth

1/4 tsp Sea Salt

500g/1lb 2oz White Icing Sugar

2 tbsp Very Hot Water

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

20 Mini Reeces Peanut Butter Cups plus additional to place around the base of the cake

6 Regular Reeces Peanut Butter Cups

200g/7oz Good Quality Milk Chocolate

Bronze Crunch Sprinkles available from Waitrose

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

Baking the cake:

First of all, you will need 2 x 20cm/8″ sandwich tins that are 5cm/2″ deep. Grease thoroughly with butter and line the base with baking parchment.

  • Into a large bowl add the butter, peanut butter,  sugar and salt. Whisk until pale and creamy, this will take around 5 minutes. Creaming the butter and sugar together properly helps create a light sponge.
  • Next add all 5 eggs, the milk and vanilla extract. Whisk briefly to break up the eggs.
  • Now sift in the dry ingredients, flour, cocoa powder and baking powder.
  • Finally, whisk or beat all of the ingredients together until they become a smooth batter. Over whisking will create a tough cake sponge.
FF Chocolate Peanut Butter Drip Cake
Making the Chocolate Peanut Butter cake batter.
  • Divide the cake mixture evenly between the two prepared tins.
FF Chocolate Peanut Butter Drip Cake
Chocolate peanut butter cakes ready for the oven.
  • Place the cake tins evenly spaced apart, into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes.
  • The cakes are baked when they spring back from a light touch. as soon as they are baked remove from the oven.
  • Allow the cakes to cool for 15 minutes in the tin before turning out on to a cooling rack.
FF Chocolate Peanut Butter Drip Cake
Cooling cakes.

Frosting the cake:

  • First of all, chop 20 mini peanut butter cups into small pieces. See the photograph below as a guide. Set to one side.
  • Into a large bowl add the butter, peanut butter, salt, vanilla extract and icing sugar. Next pour the very hot water down the inside of the bowl.
  • Starting on a slow speed whisk the ingredients together, increasing in speed as they become combined. Continue whisking until the buttercream is light and creamy in consistency, with no visible lumps.
  • Check the cake is completely cooled before frosting.
  • Place one cake sponge, flat side up, on to a cake board or plate. Spoon 3 heaped dessert spoons of frosting on to the sponge and spread evenly across the sponge with a palette knife.
  • Next, sprinkle over the choped peanut butter cups so they create an even layer across the frosted sponge.
FF Chocolate Peanut Butter Drip Cake
Making the buttercream and filling the centre of the cake.
  • If you have a turning, cake decorating stand place the cake on it’s board, on to it. Alternatively place the cake board on to a cake stand. The cake can then be rotated on the board, making the frosting process easier.
  • Place the other cake sponge, flat side down, on top of the bottom sponge.
  • Scoop three quarters of the remaining frosting on to the top of the cake.
  • Using a palette knife spread the frosting across the top of the cake and over the sides. Add the remaining frosting as needed.
  • Rotate the cake, spreading the frosting, until an even finish is achieved.
  • Fill a jug with very hot water. Place a clean palette knife into the water, for a couple of seconds, remove and wipe away the water. Smooth the frosting using the hot pallet knife. Repeat this process until you have a smooth and even finish to the cake.
  • Refridgerate the cake for at least one hour. The cake may be left in the fridge overnight at this stage.
FF Chocolate Peanut Butter Drip Cake
Covering and smoothing the outside of the cake.
  • While the cake is finishing chilling, prepare the chocolate.
  • Break up, or chop the chocolate and place into a heatproof, microwaveable bowl.
  • Heat in the microwave, on medim power, for 30 second bursts. Stirring after each heating burst.
  • As soon as the chocolate starts to melt remove the bowl and continue to stir until completely melted.
FF Chocolate Peanut Butter Drip Cake
Frosted, chilled cake ready to be decorated.

Decorating the cake:

  • Remove the chilled cake from the fridge and make sure that you have everything needed to hand.
  • Spoon the melted chocolate on to the middle of the top of the cake, gradually working towards the outside edge.
  • As the chocolate reaches the edge add more to encourage it to drip down the side.
  • Continue all the way around the cake until you have the desired ‘drip’ effect.
  • Place the larger peanut butter cups in a pattern and set into the still molten chocolate.
  • Follow by placing mini peanut butter cups aroung the base of the cake.
  • Finish with bronze sprinkles around the outside edge of the cake.
  • Leave the cake to set. This can be achieved more quickly by chilling in the fridge.
FF Chocolate Peanut Butter Drip Cake
Sprinkles added to finish the Chocolate Peanut Butter Drip Cake.

To serve, remove the cake from the fridge. Place a sharp knife into a jug of very hot water for a couple of seconds. Wipe the knife dry and then easily slice through the set chocolate and cake.

FF Chocolate Peanut Butter Drip Cake
Chocolate Peanut Butter Drip Cake.

Store the cake in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Keep refridgerated during warmer weather.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Drip Cake you may also like these:

Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake

FF Chocolate Peanut Butter Drip Cake
Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake

Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake

FF Chocolate Peanut Butter Drip Cake
Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake

Chocolate Heart Cake

FF Chocolate Peanut Butter Drip Cake
Chocolate Heart Cake

Homemade cakes are so much better and far more delicious than their mass produced counterparts. Since each cake made at home is individual in both style and flavour. Knowing that someone has taken the time to create and bake a cake makes me personally feel very special and loved. That is exactly the same feeling I hope to invoke when baking for others. Seeing a big smile is my motivation and reward.

What motivates you to bake?

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

Sammie xx

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

 

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Chocolate Cherry Chiffon Bundt Cake

Another week and another theme. #ChocolateWeek is upon us, demanding chocolate bakes from all who are part of the Twitter baking community. How fortunate for me then that I made this beautiful Chocolate Cherry Chiffon Bundt Cake yesterday. Since it is always chocolate week here at home, this hidden chocolate cherry cake fits the bill perfectly.

FF Chocolate Cherry Chiffon Bundt Cake
Chocolate Cherry Chiffon Bundt Cake

First of all, I absolutely adore Bundt pans. Their beautiful designs and intricate moulding create the most exceptional looking cakes. While my cake decorating abilities are improving, especially as I am practicing more, using a Bundt pan really does take away the need to decorate. A simple sprinkle of edible glitter is all that was needed to finish this cake.

FF Chocolate Cherry Chiffon Bundt Cake
Chocolate Cherry Chiffon Bundt Cake

Cherry and chocolate are a classic flavour combination. Using chocolate cherry naturally flavoured cocoa powder gives this cake the base flavour. The addition of tinned cherries and ground almonds creates a moist cake with surprise, hidden cherries inside. During baking the cherries drop to the bottom of the cake, which when turned out, becomes the top. Resulting in a jammy like topping.

FF Chocolate Cherry Chiffon Bundt Cake
Chocolate Cherry Chiffon Bundt Cake up close.

The looping scalloped design of the Chiffon Bundt Pan is very elegant. Flickers of light from the glitter, sparkle and accentuate the design. Aside from covering in a very thin glaze, as done here, this cake really is best left as is. Indeed, left un-iced, dare I say this would be utterly delicious eaten with hot custard.

