Praline is such a delicious flavour. When I was younger, I always thought that praline was very exclusive and would be only used in very expensive pastry shops. The ones where you see all these small miniatures in the window and drool over them, then have a heart attack over the price. It would be a real treat to have anything with praline in. To this day, I still have this regard for praline, I think it has been stamped in my brain.
Whilst I was shopping, I was very surprised to find this jar of Bonne Maman hazelnut praline caramel in a supermarket, yes a supermarket!. It was something I felt I should savour for eternity and use it with great care. Like how stupid? Bonne Maman, is well known name and is widely available in all supermarkets. Also it doesn’t cost the earth, so yeh, get a grip woman!
So the big question…what will I be making with this special jar of liquid gold?. Well I wanted to make something that I could taste the raw flavour and thought it would be better to do this without it being heated. So I thought why not a chocolate and hazelnut tart. It was simple enough and once the tart shell has cooled I will add the caramel and then add the chocolate and let it set.
I managed to save (savour) a spoonful of the praline and it tasted amazing, has a lovely rich dark caramel and nutty hazelnut taste. Bonne Maman did good and took me to that luxurious place!
You know when you have one of those day, when all you want to do is chill out. It’s not that often for me, I prefer to get out and about at the weekends compared to staying at home. However, this happened to be one of them days. I was at my parent’s house and my mum and I were watching the TV and Nadiya from the bake off was on with her cookery program. She was going to make this chocolate tart made that used salted crisps as the base….I know strange, right? but as I’m strange I loved this idea!. I was so excited as I love a bit of salty and sweet, I’ve used this combination in X and X and it’s such a flavour explosion! I watched that episode such a while ago and have been meaning for such a long time to make it and things have just got in the way. Just to make you aware you do have to set the tart in the fridge, so it has to be made in advance.
The tart was really simple to make, just a bit of melted, crushing and combing, really easy to do!. It didn’t take long to bake and as she advised be careful not to overbake as well.
I did found that there was a lot of oil that seeped through, I think there was probably a lot of fat that came from the oil of the crisp and the melted butter that bind the tart together.
I wouldn’t say I could taste the saltiness of the crisp, and also I found it really rich, I could only have a small piece which is unlike me!
Not only do I love the taste of pistachios, I love the vibrant green colour as well. They really are such a unique nut, which other nut has a green colour? 🤔.
This cake was pretty simple and easy to make the only thing that took long was to un shell the pistachios! I was hoping this cake would be really fluffy and nutty but I didn’t find it that moist. Although the taste of pistachio did come through and sometimes you don’t get that.
1. Preheat oven to 175°C. Line the a loaf tin with baking paper.
2. Put pistachios in a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Transfer to a bowl and add flour, baking powder, and salt, stir to combine.
3. In a large mixing bowl with a stand or handheld mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until creamy for about 2-3 minutes. Add 1 egg at the time and mix until incorporated. Add sour cream and vanilla* and stir to combine. Alternately add dry ingredients and milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Stir just until combined.
4. Transfer to the prepared baking pan and bake for about 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick in the centre comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack to room temperature.
When I think of oranges I don’t think of them being red, just orange so blood orange are unusual to me. I don’t remember trying blood orange well not that I know of, apparently they are known to be much sweeter then normal oranges but what I’m most fascinates me about them is the beautiful, vibrant red colour it’s captivating. I was hoping this vivid colour would carry through to the cake.
I was so excited to see that red colour once I cut the orange open, however I was a hugely disappointed as the colour was a mix of orange and red and not fully red 🤔 I didn’t understand, why? 😔 I wanted that lovely pink for the icing but mine turned out a very dull pink, however this cake was amazing it had a lovely taste of orange and was really soft I enjoyed it and would make it again, hopefully with more of red coloured oranges.
Blood Orange Cake
Beautifully juicy blood orange cake
220g -plain flour
1 tsp - baking powder
1/2 tsp - salt
113g - unsalted butter, at room temperature
200g - sugar
2 blood oranges - finely grated zest of
2 - large eggs, at room temperature
120ml - buttermilk
1/4 cup (60ml) - fresh blood orange juice
3 - large slices of orange (optional)
For the icing
3 tablespoons (45ml) - fresh blood orange juice
60g - icing sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 175°C. Grease and line a 8.5" x 4.5" loaf tin.
2. In a bowl add the flour, baking powder, and salt mix and set aside.
3. In a stand mixer beat together the butter, sugar and blood orange zest until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes in a stand mixer. Scrape the sides of the bowl and beat in the eggs, one at a time until blended.
4. Mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture until just combined. Mix in the buttermilk and blood orange juice until just combined, scrape the side of the bowl. Add the remaining flour and blend until just combined, don't overmix.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan add the slices of orange on top of the cake. Bake for about 1 hour or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Let the cake cool.
