Snowy Black Forest Roulade

Joining in with the #GBBOTwitterBakeAlong has, so far, proved to be a lot of fun. The challenges stretch my baking skills and my creativity. Wanting to create a gluten free bake that more people can make and enjoy, I came up with this Snowy Black Forest Roulade.

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Snowy Black Forest Roulade kirsch whipped cream and cherries all rolled up together.

While never having made a gluten free genoise sponge before, I had to try. Genoise sponges are made without the use of any type of fat. Generally they are made from eggs and sugar, whipped until at least tripled in size, with flour folded in at the end. Especially when folding in the flour, I take extra care to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.

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Snowy Black Forest Roulade with hand piped chocolate chocolate trees.

Knowing that cocoa can have a drying effect on the taste of the sponge, I also wondered if the cake would hold up to being rolled. A good sponge roulade should withstand rolling, without cracking. The possibilities of just how wrong this sponge could go, seemed endless. Maybe this bake would fail. The only way to know, was to try.

FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade
Snowy Black Forest Roulade an elegant dessert.

So, the gluten free chocolate genoise sponge was made and baked. As you can see from the photos, it did indeed roll, without cracking and the flavour is utterly delicious. Light, soft, chocolate sponge, filled with kirsch flavoured whipped cream and soft, sweet cherries. One mouthful of this Snowy Black Forest Roulade and I was completly lost in one of my favourite flavour combinations.

Since nobody could tell that it was gluten free, I took that as a positive sign. Having baked quite a few gluten free recipes, on occasion I have found them to have a slight gritty texture. Not this luscious dessert. Soft, yielding sponge, that tastes just like a sponge should. As a result of this bake I have plans to make another gluten rolled sponge, that is simply flavoured with vanilla or lemon.

I find that the proof of the pudding is in the eating! When plates and bowls are left empty, I am satisfied that whatever I have made is a hit. Our children can be brutally honest, especially Snugs, our youngest daughter. She scored this Snowy Black Forest Roulade at 9 out of 10. Another success for the Feasting kitchen.

Recipe: Snowy Black Forest Roulade

1tbsp Unsalted Butter

4 Large Free Range Eggs

80g Caster Sugar

50g Gluten Free Plain White Flour – I use Doves Farm

50g Cocoa Powder plus an extra 2tbsp – I use Callebaut

1tsp Baking Powder – I use Waitrose as it is gluten free

Small Pinch of Salt – I use Maldon

300ml Double Cream

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

4tsp Icing Sugar

1 Tin Cherry Pie Filling

Optional 2tbsp Kirsch Liquer

100g Dark Chocolate

50g White Chocolate

Optional – White Edible Glitter

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

Note: To bake the sponge for this Snowy Black Forest Roulade you will need a baking tray that measures 38cm x 25cm x 3cm (15″ x 10″ x 1″).

  • First, grease the baking tray with butter and line the base with baking parchment.
  • Sift the gluten free flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
  • Next, in a large bowl, or if you have a stand mixer use the bowl with the whisk attachment, add the sugar and eggs. Whisk continuously for at least 5 minutes, until the egg/sugar mixture has more than tripled in size. The mixture will be a pale cream colour that is very light and airy. It should leave a ribbon trail, that lasts a few seconds, after you remove the whisk.
  • Tip the sifted ingredients into the whisked egg mixture and using a large metal spoon, carefully fold the sifted ingredients in. The aim is to retain as much air within the finished cake batter as possible.
  • Once the ingredients are completely combined pour the mixture in to the prepared baking tray. Use a palette knife to ensure that the cake batter is evenly spread, ensuring that it reaches all of the corners.
FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade
Making the sponge batter and filling the baking tray.
  • Now place the baking tray into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • To test if the sponge is baked press lightly in the centre, when baked the sponge will spring back. Note – be careful not to over bake as this will cause the sponge to be dry and it will then be harder to roll without cracking.
  • Finally, when the sponge is baked, remove it from the oven.
  • Next, allow the sponge to cool in the tin for 2 minutes.
  • While the sponge is cooling, lay a large, just bigger than the sponge, piece of baking parchment on the work top.
  • Dust the baking parchment with the extra 2 tablespoons of cocoa, so that it is evenly covered.
  • Now run a palette knife around the edge of the sponge and then turn it out on to the baking parchment.
  • Very carefully remove the parchment that lined the baking tray.
  • Starting at one side and using the baking parchment to help, gently roll the sponge, while it is still warm.
  • Once rolled, set to one side until completely cooled.
FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade
Please use baking parchment, my brain wasn’t working and I used a pastry mat. It worked absolutely fine but next time I will turn the sponge out on to parchment!

Making the Chocolate Trees:

  • While waiting for the sponge to cool, the chocolate trees can be made.
  • First you will need 2 small disposable piping bags to pipe the trees with.
  • Next break up both types of chocolate and place in heatproof, microwaveable bowls.
  • Heat the chocolate, individually, on medium until it has started to melt.
  • Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir until the chocolate has completely melted.
  • Now fill each piping bag with melted chocolate. Leave the chocolate to cool, until it is still liquid, yet warm, not hot, in the piping bag. As a result of leaving the chocolate to cool, it will be thicker and easier to control whilst piping the trees.
  • Starting with the dark chocolate, pipe tree shapes on to a non stick silicone mat, or baking parchment. The trees should be about 3 inches (7.5cm) high, please see the photo below.
FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade
Pipe the main trunk down then up and then pipe the branches.
  • Allow the dark chocolate to set and then pipe white chocolate on the top of each branch. Leave the trees to completely set before attempting to remove them.
  • It is inevitable that some trees will break as they are removed. This is great as most forest floors have fallen/broken branches on them. So they can be used to add further decoration to the roulade.

Filling and decorating the Roulade:

  • In a large bowl add the cream, vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon of Kirsch and 2 teaspoons of sifted icing sugar – a tea strainer is handy for sifting small amounts.
  • Whisk the cream until it just holds a stiff peak.
  • Unroll the chocolate sponge and then, using a palette knife, spread half of the cream over the sponge.
  • Decant the cherry pie filling into a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of kirsch and stir to mix.
  • Next, using a spoon, place cherries evenly across the sponge, then spoon the syrup in between the cherries.
  • Using the baking parchment roll the sponge into it a log, finishing with the seam underneath.
  • Transfer the Roulade to a suitable plate.
  • Fit a piping bag fitted with a large star tip, then fill the bag with the remaining whipped cream.
  • Pipe single flower stars along the top of the Roulade and then along the sides.
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Building, rolling and piping the Roulade.
  • To finish the decoration, carefully peel the piped chocolate trees away from the non stick surface.
  • Place the trees evenly along the top of the Roulade, pushing them into the piped cream.
  • Use any broken tree parts as forest floor decorations, anchoring them to the roulade with the piped cream.
  • Finally finish the dessert by sifting icing sugar snow over the Roulade, sprinkling edible glitter for added sparkle!
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Snowy Black Forest Roulade beautifully dusted with icing sugar snow.

Serve sliced with a smile!

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Snowy Black Forest Roulade an elegant, incredibly tasty dessert or afternoon tea treat.

All the flavour of a Black Forest Gateaux rolled into a stunning Snowy Black Forest Roulade that is completely gluten free. A dessert that can be enjoyed by more people, without any loss of taste, texture or quality.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for this Snowy Black Forest Roulade here are some other gluten free recipes you may enjoy:

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

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Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes gluten free.

Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova

FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade
Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova gluten free.

Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut

FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade
Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut gluten free.

Gluten free recipes can taste just as great as their regular, wheat based counterparts. Creating recipes that can be made and eaten by people on a restricted diet, is an important part of what I do at Feasting is Fun. So you can look forward to more recipes being added, especially with Christmas not very far away.

When a recipe tastes as good as this Snowy Black Forest Roulade, there is no need to bake separate desserts. That has to be a good thing, for both those on a restricted diet and the cook!

Enjoy making, baking and creating in your own kitchens.

Sammie xx

I am submitting this Snowy Black Forest Roulade to October’s We Should Cocoa over at Tin and Thyme

FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade

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Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins

I have most definitely fallen in love. The kind of head over heels, mind consuming, heart compelling love that completely takes over one’s life. The object of my desire is orange, coincidentally my favourite colour, big and round. Pumpkin where have you been all my life? It would seem, puréed in a can, far, far away. Until now, where I can hoard cans of this delicious ingredient, ready to make Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins whenever I desire.

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Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins good for you and delicious.

Americans, Canadians, no doubt many other countries have long known the delight that is pumpkin purée. While not the most compelling ingredient straight from the can, it lends a flavour and texture to bakes that other ingredients cannot.

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Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins welcoming in Autumn.

Venturing into Pumpkin Spice World with my very first pumpkin bake, these doughnuts, I soon realised that I had uncovered an amazing ingredient. The tenderness, colour and delicate flavour that pumpkin purée lends to a bake is unique. Resulting in some of the best bakes I have ever tasted.

FF Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins
Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins great for grabbing breakfast on the go.

Since I have found a regular supplier long may this love affair continue. I intend to explore as many different bakes and desserts using my newly discovered love and they will be posted on here. Because sharing my passion seems only fair. Hopefully you will discover a love for all things pumpkin, by the time October ends.

FF Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins
Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins perfect for sharing.

As always, here on Feasting is Fun, sharing is a key part of my passion behind blogging. An example of how I share, just happened. Unable to drive at the present see here, I appreciate the Pharmacy, adjoined to my doctors, delivering my prescriptions. Just now, once I’d received my medications, I was able to share one of these Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins with the delivery lady. The perfect way to show my thanks.

Recipe: Makes 12 Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins

100g Unsalted Butter melted and cooled

200g Pumpkin Purée – available from Sainsbury’s

150g Full Fat Natural Yoghurt – I use Yeo Valley

2 Large Free Range Eggs

125g Plain White Flour

100g Wholemeal Flour

2tsp Baking Powder

85g Chopped Walnuts

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

150g Soft Light Brown Sugar plus 1tbsp

2.5tsp Pumpkin Spice Mix see here if you want to make your own

Method: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan, gas mark 3

  • Firstly melt the butter in a heatproof, microwaveable jug and set to one side to cool.
  • Line a 12 hole muffin tin with cases, I used pretty tulip wrappers.
  • Next, in a large bowl add the flours, chopped walnuts, sugar, spice and salt. Stir with a balloon whisk to distribute the ingredients evenly and break up any lumps in the sugar. Dry ingredients.
  • Once the butter has cooled add in the yoghurt, pumpkin purée and eggs. Beat with a fork until the ingredients are combined. Wet ingredients.
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and then pour the wet ingredients into the dry.
  • Mix until just combined. Over mixing will cause the muffins to become tough.
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Bringing the muffin batter together.
  • Spoon the muffin mix into the muffin cases, distributing the mix as evenly as possible.
  • Finally, using the extra tablespoon of sugar sprinkle a little over the top of each unbaked muffin.
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Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins ready for the oven.
  • Place the muffin tin in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • My muffins were baked at 25 minutes, but I started checking after 20 minutes.
  • Once baked the muffins should be just firm to the touch, without any visible wobble (this was present when checking at 20 minutes). The Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins will have a slight sparkle, or sheen to them from the additional sugar sprinkled just prior to baking.
  • As soon as the muffins are baked remove the tin from the oven.
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Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins their smell will fill your kitchen.
  • Inhale deeply. The baked pumpkin spices smell of warm, comforting, welcoming food. Who needs scented candles?
  • If you have used the tulip style muffin wrappers I strongly suggest leaving them to cool completely in the muffin tin. I have found that this prevents them from unwrapping themselves, as can be the case if removed whilst hot.
  • Regular muffin cases can be removed after cooling for 10 minutes in the tin. Place on a cooling rack.
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Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins best served warm.

These delightful Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins are their best served warm. One of the benefits of using tulip style wrappers is that they unfold to create the perfect napkin, to hold and enjoy the experience of eating a muffin.

Pulled apart or bitten straight into, these muffins are all that is good about Autumn, wrapped up in an edible parcel. Also golden in colour, they imitate the autumnal palette, crunchy walnuts akin to walking through fallen leaves. Warm spices and tender crumb resemble falling into a big sofa near an open fire, after a crisp afternoon walk.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins you may also enjoy these:

Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

FF Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins
Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

Autumn Apple Almond Cake

FF Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins
Autumn Almond Apple Cake gluten free.

Spiced Fruit Loaf

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Spiced Fruit Loaf

Baking these Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins releases the aroma of the pumpkin spice mix within, creating a welcoming ambiance in the home. When visitors arrive, or the postman knocks on the front door, I want them to feel welcome. Nurtured by the warmth of our home and good food, they leave contented and comforted.

While baking, making and creating in the kitchen, my aim is to convey love, acceptance and warmth through food. Sharing the food made, is an extension of home and all it represents. Meeting another’s needs on both a physical and emotional level, whilst sharing time and companionship over a coffee and a home baked treat shows, food really can be so much more than fuel.

Sammie xx

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Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

Autumn is such a beautiful season. Leaves change through a rainbow of green, yellow, gold, orange and rust. Low sunlight casting a golden glow on days that are spared from wind and rain ravaged storms. Autumn is a season of transition. Summer salads gradually disappear, replaced by comforting soups, stews and roasts. These Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts not only look autumnal, they warm the senses with long since forgotten spices.

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Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts so tender.

Inspiration hit to make these Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts after reading a similar recipe from Baker By Nature. Never having baked with pumpkin purée before, the first batch had me hooked. Since, as is the nature of most bakers, after testing, the recipe needed a little tweaking to accommodate our family’s taste preference, a second batch was the made the following day.

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Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts such a warming, welcoming treat.

Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts really are the beautiful ochre colour that can been seen in the photographs. The spiced sugar sparkles in the low afternoon sunlight. For once there wasn’t a temptation to sprinkle with glitter

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Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts you may fall in love with these.

While the inhabitants of North America’s continent have been using pumpkin in pies, cakes and bakes for many years, over the pond we have been missing out. It seems that here in the U.K. we tend to carve out a stinky, cabbage smelling pumpkin at Halloween, without a thought to eating the flesh. Yes I know we eat butternut squash, in fact I put it in this Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup. However, I cannot feel as though we are losing out.

Pumpkin purée lends a tenderness to the crumb of these doughnuts that has to be tasted to be believed. The flavour is subtle, allowing the pumpkin spice mix to compliment, rather than overwhelm it. Finishing with a sprinkle of cinnamon spiced sugar creates the contrast in texture and awakens the senses. Not quite as light as a fried doughnut, yet delicious in its own right.

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Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts all natural colour and flavour.

