Tefal Ingenio Induction Set Giveaway worth £250

Tefal Ingenio Induction Set Giveaway

You may remember back in autumn 2014 I talked about how I was working with Tefal and was putting to good use their Ingenio Pans. Well some month later, I thought it was time to do an update. Its fair to say, they get plenty of use in our kitchen – there has been over 50 foodie posts alone since they arrived, never mind daily wear and tear in the family of 5 kitchen.

I will admit that when Mr C and myself were buying our first house 16 years ago, I didn’t know that much about pans. My mum gave me some advice – good lids, not too heavy, which we took on board. We were very lucky with our purchase considering how little time we devoted to buying our pans.

Fast forward 15 years (and oh my! it has gone sooo fast) and we are a little more clued up. I can’t tell you how many times I muttered about not being able to finish cooking things by putting the pans into the oven – something I never considered in 1999. We also found out pretty quickly that pans are so much better when they can stack neatly – not quite sure why we didn’t think of this when we bought our first house with the smallest kitchen ever! Tefal’s Ingenio Pan collection do both of these – They have 2 really clever detachable handles which make for easy stacking and placing in the oven. You have to be brave the first time you pick up a roasting hot pan with a detachable handle – but you soon become accustomed. The pans pictured are ours – they are showing no signs of wear and tear (and we are not gentle).

Tefal Pasta Pan

I have also been testing out Tefal’s Pasta Drainer Insert – I cannot believe how many times since having children that we cook pasta. I am guilty of taking shortcuts though and leaving pasta soaking too long, then not draining or rinsing properly. Tefal’s Pasta drainer takes the chances of soggy, stuck together pasta away. We also love the Ingenio Draining lid that we have been sent – Just feels so much safer when draining out boiling water (especially as there always seem to be a child that arrives in the kitchen at that particular moment). The lid connects to the middle sized (20cm) pan which in most families, is the one you will use most often.

Tefal Ingenio Set

I’m very excited to be able to offer a complete set of Ingenio Induction Pans worth £250 to giveaway to one lucky reader. This is a 13 piece set containing the following:

  • 16cm Saucepan
  • 20cm Saucepan
  • 22cm Frying Pan (this size comes in so handy!)
  • 28cm Frying Pan
  • 26cm Sautepan
  • 16, 20 & 26cm Glass Lids
  • 16 & 20cm Plastic Lids – The pans are great for transferring to the fridge once cooled with the plastic lids. The detachable handle means they take up less room.
  • 2 detachable patented handles

These pans are suitable for using on induction hobs, in the oven, transferring to the dining table and storing cool food in the fridge. They also come with a manufacturer’s guarantee for 10 years (including handles) and Lifetime for the non-stick coating.

To enter the competition, please follow the Rafflecopter widget instructions – Sorry UK entry only. The giveaway will close at 11.59PM on Sunday June 21st 2015. Please remember to actually leave your comment at the bottom of this post, rather than on the Rafflecopter widget. I will contact the winner within 5 days to request your postal details to allow the promoter to send your prize out. Best of luck to everyone – this is a fantastic prize!

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Disclosure: We were sent our Tefal products for the purpose of review – We used Ingenio products suitable for gas hobs as we do not have induction hobs. All opinions and findings are our own.

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Pecan & Almond Baklava

Pecan Almond Baklava

Its only been recently that I’ve discovered how versatile and easy to make Baklava is. For some reason the thought of that honey syrup and fill pastry made me think it would all go terribly wrong. Whenever I see any form of Baklava I have to remind myself that it doesn’t taste like it looks. AM I the only person to think it looks like a mince beef pie?

I have been baking Baklava as part of my involvement with Expedia Uk’s World On A Plate challenge. Search the hashtag #ExpediaWorldOnAPlate for more examples. Last month, cooks from all over covered Spanish dishes on their blogs. This month is all about Turkey.

This sweet treat was the most obvious for me to make – Sadly, I have never taken to Turkish Delight even though I have really tried!

My Pecan & Almond Baklava is quite a traditional version of Baklava but I urge you to have a go at playing around with other alternatives:

    • Shredded Sweetened Coconut
    • Finely chopped Apricots
    • Finely Chopped Glace Cherries
    • Pistachio nuts
    • Raisins/Sultanas
    • Even a thin layer of Nutella
    • Different types of flavoured honey – I use runny honey, try the Orange Blossom version. Yum!

