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.
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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.
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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.
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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.

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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

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Chocolate Honeycomb Ice Cream

Very Vanilla Ice Cream

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Very Vanilla Ice Cream

Chocolate Orange Ice Cream

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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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Red Onion Sausage Plait

This week just happens to be National Picnic Week and as you’ve probably realised by now, I’m a big fan of outdoor eating. My Red Onion Sausage Plait is perfect for picnics and many other meals too. Great quality sausage meat mixed with red onion marmalade, encased in golden, all butter puff pastry. Utterly delicious.

FF Red Onion Sausage Plait
Red Onion Sausage Plait full of flavour and texture.

The very nice people at Hawkshead Relish sent me some savoury relishes and marmalade to try out. I am a huge chutney fan – everything from jellies, to chutneys, relishes and marmalades. For this review, however, I wanted to use them as ingredients and see just how well they worked being in a dish as opposed to being spooned onto the side of a plate.

I have actually made this Red Onion Sausage Plait twice. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get good pictures the first time round. Nobody in our house was upset that I had to make this again. We all loved the flavour and added texture from the red onion marmalade that contains raisins and crunchy pine kernels.

FF Red Onion Sausage Plait
Red Onion Sausage Plait, juicy, crispy with incredible flavour.

So I set about making another Red Onion Sausage Plait, a little heavy hearted. I love, I mean absolutely, completely, adore this Red Onion Marmalade and I knew this would use the last of it. Still I cheered myself with the fact that it makes such a knockout recipe and that I’d be eating it for dinner!

FF Red Onion Sausage Plait
Red Onion Sausage Plait also great as a mid week meal with salad and potato wedges.

Warmed and served with a huge pile of salad and some potato wedges that I had in the freezer, this Red Onion Sausage Plait really does make a tasty, weekday meal. It’s easily made ahead uncooked, wrapped in cling film and kept in the fridge until dinner time. It only takes 40 minutes to cook, which I why, seeing as the oven was already on I whacked in some potato wedges from the freezer.

FF Red Onion Sausage Plait
The huge bowl of salad I made to accompany the meal also had thinly sliced red onions in it which echoed the flavours in the sausage plait.

The caramelised onion flavour works so well with the meaty pork sausage. This is definitely a firm, family favourite now. I look forward to eating this Red Onion Sausage Plait on picnics and for dinner many times in future.

Recipe: Makes one Red Onion Sausage Plait serves 4 – 6 people

450g/1lb Good Quality Pork Sausagemeat – free range or organic for preference

3 heaped tablespoons of Red Onion Marmalade from Hawkshead Relish

320g Ready Rolled All Butter Pastry Sheet – I used JusRoll

1 Medium Free Range Egg

Pinch of Sea Salt – I use Maldon

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

  • Line a large baking tray with baking parchment.
  • Place the sausage meat in a bowl with the red onion marmalade.
FF Red Onion Sausage Plait.
I enjoyed smooshing the mixture together with my hands!
  • Using a clean hand smoosh the mixture together, through your fingers, until it is fully combined. Set to one side and wash your hands.
  • On a clean work top unwrap the pastry sheet.
  • Place the sausage meat mixture down one side of the pastry, rather like a huge sausage roll, leaving a gap at each end and the side of at least 2.5cm.
F Red Onion Sausage Plait.
The right side of the pastry will fold over the sausage meat.
  • Crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork until well mixed – egg wash.
  • Dip a pastry brushing into the egg wash and brush all of the visible pastry (not the sausage meat) with egg wash.
  • Bring the right side of the pastry over the sausage meat so that both side edges are together.
  • Crimp with a fork or twist all the way around where the pastry layers overlap to seal them.
  • Transfer the Red Onion Sausage Plait to the baking tray – mine would only fit on at an angle!
  • Brush over the entire outside of the sausage plait with egg wash. Finally sprinkle with a little sea salt.
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Red onion Sausage Plait with diagonal slits.
  • Using a sharp knife cut light diagonal slits through the pastry. This allows steam to escape and enhances the look of the finished bake.
  • If not baking straight away, wrap the entire tray and sausage plait in cling film and store in the fridge – ideally it should be baked within 24 hours.
  • If baking straight away, place the baking tray in the middle of the hot oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. The sausage plait should be a deep golden colour and any juices should run clear – if in any doubt slice a portion off of the end and check. There should be no pinkness to the sausage meat – if there is pop back into the oven for 15 minutes and reduce the heat by 20C.
  • Once baked remove the Red Onion Sausage Plait from the oven and leave to cool slightly on the tray.

To serve, allow the Red Onion Sausage Plait to cool for at least 15 minutes, longer if possible. Slice into portions and serve with salad, new potatoes, or for ease potato wedges.

FF Red Onion Sausage Plait
Golden pastry and sausage meat with caremelised red onion.

To store and for packing up for a picnic, allow the sausage plait to cool. Cut into slices – I find a serrated knife is best when it’s cold. Pack the slices into an airtight container, or wrap in cling film. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Delighfully savoury and full of texture, slices of this Red Onion Sausage Plait also make a welcome change to packed lunches!

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Red Onion Sausage Plait then here are some others you may also want to try:

Feta Red Onion Marmalade Quiche

FF Red Onion Sausage Plait
Feta Red Onion Marmalade Quiche.

Spicey Sausage Rolls

FF Red Onion Sausage Plait
Spicey Sausage Rolls

Sausage Plait With A Twist

FF Red Onion Sausage Plait
Sausage Plait With A Twist

Using the Red Onion Marmalade as an ingredient, rather than just as a condiment, has opened up a whole world full of flavours. I have so many more ides, from pasta dishes to soups, stews and a million more.

Do you ever use condiments in your cooking? Let me know in the comments section. I’m always interested to here and learn about new recipes and cooking methods.

Whatever you are cooking up in your kitchen, have fun preparing your feast!

Sammie xx

Hawkshead Relish provided me with a sample jar of their red onion marmalade. All views and opinions are my own. All content, recipes and photographs are my own and covered by copyright law of the land. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts

Who loves the idea of eating jam tarts for breakfast? I certainly do. My Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts are a fun way to start the day.

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Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts delicious for breakfast.

Inspired yesterday by a conversation on Twitter and with a spare packet of ready rolled, all butter pastry in the fridge, I challenged myself to come up with a twist on the regular jam tart.

The result were these Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts, that taste rather like a Danish pastry. Incredibly easy to make, the golden pastry hides an apricot half and strawberry jam. A final sprinkling of demerara sugar over the egg washed pastry, a quick bake and the result is a delicious, fruity, flaky pastry delight!

