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 very 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.

While the house is quiet I bake:

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, while letting our little man munch happily away.

Oh my, these are good – I mean really, really, pass me another one good. Because of the Chorizo I was worried they may 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 

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 reminder, when making muffins don’t over mix the batter. A few floury streaks are ok. While the best, lightest, yummiest muffins come from just mixed, lumpy batter. It is true. Thank you to my friend Liz for her advice on this matter.

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 

Recipe: Makes 12 Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins

100g/4oz Sliced Chorizo

150g/5oz Goats Cheese

200ml Whole Milk

2 Large Free Range Eggs

5tbsp 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, 400F

Making and baking the muffins

  • First of all, 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.
FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins perfect to pack up for picnics.

These delightful Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins are best served warm and eaten on the day they are made.

Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days and refresh by warming in the oven. Also, these muffins make a great addition to packed lunches, as a change from sandwiches or wraps.

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.

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!

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

Sammie xx

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

 

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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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Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Making and baking ahead

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

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

Thought not!

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

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

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

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

Recipe: Make 16 Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

250g/10oz Unsalted Butter

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

125g/5oz Light Brown Sugar

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

150g/5oz Dried Cranberries

100g/4oz Chopped Walnuts

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

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

Making and baking the Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

  • First of all, grease and line a 8″ x 11″ – 20cm x 28cm swiss roll tin/shallow baking tin, with butter and baking parchment.
  • Into a large bowl add the golden syrup.
  • Into a medium saucepan add the butter and sugar. Warm over a medium heat, stirring until melted.
  • Pour the melted butter/sugar mixture into the bowl containing the golden syrup. Stir continuously until combined.

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

  • Add the oats, cranberries and walnuts to the bowl.
  • Stir until all the oats, walnuts and cranberries are thoroughly coated in the melted butter/sugar.
  • Tip the mixture into the lined tin.

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

 

  • Using the back of a metal spoon press the mixture into the tin, forming an even layer.
  • Place the tin into the oven and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
  • Remove the tin from the oven and allow the Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks to cool in the tin.
  • The flapjacks will be very soft at this stage, but will harden on cooling.
Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
When the flapjacks are slightly warm, remove from the tin.

Cutting and decorating the flapjacks

  • Using a sharp knife cut down the centre of the flapjacks. Then cut across the middle. Cut each quarter in half again. The flapjacks will still be slight soft.
  • Leave the flapjacks on the baking parchment to continue cooling and setting.
  • As soon as the Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks are completely cooled they can be drizzled with chocolate.
  • Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt in a heatproof bowl, in the microwave, using 30 second bursts. Stir well and when the chocolate is nearly melted keep stirring and the inherent heat will melt any solid pieces left.
  • You can use a teaspoon to drizzle the chocolate over the flapjacks or pour the chocolate into a disposable icing bag, snip the corner off and pipe the chocolate on.
Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Chocolate drizzled Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
  • Allow the chocolate to set and then store in a tin.
Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Store layered with baking parchment in a tin.

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

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

If you enjoyed these Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks then try these:

Bakewell Shortbread Bars 

FF Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Bakewell Shortbread Bars

Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks 

FF Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks

Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars

FF Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars

Why not bake a batch of these flapjacks and take them to work? Since I’m sure they would be appreciated. Especially by those who have skipped breakfast!

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

Sammie xx

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

 

 

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Super Light Scones

Hi there, I hope wherever you are the sun is shining on you today. Here in Kent it is beautifully sunny, with a light breeze. Perfect Summer weather. So much so it inspired me to bake Super Light Scones for breakfast this morning.

FF Super Light Scones

Since I don’t make a habit of making scones every morning – in fact, as a general rule I don’t like scones! Well at least the heavy, dense prepackaged ones from the supermarket. I don’t know why, they’re just not my thing. However, it’s Summer and scones with clotted cream and jam are a MUST! And especially the clotted cream has to be Rodda’s from Cornwall!

Super Light Scones, super easy to make and even easier to eat with a dollop of Rodda's clotted cream!
Super Light Scones, super easy to make and even easier to eat with a dollop of Rodda’s clotted cream!

