As much as I enjoy baking, sometimes it is nice being able to whip up a sweet treat, without putting the oven on. My Caramel Crunch Rocky Road Bars require nothing more than a spot of microwave melting and chilling before being ready to eat. Resulting in a perfect, last minute party contribution, or satisfying Saturday evening hunger fest.
Using two packs of the ‘relatively new’ digestive nibbles gives these bars a really satisfying crunch. While the addition of Rolo’s add a not too sweet caramel bite. Mixed with mini marshmallows and set within a delicious chocolate base, every possible texture pops in the mouth. Crunchy, chewy and melting. The combination of all of the ingredients is incredible. Finished with the perfect white chocolate drizzle.
Quick and easy to make, perfect for sharing.
Recipe: Caramel Crunch Rocky Road Bars makes 12 large or 18 small
Line a 20cm x 28cm x 5cm tin (8″ x 11″ x 2″) with baking parchment.
Into a large, heatproof, microwaveable bowl add the butter and broken up milk and dark chocolate. Heat in the microwave, on medium power, for 30 second bursts. Stir after each heating burst. As soon as the chocolate and butter are melted remove the bowl from the microwave. Add the golden syrup and stir continuously until the mixture is fully combined and glossy.
Next add 2 packets of Digestive nibbles.
Follow by adding the marshmallows and Rolos.
Stir until everything is slicked in chocolate.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, taking care to fill evenly.
Now break up the white chocolate and place into another heatproof, microwaveable bowl. Again, heat on medium for 30 seconds stirring after each heating burst. Take care not to overheat the chocolate. As soon as it starts to melt remove and stir continuously until it is completely liquid.
Using a spoon, drizzle the white chocolate over the rocky road mixture in the tin.
Place the tin in the fridge for 30 minutes, or until the chocolate has completely set.
Once set, remove the slab of rocky road from the tin using a palette knife to lift beneath the baking parchment.
Using a sharp knife cut across the width, creating 3 evenly sized portions. Then cut through the centre. For smaller bars divide each half into 9 squares, as on the left. Divide into 6, as on the right, for larger bars.
If you are making these for a party, place in a baking parchment lined, airtight container and hide them!
During warm weather keep in the fridge. They will keep for up to one week, however I very much doubt, if you have children or teenagers around that you will have any left after 48 hours. I speak from experience.
Incredibly delicious and surprisingly not overly sweet, these Caramel Crunch Rocky Road Bars are perfect for parties and family gatherings.
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Over the years I have made many different versions of this recipe. Digestive biscuits work well, when broken up. Their slightly salty, wholemeal flavour balances the sweetness from marshmallows and chocolate. Digestive Nibbles have that same quality. While they also bring a uniform shape to the cut bars, resulting in less crumbling when handled.
Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing your feast.
No part of this post may be replicated or copied without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.
The popularity of cupcakes, since their meteoric rise to stardom, has not waned. Pinterest has thousands upon thousands of boards dedicated to these individual portion sized cakes. Type cupcake recipes into the browser on your computer/phone/tablet and you will find endless recipes, for every type of cupcake you could ever want. Or so I thought! While there are recipes for Caramac cupcakes, including a fantastic recipe by my friendJane, there weren’t any chocolate/Caramac combinations. Resulting in the creation of these Caramac Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes.
Caramac in itself is a lightly caramel flavoured white chocolate. While it is completely delicious, it tends to be rather sweet. Combining Caramac frosting with a dark chocolate cupcake balances both flavours out. Similarly, with the drizzle. Slightly bitter dark chocolate is enhanced by the sweet caramel from the Caramac. Resultying in a perfect flavour combination.
Delicious and very more-ish. Could you stop at one?
Pretty, individual portions of caramel and chocolate in a cake. These cupcakes are elegant enough to be served for dessert, or alternatively, handed around at a party.
Recipe: Caramac Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes make 18
2tbsp Very Hot Water from a recently boiled kettle
110g Packet Caramac Buttons
1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
For the drizzle:
110g Packet Caramac Buttons
100g/4oz Good Quality Dark Chocolate minimum 70% cocoa solids – choppedinto small chunks
Method: Preheat oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3
You will need two, deep, 12 hole cupcake/muffin tins. Line one tin completely with cupcake cases and the central 6 holes in the other with cupcake cases.
In a large bowl add butter, caster sugar and sea salt. Whisk together until pale and creamy.
Sift in the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Then add the milk.
Whisk together until just combined. The chocolate colour should be uniform and no streaks or lumps present.