Turkish Tea & Baklava

 

Pecan & Almond Baklava

Serves 10+
Prep time 1 hour
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 40 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Region Turkish
Traditional Turkish Sweet Treat, Baklava made with Pecan and Almonds with a sticky honey syrup

Ingredients

  • 1 packet Filo Pastry (Chilled)
  • 220g Caster Sugar
  • 125g Runny Honey (I used Orange Blossom on this occasion)
  • 1 Lemon - Juice & Zest of
  • 1 Orange - Zest
  • 200g Pecan Nuts (Chopped into tiny chunks but not blitzed in a food processor)
  • 100g Sliced Almonds
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 125g Melted Butter

Directions

Baklava
Preheat the oven to 170C and brush a silicone dish with melted butter - Including up the sides. I use a 9" square
In a mixing bowl, combine the nuts, vanilla and cinnamon
Remove half of the filo pastry from the fridge and cover the other half with a dampened clean tea towel. You need to work quickly with filo or it will start to dry up and go crispy. If you think you might work too slow take less pastry out at a time.
Lay one layer of filo pastry in the base of the silicone - You can chop off around the edges but I leave it and fold it in later. Brush on top of this later with more melted butter, making sure it is all well covered.
Add another layer of pastry and repeat. At this point you can start folding in the extra bits of pastry from around the edges. Repeat until you have 6 layers of pastry.
Sprinkle half of the nut mixture evenly on top of the layers of pastry - You will start to think that there will be too much to fill the height of the dish but don't worry, the weight will flatten it down.
Brush another layer of pastry and place buttered side down on top of the nuts. Brush on top of this layer with more melted butter and keep adding more layers until you have another 6 layers of pastry
Use the rest of the nut mixture to spread on top of these pastry layers and finish with a last 6 layers of pastry.
Place in the fridge to set for 20-30 minutes
Once removed from the fridge, cut into 2cm squares - I do it on the diagonal as it seems to keep neater but its up to you.
Bake for 30 minutes then increase the heat to 180C and heat for another 5-10 minutes until it is the shade of golden that you are looking for
Honey Syrup
While the Baklava is cooking, make a start on the syrup - In a small pan heat the sugar, honey and lemon juice and zests. Bring to the boil for 1-2 minutes then reduce the heat to simmer for another 3 minutes.
Remove from the heat - it will thicken by itself. When the Baklava comes out of the oven, spoon the syrup over it evenly - If the syrup has thickened a little too much then just heat again slightly.
Leave to cool at room temperature - Best eaten same day or at least by the next day

Turkish Pecan Almond Baklava

It has been some years since Mr C & myself went to Turkey – A little town called Gumbet, near Bodrum – At least 13 as we were child free! I have really enjoyed reminiscing about one of our most favourite holidays – we were treated to the works if I remember, rose petals on the bed, turkish massages (for Derm) and I finished tons of books! For more Turkish food suggestions visit the Expedia website, Turkish page

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post – I was given free reign which recipe to make and how to prepare it. All opinions are my own.

First Communion Cake – #Bakeoftheweek

First Holy Communion Cake

I’m so delighted with this First Holy Communion Cake – Yes, it has flaws, the perfectionist in me is trying not to point them out but its pretty amazing that it got made in the first place. It would have been much easier to tell Violet that there just simply wasn’t enough time to get everything ready, clean the house, make a buffet AND make her a cake but I just couldn’t do it. She went to bed on Friday night with a severely unfinished cake, a house that still needed cleaning for her party the next day and a buffet still to be made. She was so sweet when she woke up on the Saturday and told me she loved her cake (which had miraculously been finished over night) and gave me a big hug. It was totally the right thing to do and I will never go for the easy option ever again!

We’ve still not cut into it but will probably do so tonight – The top is vanilla sponge and the bottom a rich fruit cake (with no mixed peel!) The little Violet is made from a mixture of flower paste and fondant with a marzipan head. I had to include her freckles (dots of brown food colouring with a cocktail stick) and her veil is made from a piece of lace ribbon.

We had a lovely day – You made have already seen Vi’s picture on my Silent Sunday post. The church service was lovely – her special friends all made their own First Holy Communions and Confirmations at the same time. My sister, Rachel was Violet’s sponsor and did a brilliant job of keeping her calm just before it was her turn to go up to the priest.

We had plenty of photo opportunities afterwards – even us mums got involved! Tara and her special friends had a great play – we will be doing it all over again in 5 years with these little guys!

First Holy Communion

As usual, thanks so much to everyone who got involved with last week’s #Bakeoftheweek. Great to see some new members too – A warm welcome to you!

