Almond Cacao Nib Shortbread Bars

Those of you who regularly read this blog, will probably know that I am a self confessed Cookie Monster. However, it is not just cookies I enjoy. For me, biscuits, cookies and shortbread all have an equal place in my heart. Well that was until I made these Almond Cacao Nib Shortbread Bars. Crunchy, flaked almond topped bars, studded with a deep, deep, slightly bitter chocolate flavour from the cacao nibs. Everything needed to satisfy a cookie craving.

FF Almond Cacao Nib Shortbread Bars
Almond Cacao Nib Shortbread Bars

Since receiving a tub of Cacao Nibs from Food Thoughts, I was interested to see how their flavour would transfer in the shortbread. Each nib is packed with an intense flavour. Similar to very good quality, high cocoa content chocolate. In fact, Cacao nibs are chocolate in its purest form before anything has been added to it. Each nib is a fermented, then roasted part of a cocoa bean. Resulting in the purest chocolate flavour.

FF Almond Cacao Nib Shortbread Bars
Almond Cacao Nib Shortbread Bars

While I am not a fan of very dark chocolate, these tiny nibs give just the right amount of flavour in this bake. Complimented by the almonds, each nib bursts with intense flavour on the tongue, without being cloying or overwhelming. In short, these shortbread bars are incredibly delicious and a satisfying treat.

FF Almond Cacao Nib Shortbread Bars
Freshly baked Almond Cacao Nib Shortbread Bars

As each shortbread bar is a substantial size, smaller squares may be created by cutting each bar in half. Small shortbread squares would be perfect for serving with Afternoon Tea. While the individual bars fit happily into packed lunch boxes. Whichever way you cut and serve this shortbread, be sure to share it. Introducing new flavours into a bake is most definitely an experience not to be kept to yourself.

Recipe: Almond Cacao Nib Shortbread Bars

200g/7oz Unsalted Batter at room temperature

100g/4oz Caster Sugar – plus 1tbs extra for topping

1/4tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

100g/4oz Ground Almonds

50g/2oz Semolina

150g/5oz Plain White Flour

50g/2oz Cacao Nibs РI use Food Thoughts available at Sainsburys, Waitrose and Ocado

25g/1oz Flaked Almonds

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

Butter and line a 28 x 20 x 5cm (12″ x 8″ x 2″) Swiss roll tin with baking parchment.

  • Into a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt.
  • Whisk together until pale and creamy.
  • Add the vanilla extract and whisk to incorporate.
  • Sift in the plain flour and then add the ground almonds, semolina and cacao nibs.
  • Mix together until just combined.
FF Almond Cacao Nib Shortbread Bars
Preparing the shortbread.
  • Spoon the shortbread mixture into a prepared tin. Press out, using the back of a metal spoon, so that the mixture evenly fills the tin.
  • Dock the shortbread all over with a fork.
  • Sprinkle over the additional tablespoon of sugar and evenly scatter over the flaked almonds.
FF Almond Cacao Nib Shortbread Bars
Almond Cacao Nib Shortbread Bars ready for the oven.
  • Place the shortbread into the centre of a preheated oven and bake for 35-45 minutes. If you find that the almonds are browning too quickly, either reduce the heat and bake for a little longer, or cover the top of the shortbread with aluminium foil.
  • When golden all over and semi-firm to the touch the shortbread is baked.
  • Once baked remove the shortbread from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin.
FF Almond Cacao Nib Shortbread Bars
Golden baked shortbread.
  • After the cooling period slice the shortbread into 12 bars. Cut across the middle, then down the width, forming 4 squares. Follow by dividing each square into 3. To create 24 squares, simply cut across the middle at 4 even (8cm) spaces.
  • Leave the shortbread to fully cool in the tin.
  • Once cooled, use a palette knife to help lift out the shortbread. Because the shortbread has already been cut it is more flexible and therefore unlikely to crack, when removing from the tin.
FF Almond Cacao Nib Shortbread Bars
Sliced, cooled Almond Cacao Nib Shortbread Bars

Serve with a hot drink. Unsurprisingly these bars go well with coffee, tea and of course, hot chocolate.

Store in an airtight container for up to one week. Since these bars improve in flavour after a day, dare I suggest you hide the tin? It’s only for a day ūüėČ.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Almond Cacao Nib Shortbread Bars you may also like these:

Cherry Bakewell Cookies

FF Almond Cacao Nib Shortbread Bars
Cherry Bakewell Cookies

Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars

FF Almond Cacao Nib Shortbread Bars
Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars

Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares

FF Almond Cacao Nib Shortbread Bars
Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares

While biscuits and shortbreads are readily available in the shops, there are advantages to making your own at home. Firstly and most importantly, the flavour is far superior to their mass produced equivalents. Furthermore flavour combinations that cannot be bought, are easily made at home. Finally, unless you live close to an artisan bakery, where each product is made with love and care, baking at home is a pleasure. Since you know exactly what ingredients have gone into your bake, including the love with which they are made.

Sammie xx

Food Thoughts sent me the cacao nibs to try. All opinions, content and photography are my own. No part of this post may be reproduced or copied without the specific, written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy .

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Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies

If you are a fan of nuts and brownies I can guarantee you will be mad for these Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies. Packed with an almost obscene amount of chocolate, gives the dense fudge texture and taste required in all great brownies. Add in a ridiculous amount of chopped and whole hazelnuts and the resulting flavour is Ferrero Rocher in a brownie. Gooey, crunchy, with the incredible combination of chocolate and hazelnut flavours.

FF Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies
Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies.

Since eating a brownie is an indulgence, it makes sense to eat only the best. Made using 400 grams of good quality chocolate, dark, treacly sugar and aromatic vanilla extract, the basic brownie is already exceptional. In addition, adding roasted, chopped hazelnuts to the brownie batter, lends another layer of flavour. Finally, whole hazelnuts, roasted during the baking process, completes the exceptional flavour profile.

FF Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies
Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies fudgy with a crunch.

Brownies are such fun to make. Wearing an apron, or if you are like me with chocolate in the kitchen, overalls, is advisable. Also a sink full of soapy water is handy. Furthermore, mentally preparing for a ‘bit’ of kitchen mess relaxes the mind for the chocolate bomb to come! Since it is impossible for me to make brownies without creating a mess, I assume the same of everyone. Finally, know that the clean up process takes less time than baking the brownies. ūüėČ

FF Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies
A plate of Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies.

