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

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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 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.

I started by making the meringue. First things first, weigh your egg whites. I used 180g egg white, this is approximately 6 large eggs. 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 1 tsp cream of tartar until stiff peaks formed – you know this has happened when you can tip the bowl upside down without it falling out.

The reason you weigh the egg whites is so your can double the weight of your sugar. I used 180g caster sugar and 180g light brown soft sugar. I added 90g of each sugar into the mixer after the stiff peaks had formed and while it was still mixing. I also added 2 tsp 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. I made it flat in the center and more textured around the edges.

I baked the meringue on 120C/250F/Gas Mark 1/2 for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Then left it to cool completely.

I whipped up 300ml double cream and spread it in the middle. I sprinkled over 3 crushed up ginger nut biscuits.

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

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

The 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. Weigh your egg whites. Then whisk them 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. The reason you weigh the egg whites is so your can double the weight of your sugar. Measure out both types of sugar to double the weight of the egg whites, 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
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Stollen Muffins

Stollen Muffins
I’m pretty sure that everyone can relate to the feeling of never having enough time to do the things you want to do. For me this relates to baking a lot. I wish I had more time to bake all the things I’d like to try! So sometimes a recipe like this is just what I need. Instead of making stollen, which needs 2 hours time to prove, I thought I’d transform it into muffins for a quicker result with just as much flavour!

I started by creaming together 100g butter and 100g caster sugar.

In a separate bowl I whisked up 2 eggs, 100ml milk, 25ml brandy and 1 tsp almond extract.

I also measured out 60g dried cranberries, 60g mixed peel, 60g sultanas and 60g diced up marzipan. I sprinkled a little flour in and mixed it around to coat the fruit and marzipan. This stops it sinking to the bottom of the muffins while they are baking.

I combined the egg mixture into the creamed butter, then added 200g self raising flour, 50g ground almonds, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp mixed spice and 1/4 tsp nutmeg.

I separated the mixture into 12 tulip muffin cases and sprinkled some flaked almonds over each muffin. I baked them on 180C for approximately 15-20 minutes. It will depend on your oven as to how long they take but you want them to be golden brown on top and a skewer to come out clean.

I left them to cool completely then dusted them generously with icing sugar.

If you are a fan of stollen and also short of time like me, I highly recommend this recipe. It’s got everything your taste buds are craving; Christmas spices, sweet fruit and nutty marzipan. It embodies Christmas and will be a guaranteed hit for all your family, friends or colleagues!

I’m entering these into a few blogging challenges this month…

Starting with Treat Petite, hosted by Cakeyboi, where the theme is Red and Green (aka Christmas).

I’m also entering it 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 some leftover marzipan and dried fruit that was in the cupboard.

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.

And finally into Alphabakes hosted by Caroline Makes and The More Than Occasional Baker, this month the letter is N for Noel so anything Christmassy goes!

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Stollen Muffins

Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 100 g Butter
  • 100 g Caster sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 100 ml Milk
  • 25 ml Brandy
  • 1 tsp Almond extract
  • 60 g Dried cranberries
  • 60 g Mixed peel
  • 60 g Sultanas
  • 60 g Marzipan diced
  • 200 g Self raising flour
  • 50 g Ground almonds
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Mixed spice
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • Handful of Flaked almonds

Instructions

  1. Cream together the butter and caster sugar
  2. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, milk, brandy and almond extract together
  3. In a third bowl, measure out the dried cranberries, mixed peel, sultanas and marzipan. Sprinkle a little flour in and mix it around to coat the fruit and marzipan. This stops it sinking to the bottom of the muffins while they are baking
  4. Combine the egg mixture into the creamed butter, then add the flour, ground almonds, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, mixed spice and nutmeg
  5. Separate the mixture into 12 tulip muffin cases and sprinkle some flaked almonds over each muffin. Bake them on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for approximately 15-20 minutes. It will depend on your oven as to how long they take but you want them to be golden brown on top and a skewer to come out clean
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Treat Petite December 2014 – Round Up

Treat Petite December 2014 – Round Up
It’s been a very busy December for me this year, I’ve not had nearly enough time as usual to bake. I’ve really enjoyed seeing all the entries for the ‘Merry Christmas’ themed Treat Petite come flooding in. So much exciting inspiration. Happy Christmas everyone! Look out for January’s challenge over on Cakeyboi in the new year.

Our first entry was from Pauline’s Occasional Baking Adventures with these tasty Cranberry & White Chocolate Cupcakes which she made for a charity bake sale.

Paul’s Food World made a recipe I have been wanting to try myself for ages – Lebkuchen. A traditional German recipe that dates back to the 13th century.

Mini Stollen Loaves were sent over by Tales From The Kitchen Shed, another traditional German recipe adapted into mini portions.

