Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova

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.

 

 

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Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies

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.

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Double Chocolate Chip Iced Buns

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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Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf

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. 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. 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. 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. Without exception, this loaf tin is my most used and 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. 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 220/220 fan, gas mark 8.
  • Once the dough has doubled or even trebled 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 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7.
  • 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.

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!

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

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!

FF Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes
Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes perfect for sharing.

The frosting on these cupcakes is truly addictive. It really, REALLY, tastes of gingerbread. So, in order to provide balance, the cupcake itself is only lightly spiced. The combination of both cake and frosting is absolutely perfect. Warming, sweet and not heavy, these really are the perfect treat.

FF Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes
Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes delicious warming flavours.

Christmas A Time For Tranditions:

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

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.

FF Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes
Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes easy to make.

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. 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 and White Edible Glitter to decorate both available online

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

Making and baking the cupcakes:

  • First, 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:

  • 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 😉.

Serve each cupcake with a smile.

FF Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes
Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes light, moist cake topped with whipped buttercream.

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. 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.

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

Sammie xx

Note – this is not a sponsored post. I genuinely love Sugar and Crumbs products.

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Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake

Baking for someone I love has to be one of my favourite things to do. Especially when the recipient is my wonderful Father-in-law. Even more so when it is to celebrate his birthday. While I usually make him a Coffee and Walnut Cake, however, this year I’ve kept all of his favourite flavours and baked them into this beautiful Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake.

FF Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake

Baked in the Heritage Bundt tin from Nordic Ware, this cake is literally a twist on a classic, popular cake. While the distinct mould of the tin creates this incredible, swirl shaped coffee cake, which is defined with the maple syrup icing. Resulting in a stunningly outstanding cake.

FF Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake
Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake mesmerising.

An incredibly moist and delicious cake, that includes walnuts, it is also lump free. Chopping the walnuts very finely ensures their nutty flavour mixes well with the coffee and spices. And the maple syrup icing adds another layer of flavour. Resulting in a light, not heavy sponge, that tastes fantastic.

FF Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake
Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake full of flavour.

My Father-in-law is a very special and incredibly talented man. Much loved and respected, I consider myself to be very blessed to be part of his family. A wonderful Dad and Grandad, with a gentle sense of humour. Most of all, our children love to hear stories of his past adventures which span many centuries. Especially when he tells them of his time as a Pirate!!

FF Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake
Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake dazzling.

No candles are needed to light up this dazzlingly, delicious cake.

Recipe: Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake serves 10-12

250g/9oz Unsalted Butter – softened to room temperature

250g/9oz Soft Light Brown Sugar

1/4tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

2tsp Camp Coffee or 1.5tsp Instant Coffee – dissolved in 1tsp water

5 Large Free Range Eggs

100g/4oz Plain Natural Yoghurt

75g/3oz Walnut Halves or pieces – chopped or processed until they are very fine. Similar in texture to ground almonds

1/4tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg

1/4tsp Cinnamon

200g/7oz Plain White Flour

3tsp Baking Powder

150g/5oz Icing Sugar

3tbsp Maple Syrup – I like Pure Maple

White, silver or golden sprinkles

Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3, 310F.

Making And Baking The Bundt Cake

Note: I always use Wilton cake release to guarantee a clean, sharp edged finish. Apply using a soft pastry brush, taking care to ensure every part of the Bundt tin is evenly covered. Alternately brush on melted butter in the same manner, followed by a light coating of flour.

  • First of all, prepare the Bundt tin as per the instructions above.
  • Whisk the softened butter, sugar and salt together in a large bowl for at least 5 minutes. The mixture should be light and creamy.
  • Add the vanilla extract and the eggs to the bowl. Continue whisking until all of the ingredients are well mixed.
  • Now add the yoghurt, but do not stir.
  • Next add the finely chopped walnuts, then sift in the flour, baking powder and spices.
  • Using a metal spoon, fold all of the ingredients together until they are fully combined.
  • Spoon the cake batter into the prepared Bundt tin, pressing down to ensure the tin does not have any air gaps. Smooth the top of the batter.
  • Place the Bundt tin into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 50-60 minutes.
  • To test if the cake is fully baked, insert a wooden skewer. The cake is baked when the skewer comes out clean. Also the cake should spring back from a light touch and have shrunk away from the sides of the Bundt tin.
  • As soon as the cake is baked remove the from the oven. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes.
  • Finally, turn the Bundt cake out on to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before icing.
FF Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake
Filling the tin, baking and turning out the Bundt Cake.

