Chestnut, Sage & Parmesan Palmiers

Chestnut, Sage & Parmesan Palmiers

It’s my first Christmas being fully vegetarian and a recent shopping trip taught me that vegetarian party food is not that easy to find. After wading through the meat and fish options, you’re pretty much left with only mozzarella sticks and vegetable spring rolls. If you want something a bit more interesting, but also super easy to make, these Chestnut, Sage & Parmesan Palmiers are a perfect canape option. Using ready made pastry and pre-prepared chestnut make this a quick and simple snack to prepare. They’re extremely moreish and I can assure you that meat eaters will love them too, plus they look really pretty!

Jump straight to the recipe!

To make the filling I mashed together the chestnut puree, sage, parmesan and salt.

I rolled out the pastry and spread the filling evenly all over it.

Then I rolled the pastry up from either side until it met in the middle.

I wrapped it up tightly and put it in the freezer for 15 minutes.

I sliced it up and laid the pieces out onto a baking tray.

Chestnut, Sage & Parmesan Palmiers

I baked them for 15 minutes until they were golden.

Chestnut, Sage & Parmesan Palmiers

The Chestnut, Sage & Parmesan Palmiers were absolutely yummy, the cheesy flavour and fragrant sage really come through and make you want more and more of these crispy treats!

   

I’m linking this recipe up with Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too, Cook Blog Share hosted by Hijakced By Twins, Bake of the Week hosted by Mummy Mishaps, Simple & In Season hosted by Feeding Boys & A Firefighter, and Fiesta Friday hosted by Cooking With Aunt JuJu and Life Diet Health.

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5 from 2 votes
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Chestnut, Sage & Parmesan Palmiers

Servings 18

Ingredients

  • 320 g Puff Pastry Sheet
  • 200 g Chestnut Puree
  • 50 g Parmesan
  • 2 tsp Dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Instructions

  1. Take the pastry out of the fridge, remove it from the packaging and leave it to come to room temperature for 15 minutes

  2. To make the filling, mash together the chestnut puree, sage, parmesan and salt

  3. Roll out the pastry and spread the filling evenly all over it

  4. Roll the pastry up from either longest side until it meets in the middle

  5. Wrap it up tightly in baking paper and put it in the freezer for 15 minutes, meanwhile pre-heat your oven to 180C Fan/200C/375F/Gas Mark 6

  6. Take the pastry out of the freezer and slice it into pieces about 1cm thick, lay the pieces onto baking paper lined baking trays

  7. Bake them for 15 minutes until they are golden

  8. Serve warm. They can be eaten cold but the pastry won't be as crispy. They can be re-heated on the same temperature for 5 minutes

You can find more of my Savoury recipes by clicking here!

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Candy Cane Cheesecake (No Bake)

Candy Cane Cheesecake (No Bake)

In America, it’s popular to send candy cane grams to friends, but this is not a habit we’ve picked up on in the UK as yet. However, candy canes originated in Europe and we certainly have a fondness for eating and decorating our Christmas trees with them. These minty sweet treats inspired me to make a delicious no bake Candy Cane Cheesecake! I’ve made it with an oreo base rather than a biscuit one as the chocolate flavour pairs perfectly with the creamy mint filling. It’s decorated with white chocolate, whipped cream, crushed candy cane and sprinkles. As it’s no bake, it is perfect for making in advance so you can focus on Christmas dinner!

Jump straight to the recipe!

To make the oreo base I whizzed the oreos into crumbs using my food processor.

I mixed in the melted butter and pressed the mixture into the bottom of a 23″ springform tin. I put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

For the cheesecake filling I used my electric hand whisk to mix together the cream cheese, icing sugar and peppermint extract.

Once it was smooth with no lumps I added the double cream and whisked until it was very thick.

I smoothed the mixture into the tin on top of the oreo base, then put it in the fridge overnight.

To decorate, I melted the white chocolate and piped it all over the cheesecake.

Then I whipped up the double cream with the icing sugar and vanilla, and piped it all around the edges of the Candy Cane Cheesecake.

Candy Cane Cheesecake

I crushed up a candy cane and sprinkled it over the cream, then added candy cane sprinkles in the middle.

Candy Cane Cheesecake

This Candy Cane Cheesecake is absolutely yummy and has just the right amount of minty flavour! The oreo base is the ideal chocolatey partner to the fresh peppermint cheesecake, the white chocolate adds sumptuous sweetness while the candy cane pieces are deliciously crunchy.

