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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Garlic Cheese Bombs

Who doesn’t love garlic bread, served alongside a great pasta dish, with a glass of something chilled? I certainly do and after seeing a fantastic foodie craze on Pinterest I knew I had to try it. Everyone is mad about these Garlic Cheese Bombs!

FF Garlic Cheese Bombs

    Garlic Cheese Bombs gooey melted cheese in a garlic roll, that’s utterly delicious.

In our house these are the BOMB 😉.

Everyone loves it when I make them and having successfully frozen them, uncooked, they are great to have on hand. Fresh or frozen.

FF Garlic Cheese Bombs
Garlic Cheese Bombs great for feeding a crowd.

Honestly these Garlic Cheese Bombs have become such a massive hit in our house. I’m really glad that they freeze well as my family would scoff the whole lot if I baked them all at once. I have learned from the first time I made them!

 

FF Garlic Cheese BombsGarlic Cheese Bombs

 

If you have little ones, they will thoroughly enjoy making these.

The only extra ingredient required to make the Garlic Cheese Bombs is a little patience. Making 30 – 40 individual, little cheese wrapped buns, could be seen as tedious – not here at Feasting is Fun though. We don’t do tedious!! So put on some great music or a play, clear the table and enjoy some therapeutic relaxation, whilst you play with dough!

Before you know it you’ll have two trays full of delicious, homemade, bread buns proving and you can give yourself a smug pat on the back, knowing that one tray is going to be stashed in the deep freeze.

Baking bread is a real passion of mine, second only to my faith see Important Stuff. As this week has been Real Bread Week it seemed fitting to end on a recipe that is fun to make and tastes best when feasting with family and friends.

FF Garlic Cheese Bombs
Garlic Cheese Bombs absolute fun to make and feast on!

I have made these Garlic Cheese Bombs using both my own dough recipe and a Wright’s bread mix. Truthfully and this almost hurts to write this, the children preferred the ones made with the bread mix.

Our children are very honest!!

Personally I think they are both great. The Wright’s bread mix is handy if you’re an infrequent bread baker, or haven’t made bread dough before and want to ensure they turn out great. My dough recipe is for those of us who are happy to make their dough from scratch. That said, there’s room in my kitchen for both.

Recipe: Makes 30 – 40 Garlic Cheese Bombs

1 quantity of dough that’s been proved and knocked back, from either my Farmhouse White Loaf or using Wright’s Baking Premium White Bread Mix

2 Tubs Mini Mozerrella Balls – there are approx 15 – 20 balls per tub

4 Fat Garlic Bulbs – or more if you want an extra garlic kick

100g/4oz Butter

4tbsp Olive Oil

1tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

1/2tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Bunch of Fresh Parsley to garnish and add flavour

Method: You will need a foil freezer/baking tray or 2 if you intend to freeze these.

  • Drain the mozerella balls well and count how many you have.
  • Make up the dough according to your chosen option.
  • Allow the dough to prove until doubled in size and then tip out on to a lightly floured surface.
  • For the very precise among you, weigh the bread dough and then divide that number by the number of mozerella balls. That will tell you exactly how much each piece of dough should weigh.
  • If you are more ‘laissez faire’ about things, like me, simply divide the dough evenly into 3 or 4 equal pieces (depending on whether you have 30 or 40 mozerella balls) and then divide each potion into 10.
  • Flatten a small portion of dough into a rough circular shape.
  • Place the mozerella ball in the centre of the dough circle.
  • Bring the edges of the dough up so that they cover the cheese and seal by pressing together.
  • Place the Garlic Cheese Bomb seam side down on a lightly oiled baking tray.
FF Garlic Cheese Bombs
After a while you get into a rhythm and the process becomes very relaxing.
  • Continue until all of the Garlic Cheese Bombs have been made, allowing space in between each one the tray so that it has room to rise.
FF Garlic Cheese Bombs
Cover with damp kitchen towel or oiled cling film.
  • The Garlic Cheese Bombs in the photo above are from the first batch that I made.
  • Leave until doubled in size.
  • Whilst the rolls are proving, make the garlic butter.
  • Place the butter, oil, crushed/finely minced garlic, salt and pepper into a small saucepan over a low heat.
  • Cook until all the butter has melted. Set to one side.
  • Preheat the oven to 209C/180C fan, gas mark 6.
  • When the Garlic Cheese Bombs have doubled in size, remove the damp cloth/cling film and brush liberally, using a pastry brush, with the melted garlic butter.
FF Garlic Cheese Bombs
You’ll be surprised at how much these delicious rolls puff up.
  • Now is the stage at which the Garlic Cheese Bombs can be frozen. Double wrap the foil tray with freezer safe cling film, label and pop in the freezer. They should be fine for at least one month in the freezer.
  • To bake the freshly garlic glazed buns, place into the middle of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown.
  • When baked remove the tray from the oven and immediately transfer the individual Garlic Cheese Bombs to a serving platter. Be careful as they will be very hot.
  • Pour over any garlic butter left in the tray and garnish with roughly chopped parsley,
  • Leave for 5 minutes before serving to allow thm to cool slightly.
  • Serve with a smile and watch as people break open these golden, light, cheesy rolls, flavoured with garlic butter.
FF Garlic Cheese Bombs
Garlic Cheese Bombs the perfect food for sharing, feasting and having fun.