Adding The Decoration

  • First, sift the icing sugar into a bowl.
  • Add the maple syrup and stir well. And then add up to one tablespoon of cold, tap water. Stir well so that the icing is a smooth, fairly thick consistency.
  • Fill a small, disposable piping bag with the maple syrup icing.
  • To ice the cake, first place the cooling rack over a large baking tray. This will allow any excess icing to drip through.
  • Snip the very end of the piping bag off, leaving a 3-4mm hole.
  • With the cake in front of you, follow the line of one swirl and pipe the icing along it. Double back on yourself, piping over the original line to ensure an even finish.
  • Continue in the same manner until all of the swirls have been iced.
  • Finish the decoration by adding sprinkles on top of the icing. Start at the bottom and finish approximately two thirds of the way up the cake. Most importantly, make sure the sprinkles all finish at the same point.
FF Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake
First the icing, then add the sprinkles.

To serve, place the cake on to a plate or cake stand. Since I do not have a cake lifter, two palette knives, positioned either side of the cake, make easy work of moving the cake.

FF Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake
Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake ready to serve.

No waiting needed! Since the icing sets pretty quickly, simply slice and serve, with a smile. Especially if you are baking this for a celebration. As has been said, a celebration without a cake is simply a meeting 😉.

FF Cake baked in Heritage Bundt Pan
Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake

If you have enjoyed the recipe for this Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake then you may also like these:

Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake

FF Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake
Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake

Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake

FF Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake
Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake

Boozy Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake

FF Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake
Boozy Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake

 

While shop bought cakes may be convenient, nothing compares to the taste of a home baked one. Since supermarkets cannot bake love into a cake, they simply cannot compete. Most of all, when made with love and given with a smile, homemade cakes are unique gift.

So, whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing a feast. Finally, remember that food tastes better when it is 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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Snowy Black Forest Roulade

Since I began joining in with the #GBBOTwitterBakeAlong, it has been so much fun. Each challenge stretches my baking skills and creativity. So wanting to create a gluten free bake that more people can make and enjoy, I made this Snowy Black Forest Roulade.

FF Gluten Free Black Forest Roulade

Making A Genoise Sponge

Never having made a gluten free genoise sponge before, I wanted to try. No fat is added when making a Genoise Sponge. Rather, whisking eggs and sugar  until light and foamy. And then you carefully fold both the flour and cocoa powder into the mix.  Most importantly is to be careful not to knock out the whipped air. Resulting in a baked sponge that is beautifully light.

FF Hand Piped Chocolate Trees
Snowy Black Forest Roulade

Because adding cocoa can have a drying effect on the sponge, I worried whether the cake would hold up to being rolled. Since a good roulade sponge  should withstand rolling, without cracking. So the possibilities of how wrong this sponge could go, seemed endless. Maybe this bake would fail? Yet the only way to know, was to try.

FF Gluten Free Dessert
Gluten Free Snowy Black Forest Roulade

Gluten Free Genoise Sponge Roulade

So, the gluten free chocolate genoise sponge was made and baked. And as you can see from the photos, it did indeed roll, without cracking and the flavour is utterly delicious. Light, soft, chocolate sponge, filled with kirsch flavoured whipped cream and soft, sweet cherries. One mouthful of this Snowy Black Forest Rouladand I  am  completely lost in one of my favourite flavour combinations.

Finally, my taste testers were happily enjoying eatythe roulade, completely unaware it was gluten free. A very positive sign. Since I have baked quite a few gluten free recipes, it’s a thrill when the texture and flavour are spot on.  A soft, yielding sponge, that tastes just like a sponge should. As a result of this bake I have plans to make another gluten rolled sponge, that is simply flavoured with vanilla or lemon.

I find that the proof of the pudding is in the eating! And when plates and bowls are left empty, I am satisfied that whatever I have made is a hit. Our children can be brutally honest, especially Snugs, our youngest daughter. She scored this Snowy Black Forest Roulade at 9 out of 10. Another success for the Feasting kitchen.

