Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova

Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova a delicious crisp outer shell, with a deep, brownie-like inner, topped with whipped cream and chocolate dipped strawberries. The perfect dessert to share with those you love.

FF Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova
Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova perfect for sharing.

I adore pavlova. Both making and eating it! This chocolate heart pavlova is so pretty and also easy to make. Simply follow the recipe and instructions and you too can bake this beautiful dessert.

FF Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova
Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova ideal for Afternoon Tea.

Last week Valentine’s Day was celebrated, I wanted to create something that would be perfect to share with those I love. That said, everything posted on Feasting is Fun, is designed to be shared! Since, hearts, strawberries, chocolates and flowers are all associated with February 14th, I wanted to incorporate as many of these as possible. Resulting in a beautiful and tasty dessert that should not be confined to one day of the year, in my opinion!

FF Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova
Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova with added chopped strawberries for extra decoration and flavour.

For this pavlova the heart is piped, with swirls around the outside, defining the heart shape. It is not difficult to do and creates a different, yet pretty finish, once baked. Also, this heart pavlova contains only cocoa, not chunks of chocolate, making it possible to pipe. The resulting meringue mixture resembles a light, airy mousse. Which, once baked keeps its shape perfectly.

FF Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova
Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova each layer distinct.

Lightly whipped double cream tops the chocolate pavlova, rather like a down duvet covers a bed. Moulding and fitting to the contours. Creating a soft, velvety contrast to the crisp and fudgey pavlova. Chocolate dipped strawberries add the final touch of decadence, crowning this dessert with their contrasting colours.

FF Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova
Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova served on heart embellished china.

One mouthful of this delightful dessert and you are lost to the complimenting flavours and contrasting textures. Fortunately, one serving provides plenty of time to fully appreciate this beautiful pavlova. However, I wont tell if you go back for seconds!

Recipe: Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova serves 6-8

4 Large Free Range Egg Whites

200g/7oz Caster Sugar

1tsp Balsamic Vinegar

50g/2oz Cocoa – I use Callebaut

1tsp Corn Flour – I use Doves Farm

300mls/ 1/2 pint Double Cream

400g Fresh Strawberries

100g/4oz Milk Chocolate

50g White Chocolate

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

Prior to starting ensure the bowl used to mix the meringue is scrupulously clean. Wipe around the inside of the bowl with half a lemon to ensure no fat is present. The presence of fat, or oil will stop the egg whites from whipping up and incorporating air.

Also line a large baking tray with baking parchment. Draw a large heart on the reverse of the parchment with pencil, approximately 25cm wide by 27.5cm high, 10″w x 11″h.

  • Pour the egg whites into the large clean, prepared bowl.
  • Whisk until the egg whites hold a stiff peak.
  • Continue whisking on high, adding the sugar one tablespoon at a time until it is all incorporated. The meringue should be white and glossy, holding a stiff peak. Rub a little of the meringue between your finger and thumb, it should feel smooth. If at all gritty, continue whisking, as not all of the sugar is dissolved into the egg white. Continue until the mixture is smooth.
  • While the egg whites are whisking fit a large piping ba with a large, open star nozzle, I use Wilton  #1M.
  • Once the meringue has been whisked sift in the corn flour and cocoa. Then add the balsamic vinegar.
  • Using a large, clean, metal spoon fold all of the ingredients together carefully. Taking care not to knock out the air that has been whisked into the egg whites.
  • Place four dots of meringue in the corners of the baking tray, then place the baking parchment on top. This will hold the baking parchment in place.
  • Place a large spoonful of chocolate meringue into the centre of the heart. Spread the meringue with a palette knife, so that it fills the heart outline. There is no need to be too precise as it will be piped over.
  • Fill the piping bag with the remaining chocolate meringue.
  • Pipe swirls around the outline of the heart, leaving the bottom point and the top dip until last. Pipe a swirl at the bottom of the heart and then the top dip. Next pipe stars, inside the heart, on the base.
FF Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova
Making and creating the chocolate heart pavlova.
  • Place the pavlova into the centre of the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 160C/140C gas mark 3. Do not open the oven door whilst baking!
  • Bake for 1 hour exactly. After the baking time has elapsed turn the oven off and open the oven door a fraction, so that the pavlova cools slowly. I place a wooden spoon between the door and the oven.
  • While the pavlova is cooling the strawberries can be prepared. Into separate, small heatproof, microwaveable bowls, break up and add the milk and white chocolate, separately. Heat for 20 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chocolate has melted. Spoon the melted white chocolate into a small piping bag.
FF Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova
Preparing and decorating the strawberries.
  • Select 10 of the biggest strawberries and leave their tops on. Dip 5 of the large strawberries into the milk chocolate, using a teaspoons to help fully cover them. Place the dipped strawberries on to some baking parchment. Tip – if the strawberries are kept in the fridge until needed they will be chilled. This will help the chocolate set quickly.
  • Next pipe lines across the 5 chocolate covered strawberries and also the 5 un-dipped ones, this gluten free recipe also uses chocolate strawberries. Leave to set on the baking parchment. In warm weather place in the fridge for a couple of minutes.
  • When the pavlova has completely cooled it can be removed from the oven.
  • Pour the cream into a bowl and whisk until it has thickened but is not stiff.
  • Gently run a palette knife under the pavlova to loosen it from the baking parchment. Place the pavlova on to a flat plate, or stand from which it is to be served.
  • Spoon the cream inside the shell of the pavlova.
FF Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova
Preparing the cream and filling the pavlova.
  • Arrange the chocolate dipped strawberries on the top of the cream, removing the tops if necessary.
  • If liked, chop the remaining strawberries into fairly small pieces and sprinkle around the whole strawberries.
FF Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova
Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova ready to be served.

Now all that is needed is someone to share this stunning dessert with!

FF Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova
Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova served with a hot cup of tea.

Serve sliced, ensuring each portion has a chocolate strawberry.

This Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova is at its best eaten on the day assembled. The pavlova can be made the day before and left to cool, overnight in the oven. The strawberries can be prepared 4 hours ahead and left in a cool place. Likewise the cream can be prepared at the same time as the strawberries and left in the fridge, it may need a quick whisk to bring it back to the consistency required.

The Pavlova will last, covered in foil, in the fridge for 2 days after assembly.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova you may also like these:

Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova

FF Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova
Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova

Lemony Strawberry Pavlova

FF Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova
Lemony Strawberry Pavlova

Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova

FF Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova
Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova

All of the pavlova recipes on this blog are gluten free. Making them a suitable dessert for more people. Ensure that the corn flour used in each recipe is certified gluten free.

Since it is in my nature to be as inclusive as possible, serving a naturally gluten free dessert to friends and family ensures that everyone feels special. Likewise, no one can feel that they have been ‘too much bother’ due to any dietary limitations they may have. Resulting in a relaxed, enjoyable meal and atmosphere.

Have fun creating, making, cooking and baking in your kitchens.

Sammie xx

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Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars

In an ideal world, all food consumed by myself and our family would be homemade. Reality dictates that is not feasible. Yet certain products, made with natural ingredients make that dream, a step closer. For example the lemon curd used in my Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars, tastes as good, if not better than that made at home. Resulting in a delicious recipe, made one stage easier by a product already available.

