Fraisier – Strawberry Squares

Light layers of fatless sponge, soaked in a kirsch syrup, sandwiched together with vanilla cream and topped with a fresh strawberry.

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This recipe comes from my Richard Bertinet Patisserie cookbook. Usually fraisier is made in a circular tin,  with creme patisserie and strawberries lining the outside, however this is a much simpler version that is very easy to make.

I really enjoyed making these cakes, because they were so easy to put together, but they taste and look much more sophisticated than a victoria sponge!

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This is the perfect recipe for using some fresh, seasonal strawberries during the summer.

Variations: You could use a different fruit or liquor for these, I think cherries would be really good.

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Ingredients: Makes 12 Cakes

The Sponge:

  • 6 eggs
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 180g plain flour

The Syrup:

  • 100g sugar
  • 100g water
  • 2tbsp kirsch

The Cream:

  • 300ml double cream
  • 1tbsp icing sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

Topping:

  • 6 strawberries

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To Make:

The Sponge:

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a rectangular baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Separate the egg yolks and egg whites. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, then add 90g caster sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form.

Whisk together the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar until pale and fluffy. Pour into the egg whites and fold in. Then fold in the flour.

Spoon into the prepared baking tray and level out.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely before assembling.

The Syrup:

Combine the sugar and water in a small pan and cook over a high heat for about five minutes, until it is slightly reduced.

Remove from the heat and stir in the Kirsch.

The Cream Filling:

Whip the double cream untill it forms stiff peaks, then add the vanilla and icing sugar, and whisk for a further minute until everything is combined.

Assembling:

Cut the sponge into 12 evenly sized squares, then slice each square into two though the middle to make two sponge layers.

Brush the top half of each layer with the kirsch syrup.

Spoon the cream into a piping bag with a circular nozzle, and pipe dots of cream into the bottom half of each cake, filling the entire surface.

Then pipe the same onto the top half of the sponge and smooth out with a knife.

Place the sponges on top of each other, then place half a strawberry ontop of each cake.

Serve and enjoy!

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Redcurrant and Almond Cake

Sweet almond sponge, studded with sharp, juicy redcurrants.

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It’s the season for redcurrants and summer berries, so I thought I’d try and do a few posts with different ideas for using them up!

This cake is inspired by the delicious slabs of Johanisbeere Kuchen, which I orderer at any opportunity when I’m on holiday in the Alps! They are the prefect treat after a long walk and I love the combination of the tart berries and sweet sponge.

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I used ground almonds in the sponge to give the cake a bit more flavour, I think some chunks of marzipan would go really well too.

This cake is really, really easy to make, you just need to make the cake mix and then scatter over the redcurrants, no skills required!

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Variations: You could use a different fruit in this cake, raspberries or rhubarb would be really tasty.

Ingredients: Serves 10-12

  • 160g butter
  • 160g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 100g self raising flour
  • 200g redcurrants

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To Make:

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a rectangular baking dish.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then fold in the eggs one at a time. Mix in the flour, ground almonds and finally fold in half the redcurrants.

Spoon into the prepared baking tray and scatter the rest of the redcurrants over the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until cooked through and golden brown.

Leave to cool for about 20-30 minutes, before removing from the tin. Slice into 10-12 squares and serve! Delicious with a big dollop of whipped cream.

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Lemon and Elderflower Madelines

Sweet, lemony madelines, dipped in a fragrant elderflower icing.

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This was my first attempt at incorporating my elderflower cordial into some baking and I think it has worked really well!

I decided that the saftest combination for elderflower was lemon, so I’ve made some lemony madelines and used elderflower in the icing, so give it a subtle flowery flavour!

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These are a perfect summery treat, and I brought mine along to a picnic at rose hill in London at the weekend. The cakes were very much appreciated by my friends and they were the perfect snack for sitting in the sunshine! (Unfortunately I am now VERY sunburned!)

I will be bringing these along to Fiesta Friday this week hosted by Angie, hope everyone has a lovely Friday!

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Variations:  There are endless possibilities with madelines! A friend of mine made orange madelines and dipped them in dark chocolate, which was delicious. You could also use lavender to flavour the sponge for an alternative floral taste.

