Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins

I love a recipe that is versatile, which is exactly what the Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins recipe is. So I took that recipe, fiddled a bit and the result was these utterly delicious Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins!

FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins perfect warm from the oven.

I had ordered the ingredients with last weeks shopping, intent on making them during the week. Somehow I got distracted by other things, until today. Boy was I glad I waited. The cupboards, well fridge are always fairly bare on a Saturday as that’s the day our shopping is delivered. Having Hubby here to unpack and put things away, saves me from spending the following day in bed!

I kid you not see Living With Seizures if you’d like to know more.

Both our girls were out late, last night at a concert in London, so I knew the house would be fairly quiet this morning as they snoozed away upstairs. Little man was getting hungry and I suddenly remembered what I had stashed in the fridge. Phew!

FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins perfect for breakfast or brunch.

I made these Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins in less than 10 minutes, they cooked in 15 minutes AND I had enough for my photo shoot to let our little man munch happily away, whilst I snapped a few shots.

Oh my, these are good – I mean really, really, pass me another one good. The Chorizo could make them taste a bit like pizza, nothing wrong with that – but breakfast, hmm not so sure. That’s where the goats cheese kicks in and completely rounds out the flavours, bringing it back to breakfast, brunch time.

FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins a great way to kick start the day.

Brain is ticking now – watch this space for pizza style muffins!!

Back to the Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins – I cooked the chorizo first so that it would start to release it’s red paprika juices when mixed into the batter. Just a quick word, as my friend Liz from Teta Lizza’s Kitchen also emphasises, when making muffins don’t over mix the batter. A few floury streaks are ok. The best, lightest, yummiest muffins come from just mixed, lumpy batter. It is true.

It’s definitely worth checking out Liz’s blog, she’s an amazing cook and baker, whose food is so mouth wateringly good. I should know I made her Carrot Soup! She’s a great girl with a wicked sweet tooth, balanced by lots of healthy, beautifully presented recipes. Pop over to Teta Lizza’s Kitchen and say hi.

FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins utterly delicious.

Before you visit I’ll show you how these fantastic, lazy weekend, Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins are made 😉

Recipe: Makes 12 Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins

100g/4oz Sliced Chorizo

150g/5oz Goats Cheese

200ml Whole Milk

2 Large Free Range Eggs

4tbsp Vegetable Oil

350g/12oz Plain White Flour

2tsp Baking Powder

Good grinding of black pepper – to taste

1/2tsp Cayenne Pepper – plus a little extra to sprinkle on the baked muffins

Method: Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6

  • Chop or dice the chorizo into 1cm pieces.
  • Cook in a dry frying pan until the chorizo starts to release its delicious paprika juices.
  • Remove and put on a plate to cool slightly.
  • Measure the milk into a jug. Add the 2 eggs and vegetable oil. Stir to combine – wet mixture.
  • Into a large bowl add the flour, baking powder, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Use a whisk to stir and combine.
  • Chop or crumble up the goats cheese into roughly the same sized pieces as the chorizo.
  • Add the chorizo and goats cheese to the flour mixture, stir to distribute – dry mixture.
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture and pour the wet mixture in.
  • Stir with a fork until just combined.
FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Lumpy muffin batter makes the lightest muffins.
  • Line a muffin/cupcake tin with muffin cases – and yes I found mine!
  • Divide the batter equally between the 12 cases – ideally an ice cream scoop can be used – I forgot!!
  • Place the muffin tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • Mine took 15 minutes.
  • The Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins are baked when they are firm to touch and golden on top.
  • When baked remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
  • Sprinkle the top of each muffin with a little bit of cayenne pepper.

These delightful Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins are best served warm and eaten on the day they are made. However, they can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days and refreshed by warming in the oven. They also make a great addition to packed lunches, as a change from sandwiches or wraps.

Now that Spring is firmly here and warmer weather is in sight, I will definitely be making these for picnics, perfect eaten alongside some cherry tomatoes and cucumber sticks.

FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins perfect to pack up for picnics.

Do you enjoy eating outside?

I must admit I’m yet to be converted to barbecues, yet I love nothing more than throwing a blanket on the lawn, or on rare good days, going to the seaside or park and having a picnic. Some of our best picnics have actually been in the rain, children sitting, welly boots on, on the flat boot of our car munching on scotch eggs, olives, carrot sticks and crisps. These Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins will be a new and very welcome addition to our picnic outings!

If you enjoyed this recipe for Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins you may like these too:

Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins

BN Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins
Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins utterly delicious warm from the oven.

Super Light Scones

Cookies Super Light Scones
Super Light Scones

Toffee Banoffee Waffles

FF Toffee Banoffee Waffles
Toffee Banoffee Waffles serve straight away.

Whatever you are making and baking have fun and remember that food always tastes better when it’s shared.

Sammie xx

 

 

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Chocolate Toffee Crunch Bundt Cake

Does anyone still have chocolate left over from Easter? If so I have the perfect way to make it go further AND taste even more yummy. Meet my Chocolate Toffee Crunch Bundt Cake.

WB Chocolate Toffee Crunch Bundt Cake
Chocolate Toffee Crunch Bundt Cake such an easy, yet beautiful cake.

The utterly mouth watering combination of Chocolate and Toffee all in one cake. If you enjoyed my Rolo Chocolate Cookies I’m pretty sure you’ll love this cake!

She is a beauty isn’t she?

This Chocolate Toffee Crunch Bundt Cake is baked in the Nordic Ware blossom Bundt tin, so I decided that this cake is a girl. Well female….. oh dear it’s late, I’ve gone off on a tangent and I’m waffling again!!

WB Chocolate Toffee Crunch Bundt C
Chocolate Toffee Crunch Bundt Cake topped with milk chocolate and bronze crunch.

The blossom Bundt tin is one of my favourites. The melted chocolate and bronze crunch on this Chocolate Toffee Crunch Bundt Cake look amazing, but if you were pressed for time, a dusting of icing sugar and this cake would still win hearts – and tummies 😉

So what is it that makes this cake so easy??

Wright’s Baking Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix and their Toffee Cake Mix, combined.

The gorgeous fudgey chocolate works so well with the toffee, I honestly can’t believe that I didn’t think of it sooner.

WB Chocolate Toffee Crunch Bundt Cake
Chocolate Toffee Crunch Bundt Cake would like a slice – or two?

Having already explained my stance on having a few, good quality packet mixes in the kitchen, whilst writing up my Chocolate Orange Citrus Bundt, no further mention is needed. This cake came about as I had 3/4 of a packet of each of the mixes left after testing their suitability for waffles. Only the Toffee Cake Mix made it through as my Toffee Banoffee Waffles 

  1. So you have a choice: weigh out 3/4 of each packet mix (375g) add together and make up according to adjusted packet instructions: 150ml per mix = 300ml of water and 3 tablespoons of oil per mix = 6 tablespoons.
  2. Or mix both whole packets together and make up according to double the packet instructions. So 400ml of water and 8 tablespoons of oil. Fill the Bundt to the desired level and use the leftover batter to bake some cupcakes.
  3. Altenatively, a 10″ springform cake tin would be the right size to bake 2 complete packets of mix made up as per option 2.

