Baked Parmesan Chicken Goujons

Share
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblr

Welcome to a brand new year, 2024! I hope this coming year brings health, happiness and lots of fun to you all. As you may know by now, I love having fun in my kitchen coming up with delicious new recipes to share with you. And today I have a really delicious and easy to make recipe, my Baked Parmesan Chicken Goujons! Deliciously crispy and golden without the hassle, or added fat of frying. As soon as you taste these crispy baked chicken strips you will be making them regularly.

Golden, crispy, Parmesan cheese coated chicken strips on a white platter placed on a red check cloth.

And why not? Believe me, these tasty, crispy on the outside and succulent inner chicken goujons are full of flavour and will disappear fast when you share them with friends and family. Either served as part of a main meal with sweet potato fries and salad, or as part of a buffet for a family get together, these baked chicken strips hit that fried chicken spot without any of the hot oil, frying hassle!

Golden, baked, Parmesan cheese coated strips of chicken on a white platter.

Take a look at how golden and crispy they are.

Recipe – Baked Parmesan Chicken Goujons makes approximately 30

650g/1.5lb Chicken Breast Fillets

1/2 tsp Salt – I use Maldon

1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

100g/4oz Plain White Flour – alternatively, for gluten free, use the same weight of cornflour/corn starch.

2 Large Free Range Eggs

150g/5.5oz Grated Parmesan Cheese – alternatively use the same weight of grated Grana Pandano Cheese. The taste is similar and it is cheaper to buy.

Preparing The Ingredients

Before we start making the chicken goujons it’s worth reading through these tips first:

Setting up an assembly line with each ingredient will make the whole process easier, as you simply move from bowl to bowl with your chicken strips, ending with a lined baking tray. Use your fingers to coat and move the chicken through each stage, I use my left hand for dry and right hand for wet. Inevitably your hands will get sticky and messy, I see this as part of the fun! Although it’s a good idea to keep some kitchen paper near to wipe your fingers on when they become too sticky!

Also, it’s really worth grating the cheese yourself. Aim for long, thin strands of cheese, as these give the best, crispiest finish to the baked chicken.

Let’s Get Started

Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, 425F, gas mark 7
  • Place the flour and grated Parmesan cheese into shallow bowls.
  • Crack both eggs into a similar bowl and whisk together with a fork until combined.
  • Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Place one chicken breast at a time into a freezer bag or between baking parchment and hit with a rolling pin until it is just over 1cm, or half an inch thick across the breast.
  • Using a sharp knife, or poultry scissors cut the breast into 2.5cm, or 1 inch wide strips. It is important to keep the chicken strips roughly the same size as this helps with even baking.

 

Bowls contains ingredients for coating the chicken.

  • Place all of the chicken strips into a shallow dish and season with the salt and pepper, tossing the chicken with your fingers until the seasoning is even.
  • Now make your assembly line, starting with the chicken strips, then the flour, followed by the eggs and then the grated Parmesan. The baking sheets should be as close as possible to the grated Parmesan dish.

Assembling The Parmesan Chicken Goujons

  • Take 3-4 strips of seasoned chicken and place in the flour. Use your fingers to toss the chicken until all strips are coated in flour.
  • Lift each strip of chicken out of the flour, giving it a little shake to remove any clumps and place into the egg. Use your other hand to turn the strips over ensuring each one is fully coated in egg.
  • Lift each strip from the egg mixture, allowing excess egg to drip off and drop into the grated Parmesan cheese. Use your flour hand to toss the chicken in cheese until covered.
  • Carefully remove the Parmesan cheese coated chicken strip and lay it on the baking tray.
  • Repeat the whole process in small batches until all of the chicken goujons are on the baking trays.

Images showing the steps to coat the chicken.

Baking The Chicken Goujons

  • Place the full baking sheets into a preheated oven and bake for 30 – 35 minutes until golden and completely cooked through.
  • To check if they are thoroughly cooked carefully cut through the thickest piece of chicken. Inside should be opaque with no sign of redness.
  • As soon as the chicken is baked remove the baking trays from the oven.

The cheese coated strips before and after baking.

  • Serve immediately for a main meal using tongs to pick them up.
  • If serving hot for a buffet use tongs to place on a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.
  • For picnics or when serving cold leave the goujons to cool on the baking tray. They will still retain their crispness.

Close up images of the crispy, baked, Parmesan chicken Goujons.

Nothing beats the flavour of their savoury, golden crunch against the juicy chicken inside!

Golden and succulent chicken goujons stacked on a platter with a clear view of the inside of one strip.

While this recipe is simple, it does require a few stages. Although, thankfully not having to handle hot oil and fry them makes it worthwhile. For this reason I especially like to batch make these chicken goujons. It makes sense to double the ingredients, make the most of having the oven on and only have one, fun messy kitchen!

So, to make ahead and freeze I follow the recipe and leave the baked goujons to cool. Especially in hot weather I cool the chicken in the refrigerator. Then I place them in freezer bags and pop in the deep freeze where they will keep for 3 months, not that they ever last that long! I defrost the chicken overnight in the refrigerator and bake in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes at 200C/180C fan, 400F gas mark 6, until fully heated through. Likewise, they will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for a couple of days, reheat as given above.

Crispy, Parmesan cheese coated golden chicken strips on a white platter.

If You Have Enjoyed This Recipe For Baked Parmesan Chicken Goujons You May Also Like These:

Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken 

Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken

Chicken Herb Burgers

Homemade Chicken herb burgers in a bun.

Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs

Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs

 

While some people think that chicken has little flavour of its own, when cooked properly, with complimentary ingredients it can really be the star of the show. The Parmesan cheese in this recipe doesn’t give the chicken a cheesy flavour, more like a slightly salty savoury hit that lifts the succulent chicken. I’m already imagining what a pinch of cayenne pepper or paprika would add to this dish! So many ideas! Most importantly is the ideas that make it onto my blog are rigorously tested, ensuring you have success every time you make them.

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

Sammie x

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

 

Share
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblr

Easy White Cob Loaf

Share
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblr

Welcome to Autumn here in the U.K. A time when storms rip across the land, pulling leaves from trees, tousling our manicured summer gardens. While shadows lengthen as the days shorten and golden sunshine illuminates the changing colours of our landscape. As temperatures begin to drop thoughts turn to indoors where we crave comfort and being cosy. The kitchen, no longer churning out endless salads that quench summer heat, now become our sanctuary. And baking bread again becomes a pleasure, as the house fills with welcoming aromas and our appetites are satiated. Crusty and delicious this Easy White Cob Loaf is the simplest bread to make, requiring no special tin to bake it in.

Cut loaf of bread on a board.

Taking The Hard Work Out Of Making Bread

Crusty bread is so appealing. Whether toasted and slathered in jam, or buttered and served with soup, it never fails to deliver on taste and texture. Made using simple ingredients; flour, water, yeast, salt and a little butter or oil, it only requires the minimum handling when using a stand mixer to mix and knead the dough. So, for those who struggle with painful hands due to arthritis, as I do, this recipe is simple and easy to make. Alternatively, this recipe can easily be made by hand for those who prefer to knead bread themselves.

Sliced crusty white bread on a wooden board.

Easy Bread Making For Everyone

Whether this is your first time making bread or the millionth, the simplicity of this recipe is so rewarding. Since we use the same bowl to mix the ingredients together and prove the dough. And when using a stand mixer all of the kneading also takes place in this bowl. A baking tray is necessary and a dough scraper recommended. Finally, a sharp knife to score the dough and you’re all set!

Easy White Cob Loaf freshly baked and cooling on a round trivet.

A beautiful, golden, crusty Cob Loaf.

Recipe: Easy White Cob Loaf

400ml/13.5fl oz  Water at body temperature 37C/98.5F

7g  Fast Action Dried Yeast – I currently use Doves Farm

600g/1lb 5oz Strong White Bread Flour – I use Organic White Bread Flour from Shipton Mill plus a little extra for dusting the worktop

7g Salt – I use Maldon Salt as it doesn’t contain any other chemicals

25g/1oz  Unsalted Butter at room temperature. Alternatively use 1tbsp rapeseed oil – plus a little extra for greasing the baking tray.

