It just would not be summer without a trip to the seaside.
Add just a hint of the beach by serving these bite sized British strawberries, dipped in dark glossy chocolate flavoured with just a hint of orange over a bed of crushed biscuit crumbs or press the mixture into mini buckets or dariole tins for a fun take on a sandcastle.
225g/8oz gluten free flour
Large pinch of fine salt
1 vanilla pod, slit lengthways, seeds scraped from pod
55g/2oz icing sugar
110g/4oz butter, diced
1 egg yolk
2-3 teaspoons water
6 ice cream cones
200g/7oz dark chocolate, broken into pieces
Finely grated zest of 2 medium oranges
2 teaspoons light olive oil
500g/1lb 2oz strawberries, chilled
To make the sand biscuit, preheat the oven to 180oC/160oC fan assisted/Gas Mark 4.
Add the flour, salt, vanilla seeds and icing sugar to a bowl or food processor.
Add the butter and rub in until fine crumbs.
Add the egg and just enough water to mix to a soft dough.
Roll the dough out between two sheets of non-stick baking paper, slide on to a baking sheet then chill for 20 minutes.
For the strawberries
Add the chocolate, orange rind and olive oil to a bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure that the water does not touch the base of the bowl.
Heat until just melted then stir until smooth.
Strain the chocolate through a fine sieve into a bowl, if liked then dip the strawberries into the chocolate and put on to a tray lined with non-stick baking paper.
Put in a cool place to set.
Crush the biscuit and ice cream cones into fine crumbs.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan, mix in 225g/8oz of the crumbs then pack into 6 small buttered mini buckets or dariole moulds.
Chill 10 minutes then loosen and turn out on to small plates. Scatter extra crumbs on to the plates then arrange the strawberries on top, adding little flags or plastic spoons if liked.
Short of time then cheat and use two bars of your favourite brand of flavoured chocolate.
Gently cooking fresh strawberries with dried hibiscus flowers, a little chilli and fructose sugar in a sealed bowl over hot water brings out and captures the very essence of summer. Keep the nectar in the fridge or even the freezer and serve ice cold in shot glasses or topped up with prosecco or champagne for a kir style cocktail.
600g/1lb 5oz strawberries, hulled and quartered
30g/1oz fructose sugar
1 red chilli, halved, seeds removed, finely chopped
5g/1/8th oz dried hibiscus flowers
Add the strawberries, sugar, chilli and hibiscus flowers to a large bowl, cover the top tightly with clingfilm then place the bowl over the top of a medium sized saucepan of gently simmering water.
Cook gently for 40-50 minutes.
Allow to cool then chill well.
Line a sieve with muslin and set over a bowl, add the strawberry mix, tie with string then suspend above the bowl to drain slowly.
Pour the nectar into a bottle and chill until ready to serve.
If you haven’t bought fructose sugar before it is sold in small cardboard packs in the supermarket alongside the sugar and sweeteners.
It is a low GI sugar and sweeter than ordinary caster sugar, but don’t confuse it with a sugar substitute or sweetener.
These fab sandwiches in true Alice in Wonderland style are not all that they seem.
While they may look like white bread spread with butter and filled with salad they are actually made with thinly sliced white chocolate cake topped with delicious olive oil white chocolate ganache flavoured with just a hint of chamomile tea, a thin layer of chocolate ‘grass’, fresh British strawberries, mint leaves and strawberry jam pepped up with black pepper and orange blossom water.
White Chocolate Cake
100g/31/2oz good quality white chocolate, broken into pieces
100g/31/2oz plain flour
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of fine salt
85g/3 oz butter, at room temperature
100g/31/2 oz caster sugar
1 medium eges
85g/3oz soured cream
1 vanilla pod, slit lengthways and seeds scraped out of the pod
White Chocolate, Olive Oil and Chamomile Ganache
3 tablespoons whipping cream
11/2 tablespoon light olive oil
2 teaspoons runny honey
Pinch of salt
1 chamomile tea bag
100 g/31/2 oz pack good quality white chocolate, finely chopped
White Chocolate ‘grass’
200g/7 oz good quality white chocolate, broken into pieces
1 teaspoon powdered wheatgrass
100g/31/2oz strawberry jam
Large pinch roughly crushed black peppercorns
1 teaspoon light olive oil
1 teaspoon orange blossom water
200g/7oz small British strawberries, hulled, thinly sliced crossways
15g/1/2 oz pack fresh mint, leaves torn from the stems
To make the cake
Preheat the oven to 180oC/160oC fan assisted/Gas Mark 4.