Note: To cook from frozen, preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan, gas mark 5. Remove all cling film/foil. Place the frozen rolls into the middle of the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden and baked through. To test remove a roll and cut in half, if the mozerella is gooey and melted then the Garlic Cheese Bombs are baked. Serve as for freshly baked.

So you’ve got a party in the evening and you want to make these earlier in the day? I’d suggest making them the day, or even a few days ahead and stashing them in the freezer. Alternatively make them in the morning, glazed with garlic butter before their final prove (it’ll save you stinking of garlic as you great your guests 😉), wrap in cling film and keep in the fridge. Take them out 10 minutes before baking, whilst you preheat the oven and bake as for fresh.

Make ahead recipes are fantastic as they allow you to enjoy spending time with your guests, rather than being stuck, on your own in the kitchen!

If you have loved these Garlic Cheese Bombs, then here are some other recipes you might like to try:

Breadsticks with Garlic and Herb Dipping Oil

FF Garlic Cheese Bombs
Breadsticks with Garlic and Herb Dipping Oil

Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread

FF Garlic Cheese Bombs
Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia

 

I really hope you do try making your own bread. Most bread doughs can withstand a reasonable amount of mistreatment and still turn into fabulous loves, breadsticks, baguettes. The possibilities are endless and nothing, not even chocolate cake such as this White Chocolate Swirl Fudge Cake beats the smell of home baked bread.

Thank you for all you lovely comments, especially on Twitter regarding the great yeast debate – more on that in a future post! It really makes my day to see pictures of you baking my recipes and in most cases they look even better. Which I think is completely brilliant. You all inspire me to try harder and write easy to follow, delicious recipes.

Together we really do make Feasting Fun!

Sammie xx

Wright’s Baking provided me with the Premium White Bread Mix used in this recipe alongside my own bread dough recipe. All opinions, views, content and photographs are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake

Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake. Whipped mascarpone cheese with fresh raspberries over a deep, chocolate ganache topped brownie base.

If I had known you were coming I would have made this elegant Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake.

Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake
Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake

How pretty does this cheesecake look?

You too can make it, with the help of an IfIKnewYouWereComing Artisan Chocolate Brownie Baking Box!

A slice of Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake
A slice of Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake

Look at the gorgeously dense and fudgey brownie base to this cheesecake. Chocolate and raspberry flavours work so well together and this Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake really is a dream dessert.

Recently our youngest daughter revealed that she really didn’t like the traditional biscuit that usually is on the base of a cheesecake. She does however, love the creamy, top part. So this cheesecake was made with her in mind.

She absolutely loves brownies (as do the rest of us) and I wondered what she would think, of a cheesecake made with a brownie base. I decided to add a layer of deep, dark chocolate ganache to the top of the brownie base, primarily to stop the base from becoming soggy, but also to add an extra layer of chocolate to this cheesecake.

Each ingredient comes in a separate package all I neede to do was add butter and eggs and follow the recipe!
Each ingredient comes in a separate package all I needed to do was add butter and eggs and follow the recipe!

I was impressed with the ingredient packaging and the instructions provided with the Artisan Chocolate Brownie Bake Box. Baking these brownies was very similar to making my own homemade brownies, except someone had already weighed the ingredients out for me! All I needed to do was add butter and eggs.

Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake fudgey chocolate base covered in light raspberry mousse cheesecake.
Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake fudgey chocolate base covered in light raspberry mousse cheesecake.

This Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake is utterly stunning to look at and even more delicious to eat.

The whipped, mousse like, raspberry cheesecake layer, isn’t overly sweet. With an added splash of raspberry liquer and vanilla notes of white chocolate, this dessert is an awesome combination of flavours.

Layered together, with a final swirl of the best quality dark chocolate, this cheesecake may be my favourite dessert yet?!!

Recipe: Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake serves 10-12

1 Brownie Bake Box from IfIKnewYouWereComing

(alternatively use half of my Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites) recipe

115g Unsalted Butter

2 Large Free Range Eggs

300g/Raspberries I use frozen Raspberries from Waitrose when they are out of season

4tbsp Caster Sugar

2tbsp Framboise – raspberry liquer  – can be substituted for fresh apple juice

150g Dark Chocolate

300ml Double Cream

500g Tub Mascapone Cheese

100g White Chocolate

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

Making the Brownie Base:

  • Line the base of a 10″ (25cm) Springform cake tin with the parchment backed, tin foil provided.
  • Follow the recipe card provided to make the brownies.
  • Pour the brownie mixture into the springform tin and tap against the work top twice to release any trapped air bubbles.
  • Place the tin in the oven and bake according to the instructions – my brownie base took 15 minutes to bake.
  • Once baked remove the tin from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely.
Delicious brownie base studded with dark chocolate chips.
Delicious brownie base studded with dark chocolate chips.

Making the Chocolate Ganache:

  • In a heatproof bowl add 100g dark chocolate and 100ml of double cream.
  • Place the bowl on top of a small saucepan that contains approximately an inch of barely simmering water – this is called a double boiler.
  • Stir the chocolate and cream together until the chocolate has completely melted and the mixture is thick and glossy.
  • Pour the chocolate ganache over the cooled brownie base.
  • Smooth to an even layer using the back of a metal dessert spoon.
  • Place in the fridge until the ganache has set.
Glossy chocolate ganache not only adds an extra layer of deliciousness, but also stops the brownie base from becoming soggy.
Glossy chocolate ganache not only adds an extra layer of deliciousness, but also stops the brownie base from becoming soggy.

Making the Raspberry Cheesecake layer:

  • Place the raspberries, caster sugar and framboise (or apple juice) into a blender.
  • Pulse until you have a smooth, deep cerise, thick raspberry coulis. Set to one side.
  • Break up the white chocolate and place into a heatproof microwaveable bowl.
  • Zap for 20 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chocolate has almost melted.
  • Remove from the microwave and continue stirring until completely melted. Set to one side.
  • In a large bowl add the tub of mascarpone cheese and 200mls of double cream.
  • Using a hand mixer, whisk until fully combined.
  • Pour the raspberry coulis into the cheesecake mix and whisk until fully incorporated.
  • Next pour in the melted white chocolate.
  • Whisk all of the cheesecake ingredients together until light and creamy.
  • Spoon the raspberry cheesecake on to the cold, set, chocolate ganache covered brownie base in the springform tin.
  • Smooth the top of the raspberry cheesecake to ensure a flat, even finish.
  • Cover the cheesecake with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to allow to set.
Once you have smoothed the top of the cheesecake you can lick the spoon 😉
Once you have smoothed the top of the cheesecake you can lick the spoon 😉

Decorating the Cheesecake:

  • Remove the cheesecake from the fridge.
  • Run a palette knife between the outside edge of the cheesecake and the iside of the springform tin.
  • Place the springform tin centrally on a large tin of beans (or something equally as sturdy).
  • Release the springform catch and gently encourage the sides of the tin to fall away from the base.
  • Place the Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake on to a serving plate or cake stand – the base will still be attached, don’t worry that’s fine.
  • Use a palette knife, that has been kept in a jug of boiling water, to smooth the top and sides of the cheesecake.
  • Melt 50g of dark chocolate in a microwaveable, heat proof bowl, as before.
  • Pour the melted chocolate into a small, disposable piping bag.
  • Snip off the very end of the piping bag to create a small hole.
  • Pipe swirls of chocolate all around the edge of the cheesecake and larger loops in the centre. Continue piping over the swirls around the edge until the chocolate is all used.
Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake so beautifully decorated and yet so easy to achieve.
Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake so beautifully decorated and yet so easy to achieve.

