Chocolate Chunk Shortbread

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A very sunny hello to you all my wee white whippy ice creams and what glorious weather we have been having! I hope you all frosted yourselves thickly with suncream whilst enjoying a  hot tropical weekend filled with all things pineapples, picnics and Pimms!

But just in case those pesky grey clouds try to rain on our parade on this last afternoon3 (hats off to all the dad’s who will refuse to cancel the barbecue even through an Amazonian thunder storm! ) here’s a little weekend bake to keep things sunny in the tummy, with my recipe for chocolate chunk shortbread.

It’s got to be said… you just jolly well can’t beat a choccy chunk shortbread. Whether you like the thick triangular slabs from Starbucks, the soft buttery squares from the supermarkets, or enjoy the family fight over the only one in the Christmas shortbread selection…they are a classic and they can’t be beaten!

My personal favourite is the marky sparkys version and have fond memories of enjoying the sweet sugary squares after a long day at school. No word of a lie, the thought of coming home to this shortbread was sometimes the only reason I got through my maths classes without want to stab a  compass in my eye! It was my only motivation! Thankfully, nowadays  you can buy bags of six   which are clearly designed for people like me who need a whole lot of sugary goodness to survive the week.

But As much as I love the shop bought versions , I often find they can be a tad under baked to the point they can be a little bit. There are also never enough chunks of chocolate in them!

My simple homemade version however, is an absolute buttery delight and so packed full of milk chocolate chips you are sure to get one in every bite! (look at that, I’m poetry genius and I didn’t even know it!) I’ve added a little semolina to the dough to ensure the shortbread has a slight crispness to it, but still keeps that soft shortbread texture that simply melts in the mouth. I’ve also shaped my shortbreads into plump little squares with smooth rounded edges to give that cosy homemade feel and sprinkled them with plenty of sugar!

You can try swapping the chocolate chips for dark or white alternatives, or even substitute them for sultanas and a little orange zest! This recipe is extremely versatile and so soooo much scrummier than anything you can buy in the shops,. It really goes to show that homemade is best!

So whilst I munch away on yet another square (they really should have demonstrated pythagoras theorem with shortbread triangles because I would be a mathematical genius by now!) I hope you enjoy the last of the bank holiday and wish you another very sunny and shortbread filled week!

Ingredients
Makes 10-12
250g flour
85g caster sugar
40g semolina
190g cold butter cubed
100g chocolate chips

Method
1.Heat oven to 180 and line two baking sheets with grease proof paper.9

2.Put the flour, sugar, semolina and butter in a bowl and using your finger tips, rub everything together to form breadcrumbs. Stir in the chocolate chips and the use your hands to squash together into a dough. You may need a splash of milk to help it stick.

3.Shape the dough into an oblong around 1.5cm thick and cut into squares roughly 5cm by 5cm. I the like to round the corners with my hands so they have a softer, more homemade look. Place the shortbreads on the trays, leaving 3cm between each one. Chill for 20 minutes in the fridge.

4.Once chilled, bake the shortbreads for 10- 15mins or until golden at the edges. Sprinkle with caster sugar and allow to cool and firm up before eating. Enjoy!xx

 

