Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes

If you are a parent and have children, you will know that from year 6, exams become an important part of their lives. Whether it’s SATS, GCSE’s, A Levels. College or University exams. The end game always focuses on tests or exams. Since today is the start of GCSE’s here in England these Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes, are designed to lift the spirits and fill the tummies of all students sitting their exams.

FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes with coffee – study fuel!

Of course these cupcakes could and should be made all year round, such is their delicious simplicity. Chocolate cake topped with the ultimate white chocolate vanilla frosting. Perfect for chocolate lovers everywhere.

FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes the reflect balance of flavours.

Since these cupcakes can be made, from start to finish in under an hour, they are also handy for short notice or unexpected guests. Likewise they can be whipped up, literally, in moments. The comforting aroma of home baking, wrapping around your weary children, like a cosy, soft blanket, when they arrive home.

FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes comfort at the ready.

While my hard working teens are sitting and studying for their exams, I can be found in the kitchen. Busy rustling up delicious, sustained energy food and lots of treats. The amount of energy burned up during studying is vast. Since this can be a tough time of year for them, their usual ‘healthy’ food intake is topped up with extra yummy goodies!

Recipe: Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes makes 12

100g/4oz Unsalted Butter – softened to room temperature

50g/2oz Caster Sugar

50g/2oz Light Brown Sugar

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

3 Large Free Eggs

60g Plain White Flower

1tsp Baking Powder

40g Cocoa Powder – I use Callebaut

For the frosting:

150g/5oz Icing Sugar

75g/3oz Unsalted softened to room temperature

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste

100g/4oz White Chocolate

Sprinkles of your choice

Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3

First of all line a 12 hole cupcake tin with cupcake cases.

  • Into a medium sized bowl add the butter, both sugars and salt. Beat together until the mixture is free from lumps and smooth.
  • Now add the vanilla extract and all three eggs.
  • Sift in the flour, cocoa and baking powder.
  • Beat/whisk all of the ingredients together until fully mixed.
  • Divide the mixture between the 12 cupcake cases – approximately one dessert spoonful of mixture per case.
  • Place the cupcake tin into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • The chocolate cupcakes are baked when they spring back from a light touch.
  • When baked remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes  before transferring to a cooling rack. Allow to fully cool.
FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Making, filling and baking chocolate cupcakes.
  • Preparing the frosting and decorating the cupcakes:
  • Note – due to the high chocolate content of the frosting it is advisable to make it directly before piping, while it is soft.
  • Firstly, break up the white chocolate and place in a heatproof, microwaveable bowl. Set to one side.
  • Into a separate bowl add the icing sugar, butter and one teaspoon of very hot water, from a recently boiled kettle. Whisk until almost combined.
  • Place the bowl with the white chocolate into the microwave. Heat for 20 seconds, stirring in between, until the chocolate is liquid.
  • Pour the warm, melted chocolate in with the butter and icing sugar mixture.
  • Whisk the ingredients together immediately and then continue to whisk until the frosting is light and fluffy. During the whisking add the vanilla bean paste.
FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Making the frosting, piping and decorating the chocolate cupcakes.
  • Fit a large piping bag with a large closed star piping nozzle.
  • Fill the piping bag with the frosting and proceed to pipe rose swirls on each cupcake. Starting in the centre of the cupcake, pipe the shape of an ‘e’ then continue around until the cupcake has a complete swirl on top.
  • Finally, sprinkle over your choice of decoration.
FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes so good!

Serve with a hug, smile and a hot drink!

FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes much needed.

Store these cupcakes in an airtight container where they will last for three days.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes you may also like these:

Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes

FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Gluten Free Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes

Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes

FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes

Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookies

FF Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes
Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookies

While cupcakes are delicious, the cookies are for those meltdown moments when the pressure is simply too much. Firstly, so that whoever reads this blog post realises that they aren’t on their own. Sometimes it all gets too much. Fresh air, good music and a break all help. As do hugs, talking and simply letting it all out.

Wishing anyone taking exams, all the very best. If you do your best, no one can expect more of you than that x.

Sammie xx

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Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies

Easter weekend is finally here. Four days holiday for most people. Enjoying the good weather, lawns are mowed, kitchens prepare treats for the weekend, while teenagers prepare for upcoming exams. Whatever you and your family are doing, this Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies bake is sure to bring about a smile.

FF Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies
Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies using Wright’s Brownie Mix.

The base of these brownies is a chocolate biscuit. More like a slightly harder version of the soft, squidgy brownie on top. The advantage being that, with a firmer base these brownies are easier to pick up and hold. While developing this recipe my thoughts were directed by practicality.

FF Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies
Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies perfect for packed lunches and picnics.

No matter how practical these brownies are, they absolutely had to be fun, as well as tasty. Since the addition of pretty, pastel Cadbury’s eggs, was a necessity. So also were the party streamer, piped coloured chocolate drizzles. Resulting in a beautiful, yet fun, Easter bake.

FF Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies
Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies perfect for celebrating.

While this may look like a complicated bake, it absolutely isn’t. First of all the biscuit base is made, then baked. Once cooled the Wright’s Brownie Mix, which takes seconds to make, is poured over. Followed by a generous sprinkle of chocolate mini eggs, another quick bake. Finally after cooling you can let your creativity run wild, decorating your bake.

FF Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies
Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies. Complete fun!

A quick note: This bake will look and taste just as good if you’d prefer not to use coloured Candy Melts. Since this is your bake, feel free to add coloured sprinkles, chocolates or whatever you like. Most importantly, have fun!!!

Recipe: Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies makes 24

For the Biscuit Base

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter

150g/5oz Light Brown Sugar

1 Large Free Range Egg

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

75g/3oz Cocoa Powder – I use Callebaut

200g/7oz Plain White Flour

For the Brownies

2 x Packets of  Wright’ Baking Brownie Mix – available online in the U.K. – if you are unable to obtain the Mix please use this recipe Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites.  Leaving out the addition of chocolate chunks out of the recipe.

