Saturday, 30 August 2014

Treat Petite August 2014 Round Up

As we are fully into Sumtumn © now – it’s time for the Treat Petite round up for August. The theme was No-Bake as the weather had been so warm and we didn't fancy putting our ovens on much. Our ‘bakers’ didn’t let us down.

First off, Helen at Family-Friends-Food entered these brilliantly named Nobbly-bobbly Spiced Chocolate Biscoff Fruit & Nut CrispyBites. The fact these contain Biscoff has me sold instantly. And in case you are wondering the nobbly part is crispie cereal!

My good friend Luca, whom I met at Food Blogger Connect this year submitted these beautiful individual Cherry and Banana Cheesecake Verrine via his blog Oh La Vache. Luca, who lives in France, explains a verrine is simply a dessert served in a glass. He layers cherry jelly, speculoos biscuits then a heavenly mix of banana and mascarpone on top. Heavenly indeed.

Next Choclette, over at the Chocolate Log Blog made these Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispies inspired by Reese’s PB Cups. She was disappointed with the way they turned out after converting US measurements to UK, and with reduced ingredients, but I don’t they look bad at all!

Laura at I’d Much Rather Bake Than made these Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats. The combination of white choc and PB is something I’ve not tried together before. However it looks delicious in Laura’s Treats.

Caroline at Caroline Makes, brought us two no-bake treats. Her first was a deconstructed Lemon Meringue Pie. In a glass she crumbled some digestives, then layered lemon curd on top, followed by a layer of whipped double cream. Lastly she sprinkled on some new Lemon Meringue Sprinkles, which I hadn’t heard of before.  This is a really fast, easy and impressive dessert!

Caroline also brought us this Strawberry Marshmallow Mousse. It’s from a Waitrose recipe and involves boiling strawbs with orange caster sugar and marshmallows. After this is cooled some fromage frais is folded in then the mix is left to set. Now that is ingenious!

Elizabeth at Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary made these Triple Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites. Now, I have made cookie dough bites before but never triple chocolate. These apparently are very addictive and I for one wouldn’t argue.

Pauline at Pauline’s Occasional Baking Adventures made these Baileys and Chocolate Miniature Cheesecakes. With lots of Baileys, chocolate, biscuit and cream cheese my only question is why does Pauline only bake occasionally?! You should bake all the time if this is the deliciousness you concoct!

Ros at The More Than Occasional Baker made these vibrant Chocolateand Peppermint Squares which have an Oreo crust, a pepperminty cream cheese layer then topped with minty Areo Bubbles. They look fantastic and that we addition of green food colouring really makes them stand out!

Next, Kate The Gluten Free Alchemist made these MarshmallowParty Bites. They are (giant) mallows topped with chocolate and then sprinkles, nuts or Smarties added on top. Kate says she thinks these are possibly the English version of my Top Hats I made recently. They look great fun for a kids party.

Manpreet at Eat Well Feel Good gave us a healthier no-bake Treat Petite in the form of these Date and Nut Energy Bites. Packed with natural, healthy ingredients these are perfect for those not wanting too much refined sugar in their diet.

Angela over at Garden Tea Cakes and Me made these ChewyToffee and Salted Cashew Nut Cookies. They are made in a pan, then rolled into parchment paper and when set sliced into ‘cookies’. I love the way the cashews are sliced in half and look really pretty.

My co-host Kat at the Baking Explorer made these traditional Chocolate Truffles. Made from melted chocolate, butter, egg yolks and icing sugar (plus a bit of vanilla) they set overnight before being rolled into balls and then coated in whatever you fancy such as vermicelli, coconut, sprinkles – you name it!

And lastly I made a healthy no-bake recipe in my Optimum9400 blender from Froothie. My Chocolate and Peanut Butter Pinwheels have a ‘chocolate’ layer made from dates, nuts and cacao powder (yes, not cocoa) and then homemade peanut butter is spread on top of that before this is rolled into a sausage shape. Sliced into little cookies, these are healthier and hit that chocolate/PB craving without too much guilt.

Thanks to everyone who didn’t bake this month – lol! We really appreciate your entries. And stay tuned for Treat Petite September – also hosted by me. See you soon!