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I couldn’t ignore Kirsty’s Bailey’s Cheesecake – Aside from being one of the best culinary inventions ever, this recipe comes from Sunrise Senior Living in aid of supporting people with dementia. I’ve written before about how dementia has affected my family. Particularly apt as this weekend we missed Dad being at Violet’s communion.

Baileys Cheesecake

I also have to choose this amazing Happy Rainbow Cake from TrulyMadlyKids – This cake just makes me happy looking at it. And there’s no calories involved with looking is there?!

Bake of the week

1. Making Peanut Butter cool again with these perfectly formed Peanut Butter Spelt Scones – The Lass in the Apron
2. Snap Happy Bakes has made a much better job of her Sweet Potato Fries than I did a couple of weeks ago – I’ll definitely be following her technique than my own soggy, burnt mess technique!
3. Eileen from ET Speaks From Home describes her Cinnamon Waffle Dippers as the ‘Perfect Party Treat’ – I think she may be correct!
4. Warm welcome to Kidgredients with her fantastic Apple Pie Yogurt Dough Scrolls
5. Hannah from Domestic Gothess with her incredibly pretty Lemon Shortbread served with Camomile Tea
6. I have to award a special mention to The Green Gourmet Giraffe for being so unusual and dramatic with these Kale Cheesecake Surprise Chocolate Mint Cupcakes – Don’t they look amazing? That colour green is stunning.
7. Julie’s Family Kitchen Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes – These look so tasty!
8. Cardamom Almond Cinnamon Buns from Domestic Gothess – Catering for my love of all things almond!
9. Kirsty from Hijacked by Twins has the genius idea of using up leftover chocolates (Yep, I know, its not a concept we are familiar with in this house either!) with her Chocolate Cupcakes – and very pretty they are too!
10. Alida from My Little Italian Kitchen Quick Muffin Pizzas – Perfect for an after school snack!

Bake of the week

Our other bakes are all ones that we can help ourselves to a generous portion or slice of – There’s even a couple of warm dishes in there too!

11. The ability to make a summer crumble look gorgeous can not be sniffed at! Truly Madly Kids has definitely achieved this with her Rhubarb & Strawberry Crumble
12. Hoping that these Oatie Choc Nut Breakfast Bars have helped to make the Gluten Free Alchemist feel a bit better this week.
13. Making the most of a well yearned for long weekend with an utterly beautiful Cream Cheese & Raspberry Puff Pastry Tart is Petite Raisin.
14. Mummy Mishaps’ Sugar Ice on her Frozen cake is so striking – Perfect for any Frozen loving birthday parties.
15. Chewy and Juicy Banana & Date Flapjacks from the FreeFrom Fairy
16. Ultra seasonal and some great tips for getting the ultimate Rhubarb & Custard Self Saucing Pudding from Tales from the Kitchen Shed
17. Calling time on the amount of refined sugar her son consumes and a lesson for us all to consider is Sneaky Veg with her Courgette & Lemon cake – complete with green bits!

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Same linky as usual for this week – I have left the link open until the 2nd June just in case I don’t get back from Aldershot in time to open a new linky. Feel free to add up to 3 bakes per blog – No theme, savoury, sweet, hot, cold, fruity, slow cooked – they all count! I’d love it if you could pay a visit to another entrant and share the #Bakeoftheweek love.
I’m finally catching up on all the commenting and should be completely up to date by next week – Phew!

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Joining in with Patisserie Makes Perfect as she hosts CookBlogShare

#CookBlogShare

Share the Joy linky at bodfortea.co.uk

Cherry Bakewell Tart #Bakeoftheweek

Bakewell Tart

Wow! Isn’t the sun incredible today? Or at least I hope it is where you are too. Its not often that the camera shouts that the subject is too bright!

This is no ordinary dry Bakewell Tart – It contains a whole jar of black cherries that I brought back from France last year. They have been taunting me in the cupboard ever since. I actually think the frangipane could do with slightly longer in the oven – Use your judgement – It is a really hot, sticky day here and the icing is oozingly melting.