Making And Proving The Easy White Cob Loaf Dough

  • First of all add the water to the stand mixer bowl. I prefer to weigh it as it is more accurate.
  • Next add the yeast and then the flour.
  • Add the salt on top of the flour.
  • With a dough hook attachment slowly (speed 1 on a Kitchenaid mixer) mix the ingredients for 5 minutes.
  • Following the initial mixing add the butter or oil and turn the speed of the mixer up slightly (speed 2 on a Kitchenaid mixer).
  • Continue to mix the dough for a further 10 minutes.
  • Finally stop the mixer and using clean wet hands form the dough into a ball shape.
  • *Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to prove until doubled in size.
  • Lightly dust a clean worktop with flour. Using the dough scraper release the dough from the bowl so that the top of the dough is now underneath. This is important as we build tension across the dough as we shape it.

Making Bread By Hand

  • Alternatively, add the ingredients to a bowl as previously mentioned and mix by hand adding the butter/oil as the dough comes together, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 10 minutes. Shape into a ball and place back into the bowl. Carry on from step *.

Four images showing dough being proved during bread making.Shaping The Dough

  • In the image above you can see the unshaped dough turned out of the bowl and a perfectly round, shaped dough ready for the second prove. The following steps will teach you how to shape and build tension across the dough so that it keeps it’s shape during baking.
  • First of all, dust your hands with flour.
  • Pull out part of the dough and then press it back into the centre. See the images below.
  • Turn the dough and repeat the last step. While you are doing this you are creating tension across the base of the dough.
  • Continue turning the dough, pulling and pressing into the centre until you have a tight, roundish shape.

Four stages showing how to shape dough for a cob loaf.

Creating The Perfect Cob Loaf Shape

  • Flip the dough over and use your hands to cup and twist the dough.
  • Continue until you have a neat, tight, dough ball.
  • Finally place the dough ball onto a greased baking tray, cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for 20 minutes.
  • PRE HEAT your oven to 220C/200C fan, 425F, gas mark 7. Place a shallow, ovenproof dish with water in it on the bottom shelf of the oven.
  • After 20 minutes of proving use the blade of a sharp knife to score down the middle of the dough.

Shaping, proving and scoring dough for a cob loaf.

Baking The Easy White Cob Loaf

  • Preheating the oven with water in it creates a steamy environment that allows the dough to expand more before setting a crust.
  • Place the baking tray in the middle of the oven.
  • Bake the bread for 50-55 minutes.
  • The loaf should be golden in colour and sound hollow when rapped on the base with a knuckle (take care it will be hot).
  • As soon as the bread is baked remove it from the oven and place on a cooling rack or trivet to cool completely.

Freshly baked easy white cob loaf.

Leave the bread to completely cool before cutting it.

Easy white cob loaf sliced on a wooden board.

Attempting to cut hot or warm bread will cause it to lose it’s structure and collapse as it’s cut.

Easy white cob loaf - crusty bread sliced on a wooden board.

Beautiful, easy to cut, crusty bread.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Easy White Cob Loaf you may also like these:

Seeded Cob Loaf

Seeded Cob Loaf on a wooden board.
Seeded Cob Loaf

Farmhouse White Loaf

Farmhouse White Loaf
Farmhouse White Loaf

Large White Bloomer

Large White Bloomer on a cooling rack.
Large White Bloomer

Since making bread is a passion of mine, sharing recipes, with you the reader, is important to me. Everyone who wants to should be able to make bread using simple, affordable ingredients. Equally important are clear, concise recipes with photographs. Together these aid confidence in the baker through each stage of the recipe, turning fear into fun!

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

Sammie x

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

 

Share
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblr

Mini Egg Bundt Cake

Share
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblr

Easter is almost here and with it comes Spring here in the U.K. Finally, longer  days, more sunshine, bright yellow daffodil blooms in the hedgerows and, an abundance of Easter eggs in the shops. Whether large or small, eggs remind us of new life at this time of year. So, this Mini Egg Bundt Cake is the perfect bake to eat and celebrate, with friends and family this Easter.

 

Chocolate mini eggs are an extra special treat at Easter. Cadbury’s chocolate is encased in pastel coloured, crisp, vanilla shells, resulting is the most delicious flavour! And so the flavour of the cake sponge takes it’s vanilla notes directly from the shell of the mini eggs, as does the vanilla chocolate drizzle. Resulting in a light, vanilla cake that compliments the mini chocolate eggs that adorn it.

Looking down onto the top of a mini egg topped Bundt cake, surrounded by mini eggs on a white plate.
Beautiful Bundt Cakes

I adore baking with Bundt cake tins. Their beautiful detailing means that, once baked, the cake has a distinct hole in the centre, alongside elegant detailing on the outside of the cake. Here, in the U.K. Nordicware.com who make Bundt pans as well as a whole range of kitchen bakeware, own the trademark “Bundt”. Therefore, for a cake to legally be called a Bundt cake, it must be baked in  Nordic Ware Bundt Pan.

 

And, in my baking, I wouldn’t consider using copies of true Bundt pans, nor would I recommend it. Since Nordic Ware Bundt pans come with a lifetime guarantee. So, I recommend looking after your Bundt pans, as they will give you years of beautiful, baked Bundt cakes. And, should any issues arise, simply contact Nordic Ware. Recently, I had a pan replaced by them, due to an issue that had been present since it’s first use. Finally, I should say that this post is not sponsored by Nordic Ware, I just love their Bundt pans and highly recommend them!

 

Easter cake catching the early Spring sunshine.

EASTER MINI EGG BUNDT CAKE – serves 8 – 10

For The Bundt cake:

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

225g/8oz Caster Sugar

4 Large Free Range Eggs

1tbsp Vanilla Bean Paste – I use Vanilla Mart

alternatively substitute vanilla extract (1tbsp)

225g Plain White Flour

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon 

2tsp Baking Powder

For The Chocolate Drizzle:

100g/4oz White Chocolate

50mls/2tbsp + 1tsp Double Cream (heavy cream)

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste

For Cake Decoration:

1 large packet of Cadbury’s Mini Eggs (296g)

Gel food colouring – I use Wilton

To Make This Cake – you will need a 6 cup Bundt pan (the size is embossed on the outside of the pan). Alternatively, for a 10 cup pan increase the ingredients by half again. Also, you will need either cake release spray or, my preferred method  brush melted butter liberally on every part of the inside of the pan and then dust with plain flour, tapping any excess flour out over the sink.

 

2 images of the Anniversary Bundt pan, one of the outside, the second shows the inside prepared with butter and flour so the cake batter does not stick during baking.
The Anniversary Bundt pan, prepared for use.

Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan, gas mark 3, 325F.

Making And Baking The Vanilla Bundt Cake Sponge:

  • First of all place the sugar, butter and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract into a large bowl.
  • Whisk together the ingredients until they pale and creamy.
  • Next, crack all 4 eggs into the same bowl. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt on top of the eggs.
  • Whisk all of the wet and dry ingredients together until you have a smooth batter. Take cake not to over whisk as this can result in a heavy cake.
  • Spoon the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan, ensuring the batter fills the pan by no more than three quarters full.

Showing the stages of making cake batter and filling a Bundt pan.

  • Place the Bundt pan into the centre of a preheated oven and bake for 55minutes – 1hour. The cake is baked when it is golden in colour and pulling away from the sides of the pan.
  • As soon as the cake is baked remove it from the oven. Place it onto a rack or trivet to cool, in the same position as in the oven.

Baked Bundt cake, in the pan, before and after trimming excess cake, to ensure an even release from the pan.

  • After 15 minutes cooling, use a serrated bread knife, trim any excess cake that covers the central hole. This will allow the cake to release easily when turned out.
  • Turn the Bundt cake out on to a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.

A vanilla Bundt cake using the Anniversary Bundt pan.