Decoration:

1 x Family Pack (326g) of Cadbury’s Mini Eggs or the rough equivalent weight in smaller bags/tubes

75g/3oz of each of the following :

White Chocolate, Rainbow Dust Pink/Blue/Purple Candy Melts -available from Party Animal Online

Any additional decorations that you like – I found a bag of really small mini eggs from Sainsbury’s.

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

First of all grease a 33cm x 23cm x 5cm (13″ x 9″ x 2″) tin with a little butter. Line the base and sides with baking parchment.

  • Starting with the biscuit base, add the butter, salt and sugar to a large bowl. Beat until fully combined and free from lumps.
  • Next add the egg and vanilla, continue mixing until smooth.
  • Sieve the flour and cocoa powder into the same bowl. Starting at a slow speed mix the ingredients until combined.
  • Finally tip the biscuit base dough into the baking tin. Spread the dough, using the back of a spoon until it evenly covers the base of the tin.
  • Place the tin into the middle of the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • While the base is baking, make the Brownie Mix, according to the packet instructions.
FF Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies
Creating and baking the layers of the Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies
  • The biscuit base, once baked may still be a little soft to touch, however it will be darker than the uncooked dough.
  • Remove the tin from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Pour the brownie batter over the biscuit base. Tilt the tin to ensure even coverage.
  • Follow by sprinkling 200g of mini eggs on to the brownie batter.
  • Place the tin back in the oven and bake for a further 20-25 minutes.
  • The brownie batter is baked when it has a sheen and does not wobble in the centre.
  • Remove the tin from the oven and allow to cool completely.
FF Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies
Portioning and decorating the Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies
  • Once completely cooled remove the entire bake from the tin and place on a solid surface.
  • Cut centrally through the length and width with a sharp knife. Now cut each half into 12 even sized portions.
  • Place 75g of each coloured Candy Melt or chocolate into a separate heatproof, microwaveable bowl.
  • Heat the first bowl for 20 seconds at a time, stirring in between until the chocolate is fluid.
  • Spoon the liquid into a small, disposable, piping bag. Be careful, it will be very warm.
  • Snip the very end of the bag off and pipe whatever pattern you wish over the top of the bake.
  • Continue, in exactly the same way with the second colour.
  • Follow this by adding extra mini eggs or decorations, hold a few back.
  • Prepare and pipe the third colour, allowing some to cover the newly added eggs.
  • Finally finish with white chocolate, piped all over the bake and sprinkle any remaining decorations.
FF Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies
Happy Easter!

Place to one side to allow the chocolate to set.

FF Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies
Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies Happy Easter.

Serve with a big smile and my preference, a glass of cold milk.

If you have enjoyed the recipe for Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies you may also like these:

Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake

FF Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies
Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake.

Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies

FF Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies
Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies

Smarties Chocolate Mini Egg Ice Cream

FF Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies
Smarties Chocolate Mini Egg Ice Cream

 

Since most of these recipes are designed specifically for Easter and for using left over chocolate, I hope that you will make them throughout the year. Although, that may not be a good thing for our bodies. Maybe the fun is in making them only during the Easter Holidays.

I wish everyone who reads this a very Happy Easter, please see Important Stuff.

Sammie xx

Wright’s Baking gave me the Brownie mixes to create this recipe. All opinions, view, content and photography are my own. Please do not copy it. For your information please see my Disclosure Policy.

This month I am linking up with Stuart at Cakey Boi  and Kat at The Baking Explorer  who is hosting this month’s Treat Petite .

FF Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies

 

 

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Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes

Who doesn’t love a cupcake? A beautifully decorated, perfectly portioned, whole cake to yourself. While I’m known for encouraging people to share, here on Feasting is Fun, that’s not a problem with cupcakes. Simply bake a batch and share them with whoever you want. These Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes are perfect for sharing.

FF Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes
Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes beautifully delicious.

Cupcakes are great for those who struggle to share. Indeed I used to not be as keen on sharing when I was younger. Nowadays, however, if you visit, knock on the door, clean the windows, etc I am more than willing to give you a cookie or cupcake. Since cupcakes come as a complete package, they are easier to share. Our window cleaners and post lady were very appreciative of these Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes that I gave them today.

FF Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes
Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes great with Afternoon Tea.

Light sponge tinged pink with chopped maraschino cherries, topped with a swirl of frosting and a whole cherry. Dark chocolate is drizzled over the frosting. Resulting in a perfect balance of flavours. The dark chocolate tempers the sweet frosting and compliments both the cherry and almond flavours.

FF Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes
Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes so cheerful.

The unique flavour of maraschino cherries can be tasted through every single bite of these cupcakes. Adding almond extract to the frosting emphasises their flavour too. Substituting glacé cherries wouldn’t give the same result. Maraschino cherries are easily found in the supermarket. Usually near the alcoholic drinks section.

FF Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes
Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes pretty perfect!

Since these cupcakes are each topped with a bright red cherry, they would also make a great ‘Red Nose Day’ bake!

Recipe: Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes makes 12

125g/4.5oz Unsalted Butter softened

125g/4.5oz Caster Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Extract

2tsp Liquid from the maraschino cherry jar.

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

50g/2oz Maraschino Cherries plus 12 whole cherries to top the cupcakes

150g/5oz Plain White Flour

1.5tsp Baking Powder

For the frosting and decoration:

400g/14oz Plain White Icing Sugar

200g/7oz Unsalted Butter softened

1tsp Almond Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

2tbsp Very Hot Water – from a recently boiled kettle

50g/2oz Dark Chocolate minimum 70% Cocoa

Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3

  • First of all, line a cupcake or muffin tin with 12 cupcake cases.
  • Remove 12 nicely shaped, maraschino cherries from the jar and place on to kitchen towel to drain. Weigh out slightly more than 50g of cherries and place into a bowl. Tip away any excess liquid that collects in the bowl. Follow, by cutting the cherries in the bowl into small pieces and set to one side.
  • Next, into a large bowl add the sugar, butter and salt. Beat until pale and creamy.
  • Add the vanilla extract and 2 teaspoons of liquid from the cherry jar. Now beat these into the mixture.
  • Using the ‘all in one’ method, add the eggs to the bowl and then sift in the flour and the baking powder. Finally add the chopped cherries and gently mix the ingredients together until they are combined.
  • Fill each cupcake case with one dessert spoonful of cake batter.
  • Place the tin into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • The cupcakes may look a little darker than usual. This is due to a combination of the cherries in the batter and the liquid from the jar added to the cake batter.
  • They are fully baked when the sponge springs back from a light touch, or an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Once baked remove the cupcakes from the oven.
  • Remove the cupcakes from the baking tin and place on a cooling rack.
FF Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes
Making the batter, filling the cases and baking the cupcakes.
  • While the cupcakes are cooling make the buttercream frosting.
  • Into a large bowl add butter and then sift in the icing sugar.
  • Next add the hot water and almond extract.
  • Start whisking on a very slow speed, until the butter and icing sugar have combined. Then gradually build up the whisking speed to high. Continue whisking until the frosting is pale and fluffy.
  • Spoon the frosting into a piping bag that has been fitted with a large star tip. I use a Wilton #1M.
  • Starting at the outside edge, on the top of the cupcake pipe a complete swirl. As the next swirl overlaps, lift the piping bag to bring the swirl inwards. Continue piping in swirls, finishing in the centre, by pulling the bag away. Similar to piping a Mr Whippy ice cream.
  • Continue until all of the cupcakes have been piped with frosting. Do not worry if there is a little buttercream left in the piping bag.
  • Next place a cherry on top of each cupcake.
FF Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes
Making the frosting, piping and decorating the cupcakes with maraschino cherries.
  • Allow the icing to set on the cupcakes.
  • While the cupcakes are setting, make the chocolate drizzle.
  • Break up, or chop the chocolate and place into a small, heatproof, microwaveable bowl. Heat for 20 seconds at a time, in the microwave. Making sure to stir the chocolate after each heating. When the chocolate has completely melted pour into a small, disposable piping bag.
  • Snip the very end of the bag off and drizzle chocolate over each cupcake.
FF Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes
Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes melted dark chocolate drizzle adds the finishing touch.

Finally, allow the chocolate to set before serving these Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes.

FF Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes
Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes

These cupcakes will last for 5 days if kept in an airtight container. However, it is doubtful, once shared that they will last that long 😉.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes you may also like these:

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

FF Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes
Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes

FF Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes
Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes with a gluten free option.

Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes

FF Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes
Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes

Sharing baked goodies, not only makes others happy, but also keeps waistlines from expanding! While selling my own bakes is not something I ever wish to do, sharing them allows me to follow my real passion. Since that is recipe development, mixing flavours, textures, being creative, giving away baked treats actually helps me. Resulting in smiles all round!

Do you enjoy baking for others?

Sammie xx

 

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Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread

If you are a frequent visitor to this blog, you will know how much I enjoy making bread. While I am very happy to let kitchen appliances carry out the hard work, indeed for this loaf they are necessary, shaping the dough is always fun to do by hand. Since I first tried an eight strand plaited loaf last year, I have become hooked on intertwining lengths of dough and observing the final, baked result. This Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread is delicious and easy to make.

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread a delicious breakfast.

Having re-tested the recipe and technique I have full confidence that you too can make this delicious bread. Even if you have never plaited before, the step by step photographs will show you how. Such a small amount of extra effort and you will be rewarded with a stunning loaf. While the smell of cinnamon dough, baking, will have you counting the minutes until your first slice!

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread golden and bronzed with a hidden inner.

When baking, it always pays to use the very best ingredients available. However, not everyone’s budget can stretch to premium ingredients. If you can make one change here, I strongly recommend using free range, or organic eggs. Their golden yolks are what help give this loaf its amazing colour. Both in the bread itself and the egg wash, brushed on before baking. Resulting in both the golden and bronzed baked crust.

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread beautiful inside and out.

Serving this bread, sliced for breakfast or as an afternoon treat with a hot drink, is sure to brighten anyone’s day. Since it is a large loaf, why not take it to work, pre-sliced and share with your colleagues? Since all food tastes better when it is shared, that is the only way to improve this bread. Simply by sharing it.

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread simply delicious.

Recipe: Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread 

300mls Whole Milk

2 Large Free Range Eggs

1tsp Caster Sugar

10g Dried Yeast – I use Allinson in the green tub or sachets

600g/1lb 5oz Strong White Bread Flour – I use Shipton Mill

50g/2oz Unsalted Butter

10g Salt – I use Maldon

For the cinnamon filling:

75g/3oz Light Muscavado Sugar – I use Billington’s

4tsp Cinnamon

1 free range egg plus 1tbsp milk to brush over the loaf.

Method:

The method given for making this Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread uses a dough hook fitted to a stand mixer. The enriched dough is very, very sticky, prior to its first prove. Using a stand mixer ensures that the dough is kneaded properly. Resulting in a light textured crumb once baked.

