Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs

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During warm Summer evenings, sitting in our garden, listening to the birds chatter and chirp, the delicious smell of barbecue often fills the air. Yet I’m never going to be a cheap sausages and cheap burgers girl. Good sausages yes. Burgers that are traceable back to their origin, definitely. For me though, kebabs are the way to go. I made these Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs last year for our daughters birthday. With a slight change to the recipe, all for the better, I now can show them to you.

FF Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs
Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs perfect cooked on the grill or in the oven.

Since I’d been sent some KanKun Mexican Chilli Sauce to try, I was eager to see how the jalapeño chilli sauce would work with the kebabs I had made for last year’s birthday barbecue.

Oh wow. They are so good!

The jalapeño chilli sauce infuses a warmth into the chicken pieces without over powering them with heat. Also the lime and garlic in the marinade infuses the chicken pieces with incredible flavour as well as tenderising them with the lime juice. I love that these Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs can be both cooked in the oven or on the barbecue. S

FF Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs
Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs tasty, tender chicken.

I wasn’t able to grill the on the barbecue, but the smokey, charred, flavour added by grilling them means that I will as soon as possible. Another alternative, maybe when the weather isn’t up to grilling would be to stir fry the chicken. Add in the ingredients from the vegetable kebabs and you have a quick, easy meal.

As our children ate these Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs with us I didn’t add too much sauce. While you can certainly use it as a condiment if you want to kick the heat up a notch!

FF Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs
KanKun Mexican Chilli Sauce range – the jalapeño sauce used for this recipe is in the middle.

I love chilli’s and am, at present growing some from seed. As soon as they are big enough I will then be transfer them  to the front garden. Since that is the driest bed and gets the most sun. Chilli’s like to be treated a bit mean whilst they are growing, although I add the odd splash of tomato food, once the chilli’s are forming does them the world of good.

For those of you who cannot or do not want to grow your own chilli’s, KanKun have a range of 3 bottles of chilli sauce – Chipotle, Habanero and Jalapeño. Each can be used in cooking (keep an eye out for my upcoming Chipotle Pulled Pork Fajita’s), or as a condiment. Just make sure that any sauce that has been in contact with raw meat is disposed of and not reused.

FF Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs
Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs delicious served alongside vegetable kebabs.

Recipe: Makes 5 Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs

650g/1.5lb Skinned Boneless Chicken Breast – preferably Free Range or Organic – I buy ours from Graig Farm

2tbsp Olive Oil

Juice of 1 Lime

1tbsp Mexican Jalapeño Sauce from KanKun Sauce

2 Cloves of Garlic – crushed or minced

1 Small Chilli or 1/2 Jalapeño Chilli –  sliced (seeds removed if preferred)

1/4tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

1/4tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 large resealable plastic food bag.

Method: Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6 or cook over a medium hot barbecue grill.

Note – Especially when handling raw meat, including chicken, ensure all utensils, work tops and hands are thoroughly washed before and after use.

  • First of all open the resealable bag and turn down the sides. This makes it easier to add things to the bag.
  • Pour in the olive oil, jalapeño sauce, juice of 1 lime and then add the crushed garlic, sliced chilli, salt and pepper.
  • Cut the chicken breast into 3cm chunks and add to the bag. I actually use sharp kitchen scissors to snip the chicken straight into the bag.
  • Seal the bag and with clean hands smoosh the chicken about in the bag, ensuring every piece is covered in the marinade. I have to admit to this being something I always enjoy, a bit of smooshing!
  • Label the bag and place in the bottom of the fridge for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Alternatively, prepare at the start of the day, before work and have a smile on your face knowing dinner is sorted when you finally return home!
FF Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs
Label the bag so that others are aware that it contains raw meat.
  • While the chicken is marinating, soak the wooden skewers in cold water – so they don’t catch fire on the barbecue!
  • Cover a large baking tray with aluminium foil – this really helps with the clean up process.
  • Carefully thread 5-7 pieces of chicken on each skewer. Since the chicken takes the same amount of time to cook as the vegetable kebabs, I also add sliced courgette, cherry tomatoes and red/yellow peppers to separate skewers. Alternatively I would place whole jalapeños, chunks of red onion or shallots on to skewers as well.
  • Place the Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs on to the foil covered tray and pour over any excess marinade.
  • Cook in the top of the oven for 30 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time.
  • If grilling on the barbecue these Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs should take no longer than 20 minutes on a medium/hot barbeque grill, turing halfway through cooking.
  • To check if the chicken is cooked all the way through, slide off a thicker chunk and cut in half – there should not be any pink colour, the chicken should be opaque all the way through.
  • As soon as the kebabs are cooked remove them from the oven/barbecue.
FF FF Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs
Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs beautifully cooked in the oven.

Serve the Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs in warmed pitta bread with fresh salad and extra Jalapeño Sauce, or as I have done, with herb basmati rice and vegetable kebabs.

However you serve these delicious kebabs they are sure to be thoroughly enjoyed. The lime, garlic and jalapeño chilli give them a warming, fresh, vibrant flavour. For real chilli fans, serve with extra slices of jalapeño chilli’s to up the heat factor.

While I love the heat that chilli imparts to a dish, I never want to compromise on flavour. This Mexican Jalapeño Chilli Sauce is so delicious and perfectly blends with the other flavours in these Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs.

FF Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs
Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs the perfect feel good meal.

If you like to add a little heat to your meals like me, try adding a dash or two of KanKun Mexican Jalapeño Sauce!

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs here are some others you may like:

Easy Tex Mex Chicken

FF Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs
Easy Tex Mex Chicken perfect to make ahead.

Chunky Chilli

FF Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs
Chunky Chilli perfect for colder days.

Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken

FF Chilli Lime Chicken Kebabs
Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken spice up your leftovers with some KanKun Sauce!

I love the Summer months. Having the back door open, sunlight streaming in through open windows, longer daylight hours. Let’s all make the most of this Summer. Eat outdoors, dust off the BBQ, invite friends and family round, for feasting, fun and the obligatory (in our house) water fight in the garden.

Let us all enjoy the warmth of the sun, good company, great food and having fun.

Sammie xx

KanKun Sauce sent me a pack of three of their sauces to try. All content, recipes, photographs, views and opinions are my own. I was not paid for this post. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Strawberry Eton Mess

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Oh how I love summer fruit. Ruby red strawberries, crimson through to black cherries, tart yet sweet raspberries and the array of different currents. I am definitely a soft fruit fan and love to eat them freshly picked, or use them in delightful, dessert recipes. This Strawberry Eton Mess is a classic English dessert, that is best made with fresh, local strawberries.

FF Strawberry Eton Mess
Strawberry Eton Mess a delicious trio of ingredients.

While homemade pavlova provides a crisp and marshmallow like texture that I’ve enveloped in lightly whipped cream, with sweet luscious strawberries.

FF Strawberry Eton Mess
Strawberry Eton Mess the perfect make ahead dessert.

Since this Strawberry Eton Mess is so easy to assemble, it is also brilliant as a make ahead dessert. The pavlova can be made the same day, or even the day before, strawberries can be hulled, quartered and left covered in a bowl and the cream takes only a couple of minutes to whisk by hand.

