Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake

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

FF Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake
Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake

Mint Chocolate – which side are you on?

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

FF Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake
Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake

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

FF Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake
Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake

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

Recipe: Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake serves 8-10

For the cake:

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

225g/8oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Salt

5 Large Free Range Eggs 

1tsp Vanilla Extract

75g/3oz cocoa

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

175g/6oz Plain White Flour

3tsp Baking Powder

For the icing:

175g/6oz Icing Sugar

3 drops Peppermint Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey 

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

Grean and White small sugar balls

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

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

Making and baking the cake

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

Making the icing and decorating the cake

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

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

FF Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake
Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake

Slice and serve with a smile.

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

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

Iced Cherry Coconut Loaf Cake

FF Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake
Iced Cherry Coconut Loaf Cake

Lemon Drizzle Cake

FF Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake
Lemon Drizzle Cake

Chocolate Honeycomb Sponge Cake 

FF Mint Chocolate Chip Drizzle Cake
Chocolate Honeycomb Sponge Cake

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

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

Sammie xx

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

 

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Wigmore Cheese Red Pepper Tart

Wow the summer of 2018 has proved to be a scorcher so far. And I have to say I’m loving it! Flinging open the windows and doors and basking in the fresh, warm air. I was born in the Winter, yet I love the Summer sunshine. Because of the heat I have adjusted the way I go about my day. I’ve always been more of a morning person, however the hike in temperatures has got me organised. So I make dinner as early in the day as I can. And this Wigmore Cheese Red Pepper Tart is super easy to make, ready to be eaten at room temperature later in the day.

FF Wigmore Cheese Red Pepper Tart
Wigmore Cheese Red Pepper Tart

Artisan Wigmore Cheese, an award winner:

Wigmore Cheese, the dominant flavour at the heart of this tart is a semi soft, unpasteurised, ewes milk cheese. A handmade, washed curd cheese, with a flavour and texture similar to Camembert and Brie. Yet it has a flavour all of its own, slightly saltier with less of a nasal hit than a fully ripe Brie. Baked in this quiche style tart it’s flavour permeates throughout, balanced beautifully with sweet, softened red bell peppers.

FF Wigmore Cheese Red Pepper Tart
Wigmore Cheese Red Pepper Tart

Perhaps unusually, I’ve added a subtle hint of anise flavour to the tart with the addition of fennel seeds. Resulting in a Mediterranean taste to this all butter pastry tart. While you may be tempted to buy the pastry, I strongly suggest you try my recipe. It is absolutely foolproof and is consistently good. Since the recipe makes double the amount needed it’s a bonus to freeze half, knowing next time you make this tart all that’s needed is for it to be defrosted overnight in the fridge!

Recipe: Wigmore Cheese Red Pepper Tart serves 6

450g/1lb Butter Shortcrust Pastry – half the quantity of my Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry

200g/7oz Wigmore Semi Soft Cheese available from Village Maid Cheese if you are not in the U.K. a great substitute would be Camembert or Brie style cheeses with a soft, edible rind.

3 Red Bell Peppers (400g/14oz sliced de-seeded red pepper)

1tbsp Rapeseed/Canola Oil – I use Kentish Oils

8 Large Free Range Eggs

1/4tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1/2tsp Lightly Ground Fennel Seeds

Method: Making the tart crust:

Note – You will need a 25cm x 5cm (10in x 2in) preferably loose bottom round tart tin for this recipe.

  • First of all if making the pastry from scratch chill it in the fridge for 2 hours before using. Especially during this super warm weather. Otherwise defrost ready made pastry in the fridge overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan, 400F, gas mark 6.
  • Lightly flour the worktop and roll out the pastry so that it is slightly bigger than the width and sides of the tart tin.
  • Roll the pastry around the rolling pin and transfer to the tin.
  • Most importantly do not stretch the pastry. Ease it gently into the tin taking care to press it into the crease between the base and sides.
  • Trim any excess pastry and then dock the base with a fork.
  • Place baking parchment directly on to the pastry and fill with baking beans.
FF Wigmore Cheese Red Pepper Tart
Creating the all butter tart crust.
  • Place the tart tin on to a baking sheet and put into the centre of the preheated oven.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, remove the baking beans and parchment paper, return the tart back to the oven for a further 10 minutes. Once baked, remove and set to one side.
  • Reduce the oven heat to 190C/170C fan, 325F, gas mark 3.

