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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Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread

Well, we certainly have our ‘Indian Summer’. It is a gloriously sunny day, with a gentle breeze blowing, stopping the late summer air turning stuffy. Windows are open and I can only imagine how many days like today we have left, this year. In celebration of the beautiful weather I decided to make some Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread, to have, sitting in the sun, with a cup of tea.

FF Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread
Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread perfect with a cup of tea.

I love the month of September, as summer’s hold loosens and hazy, low sunlight filters through the trees. Sitting in the garden, simply listening to the birds, or watching the bees and butterflies busily go about their way. It really is the month where it’s warm enough to still enjoy being outside, without piling on the layers.

FF Crunch Vanilla Shortbread
Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread perfect picnic food!

Of course this delicious Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread can and should be enjoyed anytime of the year. It just feels very luxurious to sit outside, mid September, with the sun warming my face and my cup of tea not getting cold!!

FF Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread
Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread perfect to make and take to work.

Whilst I have other shortbread recipes here and here, my Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread is a traditional version. By that I mean it follows the 3-2-1 rule. 3 parts flour, 2 parts butter and 1 part sugar. However, I have added a tiny pinch of salt and some vanilla bean extract. I adore the flavour of vanilla and in this shortbread it tempers the sweetness of the demerera sugar and balances the caramel flavours.

FF Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread
Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread a delightful treat.

For ease, this shortbread is baked in a tin, where it is simply pressed in and baked. No rolling out, chilling or cutting out required. It took less than 10 minutes to prepare and a further 30 minutes to bake. If you have visitors turn up, out of the blue, you could easily have this baking in the oven, by the time your guests have been settled and the kettle put on!

Sometimes it’s nice to have a simple recipe to hand, for when the occasion arises.

Recipe: Makes Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread

185g/6oz Unsalted Butter – plus a little extra for greasing the tin

75g/3oz Demerera Sugar – plus 1tsp for sprinkling on top

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – I use Nielsen-Massey

1/8th tsp Salt – I use Maldon

270g/9oz Plain White Flour

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

  • Add the sugar, butter, salt and vanilla extract to a bowl.
  • Beat until the butter is pale and creamy.
  • Add the flour and mix with a spoon until you have a dough.
  • Line a lightly buttered, 20cm x 28cm x 5cm (8″ x 11″ x 2″) swiss roll tin with baking parchment.
  • Tip the shortbread dough into the tin and press gently with your fingers until the dough completely covers the tin base evenly.
FF Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread
Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread dough ready to be docked and sprinkled with sugar before baking.
  • Dock the shortbread dough with a fork – this will prevent it from rising too much during baking.
  • Sprinkle over the reserved teaspoon of sugar. This really does make the shortbread sparkle once baked.
  • Place the tin in the middle of the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the shortbread is golden and has a set crumb.
  • Once baked remove the shortbread from the oven.
  • Score a line halfway through the length of the cooked shortbread, then score 7 strips – creating 14 Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread fingers.
  • Allow the shortbread to cool in the tin.
FF Crunch Vanilla Shortbread
Golden Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread scored and cooling.
  • Scoring the shortbread whilst it is hot makes it much easier to break into fingers once cooled. I’ll be honest I did have a couple of shortbread fingers break, they were my testers 😉.
  • Once cooled lift the shortbread out of the tin, using the baking parchment and break into individual fingers.

Store the shortbread in an airtight tin for up to 5 days, if it lasts that long!

FF Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread
Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread see how it sparkles in the sunlight.

Serve this deliciously Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread with a good cup of tea or coffee. That said, these shortbread fingers would also pair very nicely with my Very Vanilla Ice Cream.

If you have enjoyed the recipe for Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread you make also like these:

Vanilla Fudge Chocolate Brownies

FF Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread
Vanilla Fudge Chocolate Brownies.

Cherry Bakewell Cookies

FF Crunch Vanilla Shortbread
Cherry Bakewell Cookies

Chocolate Heart Cookies

FF Crunchy Vanilla Shortbread
Chocolate Heart Cookies.

I hope you are enjoying the last of the summer wherever you are.

I shall remember to look back at these photographs, in the midst of winter, to remind me of the warmth of the sun in summer.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing your feast. Why not check on elderly neighbours, just pop in to make sure they have enough to drink and maybe stay for a cuppa and a natter? You could always take some home baked treats round?