Recipe: Chocolate Cherry Chiffon Bundt Cake serves 10-12

275g/10oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

275g/10oz Light Soft Brown Sugar

1/4 tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

2 tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

1/2 tsp Almond Extract

5 Large Free Range Eggs

4 tbsp/60ml Whole Milk

100g/4oz Ground Almonds

75g/3oz Chocolate Cherry Cocoa Powder* – available from Sugar and Crumbs

125g/4.5oz Plain White Flour

2 tsp Baking Powder

*If you are unable to obtain chocolate cherry flavour cocoa powder, use plain cocoa and add cherry flavouring available from Foodie Flavours

Half of a 400g Tin of Cherries or Cherry Pie Filling

1/4 tsp Edible Glitter to decorate

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

For this recipe a 10 cup Bundt Pan is needed. I have used the Chiffon Bundt Pan available from Nordicware.

To ensure successful release of the cake from the pan cake release is highly recommended. This is available as a spray, or a liquid that is brushed on with a soft pastry brush. I recommend Wilton.

  • First of all add butter, sugar and salt to a large bowl. Whisk until the sugar is fully beaten into the butter.
  • Next add both vanilla and almond extracts. Also add 5 eggs and milk.
  • Now add ground almonds, cocoa powder, flour and baking powder.
  • Whisk everything together until fully combined. Take care not to over whisk as the resulting cake will be tough.
  • Prepare the Bundt pan, spraying, or brushing liberally with cake release.
  • Spoon the prepared cake batter into the pan, pushing the mixture into the base to avoid air pockets.
  • Finally, spoon half of tin of cherries on to the top of the cake batter, making sure that none of the liquid touches the side of the Bundt pan.
  • Place the Bundt pan into the lower middle part of a preheated oven and bake for 1 hour 20-30 minutes. Low, slow baking results in an evenly baked cake.
  • The cake is baked when it feels firm to touch and an inserted skewer comes outs clean.  Note: the cherries sink to the bottom (top when turned out) during baking.
  • As soon as the cake is baked remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
FF Chocolate Cherry Chiffon Bundt Cake
Making and baking the Chocolate Cherry Chiffon Bundt Cake.
  • Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes, then turn out on to a cooling rack.
FF Chocolate Cherry Chiffon Bundt Cake
Turning out the baked Chocolate Cherry Chiffon Bundt Cake.
  • Leave the cake to cool completely.
  • Finally when cooled, place the cake on to a board or stand. Using a teaspoon, carefully sprinkle with glitter from a height.
FF Chocolate Cherry Chiffon Bundt Cake
Chocolate Cherry Chiffon Bundt Cake ready to serve.

Since this cake is so elegant, it could be used for any celebration, such as Christmas. Alternatively, if someone you know has a birthday, this would be a delicious surprise. Adding candles would simply make the cake sparkle more.

FF Chocolate Cherry Chiffon Bundt Cake
Chocolate Cherry Chiffon Bundt Cake.

Serve sliced on a plate with a cake fork and a smile.

Store in an airtight container and eat within 5 days. Keep refrigerated if the weather is particularly warm.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Chocolate Cherry Chiffon Bundt Cake you may also like these:

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

FF Chocolate Cherry Chiffon Bundt Cake
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake.

Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake

FF Chocolate Cherry Chiffon Bundt Cake
Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake.

Lemon Lime Gin Heart Bundt Cake

FF Chocolate Cherry Chiffon Bundt Cake
Lemon Lime Gin Heart Bundt Cake.

Bundt pans are available in a variety of different shapes. Creating a beautifully shaped cake without any extra effort required from the baker. While also allowing for creativity when decorating. From a simple dusting of icing sugar or glitter, to more precise icing, accentuating the features of each Bundt cake. Resulting in an exceptional, celebration worthy, unique cake every time.

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

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be replicated or copied without the express written consent on the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread

Bread is the recipe most often baked here at home. Aside from the infinitely better quality of a home baked loaf, the flavour is superior in every way to its mass produced, plastic wrapped, shop bought counterpart. At home, a variety of different flours are available to the home baker. Spelt flour produces a lighter wholegrain loaf that is nutty and delicious to eat. I thoroughly recommend my Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread.

FF Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread
Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread.

While this loaf is 100% wholegrain, it lacks the heaviness of a wholemeal wheat grain bread. Yet it loses none of the delicious, hearty, wholegrain flavour. Also quicker to make, in the kneading and dough proving stages, than a regular loaf. This is the loaf to make when you haven’t got all day to linger over making bread and yet, nothing about it feels rushed. Resulting in the same feeling of relaxation and accomplishment one feels from baking any bread at home.

FF Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread
Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread Sliced.

Spelt is an ancient grain that can prove tricky to grow. Craggs & Co grow spelt here in the U.K. where it is also milled. Initially grown by request from a chef, they now sell both wholegrain and white spelt flour online, or it can be ordered and collected directly from the farm. Due to its claimed health benefits, it is becoming more popular with bakers.

FF Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread
Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread.

While I don’t have independent evidence to corroborate the health claims from eating spelt, as opposed to wheat, I can give my opinion. Eating any wholegrain flour is always going to be better for our bodies due to the fibre content. Helping to keep our digestive system healthy. Finally, personaly I found the bread to be lighter on my stomach and more quickly digested than wholemeal bread, it did not lay heavy on my stomach, at all.

Recipe: Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread

325ml Water at room temperature

5g Dried Yeast – I use Allinson Flour

1tsp Clear Honey

500g Wholegrain Spelt Flour – I used Craggs & Co

25g/1oz Unsalted Butter

7g Sea Salt – I use Maldon

3-4 tbsp Mixed Seeds

Method:

Initial mixing of the dough is carried out using a stand mixer with dough hook attachment. While mixing by hand is possible, the dough is very wet and sticky to start with. Should you wish you start your dough by hand please see here for step by step instructions, remembering to follow this recipe!

  • Into the bowl of a stand mixer weigh 325g of room temperature water. 1g = 1ml water.
  • Next add the yeast and honey.
  • Add the flour on top, so that it entirely covers the water, yeast and honey.
  • On top of the flour add the sea salt and butter.
  • With the dough hook attached, mix on a low speed until the dough forms a smooth ball. At this point you can stop the mixer, remove the dough and continue to knead by hand until it passes the windowpane test*, see below.
  • Continue to mix on a medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, 6-10 minutes. Stop the mixer, lift the dough hook and pull at the dough. As soon as the dough can be stretched thin enough so that light can be seen through it, it passes the windowpane test*.
  • Scrape the dough from the hook into the bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove at room temperature until doubled in size. 45-60 minutes.
  • While the dough is proving lightly grease a large baking tray with butter.
  • When doubled in size, scrape out the dough on to a very lightly floured worktop. Ensuring the top of the dough in the bowl, now becomes the bottom and is in contact with the worktop.
  • Next it is important to create tension in the dough. Pull one side out and press diagonally across to the opposite side. Repeat, turning the dough after each pull and tuck, shaping the dough into a rough log as you do so. The dough should look like the picture below, without any sticky dough present.
FF Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread
The proved dough ready to be divided into three for plaiting.
  • Weigh the dough and then divide the weight by 3.
  • Cut the dough into 3 equal sized pieces.
  • Roll out each piece until it measures 35cm/14″.
  • These will be numbered 1, 2 and 3 from left to right.
  • Place 3 on top of 1 and press together to secure.
  • Next place 2 on top of 3 and again press to secure. You are now ready to start plaiting the bread. Note, each time a dough strand is moved, ensure that the plait  is tight. If the plait is too loose it will be difficult to transfer to the greased baking tray. Also the plait definition may become lost during the second prove and baking.
  • Each strand will have a new number when moved. The middle will always be 2, left 1 and right 3. The pattern is 3 over 2 then 1 over 2. Otherwise known as right over middle, left over middle.
  • To start plaiting place 3 over 2. Moving 2 to the right as it becomes 3.
  • Next 1 over 2. Moving 2 to the left as it becomes 1.
  • Continue until the plait is complete.
FF Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread
Showing the plaiting process.
  • Gently tuck and press the ends together, in the same pattern, at the bottom of the plait.
  • Place the plaited bread diagonally on to a baking tray. Use both hands to support the plait as it is moved.
FF Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread
The completed bread plait.
  • Brush the plait lightly with room temperature water and then sprinkle over the mixed seeds.
FF Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread
Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread ready for its second prove.
  • Cover with a clean tea towel and leave until doubled in size, 30-40 minutes.
  • While the dough is having its second prove preheat the oven to 240C/220C fan, gas mark 9.
FF Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread
Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread ready for the oven.
  • Just prior to placing your bread on the oven, add a small pan with 1cm water to the bottom of the oven. This will help the crust expand before it sets and hardens.
  • Once doubled in size remove the tea towel and place the bread into the centre of the oven.
  • Bake at the hottest temperature for 5 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7. Allow to bake for a further 30-35 minutes.
  • The bread is baked when it is a deep golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
  • When baked remove the bread from the oven and immediately transfer to a cooling rack.
FF Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread
Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread

Such a beautiful loaf. Tempted though you may be, leave the bread to cool completely before slicing. Doing so allows the bread to slice properly and cooling bread is also better for digestion.

FF Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread
Sliced Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread.

Slice and serve the bread as you would any other loaf. Accompanying soup, a hearty Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole, or as toast and sandwiches.

Double wrap in cling film and freeze for one month. Allow to defrost at room temperature, place in a moderately hot oven for 5 minutes and it will taste freshly baked.

To store, place in a bread bin or wrapped in baking parchment. Eat within 4 days.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread then you may also enjoy these:

Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread

FF Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread
Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread

Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

FF Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread
Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

Seeded Cob Loaf

FF Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread
Seeded Cob Loaf

Baking bread at home is a deliciously rewarding experience. Even if you live close to a great bakery, the aroma of home baked bread only comes from making your own. Recipes can be tweaked for those with dietary restrictions. For example, leaving the seeds off of this loaf still results in an amazingly light, healthy, wholegrain bread. Your adaptations make each loaf baked suitable for sharing.

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

Sammie xx

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

 

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Caramac Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes

The popularity of cupcakes, since their meteoric rise to stardom, has not waned. Pinterest has thousands upon thousands of boards dedicated to these individual portion sized cakes. Type cupcake recipes into the browser on your computer/phone/tablet and you will find endless recipes, for every type of cupcake you could ever want. Or so I thought! While there are recipes for Caramac cupcakes, including a fantastic recipe by my friend Jane, there weren’t any chocolate/Caramac combinations. Resulting in the creation of these Caramac Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes.

FF Caramac Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes
Caramac Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes.

Caramac in itself is a lightly caramel flavoured white chocolate. While it is completely delicious, it tends to be rather sweet. Combining Caramac frosting with a dark chocolate cupcake balances both flavours out. Similarly, with the drizzle. Slightly bitter dark chocolate is enhanced by the sweet caramel from the Caramac. Resultying in a perfect flavour combination.

FF Caramac Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes
Caramac Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes.

Delicious and very more-ish. Could you stop at one?

FF Caramac Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes
Caramac Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes.

Pretty, individual portions of caramel and chocolate in a cake. These cupcakes are elegant enough to be served for dessert, or alternatively, handed around at a party.

FF Caramac Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes
Caramac Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes.

Recipe: Caramac Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes make 18

For the cupcakes:

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

1/8tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

175g/6oz Caster Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

3 Large Ree Range Eggs

150g/5.5oz Plain White Flour

1.5tsp Baking Powder

30g/2.2oz Cocoa Powder – I use Callebaut

3tbsp Milk – whole or semi-skimmed

For the frosting:

275g/10oz Icing Sugar

125g/5oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

1/4tsp Sea Salt Flakes

2tbsp Very Hot Water from a recently boiled kettle

110g Packet Caramac Buttons

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste

For the drizzle:

110g Packet Caramac Buttons

100g/4oz Good Quality Dark Chocolate minimum 70% cocoa solids – choppedinto small chunks

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

You will need two, deep, 12 hole cupcake/muffin tins. Line one tin completely with cupcake cases and the central 6 holes in the other with cupcake cases.

  • In a large bowl add butter, caster sugar and sea salt. Whisk together until pale and creamy.
  • Sift in the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Then add the milk.
  • Whisk together until just combined. The chocolate colour should be uniform and no streaks or lumps present.
  • Scoop a heaped dessert spoonful of cake batter into each cupcake case. Do not worry if the batter doesn’t fill 18 cupcake cases. Mine stretched to 17. Most importantly, each cupcake case should contain equal amounts of cake batter.
FF Caramac Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes
Chocolate cupcakes ready for the oven.
  • Place both cupcake tins, evenly spaced, into the preheated oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • The cupcakes are baked when they are risen and spring back from a light touch.
  • When baked remove the cupcakes from the oven.
FF Caramac Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes
Baked Chocolate Cupcakes.
  • Leave the cupcakes to cool for a couple of minutes in the tin, then remove and place them on to a cooling rack to fully cool.
  • While the cupcakes are cooling, make the buttercream.
  • Place the Caramac buttons into a heatproof, microwaveable bowl. Heat for 20 second bursts, stirring between each one. Remove from the microwave once the Caramac is completely melted.
  • Into a large bowl add the softened butter, salt and icing sugar. Whisk, adding the hot water whilst the beaters are whisking. Continue whisking until the buttercream is combined, yet still thick in consistency.
  • Add the melted Caramac to the bowl and keep whisking until the mixture is smooth, light and creamy.
  • Into a large piping base fitted with a 1cm round nozzle tip ( I use Wilton number 12 carded round tip ), add the whipped Caramac buttercream.
  • Using both hands to guide, pipe a double swirl. Start in the centre of the cupcake, pipe one swirl, then pipe a second swirl on top. Press the nozzle down into the centre and pull away. Practice on a sheet of parchment paper first and then scrape the buttercream back into the piping bag.
FF Caramac Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes
Making the Caramac buttercream and icing the cupcakes.
  • While the frosting on the cupcakes sets, prepare the chocolate and Caramac drizzle.
  • Into separate heatproof, microwaveable bowls place the Caramac buttons and then the dark chocolate chunks.
  • Prepare 2 small, disposable piping bags, as seen in the photo. Open up each bag and place into a small tumbler, ensuring the edge of the bag folds over the side of the glass. Doing so makes pouring the melted chocolate/Caramac into the bags easy and reduces the risk of burning yourself with hot, melted chocolate.
  • Heat the chocolate and Caramac as for the frosting, stirring between each 20 second burst in the microwave. Once melted pour into the prepared piping bag.
  • Starting with the Caramac, twist the top of the bag and then snip the end of the bag off, leaving a small hole.
  • Pipe melted Caramac on to each cupcake using a zigzag pattern. Since this is a drizzle, melted Caramac (and also chocolate) can go over the sides of the frosting on to the cupcake.
  • Repeat the same process using the dark chocolate.
FF Caramac Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes
Double Drizzle on Caramac Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes.
  • No two cupcakes will look identical. Don’t worry, each cupcake’s individuality is part of its appeal and charm.
FF Caramac Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes
Piping the chocolate and Caramac drizzle on to the cupcakes.
  • Place the cupcakes somewhere cool to set. During warmer months pop in the fridge for a few minutes.
FF Caramac Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes
Caramac Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes

Invite friends over and serve these cupcakes with a smile and a hot drink. Alternatively, package some up in a box and take to work to share with your colleagues. Since these cupcakes are so delicious, it really would be a shame not to share them.