There is nothing wrong with staring at the picture above. I do!

Recipe: Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies makes 15

200g/7oz Dark Chocolate minimum 70% Cocoa Solids

200g/7oz Milk Chocolate minimum 35% Cocoa Solids

2tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

4 Large Free Range Eggs

1/4tsp Sea Salt – 1/8tsp Free flowing salt – I use Maldon

225g/8oz Dark Brown Muscavado Sugar

75g/3oz Plain White Flour

1/2tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

100g/4oz Ready Roasted Chopped Hazelnuts

100g/4oz Whole Blanched Hazelnuts

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

You will need a 22.5cm x 30cm (9″ x 12″) deep tin, lined with foil or baking parchment.

  • Break or chop the chocolate into chunks and place in a medium, heatproof, microwaveable bowl.
  • Add the butter to the chocolate.
  • Heat, using a microwave, on medium power, for 30 second bursts. Stir between each heating period.
  • As soon as the chocolate starts to melt remove the bowl from the microwave. Continue to stir until all of the chocolate is melted and combined with the melted butter. Set to one side to cool.
  • Next, into a separate bowl, add the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract. Stir to combine the ingredients.
  • Once the chocolate mixture is approximately body temperature pour the egg mixture in and stir constantly until the mixture is combined.
  • Sieve the flour and bicarbonate of soda on to the combined mix. Now add the chopped, roasted hazelnuts.
  • Stir the flour and nuts into the chocolate mix.
FF Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies
Nutty brownie batter ready for the baking tin.
  • Pour the brownie batter into the prepared tin.
FF Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies
Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies ready for the oven.
  • Unlike baking a cake, where air bubbles are needed to help the cake rise, brownies are rich and dense with very little rise. To encourage an even bake, rap the filled baking tin sharply on the worktop. Doing so encourages any air bubbles present to rise to the surface of the batter.
  • Place the baking tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 10 minutes exactly.
  • Remove the baking tin after the initial baking time has elapsed. The surface of the brownies will have just started to set.
  • Sprinkle over the additional whole hazelnuts, use the back of a spoon to gently press into the surface of the brownie. Take care as the brownie tin will be very hot.
FF Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies
Whole hazelnuts give crunch to the finished bake.
  • Return the tin to the oven and continue to bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • The brownies are baked when set, with only a hint of a wobble in the centre.
  • As soon as the brownies are baked remove from the oven and place the tin on a cooling rack.
FF Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies
Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies cool in the tin.
  • Leave the brownies to cool in the tin. Or if you simply cannot wait, cool slightly, scoop portions of brownie into bowls and top with vanilla ice cream!

Cut the cooled brownie slab into 3 even sized widths, then cut across at 5 evenly spaced lengths. A palette knife may also be used to slide between the base of the brownie and foil. Although the foil/baking parchment should easily peel away.

FF Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies
Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies very tasty.

Serve slightly warmed (20 seconds in the microwave) with a scoop of ice cream. Alternatively, serve with a cold tumbler of milk.

Once cooled keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Although, who’s kidding that they will last that long? Not in this house!

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies then you may like these:

Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies

FF Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies
Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies

Double Peanut Chocolate Chip Cookies

FF Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies
Double Peanut Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Chocolate Madness Muffins

FF Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies
Chocolate Madness Muffins.

Baking cakes, brownies, muffins and cookies at home really is fun. Once a particular recipe is mastered it can be adapted to personal taste. Since you are the baker, you get to decide if hazelnuts or alternatively peanuts are used in your bake. As a result you get to create your own, personalised feast.

Have fun creating new feasts in your kitchen.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be replicated or copied without the written consent of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Almond Topped Cherry Scones

Almond Topped Cherry Scones plus a review of Andrew James Stainless Steel Set of 5 Bowls with Airtight Lids.

Summer is truly here. Sunshine, Wimbledon, Strawberries and Scones. Well except for today, as it is raining, a welcome relief for the garden. Today I bring you not strawberries, but another seasonal summer treat, cherries. Stunning, deep ruby red jewels, that hang like earrings from the tree. Preserved as glacé cherries meaning these Almond Topped Cherry Scones can be made any time of the year.

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Almond Topped Cherry Scones a classic flavour pairing.

Combining the flavours of cherry and almond in these scones is game changing. Add clotted cream and dark cherry preserve and you have yourself a delicious scone that is bursting with flavour. Honestly, I wish that I had made these scones a very long time ago, such is the pleasure obtained from the experience of eating one.

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Almond Topped Cherry Scones extra special during cherry season.

Having been sent a nest of Stainless Steel Bowls with Airtight Lids by Andrew James, I decided to see how much damage I could do to them. Seriously, when reviewing new products they need to be put through a tough regime. As mentioned before, new or replacement equipment has to earn a place in my kitchen. Since honest reviews are the only ones you will ever read on this blog, your trust is never taken for granted.

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Almond Topped Cherry Scones perfect for Afternoon Tea

Since first making shortcrust pastry in the 3500ml, the second largest bowl, then proceeding to make the scone dough in the same bowl. Again using a pastry cutter to cut the fats into the flour. I knew if anything could mess up these bowls, the pastry cutter would give them a hard time. Yet, following a full cycle in the dishwasher, the bowl came out virtually untouched.

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Tested bowl on top, nest of bowls bottom.

The result of really attacking this bowl with a pastry cutter, a few scratches. In all fairness I was very heavy handed when making the pastry and scones. What I absolutely love about these bowls is the non slip base. Whether whisking up Yorkshire Puddings, Ice Cream, or pouring homemade Tomato Sauce into them, these bowls do not shift on the worktop. Each bowl comes with airtight fitted lids, with the largest bowl having a lid with a removable centre. Perfect for splash control when whisking liquids see Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream. Finally, the only minor downside to these bowls is that they cannot be used in the microwave. A small price to pay for the robust Stainless Steel bowl with non slip base and airtight lid.

These bowls come as a nest of 5 in the following sizes:

  • 4500ml capacity – 26cm diameter
  • 3000ml capacity – 24cm diameter
  • 2500ml capacity – 22cm diameter
  • 2000ml capacity – 20cm diameter
  • 1000ml capacity – 18cm diameter

 

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
A whole variety of uses in the kitchen.
FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Some of the recipes made using the stainless steel bowls.