Preparing And Using The Chocolate Drizzle

  • Chop up the milk chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl, then add the cream.
  • Pour approximately 5 cm of water into a small saucepan, then place the heatproof bowl on top of the saucepan, ensuring that it does not touch the water.
  • Place the saucepan on a medium heat and stir the chocolate and cream together until all the white chocolate has melted and combined with the cream.
  • Remove the bowl from the saucepan.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste to the bowl and stir to mix.
  • Next, use a skewer to dip into the colouring gel. Swirl the skewer into the melted chocolate until you reach your desired colour.
  • Leave the coloured chocolate to cool and thicken slightly.
  • When you are ready to decorate, place the cake on a rack over a baking tray, this is buy far the easiest method which I forgot to do! Alternatively, place the cake on to a serving plate, however, any excess chocolate drizzle will need to be removed with a spoon and some kitchen roll!
  • Start spooning the coloured chocolate on top of the Bundt cake, ensuring that it drips down the sides of the cake. Continue drizzling until the is covered on top, yet still has some uncovered sponge around the sides.
  • Leave for 5-10 minutes to set. During this time, if you have your cake on a plate, clean up any excess drizzle and wipe the plate with kitchen roll.
  • After the drizzle has slightly set move the cake on to a serving plate (for those who used the rack over baking pan method).

Colouring white chocolate ganache and using it to drizzle over a Bundt cake.
Decorating The Bundt Cake With Mini Eggs:

  • First of all, remove appropriately half of the mini eggs from the bag and place into a bowl.
  • Next, ensure the top of the mini egg bag is securely closed, hit the bag with a rolling pin a few times to break up the remaining eggs.
  • Start decorating the top of the cake with mini eggs. The chocolate drizzle should be slightly tacky and act like a glue, adhering the eggs to the cake. Because the chocolate is not fully set hold each egg in place for a few seconds, before moving on to the next mini egg. Including cracked eggs as you decorate enhances the finished cake.
  • Rotating the cake will ensure an even distribution of whole and cracked eggs on the top.
  • Finally, place the remaining eggs around the base of the cake, adding a few eggs to the hollow centre. See the photos below for guidance.

The different stages of decorating a Bundt cake with mini eggs.

  • As soon as the cake decoration is complete, carefully transfer the cake to a fridge to fully set. Depending on the time of year, it should take between 2 and 4 hours, or overnight, to set.

Easter Bundt Cake decorated with Cadbury’s mini eggs.

Serving The Mini Egg Bundt Cake

To serve, remove the cake from the fridge and allow to come up to room temperature. Alternatively, if it’s a very hot day, remove from the fridge, slice and serve immediately.

A slice cut from an Easter cake with both shown.

If You Have Enjoyed This Easter Recipe For A Mini Egg Bundt Cake, You may Also Like These:

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

Lemon blueberry Bundt cake covered in a yellow lemon glaze and decorated with white flowers.
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake, baked in the Blossom Bundt pan.

Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies

Brownies topped with bright, colourful mini eggs and a white chocolate drizzle.
Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies

Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes

Cupcakes with chocolate piped nests filled with mini eggs.
Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes

 

Easter is a time when we come together with family and friends, however for Christians it is also a time when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. While eggs symbolise new life, so does the resurrection of Christ. His love for us is beyond measure, which He shows by sacrificing His life, on our behalf, dying on the cross. If you would like to know more about Jesus, please see my post Important Stuff. Because the real truth of Easter is so much more than chocolate!

Whatever you are making, baking and creating this Easter, I hope that you have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie x

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

 

Mini Egg decorated Bundt cake with descriptive graphics.

 

 

Share
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblr

Baileys Coffee And Walnut Cake

Share
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblr

Baileys Coffee And Walnut Cake is the ultimate combination of flavours and textures combined in an exquisite and easy to make sponge cake. There is nothing low key about this cake, except how easy it is to make. Bailey’s Irish Cream is in both the sponge and mascarpone frosting and it is delicious. So delicious in fact, this is the cake you need to make if you, or someone you love are true coffee lovers.

Baileys coffee cake covered in mascarpone frosting and decorated with walnuts.

For the past few years I have baked a  Coffee and Walnut Cake for my Father in law’s birthday. Since that is his favourite cake. While I have created some cakes such as Coffee Pecan Glazed Bundt Cake and Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake, a traditional Coffee and Walnut Cake has always been his favourite.

Sadly, this year my wonderful and much loved Father in law passed away. So, in remembrance of him, on what would have been his birthday, I wanted to bake one more cake that I hope he would have enjoyed. This delicious Baileys Coffee And Walnut Cake.

A Twist On A Classic Coffee Cake

Rather than baking my classic coffee and walnut cake, I decided to switch things up. I enjoy the challenge of creating new recipes and as we love Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur as a family, using it in a coffee cake recipe ticked all the right boxes! And my intuition proved right. Since the unmistakable flavour of Baileys comes through in both the sponge and frosting of this cake.

A slice of Baileys coffee cake on a pretty plate.

A deliciously flavoured coffee and Baileys light sponge cake, covered in whipped, Baileys mascarpone frosting and decorated with walnuts. While this cake is beautiful it is also easy to make. Especially as I have included step by step photos for every stage of the recipe. So, let’s get baking!

Recipe: Baileys Coffee And Walnut Cake – serves 8-10 (generously!)

For The Cake:

2 x 20cm (8inch) sandwich cake tins

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter – at room temperature

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon 

225g/8oz Caster Sugar

4 Large Free Range Eggs

75ml/5tbsp Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur

1/2tsp Instant Coffee – dissolved in 2tsp hot water

225g/8oz Plain Flour

1.5tsp Baking Powder

For The Frosting And Decoration:

500g/1lb 2oz Mascarpone Cheese

50g/2oz Icing Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – alternatively use vanilla extract

60ml/4tbsp Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur

16 Walnut Halves

150g/5oz Chopped Walnuts

To Make The Baileys Coffee Cake Sponges:

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan, 350F, gas mark 4
  • First of all grease both cake tins and line the base with baking parchment.
  • Add the butter, sugar and salt to a large bowl. Whisk together until light and creamy.
  • Next, add the eggs, coffee and Bailey’s to the bowl.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl.
  • Slowly whisk all of the ingredients together until the batter mix is smooth. Take care not to over mix as this can cause the cake to become dense and heavy.

The stages of mixing up a cake batter.

  • Spoon the cake batter into the prepared tins, dividing evenly between the two.
  • Smooth the surface of the cake batter using the back of a spoon.
  • Place the tins in the centre of a preheated oven.
  • Leave to bake for 35-40 minutes, the cakes are baked when they are golden and when lightly pressed in the centre spring back.
  • As soon as the cakes are baked remove from the oven.
  • Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes before turning them out and placing on a cooling rack.

Before and after baking a coffee sponge.

Making The Baileys Mascarpone Frosting:

  • Into a large bowl add the mascarpone cheese, sifted icing sugar, vanilla paste and Bailey’s.
  • Whisk together until the mixture is smooth and free from lumps.

Frosting The Cake:

  • Place the base sponge flat side up onto a plate or cake board.
  • Spoon some of the mascarpone frosting onto the cake. Don’t overdo it, you can always add more!
  • Use a pallet knife to smooth the frosting evenly over the sponge, taking it almost to the edge. Otherwise, too much frosting will ooze out when the top sponge is added.

Showing how to fill and cover a cake in mascarpone frosting.

  • Place the top sponge, flat side down, evenly on to the base.
  • Spoon a generous amount of mascarpone frosting on to the top of the cake.
  • Use a pallet knife to roughly cover the cake top with frosting while also pushing the frosting over the side of the cake. See the images below for guidance.
  • Work around the cake gently easing the frosting to cover the side of the cake.
  • Once the side of the cake is roughly covered scrape the pallet knife on the top of the frosting bowl and wipe clean. I use a clean tea towel.
  • Smooth the top of the cake so that it’s smooth and even.
  • Clean the pallet knife as before and place it flat, against the side of the cake.
  • Rotate the cake plate, keeping the knife in place, so the frosting forms an even layer that completely covers the side of the cake.
  • Repeat the last step (as many times as needed), adding frosting where needed, until the side of the cake is evenly covered all the way round.