So many choices!!! I would like to add that investing in one Bundt tin is worth it, especially if cake decorating skills are not your strongest gift. The tins really do make any cake look beautiful, including this Chocolate Toffee Crunch Bundt Cake.

Recipe: Chocolate Toffee Crunch Bundt Cake serves 10

1 Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix from Wright’s Baking

1 Toffee Cake Mix from Wright’s Baking

8tbsp Vegetable Oil (6tbsp if making option 1)

Water

Cake Release Spray – I use Wilton’s OR butter and baking parchment for greasing and lining a 10″ cake tin

150g/5oz Milk Chocolate

Toffee Sprinkles or the Bronze Crunch which I bought from Waitrose – or a Crunchie bar broken up.

Method: Preheat the oven to 155C/140 fan, gas mark 2

  • Decide which option you will use to bake your cake.
  • Prepare the Bundt by spraying with cake release. Alternatively grease and line a springform cake tin.
  • Into a large bowl add the required amount of water and vegetable oil.
  • Add both the chocolate fudge and toffee packet mixes – remembering to weigh out 375g ONLY, from each packet if using Option 1.
  • Whisk according to packet instructions.
  • Pour the chocolate/toffee cake batter into the prepared tin. The Bundt tin should be no more than two thirds full.
WB Chocolate Toffee Crunch Bundt Cake
Ready for the oven.
  • Place the Bundt tin in the middle of the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes – note: the baking time will be longer if using more cake batter.
  • The cake is cooked when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven.
WB Chocolate Toffee Crunch Bundt Cake
Chocolate Toffee Crunch Bundt Cake beautifully baked.
  • Allow the cake to cool in the Bundt tin for 10 minutes.
  • Place a cooling rack on top of the cake and flip over.
  • Remove the Bundt tin and admire the beautiful cake!
WB Chocolate Toffee Crunch Bundt Cake
Chocolate Toffee Crunch Bundt Cake the blossom revealed.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely before decorating.
  • Break up the milk chocolate and place into a heatproof, microwaveable bowl.
  • Zap for 30 seconds at a time in the microwave, stirring after each zap!
  • When the chocolate is almost melted, remove from the microwave and keep stirring, until it is completely melted.
  • Use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate over the Bundt cake.
  • Finish with some delicious sprinkles. Crushed up Crunchie bars would work beautifully with this cake.
WB Chocolate Toffee Crunch Bundt Cake
Chocolate Toffee Crunch Bundt Cake topped with chocolate and crunchy sprinkles.

Allow the chocolate to almost set before serving. The combination of toffee pieces and the delicious chocolate fudge work together so well in this Chocolate Toffee Crunch Bundt Cake.

Have you caught the Bundt bug?

This Chocolate Toffee Crunch Bundt Cake is so easy to make. Here are some other Bundt recipes for you to try:

Chocolate Orange Citrus Bundt

WB Chocolate Orange Citrus Bundt
Chocolate Orange Citrus Bundt easy to make and easier to eat!

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake NW
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake with lemon glaze.

Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cake

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

The Chocolate Toffee Crunch Bundt Cake was given to very dear friends, who had just lost a loved one. Simply making and giving a cake, during a time of grief, is one way to show you care. Nothing can replace their loss, or mend their heartbreak, but taking time to bake a cake, which they can then share with visitors, brought a smile to our friends face when it was delivered.

Do you bake for others to show your love?

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest

Wright’s Baking provided the cake mixes for this recipe. All opinions, content and photographs are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

 

 

 

 

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Perfectly Mashed Potatoes

Thank you for stopping by to read this post and find out how to make Perfectly Mashed Potatoes.

If you are curious as to why I should post such an easy recipe here’s my answer.

Everyone has to learn the basics. I did. I wasn’t born with the knowledge of how to cook a roast, boil an egg or mash potatoes. I learnt, mostly, from watching my Grandma, whilst I was growing up.

FF Perfectly Mashed Potatoes
Perfectly Mashed Potatoes no fancy equipment needed!

Always an inquisitive child, I literally hung around her apron strings and learnt how to cook, bake, make preserves, prove bread and much more. My earliest memory is standing on a stall, shucking peas that my Grandad had freshly picked from the garden.

So a love of cooking, indeed, more being in the kitchen and making something, was present from a very early age. At home, I recall asking if I could peel some potatoes. I was given a bowl, full of cold water, to wash off the dirt, potatoes didn’t come pre-washed in the 1970’s and a small vegetable peeler. An hour had passed and I still hadn’t finished! That didn’t matter, I was learning.

FF Perfectly Mashed Potatoes
Perfectly Mashed Potatoes creamy and delicious.

In today’s world of convenience food and £1 packets of ready mashed potatoes available from the supermarket, learning how to cook basic recipes, isn’t always taught at home, in the way I learned. So yes a recipe for Perfectly Mashed Potatoes, is here, because who doesn’t love mash???

Most kitchens will have a potato masher utensil in them, if not they can be picked up, fairly cheaply, from any shop that sells kitchenware. I will not be using a potato ricer, hand whisk, kitchen stand mixer or any other contraption to make these Perfectly Mashed Potatoes, simply a potato masher. It is what most people have to hand and in my opinion, produces the best mashed potatoes!

So the only equipment you will need to make your mash is:

  • A sharp knife
  • Saucepan
  • Colinder
  • Potato Masher
  • Optional – vegetable peeler

Most kitchens will be equipped with this equipment, if not, each item can be bought inexpensively as mentioned above.

Recipe: Perfectly Mashed Potatoes serves 6-8 adults

2.5kg/5lbs Potatoes suitable for mashing – I used Albert Bartlett Elfe Potatoes – these have a particularly creamy texture and buttery taste, Rooster potatoes are also good for mashing. Any potato that is described as floury, suitable for mash can be used. However for the best mash I’ve tried I do recommend Elfe potatoes.

75g/3oz Butter

100mls/4fl ozs Whole Milk

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg – freshly grated is even better.

Method: Half fill a large saucepan with cold water

  • Using a vegetable peeler or small paring knife peel the potatoes.
  • Cut them into 5cm/2″ chunks as you go and immediately place in the pan of cold water.
  • NOTE: If peeled potatoes are left out of water they will start to turn brown.
  • Once all of the potatoes have been peeled and cut up, top up the pan with cold water, so that the potatoes are just covered.
FF Perfectly Mashed Potatoes
The potatoes are prepared and ready for cooking.
  • Turn the heat onto high on the hob and bring the potatoes up to a boil.
  • As soon as they are boiling turn the heat down and let the potatoes simmer for 15 minutes.
  • To test if the potatoes are cooked, insert a sharp knife into a couple of chunks, there shouldn’t be any resistance and the potato chunk may well break in half.
  • Once cooked drain the potatoes in a colinder and allow to steam dry for 5 minutes.
FF Perfectly Mashed Potatoes
Allowing the potatoes to steam dry makes better mash!
  • Empty any water from the saucepan the potatoes were cooked in.
  • Add the butter and milk to the pan and heat until the butter is melted.
  • I add 1/2tsp of sea salt, a good grinding of black pepper and the ground nutmeg to the milk/butter at this stage.
  • Take the pan off of the heat and add the cooked potatoes.
FF Perfectly Mashed Potatoes
Time to get mashing!
  • The next step is simply to plunge in with the potato masher and keep mashing until all the potatoes have broken down and you have smooth, creamy, Perfectly Mashed Potatoes.
  • I quite often get the children to mash our potatoes and yes, it does require a bit of elbow grease and effort (which with my back I’m not able to apply).
  • The potatoes are so beautifully soft and creamy, that they break down easily.
  • Serve the potatoes straight away onto dinner plates, or for special occasions, pile into a serving bowl, dot with a little extra butter and a light sprinkle of nutmeg.

