Rhubarb & Ginger Syrup

Sweet syrup, made with fruity rhubarb and fiery ginger, perfect for cocktails!

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This is one of the first recipes I have tried from one of my new cookbooks which I got for christmas; Wild Cocktails by Lottie Muir. It is absolutely full of fantastic recipes for infusions, syrups and of course cocktails.

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I chose this syrup to make first, as it can be used in a few different cocktail recipes. The leftover rhubarb compote can be used to make a Sloe Time, and the syrup is used to make a delicious Rhubarb and Ginger Collin’s.

I have tried both these cocktails and they are really, really good, definitely the best home-made cocktails I’ve ever had!

The syrup was really easy to make, ¬†and definitely worth the effort, so I can’t wait to try out more of the¬†recipes!

 

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Ingredients: Makes around 500ml

  • 350g Rhubarb
  • 40g freshly grated ginger
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 250ml water
  • 1tbsp vodka (optional)

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To Make:

Place all ingredients (except the vodka in a large pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Allow to simmer for around 15-20 minutes – until the rhubarb disintegrates and becomes pulpy.

While the liquid is still piping hot, pass through a sieve into a wide mouthed jug, and then funnel into presentations bottle(s).

You can add a few slices of ginger to the bottles at this point,  if you want to make the ginger flavour stronger.

You can also add 1 tbsp of vodka to the syrup to make it last a little longer.

Store in the fridge and consume within 2-3 weeks.

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Rhubarb Collins:

  • 60ml gin
  • 60ml rhubarb and ginger syrup
  • 30ml lemon juice
  • soda water.

 

Shake up all the ingredients except the soda water, in a cocktail shaker with a few cubes of ice.

Strain to a highball glass filled with ice and top up with soda. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Stollen

Sweet enriched dough, studded with dried fruits, frangipane and chewy chunks of marzipan.

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Marzipan is one of my absolute favourite christmas treats, and if i’m not careful, I usually end up eating it all straight out of the packet before I have time to bake anything!

 

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Stollen is not something I have ever attempted to bake before, but I buy one from the shop every year, so I decided to have a go myself this year and I am so glad I did!

This tastes so much better than a shop bought stollen, mainly because it has much more filling, and the dough is amazingly soft and fluffy!

 

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I used a Richard Bertinet recipe from his ‘Crust’ cookbook which was surprisingly easy! There is a lot of waiting involved, and quite a few different components, but really once you have made the dough, its just shaping and proving until its ready to bake.

This recipe makes three very big loaves, so I have frozen one of them, to take home with me for christmas.

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I will be bringing this along to Fiesta Friday#99 this week, hosted by Angie and co-hosted by Caroline @ Caroline‚Äôs Cooking and Linda @ La Petite Paniere. Happy Friday everyone! ūüėÄ

Variations: You could change the ingredients of the filling, for example adding some chocolate chips would probably be delicious!

Ingredients: Makes 3 Large loaves

The Dough:

  • 1kg strong white bread flour
  • 20g fresh yeast
  • 400g milk, body temperature
  • 200g butter
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 10g salt
  • 4 eggs

 

The Filling:

  • 180g sultanas
  • 100g glace cherries
  • 200g mixed peel
  • 60g toasted flaked almonds
  • 4 tbsp rum or brandy
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 400g marzipan
  • 1 batch of frangipane

 

The Frangipane:

  • 125g butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 25g plain flour
  • 2 eggs

 

The Glaze:

  • 100g butter
  • 2 tbsp rum or brandy

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To Make:

Combine all the ingredients for the dough in a large bowl and mix to form a wet dough.

 

Turn out onto a clean work surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Return to the bowl and leave to prove for 1 1/2 hours.

 

Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients except the marzipan and frangipane, and a bowl to make the dried fruit filling.

 

Once the dough has more than doubled in size, turn out onto a clean work surface and flatten out into a large rectangle.

 

Spoon over the dried fruit filing and spread to the edges on the dough. Fold a few times to incorporate the filling, then form into a ball and return to the bowl. Leave to prove for another half hour.

