Monday, 14 April 2014

Easter Egg Teacakes

Easter Egg Shaped chocolate mallow and biscuit teacakes

A while back I was in Poundland – It’s great to pick up the odd seasonal item – and I found very cute silicon easter egg moulds. I bought two, knowing that these would come in very handy for this time of year.



I remember seeing on the Great British Bake Off, a couple of years back, the contestants making teacakes and I thought Easter egg shaped ones would be very cute for this time of year.

All I needed was a simple batch of biscuit, some melted chocolate, and marshmallow filling. Plus as a little surprise, I added a yellow micro egg to each one, so it kind of looked like a little yolk.

I have to admit that I cheated a wee bit, due to a lack of time, and didn’t make my own marshmallow filling. I bought some marshmallow fluff instead and spooned this into my eggs. But if you want to make your own, check out my easy recipe.

The biscuits were quite a short biscuit, quite hard, they need to be sandwiched next to the marshmallow and it’s best if they don’t go soggy.

But I thought they turned out very cute and would go perfect with a seasonal Easter cuppa.

Yield: 12 teacakes

Equipment: 2 silicon easter egg moulds

Ingredients:
100 grams plain flour
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
50 grams granulated sugar
50 grams unsalted butter, cubed
2 tablespoon milk
300 grams dark chocolate
12 tablespoons (or so) marshmallow fluff
12 yellow micro eggs (optional)

Method:
Melt the 200 grams of the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from the heat and add in the remaining 100 grams, finely chopped. Stir this through until melted.

Take spoonfuls and add to each mould, turning about until totally coated and draining off any excess. Chill in the fridge until set and do the same again to ensure a thick chocolate coating.



Make the biscuits, in a bowl together mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add the butter and rub through with your fingers until you get a breadcrumb like consistency. Add two tablespoons of milk and mix to form a dough Add more milk if the mix is too dry.



On a floured surface roll the dough to about a quarter of an inch. Cut out eggs shaped the size of the silicone moulds – either with a cutter or tracing with a knife. Place onto a baking tray with greaseproof paper and chill for about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 170C in this time.



Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until they have turned golden brown. They will have risen slightly but shouldn’t have spread. Let them cool completely.

Take the chocolate egg moulds out of the fridge and spoon a tablespoon full of marshmallow into each cavity. Place a micro egg in each if using. Place a cooled biscuit on top of this.



Re-melt the leftover chocolate and spoon this over the biscuit to completely coat the base of the teacake, so no marshmallow or biscuit is showing through.

Place back into the fridge to set for about 30 minutes to one hour.



To remove from the mould, carefully push the egg up from underneath. Trim any excess chocolate if you need to.  And your teacakes are ready!



You might notice that I added white chocolate into the moulds beforehand. This just needed a wee bit of white chocolate and a little piping bag. Let this set in the fridge before adding on the dark chocolate.

These have a good crack of chocolate when you bite into them. Then you get the soft mallowy centre, followed by the thick crunchy biscuit – and don’t forget the hidden micro egg in the middle.

Happy Easter time and enjoy!!


Saturday, 12 April 2014

On my Sainsbury's Easter Table

Sainsbury's Easter Selection

Sainsbury's recently asked if I would like a selection of goodies to try for Easter. Of course I said yes, and I was given a choice of a kid’s box, an adult’s box or a combo.



I plumped for the grown-ups version and was very excited when a huge box turned up at the door. Now, I have to try these things before Easter gets here, just so I know what I am writing about. And to be honest one of the items didn’t even make it to the table, as the sell-by-date was quite soon, so Disneyboi and I had to scoff these Taste the Difference mini Belgian chocolate hot cross buns. 



They were moist and delicious, not like regular hot cross buns, in that there was no dried fruit, just delicious chocolate throughout. As you can tell by the picture, these were eaten in a hurry!!