Coming Up With A Great Scone Recipe

This probably sounds crazy, but I trawled through at least 8 cookbooks this morning, as well as looking online, but I just couldn’t find a recipe I was happy with. So I came up with my own! And it worked! I watch enough Food Network UK to have picked up some tips along the way and the Green Goddess (my friend, but unbiased taste tester) gave them the thumbs up – although she would have preferred them a little sweeter. Just trying to keep it honest round here.

Super Light Scones - the quintessential British cream tea.
Super Light Scones – the quintessential British cream tea.

 

I had these Super Light Scones for my breakfast. They are so light with soft flaky layers inside. I didn’t even use a knife to cut them open, they pulled beautifully apart. I now like scones – these ones!

 

Super Light Scones - so light they just pull apart. Delicious!
Super Light Scones – so light they just pull apart. Delicious!

 

If you are not in the UK and wish to have the British cream tea experience, but can’t get hold of clotted cream, Mascarpone cheese would make a good substitute. Alternatively book  a holiday to the UK and stay in Dorset, Devon or Cornwall – cream tea’s are readily available. Although, I admit, it’s a long way to come for a cup of English tea and a cream scone – or maybe not??

Super Light Scones - a very proper English Cream Tea - delish!
Super Light Scones – a very proper English Cream Tea – delish!

Recipe : Makes Approx 20 Super Light Scones

450g/1lb Plain White Flour

3tsp Baking Powder

1/4tsp Salt

50g/2oz Cold Unsalted Butter

25g/1oz Vegetable Shortening

2tbsp Caster Sugar

250mls/9fl oz Cold Whole Milk

3tbsp Milk – for brushing on top of scones

Method : Preheat oven to 220C/200C fan

Making The Scone Dough

First of all, in a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Add the butter and shortening, use a pastry cutter, or your fingers to work the fat into the flour.
Add the butter and shortening, use a pastry cutter, or your fingers to work the fat into the flour.
Small pea sized lumps of fat should be present in the mixture.
Small pea sized lumps of fat should be present in the mixture.

 

Add the sugar and stir through to mix. Make a well in the middle of the mixture, pour in the milk and stir together using a butter knife (ordinary eating knife).

Stir until the mixture just comes together.
Stir until the mixture just comes together.
Tip the scone dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Tip the scone dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Bring the dough together with your hands. Gently pat the dough out to approx 2.5cm thickness. The less you handle the dough the lighter the scones will be.
Bring the dough together with your hands. Gently pat the dough out to approx 2.5cm thickness. The less you handle the dough the lighter the scones will be.

Cutting Out The Individual Scones

Using a straight sided, floured, 2 inch deep cutter, press straight down through the scone dough. Do not twist the cookie cutter as you press down as this will affect the rise on your scones. Cut out as many scones as possible then collect the pieces of dough together, pat out and cut out more scones until the dough is used up.

Place the cut out scones onto a non stick baking sheet, or line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Place the cut out scones onto a non stick baking sheet, or line a baking tray with parchment paper.

 

Lightly brush the top of each scone with milk. Try to avoid the milk dripping down the side of the scone - as this affects the rise of the scone.
Lightly brush the top of each scone with milk. Try to avoid the milk dripping down the side of the scone – as this affects the rise of the scone.

Baking The Super Light Scones

Place your scones into the oven and bake for 12-14 minutes. The scones are baked when well risen and lightly golden in colour. As soon as they are baked remove from the oven and transfer the scones to a baking rack to cool.

Delicious Super Light Scones - cooling!
Delicious Super Light Scones – cooling!

 

Once cooled, split in half and slather on your favourite jam. For added indulgence add a dollop of clotted cream and some sliced fruit. Enjoy with a refreshing cup of tea.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Super Light Scones you may also enjoy these:

Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins 

FF Super Light Scones
Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins

Spicy Sausage Rolls 

FF Super Light Scones
Spicy Sausage Rolls

Super Easy Shortbread Cookies

FF Super Light Scones
Super Easy Shortbread Cookies

These are a great treat and perfect for Fathers Day – you could use a larger cutter, just add a couple of minutes onto the baking time.