Finally, all of the ingredients can be assembled prior to serving, for a stress free delectable dessert!

FF Strawberry Eton MessStrawberry Eton Mess a classic English summer dessert.

True to my word, I am adding more desserts to Feasting is Fun. My family are loving the new-ish aspect to my blog!!

This Strawberry Eton Mess is probably one of my favourite desserts. The differing textures within the pavlova and the fresh local strawberries really make this a stunning dish. As with all recipes, especially those that have few ingredients, it really is worth buying the best that you can afford. Or in the case of this dessert, taking the time to make your own pavlova.

I know ready made meringues are easily available in supermarkets, they won’t give the marshmallow inner softness that a homemade pavlova yields. If you make your own ice cream like my  Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream then you will be left with 4 eggs whites. The exact amount needed for this recipe.

FF Strawberry Eton Mess
Strawberry Eton Mess topped with a drizzle of strawberry jam.

I was fortunate to win some Hartleys strawberry jam on Twitter. Warmed slightly, so that it becomes a sauce, it adds the perfect finishing touch to this dessert. The bright red colour contrasts beautifully with the pale cream meringue and it lends an extra strawberry hit as you take your first mouthful.

Recipe: Strawberry Eton Mess serves 6

For the pavlova:

4 Large Egg Whites – preferably free range or organic

150g/5oz – 1 US Cup Icing Sugar

2tsp Corn Flour – also known as corn starch

1tsp White Wine or Cider Vinegar

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

For the Strawberry Eton Mess:

400g/ Fresh British Strawberries

300ml Double Cream

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – again I use Nielsen-Massey

1tbsp Caster Sugar

1tbsp Strawberry Jam – I used Hartley’s Best Strawberry Jam – warm slightly before drizzling onto the Strawberry Eton Mess

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

  • First of all line a large baking tray with baking parchment that has a 20cm circle, drawn in pencil, on the underside.
  • Into a spotlessly clean, large bowl place the egg whites.
  • Whisk until the egg white hold a stiff peak.
FF Strawberry Eton Mess
The meringue peaks stand proud.
  • While whisking on a medium speed gradually add the sugar. Continue whisking until the meringue is glossy and shiny.
  • Sift in the cornflour and add the vanilla and vinegar.
FF Strawberry Eton Mess
Shiny, glossy meringue, ready to have the extra ingredients folded in.
  • Using a large metal spoon gently fold in the added ingredients into the meringue, turning the bowl until they are fully incorporated.
  • Spoon the meringue on to the baking parchment, keeping within the circle marked on the reverse.
  • Spread the meringue out so that it forms a circle and slightly build up the sides so that they are a little higher than the centre.
FF Strawberry Eton Mess
This pavlova is ready for the oven.
  • Place the pavlova into the centre of the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 140C/120C fan, gas mark 1.
  • Bake for 1 and 1/4 hours. Then turn off the oven and leave the pavlova to cool inside the oven with the door very slightly ajar.
  • Once cooled removed the pavlova from the oven.
FF Strawberry Eton Mess
The cooked pavlova.
  • Cover the pavlova and baking tray in cling film until ready to use.

Assembling the Strawberry Eton Mess:

  • Hull and cut the strawberries into halves or quarters, depending on their size.
  • Into a large bowl add the cream, vanilla bean paste and caster sugar.
  • Whip the cream until it thickens, but is still floppy – not stiff.
  • Add the strawberries, break the pavlova up into bite size chunks and add those too.
FF Strawberry Eton Mess
Strawberry Eton Mess you can see the marshmallow insides of the pavlova.
  • Fold all the ingredients together with a large metal spoon.
  • Serve in pretty glass bowls with a drizzle of slightly warmed strawberry jam.
FF Strawberry Eton Mess
Strawberry Eton Mess serve with a spoon and a smile.

Because this is such an easy to assemble dessert, with a little preparation beforehand, you too can sit down and enjoy eating this with family, friends, or whoever you have invited round.

Also, if you wanted to up this Strawberry Eton Mess to the next level, a drizzle of my Boozy Berry Sauce, served cold, on top would be a fantastic idea! That’s one for the adults though.

Strawberries and cream are such a classic combination and here, in this dessert, they are lifted by the presence of amazing, homemade pavlova.

Tip: The pavlova itself can be covered in whipped cream and tart berries (passionfruit is also exceptionally good). One recipe two desserts!

If you have enjoyed the recipe for this Strawberry Eton Mess here are a few others you might like:

Lemony Strawberry Pavlova

FF Straw Eton Mess
Delicious Lemon Pavlova slathered in cream, decorated with strawberries and finished with a limoncello drizzle.

Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae

FF Strawberry Eton Mess
Vanilla ice cream layered with chocolate meringue and unbelievably good raspberry sauce.

Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake

FF Strawberry Eton Mess
Light Raspberry Cheesecake on a Chocolate Brownie base – so good.

Do you enjoy desserts?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and have been encouraged to make and bake a pavlova. It doesn’t matter if they sink, or crack as it can all be covered with cream and fruit, or crumbled into the best Strawberry Eton Mess you have ever eaten!

Have fun making and baking in your kitchens. Keep the photos and comments coming, I’d especially like to see ones of you sharing your delicious feasts?

Sammie xx

This is not a sponsored post, the jam was won in a competition on Twitter.

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Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae

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Every time I look at the colour of this Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae it makes me smile.

FF Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae
Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae this dessert is big time wow!

The colours are bright, summery, vibrant and let’s face it beautiful!

Just wait until you taste this!

FF Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae
Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae this is a party in a glass!

Ok, let’s clear one important matter up – this Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae does NOT have to only be eaten on Sunday’s!

I know, I can feel your relief 😉.

Great vanilla ice cream, draped in tart raspberry coulis and delicious, soft, chocolate meringue all layered in a tall sundae glass. An incredible flavour combination where every ingredient is distinct, yet each works in total harmony as a whole.

FF Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae
Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae as delicious as it is beautiful.

You are so going to love this recipe. Apart from making the deeply chocolate meringues, there is no other baking involved!

Yippee!

As much as I love baking, I really, really do – sometimes it’s nice to pull together a fabulous dessert where very little effort.

In fact this Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae came about by accident. Having baked the chocolate meringues I was hoping to make an Eton Mess type dessert. The cream, which was well within it’s use-by-date had gone off, the strawberries were past their best. The whole Eton Mess thing just wasn’t happening – don’t worry it will be made!

Instead I improvised. Typically, when I wing it the result is either amazing or revolting! Fortunately the combination of flavours in this incredible dessert totally, utterly and completely worked.

I mean really, really, really worked!

FF Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae
Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae share this with everyone.

Don’t you just love it when things turn out better than you could of ever hoped?