6. Once cooled, whisk together the blood orange juice and icing sugar until smooth. Drizzle the sauce over the loaf cake.
A long time ago I made profiteroles and I fancied making them again but this time as a big ring. I remember when I made the profiteroles rolls and they didn’t work the first time but had another go and they worked, I couldn’t remember which recipe I used. With any baking that is a bit more technical I always feel scared yet I feel it’s a challenging, I always give things a go and if they don’t work out, it can be quite upsetting BUT it’s not the end of the world, no one died, so I need to chill out and either have another go and bake something else. It’s all about trying and experimenting in life otherwise everyone would just live a boring life, right?
I do think they are a tricky thing to get right but once you’ve sussed it then it’s actually easy. I think the first thing to get right is the pastry dough, if this is too runny (by adding too much egg) then the choux pastry doesn’t work well, I think it becomes more cakey instead of crisp and no one wants a soggy cakey choux pastry right?
Well, yet again my choux pastry didn’t work the first time. I initially wanted to make a giant choux ring so everyone could have a slice, apparently I didn’t know it’s actually called a Paris Brest’s (how fancy and I think I would have to put on my best French accent to say it better, but I bet it still won’t sound right!) It went wrong as the last beaten egg had slipped out and went into the dough mixture. Arggggghhhhh then the dough was too slack and even when I was piping it I knew it was wrong. But I just baked it hoping for the best, and I had enough dough left and created smaller doughnut rings. The giant choux doughtnut didn’t work well, it was stoggy and thick and not crisp at all! What a disaster. However the good news was the doughnut ones did, so I gave it another go with less egg this time and yes!!! It worked, thank god, happy bunny!
So don’t make the mistake I did and add too much egg! check the consistency, it should be a smooth, thick texture that will falls from the beater like a thick ribbon.
Crispy and creamy Choux doughnuts with crunchy almonds and thick chocolate
50g - butter, cut into small cubes
75g - Asda Strong White Bread Flour, sifted
2 - large eggs, lightly beaten
25g - Asda Flaked Almonds (extra for sprinkling)
350ml - double cream
100-200g - dark chocolate
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C Fan. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Put the butter in a pan with 150ml cold water and a pinch of salt. Heat until the butter melts and then bring it to the boil. Once boiling, remove immediately from the heat and add all the flour at once. Beat hard with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough that leaves the sides of the pan clean. 3. Tip into a large bowl and leave to cool for 15 minutes.
4. Gradually beat one eggs into the dough – you can do this with a wooden spoon or an electric hand mixer. In a small bowl beat the other egg and slowly add the egg and beat until the dough reaches a thick ribbon like consistency.
5. Put the mixture into a freezer bag and use a star tip. Pipe small round doughnuts on the baking tray. Sprinkle the almonds on each doughnuts. Bake for 30 minutes, without opening the oven, or until puffed up and golden.
6. With a knife, make small holes round the edge (to let steam escape). Return to the oven for 5 minutes, then cool completly on a wire rack.
7. Using a stand mixer or electric mixer put the double cream a little bit of the icing sugar and vanilla extract and whip until you reach stiff peaks. Place the cream into a piping bag with a star tip.
8. In a microwave safe bowl, add the chocolate and melt in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stir and melt until completly melted.
9. Once the doughnuts have completly cooled, slice the doughnut in half and pipe with the bottom layer cream and either dip the top layer in chocolate or spread the chocolate on.
Oh hey, bye bye 👋 2017 and bring on 2018 🎉, let’s hope it brings happiness for everyone.
So as my first post of 2018, this year I still want to carry on with my baking and cooking adventure. I want to experience different taste and experiences as I do every year and yet I still am greatly in love with food and I don’t think that will ever stop!
Over the holidays I did some baking (of course) it was very Christmasy based. I made some gingerbread men finally after having my cutter for 2 years! yes I know, how bad is that?! unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to photograph them. I also made Lebkuchen these are spiced German biscuits and are AMAZING they bring the most amazing smells of Christmas waft through the house, I just love them and their intense spiced flavour.
Back to this post, these tiramisu truffles were made for NYE, I celebrated with my family, the best way for me. I thought these truffles would bring a little bit of sparkle into the new year and I had to add a bit of liquor obviously. I really love tiramisu and when I came across these I was super excited to make them and thought they would fit perfectly for NYE.
These truffles are super easy to make and it does resemble the lovely flavour of tiramisu.