Recipe: Snowy Black Forest Roulade

1tbsp Unsalted Butter

4 Large Free Range Eggs

80g Caster Sugar

50g Gluten Free Plain White Flour – I use Doves Farm alternatively use Plain White Flour (for non gluten free Roulade)

50g Cocoa Powder plus an extra 2tbsp – I use Callebaut

1tsp Baking Powder – I use Waitrose as it is gluten free

Small Pinch of Salt – I use Maldon

300ml Double Cream

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

4tsp Icing Sugar

1 Tin Cherry Pie Filling (410g)

Optional 2tbsp Kirsch Liquer

100g Dark Chocolate

50g White Chocolate

Optional – White Edible Glitter

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

Note: To bake the sponge for this Snowy Black Forest Roulade you will need a baking tray that measures 38cm x 25cm x 3cm (15″ x 10″ x 1″).

Creating the Chocolate Genoise Sponge Batter

  • First of all grease the baking tray with butter and line the base with baking parchment.
  • Sift the gluten free flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
  • Next, in a large bowl, or if you have a stand mixer use the bowl with the whisk attachment, add the sugar and eggs. Whisk continuously for at least 5 minutes, until the egg/sugar mixture has more than tripled in size. The mixture will be a pale cream colour that is very light and airy. It should leave a ribbon trail, that lasts a few seconds, after you remove the whisk.
  • Tip the sifted ingredients into the whisked egg mixture and using a large metal spoon, carefully fold the sifted ingredients in. The aim is to retain as much air within the finished cake batter as possible.
  • Once the ingredients are completely combined pour the mixture in to the prepared baking tray. Use a palette knife to ensure that the cake batter is evenly spread, ensuring that it reaches all of the corners.
FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade
Making the sponge batter and filling the baking tray.

Baking and Cooling the Sponge

  • Now place the baking tray into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • To test if the sponge is baked press lightly in the centre, when baked the sponge will spring back. Note – be careful not to over bake as this will cause the sponge to be dry and it will then be harder to roll without cracking.
  • Finally, when the sponge is baked, remove it from the oven.
  • Next, allow the sponge to cool in the tin for 2 minutes.
  • While the sponge is cooling, lay a large, just bigger than the sponge, piece of baking parchment on the work top.
  • Dust the baking parchment with the extra 2 tablespoons of cocoa, so that it is evenly covered.
  • Now run a palette knife around the edge of the sponge and then turn it out on to the baking parchment.
  • Very carefully remove the parchment that lined the baking tray.
  • Starting at one side and using the baking parchment to help, gently roll the sponge, while it is still warm.
  • Once rolled, set to one side until completely cooled.
FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade
Please use baking parchment, my brain wasn’t working and I used a pastry mat. It worked absolutely fine but next time I will turn the sponge out on to parchment!

Making the Chocolate Trees:

  • While waiting for the sponge to cool, the chocolate trees can be made.
  • First you will need 2 small disposable piping bags to pipe the trees with.
  • Next break up both types of chocolate and place in heatproof, microwaveable bowls.
  • Heat the chocolate, individually, on medium until it has started to melt.
  • Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir until the chocolate has completely melted.
  • Now fill each piping bag with melted chocolate. Leave the chocolate to cool, until it is still liquid, yet warm, not hot, in the piping bag. As a result of leaving the chocolate to cool, it will be thicker and easier to control whilst piping the trees.
  • Starting with the dark chocolate, pipe tree shapes on to a non stick silicone mat, or baking parchment. The trees should be about 3 inches (7.5cm) high, please see the photo below.
FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade
Pipe the main trunk down then up and then pipe the branches.
  • Allow the dark chocolate to set and then pipe white chocolate on the top of each branch. Leave the trees to completely set before attempting to remove them.
  • It is inevitable that some trees will break as they are removed. This is great as most forest floors have fallen/broken branches on them. So they can be used to add further decoration to the roulade.

Filling and decorating the Snowy Black Forest Roulade:

  • In a large bowl add the cream, vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon of Kirsch and 2 teaspoons of sifted icing sugar – a tea strainer is handy for sifting small amounts.
  • Whisk the cream until it just holds a stiff peak.
  • Unroll the chocolate sponge and then, using a palette knife, spread half of the cream over the sponge.
  • Decant the cherry pie filling into a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of kirsch and stir to mix.
  • Next, using a spoon, place cherries evenly across the sponge, then spoon the syrup in between the cherries.
  • Using the baking parchment roll the sponge into it a log, finishing with the seam underneath.
  • Transfer the Roulade to a suitable plate.
  • Fit a piping bag fitted with a large star tip, then fill the bag with the remaining whipped cream.
  • Pipe single flower stars along the top of the Roulade and then along the sides.
FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade
Building, rolling and piping the Roulade.
  • To finish the decoration, carefully peel the piped chocolate trees away from the non stick surface.
  • Place the trees evenly along the top of the Roulade, pushing them into the piped cream.
  • Use any broken tree parts as forest floor decorations, anchoring them to the roulade with the piped cream.
  • Finally finish the dessert by sifting icing sugar snow over the Roulade, sprinkling edible glitter for added sparkle!
FF Gluten Free Roulade
Snowy Black Forest Roulade

Serve sliced with a smile!

