Halloween Pumpkin Cupcakes

halloween spooky pumpkin face cupcakes decorated

Happy Halloween! This bake is another inspired by my baking calendar (as was my lemon & lavender cake back in the summer). Spiced pumpkin cake with ginger icing? Yes please!

baking calendar cake a month october halloween pumpkin cupcakes recipe inspiration

I altered the recipe a little, to include more pumpkin, no sultanas, and added some cream cheese to the icing. Finished with a glittered pumpkin fondant topper – scary and sweet all at the same time! A slight confession – hopefully you’ll forgive – as these cakes are made with oil rather butter, and mixed rather than creamed and folded, they’re actually more muffins than cupcakes. But they still taste as good!

Ingredients (makes approx. 15 medium muffins)

350g mashed pumpkin
125ml olive oil
150 light muscovado sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
300g plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Method

- In a large bowl, beat together the pumpkin, oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla
– Sieve in the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined
– Spoon into cupcake / muffin cases, filling to about 2/3
– Bake at 180 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean

pumpkin cupcakes easy recipe and method for autumn or halloween baking

Spiced cream cheese icing

50g butter
125g cream cheese
275g icing sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
Pinch of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

- Mix together the butter and cream cheese until smooth
– Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Don’t beat too much or the cream cheese will start to melt.
– Refrigerate for 15 minutes before using to top the cooled cakes. Keep the cakes in the fridge until they’re ready to be eaten

pumpkin cupcakes with spiced cream cheese frosting autumn recipe

The lovely My Cake Decorating Halloween special came with this great pumpkin plunger cutter, perfect for making scary-faced pumpkins every time!

orange fondant pumpkin shapes for halloween cupcakes

I used a little black + red edible glitter to fill in the eyes, nose and mouth for extra spooky effect.

painting fondant orange pumpkin faces with edible glitter for halloween baking Trick or treat! What do you think?

halloween pumpkin cupcakes spiced recipe using vegetable flesh cream cheese frosting halloween pumpkin cupcake flavoured and decorate spooky glitter face halloween pumpkin cupcake spooky face orange fondant and edible glitter

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

halloween autumn or fall dessert recipe ideas for the family pumpkin pie cheesecake healthy and low fat

It’s definitely that time of year again – no, not the dark, cold, grey one (although that does seem to be advancing at an alarming rate), but the one where everything growing in the garden seems to be ready at once. Personally our garden is over-whelmed with tomatoes, so every other meal seems to be bolognese-based, but from my Dad’s side, his garage seems to be overflowing with giant pumpkins!

I’m not sure if this one was bigger than last years – but certainly big enough for me, it took over 2 hours to chop up and freeze all the flesh!

giant halloween pumpkin homegrown british allotment pie recipe

For dinner at the in-laws last weekend, I wanted to make a dessert and there was really only one thing that could go in it – with my fridge and freezer both filled to the brim, it really had to use up a good amount of pumpkin flesh. It’s a very sizeable cheesecake but would work just as well if you used, say, half the recipe.

Once you have your pumpkin ready (and you could use canned puree if you don’t have any fresh), it’s really very quick to put together. The end result is a creamy cheesecake with all the taste of pumpkin pie.

Ingredients

250g digestive biscuits, crushed
125g butter, melted
Pinch each of cinnamon and nutmeg
1 teaspoon cocoa powder (optional)
1 tablespoon light muscovado sugar

450g mashed / pureed pumpkin
500g quark or cream cheese
150g light muscovado sugar
150ml sour cream
5 eggs
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger

Method
- Mix together dry ingredients for the base in a large bowl, before stirring in the melted butter
– Press firmly into the bottom of a large spring-form or loose-bottomed tin, and put in the fridge whilst you make the topping
– In another large bowl, mix the pumpkin, quark, sugar, spices and sour cream, and beat until smooth. Have a quick taste test – add more sugar or spices if you feel needed.
– Add the eggs and stir together until just-combined; don’t over-mix at this stage- Pour over the biscuit base, you should not need to smooth as it will settle to a flat top
– Bake at 180 degrees for 1 – 1 1/2 hours, until the top is set (it should only wobble slightly if you shake the tin)
– Remove from the oven and run a knife all around the edge, this will allow the cake to shrink away from the edges as it cools
– Leave in the tin until completely cool (overnight ideally), as the inside will continue cooking
– Remove from the tin and serve in large slices!

buttery biscuit base for cheesecake recipe low fat pressed buttery biscuit based in loose bottomed tin cheesecake recipe pumpkin pie cheesecake healthy dessert ideas autumn fall halloween recipe family size pumpkin pie cheesecake orange and browns for autumn fall on check tablecloth halloween recipe browned top of pumpkin pie cheesecake with recipe and how to

I’d intended to take a photo of the inside before we tucked in, but was a little fork-happy! What I can tell you was that the inside was smooth and tangy, with a lovely treacly flavour from the muscovado, perfectly offset by the spices and sour cream. Yummy!

pumpkin pie cheesecake thick treacle base creamy insides halloween recipe

GBBO Pièce Montée

ferris wheel piece montee coloured spun sugarwork wheel profiterole stack

Well it has come to the final week of #greatbloggersbakeoff2014 – and here is my final showstopper!

I wanted to challenge myself, as the bakers had done in the tent, so embarked on the very final challenge of the series. This was the pièce montée – a decorative celebration or centrepiece cake, featuring different baking elements, decorations, and techniques.

Well this certainly was a learning experience for me – planning shapes and sizes and doing things in the right order are just two points to note! Nevertheless, everything came together to create, kind of, my ferris wheel pièce montée (what do you mean you can’t see it!)

ferris wheel pièce montée showstopper greatbloggersbakeoff2014 sugar work macarons ombre cake biscuits choux profiteroles ferris wheel pièce montée cake profiteroles choux white chocolate biscuit macarons sugar work

The different elements I used were as follows:

- Ombre chocolate cake base (adapted from Nigella’s recipe), filled and covered with raspberry butter cream
Macarons, decorated with a light dusting of edible glitter
– Chocolate and ginger biscuits (adapted from a Christmas gingerbread house recipe)
– Profiteroles, filled with raspberry cream and decorate with white chocolate
– A golden and red sugar decoration, to represent the wheel (simply made by creating a sugar syrup in a heavy bottomed pan)

white chocolate mud cake ombre gbbo showstopper raspberry buttercream macarons on pièce montée cake raspberry buttercream finished with edible glitter raspberry cream profiteroles decorated with white chocolate biscuit and choux profiterole constuction on pièce montée cake gbbo ferris wheel spun sugar pièce montée with biscuit and profiterole supports great bloggers bake off

The individual elements I was very pleased with – the putting together a little less so! I had not filled and iced my cake early enough, so it was not set enough by the time I came to build everything up, and things started to slide a little…
I had also vastly over-estimated the size of the sugar wheel, it was too large for the cake and dwarfed the profiteroles and biscuit behind!

white

Nevertheless, everything tasted good, and pulling it to pieces and eating was definitely the most fun part :-)

piece monte chocolate ombre cake with raspberry butter cream and edible glitter macarons inside raspberry cream profiteroles white chocolate decorations foodporn greatbloggersbakeoff chocolate and ginger biscuits decorated with white chocolate lines leaning cake in background spun sugar ferris wheel decoration Thank you to Jenny for hosting the GreatBloggersBakeOff again this year – it was great fun and I definitely learnt some new techniques, watch out for some more choux pastry coming soon!

greatbloggersbakeoff2014

Sprinkles & Checkerboard Birthday Cake

inside pastel checkerboard cake method and how to

This weekend just gone was the 3rd birthday of Derby’s Clandestine Cake Club, which I have proudly been a member for 2 years – doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun!