Even though these bowls cannot be used in the microwave, they are so versatile and robust, not forgetting to mention space saving. Since all of the bowls stack conveniently inside each other. They receive a firm 5 out of 5 from me. These bowls are a welcome addition to my busy kitchen. If you are quick and order before the end of July, use SAMMIE10 code for a super 10% discount.

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Almond Topped Cherry Scones

Time to make the scones!

Recipe: Almond Topped Cherry Scones makes 10

450g/1lb Plain White Flour

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

40g/1.75oz Caster Sugar

3tsp Baking Powder

75g/3oz Cold Unsalted Butter cut into cubes

25g/1oz Cold Vegetable Fat – Trex

75g/3oz Natural Glacé Cherries cut into halves

250mls Whole Milk plus a little extra to brush the tops of the scones before baking

2tsp Almond Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

2-3tbsp Flaked Almonds

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

  • Line a large baking tray with baking parchment.
  • Sieve in the flour and baking powder, then add both of the fats.
  • Using the tips of your fingers, or a pastry cutter, work the fats into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs with some larger, pea sized pieces of fat visible.
  • Next add the salt and sugar. Mix together using a balloon whisk.
  • Now add half of the glac√© cherries. Toss them about in the mixture, this prevents them sticking together. Add the other half and do the same.
  • Make a well in the centre of the mix, pour in the milk and almond extract.
  • Use a butter knife to gently stir the milk into the flour mix. As the dough starts to come together switch to using your hand. Gently bringing the mix to a coherent dough.
  • Tip the dough on to a floured surface and gently knead to form a 5cm/2″ thick disc.
  • Using a well floured 5cm/2″ round cutter, cut out the scones, remembering to press straight down without twisting the cutter. Twisting can cause odd shaped or lopsided scones as they bake. Place each scone on to the lined baking tray.
  • Bring all the bits of scone dough together once the scones are cut, knead lightly and continue to cut out the remaining scones. Repeat the last step until all of the dough is used.
  • Once all of the scones have been cut out brush the tops with milk and sprinkle over flaked almonds.
FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Making the Almond Topped Cherry Scones
  • Place the baking tray into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
  • The Almond Topped Cherry Scones are baked when they are risen, golden brown and sound hollow when rapped on the base with a knuckle.
  • Once baked remove the scones from the oven and place immediately on to a cooling rack to cool.
FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Baked Almond Topped Cherry Scones cooling on a rack.
  • When the scones are cooled, or slightly warm then they are ready to be served.
FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Serve the Almond Topped Cherry Scones on a platter.

I like to serve the scones on a large platter with ramekins of clotted cream and cherry preserve. Adding fresh cherries when they are in season, finishes the platter beautifully.

Serve with a large pot of tea and the best china you own!

All scones are at their best on the day they are made. If you wish to make ahead, you can do so by one day. Make the scones, cool completely and store in an airtight container, such as the large stainless steel bowls. The next day 20 minutes prior to serving, warm in a preheated oven, at baking temperature for 5-10 minutes. Cool slightly and serve. Rather like bread, the reheating simply refreshes the scones and they taste freshly baked.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Almond Topped Cherry Scones you may also like these:

Fruit Filled Butter Scones

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Fruit Filled Butter Scones

Afternoon Tea

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Afternoon Tea

Super Light Scones

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Super Light Scones

Homemade scones are a world away from their shop bought counterparts. In fact I never even liked scones before I made them myself. Essential to any Afternoon Tea they are simply the easiest treat to quickly make should visitors unexpectedly arrive. Making the scone dough in the Stainless Steel bowl made the process even easier. Especially with the non slip base and dishwasher safe factors.

If you make these Almond Topped Cherry Scones please let me know? I love and really appreciate reading the comments that you take time to leave. Pop a picture on Twitter or Instagram and tag me in. I’ll be sure to give you a shoutout from @sammiefeasting.

Do take a look at this nest of bowls and don’t forget your 10% discount code SAMMIE10, only available against these bowls from Andrew James. I highly recommend them for camping, caravaning or even taking on holiday as they are super lightweight.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in you kitchens or indeed caravans, have fun creating your feast.

I regularly bake on holiday. Do you?

Sammie xx

Andrew James provided me with the nest of 5 stainless steel bowls with matching airtight lids for the purpose of review. All comments and opinions are my own and are a complete reflection of my experience in using them. I was not paid to write this post and the discount is curtesy of Andrew James. No part of this post may be reproduced in any way without my prior permission. Please see my Disclosure Policy for further details.

 

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Princess Sparkle Peach Melba Iced Cake

Last week National Pink Day was celebrated. I know, it does seem as though there is a national day for just about anything. I’m not even sure who thinks these things up. Yet, as I’ve grown older and our girls have passed through the ‘pink’ stage, I have grown to love the colour that I once despised. Gone are the sickly pink birthday cakes made during their toddler years, replaced by a more elegant Princess Sparkle Peach Melba Iced Cake. Tastefully decorated and delicious to eat.

FF Princess Sparkle Peach Melba Iced Cake
Princess Sparkle Peach Melba Iced Cake for girlie celebrations.

While raspberry subtly flavours the cake itself, peach bellini icing creates the overall peach melba flavour. Having a light, overall fruity flavour, this cake really suits warm summer celebrations. Yet, you get to decide. If a fruity, glittering cake is needed, this cake fits the bill perfectly. Indeed, a splash of colour and a sprinkle of sparkle may be just what is needed anytime of the year!

FF Princess Sparkle Peach Melba Iced Cake
Princess Sparkle Peach Melba Iced Cake a celebration of the colour pink.

Such is the beauty and fun of this cake, it simply deserves to be shared. Fun and perfectly pretty, anyone who loves the colour pink will be thrilled with this cake. Also, this is the perfect cake for those who prefer fruity cakes, rather than chocolate ones. Or, for those of us who enjoy both, the combination of raspberry and peach is a refreshing change.

Recipe: Princess Sparkle Peach Melba Iced Cake serves 10-12

250g/9oz Unsalted Butter

250g/9oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

5 Large Free Range Eggs

2.5ml/ approx 1/2tsp or 50 drops of Natural Raspberry Flavour – I use Foodie Flavours natural flavouring drops

275g/10oz Plain White Flour

2tsp Baking Powder

400g Peach Bellini Flavoured icing sugar from Sugar and Crumbs

Food Colouring Gel – I used blah pink.

Assorted different sprinkles and dragee balls.

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

Note: This cake is baked in a 10 cup ring mould cake tin. If using a Bundt pan, a 10 cup size will also be needed.