 

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Meanwhile make the frangipane by creaming together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then fold in the almonds, eggs and flour until the mixture forms a smooth paste. Set aside.

 

Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface and cut into three equal pieces.

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Roll out each piece of dough, smooth side down into a rectangle about 20 x 15cm. Spread with a few tbsp of frangipane, and scatter over a few handfulls of marzipan chunks.

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Fold one of the long sides over the filling, an then the other. fold in the ends, and then lay the loaf, seam side down on a greased baking tray. Repeat for the other two loaves.

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Leave to rest for 2 hours until doubled in size, and preheat the oven to 170C.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes until light golden brown and cooked all the way through.

Meanwhile melt the butter and rum together in a small pan to create the glaze.

Once removed from the oven, liberally coat in the glaze and dust with icing sugar.

Serve and enjoy!

 

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Christmas Cake

Rich, dark, spiced cake, filled with a mixture of sweet dried fruits and chopped nuts.

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I LOVE fruit cake – especially Christmas cake, but unfortunately I am in the minority in my family, so I’ve never really been able to justify making one. However this year I have decided that I will make one, even if I end up eating the whole thing to myself!

I’ve followed Delia’s recipe for a Classic Christmas Cake, but I have changed the fruit combination a little bit, and I have used Grand Marnier and Cointreau¬†rather than brandy.

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I was a bit worried when I made this,¬†that my cake tin wasn’t tall enough, but the lining of foil-backed greaseproof paper did a wonderful job!

I would recommend starting this in the morning as it takes quite a while to cook! I started at 8PM (stupidly) so I was up past midnight making this cake! Dedication!

I’m enjoying ‘feeding’ my cake every so often¬†and I can’t wait to eat it! I will put up an updated post it is¬†all iced and finished ūüėÄ

I will be bringing this along to Fiesta Friday#97 this week hosted by Angie. Happy Friday everyone!

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Variations: Change the combination of fruits to suit your taste!

Ingredients:

The Pre-soaking:

  • 450g mixed dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants, candied peel)
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 175g glace stem ginger
  • 175g chopped glace cherries
  • 200ml Grand Marnier

The Cake:

  • 225g self raising flour
  • 1/4 of a nutmeg, grated
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 225g dark brown soft sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1tbsp black treacle
  • 225g butter
  • zest of one orange and one lemon
  • Cointreau for feeding

To Make 

Grease and side-line a 20cm cake tin with foil-backed greaseproof paper.

Preheat the oven to 140C.

Place all the dried fruits in a large bowl and submerge with the Grand Marnier. Cover and leave to soak for at least 12-16 hours.

Combine all the other cake ingredients (except the almonds) in a large bowl and mix with an electric whisk, until light and fluffy.

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Slowly add in the fruit and almonds, 1tbsp at a time until fully combined.

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Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake in the centre of the preheated oven for around 4 hours. Remove from the oven once a skewer sunk into he middle of the cake comes out clean.

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Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Poke holes in the top if the cake using a skewer and pour over a few tbsp of Cointreau.

Wrap tightly in greaseproof paper and foil and store in an airtight container. Keep feeding win Cointreau a few times a week until you are ready to ice the cake.

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Treacle Toffee

Sweet sticky toffees, made with bittersweet treacle.

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I was a bit late making treacle toffees this year, I had planned to make then and get this post up before bonfire night but I just ran out of time!

They are delicious anyway, and they are one of my favourate autumn time treats, so I had to make them before it was too late!

I like my treacle toffee at more of a hard-caramel like consistency, but you can take these to a higher temperature to make brittle toffee which is also delicious, just cook until the mixture reaches 140C rather than 126C.

I will be bringing these along to Fiesta Friday 95 this week, hosted by Angie and co-hosted by Loretta @ Safari of the Mind and Petra @ Food Eat Love.

 

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Ingredients: Makes around 40-50 pieces

  • 150g golden syrup
  • 150g treacle toffee
  • 300g granulated sugar
  • 150g salted butter
  • 1/2 a tsp cream of tartar

 

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To Make:

line a rectangular baking tray with oiled greaseproof paper.