Delicious Tiramisu inspired truffles, soft, creamy and full of coffee flavour
24 - ladyfingers
2 tbsp - sugar
250g - mascarpone cheese, room temperature*
2-3 tablespoons espresso**
12 ounces - dark chocolate
2 tsp - espresso powder (optional)
1. In a food processor, blend lady fingers until you have fine crumbs. Set aside 2 tablespoons to sprinkle on the truffles later. Transfer the remaining crumbs to a bowl. Add the sugar and whisk until combined.
2. Using a hand mixer (or stand mixer) add the mascarpone cheese to the bowl and mix until fully incorporated. Add the espresso one tablespoon at a time. You do not want a goopy consistency. It should be similar to a soft cookie dough. Transfer the mixture to a tupperware container and place in the fridge for 45 minutes to an hour.
3. Line a baking sheet or plate with parchment paper. Remove the mixture from the fridge (it should be firmer now). Start to shape the mixture into 36 (1-inch) balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
4. Melt the chocolate and stir in the espresso powder. Dip a cold tiramisu truffle balls into the melted chocolate and transfer it back to the baking sheet/plate. (I uses a fork) Sprinkle the truffle with the crushed lady fingers you set aside earlier. Repeat for the remaining truffles.
5. Place the back in the fridge for a 5 to 10 minutes for the chocolate to harden. Store tiramisu truffles in an airtight container in the fridge.
When I think of tiffins, I just think of these sweet treats in a rusty old biscuit tin all wrapped up in baking paper. It has a very nostalgic feel to them and something that you would have sitting waiting for you at you grans house.
I really like tiffins as they have a bit of everything in them (which is great for a fatty like me!) they have so much different textures which makes your taste buds go crazzzzyyyyyy. The other thing about tiffins which make them great is the that you can adjust it and add what you want to to make the suit your taste. Actually there is more plus points, they are no bake, quick and easy to make too. These could possibly be made vegan as well which is great for the vegans out there.
These are delicious and this recipe worked well everything stayed intact.
Delicious crunchy, chocolatey, crispy, fruity and nutty bar
145g - unsalted butter
60g - Golden syrup
25g - Caster sugar
10g - Cocoa powder
50g - Cornflakes
225g - Hobnobs/oat biscuits
70g - Cranberries
50g - Salted peanuts
50g - Desiccated coconut
200g - Milk chocolate
1. Line 8" square/round cake tin with baking paper.
2. In a saucepan melt the butter, golden syrup, caster sugar, and cocoa powder together in a large saucepan over a gentle heat.
3. While they’re melting, roughly crush your biscuits (either by putting them in a sandwich bag and bashing them, or blitzing them in the food processor) until you have a mixture of fine crumbs and some fairly big chunks.
4. When you the butter mixture has melted to a glossy dark liquid and the sugar has dissolved, take the pan off the heat. Then add all the rest of the ingredients in, the crushed biscuits, cornflakes, cranberries, salted peanuts, and coconut. Make sure everything is well combined.
5. Place all the mixture into your prepared cake tin and press it down in an even layer. Pop the tin in the fridge to chill while you melt the chocolate. Melt your chocolate either in the microwave on low heat or in a glass bowl over gently simmering water. Pour melted chocolate over the cooling base and give it all a shake so the chocolate is even, then put the whole thing back in the fridge to set for around 1 hour, or until the chocolate is firm.
6. Cut, serve, try to resist eating whole thing at once by yourself.
Actually, there is more then one word to describe these but I could go on for ages and ages.
I am a huge fan of peanut butter but even more bigger fan of oats, so if your a fan of oats and peanut butter then you’ll love these. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed eating these, they are probably one of the best bars I’ve made (and I think my new favourite, yes I said it!) and I have made plenty. My other favourites have included is the Mincemeat crumble bars,(one of my aunts fav) these are pretty good, they’re eggless and quite similar to shortbread. The other bars I made which were quite popular was Oat and coconut gooey caramel bars, Pecan pie bars, Peanut butter pretzel bars (these are pretty awesome, also eggless and no bake). There are others as well but it just takes to long to type them all!
Back to these beauties, I just don’t think I can comprehend how great they are and I don’t think I have been addicted to a bar just as much I was to this one! They are salty, sweety, caramely, chocolatey, oaty, like what else do you need right? The original recipe called for dulche de leche and used caramel as a replacement but feel free to use it if you have some lying round. I also added my own twist on it, to be more caramely and slightly more chocolately by using rolos. I think even typing this up also made me really want to eat bake them again, which is saying something! They are not the most healthiest of bars so I do need to control. These are quite similar to the mincemeat crumble bars in the way there are two layers and one mix. The bottom layer is pressed down and the top is crumbled on top (the best bit).
I actually made these for my sister in law and cheekily kept some for my blog post but I’m so glad I did. Hopefully she liked them, she’s a peanut butter and oat fan like me. I’m so happy I came across this recipe and will definitely be making these again and again!
