Sun Dried Tomato Bread Pizza

Over the past couple of days Summer has asserted itself with a vengeance. Temperatures above 30C, blisteringly hot sunshine and clear blue skies. I love Summer and sunshine, but even this has been a little too hot for me. Cooking becomes a chore, rather than its usual relaxing pleasure. So you can imagine how relieved I was to be able to prepare a meal in under 10 minutes. Grabbing a packet of  Wright’s Baking parmesan and sun dried tomato bread mix, I came up with this easy Sun Dried Tomato Bread Pizza.

FF Sun Dried Tomato Base Pizza
Sun Dried Tomato Bread Pizza a delicious twist on a regular pizza base.

I also have my own recipe for Sun Dried Tomato Bread, which I’m sure would work just as well. However, I needed an easy, quick prep meal. So thank you Wright’s Baking for yet again coming to my rescue.

FF Sun Dried Tomato Base Pizza
Delicious Sun Dried Tomato Bread Pizza served with crunchy homemade coleslaw.

The beauty of using the sun dried tomato bread mix, is that whilst it is mixing, in the stand mixer, I made my Crunchy Homemade Coleslaw. I always keep lemons in the kitchen and I love the way they not only thin the mayonnaise, but also remove the acrid taste from the onions in this coleslaw, which is in my opinion one of the best accompaniments to homemade pizza.

What’s great about making your own pizza, is that you can top it with whatever you like. I had an antipasto meat selection in the fridge that went beautifully with the delicious sun dried tomato base. In fact as well as lemons I generally have mozerella and at least one packet of cured meat in the fridge. Pizza makes a quick, delicious and nutritious meal, providing it is served with a healthy pile of salad of coleslaw!

FF Sun Dried Tomato Bread Pizza
Sun Dried Tomato Bread Pizza what would you top yours with?

I have to mention just how completely delicious the base of this Sun Dried Tomato Bread Pizza is. The crust doesn’t turn jaw breakingly hard, but remains slightly soft with a delicious salty parmesan and herb tomato flavour all of its own. I wouldn’t recommend overloading this pizza with topping as the base is just as delicious, if not more so, than what you top it with.

Make this Sun Dried Tomato Bread Pizza with toppings that will work with the tasty bread base. In fact this pizza would be wonderful with a little sauce, mozerella and some basil leaves. The sun dried tomato bread base really is that good.

Recipe: Makes 2 Large Sun Dried Tomato Bread Pizza

1 Packet Parmesan and Sun Dried Tomato Bread Mix by Wright’s Baking  – alternatively you can use my Sun Dried Tomato Bread  recipe – although I would recommend adding 1/2tsp of dried oregano to the flour

4tbsp Tomato Purée

2tbsp Olive Oil plus a little extra for greasing the baking trays

400g Block of Mozzerella

Selection of cured meats for topping

2 handfuls fresh basil leaves

Method:

  • Make the Parmesan and Sun Dried Tomato Bread Mix according to the instructions on the packet.
  • TIP – whilst the bread is mixing make the coleslaw or salad!
  • Grease 2 large baking trays with a little olive oil.
  • Tip the kneaded bread mix on to one baking tray and divide in half.
FF Sun Dried Tomato Bread Pizza
Divide the sun dried tomato bread dough in half.
  • Place one half of the bread dough on each of the oiled baking trays.
  • Rub your hands in a little oil and then gently pat the dough until it is flat and fills the baking sheet. Do the same for the other half of the dough.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of tomato purée to the top of each pizza base.
  • Using your hand smoosh the tomato purée and olive oil together so that they cover the pizza base – yes smoosh is a technical term in the Feasting kitchen!
FF Sun Dried Tomato Bread Pizza
Sun Dried Tomato Bread Pizza base covered in tomato purée.
  • Slice or tear the mozerella and lay on top of the pizza base.
  • Add thin slices of cured meat and scatter a handful of basil leaves over each pizza.
FF Sun Dried Tomato Bread Pizza
Deliciously topped Sun Dried Tomato Bread Pizza
  • Cover both pizza’s with cling film, or do as I did on such a hot day, pop them into an unheated oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes. This will give them time to rise.
  • Turn the oven heat to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7.
  • Remove the cling film and place the pizza’s in the oven, if they are not already in there.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes. The pizzas are cooked when the base is firm underneath. I use a large palette knife to slide under the pizza and lift it. If it’s not quite firm pop it back into the oven for another 5 minutes.
  • Once baked remove from the oven.
FF Sun Dried Tomato Bread Pizza
Baked Sun Dried Tomato Bread Pizza with melting cheese and crisp prosciutto ham.

To serve, remove the pizza from the tray – I slide it on to a board – and cut into slices or triangles.

This tasty Sun Dried Tomato Bread Pizza is perfect for feeding a crowd, as part of a buffet, or served with homemade coleslaw for an easy meal.

I really do recommend trying the Wright’s Baking range of bread mixes. Having a couple in the cupboard, even though I make almost all of our bread from scratch, is really handy on hot, busy days!

If you enjoyed this Sun Dried Tomato Bread Pizza you may also like these recipes:

Homemade Ciabatta Base Pizza

FF Sun Dried Tomato Bread Pizza
Homemade Ciabatta Base Pizza

Better Than Take Out Pizza

FF Sun Dried Tomato Bread Pizza
Better Than Take Out Pizza for when you have a little more time.

Asparagus Prosciutto Ham Tart

Sun Dried Tomato Bread Pizza
Asparagus Prosciutto Ham Tart easily made with puff pastry.

 

We all need a few quick prep. meals that we can draw on when we either don’t have the time, energy or both to create a nutritious and tasty meal. All of my pizza recipes contain less fat that delivery pizzas. That said, sometimes that really is the only option!

Whilst in a perfect world I would have a freezer full of homemade pasta bakes, casseroles and the like, sometimes it’s nice to have a treat. Homemade pizza always feels like a treat simply because it takes so little effort to make and our children are always ready to help.

As the weather cools and we rediscover the urge to cook and bake again, enjoy it. Have fun in your kitchens creating your own very special feasts.

Sammie xx

Wright’s Baking sent me the parmesan and sun dried tomato bread mix to try. All opinions, views, content and recipes are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Thanking Teacher Cupcakes

Thanking people is important to me. I am very thankful for you, my wonderful readers who stop by and take time to read my posts. As a parent with three children, all now in their teen years, I am very grateful to all the teachers who have taught and nurtured them over the years. As the Summer term comes to a close I have created this Thanking Teacher Cupcakes recipe as a way to say thank you for all of their dedicated work.

FF Thanking Teacher Cupcakes
Thanking Teacher Cupcakes a delicious way to show your appreciation.

Thanking Teacher Cupcakes a delicious light vanilla sponge, with added chocolate chips. Chocolate buttercream is then swirled on top and they are decorated with  Elizabeth Shaw  wrapped mint milk chocolate crisps!

FF Thanking Teacher Cupcakes
Thanking Teacher Cupcakes easy to make.

I know that for most of the country, these past few days have been extremely hot. You will be relieved to know that these Thanking Teacher Cupcakes are very easy and quick to make, so the oven won’t be on for too long!

FF Thanking Teacher Cupcakes
Thanking Teacher Cupcakes so pretty, yet ideal for both male and female teachers.

Making these Thanking Teacher Cupcakes is something you can do with your children and they make a unique homemade gift.

I have friends and family that are teachers and whilst they all really appreciate the gifts they are given, sometimes they receive enough bubble bath to see them through the year.

