Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns

Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns packed full of plump vine fruit and spices.

These Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns really do take the humble, yet delicious Easter Bun to another level. As their spiced aroma escapes the kitchen, it fills the whole house with warmth. Turning a house into a welcoming home. While neighbours, out in their gardens, stop, wondering whose house the aromatic aroma originates from.

FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns filled with more fruit and spice.

Easy to make and bake, these Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns are so worth the little effort required. These are not the small, pappy, squidged into a ball, cheap supermarket versions. Instead they are filled with fruit, in a good sized bun, that also contains a small amount of wholemeal flour. Indeed, one bun is a substantial breakfast.

FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns deliciously good for you.

Since these buns are homemade, we know every ingredient they contain. Yet, what they don’t have is any artificial ingredients. Also they work out much cheaper to make, than bought ones. Plus, the extra smell when you split and toast them, is priceless!

FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Anyone hungry?

The absolute thrill for me, when developing a new recipe, is my family’s reaction. Good or bad, I know it can be trusted. Words like “yummy”, “can I have another one please?” and “have you taken the photographs yet?” all feed into my sense of recipe security. As I’m going to be sharing the recipe with my readers, it needs to be robust and reliable. Hence only tried and tested recipes make their way on to this blog.

Recipe: Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns makes 12

  • 150ml Tap Water
  • 150ml Whole Milk – slightly warmed to body temperature
  • 2 Large Free Range Eggs
  • 10g Fast Action Dried Yeast – I use Allinson in the green pot or sachets
  • 1tbsp Honey
  • 450g/1lb Strong White Flour – I use Shipton Mill
  • 50g/2oz Strong Wholemeal Flour
  • 10g Salt – I use Maldon
  • 50g/2oz Unsalted Butter cut into small cubes
  • 200g/7oz Mixed Dried Fruits – Sultanas/Raisins/Currants
  • 4tsp Cinnamon
  • 1tsp Ginger
  • 50g/2oz Plain White Flour and 50mls Tap Water for the crosses.
  • For the glaze:
  • 3tbsp Runny Honey plus 1tsp water

Method:

First of all, grease a large baking tray with butter.

  • Into the bowl of a stand mixer add the water, milk, eggs, honey and yeast.
  • Next, on top of the liquids add the strong white and wholemeal flour.
  • Then add the salt and butter.
  • Fit the stand mixer with a dough hook and then lock the bowl into place.
  • Lower the dough hook and start mixing on a slow speed. Continue mixing at this speed for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes has elapsed gradually increase the mixer speed to moderately high. Again mix for a further 5 minutes, then stop the mixer and lift the dough hook.
  • Remove a small piece of dough and stretch it until you can see light through it. This is known as the windowpane test. If the dough tears continue mixing, checking every couple of minutes until it passes the windowpane test.
  • Once it has finished kneading, turn the speed on the mixer to low and add the spices and fruit. Mix for a further 2 minutes to incorporate the fruit and spices.
  • Following this, stop the mixer, raise the dough hook and scrape any dough into the bowl using your fingers.
  • Unlock the bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and place somewhere draught free.
FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
The dough has more than doubled in size.

For detailed set by step photos please see Hot Cross Buns

  • Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured surface, it will be quite sticky. Knead the dough lightly to form a ball and then weigh it. I place baking parchment on flat, digital scales. Note the weight and then divide it by 12, leaving the parchment on the scales.
  • Now cut the dough in half. As each bun is weighed this doesn’t have to be exact.
  • Follow by forming each dough half into a log shape. Cut each dough log into six.
  • Weigh the first piece of dough and adjust as necessary to obtain the correct weight.
  • Hold the dough in one hand while using the other to turn and tuck the underneath in, creating a tight ball shape. Place the ball on to the baking tray. Continue until all 12 balls have been made.
  • Cover the tray with a clean tea towel and place in a draught free place until doubled in size.
  • While the buns have their second prove, make the paste for the crosses. Place the flour and water into a bowl, mix until lump free. Spoon the white flour paste into a small piping bag, secure the top with a peg/rubber band and stand the bag in a glass until needed.
  • Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7.
FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Before and after proving Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
  • Once doubled in size, snip off the very end of the piping bag.
  • Pipe straight lines of paste. First of all piping across the tray and then down the tray.
FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Pipe each separate row continuously for neat crosses.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes. When baked they will be golden brown and sound hollow when rapped on the base with a knuckle.
  • Once baked remove from the oven. Remove the buns from the tray on to a cooling rack, with a clean baking tray underneath.
  • Measure the honey and water into a small microwaveable bowl. Heat in the microwave until bubbling. Remove carefully as it will be hot.
  • Stir the honey and water to mix.
  • Use a pastry brush to cover each hot bun in honey.
FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Sticky, cooling, Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns.

Wait for the buns to cool before eating. Then serve as is or toasted and buttered with a big smile.

FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns delicious fresh from the kitchen.

The buns will keep for 3 days if toasted. Also they freeze extremely well for up to one month.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns then you may also like these:

Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns

FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns

Chocolate Mini Egg Browies

FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies

It would be very easy to double up on this recipe and share homemade Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns with friends, neighbours and family.

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

Sammie xx

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Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread

If you are a frequent visitor to this blog, you will know how much I enjoy making bread. While I am very happy to let kitchen appliances carry out the hard work, indeed for this loaf they are necessary, shaping the dough is always fun to do by hand. Since I first tried an eight strand plaited loaf last year, I have become hooked on intertwining lengths of dough and observing the final, baked result. This Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread is delicious and easy to make.