Filling the tart:

  • While the tart case is baking prepare the filling.
  • Remove the seeds and green part from the peppers. Slice lengthways to produce long strips.
  • Pour the oil into a pan over a medium heat. Add the peppers and sauté for 10-15 minutes until slightly softened and reduced in size.
FF Wigmore Cheese Red Pepper Tart
Sautéing the red peppers.
  • Cut up the cheese into bite size chunks. It helps if the cheese is fridge cold before cutting.
  • Into a jug add all 8 eggs, black pepper and fennel seeds. Whisk with a fork to combine.
  • Cover the base of the tart with sautéed peppers.
  • Next add the chunks of cheese, spread evenly around.
  • Finally pour over the seasoned, whisked eggs.
FF Wigmore Cheese Red Pepper Tart
Filling the Wigmore Cheese Red Pepper Tart ready for baking.

Baking the tart:

  • Place the tart into the centre of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • The tart is baked when the top is set and there is no jiggle in the centre.
  • As soon as the Wigmore Cheese Red Pepper Tart is baked remove from the oven and set to one side.
FF Wigmore Cheese Red Pepper Tart
Wigmore Cheese Red Pepper Tart
  • If serving as soon as baked allow the tart to settle for 10 minutes before slicing.
FF Wigmore Cheese Red Pepper Tart
Wigmore Cheese Red Pepper Tart

I love serving this tart when it is warm. At the moment this means room temperature! However if making during a cooler time of the year simply reheat in a medium oven for 10 minutes to lightly warm through.

Store any leftover tart in an airtight container or wrapped in cling film and refrigerate. Eat within 3 days.

Due to the moisture content of the peppers I would advise against freezing.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Wigmore Cheese Red Pepper Tart you may also like these:

Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart 

FF Wigmore Cheese Red Pepper Tart
Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart

Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks 

FF Wigmore Cheese Red Pepper Tart
Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks

Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts

FF Wigmore Cheese Red Pepper Tart
Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts

Making pastry and baking during this unusually hot summer may seem like the last thing anyone would want to do. Yet, by mid morning dinner is made. I quite often make my Tangy Lemon Potato Salad at the same time, as it’s absolutely delicious, fridge cold, served alongside with a salad. Also when using the tasty Wigmore Cheese, this recipe only uses half a wheel, leaving plenty for you to enjoy with apples, crackers and a cold glass of wine on a Summer’s evening.

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

Sammie xx

Village Maid Cheese sent me the Wigmore Cheese to try. All opinions and content are my own and I was not paid to write this post. 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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Roasted Summer Vegetable Orzo Salad

As we continue to enjoy our British Summer, I would like to celebrate the abundance of seasonal vegetables available at this time of the year. Along with birds chirping early in the mornings and long, sunny, warm summer days, the variety of vegetables, bought or home grown, really allows me as a  home cook to get creative in the kitchen.  Roasted Summer Vegetable Orzo Salad is a delicious celebration of easy summer cooking, using a variety of seasonal vegetables.

FF Roasted Summer Vegetable Orzo Salad
Roasted Summer Vegetable Orzo Salad.

Packed full of roasted veggies in a lemon vinaigrette, this dish can be either served on its own, or as a colourful side dish. Since it can be served warm, it is a perfect barbecue or buffet dish. Indeed, when made in the morning, then left to sit for a few hours, the flavours develop, enhancing the overall deliciousness. Easy to prepare and make ahead!

FF Roasted Summer Vegetable Orzo Salad
Roasted Summer Vegetable Orzo Salad full of goodness.

As much as I enjoy a crunchy pasta salad, there is something very comforting in the softened, roasted vegetables here. Slightly sweet, with a mere hint of caramelisation, their flavour is enhanced by the fresh lemon juice in the vinaigrette. Also orzo provides the perfect bite, complimenting the vegetables. Resulting in a dish that lets the vegetable flavours shine, without being overly bulked out with pasta.

Recipe: Roasted Summer Vegetable Orzo Salad serves 6

1 Aubergine

2 Courgettes

2 Bell Peppers – deseeded

1 Red Onion – skin removed

1 Large Fennel Bulb – or 2 small

400g Dried Orzo

20ml Olive Oil

1 Large Lemon – 20ml of juice

40ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil – I use Filippo Berio

1/2tsp Sea Salt plus 1tbsp for cooking the pasta –  I use Maldon

1/2tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Handful of Fresh Parsley – flat or curly

Note: individual vegetables may be substituted according to preference.