Becky’s recipe for Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix:

4 tbsp Ground Cinnamon

3tsp Ground Ginger

2 tsp Ground Nutmeg

2 tsp Ground Allspice

1 tsp Ground Cloves

Mix together and store in an airtight jar.

Making the Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts:

Recipe: Makes 7-8 Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

50g Unsalted Butter – melted and cooled plus extra butter for greasing the doughnut tin.

80g Pumpkin Purée – available at Sainsbury’s

145g Full Fat Natural Yoghurt – I use Yeo Valley

1 Large Free Range Egg

185g Plain White Flour

1tsp Baking Powder

1/8tsp Salt -I use Maldon

1.5tsp Pumpkin Spice Mix – Becky’s recipe

75g Soft Light Brown Sugar

To coat the Doughnuts:

60g Unsalted Melted Butter

75g Granulated Sugar

2tsp Ground Cinnamon

Method: 

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

  • The baked doughnut tins I use are from Wilton and on testing did not need greasing. However, brushing the doughnut tin with melted butter is recommended.
  • In a large bowl add the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pumpkin spice. Stir with a balloon whisk, breaking up any lumps in the sugar. Dry ingredients.
  • In a jug or smaller bowl add the pumpkin, yoghurt, egg and melted butter. Whisk together lightly with a fork until the mixture is a uniform orange colour. Wet ingredients.
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in. Stir with a spoon until just combined. Similar to making a muffin mix.
  • Fill a piping bag, fitted with a circular nozzle, approximately 1.5 – 2 cm diameter, with the doughnut batter.
  • Pipe 7-8 doughnuts into the tins.
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Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts in the making.
  • Place the doughnut tins in the centre of the oven and bake for 13-15 minutes – mine took 13 minutes.
  • The doughnuts will be firm, with a little spongy give when pressed, slightly golden and look a little crinkled on top when baked.
  • Once the doughnuts are baked remove from the oven and immediately tip out on to a cooling rack.
  • Whilst the doughnuts are cooking melt the butter to dip them in. 30 seconds on medium was sufficient in our microwave. Ensure the bowl is big enough to take a  complete doughnut if you choose to dunk.
  • Next place the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl, ensuring it is big enough as before and mix to combine.
  • While the doughnuts are still warm, dunk, or as I did, brush all over with melted butter. Remembering to turn the doughnut to ensure even coverage.
  • Immediately after either dunk the doughnut in the spiced sugar, or sprinkle over the sugar while the doughnuts are on the rack.
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Coating the Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts in butter and spiced sugar.
  • Having tried both dunking and brushing/sprinkling methods, the second method was preferred
  • In reality, brushing with butter used exactly the same amount as dunking them. The choice really is yours.
  • As a family, although utterly delicious, we decided that the first batch of doughnuts were too sugary. Yes that really is possible 😉.
  • Finally, when dunking the doughnuts in the sugar, the butter made the spiced sugar damp. An example of this can be seen in the photograph below. Therefore, I decided to sprinkle them with sugar, resulting in less sugar sticking, whilst keeping its sparkly appearance.
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Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts accompanied by hot mocha drinks with a dash of ginger syrup.

Serve immediately, with a warming drink.

Mr Sherick’s Chocolate Chip Latte Shake was heated in a jug with a little extra milk, poured into fancy glasses and given a splash of bla ginger syrup. The drinks were then topped with mini gingerbread sprinkles. Resulting in a Cafe Culture experience at home.

For those of you who would rather not, or cannot go out, especially when the weather is bleak, here is the ultimate Cafe treat!

If you have enjoyed the recipe for Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts you may also enjoy these:

Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites

FF Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts
Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites

Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake

FF Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts
Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake

Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread

FF Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts
Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread

Served slightly warm these doughnuts truly are at their best. The recipe makes 8 individual Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts and unless you are baking for more I really wouldn’t recommend doubling it. Preparation time is scarcely 10 minutes max and these are definitely better eaten the day they are made. That said, kept in an airtight container they will last an extra day. Pinged for 10 seconds in the microwave and they are almost back to freshly baked tenderness.

Finally as a result of making these  doughnuts and vamping up the mocha shake, I now am able to have a Cafe treat at home. Such a treat. Most of all, you could treat a friend, relative or neighbour, to a Cafe Culture experience at home. Experiences are always better shared, as is food.

Sammie xx

Why not take a look at my friend Becky’s blog?

It’s full of fantastic recipes and is written in a step-by-step style. You are sure to enjoy her Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Bisuits.

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Homemade Yorkshire Puddings

Homemade Yorkshire Puddings are golden, crisp, well risen, individual bakes of pure, indulgent, comfort food.

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Homemade Yorkshire Puddings the effect addition to any roast dinner.

No meal HAS to have Homemade Yorkshire Puddings, yet what they add, to a roast, bangers and mash, or cooked with the sausages as ‘Toad in the Hole’, is immeasurable.

Proper Homemade Yorkshire Puddings for me shouldn’t be uniformly perfect. Because part of their charm is the craggy appearance, some with a hole, others billowing  like cumulus clouds. Ready to soak up rich, meaty gravy.

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Homemade Yorkshire Puddings little effort for big reward.

In the U.S.A. our beloved Yorkie Puds, are called ‘Popovers’. A fantastic name that I think describes them perfectly. Since they literally popover the top of the muffin tin whilst they bake.

I have spent many hours  happily watching these incredible bakes, laying prostrate, in front of the oven, in awe at the ‘magic’ as they rise.

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Homemade Yorkshire Puddings just add meat and gravy.

Made from a simple batter, these gravity defying delights enhance any dinner plate they grace.

Various methods as well as recipes exist claiming to be the ‘best way’ of making a Yorkie Puds. While my method is tried and tested over the years. I have found no difference in the final result, whether I rest or use the batter immediately. Finally, what I am sure of, is that this recipe consistently works for me.

Furthermore, a real bonus to making these is that they can be made ahead and even frozen. What’s not to love about these savoury wonders?

Recipe: Makes 12 Large Homemade Yorkshire Puddings 

Vegetable oil or Lard for greasing the muffin tin

3 Large Free Range Eggs

250ml Milk -Whole or Semi Skimmed

200g Plain White Flour

1/8th tsp Salt – I use Maldon

1/8th tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Pinch of Sugar

Method: Preheat the oven to 230/210C fan, gas mark 8

  • In a large jug add the eggs.
  • Next add the milk, salt, black pepper and sugar. Whisk using a balloon whisk until the egg and milk are thoroughly combined and there are lots of bubbles.
  • Now add the plain white flour, continue to whisk, by hand, for a couple of minutes. The batter should be completely lump free. Cover and set to one side.
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Steps showing the batter making process.
  • Place a teaspoon of vegetable oil, or lard into a 12 hole muffin tin.
  • Put the muffin tin in the oven for 10 minutes until it is smoking hot.
  • Just prior to removing the tin from the oven, give the batter a quick whisk, in case it has settled.
  • Working quickly, yet safely, remove the hot muffin tin from the oven and pour the batter mix into each hole. The batter should fill each muffin hole by half.
  • Return the muffin tin back into the top of the hot oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
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Filling the muffin tin with batter.
  • When the Yorkshire Puddings are well risen, golden and crispy remove from the oven.
FF Homemade Yorkshire Puddings
Homemade Yorkshire Puddings they simply cannot be beaten.

To remove the Yorkshire Puddings simply lift them out from the muffin tin. If any have slightly stuck run a better knife between the tin and the pudding and it should release easily.

