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 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.
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Baked Almond Topped Cherry Scones cooling on a rack.
  • When the scones are cooled, or slightly warm then they are ready to be served.
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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.
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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

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake moist, spiced pumpkin cake, packed full of chocolate chips.

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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Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche

It would seem that Monday’s have become quiche days. This was not intentional, although I haven’t been cooking Sunday roasts for the last few weeks, so that may explain it. Plus we all love quiche in our house. It’s easy to make and bake in the morning, ready for a quick reheat in the evening for dinner. So today I give you my Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche.

FF Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche
Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche perfect with homegrown salad and new potatoes.

Now if you’re a little quirky like I am, you’ll understand why quiche is one of my most favourite pastry dishes. It’s the ratio of pastry to filling that I love. Technically a tart, a quiche has no pastry top. So this Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche has sides and a base of delicious, homemade, all butter shortcrust pastry and lots of eggy filling.

FF Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche
Cheddar Basil Tomato Quiche utterly delicious and packed with great flavour.

One quick word on eggs – I adore them and only ever buy free range or organic. They are my go to comfort food and also the one thing I can make myself eat when I’m tired or in pain. I still eat my boiled egg out of the chick covered eggcup holder I had when I was little. I love eggs in all guises but a really good dippy boiled egg, or soft fried egg are my favourites!

Back to quiches and this Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche in particular. I’ve made a few over recent weeks and I’ll link them at the bottom, but now I’m actively trying to make vegetarian ones. Twitter has a #MeatFreeMonday hashtag and so it fits in nicely with that for the time being. Most of my quiche recipes can be switched to veggie versions if you want to.

FF Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche
Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche so easy to make ahead.

Pastry! I have written a recipe that is absolutely foolproof for making Perfect All Butter Shortcrust Pastry. Yes I totally get that we’ve all got busy lives and as yet, no I haven’t made my own puff pastry, but, my recipe is quick and simple. It’s also a lot cheaper than buying your own pastry, plus you know exactly what goes in it. So please be encouraged to try making it for this Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche. You’ll have twice as much as you need and you can easily freeze the other half!

Recipe: Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche

500g/1lb 2oz – 1/2 quantity of Perfect All Butter Shortcrust Pastry

Spare Plain Flour for dusting the work top and rolling pin

6 Large Free Range Eggs

2 Tablespoons Whole or Semi Skimmed Milk

2 Whole tomatoes – each cut into 6 wedges

150g/5oz Strong Cheddar Cheese – grated

Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves

Pinch of Salt – I use Maldon Sea Salt

Freshly Ground Pepper

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

  • Dust the work top with flour and rolling pin. Form the pastry into a ball.
  • Roll out from the centre of the pastry, in one direction until you have a circle slightly larger than your quiche tin.
  • Ensure the quiche tin is placed onto a baking tray.
  • Transfer the pastry to the tin by wrapping the rolled out pastry around the rolling pin.
  • Ensure the pastry is pushed, not stretched into position, pressing firmly against the sides of the tin.
  • Roll the rolling pin over the top of the tin. This creates a nice clean edge to the quiche.
  • Cut a piece of baking parchment slightly larger than the filled tin. Scrunch it up and then place on top of the pastry.
  • Fill with ceramic balls or baking beans and place in the top of a preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes baking time has elapsed remove the baking tray from the oven.
  • Using the parchment paper lift out the baking balls.
  • Return the pastry case to the oven and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until the pastry has just turned golden.
FF Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche
Place the tomatoes and half of the basil on the pastry base.
  • Next add the grated cheese in between the tomatoes.
  • Crack all the eggs into a large jug (I always crack mine into a separate bowl first).
  • Add the milk, salt and pepper and whisk lightly with a fork until combined.
  • Pour the egg mixture carefully over the filled quiche.
FF Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche
Decorate the top of the quiche with the remaining basil leaves.
  • Place the quiche, still on the baking tray, into the centre of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • The Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche is baked when it is golden and there is no wobble to the centre of the quiche.
  • Once baked remove the quiche from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
FF Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche
Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche so easy to make and easy to eat.