What better theme to celebrate with, than big, sticky birthday cakes. I’d been wanting to try a checkerboard cake for a while, and this was the perfect opportunity.

I started off with three different flavoured round cakes, tinted with pastel colours to match the sprinkles I wanted to use on the outside. The peach-coloured cake was flavoured with Sugar and Crumbs raspberry ripple icing sugar, the green had the juice and zest of a small lime, and the yellow a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice. I baked them in foil trays as 1) I don’t have 3 tins of the same size and 2) I wanted to minimise on washing up!

tricolour cake batter lime lemon raspberry pastel foil trays

Once cool, I scouted round the kitchen for suitable crockery to cut the circles. Posts I’d read online suggested cups, bowls, jam jars, but then had the brainwave of using my concentric circle cookie cutters. The largest and smallest were the perfect size to cut 3 even-thickness bands out of each cake.

making checkerboard cake with round biscuit cutters orange yellow and green

A quick reorganisation later and I had 3 dart-board-esque cakes:

checkerboard cake layers like target boards

Using a vanilla buttercream, I layered up the three tiers…

buttercream layering with pink palette knife checkerboard cake

… and gave the outside two good coats of icing, refrigerating in between.

butter cream on sides of checkerboard cake

After the second coat of buttercream, it was time for the sprinkles! And one of the trickier, stickier steps – rolling the sides of the cake in the bowl of hundreds and thousands. It took a bit of patching up but actually was quite effective, even if my kitchen was left covered in the sprinkles as well!

covering cake in sprinkles rolling sides in hundreds and thousands

cake covered in hundreds and thousands

The top was much simpler, a final coat of buttercream with hundreds and thousands poured and smoothed over. There were quite literally hundreds and thousands of them too – two whole packs for the entire cake!

sugar sprinkles hundreds and thousands cake topping

I’m really pleased with the way it turned out, although it does remind me a little of a giant liquorice allsort :-)

sugar sprinkles and checkerboard birthday cake clandestine cake club derby sugar sprinkle covered cake hundreds and thousands looks like a liquorice allsort

Our cake club birthday party was a great feast of sugar and everything gooey and good, we gossiped for hours over tea and cake.

clandestine cake club derby third birthday party

And the checkerboard looked great inside!

checkerboard cake pastel layers hundreds and thousands covered outer inside checkerboard cake lemon lime and raspberry with sugar sprinkles covering birthday ideas

Or at least… what brief snaps I had time to take, before the cake-clubbers demolished the lot!

empty cake plate ccc

I’m entering this post into the #greatbloggersbakeoff2014 showstopper. This is not the last of my GBBO entries though – watch this space (and cross your fingers!) for a finale pièce montée in the next few days.

greatbloggersbakeoff2014

 
This post is also part of Celebration Cakes and Bakes – click the image for more info.

CelebrationCakesAndBakes

Schichttorte

schichttorte 20 plus layers finished cake with chocolate glaze

The semi-final of Great British Bake Off and indeed #greatbloggersbakeoff2014 – my kitchen will be distinctly less chaotic after the final this week.

This week I was caught up in the grilling frenzy that is the 20 layered Schichttorte. Developed from the traditional German Baumkuchen (tree cake), the cake is made by cooking thin layers of batter under the grill, to create the distinctive layered inside.

I followed the BBC recipe for my cake, although am a little dis-inclined to say that is Paul Hollywood’s as I’m certain he’s not a traditional German!

The recipe is certainly fitting for a technical challenge, starting with 10 eggs…

start of recipe for german schichttorte 10 eggs layered cake.

