Indulgent Croissant Pudding

I love bread and butter pudding, whether in it’s most traditional form or modernised with trendy ingredients like Brioche or sour cherries. My go-to recipes are Nigella Lawson’s Caramel Crossaint Pudding or Gizzi Erskine’s Bailey’s Chocolate Croissant  Butter Pudding from Gizzi’s Kitchen Magic. Both recipes feel rather extravagant, but you can never have too much of a great thing, right?! And it was that sort of thinking that led me to combining the flavourings, so my latest effort contains Bailey’s, caramel and white chocolate the chunks.

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Indulgent Croissant Pudding (serves 4)

100g caster sugar
30ml water
3 croissants
25g white chocolate, cut into small chunks
250ml milk (or double cream if you’re feeling super extravagant)
3 eggs, beaten
50ml Baileys liqueur

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Add the sugar and water to a saucepan and swirl them together. Heat over a medium heat without stirring. After 3 minutes or so of bubbling away it will darken to a golden colour.
3. While it’s bubbling away, tear the croissants up and put them in a small ovenproof dish with the chocolate chunks.
4. Whisk the milk into the caramel; be very careful as the mixture will bubble up. Add the eggs and the Baileys and whisk well to combine.
5. Pour the custard mixture over the croissants and make sure it covers it well, turning the pieces if necessary. Let it sit for 10 minutes to soak up the custard.
6. Bake for 20 minutes.
7. It is, of course, traditional to serve with more custard.

Cake it to the limit 🎂

I’ve been a baking machine over the last few weeks. We had a wedding in the family, and the bride and groom asked guests to bring cakes for a ‘cake-off’ and I made this toffee apple cake.

 

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There was also an event at work  where we were asked to provide cakes. I made this lemon and almond cake, which went down a storm and tasted fabulous, but was a little crumbly when trying to cut into slices.

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My final contribution was a chocolate mint marble cake.

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Chocolate Mint Marble Cake

175g butter at room temperature
175g caster sugar
3 large eggs
175g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cocoa powder
Peppermint extract
Green food colouring

Glacé icing
100g icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa
75g chocolate mint bubble-style chocolate bar

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a deep 20cm baking tin with baking parchment.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs in one at a time.

3. Add the flour and baking powder and gently mix in. Divide the mixture into two. For the mint mixture, stir in a few drops of peppermint essence and the green food colouring. For the chocolate mixture, blend the cocoa powder with 1 tablespoon of boiling water. Stir well into a smooth paste. Thoroughly fold this into the cake mixture.

4. Add the two sets of mixture to the tin in a random fashion to make the marble effect. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Ensure the cake is cooked through and is well risen before removing from the oven. Allow to cool. Remove the baking parchment from around the cake.

5. Once the cake is completely cold, you ice the cake. To make the glacé icing, mix the icing sugar, cocoa and 1 tablespoon of hot water thoroughly to make a smooth paste. Pour over the top of the cake. Crumble the bubbly mint chocolate bar and use to decorate the top of the cake, covering the icing.

(I forgot to take a picture of the cake when sliced to show you the inside, but it’s definitely worth the effort for the fun effect.)

Sticky marzipan and cherry buns

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Stick marzipan and cherry buns (makes 12)

150g butter
150g caster sugar
2 large free range eggs
150g self raising flour
1 tsp almond extract
75g glacé cherries, washed and halved
50g marzipan, cut into 5mm cubes

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare a bun tray by lining with bun cases.

2. Cream the butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy.

3. Add the eggs, one at a time, alternating with mixing in some of the flour. Once all the flour is stirred in, add the almond extract.

4. Stir in the cherries and the marzipan pieces.

5. Divide the mixture between the bun cases. Bake for 20 mins until golden and risen.

6. If you want to ice the buns, I would suggest starting with this recipe here.  I made a wet style icing, but you can make something firmer and good for piping if you want by playing around with the volumes of ingredients.

 

Chocolate thumbprint cookies

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100g Butter, at room temperature
100g Caster Sugar
3 heaped tablespoons Cocoa powder
Pinch of Salt
1 tsp Baking powder
½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
175g Plain flour
100g White chocolate

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

2. Cream together the sugar and the butter. Then mix in the cocoa powder until well combined.

3. Add the salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and flour and mix briskly together.

4. Prepare 2 large baking sheets by covering them in baking paper.

5. Roll the mixture into walnut sized balls and place on the baking sheets, keeping them well spaced. Press your thumb into the middle to make a indent.