Store in an airtight container and eat within 5 days. During very warm weather store in the refrigerator.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Caramac Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes you may also like these:

Black Forest Cupcakes

FF Caramac Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes
Black Forest Cupcakes

Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes

FF Caramac Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes
Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes

Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes

FF Caramac Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes
Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes

Since the flavour combinations are virtually endless and each cupcake is an individual portion size, it is easy to see how they have remained so popular. In addition, each cupcake, especially when homemade, is unique. Also, they are just so pretty. Whether embellished with sprinkles, drizzles, little figures, flowers or simply piped with buttercream, the appeal of having a cake all to ourselves is such fun. Resulting in the perfect feast.

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

Sammie xx

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

 

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Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

For me, nothing quite compares to the beauty, taste and smell of homemade bread. Four ingredients, flour, yeast, water and salt, when mixed together, worked, rested, shaped and baked give such incredibly satisfying results. Bread is surely the heart of any feast and therefore, teaching  others to bake it is of upmost importance to me. Using step by step instructions and photographs, you too can learn how to make and bake this Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf.

FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf.

Inspired by a friend on Twitter, who claimed that bread baking was beyond her, I set out to show her she could. While she is a very accomplished baker, far more so than me, bread is her baking stumbling block. Everyone can make bread. Are you wary of baking bread? With this guide and a relaxing cup of tea, read through and then get baking!

FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf soft crumb with crunchy crust.

Following the techniques and tips in this recipe will guarentee that you too, can make delicious, homemade bread. Also the more that you practise, the more confident and better you will get a baking bread at home. It is important to remember that occaisionally a loaf of bread will turn out mishapen. Rarely is it inebible though!

Recipe: Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

320mls Water at room temperature

1/2tsp Caster Sugar

7g Dried Yeast make sure that is reasonably fresh (3 months old max) – I use Allinson in the green tub/sachets

500g/1lb 2oz Strong White Bread Flour – I use Shipton Mill

25g/1oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

7g Sea Salt – I use Maldon

Method: For making by hand or using a stand mixer with dough attachment.

You will need a large, buttered baking tray.

Stand Mixer:

  • Add all of the ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer in the order that they are listed. This ensures that the yeast does not come into direct contact with the yeast.
FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Adding ingredients to the bowl in the correct order.
  • With dough hook attached mix on low speed until all the ingredients are combined.
FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Ingredients have come together to form a dough.
  • At this point if you wish to knead by hand, scrape the dough from the dough hook into the bowl. See making by hand method.
  • Continue mixing the dough on medium speed for a further 10 minutes.
  • After the kneading time has elapsed stop the machine and tear off a small piece of dough. Stretch it between your fingers until it is so thin that light can be seen through it. This is known as the windowpane test. If it tears whilst stretching, add back to the dough and continue to mix for a further 2 minutes as before. Repeat the test after each further mixing period until the dough passes the windowpane test.
  • Scrape the dough from the dough hook into the bowl and cover with a clean tea towel.
  • Place the covered bowl in a draught free place, away from a direct heat source.
FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
No shaping, simply leave the dough in a bowl and cover.
  • Leave until the dough has doubled in size.

Making by hand:

  • Place the flour and butter into a large bowl.
  • Rub the butter into the flower using your fingertips.
  • Add the sugar and yeast to the bowl on one side. Place the salt on the opposite side, so that it doesn’t come into direct contact with the yeast.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour and then add all of the water.
  • Using your hand, shaped like a claw, bring the dry ingredients into the water and mix them together.
  • Continue mixing in the bowl until the dough has formed a sticky ball.
  • Place the dough on to a clean worktop and push with the heal of your hand to tear and stretch the dough. Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic.
  • Tear a small piece of the dough and perform the windowpane test as described above. If the dough tears knead for a further 2 minutes and test again.
  • Repeat the kneading and testing procedure until the dough passes the windowpane test.
  • Form the dough into a ball, place in a clean bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size.

Shaping and building the Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

  • When the dough has doubled in size turn out on to a lightly floured surface, ensuring the top of the dough is in contact with the worktop. What was the top is now the bottom.
  • Weigh the dough and cut off one quarter.
FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Turning out and dividing the dough
  • Starting with the larger piece of dough, stretch and pull one side and press down into the opposite side.
  • Now stretch and pull the opposite side. Press down as before.
  • Turn the dough and repeat 4 more times, where the edge is rough and untouched, until your dough resembles the bottom right photo.
FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Building tension into the dough.
  • Flip the dough over and create a ball shape. Cup your hands around the dough, tucking and turning to create a tight ball shape.
FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Creating a ball shaped dough using your hands.
  • Place the dough ball base of the cottage loaf, on to a prepared baking tray.
  • Repeat the streching/pulling process with the smaller piece of dough, then shape into a ball.
  • Place the smaller ball centrally on top of the base.
  • With two floured fingers push down, through the centre of the top ball, tight into the base. Doing so joins the top and bottom together, creating one loaf.
  • Slash the top 6 times and the bottom 12 times. Cut vertically, from top to bottom.
FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Assembling the Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
  • Cover with a tea towel, leave in a draft free place until doubled in size, 45 – 60 minutes.

Baking the Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

  • While the loaf is undergoing its second prove, preheat your oven to it hottest setting. Usually 250C or gas mark 9.
  • 15 minutes before the loaf is ready, place a pan with 5cm/1″ of water in the base of the oven. The steam created will delay the forming of a hard crust on the loaf, allowing maximum expansion, also called oven spring, to take place.
FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf ready for the oven.
  • Once the loaf has doubled in size it is ready to bake.
  • Remove the tea towel and place in the middle/lower part of the oven. Make sure there is enough height room, allowing for oven spring, when placing your loaf in the oven.
  • Bake for 5 minutes at the hottest temperature and then reduce the oven temperature to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7.
  • Continue to bake for a further 35-45 minutes.
  • The loaf is baked when it is a deep golden colour, feels light (not heavy and dense) in your oven glove protected hands and most importantly sounds hollow when rapped on the top and base with a knuckle.
  • Remove from the oven and place immediately on to a cooling rack.
FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf golden and delicious.

An incredible homemade, home baked artisan style bread.

FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf with deeper slashes.

Serve sliced as open sandwiches, or toasted. Alternatively serve as an accompaniment to a meal, such as Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole.

FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

Best eaten within a day of making, this bread will keep for up to 4 days in a bread bin, which allows air to circulate. It is better not to keep this Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf in an airtight container as it may go mouldy very quickly.

To freeze, thoroughly cool, then double wrap in cling film. Keep in the freezer for no longer than a month. Defrost at room temperature and refresh by placing in a moderate oven for 10 minutes.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf then you make also like these:

Farmhouse White Loaf

FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Farmhouse White Loaf

Seeded Cob Loaf

FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Seeded Cob Loaf

Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf

FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf

Baking bread is such a rewarding experience. Whether you make the entire loaf by hand, or enlist the help of kitchen machinery, each loaf will be far superior in both flavour and quality than it’s mass produced counterpart. Even if you have a great bakery in your local vicinity, baking your own means you can make unusual, rarely seen loaves such as this Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf.