Scoop a heaped dessert spoonful of cake batter into each cupcake case. Do not worry if the batter doesn’t fill 18 cupcake cases. Mine stretched to 17. Most importantly, each cupcake case should contain equal amounts of cake batter.
Place both cupcake tins, evenly spaced, into the preheated oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
The cupcakes are baked when they are risen and spring back from a light touch.
When baked remove the cupcakes from the oven.
Leave the cupcakes to cool for a couple of minutes in the tin, then remove and place them on to a cooling rack to fully cool.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the buttercream.
Place the Caramac buttons into a heatproof, microwaveable bowl. Heat for 20 second bursts, stirring between each one. Remove from the microwave once the Caramac is completely melted.
Into a large bowl add the softened butter, salt and icing sugar. Whisk, adding the hot water whilst the beaters are whisking. Continue whisking until the buttercream is combined, yet still thick in consistency.
Add the melted Caramac to the bowl and keep whisking until the mixture is smooth, light and creamy.
Into a large piping base fitted with a 1cm round nozzle tip ( I use Wiltonnumber 12 carded round tip ), add the whipped Caramac buttercream.
Using both hands to guide, pipe a double swirl. Start in the centre of the cupcake, pipe one swirl, then pipe a second swirl on top. Press the nozzle down into the centre and pull away. Practice on a sheet of parchment paper first and then scrape the buttercream back into the piping bag.
While the frosting on the cupcakes sets, prepare the chocolate and Caramac drizzle.
Into separate heatproof, microwaveable bowls place the Caramac buttons and then the dark chocolate chunks.
Prepare 2 small, disposable piping bags, as seen in the photo. Open up each bag and place into a small tumbler, ensuring the edge of the bag folds over the side of the glass. Doing so makes pouring the melted chocolate/Caramac into the bags easy and reduces the risk of burning yourself with hot, melted chocolate.
Heat the chocolate and Caramac as for the frosting, stirring between each 20 second burst in the microwave. Once melted pour into the prepared piping bag.
Starting with the Caramac, twist the top of the bag and then snip the end of the bag off, leaving a small hole.
Pipe melted Caramac on to each cupcake using a zigzag pattern. Since this is a drizzle, melted Caramac (and also chocolate) can go over the sides of the frosting on to the cupcake.
Repeat the same process using the dark chocolate.
No two cupcakes will look identical. Don’t worry, each cupcake’s individuality is part of its appeal and charm.
Place the cupcakes somewhere cool to set. During warmer months pop in the fridge for a few minutes.
Invite friends over and serve these cupcakes with a smile and a hot drink. Alternatively, package some up in a box and take to work to share with your colleagues. Since these cupcakes are so delicious, it really would be a shame not to share them.
Store in an airtight container and eat within 5 days. During very warm weather store in the refrigerator.
If you have enjoyed this recipe for Caramac Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes you may also like these:
Since the flavour combinations are virtually endless and each cupcake is an individual portion size, it is easy to see how they have remained so popular. In addition, each cupcake, especially when homemade, is unique. Also, they are just so pretty. Whether embellished with sprinkles, drizzles, little figures, flowers or simply piped with buttercream, the appeal of having a cake all to ourselves is such fun. Resulting in the perfect feast.
Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing your feast.
No part of this blog post may be copied or reproduced without the specific written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy .
How do you improve on one of the best flavours of ice cream known to man? That’s right. You squish it between two incredible, homemade cookies! I bring you Reeces Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich. Oh yes people, this is the foodie equivalent of winning all the coins and one-ups in a Super Mario game and then some. Stick with me as I take you through an incredible ice cream journey.
First of all there is ice cream, packed with Reeces Mini Peanut Butter Cups. While some are mini cups are left whole, others are roughly chopped. Resulting in a peanut butter cup filled ice cream base. Dark chocolate ganache ripples through the vanilla base, with a hit of pure peanut butter in every spoonful. It’s okay. I undersrand if you want to think on that for a while?
Complimenting such a flavour punched ice cream are Mega Toffee Cookies. A large, robust Cookie is the only way to go when sandwiching chunks of peanut butter cup ice cream. Since these cookies are double their usual size, they are perfect for creating an ice cream sandwich.
Completely sending this ice cream cookie sandwich over the top, is the customisation of the mega cookies. Dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with peanut butter chips, rather than contrasting, they compliment the flavours within the ice cream.
Recipe: Reeces Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream makes 1L approx.