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread a delicious breakfast.

Having re-tested the recipe and technique I have full confidence that you too can make this delicious bread. Even if you have never plaited before, the step by step photographs will show you how. Such a small amount of extra effort and you will be rewarded with a stunning loaf. While the smell of cinnamon dough, baking, will have you counting the minutes until your first slice!

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread golden and bronzed with a hidden inner.

When baking, it always pays to use the very best ingredients available. However, not everyone’s budget can stretch to premium ingredients. If you can make one change here, I strongly recommend using free range, or organic eggs. Their golden yolks are what help give this loaf its amazing colour. Both in the bread itself and the egg wash, brushed on before baking. Resulting in both the golden and bronzed baked crust.

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread beautiful inside and out.

Serving this bread, sliced for breakfast or as an afternoon treat with a hot drink, is sure to brighten anyone’s day. Since it is a large loaf, why not take it to work, pre-sliced and share with your colleagues? Since all food tastes better when it is shared, that is the only way to improve this bread. Simply by sharing it.

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread simply delicious.

Recipe: Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread 

300mls Whole Milk

2 Large Free Range Eggs

1tsp Caster Sugar

10g Dried Yeast – I use Allinson in the green tub or sachets

600g/1lb 5oz Strong White Bread Flour – I use Shipton Mill

50g/2oz Unsalted Butter

10g Salt – I use Maldon

For the cinnamon filling:

75g/3oz Light Muscavado Sugar – I use Billington’s

4tsp Cinnamon

1 free range egg plus 1tbsp milk to brush over the loaf.

Method:

The method given for making this Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread uses a dough hook fitted to a stand mixer. The enriched dough is very, very sticky, prior to its first prove. Using a stand mixer ensures that the dough is kneaded properly. Resulting in a light textured crumb once baked.

  • First of all ensure that your kitchen is warm. It will really benefit the yeast, during the dough making process.
  • Measure the milk into a jug and warm in a microwave for 20 seconds. Ideally the milk should be body temperature 37C. However, do not overheat as it may kill the yeast.
  • Pour the milk into the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Crack 2 eggs into the jug and add these to the milk in the bowl. I always break eggs into a separate container first. If any shell escapes it can then be removed and also, extremely occasionally, should an egg be bad, it will not spoil the whole recipe.
  • Next add the sugar and yeast. Swish the liquid about with clean fingers to break up the eggs and mix lightly.
  • On top of the liquid mix add the flour.
  • Now add the butter and salt.
  • Lower the dough hook into the bowl and mix on the slowest speed for 5 minutes. Then, gradually increase the speed to medium and mix for a further 5 minutes.
  • After the mixing time has elapsed stop the mixer.
  • Remove a small piece of dough and stretch it between your fingers. The dough is kneaded when it can be stretched so thinly that light can be seen through it. This is called the windowpane test.
  • If the dough tears before it can be fully stretched, lower the dough hook and continue mixing, checking every 3 minutes, until it passes the windowpane test.
  • Once the dough passes the windowpane test it is ready to prove. Scrape the dough from the dough hook and allow to drop into the bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and place somewhere warm and drought free.
  • Allow the dough to prove until doubled in size – approximately 1 hour.
  • While the dough is proving grease a large baking tray with butter. Also, into a small bowl, weigh out the sugar and add the cinnamon. Stir to mix and break up any large sugar lumps using your fingers. Set to one side.
  • Once doubled in size turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface. Use your hand, or a dough scraper to remove all of the dough.
  • Shape the dough into a round and then weigh it. I use digital scales, placing the dough on to a piece of baking parchment. Make a note of the weight of the dough. Now divide that figure in 3.
  • Cut the dough into 3 pieces that are equal in weight.
  • Roll each piece of dough into a length and then flatten, using your hands or a rolling pin. Each flattened length of dough should measure 50cm/20″.
FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Preparing three dough strands for the cinnamon/sugar filling.
  • Sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon mixture down the middle of each piece of dough. Dividing it equally between three strands.
  • Dab a little tap water down the right side of the first strip of dough. Now bring the left side over and pinch to secure the sides together. Similar to making a sausage roll.
  • Continue until all three lengths of dough have their filling securely encased.
  • Roll each length of dough so that the join is underneath and not visible.
  • Join all three lengths of dough at the top. Place on top of each other and pinch together to secure.
FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Filling, securing and attaching the top of the plait.
  • Plaiting the dough:
  • Starting from left to right, number the strands 1, 2 and 3. Number 1 strand will always be to the left, 2 in the middle and 3 on the right.
  • Pass strand 1 over strand 2.
  • Now pass strand 3 over strand 2. Ensure the strands are not pulled tight and likewise there should be no gaps.
  • Repeat the past two steps until the plait is finished. (Strand 1 over 2, then strand 3 over strand 2 and repeat.)
  • Pinch the bottom 3 strands together so that they are secure and look tidy.
  • Lift the plait using both hands at either end and place diagonally on to the greased baking tray.
  • Cover with a clean tea towel and leave, as before, in a draught free place.
  • While the plaited dough is proving preheat the oven to 240C/220C gas mark 9. Break an egg into a bowl, add the tablespoon of milk and whisk with a fork to mix. This is the eggwash.
  • Once the plaited dough has doubled in size use a soft pastry brush and carefully brush the egg wash over.
FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Plaiting the dough strands, proving and egg washing before baking.
  • Place the egg washed Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7. Continue to bake for a further 15-20 minutes.
  • The bread is baked when a deep, golden crust has formed and the base sounds hollow, when rapped with a knuckle.
  • Once baked remove the bread from the oven.
FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Beautifully baked Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread.
  • Slide a pallet knife under the baked bread, then carefully transfer to a cooling rack.
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Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread cooled and sliced, revealing the hidden centre of each strand.