Cut a large piece of non-stick baking paper a little larger than a 30 x 20 x 5cm/12 x 8 x 2inch shallow cake tin or a roasting tin with the same base measurement.
Snip diagonally into the corners then press the paper into the tin so that the base and sides are lined with paper.
Add the chocolate to a bowl, set over a saucepan of gently simmering water and leave until melted.
Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 4-5 minutes, scraping down the sides from time to time until light and fluffy.
Beat in the egg then the soured cream and vanilla until smooth.
Gradually mix in the flour then fold in the melted chocolate.
Spoon the mixture into the lined tin and spread into an even layer.
Bake for 17-20 minutes until pale golden on the top and the cake springs back when pressed lightly with a fingertip.
Leave to cool in the tin.
To make the Ganache
Add the cream, oil, honey and salt to a small saucepan.
Snip the top off the teabag and add the tea to the pan, bring just to the boil take off the heat and leave to infuse for 5 minutes.
Add the chocolate to a bowl, bring the cream mixture back to the boil then pour through a fine sieve over the chocolate.
Stir until the chocolate has melted.
Cover with clingfilm and chill well in the fridge until thick enough to spread.
For the White Chocolate ‘grass
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water as before.
Stir in the wheatgrass powder.
Spread over a large sheet of non-stick baking paper or sheet of acetate set on a baking sheet until a rectangle a little larger than the size of the cake tin.
Stick the edges of the paper or acetate to the baking tin with a little melted chocolate to stop it curling.
Chill in the fridge.
For the Jam
Mix all the ingredients together and chill in the fridge.
When ready to assemble the sandwiches
Lift the cake from the tin, peel away the paper then cut into 3 thin 30cm/10 inch strips.
Cut a very thin slice from the top, bottom and sides of the cake to remove the brown crust.
Cut each strip into 5 squares then each square into 2 triangles.
Spread half the triangles with the chilled ganache.
Trim the edges of the white chocolate ‘grass’ with a hot knife then cut into triangles the same size as the cake, wiping and warming the knife to make cutting easier.
Lift chocolate triangles onto the cake triangles with a palette knife.
Top with the sliced strawberries and mint leaves.
Spread the remaining cake triangles with the jam and add these jam side downwards.
Arrange on non-stick baking paper, wrap and tie with string to resemble a savoury sandwich and chill in the fridge until ready to serve or up to 2 hours.
The cake, ganache and white chocolate ’grass’ can all be prepped the night before.
Wrap the cake in clingfilm still on the baking paper to stop it drying out.
White chocolate can also be coloured with a little finely ground green tea leaves.
My second born sons birthday is in a fortnights time so our cake making winter fun usually starts then, carries on throughout Christmas and finishes in the New Year, (or at least I try to ease off then!) We always try new recipes which we have found throughout the year. Hoping to perfect them ready for Santa. We love to try out fun recipes, cake topping, new cooking trays or cookie cutters that we have spotted in the shops to see who can come up with the best looking cakes in the party season.
With that in mind I was delighted when asked to review the Dainty Delights cake maker and the Tiered cake maker. I really liked the tiered cake maker, it makes making cakes much more fun.
Would my cakes turn out as perfect as the cakes in the above pictures?
I was super excited to find out?
Drum roll please...Da Da
Makes 8 cakes in 4 to 5 minutes and oh so yummy.
This is my favourite cake maker, I love this one. It is perfect for us and I know it is going to get lots of use over the next few weeks. Even my children were impressed with how nice they tasted and my daughter says- "They are so sweet, just like mummy!!"
About the Sweet Treats Dainty Delights Maker
Is so quick and easy to use, turning out 8 mouth-watering home-made dainty cakes in minutes.
Simply pre heat your Dainty Delights Maker, pop your cake mixture into each mould, cook for 4-5 minutes and, hey presto, 8 delicious dainty delights ready to share.
Allow the cakes to cool before decorating with your choice of icings or creamy fillings. And don’t forget to experiment by adding different flavourings, or fruit, to your cake mixes too – in fact whatever your sweet tooth calls for! And if you’re looking for inspiration, why not start with some of the delicious recipes that come with the Dainty Delights Maker!
As with all Sweet Treats products the Dainty Delights Maker has non-stick coated plates to make baking and clean up easy and fun too.