Most Dads just want to know they are loved. Making or baking them a gift is such a personal way to say I LOVE YOU.

What jam and fruit combo do you like with your scones?

Sammie x

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Quiche Lorraine

I was thrilled when my Mum yesterday, who is herself, a great quiche maker, complimented me. On seeing my Quiche Lorraine she said “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”. Although, thinking about it, that’s surely a compliment to her? Anyway, this cheddar cheese and smoked bacon tart is both easy to make and delicious to eat.

FF Cheddar Bacon Tart

I used a combination of bacon and lardons, as that’s what I had in the freezer and I’m trying to clear it out. So you get lovely chunks as well as pieces of delicious smoked bacon throughout the Quiche. Alternatively leftover cooked Gammon at Christmas, or indeed any other time of the year, works fabulously well in this Quiche Lorraine. Cut into chunks and use in place of the bacon, the beauty being no pre-cooking is required!

Quiche Lorraine - delicious with baby new potatoes and salad!
Quiche Lorraine – delicious!

 

Sooo I made the pastry for this quiche myself, but, umm, well let’s just say, I’m gonna leave that for another post. Which I know doesn’t help you, as you need pastry for this recipe. I’m sorry. Really I am. Either use your go-to shortcrust pastry recipe, or buy it!! Just know you’ll need 450g/1lb. I promise I will post my recipe ASAP. Finally I have the recipe, see the link in the recipe below for Pefect Butter Shortcrust Pastry.

Quiche Lorraine - scrummy with salad and a jacket potato.
Quiche Lorraine – scrummy with salad and a jacket potato.

 

Quiche Lorraine is also perfect, portable, picnic food. So easy to slice and pack up with chunks of cucumber and cherry tomatoes. And as the evenings stay light we can always take our food and eat outside.

Makes 1 x 25cm/10” Quiche Lorraine serves 6-8

450g/1lb Shortcrust Pastry – see my recipe here

8 Large Eggs

125ml/4.5fl oz Whole Milk

300g/11oz Smoked Bacon/Lardons – cooked and cooled on kitchen paper

175g/6oz Sharp Cheddar – grated – I use Wyke Farms Mature Cheddar

1/2tsp Ground Black Pepper

Method : Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan oven, gas mark 4, 350F.

You will need a 25cm/10in tart tin, preferably with a loose base.

Preparing The Tart Case

Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to approx 16″ across. This will ensure it fits easily inside the Quiche tin, without stretching.

If using a ceramic dish, grease thoroughly with butter before lining with pastry. For tins I don’t find it necessary, but grease if you’re worried about the pastry sticking.

Transfer the pastry by rolling it around the rolling pin and then carefully unrolling over the Quiche tin.
Transfer the pastry by rolling it around the rolling pin and then carefully unrolling over the Quiche tin.

 

I always place my quiche tin on a baking sheet. Gently press the pastry into the sides and bottom of the tin. Then using the rolling pin, roll it over the top of the tin. This creates a clean finish to the pastry. If using a ceramic dish, neatly trim off the excess pastry with a knife.

Nice neat pastry finish.
Nice neat pastry finish.

 

Next doc the pastry at the bottom of the tin with a fork. This will stop the pastry from rising up when baked.

Place parchment paper onto the pastry and fill with baking beans or ceramic balls. These keep the pastry from collapsing during the blind baking.
Place parchment paper onto the pastry and fill with baking beans or ceramic balls. These keep the pastry from collapsing during the blind baking.

 

Place the quiche tin into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and discard the parchment paper and baking beans. Return to the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

The pastry case is now part baked. This ensures the egg mixture will not seep into the pastry. The quiche will have a crisp bottom, when fully cooked.
The pastry case is now part baked. This ensures the egg mixture will not seep into the pastry. The quiche will have a crisp bottom, when fully cooked.

Making The Cheddar Bacon Filling And Baking The Quiche

Whilst the pastry case is cooling gather the other ingredients together.
Whilst the pastry case is cooling gather the other ingredients together.