FF Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts
Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts so easy to make and easier to eat 😉

Having never tried to bake something like this before, I was unsure how they would turn out. I couldn’t have been more thrilled. Each twist is strong enough to hold the entire tart by, which makes them ideal as picnic and finger food.

The demerara sugar caramelises on the pastry, nudging each twist into a sweeter flavour sensation. Combining apricots with strawberry jam was utter genius. The softened, tart apricots are offset by the sweet strawberry jam.

FF Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts
Twisted Fruiy Jam Tarts a twist on a regular jam tart.

Making these Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts was one of those moments in the kitchen when everything goes to plan and turns out better than I could of ever hoped for. If I can make these, then you can to.

Recipe: Makes 6 Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts

320g Ready Rolled All Butter Puff Pastry – I used Just Rol

6 Apricot halves – I used tinned ones from Waitrose

2-3tbsp Good Quality Strawberry Jam- I used Hartleys Best Strawberry Jam

1-2tbsp Demerara Sugar -I used Billingtons

1 Medium Free Range Egg

Method: Preheat the oven to 210C/190C fan, gas mark 6-7

  • Unroll the puff pastry and ensure that you have a baking tray that fits the size of the pastry. Trim the paper that the pastry has been wrapped up in so that it fits within the tray, as you will be using it to bake the tarts on.
  • Using a sharp knife cut the pastry in 6 equal squares.

FF Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts

    This photo shows how to cut the squares.
  • Cut diagonally from each corner towards the centre two thirds of the way. See the photograph above.
  • Crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk – this is the egg wash.
  • Brush over each of the squares with the egg wash.
  • Place a scant teaspoon of strawberry jam in the centre of each tart.
  • Put half an apricot, flat side down, over the top of the jam.
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Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts the delicious filling they contain.
  • Take the right hand point of the triangle at the front and place it over the apricot. Pressing down to secure the fold.
  • Next take the left hand point of the opposite triangle and do the same.
FF Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts
The pastry points should cover the apricot and jam.
  • Continue for each of the tarts placing a cocktail stick through the pastry and apricot in the centre to secure it whilst baking.
  • Next take the top right hand point of the triangle on the right of the tart and fold it so it is on top of the other point of the triangle.
  • Work in the opposite direction for the left hand triangle.
FF Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts
Each tart has an X type shape.
  • Brush the tarts with egg wash again and sprinkle over liberally with demerara sugar.
  • Place he Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes and bake until they are puffed and golden.
  • Once baked remove the tarts from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
FF Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts
Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts delicious warm or cold.

The portion size of these delightfully fun and delicious tarts is perfect. Not having to transfer the tarts from a floured board to baking parchment really does make these so easy to whip up. Although I haven’t tried it, I suspect these Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts would also freeze well, for up to one month – defrost and then refresh by reheating in a moderate oven for 10 minutes.

I am definitely making a double batch next time!

In fact, I need to make these again soon as I am sure they would be delicious served warm with a scoop of my Very Vanilla Ice Cream!

So there you go easy peasy jam tarts, with a twist!

If you have enjoyed the recipe for these Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts, here are some others you may also like:

Blackberry Nectarine Tart

FF Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts
Blackberry Nectarine Tart a tasty quick dessert!

Spicy Sausage Rolls

FF Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts
Spicy Sausage Rolls with a little extra warmth added.

Perfect All Butter Shortcrust Pastry

FF Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts
Perfect All Butter Shortcrust Pastry for when you want to make your own!

Pastry is such a wonderfully versatile baking medium. I always have a stash of all butter puff pastry in the freezer. It is so handy when a quick meal, dessert, or even a decision to go out for the day tomorrow, as the weather looks good – picnic!

If you try these Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts please let me know how you get on? I love reading your comments and appreciate you taking time to write them. I also enjoy seeing your makes and bakes on Twitter and Instagram. Tag me in and I will be sure to give yo a shout out and retweet.

Whatever you are making and baking in your kitchens, I hope that you are having fun preparing your feast!

Sammie xx

 

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Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars

It is no secret that I love lemon. Whether it be in a glass of Franklin’s tonic water with clinking ice, as part of a savoury Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken , or in a sweet bake such as my Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake. For me lemon shouts sunshine, so on this warm sunshine filled day I decided to bake these Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars.

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars
Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars the ultimate sweetly tangy treat for lemon lovers.

A sturdy, yet delicious oat biscuit base covered in lemon curd and then topped with the lightest lemon sponge. Finished with a drizzle of fresh lemon juice icing, these Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars wake your tastebuds up with a zing, taste amazing and keep you full for longer thanks to the oats.

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars
Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars the hidden lemon curd layer is so delicious.

Perfect for picnics, packed lunches, or just as a mid morning or afternoon snack to keep you going until meal time.

I really do need to get around to making my own lemon curd. For this recipe I used Waitrose own luxury lemon curd. I really do think a good quality lemon curd makes all the difference. Homemade is always best so I will definitely put it on the agenda for the next week – especially as I want to make lemon ice cream!

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars
Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars a refreshing way to beat those hunger pangs.

Recipe: Makes 16  Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars

For the Oat Biscuit Base:

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter

125g/4.5oz Caster Sugar

1/8tsp Salt

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

1 Large Free Range Egg Yolk

100g/4oz Rolled Oats – not quick cook

125g/4.5oz Plain White Flour

3tbs Lemon Curd – use the best quality one that you can afford

For the Lemon Sponge Layer:

125g/4.5oz Unsalted Butter

100g/4oz Caster Sugar

1/8tsp Salt

1/2tsp Vanilla Extract

2 Large Free Range Eggs

125g/4.5oz Plain White Flour

1tsp Baking Powder

Finely grated zest of 1 Lemon – reserve the juice for the icing

For the Lemon Drizzle Icing:

100g/4oz Icing Sugar

Juice of 1 Lemon

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

Making the Oat Biscuit Base:

  • Line a 28cm x 20cm x 5cm (12″x 8″x 2″) Swiss roll tin with baking parchment. I have found that I am able to line mine without greasing, however, lightly grease the tin if it is easier to keep the parchment in place.
  • In a large bowl beat/whisk together the butter, cream and salt until pale and creamy.
  • Add the vanilla extract and egg yolk and continue to beat/whisk until combined.
  • Add the oats and flour and stir together until combined.
  • Place the biscuit mixture into the lined tin and press into place using clean fingers.
  • Place the tin in the fridge and chill the biscuit mixture for 30 minutes.
  • Once chilled place the Swiss roll tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove after the 20 minutes has elapsed and turn down the oven temperature to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3.
  • Spoon the lemon curd on to the hot biscuit base and spread so that it covers and almost reaches the edges.
FF Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars
This tangy lemon curd layer makes all the difference to the finished bake.

