Recipe: Frozen Mars Bar Melts

These little treats are simple to make and great for any occasion but be warned they’re ridiculously gooey and chcocolatey and well just pure heaven, it’ll be hard for you to control yourself. I made these in nice little cake cases but would probably work better in ramekins or plastic ice cream bowls would look the part.

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You will need:

  • 12 snack size 38g mars bars (or enough for about 450g)
  • 50g Butter
  • 150ml Double Cream

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Method:

  1. Chop your mars bars into small pieces.
  2. Set a large bowl over a pan of boiling water and melt together the chocolate and butter.
  3. When it’s all melted take off the heat and whip the mix together, this may take some time and the mix may look like it’s splitting but persist until a lovely glossy smooth mix forms.
  4. Add the cream and again give it a good mix until it’s all mixed in and smooth and glossy.
  5. Transfer your mix into  a jug and pour into your cases/ ramekins/ bowls and put in the freezer to set for at least a few hours.
  6. Take out, top with cream and enjoy straight away. Mmmmm. Enjoy!!

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Recipe: Bueno Cupcakes

It was the annual Macmillan bake sale at work on Friday and my contribution was these bad boys. Alert!! You will find chocolate in every part of these cupcakes, the cakes chocolate chipped, it’s in the filling, buttercream and on top. These little (big) treats may look a bit tricky to make but were actually very easy, and I only had a whisk and a wooden spoon (I really am in need of a kitchen aid, a girl can dream).

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You will need:

  • 225g Butter, melted
  • 225g Caster Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 225g Self Raising Flour
  • 100g Chocolate Chips
  • 1 jar of Nutella

for or the buttercream/ toppings:

  • 300g butter, soft
  • 450g Icing sugar
  • 2 bars of Bueno, broken into the individual pieces

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Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the melted butter, milk and sugar until well combined then one by on add the eggs and whisk in.
  3. Mix in the flour until you have a nice thick cake mix.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of Nutella and the chocolate chips and stir in until the chocolate chips are evenly spread out.
  5. Line a muffin tray with cupcake cases, add a dessert spoon of mix to each of the cases.
  6. Top the cake mix with a heaped teaspoon of Nutella and then top each one with another spoon of cake mix.
  7. Bake in the oven for 20 mins until the cakes are golden and spring back up when softly pressed down.
  8. Transfer the cakes onto a wire rack to cool.
  9. While the cakes are cooling to make the buttercream mix together the butter, icing sugar and the rest of the Nutella from the jar until a light fluffy light brown buttercream is formed.
  10. When the cakes are cooled pipe on the buttercream and top with a piece of Bueno. Voila!!

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Recipe: Lemon, Garlic and Herb Chicken Thigh Tray Bake

This tray bake is simple, tasty and ready in an hour and needs very little prep, hooray! Using chicken thighs gives crispy and moist meat and the juices released from the skin is just perfect for roasting those potatoes in. The lemon, garlic and herb flavour combination used gives this dish a real freshness about it.

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You will need:

  • 5/6 Chicken Thighs
  • 4/5 Potatoes
  • 2 Carrots
  • Baby Courgettes (5/6), halved lengthways
  • 6 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 Lemons
  • 1 tablespoon dried Herbs de Provence
  • 1 Chicken Stock cube
  • Salt and Pepper to Season

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Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
  2. Dice potatoes and chop carrots and place in a large baking tray with a glug of olive oil
  3. Chop half of the garlic cloves and crush the other half using the back of the knife and a strong firm push down.
  4. Score the skin of the chicken thighs so the flavours sink in well and place skin side up on top of the veg.
  5. Squeeze over the juice of the lemon and add the rest of the lemon to the tray, sprinkle over the garlic, chicken stock cube, herbs and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Mix well to ensure the seasoning is mingling well with all the meat and veg and roast for 20 mins.
  7. Remove the tray from the oven and give it a shake, turn over the chicken thighs so the skin side is down and return to the warmth of the oven roast for a further 20 mins.
  8. Take out the oven and turn over the chicken so that it is skin side up again and add the courgettes to the tray, give the tray another good shake. Turn up the oven to 220 degrees Celsius and roast for a final 20 mins until the chicken and veg is golden and crispy. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe: Strawberry and Cream Cupcakes/ Chocolate and Cream Cupcakes

Last weekend it was birthday time, which means…. Cake time!!!!! Or cupcake time in this instance. For my dad’s birthday I decided on cupcakes but to go down a classic Victoria sponge route, then I couldn’t decide on strawberry or chocolate, strawberry or chocolate, strawberry or chocolate. Cue brainwave….. I’ll do both.

This recipe makes 24 cupcakes, 12 strawberry and 12 chocolate. After all, when there’s your family and a cake fiend boyfriend to feed there can never be too much.

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You will need:

  • 350g Self Raising Flour
  • 350g Butter
  • 350g Caster Sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 3 tablespoons Baking Powder
  • 500ml Double Cream
  • 12 heaped teaspoons Strawberry Jam
  • 12 Strawberries
  • 12 heaped teaspoons Nutella
  • 12 chunks of Chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon Icing Sugar

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Method:

  1. Pre heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. One by one mix in the eggs until thoroughly mixed in. Add the vanilla essence and mix.
  4. Fold in the flour and baking powder until a thick cake mix is formed.
  5. Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake cases.
  6. for the strawberry, add a heaped teaspoon of cake mix to each of the cases, then add a heaped teaspoon on strawberry jam on top of the mix, then add another heaped teaspoons of cake mix to top it all off.
  7. Bake the cupcakes for 20 mins until golden and the cakes spring back up when lightly pressed.
  8. for the chocolate, repeat the same process as the strawberry except use Nutella in the place of strawberry jam.
  9. When the cakes are cooled its time to decorate. Whip up the double cream and icing sugar until stiff and forms peaks. Using a piping bags pipe the cream onto each of the cupcakes.
  10. Top each one with a strawberry or chunk of chocolate and enjoy!!

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You will notice that these cupcakes use fresh cream and strawberries so won’t last as long as other cupcakes, not that we ever have a problem I’m our house.

 

 

Recipe: Dark Chocolate and Hazelnut Fudge

Okay, okay. I admit that I have a bit of a thing for a dark chocolate and hazelnut combination but when something works, it just works, right? Here it is, the recipe for my dark chocolate and hazelnut fudge, I made this using a few leftover buts I had from when I made my Caramel Fudge (see earlier post) it makes enough if just for yourself and a friend but for bigger portions just double (or triple needed) the quantities used.

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You will need:

  • 100g Dark Chocolate with Hazelnuts
  • 120ml Double Cream
  • 180g Caster Sugar
  • 40g Butter
  • 4 tablespoons Glucose Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar
  • Sugar thermometer

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Method:

  1. Line a high sided baking tin with baking paper and grease well.
  2. Roughly chop the chocolate to break up the hazelnuts.
  3. In a medium pan add the double cream, sugar, butter and glucose and melt together over a medium heat. Once all the ingredients have combined together, turn up the heat and continue to heat until 110 degree Celsius (this is where you will need the sugar thermometer). Try not to stir the mixture too much but you will need to to prevent the mix burning and just remember be careful because sugar work is hot!!
  4. Once the mix is up to temperature, take off the heat and stir in the chocolate until fully mixed in and the mix is smooth and glossy.
  5. Next, whisk in the cocoa and icing sugar, be careful as the mix will still be extremely hot.
  6. Once everything is all mixed in pour the fudge mix into your prepared tin and leave to cool and set for a few hours.
  7. When the mixture is set chop up into nice little (big) squares and enjoy.

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I’m getting into the swing of fudge making and really happy with the results, can’t wait to start experiment with some new flavours. If you have any that are worth a try, let me know.

Recipe: Easy Last Minute Peach Crumble

This was my saviour last night and my first crumble of the season, well we are well into the first week of September after all. This is an easy recipe for peach crumble which can be knocked up last minute and takes only 40 mins to prepare and bake, great if you get any unexpected visitors. With this recipe you also get extra crumble mix which can be stored in the fridge for a later date, or a later late night sweet fix.

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You will need:

  • 3 ripe Peaches/ Nectarines
  • 2 tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 100g Plain Flour
  • 60g Sugar
  • 50g Butter (at room temperature)

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Method:

  1. De-stone and slice your peaches and mix with the maple syrup in a shallow oven proof dish.
  2. Place in a preheated oven at 200 degrees and bake for 20 mins.
  3. While the peaches are baking away, in a bowl rub together the flour, sugar and butter using your fingers. Carry on until the mixture forms crumbs, you’ll just know when it’s ready.
  4. Once the peaches have baked for 20 mins and top with your crumble mix, you’ll need to use about half of what you have made. Put the other half in a food bag and store in your fridge until the crumble cravings hit again.
  5. Bake for a further 15-20 mins until the crumble is golden brown and the fruit mix ifs bubbling through. Enjoy.

Recipe: Salted Caramels

This is the second recipe for my bake crazy Sunday, salted caramels. These are a little hard work but trust me they are well worth the effort (and the calories) you won’t be disappointed.

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You will need:

  • 200ml double cream
  • 50g butter
  • 175g golden syrup
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 tea spoons sea salt flakes
  • 1/2 tea spoon vanilla extract
  • Square baking tin, such as a brownie tin
  • Sugar thermometer

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Method:

  1. Line your baking tin with foil and grease well with oil.
  2. In a small saucepan melt together the double cream, vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and 25g of butter. Once the ingredients have melted together, take off the heat and set to one side.
  3. In a second saucepan heat the golden syrup and sugar, this is where you will need your sugar thermometer. Stir the sugar and syrup until it melts and starts to bubble. You need to keep stirring this so the mixture doesn’t burn and continue to heat until the syrup reaches 155 degrees.
  4. Take off the heat and carefully pour in the cream mix stirring until it’s well mixed in, smooth and glossy.
  5. Return the mixture to the heat stirring, you will need the thermometer again and continue to heat until it reaches 125 degrees. This may take some time but be patient and don’t be tempted to stick your fingers in.
  6. Once the mix is up to temperature remove from the heat and stir in the rest of the butter, the colour will turn into such a gorgeous golden brown colour. Pour the mix in the prepared lined tin and set to one side for about 5 mins.
  7. Sprinkle over the rest of the salt onto your amazing caramel slab and leave to cool. Once the caramel has cooled remove from the tin and foil and cut into pieces. As this is a bit on the sticky side I recommend storing your caramels in layers of baking parchment until ready for scoffing.

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Making these has given me a real taste (literally) in the art of confectionary, I love it!! Can’t wait for my next chance to get out the sugar thermometer.