Recipe: Makes 6 Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundaes

For the chocolate meringues:

Note: for photos showing step by step pavlova instructions, please see here

3 Large Egg Whites

125g/4.5oz Cater Sugar

50g/2oz Cocoa Powder

1/2tsp Corn Flour

1/2tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen Massey

1/2tsp White Wine Vinegar

For the raspberry coulis:

300g/11oz Raspberries – I used frozen raspberries from Waitrose

1tbsp Caster Sugar

Juice of a Lemon

Ice Cream – 750ml Vanilla Ice Cream – really good quality ice cream or you can use my recipe for Very Vanilla Ice Cream

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

Making the meringues:

  • Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  • In a large bowl add the 3 egg whites and whisk until they can hold a stiff peak.
  • Continue whisking and addding in the caster sugar one tablespoon at a time.
  • Keep mixing until the egg whites are glossy and the caster sugar has been incorporated.
  • Add the vanilla extract, vinegar, corn flour and sift in the cocoa powder.
FF Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae
These meringues are intensely dark and chocolatey.
  • Gently fold the ingredients into the meringue.
  • Dollop 6 clouds of chocolate meringue onto the baking sheet.
FF Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae
Chocolate Meringue Clouds ready for the oven.
  • Place the chocolate meringues into the oven an immediately turn the oven temperature down to 140C/120C fan, gas mark 1.
  • Bake the meringues for 40 minutes and then switch off the oven, allow the meringues to cool completely in the oven – this is how they will obtain their brownie like texture.
  • Once completely cooled they can be used straight away, or stored in a tin, separated by baking parchment, where they will keep for 5 days.
FF Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae
Chocolate meringues that taste like the best brownies!

Making the raspberry coulis:

  • Place the fresh or frozen raspberries into a medium bowl.
  • Sprinkle over 1 tablespoon of caster sugar.
  • Cover and leave for at least an hour.
  • Tip the raspberries, sugar and juice of a lemon into a blender.
  • Blitz in the blender until you have a super smooth purée.

Assembling the Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae:

  • Remove the vanilla ice cream from the freezer 20 minutes prior to assembling the sundaes.
  • Place a scoop of ice cream into each sundae glass.
  • Pour over some raspberry coulis, ensuring that you have a little left for the tops of the sundaes.
  • Add another scoop of ice cream to each sundae glass.
  • Break two thirds off of the chocolate meringue, break up and add on top of the second ice cream layer. Repeat for each sundae.
  • Add a third and final scoop of ice cream on top of the crumbled chocolate meringue.
  • Finish with a final drizzle of raspberry coulis and the final third of the chocolate meringue.
FF Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae
Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae ready to be eaten and enjoyed.

Serve with a long sundae spoon so that you can reach right down to the very bottom of your sundae glass. You are not going to want to waste any of this utterly luscious, refreshing dessert!

I bought these sundae glasses a couple of years ago, in Asda for £1.50 each. I had been wanting some for ages and as a rather clumsy person at times, I needed something sturdy that could withstand me and be used for smoothies, milkshakes and of course sundaes. Plus if I do break one it is cheaper to replace.

We all enjoyed these Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundaes for dessert today and were amazed a not only the awesome flavour combo, but also how refreshing they are. These are a massive hit and will be enjoyed on many more occasions throughout the warmer months.

Each Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae has a 50g serving of raspberries and fresh lemon juice in it – they are virtually a health food 😉

FF Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae
Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae add spoon and devour.

In the photo above you can see how gloriously dark the inside of the chocolate meringue is – yummy!

Also, true to my promise, I am including more desserts on here – it’s a tough job……

If you have loved this recipe for Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae here are a few more you may like too:

Blackberry Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

FF Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae
Blackberry Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

Strawberry Chocolate Cheesecake

FF Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae
No Bake Strawberry Chocolate Cheesecake

Lemony Strawberry Pavlova

FF Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae
Lemony Strawberry Pavlova

I never really urge you to try any particular recipe, but in this instance I am. The theme of Feasting is Fun is sharing and I’d be crazy not to encourage you to try these Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream Sundaes at least once!

The meringues can’t fail as they aren’t meant to be light and fluffy, rather more like a dense brownie texture. Ice cream can be bought and the raspberry coulis is a whizz – literally.

Ooh I should also mention that this is a fab recipe if you have a sore throat – three of us here have sore throats at the moment and this cool, refreshing sundae really soothed.

Whatever you are making and baking in you kitchens this weekend I really do hope you have fun creating a feast to be share.

Sammie xx

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Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks

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I am so loving the longer daylight hours at the moment. Feeling as though I want to make the most of every drop of sunshine. Winter being a distant memory, I’ve been out in the garden, clearing, ready for sowing and planting. Don’t worry I have also been in the kitchen baking and these Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks are the delicious result.

FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks

When the weather is warm and the sun is shining I simply love being in the garden. Listening to the chatter and chirruping of birds, feeling the warmth of the sun on my back, our garden becomes my haven again, after the long, cold winter months.

Easy Recipes For Breakfast On The Go

So being able to eat breakfast, or more usually brunch, outside is very much treasured. These Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks are perfect to munch on whilst sitting on our garden bench, hot cup of coffee to hand. Packed with slow energy release oats, they make a tasty, yet filling alternative to toast or cereal.

FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks so good with a cup of good coffee.

This recipe is so simple and quick. A few minutes in the kitchen melting, mixing, baking and cooling means that you can have a great, portable bar, that is perfect for breakfast on the go, packed lunches, getting through the late afternoon energy dip. Plenty of deicious bars to see you through the week.

That has to be a winning recipe – right?

FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks – crunchy, chewy bars of yum!

I love easy recipes – more so during the warmer months, when my passion for cooking and baking is matched by my passion for gardening. Yes I still have to work around my body (see – Living with siezures ), that just makes the time I have even more precious. Whilst in the winter I can happily spend all day – relatively speaking – in the kitchen, during warm spring and summer days my preference is to be outside.

Baking According To The Weather

My hubby jokes that I was born wearing Wellington boots! Whilst I may not be able to do the heavy digging of years past, I still like to get my hands dirty. I’ve also found, especially during the hotter months of summer, baking is best done first thing in the morning. That way there isn’t a hot oven baking bread, mid afternoon, just as the temperature outside is peaking.

Macadamia Nut Dried Apricot Flapjacks
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks crunchy, chewy and full of flavour.

Easily Made Gluten Free Traybake

Back to the Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks! The macadamia nuts add a buttery crunch to these bars that I absolutely adore, however, I know they can be pricey. A great substitute would be almonds, either flakes or whole almonds that you chop yourself. I have used dried apricots that are the gorgeous tangerine orange of their fresh counterparts, however, if you prefer the darker, unsulphured apricots, use them instead. Good quality rolled oats, absolutely make these flapjacks the stars that they are.

I have specified that these Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks are gluten free, please check the labels of ingredients carefully to ensure that they are so. This is vital when baking for someone on a restricted diet. Their health absolutely cannot be compromised.