Making the Sponge Layer:

Note: This can easily be made whilst the oat biscuit base is baking.

  • In a large bowl whisk/beat the butter, sugar and salt together until they are pale and creamy.
  • Add the 2 whole eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk/beat until light and foamy.
  • Sift in the flour and baking powder. Add the finely grated zest of 1 lemon.
  • Fold all the ingredients together, using a spoon, until they are just combined.
  • Spoon the mixture over the lemon curd coated biscuit base.
FF Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars
Spoon the cake batter evenly over the base.
  • Spread the cake batter using the back of a spoon, or an offset spatula, until it covers almost all of the biscuit base.
FF Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars
The lemon cake batter will spread to completely cover the biscuit base whilst baking.
  • Place the Swiss roll tin in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  • The sponge is baked when it springs back from a light touch and is a light golden colour. Don’t worry if it is paler than you expect, the lower baking temperature stops it browning as much as you may be used to.
  • Once baked remove the tin from the oven, place on a cooling rack and allow the entire bake to cool in the tin.
FF Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars
The entire slab of sponge topped biscuit cooling in it’s tin.
  • When the bake is completely cooled, lift out of the tin, using the baking parchment and a palette knife and place on to a board.
  • Peel back the sides of the baking parchment and tuck them underneath.

Making the Lemon a Drizzle Icing:

  • Sift the icing sugar into a small bowl.
  • Add the juice of one lemon.
  • Mix until you have a smooth, slightly runny paste.
  • Using a spoon, drizzle the lemon icing over the top of the cake/biscuit slab. I prefer a line style drizzle, but you can drizzle your icing however you wish. Let your creative juices flow! I would advise against pools of icing gathering on top of the bake though.
  • Set your Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars bake to one side to allow the icing to set.
FF Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars
Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars the tart lemon icing gives these a professional finishing touch.
  • Once set you may cut your slab into individual bars.
  • Cut down the length of the bake in the middle.
  • Next cut across the width of the bake, creating four quarters.
  • Cut each quarter into four individual bars.
FF Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars
Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars gloriously tempting in the sunshine.

With the sturdy and delicious oat biscuit base, these Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars are the perfect, portable food.

Place in an airtight tin (I use old biscuit tins, usually from Christmas), separating layers with pieces of baking parchment.

I had one of the Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars with a cup of tea for a rather late lunch and it was incredibly tasty and refreshing. Using good quality Lemon Curd ensures the right balance of tartness within the bar, as does using fresh lemon juice in the drizzle icing. I highly recommend these delightfully tangy Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars!

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars
Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars perfect for Afternoon Tea.

Traybakes come in many different forms, however, these oat biscuit based Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars are certainly one of my favourites.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars, here are a few more you may like too:

Bakewell Shortbread Bars

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars
Bakewell Shortbread Bars

Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks

Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars
Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars

My family love having something homemade to take to school or work in their packed lunches. I hope I have inspired you to try these delicious Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars?

Why not bake a batch and take them into the office as a Friday, or mid-week treat for everyone?

Here on Feasting is Fun, we firmly believe that food always tastes better when it is shared.

Sammie xx

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Black Forest Giant Doughnut

Today is #NationalDonutDay. I can only assume from the spelling that it applies to those in the States and yet here I am baking a Black Forest Giant Doughnut. Any reason to eat doughnuts is good enough for me!

FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Black Forest Giant Doughnut chocolate sponge with swirls of cream and cherries.

I have been wanting to bake a Black Forest Gateaux for ages, so took the opportunity of making a Black Forest Giant Doughnut. Indeed if you do not have doughnut moulds – mine were from Lakeland are were very reasonably priced – I see no reason why this recipe shouldn’t work using 7-8″ sandwich tins.

This has the absolute lightest of sponges and I opted to add a little Kirsch (cherry liquer) which is absolutely optional.

In season I would have used fresh cherries, that had been macerated in a little liquer and sugar, as they are not quite in season yet, I opted for tinned cherry pie filling. Morello cherry jam would also work well here. This is a very adaptable recipe. Use whatever you have to hand, or can easily get hold of.

FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut.
Black Forest Giant Doughnut deliciously easy to make and assemble.

Hopefully if our cherry tree is laden with as much fruit, as it had blossom I will remake this Black Forest Giant Doughnut and add an extra photo. Meanwhile back to the bake in hand.

Even though this is a giant doughnut I would happily bring it out for dessert after dinner, or serve with afternoon tea on a sunny day in the garden. Mostly I would encourage you to share this delicious bake. It is simply too good to be kept hidden away.

Two slices will be popped around to our neighbours in a little while. The sheer joy of pleasure and surprise when I turn up, unannounced, with baked goodies is THE most important aspect of baking for me. Sharing is at the very heart of what I do and who I am. If a small gift can bring a smile to someone’s face, well that brightens my day.

Recipe: Makes one Black Forest Giant Doughnut serves 8

200g/7oz Unsalted Butter –  plus a little extra for greasing the moulds

200g/7oz Caster Sugar

Scant pinch of salt – no more than 1/4 tsp

1 tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

6 Large Free Range Eggs

75g/3oz Cocoa Powder

125g/4oz Plain White Flour

1.5 tsp Baking Powder

For the filling/topping:

200ml/8fl oz Double Cream

1 x 410g Tin Cherry Pie Filling – note morello cherry jam and fresh cherries can be used instead.

Optional – 1tbs Kirsch

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

  • Grease the inside of both doughnut moulds well with soft butter.
  • In a large bowl add the butter and sugar.
  • Whisk/beat until pale and creamy. Approx 5 minutes, this helps create a very light sponge.
  • Add all 6 eggs and the vanilla extract to the bowl – I always crack my eggs into a separate bowl first.
  • Sift the flour, salt, cocoa powder and baking powder into the bowl.
  • Whisk/beat on a slow speed until all the ingredients have come together.
  • Using a large spoon give the chocolate sponge mix a good stir to ensure all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Divided the cake batter in half and spoon into each of the 2 doughnut moulds.
FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Two halves of a giant doughnut ready to be baked.
  • Place the doughnut moulds on to a baking tray, ensuring they don’t squash each other (I actually switched trays after this photo was taken).
  • Put the tray into the centre of the oven and bake the doughnut halves for 30-40 minutes.
  • The doughnut halves are baked when they spring back from a light touch.
  • Once baked remove the doughnut halves from the oven.
FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Each half of the giant doughnut is beautifully baked.
  • Carefully place each silicone mould on to a cooling rack.
  • If adding Kirsch carefully prick each mould lightly with a cocktail stick, being careful not to puncture the silicone mould.
FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Lightly prick the sponge all over so that the Kirsch can be absorbed.
  • Spoon half a tablespoon of Kirsch over each half of the doughnut sponge whilst it is still hot.
  • Leave to cool for 5 minutes and then turn each of the sponges out onto the cooling rack. Cool fully before decorating.

