Treat Petite April 2015 – Round Up

Treat Petite April 2015 – Round Up
The theme for this month’s Treat Petite was ‘Hello Spring!’ And Spring has certainly sprung with lots of delicious bakes and desserts. Easter was a big theme, as was chocolate, get ready to work up an appetite…

Fuss Free Flavours made these adorable Toffee Caramel Carob Mini Easter Cakes. I love the pretty pastel sugar butterflies that are nestled in the caramelised biscuit topping.

The More Than Occassional Baker made these very clever Passionfruit & Cream Cheese Filled Chocolate Eggs. A delicious no bake dessert for Easter.

The Gluten Free Alchemist made Apple, Cherry & Sultana Hot Cross Buns (Gluten Free). I love the flavour combination, it sounds divine and they are beautifully baked.

The Dream Baker made Easter Cupcakes, a unusual mixture of a lemon sponge a chocolate cream cheese icing – but Kerene confirms they were delicious!

My entry was Rhubarb & Ginger Meringue Tartlets, they were deliciously tangy and sweet and best of all I got to use my blowtorch on the meringues – great fun!

The More Than Occassional Baker’s second entry were these super cute Cinnabunnies! Made with delicious cinnamon rolls shaped into Easter bunnies – so cute!

Made With Pink made these gorgeous Easter Egg Surprise Cakes. A little time consuming to make, but certainly worthwhile for such a pretty and surprising effect!

Tin & Thyme made these delightful Easter Nest Cupcakes, she put a twist on a Stork recipe and used cardamom sugar which sounds like an amazing flavour boost.

I’d Much Rather Bake Than… made Mini Galaxy Caramel Egg Brownies. Wow! Sheer chocolate indulgence!

Foodie Quine made this Leftover Easter Chocolate Fridge Cake, the perfect way to use up all that easter chocolate your house no doubt got over whelmed with. I know mine certainly did!

Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary made these stunning Lime Cupcakes with Lime Buttercream Frosting. Made all natural with lime juice and zest, they sound delicious!

Green Gourmet Giraffe made these very clever Chocolate Carrots. Made by dipping wafers into coloured chocolate and placing them in a bowl of biscuit ‘dirt’ for that authentic look!

Family Friends Food made these Pesach Pop Tarts, which are grain, gluten, egg and refined sugar free. Pesach is Passover, a Jewish festival when leavened foods such as flour are forbidden.

The More Then Occassional Baker also made these fruity Banana & Berry Lemon Muffins. They were made using a lemon extract paste – something I’ve not heard of before.

United Cakedom made these gorgeous Double Chocolate Strawberry Mini Tarts. Chocolate pastry filled with white chocolate ganache and topped with a strawberry – sounds divine!

My Treat Petite co-host Cakeyboi made Cheese & Spring O Muffins with a Sundried Tomato Swirl. Savoury muffins are so moreish, and I love the flavours used. I could eat several of these in one sitting!

The Dream Baker made these super cute Mini Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote. Fruit and cheesecake is such a delicious combination and they are beautifully presented!

Belleau Kitchen made these stunning Baileys Chocolate Luxe Rice Krispie Squares. I am a huge fan of Baileys and these are some tasty looking grown up Easter treats!

Speaking of things I’m a big fan of… Nutella is also on that list! The Gluten Free Alchemist made these gorgeous Nutella Trifles.

The More Then Occassional Baker made these fab Hot Cross Buns. It was her first time making them and they turned out great!

Herbs Spices and Tradition entered a recipe originally for Valentine’s Day, but with it’s pastel pink colours this Coconut Strawberry Pinwheel is perfect for spring too!

Family Friends Food made this vibrant Rhubarb, Ginger & Raspberry Jelly that I bet is so tangy and delicious! It’s also vegan and sounds like a refreshing treat.

Kerry Cooks made these yummy looking Blueberry Scones. Perfectly baked – just look at how tall they are, and definitely crying out for some jam and cream!

A Pinch Of Salt made a Yoghurt Mango Smoothie, a taste of the exotic from India!

Caroline Makes… made Asparagus & Red Pepper Muffins. They are a Slimming World recipe and made with eggs, almost like a mini quiche without the pastry! They sound delicious!

Thanks so much for all the entries this month, they all look amazing. If you like a recipe, please click the link and let the blogger know on their page. Look out for May’s theme announcement soon over on Cakeyboi.