Creating a smooth finish ready to decorate with walnuts.

Decorating The Cake With Walnuts:

  • First of all place the weighed walnuts, (setting the 16 walnut halves to one side) on to a board a chop roughly so that they are about the same size. See the picture below for guidance. Set to one side.
  • Take a small handful of chopped walnuts and press them to the side of the cake. Don’t worry about nuts that fall on to the plate or small gaps, since we will use them in a bit.
  • Continue placing nuts on to the side of the cake until it is covered.
  • Place a large sharp knife under the fallen nuts. Turn the knife vertically to press the nuts into the frosting. See the image above.
  • Continue this last step, working around the cake until all of the nuts are pressed on to the cake.
  • Finally, if there are any chopped nuts left use them to plug any large gaps.
  • Place the 16 walnut halves evenly on the cake top.
  • Refrigerate the cake for at least one hour before serving. As this allows the frosting to set.

The finished baileys coffee and walnut cake.

Is this a cake or gateaux? One thing’s for sure, it is utterly delicious.

Reading back through recipe posts on this blog is almost like reading a diary. Whether I mention family events, special occasions, or the weather, it always brings back memories. And because I am quite a sentimental person, each recipe is special to me. Likewise when someone makes a recipe of mine it always brings me joy. So thank you to everyone who reads, cooks and bakes using this blog.

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

Sammie x

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

 

 

Image for Pinterest with descriptive graphics.

 

 

Share
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblr

Mini Egg Millionaires Shortbread

Share
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblr

So, I’d like to wish a Happy Easter everyone. And welcome to the first, new blog post in well over a year! Finally, I am thrilled to be sharing my recipe for Mini Egg Millionaires Shortbread squares with you. Also, I am equally excited at finally having all the dots join up so that I can create a recipe, make and test it, photograph it, edit the photos, write the blog post and then publish it!

Easter mini egg millionaires shortbread squares.
Mini Eggs Millionaires Shortbread

So, as previously mentioned, there is a lot that goes into creating content that is up to standard for my blog. And I sure have a corker of a recipe for you today.

What Is Millionaires Shortbread?

Because, these Mini Egg Millionaires Shortbread squares are absolutely scrumptious, sharing the recipe seems only fair.  And, I say that as someone who’s not generally a fan of anything too sweet. Especially caramel! So, to create an Easter treat that I could enjoy too I made some adjustments to the final recipe.

Millionaires Shortbread comprises of three layers; a shortbread base, topped with caramel and then covered in chocolate. When cut into squares they are the ultimate, sweet tooth lover’s favourite treat. So, to add a little balance, I added some sea salt to the caramel and mixed dark and milk chocolate together for the topping. While the white chocolate is sweeter, there is only a small amount as it is used to create a beautiful marble effect.

Why Use Galaxy Mini Eggs

There are so many different types of chocolate mini eggs available to buy nowadays, it really makes Easter baking so much fun. And, it’s there in the name of this blog, when we bake, we want it to be fun and delicious! So, I found some mini eggs that seemed the perfect topping to Millionaires Shortbread. They are made by Galaxy and the packaging says “they’re Galaxy chocolate with crunchy caramel rolled in rose gold.”

I love mini eggs, it’s a thing, if you know you know and well if you don’t that means more for me!! And I love a bit of bling. Tasteful, rose gold with tones of bronze bling. Chocolate is a given and caramel, well?? Not normally, but these mini eggs are very subtle on the caramel and the crunch is literally the icing on the cake. So that’s what I did, literally, use them as the perfect decoration for my Easter Mini Egg Millionaires Shortbread.

The combination of flavours and textures will have your mouth singing and your heart dancing.

Recipe for Mini Egg Millionaires Shortbread – makes 15 squares

For The Shortbread Base:

300g/10oz Plain White Flour

200g/7oz Softened Unsalted Butter

100g/4oz Caster Sugar

1 Large Free Range Egg

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

2tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

For The Caramel Middle:

150g/5oz Unsalted Butter

100g/4oz Golden Syrup

379g Can of Condensed Milk – I use Carnation

1/4tsp Sea Salt

For The Chocolate Topping And Decoration:

200g/7oz Milk Chocolate

100g/4oz Dark Chocolate

50g/2oz White Chocolate

2 x 80g Packets of Galaxy Enchanted Eggs – available from most supermarkets

Bronze crunch sprinkles – available from Waitrose

Making The Shortbread Base

Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan, gas mark 3, 325F.

  • First of all, lightly butter a 28cm x 20cm x 5cm (11″x 8″x 2″) swiss roll tin and line with baking parchment.
  • Next add the softened butter, caster sugar, vanilla extract, egg and salt into a large bowl. Whisk until pale and creamy.
  • Then 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.

Baking The Shortbread

  • Now place the tin into the centre of a preheated oven and bake for 40-50 minutes. Turn the tin around halfway through baking, ensuring the shortbread is baked evenly.
  • The shortbread is baked when it is a golden colour and firm to touch.
  • As soon as the shortbread is baked remove the tin from the oven and set to one side.

Pre and post baked shortbread base for the mini egg millionaires shortbread squares.

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. Take care as you continue to stir as the caramel becomes very hot. The caramel gradually becomes thicker and as it does it will darken. This process takes 10-15 minutes, do not rush as the caramel may burn.
  • Remove the caramel mixture from the heat and spoon over the cooled shortbread.
  • Work quickly, using the back of a metal dessert spoon to smooth the caramel so that it completely covers the shortbread.
  • Sprinkle the sea salt flakes evenly over the caramel.
  • Set the caramel covered shortbread to one side to cool completely.

Making caramel in a saucepan.

Making The Marbled Chocolate Topping And Decorating

  • Break the milk and dark 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 is completely melted.

  • Pour the melted chocolate over the caramel covered shortbread. Use the back of a clean dessert spoon to spread it evenly.
  • Melt the white chocolate as given for the milk/dark chocolate. Because there is a smaller amount it will melt much quicker.
  • Spoon the melted white chocolate onto the milk and dark chocolate layer.
  • Drag a skewer lightly back and forth through the chocolate to create marble effect.
  • Finally, place the burnished, mini eggs onto the melted chocolate and then sprinkle over the bronze crunch.
  • Place to one side until just set.

Portioning The Mini Egg Millionaires Shortbread Squares

  • As soon as the chocolate has set, but not hard, use a sharp knife to lightly score the chocolate squares. This makes it much easier to cut through the hard, set block without the chocolate cracking.
  • Place the tin in the fridge until the chocolate is set hard.
  • Once set remove the tin from the fridge. Lift the whole block out of the tin using the baking parchment.
  • Peel the parchment away from the sides.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut through the entire block along the previously scored lines.
  • Tip – make a note of where your scoring lines are, on the excess baking parchment, before adding the eggs and sprinkles. It will make cutting the squares much easier!

Place the Mini Egg Millionaires Shortbread squares onto a platter and serve cold.


I absolutely love sharing what I bake. Today, I wrapped up a chilled square and gave it to our shopping delivery driver. It’s always a lovely feeling making someone else smile.

To find out why Easter is more than baking to me read

Important Stuff.

If you have enjoyed these Mini Egg Millionaires Shortbread squares then you may also like these:

Chocolate Mini Egg Sponge Cake

 

Chocolate Mini Egg Sponge cake
Chocolate Mini Egg Sponge Cake

Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes

 

Vanilla mini egg nest cupcakes
Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes

Mini Egg Marbled Traybake 

 

Mini Egg Marbled Traybake
Mini Egg Marbled Traybake

Finally, it is so good to be posting new recipes for you to try again. While the last two years have been undoubtedly difficult for all of us, we are now, hopefully coming out of the shadows of COVID. Although for those of you who lost loved ones and friends to the pandemic, that phrase may still feel a long way off. Most importantly for me, is the need to hold onto hope. And it is with that hope that I wish you all a safe, peaceful and healthy Easter.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens I hope you are now able to share your feast in person, with those you love and care for.

