Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

Yay it’s the weekend and I have the most fabulous treat for you. These absolutely delicious, 100% gluten free, Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes.

FF Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes deliciously gluten free treats.

I’m so excited I could almost burst! Delicious Alchemy sent me some of their Vanilla Sponge Cake Mix to try. All of their products are 100% gluten free and so, with friends that cannot tolerate gluten, I was excited and intrigued to see how well this packet mix performed.

My first project was to remake my delicious Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes. The cake mix was made as per the packet instructions and I added 100g of mango before filling the cupcake cakes. Once baked and cooled I topped the cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting. The cupcakes on tasting were deliciously light, tender and moist, with mango distributed evenly throughout each cake. A firm 9 out of 10 marks was given by all of the taste testers who had also tried my original recipe!

FF Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes made with gluten free vanilla cake mix.

Delicious Alchemy are currently running a Crowdfund project, raising funds to create a book for people living on a restricted diet. Why not take a look at their website to find out more and see how you too can a be part of this fantastic project.

Offering my baking skills to help raise awareness for Delicious Alchemy’s Crowdfund Project, led to me creating these delightful Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes, ooh and a bit of playing with fondant and alphabet cutters 😉.

FF Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes proudly supporting people who live on a gluten free diet.

Sugar and Crumbs sell a range of naturally flavoured icing sugars, cocoa, baking ingredients and baking equipment. All of their flavoured icings and cocoas are gluten free! To make these Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes I used their Chocolate Cherry Cocoa added to a Delicious Alchemy Vanilla Sponge Mix. Then topped each cupcake with a buttercream frosting using Black Forest Icing Sugar.

The result, a firm 10 out of 10!

Well they are Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes and chocolate makes everything better right 😉.

FF Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes gluten free and finished with a white chocolate heart.

Feasting is fun is an inclusive blog. The theme of sharing being it’s very backbone. Creating recipes that more people can enjoy appeals to the nature of who I am as a person. Supporting Delicious Alchemy in their Crowdfund by making these Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes was the very least I could do.

NOTE: All of Delicious Alchemy’s products are gluten and dairy free. The recipe below uses milk, butter and eggs.

Recipe: Makes 18 Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

1 packet of gluten free Vanilla Sponge Mix from Delicious Alchemy

50g Cocoa Powder – I used Sugar and Crumbs cherry cocoa

180g Unsalted Butter – softened to room temperature

3 Free Range Eggs

60ml/4tbsp Whole Milk

250g Black Forest Icing Sugar

50g Cocoa

100g Plain Icing Sugar

200g Unsalted Butter – softened to room temperature

Approximately 3tbsp Hot Water

Optional – 200g White Chocolate for the chocolate heart decorations – alternatively ensure any decoration is gluten free

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

  • Line 2 cupcake tins with 18 cupcake cases.
  • Add the softened butter, eggs, vanilla sponge mix, flavoured cocoa and milk to a bowl.
  • Whisk until you have a smooth cake batter – approximately 2 minutes.
  • Divide the cake batter evenly between the cake cases.
  • Place the cupcake tins in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. The cupcakes are cooked when they are firm and spring back from a light touch.
  • Once baked remove the cupcakes from the oven.
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool, either in their tin or transferred to a cooling rack, before icing.
FF Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Gluten Free Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes.

To make the buttercream frosting:

  • Place the softened butter into a large bowl.
  • Sift in the flavoured icing sugar, cocoa and plain icing sugar.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of hot water from a recently boiled kettle.
  • Whisk, starting on a very slow speed and gradually increasing, until the buttercream is light and creamy – add in the extra tablespoon of hot water if the buttercream is too stiff.
  • Fit a large piping bag with a large star nozzle – I use Wilton’s #1M.
  • Fill the piping bag with the buttercream.
  • To pipe rose swirls, start with the nozzle just above the centre of the cupcake, pipe an e shape and then continue round.
FF Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes with swirls of frosting.

To make the white chocolate hearts:

  • Chop up the chocolate into small pieces.
  • Place two thirds of the chocolate into a heatproof, microwaveable bowl.
  • Zap for 20 seconds at a time stirring in between.
  • When the chocolate is melted, remove from the microwave and immediately add the last third of chopped chocolate.
  • Stir continuously until all of the chocolate is melted. This method is a cheat’s way of tempering chocolate and helps prevent any white marks (bloom) appearing on the cooled chocolate.
  • Spoon the melted chocolate into the heart mould, tapping the mould after every three hearts are filled, to bring air bubbles to the surface.
  • Leave the chocolate to set somewhere cool. You can chill the mould in the fridge.
FF Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
White Chocolate Hearts to decorate the cupcakes.
  • Once the white chocolate hearts are firm, press out from the mould, ensuring you have cold hands for handling them, so as not to mark them.
  • Place a chocolate heart on the top of each cupcake.
FF Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes perfect for sharing.