Food always tastes better when it is shared.

Sammie xx

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Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars

Hi lovelies, thank you so much for stopping by and taking a look at what I’ve been cooking up lately. Whilst the sun is still shining and the sky a most glorious blue colour, my mind is once again on portable food. Picnics, packed lunches, outdoor parties, or even just something to have mid morning with a cup of coffee in the garden. May I present these Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars!

FF Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars
Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars swirly, sparkly deliciousness.

A crunchy oat biscuit provides the base for these delicious bars. Topped with cherry jam and then a thick layer of light, vanilla sponge studded throughout with glacé cherries. The Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars are then finished with a drizzle of cherry icing and a sprinkle of edible glitter!

FF Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars
Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars perfect with a cup of tea.

Incredibly tasty, these bars also hold together really well, very important when being packed up for lunch or a picnic.

Feel free to sit in the sun with a cup of coffee and one of these Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars and simply stare at how beautiful and sparkly they are.

I would!

I did!!

FF Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars
Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars if you like cherries then you will love these.

For an afternoon tea, you could easily cut these into 24 smaller, bite sized delights – in fact, if you decide to do that, it may well be worth icing them after they have been cut. That way you can loop the icing around each individual square, making them look even more elegant.

No matter whether you make these as beautiful bars or simple, elegant squares, there is one thing guarenteed and that is they taste amazing.

A perfect combination of pretty and pretty yummy!

Recipe: Makes 16 Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars

For the biscuit base:

225g/8oz Caster Sugar

125g/5oz Unsalted Butter – softened to room temperature – plus a little extra for greasing the tin

Tiny pinch of salt – 1/8 tsp

50g/2oz Rolled Oats – not quick cook – I used Waitrose Essential Porridge Oats

225g/8oz Plain White Flour

1/2 Jar/4tbsp Cherry Jam – I used morello cherry

For the sponge top:

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

175g/6oz Caster Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

3 Large Free Range Eggs

Scant pinch of salt – see biscuit base

175g/6oz Plain Flour

1.5tsp Baking Powder

175b/6oz Glacé Cherries

For the drizzle icing:

100g/4oz Icing Sugar

3tsp Black Cherry Syrup – I use Monin Syrup

if you do not have the syrup simple make up the icing adding a little extra water in lieu of the syrup – a tiny dot of pink food colour gel added will create a similar colour

1/4tsp Almond Extract – I use Nielsen Massey

Optional – edible glitter – I used holographic silver

Method: Preheat the oven to 175C/190C fan, gas mark 5

  • Lightly grease and line with baking parchment a 28cm x 20cm x 5cm (12″ x 8″ x 2″) swiss roll tin.
  • In a large bowl add the butter and sugar and whisk/beat until pale and creamy.
  • Add the oats, flour and salt and mix gently until the dough just comes together.
  • Tip the biscuit dough into the prepared pan and press into a single, even layer with your fingers.
  • Place the tin in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow the dough to rest.
  • After the dough has chilled place the tin into the centre of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • The biscuit base will be a lovely golden colour. Once the cooking time has elapsed remove the tin from the oven.
FF Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars
Beautifully golden oat biscuit base.
  • Whilst the biscuit base is hot spoon over the cherry jam so that it covers the base but does not spread right to the edges.
FF Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars
Delicious morello cherry jam spread over the biscuit base.

Making the cake layer:

Reduce the oven temperature to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3.

  • In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy.
  • Add all 3 eggs and the vanilla extract. Whisk/beat until combined.
  • Reseve 1 tablespoon of the flour and sift the rest of the flour, salt and baking powder into the bowl.
  • Mix until the ingredients are just combined.
  • In a separate bowl toss the cherries in the reserved flour – this will prevent them sinking to the bottom of the cake whilst baking – although the cake layer in this Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars is not very deep, it is a good tip to remember.
  • Add the flour dusted glacé cherries to the cake batter and mix gently so that they are evenly dispersed.
  • Using a spoon, evenly dollop the cake batter over the biscuit/jam base.
  • Spread out the cake batter until it almost reaches the edges – I used the back of a metal spoon. The cake will spread to fill the pan whilst baking.
FF Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars
Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars ready for the oven.
  • Place the tin into the centre of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • The cake layer is baked with it is a golden colour and springs back from a light touch.
  • When baked remove the tin from the oven.
FF Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars
Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars a beautiful golden colour when baked.
  • Allow the Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars to cool completely in the tin.
  • When cooled invert onto a baking rack and carefully remove the baking parchment.
  • Place another cooling rack on top of the tray bake and flip over again, your bake should now be cake side up.