Yes it really is that simple!

FF Perfectly Mashed Potatoes
Utterly delicious Perfectly Mashed Potatoes every single time.

Perfectly Mashed Potatoes are the perfect accompaniment to so many meals, made well they are delicious just on their own, perhaps with a little grated, sharp cheddar to top!

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Perfectly Mashed Potatoes, here are some other potato recipes you also may like:

Leek Colcannon

FF Leek Colcannon
Sautéed leeks and savoy cabbage mixed with mashed potatoes.

Baked Garlic Herb Potato Wedges

FF Baked Garlic Herb Potato Wedges
Baked Garlic Herb Potato Wedges

Tangy Lemon Potato Salad

FF Tangy Lemon Potato Salad
Tangy Lemon Potato Salad

Were you taught to cook at home, or are you just learning?

Thank you for all of you lovely comments, I get such a thrill knowing you have baked and enjoyed one of my recipes, please keep them coming.

Also it is great seeing all the pictures of your makes and bakes on Twitter and Instagram. Please keep them coming, tag me in and I’ll be sure to give you a shoutout or retweet.

Are there any other basic recipes that you would like to see on Feasting is Fun? Let me know and if I can, I will post them for you.

Remember, everyone has to start at the beginning, the fun is in the journey and we are all here to support each other as we learn.

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest

The Albert Bartlett Elfe potatoes were won in a competition. All opinions and views are my own, as is the content of this post. Please see my Disclosure Policy

 

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Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup

Spring may be upon us and with it some gloriously sunny days. However, being British and therefore brought up to talk about the weather, there have also been a few blustery downpours. The sun, in April, not yet having had its chance to warm up our part of the planet, means there’s quite a chill in the air, when it’s hidden by clouds. Enter my Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup, perfect for warming you through, whether you’re chilly, or soaked through from a sudden downpour – April showers and all that!

FF Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup
Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup deliciously satisfying.

Quite honestly, this soup is so utterly delicious, it’s flavours intensified by roasting the butternut squash first, I am happy to make it all year round. Or at least when butternut squash is in season.

I am really working on trying to eat seasonally. We did belong to a veg box scheme, but what with my health and body dictating what I am able to do during the day, too much was being wasted. On that subject I am, at present, propped up in bed, with my neck in spasm, due to a few violent seizures (see Living With Seizures).

Please don’t think I am writing this for you to feel sorry for me, nothing could be further from the truth. I just believe in honesty. In our Instagram shiny perfect world, it can lead to people feeling inadequate or broken. Real life can be messy. Health problems, relationship difficulties, family problems, financial issues. There’s a whole host of stuff that goes on ‘behind the scenes’ – I am generalising. Hubby and I are happy, but we have to deal with a lot, together.

FF Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup
Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup incredibly tasty and filling.

A good meal like this Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup can feel like a warm hug, against the harsh realities, life sometimes throws at us. I can’t even remember exactly when I made this soup – about 2 weeks ago I think! Yet I haven’t had the opportunity to write it up until today.

Sorry.

This the most amazingly easy soup to make and the flavour is outta this world good. Who knew butternut squash could have so much more flavour, just by roasting it? Oh and the garlic, which is left unpeeled whilst it roasts, turns into sweet little cloves of utter heaven. Roasted garlic is about as far away from the heat and pungency of raw garlic, as it is possible to be. Together these two ingredients make this utterly scrumptious Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup.

Recipe: Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup serves 4-6 people

1 Butternut Squash

2 Garlic Cloves

1 Onion

2tbsp Olive Oil

1 Vegetable or Chicken Stock Cube

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Optional – Parsely and Double Cream to serve

Method: Preheat the oven to 209C/185C fan, gas mark 6

  • Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin from the butternut squash.
  • Cut the squash in half and then cut the bottom half in half again so that the seeds can be scooped out.
FF Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut squash is such a beautiful colour.
  • Cut the butternut squash into 2.5cm/1″ chunks
  • Place the chunks of butternut squash onto a baking tray along with the 2 garlic cloves.
  • Pour over 1tbsp of olive oil and using clean hands toss the chunks so that they have a covering of oil.
  • Add a small sprinkle of sea salt (1/2tsp) and a good grinding of black pepper.
FF Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup
The butternut squash chunks almost fill they baking tray.
  • Place the baking tray into the oven and allow to roast for 25 minutes.
  • Whilst the squash and garlic are roasting, peel and finely chop the onion.
  • In a large saucepan add the other tablespoon of olive oil and the chopped onion. Sauté over a medium heat until the onion is softened and translucent. Leave to one side.
  • The butternut squash is roasted once it has become tender.
  • Once cooked remove the baking tray from the oven.
FF Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup
After roasting you can see how much the butternut squash has shrunk.
  • The butternut squash has reduced inside and that means – concentrated flavour!
  • Place the saucepan containing the sautéed onion back over a medium heat.
  • Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skin and add to the saucepan.
  • Add the roasted butternut squash to the pan,
  • Cover with 1.5 litres of hot water from the kettle.
  • Crumble in the stock cube.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook for a further 10 minutes, uncovered.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and blend using an immersion blender. Alternatively allow the soup to cool a little and blend, in batches, using a blender. Once blended add the soup back to the saucepan.
  • Check for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
  • If the soup is too thick add a little extra hot water until the desired consistency is reached.
FF Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup
Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup just add crusty bread!

I like to serve this soup with a little swirl of cream and some Parsely to garnish. A nice thick slice of my Crunchy Seeded Bread would turn this Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup into a substantial meal. I love dunking bread into soup, do you?

To store, cool the soup completely and portion into airtight containers or zip lock freezer bags. It will keep in the fridge for 4 days or the freezer for up to one month. In fact next time I make this Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup I am going to double up on the quantities. It only takes a little longer to peel and chop an extra squash and onion. Whilst the oven is on, it makes sense to pop in two baking trays. That way I will have lunch or a quick dinner, bolstered with some bread and cheese, for the days when I simply am not up to cooking.

Sounds like a plan 😉

If you have enjoyed this Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup here are some other delicious soup recipes:

Roast Chicken Noodle Soup

FF Roast Chicken Noodle Soup
Roast Chicken Noodle Soup great for using up leftovers.

