Steamer Trading Host Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea

Mother’s Day will soon be upon us. Sunday March 26th 2017 here in the U.K. To help celebrate Mothering Sunday, Steamer Trading asked me to help them set up an Afternoon Tea. I jumped at the opportunity, knowing that the quality and variety of kitchen and cookware they sell is outstanding. While also confident that some easy bakes would partner perfectly with beautiful table and bakeware. See for yourself how Steamer Trading Host Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea.

FF Steamer Trading Host Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
Steamer Trading Host Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea beautifully laid out delightful sweet treats.

Homemade cakes and treats always taste much better than shop bought. If, however, baking is an area where confidence is lacking here’s the perfect solution. Buy a few pretty cakes and then make the scones, Super Light Scones . Since this recipe is the easiest on Feasting is Fun and guaranteed to bring a smile to Mum’s face. Add a pot of luxurious clotted cream and strawberry jam to turn this Afternoon Tea into a real feast!

FF Steamer Trading Host Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
Afternoon Tea using the Burleigh Felicity tea set

No Afternoon Tea is complete without a beautiful tea set. Having been sent a Burleigh Felicity Teapot I decided to start a collection. Tea cup and saucer, large dinner plate, side plate, pasta bowl and finally a sugar bowl. All bought to start my own collection. As a result of having built a whole set over time. The pattern and style have a timeless quality and style.

FF Steamer Trading Host Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
The domed two tier cake stand takes centre stage.

Within the items sent to me was this Domed Slate Cake Stand. Perfect for keeping bugs out and cakes fresh. Since the slate cake stand also stands alone, the wooden base and dome may also be used to display another tasty item. Maybe cheese and crackers. Most of all, the packaging keeps the cake stand and dome well protected between use. While the slate is sturdy and creates a solid background from which to display the cakes.

FF Steamer Trading Host Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
Heart shaped Strawberry and Cream Victoria Sponge.

Picture above is Sophie Conran Cake Server. Highly polished, with a simple, smooth design. As beautiful sitting on the table as it is practical in serving the Heart Shaped Strawberry and Cream Victoria Sponge. Baked using the  Springform Heart Tin. In addition to baking cakes, because of the springform element, this tin would be especially good for creating cheesecakes.

FF Steamer Trading Host Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
Afternoon Tea display enhanced by beautiful tableware, fresh flowers and tasty treats.

Bowls of fresh strawberries with both large and smaller vases of flowers enhance not only the table setting, but add to the special theme of Mother’s Day. Also, they can be wrapped up, alongside any leftover cakes and scones, for Mum to take home with her. As a result Mum receives a double treat. After all, Mother’s Day is a special day, set aside to thank Mothers.

FF Steamer Trading Host Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
Tiny little Turkish Delight cakes along with regular cupcakes add quaintness to the pretty table setting.

Since I had been sent Masterclass Mini Muffin Tin, I made tiny, pixie cupcakes. Turkish Delight in flavour, their larger cupcake cousins were also baked. Impressed with the strength, non stick coating and durability of the mini muffin tin, I would definitely look to this brand for larger fairy cake and cupcake tins.

FF Steamer Trading Host Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
Treat Mum to a special Afternoon Tea in your own home.

Finally, no Mum, or Afternoon Tea is complete without a touch of chocolate. Chocolate Drizzle Cake Squares are easy to make and even easier to eat!

Recipe: Chocolate Drizzle Cake Squares makes 15

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter – softened

175g/6oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

3 Large Free Range Eggs

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

75g/3oz Good Quality Cocoa Powder

125g/4.5oz Plain White Flour

1.5tsp Baking Powder

200g Bar Each of Milk and White Chocolate

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

  • Lightly grease, with butter a 28cm x 20cm x 5cm ( 12″ x 8″ x 2″ ) tin and line the base with baking parchment.
  • In a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt. Whisk until pale and fluffy.
  • Next add the eggs, vanilla extract and milk. Then sift in the cocoa, flour and baking powder on top. Whisk slowly until all of the ingredients are combined.
  • Spoon the chocolate cake batter into the prepared tin. Smooth the batter so that it fills the tin evenly.
  • Place the tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes.
  • The cake is baked when it springs back form a light touch. It will also be coming away for the sides of the tin.
  • Once baked remove the tin from the oven and set to one side to cool.
  • When the cake has cooled, tip out on to a parchment lined, flat board.
  • Remove the parchment from the base of the cake and for afternoon tea portions, slice the cake into 15 x 2″ (5cm) squares.
FF Steamer Trading Host Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
Chocolate Drizzle Cake Squares
  • Place the cake squares on to a cooling rack that is placed over a large baking tray.
  • Into separate, heatproof, microwaveable bowls, break up the white and then the milk chocolate.
  • Place one bowl at a time into the microwave. Heat for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each zap.
  • When both the white and milk chocolate are completely melted transfer into 2 medium disposable piping bags.
  • Start with the milk chocolate, snip the very end of the piping bag off leaving a small hole. Pipe in a zigzag pattern across all of the chocolate cake squares.
  • Turn the baking tray and pipe as before, except you will now be piping across the chocolate milk, forming a criss-cross pattern.
  • Allow the chocolate to partially set and then transfer the chocolate squares to a clean piece of baking parchment, on a tray and leave to one side to set. Note – in warmer weather it may be necessary to place in the fridge for a few minutes to allow to set.
  • Store in a baking parchment lined container, using parchment to separate layers.
  • These Chocolate Drizzle Cake Squares will last upto 4 days in an airtight container.
FF Steamer Trading Mothers Da Afternoon Tea
Chocolate Drizzle Cake Squares perfect to serve with Afternoon Tea.

Different types of cake provide a beautiful setting and greater sense of variety.

FF Steamer Trading Host Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
Afternoon Tea

Finally Remember

While the tableware and homemade goodies look beautiful set out for Aternoon Tea, here are some added little touches that take it to the next level.

Doillies – in contrasting and complimenting colours.

Fresh flowers – placed in large and/or small vases. Clean jam jars make inexpensive vases and flowers picked from the garden can look beautiful.

Rose petals – one rose had a limping flower head. Break off the petals and scatter around the table.

Bowls of fresh fruit. Strawberries are always popular and provide balance to the cake and scones.

Cellophane bags of truffles, tied with a complimenting ribbon, add an extra wow factor.

FF Steamer Trading Host Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
Complimentary bags of truffles enhance the look of the table.

Lastly, don’t panic. Relax, enjoy yourself and your Mum will too. If you can’t bake then buy the cakes. Afternoon Tea on Sunday 26th March is about celebrating Mother’s. Your Mum, important female figures in your life, will be thrilled and honored that you took the time to celebrate them, with Steamer Trading helping you to Host Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea.

I hope that you have enjoyed Steamer Trading Host Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea, here are some recipes you may also enjoy:

Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes

FF Steamer Trading Host Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes

Iced Bakewell Tart

FF Steamer Trading Host Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
Iced Bakewell Tart

Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits

FF Steamer Trading Host Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
Chocolate Vanilla Viennese Finger Biscuits

Whatever you make, bake and create to celebrate Mother’s Day, have fun enjoying you feast.

Sammie xx

Steamer Trading provided me with the five items directy linked to their site. All opinions, views, content and photography are my own. I was not paid for writing this post. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

Share This Facebooktwittergoogle_plustumblr

Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova

A very Happy New Year to all of my readers. May this coming year bring good health, peace, love, lots of fun and feasting. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to read this blog and for trusting the recipes that have lovingly been created to share with you. With that in mind I have a beautiful dessert recipe for you that is a complete knock-out. What better way to celebrate than with my Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova!