FF Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars simply delicious.

Creating a bake that is sturdy enough to withstand transport in a school backpack or briefcase can have its challenges. Yet, a sturdy, buttery, shortbread base ensures these bars remain intact during transit. Since hubby does not always have time for a set lunch break, knowing he has something he can munch with a coffee makes me happy. Of course, he functions better when his energy is topped up too.

FF Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars a tasty, not too sweet, treat.

There are a variety of traybakes here, on Feasting is Fun, including Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars and Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks. Some considered more ‘healthy’ than others. With respect, anything cooked at home, using good quality ingredients and made with love, is, in my opinion far better than a mass produced product with a shelf life of months!

FF Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars with theee clearly defined layers.

Biting into a bar really is a taste and texture sensation for your tongue and tastebuds. Each blueberry, when baked, turns into its own little pod of jam. Yet without the added sweetness of preserves. The cake layer, moist and light contrasts beautifully with the tang of lemon and defined shortbread base. Resulting in a complete mouthful of joy with each bite.

Recipe: Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars makes 12

Shortbread Base

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter softened

150g/5oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Salt I use Maldon

1 Large Free Range Egg Yolk

1tsp Vanilla Extract I use Nielsen-Massey

275g/10z Plain White Flour

For the Sponge Topping

4-5 tbsp Lemon Curd I use Hawkshead Relish

100g/4oz Unsalted Butter softened

100g/4oz Caster Sugar

2 Large Free Range Eggs

100g/4oz Plain White Flour

1tsp Baking Powder

200g/7oz Fresh Blueberries

Finely Grated Zest of 1 Lemon

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

Line a 20cm x 28cm x 5cm (8″ x 11″ x 2″) tin with baking parchment, ensuring the parchment is higher than the sides of the tin. The tin does not need to be greased first.

  • Making the Shortbread Base:
  • Place the softened butter, salt and sugar into a large bowl. Whisk or beat until the mixture is pale and creamy.
  • Next, add the egg yolk and vanilla extract. Continue to beat until all ingredients are completely incorporated.
  • Now sift the flour into the bowl and then, using a spoon gently mix all the ingredients until they just come together.
  • Spoon the shortbread mixture into the lined tin and then press into an even layer using your fingers. Use a fork to prick holes, known as docking, into the shortbread. This allows any steam to escape and create a golden base.
  • Place the tin into the centre of a preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes. Until the top is just turning golden.
  • While the shortbread is baking make the sponge topping – see below for instructions.
  • Once baked remove the shortbread from the oven. It is important to note that the shortbread is not fully cooked at this point.
FF Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
Making and baking the buttery shortbread base.
  • Making the Sponge Topping
  • While the shortbread is baking the cake batter can be made.
  • Into a large bowl, as before, add the butter and sugar. Whisk/beat until pale and creamy.
  • Next add the two eggs and continue whisking until the mixture is completely combined.
  • Now sift the flour and baking powder into the same bowl. Then add the blueberries and the lemon zest.
  • Using a metal spoon, fold the ingredients together gently, to minimise breaking up the blueberries. Set to one side.
  • Assembling the Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
  • Once the shortbread base is baked allow to cool for 5 minutes. Then spoon over the lemon curd, spreading so that it covers the base, yet doesn’t quite reach the edges.
  • Spoon over the cake batter. Dolloping it fairly evenly across the base. Finally, gently spread the batter so that it covers the base. Pay particular attention to the edges. Aiming to seal in the lemon curd, by ensuring the cake batter is in contact with the shortbread around the entire edge.
FF Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
Building the different layers of the Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars.
  • Place the tin back into the centre of the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes. The lower and longer baking results in an even bake with a flat surface.
  • The Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars are baked when the top is golden in colour and is firm to touch. Once baked remove the tin from the oven and set to one side to allow to cool completely.
FF Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
The finished bake cooling.
  • When completely cooled, remove the entire traybake from the tin. A fish slice or large palette knife is useful. Ease the knife under the bake, using it to lift and support as you move the traybake to a flat surface.
  • Using a sharp knife cut halfway through the width of the bake. Wipe the knife between each cut, this avoids spoiling the bake.
  • Following this first cut, now cut downwards, dividing the bake into four equal quarters.
  • Finally, cut each quarter into three equal sized bars.
FF Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars perfect for packed lunches.

The lemon curd is perfect in these bars.

Serve the Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars with a cup of tea, on some cheerful china, with a smile.

FF Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars taste better when shared!

Store in an airtight container. They will keep for 4 days. During warm weather, storing in the fridge is advised.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars you may also like these:

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

FF Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars

FF Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars

Bakewell Shortbread Bars

FF Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars
Bakewell Shortbread Bars

 

Baking and cooking good, wholesome food for my family is very important to me. It truly is one of the ways that I show them my love. Knowing in the middle of a busy day that my hubby has something made with love, by me, to help him through. Well, it doesn’t get better than that when we are apart from each other. The oohs and aahs as each family member returns at the days end, to the comforting kitchen aromas, ensures they know that they are truly home.

Love, inquisitiveness and creating are the main motivational factors behind all of my cooking. What are yours?

Sammie xxx

Hawkshead Relish provided me with the lemon curd used in this recipe. All content, opinions, views and photography are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Baked Lemon Drizzle Doughnuts

Winter is here and with it, all the coughs, colds and horrible bugs, that have been waiting for an opportunity to attack our immune systems. Perhaps that is a bit of an over statement. Still, with half the household coughing and sneezing, it gave me an idea of what to bake. Rich in Vitamin C, these Baked Lemon Drizzle Doughnuts are saturated in fresh, immune fighting, lemon juice. Don’t ever let people tell you that ‘cake’ can’t be good for you!

FF Baked Lemon Drizzle Doughnuts
Baked Lemon Drizzle Doughnuts so tempting.

Tangy and light, these doughnuts provide goodness in a fun way. Even our son, whose tastebuds had given up on being reliable, tasted the tart lemon juice present in the lemon drizzle icing. While the crumb of the doughnut was tender enough not to aggravate his very sore throat. All in all a complete hit, that produced a much longed for smile.

Ff Baked Lemon Drizzle Doughnuts
Baked Lemon Drizzle Doughnuts such a cheerful colour.

Since I had been re-introduced to the foggy, sleep deprived world, caused by administering medicine and love, throughout the night to a child. Something I thought was well in my past! Being re-aquatinted with the hunger surge that comes, for me, from broken nights, meant, these delicious doughnuts provided the perfect pick-me-up, mid afternoon, as the slump set in!

FF Baked Lemon Drizzle Doughnuts
Baked Lemon Drizzle Doughnuts so easy to eat.

Much as I hope that you can enjoy these Baked Lemon Drizzle Doughnuts for the delicious delights that they are, it is also nice to know that they are a good for you treat!

A quick note about the recipe – do not over fill the doughnut pan with batter. It should ideally fill the rings to two thirds of their depth. Also, ensure that you grease the doughnut pan well. I use Wilton cake release. Because, the pans were not greased for the first attempt, even though they are non stick, the doughnuts stuck firm. There were two reasons for this, they were overfilled and the buttermilk in the recipe caused the doughnuts to stick.

