Cinnamon Drizzle Apple Walnut Cake Bars

Today I have a real treat for you, my Cinnamon Drizzle Apple Walnut Cake Bars. Packed with freshly grated apple and toasted walnuts these cake bars are full of flavour. A simple cinnamon drizzle adds just the right amount of sweetness, while the sugar nibs add extra crunch. This simple traybake is a treat on the tongue and the senses.

FF Cinnamon Drizzle Apple Walnut Cake Bars
Cinnamon Drizzle Apple Walnut Cake Bars

I adore Autumn. While gales and rain lash down, there are also the bright, golden sunshine filled days. Because of the variations in the weather, some days are perfect for gardening, having a tidy up, and picking fruit and windfalls. Yet when the weather rages I find comfort in the kitchen, baking delicious cakes that make the whole house smell warm and inviting. I am even more content when I can include produce from my own garden, such as the apples used in both the cake bars and photographs.

FF Cinnamon Drizzle Apple Walnut Cake Bars
Cinnamon Drizzle Apple Walnut Cake Bars

Our Apple Trees

Due to the very hot summer we have had this year I wasn’t sure how well our two apple trees would fare. Because of the heat this years apples are sweeter than usual. While both our trees produce eating apples, one usually small, red and sweet, the other red and green, sharper in flavour. Similar to a Granny Smith apple’s flavour. As a result of the summer weather both varieties have a more intense apple flavour and are delicious to eat straight from the tree.

FF Cinnamon Drizzle Apple Walnut Cake Bars
Cinnamon Drizzle Apple Walnut Cake Bars

Since we have plenty of windfalls from the recent storms I have used them in the recipe. If you have access to windfall apples make the most of nature’s opportunity. Either use them to make these cake bars or perhaps my Apple Pie? Finally, a quick note, if you like puddings, then I should mention that this cake is delicious served with hot custard!

Recipe: Cinnamon Drizzle Apple Walnut Cake Bars make 16

300g/10.5oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

300g/10.5oz Soft Light Brown Sugar

1/2tsp Sea Salt

4 Large Free Range Eggs

2tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey 

375g/13oz Plain White Flour

4tsp Ground Cinnamon

1tsp Ground Ginger

3tsp Baking Powder

200g/7oz Chopped Walnuts

350g/12oz Grated Apple (peeled and cored)

For the cinnamon drizzle

225g/8oz Icing Sugar (confectioners sugar)

3tsp Ground Cinnamon

2-3 tbsp Cold Water

Optional – Pearl or Nibbed Sugar – I use Dansukker Parlsocker available from Amazon

Method: Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan, 375F, gas mark 5.

For this recipe you will need a 22.5cm x 30cm x 5cm (9” x 12” x 2”) tin lined with baking parchment.

Making and baking the cake:

  • First of all add the butter, soft, light brown sugar and salt to a large bowl. Due to the quantity of ingredients I found a wide bowl easier to use.
  • Beat the sugar and butter together until creamy with no visible lumps.
  • Add the 4 eggs, 75g/3oz of flour and the spices to the bowl. Whisk everything together until fully combined.
  • Sieve the remaining flour and baking powder into the bowl and added the chopped walnuts.
  • Because some apples turn brown quickly once cut or grated I add them last.
  • Finally fold all of the ingredients together until they are just combined.
FF Cinnamon Drizzle Apple Walnut Cake Bars
Making the cake batter.
  • Spoon the cake batter into the prepared tin and ensure the batter is even and the top is smooth.
  • Place the cake tin into the centre of a preheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes.
  • The cake is baked when it is golden in colour and firm (with only a little give) to touch in the centre.
  • As soon as the cake is baked remove from the oven and leave to cool completely in the tin.
FF Cinnamon Drizzle Apple Walnut Cake Bars
Filling the tin and baking the cake.

Portioning and decorating the cake bars:

  • Add the icing sugar and cinnamon to a large jug. Using a balloon whisk, stir the two powders to combine and break up any lumps.
  • Pour 2 tablespoons of cold tap water into the jug and stir using the whisk. Add more water as needed until a thick, not runny consistency is achieved.
  • Decant the cinnamon icing into a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle. Alternatively use a plastic sandwich bag and just prior to decorating cut a very small hole in one corner, this also applies to disposable piping bags.
  • To prepare the cake for decorating first of all cut across the width of the cake, dividing it in half. Now cut from top to bottom in the middle of the cake creating 4 quarters. Cut each quarter into 4 bars from top to bottom.
  • While you can decorate the cake as a whole, I like to see the drizzle of icing on each cake bar.
  • Separate the bars and place on to a cooling rack over a baking tray, to catch any drips.
FF Cinnamon Drizzle Apple Walnut Cake Bars
Preparing the cake bars for decorating
  • Using gentle, steady pressure pipe diagonally across each cake bar. Continue piping until each bar is iced.
  • Sprinkle some sugar nibs over each bar while the icing is still wet.
  • Place to one side to allow the icing to set.
FF Cinnamon Drizzle Apple Walnut Cake Bars
Decorating the Cinnamon Drizzle Apple Walnut Cake Bars

Finally take a photo of your creation! Because your house will smell amazing and these cake bars will not last long.