Chocolate Nest Cheesecake

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A very eastery hello you all my squishy hot cross buns! I hope you are all enjoying the Easter sun whilst cheese3wearing wee Easter bonnets and dancing in fields of daffodils! But here we are as promised, a recipe for the most chocolatey of all chocolate desserts to celebrate the Easter weekend with a bunny hop of a bang! Whilst I’m sure you will be spending most of the weekend with your pockets full of  mini eggs and malteaster bunnies, an utterly indulgent chocolate cheesecake is just what you need to finish any Easter feasts!
So here it is, my recipe for the scrummiest, creamiest, dreamiest Easter chocolate cheesecake crammed full of Easter goodies ! From chocolate nests and caramel eggs to a rich silky chocolate cheesecake filling and a crumbly choccy biccy base. This is Easter indulgence at its best! Enjoy this recipe angelcakes and have a very happy Easter! Love and Lindt bunnies Xx
Ingredients
For the base
220g Bourbon biscuits
85g melted butter
For the cheesecake
280g Philadelphia – at room temperature
150g dark chocolate
60g icing sugar – sifted
120ml double cream
For the decoration
80g shredded wheat
45g milk chocolate -melted
Galaxy golden eggs
Milky bar eggs
Mini Cadbury caramel eggs
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1. For the base, place the biscuits in a plastic sealable bag and bash with a rolling pin until they turn to fine crumbs. Alternatively whizz the biscuits in a food processor. Place the crumbs in a bowl and pour over the melted butter and mix together.
2. Press the crumbs firmly into the base and up the sides of a 20cm fluted tart tin. Refrigerate for 1 hour until set.
3. To make the cheesecake, melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water and leave to cool. Place the room temperature cream cheese, and sifted icing sugar in a bowl. Add the cooled chocolate and mix together. It’s really important that your chocolate is cool and your cheese is at room temperature of the chocolate will seize up!
4. In a separate bowl, whip the cream to a soft peak and then gently fold into your chocolate mixture. Pour the cheesecake filling into your tart tin and level with a knife. Leave to set for 5 hours or overnight.
5. Meanwhile make the decorations. Like a fairy cake tin with four cake cases. Crumble the shredded wheat into a bowl and mix in the melted milk chocolate. Spoon the next mixture into your cake cases and use a spoon to shape them into nests. Leave to set in the fridge.
6. To decorate the cheesecake, remove it from the tart case and arrange three of the chocolate nests on top. Fill the chocolate nests with eggs and use the remaining eggs to decorate the edge of your cheesecake. Enjoy!

Easter Biscuits

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I really can’t help but love absolutely everything about Easter! From rows of sticky hot cross buns sitting plump in bakers windows, rainbows of tulips and egg yolk yellow daffodils , to the crisp sugary shell of a cadburys mini egg melting on the tongue to reveal that silky chocolate centre (absolute drool, dribble this calls for a nibble!). It has to be said..it really is a cracking time of year!

What I love most of all about Easter though, has to be the baking (shock horror theres a surprise!) and to me Easter baking means two of my most favourite things in the world; chocolate and spices! Literally anything with a choccy chip or a sprinkling of cinnamon and I will have sniffed it out have gobbled it up before you can say fried eggs! So as a little Easter gift to you, I’m sharing a couple of my favourite Easter recipes which celebrate these two scrumptious flavours, starting with my very homely, yet super scrumptious Easter spice biscuits.

Where this recipe came from will forever bamboozle me. All I know is I’ve been 5making these biscuits from the day dot and the recipe has undergone a lot of surgery over the years. I’ve scribbled it out, lost it, re written it, added spices, removed spices , added zest, and baked the biscuits in all sorts of shapes and thicknesses. What is certain however, is that no matter what I’ve done to them they’ve disappeared within seconds of being baked. My mum has even been known to have the kettle boiling and a plate ready a good ten minutes before they’ve even come out the oven!

But wether it’s Easter or not, you really can’t go wrong with a spicy, sugary biscuits that’s packed full fruity scrummynes. Soft, buttery, and studded with chewy currants, these biscuits are comfort baking at its best and are destined to be snaffled away by Easter bunnies both big and small! The warming Easter spices and hint of citrus makes them a flavour sensation and very remiscent of the good old hot cross bun. Brushing the biscuits with a little egg white half way through baking gives a gorgeous glossy finish, which when sprinkled with caster sugar turns into a sugary, twinkly caramel glaze.

The best thing of all though is these biscuits are possibly the easiest and quickest things to make! The dough requires no resting or chilling so the biscuits can be ready to eat within half an hour, making them the perfect holiday bake for any clucking chickens you’ve got lurking round the house.

This really has to be one of my favourite Easter recipes of all time and not one to be missed.  I really hope you enjoy making and eating them as much as my family and I do! Happy baking angelcakes and keep your eyes peeled for another recipe coming very soon! xx

Ingredients

125g softened butter

85g caster sugar

1 egg- separated

200g plain flour

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp mixes spice

75g currants

Zest of half and orange

1 tbsp milk

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 180°c/160°c Fan/Mark 4  and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

2. Separate the egg, placing the yolk in one bowl and the white in another.

3. Using an electric whisk, cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and continue to beat. Now add the flour, cinnamon, mixed spice, currants and lemon zest and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.

5. Pour in the milk and mix until the dough begins to stick together (you may need a little more milk!). Bring the dough into a ball using your hand and knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth.

6. Roll out the dough to  a 5mm thickness and cut out your biscuits with whatever cookie cutters you like. Place on a baking tray, leaving a gap between each one and bake  for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush some egg white over each biscuit and sprinkle with caster sugar. Return to the oven for another 3-5 minutes until golden brown.

7. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before moving to a wire wrack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Viennese Whirls

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A jolly hello to you all my warm hot buttered crumpets! I hope you are all doing well and enjoying a weekend of toasty duvet days, home baking and lots and lots of splendiferous spring sunshine (pretty please stay forever!)

It’s also Mother’s Day tomorrow (crumbs and crackers I know, I forgot too!) which means we all have the perfect excuse to drink tea and eat nothing but dainty pastries and scones all day long, yippee! So on that note, today’s post is something extra specially pretty and scrumptious for all the yummy mums out there, with my recipe for Viennese whirl roses.

I feel like the Viennese whirl is an incredibly mumsy biscuit if you get what I mean. But it’s 3at the sophisticated end of the spectrum and is a biscuit reserved for special occasions only. Whereas malted milks and shortbreads, whilst also incredibly mumsy biscuits, are found at the “dunk with a milky brew and an episode of flog it” end.

My granny always used the have a box of mr Kipling Viennese whirls in her larder ready for Sunday teas and by golly would they always go down a treat. Unlike Mr Kiplings mighty creations however (forever the king of the fondant fancy!) , which can often be a bit dense and heavy, these whirls are light, buttery and melt at your finger tips.

Filled with a creamy vanilla icing and sweet raspberry jam, this dreamy combination sandwiches perfectly between two buttery biscuit whirls, melting in the mouth to make the most delectable of tea time treats. Just for Mother’s Day I’ve piped my whirls using a closed star nozzle and coloured some of the biscuit mixture to create this beautiful tinted rose effect. You can try using different colours, jams and curds or even tint yours with cocoa powder and fill with Nutella and a drizzle of melted chocolate if your mum is a bit of a coco loco!

Either way these whirls are just heavenly and the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon tea with mum.  They are also  quick to make and use store cupboard ingredients, making them an ideal last minute gift (shhhh I’m not telling!). Whats not to love?!

Happy baking and an even happier Mothers Day to you angelcakes. See you soon  xx

For the biscuits

250g very VERY soft butter (you need it to be super soft so your whirls can be piped)

50g icing sugar

225g plain flour

25g cornflour

2tbsp milk

red food gel or colour

For the filling

12 teaspoons raspberry jam

100g softened butter

200g icing sugar

1tsp vanilla bean paste

This recipe is based on a Mary Berry classic!

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1.Preheat your oven to 190°c/170°c Fan/Mark 5 and line 3 large baking sheets with greaseproof paper and using a 4cm round cutter as a guide, draw 8 circles on each sheet of paper, leaving a 2 cm gap between each one.  Turn the paper over so the pencil marks are underneath.

2.Place the  butter and icing sugar into a bowl and beat well until pale and fluffy. You want the butter to be almost white in colour. This takes about 6 minutes so be patient.   Sieve in the flour and cornflour and beat well, until thoroughly mixed. Add the milk and mix again.

3. Take 2 table spoons of the mixture and place in a separate bowl. Colour with a small drop of red food colouring and mix until it turns pink.

4.  Spoon the pink mixture into a piping bag fitted with a closed star nozzle and spread it around the inside of the bag so it acts like a lining for the non coloured mixture.Now spoon in the rest of the non coloured mixture .Starting from the centre, pipe 24 roses inside the circles on the baking sheets.

5. Bake in the centre of the oven for 10-13 minutes, until a pale golden brown. I like to turn the trays around halfway through cooking so they get an even colour. Cool the biscuits on the baking trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

6. make the icing by beating the butter, icing sugar and vanilla bean paste together for about 5 minutes using an electric whisk. Add 1 tbsp milk and mix again until pale and smooth.

7. Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a nozzle of your choice. Pipe a swirl on the flat side of 12 of the biscuits and dollop a small teaspoon of jam on top. Sandwich together with the second biscuit,dust with icing sugar and enjoy!