The pan I used is a Wilton 6 hole doughnut pan. In fact I have 2 as they are so good.

FF Baked Lemon Drizzle Doughnuts
Wilton 6 hole non stick doughnut pan.

Recipe: Baked Lemon Drizzle Doughnuts makes approximately 15-18

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter softened

175g/6oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Salt- I use Maldon

3 Large Free Range Eggs

1.5tsp Lemon Extract or finely grated zest of 1 Whole Lemon – I use Nielsen-Massey  lemon extract

75g/3.5tbsp Buttermilk

200g/7oz Plain White Flour

2tsp Baking Powder

For the Drizzle:

200g/7oz Icing Sugar – sifted

Juice of 1 Whole Lemon

Yellow/White sprinkles for decoration

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

  • First of all prepare the doughnut pans. Ensure they are thoroughly brushed with cake release, or melted butter and then dusted with flour.
  • Next, into a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt. Whisk the ingredients together until they are pale and creamy.
  • Now add the eggs, lemon extract/zest and the buttermilk. Sift the flour and baking powder on top of these ingredients.
  • Whisk everything together until it is completely combined.
  • Finally, use a silicone spatula to stir the batter through a couple of times.
  • Fill a large piping bag, fitted with a circle piping tip if using, with the doughnut batter. Snip the end of the disposable bag off, so that it it approximately 1cm wide.
  • Carefully pipe circles into the doughnut pan, taking care not to overfill.
  • Once the pan is piped place in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes. The doughnuts are baked when they are a golden colour and firm to touch – a pressed finger should not leave any indentation.
FF Baked Lemon Drizzle Doughnuts
Preparing, piping and baking the doughnuts.
  • As soon as the doughnuts are baked remove them from the oven.
  • Tip the doughnuts out on to a cooling rack.
  • Wash up, dry and re-grease the doughnut pan and continue as before, until all of the batter has been used.
  • While the doughnuts are cooling the lemon drizzle icing can be made.
  • Into the bowl of sifted icing sugar add the juice of one lemon. Stir thoroughly to mix, ensuring there are no lumps. The icing should be fairly thick, but still be able to pour, ensuring it can be drizzled.
  • Fill a small piping bag with the icing. Snip the end of the bag off to create a very small hole. Alternatively, you may use a teaspoon to drizzle over the icing.
  • First, place the cooling rack over a baking tray to catch any drips.
  • The doughnuts should be completely cooled before icing.
  • Keeping an even pressure on the piping bag, pipe back and forth, across each doughnut, until they are all iced.
  • While the icing is still wet scatter over sprinkles.
  • Place the doughnuts to one side to allow the icing to set.
FF Baked Lemon Drizzle Doughnuts
Cooling, piping and decorating the doughnuts.

Thinking of sneaking a doughnut to ‘taste test’? I won’t tell 😉.

FF Baked Lemon Drizzle Doughnuts
Baked Lemon Drizzle Doughnuts a treat that does you good.

As these doughnuts are so yummy, don’t expect them to hang around for long. They will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days, however, they are at their best within the first 24 hours.

A sunny, refreshing treat, that is perfect served at anytime of the year.

If you have enjoyed the recipe for these Baked Lemon Drizzle Doughnuts you may also like these:

Lemon Ripple Ice Cream

FF Baked Lemon Drizzle Doughnuts
Lemon Ripple Ice Cream

Mini Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cakes

F Baked Lemon Drizzle Doughnuts
Mini Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cakes

Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

FF Baked Lemon Drizzle Doughnuts
Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

 

In addition to creating a treat that would help boost the immune system, these Baked Lemon Drizzle Doughnuts also brought big smiles to faces that had been suffering. While not advocating these as a health food, there is something to be said for the power of feeling good. Rather than simply accepting things as they are and waiting for them to pass, small presents, or treats can make the process more bearable.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in you kitchens, I wish you a happy, healthy and fun 2017.

Sammie xx

 

 

 

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Maple Drizzled Apple Blueberry Loaf Cake

New Year, new you? Do you set resolutions for yourself? If so do you manage to keep them? I’m not a great advocate of new year’s resolutions. Personally my thinking tends to be that change is more achievable when small goals are set. That way, if the small goal is not achieved, it is easier to pick up and start again. Rather than crashing into despair over something that was probably difficult to accomplish from the start. Diets are something I do not hold with, health reasons withstanding. Balance is everything, in life, as it is in cooking and eating. This Maple Drizzled Apple Blueberry Loaf Cake is packed full of fresh fruit. A delicious way of incorporating more fruit in our diets!

FF Maple Drizzled Apple Blueberry Loaf Cake
Maple Drizzled Apple Blueberry Loaf Cake packed with fresh fruit.

To be clear, I am not advocating that this cake is a ‘health food’. Rather, that anything homemade firstly, has to be better than a mass produced, long shelf life product and secondly, whilst cooking and baking, we become more aware of the ingredients that go into our food. That has to be a good thing, right?

FF Maple Drizzled Apple Blueberry Loaf Cake
Maple Drizzled Apple Blueberry Loaf Cake perfect for sharing.

Because there is a large portion of fruit packed into this cake, it is extremely and deliciously moist. Perfect for slicing, wrapping and adding to a packed lunch. Yet equally enticing, shared with friends or neighbours over a mid morning cup of coffee. Since all food tastes better when shared, why not bake this cake and take it with you to work? Sharing does not have to be confined to our homes!

FF Maple Drizzled Apple Blueberry Loaf Cake
Maple Drizzled Apple Blueberry Loaf Cake blueberries burst to create jammy pods within the cake.

A quick note before making this cake: similar to Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes, the cake batter is made before grating and adding the apple. As a sweeter variety works best, unlike Granny Smith which is more acidic, this helps to ensure the apple browns as little as possible. Also, the skins were left on the apple quarters whilst grating. A small amount of peel will not affect the recipe, indeed the red flecks look quite attractive throughout the cake.

Recipe: Maple Drizzled Apple Blueberry Loaf Cake serves 8

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter softened

150g/5oz Caster Sugar

1/8tsp Salt – I use Maldon

50g/2.5tbsp Maple Syrup I use – Pure Maple

1tsp Vanilla Extract I use – Nielsen-Massey

3 Large Free Range Eggs

225g/8oz Plain White Flour

2tsp Baking Powder

1/4tsp Cinnamon

225g/8oz Grated Apple preferably a sweeter variety

125g/4.5oz Blueberries

75g/3oz Icing Sugar

2tbsp Maple Syrup

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

First of all grease a 2lb loaf tin, 26cm x 12cm x 7cm (approx. 10″ x 5″ x 3″). Line the base with baking parchment.