Decorating your Black Forest Giant Doughnut:

  • In a medium bowl add the double cream and whip until it holds a firm peak.
  • Fill a piping bag with a large star tip (I use Wilton #1M) with the whipped cream).
  • Place one half of your doughnut, flat side up on a cake stand or plate.
  • Reserving 8 whole cherries to decorate the top, spoon the cherry pie filling on to the bottom half of the doughnut – DO NOT over fill.
FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Spoon slightly less filling than I have, this splurged a bit when the top was put on!
  • Pipe the cream in a swirl pattern on top of the cherries.
FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Beautifully piped whipped cream in the centre of the giant doughnut.
  • Place the top of the doughnut on to the base. Wipe away any excess cherry syrup – notice that in my finished photos there isn’t a doilie 😉
  • Pipe 8 swirls evenly around the top of the doughnut and top each with a reserved cherry.
  • Pipe stars around the outside of the middle of the doughnut, this creates a tidy, professional finish.
FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Black Forest Giant Doughnut the piped cream stars around the middle give a finished, professional look.

Serve your Black Forest Giant Doughnut cut into generous slices, with a smile and a lovely hot drink!

FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Black Forest Giant Doughnut a real treat.

Perfect with candles as a birthday cake. Did I mention I had Black Forest Gateaux every year, for my birthday as I was growing up. It was not hard for me to take this delicious classic recipe and turn it into an amazing giant doughnut.

Such a stunning, yet easy to accomplish bake. A slice of Black Forest Giant Doughnut is bound to evoke memories of the retro gateaux and break out smiles once tasted and devoured!

If you have enjoyed this Black Forest Giant Doughnut Recipe here are some others you may like to try:

Raspberry and Cream Giant Doughnut

FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Delicious Raspberry and Cream Giant Doughnut

Black Forest Cupcakes

FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Black Forest Cupcakes with mascarpone.

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes fruity deliciousness.

I really want to encourage you to buy a doughnut mould. This is not a sponsored post, i very much doubt that Lakeland even know I exist! That said, the moulds creat such a beautiful rounded doughnut shape, are incredibly easy to use and inepensive to buy. Perfect as a gift or for putting on your own birthday list.

Whatever you are making and baking in your kitchens this weekend, I hope you laugh lots, have plenty of fun and enjoy feasting on your amazing creations with friends, family and neighbours.

If you know someone who’ll be spending Saturday evening, or Sunday aftenoon alone, why not invite them round. Even if it’s just for a cup of tea and slice of cake, you will make someone else feel valued and cared for and they may even make you smile in return!

Sammie xx

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Toffee Apple Crumble

So it is June 1st 2016 today. If you were expecting an ice cream recipe, or a light, summery pavlova, sorry folks. It’s been pouring with rain since yesterday, with very little let up and it’s cold. Instead I have a wonderfully comforting pudding for you, Toffee Apple Crumble.

FF Toffee Apple Crumble
Toffee Apple Crumble tart Bramley apples topped with a toffee crumble mix.

The perfect combination of flavours. Tart, just cooked slices of Bramley apple, covered in a light crumble with more than a hint of toffee flavour.

FF Toffee Apple Crumble
Toffee Apple Crumble a delightfully comforting pudding.

Toffee Apple Crumble came about as the result of a need for something warm and comforting, that was also not too labour intensive to make. Whatever the reason; tiredness, pain, just-can’t-be-bothered, it’s been a long day, this recipe is quick and easy to make. Bake in the oven, whist you relax and you have yourself a top notch pudding that feels like a warm blanket is being wrapped around you as you eat.

I will also confess an extra cheat. I had 2 x 300g packets of ready prepared, frozen Bramley apple slices, from  Waitrose in the freezer. Some days I just have to use ready prepared and I’m good with that.

FF Toffee Apple Crumble
Toffee Apple Crumble extra yummy when served with homemade custard.

Now, in all honesty, I wouldn’t describe myself as a ‘pudding’ person. In most instances I’d rather have cheese and biscuits…….. Thought I’d give you all a moment there to digest that fact (my puns are getting worse!!!).

However strange it may seem, I do actually like a proper pudding instead of a meal. Yesterday, when I made this Toffee Apple Crumble, I actually ate it for lunch. Quite often, for example over Christmas, I’ll have Christmas pudding and cream for lunch or supper. So I do enjoy puddings, just on their own, as a meal in itself!

I know I am in the minority and that there is such a thing as a ‘pudding tummy’ where, once you have finished your main meal there is ALWAYS room for something a little sweet to round off the meal. I applaud you, I really do. When I’m full, well, that’s me finished. No pudding or cheese and biscuits.

Oh how I wish I could eat as much as I did when I was younger and competing in every sport I could!!!

FF Toffee Apple Crumble
Toffee Apple Crumble a tasty twist on a classic dessert.

Oddly, I really enjoy making puddings. My hubby is definitely a pudding man. Upon receiving a microwave as a wedding present, it took him under 30 seconds to find the recipe for lemon sponge! Something I still have yet to make for him. Oops!

I think it is the joy of seeing someone’s face, full of pleasure, as they tuck in and devour a well made, tasty pudding, that gives me so much pleasure. My wonderful hubby’s face when he saw the Toffee Apple Crumble, was absolute pleasure. Married twenty years this year and I still enjoy cooking for him as much as I always have.

Recipe: Toffee Apple Crumble serves 6 real pudding lovers!

250g/9oz Plain White Flour

1/2tsp Baking Powder

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter – cold and cut into cubes

1/2 packet  Wright’s Baking  Toffee Cake Mix – TIP make double the amount of crumble topping add a whole bag of Toffee Cake Mix and freeze half in a freezer bag for up to 3 months!