Candy Cane Cheesecake

The Candy Cane Cheesecake was absolutely devoured by my friends at a dinner party recently, and me and my boyfriend easily finished off the leftovers! There’s something about the minty taste that counteracts the sweetness and means you can easily polish off a large slice, which is not a bad thing!

    

I’m linking this recipe up with Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too, Cook Blog Share hosted by Easy Peasy Foodie, Cook Once Eat Twice hosted by Searching For Spice, Bake of the Week hosted by Mummy Mishaps, and Fiesta Friday hosted by Everyday Healthy Recipes and The Not So Creative Cook.

Candy Cane Cheesecake

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5 from 7 votes
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Candy Cane Cheesecake

Servings 12

Ingredients

For the oreo base

  • 300 g Oreos
  • 100 g Butter or baking spread melted

For the cheesecake

  • 750 g Full fat cream cheese
  • 200 g Icing sugar
  • 2 tsp Peppermint extract
  • 300 ml Double cream

For decoration

  • 300 ml Double cream
  • 1 tbsp Icing sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 75 g White chocolate
  • 1 Candy cane
  • Candy cane (or red and white) sprinkles

Instructions

  1. To make the oreo base, whizz the oreos into crumbs using a food processor. Or put them in a bowl and bash them up with a rolling pin

  2. Mix in the melted butter and press the mixture into the bottom of a 23" springform tin (you do not need to line the tin). Put it in the fridge for 30 minutes

  3. For the cheesecake filling, use an electric hand whisk or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment to mix together the cream cheese, icing sugar and peppermint extract

  4. Once it is smooth with no lumps, I add the double cream and whisk until it is very thick. You want it to be thick enough so that you have to shake or tap the spoon to get the mixture to drop off

  5. Smooth the mixture into the tin on top of the oreo base, then put it in the fridge overnight or for 5-6 hours to set

  6. To decorate, melt the white chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave. Start with a 30 second blast, stir it, then do 10 second blasts stirring in between each one until it's melted. Pour into a small piping bag, snip a little bit off the end and pipe it all over the cheesecake

  7. Whip up the double cream with the icing sugar and vanilla, either by hand or with an electric whisk. Put it into a piping bag fitted with a nozzle (I used a Wilton 2D) and pipe it all around the edges of the cheesecake

  8. Crush up a candy cane (I bashed mine in a bowl with a rolling pin) and sprinkle it over the cream, then add candy cane or red and white sprinkles in the middle

  9. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve, it will last for 3 days in the fridge

You can find more of my Cheesecake recipes by clicking here!

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Snowball Cupcakes

Snowball Cupcakes

Have you ever had a real snowball fight? Like the ones you see in the movies? I had one back in my university days that went on for hours, and it was great fun. Nowadays I’d rather fight over who gets the last one of my Snowball Cupcakes! These frosty treats are flavoured with a rather tropical ingredient… coconut! It resembles snow perfectly so it had to be part of these Snowball Cupcakes. As did marshmallow fluff, which is a yummy American gooey marshmallow spread that you’ll find in the centre of the cupcakes. Making the snowflake shapes was so easy too with the help of a fondant cutter. The Snowball Cupcakes would also be great for a Disney’s Frozen themed party!

Jump straight to the recipe!

I started by making the snowflake decorations. I got some baby blue fondant and rolled it out, then I cut out snowflake shapes using a cutter. You can find links to the cutters I used at the end of the post.

I creamed together the butter and sugar until smooth.

Then I added the eggs, vanilla, coconut and self raising flour.

I divided the mixture between 12 baby blue cupcake cases.

They baked for 20 minutes until then were golden brown. I left them to cool completely.

Using a cupcake corer, I made holes in the middle of each cake.

  

I filled each hole with marshmallow fluff, which is an amazing spread that is basically like the gooey middle of a hot marshmallow! Find it in Sainsburys, and other supermarkets in the American section.

To decorate the snowball cupcakes I made a vanilla buttercream, then piped it on using a circular nozzle. I dipped the edges in dessicated coconut, then added the snowflake shapes.

These snowball cupcakes were such a hit! My boyfriend put them in his top five favourite things I’ve ever made (and he’s eaten pretty much everything on this blog!) And my sister told me her colleagues were still talking about the snowball cupcakes several days later.

Snowball cupcakes

Tips:

If you can’t find baby blue cupcake cases, you could also use white ones.

The snowflake cutters are really cheap, easy to use and create such a pretty effect. I recommend grabbing one from Amazon on the link below!

If you don’t want to pipe the icing on, just spread it on with a spoon.

You can also use a knife to cut out the holes in the cupcakes if you don’t have a cupcake corer.