Ros from The More Than Occasional Baker made these Golden Syrup Cupcakes. She liked them so much she made 36!

Caroline Makes… also made Golden Syrup Cupcakes, but her’s were also dairy free and vegan friendly. Plus Frozen themed!

The More Than Occassional Baker’s second entry was this dark and delicious looking Chocolate & Fig Panforte. It looks similar to Rocky Road and is a great no bake recipe.

I was recently involved in Waitrose’s Bake It Forward campaign, and so was Choclette. She made these Chocolate Cinnamon Smacaroons which are very chewy and nutty.

I’m ashamed to admit that I often forget that not everyone celebrates Christmas! Family Friends Food made these Spiced Olive Oil Cupcakes for Chanukah.

How To Cook Good Food sent in these gorgeous looking Roasted Pear & Mincemeat Crumble Tarts, a great twist on the classic!

Another twist on traditional mince pies from Food Glorious Food with Mini Chocolate Mince Tarts made with chocolate pastry.

For my entry I made these Snowflake Biscuits using a gorgeous set of cutters from Lakeland. I decorated them with icing, sprinkles and glitter.

Green Gourmet Giraffe made these cute White Chocolate & Ginger Cookies, which are vegan friendly too!

Family Friends Food also sent over these Festive Chocolate Christmas Trees, which are a super easy Christmas gift!

If you’re trying to avoid overindulging this Christmas, Caroline Makes… tried out this Less Sinful Mince Pie recipe from Slimming World.

As Camilla from Fab Food 4 All suggests, her Christmas Soda Bread would be a great way to use up leftover ingredients from Christmas cakes and puddings.

Garden Tea Cakes & Me made this Christmas Fudge with Cranberry using a Christmas Punch flavoured icing sugar. It sounds delicious!

Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary made these gorgeous looking Peppermint Candy Cane Christmas Chocolates. An easy no bake recipe perfect for gifts.

Edible decorations for your Christmas tree are so fun to make and tasty too, The More Then Occassional Baker’s Stained Glass Cookies look awesome!

Two more great ideas for Christmas gifts from Caroline Makes… with Candy Cane Peppermint Bark and Hot Chocolate Dippers. I love the mould used for the bark!

Beckie from This Is Not My Home sent over this Spiced Cranberry Party Fudge. I would be glad to see this on offer at a Christmas party!

My Treat Petite co-host, Stuart from Cakeyboi, made these mouth wateringly good looking Mince Pie Custard Bars. A fantastic festive bake!

The Gluten Free Alchemist made a gingerbread house with her daughter and made these Gluten Free Gingerbread Christmas Tree to go along with it. They are so beautifully decorated.

These super cute Reindeer Cupcakes were sent over by The Dream Baker. They are made with pretzels for antlers.

Caroline Makes… friends and family certainly are lucky to receive so many edible gifts from here, these ones are Candy Cane Chocolate Hearts.

Lancashire Food experimented with chesnut flour to make these Chesnut Maple Snowflake Biscuits. They sound a bit healthier then usual Christmas biscuits with coconut oil instead of butter.

 

How To Cook Good Food’s Stollen Biscuit Bites are such a brilliant way to transfer the flavours of stollen into easy to make and eat biscuits.

Isn’t this Cupcake Christmas Tree impressive?! Fenton Eats made this by sticking lots of cupcakes to a large cone, such a clever and effective idea.

 

This biscuit tower is made from lots of Spiced Christmas Biscuits. Blue Kitchen Bakes iced and piled the biscuits up into a tree that looks beautifully festive!

More delicious Christmas Shortbread Biscuits this time from Tales From The Kitchen Shed. They look gorgeous dusted with icing sugar!

Caroline Makes… tried out a Chocolate Truffle recipe without double cream. They didn’t set quite as well, but tasted good with the Christmas cake liquor she used!

Family Friends Food made these fantastic Orange Chocolate Truffled-Centred Cookies. I would love to get a bag of these for Christmas!

The More Then Occasional Baker finishes up the round up with her Cranberry, Orange, Percan and White Chocolate Loaves. Another tasty Christmas gift!

A late entry from Herbs, Spices & Tradition with her Eat-Sum-More Christmas Cookies which look lovely and are inspired by a recipe from Botswana that has cream cheese in the recipe.

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Brie & Cranberry Tartlets

Brie & Cranberry Tartlets
Christmas party season is upon us and if you are hosting a party, or need to take some food along to one, easy to make treats that are also delicious are top of the baking list. These Brie & Cranberry Tartlets fit the bill perfectly, sweet cranberry sauce and smooth savoury brie go together perfectly in a crispy pastry case. I will be taking these along to my family’s annual Christmas Eve buffet!

