Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova

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Finally December has arrived, heralding the start of Winter. And with it a month of festive planning, carols by candlelight and sellotape everywhere! Since, here at home, we also celebrate two birthdays this month, the celebrating can seem never ending. Because there’s only so much cake you can eat, isn’t there? Fear not, because this gluten free Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova is the perfect celebratory dessert.

FF Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova

Tips For The Perfect Pavlova:

For me, Pavlovas always feel like such an elegant dessert. Yet they are simple to make as long as a few basic rules are followed. And they cannot, must not and should not be rushed. Either during the whisking or baking stage. While whisking, all of the sugar must be given time to dissolve in the egg white, otherwise it will leak out during cooling and the meringue will collapse. Likewise, once baked the pavlova should be left to cool slowly, preferably in the oven as it also cools down. As a result of rushing this stage the meringue structure is likely to crack badly.

FF Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova
Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova

Please do not let the previous advice discourage you from making a pavlova. Rather I hope it has the opposite effect and encourages you. Take an extra five minutes (that’s 5 minutes not forever!) to ensure the meringue is properly mixed. Another tip is to bake the Pavlova in the evening, leaving it in the oven overnight to cool. And then the meringue can cool slowly overnight without tying up the oven.

FF Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova
Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova

And if the meringue does crack, it will be covered with whipped cream and fruit. While no one ever need know!

Recipe: Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova serves 8

4 Large Free Range Egg Whites

200g/7oz Caster Sugar

Juice of half a Lemon

400ml Double Cream (Heavy Cream)

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – I use Nielsen-Massey 

4 Fresh Figs – cut into quarters

300g Frozen Blackberries – I buy them from Waitrose 

1-2 Fresh Pomegranates – seeds removed

Optional – Fresh Mint to garnish

Method: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan, 350F, gas mark 4

Making the meringue base:

  • First of all draw an 8in/20cm circle on to a piece of baking parchment. Turn the paper over and place on to a baking tray.
  • Wipe around the inside of a very clean, large bowl with half a lemon.
  • Add four eggs white to the bowl and the juice of half a lemon.
  • Whisk the egg whites until they form a stiff peak.
  • Continue whisking on a medium speed, slowly adding one tablespoon of sugar at a time to the egg whites.
  • When all of the sugar is added the mixture should be thick and glossy. Rub a little of the meringue between your finger and thumb, if it feels gritty continue to whisk. Check again after a couple of minutes. As soon as it feels smooth and silky it is ready.
  • Remove a small amount of the meringue and use it as glue to stick the baking parchment to the baking tray.
  • Spoon the meringue mixture on to the baking parchment, inside the circle.
  • Use a palette knife to shape the meringue into a disc, building up the outside edge.
FF Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova
Making the Pavlova base.

Baking the meringue:

  • Place the meringue into the centre of the oven and bake at the preheated temperature for 5 minutes.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 120C/100C fan, 250F, gas mark 1/2 and continue to bake for 1 hour.
  • Do not open the oven during baking.
  • As soon as the baking time has elapsed turn off the oven and leave the meringue  to cool completely in the oven.
  • Once cooled remove the meringue from the oven.

Filling and decorating the Pavlova:

  • Pour the cream into a large bowl. Add the vanilla bean paste.
  • Whip the cream until it is thick but not stiff.
  • Carefully run a palette knife between the meringue and baking parchment.
  • Place the meringue on to a plate or cake stand.
  • Spoon the whipped cream on to the meringue.
  • Add the figs and blackberries. Finally sprinkle over with pomegranate seeds.
  • Garnish with fresh mint.
FF Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova
Baking and filling the Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova

Fill and decorate the Pavlova 1-2 hours prior to serving. So that the blackberries can defrost.

FF Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova
Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova

To serve, cut the Pavlova into slices and use a cake knife to transfer to a dessert plate.

The meringue pavlova base can be made a day in advance. Once filled and decorated keep the Pavlova refrigerated and away from strong smells. The Pavlova will keep for up to 2 days in the fridge.

FF Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova you may also like these:

Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova 

FF Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova
Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova

Blackberry Nectarine Tart 

FF Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova
Blackberry Nectarine Tart

Dark Chocolate Drizzle Pear Ginger Pavlova 

FF Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova
Dark Chocolate Drizzle Pear Ginger Pavlova

With a crisp outer shell and marshmallow centre Pavlovas are a delicious dessert. Since they can be filled with many different combinations of fruit they are perfect for using seasonal or frozen fruit. While in this recipe the meringue has a whipped cream filling, see my Raspberry Topped Lemon Curd Pavlova for an alternative filling. Also all Pavlova recipes here on Feasting is Fun are gluten free (please see individual recipes for recommendations). As a result this dessert is a festive winter feast that more people can enjoy.

So, whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens at this festive time, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

Frozen berry topped meringue dessert.

 

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Prosciutto Wrapped Cheese Puff Pastry Straws

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So, who is ready for a super easy, party food recipe? While there are plenty of sweet recipes here on the blog, personally, I prefer food that is more savoury. Given the choice I will usually choose a cheese board over dessert. Although my family always pick a delicious, sweet treat. Also, at parties I much prefer something salty and savoury to compliment my glass of wine or sparkling water. My Prosciutto Wrapped Cheese Puff Pastry Straws tick all of my preferred flavour boxes. So much so I ate three as soon as they were cool enough!

Easy Party Food Recipes:

Creating easy recipes is always a top priority. These straws can be made ahead and kept refrigerated or even frozen. Since party food can involve lots of little morsels, keeping the recipe simple reduces any stress and leaves more room for fun. Because that’s what parties should be, fun! Whether it’s drinks with friends or a full on family bash, these straws are a perfect addition to any occasion.

FF Prosciutto Wrapped Cheese Puff Pastry Straws
Prosciutto Wrapped Cheese Puff Pastry Straws

So incredibly easy to make and bake, these straws are filled with grated cheddar and fresh basil. Followed by a strip of Prosciutto ham that is twisted with the cut straw and then baked. While baking the Prosciutto becomes crisp and salty on the outside with melting cheddar and fresh Basil inside. The hardest part of making these is not eating them all as soon as they are baked!

Savoury food snacks displayed on a platter and in a copper cup.

Recipe: Prosciutto Wrapped Cheese Puff Pastry Straws – makes 24

2 x 250g/14oz All Butter Puff Pastry – I use Waitrose own brand. Alternatively use ready rolled pastry, however you may need to adjust the cheese/basil/prosciutto quantities.

100g/4oz Finely Grated Mature (Sharp) Cheddar Cheese – I use Wyke Farms

A Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves – approximately 20 leaves. Alternatively when Basil is unavailable use 1tsp finely chopped thyme or rosemary

12 Slices Prosciutto Ham

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Method: preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan, 400F, gas mark 6.

Making The Cheese Straws:

  • First of all line 2 large baking trays with baking parchment.
  • Roll the first block of puff pastry into a square, approximately 30cm x 30cm (12in x 12in).
  • Sprinkle half the grated cheddar over the top half of the square.
  • Place half of the fresh basil leaves on top of the cheese.
  • Add some freshly ground black pepper.
  • Fold the bottom half of the pastry up over the cheese and basil.
FF Prosciutto Wrapped Cheese Puff Pastry Straws
Filling the pastry with cheese and basil.
  • Using a rolling pin roll the pastry so that it flattens and becomes smooth.