Serve straight away, or as I frequently do, place on a baking tray to cool. Whilst dishing up the roast potatoes, pop the Homemade Yorkshire Puddings back into a hot oven to reheat.

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Homemade Yorkshire Puddings gloriously golden.

Although our kitchen isn’t small, it does lack workspace. Yet being able to make these in advance, really is a huge help, especially if we have guests joining us for dinner.

To freeze, cool thoroughly, place in a freezer proof bag and keep in the freezer for up to one month. To reheat from frozen, place on a baking tray in a hot oven for 5 minutes. Once reheated they will taste as if you have just made them.

I’m not telling! In fact I always make our Christmas Yorkshire Puddings ahead of the big day and freeze them. As fond as I am of cooking, I also want to have fun and enjoy myself too.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Homemade Yorkshire Puddings you may also like these.

Slow Roasted Cider Pork

FF Homemade Yorkshire Puddings
Slow Roasted Cider Pork. Look at that crackling?

Garlic Rosemary Roast Potatoes

FF Homemade Yorkshire Puddings
Garlic Rosemary Roast Potatoes.

Homemade Cauliflower Cheese

FF Homemade Yorkshire Puddings
Homemade Cauliflower Cheese

Finally this is such a simple recipe, yet time and again ready made, frozen Yorkshire Puddings are relied on. I like the slightly softer centre that comes with Homemade Yorkshire Puddings. For such a simple recipe I am amazed at the extra ingredients needed for their pre made, shop bought counterparts.

Baking and cooking from scratch will always be my priority. I hope that you too choose to try these?

Please let me know how you get on? I can be contacted most days via Twitter (@sammiefeasting) or leave a comment below.

Thank you for your continued support of Feasting is Fun. You, my readers are very much appreciated, as are your comments.

Sammie xx

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Iced Bakewell Tart

Iced Bakewell Tart, delicious, homemade raspberry jam,  almond sponge, encased in a shortcrust pastry case and covered with a thick layer of glacé icing.

I adore Bakewell Tart. The layers of pastry, raspberry jam and almond sponge combined, taste utterly delicious to me. In fact I love the flavours so much I have a few ‘Bakewell’ recipes on here. Usually I am content to leave the top of the sponge covered in almond flakes. Whilst following Mary Berry’s pretty iced tart last week, on the Great British Bake Off programme, I decided to try it out. I am ridiculously happy at how pretty my Iced Bakewell Tart looks!

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Iced Bakewell Tart with pretty pink feathered icing.

Everything you see on and in this tart is homemade, including the raspberry jam. Which, just happens to be my favourite and is incredibly easy to make. I’ll put that into a separate post, otherwise this ones going to be miles too long, we just want to get to the part where we can eat this Iced Bakewell Tart!

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Iced Bakewell Tart perfect for afternoon tea.

Having spotted a couple of open blooms open on my rose bush, I couldn’t resist cutting them and placing the vase next to the tart. They give the photos a romantic, afternoon tea look, echoing the pink icing on the top of the tart.

As much as I enjoy coming up with new recipes and testing them to ensure they will work as well for you as they do me, I’ve also grown to enjoy the photography side of my blog. Sometimes adding a single item can transform the ‘feel’ of a photograph. My slightly wind ravaged rose has added an element of beauty, but also imperfection, which I really like. Especially as I feathered the icing all in the same direction, more on that later!!!

FF Iced Bakewell Tart
Iced Bakewell Tart a delicious raspberry and almond treat for any special occasion.

With Feasting is Fun, my aim is to make each meal, recipe or bake a feast. What I mean by that is this; when time is taken to prepare good, homemade food, it should be enjoyed and the atmosphere as we feast together should be fun. Conversation across the dinner table can be one of the most important parts of the day. People relax, enjoy their meal and open up about their day.

Sitting together as a family, at least one day a week, I believe is incredibly important for the health and well being of us all. Sharing a meal more regularly is preferable, however, my hubby doesn’t get in until late some nights and I realise we are not unique in that aspect of family life.

I honestly believe, that from sharing family time, over a meal, our 3 children have grown to enjoy the same foods and meals as us, their parents. Of course they all have their preferences and being realistic, there are certain ingredients they do not eat. What we enjoy is sitting with a curry, or a couple of pizza’s and some homemade coleslaw, at the weekend, feasting both on the food and each other’s company.

FF Iced Bakewell Tart
Iced Bakewell Tart skimping on the raspberry jam simply shouldn’t happen!

That’s why I love the idea of afternoon tea. Usually at the weekends when we tend to eat our evening meal a bit later. Mid afternoon the kettle will go on, teapot filled and we’ll feast on whatever ‘mum’s’ been making that morning. Truthfully, most of what I make on those occasions doesn’t make it to this blog. I want to enjoy the company of my family. That said on occasions when I am taking photos, once I’ve said that it’s ok for everyone to help themselves it still amazes me how quickly a cake can disappear!

I take this as a good sign that it tastes great 😉.

This tart was baked in an 24cm/10″ x 5cm/2″ deep loose bottom tart tin, the same one I use for my quiches, see here.

Recipe: Iced Bakewell Tart serves 10-12

400g Shortcrust Pastry – in my opinion the Iced Bakewell Tart is sweet enough without using sweetened shortcrust pastry, see my recipe here

3-4 heaped tablespoons Raspberry  Jam

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter

150g/5.5oz Caster Sugar

1/8th tsp Salt – I use Maldon

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I always use Nielsen-Massey extracts

1/2tsp Almond Extract

3 Large Free Range Eggs

100g/4oz Ground Almonds

75g/3oz Plain White Flour

1 tsp Baking Powder

For the icing:

350g White Icing Sugar

1/2 tsp Almond Extract – I use Wilton

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

Just a quick note about the pastry case – usually I trim any excess pastry from the tin, chill for 30 minutes in the fridge and then bake. When I baked this tart I was really pushed for time, so baked with an overlapping of pastry which was them trimmed after baking. I would thoroughly recommend trimming the pastry prior to baking for a neater edge. I also had a couple of problems with the pastry sticking right near the top.

  • Roll the pastry fairly thinly, about the depth of a £1 coin and line the tart tin – note when using homemade pastry I never grease the tart tin, however if you are unsure of how non stick your tin is brush lightly with some cooled melted butter.
  • Dock the bottom of the pastry case with a fork to keep it flat during baking.
  • Cut a large piece of baking parchment, screw it into a ball and then line your pastry tart case with it and fill with baking/ceramic beans.
  • Place in the middle of the oven and ‘blind bake’ for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes baking has elapsed, remove the tart from the oven. Lift out the baking beans using the baking parchment and place the tart back into the oven for a further 10 minutes, until it is golden and cooked on the base.

Whilst the pastry is baking make the almond sponge:

  • In a large bowl whisk/beat together the butter, sugar and salt until it is very pale and creamy.
  • Add in the almond and vanilla extract and whisk/beat until incorporated.
  • Next add all 3 eggs and whisk/beat for a minute.
  • Remove the whisk, add in the flour, baking powder and ground almonds. Using a large spoon fold these ingredients into the mix until they are just combined.