Next on to the bounty atop the table and first up was the traditional all butter simnel cake. Now, I’m not a huge fan of simnel cake, but my taste testers told me this was delicious and buttery as the name would suggest. It’s got loads of fruit inside, made with ground almonds and has marzipan balls on top representing the eleven apostles (apparently).  As you can probably see from the picture above, my balls became detached during transit, but then mines was sent via the mail, so if you are buying or having delivered, the cake will be more delicately handled!



The cute little egglets above are wee Belgian chocolate (3 white and 3 milk) truffles filled with an almond and hazelnut praline filling. Very rich, so one at a time is plenty, but very worth it!



The big egg you can see is a Taste the Difference Belgian White Chocolate Egg. It’s a hollow egg decorated with dark chocolate. I reviewed some Taste the Difference white chocolate back at Christmas time, so I knew this were going to be creamy and delicious and  I wasn’t wrong!



To wash this all of this down, I had lashings of tea (I’m a bit a tea junkie) and the English Breakfast Fairtrade Fine Loose Leaf Tea I was sent was very refreshing. No complaints there, I tend to make tea from bags, so having loose leaf is always a bit special.



The adult portion of the Easter box was the mini bottle of Rioja. I love my red wine and I have yet to try this to be honest. But I am reliably informed that this rioja has spicy bramble flavours going on and a subtle vanilla taste. Can’t wait to sample this soon!



And in the box also, was the bunting and paper plates you can see. The bunting will come in handy when I go to my cousin's for our Easter family get together. The paper plates are very cute and there is a whole range to match these ‘Sunshine Happy Days’. I’m going to keep these for summer BBQ’s, and get some matching napkins etc.

Overall, a lovely Easter selection from Sainsbury’s and I hope I have inspired some of you in your purchases!

Disclosure Statement: I received the items in the box free to try and was not expected to write a positive review. Any opinions expressed are my own.



Thursday, 10 April 2014

Easy Strawberry Flan

Fastest Strawberry Flan made in under 30 minutes!

It was Mother’s Day the other week and mum was coming over for dinner. I was planning on making a slap up meal for her, including barbecued pulled pork, roast tatties etc. And for dessert – well this easy strawberry flan was a result of having very little time left.

The main course was going along swimmingly but I was struggling for time. You see, I had (eventually) taken delivery of my new computer – 3 weeks late, a day and a half annual leave wasted waiting for a delivery man who never showed up, numerous angry phone calls (tip – don’t go to a shop starting Ar and ending in gos for your new computer). I spent the vast majority of that weekend setting up the new PC, transferring things from my old one to the new one etc.

So Sunday comes along and I didn’t know what to make in a hurry. I popped to the supermarket and picked up a few ‘instant’ items and came up with this Easy Strawberry Flan.

I warned mum that it was a bit thrown together, but she – and Disneyboi – both loved it. All the effort it took was slicing up some tinned strawberries (which look vile, so need disguised), whipping up some Angel Delight and skooshing some cream.



I have also been meaning to enter ‘Dead Easy Desserts’ hosted by Sarah over at Maison Cupcake and this month Michelle from Utterly Scrummy for some time now. Dead Easy Desserts is all about making desserts in under 30 minutes and this took way less time than that!

Here’s how I made it…

Yield: One flan

Ingredients:
1 sponge flan (about 12” diameter)
1 packet of Strawberry Angel Delight (or other instant pudding)
1 tin strawberries in light syrup
White Chocolate Chips (optional)
1 can of light squirty cream
Milk (as directed on pudding mix)



Method:
Drain the strawberries, using a sieve, reserve some of the syrup for drizzling.


Chop the strawberries into slices and scatter them over the base of the flan.
Make the Angel Delight as directed and beat until thickened.






Spread the Angel Delight over the strawberries, smoothing over the top. Sprinkle on some white chocolate chips, if you are using them.



Pop into the fridge to chill and set – about 5 minutes.
Remove from the fridge and squirt whipped cream over the top of the Angel Delight, in a uniform pattern.
Drizzle some strawberry syrup over the cream and that’s it!