FF Gluten Free Dessert
A slice of Black Forest Roulade.

All the flavour of a Black Forest Gateaux rolled into a stunning, Christmassy, Snowy Black Forest Roulade that is completely gluten free. A dessert that can be enjoyed by more people, without any loss of taste, texture or quality.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for this Snowy Black Forest Roulade here are some other gluten free recipes you may enjoy:

Lemon Ripple Ice Cream 

FF Lemon Ripple Ice Cream
Lemon Ripple Ice Cream

Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova

FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade
Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova gluten free.

Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut

FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade
Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut gluten free.

Gluten free recipes can taste just as great as their regular, wheat based counterparts. Also, creating recipes that can be made and eaten by people on a restricted diet, is an important part of what I do at Feasting is Fun. So you can look forward to more recipes being added, especially with Christmas not very far away.

Finally, whena recipe tastes as good as this Snowy Black Forest Roulade, there is no need to bake separate desserts. And that has to be a good thing, for both those on a restricted diet and the cook!

Enjoy making, baking and creating in your own kitchens.

Sammie xx

I am submitting this Snowy Black Forest Roulade to October’s We Should Cocoa over at Tin and Thyme

FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade

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Sparkling Snowflake Cake

Merry Christmas one and all. Today I am sharing this beautiful Sparkling Snowflake Cake with you.

Sparkling Snowflake Cake www.feastingisfun.com
Sparkling Snowflake Cake

 

This Sparkling Snowflake Cake is stunning and I can take no credit for the beautiful detail. Because the cake is baked in a beautiful Bundt tin made by Nordicware . Amazon, ebay and Lakeland UK are all stockists of Bundt tins, it really is worth shopping around as prices vary. Although Bundt tins are not cheap, treated with care and looked after they will last a life time.

Another beauty of Bundt pans is the beautiful array of delightful shapes available. Although I embellished this Sparkling Snowflake Cake with edible diamonds, a dusting of edible glitter and some piped icing, a dusting of icing sugar would be perfect on it’s own.

Sparkling Snowflake Cake edible diamonds and a dusting of flavoured icing sugar set this cake off www.feastingisfun.com
Sparkling Snowflake Cake

Birthday and Christmas Celebrations

Our youngest daughter should have been a near Christmas baby, however, she obligingly arrived early! So this Sparkling Snowflake Cake was made for her birthday.

Because she isn’t too keen on icing this cake was perfect for her. A deliciously moist vanilla sponge, dusted with flavoured icing sugar. The flavour I used is called Santa’s Snowball, perfect for this beautiful snowflake.

Sparkling Snowflake Cake vanilla sponge dusted with flavoured icing sugar www.feastingisfun.com
Sparkling Snowflake Cake

 

Since I had some edible diamonds if knew they would look perfect on this cake. White, edible, sparkly glitter was also dusted on top of the icing sugar. It is a real shame that it didn’t photograph well, in any light, trust me I tried. Moving the cake aound the house to catch the small amount of sunlight that we get this time of year, shining through the windows. The lengths I will go to trying to get the perfect shot!

You will just have to trust in me that this cake really, really sparkles. It looks so pretty, twinkling like a real snowflake. Although we may not get snow this Christmas, we can certainly make your own!

Sparkling Snowflake Cake catches the light and sparkles like a real snowflake www.feastingisfun.com
Sparkling Snowflake Cake

 

Here is the Sparkling Snowflake Cake lit by candles for our daughter’s special day. Certainly it would make a fantastic alternative to the traditional, fruit laden Christmas Cake. Set on a cake stand, or pretty plate, surrounded by tea light candles which add extra sparkle. Resulting in a glittering, festive feast.

Spending Snowflake Cake stunning with candles www.feastingisfun.com
Sparkling Snowflake Cake

Preparing the Bundt Tin

Here is the incredibly detailed snowflake Bundt tin that I used for this cake, alongside is Wilton bake easy, cake release spray. I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to use cake release spray (or the brush on version) for this tin. I tried this recipe, brushing the tin with melted butter, as I have with previous Bundt bakes and the cake stuck. Badly. It was an epic disaster. I even cried – how silly is that? Finally, determined not to be beaten by a cake tin AND with lots of tips and advice from my Bundt baker friends on Twitter, I rebaked the cake and SUCCESS.

