Double Strawberry Almond Muffins

As you may have noticed from recent posts, I am having a full blown love affair with strawberries this Summer.  Whether it’s eating them warmed by the sun, just as they are, or, creating new recipes such as Strawberry Rose Ice Cream, I cannot seem to get enough of them. While looking for inspiring ingredients on Amazon U.K., I found some baked strawberries for sale. Imagining a more intense strawberry flavour with a chewy texture. Sourcing locally, finally resulted in the creation of Double Strawberry Almond Muffins.

FF Double Strawberry Almond Muffins
Double Strawberry Almond Muffins perfect for breakfast.

Since the name ‘baked’ strawberries seems, a little misleading, they will be referred to as dried strawberries. Not freeze dried strawberries, which are an entirely different product altogether.  Similar to dried apricots in texture, dried strawberries are chewy, rather like gummy bears, with a more intense, strawberry flavour. While also free from other added ingredients. Resulting in a perfect snack size strawberry, untainted by additives.

FF Double Strawberry Almond Muffins
Double Strawberry Almond Muffins delicious with a cup of tea.

While the muffins bake the fresh strawberries become absorbed into the batter.  Yet dried strawberries absorb moisture from the cake batter. During the baking process they lose their chewy texture. Resulting in gooey, jam like pools of delicious strawberry within each muffin.

FF Double Strawberry Almond Muffins
Double Strawberry Almond Muffins dark pieces of dried strawberry within the muffin.

A light open texture of each muffin is visible in the photo above. Having checked a few muffins, the strawberries are dispersed evenly throughout. Since previously having difficulty including fresh strawberries into a bake, I didn’t want to weigh the batter down with their water content. That said, extra chopped, dried strawberries could be added to the top, with the flaked almonds, prior to baking.

Recipe: Makes 12 Double Strawberry Almond Muffins

200g/7oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

200g/7oz Caster Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Extract – for all extracts I use Nielsen-Massey

1/2tsp Almond Extract

4 Large Free Range Eggs

1/4tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

100g/4oz Ground Almonds

150g/5oz Plain White Flour

1.5tsp Baking Powder

100g/4oz Fresh Strawberries hulled and diced

50g/2oz Dried or Baked Strawberries roughly chopped – I use Urban Fruit

50g/2oz Flaked Almonds

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

Note: Tulip wrappers must be used in a deep muffin, or cupcake tin. When using regular cupcake cases, fill two thirds full and expect to make 18 muffins from this recipe. The length of time baking will also need to be adjusted, please see guidelines in the method.

  • Line a deep muffin tin with 12 tulip wrappers.
  • Whisk together the butter, sugar and salt in a large bowl, until pale and creamy.
  • Add the eggs, vanilla and almond extract and the chopped fresh strawberries to the bowl. Whisk together.
  • Next add the ground almonds, flour, baking powder and chopped dried strawberries. Tossing the strawberries in the flour will help stop them from sinking to the bottom of the muffin.
  • Mix all of the ingredients together so that they are fully combined. Over mixing will cause the muffins to become tough.
FF Double Strawberry Almond Muffins
Making the muffin batter.
  • Using a large, 5cm/2″ ice cream scoop, add one scoop of batter to each tulip case. Divide any remaining batte evenly between the 12 cases.
  • Sprinkle some flaked almonds on top of each unbaked muffin. Again dividing the almond flakes, so each muffin has an equal amount.
FF Double Strawberry Almond Muffins
Adding flaked almonds to the top of each muffin before baking.
  • Place the muffin tin into the centre of the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes.
  • The muffins are baked when they turn golden brown and are firm to a light touch. Over cooked muffins will be dry so start checking at 35 minutes.
  • Note: if baking using smaller cases, the baking time will need to be reduced.
FF Double Strawberry Almond Muffins
Double Strawberry Almond Muffins baked fresh from the oven.
  • When using tulip cases leave the muffins to cool completely in the tin. For muffin/cupcake cases, leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin and then transfer to a cooling rack.
FF Double Strawberry Almond Muffins
Double Strawberry Almond Muffins topped with flaked almonds.