  • Into a bowl sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt – dry ingredients. Set this to one side.
  • Next, in a large bowl add the softened butter, caster sugar and 2.5 tablespoons of maple syrup. Beat until pale and creamy. Rub the mixture between your finger and thumb, it should feel smooth. If it feels gritty continue mixing until the sugar is fully combined with the butter.
  • Add the vanilla extract and beat to incorporate.
  • Now add all 3 eggs and then the sieved, dry ingredients. Gently mix until just combined.
  • For the grated apple, firstly set a bowl on to digital scales. Cut one apple at a time into quarters, removing the core. Using a box grater, grate the apple, using the coarse grater, until only skin remains. Continue until the whole apple has been grated. Add the grated apple to the bowl on the scales, this will give you an idea of how much each grated apple yields.
  • Continue grating the apples, as before, until you have the desired weight.
  • Tip the grated apple and whole blueberries into the cake batter.
  • Fold the fruit into the batter using a spoon and taking care not to break up the blueberries.
  • Spoon the cake batter into the prepared loaf tin and smooth the surface using the back of a spoon.
Ff Maple Drizzled Apple Blueberry Loaf Cake
Creating the delicious, fruit filled cake batter.
  • Place the tin into the centre of the oven and bake for 1 hour – 1 hour 20 minutes.
  • The cake is baked when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Once baked remove the cake from the oven and allow the cake to cool completely in the tin.
  • When the cake is cooled, use a palette knife to run around between the cake and the inside of the tin, releasing any sticky bits.
  • Now turn the cake out on to a cooling rack and gently peel away the baking parchment.
  • Place the cooling rack over a clean baking tray.
  • Making the maple drizzle:
  • Sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Then add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and stir until the icing has a smooth consistency.
  • Use a spoon to drizzle the icing across the cake. Also encouraging the icing to drip down the sides of the cake.
  • Leave the cake to set.
FF Maple Drizzled Apple Blueberry Loaf Cake
Creating the drizzle effect on the cooled, baked cake.

While the icing is setting, put the kettle on and invite your neighbours round!

FF Maple Drizzled Apple Blueberry Loaf Cake
Maple Drizzled Apple Blueberry Loaf Cake full of flavour.

Since this delicious cake was made a little while ago, it is very tempting to jump through the screen and grab a slice!

Serve this cake sliced and with a smile. It will keep in an airtight container for 3 days. During warmer weather store in the fridge.

If you have enjoyed this Maple Drizzled Apple Blueberry Loaf Cake you may also enjoy these:

 

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake

FF Maple Drizzled Apple Blueberry Loaf Cake
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake

Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake

FF Maple Drizzled Apple Blueberry Loaf Cake
Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

FF Maple Drizzled Apple Blueberry Loaf Cake
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

Fresh fruit adds a delicious moistness to any cake. Also, these gluten free Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes can also be made using regular wheat flour. Also no difference could be detected in a blind taste test. Enticing, fruit filled cakes are a million miles away from dry, moisture sucking, mass produced alternatives that are readily available in the shops. Most of all, home baked cakes not only taste so good, their flavour is far superior to most bought cakes.

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

Sammie xx

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Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova

A very Happy New Year to all of my readers. May this coming year bring good health, peace, love, lots of fun and feasting. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to read this blog and for trusting the recipes that have lovingly been created to share with you. With that in mind I have a beautiful dessert recipe for you that is a complete knock-out. What better way to celebrate than with my Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova!

FF Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova
Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova a refreshing dessert.

A delicious combination of textures and flavours. Starting with the crunchy meringue shell that hides a marshmallow innner, it is draped with thickened cream, topped with tumbling, assorted, fresh berries and drizzled with a tart raspberry coulis. Creating a tastebud sensation with each mouthful. This elegant dessert is light and yet fulfills that need for something sweet at the end of a meal.

FF Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova
Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova perfect for a celebration.

Beautifully adorned with fresh, ripe berries, the sweetness of the pavlova is offset by the raspberry coulis. Quick and easy to make, it utterly transforms the finished dish. As well as adding to the aesthetic of this stunning pavlova. The coulis cuts through the richness of the cream, while providing balance against the sweetness of the dessert.

FF Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova
Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova piled high with fresh fruit.

Pavlovas are not difficult to make, requiring only a whisk and patience. The reward they give, in return for effort, is almost embarrassing! Any cracks that develop are easily covered and the cream covered meringue can be topped with any fruit desired. Since the pavlova shell can be made up to 2 days in advance, they are perfect for entertaining.

This Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova was made to celebrate New Years Eve, which also happens to be the night before my hubby’s birthday. Using cake sparklers to add fun, fizz and sparkle, ensured this was no ordinary dessert. A fabulous celebration of the year passed and the new year to come.

Recipe: Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova serves 8

For the Pavlova:

4 Large Free Range Egg Whites at room temperature

1tsp Lemon Juice

200g/7oz Caster Sugar

1tsp White Wine Vinegar

1tsp Cornfour – certified gluten free I use Doves Farm

400ml Double Cream

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – I use Nielsen-Massey

450g/1lb Mixed Berries – I used strawberries, blueberries and raspberries removing stalks and leaves as necessary

For the Coulis

200g/7oz Raspberries

1tbsp each of Fresh Lemon Juice and Tap Water

1tbsp Caster Sugar

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

  • First of all line a baking tray with baking parchment. Using pencil draw a 20cm/8″ circle on one side. Flip the paper over so that the pencil mark is underneath.
  • Next in a scrupulously clean large bowl add the 4 egg whites.
  • Whisk until they are light and airy. While whisking at medium speed gradually add the caster sugar one spoonful at a time. Continue whisking on high until the meringue is shiny and glossy. Rub a little of the mixture between your thumb  and forefinger, when it feels smooth and there are no signs of grittiness, the sugar is completely dissolved into the egg white.
  • Next, whilst still whisking, add the lemon juice, vinegar and cornflour. Continue whisking for a further minute.
  • Stop the whisk and using the beater, place 4 dots of meringue on to the baking tray. Place the parchment on top, the meringue acts like glue and will stop it from moving around.
  • Use a clean metal spoon to scoop the meringue on to the centre of the circle marked baking parchment.
  • Now use a pallet knife to spread the mixture evenly to form a disc, building up the sides so they are slightly raised.
FF Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova
Creating the Pavlova shell.
  • Place the meringue into the centre of the oven and immediately reduced the heat to 160C/140C gas mark 3.
  • Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes – DO NOT open the oven door whilst baking.
  • Once the baking time has elapsed the meringue then needs to cool slowly. This will help avoid cracking. Turn the oven off and allow the pavlova to cool completely in the oven.
  • Tip: it is handy to make the pavlova the night before it is needed, as it can cool overnight in the oven.
  • Making the Coulis:
  • While the meringue is cooling, tip the raspberries, lemon juice, water and sugar into a small saucepan.
  • Place the pan over a high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon to mash the raspberries up. Once the mixture has bubbled to a boil, turn the heat off.
  • Strain the raspberry mixture into a heatproof bowl, through a sieve. Press the raspberries with a spoon to extract all of the juice. Set the bowl aside to cool.
FF Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova
Making the Raspberry Coulis.
  • Assembling the Pavlova: Note assemble the Pavlova no more than 3 hours ahead for best results.
  • Place the cream into a bowl with the vanilla bean extract. Whisk until it just starts to thicken, but will still slowly drop from a spoon.
  • Peel the pavlova carefully away from the baking parchment. Place on a plate or cake stand.
  • Spoon over the thickened cream so that it fills the central well in the pavlova.
  • Add the prepared berries, arranging so they look attractive.
  • Finally, drizzle over the raspberry coulis, encouraging it to drip  down the sides of the Pavlova.
  • Serve the Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova sliced, with a smile and on special occasions a glass of bubbly!
FF Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova
Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova sliced and ready to serve.

