Healthy Fruit & Seed Muffins

With lots of people trying to lesson the sugar intake in their diet I thought I’d try and come up with something tasty and healthy in the form of a muffin.Fruit and seed muffins2This took a couple of attempts but the final result is tasty and would be great as a breakfast muffin (perfect on the go!). You can easily change the ingredients to your preference or what’s in the cupboard, which I do often and this was no exception.

Seeds

Printable recipe Fruit and Seed Muffins

Healthy Fruit & Seed Muffins

Ingredients

Dry

150g plain flour

150g stoneground wholemeal flour

1 tbsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

2-3 tsp of mixed spice (depends how spiced you like things)

50g oats

50g mixed seeds (pumpkin, pine nuts, sunflower work well) plus a little extra to sprinkle on top before baking

100g dried fruit, chopped (I used apricots and prunes)

65g sultanas or raisins

Wet

225 ml sunflower or vegetable oil

65 ml milk

2 eggs

3 tbsp maple syrup

Zest and juice of one medium sized orange

Fruit & Seed muffin open

Makes 12 muffins

Oven preheat 190°C 170°C fan GM5

Fruit and seed muffins1

  1. Place all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Place all the wet ingredients in a bowl and whisk until all creamy and combined.
  3. Tip the wet bowl ingredients in to the dry and fold through until just combined, don’t over mix or the muffins will be stodgy in texture.
  4. Divide between muffin cases, sprinkle a few seeds on top, and bake for 18-22 minutes until starting to turn golden and just firm to the touch. Allow to cool or enjoy warm. ♥

Fruit and seed muffins above

 

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Lemon and White Chocolate ‘Brownies’

lemon white choc brownieWe are a brownie loving household, something we all enjoy. I thought I’d try something along the same lines, you know, rich and squidgy, but use lemon and white chocolate instead of plain or milk chocolate.

The result was lovely, rather sweet and indulgent and perfect with a cup of tea!

Print the recipe Lemon and White Chocolate Brownies

Lemon and White Chocolate ‘Brownies’

Ingredients

275g caster sugar

250g soft butter/spread

200g melted white chocolate, cooled slightly

3 eggs, lightly beaten

125g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

Grated zest of 2 lemons

Juice of 1 lemon

LemonsIcing glaze

150g icing sugar

3-4 tbsp lemon juice

Zest of ½-1 lemon

white choc

Preheat oven to  180°C 160°C Fan GM4

Line base and grease sides of a brownie tin approximately 30 cm x 23 cm

Beat butter and caster sugar together until soft and fluffy. Beat in the eggs until combined. Beat in the melted white chocolate and lemon juice and zest.
Lemon Brownies mixer
Fold through the flour and baking powder with a large metal spoon.

Pour the cake batter in to your prepared baking tin and bake for 25-30 minutes until starting to colour golden on the top but the centre still has a slight wobble. Allow to cool completely in the tin.

Sieve the icing sugar in to a small bowl and add enough lemon juice to make a drizzling consistency and spoon this on the top of the cooked lemon brownie , use a knife to carefully spread across.

Lemon brownie tray

Allow to set slightly. These are lovely straight from the fridge. Sticky, sweet and lemony ♥

Lemon brownie stack

 

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Snowy Pie

I recently made a Mississippi Mud Pie for a magazine commission, it was total heaven on a plate (if a little calorific!!!) I decided a white chocolate version would be worth a try, let’s just say it was!

Snowy Pie slicePrint recipe Snowy Pie

Biscuit base

150g digestive biscuits, crushed (Grahams crackers)

150g custard creams biscuits, crushed

125g melted butter

Filling

75g white chocolate

75g butter

2 eggs

65g caster sugar

100ml double cream

Chocolate Sauce

125g white chocolate

50ml double cream

25ml milk

25g butter

1 tbsp. golden syrup

Cream top

150 ml double cream

½ tbsp. icing sugar

25g white chocolate, grated

 

20” round (8”) deep cake tin with a loose bottom, greased

Oven preheat 180°C,  160°C Fan,  GM4Snowy pie base

Biscuit base

  1. Place the crushed biscuits in a large bowl, add the melted butter and mix to combine. Tip into the prepared cake tin and press in to the base and up the sides (about 2.5 cm/1” up) use a metal spoon to help do this. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to set.Snowy pie filling

Filling

  1. Gently melt the butter and chocolate together in a saucepan. Once melted remove from the heat. Don’t worry if the mixture is separated and doesn’t look very appealing!
  2. Whisk the eggs and caster sugar together in your mixer for about 5 minutes, after that time the volume would have doubled and the mixture will be creamy. Leave the mixer running on low and slowly pour in the melted chocolate mixture, then pour in the cream. Whisk to combine, then pour onto the chilled biscuit base and bake for 25-30 minutes. It’s cooked when the mix is set and doesn’t wobble any more. Ideally check on it at about 20 minutes, if there is still a wobble and the top is starting to darken in colour, cover lightly with a piece of foil and continue to bake.
  3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin on a cooling rack. Then carefully remove the tin and cool completely.

Chocolate Sauce

  1. Place all of the sauce ingredients in to a small saucepan and heat on medium until all melted, stir to combine as it heats. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for a few minutes, then pour over the top of the cooled filling. Cool completely, then chill in the fridge.Snowy Pie

Cream top

  1. Place the double cream and icing sugar in your mixer and whisk until it forms stiff peaks that hold their shape, spoon on top of the sauce and sprinkle with grated chocolate. Chill for at least an hour before serving

Snowy pie1Snowypie slice2

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Amaretto and Dark Chocolate Baked Cheesecake

I love cheesecake, baked or no bake, all flavours, whether it’s fruity or sweet and spicy!Amaretto cheesecake above

I reckoned an Amaretto flavour  (a sweet, almond-flavoured, Italian liqueur) would work well, so decided to pair it with dark chocolate too. With amaretti biscuits in the base and a sticky toffee sauce this was lush! The filling was so light and delicious, rather like a mousse in texture. Definitely on my all time fav’s list.

Amaretto and dark choc1

Print recipe Amaretto and Dark Chocolate Baked Cheesecake 

Amaretto and Dark Chocolate Baked Cheesecake

Ingredients

Base

275g crushed biscuits, I used a mix of amaretti and digestives

140g melted butter

 

Filling

300g cream cheese (full fat)

250g mascarpone (full fat)

100g dark chocolate, melted but slightly cooled

100g soft brown sugar

2 tbsp Amaretto

3 eggs, beaten

25g plain flour

 

AmarettoToffee Sauce

50g soft brown sugar

50g butter

3 tbsp double cream

3 tbsp Amaretto

 

18cm/7″ round, deep (mine is 8cm deep) loose bottom pan lightly greased

Preheat oven 150°C (Fan 130°C) GM 3

Amaretto cheesecake biscuits

Base

  1. Place the crushed biscuits in a mixing bowl, add the melted butter and mix well. Tip the mix into the prepared tin, press down and even out using the back of a metal spoon, take the mixture carefully up the sides of the pan as well as across the base.
  1. Place this in the fridge to firm up for at least 30 minutes.

Amaretto cheesecake base

Filling

 

  1. In the bowl of your mixer or a mixing bowl, place the cream cheese, mascarpone, sugar, sieved flour, & Amaretto. Mix until everything has combined well. Add the eggs in 3 additions, mixing between each. The mixture can look a bit lumpy at this stage, don’t worry just keep beating and it will go lovely and smooth and creamy.
    Amaretto cheesecake filling
  2.  Fold in the melted dark chocolate with a large metal spoon. It will have a speckly appearance. Spoon this mixture on top of the biscuit base and spread it out evenly, it almost completely filled my cake tin. Place the tin onto a baking tray and bake for 1 hour -1 hour 20 minutes. It’s cooked when the top is firm but there’s still a slight “wobble” in the middle.

 

  1. Remove from the oven when it’s cooked and allow it to cool completely in the tin. Place the cheesecake (still in the tin) in the fridge and chill for at least 2 hours. It will shrink away slightly from the sides, this makes it easier to remove from the tin.

Amaretto and dark choc

Sauce

 

  1. While the cheesecake is chilling you can make the sauce. In a small saucepan place the butter and sugar, heat it gently. Stir it constantly until it’s all melted and the sugar is no longer grainy, a small balloon whisk is very handy for this. Turn up the heat to bring the sauce to a gentle boil for about 2 minutes, it will start to thicken slightly.

 

  1. Remove it from the heat and keep stirring, add the cream and Amaretto then stir it through. Set the sauce aside to cool, it will thicken as it cools and can be used warm or cold with the cheesecake.

 

Decoration

 

  1. When you are ready to serve, carefully remove the cheesecake from the tin. Drizzle with some of the sauce and put the rest of the sauce in a jug to be added later if you want more. Add grated chocolate or amaretti biscuits to decorate. ♥

Amaretto & Dark Choc

 

The sauce is also fabulous with ice cream and waffles and over cake, so making double the quantity is always a good idea! It will keep for a week or so in the fridge.

Amaretto cheesecake sauce jug

Categories: Cakes, Christmas, I ♥ Italy, Pudding, Sweet | Leave a comment

Lamington Biscuits

I’ve made lamingtons in the past, I’m a big fan, I really love coconut and with the chocolate it’s a win win!

I thought a biscuit version would be nice, incorporating vanilla, coconut and chocolate flavours. The biscuit is buttery and light, Viennese style. I used coconut, toasted coconut and crushed amaretti biscuits for toppings, we had a few of each. Great if you have a non-coconut fan as I have here.

Lamington coconut and cup

Download printable recipe here Lamington style biscuits

Lamington style biscuits

Biscuit bit

125g soft butter

25g icing sugar

½ tsp baking powder

115g plain flour

½ tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate coating bit

125g icing sugar

15g cocoa

Small knob of butter (about a tsp)

35 ml milkLamington biscuits toasted

To decorate

25g dessicated coconut (or crushed amaretti biscuits)
I like the coconut toasted, I just spread some on a baking tray and bake for a few minutes on a moderate heat. Keep a check on it and give it a shake mid cooking so it gets an even golden brown colour.

Preheat oven 170°C 150°C Fan GM3 Line/grease 2 baking trays

Biscuit bit

  1. Beat the butter until very soft. Add the icing sugar and vanilla and beat again until light and fluffy. Sieve in the flour and baking powder. Beat again to bring everything together.
  2. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a nozzle of your choice. I used a star one. Pipe 2 lines of mixture to form a rough square, I wanted a square shape to make it a likeness to the classic Lamington shape in my mind. Make sure you leave space around for them to expand in the oven. Bake for about 10 minutes until starting to turn golden. Allow to cool on the trays.

Lamington piped

Lamington Cooling

Chocolate coating bit

  1. Place all the coating ingredients in a small saucepan over a low/medium heat. Use a whisk to stir through and make sure the mix is smooth and combined. Heat for a few minutes until warmed through but not to boiling. Remove from the heat.

Lamington sprinkledLamington choc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. As the mixture starts to cool it will harden, so working fairly quickly drizzle over the top of the cooled biscuits and sprinkle with your choice of topping. Allow to set. For extra indulgence you could sandwich 2 together with jam and cream or buttercream. ♥

Lamington amaretti Lamington above

 

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Vanilla, chocolate and Peanut Butter Marble Cake

Marble close board

I love marble cake, so easy to make and even easier to eat! I haven’t made it for ages though and thought I’d have a go making one with an extra flavour element to it.

Vanilla, chocolate and peanut butter go so well together, not one flavour over powers the other and this is the perfect accompaniment to a large cuppa for an afternoon perk up, enjoy ♥

Marble cake above

 

 

 

Marble plate slices

Printable recipe here Marble cake

Vanilla, chocolate and Peanut Butter Marble Cake

Ingredients

150g soft butter/spread

175g caster sugar

175g self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

3 eggs, lightly beaten

½ tsp vanilla extract

50g peanut butter

50g melted dark chocolate, slightly cooled

 

Preheat oven 180°C 160°C fan GM4

I used a loaf tin measuring 20 cm x 11 cm x 6.5 cm high. Lined the bottom and greased the sides

Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, sieve in the flour and baking powder, add the eggs and beat until well combined and smooth.

Split the cake batter equally into 3 separate bowls. In one add the vanilla extract and stir through. In another stir through the melted chocolate, in the last bowl beat in the peanut butter.

Marble batter

Drop large spoonfuls of each flavoured cake batter into the prepared loaf tin. Making sure you make them slightly random throughout. Then give a swirl with a knife or skewer, or as I did, with the handle of a fork!

Marble swirl

Bake for 40-45 minutes until just firm to the touch and a skewer comes out clear. Allow to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes then turn out and cool completely on a cooling rack.

Marble slice large

Marble cake cooling

Categories: Cakes, Sweet | 2 Comments

Lemon Meringue Flapjacks

Lemon Meringue Flapjack 2I love lemony things and thought a lemon flapjack would be something worth trying out, I decided to add some meringue and also a drizzle of icing, these went down a treat!

My family are not over keen on lemon flavour but Gav is always a willing volunteer and actually really liked them, I didn’t make the flavour too over powering, of course if you’re a total lemon nut you could add more curd and some lemon zest too!

I had some homemade lemon curd amazingly, as I eat the stuff straight from the jar, I’m hardcore! I also made some meringues too but I’m sure shop brought would be grand :)

Print  Lemon Meringue Flapjacks

Lemon Meringue Flapjacks

Flapjack bit

85g butter

45g granulated sugar

1 ½ tbsp. golden syrup

 175g porridge oats

3 tbsp. lemon curd

1-2 meringue nests or homemade meringues broken up into pieces

Drizzle bit

50g icing sugar

1/2 -1 tbsp lemon juice


Lemon curdLemon Meringue Flapjack close


Preheat oven to 190°C 170°C fan GM5

Grease a round 7”/18cm cake/sponge tin a loose bottomed one is handy.

Place the butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan. Heat gently until melted, stirring to mix as it melts.

Remove from the heat and add in oats and lemon curd and mix well. Gently stir through some of the broken up meringue, as much as you wish,  I saved some to pop on top to decorate too.

Pour/spoon into the prepared tin and smooth over until fairly even. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Lemon Meringue Flapjack 3

Leave in the tin but make sure you cut through with a knife to mark the pieces while still warm. Then allow to cool completely in the tin.

Once cool mix the icing sugar and lemon juice together to make a smooth runny icing and drizzle over the top of the flapjack, dot with meringue if you wish. Enjoy ♥

Lemon Meringue Flapjack above2

m4s0n501
Categories: Biscuits, Cakes, Sweet | 12 Comments

Neapolitan Sandwich Biscuits

Neapolitan biscuitsNeapolitan ice cream (well any ice cream) always reminds me of summer.

Sometimes I think it’s fun to make something in a slightly different way, so here are some Neapolitan Biscuits!

The flavours of the ice cream chocolate, vanilla and strawberry in a biscuit.

 

 

print here

Neapolitan Sandwich Biscuits

Chocolate biscuit bit

125g soft butter/spread

55g soft brown sugar

155g plain flour

25g cocoa

Vanilla biscuit bit

125g butter

55g caster sugar

180g plain flour

1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

Strawberry buttercream

100g soft butter

200g icing sugar

100g strawberries (hulled and chopped)

15g caster sugar

1/2 tsp lemon juice

Makes about 30-35 complete biscuits (I used a rectangle cutter 5cm x 3cm)

Vanilla biscuit bit

Cream the butter and sugar together until light & fluffy. Sieve in the flour and vanilla, mix well, bring together to form a ball of dough. Place in a bag and in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to chill.

Roll out the dough (allowing it to warm slightly if it’s hard from the fridge rest) on a lightly floured work surface to about ¼ “ ( ½ cm) in thickness. Press out the shapes you would like and place on a greased/lined baking tray.

Place them on greased or lined baking sheets and bake for 10-15 minutes until cooked through & starting to turn a golden colour. Remove from the oven allow to cool for a few minutes so they firm, then transfer to a cooling rack

Chocolate biscuit bit

Cream the butter & sugar until light & fluffy, sieve in the flour & cocoa and mix well until you form a ball of dough. Place the dough in a bag in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

When you’re ready to shape the biscuits preheat your oven 190°C (fan 170°C) GM 5

Roll out the dough (allowing it to warm slightly if it’s hard from the fridge rest) on a lightly floured work surface to about ¼ “ ( ½ cm) in thickness. Press out the shapes you would like and place on a greased/lined baking tray.

Bake for about 8-10 minutes so they are evenly baked top & bottom, keep a close eye on them as they can burn easily. Remove from the oven allow to cool for a few minutes so they firm up, then transfer to a cooling rack.

biscuits cut out

Strawberry buttercream bit

Mix together the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer for about 5-10 minutes until all soft and mushy and starting to thicken slightly. Remove from heat, mash with a fork or blend to a puree and allow to cool completely.

Beat the softened butter until light and fluffy. Add about half of the sieved icing sugar and beat slowly until combined. Add in the rest of the icing sugar and beat until soft and smooth. Add in 2 tbsp of the cooled strawberry puree and beat really well until mixed. Load into a piping bag fitted with a nozzle of your choice. You could spread on with a knife if you prefer.

Neapolitan line

Pipe on to one biscuit and top with the other. If the buttercream is a little soft pop in the fridge to firm up. Enjoy with a cuppa.

I also reckon that adding a dollop of strawberry (or raspberry) ice cream as a filling instead of the buttercream would be delicious too! ♥

Neapolitan stack

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Easy Spicy Chilli Bean Burgers

Bean in bun chips

I am a veggie that lives with carnivores, having said that they don’t have meat every night, actually sometimes not every week. When they have something meaty I will try and adapt the meal for me or vice versa.

Recently they were having some rather fine looking Aberdeen Angus beef burgers so I rummaged in my not particularly well stocked cupboards (shopping was beckoning!) and made these. Delicious, with a lovely chilli kick.

I nearly always have beans in a tin of some description, cheese (a total must as I LOVE cheese so much) and bread, really easy and slightly messy to make.

I am sure you could adapt it to suit what you fancy and have in at home when you make them.

Easy Spicy Chilli Bean Veggie Burgers

Ingredients (yes there’s not many!)

1 tin of Kidney beans in chilli sauce (approx 400g) slightly drained

25g grated cheddar cheese

1 large slice of bread turned into bread crumbs

Makes 4 decent sized burgers

Start by draining some of the sauce from the beans, not all, just so the burgers don’t end up too wet and sticky.

Preheat your oven 200°C, 180°C fan, gas mark 6

Beans

Place the beans in a bowl, mash slightly with a fork or potato masher, I like some texture to them so don’t totally mash them. Add the cheese and breadcrumbs and mix.

 


 

Beans bowl

The mixture will be sticky but should come together. If it’s still very sticky and a bit runny and won’t hold it’s shape then add some more breadcrumbs.

Beans shapeBeans shaped 2

To shape I used a large circular cookie cutter (dusted with a little flour), placed on a lined baking sheet. The magic liners that you can wash and reuse are brilliant for this. You could use cooking rings or small cutters as a mould. The one I used was about 9.5 cm diameter. Press the mixture in, I made 4, so a quarter mixture if you’re using the same size ring. Bake for about 10 minutes until the top is hardening and starting to change colour then gently flip over and do the other side.

Beans in bun

Great served in a bun with ketchup and fries! I also had them with salad. I used 2 on the day and then froze the other 2. They cooked for a little longer from a half defrosted state and were just as lovely. ♥

Bean in bun chips

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Scrabble tile letters Valentine toppers

scrabble tiles & ribbonI have a bag of Scrabble tiles that come out occasionally for adding to photo’s, which I really like the look of. Then the other day I saw a beautiful wedding cake that had used them, well a sugarpaste version, which looked amazing and I just had to give it a go.

You can use either sugarpaste or florist paste, the latter hardens quicker and as they need to be firm to write on, it works out a quicker way but either works well in the end.

Love tiles

I discovered that not all tiles are the cheapo plastic style of my childhood some are wooden, wow! So when I coloured the paste I added a little brown and did a lazy mix in to give a slight wood grain look. Next roll out, I used some tiles as spacers so I would get round about the same thickness for the paste.

scrabble tile colour       scrabble tiles rolling

cuttersI have a set of little shape cutters and the small square happens to be exactly the same size as a tile so I used that to cut out the squares, I then gently used a finger to smooth the corners a little so they were more rounded then angular.

 

Then you’ll need to leave them to dry to a fairly hard finish, somewhere they won’t stick to and somewhere flat so they keep their shape. Then, using an edible pen you can add the letters and number score of your choice. To achieve a nice dark black you may need to go over it a few times allowing it to dry in between additions.

Scrabble pen  scrabble tile

They are then ready to adorn your cakes or cookies or brownies or meringues or whatever your lovely creation is! ♥

scrabble love  scrabble sexy cup1

Scrabble cheeky

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