Portioning The Straws And Wrapping With Prosciutto:

  • Divide the pastry in half using a sharp knife. Then cut each half in half again, you will have four separate pieces.
  • Cut each quarter into 3 strips. Resulting in 12 straws.
  • Tear a piece of prosciutto ham in two lengthways.
  • Place the ham on top of a straw and press at both ends so it sticks.
  • Using both hands twist the pastry so that the prosciutto wraps around.
  • Place the twisted pastry on to a baking sheet.
  • Repeat with the rest of the straws.
  • Roll out the second block of pastry and repeat the process again.
FF Prosciutto Wrapped Cheese Puff Pastry Straws
Cutting the straws and wrapping with Prosciutto.

Baking The Prosciutto Wrapped Puff Pastry Straws:

  • Place the baking trays into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden and the prosciutto is crisp.
  • As soon as the straws are baked remove from the oven and place on a serving plate.
  • Note – if you are planning to freeze the straws, remove from the oven 5 minutes early when the straws are baked but have not much colour.
FF Prosciutto Wrapped Cheese Puff Pastry Straws
Baking the Prosciutto Wrapped Cheese Puff Pastry Straws
  • Allow the straws to cool slightly before serving.

Cool, place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze. Reheat in a medium oven for 5-10 minutes.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Prosciutto Wrapped Cheese Puff Pastry Straws you may also like these:

Mini Sparkenhoe Red Leicester Tarts

FF Prosciutto Wrapped Cheese Puff Pastry Straws
Mini Sparkenhoe Red Leicester Tarts

Spicy Sausage Rolls

FF Prosciutto Wrapped Cheese Puff Pastry Straws
Spicy Sausage Rolls

Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche 

FF Prosciutto Wrapped Cheese Puff Pastry Straws
Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche

Whether I’m hosting or going out, parties are fun and a great way to catch up with friends and make new ones. Recipes that are easy and also travel well make life easier. These Prosciutto Wrapped Cheese Puff Pastry Straws are perfect for taking to a party or get together. Also, as they can be frozen I am planning on making a big batch prior to Christmas. Pop the frozen straws into a moderate oven, bake for ten minutes and you have a delicious snack to share with unexpected visitors.

So, whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks

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Cheddar cheese is loved by so many, me included and is such a versatile ingredient. Something magical happens to the flavour when it is heated. Becoming more savoury, salty and intense on the palette. Even when eaten with crackers it benefits vastly when left out of the fridge to come up to room temperature. Since winning some Vintage Cheddar in a Twitter competition I wanted to create a new, delicious snack recipe. These Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks tick every, single, box.

FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks

Cheesy Breadsticks – Delicious And Versatile

The combination of good quality mature, or vintage cheddar with fresh thyme gives a distinctly savoury flavour to these breadsticks. Also, the addition of Parmesan cheese to the bread dough enhances and reaffirms their cheesy flavour. While pastry cheese straws can be oily at times, that is not the case here. No greasy fingers whilst munching on these!

FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks

As well as tasting delicious on their own, these cheesy breadsticks also make a perfect accompaniment to soup, such as Hearty Minestrone Soup. While sounding an unlikely combination, we ate these with a simple beef casserole that had been bubbling away on the hob all day. Not so surprising when Cheddar is often used in the pastry of beef pies.

FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks

Recipe: Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks makes 32

320ml Tap Water at room temperature

7g Dried Yeast – I use Allinson easy bake yeast action

500g Strong White Bread Flour

2 tbsp Olive Oil plus extra for oiling the baking trays

7g Sea Salt plus extra for sprinkling – I use Maldon

50g Parmesan Cheese finely grated

3 tsp Fresh Thyme Leaves plus an add 2 tsp for sprinkling – halve the amount if using dried

1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper plus extra for sprinkling on to breadsticks

50g plus an additional 75g Mature Cheddar Cheese – I used Vintage Cheddar from Wyke Farms

1 Free Range Egg beaten with 2 tsp cold water to use as an egg wash

Method:

The method given uses a stand mixer with dough hook attachment to make the dough. Of course this may be made by hand.

Making The Breadstick Dough

  • First of all, weigh the water into the bowl of the stand mixer.
  • Add the dried yeast and flour.
  • Next add the olive oil and salt.
  • Lower the dough hook and mix on low speed for 10 minutes, increasing to medium speed for a further 3 minutes.
  • While the dough is mixing lightly oil 4 large baking trays. Also preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan, 400F, gas mark 6.
  • Stop mixing and check the dough. It should be able to stretch so that light can be seen through it. This is called the windowpane test. If the dough does not pass this test lower the dough hook and continue to mix on medium, stopping and checking every two minutes until it finally passes the test.
  • As soon as the dough is ready stop mixing. Add both the finely grated Parmesan cheese and 50g of the cheddar. Also add 2 teaspoons of fresh Thyme leaves and half a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.
  • Lower the dough hook and mix on a low speed for two minutes.
  • Stop the mixer, scrape any dough from the dough hook into the bowl, cover with a cloth and leave in a draft free place until doubled in size.

Flavouring And Shaping The Cheedar Cheese Thyme Breadsticks:

  • Lightly flour the worktop and tip out the dough, so that the top of the risen dough is in contact with the worktop.
FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
The Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks Dough
  • Dust the dough with flour and roll out to 50cm x 30cm (20in x 12in).
FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Preparing the dough to become breadsticks.
  • Sprinkle over the rolled out dough, 75g finely grated cheddar and 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves.
  • Fold the dough in half.
FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Folding and cutting the dough into breadsticks.
  • Gently roll over the folded dough with a rolling pin, sealing the cheese inside.
  • Cut the dough in half across the middle. Next cut 1cm (1/2in) strips in the dough.
FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Preparing the breadsticks for baking.
  • Remove one dough strip at a time, stretch and twist it before placing on a prepared baking tray. The dough can be pressed on to the tray and will stick, holding the twist in place. Place eight breadsticks on each tray.
  • Brush each breadstick lightly with egg wash and sprinkle over 1/2 teaspoon of thyme (for each eight breadsticks). Also grind black pepper and sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over the tray.
  • Place two baking sheets in the preheated oven on separate shelves and bake for 15-20 minutes.
FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Freshly baked, golden, Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
  • The breadsticks are baked when they are a light golden brown.
  • As soon as the breadsticks are baked remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
  • Continue with the other half of the dough, cutting, twisting, egg washing and sprinkling and finally baking as before.
FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
The soft inner crumb of these Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks.
  • Wait until slightly cooled before biting into one of these deliciously cheesy breadsticks, with its soft, fluffy inner.
FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks

Serving And Storing The Breadsticks

Serve slightly warm to allow for the best possible taste experience. At there best enjoyed on the day these are made.

Since this recipe makes a big batch of Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks, they can be enjoyed at larger gatherings and are ideal for adding to a buffet table.

To make ahead, bake as usual, cool and freeze for up to two weeks. Remove from the freezer when needed, place on a baking tray in a warm oven for 10 minutes to defrost and warm through.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks you may also like these:

Seeded Multigrain Baguettes

FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Seeded Multigrain Baguettes

Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread

FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread

Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones

FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones

Creating recipes using ingredients that compliment and enhance each other is at the heart of Feasting is Fun. As well as encouraging people to share their bakes. Baking extra to give away, to an elderly neighbour or new family, is easy. Especially when you are in the kitchen already, whipping up a batch of breadsticks, cookies or cupcakes.

