If you are fed up of mince pies or have a jar of mincemeat you need to use, bits of marzipan or any dried fruit then you need to try this recipe. This rich buttery sponge is packed full of Christmas flavour. Serve warm with custard or also perfectly delicious eaten as cake with a cup of tea.
In need of something easy for a buffet or dinner party then follow this recipe. ......great little trifles full of cherry flavour, a kick of cassis and smooth creamy custard
You will need:
Up to 48 hours before
Salted Caramels! ....what's not to enjoy. Creamy with a bitter edge of chocolate and hint of salt. This version is based on a recipe by Claire Ptak and her fantastic book The Old-Fashioned Hand-Made Sweet Shop Recipe Book
Free from gluten and eggs and dairy but full of great flavour this easy to make traybake is sure to please anyone! The sourness of the cranberries and orange zest cut through the richness of this very indulgent bake.
Just use our chocolate cake recipe for vegans adding the zest of one orange and a large handful of fresh cranberries.
Pop the mixture into a lined shallow baking tray and pop into a preheated oven at 160'Cfan/180'C for around 30 minutes.
Allow to cool.
For a dairy free ganache take 150 ml of fresh orange juice, bring to the boil and pour over 150gm dark chocolate. Whisk briskly.
Pop into the fridge for an hour until thick and spread over the cool sponge.
If you ever find yourself in North Wales you must drop by Hawarden Farm Shop. Around Halloween you will find a veritable array of beautiful vibrant orange pumpkins festooning the the entrance. Freshly plucked from the estate in all sorts of shapes and sizes you'll be spoilt for choice. Set in a spectrum of autumnal hues from the surrounding land Hawarden truely shone on our visit.
The farm shop has a superb cafe , not sure this phrase actually exists but 'contemporary rustic' is probably a fair description.With rich pickings from the adjacent deli and butchers you'll be certain to have a delicious feast. We often head for one of the platters which are completely indulgent with plenty to taste and devour. With a craving for cheese we ordered the deli platter. .......
....with plenty for two. Produced by Snowdonia Cheese and including Black Bomber, Red Devil and Bouncing Berry the cheese was particularly impressive!Strong in flavour, but smooth and creamy the Black Bomber is an exceptional cheddar. Everything on the platter is locally sourced and available to purchase in the shop including the chunky sausage roll stuffed with a mighty filling of beautifully seasoned pork.
The shop at Hawarden is bright and airy with an array of colourful fresh local produce along with baked goods, spirits......indeed all manner of simply gorgeous edible yummy things to tantalise the taste buds. A perfect place for Christmas shopping (including handy vouchers) it's a fantastic independent.
.......and at this time of year it's certainly the best place for beautiful pumpkins. ......
........and more pumpkins.........
So, if you are in the area we definitely recommend a visit to Hawarden Farm to grab yourself a Pumpkin and Platter!
Pop the butter and milk in the microwave together on a defrost setting until the butter just starts to melt. Add all of the remaining ingredients and gently stir until combined, then blitz with an electric mixer.
Use the buttercream to sandwich the two sponges together.
Pop the chocolate and coffee into a glass bowl and heat gently over a bain marie ie a small saucepan of simmering water. Remove from the heat once the chocolate has melted and add the butter. Whisk the mix until completely blended.
The frosting is now ready to cover the top of the cake
Place a handful of hazelnuts in a frying pan and gently heat until golden brown. Allow to cool and crush using a petal and mortar.
Melt 150gm of 70% chocolate.
Take a 30×30cm square of cellophane and place onto a baking sheet or other firm movable surface which will fit in your fridge. Pour the melted chocolate over the cellophane, sprinkle over the hazelnuts and pop in the fridge until completely solid. Cut the chocolate into the preferred shape and push gently into the chocolate frosting.
Tea bread is such an underestimated bake. Soo easy to make and even better if your have to delve into the cupboards to find odd bits of dried fruit left over from Christmas etc. Once you have the basics you can really add almost anything!
