I was looking through all my recipes the other day and came across this one from my Gran’s old Cookbooks, one I hadn’t tried before. So with the wet weather to day was that day I was going to try these. Back in the day my gran always used margarine for baking, personally I think butter is a much better flavour so this was the 1 thing that I changed & I added in some pistachios to the base to give it a bit more crunch.
Makes about 16-20 squares (depends on how big a slice you want…lol!)
For the Base:-
200g Digestives, crushed
50g Light Brown Sugar
1 heaped tbsp Cocoa Powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 heaped tbsp desiccated coconut
40g Chopped Pistachios
1 egg beaten
For the Peppermint Centre:-
3 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
230g Icing Sugar
Green Food Colouring
For the Chocolate:-
140g Milk Chocolate (55% cocoa) I use Lindt, definitely my favourite.
40g Dark Chocolate (70% cocoa)
1 tbsp butter
Use a 9″ square baking tin and line with baking paper or foil
In a saucepan over a low heat melt the butter, stir in sugar & cocoa powder, bring off the heat and whisk in the beaten egg, return to heat and whisk until thickened, this only take a minute or 2. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla extract, digestives, pistachios and coconut, mix together so everything is coated well. Using a spoon, spread the biscuit base mixture into you baking tin and smooth. Refrigerate for about 1 hour until hardened.
Using a mixer, stand or hand whichever you have, beat the butter until smooth. Add the icing sugar, milk, peppermint essence and food colouring and mix until blended. Smooth this mixture over the top of your biscuit base and return to the fridge to set for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt your chocolate with the butter in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water and allow to cool slightly. (about 5-10 minutes)
Pour chocolate over the buttercream and smooth, return to the fridge to allow chocolate to harden. (about 30 minutes).
Once chocolate has hardened you can now decorate (if you wish), I just drizzled some green icing over the top and returned to fridge to set.
To prevent the chocolate from breaking when cutting into slices, remove from fridge and bring to room temperature. I made that mistake of slicing too soon and my chocolate cracked.
Any doughnuts I’ve made I normally fry but I decided to give the baked kind a go. I bought a doughnut tray ages ago and forgot all about it until I was clearing out my cupboards…lol! Having loads of colours in my baking drawer I went for it and got my creative flare going. I’ve loads more ideas now, so watch this space on my designs coming soon.
Makes 8-10 – Large size doughnuts
90g Butter, Softened
130ml milk at room temperature
1 Dried Yeast Sachet
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
270 plain flour
Melt some butter and glaze the doughnut pan. Preheat oven to 160 deg fan.
Pour milk into a mixing bowl & add the yeast, salt, egg, sugar, vanilla and flour and mix until combined into a smooth dough. Add the butter and mix for 4-5 minutes.
Cover and allow to rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
Using a piping bag, pipe the dough evenly into your moulds, smooth down with a little water on your fingertip. Cover the tray and allow to rise at room temperature for about 45 minutes.
Bake in centre of oven for about 15-20 minutes.
Remove doughnuts carefully from tray and allow to cool on a wire tray.
Meanwhile for the toppings:- Mix some icing sugar together and add your choosen food colouring, Not too thin, you want it quite thick. If using chocolate, melt your chocolate accordingly. (In a microwave for 30 secs, then stir, then 30 secs and stir until melted.)
Once doughnuts have cooled, simply pour over the icing and decorate with any sprinkles, nuts etc if you have them. Allow icing and chocolate to harden before devouring.
I hope everyone is doing o.k. in these unusual times. If you are like me, I get bored very easily and need to be doing something productive with my day, so today I was talking to a friend and saying how we miss our coffee & cake dates at our fav coffee shop, then idea to use up whatever was in my cupboards to bake a cake and have a virtual coffee & cake date. I do love pistachio’s and always have some on hand, so this little cake bite was perfect.
Makes about 16 squares
150g shelled pistachios
200g milk chocolate (I used Dairy Milk bar)
200g golden caster sugar or light brown sugar
200g soft butter
200g Self raising flour
50g butter for chocolate
100g icing sugar
Preheat oven to 160 deg and line a square tin (approx 20cm) with baking paper
Mix up 125g of pistachios and 75g of the milk chocolate with 100g sugar in a blender until finely chopped.
Tip into a bowl with the remaining sugar, butter, eggs, flour & milk with a pinch of salt and mix thoroughly.
Empty the mixture into your prepared tin and bake for about 40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Leave to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, break up the chocolate and place into a microwave bowl with the 50g of butter, microwave for 1 minute, remove and stir together until fully melted. Next pour the icing sugar into the chocolate and beat together until combined and thick.