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British Seaside Cake

British Seaside Cake
I don’t know about you, but when I think of going to the British seaside I think of Mr Whippy ice creams. With a flake and some strawberry sauce of course. The National Trust are celebrating the South West Coast at the moment with a Coastal Festival, and seen as they look after over 300 miles of it, there’s a lot of fun to be had! They’re arranging everything from beach clean ups, water sport events, walks, runs, picnics and plays.

They’ve even made the epic cake above to commemorate their celebrations, and have asked bloggers to make cakes too, with the theme ‘I love the coast’. My cake is all about my childhood memories of going to the seaside, playing in the sand and eating ice cream.

My cake was three layers high and I baked each layer seperately. I started by greasing and lining my tins.

I then creamed together 350g butter and 350g caster sugar.

I added in 6 eggs, bit by bit, and 3 tsp vanilla extract, and whisked well.

Finally I folded in 350g self raising flour and 2 tsp baking powder and divided the mixture between the three tins. I even went as far as to measure the mixture to make sure it was divided evenly! I have a lot of problems with my cakes getting domed tops and I read some tips about making a hole in the middle of the mixture to stop this, so I thought I’d give it a try.

The second part of the anti-dome tip was to place a circle of greaseproof paper over the top with a hole in the middle. I baked the cakes on 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for 30 minutes.

Well the tips worked! My cakes came out perfectly flat on top. I am going to definitely use these tips next time. I left the cakes to cool.

For the ‘ice creams’ on top of the cake I purchased some cup cones, the ones with flat bottoms.

I wrapped them in foil and placed them into a muffin tin.

I made a cake batter using the same method as the bigger cake, except I used 56g butter, sugar and self raising flour, 1 egg and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract.

I baked them on 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for 25 minute. I removed the foil and left them to cool.

For the icing I mixed together 160g icing sugar with 80g butter and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract. I piped it onto the cones just like a Mr Whippy, and then pushed in a chocolate flake.

I made the blue sea icing by mixing together 400g icing sugar, 200g butter, a drop of Sugarflair Ice Blue food colouring and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

I crushed up 5 digestive biscuits for the sand.

I layered up the cake using strawberry jam to sandwich them together. I used a whole jar of jam.

I iced the cake all over with the blue buttercream, then I put 2 cocktail sticks into the bottom of each ice cream cake and stuck them into the cake. This gave them stability as the flake made their weight uneven. I then piled the biscuit sand all around the cones and all over the top of the cake.

The final flourishes were shell chocolates around the edge of the cake and some strawberry sauce on the ice creams. I was so pleased with the final result! It was like the seaside had come to my house.

It was delicious inside too, I think the simple flavours of vanilla and strawberry jam were just right for the indulgence of the decoration. My boyfriend loved the ice cream cone cupcakes, and I thought they were really tasty too. I’ll absolutely be making a bigger batch of them another time.

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British Seaside Cake

Ingredients

  • 406 g Caster sugar
  • 686 g Butter
  • 7 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 406 g Self raising flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3 Flat bottomed ice cream cones
  • 1 jar of Strawberry jam
  • 560 g Icing sugar
  • 3 Chocolate flakes
  • 5 Digestive biscuits
  • Blue food colouring
  • Shell chocolate
  • Strawberry sauce

Instructions

  1. Grease and line three sandwich tins
  2. Cream together 350g of the butter and 350g of the caster sugar
  3. Add in 6 of the eggs, bit by bit, and 3 tsp of the vanilla extract, and whisk well
  4. Fold in 350g of the self raising flour and 2 tsp of the baking powder. Divide the mixture between the three tins
  5. Bake the cakes on 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for 30 minutes. Leave the cakes to cool
  6. For the 'ice cream' cakes wrap the cones in foil and place them into a muffin tin
  7. Cream together 56g of the butter and 56g of the caster sugar. Whisk in 1 of the eggs and 1/4 tsp of the vanilla extract. Then fold in 56g of the self raising flour. Divide between the cones
  8. Bake on 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for 25 minute. Remove the foil and leave them to cool
  9. For the icing mix together 160g of the icing sugar with 80g of the butter and 1/4 tsp of the vanilla extract. Pipe it onto the cones, and then push in a chocolate flake
  10. Stack up the large cake using the strawberry jam to sandwich each layer together
  11. For the blue sea icing mix together 400g of the icing sugar, 200g of the butter, the blue food colouring and 1 tsp of the vanilla extract. Cover the cake with it
  12. Put 2 cocktail sticks into the bottom of each ice cream cake and stick them into the large cake
  13. Crush up 5 digestive biscuits and pile all around the cones and all over the top of the cake
  14. Add the shell chocolates around the edge of the cake and strawberry sauce on the ice cream cakes
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Chocolate & Pecan Brownies