Sammie x

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

 

Easter mini egg millionaires shortbread squares.

 

 

Share
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblr

Mixed Fruit Loaf Cake

Share
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblr

Hello to all my lovely readers. How are you during these worrying and confined times? A coping mechanism that I use during chaotic, out of control times, is to do something soothing and familiar. And for me that’s baking. Whether it’s methodically following a recipe or developing a new one, being creative in the kitchen calms me. And there is the added bonus of a delicious bake at the end of the process! My Mixed Fruit Loaf Cake is the result of a personal craving for exactly this cake, light, buttery and packed full of plump vine fruits and cherries.

 

Mixed Fruit Loaf Cake

If I’m being completely honest I’m not a big fan of heavily spiced, rich fruit cake. For example Christmas cake. While I make it every year for my hubby and son who adore it, I will only have a tiny piece, primarily out of tradition and also to check the flavour. Yet a lighter, un-spiced fruit cake such as my Dundee Cake, is a completely different story. Pass me a slice, a cup of tea and I’m one happy girlie. And that light, fruit packed, buttery cake is exactly the inspiration behind my Mixed Fruit Loaf Cake.

 

Mixed Fruit Loaf Cake

A Spoonful Of Sugar

So, what makes this fruit cake extra special is the crunchy sugar topping. Added as a last minute idea, one teaspoon of Demerara sugar sprinkled onto the cake before it is baked takes this cake to another level. The crunchy texture adds an unexpected contrast to the soft, yielding cake without adding excess sweetness. You may of course leave it off, but I’d encourage you to try it once!

 

Uncut mixed fruit loaf cake.
Mixed Fruit Loaf Cake

Finally, a quick note about making this cake. After baking and cooling wrap the cake, still in its tin, in cling film. The cake firms up and pulls together overnight and, in my opinion, improves in flavour. Although this process isn’t necessary, if you have the time I highly recommend it.

 

Recipe: Mixed Fruit Loaf Cake serves 8-10

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature 

225g/8oz Caster Sugar – can be substituted with granulated sugar

1/4 tsp Salt – I use Maldon

1 tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen Massey

4 Large Free Range Eggs

275g/9.5oz Self Raising Flour – alternatively use the same weight of plain flour and add 1 teaspoon of baking powder

Zest of 1 Lemon

100g/4oz Glacé Cherries – halved

200g/7oz Mixed Vine Fruits – sultanas, raisins and currants – I use Waitrose  Luxury Vine Fruits. Alternatively use 300g mix of whatever dried fruits you prefer.

1 tsp Demerara Sugar 

Making The Fruit Cake Batter:

Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan, gas mark 3, 325F.

  • First of all, butter and line the base with baking parchment of a 2lb loaf tin – 24.5cm x 14.5cm x 7cm (10in x 6in x 3in).
  • Into a large bowl add the sugar, butter, salt and vanilla extract.
  • Whisk or beat the ingredients together until pale and creamy.
  • Add the eggs to the bowl and mix together until combined.
  • Sieve the flour into the bowl.
  • Add the dried fruit to the bowl and then add the lemon zest.
  • Use your hands to lightly toss the fruit in flour, this helps ensure even distribution of fruit through the cake.
  • Using a large spoon fold the fruit into the batter, taking care not to over mix.

 

Four images showing the process of making a fruit cake batter.

  • Spoon the cake batter into the loaf tin and smooth the top.
  • Sprinkle one teaspoon of Demerara sugar over the top of the uncooked cake.

Baking The Cake:

  • Place the cake into the centre of a preheated oven and bake for 1 hour 25 minutes.
  • Since all ovens vary baking times may be 10-15 minutes either side of this time.
  • The cake is baked when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • As soon as the cake is baked remove from the oven and place the tin on a cooling rack.
  • Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.

Before and after images showing a sprinkling of Demerara sugar baking to create a crunchy crust on the top of a cake.

  • When the cake is completely cooled run a palette knife around it’s outside edge and turn out of the tin.
  • Remove the baking parchment from the base, place the cake on a plate or board and it is ready to serve.
Mixed Fruit Loaf Cake

Don’t you want to reach through the screen a grab a slice right now?

Mixed Fruit Loaf Cake

Slice the cake and serve with a cup of tea. A quintessential way to enjoy afternoon tea, preferably with friends and family.

Keep this cake in an airtight container and eat within 4 days.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Mixed Fruit Loaf Cake you may also like these:

Amaretto Light Fruit Cake 

Amaretto Light Fruit Cake
Amaretto Light Fruit Cake

Iced Cherry Coconut Loaf Cake 

Iced Cherry Coconut Fruit Cake
Iced Cherry Coconut Loaf Cake

Raspberry White Chocolate Loaf Cake

Raspberry White Chocolate Loaf Cake
Raspberry White Chocolate Loaf Cake

Because of their easy to slice and easy package shape I enjoy making loaf cakes to take to other peoples houses. Since that is not possible at present they’re also great cakes to take on picnics. Especially cakes that don’t have a sticky, wasp attracting icing, such as this Mixed Fruit Loaf Cake. Likewise, each slice can be cut into fingers, ideal for little hands to hold and munch on. Also, they are a delicious addition to packed lunches, for when normality returns!

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

Sammie x

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

Mixed fruit loaf cake with descriptive graphics.

 

Share
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblr

Feta Sun Dried Tomato Soda Bread

Share
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblr

Hey lovely peeps, how are you holding up? Since we are now in the ?th week of lockdown, I’ve lost count. Actually, for the first time since coronavirus altered our entire lives, I actually mixed up my days last week! Crazy times we are living in. So, because I really want to help all my beautiful readers, I have been getting busy in the kitchen. And I have a fantastic, yeast free, bread recipe to share with you today. Say hello to my Feta Sun Dried Tomato Soda Bread.

Uncut feta and sun dried tomato bread topped with sesame seeds.
Feta Sun Dried Tomato Soda Bread

Doesn’t it look good? And it’s super easy to make and bake. I really am trying to make life easier for us all, one recipe at a time. So, if you can’t get hold of yeast, or want to make this bread because it tastes so good, let me show you how!

Feta Sun Dried Tomato Soda Bread

Mediterranean Flavours

The combination of salty, feta cheese chunks and nuggets of savoury, sun dried tomatoes in this bread are like a burst of summer. One bite of this bread and you can easily be transported to a quiet beach, beside the Mediterranean Sea, with the warm summer sun beaming down on your face. Yes, it really is that good, especially if you add fresh olives and a glass of cool, crisp wine! Either eat it sliced and slathered with butter, or create a little pick and mix selection platter as I have. Most importantly, have fun creating a feast from a simple loaf of bread.

Summer lunch platter with bread, olives, red grapes, celery and a selection of cooked meats.

If you are a regular visitor to my blog, you’ll know how much I love baking bread. Usually it is yeasted bread, but not today. Since this soda bread relies on baking soda reacting with the acidic buttermilk, causing the bread to rise during baking. Resulting in a crunchy crust and the tenderest crumb. As soon as you’ve baked this bread I guarantee you’ll want to make it again.

Recipe: Feta Sun Dried Tomato Bread

350g/12oz Plain White Flour

1tsp Baking Soda – also known as Sodium Bicarbonate. and Bicarbonate of Soda

275ml Buttermilk or whole/semi-skimmed milk with 1tbsp lemon juice added and leave for 5 minutes

100g/4oz Feta Cheese – alternatively use any similar crumbly cheese such as Cheshire cheese, or Superior Goat Cheese available from Ribblesdale Cheese.

75g/3oz Sun Dried Tomatoes 

3 tbsp Sesame Seeds – optional

5 g Salt – I use Maldon

1/4 tsp Black Pepper – coarsely ground  

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6, 400F.

