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 ūüėČ.

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 ūüėČ.

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 ūüėÄ) 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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Andrew James Waffle Maker Review

Waffles, I have been wanting to make my own forever Рvery slight exaggeration there, honestly though for a long time. I was sent an Andrew James Waffle Maker, by Andrew James UK Ltd to review and set myself the challenge of also coming up with a few recipes along the way!

Andrew James Waffle Maker Review
Chocolate Dunking Waffle anyone????

When reviewing a product, especially a non-essential kitchen item, which is what I would have classed the Andrew James Waffle Maker as, I’m pretty tough. If another gadget or electrical appliance is going to take up precious space in my already overcrowded kitchen, well, it’s got to earn its place.

So I look for durability, consistency, versatility, ease of use and the one we all love to hate, how easy is it to clean. I’m a home cook, not a chef, but I still want good quality and a variety of recipes, in order for an appliance to warrant being kept.

Andrew James Waffle Maker Review
This is the Andrew James Waffle Maker that I reviewed.

Firstly I was impressed with how well the Andrew James Waffle Maker was packaged. There wasn’t any excess space in the box and the sides of the waffle maker were protected with polystyrene. Actually after use, once cooled and cleaned, I store it, in it’s protective packaging, back in the box.

I read through the instruction booklet, which was easy to follow, brief and concise. Before use it is recommended to wipe over the waffle maker, including the waffle plates with a clean damp cloth. This I did.

Andrew James Waffle Maker Review
Press the big button and this is what the Andrew James Waffle Maker looks like.

The instruction booklet recommends wiping over the waffle plates with butter/vegetable fat, prior to each use, to maintain the non stick waffle plates. Having square ridges on the waffle plates meant this could potentially be quite tricky. Instead I opted to brush melted butter onto the plates with a soft pastry brush, although a silicone brush would be suitable as well. Using melted butter also ensures, that as it cools on the cold waffle plates, you can see if you have evenly covered the plates.

Using the Andrew James Waffle Maker for the first time, I decided to make a batch of Vanilla Bean Waffles.

Andrew James Waffle Maker Review
Vanilla Bean Waffles – ooh so good.

As each waffle recipe calls for melted butter, that has been cooled, I melted an extra 20g of butter (than called for in the recipe), specifically for brushing onto the waffle plates.

Once the waffle plates have been brushed with melted butter, close the waffle maker and switch on via the plug. An orange light illuminates on the top of the waffle maker to show it is switched on. When the green light illuminates, the waffle maker is ready to use.

Andrew James Waffle Maker Review
Andrew James Waffle Maker orange light indicates that it is heating up.

From the time of switching on ALWAYS use suitable heat protection for your hands whilst using.

I found it very easy to open and close the waffle maker whilst wearing oven gloves. Also be aware that the top and sides of the waffle maker get very hot!

Once the green light illuminates you can start cooking your waffles.

The instruction booklet does not give any guidance as to how much waffle mixture should be added to each plate. I found that for all the recipes I used,  two dessert spoons  of waffle batter was sufficient.

Andrew James Waffle Maker Review
Andrew James Waffle Maker add the waffle batter to the middle of each waffle plate.

Close the lid of the waffle maker as soon as the batter has been added to the waffle plates. The length of time required for cooking each waffle varies with each recipe. As a guide it is between 4 – 6 minutes.

Whilst cooking, the waffle maker may emit steam. I simply wiped away any condensated water from the worktop after use.

Once the cooking time had elapsed, wearing oven gloves, I pressed the large button, opened the waffle maker and there were my very first, deliciously cooked waffles.

I used a simple wooden spatula to lift each cooked waffle from the waffle plate. Again metal, or anything abrasive should not be used against the waffle plates, as this may damage their non stick surface.

Andrew James Waffle Maker Review
Andrew James Waffle Maker and my first ever waffles!

You will notice that the waffles above have slightly irregular edges. This is because not enough waffle batter has been added to the waffle plates. However, from experience, I personally think it is better to slightly under fill the waffle maker. Once you have made your first two waffles you can slightly adjust the amount of batter added to the waffle plates.

If you overload the waffle plates with too much batter, you will still get beautiful waffles, as well as batter oozing out of the sides of the closed waffle maker and excess batter cooking on the hot surround of the waffle plates.

Although I found this relatively easy to clean up, it is a waste of waffle batter. I want all my batter to turn into delicious cooked waffles!

Andrew James Waffle Maker Review
Stacks of waffles cooked two by two with the Andrew James Waffle Maker

Over the period of 2 weeks I cooked over 60 waffles using the Andrew James Waffle Maker. I tested different recipes and consistency. Above is a picture of 28 waffles cooked one after the other, with the waffle plates having only been greased at the start of the waffle making marathon.

What I found was complete consistency, throughout the process – obviously quantity of batter added to the plates and cooking time were kept the same. Also throughout the whole review period NOT A SINGLE WAFFLE STUCK!

