Frankie & Benny’s New Kids Menu: Review...

Off the kids menu : The ice cream candy shop...

Last week we were kindly invited to Frankie & Benny’s to try out the recently launched new kids menu. Being big fans of the Italian-American restaurant chain we were very pleased to be asked.

Our favourite restaurant of theirs is in the Meadowhall Shopping Centre. This time though we went to the one in Nottingham. We met my Husband from work and off we went, all with bellies rumbling.
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New Recipes From Seasonal Berries...



Sort out those New Year hangovers and January blues with this vitamin and antioxidant bursting berry juice. Full of natural sugars it will soon boost energy levels leaving you feeling brighter and revitalised.

Serves 2

Prep: 10 minutes

Ingredients 
  • 225g (8oz) or about ¼ red cabbage 
  • 225g (8oz) or about 1 large beetroot, trimmed, scrubbed 
  • 175g (6oz) raspberries 
  • 100g (4oz) blueberries 
  • 2 teaspoons runny honey or to taste 
Method
  1. Cut the red cabbage and beetroot into pieces that will fit in your juicer shoot then press through an electric juicer. 
  2. Puree the raspberries and blueberries with a little of the red cabbage and beetroot juice in a liquidiser until smooth then add the remaining juice and sweeten to taste with honey. 
  3. Pour into two glasses and serve immediately or pour into a sports drinks container, seal well and take to the gym for a post workout energy boost. 
Cook’s tip

If you don’t have a juicer then puree the raspberries and blueberries with 300ml (1/2 pint) bought cranberry and raspberry juice or pomegranate juice.

VALENTINE’S DAY

Blackberry & goat’s cheese tarts : Be my Valentine


Super quick and easy to put together, simply unroll readymade puff pastry and cut into heart shapes with a knife. You don’t even need a special cutter, just draw a heart shape that is about 12cm (5 inches) long and the same wide on a piece of baking paper or piece of card and use this as a template.

Serv
es 2-4 

Prep: 10 minutes 
Cook: 24-25 minutes 

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 15g (1/2 oz) butter 
  • 2 red onions, halved, thinly sliced 
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar 
  • 150g (5oz) blackberries 
  • 3 stems fresh thyme, leaves torn from stems, plus a little extra for garnish 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 375g (12oz) packet ready rolled chilled puff pastry, or defrosted if frozen 
  • Beaten egg, for glazing 
  • 100g (4oz) goats cheese, cut into 4 thin slices 
To finish
  • tablespoon red wine vinegar 
  • tablespoons olive oil 
  • ½ teaspoon caster sugar 
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard 
  • 100g (4oz) mixed rocket, spinach and watercress salad 
  • 175g (6oz) raspberries 
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan), Gas Mark 6.
  2.  Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan, add the onion and fry for 5 minutes, stirring until softened. Add the sugar and fry for 5 minutes, stirring more frequently until lightly browned. 
  3. Mix in the blackberries and thyme then season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Unroll the pastry then cut 4 heart shapes, transfer to a wetted baking sheet and prick the centre of each heart with a fork, leaving a border about 2cm (3/4 inch) all the way round. 
  5. Brush the pastry with beaten egg then pile the onion and blackberry mix in the centre of each pastry heart. Bake for 10 minutes until the pastry is well risen and lightly browned. 
  6. Top each with a slice of goats cheese, a few extra thyme leaves and some salt and pepper. Bake for 4-5 minutes more until the cheese has just softened and the pastry is cooked. 
  7. Meanwhile, fork the vinegar, oil, sugar and mustard together in a bowl to make a dressing. 
  8. Add a little salt and pepper then the salad leaves and raspberries and gently toss together. 
  9. Arrange one heart per serving for a starter, two for a main course on to plates with a little salad. 
 Cook’s tip
  • If you have some raspberry or blackberry vinegar then use this to make the salad dressing with.
Fraisier strawberry cake 

Extra special valentine/Mother’s day special. Wow the special person in your life with this impressive looking cake, this classic French recipe has a few short cuts, so you don’t need to be a master baker to make this version! 



