MINT TOFFEE CHOC CRISPIE SQUARES #nationalenglishtoffeeday

My Mint Toffee Choc Crispies are so easy to make.

According to My Legoman’s Mostly Foodie Days Of 2022 calendar, yesterday (January 8th) was National English Toffee Day. It’s a day late as yesterday I was holed up in bed full of the shivers, fever, aches and pains after having my Covid Booster on Friday afternoon. Thankfully I feel a lot better now, although my FitBit decided to send me an alarm telling me my heart rate was too high for someone resting. At the time I felt a bit feverish but it did put the frighteners on me.

I love toffees and whenever we get a pack of mixed mints for long car journeys on holiday in the UK, I always grab the mint toffees first! I couldn’t think what to bake with toffee, apart from a recipe I have for Mint Toffee Choc Crispie Squares. And what’s more, it’s a no-bake recipe and so quick to make!

Mint! Do you love or hate it? I think opinions can be divided very much like Marmite!

If you don’t like mint, you could always substitute for plain toffees and use plain chocolate instead of mint chocolate. I know lots of people love mint (it’s my favourite flavour) but I know it’s not to everyone’s taste. My late Dad loved mint chocolates and I’m sure he would have loved one of these to try. The only thing is with the mint chocolate is you have to look out for the bars which contain little mint pieces and not fondant centres. Alternatively, you could always use dark chocolate and up the mint flavouring with some peppermint extract if you have that.

MINT TOFFEE CHOC CRISPIE SQUARES
Serves 16

Line a 23cm/9″ tin with baking parchment.

INGREDIENTS:

First, put the butter and the toffees into a pan on a gentle heat until melted.

Meanwhile, melt your chocolate. I melt my chocolate in the microwave as I find this much easier for me.

When the chocolate is melted, combine with the rice crispies until all the crispies have been covered with chocolate.

Spoon into the prepared tin and flatten with the back of a spoon or a potato masher.

If you would like a topping for your crispie squares, then melt the other 200g of mint chocolate. Spread this carefully onto the top of your crispie mixture,

Put it into the fridge to set. After about half an hour, cut the crispies up into pieces. I have chosen to make 16 squares but you can have them bigger if you want.

Leave to set completely, then remove from the tin.

Let me know if you do have a try at this recipe or if you have adapted it in any way. I love orange chocolate as well, maybe I might test out a chocolate orange one in the future.

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

Jane’s Patisserie- Book Review.

Over the past couple of years I’ve discovered Jane’s Patisserie website with her delicious, foolproof recipes. Her cheesecake recipes are my absolute go-to, especially as cheesecakes always used to be a disaster when I made them before. Not any more. No more need for gelatine or for baking cheesecakes. I don’t need that with Jane’s recipes.

Jane’s Patisserie recipe book, published in August 2021.

Back in August, Jane brought out her recipe book with the same title as her website/ blog – Jane’s Patisserie and at first I was sceptical about buying it. After all why buy a book when the recipes are bound to be on the website. But thankfully, although there are several recipes from the website, the rest are actually specifically written for the book. A few recipes were actually created from Jane’s follower requests. I always find something I like on her website and I was pleased to say this book is no exception!

The book is split into nine main chapters: Cheesecakes, Cakes, Cupcakes and Muffins, Cookies, Breads and Doughnuts, Traybakes, Desserts, Tea Time and last but not least, Sweets. As well as the main chapters, there is a detailed introduction which is useful for novice bakers including ingredient guides and useful equipment and ingredients. At the beginning of every chapter, there is also an introduction. For example, in the Cheesecake chapter, Jane explains the ingredients she uses as a base for all her cheesecakes as well as the top tips for making the perfect one. The same goes for the other chapters in the book.

I used Jane’s online recipe to bake these Double Decker brownies to send to my son at uni. He regularly gets brownie and cookie parcels from me and shares them with his housemates.

What is in my Top Ten Recipes to bake?