6. Bake in the oven for 7-9 minutes for a chewy texture. You can leave them in longer if you want a firmer texture.

7. When you take the biscuits out of the oven, press your thumb into them again to make sure the dent remains.

8. Allow the biscuits to cool.

9. Melt the white chocolate.  I do this in the microwave, but take care to melt the chocolate gently as it can easily burn. Use the chocolate to fill the indent. Allow the chocolate to set. (If, like me you are taking these biscuits to a Lego themed event you can top them with a Lego brick modelled from modelling icing.)

This recipe is based on a recipe from A Pinch of Yum.

 

Mincemeat Flapjack

Hope 2017 is getting off to a good start for everyone. I’ve been busy, but going to try and make more of an effort this year to document my meals and culinary outings on this blog. Like many households, we’re still working our way through the leftover food from Christmas, and trying to make sure we don’t waste food. This recipe is an attempt to finish off the jar of mincemeat left over from mince pie making.

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Festive flapjack

Mincemeat flapjacks (makes large 12)

300g butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
250g Demerara sugar
450g rolled oats
5 heaped tbsp mincemeat

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease and line a 25cm square baking tin.

2. Add the butter, golden syrup and sugar to a pan and heat the mixture gently, stirring until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.

3. Tip the oats into the pan and mix well until the oats are completely coated.

4. Put half the flapjack mixture into the tin and press down into an even layer.

5. Gently spread the mincemeat over the flapjack. Tip the remaining flapjack over the top and gently spread out and flatten the top.

6. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. These flapjacks should be soft and chewy so you want the top to be a golden brown colour. Check them after 25 minutes, but be aware you may need to give them a bit more time to ensure the flapjack is firm enough to stay in shape when cool. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before marking the squares with a sharp knife. Leave to cool completely before removing the squares from the tin.

Cookie monster

If I was asked to pick my favourite flavour of cookie, I’d have a challenge on my hands. In my old office at work we developed a bit of an obsession with White Chocolate and Raspberry. Oatmeal and raisin is an old favourite. I’m also partial to Smarties cookies. I came across a recipe for raisin and oat cookies but decided to shake it up a bit by using chocolate covered raisins.

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Chocolate raisin and oat chunky cookies (makes 15-20)

100g butter at room temperature
50g granulated sugar
50g soft brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
100g porridge oats
100g self-raising flour
75g chocolate covered raisins

1. Preheat oven to 180°C and prepare 2 large baking trays by covering them with baking parchment.

2. Mix the butter, sugar, vanilla extract and egg together.

3. Stir in the oats, flour and  chocolate raisins.

4. Put teaspoons of the mixture onto the baking tray and press down slightly. Leave some room to allow them to spread a little.

5. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden. Leave to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool fully. These are best eaten on the day you make them.

Night in – Butternut squash muffins

I’m still posting for the Blog Everyday in September challenge, but it’s been tough to keep up this weekend. The post for day 23 (Friday) was meant to be about staying in watching TV in your PJs and I’d planned to write about snacks to nibble on while catching up on your viewing. Instead I ended up at a fantastic cocktail making event and didn’t get into my pyjamas until well after midnight – oops!

So after a hectic weekend, I’m having a quiet Sunday night relaxing and my snack of choice was these Butternut Squash muffins.

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The recipe I started with was from the Lakeland magazine, but I didn’t add the crumble topping and I substituted some of the ingredients.

Butternut Squash muffins (makes 10 – 12)

100g wholemeal self-raising flour
100g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground mixed spice
1 small orange, juice and zest
2 eggs
125ml vegetable oil
100g Demerara sugar
200g butternut squash, finely grated

1. Preheat oven to 180°C and prepare a muffin tin by popping muffin cases into the holes.

2. Grate the butternut squash and put it to one side.

3. Mix all the other ingredients together in a mixing bowl. It’s best not to overmix muffin mixes so just mix it firmly and thoroughly. Gently stir in the grated butternut squash.

4. Divide between the 12 muffin cases, filling them 2/3rds full.

5. Bake for 25 minutes.