Cuts into 10 slices
Prep: 45 minutes
Cook: 35-40 minutes

Ingredient
  • 225g (8oz) soft margarine 
  • 225g (8oz) caster sugar 
  • 225g (8oz) self-raising flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • Grated rind of 2 lemons 
  • 4 medium eggs 
  • 6 tablespoons limoncello liqueur 
Filling
  • 400g (14oz) strawberries, hulled 
  • 3 tablespoons cold water 
  • 2 teaspoons powdered gelatine 
  • 150ml (1/4 pint) double cream 
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) carton luxury vanilla custard 
Topping
  • 2 tablespoons apricot glaze or apricot jam minus the pieces of fruit 
  • 250g (9oz) readymade marzipan 
  • Little icing sugar 
  • Few small strawberries 
  • Few chocolate hearts 
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan) Gas 3. Grease a 20cm (8 inch) heart shaped springform tin with a little oil then line the base with a piece of non-stick baking paper. 
  2. Add the margarine, sugar and flour to a large bowl, electric mixer or food processor. Add the baking powder, lemon rind and eggs and beat together until smooth. 
  3. Spoon into the lined tin, level the surface and bake for about 35-40 minutes until well risen, golden brown and a skewer comes out cleanly when inserted into the centre of the cake. 
  4. Leave to cool for 10 minutes then loosen the edge, remove the tin and lining paper and cool on a wire rack. 
  5. When the cake is cold, cut into two thinner rounds, trimming the top level if it is a little domed, then spoon the limoncello over the cut sides. Wash the cake tin and line the base and sides with two strips of clingfilm. Put one of the cake halves in the tin and pull up the clingfilm if needed so that it slightly overhangs the top of the tin. 
  6. Sort through the strawberries, reserve the medium sized ones for the side of the cake and the larger ones for slicing. Cut the medium sized ones in half and arrange in a ring around the outside of the cake in the tin so that the cut edge is pressed against the clingfilm. Slice the rest and arrange as an even layer to cover the base cake. 
  7. Add the water to a small heatproof bowl, sprinkle over the gelatine powder and leave to soak for 5 minutes then stand the bowl in a saucepan of just simmering water and heat until the gelatine has dissolved and become a clear liquid. 
  8. Whisk the cream until it forms soft swirls in a bowl then fold in the custard. Gradually fold in the dissolved gelatine in a thin steady stream then pour the custard mix over the strawberries in the tin and chill for 10 minutes until just setting. 
  9. Add the second cake half to the tin and press lightly into the custard. Gently spread the apricot glaze or jam over the top of the cake. Knead and roll out the marzipan on a piece of non-stick baking paper then cut into a heart, using the cake tin as a guide. Lift over the top of the cake and press into place with fingertips dusted with icing sugar. Chill for at least 4 hours. 
  10. When ready to serve, unclip the sides of the tin, peel away the clingfilm, then carefully lift the cake off and transfer to a plate. Decorate the top with the small strawberries and piped chocolate hearts, if liked. 
Cook’s tip
  • Not a fan of marzipan then simply leave it out and spread the top of the cake with melted chocolate or simply dust with sifted icing sugar instead. 
  • To make chocolate hearts, melt 50g (2oz) dark chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of very gently simmering water. Spoon into a piping bag made of non-stick baking paper, snip off the tip then pipe heart shapes over a sheet of non-stick baking paper set on a baking tray. 
  • Chill until set then peel off the paper and add to the top of the cake when ready to serve.
PANCAKE DAY

Blueberry and yogurt American style pancakes. Gluten free. Start your day right with these quick and easy pancakes that all the family can enjoy, even those on a gluten free diet. 


Makes 12

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10-15 minutes

Ingredient
  • 50g (2oz) fine cornmeal 
  • 50g (2oz) tapioca flour 
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 
  • 200g (7oz) low fat natural yogurt 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 150g (5oz) blueberries 
  • 1-2 tablespoons sunflower oil for frying 
To serve
  • A little butter, extra blueberries and maple syrup or runny honey
Method
  •  Mix the flours, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda together in a bowl. Add the yogurt and eggs and whisk together until smooth then fold in the blueberries. 
  • Heat a little of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan, wipe out the excess with a piece of crumpled kitchen towel. Drop large spoonfuls of the thick batter into the pan and cook for 23 minutes until bubbles can be seen and the undersides are tinged brown. 
  • Turn the pancakes over with a palette knife and cook the second side for a minute or two. Take out of the pan and keep hot in a folded napkin. Oil the pan once more and cook more pancakes in the same way until all the mixture has been used up, lowering the heat slightly if needed. 
  • Stack the pancakes on to plates, top with a little butter, extra blueberries and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey. 
Cook’s tip:
  • Fine cornmeal can be found in Indian supermarkets and some larger supermarkets, tapioca flour from your nearest health food shop.
This is a guest post from Seasonal Berries. No payment was received...


