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Advent Calendar Day 19: Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes

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Back in October, Selma made
ambassador cupcakes using Ferrero Rocher chocolates for her son’s birthday. They looked so luxurious and elegant, that I tucked the idea away for Christmas….

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So fast forward two months and armed with Selma’s idea, two boxes of chocolates, some gold cupcake cases and some shimmer spray, I’m ready! I’m using my trusty chocolate cake mix instead of Selma’s, but I’ll use her’s next time.

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Chocolate cupcake Ingredients:
100g butter
150g brown sugar
2 eggs
200g plain flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoon cocoa powder
180ml milk
1 box of Forrero Rocher

Topping:
1 can of chocolate icing
1 can gold shimmer spray
Toasted Hazelnuts
1 box of Forrero Rocher

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Line a cupcake tin with foil cases. Preheat the oven to 190°/ gas mark 5 or turn your Rayburn off! Cream the butter and sugar, then add in the eggs. Sift in all the dry ingredients and then add the milk.

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Spoon the mixture into the cases until half full. Pop a chocolate in the middle and spoon a small amount of mixture on top. Pop into the oven for 15 minutes.

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Once cooled, pipe chocolate icing on top of the cake. Then, depending on how high your icing is, place a whole chocolate on top (or a half like I did). Sprinkle with hazelnuts and spray with shimmer!!!!

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I’m bringing these delights to Angie’s for a festive fiesta friday!

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6 more sleeps!!!

Melissa xx

Advent Calendar Day 18: Rocky Road

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I haven’t forgotten to post today, I’ve jusy been mad busy making Christmas goodies….

If you need a last minute gift for a teacher or friend them Nigella’s Christmas rocky road is perfect. It’s extremely quick, easy and adaptable. I’ve changed the original recipe from her book Nigella’s Christmas, adding in cranberries, Maltesers and digistives.

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Ingredients :
400 grams milk chocolate
175 grams soft butter
4 tablespoons golden syrup
200 grams amaretti biscuits/digestives
150 grams Maltesers
100 grams cranberries
200grams mini marshmallows
1 tablespoon icing sugar
edible glitter

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Chop the chocolate small and then put into a heavy-based pan to melt with the butter and syrup over a gentle heat.

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Break up all the biscuits and Maltesers; you want some pieces to crunch and some sandy rubble.

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Take the pan off the heat, and add the crushed biscuits, Maltesers, cranberries and mini-marshmallows. Turn carefully to coat everything with syrupy chocolate.

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Tip into a tray ( 9¼ x 12 inches), smoothing the top as best you can, although it will look bumpy. Refrigerate until firm enough to cut, which will take about 1½–2 hours.

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Melt the white chocolate and pour over the top, and refrigerate for several minutes. Finally sprinkle with glitter…

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Melissa xx

Advent Calendar Day 17: Oreo Pops

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Am I the only person that has never tasted an Oreo, that all American famous cookie-biscuit thing? Sharon Hearne-Smith uses Oreos in her easy peasy doughnut cake pops in her book #NoBakeBaking. I used the recipe to make another couple of edible festive gifts.

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Ingredients :
2x154g packs Oreo cookies
100g full fat cream cheese
100g white chocolate
Edible sprinkles

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Blend the Oreo cookies to fine crumbs in a food processor, add the cream cheese and blend again until the mixture becomes a shiny dough.

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At this stage Sharon made little doughnut shapes out of her mixture, whereas I left mine as balls. I lay them on a sheet of parchment paper and placed them in the fridge to firm up.

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Melt the white chocolate over a bowl of hot water. Place a stick into the ball and then cover the Oreo ball with white chocolate or dribble the chocolate back and forth.

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Cover with edible sprinkles and chill in the fridge until completely set. Finally, pop into gift bags.

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Melissa xx

Advent Calendar Day 15: No Bake Baking

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I’ve started making edible Christmas gifts and have used my ‘cookery book of the year’ to help. Sharon Hearne-Smith’s No Bake Baking is full of gift ideas. I started with her flash florentines and substituted some of the fruit and nuts with others, as she suggested.

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Ingredients:
50g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
100g soft brown light sugar
50g creme fraiche
1 piece of stem ginger, finely chopped
150g nuts (I used almonds and hazelnuts)
100g cranberries
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g chocolate

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The fruit and nut mix

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I melted the butter in a medium pan over a low heat. I added the sugars and turned up the heat, stirring for 5 minutes until smooth and gooey.

Then I carefully stired in the creme fraiche, stirring over a high heat until the sugars dissolved and the mixture thickened.

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I removed the mixture from the heat and stired in the fruit, ginger, nuts, bicarb and vanilla.

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I dropped the mixture onto a lined baking sheet, flattening into discs and left them to cool in the fridge.

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Once the florentines were set, I melted the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of water. I allowed the chocolate to cool before spreading the back of each florentine with chocolate, popping it back on the tray and back in the fridge.

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I gifted the florentines in these cute Santa food grade boxes, seperating each florentine with parchment paper. Such an easy recipe and very tasty!

Melissa xx

Advent Calendar Day 12: Shimmery Cupcakes

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It’s 12th December and I’m half way through my Advent calendar…. I hope you are all enjoying it?

So it’s Fiesta Friday once again and I’m bringing another shimmery explosion to Angie’s place!

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I made some wonderfully colourful cupcakes for my Godson and his family. I knew he’d be excited about Christmas when I visited, so I wanted to bring him something special.

The shimmery cupcake recipe is a perfect one to do with children, it’s very simple to do. It uses my fail safe chocolate muffin recipe with shop bought icing.