FF Cinnamon Drizzle Apple Walnut Cake Bars
Cinnamon Drizzle Apple Walnut Cake Bars

Store the bars in an airtight container. They will keep for 5 days. Refrigerate during warmer weather.

The cake can be made a day in advance and decorated the following day.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Cinnamon Drizzle Apple Walnut Cake Bars you may also like these:

Easy Blackberry Oat Muffin Recipe 

FF Cinnamon Drizzle Apple Walnut Cake Bars
Easy Blackberry Oat Muffin Recipe

Maple Drizzled Apple Blueberry Loaf Cake 

FF Cinnamon Drizzle Apple Walnut Cake Bars
Maple Drizzled Apple Blueberry Loaf Cake

Autumn Apple Almond Cake

FF Cinnamon Drizzle Apple Walnut Cake Bars
Autumn Apple Almond Cake a gluten free bake

Traybakes are made for sharing:

With Bonfire Night, November 5th not far away these cake bars are perfect for sharing. Whether you are going to an organised event, holding a bonfire party in your back garden, or simply watching from your window, everything about these cake bars will elicit oohs and aahs! Because they are so yummy, they deserve to be made and enjoyed all year round.

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

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy for details.

 

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Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad

Phew this Summer has been hot, hot, hot so far. For me that means super easy dinners that can be prepared early in the day before the heat builds. Also, as a family we are wanting cool meals in the evening. Especially meals that don’t leave a lot of washing up! Because everyone is just too hot and tired. So I created this recipe for Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad. Not only does it taste good, the bulk of washing up is done earlier in the day.

FF Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad
Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad

Having been sent a jar of Garlic Mayonnaise from Kentish Oils I wanted to use it almost as a sauce for a pasta dish. Since the sunshine has been consistent throughout and with temperatures of 30C plus, I decided on a cold pasta dish. While the mayonnaise has garlic in it, it is not an overwhelming, raw, hot garlic flavour. And it blends beautifully with the lemon chicken and crunchy vegetables in this dish.

FF Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad
Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad

As the chicken is baked in lemon juice it has a juicy, light lemon flavour. Also, when serving this dish I added very thinly sliced lemons. They are tangy to eat and add an extra punch to this cool, Summer meal. Likewise, an additional teaspoon of the garlic mayonnaise on top of the plated salad gives a tasty finishing touch.

Recipe: Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad serves 6

450g/1lb – Four Chicken Breasts skin and bone removed

3-4 Whole Lemons – washed and dried

2 Sweetcorn Cobs – approximately 275g/10oz or the equivalent tinned sweetcorn – drained

450g/1lb Pasta – I use rigatoni

8 Spring Onions (scallions)

2 Red Bell Peppers

2 Sticks of Celery

125g/4.5oz – approximately 5 tablespoons of Garlic Mayonnaise (plus extra to garnish) – I use Kentish Oils alternatively use the equivalent amount of mayonnaise and add one clove of minced/crushed garlic

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

Method: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan, 325F, gas mark 3

Preparing the chicken

  • First of all, place the chicken breasts in an ovenproof dish. Season with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and the juice from two whole lemons.
  • Cover the dish with aluminium foil and bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes.

Cooking the pasta and preparing the vegetables

  • While the chicken is cooking place a large pan of water on a high heat. As soon as the water is boiling add 1 teaspoon of sea salt and then add the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
  • Chop the spring onions, red peppers and celery to about the same size and place in a large bowl. If using tinned sweetcorn add it to the bowl.
  • Stand a sweetcorn cob on one end and carefully cut down between the husk and the corn. Turn the cob and repeat until all of the corn is removed. Repeat for the second cob.
  • 3 minutes before the pasta has finished cooking add the fresh sweetcorn to the pan.
  • Once cooked drain the pasta and sweetcorn.
FF Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad
Preparing the vegetables and pasta.

Assembling the salad

  • After 45 minutes check that the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Cut through the thickest part of the biggest chicken breast, there should not be any pink colour, this shows the chicken is cooked. If there is even a hint of pink return the chicken to the oven for a further 10 minutes and check again.
  • As soon as the chicken is cooked remove from the oven and place the chicken breasts on a plate for 10 minutes to rest.
  • Cut the chicken into slices.
  • Add the cooked pasta and sweetcorn to the bowl and the add the garlic mayonnaise. Mix using a large spoon.
  • Now add the sliced chicken to the bowl and mix again.
  • Taste and check for seasoning, adjust if needed.
FF Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad
Assembling the Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad

The finished Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad.