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Fried Egg Biscuits

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Hello angelcakes! I hope youare all had marvellous weeks last week full of pancake flipping, whipping and de sticking from ceilings! To keep things looking sunny side up I’ve got a cracking biscuit recipe to get you in the mood for all things spring! I’ve also got a lot more egg based puns so  eggscuse me in advance!
Just a quick little recipe that’s a great weekend bake and a fun one to do with any baby 7
angelcakes who fancy getting their hands sticky. I’ve taken my favourite vanilla butter biscuits and jazzed them up a with a thick glace icing and a good dollop of lemon curd to make these funky fried eggs !
Buttery, sweet, with a zingy lemon surprise , these biscuits melt the moment they touch your lips and are so easy to make! Just make sure you remember to chill the biscuits once you’ve cut them as this helps the biscuits to keep their shape whilst baking. Also because of the buttery nature of the dough it’s important that you don’t roll your biscuits too thin or they will break under their own delicious delicacy.  If you want to mix things up you could even try using a chocolate biscuit or warming gingerbread for the base, or why not try decorating mini fairy cakes in exactly the same way?
Either way these biscuits are eggsquisite!  Maybe not the  best post gym protein top up, but certainly a great sugar hit for that mid morning pick me up! Enjoy angelcakes xx

Ingredients

For the biscuits

160g butter

100g caster sugar

1tsp vanilla extract

200g plain flour

For the decoration

200g icing sugar

5-7 tsp  water

2 tbsp of lemon curd

Method

1.Preheat your oven to 180°c/160°c Fan/Mark 4 and line two large baking sheets with greaseproof paper.

2.Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and cream together with an electric whisk or freestanding mixer until very pale, smooth and fluffy. Add the vanilla.

3.Sift the flour over the bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until everything comes together. You might need to use your hands at the end to bring it into a neat ball. Wrap the 10dough in cling film and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.

4.Remove the dough from the fridge and roll to a 1.5cm thickness.  Stamp out 12 rounds using a 6cm round cutter and place your biscuits on the prepared baking sheets about  3cm apart from each other.

5.Bake for 8-10 minutes or until a light golden brown. Leave to cool on the baking tray for 10 minutes before moving to a wire wrack to cool completely.

6.Make the icing by sifting the icing sugar into a bowl, add the water a teaspoon at a time, mixing until you have a thick icing that’s not going to run off your biscuits.

7.Dollop small teaspoons of icing onto each biscuit, using the back of the spoon to spread it out. Now spoon a small amount of lemon curd in the centre of the icing to make fried eggs. Enjoy! xx

Lemon and Poppyseed Bundt

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There are so many cosy homely bakes that I adore and sometimes only a lemon cake will do. Sharp and tangy, with a sponge plumptious with the syrupy juices from that sweet lemon drizzle. You really can’t beat it. In fact, I’ve never met someone who doesn’t love an old fashioned lemon cake and quite rightly so! I mean, you’d  be a bit of a sour lemon if you didn’t !  Either that or you’re totally bananas (but that’s another recipe hehe).
It’s just one of those cakes that always hits the spot. Not quite as basic as a Victoria sandwich but definitely not as fancy pants as a triple layer salted pecan chocolate torte that’s been dusted with the glitter from a unicorns eyelash. Instead, it sits snuggly in the middle , where both comfort and adventure are in perfect harmony.
I’ve made many lemon cakes over the years, from the classic drizzle loaf, to fairy cakes, 2traybakes, to four layer sponges that are oozing with lemon curd and smothered in a drippy fondant icing ( a Mary Berry special and one I highly recommend!!). From birthdays to rainy days, the lemon cake is one you know you can trust.  A guaranteed tasty delight that will instantly put a smile on everyone’s faces.
So in honour of all those cakes I’ve made, I decided to do something a bit different and give the humble lemon drizz a new look for spring 2017, with my lemon and poppyseed bundt cake.
This cake couldn’t be easier to make and both tastes and looks incredible! I made sure to squeeze as much lemony goodness in as possible, by making both a delicious lemon soaking syrup and decorating the cake with a sticky lemon icing. The poppy seeds add wonderful bursts of crunch and a very subtle nuttiness which marries perfectly with that powerful lemon flavour! Using natural yoghurt in the cake batter also gives this cake a wonderful texture and adds to that scrumptious moistness. It also helps to make a sturdier cake which is ideal when making bundts so the cake will hold the shape of the tin!
I’ve used a gorgeous spiral bundt by my favourite bakeware company, Nordic ware, but you can use whatever shape bundt you fancy! You could even bake the sponge in 20cm round sandwich tins and sandwich them together with a homemade lemon curd and fluffy lemon buttercream.  Either way this cake is deeeeelicous and is sure to disappear very quickly!
So there it is, my little twist on the classic lemon drizzle cake. I hope you enjoy it angelcakes and let me know if you have any lemon cake recipes which you cant help but make time and time again.
Love and Hobnobs xx

Ingredients

For the Cake

250g softened butter

250g caster sugar

4 eggs – beaten

40g poppy seeds

150g natural yoghurt

Zest of 3 lemons

For the Syrup

juice of 2 lemons

60g caster sugar

For the Icing

200g icing sugar

juice of 1 lemon

1  tbsp lemon curd

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Method

1.Preheat your oven to 180°c/160°c Fan/Mark 4 and grease your bundt tin with butter, being sure to get in all the grooves.