2 tablespoons Demerara Sugar

600g Peeled Sliced Bramley Apples – peeled weight – start with approx 1kg of apples

1 teaspoon Corn Flour

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

1 tablespoon Granulated Sugar

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

  • Place the flour and baking powder in a large bowl, add the cold, cubed butter.
  • Use either a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour see Perfect All Butter Shortcrust Pastry, or rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Add the toffee cake mix into the bowl and thoroughly mix.
  • Place the Bramley apple slices in a deep pie dish.
  • Add the corn flour, sugar and cinnamon and toss the apple slices, to coat them with clean hands.
  • Cover the apple slices with the toffee crumble mix and then sprinkle over the demerara sugar for extra crunch and an added toffee flavour.
FF Toffee Apple Crumble
Toffee Apple Crumble ready for the oven.
  • Place the Toffee Apple Crumble dish onto a baking tray and place in the centre of a preheated oven.
  • Bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden and the apples underneath are softened.
  • Once baked remove from the oven and allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving. I’ve found that letting a crumble sit for a while stops the topping from falling apart as I dish it up.
  • Serve with homemade custard (recipe coming soon), cream, vanilla ice cream, or on it’s own. If it hadn’t been so cold and wasn’t raining, I would absolutely have gone out to the garage and had  Very Vanilla Ice Cream with my custard!
FF Toffee Apple Crumble
Toffee Apple Crumble and homemade custard.

Toffee Apples are traditionally associated with Autumn, when apples are in abundance. My Toffee Apple Crumble brings those flavours together in a dessert that is perfect, whenever a warm, comforting pudding is needed.

If you have enjoyed this Toffee Apple Crumble recipe here are a few others you may also like:

Amazing Apple Pie

FF Amazing Apple Pie
Amazing Apple Pie with a delicious pie crust

Blackberry Nectarine Tart

FF Blackberry Nectarine Tart
Blackberry Nectarine Tart quick and easy with puff pastry.

Almond Blackberry Pear Crumble

FF Almond Blackberry Pear Crumble
Almond Blackberry Pear Crumble another fast ic crumble recipe.

Do you have a ‘pudding tummy’?

Do you choose your dessert first, when out for a meal?

I love hearing what your eating habits are, as weird as that sounds. I’m not talking peculiar flavour combinations, simply which foods you prefer and those you try to avoid.

Thank you again for all the kind comments that you leave here on the blog and on Instagram and Twitter. Please keep them coming along with the gorgeous photos of your makes and bakes.

I hope the weather is beautiful wherever you are and you can enjoy feasting and haing fun in the sun!

Sammie xx

Wright’s Baking sent me some cake mixes to try. I was not paid for writing this post and as always, all pictures, content, opinions and views are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Chocolate Sunflower Cake

Last week the Chelsea Flower Show was held by the Royal Horticultural Society. Hard working gardeners, growers and designers showcased their talents, for a few days, in the grounds of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea. So inspired by this theme, I decided to try and bake a flower cake. I hope you enjoy looking at and eating my Chocolate Sunflower Cake.

FF Chocolate Sunflower Cake
Chocolate Sunflower Cake the perfect combination of chocolate and flowers.

Baked in the Blossom Bundt Tin made by Nordicware this rich, moist chocolate cake is coated in the centre with milk chocolate, yellow coloured white chocolate was used to define the petals. A dusting of gold glitter highlighted the petals and dark chocolate granite by Callebaut was used for the centre of the bloom.

FF Chocolate Sunflower Cake
Chocolate Sunflower Cake pretty delicious!

Whilst Sunflower’s are a little early to be shown at Chelsea, this Chocolate Sunflower Cake is perfect to eat anytime of the year. Today it is really brightening my day, it is very wet and windy outside. Not how I hoped the weather would be at the end of May!

FF Chocolate Sunflower Cake
Chocolate Sunflower Cake perfect for a flower loving chocoholic.

I knew I wanted to bake this cake in my Blossom Bundt tin, but I was honestly stumped for ideas on how to decorate it. Making a chocolate cake would, hopefully ensure everyone enjoyed the flavour, I just needed to come up with a design!

My very good friend Vicky, whose name is @utterchocoholic on Twitter, suggested, after seeing a photo of the cooked cake, that it looked like a sunflower. That was all the inspiration I needed. I formulated a rough plan in my head and went with it. I think the finished cake is more a Van Gogh sunflower, than an absolute replica. I am pleased that it turned out so well, especially as cake decorating is not one of my strongest gifts!

Recipe: Chocolate Sunflower Cake serves 10

You will need the Blossom, or similar type Bundt tin to make this cake as I have.

Cake Release Spray – I use Wilton

275g/10oz Unsalted Butter

275g/10oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Sea Salt Flakes- I use Maldon

5 Large Free Range Eggs

2tsp Vanilla Extract I use Nielsen-Massey

75g/3oz Cocoa powder

200g/7oz Plain White Flour

2.5tsp Baking Powder

100ml/4fl oz Double Cream

To Decorate:

100g/4oz Good Quality Milk Chocolate

200g/7oz Good Quality White Chocolate

100g/4oz Dark Chocolate Curls or mini dark chocolate chips

Optional – Yellow Gel Food Colouring and Gold Edible Glitter

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

  • In a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt.
  • Whisk/beat until pale and creamy.
  • Add the vanilla extract and beat in until combined.
  • Sift the cocoa, flour and baking powder into a separate bowl – dry mixture.
  • Measure the cream into a jug and then add the 5 whole eggs ( I crack them into a small bowl first) – wet mixture.
  • Add 1/3 of the dry mixture and 1/3 of the wet mixture whilst beating/mixing slowly.
  • Repeat the last step.
  • Add the last of the wet mix and then the last of the dry mix. Fold all the ingredients together until just combined.
  • Spray the Bundt tin with cake release spray (if using the liquid use a pastry brush to ensure every part of the inside of the tin is completely covered).
  • Spoon the chocolate cake mixture into the Bundt tin, pushing the mixture into every part of the tin. The Bundt tin should be 2/3 full. If using a different Bundt tin ensure it is filled no more than 3/4 full.
FF Chocolate Sunflower Cake
Chocolate Sunflower Cake ready for the oven.
  • Place the cake in the middle of the oven and bake for 1 hour.
  • The cake is baked when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Once baked remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin.
FF Chocolate Sunflower Cake
Baked Chocolate Sunflower Cake.
  • After 10 minutes cooling in the tin turn the Chocolate Sunflower Cake out onto a cooling rack.
FF Chocolate Sunflower Cake
Beautifully turned out Chocolate Sunflower Cake.
  • Allow to fully cool before decorating the cake.