So send in a batch of these delicious cupcakes and everyone in the staff room can have a treat with their morning cuppa at break time.

Recipe: Makes 15-18 Thanking Teacher Cupcakes

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

175g/6oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Salt

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

3 Free Range Large Eggs

175g/6oz Plain Flour

1.5tsp Baking Powder

2tbsp Milk – Whole or Semi Skimmed

100g/4oz Milk Chocolate Chips or Chunks

For the buttercream:

200g/7oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

350g/12oz Plain Icing Sugar – sifted

50g/2oz Cocoa Powder – sifted

2tbsp Very Hot Water

1 box Elizabeth Shaw Mint Chocolate Crisps

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

  • Line 2 deep 12 hole cupcake/muffin tins with 18 cupcake cases.
  • Into a large bowl add the sugar, salt and butter.
  • Whisk/beat until pale and creamy.
  • Add the vanilla, eggs, milk and sift in the flour and baking powder.
  • Whisk/beat on a low speed until all the ingredients have just combined.
  • Add the chocolate chips/chunks and fold into the cake batter using a spoon.
  • Divide the cake batter evenly between the cupcake cases, so that the cases are half full. My cases are very deep, you may easily get 18 cupcakes from the batter.
FF Thanking Teacher Cupcakes
Thanking Teacher Cupcakes ready for the oven.
  • Place the trays in the middle and lower half of the oven and bake for 25-30minutes. Mine took 30 minutes exactly.
  • The cupcakes are baked when they are a light golden brown and spring back when pressed lightly.
  • Once baked remove the cupcakes from the oven.
FF Thanking Teacher Cupcakes
Thanking Teacher Cupcakes beautifully baked with flat tops.
  •  Leave the cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes in the tin, so that you don’t burn yourself and then remove and place on a cooling rack.

Making the buttercream:

  • In the bowl containing the sifted icing sugar and cocoa add the butter and hot water.
  • Slowly whisk until all of the ingredients are combined and then increase the whisk speed to high. Continue whisking for 5 minutes, the buttercream will have doubled in size and be lighter in colour.
  • You can spoon some chocolate buttercream on to the cupcakes, or for a pretty finish, fit a piping bag with a large star tip.
  • Fill the piping bag with the chocolate buttercream and pipe swirls and roses on to the top of the cupcakes.
FF Thanking Teacher Cupcakes
Thanking Teacher Cupcakes with delicious chocolate buttercream frosting.
  • Now all you need to do is adorn them with the chocs! I think the beautiful blue colour looks so pretty against the chocolate background.
FF Thanking Teacher Cupcakes
Thanking Teacher Cupcakes elegant and delicious, the perfect thank you.

Pack the cupcakes into specially designed cupcake boxes, available from good cake decorating shops and online, or pack them into saved Christmas sweet/biscuit tins. You could even decorate the tins with tissue paper and ribbon. I’ll leave that to you though. Arts and crafts are definitely not my gifts!!!

FF Thanking Teacher Cupcakes
Thanking Teacher Cupcakes a pretty, perfect, treat!

These Thanking Teacher Cupcakes are a wonderful way to say thank you to all the teachers that dedicate so much of their time and energy whilst educating our children.

They would also make a great gift for nurses and doctors, who have looked after a loved one whilst in hosptial, the vetinary surgery who have cared for your pets. Whoever you want to thank, these cupcakes really do make a wonderful gift.

Thank you teachers and all the support staff that work so hard in our schools.

If you have enjoyed these Thanking Teacher Cupcakes here are some other recipes you might like:

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

FF Thanking Teacher Cupcakes
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes topped with edible pearls.

Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

FF Thanking Teacher Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes almost too pretty to eat.

Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes

FF Thanking Teacher Cupcakes
Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes so delicious.

Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes – Gluten Free

FF Thanking Teacher Cupcakes
Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes 100% Gluten Free

Only a couple of days until the school summer holidays. I don’t know about you, but I love having my children – now in their teens – at home.

They seem to spend such a lot of time at school/college and then working on homework in the evenings. It’s a great opportunity to chill out, throw the rules out of the window, fill the huge inflatable pool and enjoy feasting and having fun as a family.

Whatever the summer holds for you, enjoy the longer days, open windows and bird song. Take time to watch the butterflies and bees fly and flutter about their buisiness. Enjoy this beautiful world that we live in.

Sammie xx

Elizabeth Shaw provided the chocolates for this recipe. All content, photographs, opinions and views are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

 

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Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones

For someone who genuinely did not like scones, I have been baking rather a lot of them recently. I have concluded that homemade, or well made bakery scones, are a million miles away from the prepackaged, heavy, scones of my past. During my recent scone bake-a-thon I adapted my Super Light Scones recipe to create an all butter version, which makes the most delicious savoury scones. Welcome my Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones.

FF Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones
Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones fabulous served warm.

These Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones are incredibly tasty and two out of our three children loved them. Let me add that they would not eat blue cheese on a cracker. A massive win for me as a mum!

FF Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones
Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones perfect for lunch, picnics or just because they are so good!

Truly though, their taste is a reflection of just how much delicious flavour is packed into these scones. The salty melted Beauvale Cheese, against an all butter scone, with the crunch of toasted walnuts and balanced with just a hint of honey.

I bet you didn’t see that last ingredient coming?

Blue cheese and honey pair beautifully together and at first I was going to caramelise the toasted walnuts in honey. However, I decided that I wanted the sweet honey to be no more than a kiss on our tastebuds.

FF Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones
Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones a buttery cheesy scone with added crunch.

Beauvale Cheese is a soft blue cheese, that doesn’t have the intensity of Stilton. Beautiful eaten with bread or crackers and served on a cheese board, this cheese comes alive when baked in the scones. Warm and melted, it has a rounder, salty and buttery flavour that blends nicely with the toasted walnuts and that little hint of honey.

Try these Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones, they are incredibly simple to make and are perfect for using up leftover cheese.

Recipe: Makes 12-14 Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones

50g/2oz Walnut Pieces or Halves

450g/1lb Plain White Flour

3tsp Baking Powder

75g/3oz Very Cold Unsalted Butter

125g/4.5oz Beauvale Cheese – mine was from Pong Cheese

250mls/9fl oz Milk – Whole or Semi Skimmed

3tbsp Milk for glazing the tops of the scones

3tsp Runny Honey

1/4tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

1/4tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

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

  • In a dry iron skillet or frying pan add the walnut pieces and place over a medium until lightly toasted. You will just be able to start smelling the wonderful walnut oils. Remove from the heat and set to one side to cool.
  • Into a large bowl sift the flour and baking powder.
  • Add the sea salt and pepper.
  • Using the large grating side of a box grater, grate the very cold cheese straight onto the flour – I find it easier to have my bowl on digital scales.
  • Cover the butter with flour, using a butter knife and separate any clumps, so that the butter is evenly distributed.
FF Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones
Grated cold butter covered in seasoned flour.
  • Next break off chunks of the Beauvale Cheese and drop them into the bowl.
FF Beauvale Cheese Scones
Golden Beauvale Cheese with a ripple of blue.
  • Using a butter knife flick the flour over the cheese so that it is covered. This will stop it from clumping together.
  • Chop the walnuts roughly and add to the bowl. Stir with the butter knife to distribute evenly.
  • In a jug add 2 teaspoons of honey to the milk. Whisk briefly to disolve the honey.
  • Make a well in the centre of the bowl and pour the milk/honey mixture in.
  • Use the butter knife to briefly stir the ingredients and then use your hand to bring them together into a rough dough.
  • The trick to creating the lightest scones is to handle them as little as possible and only very lightly flour the worktop on which you roll and cut them out.
  • On a lightly flour dusted worktop tip out your scone dough and flatten with your hands so that it is 5cm/2″ deep.
  • Use a rolling pin to gently roll the dough to 2.5cm/1″ thickness.
FF Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones
Gently roll the scone dough out.
  • Line a large baking tray with baking parchment or a silicone baking mat.
  • Using a 7cm/3″ cutter press straight down and cut out the scones. If you twist the cutter as you cut the scones it can cause uneven rising.
  • Add the last teaspoon of honey to the milk, stir and then brush the tops of the scones.
FF Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones
Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones ready to be baked.
  • Place the scones in the top of the preheated oven and bake for 20-25minutes, until they are risen and golden brown in colour.
  • Once baked remove the scones from the oven and place on a cooling rack – be careful as they will be hot!
FF Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones
Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones inhale their wonderful aroma as they come out of the oven.