… and going through the stages of beating, sieving…

sieving flour into cake batter home baking

… whisking…

kitchenaid whisking egg whites soft peak stage black and silver

… and finally folding:

folding whisked egg white into cake batter schichttorte recipe greatbloggersbakeoff2014

With the batter finished it was time to start layering up. Placing the bowl on the scales I calculated each layer should have about 50 grams worth, and barely covered the surface!

schichttorte finished batter and first thin layer in tin to bake gbbo

After a couple of minutes under the grill, it came out, resembling, well, a pancake!

schichttorte first layer pancake like lightly baked

The next layer and a little darker…

grilled layers in german traditional schichttorte gbbo

.. and the cats soon got to wonder what was going on in there.

cat watching oven home baking grilling schichttorte

I must admit I lost count of the layers around the 6 mark, as I was trying to do a million other things at once. I kept going until all the batter was used up, and finally reached the top.

nearly full tin of schichttorte baked layers

A short while cooling and I was glad for it to come out in one piece, albeit looking slightly ombre…!

baked layers ombre effect of schichttorte schichttorte freshly baked layered cake gbbo

After all those layers the finishing and icing was surprisingly simple. A quick coat of apricot jam (to help the icing stick):

covering cake in warmed apricot jam for glaze to stick schichttorte recipe

And a generous coating of dark chocolate glaze:

pouring dark chocolate glaze onto jam covered cake dark chocolate glaze covered schichttorte

Finally, a finishing touch of piped white vanilla icing:

vanilla icing piped design on dark chocolate glaze schichttorte gbbo semifinal

And the cake was finished! The sides I wasn’t particularly pleased with as the chocolate and icing didn’t stick particularly smoothly.

finished iced schichttorte chocolate and vanilla layered cake

It was then rather a waiting game – I wanted the icing to set a little before slicing up, so put the cake in the fridge until it was ready to eat, and finally the moment of truth:

sliced into schichttorte 22 layers greatbloggersbakeoff

Hooray! I’m so pleased with the layers. And yes you can count them… there are in fact 22 :-) Big slices were enjoyed and I was pleasantly surprised by the taste – a delicate light cake with a slightly lemon tang, and wonderfully complimented by the chocolate and vanilla icing.

generous slice of gbbo schichttorte layers of grilled cake

So much excitement for the final this week! Who do you think will win? And more importantly, what on earth will they be challenged to bake this week?!

Read more about #greatbloggersbakeoff2014 over on Mummy Mishaps.

greatbloggersbakeoff2014

Lemon Meringue Pie Baked Doughnuts

glazed lemon meringue pie doughnuts recipe greatbloggersbakeoff2014

This week’s Great British Bake Off was Advanced Dough week – groan – when is it time for cakes! However once the doughnuts came round (no pun intended), I was positively drooling. How amazing were Luis’ cocktail ones?

We don’t own a deep-fat fryer but I found a great recipe for baked doughnuts which was seemed both healthier and easier. The dough is fat-free (unlike regular doughnuts), but still enriched with milk, egg, and a little sugar.

Lemon Meringue Doughnuts – makes 18-20

500g white bread flour
Pinch of salt
10g dried yeast
50g sugar
1 egg
150ml milk
125ml hot water

To fill and decorate
400g lemon curd – one batch, or one jar if you are buying it in
100g icing sugar
Crushed meringue pieces

- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, yeast and sugar
– Beat the egg and add to the dry ingredients, before mixing in the milk and hot water
– Mix to a dough consistency, and knead until smooth and silky (5-6 minutes with an electric mixer, slightly longer by hand)
– Divide into 18-20 even balls and spread evenly on greased baking sheets. The dough balls do need to be spread well apart as they’ll expand rather a lot!
– Cover and place in a warm place until risen and doubled in size, about 45 minutes
– Bake in a hot oven – 200 degrees – for 10-12 minutes, until firm to the touch and golden. Set aside and leave to cool

smooth baked doughnut dough recipe gbbo dough balls for baked doughnuts recipe and method easy low fat rising dough for baked doughnuts successful prove baked doughnuts dough balls gbbo recipe healthy fat free
– Once cool, fill each doughnut with around a teaspoon of lemon curd – a filling nozzle and piping bag worked perfectly for me
– Mix the icing sugar with a little water, and a teaspoon of lemon curd, to form a thin paste
– Lightly paint the glaze all over the doughnuts, placing on a wire rack to set. Sprinkle with the meringue pieces and leave to rest until dry.