How easy was that? Very I can tell you! It saved me tons of time and impressed those who ate it – including myself. It has to be eaten quickly as the instant squirty cream deflates if left out for too long. But the sponge, real strawberries, frothy pudding and milky white chocolate make for a light dessert, rustled up in no time at all.


Enjoy everyone…


Monday, 7 April 2014

Bunny Lollichops



These Bunny Lollichops are such a simple idea but I can’t take full credit.

I actually saw something similar on sale in ASDA. A lolly which doubles as a bunnys nose and mouth. And I thought how easy would these be to make right in your own kitchen – in time for Easter?

To make these I just used some white chocolate, white marshmallows, a pink sweet and a couple of slivered almonds as rabbit teeth.

I passed them around my colleagues and they gave them to their kids to try out as you can see.



You could draw on some whiskers too with some food colouring if so inclined. I think these would be great little favours for a kids Easter party. This isn’t so much a recipe below, but a list of things you will need – amounts will vary on size of marshmallows etc.

Ingredients:
100 grams white chocolate
White marshmallows
Pink sweets such as foam mushrooms or pink smarties
Slivered almonds
Lolly sticks
Greaseproof paper
Baking sheet

Method:
Lay a sheet of greaseproof paper on a baking tray and trace around two marshmallows, side by side. Repeat this over the greaseproof paper then flip it over so the pencil marks are on the reverse.



Slice white marshmallows into discs about 1 to 2 cm thick. Set aside.



Melt the white chocolate either in a bowl over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave.

Carefully fill in the circle templates on the paper with the white chocolate. Press to of the mallow discs into the white chocolate.



Add a dollop of white chocolate inbetween the two mallows where you want the nose to be them press the pink sweet in.

On the opposite side of the nose, place two slivered almonds in the white chocolate for the teeth.

When you have filled the baking sheet place into the fridge to set for about 30 mins.



Remove from the fridge and peel away from the paper. Flip over and adhere the lolly stick on the back to each one with more white chocolate.


Chill in the fridge again and when the sticks are stuck the lollichops are ready! Enjoy…(and a big big thanks to Emily, Adam and Claire for modelling).



I'm entering these Bunny Lollichops into this month's Biscuit Barrel, not technically a biscuit I know, but theme this month, set by Laura at I'd Much Rather Bake Than..of course, is Fun! And how apt are these?

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Thorntons Squegg {REVIEW} and Competition Winners


I was lucky enough to have been sent Squeggs from Thorntons recently to try out in time for Easter!
What are Squeggs is probably your first question? Well, Squeggs are ‘squashed eggs’ - flattened chocolate eggs which are actually thick slabs of delicious chocolate in egg shape.

I was sent both varieties to try out –



Cookies and Cream flavour is white chocolate encrusted with crunchy cookie pieces! As you can see there are a few cookies embedded right into the squegg. This would be a hit with any white chocolate lover – and those who love oreo type biccies!



Toffee Waffle and Cinnamon flavour is the classic Thornton’s milk chocolate studded with toffee, delicate cinnamon flavour and two large crispy waffles right in there too.

I took them in to my work for a quick tasting session and quick was right! They were gone in no time at all – everyone loved the thickness of the Squeggs, something to get your teeth stuck into. And the flavours were a big hit also. The cookies and the waffles on the Squeggs stayed crisp, not chewy and were a great addition.

Both Squeggs retail in Thorntons at £5.49 – they are a great alternative to a traditional Easter egg.

And lastly, congratulations to Beverley from Ilkeston who won the Macaron Kit and Laurie from Stoke-on-Trent who won the case pf PiCK UP! bicuits in March's giveaways.


Disclosure Statement: I was sent the Squeggs free to review. I was not expected to right a favourable review and any opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Tie-Dye Fudge

white chocolate flavoured multi-coloured fudge recipe


It looks like play-dough and tastes like white chocolate, but this is Tie Dye Fudge! As you may know, if you follow Cakeyboi regularly, I struggle making ‘normal’ fudge. But I find making it with marshmallow fluff is a really easy no fail way.

