Vegan Mincemeat Plait

Vegan Mincemeat Plait

I really love mince pies and finding new ways to eat mincemeat is definitely high on my list of priorities in December! This Vegan Mincemeat Plait certainly fits the bill. 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.

Jump straight to the recipe!

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. Bread isn’t something I make often as it can be time consuming, but this recipe is quick enough to make in an evening.

I started by putting strong white bread flour, salt and fast action yeast into a bowl, making sure to keep the salt and yeast separate, then mixed everything together.

Then I warmed up almond milk in a pan with light brown sugar and vanilla extract. I only let it get hot enough so I could still hold my finger in it, then I whisked in olive oil.

I mixed the flour and milk mixture together to make a dough, then kneaded it for 6 minutes in a food mixer fitted with a dough hook. Then 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 dairy free margarine and brushed most of it all over the dough, then I sprinkled a mixture of cinnamon and dark brown sugar all over it.

Then I used a luxury jar of mincemeat (make sure it’s vegetarian as mincemeat can contain suet) and spread 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.

Then I made a glaze from icing sugar, vanilla extract and almond milk. It smelt so good!

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

This Vegan Mincemeat Plait 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.


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

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

You can find more of my Vegan recipes by clicking here! Or click here for more Christmas recipes!

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! And hopefully with a slice of this Chocolate, Salted Caramel & Chestnut Yule Log! 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!

Jump straight to the recipe!

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 eggs with caster sugar in my food mixer for 8 minutes until it had trebled in size.

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

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

It baked 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! Then I left it to cool fully on a cooling rack.

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

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

I added butter, double cream, vanilla extract and salt and quickly mixed them in.

I then poured the caramel into a bowl, added chestnuts and whizzed it up into a smooth paste using a hand blender. Let it cool to room temperature.

I whipped up double cream with 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.

Then 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.

Then 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 Chocolate, Salted Caramel & Chestnut 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 Chocolate, Salted Caramel & Chestnut Yule Log 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.


Chocolate, Salted Caramel & Chestnut Yule Log

Ingredients

For the sponge

  • 3 Eggs large
  • 75 g Caster sugar
  • 50 g Plain flour
  • 25 g Cocoa powder

For the chocolate icing

  • 30 g Butter
  • 150 ml Double cream
  • 150 g Dark chocolate

For the filling

  • 100 g Caster sugar
  • 80 g Butter
  • 200 ml Double cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 200 g Chestnuts
  • 3 tbsp + more for dusting Icing sugar

For decoration

  • 1 Cadburys Flake Bar
  • 3 sprigs of Redcurrants

Instructions

  1. Grease and line a lipped 33x23cm baking tray

  2. Whisk up the eggs with 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 the double cream, 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 the caster sugar into a frying pan and leave it without stirring until it is golden and bubbling

  8. Then add 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

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

You can find more of my Swiss Roll recipes by clicking here! Or click here for more Christmas recipes!

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!


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!

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 these Stollen Muffins is just what I need. Instead of making stollen, which needs 2 hours time to prove, I thought I’d make Stollen Muffins for a quicker result with just as much flavour!

Jump straight to the recipe!

I prepared the dried fruit and marzipan first and tossed it in flour.

To make the sponge I creamed together butter and caster sugar.

In a separate bowl I whisked up eggs, milk, brandy and almond extract, I added it to the mixture and whisked in. Then I added self raising flour, ground almonds, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, mixed spice and nutmeg.

Then I folded in the fruit and marzipan, and divided the miture into paper cases and sprinkled some flaked almonds over each muffin.

They baked for 25 minutes and came out lovely and golden brown, I left them to cool completely.

Stollen Muffins

If you are a fan of stollen and also short of time like me, I highly recommend these Stollen Muffins. It’s got everything your taste buds are craving; Christmas spices, sweet fruit and nutty marzipan.

Stollen Muffins

They embody Christmas flavours and will be a guaranteed hit with all your family, friends or colleagues!

5 from 2 votes
Print

Stollen Muffins

Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 100 g Butter
  • 100 g Caster sugar
  • 2 Eggs large
  • 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
  • 25 g Flaked almonds
  • Icing sugar For dusting

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and line a 12 hole muffin tin with muffin cases

  2. Cream together the butter and caster sugar in a bowl until fluffy
  3. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, milk, brandy and almond extract together
  4. In a third bowl, measure out the dried cranberries, mixed peel, sultanas and marzipan. Sprinkle a heaped tablespoon of plain 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

  5. Combine the egg mixture with the creamed butter, then add the flour, ground almonds, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, mixed spice and nutmeg, and mix it all together with a whisk

  6. Add the dried fruit and fold it in

  7. Separate the mixture into the paper cases and sprinkle some flaked almonds over each muffin

  8. Bake them for 20-25 minutes. You want them to be golden brown on top and a skewer to come out clean when inserted into the centre

  9. Let them cool fully on a wire rack, then sprinkle with icing sugar before serving if you like

Recipe Notes

Mixed spice is a British spice blend containing Cinnamon, Coriander Seed, Nutmeg, Clove, Pimento, Ginger. If you can't get hold of it, use a Pumpkin Spice mix instead

You can find more of my Muffin recipes by clicking here! Or click here for more Christmas recipes!

Stollen Muffins

Pin for later!

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!

Jump straight to the recipe!

To make the pastry I mixed plain flour and butter together and rubbed with my fingers until it resembled breadcrumbs. I added egg and milk and brought it together to form a dough. 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 smooth cranberry sauce, dried cranberries and 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.

Then 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 Brie & Cranberry Tartlets are so delicious and incredibly moreish! I ate 3 while writing this post! And I really want to go and get another one…

Brie & Cranberry Tartlets

Servings 21

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 175 g Plain flour
  • 85 g Butter
  • 1 Egg large
  • 1 tbsp Milk

For the filling

  • 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. Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4

  3. Make the cranberry filling by mixing together the smooth cranberry sauce, dried cranberries and port
  4. Chop up the brie into pieces
  5. Roll out the pastry to a thinness of 1-2mm. Cut rounds out using an 8cm round cutter
  6. Grease a tartlet/mince pie tray and put the rounds of pastry in, gently tapping them down into the tin
  7. Put approx 1 tsp of the cranberry mixture into the pastry and top with a square of brie
  8. Bake them for 10-15 minutes until golden. When they come out of the oven sprinkle the finely chopped pecans on them

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

Snowflake Biscuits

Snowflake Biscuits

When was contacted by both Save the Children and The Biscuiteers about Christmas Jumper Day I was inspired to not only get my Christmas jumper on, but also to make these gorgeous Snowflake Biscuits! They are made from a basic biscuit recipe that I’ve added cinnamon to for festive flavour. I’ve decorated them with both regular icing sugar mixed with water, and fondant. They are such pretty biscuits and would make lovely edible gifts for your family and friends at Christmas, or just a nice treat to enjoy together!

Jump straight to the recipe!

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.

  

To make the dough I creamed together butter and caster sugar. I then added egg and vanilla extract, and mixed well.

Next I added plain flour, baking powder and cinnamon, and mixed to form a dough. Then I wrapped it in cling film and chilled it in the fridge for 1 hour.

I’ve made these biscuits using snowflake cutters in the past, but they are pretty tricky cutters to use because they are so intricate. For me the best way is to do circular biscuits, and then decorate them afterwards with pretty snowflake patterns.

They baked for 10 minutes, until they were just going golden at the edges.

Snowflake Biscuits

I cut out some snowflake shapes from light blue fondant and I also made a thick pipeable icing from icing sugar and water to decorate the Snowflake Biscuits.

Snowflake Biscuits

You can decorate the biscuits anyway you like – snowflakes are unique after all! I also added some silver edible glitter spray for extra sparkle.


Snowflake Biscuits

Servings 40 2.5" circular biscuits

Ingredients

For the biscuits

  • 230 g Butter or baking spread
  • 225 g Caster sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 385 g Plain flour
  • 1/2 tbsp Baking Powder

For the decoration

  • Icing sugar optional
  • Water optional
  • Sprinkles/glitter optional
  • Blue fondant optional

Instructions

  1. To make the dough cream together the butter and caster sugar. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix well

  2. Add the plain flour, cinnamon and baking powder and mix to form a dough. Wrap it in cling film and chill it in the fridge for 1 hour

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

  4. Roll the dough out onto baking paper, and cut out using a 2.5" round biscuit cutter (or snowflake shaped cutters if you prefer)

  5. Bake them for 8 - 10 minutes, until they are just going golden at the edges. Leave to cool completely

  6. Decorate however you like. I made a thick icing from icing sugar and water and piped snowflake patterns on some of the biscuits. For the others, I cut out snowflake shapes from blue fondant and stuck them onto the biscuits with a little water. I also sprayed on some edible silver glitter

  7. Store in an airtight container and eat within 5 days

Biscuit recipe slightly adapted from Bake Space.

You can find more of my Biscuit recipes by clicking here! Or click here for more Christmas recipes!

Snowflake Biscuits

Pin for later!

Chocolate Roulade with Baileys Cream

Chocolate Roulade with Baileys Cream

The Christmas season is here and I am loving it! Mostly because I made this Chocolate Roulade with Baileys Cream! I saw the fabulous Mary Berry make this at the BBC Good Food Bakes & Cakes Show back in 2014 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. When I was invited over for dinner at a friend’s house I took this over for dessert, much to everyone’s delight! It’s also naturally gluten free, so it’s a fabulous dessert for your coeliac friends too!

Jump straight to the recipe!

To start I whisked up the egg yolks and caster sugar until thick and creamy.

Then I whisked up the egg whites until stiff peaks formed.

  

I added 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 then the 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 used a regular baking tray. It baked for 20 minutes and I left it to cool in the tin.

  

When it was completely cool I whipped up the double cream with icing sugar and Baileys. I tipped the sponge out onto a piece of baking paper dusted with icing sugar. Then I spread the cream over it, leaving a little gap at the end.

Chocolate Roulade with Baileys Cream

I gently rolled the sponge up. It will crack, this is meant to happen and also makes a nice effect! The Chocolate Roulade with Baileys Cream is so light and delicious, the sponge has a great fudgey texture and the hit of Baileys in the cream adds festive decadence.


Chocolate Roulade with Baileys Cream

Servings 8

Ingredients

For the roulade

  • 175 g Dark chocolate melted
  • 175 g Caster sugar
  • 6 Eggs large, separated
  • 2 tbsp Cocoa powder sieved
  • Icing sugar to dust

For the Baileys cream

  • 275 ml Double cream
  • 2-3 tbsp Baileys
  • 1 tbsp Icing sugar

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, and line a swiss roll tin or large baking tray with a lip with baking paper.

  2. Melt the dark chocolate in a glass bowl over water, or in the microwave. If melting in the microwave make sure to use a microwave safe bowl, start with a 30 second blast, stir the chocolate, then continue with 10 second blasts stirring in between until melted

  3. Whisk up the yolks of the eggs and the caster sugar until thick and creamy
  4. Use an electric food mixer or electric hand whisk to whisk up the whites from the eggs until stiff peaks form

  5. Whisk the melted chocolate into the egg yolk mixture
  6. Fold in half of the egg whites, then add the rest and fold in gently

  7. Finally fold in the sieved cocoa powder

  8. Pour the mixture into the baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes then leave to cool in the tin

  9. Whip up the double cream with the ciing sugar and the Baileys

  10. Tip the sponge out onto a piece of baking paper dusted with icing sugar and spread the cream over it, leave about a 2 cm space at one end of the sponge

  11. Gently roll the sponge up starting with the cream filled end, don't worry if it cracks as it is supposed to. Trim the ends with a sereated knife for a neater finish. Dust it with more icing sugar if you like

  12. Serve immediately, store leftovers in the fridge and eat within 2 days

You can find more of my Swiss Roll recipes by clicking here!  Or click here for more Christmas recipes!

Chocolate Roulade with Baileys Cream

Pin for later!

Mince Pie Bakewell Squares

Mince Pie Bakewell Squares

When Waitrose ran a campaign called ‘Bake It Forward’, which was all about baking something for someone who you wanted to thank, then asking them to continue the good deed by doing the same for someone else they know. (And therefore starting a chain of baking joy!) I decided to join in by making these Mince Pie Bakewell Squares after discussing a mutual love of mince pies with a colleague of mine. I made Apricot Bakewell Squares earlier this year and they were delicious. We both agreed that replacing the jam with mincemeat would be a fantastic festive twist! Seen as she loves mince pies so much I baked these Mince Pie Bakewell Squares for her as she is supportive and helpful colleague who certainly deserves these tasty treats!

Jump straight to the recipe!

 

To make the pastry I rubbed butter into plain flour and caster sugar. I added cold water and brought the mixture together to form a dough. I tipped it into a lined baking tray and spread it out in an even layer and pricked it with a fork. Then I put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Then I baked it for 10 minutes.

 

To make the sponge I first creamed butter and golden caster sugar together. I whisked in eggs and almond extract. Finally I folded in ground almonds, baking powder and self raising flour.

I spooned a jar of mincemeat over the part baked pastry. I always use a good quality mincemeat and one with brandy or cognac in it because I think it tastes nicest, or you can make your own, Waitrose have a good recipe for it.

 

Then I gently spooned the sponge over the top and spread it out. I sprinkled over some toasted flaked almonds.

I baked it for 35 minutes until it was a lovely golden brown.

Mince Pie Bakewell Squares

When it was fully cool I mixed icing sugar with water and piped it over the sponge in a zig zag pattern.

Mince Pie Bakewell Squares

The Mince Pie Bakewell Squares were really delicious and certainly improved by the good quality mincemeat – hello brandy! I was really pleased with them and so were my colleagues, I got a lot of good feedback. They are certainly an interesting twist on mince pies and a great way to feel festive.


Mince Pie Bakewell Squares

Servings 12

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 140 g Butter
  • 290 g Plain flour
  • 2 1/2 tbsp Caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp Cold water

For the sponge

  • 250 g Butter or baking spread
  • 250 g Golden caster sugar
  • 4 Eggs large
  • 1 tsp Almond extract
  • 125 g Self raising flour
  • 125 g Ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • 400 g jar of Mincemeat
  • A handful of Toasted flaked almonds

For the icing

  • 2 heaped tbsp Icing sugar
  • Water to make a thick paste

Instructions

  1. Grease and line a 12" x 9" traybake tin

  2. Start by making the pastry. Rub the butter into the plain flour and caster sugar. Add the cold water and bring the mixture together to form a dough

  3. Tip the dough into the tin and spread it out into an even layer, prick it all over with a fork. Chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4

  4. Bake the pastry for 10 minutes, take out and set aside. Leave your oven on

  5. Make the sponge by creaming the butter and the golden caster sugar together

  6. Whisk in the eggs and almond extract

  7. Fold in the ground almonds, baking powder and self raising flour

  8. Spoon a jar of mincemeat over the part baked pastry base
  9. Gently spoon the sponge over the top and spread it out. Sprinkle over the toasted flaked almonds
  10. Bake for 35 minutes until it is a lovely golden brown

  11. When fully cool, mix the icing sugar with some water and pipe it over the sponge in a zig zag pattern
  12. Cut into squares and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days

You can find more of my Traybake recipes by clicking here! Or click here for more Christmas recipes!

Mince Pie Bakewell Squares

Pin for later!

Gingerbread Loaf Cake

Gingerbread Loaf Cake

This gorgeous spicy golden Gingerbread Loaf Cake is part of a set of recipes put together by Schwartz to get you started into the world of baking. They have put together a selection of simple, traditional and tasty recipes that are all easy to make and delicious to eat. From a chocolate drizzle cake to a light fruit cake, they are great recipes for less experienced bakers who still want to create something attractive and delicious. You can see the full list of recipes by clicking here. I decided to make the Gingerbread Loaf Cake because it sounded warming and seasonal.

Jump straight to the recipe!

I started by melting butter, golden syrup and light brown sugar together in a pan. Once it was smooth and golden, I left it to cool slightly.

In another bowl I added plain flour, bicarbonate of soda, Schwartz Ground Ginger and Schwartz Mixed Spice.

In a third bowl I beat together eggs and milk.

I’ve been using Schwartz spices for years and I’m a big fan of their range. They are probably the most recognisable herb and spice brand in the UK with the distinctive shape and colour of their bottles. They have a huge selection of spices which are perfect for baking, and a great variety of herbs too. I use their Perfect Shake range a lot in my cooking. They’re great for adding flavour to dishes like risotto, stir fry and casserole.

I poured the melted butter and syrup mixture into the flour mixure and whisked well, then I added the egg and milk mixture and whisked until combined.

Then I poured the mixture into a lined loaf tin.

I baked it for 1 hour until it was a rich gold colour.

Gingerbread Loaf Cake

Once cool, I dug in! Wow this Gingerbread Loaf Cake is full of flavour and deliciously moist and light too. I enjoyed it with some cream poured on top, but it’s great on it’s own too or with custard. I was really pleased with how this turned out. The Gingerbread Loaf Cake is best after a week stored in an air tight container, so the flavours can develop. If you can’t wait that long, like me, the good news is it’s yummy on the day it’s made too. This would be a great recipe for a Christmas gift as the cake will keep for several days and can be frozen too.

Gingerbread Loaf Cake

Ingredients

  • 100 g Butter or baking spread
  • 225 g Golden syrup
  • 50 g Light brown sugar
  • 2 Eggs large
  • 150 ml Milk cow's or plant milk will both work
  • 225 g Plain flour
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp Schwartz Ground Ginger
  • 2 tsp Schwartz Mixed Spice

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 130C Fan/150C/300F/Gas Mark 2, grease and line a 2lb loaf tin

  2. Melt the butter, golden syrup and light brown sugar on a low-medium heat. Once it is smooth and golden, leave it to cool for 5 minutes

  3. In a bowl beat together the eggs and milk
  4. In another bowl stir the plain flour, bicarbonate of soda, Schwartz Ground Ginger and Schwartz Mixed Spice together

  5. Pour the butter and sugar mixture into the flour and mix well

  6. Then add the egg mixture and whisk in well

  7. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin

  8. Bake for 1 hour until it is a rich gold colour and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean

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

Recipe Notes

Mixed spice is a British spice blend containing Cinnamon, Coriander Seed, Nutmeg, Clove, Pimento, Ginger. If you can't get hold of it, use a Pumpkin Spice mix instead

NB. This post was created in association with Schwartz, all opinions are my own.

You can find more of my Cake recipes by clicking here! Or click here for more Christmas recipes!

Gingerbread Loaf Cake

Pin for later!

Mulled Wine Cupcakes

Mulled Wine Cupcakes

If there’s one drink that really says Christmas, it’s got to be mulled wine. I’m pretty sure it’s only drank around Christmas time, and I know a lot of people who consider that after they’ve had their first mulled wine, Christmas is officially here! Also know as ‘gluhwein’ and ‘glogg’, mulled wine is warmed red wine, with sugar and spiced with orange, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, star anise, and/or cardamom. These Mulled Wine Cupcakes are made with a red wine chocolate sponge, filled with a mulled wine jam and topped with spiced buttercream and candied oranges.

Jump straight to the recipe!

I made the candied oranges first as they need time to cool and dry. After slicing the oranges, I boiled them in a sugar syrup, then put them on a cooling rack.

For the sponge I creamed the sugar and butter together until smooth.

I added eggs, red wine, flour and cocoa powder, and whisked until smooth.

Then I divided the mixture between the cupcake cases.

They baked for 25 minutes until risen.

 

Once the cupcakes were fully cooled I used a cupcake corer to make a hole in the centre. I filled them with  mulled wine jam made with cherries, spices and port. If you can’t get hold of a similar jam, or don’t fancy making one you can skip this step.

I made a buttercream using icing sugar, butter, ground cloves and cinnamon. Then I piped it onto the cupcakes and decorated them with the candied oranges.

Mulled Wine Cupcakes

The Mulled Wine Cupcakes really are mulled wine in cake form! All the spices are there, plus the orange, and the sponge and jam both have alcohol and red wine flavour.

Mulled Wine Cupcakes

Serve the Mulled Wine Cupcakes with a glass of mulled wine, of course!

Mulled Wine Cupcakes


Servings 12

Ingredients

For the candied orange

  • 200 g Caster sugar
  • 450 ml Water
  • 1 Large orange

For the sponge

  • 175 g Butter or baking spread
  • 175 g Light brown sugar
  • 3 Eggs large
  • 175 g Self raising flour
  • 1/4 tsp Baking powder
  • 20 g Cocoa powder
  • 75 ml Red wine

For the filling (optional)

  • 6 tbsp Mulled wine jam

For the buttercream

  • 200 g Butter or baking spread
  • 400 g Icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Ground cloves

Instructions

  1. Make the candied oranges first. Slice up the orange into 5mm pieces, then cut in half. You should get 12-14 pieces

  2. Put the water and sugar into a pan and bring to the boil

  3. Add the oranges, turn the heat to a simmer and leave to simmer with a lid half covering for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so

  4. When they're done, remove with a slotted spoon and put on a cooling rack to drain and dry out for 4-5 hours

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

  6. To make the cupcakes, cream together the butter and light brown sugar until smooth

  7. Add the eggs and red wine, and whisk in

  8. Add the self raising flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and whisk in

  9. Divide the mixture between the cupcakes cases, and bake them for 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Put them on a rack to cool completely

  10. Use a cupcake corer or a knife to make a hole in the middle of each cupcake

  11. Fill the holes with the jam

  12. To make the buttercream, mix together the butter, icing sugar, cinnamon and ground cloves with a spoon or electric hand whisk, when it starts to come together, add the milk and mix until smooth

  13. Pipe the buttercream onto each cupcake using a piping bag fitted with a nozzle. Or spread on with a spoon

  14. Top with the candied orange slices

You can find more of my Cupcake recipes by clicking here! Or click here for more Christmas recipes!

Mulled Wine Cupcakes

Pin for later!