Decorating the Chocolate Sunflower Cake:

  • Separately chop/break up the white and milk chocolate and place in separate heatproof, microwaveable bowls.
  • Zap the milk chocolate first for 20 seconds at a time, stirring in between heating sessions. When the chocolate is nearly melted remove from the microwave and stir until completely melted.
  • Repeat the last step for the white chocolate.
  • Place the cooling rack across a clean baking tray.
  • Have 2 clean teaspoons to hand for each of the melted chocolates, the dark chocolate curls and glitter. It’s also handy to have some kitchen towel to hand as working with chocolate can get very messy!!
  • Dip a cocktail stick into the yellow food colouring gel and add to the white chocolate until the desired colour has been reached.
  • Start by spooning the milk chocolate all around the centre of the cake, so that it completely covers the inside of the Bundt hole.
FF Chocolate Sunflower Cake
Cover the top surrounding the hole with milk chocolate and then sprinkle over dark chocolate curls.
  • Cover the milk chocolate as fully as possible with dark chocolate curls or chips. The centre of a sunflower is the darkest part.
  • Tap the cooling rack to remove any stray dark chocolate pieces.
  • Next come the petals! The blossom Bundt is not symmetrical, so pick the first petal, next to the milk chocolate to start.
  • Using a small teaspoon, spoon melted white chocolate on to the petal. Filling out the shape of the petal and encouraging the chocolate to drip, just at the tip of the petal. This detail may get lost as you work your way around the cake, however, I found the top petals the easiest to fill, so it’s great practise for creating the eventual outline of the flower petals.
  • Once you have completed the top petals, start filling in the next level down. Keep standing back and looking over the cake to ensure an even look.
  • Continue adding length to the petals, evenly around the cake, until all the chocolate is used. The whole cake will not be covered in chocolate and that is how it should be. It makes the petals and the centre really stand out.
  • If using the glitter, start by adding it just to the tips of each defined petal. Then you can follow the central line on the petal with a light dusting of glitter.
  • Finally give the centre of the cake a really good dust of glitter. The glitter also represents pollen, in fact I wish I had a fondant bee to add to this cake, I think it would look amazing. If you are good with fondant, perhaps try making one to add to your Chocolate Sunfower Cake?
  • Once decorated move the cake to a cake stand or board so that it doesn’t stick to the cooling rack.
FF Chocolate Sunflower Cake
Chocolate Sunflower Cake full of texture and detail.

For me, the beauty of this cake is in it’s organic, natural design.

When first completed I wasn’t very happy with the finished outcome. It looked too messy to my eyes. Rather like a great piece of music that grows on you the more you listen to it, this Chocolate Sunflower Cake has really grown on me. Technically it is the most difficult cake I have ever decorated and two days on, whilst looking at these photographs, I cannot believe that I created this cake.

I am not looking for praise. No one is a harsher critic of my work than me. Honestly I’m not sure I could say I had fun decorating this cake. I was too deep in concentration (not easy when you are in a lot of pain) and determined to create a cake that vaguely resembled a flower. I see now that I accomplished what I set out to achieve and that gives me a great sense of joy. Also if I can do it, so can you!

Taste wise this cake is utterly delicious. The cream lends a moistness to the rich dark chocolate flavour and the chocolate decoration adds just a hint of sweetness.

If you have enjoyed this Chocolate Sunflower Cake here are some others you may like too:

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

FF Chocolate Sunflower Cake
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake with lemon glacé icing.

Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake

FF Chocolate Sunflower Cake
Swirl Lime Drizzle Cake accented with tiny sugar flowers.

Strawberry Sweetheart Cake

FF Chocolate Sunflower Cake
Strawberry Sweetheart Cake covered in piped buttercream roses.

The Chocolate Sunflower Cake was truly a challenge to decorate. In challenging ourselves, we will make mistakes. The way to improve is to not let those mistakes stop us from trying again and again until we have achieved our goal.

Do you like to be challenged, or do you prefer to stay in your comfort zone?

Whatever you are making and baking in your kitchens, have fun and please keep sharing your photographs on Twitter and Instagram. I also really enjoy and appreciate the comments that you leave on this blog. Keep ’em coming!

To my wonderful friend Vicky, thanks for the inspiration x.

Sammie xx

 

 

 

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Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry

Are you daunted by the prospect of making your own pastry? Many people are. Today I am going to show you how to make foolproof, Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry, that works for both sweet and savoury bakes.

FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry every time.

Having been taught to make pastry from an early age, I wonder if the fear that surrounds making it is simply the fact that skills are not being passed down, through the generations. like they used to be.

Watching cooking programmes, where they actually portray the ‘art’ of pastry making as such a complicated process, it is understandable that some people are terrified and therefore never attempt it. Well I am with you today to show you how simple it is to make Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry, that will turn out beautifully every single time!

FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry great for quiches.

Firstly, just to reassure you, no kitchen machinery is used. Not even a food processor. To be completely honest, setting the food processor up, in my kitchen, takes longer than actually making the pastry by hand. I really can’t be bothered with the hassle. Instead the only two pieces of equipment I use are a dinner knife and pastry cutter.

If you haven’t seen or heard of a pastry cutter, this is what they look like!

FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Pastry Cutter

They can be purchased inexpensively from Amazon or kitchenware shops. A quick glance on the Internet has assured me that the still cost £5 or under. Money well spent I’d say.

The simple key to making good pastry, every single time, is to work quickly, yet not rush and in doing so keep everything as cold as possible. Please, please do not become neurotic about it, as I have seen of some people.

From personal experience every time I am stressed, rushed or uptight about something, when I bake, it inevetiably goes wrong. Or at least isn’t my best baking. Making pastry whilst relaxed and knowing that the recipe is going to work, can make a whole world of difference.

FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Fabulous pastry for all your tarts and quiches.

Right that’s mindset and equipment sorted, next are ingredients. I use unsalted butter in all of my baking, simply because it tends to be better quality than salted and also allows me to control the amount of salt in the recipe. Plain flour and free range eggs are the other two ingredients to note.

The quantity of cold water added is a guide as different batches of flour, butter, the weather, can all affect how much water is needed to bring the dough together.  Don’t panic I will walk you through every step.

You can make Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry 😉

Recipe: Makes 825g Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry – enough to make 2 large quiche/tart cases.