These gluten free Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes are so pretty and very delicious. Whilst eating one of these tasty treats I could honestly not tell any difference to ‘regular’ wheat flour cupcakes. Yet the great thing is that more people can enjoy these!

FF Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes will you help?

I thoroughly enjoyed making (and eating 😀) these cupcakes and supporting Delicious Alchemy in their Crowdfund campaign. Raising awareness for others who cannot eat freely and creating an ultimate guide to living with dietary restrictions is very close to my heart. Whilst I am able to eat wheat flour, having been a life long sufferer of migraines, there are certain foods that I too have to avoid.

Do you have dietary restrictions?

Are there recipes that you would like converted into gluten free versions?

Let me know and if I can help I absolutely will xx.

If you have enjoyed these gluten free Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes here are some other gluten free recipes you may like:

Lemony Strawberry Pavlova

FF Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Gluten Free Lemony Strawberry Pavlova

Autumn Apple Almond Cake

FF Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Gluten Free Autumn Apple Almond Cake

Almond Blackberry Pear Crumble

FF Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Almond Blackberry Pear Crumble gluten free

All of the above recipes are 100% gluten free and I have happily served them to guests who were not aware that wheat flour had not been used!!

Feasting on delicious homemade food should be fun. With these recipes more people can bake at home with confidence. Whilst supermarkets may provide a limited selection of gluten free products, they will never be as tasty as homemade. Having a gluten free cake mix in the cupboard means you can whip up a gluten free treat, for visitors with a restricted diet, without having to re-stock your baking cupboard!

Please let me know if I can help with the questions above?

Sammie xx

Delicious Alchemy provided me with the vanilla sponge mix for this post. All opinions, views, content and photographs are my own. I did not receive any payment for writing this post. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks

Do you love the smell of coconuts? I do! With coconut oil being hailed as the new all round, healthy oil, I was interested in what it would be like to bake with. After receiving a 250ml jar of cold pressed, organic coconut oil from the lovely people at Vita Coco I decided to make these Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks.

VC Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks
Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks delicious and nutritious.

Having previously tried and failed, on two separate occasion to make flapjacks using honey, I knew I would have to go back to using sugar and golden syrup, if I stood any chance of these bars holding together. Switching out the butter for coconut oil was a risky proposition.

VC Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks
Medjool dates and Vita Coco coconut oil.

As I was using beautiful medjool dates from the Medjool Date Co. I reduced the amount of golden syrup. The dates are so naturally sweet it didnt need the extra sweetness like my Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks. Flaked almonds added the perfect crunch, plus all their nutty goodness and flavour.

VC Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks
Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks a slow release energy bar wherever you are.

The swirl of milk chocolate gives the Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks a beautiful finish and let’s face it, a little chocolate always makes things better 😉.

VC Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks
Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks finished with a milk chocolate swirl.

Wow!! These Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks taste amazing. I mean really, really good.

I needn’t have worried about missing the buttery flavour of my usual flapjacks as these are packed full of chewy, nutty, flavour. My taste buds threw a party after my first bite, demanding another and then another bite.

So utterly delicious and clean tasting, if you get my meaning?

Recipe: Makes 16 Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks

225g/8oz One 250ml Jar of Vita Coco coconut oil

125g/5oz Light Soft Brown Sugar

75g/3oz Golden Syrup -light corn syrup

325g/11.5oz Rolled Oats – NOT quick cook oats

100g/4oz Flaked Almonds

125g/5oz Medjool Dates – seed removed and chopped into 1cm pieces

Method: Preheat the oven to 180/165C fan, gas mark 4.

  • Line an 8″ X 11″ – 20cm X 28cm Swiss roll tin with baking parchment. I didn’t grease my tin first and the baking parchment listed out without any problems.
  • In a large, heatproof/microwaveable bowl add the coconut oil, sugar and golden syrup.
  • Place in the microwave and heat on medium, for approximately 3 minutes, until the coconut oil has melted.
  • Stir the coconut oil, sugar and golden syrup together.
  • Add the rolled oats, chopped dates and flaked almonds.
VC Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks
All the ingredients for Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks in one bowl!
  • Mix all the ingredients together so that everything is coated in the melted coconut oil and sugar mix.
  • Tip the flapjack ingredients into the prepared tin.
VC Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks
Tip the delicious mix into a prepared tin.
  • Using the back of a metal spoon, press the mixture evenly into the tin.
VC Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks
Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks ready for the oven.
  • Place the flapjacks into the centre of the oven and bake for exactly 20 minutes.
  • The flapjacks should be a golden colour once cooked. Remove from the oven.
  • Resist the temptation to cook them for just a bit longer. This will result in the flapjacks becoming very hard and not chewy, on cooling.
VC Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks
Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks leave to cool completely in the tin.
  • Leave the flapjacks to cool completely in the tin.
  • Once cooled remove the flapjacks from the tin using the parchment to lift them out.
  • With a sharp knife cut down the length of the flapjack block, dividing it in two. Next cut across the middle of the flapjack, creating four quarters. Cur each quarter into four bars.
  • Break up the milk chocolate and place into a heatproof, microwaveable bowl.
  • Zap for 20 seconds at a time, on high, in the microwave. Stirring as the chocolate starts to melt. When the chocolate is nearly melted remove from the microwave and keep stirring until it is completely melted.
  • Pour the melted chocolate into a small piping bag (or a freezer/sandwich bag).
VC Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks
The glass keeps the bag steady as you pour in the melted chocolate.
  • Cut the very end of the piping bag (or corner of bag), so that you have a small hole.
  • Pipe a pattern of your choice down the length of each of the Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks.
  • Leave to set.
VC Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks
Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks leave to set once the chocolate has been piped on.