Recipe: Makes 12 Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks

250g/10oz Unsalted Butter – plus a little extra for greasing the tin

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

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

125g/5oz Light Brown Sugar

325g/11.5oz Rolled Oats (not quick cook) – I used Delicious Alchemy as they are 100% gluten free

150g/5oz Dried Apricots – chopped into rough quarters

100g/4oz Chopped Macadamia Nuts – I buy whole nuts and roughly chop them myself

Optional – 100g White Chocolate – alternatively use milk or dark chocolate

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

Making The Flapjacks

  • Grease and line a 8″ x 11″ – 20cm x 28cm swiss roll tin/shallow baking tin, with butter and baking parchment.
  • Into a medium saucepan add the butter and sugar. Warm over a medium heat, stirring until melted.
  • In a large bowl add the golden syrup.
  • Pour the melted butter/sugar mixture into the bowl containing the golden syrup. Stir continuously until combined.
  • Add the oats, chopped apricots and macadamia nuts and stir to thoroughly combine.
  • Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and press down using the back of a metal spoon, until the mixture is one even layer.
FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
The Macadamia Apricot Flapjack mixture compacted into an even layer and ready for the oven.

Baking The Macadamia Nut Apricot Flapjacks

  • Place the tin in the middle of the oven and bake for 20 minutes exactly.
  • The flapjacks will be a light golden colour when baked – do not be tempted to bake them for longer as this will result in them being hard, not chewy!
  • As soon as the flapjacks are baked remove the tin from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • When completely cooled remove the entire flapjack bake from the tin, using the excess baking parchment to help lift it out.
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks ready for the finishing touch.
  • As seen above, cut down the middle length of the bake and then across the width.  Cut each quarter into 3 generous bars – you could cut each quarter into 4 making 16 individual flapjacks in total.
FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks with a drizzle of white chocolate.

Finishing With A Chocolate Drizzle

  • To finish the flapjacks – chop the white chocolate into small pieces and place in a heatproof, microwaveable bowl.
  • Zap for 20 seconds at a time, stirring between each heating session.
  • When the chocolate is half melted, remove from the microwave and stir until completely liquid.
  • Fill a small disposable piping bag with the melted chocolate.
  • Snip off the very end of the bag, creating a small hole.
  • Pipe swirls or zig zags of chocolate onto each flapjack to provide a beautiful finish.
FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks as pretty to look at as they are delicious to eat.

Ooh how completely yummy do these Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks look?

A couple of notes: During the summer, once the flapjack bake has cooled to room temperature, if the ambient temperature is 25C or above, it may be worth popping the tin in the fridge for an hour to allow the flapjacks to completely set. Likewise, unless the flapjacks are stored in the fridge I would leave off the white chocolate drizzle. If these Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks are going to get warm throughout the day, whether in a packed lunch box, or a bag, the white chocolate will melt and create a whole lotta mess!

This is just my advice as a mum of three and wife to hubby who takes a packed lunch to work.

Im just sayin’!!!

Love these Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks? Here are a couple of other recipes you may like to try as well.

Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks

FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks

Bakewell Shortbread Bars

FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
Bakewell Shortbread Bars

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

While spending time in your kitchen, baking and cooking, have you ever thought of making extra and sharing some?

We all have people in our neighbourhood who are lonely and perhaps a little unhappy. Inviting them round for a chat over a cup of tea and delicious slice of cake, or flapjack, may seem such a small thing to us and yet can make the world of difference to someone else’s day.

Time seems to be so precious to many, which is why it is such a valuable gift to give.

Sammie xx

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

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Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

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Yay it’s the weekend and I have the most fabulous treat for you. These absolutely delicious, 100% gluten free, Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes.

FF Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes deliciously gluten free treats.

I’m so excited I could almost burst! Delicious Alchemy sent me some of their Vanilla Sponge Cake Mix to try. All of their products are 100% gluten free and so, with friends that cannot tolerate gluten, I was excited and intrigued to see how well this packet mix performed.

My first project was to remake my delicious Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes. The cake mix was made as per the packet instructions and I added 100g of mango before filling the cupcake cakes. Once baked and cooled I topped the cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting. The cupcakes on tasting were deliciously light, tender and moist, with mango distributed evenly throughout each cake. A firm 9 out of 10 marks was given by all of the taste testers who had also tried my original recipe!

FF Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes made with gluten free vanilla cake mix.

Delicious Alchemy are currently running a Crowdfund project, raising funds to create a book for people living on a restricted diet. Why not take a look at their website to find out more and see how you too can a be part of this fantastic project.

Offering my baking skills to help raise awareness for Delicious Alchemy’s Crowdfund Project, led to me creating these delightful Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes, ooh and a bit of playing with fondant and alphabet cutters 😉.

FF Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes proudly supporting people who live on a gluten free diet.

Sugar and Crumbs sell a range of naturally flavoured icing sugars, cocoa, baking ingredients and baking equipment. All of their flavoured icings and cocoas are gluten free! To make these Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes I used their Chocolate Cherry Cocoa added to a Delicious Alchemy Vanilla Sponge Mix. Then topped each cupcake with a buttercream frosting using Black Forest Icing Sugar.

The result, a firm 10 out of 10!

Well they are Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes and chocolate makes everything better right 😉.

FF Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes gluten free and finished with a white chocolate heart.

Feasting is fun is an inclusive blog. The theme of sharing being it’s very backbone. Creating recipes that more people can enjoy appeals to the nature of who I am as a person. Supporting Delicious Alchemy in their Crowdfund by making these Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes was the very least I could do.

NOTE: All of Delicious Alchemy’s products are gluten and dairy free. The recipe below uses milk, butter and eggs.

Recipe: Makes 18 Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

1 packet of gluten free Vanilla Sponge Mix from Delicious Alchemy

50g Cocoa Powder – I used Sugar and Crumbs cherry cocoa

180g Unsalted Butter – softened to room temperature

3 Free Range Eggs

60ml/4tbsp Whole Milk

250g Black Forest Icing Sugar

50g Cocoa

100g Plain Icing Sugar

200g Unsalted Butter – softened to room temperature

Approximately 3tbsp Hot Water

Optional – 200g White Chocolate for the chocolate heart decorations – alternatively ensure any decoration is gluten free

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

  • Line 2 cupcake tins with 18 cupcake cases.
  • Add the softened butter, eggs, vanilla sponge mix, flavoured cocoa and milk to a bowl.
  • Whisk until you have a smooth cake batter – approximately 2 minutes.
  • Divide the cake batter evenly between the cake cases.
  • Place the cupcake tins in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. The cupcakes are cooked when they are firm and spring back from a light touch.
  • Once baked remove the cupcakes from the oven.
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool, either in their tin or transferred to a cooling rack, before icing.
FF Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Gluten Free Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes.

To make the buttercream frosting:

  • Place the softened butter into a large bowl.
  • Sift in the flavoured icing sugar, cocoa and plain icing sugar.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of hot water from a recently boiled kettle.
  • Whisk, starting on a very slow speed and gradually increasing, until the buttercream is light and creamy – add in the extra tablespoon of hot water if the buttercream is too stiff.
  • Fit a large piping bag with a large star nozzle – I use Wilton’s #1M.
  • Fill the piping bag with the buttercream.
  • To pipe rose swirls, start with the nozzle just above the centre of the cupcake, pipe an e shape and then continue round.
FF Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes with swirls of frosting.

