Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Treat Petite September 2015 - Round Up

It’s been a busy month for me! Work is as mad as ever then I was in London last weekend for Food Blogger Connect learning lots about being a food blogger.

A quick run through of the gorgeous gaggle of entries for Treat Petite this month. ‘Anything Goes’ was the theme and anything went as long as it wasn’t big cakes, loaves etc…(you know the idea).

Firstly there was Angela from Perfecting Patisserie who entered salted caramel praline macaron. These looked visually stunning and I bet they tasted as good as they looked.

Angela at ‘Only Crumbs Remain’ gave us these ‘99’ Ice-Cream Cupcakes with blackberries. 99’s take me right back to my childhood. These cones looked cunningly like real ice-cream too.

Charlotte in her lively kitchen gave us Chocolate Orange Meringues. If you can’t wait until Christmas to get your choccy orange why not give Charlotte’s recipe a try?

 Fanny kept calm over at Keep Calm and Fanny On and brought us a bonkers biscuit concoction made to look like horses – neigh bad!!

 Choclette at Tin and Thyme made Honey Apple Cardamom Mini Bundt Cakes – these look moist and delicious bursting with tastes of the season.

 Ros, The More Than Occasional Baker baked chocolate blackberry cupcakes. A great flavour combination and the frosting on too looked like roses – very pretty.

Lili at Lili’s Cakes baked Jamaican ginger cupcakes with lemon swiss meringue buttercream frosting. I bet these are sweet and tangy in equal measure. The frosting looks like an inviting duvet ready to sink into!

My pal Lisa at United Cakedom made madeleines in Pistachio and cardamom flavour. The madeleines were mentioned in a book she was reading which inspired her to bake these beauties.

Kate, The Gluten Free Alchemist, baked a big vanilla swiss roll – both gluten and dairy free. But hang on you might be thinking – it’s a big cake! Not to worry Kate made mini rolls too which look just like naked chocolate ones – too cute!!

 Johanna at Green Gourmet Giraffe didn’t actually bake – instead she went for No Bake Chocolate Oat Slices. I love chocolate and oats together, so I may be giving these a try very soon!

 Caroline at Caroline Makes baked butterscotch blondies and these look divine. With butterscotch chips which are very addictive these would go perfect with your next cuppa!

My entry is for Maple Spice Brownie Cupcakes – made with a mix of maple sugar, seasonal spices and a brownie mix these cupcakes were heavenly even if I do say so myself!

Helen at Casa Costello entered her chewy ginger oat cream cookies. They look delicious and way better than those shop bought cream cookies.

My baker in crime Kat the Baking Explorer whipped up some PB Oreo Truffles with some new Peanut Butter Oreos she had been sent to try - how devilishly good do these look?

Thanks to everyone for entering this month's Treat Petite. It's me on duty next month too - so stay tuned for October's theme!!

Monday, 28 September 2015

Scottish Treats To Get You Inspired

image source

As a blogger, I don’t go on about the fact I’m from Scotland very much. I probably should do more – I live in a beautiful country with outstanding food and drink right on my doorstep.

As 2015 is Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, I thought I would share some of my past recipes which are Scottish, inspired by Scottish food and drink or contain some of our lovely produce.

spice and cheesy scottish oatcakes

Firstly my Spice ‘n’ Cheesy Scottish Oatcakes made with added spice to give them a bit of a kick. A Scottish/Mexican fusion if you will.

no fail scottish tablet recipe

Next my Scottish Tablet. Tablet is a treat difficult to describe. It sits alongside fudge and toffee on the confectionery shelf, but is neither chewy like toffee nor soft like fudge. It’s sweet, crumbly and utterly addictive. I could never make it, as it is very tricky to get right, but when I found a recipe that worked, I had to share it!

savoury cupcakes made with Arbroath Smokie fish

I come from Arbroath on the east coast of Scotland and the small fishing town is famous for it’s specially smoked haddock, called Arbroath Smokies. I used Smokies in a savoury cupcake, which went down a storm!

scotch pancakes

Scotch Pancakes – no really sure what makes them particularly Scottish, but they are ruddy good. Thicker and sweeter than crepe type pancakes, these are the way I would like to start everyday!

 children's party food marshmallows chocolate and smarties

Top Hats – they may not exactly be 100% Scottish, but I've adopted then as such. I grew up with them at kids birthday parties and nowhere else in the UK seemed to have something similar, or called them Top Hats. Very easy to make with chocolate, a smartie and a marshmallow, these take me right back to my childhood!