filling baked doughnut with lemon curd using piping nozzle lemon meringue pie doughnuts toppings icing glaze and meringue pieces glazing baked doughnuts with lemon curd icing recipe glazed baked doughnut lemon meringue recipe lemon meringue pie baked doughnuts glazed and topped recipe

A quite sticky bake in the end – but well worthwhile! The doughnuts had a wonderful sugary crunch on the outer, soft and light inside, and oozing with tangy lemon curd. I’ll definitely be trying some more doughnuts – perhaps some mini ones next time – any suggestions?

baked lemon meringue pie doughnuts recipe fat free healthier dessert gooey filled lemon curd in meringue topped glazed doughnuts bake recipe

Find out more about #greatbloggersbakeoff2014 and take a look at this weeks other bakes here.

greatbloggersbakeoff2014

Caramel & Chocolate Choux Pastry Eclairs

chocolate and caramel choux pastry eclairs piped icing finish

I have a confession to make. During last years bake-off, I failed at making choux pastry. 3 times. It was a Sunday afternoon and no matter what I did it wouldn’t go right!

This time, as part of the second pastry week of this year’s Great British Bake-Off and #greatbloggersbakeoff2014 , I was determined not to be beaten.

I used Paul Hollywood’s Chocolate Eclair recipe to the letter to avoid going wrong again – so won’t re-write it here. It’s definitely worth reading through a couple of times before you start so you know what’s ahead.

The lovely folks at Kerrygold sent me some butter to try, so this seemed a good place to start. Maybe the lower-fat butter blend I have as standard in the fridge was to blame for last year’s failure?

kerrygold butter blogger review choux pastry testing

Being ultra-prepared, I got everything out, pre-whisked the eggs, greased the tray just like Paul said…

ingredients and equipment ready for choux pastry making paul hollywood recipe

…and set about the choux pastry!

One of the main problems I find with making choux pastry is that it really doesn’t look like anything until it’s baked. The ‘cooking a ball of flour, butter and water dough’ is both unattractive and uninspiring in my book, but, what Paul says…!

choux pastry dough ball stage heating on hob gbbo

Dough satisfactorily ball-like and shiny, I put it in a bowl and set aside to cool. Suddenly it dawned on me where I’d gone wrong last year. Those five little words, ‘leave to cool until tepid’, (or the lack of them in my reading), were entirely responsible for my downfall. Cue flashbacks to last year and trying to beat eggs in the hot saucepan only for them cook and scramble… it’s like something from an outakes show!

Cool and tepid, whisking the eggs in was happily much easier this time!

choux pastry whisking in eggs method

And a smooth shiny, paste-like dough, well seemed pretty good to me :-)

smooth and shiny choux pastry gbbo paul hollywood recipe

All that was left was to pipe…

piping choux pastry eclair lines gbbo

…and bake:

choux pastry eclairs greatbloggersbakeoff2014

What a result! I was as pleased as punch, my first choux pastries and they were really rather marvellous :-)

freshly baked choux pastry eclairs long thin shape crunchy texture

Next came the cream piping – rather simple but made much trickier in a warm kitchen, with the cream threatening to melt all the time. I don’t envy the bakers in that tent one bit!

filling choux pastry eclair with piped whipped cream whipped cream filled choux pastry eclairs

And to top – I used Paul’s suggested chocolate topping for half the batch:

chocolate and caramel eclairs piped swirl shiny icing gbbo

And feeling more confident, whipped up a quick caramel icing for the remaining batch:

Caramel icing
55g light brown sugar
25g butter
20ml cream or milk

- Melt together the butter and sugar
– Add the liquid and boil for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally
– Leave to cool and use once the icing reaches a spreadable consistency. If it over-sets you can easily re-heat to liquify it again

IMG_2456

I finished both sets with a decorative drizzle of the other icing – chocolate on caramel, and caramel on chocolate.