Ingredients: Makes 24 Madelines

The Sponge:

  • 3 eggs
  • 130g caster sugar
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 lemon
  • 4tbsp milk
  • 200g butter, melted

The Elderflower icing:

  • 300g icing sugar
  • 4-5 tbsp elderflower cordial

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To Make:

The Madelines:

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a 12 hole madeline tray

Beat the eggs with the sugar until pale and frothy. Fold in the flour, butter, milk and lemon zest. Leave to chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Spoon the mixture into  the prepared tray, until each hole is about 3/4 full.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown and cooked though. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely before icing.

The Icing:

Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and mix in the elderflower cordial one tbsp at a time, to form a thick paste.

Dip each madeline into the icing, and leave to set on the wire rack.

Serve once the icing has dried and enjoy!

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German Strawberry Cake

Light ladyfinger sponges, sandwiched together with sweet, vanillary creme patisserie, topped with fresh strawberries and jelly, coated in freshly whipped cream and toasted almonds.

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Strawberry cake is one of my must have desserts when I’m holiday in Germany. It’s such a lovely summery cake to have after a long walk!

I’ve been trying to recreate it at home for a few years now, but I never felt like I had quite got it right. But now I am a bit more experienced in different techniques, I thought I’d try again. And this time I think I’ve finally nailled it!

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I think the key to this dessert is making the sponge really light, so the cake is not stodgy or dense under all the cream and fruit.

I found the jelly topping the most difficult part of this dessert. First time round I had a bit of a disaster when I took it out of the fridge to early and it collapsed! So I would recommend making up the jelly with more gelatine or less water so that it sets very firmly. I used half the amount of water suggested on the packaging the second time round, and it came out really well.

As my family enjoyed this cake so much I thought I would bring it along to Fiesta Friday #75 hosted by  and co-hosted by Josette @ thebrookcook and Julie @ Hostess at Heart. Happy Friday everyone!

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Variations: You could use a different summer fruit for the top of the cake, raspberries or cherries would be really good. You could also exchange the creme patisserie for whipped cream and strawberry jam, to make this a bit simpler to make!

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Ingredients: Serves 8-10

The Ladyfinger Sponge:

  • 4 eggs
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 120g plain flour

Creme Patisserie:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1tbsp plain flour
  • 1tbsp cornflour
  • 220ml full fat milk

Strawberry topping:

  • 12 strawberries, sliced lengthways
  • 1 sachet of strawberry quick jel or strawberry jelly.

Coating:

  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 100g toasted flaked almonds

Equipment:

  • spring form or loose bottomed cake tin
  • piping bag with star shaped nozzle

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To Make:

The Ladyfinger Sponges:

Preheat the oven to 180C and line three baking trays with greaseproof paper. Draw three circles on the grease proof paper, the same size as your loose bottomed or spring form cake tin.

Separate the egg yolks and egg whites. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, then add 80g caster sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form.

Whisk together the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar until pale and fluffy. Pour into the egg whites  and fold in. Then fold in the flour.

Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a circular nozzle. Pipe 3 large circles of batter ono the baking trays, within the lines of the drawn on circles.

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Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown, leave to cool on a wire rack before assembling.

The Creme Patisserie:

Heat the milk over a medium heat until almost boiling. Meanwhile whisk together the eggs, sugar and flours in a large bowl until it forms a smooth paste.

Pour the hot milk over the paste bit at a time, whisking continuously, until completely combined. Return the mixture to the pan, and cook over a medium heat until the mixture begins to thicken.

Remove from the heat and pour back into the bowl. Stir in 1tbsp of butter until melted and combined.

Cover the top of the mixture with clingfilm and chill completely in the fridge before using.

The Strawberry Topping:

Place one of the sponges back into the cake tin, and arrange a layer of strawberries on top, in an overlapping radial pattern.

Make up the jelly according to the packet instructions (Try to use less water/more gelatine to make sure it sets firmly – I used half the amount of suggested water), and leave to cool for 10 minutes, then pour over the strawberries. Leave to set completely in the fridge.

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Assembling:

Place one of the sponges on a cake stand and spread over half the creme patisserie, then place on the second sponge, and spread over the rest of the creme patisserie. take the strawberry layer out of the fridge, and carefully slide this on top of the sponges.

Whip the double cream until stiff peaks form, then use a pallet knife to spread a layer around the sides of the cake. Then coat the outside of the cake with a layer of toasted almonds.

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Spoon the rest of the double cream into a clean piping bag with a star shaped nozzle, and pipe a ring of stars around the top and bottom of the cake.

