My Ultimate Easter Rocky Road Recipe

I haven’t done a baking recipe in what feels like FOREVER (I will bombard you with them after we’ve moved into our new house so enjoy the relative rarity of them while it lasts) and with the Easter weekend upon us, I figured I’d throw as many Easter themed treats into one recipe, and that called for one of my favourite recipes: rocky road.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can add or remove anything you fancy once you’ve got the core mix, so you can totally make this your own and go a little crazy if you want, but here’s how mine turned out..

You will need:

  • 225g chocolate (I personally prefer to use milk, but if you want to do dark, go for it!)
  • 100g butter
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 100g mini marshmallows
  • 100g chocolate chip cookies or digestive biscuits, broken up
  • 100g maltesers (I used slightly less for this recipe because I added mini eggs)
  • 75g Mini Eggs plus extra for decorating
  • 4-5 Creme Eggs

Line an 8-inch square tin with greaseproof paper.

To start off, melt down the chocolate and butter – I do this in a pan over hot water, but you can microwave it if you prefer. Mix in the cocoa powder, caster sugar and cocoa powder until completely smooth.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the marshmallows, cookies/biscuits, Maltesers and Mini Eggs, then pour in the chocolate mix and stir well until everything has a good coating of the chocolate mix, then pour into the tin and squish it down a little bit, but not too much.

Using a sharp knife, cut your Creme Eggs length-ways (along the little join). I then cut them in half again to make them go a little further, but that’s completely up to you! Press the Creme Egg pieces into the top of the mix so that they make their own little indentations to sit in, and chuck a couple of extra Mini Eggs on for good measure, then get this into the fridge for 1-2 hours.

Once set, chop into chunks and be prepared for it all to disappear a lot quicker than you expected..

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Blueberry Pancake Cupcakes

Happy Pancake Day everyone! I mean, its the most important day of the month today, right?

And I know that I know there are some people out there who aren’t totally pancake crazy (weirdos.. I joke) but if that’s the case or not, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share a recipe I’ve been sitting on for a little while now: my blueberry pancake cupcakes!

For the cupcakes, you’ll need 125g butter, 125g caster sugar, 2 eggs, 125g self raising flour, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional), plus a handful of blueberries – you can decide how blueberry crazy you want to be! Oh, and preheat your oven to 190C

  • Cream together the butter and sugar, then whisk in the egg.
  • Add the vanilla extract, then sift together the flour and cinnamon and mix well.
  • Line a cupcake tray with 12 cases, and drop a couple of blueberries into the bottom of each case, then add your remaining blueberries to the cake mix and whisk a little more so that they break up and release some of their yumminess into the mix.
  • Bake for 12-15 mins, then remove and allow to cool

While your cupcakes are baking, you can start on the fun task of making the (optional) tiny pancake toppers for the cupcakes, because these will also need a chance to cool before you compile your cupcakes at the end. This really calls for a classic American style pancake, and if you have your own favourite recipe then you can go ahead and whip that up, or this is the recipe that I use (you may want to make a half batch though!):

  • Sift together 135g plain flour with 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt and 2 tbsp caster sugar.
  • Separately whisk up 130ml milk with an egg and 2 tbsp melted butter, then pour into the flour mixture and whisk well until completely smooth.
  • Then you can go ahead and fry up your pancakes on a hob set at a medium heat – you can judge when its time to flip when little bubbles start to form on the top!

I tend to make a bunch of big pancakes, then use a cookie cutter to get them down to cupcake size, but if you have the patience to make a bunch of teeny tiny cupcakes then I’m all for that too! Pop these to one side, and make the buttercream:

  • Whisk together 175g caster sugar with 500g icing sugar until smooth
  • Optional: add 2 tbsp maple syrup and combine well – you may need to give your icing a chance to chill in the fridge before piping

Once everything is ready, get building! Pipe or spoon a good helping of buttercream onto each cupcake, top with a pancake and drizzle a little golden or maple syrup over the top and enjoy! If you’re making these in advance, don’t add the pancake until right before you serve, otherwise it can dry out a little bit, but the cupcakes themselves will store in a sealed container for up to a week!

You can thank me later!

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Tale As Old As Time Afternoon Tea at The Kensington Hotel

I might be a little late to the party, but on Sunday I finally had my opportunity to go to the Beauty and the Beast themed afternoon tea at The Kensington Hotel in London, having had it booked for months.

We arrived at the hotel about half an hour early, but due to a few cancellations they managed to get a table ready for us well before our set time – although a little miscommunication meant we were sat at our table for quite a while before someone actually came to take our drink orders. I’m not really a tea drinker, so despite a big selection of teas to choose from, I chose one that I knew would be a safe bet: Wild Rooibos.