Allow the loaf to cool to body temperature before slicing. Attempting to slice while the bread is still hot will compact the bread. Also eating freshly baked, hot bread, is not good for our digestion!

Serve sliced with a smile and a complimenting drink.

Placed in a bread bin, or wrapped loosely in foil, once fully cooled, this loaf will last up to three days. It can be toasted, although I’d advise not to use a toaster due to the sugar present. Under a grill, or even better, in front of a log fire, this bread makes excellent toast!

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread you may also like these:

Large White Bloomer

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Large White Bloomer

Knotted Poppyseed Rolls

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Knotted Poppyseed Rolls

Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

Homemade bread is the most luxurious food, for me, to bake. Enticing smells as it is baking, make our house feel like a home. Appreciative comments when a fresh loaf is on the table, to be served with dinner, or for breakfast, make me smile. Not for the accolade, or indeed achievement, from others, of having made my own loaf. Simply the fact that I am giving my family, delicious, additive free, tasty bread, is enough to keep me baking.

What do you really enjoy cooking and baking? Who do you like to share it with?

Sammie xx

 

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Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread

Nothing smells better than the aroma of homemade bread, baking in the oven. As many of my regular readers will know, I adore making bread. Yet sometimes, time is the enemy. Especially if it’s needed for breakfast and we have run out. The solution is to bake this beautiful and delicious Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread.

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Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread crowned with cherries.

An un-yeasted bread, made even easier by using a packet of Wrights Scofa Bread Mix. All this tasty loaf requires is a little mixing, shaping and popping in a preheated oven to bake. The addition of cherries and flaked almonds gives this loaf the wow factor. Especially with the almond flavour icing, temptingly drizzled over the loaf and finished with ruby red, glacé cherries.

FF Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread
Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread hearty and delicious.

Since this loaf takes less than 45 minutes from start to baked, it is perfect for lazy weekend breakfasts. Still, if you are in a real rush, ditch the icing and crown of cherries and serve this sliced, warm from the oven, with butter if desired.

FF Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread
Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread perfect for afternoon tea.

While this bread can be made and baked in under an hour, leaving to cool allows for simple, yet stunning decoration. Thick, almond icing, draped over the rustic loaf, simply topped with jewelled cherries. Creating a sensation for the eyes as well as the palette. Cooled and sliced, I found this delicious, hearty loaf needed no further addition. Each bite full of almonds, cherries and rustic, wholemeal bread.

Recipe: Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread

1 Packet Scofa Bread Mix available from Wrights Baking

Cold Water

150g/5oz Glacé Cherries

100g/4oz Flaked Almonds

3tsp Almond Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

200g/7oz Sifted Plain Icing Sugar

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

  • First of all, remove 12 whole glacé cherries and set them to one side for decoration.
  • Next cut all the remaining cherries in half.
  • Place the volume of water, as specified on the packet, into a large bowl.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of almond extract to the water. Swirl to mix.
  • Add the entire packet of Scofa Bread Mix.
  • Now add the cherry halves on top of the bread mix, lightly dusting them with the mix to stop them sticking together.
  • Reserve one tablespoon of flaked almonds for decoration and add the rest to the bowl.
  • Use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture until it comes together.
  • Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured work top and shape into a round.
  • Place the shaped dough on to a greased baking sheet.
  • Cut a deep cross into the dough, if not icing, sprinkle the remaining almonds over the bread.
  • Next place in the centre of a preheated oven.
  • Bake the bread for 30-35 minutes. Once baked it will sound hollow when rapped on the base with your knuckle. Note – this baking time is slightly longer than specified on the packet. This is due to the addition of cherries and almonds.
  • Once baked remove the bread from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
FF Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread
Making, shaping and baking the Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread
  • Note – the bread doesn’t change colour very much whilst baking.
  • Allow the bread to completely cool before icing and decorating.
  • To make the icing: Add 2 teaspoons of almond extract to the sieved icing sugar. Now add enough water, approximately one tablespoon, to the icing and stir. It should be a thick paste that can hold a figure of eight for a few seconds.
  • Place the cooling rack with the bread on it, over a baking tray, to catch any drips.
  • Start in the centre. Spoon thick icing over the bread, encouraging it to drape down over the sides of the loaf.
  • Continue until the bread is evenly drizzled with the icing.
  • Next, place the reserved cherries on top of the bread, forming a crown-like circle.
  • Finally, scatter the reserved almond flakes over the bread.
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Icing and decorating the Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread
  • Set the decorated bread to one side to allow the icing to set.
FF Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread
Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread deliciously easy to make.

Serve this delicious bread sliced, for breakfast, lunch of afternoon tea. In fact, it is perfect for anytime of the day.

Store in an airtight container. This bread is at its best when eaten wishing 24 hours of baking. That shouldn’t be too much of a problem!

If you have enjoyed the recipe for this Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread you may also like these:

Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

FF Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread
Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf

FF Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread
Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf

Toffee Banoffee Waffles

FF Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread
Toffee Banoffee Waffles

Making something different for breakfast at the weekend is a real treat. Whilst most of my baking is made from scratch, the convenience of having good quality packet mixes in the cupboard cannot be denied. Balancing time spent together as a family with, the time it takes to create a feast, is important.