Assembling the Bakewell Tart:

  • Once the baked tart case has cooled slightly, spoon the raspberry jam into the centre and spread it, using the back of the spoon, so that it almost reaches the rim.
  • Now spoon over the almond sponge, starting from the outside and working towards the centre. The almond sponge will cover and seal the jam in. Thus stopping the jam from leeching out the side and on to the top of the sponge.
FF Iced Bakewell Tart
Lining, baking and filling the baked tart case.
  • Reduce the oven heat to 190C/170C fan, gas mark 5.
  • Place the jam and almond sponge filled tart back into the middle of the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, until the sponge is golden and firm to the touch, without wobbling in the centre – mine took 45 minutes.
  • Once baked remove the baked tart from the oven and allow to cool.
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Beautifully Golden this cooked Tart was quickly snapped with the #GBBOTwitterBake Along in case I ran out of time!

Icing the Bakewell Tart:

  • Sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the almond extract and enough water, I used approximately 30mls, to form a thick but pourable paste, once stirred together.
  • Remove 2tbsp of icing to a small bowl, add the tip of a cocktail stick, that has been dipped in pink gel icing and stir. Aim for a pale pink colour, however if you’d like a deeper pink, go for it! Place your coloured glacé icing into a small piping bag.
  • Keeping the 2 icings very separate, pour the pure white icing over the tart. Start in the centre use an offset spatula to push it to the edges.
  • Snip the end off of the small icing bag and pipe horizontal lines of pink icing across the white icing, separated by 5cm/2″, from edge to edge. Work fairly quickly as you want both icings to still be unset when you drag through, with a cocktail stick.
  • Using a cocktail stick, again with a spacing of 5cm/2″, place the tip of the skewer at the top of the icing and drag it through to the bottom. Reversing from bottom to top next time. You can see, during the rush to complete my tart on time, I pulled my icing all in the same direction. Oh the pressure!
  • Below is a photo of my tart with my one directional feathering (if it can be called that) compare with the accurate feathering of my Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake.
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You can see hire effective proper 2 directional feathering is here.
  • As the glacé icing is quite thick, leave for a good 2-3 hours before serving.

Place your Iced Bakewell Tart on a pretty plate or stand and serve with a drink of your choice. Mid morning with a steaming mug of coffee or a pot of tea mid afternoon.

FF Iced Bakewell Tart
Iced Bakewell Tart perfect at anytime.

I am looking forward to making this in the midst of winter. When memories of  afternoon tea, spent amongst the bees and the butterflies in the garden, with the warmth of the sun on my face, will seem a world away!

If you enjoy the flavour of almonds and raspberry together, this Iced Bakewell Tart is really worth making.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Iced Bakewell Tart you may also like these:

Raspberry Slmond Cream Cake

FF Iced Bakewell Tart
Raspberry Almond Cream Cake. This was made for seeing in the new year!

Bakewell Shortbread Bars

FF Iced Bakewell Tart
Bakewell Shortbread Bars perfect for picnics and packed lunches.

Cherry Bakewell Cookies

FF Iced Bakewell Tart
Cherry Bakewell Cookies all the Bakewell flavours in an iced cookie.

While talking about family time and feasting together, my intention certainly is not to preach. In truth, I eat far too many meals away from my family, in bed, due to my health. Therefore what I’m trying to say I say, is, that when you have the opportunity, make the most of it!

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun remembering times spent and times to come feasting with friends and family.

Finally, this Iced Bakewell Tart was made as part of the #GBBOTwitterBakeAlong. If you have the time, why not join in on Twitter. It is run by Jackie and Rob. Click on the hastag (on Twitter) and see the fun they’ve been having bring Twitter’s baking community together. It’s lots of fun and all types of baking levels are championed.

Sammie xx

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Chocolate Share Eclair Flower

Chocolate Share Eclair Flower individual choux pastry petals, filled with chantily cream and covered in chocolate, surround a filled chocolate profiterole.

During the nine weeks that the Great British Bake Off is aired, Renshaw Baking have been holding various competitions, to encourage bakers to get baking. For my part, as a blogger, I chose to take part in the blind, technical challenge. The result being my Chocolate Share Eclair Flower.

FF Chocolate Share Eclair Flower
Chocolate Share Eclair Flower perfect for sharing.

True to the ‘technical challenge’ on the programme, I was given a list of ingredients and vague instructions on what to do with said ingredients!

I immediately recognised the recipe as being that for choux pastry, however, when making choux pastry you add water or milk and Renshaw had kindly left that part out!

Fortunately I have baked quite a few profiteroles and eclairs over the years and remembered the 2:1:1:2 rule – that is double liquid and egg to flour and butter. All good except the recipe called for differing amounts of flour and butter.

Aargh. Stay calm Sammie.

It does me good to have a good talking to myself and remember to relax and enjoy the process.

After a couple of trial bakes, both of which produced 8 even, straight eclairs, I knew I wanted to play.

FF Chocolate Share Eclair Flower
Chocolate Share Eclair Flower 3D and fun to make.

I came up with the idea of creating flower petals, of two different sizes. The larger petals sitting on the base surrounding the central, single profiterole, whilst the five smaller petals sit on top and between the lower petals, creating a 3D flower, made from choux pastry.

Whilst making and baking my Chocolate Share Eclair Flower I stuck rigidly to the recipe, as they would have to do on the television programme. It was so hard not to add sprinkles, glitter, piped contrasting chocolate, but I didn’t. The instructions asked for our inventive interpretations of the recipe – I took that to mean design!

Below is the recipe and method. Written in bold is where I had to fill the gaps!

Recipe: Chocolate Share Eclair Flower

65g/2.5oz Plain White Flour sifted

Pinch of Salt – I use Maldon

50g/2oz Unsalted Butter – cut into cubes

2 Large Free Range Eggs – beaten and weighed = 110g

110g Water

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

5tsp Icing Sugar sifted

200mls/7fl oz Whipping Cream

100g/4oz Milk Chocolate chopped

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

Note: This recipe will yield 8 straight chocolate eclairs. Baking time is the same, simply pipe 8 even straight lines.

  • Line 2 large baking trays with baking parchment, set to one side.
  • In a large saucepan add the butter, salt and water. Place over a high heat.
  • When the liquid boils, turn the heat down to medium and add all of the flour.
  • Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon for 3 minutes, keeping the pan on the heat. The mixture should be completely lump free and the flour will have had a chance to cook slightly – this needs to happen to ensure a good structure for the eclair.
  • Pull the saucepan off the heat and keep stirring to cool down the mixture.
  • Add 1/2tsp vanilla extract to the beaten eggs.
  • Add the eggs to the flour mixture and beat thoroughly to incorporate them into the mix, it can take a little time, just keep stirring with the wooden spoon and eventually everything will come together to form a thick, sticky choux pastry.
FF Chocolate Share Eclair Flower
Making the choux pastry.
  • Spoon the choux pastry into a large disposable piping bag.
  • Cut approx 1cm off the end of the bag.
  • On one baking sheet pipe 5 tear drop shapes, approximately 10cm/4″ in length.
  • On a separate baking sheet pipe 5 more tear drop shapes, approximately half the size of the larger ones. Pipe one single profiterole, using a damp finger to press down any tip.
  • Place both trays, evenly spaced in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Do not open the oven during the first 25 minutes of baking as this could cause your piped choux petals to collapse!
  • After 30 minutes remove the trays from the oven and place the choux pastry petals and the profiterole on to a cooling rack.
  • Leave until cold.
  • FF Chocolate Share Eclair Choux Flower
    Piping, baking, cutting and preparing the choux petals to be filled with cream.
  • Whilst the pastry is cooling pour the whipping cream, 1/2tsp vanilla extract and 4tsp icing sugar into a medium bowl.
  • Whisk until the cream holds a stiff peak.
  • Spoon the cream into a large disposable piping bag.
  • Starting with the largest petals, using a serrated knife cut the petal in half, so that the cream can be piped onto the bottom half. Lay each petal down so that the bottom is cut side up and the top is cut side down.
  • Do the same for the smaller petals and make a small incision in the side of the profiterole.
  • Cut approx 0.5cm off of the piping bag and proceed to pipe cream, following the shape of the petal. As each petal is filled replace the top. When all the petals have been piped with cream, push the piping bag into the incision in the profiterole and fill with cream.
FF Chocolate Share Eclair Flower
Filing and piping the choux pastry with chocolate.
  • Place the chopped milk chocolate into a heatproof, microwaveable bowl and zap on medium, in the microwave for 30 seconds, stirring after each zap. When the chocolate is fully melted pour into a disposable piping bag (or alternately you could dunk the petals in the chocolate).
  • Pipe chocolate around the choux petals and cover the top half of the profiterole in chocolate.
  • Use a butter knife to spread the molten chocolate on the choux petals.
  • Whilst the chocolate is still warm assemble your Chocolate Share Eclair Flower.
  • On a large flat plate or board place the profiterole in the centre. Evenly space the 5 larger petals around the profiterole. Carefully place the smaller petals inbetween and on top of the larger petals.
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Chocolate Share Eclair Flower dusted with a little icing sugar.