A delicious, refreshing dessert, that is a wonderfully light way to celebrate and makes a great change from cake.

Store any remaining Pavlova in the fridge and eat within 24 hours.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova you may also like these:

Lemony Strawberry Pavlova

FF Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova
Lemony Strawberry Pavlova

Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova

FF Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova
Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova

Strawberry Eton Mess

FF Raspberry Coulis Drizzled Mixed Berry Pavlova
Strawberry Eton Mess

Pavolvas are extremely forgiving. However, if they should crack and crumble beyond repair, simply make an Eton Mess as pictured above or, alternatively make Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae.

Since this recipe can easily be made gluten free, it is a great way of providing dessert, without excluding people who have dietary restrictions. At Feasting is Fun the aim is to create recipes that more people can share and enjoy. On that note, from experience, when transporting this dessert, it is easier to take the separate components and assemble once there.

Whatever the past year held for you, my hope is that the coming year will be one of love, peace and reconciliation

Sammie xx

 

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Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes

Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes fresh apple filled cupcakes, topped with light, dreamy, buttercream and drizzled with maple syrup.

National Apple Day was yesterday here in the U.K. With two trees, groaning under the weight of their abundant harvest, in our back garden, an apple bake was a must. Recently having received a sample of Real Maple Syrup, the idea for these Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes formed. The finished result was better than I could have ever predicted.

FF Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes
Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes perfectly complimenting flavours.

One apple tree produces Spartan apples. Tennis ball sized, shiny red apples that are deliciously crunchy and sweet. The variety of the other apple tree is unknown. Slightly sharper, the apples resemble a slightly sweeter version of Granny Smiths in taste, yet with a red/green colouring. Fortunately, both apples are great for eating and cooking. Resulting in a combination of both being used for these cupcakes.

FF Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes
Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes one bite and you lose yourself in a taste sensation.

Grating the apples into the cake batter ensured they didn’t brown too much. Unlike Granny Smith apples, both of the varieties I used brown easily when sliced/grated and exposed to the air. While the grated apple could have been tossed in some fresh lemon juice, which would have prevented discolouration, I didn’t want to do this for two reasons. First, the lemon flavour would have been present in the cupcakes, this could have overpowered the apple and frosting. Finally, the lemon juice would have added moisture, resulting in a wetter batter, where the apple may not have kept it’s even distribution.

FF Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes
Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes even better the next day!

Preparing the cake batter first and then adding the grated batter worked well. Each cupcake had plenty of evenly distributed apple and had a light, moist crumb. Without the maple syrup frosting, these could easily be served as muffins, in which case the addition of some toasted pecan or walnut pieces would bring added flavour and texture. Having tasted these cupcakes with the dreamy frosting I could not possibly eat them any other way now!

FF Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes
Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes just a hint of cinnamon takes this to another level.

Maple syrup frosting. Just think on those words for a moment!

Initially I had worried that the addition of maple syrup to a buttercream frosting would result in a too sweet topping. Instead, the opposite happened, with the maple syrup adding a very slight smoky, creamy flavour. Resulting in the sweetness of the unflavoured frosting being dumbed down. As a result, the final flavour paired beautifully with the lightly spiced apple cupcake.

Recipe: Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes – makes 12

Cupcake Ingredients:

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

175g/6oz Soft Light Brown Sugar

1/8th tsp Salt – I use Maldon

3 Large Free Range Eggs

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

200g/7oz Plain White Flour

3tsp Baking Powder

1/2tsp Cinnamon

200g/7oz Grated Eating Apple – approximately 3-4 peeled apples

Frosting Ingredients:

250g/9oz Salted Butter very soft, ideally removed from the fridge the night before

500g/1lb 2oz Sifted Icing Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Extract

2tbsp Maple Syrup – use real maple syrup not maple syrup flavouring

1tbsp Very Hot Water from a recently boiled kettle

Extra Maple Syrup to drizzle over the finished cupcakes

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

  • First line a 12 hole deep muffin tin with tulip cupcake wrappers, or deep muffin cases.
  • Next in a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt. Whisk/beat them together until they are very pale and creamy.
  • Add the vanilla extract and all 3 eggs to the bowl. Whisk/beat briefly to partially mix the ingredients, without the risk of them curdling – no more than 30 seconds.
  • Now sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into the bowl. Set the bowl to one side.
  • Working quickly, yet carefully, peel and grate 200 grams of apple.
  • Add the grated apple on top of the flour, in the large bowl and using a spoon mix all the ingredients together, until they are just combined.
  • Next, using a dessert spoon, place a heaped spoonful of cake batter into each of the cupcake wrappers. Finish by dividing any remaining batter between the twelve cases, so that they are all equally filled.
  • Finally place the tin in the middle of the preheated oven and bake the cupcakes for 25-35 minutes.
  • The cupcakes are baked when they spring back from a light touch. Use an inserted skewer to check if they are baked, if it comes out clean they are ready to remove from the oven.
  • Once baked remove the cupcakes from the oven and leave them in the tin to fully cool, regardless of which type of wrapper/case has been used.
FF Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes
The stages of making the cupcake batter, through to filling and baking them.
  • Allow the cupcakes to fully cool before frosting them.

Making the Frosting and Decorating the Cupcakes:

  • First, add the very soft butter to a large bowl.
  • Then sift the icing sugar into the bowl.
  • Next add the vanilla extract, maple syrup and very hot water.
  • Finally whisk the ingredients, starting slowly and increasing in speed, until you have a smooth, creamy, light buttercream.
  • Fit a large piping bag with a large star piping nozzle – Wilton #1M.
  • Fill the piping bag with the maple syrup frosting.
  • Starting in the centre of each cupcake pipe swirls, so that the entire top of the cupcake is covered and then, continue to pipe, bringing the tip back to the centre and finishing with a star, as the nozzle is pulled away.
  • Continue piping until each cupcake is generously topped with frosting.
  • To finish the decoration, drizzle approximately 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup on to the top of the frosting, allowing the drizzle to drip around the frosting swirls.
FF Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes
Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes ready to be served.

Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes a taste of Autumn in a cupcake!

FF Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes
Fresh apple filled cupcakes topped with whipped maple syrup buttercream.

These cupcakes certainly make the most of seasonal fruit. Since there are plenty of apples freely available they will be made again. Another reason to bake them is also so they can be shared. While none of our friends or neighbours expect deliveries of cake, it is an extra special way of sharing our abundance of apples, which are also given away.