Now stand back and look at the beautiful Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake that you have made and decorated.

Such a simple piping technique and yet incredibly elegant. This cheesecake is perfect for adding the wow factor to any dinner party or celebration. Pale pink and chocolate brown are a classic colour combination, ensuring this dessert looks elegantly appetising.

The taste and texture of the brownie base was perfect, just like homemade. I would definitely recommend it, especially if you bake only at weekends or for special occasions. As all the ingredients come pre-weighed, you can easily make and bake brownies in under 30 minutes!

If you have enjoyed this Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake then you may also like these recipes:

White Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake

FF Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake
White Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake.

Strawberry Chocolate Cheesecake

FF Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake
Strawberry Chocolate Cheesecake.

I like to make cheesecakes all year round. Frozen raspberries ensure that a glimpse of Summer can be seen and enjoyed, in the midst of the colder months.

Whatever you are making and baking in your kitchens, have fun feasting on all your creations.

Sammie xx

IfIKnewYouWereComing supplied me with the Artisan Chocolate Brownie Bake Box for this recipe. All opinions and views are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Lighter Wholemeal Loaf

Bread, an everyday staple for most people. Yet finding a loaf that is light, tasty, with added fibre can be hard. Look no further my friends, as I present my Lighter Wholemeal Loaf.

Lighter Wholemeal Loaf easily sliced and perfect for sandwiches.
Lighter Wholemeal Loaf easily sliced and perfect for sandwiches.

I must admit I am a bit of a ‘bread head’ – does that make me sound cool?!!

By that, I mean that I adore most breads, providing they are well made, do not contain additives and have a flavour of their own that contributes to the final dish.

I do not live near an Artisan Bakery, where freshly baked bread, in all its array of shapes and flavours can be purchased. So instead I make our bread at home.

Lighter Wholemeal Bread full of flavour.
Lighter Wholemeal Bread full of flavour.

This Lighter Wholemeal Loaf is one of our family’s favourite breads. The loaf slices beautifully and so is perfect for packed lunches, or toasted for breakfast and then slathered in homemade jam.

I have 100% wholemeal bread recipes such as my Wholemeal Cob Loaf and Wholemeal Loaf, yet if I’m honest, as delicious as they are, having the same bread every single day can get a bit boring. So I like to switch things up a bit, keeping our taste buds interested and in reality, ensuring our teenagers eat a decent portion of their lunch.

They say variety is the spice of life 😉

Lighter Wholemeal Loaf just add butter for a delicious feast.
Lighter Wholemeal Loaf just add butter for a delicious feast.

When I eat bread I want it to contribute to the flavour of the whole dish. What I mean is, it shouldn’t, mustn’t just be a limp carrier for other flavours. The mature cheddar cheese and butter, as seen in the photo above, became my lunch yesterday – the perks of being a food blogger!

Yet this sandwich, with the addition of some Red Onion Marmalade, truly is one of my favourite lunches. Each component adding flavour and different textures, so that as a whole, the resulting sandwich was incredibly appetising and filling.

Lighter Wholemeal Loaf a heart, flavour packed lunch.
Lighter Wholemeal Loaf a hearty, flavour packed lunch.

I used a mixture of stone ground, organic strong flour from Shipton Mill to make this Lighter Wholemeal Loaf. The wheat, traditionally milled, using the flow of river water for energy needed to drive the grinding stones, is consistently excellent, whilst it’s production is sympathetic to and works in harmony with the environment.

So that I can guarentee you consistent, excellent results when making this Lighter Wholemeal Loaf, this recipe has been thoroughly tested, with the resulting loaf being approximately one third wholemeal flour. This 2:1 combination of Strong White to Strong Wholemeal flour gives a great, nutty, wholesome flavour, whilst keeping the bread light enough for everday use. It’s also a great way of adding extra fibre into your own and your familiy’s diet, especially if their preference is for white bread.

Recipe: Makes one Lighter Wholemeal Loaf

150g/5oz Strong Wholemeal Flour – preferably organic plus a little extra for dusting the work top.

350g/12oz Strong Unbleached White Flour – preferably organic

360ml Tepid Tap Water

7g/1 Sachet Dried Yeast

1tsp Honey

7g/1tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon Sea Salt Flakes

25g/1oz Unsalted Butter

Method:

The ‘bowl’ is either a large bowl, with which to mix the bread by hand, or the stand mixer/bread maker bowl.