Chocolate & Pecan Brownies
I am all about using up ingredients at the moment as I’m moving flats this month. The less boxes full of baking ingredients I have to carry, the better! I also made a pavlova over Easter for my family and I had some fresh egg yolks to use up. I hate wasting egg yolks so much that I have written a post called Things To Do With Egg Yolks. I’m always searching for new ones too and I found this awesome brownie recipe over at Buttercream & Chantilly Factory. It uses only egg yolks to create delicious gooey brownies. I halved her recipe, but you could easily double up if you have more egg yolks to use.

I started by chopping up 120g pecans. Luckily this was exactly how much I had left in my cupboard!

I melted 170g dark chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of water and once fully melted I mixed in 100g caster sugar and 90g dark brown sugar. It didn’t look that great at this point!

I whisked up my 5 leftover egg yolks with 40ml double cream and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.

I poured the egg mixture into the chocolate and mixed until combined. It mixed in well and looked a lot more tasty!

Finally I added 95g plain flour, the pecans and a pinch of salt and mixed well.

I poured the mixture into a lined 8×8 tin.

I baked on 350F/180C/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes.

The brownies were so deliciously rich and chocolatey. Somehow they tasted even better the next day!

I am entering this into this month’s Alphabakes, hosted by Caroline Makes… and The More Than Occasional Baker. This month’s letter is ‘B’ – for brownies in my case!

I am also entering these brownies into this month’s Tea Time Treats, hosted by Lavender & Lovage and The Hedgecombers. This month’s theme is chocolate.

And also into Simply Eggcellent hosted by Belleau Kitchen. They only use the yolks, but hopefully that’s good enough! The theme this month is chocolate.

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Chocolate & Pecan Brownies

Ingredients

  • 120 g Pecans chopped
  • 170 g Dark chocolate
  • 100 g Caster sugar
  • 90 g Dark brown sugar
  • 5 Egg yolks
  • 40 ml Double cream
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 95 g Plain flour
  • A pinch of Salt

Instructions

  1. Melt the dark chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of water and once fully melted, mix in the caster sugar and dark brown sugar
  2. Whisk up the egg yolks, double cream and vanilla extract
  3. Pour the egg mixture into the chocolate and mix until combined
  4. Add the plain flour, pecans and salt and mix well
  5. Pour the mixture into a lined 8x8 tin
  6. Bake on 350F/180C/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes. Once cool, slice into squares
 
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Joseph Joseph Product Review

Joseph Joseph Product Review
I was recently contacted to see if I wanted to review some of Joseph Joseph’s new spring/summer products. I jumped at the chance as I have heard very good things about their brand, and given it longing looks on the John Lewis website! If you haven’t heard of Joseph Joseph before, they are a family business ran by twin brothers. Their focus is on the whole user experience of their products, they combine design, function and quality materials to make their range.

I received their Slice&Sharpen™ Wood Chopping Board, and three peelers from their Multi-peel™ range – a Straight Peeler, a Julienne Peeler and a Serrated Peeler.

I gave the chopping board a go first. It is made from beech wood and has a built in ceramic sharpener so you can sharpen your knife before chopping. It was really easy to use, I just pulled the knife through it, you don’t have to master any technique like you do with a regular knife sharpener. The board also has four rubber grips on it to keep it from sliding around on the work surface.

I moved onto the standard peeler. I really liked the guard on the peelers. When you are routing through a drawer for a peeler the last thing you want it to catch yourself on it.

I peeled some potatos for some soup and the straight peeler was very easy to use. The handle is rubber so you know you have a secure grip while you’re using it.

The scraper on the side was fantastic and it made short work of the skin on some fresh ginger.