If you have enjoyed the recipe for these Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes you may also like these:

Autumn Apple Almond Cake

FF Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes
Autumn Almond Apple Cake gluten free

Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake

FF Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake

Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins

FF Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes
Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins

Because I find baking and cooking relaxing, creating new recipes can also be very rewarding. Firstly as a personal achievement and also because of the pleasure my baking brings to others. Faces full of pleasure as they bite into a delicious treat, big smiles when a friend receives a birthday bake and gracious thanks from a busy, tired family upon receipt of a homemade lasagne. Life is for sharing and if my small contribution encourages others to do the same, well then, this blog, Feasting is Fun, will have served its purpose.

Do you share your makes and bakes?

Sammie xx

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Blueberry Bloom Ice Cream

Blueberry Bloom Ice Cream a  vivid purple colour contrasts with the silky, smooth texture and flavour of blueberries and the floral fragrance of Bloom Gin.

Such an elegantly beautiful dessert to look at my Blueberry Bloom Ice Cream has a grown up, smooth blueberry flavour, layered with subtle, but definite flavours that come from the added Bloom Gin.

FF Blueberry Bloom Ice Cream
Blueberry Bloom Ice Cream such a vivid colour.

The blueberries in this ice cream are very gently cooked with a little sugar, so a not to lose their distinct flavour. Wonderfully floral, a splash of Bloom Gin not only adds to the delightful, fruity flavour, it compliments the sweetness of the blueberries.

FF Blueberry Bloom Ice Cream
Blueberry Bloom Ice Cream elegantly served in martini glasses.

After freezing, which can dull some flavours, the vivid purple Blueberry Bloom Ice Cream comes alive on the palette. As the blueberries are left whole, the ice cream has a texture, not dissimilar to rum and raisin. The blueberries providing interest against the smooth, silky ice cream.

FF Blueberry Bloom Ice Cream
Blueberry Bloom Ice Cream a feast for the eyes.

Made using a ice cream maker, the churning action stops such a large volume of fruit creating large ice crystals. Similar to champagne, where the smaller the bubbles, the creamier the champagne tastes, in ice cream making, the smaller the ice crystals the smoother the finished ice cream.

Recipe: Makes 1L Blueberry Bloom Ice Cream

300ml/ 1/2pt Double Cream

300ml/ 1/2pt Milk – Whole or Semi Skimmed

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

4 Large Free Range Egg – freeze the whites for up to 1 month

1tsp Corn Flour

5tbsp Caster Sugar

300g Fresh Blueberries

1tbsp Caster Sugar

1tbsp Tap Water

2tbsp Bloom Gin

Method: Ensure the freezing compartment/bowl of your ice cream maker has been in the freezer overnight, or according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Note: For step by step instructions with photographs, on how to make the ice cream base please see Very Vanilla Ice Cream.

  • Place the blueberries in a small saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon of both sugar and water. Place over a medium heat and cook until the blueberries just start to burst, giving up their precious juice. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the contents to a bowl. Allow to cool and then add 2 tablespoons of Bloom Gin. Set to one side.
FF Blueberry Bloom Ice Cream
Note how deeply pink the cooked blueberries look here.
  • Making the ice cream base:
  • Into a large heavy bottomed saucepan add both the milk and cream. Place over a medium heat and cook until scalding point is reached – this is the point before the liquid boils. Small bubbles will appear around the edge of the cream mixture, once scalding point is reached remove the pan from the heat.
  • In a large, heatproof bowl, add the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract and corn flour.
  • Whisk the eggs until they are pale and creamy.
  • With the whisk still running on slow gently pour the hot cream mixture into the whipped eggs. Whisk until well combined.
  • Tip the ice cream base back into the saucepan and cook over a medium heat, stirring until the custard has thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
  • Pour the hot custard through a sieve into a heatproof bowl – I usually quickly wash up and dry the original bowl I’ve used.
  • Place cling film directly on top of the custard, this will stop a skin from forming.
  • Allow the custard to cool a little on the worktop and then transfer both it and the prepared blueberries to the fridge to chill.
  • When both are chilled assemble your ice cream maker, as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Pour the blueberry mixture into the cold custard ice cream base and stir.
  • Tranfer the Blueberry Bloom Ice Cream mixture to a large jug.
  • With the machine switched on (in my case) pour the ice cream mixture into the churning ice cream maker.
  • Churn until the ice cream is softly frozen – about 20 minutes.
  • Switch of the machine, remove the paddle and scoop the softly frozen ice cream into a freezer proof tub.
FF Blueberry Bloom Ice Cream
Blueberry Bloom Ice Cream, churned and ready for the freezer.
  • Clip on a tight fitting lid and place in the freezer to firm up. Ideally it should be left for 6 hours or overnight, depending on the ambient temperature.

To serve, remove the Blueberry Bloom Ice Cream from the freezer 15 minutes prior to scooping. This will allow the ice cream to soften slightly. Although there is a small addition of alcohol it is not enough to affect the freezing of this ice cream.

FF Blueberry Bloom Ice Cream
Blueberry Bloom Ice Cream a delightful dessert to finish a dinner party with.

This stunning looking ice cream looks elegant scooped into martini glasses.

Perhaps served with a glass of Bloom Gin, tonic water and 3 blueberries, over ice?

FF Blueberry Bloom Ice Cream
Blueberry Bloom Ice Cream the perfect balance of flavours.

Unusual, unique and utterly delicious, this delightful ice cream needs to be tasted to be truly appreciated.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Blueberry Bloom Ice Cream you may also like these:

Blackberry Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

FF Blueberry Bloom Ice Cream
Blackberry Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream.

Gin and Tonic Strawberry Sorbet

FF Blueberry Bloom Ice Cream
Gin and Tonic Strawberry Sorbet – Bloom Gin was used in this recipe.

Lemon Ripple Ice Cream

FF Blueberry Bloom Ice Cream
Lemon Ripple ice Cream.

There are other iced recipes on here, like my Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet . When you put your mind to it there are endless flavour combinations availed to you if you own an ice cream maker. I prefer not to be limited by what’s available in store.

if you make this Blueberry Bloom Ice Cream, please use Bloom Gin. It simply will not taste the same with other gins. The floral honeysuckle, chamomile and pomelo botanicals, used in the art of distilling Bloom Gin, balance with this ice cream perfectly.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, as you prepare a feast, have fun. Food and drink should be enjoyed with good company.

Sammie xx

I was provided with some Bloom Gin for the purposes of a review. All opinions, views, content and photography are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Fresh Strawberry Simple Syrup

I came up with the idea of making a Fresh Strawberry Simple Syrup, that could be used as a mixer in drinks, or to provide a base for a sorbet!

This Fresh Strawberry Simple Syrup is so easy and quick and adds a crazy amount of fresh strawberry flavour to whatever you add it too.

FF Fresh Strawberry Simple Syrup.
Fresh Strawberry Simple Syrup used here in a delicious sorbet.