This little gem was made by Susannah, a keen spoon licker, she is also quite happy to get her hands stuck in. So here we have Chai tea, but really you could also go for Earl Grey etc depending on your favourite brew. Fruit teas work well too.
PLEASE NOTE YOU NEED TO START THIS RECIPE THE NIGHT BEFORE!
Halloween provides the perfect excuse for creative bakes.....and simple is often the best. Never ones to slave over fine sugar work this fits the bill nicely!
Mary Berry's chocolate sponge recipe can be found on our ' Basics page'. We've used chocolate ganache to fill and cover using 250g 50% and 250ml double cream warmed and melted using a bain marie. Around 100g of melted white chocolate in a plastic piping bag with the tip snipped off really small provides the white of the web.The easiest way to achieve the web is to draw lines from an off centre point with the white chocolate then join with curved lines. You can make a fondant spider or simply use a plastic one.
This recipe has been pinched from Simon Rimmer who has a knack of creating really easy and delicious recipes - this being one of them.
We recently made a batch for a friend's dinner party and they went down a storm. Handy for parties, wedding favours, gifts at Christmas these little gems are really versatile and the filling can lend itself to other flavours - so watch this space!
An uber easy recipe, quick and delicious and one to hit the spot on a chilly day. Banana, coconut and syrup just go perfectly well together!
Autumn is such a great season, full of colour and an abundance of produce, including apples. A great friend Nigel frequently brings beautiful home grown goodies from his garden and this includes apples. I don't believe we have ever have quite so many apples at home, so this was an opportunity (excuse) to bake something mega (though there remain a large number of apples).
This recipe makes a 4 layer cake but it is fine to halve the quantities and have 2 layers.
Buttercream and filling
Pop the cinder toffee on at the final minute before serving as it absorbs moisture and starts to dissolve!
We just love cinder toffee! It is so reminiscent of bonfire parties when we were kids. Full of sweet crunchiness and uber quick to make its also easy to make if you've forgotten a stash of sweets for the trick and treaters. Add a bit of chocolate and you get something which is worthy of an after dinner treat too. So, yep ,this recipe is really versatile! !
180g caster sugar
80g golden syrup
2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
100g of chocolate - we recommend min 70% cocoa
Line a 20cm square tin with baking paper and wipe over with vegetable oil
Weigh the butter, sugar and syrup into a pan and heat gently until all of the ingredients have dissolved. Do not stir, rather swirl the mixture around
Turn up the heat and boil for 5 minutes
Carefully add the bicarbonate of soda and stir for just a few seconds, being careful as the extremely hot mixture fizzes and expands.
Tip the mixture into the lined tin
Allow to cool completely and break into large shards
Gently melt the chocolate over a bain marie or in the microwave
Dip the toffee shards into the chocolate and carefully place onto a sheet of baking parchment until dry
The toffee will keep for up to a week in an airtight container but with time will tend to soften
The best thing about 'free from' recipes is that they are a great challenge and encourage a bit of culinary exploration.
This basic sponge mix is really easy to handle and many tasters won't even realise that there isn't any dairy involved.
Strawberry and mint go so well today and great any time of year but particularly over the summer months.
For the sponge
For the filling and decoration
Currently in season, and so underused, the humble little greengage , a little in taste like a plum, goes beautifully in this simple almond traybake
So this is really an extra special carrot cake, super moist and really tasty.
Flapjacks are a good staple but with just a few tweaks you can make these a crowd pleaser for all including those with allergies, intolerances etc.
Sour cherries are a great addition to cut through the buttery and sweet overtones of a good flapjack. A dark chocolate also does the same, and the combo lifts these little gems to another level.
Whether due to allergies or choice gluten free and vegan bakes shouldn't miss out on taste or any of the indulgence of a standard bake.
This cake is easy to make and definitely yummy. For extra zing add some grated orange or have a go with adding some spices such as chilli for warmth and depth of flavour.