Store the flapjacks in an airtight container for up to a week.

The coconut flavour in these flapjacks is subtle and mixes well with the dates and almonds to create a really flavoursome bar. Perfect for mornings when you’re in a rush and need breakfast on the go, or for filling that mid afternoon hunger gap and seeing you through to your evening meal!

I am incredibly impressed with how well the Vita Coco coconut oil worked in this recipe and I shall most definitely be buying more and using it in other recipes. If the chocolate is left of of these Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks they are both dairy AND gluten free (providing you use certified gluten free oats).

VC Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks
Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks

Creating a recipe that is not only nutritious, tasty and easy to pack up and take to work or school, but that can also be enjoyed by more people is a fantastic feeling!

Do you have diet constraints?

Have you substituted coconut oil for butter in any of your cooking/baking?

Please let me know as I am new to baking with coconut oil and would love to hear any tips you may have?

If you have enjoyed these Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks here are a couple more recipes you may like.

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

VC Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

VC Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns
Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

If you make these Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks or indeed any of my recipes, please tell me how you get on by leaving a comment? Also if you are on Twitter or Instagram post a photo and I’ll be sure to give you a shoutout or retweet.

Whatever you are making in your kitchen, have fun and remember that food really does taste better when it’s shared.

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest

VitaCoco and The Medjool Date Co. provided me with coconut oil and dates which were used in this recipe. All opinions, views, content and photographs are my own. I did not receive payment for writing this post. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

This recipe is an entry into the #Swearbyit challenge with Vita coco. Fing more great coconut oil recipes and tips on using coconut oil at www.swearbyit.com.

 

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Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes

Today is the first day is Spring! The sun shone this morning, birds are chirping in the garden, people are outside mowing their lawns and I was inspired to create a cupcake that celebrates the passing of Winter. So here are my gluten free Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes.

HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Utterly delicious and gluten free Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes.

The lovely Sarah at Heavenly Marshmallows had sent me a selection of her homemade, artisan marshmallows. Amongst the selection were nine that are mango and passionfruit flavour. I knew I wanted to somehow include these in a bake.

The mango and passionfruit marshmallows are gluten free and as you all know how much I love sharing, I decided to make a gluten free cupcake, with mango in the cake batter.

Yep – I love a challenge.

HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes so beautiful and utterly delicious.

As if making gluten free cupcakes was not a big enough challenge, I also wanted to incorporate the delicious mango and passionfruit marshmallows into the frosting. I had seen lots of different marshmallow frosting’s on Pinterest and after reading through a few different recipes, as usual, decided to come up with something of my own.

Thank you to Pinterest – without it I probably would have never tried this frosting.

HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes could you tell the difference?

For these Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes I decided to make two cake batters. The first was gluten free and can be seen in the photos on the yellow background, the cupcake wrappers are yellow floral, perfect for Spring.

The second batch are in the orange wrappers and are made using plain flour, that is NOT gluten free. As no one in our home is gluten intolerant, my wonderful family were to serve as ‘taste testers’, in a blind taste testing!!

HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes you can see the pieces of mango in the cupcake.

Each batch of cake batter had some mango added to it. As I didn’t have any fresh mango, I used mango from a pot in juice. I mashed up the mango with a fork and added it to the cake batter. I was thrilled that in both bakes, the mango stayed evenly distributed throughout the cooked cupcake.

So that was the cupcakes made. I’d successfully made gluten free cupcakes, with a good texture.

Now onto the frosting. Which wasn’t as daunting as I’d imagined. The hardest part was saying goodbye to each of the 9 mango and passionfruit marshmallows as I put them in a heatproof bowl, over a double boiler.

This dreamy marshmallow frosting is effectively buttercream, with melted marshmallows added to it. Yes, there’s a bit more to it than that, but it is no more difficult than making a chocolate ganache, that is then whipped and piped.

HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes the dreamy frosting is lighter than buttercream.

For some reason I’d imagined the marshmallow frosting to be a bit like marshmallow fluff. Very sticky, sweet, frosting that I’d probably have enough of halfway through eating the cupcake.

I couldn’t have been more wrong!!

This marshmallow frosting is the stuff of dreams, where fairies and unicorns live and rain falls like glittery sprinkles. Just took myself off into my dream world there 😉. It truly is amazing. The melted marshmallows lighten the buttercream frosting, giving it a mallow, sponginess, that doesn’t set hard and melts, almost like sherbet on your tongue.

Buttercream would have been delicious piped onto these cupcakes. Heavenly Marshmallows takes it to a completely different level. Utterly divine marshmallow frosting.

Recipe: Makes 12 Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes

Note: These cupcakes can be made NOT gluten free, just substitute wheat flour for the gluten free flour. Method and cooking times are exactly the same.

For the Mango Cupcakes

100g/4oz Unsalted Butter-at room temperature

100g/4oz Caster Sugar

2 Large Free Range Eggs

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

100g/4oz Gluten Free White Flour – I use Doves Farm

1tsp Baking Powder – Waitrose Cooks’ Homebaking baking powder as it is gluten free – check yours not all brands are gluten free.

Small pinch of salt

75g/3oz Fresh or Tinned Mango – any juice strained off and mango mashed with a fork.

For the Marshmallow Frosting

Heavenly Marshmallows Mango and Passionfruit flavour marshmallows

1tbsp Glycerine

300g/11oz Icing Sugar – sifted

150g/6oz Unsalted Butter – very soft

3tsp Boiling Water

Gluten Free Sprinkles

To make the mango cupcakes preheat the oven to 165/150 fan, gas mark 2-3.

  • Add the caster sugar,vanilla and butter into a medium sized bowl and whisk/beat together until pale and creamy.
  • Sift in the gluten free flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Add 2 eggs.
  • Whisk/beat until all the ingredients have come together and the batter is smooth.
  • Always take care to not over mix the cake batter.
  • Add the mashed mango and fold into the cake batter.
  • Place 12 cupcake cases into a cupcake tin.
  • Spoon the cupcake mixture evenly into the cupcake cases.
HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Mango Cupcakes ready for the oven.
  • Bake in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes. The low slow cooking will ensure flat tops, perfect for frosting.
  • The cupcakes are cooked when they are golden brown and spring back from a light touch.
  • Once cooked remove the cupcakes from the oven.
  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tin.
  • Remove the cupcakes from the tin and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Gluten Free Cupcakes cooling on the rack.

To make the marshmallow frosting

  •  Place the marshmallows into a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of barely simmering water.
HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Mango and Passionfruit Marshmallows starting to melt.
  • As the marshmallows melt it is important to keep stirring continuously.
  • Once melted remove the bowl from the saucepan and set to one side to cool.
HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Heavenly Melted Marshmallows!
  • Whilst the melted marshmallows are cooling make the buttercream.
  • Add the softened butter and boiling water into the bowl of sifted icing sugar.
  • Whisk on a high speed until light and creamy.
  • Pour the warm melted marshmallows into the buttercream, whilst the whisk is still mixing.
  • Continue mixing on a medium speed for 5 minutes.
  • You will have the lightest frosting to pipe onto your cakes.
HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Light, creamy, marshmallow frosting.
  • Fit a large piping bag with a large star tip – I used Wilton #1M
  • Place the bag inside a sturdy jug or glass, folding back the sides of the bag.
  • Fill the bag with the marshmallow frosting.
  • Pipe swirls (like ice cream in cones) or roses see here.
  • Sprinkle over the topping of your choice.
HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes here piped as swirls the frosting is very versatile.

These Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes are completely delicious and in a blind taste test the gluten free cupcakes tasted exactly the same as the regular ones!! Nobody could tell the difference and happily ate both cupcakes.

One part that was declared “exceptional” was the marshmallow frosting. This is something that I will definitely be making again. The taste and unbelievable texture is most definitely worth the extra step!

Heavenly Marshmallows  certainly live up to their name. Made with natural ingredients and flavourings and no artificial colours, they truly are unlike any other marshmallow I have ever tasted. Within the selection were: mint chocolate, chocolate, liquorice (which I don’t like – but tasted some of hubby’s and it was so subtle, I’d have happily finished it), lemon meringue, vanilla and the mango/passionfruit flavour.

My personal favourite was the lemon meringue, ooh I would love to top cupcakes with this one. It had an almost sherbet like flavour which I loved and it is unashamedly lemon, completely my type of delicious.