300mls Double Cream plus an additional 100mls for the chocolate ganache
Ensure the freezing part/bowl of the ice cream maker has been in the freezer for at least 6 hours, ideally overnight, or according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Note: For step-by-step instructions, including photographs please see here.
First of all, Place the milk and cream into a heavy bottom saucepan over a medium heat. Heat the cream mixture to scalding point, little bubbles appear around the rim of the saucepan before the mix reaches boiling point. As soon as scalding point is reached, remove the pan from the heat.
While the cream mix is heating, place the eggs, sugar, cornflour and vanilla extract into a large heatproof bowl. Whisk together until the eggs have thickened.
With the whisk switched to slow, gently pour the hot cream mix into the bowl with the egg mix, whisking constantly. This creates the custard base for the ice cream.
Pour the custard base back into the saucepan, place over a medium heat and stir constantly. Cook until the custard has thicker and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Remove the pan from the heat and pour the custard through a sieve, into a large heatproof bowl.
Place cling film directly on top of the custard to stop a skin from forming.
Leave the custard to cool a little before placing in the fridge to chill.
While the ice cream base is chilling, prepare the mini Reeces butter cups. Tip out on to a chopping board, roughly divide into two thirds which will be roughly chopped and one third, which are kept whole.
Also make the chocolate ganache, which will be swirled through the ice cream. Place 100g of chocolate and 100mls of double cream into a heatproof/microwaveable jug. Heat on medium for 30 second bursts, stirring after each heating session. As soon as the chocolate starts melting into the cream continue stirring until the ganache is smooth and shiny. Set to one side to cool.
Set the ice cream maker up as per manufacturer’s instructions.
Add the peanut butter to the ice cream base. Use a balloon whisk to break it up into small pieces within the ice cream base.
Pour the ice cream mixture into the already churning ice cream maker.
As soon as the ice cream is thickened and frozen stop the machine. Remove the paddle so the ice cream can be scooped out.
Scatter a few chopped Reeces Peanut Butter Cup Minis in the bottom of the freezing container.
Scoop half of the ice cream on top of the peanut butter cups.
Add one half of the remaining chopped and whole peanut butter cups. Now add the remaining ice cream.
Using the handle of a wooden spoon, swirl the peanut butter cups through the ice cream using a figure of eight motion.
Pour the cooled, yet still liquid, chocolate ganache on top of the ice cream. Again, using the handle of a wooden spoon swirl the ganache through the ice cream.
Snap on an airtight lid, or double wrap in cling film and place the ice cream into the freezer to firm up.
Leaving the ice cream to freeze overnight ensures the chocolate ganache fully freezes within the ice cream.
To serve, remove the ice cream from the freezer 10-20 minutes prior to scooping. Allowing the ice cream to soften slightly. Scoop two balls of ice cream and place on one large cookie, top with another cookie and press gently to form the ice cream cookie sandwich. Alternatively, scoop and serve in a bowl with additional Mini Reeces Peanut Butter Cups.
Making the Cookies:
Wright’s Toffee Cookie Mix is a great flavour combination to pair with this ice cream. Alternatively if you are unable to buy this mix my Caramac Caramel Cookies recipe also works well.
Make the cookies as per instructions, however, for the Wright’s Toffee Cookies make them twice as big. You should get 10 mega cookies from 2 packets of mix.
Bake as directed, again the toffee cookies will take 18-20 minutes to bake as they are larger than usual.
Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking tray.
Melt 100g of chocolate in a heatproof, microwaveable bowl, on medium setting, for 30 seconds at a time. Stir the chocolate after each heating session.
As soon as the chocolate is melted, dip each cookie into the chocolate, using a spoon to cover halfway across the top oven each cookie.
Place the chocolate covered cookies on to baking parchment and sprinkle Reece’s peanut butter chips over the chocolate covered half. Leave to set. In hot weather place in the fridge for a few minutes until set.
Such an incredible ice cream deserves a cookie that enhances all of its qualities.
If you have enjoyed this recipe for Reeces Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich you may also like these:
Since all of the recipes shown can only be made at home, this emphasises the core beliefs of Feasting is Fun. Creating flavour combinations, at home, should be fun. Each one of these examples is a feast in itself. Also, most importantly, invite your friends over to share these incredible ice cream cookie sandwiches. Finally proving that all food tastes better when shared.
Wright’s Baking provided the Toffee Cooki Mixes used in this post. All recipe ideas are my own. No payment was received for the creation of this post. All views and opinions are my own. No part of this post may be reproduced without my specific written permission. Please see my Disclosure Policy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 recipeChocolate Fudge Brownie Bites. Leaving out the addition of chocolate chunks out of the recipe.