FF Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad
Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad

Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate until ready to eat. This dish tastes best when it is fridge cold.

Serve the salad with very thin slices of lemon, extra wedges of lemon to squeeze over and a drizzle of garlic mayonnaise.

FF Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad
Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad

Keep any leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container and eat within two days.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad you may also like these:

Roasted Summer Vegetable Orzo Salad 

FF Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad
Roasted Summer Vegetable Orzo Salad

Chicken Pasta Pesto Salad

FF Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad
Chicken Pasta Pesto Salad

Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo 

FF Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad
Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo

Because I love the versatility of pasta it is one of my favourite staples to have in the kitchen. Since all I need are a few crunchy vegetables and this yummy garlic mayonnaise I am set now for the heatwave! I think we all need a stash of easy, light, quick recipes for when we are busy and especially when the weather is hot. Now is not the time for slow cooked casseroles! I say cool, quick and easy saves the day.

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

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

Kentish Oils sent me the Garlic Mayonnaise to try. All opinions and views are my own and this is NOT a sponsored post.

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Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake

Wow this Summer has been hot so far. So when I was asked to bake a cake I wanted to create something that was not only delicious, but also refreshing. My Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake ticks both of the boxes. A rich chocolate cake that is full of mint chocolate chips finished with a peppermint drizzle icing. This cake was a big hit with all who tried it!

FF Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake
Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake

Mint Chocolate – which side are you on?

While I love the combination of mint and chocolate together, it appears that opinion is split. While there are those who wholeheartedly agree with me, there are also a group of people who really dislike the flavour combination. Since I love sharing and assume that you do too, check that those you will be sharing with enjoy fresh mint flavour with chocolate. Unless of course you want the whole cake to yourself? 😉

FF Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake
Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake

I adore the way that mint is such a refreshing flavour. In this cake it really lifts the deep chocolate flavour of the sponge, with nuggets of mint chocolate bursting in your mouth with every bite. Also, the peppermint hit in the icing merges with the cake to create a party in your mouth. I love the flavours in this cake, especially during the heat of the summer. Because of the mint, I can literally bake my cake AND eat it!

FF Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake
Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake

While I have baked this cake in a loaf tin, I’m sure it would also look great baked in a square or round tin. For me the straightforward slicing of a loaf cake makes it easy to pack, ready sliced for picnics. Alternatively, it also is great for packed lunches.

Recipe: Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake serves 8-10

For the cake:

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

225g/8oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Salt

5 Large Free Range Eggs 

1tsp Vanilla Extract

75g/3oz cocoa

100g/4oz Dark Mint Chocolate – cut into small chunks

175g/6oz Plain White Flour

3tsp Baking Powder

For the icing:

175g/6oz Icing Sugar

3 drops Peppermint Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey 

Optional – Green Food Colouring – I use Wilton Food Colouring Gel

Grean and White small sugar balls

Method: Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan for 1 hour, 350F, gas mark 4

To bake this cake you will need a 25cm x 11.5cm x 7.5cm (10” x 4.5” x 3”) 2lb loaf tin. Grease thoroughly with butter and line the base of the tin with baking parchment.

Making and baking the cake

  • First of all into a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt. Whisk until pale and creamy and thoroughly combined.
  • Add the eggs, vanilla extract and cocoa powder. Whisk again until the mixture is fully combined with no lumps.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and add the chopped mint chocolate.
  • Finally, using a spoon mix all of the ingredients together until they are just combined. Take care not to overmix the cake batter as this can result in a heavy cake once baked.
FF Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake
Making the cake batter.
  • Spoon the cake batter into a prepared tin and smooth the surface.
  • Place the cake tin into the centre of the oven and bake for approximately 1 hour. Baking times may vary due to oven differences or using a different size tin.
  • The cake is baked when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • As soon as the cake is baked remove from the oven and leave the cake to fully cool in the tin.
FF Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake
Filling the loaf tin and baking the cake.
  • When the cake is cooled carefully run a palette knife between the cake and the tin.
  • Turn the cake out of it’s tin and remove the baking parchment.
  • Place the cake on to a cake or board ready to be iced.

