As much as I enjoy baking, sometimes it is nice being able to whip up a sweet treat, without putting the oven on. Especially these Caramel Crunch Rocky Road Bars, requiring nothing more than a spot of microwave melting and chilling before being ready to eat. Resulting in a perfect, last minute party contribution, or satisfying Saturday evening hunger fest.
Using two packs of the ‘relatively new’ digestive nibbles gives these bars a really satisfying crunch. While the addition of Rolo’s add a not too sweet caramel bite. Mixed with mini marshmallows and set within a delicious chocolate base, every possible texture pops in the mouth. Crunchy, chewy and melting. The combination of all of the ingredients is incredible. Finished with the perfect white chocolate drizzle.
So quick and easy to make, perfect for sharing.
Recipe: Caramel Crunch Rocky Road Bars makes 12 large or 18 small
200g/7oz Milk Chocolate
100g/4oz Dark Chocolate
100g/4oz Unsalted Butter
2tbsp Golden Syrup
150g/5oz Mini Marshmallows
3 packs Rolos approximately 150g
2 Packs McVities Digestive Nibbles – 240g combined available from Waitrose,Sainsburys, Ocado, Tesco. – alternatively substitute with an equal weight of shortbread or digestive biscuits
200g/7oz White Chocolate
Making the rocky road
First of all, line a 20cm x 28cm x 5cm tin (8″ x 11″ x 2″) with baking parchment.
Into a large, heatproof, microwaveable bowl add the butter and broken up milk and dark chocolate. Heat in the microwave, on medium power, for 30 second bursts. Stir after each heating burst. As soon as the chocolate and butter are melted remove the bowl from the microwave. And then add the golden syrup and stir continuously until the mixture is fully combined and glossy.
Next add 2 packets of Digestive nibbles.
Follow by adding the marshmallows and Rolos.
Stir until everything is slicked in chocolate.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, taking care to fill evenly.
Now break up the white chocolate and place into another heatproof, microwaveable bowl. Again, heat on medium for 30 seconds stirring after each heating burst. Take care not to overheat the chocolate. As soon as it starts to melt remove and stir continuously until it is completely liquid.
Using a spoon, drizzle the white chocolate over the rocky road mixture in the tin.
Place the tin in the fridge for 30 minutes, or until the chocolate has completely set.
Two portion sizes
As soon as it is set, remove the slab of rocky road from the tin using a palette knife to lift beneath the baking parchment.
Using a sharp knife cut across the width, creating 3 evenly sized portions. Then cut through the centre. For smaller bars divide each half into 9 squares, as on the left. Divide into 6, as on the right, for larger bars.
Finally some advice, if you are making these for a party, place in a baking parchment lined, airtight container and hide them!
During warm weather keep in the fridge. While they will keep for up to one week, however I very much doubt, if you have children or teenagers around that you will have any left after 48 hours. I speak from experience.
So incredibly delicious and surprisingly not overly sweet, these Caramel Crunch Rocky Road Bars are perfect for parties and family gatherings.
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Over the years I have made many different versions of this recipe. Digestive biscuits work well, when broken up. Because their slightly salty, wholemeal flavour balances the sweetness from marshmallows and chocolate. And Digestive Nibbles have that same quality. While they also bring a uniform shape to the cut bars, resulting in less crumbling when handled.
So whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing your feast.
No part of this post may be replicated or copied without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.
Regular visitors to this blog may know that I am a self confessed Cookie Monster. However, it is not just cookies I enjoy. Rather it is biscuits, cookies and shortbread that all have an equal place in my heart. And these Almond Cacao Nib Shortbread Bars certainly make the grade. Crunchy, flaked almond topped bars, studded with a deep, deep, slightly bitter chocolate flavour from the cacao nibs. Exactly what I need to satisfy a cookie craving.
Cacao Nibs And Their Impact On The Shortbread Flavour
Since receiving a tub of Cacao Nibs from Food Thoughts, I couldn’t wait 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.
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. Resulting in shortbread bars that are incredibly delicious and a satisfying treat.
As each shortbread bar is substantial in size, smaller squares may be created by cutting each bar in half. Small shortbread squares are ideal 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 to be shared.
Recipe: Almond Cacao Nib Shortbread Bars – makes 12
200g/7oz Unsalted Batter at room temperature
100g/4oz Caster Sugar – plus 1tbs extra for topping
50g/2oz Cacao Nibs – I use Food Thoughts available at Sainsburys, Waitrose and Ocado
25g/1oz Flaked Almonds
Method: Preheat oven to 170C/150C fan, gas mark 3, 325F.
Butter and line a 28 x 20 x 5cm (12″ x 8″ x 2″) Swiss roll tin with baking parchment.
Making The Shortbread Dough
First of all, 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.
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.
Baking The Cacao Nib Studded Shortbread
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 during baking, 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.
As soon as the shortbread is baked remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin.
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 is already cut it’s more flexible and therefore unlikely to crack when removing from the tin.
Serve with a hot drink. Especially as the go well with tea, coffee 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 😉.
If you have enjoyed this recipe for Almond Cacao Nib Shortbread Bars you may also like these:
While biscuits and shortbreads are readily available in the shops, there are advantages to making your own at home. Firstly and most importantly to me, the flavour is far superior to their mass produced equivalents. Also, flavour combinations that aren’t available in the shops, I can easily make 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.
Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.
Food Thoughts sent me the cacao nibs as a gift, 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 DisclosurePolicy .
If you are a fan of nuts and brownies I can guarantee you will be mad for these Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies. Since they are packed with an almost obscene amount of chocolate, giving the dense fudgey texture and taste required in all great brownies. Also add in a ridiculous amount of chopped and whole hazelnuts and the resulting flavour is Ferrero Rocher in a brownie. Resulting in a gooey, crunchy combination of chocolate and hazelnut flavours.