1 x Family Pack (326g) of Cadbury’s Mini Eggs or the rough equivalent weight in smaller bags/tubes
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.
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.
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 MaraschinoCherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes that I gave them today.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Finally, allow the chocolate to set before serving these 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 😉.
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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!
Festive greetings to all of my readers. While this recipe for Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares may not necessarily be only a Christmas bake, they look so sparkly, not making them wasn’t an option. Rich, buttery shortbread, topped with creamy caramel then coated it velvety, smooth chocolate, studded with white chocolate stars. Who wouldn’t want a square or two over the Christmas period?
I tried to make these last year, also at Christmas time. However, I wasn’t confident enough whilst making the caramel. As a result of not cooking it for long enough it didn’t set. This only became apparent after chilling for a good length of time, in the fridge. Resulting in an oozing, caramel mess when the squares were cut.
Never one to give up on a challenge, even if it has taken a whole year, I decided to start again from scratch. First of all a new shortbread recipe for the base. Last year’s attempt used a cookie recipe. Followed by nothing short of sheer bravery, when making the caramel. Do not be scared or alarmed. I will talk you through each step, so that you will have success first time and every time you make the caramel. Finally the chocolate covering, which has stayed the same. Although I’ve improved the cutting technique, which minimises the risk of the chocolate cracking.
Now, I am not known for my sweet tooth – Caramac is an entirely different matter😉 – however, these squares may very well be my undoing. Years ago, when our children were young, a group of us mums would meet up regularly. We all, at that time, had girls who were friends at school. Meeting up gave the girls an opportunity to play together and allowed us mums to get to know each other. 10 years on, I now count two of those wonderful ladies as my best friends.
One particular time, we met up at my friend Lizzie-Lou’s house. Let me tell you, that lady can cook AND bake! That morning she had been busy in the kitchen, baking with her two gorgeous girls. I honestly cannot remember what they made, except for Millionaires Shortbread. Having never tasted it before I tentatively took a square AND then another. I was hooked! Everything about me shouldn’t have enjoyed the sweet, chocolate covered wonders. But I did, ooh I so did. I’m embarrassed now to think back and wonder how many squares I ate. I simply couldn’t stop!
So this post and this recipe are dedicated to my beautiful friends Lizzie-Lou and K. For the love, friendship and support they have given and continue to give. I have learned so much from both of them and wherever we may be, we will always be friends. Looking back over the years, they have truly proven the backbone of this blog. That is, that food really does taste better when it is shared and feasting is fun when friends or family take part.
Recipe: Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares makes 18
Method: Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan, gas mark 3.5
Lightly butter a 28cm x 20cm x 5cm (11″x 8″x 2″) swiss roll tin and line with baking parchment.
To make the shortbread base:
Into a large bowl add the softened butter, caster sugar, vanilla bean paste and salt. Whisk until pale and creamy.
Next sift in the plain flour and then stir with a spoon until the whole shortbread dough comes together.
Tip the shortbread dough into the prepared tin and then using the back of a spoon press the dough evenly into the tin.
Prick the shortbread dough all over with a fork. This will stop any air bubbles forming under the cooked shortbread.
Now place the tin into the centre of the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time turn the tin around, this helps the shortbread to bake evenly
The shortbread is baked when it is a golden colour and firm to touch.
Once baked remove the tin from the oven and set to one side.
Making the caramel:
Add the butter, golden syrup and condensed milk to a medium sized saucepan, over a medium heat.
Stir continuously until the butter is melted, then increase the heat to bring the liquid up to a bubbling boil. Continue to stir. The mixture will gradually become thicker and as it does it will darken.
Once thickened, remove the caramel mixture from the heat and spoon over the cooled shortbread.
Using an offset palette knife spread the caramel so that it completely covers the shortbread.
Set the caramel shortbread to one side to cool completely.
Covering with chocolate:
Break the chocolate up and place into a heatproof, microwaveable bowl.
Heat the chocolate for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between.
As soon as the chocolate has started to melt, remove the bowl from the microwave and stir. Continue stirring until the chocolate is completely liquid. If needed, zap the chocolate in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time, until the chocolate has completely melted.
Pour the melted chocolate over the caramel covered shortbread. Again using a clean, offset spatula to spread it evenly.
Now, take the tin and rap it against the worktop 3 times. This brings any air bubbles to the surface and leaves the chocolate surface completely smooth.
Finally scatter over white chocolate stars and then set to one side to cool.