  • No Bake Speculoos Cheesecake
  • Cookies and Cream Drip Cake
  • Vanilla Traybake
  • Honeycomb Cupcakes
  • S’mores Cookies
  • Cinnamon Rolls
  • Triple Chocolate Brownies
  • White Chocolate and Raspberry Tart
  • Malt Chocolate Fudge.
I love Jane’s cheesecake recipes and this one was for my daughter’s birthday last week. She wanted a birthday cheesecake instead of a cake. It contains Arran Gold which is a liqueur like Baileys but made with whisky from the Isle of Arran.
Last Christmas we used one of Jane’s cheesecake recipes as our Christmas pudding alternative. My kids don’t like Christmas pudding so we had a Lotus Biscoff cheesecake drizzled with chocolate sauce.

What recipes will I pass on?

  • Rhubarb Crumble Cheesecake (not that keen on rhubarb myself)
  • Brown Butter, Pecan and Chocolate Chip Cookies (sounds delicious but I can’t be bothered with browning butter!)
  • Doughnut Bites (you have to use a deep fat fryer and I don’t have one of those. I also don’t like deep frying things)
  • Rhubarb and Custard Blondies (for the same reason as above!)
Another favourite of Jane’s cheesecakes: this is a Mint cheesecake with Mint Lindt D’Or balls on top. Another Christmas favourite.

Jane’s Patisserie is one of those books where I know that I will get to use it to bake everything (apart from the four recipes above!) Jane has created a wealth of recipes using popular flavours and ingredients which are easy to obtain. No weird and strange flavour combos here and the bakes aren’t too over the top. As an experienced baker I find that her recipes are easily achievable and taste wonderful.

From the book I tested out Jane’s S’mores Cookies. They were absolutely delicious and I took them to work to share out. They contain marshmallows, chocolate chips and pieces of digestive biscuit.

I hope that there will be a follow up book in the future because judging by the huge success of Jane’s blog and her book sales so far, there will be a massive demand for it. I’m off to bake some brownies and blondies to take into work tomorrow using a couple of Jane’s recipes.

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

Finch Bakery- Book Review

Back in the summer holidays (seems so long ago now!) I was shopping in my local Waterstones. I love going into bookshops and could spend hours looking through all the shelves. Especially at the cookery ones. I’ve not seen so many new baking books I’ve wanted to buy recently but the Finch Bakery one caught my eye.

The Finch Bakery Cookbook.

I must admit I had never heard of the Finch Bakery before but the front cover of the book caught my eye. Mouthwatering cupcakes, cookies, traybakes and layer cakes all adorning a counter. I was immediately interested as I bake cookies and traybakes for SmartCookieSam as well as the odd layer cake. I just had to look inside and was treated to a delicious sounding list of recipes.

The Finch bakery brownie recipe was delicious and fudgy. It was better served straight from the fridge!

As a background, if you don’t already know (and I didn’t, either!), the Finch Bakery was started by twin sisters Lauren and Rachel Finch. They started their business in their parent’s kitchen just before their 21st birthday and then as the business grew, they started a shop on Queen Street in Great Harwood, Lancashire back in 2016. This has now turned into an online business and a bigger store. I need to go over to Lancashire to try one of their bakes as they are very popular.

The Finch Bakery book starts with a useful chapter on Basics: the equipment you will need, ingredients, how to line a cake tin and details of sprinkles and other touches. There are also handy recipes for buttercream and other frostings which are used in the Finch recipes.

For the main body of the book, there are five chapters: Celebration Cakes, Cupcakes and Cake Jars, Cookies and Cookie Cups, Traybakes, No Bakes and Small Bakes.

Celebration Cakes: Wow, what an incredible array of cakes to choose from! Covering many different flavours of cake which you could possibly choose from. I don’t make many big celebration cakes now as I concentrate on the small bakes for my business but I am going to use one of these recipes next year as I am going to be celebrating my 50th birthday. What is a great idea is how each large celebration cake recipe can be adapted into corresponding cupcakes or cupcake jars. I must admit I’ve never eaten, let alone made a cupcake jar as they look incredibly sweet. And that comes from someone who has a sweet tooth! I also love the idea of the Vanilla and Chocolate Half And Half Cake, which are two layers of each of chocolate and vanilla sponge baked separately, then cut in half and reassembled. Great for those who love a bit of both flavour or don’t like chocolate!