Crunchy Peanut Butter Oat Caramel and Nut Crumble Bars
1. Preheat oven to 175°C, line and grease a 8" square cake tin.
2. In a stand mixer cream butter and sugars until thoroughly mixed, scrape sides of bowl and add eggs and peanut butter; beat until fluffy. Then add vanilla, soda, and salt. Add flour one cup at a time and beat after each addition. Add oatmeal and mix well.
3. Divide the dough in half and place in the square tin, spread and press in bottom of pan and bake for 15-18 minutes until edges are golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
4. Drop tablespoons of caramel on top of crust and allow the heat to soften the carmel until it is easy to spread. Layer with chocolate peanuts then crumble remaining half of dough on top and return to oven. Continue baking for 18 - 22 minutes or until top is golden brown and center is set. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting.
*use dulche de leche to replace the caramel if you have that at hand.
I can’t believe these biscotti are vegan they’re amazing! The biscotti worked really well without the eggs and the flavours were incredible, I love all these flavours anyway but by putting them together worked even better!
I made these as my second giveaways for Diwali food.
Like with all biscotti they take time to make, but it’s quite simple to make, I enjoy making them as they are an unusual process.
Eggless Orange, Hazelnut, Chocolate and Cardamon
A crunchy, orange and hazelnut biscotti with a hint of cardamon
1 hr 40 min
1 hr 40 min
2 cups - plain flour
1 tsp - baking powder
1/2 tsp - baking soda
1/4 tsp - salt
113g - non-dairy butter
1 cup - sugar
1 tbsp - orange zest
1 tsp - vanilla extract
1 tsp - orange extract
2 tbsp - chickpea flour
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp - water
1 cup - hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup - chocolate chips
1. In a small bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a mixer with the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add orange zest and extracts, beat to combine.
3. Stir together the chickpea flour and water until creamy and thick - for best results you can use a small blender or coffee grinder. Slowly add the chickpea mixture to butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine, scraping down the sides as necessary.
4. Add flour mixture and beat to combine. Fold in the cacao nibs and hazelnuts.
5. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.
6. Preheat the oven to 175°C. Divide dough in half and roll into logs on a floured surface about 1½ inch diameter. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and flatten to about 1 inch thick. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
7. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before slicing each log into 10 cookies. Lay flat on baking sheet and return to the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
8. Let cool for 15 minutes. Store in an airtight container
I have been meaning to make these bad boys for a while now since they made their appearance on GBBO as one of the technical tasks. I didn’t bother making my own jam, can’t be bothered with that and I have too many jams to use up at home.
Whilst making the biscuit dough was pretty straight forward (please bear in mind to avoid loss of arms by using an electric mixer!). I did find pipping these little monsters was so so difficult. I mean really difficult, I remember everyone struggled on the program but I didn’t realise it was that hard. I managed to some how pull through and pipe all the biscuits, in the end I wouldn’t say my whirls would get a very good score, being the very big critic of my own food I would say in Paul and Mary’s words…’although the biscuits taste nice, I notice there isn’t much definition in your whirls’. So yeh they do taste nice and are ‘short’ but definition is so not there!
I’m in two minds if I would make these again, my parents loved them but it’s just the piping but I just don’t want to feel like I’ve been defeated over some whirls…maybe I should make them again (just for my parents).
Mary Berry Viennese whirls
For the biscuits
250g - very soft unsalted butter
50g - icing sugar
225g/ - plain flour
25g - cornflour
For the filling
100g - unsalted butter, softened
200g - icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
1/2 tsp - vanilla extract
For the biscuits
1. Line 3 baking sheets with non-stick baking parchment. Using a 5cm/2in round cutter as a guide, draw 8 circles on each sheet of paper, spaced well apart. Turn the paper over so the pencil marks are underneath.
2. In a stand mixer add the butter and icing sugar into a bowl and beat until pale and fluffy. Sift in the flour and cornflour and beat well, until thoroughly mixed.
3. Place the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a medium star nozzle. Pipe 24 swirled rounds (not rosettes), inside the circles on the baking sheets.
4. Leave the trays in the fridge for 30mins-1hr*
5. Preheat the oven to 190°C and bake in the centre of the oven for 13—15 minutes, until a pale golden-brown. Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely and harden.
1. add the butter into a bowl and sift the icing sugar on top. Add the vanilla extract and beat with until very light and smooth. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.
2. Spoon a little jam onto the flat side of 12 of the biscuits and place jam-side up on a cooling rack. Pipe the buttercream over the jam and sandwich with the remaining biscuits. Dust with icing sugar to finish.