Leek and Potato Soup

FF Leek and Potato Soup
Leek and Potato Soup velvety comfort.

Carrot Soup

FF Carrot Soup
Carrot Soup served with crumbled Stliton cheese.

Do you sometimes need a warm hug?

What is your go to comforting food?

Thank you for taking time to leave a comment. I really enjoy reading them and hearing about your baking/cooking adventures. Likewise it’s been fantastic to see so many of you posting your makes and bakes on Twitter and Instagram. If you tag me in I’ll be sure to retweet or give you a shoutout.

Wherever you are and whatever you are making I wish you all the very best and hope that you know you are loved and treasured – see Important Stuff.

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest

This Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup has been entered into the No Croutons Required Link Up hosted by Jac at Tinned Tomatoes.

 

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Raspberries Cream Giant Doughnut

Do any of you, my lovely readers have fears? I like to think that I don’t but, I’m never too happy with heights – the bridge in ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’ yep I’m pretty sure I’d have to be blindfolded, gagged and carried across!! Another irrational fear I’ve had for a while has been baking with silicone. It looks like plastic to me and plastic melts in the oven – right? Well today I faced my fear and baked this delicious Raspberries Cream Giant Doughnut using a silicone mould!

And guess what – it didn’t melt!!!

FF Raspberries Cream Giant Doughnut
Raspberries Cream Giant Doughnut full of fresh fruit and flavour.

Yep you can always trust Sammie to NOT be at the forefront of new baking technology 😉.

I cannot tell you what a relief it is to have finally baked using a silicone mould. In fact I have to agree with friends that bake with silicone all the time, they are an absolute dream to work with. I’ve had these silicone giant doughnut moulds since the January sales, I like to ease into things gradually!!

FF Raspberries Cream Giant Doughnut
Raspberries Cream Giant Doughnut such a light fluffy sponge.

When I’m baking and cooking I really try to use seasonal fruit and vegetables. This Raspberries Cream Giant Doughnut has defrosted frozen raspberries in the middle. Raspberries are most definitely not in season, however I find the frozen British raspberries from Waitrose are fantastic quality and perfect for use, as fresh fruit, during the colder months.

We grow quite a bit of fruit in our back garden, including raspberries, strawberries, cherries, apples, plums and pears – ooh blackcurrants, redcurrants and blackberries too. Last year wasn’t brilliant for raspberries in our garden, yet we had buckets full of cherries. Our children are duly dispatched to various neighbours houses, sharing the fruit.

FF Raspberries Cream Giant Doughnut
Raspberries Cream Giant Doughnut perfect for afternoon tea.

In a good year when there is an abundance of raspberries I always try to freeze some down. Usually there are only enough for our trifle on Christmas Day, as we love eating them fresh, or turning them into jam. Raspberry jam has to be my absolute favourite and I was going to make a small batch of fresh jam to use in this Raspberries Cream Giant Doughnut – however, my body had other ideas.

Still I focus on the positives, those being: this Raspberries Cream Giant Doughnut is so easy to make, bake and decorate. On top of that, once the doughnut is assembled and sliced into – well, the flavour is outstanding. The sponge is lighter than light, the ‘fresh’ raspberry tartness works well with the sweetness of the jam and the hint of almond in the glacé icing, adds that extra level of flavour.

This is my favourite recipe today 😉

Recipe: Makes one Raspberries Cream Giant Doughnut at a guess I’d say this should serve 8-10 people, but there again if they want seconds…….

200g/7oz Unsalted Butter – softened plus 1tbsp extra for grasing the doughnut moulds

200g/7oz Caster Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – can substitute for vanilla extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

5 Large Free Range Eggs

200g/7oz Plain Flour

1.5tsp Baking Powder

1/4tsp Salt

For the filling:

3-4tbsp Raspberry Jam

150g/5oz Fresh or Defrosted Raspberries

300ml/ 1/2 pint Double Cream + 1tsp Caster Sugar

For the icing:

100g Icing Sugar – sifted

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

Pink Gel Food Colouring

Sprinkles of your choice

Method: Preheat the oven to 155C/140C fan, gas mark 2.

FF Raspberries Cream Giant Doughnut
The two silicone doughnut moulds.
  • Grease both of the doughnut moulds with butter – remembering to grease the middle section that will make the doughnut hole.
  • Into a large bowl add the butter and sugar.
  • Whisk/beat together for 5 minutes. This is important as it will help the sponge be very light and tender.
  • Add the vanilla bean paste and whisk/beat for a further 2 minutes.
  • Add all 5 eggs to the bowl.
  • Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Whish/beat slowly until the ingredients have just come together.
  • Use a rubber/silicone spatula to give the mix a couple of stirs, ensuring all the ingredients, especially from the bottom of the bowl are combined.
  • Carefully spoon half of the batter into each of the doughnut halves.
  • Smooth the top of the batter for an even bake.
  • Place the doughnut halves, making sure they do not touch, on a baking tray and place in the middle of the oven.
FF Raspberries Cream Giant Doughnut
Fill each doughnut mould with half of the mixture.
  • Cook for 40-50 minutes. Mine took 45 minutes.
  • The doughnut is cooked when it is golden and springs back from a light touch. You will also notice, from the picture below that the cake has started to come away from the side of the mould.
  • Once cooked remove the giant doughnut halves from the oven and place onto a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
FF Raspberries Cream Giant Doughnut
Move the moulds onto a cooling rack.
  • After 10 minutes cooling in the mould has elapsed, gently tip each doughnut half out of its mould.
  • Allow to cool completely on the rack
FF Raspberries Cream Giant Doughnut
Two halves of a giant doughnut cooling on the rack.
  • Once both halves are cooled the doughnut can now be decorated.
  • Place one half, flat side up, on a pretty serving plate, board or cake stand.
  • Carefully spread the raspberry jam so that it covers the flat surface.
  • Arrange the raspberries in a pattern, on top of the jam.
FF Raspberries Cream Giant Doughnut
The bottom layer is decorated.
  • In a bowl addy the double cream and sugar.
  • Whisk until it just holds a stiff peak.
  • Fit a large piping bag with a #1M Wilton large star tip.
  • Fill the piping bag with the whipped cream.
  • Pipe a swirl pattern around the middle of the bottom layer.
  • Pipe stars all around the inside and outside edge of the doughnut half.
FF Raspberries Cream Giant Doughnut
Piped swirls and stars of freshly whipped cream.
  • Place the other doughnut half on top of the fruit and whipped cream, curved side facing up. You now have a giant doughnut!!
  • To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a small bowl, add the almond extract.
  • Add 2tsp of water and mix, then add a tiny bit of pink gel colouring using a cocktail stick.
  • The icing consistency needs to be thick but still pourable – add a little extra water to achieve this.
  • Using a spoon, drizzle the thick icing over the top of the doughnut, as shown in the picture.
  • Finally add your sprinkles before the glacé icing sets.
FF Raspberries Cream Giant Doughnut
Finished with almond glacé icing and pretty pearlised sprinkles.

Serve the Raspberries Cream Giant Doughnut sliced with a nice cup of afternoon tea.

