Jam Heart Biscuit Recipe – Today the weather was so weird. One minute it was bright blue sky and the sun was shining so I put out the washing and was due to head out for a walk with the dog. I turned my back and the next thing it was bucketing down and I had to run like a crazy person to get all the washing back in. This occurred three times so I gave up and put the washing on the airer and we made the decision to bake. So here the recipe which is really easy to make.
What you need:
For the dough
300g/10oz Plain Flour
150g/5oz Caster Sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp Vanilla Essence
1/2 tsp Salt
For the filling
90g/3oz Icing Sugar
A couple of drops of Vanilla Essence
1 tsp Water
How to make the dough:
Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat together.
Add in the egg yolk and vanilla essence and mix until smooth.
Sift in the flour and salt and mix everything together to form a dough.
Roll the dough into a ball and wrap in clingfilm and pop in the fridge for around 30 minutes.
To make the biscuits:
Pre-heat your oven to Gas Mark 4 (180ºC/350ºF)
Sprinkle the work surface with flour so that it doesn’t stick and then roll out the dough so that it is about 1/2cm thick.
Grease your baking trays (we used two).
Get your cookie cutter of choice (we went for a heart shape with a circle in the middle) and cut out your biscuits.
Once you have cut out the biscuits, count them. Put one half of the biscuits to the side and the other, cut out a smaller circle in the middle. These will be the tops.
Bake the cookies in the oven for approximately 12 minutes or until golden.
Whilst these are cooling you can prepare your filling.
For the filling:
Put the butter in a bowl and microwave for about 20 seconds. This makes it so much easier to make butter icing.
Sift in the icing sugar and add the water and vanilla essence.
Mix together until you have a smooth consistency.
Once the cookies are completely cooled, spread a small amount on the bottom biscuits (without the hole) and then add a small blob of jam before popping the lid on.
This recipe is based on using an 8 inch round tin. Butter and line the tin.
Mix the coffee, cocoa and two tablespoons of hot water to form a chocolately/coffee paste.
Put the butter, eggs, sugar, syrup, flour, milk and cocoa paste in a bowl and mix with a mixer (or by hand). Add in the caramel chocolate pieces.
Add the mixture to the tin and bake in the oven for about 50 – 60 minutes.
To check that it’s ready I use a skewer which I poke into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean it’s ready.
Once it’s ready leave it for about 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
Whilst it’s cooling, make the icing.
Put the caramel chocolate pieces into a pan and heat gently so that it melts, add in the butter and milk and stir until all melted (make sure you stir all the time). Remove from the heat and add in the sifted icing sugar.
Leave to cool whilst the cake is cooling.
Once the cake is cooled, spread over the icing and your good to go.
We decorated ours as it was for Daddy’s birthday which we took to the Donkey Sanctuary. We did have some spare caramel chocolate buttons, but these disappeared!!
Simple Mackerel Pate Recipe – As a mum, I love to keep things simple, and as a family, we’re quite good at making meals that double up into a couple of meals or more.
Cooking a chicken as a roast, making a pasta dish the next day and a stirfry for the following day is quite a usual occurrence and is great for us as working parents.
I have to confess that Daddy is the main meal maker in our family and has a far better eye for making a meal from anything and everything, including whipping up a meal on the day before shopping day from the randoms left in the fridge/cupboard.
I will share some of these recipes with you as well as our firm family favourites.
One of my fave meals at the moment is mackerel salad. It’s really easy and quick to make. We usually buy the peppered mackerel fillets and grill them to make them extra crispy. We make a salad with lettuce leaves, rocket, red peppers, cucumber, tomatoes and beetroot and top it off with a side helping of potato salad (will share the recipe at some point).
Anyway, I always save some of the mackerel fillets to make Mackerel Pate for me and Belle the following day.
How to make
So to make the pate, you have to add mackerel fillets (we normally save 2 – 3) and put in the whizzer (aka blender), whiz it through for about 30 seconds, add a good squeeze of lemon, and then about 3 good tablespoons of mayonnaise.
If you don’t have a whizzer you can mash up the fillets with a fork which makes it slightly chunkier, but Isabelle prefers the smoother version.
I’ve been so slack on the cooking front this week and Chris hasn’t really done any either. Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken is a really lazy recipe which has a big effect. All of us love the kind of meal where you stick it all in the middle of the table and help yourself.
Even better is that you put it all in the slow cooker in the morning and hey presto it’s all done in time for dinner later on.
What you will need:
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
1 1/2 cups BBQ Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays Honey BBQ)
3 medium red onions, grated
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp worchestershire sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
What to do:
Pop the chicken breasts in the slow cooker.
Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl and pour over the chicken.
Add the onion.
Leave to cook throughout the day.
Shred the chicken which should just fall apart.
Serve with salad, coleslaw in a roll or wrap.
*This post may contain affiliate links which means that I receive a small payment should you click the link and make a purchase at no extra cost to yourself.
With a five-year-old and a seventeen-year-old we have to keep the fridge and cupboards full of ready-to-eat snacks. They both get bored of the same stuff day in day out so after a quick look around Pinterest I found a recipe for Blueberry Yoghurt Bites.
What you need:
Blueberries – you can use as few or as many as you want to make
Natural Greek Yoghurt (I’ve used Honey & Apricot and Strawberry)
You need to:
Wash the blueberries. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper (making sure that it will fit flat in your freezer). Using a cocktail stick to pick up a blueberry, dip in the yoghurt to that the blueberry is completely covered in yoghurt and then put on the baking tray.
Once you’ve dipped all the blueberries, put the tray into the freezer and leave to freeze for a couple of hours.
You should try them this Bank Holiday weekend. My two have decided that they both LOVE them. Next time we’re going to try blueberries as well as raspberries and strawberries.
I thought I would share this Chocolate Cola Cake recipe that I made for my sons seventeenth birthday on Friday.
375g Self-raising Flour
450g Golden Caster Sugar
4 1/2 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
2 Pinches Bicarbonate of Soda
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
150g Icing Sugar
20g Cocoa Powder
Few Squares of Chocolate
2 tbsp Coke
2 tbsp Cocoa Powder
200g Icing Sugar
Heat the oven to 180C/Gas4.
Sift the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and add the sugar. Melt the butter and cola drink gently in a pan then add to the dry ingredients, together with the milk, eggs and vanilla.
Mix gently but thoroughly and divide into two 8 inch greased round cake tins. Bake for about 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Whilst the cakes are cooling make the filling by melting the butter and chocolate. Sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder and add to the butter and chocolate. Add in the milk and mix to a creamy consistency.
Spread the filling onto one of the cakes and top with the other sponge.
Make the topping by putting the butter, cola drink, and cocoa into a pan and melt slowly. Bring the mixture to the boil and then pour onto the icing sugar. Beat until smooth and pour over the cake while still warm. Cool the cake in the tin.
For the coke bottle effect I used the Anti-Gravity Pouring Cake Kit from Lakeland and smoothing topping over the pole to make it look like coke pouring from the bottle and sprinkled Chocolate Popping Candy to make it look like bubbles. Use an empty coke bottle filled with a bit of brown tissue paper and add to the top using some of the chocolate topping to keep in place. I added cola bottles to the bottom of the cake to finish it off.
*Originally posted in April 2016. his post may contain affiliate links which means that I receive a small payment should you click the link and make a purchase at no extra cost to yourself.
Easter is upon us and everywhere you look there is chocolate to be seen. I love chocolate with dark chocolate being my favourite and when I was given the opportunity to try some Japanese-inspired Chocolate Truffle recipes I jumped at the chance. The flavours we’re going to make are:
Miso Caramel – think salted caramel with a twist
Shaoxing Rice Wine – a warm, boozy hit
Wasabi Furikake – milder than chili with the added crunch of sesame
Pickled Sushi Ginger – chocolate & ginger with the surprising tang of pickle
Yuzu – a hint of citrus
I have to be honest when I received a box of ingredients I was hard-pushed to imagine them paired with chocolate but here goes.
This is the list of items needed to make the truffles:
Good quality Dark Chocolate
Shaoxing rice wine warmed
Yutaka Wasabi Furikake
Yutaka sushi ginger
Pink salt crystals
Quite an interesting list of items, but this is to make five different flavoured truffles and will make approximately 30 – 36.
Chocolate Easter Truffles Recipe
200g dark good quality chocolate
60ml double cream
80g unsalted butter
Method for all truffles
In a double saucepan (or a Pyrex bowl in a saucepan), place chocolate, butter, and cream. Heat through slowly until smooth whilst whisking. Remove from heat and divide into 5 equal portions, adding the various flavourings to each individual portion as below. Place in the fridge to set – overnight if possible.
Remove the various truffle mixes from the fridge and, with a teaspoon, scoop out a goodly amount. Roll into a ball and place on a plate (remembering to keeping the various flavours separate) and continue until all the mixture has been used.