Who will you share with?

Whatever you are making, baking or creating in your kitchens, enable fun preparing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

Cheddar and fresh thyme on a wooden board with breadsticks in a cream jug. Sized for Pinterest with descriptive graphics.
Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks.
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Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies

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Chocolate and Christmas go together like strawberries and cream in summer. Add in traditional candy canes and you have an incredible combination.  So using a fantastic Classic Brownie Kit makes baking these Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies easy and a super delicious Christmas treat.  And don’t worry if you can’t get hold of the kit, there’s a link before the recipe to help you make them from scratch.

FF Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies

While I enjoy baking from scratch, I am not averse to keeping good quality mixes and baking kits in the kitchen.  Using the Classic Brownie Kit to whip up a batch of Brownies, makes the house smell amazing. Also, adding extra mint chocolate chunks and a topping of crushed candy cane turns these into a festive treat. Especially handy during the busy Christmas holiday season.

FF Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies

As soon as you bite into these rich chocolate brownies a range of textures hits your mouth.  Soft fudgey chocolate brownie, crisp mint chocolate chunks, chewy crushed candy cane all blend together to create a flavour sensation.  Perfect for a quick bake when unexpected guests arrive.  Welcoming them in with the aroma of baking chocolate. Is there anything better?

Close up of broken candy cane on top of a chocolate drizzled brownie.
Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies

Everything you need to bake delicious Brownies is included in the kit.  Yet, if you are unable to get hold of the Classic Brownie Kit then please use the recipe for Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites.  Either halve the recipe, or double the quantity of candy canes, chocolate drizzle and mint chocolate.

Recipe: Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies makes 9

Classic Brownie Kit available from If I Knew You Were Coming alternatively use the brownie recipe for my Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites *follow the ingredient list and tin size for * recipe. You will make more brownies

2 Large Free Range Eggs

115g/4.5oz Unsalted Butter softened at room temperature

50g/2oz Dark Mint Chocolate chopped into chunks – I use Elizabeth Shaw Chocolates

100g/4oz Milk Chocolate

2 Peppermint Candy Canes

Method: Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6, 400F.

Making The Brownie Batter

  • First of all set out the baking tin included in the kit and place on to a baking tray.  Alternatively line a 9” x 9” square tin with aluminium foil.
  • Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof microwaveable bowl and heat on medium powder until just melted. Stir until completely liquid and set to one side to cool.
  • Whisk the eggs and sugar together until fully combined.
  • Pour the eggs slowly into the cooled chocolate mixture and stir to incorporate.
  • Sieve the cocoa and flour into the chocolate/egg mix and fold in until just combined.
FF Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
Making the Brownie batter.
  • Pour the thick, chocolate, brownie batter into the prepared baking tin.
  • Scatter over the chocolate chips from the kit and the mint chocolate chunks.

Baking The Peppermint Brownies

  • Place the Brownies into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
  • The Brownies are baked when the top is set and shiny with a slight crackle. There should be a very slight jiggle in the centre.
  • Once baked remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • As soon as the Brownies are cooled peel away the foil.  Cut into 9 even sized squares and place on a cooling rack, spaced well apart.
FF Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
Making, baking and cutting the brownies.

Decorating The Candy Cane Brownies

  • Melt the milk chocolate for drizzling in the microwave and transfer to a small, disposable piping bag.  Alternatively use a plastic zip lock bag and cut one corner off, leaving a small hole.
  • Take the candy canes and place in a small plastic bag.  Place on to a solid surface and use a rolling pin to break the canes into small pieces.
  • Drizzle melted chocolate over each individual brownie, then sprinkle over some crushed candy cane.
FF Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
Finishing the Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies

Serve straight away, while the chocolate drizzle is still gooey.  Leave to set before storing in an airtight container.  Eat within 5 days.

Brownie Pinterest image with descriptive graphs.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies then you may also like these:

Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies

FF Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies

Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies

FF Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cupcakes

FF Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies

Baking should be fun and not stressful. So having some reliable mixes and baking kits in the kitchen cupboard, especially during extra busy times of the year such as Christmas, simply makes sense. Also they make great presents for those who are just learning to bake. As well as being reliable the Complete Brownie Kit is also versatile see my recipe for Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake.

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

Sammie xx

If I Knew You Were Coming provided the Complete Brownie Kit for me to make this recipe. I have not been paid to write this post. All content, opinions and photography are my own. No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

Festive mint chocolate baked squares on a slate platter surrounded with silver tinsel
Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
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Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns

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Christmas will soon be upon us and among the festive food chocolate plays a prominent role.  Whether in advent calendars, selection packs, gold coins or the many foil wrapped, boxed and displayed chocolate treats, it is central to celebration feasting.  Therefore these Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns are the perfect treat to share and enjoy over the holiday season, or any special occasion.

FF Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns
Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns

Since, if you’re going to make a chocolate bun it really should be THE BEST tasting chocolate bun ever.  While light and fluffy these buns are packed with chocolate chips and finished with a thick chocolate icing.  Also these buns tick every box , not too sweet, not too rich, simply the perfect balance of flavour and texture baked into the very best tasting breakfast bun.  Alternatively eaten with coffee as an afternoon treat, these buns need no excuse to be eaten!

FF Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns
Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns

Chocolate Buns – the ultimate breakfast – dessert

While these incredible tasting, chocolate packed buns were made with Christmas in mind, there really is no reason at all to stop you baking them at other times.  Any chocolate lover would appreciate a birthday breakfast of Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns.  Especially if you have friends staying, sleepovers, special occasions, all the perfect excuse to bake.  Finally, they are made and left to prove overnight, so all that’s left to do is bake and glaze in the morning.  Easy.

FF Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns
Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns

As soon as my chief taste testers, here at Feasting headquarters had tasted these buns, success was proclaimed.  Even from the harshest of my critics.  Yummy, mmm are there more, escaped from messy chocolate mouths.  As for me, the harshest judge of all, well, I am impressed.  All of the attempts at making the perfect chocolate swirl bread have paid off.  Flavour and texture in perfect chocolate swirled harmony.

FF Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns

Recipe: Double Chocolate Iced Buns makes 10

300ml/10.5ml Whole Milk

75g/3oz Unsalted Butter

7g Dried Yeast

2tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

1tsp Caster Sugar

2 Large Free Range Eggs

50g/2oz Cocoa Powder – I use Callebaut

500g1lb 2oz Strong White Flour

7g Salt – I use Maldon

250g Milk Chocolate Chips or chopped chocolate – do not use stabilised chocolate chips, as you would for chocolate chip cookies, the chocolate should melt when baked.

Glaze:

250g/9oz Icing Sugar

50g/2oz Cocoa Powder

Method:

Note: I strongly recommend using a stand mixer with dough hook attachment for mixing the dough.  The chocolate dough has a high butter content and is extremely sticky.  Using a stand mixer ensures thorough mixing of the dough.