These utterly delicious Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones are perfect served warm, split with butter, a little extra cheese (the contrast between the cold and baked cheese is delicious), or just on their own. They taste great cold and so are perfect for packed lunches, picnics and afternoon tea.

Due to the higher fat content, the scones will last 3-4 days in an airtight container and I have successfully frozen similar scones for up to one month. To refresh, defrost and place in a warm oven for 5-10 minutes and they’ll taste as though they’ve been freshly baked.

FF Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones
Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones a delicious savoury treat!

 

If you have enjoyed this Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones recipe here are some others you may also like:

Asparagus Proscuitto Ham Tart

FF Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones
Asparagus Prosciutto Ham Tart with Goddess Cheese

Feta Red Onion Marmalade Quiche

FF Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones
Feta Red Onion Marmalade Quiche

Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins

FF Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones
Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins

There are so many wonderful ways of using cheese in cooking and baking. Over the next few months we will discover together, wonderful sauces, dinners, recipes and bakes.

Pong Cheese has a wonderful selection of cheeses on their website. I look forward to widening my cheese palette and creating recipes with all the different cheeses.

I hope that you will join me on this creative journey and together we can have fun discovering new ways to make and bake with cheese in our kitchens? Having fun along the way as we cook up some cracking feasts.

Sammie xx

Pong Cheese provided the cheese for this recipe. All opinions, views, content and photographs are my own. This is not a sponsored post. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake

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

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

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

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

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

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

FF Lemon Curd Cake

    Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake with an added sprinkle of glitter.

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

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

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

Recipe: Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake serves 8-10

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

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

275g/10oz Caster Sugar

1tsp Lemon Oil – I use Nielsen-Massey

6 Large Free Range Eggs

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

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon Sea Salt

Grated Zest of 1 Whole Lemon

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

For the icing:

100g/4oz Unsalted Butter

200g/7oz Sifted Icing Sugar

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

2tbsp Very Hot Water from a kettle

Optional – Sprinkles and edible glitter

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

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

FF Lemon Curd Cake

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

Making the lemon buttercream:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glazed Lemon Bundt Cake

FF Lemon Curd Cake
Glazed Lemon Bundt Cake

Lemony Strawberry Pavlova

FF Lemon Curd Cake
Lemony Strawberry Pavlova

Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars

 

FF Lemon Curd Cake
Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars

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

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

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

There is no price to making someone smile.

Who will you make smile this week?

Sammie xx

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Silicone Baking Mat Review

When baking there is one disposable item that I use very frequently, baking parchment. So when  GOLDENSPOON  sent me 2 Premium Silicone Non Stick Baking Mats I was interested as to how they would perform. Carrying out a Silicone Baking Mat Review was going to be interesting and fun!

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Silicone Baking Mat Review would my gooey cookies come off easily?

After some research as to how hot Silicone bakeware can be cooked at. They are safe to bake up to 250C, I decided to test these vibrant green edged mats in three ways.

  1. Bake at a high temperature – for this I choose to bake a puff pastry tart.
  2. Bake my most gooey and sticky recipe – for this I choose my Rolo Chocolate Cookies.
  3. Use in place of baking parchment for setting messy melted chocolate – for this I covered some strawberries in chocolate to decorate a cake.
FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Silicone Baking Mat Review 2 mats.

I received 2 Premium Silicone Non Stick Baking Mats, dimensions 27cm x 40cm. A quick wash in warm, soapy water and they were ready to use. I was very pleased to find that they fitted nicely inside my two biggest, most used, baking trays.

Knowing that puff pastry is baked at a high temperature, I decided to make a quick Asparagus Prosciutto Ham Tart.

To make this tart you will need:

320g Ready Rolled Puff Pastry

10-12 Asparagus Spears – washed and trimmed

1 Medium Egg – whisked with a teaspoon of milk fit the egg wash

3 Medium Tomatoes – sliced

6 Slices Prosciutto Ham

Approx 50g Soft Cheese – I used Goddess Cheese from Pong Cheese

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper.

1tbsp Olive Oil

Basil leaves to garnish

Assembling and baking the tart: Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7

Place one Premium Silicone Non Stick Baking Mat on to a baking tray.

Un roll the pastry and place directly on to the mat – removing the paper it is rolled in.

Use a pastry brush to lightly cover the pastry in egg wash.

Place the asparagus and sliced tomatoes on to the pastry and season with salt and pepper.

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Silicone Baking Mat Review see how perfectly the pastry fits on the mat.

Place the baking tray in the top of the oven for 15 minutes.

After the baking time has elapsed remove the tray from the oven.

Break off small chunks of the cheese and scatter around the tart. Then lay the Prosciutto ham over the tart, in the same direction as the asparagus. Add a small drizzle of olive oil.

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Asparagus Prosciutto Ham Tart easily assembled on the silicone baking mat.

Place the tart back in the oven for 10 minutes to crisp the ham and finish baking.

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Asparagus Prosciutto Ham Tart

Once baked remove from the oven, scatter over some whole basil leaves.

Remove the tart from the silicone baking mat before cutting.

Result a delicious tart, that baked beautifully on the non stick silicone baking mat. It slid off the mat easily. The mat had a quick wash in warm soapy water and was as good as new.

Fantastic! These Premium Silicone Non Stick Baking Mats cook at a high temperature with no affect on taste and no change in appearance to the mat 10/10.

Next the gooey, sticky test. I used my Rolo recipe for this test. The cookies were prepared according to the recipe and baked using both mats, instead of baking parchment, as instructed.

This recipe requires the cookies to cool on the baking trays before removing.

Once cooled the cookies removed easily, with only a little of the melted caramel staying on the mat. This is usual with baking parchment too so I had expected it. A quick wash and the mats were clean and ready to use. A firm 9/10.

Now for the melted chocolate test!

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Silicone Baking Mat Review with messy melted chocolate.

The strawberries were dipped in chocolate and left to set on the silicone baking mat. Once set they removed easily and were used to decorate a beautiful cake. Another quick wash in warm soapy water and again as good as new! A firm 10/10.

In conclusion I am thrilled with these Premium Silicone Non Stick Mats and thoroughly recommend them. They are so easy to use for a variety of baking and cooking purposes. They take up very little space, I store them flat in the bag they came in on top of some tins in a cupboard.

Reusable and in my opinion better than baking parchment, these have to be a great choice, not only for our kitchens but also our planet!