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White Chocolate And Raspberry Blondies...


Cuts into 12

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 30-35 minutes


Ingredients
  • 150 g (5 oz) white chocolate 
  • 100 g (4 oz) butter 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 175 g (6 oz) caster sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence 
  • 200 g (7 oz) self-raising flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 175 g (6 oz) raspberries 
  • 75 (3 oz) white chocolate, melted to decorate 


Method
  1. Preheat an oven to 180°C, 350°F, gas mark 4. 
  2. Line an 18 x 28 cm (7 x 11 inch) roasting tin with a large piece of non-stick baking paper, snipping diagonally into the corners so that the paper fits snugly over the base and up the sides of the tin. 
  3. Break the chocolate into a bowl, add the butter and set the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water and leave until melted. 
  4. Whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a second bowl with an electric whisk for about 5 minutes until very thick and the mixture will leave a trail when the whisk is lifted up. 
  5. Gently fold the melted chocolate and butter into the egg mixture then the flour and baking powder. 
  6. Pour the mixture into the lined tin and sprinkle with the raspberries. 
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes until well risen, the top is crusty and the centre still a little soft. 
  8. Leave to cool in the tin then lift the paper and blondies out of the tin and put on to a chopping board. 
  9. Drizzle with the melted chocolate to decorate then leave to set. 
  10. Cut into squares and peel off the paper to serve. 
Tip
  • Unlike a Victoria sandwich style cake, blondies or brownies are almost better if they are slightly undercooked as the high proportion of chocolate will firm up slightly as it cools.
  


About this post -

This is a guest post.

No payment was received.

Recipe and photo credit by Seasonal Berries..


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Simple Cinnamon Christmas Cake...


Fancy making a cake that is quick and easy to bake? 


Ingredients
  • 180g sugar
  • 75g butter
  • 2 happy eggs
  • 200ml milk
  • Two cups sifted flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp powdered cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mace
  • 1 tsp mixed sugar and cinnamon


Method
  • Whip sugar and butter until no grains of sugar are left and it is a pale yellow colour. 
  • Beat eggs into the mix then add gradually milk, sifted flour, baking powder, cinnamon and mace, folding ingredients together.
  • Bake in a buttered, non-stick 20cm round dish for 40 minutes at 180ºC, until the sides just begin to pull away from the tin. 
  • Sprinkle the top of the cake with the cinnamon and sugar mix and replace in oven for 5 minutes to glaze.

Recipe and photo credit by- Mat Follas and happy egg co


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Mini Christmas Cakes...



Makes: 12

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 180g Whitworths Sultanas
  • 180g Whitworths Raisins
  • 100g Glace Cherries
  • 30g Candied Peel
  • 50ml Brandy
  • 100g Unsalted Butter
  • 75g Dark Brown Sugar
  • 100g Plain Flour
  • 2 tsp Mixed Spice
  • 1 Small Orange, zest and juice
  • ½ tbsp Black Treacle
  • 2 Medium Eggs
  • 50g Whitworths Flaked Almonds






Method

  • Soak the sultanas, raisins, glace cherries and candied peel in the brandy for 48 hours, in a covered bowl, before making the Christmas cakes.
  • Preheat the oven to 140°C (Fan 120°C), Gas Mark 1.
  • Use 25g of the butter to generously grease the twelve cups of a deep muffin tin.
  • Beat the remaining butter until soft in a large mixing bowl and then stir in the sugar.
  • Sift the flour and mixed spice together into the bowl and beat until evenly combined with the butter mixture.
  • Add the orange zest and juice along with the black treacle and gradually beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  • Fold the alcohol soaked fruit and almonds into the batter and gently mix until evenly distributed.
  • Spoon the mixture into the greased muffin tin cups.
  • Fill to the top of each cup, but do not overfill.
  • Bake on the bottom shelf of the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes.
  • To test if the cakes are fully baked, insert a skewer or sharp knife into the centre of one of the cakes.
  • The skewer should come out clean.
  • If there is any mixture on the skewer return to the oven and continue baking until the skewer can be removed clean.
  • Leave the cakes to cool completely before removing from the tin.
  • Use a round bladed knife to loosen the sides if required.
  • Store in a airtight container until required.
  • To decorate, dust with icing sugar, wrap a festive ribbon around the middle of each cake and top with pomegranate seeds.