Making the cherry drizzle:

  • Sift the icing sugar into a medium sized bowl.
  • Add the cherry syrup and stir.
  • Next add 3 teaspoons of cool tap water and the almond extract.
  • Stir to combine. You will have a thick, icing that will just hold it’s shape when piped.
  • Fill a small disposable piping bag with the pink, cherry icing.
  • Snip the very end of, leaving a small hole.
  • Pipe swirls and squiggles all over the top of the tray bake. Alternatively, use a teaspoon to lightly drizzle the icing over.
  • Dust with a sprinkle of your favourite edible glitter, if desired.
FF Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars
Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars decorated in black cherry swirled icing.
  • Allow the drizzle to completely set before slicing.
  • Transfer the Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bar slab onto a flat surface – I use a glass kitchen saver – don’t use your best knife for cutting as the glass will blunt it!
  • Cut down the centre length of the bake. Cut across the middle of the width to create 4 quarters. Cut each quarter into 4 bars
FF Double Cherry Oat Bars
Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars sparkling in the sunshine.

Take lots of photos of these utterly dazzling Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars just because they are so pretty! Also don’t forget to pop a picture on Twitter/Instagram, tag me in and I will retweet, or give you a shout out.

I know in previous posts that I’ve mentioned not taking ‘anything’ iced on picnics – however, these bars are so completely delicious I’m going to make an exception. The nutty flavoured oat base and hint of almond extract in the cherry drizzle work together in complete harmony with the cherry studded sponge creating a perfectly flavour balanced bar. They stop the Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars from being too sweet.

Ok so the smart ones among you (that’s everyone, just to be clear), may have notice that these ‘double’ cherry are in fact triple cherry drizzle oat bars. I’d already written most of this post, edited and labelled photos, so I thought I’d throw in the extra one for free 😉

If you have enjoyed these Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars, here are some other recipes you may like too:

Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks

FF Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks delicious oaty goodness.

Bakewell Shortbread Bars

FF Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars
Bakewell Sortbread Bars utterly yummy.

Sticky Pecan Sultana Buns

FF Double Chocolate Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars
Sticky Pecan Sultana Buns so easy to make and incredibly delicious to eat.

Eating outside, whether on a picnic, at a barbecue or even in the garden, is such a great way of getting together with friends old and new. There is something so informal and relaxing being in the great outdoors. I can see why so many people choose to get married outside, as it’s a great way of mingling a diverse combination of guests in a relatively informal environment.

We are planning a fab get together with our friends and neighbours over the coming weeks, so watch out for fun, feasting and barbecue recipes coming up.

Are you planning on any outdoor get together’s?

Do you enjoy the great outdoors  – even if it’s only your back garden?

Sammie xx

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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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Feta Cheese Herb Muffins

Oh wow, these Feta Cheese Herb Muffins certainly have a taste of the Mediterranean about them.

FF Feta Cheese Herb Muffins
Feta Cheese Herb Muffins perfect for eating any time of the day!

Sorry, I know I usually write a little intro, but these Feta Cheese Herb Muffins are so, so good I wanted to tell you about them straight away. Like an excited child with news of their day at school, I am literally bursting with excitement over how good these are.

Salty feta cheese, that almost melts, in a slightly healthier muffin – I’ve added in some wholemeal flour, without any added heaviness – accompanied by the delicate onion flavour of fresh chives and just the teeny tiniest hint of fresh mint!

FF Feta Cheese Herb Muffins
Feta Cheese Herb Muffins delicious warmed for brunch.

Having first made my friend, Jackie Heaton aka The Baking Nanna’s Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins which are absolutely delicious, I have loved coming up with different variations of the muffin.

Today I wanted to see if I could add wholemeal flour to the muffins, without making them heavy. So I replaced one third of the flour with plain, wholemeal flour. I increased the baking powder and hoped that the balance would work. It totally did.

The wholemeal flour adds a subtle depth of flavour that completely works with the salty feta cheese. I thoroughly enjoyed a late breakfast this morning feasting on these flavour packed morsels.