If you have enjoyed this Silicone Baking Mat Review you may like these recipes to bake with your mats:

Blackberry Nectarine Tart

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Blackberry Nectarine Tart perfect for cooking on a silicone baking mat.

Red Onion Sausage Plait

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Red Onion Sausage Plait next time I bake this will be on a silicone baking mat!

Chocolate Dipped Viennese Fingers

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Chocolate Dipped Viennese Fingers had I used a silicone baking mat most of these would not of stuck to the cooling rack!

Strawberry Vanilla Chocolate Drip Cake

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake are what the chocolate covered strawberries decorated.

Having carried out this Silicone Baking Mat Review I am now a complete convert to baking with silicone. I wholeheartedly recommend every kitchen, where baking takes place, to switch to these silicone baking mats. Over time they will pay for themselves and are more environmentally friendly than using baking parchment.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens today, I hope that you are having fun, smiling and enjoying the feast you are preparing.

Sammie xx

GOLDENSPOON provided me with the 2 Premium Silicone Non Stick Baking Mats for the purpose of a review. All views and opinions are my own, as are the recipes, photographs and content of this post. I was not paid to review this product. Please see my  Disclosure Policy.

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Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake

I have have wanted to make a ‘drip cake’ since I first saw one on Pinterest. This past weekend with the help of 2 Wright’s Baking cake mix kits, I did it. I made a Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake.

FF Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake
Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake decorated with chocolate covered strawberries.

Had it not been for the cake mixes from Wright’s I honestly would not have had the energy to make this cake. However, I have proved that with a little bit of patience and guidance anyone can make a drip cake using great packet mixes, plus some extra chocolate and strawberries.

The Chocolate and Victoria sponge mixes create cakes that are as light as clouds. I baked the cakes on Saturday and then assembled and decorated this gorgeous Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake on the Sunday.

FF Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake
Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake cut beautifully revealing the light sponges inside.

If you have ever wanted to make a drip cake, but been too scared to try, my step by step photographs will show you how. You need not be a proficient baker or cake decorator, yet you CAN make this Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake.

I will take you through every stage, showing you how to achieve a stunning drip cake. Once you have learnt the basics you can create all different kinds of drip cakes. I wanted to keep my cake simple, yet elegant. The chocolate dipped strawberries add height and a pop of colour.

FF Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake
Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake an elegantly delicious cake.

To be honest, I never dreamt that my Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake would turn out this well. I really didn’t.

Firstly, cake decorating isn’t my strongest skill and then secondly, sometimes my hands can be really shaky, which means there are fewer cakes posted on here, as they didn’t look good enough once decorated!

What I’m trying to say is, I’m just like you. Yes I’ve learnt to pipe roses with buttercream, but that really is the extent of my cake decorating knowledge. So my hope is to teach you how to create a show stopping cake and that, with a little patience you too can create one!

FF Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake
Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake a view from above.

Starting with a good quality boxed cake mix from Wright’s meant that all my concentration could be used decorating the cake. I certainly will be creating recipes with different flavours, colours and toppings in the future, but for my first drip cake, all I wanted to concentrate on was creating that iconic ‘drip’!

I choose to use chocolate and vanilla simply because the inside of the cake would then reflect the beautiful outside. The cake mixes are so easy to whip up and bake, plus the buttercream mixture is included in the box. All I needed to add was butter.

FF Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake
Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake using great boxed cake mix kits.

If you want to bake a cake from scratch that is fine, I would suggest the recipe from my Victoria Sponge and substituting 75g/3oz of flour for cocoa powder for the chocolate sponge (you may have more batter than needed to create this cake). I will give a buttercream recipe in the recipe section.

Note: in order to decorate this cake successfully you will need a large palette knife (not a small offset one – that I mention in some of my recipes).

Recipe: Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake serves 10-12

1 Chocolate Sponge Baking Kit – from Wright’s Baking

1 Victoria Sponge Baking Kit – also from Wright’s Baking

2tbsp Butter for greasing the sandwich cake tins

240g Unsalted Butter- softened to room temperature

200g White Chocolate – I use Waitrose Belgian white chocolate

100g Dark Chocolate minimum 70% Cocoa Solids

15 Good Quality Fresh Strawberries medium/large in size – if only very large strawberries are available you may want to use fewer.

Note: if making your own buttercream you will need 250g unsalted butter, 100g good quality cocoa powder (sifted) and 400g icing sugar (sifted), prepare as for the buttercream including the 2tbsp very hot water.

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

  • Grease 2 x 7″ (17.5cm) sandwich cake tins and line the base with baking parchment.
  • Make up one packet – I used the Victoria sponge mix first – according to the instructions on the box.
  • Divide the cake batter equally between the 2 tins.
FF Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake
Sponge mix ready to be baked.
  • Place the sponge tins in the centre of the oven and bake for 15- 20 minutes. The sponges are baked when they are a golden colour and spring back from a light touch. Mine took just under 20 minutes to bake.
  • Once baked remove the cake tins from the oven.
  • Allow the sponges to cool for 5 minutes, then run a palette knife around the outside rim of the cake.
  • Tip the cake out gently and place right side up on a cooling rack.
FF Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake
Light vanilla sponges baked and cooling on the rack.
  • Wash up the sponge tins in warm soapy water, dry, grease and line the bases as before.
  • Make up the chocolate sponge mix according to the packet instructions.
  • Divide the cake batter equally between the 2 tins and bake in the middle of the oven, as before for 15 – 20 minutes. Mine were baked at 15 minutes.
  • Once baked remove from the oven.
FF Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake
Gorgeous baked chocolate sponges.
  • After 5 minutes cooling run a palette knife around the outside of the cake, tip out gently and allow to cool on a rack.
  • Once cool your cake is ready to assemble and decorate.

Assembling and decorating your drip cake:

  • Gently peel the parchment paper away from the base of each sponge.
  • Whisk/beat 240g of softened butter in a large bowl.
  • Add both packets of buttercream mix – chocolate and vanilla.
  • Slowly whisk until they are incorporated into the butter.
  • OPTIONAL – I always add 1-2 tablespoons of very hot water to any buttercream that I make. I added 2 tablespoons to the buttercream mixture. I would not advise adding water if you are using stork or other margarines.
  • Continue whisking until you have a smooth, glossy, chocolate buttercream.
FF Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake
Glossy spreadable chocolate vanilla buttercream.
  • I recommend using either a cake board or a flat plate on top of a cake stand, or cake decorating turntable – I used a cake board on top of my cake stand. This is so that once covered in buttercream, the cake, which is 4 sponges high, will fit into the fridge to chill.
  • Add a small splodge of buttercream to the cake board, this helps anchor the cake whilst it is being assembled and decorated.
  • Place your first sponge flat side up on the centre of the board.
  • Using a palette knife thinly coat the upper, flat side of the sponge in buttercream.
FF Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake
The first sponge top covered in a thin buttercream layer.
  • Next add the second chocolate sponge, again flat side up and cover with a thin layer of buttercream.
  • Continue in the same manner with the vanilla sponges, leaving the last sponge without a covering of buttercream.
FF Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake
Beautifully straight stack of four sponge layers.
  • Ensure that you have plenty of space to work around the cake. I moved mine to the dining room table where I was able to sit (better for my back) and cover the cake.
  • Add enough buttercream to cover the top of the cake evenly – approximately 0.5-1cm deep. Run the palette knife across the top to roughly smooth it.
  • Next add buttercream to the side of the cake near the top. Spread it with the palette knife so that it fills in the gaps between the sponges. I started at the top and rotated the cake stand, working my way down to the bottom of the cake as each sponge layer was covered. Aim to keep the buttercream as even and smooth as possible, using your palette knife.
FF Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake
A buttercream covered drip cake.
  • Looking good! The whole cake is now covered in buttercream with a roughly smoothed top and sides.
  • Fill a large jug with very hot water and have some pieces of kitchen paper to hand.
  • Clean your palette knife and let it sit, immersed in the hot water for a minute.
  • Remove the palette knife and wipe dry with the kitchen paper.
  • Hold the flat side of the palette knife to the side of the cake and smooth the buttercream. Repeat by dipping the palette knife back into the hot water, drying and smoothing, rotating the cake stand as you do so. This may take a little practice but you’ll soon get the hang of it.
  • You will see the buttercream becomes very glossy and smooth. Continue until the sides are as smooth as you can get them.
  • Next smooth the top of the cake in exactly the same way.
FF Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake
A smooth buttercream covered 4 sponge cake.
  • Use kitchen paper to gently go around the base of the cake and remove excess buttercream from the board. I tend to remove any big lumps and then hold the kitchen paper to the board as I rotate the cake, gradually getting closer and closer to the cake.
  • Place your covered cake into the fridge to chill and set for 30 minutes.
  • When it is touch dry you may start to decorate it.
  • Break up the white chocolate into a heatproof microwaveable bowl.
  • Zap in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between each heating session. When the chocolate has half melted remove the bowl from the microwave and continue stirring until all of the chocolate is melted.
  • Set to one side to cool.
  • Meanwhile break up the dark chocolate and melt in exactly the same way as for the white chocolate.
  • Dip half of the strawberries into the dark chocolate, ensuring they are completely covered with only the green showing – I use a teaspoon to pour the chocolate near the top of the strawberry. Set the strawberries on to a silicone mat or some baking parchment.
  • Remove 2 tablespoons of the melted white chocolate and place in a small, disposable piping bag. Snip the very end off leaving a small hole.
  • Pipe lines across the uncovered strawberries and over the chocolate covered strawberries. You can also experiment with piping little dots on to the strawberries. Leave the strawberries to set.
  • Next, whilst the white chocolate is still pourable but cooled you can start creating your drips!
FF Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake
Look how effective the white chocolate looks against the brown buttercream.
  • Using a spoon pour the cooled, melted chocolate around the edge of the cake encouraging drips to form by adding a little more chocolate in places. Try to get a variety of drip lengths around the outside of the cake.
  • Next spoon the remaining white chocolate on to the centre of the top of the cake. Use the spoon to spread it to meet the rim formed by the drips and then swirl with your spoon to give an attractive finish.
FF Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake
My very first drip cake – I hope this is helping you make your first too?
  • If there is a slight slant to your cake ensure the higher part of the cake is at the back.
  • Gently add some strawberries to the back of the cake, building height by laying them on top of each other. It is also nice to add a few strawberries around the base to create a stunning, professional finish.
FF Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake
Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake you made it well done.

Place the cake back into the fridge, especially during warmer weather, until it has just set.

FF Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake
Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake worthy of a celebration feast.

Now take lots of photographs as it is great to have a visual reminder that you have accomplished something so stunning.

Keeping some of the strawberries red, with just a little piped white chocolate really makes the whole cake pop. Having a burst of colour stops the cake from being all brown and cream, which is definitely not as fun as a spot of red here and there!

Almost always a chocolate ganache (equal parts chocolate and double cream melted together) is used for a chocolate drip cake. This being my first I wanted to keep things as easy as possible.

Since I have made this drip cake, I now want to make one with fruit and coloured icing. The possibilities are absolutely endless.

If you have enjoyed the recipe and tutorial for making this Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake here are others you may also like:

Strawberry Sweetheart Cake

FF Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake
Strawberry Sweetheart Cake with a rose piping technique.

Black Forest Giant Doughnut

FF Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake
Black Forest Giant Doughnut a stunning effect with little effort.

Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake

FF Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake
Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake a great cheat at making an amazing looking cake.

Just because I’m not the world’s best cake decorator, doesn’t mean I can’t learn, try and occasionally cheat. Cakes should be fun. They should be baked and decorated with love and eaten with appreciation.

Have I inspired you to try a new cake decorating technique?

Have fun decorating, making and baking your feasts.

Sammie xx

Wright’s Baking provided me with the cake mix kits to try. All content, opinions, views and photographs are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy. I am not a professional baker or cake decorator, any advice given is purely for guidance.

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Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins

Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins vibrant strips of aromatic basil run through these delicious buttery cheese, pine nut studded muffins.

FF Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins
Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins a delightful flavour combination.

These delightful muffins are so easy to make, quick to bake and perfect for breakfast, packed lunches, picnics……

FF Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins
Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins perfect for picnics.

Whenever we have friends and family round, I always provide a cheese board. Having more of a savoury palette, I generally choose cheese and crackers over dessert on most occasions. I adore all cheeses and this Goddess Cheese, sent to me to try by Pong Cheese is no exception.

A cider washed edible rind conceals the most gorgeous, gooey, buttery cheese, perfect for spreading on crackers, with a glass of something chilled to go alongside. The initial buttery flavour is layered with a nutty taste that is perfectly  paired with the pine nuts in these Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins.

FF Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins
Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins a great way to use up left over cheese.

Whilst spreading this cheese on crackers is a perfectly acceptable way to indulge your senses, my creative side knew that it would taste so good baked in a muffin. After a party or family gathering I am quite often left with cheese and other delectables. I avoid waste as much as I can, so incorporating this beautiful cheese into a bake gives it a second life in these delicious muffins.

Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins are incredibly easy to whip up and bake. In fact these took less than 30 minutes from start to eating!

Oh boy, these muffins are fabulous warm out of the oven.

Recipe: Makes 12 Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins

50g/2oz Pine Nuts

300g/11oz Plain White Flour (self raising can be substituted – leave out the baking powder)

2tsp Baking Powder

2 Whole Free Range Eggs

200ml Semi-Skimmed or Whole Milk

4tbsp Vegetable/Sunflower Oil

Goddess Cheese 150g/5oz – mine was from Pong Cheese

6 basil leaves

1/4tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

1/4tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

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

  • Place the pine nuts into a dry skillet or frying pan and toast over a medium heat until golden. Remove from the pan and place on to a plate to cool. Reseve some pine nuts for topping the muffins.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl.
  • Pile the basil leaves on top of each other and cut into fine strips.
  • Add the cooled pine nuts, basil, and seasonings to the bowl.
  • Stir with a fork to incorporate.
  • Break the Goddess Cheese into lumps and add half to the flour mixture – I found it easier to have the bowl on the scales.
FF Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins
Gorgeously gooey Goddess Cheese.
  • Cover the cheese in the bowl with the flour mixture. This will stop it clumping together.
  • Add the other half of the cheese, again pinching off gooey lumps and dropping them into the bowl. Cover in the flour mixture as before – dry mixture.
  • Into a jug add the milk, oil and eggs. Lightly mix with a fork – wet mixture.
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture and pour in the wet mixture.
  • Stir with a fork approximately 10-12 times until the ingredients are just mixed.
FF Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins
A few flour streaks are fine.
  • Note: Over mixed muffins will be tough!
  • Place muffin liners in a muffin tin – I didn’t but would advise you to as it does make the muffins easier to remove.
  • Divide the muffin mix between the 12 cases.
  • Top with the reserved pine nuts – if you have forgotten to reserve any don’t worry they will still look and taste delicious.
FF Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins
Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins ready for the oven.
  • Place the tin in the top of the oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes.
  • The muffins are cooked when they are just firm to touch and golden brown.
  • Once baked remove the muffins from the oven.
  • FF Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins

      Beautifully golden Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins.