Making the chocolate brioche dough

  • Measure the milk into a microwaveable jug and then add the butter broken into small pieces.  Zap in the microwave until the milk is slightly warmed.  It should feel the same as body temperature.  Also the butter will soften and start to melt.
  • Pour the warmed milk/butter into the bowl of the stand mixer.
  • Add the yeast, sugar, vanilla extract and both eggs to the bowl.
  • Next add the flour, cocoa powder and salt.
  • With the dough hook attached mix slowly until the ingredients are combined into a dough.  Continue mixing on medium speed for a further 20 minutes.
  • Stop the mixer, lift the dough hook and scrape any dough back into the bowl. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in a draft free place until doubled in size.  This first prove may take up to 2 hours.

Shaping the chocolate dough into rolls

  • As soon as the dough is ready, turn out on to a lightly floured worktop.  A plastic scraper will help release all of the dough from the bowl.
  • Using the technique shown in Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf, pull out the dough and press into the centre. Continue around the edge until the dough is neat and smooth.
  • Roll the dough out until it is 30.5cm D x 35.5cm W (12” x 14”) rectangle.
  • Sprinkle the chocolate chips/chopped chocolate evenly over the dough.
FF Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns
Making the dough and preparing the chocolate buns.
  • Rolling from the wide side of the dough, take the front edge, starting at one side, roll and tuck the chocolate and dough.  Continue across the front edge of the dough until you have formed the beginning of a roll.  Evenly roll the entire dough, tucking and ensuring it is even.  Finish with the seam underneath the finished roll.
  • Using a sharp knife cut off the uneven sides.  Divide the roll in half and then cut 5 even potions from each half.  Saw through the dough, using the blade to cut through.
  • Place the buns into a large, well buttered baking tin with deep sides. Alternatively  butter 2 deep 8 inch cake tins and place 5 chocolate buns into each.  Cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight.  The dough will prove very slowly in the cold fridge.
Creating the perfect chocolate swirl.

Baking The Double Chocolate Chip Buns

  • The next morning remove the chocolate buns from the fridge and allow to come up to room temperature, approximately 30 minutes.
  • While the buns are warming preheat the oven 200C/180C fan, 400F, gas mark 6.
FF Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns
Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns before and after an overnight prove.
  • As soon as the buns have warmed place in to the centre of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • While the buns are baking make the chocolate icing glaze.  Weigh the icing sugar and cocoa into a large jug.  Add approximately 6 tablespoons of hot water and stir to mix. The icing should be thick yet still able to pour.  If needed add extra hot water one tablespoon at a time.  Note – the icing will thicken on cooling.
  • Check the buns after 30 minutes.  They are baked when the top of the buns are firm and sounds hollow when tapped.
  • Once baked remove from the oven.
  • Run a palette knife around the outside edge of the buns, carefully lifting the edge of the buns as you do so.
  • Place a large board, (I use a chopping board) over the top of the baking tin. Using oven gloves to protect from the heat turn the buns out of the tin.
  • Again place a serving dish over the board flip over and the chocolate buns will be right side up, ready to be glazed.
  • Use a knife to gently cut through where each bun joins the next.  Move the buns so there is a small gap between them, this ensures the glaze can drip down the sides.
FF Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns
Baking and turning out the buns.

Pouring on the icing

  • While the buns are still hot pour over the thick, glossy, chocolate icing.
FF Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns
Glazing the Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns

Serve the buns warm for breakfast as an extra special treat.  While these buns are best eaten on the day they are baked they will keep for 2 days in an airtight container.  A quick 10 second zap in the microwave warms cold buns ready to eat.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns you may also like these:

Homemade Chelsea Buns

FF Homemade Chelsea Buns
Homemade Chelsea Buns

Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread

FF Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread

Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf

FF Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns
Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf

Make ahead recipes  are a great way to enjoy incredible feasts without having to get up early or spend all day in the kitchen. Because spending time with family and friends enjoying food together is always more important than being stuck in the kitchen, away from the fun. While it is fun to bake and cook together, not everyone has large, open plan kitchens that make this possible. Therefore having this recipe enables you to serve freshly baked buns with minimal effort.

Would you like more make ahead recipes, here on Feasting is Fun?

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

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Dark Chocolate Drizzle Pear Ginger Pavlova

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Sometimes ideas that seem to come out of nowhere, using simple, on hand ingredients, are the very best. And that’s exactly how this Dark Chocolate Drizzle Pear Ginger Pavlova came about. Since having egg whites left over, making a meringue is my go-to recipe. While adding in stem ginger for flavour and warmth, tinned pear halves, from the cupboard, as a topping seemed a no brainer! Finally, adding whipped cream, a dark chocolate drizzle and you have an elegant dessert that looks as sensational as it tastes.

FF Chocolate Drizzled Pear Ginger Pavlova

Using leftover egg whites to make Pavlova is a really great way to create something incredible. Since they whip up to a much greater volume when not fridge cold, I leave them out on the worktop the night before I need them. While it may seem strange to add white wine vinegar to meringue, it’s use results in a marshmallow, chewy inner. Resulting in a great texture contrast with the crisp outer shell.

FF Dark Chocolate Drizzle Pear Ginger Pavlova
Dark Chocolate Drizzle Pear Ginger Pavlova a celebration centrepiece.

The Beauty Of Baking A Pavlova

Baking low and slow, dries the outer Pavlova shell, whilst protecting that cloud like inner. While the chopped stem ginger provides hits of warmth in every mouthful. Cool, flavoured whipped cream is the perfect topping for any Pavlova. And soft, yielding pears, drizzled in deep, dark chocolate complete the flavour profile of this dessert.

FF Dark Chocolate Drizzle Pear Ginger Pavlova
Dark Chocolate Drizzle Pear Ginger Pavlova

Glittering, sparkly and beautiful, this dessert is perfect to serve at the end of an elegant dinner party. Also, with Christmas, Thanksgiving and the holiday season coming up, not only do the flavours reflect the colder months of the year, it’s a simple dessert to pull together. And, aside from the initial whipping of the meringue, you need do nothing while this beauty bakes away in the oven. Since it’s really an assembly job, needing only a little whipping, a ping in the microwave. Resulting in an elegant dessert to share and wow your guests with.

Recipe: Dark Chocolate Drizzle Pear Ginger Pavlova serves 8-12

1/2 Fresh Lemon

4 Large Free Range Egg Whites at room temperature

200g/7oz Caster Sugar

1tsp Cornflour – I use Doves Farm as it is certified gluten free

1tsp White Wine Vinegar

2 Balls Stem Ginger chopped finely

400ml Double Cream

1tsp Ground Ginger

1/2tsp Vanilla Bean Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

2tbsp Syrup from Stem Ginger Jar

2 x 415g tins Pear Halves in natural fruit juice

50g/2oz Dark Chocolate minimum 70% cocoa

Optional – Edible Gold Stars available from Lakeland

Method: Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan, 350F. gas mark 4

You will need a large baking tray lined with baking parchment. Draw a 22.5cm/9″ circle, in pencil, on to the baking parchment and then turn the baking parchment over. As soon as the meringue is made stick it down with a little of it. Also an electric whisk, either hand held or using a stand mixer, will make the whole process much easier.