Cherry Bakewell Tart

Serves 8+
Prep time 1 hour, 30 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 2 hours, 15 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold
Occasion Barbecue, Birthday Party, Casual Party
Juicy Cherry Bakewell Tart containing real black cherries and moist frangipane

Ingredients

  • 250 + 35g Plain Flour
  • 75 + 100g Ground Almonds
  • 150 + 110g Super cold butter
  • 60g Icing Sugar
  • 2 Eggs + 2 Egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons Iced Cold Water
  • 1 jar Cherries (I used black cherries)
  • 110g Caster sugar
  • 1 Lemon Zest
  • 1 teaspoon Almond Extract

Note

If your cherries are very runny, remove some of the juice and crush with a fork before adding on top of the pastry

Directions

Almond Pastry
Mix together the first lot of plain flour & Icing Sugar with a knife in a medium bowl
Cut the 150g butter into tiny chunks and rub into the flour/icing sugar until just combined. The key to good pastry is to handle it as little as possible. Add in the 75g of ground almonds
Mix the egg yolks and the 2 tbsp water in a small cup and gradually add to the rest of the pastry mixture
You will think it is too dry but all of a sudden it will come together as a pastry. Stop kneading and roll in double cling film.
Keep in the fridge for 30 mins to an hour
Grease a 9" tart tin and preheat the oven to 170C. Take the pastry out of the fridge - it will be really quite stiff
Roll out to about 1/2 cm thickness and spread evenly in the tin. Leave hanging over the sides by about 1 cm - you can always trim this later.
Cover with tinned foil and press down evenly on the pastry, cover with baking beans or lentils and bake for 12-15 mins until golden
Frangipane
Allow to cool and start to prepare the frangipane - Place the remaining butter in a small pan and melt. Allow to cool for 3-4 minutes
Mix together the remaining sugar, lemon zest and add the 2 whole eggs, whisking until light and fluffy
When the butter has cooled - add to the rest of the frangipane mix.
Stir in the remaining flour and ground almonds and almond extract
Spread the cherries evenly on top of the cooled pastry and pour the frangipane mixture on top
Bake at 180C for 30-40 minutes - If it starts to catch on the edges but is still very wobbly, loosely cover with tinned foil for the remaining cooking time
Decoration
Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully - Cover in a layer of icing and sprinkle lightly toasted almonds on top

 An utterly stupendous week last week for Bake of the Week – I am in awe of the baking talent out there. It is getting harder and harder to choose a featured bake each week. There was one recipe that stood out though as I’ve got to make that! The More Than Occasional Baker with her magnificent Mini Pork Pies with Quails Eggs – I really think my taste buds are changing. This is miles away from the recipe I would have yearned for a couple of years ago but I have such an urge to bake it now. I haven’t attempted hot water pastry in ages so relish the thought of giving it a go.

Mini Pork Pies with Quails Eggs

I’ve separated this week’s bakes into a wealth of fruitiness – Let me present to you ‘Feeling Fruity!’

Bake of the Week fruit

1. Beautifully presented and a classic taste combination from Hijacked by Twins – White Chocolate & Raspberry Cake
2. After my disaster last week with fudge, I’m admiring Foodie Quine’s stunning Baileys fudge with pistachio & cranberries
3. Apparently Domesetic Gothess wasn’t all that happy with the appearance of her Red Wine & Poached Pear Chocolate Frangipane Tarts – I think they look luscious and so inviting!
4. Jen’s Raspberry, Rose & Pomegranate Cake definitely has the WOW factor – Perfect for any centre piece!
5.
6. Nic is using up her cupboard food this week in preparation for a holiday – She has produced some lovely Lemon Blueberry Greek Yogurt Muffins – Have a great holiday!
7. An incredibly beautiful, flour less, tasty, appealing and HEALTHY cake from the Gluten Free Alchemist with her Gluten Free Flourless Orange Cake complete with Honeyed Raspberry Coulis
8. Such an impressive looking cake from ET Speaks From Home this week with her Blueberry Chocolate Roulade
9. Making a fantastic job of pro ducting Choux Pastry for the first time with her Lemon Choux Buns this week is Baking Queen 74 – Well done!
10. Bringing new life to a classic Victoria Sponge turning it into Plum Cake is Hijacked by Twins
11. I adore triple layer cakes and this Strawberry, Elderflower, & Almond Layer Cake from Domestic Gothess may just be one of the prettiest and striking ones around
12. For the super healthy amongst us, Sarah from Tales From The Kitchen Shed has produced some Peanut Butter & Banana Muffins
13. A warm welcome to the Front Porch Gourmet with this wonderful Russian Apple Cake