Summer wouldn't be summer without a cooling glass of Pimms and plenty of sweet strawberries.
These cupcakes use a really versatile madeira sponge which we tend to use for our wedding cakes. A little firmer than a normal Victoria sponge the madeira will soak up syrups without going soggy and will also tolerate tiering.
Filling and decoration
Whilst the cakes are cooling prepare the filling.
Quick and delicious these chocolate brownies are a firm favourite! We haven't changed Mary Berry's recipe because it's simply perfect as it is.
275g really soft butter
375g castor sugar
4 large eggs
75g cocoa powder
100g self raising flour
100g dark chocolate chips
Beautifully summery and really easy to make these little sponges will brighten up any tea time
3 tablespoons milk
120g self-raising flour
half teaspoon baking powder
30g ground almonds
handful of flaked almonds
150g castor sugar
2 large eggs
few drops of almond essence
12 fresh raspberries to bake and at least 12 more to decorate
icing sugar to sprinkle
Nothing quite beats the feeling of sharing handcrafted edible goodies with family and friends. There are very few people who do not delight in the indulgent treat of cake – and that’s exactly what it should be. Cakes are to savor as treats or indulge on celebratory occasions. They are not everyday foods. This message is obligatory given one of us is a doctor!
So, the key SB rules when it comes to making a perfect sponge:
So, equipped with our hints you are ready to get baking…..
Unfortunately 'free from' can also mean 'free from taste.'
These delectable vegan cupcakes are a feast for the eye and deliver on flavour too and made it to the National Cupcake Championships. We have created a rich, moist chocolate sponge filled with a spiced mango salsa and topped with a dreamy chocolate and coconut frosting. Pineapple ‘flowers’ and lime dust provide tropical decoration.
(we recommend that you make these the day before your sponges)
Place all of the ingredients into a bowl, gently combine with a wooden spoon and then whisk thoroughly.
Once cooled, core out the centre of each cupcake with a corer or knife. Fill each cupcake with the mango salsa and pipe with the chocolate and coconut frosting. Finish with a display of pineapple flowers and a light dusting of lime dust.
Lemon and white chocolate is a great winning combination. White chocolate can be a little sweet but the hint of lemon in these cakes provides a bit of citrus balance. We have used the same recipe in cone cups too and served them as sundaes which are a little smaller and great as sweet canapes. With the sundaes reduce the baking time. There are many cones to choose from but Pidy have a great selection
For complete indulgence make some of our lemon curd to add extra zing and flavour or buy a good quality version such as Stokes
The cakes need to cool fully before decorating. Remove a small core of each cake either using a cupcake corer or the tip of a sharp knife. Spoon in a generous teaspoon of the lemon curd. Pipe the white chocolate butter cream with a star nozzle and place a ‘blob’ of the Limoncella at the peak of the swirl and accent with a white fondant flower or chunk of white chocolate, or indeed both!
Home made lemon curd is in a different league to anything you'll ever buy in the shops.
Though it takes a few high quality ingredients to make just one 500gm jar full it's well worth it. It raises the taste of any simple vanilla sponge and is equally delicious on a humble piece of toast.
What is great about this recipe is that it is easy and foolproof! You won't end up with scrambled eggs if you follow the instructions and don't cut any corners. At no point be tempted to put the ingredients directly into a saucepan, you must only use the bain marie method.
The zest and juice of 4 unwaxed lemons
200g castor sugar
3 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
Place all the ingredients EXCEPT the eggs into a glass bowl. Place over a saucepan of simmering water until the butter has melted.
Place the eggs and additional yolk into a jug and whisk. Gently pour the eggs into the heated glass bowl with the other ingredients and continue to cook over a gentle heat for around 15 minutes whisking regularly. The curd will gradually thicken and is ready when the mixture covers the back of a spoon.
Allow the mixture to cool before pouring into a 500g sterilsed jar.
The lemon curd will keep for a week in the fridge......if you haven't eaten it before!