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

Sammie xx

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

 

I am entering my Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf in the #GBBOBloggers2017 linky hosted by http://www.mummymishaps.co.uk

 

FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

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Lemon Coconut Sponge Layer Cake

Lemon flavoured anything is always a hit with me. Judging by the number of page views and pins, it is the same with my readers too. Having made a delicious, gluten free lemon cake for friends, a lemon hit was needed here at home too. Since I very rarely make the same cake twice, adding shredded, sweetened coconut seemed like a good idea. Good it wasn’t, fantastic it was. Welcome to my Lemon Coconut Sponge Layer Cake.

FF Lemon Coconut Sponge Layer Cake
Lemon Coconut Sponge Layer Cake

Light, golden, lightly flavoured sponges sandwiched together with tart lemon curd and creamy, lemon buttercream. Topped with more buttercream and sprinkled with coconut, this cake is a flavour feast in every bite. While the coconut is ordered from Amazon UK, it is never a faff. The moist, sweet bite of every single strand is worth the small extra effort. Make this with desiccated coconut at your own risk.

FF Lemon Coconut Sponge Layer Cake
Lemon Coconut Sponge Layer Cake served with Afternoon Tea.

While the photograph above shows a slender slice of cake, know that this is near impossible to achieve. And so it should be! Photographic aesthetics aside, please do cut a decent portion when serving. Otherwise you and your guests will be left longing for another slice, or two. Such is the more-ish-ness of this sweet treat. Enjoy the satisfaction of not only seeing a decent slice of cake on your plate, but also from eating it.

FF Lemon Coconut Sponge Layer Cake
Lemon Coconut Sponge Layer Cake sandwiched with tart lemon curd and creamy buttercream.

Cake is not something that most people eat everyday. Although I cannot think of a single reason why it shouldn’t be, considering the consumption of biscuits and chocolate, we as a population eat our way through. Rather, cake and the eating of it, is a celebration. Perhaps of the moment, days gone by, or memories brought to mind. Eating cake, in itself is a feast. And a feast should never be eaten half heartedly.

Recipe: Lemon Coconut Sponge Layer Cake serves 8-10

For the cake sponge:

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

225g/8oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Sea Salt (halve for free flowing) – I use Maldon

4 Large Free Range Eggs

Zest of 2 Lemons

225g/8oz Plain White Flour

2tsp Baking Powder

150g/5oz Sweetened Shredded Coconut – I use Baker’s Angel Flake available from Amazon UK

For filling, frosting and decorating:

100g/4oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

200g/7oz Icing Sugar

1/2tsp Lemon Extract (optional) I use Nielsen-Massey

1tbsp Very Hot Water from a recently boiled kettle

3tbsp Good Quality Tart Lemon Curd – I recommend Hawkshead Relish

50g/2oz Sweetened Shredded Coconut

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

Butter and line with baking parchment, two 20cm/8″ round sandwich tins.

  • Place the butter, caster sugar and salt into a large bowl. Whisk until pale and creamy.
  • Next add all 4 eggs and the zest of two lemons.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into the same bowl. Now add the sweetened, shredded coconut.
  • Whisk briefly until everything is fully combined.
  • Divide the cake batter evenly between the 2 sandwich tins. Smooth the surface of the batter with a spoon.
  • Place the tins into the centre and lower parts of the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes.
  • The cakes are baked once they have turned golden brown and spring back from a light touch.
  • Once baked, remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
FF Lemon Coconut Sponge Layer Cake
Filling the tins and cooling the baked cakes.
  • After cooling in the tin for 10 minutes, turn the cakes out on to a cooling rack.
  • Carefully remove the baking parchment from the base of each cake.
  • Set the cakes aside to cool completely.
  • While the cakes are cooling make the buttercream.
  • Add the butter, hot water, icing sugar and lemon extract to a large bowl.
  • Starting on a slow speed whisk the ingredients together, increasing the speed until the mixture is very light and creamy.
  • For ease of decorating, fill a piping bag, without a nozzle fitted, with the lemon buttercream.
  • To fill and decorate the cake ensure it is fully cooled before starting.
  • Place the bottom sponge flat side up, on to a plate or board.
  • Spoon over the lemon curd and spread to cover the cake just inside the edge.
  • Tun the top sponge so that it is flat side up. Pipe half of the buttercream in a swirl on to the cake. Spread so that the buttercream covers the cake, similar to the lemon curd.
  • Turn the top Sponge over and gently place on top of the lemon curd covered bottom Sponge.
  • Pipe the remaining buttercream on to the top of the cake and spread evenly, so that the top of the cake is covered.
FF Lemon Coconut Sponge Layer Cake
Filling, assembling and covering the cake.
  • Sprinkle over the sweetened, shredded coconut, so that it evenly covers the top of the cake.
FF Lemon Coconut Sponge Layer Cake
Lemon Coconut Sponge Layer Cake ready to serve.

Serve generously sliced, to friends, family and neighbours. Include a fork as this cake is delectably soft, more so on the day of making.

If you know someone who loves the combination of lemon and coconut, why not bake them a cake as a surprise.

Keep the cake in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

FF Lemon Coconut Sponge Layer Cake
Lemon Coconut Sponge Layer Cake served with Tea.

 

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Lemon Coconut Sponge Layer Cake you may also like these:

Lemon Lime Gin Heart Bundt Cake

FF Lemon Coconut Sponge Layer Cake
Lemon Lime Gin Heart Bundt Cake.

Mini Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cakes

FF Lemon Coconut Sponge Layer Cake
Mini Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cakes

Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut

FF Lemon Coconut Sponge Layer Cake
Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut

If you would like to indulge your love of lemon further, why not visit me on Pinterest at www.feastingisfun.com? All of my recipes are easy to find on one board, plus I have another board dedicating to Lemon Love. Sweet or savoury, lemon is an ingredient I am never without in my kitchen. From coleslaw to cake’s and ice cream, as well as a myriad of other recipes, lemon has bags full of versatility.

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

Sammie xx

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

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Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies

If you are a fan of nuts and brownies I can guarantee you will be mad for these Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies. Packed with an almost obscene amount of chocolate, gives the dense fudge texture and taste required in all great brownies. Add in a ridiculous amount of chopped and whole hazelnuts and the resulting flavour is Ferrero Rocher in a brownie. Gooey, crunchy, with the incredible combination of chocolate and hazelnut flavours.

FF Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies
Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies.

Since eating a brownie is an indulgence, it makes sense to eat only the best. Made using 400 grams of good quality chocolate, dark, treacly sugar and aromatic vanilla extract, the basic brownie is already exceptional. In addition, adding roasted, chopped hazelnuts to the brownie batter, lends another layer of flavour. Finally, whole hazelnuts, roasted during the baking process, completes the exceptional flavour profile.

FF Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies
Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies fudgy with a crunch.

Brownies are such fun to make. Wearing an apron, or if you are like me with chocolate in the kitchen, overalls, is advisable. Also a sink full of soapy water is handy. Furthermore, mentally preparing for a ‘bit’ of kitchen mess relaxes the mind for the chocolate bomb to come! Since it is impossible for me to make brownies without creating a mess, I assume the same of everyone. Finally, know that the clean up process takes less time than baking the brownies. 😉

FF Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies
A plate of Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies.