Combine all the ingredients in a large pan and cook over a medium heat. The ingredients should melt together and then begin to bubble away.

Cook until the temperature reaches 128C, this should take about 10-15 minutes.

Immediately remove from the heat, and our into the lined baking tray. Leave to cool for a few hours until the mixture hardens and reaches room temperature.

Turn the toffee out onto a chopping board and peel off the grease proof paper.

Use a sharp knife to cut the toffee into bite sized chunks, and wrap them in squares of greaseproof paper.

Serve and enjoy!

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Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

Sweet pumpkin cupcakes, topped with fluffy marshmallow icing.

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The cold weather means its definitely time to start making all the lovely comforting wintery recipes, like pumpkin pie! I have seen recipes before for pumpkin pie cupcakes, so I thought I’d have a go myself this year.

You can make your own pumpkin puree if you can’t get hold of it, but I’ve used a tin, as it saves a lot of time! Most recipes I saw for pumpkin cupcakes had a cream cheese icing, but I wanted to make some cupcakes that¬†replicated the incredibly sweet creamy flavour of a pumpkin pie, so I have used a marshmallow icing instead.

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I really enjoyed the flavour of these cupcakes, the puree makes the sponge much more moist and dense texture than other cupcakes, which goes really well with the light and fluffy icing. They make a delicious autumn treat!

Variations: You can also use cream cheese icing, for a slightly less sweet alternative

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Ingredients: Makes 20 cupcakes

The Cake:

  • 150g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150g pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 self raising flour
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp ginger

The Icing

  • 120g granulated sugar
  • 80g golden syrup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp water
  • 2 egg whites

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To Make:

The Cake:

Preheat the oven to 180C, and line a cupcake tray with cases.

Beat the butter and sugar together in a a large bowl, with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. The fold in the eggs, one a time, followed by the pumpkin puree, flour and spices. Mix until the mixture reaches a smooth consistency.

Spoon the mixture into the cases until they are 2/3 full. Then bake in the preheated oven until cooked though and golden brown. Lave to cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

The Icing:

Combine the sugar, golden syrup and water in a small pan, and heat until it starts to bubble. Bubble vigorously for 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk up the egg whites in a  clean bowl until they form stuff peaks. Slowly pour  in the hot syrup, whisking continuously until well combined.

Place a dollop of icing on top of each cupcake, and smooth out into a peak. Dust with cinnamon, and leave to set for a few hours before serving.

Enjoy!

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Triple Chocolate Brownie Mousse Cake

Dark, fudgy brownie base, topped with a rich chocolate mousse and sweet white chocolate ganache.

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This is a delicious, rich, chocolatey dessert for the real chocoholics! I came up with the idea for this recipe when I went out for a slice of cake from a local restraunt, and they did some amazing HUGE slices of chilled chocolatey cake, which were mainly made of mousse and brownie.

I have been meaning to have a go at making somthing similar at home for quite a while now, but I needed to wait for an occassion when there would be enough people around to eat it!

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I made this when I visited my parents for the weekend, as a Sunday dinner treat, and it went down really well!

This is actually really simple to make, as it is just a basic brownie recipe for the base, and then a chocolate mousse for the topping – easy peasy! But it looks and tastes so impressive, people will think you spent hours over it!

I will definitely be getting this recipe out again next time I’m with some fellow chocolate lovers.

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Variations: you could do a fruity version of this, with a white chocolate and raspberry mousse, or make a mocha version with a coffee mousse!

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Ingredients: Serves 10-12

The Brownie Base:

  • 200g plain chocolate
  • 125g butter
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 115g plain flour

The Chocolate Mousse:

  • 200g plain chocolate
  • 125g butter
  • 1tbsp Cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 300ml double cream

The White Chocolate Ganache:

  • 150ml double cream
  • 200g white chocolate

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To Make:

Preheat the oven to 180C, grease and line a 25cm spring form cake tin.

Melt the butter and chocolate in a small pan over a low heat. Then pour into a large bowl with the caster sugar.