Prepare the tin by spraying cake release spray thoroughly to the inside of the tin, using a pastry brush to ensure the cake release fully covers the inside of the tin. I recommend Wilton.

  • Place the softened butter, salt and sugar into a large bowl. Whisk until pale, creamy and no grittiness can be detected, by rubbing a little of the mixture between your forefinger and thumb.
  • Next add the vanilla, raspberry flavour and all five eggs.
  • Finally sieve the flour and baking powder into the bowl.
  • Whisk slowly, until all of the ingredients have come together to form a cake batter.
  • Give the cake batter a quick stir with a spatula to ensure everything is combined.
  • Spoon the cake batter into the prepared tin. Ensure the top of the cake is level.
  • Place the cake tin into the centre of the oven and bake for 55-65 minutes.
  • The cake is baked when it is a golden colour, starts to shrink away from the sides and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
FF Princess Sparkle Peach Melba Iced Cake
Creating, filling the tin and baking the cake.
  • As soon as the cake is baked remove from the oven and allow to cool for ten minutes before turning it out.
FF Princess Sparkle Peach Melba Iced Cake
The detail of a ring mould or Bundt pan instantly gives this cake the wow factor.
  • Allow the turned out cake to fully cool before decorating.
  • While the cake is cooling assemble everything needed to decorate the cake.
  • Likewise the icing can be made.
  • Sieve the flavoured icing sugar into a bowl.
  • Add a few drops of water to the bowl and then, using a cocktail stick add a little of the coloured gel.
  • Stir, adding drops of water to reach the desired thick, yet just dripping, consistency.
  • Add extra colour now, if required.
  • Thoroughly stir the icing to ensure even colouring.
  • As soon as the cake is cooled place the cooling rack across a clean, large, baking tray.
  • Drizzle the icing, using a spoon and starting at the top of the cake.
  • Work with the shape of the cake. Since the icing is there to enhance, embellish and emphasise. Also it aids the addition of sprinkles.
  • As soon as the icing is finished decorate with sprinkles. Press the larger balls into the surface set icing.
  • Finally, place the fully decorated cake on to a plate, board or cake stand and leave to fully set.
FF Princess Sparkle Peach Melba Iced Cake
Bringing the Princess Sparkle Peach Melba Iced Cake to life.

Take a moment to look at the outstanding creation that has been made. Made by you. However the cake that you’ve designed turns out, it will be unique. No other cake in the world will have the love and flair that has been imparted whilst making this.

FF Princess Sparkle Peach Melba Iced Cake
Princess Sparkle Peach Melba Iced Cake served with tea

Serve this cake as party centre piece, for your princess or at a beautiful afternoon tea.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Princess Sparkle Peach Melba Iced Cake you may also like these:

Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake

FF Princess Sparkle Peach Melba Iced Cake
Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake

Lemon Lime Gin Heart Bundt Cake

FF Princess Sparkle Peach Melba Iced Cake
Lemon Lime Gin Heart Bundt Cake

Chocolate Heart Topped Rose Bundt Cake

FF Princess Sparkle Peach Melba Iced Cake
Chocolate Heart Rose Bundt Cake

Whether you own a ring cake tin or a Bundt pan, each will give you a unique canvas on which to decorate. While there are many ways to decorate a cake, the shape of moulded tins and Bundts create an instant beautiful shape.

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

Sammie xx

Please day not copy any part of this blog post. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream

Hi to all my fabulous readers. I hope that you are enjoying the current spell of warm weather here in the south of England? I appreciate that not everybody does. While it is so hot, a no churn ice cream recipe is what’s called for. Also, this Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream¬†can be made in the morning, ready to enjoy by the evening. So what’s stopping you?

FF Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream
Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream no churn.

Yes, I am currently in the middle of a full blown love affair with limes. I make no apology, since they taste so good. Having a softer, less sour flavour than lemons, they work well in many savoury dishes such as Lime Couscous . While in sweet dishes limes add a rounder, less tart, more subtle flavour. The kitchen is never without lemons or limes.

FF Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream
Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream refreshingly good.

This ice cream recipe uses homemade lime curd. The flavour of which is sublime. Since lime curd is readily available online and in the shops, feel free to substitute. My recipe for lime curd will be posted on here in the next week or so. As a food blogger I always double check a new recipe before sharing it. Resulting in a reliable and consistent recipe that you may then follow in confidence.

FF Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream
Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream with homemade lime curd.

Since I am aware that not everyone owns an ice cream maker, this no churn recipe enables you to make great ice cream at home, without the need for an ice cream maker. Easily made with three main ingredients, a delightful dessert, to share with family and friends.

FF Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream
Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream quick and easy to make.

A quick note before starting. Depending on what the flavour is to be added to the base, has a direct impact on the quantity of condensed milk used. The lime curd used in this recipe is reasonably tart, as it is homemade. Shop bought curds should be similar. Yet if making, for example milk chocolate ice cream, the condensed milk should be reduced. Otherwise the result may well be an overly sweet ice cream. This is not a one size fits all recipe.

Recipe: Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream makes 1L approx.

600ml Double Cream

250g Condensed Milk – I use Carnation

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

150g Lime Curd

Method:

This recipe forms part of a review for Andrew James and uses their Set of Five Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls With Air Tight Lids. The largest bowl holds 4500ml and has a splatter proof lid, meaning that a handheld whisk can be placed through the central hole where part of the lid is removed. This bowl proved excellent for whisking this ice cream.

FF Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream
Largest of the nest of 5 bowls with splatter proof lid.
  • Firstly, pour the cream into a large bowl and then weigh the condensed milk directly into the bowl. Add the vanilla extract.
  • Whisk the ingredients in the bowl. For this bowl the lid was attached with the centre removed and the ingredients were whisked until thickened. The thickness of the cream mixture should easily hold a figure of eight.
FF Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream
Making the no churn base for this ice cream
  • The splatter guard on this bowl only let through the tiniest spots of cream. Whereas usually there is a massive kitchen clear up, wiping cupboards and floors!
  • Next add in 50g of lime curd and give the mixture a quick mix, so that it is fully incorporated.
  • Pour the ice cream base into a freezer proof container, which has a secure fitting lid.
  • Now pour over the remaining 100g of lime curd and ripple it through the whipped cream. The handle of a wooden spoon swirls through the mixture with minimal spillage.
FF Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream
Creating the Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream ready for the freezer.
  • Snap the lid on to the ice cream container and place in the feeezer. If made in the morning ready for eating later in the day, switch the freezer to fast freeze mode and the ice cream should be frozen after 6 hours. The fast freeze setting is not required if freezing overnight.
FF Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream
Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream ready to serve.