When the chocolate has just set, use a sharp knife to score through the chocolate layer, in the tin, creating the squares. Doing so enables a crisp, clean cut after the chocolate is chilled. Therefore removing the risk of the chocolate shattering on cutting after chilling.
Place the tin into the fridge for a couple of hours to completely firm up.
Once chilled, remove the slab of chocolate and caramel covered shortbread from the tin, using the parchment paper to help ease it out.
Finally, cut through, where the score marks are, so that you have 18 pieces of Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares.
Serve with a smile and something delicious to drink.
These Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares are not overly sweet. There is a pleasant balance of flavours that are just sweet enough and they are extremely more-ish 😉.
The Multi Millionaires Shortbread Squares can be kept in an airtight container for up to one week. In very warm weather it may be advisable to keep them in the fridge.
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Nothing smells better than the aroma of homemade bread, baking in the oven. As many of my regular readers will know, I adore making bread. Yet sometimes, time is the enemy. Especially if it’s needed for breakfast and we have run out. The solution is to bake this beautiful and delicious Cherry Bakewell Soda Bread.
An un-yeasted bread, made even easier by using a packet of Wrights Scofa Bread Mix. All this tasty loaf requires is a little mixing, shaping and popping in a preheated oven to bake. The addition of cherries and flaked almonds gives this loaf the wow factor. Especially with the almond flavour icing, temptingly drizzled over the loaf and finished with ruby red, glacé cherries.
Since this loaf takes less than 45 minutes from start to baked, it is perfect for lazy weekend breakfasts. Still, if you are in a real rush, ditch the icing and crown of cherries and serve this sliced, warm from the oven, with butter if desired.
While this bread can be made and baked in under an hour, leaving to cool allows for simple, yet stunning decoration. Thick, almond icing, draped over the rustic loaf, simply topped with jewelled cherries. Creating a sensation for the eyes as well as the palette. Cooled and sliced, I found this delicious, hearty loaf needed no further addition. Each bite full of almonds, cherries and rustic, wholemeal bread.
Method: Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7.
First of all, remove 12 whole glacé cherries and set them to one side for decoration.
Next cut all the remaining cherries in half.
Place the volume of water, as specified on the packet, into a large bowl.
Add 1 teaspoon of almond extract to the water. Swirl to mix.
Add the entire packet of Scofa Bread Mix.
Now add the cherry halves on top of the bread mix, lightly dusting them with the mix to stop them sticking together.
Reserve one tablespoon of flaked almonds for decoration and add the rest to the bowl.
Use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture until it comes together.
Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured work top and shape into a round.
Place the shaped dough on to a greased baking sheet.
Cut a deep cross into the dough, if not icing, sprinkle the remaining almonds over the bread.
Next place in the centre of a preheated oven.
Bake the bread for 30-35 minutes. Once baked it will sound hollow when rapped on the base with your knuckle. Note – this baking time is slightly longer than specified on the packet. This is due to the addition of cherries and almonds.
Once baked remove the bread from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
Note – the bread doesn’t change colour very much whilst baking.
Allow the bread to completely cool before icing and decorating.
To make the icing: Add 2 teaspoons of almond extract to the sieved icing sugar. Now add enough water, approximately one tablespoon, to the icing and stir. It should be a thick paste that can hold a figure of eight for a few seconds.
Place the cooling rack with the bread on it, over a baking tray, to catch any drips.
Start in the centre. Spoon thick icing over the bread, encouraging it to drape down over the sides of the loaf.
Continue until the bread is evenly drizzled with the icing.
Next, place the reserved cherries on top of the bread, forming a crown-like circle.
Finally, scatter the reserved almond flakes over the bread.
Set the decorated bread to one side to allow the icing to set.
Serve this delicious bread sliced, for breakfast, lunch of afternoon tea. In fact, it is perfect for anytime of the day.
Store in an airtight container. This bread is at its best when eaten wishing 24 hours of baking. That shouldn’t be too much of a problem!
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Making something different for breakfast at the weekend is a real treat. Whilst most of my baking is made from scratch, the convenience of having good quality packet mixes in the cupboard cannot be denied. Balancing time spent together as a family with, the time it takes to create a feast, is important.
Do you make breakfast more of a treat at the weekend?
After all, it is the most important meal of the day?
