Ginger & White Chocolate Hi Hat Cupcakes – Bake of the Week

ginger white chocolate frosting hi hat cupcakes

Once you taste this White Chocolate frosting you will never want to go back to ordinary buttercream ever again! Believe me, this is one of the finest tastes in the world. The white chocolate matches perfectly with the spicy ginger cake. I covered the Hi Hats with milk chocolate but they are equally nice covered in all white chocolate – especially for the very sweet toothed amongst us.

I’m a massive fan of anything ginger at this time of year – I’m never fully dressed without a ginger creation (parkin, gingerbread, cupcakes) at any Halloween or Bonfire event so these fit in just great.

Ginger & White Chocolate Hi Hat Cupcakes

Serves 24
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 18 minutes
Total time 38 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party
Light ginger cupcakes with thick luxurious white chocolate frosting dipped in a choice of milk or white chocolate.


  • 8oz Soft Dark Brown Sugar
  • 6 + 8oz Butter
  • 10oz Golden Syrup
  • 1lb Self Raising Flour
  • 2.5 teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 pint Milk
  • 8oz White Chocolate
  • 7oz Icing Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 6oz Milk or White Chocolate (For Dipping)


Preheat the oven to 160C and line 24 cupcakes tin with liners/cases
In a medium pan, melt 8oz of the butter and the brown sugar until the grainy feeling has gone. Do not allow to boil.
Add the syrup and stir through while still heating for 1 min
Remove from the heat and allow to cool for at least 3 minutes (I'm always too impatient to leave for longer)
Pour the butter/sugar mixture into a large bowl containing the flour (No need to sift beforehand) and stir through.
Mix the milk and egg in a job and whisk, then add gradually to the cake mix, stirring until all combined - It will be a loose mixture.
Divide evenly into the cupcake cases and cook for 18-20 minutes - When cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Meanwhile work on the frosting/white chocolate buttercream - Mix together the remaining butter and the icing sugar until smooth.
Melt the white chocolate gently in a bowl over a pan of boiling water - do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water
Add to the butter/icing sugar and add the vanilla - it will be a stiff buttercream
Pipe the frosting in a swirl ending in a sharp peak on top - For a true Hi Hat you are supposed to pipe right to the edge of the cake but we always feel that's just a bit too much frosting
Put the frosted cakes into the fridge for 10-15 to harden
Melt the remaining dipping chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water - White chocolate is absolutely gorgeous for this but looks more effective in Milk Chocolate
Briefly dip the tops of the cupcakes into the melted chocolate until the frosting is covered and replace back in the fridge

I’ll be honest, this was one of the hardest Bake of the Week’s to do a featured post. There is so much autumn goodness out there this week. In the end, I based my decision on the bake that I’m most likely to bake first – that is Lancashire Food’s Spicy Gingerbread Loaf. I’m planning on taking it to my friend’s when we go to see her in North Yorkshire for Bonfire Night. It will be the first time I have managed to visit her at home since she moved there 15 years ago! Gingerbread and Parkin just sum up this time of year for me and I can just picture me with a big tupperware container dishing out the gingery loveliness!

gingerbread loaf parkin

A big warm welcome to new members of the Bake of the Week team who are joining us for the first time. I’ve divided the rest of this week’s bakes into sections as usual. First we have CHOCOLATE

bake of the week collage

1. Making Brownies even more divine with her Cappuccino Brownies – Bourbon & Brown Sugar
2. Making her condensed milk for her Gluten and Dairy Free Sticky Chocolate Orange Slices – The Free From Fairy
3. Kirsty from Hijacked By Twins had an exciting day out last week making Lime & Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
4. How amazing is this Room on the Broom cake from the ever talented Mummy Makes Cakes?
5. And more tasty brownies in the form of Cheesecake Cherry Brownies from Poole Mamma – Mmmm!

and yet more goodies …

bake of the week

6. Apparently this Champagne & Strawberry Cake was nearly a disaster – looks pretty spectacular to me! Pauline’s Baking Adventures
7. Patisserie Makes Perfect’s Pistachio & Almond Macaron Cake makes me gasp – Just perfect
8. I always forget how easy and tasty fritters are – My Little Italian Kitchen’s Apple Fritters look homely and moreish!
9. I’m learning something new every week with this baking adventure – This week we’ve been introduced to a Guernsey Gache Melee from Tales from The Kitchen Shed – I can almost taste that butterscotch sauce!
10. Baking Queen 74 has been joining in the trend to bake cakes in the slow cooker with this hearty Plum & Almond Cake
11. I didn’t realise I was quite so much of a wimp, until I was creeped out by ET Speaks From Home’s Spooky Zombie Fingers this week. Just brilliant!

