Saturday, 29 December 2012

White Chocolate Almond Cranberry Cookies!

Merry Christmas Everyone!
I have felt as though I had been on a cooking fest entertaining guests for most of the holiday!  It was obviously great fun, but I have missed adding my dose onto the blog!
I baked a batch of these this afternoon and they were super yummy...unfortunately (for me!) the recipe didn't really state the quantity that this batch would make, so there were a fair few to say the least!  Hubby and I both packed some away to take the office too!  
They were a very exciting texture and there were lots of goodies packed within... Crunch chopped almonds, sweet white chocolate and the lovely tartness of the cranberries made these a real treat.  I almost overcooked the first small batch, so make sure they are just done at the base and not too brown otherwise they will end up rock solid! These ones were left in for 8-10 minutes as the recipe stated and were just perfect.  

This recipe made approximately 40 cookies!
3 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
1 cup unsalted Butter, room temperature
1 cup Brown Sugar
2 whole large Eggs
1 tablespoon Almond essence
1 cup dried Cranberries
1 cup White Chocolate Chips
1 cup chopped Almonds
Preheat oven to 175C degrees.
Beat butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Then add vanilla and mix.
Add dry ingredients until just blended.
Add cranberries, chocolate and almonds and incorporate into dough.
Roll out and cut with cookie cutter or make into small balls and press down.  They do not spread, so you don't need to allow for the cookies to flatten out whilst baking!
Bake on an ungreased baking sheet for about 12 minutes.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Glitter Animal Christmas Jars

These little treat jars were great fun to make... A collection of jars with painted lids or paper wrapped with the glitter animals on top. I just bought the animals from eBay and covered with a thin layer of pva and glittered all over... The biggest challenge was keeping them away from my little girl!!! 

Filled with yummy smarties, midget gems and cola bottles :-)
Merry Christmas to all my work buddies! x

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Poptastic Cake Pops!

Finally... having had the cake pop mold in my cupboard for a few months, I finally got started...  WOW!! Very very Exciting!! I just used the recipe which came with the mold and they turned out amazing and were a definite showstopper! This glitter just makes everything look amazing anyway, but really, they tasted as good as they looked! I can't wait to get started on more... plus, the recipe makes around 24 so you can experiment in one batch with the different toppings.

Fudgy Cake Pops
¾ semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup butter
¾ cup sugar
3 Tbsp cocoa
2 eggs
¾ cup flour
¼ tsp salt
24 lollipop sticks
12 oz. chocolate bark coating
Heat oven to 325F. Grease and flour pan. In medium saucepan, over low heat, melt chocolate chips and butter together. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat and pour into medium bowl. Add sugar and cocoa. Mix until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add flour and salt. Stir until blended. Spoon batter into bottom half of pan (without holes) filling each well so it mounds over the top of the pan. (I used my Norpro 1tbsp scoop for this step. Worked perfect.) Place top half of pan on top and secure with keys. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out almost clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan, then remove cake pops from pan to cool completely. Melt chocolate bark according to package directions. Dip lollipop stick into melted chocolate and insert into cake. Repeat with all cakes. Allow chocolate to cool to secure stick in place. Dip cake pop in melted chocolate, spinning to let excess chocolate drip off. Decorate with sprinkles as desired. Place on parchment paper to set. Makes about 24 cake pops.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

The Best... Banana Choc Chip Loaf

All packaged up ready to go! The labels from Paperchase are fab and I love these little fabric patchwork strawberries! 
This is such an easy recipe and the banana teamed with the chocolate is just yummy!

 Here is the recipe straight from my mini baking bible!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Chocolate Pocky Cake!

Rachel's Chocolate cake decorated with yummy Pocky's which I bought whilst travelling in Hong Kong... Love the different types of Pocky's which can be found there!
Edible glitter adorned! 

And... we got stuck right in! Chocolate heaven!

I love this recipe and always start with this for a lovely dense chocolate cake with a great balance of flavour.  I think the coffee really helps to enhance the chocolate taste!


  • 200g good quality dark chocolate , about 60% cocoa solids
  • 200g butter
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 85g self-raising flour
  • 85g plain flour
  • 1⁄4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g light muscovado sugar
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 75ml buttermilk (5 tbsp)
  • grated chocolate or curls, to decorate

  • 200g good quality dark chocolate , as above
  • 284ml carton double cream (pouring type)
  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar

  1. Butter a 20cm round cake tin (7.5cm deep) and line the base. Preheat the oven to fan 140C/conventional 160C/ gas 3. Break 200g good quality dark chocolate in pieces into a medium, heavy-based pan. Cut 200g butter into pieces and tip in with the chocolate, then mix 1 tbsp instant coffee granules into 125ml cold water and pour into the pan. Warm through over a low heat just until everything is melted - don't overheat. Or melt in the microwave on Medium for about 5 minutes, stirring half way through.
  2. While the chocolate is melting, mix 85g self-raising flour, 85g plain flour, ¼ bicarbonate of soda, 200g light muscovado sugar, 200g golden caster sugar and 25g cocoa powder in a big bowl, mixing with your hands to get rid of any lumps. Beat 3 medium eggs in a bowl and stir in 75ml (5 tbsp) buttermilk.
  3. Now pour the melted chocolate mixture and the egg mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until everything is well blended and you have a smooth, quite runny consistency. Pour this into the tin and bake for 1 hour 25- 1 hour 30 minutes - if you push a skewer in the centre it should come out clean and the top should feel firm (don't worry if it cracks a bit). Leave to cool in the tin (don't worry if it dips slightly), then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. When the cake is cold, cut it horizontally into three. Make the ganache: chop 200g good quality dark chocolate into small pieces and tip into a bowl. Pour a 284ml carton of double cream into a pan, add 2 tbsp golden caster sugar, and heat until it is about to boil. Take off the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
  5. Sandwich the layers together with just a little of the ganache. Pour the rest over the cake letting it fall down the sides and smoothing to cover with a palette knife. Decorate with grated chocolate or a pile of chocolate curls. The cake keeps moist and gooey for 3-4 days.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Blue Mini Cupcakes