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Cut into 8-10 slices and serve!

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Charlotte aux Poire

Soft and sweet ladyfinger biscuits, encasing a mixture of apple custard, Italian meringue, and caramelised pear.

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For the June daring bakers challenge Rebecca from BakeNQuilt.com challenged us to make Charlotte Royale and Charlotte Russe from scratch. Savory or sweet Charlottes were definitely tasty showstopper!

I was really excited when I read this challenge, as I have a recipe for an Apple Charlotte in my Richard Bertinet Patisserie cookbook that I’ve been wanting to try for ages!

A Charlotte is basically a case made with ladyfinger biscuits, filled with a custard/ mousse filling, which is set in the fridge and then turned out. My Charlotte uses a Bavarois for the filling, which is a mixture of Italian meringue, double cream and custard.

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It did take me quite a long time to put the Charlotte together because of all the different components, and the kitchen was a complete mess! But each component was actually reasonably easy to make, so I feel like it would be difficult to go wrong, as long as you give yourself enough time.

I have stuck to the recipe in the book, but I used pears instead of Apple for the fruit chunks, and I added some extra gelatine because I was so scared that it wouldn’t set!

I didn’t really know what to expect when I cut into the Charlotte to taste it, but I’m so glad I made it because it is delicious!
I love the combination of the ladyfinger biscuits and custardy mouse! It would be an amazing dessert to bring to a family party, I’m sure that everyone would be really impressed!.

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Variations: There are an endless number of variations that could be done with the Charlotte, so here are a few of my ideas:

Lemon Charlotte: use lemon in the custard and fold in some lemon curd. You could even brush the ladyfingers with a lemonciello glaze!

Chocolate and Raspberry Charlotte: use chocolate in the ladyfinger biscuits, and ripple some chocolate ganache through the bavarois with some fresh raspberries.

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Ingredients: Makes 1 Charlotte and a few small pots of the Apple Bavarois

Sugar Syrup:

  • 100ml apple juice
  • 100ml sugar

The Apple Custard:

  • 150ml apple juice
  • 3 medium egg yolks
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 2 sachets of powdered gelatine (or 4 gelatine leaves)

The Caramelised Pears:

  • 4 pears, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Italian Meringue:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 190g sugar
  • 1 sachet of powdered gelatine
  • 45ml water
  • 20g glucose

Apple Bavarois:

  • apple custard
  • Italian meringue
  • caramelised pears
  • 300ml double cream

The Ladyfinger Biscuits

  • 4 eggs
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 120g plain flour

Equipment:

  • 2 pint pudding bowl (or mixing bowl of the right size!)
  • piping bag with a 1cm circular nozzle

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To Make:

The Dried Pears:

Slice a pear into circular disks, about 2mm thick. Arrange on a baking tray and leave to cook in the oven at 80-90C for 15 minutes, then turn the oven off and leave overnight.

The Apple Custard:

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy.

Meanwhile, bring the apple juice to a simmer in a large pan, then stir in the gelatine and leave to melt.

Pour the hot apple juice over the egg yolks, whisking continuously until fully incorporated.

Return to the pan and simmer until the mixture has thickened slightly. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool completely.

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The Caramelised Pears:

Melt the butter in a saute pan, and then add the sugar. Cook over a medium heat for a few minutes until it begins to turn golden brown.

Add the chopped pears to the pan and cook for about 5-10 minutes, until cooked through.

Set aside and leave to cool.

The Sugar Syrup:

Combine the apple juice and sugar in a small pan and heat until the sugar completely dissolves and bubbles begin to appear. Remove from the heat and set aside.

The Ladyfinger Biscuits:

Preheat the oven to 180C and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

Separate the egg yolks and egg whites. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, then add 80g caster sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form.

Whisk together the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar until pale and fluffy. Pour into the egg whites  and fold in, then fold in the flour.

Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a circular nozzle. Pipe fourteen fingers, each about 11cm long, and three circular disks. One to fit in the bottom of the bowl (about 8cm diameter), one for the middle (about 10cm diameter) and one for the top (12cm).

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Sprinkle with icing sugar and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, until golden brown.

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Leave to cool on a wire rack before assembling.

The Italian Meringue:

Combine the sugar, glucose and water in a small pan, and heat until it reaches 127C, then add the gelatine powder.