Making the icing and decorating the cake

  • First of all add the icing sugar to a bowl. Gently stir with a balloon whisk to remove any lumps. I find this method much easier than sifting the sugar. Especially as sifting results in icing sugar going everywhere!
  • Add the peppermint extract and enough water to for a thick, but still slowly dripping paste.
  • Dip the tip of a cocktail stick into the food colouring gel and then swirl the stick through your icing. I opted for a very subtle mintgreen colour. Stir the icing so that the colour is even throughout.
FF Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake
Making the mint flavoured drizzle icing.
  • Spoon the icing over the cake so that the top is completely covered. Use the spoon to encourage the icing to drip around the sides.
  • Finally, sprinkle the coloured sugar balls around the outside edge of the icing before it sets. And then sprinkle the white balls inside the border.
FF Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake
Icing and decorating the Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake

Allow the icing to set before slicing the cake for serving.

FF Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake
Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake

Slice and serve with a smile.

Store any leftover cake in an airtight container or wrapped in cling film. Also during warmer weather I keep the cake refrigerated. Eat within 5 days of making.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake you may also like these:

Iced Cherry Coconut Loaf Cake

FF Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake
Iced Cherry Coconut Loaf Cake

Lemon Drizzle Cake

FF Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake
Lemon Drizzle Cake

Chocolate Honeycomb Sponge Cake 

FF Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake
Chocolate Honeycomb Sponge Cake

While I don’t personally eat a lot of cake, although I always taste them, I do enjoy making them. My tastebuds prefer a more savoury flavour, yet many of my family and especially my husband do have a sweet tooth. Loaf cake slices are easy to cut in half so that younger ones can have a finger of cake. My cakes are always made with love and with the minimum of artificial ingredients.

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

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche

In case you missed my previous post Fresh Basil Topped Slow Roasted Tomatoes I’ll mention again that I love tomatoes. Especially locally grown, British tomatoes that are ripened on the vine and left on the worktop, not in the fridge. Sweet and savoury bursts of Summer on my tongue. Here I have baked them into a layered quiche with fresh basil and two types of cheese. I am thrilled to bring you my Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche.

FF Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche
Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche

I was inspired by the classic caprese salad of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and fragrant basil to make this savoury tart. Since each element compliments the others so well as a salad the same can be said of this quiche. Layering the separate ingredients within an all butter pastry tart creates a delicious dish. Perfect for lunch, dinner, picnics, packed lunches and buffets. That’s how delicious this quiche is!

FF Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche
Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche

Because using local, seasonal produce is important to me, as a home cook and Food Blogger, I was delighted when I was offered a box of Sophie Jane cherry tomatoes. Locally grown by Eric Wall a local, specialist grower. The tomatoes I received are ripened on the vine and are grown without the use of pesticides. Most importantly they taste incredible. In fact just like a tomato should taste. Eaten warmed by the sun, after being left on the windowsill, they are sweet with a deeper savoury flavour. Also they weren’t very acidic as some tomatoes can be, especially tinned ones.

FF Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche
Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche

While British Tomato Fortnight has finished I firmly believe that we should all be eating flavoursome British tomatoes for as long as they are available. Because they taste so good. It really is as simple as that. I have been popping these ruby beauties into my mouth like sweeties. Eating them alongside crackers and cheese and I plan to make more recipes to share with you. All in aid of celebrating the humble tomato.

Recipe: Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche:

You will need a 20cm x 5cm (8” x 2”) tart tin, ideally with a loose bottom, to make this recipe.

A quick note – I successfully doubled all of the quantities and made this quiche in a deeper, wider dish. Baking times need to be adjusted, aside from the initial blind baking. The larger quiche turned out perfectly and would be ideal for feeding a crowd, or a buffet.

500g/1lb 2oz Shortcrust Pastry – I use my recipe for Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry freezing the leftovers

