Bakewell Shortbread Bars

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Hello my lovely readers, I have a real star of a recipe today. If you have spent anytime on this site, then you’ll know I’m a bit bonkers about all the flavours in a Bakewell Tart. And so I have made these very delicious Bakewell Shortbread Bars.

A stack of biscuit based baked treats with descriptive graphics for Pinterest

 

These actually came about by accident, sometimes that’s the best way with recipes! Because I had made some vanilla shortbread dough, which I had planned to turn into chocolate dipped hearts. Anyway, what with one thing and another, I didn’t get around to making them. Update: I have made them and the recipe is here Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies.

So, a couple of weeks ago, on a Sunday, Hubby was running through what we had for packed lunches that week. I hadn’t managed to make any Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks eek – then I had a moment of inspiration. These Bakewell Shortbread Bars are the result of me needing to make something delicious, that also travels well.

Bakewell Shortbread Bars

What a massive hit these have been with my family, ooh and me!

All the flavour of a Bakewell Tart

While the buttery shortbread base gives these Bakewell Shortbread Bars a sturdiness that is needed when food is to be transported. Topped with delicious raspberry jam, giving a hint of tart sweetness and then covered in a light, tender almond sponge with flaked almonds added for crunch, flavour and decoration.

Although I love Bakewell Tart, what I really love about this recipe, is that there isn’t any pie crust to roll out. With a pastry crust I certainly don’t want a big, thick wodge of it at the bottom of my bar, whereas, using shortbread dough I am more than happy to have a decently thick base.

A stack of baked biscuit based, jam filled treats on a white plate.
Bakewell Shortbread Bars

Perfect Picnic Food

Because these Bakewell Shortbread Bars hold together well I will definitely be making them for picnics throughout the warmer months. I am not a fan of packing up food for lunches or picnics that is overly sweet or has any form of icing. I guess it just becomes too much of a bug magnet, or even worse wasps – and both cupcakes and iced cakes simply get too messy. Although our children are in their teens now, I want to relax while eating outside, not constantly dodging bugs or clearing up melted buttercream.

And that is NOT my idea of fun!

Actually, one year that we went to the beach with a big croud of friends, I made a fruit cake and a lemon drizzle cake (I know but the lemon drizzle only had a little bit of icing). I pre-cut them, popped the cakes into tins and mid afternoon we all had a cup of tea and slice of cake. I remember it being a very relaxing happy day and these Bakewell Shortbread Bars would certainly have travelled well and been enjoyed. A must bake for this year’s beach outings!

Now when I say this recipe is simple, it really is, the only slight faff is pre-cooking the shortbread. And I only say slight, because whilst the shortbread is cooking it is the perfect time to whip up the sponge.

Recipe: Makes 12 Bakewell Shortbread Bars

For the shortbread:

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter – softened to room temperature plus 1tbsp for greasing the tin

150g/5oz Caster Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

1 Large Egg Yolk – I always use free range

275g/10oz Plain White Flour

1/4 tsp Sea Salt I use Maldon

For the cake batter:

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter – softened to room temperature

175g/6oz Caster Sugar

3 Large Free Range Eggs

1tsp Vanilla Extract

3/4 tsp Almond Extract

100g/4oz Ground Almonds

50g/2oz Plain White Flour

1tsp Baking Powder

Pinch of salt

175g/ Approx 1/2 Standard Jar of Raspberry Jam – I use Hartley’s

50g/2oz Flaked Almonds

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

You will need a swiss roll tin 28cm x 20cm x 5cm (12″ x 8″ x 2″) greased with butter and lined with baking parchment.