Meanwhile whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Pour the hot syrup into the egg whites, whisking continuously.

Continue to whisk for a further few minutes until glossy.

The Apple Bavarois:

Whisk the double cream until stiff peaks form. Then combine with the apple custard, caramelised pears, and meringue.

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Assembling:

Line the pudding bowl with clingfilm and place the smallest disk in the bottom of the bowl, then arrange the fingers around the outside of the bowl, making sure they overlap, so there will be no gaps.

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Use a pastry brush to soak the fingers and base with the sugar syrup, then press the fingers into each other to form a seal.

Pour some of the bavarois into the bowl, until half full. Place the medium sized disk on top, and brush with syrup.

Pour the bavarois over the middle sponge, to a few cm under the top if the ladyfingers.

Top with the final circular sponge brush with sugar syrup and press into the sides of the ladyfingers to seal.

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Leave to let in the fridge for at least 5 hours before serving.

Once set, pull out of the bowl using the clingfilm and turn out onto a cake stand. Dust with some icing sugar and decorate with slices of dried pear.

Cut into 8 slices and serve!.

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Lusciously Lemony Blueberry Cake

Moist, blueberry sponge, sandwiched together with tangy lemon curd and fresh blueberries, coated in a sweet lemon buttercream.

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I have been wanting to develop my piping skills on a proper cake for quite a while now, so I decided to make time to practice at the weekend.

I had seen quite a few videos online showing how to pipe roses onto cakes, which loooked really easy, so I have tried my hand at it on this cake and I think has turned out really nicely!

I have made a very summery cake with lemon and blueberries, to celebrate blueberry season! It’s a really good flavour combination, as the sweet blueberries and tart lemon complement eachother beautifully.

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I took this into work, and people were very impressed with the decoration (and the taste of course!). This would make a great celebration cake, so I will definitely be making it again for a special occasion!

It was super simple to do, but looks really effective, so I will definitely be using this decorating method on different cakes! Maybe next time I will try two toned roses instead.

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Variations: You could use a different berry in the sponge, I think raspberry would work well. Also, you could use a different flavour for the buttercream, so lime or orange would probably taste really good!

Ingredients: Serves 8-10

The Sponge:

  • 250g butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 250g blueberries
  • Juice and zest of two lemons
  • 300g self raising flour

The Buttercream:

  • 250g Butter
  • Juice and zest of two lemons
  • 650g Icing Sugar

Filling & Decorating:

  • 100g fresh blueberries
  • 4 tbsp lemon curd

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To Make:

The Sponge:

Preheat the oven to 180C, grease and line two 20cm circular cake tins.

Blitz the blueberries with the lemon juice and zest in a small blender.

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In a large bowl, cream together the  butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Fold in the eggs one at a time, followed by the blueberry liquid. Finally fold in the flour.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tins, making sure each has an equal amount. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until cooked though and golden brown.

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Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

The Buttercream: 

Cream together the butter, lemon juice and zest in a large bowl. Gradually add the icing sugar until it reaches a stiff, and glossy consistency.

Assembling:

Place one of the sponges on a cake stand and spread  half the lemon curd over the top, Then add a layer of lemon buttercream, followed by the remaining curd and a scattering of fresh blueberries.

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Place the second sponge on top, then coat the outside of the cake with a thin layer of buttercream.

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Spoon the rest of the buttercream into a piping bag, fitted with a star shaped nozzle. Pipe a row of dots around the base of the cake, then pipe roses all round the side of the cake  and on top. (You make the rose shape, by piping a swirl from the centre out).

Decorate with a few fresh blueberries and serve!

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Parma Violet Cupcakes

Soft, fluffy cupcakes flavoured with lilac syrup and parma violets, topped with a creamy violet buttercream, decorated with violet sprinkles and a parma violet

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As promised, I have made some parma violet cupcakes with my lilac syrup!

Parma violets were definitely one of my favourite sweets when I was little, and whenever I come across them in sweet shops now, I’m always very tempted to buy a pack! When I tasted my lilac syrup, it reminded me so much of parma violets that it inspired me to make some parma violet cupcakes!

I was delighted that I managed to get hold of some parma violets in a little sweet shop where I live, so I bought a few packets for these cupcakes.