FF Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova
Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova a refreshing dessert.

A delicious combination of textures and flavours. Starting with the crunchy meringue shell that hides a marshmallow innner, it is draped with thickened cream, topped with tumbling, assorted, fresh berries and drizzled with a tart raspberry coulis. Creating a tastebud sensation with each mouthful. This elegant dessert is light and yet fulfills that need for something sweet at the end of a meal.

FF Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova
Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova perfect for a celebration.

Beautifully adorned with fresh, ripe berries, the sweetness of the pavlova is offset by the raspberry coulis. Quick and easy to make, it utterly transforms the finished dish. As well as adding to the aesthetic of this stunning pavlova. The coulis cuts through the richness of the cream, while providing balance against the sweetness of the dessert.

FF Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova
Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova piled high with fresh fruit.

Pavlovas are not difficult to make, requiring only a whisk and patience. The reward they give, in return for effort, is almost embarrassing! Any cracks that develop are easily covered and the cream covered meringue can be topped with any fruit desired. Since the pavlova shell can be made up to 2 days in advance, they are perfect for entertaining.

This Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova was made to celebrate New Years Eve, which also happens to be the night before my hubby’s birthday. Using cake sparklers to add fun, fizz and sparkle, ensured this was no ordinary dessert. A fabulous celebration of the year passed and the new year to come.

Recipe: Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova serves 8

For the Pavlova:

4 Large Free Range Egg Whites at room temperature

1tsp Lemon Juice

200g/7oz Caster Sugar

1tsp White Wine Vinegar

1tsp Cornfour – certified gluten free I use Doves Farm

400ml Double Cream

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – I use Nielsen-Massey

450g/1lb Mixed Berries – I used strawberries, blueberries and raspberries removing stalks and leaves as necessary

For the Coulis

200g/7oz Raspberries

1tbsp each of Fresh Lemon Juice and Tap Water

1tbsp Caster Sugar

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

  • First of all line a baking tray with baking parchment. Using pencil draw a 20cm/8″ circle on one side. Flip the paper over so that the pencil mark is underneath.
  • Next in a scrupulously clean large bowl add the 4 egg whites.
  • Whisk until they are light and airy. While whisking at medium speed gradually add the caster sugar one spoonful at a time. Continue whisking on high until the meringue is shiny and glossy. Rub a little of the mixture between your thumb  and forefinger, when it feels smooth and there are no signs of grittiness, the sugar is completely dissolved into the egg white.
  • Next, whilst still whisking, add the lemon juice, vinegar and cornflour. Continue whisking for a further minute.
  • Stop the whisk and using the beater, place 4 dots of meringue on to the baking tray. Place the parchment on top, the meringue acts like glue and will stop it from moving around.
  • Use a clean metal spoon to scoop the meringue on to the centre of the circle marked baking parchment.
  • Now use a pallet knife to spread the mixture evenly to form a disc, building up the sides so they are slightly raised.
FF Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova
Creating the Pavlova shell.
  • Place the meringue into the centre of the oven and immediately reduced the heat to 160C/140C gas mark 3.
  • Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes – DO NOT open the oven door whilst baking.
  • Once the baking time has elapsed the meringue then needs to cool slowly. This will help avoid cracking. Turn the oven off and allow the pavlova to cool completely in the oven.
  • Tip: it is handy to make the pavlova the night before it is needed, as it can cool overnight in the oven.
  • Making the Coulis:
  • While the meringue is cooling, tip the raspberries, lemon juice, water and sugar into a small saucepan.
  • Place the pan over a high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon to mash the raspberries up. Once the mixture has bubbled to a boil, turn the heat off.
  • Strain the raspberry mixture into a heatproof bowl, through a sieve. Press the raspberries with a spoon to extract all of the juice. Set the bowl aside to cool.
FF Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova
Making the Raspberry Coulis.
  • Assembling the Pavlova: Note assemble the Pavlova no more than 3 hours ahead for best results.
  • Place the cream into a bowl with the vanilla bean extract. Whisk until it just starts to thicken, but will still slowly drop from a spoon.
  • Peel the pavlova carefully away from the baking parchment. Place on a plate or cake stand.
  • Spoon over the thickened cream so that it fills the central well in the pavlova.
  • Add the prepared berries, arranging so they look attractive.
  • Finally, drizzle over the raspberry coulis, encouraging it to drip  down the sides of the Pavlova.
  • Serve the Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova sliced, with a smile and on special occasions a glass of bubbly!
FF Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova
Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova sliced and ready to serve.

A delicious, refreshing dessert, that is a wonderfully light way to celebrate and makes a great change from cake.

Store any remaining Pavlova in the fridge and eat within 24 hours.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova you may also like these:

Lemony Strawberry Pavlova

FF Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova
Lemony Strawberry Pavlova

Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova

FF Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova
Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova

Strawberry Eton Mess

FF Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova
Strawberry Eton Mess

Pavolvas are extremely forgiving. However, if they should crack and crumble beyond repair, simply make an Eton Mess as pictured above or, alternatively make Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae.

Since this recipe can easily be made gluten free, it is a great way of providing dessert, without excluding people who have dietary restrictions. At Feasting is Fun the aim is to create recipes that more people can share and enjoy. On that note, from experience, when transporting this dessert, it is easier to take the separate components and assemble once there.

Whatever the past year held for you, my hope is that the coming year will be one of love, peace and reconciliation

Sammie xx

 

Share This Facebooktwittergoogle_plustumblr

Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake

Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake a delightful fruit cake with fresh lemon and sherry. Perfect for any celebration, or afternoon tea.

It was our son’s 14th birthday yesterday. He loves everything about celebrating his birthday, from blowing up balloons, hanging fairy lights, presents, cards, seeing family. Yet the thing he most looks forward to is his birthday cake. Not being a huge fan of icing, yet loving Christmas cake, after much discussion he decided on this Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake.

FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake topped with crunchy whole almonds.

Since he would happily eat Christmas cake every single day, this seemed to be a good compromise. Rather than soaking the dried fruit in an alcoholic concoction, as is needed for Christmas cake, this Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake is easily made in one day. Much as I love making Christmas cake, usually with our son’s help, having it throughout the year, would make it less of a special event.

FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake packed full of flavour and dried fruits.

Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake is a lighter fruit cake, filled with raisins, sultanas and in this recipe, glacé cherries. Recipes differ and I’m unsure as to how authentic their addition is. In our home their presence in any fruit cake is a must. Should you disagree, simply leave them out and add more dried fruit.

FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake perfect for any celebration.

The beauty of having a fruit cake without spices, is that the other flavours in the cake come through really well. On taking my first bite the freshness of the lemon added to the warmth of the sherry, creating a deliciously moist cake. While the cherries and fruit add to the overall flavour, the almonds, in contrast, provide a delightful crunchy topping. Resulting in a perfectly balanced cake, both in flavour and texture.

FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake perfect for those who don’t like icing on their cake.

One firework candle was lit in the centre of this cake, providing a spectacular display that had our son enthralled. Once cut, his pleasure was clear to see. While devouring his first slice he had a big smile on his face. Thoroughly pleased with this Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake for his birthday, this was most definitely a hit.  Most importantly, our son thoroughly enjoyed his birthday, it was indeed a true celebration.