Snowflake Bundt tin and cake release spray.
Snowflake Bundt tin and cake release spray.

 

Now time to share how I made this wonder.

Recipe: Makes one Sparkling Snowflake Cake that will serve 12

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

225g/8oz Caster Sugar

4 Large Eggs

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey 

225g/8oz Self Raising White Flour

1/4tsp Salt

100g/4oz Icing Sugar

Optional – Edible glitter in the colour of your choice and edible diamonds. Both available from cake decorating shops and Amazon.

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

First of all thoroughly spray or brush the Bundt tin with cake release. I will not judge if you want to give it a double coating (I did!).

Making the Cake Batter

  • Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
  • Add the salt, vanilla extract, one third of the flour and 2 eggs. Mix until just incorporated.
  • Next add another third of flour and the last 2 eggs and mix as before.
  • Finally add the remaining flour and gently mix into the cake batter until incorporated, taking care not to over mix.
  • Spoon the cake batter into the prepared Bundt tin ensuring it is evenly spread into all the points.
Ready to go into the oven.
Ready to go into the oven.

Baking the Snowflake Cake

  • Place the tin in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • The cake is cooked when pressed lightly in the center and it springs back, or an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • As soon as the cake is baked remove from the oven and place the tin on a cooling rack or trivet.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin.

  • Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
  • Invert the Bundt tin on to a cooling rack.

Invert the tin onto a cooling rack.

  • Leave for a further 5 minutes. If the cake doesn’t turn out immediately gently tap the tin and the cake should release.
  • If the cake still will not turn out, gently go around the ouside of the cake with a small palette knife. Re-invert the tin on to a cooling rack, the cake should release easily.

Note: Importantly, the more you use a Bundt tin the more non stick it becomes.

Sparkling Snowflake Cake look at the beautiful detail.
Sparkling Snowflake Cake look at the beautiful detail.

Adding Sparkle to the Snowflake Cake

Sparkling Snowflake Cake dusted with flavoured icing sugar.
Sparkling Snowflake Cake
  • Dust the cake liberally with icing sugar.
  • I made a small batch of royal icing, lightly tinted pink and piped detail on to the outer points.
  • Edible diamonds were placed in the round dips, as seen in the photo below.
Sparkling Snowflake Cake edible diamonds, edible glitter and piping add an extra special touch to this already beautiful cake.
Sparkling Snowflake Cake

 

My Sparkling Snowflake Cake is as beautiful as it is delicious. It would make the perfect gift as would the tin. A great tip if you know someone who enjoys baking.

Sparkling Snowflake Cake perfect for Christmas and celebrating www.feastingisfun.com
Sparkling Snowflake Cake perfect for Christmas and celebrating www.feastingisfun.com

If you have Disney’s Frozen fans in your household, a touch of blue, or all white and this cake will have them singing “Let it snow!”

Store the cooledcake in an airtight container and eat within 5 days.

If you enjoyed the recipe for this Sparkling Snowflake Cake you may also like these:

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies

FF Sparkling Snowflake Cake
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies

Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies

FF Sparkling Snowflake Cake
Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies

Snowy Black Forest Roulade 

FF Sparkling Snowflake Cake
Snowy Black Forest Roulade

During the festive season I especially enjoy baking. Rather than relying on shop bought, prepared food (although they have their place), spending time in the kitchen relaxes me. While listening to Christmas carols I am lost in a world of delicious aromas and sparkles. Since it is the season of goodwill, making cookies and mince pies are a great gift for sharing with family, friends and neighbours. Above all it is a time to give thanks for the baby Jesus.

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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Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies. Just think on the deliciousness that is these chocolatey wonders.

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies utterly delicious Christmas treats. www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies utterly delicious Christmas treats. www.feastingisfun.com

Hello everyone how is the run up to Christmas going for you?

This time of year can be completely manic and overwhelming for me and strange as it may seem, a day spent baking and creating, although a luxury, is a great way for me to chill out and really enjoy the festive season.

I have baked these Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies twice now, the second batch was larger because they disappeared so quickly the first time!