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I brought these into work and people were really excited by the flavour, and seemed to enjoy them. So if you are looking for a fun and exciting cupcake that is a bit of a blast from the past, then I fully recommend this recipe!

I will be bringing these along to Fiesta Friday #71!

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Variations: If you don’t want to make lilac syrup, you can just use parma violets and increase the sugar content of the cupcakes.

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Ingredients: Makes 18 cupcakes

The Sponge:

  • 150g butter
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 100ml lilac syrup
  • 1 pack of parma violets
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g self raising flour

The Buttercream:

  • 100g butter
  • 100ml lilac syrup
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 1 pack of parma violets
  • violet gel food colouring

Decorations:

  • 1 pack of parma violets
  • violet sprinkles

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To Make:

The Sponge:

Preheat the oven to 180C, line a cupcake tray with cupcake cases and crush the parma violets to a fine powder in a pestle and mortar.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then fold in the eggs, syrup and parma violets. Finally fold in the flour.

Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases until 2/3 full.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until cooked through and golden brown.

Leave to cool on a wire rack before icing.

The Buttercream:

Crush the parma violets to a fine powder in a pestle and mortar.

Whisk together the butter and icing sugar, and then mix in the syrup, parma violets and food colouring.

The mixture should be smooth, glossy and able to hold its shape (add more icing sugar if necessary)

Decorating:

Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag and pipe a swirl of icing onto each cupcake.

Scatter over the violet sprinkles and then top each cupcake with a parma violet.

Serve and enjoy!

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Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cupcakes

Moist and nutty peanut cupcakes, topped with a creamy chocolate buttercream and sweet, crunchy peanut brittle.

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Bank Holiday Monday meant lots of extra time for baking, and as I was away on holiday last week, I was raring to get back to the kitchen!

I have bean meaning to make a chocolate and peanut butter dessert for a while, and I recently had an amazing dessert of chocolate fondant and peanut butter ice cream, which reminded me of what a delicious combination it is! This weekend I decided that it was time to get out the peanut butter!

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I made a peanut butter flavoured cupcake, topped with a chocolate buttercream, and for a bit of extra fun, I made peanut brittle for decoration.

I took these into work and everyone loved the flavours and was super impressed with the peanut brittle, so a great recipe if you want to show off your baking skills to your friends!

I will be bringing them along to Fiesta Friday#70 this week, hopefully people will be just as impressed!

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Variations: You could use any other nut butter in the sponge – chocolate and hazelnut would be a lovely combination.

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Ingredients: Makes 12 Large cupcakes

The Sponge:

  • 150g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2tbsp peanut butter
  • 100g peanuts
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g self raising flour

The Peanut Brittle:

  • 100g peanuts
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp water

The Chocolate Buttercream:

  • 200g butter
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 2tbsp cocoa powder

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To Make:

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The Sponge:

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

Blitz the peanuts in a small blender to a coarse powder.

Cream together the butter, sugar and peanut butter, until light and fluffy. Then fold in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the ground peanuts and flour.

Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases until 2/3 full. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, untill cooked through and golden brown.

Leave to cool on a wire rack before icing.

The Peanut Brittle:

Grease and line a baking tray.

In a small pan combine the sugar and water, cook over a medium heat until the mixture turns a dark golden brown colour, stir in the peanuts.

Pour the peanut mixture onto the baking tray and smooth out into a thin layer, leave to cool completely, until hard.

Blitz half the brittle into a coarse powder, and smash the other half into small clusters.

The Buttercream:

Whisk together the butter, coca powder and icing sugar, until smooth and glossy. It should hold its shape when mixed.

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Assembling:

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

Sprinkle some of the blended peanut brittle over the top of each cake, and then decorate with a few pieces of peanut brittle.

Serve up the cupcakes, and enjoy!

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Lamingtons – Trio of Flavours -Raffaello, Chocolate and Passion Fruit

Cubes of soft almond sponge, dipped in a sweet chocolate ganache and coated in toasted desiccated coconut.

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Time for the daring bakers challenge! For the May challenge Marcellina from Marcellina in Cucina dared us to make Lamingtons. An Australian delicacy that is as tasty as it is elegant!

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If you’ve never heard of a lamington before, it is basically a square shaped piece of shaped of sponge, coated in icing or chocolate, then rolled in desiccated coconut.  I initially just planned on making one flavour of lamington inspired by Raffaelo chocolates –  almond sponge, coated in white chocolate and coconut. But I ran out of white chocolate after making 12 lamingtons, so I used a dark chocolate ganache which made another 12 lamingtons, but after that I still had sponge left! The next day I made some passionfruit lamingtons as well.