Is anyone else else excited about Christmas? For me a large part of the fun of Christmas is in the build up. Getting the children to write Christmas lists, putting up decorations and ordering our turkey and ham from Graig Farm. Finally making the Christmas cake, yet knowing it can’t be eaten until Christmas Day is always hard on certain members of the family. So, I baked these GingerbreadFrosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes. Perfect festive sweet treats to enjoy, during the build up to the big day!
The frosting on these cupcakes is truly addictive. It really, REALLY, tastes of gingerbread. So, in order to provide balance, the cupcake itself is only lightly spiced. The combination of both cake and frosting is absolutely perfect. Warming, sweet and not heavy, these really are the perfect treat.
Because these cupcakes are so yummy, they disappeared very quickly. Always a good sign when everyone in the family absolutely loves them. I have a feeling that making these may well become a Christmas tradition like so many other things have, in our home.
Traditions include, decorations going up on December 1st, making mince pies then giving them to our neighbours whilst carol singing and cooking the ham on Christmas Eve. Also, tracking Santa Claus’ schedule, whilst munching on cheese straws and playing cards, have all become Christmas traditions. Each as important as putting out a drink, mince pie and carrot, before bed, on the night before Christmas.
Each of the traditions has crept upon us, unplanned. If something has been done two years in a row, the children automatically dictate that it is now a tradition. This year I think I will make some Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes to hand out whilst carol singing, alongside the warm mince pies. We are blessed to call our neighbours friends, so sharing homemade goodies with them, whilst they listen to our singing is always fun!
Do you have family traditions at Christmas? I’d love to hear about them.
Recipe: Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes makes 12
Mini Gingerbread Men and White Edible Glitter to decorate both available online
Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3
First, line a cupcake tin with 12 deep cupcake/muffin cases
Next, in a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt. Whisk, gradually increasing the speed, until pale and creamy.
Now add the vanilla extract and whisk until fully incorporated.
Into the bowl add the eggs and sift in the flour, baking powder and ground ginger. Then mix together until just combined. Over mixing can result in a tough, not light and airy, cupcake.
Spoon the cake batter into the cupcake cases, taking care to ensure that they are evenly filled.
Place the tin into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. Once baked each cupcake will spring back from a light touch. The cupcakes will be soft and fairly pale, this is because they have been cooked at a low heat to ensure a flat top.
Once baked remove the cupcakes from the oven. Carefully take each cupcake out of the tin and place on a cooling rack. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before icing.
Making the frosting and decorating the cupcakes:
To make the icing; place the softened butter into a large bowl and sift the icing sugar on top of it. Next add 2 tablespoons of very hot water from a recently boiled kettle. Whisk, starting on a very slow speed and gradually increasing to a high speed. Continue until the icing is very light and creamy.
Fit an icing bag with a Wilton round piping tip #12, or use a large disposable piping bag. Fill the bag with the whipped, gingerbread frosting. If using a disposable bag without a tip, snip off the end to leave a 7mm diameter hole – approximately.
Check the cupcakes to ensure they are completely cooled, then begin piping the frosting. Keeping an even pressure on the bag pipe a double swirl. One on top of the other, pressing down in the centre before pulling away at the end.
Continue piping until all of the cupcakes are frosted.
Place a gingerbread man or woman in the centre of the frosting.
Finally, finish by sprinkling each cupcake with a dusting of edible glitter.
Store the cupcakes in an airtight container. They will keep for up to 4 days, however, you’ll be lucky if they last that long, unless you hide them 😉.
Serve each cupcake with a smile.
If you have enjoyed this recipe for Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes here are some other festive recipe you may like:
While it is nice enjoying the build up to Christmas Day, the excitement of children, unexpected guests, the hope of snow, it is also important to remember the true meaning of Christmas.
A baby boy, born of a virgin mother, Emmanuel – God with us. Jesus may not have been born on December 25th, yet that is the day we choose to remember His birth. Amongst all of the hustle and bustle surrounding Christmas, it is important to remember why we celebrate it. Please see Important Stuff for more information.
Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchen, have fun preparing your feast.
Note – this is not a sponsored post. I genuinely love Sugar and Crumbs products.
Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts a spiced, sugary outer hides the inner, deliciously tender crumb.
Autumn is such a beautiful season. Leaves change through a rainbow of green, yellow, gold, orange and rust. Low sunlight casting a golden glow on days that are spared from wind and rain ravaged storms. Autumn is a season of transition. Summer salads gradually disappear, replaced by comforting soups, stews and roasts. These Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts not only look autumnal, they warm the senses with long since forgotten spices.