To make the white chocolate hearts:

  • Chop up the chocolate into small pieces.
  • Place two thirds of the chocolate into a heatproof, microwaveable bowl.
  • Zap for 20 seconds at a time stirring in between.
  • When the chocolate is melted, remove from the microwave and immediately add the last third of chopped chocolate.
  • Stir continuously until all of the chocolate is melted. This method is a cheat’s way of tempering chocolate and helps prevent any white marks (bloom) appearing on the cooled chocolate.
  • Spoon the melted chocolate into the heart mould, tapping the mould after every three hearts are filled, to bring air bubbles to the surface.
  • Leave the chocolate to set somewhere cool. You can chill the mould in the fridge.
FF Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
White Chocolate Hearts to decorate the cupcakes.
  • Once the white chocolate hearts are firm, press out from the mould, ensuring you have cold hands for handling them, so as not to mark them.
  • Place a chocolate heart on the top of each cupcake.
FF Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes perfect for sharing.

These gluten free Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes are so pretty and very delicious. Whilst eating one of these tasty treats I could honestly not tell any difference to ‘regular’ wheat flour cupcakes. Yet the great thing is that more people can enjoy these!

FF Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes will you help?

I thoroughly enjoyed making (and eating 😀) these cupcakes and supporting Delicious Alchemy in their Crowdfund campaign. Raising awareness for others who cannot eat freely and creating an ultimate guide to living with dietary restrictions is very close to my heart. Whilst I am able to eat wheat flour, having been a life long sufferer of migraines, there are certain foods that I too have to avoid.

Do you have dietary restrictions?

Are there recipes that you would like converted into gluten free versions?

Let me know and if I can help I absolutely will xx.

If you have enjoyed these gluten free Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes here are some other gluten free recipes you may like:

Lemony Strawberry Pavlova

FF Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Gluten Free Lemony Strawberry Pavlova

Autumn Apple Almond Cake

FF Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Gluten Free Autumn Apple Almond Cake

Almond Blackberry Pear Crumble

FF Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Almond Blackberry Pear Crumble gluten free

All of the above recipes are 100% gluten free and I have happily served them to guests who were not aware that wheat flour had not been used!!

Feasting on delicious homemade food should be fun. With these recipes more people can bake at home with confidence. Whilst supermarkets may provide a limited selection of gluten free products, they will never be as tasty as homemade. Having a gluten free cake mix in the cupboard means you can whip up a gluten free treat, for visitors with a restricted diet, without having to re-stock your baking cupboard!

Please let me know if I can help with the questions above?

Sammie xx

Delicious Alchemy provided me with the vanilla sponge mix for this post. All opinions, views, content and photographs are my own. I did not receive any payment for writing this post. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Very Vanilla Ice Cream

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Standing in the garden yesterday, face lifted up to the sky, the sun warming me through, gave me hope. Finally, Winter has passed Spring is here and warm, sunshine filled days will be more frequent and very welcomed. When the sun starts to really warm me, there is one thing I am inspired to make. Welcome to my Very Vanilla Ice Cream.

Two cookies sandwiched together with vanilla ice cream

Summer Time And The Living Is Easy

As soon as the tinkling sounds of the ice cream van fill the air, I know it is time to make one of the Summer’s greatest pleasures, ice cream.

There is absolutely a place for ice cream vans, 99’s and ice cream vendors on the beach. Gosh, on a hot day where would we be without them?

Homemade ice cream is a wonderfully indulgent pleasure. I have made very many flavours over the years, seeing as this is the first ice cream recipe to be posted here, I decided to show you how to make the best Very Vanilla Ice Cream which also happens to be gluten free, as are all of the ice cream recipes here on Feasting is Fun.

FF Very Vanilla Ice Cream
Very Vanilla Ice Cream how do you like yours?

So simple to make, with only a little forward planning required. There are plenty of no churn ice cream recipes on the Internet – Pinterest is a great place to look. Whilst some of them are reasonably good, buying an ice cream maker and churning your own ice cream results in a far smoother, silkier ice cream. Having just had a quick look on Amazon  they have a good selection of ice cream makers for under £30.

How about an ice cream maker as a present for Dad on Father’s Day?

I have tried making ice cream by hand, where you take it out of the freezer every so often and mix it with a fork. No matter how well I followed the recipe instructions my ice cream always ended up with large water crystals and wasn’t ever smooth or creamy.

Sweet Memories

Since being given an ice cream maker a few years ago, making ice cream is no longer a chore but a pleasure.

FF Very Vanilla Ice Cream
Very Vanilla Ice Cream squished into a cone – delicious!

Many years ago, when I was in my early 20’s, a friend and I went Inter Railing across Europe. Aside from the beautiful sights and unique experiences we shared, I have one very prominent memory. Of ice cream!!

Not any ice cream, a beautiful hazelnut ice cream eaten in Germany. For years and years I longed to taste that delighful ice cream again. Then when I started making my own ice cream I found a way to make it and it tastes just how I remember. More on that in an upcoming post.

That’s the beauty of making your own ice cream, playing with flavours and textures, creating your own little ice cream parlor!

Recipe: Makes approx 750ml Very Vanilla Ice Cream

300ml Double Cream

300ml Whole Milk

6 tbsp Caster Sugar

4 Free Range Egg Yolks

2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – I use Nielsen-Massey

1 tsp Corn Flour – I use Doves Farm as it is gluten free

Scant pinch of salt (less than 1/4 tsp)

Method: Ensure the freezing part of the ice cream maker has been in the freezer for at least 24 hours.

Making The Ice Cream Base

  • Place the cream, milk and vanilla bean paste into a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the egg yolks, sugar, salt and cornflour to a large heatproof bowl. Whisk until pale and creamy.
FF Very Vanilla Ice Cream
Whisk the eggs and sugar until they are very pale and creamy.
  • The milk/cream needs to reach scalding point. This is when little bubbles appear around the edge of the liquid.
FF Very Vanilla Ice Cream
Bring the milk up to scalding point, see the bubbles around the saucepan edge?
  • When the milk/cream has reached scalding point remove the pan from the heat.
  • Whilst whisking the egg mixture, pour the hot milk/cream into the bowl – do not stop whisking.
  • Once combined tip the custard mixture back into the same saucepan, cooking over a low heat and constantly stirring, until the custard has thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
FF Very Vanilla Ice Cream
See how the cooked custard coats the back of the spoon.
  • Place a sieve over a clean, heatproof bowl and pour the custard into the bowl, through the sieve.
FF Very Vanilla Ice Cream
Look how beautifully smooth the ice cream custard is.
  • Place cling film directly over the top of the custard so that is touches it. This will prevent a skin from forming.
  • Allow to cool and then place into the fridge to chill.