Double Strawberry Almond Muffins are best served slightly warm, or cold. Also a cup of tea, or fresh fruit juice served alongside is a great idea.

FF Double Strawberry Almond Muffins
Double Strawberry Almond Muffins perfectly portable.

Muffins are great for breakfast, packed lunches and beating late afternoon hunger pangs.

Muffins containing fresh fruit are best eaten within 3 days of making. Store in an airtight container, placed in the fridge during hot weather.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Double Strawberry Almond Muffins you may also like these:

Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars

FF Double Strawberry Almond Muffins
Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars

Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins

FF Double Strawberry Almond Muffins
Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins

Cherry Bakewell Cookies

FF Double Strawberry Almond Muffins
Cherry Bakewell Cookies

Taking under ten minutes to make, muffins really are a delicious breakfast treat. Knowing that, whilst at school, college or work, my family has good, wholesome food is important to me.

Dried strawberries are widely available from supermarkets, including Ocado, Waitrose and Amazon U.K.

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

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced without the explicit, written consent of the owner. For more details please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Strawberry Rose Ice Cream

Strawberry Rose Ice Cream, sumptuous strawberry and light floral flavours combine in this silky, elegant dessert.

Strawberries are simply THE taste of Summer. Most people would wholeheartedly agree. While usually eaten with a sprinkle of sugar and splash of cream, this Strawberry Rose Ice Cream dares to be unique. In a good way. Strawberry ice cream is already perfect on the tastebuds. Yet, add a drop of Rose extract and one is transformed into a bygone era, where life seemed easier, simpler. Whether that is true you can decide. Yet, whatever you do, don’t let this Summer pass without tasting the elegant bliss of this beautiful ice cream.

FF Strawberry Rose Ice Cream
Strawberry Rose Ice Cream served in a tea cup.

Since all pips are removed during the making of this dreamy dessert, it’s silky texture lingers on the tongue. While both fresh strawberry and rose flavours meld together, playing tricks on our tastebuds. This truly is a dream ice cream where the finished recipe is so much more than the addition of its component parts. Do not let sieving the strawberries put you off. This small step is vital in achieving the final texture and takes no longer that a couple of minutes.

FF Strawberry Rose Ice Cream
Strawberry Rose Ice Cream exceptionally easy to scoop.

Summing up, this ice cream seems the epitome of summer. Fresh strawberries and rose. Summer is the season when roses are celebrated at their best. Indeed all roses included in the pictures for this post, are from our own garden. While I haven’t gone as far as to make my own Rose Extract, that can safely be left in the hands of Nielsen-Massey , the professionals. Instead the roses in the photos hint at  their presence within the ice cream.

FF Strawberry Rose Ice Cream
Strawberry Rose Ice Cream delicious in a cone.

Note: Prior to starting this recipe ensure that the frozen bowl of the ice cream maker is placed in the freezer overnight for at least 8 hours. Or as per manufacturer’s instructions.

Recipe: Strawberry Rose Ice Cream makes approx. 1L

400g Punnet of Strawberries hulled and larger ones cut in half

3tbsp Sugar

4tbsp Tap Water

Scant 1/4tsp Rose Extract- I use Nielsen-Massey

20-30mls Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice

4 Large Free Range Egg Yolks

1tsp Cornflour – I use Doves Farm

5tbsp Caster Sugar

300mls Double Cream

300mls Whole Milk

1tsp Vanilla Extract

Method:

For full step by step instructions with photos on how to make the custard ice cream base, please see Very Vanilla Ice Cream