225g/8oz Mozzarella Cheese – drained and with excess water squeezed out

50g/2oz Vintage or Very Mature/Sharp Cheddar – I use Wyke Farms

6 Large Free Range Eggs

225g/8oz Fresh Cherry Tomatoes

12-14 Fresh Basil Leaves – alternatively out of season use 1/2 tsp dried Thyme

1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Pinch of Sea Salt Flakes

Method: Preheat oven to 220C/200C fan, 425F, gas mark 7

  • First of all make the pastry, wrap in cling film and chill for one hour.
  • Remove the chilled pastry from the fridge, unwrap and roll out on a lightly floured surface, so that it will fit the tart tin. See photo top left below.
  • Fold the pastry over the rolling pin, making it easier to transfer.
  • Lower the pastry into the tin, making sure that you don’t stretch it as you do.
  • Press the pastry into the tin so that it fits securely.
  • Run your rolling pin over the tart tin, this will give a clean edge to the pastry.
  • Place the tart tin on to a baking sheet and dock the base with a fork.
  • Now scrunch up some baking parchment and line the pastry tart with it.
  • Next fill with baking beans.
FF Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche
Making the pastry shell for the quiche.
  • Place in the centre of a preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Carefully lift out the baking parchment and baking beans.
  • Return the tart to the oven for 5 minutes further baking.
  • Remove the tart and reduce the oven temperature to 190C/170C fan, 375F, gas mark 5.
  • Line the tart base with basil leaves.
  • Place torn chunks of mozzarella directly on to the basil.
  • Sprinkle over finely grated cheddar and then top with cherry tomatoes.
  • Reserve one egg, whisk the other five adding the black pepper. Pour the eggs into the tart.
FF Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche
Creating layers within the Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche
  • Roll out the remaining pastry and cut out small shapes to edge the tart. I used a oak leaf cutter which gives the edge of the quiche a frilly finish.
  • Whisk the remaining egg and brush the underside of each cutout. Stick the pastry cutouts to the edge of the pastry case. You can create a single layer or add extra cutouts to create a layered effect.
  • Brush the pastry edge with egg so that it turns golden when baked.
  • Finally sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over the top.
FF Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche
Before and after baking the Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche
  • Carefully place the filled quiche into the centre of the oven – remember to check that the heat has been reduced.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes. The quiche is baked when it is a golden colour and there is no wobble in the centre.
  • As soon as the quiche is baked remove from the oven. Place on a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes before removing from the tin. Take care as the tomatoes will be very hot and juicy.
FF Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche
Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche

The beauty of this quiche is that it can be served warm, at room temperature or cold, straight from the fridge!

FF Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche
Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche

Because this quiche does not contain meat it is also suitable for vegetarians. Since I have made this twice, I have to say it really holds it’s shape well when cold and would be perfect for taking on picnics. Most of all, when you bake this quiche make sure you share it. Especially as it is so pretty and absolutely yummy!

Make up to 2 days ahead, cool completely, double wrap in cling film and refrigerate. Due to the moisture content of the tomatoes I would not recommend freezing, unlike my Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche which freezes well. Although the pastry case can be made in advance and frozen.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche you may also like these:

Quiche Lorraine 

FF Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche
Quiche Lorraine, smoked bacon and cheddar cheese savoury tart.

Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart

FF Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche
Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart

Iced Bakewell Tart

FF Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche
Iced Bakewell Tart

During this Summer, which I am hoping will be long and warm, I’m looking forward to creating recipes to share with you. Especially focusing on seasonal, local produce and products. Whether you live here, in Australia, Europe or the United States, I do feel that it’s important to support our local farmers. While some of you may get to visit farmers markets, if like me, it’s difficult for you to get out, take a look online. Since spending a little time researching I’ve found the equivalent of farmers markets online and they deliver! Most of all, if you remember one thing from this post – please keep your tomatoes out of the fridge, it kills their flavour!

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

Thank you to everyone who follows me on social media and shares their creations with me. I get such a thrill when you make one of my recipes, so keep those pictures and tweets coming. Don’t forget I’m also on Pinterest too.

@sammiefeasting on Pinterest/Twitter/Instagram

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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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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Almond Topped Cherry Scones

Almond Topped Cherry Scones plus a review of Andrew James Stainless Steel Set of 5 Bowls with Airtight Lids.

Summer is truly here. Sunshine, Wimbledon, Strawberries and Scones. Well except for today, as it is raining, a welcome relief for the garden. Today I bring you not strawberries, but another seasonal summer treat, cherries. Stunning, deep ruby red jewels, that hang like earrings from the tree. Preserved as glacé cherries meaning these Almond Topped Cherry Scones can be made any time of the year.

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Almond Topped Cherry Scones a classic flavour pairing.

Combining the flavours of cherry and almond in these scones is, I think, game changing. Add clotted cream and dark cherry preserve and you have yourself a delicious scone that is bursting with flavour. Honestly, I wish that I had made these scones a very long time ago, such is the pleasure obtained from the experience of eating one.

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Almond Topped Cherry Scones extra special during cherry season.

Having been sent a nest of Stainless Steel Bowls with Airtight Lids by Andrew James, I decided to see how much damage I could do to them. Seriously, when reviewing new products they need to be put through a tough regime. As mentioned before, new or replacement equipment has to earn a place in my kitchen. Since honest reviews are the only ones you will ever read on this blog, your trust is never taken for granted.

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Almond Topped Cherry Scones perfect for Afternoon Tea

Since first making shortcrust pastry in the 3500ml, the second largest bowl, then proceeding to make the scone dough in the same bowl. Again using a pastry cutter to cut the fats into the flour. I knew if anything could mess up these bowls, the pastry cutter would give them a hard time. Yet, following a full cycle in the dishwasher, the bowl came out virtually untouched.

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Tested bowl on top, nest of bowls bottom.