400g/14oz Plain White Flour

200g/7oz Unsalted Butter – cold from the fridge and cut into cubes

1/4tsp Sea Salt Flakes – I use Maldon

2 Large Free Range Egg Yolks

Approx 180-200ml Cold Tap Water

Method:

  • Into a large bowl add the flour, salt and cubed butter.
Ready to start 'cutting in' the butter.
Ready to start ‘cutting in’ the butter.
  • Using the pastry cutter, push and twist it into the flour, rotating the bowl occasionally. Scrape any butter that has become stuck on the pastry cutter off using a regular dinner knife.
  • Keep cutting the butter into the flour until it is about the size of peas.
You can clearly see pieces of butter throughout the flour.
You can clearly see pieces of butter throughout the flour.
  • Note: the flour does not look like breadcrumbs. This is traditionally how pastry making has been taught, to rub, or cut into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. If you do this your pastry will be ok. However, if you leave pea sized pieces of butter in the flour you will end up with Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry.
  • Next add the 2 egg yolks into the centre of the mix.
Look how beautifully golden the free range egg yolks are?
Look how beautifully golden the free range egg yolks are?
  • Add 150ml of cold tap water and stir the pastry using a regular dinner/butter knife.
  • Continue adding water, in small amounts, 10mls, at a time, stirring with the knife until the pastry starts to come together.
  • Now switch to using your hands. Create a claw-like figure with your fingers. Gently bring the dough together, adding a little more water as necessary, until it just holds together in a rough ball shape.
The perfect All Butter Shortcrust Pastry ball.
The Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry ball.
  • Wipe the worktop surface with a clean, damp cloth, then lay over a large piece of cling film – the wet surface helps the cling film to stick and not move about.
  • Tip out the ball of pastry onto the cling film.
  • Wrap and shape into a large disc.
Your All Butter Shortcrust Pastry is now ready for some relaxation time!
Your Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry is now ready for some relaxation time!
  • The Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry now needs to be placed in the fridge for an hour to chill and relax – literally!
  • Pop the kettle on and congratulate yourself on making Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry 😉

This recipe made enough pastry to bake a full sized quiche, a smaller deep tart and a Strawberry and Cream Filled Tart. Not bad for a few minutes of early morning pottering in the kitchen.

  • Whilst the Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry is resting in the fridge, it is an ideal time to prepare the filling.

Making the Red Pepper Mushroom Ale Jelly Quiche:

  • Deseed and slice half of a sweet red pepper. Slice 4-5 small button mushrooms.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a heavy based frying pan and gently sauté both the red pepper and the mushrooms, until cooked through. Set to one side.

Rolling out the Pastry:

  • Remove the pastry from the fridge. Place on a lightly floured surface and knead lightly.
  • Cut the pastry into 4 pieces.
  • Shape one piece of the pastry into a ball.
  • Roll out gently from the centre of the pastry to the edge. Ensure the pastry keeps moving by dusting underneath lightly with flower.
  • Ideally the pastry should be about the thickness of a £1 coin – approx 1/4 inch.
FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
You can see the pieces of butter clearly in the rolled out pastry.

Lining a Tin with Pastry:

  • Loop the pastry around the rolling pin – this makes moving it easier and stops it stretching.
  • Gently allow the pastry to loosely fill your tin, remove the rolling pin.
  • Ease the pastry into the tin, if it is fluted be sure to press the pastry into each of the flutes avoiding stretching it.
FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Don’t worry about the excess pastry draped over the sides of the tin.
  • Roll your rolling pin over the top of the tin and it will cut the edge of the pastry perfectly. See the first picture at the top of this blog.
  • Dock the bottom of the tin with a fork – this helps steam escape and creates a flat base.
  • Place the tart tin back in the fridge for 30 minutes, this really helps the pastry keep it’s shape when being baked.
  • Cut some baking parchment larger than the width of your tin.
  • Scrunch up and then lay on top of the pastry in the tin. Fill the baking parchment with ceramic baking balls.
FF Perfect ButterShortcrust Pastry
The ceramic baking balls keep the pastry’s shape as it bakes in the oven.
  • Place the pastry lined tins onto a baking tray and put in a preheated oven at 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6. Bake for 15 minutes.
  • After the baking time has elapsed remove the tin from the oven.
  • Using the baking parchment, lift the baking balls free from the pastry lined tin.
  • Place the baking balls in a heatproof bowl to cool.
  • Put the tart tins back in the oven and bake for another 5 minutes if using for a filled tart or quiche. If baking the tart shell until cooked, depending on size, bake for a further 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and cooked through.
FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry.
Beautifull be golden tart shell.

Making the Red Pepper Mushroom Ale Jelly Quiche:

  • After the further 5 minutes bake, without the baking balls, remove the tart tin from the oven.
  • Place the red peppers in the base of the tart. Next add a tablespoon of Ale Jelly. Then add the sautéed mushrooms.
FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Add a few fresh thyme leaves.
  • In a jug mix 4 large eggs with a tablespoon of milk. Add a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground pepper. Whisk all the ingredients together.
  • Pour the egg mixture on top of the peppers and mushrooms. Fill until it is near the top.
FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Slightly under fill the tart shell as the eggs puff up whilst baking.
  • Carefully place the quiche in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. The quiche is baked when the egg is set and feels firm to the touch. There shouldn’t be any wobble to the egg filling.
  • Once baked remove the quiche from the oven and leave to cool. Serve warm for dinner/lunch. Cool completely for storing in the fridge, well wrapped in cling film.
FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Beautiful, golden yellow quiche with red peppers, mushrooms and fresh thyme

Look at the gorgeous Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry crust. Deliciously light and buttery.

FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Such a tasty quiche, the ale jelly brings out the sweetness in the red peppers.

The Ale Jelly from Hawkshead Relish also works well with the earthy, meaty flavour of the mushrooms.

As you can see from the photos this recipe really does produce Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry. The pastry has such a delicious flavour of it’s own and becomes part of the dish, not just a carrier of other flavours.

Unused Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry can be kept wrapped in cling film, in the fridge for up to 3 days, or it can be frozen, wrapped in cling film and popped into a freezer bag for up to 3 months.

Top Tip: Freeze any leftover pastry and after a while you’ll have enough for a recipe!

If you have enjoyed this Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry here are some other recipes you may like to try:

Quiche Lorraine

FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Smoked ham and cheese create a classic Quiche Lorraine.

Spicy Sausage Rolls

FF Perfect Pastry Shortcrust Pastry
Spicy Sausage Rolls can easily be made with Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry.

Blackberry Nectarine Tart

FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry works well in place of puff pastry for this beautiful Blackberry Nectarine Tart.