Recipe and photo credit by- Whitworths
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Coconut Bites...


Today I have a guest recipe post from Bonne Maman, 30 Best Loved Recipes’ Hachette Book....

Some very yummy looking coconut bites....

How sweet are the jam jars too? I could think of lots of things to use them for...


Going to look for some of this jam too when I next go shopping next...




Makes 24 sponge bites

Ingredients

  • 140g flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 120g sugar
  • ½ jar Bonne Maman Raspberry Conserve
  • 60g desiccated coconut


Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc / 350ºf / Gas Mark 4.
  • Sieve the flour into a large bowl.
  • Break the eggs into a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water, add the sugar and whisk until the mixture has doubled in volume. 
  • Remove from the heat and continue whisking until mixture has cooled to almost room temperature.
  • Gently fold in the flour and pour the mixture into a 33 x 23cm rectangular baking tin lined with greaseproof paper. 
  • Bake for 25 minutes, then leave to cool on a wire rack. 
  • Cut the sponge into 5x5cm cubes, cover each one with a thin layer of jam and roll in the desiccated coconut to serve.



About this guest post-

Taken from ‘Bonne Maman 30 Best Loved Recipes’ Hachette Book. Bonne Maman Bitter Orange Marmalade can also be used if preferred.


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Cake Pops...

I thought you had to have a cake pop maker to make cake pops, not with this recipe!!

How sweet are these cake pops...



Time to prepare: 1 hour, plus cooling and chilling time

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Makes: 20

Ingredients

  • 115g slightly salted butter, softened
  • 115g Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Caster Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Lyle's Golden Syrup
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 115g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder

Frosting

  • 75g full-fat cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp Lyle's Golden Syrup
  • 125g Tate and Lyle Fairtrade Icing Sugar

Decoration

  • 200g plain chocolate, melted
  • 200g white chocolate, melted
  • Sprinkles as available





Method

  • For the cake pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas Mark 4.
  • Grease and base line a 20cm round cake tin.
  • Put all of the ingredients for the cake into a large bowl and beat until smooth.
  • Transfer to the cake tin and level, then bake for 20-25 minutes until springy to touch and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes then turn out and cool completely.
  • Best left for a day before making the cake pops.
  • Mix the frosting ingredients together until smooth.
  • Crumble the cake into fine crumbs into a bowl, add the frosting and mix together to make a moist textured mixture that sticks together.
  • Cover with cling film and refrigerate until firm - for about 1 hour.
  • Take rounded teaspoons of mixture, and roll into firm balls with your hands.
  • Place on a sheet of greaseproof paper on a flat plate or tray.
  • Make about 20 balls.
  • Put into the freezer for about half an hour to firm.
  • Have ready a polystyrene block or a florist block.
  • Take a pop stick and dip into one of the cooled melted chocolates, about 2cm deep.
  • Insert immediately into a cake ball, about halfway through.
  • Now dip into the chocolate, making sure the cake ball is coated all over then gently tap the cake pop over the bowl to remove excess chocolate.
  • Place in the block and scatter sprinkles before the chocolate sets, which will be quite quick as the cake is cold from the freezer.
  • Repeat with the rest of the cake balls using both of the melted chocolates.
  • The pops will keep for a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator.




Recipe and photo credit by- This recipe was made using Tate & Lyle sugars and Lyle’s golden syrup, for more delicious recipes visit Taste And Smile or Lyles Golden Syrup



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Elderflower And Lemon Drizzle Cake...


I love, love, love lemon cake and today Im sharing a Elderflower & Lemon Drizzle Cake as a guest post from Belvoir.