Recipe: Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake serves 10-12

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter plus 1tbsp – at room temperature

225g/8oz Soft Light Brown Sugar I use – Billington’s

1/4tsp Salt I use – Maldon

1tsp Vanilla Extract I use – Nielsen-Massey

4 Large Free Range Eggs

300g/11oz Plain White Flour

4tsp Baking Powder

100g/4oz Ground Almonds

225g/8oz Sultanas

200g/7oz Raisins

200g/7oz Glacé Cherries cut half of the cherries in half and leave the remaining whole

1 Whole Lemon – scrubbed with a nail brush under hot water

2-3tbsps Sherry – alternatively replace with full fat milk

75g/3oz Whole Blanched Almonds

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

A 20cm/8″ diameter 10cm/4″ deep round cake tin is needed for this bake. Grease the tin with butter and line the bottom and sides with baking parchment. The sides of the parchment should be above the top of the tin by 3-4 inches. Cut a spare circle of parchment that fits the base. This may be used later to stop the cake from browning too quickly on the top.

  • First sift the flour together with the baking powder into a spare bowl.
  • Next in a large bowl add the softened butter, sugar and salt. Whisk these together until they are pale and creamy.
  • Add the vanilla extract, 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of sifted flour. Whisk for 30 seconds until just incorporated.
  • Repeat this process, adding an egg and 1 tablespoon of flour, whisking to mix, until all the eggs have been added.
  • Now add the remaining flour and ground almonds. Then add the sultanas, raisins and glacé cherries.
  • Grate the zest of the lemon directly into the bowl and then add its juice.
  • Finally add 2 tablespoons of sherry, or milk and using a large spoon fold all the ingredients together, adding another tablespoon of sherry/milk if the batter is too thick.
  • Spoon the lemon/sherry flavoured cake batter into the parchment lined cake tin, smoothing the top so that it is flat.
  • Decorate the top of the cake with 3 rings of blanched almonds – see the photos for guidance. Tip – lay the almonds flat on to the cake batter surface. I pushed them in a little and a couple were enveloped by the cake batter whilst baking.
FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Making the cake batter, filling the tin and decorating with almonds.
  • Place an ovenproof dish of water on the shelf underneath the middle shelf in the oven. This should ensure a flat, even top as the cake bakes.
  • Next put your cake tin into the middle of the oven and bake for 2 – 3 hours.
  • Check the cake after 1.5 hours baking. If the top is already golden, then place the spare circle of baking parchment on top of the cake. Because the cake still has a while to bake, this should stop the top from burning.
  • Once 2 hours baking time has elapsed, check to see if the cake is baked by inserting a skewer. The cake is baked when the removed skewer is clean. Should it have cake batter on it, the cake is not fully baked and needs more time in the oven.
  • Continue checking the cake at 15 minute intervals. As soon as the skewer comes out clean the cake is fully baked and can be removed from the oven.
  • Place the cake tin on a trivet or cooling rack and allow the cake to cool completely in the tin.
  • Leaving the cake to cool overnight is ideal.
  • When the cake is completely cooled turn it out from the tin and then carefully remove the baking parchment from the base and the sides.
  • Since this Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake is such a beautiful cake, placing it on a cake stand really does show it off.
FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake a beautifully baked fruit cake.

Serve the cake with a cup of tea, or a glass of something bubbly.

FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake each bite is a celebration of good home baking.

Homemade cake is far superior in both taste and texture when compared to mass produced, shop bought alternatives. Any celebration, whether a birthday, anniversary, or family get together, will be richly enhanced, with the addition of a home baked cake.

If you have enjoyed the recipe for this Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake then you may also like these:

Raspberry Almond Cream Cake

FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Raspberry Almond Cream Cake made to see in the New Year.

Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake

FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake made to celebrate Father’s Day

Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake

FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake made to celebrate my love of carrot cake!

While I enjoy baking cakes, getting together with family and friends is always a celebration when cake is present. Catching up over a slice of cake and a cup of tea can turn any event into a celebration, even if it is simply sharing with a neighbour.

Most of all, my long held belief that food shared, not only tastes better, it also somehow enriches the experience of eating. As a result our lives are made richer, purely by eating with others. A simple concept that can easily be achieved.

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

Sammie xx

 

Share This Facebooktwittergoogle_plustumblr

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

Share This Facebooktwittergoogle_plustumblr

Heart Engagement Bundt Cake

I love a surprise, especially when it involves cake. I made this Heart Engagement Bundt Cake in complete secrecy, for a couple who had recently become engaged.

MT Heart Engagement Bundt Cake
Heart Engagement Bundt Cake set up with the personalised bunting.

It was so much fun making this clandestine cake!

As the couple had been away, when they got engaged, we wanted to mark the occasion with a small celebration for family and friends. I offered to make the cake as I have a Tiered Heart Bundt Tin by Nordic Ware that I had still not baked with.

MT Heart Engagement Bundt Cake
Tiered Heart Bundt Tin by Nordic Ware

As I have never made a tiered, or stacked cake, this beautiful cake tin seemed the perfect choice. At the time of deciding to use this tin I had absolutely no idea how I would decorate or ice it. I’m big on planning NOT! Can you tell?

Fortunately I have a lovely friend, who I met on Twitter, called Tom. He has his own business Iced Rainbow where he makes absolutely beautiful jewellery. Happily for me, Tom is also a keen baker and creates the most beautiful cake toppers. It really is worth taking a look at his website.

After discussion with the parents of the happy couple, I decided to opt for a personalised bunting topper. Due to the shape of the cake and the heart shaped hole in the middle, I thought it would not only look pretty, but also add height to the cake.

MT Heart Engagement Bundt Cake
Once the cake is eaten the happy couple have a beautiful, personalised keepsake.

Tom was brilliant. He took my vision for how I wanted the bunting to look and turned it into a reality. Thank you Iced Rainbow for making my dreams a reality and for making the bunting at such short notice!

Next I had to decide on the flavours. Sugar and Crumbs sell a range of naturally flavoured icing sugars, amongst other baking ingredients and equipment. After much secret discussion, we decided to keep the cake plain, flavoured only with vanilla and use Sugar and Crumbs raspberry ripple flavoured icing. I was very happy as it is one of my personal favourites.

I still hadn’t decided how I was going to ice the cake!

After having such success with glazing my Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake I was tempted to do the same with the Heart Engagement Bundt Cake.

Using the raspberry ripple icing meant that if I used buttercream I could create the same rippled effect as on these Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes.

MT Heart Engagement Bundt Cake
Heart Engagement Bundt Cake the buttercream roses look so pretty swirled on the top.

As you can see I decided to pipe raspberry ripple buttercream icing onto the cake. Aside from cupcakes this is only the second time I have fully covered a cake with piped buttercream. It wasn’t as scary as I had imagined!

The beauty of buttercream is that, if you do make a mistake, it can fairly easily be removed and piped over. I tell you this from experience 😉.

MT Heart Engagement Bundt Cake
Heart Engagement Bundt Cake here you can see the piping on the sides.

When deciding what pattern to pipe onto the cake, I knew I wanted to pipe swirled roses on the top. As for the sides, I really didn’t decide until I had the cake in front of me, piping bag in hand!

Once the roses were piped I decided to go with the lines of the cake and piped the second tier in fairly straight lines. Again I did the same for the bottom tier, although as this was not as deep, it looks like piped stars. I finished the top tier with piped stars to define the heart and fill in any gaps. All the piping was carried out using a Wilton #1M large star tip.

MT Heart Engagement Bundt Cake
Heart Engagement Bundt Cake the bunting perfectly sets off this beautiful cake.

Whilst it was great having a vision in my head of how the cake could look, once the bunting was in place, the finished version was so much better than I ever could have hoped for. A final sprinkle of tiny, pink, pearlised hearts and white, edible glitter and the Heart Engagement Bundt Cake was ready for the grand reveal.