healthy cranachan recipe

Cranachan is a very popular Scottish dessert, made from toasted oats, Scottish rasps, cream, honey and whiskey. On a bit of a health kick one January I decided to make a healthier version using fat free Greek yoghurt and the result was just as lovely.

iron brew flavoured french macarons

Iron Brew, or Irn Bru as it’s called on the cans these days, is Scotland’s number one soft drink, even outselling Coca-Cola. I decided to use the flavour in these French macarons – not to be confused with macaroons!

dundee marmalade sticky buns

Dundee marmalade is very famous, made by world-renowned jam manufacturers Mackays. Mackays factory is based in my hometown of Arbroath and I was lucky enough to get a tour of the factory. I used some Dundee marmalade in these gooey, sticky, sweet buns.

butteries, rowies or aberdeen roll recipe

Butteries are a Scottish staple, called different names, depending on what part of Scotland you are from.  They are a flat bread roll type of affair, crossed with a croissant. Laminated with layers of butter and lard, they may not be the healthiest of snack, but are very tasty!

iron brew flavour cupcakes filled with scottish tablet

Lastly, back to Iron Brew and Tablet – I decided to pair the two up in a cupcake recipe for the ultimate Scottish treat. With iron brew flavoured cakes and a sweet centre of tablet these were a naughty but nice taste fusion.

There we have it. A Cakeyboi run down of some Scottish inspired goodies. What Scottish treats are you making in this year of Scotland’s food and drink?

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Pear Ginger and Chocolate Crumble Pie

Chocolate and pears – a great combination.
Chocolate and ginger – a great combination.
Pears and ginger – also a great combination I’m sure you will agree.

Pop them all into a pie, or a crumble? Decisions, decisions…

 How about have pears, chocolate and ginger all surrounded by the flaky short pie crust, but topped with delicious crumble topping? Best of not both worlds, but the best of all worlds.

This Pear, Chocolate and Ginger Crumble Pie really hits the mark on all counts. It’s a great dessert for  post Sunday dinner I find.

I used a shop-bought shortcrust pastry, but you could of course make your own if you have the time or inclination. But I had neither, so Tesco’s own it was.

I used a kilo of random pears, to mix things up, just make sure that they are not too hard, or they won’t cook down well in the oven. I grated in fresh ginger and tossed this with the pears I had diced into cubes. Careful on how much fresh ginger you use, too much and it can put some people off. I like it quite gingery so used about a half inch grated. This will be purely down to your personal taste however.

I also used some plain chocolate chips and scattered this into the pear ginger mix, once I had lined a pie dish with the pastry, trimmed any excess and placed the pears in.

I made a simple crumble topping and scattered that on top of the pears and finally with some excess pastry cut out wee shapes and stuck them all around the edges to give a decorative effect.

After baking I let the pie rest for about 20 minutes before dishing it up. Word of warning to you – it will look a complete, yet tasty, mess on your dish. No matter how long you let it cool, it does tend to crumble, as you would expect from a crumble, but not with a pie.

The flavours here are to die for, and the pie is definitely best served warm with some cream on the side.


Pear Ginger and Chocolate Crumble Pie

Thumbnail Url Shortcrust pie filled with pears ginger and
chocolate and topped with crunchy crumble
Cuisine: Dessert Category: Fruit Pie Yields: 1 9" pie
Prep Time: Cook Time: Total Time:

  • 1 sheet of ready rolled short crust pastry
  • 1 kilo of ripe pears, any kind, diced
  • ½ inch of fresh ginger root, grated
  • 100 grams dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 egg for egg wash
  • 100 grams plain flour
  • 75 grams unsalted butter, chilled
  • 75 grams granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 50 grams porridge oats
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Place the shortcrust pastry in an 9” pie tin and trim off any excess. Reserve the off-cuts.
  3. In a bowl mix together the pears, grated ginger, caster sugar and cornflour so everything is combined.
  4. Transfer to the pie shell and sprinkle on the chocolate chips, mixing through slightly.
  5. Make the crumble topping by rubbing together the butter and flour until they resemble bread crumbs then add the granulated sugar, cinnamon and oats and stir through.
  6. Sprinkle over the entire pie.
  7. Cut the leftover pastry into small shaped with a cutter and stick around the edge of the pie with some beaten egg.
  8. Press down slightly with a fork so the offcuts stick well to the edge of the pie case. Give them an egg wash on top.
  9. Place in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown, the crumble is golden too and you can smell the fruit.
  10. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing it into pieces (it will still be quite crumbly).