Serves 12

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 45-50minutes

Ingredients

  • 225g/8oz butter, softened
  • 225g/8oz caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 225g/8oz self raising flour, sifted
  • zest and juice 1 lemon
  • 100ml/4floz Belvoir’s elderflower cordial
  • 30ml/ 2 tbsp granulated sugar

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/ Fan160C/Gas Mark 4.
  • Grease a (20cm) round, deep loose-based tin and base line with baking parchment.
  • Place the butter sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl.
  • Use an electric whisk to beat the butter and sugar together untl they are pale and fluffy.
  • Gradually add the eggs, whisking well between additions and adding 2 tbsp of the flour with the last egg - this will prevent curdling.
  • Sift over the remaining flour, then gently fold in with a metal spoon along with 2 tbsp hot water.
  • Spoon into the prepared tin, level the surface and bake for 45-50 mins or until it is shrinking away from the sides of the tin.
  • A fine skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean.
  • Cool in the tin for 5 mins.
  • Squeeze the lemon juice, then sieve to remove the bits, stir in the cordial.
  • Use the fine skewer to prick the cake all over, pour over the syrup then sprinkle over the sugar - it should sink in but leave a crunchy crust.
  • Leave to cool completely, before removing the cake from the tin.
  • Serve in wedges.

About this post -

Recipe and photo credit by Belvoir Fruit Farms


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Elderflower And Lime Cheesecake...


I love cake and especially cheesecake, this one is on the list to make over the weekend, yum yum!!



Ingredients

  • 225g large pack Digestives
  • 100g/4oz unsalted butter
  • 50g/2oz sugar
  • 400g full fat cream cheese ( each tube has 200g)
  • 150ml double cream
  • Icing sugar, to taste
  • 1 lime
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2tbs Belvoir Elderflower Cordial
  • Lime zest to decorate

Method

  • Place the digestive biscuits in a large plastic bag.
  • Hold one end of the bag and using a rolling pin, crush until they resemble fine breadcrumbs.
  • Reserve a couple of spoonfuls of biscuit crumbs to decorate.
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the crushed biscuits and sugar until they are fully combined.
  • Press the biscuit mixture firmly into an 20cm/8” round tin with a lift up base and place in the fridge to set.
  • Wash the lemon and grate the skin using a fine grater or use a lemon zester.
  • Place this zest together with the cream cheese, icing sugar and lime juice in a food processor and mix well.
  • Then slowly add the cream and elderflower cordial until it is a smooth thick paste.
  • Spread this mixture on the biscuit base and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight if liked.
  • Place the cheesecake on top of a tall glass and firmly press down on the sides of the tin which will slide down the cheesecake.
  • Slip off the base onto the plate.
  • Decorate with the reserved crumbs and lime zest.


About this post -

Recipe and photo credit by Belvoir Fruit Farms


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Piccolo Parsnip And Orange Cake With Mascarpone Frosting..


Today I am sharing a guest post from Piccolo Parsnip. Not far from me either. Over in Newark, Nottinghamshire. How yummy does this cake look? Made with parsnips pecan nuts and cream cheese I can't wait to try!!

Ingredients
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 250g butter, softened
  • 250g brown sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 300g Piccolo parsnips, washed, trimmed and grated
  • 50g pecan nuts, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Rind of 1 orange and 1 tbsp the juice
  • A little milk
Frosting
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Rind of 1 orange and a little juice
  • Pecan nut halves, to decorate
  • Icing sugar, to decorate
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4

Method
  1. Grease 2 x 20cm sandwich tins and line the bases with parchment paper.
  2. Sieve the flour and baking powder together, cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, adding a tablespoon of the flour with each egg.
  4. Fold in the sieved flour, mixed spice, grated Piccolo parsnip, pecan nuts, vanilla, maple syrup, rind of the orange and 1 tablespoon of orange juice.
  5. If the mixture is still too stiff add a little milk, it should be a dropping consistency.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the cake tins and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the top just springs back when lightly pressed.
  7. Cool the cake slightly in the tins before turning out onto wire racks.
To make the frosting
  • Place the mascarpone and cream cheese in a bowl and beat until soft, stir in the maple syrup, orange rind and a little juice to give a spreadable, but thick consistency.
  • When the cake is cool spread half of the frosting over one half of the cake and sandwich the two halves together.
  • Then spread the rest of the frosting on top of the cake and decorate with pecan nut halves. 
  • Dust with icing sugar.
About this post -

Recipe and photo credit by Piccolo Parsnip

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I Heart Cake, Hearty Slice Challenge...


Last week I was invited to take part in a fun baking challenge from find me a gift, to review one of these lovely Heart Cake Mould. Also I get to enter my cake creation into the draw, which one blogger will win a bundle of kitchen goodies worth £100.

I loved using the cake mould it is very sweet, I love how each piece cuts into hearts. When you have finished making your cakes you cut your slices in to large heart shapes which is great for yourself or to share with your loved ones.