Bake of the week

14. Just look at the shine on these Sausage Hotdog Buns from The Dream Baker – WoW!
15. Wonderfully creative Rainbow Ice-Cream Cupcakes from Mummy Mishaps – She makes it seem so easy!
16. A true favourite and perfect for picnics Ginger and Treacle Loaf Cake from the lovely blog at Alice Megan
17. Another firm favourite and so well executed from Eat Your Heart Out (A warm welcome to another new blog) Coffee & Walnut Cake
18. Who says Quinoa has to be dull? An amazing Quinoa Chocolate Cake from Winnie’s blog
19. Melting Moments Vegan style in honour of the Free From Farmhouse’s Mum with her Easy Vegan Biscuits
20. Ebracing the joys of weekend baking with a toddler is Petite Raisin with some lovely Chocolate Caramel and Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Squares
21. I will always remember the first time I baked a New York Cheesecake – It will forever be one of those magical moments of science when unbelievable everything comes together to taste like pure heaven. Baking Queen 74’s Nielsen Massey Baked Vanilla Cheesecake looks no less magical.
22. Last but not least, These Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies from Winnie’s blog would go down a storm after school in this house

We are now open for next week’s Bake of the Week – slightly later than usual – It is Holy Communion Week and its all systems go! I’ve got a clean front door but that’s about all the cleaning I’ve managed to do so far – Eek!

There’s no theme as usual for Bake of the Week. Please add the badge and it would be great if you would visit a couple of other bakers. All bakes welcome Savoury, sweet, slow cooked. Feel free to add up to 3 bakes per blog.

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Serenata Hampers Review & £40 voucher giveaway

  Serenata Flowers giveaway

I’ve heard a lot about Serenata Flowers – I didn’t realise that they also sold hampers though. When I was asked if I would be prepared to review a hamper from Serenata Hampers, I was really intrigued. I’ve talked before about my love of hampers and food gifts in general. We used to prepare a Christmas hamper for our Grandma each year – I hope that one day my grandkids will do the same for me. I just love the feeling of opening a box, not knowing what will be inside but knowing that it will be full of treats.

I chose to receive the Tantalising Treats hamper which retails at £39.99. I thought this was a reasonable price for a special occasion gift and that the contents were worthy of the price. The hamper contains the following:

  • Monty Bojangles Natural Rhubarb & Custard
  • Salted Caramel Fudge 113g
  • Red Box of Luxury Belgian Chocolates
  • Chardonnay Terres 2014
  • KC Chocolatier, Caramel & Praline Milk Chocolate Bar 75g
  • Luxury Yoghurt Covered Peanut/Raisins
  • KC Chocolatier, Crunchy Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Bar 75g

It comes in a Serenata Hampers box rather than a wicker basket although there are hampers that you can order that are more traditional with the wicker look. The yogurt covered peanuts and raisins were absolutely delicious – the perfect balance of peanuts to raisins and not too sweet. The Chardonnay went down very well, especially considering we are a red household too! I caught Mr C digging into the Caramel Praline Chocolate Bar earlier in the week, who declared it ‘Very nice’ (He’ll never get a job as a food reviewer!)

Delivery was exactly when planned for – Serenata offer next day delivery if requested.

I am pleased to be working with Serenata Flowers and Hampers to be able to giveaway a voucher to the value of £40 to one lucky winner. You have the choice what to order from the Serenata Flowers website which also hosts Serenata Hampers. To enter, you need to follow the Rafflecopter widget instructions below. Please note, for your entry to be valid, you need to comment at the bottom of this post rather than just on the Rafflecopter widget.

Some technical terms and conditions:

  • Closing date 11.59PM on Sunday 7th June 2015 – Sorry UK entries only
  • The lucky winner will be asked to give their details in order for their prize to be sent to them – This information is only to be shared with Serenata Flowers and will not be used for future marketing purposes
  • a Rafflecopter giveaway

In My Kitchen – May 2015

I’m tempted to start off this post, by telling you what should be In My Kitchen … There should be a First Holy Communion cake all ready to decorate with a tiny sugar model of Violet. There’s not – but there’s a week to go?

There should be plenty of fresh veg and fruit – There’s not … It’s been a crazy weekend and no time to go shopping.

But let’s not focus on the negative, there ARE plenty of wonderful things going on In My Kitchen.

Mini melon baller

I may not have had time to go fruit & veg shopping but I did get time to buy this darling little melon baller – With a diameter of just 12mm, it is so tiny & cute. I am envisioning plenty of meals with little balls from the obvious melon, to ice-cream, to pate to Mini mash balls.

macarons

We were also sent these macarons from Baked with Love MCR. We usually reserve macarons for holidays or when we have time to bake our own. Millie especially was overjoyed with this unexpected treat. Bake with Love are trialling new ways of posting macarons in the post – These fared quite well. In addition to the usual flavours, vanilla, pistachio, coconut, there were fabulous other flavours like Passion Fruit and Chocolate Orange.