Making And Baking The Ginger Spiced Pavlova

  • First of all, take the bowl in which the eggs will be whisked and rub the inside liberally with the lemon half.
  • Now add the egg whites to the bowl.
  • Whisk on a high speed until the whites are light and voluminous.
  • Add the caster sugar one tablespoon at a time, continually whisking on a medium/high speed. Whisk for 2-3 minutes between each addition.
  • As soon as half of the sugar is added, up the amount to 2 tablespoons each time.
  • Continue whisking until all of the sugar is added and has a glossy sheen.
  • Stop the whisk and rub a little of the meringue between your forefinger and thumb. If it feels gritty whisk for another couple of minutes.
  • When the meringue is silky and smooth add the cornflour, white wine vinegar and chopped stem ginger.
  • Using a large spoon fold the ingredients into the meringue, taking care to knock out as little of the whipped in air as possible.
  • Spoon the meringue on to the baking parchment.
FF Dark Chocolate Drizzle Pear Ginger Pavlova
Creating the ginger meringue base.
  • Using a palette knife spread the meringue out to fill the circle template.
  • Slightly build up the sides of the pavlova.
  • Place the pavlova into the centre of a preheated oven and immediately turn the heat down to 140C/120C fan, 275F, gas mark 1.
  • Bake for 2 and 1/2 hours.
  • After the baking time has elapsed turn the oven off and allow the meringue to cool slowly, as the oven cools.
FF Dark Chocolate Drizzle Pear Ginger Pavlova
Making and baking the Pavlova.

Filling The Baked Meringue

  • When the meringue has completely cooled it can be filled and decorated.
  • Drain the pears from the juice and leave in a bowl to slightly dry out.
  • Chop up the dark chocolate, place in a heatproof, microwaveable bowl and heat on medium power for 30 seconds at a time. Stir the chocolate after each heating burst. As soon as it starts to melt remove from the microwave and continue stirring until it is fully melted. Set to one side to cool slightly.
  • Pour the chilled cream into a clean large bowl. Add the sugar, ground ginger and vanilla bean paste.
  • Whisk the cream until it is thickened, stopping when it is still smooth and floppy.
  • Remove the meringue from the parchment paper and place on to a plate.
  • Spoon the whipped cream on to the centre of the pavlova, inside the raised rim.
  • Drizzle two tablespoons of ginger syrup over the whipped cream.
  • Arrange the pear halves on top of the whipped cream.
  • Finally, drizzle dark chocolate over the entire pavlova.
Filling and decorating the Dark Chocolate Drizzle Pear Ginger Pavlova
  • Finish with a sprinkle of edible gold stars, or alternatively a dusting of edible glitter.
FF Dark Chocolate Drizzle Pear Ginger Pavlova
Dark Chocolate Drizzle Pear Ginger Pavlova

 

FF Dark Chocolate Drizzle Pear Ginger Pavlova
Dark Chocolate Drizzle Pear Ginger Pavlova

Most importantly, assemble at the last possible moment. While the meringue can be made earlier in the day or even the night before, whipping cream, melting chocolate and assembly should, at the earliest, take place just prior to serving dinner. Also, any remaining Pavlova should be covered with cling film and eaten within 24 hours.

Festive looking Pear and Ginger Pavlova with a dark chocolate drizzle and sprinkle of gold stars.

Since all food tastes better when shared, why not wrap up any leftovers and send them home with your guests?

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Dark Chocolate Drizzle Pear Ginger Pavlova you may also like these:

Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova

FF Dark Chocolate Drizzle Pear Ginger Pavlova
Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova

Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova

FF Dark Chocolate Drizzle Pear Ginger Pavlova
Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova

Raspberry Coulis Mixed Berry Pavlova

FF Dark Chocolate Drizzle Pear Ginger Pavlova
Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova

Since Christmas is a time for giving, getting together and sharing, why not make and take this meringue to a family gathering, or dinner party. Because, almost everything can be prepared beforehand. And here are some shortcuts, use thickened cream and bought chocolate sauce. While this dessert is simplicity itself, a few added cheats are always helpful during a busy time of year. Finally it is the people with whom you share this dessert, that ultimately make it a feast.

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

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares

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First of all I want to wish all of my readers a very happy Christmas. And I have a festive looking and delicious sweet treat for you, my Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares. So, close your eyes and imagine biting into a luxury shortbread base, covered in caramel and then topped with velvety smooth chocolate. Finally a festive finish with contrasting white chocolate stars. Christmas in a bite!

FF Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares
Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares a delicious homemade treat.

Christmas Chocolate Sparkle:

Although I attempted to make these last year, also at Christmas time, it resulted in a big mess! Because of lacking confidence the caramel wasn’t cooked for long enough and didn’t set. And this only became apparent after chilling for a good length of time in the fridge. Resulting in an oozing, caramel mess when the squares were cut. So it was time for me to attempt the caramel again.

Since I never give up on a challenge, even if it has taken a whole year, I decided to start again from scratch. First of all a new shortbread recipe for the base. Last year’s attempt used a cookie recipe. Followed by nothing short of sheer bravery, when making the caramel. Please don’t be scared or alarmed, I will talk you through each step, so that you will have success first time and every time you make the caramel. Finally, the chocolate topping needed no alteration. Although I’ve improved the cutting technique, which minimises the risk of the chocolate cracking.

FF Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares
Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares layers of shortbread, caramel and chocolate.

Falling For A Millionaire

Now, I am not known for my sweet tooth – Caramac is an entirely different matter😉 – however, these squares may very well be my undoing. Years ago, when our children were young, a group of us mums would meet up regularly. We all, at that time, had girls who were friends at school. Meeting up gave the girls an opportunity to play together and allowed us mums to get to know each other. 10 years on, I now count two of those wonderful ladies as my best friends.

Overhead image of festive sweet bakes decorated with white chocolate stars. Votive candles are placed on the slate platter.
Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares

One particular time, we met up at my friend Lizzie-Lou’s house. Let me tell you, that lady can cook AND bake! That morning she had been busy in the kitchen, baking with her two gorgeous girls. I honestly cannot remember what they made, except for Millionaires Shortbread. Having never tasted it before I tentatively took a square AND then another. I was hooked! Everything about me shouldn’t have enjoyed the sweet, chocolate covered wonders. But I did, ooh I so did. I’m embarrassed now to think back and wonder how many squares I ate. I simply couldn’t stop!

FF Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares
Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares perfect for sharing.

Friends For Life:

So this post and this recipe are dedicated to my beautiful friends Lizzie-Lou and K. For the love, friendship and support they have given and continue to give. I have learned so much from both of them and wherever we may be, we will always be friends. Looking back over the years, they have truly proven the backbone of this blog. That is, that food really does taste better when it is shared and feasting is fun when friends or family take part.

Recipe: Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares makes 18

For The Shortbread Base:

300g/10oz Plain White Flour

200g/7oz Unsalted Butter – softened

100g/4oz Caster Sugar

1 Large Free Range Egg

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

2tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – I use Nielsen-Massey

For The Caramel Middle:

100g/4oz Golden Syrup

150g/5oz Unsalted Butter

379g Can of Condensed Milk – I use Carnation

1/8tsp Salt

For The Chocolate Topping:

200g/7oz Milk Chocolate

100g/4oz Dark Chocolate

White Chocolate Stars – available from Waitrose

Method: Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan, gas mark 3, 325F.

Lightly butter a 28cm x 20cm x 5cm (11″x 8″x 2″) swiss roll tin and line with baking parchment.