Inspiration hit to make these Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts after reading a similar recipe from Baker ByNature. Never having baked with pumpkin purée before, the first batch had me hooked. Since, as is the nature of most bakers, after testing, the recipe needed a little tweaking to accommodate our family’s taste preference, a second batch was the made the following day.
Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts really are the beautiful ochre colour that can been seen in the photographs. The spiced sugar sparkles in the low afternoon sunlight. For once there wasn’t a temptation to sprinkle with glitter
While the inhabitants of North America’s continent have been using pumpkin in pies, cakes and bakes for many years, over the pond we have been missing out. It seems that here in the U.K. we tend to carve out a stinky, cabbage smelling pumpkin at Halloween, without a thought to eating the flesh. Yes I know we eat butternut squash, in fact I put it in this RoastedGarlic Butternut Squash Soup. However, I cannot feel as though we are losing out.
Pumpkin purée lends a tenderness to the crumb of these doughnuts that has to be tasted to be believed. The flavour is subtle, allowing the pumpkin spice mix to compliment, rather than overwhelm it. Finishing with a sprinkle of cinnamon spiced sugar creates the contrast in texture and awakens the senses. Not quite as light as a fried doughnut, yet delicious in its own right.
Becky’s recipe for Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix:
4 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
3tsp Ground Ginger
2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
2 tsp Ground Allspice
1 tsp Ground Cloves
Mix together and store in an airtight jar.
Making the Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts
Recipe: Makes 7-8 Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts
50g Unsalted Butter – melted and cooled plus extra butter for greasing the doughnut tin.
The baked doughnut tins I use are from Wilton and on testing did not need greasing. However, brushing the doughnut tin with melted butter is recommended.
In a large bowl add the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pumpkin spice. Stir with a balloon whisk, breaking up any lumps in the sugar. Dry ingredients.
In a jug or smaller bowl add the pumpkin, yoghurt, egg and melted butter. Whisk together lightly with a fork until the mixture is a uniform orange colour. Wet ingredients.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in. Stir with a spoon until just combined. Similar to making a muffin mix.
Fill a piping bag, fitted with a circular nozzle, approximately 1.5 – 2 cm diameter, with the doughnut batter.
Pipe 7-8 doughnuts into the tins.
Place the doughnut tins in the centre of the oven and bake for 13-15 minutes – mine took 13 minutes.
The doughnuts will be firm, with a little spongy give when pressed, slightly golden and look a little crinkled on top when baked.
Once the doughnuts are baked remove from the oven and immediately tip out on to a cooling rack.
Whilst the doughnuts are cooking melt the butter to dip them in. 30 seconds on medium was sufficient in our microwave. Ensure the bowl is big enough to take a complete doughnut if you choose to dunk.
Next place the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl, ensuring it is big enough as before and mix to combine.
While the doughnuts are still warm, dunk, or as I did, brush all over with melted butter. Remembering to turn the doughnut to ensure even coverage.
Immediately after either dunk the doughnut in the spiced sugar, or sprinkle over the sugar while the doughnuts are on the rack.
Having tried both dunking and brushing/sprinkling methods, the second method was preferred
In reality, brushing with butter used exactly the same amount as dunking them. The choice really is yours.
As a family, although utterly delicious, we decided that the first batch of doughnuts were too sugary. Yes that really is possible 😉.
Finally, when dunking the doughnuts in the sugar, the butter made the spiced sugar damp. An example of this can be seen in the photograph below. Therefore, I decided to sprinkle them with sugar, resulting in less sugar sticking, whilst keeping its sparkly appearance.
Serve immediately, with a warming drink.
A Mr Sherick’s Chocolate Chip Latte Shake was heated in a jug with a little extra milk, poured into fancy glasses and given a splash of bla ginger syrup. The drinks were then topped with mini gingerbread sprinkles. Resulting in a Cafe Culture experience at home.
For those of you who would rather not, or cannot go out, especially when the weather is bleak, here is the ultimate Cafe treat!
If you have enjoyed the recipe for Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts you may also enjoy these:
Served slightly warm these doughnuts truly are at their best. The recipe makes 8 individual Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts and unless you are baking for more I really wouldn’t recommend doubling it. Preparation time is scarcely 10 minutes max and these are definitely better eaten the day they are made. That said, kept in an airtight container they will last an extra day. Pinged for 10 seconds in the microwave and they are almost back to freshly baked tenderness.
Finally as a result of making these doughnuts and vamping up the mocha shake, I now am able to have a Cafe treat at home. Such a treat. Most of all, you could treat a friend, relative or neighbour, to a Cafe Culture experience at home. Experiences are always better shared, as is food.