homemade caramel choux pastry eclairs filled with whipped cream decorated with piped chocolate

My first batch of eclairs – and I am so delighted with the results :-)

chocolate and caramel cream filled choux pastry eclairs piped icing finish chocolate and caramel choux pastry eclairs gbbo paul hollywood recipe cream filled

Read more about #greatbloggersbakeoff2014 here.

greatbloggersbakeoff2014

And for all the cat lovers out there – what better use of leftover cream? Chilli and Pepper have just turned 3 and are as mischievous (and ravenous) as ever!

cats eating cream chilli and pepper gbbo baking leftovers uses

 

Disclaimer: I was sent some Kerrygold butter to use in my gbbo recipes. Opinions and bakes are all my own.

 

Traditional Black Forest Cake

black forest cake easy dessert recipe chocolate cherry and cream gbbo

I am not normally one for big cream cakes, they can be a bit rich for my tastebuds. But with some cherries in the fridge that needed using up, a hankering for something chocolatey, and guests coming to dinner – well who was I to argue!
I made this cake a few weeks ago when Rob’s parents were over for dinner, using a lighter version of a well-known brand of double cream. It came from the supermarket but I can’t find a link anywhere. It worked just as well as the normal stuff, and being lighter, meant we could tuck into big fat slices without feeling (as) guilty.

For some reason a lot of people think of Black Forest cake/gateau as something best consigned to the recipe books of the 70’s and 80’s. Having made it on this occasion I’m in complete disagreement, it’s tasty, looks good and is easy to make – who wouldn’t want that on their dinner table! The cake is very rich and chocolatey, and complemented perfectly by the sweet, tangy cherries, and smooth fresh cream.
Originally I think you’re supposed to make one big cake and slice it in half, I much prefer just to bake in two separate tins.

Black Forest Cake
175g caster sugar
175g butter
3 eggs
125g plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
50g cocoa powder
150g fresh cherries, plus extra to decorate
50g sugar
150 ml cream, whipped
100g chocolate, ideally dark

- To make the cake, cream together the butter and sugar, before beating the eggs, and finally folding in the sieved dry ingredients.
– Divide into two greased, lined 7 inch (or similar) sponge tins, and bake at 180 degrees for 20 – 30 mins, until springy to the touch
– While the cake is cooling make the cherry filling by chopping the cherries, adding to the sugar and simmering on a low heat for 5 minutes.
– Use a teaspoon to take a couple of spoonfuls of the liquid from the cherries and spoon over the cakes, allowing it to soak in. Set the rest of the cherries aside and leave to cool.

dark chocolate rich cake for black forest gbbo european Black and red cherry syrup black forest gateau recipe cake

All that’s needed now is to assemble the layers – cake, cream, cherries, cake, and finished with a chocolate topping.

I found it easier to do the chocolate topping and decoration before assembly (melt the chocolate bar one piece, spread evenly all over the cake and quickly press in the cherries):

black forest cake chocolate topping with fresh cherries and stalks and grated chocolate

Once this was set, filling and stacking was quick and easy!

oozing cherries and cream on black forest rich chocolate cake assembled recipe black forest cake fresh cherries and rich chocolate cream filled

I love the way some of the cherry juice tinges the cream purple – so you know it’s delicious and sticky inside!

black forest cake oozing middle with cream and fresh cherries recipe #greatbloggersbakeoff2014 european

As only seems fitting I am entering this into #greatbloggersbakeoff2014 European Cakes week. And a fun fact while I’m at it – did you know that the cake is not named after the Black Forest area of Germany itself, but instead after the cherry liqueur, produced in the region, that was originally used in the recipe.

I’d love to have tried one of the Princess Torte’s – how amazing did that look? But time was not on my side this week. Maybe next time… I am a princess after all ;-)

greatbloggersbakeoff2014

 

 

Chocolate Milkshake Shortbread Biscuits

chocolate milkshake biscuits shortbread recipe using sugar and crumbs flavoured icing

Following on from my Chocolate Orange Fudge a couple of weeks ago, this is my second review of the new chocolate icing sugar range from Sugar and Crumbs.