Making The Shortbread Base:

  • First of all, add the softened butter, caster sugar, vanilla bean paste and salt into a large bowl. Whisk until pale and creamy.
  • Next sift in the plain flour and then stir with a spoon until the whole shortbread dough comes together.
  • Tip the shortbread dough into the prepared tin and then using the back of a spoon press the dough evenly into the tin.
  • Prick the shortbread dough all over with a fork. This will stop any air bubbles forming under the cooked shortbread.
  • Now place the tin into the centre of the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time turn the tin around, this helps the shortbread  to bake evenly
  • The shortbread is baked when it is a golden colour and firm to touch.
  • As soon as the shortbread is baked remove the tin from the oven and set to one side.
FF Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares
The shortbread layer. Chilling the dough will give a smoother result.

Making The Caramel Centre:

  • Add the butter, golden syrup and condensed milk to a medium sized saucepan, over a medium heat.
  • Stir continuously until the butter is melted, then increase the heat to bring the liquid up to a bubbling boil. Continue to stir. The mixture will gradually become thicker and as it does it will darken.
  • Once thickened, remove the caramel mixture from the heat and spoon over the cooled shortbread.
  • Using an offset palette knife spread the caramel so that it completely covers the shortbread.
  • Set the caramel shortbread to one side to cool completely.
FF Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares
Making the caramel layer.

Creating The Chocolate Topping And Adding Decorations:

  • Break the chocolate up and place into a heatproof, microwaveable bowl.
  • Heat the chocolate for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between.
  • As soon as the chocolate has started to melt, remove the bowl from the microwave and stir. Continue stirring until the chocolate is completely liquid. If needed, zap the chocolate in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time, until the chocolate has completely melted.
  • Pour the melted chocolate over the caramel covered shortbread. Again using a clean, offset spatula to spread it evenly.
  • Now, take the tin and rap it against the worktop 3 times. This brings any air bubbles to the surface and leaves the chocolate surface completely smooth.
  • Finally scatter over white chocolate stars and then set to one side to cool.
FF Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares
Melting the chocolate, covering and decorating the Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares.
  • When the chocolate has just set, use a sharp knife to score through the chocolate layer, in the tin, creating the squares. Doing so enables a crisp, clean cut after the chocolate is chilled. Therefore removing the risk of the chocolate shattering on cutting after chilling.
  • Place the tin into the fridge for a couple of hours to completely firm up.
  • Once chilled, remove the slab of chocolate and caramel covered shortbread from the tin, using the parchment paper to help ease it out.
  • Finally, cut through, where the score marks are, so that you have 18 pieces of Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares.
FF Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares
Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares, use a ruler to measure if you prefer each square to be the same size.

Enjoying These Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares At Their Best:

Serve with a smile and something delicious to drink. Either a hot not-too-sweet beverage, alternatively they pair very well with Brandy. Since it is the Season to be Merry!

These Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares are not overly sweet. There is a pleasant balance of flavours that are just sweet enough and they are extremely more-ish 😉.

FF Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares
Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares delicious eaten by candlelight with hot chocolate.

The Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares can be kept in an airtight container for up to one week. In warm weather keep them in the fridge.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares here are some others you may also like:

Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars

FF Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares
Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars

Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies

FF Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares
Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies

Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread

FF Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares
Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread

Traybakes are so versatile. Since they travel well and are ideal, individually wrapped, as an addition to packed lunches and picnics. And so they make ideal Christmas gifts wrapped in cellophane with a big, festive bow. Because Christmas is the season to share, why not hand out bags of these squares to thank your post lady, delivery men, garbage collectors, anyone who would appreciate a thank you.

So, whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun, relax, laugh and enjoy your feast in the company of others.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes

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Today is the first day of December. Visits from Jack Frost over the last few nights and Winter has well and truly arrived. Sparkling pavements and frosted windscreens add to the beauty of crystal clear, blue skies. Inspired by the frosty weather I made these Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes. 

FF Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes
Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes these are definitely not for throwing!

Vanilla and coconut sponge, topped with a whipped, white chocolate buttercream. Ooh that got your attention! And a complete covering of sweetened coconut and dusting of edible Magic Sparkles finishes the decoration. If you like coconut, I can guarantee you’ll love these cupcakes.

FF Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes
Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes full of flavour.

Using Sweetened Shredded Coconut

While there is a potential for these cupcakes to be overly sweet, I can assure you that they are not. Since the sweetened ‘Angel Flakes’ coconut is not, as one would imagine, overly sweet. Rather, the taste is predominantly that of pure coconut, with a little addition of sweetness to enhance the flavour. Resulting in a perfectly balanced, delightful cupcake.

I have been unable to source the ‘Angel Flakes’ from regular shops or supermarkets. However, it is readily available to buy online, from Amazon. Desiccated coconut is a real no no for me. In fact, I find it much sweeter than the coconut used here. Of course, if you like the flavour, then feel free to substitute it in this recipe. Likewise, if you can get hold of freshly grated coconut, that also can be used.

FF Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes
Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes delicious any time of the year.

These cupcakes are a delicious bake for over the festive season. So, why not bake up a batch and share them with your work colleagues or friends? I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t enjoy a delicious, homemade cupcake. And, as Christmas is the season for sharing, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could extend that season throughout the whole year?

Recipe: Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes makes 12

For the cupcake sponge:

125g/4.5oz Unsalted Butter – softened

125/4.5oz Caster Sugar

Scant pinch of salt – I use Maldon

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

3 Large Free Range Eggs

125g/4.5oz Plain White Flour

1.5 tsp Baking Powder

50g/2oz Sweetened Shredded Coconut

2-3tbsp Milk

For the frosting:

400g/14oz Icing Sugar

200g/7oz Unsalted Butter softened

1tsp Vanilla Extract

2tbsp Very Hot Water

100g/4oz White Chocolate

For the decoration:

Approximately 200g/7oz Sweetened Shredded Coconut

Edible glitter

Method: Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan, gas mark 3.5, 325F

Making And Baking The Coconut Cupcakes

  • First of all, line a 12 hole cupcake tin with cupcake cases.
  • Next, in a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt. Whisk until light and creamy.
  • Now add all 3 eggs and the vanilla extract. Then sift in the flour and baking powder. Next add the coconut and whisk until everything is just combined, adding 2 or 3 tablespoons of milk to achieve a soft, dropping consistency.
  • Place a dessertspoon of cake batter into each cupcake case.
  • Finally, put the cupcake tin into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 20-30 minutes.
  • The cupcakes are baked when they are risen, golden and spring back from a light touch.
  • As soon as the cupcakes are baked, remove from the oven.
FF Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes
Making the cupcake batter, filling the cases and baking the cupcakes.
  • Baking the cupcakes at a slightly higher temperature results in a domed rise. This is deliberate, as it helps the shape of a snowball later when icing and covering.
  • Remove the hot cupcakes from the tin and place on to a cooling rack.

