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I love stollen, so this recipe using the stollen flavours in a cupcake sounded really yummy. I knew I wouldn’t have time to decorate cupcakes this year so these are perfect. Click <!–morehere to try this Christmassy cupcake recipe.–>

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I found the recipe on the Lakeland website and decided to make mini cupcakes rather than big ones as they are perfect size to add to the box of goodies for Emily’s nursery staff. The recipe can be found here and is also below.

For the cupcakes

• 185g self-raising flour

• ½ tsp baking powder

• 40g ground almonds

• 1 tsp mixed spice

• 125g butter, at room temperature

• 110g light brown sugar

• 3 eggs, beaten

• 1 tsp vanilla extract

• 60g mixed peel

• 60g pistachios, chopped

• 30g cranberries

• 30g raisins

• 1 tbsp amaretto

• 85g marzipan

• Icing sugar, for dusting

• 30g flaked almonds

Preheat the oven to 160°C/Gas 3. Line the bun tin with cupcake cases.

Sift the flour into a medium bowl. Stir in the baking powder, ground almonds and mixed spice, and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract, then the flour mixture. Stir in the mixed peel, pistachios, cranberries, raisins and amaretto, and mix until well combined.

Roll out the marzipan on a work surface very lightly dusted with icing sugar until it is about 2mm thick. Cut out 12 discs using a 5cm Dia. cutter.

Divide the cake mixture into two even parts. Split one part between the cupcake cases, filling each about one-third full, then top with a marzipan disc. Add the remaining cake mixture on top of the discs, filling each case to two-thirds full. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds.

Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until well risen. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

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I’ve been desperate to do some Christmas baking, but haven’t found much time with Christmas prep and having a 3 year old a new born baby! So this week while Emily was at nursery I made some time to try a few new Christmas recipes. This one looked nice and easy and perfect as a Christmas pressie for Emily’s hard working nursery staff along with a few other goodies. And of course a few slices for us too! Click here to have a look at this recipe.

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I was really pleased when I saw what the technical challenge was last week – it’s been ages since I’ve made something like that and I couldn’t wait to try it! The only downside was that it’s pretty big (it’s huge!) and I was on my own for the weekend. Luckily I had a cross-country race and my team mates were more than happy to help me eat it up!
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Before I watched last weeks episode of The Great British Bake Off I was worried that the technical challenge was going to be a bit strange – I’d seen the trailer with a bright green purée! However, after hearing what was in the cake I was excited to make it since I love pistachios.
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It’s been a while since I made some cupcakes, especially ones that were an usual flavour and not just vanilla/chocolate with decorations on. So when I decided to go down to London for the afternoon to meet my best friend’s baby, I offered to make some cupcakes to take. I’ve already got a lot of rhubarb (I’ve made rhubarb and raspberry Frangipane tart, rhubarb crumble muffins, and I still have about 750g left!) so I decided to bake something with rhubarb. Click here to see how to make them.

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We haven’t managed as much Christmas baking this year, but I did make a few Christmas goodies this week for Emily’s nursery. I had a lot of homemade mincemeat to use and decided to make a mince pie alternative. Click  here to try this recipe.

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I was really looking forward to making this weeks technical challenge – I love peanut butter! We invited our friends Matt and Beckie over for dinner on Saturday night and I planned to do the technical challenge for pudding,  no pressure then…

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