The result of really attacking this bowl with a pastry cutter, a few scratches. In all fairness I was very heavy handed when making the pastry and scones. What I absolutely love about these bowls is the non slip base. Whether whisking up Yorkshire Puddings, Ice Cream, or pouring homemade Tomato Sauce into them, these bowls do not shift on the worktop. Each bowl comes with airtight fitted lids, with the largest bowl having a lid with a removable centre. Perfect for splash control when whisking liquids see Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream. Finally, the only minor downside to these bowls is that they cannot be used in the microwave. A small price to pay for the robust Stainless Steel bowl with non slip base and airtight lid.

These bowls come as a nest of 5 in the following sizes:

  • 4500ml capacity – 26cm diameter
  • 3000ml capacity – 24cm diameter
  • 2500ml capacity – 22cm diameter
  • 2000ml capacity – 20cm diameter
  • 1000ml capacity – 18cm diameter

 

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
A whole variety of uses in the kitchen.
FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Some of the recipes made using the stainless steel bowls.

Even though these bowls cannot be used in the microwave, they are so versatile and robust, not forgetting to mention space saving. Since all of the bowls stack conveniently inside each other. They receive a firm 5 out of 5 from me. These bowls are a welcome addition to my busy kitchen. If you are quick and order before the end of July, use SAMMIE10 code for a super 10% discount.

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Almond Topped Cherry Scones

Time to make the scones!

Recipe: Almond Topped Cherry Scones makes 10

450g/1lb Plain White Flour

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

40g/1.75oz Caster Sugar

3tsp Baking Powder

75g/3oz Cold Unsalted Butter cut into cubes

25g/1oz Cold Vegetable Fat – Trex

75g/3oz Natural Glacé Cherries cut into halves

250mls Whole Milk plus a little extra to brush the tops of the scones before baking

2tsp Almond Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

2-3tbsp Flaked Almonds

Method: Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7

  • Line a large baking tray with baking parchment.
  • Sieve in the flour and baking powder, then add both of the fats.
  • Using the tips of your fingers, or a pastry cutter, work the fats into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs with some larger, pea sized pieces of fat visible.
  • Next add the salt and sugar. Mix together using a balloon whisk.
  • Now add half of the glacé cherries. Toss them about in the mixture, this prevents them sticking together. Add the other half and do the same.
  • Make a well in the centre of the mix, pour in the milk and almond extract.
  • Use a butter knife to gently stir the milk into the flour mix. As the dough starts to come together switch to using your hand. Gently bringing the mix to a coherent dough.
  • Tip the dough on to a floured surface and gently knead to form a 5cm/2″ thick disc.
  • Using a well floured 5cm/2″ round cutter, cut out the scones, remembering to press straight down without twisting the cutter. Twisting can cause odd shaped or lopsided scones as they bake. Place each scone on to the lined baking tray.
  • Bring all the bits of scone dough together once the scones are cut, knead lightly and continue to cut out the remaining scones. Repeat the last step until all of the dough is used.
  • Once all of the scones have been cut out brush the tops with milk and sprinkle over flaked almonds.
FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Making the Almond Topped Cherry Scones
  • Place the baking tray into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
  • The Almond Topped Cherry Scones are baked when they are risen, golden brown and sound hollow when rapped on the base with a knuckle.
  • Once baked remove the scones from the oven and place immediately on to a cooling rack to cool.
FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Baked Almond Topped Cherry Scones cooling on a rack.
  • When the scones are cooled, or slightly warm then they are ready to be served.
FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Serve the Almond Topped Cherry Scones on a platter.

I like to serve the scones on a large platter with ramekins of clotted cream and cherry preserve. Adding fresh cherries when they are in season, finishes the platter beautifully.

Serve with a large pot of tea and the best china you own!

All scones are at their best on the day they are made. If you wish to make ahead, you can do so by one day. Make the scones, cool completely and store in an airtight container, such as the large stainless steel bowls. The next day 20 minutes prior to serving, warm in a preheated oven, at baking temperature for 5-10 minutes. Cool slightly and serve. Rather like bread, the reheating simply refreshes the scones and they taste freshly baked.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Almond Topped Cherry Scones you may also like these:

Fruit Filled Butter Scones

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Fruit Filled Butter Scones

Afternoon Tea

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Afternoon Tea

Super Light Scones

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Super Light Scones

Homemade scones are a world away from their shop bought counterparts. In fact I never even liked scones before I made them myself. Essential to any Afternoon Tea they are simply the easiest treat to quickly make should visitors unexpectedly arrive. Making the scone dough in the Stainless Steel bowl made the process even easier. Especially with the non slip base and dishwasher safe factors.

If you make these Almond Topped Cherry Scones please let me know? I love and really appreciate reading the comments that you take time to leave. Pop a picture on Twitter or Instagram and tag me in. I’ll be sure to give you a shoutout from @sammiefeasting.