Making the shortbread base:

  • In a large bowl whisk/beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy.
  • Add the vanilla extract and egg yolk and whisk/beat until combined.
  • Sift the flour and salt into the bowl.
  • Mix using a spoon until the dough comes together.
  • Tip the dough out on to some cling film. Wrap up the dough into a disc shape and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  • Once chilled break the dough up into large pieces and place them into the prepared tin.
  • Using clean hands, press the shortbread dough into the tin so that it forms a uniform layer.
  • Dock the shortbread dough using a fork.
FF Bakewell Shortbread Bars
The shortbread base ready for the oven.
  • Place the tin into the centre of the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the tin after 10 minutes and spread the jam over the part cooked shortbread. Leave a small gap between the jam and the edge of the shortbread.
  • Turn the oven temperature down to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3, 325F.
FF Bakewell Shortbread Bars
The part cooked shortbread is slathered in raspberry jam.

Making the almond cake batter, assembling the Bakewell Shortbread Bars and then baking them:

  • In a large bowl whisk/beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy.
  • Add the vanilla and almond extract and the 3 whole eggs. Whisk/beat for 1 minute.
  • Add the flour, baking powder, ground almonds and salt.
  • And then mix slowly until the batter is just combined.
  • Spoon the cake batter over the jam coated shortbread.
FF Bakewell Shortbread Bars
Almond sponge is spooned on top of the raspberry jam covered shortbread.
  • Use an offset palette knife, or the back of a spoon to carefully spread the cake batter so that it almost covers the top of the shortbread, Don’t worry it will spread out during baking,
  • Sprinkle over the flaked almonds.
Bakewell Shortbread Bars
Ready for the oven. 
  • Place the tin into the centre of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. It is fully baked when the top is golden and feels firm to the touch.
  • As soon as it is baked remove the tin from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin.
FF Bakewell Shortbread Bars
How gorgeous does this look?

Portioning the Bars

  • When completely cold run a knife around both long sides of the tin.
  • Using the spare parchment paper, lift the cake covered shortbread free from the tin.
  • Cut down the middle length of the bake.
  • Then cut across the width, in the middle.
  • Now cut each quarter into 3 bars.
  • Use a palette knife to lift the Bakewell Shortbread Bars free from the baking parchment.

Flaked almond tops almond sponge followed by raspberry jam and a shortbread base. Cut into bars that are ideal for picnics and packed lunches.

How great do these Bakewell Shortbread Bars look? They can also be cut into squares for tasty party bites.

Store them in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

See! So easy to make. And such a brilliant addition to a packed lunch, picnic or just to have with a cup of tea or coffee.

I love recipes that are easy, yet produce stunning results. This is one of those recipes. Because all of the flavours work so well together, a buttery shortbread base, sweet and tart raspberry jam topped with almond sponge. The perfect combination. Finally you can have your cake and cookie all in one tasty Bakewell Shortbread Bar!

If you have enjoyed these Bakewell Shortbread Bars, here are some other recipes you might like to try:

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

FF Bakewell Shortbread Bars
Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks perfect to grab and go.

Coconut Date Almond Flapjacks

FF Coconut Date Almond Flapjacks
Coconut Date Almond Flapjacks healthy food to go.

Oat Topped Lemon Shortbread Bars

FF Bakewell Shortbread Bars
Oat Topped Lemon Shortbread Bars

Do you have favourite recipes for making good food to go?

Also, thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I really appreciate it and love reading them. If you are on Twitter or Instagram please pop a photo up and tag me in. I love to see what you are baking and making in your kitchens and will happily retweet your pictures.

So, whatever you are making, have lots of fun making your feasts and sharing with friends and family.

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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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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Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

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Wednesday this week was a truly dreary, dark and very cold day. All types of weather threw themselves at the ground; hail, snow, rain, sleet and it was windy too. Especially as it is March, I want to see evidence of Spring. Most of all flowers and lambs. Finally, I an attempt to cheer us all up I made these very pretty and extremely delicious Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes.

FF Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

Does the image of pink, raspberry buttercream topped cupcakes, adorned with large daisy flowers and butterflies cheer you up?

FF Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

While the weather was so chilly and dreary, I was also feeling a little blue too, having just received news that a very close friend is extremely poorly. And so baking these cupcakes was therapeutic on both counts.

Do you find baking relaxing?

FF Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

    Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

Using Naturally Flavoured Icing Sugar

Although these are called Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes, which is true, the cake part is flavoured with Nielsen – Massey Vanilla Extract, for the buttercream I have used a favourite flavoured icing sugar.