Macarons

Everyone knows I’m a fan of all things Irish – Irish Brown Bread Crackers from Sheridans sounded just up my street. We tried them with Soft Cheese as a snack and found them quite a strong salty taste. They are actually lower in salt than traditional Cream Crackers though which was surprising.Great for an alternative on a Cheeseboard for something a little different.

Sheridans Irish Brown Bread Crackers

We have been asked to try products to suit special dietary requirements this month too. Sukrin Cake mix is described as Free From Sugar, Gluten, Wheat, Egg – I have yet to try the cake mix but we’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Chocolate which has no added sugar. There’s certainly no shortage of taste with the Sea Salt flavour. I’m intrigued by the low carbohydrate level, Sukrin say they are ‘All natural’ substitutes, encouraging us to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Sukrin

So that’s the lot for this month’s In My Kitchen – By next week the First Holy Communion will be over. A buffet will have been prepared, eaten and cleared up – I hope it is less eventful than Millie’s – we ended up in A & E as Dermot got a wine glass stem stuck in his foot!

Fudging It #Weekendcreations

#Weekend Creations Linky Food & Crafts - No Theme

I should be bringing you luscious pictures of pale, summery lemon fudge today. I should be regretting nibbling on fudge all day. I should be panicking about fitting into my dress for Violet’s First Holy Communion next Saturday. But I’m not. (Well, actually I am wondering if it might be wise not to eat between now and next weekend)

Why no fudge?

Let me explain …

I wait for Dermot to get home so I can pop to the supermarket in peace.
I trek around the supermarket with one child in tow.
I put the shopping away.
I weigh all the ingredients out.
I pop the milk, sugar and salt in a pan.
I bring it to the boil.
I stand there staring at it, wondering why there are worryingly brown flecks.
I stand there for a further 8 minutes, convincing myself all will be well.
I REALISE I HAVE USED CONDENSED MILK INSTEAD OF EVAPORATED!!

I throw it away.
Wash an incredibly burnt pan.
Search the cupboards to find no evaporated milk.
Go back out to the supermarket.
Wash one child.
Put 2 children to bed.
Start again with the evaporate milk.
Stand there for 13 minutes wondering why the fudge is boiling but getting no thicker.
Think maybe it will work anyway.
Mix the rest of the ingredients in.
Place fudge in the fridge.
Watch half an hour of Election night disaster.
Go to bed.

Wake up.
Pack children off to school.
Occupy Tara.
Mop up blood for an hour after Tara busts my lip.
Check the fridge.
FUDGE NOT SET!! FUDGE IS MUSH!!

Throw fudge away and give up.

I blame David Cameron.

(I know none of this is earth shattering – Just a tiny bit frustrating)

And so there is my #WeekendCreation for this week. The whole week has not be a complete write off – You may have seen a rather successful Baileys Chococcino Cake and some super quick Maple Oat Pecan Scones.

I have managed to pick up my crochet hook this week though – I am decorating these pretty little IKEA pots with their very own crochet jackets a la Attic 24 style. There’s still a way to go but once you start on the pot jackets they come together quite fast so I hope to have some finished articles to show you next week – complete with herbs on my kitchen window sill!

crochet herb pot

Thanks to everyone who joined in with the last #weekendcreations. I’m so pleased that for the first week we had some lovely entries.

My first foodie featured post for #weekendcreations is this magnificent Sprouted Mung Bean Salad from Herbs Spices & Tradition. This is so pretty – how can it be good for you too?! Even I’m tempted to have a go – and I’m NEVER tempted by Mung Beans!

Sprouted Mung Bean Salad

I’m so impressed with my featured Craft entry from Red Rose Mummy – Pippa is making her very own creation due in just a few weeks and has still managed to produce some toddler craft. I’m planning on doing so much craft stuff with Tara before she starts school – When I can get her away from wanting to write everyone’s name that is! I love Pippa’s Paper Plate Rock Pool – It has inspired me to do so many crafts with paper plates.

Paper Plate Rock Pool

The linky is now open for next week’s #weekendcreations – I hope you have had a much more successful week than I have! All food or crafts posts are welcome – there is no theme. All entries will be commented on, tweeted, pinned & shared on Google+. If you have chance, please visit at least one other entry and please pop the badge in your post to spread the word about #weekendcreations.