To serve slice into 6 portions. Serve warm with salad and new potatoes for a wonderful mid week meal. Likewise this delightful quiche is delicious at room temperature and is perfect for buffets, packed lunches, picnics and food on the go.

Ensure the Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche is cold before wrapping in cling film or foil and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

If you have enjoyed the recipe for this Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche here are some other recipes you may also like:

Feta Red Onion Marmalade Quiche

FF Feta Red Onion Marmalade Quiche
Feta Red Onion Marmalade Quiche delicious layers of flavour.

Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche

FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche a delightful combination of flavours.

Asparagus Proscuitto Ham Tart

FF Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche
Asparagus Prosciutto Ham Tart made during a silicone baking mat review.

 

Quiches are so versatile. Layers of flavour can be built inside the egg tart. I’m particularly fond of quiches that use relish or condiments to build flavour. Likewise fresh herbs can really lift the flavour of a quiche. The basil in this Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche turns a good quiche into a great one.

Play around with fresh herbs and good quality chutneys or relishes in your baking, especially in quiches. Their flavour can really add depth or freshness to the resulting flavour.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun creating your feast to share with others. Thank you for sharing photos of your amazing creations on Twitter and Instagram and for taking time to leave comments. It really makes my day to see what you come up with and how you interpret my recipes.

Sammie xx

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Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins

Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins vibrant strips of aromatic basil run through these delicious buttery cheese, pine nut studded muffins.

FF Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins
Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins a delightful flavour combination.

These delightful muffins are so easy to make, quick to bake and perfect for breakfast, packed lunches, picnics……

FF Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins
Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins perfect for picnics.

Whenever we have friends and family round, I always provide a cheese board. Having more of a savoury palette, I generally choose cheese and crackers over dessert on most occasions. I adore all cheeses and this Goddess Cheese, sent to me to try by Pong Cheese is no exception.

A cider washed edible rind conceals the most gorgeous, gooey, buttery cheese, perfect for spreading on crackers, with a glass of something chilled to go alongside. The initial buttery flavour is layered with a nutty taste that is perfectly  paired with the pine nuts in these Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins.

FF Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins
Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins a great way to use up left over cheese.

Whilst spreading this cheese on crackers is a perfectly acceptable way to indulge your senses, my creative side knew that it would taste so good baked in a muffin. After a party or family gathering I am quite often left with cheese and other delectables. I avoid waste as much as I can, so incorporating this beautiful cheese into a bake gives it a second life in these delicious muffins.

Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins are incredibly easy to whip up and bake. In fact these took less than 30 minutes from start to eating!

Oh boy, these muffins are fabulous warm out of the oven.

Recipe: Makes 12 Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins

50g/2oz Pine Nuts

300g/11oz Plain White Flour (self raising can be substituted – leave out the baking powder)

2tsp Baking Powder

2 Whole Free Range Eggs

200ml Semi-Skimmed or Whole Milk

4tbsp Vegetable/Sunflower Oil

Goddess Cheese 150g/5oz – mine was from Pong Cheese

6 basil leaves

1/4tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

1/4tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

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

  • Place the pine nuts into a dry skillet or frying pan and toast over a medium heat until golden. Remove from the pan and place on to a plate to cool. Reseve some pine nuts for topping the muffins.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl.
  • Pile the basil leaves on top of each other and cut into fine strips.
  • Add the cooled pine nuts, basil, and seasonings to the bowl.
  • Stir with a fork to incorporate.
  • Break the Goddess Cheese into lumps and add half to the flour mixture – I found it easier to have the bowl on the scales.
FF Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins
Gorgeously gooey Goddess Cheese.
  • Cover the cheese in the bowl with the flour mixture. This will stop it clumping together.
  • Add the other half of the cheese, again pinching off gooey lumps and dropping them into the bowl. Cover in the flour mixture as before – dry mixture.
  • Into a jug add the milk, oil and eggs. Lightly mix with a fork – wet mixture.
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture and pour in the wet mixture.
  • Stir with a fork approximately 10-12 times until the ingredients are just mixed.
FF Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins
A few flour streaks are fine.
  • Note: Over mixed muffins will be tough!
  • Place muffin liners in a muffin tin – I didn’t but would advise you to as it does make the muffins easier to remove.
  • Divide the muffin mix between the 12 cases.
  • Top with the reserved pine nuts – if you have forgotten to reserve any don’t worry they will still look and taste delicious.
FF Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins
Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins ready for the oven.
  • Place the tin in the top of the oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes.
  • The muffins are cooked when they are just firm to touch and golden brown.
  • Once baked remove the muffins from the oven.
  • FF Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins

      Beautifully golden Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins.