  • First of all ensure that your kitchen is warm. It will really benefit the yeast, during the dough making process.
  • Measure the milk into a jug and warm in a microwave for 20 seconds. Ideally the milk should be body temperature 37C. However, do not overheat as it may kill the yeast.
  • Pour the milk into the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Crack 2 eggs into the jug and add these to the milk in the bowl. I always break eggs into a separate container first. If any shell escapes it can then be removed and also, extremely occasionally, should an egg be bad, it will not spoil the whole recipe.
  • Next add the sugar and yeast. Swish the liquid about with clean fingers to break up the eggs and mix lightly.
  • On top of the liquid mix add the flour.
  • Now add the butter and salt.
  • Lower the dough hook into the bowl and mix on the slowest speed for 5 minutes. Then, gradually increase the speed to medium and mix for a further 5 minutes.
  • After the mixing time has elapsed stop the mixer.
  • Remove a small piece of dough and stretch it between your fingers. The dough is kneaded when it can be stretched so thinly that light can be seen through it. This is called the windowpane test.
  • If the dough tears before it can be fully stretched, lower the dough hook and continue mixing, checking every 3 minutes, until it passes the windowpane test.
  • Once the dough passes the windowpane test it is ready to prove. Scrape the dough from the dough hook and allow to drop into the bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and place somewhere warm and drought free.
  • Allow the dough to prove until doubled in size – approximately 1 hour.
  • While the dough is proving grease a large baking tray with butter. Also, into a small bowl, weigh out the sugar and add the cinnamon. Stir to mix and break up any large sugar lumps using your fingers. Set to one side.
  • Once doubled in size turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface. Use your hand, or a dough scraper to remove all of the dough.
  • Shape the dough into a round and then weigh it. I use digital scales, placing the dough on to a piece of baking parchment. Make a note of the weight of the dough. Now divide that figure in 3.
  • Cut the dough into 3 pieces that are equal in weight.
  • Roll each piece of dough into a length and then flatten, using your hands or a rolling pin. Each flattened length of dough should measure 50cm/20″.
FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Preparing three dough strands for the cinnamon/sugar filling.
  • Sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon mixture down the middle of each piece of dough. Dividing it equally between three strands.
  • Dab a little tap water down the right side of the first strip of dough. Now bring the left side over and pinch to secure the sides together. Similar to making a sausage roll.
  • Continue until all three lengths of dough have their filling securely encased.
  • Roll each length of dough so that the join is underneath and not visible.
  • Join all three lengths of dough at the top. Place on top of each other and pinch together to secure.
FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Filling, securing and attaching the top of the plait.
  • Plaiting the dough:
  • Starting from left to right, number the strands 1, 2 and 3. Number 1 strand will always be to the left, 2 in the middle and 3 on the right.
  • Pass strand 1 over strand 2.
  • Now pass strand 3 over strand 2. Ensure the strands are not pulled tight and likewise there should be no gaps.
  • Repeat the past two steps until the plait is finished. (Strand 1 over 2, then strand 3 over strand 2 and repeat.)
  • Pinch the bottom 3 strands together so that they are secure and look tidy.
  • Lift the plait using both hands at either end and place diagonally on to the greased baking tray.
  • Cover with a clean tea towel and leave, as before, in a draught free place.
  • While the plaited dough is proving preheat the oven to 240C/220C gas mark 9. Break an egg into a bowl, add the tablespoon of milk and whisk with a fork to mix. This is the eggwash.
  • Once the plaited dough has doubled in size use a soft pastry brush and carefully brush the egg wash over.
FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Plaiting the dough strands, proving and egg washing before baking.
  • Place the egg washed Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7. Continue to bake for a further 15-20 minutes.
  • The bread is baked when a deep, golden crust has formed and the base sounds hollow, when rapped with a knuckle.
  • Once baked remove the bread from the oven.
FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Beautifully baked Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread.
  • Slide a pallet knife under the baked bread, then carefully transfer to a cooling rack.
FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread cooled and sliced, revealing the hidden centre of each strand.

Allow the loaf to cool to body temperature before slicing. Attempting to slice while the bread is still hot will compact the bread. Also eating freshly baked, hot bread, is not good for our digestion!

Serve sliced with a smile and a complimenting drink.

Placed in a bread bin, or wrapped loosely in foil, once fully cooled, this loaf will last up to three days. It can be toasted, although I’d advise not to use a toaster due to the sugar present. Under a grill, or even better, in front of a log fire, this bread makes excellent toast!

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread you may also like these:

Large White Bloomer

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Large White Bloomer

Knotted Poppyseed Rolls

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Knotted Poppyseed Rolls

Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

Homemade bread is the most luxurious food, for me, to bake. Enticing smells as it is baking, make our house feel like a home. Appreciative comments when a fresh loaf is on the table, to be served with dinner, or for breakfast, make me smile. Not for the accolade, or indeed achievement, from others, of having made my own loaf. Simply the fact that I am giving my family, delicious, additive free, tasty bread, is enough to keep me baking.

What do you really enjoy cooking and baking? Who do you like to share it with?

Sammie xx

 

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Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies

Regardless of presents, food and glittering tinsel, only one thing makes Christmas Day itself perfect for me. Snow! Beautiful thick white flakes, falling from the sky, erasing the landscape and brightening our days. In mere hours, falling snow turns our environment into a Winter Wonderland. Alas, it is rare that we experience a White Christmas. So, to ensure some Sparkling, I have made these Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies.

FF Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies
Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies refreshingly beautiful.

While these cookies do not taste of snow, they are cooling and refreshing, due to the peppermint flavour. Added to both the cookie and icing, the taste is balanced by the buttery flavour of the cookies. Perfect for serving after a large meal, these sparkling wonders are not at all heavy.

FF Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies
Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies each as individual as real snowflakes.

Cookie swaps are a common tradition in the U.S. and Canada. Everyone bakes up batches of their festive, Holiday cookies and then shares them with neighbours, friends and work colleagues. What a brilliant idea! Not only is there a whole lotta love baked into each cookie, new recipes and different flavours are swapped and shared.

Now that’s a tradition I’d happily see start over here!

FF Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies
Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies perfect for sharing.

Baking and icing these cookies is really so much fun. Since no two snowflakes are the same, you can really let your creative juices flow whilst decorating them. The semi-hard royal icing won’t break any teeth, yet it will set hard enough for these cookies to be stacked together. Perfect for packing into festive cellophane bags, tied with ribbon. Resulting in a beautiful edible gift, that anyone would be happy to receive.

FF Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies
Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies simply stunning.

My friend Liz, over at Teta Lizza’s Kitchen, baked a huge batch of cookies last year to take into work. She presented them so beautifully in a gorgeous basket. The overall effect was not only amazing to look at, but also incredibly enticing. I wanted to put my hand through the screen and grab a handful one, of her fantastic bakes. Why not pop over to her beautiful website, where you’ll find her love of sweet things inspires some incredible cookies?

Recipe: Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies makes 15-20

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter softened

150g/5oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I only use Nielsen-Massey extracts

1tsp Peppermint Extract

1 Whole Large Free Range Egg

275g/10oz Plain White Flour

For the icing:

200g/7oz Sifted White Icing Sugar – or royal icing sugar

2tsp Meringue Powder (omit if using royal icing sugar)

2tsp Peppermint Extract

Silver balls and edible white glitter

You will also need a snowflake shaped cookie cutter approximately 10cm wide from tip to tip. A star cutter would also be effective.