What surprised me was the melt-in-the-mouth texture. All flavours were delicious with the texture adding a massive bonus. These marshmallows are truly artisan, without preservatives and with some flavours being gluten free, I’d say they would be my perfect treat. If you know someone this Easter who doesn’t like, or can’t eat chocolate these Heavenly Marshmallows would make a wonderful gift.

Do you find it hard to buy an alternative to chocolate eggs at Easter?

If you enjoyed these Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes I think you’ll love these too:

Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes  

Smartie Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes
Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes.

Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

HM Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

If you make these, or indeed any of my recipes, please post a photo, if you are able, on Twitter or Instagram and tag me in. I love seeing your makes and bakes.

Wishing you all a very happy Spring.

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest

Heavenly Marshmallows  provided me with the marshmallows for this recipe. All content, photographs and recipes are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

Gosh mornings are busy. So much to do, yet so little time. How are we supposed to make time for the most important meal of the day – breakfast? Well I have a solution right here for you my friends –  Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks.

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks perfect for breakfast on the go.

Breakfast, is just that – breaking the fast. Our bodies have just been starved for 6-7 hours (I’m being optimistic here), whilst we sleep. Eating a good breakfast helps kick our bodies into GO. If you are anything like me, I need a kick start in the morning!

That’s where these yummy Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks can help.

Packed full of good-for-you, slow release energy oats, one of these bars will keep you going until lunchtime. And, because it’s the morning and let’s face it eating anything can be a struggle, I threw in crunchy walnuts and chewy, slightly tart cranberries.

Yes there’s a squiggle of rich, dark chocolate on top of these beauties – it’s breakfast people, we need all the caffeine flavour we can get!!

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks the perfect start to your day.

The beauty of these flavour and texture packed bars is that you make them ahead.

Imagine this? It’s Sunday afternoon, you spend 15 minutes in the kitchen, whipping up a batch of these Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks and you have breakfast and snacks for the whole week.

Am I the only one who gets that mid afternoon dip around 3-4pm?

Thought not!

These bars also make a great mid afternoon snack and stop you grabbing for that chocolate bar/doughnut/cookie. We all know these give us an instant feel good sugar hit, only to slump in hunger again half an hour later. Why not wrap an extra one of these, in baking parchment and take it to work? It’ll keep those hunger pangs away until dinner time.

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Wrap up one of the Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks and take it with you.

You can certainly mix up the fruit and nut element. Dried apricots with almonds, or dried figs with pecan nuts. Really the possibilities are endless, I would keep the weights the same, as the flapjack needs to hold together.

I have deliberately not used the word ‘healthy’ for these Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks, as I am aware of the sugar/butter content. I am not a nutritionist, although I would rather pop one of these bars into my daughter’s hand as she heads off for college, than have her grab a muffin or doughnut from a coffee shop!

Recipe: Make 16 Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

250g/10oz Unsalted Butter

100g/4oz Golden Syrup (light corn syrup)

125g/5oz Light Brown Sugar

325g/11.5oz Rolled Oats (not quick cook) I use Waitrose essential oats

150g/5oz Dried Cranberries

100g/4oz Chopped Walnuts

50g/2oz Dark Chocolate (70% cocoa is ideal)

Method: Preheat the oven to 180/165C fan oven.

Grease and line a 8″ x 11″ – 20cm x 28cm swiss roll tin/shallow baking tin, with butter and baking parchment.

Into a large bowl add the golden syrup.

Into a medium saucepan add the butter and sugar. Warm over a medium heat, stirring until melted.

Pour the melted butter/sugar mixture into the bowl containing the golden syrup. Stir continuously until combined.

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Add the oats, cranberries and walnuts to the bowl.

Stir until all the oats, walnuts and cranberries are thoroughly coated in the melted butter/sugar.

Tip the mixture into the lined tin.

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Press the mixture into the tin using the back of a metal spoon, so it is an even layer.

Place the tin into the oven and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.

Remove the tin from the oven and allow the Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks to cool in the tin. The flapjacks will be very soft at this stage, but will harden on cooling.

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
When the flapjacks are slightly warm, remove from the tin.

Using a sharp knife cut down the centre of the flapjacks. Then cut across the middle. Cut each quarter in half again. The flapjacks will still be slight soft.

Leave the flapjacks on the baking parchment to continue cooling and setting.

Once the Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks are completely cooled they can be drizzled with chocolate.

Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt in a heatproof bowl, in the microwave, using 30 second bursts. Stir well and when the chocolate is nearly melted keep stirring and the inherent heat will melt any solid pieces left.

You can use a teaspoon to drizzle the chocolate over the flapjacks or pour the chocolate into a disposable icing bag, snip the corner off and pipe the chocolate onto the flapjacks.

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Chocolate drizzled Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

Allow the chocolate to set and then store in a tin.

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Store layered with baking parchment in a tin.

These Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks are perfect anytime of day, but they are especially handy to have, when time for breakfast disappears in the morning. Just grab one and eat on the go!