Sugar and Crumbs sell an amazing range of naturally flavoured icing sugars. While making my Raspberry Ripple Cupcakes I used their Raspberry Ripple flavoured icing sugar. Since the day that last cupcake was eaten, in Kylie’s own words “I just can’t get you outta my head” I have wanted more. Especially more of the delicious tasting buttercream and more cupcake to swirl it onto!!

And so these Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes were the perfect excuse to indulge my passion again.

Importantly, this time I wanted to leave the option of using flavoured buttercream as a choice. Also, if you do buy some flavoured icing sugar, you can choose to make the buttercream any flavour you want. Especially, as the vanilla sponge goes well with any flavoured frosting. Alternatively, if you want to stick with vanilla buttercream that tastes awesome as well.

FF Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

Personally I think the pink icing, along with the decorations, really set these cupcakes apart. Although ‘Springtime’ was at the forefront of my mind whilst creating these beauties, with Mother’s Day being this coming Sunday, they would also make a perfect gift for any Mum.

Recipe: Makes 18 Large Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

For the Cake:

175g/6oz Caster Sugar

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter at room temp.

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – or you can substitute for Vanilla Extract

3 Large Free Range Eggs

3tbsp Milk – whole or semi skimmed

175g/6oz Plain White Flour

1.5tsp Baking Powder

1/8th tsp/pinch of Salt – I use Maldon

For the Buttercream:

350g12oz Icing Sugar – I used 250g Sugar and Crumbs Raspberry Ripple flavour and 100g/4oz Plain Icing Sugar. (Confectioners Sugar)

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter

Pink Food Colour – I used Wilton pink food colouring gel (available from cake decorating shops, Amazon and similar from Lakeland UK)

2tbsp Very Hot Water

Dr Oetker rice paper daisies, various sprinkles (available from most supermarkets)

Rice paper butterflies – from Amazon

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

Making The Vanilla Cupcake Batter

  • First of all, line 2 cupcake tins with 18 muffin or deep cupcake cases – the ones I used were a Christmas present from Lakeland.
  • Into a large bowl add your butter and sugar.
  • Whisk or beat until pale and creamy – approx 5 minutes.
  • Add 3 eggs, milk and Vanilla Bean Paste.
  • Sift into the bowl the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Note: This is called the all-in-one method.
  • Whisk or beat until all of the ingredients are combined – take care not to over mix and this will make the cupcakes tough, not light and springy.
  • Place a heaped dessert spoonful of cake batter into each cupcake case.
NM Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

Baking The Vanilla Cupcakes

  • Place the cupcakes into the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes,
  • The cupcakes are baked when they have risen and are a golden colour. They should spring back when pressed lightly on the top.
  • As soon as the cupcakes are baked remove from the oven.

NM Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

  • Allow to cool completely before icing.

Making The Pink Buttercream

  • Place the softened butter into a large bowl.
  • Sift the icing sugar into the same bowl.
  • Add the 2 tablespoons of hot water.
  • Add the food colouring, I use a cocktail stick and simply insert the tip into the food colouring gel and then add to the bowl.
  • Start slowly, whisking the buttercream ingredients until light, creamy and uniform in colour.

NM Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

  • Fit a piping bag with a large star tip.

Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

Piping Swirls Of Buttercream On To The Cupcakes

  • Place the icing bag into a tall sturdy container, I use a jug.
  • Use a spoon or spatula, fill the icing bag with all of the buttercream.
  • Practise on a plate, if piping for the first time.
  • Squeeze the bag so that all the buttercream is together.
  • Keep an even pressure with one hand squeezing the bag and using the other hand to guide the piping tip, pipe swirls onto the cupcakes.
NM Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
  • Finally add the decorations.
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes 

Gifting Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

I bought some cupcake pods, little plastic containers, perfect for holding one cupcake in and a great way to give individual cupcakes away as a gift. Since they were from Amazon and work out to about 10 pence per pod. Also they can be washed up and used again, which is great recycling and means you can share even more cupcakes with others!

Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes 

Since piping the swirls onto the cupcakes gives them a beautiful, professional finish. means use whatever cupcake toppers and sprinkles that you have to hand. The beauty of these Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes is that they are individual to your own sense of taste and style.

FF Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

If you like the Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes you will love these recipes:

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes so pretty.

Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes

Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes
Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes the perfect way to say I Love You.

Strawberry Sweatheart Cake

Strawberry Sweetheart Cake
Strawberry Sweetheart Cake swirled with roses and sprinkled with love

Enjoy baking and experimenting with piping different swirls!

Sammie xx

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

 

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Rocky Road Petit Fours

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Today’s treat is a fantastic way to use up any leftover chocolate that you may have in the house following Easter or Christmas. Alternatively, these treats look so festive you absolutely can buy the chocolate to make them. Finally I get to share my Rocky Road Petit Fours, individual portions of the delicious, well know classic recipe.

Rocky Road Petit Foursp

Ooh hello!!!

Because I am pretty certain ours is not the only home with an excess of Christmas chocolate, silently hiding behind over stuffed cupboard doors, waiting to wreck havoc on New Year eating resolutions.

So I thought I’d come up with a recipe that makes best use of all that lovely chocolate and portions it into more diet, I mean healthier sized morsels.

And with only four ingredients, these Rocky Road Petit Fours are a great treat to make for parties and as gifts, whatever time of year it is.

Miniature edible gold star topped rocky road petit fours.
Rocky Road Petit Fours

Giving Edible Gifts:

So, why not pop a few in a cellophane bag, tie with pretty ribbon and you have a great gift. Teachers, co-workers, shopping delivery drivers. The opportunities to say thank you, I really appreciate what you do, are limitless.

Rocky road petit fours wrapped in a cellophane bag and tied with gold raffia to give as a gift.
Beautifully wrapped Rocky Road Petit Fours

And that is who I made these for, my Waitrose delivery drivers. Because they always go above and beyond when it comes to delivering my shopping and I really, really appreciate that.

Since I started having seizures, see here , I have tried having our shopping delivered at the weekend. The problem was, it took a big chunk out of the day whilst hubby sorted and put all the shopping away. Also, I was losing track of what we needed etc. so I switched to a mid week delivery and with the delivery driver’s help, the shopping is unloaded, put away and weekends are way more relaxing for my hardworking hubby.

So, as a thank you, I filled a tin with these delicious treats and sent them back with the driver after he had helped with my shopping today.

I do think it is important to thank people. Especially when they go out of their way to help.

And edible gifts are a great way of saying a special thank you.

Also, making these chocolate delights is childs play. Literally!!

With a little supervision, they are perfect for making with children. Although whether they are then given as gifts, directly depends on the chocolate ‘evidence’ around the little cherubs face! So it might be an idea to have some prepared in advance to give away and let the children eat the fruits of their labour.

Recipe: Makes approx. 45 Rocky Road Petit Fours

150g/6oz Good Quality Milk Chocolate – I used Waitrose Seriously Intense Milk Chocolate with 49% Cocoa (or use a mix of milk and dark chocolate)

100g/4oz Mini Marshmallows

100g/4oz Shortbread  – cut into small chunks. Alternatively use mixed, unsalted, shelled nuts.

10 Glace Cherries – finely chopped

Petit Fours Cases

Edible glitter or stars for decoration – they are easily found on Amazon.

Making The Rocky Road Petit Fours

First of all, break or chop the chocolate into small pieces and place into a large heatproof bowl.

Melt, in the microwave, using the medium heat setting and 30 second bursts.

Remove before all the chocolate is melted and stir continuously until smooth and lump free.

Add into the melted chocolate the shortbread, mini marshmallows and chopped glace cherries. Thoroughly mix until all the ingredients are coated in chocolate.

Using two spoons carefully fill each petit fours case generously.

Set aside to cool and set. During warmer months, pop the Rocky Road Petit Fours into the fridge for a couple of minutes to set.

Sprinkle over edible glitter, or gold stars to add a finishing touch to these treats.