 

Add a good grinding of black pepper to the eggs and milk, then whisk together.

Sprinkle the cooked bacon evenly over the pastry base.
Sprinkle the cooked bacon evenly over the pastry base.
Then do the same with the grated cheese.
Then do the same with the grated cheese.

Slowly pour the egg mixture into the centre of the quiche, making sure that it doesn't flow over the top of the pastry.

Slowly pour the egg mixture into the centre of the quiche, ensuring it doesn’t flow over the edge if the pastry.

Reduce the oven temperature by 10C/25F, one gas mark lower. Place the Quiche Lorraine in the oven and bake for 20-25 mins until set and golden. Remove from oven. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Quiche Lorraine - golden, bacon and cheese quiche. Utterly delicious.
Quiche Lorraine – golden, bacon and cheese quiche. Utterly delicious.

This Quiche is so versatile. It can be packed up for lunch, a picnic, or as part of a meal with an endless choice of sides.

If you have enjoyed this Quiche Lorraine recipe you may also like these:

Wigmore Cheese Red Pepper Tart

Wigmore Cheese Red Pepper Tart
Wigmore Cheese Red Pepper Tart

Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche

Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche
Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche

Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche

Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche

Because I enjoy making quiches and tarts so much, it makes sense to make my own pastry. Since one batch of pastry makes two tarts I always freeze half to use later. Also this Quiche Lorraine freezes really well, simply defrost overnight in a refrigerator and then reheat until hot all the way through.

Sammie x

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Bakewell Cupcakes

Hello people, do I have the perfect picnic Cupcake for you to make and enjoy this sunny day here in the UK today – I think so? Let me introduce these delicious Bakewell Cupcakes. All the yumminess of Bakewell Tart in Cupcake form.

Bakewell Cupcakes, best eaten outside in the sunshine!
Bakewell Cupcakes, best eaten outside in the sunshine!

 

Now I love Bakewell Tart, the raspberry jam layer, enveloped in an Almond sponge or frangipane, so I set about turning one of my favourite tarts into a cupcake. Hence the Bakewell Cupcake was born.

Bakewell Cupcakes, perfect for a picnic in the park.
Bakewell Cupcakes, perfect for a picnic in the park.

 

You have to admit, these cupcakes even look cheerful  – maybe it’s the bright red cherry on top of the Almond glaze?  When you bite into these Bakewell Cupcakes your mouth is filled with an assortment of tastes and textures! The hidden Raspberry jam and Almond flakes in the centre are a wonderful surprise!

Bakewell Cupcakes - pretty and delicious!
Bakewell Cupcakes – pretty and delicious!

 

The use of flaked Almonds in the centre is two-fold, firstly they provided a delightful crunch, secondly they stop the Raspberry jam from sinking to the bottom of the cupcake. So when you bite through the glorious Almond glaze into the moist cupcake sponge, your mouth is then filled with tart Raspberry Jam and crunchy Almond flakes. The perfect cupcake balance!

Bakewell Cupcakes - with Raspberry Jam and Flaked Almond centre.
Bakewell Cupcakes – with Raspberry Jam and Flaked Almond centre.

 

Now enough of me telling you how scrummy these are, let’s get on with how to make them!!

Recipe :  Bakewell Cupcakes makes 18

18 Cupcake Cases

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter – at room temperature

225g/8oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Salt

4 Large Eggs – pref free range

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/2tsp Almond Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey 

225g/8oz Self Raising White Flour

1/2 Jar Raspberry Jam

175g/6oz Flaked Almonds

For the topping:

400g/14oz Icing Sugar

1/2tsp Almond Extract

18 Red Glace Cherries

Method :

Preheat Oven to 180C/160C (fan).

First of all line the muffin tins with the cupcake cases.

Add the butter, sugar and salt to a large bowl.

Whisk together until light and fluffy. Then add the Vanilla and Almond Extract. Whisk to combine.
Whisk together until light and fluffy. Then add the Vanilla and Almond Extract. Whisk to combine.
Add half the flour and 2 eggs, whisk together to combine.
Add half the flour and 2 eggs, whisk together to combine.