I am entering this pie into this month's Pastry Challenge hosted alternately by Jen at Jen's Food and this month Lisa at United Cakedom - the theme is 'Anything Goes'.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Caramac Apple Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo bars with apple flavoured custard buttercream topped with caramac

Now, before I get started here, I must make it clear that I have not been sponsored by Nestle to endorse Caramac – I just love the bloody stuff!

When I discovered that they were launching Caramac buttons – I gorged myself after finding them in Poundland of all places. I posted the buttons on the Cakeyboi Facebook page and they sort of went viral! I think Nestle may be on to a winner here!

I wanted to bake with the buttons and I hit upon Caramac and apple cupcakes. Sounds sort of like caramel apples doesn’t it? I had made a couple of cupcake recipes recently however and wondered what else I could flavour Caramac and apple.

Nanaimo bars with apple flavoured custard buttercream topped with caramac

Then I remembered trying flavoured Nanaimo bars at last year’s Food Blogger Connect conference. Nanaimo bars are traditionally a biscuit crust, a layer of custardy buttercream type filling and topped with chocolate. I made a variation myself after returning from FBC, Speculaas Nanaimo Bars – have a look.

I thought that Caramac and apple would work well in a Nanaimo bar, but how to get apple flavour into the delicious traditional Canadian treat?

I decided to use some apple juice concentrate and some dried apple, boiling them down into a syrup. This was quite potent stuff and only a tablespoon was require to get the tart apple flavour into my custard part of the bar. The Caramac needless to say was used to top the bars. And thus, we have Caramac Apple Nanaimo Bars.

Nanaimo bars with apple flavoured custard buttercream topped with caramac

The flavour of the apple tainted custard buttercream goes very well with the caramelly chocolate topping (how on earth do you describe Caramac?). Overall, a delicious sweet treat I think you will love...

Caramac Apple Nanaimo Bars

Thumbnail Url Nanaimo bars flavoured with an apple
custard buttercream and topped with Caramac
Cuisine: Dessert Category: Bars Yields: 20 bars
Prep Time: Chill Time: Total Time:

  • Base

  • 113 grams unsalted butter
  • 55 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 320 grams digestive biscuits (or graham crackers)
  • 90 grams desiccated coconut
  • 65 grams chopped nuts (pecan is traditional, I used walnut)
  • Filling

  • 56 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple syrup*
  • 2 tablespoons custard powder
  • 250 grams icing sugar
  • Topping

  • 140 grams Caramac, buttons or bars broken up
  • 15 grams unsalted butter
  • 1 -2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • Line an 8”x8” tin with foil.
  • In a food processor, blitz the digestives until sand-like. Stir through the coconut and chopped nuts.
  • In a bowl, over a pan of simmering water, melt the butter, granulated sugar, egg, vanilla and cocoa powder until liquid, stirring constantly.
  • Add the biscuit mix to the wet mix and stir to combine.
  • Transfer to the foil lined tin and press down firmly in an even layer.
  • Refrigerate, at least 15 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl mix together the 56 grams of butter, milk, apple syrup, custard powder and icing sugar until smooth.
  • Spread the custard mix on top of the base until even and put back in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • Make the topping by melting Caramac and butter together in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. If the mix seizes add 1 to 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil to make it a spreadable consistency.
  • Spread over the top of the chilled custard buttercream and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  • When chilled, cut the bars into 20 squares.
* Apple Syrup – Boil 125 ml of apple diluting juice with 50 grams of dried apple until only 1 to 2 tablespoons of liquid is left. Remove the dried apple pieces.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Limoncello and Raspberry Jam Swirl Cupcakes

Limoncello and raspberry jam swirl cupcakes

This is my second cupcake recipe for National Cupcake Week. The last one was full of chocolate and spice flavours, whereas this one is more fruity, tangy and boozy!

Yes boozy, maybe not one for this kids this, but it doesn’t contain too much, so up to you really! I used limoncello to give the cupcakes a citrus punch, along with some lemon extract. Too sour for you? Not to worry, as I’ve swirled through some sweet Scottish Raspberry Jam.

Scottish raspberries are the best in the world, and yes I may be biased coming from Scotland, but because of our climate they are plumper and juicier than the rest. All the rain up here does have it’s benefits.

Limoncello and raspberry jam swirl cupcakes

The shop-bought jam is also swirled with some limoncello buttercream on top of the cupcakes, so the flavours are all through the entire treat.

Limoncello is Italian in origin (try my friend Luca’s recipe here) being the county’s second most popular liqueur, and as these contain Scottish raspbs, you can think of this recipe as a fusion of Italian and Scottish, a bit like myself.

