Monday, 14 April 2014

Chocolate Easter Egg Nests

This is a really quick and easy no bake treat for Easter. I love eating these but have never made my own so decided to give it a go this year. It's cornflakes set in melted chocolate, golden syrup and butter and topped with mini eggs. They look really cute especially in colourful cases. I've made 3 batches of these already and may make more for Easter.

I'm sending this to The Biscuit Barrel Challenge hosted by Laura from I'd Much Rather Bake Than... which has the theme of 'fun' this month. These are really fun to make and eat and the kids can join in the fun of making them. 

I'm also sending this to Treat Petite hosted by Stuart from Cakeyboi and Kat from the Baking Explorer. The theme this month is 'Spring into Easter' and these definitely scream Easter.

 cornflakes, golden syrup, chocolate, mini eggs, butter 

 mix the cornflakes into the melted chocolate mixture 

 Place into fairy cake cases and top with 3 mini eggs 

 Set in the fridge for a few hours or overnight 

Recipe from BBC Food recipes 

200g chocolate
2 tablespoons golden syrup
50g butter
75g cornflakes
36 mini eggs

  • Line a 12-hole fairy cake tin with paper cases.
  • Melt the chocolate, golden syrup and butter in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water.
  • Allow to cool slightly. 
  • Stir in the cornflakes until it's completely coated in the chocolate mixture.
  • Divide the mixture between the paper cases and press 3 chocolate eggs into the centre of each nest. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour or overnight until set.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Chorizo and Manchego Cheese Hot Cross Buns

When I was brainstorming ideas for Stork's Hot Cross Bun challenge, J came up with this chorizo and manchego cheese combination. As my savoury hot cross buns were a surprising succes, I decided to give these a go as well and we both agree that this is much better. The bread is soft with a lovely crumb texture and the chorizo really gives it an added depth of taste and flavour. The manchego cheese is quite mild and you could probably get away with a stronger cheese like cheddar which I am planning to try next week. I tried making the cross out of grated cheese which worked a bit better than melted cheese piped on to the buns. 

I'm sending this to The Biscuit Barrel Challenge hosted by Laura from I'd Much Rather Bake Than... which has the theme of 'fun' this month. These were fun to create and tasted absolutely delicious.

I'm also sending this to Treat Petite hosted by Stuart from Cakeyboi and Kat from the Baking Explorer. The theme this month is 'Spring into Easter' and these are perfect to serve at Easter breakfast or brunch.

 paprika, white bread flour, butter, chorizo sausage, manchego cheese, yeast 

 adding grated cheese and cooked chorizo 

 before proofing 

 ready to bake 

 add the grated cheese after baking for about 10 minutes 

 fresh from the oven 

 delicious served warm with butter 

An original recipe by bakingaddict

1 cup warm water
7g dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
450g strong white bread flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons paprika
75g butter, melted
1 egg
130g cubed chorizo sausage
1 teaspoon paprika
100g manchego cheese, grated + extra to create the cross on top 

For the egg wash
1 egg
1 tablespoon water

  • Start by placing warm water in a jug. Add the yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar and set aside for at least 10-15 minutes. It will become frothy when it's ready. 
  • Lightly pan fry the Chorizo cubes with 1 teaspoon of paprika and allow to cool slightly. 
  • In an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the flour, sea salt, paprika, butter and egg.
  • Add in the fried chorizo and grated cheese and continue mixing.
  • Stir in the yeast mixture. 
  • Knead the dough until firm and smooth. 
  • Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film.
  • Leave in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size (preferably overnight).
  • Punch the risen dough and knead for a few minutes.
  • Divide into 12 even pieces (I weighed the dough then divided by 12)
  • Place on a baking tray spaced apart and cover with cling film that has been sprayed with cooking oil or non stick spray. 
  • Leave for about 30 minutes or so until the dough has risen further.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C. 
  • Using a pair of kitchen scissors, make a small 'x' shaped cut on top of each bun.
  • Brush with egg wash and then bake for about 10 minutes.
  • Take the buns out of the oven and sprinkle grated cheese on top in the shape of an 'x'. 
  • Return to the oven and continue baking for a further 10 - 15 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. 
  • Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack or eat warm straight from the oven with some butter. 

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookies made from Leftover Chocolate Frosting

I had a lot of leftover chocolate frosting from making the Minecraft Birthday Cake and a Giant Kinder Bueno Cupcake so I got to thinking what I could do with it. I didn't feel like making more cupcakes and I remembered making cookies from leftover lemon frosting previously. I decided to do the same and make chocolate chip cookies! I had to make up the recipe proportions but essentially you add a similar but lesser amount of flour to your icing (otherwise the cookie will  be too doughy), an egg and some chocolate chips and voila - delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies. These cookies were really crispy and packed full of chocolate flavour (the icing had melted chocolate in it). It was difficult to stop at just one and everyone who tried it really enjoyed it. 

I'm sending this to The Biscuit Barrel Challenge hosted by Laura from I'd Much Rather Bake Than... which has the theme of 'fun' this month. Chocolate chip cookies are definitely fun anytime of the day and for any age!