I started by making the pastry. I mixed 175g plain flour and 85g butter together and rubbed with my fingers until it resembled breadcrumbs. I added 1 egg and brought it together to form a dough. I also had to add a splash of milk as it was a bit dry. I wrapped it in cling film and chilled in the fridge for 1 hour. You can buy ready made if you need to save time.

I made the cranberry filling by mixing together 250g smooth cranberry sauce, 50g dried cranberries and 1 tbsp port. You don’t have to add port if you don’t want to.

I chopped up the brie into pieces, leaving the rind on. If you dislike the rind you can remove it of course.

I rolled out the pastry until it was quite thin, about 1-2mm. I cut rounds out using an 8cm round cutter. I got 21 tarts from the pastry.

I greased a tartlet/mince pie tray and put the rounds of pastry in, gently tapping them down into the tin.

I put about 1 tsp of the cranberry mixture into the pastry and topped with a square of brie.

I baked them on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 10-15 minutes until golden. When they came out of the oven I sprinkled some finely chopped pecans on them. You could use walnuts or almonds too.

The tartlets are so delicious and incredibly moreish! I ate 3 while writing this post! And I really want to go and get another one…

I am submitting this post to the LV= Very British Cookbook.

 
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Brie & Cranberry Tartlets

Servings 21

Ingredients

  • 175 g Plain flour
  • 85 g Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tbsp Milk
  • 250 g Smooth cranberry sauce
  • 50 g Dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp Port
  • 250 g Brie
  • 75 g Pecans finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Start by making the pastry. Mix the plain flour and butter together and rub with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and milk, and bring it together to form a dough. Wrap it in cling film and chill in the fridge for 1 hour
  2. Make the cranberry filling by mixing together the smooth cranberry sauce, dried cranberries and port
  3. Chop up the brie into pieces
  4. Roll out the pastry to a thinness of 1-2mm. Cut rounds out using an 8cm round cutter
  5. Grease a tartlet/mince pie tray and put the rounds of pastry in, gently tapping them down into the tin
  6. Put approx 1 tsp of the cranberry mixture into the pastry and top with a square of brie
  7. Bake them on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 10-15 minutes until golden. When they come out of the oven sprinkle the finely chopped pecans on them
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Snowflake Biscuits & Christmas Jumper Day

Snowflake Biscuits & Christmas Jumper Day
This Friday is Save the Children’s annual Christmas Jumper Day. The charity work around the world saving the lives of children and fighting for their rights. A lot of people I know are having Christmas Jumper Day’s at work and donating to the charity. I was contacted by both Save the Children and a company called The Biscuiteers, who make bespoke biscuits about the day and I was inspired to not only get my Christmas jumper on, but also to make these gorgeous snowflake biscuits and spread the word about this fantastic cause!

Here’s me in my Christmas jumper! And the biscuit likeness sent to me by The Biscuiteers, isn’t it fantastic?! Their speciality are beautifully iced biscuits that they send out in gorgeous tins.

I am also submitting this post to Patience Brewster‘s Cookie Exchange. They make Christmas ornaments and gifts.

To make the dough for the Snowflake Biscuits I first creamed together 230g butter and 225g caster sugar. I then added 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp almond extract and mixed well.

Finally I added 385g plain flour, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tbsp baking powder and mixed to form a dough. I wrapped it in cling film and chilled it in the fridge for 1 hour.

I got the snowflake cutters from Lakeland and they are pretty tricky to use because they are so intricate. I found the best way was to roll some of the dough out onto baking paper, press the cutter in, then gently peel the baking paper away. The dough will stay in the cutter.

Using a lollipop stick I first poked out the holes of the snowflake, then holding the dough filled cutter close to a lined baking tray, I used the lollipop stick to gently poke the dough to get it come out of the cutter. I did get a few lollipop stick indentations, but they disappeared after baking.

I filled my baking tray full of snowflake shape dough using all four different shapes from the cutters.

I baked them on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for around 8 – 10 minutes, until they were just going golden at the edges.

To make the icing I mixed 1 egg white with 225g icing sugar in my food mixer until thick. I piped it onto the biscuits using lot of different patterns. Snowflakes are unique after all! I used some sprinkles and glitter as well for decorations.

Although the cutters are tricky to work with, the effect is amazing and they look so stunning and even prettier when decorated!

Here are some more I decorated the next day but didn’t get a chance to photograph in the day light.

I am also entering these into myself and Cakeyboi’s monthly challenge, Treat Petite. I’m hosting this month and the theme is Christmas.