Whilst Sunday tea may not be a national tradition anymore, sometimes it’s nice to have a beautiful slice of something delicious, mid afternoon, just because you can!

Persaonally I’m all for tradition and think bringing back a proper Sunday afternoon tea, where all the family gathers together, is a brilliant idea. Maybe not every week, although there is nothing wrong with that, perhaps once a month, with everyone contributing so that the burden of baking doesn’t fall on only one pair of shoulders.

For me baking isn’t a burden, but a pleasure. However, sometimes it is nice to share things out, that way we all get to enjoy each other’s bakes!

FF Raspberries Cream Giant Doughnut
Raspberries Cream Giant Doughnut

Are there any traditions that you would like to see brought back?

Do you have a fear of cooking with a certain ingredient or silicone?

I hope you have enjoyed this Raspberries Cream Giant Doughnut post, for other fresh cream recipes you may like these:

Raspberry Almond Cream Cake

FF Raspberry Almond Cream Cake
Raspberry Almond Cream Cake

Strawberries and Cream Cake

FF Strawberries and Cream Cake
Strawberries and Cream Cake

If you have been inspired to bake or cook one of my recipes please leave a comment I love to know how you get on. Also if you are on Twitter or Instagram please tag me in on a photo?

Whatever you make and bake in your kitchen, remember feasting really is fun, especially when we share with others.

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest

 

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Rolo Chocolate Cookies

Ooh I am so excited to share this recipe with you. I may, have just found the perfect chocolate/caramel cookie! Meet my Rolo Chocolate Cookies.

R Rolo Chocolate Cookies
Rolo Chocolate Cookies soft and chewy bites of chocolate heaven.

I have been wanting to make these cookies for absolutely ages and finally got round to it yesterday, whilst I was also baking my Chocolate Orange Citrus Bundt Cake.

Using the recipe from my Monster Mini Egg Cookies I jiggled things about a bit – swapping from light brown sugar to dark muscavado sugar and adding some cocoa, amongst other things. The result is, in my humble opinion, the best soft chocolate cookie that I’ve made so far!

R Rolo Chocolate Cookies
Rolo Chocolate Cookies unbelievably good.

Oh my, these Rolo Chocolate Cookies are the stuff of dreams. Or to put it in the words of our children, like the ones you get at Sainsbury’s!

The difference being that I know exactly what has gone into these cookies and their smell as they are baking. As you may know, I adore the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven, chocolate cookies are right up there with the bread, in terms of deliciously teasing aromas.

R Rolo Chocolate Cookies
Rolo Chocolate Cookies they really are as good as they look!

As a self proclaimed Cookie Monster, sometimes I want a nice crisp biscuit that I can dunk in my cup of tea like my Lemon Shortbread Cookies and other times I want to bite into a soft, yielding cookie. The type of cookie that goes really well with a glass of ice cold milk – these Rolo Chocolate Cookies are it.

Chewy, ooey and gooey.

Yep I know that sounds like cartoon characters 😉.

If you like chocolate cookies, then you’ll love these Rolo Chocolate Cookies.

Recipe: Make 18-20 Rolo Chocolate Cookies

225g/8oz Soft Dark Brown Muscavado Sugar

150g/5oz Unsalted Butter- at room temperature

1Tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – I use Nielsen-Massey if you don’t have any paste you can substitute 2tsp of vanilla extract

1 Large Free Range Egg – plus

1 Large Free Range Egg Yolk

50g/2oz Cocoa Powder

225g/8oz Plain White Flour

1/2tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

Pinch of Salt

4-6 packs of Nestle Rolos – depending on how decadent you want your cookies – I’m not going to lie, I went for the full 6 packets!!!

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

  • Place the sugar and butter in a large bowl and whisk/beat for 5 minutes until pale and creamy – whisking for 5 minutes here and then after adding the eggs is very important to the finished texture of the cookie.
  • Add the vanilla bean paste and the eggs and continue whisking/beating for a further 5 minutes.
R Rolo Chocolate Cookies
This is how pale you need the whipped eggs, butter and sugar to be.
  • Next sift the cocoa, flour and bicarb. into the bowl.
  • Add 4 packets of Rolos.
R Rolo Chocolate Cookies
Everything in the bowl ready to become Rolo Chocolate Cookies!!
  • Using a metal spoon, gently stir all of the ingredients together, trying not to bash the Rolos too much.
  • Line 3 baking trays with baking parchment.
  • Using a medium sized ice cream scoop, scoop mounds of cookie dough onto the baking trays. Leave a decent gap between each mound as these cookies spread.
R Rolo Chocolate Cookies
Top each mound of cookie dough with an extra Rolo.
  • Bake the cookies in the centre of the oven for exactly 15 minutes.
  • The cookies will still be very soft after the baking time has elapsed.
  • Once baked remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking tray.
R Rolo Chocolate Cookies
Rolo Chocolate Cookies cooling on the baking parchment lined trays.

Once cooled store the Rolo Chocolate Cookies in an airtight container. Separate each layer with baking parchment. These cookies can get very sticky where the caramel oozes out and like to hang on to each other in the tin.

I tell you this from experience 😉.

R Rolo Chocolate Cookies
Rolo Chocolate Cookies a delicious combination of chocolate and caramel in a cookie.

If you have any Easter chocolate left, you could break it up and add it to these cookies instead of the Rolos, or melt it and use it in my Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites.

If you had a look of horror on your face when I suggested ‘leftover chocolate’ fear not I happily bought the Rolos for these yummy Rolo Chocolate Cookies!!

In our home we have have an ‘eating chocolate’ stash and a completely separate ‘cooking/blogging chocolate’ stash. Although sometimes the lines are blurred – when the need arises, either way!

Can you keep chocolate in the house without it constantly ‘calling to you’?

If you’ve enjoyed these Rolo Chocolate Cookies here are some other cookie recipes that you may also like:

Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies

Smartie Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies
Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies a delicious treat.

Chocolate Heart Cookies

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

Cherry Bakewell Cookies

R Cherry Bakewell Cookies
Cherry Bakewell Cookies if you fancy a change from chocolate?

I love reading your comments so please keep them coming. Also if you are on Twitter or Instagram please pop up a photo of your bakes and kitchen creations and tag me in. I enjoy seeing what you’ve made and will be sure to retweet or give you a shoutout.

Whatever you are making or baking, have fun and remember food always tastes better when it is shared.

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Moroccan Lamb Stew

I have a recipe to share with you today that is unbelievably delicious. My Moroccan Lamb Stew served with Lime Couscous.

MD Morrocan Lamb Stew
Morrocan Lamb Stew slow cooked tender lamb in a slightly spicy, fruity sauce.

After cooking my Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder for Sunday lunch, I had plenty of leftover meat. In fact I’d actually cooked two whole lamb shoulders to make absolutely certain that I’d have enough meat for this Moroccan Lamb Stew.

You could absolutely use fresh diced lamb for this recipe, but there is something distinctly delicious about meat that has been slow cooked on the bone. So much more flavour and that was what I wanted for this dish.

