Raspberry Lemonade

Refreshing, sweet, fresh raspberry lemonade! Perfect for hot sunny days!

https://somethingsweetsomethingsavoury.com/2018/07/19/raspberry-lemonade/#recipejump

I’ve been drinking so much home made lemonade over the past couple of weeks I thought it would be downright rude of me not to share the recipe with you!

I’ve long been a huge fan of raspberry lemonade, but my interest in making it at home started when I read Diana Henry’s beautiful new book, how to eat a peach.

The first recipe that jumped out at me and said “MAKE ME NOW” was the raspberry lemonade.

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It looked and sounded so good and as luck would have it, I had all the ingredients in the fridge to make a batch.ย  So, on a very hot and sticky Saturday afternoon, I made some raspberry lemonade and took the photo above for the #rainydaybitescookbookclub on Instagram.ย  I made it again the day after. And then I made it again the following week, tweaking the recipe slightly each time.

The recipe below is an adaption of Diana’s raspberry lemonade.ย  You might need to add a little more sugar if you like sweet drinks, but for me it’s just right.

This is THE Summer drink. Do give it a try! And by the way, if you wanted to add a little vodka or gin, far be it from me to try and stop you….;-)

Raspberry Lemonade

Makes one large jug

500g fresh or frozen (defrosted) raspberries

100-150g caster sugar

Zest and juice of 3 large lemons

1 litre bottle of sparking water

Place the raspberries in a bowl, sprinkle over 100g of the sugar and leave for about an hour.

Whizz the macerated raspberries and the lemon zest/juice in a food processor until smooth. Press through a nylon sieve set over a large jug to remove all the seeds.

Pour the fizzy water over the raspberry purรฉe, taste to see if you want to add more caster sugar and give it a good stir to mix.

Serve with lots of ice!

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Double Chocolate Malteser Cookies

Have you ever met anyone who doesn’t like Maltesers? I know I haven’t. It’s no wonder – they are extremely addictive.

I’ve been playing around with this recipe for 2 years. Yes, it’s taken me that long to get around to sharing it with you. You see, I thought if I’m going to the bother of sacrificing my beloved Maltesers in a cookie, it has to be worth it.

I’m sad to say that a lot of Maltesers went to waste in sub standard cookies. It’s not something I’m proud of. But finally, I firmly believe that these most certainly are not a waste of Maltesers.

These cookies are a real treat – you get a double chocolate hit with cocoa powder and a generous amount of chocolate chips.

The Maltesers add a lovely malty crunch to the cookies which is really hard to resist.

If you wanted to turn these cookies into a pudding, I can highly recommend making ice cream cookie sandwiches – either vanilla or even better, Malteser ice cream! Now that would be incredible!

I really hope you make these cookies and love them! If you try them, take a picture and share them on my Facebook page, or tag me on Instagram ๐Ÿ™‚

If you have any questions, please leave me a comment below!

Double Chocolate Malteser Cookies

250g plain flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

50g malted milk powder (I used Sainsbury’s own brand but you could also use Horlicks or Olvaltine)

40g cocoa powder

150g soft butter

125g granulated sugar

75g soft light brown sugar

2 medium eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

150g dark or milk chocolate chips

1 100g bag of Maltesers *TOP TIP* I take a rolling pin to the unopened bag and lightly smash them – doing this ensures you get a random selection of whole, halved and bashed pieces of Maltesers which adds a bit of interest to the cookies – just don’t be too heavy handed!

Preheat the oven to 180C/160 Fan/350F.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, malted milk powder and cocoa powder.

Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth and well combined. Don’t beat the living daylights out of it – you don’t need it light and fluffy! Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla extract.

Stir in the dry ingredients and stop mixing when the batter is smooth and no pockets of flour remain. Stir in the chocolate chips and Maltesers.

Roll tablespoons of dough and place on your lined baking sheet, leaving about 3-4cm between each one. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove the tray from the oven and sharply “bang” the tray a few times on a hard surface. Return to the oven and bake for a further 6-8 minutes. The cookies will still be quite soft in the middle, so leave them on the baking sheet to firm up for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

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I’m sharing these cookies with #CookBlogShare, the weekly link up hosted this week by Every Day Healthy Recipes

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No Bake Chocolate Orange Traybake

When the weather is so hot, the last thing I feel like doing is making it even hotter by turning the oven on. All I really want to do is sip iced coffee and eat watermelon wedges and salad. I’m sure I’m not alone in this!

That’s when easy, no bake recipes like this come in very handy. All you need to do is crush up some biscuits, melt chocolate and butter together, stir it together then pop it in the fridge to set. I often make this a few days before I actually need it – it sits quite happily in the fridge for several days. However if my hungry teens end up finding it, then it’s game over!

You all loved my no bake mint Aero traybake recipe so much, I thought I would try a chocolate orange version. And dear readers, it was a HUGE success!

I used a bar of orange Aero and some Terry’s chocolate orange minis. I wanted to include some orange Aero bubbles, but I have a feeling they’ve been discontinued because I haven’t seen them in a while. Gutted! If you’ve spotted them in the shops lately, do let me know!

No bake chocolate orange traybake

125g butter

300g milk chocolate, or a mixture of dark and milk chocolate

2 tbsp golden syrup

300g rich tea or digestive biscuits

1 100g bar orange Aero, roughly chopped

1 125g bag Terry’s chocolate orange minis (keep a few to decorate the top)

For the topping:

100g milk or dark chocolate

A few mini chocolate orange pieces for decoration

Grease and line a 22cm square tin.

Place the biscuits in a large bowl and crush them with the end of a rolling pin until you have a mixture of crumbs and pieces of biscuit.

Place the chocolate, golden syrup and butter in a large pan and melt over a low heat. When the mixture has melted and is smooth, remove from the heat and pour in the crushed biscuits, orange Aero chunks and mini chocolate orange pieces. Stir together then quickly tip into the lined tin, smoothing it out with a spatula as best as you can.

Melt the 100g chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Pour the melted chocolate over the top of the traybake and smooth out with a spatula. Top with the mini chocolate orange pieces and place in the fridge to set before cutting into bars.

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I shared this traybake with the following link ups:

A Mummy Too for Recipe of the week

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#CookBlogShare hosted this week by Jacqui of Recipes made easy

Bake of the week hosted by Casa Costello and Mummy Mishaps

We should cocoa, hosted by Choclette at Tin and Thyme

Chocolate cherry drip cake

Do you love chocolate and cherries together? If you do, then you are going to go crazy for this cake!

If like myself, you are a fan of the chocolate cherry combo, this cake ticks all the right boxes!

You have:

  • 4 layers of soft, fudgy chocolate cake
  • Cherry conserve
  • Cherry vanilla buttercream
  • Chocolate ganache
  • Fresh juicy cherries

I’m salivating just typing this. It’s honestly SO GOOD!

I mean…just look.

Was I a little crazy for switching on my oven and baking a cake during the biggest heatwave the UK has seen in years?

Probably.

Was it worth it?

Definitely!!

This is quite similar to my Black Forest cake I made a few years ago. I like to think of this as the new and improved version!

Chocolate cherry drip cake

To make this cake I use 2x20cm sandwich tins. Please note I divide the mixture in half and bake two cakes at a time. If you have 4 tins and a huge oven, you could bake them all at once to save time!

400g plain flour

400g caster sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

80g cocoa powder

350g soft butter or stork baking spread

4 large eggs

4 tsp vanilla extract

300ml sour cream

One jar of cherry conserve or jam – I used St Dalfour black cherry fruit spread because it has whole pieces of cherry which I love. I’m sure the Bonne Maman one or any of the other “finest” supermarket varieties would work well too! It’s best to choose one that’s lower in sugar but has a high percentage of fruit.

For the vanilla cherry buttercream

500g icing sugar, sifted

250g soft unsalted butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tablespoon double cream or milk

2 tablespoons of the cherry conserve

A tiny amount of pink food colour gel (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180C/160fan/350F. Butter and line your cake tins with a circle of baking parchment.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Beat in the butter until the mixture is well combined.

Whisk together the cocoa, sour cream, vanilla extract and eggs. Beat this into the butter and flour mixture, stopping when you have a well combined, smooth batter.

Pour this batter into your tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the buttercream, beat the sieved icing sugar and butter together using an electric mixer until well combined. Add the cherry preserves, cream and vanilla and beat on high speed until very soft and fluffy.

When the cakes are completely cold, pipe a “dam” of buttercream around the edge of each sponge. I took a picture of this to show an example but I accidentally deleted it. My bad! All you do is pipe buttercream all around the edge of the cake using a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. This prevents the filling from oozing out of the cake. You can find tutorials on YouTube if you aren’t sure but it’s very simple. So once you’ve piped the “dam” of buttercream, spoon the cherry conserve in the middle. Repeat with the other two layers of sponge before topping with the final sponge, making sure they are as level as possible, then using a spatula, apply a layer of buttercream all over the top and sides of the cake. I achieve a smooth finish by using a bench scraper/plastic scraper. They really are a cake decorator’s secret weapon!

Once you’ve crumb coated the cake and are happy with the finish, pop the cake in the fridge for 10 minutes to set before applying another layer of buttercream if you wish. Put the cake back in the fridge while you make the ganache.

Chocolate ganache “drip”

This is very simple. All you need to do is microwave 100g of dark chocolate and 100g double cream in very short bursts, (no more than 5 seconds at a time) stirring well each time. When the chocolate has almost melted, keep stirring until very smooth. Stir in 2 tablespoons liquid glucose until smooth and shiny.

Remove the cake from the fridge. Pour the chocolate ganache into a small plastic bag or piping bag. Using a pair of scissors, snip off the tip of the bag (being careful as the chocolate will run everywhere if you don’t control it!) Pipe the chocolate all around the sides of the cake, allowing the chocolate to drip down the sides of the cake naturally. If you want more drips, simply pipe more chocolate over the side. Then pipe the remaining chocolate over the top of the cake, smoothing it out gently using an off set spatula.

I had a small amount of chocolate buttercream in the freezer from the wedding cake I made a few weeks ago, so I used it to decorate the top of the cake once the chocolate drip was set. I used my new Wilton 6B open star piping tip which I’m in love with!

Then all that’s left to do is adorn the cake with fresh cherries and you have a cake worthy of any celebration!

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I’m sharing this recipe with the following link ups:

Recipe of the week at A Mummy Too

CookBlogShare

#CookBlogShare hosted by Easy Peasy Foodie

Only Crumbs you Remain

BakingCrumbs hosted by Only Crumbs Remain

Watermelon, feta and mint salad

Juicy chunks of watermelon, salty feta, cooling mint and crunchy red onion make an addictive combo you can’t stop eating!

This week Britain is in the grip of a sweltering heatwave. Tomorrow is apparently set to be the hottest day of the year so far, with the temperature expected to reach up to 28C in most places. All I can say is thank god we have air con where I work! I’m not the biggest fan of this weather. It’s not a popular opinion, I know. Don’t get me wrong – I love a bit of sunshine as much as anyone does, but if it gets too hot I tend to struggle a little. I’m very fair so I burn very very easily, and I can get pretty awful migraines if I don’t drink water constantly. I feel so bad complaining about the gorgeous weather – I wish I was one of those people who love to lie on the beach sunbathing (as if I would have the time anyway!) but I just can’t do it.

So this week you’ll be very likely to find me sitting in the nearest shaded spot, eating refreshing meals like this new potato salad with asparagus and radishes or this addictive watermelon, feta and mint salad. Hopefully sipping on an aperol spritz ๐Ÿ˜‰

This salad is adapted from a recipe from one of my favourite cookbooks – Forever Summer by Nigella. I know many people who make Nigella’s recipe to the letter and find it perfect, which it is. This is merely my take on a much loved recipe. Nigella’s version contains black olives which I am no fan of, but if you love them feel free to throw some in. I like to bulk the salad up with a little more greenery – I love the combination of baby spinach and rocket, but use whatever you prefer.

The salad keeps pretty well in the fridge for a good 2-3 days – the flavours will only get better if you leave it to chill out for a while. That’s if it lasts that long!

Watermelon, feta and mint salad

1 small red onion

Juice of one or two limes (you might need two limes if they aren’t particularly juicy)

One medium sized or half a large (about 1/2 kilo) ripe watermelon, cut into cubes

200g block Feta cheese, cut into cubes

1 bag mixed green salad leaves (I used baby spinach and rocket)

1 small bunch fresh mint, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

Black pepper

Salt (optional)

More lime juice for squeezing over the salad

Peel the onion and cut into very thin slices. Place the onion slices in a small bowl with the juice of one lime, adding the juice of the second lime if you need to. The lime juice will make the onions a little more mellow and they will turn a pretty pink colour! Let the onions and lime juice get to know each other for a little while while you cut the watermelon and feta into chunks. Chop up the mint.

Wash your salad leaves and place them in a large bowl with the mint. Tip the onions, along with the pinky juices over the salad leaves, then add the olive oil, watermelon and feta, tossing gently. Add a grinding of pepper and a little salt if you like, but just remember that feta is salty so I wouldn’t go overboard. Taste the salad to see if you want to add more lime juice. Now all you need to do is make yourself a cold drink, serve and enjoy!

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#CookBlogShare hosted this week by Jenny of Apply to Face blog

Recipe of the week at A Mummy Too

Wedding cake!

I just thought I would pop in and show you the wedding cake I made two weeks ago.

The bottom tier was a (massive!) boozy fruit cake, the middle tier vanilla sponge with raspberry jam, vanilla buttercream and white chocolate ganache and the top tier was a rich chocolate fudge cake.

I’m working on a more detailed post about how to make a simple 3 tier iced wedding cake and I’ll share a few top tips I’ve learned along the way (plan ahead, plan ahead, plan ahead!)

In the meantime you can have a look at my progress on my Instagram stories.

I’ll be back soon!

Nickki X

Creamy sweet chilli pasta with smoked salmon and peas

Hope you’re all doing good and having a great week so far!

I figured it’s been a while since I’ve posted a savoury recipe, so I thought I’d share a really easy and quick pasta dish that is one of my favourites.

I LOVE smoked salmon and I would happily eat it every day, but I would be in danger of bankrupting myself so I tend to treat myself to a packet about once a month. I usually end up eating it straight out of the packet if I’m honest, but if the husband is working late and I want to rustle up a nice dinner for myself instead of eating ritz crackers out of the box, this is what I often make myself. All I need is a glass of chilled rose wine alongside and it’s happy days. Although the wine doesn’t happen very often these days – the joys of breastfeeding a toddler ๐Ÿ™‚

I use both Philadelphia sweet chilli and sweet chilli sauce because I am a chilli freak, (not that using both makes this fiery at all, it’s a mild and sweet chilli kick) but by all means just use normal Philly if you prefer.

I’ve adjusted the quantities to serve 4 people, so if you are making it for two (or one ravenous person…ie ME) you can simply halve the recipe.

Enjoy!

Creamy sweet chilli pasta with smoked salmon and peas

Serves 4

100g (or more if you like!) frozen peas

500g pasta (I love this with penne or tagliatelle but use whatever you like)

170g tub of Philadelphia cheese (I used the sweet chilli variety but you can also use the original kind)

3 tbsp milk or cream

200g packet smoked salmon, torn into ribbons

1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce

Salt and pepper

Place the frozen peas in a small pan of water, bring to the boil, simmer for 5 minutes then drain.

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions and drain, reserving a small cup of the pasta water.

Return the drained pasta to the pan and place over a low heat. Add the Philadelphia cheese, milk and sweet chilli sauce. Stir until everything coats the pasta and becomes a creamy sauce, adding a little bit of the reserved cooking water if it seems thick. Turn off the heat and add the peas and smoked salmon ribbons, stirring for no longer than a minute or two (you don’t want to cook the salmon, just heat it through.)

At this stage you could add some chopped dill, chives or parsley if you like.

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I’m sharing this recipe with A Mummy Too for recipe of the week

#CookBlogShare at Recipes made easy

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Similar posts….

Creamy chicken, bacon and mushroom pasta

Pasta with smoked bacon and creamy pea sauce

One pot pasta with courgettes and mushrooms

Wedding cake week!

Hello, just letting you all know I won’t be posting any new recipes this week – I’m busy making a wedding cake!

You can follow my progress on my Instagram stories – if you don’t already follow me, come and say hi! I’m a total Instagram addict so I’m there more than anywhere these days! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ’•

I’ll be back very soon!

Nickki xx

Vanilla, lemon, elderflower and strawberry cake

2 layers of vanilla and lemon sponge, filled with sliced strawberries and a vanilla, lemon and elderflower buttercream. Topped with buttercream swirls and decorated with fresh strawberries and white chocolate buttons, this is a perfect, easy to make cake for a Summer celebration!

I absolutely love this time of year, but it isn’t the sunshine I look forward to (I do live in Scotland, let’s be real although today just so happens to be an total scorcher) – it’s strawberry season I get really excited about. I tend to eat so many strawberries that by the time August comes, I’m actually sick of the sight of them. But they do say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and sure enough by the time Spring has sprung I find myself craving my favourite seasonal fruit once more.

I came up with this cake on a pure whim. It was the morning of The Royal Wedding and all this talk of lemon and elderflower cake made me want to make my own version. If you wanted you could use raspberries instead of strawberries, but the strawberry/elderflower/lemon combination is just delicious. I’m actually dreaming of a Swiss roll combining those flavours…but that’s for another post!

This is the cake you want to sit and enjoy in the garden on a beautiful sunny day!

Vanilla, lemon, elderflower and strawberry cake

You will need an 18cm round cake tin, greased and base lined with baking parchment.

Preheat the oven to 180C/160Fan/350F.

170g soft butter

170g caster sugar

Zest of one lemon

3 large eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract

170g self raising flour

250g strawberries

Place the butter, sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl. Cream the mixture until very light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla bean paste. Sift the flour over the mixture and fold in gently with a large metal spoon, taking care not to knock the air out. Pour into the tin and bake for 40-45 minutes or until risen, golden and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 5-10 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely.

Lemon and elderflower buttercream

500g icing sugar

250g soft unsalted butter

3 tbsp elderflower cordial (I used Belvoir Farm)

1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract

Juice of half a lemon

Using a stand mixer or hand held mixer, beat the butter and icing sugar together for at least 7 minutes until very light and fluffy (this is where my Kitchenaid proves it was worth every penny!) Add the elderflower cordial and lemon juice, scrape down the bowl and beat for another 3 minutes or so. I’m afraid using a stand mixer for so long has made me pretty lazy. I don’t sieve icing sugar – I don’t find it necessary when I use the KA. High speed for 10 minutes gives you the silkiest, smoothest buttercream ever.

When the cakes are completely cold, split in half (I use one of those wire cake levellers – so much easier and much less chance of ending up with a wonky cake)

Place a good dollop of buttercream on one half of the sponge and smooth out with a spatula. Place some sliced strawberries on top of the buttercream, then place the other cake half on top. Spread the cake with an even layer of buttercream then using the remaining buttercream, pipe swirls on the top and decorate with strawberries and white chocolate buttons.

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I linked this post up to recipe of the week over at A Mummy Too and Bake of the week, hosted by Jenny at Mummy Mishaps

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#CookBlogShare, hosted by Kirsty at Hijacked by Twins

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Baking Crumbs, hosted by Angela of Only crumbs remain

New potato salad with asparagus and radishes (National Vegetarian Week)

Yesterday marked the beginning of National Vegetarian week (14-20th May)

I’m not a vegetarian, but I’m a big fan of vegetables and quite often find myself happily going meat free a few days a week.

I actually spent a considerable sized chunk of my pre-teen/early teen years as a vegetarian. At the impressionable age of 10, I decided I wasn’t going to eat meat anymore. I actually lasted almost 5 years, surprisingly. In hindsight I think I think my commitment to sticking with it was a lot to do with the fact with wanting to prove the people who said “it’s just a fad” wrong – I could be a stubborn little brat at times! I ate a lot of nut roasts, bean burgers and pasta. Looking back, I definitely didn’t have a varied diet. To be honest, I don’t think I ate much veg at all. I actually became quite severely anemic after a period of basically living on nothing but Batchelor’s pasta n sauce and chips. Not the healthiest diet and I would never get away with that now! I miss my teenage metabolism. I gradually started eating meat again – starting off with chicken before building up to red meat.

As much as I still enjoy eating meat, in the last few years I’ve really started to properly appreciate vegetables and make them the *star* of a meal, rather than thinking something is lacking because there is no meat. Mr T is a real meat and two veg man, but I’m slowly trying to change that by cooking meals where vegetables are the main attraction. A perfect example being my aubergine, mushroom and lentil chilli which is so hearty and full of flavour I’m pretty sure even the most hardcore meat lovers wouldn’t feel short changed!

I found the inspiration for this gorgeous potato, asparagus and radish salad on the Nigella.com website. I fiddled with the recipe a little (as usual, I can’t help myself) Sorry Nigella!

Nigella’s recipe calls for boiling potatoes in water with pared lemon zest and mint sprigs. But I had cold boiled jersey royal potatoes from the day before, that needed using up so I drizzled them with olive oil, grated some zest over them and popped them in the oven for 5-10 minutes just to warm them up. Then I sprinkled them with freshly chopped mint and griddled some asparagus,sliced some radishes and made the buttermilk dressing which is the work of minutes really if you count chopping the herbs.

New potato salad with asparagus and radishes

400g boiled new potatoes

About 2 tsp olive oil for the potatoes

1 tsp lemon zest

About 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint (optional)

1 bunch Asparagus

Garlic infused olive oil or regular olive oil for the asparagus

Salt and pepper

Juice of about half a lemon

100g radishes, sliced

100g bag of rocket or other salad leaves

For the dressing:

4 tablespoons Buttermilk or runny plain yoghurt

1/2 tablespoon wholegrain mustard

1 teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons freshly chopped mint

1 tablespoon freshly chopped dill

2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives

Salt and pepper

If you’re using potatoes that have already been cooked, pop them in a bowl, drizzle over the 2 teaspoons of oil and grate about 1 tsp of lemon zest over them. You can now pop them in the oven (200c) for about 10 minutes to warm them up or you can leave them cold. Sprinkle them with the chopped mint (when you take them out of the oven) if using.

Place a non stick pan on a medium heat for the asparagus. When the pan is hot, tumble in the asparagus and immediately drizzle with olive oil. Cook on a medium heat for about 5-7 minutes or until the asparagus is slightly charred. Take off the heat, transfer to a plate and sprinkle with salt and a squeeze of lemon.

To make the dressing, simply stir the buttermilk, mustard, honey, lemon juice and herbs together in a medium bowl until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the potatoes, radishes and asparagus to the bowl of dressing, stirring gently to mix. Arrange the rocket on a serving plate, then add the asparagus, potatoes, radishes and dressing.

Jammie Dodger blondies

Hands up who loves jammie dodgers!

I certainly do! That childhood classic biscuit close to many of our hearts (in the UK at least) has stood the test of time and quite rightly so.

If you aren’t from the uk and are wondering what on earth a jammie dodger is, let me fill you in. It’s a shortbread biscuit (cookie) filled with jam. They are instantly recognisable with their pretty trademark heart in the middle. The flavours available are strawberry, raspberry and now lemon. There have been a few limited edition flavours, but in my opinion, they weren’t that great really. I haven’t come across the lemon ones yet, but I’m on the lookout for them!

So what can I say about these blondies, apart from the fact that they are insanely delicious?

I’ve seen a few versions of these blondies on the internet and they all look fabulous. I’ve been meaning to make them for so long. I finally chose a recipe from Olive magazine, but as usual I had to change it up a little – I can never leave a recipe alone!

The white chocolate blondie base is chewy around the sides and a little gooey in the middle, just like a good blondie should be. If you want them less gooey in the middle, you’ll need increase the baking time. But if you do this, you will end up with something more like a cookie bar.

Here’s a close up to show you what kind of texture you’re looking for…

See how the blondie is still slightly soft and gooey in the middle? That’s the dream..

If you wanted to, you could use mini jammie dodgers instead – how cute would those be dotted around the top?

Jammie Dodger blondies

Adapted from Olive magazine

Makes 9 blondies (you could of course cut them smaller if you want to get 18, but my OCD brain didn’t want to cut through the biscuits!)

200g butter

250g soft light brown sugar

200g white chocolate, chopped into small chunks

275g plain flour

1/4 tsp salt

3 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

9 jammie dodgers

About 5-6 tablespoons of raspberry jam

Preheat the oven to 180C/160Fan|350F.

Grease and line a 20x30cm baking tin.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then add 100g of the chopped white chocolate and othe brown sugar, stirring to mix until melted and fully combined. Set aside to cool a little.

Sift the plain flour and add the salt.

Add the eggs one at a time to the slightly cooled chocolate mixture, making sure each one is well combined before adding the next.

Stir in the vanilla, then fold in the flour. Finally, fold in the remaining 100g chopped white chocolate.

Not that pretty at this point...

Spoon the mixture into the baking tin and smooth the surface. Spoon the raspberry jam over the top in little blobs, then using a butter knife, swirl it all over the top in a pretty pattern. Top with the jammie dodgers and bake for 25-30 minutes or until risen and golden. Let the blondies cool completely in the tin before cutting in squares. I kept mine in the fridge overnight before cutting into squares. I know it’s a big ask, but this will give you much neater looking blondies, if you care about that kind of thing!

Ready for the oven...

TA-DAHH……!!

Don’t they bake so pretty? Look at those jammie swirls ๐Ÿ˜

Make these for the jammie dodger lover in your life and I guarantee they will love you forever!

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I’m linking this recipe up to #CookBlogShare, hosted by Hijacked by Twins

And over at A Mummy Too, for #recipeoftheweek

for #BakeOfTheWeek, hosted by Helen at Casa Costello and Jenny at Mummy Mishaps

And finally for #BakingCrumbs, hosted this month by Jo’s Kitchen Larder.

Cooking from Masala and Meatballs – cookbook review

Jam buns” from Masala and Meatballs by Asha Shivakumar

April saw the #rainydaybitescookbookclub on Instagram cooking from the fabulous Masala and Meatballs by Asha Shivakumar. You might already know Asha and her beautiful blog Food Fashion Party. If you don’t, you really need to check it out. The photography is stunning and I love the way Asha writes.

As soon as I laid my eyes on the cover tag line “Incredible Indian dishes with an American twist”, I knew this book was going to be right up my street. There are so many amazing sounding recipes – like apple pistachio waffled French toast, onion rings with wasabi aioli (the onion rings are coated in crushed crisps/potato chips!!), tomato garlic chicken Naan pizza and apple cardamom funnel cake. I couldn’t wait to start cooking from the book.

I mean…..

LOOK. AT. THESE. DOUGHNUTS.

Believe me when I say they tasted every bit as good as they looked. They are worth the price of the book alone! I filled some with cardamom mixed fruit strawberry jam (another recipe from the book) and some with strawberry jam.

This was chicken curry pot pie. A light, coconut milk chicken curry with a puff pastry lid. It was delicious.

Tomato Dahl soup with spinach fritters. I loved this. My kitchen was filled with the most amazing aromas while I cooked the Dahl. Spicy, warning and comforting. I’ll make this often. The spinach fritters made a lovely accompaniment. I ate a lot of them!

Mushroom and chive omelette. I love an omelette at any time of the day and this was so good. It had earthiness from the mushrooms and plenty of heat from fresh green chilli and red chilli powder.

Coffee chocolate walnut challah. Such a stunning bread. So delicious! But with espresso powder, chocolate and walnuts, how could it fail to be anything less than gorgeous?

Coconut cardamom granola with saffron infused yoghurt. Except I used cinnamon in place of cardamom. I just love cinnamon in my granola. This granola is a keeper – oats, sesame seeds and almonds covered in coconut oil and maple syrup, then cashews, coconut flakes and cranberries are mixed through to create one of the best granolas I’ve ever had.

Masala and meatballs really is a beautiful book. If, like myself, you visit Asha’s blog and fall in love with it you will definitely love the book!

I was not asked to write a review for Masala and Meatballs – I just love the book! I purchased my own copy.

White chocolate and strawberry cupcakes

Tender, soft vanilla cupcakes filled with white chocolate chips and topped with an indulgent white chocolate buttercream frosting, white chocolate shards and a fresh strawberry!

As far as cupcakes go, these are pretty simple. Simple is good right now. I’m a little bit exhausted at the moment. The wee man has just got over a nasty virus, his first molars are coming through and he appears to be going through the separation anxiety that can happen around his age. It’s almost like he can’t get close enough to me. ALL day. If I dare to leave the room and leave him with anyone else for 30 seconds he screams his little heart out. I’ve done this enough times now to know it’s just a phase and will pass, so I’m just enjoying the extra cuddle time and ignoring the destruction around us that is my untidy home.

My older boys were complaining about the lack of baked goods in the house last week, so I rustled up these white chocolate and strawberry cupcakes to keep them happy.

This vanilla cupcake recipe is a tried and tested one I blogged about a long time ago. It makes the best vanilla cupcakes I’ve ever tried so far. I only say so far because I’ve never been one to claim that recipes are “the best ever” purely because there are thousands of recipes out there and there are plenty of times when I’ve thought I’ve finally found “the best cupcake” or the best chocolate brownie” recipe, only to find another recipe that beats it in terms of texture, flavour and taste. BUT whenever I need a good vanilla cupcake recipe, this is the recipe I turn to. They are soft yet sturdy enough to hold up to decorating and adding sour cream to the batter ensures that the cakes stay moist and spongy for a good few days after baking.

It’s pretty adaptable – you can add lemon/orange zest, chocolate chips just like I have done or if you want to make chocolate cupcakes, simply substitute 25g of the flour for cocoa powder.

If you want to make these cupcakes even more indulgent, you could cut out the middle of each cake and fill them with a spoonful of strawberry jam…

White chocolate and strawberry cupcakes

Makes 12-16 cupcakes, depending on the size of your cupcake liners (if you’re using the large American style ones, you should get 12 cupcakes, but my cases were a little smaller.) In any case, you should fill the cases no more than two thirds full.

250g Caster Sugar

200g soft Butter

3 Eggs, beaten

2 tsp vanilla extract

60ml Milk

120ml sour cream

250g Self raising flour

100g packet white chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, beating well after each addition. In a measuring jug or bowl, stir together the vanilla extract, milk and sour cream. Sift half of the flour over the creamed butter mixture and lightly fold in using a large metal spoon. Fold in half the sour cream mixture, taking care not to over mix. Repeat with the remaining flour and sour cream mixture, again being careful not to over mix. Spoon the batter into your cupcake liners (no more than two thirds full) and bake for 20-25 minutes or until light golden and spring back when lightly pressed. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out to cool completely on a wire rack.

White Chocolate Buttercream

350g Icing (Confectioners) Sugar

125g soft unsalted butter

100g white chocolate, chopped into small pieces

1 tsp vanilla extract

2-3 tablespoons double (heavy) cream

Using a medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water, (making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water) melt the white chocolate. As soon as the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool a little.

In a large bowl (preferably with an electric mixer) beat the butter until creamy. Gradually add the icing sugar, about 100g at a time. When the icing sugar is all incorporated, beat on high speed until very light and smooth. Lower the speed and add the cooled melted white chocolate, vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of double (heavy) cream and beat on medium until nice and smooth. You might need to add more cream to reach the desired consistency, or it might be perfect as it is. On the other hand if the buttercream is a little too stiff, add a little more icing sugar.

I used a Wilton 1m piping tip (open star) to pipe swirls on the cupcakes, then topped with white chocolate shards which I made by popping a block of white chocolate in the fridge until cold and firm, then I took a large knife and cut very thin shavings of chocolate from the block. Finish the cupcakes off with a fresh strawberry and enjoy!

If you make this recipe, let me know by leaving a comment below or tagging me on Instagram – #somethingsweetsomethingsavoury

Pin me for later!…..

I linked this post to Baking Crumbs, the monthly link up for bloggers hosted this month by Jo’s Kitchen Larder

CookBlogShare

And #CookBlogShare, hosted this week by Easy Peasy Foodie

And last but not least Recipe of the week, hosted by A Mummy Too

Blueberry orange muffins

Super soft, fluffy muffins bursting with juicy blueberries and orange zest for a fruity twist!

Have you ever eaten a shop bought blueberry muffin and felt a little underwhelmed?

They can look so appealing, but all too often they are dry, lacking in flavour and you end up playing hunt the blueberry.

These muffins are the polar opposite – they are absolutely crammed with berries and full of flavour from orange zest.

I’ve made lots of blueberry muffin recipes in my time, and this is the one I go back to time and time again.

Make a batch of these beauties, pop a few in the freezer and you’ll never be tempted to buy supermarket muffins again. There is just no comparison.

Like all muffins, they are best eaten on the day of baking, but as I mentioned they do freeze beautifully for up to two months.

I can also recommend this – a day or two after baking, cut them in half, pop them under a hot grill for a few minutes, then spread with butter and some jam if you like. In fact, I highly recommend you do this!

Blueberry orange muffins

Adapted from a recipe by Dorie Greenspan

Makes 12 muffins

Equipment needed – 12 hole muffin tin lined with muffin liners or Silicone muffin pan

The grated zest and juice of one orange

Roughly 180ml buttermilk

2 large eggs

3 tablespoons honey

115g butter, melted

80g caster sugar

260g plain flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/4 tsp salt

200g blueberries, fresh or frozen (unthawed)

Granulated sugar, for the topping (optional)

Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/400F.

Pour the orange juice into a large measuring jug and pour in enough buttermilk to make 240ml (one American cup measurement). Stir in the eggs, honey and melted butter.

In another large bowl, rub the orange zest into the sugar until the sugar is damp and fragrant. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry and working quickly but gently, stir together to combine. Don’t worry about lumps – they are desirable here! A lumpy batter makes light muffins. Finally, fold in the blueberries.

Spoon the mixture into your muffin tins, filling them no more than 3/4 full. Sprinkle the tops with granulated sugar if you like and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden, risen and they spring back when lightly pressed. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

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I shared this recipe over at A Mummy Too for recipe of the week

Hijacked By Twins

#CookBlogShare hosted by Monika at Everyday healthy recipes

Bake of the week, hosted by Jenny at Mummy Mishaps

Smoky chorizo and beef mozzarella stuffed meatballs

I’ve been meaning to write this recipe up for ages. I’ve been making these chorizo meatballs for several months, slightly tweaking the recipe each time I cooked them, adding notes along the way of what I would definitely do again and what I wouldn’t bother repeating. They have now become a regular dinner here.

I’m not usually one for messing around with the classics, and please don’t lynch me if you are of the opinion that chorizo shouldn’t have anything to do with a meatball, but all I shall say is just try them first!

I absolutely love the smoky flavour of these meatballs combined with the creamy, milky mozzarella middle – it’s just divine. To me, this is pure comfort food.

I prefer to sear the meatballs in a frying pan before adding them to the sauce. It just gives them a nice colour and I do think it adds to the flavour.

You can use your favourite tomato sauce recipe in this recipe – whether it’s homemade or from a jar! It’s absolutely fine, I cheat from time to time as well! I don’t feel bad about it and neither should you ๐Ÿ™‚

My meatball recipe is based on a recipe I found (don’t laugh) in the “Friends” cookbook. Yes, Friends the beloved 90’s tv show. It’s a book full of many hidden gems such as Pheobe’s elusive oatmeal and raisin cookies (which actually turned out to be the standard Tollhouse recipe), Marcel the monkey’s banana bread, mashed potatoes for the broken hearted and Monica’s onion tartlets. Disappointingly, there is no recipe for Rachel’s English trifle with sautรฉed beef, peas and onions, in case you’re wondering.

But back to the meatballs! I’ve adapted them from “Joey’s callback spaghetti and meatballs” from the Friend cookbook. I’m not sure Joey’s Italian Mother and sisters would agree with the addition of chorizo (I’m pretty sure they might be a little outraged) but I do think Joey would love them all the same.

For this amount of meatballs, you will need two supermarket sized jars of sauce which are usually 370-500g. If you would prefer to make the sauce yourself, I usually turn to this recipe by Nigella.

Just look at that cheesy, melty middle!

Smoky chorizo and beef mozzarella meatballs

Serves 4 people generously

1 500g pack of minced beef

150g chorizo sausage, skinned, cut into small chunks and minced finely in a food processor (I use my mini chopper)

25g Parmesan cheese, finely grated

50g breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 medium eggs

1 tablespoon water

One pot of mozzarella pearls (I buy mine from Sainsbury’s) or 1 ball of mozzarella, cut into small pieces

1 tablespoon olive oil for cooking the meatballs

Spaghetti and your favourite tomato sauce for serving

Grated Parmesan or mozzarella for serving

Place all of the ingredients for the meatballs apart from the mozzarella in a large bowl. Using your hands, combine very well.

Roll the meat mixture into balls then flatten each meatball out, add a mozzarella pearl then shape the meat mixture around the cheese, shaping into a ball and making sure the mozzarella is sealed inside each one.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and place your tomato sauce in a large saucepan over a low to medium heat. Cook the meatballs in batches. You don’t need them fully cooked through at this stage because you’ll be cooking them fully in the sauce. You’re just looking to get them nice and brown. This usually takes about 5 minutes.

When your tomato sauce is simmering, pop the seared meatballs in. Partially cover with a lid and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally but taking care not to break the meatballs. Sometime the inevitable happens and some of the cheese oozes out, but it doesn’t make it any less delicious!

Cook your spaghetti while the meatballs are simmering in the sauce.

Drain the spaghetti, return to the saucepan and toss a couple of spoonfuls of the tomato sauce through it. Divide the spaghetti onto your plates, top with the meatballs and pour over the sauce. Top with Parmesan cheese or grated mozzarella and serve.

PIN THE RECIPE FOR LATER…

Linked up to Recipe of the week over at A Mummy Too

And for #CookBlogShare, hosted this week by Monika at Everyday Healthy Recipes

Hijacked By Twins

Blood orange olive oil cake

This cake is quick, easy and super delicious! It’s made with olive oil and yoghurt – no creaming butter and sugar! Blood oranges are beautiful in this cake but normal oranges can easily be substituted.

Even though the blood orange season is just about over, I just couldn’t resist sharing this recipe with you.

I’ve always been a big fan of oranges, but blood oranges are really special. Nothing quite compares to slicing one open to reveal the beautiful crimson flesh. They provide a much needed burst of vibrant colour during those dark, drab Winter months.

This is a really useful cake recipe to have up your sleeve. It’s nice and quick to put together – no need to get your mixer out! A whisk and a rubber spatula is all you need.

If you use a gentle hand to fold in the olive oil, you’ll be rewarded with a beautifully light cake.

Blood orange olive oil cake

200g plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

Pinch of salt

230g caster sugar

Grated zest of one blood orange

125ml plain yoghurt

3 large eggs

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

125ml olive oil (not extra virgin)

Preheat the oven to 180C/160Fan/350F.

Butter and line a 900g loaf tin.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside for a moment.

Place the sugar and orange zest in a medium sized bowl. Using your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar until the sugar is very aromatic. This is the best way of achieving maximum citrus flavour in your baking!

Stir the yoghurt, eggs and vanilla into the zesty sugar. Whisk until everything is well blended. Whisk in the flour mixture, then using a rubber spatula, fold in the oil. The batter should be thick, smooth and a little shiny. Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until golden and risen. A skewer inserted into the middle of the cake should come out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cook for 10 minutes before turning out to cool completely.

For the icing:

75g icing sugar

Juice of one half of the zested orange

Simply mix the icing sugar and juice together until smooth. Drizzle over the cake and decorate with blood orange slices.

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I’m sharing this recipe with:

#CookBlogShare hosted by Easy Peasy Foodie

Recipe of the week at A Mummy Too

Link up your recipe of the week

Baking Crumbs hosted by Only Crumbs Remain

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Sweetcorn and feta cheese pancakes

Do you have any childhood food memories? Do certain foods, cooking smells and rituals take you right back to a less stressful time when things seemed a whole lot simpler? I have a ton of food memories, but one in particular that stands out for me is my Gran’s savoury pancakes. I really loved them. They were thick, fluffy and extremely good alongside sausages, bacon and baked beans. That’s how I remember eating them. They always contained sweetcorn and if we hadn’t used it all up in sandwiches and toasties, cheddar cheese. My Gran was very much a use-up what-you’ve-got cook.

The pancakes I’m sharing with you today only vaguely resemble the ones from my childhood. If my Gran was still here, she would probably say they are “a bit fancy.” She definitely wouldn’t drown them in chilli sauce like I do, but it’s my weakness. I love chilli the way I used to love chocolate when I was a teenager!

I’ve used feta in these pancakes, but they are also really good with cheddar. I use tinned sweetcorn unapologetically, but when fresh corn comes into season, I’ll absolutely be using it instead.

These pancakes are also very good with sausages or roasted tomatoes, avocado, beans etc – the usual breakfast fare!

Sweetcorn and feta pancakes

Makes 12

100g self raising flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Salt and pepper

2 medium eggs

One 397g tin of sweetcorn

3 spring onions, sliced finely

100g crumbled feta

100-120ml milk

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, paprika and a good grinding of salt and pepper. Crack in the eggs and pour in 100ml milk. Mix well using a whisk until you have a smooth, batter. It should be quite thick, but not stiff. Add a little more milk if needed. Stir in the sweetcorn, spring onions and feta.

Heat one tablespoon vegetable oil in a non stick pan. Drop spoonfuls of the batter into the pan, cooking for a couple of minutes until the underside is golden brown, then turn them over and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes until golden.

Place the pancakes in a warm oven while you make your accompaniments. I love them with streaky bacon and of course, lots of sweet chilli sauce!

Sharing this recipe over at A Mummy Too for recipe of the week

I’m also linking up over at Easy Peasy Foodie for #CookBlogShare.

Leftover Easter chocolate cookies

Hello! I hope you all had a lovely Easter Sunday. We had a pretty busy family day – an Easter egg hunt for the kids which provided great fun and lots of laughter followed by toad in the hole with onion gravy and lots of veg for dinner – not what I had planned to make, but it was very much enjoyed (by us adults at least – all the kids wanted was egg on toast after over indulging in chocolate all day!)

Now, I realise what many of you will be saying – what on earth is leftover chocolate? It’s not a term I’m normally familiar with, but hear me out. If your house is anything like mine around Easter weekend, you end up with so much chocolate that you kind of get sick of the sight of it, right?

You could melt it all down and make my no bake Easter fridge cake which I totally recommend, but I also have another way of making a dent in that choccy stash that maybe even your kids would approve of…make cookies!

My leftover Easter chocolate cookies are crisp on the outside, chewy and soft in the middle and they even contain a good dose of heart healthy oats. I’m pretty sure all the sugar and chocolate cancels the benefits out, but let’s just pretend otherwise ๐Ÿ˜‰

I used Cadbury mini eggs, milk chocolate chunks and Malteser bunnies for these cookies but I’m sure any kind of chocolate would be just fine in these.

Leftover chocolate Easter Cookies

Makes 16-24 cookies, depending on their size

175g soft butter

100g granulated sugar

120g soft light brown sugar

1 large egg, beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

160g plain flour

1/4 tsp salt

170g rolled oats

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

100g milk chocolate chips or a bar, chopped into chunks

120g mini chocolate eggs

Malteser bunnies and extra mini eggs/chocolate for decoration

Preheat the oven to 180C/160Fan/350F.

Grease a couple of large baking trays and line with baking parchment.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until very light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the egg until the mixture is smooth, then add the vanilla extract.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Stir the dry ingredients into the butter mixture until combined and you have a soft cookie dough. Fold in the chocolate chunks and mini eggs. Roll the mixture into walnut sized mounds using your hands or drop tablespoons of dough onto the lined baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each cookie because they will spread! Decorate the top with more mini eggs and chocolate chunks* if desired then bake for 12-15 minutes, or until light golden brown. The cookies will still be pretty soft in the middle, so leave them on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before carefully transferring them to a wire rack.

*For the Malteser bunny cookies, I just lightly pressed a bunny on top of the cookie about 5 minutes after they came out of the oven, so they weren’t so hot the bunny melted, but warm enough for the bunny to adhere to the cookie.

Happy Easter Monday!

Hijacked By Twins

My little sous-chef tandem cookbook review

There’s a My little Sous Chef blog tour going on and it’s my turn!

What is My little Sous Chef I hear you ask?

Grab a seat and a cuppa and I’ll tell you all about it….

My little Sous Chef is an exciting new concept in the cookbook world. It’s actually two cookbooks in one – one for adults and one especially for kids to cook along with. They are cleverly designed to work seamlessly together – the “grown up” one contains stunning food photographs and clear instructions you would expect to find in a great quality cookery book, while the kids’ version contains really cute illustrations along with easy to follow step by step instructions. As an added bonus, the children’s book is laminated – therefore easy to wipe clean!

This innovative idea was created by 3 London based Italian women – Caterina Falqul, Francesca Grassi, Laura Pantaleone. While sitting reminiscing one evening about learning to cook with their mothers and grandmothers in Italy, they realised that there were no cookbooks on the market that truly supported this idea. So with the help of crowdfunding, they started working on creating the first tandem cookbook that enables adults and children to cook together while at the same time, supporting vital lessons like numeracy, safety in the kitchen and nutrition.

The book contains 30 delicious recipes including:

Bean Tacos

Vegetarian lasagne

Rosemary Focaccia

Sausage rolls

Apple roses

Rocky road

With so much emphasis on chocolate and sweets for Easter, I thought it would be good to try these lovely fresh mini caprese. All you need is cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh basil. Drizzled with olive oil, balsamic vinegar or a little oregano, they made a really tasty starter. My middle son put them together for me but being camera shy, he didn’t want to be photographed. But we can still appreciate his efforts can’t we? I think he did a great job ๐Ÿ˜Š

We also made the pizza muffins last night which were SO delicious! Unfortunately I didn’t manage to take a photograph of them, but I will be making them again ASAP – they really were so good. I’ll be sure to post a photograph soon so you can see them!

I’m absolutely loving this book. I think the tandem idea is genius and I’m actually surprised no-one has thought of it before now. I’m passionate about getting kids involved in cooking as early as possible – even if it’s just sitting them in their high chair and letting them have a play with ingredients. My youngest son has only just started taking a proper interest in food – he likes helping me knead dough, stir ingredients together and of course, being a taste tester! I know My little Sous Chef will be an invaluable tool in my kitchen.

My little Sous Chef is available to buy in hardback from mylittlesouschef.com

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of My Little Sous Chef to review. I was not obliged to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Cadbury creme egg cupcakes

I’ve updated my creme egg cupcake recipe for you all…just in time for Easter weekend! Don’t go saying I ain’t good to ya all now…๐Ÿ˜‰

I first posted a creme egg cupcake recipe back in 2012 – it was actually my very first post! Have I really been blogging that long?? ๐Ÿ˜ณ As good as those ones are, I actually prefer the updated recipe I’m sharing with you today. If you look back on the old post, I hope you’ll agree that my photography has improved a little! I was so tempted to delete it, but I thought I would leave it there to serve as a reminder of how much I’ve learned and will continue to learn about blogging!

So what about these cupcakes?

Well, the cupcake recipe is a rich Devil’s chocolate sponge which is complemented perfectly by a simple vanilla buttercream. Each cupcake has a surprise inside – a whole mini Creme egg!

There are quite a few changes to the new recipe – the cupcake recipe itself is different, I’ve done away with the yellow fondant which I now feel is too sickly sweet against the richness of the chocolate cake, and this time I didn’t bake the creme eggs in the cupcakes, placing them in the cakes after they were baked instead. You can absolutely choose to bake them inside the cakes if you prefer, but if you do I would recommend you freeze your creme eggs first.

And if you aren’t a coffee fan, fear not. These cupcakes will NOT taste of coffee! The coffee merely enhances the chocolate flavour. But you can leave it out if you really want too.

I love these cupcakes – they cheer me up just looking at them!

Cadbury Creme egg cupcakes

Makes 12

40g cocoa powder

1/2 tsp coffee granules

180ml boiling water

130g plain flour

3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/4 tsp salt

85g butter, soft

150g soft light brown sugar

1 large egg And one large egg yolk, beaten

1tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180C/160Fan/350F. Line a 12 hole cupcake pan with liners.

Place the cocoa powder and coffee in a medium bowl. Pour over the boiling water and whisk until smooth.

Place the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a small bowl and stir together. Place the butter in a large bowl, add the brown sugar and beat until the mixture is very light and fluffy. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla and beat until the mixture is smooth. Add the cocoa mixture and mix until smooth. Using a metal spoon, fold in the flour. The mixture will be pretty runny so don’t be alarmed. Pour this chocolate batter evenly into the liners (I pour the batter into a large jug – it’s much easier with runny mixtures) I pour 60ml of batter into each one. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the cakes are risen and they spring back when lightly pressed. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and leave to cool.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the buttercream.

Vanilla buttercream

300g icing sugar

150g soft unsalted butter

1/2 vanilla extract

One tablespoon milk

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and icing sugar together on high speed for several minutes until very light and airy. Beat in the vanilla extract and milk and continue to beat for a few minutes until very smooth and aerated.

Divide the buttercream equally between two bowls. Place yellow or orange (for the “yolk”) food gel colouring in one half and stir well to mix. I used Wilton golden yellow. Place the buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle – one colour on either side – and start piping onto a plate until the colours have swirled together. You’re now ready to decorate your cupcakes!

Take your cooled cupcakes and using an apple corer or cupcake tool, remove a piece of cake from the middle of each cupcake. Then insert a whole mini creme egg inside. I’ll leave it entirely in your hands what you do with the cake you just removed – if you don’t want to eat it all like I did and clearly have more willpower than me, you can always keep it for making cake truffles! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Decorate your cupcakes with the buttercream and top each one with a halved Creme egg, letting the yolk spill out for an “EAT ME NOW” effect!

I really hope you love them! If you give these cupcakes a try this Easter weekend, let me know by leaving a comment!

Wishing you a very Happy Easter!

Only Crumbs Remain

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