The happy couple, Matt and Tash absolutely loved the surprise. Neither of them had any idea that this little surprise had been planned especially for them. They loved the cake and bunting, which was a huge relief for me! Together they enjoyed cutting the cake, good practice for their upcoming wedding and enjoyed eating it too.

I removed the bunting and packaged it back up, for them to keep and treasure forever. When all the cake has gone, they still have their personalised bunting from Tom at Iced Rainbow.

Recipe: Makes one Heart Engagement Bundt Cake – serves 20 people.

To make this cake you will need the Tiered Heart Bundt Tin made by Nordic Ware.

For the cake:

350g/12oz Unsalted Butter – at room temperature

350g/12oz Caster Sugar

2tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

6 Large Free Range Eggs

350g/12oz Plain White Flour –

3tsp Baking Powder

1/4tsp Salt

Cake release spray – I use Wilton’s available from Amazon Uk, Lakeland and Hobbycraft

For the buttercream:

250g/9oz Unsalted Butter – very soft

500g/1lb 2oz Raspberry Ripple flavoured icing sugar – from Sugar and Crumbs

150g/5oz Plain Icing Sugar

3-4tbsp Very Hot Water

Pink food colouring gel

Optional – edible glitter, heart sprinkles.

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

  • Into a large bowl add the butter and sugar and whisk/beat for 5 minutes until very pale and creamy.
  • Add the vanilla extract and whisk/beat for a further 2 minutes.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a separate bowl – dry ingredients.
  • Add one third of your dry ingredients and 2 eggs to your butter/sugar mixture. Whisk/beat until just incorporated.
  •  Repeat the last step.
  • Add the final third of dry ingredients and 2 eggs and mix by hand. Ensuring the bottom of the bowl is scraped, so that all of the ingredients are just combined.
  • Spray your tiered heart Bundt tin with cake release spray, ensuring it covers all areas inside the tin.
  • Spoon the cake mix into the Bundt tin, ensuring the batter is pushed into all parts of the tin, using a spoon.
MT Heart Engagement Bundt Cake
Never fill any Bundt tin more than 3/4 full.
  • Place the Bundt tin into the middle of the preheated oven and cook for approximately an hour.
  • The cake is cooked when it is golden brown, coming away from the sides of the tin and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Once cooked remove the cake from the oven.
MT Heart Engagement Bundt Cake
Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
  • After cooling in the tin for 10 minutes turn the cake out onto a cooling rack.
MT Heart Engagement Bundt Cake
Heart Engagement Bundt Cake – simply stunning.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely before icing.

To make the buttercream:

  • Place the very soft butter into a large bowl.
  • Sift both the flavoured and plain icing sugars into the same bowl.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of very hot water from a kettle.
  • Starting on a low speed whisk all the ingredients together. Add the extra tablespoon of hot water if the buttercream is too stiff. Continue whisking at a higher speed until the buttercream is pale and creamy.
  • Fit a large Wilton #1M star piping nozzle to a large disposable piping bag.
  • Using a small brush, or the blunt end of a wooden skewer dipped into the pink piping gel, paint a line of colour on one side (inside) of the piping bag. You may have to dip the skewer into the gel again to finish the line.
  • Repeat this step on the opposite side. This is what gives the piping the ‘ripple effect’ and works especially well with the raspberry ripple flavoured icing.
  • Fill the piping bag with buttercream.

To decorate the cake:

MT Heart Engagement Bundt Cake
Heart Engagement Bundt Cake – sometimes a picture is better than words.
  • Start by piping a small rose, on top of the cake, either side of the heart dip.
  • Pipe a rose at the bottom point of the heart.
  • Pipe 2 more roses on each side of the heart, so that they very slightly overlap.
  • Next starting from the bottom of the second tier, pipe lines up, to meet the edge of the top tier. Continue all the way round the cake ensuring that a line is piped at the bottom point of the heart.
  • Continue in the same manner for the bottom tier, although I was able just to pipe a large star – as my bottom tier was a little short. The recipe has been adjusted to counter this.
  • Finish by piping a star in between the 2 roses at the top of the heart. Fill in any gaps around the edge of the top tier with piped stars.
  • Sprinkle over glitter and pearlised hearts.

Now stand back and admire the beautifully stunning Heart Engagement Bundt Cake that you have created – ooh and take a gazillion photographs.

It was a beautifully sunny day and I took advantage of the glorious light in our porch. It really is so hard to capture how sparkly this cake twinkled in the sunlight. The light danced of off the glittery icing and was mesmerising to look at.

MT Heart Engagement Bundt Cake
Heart Engagement Bundt Cake beautiful in the spring sunshine.

This Heart Engagement Bundt Cake had one very important ingredient that is not listed, love. My husband walked in and saw me smiling as I was writing up this post. When he asked what I was smiling about, I told him that I was remembering the look of love, between Matt and Tash in the photos I have of them. I respect their privacy, so I cannot show you here.

To me this cake was so much more than  Heart Engagement Bundt Cake, it was a symbol of their deep love for each other and our love for the two of them, as a couple, starting their journey of being together forever.

This post is dedicated to them. May they have a long, happy, healthy life together and long may they continue to bring happiness to those who are part of their lives.

May true love always be celebrated.

Baking and decorating this cake was such an enormous pleasure, have you ever made a cake, or something else, that made you smile?

For all you true romantics, like myself, if you have enjoyed this beautiful Heart Engagement Bundt Cake here are some others that will make you smile:

Strawberry Sweetheart Cake

MT Strawberry Sweetheart Cake
Strawberry Sweetheart Cake made for my hubby this Valentine’s Day.

Chocolate Heart Cake

MT Chocolate Heart Cake
Chocolate Heart Cake made for my hubb’s birthday this year.

Chocolate Heart Cookies

MT Chocolate Heart Cookies
Chocolate Heart Cookies made for my family for Valentine’s Day this year.

I am so pleased that Matt and Tash gave me permission to share this cake with you. I hope you have enjoyed this post? I love seeing what cooking and baking you get up to. If you are on Twitter or Instagram please pop a photo up and I’ll be sure to give you a shout out or retweet.

Are you a romantic like me?

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest

 

Share This Facebooktwittergoogle_plustumblr

Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake

I have wonderful news to share, I am an adopted Auntie again. One of my very best friends had her beautiful daughter Florrie, a little early, but mum and baby are doing so well. I simply had to make something to celebrate this gorgeous bundle of joy that has been brought into our lives. So I baked Florrie’s Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake.

Florrie's Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake
Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake perfect for celebrating the safe arrival of a baby girl.

As the new mum is nursing her wonderful baby daughter, I kept everything in this cake as natural as possible. As whatever mummy eats, Florrie will have too and I want her to learn to love Auntie Sammie’s cakes, right from the start.

New babies bring such joy and pleasure into our lives. Having had three children I absolutely knew my friend would very much appreciate a little food hamper. A freshly baked Farmhouse White Loafsimple dinners, pre-portioned so that mummy just has to pop them in the oven, like my Best Beef Casserole and of course a little something sweet, Florrie’s Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake.

Florries Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake
Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake a sweet energy boost for the new mum.

I remember clearly when I became a new mum for the first time. Although I had a safe delivery and the maternity suite at the hospital was brand new, there was one thing I craved – food! All that seemed to be on offer was salad.

Salad is not what a nursing mother needs!

This mummy needed carbs and lots of them! Had the salad been in a thick, carb rich sandwich I would have been fine. Fortunately I wasn’t in hospital for very long and I remember my husband making me the most unbelievably satisfying, bacon muffin with tomato ketchup. To this day it is one of my favourite treats, now that I am no longer nursing, it has to remain just that, a treat.