Making The Feta Sun Dried Tomato Soda Bread Dough

  • First of all prepare the milk with lemon juice if not using buttermilk.
  • Use a fork to break the feta cheese into chunks.
  • Snip the sun dried tomatoes into 1cm (1/4in) pieces,
  • Sift the flour and baking soda into a large bowl. And then add the salt and sesame seeds.
  • Add the feta to the flour mixture and toss around using your hands, this stops the cheese from clumping together.
  • Next, add the tomato pieces and toss around in the flour as before.
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry mix and pour in most of your buttermilk (or substitute).
  • Use a butter knife to stir the ingredients, gradually bringing them together. If the mixture seems a little dry add the rest of the buttermilk. See the picture below, as the dough is quite wet and sticky.
  • Dust your hand with flour and bring the dough together to form a ball.

 

Four steps to making feta sun dried tomato soda bread dough.
Making the bread dough.

Shaping, Cutting And Baking The Bread

  • Place the ball of dough onto a floured baking tray.
  • Sprinkle over sesame seeds. Because the dough is quite tacky they should easily stick.
  • Carefully flour a sharp knife and cut a cross into the dough. Cut right rough the dough almost to the base. While baking this allows the bread to rise and open up, ensuring the centre bakes through.

Shaping and cutting a cross through the dough.

  • Place the baking tray into the centre of a preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.
  • The bread is baked when it is golden brown across the whole loaf and sounds hollow when rapped on the base with your knuckle.
  • As soon as the bread is baked remove from the oven.
Freshly baked feta sun dried tomato soda bread.
Feta Sun Dried Tomato Soda Bread freshly baked.

Cooling The Bread

  • Remove the bread from the tray and place on a cooling rack.
  • Leave to cool completely before cutting.

Easy Bread Making

As soon as the bread is cool it can be sliced. I find using a serrated bread knife the best tool for cutting through this bread.


Serve this bread with olives, cheese and cooked meats. Alternatively, it makes a delicious accompaniment to soup, especially my Hearty Minestrone Soup.

Soda bread is always best eaten the day it is made.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Feta Sun Dried Tomato Soda Bread you may also like to try these:

Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread

Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread
Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread

Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Focaccia

Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Focaccia
Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Focaccia

Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones

Cheddar sun dried tomato scones
Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones.

Since lockdown began I am so grateful to have a garden. More so when the weather is fine and I can sit outside with a cup of tea listening to the birds singing. Because I love picnics, I am fortunate to eat my lunch outside, sitting on a blanket on the lawn. And I know I am blessed, as there are many who are confined to flats and apartments, only allowed out for exercise and essential shopping. So, it is with hope, that when this time of lockdown and social distancing is passed, I look forward to many of us enjoying picnics in the future. Whether at the beach, the local park or simply joining with familIes in a field, we will be together again, sharing, feasting and having fun.

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

Sammie xx

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

Olives Direct sent me some a selection of olives and sun dried tomatoes to try. I used the marinated sun dried tomatoes in this recipe.

Sliced feta sun dried tomato soda bread on a white plate with descriptive graphics.

Share
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblr

Raspberry White Chocolate Loaf Cake

Share
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblr

Hello lovely readers, welcome to my blog, where each recipe I create is a feast and we have fun while cooking and baking. And today’s recipe is most definitely a feast, both for the eyes and tastebuds. Welcome to my Raspberry White Chocolate Loaf Cake. A vanilla flavoured cake, studded with ruby red raspberries and topped with a white chocolate drizzle. Finally, fresh and freeze dried raspberries are sprinkled on top, creating a delicious, dessert cake.

Fresh berry and vanilla sponge.
Raspberry White Chocolate Loaf Cake

Since I first thought up the idea for this cake I have wanted to bake it and share it with you. White chocolate and raspberries are a classic, flavour combination. While the vanilla flavoured chocolate melts into and flavours the cake, bursts of semi-tart, jammy raspberries create a flavour explosion in your mouth. And I get super excited every time those words “flavour explosion” are written in a sentence. Because, it means something must taste sensational. And this cake does!

Overhead image of a fresh berry sponge, decorated with raspberries.
Raspberry White Chocolate Loaf Cake

Lockdown Ingredients

Since we are currently in lockdown, here in the U.K. due to the Coronavirus, creating new recipes requires a whole new approach. As well as coming up with new recipe ideas, other things have to also be considered now. Currently, the most important aspect is ingredient availability. And even then, that can vary from region to region. So, with this recipe I have kept to ingredients that are generally either store cupboard staples, or are fairly easy to get hold of.

Sliced raspberry and white chocolate loaf cake.

I always have a stash of berries in the freezer and a quick scout round supermarket websites showed good availability. Using frozen raspberries in this recipe may result in a longer bake time, however, they are much easier to mix into the cake batter without breaking up. And, although white chocolate is added to the batter, it melts into the cake while baking, enhancing the vanilla flavour. So don’t expect to find chunks of it in the finished cake!

Recipe: Raspberry White Chocolate Loaf Cake serves 8-10

For the cake:

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter – at room temperature.

225g/8oz Caster Sugar – regular sugar can be used see *note regarding mixing

1/4 tsp Salt – I use Maldon

2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – alternatively use vanilla bean extract

4 Large Free Range Eggs

275g/9.5oz Plain Flour – if using self raising flour leave out the additional baking powder

1 tsp Baking Powder

150g/5oz Frozen Raspberries – fresh raspberries can be used see ** note during baking times

100g/4oz White Chocolate cut into small chunks

For decorating the cake:

100g/4oz White Chocolate – cut into small chunks

2 tbsp Freeze Dried Raspberries – also known as GRIT available from Craic

also available from Waitrose – alternatively use some red or pink edible cake sprinkles

100g/4oz Fresh Raspberries

Making The Raspberry White Chocolate Cake Batter

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

  • First of all, butter and line the base with baking parchment of a 2lb loaf tin – 24.5cm x 14.5cm x 7cm (10in x 6in x 3in).
  • Into a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt.
  • Whisk or beat until the mixture is pale and creamy. *If using regular sugar whisk the mixture for longer to obtain the same creamy consistency.
  • Crack each of the four eggs into a jug and lightly beat with a fork to mix them. Pour the eggs into the bowl with the butter mixture.
  • Add the vanilla bean paste.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into the same bowl.
  • Whisk all the ingredients together until smooth. Take care not to over mix, as this can cause the cake to become heavy.
  • Add the raspberries and chopped white chocolate into the bowl and fold into the cake batter. The cake batter will firm up due to the frozen raspberries, don’t worry!

The making of a fresh berry sponge batter.

  • Spoon the cake batter into the prepared loaf tin, pressing down with the spoon to ensure there are no air gaps, due to the colder, thicker, cake batter. Smooth the top of the cake using the back of a spoon.

Baking The Cake

  • Place the cake into the centre of a preheated oven and bake for 1 hour 30-45 minutes.
  • The cake is baked when a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. My cake took 1 hour 40 minutes to fully bake, initially I tested at 1 hour 30 minutes. Due to the variability of ovens and in this recipe, size of the frozen fruit and also size of loaf tin used to bake the cake, it seemed more appropriate to give a range, rather than specific bake time. **Also, if using fresh raspberries the baking time will be reduced to approximately 1 hour.
  • As soon as the cake is baked remove from the oven and place the tin on a cooling rack.
  • Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.
  • As soon as the cake is cooled it can be turned out of the tin. Run a palette knife between the cake and tin. Turn out the cake and carefully remove the baking parchment.

The raspberry white chocolate loaf cake before and after baking.
Decorating The Raspberry White Chocolate Loaf Cake

  • Place the cooled cake on to the plate or board used for serving.
  • Put the chopped white chocolate into a heatproof, microwaveable bowl. Zap on medium power for 20 second intervals, stirring between. As soon as the chocolate starts to melt continue stirring until fully liquid.
  • Either use a spoon or small piping bag to drizzle the melted chocolate over the cake.
  • While the chocolate is still unset sprinkle over the freeze dried raspberries.
  • Gently press fresh raspberries on to the chocolate, which acts as an edible glue and will hold them in place on top of the cake.
  • Finally, scatter fresh and freeze dried raspberries around the cake.
  • Place the cake somewhere cool to set. In warmer weather refrigerate.