I’m linking this recipe up with Bake of the Week hosted by Casa Costello, Baking Crumbs hosted by Only Crumbs Remain, Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too, Cook Blog Share hosted by Easy Peasy Foodie, and Fiesta Friday.

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5 from 5 votes
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Snowball Cupcakes

Servings 12

Ingredients

For the sponge

  • 175 g Butter or baking spread
  • 175 g Caster sugar
  • 3 Eggs large
  • 1 tbsp Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 25 g Dessicated coconut
  • 175 g Self raising flour

For the buttercream

  • 200 g Butter or baking spread
  • 400 g Icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

For decoration

  • 100 g Baby blue fondant
  • 75 g Fluff marshmallow spread
  • 25 g Dessicated coconut
  • Icing sugar to dust

Instructions

  1. Start by making the snowflake decorations. Dust a mat or work surface with icing sugar and roll out the fondant

  2. Using a cutter, cut out snowflake shapes and place them on baking or greaseproof paper to dry out and harden

  3. Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, and line a muffin tin with 12 light blue cupcake cases, or another colour if you can't find light blue. White would work well

  4. Cream together the butter and caster sugar until smooth

  5. Add the eggs, vanilla and coconut, mix them in

  6. Add the flour and mix it in

  7. Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases, then bake for 20 minutes until then are golden brown. Let them cool completely on a cooling rack

  8. Using a cupcake corer or a knife, make holes in the middle of each cake

  9. Spoon or pipe the marshmallow fluff spread into each hole

  10. Make the buttercream by mixing the ingredients together in a stand mixer or with an electric hand whisk until they are smooth, then put it into a piping bag fitted with a circular nozzle and pipe it onto the cupcakes

  11. Dip the sides of the buttercream in the dessicated coconut, then add the snowflake shape in the centre

You can find more of my Cupcake recipes by clicking here!

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The Final Treat Petite

The Final Treat Petite

Welcome to the Final Treat Petite!

Thank you to everyone that linked up in November! There were some warming winter treats, great ideas for edible Christmas gifts and dinner party dessert stunners. Don’t forget to give the blog’s featured some comment love and social media sharing if you like or make any of the recipes featured!

As you may have guessed from the title of this post, this is the final Treat Petite post from me and there will be no link up this month. Can you believe Treat Petite started back in September 2013?! It was Cakeyboi’s original idea and he approached me to host the linky together. We hosted it on alternate months for 3 and a half years until he decided to take a step back from blogging and I took over the linky alone. We also used to have themes every month, previous themes included ‘Fit For A Queen’, ‘Let’s Get Fruity’ and ‘Childhood Memories’. In July 2016, the link up went theme-less and any Treat Petite was allowed. I’ve loved being involved in this link up and the fabulous bloggers it has lead me to meet along the way, but I’ve decided the time has come to close the (oven) doors on Treat Petite. I do feel genuinely sad about this, but I also feel ready for it. The end of the year feels like the right time for it too. And I must end with a huge thank you to everyone who has supported this link up and joined in over the years!

Robin Cupcakes by Only Crumbs Remain, Gingerbread Cupcakes by me, Cherry Brandy Truffles by Glutarama and Tia Maria Chocolate Cheesecake Pots by Everyday Healthy Recipes

Boozy Slow Cooker Salted Caramel Fudge by BakingQueen74, Chocolate Orange Cupcakes by Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen, Spiced Prune Chocolate Pots with Amaretto by Tin & Thyme and Chocolate Overnight Baked Sourdough Donuts by Green Gourmet Giraffe.

Vegan Double Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies by Peachicks Bakery, Pumpkin Cake Bars by Curly’s Cooking, Hot Chocolate Cookies by The Not So Creative Cook, Cookies & Cream Frosted Brownie Bites by The Not So Creative Cook, and Gluten Free Nutella Choux Buns by Curly’s Cooking.

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Vegan Gingerbread Men

Vegan Gingerbread Men

There are many symbols of Christmas, from holly to Santa Claus, and crackers to Christmas pud. One of my favourites is the gingerbread man with his cute smiling face and rosy cheeks. I am always drawn towards gingerbread man decorations for my tree, and Christmas cards featuring these adorable characters. These vegan gingerbread men are a fun and delicious way to enjoy one of the most charming symbols of Christmas time. It would be great fun to make them with kids and let them get creative with the decorations! They have the perfect balance of sweetness against spicy ginger, making them a tasty treat for the whole family this Christmas.

Jump straight to the recipe!

I started by putting all of the dry ingredients into a bowl and stirring them together.

