This Christmas it was my turn to be in charge of the desserts. I love doing this for my family, and each year I want to get more creative.
I decided to go for a traditional apple crumble for Christmas Eve, and then a Pavlova for Christmas Day. Truth be told this was my first time ever making Pavlova, but I’m very happy with how it turned out, and even more about how easy it was to make.
4 egg whites
250g caster sugar
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp cornflour
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 150C, and line a large baking sheet with grease-proof paper. Using a pencil, place a large dinner plate onto the paper and trace the circumference.
Whisk the egg whites with a hand mixer or stand mixer until they form stiff peaks, then whisk in the sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, until the meringue looks glossy. Whisk in the vinegar, cornflour and vanilla.
Spread the meringue inside the circle, creating a crater by making the sides a little higher than the middle. Bake for 1 hour, then turn off the heat and let the Pavlova cool completely inside the oven until room temperature.
TO TOP IT OFF:
I whipped up one large pot of double cream and spooned the mixture onto the centre of the pavlova. I decided to go a little different with the topping and add a mixture of raspberries and blackberries, and add a drizzle of a fruit coulis- I was in Sainsbury’s the night before so I picked up the Mango & Passionfruit Coulis- which surprisingly went really well!
The thing I love about Pavlova is that you can get creative and add a variety of different toppings, and at the end of the day it will still look amazing!
I just thought I would write a quick update to let you now that I have started using my Instagram account again for Baking and Bobby Pins. I feel that it is a brilliant platform to share blog posts and discover other bloggers. I’ll also be posting about what I’m up to day to day and lots of coffee/tea/cake photos- sorry in advance!
Please share your Instagram accounts in the comments below and if you’d like please feel free to give me a follow @bakingandbobbypins.
I got a little creative yesterday in the kitchen after splurging on all things Cadbury and Easter related! I love making tray bakes, and so I thought I would put an Easter twist on the classic Millionaire Shortbread.
Easter chocolates- I used Cream Eggs and Mini Eggs (my favourite!)
1/2 bar salted butter
126g shortbread biscuits (You could also choose to make your own shortbread if you like for the base)
300g milk chocolate
100g white chocolate
1 tin condensed milk
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
Line a baking tray with grease-proof paper.
Using either a food processor, or a good old rolling pin and plastic bag, break up the shortbread until there are no large chunks.
Melt the butter and mix into the crushed shortbread until well combined, and placed into the baking tray and flatten with a spoon.
To make the caramel, pour the condensed milk and brown sugar into a pot over heat, and stir with a wooden spoon constantly until thickened. Pour the caramel over the shortbread and smooth out.
Allow caramel to cool and set before adding the chocolate.
Melt the milk and white chocolate (I use a microwave, however you can use a bowl over boiling water), and pour over the caramel layer.
Next up is the fun part! Before the chocolate is set, drop a couple of hand fulls of Mini Eggs over the chocolate, followed by a few cut up Cream Eggs. Decorate this part however you like!
Merry Christmas Eve everyone! I thought I would end my 12 Days of Christmas Cookies with how I started… Gingerbread! Gingerbread is so versatile, and you can be as creative as you like with different shapes and decorations. Today, I decided to make these cute gingerbread bears.
175g butter or margarine
175g light muscovado sugar
2 eggs- beaten
450g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbs ground ginger
2 tsp mixed spice
Your choice of nuts. I used a mixture of almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts. You need one for each bear that you make.
Add sugar into Margarine
Add egg and mix well
Flour, baking powder and spice mixture
Add flour mixture into liquid mix
Mix well until combined and dough forms
Pre-head oven to 180°c. Line a flat baking tray with grease-proof paper.
Combine the plain flour, baking powder and spices together. In a separate bowl, cream the butter/margarine and muscovado sugar together, then add in the beaten egg, mixing well. Finally, add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and stir until a soft smooth dough is formed. Wrap in cling film or grease-proof paper and refrigerate, or roll out on a floured surface straight away.
Cut out the bear shape from the dough and place them onto the lined baking tray. Place the nut in the middle of the bear, and wrap the arms of the bear around the nut.
Depending on the thickness of your gingerbread, bake for around 5 minutes, checking on the cookies.
Once they are baked, remove from the oven and let them cool before decorating.
I mixed up thick icing and piped eyes, ears and buttons onto the bears for a better effect.
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
Biscotti are hard Italian biscuits. They are traditionally made with hazelnut and aniseed but can be flavoured with a variety of other nuts and fruit. Today I made festive biscotti, with flecks of green pistachios and red cranberries, with a sprinkle of icing sugar for added sweetness!
Biscotti are hard and crunchy because they are twice-cooked (‘bis’ is Italian for twice and ‘cotti’ for cooked).
Give them a go and let me know what you think!
4 tbs olive oil
150g caster sugar
2 tsp maple syrup
225g plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
Pre-heat oven to 150°c. Line flat baking tray with grease-proof paper.
Mix together the oil and sugar, then beat in the eggs and maple syrup. In a separate bowl mix together the plain flour, salt and baking powder, and then gradually stir into the liquid mixture.
Once the dough is formed, divide in half, and then wet your hands with cool water, as this will make handling the sticky dough a bit easier. Mould the dough into two log shapes and place onto the baking tray.
Bake for 35 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 140°c. Use a sharp knife and cut the log into thick diagonal slices, and lay them on their sides. Place back into the oven for about 8-10 minutes to allow them to dry and crisp up.
This was my first time baking these lovely spiced Austrian biscuits. I have put a slight twist on the recipe so apologies if it is not very traditional!
The Linzer Biscuit originates from Linz, an Austrian city. Linz is home of the Linzertorte, which is a rich tart filled with preserves. The Linzer Biscuit is a variation on the Linzertorte which differs as it is cut into cookie shapes and the top cookie has small cut out with exposes the sandwiched jam in between the biscuits.
Today I decided to go for a star shape with a heart cut out. But you can create any shape that you like.
1 pound butter (room temp)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbs maple syrup
3 1/2 cups plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup good quality raspberry preserve
Icing sugar for dusting
Pre heat oven to 180°c, and line a flat baking tray with grease-proof paper.
Cream the butter and sugar together until well blended. Add in the maple syrup and the egg until combined. In a separate bowl, sift together the cinnamon, salt and flour. Combine the dry ingredients into the butter and sugar mixture and mix until a soft dough is formed.
Wrap the dough in cling-film and allow to chill for around 1/2 an hour.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut out your desired shapes.
Place the cut outs onto the baking tray and bake for around 20 minutes until edges begin to brown.
Remove from the oven and once cool, place some raspberry preserve onto the base biscuit and top it off with the cut out biscuit. Finally, dust your Linzer Biscuits with a sprinkle of icing sugar.