Apple Crumble Danish

Experimenting with different desserts is definitely one of my favourite things, which is how I stumbled upon these delicious Apple Crumble Danishes. I love a Danish – pop on a some apple slices, a few raspberries, even the added blueberry for a little added purple “pazaz”, then serve it with a cup of coffee and I’d be as Happy as Larry all day long! I also love a Crumble! I love how no matter what fruit you use, that sweet crumbly goodness just seems to work so perfectly with it. There is literally nothing that doesn’t sit well with a Crumble. So what happens when you mix your two favourites together .. Tah Dah!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 5-6 small eating apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 500g pack puff pastry, or you can make your own here
  • little plain flour for rolling
  • 1 egg, beaten

For the Crumble Topping:

  • 100g flour
  • 50g butter
  • 50g demarara sugar

Method:

  1. For the Filling, melt the butter and sugar in a medium saucepan. Stir in the apples and spices and leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the fruit is slightly softened but not cooked. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  2. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface to a £1 coin thickness. Cut out 8 x 11cm squares and transfer to a lined baking tray.
  3. Prick each square with a fork and bring all four corners together into the centre of the square. You can use the egg to help make the corners stick to the middle of each square.
  4. To make the Crumble Topping, simply rub the butter into the flour and sugars until formed fine crumbs.
  5. Divide the filling between the pastry shapes, spooning it into the centre of each. Then, use your crumble mix to layer on top of the apple filling. (I had made an awful lot of crumble topping, so they were piled pretty high!)
  6. Brush all over the danishes sides with the rest of the egg, and transfer to your pre-heated oven (200C). Bake for 20 minutes until the pastry is golden.

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These Apple Crumble Danish are incredibly moorish, we practically demolished the entire batch in a weekend. Depending on how big you cut the pastry square, depends on how many you make. My batch made about 12, but I would definitely make them slightly large next time, only by a few centimetres which would probably cut it down to about 8 or 9.

The sweetness of the crumble against the pastry casing and soft apples work really well together. Is it bad I love how pretty they look too? You can clearly see all the fine layers on the pastry once it has “puffed” up in the oven. Even with the crumble, they still feel light and airy! They are delicious on their own, and even more so when they are accompanied with a cup of coffee. How every Saturday morning should start!

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What do you think of my twist on these classic Apple Danish?

Have you tried experimenting with two of your favourites?

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Funfetti Cake

I can’t believe I have happily gone 25 years and not had a slice of Funfetti Cake! Luke has been telling me about this cake for years following his travels around various parts of America. I have to put my hands up and say, this was not made from scratch, and I wonder if this is the reason this cake tastes so much sweeter (quite literally!).

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I’ve never been one to make a cake from a packet. I guess I see them as such an easy thing to make; simply pop all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk!? But after our little trip to NYC, we came back with not only the cake mix but also the frosting and boy, is this cake moorish! With it’s soft vanilla sponge and added crunch of coloured sprinkles scattered throughout, this has “sweet tooth” written all over it, and that’s before the added vanilla frosting and extra sprinkles on top!

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I’m currently researching on how to make a homemade version of this sweet delight as the sugar shakes have already kicked in and I am in desperate need of another slice! To all my American followers, if you have a recipe please let me know! Luke told me the craving would come …

Are you a lover of the Funfetti Cake?

Do you have that perfect recipe to make this cake from scratch?

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The Best of April

It feels great to be back in the swing of baking and blogging on a weekly basis. I’m trying to blog twice a week now, starting with a bake at the beginning of the week to get over the Monday blues, and ending the week with a bake for the weekend! With this new ambition to blog regularly, April has been a busy month, showcasing a range of easy, yet delicious bakes for you to try at home.

The month started with this Quick Quiche, which I think will become a favourite over the summer months. They are so quick and easy, and you can also prep the casing in advance, which makes it even easier the following day. It’s not a neat recipe, it’s a “throw it all together” type dish, but tastes great! There are so many other flavourings to experiment with, no dish will ever have to be the same!

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The month also began with some serious Holiday Blue’s, so I reverted back to memories of our time in Australia and the delicious Banana Bread we came across in many cafes, and enjoyed plenty of slices over freshly brewed coffee. Not only is Banana Bread incredibly scrummy, fluffy, moist, and infused with sweet banana flavour, it’s a perfect mid morning snack to fill that little gap of hunger and incredibly easy to make.

With Easter over, but still craving that chocolate goodness, next came these scrumptious Raspberry and White Chocolate Chunk Brownies.  This recipe really is so simple to make, and the brownies themselves are delicious. The added raspberries are a really nice touch, and add a different texture to the brownies. I just love the taste of the sweetness of the chocolate against the almost sour taste of the raspberries. And when you get a big chunk of white chocolate, what a treat! As chocolate brownies go, these now have to be one of my favourites!