There is nothing wrong with staring at the picture above. I do!

Recipe: Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies makes 15

200g/7oz Dark Chocolate minimum 70% Cocoa Solids

200g/7oz Milk Chocolate minimum 35% Cocoa Solids

2tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

4 Large Free Range Eggs

1/4tsp Sea Salt – 1/8tsp Free flowing salt – I use Maldon

225g/8oz Dark Brown Muscavado Sugar

75g/3oz Plain White Flour

1/2tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

100g/4oz Ready Roasted Chopped Hazelnuts

100g/4oz Whole Blanched Hazelnuts

Method: Preheat the oven 170C/150 fan, gas mark 3.5

You will need a 22.5cm x 30cm (9″ x 12″) deep tin, lined with foil or baking parchment.

  • Break or chop the chocolate into chunks and place in a medium, heatproof, microwaveable bowl.
  • Add the butter to the chocolate.
  • Heat, using a microwave, on medium power, for 30 second bursts. Stir between each heating period.
  • As soon as the chocolate starts to melt remove the bowl from the microwave. Continue to stir until all of the chocolate is melted and combined with the melted butter. Set to one side to cool.
  • Next, into a separate bowl, add the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract. Stir to combine the ingredients.
  • Once the chocolate mixture is approximately body temperature pour the egg mixture in and stir constantly until the mixture is combined.
  • Sieve the flour and bicarbonate of soda on to the combined mix. Now add the chopped, roasted hazelnuts.
  • Stir the flour and nuts into the chocolate mix.
FF Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies
Nutty brownie batter ready for the baking tin.
  • Pour the brownie batter into the prepared tin.
FF Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies
Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies ready for the oven.
  • Unlike baking a cake, where air bubbles are needed to help the cake rise, brownies are rich and dense with very little rise. To encourage an even bake, rap the filled baking tin sharply on the worktop. Doing so encourages any air bubbles present to rise to the surface of the batter.
  • Place the baking tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 10 minutes exactly.
  • Remove the baking tin after the initial baking time has elapsed. The surface of the brownies will have just started to set.
  • Sprinkle over the additional whole hazelnuts, use the back of a spoon to gently press into the surface of the brownie. Take care as the brownie tin will be very hot.
FF Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies
Whole hazelnuts give crunch to the finished bake.
  • Return the tin to the oven and continue to bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • The brownies are baked when set, with only a hint of a wobble in the centre.
  • As soon as the brownies are baked remove from the oven and place the tin on a cooling rack.
FF Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies
Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies cool in the tin.
  • Leave the brownies to cool in the tin. Or if you simply cannot wait, cool slightly, scoop portions of brownie into bowls and top with vanilla ice cream!

Cut the cooled brownie slab into 3 even sized widths, then cut across at 5 evenly spaced lengths. A palette knife may also be used to slide between the base of the brownie and foil. Although the foil/baking parchment should easily peel away.

FF Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies
Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies very tasty.

Serve slightly warmed (20 seconds in the microwave) with a scoop of ice cream. Alternatively, serve with a cold tumbler of milk.

Once cooled keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Although, who’s kidding that they will last that long? Not in this house!

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies then you may like these:

Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies

FF Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies
Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies

Double Peanut Chocolate Chip Cookies

FF Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies
Double Peanut Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Chocolate Madness Muffins

FF Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies
Chocolate Madness Muffins.

Baking cakes, brownies, muffins and cookies at home really is fun. Once a particular recipe is mastered it can be adapted to personal taste. Since you are the baker, you get to decide if hazelnuts or alternatively peanuts are used in your bake. As a result you get to create your own, personalised feast.

Have fun creating new feasts in your kitchen.

Sammie xx

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

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Seeded Multigrain Baguettes

I love baking and nothing is as rewarding as homemade bread. The yeasty aroma of dough proving, followed by the smell of fresh bread baking, never grows old. These Seeded Multigrain Baguettes are crunchy and full of nutty flavour. Perfect for dunking into soup, or filling with mature cheddar for a satisfying lunch.

FF Seeded Multigrain Baguettes
Seeded Multigrain Baguettes

Since some people are scared about baking bread, here are a few tips to ensure great results. Use great quality, fresh, bread flour. Throw away any opened flour that has been sitting in the cupboard for over 6 months. Likewise, the same for yeast. Fresh yeast only lasts a few days in the fridge. Whereas dried yeast lasts longer, yet, still should be replaced after 6 months. Finally, by baking bread regularly, ingredients are used up and naturally replaced before losing their freshness.

FF Seeded Multigrain Baguettes
Seeded Multigrain Baguettes delicious with soup.

With bread, in its many forms; loaf, baguette, rolls etc. being so readily available in every supermarket, questions may be asked about baking baguettes at home. My personal reason is the same for everything that is cooked and baked in our kitchen. Every single ingredient is known. No additives, flavour enhancers, mould inhibitors or such are added. Each baguette, or loaf is made when required, negating the need to ensure that it stays fresh for an entire week.

FF Seeded Multigrain Baguettes
Seeded Multigrain Baguettes no artificial additives.

Satisfaction gained from making, shaping and baking bread dough is reward enough. Although superior flavour and freshness cannot be beaten. Eaten within 30 minutes of cooling, from the oven, sets homemade baguettes apart from their mass produced counterparts. Also no ‘invisible’ nasties enter the digestive system  from supposedly ‘healthy’ food.

Recipe: Seeded Multigrain Baguettes makes 4

340ml Water at room temperature

7g/Sachet Dried Yeast – I use Allinson

250g/9oz Strong White Bread Flour

250g/9oz Strong Multigrain/Malted with Seeds Bread Flour – I use Shipton Mill 

7g Sea Salt – I use Maldon

25g/1oz Unsalted Butter

4tbsp Mixed Seeds

Method:

This method uses a stand mixer to mix and knead the dough. You may easily mix and knead by hand, following the shaping technique given.