Dust the centre of the choux flower with the remaining icing sugar and your Chocolate Share Eclair Flower is complete.

Place in the fridge to allow the chocolate to set.

Serve with friends and family, who will no doubt be impressed with your artistic flair. As the flower has now been submitted I have embellished it a little using some sparkles.

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Chocolate Share Eclair Flower with sparkling pollen!

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like profiteroles or eclairs, so this is the perfect way to make them into something different, that can then be shared and enjoyed.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Chocolate Share Eclair Flower then you may like these:

Sticky Pecan Sultana Buns

FF Chocolate Share Eclair Flower
Sticky Pecan Sultana Buns.

Homemade Chelsea Buns

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Homemade Chelsea Buns

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

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Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

I hope I’ve shown you how easy it is to make and bake choux pastry?

It really is one of the easiest pastries to master and as you have seen can be piped into regular profiteroles, eclairs, or be more adventurous, it really makes beautiful hearts.

Whatever you are making, have fun. Let your creativeness flow and if you make a mistake, well bake it, eat it and try, try, try again. For me the fun is in the learning!

Sammie xx

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Mini Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cakes

Do you ever get the craving for chocolate cake? Well I did yesterday. So I whipped up these beautifully perfect, Mini Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cakes. Exact replicas of a large Bundt cake, in single portion size!

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Mini Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cakes pretty delicious!

How cool is it that you get to eat a whole mini Bundt cake to yourself?

Yep, that’s what I thought.

FF Mini Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cakes
Mini Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cakes with their crown of fudge.

These beautiful cakes are baked in Nordic Ware’s 65th Anniversary Bundlette Pan. The correct term for these perfect, mini Bundt cakes is Bundtlette.

Bundt cakes have started to become very popular in this country, in part to celebrity chef endorsement and following bakes seen on the television programme The Great British Bake Off. However, only those baked in Nordic Ware Bundt/Bundtlette pans can be called Bundt cakes in this country, as Nordic Ware own the copywrite to the word Bundt.

You may see other tins, silicone moulds available, but please beware of cheap imitations. I have got on fine with some silicone ‘Bundt style’ ring moulds and created a lovely swirl ice cream cake for our daughter’s birthday. While the genuine, heavy duty, Nordic Ware tins may be more expensive, they will last you a lifetime, if properly looked after.

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Mini Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cakes – yes I used a cake mix!

I have made no secret of my belief, that every good kitchen should have a couple of great cake mixes stashed away in the cupboard, for those times when, for whatever reason, you are unable to bake from scratch.

Yesterday was one of those days for me. It’s been a difficult couple of weeks see here and yet I wanted to bake. Wright’s Baking came to the rescue with ther excellent Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix. I baked six Mini Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cakes and some cupcakes, however, the mix should yield between 12-15 Bundtlettes. Just ensure the Bundlette pan is cooled, washed, dried and re greased between batches.

FF Mini Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cakes
Mini Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cakes couldn’t you just pick one up and take a bite right now 😉

While one of these cakes perfectly hit the spot yesterday, with a nice, hot cup of tea, I can’t help thinking that they’d make a great dessert. Hot, chocolate custard poured over, so the central hole is filled. Yes I am definitely going to try that!

Cute little Bundlettes make a pretty and interesting change from cupcakes. Don’t get me wrong I love cupcakes, with their myriad of frostings, these mini Bundts simply make an elegant change.

Change is good, right?

For those who are unable to get hold of the cake mix, use the recipe from here Chocolate Heart Cake.

Recipe: Mini Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cakes – makes 12-15

1 Packet Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix by Wright’s Baking – available from most major supermarkets and via Wright’s online shop

60ml Vegetable Oil

200ml Water

200g Milk Chocolate

Mini Fudge Pieces – mine came from Asda

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

Note:

I use Wilton cake release for all my Bundt bakes (ensure the inside of each Bundt is covered with cake release, using a pastry brush), alternatively melt butter and brush the inside of the Bundlette tin, remembering the central pole and then lightly dust with flour, tipping out any excess.

  • Measure the oil and water into a large mixing bowl, add the contents of the cake mix and proceed according to the instructions on the packet.
  • Spoon the mixture into each mould in the Bundtlette pan, so that it fills if by half. Continue until all 6 moulds have equal amounts of cake batter in them.
  • Wipe any spilt batter from the top of the Bundlette pan.
  • Place the Bundlette pan in the middle of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. The mini Bundts are baked when they spring bake from a light touch and a visibly coming away from the sides of the moulds.
  • Once baked remove the pan from the oven and allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes in the pan.
FF Mini Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cakes
Before and after baking.
  • After 10 minutes cooling, turn the Bundlettes out on to a cooling rack.
  • Allow the cakes to cool completely before decorating.
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Mini Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cakes ready to decorate.
  • Break or chop up the chocolate and place in a heatproof, microwaveable bowl.
  • Zap on medium for 1 minute in the microwave, stir and then continue heating, for 30 seconds at a a time, until when stirred, the chocolate has completely melted.
  • Pour the melted chocolate into a disposable piping bag and snip off the very end leaving a small piping hole.
  • Pipe vertically, starting at the top of each cake and following the lines down to the bottom. You can be exact or as free form as you choose. I was very tired when I piped these cakes, so some, the ones in the final photos, turned out neater than others.
  • Once all the cakes have been piped with chocolate, top with mini pieces of fudge.
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Piping the chocolate on to the cakes and then topping with chocolate.
  • Leave the cakes so that the chocolate sets and then they are ready to serve!
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Mini Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cakes perfect for Afternoon Tea.

Serve your cakes on a pretty plate, with a hot drink and shared with good company.

I actually think these would be perfect for someone’s birthday, maybe at work, who doesn’t want a ‘big cake’ and lots of fuss. They are pretty and unique enough to let someone know they are special, without going over the top!

If you have enjoyed the recipe for these Mini Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cakes you may also like these:

Mini Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cakes

FF Mini Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cakes
Mini Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cakes

Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes

FF Mini Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cakes
Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes

Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes

FF Mini Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cakes
Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes – Gluten Free

While it is great to bake cakes for someone’s birthday, or a special celebration, sometimes it’s nice to bake them just because it’s Friday, or Monday and everyone at work could do with a boost to get them motivated.