Flurries Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake
Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake flavoured with vanilla bean paste this cake is utterly delicious.

I have alway been called ‘practical and sensible’ by my lovely Mother-in-law. This I consider to be a huge compliment and a true reflection of how I see myself. So when a new baby comes along, I’m not the type of person to go baby clothes shopping, or to send flowers. Both of which are wonderful gifts to receive, I may add.

Nope my first thought is – how can I help?

If you have spent time reading this blog, you will be aware that I have various health issues (see Living With Seizures). This means I am limited in how I can help out with an adorable new baby, in a practical way. For me that means food! I can make bread easily, I had been cooking slightly extra, so that a single portion of Sausage and Bean Casserole (made without the addition of any alcohol), could be frozen for when it was needed. This is my way of helping.

When I am making a Chicken Lasagne it is so easy for me to pop a couple of individual portions, in foil containers and place them in the deep freeze. This way I gradually build up enough meals for a food hamper, that can be delivered and make my friend’s life a little easier.

Being a new mum is hard enough, but when you are on your own you need all the support you can get! Plus my lovely friend is a big fan of my cooking and has been an ‘unofficial’ taste tester for many years now. Let’s hope Florrie will grow to love good, homemade meals and delicious cake, like her Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake.

Recipe: Makes 1 Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake 

Cake release spray – I use Wilton’s perfect for Bundt cakes

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter – at room temperature

225g/8oz Caster Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – I use Nielsen-Massey

1/4tsp Salt

5 Large Free Range Eggs

225g/8oz Plain White Flour

2tsp Baking Power

For the glaze:

400g/14oz Icing Sugar

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

Pink gel food colouring

Flower decorations

Method: Preheat the oven to 165C/150C fan

  • Place the butter and caster sugar into a large bowl and whisk, or beat for 5 minutes until pale and creamy.
  • Add the Vanilla Bean Paste and whisk/beat to incorporate.
  • Sift in 1/3 of the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Add 2 eggs.
  • Whisk gently until just combined.
  • Repeat the last 2 steps twice more, adding only 1 egg on the last time.
  • Spray the Bundt tin liberally with cake release spray over the sink.
  • Spoon the cake batter into the Bundt tin pressing down on the batter as you fill the tin.
  • Ensure the cake batter fills the Bundt tin no more than two thirds full.
  • Place the Bundt tin in the middle of the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes.
  • The cake is baked when it is golden in colour, is coming away from the sides of the Bundt tin and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Once baked remove the cake from the oven.
  • Place the tin on a cooling rack and allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the Bundt tin.
Florries Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake
Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake leave to cool for 10 minutes.
  • After the cake has cooled for 10 minutes turn out onto a cooling rack. Wear oven gloves as the Bundt tin will still be very hot.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely before decorating.
Florries Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake
This Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake turned out beautifully.

To make the glaze, sift the icing sugar into a large bowl. Add enough water to make a thick paste, that still slightly drips. Add a tiny amount of pink food gel colouring to the icing and mix thoroughly.

Flurries Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake
Beautiful baby pink, almond flavoured icing.

Place a tray underneath the cooling rack on which the Bundt cake sits.

Using a dessert spoon thickly drizzle the top of the cake with the icing. Ensure the entire top and the internal hole of the cake of the cake are completely covered in icing. Any leftover icing can be used to add to the drizzle effect on the cake.

Florries Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake
The excess glacé icing will drip off of the Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake into the tray.
Florries Flower Bundt Cake
Decorate your Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake with pretty flowers.

Allow the cake to set before serving and eating.

Florries Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake
Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake beautifully presented on a large plastic lid!

The observant among you may have noticed that this beautiful Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake has been photographed on the lid of a plastic box. Well practical to the last (and in all honesty completely out of cake boxes!) as this cake is not very large or heavy, placing on the inside lid of a large box keeps the cake fresh.

Once transported to my friend, the cake can be moved to an airtight container of her own. I only advise using this technique for very light cakes and definitely do not cut the cake whilst it is sitting on the lid.

Do you like the idea of making someone a food hamper?

Have you ever received one yourself?

If you have enjoyed making this Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake you may like these recipes:

Glazed Lemon Bundt Cake 

Florries Glazed Lemon Bundt Cake
Glazed Lemon Bundt Cake – I used a thinner glacé icing to completely gaze this cake.

Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cake 

Flurries Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cake
Put the kettle on and enjoy every single bite of this Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cake.

Lime Coconut Blossom Bundt Cake 

Florries Coconut Lime Blossom Bundt
Coconut Lime Blossom Bundt Cake

Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake 

Florries Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake utterly delicious.

I absolutely love seeing photographs of your bakes. I’m also available throughout the day on Twitter to answer any ‘mid-bake’ questions or worries. I am not an expert but there is a whole group of bakers on Twitter and between us there’s not usually a question that goes unanswered!

Have fun whilst you bake.

Sammie xx

@sammifeasting Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest

 

 

Share This Facebooktwittergoogle_plustumblr

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

It’s Sunday, time for a little treat?? So how about these Vanilla Bean Cupcakes? Moist, vanilla flavoured sponge, topped with the lightest, most dreamy vanilla buttercream and a pearl, because you are special.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes individually portioned treats. www.featingisfun.com
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes individually portioned treats. www.featingisfun.com

Look how pretty these cupcakes are. So beautiful, that I almost called them antique Vanilla Bean Cupcakes, although I thought better of it. I’m pretty sure everyone would have imagined them as hard, mouldy, relics of the past – yep not conjuring up the image I’d like!!!

How stunning are these cupcake cases. A wonderful Christmas present from a much loved friend.

Soo Pretty
Soo Pretty

Actually I received quite a few cooking and baking related presents last year, for both Christmas and my birthday. The little, cute, individual cupcake stand was a present from my hubby and I adore it.

I was very excited to receive four cookbooks, which I enjoy reading, as if they are novels. Even though I very rarely follow a recipe religiously, I gather inspiration and ideas from my ever increasing cookbook collection.

Am I alone in my cookbook obsession collection?  Thought not!!!

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes perfect for afternoon tea.
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes perfect for afternoon tea.

These Vanilla Bean Cupcakes were the final bake for a review I have been carrying out. So after much discussion with my daughter, regarding flavour combinations, we decided to settle on a classic vanilla sponge, with the addition of vanilla bean paste instead of extract. Although I kept to vanilla extract for the best buttercream icing ever!

Look at that delicious swirl of buttercream.
Look at that delicious swirl of buttercream.

The result being, the best cupcakes I have made, this year!

Recipe: Makes 12 deep filled Vanilla Bean Cupcakes or 18-20 standard ones.

150g/6oz Caster Sugar

150g/6oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

150g/6oz Plain White Flour

1 1/2tsp Baking Powder

1/4tsp Salt

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste

3 Large Eggs – I always use free range

25ml/1fl oz Whole Milk

Cupcake cases

For the buttercream

400g/14oz Icing Sugar -sieved

200g/7oz Unsalted Butter – very soft

1/8tsp Salt

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

3tbsp Boiling Water

Edible pearls or sprinkles for decoration

Method: Preheat the oven to 175C/160C fan oven.

Into a large bowl add the butter and caster sugar.

Whisk the sugar and butter together until pale and creamy.
Whisk the sugar and butter together until pale and creamy.
Add the eggs, milk, vanilla bean paste and salt to the bowl. Mix to combine be.
Add the eggs, milk, vanilla bean paste and salt to the bowl. Mix to combine.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl.
Fold all the ingredients together until combined. This will ensure the Vanilla Bean Cupcakes are light and fluffy.
Fold all the ingredients together until combined. This will ensure the Vanilla Bean Cupcakes are light and fluffy.
Fill each cupcake case half way with cake batter.
Fill each cupcake case half way with cake batter.

