As the Covid19 Lockdown is slowly and gently easing, we are now allowed to travel to the mountains again. We have longed to get back outdoors and into the picturesque landscape we call home. The Scottish Mountains are my headspace, a place where I grow, think, be at peace, laugh and get fitter…lol! To read more about the Scottish Munros, Corbetts, Grahams etc, head over to my travel post https://theweecaledoniancook.com/2020/07/08/a-list-of-scotlands-mountains/.
Anyway, back to food, my first passion. To walk or climb the Scottish Mountains you need energy firstly (then waterproofs…lol), so I made these to pack and take with us for a wee boost when needed. Great for a pre workout snack too & also Gluten Free.
Makes about 16
For the Balls:-
4 heaped tbsp of Crunchy Peanut Butter (good quality, I use Whole Earth)
200g chopped mixed nuts & raisins (I used a food processor to chop finely)
2 tbsp Icing sugar
Dark or Milk Chocolate, 1 tbsp Butter – Melted together
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.
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.
Decided to bake a chocolate cake for our New Years Day dessert, we had the whole family this year so had to do something that fed 11 adults and 1 child. This was perfect and delicious but so rich, so a little bit is all you need.
Serves about 12-14
For the Cake:-
200g unsalted butter
200g Dark Chocolate
300g Light Muscovado Sugar
4 large eggs
175g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
For the Glaze:-
300ml double cream
160g dark chocolate
Choice of nuts – I used Hazelnuts
Preheat oven to 180 deg
Melt butter and chocolate together, either in a bowl over a pan of boiling water or in a microwave for about 1 minute. Allow to cool slightly.
Beat Sugar & Eggs together then pour in butter & chocolate mix.
Fold in flour & baking powder until combined.
Pour mixture into a cocoa floured bake tin and bake for about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile make the glaze by heating the cream gently and add the chocolate in, stir to melt. Whisk and pour over cake once cooled from oven. Sprinkle over nuts.
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.
Oh yummy! I fancied something a little naughty with my coffee this weekend so thought I’d try out my new Bundt cake tin. It was supposed to be marbled, however, I think I put to much chocolate into the mixture and swirled it too many times…….lol! The flavour was fantastic though.
A Bundt cake is a cake that is baked in a Bundt pan, shaping it into a distinctive ring shape. The shape is inspired by a traditional European cake known as Kugelhupf, but Bundt cakes are not generally associated with any single recipe. The style of mould in North America was popularised in the 1950s and 1960s, after cookware manufacturer Nordic Ware trademarked the name “Bundt” and began producing Bundt pans from cast aluminium. Publicity from Pillsbury saw the cakes gain widespread popularity.
Ingredients for 1 Bundt tin
180g softened butter
225g caster sugar
3/4 tsp almond extract
2 tsp baking powder
180 g plain flour
75g ground almonds
3 large eggs
2 tbsp milk
3 tbsp cocoa powder with 3 tbsp water – mix to a paste
100g dark chocolate chips
Icing sugar to decorate
Pre heat your oven to 180 deg or if you have a cake setting, set to Marble Cake setting. Brush the Cake tin with melted butter, ensure it is thoroughly covered.
Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, stir in the almond extract.
Mix together the flour, baking powder and ground almonds together. Beat in the eggs one at a time to the butter mixture with 2 tbsp of the flour mixture, repeat until all eggs have been added then fold in the remaining flour mix.
Stir in the milk and mix, then spoon 1/2 of the batter into a separate bowl and mix in the cocoa paste into 1 and the chocolate chips into the other.
Add spoonfuls of each batter alternately to the cake tin and drag a handle of a spoon through the mixture to create the marble effect, do not over do this.
Bake in the oven for about 40-50 minutes until a knife comes out clean
Let it cool for about 10 minutes in the tin before turning out. Once cooled, sprinkle with icing sugar and serve. Yummy!
I wasn’t really sure what to call this as it was a mishmash of 2 cakes….I was going to bake a chocolate tart and realised I didn’t have all the ingredients for the sweet pastry. So I decided to make a biscuit base instead. Then I discovered I didn’t have double/whipping cream but only single cream, so I therefore now had to bake. Despite all my misfortunes, this did actually turn out quite nice.
I was only making a small one for my other halves birthday, he loves chocolate…lol!
Makes a small portion for 1 or 2
For the filling:-
100g Milk Chocolate, minimum 35% cocoa
100ml single cream
50ml whole fat milk
For the base:-
4 Digestive biscuits
1 Crunchie chocolate bar
1 tbsp butter – melted
For the toppings:-
small chunks of honeycomb to decorate
small edible spray glitter (optional), it was a birthday after all.
In a food processor put the digestives, crunchie bar and blitz until breadcrumbs, add in the melted butter and bring together.
Line a small springform tin with greaseproof paper. Empty the biscuit mixture into the tin and push/flatten down with your hands evenly. Refrigerate.
Empty the cream and milk into a pan and bring to the boil.
Place the chocolate into bowl in pieces.
Pour the hot cream and milk over the chocolate to melt, stir until blended. Set aside to cool.
Crack the egg into a dish and using a hand mixer, mix until fluffy.
Once chocolate has cooled, pour egg into bowl and mix through.
Remove biscuit base from fridge and pour in the chocolate mix.
Preheat your oven to 130 deg. Gently place the tin in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes. You want it set but with a slight wobble. Remove and allow to cool.
Sprinkle some cocoa powder over top (optional) the sprinkle the honeycomb pieces on top. Serve.
This can be chilled and kept for later. Serve at room temperature.