An added bonus, which does rely on checking the packaging, is that oats are gluten free. So even more people can enjoy a delicious, easy breakfast.

Do your work colleagues miss breakfast? Try making these Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks and taking them to work. You may just make someone smile!

If you enjoyed these Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks then try these:

Oat Topped Lemon Shortbread Bars

Lemon Bars Cranberry walnut flapjack
Oat Topped Lemon Bars

Apricot Oat Crumble Cookies

Apricot Oat Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Apricot Oat Crumble Cookies

Sammie xx

 

 

 

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Almond Blackberry Pear Crumble

It’s cold, it’s wet, it’s Winter – time for real puddings. This Almond Blackberry Pear Crumble, that just happens to be Gluten Free people, hits the spot.

Almond Blackberry Pear Crumble a drizzle of cream perfectly compliments this pudding www.feastingisfun.com
Almond Blackberry Pear Crumble a drizzle of cream perfectly compliments this pudding www.feastingisfun.com

That spot where only warm, fruity, drizzled with cream or custard, or both – I’m not judging – puddings can only hit.

Are you with me?

The pears are fresh and juicy, the blackberries are from the freezer, squirrelled away during our abundant, Autumn.

The perfect combination of fruit and nuts.
The perfect combination of fruit and nuts.

This crunchy, almond laden crumble comes together in mere moments, all the ingredients working in harmony together. The result an unctuous, fruity, crunchy, explosion in your mouth. You know, the kind of eating experience, where the inside of your cheeks suddenly suck in and your taste buds are woken up by the flavour party happening on your tongue.

Yep – that good!

And because as many as possible should be able to share in this pudding sensation, I made it Gluten Free. Because, why not??

Almond Blackberry Pear Crumble juicy, plump fruit, hides beneath the delicious, Gluten Free, crumble topping www.feastingisfun.com
Almond Blackberry Pear Crumble juicy, plump fruit, hides beneath the delicious, Gluten Free, crumble topping www.feastingisfun.com

What sends this Almond Blackberry Pear Crumble over the top, apart from my description, is the buttery, crunchy, flaked almond streusel, piled high, atop the juicy fruit.

No additional sugar is added to the fruit layer. The pears are sweet enough and I think it is good to have bursts of sharpness, from the plump, purple, blackberries. To provide balance, crunchy, caramel, demerera sugar is mixed in with the crumble topping. The result a pudding that absolutely sings!

Almond Blackberry Pear Crumble pour over the cream and tuck in! www.feastingisfun.com
Almond Blackberry Pear Crumble pour over the cream and tuck in! www.feastingisfun.com

Recipe: Almond Blackberry Pear Crumble serves 6 generous portions.

225g/8oz Gluten Free Flour – I use Dove’s Farm

100g/4oz Unsalted Butter – cold, straight from the fridge

225g/8oz Flaked Almonds

100g/4oz Demerera Sugar

1/4tsp Salt

3-4 Conference Pears

200g/7oz Fresh or Frozen Blackberries

Optional – Double Cream, Custard, Ice Cream to serve

Method: Preheat Oven to 185C/170C fan

Cut the cold butter into cubes and place in a large bowl with the flour and salt.

Rub the butter into the flour with your fingers, working quickly and lightly, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Gluten Free flour worked just as well as wheat flour in this recipe.
Gluten Free flour worked just as well as wheat flour in this recipe.

Alternatively place the cubed butter and flour into a food processor, with the steel blade attached and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the flaked almonds and demerera sugar and stir with a spoon to mix.

Crunchy crumble topping.
Crunchy crumble topping.

Peel the pears, remove the core and cut into chunks.

Place the pears and blackberries into a 10″/26cm dish.

Delicious pear and frozen blackberries.
Delicious pear and frozen blackberries.

Cover the fruit with the crumble mixture.

Almond Blackberry Pear Crumble ready for the oven! www.feastingisfun.com
Almond Blackberry Pear Crumble ready for the oven! www.feastingisfun.com

Place in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes until the topping is golden and the fruit juices are bubbling.

Once baked remove from the oven.

Almond Blackberry Pear Crumble juicy, plump fruit, hides beneath the delicious, Gluten Free, crumble topping www.feastingisfun.com
Almond Blackberry Pear Crumble juicy, plump fruit, hides beneath the delicious, Gluten Free, crumble topping www.feastingisfun.com

Serve immediately with the accompaniment of your choice.

Eat and enjoy!

Almond Blackberry Pear Crumble just the comfort needed on a cold, winter's day www.feastingisfun.com
Almond Blackberry Pear Crumble just the comfort needed on a cold, winter’s day www.feastingisfun.com

Everyone in our house thoroughly enjoyed this warming, winter pudding.