Place the cupcake tray into the middle of the preheated oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes (a shorter time will be required for smaller cupcakes).

The cupcakes are baked when they are golden brown and spring back when pressed lightly in the centre.

When baked remove the cupcake tray from the oven.

Baked, golden Vanilla Bean Cupcakes.
Baked, golden Vanilla Bean Cupcakes.

Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then place them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

To make the Buttercream Frosting:

Place the butter, salt, vanilla extract, sifted icing sugar and boiling water into a large bowl.
Place the butter, salt, vanilla extract, sifted icing sugar and boiling water into a large bowl.
Starting on a low speed, mix all the buttercream ingredients together, gradually increasing the mixer speed.
Starting on a low speed, mix all the buttercream ingredients together, gradually increasing the mixer speed.

For the very lightest, creamiest buttercream, continue mixing for 10 minutes. The result will be the dreamiest buttercream icing you will ever have tasted.

The addition of very hot water to the buttercream mix, stops it from forming a hard crust. I cannot remember when I first started adding boiling water, that shows it was a very, very long time ago!!

Fit a large piping bag with the tip of your choice – I used a large French star tip. Fill the bag with buttercream and fold over the top of the bag.

Using a circular motion, pipe buttercream in a swirl effect, onto the top of each cupcake.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes swirling, light buttercream, adorns the tops.
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes swirling, light buttercream, adorns the tops.
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes an edible pearl provides the finishing touch to these edible treats.
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes an edible pearl provides the finishing touch to these edible treats.

I hope you’ll agree with me, that these cupcakes are elegantly beautiful ?

Usually I cannot wait to sprinkle edible glitter on, well pretty much anything I bake, but these Vanilla Bean Cupcakes looked so perfect after the addition of the pearl, that I managed to restrain myself.

The result a spectacularly elegant cupcake, that tastes every bit as good as it looks.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes timeless elegance, in cake form.
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes timeless elegance, in cake form.

I have really enjoyed carrying out the review for British Bakewaretheir cupcake pan baked goods evenly, was very easy to clean and I absolutely recommend it.

These Vanilla Bean Cupcakes did not last very long in our home, although I did give our neighbours a couple. I believe food tastes better when shared. Even though I only spent 10 minutes with them, we had a lovely catch up chat and they were thrilled with the cupcakes I gave to them.

During the winter months especially, weeks, indeed months can easily pass without people living in close proximity, exchanging a word. So it really is worth taking a few minutes out of our day once a week, or so, to make the effort to talk to those who live close by.

Are you friendly with your neighbours?

Do you keep a check on elderly or infirm neighbours, especially during the cold, winter months?

Next time you are baking, how about popping a few cookies or cupcakes on a plate and sharing them with your local community?

Please let me know if you do. I love to read your comments.

If you enjoyed this recipe for Vanilla Bean Cupcakes, then I hope you’ll like these too:

Black Forest Cupcakes

V Black Forest Cupcakes
Black Forest Cupcakes chocolate, cherries and dreamy topping.

Bakewell Cupcakes

V Bakewell Cupcakes
Bakewell Cupcakes utterly delicious.

 

Happy baking.

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest

 

 

 

Share This Facebooktwittergoogle_plustumblr

Chocolate Heart Cake

If you love someone and they love chocolate –  THIS is the cake to bake for them – Chocolate Heart Cake.

Chocolate Heart Cake the perfect way to show someone you love them www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Heart Cake the perfect way to show someone you love them www.feastingisfun.com

So my hubby’s birthday was at the start of the year AND I didn’t make him a birthday cake.

I Know!!!!

We still had nearly a whole Christmas cake left and we had chocolate, in all it’s delicious forms, everywhere. Hubby wanted a chocolate cake for his birthday, I was struggling with the remnants of Christmas past that were, increasingly, threatening to take over every cupboard and side table in the house.

Breath……in……..and…..out.

Phew I was in danger of being over dramatic there?

What a difference a week makes.

3 teenagers and hubby had made significant inroads, on the chocolate abundance. Time to bake cake. Chocolate cake!

It was late.   Delayed.   Belated.   Not on time.

There was no getting away from it, I needed to pull out all the stops and come up with an I Love You and I’m sorry it’s late, birthday cake.

Pretty sure I nailed it with this fudgy, moist, rich, Chocolate Heart Cake.

Chocolate Heart Cake an expression of true love in cake form. www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Heart Cake an expression of true love in cake form. www.feastingisfun.com

Too near Christmas and this cake would have been too much. Deeply chocolatey and slathered in a smooth, yet decadent chocolate ganache, accented with little white chocolate hearts. This Chocolate Heart Cake is perfect for all true chocolate lovers.

Chocolate Heart Cake happiness was easy to find in a single bite of this cake! www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Heart Cake happiness was easy to find in a single bite of this cake! www.feastingisfun.com

Very fortunately for me, my wonderful husband was happy to wait for his cake. Not only is he the one and only true love of my life, he is the kindest, most patient, loving man I have ever known.

Girls don’t settle for second best, or never give proper attention to the man you are with – in the hope that someone better will rock up. When you find someone who loves you, for you, with all their heart, hold on tight and never let go.

Just sayin’.

Back to all matters cake. I was going to wait until Valentine’s Day to post this recipe, then I remembered my heart tin, which I bought very cheaply, in the January sales last year.

So if you like this cake, want to make it and see a heart tin in the sales, grab that bargain!

Chocolate Heart Cake candles, singing and merriment. The ingredients of a successful birthday cake www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Heart Cake candles, singing and merriment. The ingredients of a successful birthday cake www.feastingisfun.com

Recipe: Makes 1 Chocolate Heart Cake – serves 10-12

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature, plus a little extra to grease the tin

225g/8oz Light Soft Brown Sugar

4 Large Eggs – I use free range

150ml/5fl oz Sour Cream

1tsp Vanilla Extract

125g/5oz Plain White Flour

75g/3oz Cocoa Powder – I use Callebaut

2tsp Baking Powder

1/4tsp Salt

75g/3oz Dark Chocolate

75g/3oz Milk Chocolate

150ml/5fl oz Double Cream

50g/2oz White Chocolate

Method: Preheat oven to 175C/160C fan

Grease the pan and line the base with baking parchment.
Grease the pan and line the base with baking parchment.

Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

Crack the eggs into a jug, gently whisk to break up.

Add the sour cream and vanilla extract to the eggs and stir to combine – wet ingredients.

Place the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a sieve  – dry ingredients.

Sift one third of the dry ingredients into the creamed sugar and butter.

Add half of the wet mixture to the bowl.

Mix gently until combined.

Repeat the addition of dry and wet ingredients.

Mix until combined and then slowly mix in the last of the dry ingredients.

 

Spoon the chocolate cake batter into the heart tin.
Spoon the chocolate cake batter into the heart tin.

Place the cake into the oven and bake for approx. an hour.

The Chocolate Heart Cake is baked when it springs back after being lightly pressed. www.feastingisfun.com
The Chocolate Heart Cake is baked when it springs back after being lightly pressed. www.feastingisfun.com

Don’t worry if there is a slight jiggle to the cake, as long as it springs back when pressed.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

Chocolate Heart Cake turn the slightly cooled cake out, bottom side up, onto a cooling rack.
Chocolate Heart Cake turn the slightly cooled cake out, bottom side up, onto a cooling rack.