Disclosure Statement: I received the blender for free. Any opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Chicken Caesar French Bread Pizza

You did read correctly Chicken Caesar French Bread Pizzas – this is another foray into the savoury side of things for Cakeyboi! My Sweet ‘n’Easy Chicken Curry I posted a couple of months back was a big hit, so I thought I would do more savoury dishes – on occasion.

I was thinking what I could make for dinner for Disneyboi the other night. He LOVES Chicken Caesar Salad, but I wanted to change it up a bit. How about having it on French bread?

So much nicer than those pre-packaged French bread pizzas, which come out of the oven all hard and tasteless. Mine is full of flavour and is what I would term a white pizza. There is no tomato sauce, just (shop-bought) light Caesar dressing, rocket, parmesan cheese, fried bacon lardons and oven-baked chicken breasts. The crouton part comes in the way of the crusty fresh baguette (white or wholegrain) this lovely concoction sits on top of.
It’s really easy to knock together and looks quite impressive for a simple supper solution.

You could of course make your own Caesar dressing, but if you are short on time, or quite simply can’t be bothered, the shop ones are very tasty. I used little pancetta lardons for the bacon, but good old smoked back is fine too.

I used rocket instead of the traditional iceberg as rocket has way more flavour and holds up better under the heat of the grill.

I used fresh parmesan from the block for this. With some grated and some sliced on top. This is the part that will melt under the grill and keep it all together.

Disneyboi was impressed and asked that I make it again sometime. So that, ladies and gentleman, is a huge recommendation for you!

Here’s how I made it;

print recipe

Chicken Caesar French Bread Pizza
Chicken Caesar Salad on top a crusty french baguette, grilled to perfection
  • 1 medium french baguette
  • 2-3 tablespoons light caesar dressing
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 80 grams approx. bacon lardons
  • a couple of handfuls rocket leaves
  • parmesan cheese (to taste)
Place the chicken in a foil wrap and pop in the oven for 30 minutes at 180C. Add the lardons to a hot frying pan and cook until crispy. Drain excess fat on kitchen paper. Cut the baguette into 4 equal slices. When the chicken has cooled, cut into small cubes. Make the 'salad' by combining the cubed chicken and bacon with the dressing, rocket and grated parmesan. Layer up on each piece of bread and with a vegetable peeler, slice parmesan strips on top. Place under a hot grill until the cheese has melted and is bubbly. Finish with some black pepper and more grated parmesan.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 pizzas

Monday, 25 August 2014

White Chocolate Chip Moose Maple Butter Cookies

Couldn't you sink your teeth into one of these White Choc Chip Moose Maple Butter Cookies right now??!

Did you see my new feature the other week called ‘That’sWhat I call New’? I posted about a few new items I have been sent or tried recently.

One of them was a brilliant new spread called ‘Moose Maple Butter’. It is organic butter specially blended with 'grade A' maple syrup and a touch of sea salt. This makes for a delicious naturally sweet spread for your toast, crumpets, to eat with a spoon – you name it! The good thing with Moose Maple Butter is there are no hidden nasties just pure honest ingredients.

Me, I think it tastes like pancakes in a jar! Which I love! So how could I use it in my baking? I decided to add it to some cookies. Made with brown sugar and with added white chocolate chips, the maple butter left a delicate maple flavour in the cookies, not overpowering at all. Delicious! I also used some icing sugar in the cookies for a light touch.

The cookie dough is quite thick, so the OXO Good Grips spatulas I featured recently are perfect for getting every last bit of that dough out the bowl!

Of course if you want to just get your hands on Moose Maple Butter, pop over to the website for more details.

print recipe

White Chocolate Chip Moose Maple Butter Cookies
Soft chewy cookies, made from brown sugar, maple butter and white choc chips
  • 110 grams moose maple butter, softened
  • 150 grams light brown sugar
  • 70 grams icing sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 100 grams white chocolate chips
  • 300 grams plain flour
Preheat the oven to 180C and line two large baking sheets with greaseproof paper. In a bowl mix mix together the maple butter and the sugars until light and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until the mixture thickens slightly. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt together. Add to the wet ingredients and stir until the cookie dough forms. Add the milk to loosen it up slightly. Add a bit more if the dry ingredients aren't incorporating. Lastly add the white choc chips and stir through. Spoon large amounts onto the baking sheets, about an ice cream scoop size and flatten down slightly, making sure they are well spaced apart. Pop in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Place on a cooling rack. Your cookies are ready to enjoy.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 10 large cookies