Method: Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan, gas mark 3.5

  • First of all, line 3 large baking trays with baking parchment.
  • Next, in a large bowl whisk together the butter, sugar and salt until pale and creamy.
  • Now add the whole egg, vanilla and peppermint extracts and whisk to fully combine.
  • Sift the flour into the bowl and then stir with a spoon until the mixture comes together in large clumps.
  • Wipe the worktop with a clean, wet cloth and then lay over a good sized piece of cling film. The wet worktop will cause the cling film to ‘stick’ and stay in place.
  • Using your hand, bring the dough together and tip out on to the cling film.
  • Form the dough into a disc shape and then wrap in the cling film.
  • Now place the dough into the fridge and chill for at least an hour.
  • On a lightly floured worktop, roll out the chilled cookie dough to approximately 1/4 inch/7mm thick. Note – the dough gets stickier the warmer it becomes. Use a dusting of flour to keep it moving, whilst rolling out.
  • Cut out the cookies, placing them on the lined baking trays, spaced well apart. I placed 3 cookies on each tray.
  • Place the baking trays into the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Rotate the baking trays halfway through baking. This ensures an even bake.
  • While the first batch of cookies are baking, pull together the leftover cookie dough, wrap and place back into the fridge.
  • The cookies are baked when they are golden in colour.
  • Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to firm up for a couple of minutes, before transferring to a cooling rack.
FF Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies
Cutting, baking and cooling the Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies
  • Allow the baking trays to cool completely then, flip over the baking parchment.
  • Remove the cookie dough from the fridge, roll out and cut out the remaining cookies. Bringing the pieces of cookie dough together and re-rolling, until it is all used up.
  • Bake the cookies as before.
  • Allow the cookies to cool completely before icing.
  • Preparing the peppermint icing:
  • While the cookies are cooling prepare the icing to decorate with.
  • Into the bowl containing the sifted icing sugar, add the meringue powder (not neccesary if using royal icing).
  • Next add 2 teaspoons of peppermint extract and enough cold water 2-3 tablespoons to form a thick paste.
  • Transfer the icing to an icing bag fitted with a small, round writing nozzle. Alternatively, use a disposable icing bag, just prior to icing snip the very end off to leave a small hole.
  • Icing the cookies: – 
  • Note – have a butter knife, cocktail stick, kitchen roll and decorations to hand prior to starting.
  • Touch the tip of the icing bag to the cookie, keeping even pressure on the bag, pipe a line across the cookie. Effectively drawing a line from one point to its opposite. Repeat, until you have a criss-cross design. Place a silver ball in the centre and the cookie is decorated. To continue decorating, starting at a smaller point on the edge, touch the tip of the piping bag to the cookie and pipe a star shape. Joining to the already piped criss-cross lines. Finish by adding final detail to the points of the cookie. Add silver balls to create different finishes on each snowflake cookie. Please see the photos for reference.
FF Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies
Making the icing and decorating the Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies
  • Decorating tips – use a butter knife to remove accidental/dripped/wobbly icing. Ensure the silver balls are added before the icing sets, so that they stick. To fill in a piped star, pipe icing inside the already piped lines, then use a cocktail stick to spread it to the edges.
  • Finally, dust the iced cookies with edible glitter and allow to set.
FF Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies
Sparkling Cookies under the spotlights in the kitchen.

These Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies are almost hypnotic, with their beautiful sparkle, under the spotlights in our kitchen!

Store the cookies for up to one week in an airtight container.

Serve with a smile and for an indulgent treat a whipped cream topped hot chocolate 😉.

If you have enjoyed the recipe for these Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies you may also like these:

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies

FF Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies

Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies

FF Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies
Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies

Sparkling Snowflake Cake

FF Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies
Sparkling Snowflake Cake

Christmas is such a special time of the year. I’m fairly sure that it didn’t snow when the baby Jesus was born. Similarly I cannot imagine Mary and Joseph wishing for snow! Yet for me, snow on Christmas Day, really is the icing on top of the cookie!

I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and hope that you will take time, during the exciting festivities, to remember the real reason we celebrate it.

Sammie xx

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Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes

Today is the first day of December. Jack Frost has visited us the last few nights and Winter has well and truly arrived. Sparkling pavements and frosted windscreens add to the beauty of crystal clear, blue skies. Inspired by the frosty weather I made these Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes. 

FF Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes
Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes these are definitely not for throwing!

Vanilla and coconut sponge, topped with a whipped, white chocolate buttercream. Ooh that got your attention! Followed by a complete covering of sweetened coconut and dusting of edible Magic Sparkles. If you like coconut, I can guarantee you’ll love these cupcakes.

FF Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes
Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes full of flavour.

While the potential for these cupcakes to be overly sweet is hinted at, I can assure you that they aren’t. The sweetened ‘Angel Flakes’ coconut is not, as one would imagine, overly sweet. Rather, the taste is predominantly that of pure coconut, with a little addition of sweetness to enhance the flavour. Resulting in a perfectly balanced, delightful cupcake.

I have been unable to source the ‘Angel Flakes’ from regular shops or supermarkets. However, it is readily available to buy online, from Amazon. Desiccated coconut is a real no no for me. In fact, I find it much sweeter than the coconut used here. Of course, if you like the flavour, then feel free to substitute it in this recipe. Likewise, if you can get hold of freshly grated coconut, that also can be used.

FF Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes
Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes delicious any time of the year.

These cupcakes are a perfect bake for over the festive season. Why not bake up a batch and share them with your work colleagues or friends? I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t enjoy a delicious, homemade cupcake. Christmas is the season for sharing, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could extend that season throughout the whole year?