As cookies are my favourite thing to bake, I went straight to the Cookies and Cookie Cups chapter in the book. I already have lots of recipes I use for my cookies but I was interested to see if there were any different flavours to try. I must admit I want to try the Red Velvet Stuffed Cookies as I’ve never baked them before. I love the idea of these cookie pies which seem to be everywhere at the moment and intend to try the Peanut Butter Cookie Pie recipe at some stage.

Brownies and Traybakes are another favourite of mine to bake and I always love comparing brownie recipes. I just have to try those Slutty Brownies! I went to meet one of my best friends for coffee and cake at a local farm shop a month or so ago and the farm shop sold Slutty Brownies. They were absolutely delicious with both a brownie and a cookie layer. Like a Brookie but up a whole notch! But I did actually test out one of the recipes and went with the original Brownies recipe as that was what I needed to bake at the time. There are lots of other brownie and blondie recipes in the chapter as well. I need to work my way through them!

A slice of Brownie was perfect with a cup of coffee.

The fourth chapter is called No Bakes and I always love a No Bake recipe or two. So useful if you are running out of oven space and time to bake. There are delicious cheesecakes as well as mouthwatering Rocky Road recipes including one based on one of my favourite flavour combos Lotus Biscoff! Not a cheap bake as you need a lot of Biscoff Biscuits, spread and white chocolate but you do get a huge tray from it! There are also many more recipes to choose from.

Finally, in the Small Bakes Chapter, there are cake pops and various flavours of macaroons. I love making macaroons but haven’t had chance to bake them recently. I might have a go before Christmas for foodie presents.

My Top Ten Recipes I’m going to try out:

  • Creme Egg Cake (next Easter will be fun!)
  • Vanilla and Chocolate Half and Half Cake (my 50th, maybe?)
  • Red Velvet Stuffed Cookies
  • Peanut Butter Cookie Pie
  • Jammie Dodger Blondies
  • Slutty Brownies
  • Lotus Biscoff Rocky Road
  • Triple Layered Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bar
  • Lemon and Blueberry Scones
  • Caramel Mocha Macaroons

What I’ll pass on:

  • Hard Candy Lollipops
  • Geo Heart Cake Shapes (they look really fiddly to make to me)
  • Cake pops and cakesicles (as above, they look really fiddly to make!)
    • The cake jar recipes: they just don’t appeal to me. Sorry!

As I mentioned before, I tested out the Basic Chocolate Brownie recipe. It’s very similar to the recipe I use for my own brownies and I always add in extra chocolate chips as well as the melted chocolate and the cocoa powder for the chocolatey fix. I found they came out very fudgy, which is just how I like them and the tip to put them in the fridge after cooling completely in the tin really works with me. My only concern is that the recipe is suitable for a 30 x 23 cm traybake tin whereas I use a 23cm square one so that it fits in the boxes. I took the brownies along to work with me and they went down a treat.

I bakes these brownies in my traybake tin.

I would recommend this book to others, although I would not class the bakes as suitable for every day bakes, the recipes are just perfect when you want to bake for special celebrations and occasional treats.

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

Amazing Cakes #28: Mint Chocolate Roulade

Baking roulades and Swiss Rolls always fills me with dread. They look fiddly and messy whenever I make them and the filling never looks neat when I roll them up. Or the actual sponge cracks so much.

Roulades are usually made without flour and fat and are whisked sponges baked in a flat rectangular cake tin. I have a new Swiss Roll tin but it gets used for all manner of things including roast potatoes. Before using it for cakes, I make sure it has been cleaned carefully and I always line it with baking parchment. With this cake being flour free, it is also gluten free.