The tea came out pretty quickly, and was followed with a plate of little appetisers – a mini cheese souffle, a little pie and little breaded ball of beef ragu – all three of which were delicious and I was a little sad to only get one of each because I could have eaten them 10 times over. Once our plates were cleared, the main event was brought out..

The tea stand was accompanied by Lumiere and Mrs Potts (who was filled with cream), and consisted of finger sandwiches, sweet baguettes and the gorgeous themed desserts on top. The sweet baguettes weren’t really my thing, but the sandwiches were good and I was primarily there for the desserts!

Inside the adorable little Chip teacups was the famous Grey Stuff, which was indeed delicious and my favourite of all the desserts. The Cogsworth tart was also incredibly cute but very very rich and had marzipan in it which I’m not a fan of, and having eaten both of the portions of Grey Stuff, I couldn’t quite finish him! There was also a little coconut macaron ‘snowball’, which was a nice light option, and finally a clear jelly containing the last rose petal.

After finishing the tea, we were brought a wrapped biscuit – which was iced to look like Belle’s ballgown – to take home, but with the tea room being fairly quiet, we ended up staying at least an hour after we’d finished eating. We were there for at least 3 hours, so definitely made an effort to get our money’s worth out of it!

Hidden Mickey Fudge

I don’t know about anyone else, but something I always have to to when I visit Disneyland Paris is stop off on Main Street and buy some fudge, and when I say some, I mean a lot. Its tradition.

So I decided to make some fudge, but if you know anything about me and my baking habits, I like to throw a little surprise into my creations, so I present to you.. Hidden Mickey fudge!

Hidden Mickey fudge

First up, make the chocolate fudge:

  • In a saucepan, mix together 400g chocolate (I used half dark and half milk, but either or any combo will do!), a tin of condensed milk (a standard one is 397g) and 25g butter.
  • Melt this all together over a low-medium heat, then sift in 100g icing sugar and stir in
  • Pour this mix into a lined 8 inch square tin, then pop in the fridge for at least an hour

Hidden Mickey fudge

Once the chocolate fudge is set, turn it out onto a fresh sheet of greaseproof paper, and using a Mickey Mouse cookie cutter, cut out as many mice as you can. Line a standard sized loaf tin with paper, and stack the cut-outs into a sort-of Mickey sausage from one end of the tin to the other.

Hidden Mickey fudge

Now, the vanilla fudge (this one takes a little longer!):

  • In a larger saucepan – the bigger, the better – combine another tin of condensed milk with 450g demerara sugar, 150ml milk and 115g butter.
  • Heat this until its all melted and combined, then ramp up the heat, and simmer for about 15 mins, stirring continuously. This will get super hot and bubbly, so keep children well away in case it spits out.
  • Boil until the temperature reaches 118C on a candy thermometer, or the mix starts to form a sort-of soft ball in the pan, then remove from the heat, and keep stirring quickly until the mixture thickens
  • Pour this mix over your Mickeys, then pop the pan in the fridge for at least 90 mins.

Hidden Mickey fudge

Ready, set, slice!

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Baking Magic – Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

When it comes to snacks and desserts at Disney parks, everyone’s got their favourites, right?

Out of those favourites, we tend to have the favourites that you can get everywhere – popcorn, churros etc – and the ones that you savour in certain locations. Today’s recipe is one of the latter.

Sunshine Seasons inside The Land at Epcot ranks pretty high in my favourite quick service restaurants, and if its not the Mongolian beef that gets my taste buds excited (YUM), its the red velvet whoopie pies that keep me coming back again and again, so today I decided to make them!

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt 1 oz dark chocolate and 1/2 oz milk chocolate together, and mix to combine the two.
  2. In a separate bowl, melt 3/4 cups butter, then whisk in 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 eggs, 1 1/2 tsps white wine vinegar and a splash of vanilla extract. Add red gel or paste food colouring until the mix is a nice shade of reddy-pink.
  3. In another bowl, combine 2 1/4 cups plain flour, 1 cup caster sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp baking soda. Pour in the red mix bit by bit and whisk until smooth, then stir in the melted chocolate mix.
  4. Cover a baking tray in greaseproof paper, and spoon the mix into 2 inch round circles, about 1 inch apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

  1. While the whoopies are cooling, make the cream cheese filling by whisking together 125g cream cheese and 50g butter, then sift in 300g icing sugar and mix until smooth, then refrigerate until ready for sandwiching.
  2. Once cooled, pair up the whoopies and stick them together with a good helping of the frosting, then roll the edges in chocolate chips to finish!

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

What are your favourite park treats?