    Transfer the Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins to a cooling rack until warm and then devour!

    These muffins are at their absolute best, warm straight from the oven, where the cheese is still slightly melted and the flavours of the toasted pine nuts and basil come through.

FF Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins
Look how moist and delicious these muffins are.

Having had to split a muffin for the photographs, I also really enjoyed them cold. All the buttery, nutty cheese, pine nut and basil flavours are still present which I am really pleased with. This makes the Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins perfect as portable food.

I will definitely be making more of these for picnics, packed lunches and just for eating warm from the oven!!!

Muffins are always best on the day made, however, stored in an airtight container they are good for 3 days, or frozen for up to a month. To refresh just pop in a moderate oven for 10 minutes and they’ll taste like they’ve just been baked.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins you may also like these:

Feta Cheese Herb Muffins

FF Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins
Feta Cheese Herb Muffins delicious and light.

Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins

FF Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins
Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins a great way to start the day.

Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins

FF Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins
Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins a fantastic blend of flavours.

I would like to thank the wonderful Mrs Jackie Heaton for introducing me to baking my own muffins.

No longer do you need to look at an oozing, gooey Goddess Cheese and wonder what to do with it. These Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins are sublime and as they don’t use a whole packet of cheese, leave you enough for your cheese and crackers.

This recipe started in my mind with the intent of using up leftover cheese. Oh no! These are so good I would happily buy the cheese to make them.

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

Sammie xx

Pong Cheese provided me with the cheese to make this recipe. All content, views, opinions, recipes and photographs are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Spicy Sausage Rolls

Sunshine, glorious sunshine. It lifts our spirits and makes everyday seem that little bit brighter – literally. Windows flung open, coats discarded, sunglasses at the ready. Who wants to eat lunch, or any meal for that matter, indoors? Not me! Even if my ‘picnic’ is sitting out in the garden with a cool glass of something refreshing and a plate of these jalapeño fired Spicy Sausage Rolls.

Spicy Sausage Rolls a fiery twist on a classic.
Spicy Sausage Rolls a fiery twist on a classic.

For those of you with a more gentle constitution, don’t worry these Spicy Sausage Rolls do not ‘blow your head off!’ Instead they have a gentle warming, fruity heat that lifts an otherwise everyday sausage roll to a whole different level.

The inclusion of some paprika filled chorizo sausage, further elevates the incredible flavour of these picnic favourites. Delicious good quality sausage meat,  mixed with finely chopped jalapeño chilli and just the right amount of chorizo, encased in flaky, all butter puff pastry, makes for the perfect addition to any packed lunch, picnic or easy meal.

Spicy Sausage Rolls change up your daily packed lunch!
Spicy Sausage Rolls change up your daily packed lunch!

If you like sausage rolls, you will absolutely love these Spicy Sausage Rolls!

Spicy Sausage Rolls an easy, tasty,mid week meal.
Spicy Sausage Rolls an easy, tasty, mid week meal.

Puff pastry is such an incredibly handy product to have stashed away in the freezer. All butter is my preferred type, especially for sweet bakes such as my Blackberry Nectarine Tart , however, I do sometimes use the mixed vegetable fat/butter for savoury bakes, especially if it is on offer!

Having chatted to a few of my Twitter friends recently, we all concluded that the cost of groceries seems to have suddenly risen. For me, this means creating recipes that stretch more expensive ingredients that little bit further and also really trying hard to keep food waste to an absolute minimum.

Spicy Sausage Rolls are great with a handful of cherry tomatoes off the vine.
Spicy Sausage Rolls are great with a handful of cherry tomatoes off the vine.

As I spend a lot of time testing recipes and batch baking/cooking in the kitchen, the opportunity for waste can become even greater. Especially if after a few days cooking and baking I then spend the next few days in bed due to my health problems see here.