Do you make breakfast more of a treat at the weekend?

After all, it is the most important meal of the day?

Sammie xx

Wrights Baking supplied me with the mix to create this recipe. All views, content and photography are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts a spiced, sugary outer hides the inner, deliciously tender crumb.

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

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Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts so tender.

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

FF Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts
Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts such a warming, welcoming treat.

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

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

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

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

FF Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts
Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts all natural colour and flavour.

Becky’s recipe for Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix:

4 tbsp Ground Cinnamon

3tsp Ground Ginger

2 tsp Ground Nutmeg

2 tsp Ground Allspice

1 tsp Ground Cloves

Mix together and store in an airtight jar.

Making the Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

Recipe: Makes 7-8 Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

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

80g Pumpkin Purée – available at Sainsbury’s

145g Full Fat Natural Yoghurt – I use Yeo Valley

1 Large Free Range Egg

185g Plain White Flour

1tsp Baking Powder

1/8tsp Salt -I use Maldon

1.5tsp Pumpkin Spice Mix – Becky’s recipe

75g Soft Light Brown Sugar

To coat the Doughnuts:

60g Unsalted Melted Butter

75g Granulated Sugar

2tsp Ground Cinnamon

Method: 

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

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

Serve immediately, with a warming drink.

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

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

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

Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites

FF Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts
Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites

Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake

FF Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts
Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake

Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread

FF Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts
Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread

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

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

Sammie xx

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

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

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Fruity Orange Waffles

Today is National Waffle Day – as if we need a special day to eat delicious waffles – right 😉? So in the true spirit of Feasting is Fun, I decided to test Wright’s Baking new Orange Cake Mix out in my waffle maker. Oh boy are you going to be glad I did. These Fruity Orange Waffles are simply amazing!

FF Fruity Orange Waffles
Fruity Orange Waffles delicious with ice cream.

Not only are they an absolute whizz to make – literally 2 minutes and you’ve got Fruity Orange Waffles batter ready to go, they cook beautifully in the waffle maker.

FF Fruity Orange Waffles
Fruity Orange Waffles an easy, delicious treat!

We had these for brunch this morning and I was so pleased I didn’t have to cook. Ok I switched the waffle maker on see Andrew James Waffle Maker Review, but it didn’t take long to cook 9 waffles from one packet of mx. Plenty for the four of us, oh and with a tub of homemade Very Vanilla Ice Cream, fresh oranges and strawberries. We had a Feast!

FF Fruity Orange Waffles
Fruity Orange Waffles perfect any time of the year.

It is now 30C outside – at least!

We may well be having waffles for dinner if the house gets any hotter!!

Recipe: Fruity Orange Waffles makes 8-10

1 Orange Cake Mix Packet from Wright’s Baking

100g Melted Unsalted Butter – cooled

200mls Tap Water

Method: Prepare your waffle maker according to it’s manufacturer’s instructions.

  • With my waffle maker I brush the cold waffle plates with cooled, melted butter, prior to heating, hence the additional butter in the recipe.
  • Switch the waffle maker on and allow to fully heat, until the ready light comes on.
  • Whilst the waffle maker is heating up, in a medium bowl add 200mls of water and 60mls of melted butter.
  • Next add the Orange Cake Mix and stir until the batter appears smooth – note, the cake batter has pieces of fruit in it so there will be small lumps, that is normal.
FF Fruity Orange Waffles
This is how the waffle/cake batter will look.
  • When the waffle maker is ready, remembering to protect your hands with oven gloves, open it and spoon a dessert spoon (like the spoon in the picture above) in the centre of each waffle plate.
  • Close the waffle maker and cook for exactly 4 minutes. It really is worth setting a timer, especially if in four minutes you get little jobs done in the kitchen! Just sayin’ I’ve not burnt a waffle yet – for a reason 😉.
  • After 4 minutes open the waffle maker (again protect yourself with gloves). The waffles will be fully cooked but not hard.
FF Fruity Orange Waffles
Fully cooked Fruity Orange Waffles ready to be removed from the waffle maker.
  • I use a wooden spatula to gently lift the waffle from the waffle maker. The Fruity Orange Waffles harden slightly on cooling and can easily be picked up by hand – just in case you want to try it dunked in your coffee/hot chocolate 😉.
  • Repeat the process of spooning batter on to the waffle plates until it is all used up.
  • Top Tip: I would much rather have a waffle with slightly frilled edges, where not quite enough batter has been added, than a perfectly square one with waffle batter oozing out of the side of the waffle maker. I got lucky with the waffles I made, cleaning gooey, stuck waffle batter is no fun!
FF Fruity Orange Waffles
Fruity Orange Waffles add ice cream, fresh fruit and your imagination!

These delicious Fruity Orange Waffles can be served warm or cold. They will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container and can be popped in the toaster to warm up.

I like to serve these with cold vanilla ice cream and plenty of fresh fruit. You choose how to serve yours. They are deliciously light with delightful pieces of fruit that lend texture and extra flavour. If you like waffles you will love these.

If you have enjoyed the recipe for Fruity Orange Waffles you may also like these:

Toffee Banoffee Waffles

FF Fruity Orange Waffles
Toffee Banoffee Waffles also made using Wright’s Toffee Cake Mix.