Limoncello and raspberry jam swirl cupcakes

The cupcakes are sweet, citrusy, with a slight alcohol kick. You will love these…

Limoncello and Raspberry Jam Swirl Cupcakes

Thumbnail Url Lemony cupcakes flavoured with limoncello
and swirled with raspberry jam.
Cuisine: Dessert Category: Cupcakes Yields: 6 cupcakes
Prep Time: Cook Time: Total Time:

  • Cupcakes

  • 110 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 110 grams caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 110 grams self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 tablespoon limoncello
  • 12 tablespoons raspberry jam
  • Buttercream

  • 57 grams unsalted butter
  • 240 grams icing sugar
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 ½ tablespoon milk
  • 1 ½ tablespoon limoncello
  • More raspberry jam
  • Raspberries to garnish.
  1. Line a cupcake tray with 6 paper liners and preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. In a bowl beat together the butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs and lemon extract and beat together well, until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Sift in the flour and stir to combine, just so no dry flour remains.
  5. Divide the mix between the cupcake liners and spoon two tablespoons of raspberry jam in each cup.
  6. With the end of a teaspoon swirl the jam through the cupcake batter.
  7. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until risen and golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean from the centre.
  8. Allow to cool completely
  9. Make the icing by beating together the butter, icing sugar, lemon extract, milk and limoncello until smooth and a pipeable consistency.
  10. Take an icing bag, fitted with a half inch plain nozzle,  and smear raspberry jam up the sides before putting in the buttercream.
  11. Pipe a little onto plate, just until the raspberry jam comes through with the buttercream.
  12. Pipe onto each cupcake and pop a raspberry on top of each one.
  13. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

I am entering these cupcakes into this month’s Alphabakes. The letter is J and J is for Jam. Alphabakes is hosted, this month,  by Ros, The More than Occasional Baker and Caroline at Caroline Makes.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Maple Spice Brownie Cupcakes

Maple Spice Brownie Cupcakes

It’s National Cupcake week this week and to celebrate I am bringing you a couple of cupcake recipes.

Firstly this week, it’s my Maple Spice Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes.

These have the taste and texture of a chocolate brownie in cupcake form, with the flavours of autumn baked inside. I’ve used cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in these to give them a depth of flavour, plus also used maple sugar, for an added touch of the fall. If you haven’t used maple sugar before, and love the taste of maple – you must get some! Made from 100% of the syrup is makes such a difference in baking.

Maple Spice Brownie Cupcakes

These spices and maple always make me think of the season, and as autumn has arrived with a bang, I thought the addition of them in my brownie cupcake would be perfect.

Melted butter is used in the recipe and when baking this bubbles up around the edges. I would recommend using thick cupcake cases if you can or like myself foil lined ones, or things could get a tad messy. The cupcakes don’t even stick to the edge of the cupcake liner when they have cooled down.

Maple Spice Brownie Cupcakes

I’ve added a decadent chocolate frosting on top made from cream cheese and cocoa, and topped that with some chopped walnuts for added texture.

The cupcakes are light in the middle and crisp on the outside, like a good brownie should be. The rich frosting compliments this brilliantly. These may be your new go to chocolate cupcakes from now on…

Maple Spice Brownie Cupcakes

Thumbnail Url Brownie cupcakes with 
seasonal spices, maple sugar and
chocolate cream cheese frosting
Cuisine: Dessert Category: Cupcakes Yields: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: Cook Time: Total Time:

  • Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 225 grams unsalted butter, melted
  • 50 grams cocoa powder
  • 200 grams maple sugar
  • 100 grams light brown sugar
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100 grams plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Frosting Ingredients

  • 113 grams full-fat cream cheese
  • 56 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 375 grams icing sugar
  • 25 grams cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Chopped nuts to garnish (I used walnuts)
  1. Line a 12 hole cupcake tray with cupcake liners. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. In a jug, beat together the cooled melted butter, 50 grams cocoa powder, maple sugar and light brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract.
  3. In a bowl sift together the flour and spices. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to combine. Don’t over mix.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until slightly cracked on top.
  5. Allow to cool fully.
  6. Make the frosting by beating together the cream cheese, softened butter, icing sugar, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla and cinnamon until smooth.
  7. Pipe or spoon onto each cupcake and decorate with some chopped nuts.

I am entering these cupcakes into mine and Kat, The Baking Explorer, blogging challenge 'Treat Petite'. The theme is 'Anything Goes' this month.

I am also entering these into this month's Simply Eggcellent hosted by Dom at Belleau Kitchen. The theme this month is Cakes - need I say more...?