If the ice cream has been frozen overnight or for longer, remove it from the freezer 10-20 minutes prior to serving. As there are not any preservatives or additives added, it needs a little time to soften up, before scooping.

FF Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream
Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream served with extra lime curd drizzled on top.

Since coconut, lime chocolate, extra lime curd all compliment the lime beautifully, have fun and play around with toppings. Or simply enjoy it as it is!

If you have enjoyed the recipe for Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream you may also like these:

Dark Chocolate Chip Vanilla Ice Cream

FF Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream
Dark Chocolate Chip Vanilla Ice Cream

Lemon Ripple Ice Cream

FF Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream
Lemon Ripple Ice Cream

Triple Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

FF Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream
Triple Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

Since creating recipes and sharing them is the heartbeat of Feasting is Fun. Each recipe is double checked, ensuring you have a consistent and reliable recipe to follow.

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

Sammie xx

As a secial thank you to my readers  Andrew James are offering my readers a 10% discount on this range of bowls. A fantastic offer on a great set of bowls. they are dishwasher safe and have a non slip base. Perfect for making this delicious ice cream. Simply add SAMMIE10 at the checkout to recieve your discount.

Please do not copy any part of this post without my specific written agreement. See my Disclosure Policy

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Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta

Who doesn’t love an easy, quick to make, healthy meal? Exactly. I love pasta, mostly for its versatility. Any number of sauces or meals can be made to go with a million varieties of pasta. Where would we be without it? Thank you Italy, you may have invaded Britain, however it’s time to let things go, as you gave us pasta. More specifically the fusilli bronze die pasta used in this Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta.

FF Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta
Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta ready to serve.

Next time you think of tossing a jar of pesto into pasta for dinner, think again. Since this dish only took 30 minutes to make, it is definitely worth trying. Not only do you get a balanced healthy meal, it is filling, like a proper meal should be. Bite sized pieces of chicken breast, fresh baby spinach wilted into the tomato and cream cheese sauce.

FF Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta
Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta a filling meal.

If you are cutting down on carbs you may not like my next suggestion. That is, to serve this tasty bowl of goodness with a chunk of baguette, or crusty bread. While not swimming in sauce, there will be some pooled on your plate or bowl. This is where bread is important. Dunking. Using the bread to absorb every last drop of this creamy sauce. Keeping with the low fat theme, there is no reason why the bread should be buttered. In fact there will be a greater absorbency area if left unbutterd. Win win!

FF Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta
Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta dinner time!

Food should be enjoyed. Indeed it should be a feast. It should feed more than our tummies, it should feed our soul. Giving thanks before eating is a custom here at home. Yet stopping for a moment to look and smell the food in front of you is also important. Too much food is literally shoved down throats while watching television. I wonder if the taste even has time to register with the brain. Eating with family, while sitting up at a table, not only slows down the rate at which we eat, the entire experience is altogether more pleasurable. Hence – food tastes better when it is shared.

Time to make this delicious dish.

Recipe: Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta serves 4-6 people

500g Diced Chicken Breast  skin off cut into bite size pieces- I use Graig Farm

1tbsp Olive Oil

1 Large Leek – washed and cut into small dice

2 x 400g Chopped Tin Tomatoes plus 1 tin of pasta cooking water

200g Washed Baby Spinach – frozen can be used if out of season

1tbsp Fresh Thyme finely chopped – plus additional Thyme for garnishing the finished dish

140g Philadelphia Cream Cheese – I use full fat, by all means try a lower fat version if you’re confident cooking with it

1tsp Sea Salt  РI use Maldon

Good Grinding of Fresh Black Pepper to taste

450g Fusilli Pasta – bronze die leaves rougher edges on the pasta and so it absorbs more sauce

Method:

  • Place a heavy bottomed pan on to the hob over medium heat. Add the olive oil and allow to heat.
  • At the same time place a large pan of water on a high heat, ready to cook the pasta. When the water is boiling add a teaspoon of sea salt and then the pasta and cook for 8 minutes.
  • Into the other pan add the chopped chicken breast and cook until lightly browned.
  • Remove the cooked chicken to a plate and then add the chopped leek to the pan.
  • Saute the leek until it is softened and then add the cooked chicken back to the pan.
  • Immediately add the 2 tins of chopped tomatoes and use a wooden spatula to scrape the base of the pan clean. Follow by adding the chopped fresh thyme.
  • Next tip the baby spinach into the pan. Don’t worry if it is piled high it will wilt down.
FF Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta
Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta the tomatoes clean the base of the pan.
  • Remove a can full/2-3 ladles of hot pasta water and pour on to the spinach. Be careful as it will be hot.
  • Drain the pasta and tip on to the spinach. Allow the spinach to wilt down, it will release it’s water and make the sauce thinner.
  • Next add the cream cheese to the pan and stir so that it melts into the sauce.
  • Most importantly, taste the sauce. Add a good grinding of fresh black pepper to taste. Additional salt should not be needed as the pasta water used is salty.
  • Sprinkle over fresh Thyme and the dish is ready to be served.
FF Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta
Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta creating the finished dish.

Serve this delicious Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta in bowls.

FF Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta
Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta dinner’s served.

Since this dish is ideal to make ahead, it is also perfect for transporting. Ideal for a new family or friend who is unwell. This dish is as perfect to share outside the home as it is with family and friends around the dinner table.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta then you may also like these:

Cheesy Vegetable Pasta Bake

FF Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta
Cheesy Vegetable Pasta Bake.

Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo

FF Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta
Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo

Chicken and Four Cheese Lasagne

FF Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta
Chicken and Four Cheese Lasagne

Pasta is such a versatile ingredient in the kitchen. Also, once cooked it can very often be frozen as this Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta, Chicken Four Cheese Pasta and Cheesy Vegetable all can be. While cooking from scratch takes barely more than 10 minutes. Pouring over some sauce (recipe coming soon) or the lemon garlic sauce that accompanies the Orzo recipe above. Easy meals are a busy household’s must.

Have fun creating, cooking and baking in your kitchens.

Sammie xx

Please do not copy any part of this post. See my Disclosure Policy for full details.