The mould is very good quality, microwave, oven, freezer and dish washer safe and very easy to get your cake out of, all in one piece.

I made a strawberries and cream marble sponge cake and it tasted amazing, so much so it did not last 2 minutes, everyone loved it.


Serves 6 large hearts

Ingredients
  • 250g Margarine
  • 250g Caster sugar
  • 350g Self raising flour
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Medium eggs
  • 180ml Skimmed milk
  • 2 Table spoons cocoa powder
Topping
  • 200ml Double cream
  • 400g strawberries, washed hulled and half, few quartered
  • 1 Teaspoon cocoa powder
You will need
  • I heart cake mould
Method
  • Pre heat oven to 180c ( 170c fan )
  • Place the margarine, vanilla extract, and caster sugar in a bowl and whisk with and electric whisk until smooth.
  • Add a egg and a little sieved flour one at a time, then mix flour and milk together until light and fluffy.
  • Share the mixture into 2 bowls, add the cocoa powder to one bowl and mix together with a wooden spoon.
  • Spoon mixture into mould one spoonful then another to separate the colours.
  • Bake in over for 55-60 minutes
  • Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes then turn out to cool completely.
  • When cool place back in mould.
  • Whisk the double cream till double in size.
  • Place on to the cake top.
  • Place the chopped strawberries on top of the cream.
  • Sieve a little cocoa powder over the cake.



So so yummy, I can not wait to make another. You can also find every ones entry on Twitter by using the hastag #HeartySlice. How sweet is this mould? perfect for anytime of the year, sharing your hearts...

Heart mould £14.99 from find me a gift

About this review-

I got sent a cake mould to review and make a cake to enter into the competition. I was not paid for this post and all thoughts are my own honest opinion .

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Lemon And blackberry Traybake...



Dotted with fresh blackberries, this light sponge tray bake is much lower in saturated fat than traditional cakes as it is made with sunflower oil rather than butter, with a surprise of grated beetroot for added moistness.

Cuts into 24 small pieces
Preparation time: 30 minutes
 Cooking time: 30-35 minutes

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 3 medium eggs
  • 150ml (1/4 pint) sunflower oil
  • 175g (6oz) caster sugar
  • Grated rind of 2 lemons
  • 225g (8oz) self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 175g (6oz) or 2 medium cooked beetroot from a chilled vacuum pack of beetroot in natural juices, drained and coarsely grated
  • 150g (5oz) blackberries

To decorate

  • 150g (5oz) icing sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon Few lemon rind curls, optional

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180oC (350oF) Gas Mark 4.
  2. Line an 18 x 28 x 4cm (7 x 11 x 1½ inch) loose bottomed rectangular cake tin with a large piece of non-stick baking paper and snip into the corners of the paper diagonally.
  3. Press into the tin so that the base and sides of the tin are lined.
  4. Add the eggs, oil, sugar and lemon rind to a large mixing bowl and whisk together briefly until just mixed.
  5. Mix the flour and baking powder together, add to the egg mixture with the beetroot and whisk together until smooth.
  6. Pour into the tin and spread into an even layer.
  7. Arrange the blackberries over the top of the cake mixture in three rows then cook for 30-35 minutes until well risen and a skewer comes out cleanly from the centre.
  8. Leave to cool in the tin.

To decorate, sift the icing sugar into a bowl then gradually stir in the lemon juice to make a smooth icing that will slowly fall from a spoon. Drizzle the icing over the cake. Sprinkle with lemon rind removed with a zester or grater, then leave for 30 minutes for the icing to set.

About this post -

Recipe and photo credit by Seasonal Berries
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Lemon Curd And Cherry Mini Cheesecakes...



Makes about 14-16 cupcake size individual cheesecakes

You Will Need

  • 200g ginger biscuits
  • 60g melted butter
  • 500g cream cheese
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 jar English Provender Lemon curd
  • 2 eggs
  • 20 cherries, pitted and simmered in a pan for 10 minutes with a splash of water (If not in season use 150g drained cherry compote -I use Bonne Maman, or tinned cherries)

How To Make

  • Preheat the oven to 180c. 
  • Crush the biscuits in a food processor and pour the melted butter over.
  • Mix well and spoon into the bottom of 14-16 cupcake cases set in a cupcake tin.
  • Using an electric mixer beat the cream cheese, mascarpone, lemon curd and sugar.
  • Add the eggs one at a time.
  • Beat until smooth and then pour over the biscuit base.
  • Bake for 5 minutes and then lower temperature to 150c and bake for another 15-20 minutes.
  • Turn off the oven but let them sit in the oven to cool for a bit.
  • It will still be slightly wobbly but it will firm up in the fridge.
  • When cool, place the tin in the refrigerator.
  • When ready to serve peel off the cupcake wrappers and dollop each cheesecake with some cherries.