    Transfer the Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins to a cooling rack until warm and then devour!

    These muffins are at their absolute best, warm straight from the oven, where the cheese is still slightly melted and the flavours of the toasted pine nuts and basil come through.

FF Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins
Look how moist and delicious these muffins are.

Having had to split a muffin for the photographs, I also really enjoyed them cold. All the buttery, nutty cheese, pine nut and basil flavours are still present which I am really pleased with. This makes the Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins perfect as portable food.

I will definitely be making more of these for picnics, packed lunches and just for eating warm from the oven!!!

Muffins are always best on the day made, however, stored in an airtight container they are good for 3 days, or frozen for up to a month. To refresh just pop in a moderate oven for 10 minutes and they’ll taste like they’ve just been baked.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins you may also like these:

Feta Cheese Herb Muffins

FF Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins
Feta Cheese Herb Muffins delicious and light.

Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins

FF Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins
Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins a great way to start the day.

Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins

FF Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins
Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins a fantastic blend of flavours.

No longer do you need to look at an oozing, gooey Goddess Cheese and wonder what to do with it. These Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins are sublime and as they don’t use a whole packet of cheese, leave you enough for your cheese and crackers.

This recipe started in my mind with the intent of using up leftover cheese. Oh no! These are so good I would happily buy the cheese to make them.

Whatever you are making and baking in your kitchens, have fun and enjoy sharing the feast you are preparing.

Sammie xx

Pong Cheese provided me with the cheese to make this recipe. All content, views, opinions, recipes and photographs are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche

June is Asparagus season, here in the U.K. Such a vibrant, distinct colour and flavour when cooked. So I decided to incorporate it into this utterly delicious Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche.

FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche such a delicious flavour combination.

Making the best use of seasonal vegetables is so important to me. It makes me appreciate them more. Strawberries always taste better in the summer, because that’s when they grow in this country. Asparagus is the same. Beautiful green shoots that can be enjoyed in any number of recipes.

One of my favourite ways to enjoy them is in this Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche!

FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche perfect with salad.

I have made this quiche twice now, in as many weeks and believe me when I say, I’ll probably make it next week too. In fact I should probably make two, so that I can stash one away in the freezer for when asparagus is no longer available.

Good quality, outside reared bacon makes all the difference to this dish. It is not pumped full of water and who knows what. When placed in a hot, dry skillet this bacon sizzled. There wasn’t any liquid leaching from it and oh, it tastes so good!

FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche a tantalising bite 😉

Making this Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche is easy. So is making your own pastry, there’s a link in the recipe. It doesn’t take long and is a tried and tested recipe that creates the most delicious buttery crust for it’s eggy filling.

I like to get the pastry made first thing in the morning. I always make double as it takes hardly any extra time and stores really well in the freezer. If using frozen pastry defrost it overnight in the fridge.

Recipe: Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche

500g/1lb 2oz All Butter Shortcrust Pastry see Perfect All Butter Shortcrust Pastry the recipe will also give you tips on how to line a tart tin, blind bake and there’s another quiche recipe as well

12 Rashers Smoked Streaky Bacon – take off any rind and cut into 2.5cm/1″ chunks

6-8 Asparagus Spears – washed trimmed and cut into 5cm/2″ pieces

50g/2oz Strong Cheddar – finely grated

6 Large Free Range Eggs – note if making to freeze add an extra egg and leave out the cream – my eggs were from Waitrose

50ml/2fl oz Double Cream

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

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

Note – the filling can be prepared whilst the pastry case is baking.

  • Make the pastry, wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Place your quiche tin on a baking tray.
  • Lighty dust the work top with flour and roll out the pastry, from the centre outwards. Move the pastry around to ensure that it isn’t sticking to the work top.
  • Use the rolling pin to transfer the pastry, lay it gently into the quiche tin.
  • Gently push the pastry into place, if you stretch it, it’ll shrink during baking – I know trust me!!
FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Nicely finished pastry case.
  • Roll the rolling pin over the top of the quiche tin and it will trim the pastry, leaving a lovely clean edge.
  • Use a fork to dock the bottom of the pastry, it allows steam to escape during baking.
  • Cut a piece of baking parchment slightly bigger than the tin, scrunch up, line the pastry case and fill with baking beans.
  • Place in the top of a preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, lift out the baking beans and return for a further 5 minutes until golden in colour. Remove from the oven and set to one side.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6.
  • In a dry skillet/frying pan, over a medium heat dry fry the bacon until cooked, but not crispy. Off the heat add the asparagus and allow to sit for 5 minutes or a bit longer.
  • When the bacon is cool enough to handle arrange in the base of the pastry case.
  • Then arrange the asparagus spears however you like.
  • Top with the finely grated cheese.
FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche ready for the egg custard.
  • Crack the eggs into a jug – I always crack mine separately into a small bowl first.
  • Add the cream, if using and a good season of black pepper.
  • Whisk with a fork to combine and then pour carefully over the pastry tart.
  • Leave a gap between the pastry rim and the custard. The quiche will rise whilst baking and it’s not the end of the world if it leaks, but prevention is better than cure. Gosh I sound like my Grandma, what a wise woman she was.
FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche ready for the oven.
  • Place the quiche into the centre of the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until it is puffed and golden without a wobble in the centre.
  • Once baked remove from the oven and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes.
FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche it’s freshly baked smell is tantalising.

This delicious tasting Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche can be served hot, warm or cold, making it perfect for buffets, picnics, easy dinners, packed lunches.

I had the last piece of quiche, cold from the fridge today, for lunch. It was absolutely yummy and as it is quite muggy, it was refreshing as well as filling.

FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche a delicious summer meal.

Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche will keep well wrapped in cling film, in the fridge for up to 3 days and successfully freeze for one month. In fact I have a lovely friend on Twitter – Lou – who baked this yesterday, without the cream and popped it in the freezer for a party in a few weeks time.

Make the most of the asparagus season, it is all too short!

If you have enjoyed the recipe for this Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche you may also want to try these:

Quiche Lorraine

FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Quiche Lorraine delicious bacon chunks and cheese.

Feta Red Onion Marmalade Quiche

FF Feta Red Onion Marmalade Quiche
Feta Red Onion Marmalade Quiche layers of fantastic flavour.

Spicey Sausage Rolls

FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Spicey Sausage Rolls tradition with a twist!

Pastry is such a versatile medium to bake with, see my Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts . It lends itself very well to portable food, which means it’s great for family and friend get together’s.

I am going to be working on a gluten free pastry recipe, so that those with dietary restrictions can enjoy more of the recipes that I create.

After all the core of Feasting is Fun is sharing. I share my recipes, as do some of you. We share our makes and bakes with neighbours, unsuspecting delivery men – oh that’s just me on that one then 😉. Most of all we have fun enjoying the smile a homemade dish can bring to another’s face.

Sammie xx

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Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake

Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake an amazing flavour combination in a delicious, moist cake and finished with chocolate lemon flutes.

With Father’s Day coming up this Sunday, here is an easy to make and decorate treat for Dad. Lemon and chocolate intertwined within every part of this stunning Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake.

F Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake
Fluted Chocolate Marble Cake perfect for any celebration.

Whether for Father’s Day, or a special celebration cake, the blend of chocolate and lemon throughout every part of this cake is a taste sensation. If you have never tried the two together then you need to trust me and make this cake.

FF Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake
Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake whoever receives this will be thrilled.

Whilst orange and chocolate is a more common flavour pairing, I was inspired to make this cake when I discovered that Elizabeth Shaw Chocolates made Chocolate a Lemon Flutes. Having used the Amaretto flutes for my Chocolate Amaretto Cake I knew how stunning and yet simple they were to use.

FF Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake
Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake made with love.

So if you want to make this cake for your Dad this coming Sunday, or a special birthday cake I am right here to show you how to make this stunning Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake.

Nothing is quite as special as something that you have made yourself for someone. Putting the time, energy and love into baking a cake, for me truly shows someone that I love them. Especially if it is centered around their favourite flavours.

Elizabeth Shaw sell a range of flavoured flutes and you can easily tweak this recipe to fit the flavour of your choice. Adding the flutes around the edge with the extra touch of a beautiful ribbon transforms a nice cake to a wow cake.

FF Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake
Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake plenty for sharing.

RecipeFluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake serves 10-12

Cake:

300g/11oz Unsalted Butter – plus a little extra for greasing the cake tin

300g/11oz Caster Sugar

6 Large Free Range Eggs

300g/11oz Self Raising Flour

1/4 tsp Salt

50g/2oz Cocoa Powder

2tbsp Milk

2 Whole Lemons – scrubbed under hot water if waxed

Frosting:

250g/5oz Dark Chocolate Minimum 70% Cocoa Solids

200g/7oz Unsalted Butter

100g/4oz Sifted Icing Sugar

Optional – 1tsp Lemon Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

Decorations:

4 Boxes Lemon Flutes – from Elizabeth Shaw Chocolates

Pearls, dragee balls, or sprinkles of your choice

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

  • Grease and line with baking parchment an 8″ or 18cm cake tin – that is also fairly deep – at least 4″/10cm. Ensure that the baking parchment is at least 2″/5cm higher than the sides of the cake. This will ensure a nice even rise and moist cake.
  • In a large bowl add the softened, room temperature butter and caster sugar.
  • Whisk/beat until pale and creamy.
  • Sift the flour into a medium sized bowl – you will need the bowl later.
  • Add 1/3 of the flour and 2 eggs to the butter mixture, mix slowly until just incorporated.
  • Repeat the last step.
  • Add the last 2 eggs, remaining flour and the zest of 2 lemons.
  • Use a large spoon or spatula to fold in all of the ingredients until combined – be careful not to overmix.
  • In the spare bowl (which had the flour in it) place half of the lemon flavoured cake mixture – I do this by eye but, use scales if you want to be exact.
  • Sift the cocoa into the mixture in the spare bowl and add the 2 tablespoons of milk. Fold in the cocoa powder until the mixture is combined. It will be a gorgeous chocolate colour.
  • In the othe bowl squeeze in the juice from half of a lemon. Stir until fully combined.

FF Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake

    Begin by alternating the cake mixes.
  • Spoon dollops of the chocolate cake mixture around the base of the tin, leaving a gap in between.
  • In the gaps spoon dollops (sorry but I love that word 😉) of the lemon cake mix.
  • Continue by layering spoonfuls of the chocolate cake mixture on top of the lemon and vice versa.
FF Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake
This is how the cake tin looks with all the cake batter added.
  • Now to get swirling! I always use the handle of a wooden spoon, as it won’t rip through the baking parchment.
  • With the upturned spoon in hand swirl through the cake mixture. I like making figures of eight!
  • You need the whole cake mix to be marbled NOT mixed.
FF Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake
One beautifully swirled marble cake and I stuck the overlapping parchment together with cake batter!
  • Please don’t worry if you think you’ve over or under swirled your cake. This is a gift for someone. They will love that you’ve taken the time to bake them a cake.
  • Place the cake in the middle part of the oven and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes – 1 hour 45 minutes.
  • This is a long slow bake that ensures a moist, evenly coloured cake. Trust me. If you cook at a higher temperature the outside will be baked before the middle and you are likely to end up with a dry cake.
  • The cake is baked when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Once baked, remove the cake from the oven, place the tin on a cooling rack and allow the cake to cool in the tin. I made this cake the day before I decorated it, however, as long as it is cold it can be decorated on the same day.
FF Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake
Beautifully baked, don’t worry about any cracks they will settle and close as the cake cools.
  • If leaving overnight before decorating, remove the cooled cake from its tin and wrap in cling film.

Preparing the Chocolate Lemon Ganache Icing:

  • Break up the 250g of dark chocolate and add to a heatproof bowl that fits on top of a small saucepan. Add the butter to the chocolate.
  • Place 1-2 inches of water in the base of the saucepan and heat until just bubbling.
  • Place the bowl containing the chocolate/butter on top of the saucepan, ensuring the base of the bowl does not touch the water – this is called a double boiler.
  • Stir continuously until both the butter and chocolate have melted.
FF Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake
Glossy chocolate ganache.
  • Next add 1 teaspoon of lemon extract (if using) and the sifted icing sugar.
FF Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake
Stir in the icing sugar.
  • When the icing sugar is no longer visible remove the bowl from the heat and very gently, as this mixture will be hot, switch to a balloon whisk and stir, then whisk as the mixture cools, until all icing sugar has dissolved.
  • The best way to tell if the mixture is smooth is to rub a little between your finger and thumb, if it still feels gritty keep whisking – it took 5 minutes of gentle whisking until my ganache was smooth again.
FF Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake
Glossy, silky smooth chocolate lemon ganache.
  • Next switch to an electric mix and whisk gently, increasing in speed as the ganache starts to thicken.
  • Keep whisking until the mixture is still soft but will hold a figure of eight.
Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake
Thickened ganache that can hold its shape – but not stiff.
  • Place half of the ganache into a piping bag fitted with a large star. If it is a hot day cover the nozzle with cling film and place in the fridge.
  • Place your cake on a board or cake stand. I suggest placing the board on a cake stand as it makes the cake easier to decorate.
  • Spoon 3/4 of the remaining ganache on to the top of the cake.
  • Using an off set palette knife spread the mixture so that it covers the top of the cake.
FF Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake
It’s a thick coating don’t worry!
  • Spoon the rest of the ganache around the outside edge of the top of the cake.
  • Gently, with your palette knife encourage the icing to cover the side of the cake. Turning the cake stand as you go, working round until the sides are covered.
  • Hold your palette knife flat against the side of the cake and rotate the stand. This will give your sides a nice even edge.
  • Run your palette knife flat across the surface of the cake to achieve the same effect. Don’t worry if it’s not perfectly flat, as long as the icing is even it will look great.
  • Next pipe swirls around the edge of the cake and finish with one in the centre.
FF Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake
Look how beautiful your cake is!

Decorating the Cake:

  • Have the flutes opened and ready. You will see that one side of the flute is flat.
  • Press the flat side of the flute against the base of the cake, the ganache will hold it in place.
  • Continue, placing one flute next to another, taking care to ensure they are straight, until the whole cake is surrounded.
  • Take your ribbon, place it halfway up the flutes – it is helpful if you have a spare pair of hands to hold it in place, if not use a pin to secure it at the back of the cake – wrap it around the cake and tie a bow at the front.
  • Place a silver dragee ball on the top of each swirl and add extra small, edible pearls to the swirls.
Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake
Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake simply stunning.