In the mood for maple now? Here are some more recipes from some favourite bloggers featuring maple syrup;

Homemade Fruity Granola with Maple Syrup from Emily at A Mummy Too
Maple and Pecan Flapjacks from Jen at Blue Kitchen Bakes
Blueberry and Banana Pancakes from Camilla at Fab Food 4 All
Maple Bacon Muffins from Helen at Fuss Free Flavours

Disclosure Statement: I received the butter free to review. Any opinions expressed are my own.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

DotComGiftShop Bundle Giveaway!

Have you visited DotComGiftShop before?

They are an online retailer who sell a selection of brilliant gifts and home accessories. All the items are designed exclusively by their in-house team.

They sell items for every occasion, weddings, birthdays, for him, for her, for cooks, for gardeners. There is really no-one who isn’t catered for.

And I was extremely happy when I was selected to be one of their favourite bloggers. And because of that, I get to bring you this brilliant giveaway of a goodies bundle from DotComGiftShop,  hand-selected by my good self, for you the Cakeyboi reader.

First up we have two items from the Vintage Ivy range which would look great on any table and the products are environmentally friendly.

There is a Medium Vintage Ivy Pink Bamboo Bowl (rrp. £4.95) and a Vintage Ivy Teal Bamboo Plate (rrp. £5.95). Both of these items are made from biodegradable material, but can be washed in a dishwasher. And when they come to the end of their life they can be slung in the compost bin!

Next we have a crate of 6 school milk bottles (rrp. £9.95). If like me you are old enough to remember getting your daily milk at school, then these will bring back loads of memories. The glass bottles can be used for smoothies, milkshakes any drink you like, or used as cute little vases. Plus they come in their own handy metal crate with handle.

For all those delicious Cakeyboi recipes you are going to make we have a set of 12 vintage doily baking cases (rrp £2.95) and a set of 6 vintage doily loaf shaped baking cases (rrp £3.95). These are made from card and can be safely used in the oven up to 180C. 

And lastly to carry these all in, the final item is a recycled Vintage Ivy DotComGiftShop reusable shopper bag made from plastic bottles (rrp £1)!

All the items are fantastic quality – I know. I was kindly given one of everything myself too, so I could try them out. I will be featuring some of them in my photographs over the next wee while.

But to be in with a chance to win ALL of these DotComGiftShop goodies please enter via the Rafflecopter thingamajig below. The giveaway is open until midnight on 9 September to UK residents only.

Good Luck!

Disclosure Statement: I received these items free to review. The winner will receive a new set directly from DotComGiftShop. I have not been paid to run this giveaway. Any opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Very Berry Fruit Leather

The name fruit leather may sound odd to you if you haven’t heard it before. And to be honest this stuff is pretty weird yet sweet and delicious.

Fruit leather is like those fruit winder things that you can buy in the shops – long strips of fruity sweet. You know the ones.

But mine are made with fruit, no added sugar and just a wee bit of honey. That’s it! Not bad at all. Kids love it as it’s a bit quirky and at least you know it’s made from only natural ingredients.

It’s also perfect for using up fruit which is nearer the end of it’s life! Any fruit can be used really, but for the purposes of this demonstration (!) I used strawberries and blueberries hence Very Berry Fruit Leather.

And I used my Optimum 9400 blender from Froothie to whizz up the fruit before I cooked it down. The blender whizzes up the fruit to a smooth liquid. Other recipes call for sieving the fruit after boiling, but to be honest that is a bit dangerous – as the fruit is scalding hot. Best to get it as smooth as possible before you boil it up.

Use the biggest pot possible you have when boiling the fruit, unlike myself, who ended up with a very berry hob top!

Once it is boiled and reduced, the fruit is poured onto a large baking sheet.

 Place it in a very low oven for 8 to 12 hours. I know it sounds a long time, but the oven is only set at 60C. I left it overnight and when I got up, the fruit leather was ready. Ready to peel off the greaseproof paper I had poured it on.