For all methods:

Pour the water into the bowl. Add the honey and yeast. Swish about with clean fingers to activate the yeast.

Add the flour on top of the liquid.

Add the salt and the butter.

If using a bread maker, set to dough cycle and start the program. Once the cycle is completed re-start for 1 minute. This ‘knocks back’ the dough. See below for how to shape the loaf prior to it’s second prove.

If using a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and mix on medium speed until all the ingredients are combined. Continue to mix for a further 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Stop mixing. Scrape the dough from the dough hook and combine with the dough in the bowl. Form into a ball, place back into the bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size (approx. 1hour). Once doubled remove the cloth, mix for 1 minute on medium speed using the dough hook. This ‘knocks back’ the dough.

If hand mixing, bring all the ingredients together with your hand until they form a doughy mess! Place this dough onto a very lightly floured worktop. Knead for a good 10 minutes. If the dough gets sticky, keep kneading and working it – if you add extra flour the finished bread will be dry. After a good 10 minutes kneading, the dough should have a smooth elasticity. Place the kneaded dough into a buttered bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size, 1-2 hours.

To shape the dough: Tip the knocked back the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently flatten the dough into an oval/rectangle shape.

Flatten out the dough into a rough oval.
Flatten out the dough into a rough oval.

Fold the top third of the flattened dough over.

Fold the top third of the dough over.
Fold the top third of the dough over.

Fold the bottom third of the dough up and slightly over the previous fold.

Bring the bottom third of the dough up.
Bring the bottom third of the dough up.

Rotate the dough by a quarter, gently flatten out and repeat the folding process.

Repeat the turning and folding twice more, ensuring the last turn and fold is quite tight. This folding technique does not take long and unlike pastry, this bread dough can withstand being moved and worked. The purpose of turning and folding is to build a good structure within the dough.

Once the folding and turning is complete turn the dough over so that it is seam side down.

Place into a greased 3lb loaf tin. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm, draught free place until doubled in size.

I also sprinkled some wholemeal flour over the top of the dough, this gives a nice, rustic finish to the baked bread.

Neat, tightly folded dough ready for its second prove.
Neat, tightly folded dough ready for its second prove.

The dough can take between 45 minutes and a couple of hours to double in size, depending on the ambient temperature and humidity.

Whilst the dough has it’s final prove, preheat your oven to it’s hottest setting.

5 minutes before your loaf is due to be baked, fill a tray with ice cubes and place on the lowest shelf in the oven. The hot, steamy environment will help the dough to rise even further before the crust sets and helps bake a crusty loaf.

Lighter Wholemeal Loaf beautifully risen and ready for the oven.
Lighter Wholemeal Loaf beautifully risen and ready for the oven.

Place the loaf into the centre of a preheated oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7. Bake the Lighter Wholemeal Loaf for 30 minutes.

The bread is cooked when it is a golden brown colour and sounds hollow when rapped on the base of the loaf with your knuckle.

Once baked remove the bread from the oven and immediately tip out onto a cooling rack. Note: If the loaf is cooked but you’d like a darker crust, place the loaf, without the tin, directly on to the oven shelf and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until the crust is the colour you desire.

Lighter Wholemeal Loaf such a delicious and versatile bread.
Lighter Wholemeal Loaf such a delicious and versatile bread.

The smell of freshly baked bread is so unbelievably good. Our postman really likes delivering to us in the morning, as that tends to be when the bread is either baking or cooling!

Do not be surprised if your neighbours pop in, just for a chat, as they catch a whiff of freshly baked bread escaping from your house 😉

This Lighter Wholemeal Loaf will keep in a bread bin for up to 3 days. To freeze, ensure the bread is completely cold and wrap tightly in cling film. Fresh bread can be frozen for up to 3 months. To defrost, remove all the cling film and allow the loaf to stand on a large trivet or a cooling rack at room temperature, until fully defrosted.

I like to refresh frozen bread – this simply involves preheating the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7. Once the bread has fully defrosted, spritz with tap water and place directly onto the middle oven shelf for 10-15 minutes. After removing from the oven allow the loaf to cool and it will taste like it has been freshly baked that day! I won’t tell 😉

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Lighter Wholemeal Loaf, then I have some others you may like too:

Farmhouse White Loaf

FF Lighter Wholemeal Loaf
Farmhouse White Loaf

Oat Bran White Bread

FF Lighter Wholemeal Loaf
Oat Bran White Bread makes the best toast!