Add the remaining flour and eggs, whisk until combined.

Light, fluffy, Almond flavoured cake batter.
Light, fluffy, Almond flavoured cake batter.
Place approx 1 teaspoonful of the batter into the bottom of each cupcake case.
Place approx 1 teaspoonful of the batter into the bottom of each cupcake case.
I used the end of a desert spoon as it was easier! Continue until each case has cake batter in the bottom.
I used the end of a desert spoon as it was easier! Continue until each case has cake batter in the bottom.
Add a good pinch of flaked Almonds to each case, pressing the cake batter flat as you add them.
Add a good pinch of flaked Almonds to each case, pressing the cake batter flat as you add them.
Place 1/2 a teaspoon of raspberry jam on top of the Almonds.
Place 1/2 a teaspoon of raspberry jam on top of the Almonds.
When the jam has been added then place a heaped teaspoon of cake better on top.
When the jam has been added then place a heaped teaspoon of cake better on top.
The batter will naturally spread out during the cooking process, sealing in the hidden jam centre!
The batter will naturally spread out during the cooking process, sealing in the hidden jam centre!

 

Place the Bakewell Cupcakes into a preheated oven and bake for 15-20 mins, until the top is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before transferring them to a cooling rack.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before transferring them to a cooling rack.
Allow to cool completely before icing.
Allow to cool completely before icing.

 

To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl, add 1/2tsp of Almond Extract and enough water to make a thick, fluid icing. It should be able to hold a figure of eight.

Almond flavour glaze that's just the right consistency.
Almond flavour glaze that’s just the right consistency.
Use a teaspoon to cover the top of the cupcakes with the icing.
Use a teaspoon to cover the top of the cupcakes with the icing.
Now pop a cherry on top and leave to set for a couple of hours - if you can wait that long??
Now pop a cherry on top and leave to set for a couple of hours – if you can wait that long??

 

Bakewell Cupcakes are not only pretty and delicious, they also make perfect, portable, picnic food. They are ideal for sharing with friends, family or someone you know, who needs a little pick-me-up!

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Bakewell Cupcakes you may also like these:

Iced Bakewell Tart

FF Bakewell Cupcakes
Iced Bakewell Tart

Bakewell Shortbread Bars 

FF Bakewell Cupcakes
Bakewell Shortbread Bars

Cherry Bakewell Cookies 

FF Bakewell Cupcakes
Cherry Bakewell Cookies

 

I hope you try my cupcake version of a traditional Bakewell Tart.

What other deserts can we turn into cupcakes?

Sammie Xx

 

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Sausage Plait With A Twist

So today I have another super easy, recipe for you, my Sausage Plait With A Twist. What’s the twist? Sun-dried tomatoes and fresh thyme that lift the flavours of this savoury pastry to the next level.

Pinterest sized image of sliced sausage plait with descriptive graphics.

 

The addition of sundried tomatoes and thyme to pork sausage meat gives this sausage plait a deep savoury flavour. Ideal for a mid week meal, perfect for a buffet and portable for picnics!!

Lattice puff pastry topped savoury sausage meat pastry.
Sausage Plait With A Twist

I have used a special roller to create the lattice pattern on the top of the Sausage Plait. I bought it 20+ years ago. I’ve just had a quick peek on Amazon and they sell them for about £5. Which is probably about what I paid all those years ago!

Pastry Lattice Cutter
Pastry Lattice Cutter

 

So, if you bake a lot of pies and tarts then I would say this is a good buy. Likewise, the diamond effect on the pastry below was achieved by lightly scoring the uncooked pastry, on a slant, one way and then the other. When baked it produced a pretty, diamond effect pattern and I didn’t need a Lattice Roller. And this technique also works for any Sausage Plait.

Diamond effect puff pastry sausage plait.
Diamond effect on the puff pastry is very effective.