This is where the freezer becomes my best friend! Having made the Spicy Sausage Rolls on a day where I had also cooked dinner, they were in danger of getting forgotten about, boxed up in the back of the fridge. Of course we shared a couple between us to taste test them and we were not disappointed. After the photos were taken the following day, I popped the remaining sausage rolls in the freezer – keeping a couple out for our daughter and I to share for lunch.

I have no doubt that they will not stay in the freezer long, yet it saves potential waste. Which is primarily, not only good for our planet, but also our grocery budget!

Recipe: Makes 12 Spicy Sausage Rolls

350g/12oz Block of Puff Pastry all butter if possible- defrosted in the fridge overnight if frozen – I used frozen Just Rol all butter puff pastry

454g/1lb Pork Sausagemeat – good quality at least 85% Pork, casing removed

50g/2oz Chorizo Sausage – casing removed

1 Jalapeño Chilli Pepper

1 Medium Free Range Egg

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

  • Place the sausage meat into a bowl and add the chorizo sausage pulled into pieces.
  • Remove the seeds and membrane from the jalapeño chilli pepper and chop finely.
  • Add the chopped chilli to the bowl and squish (mix) everything together using clean hands.
  • Roll out the puff pastry on a clean, flour dusted work top, until it is 30cm x 20cm (15″ wide by 8″ deep).
  • Trim the edges of the pastry and then divide the pastry in half width ways so that you have 2 long strips.
  • Divide the sausage meat mixture in two.
  • Evenly lay the sausage meat down the middle of each length of pastry.
You can see the flecks of green chilli and red chorizo throughout the sausage meat.
You can see the flecks of green chilli and red chorizo throughout the sausage meat.
  • Crack an egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork.
  • Using a pastry brush, brush beaten egg down the length of the pastry, either side of the sausage meat.
  • Bring the top edge of the pastry evenly over the sausage meat and continue rolling so that the pastry overlaps (and seals) underneath the sausage rolls.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut each long roll in half and then cut each half into 3 even sized sausage rolls. In total you will have 12 medium sized sausage rolls.
Spicy Sausage Rolls ready for their egg wash and to be baked!
Spicy Sausage Rolls ready for their egg wash and to be baked!
  • Place the sausage rolls on to a lightly oiled baking tray.
  • Brush each sausage roll with the beaten egg – this will give the pastry a wonderful, crisp, golden finish once baked.
  • Finally using a sharp, pointed pair of scissors, snip the top of each sausage roll twice – as can be seen in the picture below.
Spicy Sausage Rolls ready for the oven.
Spicy Sausage Rolls ready for the oven.
  • Place the baking tray into the middle/top part of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • The Spicy Sausage Rolls are cooked when the pastry is flaky and golden brown all over. If in doubt cut a sausage roll in half, the meat should be cooked all the way through.
  • Once baked remove the sausage rolls from the oven.
Golden, flaky, hot Spicy Sausage Rolls fresh from the oven.
Golden, flaky, hot Spicy Sausage Rolls fresh from the oven.
  • Transfer the baked sausage rolls to a cooling rack and allow to cool slightly before trying!
Spicy Sausage Rolls that smell so delicious and inviting.
Spicy Sausage Rolls that smell so delicious and inviting.

Perfect eaten hot or cold, with a good chutney, some cherry tomatoes and a glass of something refreshing.

To store, allow to cool completely and then pack into an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. Alternatively, as I did, pack into a freezer bag or box, label and keep in the freezer for one month. Defrost thoroughly and reheat until piping hot in a moderate oven.

If fresh puff pastry has been used, not frozen, these Spicy Sausage Rolls can also be frozen uncooked. Place some baking parchment on a baking tray, put the sausage rolls on top and then place into the freezer and freeze until solid. Once frozen pack into freezer boxes, separating each layer with baking parchment. To cook, remove as many sausage rolls as required, place onto an oiled baking tray and bake in a preheated oven as before. The sausage rolls will take approximately 45 minutes to bake from frozen. This can be particularly handy over the Christmas holiday period.