About this post - Recipe and photo credit by English Provender Co.

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Britain loves Beetroot : Beetroot And Raspberries Chocolate Muffins ...


A couple of months ago I was contacted by the lovely people at Baxters, informing me that they are launching a Britain loves Beetroot campaign. They were looking for bloggers to take part in a making their own beetroot recipe as part of a fun challenge.  We love beetroot in our house, (only yesterday my son had it with his fish and chips) so I was looking forward to taking part.


 This is the hamper we kindly got sent- 4 different jars of beetroot, a cooking apron and this beautiful picnic hamper. It arrived Christmas eve, great timing then to go with lots of party food. The first thing we tried was some Rosy Roast Beetroot Roots , a recipe I posted for Baxters a while ago. Not having got around to trying it myself I was looking forward to making these. As it was for Christmas day dinner and we were already having mash and roasted potatoes, I decided to change the recipe slightly to 300g of parsnips in place of the potatoes.


Apart from lots of little snacks over the Christmas holidays using the beetroot, I was thinking is there a sweet recipe I could try? How could I incorporate beetroot into cake? There must be a way!! 

 Here then is my recipe I made up for the beetroot challenge.  My daughter who is not yet a beetroot fan could not wait to try them, and she loved them too...


Ingredients
  • 75g Beetroot in sweet malt vinegar, drained and grated
  • 75g Thawed raspberries drained and cut up
  • 125g Self raising flour (sieved)
  • 125g Golden Caster sugar
  • 125g Stork baking liquid
  • 2 Eggs
  • 25g Coco powder
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
Topping
  • 100g Cream cheese
  • 70g Icing sugar
  • 1 Tbsp of raspberries juice ( from the thawed raspberries)
  • 12 Thawed raspberries
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • Sprinkle of icing sugar for dusting tops
Method
  • Preheat the oven to 180˚C/Gas Mark 4.
  • Place 12 muffin bun cases in a 12 holed muffin tray.
  • Place the baking liquid and golden caster sugar in a bowl and mix together with an electric whisk.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time with a little of the flour.
  • Mix in the remaining flour and coco powder.
  • Using a wooden spoon mix in the beetroot, Raspberries and vanilla essence.
  • Spoon the mixture evenly between the muffin cases.
  • Cook in the middle of a preheated oven for around 25 minutes.
  • Once cooked place on a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
Making the icing
  • Place the cream cheese in a bowl with raspberries juice and with a fork mix together.
  • Sieve the icing sugar into the bowl and mix again ( place in fridge for 30 minutes) to cool as it may get a little runny.
  • Place a spoonful on top of each bun.
  • Place a raspberry in the middle few chocolate sprinkles and little bit of icing sugar.

I was so pleased with how my beetroot and raspberries chocolate muffins turned out...

About this post- I was kindly asked to take part in this beetroot challenge and was not paid for this post. All thoughts are my own honest opinion...

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Blackberry And Blueberry Christmas Cake...



A lighter alternative to the traditional cake

If you are not a fan of heavy dried fruit cakes then try this light almondy sponge cake speckled with blackberries and blueberries drizzled with glace icing.


Serves 8

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 40-50 minutes
To decorate: 5 minutes

What you need
  • 175g (6oz) mixed blackberries and blueberries, if the blackberries are very large, cut them in half
  • 175g (6oz) self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 175g (6oz) butter, at room temperature
  • 175g (6 oz) caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs, beaten
  • 75g (3oz) ground almonds
  • Few drops almond essence, optional
To decorate