Serve your stunning Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake sliced with a cup of tea or coffee and a big smile.

FF Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake
Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake made with love.

This beautiful Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake, made with love and shared with your Dad, or friends and family for a special celebration is sure to wow and impress them with the delicious flavour combination!

If you have enjoyed the recipe for this Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake here are some others you may enjoy:

Chocolate Amaretto Cake

FF Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake
Chocolate Amaretto Cake using amaretto flutes.

Chocolate Sparkle Cake

FF Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake
Chocolate Sparkle Cake like the night sky.

Strawberry Sweetheart Cake

FF Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake
Strawberry Sweetheart Cake perfect for the ones you love.

The Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake is beautifully rich, decadent and full of flavour. I hope you enjoy the calming practise of baking and then decorating a cake. Yesterday I was not having the best of days and yet, sitting decorating this cake, I became totally immersed in what I was doing. Afterwards I felt a lot better and I had accomplished something that I hadn’t done before.

I recommend baking and cake decorating as a very therapeutic, calming practise. Even if you don’t feel any better at the end, your time will have been well spent.

Enjoy creating and baking in your kitchens. A feast, whether a cake or a roast chicken, made with love and shared is a hard experience to beat.

Sammie xx

Elizabeth Shaw Chocolates provided me with the flutes to decorate this cake. I did not receive any payment for writing this post. All content, recipes, photographs and opinions are my own. I am not a proffessional, any advice given is my own personal opinion. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Toffee Cookie Cups

Toffee Cookie Cups easily made from Wright’sBaking new cookie mix. Toffee flavoured cookies, with pieces of real toffee in the dough, shaped into cups for you to add a scoop of your favourite ice cream!

These deliciously chewy Toffee Cookie Cups are so easy to make and bake, all you have to do is choose which flavour ice cream to pair them with!

FF Toffee Cookie Cups
Toffee Cookie Cups great with Chocolate Honeycomb Ice Cream.

It is a well established fact here on Feasting is Fun that there are two things I am passionate about. Sharing is integral to who I am as a person and I genuinely believe that food really does taste better when shared. Also I love cookies. Not just – oh ok I’ll bake a batch – I really love cookies. I start almost everyday with a cup of tea and a cookie or two, so when Wright’s sent me their new Toffee Cookie Mix, well I was ridiculously excited!

FF Toffee Cookie Cups
Toffee Cookie Cups – what will you fill yours with 😉

After a little discussion with Deb-the-bread, Wright’s very own jewel in their crown, I decided to have a go at making the new cookie mix into cookie cups.

Let’s just be clear on something, I had never baked these cookies before, I had never attempted to bake cookie cups before, I had never baked a Wright’s cookie mix before – because I couldn’t, this IS their first cookie mix.

Due to the Toffee Cookie Mix only just having been released, stocks were super low and there wasn’t a spare mix for me to practise with! Ok so we all know I love a challenge. So I put my trust in Wright’s reputation for making fabulous mixes and my ability to ‘wing it’! I mean I have baked a fair few thousand cookies in my lifetime.

FF Toffee Cookie Cups
Toffee Cookie Cups – a resounding success.

As you can see from the photos, I not only managed to make Toffee Cookie Cups, using Wright’s new Toffee Cookie Mix, they are also the perfect size for one scoop of ice cream. Easy to pick up with your hands and eat, rather like an ice cream cone, except if the ice cream drips it is caught in the cup shape.

I cannot begin to explain how thrilled I was that I’d made cookie cups. Ridiculously so. More than that though, they taste ooh so good. I filled ours with Chocolate Honeycomb Ice Cream, but you could use coffee, caramel (I have a Caramac Ice Cream recipe coming up), chocolate, banoffee, in fact any flavour that pairs well with toffee would work well in these gorgeous cookie cups.

Enough waffling you want to know how they’re made and I’m desperate to share how I made them with you!

Recipe: Makes 10 Toffee Cookie Cups

1 Packet of Wright’s Baking new Toffee Cookie Mix

Vegetable Oil or Butter – I used butter & would recommend it for making the cookies into cups, simply because it firms up on coolinf, helping to give the cups rigidity,

Cake release spray, oil or butter for greasing the bun tin.

Method: Preheat the oven to the temperature recommended on the packet.

To make these Toffee Cookie Cups you will need a regular 12 hole fairy cake – NOT MUFFIN – tin.

FF Toffee Cookie Cups
I find it is always better to have everything I need to hand before I start baking.
  • Make up the Toffee Cookie Mix according to the packet instructions – I actually melted the butter.
  • Stir to combine the cookie mixture.
FF Toffee Cookie Cups
The Toffee Cookie dough.
  • Grease all of your fairy cake tin, not just the holes – I used cake release spray as I wanted to be sure these wouldn’t stick, I would advise brushing the whole tin lightly with vegetable oil.
  • Divide the cookie dough into 10 equal-ish sized balls.
FF Toffee Cookie Cups
The dough ball size and pressed out cookie cups.
  • Place a cookie dough ball into one of the fairy tin holes. Gently with your fingers press it into the hole and sides so that it is equal thickness all the way around. Ensure that you press the dough into the bottom of the tin so that it has a definite base.
  • Continue for the remaining cookie dough balls.
  • When all the cookie cups have been moulded place the tin in the middle of the oven and bake for 12-14 minutes. Mine took 14 minutes.
  • The Cookie Cups will puff up whist cooking DON’T PANIC!!
  • When golden brown and baked remove the tin from the oven.
FF Toffee Cookie Cups
Beautifully golden with a wonderful toffee smell, Toffee Cookie Cups.
  • Place the tin on a cooling rack and allow the cookie cups to cool in the tin as the cookies/cookie cups harden on cooling.
  • As the cookie cups cool slightly, very gently press the slightly puffed up base down.
  • Once the cookie cups are cooled remove them from the pan – mine came away easily, if yours are proving stubborn use a small palette knife to run between the top of the cookie cup and where it lays flat on the tin, this should loosen them.

Congratulations you have made 10 fantastic Toffee Cookie Cups!

To serve, add a scoop of your favourite ice cream, share and enjoy.

FF Toffee Cookie Cups
Toffee Cookie Cups already tasted by me!!!

Such an easy yet fantastic way to enjoy Wright’s new Toffee Cookie Mix. I have a couple more ideas but I will have to wait for more stock.

The Toffee Cookie Cups keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Toffee Cookie Cups you may also like these:

Chocolate Honeycomb Ice Cream

FF Toffee Cookie Cups
Chocolate Honeycomb Ice Cream

Very Vanilla Ice Cream

FF Toffee Cookie Cups
Very Vanilla Ice Cream

Chocolate Orange Ice Cream

FF Toffee Cookie Cups
Chocolate Orange Ice Cream

These Toffee Cookie Cups are a fun and delicious way to eat ice cream anytime of the year, but especially when it’s hot and we all need a little cooling down.

Whatever you are making and baking in your kitchens I hope you are having fun and remember to stash a couple of packets of Wright’s Toffee Cookie Mix in the cupboard. They take under 20 minutes to make and bake and are perfect for unexpected guests, or for when the urge for great cookies hits!

Sammie xx

Wright’s Baking  sent me a packet of their new Toffee Cookie Mix to try. I was not paid, or even asked to write this post. All opinions, views, content and photographs are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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