Baking for others is something I absolutely love. Seeing the smile on their faces, knowing that you’ve thought about them, remembered that they’ve got ‘stuff’ going on. Although a mini Bundt cake, cupcake, or even great big grand gesture cake won’t make their problems disappear, it shows people that they’re loved and supported, no matter what.

I firmly believe a cake, baked for someone with love, when given, can say more than a thousand words.

Sammie xx

 Wright’s Baking provided me with the cake mix to create this recipe. All content, photographs, options and view are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread

Well, we certainly have our ‘Indian Summer’. It is a gloriously sunny day, with a gentle breeze blowing, stopping the late summer air turning stuffy. Windows are open and I can only imagine how many days like today we have left, this year. In celebration of the beautiful weather I decided to make some Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread, to have, sitting in the sun, with a cup of tea.

FF Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread
Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread perfect with a cup of tea.

I love the month of September, as summer’s hold loosens and hazy, low sunlight filters through the trees. Sitting in the garden, simply listening to the birds, or watching the bees and butterflies busily go about their way. It really is the month where it’s warm enough to still enjoy being outside, without piling on the layers.

FF Crunch Vanilla Shortbread
Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread perfect picnic food!

Of course this delicious Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread can and should be enjoyed anytime of the year. It just feels very luxurious to sit outside, mid September, with the sun warming my face and my cup of tea not getting cold!!

FF Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread
Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread perfect to make and take to work.

Whilst I have other shortbread recipes here and here, my Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread is a traditional version. By that I mean it follows the 3-2-1 rule. 3 parts flour, 2 parts butter and 1 part sugar. However, I have added a tiny pinch of salt and some vanilla bean extract. I adore the flavour of vanilla and in this shortbread it tempers the sweetness of the demerera sugar and balances the caramel flavours.

FF Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread
Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread a delightful treat.

For ease, this shortbread is baked in a tin, where it is simply pressed in and baked. No rolling out, chilling or cutting out required. It took less than 10 minutes to prepare and a further 30 minutes to bake. If you have visitors turn up, out of the blue, you could easily have this baking in the oven, by the time your guests have been settled and the kettle put on!

Sometimes it’s nice to have a simple recipe to hand, for when the occasion arises.

Recipe: Makes Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread

185g/6oz Unsalted Butter – plus a little extra for greasing the tin

75g/3oz Demerera Sugar – plus 1tsp for sprinkling on top

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – I use Nielsen-Massey

1/8th tsp Salt – I use Maldon

270g/9oz Plain White Flour

Method: Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan, gas mark 5

  • Add the sugar, butter, salt and vanilla extract to a bowl.
  • Beat until the butter is pale and creamy.
  • Add the flour and mix with a spoon until you have a dough.
  • Line a lightly buttered, 20cm x 28cm x 5cm (8″ x 11″ x 2″) swiss roll tin with baking parchment.
  • Tip the shortbread dough into the tin and press gently with your fingers until the dough completely covers the tin base evenly.
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Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread dough ready to be docked and sprinkled with sugar before baking.
  • Dock the shortbread dough with a fork – this will prevent it from rising too much during baking.
  • Sprinkle over the reserved teaspoon of sugar. This really does make the shortbread sparkle once baked.
  • Place the tin in the middle of the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the shortbread is golden and has a set crumb.
  • Once baked remove the shortbread from the oven.
  • Score a line halfway through the length of the cooked shortbread, then score 7 strips – creating 14 Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread fingers.
  • Allow the shortbread to cool in the tin.
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Golden Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread scored and cooling.
  • Scoring the shortbread whilst it is hot makes it much easier to break into fingers once cooled. I’ll be honest I did have a couple of shortbread fingers break, they were my testers 😉.
  • Once cooled lift the shortbread out of the tin, using the baking parchment and break into individual fingers.

Store the shortbread in an airtight tin for up to 5 days, if it lasts that long!

FF Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread
Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread see how it sparkles in the sunlight.

Serve this deliciously Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread with a good cup of tea or coffee. That said, these shortbread fingers would also pair very nicely with my Very Vanilla Ice Cream.

If you have enjoyed the recipe for Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread you make also like these:

Vanilla Fudge Chocolate Brownies

FF Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread
Vanilla Fudge Chocolate Brownies.

Cherry Bakewell Cookies

FF Crunch Vanilla Shortbread
Cherry Bakewell Cookies

Chocolate Heart Cookies

FF Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread
Chocolate Heart Cookies.

I hope you are enjoying the last of the summer wherever you are.

I shall remember to look back at these photographs, in the midst of winter, to remind me of the warmth of the sun in summer.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing your feast. Why not check on elderly neighbours, just pop in to make sure they have enough to drink and maybe stay for a cuppa and a natter? You could always take some home baked treats round?

Food always tastes better when it is shared.

Sammie xx

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Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies

Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies with a mocha drizzle are the perfect accompaniment to your morning, afternoon, anytime, cup of coffee.

FF Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies
Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies with a mocha drizzle.

Do you remember Camp Coffee?

I used to have a splash of it in hot milk when I was younger, other than that I can’t remember seeing it around for the last 20 years or so. Maybe I just wasn’t looking!

FF Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies
Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies with a milky Camp coffee drink.

Camp coffee is made using chicory extract. That’s right, the leaves you add to your salad are used to make this product. It also contains 4% coffee extract, which means although not caffeine free, it has lower levels than regular coffee, without compromising flavour.

FF Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies
Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies will not keep you awake at night!

As it is already in liquid form, Camp coffee is very easy to use, as a coffee substitute in many recipes. In fact keep your eyes open for a delicious ice cream, coming soon to Feasting is Fun.

These Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies are very crisp, you can confidently bite into one without the cookie crumbling apart. The mocha drizzle adds just the right amount of chocolate/coffee sweetness, however, you can easily leave it off if you are watching your sugar intake.

FF Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies
Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies very more-ish.

Why not make a double batch of these and take them in to work, to shar with your colleagues over morning coffee. In fact why not ask if they remember the, oh-so-familiar bottle?

Recipe: Makes 10 Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies

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

75g/3oz Caster Sugar

1/8tsp Salt – I use Maldon

1/2tsp Camp Coffee  widely available from supermarkets, grocery shops and on line

1/2tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

100g/4oz Plain White Flour

40g/2.5oz Walnuts processed to a ground almond consistency

30g small walnut pieces

Drizzle:

150g/5oz Icing Sugar sifted

10g/0.5oz Cocoa Powder sifted

1/4 tsp Camp Coffee

1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract

Approx 25mls water

Method: Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan, gas mark 4.5

  • Line 2 baking trays with non stick silicone mats or baking parchment.
  • In a medium size bowl add the butter, sugar and salt.
  • Whisk/beat until pale and creamy.
  • Add the Camp coffee and vanilla extract. Whisk/beat to combine.
  • Process the 40g of walnuts either in a food processor or mini chopper, until they are finely ground and resemble ground almonds.
  • Add the flour, ground walnuts and walnut pieces to the bowl.
FF Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies
The ground walnuts really add to the nutty flavour and crisp texture of this cookie.
  • Use a spoon to stir and bring all the ingredients together.
  • Divide the mixture into ten and roll into balls.
  • Place the cookie dough balls on to the baking tray.
  • Press down to flatten the balls into discs.
FF Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies
Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies ready for the oven.
  • Place the baking trays evenly spaced apart in the oven and bake for 13-15 minutes.
  • Turn the baking trays around halfway through baking.
  • The Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies are baked when they are crisp and golden.
  • Remove the baking trays from the oven once the cookies are baked and allow them to cool on the trays.
FF Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies
Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies freshly baked and they smell wonderful 😉
  • Making the Mocha Drizzle:
  • Sift the icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl.
  • Add the Camp coffee and vanilla extract.
  • Next add 20mls of water and stir with a spoon adding the extra water, if needed, to make a thick icing that can be drizzled.
  • Place all of the cookies on a cooling rack that is placed over a large baking tray.
  • Spoon the drizzle into a small disposable piping bag, alternately you can drizzle the icing over the cookies with a spoon.
  • Snip the very end off of the piping bag and pipe zig zag lines across the cookies.
FF Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies
Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies allow the mocha drizzle to set.