In a small pan I melted the dairy free spread with the golden syrup and treacle.

I poured the syrup mixture into the dry ingredients and mixed until a dough formed. I wrapped it in cling film and chilled it in the fridge for 1 hour.

Using a pastry mat which I floured well, and a floured rolling pin, I rolled the dough out.

I cut out gingerbread man shapes using a cookie cutter and laid them onto baking trays. Of course you could cut out any shapes you like.

I popped the cut out shapes on the trays into the freezer for 10 minutes, then I baked them for 8-10 minutes.

  

Once they were fully cool I made some icing and piped it onto the biscuits to decorate them. You could also use chocolate to decorate, or leave them plain.

Then the friendly smiling vegan gingerbread men were ready! Are they just the cutest? Almost too cute to eat, but only almost!

vegan gingerbread men

These vegan gingerbread men were absolutely yummy. They are crispy round the edges, then nice and soft in the middle. The punch of ginger flavour is just right, and you get bits of sweet icing in every bite.

 

I’m linking this recipe up with Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too, Cook Blog Share hosted by Everyday Healthy Recipes, Free From Fridays hosted by Le Coin De Mel, and Fiesta Fridays hosted by Cooking with Aunt Juju and The Frugal Hausfrau.

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5 from 4 votes
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Vegan Gingerbread Men

Servings 15

Ingredients

For the gingerbread

  • 150 g Plain flour
  • 150 g Wholemeal flour
  • 150 g Light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Mixed spice
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 60 ml Golden syrup
  • 1/2 tbsp Black treacle
  • 140 g Dairy free butter/margarine

For the icing

  • 75 g Icing sugar
  • Enough water to make a thick paste

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, line your baking tray(s) with baking paper

  2. Put both the flours, light brown sugar, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger, and mixed spice into a large mixing bowl and stir them together

  3. In a small pan on the lowest heat, melt the dairy free spread with the golden syrup and treacle

  4. Pour the syrup mixture into the flour mixture and combine with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Bring it together more with your hands if needed

  5. Wrap it in cling film and chill it in the fridge for 1 hour

  6. Flour your pastry mat or work surface well, and flour your rolling pin. Roll the dough out and use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes

  7. Lay the cut out dough pieces onto your lined baking tray(s). Keep re-rolling the dough until it is all used

  8. Put the baking trays into the freezer for 10 minutes, this will help the gingerbread keep it's shape when baking

  9. Remove from the freezer and bake them for 8-10 minutes, leave them on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack

  10. Once they were fully cool, mix the icing sugar with enough cold water to make a thick paste (you don't want it to be runny)

  11. Put the icing into a piping bag and pipe faces, buttons and squiggles onto the gingerbread men. You could also use chocolate to decorate, or leave them plain

You can find more of my Vegan recipes by clicking here!

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Celebrations Rocky Road

Celebrations Rocky Road

There can’t be many families in the UK that haven’t cracked open a tub of Celebrations chocolates over the Christmas period. Each tub is filled with miniature versions of some of the nations most loved chocolate bars – and we all have a favourite! I’m also sure that many families, like me, absolutely love rocky road. It’s so delicious, and simple to make too. This Celebrations rocky road features crunchy digestive biscuits, soft marshmallows and fruity cherries. Then to top it all off, it’s covered in Celebrations chocolates! It’s an absolutely yummy and completely irresistible treat for the festive season!

Jump straight to the recipe!

In a pan on a low heat I melted together the butter, both chocolates and the golden syrup.

Once it was melted and smooth, I poured about a third into a jug and set aside. Then I stirred in the biscuits, marshmallows and glace cherries. I found some vegetarian friendly marshmallows in Sainsburys by a brand called Freedom. You can also find them in Holland & Barrett and online.

I poured the mixture into a lined traybake tin. You can dot the Celebrations in more haphazardly if you like, and pick your favourites, I went for neat rows and equal amounts of each kind. I grabbed the jug of remaining chocolate and poured it all around the rocky road, in between the Celebrations and to fill in any gaps.

Then I put it in the fridge to set which took 2-3 hours. I chopped it up into slices using a sharp knife.

Celebrations Rocky Road

And I sprinkled it all over with icing sugar for that extra festive feel!

Celebrations Rocky Road

This Celebrations Rocky Road was so yummy! The chocolate melts in the mouth, the marshmallows and biscuits add texture and crunch, and it’s a lovely surprise to find out which Celebration chocolates you got in your slice. These Celebrations Rocky Road slices will fly off the plate at all your Christmas gatherings!