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

  • First of all, wash and thoroughly dry the vegetables. Follow by chopping into equal 1″/2.5cm pieces.
  • Transfer to a large baking tray.
  • Drizzle over a generous tablespoon of olive oil and one quarter of a teaspoon of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • With clean hands toss the vegetables in the seasoned oil, taking care to cover each piece.
  • Spread the vegetables out on the tray. During the cooking process they will reduce slightly in size.
FF Roasted Summer Vegetable Orzo Salad
Prepared vegetables ready for roasting.
  • Place the baking tray into the centre of a preheated oven and roast for 30-40 minutes, turning the vegetables halfway through the roasting time.
  • While the vegetables are roasting cook the orzo and make the lemon vinaigrette.
  • Place a large pan of cold water on the hob and bring to a boil. When boiling add 1 tablespoon of sea salt and then add the orzo.
  • Squeeze the fresh lemon juice into a small, clean jar that has a fitted lid. Add the extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Place the lid securely on to the jar and shake vigorously to combine.
  • Cook the orzo according to packet instructions, removing from the heat and draining 2 minutes before the finished cooking time.
  • Place the drained orzo into a bowl and pour over the lemon vinaigrette. Fork through the orzo to ensure the vinaigrette covers each small piece, stopping the pasta from forming clumps.
  • When cooked the vegetables will be softened, allowing a fork to easily pierce. Some pieces may be slightly charred at the edges.
FF Roasted Summer Vegetable Orzo Salad
Roasted summer vegetables.
  • Spoon or tip the roasted vegetables on top of the orzo.
FF Roasted Summer Vegetable Orzo Salad
Making Roasted Summer Vegetable Orzo Salad.
  • Gently, use two forks to mix the roasted vegetables into the Orzo.
  • Finally, roughly chop a handful of fresh parsley, discarding the stalks and scatter over the salad.
FF Roasted Summer Vegetable Orzo Salad
Roasted Summer Vegetable Orzo Salad.

If making the same day as eating, cover with cling film and leave on the work top. Yet, when making the day before, leave out the parsley, cool, cover and store in the fridge. Remove and allow to sit at room temperature for one hour, garnish with freshly chopped parsley and then serve.

Since this salad is so versatile, it can be served alongside grilled chicken, salmon, or burgers and ribs at a barbecue. Likewise, it can also be served on its own.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Roasted Summer Vegetable Orzo Salad you may also like these:

Lime Couscous

FF Roasted Summer Vegetable Orzo Salad
Lime Couscous.

Roasted Pale Ale Jelly Tomatoes

FF Roasted Summer Vegetable Orzo Salad
Roasted Pale Ale Jelly Tomatoes.

Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo

FF Roasted Summer Vegetable Orzo Salad
Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo.

While shopping in large supermarkets i find it can be easy to become disconnected with seasonal vegetables. Transportation means that most ‘summer’ vegetables can be easily obtained throughout the year. Since large, super greenhouses have cropped up across the country, most notably in Thanet, Kent, the effect on home grown produce has been to lengthen its season. Also ensuring the public buys British rather than imported produce. I fully support this endeavour.

Yet, even with this consideration, there is little to rival blackberry picking in August and September. Connecting us all to nature and the natural season of harvest.

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

Sammie xx

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

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Almond Topped Cherry Scones

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Almond Topped Cherry Scones

Time to make the scones!

Recipe: Almond Topped Cherry Scones makes 10

450g/1lb Plain White Flour

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

40g/1.75oz Caster Sugar

3tsp Baking Powder

75g/3oz Cold Unsalted Butter cut into cubes

25g/1oz Cold Vegetable Fat – Trex

75g/3oz Natural Glacé Cherries cut into halves

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

2tsp Almond Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

2-3tbsp Flaked Almonds

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fruit Filled Butter Scones

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Fruit Filled Butter Scones

Afternoon Tea

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Afternoon Tea

Super Light Scones

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Super Light Scones

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

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

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

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

I regularly bake on holiday. Do you?

Sammie xx

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

 

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Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time to get baking!

Recipe: Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones makes 10-12

450g/1lb Plain White Flour

3tsp Baking Powder

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

50g/2oz Unsalted Butter kept very cold

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

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

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

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

1/4tsp Sea Salt Flakes – I use Maldon

Good grinding of Black Pepper to taste

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones

FF Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones
Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones.

Super Light Scones

FF Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones
Super Light Scones

Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins

FF Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones
Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins

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

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

Sammie xx

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

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Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart

Some ingredients, when cooked together, simply bring out the best in each other. As is the case with this Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart. Also, the leek’s subtle onion flavour is enhanced by the crumbled Stilton cheese, in an egg and cream custard base. The nutty pastry crust provides the perfect crunchy texture and flavour. A delightful balance, that is a treat to our tastebuds.

FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart
Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart a delicious combination of flavours.

A marriage of flavours

While the chopped walnuts give the pastry a rustic, wholemeal look, it is, in fact light and crumbly. Adding additional flavour to the finished bake. Likewise, the crumbled Stilton cheese mellows on baking. Providing a salty contrast to the mild egg custard. Surprisingly, the mild onion flavour of the leeks doesn’t get lost in this tart. Rather, it brings everything together and sings on the tastebuds, above the other flavours.

FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart
Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart a feast for the eyes.

Slices of leek are sautéed gently, before placing in the tart. This not only ensures they are soft in the baked tart, but also concentrates the flavour. While baking, the rings separate and rise up through the tart. Also ensuring that each bite has tasty fresh, green leek in it.

FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart
Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart crunchy and creamy.

 

This tart is perfect for a light lunch, with salad, or as a main meal with a hot, buttered jacket potato. Also, it makes perfect picnic or buffet food, as it can be served at room temperature. The added nutmeg is barely noticeable, yet enhances all of the tart’s flavours. Leave it out and the finished bake tastes as though it is missing something. I encourage you to include it, freshly grated, if possible!

Recipe: Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart serves 4-6

For the pastry

200g/7oz Plain White Flour

50g/2oz Walnuts – finely chopped

1/8tsp Salt – I use Maldon

1/8tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

125g/4.5oz Cold Unsalted Butter

60mls Cold Tap Water

For the filling

100g/4oz Stilton Cheese

1 Large Leek

4 Large Free Range Eggs – plus 1 extra for the egg wash

3tbsp Double Cream

1/4tsp Nutmeg

1/4tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Method:

A loose bottom tart tin that is approximately 25cm wide x 5cm deep or 10″ x 2″ is needed for this recipe.

Making TheWalnut Pastry Crust

  • First of all, in a large bowl add the flour, chopped walnuts, salt, pepper and diced, cold butter. Then using your hands, or a pastry cutter, rub/cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs with pea sized chunks of butter present.
  • Now make a well in the centre of the mixture and add the cold tap water 10mls at a time. Using your hand, fingers bent and shaped like a claw, mix the dough after each addition. Work quickly to avoid the dough warming up and becoming oily. You may not need the full amount of water specified. Stop adding water once the dough comes together to form a rough ball. Set the bowl to one side.
  • Wipe the worktop with a clean, damp cloth. Then place the cling film (approximately the size of a large baking sheet) directly on to the damp surface. It will ‘stick’ and not move around.
  • Finally, tip the walnut pastry dough on to the cling film. Knead the dough lightly into a disc shape. Avoid working the pastry for too long as this will result in a hard, tough, crust.

Chilling the pastry

  • Wrap the pastry disc in the cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or until it is chilled. Making pastry the night before use allows it to chill thoroughly before rolling out.

FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart

    Making the Walnut Pastry Crust.
  • 10 minutes before rolling out the pastry, preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7.
  • If you wish, lightly butter your tart tin, I never do. Place the tart tin on to a baking tray and put to one side.

Rolling out the pastry

  • Place the chilled pastry on to a clean worktop and roll out evenly, until it is a slightly larger circle than the combined width and depth of the tin. Approximately 30cm/11″ in width.
  • Roll the pastry around the rolling pin and transfer to the tart tin. Allow the pastry to settle into the tin. DO NOT stretch it as it will only shrink while baking.
  • Ensure the tin is fully lined and then trim away any excess pastry.
  • Dock the base of the pastry tart with a fork and then line with baking parchment. Fill the lined tart with baking beans, or ceramic balls and place into the top of the oven.
  • Bake the pastry for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and lift out the baking parchment and beans.
  • Return the tart to the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes.

Layering the leeks and Stilton

FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart
Preparing the Leek and Stilton filling.
  • While the pastry is baking, prepare the leek. Strip the outer 2 layers, cut off the root end and top, then rinse thoroughly with cold water.
  • Cut the leek into whole rings, approximately 1cm deep and the gently sauté in a dry pan over a medium/low heat for 10 minutes, or until slightly softened.
  • Remove the pastry shell from the oven when baked.
  • Carefully transfer the whole leek rings to the tart shell. Add any odd pieces of leek around the whole rings in the tart.
  • Cut the rind away from the Stilton. Now, using a fork, break up the Stilton, on a board, into crumbs. Sprinkle the crumbs over the leek  in the tart shell.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6.
FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart
Preparing the egg custard and decorating the tart.

Making and adding the egg custard

  • Crack 4 eggs into a large jug. Add the double cream, nutmeg and pepper. Whisk together using a fork, until the mixture is uniform.
  • Pour the egg custard carefully into the pastry tart.
  • Carefully, as the tart is still warm, run a piece of butter around the top perimeter of the tin. This will stop any pastry decorations sticking.
  • Gather together the pastry offcuts. Roll to the thickness of a one pound coin.
  • Use a 1 inch/2.5cm approx. cutter to cut out about 25-30 circles. These will be placed around the edge of the tart.
  • Break an egg into a small bowl, add 1tsp of cream or milk and whisk together. This is the egg wash.
  • Take the first cutout and with a pastry brush, dipped in egg wash, brush both sides of the circle. Place the circle on to the edge of the tart. The centre of the circle should be in contact with the edge of the tart. Continue, using the same egg wash method and placing the 2nd circle so that just overlaps the first disc.
  • Keep going until the whole perimeter of the tart case is covered. I used 22 pastry discs. The number you need will depend on the size of your tart, how much the discs overlap and other variables.
  • Finally, when the decorations are in place, pour any leftover egg wash into the tart. As long as there is room.

Baking the tart

  • Place the tart carefully into the centre of the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes. The tart is baked when there is no wobble in the centre, the filling has set and the egg custard is golden.
  • When fully baked remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool before removing from the loose bottom tart tin.
FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart
Golden Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart

This tart is delicious served warm for lunch or dinner, Also is is very tasty eaten cold or at room temperature, making it ideal for summer picnics and buffets.

It will keep for up to 3 days, stored in a container or, wrapped in cling film and kept in the fridge.

If you have enjoyed this recipe For Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart you may also like these:

Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche

FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche

Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts

FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart
Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts.

Quiche Lorraine

FF Walnut Pastry Crust Leek Stilton Tart
Quiche Lorraine

Homemade quiche and tarts taste a million times better than most shop bought varieties available. Seasoning, ingredients and indeed the pastry can all be tailored to our own personal tastes. While I haven’t taken on the challenge of Filo Pastry yet, shortcrust is incredibly easy, see Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry.

Whether served with a jacket potato and salad for a substantial meal, or grabbing a slice to eat whilst on the go, tarts and quiches are easy to make. They are also very satisfying to eat.

Do you have a favourite flavour combination for quiches and tarts?

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

Sammie xx

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Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts

Oh wow, do I have a fantastic, delicious recipe, that is easy to prepare and stunning to serve? Let me share my Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts with you.

FF Bath Soft Cheese a Chilli Tarts
Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts full of flavour.

A crisp, crunchy, golden filo pastry encases a layer of chilli pickle, smothered in melting Bath Soft Cheese. I know, they look so tempting.

FF Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts
Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts perfect served as an appetiser.

While the late afternoon sunshine baths these Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts, they are incredibly tempting to look at.

Bath Soft Cheese is organic and suitable for vegetarians. It is made by the Bath Soft Cheese Company in Kelston near Bath. It really does taste like an English version of Brie. Soft and buttery,  it matures to a ripe, full bodied cheese, that stands up well to the chilli in this recipe.

FF Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts
Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts incredibly simple to make and bake.

Finally, as you cut through the light, crisp filo pastry layers the melted cheese oozes out of the tart, accompanied by the spicy pickle underneath. All that is required to accompany this tart is a few (homegrown if possible) salad leaves and a glass of something crisp and cool.

FF Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts
Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts – tell me you can resist that delicious, melted cheese?

While cheese, chutney and crackers are a classic combination, that I often indulge in, it’s fun to use these ingredients in a different way.

Baking the chilli pickle and Bath Soft Cheese wakes up the flavours and when placed in a buttery, filo pastry tart, the result is a remarkably delicious dish.

Recipe: Makes 6 Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts

250g Bath Soft Cheese – available from Pong Cheese

1 Packet of Filo Pastry – you will need 4-5 sheets – I used Jus Rol

100g Unsalted Butter melted and cooled

1/2 Jar Chillililli – from Hawkshead Relish

2-3tbsp Freshly Chopped Chives

1/2tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

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

Creating the filo pastry tart shell:

  • First of all, place 6 loose bottom tart tins on a baking tray. I used 9cm width, between 8-10cm (3.5-4″) will be fine.
  • Brush each tart tin lightly with melted butter using a pastry brush.
  • Have a clean damp tea towel to hand as filo pastry can dry out very quickly, so it’s best to cover the spare pastry sheets.
  • Place one filo pastry sheet on to a board or pastry mat. Brush lightly with melted butter.
  • Using a sharp knife cut the filo pastry sheet into equal quarters and then cut each quarter in half, from top to bottom. You will have 8 squares/rectangles. Don’t worry they don’t have to be perfect!
  • Start by laying 1 square of filo pastry in the tart tin, gently pressing it so that it sticks to the base and the sides.
  • Add another square of filo pastry, laying it slight offset from the first piece. The idea is to build up layers that form a solid tart shell with lots of edges/corners on the side, which will become golden and crisp on baking.
FF Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts
See how the 5 layers of filo pastry build up to create a solid tart shell.
  • Continue building the tart case until you have used 5 separate layers of filo pastry – bottom right in the picture above.
  • I actually built 2 tart cases at a time, I wouldn’t recommend building more as each layer will dry out as you prepare the next sheet and is then likely to crack and fall apart once baked.

Layering the tart filling:

  • When all 6 tart cases have been built, spoon 2 generous teaspoons of the Chilli Pickle into the base of each one.
  • Cut the block of Bath Soft Cheese into 6 equal-ish portions – they will weigh approximately 40 grammes.
  • Place a square of cheese on top of Chilli Pickle in each tart case.
FF Soft Bath Cheese Chilli Tarts
Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts are so easy to make
  • Sprinkle the top of each tart with a little freshly ground black pepper and some freshly snipped chives – reserve half of the chives for garnish once baked.
FF Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts
Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts ready for the oven.

Baking the cheese tarts:

  • Place the Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts in the top a preheated oven and bake for 15-18 minutes. The tarts are cooked when the filo pastry is crisp and golden and the cheese has melted to fill each tart.
  • Once baked remove the baking tray from the oven and allow the tarts to cool for 10-15 minutes in their tins.
FF Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts
Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts freshly baked.
  • The Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts can then be carefully removed from their tins and are best served warm. Don’t worry if a couple of crispy pieces of filo pastry break off as you handle them. These delightful tarts are built of 5 layers of filo pastry and are actually quite strong.

Serving suggestion:

I like to serve each tart, warm, on a bed of deeply coloured, fresh lettuce leaves with an extra sprinkle of fresh chives.

FF Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts
Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts a delicious light lunch.

Such a simple and yet flavourful appetiser or light lunch. Also these tarts tarts can be eaten cold. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days and vamp up your packed lunch.

I really would recommend the Chillililli from Hawkshead Relish. Not only does it have great flavour in this tart, it also adds a surprise texture, hidden beneath the melted cheese.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts then you may also like these:

Mini Sparkenhoe Red Leicester Tarts

FF Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts
Mini Sparkenhoe Red Leicester Tarts.

Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones

FF Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts
Beauvale Cheese Walnut Scones.

Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins

Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts
Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins

As you can see, I am loving creating recipes with cheese. You may also like my Cheddar Tomato Basil Quiche, which is exceptionally delicious if you substitute the Cheddar for Sparkenhoe Red Leicester cheese!

Coming up with new ideas, flavour pairings and recipes, really gives me a thrill. Also with all that my body goes through see here, it is wonderful that I can still express my creativity, through cooking and baking and in turn, share my recipes with you.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun. Enjoy your feast and remember, when you are able, to invite others round to share with you. It really is true that food tastes better when it is shared!

Sammie xx

Pong Cheese provided me with the cheese to create this recipe. All opinions, views, content and photographs are my own. I was not paid to write this post, please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins

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

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

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

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

Whenever we have friends and family round, I always provide a cheese board. Since I have more of a savoury palette, I generally choose cheese and crackers over dessert on most occasions. While I adore all cheeses, this Goddess Cheese, sent to me to try by Pong Cheese is beautifully buttery and creamy.

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

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

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

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

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

Recipe: Makes 12 Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins

50g/2oz Pine Nuts

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

2tsp Baking Powder

2 Whole Free Range Eggs

200ml Semi-Skimmed or Whole Milk

4tbsp Vegetable/Sunflower Oil

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

6 basil leaves

1/4tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

1/4tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

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

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

      Beautifully golden Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feta Cheese Herb Muffins

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

Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins

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

Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins

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

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

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

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

Sammie xx

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

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Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche

June is Asparagus season, here in the U.K. Such a vibrant, distinct colour and flavour when cooked. So I decided to incorporate it into this utterly delicious Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche.

FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche such a delicious flavour combination.

Making the best use of seasonal vegetables is so important to me. It makes me appreciate them more. Strawberries always taste better in the summer, because that’s when they grow in this country. Asparagus is the same. Beautiful green shoots that can be enjoyed in any number of recipes.

One of my favourite ways to enjoy them is in this Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche!

FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche perfect with salad.

I have made this quiche twice now, in as many weeks and believe me when I say, I’ll probably make it next week too. In fact I should probably make two, so that I can stash one away in the freezer for when asparagus is no longer available.

Good quality, outside reared bacon makes all the difference to this dish. It is not pumped full of water and who knows what. When placed in a hot, dry skillet this bacon sizzled. There wasn’t any liquid leaching from it and oh, it tastes so good!

FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche a tantalising bite 😉

Making this Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche is easy. So is making your own pastry, there’s a link in the recipe. It doesn’t take long and is a tried and tested recipe that creates the most delicious buttery crust for it’s eggy filling.

I like to get the pastry made first thing in the morning. I always make double as it takes hardly any extra time and stores really well in the freezer. If using frozen pastry defrost it overnight in the fridge.

Recipe: Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche

500g/1lb 2oz All Butter Shortcrust Pastry see Perfect All Butter Shortcrust Pastry the recipe will also give you tips on how to line a tart tin, blind bake and there’s another quiche recipe as well

12 Rashers Smoked Streaky Bacon – take off any rind and cut into 2.5cm/1″ chunks

6-8 Asparagus Spears – washed trimmed and cut into 5cm/2″ pieces

50g/2oz Strong Cheddar – finely grated

6 Large Free Range Eggs – note if making to freeze add an extra egg and leave out the cream – my eggs were from Waitrose

50ml/2fl oz Double Cream

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

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

Note – the filling can be prepared whilst the pastry case is baking.

  • Make the pastry, wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Place your quiche tin on a baking tray.
  • Lighty dust the work top with flour and roll out the pastry, from the centre outwards. Move the pastry around to ensure that it isn’t sticking to the work top.
  • Use the rolling pin to transfer the pastry, lay it gently into the quiche tin.
  • Gently push the pastry into place, if you stretch it, it’ll shrink during baking – I know trust me!!
FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Nicely finished pastry case.
  • Roll the rolling pin over the top of the quiche tin and it will trim the pastry, leaving a lovely clean edge.
  • Use a fork to dock the bottom of the pastry, it allows steam to escape during baking.
  • Cut a piece of baking parchment slightly bigger than the tin, scrunch up, line the pastry case and fill with baking beans.
  • Place in the top of a preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, lift out the baking beans and return for a further 5 minutes until golden in colour. Remove from the oven and set to one side.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6.
  • In a dry skillet/frying pan, over a medium heat dry fry the bacon until cooked, but not crispy. Off the heat add the asparagus and allow to sit for 5 minutes or a bit longer.
  • When the bacon is cool enough to handle arrange in the base of the pastry case.
  • Then arrange the asparagus spears however you like.
  • Top with the finely grated cheese.
FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche ready for the egg custard.
  • Crack the eggs into a jug – I always crack mine separately into a small bowl first.
  • Add the cream, if using and a good season of black pepper.
  • Whisk with a fork to combine and then pour carefully over the pastry tart.
  • Leave a gap between the pastry rim and the custard. The quiche will rise whilst baking and it’s not the end of the world if it leaks, but prevention is better than cure. Gosh I sound like my Grandma, what a wise woman she was.
FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche ready for the oven.
  • Place the quiche into the centre of the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until it is puffed and golden without a wobble in the centre.
  • Once baked remove from the oven and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes.
FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche it’s freshly baked smell is tantalising.

This delicious tasting Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche can be served hot, warm or cold, making it perfect for buffets, picnics, easy dinners, packed lunches.

I had the last piece of quiche, cold from the fridge today, for lunch. It was absolutely yummy and as it is quite muggy, it was refreshing as well as filling.

FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche a delicious summer meal.

Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche will keep well wrapped in cling film, in the fridge for up to 3 days and successfully freeze for one month. In fact I have a lovely friend on Twitter – Lou – who baked this yesterday, without the cream and popped it in the freezer for a party in a few weeks time.

Make the most of the asparagus season, it is all too short!

If you have enjoyed the recipe for this Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche you may also want to try these:

Quiche Lorraine

FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Quiche Lorraine delicious bacon chunks and cheese.

Feta Red Onion Marmalade Quiche

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

Spicey Sausage Rolls

FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Spicey Sausage Rolls tradition with a twist!

Pastry is such a versatile medium to bake with, see my Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts . It lends itself very well to portable food, which means it’s great for family and friend get together’s.

I am going to be working on a gluten free pastry recipe, so that those with dietary restrictions can enjoy more of the recipes that I create.

After all the core of Feasting is Fun is sharing. I share my recipes, as do some of you. We share our makes and bakes with neighbours, unsuspecting delivery men – oh that’s just me on that one then 😉. Most of all we have fun enjoying the smile a homemade dish can bring to another’s face.

Sammie xx

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Red Onion Sausage Plait

This week just happens to be National Picnic Week and as you’ve probably realised by now, I’m a big fan of outdoor eating. My Red Onion Sausage Plait is perfect for picnics and many other meals too. Great quality sausage meat mixed with red onion marmalade, encased in golden, all butter puff pastry. Utterly delicious.

FF Red Onion Sausage Plait
Red Onion Sausage Plait full of flavour and texture.

The very nice people at Hawkshead Relish sent me some savoury relishes and marmalade to try out. I am a huge chutney fan – everything from jellies, to chutneys, relishes and marmalades. For this review, however, I wanted to use them as ingredients and see just how well they worked being in a dish as opposed to being spooned onto the side of a plate.

I have actually made this Red Onion Sausage Plait twice. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get good pictures the first time round. Nobody in our house was upset that I had to make this again. We all loved the flavour and added texture from the red onion marmalade that contains raisins and crunchy pine kernels.

FF Red Onion Sausage Plait
Red Onion Sausage Plait, juicy, crispy with incredible flavour.

So I set about making another Red Onion Sausage Plait, a little heavy hearted. I love, I mean absolutely, completely, adore this Red Onion Marmalade and I knew this would use the last of it. Still I cheered myself with the fact that it makes such a knockout recipe and that I’d be eating it for dinner!

FF Red Onion Sausage Plait
Red Onion Sausage Plait also great as a mid week meal with salad and potato wedges.

Warmed and served with a huge pile of salad and some potato wedges that I had in the freezer, this Red Onion Sausage Plait really does make a tasty, weekday meal. It’s easily made ahead uncooked, wrapped in cling film and kept in the fridge until dinner time. It only takes 40 minutes to cook, which I why, seeing as the oven was already on I whacked in some potato wedges from the freezer.

FF Red Onion Sausage Plait
The huge bowl of salad I made to accompany the meal also had thinly sliced red onions in it which echoed the flavours in the sausage plait.

The caramelised onion flavour works so well with the meaty pork sausage. This is definitely a firm, family favourite now. I look forward to eating this Red Onion Sausage Plait on picnics and for dinner many times in future.

Recipe: Makes one Red Onion Sausage Plait serves 4 – 6 people

450g/1lb Good Quality Pork Sausagemeat – free range or organic for preference

3 heaped tablespoons of Red Onion Marmalade from Hawkshead Relish

320g Ready Rolled All Butter Pastry Sheet – I used JusRoll

1 Medium Free Range Egg

Pinch of Sea Salt – I use Maldon

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

  • Line a large baking tray with baking parchment.
  • Place the sausage meat in a bowl with the red onion marmalade.
FF Red Onion Sausage Plait.
I enjoyed smooshing the mixture together with my hands!
  • Using a clean hand smoosh the mixture together, through your fingers, until it is fully combined. Set to one side and wash your hands.
  • On a clean work top unwrap the pastry sheet.
  • Place the sausage meat mixture down one side of the pastry, rather like a huge sausage roll, leaving a gap at each end and the side of at least 2.5cm.
F Red Onion Sausage Plait.
The right side of the pastry will fold over the sausage meat.
  • Crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork until well mixed – egg wash.
  • Dip a pastry brushing into the egg wash and brush all of the visible pastry (not the sausage meat) with egg wash.
  • Bring the right side of the pastry over the sausage meat so that both side edges are together.
  • Crimp with a fork or twist all the way around where the pastry layers overlap to seal them.
  • Transfer the Red Onion Sausage Plait to the baking tray – mine would only fit on at an angle!
  • Brush over the entire outside of the sausage plait with egg wash. Finally sprinkle with a little sea salt.
FF Red Onion Sausage Plait
Red onion Sausage Plait with diagonal slits.
  • Using a sharp knife cut light diagonal slits through the pastry. This allows steam to escape and enhances the look of the finished bake.
  • If not baking straight away, wrap the entire tray and sausage plait in cling film and store in the fridge – ideally it should be baked within 24 hours.
  • If baking straight away, place the baking tray in the middle of the hot oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. The sausage plait should be a deep golden colour and any juices should run clear – if in any doubt slice a portion off of the end and check. There should be no pinkness to the sausage meat – if there is pop back into the oven for 15 minutes and reduce the heat by 20C.
  • Once baked remove the Red Onion Sausage Plait from the oven and leave to cool slightly on the tray.

To serve, allow the Red Onion Sausage Plait to cool for at least 15 minutes, longer if possible. Slice into portions and serve with salad, new potatoes, or for ease potato wedges.

FF Red Onion Sausage Plait
Golden pastry and sausage meat with caremelised red onion.

To store and for packing up for a picnic, allow the sausage plait to cool. Cut into slices – I find a serrated knife is best when it’s cold. Pack the slices into an airtight container, or wrap in cling film. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Delighfully savoury and full of texture, slices of this Red Onion Sausage Plait also make a welcome change to packed lunches!

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Red Onion Sausage Plait then here are some others you may also want to try:

Feta Red Onion Marmalade Quiche

FF Red Onion Sausage Plait
Feta Red Onion Marmalade Quiche.

Spicey Sausage Rolls

FF Red Onion Sausage Plait
Spicey Sausage Rolls

Sausage Plait With A Twist

FF Red Onion Sausage Plait
Sausage Plait With A Twist

Using the Red Onion Marmalade as an ingredient, rather than just as a condiment, has opened up a whole world full of flavours. I have so many more ides, from pasta dishes to soups, stews and a million more.

Do you ever use condiments in your cooking? Let me know in the comments section. I’m always interested to here and learn about new recipes and cooking methods.

Whatever you are cooking up in your kitchen, have fun preparing your feast!

Sammie xx

Hawkshead Relish provided me with a sample jar of their red onion marmalade. All views and opinions are my own. All content, recipes and photographs are my own and covered by copyright law of the land. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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