This Strawberry Sorbet with Gin & Tonic is an elegant adult dessert, that is also very refreshing, see Franklin’s Drinks Review

Recipe: Makes 300ml Fresh Strawberry Simple Syrup

400g Strawberries

300g Sugar

500ml Water

Method:

  • Remove the green hull and cut the strawberries in halves or quarters, depending how big they are.
  • Place the strawberries into a large, heavy based saucepan and cover with water.
  • Add the sugar and place the saucepan on a high heat.
FF Fresh Strawberry Simple Syrup
Gorgeous ruby red strawberries.
  • Allow the strawberries to come to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium.
  • Cook the strawberries for a further 20 minutes until the volume is almost halved.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat.
  • Line a sieve with muslin cloth or kitchen towels (ones that won’t disintegrate – like Plenty) and place on top of a large bowl.
  • Pour the strawberry mixture through the sieve.
  • IMPORTANT – do not push or stir the mixture in the sieve, this will cause it to become cloudy, we want a beautiful, clear, red rose coloured syrup.
FF Fresh Strawberry Simple Syrup
Allow the juice to naturally drip through to the bowl.
  • When all the juice has dripped through, remove the sieve from the bowl. The strawberries are very tasty as a breakfast topping to plain yoghurt.
  • Pour the beautifully clear, red liquid into a jug.
FF Fresh Strawberry Simple Syrup
Beautifully clear Fresh Strawberry Simple Syrup.

Store the Fresh Strawberry Simple Syrup in a bottle with a lid, in the fridge.

Enjoy the beautiful, intense flavour of strawberries in this syrup.

Sammie xx

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Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet

The smell of Summer. Sun tan lotion, seaside air and luscious seasonal fruits. Ok, I accept that the fruits in this Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet are not necessarily grown in this country, although they are cheaper and more readily available during the summer.

FF Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet
Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet so good.

Making your own Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet is so worth it. Forget about the adverts telling you that ‘you’re worth it’ this is a delicious, good for you treat, that tastes of fruit heaven!

FF Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet
Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet will make your tastebuds come alive!

The marriage between the flavours will make your tastebuds sing in harmony.

FF Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet
Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet a delicious alternative to ice cream.

There are a couple of steps needed to prepare the fruit for this sorbet, but they are absolutely worth it to extract every drop of flavour from the fruit.

Once the fruit is prepped it is then cooked for a short time. This breaks down the pineapple and separates the passionfruit seeds from their surrounding juice. The cooked fruit mixture is then sieved, to remove the very crunchy seeds. A quick whizz with an immersion blender, or liquidiser, cool and your sorbet is ready to be churned.

FF Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet
Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet so worth making.

This sorbet tastes of Summer. Light, intensely fruity, sweet – but not overly so and with a colour to brighten the dullest of days.

A light dessert or a delightful palette cleanser between courses for a more formal meal.

The mangos I bought for this recipe spent a few days on our sunny lounge window ledge ripening up, in fact they were warm when I prepared them. The passionfruit were smooth skinned when bought and ripened to a prune-like wrinkling of the skin. To test if a pineapple is ripe I suggest smelling it. If it smells of pineapple then it’s ripe.

Recipe: Makes 1L Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet

6 Passion Fruit

2 Large Mango

1 Medium Pineapple

400mls Water

100g/4oz Sugar

Optional – see note at the end – Orange Blossom Water 1/4tsp – I suggest Nielsen-Massey

Method: Ensure the frozen compartment of your ice cream maker has been in the deep freeze overnight or according to manufacturers instructions.

  • Scoop the contents of the 6 passion fruit into a large heavy based saucepan. Squeezing the empty skins to ensure every drop of precious juice is used.
  • Next prepare the mangos. Cut down either side of the central stone, you will have three pieces. Take a fleshy side of the mango and score into three pieces using a sharp knife. With the blade flat to the skin, run the knife along each third, releasing a long slither of juicy, ripe mango. Repeat for the other side. Place the mango slices into the saucepan. Hold the central flesh and skin covered stone over the saucepan and squeeze as hard as you can. Scrape all of the pulp and juice from your hand into the pan.
  • Prepare the pineapple by cutting off the green spiky top and the flat base. Cut the pineapple into half and then divide each half into 3 sections. Cut down the outside of the central hard core – it will be the point of the pineapple. As with the mango, lay the blade flat between the fruit and the skin and slice to separate the two. Chop the pineapple into large chunks and add to the saucepan. Squeeze the skin and the hard core pieces over the saucepan to extracte as much juice as possible.
  • Pour the water over the fruit.
  • Add the sugar and turn the heat on to high under the pan.
FF Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet
Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet
  • Once the contents of the pan have started to bubble reduce the heat to medium, keep an eye on the fruit to ensure it doesn’t boil over.
  • Continue cooking for 20 minutes.
  • Carefully remove a spoonful of liquid from the saucepan, allow to cool and taste. The flavour should be pure fruit, not watered down and not super sweet – just as if you had eaten a slice of ripe mango. If the flavour is a little weak, continue cooking for a further 10 minutes and taste again.
  • When you are happy with the tropical fruit flavour, remove the saucepan from the heat.
  • Place a sieve over a large bowl.
  • Carefully pour the hot fruit mixture into the bowl through the sieve.
FF Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet
This is going to become the most Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet.
  • Using a strong dessert spoon press all of the fruit through the sieve. Occasionally clearing the underside of the sieve with a clean spoon, so that all the fruit pulp and juice goes into the bowl below.
  • This takes about 10 minutes to get it to this stage.
FF Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet
Pips and pulp left in the sieve, all the flavour is in the bowl.
  • I did taste the remaining pulp and although crunchy it was pretty flavourless, that said you could still have it swirled through yoghurt for breakfast.
  • If you have an immersion blender or liquidiser, blend the resulting lumpy liquid until velvety smooth.
  • Place the bowl on a trivet, to aid cooling air circulation and cover with a net food tent, or cling film to stop flies having a taste!
FF Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet.
Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet cooling.
  • Allow the sorbet liquid to cool and then place in the fridge to chill.
  • Once chilled set up your ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions.
  • Transfer the sorbet liquid to a jug, this makes pouring the liquid into the frozen chamber much easier.
  • With the machine churning pour the sorbet liquid into the ice cream maker and churn until slushy like.
  • Stop the machine, remove the paddle and scoop/pour the slushy mixture into a freezer proof, resealable tub.
FF Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet
Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet so full of fruity flavour.
  • Pop the lid on and place in the deep freeze, generally I leave ice creams and sorbets overnight, until frozen through.

To serve, remove the sorbet from the freezer 15-20 minutes to allow to soften slightly.

FF Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet
Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet the perfect way to end a meal.

For me, this is the perfect dessert after a hot spicy meal such as a curry or my Chunky Chilli. The cool, fruity sorbet, soothing on your tastebuds.

This is the perfect sorbet to make if you happen upon marked down fruit in the market or shops. It will keep for 3 months in the deep freeze and brighten a dull Winter’s day.

If you have enjoyed the recipe for my Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet here are some others you may also like:

Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream

FF Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet
Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream

Dark Chocolate Chip Vanilla Ice Cream

FF Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet
Dark Chocolate Chip Vanilla Ice Cream

Lemon Ripple Ice Cream

FF Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet
Lemon Ripple Ice Cream

 

I love creating, experimenting, tasting and testing different recipes. If you love mangos but aren’t a fan of pineapple, add more mango and leave the pineapple out.

Being allergic to oranges, means I always have to double check when I buy anything labelled ‘tropical’. Making my own Refreshing Tropical Fruit Sorbet means I know exactly what has gone into it. By all means adjust the sugar quantity if your fruit is sweeter, or riper. That’s why it is important to taste the liquid from the pan, remembering all the flavours will be dulled slightly by the freezing process.