      

I’m linking this recipe up with Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too, Cook Blog Share hosted by Recipes Made Easy, and We Should Cocoa hosted by Tin & Thyme.

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5 from 2 votes
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Celebrations Rocky Road

Servings 16

Ingredients

  • 450 g Dark chocolate
  • 150 g Milk chocolate
  • 175 g Butter
  • 125 g Golden syrup
  • 100 g Digestive biscuits broken into pieces
  • 75 g Mini pink & white marshmallows gelatine free if serving to vegetarians
  • 100 g Glacé Cherries cut in half (optional or substitute for raisins)
  • 32 Celebrations chocolates

Instructions

  1. Line a 12" x 9" traybake tin with baking paper

  2. In a pan on a low heat melt together the butter, both chocolates and the golden syrup

  3. Once it is melted and smooth, pour about a third into a jug and set aside

  4. Stir in the biscuits, marshmallows and glace cherries

  5. Pour the mixture into the traybake tin and dot the Celebrations chocolates all over, either in neat rows or randomly

  6. Grab the jug of remaining chocolate and pour it all around the rocky road, in between the Celebrations and to fill in any gaps around the edges

  7. Put it in the fridge to set for 2-3 hours

  8. To serve, remove from the tin and chop into slices using a sharp knife

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Gingerbread Cupcakes

Gingerbread Cupcakes

After a wonderful weekend spent at The Cake & Bake Show in Manchester, I am fully in the Christmas spirit! What better way to begin celebrating the Christmas season than with these gingerbread cupcakes. Gingerbread flavour and gingerbread men just scream Christmas, they make me feel so festive and ready to curl up under a blanket on the sofa. I’ve infused these gingerbread cupcakes with ground ginger and mixed spice for that classic gingerbread flavour, and there’s also ground ginger in the buttercream for extra yum! I found some absolutely adorable gingerbread men fondant decorations and sprinkles to decorate them with, and you can easily find these online. I’ve linked them below too via Amazon so you can easily recreate every element of this recipe!

Jump straight to the recipe!

To make the gingerbread cupcakes I started by melting the butter, light brown sugar and golden syrup together in a pan on a low heat. I let it cool for 5 minutes.

In a mixing bowl I whisked together the eggs. I added the melted butter mixture, spices and flour, and whisked everything together.

I seperated the mixture into cupcakes cases

I baked them on 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes until they were golden brown.

To make the buttercream I used my electric mixer to beat together the butter, icing sugar, vanilla extract and ground ginger.

I piped it onto the cupcakes using my Wilton 2D nozzle, then added some little gingerbread icing shapes and sprinkles.

gingerbread cupcakes

These gingerbread cupcakes are absolutely yummy and just looking at them makes me so excited for Christmas! They taste just like gingerbread biscuits in cupcake form, and they look super cute with the little men on top.

 

I’m linking this recipe up with Bake of the Week hosted by Casa Costello, Treat Petite hosted by me, Baking Crumbs hosted by Only Crumbs Remain, Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too, Cook Blog Share hosted by Hijacked By Twins, and Fiesta Friday hosted by Life Diet Health and My Culinary Saga.

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5 from 4 votes
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Gingerbread Cupcakes

Servings 12

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • 175 g Butter or baking spread
  • 75 g Light brown sugar
  • 100 g Golden syrup
  • 3 Eggs large
  • 175 g Self raising flour
  • 1 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1 tsp Mixed spice

For the buttercream

  • 200 g Butter
  • 400 g Icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ground ginger

For the decoration

  • Gingerbread man fondant shapes optional
  • Gingerbread man sprinkles optional

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, and line a muffin tin with cupcake cases

  2. Melt the butter, light brown sugar and golden syrup together in a pan on a low heat. Let it cool for 5 minutes

  3. In a mixing bowl whisk the eggs together

  4. Add the melted butter mixture and whisk it in

  5. Add the groudn ginger, mixed spice and flour, and whisk it until the flour is fully combined

  6. Divide the mixture equally between the cupcakes cases



  7. Bake them for 20 minutes until they are golden brown, remove them from the tin and place them on a cooling rack to cool down fully

  8. To make the buttercream use an electric hand mixer to beat together the butter, icing sugar, vanilla extract and ground ginger until smooth

  9. Pipe or spread the buttercream onto the cupcakes, then add gingerbread man icing shapes and sprinkles if desired

You can find more of my Cupcake recipes by clicking here!