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies baking these is the perfect way to get into the festive mood, or escape the seasonal mayhem. www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies baking these is the perfect way to get into the festive mood, or escape the seasonal mayhem. www.feastingisfun.com

Giving Cookies As Christmas Gifts

Ah the look on our little (teenagers but still my babies) cherubs face as I give these cookies away is priceless! I thought I’d done a pretty good job as a mum, teaching them to share. Apparently not!!! Because I’m sure these cookies would be kept in a locked safe if our children had their way.

Rich chocolate cookies, with a hint of brownie flavour, topped with melted white chocolate and sprinkles. Utterly divine, decadent and delicious.

The chocolate smell as these cookies bake will have people knocking at your front door, drawn by the aroma. If it could be bottled, the chocolate smell would be a hit. As it is, we get to bake the cookies and then eat them – sharing of course!

Due to their popularity, I would highly recommend making a double batch of the cookie dough. Since it’s hardly any extra effort and you can choose to bake all the cookies in one hit, or leave half of the dough in the fridge for up to a week.

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies perfect to make, bake and decorate with children. www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies perfect to make, bake and decorate with children. www.feastingisfun.com

My Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies make perfect presents. Pop a few in a cellophane bag, tie with pretty ribbon and hand out to friends, family, neighbours, the postman. I honestly don’t think a gift made with love by ourselves can be beaten.

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies a great gift for anyone who live cookies - like me!!! www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies a great gift for anyone who loves cookies – like me!!! www.feastingisfun.com

Making these cookies is a whizz! Since the cookie dough comes together in moments, then rolled into a log, wrapped in cling film and refrigerated until it is firm. The chocolate, dough log is then sliced and the slices are baked. As soon as the cookies have cooled spoon on white chocolate, add sprinkles and wait to set.

Recipe : Makes approx 25 Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter – at room temperature

150g/5oz Light Soft Brown Sugar

1 Large Egg Yolk

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey 

1/4tsp Salt

225g/8oz Plain White Flour

50g/2oz Cocoa Powder – I use Callebaut 

100g/4oz White Chocolate

Sprinkles for the top of the cookies, I’ve used holly leaves and berries which I found on Amazon.

Method:

Making the Chocolate Cookie Batter

Place the butter and sugar into a large bowl. Whisk until light and fluffy.
Place the butter and sugar into a large bowl. Whisk until light and fluffy.
Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract and salt. Whisk until fully incorporated.
Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract and salt. Whisk until fully incorporated.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl. Mix slowly until you have all the ingredients are combined.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl. Mix slowly until you have all the ingredients combined.
You now have a bowl of the most delicious chocolate cookie dough!
You now have a bowl of the most delicious chocolate cookie dough!

Wipe your work surface with a clean, damp, cloth. Lay a good length of cling film onto the damp surface – the water ‘sticks’ the cling film in place so that it stays flat and doesn’t move.

Shaping the Cookie Dough

Place the dough onto the cling film in a rough sausage shape.
Place the dough onto the cling film in a rough sausage shape.
Wrap the dough up and roll the dough into a sausage shape approx 1.5"/3.5cm diameter.
Wrap the dough up and roll the dough into a sausage shape approx 1.5″/3.5cm diameter.

Place the dough log into the fridge for at least 2 hours (it will keep for a week, well wrapped). The dough log needs to be cold and firm before you can slice the cookies.

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

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper (you may need to cook the cookies in batches). Remove the chocolate dough log from the fridge. Dont worry if the bottom of the log has flatted slightly, it just adds to the christmas pudding look.

Slicing and Baking the Cookies

Unwrap the cookie dough and slice into individual cookies approx 1cm/0.5" thick.
Unwrap the cookie dough and slice into individual cookies approx 1cm/0.5″ thick.
Place the uncooked cookies onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, allowing room for expansion between each cookie.
Place the uncooked cookies onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, allowing room for expansion between each cookie.

Place the baking trays into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, depending how thick/big your cookies are. My cookies took 20 minutes to bake.

It is difficult to tell when the cookies are cooked, due to their colour! They are baked when the surface looks dull however, they don’t set hard until cooled.

As soon as the cookies are baked remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes on the baking tray (it is fine to leave them to cool completely on the tray) you can then move them, using a palette knife to a cooling rack. If after 10 minutes cooling they break  when trying to transfer them, pop them back into the oven for another 5 minutes.

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies place onto a cooling rack to cool completely before icing. www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies place onto a cooling rack to cool completely before icing. www.feastingisfun.com

Once the cookies have completely cooled it’s time to get creative and frost them WITH CHOCOLATE!

Decorating the Cookies – Childs Play!