I cut mines into strips with a pizza cutter. But you could cut into whatever shape you want.

Remember, although these are made with only fruit and small bit of honey, the fruit sugars will concentrate when baked down.

print recipe

Very Berry Fruit Leather
Fruit leather made from only real fruit and honey.
  • 400 grams strawberries, hulled
  • 250 grams blueberries
  • 1-2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1-2 teaspoons honey (or other natural sweetener)
  • 120 ml water
Pre-heat the oven to 50C and line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Blend the washed fruit in a blender, with the water, until very smooth. Transfer to a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Knock the heat back to medium and let it bubble away for 15 minutes. At this point add the lemon juice to freshen the taste and add the honey for sweetness. You can add more or less to taste (careful, it is HOT!). Let the mix simmer on medium heat for another 15 minutes, stirring frequently. The fruit will have thickened and coat the back of a spoon. Transfer the fruit to the large baking sheet and place in the oven for 8 to 12 hours (I left mines for 9 hours). The fruit leather is ready when it is no longer sticky on the surface and feels dry. Carefully peel it from the greaseproof paper and cut into strips or whatever shape you choose.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 baking tray worth

Monday, 18 August 2014

Custard Cream and Bourbon Biscuit Truffles

crushed biscuits with cream cheese and white chocolate coating

When I was younger I used to get confused why a magazine my mum bought would have their own selection tin of biscuits on the market. Family Circle the read and the Family Circle biccies had nothing to do with one another I realised as I got older.

But, I digress, who remembers the tin of biscuits full of favourites such as Funny Faces, Pink Wafers and the perennials – Custard Creams and Bourbon Biscuits? Although, as I remember it, the ones in that tin never tasted quite as good as the ones available in individual packs.

Custard Creams and Bourbon Biscuits scream Britishness and I wondered what I could conjure up in the Cakeyboi kitchen with them. Then I remembered my Jaffa Cake Truffles. Those other favourites of the biscuit tin (but are they a biscuit or a cake?) made lovely individual bites.

So why not use custard creams and bourbon biscuits in the same way? I whizzed them up in my Optimum 9400 and blended each biscuit crumb with cream cheese. 

I formed them into little balls, chilled them and then coated them in white chocolate, with a wee sprinkle of sprinkles for garnish.

When set, they tasted delicious. The flavour of each biscuit really came through and the delicious crack of white chocolate made them even more special. Why not give these a try for your next soiree? But remember - don't try and dunk them in your tea!!

print recipe

Custard Cream and Bourbon Biscuit Truffles
Little balls of biscuit deliciousness - just don't try dunking them in your tea!
  • 500 grams custard creams
  • 500 grams bourbon biscuits
  • 500 grams, divided full-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 800 grams white chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons sprinkles
In a blender, whizz the custard creams up to a fine crumb. Place in a bowl and stir in 250 grams of the cream cheese until the ingredients form a solid 'dough'. Take tablespoons worth of the mix and roll into balls with clean hands. Place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Repeat the process with the bourbon biscuits. Place in the fridge to chill, about 1 hour. Melt the white chocolate in a microwave or bain-marie. Coat the chilled balls in white chocolate and transfer back to the greaseproof paper. Sprinkle on the sprinkles whilst the chocolate is still molten. Place the truffles back in the fridge to set, about another hour.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 30 trufflles

crushed biscuits with cream cheese and white chocolate coating

Try these other truffle recipes from some of the UK’s top bloggers;

White Chocolate Truffles from Becca at Amuse Your Bouche
Salted Caramel Truffles from Michelle at Utterly Scrummy
Peanut Butter Cake Truffles from Sian at Fishfingers for Tea
Magnificent Mint Truffles from Jac at Tinned Tomatoes
Beetroot Truffles from Urvashi at The Botanical Baker
Dark Chocolate Truffles from Margot at Coffee & Vanilla
Chocolate Ladoo from Margot at Coffee & Vanilla
Toblerone Snowballs from Jan at A Glug of Oil
Triple Chocolate Cookie Dough Bites from Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary

crushed biscuits with cream cheese and white chocolate coating