Chocolate Dunking Waffles

FF Fruity Orange Waffles
Chocolate Dunking Waffles everyone should try these at least once in their lives.

Vanilla Bean Waffles

FF Fruity Orange Waffles
Vanilla Bean Waffles so delicious and versatile.

Waffles are such an amazingly fun food. They can be sweet or savoury and topped with a myriad of different things. Let your imagination run wild and make waffles. Not just because it is National Waffle Day, but because they are so much fun and so tasty!!

Sammie xx

Wright’s Baking  provided me with the cake mix to make these waffles. All opinions, views, content and photography are my own. I was not paid to write this post please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Muesli Flapjack Squares

Muesli Flapjack Squares are THE answer to rushed mornings and missed breakfasts. Make these at the weekend and you’ve got brekkie covered for the whole week. Ooh and did I mention they’re gluten free too!

FF Muesli Flapjack Squares
Muesli Flapjack Squares delicious and full of good things for your body.

Most people I know don’t have hours of time to spare in the mornings, during the week. They know breakfast is THE most important meal of the day, so in a bid to give their body something they grab a latte and coffee shop choccie muffin on the way to work. Then wonder why they are starving again by 10am if not sooner.

FF Muesli Flapjack Squares
Muesli Flapjack Squares are great food on the go.

One of these Muesli Flapjack Squares will keep you going until lunchtime!

Now eating one of these delicious Muesli Flapjack Squares isn’t the same as sitting down with a bowl of muesli, or a plate of wholemeal toast and homemade jam and a cup of coffee. But, they are a whole lot better both for your body and you wallet, than the take out option.

FF Muesli Flapjack Squares
Muesli Flapjack Squares so easy to make.

Flapjacks do contain both sugar and butter, as do the take out muffins. I have tried to reduce both and even tried to switch to honey, but, unfortunately I haven’t cracked that recipe code yet.

What I have done is taken a fabulous gluten free, muesli mix made by Delicious Alchemy and turned it into the gluten free Muesli Flapjack Squares. So yes you’ll get the initial sugar hit and a wee bit of caffeine from the dark chocolate, but instead of the post sugar slump, the oats, seeds and dried fruit will start slowly releasing their energy – sustaining you until lunch.

FF Muesli Flapjack Squares
My lunch today was one of these and a banana!

With everything made in one bowl, a little mixing, 20 minutes in the oven, cool then swirl on some chocolate, these can easily made by anyone.

If buying a different muesli from the one suggested ensure that it has no added sugar, salt or fat and of course, that it’s gluten free if you have dietary intolerances.

Recipe: Makes 12 Muesli Flapjack Squares

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter

100g/4oz Light Soft Brown Sugar

100g/4oz Golden Syrup – light corn syrup

425g/15oz Muesli – I used Delicious Alchemy

100g/4oz Chopped Dried Fruit – I used mango and apricots (dried)

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

  • Line a 8″ x 11″  20cm x 28cm Swiss roll, or 2″ deep baking tin with baking parchment. I have found it unnecessary to grease my tin prior to lining, however, using a little butter in the corners, should help the parchment to stick without fully greasing the tin.
  • In a large heatproof and microwaveable bowl add the butter and then sugar.
  • Place in the microwave a heat on low until the butter is just melted.
  • Once melted remove from the microwave and add the golden syrup. Stir with a wooden spoon until everything is well mixed.
  • Add the muesli and chopped, dried fruit.
FF Muesli Flapjack Squares
Now to get mixing!
  • Next stir everything together until it is all covered in the glossy butter mixture.
  • Tip the mixture into the prepared pan and press flat and even using the back of a dessert spoon.
FF Muesli Flapjack Squares
Pressed evenly into the tin, ready for the oven.
  • Place in the centre of the oven and bake for exactly 20 minutes.
  • Once the baking time is up remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin.
FF Muesli Flapjack Squares
Muesli Flapjack Squares beautifully baked and golden.
  • When cooled lift the flapjack slab from the tin on to a board.
  • Cut into 12 even squares (if you look mine aren’t that even – oops)!
  • Melt the dark chocolate in a heatproof, microwaveable bowl until almost melted. Remove and stir until completely melted.
  • Drizzle over the squares, or fill a small piping bag and pipe hearts on each square.
Muesli Flapjack Squares
Beautifully decorated with a heart.

During hot weather it might be worth popping the Muesli Flapjack Squares into the fridge for an hour. This will set the chocolate and really firm up the bars.

I like to wrap them in baking parchment for packed lunches, cling film and foil work well too.

Store them in an airtight container. I use an old biscuit tin and separate layers with baking parchment.

FF Muesli Flapjack Squares
Muesli Flapjack Squares a great solution to breakfast.

Give yourself a pat on the back knowing you have breakfast sorted for the week!!

If you have enjoyed these Muesli Flapjack Squares you may also like these:

Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars

FF Muesli Flapjack Squares
Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars a delicious oat biscuit base topped with cherry sponge.

Macacdamia Apricot Flapjacks

FF Muesli Flapjack Squares
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks another delicious flapjack bar.

Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars

FF Muesli Flapjack Squares
Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars with a layer of lemon curd on top of an oat biscuit base.

All of the recipes above are easy to make and are fabulous food on the go. Ideal for packed lunches, picnics, or simply having something on hand at home that easily fits in a tin.

I deliberately left nuts out of this recipe so that more people on a restricted diet can enjoy it. I’ve also successfully switched butter for coconut oil in my Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks, which would make this recipe suitable for those with lactose intolerance.