Spicy Sausage Rolls
Spicy Sausage Rolls perfect for a Christmas buffet, or any buffet!!

Sorry to mention Christmas, however, in our house a buffet is incomplete without a plate of hot sausage rolls. This year we can really turn the heat up!

Obviously you can control how spicy you make these, as well as the size. I would perhaps make them a little smaller for a buffet spread.

If you have loved these Spicy Sausage Rolls as much as we have you may also enjoy these other recipes:

Quiche Lorraine

Spicy Sausage Rolls
Quiche Lorraine bacon, cheddar and egg tart.

Sausage Plait With A Twist

Spicy Sausage Rolls
Sausage Plait With A Twist

Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread

Spicy Sausage Rolls
Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread

If you think about it, a buffet is really an indoor picnic!

Who doesn’t love unloading a picnic hamper or walking around a buffet table tasting little morsels of yummy different foods. We have a daughter who would happily eat from a buffet table/picnic hamper most days of the year.

The sun is blazing as I write up this post. Whether you make and bake during the sunshine or snow, have fun feasting with friends, family and neighbours.

Sammie xx

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Bakewell Shortbread Bars

Hello my lovely readers, I have a real star of a recipe today. If you have spent anytime on this site, then you’ll know I’m a bit bonkers about all the flavours in a Bakewell Tart. You’d think I’d actually get round to making one! Soon I promise. Instead, I have made these very delicious Bakewell Shortbread Bars.

FF Bakewell Shortbread Bars
Bakewell Shortbread Bars perfect for packed lunches and picnics.

These actually came about by accident, sometimes that’s the best way with recipes! I had made some vanilla shortbread dough, which I had planned to turn into chocolate dipped hearts, don’t worry, I haven’t shelved that idea. Anyway, what with one thing and another, I didn’t get around to making them.

So a couple of weeks ago, on a Sunday, Hubby was running through what we had for packed lunches that week. I hadn’t managed to make any Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks eek – then I had a moment of inspiriation. These Bakewell Shortbread Bars are the result of me needing to make something delicious, that also travels well.

FF Bakewell Shortbread Bars
Bakewell Shortbread Bars perfect with a cup of tea.

What a massive hit these have been with my family, ooh and me!

The buttery shortbread base gives these Bakewell Shortbread Bars a sturdiness that is needed when food is to be transported. Topped with delicious raspberry jam, giving a hint of sweetness and then covered in a light, tender almond sponge with flaked almonds added for crunch, flavour and decoration.

Whilst I love Bakewell Tart, what I really love about this recipe, is that there isn’t any pie crust to roll out. With a pastry crust I certainly don’t want a big, thick wodge of it at the bottom of my bar, whereas, using shortbread dough I am more than happy to have a decently thick base.

FF Bakewell Shortbread Bars
Bakewell Shortbread Bars such an easy recipe.

These Bakewell Shortbread Bars hold together really well and I will definitely be making them for picnics throughout the warmer months. I am not a fan of packing up food for lunches or picnics that is overly sweet or has any form of icing. I guess it just becomes too much of a bug magnet, or even worse wasps – and cupcakes/iced cakes just get too messy. Even though our children are in their teens now, I want to relax whilst eating outside, not constantly dodging bugs or clearing up melted buttercream.

That is not my idea of fun!

Actually, one year that we went to the beach with a big croud of friends, I made a fruit cake and a lemon drizzle cake (I know but the lemon drizzle only had a little bit of icing). I pre-cut them, popped the cakes into tins and mid afternoon we all had a cup of tea and slice of cake. I remember it being a very relaxing happy day and these Bakewell Shortbread Bars would certainly have travelled well and been enjoyed. A must bake for this year’s beach outings!

Now when I say this recipe is simple, it really is, the only slight faff is pre-cooking the shortbread. I say slight, because whilst the shortbread is cooking it is the perfect time to whip up the sponge.