Making The White Chocolate Frosting And Piping Onto The Cupcakes

  • While the cupcakes are cooling make the buttercream icing.
  • First, place the softened butter into a large bowl and then sift in the icing sugar. Now add 2 tablespoons of very hot water from a recently boiled kettle and one teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • Whisk, starting on a slow speed and then gradually increasing, whipping until the buttercream is light and fluffy. Set to one side.
  • Next, break up the white chocolate and place in a heatproof, microwaveable bowl. Zap for 20 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chocolate starts to melt. Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir continuously. The residual heat will continue to melt the remaining chocolate.
  • Once the chocolate is completely melted pour it into the buttercream.
  • Now whisk the buttercream and chocolate together, gradually increasing the speed, until the frosting is fully combined and cooled.
  • Fit a piping bag with a round piping tip approximately 12mm in diameter.
  • Fill the bag with the whipped, white chocolate, buttercream. Set to one side.
  • Remember to wait until the cupcakes are completely cooled before icing.
  • To ice the cupcakes, start in the centre and pipe a double swirl (one on top of the other), keeping an even pressure on the piping bag. Continue until all of the cupcakes have been iced.
FF Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes
Swirled white chocolate frosting on top of each cupcake.

Decorating The Cupcakes

FF Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes
Sweetened Coconut and Magic Sparkles3 used to cover the cupcakes.
  • Next, weigh out the sweetened coconut into a bowl and break any clumps apart with your fingers.
  • To cover the first cupcake, hold it in your hand over the bowl of coconut. Use your other hand to cover the sides of the frosting with the coconut, gently pressing so that it sticks. Rotate the cupcake until the sides are covered with coconut, letting any excess drop back into the bowl. Now sprinkle a good amount over the top of the cupcake. Again pressing lightly so that it sticks to the buttercream. Continue until all of the cupcakes are covered in coconut.
  • Next, sprinkle over the edible sparkles. Add as much glitter as you like!
Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes, decorated with a snowy, festive theme.

These delicious, fun cupcakes are ready to serve straight away. To store, place in an airtight container and eat within 4 days. Although they are at their very best eaten within the first 24 hours of making.

FF Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes
Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes too good to keep to yourself!

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes you may also like these:

Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes

FF Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes
Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes

Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes

FF Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes
Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes

Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes

FF Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes
Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes can be made gluten free.

While baking these coconut cupcakes with the festive season in mind, they would be a delicious treat at any time of the year. Because, baking to share, with love stirred in abundance, also makes a delicious treat for family, friends, or work colleagues. And food always tastes better when it is shared, these cupcakes are ideal for sharing.

So, whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, over this festive season, I hope you have lots of fun and laughter preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie xx

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Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf

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Christmas is only four weeks away and I am thoroughly enjoying the build up. Especially when it comes to creating new recipes to share with you here. Food is a big part of our Christmas, with tradition dictating our ham is cooked on Christmas Eve, as well as fresh sausage rolls and mince pies. And this year there will definitely be a Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf on offer for breakfast on the big day itself. Filling the house with scents of Christmas spice, as it is sliced and toasted.

FF Spiced Christmas Fruit Loaf
Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf delicious toasted for breakfast.

Packed full of dried fruits including dates, cherries and cranberries, in a brioche style loaf. While the added milk, eggs and butter used in a Brioche give it a wonderfully soft crumb. Perfect for eating sliced as is, or toasted and slathered in butter, this loaf really does smell and taste of Christmas.

FF Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf
Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf egg wash gives the bronzed, glossy top when baked.

Creating a flavour packed sweet bread loaf

Using the best Medjool Dates from The Medjool Date Company, certainly enhances the taste of this loaf. While sweeter than my Spiced Fruit Loaf, it does not hold back on the Christmas spices of Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg and Allspice. Resulting in the most amazing aroma, filling the kitchen and then the house, as this beautifully bronzed loaf bakes.

FF Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf
Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf perfect with a cup of tea mid afternoon.

Baked in the British Bakeware, 3lb Farmhouse Loaf Tin, this fruited bread never sticks. And the deep sides of the tin ensure the dough is supported as it rises. Resulting in an evely risen loaf, without a muffin top. The advantage being, a great shaped loaf that is easy to slice and the slices fit in the toaster. Also, this loaf tin has become a treasured piece of kitchen bakeware.

Recipe: Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf

2 Large Free Range Eggs

Approx 320mls Whole Milk – to make volume to 350mls when added to eggs

1tsp Caster Sugar

7g Easy Bake Dried Yeast – I use Allinson in the green container/sachets

500g/1lb 2oz Strong White Flour

50g/2oz Unsalted Butter – at room temperature and cut into cubes plus extra for greasing the loaf tin

7g Salt – I use Maldon

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – I use Nielsen-Massey

2tsp Ground Cinnamon

1tsp Ground Ginger

1tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg

1/2tsp Ground Allspice

100g/4oz Medjool Dates – I like The Medjool Date Co.

100g/4oz Dried Cranberries

50g/2oz Glacé Cherries

1 Egg whisked with a teaspoon of water for the egg wash

Method:

A stand mixer was used to make and knead the dough for this loaf. You may choose to make this by hand, however, the dough is incredibly sticky. So using a mixer is recommended.

Making the Christmas spiced fruit dough

  • First of all, measure 320mls of milk into a microwaveable jug. Zap on full power for 20 seconds. Stir and check the temperature, it should be the same as body temperature.
  • Into the slightly warmed (not fridge cold) milk add 2 whole eggs. The volume should be 350mls. Tip away any small excess of milk.
  • Pour the milk and eggs into the large bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Next add the sugar and yeast. Stir with a sooon to break up the eggs and mix the ingredients.
  • Now add the flour, on top of the liquid ingredients. This forms a barrier so that the yeast does not come into direct contact with the next addition, salt.
  • Add the salt and cubes of butter.
  • Fit a dough hook to the stand mixer and mix on a slow speed for 10 minutes.
  • While the dough is mixing prepare the fruit; remove stones from the dates and cut in half, cut each half into four pieces. Next cut each glacé cherry into quarters. Place the cranberries, cherries and dates in a bowl together.
  • After 10 minutes of mixing, stop the mixer and lift the dough hook. Remove a small piece of dough and stretch it. The dough is properly kneaded when it can stretch, without tearing, thinly enough to see light through it. This is called the windowpane test. If the dough tears, lower the dough hook and continue mixing for a further 2 minutes, after which test it again.

Adding fruit and spices to the dough

  • Once the dough passes the windowpane test, add the fruit and spices.
  • Lower the dough hook and mix again on low speed for a further 2 minutes.
  • After the fruit is incorporated stop the mixer and lift the dough hook.
  • Use clean fingers to scrape the dough from the hook and place it in the bowl.
FF Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf
The prepared fruit and dough ready for it’s first prove.
  • Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and place it somewhere warm and away from draughts.
  • Now leave the dough to double in size.
  • NOTE: The presence of spices will slow down the action of the yeast. Therefore, the dough may take longer, up to 2 hours or more, to double in size.

Shaping the dough and proving for a second time

  • While the dough is proving thoroughly grease a 3lb deep farmhouse loaf tin with butter.
  • When the dough has at least doubled in size, scrape it out on to a lightly floured surface.
  • Press the dough into a rough rectangular shape. Now fold the bottom third up and then fold the top third down, so that it slightly overlaps the previous fold.
  • Finally, tuck either end under, so that you have an oval-ish shape. Place the shaped dough into the buttered loaf tin. Cover with the same tea towel as before and leave, as before until doubled in size.
  • While the dough is proving preheat the oven to 220/200fan, gas mark 7, 425F.
  • As soon as the dough has doubled in size, remove the tea towel. Using a pastry brush lightly brush over the egg wash.