After each cooking session was complete, the waffle maker was switched off and left open to cool before cleaning. To be completely honest this was the part that I was not looking forward to!

Cleaning the Andrew James Waffle Maker

Once cold and unplugged I used the wooden spatula to scrape any excess cooled batter from the waffle plate surround. Then using a cloth rinsed in warm soapy water I wiped over the entire inside of the waffle maker. Certainly on the waffle plate surround, where excess batter had stuck, I had to rub a few times to clean it off. I then wiped around the back of the waffle maker, where the hinges are. Finally I found that the underside of the waffle maker became greasy, so that was then thoroughly wiped. I left the waffle maker open to dry and before packing away gave the top a quick wipe over and then dried with a clean tea towel.

Each time I cleaned the waffle maker it took no longer than 5 minutes.

To conclude, I absolutely love this Andrew James Waffle Maker! It was very easy to operate and use. During the waffle making marathon it proved to be consistent and durable. I was able to create a range of new recipes, both savoury and sweet, so it ticked the versatility box.

The Andrew James Waffle Maker has most certainly earned it’s place in my kitchen and is now classed as an essential kitchen appliance for me. I thoroughly recommend this waffle maker.

If you like waffles, you will love the smell of them freshly cooking, in your own home, using the Andrew James Waffle Maker.

Cherry Bakewell Waffles makes 8

Andrew James Waffle Review
Cherry Bakewell Waffles utterly delicious.

8 Vanilla Bean Waffles

200g/7oz¬†Sugar and Crumbs¬†Cherry Bakewell flavour icing sugar –¬†alternatively use plain icing sugar with 1/2tsp almond extract added

50g/2oz Flaked Almonds lightly toasted

8 Glacé Cherries chopped into quarters

Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add enough water to make a light drizzling consistency. Stir well to ensure there aren’t any lumps.

Toast the Vanilla Bean Waffles you want them very slightly crisp.

Drizzle the flavoured icing over the waffles. Add a few pieces of cherry to each waffle and then scatter over with toasted almond flakes. Serve immediately, or let cool and keep in an airtight container for 3 days.

These are great for afternoon tea, picnics, or with a large latte and a good book!

In fact, these Cherry Bakewell Waffles are perfect any time of the day.

Smoked Salmon Waffle Appetisers makes 16

Andrew James Waffle Maker Review
Smoked Salmon Waffle Appetisers

These Smoked Salmon Waffle Appetisers are a perfect savoury twist for the waffle and they are completely delicious! Perfect for parties.

Use the Vanilla Bean Waffle recipe only adding 10g of sugar and leaving out the vanilla bean paste.

You need 4 waffles for this recipe – excess waffles can be frozen in a zip lock freezer bag for up to one month.

Toast each waffle so that it is slightly crisp. Set aside on a rack to cool.

Place 200ml Creme Fraiche into a bowl.

Add 4 heaped teaspoons of creamed horseradish sauce (I used the hot variety).

Stir to combine – add salt and pepper to taste.

Cut each waffle into quarters.

Place a teaspoonful of the horseradish/creme fraiche sauce on top of each waffle quarter.

Top with a slither of smoked salmon.

Sprinkle over chopped chives, or dill and serve on a platter.

If you have enjoyed the Andrew James Waffle Maker review you are sure to enjoy these recipes too:

Chocolate Dunking Waffles 

Andrew James Waffle Maker Review
Chocolate Dunking Waffles have fun with your waffles!

Vanilla Bean Waffles with Boozy Berry Sauce

Andrew James Waffle Maker Review
Vanilla Bean Waffles with Boozy Berry Sauce a classy dessert.

Do you love waffles?

Would you like to experience the aroma of freshly cooked waffles in your kitchen?

I for one am a complete waffle convert. I have loved seeing how tasty and versatile they are. Most of all, I have realised how much fun they can be. Breaking the ‘rules’ by dunking them in delicious hot chocolate, or serving as a classy appetiser with smoked salmon. Who knew??

As always have fun with your waffle experience. Enjoy the feasts you create and don’t forget to tag me in on Twitter/Instagram, I love seeing your makes and bakes.

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest

All opinions, recipes and content are my own. I did not receive payment for carrying out this review. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

To see the Andrew James Waffle Maker I reviewed please click here.

 

 

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Crunchy Homemade Coleslaw

Hello everyone. ¬†A big shout out to all the Mums and Dads on half-term duty. ¬†I’ve created a deliciously Crunchy Homemade Coleslaw, that all my children love. It’s a really good way of getting fresh veg onto the dinner plate and goodness into us all. ¬†Not only that but this Crunchy Homemade¬†Coleslaw tastes seriously good!

Homemade Crunchy Coleslaw - easy on the eye, tasty on the tongue!
Crunchy Homemade Coleslaw – easy on the eye, tasty on the tongue!