I'm also sending this to No Waste Food Challenge hosted by Jibber JabberUK and Elizabeth from Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary.

 leftover chocolate frosting (this is only 1/2 of it!), an egg, flour and chocolate chips 

 adding chocolate chips 

 ready to bake 


An original recipe by bakingaddict

636g leftover chocolate frosting
500g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
200g chocolate chips

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • If your frosting has been in the fridge like mine then place it in the microwave for 10 seconds just to soften it.
  • Place into an electric mixer and beat for a few minutes until smooth.
  • Add in egg then flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
  • Finally stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Place small ice cream scoops of dough spaced apart on a baking tray and bake for approximately 8-10 minutes or until its brown around the edges.
  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Mini Peanut Butter and Chocolate Croissants

These are ridiculously easy to make and yet oh so delicious and sinful. Life's too short to make your own puff pastry so I cheated and used a pack of ready rolled pastry! I added a combination of dark chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. Some were just chocolate, just peanut butter or a combination of peanut butter and chocolate. The peanut butter one was the clear winner and I'm sure I'll be making a lot more of these. 

I'm sending this to The Biscuit Barrel Challenge hosted by Laura from I'd Much Rather Bake Than... which has the theme of 'fun' this month. These were fun to eat especially since you don't know what the filling is until you bite into it!

I'm also sending this to  Treat Petite hosted by Stuart from Cakeyboi and Kat from the Baking Explorer. The theme this month is 'Spring into Easter' and although this is not a traditional Easter bake, I think it would be perfect for Easter breakfast or brunch as it's quick and easy to make and you can use any leftover easter egg chocolates instead of chocolate chips. 

puff pastry, 1 egg, chocolate chips and peanut butter chips 

 roll out the puff pastry and cut into 8 rectangles 

 cut each rectangle into triangles 

 fill with chocolate chips or peanut butter chips or both 

 roll them up starting with the longer end and pull the ends down on each side so it forms a crescent shape 

 brush with eggwash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water) before baking for about 30-35 minutes in a preheated oven of 200C until golden brown

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Minecraft Birthday Cake

I've had a few cake orders from work this month mainly for children's birthdays. The first is this Minecraft Cake for Josh who turned 8 yesterday so Happy Belated Birthday! I had no idea what Minecraft was so I had to learn quickly! Essentially it's a game about making and placing blocks. You then build structures and there are different 'characters' in the game like Creeper, pig and chicken all of which I made from fondant icing. I wanted to make Steve as well but I ran out of time!  I did some research online and came up with this cake which I am pleased to announce was a huge success. Josh was really impressed with the cake and to be honest so am I! I really wasn't sure I could pull it off but I think it's not too bad for a first attempt. Just don't look too closely at the imperfections!! 

He wanted a vanilla sponge with strawberry jam so I baked 2 large square cakes (6 egg sponge x 2) and made 4 layers using strawberry jam and vanilla buttercream to sandwich the layers together. I then made some chocolate frosting by adding melted chocolate to the buttercream and used that to cover the outside of the cake. The 'crumbs' is made from crushed oreo and rich tea biscuits which actually gives it a slight pixelated effect which I was hoping for. The top is covered with a piece of green fondant covered with green buttercream and green coconut which resembles the grass. The figures are made from ready rolled icing and I shaped them by hand using pictures from the internet as a guide. 

The entire cake took 2 evenings to make. I baked the cakes and made the fondant figures on day 1 and assembled the cake on day 2. Top tips - either use a large roasting pan or place a large piece of parchment paper over your worktop before pressing the crumbs on the cake. This makes it much easier to clean up the mess after! Place the dessicated coconut in a ziplock bag, add the food colouring and seal the bag then give it a good shake to get green 'grass' - no mess and no washing up! Remember to save some vanilla buttercream to make green buttercream before adding the melted chocolate as it's quite difficult to make brown green afterwards! 

As this contains strawberry jam in the middle of the cake layers I'm sending it to Tea Time Treats hosted by Karen from Lavender and Lovage and co hosted by Jane from The Hedgecombers. The theme this month is jams, curds and preserves. 

 weigh eggs in their shell and use the same amount of flour, butter and caster sugar for the sponge.

 I baked 2 cakes in my square tin 

 making the layers with strawberry jam and vanilla buttercream 

 This is going to be a tall cake! 

 cover with chocolate frosting on the outside but not the top 

 I drew this pattern freestyle on a piece of parchment paper - the square is the size of my cake tin and I made random blocks around the edges 

 cut out the pattern and place it on top of rolled green fondant and cut out the pattern with a sharp knife 

 ready to go on top of the cake 

 slightly wonky but it's starting to look like a minecraft block! 

 cover the fondant with green icing then cover with dessicated coconut which has been dyed green to resemble grass. 

 Place the figures on top using a toothpick to support them. I used cutters to cut out the name and age - his favourite colour is green but you can of course using contrasting colours to make it stand out more.