Mix in the eggs, one at a time, then fold in the flour.

Pour into the prepared cake tin, and bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes.

Leave to cool slightly and then make sure the brownie isn’t stuck to the cake tin.

The Mousse:

Melt the butter and chocolate in a small pan over a low heat, then stir in the coco powder and egg yolks.

Meanwhile whip up the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then whisk in the sugar to form a smooth and glossy mixture.

Whisk the double cream until it forms stuff peaks.

Combine the egg whites, chocolate mixture and cream in a large bowl, until fully incorporated.

Pour into the cake tin, over the cooled brownie and make sure the top of the mouse is level. Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

The White Chocolate Ganache.

Bring 50ml of the cream to the boil in a small pan. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate.

Whip up the rest of the cream until stiff peaks form. Then fold in the chocolate mixture. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using.

Assembling.

Remove the cake from the tin carefully, and move onto a cake stand. Use a knife to neaten up the edges of the mousse, then dust with cocoa powder.

Spoon the white chocolate ganache into a clean piping bag with a rope nozzle. Pipe a thick boarder around the edge of the cake, and a small circile in the middle.

Cut the cake into 12 slices and serve!

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Rhubarb and Custard Cupcakes

Light and fluffy cupcakes, flavoured with rhubarb jam and custard powder, filled with a sharp rhubarb puree and topped with a sweet custard frosting.

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These are the first thing I have baked using my rhubarb jam. As you have probably noticed, I LOVE rhubarb and custard, so I have been wanting to make some rhubarb and custard cupcakes for quite a while.

These are extremely decadent cupcakes, with the flavoured sponge, filling and custard frosting. I have made a rhubarb compot to fill the cupcakes, rather than just using the jam because I think the jam would have been too sweet and the compot balances the sweet flavour of the custard perfectly!

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These are a great summertime treat, and they are so indulgent, they would be a great thing to make for dessert, if you planning any summer BBQs!

I will be bringing these along to Fiesta Friday#73 hosted by , , Michelle @Giraffes Can Bake and Juju @ cookingwithauntjuju. Fiesta Friday is especially exciting this week as my Chocolate and Banana Rolls have been featured! So why not come and join the party!

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Variations: If you want an easier option for the icing, just add some custard powder and vanilla extract to some standard buttercream, it will give a lovely custard-y flavour for much less effort!

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Ingredients: Makes 12 Large Cupcakes

The Cakes:

  • 150g butter
  • 150g sugar
  • 100g rhubarb jam
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp custard powder
  • 150g self raising flour

The Rhubarb Puree:

  • 200g rhubarb
  • 1 tbsp sugar

The Custard Frosting

  • 300ml double cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 100g sugar
  • 50g corn flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

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To Make:

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 12 hole cupcake tray with cupcake cases.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then whisk in the jam. Fold in the eggs, followed by the custard powder and flour.

Spoon into the cases until 2/3 full and bake in the preheated oven for12-15 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.

Leave to cool on a wire rack before icing.

The Rhubarb Puree:

Chop the rhubarb into chunks about 1cm thick and place on a baking tray. Scatter with the sugar and a splash of water.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until soft and cooked through.

Transfer to a small blender and blitz to a fine puree – taste to see if it needs any extra sugar.

The Custard Frosting:

Heat up 300ml of the cream in a large pan until steaming hot (but not boiling). Meanwhile whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour, to from a thick paste

Pour the paste into the hot cream and whisk continuously until the mixture thickens, remove from the heat and continue whisking until the mixture forms a very thick paste, chill in the fridge while the cupcakes cool.

Whisk the rest of the double cream until stiff peaks form, then add the chilled custard mixture 1tbsp at a time, to form a thick creamy custard.

Assembling:

Cut a hole into the top of each cupcake, a few cm wide and deep. And fill with 1 heaped tsp of rhubarb puree.

Spoon the custard into a piping bag with a star shaped nozzle and pipe a swirl onto the top of each cupcake.

Decorate with some pink sprinkles, serve.

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P.S If you like this recipe then you will probably like my Rhubarb and Custard Cake:

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