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, by adding roasted, chopped hazelnuts to the brownie batter, not only does the flavour resemble Nutella, the hazelnuts add crunch to the texture. Finally, whole hazelnuts, roasted during the baking process, completes the exceptional flavour profile.
Preparing The KItchen For Brownie Making
While brownies are fun to make, things can get messy! So 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. 😉
Recipe: Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies makes 15
Method: Preheat the oven 170C/150 fan, gas mark 3.5, 325F
You will need a 22.5cm x 30cm (9″ x 12″) deep tin, lined with foil or baking parchment.
Making The Hazelnut Studded Brownie Batter
First of all 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.
As soon as the chocolate mixture is cooled to 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.
Pour the brownie batter into the prepared tin.
Tips On Baking The Ultimate Brownies
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.
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.
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. Use a palette knife to slide between the base of the brownie and foil. Although the foil/baking parchment should easily peel away.
Serve slightly warmed (20 seconds in the microwave) with a scoop of ice cream for dessert. 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? Definitely not in this house!
If you have enjoyed this recipe for Chocolate Fudge Double Hazelnut Brownies then you may like these:
I really enjoy baking cakes, brownies, muffins and cookies at home. And once I have mastered a particular recipe I can then adapt it to include other ingredients. 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. And that is part of the fun of baking at home!
So, whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.
No part of this post may be replicated or copied without the written consent of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.
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.
Combining the flavours of cherry and almond in these scones is, I think, 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.
Having been sent a nest of Stainless Steel Bowls with Airtight Lids byAndrew 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.
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.
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
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.
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 glacé 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.
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.
When the scones are cooled, or slightly warm then they are ready to be served.
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.
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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?
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 myDisclosure Policy for further details.
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.
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!
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.
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 recommendWilton.
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.
As soon as the cake is baked remove from the oven and allow to cool for ten minutes before turning it out.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Hi to all my fabulous readers. Are you enjoying the current spell of warm weather here in the south of England? While it is so hot, a no churn ice cream recipe is ideal. And this Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream can be made in the morning, ready to enjoy by the evening.
Currently I am in the middle of a full blown love affair with limes. I make no apology, because they taste so good. And 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. So my kitchen is never without lemons or limes.
This ice cream recipe uses homemade lime curd. 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. Importantly, 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.
Because not everyone owns an ice cream maker, this no churn recipe allows anyone to make great ice cream at home. So easily made with three main ingredients, a delightful dessert, to share with family and friends.
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.
This recipe forms part of my 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.
Making The No Churn Lime Ice Cream
First of all, 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.
The splatter guard on this bowl only let through the tiniest spots of cream. Usually there is a massive kitchen clear up, wiping cupboards and floors! So the splatter guard is something that I find a huge bonus on this bowl
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.
Finally swirl the lime curd through using a wooden spoon handl
Freezing The Ice Cream
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.
Remove 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.
Because coconut, lime chocolate, extra lime curd all compliment the lime beautifully, have fun and play around with toppings. Alternatively simply enjoy it as it is!
If you have enjoyed the recipe for Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream you may also like these:
Since creating recipes and sharing them is the heartbeat of Feasting is Fun. Therefore each recipe is always double checked. Most importantly is sharing tasty, consistent and reliable recipes that you can easily follow.
Whatever you are making, creating and baking in your kitchens, have fun creating your feast.
Please do not copy any part of this post without my specific written agreement. See myDisclosure Policy
Who doesn’t love an easy, quick to make, healthy meal? Me, I love pasta, mostly for its versatility. Since any number of sauces or meals can be made to go with a million varieties of pasta. Where would we be without it? And 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.
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.
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. While 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 unbuttered. Win win!
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 – I 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: Making the Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta
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.
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.
Time to eat
Serve this delicious Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta in bowls.
Since this dish is ideal to make ahead, it is also perfect for transporting. Ideal for a new family or friend who is unwell. Also this dish is as perfect to share outside the home as it is with family and friends around the dinner table.
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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. Even though there are countless ready made sauces to buy available, this homemade pasta dishes is quick and easy. And easy meals are a busy household’s must.
Have fun creating, cooking and baking in your kitchens.
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.
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, using a mild cheddar results in a bland tasting scone. Also keeping your hands light, while making the scone dough will result in a light scone. Because if you work the dough too much the baked scones will be heavy.
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 okay. Simply remove slightly more than the recipe calls for and drain them thoroughly using kitchen towels. While their deep, unique flavour and texture will still work in this recipe.
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.
Method: Preheat oven to 220C/200C fan, 425F, gas mark 7,
You will need two large baking trays lined with baking parchment and a 5cm/2″ plain round cutter.
Making The Cheddar Scone Dough
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.
Shaping The Dough And Cutting Out The Scones
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.
Baking The Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato 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.
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!
While delicious eaten warm, cool completely before packing into an airtight container to store.
Also the 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.
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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.
So, whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.
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 fromAndrew James and secondly any flavour combination is possible. Welcome to my Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream.
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!
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.
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.
Recipe: Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream makes approx. 1L
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.
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.
Using the handle of a wooden spoon swirl the ingredients together.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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If you are a pudding or dessert lover, with a sweet tooth, this Toffee Cookie BaseChocolate 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!
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.
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.
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
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 – available from Hawkshead Relishif 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.
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.
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.
While the ganache is still liquid, but cooled, pour it over the entire top of the chilled toffee sauce layer.
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.
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!
Treat your friends and family, indeed yourself, to this amazing dessert.
This cheesecake is best eaten within 48 hours of making.
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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 😉.
Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing your feast.
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.