DIY Porg Meringues

Its not May the 4th, and its not any time around a film being released, but I figured I actually didn’t need an excuse to share what I feel like is one of the cutest baking posts I’ve done in a long time. Well, it is actually the first time in ages that I’ve done a baking post, and its my first time baking in my new house, so ok, there’s the excuse!

Like them or loathe them (but seriously, who doesn’t like them?!), Porgs sorta stole the show in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Fun fact: the porgs were actually created as the island that the scenes were filmed on was populated with a whole load of puffins, and it was easier to CGI the porgs over all the puffins than it was to remove the puffins from the shots, so porgs are basically just space puffins. But I digress..

I’ve had the idea for these cute little sweet treats in my head for a little while now, and here they are – they’re a super simple bake and only 4 ingredients too! I always use the BBC Good Food Ultimate Meringue recipe for meringues, as below, but if you have your own go-to meringue recipe you can use that!

You will need:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 115g icing sugar
  • 100g milk or dark chocolate

Preheat your oven to 100C, and line a couple of baking trays with greaseproof paper. On the back of my greaseproof paper I drew a porg template ready for piping later, but you don’t have to do this.

Whisk your egg whites using a hand or stand mixer until they form stiff peaks, then up the speed a little and add the caster sugar one tablespoon at a time, waiting a few seconds between each spoonful. Once the caster sugar has all been added, your mix should look nice and shiny! Sift the icing sugar into the egg mix  one third at a time, and fold in gently using a metal spoon until smooth.

Now how you shape your porg is totally up to you, I used a piping bag but I imagine you could do it no problem using a spoon. Pipe/spoon your porg shapes onto the greaseproof paper leaving a little bit of space between each one – don’t worry about them being too peak-y or being all the same shape, it gives them character! Bake for 1 hour 30 mins, and then leave them to cool on a cooling rack.

To give yourself a nice flat canvas to work on, flip your meringues so that the flat side is the front of your porg, and now you’ve got yourself an army of little meringue porgs, you’re gonna want to melt down your chocolate. As you’re gonna be dipping, I suggest doing this in a fairly small bowl so that you’ve got some depth.

Take a porg, and working from wing to wing, dip and turn your meringue to create a chocolate border around your porg, then place them onto greaseproof paper to dry. You can then use either a piping bag or toothpick dipped in chocolate to add facial features. Pop your porgs in the fridge to allow the chocolate to harden, and you’re all done!

The meringues can be stored in a sealed container for about a week, if they last that long..

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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Hidden Pumpkin Cupcakes

The spookiest day of the year is now just around the corner, and while I’m not the biggest fan of Halloween, I love a good bit of baking, and I can’t believe I’ve never shared this recipe before!

With one of my cousins having her birthday on the 29th, I have been baking Halloween themed treats for her birthday parties for years now, and it was actually 5 years ago that I came up with these surprise centre cuties, and now you can make them too!

For 12-15 cupcakes, you will need:

  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 105g self-raising flour
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • Plus..
  • 65g caster sugar
  • 65g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 65g self raising flour
  • Orange food colouring
  • Orange flavouring (optional)
  • Green candy melts
  • Your favourite chocolate frosting

You’ll also need a cupcake tray and either a cake pop machine or a cake pop baking mould!

Pre-heat your oven to 190C and start by making your little pumpkin balls! Cream the 65g butter and caster sugar together, then whisk in the egg and add the flour. Once the mixture is smooth, add the orange food colouring and flavouring. Bake for 10 mins, or as per your cake pop machine’s instructions – I think mine takes about 6 mins!

Let these cool, and use the remainder of the ingredients to make the chocolate cupcake mix using the same method. Line a cupcake tray with cupcake cases, and place one orange cake ball in the centre of the case, then using a teaspoon, add chocolate mix around the edge of the pumpkin – its ok if the top of the pumpkin isn’t covered because the cake will rise around it!

Bake for 12-15 mins, and while baking, chop the candy melt buttons into thin strips – it doesn’t matter if these aren’t perfect! Once the cupcakes are done, let them cool for about 5 mins, then carefully push each little green strip into the centre of the pumpkin, and then allow them to cool fully before icing. I personally like to keep the icing simple so it doesn’t give away the surprise inside, but you can find your own style!

Then sit back and watch the amazement when your unsuspecting consumers discover they’ve just bitten into a pumpkin!

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Baking Magic – Spinach Puffs

For the first time in forever, I’ve been in the kitchen creating a Disney inspired recipe.. Pull the lever, Kronk!

That’s right, its a little less well known recipe today, but any fans of Emperor’s New Groove will know of Kronk’s famous spinach puffs. Yzma may not be a fan, but having recreated these little beauties for myself, I most certainly am, and I’m pleased to say they’re super easy to do!