It is my intention to make as many recipes as possible versatile, so that those with dietary restrictions can also have fun feasting!

Sammie xx

Delicious Alchemy provided the muesli mix for me to try. All opinions, views, content and photographs are my own. 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.

FF Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts
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.
FF Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts
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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Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks

I am so loving the longer daylight hours at the moment. Feeling as though I want to make the most of every drop of sunshine. Winter being a distant memory, I’ve been out in the garden, clearing, ready for sowing and planting. Don’t worry I have also been in the kitchen baking and these Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks are the delicious result.

FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks, slow release energy that’s delicious.

When the weather is warm and the sun is shining I simply love being in the garden. Listening to the chatter and chirruping of birds, feeling the warmth of the sun on my back, our garden becomes my haven again, after the long, cold winter months.

So being able to eat breakfast, or more usually brunch, outside is very much treasured. These Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks are perfect to munch on whilst sitting on our garden bench, hot cup of coffee to hand. Packed with slow energy release oats, they make a tasty, yet filling alternative to toast or cereal.

FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks so good with a cup of good coffee.

This recipe is so simple and quick. A few minutes in the kitchen melting, mixing, baking and cooling means that you can have a great, portable bar, that is perfect for breakfast on the go, packed lunches, getting through the late afternoon energy dip. Plenty of deicious bars to see you through the week.

That has to be a winning recipe – right?

FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks – crunchy, chewy bars of yum!

I love easy recipes – more so during the warmer months, when my passion for cooking and baking is matched by my passion for gardening. Yes I still have to work around my body (see – Living with siezures ), that just makes the time I have even more precious. Whilst in the winter I can happily spend all day – relatively speaking – in the kitchen, during warm spring and summer days my preference is to be outside.

My hubby jokes that I was born wearing Wellington boots! Whilst I may not be able to do the heavy digging of years past, I still like to get my hands dirty. I’ve also found, especially during the hotter months of summer, baking is best done first thing in the morning. That way there isn’t a hot oven baking bread, mid afternoon, just as the temperature outside is peaking.

Macadamia Nut Dried Apricot Flapjacks
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks crunchy, chewy and full of flavour.

Back to the Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks! The macadamia nuts add a buttery crunch to these bars that I absolutely adore, however, I know they can be pricey. A great substitute would be almonds, either flakes or whole almonds that you chop yourself. I have used dried apricots that are the gorgeous tangerine orange of their fresh counterparts, however, if you prefer the darker, unsulphured apricots, use them instead. Good quality rolled oats, absolutely make these flapjacks the stars that they are.

I have specified that these Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks are gluten free, please check the labels of ingredients carefully to ensure that they are so. This is vital when baking for someone on a restricted diet. Their health absolutely cannot be compromised.

Recipe: Makes 12 Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks

250g/10oz Unsalted Butter – plus a little extra for greasing the tin

100g/4oz Golden Syrup (light corn syrup)

125g/5oz Light Brown Sugar

325g/11.5oz Rolled Oats (not quick cook) – I used Delicious Alchemy as they are 100% gluten free

150g/5oz Dried Apricots – chopped into rough quarters

100g/4oz Chopped Macadamia Nuts – I buy whole nuts and roughly chop them myself

Optional – 100g White Chocolate

Method: Preheat the oven to 180C/165C fan, gas mark 4

  • Grease and line a 8″ x 11″ – 20cm x 28cm swiss roll tin/shallow baking tin, with butter and baking parchment.
  • Into a medium saucepan add the butter and sugar. Warm over a medium heat, stirring until melted.
  • In a large bowl add the golden syrup.
  • Pour the melted butter/sugar mixture into the bowl containing the golden syrup. Stir continuously until combined.
  • Add the oats, chopped apricots and macadamia nuts and stir to thoroughly combine.
  • Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and press down using the back of a metal spoon, until the mixture is one even layer.
FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
The Macadamia Apricot Flapjack mixture compacted into an even layer and ready for the oven.
  • Place the tin in the middle of the oven and bake for 20 minutes exactly.
  • The flapjacks will be a light golden colour when baked – do not be tempted to bake them for longer as this will result in them being hard, not chewy!
  • Once baked remove the tin from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • When completely cooled remove the entire flapjack bake from the tin, using the excess baking parchment to help lift it out.
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks ready for the finishing touch.
  • As seen above, cut down the middle length of the bake and then across the width.  Cut each quarter into 3 generous bars – you could cut each quarter into 4 making 16 individual flapjacks in total.
FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks with a drizzle of white chocolate.
  • To finish the flapjacks – chop the white chocolate into small pieces and place in a heatproof, microwaveable bowl.
  • Zap for 20 seconds at a time, stirring between each heating session.
  • When the chocolate is half melted, remove from the microwave and stir until completely liquid.
  • Fill a small disposable piping bag with the melted chocolate.
  • Snip off the very end of the bag, creating a small hole.
  • Pipe swirls or zig zags of chocolate onto each flapjack to provide a beautiful finish.
FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks as pretty to look at as they are delicious to eat.

Ooh how completely yummy do these Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks look?

A couple of notes: During the summer, once the flapjack bake has cooled to room temperature, if the ambient temperature is 25C or above, it may be worth popping the tin in the fridge for an hour to allow the flapjacks to completely set. Likewise, unless the flapjacks are stored in the fridge I would leave off the white chocolate drizzle. If these Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks are going to get warm throughout the day, whether in a packed lunch box, or a bag, the white chocolate will melt and create a whole lotta mess!