And there you have delicious gifts, sweet part canapés, or simply share with friends and family.

Rocky road petit fours in mini cake cases.
Rocky Road Petit Fours

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Rocky Road Petit Fours you may also like these:

Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites

Chocolate fudge brownie bites served on a slate platter.
Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites

 

Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies

Mini mince pies made with cream cheese pastry.
Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies


Chocolate Heart Cookies

Chocolate heart shaped cookies decorated with a white chocolate drizzle.
Chocolate Heart Cookies

Do you enjoy making edible gifts?

Let me know what you think of these. I really appreciate you taking the time to write a comment. Thank you.

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.

Rocky road petit fours with overplayed descriptive text and sized for Pinterest.

 

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Black Forest Cupcakes

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Hello there, today we are talking birthdays. Birthdays mean cake, lots of it. Shared amongst family and friends in a celebration of us getting another year older. Yes, I hear you, cakes could also be seen as a comfort food, for those of us notching up the years! When I was younger, every year for my birthday I would ask for a Black Forest Gateaux. Especially as the best part was having a slice for breakfast, the day after my birthday. Ooh it tasted so good and my love for this dessert inspired me to make these Black Forest Cupcakes.

Pinterest sized image of Black Forest Cupcakes with descriptive graphics.

 

Also I have added my own little twists, but the basic components stay the same; lighter than light chocolate sponge, dark cherries in glorious deep ruby syrup and a mascarpone cream topping. Have I got your attention now?

Black Forest Cupcakes

Remembered Flavours

Previously as I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I actually don’t bake cupcakes very often. Such was my craving for the taste of Black Forest Gateaux that I finally conceded to make these Black Forest Cupcakes. 

Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa herself is famous for saying she likes “Rembered flavours.” Since our tastebuds can transport us to various places and times the instant they are tantalised with a remembered flavour.

Black Forest Cupcakes so do that to me. Memories of birthdays past flooded my brain as I took the first bite. Delicious doesn’t even begin to describe how good these cupcakes are!

Black Forest Cupcakes

 

Using mascarpone and cream for the topping gives these cupcakes a rich, creamy flavour. You can see I haven’t overloaded these cupcakes with topping. A small swirl, topped with a syrupy cherry, is the perfect compliment to the moist, light, chocolate, sponge.

Okay confession time! As soon as these Black Forest Cupcakes had been assembled and had their beauty shots taken, I unashamedly face planted, straight into one. Mmm what’s life without a little fun?! So I had to wash my face, hands afterwards, yet it was totally worth it. If you make these, I encourage you to do the same. And have some fun!

Black Forest Cupcakes

Recipe : Makes 18 Black Forest Cupcakes

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter – room temperature

225g/8oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Salt

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey 

200g/7oz Plain White Flour

50g/2oz Cocoa – I use Callebaut

2tsp Baking Powder

4 Large Eggs – free range if possible

50ml/2fl oz Milk – whole or semi skimmed

250g/9oz Mascarpone Cheese

150ml/5fl oz Double Cream

1tsp Caster Sugar

375g/10oz Pouch or Tin Good Quality Cherry Pie Filling – alternatively use fresh cherries with the stone removed.

Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan, 350F, gas mark 4.

Making The Chocolate Cupcake Batter

  • First of all, place 18 cupcake cases into deep cupcake or muffin tins.
  • Then place the butter, sugar, vanilla extract and salt in to a large bowl.
Whisked butter sugar salt and vanilla extract form the basis of the cupcakes batter.
Whisked butter, sugar, salt and vanilla extract.

 

  • Whisk the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt together until pale and creamy.
  • Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder together into a separate bowl (dry mix).
  • Add one third of the dry mix to the creamed butter mixture, whisk briefly and then add 2 eggs and whisk again.
  • Repeat the last 2 steps again and then finish by adding the milk and the last of the dry mix. Whisk until fully incorporated.
Chocolate cupcake batter that will form the The Base of each Black Forest Cupcake.
Chocolate cupcake batter.