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Mincemeat Plait (Vegan)

Mincemeat Plait (Vegan)

I really love mince pies and finding new ways to eat mincemeat is definitely high on my list of priorities in December. My favourite kind of mincemeat is the luxury versions that are laced with brandy and/or port, as they give it that intense richness. I’ve never made my own mincemeat as I really think you can buy such good quality tasting versions in the shops. If you love mincemeat as much as I do, you’ll also love my Mince Pie Cupcakes With Brandy Buttercream and my Mince Pie Bakewell Squares.

I’ve been kindly given a subscription to Vegetarian Living Magazine by PocketMags and I found this recipe for a Vegan Mincemeat Plait inside. I was immediately drawn to it, plus I had some fast action yeast to use up. I really don’t make bread enough as it can be time consuming, but this recipe is quick enough to make in an evening.

I started by putting 200g strong white bread flour, a pinch of salt and a 7g sachet of fast action yeast into a bowl. I made sure to keep the salt and yeast separate, then mixed everything together.

I warmed up 200ml almond milk in a pan with 1/2 tbsp light brown sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. I only let it get hot enough so I could still hold my finger in it. I then whisked in 2 tbsp olive oil.

In a food mixer fitted with a dough hook I mixed the flour and milk mixture together for 6 minutes. I put the dough into an oiled bowl, covered it and left it to rise for 30 minutes.

I floured my Joseph Joseph Roll Up Non-Slip Silicone Pastry Mat and rolled the dough out in a rectangular shape.

I melted 2 tbsp melted margarine (dairy free if you want this recipe to be vegan) and brushed most of it all over the dough, then I sprinkled over a mixture of 1 tbsp ground cinnamon and 2 tbsp dark brown sugar all over it.

I used a luxury jar of mincemeat (make sure it’s vegetarian as mincemeat can contain suet) and spread 200g of it over the dough.

I rolled the dough into a sausage shape, cut it in half, attached it at the top then twisted the two halves together. I placed it on a lined baking tray and baked it on 220C/200C Fan/425F/Gas Mark 7 for 15 minutes.

I made a glaze from 50g icing sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 tbsp almond milk. It smelt so good!

As soon as the plait came out of the oven, I covered it in the glaze then left it to cool.

This bake was so yummy, the glaze on top sounds so simple but it’s incredibly delicious! I’m not a vegan, but it’s great to learn an easy vegan friendly recipe for the festive season that tastes amazing and will cater for friends who follow a vegan diet. Also it feels like a much healthier recipe as it doesn’t use any butter or other high fat dairy products.

I’m linking this up with The Food Calendar hosted by Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen.

And with Free From Fridays hosted by the Free From Farmhouse.

And with The No Waste Food Challenge hosted by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary as I used up some fast action yeast and some bread flour that were nearly out of date in this recipe.

And to Healthy Vegan Fridays hosted by Rock My Vegan Socks.

NB. I have received the subscription to Vegetarian Living Magazine and the Joseph Joseph product free of charge, all opinions are my own.

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Mincemeat Plait (Vegan)

Ingredients

  • 200 g Strong White Bread Flour
  • A Pinch of Salt
  • 7 g sachet Fast action dried yeast
  • 200 ml + 1/2 tbsp Almond milk
  • 1/2 tbsp Light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Dairy free margarine
  • 2 tbsp Dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Ground cinnamon
  • 50 g Icing sugar
  • 200 g Mincemeat

Instructions

  1. Put the strong white bread flour, salt and fast action yeast into a bowl, making sure to keep the salt and yeast on separate sides of the bowl, then mix it all together

  2. Warm the 200ml of almond milk in a pan with the light brown sugar and 1/2 tsp of the vanilla extract. Only let it get hot enough so you can still hold your finger in it. Then whisk in the olive oil

  3. In a food mixer fitted with a dough hook mix the flour and milk mixtures together for 6 minutes. Then put the dough into an oiled bowl, cover it and leave it to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes

  4. Flour your work surface and roll the dough out in a rectangular shape. In a bowl mix together the ground cinnamon and dark brown sugar

  5. Melt the margarine and brush most of it (reserve a little) all over the dough, then sprinkle the cinnamon mixture all over it

  6. Spread the mincemeat over the doughRoll the dough into a sausage shape, cut it in half, attach it at the top then twist the two halves together. Place it on a lined baking tray and bake it on 220C/200C Fan/425F/Gas Mark 7 for 15 minutes

  7. While it's baking make a glaze from the icing sugar, 1 tsp of the vanilla extract and 1/2 tbsp of the almond milk

  8. As soon as the plait comes out of the oven, cover it in the glaze then leave it to cool. Slice to serve

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Chocolate, Salted Caramel & Chestnut Yule Log

Chocolate, Salted Caramel & Chestnut Yule Log

I’m looking forward to Christmas more than usual this year as it is looking quite likely that I’ll be celebrating it in our very own home! I’ve been renting since I left my parents at 18 and more years later than I’d like to count, I’m finally buying my own home with my boyfriend. I can’t wait to put the Christmas tree up, make the place our own and most of all get baking in our new kitchen! All going well, we will be in there in 2 weeks time, keep your fingers crossed for us!