  • Start by placing the prepared strawberries into a heavy bottom, medium sized saucepan. Sprinkle over 3 tablespoons of sugar and 4 tablespoons of tap water.
  • Place the pan over a medium heat and cook the strawberries until the liquid starts bubbling.
  • Swirl the pan to ensure that the sugar is dissolved and then let the strawberries cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • While the strawberries are cooking place a sieve over a heatproof bowl.
  • Once cooked pour the strawberries and liquid on to the sieve.
FF Strawberry Rose Ice Cream
Cooking and sieving the strawberries.
  • Using the back of a dessert spoon gently press the strawberries into the sieve. Their juices and flesh will pass through the sieve. Keep running the back of the spoon over the pulp until all that’s left are seeds and the remaining strawberry fibres.
  • Scrape the underneath of the sieve with a clean spoon. This will ensure all of the strawberry that’s passed through the sieve goes into the bowl underneath.
  • Discard the seeds and pulp left in the sieve.
  • Cover the bowl with cling film and chill.
FF Strawberry Rose Ice Cream
Preparing the ice cream base prior to churning.
  • To make the ice cream base, first place the cream and milk into a heavy bottom saucepan over a medium heat. Heat to scalding point, where little bubbles form around the rim prior to boiling.
  • While the cream mix is heating place the egg yolks, cornflour, sugar and vanilla extract into a large heatproof bowl. Whisk together until thickened.
  • As soon as the milk and cream have reached scalding point remove from the heat.
  • With the whisk on slow gently pour the hot liquid into the egg mix, increasing the whisk speed to medium.
  • Pour the custard base back into the saucepan over a medium heat. Stir until the custard is thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
  • Once cooked pour the custard through a sieve into a heatproof bowl.
  • Place cling film directly on to the custard to stop a skin from forming.
  • Leave the custard to cool before placing in the fridge to chill.
  • Once the strawberry juice has cooled add the Rose extract. Take care not to add more than the recipe indicates, as the finished result will taste soapy. Also add the juice of a small lemon 20-30mls and stir.
  • As soon as the custard base is chilled, remove the cling film and add the strawberry mix, then stir.
FF Strawberry Rose Ice Cream
Churning and storing the Strawberry Rose Ice Cream
  • Set up the ice cream maker as per manufacturer’s instructions.
  • With the machine switched on pour in the flavoured custard base and churn until softly frozen. Similar in consistency to whipped ice cream in a cone.
  • When the right consistency has been reached switch off the ice cream maker, dismantle, then the ice cream can be removed.
  • Spoon the churned ice cream into a freezer proof container with an airtight lid. I used a clean loaf tin to store the ice cream. This was purely for the photos, having seen similar images on Pinterest! The tin was then double wrapped in freezer proof cling film.
  • Place the container into the freezer and leave overnight, or for at least 12 hours, to allow the ice cream to fully freeze.
  • To serve, remove the ice cream from the freezer 10-20 minutes prior. As there are no artificial, only natural selection ingredients, this allows the ice cream to soften, so that it can be easily scooped.
FF Strawberry Rose Ice Cream
Strawberry Rose Ice Cream easy to scoop.
FF Strawberry Rose Ice Cream
Strawberry Rose Ice Cream served as dessert in a tea cup.

Serve in tea cups for dessert or afternoon tea. Likewise, scoop into cones for a delicious fun treat. Also, by using a certified gluten free cornflour, the ice cream is naturally gluten free.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Strawberry Rose Ice Cream you may also like these:

Amaretto Creamy Ice Cream

FF Strawberry Rose Ice Cream
Amaretto Creamy Ice Cream

Lemon Ripple Ice Cream

FF Strawberry Rose Ice Cream
Lemon Ripple Ice Cream

Triple Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

FF Strawberry Rose Ice Cream
Triple Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

Creating ice cream at home is a fun and rewarding experience. Combining flavours, changing textures, the possibilities are as endless as your imagination. By controlling the use of certain ingredients, homemade ice cream can easily be made gluten free. Personally, I would not be without an ice cream maker now, having made countless different flavours.

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

Sammie xx

Please note that no part of this post may be reproduced or replicated without the specific, written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

Note: The Ice Cream Maker used is from Andrew James it is now over one year since I received it and is as good as the day it was first used.

 

 

 

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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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