Last Sunday I had my mum visiting for a few days and planned a roast chicken dinner followed by a dessert. Now it’s usually just Mr S and I at home on a Sunday (our daughter is at work and our son is at uni), we don’t usually do roasts for ourselves. I thought having my mum to stay was the perfect excuse to have a roast as well as a pudding after!

The Chocolate Roulade as featured in The Great British Bake Off Book Of Amazing Cakes looked stunning, yet fairly quick to bake. However, looking in my baking cupboard I didn’t have any plain/ dark chocolate left. I did have two bars of mint chocolate which I love. Whenever we go up to the Isle of Arran on holiday I buy bars of Mackies chocolate in the Co-op there. Where I live in North Yorkshire, you can get Mackies icet cream but not the chocolate. Mint is just one of the best flavours out there, I love it! So a Chocolate Mint Roulade it had to be, then!

First things first was to prepare the Swiss Roll tin for baking. As I said before, it was cleaned carefully as I didn’t want residues of olive oil on it from the last time I used it. Then I lined it with some baking paper. At the same time I also cut out another sheet of baking paper to use to help me roll up the roulade later.

I then melted the mint chocolate in the microwave carefully. The recipe said to do this on the stove in a bowl over simmering water, but I find it easier to do in a microwave if I do it in small stages. Then, in my KitchenAid I whisked egg yolks and caster sugar together until the mixture had turned into a thick type mousse.

As the eggs had had to be separated, in another bowl I whisked up the egg whites. They had to be whisked up until they were stiff peaks. These egg whites were then folded into the whisked yolks and sugar mixture. Finally I folded in some cocoa powder.

When the roulade was ready, I put it on a wire rack to cool down but left it in the tin until it was completely cool to move it. I still managed to make it crack as I got it out of the tin. Using the spare piece of baking parchment sprinkled with a little icing sugar, I turned the roulade out onto it upside down. I then filled it with whipped cream. As I kept doing this, the roulade started cracking. The instructions said that it was normal for it to crack. But the recipe book photo didn’t have the massive cracks that mine did! Upon looking at the roulade from above, it resembled a giant long poo! Tasted amazing though, and I sneaked a couple of off cuts!

The complete mixture was then poured into the tin and spread carefully so that it touched each corner of the tin. I then baked it in my fan oven at 160oC for roughly just over 20 minutes.

A recipe I think I will bake again as it was quite quick to make. I just need to work on the good old presentation.

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

Chocolate Orange Tiffin (aka Terry’s Tiffin)

This blog post is written in memory of a very special person. My Dad Terry passed away on June 11th. As I was growing up, my Dad was always encouraging and enjoyed sampling my baking. In more recent years he would enjoy various treats I would make for him and my step mum. Dad was only 74 when he died after contracting Covid. Before the disease took a turn for the worse we spoke on the phone. This was to be the last conversation I had with Dad and he asked me for a favour. He asked if I would bake the staff at the hospital some cookies to say thankyou for all they did for him. It was the least I could do to help. Dad then added that he would love some of my special tiffin for when he came out of hospital.

Sadly that was not to be as the following day Dad started to deteriorate and passed away only 4 days later. I wanted to carry out his wishes and although he didn’t get to have his tiffin, I made some for our family to eat after Dad’s funeral service. I also baked some cookies and took some Rocky Road through to the hospital with a batch each for the Covid Ward and the ICU. Although I was upset going back to the same place where I had seen Dad after he had died and to talk to staff who had looked after him, it was a pleasure to make the treats for them. They were so grateful and also took the time to chat to me, asking how I was as well as how the rest of my family were coping.

One of the batches of Tiffin I baked was a chocolate orange flavouted Tiffin using melted chocolate orange chocolate bars as well as mini Terry’s Chocolate Orange Segments which you can buy in those treat/ sharing bags. The reason why I chose chocolate orange was because my Dad’s name was Terry and he used to joke “That’s my chocolate because it says Terry on it!” And that was before Dawn French was on TV advertising saying “It’s not Terry’s, it’s mine!” Not only that but Terry’s chocolate oranges were originally made in York near where Dad lived for the last twenty eight years of his life and near where I live too!