Knotted Poppyseed Rolls

FF Lighter Wholemeal Loaf
Knotted Poppyseed Rolls perfect for picnics.

Using a bread maker or stand mixer to carry out the kneading part of making bread dough isn’t cheating. I hand kneaded some incredibly sticky Brioche dough for 20 minutes at the weekend and honestly, it has really taken it’s toll on my body this week. So if using kitchen appliances enables us to eat better quality, homemade bread, that is also much cheaper than it’s shop bought counterpart, why not?

I hope that the detailed, yet easy steps in this recipe have encouraged you to bake your own bread – you may find that once you start it is impossible to go back to mass produced, plastic wrapped loaves!!

I am always willing to answer any questions you may have with this, or any of my other recipes. Simply leave a comment, or for a quicker reply Tweet me a message.

Have fun making and baking in your kitchens, maybe invite a friend or neighbour round and bake together. It may take longer but I can guarentee there will be lots of laughing.

Sammie xx

This is not a sponsored post. I have been buying Shipton Mill flour for almost as long as I have been baking my own bread.

British Bakeware  sell a range of baking products, their 3lb farmhouse loaf tin was used to bake this Lighter Wholemeal Loaf.

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Spicy Sausage Rolls

Sunshine, glorious sunshine. It lifts our spirits and makes everyday seem that little bit brighter – literally. Windows flung open, coats discarded, sunglasses at the ready. Who wants to eat lunch, or any meal for that matter, indoors? Not me! Even if my ‘picnic’ is sitting out in the garden with a cool glass of something refreshing and a plate of these jalapeño fired Spicy Sausage Rolls.

Spicy Sausage Rolls a fiery twist on a classic.
Spicy Sausage Rolls a fiery twist on a classic.

For those of you with a more gentle constitution, don’t worry these Spicy Sausage Rolls do not ‘blow your head off!’ Instead they have a gentle warming, fruity heat that lifts an otherwise everyday sausage roll to a whole different level.

The inclusion of some paprika filled chorizo sausage, further elevates the incredible flavour of these picnic favourites. Delicious good quality sausage meat,  mixed with finely chopped jalapeño chilli and just the right amount of chorizo, encased in flaky, all butter puff pastry, makes for the perfect addition to any packed lunch, picnic or easy meal.

Spicy Sausage Rolls change up your daily packed lunch!
Spicy Sausage Rolls change up your daily packed lunch!

If you like sausage rolls, you will absolutely love these Spicy Sausage Rolls!

Spicy Sausage Rolls an easy, tasty,mid week meal.
Spicy Sausage Rolls an easy, tasty, mid week meal.

Puff pastry is such an incredibly handy product to have stashed away in the freezer. All butter is my preferred type, especially for sweet bakes such as my Blackberry Nectarine Tart , however, I do sometimes use the mixed vegetable fat/butter for savoury bakes, especially if it is on offer!

Having chatted to a few of my Twitter friends recently, we all concluded that the cost of groceries seems to have suddenly risen. For me, this means creating recipes that stretch more expensive ingredients that little bit further and also really trying hard to keep food waste to an absolute minimum.

Spicy Sausage Rolls are great with a handful of cherry tomatoes off the vine.
Spicy Sausage Rolls are great with a handful of cherry tomatoes off the vine.

As I spend a lot of time testing recipes and batch baking/cooking in the kitchen, the opportunity for waste can become even greater. Especially if after a few days cooking and baking I then spend the next few days in bed due to my health problems see here.

This is where the freezer becomes my best friend! Having made the Spicy Sausage Rolls on a day where I had also cooked dinner, they were in danger of getting forgotten about, boxed up in the back of the fridge. Of course we shared a couple between us to taste test them and we were not disappointed. After the photos were taken the following day, I popped the remaining sausage rolls in the freezer – keeping a couple out for our daughter and I to share for lunch.

I have no doubt that they will not stay in the freezer long, yet it saves potential waste. Which is primarily, not only good for our planet, but also our grocery budget!