Pour over the top of the cake and even, using the remaining chopped pistachios, sprinkle over the top and allow to set. Cut into bite slices. Serve with a yummy cuppa!
Today was a day of using up leftovers and I had bananas that were crying out to be used. This little recipe is so easy to make and delicious too, you can store for 2-3 days in an airtight container or freeze if you are making a large batch. Gluten Free too.
A great healthier option too with the oats having 4 grams of fiber & 6 grams of protein. In addition to fiber, oats are rich in magnesium, zinc and iron. The bananas which are loaded with fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and various antioxidants. The Peanut Butter is a good source of magnesium too.
A great grab & go breakfast option or simply a little snack in between meals.
200g Scottish Oats
60g Peanut Butter
2 small bananas, mashed
3 tbsp Maple Syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Dark Chocolate squares, chopped (or you can used choc chips)
Preheat your oven on fan to 175 deg and grease a muffin tin.
Put ALL ingredients into a bowl or mixer bowl and combine together.
Pour into muffin tin, filling approx 3/4 way.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until a knife comes out clean and muffins are set.
Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes. If freezing allow to cool completely.
I am always trying to improve my recipes and my icing for my Empire Biscuits just wasn’t right, so I decided it needed to be a bit harder and went for Royal Icing. Turned out this is much better as it goes hard pretty quick. Good if you want to decorate them.
Makes enough for a 20cm Cake or 12 biscuits.
400g Icing Sugar
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp water
Using a whisk, bring the egg whites to a frothy consistency
A little at a time spoon in the icing sugar (& yes it WILL go everywhere, this was my kitchen worktop after….lol)
Add the little water and whisk until you get stiff peaks.
Now you are ready to use. At this point you can use food colouring and colour to decorate your biscuits of cake.
I made some Scottish Empire Biscuits using my trusty Recipe.
Oh Yum, I love Pistachios and had some in my cupboards to use up, so I though I would give this little delight a go and I wasn’t disappointed.
For the Crust
100g Plain flour
35g Cocoa Powder
70g Chopped Pistachio’s
1/4 tsp salt
70g unsalted butter, room temperature
35g Demerara Sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Pistachio Paste
35g Demerara Sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
For the Filling
150g Milk Chocolate
1 egg beaten
Pistachio’s chopped to garnish
Grease a 9″ Fluted Tart tin with removal bottom.
Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, chopped pistachios, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Beat butter on medium speed until fluffy. Add sugar, and beat until pale. Add vanilla, then flour mixture, beat until just combined and dough holds together when pressed between 2 fingers. Press dough into a disk, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 15 – 30 mins.
Roll out dough to an 11-inch round, 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Press dough into bottom and up sides of tart pan. Trim excess dough flush with edges of pan using a knife. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 150 deg C.
Bake until firm, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely.
Make the pistachio paste: Pulse pistachios, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor until mixture begins to clump together. Add oil, and pulse until smooth and paste like. Spread evenly into bottom of cooled tart shell, pressing firmly with back of a spoon until flat and smooth.
Make the filling: Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat cream and milk in a saucepan over medium heat until almost boiling, pour over chocolate. Let stand for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk until smooth. Let cool for 10 minutes. Stir in egg until combined. Pour in filling to tart shell. Bake until just set, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool. Garnish with finely chopped pistachios.
I had some pumpkin left after making my pumpkin soup recipe tonight so I decided to give pumpkin cupcakes a go. Yummy!
160g Plain Flour
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
250g grated pumpkin
100g Light Brown sugar
60g caster sugar
75ml olive oil
2 large eggs
For the buttercream icing:
75g of softened butter
250g icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
Orange food colouring
Preheat oven to 190 deg and line a muffin tin with cupcake cases.
Combine the flour, allspice, baking powder, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl
Whisk together the grated pumpkin, sugar, olive oil and eggs in another bowl
Pour the whisked mixture over the dry ingredients and stir using a spatula, until fully mixed
Dollop a spoonful of batter evenly into each baking cup in the cupcake tray until the batter runs out. Place the tray into the hot oven and bake for 18 minutes, remove and allow to cool.
Meanwhile make the buttercream, add the butter to a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and peaky
Sieve the icing sugar to remove any lumps, then add a little at a time to the butter while whisking continually, until all the icing sugar has been added. If the mixture begins to become too thick, add the milk a teaspoon at a time to loosen it up until the desired texture has been reached, add in the vanilla essence and food colouring and mix until combined.
Decant the buttercream into a piping bag and pipe into the cupcakes once cooled.