Churning The Ice Cream

  • Set your ice cream maker up according to the manufacturers instructions.
  • Remove the cling film, stir the custard and pour into a jug.
  • Pour the custard into the ice cream maker (for mine it has to already be churning – check your instructions).
  • Churn the Very Vanilla Ice Cream until it is a thickened yet soft ice cream.
FF Very Vanilla Ice Cream
Very Vanilla Ice Cream ready for the freezer
  • Stop the ice cream maker and scoop out the Very Vanilla Ice Cream into a freezer-proof plastic tub.
  • Place the tub into the freezer and leave until solid.
  • As this ice cream has no artificial softening additives, to serve it is best left out of the freezer for 15 minutes. Then scoop away!!!

Continue reading Very Vanilla Ice Cream

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Lemony Strawberry Pavlova

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Hello my lovely readers. I have a rare recipe on my blog for you today – a dessert. I was shocked when I realised just how few dessert recipes I have. It just goes to show, we may have cake or cookies in the tin, but I rarely make dessert, much to my Hubby’s disappointment. So in order to correct this I have made a delicious Lemony Strawberry Pavlova!

FF Lemony Strawberry Pavlova
Lemony Strawberry Pavlova so light and refreshing.

As you may be aware, I love lemons, especially in cakes like my Mini Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cakes. This lemon pavlova is the stuff of fairies, rainbows and dreams. It is incredibly light, with a crisp, outer shell that hides a soft, marshmallow like interior. It really does melt in your mouth!

Slathering the top with dreamy, lightly whipped cream, fragrant strawberries and finishing with a limoncello sticky drizzle. This Lemony Strawberry Pavlova is the perfect dessert, especially on a Sunday after a roast.

FF Lemony Strawberry Pavlova
Lemony Strawberry Pavlova a generous slice!

Having made a few pavlovas now, I think that I’ve got them pretty much nailed. Yes I know that the weather, in particular humidity, can play havoc with them, but they are a fairly easy, foolproof dessert. The way I see it is this; if the worse happens and they crack and crumble, then make an Eton mess – whipped cream, crumbled meringue and fresh fruit. Altenatively if the cracking isn’t that bad, slather them with whipped cream and fruit and nobody will notice the disaster you have managed to avert 😉.

FF Lemony Strawberry Pavlova
Lemony Strawberry Pavlova look at the marshmallow inner, utterly melt in the mouth.

Fortunately this Lemony Strawberry Pavlova behaved. Today is a sunny dry day and apart from me using a new baking tray that was just a teeny bit too wide for our oven, hence this pavlova was cooked on a slant, it turned out beautifully. Better than that it tastes amazing. If you’ve ever eaten lemon roulade, then that has a similar texture to this pavlova.

When I first started making pavlovas I hadn’t any pictures to guide me through the process, so I’ve included a few so that you will know how things are supposed to look!

Also I managed to get hold of some early season British strawberries, they smelled so fragrant. This pavlova would also work well with Raspberries, Blackberries and Blueberries, so use whatever fruit is in season.

Recipe: Makes one Lemony Strawberry Pavlova serves 8

6 Large Free Range Egg Whites – the yolks will keep for a day in the fridge and I’m making ice cream tomorrow which they will be perfect for!

300g/10.5oz Caster Sugar plus 1tablespoon for the drizzle

2 Lemons

1tsp Corn Flour – also known as corn starch I use Dove Farms as it is gluten free

1tsp White Wine Vinegar

300ml Double Cream

300g/10.5oz Fresh Strawberries

50ml Limoncello – optional use water if preferred

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

  • Make sure the large bowl you will be whisking the egg whites in is scrupulously clean.
  • Cut 1 lemon in half and wipe around the inside of the bowl with it.
  • Separate the egg whites from the yolks and place the egg white into the clean, lemon wiped bowl.
  • Squeeze the juice of the cut lemon into the bowl with the egg whites, ensuring pips and pulp are caught by a sieve.
  • Start whisking on a slow speed and gradually build up to high.
  • Keep whisking until the egg whites have reached the stiff peak stage.
  • This is where, if you hold the whisk up the whisked egg white will not flop over
FF Lemony Strawberry Pavlova
This is a stiff peak – now time to start adding the sugar.
  • I couldn’t take a photo and hold the whisk up, but you can see the peaks in the bowl stand up and the egg white on the whisk didn’t move whilst I stopped to take a snap.
  • Resuming whisking on a high speed add the caster sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, or do as I did, pour it from a jug in a slow gentle stream so that it all becomes slowly incorporated into the egg whites.
FF Lemony Strawberry Pavlova
Beautifully glossy, satin meringue.
  • Once the meringue looks glossy, with a satin sheen, the meringue is mixed.
  • Add the corn flour and vinegar and gently fold into the meringue, so as not to knock out any of the air.
  • Draw a 25cm circle on a piece of baking parchment that fits onto a baking tray.
  • I drew round a 10″ cake pan.
  • Flip the baking parchment over and secure to the baking tray with a dob of meringue in each corner.
  • Scoop half of the meringue onto the middle of the disc.
  • Using a palette knife spread the meringue out so that it fills the marked circle, ensuring it is fairly level.
FF Lemony Strawberry Pavlova
The pavlova base.
  • Fill a large piping bag, fitted with a large star tip, with the remaining half of the meringue.
  • Pipe a swirl pattern around the edge of the pavlova base.
FF Lemony Strawberry Pavlova
Piped swirls around the edge of the base give this pavlova a very pretty finish.
  • Place the meringue into the hot oven and immediately turn the heat down to 150C/130C fan, gas mark 2.
  • Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes – 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • When baked the pavlova will have a hard outer shell with a hint of soft marshmallow deliciousness inside.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking tray.
  • Once cooled use a palette knife to slide under the pavlova and separate it from the baking parchment. Transfer to a cake stand or serving dish.
  • When ready to decorate, place the limoncello, juice of 1 whole lemon and tablespoon of caster sugar into a small pan. Bring to a bubble and reduce the heat until the liquid is about a quarter of its original volume.
  • Whilst the lemon drizzle is reducing, pour the double cream into a bowl and whisk until it has reached the floppy stage. It will not be stiff, just thickened enough to hold a figure of eight.
  • Spoon the whipped cream onto the inner part of the pavlova.
  • Decorate with strawberries.
FF Lemony Strawberry Pavlova
Concentrated lemon luscious drizzle.
  • The concentrated lemon drizzle should look like the picture above.
  • Drizzle it over the strawberries, for an intensely lemon flavour.
  • Serve immediately.
FF Lemony Strawberry Pavlova
Lemony Strawberry Pavlova pretty delicious.

The lemon pavlova can be made, unfilled a day in advance. Store on the original baking parchment, but loosen it first with palette knife, wrap in cling film. The cream can be whipped ahead of time and stored covered, in the fridge. Make the drizzle and assemble just before serving.

This Lemony Strawberry Pavlova is sure to wow any dinner party guests and your family. It is so light and the lemon so refreshing, it is absolutely perfect for dessert after a heavy meal, such as a roast or curry.

One bite of this delicious delight and my mouth felt cleansed and ready for a second, third……. 😉.