This is just my advice as a mum of three and wife to hubby who takes a packed lunch to work.

Im just sayin’!!!

Love these Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks? Here are a couple of other recipes you may like to try as well.

Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks

FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks

Bakewell Shortbread Bars

FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
Bakewell Shortbread Bars

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

Whilst spending time in your kitchen, baking and cooking, have you ever thought of making extra and sharing some?

We all have people in our neighbourhood who are lonely and perhaps a little unhappy. Inviting them round for a chat over a cup of tea and delicious slice of cake, or flapjack, may seem such a small thing to us and yet can make the world of difference to someone else’s day.

Time seems to be so precious to many, which is why it is such a valuable gift to give.

Sammie xx

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Feta Cheese Herb Muffins

Oh wow, these Feta Cheese Herb Muffins certainly have a taste of the Mediterranean about them.

FF Feta Cheese Herb Muffins
Feta Cheese Herb Muffins perfect for eating any time of the day!

Sorry, I know I usually write a little intro, but these Feta Cheese Herb Muffins are so, so good I wanted to tell you about them straight away. Like an excited child with news of their day at school, I am literally bursting with excitement over how good these are.

Salty feta cheese, that almost melts, in a slightly healthier muffin – I’ve added in some wholemeal flour, without any added heaviness – accompanied by the delicate onion flavour of fresh chives and just the teeny tiniest hint of fresh mint!

FF Feta Cheese Herb Muffins
Feta Cheese Herb Muffins delicious warmed for brunch.

Having first made my friend, Jackie Heaton aka The Baking Nanna’s Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins which are absolutely delicious, I have loved coming up with different variations of the muffin.

Today I wanted to see if I could add wholemeal flour to the muffins, without making them heavy. So I replaced one third of the flour with plain, wholemeal flour. I increased the baking powder and hoped that the balance would work. It totally did.

The wholemeal flour adds a subtle depth of flavour that completely works with the salty feta cheese. I thoroughly enjoyed a late breakfast this morning feasting on these flavour packed morsels.

FF Feta Cheese Herb Muffins
Feta Cheese Herb Muffins so good and so easy to bake.

Freshly cut from the garden, both the chives and the mint add a subtle brightness to the Feta Cheese Herb Muffins. None of our children noticed the mint, I was a bit worried thinking that might be the deal breaker! There are only three mint leaves in the whole recipe, yet they provide a fantastic, fresh flavour, without making the muffins taste like toothpaste!!!

If you don’t have fresh herbs in your garden, they can easily be grown on a window-ledge. I buy mine growing in pots, from the supermarket. Woody herbs such as sage, thyme, oregano and rosemary grow in the garden, as do the chives, which have recently started to sprout. Mint I grow in a tub, as it can be a bit of a thug if planted in the open ground, rapidly spreading and smothering other plants.

There is a place for both fresh and dried herbs in my kitchen. In this recipe however, I would only recommend using fresh herbs. Look out for upcoming posts where I will share tips and recipes on the vegetables and herbs I grow.

FF Feta Cheese Herb Muffins
Feta Cheese Herb Muffins delicious, healthier and low in fat.

Recipe: Makes 12 Feta Cheese Herb Muffins

200g/7oz Plain White Flour

100g/4oz Plain Wholemeal Flour

3tsp Baking Powder

200g/7oz Feta Cheese – drained

1tbsp Chopped Fresh Chives – plus extra to garnish – I use scissors to snip the chives

3 Fresh Mint Leaves – finely chopped

200ml Whole or Semi-skimmed Milk

2 Large Free Range Eggs

2tbsp Vegetable Oil

2tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Approx 1tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper – or less if desired

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

  • Line a 12 cup muffin pan with muffin cases
  • Measure the milk into a jug. Crack in the 2 whole eggs and add the oils. Stir with a fork to combine – wet ingredients.
  • Into a large bowl add both the flours, the crumbled feta cheese, black pepper finely chopped mint and chives. Stir with a fork ensuring all the pieces of crumbled feta are coated in flour – dry ingredients.
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it.
  • Stir lightly with a fork until almost combined. Note: lumpy batter ensures tender muffins, if you over mix the muffins will be tough!
FF Feta Cheese Herb Muffins
Here is good, lumpy batter.
  • Divide the batter equally between the 12 muffin cases.
  • Place the muffin pan into the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes (mine took 17 minutes).
  • The muffins are cooked when the are starting to turn golden brown and are firm to touch.
  • Once baked remove the muffins from the oven.
FF Feta Cheese Herb Muffins
Feta Cheese Herb Muffins hot straight from the oven.
  • Allow the Feta Cheese Herb Muffins to cool slightly on a cooling rack.

Serve the delicious Feta Cheese Herb Muffins warm with an extra sprinkling of freshly cut chives.

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. To refresh pop in a medium heated oven for 5 minutes and they will regain their freshly baked flavour.

These Feta Cheese Herb Muffins are the perfect addition to any packed lunch or picnic. They are a perfect, portable, fairly healthy snack and great for sharing. Long days at the office? These take barely 30 minutes to make and bake and then you have breakfast/lunch sorted for a few days!

I love coming up with easy to make, nutritious food, that means you always have something delicious to fall back on instead of always reaching for a chocolate bar or packet of crisps. With food made at home, you know exactly what has gone into it and it always tastes so much better than anything you can buy.