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Chocolate cupcake Ingredients:
100g butter
150g brown sugar
2 eggs
200g plain flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoon cocoa powder
180ml milk

Topping:
1 can of chocolate icing
1 can gold shimmer spray
1 can silver shimmer spray

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Line a cupcake tin with foil cases. Preheat the oven to 190°/ gas mark 5 or turn your Rayburn off! Cream the butter and sugar, then add in the eggs. Sift in all the dry ingredients and then add the milk. Spoon the mixture into the cases.

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Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, then leave to cool completely.

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I used the cupcake icing to top each cake and left them to set.

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I covered the table with newspaper and starting spraying! It was great fun building up the shimmery layers.

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My Godson thanked me for the cupcakes by drawing me a beautiful picture. I hope Santa can bring me a tiara like the one in the drawing!

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Melissa xx

Advent Calendar Day 8: Brownies

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I posted about Chocolate Brownies a few months ago and I thought Christmas was the perfect time of year to reblog it again!

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Ingredients:
375g soft butter
375g dark chocolate
6 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
500g caster sugar
225g plain flour
Pinch of salt
300g walnuts

Decoration:
100g white chocolate
Silver balls (edible)!

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Method:
Preheat the oven to 180 ° C / gas mark 4. Line a brownie pan (all of it) with parchment paper.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a large heavy based pan. In a bowl beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla. In another bowl, sieve in the flour and add the salt.

When the chocolate mix has melted,  let it cool a bit before beating in the eggs and sugar,  then the nuts and flour. Beat until smooth, scrapping the saucepan into the tin.

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Melissa xx

Halloween Profiteroles

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Happy Halloween

As you know, I blog from my mobile phone, meaning I use the WordPress app instead of sitting at my laptop (I just don’t get the time). Blogging on the go is so easy and convenient.

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Scary stuff

However recently I haven’t been getting many posts into the ‘blogs I follow’ page. At first I just presumed that you were all too busy to blog, but the other day my very own post didn’t appear…. Even after hours of refreshing the page nothing happened. I even uninstalled and then reinstalled the app. Still nothing.

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I’m sorry that I haven’t been visiting your blog, but i’ve made Halloween profiteroles for you all to make amends! Oh, and one more thing…. This is the last post that my rubbish SD card will ruin. I’ve lost the photos of the choux pastry process! You’ll be glad to know that i’ve now taken the SD card out of my phone and banished it to the depths of The Glen House…

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Chocolate Profiteroles

Ingredients:
For the choux pastry
200ml cold water
1/2 tsp caster sugar
85g unsalted butter, diced small
Pinch of salt
115g strong flour
3 medium eggs beaten

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Place the butter, water, pinch of salt and sugar into a pan. Place over a low heat until the butter has melted and the liquid looks milky. Then increase the heat and allow the mix to come to the boil, as it starts to boil take it off the heat and add the flour and mix well. Return to the heat for a couple of minutes and beat vigorously until a smooth paste is formed.

Once the paste curls away from the side of the pan take it off the heat and let it cool. Beat in the eggs one by one, stirring vigorously until the paste is smooth and glossy.

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Place the mixture into a piping bag and allo. I find standing the filled bag in a glass makes it easier to manage.

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Pipe the mix onto a lined baking tray. Rub the top of the piped mix (on the right) with a wet finger (on the left) to ensure a crisper top. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Don’t open the oven. Remove the buns from the oven and prick the base of each one. Place back on the back on the baking tray with the hole facing upwards and return to the oven for a couple of minutes. This will help dry out the middle of the bun.

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For the cream filling:
450ml cream
1 tbsp icing sugar

Lightly whip the cream and icing sugar until soft peaks are formed. When the profiteroles are cold, using a piping bag fill the holes in the buns.

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Filling with cream

For the chocolate topping:
100ml cream
175g good quality chocolate

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Break the chocolate up and add to a bowl with the cream over a pan of hot water. Stir until glossy and then allow to cool a little.

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Halloween Profiteroles

Happy Halloween! Join me over at Angie’s blog The Novice Gardener for her weekly #FiestaFriday party!

Melissa xx
You can find me on Facebook and Twitter, stop by and say hello!

Celebration Cakes

I made a wonderful birthday cake for a dear friend, a grateful friend, a few days ago. I was all set to share the recipe and method with you today… And then technology let me down!

I blog from my mobile phone, not a laptop. I find that it’s a quick and easy way to fit blogging into my lifestyle. However all the photos I’ve taken over the last few days have been deleted from my SD card boo hoo…

This is the only photo I have of the chocolate sponge cake filled with fresh whipped cream and strawbwerries. It was delicious!

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As i’ve just celebrated my first blog anniversary so I decided to bring all my favourite cakes to Angies for Fiesta Friday. It’s also #NationalChocolateWeek so all the recipes are chocolate cakes!

Chocolate and Cherry cake
This was a quick and simple pantry cake, with cherries from a jar!

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Chocolate Berry Celebration cake
This gorgeous chocolate cake was smoothered in chocolate ganache before being topped with berries.

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White Chocolate cake
This pretty white chocolate and orange cake was finished off with white chocolate cigarillos and fresh strawberries.

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Happy Friday!

Melissa xx

Dr Doolittle does brownies

I thought I’d share tonight’s dinner with you; well, not dinner exactly (we’re rebelling) we skipped it and headed straight for dessert. It was lovingly made by Dr Doolittle (for those of you who don’t know why I now call him Dr Doolittle in my blog…. He talks to the animals).

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He made deliciously rich chocolate brownies with Dime bars (crunchy almondy caramel chocolate covered bars that have been rebranded as Daim) dark chocolate and marshmallows.

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If I liked it, he said I could have it again next week for my birthday…..

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He always said he couldn’t bake.

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He lied! It was scrumptious….

Melissa xx