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Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones

Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones are the best savoury scones made at Feasting headquarters so far. Sharp, mature cheddar pairs beautifully with the sun dried tomatoes and the addition of fresh basil completes the final flavour. These scones need no addition as they are moist and light.

FF Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones
Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones perfectly delicious.

Two things are really important when making these scones. First of all, use great ingredients. That doesn’t mean everything has to be top of the range, but buy the best mature cheddar you can afford. While the final flavour is not overpowering, if a milder cheddar is used it’s flavour will be lost. Secondly, lightness of hand while making the scone dough. If it is worked, or handled too much the scones will be heavy.

FF Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones
Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones it’s hard to stop at one!

Since the sun dried tomatoes add a depth of savoury flavour to the finished scone, they are crucial to the recipe. Dry packaged are best, however if they are only available in oil that’s ok. Simply remove slightly more than the recipe calls for and drain them thoroughly using kitchen towels. Their deep, unique flavour and texture will still work in this recipe.

FF Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones
Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones the cheese melts into the scone, yet the basil and tomatoes are still visible.

Time to get baking!

Recipe: Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones makes 10-12

450g/1lb Plain White Flour

3tsp Baking Powder

25g/1oz Trex – solid vegetable fat kept very cold

50g/2oz Unsalted Butter kept very cold

250mls Whole Milk straight from the fridge – plus a little extra for brushing the tops of the scones

150g/5oz Freshly Grated Mature/Sharp Cheddar – I used Wyke Farm mature cheddar

50g/2oz Sun Dried Tomatoes preferably not in oil

Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves – approx. 10 large leaves.

1/4tsp Sea Salt Flakes – I use Maldon

Good grinding of Black Pepper to taste

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

You will need two large baking trays lined with baking parchment and a 5cm/2″ plain round cutter.

  • First of all prepare the ingredients. Grate the cheese and chop, or snip the sun dried tomatoes and basil into similar sized pieces – see photo.
  • Add your flour, baking powder, salt and a good grinding of black pepper to a large bowl. Use a balloon whisk to blend the ingredients together.
  • Next add both the fats and blend them into the flour using a pastry cutter. Alternatively rub the fat into the flour using your fingers. Finally the flour should have a breadcrumb appearance with some larger, pea sized, pieces of fat visible.
  • Add one third of the grated cheese to the bowl. Use your fingers to toss the cheese in the flour. This coats the cheese and stops it from clumping. Repeat with half of the remaining cheese. Set the unused cheese to one side.
  • Now do the same with the sun dried tomatoes and fresh basil, tossing them in the flour to coat them.
  • Make a well in the centre of the bowl and pour in the cold milk.
  • Stir the ingredients together with a dinner knife, until they form a rough dough.
  • Use your hand, shaped like a claw to pull all the ingredients together.
  • Tip the scone dough on to a lightly floured work top.
FF Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones
Making the Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones dough.
  • Bring the dough together with your hands and pat into a rough circle approximately 1 inch/2.5cm deep.
  • Thoroughly flour the round cutter and cut out the scones. NOTE: Do not twist the cutter as you push through the dough as this will result in uneven/lopsided final bakes. Place the scones on to the lined baking trays.
  • Brush the top of each scone with milk and add a little of the remaining cheese.
FF Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones
Shaping the dough and cutting out the scones.
  • Place the baking trays into the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • The scones are baked when they are a golden colour and similar to bread sound hollow when rapped on the base with a knuckle.
  • As soon as they are baked remove the scones from the oven.
  • Immediately place the scones on to a cooling rack, using a clean tea towel to transfer them as they will be very hot.
FF Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones
Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones cooling on a rack.

Since these scones are at their absolute best when still slightly warm, there is no need to wait for them to completely cool before tasting!

FF Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones
Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones delicious split with a little butter!

While delicious eaten warm, cool completely before packing into an airtight container to store.

These scones can be made ahead, cooled and packed into freezer bags. They will keep for up to one month in the deep freeze. Ideal for making ahead.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones you may also like these:

Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones

FF Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones
Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones.

Super Light Scones

FF Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones
Super Light Scones

Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins

FF Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones
Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins

Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones, such a delicious combination of flavours and texture. Also perfect for making ahead and freezing, ready to pop in the oven on a low heat when unexpected guests arrive. Make ahead recipes are my all time favourites. Especially as I never know from one day to the next how my body will be. Fortunately it’s always nice to know that there is good, homemade food in the house.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating, have fun. Please tweet me @sammiefeasting with your cooking and baking pics? I love seeing what you have created.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be copied. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream

Are you a fan of ice cream? I am and I absolutely love making it myself. The reason for that is, firstly I own an awesome ice cream maker from Andrew James and secondly any flavour combination is possible. Welcome to my Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream.

FF Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream
Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream where’s the spoon?

In truth, yesterday I was going to make a batch of Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream. Yet while foraging around in the cupboard for ingredients I came across a bar of Lindt Cherry Chocolate. An idea started to form. Further rummaging and the second ingredient was found. A can of tinned cherries. Not sure if they would make it to the final recipe I hooked them out anyway. It was time to start experimenting!

FF Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream
Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream sparkling in the sunshine

Cherry and chocolate are a classic combination. In truth, during cherry season I may try this recipe with gorgeous, glossy fresh cherries. Especially as we have a cherry tree in our garden. Instead their flavour is imparted firstly through the cherry chocolate bar. Resulting in a pleasantly mild flavour. However, once frozen the flavours dull. Resulting in the decision to use a full can of cherry pie filling (please don’t hate me) with the additional dark chocolate chunks added as well.

FF Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream
Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream perfect on a sunny day

Taste, an important part of developing a recipe, is key. Once churned, frequent tastings were made as more cherries were added. It’s a hard life! Eventually the balance was perfect using the entire can. Dark chocolate chunks transform any ice cream, with both flavour and texture. Here they provide deep chocolate flavour within the silky, mild chocolate ice cream. Resulting in this incredible Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream, my hubby’s all time favourite.

FF Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream
Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream a delightful dessert

Recipe: Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream makes approx. 1L

300ml Double Cream

300ml Whole Milk

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

4 Large Free Range Egg Yolks – the whites can be frozen for up to 1 month

1tsp Corn Flour – I use Dove’s Farm as it is certified gluten free

4tbsp Caster Sugar

100g Bar Lindt Cherry Chocolate

1 x 410g Can Cherry Pie Filling

100g Dark Chocolate Chunks/Bar

Method: ¬†Place the bowl of the ice cream maker in the freezer at least 8 hours/overnight or follow the manufacturer’s instructions, prior to making this ice cream.