Recipe: Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes makes 12

125g/4.5oz Unsalted Butter – softened

125/4.5oz Caster Sugar

Scant pinch of salt – I use Maldon

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

3 Large Free Range Eggs

125g/4.5oz Plain White Flour

1.5 tsp Baking Powder

50g/2oz Sweetened Shredded Coconut

2-3tbsp Milk

For the frosting:

400g/14oz Icing Sugar

200g/7oz Unsalted Butter softened

1tsp Vanilla Extract

2tbsp Very Hot Water

100g/4oz White Chocolate

Approximately 200g/7oz Sweetened Shredded Coconut

Method: Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan, gas mark 3.5

  • First, line a 12 hole cupcake tin with cupcake cases.
  • Next, in a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt. Whisk until light and creamy.
  • Now add all 3 eggs and the vanilla extract. Then sift in the flour and baking powder. Next add the coconut and whisk until everything is just combined, adding 2 or 3 tablespoons of milk to achieve a soft, dropping consistency.
  • Place a dessertspoon of cake batter into each cupcake case.
  • Finally, put the cupcake tin into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 20-30 minutes.
  • The cupcakes are baked when they are risen, golden and spring back from a light touch.
  • Once baked remove the cupcakes from the oven.
FF Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes
Making the cupcake batter, filling the cases and baking the cupcakes.
  • Baking the cupcakes at a slightly higher temperature results in a domed rise. This is deliberate, as it helps the shape of a snowball later when icing and covering.
  • Remove the hot cupcakes from the tin and place on to a cooling rack.
  • While the cupcakes are cooling make the buttercream icing.
  • First, place the softened butter into a large bowl and then sift in the icing sugar. Now add 2 tablespoons of very hot water from a recently boiled kettle and one teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • Whisk, starting on a slow speed and then gradually increasing, whipping until the buttercream is light and fluffy. Set to one side.
  • Next, break up the white chocolate and place in a heatproof, microwaveable bowl. Zap for 20 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chocolate starts to melt. Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir continuously. The residual heat will continue to melt the remaining chocolate.
  • Once the chocolate is completely melted pour it into the buttercream.
  • Now whisk the buttercream and chocolate together, gradually increasing the speed, until the frosting is fully combined and cooled.
  • Fit a piping bag with a round piping tip approximately 12mm in diameter.
  • Fill the bag with the whipped, white chocolate, buttercream. Set to one side.
  • Remember to wait until the cupcakes are completely cooled before icing.
  • To ice the cupcakes, start in the centre and pipe a double swirl (one on top of the other), keeping an even pressure on the piping bag. Continue until all of the cupcakes have been iced.
FF Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes
Swirled white chocolate frosting on top of each cupcake.
FF Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes
Sweetened Coconut and Magic Sparkles3 used to cover the cupcakes.
  • Next, weigh out the sweetened coconut into a bowl and break any clumps apart with your fingers.
  • To cover the first cupcake, hold it in your hand over the bowl of coconut. Use your other hand to cover the sides of the frosting with the coconut, gently pressing so that it sticks. Rotate the cupcake until the sides are covered with coconut, letting any excess drop back into the bowl. Now sprinkle a good amount over the top of the cupcake. Again pressing lightly so that it sticks to the buttercream. Continue until all of the cupcakes are covered in coconut.
  • Next, sprinkle over the edible sparkles. Add as much glitter as you like!
FF Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes
Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes that really do look like edible snowballs!

These delicious, fun cupcakes are ready to serve straight away. To store, place in an airtight container and eat within 4 days. Although they are at their very best eaten within the first 24 hours of making.

FF Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes
Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes too good to keep to yourself!

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes you may also like these:

Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes

FF Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes
Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes

Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes

FF Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes
Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes

Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes

FF Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes
Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes can be made gluten free.

Whilst these coconut cupcakes have been baked with the festive season in mind, they would be a delicious treat at any time of the year. Baked to be shared, with love stirred in abundance, these would also make a delicious treat for family, friends, or work colleagues. Since food always tastes better when it is shared, these cupcakes are ideal for sharing.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, over this festive season, I hope you have lots of fun and laughter preparing your feast.

Sammie xx

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Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne

Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne bubbling, gooey, pungent cheese.

Do you like cheese? Then you will love this rich, melted Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne, perfect for dipping, dunking and feasting on.

FF Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne
Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne with homemade breadsticks, apple and chicory.

When asked by Pong Cheese to bake this heady Epoisses De Bourgogne, I knew that I would need my hubby’s help. First, I needed a hand model and also I absolutely knew he would relish the taste of this incredible cheese. A semi-soft to soft, pasteurised cow’s cheese, washed in Marc De Bourgogne, creating a spicy, pungent cheese. Most importantly, this incredible cheese is only made in the Burgundy region of France and therefore has an AOC – authentication of origin certificate.

FF Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne
Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne breaking through into the molten cheese.

Homemade breadsticks break through the crust to reveal the warm, bubbling, unctuous cheese below. The full taste is revealed when eaten with bread. Salty, spicy and pungent, any cheese lovers dream.

FF Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne
Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne with bitter chicory.

Chicory, with it’s crunch and slightly bitter flavour is a perfect accompaniment to the melted cheese. While sweet, red apple provides contrast to the saltiness of the cheese. This for me was my favourite flavour pairing, my husband preferring the full flavour of the cheese, unhindered by the breadsticks.

FF Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne
Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne irresistible.

While, this is hardly a recipe, the method and increased flavour of the cheese, means it is extremely worthwhile taking the extra step to bake it.

Recipe: Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne

250g Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne available from Pong Cheese

Sprig of rosemary  – Optional

Breadsticks, chicory, apple, pear, crackers for dunking

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

You will need an ovenproof dish that is about the same size as the Epoisses. A Camembert dish will be fine, any bigger and the cheese will spread as it bakes.

  • First, remove all of the packaging from the Epoisses.
  • Next place the whole cheese into the ovenproof dish, laying a sprig of rosemary on the top.
  • Now place the ovenproof dish on to a baking tray and place in the middle of the preheated oven.
  • Bake the cheese for 15 minutes, or until you can see it bubbling around the side of the dish.
  • Once baked remove the baking tray, with the bubbling cheese in its dish, from the oven.
  • Allow the cheese to sit for a couple of minutes as it will be extremely hot.

Serve the cheese in its dish with a selection of fresh fruit, vegetables and bread or crackers. Most of all share with good company and an excellent glass of wine!

FF Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne
Baked and ready for enjoying.

Sharing this baked cheese, either with a group of friends, or with the one that you love, infinitely improves the whole experience of eating it. Since memories are created and observations exchanged, whilst feasting together.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne you may also like these:

Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts

FF Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne
Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts an ideal appetiser or light lunch.

Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins

FF Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne
Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins glorious flavour & texture.

Mini Sparkenhoe Red Leicester Tarts

FF Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne
Mini Sparkenhoe Red Leicester Tarts a delicious canapé.

Cheese is such a versatile ingredient. Whether baked and eaten as is, piled on top of chilli pickle in a crunchy filo tart, or simply eaten cold with crackers, it remains one of my favourite ingredients. As with most things that have a relatively high fat content, their flavour truly comes alive when heated. Baking the Epoisses De Bourgogne certainly brought all of its delicious and interesting flavours to the fore.

Do you enjoy using cheese as an ingredient?

Have fun baking, making and creating in your kitchens, preparing a feast.

Sammie xx

Pong Cheese supplied me with the Epoisses De Bourgogne for this recipe. All opinions, views, photographs and content are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake serves 8-10

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

3 Large Free Range Eggs

200g Pumpkin Purée

200g Natural Yoghurt – I use full fat Yeo Valley

125g Plain White Flour

150g Wholemeal Flour

3tsp Baking Powder

175g Soft Light Brown Sugar

150g Milk Chocolate Chips or Chunks – I use Callebaut

1/4tsp Salt -I use Maldon

2.5tsp Pumpkin Spice

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

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

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

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

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

Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

FF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

FF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars

FF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars

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

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

Sammie xx

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Black Forest Giant Doughnut

Today is #NationalDonutDay. I can only assume from the spelling that it applies to those in the States and yet here I am baking a Black Forest Giant Doughnut. Any reason to eat doughnuts is good enough for me!

FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Black Forest Giant Doughnut chocolate sponge with swirls of cream and cherries.

I have been wanting to bake a Black Forest Gateaux for ages, so took the opportunity of making a Black Forest Giant Doughnut. Indeed if you do not have doughnut moulds – mine were from Lakeland are were very reasonably priced – I see no reason why this recipe shouldn’t work using 7-8″ sandwich tins.

This has the absolute lightest of sponges and I opted to add a little Kirsch (cherry liquer) which is absolutely optional.

In season I would have used fresh cherries, that had been macerated in a little liquer and sugar, as they are not quite in season yet, I opted for tinned cherry pie filling. Morello cherry jam would also work well here. This is a very adaptable recipe. Use whatever you have to hand, or can easily get hold of.

FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut.
Black Forest Giant Doughnut deliciously easy to make and assemble.

Hopefully if our cherry tree is laden with as much fruit, as it had blossom I will remake this Black Forest Giant Doughnut and add an extra photo. Meanwhile back to the bake in hand.

Even though this is a giant doughnut I would happily bring it out for dessert after dinner, or serve with afternoon tea on a sunny day in the garden. Mostly I would encourage you to share this delicious bake. It is simply too good to be kept hidden away.

Two slices will be popped around to our neighbours in a little while. The sheer joy of pleasure and surprise when I turn up, unannounced, with baked goodies is THE most important aspect of baking for me. Sharing is at the very heart of what I do and who I am. If a small gift can bring a smile to someone’s face, well that brightens my day.

Recipe: Makes one Black Forest Giant Doughnut serves 8

200g/7oz Unsalted Butter –  plus a little extra for greasing the moulds

200g/7oz Caster Sugar

Scant pinch of salt – no more than 1/4 tsp

1 tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

6 Large Free Range Eggs

75g/3oz Cocoa Powder

125g/4oz Plain White Flour

1.5 tsp Baking Powder

For the filling/topping:

200ml/8fl oz Double Cream

1 x 410g Tin Cherry Pie Filling – note morello cherry jam and fresh cherries can be used instead.

Optional – 1tbs Kirsch

Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3

  • Grease the inside of both doughnut moulds well with soft butter.
  • In a large bowl add the butter and sugar.
  • Whisk/beat until pale and creamy. Approx 5 minutes, this helps create a very light sponge.
  • Add all 6 eggs and the vanilla extract to the bowl – I always crack my eggs into a separate bowl first.
  • Sift the flour, salt, cocoa powder and baking powder into the bowl.
  • Whisk/beat on a slow speed until all the ingredients have come together.
  • Using a large spoon give the chocolate sponge mix a good stir to ensure all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Divided the cake batter in half and spoon into each of the 2 doughnut moulds.
FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Two halves of a giant doughnut ready to be baked.
  • Place the doughnut moulds on to a baking tray, ensuring they don’t squash each other (I actually switched trays after this photo was taken).
  • Put the tray into the centre of the oven and bake the doughnut halves for 30-40 minutes.
  • The doughnut halves are baked when they spring back from a light touch.
  • Once baked remove the doughnut halves from the oven.
FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Each half of the giant doughnut is beautifully baked.
  • Carefully place each silicone mould on to a cooling rack.
  • If adding Kirsch carefully prick each mould lightly with a cocktail stick, being careful not to puncture the silicone mould.
FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Lightly prick the sponge all over so that the Kirsch can be absorbed.
  • Spoon half a tablespoon of Kirsch over each half of the doughnut sponge whilst it is still hot.
  • Leave to cool for 5 minutes and then turn each of the sponges out onto the cooling rack. Cool fully before decorating.

Decorating your Black Forest Giant Doughnut:

  • In a medium bowl add the double cream and whip until it holds a firm peak.
  • Fill a piping bag with a large star tip (I use Wilton #1M) with the whipped cream).
  • Place one half of your doughnut, flat side up on a cake stand or plate.
  • Reserving 8 whole cherries to decorate the top, spoon the cherry pie filling on to the bottom half of the doughnut – DO NOT over fill.
FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Spoon slightly less filling than I have, this splurged a bit when the top was put on!
  • Pipe the cream in a swirl pattern on top of the cherries.
FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Beautifully piped whipped cream in the centre of the giant doughnut.
  • Place the top of the doughnut on to the base. Wipe away any excess cherry syrup – notice that in my finished photos there isn’t a doilie 😉
  • Pipe 8 swirls evenly around the top of the doughnut and top each with a reserved cherry.
  • Pipe stars around the outside of the middle of the doughnut, this creates a tidy, professional finish.
FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Black Forest Giant Doughnut the piped cream stars around the middle give a finished, professional look.