The linky will remain open until Monday at 10PM and I’ll be back next Friday with a sparkling new roundup (and no failed fudge!)

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I’ve popped another badge here – If you like reading Casa Costello & would consider nomination me for a Blog Award, I would be so chuffed! Thank you!

Tots100 MAD Blog Awards
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Thyme Mini Crackers #Bakeoftheweek

Thyme Mini Crackers

Ah my love for anything miniature is making a re-appearance this week. How cute are these mini crackers? Perfect for popping in your mouth whole. Once again they are super easy to make – I’m going to be experimenting with different flavours too – I’m thinking Oregano would go perfectly with tomato toppings and Chilli ones would be great with cream cheese too.

Thyme Mini Crackers

Thyme Mini Crackers

Serves 10+
Prep time 1 hour, 20 minutes
Cook time 17 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 37 minutes
Meal type Appetizer, Snack, Starter
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party
Bite sized savoury herb thyme crackers - Perfect for nibbles when entertaining

Ingredients

  • 100g Plain Flour
  • 90g Wholemeal Flour
  • 120ml Warm Water
  • 40ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Dried Herbs - Thyme
  • pinch Salt

Directions

Crackers
Using an electric mixer with the dough hook attachment, add both of the flours & salt.
Mix the water and oil together in a jug and add approx 1/4 to the flour mixture - Turn the mixer on to a slow setting
Continue adding the rest of the oil/water mixture and increase the speed to medium - Mix for 7 minutes. The dough should come together in a ball.
When finished mixing, cover your hands with more Olive Oil (eew!) and wipe all over the surface of the dough ball.
Leave at room temperature for 1-1.5 hours to rest - Cover with a clean tea towel or cling film
Preheat the oven to 180C and split the dough ball into 2-3 smaller balls
For each small dough ball - sprinkle over 1 tsp of dried thyme (or whatever dried herb you are trying) Knead for 1 minute until the herbs are spread evenly
Roll out on a floured surface to a 5mm thickness and use a cookie cutter to cut out small neat squares
Bake for 15 minutes then increase the oven temp to 190C for another 2-3 minutes if you want your crackers to be a little more browned - be careful, they may start to burn!

My featured post this week comes from a beautiful blog that I always head to when I want a little escapism – Elizabeth describes herself as possibly Britain’s most northerly blogger – Her post about travelling to BritMums always stays with me. Makes my little trek from St Helens to London seem like a stroll in the park. Anyway, this week Elizabeth has shared a Mediterranean delight also using Olive Oil (flavoured olive oils like the one use in Elizabeth’s recipe would also work with the Mini Crackers), Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Bundt Cake

There are still plenty of chocolate entries around if you are in the mood for chocolate – Let me present to you THE CHOCOLATE COLLECTION …

Bake of the Week Chocolate Entries

1. I have never been tempted to bake with Aubergine before but The More Than Occasional Baker has presented such a rich looking Chocolate Aubergine Cake that I think I could give it a try
2. These Chocolate, Cherry & Vanilla Cupcakes from Modern Family Baking are super pretty and all for a good cause too
3. I still stand by my belief that there is no better taste in the world than good marzipan – The Lass in The Apron has made her own delicious Chocolate Covered Homemade Marzipan this week
4. Milo brings back memories of when my sisters loved it when we were young, ET Speaks From Home has been very creative with Milo & baked a fabulous Milo Tirimisu
5. The Gluten Free Alchemist’s daughter has talked her into making Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Brownies with a cute Whipped Peanut Butter Mousse for decoration – Well done that girl!
6. I’d Much Rather Bake Than is super early and organised for next Easter with her Malted Chocolate Easter Naked Cake 😉
7. You can’t beat having a Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe in your collection, ET Speaks From Home has been testing out a new recipe this week, with good results.