Mummy Whiskers also joined in with her wonderfully creative Halloween Spiced Biscuits, which can be found here

We are now open for next week’s Bakes – Here’s the badge to include in your post. Don’t forget to pop round to a couple of your fellow bakers and say hi/generally admire their work! I will comment, tweet, pin and Google+ all entries as usual!

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Psst! While you are here, why don’t you enter my giveaway to win a copy of the fabulous Baking Book, What to Bake and How to Bake It? Click HERE to enter

Joining in with CakeyBoi & Baking Explorer(Hosting) in their Treat Petite linky this month


What to Bake & How to Bake It: Baking Book Giveaway

baking book giveaway

This book has a completely different feel to other baking books – Both in its content and the actual texture of the book. I was intrigued as soon as I opened my copy – Its a substantial sized book – If you gave someone this for a gift, they would feel they had got a decent present. A hard back with a matt cover and hand drawn pictures on the outside.

So what about what’s in it? The book is described as containing ’50 easy-t-follow recipes for all home bakers. Every stage explained with step-by-step photographs’. These step-by-step photos are what stick in your mind when you have been reading it. Very uncluttered and perfect for those bakers who are never quite sure what texture a substance should be.

tarte au citron The wonderful Tarte au Citron[/caption]

The recipes themselves are good homely bakes – There are the usual suspects, Victoria Sandwich, Seriously Chocolate Cookies and a wonderfully yellow Tarte au Citron that can form part of your baking repertoire. Even the more elaborate and fancy recipes all contain ingredients that are likely to be found in a home baking cupboard or easily found in most supermarkets – 3 flavours of macarons, 4 types of cupcakes, wonderful seasonal recipes like the Chocolate Hazelnut Log and Cranberry Stollen. At the top of my ‘to bake’ list form the book is the Strawberry Meringue Cake (see pictured below)

strawberry meringue cake

The book is divided into 5 sections, Introduction (This is rather a long intro but very handy if you are new to baking), Simple Family Baking, Morning Coffee & Afternoon Tea, Special Bakes and Desserts & After Dinner. I’m a bit of a sucker for a bookmark ribbon and this book has 2 – For someone who regularly takes their cookbooks to bed, these are invaluable.

how to bake a chocolate log

What to Bake & How to Bake It has a RRP of and can ordered here. I was given my own copy of the book for review and let loose with my own thoughts!

baking book giveaway competition

I have one copy of the book to giveaway – Perfect for a Christmas present, or you could just keep it and bake your way through the book – It would be easily done! Just fill in the Rafflecopter details below (Please remember to actually leave a comment on this blog post rather than the Rafflecopter widget – Otherwise your entry won’t count).

The closing date is November 4th 2014. The lucky winner will be chosen at random and contacted for their postal address to be sent the book as soon as possible after the closing date. Please reply within 5 days – Sorry UK entries only. Good Luck and Happy Baking!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Chocolate Orange Pumpkin Bombe #UnileverHalloween

chocolate orange pumpkin bombe halloween

I’ve been wanting to make a Bombe for ages. I knew it wouldn’t be super easy, otherwise everyone would be making them, wouldn’t they? I was set the Halloween Challenge by Unilever when they sent me some products to come up with a Halloween creation. I decided to combine my Bombe with a Pumpkin and the Chocolate Orange Pumpkin Bombe was born.

For a first attempt, its not too bad. The taste of the orange creme is fantastic – I am so pleased with it. However, it just wouldn’t set – until I froze it for 3 days! I’d definitely recommend more icing sugar than I used. I mushed up the tangerines into the cream but I think if you wanted the cream to set firmer, I’d place them on top of each layer of cake instead.

inside a pumpkin bombe

Tip: Get all of the icing completely ready before you get it out of the freezer – Make it really easy to cover whilst it is still frozen. I used a chocolate Matchmaker for the stalk.

Chocolate Orange Pumpkin Halloween Bombe

Serves 10+
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party, Halloween
Rich chocolate cake with a tangy orange creme wrapped inside a fondant pumpkin shell


  • 200g Butter
  • 200g Dark Brown Sugar
  • 4 Eggs (Separated)
  • 200g Self-Raising Flour
  • 100g Good Quality Cooking Chocolate (Melted in 2tbsp water)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 284ml Double Cream (Whipped until thick)
  • 200g Icing Sugar
  • 2 Tangerines (Zest and Pulp mashed up)
  • 1 teaspoon Orange Extract
  • 500g Fondant Icing
  • 3 tablespoons Buttercream (or Boiled Jam for sticking the icing on with)


To be eaten within 2 hours of removing from the freezer!