  • 175g (6oz) icing sugar
  • tsp cold water
  • 3 tbsp toasted flaked almonds
  • Few extra blackberries and blueberries or a few halved strawberries
Method
  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
  • Brush inside a 23cm (9 inch) diameter or 1.5 litre (3 pint) fluted ring mould with a little oil.
  • Add the blackberries and blueberries to a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of the flour and gently stir together until the berries are coated.
  • Add baking powder to the remaining flour.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Gradually mix in alternate spoonfuls of beaten egg and remaining flour, beating well after each addition and continuing until both have all been added.
  • Stir in the ground almonds and almond essence if using, then fold in the flour coated berries.
  • Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and level the top.
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes or until well risen, the top is golden and a skewer comes out cleanly when inserted into the cake.
  • Leave to cool for 30 minutes then loosen the edges of the mould, turn out on to a wire rack and remove the mould.
  • Leave to cool completely.
  • Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, gradually mix in just enough water to mix to a smooth icing that will slowly fall from a spoon.
  • Transfer the cake to a serving plate, drizzle the icing over in zig zag lines, decorate with a few extra berries and sprinkle with the flaked almonds.
  • Leave to stand for 15 minutes or so for the icing to set, then cut into thick slices and serve.
Tip:
  • As the cake has lots of fresh fruit in the mixture it is best eaten within 2 days.
Recipe and photo credit by- Seasonal Berries

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Triple Chocolate Orange Cake...


By Bill King

Serves 10

391 calories / 31.5g fat per portion
Maria says: ‘This simple-to-make cake is rich and tasty – a family favourite with a touch of class!’

Ingredients

For the cake:
  • 175g (6oz) Kerrygold butter
  • 175g (6oz) caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 225g (8oz) plain flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 15g (½ oz) cocoa powder
  • 50g (2oz) dark chocolate chips
  • finely grated zest of 1 orange
For the topping
  • 110g (4oz) dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp Grand Marnier or Cointreau
  • 110g (4oz) Kerrygold butter
  • fine shreds of orange zest, to decorate
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/Gas Mark 4. 
  2. Line a 20cm (8 inch) round cake tin with baking paper.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  4. Gradually add the eggs, beating well between each addition. 
  5. Sift together the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder, then fold into the mixture with the chocolate chips and orange zest.
  6. Spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface. 
  7. Bake for 50- 55 minutes or until a fine skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  8. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the topping
  • Melt the chocolate and Grand Marnier or Cointreau in a heatproof bowl positioned over a saucepan of gently simmering water. 
  • When fully melted, add the Kerrygold butter a little at a time, stirring to combine. 
  • Allow to cool and thicken, then spread over the cake using a palette knife and sprinkle with fine shreds of orange zest.
Cook’s tip:
  • If you’re not keen on adding alcohol to the topping, simply leave it out, or add 2 tbsp double cream instead
About this post-

 Bill King’s recipe has been taken from the Kerrygold Community Recip-e-book, available for free download now! Visit Kerrygold UK for more delicious recipes and to download your free copy.


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Summer Almond Cake with Lavender Icing ...



Summer Almond Cake with Lavender Icing : By Alan Palmer

Serves 10
320 calories / 19.8g fat per portion
Alan says: ‘This recipe sums up summer – fresh, light and bursting with colour and flavour’

Ingredients

For the cake
  • 110g (4oz) Kerrygold butter, softened
  • 110g (4oz) golden caster sugar
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 75g (3oz) self raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 45g (1½ oz) ground almonds
  • 110g (4oz) blueberries
  • 110g (4oz) raspberries
For the icing
  • 75g (3oz) Kerrygold butter, cubed and softened
  • 150g (5oz) icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp single cream
  • 1 tsp fresh lavender
  • lavender sprigs, to decorate
Method
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/Gas Mark 4. 
  • Line a 20cm (8 inch) round cake tin with baking paper.
  • Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Gradually add the eggs, beating well between each addition.
  • Sift together the flour and baking powder, then fold into the mixture with the ground almonds.
  • Gently fold in the blueberries and raspberries.
  • Spoon into the prepared tin, level the surface and bake for 40-45 minutes. 
  • Cool for 20 minutes, then remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  • When cool, prepare the icing.
  • Beat the butter and icing sugar together until combined, then whisk vigorously until pale and fluffy.
  • Add the cream and half the lavender.
  • Spread over the surface of the cake and decorate with the remaining lavender.
Cook’s tip:
  • Check online for suppliers of culinary lavender.
  • If you can’t find any, try using a little finely grated lemon or orange zest in the icing instead.
About this post -

Recipe and photo credit by Alan Palmer’s recipe has been taken from the Kerrygold Community Recip-e-book, available for free download now!

Visit Kerrygold UK for more delicious recipes and to download your free copy.

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