FF Feta Cheese Herb Muffins
Feta Cheese Herb Muffins so good and so easy to bake.

Freshly cut from the garden, both the chives and the mint add a subtle brightness to the Feta Cheese Herb Muffins. None of our children noticed the mint, I was a bit worried thinking that might be the deal breaker! There are only three mint leaves in the whole recipe, yet they provide a fantastic, fresh flavour, without making the muffins taste like toothpaste!!!

If you don’t have fresh herbs in your garden, they can easily be grown on a window-ledge. I buy mine growing in pots, from the supermarket. Woody herbs such as sage, thyme, oregano and rosemary grow in the garden, as do the chives, which have recently started to sprout. Mint I grow in a tub, as it can be a bit of a thug if planted in the open ground, rapidly spreading and smothering other plants.

There is a place for both fresh and dried herbs in my kitchen. In this recipe however, I would only recommend using fresh herbs. Look out for upcoming posts where I will share tips and recipes on the vegetables and herbs I grow.

FF Feta Cheese Herb Muffins
Feta Cheese Herb Muffins delicious, healthier and low in fat.

Recipe: Makes 12 Feta Cheese Herb Muffins

200g/7oz Plain White Flour

100g/4oz Plain Wholemeal Flour

3tsp Baking Powder

200g/7oz Feta Cheese – drained

1tbsp Chopped Fresh Chives – plus extra to garnish – I use scissors to snip the chives

3 Fresh Mint Leaves – finely chopped

200ml Whole or Semi-skimmed Milk

2 Large Free Range Eggs

2tbsp Vegetable Oil

2tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Approx 1tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper – or less if desired

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

  • Line a 12 cup muffin pan with muffin cases
  • Measure the milk into a jug. Crack in the 2 whole eggs and add the oils. Stir with a fork to combine – wet ingredients.
  • Into a large bowl add both the flours, the crumbled feta cheese, black pepper finely chopped mint and chives. Stir with a fork ensuring all the pieces of crumbled feta are coated in flour – dry ingredients.
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it.
  • Stir lightly with a fork until almost combined. Note: lumpy batter ensures tender muffins, if you over mix the muffins will be tough!
FF Feta Cheese Herb Muffins
Here is good, lumpy batter.
  • Divide the batter equally between the 12 muffin cases.
  • Place the muffin pan into the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes (mine took 17 minutes).
  • The muffins are cooked when the are starting to turn golden brown and are firm to touch.
  • Once baked remove the muffins from the oven.
FF Feta Cheese Herb Muffins
Feta Cheese Herb Muffins hot straight from the oven.
  • Allow the Feta Cheese Herb Muffins to cool slightly on a cooling rack.

Serve the delicious Feta Cheese Herb Muffins warm with an extra sprinkling of freshly cut chives.

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. To refresh pop in a medium heated oven for 5 minutes and they will regain their freshly baked flavour.

These Feta Cheese Herb Muffins are the perfect addition to any packed lunch or picnic. They are a perfect, portable, fairly healthy snack and great for sharing. Long days at the office? These take barely 30 minutes to make and bake and then you have breakfast/lunch sorted for a few days!

I love coming up with easy to make, nutritious food, that means you always have something delicious to fall back on instead of always reaching for a chocolate bar or packet of crisps. With food made at home, you know exactly what has gone into it and it always tastes so much better than anything you can buy.

Loved these Feta Cheese Herb Muffins? Here are some other easy, food on the go recipes you may like to try:

Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins 

FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins utterly delicious.

Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks

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

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

BN Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks – perfect for sustained energy release.

Are you good about eating breakfast and taking a packed lunch to work, or do you grab a sweet muffin with your morning latte?

Hopefully I’ve given you some tips to make mornings less stressful on some days? There are always going to be days when you oversleep, or no matter what you do, you’re running late. If you can plan just a little bit, then a bad start to the day needn’t set the tone for how the day pans out!

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I really enjoy reading them. Likewise for all of you who have posted your makes and bakes on Twitter and Instagram. I love seeing how my recipe turns out in someone else’s kitchen!

Have fun making and baking your feast.

Sammie xx

 

 

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Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

Whilst I love a beautifully decorated cake, sometimes a delicious cut-and-come-again cake is what I crave. This delicious Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake certainly delivers on flavour. Packed full of chocolate chips and made with sour cream, it is utterly yummy!