Being Gluten Free makes this Almond Blackberry Pear Crumble accessible to more people. Now that has got to be a good thing!

Do you desire warm, comforting food when it’s cold? I certainly do.

If you enjoy this Almond Blackberry Pear Crumble, then you will love these recipes:

Apple Almond Cake also Gluten Free and delicious served warm

Amazing Apple Pie

I buy Dove’s Gluten Free flour from Waitrose.

Sammie xx

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Autumn Apple Almond Cake

Hi, I am super, super pleased to share another Gluten Free recipe with you today, my Autumn Apple Almond Cake. Just because you cannot have Gluten in your diet shouldn’t mean abstaining from cake. What would Marie Antoinette have thought about that??!

Autumn Apple Almond Cake crunchy topping that hides the moistest cake ever. www.feastingisfun.com
Autumn Apple Almond Cake crunchy topping that hides the moistest cake ever. www.feastingisfun.com

 

This Autumn Apple Almond Cake was made for my mum, as she can’t eat Gluten. I had some Gluten Free flour in the cupboard, but had yet to bake a cake with it. I love a challenge!!!

Our two apple trees are laden with delicious green/red fruits this Autumn and we are happily munching our way through them, as a family.

Autumn Apple Almond Cake, low afternoon sun enhances this beautiful golden cake. www.feastingisfun.com
Autumn Apple Almond Cake, low afternoon sun enhances this beautiful golden cake. www.feastingisfun.com

The trees were already established when we bought our house, along with a plum and pear tree. Both trees produce red apples, one is slightly smaller and sweeter, whilst the other tastes very much like a Granny Smith, only red!

A very few of our beautiful apples.
A very few of our beautiful apples.

We generally eat and give away the perfect fruits, however, we have so many windfall apples this year I decided to start putting them to good use!

My first try resulted in an EPIC FAILURE. I attempted to make my Sticky Pecan Sultana Buns but adjust the recipe to incorporate fresh, grated, apple. Whilst delicious, most of the buns stuck to the pan and once I’d managed to prise them out, the majority promptly fell apart! Won’t be making those again!!!

I knew next time I baked with the apples I wanted to grate them. Grating the peeled fruit ensures that the apples cook into the cake batter. This Autumn Apple Almond Cake is incredibly moist, primarily due to the grated apple and helped by adding ground almonds to the mix.

Autumn Apple Almond Cake beautifully moist, with a soft, tender crumb. www.feastingisfun.com
Autumn Apple Almond Cake beautifully moist, with a soft, tender crumb. www.feastingisfun.com

 

 

Recipe : Makes one 10″ Autumn Apple Almond Cake

225g/8oz Caster Sugar

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter

1tsp Vanilla Extract

1/4tsp Salt

4 Large Eggs

2tsp Cinnamon

150g/5oz Ground Almonds

150g/5oz Gluten Free Flour – I used Dove’s Farm

2tbsp Demerara Sugar

50g/2oz Flaked Almonds

350g/12oz Grated Apple – approx 4 large/5-6 medium apples once peeled and cored

Note : Any apple except Bramleys (cooking apples) can be used for this recipe. I used half sweet and half tart apples.

Method : Preheat oven to 175C/160C fan

Grease a 10″ Springform cake pan and line the base with baking parchment.

Place the butter and sugar into a large bowl

Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

 

Add the salt, vanilla extract and 2 eggs. Whisk until incorporated.

Next add half of the dry ingredients – flour, ground almonds, baking powder and cinnamon. Whisk until just incorporated.

Repeat the last 2 steps.

Your batter is now ready for the grated Apple.
Your batter is now ready for the grated apple.

 

I made the cake batter before preparing the apples, as the apples I used turn brown within a few minutes of grating.

Peel and grate the apples using a box grater. Add the grated apples and any juice to the cake batter.

Add the grated Apple.
Add the grated apple.
Fold the grated apple into the batter.
Fold the grated apple into the batter.
Place the batter into the cake, smooth the surface and sprinkle over the Demerara Sugar.
Place the batter into the cake tin, smooth the surface and sprinkle over the Demerara Sugar.
For an extra crunchy topping, cover the cake batter with flaked almonds.
For an extra crunchy topping, cover the cake batter with flaked almonds.

 

Place the cake into the middle of the oven and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

If, as I found, the cake is browning too quickly, cover the top with Aluminium foil after 50-60 minutes.

Once the cake is baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin.
Once the cake is baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin.

 

Once the cake is completely cooled, carefully remove from the tin and serve.

Autumn Apple Almond Cake serve yourself a delicious slice! www.feastingisfun.com
Autumn Apple Almond Cake serve yourself a delicious slice! www.feastingisfun.com

 

This beautiful cake is delicous eaten as is, however, to make a dessert you could easily slice this cake when slightly warm and serve with custard, cream, or even a scoop of ice cream!