Some may argue – ‘Why should I make my own Coleslaw, when it’s easily available and isn’t expensive?’ ¬†Which, if you think about it, it a fair point. ¬†I do, on occasion, buy Coleslaw from the shops aaaand each time I do I regret it! ¬†The Coleslaw is either really gloopy and absolutely smothered in a creamy sauce, or else it seems to contain only cabbage and onion, the latter having a strongly, oniony, overbearing taste. ¬†I don’t like shop bought Coleslaw! ¬†There I’ve said it!!!

Homemade Coleslaw really is better than anything you can buy.
Crunchy Homemade Coleslaw really is better than anything you can buy.

Now I like onion in my Coleslaw, but I don’t like it to have a nasal clearing, strong, over powering taste. ¬†I’ve sorted this problem. ¬†Firstly I use red onions, which are generally sweeter than white onions, then I slice them thinly and soak them in lemon juice with a sprinkle of salt. ¬†The lemon juice draws out all the acridness from the onions, leaving them sweet and crunchy!

Pretty red onions add a super sweetness to this Coleslaw!
Pretty red onions add a super sweetness to this Coleslaw!

I make a great big bowl of this Coleslaw which we eat alongside fish and potato wedges, fabulous with homemade pizza, great with burgers, or in place of salad with any meal. ¬†Let’s get on with the –

Recipe :  Serves 6 as a main side dish.

1/2  Medium White Cabbage

1  Medium Red Onion

3  Medium Carrots (or 2 large)

1  Lemon

Approx 5 Heaped Tablespoons of Mayonnaise (I use full fat mayo)

Method :

First take the lemon, cut in half a squeeze it into a large bowl – feel free to use your favourite citrus juicer!!!

Watch out for any pips!!!
Watch out for any pips!!!

Now cut the red onion in half and slice as thinly as possible into half moons. Break up the onion and add to the lemon juice in the bowl. Sprinkle over the sea salt and mix the onion half moons, breaking them apart as you go, into the lemon juice.

Set aside for 10 minutes whilst you prep the cabbage.
Set aside for 10 minutes whilst you prep the cabbage.

Take half a medium white cabbage and remove the tough core.  Cut the cabbage into 3 sections and finely shred them with a sharp knife.L

Shredded, Crunchy, White Cabbage.
Shredded, Crunchy, White Cabbage.

In the bowl with the onions and lemon juice add 4-5 heaped tablespoons of your favourite mayonnaise.  Mix thoroughly so that the lemon juice becomes incorporated into the Mayo. Add 1/2tsp of freshly ground black pepper.

The onions should now be in a thickish, lump free sauce.
The onions should now be in a thickish, lump free sauce.

The lemon juice thins out the mayo so the resulting sauce is smooth and creamy, but not gloopy, thick and claggy like mayonnaise only Coleslaw sauces.  Put the shredded cabbage on top of the onions and sauce in the bowl.

All we need now are the carrots!!!!
All we need now are the carrots!!!!

Trim off the tops and bottoms of the carrots, peel and then grate in the coarse side of a box grater.

This is gonna be grate!!!!!!!
This is gonna be grate!!!!!!!

Place the grated carrot in the bowl.

"Hi there - you've been Tango-ed!!!"
“Hi there – you’ve been Tango-ed!!!”

Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly and you have yourself some top notch, Crunchy, Homemade Coleslaw.

I'm not a side dish - I'm the main attraction!!!
I’m not a side dish – I’m the main attraction!!!

If not using straight away, cover in cling film and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. ¬†This coleslaw is at it’s best the day you make it, but will keep for a day in an airtight container.

Put me on a jacket potato and dive in!!!!
Put me on a jacket potato and dive in!!!!

Again this is a fantastically portable dish, that makes it great for feasting with family, friends, work colleagues, in fact ANYONE. ¬†This Coleslaw is ideal for buffets (it’s easy to double/triple/quadruple the quantities. It is so easy, inexpensive, cheaper and way more delicious than the shop bought alternative. ¬†Try this recipe once – feel free to adjust the lemon/mayo ratio – and I bet you’ll think twice before buying shop bought Coleslaw again!

 

Crunchy Homemade Coleslaw - another batch made - we eat this ALL the time!
Crunchy Homemade Coleslaw – another batch made – we eat this ALL the time!
Homemade Crunchy Coleslaw
Homemade Crunchy Coleslaw equally as good made with red cabbage.

Oh and please let me know how you get on, I love to read your comments.

This Homemade Crunchy Coleslaw is the ideal accompaniment to:

Better Than Takeout Pizza

Better Than Takeout Pizza
Better Than Takeout Pizza – crispy edges, chewy dough, gooey melted cheese. Once you’ve made this you’ll never want to order a pizza again! www.feastingisfun.com

Ciabatta Based Pizza

Homemade Ciabatta Base Pizza
Homemade Ciabatta Base Pizza.

Until next time happy feasting, sharing and having fun!

Sammie x

 

 

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