  • Place the stand mixer bowl on top of digital scales. Weighing ingredients, including water is, by far, the most accurate way to bake.
  • Weigh 340g water into the bowl. One gram equals one millilitre of water.
  • Next add the yeast.
  • Add the bread flours on top of the yeasted water. Keeping the yeast and salt separate allows the yeast to work without the salt killing it.
  • Weigh the salt and butter directly on to the flour.
  • With a dough hook attached mix on a low speed for 5 minutes.
  • Increase the speed to medium and continue to mix for a further 5 minutes.
  • As soon as the mixing time has finished switch off the stand mixer. Remove a small piece of dough and stretch it. When fully kneaded the dough should stretch without tearing, so that light can been seen through it – windowpane test. Continue to mix on medium speed for a further 2 minutes, until this test is passed.
  • As soon as the dough is fully kneaded, switch off the mixer and scrape any dough from the dough hook into the bowl, using your fingers.
  • Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to prove until doubled in size, 1-2 hours.
  • When the dough has doubled in size, turn out on to a lightly floured worktop. Make sure the top of the dough in the bowl is in contact with the worktop, becoming the underneath.
FF Seeded Multigrain Baguettes
Dividing the dough into four equal portions.
  • Pull out the dough 5-6 times, from the side and press into the centre of the dough ball.
  • Turn the dough over, shape into a rough log and cut into 4 even portions.
  • Take the first piece of dough, turn on its side and pull 4-5 times from around the edge. Sticking each piece of dough back into the centre as before.
FF Seeded Multigrain Baguettes
Shaping each piece of dough into a baguette.
  • Start to roll the dough into a log shape. Beginning at the front edge, use your thumb to roll the dough, as in top left picture above.
  • With the seam underneath place your hands in the centre of the log and start to roll the dough, gently easing it from the centre.
  • Continue rolling the dough until it is 10″/25cm. Finally roll either end to a point.
  • Place on to a baking tray or a perforated baguette baking tray.
  • Shape the remaining pieces of dough in the same way.
FF Seeded Multigrain Baguettes
Seeded Multigrain Baguettes proving.
  • Cover with a damp tea towel. Leave to prove until doubled in size.
  • While the baguettes are proving preheat the oven to its hottest setting. Place a pan of water in the base of the oven.
  • Once doubled in size spray, or lightly brush each baguettes with water. Sprinkle over the mixed seeds.
FF Seeded Multigrain Baguettes
Seeded Multigrain Baguettes ready to be baked.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 230C/210C fan, gas mark 8.
  • Place the baguettes on their trays into the oven. The baguette baking trays fit in at an angle.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. The baguettes will be golden and sound hollow when rapped with a knuckle when fully baked.
  • As soon as they are baked remove from the oven and carefully transfer to a cooling rack.
FF Seeded Multigrain Baguettes
Seeded Multigrain Baguettes Hot from the oven.
  • Leave to cool until just warm.
FF Seeded Multigrain Baguettes
Seeded Multigrain Baguettes made at home.

Serve filled with your favourite sandwich fillings, or break apart and dunk in soup. Enjoy these baguettes on the day they are made, or alternatively, freeze wrapped in aluminium foil, for up to one month.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Seeded Multigrain Baguettes you may also like these:

Garlic Cheese Bombs

FF Seeded Multigrain Baguettes
Garlic Cheese Bombs

Lighter Wholemeal Bread

FF Seeded Multigrain Baguettes
Lighter Wholemeal Loaf

Easy Crusty Baguettes

FF Seeded Multigrain Baguettes
Easy Crusty Baguettes

Making bread at home is so much fun. Including children in the process is almost foolproof. Dough is a great medium to play with. Especially with children, who, in my experience, are much more likely to eat what they have made. Pizzas are another big hit. It is amazing how a piece of green bell pepper can become a light sabre. This Better Than Takeout Pizza is a great recipe to try.

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

Sammie xx

Please do not copy any part of this post. All content is covered by copyright laws. For further details see my Disclosure Policy.

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Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake

Someone once said “A celebration without cake is just a meeting.” How right they were. Whether it is birthdays, weddings, christenings, or any other form of celebration, cakes almost always feature. Recently Hawkshead Relish won Small Business Of The Year 2017. Having reviewed and used their delicious jams, chutneys and more recently spreads, I was absolutely thrilled for them. To celebrate their award I offered to make a cake featuring their best selling Raspberry and Vanilla Jam. Here is the Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake made in celebration of such an amazing achievement.

FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake.

Three layers of light, vanilla sponge, sandwiched together with vanilla bean buttercream and raspberry vanilla jam. Covered lightly, yet incompletely with the same buttercream. Most of all, giving a very ‘on trend’ naked finish to the cake. Finished with edible garden flowers that reflect the geographic location of Hawkshead Relish, situated in the historic village of Hawkshead within the English Lake District.

FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake in the sunshine.

Using locally sourced ingredients Hawkshead Relish do not use any artificial additives or preservatives. Completely free from nuts, their range is also suitable for vegetarians. Holding 50 Great Taste awards, each product is made in small batches using traditional methods. Resulting in outstanding taste and quality, from a family run business.

FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake layered with buttercream and the very best jam.

Using the Hawkshead Relish motto “Embellish with Relish,” it has been my pleasure creating recipes that include their products. While creating Red Onion Sausage Plait, the Red Onion Marmalade is a vital ingredient to the finished bake. So unique are the  flavour of chutneys and sauces, they deserve more than to be spooned on to the side of a plate. Since including relish within recipes, a whole world of flavour combinations became unlocked.

Recipe: Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake serves 14-16

  • To make the 3 cake sponges:
  • 275g/10oz Unsalted Butter + 100g/4oz both at room temperature
  • 275g/10oz Caster Sugar + 100g/4oz
  • 3tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey
  • 1/4tsp + 1/8tsp Sea Salt  – I use Maldon
  • 6 Large Free Range Eggs + an additional 3
  • 275g/10oz Plain White Flour + 100g/4oz
  • 2.5tsp Baking Powder + 1tsp
  • To make the buttercream:
  • 500g/12oz Icing Sugar
  • 250g/9oz Unsalted Butter softened to room temperature
  • 2tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 2  Jars Raspberry and Vanilla Jam from – Hawkshead Relish
  • 2-3tbsp Very Hot Water from a recently boiled kettle
  • To decorate the cake:
  • A selection of organic, pesticide free edible flowers. Both mint and lavender flowers were sourced from our garden.

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

Making the cake:

You will need 3 x 18cm/7″ approx 7cm/2.5″ deep, loose bottom sponge tins. As most people own only 2, this method is written with that taken into account. Therefore, two separate bakes are included. First of all making the batter and baking two sponges. Followed by making the batter and baking one sponge. Finally, should you own and have oven space for three sponges to be made and baked together, simply follow the steps, using the total ingredients.

  • First of all, lightly butter the baking tins. Cover the base in baking parchment.
  • Into a large bowl add the first amount of sugar, butter and salt.
  • Whisk together until pale and creamy.
  • Next add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and 6 whole eggs.
  • Whisk everything together until combined.
  • Follow by sieving in the flour and baking powder.
  • Whisk the ingredients together until combined. Take care not to over beat, or the resulting cake will be tough.
  • Divide the cake batter equally between 2 greased and lined tins. If using the entire mix divide between 3 tins.
  • Place the tins in the top and centre of the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes.
FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Preparing and baking the cake sponges.
  • When they have turned golden brown and spring back from a light touch the cakes are fully baked.
  • Remove from the oven, allowing each cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out on to a cooling rack.
  • Wash up one cake tin and follow the steps given to make a single sponge cake. Make and bake as before. Each of the 3 sponges must be fully cooled before icing.

Icing to create a naked cake finish:

During the cake icing process, chilling of the iced cake in a fridge is required. Therefore a cake board, or flat plate is needed for transferring the cake. Also a cake decorating turntable is helpful for ensuring a smooth even finish to the buttercream. Alternatively use a cake stand large enough to accommodate the cake board/plate. A palette knife and large piping bag are also required.