Chop or break up your white chocolate and place into a heat proof bowl. Either place the bowl on top of a saucepan as I did here  Chocolate Sparkle Cake , or melt the chocolate using a microwave, on medium setting, in short 20 second bursts, stirring after each zap! Remove the bowl just before the chocolate is completely melted and stir continuosly, the heat already in the bowl will melt the remaining chocolate.

Note: When making these cookies with children, if the bowl is hot, decant the melted chocolate into a cool bowl before decorating the cookies.

Melt the white chocolate.
Melt the white chocolate.

Using a teaspoon, place the melted chocolate on the top of the cookie, encouraging it to ‘drip’ down the ‘christmas pudding’ with the back of the spoon.

Place the chocolate covered cookie onto parchment paper, sprinkle on your chosen decoration and leave to set.
Place the chocolate covered cookie onto parchment paper, sprinkle on your chosen decoration and leave to set.

The effect is so easy, yet incredible. These Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies really do look like the real thing with cream dripping down from the top.

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies a double batch production!! www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies a double batch production!! www.feastingisfun.com

Storing and Packaging the Cookies

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies last for a week in an air tight container. I used a tin to store ours in and placed a piece of parchment paper between each layer, to keep the cookie’s presentation perfect. This is good advice if you are cooking alone and making these ahead of time.

When baking and decorating these with children, to be completely honest, you will be very lucky to even see the chocolate set!! So it’s rather a nice idea to have some already made and packaged in small cellophane bags, tied with ribbon. This way the children can take home extra cookies to share with their families.

I’m assuming everyone bakes with their children and their friends, when they come round for tea?

If you are a teacher/teaching assistant/child minder or Sunday school teacher, making the undecorated biscuits ahead of time and then letting little and big kids alike decorate their own, is a wonderful pre-Christmas activity.

 

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies simply delicious www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies simply delicious www.feastingisfun.com

Whatever you do and whoever you bake the with and for, I hope you have lots of fun and the Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies bring smiles from all who see and eat them!

As well as these Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies you may like these other Christmas Bakes:

Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies

FF Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies
Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies can you stop at one?

Sparkling Snowflake Cake

FF Sparkling Snowflake Cake
Sparkling Snowflake Cake edible diamonds and a dusting of flavoured icing sugar set this cake off www.feastingisfun.com

Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies 

FF Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies
Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies

Please post photos of your cookies on Twitter/Instagram and tag me in @sammiefeasting. I would love to see what fantastic decorations and creations you bake?

Do you enjoy the build up to Christmas or dread it?

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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Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies

Ok, please don’t hate me? I know it’s only October and yes I am posting a recipe for mince pies. Just hear me out for a sec please? Because these Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies are totally, out of this world amazing and it would be completely unfair for me to have waited any longer to share these with you.

Phew! I said it.

Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies can you stop at one? www.feastingisfun.com
Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies can you stop at one? www.feastingisfun.com

 

Just look at them. They are so cute and little and perfectly bite size. They’ve even got a dusting of snow.

Tell me you’re not interested now – thought so!!

Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies mouthfuls of ultimate deliciousness www.feastingisfun.com
Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies mouthfuls of ultimate deliciousness www.feastingisfun.com

The easiest pastry ever – Cream Cheese Pastry:

Who would have thought of putting Cream Cheese in pastry??? Yet, this recipe is based on a Pampered Chef recipe I jotted down years ago at one of their parties. They (the Pampered Chef’s) are masters of quick, delicious, recipes and whilst their cooking and bakeware may be a little on the pricey side, it lasts forever. This isn’t a sponsored post, I genuinely love their stuff.

Anyway, back to the pastry. I first saw this made and demonstarted at a Pampered Chef Party (if you host one you get great discounts – just saying!). The Cream Cheese Pastry was used to make some mini Pecan Pies and delicious they were too.

With me being me, I like to fiddle around with recipes. Because the pastry has a subtle, yet beautiful tang to it, I was sure that it would pair beautifully with sweet mincemeat. Resulting in these Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies.

Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies so beautiful, easy and delicious www.feastingisfun.com
Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies so beautiful, easy and delicious www.feastingisfun.com

 

Making a recipe work

With recipes I tend to be a bit of a rebel. If someone tells me something isn’t going to work, I want to know why and then try to figure out a way to make it work.

It was heavily stressed, during the cooking demonstration, that this pastry could not be rolled out. Well I just had to take that as a challenge and prove them wrong. And so I did.