Do take a look at this nest of bowls and don’t forget your 10% discount code SAMMIE10, only available against these bowls from Andrew James. I highly recommend them for camping, caravaning or even taking on holiday as they are super lightweight.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in you kitchens or indeed caravans, have fun creating your feast.

I regularly bake on holiday. Do you?

Sammie xx

Andrew James provided me with the nest of 5 stainless steel bowls with matching airtight lids for the purpose of review. All comments and opinions are my own and are a complete reflection of my experience in using them. I was not paid to write this post and the discount is curtesy of Andrew James. No part of this post may be reproduced in any way without my prior permission. Please see my Disclosure Policy for further details.

 

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Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones

Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones are the best savoury scones made at Feasting headquarters so far. Sharp, mature cheddar pairs beautifully with the sun dried tomatoes and the addition of fresh basil completes the final flavour. These scones need no addition as they are moist and light.

FF Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones
Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones perfectly delicious.

Two things are really important when making these scones. First of all, use great ingredients. That doesn’t mean everything has to be top of the range, but buy the best mature cheddar you can afford. While the final flavour is not overpowering, if a milder cheddar is used it’s flavour will be lost. Secondly, lightness of hand while making the scone dough. If it is worked, or handled too much the scones will be heavy.

FF Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones
Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones it’s hard to stop at one!

Since the sun dried tomatoes add a depth of savoury flavour to the finished scone, they are crucial to the recipe. Dry packaged are best, however if they are only available in oil that’s ok. Simply remove slightly more than the recipe calls for and drain them thoroughly using kitchen towels. Their deep, unique flavour and texture will still work in this recipe.

FF Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones
Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones the cheese melts into the scone, yet the basil and tomatoes are still visible.

Time to get baking!

Recipe: Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones makes 10-12

450g/1lb Plain White Flour

3tsp Baking Powder

25g/1oz Trex – solid vegetable fat kept very cold

50g/2oz Unsalted Butter kept very cold

250mls Whole Milk straight from the fridge – plus a little extra for brushing the tops of the scones

150g/5oz Freshly Grated Mature/Sharp Cheddar – I used Wyke Farm mature cheddar

50g/2oz Sun Dried Tomatoes preferably not in oil

Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves – approx. 10 large leaves.

1/4tsp Sea Salt Flakes – I use Maldon

Good grinding of Black Pepper to taste

Method: Preheat oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7

You will need two large baking trays lined with baking parchment and a 5cm/2″ plain round cutter.

  • First of all prepare the ingredients. Grate the cheese and chop, or snip the sun dried tomatoes and basil into similar sized pieces – see photo.
  • Add your flour, baking powder, salt and a good grinding of black pepper to a large bowl. Use a balloon whisk to blend the ingredients together.
  • Next add both the fats and blend them into the flour using a pastry cutter. Alternatively rub the fat into the flour using your fingers. Finally the flour should have a breadcrumb appearance with some larger, pea sized, pieces of fat visible.
  • Add one third of the grated cheese to the bowl. Use your fingers to toss the cheese in the flour. This coats the cheese and stops it from clumping. Repeat with half of the remaining cheese. Set the unused cheese to one side.
  • Now do the same with the sun dried tomatoes and fresh basil, tossing them in the flour to coat them.
  • Make a well in the centre of the bowl and pour in the cold milk.
  • Stir the ingredients together with a dinner knife, until they form a rough dough.
  • Use your hand, shaped like a claw to pull all the ingredients together.
  • Tip the scone dough on to a lightly floured work top.
FF Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones
Making the Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones dough.
  • Bring the dough together with your hands and pat into a rough circle approximately 1 inch/2.5cm deep.
  • Thoroughly flour the round cutter and cut out the scones. NOTE: Do not twist the cutter as you push through the dough as this will result in uneven/lopsided final bakes. Place the scones on to the lined baking trays.
  • Brush the top of each scone with milk and add a little of the remaining cheese.
FF Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones
Shaping the dough and cutting out the scones.
  • Place the baking trays into the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • The scones are baked when they are a golden colour and similar to bread sound hollow when rapped on the base with a knuckle.
  • As soon as they are baked remove the scones from the oven.
  • Immediately place the scones on to a cooling rack, using a clean tea towel to transfer them as they will be very hot.
FF Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones
Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones cooling on a rack.

Since these scones are at their absolute best when still slightly warm, there is no need to wait for them to completely cool before tasting!

FF Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones
Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones delicious split with a little butter!

While delicious eaten warm, cool completely before packing into an airtight container to store.

These scones can be made ahead, cooled and packed into freezer bags. They will keep for up to one month in the deep freeze. Ideal for making ahead.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones you may also like these:

Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones

FF Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones
Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones.