So I ended up with three different lamingtons flavours:

  1. Raffaelo – white chocolate, almond and coconut
  2. Dark chocolate, almond and coconut
  3. Passionfruit and coconut

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I’d never actually eaten lamingtons before, but I really liked them, and they look really impressive too! I took a box into work and they went down really well, even though no one knew what they were! An excellent addition to a party, so I will be bringing them along to Fiesta Friday!

So if your feeling a bit adventurous, then give lamingtons a go!

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Variations:

If you don’t like coconut, you could use some coarsely ground hazelnut praline, or flaked almonds.

You can also fill the lamingtons with jam for extra flavour!

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Ingredients:

The Sponge:

  • 250g butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g ground Almonds
  • 100g self raising flour

Ganache:

  • 200g white or dark chocolate
  • 100ml double cream

Passion Fruit icing:

  • juice of 3 passion fruits
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 200g icing sugar

Coating:

  • 200g desiccated coconut

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To Make:

The sponge:

Preheat the oven to 180C, grease and line a rectangular baking dish.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then crack in the eggs, one at a time, with the ground almonds, mix until fully incorporated. Fold in the self raising flour.

Pour the batter into the prepared dish and smooth out, bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.

Leave to cool completely on a wire rack, then cut into evenly sized cubes.

The Ganache:

Heat the cream in a small pan until almost boiling, then remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until completely melted.

The Passion Fruit Icing:

Strain the juice from the passion fruits, and combine with the lemon juice and icing sugar (adjust the liquid or sugar, until the icing is runny but still coats the back of a spoon).

The Coating:
Toast the coconut in a frying pan until just turning a golden brown colour.

Assembling:
Use two forks to dip the cubes of sponge into the ganache and coat completely.

Transfer the coated cube to the pan with the desiccated coconut, and press the coconut onto the outside of the cube by rolling it around. Once completely covered, transfer to a platter.

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Repeat until all the ganache is used up, serve and enjoy!

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Piña Colada Cupcakes

Light, fluffy cupcakes, flavoured with lime and pineapple, topped with coconut buttercream, decorated with a pineapple wedge and a glacé cherry. 

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Who doesn’t love the creamy deliciousness of a piña colada? Well it’s even better when all those tropical flavours are in a cake!

While deciding that to make with my pineapple and lime jam, it struck me that with just a bit of coconut, I would have all the flavours of a piña colada in a cake! So I decided to make some piña colada flavoured cupcakes.

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I knew they would be tasty, but I didn’t expect them to be this good! They are definitely some of the best cupcakes I have ever made, so I really recommend this recipe!

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Variations:

If you don’t want to make the jam, you could use some chopped fresh pineapple, and lime juice and zest to flavour the cupcakes instead. Replace the jam with 150g caster sugar, the zest and juice of 2 limes, and a few tbsp of fresh pineapple.

These are non alcoholic cakes, but you could brush the top of the sponge with sow rum or malibu, before icing, to give them a bit of a kick!

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Ingredients: Makes 16 cupcakes

The Sponge:

  • 150g Butter
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 200g Pineapple and lime jam
  • 2 Eggs
  • 150g Self Raising Flour

The Butter Cream:

  • 100g Coconut Cream
  • 350g Icing Sugar

Decorating:

  • Chunks of fresh Pineapple
  • Glacé Cherries
  • 4tbsp Desiccated Coconut, toasted

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To Make:

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

Cream together the butter and sugar, until light and fluffy, then add the pineapple and lime jam. Add the eggs one at a time, then fold in the flour.

Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, until 2/3 full. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.

Leave to cool on a wire rack before icing.

The Buttercream:

Beat the coconut cream and icing sugar together with an electric whisk, until light and creamy – you need to get it quite a bit thicker than normal buttercream, as the coconut cream melts much more easily than butter.

Stir in a few tbsp of dedicated coconut.

Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag with a star shaped nozzle, and pipe a swirl of icing onto each cupcake.

Decorating:

Top each cupcake with a glacé cherry and a wedge of pineapple. Then sprinkle over some desiccated coconut.

Serve (with a fork!) and enjoy the tropical bliss!

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