Recipe: Makes 12 Spicy Sausage Rolls

350g/12oz Block of Puff Pastry all butter if possible- defrosted in the fridge overnight if frozen – I used frozen Just Rol all butter puff pastry

454g/1lb Pork Sausagemeat – good quality at least 85% Pork, casing removed

50g/2oz Chorizo Sausage – casing removed

1 Jalapeño Chilli Pepper

1 Medium Free Range Egg

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

  • Place the sausage meat into a bowl and add the chorizo sausage pulled into pieces.
  • Remove the seeds and membrane from the jalapeño chilli pepper and chop finely.
  • Add the chopped chilli to the bowl and squish (mix) everything together using clean hands.
  • Roll out the puff pastry on a clean, flour dusted work top, until it is 30cm x 20cm (15″ wide by 8″ deep).
  • Trim the edges of the pastry and then divide the pastry in half width ways so that you have 2 long strips.
  • Divide the sausage meat mixture in two.
  • Evenly lay the sausage meat down the middle of each length of pastry.
You can see the flecks of green chilli and red chorizo throughout the sausage meat.
You can see the flecks of green chilli and red chorizo throughout the sausage meat.
  • Crack an egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork.
  • Using a pastry brush, brush beaten egg down the length of the pastry, either side of the sausage meat.
  • Bring the top edge of the pastry evenly over the sausage meat and continue rolling so that the pastry overlaps (and seals) underneath the sausage rolls.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut each long roll in half and then cut each half into 3 even sized sausage rolls. In total you will have 12 medium sized sausage rolls.
Spicy Sausage Rolls ready for their egg wash and to be baked!
Spicy Sausage Rolls ready for their egg wash and to be baked!
  • Place the sausage rolls on to a lightly oiled baking tray.
  • Brush each sausage roll with the beaten egg – this will give the pastry a wonderful, crisp, golden finish once baked.
  • Finally using a sharp, pointed pair of scissors, snip the top of each sausage roll twice – as can be seen in the picture below.
Spicy Sausage Rolls ready for the oven.
Spicy Sausage Rolls ready for the oven.
  • Place the baking tray into the middle/top part of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • The Spicy Sausage Rolls are cooked when the pastry is flaky and golden brown all over. If in doubt cut a sausage roll in half, the meat should be cooked all the way through.
  • Once baked remove the sausage rolls from the oven.
Golden, flaky, hot Spicy Sausage Rolls fresh from the oven.
Golden, flaky, hot Spicy Sausage Rolls fresh from the oven.
  • Transfer the baked sausage rolls to a cooling rack and allow to cool slightly before trying!
Spicy Sausage Rolls that smell so delicious and inviting.
Spicy Sausage Rolls that smell so delicious and inviting.

Perfect eaten hot or cold, with a good chutney, some cherry tomatoes and a glass of something refreshing.

To store, allow to cool completely and then pack into an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. Alternatively, as I did, pack into a freezer bag or box, label and keep in the freezer for one month. Defrost thoroughly and reheat until piping hot in a moderate oven.

If fresh puff pastry has been used, not frozen, these Spicy Sausage Rolls can also be frozen uncooked. Place some baking parchment on a baking tray, put the sausage rolls on top and then place into the freezer and freeze until solid. Once frozen pack into freezer boxes, separating each layer with baking parchment. To cook, remove as many sausage rolls as required, place onto an oiled baking tray and bake in a preheated oven as before. The sausage rolls will take approximately 45 minutes to bake from frozen. This can be particularly handy over the Christmas holiday period.

Spicy Sausage Rolls
Spicy Sausage Rolls perfect for a Christmas buffet, or any buffet!!

Sorry to mention Christmas, however, in our house a buffet is incomplete without a plate of hot sausage rolls. This year we can really turn the heat up!

Obviously you can control how spicy you make these, as well as the size. I would perhaps make them a little smaller for a buffet spread.

If you have loved these Spicy Sausage Rolls as much as we have you may also enjoy these other recipes:

Quiche Lorraine

Spicy Sausage Rolls
Quiche Lorraine bacon, cheddar and egg tart.

Sausage Plait With A Twist

Spicy Sausage Rolls
Sausage Plait With A Twist

Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread

Spicy Sausage Rolls
Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread

If you think about it, a buffet is really an indoor picnic!

Who doesn’t love unloading a picnic hamper or walking around a buffet table tasting little morsels of yummy different foods. We have a daughter who would happily eat from a buffet table/picnic hamper most days of the year.

The sun is blazing as I write up this post. Whether you make and bake during the sunshine or snow, have fun feasting with friends, family and neighbours.

Sammie xx

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