Morrocan Lamb Stew flavored with middle eastern spices.
Moroccan Lamb Stew flavored with middle eastern spices.

Having never cooked a dish like this before, I knew I was taking a gamble as to whether the children would eat it. They aren’t fussy and eat a wide range of foods, yet I know I wouldn’t have eaten this as a child.

Shame on me!

Each of them completely cleared their plate, loved this AND they’d figured out that I’d added dates to the stew!! They loved the gentle, yet spicey and fruity flavour of the Moroccan Lamb Stew served with the Lime Couscous.

Again shame on me for underestimating their appreciation of delicious food!

MD Morrocan Lamb Stew
Moroccan Lamb Stew meltingly tender lamb in a deliciously fragrant sauce.

Using leftover roast lamb made this dish incredibly easy to put together. Even though the lamb was pre cooked I still let this stew bubble and simmer away on a very low heat for a few hours. This didn’t make the lamb tough or dry. It resulted in fragrantly spiced lamb, that was so melt-in-the-mouth tender.

MD Morrocan Lamb Stew
Harissa and Medjool Dates create the fruity and spicey flavours in this dish.

I absolutely adore Dates and these Medjool Dates from The Medjool Date Co. are so completely delicious, I find that I’m popping them in my mouth, when I should be cooking with them. Oops!

During the slow cooking of this Moroccan Lamb Stew the Medjool Dates completely break down and become part of the sauce. They are not an overwhelming flavour, but instead add a fruity sweetness that you can’t quite put your finger on, yet simply know it tastes wonderful.

This recipe is a brilliant way to create another fantastic dish from leftover roast lamb.

Recipe: Moroccan Lamb Stew serves 4-6

650g/1.5lbs Leftover Roast Lamb – skin and bone removed

2tbsp Olive Oil

1 Large Onion

3 Medium Carrots

2 Celery Sticks

2tsp Harrisa Paste

6 Medjool Dates – stones removed and finely diced

1 Beef Stock Cube

Salt and Pepper to season

2tsp Corn flour (also called corn starch)

Method: Use a large heavy based pan for this recipe.

  • Add the oil to the pan over a medium heat.
  • Finely chop the onion and sauté in the pan, stirring frequently, until softened.
  • Chop the carrots and celery into 1cm pieces, add to the sautéed onion in the pan and cook until just softened over a low heat.
  • Whilst the vegetables are slowly cooking prepare the lamb.
  • Remove any skin from the lamb and cut into 5cm chunks, obviously from a leftover roast there will be smaller pieces as well, that’s fine they all go into the stew!
  • Add the lamb to the pan and add the Harrisa paste and chopped Dates.
  • Stir to mix everything together.
  • Cover with hot water from the kettle.
  • Add a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper.
  • Cover with a lid and leave on a very low heat for 5 hours.
  • After the cooking time has elapsed taste for seasoning – add more salt/pepper as necessary.
  • Mix the corn flour with 20mls of cold water to form a slurry.
  • Add the cornflour slurry to the Moroccan Lamb Stew. Stir well and increase the heat to medium.
  • Allow the corn flour to thicken the sauce (which naturally reduces during the long cooking period) and cook for five minutes.
  • Serve with Lime Couscous.
MD Morrocan Lamb Stew
Moroccan Lamb Stew a deliciously easy dish to make.

This is a perfect dish to make for when friends/family are visiting or staying, especially if they have a long journey. The stew will happily sit over a very low heat until your guests arrive and the Lime Couscous  takes moments to make, leaving you free to greet and settle your guests.

For me, this dish is fantastic as I can get dinner ready and cooking early in the day (see Living With Seizures ) and then if my body allows I can bake some delicious treats for my family and friends.

In fact the first time I made this Moroccan Lamb Stew I was so worried that it wouldn’t be eaten, I made a pudding. Now just to be clear, I bake quite a bit, when I am able to – but we rarely have dessert after dinner. Honestly I’m talking high days and holidays are the only time I make pudding. In fact I didn’t even make a dessert for Easter Sunday. On this occasion however, I made an apple tart – it’ll be on here very soon.

Can you imagine the children and my hubby’s faces when they saw the apple tart 😉! We all ate dinner and then had pudding, such piggies! If my husband had the choice, we would have pudding every day. After that day a tradition was started, when we have Moroccan Lamb Stew for dinner, there must be pudding for afters. I knew I should have hidden the apple tart!!!!

Do you like turning leftovers into another fabulous dish?

There will be more ‘leftovers’ recipes coming up on this blog. In the meantime if you enjoyed the Moroccan Lamb Stew I’m sure you’d like these:

Roast Chicken Noodle Soup

MD Roast Chicken Noodle Soup
Roast Chicken Noodle Soup a perfect way to make your roast chicken go further.

Slow Rosted Lamb Shoulder

GF Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder
Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder

Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb

GF Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb
Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb

Whatever you are cooking, baking or making I love seeing your results. Please pop a photo on Twitter/Instagram and tag me in. You can also leave me a comment if you try one of my recipes in the comment section.

Have fun whilst you are in the kitchen preparing a feast!

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram

Graig Farm provided the lamb for this recipe and The Medjool Date Co. provided the Dates. I was not paid to write this post. All opinions, recipes, content and photographs are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

 

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Lime Couscous

Today I have the easiest, most delicious and versatile side dish for you, my Lime Couscous.

MD Lime Couscous
Lime Couscous the perfect side dish to compliment your main dish.

Full of fresh lime flavour and so easy to make, this dish will soon become part of your repertoire.

MD Lims Couscous
Lime Couscous fresh parsley and lime slices give this dish the finishing touch.

For those of you who have not yet tried couscous, let me explain what it is. Couscous are tiny pieces of dried pasta and unless labelled otherwise it is NOT gluten free.

Due to it being so small it doesn’t even need cooking. It simply needs rehydrating with hot liquid.

How easy is that ??!!

MD Lime Couscous
Lime Couscous pairs beautifully with this Morrocan Lamb Stew.

I developed this recipe for Lime Couscous to specifically partner my Morrocan Lamb Stew. It is absolutely delicious with the stew. Balancing the fruity, spicey sauce, with its own tangy, citrus flavour.

As couscous can be served at room temperature it is absolutely perfect for buffets and barbecues. It’s fresh lime flavour pairs really well with fish, chicken, lamb kebabs – really the possibilities are endless. I cannot wait to try it with my Chunky Chilli.

Recipe: Lime Couscous serves 6 people.

300g/11oz Dried Couscous – allow 50g/2oz per person

2 Limes

1 Vegetable Stock Cube – I use Knorr’s

Boiling Water

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method: Do not stir the couscous at any point!

Weigh out the couscous into a large, heatproof bowl.

Dissolve the stock cube in a jug of boiling water, approx 450mls/1 pint.

Squeeze the juice of one and a half limes and add this to the couscous.

Pour the stock over the couscous and top up with boiling water so that the liquid comes 2.5cm/1″ above the top of the couscous.

Cover the bowl with cling film, or I used a plate and leave for 15 minutes.

After this time the couscous will have absorbed all of the hot liquid.