And this week – Chocolate Milkshake icing sugar! With a smooth, creamy taste, it’s great for all in one recipes to add a perfect milky chocolate flavour.

sugar and crumbs chocolate milkshake natural icing sugar recipe and review

For this I used a simple shortbread recipe – that would work just as well with one of the other flavoured icing sugars.

Chocolate Milkshake Shortbread (makes 12)

120g plain flour
50g cornflour
50g chocolate milkshake icing sugar
120g butter

- mix together the dry ingredients together in a large bowl
– cube the butter and very gently rub into form a breadcrumb-like mixture, you can do this in a food processor if preferred
– add water a few drops at a time, and press together into a smooth dough

chocolate milkshake shortbread dough flavoured sugar and crumbs icing sugar
– refrigerate for at least half an hour, before rolling out and cutting into shapes (I used a cardboard template to cut mine into glass-shaped pieces)

chocolate milkshake flavour glass shaped biscuits shortbread recipe method
– bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes

Once cool, I used a thin glaze made from the chocolate milkshake icing sugar, to brush all over the biscuits and give them a sticky, chocolatey shine:

painting chocolate milkshake shortbread biscuits with flavoured icing sugar glaze

They were simply finished with a piped milkshake ‘froth’ of vanilla buttercream, and of course a piped chocolate straw!

piped vanilla icing small stars with chocolate straw milkshake biscuit cookie

chocolate milkshake taste and look shortbread biscuit

Simple and very tasty – another lovely product from Sugar and Crumbs :-)

chocolate milkshake shortbread biscuits cookies recipe and method decoration

And they certainly went down well with Rob – he couldn’t eat them fast enough!

enjoying chocolate milkshake biscuits

Salted Caramel Pecan Pie

salted caramel pecan pie easy homemade recipe gbbo

#greatbloggersbakeoff2014 and it’s pies and pastry week! I remember my mum lusting over pecan pie when I was little, and when she made it, it was absolutely divine. What better way to improve than with some sweet-yet-savoury salted caramel. It’s actually quite a simple recipe (once you’ve made the pastry!), but looks and tastes wonderfully impressive to serve as a dessert.

Recipe

- Shortcrust pastry case – I like Be-ro’s pastry recipe
- 395g (one tin) condensed milk
– 75g butter
– 2 tablespoons golden syrup
– 75g light brown sugar
– 1 1/2 teaspoons rock salt
– 2 eggs
– 100g pecan nuts

- Blind-bake your pastry case, and set aside to cool
– Add the condensed milk, butter, syrup and sugar to a heavy bottomed saucepan. Heat on high until the mixture bubbles and boils
– Turn off the heat, stir in the salt, and set aside to cool
– Once at room temperature, beat in the eggs, and pour into the pastry case
– Carefully place the pecans on the top, in whatever pattern you wish. I used a combination of whole and crushed nuts, finished with a sprinkle of light brown sugar
– Transfer to the oven at bake at 180 degrees until just set. Keep an eye on the pie during baking, if the pastry is starting to darken, cover with foil for the remaining baking time to prevent burning

blind baking pastry case greatbloggersbakeoff2014 pie week homemade pastry base gbbo pie week recipe making salted caramel pie filling recipe evaporated milk light brown sugar pouring salted caramel filling into pastry case pecan pie easy recipe pecans layered across salted caramel filling and pastry base pie recipe

The top should be crunchy, golden and caramelised…

salted caramel pecan pie crispy sugar top pastry case

… with the inside sticky, sweet, and salty:

slice of salted caramel pecan pie served warm

If you can, serve whilst slightly warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Quite frankly divine, so many amazing flavours on one little plate!

salted caramel pecan pie served warm with vanilla ice cream home recipe

greatbloggersbakeoff2014