I recently received the first issue of Baking Heaven, which is a monthly magazine subcription from Magazine.co.uk. It is packed full of sweet and savoury recipes and it certainly lives up to it’s name! When I flicked through the magazine to decide what to make I was immediately drawn to this Chocolate, Salted Caramel & Chestnut Yule Log. With it’s combination of salted caramel, chocolate and chestnuts it sounded like festive perfection. It is taken from Gizzi Erskine’s new book Season’s Eatings and is something a bit different from the traditional Yule Log.

I started by greasing a lining a lipped baking tray, the recipe recommends using a 33x23cm tin, but as mine was larger I increased the sponge recipe by a third to make up for this. I’ll only put the ingredients for the recipe as stated though.

I whisked up 3 large free-range eggs with 75g caster sugar in my food mixer for 8 minutes until it had trebled in size.

I sieved out 50g plain flour and 25g cocoa powder into a bowl and then folded it into the egg mixture.

I poured the batter into the tin and tipped it to spread the mixture out into each corner.

I baked it on 190C/170C Fan/Gas Mark 3 for 12 minutes. I immediately tipped it out onto another sheet of baking paper and rolled it up, rolling the fresh sheet of baking paper with it. The recipe didn’t suggest to do this, but having made many swiss rolls in the past, I thought this was the best thing to do and I do recommend it. I left it to cool fully

I then made the chocolate icing by putting 150ml double cream, 30g butter and 150g dark chocolate in a pan and gently heating it until it all melted together. I then put it in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.

For the filling I started by making a caramel, I put 100g caster sugar into a frying pan and left it without stirring it until it was golden and bubbling.

I added 80g butter, 50ml double cream, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 3/4 tsp salt and quickly mixed them in.

I then poured the caramel into a bowl, added 180g chestnuts (the recipe said 200g but the pack I got in the shops was 180g) and whizzed it up into a smooth paste using a hand blender. Let it cool to room temperature.

I whipped up 150ml double cream with 3 tbsp icing sugar, then folded it into the cooled caramel and chestnut mixture.

I unrolled the sponger and spread the caramel filling all over it evenly.

I rolled the sponge back up carefully.

I took the icing out of the fridge and spread it all over the roll. I did it quite roughly as the roll was meant to look like a log.

I bashed up 1 flake bar and sprinkled it all over the wet icing. I put it back in the fridge to set.

I finished the Yule Log by adding some redcurrants and dusting it with icing sugar. I’ve never actually eaten redcurrants before, they look very pretty and taste very inoffensive, however they are quite full of seeds despite their small size. You can choose to decorate the roll with anything you like, I suggest a sprig of holly, edible gold glitter or a liberal dusting of icing sugar!

This was the perfect taster of Christmas treats to come, the filling had a salty caramel flavour, the sponge was light and soft, and the dark chocolate icing was melt in the mouth divine. I really enjoyed every bite!

      

I’m linking this recipe up with We Should Cocoa hosted by Tin & Thyme, with the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Ilka’s Blog and Marathons & MotivationCook Blog Share hosted by Sneaky Veg, and Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too.

NB. I have received the subscription to Baking Heaven free of charge, all opinions are my own.

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Chocolate, Salted Caramel & Chestnut Yule Log

Ingredients

  • 3 Eggs
  • 175 g Caster sugar
  • 50 g Plain flour
  • 25 g Cocoa powder
  • 110 g Butter
  • 150 g Dark chocolate
  • 350 ml Double cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 200 g Chestnuts
  • 3 tbsp + more for dusting Icing sugar
  • 1 Cadburys Flake Bar
  • 3 sprigs of Redcurrants

Instructions

  1. Grease and line a lipped 33x23cm baking tray

  2. Whisk up the eggs with 75g of the caster sugar in an electric food mixer for 8 minutes until it has trebled in size

  3. Sieve the plain flour and cocoa powder into a bowl and then fold it into the egg mixture

  4. Poured the batter into the lined tray and tip it to spread the mixture out into each corner

  5. Bake it on 190C/170C Fan/Gas Mark 3 for 12 minutes. Immediately tip it out onto a clean sheet of baking paper and roll it up, rolling the clean sheet of baking paper with it. Leave it to cool fully