FF Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake
Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake simply really good cake!

This delicious cake however, was made at the request of our eldest daughter. Chocolate cake with chocolate chips and NO icing. In all fairness she has never been a lover of anything creamy, so I was more than happy to oblige and decided to make a Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake.

FF Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake
Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake fancy icing not needed.

This cake may have a simple recipe but boy does it win in the flavour votes. It is a really chocolatey, chocolate cake. In fact served warm with custard, ooh and a scoop of Very Vanilla Ice Cream and this would make rather a delicious pudding.

I just love it when a cake can be dual purpose!!

FF Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake
Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake however you eat this cake it is utterly yummy!

After making yesterday’s Coffee and Walnut Cake  I was really regretting not making an extra cake for us! The smell of the coffee cake cooking and the walnuts toasting, had my tummy rumbling. In truth it would only have been Hubby and me that ate it. Coffee cake is not our children’s favourite – although two of them will eat Tirimasu???

Without further ado, let’s get to the recipe so that you too can bake this delicious cake!

Recipe: Makes one Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter – at room temperature

175g/6oz Soft Light Brown Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paster -can be substituted with vanilla extract

3 Large Free Range Eggs

150g/5oz Sour Cream – I find it easier to measure by weight

1/4tsp Salt

125g/4.5oz Plain White Flour

50g/2oz Good Quality Cocoa Powder

2tsp Baking Powder

200g/7oz Milk Chocolate Chips/Chunks – use dark/white if preferred

Method: Preheat the oven to 155C/140C fan, gas mark 2

  • Grease and line the base of a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment.
  • Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl.
  • Whisk/beat until pale and creamy.
  • Add the 3 eggs and vanilla bean paste and whisk for a further 5 minutes until all the ingredients are fully combined.
  • Add the sour cream and sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and add the chocolate chips.
  • With a spoon fold all the ingredients together until just combined.
  • Spoon the cake batter into the prepared loaf tin.
  • Place into the middle of a preheated oven and bake for 45-50minutes.
  • The cake is baked when it is firm to touch. I don’t suggest inserting a skewer, as if it goes through a warm chocolate chip you may think that the cake is still uncooked.
  • Once baked remove the Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake from the oven.
FF Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake
Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake don’t work about the crack on top – it proves its a good homemade cake!
  • Allow the cake to cool in the tin until it is warm, or preferably cold.
  • To remove from the tin, gently go around the outside edge, between the cake and the tin with a palette knife. Place a plate or cooling rack on top of the tin and flip over. The cake should release easily.
FF Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake
Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake sliced and ready to be eaten!

In complete honesty, I must say that the cake was still warm when removed from the tin. Such was our eagerness to taste it!! My family have got used to waiting for the blog photos to be taken. Two minutes after the above photo was taken, the slices of cake you see were plated and dished out with forks.

Still slightly warm, with nuggets of semi melted chocolate chunks throughout, this cake made for very nice elevenses with a cup of tea!

We seem to have got into a habit of having cake or a sweet treat such as my Lemony Strawberry Pavlova on a Sunday, not necessarily a bad thing I think!

This cake, should there be any left, will keep for 4 days in an airtight container. Actually from experience it tightens up a bit on the second day and is not only easier to cut, but also improves in flavour – I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether to wait 😉.

FF Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake
Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

This delightful cake is perfect for picnics, afternoon tea, or elevenses in the garden, when the sun is shining as beautifully as it is today! I’m not a big fan of taking iced cakes on picnics, as the extra sugar seems to be a magnet for bugs!

Do you enjoy eating outside when the weather is nice? Do you have a favourite bake that you always make before a trip to the seaside, or picnic in the park?

Asking these questions reminds me of mug Grandma, who always spent the day before a family outing baking. The only thing I consistently remember her baking was Rock Buns. I’ll have to dig out a recipe – for those of you who aren’t familiar with them, they are fruit filled buns, halfway between a cake and scone. Any tips please let me know in the comments section?

If you have enjoyed this Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake here are a few more recipes you may like to try:

Glazed Orange Bundt Cake

FF Glazed Orange Bundt Cake
Glazed Orange Bundt Cake perfect for afternoon tea.

Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake

FF Cherry Almon Sandwich Cake
Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake with pretty feathered icing.

Chelsea Buns

FF Chelsea Buns
Chelsea Buns easy to make and easier to eat! www.feastingisfun.com

Whatever you are making and baking in your kitchens today, make each mouthful a feast and have lots of fun.

Sammie xx

 

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Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins

I love a recipe that is versatile, which is exactly what the Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins recipe is. So I took that recipe, fiddled a bit and the result was these utterly delicious Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins!

FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins perfect warm from the oven.

I had ordered the ingredients with last weeks shopping, intent on making them during the week. Somehow I got distracted by other things, until today. Boy was I glad I waited. The cupboards, well fridge are always fairly bare on a Saturday as that’s the day our shopping is delivered. Having Hubby here to unpack and put things away, saves me from spending the following day in bed!

I kid you not see Living With Seizures if you’d like to know more.

Both our girls were out late, last night at a concert in London, so I knew the house would be fairly quiet this morning as they snoozed away upstairs. Little man was getting hungry and I suddenly remembered what I had stashed in the fridge. Phew!

FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins perfect for breakfast or brunch.

I made these Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins in less than 10 minutes, they cooked in 15 minutes AND I had enough for my photo shoot to let our little man munch happily away, whilst I snapped a few shots.

Oh my, these are good – I mean really, really, pass me another one good. The Chorizo could make them taste a bit like pizza, nothing wrong with that – but breakfast, hmm not so sure. That’s where the goats cheese kicks in and completely rounds out the flavours, bringing it back to breakfast, brunch time.

FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins a great way to kick start the day.

Brain is ticking now – watch this space for pizza style muffins!!

Back to the Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins – I cooked the chorizo first so that it would start to release it’s red paprika juices when mixed into the batter. Just a quick word, as my friend Liz from Teta Lizza’s Kitchen also emphasises, when making muffins don’t over mix the batter. A few floury streaks are ok. The best, lightest, yummiest muffins come from just mixed, lumpy batter. It is true.

It’s definitely worth checking out Liz’s blog, she’s an amazing cook and baker, whose food is so mouth wateringly good. I should know I made her Carrot Soup! She’s a great girl with a wicked sweet tooth, balanced by lots of healthy, beautifully presented recipes. Pop over to Teta Lizza’s Kitchen and say hi.

FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins utterly delicious.

Before you visit I’ll show you how these fantastic, lazy weekend, Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins are made 😉

Recipe: Makes 12 Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins

100g/4oz Sliced Chorizo

150g/5oz Goats Cheese

200ml Whole Milk

2 Large Free Range Eggs

4tbsp Vegetable Oil

350g/12oz Plain White Flour

2tsp Baking Powder

Good grinding of black pepper – to taste

1/2tsp Cayenne Pepper – plus a little extra to sprinkle on the baked muffins

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

  • Chop or dice the chorizo into 1cm pieces.
  • Cook in a dry frying pan until the chorizo starts to release its delicious paprika juices.
  • Remove and put on a plate to cool slightly.
  • Measure the milk into a jug. Add the 2 eggs and vegetable oil. Stir to combine – wet mixture.
  • Into a large bowl add the flour, baking powder, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Use a whisk to stir and combine.
  • Chop or crumble up the goats cheese into roughly the same sized pieces as the chorizo.
  • Add the chorizo and goats cheese to the flour mixture, stir to distribute – dry mixture.
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture and pour the wet mixture in.
  • Stir with a fork until just combined.
FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Lumpy muffin batter makes the lightest muffins.
  • Line a muffin/cupcake tin with muffin cases – and yes I found mine!
  • Divide the batter equally between the 12 cases – ideally an ice cream scoop can be used – I forgot!!
  • Place the muffin tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • Mine took 15 minutes.
  • The Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins are baked when they are firm to touch and golden on top.
  • When baked remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
  • Sprinkle the top of each muffin with a little bit of cayenne pepper.

These delightful Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins are best served warm and eaten on the day they are made. However, they can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days and refreshed by warming in the oven. They also make a great addition to packed lunches, as a change from sandwiches or wraps.

Now that Spring is firmly here and warmer weather is in sight, I will definitely be making these for picnics, perfect eaten alongside some cherry tomatoes and cucumber sticks.

FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins perfect to pack up for picnics.

Do you enjoy eating outside?

I must admit I’m yet to be converted to barbecues, yet I love nothing more than throwing a blanket on the lawn, or on rare good days, going to the seaside or park and having a picnic. Some of our best picnics have actually been in the rain, children sitting, welly boots on, on the flat boot of our car munching on scotch eggs, olives, carrot sticks and crisps. These Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins will be a new and very welcome addition to our picnic outings!

If you enjoyed this recipe for Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins you may like these too:

Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins

BN Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins
Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins utterly delicious warm from the oven.

Super Light Scones

Cookies Super Light Scones
Super Light Scones

Toffee Banoffee Waffles

FF Toffee Banoffee Waffles
Toffee Banoffee Waffles serve straight away.

Whatever you are making and baking have fun and remember that food always tastes better when it’s shared.

Sammie xx

 

 

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Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake

If you enjoy a slice or two of Bakewell Tart, then you are going to absolutely love this Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake! That’s right two layers of buttery, cherry studded, almond sponge, sandwiched together with a generous layer of morello cherry jam and topped with the traditional feathered, almond and chocolate icing.

Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake with Morello cherries
Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake, double cherry flavour in this cake.

My Cherry Bakewell Cookies have proved to be one of the most popular recipes on this site. A lot of you seem to just love the magic that happens when cherries and almonds are put together.

I can understand why, as it is one of my favourite flavour pairings as well. So, considering the popularity of the cookies and these Bakewell Cupcakes I wanted to make a grown up cake!

Don’t worry, I’m not getting all serious on you – by grown up, I mean a cake that can be brought out for Sunday tea, or packed up and taken on a picnic.

Feather Iced Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake
Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake perfect for taking on a picnic!

Do you enjoy packing up a picnic and eating in the great outdoors?

I love picnics, but – and it’s a big but – depending on the variable British weather, there are a few ‘rules’ to consider food wise.

Chocolate, buttercream and fresh cream can all melt, go off, or simply create the mother of all messes on a picnic. So thinking strategically about the cakes that I take is important. Personally I like simple iced cakes, like this Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake, or a Lemon Drizzle Cake.

These can be pre cut, or not (just remember to pack a knife!)and packed up easily for the journey. They can withstand a bit of heat, should we be fortunate enough to be granted a warm, sunny day and they can be eaten with minimal mess.

That’s a big thumbs up in my book.

Glacé Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake
Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake packed with luscious cherries.

This cake is not just for picnics. I made this on a dreary Sunday afternoon, in the middle of Winter and it certainly brightened our day!

Orginally this was going to be baked as one whole cake and then split in two, that was until I realised the buttered and lined cake tin was too small for the filling!! So I split the mixture between two tins, however, you could easily bake this as one large cake, just adjust the cooking time, as it will take longer.

British Bakeware sell a great range of cake tins and to be honest, my round sandwich tins have seen much better days. So I will be heading on over to their website to do a little shopping. If you want to know more about them you can read my British Bakeware Product Review.

I was determined that this Cherry Almond Chocolate Cake was going to be chocca full of cherries and have real dark chocolate in the feathered, almond icing.

Recipe: Makes one Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake – serves 12 people

250g/9oz Unsalted Butter at room temp. – plus extra for grasing the tins

250g/9oz Caster Sugar

6 Large Free Range Eggs

1tsp Vanilla Extract

1tsp Almond Extract

175g/6oz Plain White Flour

150g/5oz Glacé Cherries – rinsed & patted dry if very syrupy

100g/4oz Ground Almonds

3tsp Baking Powder

1/4tsp Salt

150g/5oz Morello Cherry Jam – any good quality cherry jam or conserve will work well.

For the icing:

300g Icing Sugar – sifted

1/2tsp Almond Extract

50g/2oz Dark Chocolate

Method: Preheat the oven to 165C/150C fan

Grease and line with baking parchment  2 X 20cm/8″ square cake tins or 2 X 9″ round sandwich cake tins.

  • Add the caster sugar and butter to a large bowl.
  • Whisk or beat for 5 minutes until very pale and creamy.
Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake
Beautifully pale and creamy butter and sugar, will help ensure a light cake.
  • Add the vanilla and almond extracts.
  • Whilst whisking add 1 tablespoon of the flour and then add each egg, slowly, one at a time until they are all incorporated.
Bakewell Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake
Toss the glacé cherries in the flour, this will stop them from sinking to the bottom of the cake.
  •  Add the flour, cherries, ground almonds, baking powder and salt.
  • Using a metal spoon fold the dry ingredients in until a uniform consistency is achieved.
Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake
Divide the cake batter equally between the 2 cake tins.
  • Place both cake tins into the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.
  • The cake is baked when it is golden in colour and springs back when pressed lightly in the centre.
  • If you are cooking one large, deep cake, start checking at 50 minutes, using the method above. I would advise, due to the depth of the cake, inserting a skewer. The cake is cooked when the skewer comes out clean.
  • Remove the cooked cakes from the oven and leave the cakes to cool until just warm, before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  • Note: if cooking one large, deep cake, allow to cool in the tin completely before turning out onto a plate or cake board. Once cooled cut the cake in two horizontally through the middle.
  • Once cooled carefully peel back the baking parchment.
  • Place the bottom layer top side/cut side up (I didn’t which is why in the picture one layer overlaps – this should be less of a problem with round cakes).
Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake
Spread the bottom cake layer generously with cherry jam.
Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake
Place the top layer bottom side (or uncut side) facing up, so that you have a smooth surface to ice.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract to the sifted icing sugar (in a bowl).
  • Add enough water to make a very thick but spreadable paste. Approx 2 tablespoons, added slowly and mixed in with a fork.
  • Break/chop up the chocolate, place in a heatproof, microwaveable bowl and zap in the microwave in short 20 second bursts, until completely melted.
  • Spoon the melted chocolate into a small, disposable piping bag. Set to one side to cool a little.
Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake
Spoon the thick, almond flavoured icing onto the top of the cake.
  • Using an offset spatula, spread the icing almost to the edges of the cake.
Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake
As the icing is thick it won’t drip once spread almost to the edge.
Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake
Snip the tip off of the piping bag and pipe straight chocolate lines, from side to side, over the white icing.
  • Sorry that my lines aren’t super straight, my hands were a bit shaky and hey, this is a homemade cake. Yes of course I want it to look beautiful, but I’ll take a few wiggles and homemade, over mass factory produced perfection any day!
  • Use a wooden skewer/cocktail stick and have a piece of kitchen roll handy, to wipe the stick clean after each line –
  • Start at the top and just in from the edge, drag your stick through the icing and lines of chocolate until you reach the bottom. Wipe your skewer clean.
  • Now starting just under an inch away at the bottom, drag the stick upwards, through the icing until you reach the top. Wipe your skewer clean.
  • Repeat these last two steps top to bottom, then bottom to top, until you have reached the other side of the cake.
  • The same principle applies to a round cake – although if you want it to look symmetrical I’d suggest starting at the top of the middle of the cake and then working outwards, to the sides. Visually uneven feathering (this is the name of this technique) is more noticeable on a round cake. As the eye is drawn to the centre and then outwards. How perfect you want it is up to you. Even on a square cake my feathering isn’t perfect, but it does look pretty!
Cherry Almon Sandwich Cake
Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake with pretty feathered icing.

Using this feathering technique even managed to hide my wonky chocolate lines.

Picnics, Sunday tea, having friends round, taking as a gift – this Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake really is perfect for all those purposes and plenty more. This is truly a cake for FEASTING.

Layered cakes always seem to feel that little bit more special. I guess it’s like opening a box of chocolates and finding there are two layers, you can relax, knowing once one layer is eaten another is waiting to be devoured!!

Or is that just me?? Nope – thought not 😉.

Do you like baking for picnics? Sweet or savoury, I’d love to hear your ideas and see your bakes. My Twitter handle is at the bottom of the page, tweet me a pic, I love seeing your bakes.

If you have enjoyed making this Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake, here are a couple of recipes I’m sure you’ll enjoy:

Strawberries Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake
Ooh this is a great Strawberries and Cream Cake for sharing.

Strawberries and Cream Cake

Raspberry Cherry Almond Cream Cake
So beautiful this Raspberry Almond Cream Cake is great for a celebration.

Raspberry Almond Cream Cake

Whatever you are baking, have fun and remember food tastes better when it’s shared!

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram

This is not a sponsored post, all opinions are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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