Serve these delicious Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies, once the icing has set, with a drink of your choice. These cookies withstand gentle ‘dunking’ which makes them that little bit more special in my eyes.

Our post lady enjoyed one of these cookies when she delivered a parcel late this morning. I can see these disappearing fast, so next time I’ll make a double batch! We are big on sharing here at home and it’s always nice to surprise delivery people with a quick snack.

FF Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies
Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies who will you share yours with?

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies here are some others you might like too:

Apricot Oat Crumble Cookies

FF Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies
Apricot Oat Crumble Cookies

Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

FF Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies
Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Caramac Caramel Cookies

FF Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies
Caramac Caramel Cookies

A cup of tea and a cookie/biscuit (same difference!) are how I start my day. Just enough sweetness to kickstart my body and not too much caffeine to overload my system.

I am a self confessed Cookie Monster, constantly trying new recipes. My preference is always for something nutty or with oats, so these Camp Coffee Walnut Cookies are perfect.

Do you have a set way to start your day?

Have fun, feasting and sharing.

Sammie xx

 Camp Coffee Club provided me with the Camp Coffee to make this recipe. All views, opinions, content and photographs are my own and may only be reproduced with my permission. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts

Oh wow, do I have a fantastic, delicious recipe, that is easy to prepare and stunning to serve? Let me share my Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts with you.

FF Bath Soft Cheese a Chilli Tarts
Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts full of flavour.

Crisp, crunchy, golden filo pastry encases a layer of chilli pickle, smothered in melting Bath Soft Cheese. I know, they look so tempting.

FF Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts
Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts perfect served as an appetiser.

Stunning in the late afternoon sunshine, these Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts are incredibly tempting to look at.

Bath Soft Cheese is organic and suitable for vegetarians. It is made by the Bath Soft Cheese Company in Kelston near Bath. It really does taste like an English version of Brie. Soft and buttery,  it matures to a ripe, full bodied cheese, that stands up well to the chilli in this recipe.

FF Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts
Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts incredibly simple to make and bake.

As you cut through the light, crisp filo pastry layers the melted cheese oozes out of the tart, accompanied by the spicy pickle underneath. All that is required to accompany this tart is a few (homegrown if possible) salad leaves and a glass of something crisp and cool.

FF Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts
Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts – tell me you can resist that delicious, melted cheese?

Whilst cheese, chutney and crackers are a classic combination, that I often indulge in, it’s fun to use these ingredients in a different way.

Baking the chilli pickle and Bath Soft Cheese wakes up the flavours and when placed in a buttery, filo pastry tart, the result is a remarkably delicious dish.

Recipe: Makes 6 Bath Soft Cheese Tarts

250g Bath Soft Cheese – available from Pong Cheese

1 Packet of Filo Pastry – you will need 4-5 sheets – I used Jus Rol

100g Unsalted Butter melted and cooled

1/2 Jar Chillililli – from Hawkshead Relish

2-3tbsp Freshly Chopped Chives

1/2tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

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

  • Place 6 loose bottom tart tins on a baking tray. I used 9cm width, between 8-10cm (3.5-4″) will be fine.
  • Brush each tart tin lightly with melted butter using a pastry brush.
  • Have a clean damp tea towel to hand – the filo pastry can dry out very quickly, so it’s best to cover the spare pastry sheets.
  • Place one filo pastry sheet on to a board or pastry mat. Brush lightly with melted butter.
  • Using a sharp knife cut the filo pastry sheet into equal quarters and then cut each quarter in half, from top to bottom. You will have 8 squares/rectangles. Don’t worry they don’t have to be perfect!
  • Start by laying 1 square of filo pastry in the tart tin, gently pressing it so that it sticks to the base and the sides.
  • Add another square of filo pastry, laying it slight offset from the first piece. The idea is to build up layers that form a solid tart shell with lots of edges/corners on the side, which will become golden and crisp on baking.
FF Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts
See how the 5 layers of filo pastry build up to create a solid tart shell.
  • Continue building the tart case until you have used 5 separate layers of filo pastry – bottom right in the picture above.
  • I actually built 2 tart cases at a time, I wouldn’t recommend building more as each layer will dry out as you prepare the next sheet and is then likely to crack and fall apart once baked.
  • When all 6 tart cases have been built, spoon 2 generous teaspoons of the Chilli Pickle into the base of each one.
  • Cut the block of Bath Soft Cheese into 6 equal-ish portions – they will weigh approximately 40 grammes.
  • Place a square of cheese on top of Chilli Pickle in each tart case.
FF Soft Bath Cheese Chilli Tarts
Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts are so easy to make
  • Sprinkle the top of each tart with a little freshly ground black pepper and some freshly snipped chives – reserve half of the chives for garnish once baked.
FF Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts
Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts ready for the oven.
  • Place the Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts in the top of the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes. The tarts are cooked when the filo pastry is crisp and golden and the cheese has melted to fill each tart.
  • Once baked remove the baking tray from the oven and allow the tarts to cool for 10-15 minutes in their tins.
FF Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts
Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts freshly baked.
  • The Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts can then be carefully removed from their tins and are best served warm. Don’t worry if a couple of crispy pieces of filo pastry break off as you handle them. These delightful tarts are built of 5 layers of filo pastry and are actually quite strong.

I like to serve each tart, warm, on a bed of deeply coloured, fresh lettuce leaves with an extra sprinkle of fresh chives.

FF Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts
Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts a delicious light lunch.

Such a simple and yet flavourful appetiser or light lunch. Also these tarts tarts can be eaten cold. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days and vamp up your packed lunch.

I really would recommend the Chillililli from Hawkshead Relish. Not only does it have great flavour in this tart, it also adds a surprise texture, hidden beneath the melted cheese.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts then you may also like these:

Mini Sparkenhoe Red Leicester Tarts

FF Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts
Mini Sparkenhoe Red Leicester Tarts.

Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones

FF Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts
Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones.

Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins

Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts
Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins

As you can see, I am loving creating recipes with cheese. You may also like my Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche, which is exceptionally delicious if you substitute the Cheddar for Sparkenhoe Red Leicester cheese!

Coming up with new ideas, flavour pairings and recipes, really gives me a thrill. Also with all that my body goes through see here, it is wonderful that I can still express my creativity, through cooking and baking and in turn, share my recipes with you.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun. Enjoy your feast and remember, when you are able, to invite others round to share with you. It really is true that food tastes better when it is shared!

Sammie xx

Pong Cheese provided me with the cheese to create this recipe. All opinions, views, content and photographs are my own. I was not paid to write this post, please see my Disclosure Policy.

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