This was a special request for a 10th birthday party at the weekend... you know me and the vibrant colours.....! Auntie Denise picked up some amazing food colours for me, whilst shopping in America a few weeks ago.. I have been itching to try them ever here they are! They were definitely a hit with all the children!
The mini cupcakes were baked in teeny silicone molds and then just a simple buttercream icing on top!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Happy Diwali - White Chocolate and Nut Barfi

Happy Diwali.... Take 2! 
I try a different combo of barfi or Indian sweets every year and this has got to be one of my favourite experiments!! The yummy crunch of chopped nuts and white chocolate pieces layered in between give this a great texture and flavour!  It is my modern twist to the usual flavours you will find in your local Indian sweet shops!
I use this recipe below and have added chopped nuts and small pieces of white chocolate.... the possibilities are endless! 

Improvising with a candle box I found spare in my cupboard!  They fit perfectly and  wonderful to present as a gift. :-)


200g milk powder

150ml carton double cream
1tbsp butter
1tsp ground cinammon powder
60g chopped nuts
397g can condensed milk
50g chopped white chocolate

50g melted white chocolate

1)Mix the milk powder and double cream until it forms a thick and crumbly paste
2)Heat the butter over a low heat and stir in the cinnamon and nuts and toast for a few minutes
3)Add the cream mixture and the condensed milk.  The mixture will be solid to start wit but will soften as you heat.  Keep stirring until the mixture starts to come away from the sides.
4)Stir through the white chocolate and pour into a non stick tray to a 2-3cm thickness.
Spread over the melted white chocolate and add sprinkles and glitter!
5)Allow to cool and set in fridge... cut into squares :-) 

Monday, 12 November 2012

Happy Diwali - Bollywood Party Rings!

Happy Diwali to all those celebrating!
I adore party rings and had this on my list of things to do in a while..... then I suddenly thought... why not add a bit of colour as it just approaching Diwali anyway.  A splash of colour and here little Bollywood Diva cookies were created!  I just used a simple recipe for the biscuits and i'm sure you will have a tried and tesed recipe that works for you... If not, why not check this one out.... I have used this recipe many times in the past and I find the flavour of the mixed spice and cinnamon also gives them a little edge! :-)    
Beautiful fuschia and electric blue to get you in the mood for the party! :-)
Happy Diwali and a very prosperous new year! 

Happy Diwali to my little adorable girl Maya.
Lots of love Mummy and Daddy xx

Sunday, 11 November 2012

White Chocolate Sprinkles Cake

I just adore how these little sprinkles can add so much colour and fun!   This was a cake for a baby shower.  I just used a basic sponge and this recipe for the buttercream icing!   

I am still in love with Belle and Boo and had a special request for these little beauties to be added...  I then made some miniature bunting and hey presto! I was really pleased it went down so well! :-) 

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Pretty Blosssom Cupcakes

Just for fun... pretty cherry blossom cupcakes with glitter butterflies.
These were too pretty to eat, but were great fun to make!
The little vanilla sponge cupcakes are topped off with a layer of coloured sugarpaste and decorated with little blossom and butterflies. :-) 

Caramel Vanilla Cake

 Sweet but delicious as a 'coffee' or espresso cake!
Moist Vanilla sponge made with a handful of almonds and  yogurt layered with a yummy caramel filling..... scrumptious!

Yummy caramel topping finished with a sprinkling (generous of course!) of chopped nuts..

  • 225g very soft butter
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 85g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 150ml natural yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
 150g caramel (can be bought canned)
 50g chopped nuts or anything else that takes your fancy!

  1. Preheat oven to 180c or 160c fan. Grease and line base of a 6 inch tin. 
  2. Whizz all the ingredients together in a mixer. Bake for 30-40 minutes until a skewer poked through comes out clean
  3. When the sponge has cooled, cut through to make 3 equal slices (or 2 if you prefer!)
  4. Spread a layer of caramel onto the bottom layer.  Place second layer on top and repeat.  Sprinkle chopped nuts.. yum! 

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Shabby Chic Birthday Cake

Happy Birthday Mum :-)
My first attempt at covering a cake in sugarpaste - ok, it's not perfect but I had a go!!
This was for Mum's 60th - a yummy almond sponge hidden beneath the little adornments.

Sugarpaste roses and butterflies with a little sprinkling of edible glitter

Friday, 26 October 2012

Hong Kong Goodies

Whilst travelling in Hong Kong for the past few days, I was slightly overwhelmed with the ...dinky sweets and yummy scrummy packaging which was on offer in the local 7 11 (YES!?) and City Super stores.  My daughter has obviously loved playing with the boxes.. I daren't tell her about the world of goodies inside... surely, she'll work that out soon! 
Gorgeous little lollipops! :-)
Moomin and Minnie metal tins with boiled sweeties... I just want to keep the tins out on display
These have got to be my favourite.... Minnie and Mickey chocolate lollipops!  
...Then I found the cutest stationery! I just wanted to buy everything! :-)  Thankfully, it's all so tiny, that you just manage to squeeze in a few more things into the already exploding luggage! :-)

Tiny sandwich bags...for super tiny sandwiches! :-) Cute!

I love these stickers... and the tic&tac 2 coloured pen! 

Teeny weeny bows :-)