Non stick cooking plates
Makes 8 individual cakes
Bakes faster than your oven
Power & Reday to Cook Neon Indicators
Dainty Delights Maker RRP £29.99
The cakes I made was the recipe from the Dainty Delights makers booklet-
200g Unsalted butter, softened
200g Caster sugar
200g Self raising flour
A few drops of vanilla extracts
2 Tablespoons skimmed milk
Few tablespoons of icing sugar for dusting
punnet of strawberries
Great on there own, with melted chocolate, Ice cream or as we did all 3
Cream the butter and sugar together with a hand mixer until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.
Add the flour, Vanilla and milk and mix again until combined.
Pre-heat the Dainty Delight maker and add enough mixture to almost fill the moulds.
Spreading it slightly to fill the moulds.
Bake for 4-5 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from the until and allow to cool.
Repeat until all the mixture has been use ( 2 more times on this recipe )
Leave all cakes to cool.
Sprinkle with icing sugar and place fresh fruit on plate.
About this review-
I got sent this cake maker to try out and review. I was not paid for this post and all thoughts are my own honest opinion .
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
250g Caster sugar
350g Self raising flour
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Medium eggs
180ml Skimmed milk
2 Table spoons cocoa powder
200ml Double cream
400g strawberries, washed hulled and half, few quartered
1 Teaspoon cocoa powder
You will need
I heart cake mould
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 .
Line an 18 x 28 x 4cm (7 x 11 x 1½ inch) loose bottomed rectangular cake tin with non-stick baking paper, snipping diagonally into the corners of the paper and pressing into the tin so that the base and sides are lined.
Add all the sponge ingredients to a bowl or food processor and beat together until smooth.
Spoon into the paper lined tin and smooth into a thin even layer.
Bake for 15 minutes until golden and the sponge springs back when lightly pressed with a finger.
Leave to cool in the tin.
Meanwhile, make the mousse by adding the water to a small heatproof bowl; sprinkle the gelatine over the top so that all the dry powder is absorbed.
Leave to stand for 5 minutes then stand the bowl in a saucepan of hot water and simmer gently for about 5-10 minutes until the gelatine is a clear liquid.
Puree the strawberries and raspberries in a food processor or liquidiser then press through a sieve.
Lightly whisk the cream in a bowl until it forms soft swirls then whisk in the condensed milk and lemon juice until thick and smooth.
Whisk in the fruit puree then gradually fold in the gelatine, pouring it into the bowl in a thin steady stream.
Pour the mousse over the sponge base.
Freeze overnight, loosely wrapping in foil when set.
To make the sauce, puree the berries then press through a sieve, pour into a plastic box and chill in the fridge overnight.
When ready to serve, remove the dessert from the freezer.
Unwrap, remove from the tin and peel away the lining paper.
Cut into 10 bars with a knife dipped in hot water.
Transfer to serving plates.
Arrange extra berries, sugar confetti and hundreds and thousands on top, dust with sifted icing sugar and serve with a separate jug of pureed berries.
Bring back childhood memories of jelly and custard with these fun looking two tone jellies, a clear fresh tasting strawberry jelly flavoured with cranberry and raspberry juice then topped with a second creamy custard layer.
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Chilling time: 4 hours or overnight
Pour 150ml (1/4 pint) cranberry and raspberry juice into a small heatproof bowl, sprinkle over 3 teaspoons or 1 packet powdered gelatine and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
Stand the bowl in a saucepan of water and heat for 5 minutes until the gelatine has melted to make a clear liquid.
Stir in the remaining cranberry and raspberry juice then the sliced strawberries.
Spoon into the bases of 6, 250ml (8fl oz) individual jelly moulds, set on a tray.
Allow to cool then freeze for 15 minutes or until the jelly has just set.
Meanwhile, add the water to the rinsed heatproof bowl, sprinkle over the remaining gelatine and leave to soak for 5 minutes.
Stand the bowl in a saucepan of gently simmering water and heat until it makes a clear liquid.
Pour the custard into a bowl, lightly whisk in the cream then the gelatine in a thin steady stream.
Pour this over the set strawberry jelly and chill in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight until set firm.
To serve, dip the moulds into a large dish of hot water, one at a time, count to 10 then lift out of the water, dip a finger in a little water and loosen the top edges of the jelly. Invert jelly mould on to a plate or small cake stand, jerk mould to release jelly then remove mould. Repeat with other jellies then serve.
About this post- This is a free guest post by Seasonal Berries
Everyone loves profiteroles but why not try adding a little summery fruity freshness with sliced strawberries and crumbled raspberry cream then drizzle with warm chocolate sauce or a fresh berry sauce – see Cook’s Tip.