Take care when turning this cake out, as it is very moist, with an almost ‘brownie like’ texture.

Allow the cake to cool completely before decorating.

Place the double cream, milk and dark chocolate into a heat proof bowl set over a double boiler see here for detailed photos.

Stir constantly, removing the bowl from the heat when the chocolate is two thirds melted.  Keep stirring until all the chocolate is melted into the cream.

Set aside until slightly cooled and thickened.

Place the Chocolate Heart Cake onto a board or cake stand.

Pour the slightly cooled, thickened, chocolate ganache onto the cake.
Pour the slightly cooled, thickened, chocolate ganache onto the cake.
Smooth the ganache over the top of the cake, allowing it to just edge over the sides.
Smooth the ganache over the top of the cake, allowing it to just edge over the sides.

I used the back of a spoon, however, a palette knife would have given a smoother finish. Note to self!!

Melt the white chocolate, in a small heatproof bowl, in the microwave, set to medium. Nuke in 20 second bursts, stirring after each one, until the chocolate is two thirds melted.  Remove from the microwave and continuously stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

Starting at the centre of the heart dip, drip, using a teaspoon, a small circle of white chocolate onto the cake. Approx. 1cm diameter.

Using a cocktail stick and starting just above the circle, drag the stick through the white chocolate to create a wispy heart accent.

Creating the wispy heart decoration.
Creating the wispy heart decoration.

Add as many heart accents as you like. The overall cake will look better if decorated in a symmetrical pattern.

Move the cake to a cool place to set.

Chocolate Heart Cake who will you make this cake for? www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Heart Cake who will you make this cake for? www.feastingisfun.com

My husband was thrilled with his birthday cake.

It not only looked fantastic, but tasted deeply chocolatey too!

Do you enjoy baking for loved ones and if so what do you like to bake?

If you like this Chocolate Heart Cake, here are some others you may enjoy:

Chocolate Sparkle Cake

Marbled Chocolate Bundt Cake

Malted Marbeled Chocolate Cake

I hope you have fun making and baking delicious cakes for all your loved ones.

Sammie xx

 

 

Share This Facebooktwittergoogle_plustumblr

Raspberry Almond Cream Cake

Welcome to a New Year and what better way to celebrate than with my Raspberry Almond Cream Cake.

Raspberry Almond Cream Cake perfect as a celebration cake and for sharing www.feastingisfun.com
Raspberry Almond Cream Cake perfect as a celebration cake and for sharing www.feastingisfun.com

This cake was made on December 31st 2015 and was taken to our very good friends, for their New Years Eve party.

It has been so long, too long, since I have been out of the house for anything other than a Doctors or Hospital appointment. We were invited to our friends, ages ago. Having missed out on other family gatherings, I really wanted to see the year out on a positive note.

Raspberry Almond Cream Cake moist, fruity cake www.feastingisfun.com
Raspberry Almond Cream Cake moist, fruity cake www.feastingisfun.com

Taking this Raspberry Almond Cream Cake, as a gift, to our friends house, was also a massive achievement. The cake looked festive, without being too Christmassy. I resisted the urge to sprinkle some edible glitter on the top. Setting the cake on a gold plate seemed beautiful enough.

Raspberry Almond Cream Cake moist sponge layered with cream, jam and fresh fruit www.feastingisfun.com
Raspberry Almond Cream Cake moist sponge layered with cream, jam and fresh fruit www.feastingisfun.com

The almond flavour in the moist sponge, pairs really well with gorgeous, plump, deep crimson raspberries. I tend to find frozen raspberries hold their flavour and shape and are excellent to keep on hand, in the deep freeze, for the winter months. On this occasion, fresh raspberries were available, but I would totally make this again with frozen fruit!

An extra layer of raspberry jam, brought additional flavour and made all the ingredients in this Raspberry Almond Cream Cake ‘sing’.

Raspberry Almond Cream Cake I wish I had a slice of this now www.feastingisfun.com
Raspberry Almond Cream Cake I wish I had a slice of this now www.feastingisfun.com

Usually when baking a layered cake I bake separate sponges, this time however, I baked one gorgeous, almond sponge and cut it in half. The result was an extra moist cake that kept people going back for another slice!!

If making this cake for only adults, I woud certainly have brushed the inside of the cut sponge with some Framboise (raspberry liquer), or alternatively added a splash of delicious almond liquer to the cream!

Here’s how to make this luscious cake!

Recipe: Makes 1 large 10″ Raspberry Almond Cream Cake serves 12

10oz/275g Unsalted Butter – at room temperature

10oz/275g Caster Sugar

8oz/225g Self Raising Flower

2oz/50g Ground Almonds

1/2tsp Baking Powder

1tsp Vanilla Extract

1tsp Almond Extract

1/4tsp Salt

4 Large Free Range Eggs

2floz/50ml Whole Milk

3oz/75g Almond Flakes – very lightly toasted

2 packets Fresh or Defrosted Raspberries 14oz/400g

15floz/400ml Double Cream

3Tbsp Raspberry Jam

Method: Preheat oven to 175C/160C fan oven

Grease and line the base of a 10″ springform cake pan.

In a large bowl whisk the butter, sugar and salt together until pale and fluffy.

Add one third of the dry mix (flour, ground almonds and baking powder), 2 eggs, half the milk and the vanilla and almond extracts.

Mix until just combined.

Repeat the last step.

Finally add the last third of the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Place the cake batter into the springform pan.
Place the cake batter into the springform pan.

Bake in the oven for approximately an hour. The cake is baked when it is golden brown and springs back when pressed lightly in the centre.

Once baked remove the cake from the oven and place the pan on a rack to cool for 15 minutes.
Once baked remove the cake from the oven and place the pan on a rack to cool for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes turn out the cake from the pan and leave to cool completely on a cooling rack.
After 15 minutes turn out the cake from the pan and leave to cool completely on a cooling rack.

Once the cake is cooled, carefully slice the sponge in half.

Use a serrated bread knife to slice the sponge in half.
Use a serrated bread knife to slice the sponge in half.

Whip the double cream until it just holds a peak.

Spread the raspberry jam over one half of the sponge.
Spread the raspberry jam over one half of the sponge.

Sort through the raspberries and reserve 12 of the largest, plumpest fruits for the top of the cake.

Spread half of the whipped cream on the other half of the sponge. Add half of the raspberries.
Spread half of the whipped cream on the other half of the sponge. Add half of the raspberries.

Place the sponge, spread with jam, on top of the cream and raspberry filled sponge.

Raspberry Almond Cream Cake - spread the remaining cream on top of the cake, decorate with Raspberries and sprinkle over the toasted almonds slices. www.feastingisfun.com
Raspberry Almond Cream Cake – spread the remaining cream on top of the cake, decorate with Raspberries and sprinkle over the toasted almonds flakes. www.feastingisfun.com

Keep the cake chilled, removing from the fridge 20 minutes before eating.

Invite round some friends, or alternatively take this cake to your friends house.

You are certain to be a very popular guest if you turn up with this Raspberry Almond Cream Cake!!

All food tastes better when it is shared, none so more than cake, in my humble opinion 😉.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy 2016. May your friendships grow closer over a cup of tea and slice of cake.

If you enjoyed this Raspberry Almond Cream Cake here are some other bakes that you can enjoy sharing –

Strawberries and Cream Cake

Victoria Sponge Cake

Chocolate Sparkle Cake

Sammie xx

 

 

 

Share This Facebooktwittergoogle_plustumblr

Chocolate Sparkle Cake

Ooh hello my lovelies, have I got a treat for you today? Yes of course I have and a dazzling one at that. Welcome to my Chocolate Sparkle Cake!