Should you have any cake left it can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days.

Although I have made this cake with Gluten Free flour, it also can be made with regular wheat flour.

My mum’s guests all enjoyed this Autumn Apple Almond Cake, to my relief and pleasure.

How would you serve a cake like this?

If you love apples you may also like this Amazing Apple Pie

Sammie x

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Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies Gluten Free

Hello lovely people, I have finally managed to come up with a Gluten Free cookie. As many of my regular readers may be aware, I’ve recently been having seizures. This has has had a MASSIVE impact on my life and the lives of our family. One of the biggest, non physical impacts is that I cannot drive for the foreseeable future. So my wonderful mummy has been collecting the children from school for us – everyday. Such a huge, selfless, commitment. As she is following a Gluten Free eating plan I wanted to make her a ‘treat’, hence Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies Gluten Free.

Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies Gluten Free - if you can't eat Gluten, you can have these!!
Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies Gluten Free – if you can’t eat Gluten, you can have these!!

 

I used Doves Farm Gluten Free Flour and Biona Hazelnut Butter, both items were purchased by myself. The Hazelnut Butter was bought to make Hazelnut Ice Cream (seriously good, will post recipe soon), the Gluten Free Flour was purchased for the sole reason of developing Gluten Free recipes, with Mum in mind. The texture of the cookies is very biscuity, not too dry, but definitely not a soft cookie. Using Doves Farm Gluten Free flour, there is no difference in taste or texture, when compared with White Wheat Flour in this recipe.

More than anything I am just so pleased to have made my Mummy some cookies and that I get to share the recipe with you! If you have a nut allergy you can absolutely substitute the Hazelnut Butter for Unsalted Butter. So hopefully everybody can enjoy Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies Gluten Free!

Mmm yummy - Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies Gluten Free.
Mmm yummy – Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies Gluten Free.

 

Our window cleaner happened to be cleaning the windows and offered to try a Cookie. Cheeky, yes! But he always does such a good job and I do like to share. He gave them a big thumbs up, remarking on how un-doughy they were for Gluten Free. Always good to have an unbiased opinion. The Green Goddess will be sent hers to try later today, but the opinion I’m most awaiting is my Mummy’s. After all she was the inspiration behind them.

So enough waffling, here’s what you need to make Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies Gluten Free.

Recipe : Makes 20-30 Cookies

150g/5oz Caster Sugar

175g/6oz Hazelnut Butter

50g/2oz Unsalted Butter

Pinch of Salt

1 Whole Large Egg – free range if poss

1tsp Vanilla Extract

250g/9oz Gluten Free Flour – Doves Farm

175g/6oz Chocolate Chunks

Method : Preheat oven to 175C/160C fan

Place the hazelnut butter, butter, salt and sugar into a large bowl. Whisk until well combined.
Place the hazelnut butter, butter, salt and sugar into a large bowl. Whisk until well combined.

The whisked butter/sugar mixture will seem a little grainy in texture – that’s normal.

Add the whole egg and vanilla extract. Whisk for a good couple of minutes, until the mixture is lighter in colour and texture.
Add the whole egg and vanilla extract. Whisk for a good couple of minutes, until the mixture is lighter in colour and texture.
Add the Gluten Free Flour and the Chocolate Chunks. Stir until all the ingredients are combined.
Add the Gluten Free Flour and the Chocolate Chunks. Stir until all the ingredients are combined.

I have used Callebaut Chocolate Chunks, these are coated in corn flour, which is Gluten Free.

This is how your Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough Gluten Free, should look.
This is how your Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough Gluten Free, should look.

 

On parchment lined baking sheets, form small, balls of cookie dough.

Space the cookie dough balls evenly apart.
Space the cookie dough balls evenly apart.
Using clean damp hands, use you fingers to press down and flatten the cookie balls.
Using clean damp hands, use you fingers to press down and flatten the cookie balls.

 

Place the cookies in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden.

Delicious golden Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies Gluten Free.
Delicious golden Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies Gluten Free.

 

Remove from the oven when cooked.  Allow the cookies to cool on the baking tray for 10 mins and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies Gluten Free - these cooling cookies smell amazing. A mixture of chocolate, hazelnut and vanilla - sooo good!
Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies Gluten Free – these cooling cookies smell amazing. A mixture of chocolate, hazelnut and vanilla – sooo good!

 

I made 24 cookies. Next time I will flatten them a little more, I wasn’t sure how far they would spread. They don’t!!!!

Now I can’t wait to see my Mummy to give her some cookies and see what she thinks?

NOTE : These cookies are at their best eaten on the day they are baked.

To store the cookie dough, wrap in cling film and keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Please let me know if you try these?

Happy Baking and Sharing.

Sammie x

 

 

 

 

 

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