Yutaka Shaoxing rice wine flavouring
2 tbs Shaoxing rice wine warmed
Vermicelli for coating
Yutaka Wasabi Furikake flavouring
2 tbs Yutaka Wasabi Furikake
Drinking chocolate for coating
Yutaka Pickled Sushi Ginger flavouring
2 tbs chopped Yutaka sushi ginger
Cocoa for coating
Roll the ginger truffles in cocoa and place in truffle cases. Roll the Wasabi Furikake in drinking chocolate and the rice wine truffles in vermicelli and return to fridge.
Yutaka Yuzu flavouring
2 tsp Yutaka Yuzu
100g white chocolate – gently melted for coating
Using a double boiler (or Pyrex bowl in a saucepan) melt the white chocolate over a low heat and, when removed from the heat & cooled slightly, spoon over Yuzu truffles until coated. You can use a cocktail stick pushed carefully into a truffle to help you turn and coat with the chocolate. This needs patience! Leave them to set on a plate.
Miso caramel sauce filling
50ml double cream
1 tbs Yutaka Miso
100g dark chocolate – gently melted for coating
Pink salt crystals for sprinkling on the top
Miso caramel flavouring method
Put sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir and leave on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until caramel in colour. Carefully add double cream (it will hiss a little) and whisk whilst off the heat, add miso paste and whisk thoroughly until smooth. Add 2 tbs of miso caramel sauce to the remaining truffle mixture. The remainder of the sauce saved and used over ice cream for a delicious dessert.
Melt the dark chocolate and coat the Miso caramel truffles using a cocktail stick pushed carefully into a truffle to help you turn and coat with the chocolate. Sprinkle a couple of pink salt crystals on the top.
We made up the five different flavours and left them in the fridge whilst we went out for the day. Three of them were fairly easy to mold into ball shapes, but the Shaoxing rice wine flavour and the Pickled Sushi Ginger were quite tacky still.
We thought it was quite fun smelling all of the ingredients and wondering how the truffles were going to taste. I thought that the Shaoxing rice wine smelt quite nice. We all agreed that the Wasabi Furikake smelt awful and Daddy and I had a taste of it neat which was a bit of an experience for the tastebuds.
These are our lovely-looking truffles all ready to be tried.
Miso Caramel – We all agreed that it was quite salty, but not in a bad way so this one gets the thumbs up.
Shaoxing Rice Wine – This one was up there as one of our favourites.
Wasabi Furikake – We were all very nervous about this one. We gave it to Ryan without telling him what it was which he wasn’t impressed by. For me this felt like attempting a ‘Bush Tucker Trial’ so I only had a very little taste. Now that we’ve ticked this off our list of tried and tested I don’t think we would go for this one again. Daddy is very keen to use this in savoury cooking though.
Pickled Sushi Ginger – I wasn’t too sure that I would like this one as it seemed like a lot of ginger, but surprisingly it was a nice hit of ginger.
Yuzu – This was up there as our other favourite. I think the white chocolate made this the prettiest one as well.
This was definitely a taste experience for us all which we enjoyed. Which one of the Japanese inspired Chocolate Truffle Recipes would you most like to try?
*We were gifted the ingredients by Yutaka for the purpose of this review but all the opinions are our own. This post may contain affiliate links which means that I receive a small payment should you click the link and make a purchase at no extra cost to yourself.
White Chocolate and Strawberry Cheesecake Cups – What’s better than a recipe that you don’t have to cook. I’m pretty sure that I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like cheesecake or if I do they haven’t mentioned it. What’s not to like, Yummy creamy topping on an even yummier biscuity base (which if you’re the one serving you get to have extra – servers rights) and fruit. Fab combination!
What you will need:
For the filling
150g White Chocolate
1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract
200g Cream Cheese
25g Icing Sugar
50mls Double cream, whipped
1 Punnet Strawberries
For the base:
Half a pack digestive biscuits
50g Butter, melted
For the base, put the biscuits in a freezer bag and using a rolling pin crush the biscuits. Add the crushed biscuits to the melted butter.
Put 12 cupcakes cases into a cupcake tray and add a spoonful of biscuit base to each case. Put into the fridge to chill whilst you prepare the topping.
Melt the white chocolate, butter and vanilla extract in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Making sure that the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Once all the ingredients are melted, take off the heat and stir to make a smooth mixture and set aside to cool.
In another bowl add the cream cheese, icing sugar (sifted) and cream until smooth.
Add the chocolate mixture to the cream cheese mixture.
Take about half the punnet of strawberries, wash and chop off the tops and cut into very small pieces before adding them to the cream cheese mixture.
Top the biscuit base cases with the cream cheese mixture and put in the fridge for approximately 4 hours. Top each cheesecake cup with a quartered strawberry and serve.
And there you have lovely little scrummy White Chocolate & Strawberry Cheesecake Cups.