Preheat the oven to 170C and line 1 x 8 inch & 2 x 7 inch cake tins
Whisk together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy
Add in the egg yolks and the vanilla whilst still mixing
Add the melted chocolate which should have cooked slightly beforehand whilst still mixing
Fold in a tablespoon of flour at a time
Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks and fold in gently
Separate the mixture evenly into the 3 tins and cook for approx 35 mins until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool.
Meanwhile add the orange extract and orange zest to the whipped cream - I also coloured my creme with orange colouring. Keep in the fridge.
Colour most of the fondant icing a vivid orange colour - keep a small bit aside to colour black for the pumpkin features.
When the cake has cooled, get a pyrex bowl or similar sized bowl and grease slightly at the base and sides. Line with a double layer of cling film.
Flatten the largest cake into the bottom and press down - it will come up the sides
put 1/2 of the orange pulp on top of the cake and spoon 1/3 orange creme on top.
Put one of the 7" cake on top of this and then more tangerine pulp, then creme. You might not end up using all of the creme - Feel free to eat the rest out of the bowl with a large spoon!
Place the last 7" cake on the top and wrap tightly with the cling film.
Freeze at least overnight.
Roll out the fondant until 1/2 cm thick and cut out black triangles for the pumpkin features - My eldest daughter tells me I have done the smile upside down but hey! character!
Take the cake out of the freezer, take out of the bowl and tip upside down. Spread the buttercream or jam over the top.
Cover with the icing and stick the triangles on with boiled water.

Disclosure: I was sent some ingredients to use by Unilever to make my Halloween Creation

chocolate orange pumpkin bombe halloween

Linking up with Honest Mum’s Tasty Tuesdays & A Mummy Too’s Recipe of the Week & Supergoldenbakes’s Cook, Blog, Share

Tasty Tuesdays on

Double Chocolate Oaty Cookies – Bake of the Week

double choc chip oaty cookies

My kids are going to love me when they get home tonight – A true family favourite are these Oaty Cookies. I forget how much the kids love these – they were actually one of the first recipes I ever made. I think I added some nuts but have done without today. These are also lovely with raisins, cranberries and toasted almonds in – The possibilities are endless.

Super easy to make – less than 15 minutes in the oven and 2 minutes to cool – if you can wait that long!

They may not be the most good-looking of bakes but the fact that they are delicious/your children will love you/your children will keep their rooms tidy for 3 weeks after eating them* makes them worth it.

* May not strictly be true

chocolate oaty biscuits

I used 2 types of chocolate buttons – White chocolate and Milk Chocolate. I was sent some samples of Hadleigh Maid’s Baking Buttons to review a couple of weeks ago and have had a hard time keeping everyone’s fingers away. Now the bags are open, its going to be impossible. More information about Hadleigh Maid at the base of the post.


Double Chocolate Oaty Cookies

Serves 24+
Prep time 8 minutes
Cook time 12 minutes
Total time 20 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party
Chewy Oaty Cookies with both milk and white chocolate chips - Perfect for packed lunches or after school snacks


  • 150g Butter
  • 140g Soft Brown Sugar
  • 2 Medium Eggs
  • 130g Porridge Oats
  • 175g Self Raising Flour
  • 200g Chocolate Chips (I used about half and half milk to white chocolate ratio)


These can be frozen (although mine never last that long) Just put them in a tupperware box lined with kitchen roll for up to 1 month


Preheat the oven to 180C and line 2-3 baking trays depending how large they are
Using an electric Mixer, whack the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy
Continue mixing whilst you add the eggs to the mixture - Scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition
On a slow speed, add the oats and the flour - only mix for 1 minute or until the mixture starts to come together
As the chocolate baking buttons, I used were larger than I normally do, I broke them into uneven sized chunks with my hands
Stir through until combined. This is a recipe that is quite hardy so can cope with children being quite vigorous with their mixing
Using 2 spoons, scoop out a dessert sized blob and drop onto the baking parchment - I put about 8-10 on each tray
Bake for 12 minutes until starting to go golden - As soon as they are out of the oven, transfer to a wire rack to cool.