 
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Snowflake Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 230 g Butter
  • 225 g Caster sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp Almond extract
  • 385 g Plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Egg white
  • 225 g Icing sugar

Instructions

  1. To make the dough cream together the butter and caster sugar. Add the egg, vanilla extract and almond extract and mix well
  2. Add the plain flour, salt and baking powder and mix to form a dough. Wrap it in cling film and chill it in the fridge for 1 hour
  3. Roll the dough out onto baking paper, press the cutter in, then gently peel the baking paper away. The dough will stay in the cutter
  4. Using a lollipop stick gently poke out the holes of the snowflake, then holding the dough filled cutter close to a lined baking tray, use the lollipop stick to gently poke the dough to get it to come out of the cutter
  5. Bake them on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for around 8 - 10 minutes, until they are just going golden at the edges. Leave to cool
  6. To make the icing mix the egg white with the icing sugar in a food mixer until thick. Pipe it onto the biscuits and add sprinkles and glitter as desired
 
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Chocolate Roulade with Baileys Cream

Chocolate Roulade with Baileys Cream
The Christmas season is here and I am loving it! Mostly because I could finally make this Chocolate Roulade with Baileys Cream… I saw the fabulous Mary Berry make this at the BBC Good Food Bakes & Cakes Show back in October and the whole audience was drooling. Although her original recipe doesn’t feature any Baileys, at the show she put a good glug of it into the cream and I thought it sounded delicious. I was recently invited over for dinner at a friend’s house and took this over for dessert, much to everyone’s delight!

I started by melting 175g dark chocolate in a glass bowl over water.

Meanwhile I whisked up 6 egg yolks (keep the whites!) and 175g caster sugar until thick and creamy.

I used my food processor to whisk up the 6 whites from the eggs until stiff.

I whisked the melted chocolate into the egg yolk mixture. Then I mixed in one tablespoon of the egg whites. I folded in the rest of the egg whites gently, and 2 tbsp of sieved cocoa powder.

I poured the mixture into a lined baking tray. If you have a swiss roll tin you can use that, but I just use a regular baking tray.

I baked it on 160C/320F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes. I left it to cool in the tin with a tea towel covering it.

When it was completely cool I whipped up 300ml of cream and a good glug of Baileys. I tasted it to make sure the amount of Baileys was enough for me, so put in however much you like. I tipped the sponge out onto a piece of baking paper dusted with icing sugar and scored it about 2cm from one end. I spread the cream over. I didn’t use all of the cream, I saved some for extra!

I gently rolled the sponge up. It will crack, this is meant to happen and also makes a nice effect!

I dusted it with extra icing sugar and served with the leftover Baileys cream. It’s so light and delicious, plus as no flour is used it’s a great dessert for anyone on a gluten free diet. The sponge has a great fudgey texture and the hit of Baileys in the cream adds festive decadence.

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Chocolate Roulade with Baileys Cream

Ingredients

  • 175 g Dark chocolate
  • 175 g Caster sugar
  • 6 Eggs
  • 2 tbsp Cocoa powder sieved
  • 300 ml Double cream
  • 3 tbsp Baileys
  • Icing sugar to dust

Instructions

  1. Melt the dark chocolate in a glass bowl over water
  2. Whisk up the yolks of the eggs and the caster sugar until thick and creamy
  3. Use a food mixer to whisk up the whites from the eggs until stiff peaks form
  4. Whisk the melted chocolate into the egg yolk mixture. Then mix in one tablespoon of the egg whites. Fold in the rest of the egg whites gently, along with the cocoa powder
  5. Pour the mixture into a lined baking tray. Bake on 160C/320F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes then leave to cool in the tin
  6. Whip up the cream and the Baileys. Tip the sponge out onto a piece of baking paper dusted with icing sugar and score it 2cm from one end. Spread the cream over it
  7. Gently roll the sponge up. Dust it with icing sugar to finish
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Treat Petite December 2014

Treat Petite December 2014
Welcome to Treat Petite December 2014!
 

It was great see all the ‘Thank You‘ entries from last month over on Cakeyboi. This time of year is such a great opportunity to spend time with and thank our loved ones.

This month’s theme is, of course, Christmas! Anything you make for the festive season that is individually portioned is acceptable. No large cakes, just small treats like cupcakes etc.!

Here are those all important rules:

1. Add your petite treat to the Linky Tool at the bottom of the current month’s post by the 25th of the month, midnight at the latest

2. Post your bake onto your blog and link back to Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer, stating who is hosting this month

3. Follow Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer blogs on Google+ (see sidebar links), if you haven’t already.

4. If you tweet use #treatpetite and mention @MrCakeyboi and @BakingExplorer – we will retweet

5. Add the challenge logo to the post and ‘Treat Petite’ as a label to the post

6. Use any recipe as long as the source is noted

7. If you like, add your photo to the ‘Treat Petite’ Pinterest board (request access from Cakeyboi)

Feel free to enter old posts as long as you update the post and meet all the requirements above!

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