MD Lime Couscous
The couscous has absorbed all of the stock and lime juice.

Remove the cling film/ plate.

Using a fork, fluff up the couscous, like you would with rice,

MD Lime Couscous
Fluff the couscous with a fork.

Taste the Lime Couscous and check for seasoning, add as necessary.

Roughly chop a large handful of parsley leaves. Add these to the couscous and transfer to a serving dish.

Finish by adding a few slices of lime to the couscous and a final sprinkle of parsley leaves on the top.

MD Lime Couscous
Lime Couscous – what will you serve it with?

It really is that simple to make this dish!

With Spring now here and the promise of warmer days beckoning, this Lime Couscous is the perfect dish to serve, as it can sit at room temperature, not taking up fridge or oven space.

In fact, although it is perfectly fine eaten hot, I much prefer it slightly warm.

However you serve this Lime Couscous, it will be enjoyed and feasted on, simply because it tastes so delicious.

Do you have any simple, go-to recipes? Please leave a comment in the box.

If you have enjoyed this Lime Couscous, here are some other recipes that you might like to try:

Leek Colcannon

GF Leek Colcannon
Leek Colcannon

Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo

MD Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo
Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo

Baked Garlic Herb Potato Wedges

MD Garlic Herb Potato Wedges
Garlic Herb Potato Wedges

I absolutely love to see what you are cooking, baking and making. Please pop a photo on Twitter/Instagram and tag me in, I’ll be sure to give you a shout out or re-tweet!

Whatever you are making in your kitchen, make a little extra and invite someone round for dinner. Food always tastes better when it’s shared!

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest

 

 

 

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Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes

Easter Sunday is tomorrow and I simply couldn’t resist one last Easter themed bake. So here are my Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes.

RT Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes
Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes not a golden egg but a golden plate.

Delicious vanilla cupcakes, swirled with real chocolate buttercream, sprinkled with dark chocolate curls and mini eggs nestled in the centre.

These Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes have the perfect balance of cake, chocolate buttercream and Cadbury’s mini eggs.

RT Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes
Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes beautiful in tulip wrappers.

With ALL of the chocolate that is around over the Easter period I wanted a vanilla cupcake to provide balance. Don’t get me wrong I love a deep chocolatey cake, like my Chocolate Sparkle Cake but sometimes too much chocolate can be over powering!

I adore the crisp, vanilla shell on Cadbury’s mini eggs and wanted to echo that in the cupcake. Likewise, a lighter chocolate buttercream, piped on these cupcakes, works with the mini eggs, rather than swamping them.

RT Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes
Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes a little portion of edible happiness.

These Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes are an inexpensive way of making a few packets of mini eggs go a long way and are perfect to give as gifts. I personally love homemade gifts and these would be a very welcome gift indeed.

Wrapped in some cellophane, tied with raffia or ribbon, these portions of loveliness look so pretty. Good enough to eat in fact. My niece made a version of these and gave them to her teachers at Primary School as an end of term, Easter thank you. They were very well received!

Recipe: Makes 12 Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes

100g/4oz Unsalted Buter at room temperature

100g/4oz Caster Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

1/8/pinch of Salt

2 Large Free Range Eggs

100g/4oz Plain White Flour – self raising can be substituted but don’t add the extra baking powder.

1tsp Baking Powder

For the Chocolate Buttercream

300g/11oz  Icing Sugar – sifted

150g/5oz Unsalted Butter – softened

175g/6oz Milk Chocolate

2 packets of Cadbury’s mini eggs

Dark chocolate curls, or Cadbury’s flake (x2)

Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/145C fan, gas mark 3

  • Place the butter and sugar into a bowl and whisk/beat until pale and fluffy.
  • Add the vanilla extract and whisk/beat until incorporated.
  • Next add 2 eggs, the sifted flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Whisk/beat slowly until all the ingredients are just combined.
  • Using a metal spoon stir the mixture 2-3 times to ensure everything is combined.
  • Place 12 cupcake wrappers into a cupcake pan.
  • Scoop just under a dessert spoonful of cake batter into each cupcake wrapper.
  • Place the cupcakes into the centre of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • The cupcakes are cooked when they are a golden brown colour and spring back from a light touch.
  • Once baked remove the cupcakes from the oven.
  • If using tulip cupcake cases, as I have, allow to cool completely in the tin, if not cool for 5 minutes in the tin and then transfer to a cooling rack.
  • Transfer cupcakes in tulip wrappers to a cooling rack once cold.
RT Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes
Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes ready for frosting.
  • Whilst the cupcakes are cooling the buttercream can be made.
  • Break up the chocolate, place in a microwaveable bowl and heat on medium power for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chocolate is completely melted. Set to one side.
  • Whisk the sieved icing sugar, butter and vanilla extract until pale and smooth.
  • Add the cooled chocolate, whilst whisking. Continue whisking until you have light, fluffy, buttercream.
  • Fit a piping bag with a large star tip.
  • Fill the piping bag with the chocolate buttercream.
  • Pipe a single swirl around the outside edge of each cupcake.
  • Repeat, piping another swirl on top of the previous one.
RT Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes
Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes the nests are almost ready for their eggs.
  • Sprinkle dark chocolate curls, or broken up Cadbury’s flake around the swirls of chocolate buttercream.
  • Add mini eggs to the centre of the cupcakes.
  • I kept my colours the same, for impact, however, they also look very natural when the colours are mixed – let you creative juices flow!
RT Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes
Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes I kept my mini eggs all the same colour.

These Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes are such an easy bake, yet look a lot more complicated – I can keep a secret if you can 😉.

Just a quick note about the tulip cupcake cases: they can be quite expensive, so I buy mine in bulk from Amazon UK. The price per wrapper is much cheaper. Better still, get together with a baking buddy and split the package and cost. I bought 100 a couple of years ago and still have plenty left!!

RT Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes
Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes presented on a golden plate.

A delicious gift for anyone at Easter time, taking around an hour to make, bake and decorate. These can still be made in time for tomorrow.

As I said at the start of this post, Easter symbolises new birth. For me, as a Christian, that happened when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. If you would like to know more please see Important Stuff.

How you ever considered the true meaning of Easter and what it means to you?

If you have enjoyed these Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes here are some other mini egg recipes:

Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies

Smartie Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies
Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies a delicious treat.

Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies

Smartie Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies
Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies served with a few extra eggs!

I love reading your comments, so please keep them coming and seeing all your makes and bakes on Twitter/Instagram. Please pop a photo up and tag me in?

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and blessed Easter.

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest

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Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns

Easter is nearly here and with it the traditional Hot Cross Bunswhich I absolutely love. However, after seeing Waitrose selling a variety of different flavours, I decided to take on the Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns.

W Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns
Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns a delicious twist on a classic.

I wanted to use the basic egg and milk enriched dough from my traditional Hot Cross Buns and experiment will cherries and almond flavouring.

As much as I absolutely love all things almond, especially flaked almonds, I decided to keep them out of these Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross BunsI wasn’t sure how they would interact with the dough and I still wanted the buns to have a soft, pillowy, interior.

W Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns
Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns perfect eaten just as they are!