I hope I have inspired you to get creative in your kitchens. Cooking should be fun. Combining flavours, adding a little something here or there, I hope that you take my recipes, try them and then change them to suit your tastes. I very much suspect a drop or two of orange blossom water would work very well in this recipe. But then I’ll never know 😉

Sammie xx

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Union Jack Sponge Cake

This Union Jack Sponge Cake may be one of the simplest recipes I have made and yet it is also one of the most delicious cakes I’ve ever made.

FF Union Jack Sponge Cake
Union Jack Sponge Cake bursting with fresh berry flavours.

A light vanilla sponge base, covered and piped with freshly whipped cream and decorated with strawberries and blueberries. A final sprinkling of glitter sets this cake off.

Why bake a flag cake?

On Twitter there is a community run by two fabulous, fun women, called @SundayBakeClub, they were recently featured in the Telegraph. Each week they pick a different theme that challenges bakers to express their creativity, try news skills, but mostly have fun! Last Sunday’s theme was #GirlPower. So the Spice Girls and our longest reigning monarch were my inspiration.

A Union Jack Sponge Cake idea was born.

FF Union Jack Sponge Cake
Union Jack Sponge Cake with pretty piped cream edges.

To be completely honest my original idea was to make a cheesecake with a Union Jack design on it, however, I woke up on Sunday with a cracking migraine. I resigned myself initially to not being able to take part.

Later in the day the pain eased enough for me to get a sponge base made and baked. Back came the pain. Back I went to bed!

After a couple of hours I was able to get up and decorate the cake. I am really pleased that I saw this bake through. You have no idea how many times I start something, only for me to be too unwell to complete, or photograph the results. So on this occasion #GirlPower really did prevail.

FF Union Jack Sponge Cake
Union Jack Flag Cake my lunch portion the following day!

I love how the Sunday Bake Club is a community of bakers who inspire and help each other. The main focus is to encourage people to get baking and stretch those who already bake often. The environment is completely non competitive, although the ‘Best Bits’ are chosen, by the organisers and posted on to their Blog. Bakers may then vote for their favourite and the ‘winner’ is awarded a virtual golden spoon.

A few weeks ago I was very fortunate to be awarded a golden spoon for my Hazelnut Raspberry Vacherin, I promise to write it up and post it on here soon. It has three tiers of hazelnut meringue with whipped cream, raspberries and toasted hazelnuts in between and on top. It was a real technical challenge for me

Back to the Union Jack Sponge Cake, you will need a 20cm x 28cm x 5cm (8″ x 11″ x 2″) Swiss roll tin to bake this flag cake.

Recipe: Union Jack Flag Cake serves 12

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature – plus an extra tablespoon for greasing the tin

225g/8oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

2tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – I use Nielsen-Massey

4 Large Free Range Eggs

225g/8oz Plain White Flour – plus an extra tablespoon for dusting the tin

2tsp Baking Powder

400ml Double Cream

300g Fresh Blueberries

400g Fresh Strawberries

1tsp Caster Sugar

Optional – edible glitter

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

  • Using the extra tablespoon of butter thoroughly grease the Swiss roll tin.
  • Next add one tablespoon of flour and tip it around the tin until the inside of the tin is completely coated. Tip any excess away into the bin.
  • In a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt.
  • Whisk/beat together until pale and creamy.
  • Add 1tsp vanilla bean paste, all four eggs and the flour.
  • Whisk/beat slowly until everything is just combined. Finish mixing using a spatula or spoon to ensure all the ingredients are combined – be careful not to over mix as your cake will not be light.
  • Tip the cake batter into the prepared tin and smooth out so that it fills each corner and is even.
FF Union Jack Sponge Cake
Delicious light vanilla cake batter ready for the oven.
  • Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes.
  • The sponge is baked when it is golden and springs back from a light touch.
  • Once baked remove the tin from the oven and allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the tin.
FF Union Jack Sponge Cake
Beautifully golden baked sponge.
  • Run a palette knife around the edge of the cake and then tip the sponge out on to a cooling rack.
  • Allow the sponge to cool completely before decorating.
  • As I didn’t have a board large enough for this cake, I placed it on to some baking parchment and then back on to the cooling rack to decorate.

Decorating the Union Jack Sponge Cake:

  • Place the cold fresh cream, 1tsp of caster sugar and 1tsp of vanilla bean paste into a bowl.
  • Whisk until the cream just holds a stiff peak.
  • Place half of the whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Secure the bag and place in the fridge – it was an extremely hot summer’s day when I made this cake, so I had to work quickly!
  • Spread the other half of the whipped cream on to the surface of the cake, using a palette knife to achieve a flat even finish. You DO NOT need to cover the sides in cream.
  • Hull and slice the strawberries. Wash and dry the blueberries, sorting through them as you dry them to remove any stalks or over ripe berries.
  • Have a picture of the Union Jack flag in front of you. By all means use my cake as a reference, but a picture is more accurate.
  • Start by forming the central red cross using sliced strawberries.
  • Cut some of the strawberry slices in half. Angle these into the cream to create the X shaped cross.
FF Union Jack Sponge Cake
The Union Jack Sponge Cake is starting to take shape.
  • Use the blueberries to fill in the triangles ensuring there is a gap of plain cream to represent the white lines of the flag.
  • Now pipe stars around the outside. I first piped around the bottom edge of the cake and then again around the top edge. It gives the cake a beautiful finish.
  • If like me you like a few sparkles, sprinkle over some edible glitter to complete your Union Jack Sponge Cake!
FF Union Jack Sponge Cake
Union Jack Sponge Cake perfectly pretty and very tasty.

I popped the whole cake, uncovered, into the bottom of the fridge for an hour before serving. It helped the cream set and cooled the cake down. As I mentioned I baked and decorated this cake on a very, very hot day.

If the temperature isn’t melting everything in sight this Union Jack Sponge Cake is fine to serve as soon as it has been decorated. Cut into squares, or slice down the centre and serve as slices.

This cake kept exceptionally well, in an airtight tin for 5 days in the fridge. It remained light and fresh and is simply one of the best cakes to enjoy with a cup of tea!

If you have enjoyed this Union Jack Sponge Cake recipe, here are some others you may like:

Raspberry Almond Cream Cake

FF Union Jack Sponge Cake
Raspberry Almond Cream Cake simply delicious.

Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake

FF Union Jack Sponge Cake
Lemon Curd Cake so tangy and refreshing.

Black Forest Giant Doughnut

FF Union Jack Sponge Cake
Black Forest Giant Doughnut with a hint of kirsch.

The baking community on Twitter are very encouraging and supportive, as well as a constant source of inspiration for me. Everyone shares and seeing as how I’m that kind of person, I fit in well!

Whatever time of year you make this cake, use whatever seasonal berries are available. I bet it would taste wonderful with raspberries and blackberries!

Thank you for all of your comments both here and on Twitter. I love hearing and seeing what you are making in your kitchens. You are a constant source of inspiration and encouragement to me too.

Sammie xx

 

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