 

The ultimate dessert cake!

Fresh and freeze dried raspberries decorate this raspberry white chocolate loaf cake

As soon as the chocolate is set the cake is ready to serve.

However you serve this cake, with morning coffee, afternoon tea, after dinner as dessert, remember to share it. Because, it really is too good to keep to yourself and why miss an opportunity to make your family and neighbours smile!

Store in an airtight container in the fridge and eat within three days.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Raspberry White Chocolate Loaf Cake you may also like these:

Raspberry Drizzle Loaf Cake

Raspberry Drizzle Loaf Cake
Raspberry Drizzle Loaf Cake

Rich Raspberry Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Rich Raspberry Chocolate Fudge Brownies
Rich Raspberry Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Iced Cherry Coconut Loaf Cake

Iced cherry coconut loaf cake.
Iced Cherry Coconut Loaf Cake

So far, my experience of lockdown isn’t very different to my usual daily life. Because of chronic health conditions I rarely leave our house (see here). I do, however, have wonderful relationships with our neighbours. And seeing the smile on our next door neighbour’s face as I stood two metres away and watched her pick up the cake I’d left in her porch, lit me up inside. I always feel that sharing is a completely selfish activity, because the giver gets far more out of it than the receiver.

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

Sammie x

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

 

Raspberry White Chocolate Loaf Cake
Share
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblr

Mini Egg Marbled Traybake

Share
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblr

Finally, Easter is almost here and yet this year some things feel very different. Usually the shop windows are decked out with flowers, bunnies and beautiful springtime scenes, but not this year. And taking time to carefully choose Easter eggs for our friends and loved ones isn’t an option. Because we are all at home due to the Coronavirus. So, at the time of writing, we are in lockdown, only allowed out for essential food shopping, exercise and medical appointments. The world as we know it has been paused and it can feel overwhelming and scary. So for me, doing things that are relaxing and routine really helps. For example making and baking this Mini Egg Marbled Traybake not only calmed me, it was very much appreciated by my family here at home too.

Easter chocolate and vanilla marbled traybake cake, topped with Cadbury’s mini eggs.
Mini Egg Marbled Traybake

Easter Baking Inspiration

Because certain ingredients are not easy to get hold of at this time I have added a few notes to the recipe to allow for this. While I topped this chocolate and vanilla marble cake with Cadbury’s mini chocolate eggs (with the addition of a few tiny Sainsbury’s eggs that I had), you can use whatever eggs you like, or can get. Since the beauty and fun of home baking is that you can make it your own. Alternatively, you could create an image of an Easter chick or bunny using mini eggs? Since the possibilities are only limited by your imagination and skill!

 

Easter themed easy cake bake.
Mini Egg Marbled Traybake

I love seeing the range of different Easter bakes that people make. While looking on Pinterest for inspiration, the beautiful pastel colours of Cadbury’s mini eggs always catch my eye. And it certainly helps that they taste so yummy too. I have used them here on my Chocolate Mini Egg Sponge Cake, a delicious Easter dessert centrepiece.

Mini Egg Marbled Traybake

While this Easter traybake is cut into 12 large squares it can easily be portioned into small pieces. Because the cake is chocolate and vanilla marbled together, this bake is not overly sweet or heavy.

Mini Egg Marbled Traybake – makes 12 large cake squares

For the cake:

275g/9oz Unsalted Butter

275g/9oz Caster Sugar

1/4 tsp Salt – I use Maldon 

2 tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

5 Large Free Range Eggs (if you only have medium sized eggs that’s fine, simply add an extra tablespoon of milk) 

350g/12oz Plain White Flour (if using self raising flour leave out the baking powder)

2 tsp Baking Powder

2 tbsp Milk (whole or semi-skimmed are fine)

25g/1oz Cocoa Powder

For decorating the cake:

150ml/5fl oz Double Cream (heavy cream) – optional see note in decorating.

150g/5oz Milk Chocolate roughly chopped – use good quality chocolate with a minimum cocoa content of 30%

75g/3oz White Chocolate roughly chopped

Large Family Bag – approximately 300g/10oz Cadbury’s Mini Eggs, alternatively use your own choice of chocolate mini eggs.

Making The Mini Egg Marbled Traybake Cake

Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan, gas mark 2, 300F.

  • First of all you will need a 22.5cm x 30cm (9in x 12in) deep baking tin lined with baking parchment.
  • Place the sugar, butter, salt and vanilla extract into a large bowl and whisk together until pale and creamy.
  • Crack all of the eggs into a separate bowl with the milk and beat together lightly with a fork.
  • Pour the beaten eggs and milk onto the creamed sugar and butter.
  • Next, sift the flour and baking powder into the same bowl.
  • Whisk or beat all of the ingredients together until combined.
  • Remove approximately half of the cake batter into a separate bowl.
  • Add the cocoa powder to one bowl and mix thoroughly.

Making vanilla and chocolate cake batter.

  • You now have two cake batters to create the marbled traybake.

Two cake batters, chocolate and vanilla for creating a marble cake.

  • Using the picture below as a guide scoop the vanilla cake batter into the prepared tin in random dollops.
  • Next do the same with the chocolate cake batter, filling in the spaces.
  • Use a butter knife to swirl the two cake batters together, taking care to ensure the batter is even across the tray and reaches the edges.

Baking The Marbled Traybake Cake

  • Place the tin in the centre of a preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  • The cake is baked when it springs back from a light touch in the centre and near the sides.
  • As soon as the cake is baked remove it from the oven.
  • Leave the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the tin.
  • Carefully remove the cake from the tin and place on a cooling rack.
  • Leave to cool completely before decorating.

Creating a chocolate and vanilla marbled traybake cake.

  • Note – Making a chocolate ganache topping for the cake makes it easier to slice through. Alternatively, melt the milk chocolate and pour directly onto the cake. Also, when nearly set, score lines through the chocolate to portion the cake, this will make cutting it once set easier.

Icing The Marbled Traybake

  • First of all make the milk chocolate ganache. Place the chopped milk chocolate and cream into a bowl set over a saucepan with a small amount of simmering water in the bottom. Importantly, make sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir the chocolate and cream together until fully melted and combined. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Place the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl a zap in the microwave for 20 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until fully melted. Pour the melted chocolate into a small piping bag. Alternatively, you can use a teaspoon to drizzle the white chocolate onto the cake.
  • As soon as the cake is cooled it can be decorated. Pour the milk chocolate ganache onto the centre of the cake. Continue pouring evenly towards the edges until the top of the cake is covered.

Covering a cake with chocolate ganache.

  • Pipe or drizzle white chocolate lines onto the chocolate ganache before it sets. Use a skewer to marble both chocolates together.
  • Also, use a skewer to mark out the cake portions by drawing lines through the chocolate.

Decorating The Mini Egg Marbled Traybake

  • While the chocolate is still unset add the mini eggs in whatever pattern you choose.
  • Scoring the portions before adding the mini eggs really does make slicing the cake, once set, easier. Have you ever tried to cut through a chocolate mini egg?!
  • Place the decorated traybake into a fridge for at least an hour to fully set.
  • As soon as the chocolate is set remove the cake from the fridge.
  • Use a clean knife to slice through each scored line, wiping the knife with a clean, damp cloth in between each new cut. Now cut around the outside edge of the cake, separating any excess chocolate from the side of the traybake.

Decorating an Easter Cake with chocolate and mini eggs.

  • Finally, run a palette knife underneath each cake portion and the baking parchment.
Mini Egg Marbled Traybake Easter Cake
Mini Egg Marbled Traybake

Place the cake squares onto a platter and share with your lockdown family.

Mini Egg Marbled Traybake

Store in an airtight container in the fridge. For the best flavour and texture serve at room temperature.