If you would like to make your own version of Terry’s Chocolate Orange Tiffin, then here is the recipe:

Terry’s Tiffin

Makes 9-12 pieces, depending on how big you like them!

You need a 9″ square tin, greased and lined with baking parchment.

Ingredients: 100g melted unsalted butter, 25g soft brown sugar, 3 tbsp Sugar and Crumbs’ Chocolate Orange Cocoa Powder, 4 tbsp golden syrup, 400g chocolate orange chocolate (such as Dairy Milk orange or any chocolate bar flavoured with orange), 200g Digestive biscuits and a sharing pack of Chocolate Orange Segments.

  1. Put the melted butter, sugar, cocoa powder and golden syrup into a bowl and mix together until combined.
  2. Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a heatproof bowl over simmering water or in the microwave in 30 second blasts.
  3. Put the digestive biscuits into a clear plastic bag and smash them into pieces with the end of a rolling pin. Try and get them in random chunks as this looks effective when you cut the tiffin up! Add in to the melted butter mixture and stir to combine. Chop the pieces of chocolate orange up and stir these into the mixture as well.
  4. Press this mixture carefully into the prepared tin, making sure it is level and filled to all four corners.
  5. Pour the melted chocolate over the top of the biscuit mixture and spread carefully.
  6. Chill in the fridge for half an hour and then slice into bars or pieces carefully. I’ve found the bars cut more easily if the knife is warm. Return to the fridge to finish off setting until needed.

I have found this Tiffin recipe is so adaptable. I’ve made other versions recently with Crunchie Bars and Maltesers and they have been really successful. Please note, some of my Tiffin photos were taken in a rush after a busy day and not of the best quality!

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

Chocolate Drip Cake: Amazing Cakes #12

It was my daughter’s birthday back in October. It had been a strange couple of weeks for us and her birthday coincided with her last day of self isolation. I had originally planned her cake for her weeks ago and had bought ingredients and the decorations well in advance. Had I known, I wouldn’t have baked such an extravagant and massive cake!

I’ve seen lots of these fancy drip cakes around and although I bake lots of cakes it has been a while since I have made any celebration cakes. Making a drip cake is something I’d always wanted to have a go at but never had chance to do. So even though my daughter said “Don’t make me a massive cake, Mum!”, what did her mother do? Make a massive cake!

I looked at the recipe for the Chocolate Drip Cake in the Great British Bake Off book Amazing Cakes to help me for quantities, etc and I adapted it to suit the ingredients I had at home at the time. The original recipe has two layers each of chocolate sponge and also of a brown butter sponge! As the brown butter sponge used a whole packet of butter which I didn’t have enough of, I chose to make this one as a Vanilla sponge but bake both sponges using Stork instead. I had a whole tub of Stork which needed using up and only enough butter for the buttercream. Also I chose to adapt the decorations. My friend Amy had bought me a tub of Cake Decor Chocolate Mirror Glaze icing in a tub which I had not used before and I thought it would be perfect on the top of the cake for the drip. Instead of homemade chocolate shards, I used Lindt Dor Salted Caramel Truffles and some honeycomb pieces. For the buttercream icing, I had to use a mixture of plain Tate and Lyle Icing Sugar with a packet of Sugar and Crumbs’ Honeycomb flavour icing sugar as I didn’t have enough plain for all the buttercream. So the chocolate cake ended up being a chocolate, salted caramel and honeycomb flavour cake!

On Sunday morning, the morning of my daughter’s actual birthday I baked the sponges and made up the buttercream. This did not take long. It wasn’t until later when I had to assemble the cake that the panic started. I see so many perfect cakes on the internet where the buttercream is so smooth. I can never get mine like that. You can also bet your bottom dollar that the moment you start piping or something is the exact moment when Mr S comes in the kitchen and wants to get something out of that very cupboard right where you are working! This time he came in asking for a cup of tea! (fit eyeroll emoji in here!)