 

So, whichever method you use, your Sausage Plait With A Twist is sure to go down well with everyone who tries it. Served hot or cold, it is completely delicious. Why not bake my  Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread? It is the perfect, picnic accompaniment. As is my Tangy Lemon Potato Salad. While these Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars are a delicious sweet treat that won’t attract every bug in a 10 mile radius.

Recipe: Sausage Plait With A Twist serves 6

500g/1lb Block Puff Pastry – defrosted if frozen – I use  Just Rol not the all butter version.

500g/1lb Pork Sausage meat – use the best quality sausage meat

15 Sundried Tomatoes (drained if in oil)

1 tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves – simply strip from the stems, or chop if very new green growth

1/2 tsp Black Pepper – freshly ground

1 Egg – for egg wash

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

Making The Filling

  • First of all, chop the sun-dried tomatoes roughly, so there are no big pieces.
  • Place the chopped tomatoes into a bowl and add the thyme, sausage meat and black pepper.
  • Using your hand, squish (technical term) all the ingredients together until well combined.

 

Dark red pieces of sundried tomato and flecks of green thyme are spread throughout the sausagemeat.
Dark red pieces of sundried tomato and flecks of green thyme are spread throughout the sausage meat.

Assembling And Baking The Sausage Plait

  • On a floured worktop roll out the puff pastry so that it measures 30cm x 35cm (10″x12″). Trim to neaten the edges.
  • Now place the pastry onto a piece of parchment paper that is the same size as your baking sheet. Since this will make transferring the sausage plait MUCH easier. MUCH! I speak from experience!!
  • Place the sausage meat mixture evenly down one side of the pastry, leaving a 1 inch (2.5cm) border.
Pat the sausage mixture so that it is spread evenly. Then get ready to roll.....
Pat the sausage mixture so that it is spread evenly. Then get ready to roll…..
Place the Lattice Roller just inside the bottom edge of the pastry and roll to the top!
Place the Lattice Roller just inside the bottom edge of the pastry and roll to the top!
Brush the beaten egg around the border of the sausage mixture.
Brush the beaten egg around the border of the sausage mixture.
Fold the lattice cut side over the sausage meat, so the edges meet.
Fold the lattice cut side over the sausage meat, so the edges meet.
I have crimped the pastry edges by twisting them together, then brushed egg wash over the top of the Sausage Plait.
I have crimped the pastry edges by twisting them together, then brushed egg wash over the top of the Sausage Plait.

Finally you can see how much easier it is to assemble the sausage plait on the baking parchment.

  • Place the sausage plait into the centre of a preheated oven and bake for 40 – 50 minutes, until golden brown.
  • The sausage plait is baked when golden in colour and any juices run clear.
  • As soon as it is baked remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking tray.
Sausage Plait With A Twist

Such an easy dish to make, yet super impressive to look at and eat! It can be served hot or cold and is ideal for picnics and buffets as well as dinner time.

Cool completely and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Sausage Plait With A Twist you may also like these:

Spicy Sausage Rolls

Spicy sausage rolls freshly baked and cooling on a rack.
Spicy Sausage Rolls

Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche 

Baked quiche on a baking tray.
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche

Red Onion Sausage Plait 

Sausage plait on a baking tray with fresh tomatoes and a jar of red onion marmalade from Hawkshead Relish.
Red Onion Sausage Plait

I really enjoy creating recipes for my family and for you to try on this blog. Especially recipes that are diverse. While this sausage plait is tasty served with salad and new potatoes for dinner, it also is great to slice and pack up for a picnic too. Because, in my opinion, diversity in recipes allows me to have more options for both mealtimes and buffets, when entertaining a crowd of people. Most importantly it’s easy. And we all love an easy recipe, right?

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

Sammie x

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

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Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemon Drizzle Cake has to be one of my all time favourite cakes. While there are a gazillion recipes on the internet and in books, I wanted to add my own. Firstly because hopefully this blog will become a go-to resource for our children as they continue on their cooking and baking journey. Also, I like my lemon drizzle a certain way. That is, with a fresh lemon glacé icing draped and drizzled over the top. I hope that you enjoy my take on this classic cake?