 

  • Spoon the chocolate batter into each cupcake case. I use a standard ice cream scoop as this ensures each cupcake is the same size.
Using an ice cream scoop to evenly fill each cupcake case.
Filling the cupcake cases.
  • Finally, check that all of the cupcake cases are filled equally.
Cupcake cases filled with chocolate batter ready to be baked and decorated as Black Forest Cupcakes.
Cupcakes ready to be baked.

 

Baking The Cupcakes

  • Place the tins into the middle and lower part of a preheated oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
  • The cupcakes are cooked when pressed lightly on top, the sponge springs back.
Tins containing freshly baked chocolate cupcakes.
Freshly backed chocolate cupcakes.

 

  • As soon as the cupcakes are baked remove from the oven.
  • Remove the cupcakes from the pan and leave to cool completely on a cooling rack.
Chocolate cupcakes cooling on a rack prior to being turned into Black Forest Cupcakes.
Freshly baked chocolate cupcakes cooling on a rack.

Making The Whipped Mascarpone Frosting And Decorating The Cupcakes

  • To make the topping, whisk together the mascarpone, cream and caster sugar until stiffened.
  • This process can easily done by hand, it takes very little time. Also beware of over whisking as the mixture will separate.

 

Black Forest Cupcakes whipped mascarpone topping in a bowl.
Whipped mascarpone cupcake frosting.
  • Fit a large piping bag with a large star tip, I use Wilton 1M. Fill with the mascarpone mixture and pipe small swirls on top of each cupcake.
Swirls of piped mascarpone frosting on top of the chocolate sponge reading to be finished with a cherry and some syrup that completes the Black Forest Cupcakes
Whipped mascarpone topped chocolate cupcakes.
  • Tip the cherry pie filling into a bowl.
  • Use a spoon to place a cherry on top of each of the cupcakes.
  • Finally, go back and drizzle a little of the syrup over each cupcake.
Black Forest Cupcakes

If not eaten immediately, these Black Forest Cupcakes need to be kept refrigerated in an air tight container, where they will keep for up to 3 days.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Black Forest Cupcakes you may also like these:

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

Blueberry topped cupcakes.
Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Edible pearl topped frosted cupcakes in wintage style cupcake cases on a doilie topped cake stand.
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Pink Heart Topped White Chocolate Cupcakes

Cupcakes in pink cupcake cases topped with piped white frosting and a single pink chocolate speckled heart.
Pink Heart Topped White Chocolate Cupcakes

Since I have revealed my birthday cake of choice from my younger years and also today, I would love to know if you’ve had a favourite flavour. Either birthday cakes or remembered flavours from days gone by? And because I love Black Forest flavours so much I also have a gluten free  Black Forest Roulade which you may want to try!

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.

Chocolate and cherry cupcakes, with whipped cream topping.

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Quiche Lorraine

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I was thrilled when my Mum yesterday, who is herself, a great quiche maker, complimented me. On seeing my Quiche Lorraine she said “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”. Although, thinking about it, that’s surely a compliment to her? Anyway, this cheddar cheese and smoked bacon tart is both easy to make and delicious to eat.

FF Cheddar Bacon Tart

I used a combination of bacon and lardons, as that’s what I had in the freezer and I’m trying to clear it out. So you get lovely chunks as well as pieces of delicious smoked bacon throughout the Quiche. Alternatively leftover cooked Gammon at Christmas, or indeed any other time of the year, works fabulously well in this Quiche Lorraine. Cut into chunks and use in place of the bacon, the beauty being no pre-cooking is required!

Quiche Lorraine a classic recipe using sharp cheddar, gammon or bacon in a shortcrust pastry egg tart.

Sooo I made the pastry for this quiche myself, but, umm, well let’s just say, I’m gonna leave that for another post. Which I know doesn’t help you, as you need pastry for this recipe. I’m sorry. Really I am. Either use your go-to shortcrust pastry recipe, or buy it!! Just know you’ll need 450g/1lb. I promise I will post my recipe ASAP. Finally I have the recipe, see the link in the recipe below for Pefect Butter Shortcrust Pastry.