Loved these Feta Cheese Herb Muffins? Here are some other easy, food on the go recipes you may like to try:

Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins 

FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins utterly delicious.

Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks

VC Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks
Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks a slow release energy bar wherever you are.

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

BN Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks – perfect for sustained energy release.

Are you good about eating breakfast and taking a packed lunch to work, or do you grab a sweet muffin with your morning latte?

Hopefully I’ve given you some tips to make mornings less stressful on some days? There are always going to be days when you oversleep, or no matter what you do, you’re running late. If you can plan just a little bit, then a bad start to the day needn’t set the tone for how the day pans out!

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I really enjoy reading them. Likewise for all of you who have posted your makes and bakes on Twitter and Instagram. I love seeing how my recipe turns out in someone else’s kitchen!

Have fun making and baking your feast.

Sammie xx

 

 

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Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins

I love a recipe that is versatile, which is exactly what the Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins recipe is. So I took that recipe, fiddled a bit and the result was these utterly delicious Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins!

FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins perfect warm from the oven.

I had ordered the ingredients with last weeks shopping, intent on making them during the week. Somehow I got distracted by other things, until today. Boy was I glad I waited. The cupboards, well fridge are always fairly bare on a Saturday as that’s the day our shopping is delivered. Having Hubby here to unpack and put things away, saves me from spending the following day in bed!

I kid you not see Living With Seizures if you’d like to know more.

Both our girls were out late, last night at a concert in London, so I knew the house would be fairly quiet this morning as they snoozed away upstairs. Little man was getting hungry and I suddenly remembered what I had stashed in the fridge. Phew!

FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins perfect for breakfast or brunch.

I made these Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins in less than 10 minutes, they cooked in 15 minutes AND I had enough for my photo shoot to let our little man munch happily away, whilst I snapped a few shots.

Oh my, these are good – I mean really, really, pass me another one good. The Chorizo could make them taste a bit like pizza, nothing wrong with that – but breakfast, hmm not so sure. That’s where the goats cheese kicks in and completely rounds out the flavours, bringing it back to breakfast, brunch time.

FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins a great way to kick start the day.

Brain is ticking now – watch this space for pizza style muffins!!

Back to the Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins – I cooked the chorizo first so that it would start to release it’s red paprika juices when mixed into the batter. Just a quick word, as my friend Liz from Teta Lizza’s Kitchen also emphasises, when making muffins don’t over mix the batter. A few floury streaks are ok. The best, lightest, yummiest muffins come from just mixed, lumpy batter. It is true.

It’s definitely worth checking out Liz’s blog, she’s an amazing cook and baker, whose food is so mouth wateringly good. I should know I made her Carrot Soup! She’s a great girl with a wicked sweet tooth, balanced by lots of healthy, beautifully presented recipes. Pop over to Teta Lizza’s Kitchen and say hi.

FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins utterly delicious.

Before you visit I’ll show you how these fantastic, lazy weekend, Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins are made 😉

Recipe: Makes 12 Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins

100g/4oz Sliced Chorizo

150g/5oz Goats Cheese

200ml Whole Milk

2 Large Free Range Eggs

4tbsp Vegetable Oil

350g/12oz Plain White Flour

2tsp Baking Powder

Good grinding of black pepper – to taste

1/2tsp Cayenne Pepper – plus a little extra to sprinkle on the baked muffins

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

  • Chop or dice the chorizo into 1cm pieces.
  • Cook in a dry frying pan until the chorizo starts to release its delicious paprika juices.
  • Remove and put on a plate to cool slightly.
  • Measure the milk into a jug. Add the 2 eggs and vegetable oil. Stir to combine – wet mixture.
  • Into a large bowl add the flour, baking powder, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Use a whisk to stir and combine.
  • Chop or crumble up the goats cheese into roughly the same sized pieces as the chorizo.
  • Add the chorizo and goats cheese to the flour mixture, stir to distribute – dry mixture.
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture and pour the wet mixture in.
  • Stir with a fork until just combined.
FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Lumpy muffin batter makes the lightest muffins.
  • Line a muffin/cupcake tin with muffin cases – and yes I found mine!
  • Divide the batter equally between the 12 cases – ideally an ice cream scoop can be used – I forgot!!
  • Place the muffin tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • Mine took 15 minutes.
  • The Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins are baked when they are firm to touch and golden on top.
  • When baked remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
  • Sprinkle the top of each muffin with a little bit of cayenne pepper.

These delightful Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins are best served warm and eaten on the day they are made. However, they can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days and refreshed by warming in the oven. They also make a great addition to packed lunches, as a change from sandwiches or wraps.

Now that Spring is firmly here and warmer weather is in sight, I will definitely be making these for picnics, perfect eaten alongside some cherry tomatoes and cucumber sticks.

FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins perfect to pack up for picnics.

Do you enjoy eating outside?

I must admit I’m yet to be converted to barbecues, yet I love nothing more than throwing a blanket on the lawn, or on rare good days, going to the seaside or park and having a picnic. Some of our best picnics have actually been in the rain, children sitting, welly boots on, on the flat boot of our car munching on scotch eggs, olives, carrot sticks and crisps. These Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins will be a new and very welcome addition to our picnic outings!

If you enjoyed this recipe for Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins you may like these too:

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Whatever you are making and baking have fun and remember that food always tastes better when it’s shared.

Sammie xx

 

 

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