For step by step instructions and photos please see Very Vanilla Ice Cream .

  • First of all pour the cream and milk into a heavy based saucepan placed over a medium heat.
  • While the cream is heating place the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla extract and corn flour into a large heatproof bowl.
  • Whisk the ingredients together until pale and frothy, keeping an eye on the heating cream.
  • Heat the cream and milk to scalding point. That is when a ring of bubbles appear around the rim of the saucepan, just prior to the liquid boiling. Remove from the heat once scalding point has been reached.
  • With the whisk on slow, gently pour in the heated cream, increasing¬†the speed once it is all added.
  • Pour the custard mixture back into the pan and place over a medium heat. Stir to ensure that the base doesn’t burn. Continue until the custard is thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat.
  • While the custard is cooking break up the cherry chocolate bar and place into a heatproof bowl. Place a sieve over the bowl.
  • Next, pour the thickened custard through the sieve into the bowl.
  • Stir the custard until all of the chocolate has melted. Cover the custard with cling film placed directly on to the top of the hot, thick liquid.
  • Set the bowl to one side to cool.
FF Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream
The hot custard melts the cherry chocolate.
  • When the ice cream base has cooled place in the fridge to chill.
  • While the ice cream base is chilling prepare the chocolate chunks. If using a bar chop into pieces.
  • Set up the ice cream maker once the ice cream base is cold.
  • Pour the base into the ice cream maker and churn until softly frozen.
  • Decant the ice cream into a freezer proof container with a tight fitting lid.
  • Add the cherries and chopped chocolate.
FF Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream
Creating the Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Using the handle of a wooden spoon swirl the ingredients together.
FF Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream
Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream swirled together and ready for the freezer.
  • Clip on a tight fitting lid and place in the freezer for 6 hours or ideally overnight.
  • Remove the ice cream 10-20 minutes prior to serving to allow it to soften, which will allow easy scooping.
FF Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream
Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream ready to serve

Serve generous scoops of this utterly scrumptious ice cream in bowls or cones. Watch the smiles on faces as they discover whole cherries, nuggets of dark chocolate and enjoy feasting.

FF Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream
Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae

Why not turn this delicious ice cream into a Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae?

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream there are many other ice cream recipes on Feasting is Fun, here are a few:

Triple Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

FF Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream
Triple Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

Lemon Ripple Ice Cream

FF Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream
Lemon Ripple Ice Cream

Chocolate Rolo Ice Cream

FF Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream
Chocolate Rolo Ice Cream

Nothing beats homemade ice cream, especially on a hot, sunny day. The flavour combinations are limitless. Since you are in control you can simply make flavours that aren’t available in the shops. I could not be parted from my ice cream maker. The bowl has a permanent place in our freezer, ready for whenever the need for ice cream arises. And yes sometimes it is a need!

Whatever you are making, baking and creating this weekend have fun.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be copied without my specific written agreement. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake

If you are a pudding or dessert lover, with a sweet tooth, this Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake will absolutely hit the spot. Easy to make, using great products, this is the perfect end to any meal. Or, as happened this morning, a great breakfast!

FF Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake
Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake easy to make using great ingredients.

Starting at the bottom, the toffee cookie base provides a soft, chewy, toffee flavoured biscuit. Butterscotch cheesecake sits on top, then covered with a thick toffee sauce. Once set after being chilled in the fridge a dark chocolate ganache floods the top of the toffee covered cheesecake. Finally, it is finished with swirls of caramel Caramac, creating an overall balance of flavours and texture.

FF Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake
Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake a delightful dessert.

While this is a rich dessert, it isn’t overwhelming sweet. Cutting down through a slice, so every layer is tasted together, definitely enhances the eating experience.

FF Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake
Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake decadent and delicious.

To make this cheesecake you will need a 15cm/6″ diameter, springform, removable base cake tin.

Recipe: Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake serves 6-8

Toffee Cookie Mix – available from Wright’s Baking

25g Unsalted Butter – plus a little extra for greasing the tin

1 Packet Butterscotch Angel Delight easily available from Asda and some other supermarkets

200mls Single Cream

280g Tub Philiadelphia Cream Cheese

3/4 Jar Toffee Sauce Рavailable from Hawkshead Relish if using a different make ensure that it is semi solid so that it will set in the fridge

200g Dark Chocolate

200mls Double Cream

50g Caramac or White Chocolate as an alternative

Recipe notes – use 200g of toffee biscuits, bashed to crumbs in a bag. Tip into a bowl then add 100g melted butter if you are unable to obtain the cookie mix. Press the sandy biscuit/butter mixture into the base of the tin and chill for an hour.

Method: Preheat oven 180C/160C fan, gas mark 5

Preparing the base:

  • First of all, line the base of the tin with aluminium foil – this protects the cake tin base from knife marks and allows the cheesecake to be removed easily from the base.
  • Then very lightly grease the base with butter.
  • Make up the Toffee Cookie Mix according to the packet instructions. Butter is better to use than oil as it will give a firmer cookie base once baked and chilled.
  • Place the tin into the middle of the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • The cookie base is baked when it is golden brown on top. It will not feel firm, however it will set as the base cools.
  • Place the tin on to a cooling rack and leave to cool completely. DO NOT REMOVE FROM THE TIN.
FF Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake
Making and baking the cookie base and ingredients for the next stage.

Building the cheesecake:

  • To make the next layer of the cheesecake, place the cream cheese and single cream into a bowl.
  • Whisk together until there is a smooth consistency.
  • Now add the packet of angel delight. Whisk until the mixture becomes very thick.
  • Spoon the butterscotch cheesecake on to the cold cookie base. Smooth with the back of a spoon, ensuring the top is level.
  • Place the cheesecake into the fridge to chill and set for 30 minutes.
FF Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake
Making the butterscotch cheesecake layer.
  • While the cheesecake is chilling in the fridge check the toffee sauce.
  • If the sauce has set in the jar, it simply needs to be warmed so that it can be poured over the cheesecake layer. Pour some warm-ish water into a jug and then place the jar in the jug. The sauce will become less cloudy as it warms up. Remove the jar from the water and stir thoroughly with a spoon.
  • Take the cheesecake from the fridge and pour over the toffee sauce. It should cover the entire top of the cheesecake. Then return the cheesecake to the fridge, to allow the toffee to set.
  • While the toffee is setting make the dark chocolate ganache.
  • Break or chop the dark chocolate and place into a heatproof,microwaveable bowl. Pour over the double cream.
  • Place the bowl into the microwave and heat on medium for 30 second bursts, stirring after each heating.
  • When the chocolate is melting and the cream has warmed, remove from the microwave and continue stirring until the ganache is thick and glossy.
  • Leave the ganache to cool slightly, without setting, so that it doesn’t heat up the toffee layer.
FF Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake
The toffee covering and making the chocolate ganache.
  • While the ganache is still liquid, but cooled, pour it over the entire top of the chilled toffee sauce layer.
FF Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake
Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake with a smooth ganache topping.
  • Place the cheesecake back into the fridge to chill and set.
  • Meanwhile place the Caramac into a small heatproof, microwaveable bowl and heat in short 20 second bursts, stirring in between until completely melted.
  • Pour the melted Caramac into a small disposable piping bag.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the fridge. Cut the very end of the piping bag off.
  • Pipe squiggles, or whatever pattern you like on to the chocolate ganache.
  • Place the uncovered cheesecake back into the fridge to completely set.
  • Due to the different layers in this cheesecake, it should be chilled for 4 hours, after the last stage, or ideally overnight.
FF Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake
Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake ready to serve.

To serve, remove from the fridge, run a sharp knife around the edge of the cheesecake to ensure it releases easily. Place the tin on to a large jar/tin and release the springform clip. Ease the side of the tin down, away from the cheesecake. Put the cheesecake on to a flat plate or cake stand.

Enjoy with friends and a drink of your choice. My preference would be strong coffee!

FF Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake
Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake

Treat your friends and family, indeed yourself, to this amazing dessert.

This cheesecake is best eaten within 48 hours of making.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake then you may also like these:

No Bake White Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake

FF Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake
No Bake White Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake

Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova

FF Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake
Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova

Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake

FF Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake
Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake

Dessert is a real treat here at home. Yet it can be the crowning glory to any meal. I have friends who will choose dessert before their main when we are out for a meal. I think that is awesome. But then I have awesome friends ūüėČ.

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

Sammie xx

Wright’s Bakingprovided me with the cookie mix and Hawkshead Relish provided me with a curtesy jar of their toffee sauce. All content, including views and opinions are my own. i was not paid to create this recipe. Please see my Disclosure Policy for complete copyright and intellectual property laws that cover this website. No content may be copied or linked to without my consent.

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Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes

If you are a parent and have children, you will know that from year 6, exams become an important part of their lives. Whether it’s SATS, GCSE’s, A Levels. College or University exams. The end game always focuses on tests or exams. Since today is the start of GCSE’s here in England these Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes, are designed to lift the spirits and fill the tummies of all students sitting their exams.

FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes with coffee – study fuel!

Of course these cupcakes could and should be made all year round, such is their delicious simplicity. Chocolate cake topped with the ultimate white chocolate vanilla frosting. Perfect for chocolate lovers everywhere.

FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes the reflect balance of flavours.

Since these cupcakes can be made, from start to finish in under an hour, they are also handy for short notice or unexpected guests. Likewise they can be whipped up, literally, in moments. The comforting aroma of home baking, wrapping around your weary children, like a cosy, soft blanket, when they arrive home.

FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes comfort at the ready.

While my hard working teens are sitting and studying for their exams, I can be found in the kitchen. Busy rustling up delicious, sustained energy food and lots of treats. The amount of energy burned up during studying is vast. Since this can be a tough time of year for them, their usual ‘healthy’ food intake is topped up with extra yummy goodies!

Recipe: Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes makes 12

100g/4oz Unsalted Butter – softened to room temperature

50g/2oz Caster Sugar

50g/2oz Light Brown Sugar

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

3 Large Free Eggs

60g Plain White Flower

1tsp Baking Powder

40g Cocoa Powder – I use Callebaut

For the frosting:

150g/5oz Icing Sugar

75g/3oz Unsalted softened to room temperature

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste

100g/4oz White Chocolate

Sprinkles of your choice

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

First of all line a 12 hole cupcake tin with cupcake cases.

  • Into a medium sized bowl add the butter, both sugars and salt. Beat together until the mixture is free from lumps and smooth.
  • Now add the vanilla extract and all three eggs.
  • Sift in the flour, cocoa and baking powder.
  • Beat/whisk all of the ingredients together until fully mixed.
  • Divide the mixture between the 12 cupcake cases – approximately one dessert spoonful of mixture per case.
  • Place the cupcake tin into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • The chocolate cupcakes are baked when they spring back from a light touch.
  • When baked remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes ¬†before transferring to a cooling rack. Allow to fully cool.
FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Making, filling and baking chocolate cupcakes.
  • Preparing the frosting and decorating the cupcakes:
  • Note – due to the high chocolate content of the frosting it is advisable to make it directly before piping, while it is soft.
  • Firstly, break up the white chocolate and place in a heatproof, microwaveable bowl. Set to one side.
  • Into a separate bowl add the icing sugar, butter and one teaspoon of very hot water, from a recently boiled kettle. Whisk until almost combined.
  • Place the bowl with the white chocolate into the microwave. Heat for 20 seconds, stirring in between, until the chocolate is liquid.
  • Pour the warm, melted chocolate in with the butter and icing sugar mixture.
  • Whisk the ingredients together immediately and then continue to whisk until the frosting is light and fluffy. During the whisking add the vanilla bean paste.
FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Making the frosting, piping and decorating the chocolate cupcakes.
  • Fit a large piping bag with a large closed star piping nozzle.
  • Fill the piping bag with the frosting and proceed to pipe rose swirls on each cupcake. Starting in the centre of the cupcake, pipe the shape of an ‘e’ then continue around until the cupcake has a complete swirl on top.
  • Finally, sprinkle over your choice of decoration.
FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes so good!

Serve with a hug, smile and a hot drink!

FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes much needed.

Store these cupcakes in an airtight container where they will last for three days.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes you may also like these:

Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes

FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Gluten Free Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes

Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes

FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes

Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookies

FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookies

While cupcakes are delicious, the cookies are for those meltdown moments when the pressure is simply too much. Firstly, so that whoever reads this blog post realises that they aren’t on their own. Sometimes it all gets too much. Fresh air, good music and a break all help. As do hugs, talking and simply letting it all out.

Wishing anyone taking exams, all the very best. If you do your best, no one can expect more of you than that x.

Sammie xx

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