Recipe: Makes 12 Bakewell Shortbread Bars

For the shortbread:

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter – softened to room temperature plus 1tbsp for greasing the tin

150g/5oz Caster Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

1 Large Egg Yolk – I always use free range

275g/10oz Plain White Flour

Pinch of salt

For the cake batter:

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter – softened to room temperature

175g/6oz Caster Sugar

3 Large Free Range Eggs

1tsp Vanilla Extract

3/4 tsp Almond Extract

100g/4oz Ground Almonds

50g/2oz Plain White Flour

1tsp Baking Powder

Pinch of salt

175g/ Approx 1/2 Standard Jar of Raspberry Jam – I’ve used seedless

50g/2oz Flaked Almonds

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

You will need a swiss roll tin 28cm x 20cm x 5cm (12″ x 8″ x 2″) greased with butter and lined with baking parchment.

Making the shortbread base:

  • In a large bowl whisk/beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy.
  • Add the vanilla extract and egg yolk and whisk/beat until combined.
  • Sift the flour and salt into the bowl.
  • Mix using a spoon until the dough comes together.
  • Tip the dough out on to some cling film. Wrap up the dough into a disc shape and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  • Once chilled break the dough up into large pieces and place them into the prepared tin.
  • Using clean hands, press the shortbread dough into the tin so that it forms a uniform layer.
  • Dock the shortbread dough using a fork.
FF Bakewell Shortbread Bars
The shortbread base ready for the oven.
  • Place the tin into the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the tin after 10 minutes and spread the jam over the part cooked shortbread. Leave a small gap between the jam and the edge of the shortbread.
  • Turn the oven temperature down to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3.
FF Bakewell Shortbread Bars
The part cooked shortbread is slathered in raspberry jam.

Making the cake batter.

  • In a large bowl whisk/beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy.
  • Add the vanilla and almond extract and the 3 whole eggs. Whisk/beat for 1 minute.
  • Add the flour, ground almonds and salt.
  • Mix slowly until the batter is just combined.
  • Spoon the cake batter over the jam coated shortbread.
FF Bakewell Shortbread Bars
Almond sponge is spooned on top of the raspberry jam covered shortbread.
  • Use an offset palette knife, or the back of a spoon to carefully spread the cake batter so that it almost covers the top of the shortbread, Don’t worry it will spread out during baking,
  • Sprinkle over the flaked almonds.
Bakewell Shortbread Bars
Ready for the oven.
  • Place the tin into the centre of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. It is fully baked when the top is golden and feels firm to the touch.
  • Once baked remove the tin from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin.
FF Bakewell Shortbread Bars
How gorgeous does this look?
  • When completely cold run a knife around both long sides of the tin.
  • Using the spare parchment paper, lift the cake covered shortbread free from the tin.
  • Cut down the middle length of the bake.
  • Cut across the width, in the middle.
  • Cut each quarter into 3 bars.
  • Use a palette knife to lift the Bakewell Shortbread Bars free from the baking parchment.
FF Bakewell Shortbread Bars
Bakewell Shortbread Bars who will you share them with?

How great do these Bakewell Shortbread Bars look?

Store them in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

FF Bakewell Shortbread Bars
Bakewell Shortbread Bars almond sponge, raspberry jam and shortbread base – perfect!

See! So easy to make. Such a brilliant addition to a packed lunch, picnic or just to have with a cup of tea or coffee.

I love recipes that are easy, yet produce stunning results. This is one of those recipes. All of the flavours work so well together – buttery shortbread base, sweet/tart raspberry jam and almond sponge – the perfect combination. You can have your cake and cookie all in one tasty Bakewell Shortbread Bar!

If you have enjoyed these Bakewell Shortbread Bars, here are some other recipes you might like to try:

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

FF Bakewell Shortbread Bars
Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks perfect to grab and go.

Coconut Date Almond Flapjacks

FF Coconut Date Almond Flapjacks
Coconut Date Almond Flapjacks healthy food to go.

Oat Topped Lemon Shortbread Bars

FF Bakewell Shortbread Bars
Oat Topped Lemon Shortbread Bars

Do you have favourite recipes for making good food to go?

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I really appreciate it and love reading them. If you are on Twitter or Instagram please pop a photo up and tag me in. I love to see what you are baking and making in your kitchens and will happily retweet your pictures.

Whatever you are making, have lots of fun making your feasts and sharing with friends and family.

Sammie xx

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