I can’t tell you how much I look forward to your entries throughout the week – I love the variety of baking ideas that bloggers have, how flavours are married together and how you present your bakes so beautifully – Here is the VARIOUS COLLECTION …

Bake of the Week various

8. Making the most of rhubarb season with a pretty Rhubarb Buttermilk Cake is Baking Queen
9. More Olive Oil baking with a striking Apple & Olive Oil cake from the lovely Alida at My Little Italian Kitchen
10. Creating a beautiful partnership of Apple, Strawberries and Balsamic with her crumble is Mummy Mishaps this week.
11. A powerful post creating awareness of Coeliac Disease and also sharing colourful Raspberry & Blueberry Muffins – The Gluten Free Alchemist
12. A warm welcome to a new comer to the Bake of the Week gang, Sneaky Veg (Love the blog name!) Mandy joins us with her Carrot & Banana Cupcakes
13. Another herby bake from My Little Italian Kitchen with Rosemary Parmesan Biscuits

Casa Costello
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.casacostello.com" title="Casa Costello" target="_blank"><img src="http://casacostello.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Bake-of-the-week.jpg" alt="Casa Costello" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

We are now open for your next entries to Bake of the Week. Please add the badge somewhere in your post to spread the Bake of the Week word. I will be back with a round up next Tues/Wed – Who will be the featured Bake of the Week? As usual, I will be commenting, pinning, Google+ing and Tweeting all your entries. Feel free to invite your other baking blogging friends to join us – the more, the merrier! Up to 3 posts are allowed per week – Please try to visit a couple of other Bake of the Week entrants too.

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Baileys Chococcino Cheesecake Cake

Baileys Chococcino Cheesecake Cake

It’s been Nanna Val’s birthday this weekend – A pretty significant 65 on the 1st May. Now Nanna Val is rather partial to a tipple of Baileys – She rarely drinks it neat but a cup of coffee just isn’t the same without some. In honour of the birthday girl, I decided to make a substantial cake – We are off out for the day tomorrow, so this is joining us.

A triple Chococcino Cake (Coffee & Chocolate) with luxurious Bailey’s cheesecake sandwiched between – Topped with a soft Bailey’s frosting, made into pretty roses. Definitely not one for the kids – although they’ve been hinting about a slice of the cake all day!

Piped Roses on Baileys Cheesecake Cake

 

Baileys Chococcino Cheesecake Cake

Serves 8+
Prep time 2 hours, 30 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 3 hours, 30 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Misc Serve Cold
If you like a really strong Baileys taste, feel free to substitute one of the teaspoons of milk for Baileys in the Rose frosting

Ingredients

  • 8 + 3oz Butter
  • 8oz Caster Sugar
  • 2 + 1 + 1 teaspoons Cocoa Powder
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 3 tablespoons Vanilla Extract
  • 10oz Self Raising Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baileys Irish Cream
  • 100ml Double Cream
  • 250g Soft Cream Cheese (Full Fat)
  • 150g Melted Chocolate (I used half white/half milk chocolate)
  • 2 TBSP + 10oz Icing Sugar
  • 2oz Milk

Directions

Cake
Preheat the oven to 160C and line an 8" Cake Tin with Baking Parchment
Using an electric mixer, whisk the 8 oz of butter and the caster sugar until pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time and 1 tsp of the vanilla extract
Reduce the mixer to a slow speed and add the flour and cocoa powder, one spoon at a time
Pour into the cake tin and bake for 55-60 minutes until a skewer comes out clean - remove from the oven and allow to cool fully
Baileys Cheesecake
Using an electric mixer on a medium speed, whisk together the cream cheese and the double cream until they start to thicken
Add the Baileys and 1 of the remaining teaspoons of cocoa powder and the 2 TBSP of icing sugar and mix through thoroughly. Stir in the melted chocolate which should be cool by now.
To Assemble
Cut the cake into 3 even layers - this can be quite tricky to do so just do 2 if you are not confident
Re-line the cake tin with fresh baking parchment and place the bottom cake layer at the base of the tin
Scoop half of the Baileys Cheesecake on top of the first cake layer and smooth out evenly
Add the middle cake layer and repeat with the remaining cheesecake
Top with the top cake layer and place in the fridge for 2 hours
To Decorate
Using an electric mixer, whisk the remaining butter, icing sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla extract until well combined
Add the milk a splash at a time - if the frosting is getting too runny, then add a couple more tbsp of icing sugar
Scoop into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe roses on top of the cake (I use a Wilton 2D nozzle for mine)

Making a Chococcino Cake

If you fancy having a go at piping your own roses, its a lot easier than you think – I’ve produced a super short video showing you how (Its only 8 seconds long!)

If this recipe has whetted your appetite for more Baileys recipes then why not try some of the recipes over at the Bailey’s website

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. This recipe uses just under 2 units of alcohol in this recipe. The NHS recommends that you do not regularly exceed 3-4 units for men and 2-3 units for women a day.

Bailey Chocolate Coffee Cake

The Gang at Nanna’s Birthday Meal

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