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Treat Yourself – Pastel Dream Cheesecake

For a lover of bright and bold colours, I’m surprisingly obsessed with pastels right now.

So I’m scrolling through Pinterest, looking for pins for my new Pastel Dreams board, when I came across this ADORABLE cheesecake from SprinkleBakes, and I knew I had to give it a go – with my own twist, of course!

Pastel Cheesecake

You’ll need an 8 inch springform pan (I used a silicone one which made getting it out a little tricky!), an electric mixer – handheld or stand based – and plenty of bowls and spatulas at the ready!

To start off, I made my favourite cheesecake base: Oreos! Crush up 250g, and mix with 40g melted butter until its nice and sticky, then press into the base of your tin, making sure to get it nice and even. Pop this in the fridge for now.

Pastel Cheesecake

Next up, make the cheesecake mix. I stuck to the SprinkleBakes recipe:

  • Whip 1 3/4 cups of whipping cream in a glass bowl. Once it starts to thicken, gradually add 1/2 cup sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form
  • Give 10 oz. cream cheese a good stir to make sure its nice and soft, then beat this into the cream bit by bit, then add 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Sprinkle 1 tsp powdered gelation over 1 tbsp water, and let it absorb fully – about 2-3 minutes – before blitzing it in the microwave for 10 seconds, then folding it into your cheesecake mix
  • Divvy the mix up into three bowls, then using gel food colouring, tint the mixes into your favourite pastel shades. I really wouldn’t recommend using liquid colouring here!

Ok, this is where I deviated from SBs technique a little..

Inspired by another pastel favourite of mine, Flumps, I bought a load of the extra long ones and cut them up into 1.5 inch lengths, although if you can get shorter ones you’ll save yourself a job!

Pastel Cheesecake

Take the base out of the fridge, and very carefully stand the marshmallows around the edge of the base – don’t worry, they’ll hold up fine once you start filling it with cheesecake mix!

Pastel Cheesecake

Pile in your first colour, then smooth it out carefully with a palette knife, and repeat with all your other colours. Get this into the freezer now, and leave it for a good hour or two to set nice and solid.

I recommend taking it out of the freezer about 20-30 minutes before serving; it makes it a lot easier to remove from the tin, and cleaner to cut!

Pastel Cheesecake

Pastel Cheesecake

Dreamy, right? Another great reason to serve it semi-frozen is that it has the consistency of icecream and its just so yum!

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Baking Magic – Make it Pink! Make it Blue! Cupcakes

This post is coming to you today in honour of the fact that right now I’m in Disneyland Paris! Thank goodness for scheduled posting, eh?

To celebrate the fact that I’m probably twirling around in front of Sleeping Beauty’s gorgeous castle as you read this, I’m honouring the lovely Aurora and the classic debate among her many fans: pink or blue?

Make It Pink Make It Blue Cupcakes

Start off by preheating your oven to 190C, whip up a batch of your favourite vanilla cupcake mix, and separate it into two bowls.

SONY DSC

Using gel food colourings (I recommend Wilton or Sugaflair!), tint one bowl pink, and one bowl blue, like so!

Make It Pink Make It Blue Cupcakes

Line a cupcake tray with cases – pink and blue were my obvious choices, but its up to you! – and using a teaspoon, drop a little bit of one colour into each case. Keep on adding the two different colours bit by bit until the case is 3/4 full, then you can either leave it as is, or use a skewer to swirl them together a little more; gives it a bit more of a magical effect, I think!

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Bake for 15-17 minutes. If the cakes spring back nicely when you give them a little poke, or a skewer inserted into the cakes comes out clean, then you’re good to go! Get them out and onto a cooling rack.

Now its time to make some frosting; my go-to is always buttercream. Use at least 2 parts icing sugar to 1 part butter, and you might want to add a little more sugar as a firmer buttercream is better for this one! Again, tint half pink and half blue.

You’re going to need three piping bags for this next bit, but only one nozzle – I’m using a large closed star tip. Without cutting the ends off, fill one bag half full with pink, and another half full with blue, and try and squeeze the icing down a little.

Make It Pink Make It Blue Cupcakes

Cut the end off of the third bag and insert the nozzle, then you can snip the ends off of the pink and blue bags. Pop the two full bags into the empty one, and slowly squeeze until the icing appears at the end of the tip. You may find here that one colour comes out first before the second begins to show, I squeeze it out into another bowl until the colours are mixing nicely.

Make It Pink Make It Blue Cupcakes

Now pipe your cupcakes!

Make It Pink Make It Blue Cupcakes

I think the fairies would be proud, don’t you? Are you Team Pink or Team Blue?

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