You’re gonna need:

  • A sheet of ready-roll puff pastry
  • 1 cup of finely chopped spinach – I used a food processor to save time!
  • 2 tbsp powdered parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • A beaten egg, optional
  • A mini muffin tray sprayed with FryLight oil
This recipe makes 8-10 puffs!

Preheat an oven to 180C.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the spinach, parmesan until evenly mixed. Crush the garlic clove into this mixture, add the oil and combine.

Unroll the pastry, and cut into 2×2 inch squares. Arrange the squares diagonally in the mini muffin holes, pressing them down into the dips, then fill with a teaspoon of the spinach mix.

Fold the corners in, and brush the top with the egg mix. Pop in the oven for 10-12 mins until golden brown.

If you’re feeling a little fancy, you can spread the mix onto the pastry sheet, roll it up like a Swiss roll and slice into spirals before baking!

These bites of deliciousness are best served warm, but will also keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.

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Unicorn Poop Marshmallows

Unicorn food is taking of the world right now. Its all over Pinterest, its in ever cutesy indie cafe, and I’m loving it.

I’ve seen lots of recipes for unicorn hot chocolate recently, and while I think they’re all incredibly cute, I think they’re missing one finishing touch.. Unicorn marshmallows. Making marshmallows is one of my favourite things to do, and I personally think they taste a million times better homemade, so I took inspiration from one of my favourite Lush bubble bars to create these pastel perfect unicorn poops.

Making the marshmallows is fairly straightfoward, but does take a little bit of time and you’ll need a candy thermometer!

  • In a heavy based saucepan, mix together 200ml water, 450g caster sugar and 1 tbsp golden syrup. Pop in the candy thermometer, and start heating the mix, without stirring, until it reaches 127C.
  • While its heating, soak 9 gelatine leaves in 140ml water in a bowl and leave to one side.
  • In a large bowl, or stand mixer, whisk 2 egg whites until fluffy. If you’re using a stand mixer, just keep this running at a medium speed, or if you use an electric hand whisk, stop when soft peaks form and wait for the sugar mix.
  • Once the sugar boils up to temperature, remove the thermometer and pour in the gelatin/water mix and stir until fully dissolved, then slowly pour into the egg whites, mixing as you go. I cannot stress enough how hot this mix is, so please be careful and don’t have small children around while you’re doing this as it will hurt!
  • Whisk this mixture on a high speed for around 10 minutes, until it forms peaks.

While the marshmallow is whisking away, get three bowls ready with a few drops of gel food colouring in each. Pour 1/3 of the mix into each bowl and stir so the mallow is evenly coloured.

At this point, I used my Wilton colour swirl kit, but you can also use regular piping bags by filling each one with a colour, and then placing all three bags into another, fitting with a large open nozzle.

Prepare a large tray by covering it with greaseproof paper, and sprinkling a mixture of icing sugar and cornflour, then get piping away! If you don’t want to pipe, you could also use a square cake tin and layer the colours instead!

Let the marshmallows set for 1-2 hours, then sprinkle with more icing sugar/cornflour! These will keep in an airtight container for about a week or two – if you let them last that long!

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Ferrero Rocher Brownies

It has felt like FOREVER since I’ve done a baking post, or any recipe post at all to be honest, so I dedicated a whole day last week to baking yummy stuff so I can share a few of my favourites sweet treats over the coming weeks, yay!

Today, I’m gonna be sharing a variation on my famous brownie recipe (and when I say famous, I mean among the few people in my life who have eaten my brownies, haha), featuring my boyfriend’s favourite chocolates: Ferrero Rochers.

You will need:

  • 115g butter
  • 115g milk chocolate
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 115g plain flour
  • 8 Ferrero Rocher
  • 4 tbsp Nutella (optional)
  • 4 tbsp hazelnuts, finely chopped (optional)

Preheat your oven to 180C

First, melt together the chocolate and butter. I do this in a pan over boiling water, but you can also do this in the microwave! While this is melting down, line an 8 inch square pan with greaseproof paper, and chop the Ferrero Rochers in half.

Once the chocolate mix is fully melted (don’t worry if the butter and chocolate is a little bit separated!), pour it into a large mixing bowl, add the caster sugar and stir together, then beat in the eggs until smooth. Sift in the cocoa powder and flour, and mix together. You can add the hazelnuts now if you want!

Pour half of the brownie mix into the pan and let it settle evenly. In a microwave safe bowl, microwave the Nutella in 10-20 second intervals until its runny enough to pour, and drizzle it over the first layer of brownie mix, then pour the remaining mix on top.

Arrange your Ferrero Rocher halfs on the top of the brownie, pushing them down into the mix slightly, then bake for 30-35 mins. Allow the brownie to cool in the pan for 5-10 mins, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Slice and enjoy!

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