It was as I was assembling the cake that I realised how big it actually was and why I needed 500g butter and 1kg of icing sugar in the buttercream. It also contains 200g dark chocolate and double cream which was made into a ganache and then whipped into the butter and icing sugar. Assembling the cake was fine and I put it on my larger Cath Kidston cake stand. Once it was assembled, I gave the cake a crumb coat and put it to chill in the fridge for an hour. While it was chilling I made the cup of tea and tried to clean up as best as I could.

Another coat of buttercream went on and then I spent ages smoothing it with my cake smoother before melting the pot of chocolate glaze gently in the microwave. I have seen people use plastic bottles with nozzles on for piping on the chocolate drip but I chose to use a piping bag to help me. The chocolate glaze was slightly too thick really and some of the drips didn’t look as neat as others. Once the chocolate was on then I put on the Lindt balls and sprinkled the honeycomb pieces in the middle. The finishing touch was some gold Happy Birthday lettering.

I was very pleased and proud of the cake and my daughter loved it which was the main thing. Since she has gone back to work she has taken it to share with her work mates and they enjoyed it too.

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

Amazing Cakes #6: Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Brownies

There are a couple of Brownie recipes in The Great British Bake Off Amazing Cakes which I’ve been really keen to try out. I have my own favourite regular Brownie recipe but I must admit I’ve never made a gluten free brownie before. The Amazing Cakes book has a whole chapter dedicated to Free From Cakes and one of the Gluten Free recipes is for some Chocolate Berry Brownies. I like fruit inside cakes but I didn’t want to use up my raspberries I usually have on my cereal at breakfast time. Instead, as I wanted a chocolatey hit, I put in the equivalent amount of milk chocolate chips.

The brownies are made gluten free by using ground almonds in place of the flour and baking powder. The original recipe also shows the Brownies topped with some flaked almonds. I didn’t have any left as they’d all gone in the Florentines I’d made!

The chocolate chips were part of a lovely, belated birthday present from my friend Amy. I have tried the Guittard plain chocolate chips before but never the milk ones. I used about two thirds of the packet. Hopefully there will be some left to make choc chip cookies with another time.

To make the brownies I had to melt dark chocolate and butter first. When this was melted, I added in some light brown muscovado sugar as well as some vanilla extract.

After that, I stirred in beaten eggs, followed by cocoa powder and ground almonds. Finally the chocolate chips were folded in.

I baked the brownies at 180oC in a 22cm square loose bottomed pan for 30 minutes or so.

The brownies came out with a slightly different look to them on the top but they honestly tasted fudgy and squidgy inside, just how I enjoy eating a brownie. I needed to wait until the brownies had cooled down before I could cut them up into squares. The chocolate chips gave it an extra edge of deliciousness and I was really impressed with them. No one could tell they were gluten free.

I definitely will be baking these brownies again and again as they were so simple to bake without having to buy special gluten free flour and baking powder in. I saved two brownies for Mr S and my daughter while the rest went off to work to share around with my workmates.

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

Great British Bake Off Signature Bake- Florentines

I just love Florentines so I was really glad to see them featured as the Signature Bake on the Bake Off’s Biscuit Week. I don’t really think of them as biscuits though, more like chocolates. They’re something I always associate with Christmas and foodie presents though. I think they’re so pretty and the colours shine through like jewels depending on the sort of dried fruit you use. They can be fiddly to make so that’s why when I make them they don’t look that neat! So long as they taste great, that’s what matters.

I don’t have my own recipe for Florentines but I use the recipe in the Great British Bake Off Christmas book which came out a few years ago. I had to adapt the recipe this time as I had to look at what dried fruit I had in the cupboard. I had to add sultanas instead of dried cranberries as I didn’t have any. I weighed out some chopped glace cherries, some dried mixed peel and some sultanas as well as some flaked almonds. In a pan I gently heated together some butter, sugar and some double cream. Then the cream mixture was combined with the fruit and nuts.