  • Into a large bowl add the softened butter and vanilla bean paste.
  • Sieve the icing sugar into the same bowl.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of very hot water from the kettle and start whisking the ingredients on a low speed.
  • Continue whisking until the buttercream has turned very pale and has a light, creamy consistency.
  • Place the cake board on to the cake stand.
  • Next, put a small dollop of buttercream on to the centre of the board. Spread the icing so that it is slightly smaller than the diameter of a cake sponge.
  • Lay the first sponge, flat side uppermost on to the board. The buttercream anchors the cake to the board, providing a stable base.
  • Spread 4 generous tablespoons of jam on to the cake. Leave a 2cm gap between the jam and the edge of the cake.
  • Next, take a separate sponge and add a generous dollop/4tbsp of buttercream to the top.
  • Using a palette knife, spread the buttercream evenly so that it covers the sponge.
  • Carefully lift and flip the sponge, placing it on top of the jam sponge, buttercream side facing down. See the photos below for guidance.
FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Layering each sponge with jam and buttercream.
  • Repeat the last steps, with the remaining sponge. However, this time the sponge should be placed flat side down. Hence leaving the finished, stacked cake with a natural top.
FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
3 sponge cake layers stacked. Also covering the top in buttercream.
  • Spoon a generous amount/5tbsp of buttercream on to the top of the cake.
  • Again, using a palette knife, spread the buttercream so that it covers the top of the cake evenly.
  • Fill a large, disposable piping bag with the remaining buttercream. Snip the end of the bag to give a 1cm opening. A nozzle is not required.
FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Covering the cake sides with buttercream.
  • The purpose of piping buttercream is to fill in any gaps. Similar to plastering, buttercream is added and then smoothed on to the cake sides. During this process buttercream will be added and then taken off. Resulting in a ‘naked cake’ finish.
  • Pipe the buttercream in between each layer of the cake, including the base and the cake board. Take care not to get jam mixed with the buttercream.
  • Holding a palette knife at a slight angle to the side of the cake, slowly turn the cake stand. As the buttercream spreads across the cake it will also accumulate on the palette knife. Scrape the palette knife against the side of the butter bowl to remove any excess.
  • Continue turning the cake, piping buttercream on to any bare spots, until the sides of the cake are roughly covered. See bottom left photo above.
  • The next stage is creating a smooth, even finish across the entire cake.
  • Fill a jug with very hot water. Wipe any buttercream from the palette knife and then place it in the hot water. Since the heat of the knife melts buttercream, it is very helpful in creating the smoothest finish.
  • Remove the palette knife, wipe off any water and then hold it flat against the side of the cake. Rotate the cake slowly. When you start to feel a dragging sensation, turn the knife over and repeat. Creating a completely smooth cake requires a lot of repetition of these steps. Repeat until the sides of the cake are smooth.
  • Now use the same technique for smoothing the cake top. As soon as the cake top is smooth, run a hot palette knife around the outside of the top cake layer. Creating a smooth top and sides is the aim.
  • While it is tempting to keep going, there does come a point at which the cake is satisfactorily smoothed. Part of the beauty of naked cakes, is their imperfect finish.
  • Clean off any buttercream on the cake board.
FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake before and after smoothing with a hot palette knife.
  • Chill the cake, uncovered, in the fridge for an hour. Chilling sets the buttercream prior to decorating.
  • Decorating a naked cake:
  • If using fresh flowers it is important to decorate the cake on the day it is to be served.
  • While the cake is chilling prepare the flowers for decoration. Remove lower leaves on stalks and trim flowers so that they can sit on top, or to the side of the cake.
  • Decorate using your chosen flowers. It is important to consider the cake from every angle whilst decorating.
FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Roses and herbs reflect the rural and natural products made by Hawkshead Relish.

Finally the Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake is ready to be served.

FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake.

Store any leftover cake, floral decorations removed, in an airtight container, ideally refrigerated.

If you have enjoyed this Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake recipe, you may also like these:

Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut

FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut.

Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake

FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake

Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake

FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake.

Celebrating a special event, such as Hawhead Relish’s achievement, with cake, marks the occasion. Other desserts such as cheesecakes and pavlova’s can also make an impressive alternative. Especially as different dietary requirements may need catering for. All Pavlova recipes on Feasting is Fun are specifically gluten free, for that very reason. Including as many people in a celebration is always important.

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

Sammie xx

Hawkhead Relish kindly supplied the used in this recipe. All opinions, views, content including photography are my own. No part of this post may be reproduced without the express written permission of its owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread

Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread, quick and easy to make, perfect for sharing.

This post hardly needs any words. Simply look at the photos? Fresh ciabatta bread baked with the ultimate topping. Three different cheeses melted together, with kalamata olives and fresh basil. Resulting in crisp, crusty bread with the most flavourful, salty, fresh herb spiked, cheesy covering, Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread.

FF Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread
Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread gooey and inviting.

Since combining Philadelphia cream cheese, mozzarella and sharp cheddar gives this topping a great combination of melting gooeyness and great cheese flavour. Also adding the meaty kalamata olives and fresh basil provides an overall herby saltiness that goes well with cocktails, especially a Martini. While the topping is overly generous, it could be split to cover two open Ciabattas. Sliced thinly, or cut into squares, these would make elegant, pre dinner canapés.

FF Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread
Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread irresistible!
FF Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread
Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread look at the melted cheese.

Recipe: Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread

1 x Regular size Ciabatta Bread – split open

200g/7oz Mozzarella

75g/3oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese – I find own brands too watery for this recipe

75g/3oz Grated Sharp/Mature Cheddar – I use Wyke Mature Cheddar

50g/2oz Kalamata Olives – I use olives with the stones in

1tbsp chopped fresh basil

1/4 – 1/2tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper – to taste

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

  • First of all place a medium sized bowl on to some digital scales. This will make adding ingredients much easier.
  • Spoon the Philadelphia cream cheese into the bowl and break up the drained mozzarella cheese, adding it to the cream cheese.
  • Next add the grated mature cheddar to the bowl.
  • Remove the stones from the olives. Press each olive with the flat side of the knife. Easily remove the stone using your fingers from the squashed olive.
  • Chop the olives roughly, adding to the bowl until the correct weight is achieved.
  • Now chop the fresh basil fairly roughly and add to the bowl.
  • Add 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.
FF Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread
Preparing the cheese, olive and fresh basil topping.
  • Use a fork to mix all of the ingredients together.
  • Cut the Ciabatta bread in half lengthways and place on to a baking tray.
  • Divide the cheese mixture in half and cover each half of the ciabatta.
FF Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread
Preparing the ciabatta for baking.
  • Place the ciabatta into the top of the preheated oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes. The bread is baked when it is golden and crusty and the cheese is meltingly bubbly on top.
  • While the ciabatta is baking pour yourself a long, cool glass of your favourite drink!
  • Once baked remove the ciabatta from the oven. Also scoop any melted cheese that has escaped from the bread back on top.
FF Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread
Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread fresh from the oven.
FF Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread
Crunchy and oozing with cheese.

To serve, place on to a wooden board and slice the ciabatta across, dividing each half into 5 or 6 pieces. Pass around to delighted guests.

The topping can be made one day ahead and kept in a sealed container in the fridge. Once baked this bread should be consumed on the day it is eaten.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread you may also enjoy these:

Mini Sparkenhoe Red Leicester Tarts

FF Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread
Mini Sparkenhoe Red Leicester Tarts

Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones

FF Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread
Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones

Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts

FF Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread
Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts

Quick, easy recipes, or in some cases assemblies are an absolute wonder to have in our repertoire. Whether we are rushed off our feet with the busyness of life, or the opposite, too hot or tired to contemplate ‘cooking’, we all need a stash of no fail, easy recipes. As soon as they are assembled and baked, we can breath a collective sigh of relief, take a deep breath and enjoy our time together.

Whatever you are making, baking or even assembling in your kitchens, remember to have fun. Food tastes better when shared and the hostess is relaxed!

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be copied or reproduced without the owner’s express, written permission. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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