Whilst I am unreliable at the best of times, I really am going to try to make one dessert a month. Yes really, a proper pudding, or lighter dessert during the warmer months. My husband will be a very happy man!

Are you a dessert person? Do you look at a restaurant menu, pick your dessert and plan your meal around it??

If you have enjoyed this Lemony Strawberry Pavlova here is my other pavlova dessert for you to try:

Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova

FF Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova
Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova soo good.

I love reading your comments, thank you for taking the time to leave them and keep them coming please? I’m usually around on Twitter most days, so if you have any cooking/baking dilemmas send me a tweet and I’ll do my best to get back to you? I may not always have the answers, but I belong to an awesome community of amazing cooks and bakers. Between us there isn’t usually much that we can’t help with!

Have fun whilst you are cooking/baking and remember a feast can be improved with good company.

Sammie xx

 

 

 

 

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Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks

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Do you love the smell of coconuts? I do! And with coconut oil being hailed as the new all round, healthy oil, I was interested in what it would be like to bake with. So, after receiving a 250ml jar of cold pressed, organic coconut oil from the lovely people at Vita Coco I decided to make these vegan Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks.

Vegan flapjacks sized for Pinterest with descriptive graphics

Since having previously tried and failed, on two separate occasion to make flapjacks using honey, I knew I would have to go back to using sugar and golden syrup, if I stood any chance of these bars holding together. And switching the butter for coconut oil was also a risky proposition.

VC Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks
Medjool dates and Vita Coco coconut oil.

Since I was using beautiful medjool dates from the Medjool Date Co. I reduced the amount of golden syrup. The dates are so naturally sweet it didnt need the extra sweetness like my Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks. Also, flaked almonds added the perfect crunch, plus all their nutty goodness and flavour.

Three vegan flapjacks on a plate.
Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks

Finally, the swirl of milk chocolate gives the Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks a beautiful finish and let’s face it, a little chocolate always makes things better. Since these flapjacks are naturally vegan, use dairy free, vegan dark chocolate when sharing with those following a vegan diet.

Vegan flapjacks on a white platter.
Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks vegan and very delicious.

Wow!! These Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks taste amazing. I mean really, really good.

And I needn’t have worried about missing the buttery flavour of my usual flapjacks as these are packed full of chewy, nutty, flavour. Because my taste buds threw a party after my first bite, demanding another and then another bite.

So utterly delicious and clean tasting, if you get my meaning?

Recipe: Makes 16 Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks

225g/8oz One 250ml Jar of Vita Coco coconut oil

125g/5oz Light Soft Brown Sugar

75g/3oz Golden Syrup -light corn syrup

325g/11.5oz Rolled Oats – NOT quick cook oats

100g/4oz Flaked Almonds

125g/5oz Medjool Dates – seed removed and chopped into 1cm pieces

Optional – 100g/4oz Milk or alternatively Vegan Chocolate Sainsbury’s essential dark chocolate is Vegan

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

Making The Vegan Flapjacks

  • First of all, line an 8″ X 11″ – 20cm X 28cm Swiss roll tin with baking parchment. While I didn’t grease my tin first, the baking parchment lifted out without any problems.
  • In a large, heatproof/microwaveable bowl add the coconut oil, sugar and golden syrup.
  • Place in the microwave and heat on medium, for approximately 3 minutes, until the coconut oil has melted.
  • Stir the coconut oil, sugar and golden syrup together.
  • Add the rolled oats, chopped dates and flaked almonds.
VC Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks
All the ingredients for Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks in one bowl!
  • Mix all the ingredients together so that everything is coated in the melted coconut oil and sugar mix.
  • Tip the flapjack ingredients into the prepared tin.
VC Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks
Tip the delicious mix into a prepared tin.
  • Using the back of a metal spoon, press the mixture evenly into the tin.
VC Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks
Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks ready for the oven.

Baking The Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks

  • Place the flapjacks into the centre of the oven and bake for exactly 20 minutes.
  • The flapjacks should be a golden colour once cooked. As soon as the 20 minutes has elapsed remove from the oven.
  • Finally, resist the temptation to cook them for just a bit longer. Since this will result in the flapjacks becoming very hard and not chewy, on cooling.
VC Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks
Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks leave to cool completely in the tin.
  • Leave the flapjacks to cool completely in the tin.
  • Once cooled remove the from the tin using the parchment to lift them out.

Cutting And Decorating The Flapjacks

  • With a sharp knife cut down the length of the flapjack block, dividing it in two. Next cut across the middle of the flapjack, creating four quarters. Cur each quarter into four bars.
  • Break up the milk chocolate and place into a heatproof, microwaveable bowl.
  • Zap for 20 seconds at a time, on high, in the microwave. Stirring as the chocolate starts to melt. When the chocolate is nearly melted remove from the microwave and keep stirring until it is completely melted.
  • Pour the melted chocolate into a small piping bag (or a freezer/sandwich bag).
VC Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks
The glass keeps the bag steady as you pour in the melted chocolate.
  • Cut the very end of the piping bag (or corner of bag), so that you have a small hole.
  • Pipe a pattern of your choice down the length of each of the Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks.
  • Leave to set.
Chocolate decorated flapjacks
Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks

Store the flapjacks in an airtight container for up to a week.

Coconut Oil A Vegan Substitute For Butter

While the coconut flavour in these flapjacks is subtle, it mixes well with the dates and almonds to create a really flavoursome bar. Especially ideal for mornings when you’re in a rush and need breakfast on the go, or for filling that mid afternoon hunger gap and seeing you through to your evening meal!

I am incredibly impressed with how well the Vita Coco coconut oil worked in this recipe and I shall most definitely be buying more and using it in other recipes. So providing the chocolate is vegan, these Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks they are vegan, dairy AND gluten free (providing you use certified gluten free oats).

Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks

Creating a recipe that is not only nutritious, tasty and easy to pack up and take to work or school, but that can also be enjoyed by more people is a fantastic feeling!

Do you have diet constraints?

Have you substituted coconut oil for butter in any of your cooking/baking?

Please let me know as I am new to baking with coconut oil and would love to hear any tips you may have?

If you have enjoyed these Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks here are a couple more recipes you may like.

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

VC Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

Macadamia Nut Apricot Flapjacks 

Macadamia Nut Apricot Flapjacks
Macadamia Nut Apricot Flapjacks

Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars

Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars
Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars

Creating a vegan snack happened accidentally. Because the butter is switched to coconut oil and all of the other ingredients are gluten free and vegan I am thrilled that the resulting bake is so tasty. Since more people can enjoy this snack it fits in well with the theme of Feasting Is Fun.

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

Sammie xx

VitaCoco and The Medjool Date Co. provided me with coconut oil and dates which were used in this recipe. Also, all opinions, views, content and photographs are my own. I did not receive payment for writing this post. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

Also, this recipe is an entry into the #Swearbyit challenge with Vita coco. Find more great coconut oil recipes and tips on using coconut oil at www.swearbyit.com.

Vegan breakfast bars with descriptive graphics overlay.