Phew, I know this has been a long post, but I really wanted to show you just how easy it is to make your own pastry. This recipe can be used for sweet and savoury dishes. I always make double and freeze half down, which effectively is what this recipe already is. Except I was recipe testing over a few days and made 6 different quiches!!!

If you have any questions regarding pastry, especially if you are making it for the first time, I am always happy to answer. Either leave a comment, or for a quicker reply send me a Tweet.

Have fun making and baking in your kitchens. Preparing for feasting over the bank holiday weekend.

Sammie xx

Hawkshead Relish provided me with the Ale Jelly for this recipe. This is not a sposored post and I have not received payment for writing it. All opinions, view, photographs and content are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

So, if you’ve spent a little time on this blog, you’ll know that I am a self confessed Cookie Monster. Cookies are my favourite go to sweet treat. Maybe that’s why there are 21 cookie recipes on here??!! Anyway I try to keep on the oat/nut/fruit side of things but I craved CHOCOLATE! So I caved and made these unbelievably good Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies.

FF Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies perfect with chocolate milk.

They are so good!

FF Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies stacked high.

Oh yes I did. I totally stacked a piles of these very yummy Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies. Because what’s better than one cookie? A stack of them!

There you go, that’s my kind of maths 😉

Adding oats to cookies does two important things; it nudges them slightly more toward the healthier end of the nutritional spectrum and it gives them a wonderful, chewy, almost nutty flavour.

FF Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies perfect for sharing.

Now, you all know how much I love and adore my family. I have the best hubby in the world, who has all but given up his office, so that I can store baking equipment. Bundt tins take up a lot of room you know! Then there’s my Star and Snugs, our two gorgeous girls who, help me so much – cooking dinner, cleaning, vacuuming and much more. Last but definitely not least is our little man, who isn’t so little anymore so I’ll call him by his best friends nickname, Bob. He is growing into a loving and strapping lad who is always ready to help, especially fixing things. Bob has definitely inherited his paternal Grandad’s capability with his hands.

So you see I love them all – but – they also are cookie monsters. Which is fine I make food to be eaten, except out of this batch of 18 cookies I only ate 1. It didn’t help that I’d spent a few days in bed (see here ) after making these. Yes they bring me cups of tea, but as I’d ordered some shortie biscuits, which I love, they brought those with my hot drink. It was only a few days later, when I was able to venture downstairs that I realised they’d all gone!

FF Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies these have proved very popular!

I was sad for a teeny tiny moment and then very thankful and flattered that my lovely family had enjoyed them so much.

They are my biggest supporters, along with extended family and it really gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside knowing I’ve made them something that they  have really enjoyed. Being stuck in bed is not fun, knowing there is a tin full of cookies downstairs in the kitchen, helps me to feel that I am more present, than in reality I am.

Recipe: Makes 16-18 Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

225g/8oz Soft Light Brown Sugar – I used Billingtons

150g/5oz Unsalted Butter- at room temperature

2tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

1 Large Free Range Egg – plus

1 Large Free Range Egg Yolk

175g/6oz Plain White Flour

100g/4oz Plain Rolled Oats – not quick cook

1/2tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

Pinch of Salt

150g/5oz Milk Chocolate Chips or Chunks

50g/2oz Dark Chocolate 70% cocoa

Method: preheat the oven to 165C/150C fan, gas mark 3

  • Line 3 large baking trays with baking parchment.
  • Place the sugar and butter in a large bowl and whisk/beat for 5 minutes until pale and creamy – whisking for 5 minutes here and then after adding the eggs is very important to the finished texture of the cookie.
  • Add the vanilla extract and the eggs and continue whisking/beating for a further 5 minutes.
  • Sift in the flour, bicarb. salt and add the oats.
  • Add the chocolate chips.
  • Fold all the ingredients together until you have uniform cookie dough.
  • Using a medium sized ice cream scoop, or a spoon and your hands, scoop/roll 5cm/2″ ball of cookie dough and place onto the baking tray.
FF Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cookie dough balls.
  • With slightly dampened fingers (it stops the cookie dough sticking to them), press down on each ball to flatten slightly.
FF Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies ready for the oven.
  • Place the baking trays in the centre and lower parts of the oven. I rotate mine halfway through baking.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes. The cookies are baked when they have spread out and are golden brown.
  • Once bakes remove the cookies from the oven. They will still be very soft so leave on the baking trays to cool and set.
FF Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies baked and cooling on the tray.
  • Once cooled lift each cookie free of the baking parchment, use a palette knife to slide underneath the cookie first. Place the cookie back on the baking parchment.
  • In a heatproof, microwaveable bowl add the chopped/broken up dark chocolate.
  • Zap for 20 seconds in the microwave stirring after each heating session. When the chocolate is almost melted remove from the microwave and continue stirring until fully melted.
  • Pour the liquid chocolate into a small disposable piping bag.
  • Snip the very end of the piping bag off, creating a small hole.
  • Pipe swirls onto each of the cookies. Use all of the chocolate up, simply pipe over the swirls again.
FF Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies with swirls of dark chocolate.
  • Set the cookies to one side to allow the chocolate to cool and set.
  • Once the chocolate is set pop the kettle on, invite a neighbour round and spend some time chatting over a cup of coffee and delicious Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies.

In the United State and Canada where my friend Liz lives, they carry out cookie exchanges during the holiday season – usually from Thanksgiving through to Christmas. I love that idea! Baking up batches of cookies, sharing, swapping, making new friends, remembering old friends. In fact you should take a look at Teta Lizza website. Liz is an amazing cook and her attention to detail always leaves me impressed.

What do you think, should we have a cookie/biscuit exchange here?

Not because it’s ‘another American custom’ simply because it’s a great idea?

If you have enjoyed these Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies you may also like these:

Apricot Oat Crumble Cookies

FF Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Apricot Oat Crumble Cookies fruity and yummy

Caramac Caramel Cookies

FF Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Caramac Caramel Cookies delicious chewy bites of nostalgia.

Rolo Chocolate Cookies

FF Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Rolo Chocolate Cookies chewy bites of cookie heaven.

Thank you to everyone who reads this blog. I really do appreciate you. It’s been wonderful seeing all the bake photos that you have been putting up on Twitter and Instagram. Keep them coming and if you every have any questions about a particular recipe, either leave a comment, or probably for a quicker response send me a Tweet.

We have a 3 day bank holiday weekend coming up. Whatever your plans, i hope that they involve lots of smiles, laughter, fun and feasting with friends, family and neighbours.

Sammie xx

The lovely Renee at Bake Behaviour sent me some Billingtons sugar samples. This is not a sponsored post. All views, opinions, content and photographs are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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