Another “Throwback Thursday” post brought us these scrummy Double Chocolate Chip Cookies. Cookies which are just perfect any time of the year. I just love them, and could eat them all day, every day! The best part about cookies, is that the dough is always the same, but you can add so many different ingredients to come up with a number of different flavours.

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To end the month, and with the feeling of spring, I finally had a chance to make my own homemade Caramel and Pecan Ice Cream. Making ice cream like this can take time, but is totally worth it! Don’t be put off by the waiting game. This ice cream is incredibly smooth and creamy, and I have to say it’s probably one of the nicest ice creams I have had in a long time. The flavour of the caramel is strong throughout, and the added pecans give a new dimension to flavour and texture. I’m excited to try other ice creams over the summer, I’m thinking may be Mint Chocolate Chip next!

Not only that, but I enjoyed my very first slice of Funfetti Cake! All I have to say is “wow” – I’m going to have to find out how to make this sweet delight from home, as the sugar shakes have already kicked in and I am in need of another slice! My American followers, if you have a recipe please let me know! Luke told me the craving would come …

How was your April?

Are you looking forward to the change in weather and the hope for Spring? What plans do you have for May?

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Raspberry and White Chocolate Chunk Brownies

Last year I experimented with these Raspberry and Chocolate Brownies, and after all the Easter bakes and these Easter Chocolate Brownies, I had a real craving for another slice! Incorporating both recipes, I think I have finally found the right balance and with the added cooking time, these brownies are still perfectly moist, and extremely delicious!

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Ingredients:

  • 200g 70% Dark chocolate
  • 100g Milk chocolate
  • 250g Salted butter (if you only have unsalted, just add a pinch of salt)
  • 300g Soft light brown sugar
  • 4 Large eggs
  • 175g Plain flour
  • 100g white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 punnet of fresh raspberries

Method:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  • Line your tin with baking paper.
  • Melt the chocolates, butter and sugar together over a low heat.
  • Once they are melted, remove from the heat and leave to cool for 5 or 10 minutes.
  • Beat in each egg, one by one and once combined, stir in the flour.
  • Place half of the batter into the bottom of your tin. Spread half the punnet of raspberries over this batter evenly.
  • Pour the other half of the batter over the raspberries and smooth out with a spatula.
  • Decorate with the remaining raspberries and bake for about 30-40 minutes depending on the thickness of your brownies and the tin size that you have chosen to use. As a quick tip, the skewer should come out only just clean!

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This recipe really is so simple to make, and the brownies themselves are delicious. The added raspberries are a really nice touch, and add a different texture to the brownies. I just love the taste of the sweetness of the chocolate against the almost sour taste of the raspberries. And when you get a big chunk of white chocolate, what a treat! As chocolate brownies go, these now have to be one of my favourites!

These were demolished pretty quickly over the weekend, and enjoyed thoroughly in the sunshine after a few hours pottering around the garden! The nice thing about these brownies is that they really are so simple to make, and you can be eating them with a cup of coffee within the hour!

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How was your weekend?

Did you bake anything scrumptious?

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Banana Bread

When we went to Australia back in September, I found I ate so much Banana Bread – why? – I’m not entirely sure, it’s not something I have ever had the urge to eat a lot of in the UK! But after having serious Holiday Blues, I decided it was time to try making some for myself, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed! Not only is Banana Bread incredibly scrummy, fluffy, moist, and infused with sweet banana flavour, it’s a perfect mid morning snack to fill that little gap of hunger. My finance likes it so much, he’s even renamed it the “Golden Bread” – says it’s all really don’t you think?

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With it being such an easy recipe to make, you can’t help but make it early on a Saturday morning in preparation for the weekend ahead. The hardest part is waiting an hour for it to bake as the whole house fills with the sweet smell of baked bananas!

Ingredients:

  • 285g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 110g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 85ml buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. I find my KitchenAid does a marvellous job at whacking these together in minutes!
  4. Add the eggs, mashed bananas, buttermilk and vanilla extract to the butter and sugar mixture and mix well. Finish by folding in the flour mixture.
  5. Grease a 20cm x 12.5cm/8in x 5in loaf tin and pour the mixture into the tin.
  6. Transfer to the oven and bake for about an hour, or until well-risen and golden-brown.
  7. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before serving.

It may not look the neatest, or the prettiest, but sometimes these things don’t seem to matter – taste conquers all! The brown sugar and ripe bananas make this bread so incredibly moist. Remember with Banana Bread, you want your banana’s mostly brown and practically rotten. Trust me, the bin is not an option for these banana’s – the oven is!

I am in desperate need to make more, because let’s be honest, there is nothing better then a thick slice with a home brewed cup of coffee! Now this is what weekends are made for …

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What do you think of Banana Bread? Are you a fan?