Baking the Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf

FF Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf
Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf ready for the oven.
  • Now place the loaf carefully into the centre of the preheated oven. Bake for 10 minutes before reducing the oven heat to 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6, 400F.
  • Continue baking for a further 20 minutes and then remove the loaf from the oven.
  • Turn the loaf out on to a cooling rack. Rap the base of the loaf with your knuckle. The bread is baked if the rapping produces a hollow sound. If not, place the loaf, on its side back in the oven and check every 5 minutes until it is fully baked.
FF Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf
Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf fresh from the oven.

Allow the Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf to fully cool before slicing.

This fruited loaf will last for 3 days in a proper bread bin. Serve sliced, as is, or slice and toast for a delicious, fruit and spice filled breakfast.

Enriched festive bread filled with dried vine fruits and Christmas spices.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf you may also like these:

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies 

FF Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies

Snowy Black Forest Roulade 

FF Spiced Christmas Fruit Loaf
Snowy Black Forest Roulade – with GLUTEN FREE option.

Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies

FF Spiced Christmas Fruit Loaf
Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies

 

Since you are setting the stand mixer up to make this fruited loaf, why not double up the ingredients and make two loaves? Sharing is inherently part of Christmas. I can think of no better reason, than to give one loaf away. Surely anyone would be happy to receive the gift of a freshly baked, Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf!

So, whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun and remember food always tastes better when it’s shared.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes

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Happy holidays to all of my lovely readers of Feasting Is Fun. Today’s recipe for Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes topped with mini gingerbread men, I hope will excite you and add some festive cheer to your day.

FF Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes
Festive Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes

Is anyone else else excited about Christmas? For me a large part of the fun of Christmas is in the build up. Getting the children to write Christmas lists, putting up decorations and ordering our turkey and ham from Graig Farm. Finally making the Christmas cake, yet knowing it can’t be eaten until Christmas Day is always hard on certain members of the family. So, I baked these Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes. Perfect festive sweet treats to enjoy, during the build up to the big day!

Single, individual spiced sponge with miniature festive person on to of the icing.
Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes

Warning, the frosting on these cupcakes is truly addictive! Because it really, REALLY, tastes of gingerbread and once you’ve tasted it I can guarantee that you will want more. And so, in order to provide balance, the cupcake itself is only lightly spiced with ginger. The final combination of both cake and frosting is absolutely perfect. Warming, sweet and not heavy, these really are the perfect festive, sweet treat.

A single small, spiced, festive individual cake with two candles alight behind it.
Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes

Because these cupcakes are so yummy, they disappear very quickly. Always a good sign when everyone in the family absolutely loves them. And I have a feeling that making these may well become a Christmas tradition like so many other things have, in our home.

Christmas Traditions

Traditions include, decorations going up on December 1st, making mince pies then giving them to our neighbours whilst carol singing and cooking the ham on Christmas Eve. Also, tracking Santa Claus’ schedule, whilst munching on cheese straws and playing cards, have all become Christmas traditions. Each as important as putting out a drink, mince pie and carrot, before bed, on the night before Christmas.

Three festive spiced individual sponges topped with spiced whipped buttercream and a little man.
Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes

Each of the traditions has crept upon us, unplanned. If something has been done two years in a row, the children automatically dictate that it is now a tradition. So, this year, I think I will make some Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes to hand out whilst carol singing, alongside the warm mince pies. We are blessed to call our neighbours friends, so sharing homemade goodies with them, whilst they listen to our singing is always fun!

Do you have family traditions at Christmas? I’d love to hear about them.

Recipe: Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes makes 12

For the cupcakes:

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter softened

175g/6oz Caster Sugar

1/8tsp Salt – I use Maldon

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

3 Large Free Range Eggs

175g/6oz Plain White Flour

2tsp Baking Powder

1tsp Ground Ginger

For the frosting:

500g/1lb 2oz Gingerbread Natural Flavoured Icing Sugar from Sugar and Crumbs

alternatively use the same quantity regular icing sugar (confectioners sugar) and add 2tsp of ground ginger

250g/9oz Unsalted Butter softened

2tbsp Very Hot Water

Mini Gingerbread Men (made by Culpitt and White Edible Glitter to decorate both available online from Amazon.

Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3, 325F.

Making and baking the cupcakes:

  • First of all, line a cupcake tin with 12 deep cupcake/muffin cases
  • Next, in a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt. Whisk, gradually increasing the speed, until pale and creamy.
  • Now add the vanilla extract and whisk until fully incorporated.
  • Into the bowl add the eggs and sift in the flour, baking powder and ground ginger. Then mix together until just combined. Over mixing can result in a tough, not light and airy, cupcake.
  • Spoon the cake batter into the cupcake cases, taking care to ensure that they are evenly filled.
  • Place the tin into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. Once baked each cupcake will spring back from a light touch. The cupcakes will be soft and fairly pale, this is because they have been cooked at a low heat to ensure a flat top.
  • As soon as the cupcakes are baked from the oven. Carefully take each cupcake out of the tin and place on a cooling rack. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before icing.
FF Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes
Making, baking and decorating the cupcakes.

Making the frosting and decorating the cupcakes:

  • So, to make the icing; place the softened butter into a large bowl and sift the icing sugar on top of it. Next add 2 tablespoons of very hot water from a recently boiled kettle. Whisk, starting on a very slow speed and gradually increasing to a high speed. Continue until the icing is very light and creamy.
  • Fit an icing bag with a Wilton round piping tip #12, or use a large disposable piping bag. Fill the bag with the whipped, gingerbread frosting. If using a disposable bag without a tip, snip off the end to leave a 7mm diameter hole – approximately.
  • Check the cupcakes to ensure they are completely cooled, then begin piping the frosting. Keeping an even pressure on the bag pipe a double swirl. One on top of the other, pressing down in the centre before pulling away at the end.
  • Continue piping until all of the cupcakes are frosted.
  • Place a gingerbread man or woman in the centre of the frosting.
  • Finally, finish by sprinkling each cupcake with a dusting of edible glitter.
FF Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes
Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes pretty delicious.

Store the cupcakes in an airtight container. They will keep for up to 4 days, however, you’ll be lucky if they last that long, unless you hide them 😉.

Individual spiced sponge cut through to show inner crumb.
Light and fluffy cupcake sponge.

Serve each cupcake with a smile.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes here are some other festive recipe you may like:

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies

FF Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies

Sparkling Snowflake Cake

FF Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes
Sparkling Snowflake Cake

Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies

FF Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes
Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies

While it is nice enjoying the build up to Christmas Day, the excitement of children, unexpected guests, the hope of snow, it is also important to remember the true meaning of Christmas.

A baby boy, born of a virgin mother, Emmanuel – God with us. Jesus may not have been born on December 25th, yet that is the day we choose to remember His birth. So, amongst all of the hustle and bustle surrounding Christmas, it is important to remember why we celebrate it. Please see Important Stuff for more information.

So, whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchen, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie xx

Note – this is not a sponsored post. I genuinely love Sugar and Crumbs products. No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

Individual spiced cakes baked for the festive season, topped with spiced, whipped buttercream and a small decoration associated with the holidays. Sized for Pinterest with descriptive graphics.
Christmas lights and decorations in the background set the scene for a tray of festive spiced bakes which sparkle.

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