Super Light Scones

FF Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones
Super Light Scones

Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins

FF Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones
Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins

Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones, such a delicious combination of flavours and texture. Also perfect for making ahead and freezing, ready to pop in the oven on a low heat when unexpected guests arrive. Make ahead recipes are my all time favourites. Especially as I never know from one day to the next how my body will be. Fortunately it’s always nice to know that there is good, homemade food in the house.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating, have fun. Please tweet me @sammiefeasting with your cooking and baking pics? I love seeing what you have created.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be copied. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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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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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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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake

The leaves are finally starting to change colour, during a gusty breeze they flutter through the air, landing on the ground, blown into crunchy, golden piles. Autumn feels like it has arrived and with it the need to snuggle under soft blankets, whilst watching telly on a chilly evenings. Warming, comforting food is also required. Gone are the salads of summer, soups, stews and puddings taking their place. Baking this Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake fills the house with pumpkin spice scent, welcoming all who come home after a busy day at work or school.

FF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake utterly delicious.

As the days become increasingly colder, what better than warm pumpkin spices combined with chocolate chips in a moist pumpkin cake, to make you feel ready to tackle the rest of the day?  Sliced and wrapped, this Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake is perfect for packed lunches. While at school or work, the taste and warmth of home can be with us, wherever we are.

FF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake gorgeous autumnal colours.

Creating this loaf cake was a real triumph. Successfully combining pumpkin, pumpkin spices and chocolate into a tasty, moist, healthier cake. Since loaf cakes are so much easier to cut, wrap and pack to go, this has been a huge hit here, especially with hubby. You may therefore see more loaf cakes appearing on Feasting is Fun.

FF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake packed full of milk chocolate chips.

Starting with the recipe for Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins, while delicious, I wanted to add chocolate chips and increase the size of the bake. Because I wanted a cake that was full of flavour, skimping on the chocolate chips was not an option. Deciding to hold back one third to top the cake with, ensured that this cake also looked appetising

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake serves 8-10

125g Unsalted Butter melted and cooled plus 1tbsp extra for greasing the loaf tin

3 Large Free Range Eggs

200g Pumpkin Purée

200g Natural Yoghurt – I use full fat Yeo Valley

125g Plain White Flour

150g Wholemeal Flour

3tsp Baking Powder

175g Soft Light Brown Sugar

150g Milk Chocolate Chips or Chunks – I use Callebaut

1/4tsp Salt -I use Maldon

2.5tsp Pumpkin Spice

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

A loaf tin that measures 25cm x 11.5cm x 7.5cm (10″ x 4.5″ x 3″) approximately, is needed for this recipe. Grease the tin with butter and line the base with baking parchment.

  • First weigh and melt the butter. Then pour the butter into a separate, medium sized bowl or jug to cool.
  • While the butter is cooling assemble the dry ingredients. In a large bowl add the plain and wholemeal flour together with the baking powder.
  • Next add the sugar, salt and pumpkin spice to the flour. Use a balloon whisk to mix the dry ingredients thoroughly, ensuring any clumps of sugar are broken up. Finally add 100g of chocolate chips and set the bowl to one side.
  • Now check the melted butter, it should be just warm. Add the eggs, yoghurt and pumpkin purée. Use a fork to break up the eggs and lightly whisk all the wet ingredients together until they are combined.
  • With both bowls in front of you make a well in the centre of the larger bowl containing the dry ingredients.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and then stir with a spoon until everything is just combined. Over mixing will result in a heavy cake.
  • Now spoon the Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake batter into the loaf tin, then add the remaining chocolate chips evenly on to the top of the cake.
FF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake ready for the oven.
  • Place the loaf tin into the centre of the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • The cake is baked when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Once the cake is fully baked remove it from the oven.
  • Place the loaf tin on a trivet or cooling rack and allow the cake to fully cool in the tin.
FF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake cooling in the tin.
  • When fully cooled run a palette knife around the edges of the cake. Turn the cake out of the tin and carefully remove the baking parchment from the base of the cake.
FF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake serve with a hot drink and a smile.

Since this cake is so delicious, it is perfect for sharing. Invite friends round for a coffee morning and I guarantee that this cake will be a hit. It is also ideal to serve with frothy hot chocolate after a family walk on a chilly day out. Food shared tastes infinitely better, because it is a shared experience that creates memories.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake you may also like these:

Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

FF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

FF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars

FF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars

Baking for others can be a very rewarding experience, especially if you enjoy baking and sharing. The gift of a cake, shows the recipient that they have been thought of and most of all, are cared about. As a result of a little fore thought and preparation, it is really possible to make someone’s day.

While baking, making and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing your feast.

Sammie xx

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