Easter traybake cake decorated with mini eggs.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Mini Egg Marbled Traybake you may also like these other Easter bakes:

Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies 

Easter chocolate biscuit base mini egg brownies.
Chocolate Biscuit Base Mini Egg Brownies

 

Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake

Easter recipe golden egg chocolate sponge cake.
Galaxy Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake


Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes

Vanilla mini egg nest Easter cupcakes.
Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes

The True Importance Of Easter

While I really enjoy baking and sharing my bakes with others, Easter is the most important celebration in my year. Because, as a Christian, this is the time of year that Jesus’ death and resurrection are remembered and celebrated. Usually, Easter Sunday is a special time of thanksgiving and worship at church. Yet this year we will be celebrating in our homes, joined together as a church through an online service. Each of us celebrating and remembering the most important gift of salvation that is free to us all through Jesus Christ. If you would like to know more please read Important Stuff.

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

Sammie x

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

 

Share
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblr

Amaretto Light Fruit Cake

Share
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblr

So, is anybody else starting to get excited about Christmas yet? Especially as Stir up Sunday is this weekend. Stir Up Sunday has its roots in the Anglican Church Book of Common Prayer, being the last Sunday before the beginning of Advent. It reads: “Stir up, we beseech thee oh Lord, the wills of thy faithful people.” Since Victorian times home cooks have traditionally made Christmas pudding on this Sunday. Although, nowadays, the day itself is set aside to make Christmas pudding, Christmas cake and mince pies. This Amaretto Light Fruit Cake is a lighter, modern twist on a traditional Christmas cake. Most importantly, it can be made up to a few days before Christmas!

 

Amaretto Light Fruit Cake.

Since not everyone is a fan of the traditional, iced, spiced, dried fruit Christmas cake, creating a lighter version is not only delicious but also fun! And, because I know how time strapped the lead up to Christmas can be, as well as making this cake from scratch I have also included a super easy hack using a widely available cake mix. I really have thought of everything, so that you can enjoy baking your cake.

Amaretto Light Fruit Cake – Not Just For Christmas 

Because this cake is so tasty, making it shouldn’t only mean for Christmas. I originally made this cake for our son’s birthday in October. Since he requested Christmas Cake for his birthday celebration I compromised and made this lighter version with the addition of almond liqueur. After posting a photo of his birthday cake on Instagram I received lots of requests for the recipe. Resulting in me trialling Wright’s Baking Madeira Cake Mix with the same mix of fruit and liqueur.

Cut amaretto light fruit cake on a cake plate with a slice of cake on a separate plate. A bottle of Disaronno liqueur and packet of cake mix.
Amaretto Light Fruit Cake using Wright’s Madeira cake mix.

Both cakes are an absolute delight. So, no matter which version of the cake you choose to make, they are both delicious. For those who would rather not add alcohol simply leave it out of the recipe. Using almond extract as an alternative, in my opinion, would totally change the cake’s flavour. And as so, is not something I would recommend.

Original birthday cake version of this amaretto light fruit cake.
Baked from scratch Amaretto Light Fruit Cake.

The cake’s texture is moist and light with the fruit evenly distributed throughout. Either serve with a hot cup of tea, or a glass of Amaretto. Since both compliment this cake equally well. Because this cake does contain alcohol make sure that those who are eating it are aware. Finally, adding extra liqueur to the cake will result in a very strong alcohol flavour which doesn’t evaporate during baking. I speak from experience!

Recipe: Amaretto Light Fruit Cake – serves 10-12

Cake Made From Scratch:

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

225g/8oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Sea Salt – halve if using free flowing salt

4 Large Free Range Eggs

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey 

75g/3oz Ground Almonds

325g/11oz Self Raising Flour – alternately use the same quantity of plain flour and add 1tbsp baking powder

400g/14oz Mixed Dried Vine Fruits – I use a mix without citrus peel

200g/7oz Glacé Cherries

60ml or 4tbsp Amaretto Almond Liqueur

Using Wright’s Baking Madeira Cake Mix:

1 x Wright’s Baking Madeira Cake Mix

60ml Flavourless Vegetable Oil – I use sunflower oil

60ml or 4tbsp Amaretto Almond Liqueur

140ml Plain Tap Water

375g/13oz Dried Vine Fruits

200g/7oz Glacé Cherries

Method:

For both cakes use an 8in x 4in (20cm x 10cm) round cake tin that is thoroughly greased with butter and line the base with baking parchment. Note – cut out two circles of baking parchment per cake. One to line the base and the second to place on the top of the cake if it browns too quickly while baking.

Making And Baking The Cake From Scratch

  • First of all, preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3, 325F.
  • Place the butter, salt and sugar into a large bowl and whisk together until pale and creamy.
  • Next add one egg plus one tablespoon of flour and whisk together until just incorporated. Repeat this step three times until all four eggs have been added.
  • Now add the vanilla extract and amaretto and whisk to combine.
  • Sift the remaining flour (and baking powder) into the bowl and add the ground almonds. Stir together using a large metal spoon.
  • Finally add the dried vine fruit and glacé cherries.
Showing the stages followed to create the fruity batter.
Creating the fruit and amaretto cake batter.
  • Mix the dried fruits into the cake batter .
  • Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin, ensuring the top of the mixture is smooth.
  • Place the cake into the centre of a preheated oven and bake for 1 1/2 – 2 hours. If the cake starts browning too quickly place the spare circle of baking parchment on top of the cake.
  • The cake is baked when an inserted skewer comes out clean. If raw cake batter clings to the skewer return cake to oven for a further 15 minutes baking then check again.
  • As soon as the cake is baked remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
Steps showing the cake tin filled with fruity cake batter and after it is baked.
Filling the cake tin and baking the cake.

Using The Wright’s Baking Madeira Cake Mix

  • First of all preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3, 325F.
  • Into a large bowl add the oil, amaretto liqueur and water. Then add the cake mix from the packet.
  • Follow the packet instructions to mix the cake batter.
  • Add the dried vine fruits and glacé cherries and mix into the batter with a large metal spoon.
  • Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top.
  • Place the cake into the centre of a preheated oven and bake for 1 1/2 – 2 hours. This is longer than the time given on the packet due to the addition of fruit.
  • If the cake starts browning too quickly place the spare circle of baking parchment on top of the cake.
  • The cake is baked when an inserted skewer comes out clean. If raw cake batter clings to the skewer return cake to oven for a further 15 minutes baking then check again.
  • As soon as the cake is baked remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin.

Removing Either Cake From It’s Tin And Serving

  • As soon as the cake is cooled it can be released from the tin.
  • Run a palette knife between the outside edge of the cake and inside of the tin.
  • Turn the cake out carefully.
  • Remove the baking parchment circle from the cake base.
  • Place the cake onto a cake plate, cake stand, or board.
Lighter alternative to a traditional Christmas cake.
Amaretto Light Fruit Cake

 

Overhead image of sliced cake served with a glass of amaretto liqueur.
Amaretto Light Fruit Cake

Either cake will keep for up to a week when stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge. Alternatively, as this cake takes minimal preparation compared to a traditional Christmas cake, it can be made and baked the evening before it is needed. For example, on Christmas Eve!

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Amaretto Light Fruit Cake you may also like these:

Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake

Dundee Fruit Cake on a white cake stand.
Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake

 

Chocolate Marble Celebration Cake

Chocolate marble celebration cake filled with Maltesers
Chocolate Marble Celebration Cake

 

Mixed Fruit Loaf Cake

Mixed Fruit Loaf Cake
Mixed Fruit Loaf Cake

 

 

Christmas really is the time of year when we think of others. Whether family are coming to stay, friends popping by for a drink and nibbles, or others in society that do not have the home comforts we enjoy. Making an extra cake, mince pies, or cookies to give out may take little effort from us, yet mean the world to those they are gifted to. So, during Christmas, I challenge you, as I do myself, to actively give to those in need. Just as our Heavenly Father freely gave His only Son Jesus to the world that we may know Him. Emmanuel – God with us.

From our home to yours, wishing you a very Happy Christmas.

Sammie xx

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

Share
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblr