I’m not competely against St Valentine’s Day, but I’m not a massive fan of it either. Why do we need a date on the calendar to tell someone we love them? We should be telling them every single day anyway.
I didn’t always feel that way. I remember those school days and the crushing disappointment you felt when you didn’t get a card from the object of your desires. Oh well, maybe next year, you told yourself. Of course by then, you’d moved on to someone else. Oh to be a teenager again…maybe not. I don’t think I could go back to those days.
Whether you love St Valentine’s Day or think it’s all a load of commercial crap, I hope you spent it with the ones you love x
White chocolate and raspberry shortbread hearts
Makes about 20, depending on the size of your cutter
225g soft butter
200g plain flour
100g icing sugar
150g white chocolate
Freeze dried raspberries
Grease and line two baking trays. Preheat the oven to 180C.
In a large bowl or using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until very light and fluffy. Add the flour, icing sugar and cornflour and mix until you have a soft dough.
Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper to an even thickness. Cut out shapes and place onto the baking tray. Bake for around 12-15 mins or until very light golden around the edges. Remove from the oven, leave to cool on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Melt your chocolate. Dip one half of the shortbread into the melted chocolate. Scatter over a few freeze dried raspberries before the chocolate sets.
These little beauties have been causing a stir in my foodie friends circle for some time now. They are called Friands which is French for “little cake.” They seem to be extremely popular in Australia and New Zealand. They are made from egg whites and ground almonds and taste totally delicious. I’ve been feeling a bit out of the loop because I don’t own a Friand tin, but I thought why not try using muffin tins? So that’s what I did and they turned out fine – the trick is to grease the muffin tin well. I did have a small issue with the one on the bottom left of the picture above – it got a little stuck! I ate that one first – just because something doesn’t turn out perfectly in baking doesn’t mean to say it won’t taste delicious!
My cakes may not have the lovely oval Friand shape, but they do taste lovely. A proper Friand tin is on my wishlist!
Raspberry & Peach Friands
Makes around 8
5 egg whites (they should weigh around 150g in total)
150g butter, melted
75g ground almonds
180g icing sugar
50g plain flour
One large ripe peach, cut into small chunks
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a Friand or muffin tin (or use cake release spray)
Lightly whisk the egg whites to combine. Add the melted butter, ground almonds, icing sugar and flour and stir well to combine. Fold in the fruit, keeping a few berries and peach chunks for placing on top of the friands. Pour the mixture into the tin, filling each hole no more than two thirds full.
Place the remaining raspberries and peaches on top of each friand and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden.
Once the Friands have cooled, dust with icing sugar.
Happy Friday! I’m so glad it’s nearly the weekend. It’s been a busy week. I’ve been baking quite a lot over the past few days and I have loads of inspiration for future blog posts, but today I just had to show you these divine pink lemonade bars I made last night. The recipe is from my lovely friend Jo of the wonderful blog Jo Blogs Jo Bakes. You’ll find the recipe on Jo’s Facebook page right here.
These bars are so good and they couldn’t be easier to make. You have a refreshing raspberry-lemon curd topping on a crumbly shortbread base. So good! The only thing I did differently was to mix all the ingredients for the filling in the food processor, then if you wish you can push the mixture through a sieve to get rid of the raspberry seeds. Taste the mixture before you pour it onto the shortbread base. If it is too tart for your taste, add a little more sugar.
I made so many cupcakes last year I think I got a little bored of them. They were everywhere! Maybe I wasn’t the only one who got bored because I wasn’t getting anywhere near as many requests to make them. It was all about big layer cakes instead.
I hadn’t made any for months, but yesterday I saw some gorgeous looking lemon and raspberry cupcakes on Sweetadventuresblog and that was it. I wanted a cupcake!
I decided to make them that morning but the recipe I found used a box cake mix for the cupcakes. I never buy ready made cake mixes so wanting to make a recipe from scratch, I did a quick Google search for lemon raspberry cupcakes and found this recipe on Annie’s Eats.
I didn’t follow this recipe to the letter because I wanted to use up what I had in my fridge/cupboard, plus I had recently made the most gorgeous lemon curd recipe ever that I wanted to incorporate in the cupcakes. Seriously, you’ll find the best lemon curd recipe ever over at The Pink Whisk . You’ll never buy shop bought lemon curd again!
Lemon & Raspberry Cupcakes
Adapted from Annie’s Eats
Makes 16-18 cupcakes
250g Self raising flour
250g Caster Sugar
200g soft Butter (I used Stork)
3 Eggs, beaten
120ml Sour cream
Juice and Zest of 1 large Lemon
Roughly 1/2-1/3 Raspberry Jam or Lemon curd to fill the cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line your cake tins with cases. Finely zest the lemon. Place the caster sugar in a large bowl. Add the lemon zest to the bowl and rub the zest into the sugar with your fingertips until the sugar is damp and aromatic. Add the soft butter to the bowl and beat for 5 minutes or until very light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, beating well after each addition. Place the sour cream, milk and lemon juice into a jug/bowl and mix together. Keep to one side. When the eggs are all added in, add half the flour and stir gently to mix. Add half the sour cream/lemon juice mixture and stir again. Repeat once more. You should have a nice smooth cupcake mixture. Spoon into your cupcake cases and bake for 20-25 minutes or until risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack.
When the cupcakes are completely cold, use an apple corer or a sharp knife to cut out little circles in the middle of the cupcakes. Fill the holes with raspberry jam or lemon curd.
Lemon curd Cream Cheese Icing
****I made this recipe up as I went along…it tastes so good but it made a pretty large amount! I’m going to give you the full recipe I used but you might want to halve quantities if you don’t want lots of leftover icing! I’m planning to make a lemon curd layer cake later today which I’ll decorate with the leftover icing ***
300g Full fat cream cheese
200g Lemon curd
700-800g Icing Sugar
Place the cold cream cheese and the lemon curd in a large bowl and beat until nice and smooth. Gradually add the icing sugar (if you are lucky enough to own a free-standing mixer, you might want to cover the mixer with a large towel to prevent your kitchen and yourself being covered in icing sugar! I’ve nearly choked on an icing sugar cloud, it wasn’t pleasant!) You may need to add more icing sugar to achieve an icing thick enough to pipe. You absolutely don’t need to use a piping bag by the way – a knife/spatula will also do the job (that’s the The Hummingbird Bakery does it!)
Ice your cupcakes however you like and top with a fresh raspberry.
I just wanted to show you some gorgeous cake cases the lovely people over at Dotcomgiftshop very kindly sent me to try – aren’t they lovely? I’m don’t normally do product reviews on my blog, but I took one look at their website and fell in love! It’s gorgeous.
I’ve tried a few similar types of baking cases and I’ve encountered various issues such as the cases coming apart from the cakes as they are cooling, or the cases strangely becoming greasy when you take the cakes out of the oven. But these are brilliant. No issues whatsoever and they look very pretty. I highly recommend them. I also highly recommend their website if you’re looking for a beautiful gift for a family member or friend. They also sent me some very pretty loaf cake cases which you’ll see later on this week.