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!
Happy Easter Weekend everyone!
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!
I love banana bread, especially when it’s freshly out the oven. I thought I’d give a little fruity twist on the classic recipe and add fresh blueberries. Let me know what you think!
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 packed brown sugar
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 tsp vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk (I used semi-skimmed)
Pre heat oven to 180°c. Line and grease a loaf tin and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate bowl mash the bananas. Add in the egg, vegetable oil, and milk and mix until well combined.
Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until a sticky dough forms.
Add the blueberries and fold until well combined.
Pour the dough into the lined tin and pop into the oven for 60 minutes, checking regularly, until golden brown and a metal pick comes out clean.
Removed from oven and place on a wire wrack until cool.
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!
Thank you for reading.
Lots of love,
Coconut and cranberry are a brilliant combination, so I thought I would incorporate them into cookies. I think they look quite festive with flecks of red from the cranberries, and a sprinkle of white coconut. Give them a go and let me know what you think!
I used a basic sugar cookie dough recipe, as seen in my last post, but added extra ingredients.
1 1/2 cups softened butter
2 cups caster sugar
5 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Pre-heat oven to 200°c. Line a baking tray with grease0proof paper.
Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the eggs to the mixture. In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Slowly add in the flour mixture to the liquid mix. Once the dough is formed, add in the desiccated coconut and dried cranberries and fold the dough until evenly mixed.
Cover the dough and chill for at least an hour.
Take around half a table spoon full of the dough and roll into balls, and place evenly spread apart onto the lined baking tray.
Bake for 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle a little bit of the desiccated coconut on top of the cookies.
For day 9 I decided to do a little twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie. These chewy dark double chocolate cookies have a sprinkle of crushed candy cane on top to add a Christmas twist.
125g softened butter
150g light brown sugar
1 large egg
150g plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
125g melted dark chocolate
250g chopped up dark chocolate chunks or chips
Crushed candy canes
Preheat oven to 180°c. Line a flat baking tray with grease proof paper.
Cream together the butter and sugar until creamy and light, then add in the egg until well combined. Mix the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda in a separate bowl, then melt the dark chocolate. Slowly add in the flour mixture and melted dark chocolate to the butter and sugar mix and blend together until a dough is formed. Add in the dark chocolate chips and mix in well.
Measure out 1/2 tbsp of the dough and roll into balls. Place evenly spaced out on the baking tray and bake until the edges are firmed for 10-12 minutes.
Once the cookies are baked, remove from the oven and sprinkle the crushed candy cane over the top of the cookies before they are cooled, this will ensure the candy cane adheres to the cookies.
I was so tempted to keep this recipe until Day 12, but I was far too excited to share my all time favourite Christmas movie inspired bake!
These Grinch green cookies are complete with a candy cinnamon heart that definitely is ‘two sizes too small’!
170g plain flour
57g icing sugar
57g custard powder
green food colouring- I used a gel type so I didn’t need to use as much. (Add as much until you get the colour you like.)
icing sugar for dusting
small candy hearts (if you cannot get these then you can always make sugar paste hearts)
Pre heat oven to 175°c. Line a flat baking tray with grease proof paper.
Mix all ingredient together in a bowl. Roll the dough into small balls and place equally spaced onto the baking tray.
Bake for around 10 minutes, checking frequently, or until golden brown at the edges (this may be difficult to tell due to the cookies being green!)
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a little bit before dusting them in icing sugar. Last, but not least, gently press the candy heart into the centre of the cookie.
“Some people are worth melting for”
These cute snowman biscuits are very simple and easy to make, and are perfect for any Disney lovers out there!
White Icing (I just used icing sugar & water)
Icing tubes (preferably black)
Orange jelly tots- or similar orange sweets
Optional- Raspberry or strawberry jam
This first part is optional- you can make a simple empire biscuit style cookie by sandwiching jam in-between two digestives.
Next, mix up your icing to a reasonably thick consistency and place into a piping bag with a thin nozzle. Pipe the icing onto the digestive biscuit into a puddle shape, and don’t worry if you get any icing off of the biscuit- it just adds to the effect!
On a marshmallow, pipe two eyes and a button mouth to create the face of a snowman using the icing tubes. For the snow mans carrot style nose, I trimmed an orange Jelly Tot into a wedge triangle shape and placed it onto the middle of the marshmallow using a dap of icing.
Place the marshmallow onto the biscuit to create the illusion of a melting snowman!
Lastly, use the icing tubes to pipe wooden stick arms and buttons onto the icing puddle on the biscuit.
This is my go to recipe for gloriously gooey chocolate brownies. It has been passed down in my family and is a classic recipe that never fails to deliver the perfect treat for chocoholics like me!
1 Cup Margarine – Melted
1/2 Cup Caster Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup All Purpose Plain Flour
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp Salt
4 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
Optional- Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips (as many as you like!)
Pre heat the oven to 180·c. Melt the margarine and add in the caster sugar, cocoa powder and eggs. Mix in all of the remaining ingredients. Place in a greased pan, and bake for around 20-30 minutes. Once done, allow the brownies to cool in the pan before dividing them.
I love easy to make cakes, especially tray bakes! They’re so quick as you don’t need to bake them (which means less chance of burning it!) yet they’re just as yummy! Malteser cake is my favourite tray bake. Here is the recipe that I always follow:
- 1 tbsp maple syrup or golden syrup- your choice!
- Sharing bag of Maltesers – leave some left over for decorating!
- Crush up the digestive biscuits- I usually place the biscuits in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to mash them up. You can also use a food processor if you have one.
- Melt the butter either in a pot on the stove, or in the microwave.
- Mix in the melted butter and maple syrup into the crushed digestive biscuits.
- Mix in about half of the Maltesers into the mixture- You can put them in whole, or you can slice them in halves.
- Place the mixture into a tin- you can use any shape you like. I usually use a round cake tin. Then leave it to set for a little while.
- Once it is set. Melt the milk chocolate, and spread it on top of the cake. Then gently place the rest of the Maltesers on top of the chocolate. Allow this to cool and set completely. Then melt the white chocolate and add it on top of the milk chocolate.
- Allow the chocolate to set again, and then you’re done!
Now enjoy with a cuppa!! X