2 tbsp icing sugar, plus a little extra to decorate
150g (5oz) raspberries
225g (8oz) strawberries, hulled, sliced
Preheat the oven to 200oC (400oF), Gas Mark 6.
Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
Pour the water into a saucepan, add the butter then heat gently until the butter has just melted.
Bring to the boil then take off the heat and sift in the flour.
Mix together then put the pan back on the heat and cook, stirring, until the mixture makes a smooth ball.
Leave to cool for 15 minutes.
Beat the eggs with the vanilla then gradually beat into the cooled choux pastry in the pan, or transfer to a food processor if you’d rather.
Beat until really smooth then spoon into a large piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm (3/4 inch) plain piping tube.
Pipe about 20 balls on to the greased baking sheet, leaving space between them.
Bake for 15-18 minutes until well risen and golden.
Make a slit in the side of each choux puff to let the steam escape then put back into the turned off oven for 3- 5 minutes until crisp then take out and leave to cool.
To make the sauce, add the chocolate, milk and sugar to a small saucepan and heat gently, stirring occasionally until the chocolate has melted and the sauce is smooth.
Stir in the vanilla.
Sprinkle surface with a little caster sugar if not serving immediately so that a skin doesn’t form.
Whip the cream until it forms soft swirls then fold in the yogurt, vanilla and sugar.
Crumble in the raspberries and briefly fold together.
Slit the choux puffs almost in half, arrange the sliced strawberries over the base of each one then top with a spoonful of raspberry cream.
Press the lids back in place then arrange on serving plates.
Dust lightly with sifted icing sugar and serve drizzled with warm chocolate sauce.
The cooked choux puffs can be made the day before and kept in an airtight tin then fill and serve with sauce when you need them.
For kids or adults who don’t like dark chocolate then use half dark and half milk chocolate for a lighter tasting sauce or why not drizzle with an easy berry sauce made by pureeing 225g (8oz) strawberries and 150g (5oz) raspberries pureed together then press through a sieve before serving
About this post -Recipe and photo credit bySeasonal Berries
It’s got the wow factor : This tart is definitely dressed to impress, with a crumbly buttery tart case spread with melted chocolate then filled with homemade crème patissiere and the very best of British strawberries, glistening with strawberry jelly – what’s not to like?
Dark and white chocolate curls to decorate – see cook’s tip, optional
To make the pastry, add the flour, sugar and butter to a bowl and rub in the butter with fingertips until fine crumbs.
Add the egg yolks and mix to a smooth dough.
Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until large enough to line a buttered 20cm (8inch) plain tart ring set on a baking sheet or fluted loose bottomed flan tin.
Press into the base and sides of the tin and trim the pastry a little above the tin to allow for shrinkage.
Prick the base and chill for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190oC (375oF), Gas Mark 5, then line the tart case with non-stick baking paper and baking beans.
Cook for 10 minutes.
Carefully remove paper and beans and cook tart for 5-10 minutes more until just tinged golden brown around the top edges and the base is crisp.
Leave to cool.
To make the crème patissiere, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together for 4 – 5 minutes until very thick and pale.
Sift the flours over the surface then gently fold together.
Pour the milk into a medium saucepan, bring just to the boil then gradually whisk into the egg mixture until smooth.
Return milk mixture to the pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring until very thick.
Take off the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Cover the surface with a piece of crumpled and wetted non-stick baking paper to stop a skin from forming and leave to cool.
Take the tart case out of the tin and set on a plate or cake stand.
Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water then spoon over the inside of the tart case.
Leave for about 20 minutes or until set.
Make up the jelly as the pack directs using half the water.
Cool then chill for about 20 minutes in the fridge until just beginning to coat a spoon thickly.
Spoon the crème patissiere into the tart case.
Pile the strawberries into the tart case, carefully mounding up in the centre.
Brush generously with the cooled jelly (you will have quite a lot left, so pour this into a small plastic container for the kids packed lunches) and chill for 30 minutes until the jelly has set.
Sprinkle with chocolate curls, if liked. Serve cut into thick slices.
To make chocolate curls, run a swivel bladed vegetable peeler over the underside of a block of white and dark chocolate, keeping the bottom edge of the peeler blade near the edge of the block of chocolate.
If the curls are very tiny then warm the chocolate for 10 seconds in the microwave on full power and try again. Depending on the size of the chocolate bar, you may need to give it a second burst in the microwave.
When you have enough curls to decorate, rewrap the bars of chocolate and store the remainder in the fridge.
If you are celebrating, simply add some small party sparklers to the top of the tart and light just as you take the tart into the room.