It’s almost Friday, so happy weekend lovelies!

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Quick Quiche 

I do love a Quiche, I mean what is not to like? I guess perhaps if your not a massive lover of egg? But what about the light cheesy taste and salty fried bacon with sweet shallots? Yes, this quiche is perfect for the spring and is super easy to throw together, perhaps for an afternoon BBQ or even as a light tea with a side portion of salad? Even if your not an eggy kind of person, I would still recommend this recipe to try, you never know, you might just covert to the Quiche side!

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Ingredients:

For the Shortcrust Pastry:

  • 175g plain flour
  • 100g cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 egg yolk

For the Filling:

  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 180ml of milk
  • 1 chopped shallot/onion
  • 100g grated cheese
  • 1 packet of smoked bacon, chopped (you could also use ham instead)
  • salt and pepper

Method:

  • In a medium pan, fry the bacon until crispy and then add the chopped shallots/onions. Fry these with the bacon until they become soft. Set aside.
  • To make your shortcrust pastry: put the flour, butter, egg yolk and 4 tsp cold water into a food processor. Using the pulse button, process until the mix binds. Tip the pastry onto a lightly floured surface, gather into a smooth ball, then roll out as thinly as you can.
  • Carefully bring your pastry into your chosen dish. Trim the pastry edges with scissors or a sharp knife so it sits slightly above the tin (if it shrinks, it shouldn’t now go below the level of the tin).
  • Press the pastry into the bottom and the side edges of the dish and lightly prick the base with a fork, then chill for 10 mins.
  • Preheat the oven to 190C.
  • Once chilled, remove from the fridge and line your dish with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Pop in the oven for 15 mins.
  • Remove paper and beans and bake for a further 4-5 mins until the pastry golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
  • For the remainder of the filling, whisk together the eggs and milk, then season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Add the grated cheese and the fried bacon and onions from earlier. Still until well combined and the bacon bits float evenly throughout the egg mix.
  • Pour into the pastry casing and cook for a further 30-40 minutes until golden brown.

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I think through the summer I may become a bit obsessed with this Quick Quiche recipe. I mean they are so quick and easy, and you can also prep the casing in advance, which makes it even easier the following day. It’s not a neat recipe, it’s a “throw it all together” type dish, but tastes great! There are so many other flavourings to experiment with, no dish will have the be the same! They are also great for a light dinner, which we enjoyed Sunday evening after a few too many drinks the evening before! (Oops!)

Are you a fan of Quiche?

What is your preferred middle flavouring? Do you have a tried and tested recipe?

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The Best of March

I started typing this post over the long Easter weekend feeling rather full of all things chocolatey and delicious! After making this beautiful Easter Cake, I have definitely had a few slices too many and needed that Monday to detox!

I didn’t really stick to that though, as I love all thing’s chocolate! It has to be one of my favourite ingredients to bake with, and through posts of our new kitchen (which I am totally in love with!), chocolate has definitely featured across the blog this month!

We started March with a “ThrowBack Thursday” post of this Chocolate Anti-Gravity Cake. I had so much fun making this, and would happily make one again, and again! They are definitely any chocolate lovers dream, and look so impressive once they have been assembled! Although they can be fiddly, they are definitely worth it when you get to photograph the end result. And to hear about how happy you made a special birthday boy, well, that was enough for me!

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Next were the return of the Chocolate Brownies, this time inspired by all things Easter! Using a traditional brownie base, (and a little underdone too I may add) it was time to get all creative with a touch of Easter magic – here we have our Cadbury’s Mini Egg and Creme Egg chocolatey mess!

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Following the Easter theme, I decided it was about time to bring cookies back into my life, and of course, fill them with all sorts of chocolate. These have an added crush of yet more Cadbury’s Mini Eggs, as well as the sweet taste of Diam. The cookie recipe itself is super easy, and is the basis to all my cookie bakes. It’s nice to play around with the ingredients to make different flavours.  To make double chocolate, simply substitute some of the flour for Cocoa powder or for a thick chocolate chunk, add large chocolate squares instead of chocolate chips! The possibilities are endless!

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I also had a go at making Hot Cross Buns. This was definitely something new for me and very trial and error (me trialling it and making lots of errors!). To look at them, they seem very ‘Hot Cross Bun-ny’, but they just didn’t have that soft, fluffy middle texture I was hoping for. Not to worry though, it’s all part of the fun and I’m looking forward to trying these again soon (fingers crossed this time I get them right!).

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How was your Easter? Did you have a nice March?

What surprises does April have in store for you?

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P.S our kitchen is now almost complete! Last Friday we worked all day at putting the flooring in and our new fridge freezer arrived safely yesterday morning. It’s so exciting and I can’t wait to put the finishing touches together to make it complete! Watch this space for the finished results! :) x