Camp Coffee Ice Cream with crunchy chocolate coffee beans.
It is mid September and here in the south of the U.K. the weather is still relatively warm. Not that you need it to be warm outside to enjoy my Camp Coffee IceCream.
Yes, ice cream is great to have during the hot, Summer months, but I happily eat it all year round. This particular ice cream with its inviting coffee flavour (without the caffeine) would be so good scooped on top of a warm chocolate brownie.
Chocolate and coffee are a classic combination, which is why I decided to add a good measure of chocolate coffee beans to this ice cream.
The delicious chocolate/coffee crunch against the smooth, silky, coffee flavoured ice cream, keeps this interesting on the palette.
Making your own ice cream at home gives you complete control over the intensity of flavours. This Camp Coffee Ice Cream is how I’d drink my coffee, medium strength. You, however, can put as much, or as little Camp coffee as you like!
Churning this ice cream, in an ice cream maker, ensures it is silky smooth. If you like your ice cream just like that, leave out the chocolate coffee beans. Again, what you add is completely in your control.
So let’s show you how to make this delicious dessert, or fun treat.
Recipe: Makes 750ml Camp Coffee Ice Cream
300ml/ 1/2pt Double Cream
300ml/ 1/2pt Milk – Whole or Semi Skimmed
2tsp Camp Coffee – widely available in stores and online
4 Large Free Range Egg Yolks – the whites can be frozen for a month
Pour the cream and milk into a large, heavy bottomed saucepan and place over a medium heat.
Heat the liquid until scalding point is reached – a rim of small bubbles will appear around the outside edge of the liquid – remove from the heat.
Whilst the liquid is heating place the egg yolks, corn flour, sugar and vanilla extract into a large, heatproof bowl. Whisk until the eggs are pale and have increased in volume.
With the whisk still running on low, slowly add the scalded cream mixture to the eggs, continually whisking.
Whisk thoroughly until all the ingredients are combined.
Tip the custard ice cream base back into the saucepan and place back over a medium heat, stirring constantly.
Before putting the pan back on the heat I quickly wash and dry the original bowl used.
When the custard has thickened and coats the back of a spoon remove from the heat.
Pour the custard through a wire sieve into the large heatproof bowl.
Add the Camp coffee and stir thoroughly.
Place cling film directly on top of the ice cream base, to prevent a skin from forming.
Allow the custard to cool slightly before placing in the fridge to chill thoroughly.
Once chilled, set up your ice cream maker according to its manufacturer’s instructions.
Remove the cling film, stir the ice cream base and taste. If you wish to have a stronger coffee flavour add more Camp coffee, stirring and tasting until the desired strength is reached.
With the ice cream machine switched on and churning, pour the ice cream base through the opening into the bowl.
Churn for 15-20 minutes until the ice cream is thick, but not frozen solid.
Switch off the machine and remove the top and the paddle.
Scrape as much ice cream as possible from the paddle (and then lick the rest off 😉).
Using a deep silicone spatula transfer the rest of the ice cream to a freezer proof tub.
Add the chocolate coffee beans and swirl through the ice cream using the handle of a wooden spoon.
Clip on a tight fitting lid and place the Camp Coffee Ice Cream into the freezer for at least 4 hours, longer if it is very hot weather, so that the ice cream completely freezes.
To serve, remove the ice cream from the freezer 15-20 minutes before scooping. As your ice cream is homemade and therefore does not contain any artificial softeners, preservatives or additives, it will take a little while to soften.
I like to serve Camp Coffee Ice Cream in a pretty bowl for dessert, or in a cone if we are eating in the garden and enjoying the sun. It’s not unheard of to be handing cones full of ice cream, over the fence to our neighbours either!
It’s definitely more fun to share.
If you have enjoyed this recipe for Camp Coffee Ice Cream you may also like these:
I have a thing for hot and cold food together. So my Vanilla Fudge ChocolateBrownies with a scoop or two of Camp Coffee Ice Cream and hot custard poured over, would be my idea of pudding heaven!
That is exactly why I enjoy cooking and baking so much at home. The flavours and combinations are limitless, plus it’s usually a lot cheaper to make it yourself and tastes a lot better. Why? Because you can make it exactly how you want it to taste.
Whatever to are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun creating you feast. Also if you have the means to share some of your bakes, it is so rewarding. Seeing someone smile as you hand them a slice of cake, knowing they e not been forgotten about, simply because the can’t get out and about. We living in communities. Let’s make someone’s day with a surprise treat?