Cheddar, bacon and egg tart slice served on a plate with fresh salad and a baked potato.
A slice of quiche lorraine served with salad and a baked potato.

Quiche Lorraine is also perfect, portable, picnic food. So easy to slice and pack up with chunks of cucumber and cherry tomatoes. And as the evenings stay light we can always take our food and eat outside.

Makes 1 x 25cm/10” Quiche Lorraine serves 6-8

450g/1lb Shortcrust Pastry – see my recipe here

8 Large Eggs – I use Burford Brown eggs from Clarence Court

125ml/4.5fl oz Whole Milk

300g/11oz Smoked Bacon/Lardons – cooked and cooled on kitchen paper

175g/6oz Sharp Cheddar – grated – I use Wyke Farms Mature Cheddar

1/2tsp Ground Black Pepper

Method : Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan oven, gas mark 4, 350F.

You will need a 25cm/10in tart tin, preferably with a loose base.

Preparing The Tart Case

Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to approx 16″ across. This will ensure it fits easily inside the Quiche tin, without stretching.

If using a ceramic dish, grease thoroughly with butter before lining with pastry. For tins I don’t find it necessary, but grease if you’re worried about the pastry sticking.

Transfer the pastry by rolling it around the rolling pin and then carefully unrolling over the Quiche tin.
Transfer the pastry by rolling it around the rolling pin and then carefully unrolling over the Quiche tin.

 

I always place my quiche tin on a baking sheet. Gently press the pastry into the sides and bottom of the tin. Then using the rolling pin, roll it over the top of the tin. This creates a clean finish to the pastry. If using a ceramic dish, neatly trim off the excess pastry with a knife.

Nice neat pastry finish.
Nice neat pastry finish.

 

Next doc the pastry at the bottom of the tin with a fork. This will stop the pastry from rising up when baked.

Place parchment paper onto the pastry and fill with baking beans or ceramic balls. These keep the pastry from collapsing during the blind baking.
Place parchment paper onto the pastry and fill with baking beans or ceramic balls. These keep the pastry from collapsing during the blind baking.

 

Place the quiche tin into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and discard the parchment paper and baking beans. Return to the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

The pastry case is now part baked. This ensures the egg mixture will not seep into the pastry. The quiche will have a crisp bottom, when fully cooked.
The pastry case is now part baked. This ensures the egg mixture will not seep into the pastry. The quiche will have a crisp bottom, when fully cooked.

Making The Cheddar Bacon Filling And Baking The Quiche

Whilst the pastry case is cooling gather the other ingredients together.
Whilst the pastry case is cooling gather the other ingredients together.

 

Add a good grinding of black pepper to the eggs and milk, then whisk together.

Sprinkle the cooked bacon evenly over the pastry base.
Sprinkle the cooked bacon evenly over the pastry base.
Then do the same with the grated cheese.
Then do the same with the grated cheese.

Slowly pour the egg mixture into the centre of the quiche, making sure that it doesn't flow over the top of the pastry.

Slowly pour the egg mixture into the centre of the quiche, ensuring it doesn’t flow over the edge if the pastry.

Reduce the oven temperature by 10C/25F, one gas mark lower. Place the Quiche Lorraine in the oven and bake for 20-25 mins until set and golden. Remove from oven. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Quiche Lorraine

This Quiche is so versatile. It can be packed up for lunch, a picnic, or as part of a meal with an endless choice of sides.

If you have enjoyed this Quiche Lorraine recipe you may also like these:

Wigmore Cheese Red Pepper Tart

Wigmore Cheese Red Pepper Tart
Wigmore Cheese Red Pepper Tart

Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche

Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche
Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quiche

Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche

Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche

Because I enjoy making quiches and tarts so much, it makes sense to make my own pastry. Since one batch of pastry makes two tarts I always freeze half to use later. Also this Quiche Lorraine freezes really well, simply defrost overnight in a refrigerator and then reheat until hot all the way through.

Sammie x

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

Bacon and cheese, egg tart in tin.

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