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake

Since there are various ways to make a lemon drizzle cake, I thought I’d explore them. Traditionally a lemon sugar syrup is made and poured over the top of the cake, creating a crunchy, sugar crust as it cools. For my take on this version see these Mini Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cakes.Perfect individual portions of sunshine.

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemons And Their Versatility In The Kitchen

Lemons are a must-have ingredient in my kitchen. Used in both sweet and savoury recipes they are essential in my Tangy Lemon Potato Salad where the un-waxed, scrubbed lemons are cut so thinly they are eaten as part of the dish. Also they are used to thin down mayonnaise for my Crunchy Homemade Coleslaw.Whether halved and added to the cavity of a roasting chicken, or simply squeezed over baked salmon, they add a burst of flavour that lifts each dish.

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Lemon Drizzle Cake

While lemon extract is available and I confess sometimes is used in my recipes, nothing is quite as good as using the real thing. During lemon season I buy un-waxed lemons as they tend to be slightly under ripe. However, I have had many a mouldy lemon lurking in the fridge! So, if buying waxed lemons, simply scrub under hot water with a nail brush. As a note, I lightly scrub un-waxed lemons as well if using the zest.

You will need a 25cm x 11cm x 7.5cm (10” x 4.5” x 3”) 2lb loaf tin,

Recipe: Lemon Drizzle Cake serves 8-10

225g/8oz  Unsalted Butter at room temperature

225g/8oz Caster Sugar

4 Large Free Range Egg

250g/9oz Plain White Flour

1 tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey 

2 tsp Baking Powder

1 Whole Lemon – finely zested and juiced

1/4 tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon Sea Salt, halve quantity if using free flowing

175g/6 oz Icing Sugar

Optional – White and Yellow Sprinkles – mine are from Waitrose

Method: Preheat oven to 160C/140C fan, 325F, gas mark 3.

Making And Baking The Lemon Cake

  • Place butter, caster sugar and salt into a large bowl and whisk until pale and creamy.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl.
  • Add 2 eggs, the vanilla extract and half of the sieved flour to the creamed butter and sugar. Whisk until just combined.
  • Now add the last 2 eggs, remaining flour and lemon zest.
  • Stir the ingredients together with a metal spoon until thoroughly combined.
  • Spoon the lemon cake batter into the prepared tin ensuring the top is level.
  • Place the cake into the centre of the oven and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes – 1 hour 20 minutes. My cake took 1 hour 15 minutes.
  • The cake is baked when it is golden in colour, firm to touch and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • As soon as the cake is baked remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes in the tin.
FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Lemon Drizzle Cake before and after baking.
  • While the cake cools make the glacé icing.

Making The Fresh Lemon Icing And Decorating The Cake

  • Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and add the lemon juice. Stir until thickly combined and completely lump free. If the icing is too thick add a few drops of water.
  • After 20 minutes cooling, run a palette knife around the outside edge of the cake. Turn the cake out – take care it will still be warm. Peel back the parchment paper from the base and discard.
  • Place the cake on to a cooling rack which is then place over a tray or plate.
  • Using a spoon drizzle the lemon icing over the cake, encouraging it to drip down the sides in places.
  • Finally scatter over some yellow and white sprinkles and leave the cake to cool completely.
FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Freshly iced Lemon Drizzle Cake in the Spring sunshine.

Once cooled this cake is easily sliced. Serve with lemon tea for extra lemon flavour.

Keep the cake in an airtight container and eat within 5 days. Refrigerate during warmer weather.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Lemon Drizzle Cake you may also like these:

Iced Cherry Coconut Loaf Cake

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Iced Cherry Coconut Loaf Cake

Raspberry Lemon Celebration Layer Cake

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Raspberry Lemon Celebration Layer Cake

Pomegranate Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Pomegranate Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake

Since this cake is so delicious, it’s good to know that I have successfully doubled the recipe and baked two cakes at the same time. It is my firm belief that all food tastes better when shared. So, whether you are baking this cake for yourself, or alternatively as a gift, it’s definitely worth making two. In fact why not give both cakes away?

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

Sammie xx

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

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