The Cream Cheese Pastry is unbelivably soft, which is why it produces such a tender crumb. Yet, if you chill it for long enough and work quickly and methodically with it, then my lovelies, you sure can roll it out. This little tip transforms a one recipe pastry into a whole new realm of possibilities, including my Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies!

Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies perfect for sharing www.feastingisfun.com
Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies perfect for sharing www.feastingisfun.com

 

Since I haven’t ever made anything bigger than a regular sized mince pie, using this pastry, I am doubtful it woud have the strength to hold together for a large tart. But I am willing to be corrected. And now I’ve written that, I may have set myself a challenge!!!

Aside from the deliciousness that this pastry brings to the mince pies, it is so easy to make. No mixer, food processor, just a bowl and a fork – really it’s that simple. Here I’ll show you how.

Recipe : Makes 36 mini Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies (approx 18 regular sized ones)

225g/8oz Very Soft Unsalted Butter

200g/7oz Cream Cheese – I used Philadelphia I really do think that it is the best cream cheese to use in this recipe

275g/10oz Plain White Flour

Sweet Mincement – I use Waitrose 

Jam any flavour

Method :

Making the Cream Cheese Pastry

Add the butter and cream cheese to the flour in a large bowl.
Add the butter and cream cheese to the flour in a large bowl.
Using a fork gently mix the 3 ingredients together to form a dough.
Using a fork gently mix the 3 ingredients together to form a dough.
Form the pastry dough into a disc, wrap tightly in cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Form the pastry dough into a disc, wrap tightly in cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Keep chilled and make your tart cases

A good tip, as this dough warms up very easily, is to have everything you need to make the pies, ready before you start rolling the dough.

Also preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan.

On a well floured surface, break off 2/3 of the dough and roll out to 1/2cm.
On a well floured surface, break off 2/3 of the dough and roll out to 1/2cm.
Ensure you have plenty of flour, cutters and a palette knife handy.
Ensure you have plenty of flour, cutters and a palette knife handy.

 

Due to the high fat content I never grease my tin. Feel free to do so if you are unsure of it’s non stick ability.

Line your tin with pastry cups.
Line your tin with pastry cups.

 

Gather up the pastry and re-roll if needed to cut all of your pie bases out. Make sure you have plenty of flour on the work top, otherwise this pastry will stick.

If the pastry does start to get too sticky, wrap up in cling film and pop back in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Adding the filling

Fill your pastry cups with mincemeat or alternatively jam.
Fill your pastry cups with mincemeat or alternatively jam.

 

Important: do not overfill your pastry cups, you will literally just end up with a heated mess.

I used a scant 1/2 teaspoon of filling in each of my mini pies.

You can see the 2 vertical lines on the left are filled with blackberry jam – youngest daughter not keen on mince pies!

Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies - use a cutter that just fits the top of your pies.
Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies – use a cutter that just fits the top of your pies.

 

Use the reserved third of pastry for rolling out the lids.

Top each pie with a cutout pastry shape. I used stars for mince pies and mini flowers for jam pies.

Sprinkle a little demerera sugar on the star topped mince pies for added sparkle.

Time to bake

Place into a preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until puffed and golden.

As soon as they are baked, remove from the oven and immediately remove the pies from the tin and place on a cooling rack. Be careful the filling is extremely hot.

 

Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies tempting, tasty, treats www.feastingisfun.com
Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies tempting, tasty, treats www.feastingisfun.com

These Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies are delicious warm just as they are, or drizzled with cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream……

They can be kept at room temperature for 3 days in an airtight container, or frozen, once cold for one month. Perfect to make before Christmas and stash in the deep freeze.

Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies keep a close eye on these, they always disappear too quickly! www.feastingisfun.com
Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies keep a close eye on these, they always disappear too quickly! www.feastingisfun.com

 

Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies are a revelation on your taste buds.

If you have enjoyed this recipe recipe for Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies you may also like these:

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies 

FF Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies

Snowy Black Forest Roulade 

FF Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies
Snowy Black Forest Roulade – with a gluten free option.

Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies 

FF Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies
Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies

While Christmas is first and foremost about celebrating the birth of Jesus, it is also a time for meeting up with friends and family. Almost every shelf in the shops are laden with edible Christmas treats and they do have a place. Yet making and baking homemade goodies is also fun too. Above all, homemade treats are made with love, something that cannot be bought. And they taste a million times better than their shop bought counterparts!

Sammie x

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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