2.Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and cream together using an electric hand whisk  or 1freestanding mixer, until pale and fluffy (this takes about 5minutes). Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well combined.

3.Pour the batter into your prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre.

4. Meanwhile make the syrup. Place the lemon juice and caster sugar in a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for three minutes until the liquid has reduced by half and has a syrup like consistency.

5. Once the cake is baked, remove from the oven and poke small holes in the top of the cake using a skewer. Pour the syrup into the holes and leave the cake to cool and soak up the syrup f0r about 30 minutes.

6. Remove the cake from the tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

7. Make the icing by sifting the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the lemon juice 1 teaspoon at a time until you have a thick runny icing. Drizzle the icing over the cake to decorate, followed by the lemon curd. Enjoy!

Jam Tarts

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I don’t know if you’ve been keeping up with the weather forecasts recently angelcakes, but there’s a whole lota love in the air at the moment and it’s here to stay!
Between the flurries of sleet and hair frizzing drizzles (which also take great pleasure in flattening my fringe so I can see diddly squat all day!), you might find yourself getting caught in one of these brief love spells whilst out on your travels.
You’ll know when one hits you when you feel a sudden rush of warmth surging through 9your body, running from the teeniest tip of your tiniest toe to the fairest freckle on the front of your forehead. Your nostrils become flooded with the heavenly scents of sweet vanilla beans, hot apple crumbles and all butter pastries, whilst your tummy will tingle and fizzle like theres a hundred mini popping candy fireworks bursting inside of you. What’s more your eyes start to sparkle brighter than the twinkliest stars against the blackest of night skies and you can’t help grin from ear to ear! Put simply, It’s the best feeling in the world (even better than snuggling down in fresh bed sheets!) and no amount of rain, wet socks or inside out umbrellas can stop you feeling otherwise!
Nevertheless, there is a wee side effect to all this love I’m afraid and it’s quite common to be overcome with a sudden urge to bake mountains of delicious goodies to share with all the wonderful people in your life! So to help with the baking splurge that’s to come , I have to perfect recipe for some sweet raspberry tarts to melt your hearts and spread that love a little further.
There’s nothing like a childhood favourite to get people feeling a little warm and fuzzy on the inside, and what could be more nostalgic than the classic  jam tart? With a melt in the mouth  pastry, sharp raspberry jam and a dusting of icing sugar, it’s destined to be love at first bite!  I’ve also added a little twist to my recipe by placing a small disc of marzipan in the base of each case. It melts to give a subtle almondy sweetness, which when combined with the jam, gives flavours reminiscent of a Bakewell tart and creating the ultimate love affair between two tea time classics! Sweet, sticky and totally irresistible. Now if that doesn’t tickle your fnacy I don’t know what will.
But whatever you do this Valentine’s Day, whether you’re baking tarts for your loved ones or eating jam straight out the jar, I wish you all the love, happiness and frizz free hair days in the world! See you soon angelcakes xx

 

Ingredients

200g plain flour

85g cold butter

4 tbsp cold water

1 jar of raspberry jam

250g Marzipan

Icing sugar for dusting

Method

1.To make the pastry, put the flour in a large bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the water, mix in with a knife and then use your hands to bring the pastry together to form a soft dough.

2.Flatten the pastry into a fat disc, wrap in cling film and chill for 40 minutes.

3. Preheat your oven to 180°c/160°c Fan/Mark 4

4. Roll out the pastry to a 0.5cm thickness and use and 8cm fluted cutter to stamp out 12 rounds.  Place the rounds in a 12 hole bun tin. Use any left over pastry to cut out 12 small hearts to go on top of your tarts.

5. Roll out the marzipan also to a 0.5 cm thickness and cut out 12 more rounds using a 4cm cutter. Place each disc of marzipan in the bottom of your pastry cases.

6. Spoon 1/2 tsp of raspberry jam into each tart tin and then place a pastry heart on top.

7. Bake the tarts for about 10-15 minutes until the pastry is a light golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar and enjoy!