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Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes

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Today is the first day of Spring! As the sun shone this morning I listened to birds chirping in the garden. While people are outside in the sunshine mowing their lawns I was inspired to create a cupcake that celebrates the passing of Winter. So here are my gluten free Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes.

FF Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes

Sarah at Heavenly Marshmallows sent me a selection of her homemade, artisan marshmallows. Since the selection included nine mango and passionfruit flavour I decided to use them in a recipe.

Because the mango and passionfruit marshmallows are gluten free I decided to make a gluten free cupcake, with mango in the cake batter.

HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes

While making gluten free cupcakes was first for me, I also wanted to incorporate the delicious mango and passionfruit marshmallows into the frosting. Since I had seen lots of different marshmallow frosting’s on Pinterest and after reading through a few different recipes, as usual I decided to come up with something of my own.

Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes

The Gluten Free Taste Test

So, for these Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes I decided to make two cake batters. The first batch are gluten free and can be seen in the photos on the yellow background. Also the cupcake wrappers are yellow floral, perfect for Spring.

While the second batch are in the orange wrappers and are made using plain flour, that is NOT gluten free. Since no one in our home is gluten intolerant, my wonderful family were to serve as ‘taste testers’, in a blind taste testing.

FF Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes

Each batch of cake batter had some mango added to it. Because I didn’t have any fresh mango, I used mango from a pot in juice. Mashing up the mango with a fork and adding it to the cake batter. And, in both bakes, the mango stayed evenly distributed throughout the baked cupcake. Finally, I had successfully made gluten free cupcakes, with a good texture.

Marsmallow In The Frosting?

The Success Of Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes

Next came the frosting, which wasn’t as daunting as I’d imagined. While the hardest part was saying goodbye to each of the 8 mango and passionfruit marshmallows as I put them in a heatproof bowl, over a double boiler.

Effectively this dreamy marshmallow frosting is buttercream, with melted marshmallows added to it.  While there’s a bit more to making it than that, it is no more difficult than making a chocolate ganache, that is then whipped and piped.

FF Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes

Rather than the sticky, sweet, frosting I’d imagined, the opposite was true. Resulting in marshmallow frosting that is the stuff of dreams, where fairies and unicorns live and rain falls like glittery sprinkles. I took myself off into my dream world there. And the result is amazing. Because, the melted marshmallows lighten the buttercream frosting. Resulting in a mallow, sponginess, that doesn’t set hard and melts, almost like sherbet on your tongue.

Recipe: Makes 12 Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes

Note: These cupcakes can be made with regular wheat flower. Simply the same quantity of plain white, wheat flour instead of gluten free flour. Method and cooking times are exactly the same.

For the Mango Cupcakes

100g/4oz Unsalted Butter-at room temperature

100g/4oz Caster Sugar

2 Large Free Range Eggs

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

100g/4oz Gluten Free White Flour – I use Doves Farm

1tsp Baking Powder – Waitrose Cooks’ Homebaking baking powder as it is gluten free – check yours not all brands are gluten free.

1/4 tsp Salt – I use Maldon

75g/3oz Fresh or Tinned Mango – any juice strained off and mango mashed with a fork.

For the Marshmallow Frosting

Heavenly Marshmallows Mango and Passionfruit flavour marshmallows – see note at bottom of post Art of Mallow

1tbsp Glycerine

300g/11oz Icing Sugar – sifted

150g/6oz Unsalted Butter – very soft

3tsp Boiling Water

Sprinkles of your choice

Making And Baking The Mango Cupcakes

  • First of all, place 12 cupcake cases in a cupcake or muffin tin.
  • Add the caster sugar,vanilla and butter into a medium sized bowl and whisk/beat together until pale and creamy.
  • Sift in the gluten free flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Add 2 eggs.
  • Whisk/beat until all the ingredients have come together and the batter is smooth.
  • Always take care to not over mix the cake batter.
  • Add the mashed mango and fold into the cake batter.
  • Spoon the cupcake mixture evenly into the cupcake cases.
HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Mango Cupcakes ready for the oven.
  • Bake in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes. The low slow cooking will ensure flat tops, perfect for frosting.
  • The cupcakes are baked when they are golden brown and spring back from a light touch.
  • As soon as the cupcakes are baked remove from the oven.
  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tin.
  • Remove the cupcakes from the tin and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Gluten Free Cupcakes cooling on the rack.

Making The Marshmallow Frosting

  • First of all, place the marshmallows into a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of barely simmering water.
HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Mango and Passionfruit Marshmallows starting to melt.
  • As the marshmallows melt it is important to keep stirring continuously.
  • As soon as they are melted remove the bowl from the saucepan and set to one side to cool.
HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Heavenly Melted Marshmallows!
  • While the melted marshmallows are cooling make the buttercream.
  • Add the softened butter and boiling water into the bowl of sifted icing sugar.
  • Whisk on a high speed until light and creamy.
  • Add the glycerine and whisk into the buttercream.
  • Pour the warm melted marshmallows into the buttercream, whilst the whisk is still mixing.
  • Continue mixing on a medium speed for 5 minutes.
  • Resulting in the lightest frosting to pipe onto your cakes.
HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Light, creamy, marshmallow frosting.

Piping The Marshmallow Frosting

  • Fit a large piping bag with a large star tip – I used Wilton #1M
  • Place the bag inside a sturdy jug or glass, folding back the sides of the bag.
  • Fill the bag with the marshmallow frosting.
  • Pipe swirls (like ice cream in cones) or roses see here.
  • Finally, sprinkle over the topping of your choice.
FF Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes

These Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes are completely delicious and in a blind taste test the gluten free cupcakes tasted exactly the same as the regular ones! Since, no one could tell any difference and happily ate both cupcakes.

Also, one part that was declared “exceptional” was the marshmallow frosting. So, this is a frosting that I will definitely be making again. Since both taste and texture are most definitely worth the extra step!

If you enjoyed this recipe for Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes You May Also Like These:

Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes

Smartie Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes
Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes.

Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

HM Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

Maltesers Popping Candy Cupcakes 

FF Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Maltesers Popping Candy Cupcakes

If you make these, or indeed any of my recipes, please post a photo, if you are able, on Twitter or Instagram and tag me in. I love seeing your makes and bakes.

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

Sammie xx

Heavenly Marshmallows  provided me with the marshmallows for this recipe. All content, photographs and recipes are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

Unfortunately Heavenly Marshmallows are no longer trading. So, I suggest Art of Mallow  Mango Passion Fruity Mallows, which I have tested using this recipe and are an equally good alternative.

 

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Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Making and baking ahead

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

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

Thought not!

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

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

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

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

Recipe: Make 16 Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

250g/9oz Unsalted Butter

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

125g/5oz Light Brown Sugar

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

150g/5oz Dried Cranberries

100g/4oz Chopped Walnuts

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

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

Making and baking the Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

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

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

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

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

 

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

Cutting and decorating the flapjacks

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

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

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

If you enjoyed these Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks then try these:

Bakewell Shortbread Bars 

FF Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Bakewell Shortbread Bars

Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks 

FF Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks

Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars

FF Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars

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

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.

 

 

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