Serve your Black Forest Giant Doughnut cut into generous slices, with a smile and a lovely hot drink!

FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Black Forest Giant Doughnut a real treat.

Perfect with candles as a birthday cake. Did I mention I had Black Forest Gateaux every year, for my birthday as I was growing up. It was not hard for me to take this delicious classic recipe and turn it into an amazing giant doughnut.

Such a stunning, yet easy to accomplish bake. A slice of Black Forest Giant Doughnut is bound to evoke memories of the retro gateaux and break out smiles once tasted and devoured!

If you have enjoyed this Black Forest Giant Doughnut Recipe here are some others you may like to try:

Raspberry and Cream Giant Doughnut

FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Delicious Raspberry and Cream Giant Doughnut

Black Forest Cupcakes

FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Black Forest Cupcakes with mascarpone.

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

FF Black Forest Giant Doughnut
Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes fruity deliciousness.

I really want to encourage you to buy a doughnut mould. This is not a sponsored post, i very much doubt that Lakeland even know I exist! That said, the moulds creat such a beautiful rounded doughnut shape, are incredibly easy to use and inepensive to buy. Perfect as a gift or for putting on your own birthday list.

Whatever you are making and baking in your kitchens this weekend, I hope you laugh lots, have plenty of fun and enjoy feasting on your amazing creations with friends, family and neighbours.

If you know someone who’ll be spending Saturday evening, or Sunday aftenoon alone, why not invite them round. Even if it’s just for a cup of tea and slice of cake, you will make someone else feel valued and cared for and they may even make you smile in return!

Sammie xx

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Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites

Do you like chocolate? I mean really, really love it? Yes! Then you will go crazy for these Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites.

Chocolate Fudge Brpwnie Bites
Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites perfect for sharing.

These Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites are C R A Z Y good, which shouldn’t be surprising when you consider how much chocolate is in these little edible, morsels of happiness!

Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites
Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites – sharing the love.

I have a few brownie recipes already on this site, such as Nuts About Brownies and don’t get me wrong, they are all utterly delicious. However, I wanted to make a Brownie that stood alone on its own, deep, chocolatey merit. No nuts, no extra topping, apart from the optional white chocolate heart. Just pure chocolate fudge brownie bliss.

Oh boy do these deliver. Deep chocolate flavour, perfect amount of squidge, that leaves you wondering just how these Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites manage to hold together and a satisfying depth of sweetness, melting against your tongue.

Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites
Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites utterly delicious.

Yep if you want a straight up brownies, no faffing with nuts and the like, just one hundred per cent chocolatey goodness, this is the recipe you need.

Just one quick note, as these brownies contain A LOT of chocolate, it really is worth using the best quality chocolate that you can afford. It really does make a difference to the finished taste and texture.

Recipe: Makes 28 Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites

200g/7oz Plain Chocolate – minimum 70% Cocoa solids

200g/7oz Milk Chocolate – minimum 35% Cocoa solids

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter

4 Large Free Range Eggs

225g/8oz Dark Brown Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Extract

1/4tsp Salt

300g/11oz Chocolate Chips or Chunks

75g/3oz Plain White Flour

1/2tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

100g/4oz White Chocolate – optional

Method: Preheat oven to 170C/155C fan.

  • Line a 22.5cm x 30cm (9″ x 12″) deep baking tin with aluminium foil.
  • Break up the chocolate (or chop) into individual squares, dice the butter and place both into a heat proof bowl.Place the bowl over a simering pan of water (a double boiler) ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
  • Stir continuously until both the chocolate and butter are two thirds melted.
  • Carefully remove the bowl from the pan and continue stirring until the contents are completely melted.
Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites
Set the bowl to one side and allow to cool slightly.
  • Into another large bowl add the eggs, vanilla and sugar.

Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites

 

  • Mix together to combine.
  • Whilst still slowly mixing pour the cooled chocolate mixture into the larger bowl.
  • Mix until completely combined – try not to incorporate too much air whilst mixing.
  • Sift the flour, bicarb. and salt into the bowl.
  • Add the chocolate chunks.
Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites
Ooh this bowl holds so much potential!
  • Using a large metal spoon, fold all the ingredients together.
  • Pour the brownie mixture into the foil lined tray.
Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites.
Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites ready for the oven.
  • Give the baking tin a good couple of sharp taps on the worktop. This will bring any air bubbles to the surface.
  • Place the baking tin into the oven and cook for 35 – 40 minutes.
  • Halfway through the cooking time remove the tin from the I’ve and give it another sharp tap against a heatproof surface.
  • The brownies are cooked when the outside edge has set and the top of the brownies has the familiar, sugar cracked look. There should still be a little wobble to the centre of the tin.
  • Once baked, remove the tin from the oven and allow the brownies to cool completely in the tin.
  • Once cooled turn the brownies out onto a board and removing the foil.
Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites
Cut the huge slab into 28 pieces.

Now you have 28 delectable Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites! These truly are delicious as the are. Seeing as Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, I couldn’t resist piping some white chocolate hearts on them.

Simply pop some white chocolate, broken up, into a microwaveable bowl and melt using 20 second bursts, in the microwave until two thirds melted. Then stir continuously until the chocolate is a smooth liquid.

Spoon the melted chocolate into a small, disposable piping bag and cut the tip off, leaving a very small hole. I found it took a bit of practise, getting even hearts and that it was better if I piped the heart in one complete go.

Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites
Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites perfect for sharing with all those you love on Valentine’s Day.

However you pipe your hearts, your loved ones will enjoy these Chocolate Fudge Brownies Bites, not just because they taste so amazing, but more importantly because you have baked them with love, to show people they are loved.

Do you like to celebrate Valentine’s Day, with your significant other, or with all of your loved ones?

If you enjoyed baking these Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites For Valentine’s Day, you may like to try these:

Chocolate Heart Cake

Chocolate Heart Cookies

Raspberry Almond Cream Cake

I wish you all a very happy Valentine’s Day and sincerely hope you know that you are loved see Important Stuff.

Sammie xx

 

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