On lined baking trays I put teaspoonfuls of the Florentine mixture spaced well apart. These tend to spread very easily on the tray so I didn’t want them too close together. The other thing I’ve learned to watch with Florentines is that they can burn very easily so they don’t need that long in the oven. I put them in for 8 minutes and even the almonds were beginning to go brown.

From the original Bake Off recipe you needed 100g each of dark chocolate and white chocolate. I didn’t have white chocolate, only some dark chocolate. I couldn’t be bothered to go out to buy just a bar of chocolate. I then remembered I had a packet of strawberry flavoured pink chocolate buttons in my cupboard. I had bought these a few weeks on holiday when I was on holiday on the Isle of Arran and had forgotten I had them.

Once the Florentines were out of the oven, I let them cool down completely before I dared to move them onto a wire rack. From experience I’ve had them completely broken trying to move them off the tray. When they were cooled, I turned the Florentines upside down and spread melted dark chocolate on half of them. The other half had the melted pink chocolate buttons on them. I tried to give them a pattern but it didn’t quite work until the chocolate had set a bit.

I really loved making the Florentines and they were worth the effort. I definitely will be making them again at Christmas for my foodie hampers. They’re not a budget bake especially as dried fruit, nuts and chocolate can be expensive. This is why they are probably seen as a treat for special occasions.

Did you try any of the bakes from Biscuit Week? If so, which did you try? Or do you have a favourite you want to have a go at?

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

Flourless Chocolate Almond Easter Torte

Hi everyone! Happy Easter! I hope that you are all ok, despite the difficult times we are living in at the moment. I am trying to keep busy despite the quarantine and am doing as much as I can to help where I can.

My blog has been neglected again recently but I need to put that right. I have done lots of baking and unfortunately my waistline is now suffering for it. Thankfully the weather has been lovely for our daily exercise! But today, being Easter I thought I’d share a recipe with you that we have had for our Easter lunch. We don’t eat roast lamb at Easter (I think lamb stinks when it’s cooking) so I don’t bother. We’re having roast chicken with all the trimmings instead. For dessert we are having this Flourless Chocolate Easter Cake. Although it could be eaten at any time of the year, this is just so appropriate at the moment.

For a start, this cake doesn’t contain flour and that’s handy if you’ve been struggling to get flour when doing your food shopping. I have been fine so far but I couldn’t find any more baking powder or bicarbonate of soda last week when I went to my local Morrison’s. Instead of flour, this recipe uses ground almonds.

Ingredients:

175g unsalted, softened butter

200g plain/ dark chocolate (use one with high cocoa solids if you can)

140g caster sugar

3 large free range eggs (separated)

90g ground almonds

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp almond extract

Mini eggs, chocolates or sprinkles to decorate.

You will a need loose bottomed, 18cm/ 7″ diameter cake tin.

  1. Preheat your oven to 180oC/ 350oF or Gas 4. Fan oven, preheat to 160o.
  1. Grease your tin with cake release spray or some butter and line the base with a baking parchment circle.
  2. Melt half the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Leave this to cool down.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, cream 115g of the butter and all of the caster sugar together. One by one, add the egg yolks and beat well.
  4. Then beat in the chocolate as well as the almond extract.
  5. Fold in the ground almonds and the baking powder with a metal spoon.
  6. In another clean mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold the egg whites into the cake mixture.
  7. Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin and then bake for 25 minutes.
  8. Let the cake cool on a wire rack in its tin. When it is completely cool, turn it out.
  9. Melt the remaining chocolate and butter together in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.
  10. Cool slightly and then spread over the top of your cake.
  11. Decorate your cake with your chosen treats!
  • I chose to use Galaxy Enchanted Mini Eggs for my decoration. I just love Galaxy chocolate and saw these a few weeks ago. They were put away out of sight or I would have scoffed them there and then! All it needs is a spoonful of cream to go with it.
  • Happy Easter and Stay Safe! Xx