  6. Make the chocolate icing by putting 150ml of the double cream, 30g of the butter and dark chocolate in a pan and gently heating it until it all melts together. Put it in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes

  7. For the filling start by making a caramel. Put 100g of the caster sugar into a frying pan and leave it without stirring until it is golden and bubbling

  8. Then add 80g of the butter, 50ml of the double cream, the vanilla extract and the salt and quickly mix them in using a whisk

  9. Pour the caramel into a bowl, added the chestnuts and whiz it up into a smooth paste using a hand blender. Let it cool to room temperature

  10. Whip up 150ml of the double cream with the icing sugar, then folded it into the cooled caramel and chestnut mixture

  11. Unroll the sponger and spread the caramel filling all over it evenly, then roll the sponge back up carefully

  12. Take the chocolate icing out of the fridge and spread it all over the roll. You want this to be quite rough as the roll is meant to look like a log

  13. Bash up 1 flake bar and sprinkled it all over the wet icing. Put it back in the fridge to set

  14. Finish the Yule Log by adding some redcurrants and dusting it with icing sugar

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Orange & Gingerbread Pavlova

Orange & Gingerbread Pavlova
Christmas has come around so fast, like it always does, and is only 5 days away now. I really love the modern Christmas of today, and how every year new ideas and traditions are created. Although we still love the classics of Christmas, we longer stick to them so rigidly. So if you don’t fancy Christmas pudding after your dinner this year, you can turn to practically any other type of dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth and impress your family and friends. I think this Orange & Gingerbread Pavlova does just that! It incorporates traditional flavours of Christmas like fresh orange and spicy ginger, but it also creates a stunning centerpiece for any Christmas dinner table.

Jump straight to the recipe!

I started by making the meringue. If you’re left with egg yolks, check out some ways to use it up here. Or you can now buy egg white on it’s own in a carton from Two Chicks. I set it whisking in my mixer along with cream of tartar until stiff peaks formed – you know this has happened when you can tip the bowl upside down without it falling out.

Then I added half of the sugars into the mixer after the stiff peaks had formed and while it was still mixing, and I also added ground ginger.

I then folded the remaining sugar into the meringue using a spatula.

I arranged the meringue into a circular shape on a lined baking tray, making it flat in the centre and more textured around the edges.

It baked for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Then I left it to cool completely.

I whipped up double cream and spread it in the middle of the pavlova and I sprinkled over crushed up ginger nut biscuits.

Then added some orange zest, slices of orange with the rind cut off and these gorgeous dark chocolate pearls from the Chocolate Trading Co.

Orange & Gingerbread Pavlova

How’s that for a showstopper?! I was so pleased with how the Orange & Gingerbread Pavlova turned out and the final look after decorating.

The Orange & Gingerbread Pavlova is best eaten straight away and I had some friends round who were happy to help! The meringue is sweet and spicy, the orange is juicy and fresh, and the chocolate and biscuits add texture amongst the soft cream. It really is a heavenly dessert. Happy Christmas everyone!

      

I’m entering this into Simply Eggcellent hosted by Belleau Kitchen where this month anything goes. And into Credit Crunch Munch hosted by Fab Food 4 All as I used leftover egg whites that I had frozen when I made custard with the yolks a few months ago. And into the No Waste Food Challenge ran by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary and this month hosted by Jen’s Food for the same reason.


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Orange & Gingerbread Pavlova

Ingredients

  • 180 g Egg whites (approx 6 large eggs)
  • 180 g Caster sugar
  • 180 g Light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp Ground ginger
  • 300 ml Double cream
  • 3 Ginger nut biscuits crushed
  • 1 Orange
  • A handful of Dark chocolate pearls

Instructions

  1. Whisk the egg whites in a mixer along with the cream of tartar until stiff peaks form - you know this has happened when you can tip the bowl upside down without it falling out

  2. Measure out both types of sugar and add half of the sugar mixture into the egg whites while the mixer is on. Add the ground ginger too

  3. Fold the remaining sugar into the meringue using a spatula
  4. Arrange the meringue into a circular shape on a lined baking tray. Make it flat in the center and more textured around the edges
  5. Bake the meringue on 120C/250F/Gas Mark 1/2 for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Then leave it to cool completely
  6. Whip the double cream and spread it in the middle of the meringue. Sprinkle over the crushed up ginger nut biscuits
  7. Then add the orange zest, slices of orange with the rind cut off and the dark chocolate pearls

You can find more of my Meringue recipes by clicking here!

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