Chocolate Sparkle Cake as delicious as it is easy to make! www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Sparkle Cake as delicious as it is easy to make! www.feastingisfun.com

It’s ok you can read through once you’ve looked at all the photo’s – I would!!!

This cake was inspired by Bonfire Night ( November 5th if you’re not from the UK). Our children were being taken to an amazing fireworks party by my wonderful sis and bro-in-law, along with their cousins.

Whilst they were out I wanted to make a cake, that on their return would make them say “Wow” and remind them of the fun they’d had.

Chocolate Sparkle Cake just look at the fudgey, soft, chocolate glaze and moist tender cake. www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Sparkle Cake just look at the fudgey, soft, chocolate glaze and moist tender cake. www.feastingisfun.com

So being our children meant this had to be a Chocolate Cake. I wanted a deep, chocolatey, moist cake, smothered in thick, glossy, chocolate ganache and then topped with as many sprinkles I could get my hands on.

Thus the Chocolate Sparkle Cake idea was formed in my head.

Chocolate Sparkle Cake slices beautifully, perfect for sharing. www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Sparkle Cake slices beautifully, perfect for sharing. www.feastingisfun.com

Knowing that I didn’t want a layer cake, it was important to ensure the cake itself was as moist as possible. Adding cocoa to any batter has a drying effect, so to counter that I added sour cream.

I’d seen Ina Garten add it to many of her bakes and figured it was worth a try. Yep I was winging it yet again!

Oh my. I soo made the right decision. You cannot taste the sour cream in the baked cake, however, the baked cake has such a moist, tender crumb. This is one ingredient I will be experimenting with more, that’s for sure.

Chocolate Sparkle Cake it looks like a perfectly clear night sky with twinkling stars. www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Sparkle Cake it looks like a perfectly clear night sky with twinkling stars. www.feastingisfun.com

What really sends this cake over the top flavour-wise is the addition of liqueur to the chocolate ganache. I happened to have an unopened bottle of Chocolate Bailey’s Luxe. So I added some. Mmm another brilliant decision, I was truly on a roll!

I only used a small amount and it is totally fine to leave it out altogether. Our youngest is 13 years old so I was happy for him to have a very small, diluted amount.

I would say that this cake is both decadant and rich. All three of our children and all the adults loved it. I’m not sure if it’s richness would be enjoyed by younger children, even with the absence of liqueur?

Recipe : Makes 1 x 10″ Chocolate Sparkle Cake

For the cake:

275g/10oz Unsalted Butter at room temp.

150g/5oz Soft Light Brown Sugar

150g/5oz Caster Sugar

5 Large Eggs – I always use free range

1tsp Vanilla Extract

225g/8oz Plain White Flour

100g/4oz Cocoa Powder

2.5tsp Baking Powder

1/4tsp Salt

200ml/7fl oz Full Fat Sour Cream

For the topping:

100g/4oz Dark Chocolate minimum 70% Cocoa

200g/7oz Milk Chocolate minimum 35% Cocoa

300ml/ 1/2 pint Double Cream

Optional – 2Tbsp Bailey’s Chocolate or Bailey’s liqueur

Assorted sprinkles, stars and ebible glitter dust

Method : Preheat the oven 175C/190C fan

Butter the base and sides of a 10″ Springform cake tin. Line the base of the tin with parchment paper.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt together. These are your dry ingredients.

Crack all the eggs into a jug, add the vanilla extract and lightly beat with a fork to break up.

In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.

Add one third of your dry ingredients and mix slowly, as they start to incorporate add half of your eggs. Continue mixing until all the ingredients are almost incorporated.

Repeat this step again.

Add the last of the dry ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Be careful not to overmix, as the cake will be heavy.

Fold in the sour cream to the chocolate cake batter.

Delicious, moist, chocolate cake batter.
Delicious, moist, chocolate cake batter.
Fill the cake tin with batter and smooth the top.
Fill the cake tin with batter and smooth the top.

Place the cake tin in the middle of the oven and bake for 50 minutes.

The cake is cooked when an inserted skewer comes out clean. If after 50 minutes the cake is still not fully cooked, place back in the oven and re-check at 5 minute intervals.

Once cooked remove the cake from the oven.

Don't worry about the small crack it will reduce and we are turning the cake over to frost!!
Don’t worry about the small crack it will reduce and we are turning the cake over to frost!!

Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the tin.

To remove, release the springform lever, remove the outer ring of the tin.

Place a cooling rack on top of the cake and invert.

The cake is now bottom side up on the cooling rack. Remove the tin base and gently peel off the parchment paper.

Place to one side and allow the cake to cool completely.

Making the topping –

Break or chop the chocolate into small chunks. Place in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water (double boiler), ensuring the base of the bowl does not touch the water.

Add the cream. Stir.

Keep stirring the chocolate/cream until the chocolate has completely melted.
Keep stirring the chocolate/cream until the chocolate has completely melted.
Remove from the double boiler, add the liqueur and stir well. Set aside to cool and thicken.
Remove from the double boiler, add the liqueur and stir well. Set aside to cool and thicken.

The ganache is ready to use when it is thickened but still pourable (but not runny).

Chocolate Sparkle Cake - have your frosting and decorations ready and to hand before you start icing the cake. www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Sparkle Cake – have your frosting and decorations ready and to hand before you start icing the cake. www.feastingisfun.com
Once completely cool place the cake on a stand or board.
Once completely cool place the cake on a stand or board.
Chocolate Sparkle Cake pour the thickened ganache onto the top of the cake. www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Sparkle Cake pour the thickened ganache onto the top of the cake. www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Sparkle Cake gently smooth the ganache over the entire top of the cake and push over the sides so it drapes over the edge of the cake. www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Sparkle Cake gently smooth the ganache over the entire top of the cake and push over the sides so it drapes over the edge of the cake. www.feastingisfun.com

I tapped the cake stand a couple of times against the table, to release any air bubbles trapped in the ganache. The swirled effect at the bottom of the cake happened as a result of my tapping!

Chocolate Sparkle Cake now get sprinkling! I started with white chocolate stars and the smaller edible gold stars. www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Sparkle Cake now get sprinkling! I started with white chocolate stars and the smaller edible gold stars. www.feastingisfun.com

Get creative, use whatever decorations you like. The ganache is so gloriously glossy it provides the perfect canvas.

I finished the cake with a dusting of holographic edible glitter.

More is more. Right??

Chocolate Sparkle Cake www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Sparkle Cake www.feastingisfun.com

I almost called this Chocoale Sparkle Cake ‘Starry, starry night’ after one of my very favourite songs by Don McLean!

Such is the glossy, sparkly nature of this cake, as well as the moist, deep chocolate flavour, with a lingering background hit of Bailey’s, this could easily make a beautiful alternative to traditional Christmas cake.

When I look at this Chocolate Sparkle Cake it just screams ‘Party’! The perfect chocolate, celebration cake.

Chocolate Sparkle Cake www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Sparkle Cake www.feastingisfun.com

Everyone loved this cake and we also celebrated the safe arrival of a friend’s baby with a slice. As it is a rich cake, a little goes a long way, meaning there is more to share.

It also kept really well in a cake tin for 5 days – yes it did last that long!!

This Chocolate Sparkle Cake will definitely be made alongside our traditional Christmas cake.

Do you like to mark celebrations with a cake?

If you enjoy this cake you may also like these

Malted Marbeled Chocolate Cake

Marbled Chocolate Bundt Cake

Sammie x

Share This Facebooktwittergoogle_plustumblr