Next I tried the Julienne peeler. I’ve not come across this type of peeler before, and I loved it. This would be perfect for making low carb or paleo meals, such as courgette ‘spaghetti’. It also has a channel knife on the side for garnishes.

Finally I tried out the serrated peeler. It also has a zesting tool attached to the side which makes it a 2 in 1 tool.

Serrated peelers are best used on soft fruits. The peeler took of just the top layer off the skin of this plum, so no fruit was wasted. I was really impressed. I’m looking forward to using the range in more of my cooking and baking!

The Slice&Sharpen™ Wood Chopping Board is available for £20 RRP, and the Multi-peel™ range are £8 RRP each.

NB. I was sent these products for free to review, all opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

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Rhubarb & Ginger Meringue Tartlets

Rhubarb & Ginger Meringue Tartlets
Ok I admit it… ever since I used my kitchen blow torch for the first time on the Golden Layered Simnel Cake I made recently, I’ve been dying to use it again! There’s something about a powerful tool in your hands, it’s exciting! Rhubarb is in season right now and it’s also really good for you as it’s full of vitamins and minerals. It’s most commonly associated with crumbles and warm dishes, but these Rhubarb & Ginger Meringue Tartlets are a cold dessert so they’re great for a summer dessert.

I started by making the pastry. I rubbed 85g butter into 175g plain flour until it resembled bread crumbs. I then added one egg and mixed until a dough formed. I wrapped the pastry in cling film and chilled it for 30 minutes.

To make the filling I stewed 500g fresh rhubarb, 125g soft brown sugar, 3 tbsp cornflour, the zest and juice of 1 orange, a 1cm piece of grated fresh ginger and 1/2 tsp ground ginger.

I cut out the pastry and placed it in a old yorkshire pudding tin, you can use mini tartlets tins if you have them.

I lined the pastry with baking paper and poured in baking beans. I baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 10 minutes

I took the baking beans and paper out and put the pastry back in the oven until baked through, this took 10-15 minutes.

I filled the pastry cases with filling and glazed the edges with some beaten egg yolk. I put back in the oven for 15 minutes.

To make the meringue I whisked up 2 egg whites, 1/4 tsp cream tartar and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract in my food mixer until stiff peaks formed. Then I slowly poured in 55g caster sugar until the meringue was thick and glossy. I put it into a piping bag.

I piped the meringue onto the fully cooled tartlets, then used my kitchen blow torch to brown the meringue all over. The tartlets were best eaten straight away, the next day they got a bit soggy, but were definitely still edible!

I served these after a roast lamb dinner and they were beautifully tangy and sweet. I loved the fresh ginger in the filling. It’s a perfect contrast to the light and fluffy meringue. A great spring and summertime dessert!

I’m entering these into myself and Cakeyboi‘s blogging baking challenge Treat Petite, where this month’s theme is ‘Hello Spring!’

I am also entering this into The Great British Rhubarb Round-Up hosted by Farmersgirl Kitchen and Lavender & Lovage.

Recipe inspired by Completely Delicious.
 
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Rhubarb & Ginger Meringue Tartlets

Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 85 g Butter
  • 175 g Plain flour
  • 1 Egg
  • 500 g Fresh rhubarb
  • 125 g Soft brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp Cornflour
  • 1 Orange
  • 1 cm piece Fresh ginger grated
  • 1/2 tsp Ground ginger
  • 2 Egg whites
  • 55 g Caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. To make the pastry rub the butter into the plain flour until it resembles bread crumbs. Add the egg and mix until a dough forms. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill it for 30 minutes
  2. To make the filling put the fresh rhubarb, soft brown sugar, cornflour, the zest and juice of the orange, the fresh and ground ginger in a pan on a low heat until the rhubarb is soft
  3. Cut out the pastry and place it into a mini tartlet tin Line the pastry with baking paper and pour in baking beans. Bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 10 minutes
  4. Take the baking beans and paper out and put the pastry back in the oven until baked through, for approximately 10-15 minutes
  5. Fill the pastry cases with the rhubarb filling and put back in the oven for 15 minutes
  6. To make the meringue, whisk up the egg whites with the cream of tartar and vanilla extract in a food mixer until stiff peaks form. Then slowly pour in the caster sugar until the meringue is thick and glossy. Put it into a piping bag
  7. Pipe the meringue onto the fully cooled tartlets, then use a kitchen blow torch to brown the meringue all over
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