I got the idea for tie-dying the fudge as I wanted something spring-like and Eastery for this month’s Treat Petite challenge (the theme being ‘Spring into Easter’). I didn’t know if it had been done before, but I looked on-line and lo and behold – lots of tie-dyed fudge. A lot were red white and blue in colour for 4th July celebrations.

However, I wanted to use what I think are colours you kind of associate with Easter. I used purple, yellow, green, blue and pink. Colours the Easter Bunny would love. It actually turned out like a child’s plasticine gone wrong – so I think kids in particular would love this.

And as I said, this fudge contains marshmallow fluff, which is easily available across the UK now, but if you can’t get hold of it, it is available online. It makes for a soft squidgy delicacy which is much easier than 'normal' fudge to make and as for the flavour? It has white chocolate in it, which comes across as the predominant flavour – so how bad can that be?

Here’s how I made it:

Yield: 36 pieces of fudge approx.

Ingredients:
565 grams granulated sugar
113 grams unsalted butter
140 ml evaporated milk
1 jar Marshmallow Fluff (213 grams)
225 grams white chocolate chopped, or chips
Food colouring pastes (assorted colours)
Adapted from Taste and Tell

Method:
Line an 8”x8” baking tin with tin foil and oil lightly.




In a large saucepan, add the sugar, butter and evaporated milk. Heat this on medium high until it comes to the boil. Then keeping boil for 5 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and add the Fluff and white chocolate. Stir these through until completely melted in.




Divide the mix into separate bowls or cups, one for each colour you are adding. Take a toothpick and add dabs of colour to each bowl and stir through each portion of fudge until you get an even colour.



 When each division of fudge has been coloured, drop spoonful’s of the fudge into the prepared pan and stir through to achieve a marbled effect. Work quickly as the fudge will be setting already!



Smooth over the top with an off-set spatula and allow the fudge to cool completely. When it is cool, using the foil carefully lift it out of the tin and invert it onto a cutting board. Peel the foil from the fudge and then cut into squares with a sharp knife.



And there you have tie dyed fudge. Perhaps this is the child friendlier answer to the Dirty Coke fudge I made recently.


But kids and grown-ups alike will love this sweet confection, perfect for Easter or anytime of the year. Enjoy…!



I am entering this fudge into this month's Treat Petite - hosted alternatively by Kat at the Baking Explorer and this month - me! The theme is 'Spring Into Easter' and I think the colours here are perfect for Easter celebrations!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Treat Petite April 2014



Another month beckons and we are over a quarter of the way through 2014 already – who’d have thunk?
Pop over and check out March’s Treat Petite Round up here at The Baking Explorer.

Onto this month and of course, Easter is on it’s way. But maybe not everyone celebrates or bakes for Easter, so as it is very spring like out there – I have combined the two.



Spring into Easter is all about traditional Easter bakes and anything spring like! Pastel colours, flowers, bunny rabbits, eggs anything YOU associate with spring or Easter.

Remember the idea behind Treat Petite is quite simple – any sweet treat you can think of that’s not a big cake! From cookies to macarons, krispie treats to truffles; we want to see any delicious concoction you conjure up in the kitchen that is individually portioned!! And don’t worry, cupcakes are permitted.
Here’s the rules;

1.      Email me by the 25th of the month (mrcakeyboi@gmail.com), midnight at the latest – include in the e-mail your name, if you have a blog the URL of your post and name of your blog, recipe and a photo of your bake.


2.      If applicable post your bake onto your blog and link back to Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer, stating who is hosting that particular month.


3.     Follow Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer blogs via the Google Join this Site button, if you haven’t already.


4.     If you tweet use  #treatpetite and mention @MrCakeyboi and @BakingExplorer – we will retweet 


5.      Add the challenge logo to the post and ‘Treat Petite’ as a label to the post

6.      Use any recipe as long as the source is noted


7.     Add your photo to the ‘Treat Petite’ Pinterest board (request access from me – Cakeyboi)



8.     Feel free to enter old posts as long as you update the post and meet all the requirements above!



If you have any questions at all, please get in touch. Above all else have fun!