Leaving out the almonds was a great decision. These Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns are so light and very more-ish. Crunch would not have been a good thing!

Instead I used Sugar and Crumbs cherry bakewell icing sugar. Substituting it both for the honey in the dough mix and using it to glaze the buns, instead of apricot jam. This with the addition of some almond extract, gave the buns just the right hint of almond. The flavour is subtle and works so well with the fluffy, light bun.

W Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns
Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns so good you want to just bite right into one!

Now for the cherries. I used both glacé and dried cherries. They both add their own flavour and pretty colour to these Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns. The dried cherries also give a lovely chewiness, similar to that of raisins. Whilst the glacé cherries add bursts of sweetness, similar to that of mixed peel (of which I am most definitely not a fan!).

W Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns
Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns leave the cross off and make these all year round!

Over all these Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns have been a huge hit in our home. So much so, that I can see myself making them all year round, although I’ll probably leave off the cross!

They are an utterly delicious bun, not dissimilar in taste to old fashioned, bakery, iced buns. Perfect toasted with butter, or eaten, as I did, just like an iced bun, with a lovely cup of tea.

If you haven’t made bread dough before, or used yeast in baking, please don’t be daunted by the prospect. Ensure the yeast you use is fresh. Yep, even fast action dried yeast, which is what we use in this recipe, loses its potency. So if you have yeast that’s been sitting in the cupboard for more than 6 months I really would recommend buying new.

I bake regularly enough to get through a tin of fast action dried yeast, every 2-3 weeks. It’s a regular on my grocery order. Don’t worry if all you can by is sachets, that’s fine as we weigh the yeast for this recipe.

Likewise with flour, you need good strong, white, bread flour. I buy mine from Shipton Mill via Amazon UK. It works out a lot cheaper than buying the best organic supermarket brand. That said, I’ve already mentioned that I bake a lot, so buy a good quality, organic if you can afford it, brand from the supermarket. All flour has a use by date, check yours.

The reason I have emphasised using fresh ingredients is, whilst this recipe is relatively easy, it can be heartbreaking to make a yeasted bun, only to find it doesn’t rise. So if you check everything before you start, you are much more likely to have a deliciously, positive outcome. Which is what we all want. Right?

W Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns
Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns lets get baking!

Recipe: Makes 12 Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns

500g/1lb 2oz Strong White Bread Flour

140ml/ Scant 5fl oz Whole Milk – warmed slightly to body temperature

120ml/4.5fl oz Water – warmed slightly to body temperature

2 Large Free Range Eggs

1tbsp Cherry Bakewell Icing Sugar – or plain icing sugar

10g/1.5 Sachets Fast Acting Dried Yeast

10g Salt

50g/2oz Unsalted Butter – softened to room temperature

100g/4oz Dried Cherries

75g/3oz Glacé Cherries – chopped into quarters

1tsp Almond Extract

For the crosses

50g/2oz Strong White Bread Flour

1/2tsp Almond Extract

50ml/2fl oz Water

For the glaze

50g/2oz Cherry Bakewell Icing Sugar – or substitute plain icing sugar plus 1/4tsp almond extract.

Hot water approx 50mls/2fl oz

Method: This method is for use with a bread maker or stand mixer, if you wish to make by hand, I suggest you look to the original, traditional hot cross bun recipe in Paul Hollywood’s book ‘How to Bake’ ISBN 9781 4088 19494.

The ‘bowl’ refers to the bowl of a stand mixer or the mixing compartment of a bread maker.

  • Add both the milk and water to the bowl.
  • Next add both eggs, the icing sugar and yeast.
  • Swish about with clean fingers to mix.
  • Now add the flour on top of the liquid mixture.
  • Place the salt and butter on top of the flour.

For a bread maker, set the cycle to dough and press start. When prompted by the machine, or 5 minutes before mixing stops, add the dried cherries, glacé cherries and almond extract. Allow the bread maker to complete the dough cycle.

When the bread maker has completed the dough cycle, ensure the dough has doubled in size, if not wait until it has. Then re start the dough cycle for 2 minutes, this will ‘knock back’ the dough for you.

For a stand mixer attach the dough hook. Start mixing on a low speed. Once the contents of the bowl resemble dough continue to mix on medium/slow speed for 5 minutes. Stop the mixer. Scrape all the dough, from the hook, into the bowl. Add the dried cherries, glacé cherries and almond extract. Lower the dough hook and mix on medium speed for a further 5 minutes.

After the 5 minutes mixing is complete, stop the mixer. Scrape all the dough back into the bowl, it will be very sticky – don’t worry. Cover with a damp cloth and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size – 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

Once the stand mixer dough has doubled in size, lower the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes, this will ‘knock back’ the dough for you.

Shaping the Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns – grease a large baking tray with butter – see Hot Cross Buns for full step-by-step pictures.

  • Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • It will be quite sticky, so ensure you have floured your hands well.
  • Cut the dough in half and then cut each half into 6 even pieces.
  • Shape each piece into a ball and place on the baking tray – the dough was very sticky so some of my balls weren’t perfect!
W Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns
Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns ready for their second prove.
  • Cover the buns with a clean tea towel and place in a warm, draught free place.
  • Leave until doubled in size.
  • Whilst the buns are proving, make the flour paste for the crosses. Add the water and almond extract to the flour and mix until you have a smooth paste. Place in a small, disposable piping bag and secure the top with an elastic band.
W Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns
Doubled in size and almost round, these buns are ready for their crosses.
  • 10 minutes before the buns are ready for the oven, preheat it to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7.
  • Snip the end off of the piping bag, so there is a small hole.
  • Pipe down each line of buns and then again across each line of buns.
W Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns
Ready for the oven.
  • Place the buns into the middle of the oven and bake for 20 minutes. They are baked when they are golden brown and sound hollow when rapped on the bottom with your knuckle.
  • Remove the Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns from the oven.
  • Take the buns off of the baking tray and place onto a cooling rack.
  • Make the glaze by adding the very hot water to sifted icing sugar and stirring until completely dissolved.
  • Brush the glaze over the buns whilst they are still hot.
  • Leave to cool until at least warm, before diving in and taking your first bite!
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Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns glazed and cooling on a rack.

These Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns may not have the traditional taste of the usual buns, but they are a complete and utterly delightful alternative!

For those people who are averse to raisins, sultanas or cinnamon, here is a bun they can thoroughly enjoy in the run up to Easter. In fact all year round.

Have you ever tried making hot cross buns?

Do you like the idea of the Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns as an alternative?

I hope you have fun whatever you bake this Easter and also take a moment to consider what Easter really means, see Important Stuff.

If you have enjoyed these Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns here are some more traditional recipes for you.

Hot Cross Buns

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Traditional Hot Cross Buns

Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns

W Hot Cross Buns
100% Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns

Whatever you make or bake over this Easter period, please pop a photo onto Twitter/Instagram? I love seeing your pictures and reading your comments.

Wishing you all a happy, safe Easter.

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting

This recipe has been submitted to Baking Queen 74 for March’s Perfecting Patisserie.

March Perfecting Patisserie

 

 

 

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