My featured bake from last week’e entries for #Bakeoftheweek is this wonderfully bright (yet dark) Chocolate and Beetroot cake from Jibber Jabber. Just love the look of this. The beetroot is grated so no need to pre-boil. Have you ever baked with beetroot? Its on my list for this autumn.

chocolate beetroot cake

I can only share 5 of our entries for #Bakeoftheweek – Unfortunately, if right click is disabled, I cannot get a pic. I will list as always but if you would like a pic to be displayed, please feel free to email me a pic to use. Thank you :-)

bake of the week

1. Just love the flavour combination of this Pumpkin, Ginger & Orange Traybake from Feeding Boys and a Firefighter- Pure autumnal goodness!
2. Aren’t these 100′s & 1000′s Mini Cakes from ET Speaks from Home just beautiful – The shape is just perfect, Eileen must have been moulding them forever!
3. I read somewhere earlier today that Pink Velvet is ‘THE’ cake of the season so Chez Maximka is very on trend with her Pink Velvet Malibu Cake
4. Lucy from Baking Queen is feeling all generous with her Tear & Share Brioche this week – I think I’d keep it all to ourselves!
5. Can you believe Chocolate Log Blog didn’t even get to eat her own cake this week? Just stunning is this Salted Caramel Birthday Cake
6. And I urge you to pop by and check out this amazing Frozen Spiral Cake from Mummy M’s Memories – There’s even instructions how to make your own.

AS ever, a huge thank you to everyone who has taken part, shared entries, commented and visited other bakes – Love my #Bakeoftheweek community.

The link is now open for you to add new bakes and here’s the badge to add to your posts …

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hadleigh maid baking buttons

Disclosure: I was sent Hadleigh Maid’s Baking Buttons for the purpose of review. I thoroughly enjoyed using them and they taste great (I *might* have nibbled on quite a few as I was baking!) More information about Hadleigh Maid Baking Buttons can be found on their Facebook page including the chance to win some Buttons of your own and other baking goodies. The RRP for 350g bags (3 flavours Dark, Mlik & White Chocolate) is ¬£3.99. I have also been sent some of Hadleigh Maid’s Walnut Whirls which I have a great Halloween post coming soon for.

Linking up with A Mummy Too, SupergoldenBakes, Honest Mum and Romanian Mum’s #FoodieFriday this week:

tasty tuesdays honest mum



Romanian um Blog

Apple, Date & Cinnamon Flapjacks – Bake of the Week

apple date cinnamon flapjacks

Sometimes you should just accept that things are not going to go your way – The first 2 times of making these Apple, Date & Cinnamon Flapjacks was one of these times – I came down with a rotten cold on Sunday evening but tried to ignore it. Not feeling quite right, I thought I would opt for an easy Bake of the Week – Especially as last week’s was a bit time-consuming (but delicious)

1st attempt – Burnt the apple
2nd attempt – Forgot to add the syrup (quite difficult to bake flapjack without!)
3rd attempt – Burnt the 2nd layer of oats
4th – PERFECT!

Please don’t be put off – any normal person without copious amounts of snot would find these super easy and quick to make. They are so moist and chewy – perfect for kids with the hidden fruit too. I’m thinking this might be the last of the bumper crop of apple recipes this year.


Apple, Date & Cinnamon Flapjacks

Serves 18
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Occasion Casual Party
Chew fruit flapjacks with a soft apple and date centre


  • 125g Butter
  • 135g Light Brown Sugar
  • 140g Golden Syrup
  • 325g Porridge Oats
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 3 Large Cooking/Baking Apples (Chopped into small chunks)
  • 3 tablespoons Water
  • 25g Caster Sugar
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 80g Dried Dates (Chopped finely)


Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 9" square cake tin (I use a silicone tin as it is easier to get the flapjacks out)
Melt the butter in a pan and add the brown sugar, heating through until the sugar is melted
Take off the heat and add the syrup, oats, flour and the cinnamon - Stir through until well combined
Add half of the oats mixture to the cake tin and cook for 10 minutes
Meanwhile, heat the chopped apple, caster sugar, lemon juice and water until just starting to soften in a medium pan
Add the chopped dates to the apple and continue to heat for another 5 mins - The mixture should be really soft and able to be mashed
Remove the oats from the oven and spread the apple/date mixture on top. Leave to settle for 5 minutes
Add the remaining oat mixture on top of the apples and cook in the oven for another 20 minutes
As soon as the flapjack comes out of the oven, chop into portions (whilst still in the tin) and leave to cool completely
Serve with a good, strong brew (and Lemsip if you are suffering like me!)

fig blackberry crumble

The featured bake for this week is Franglais Kitchen’s wonderful Fig & Blackberry Crumble – Perfect as the weather has turned really wintery this week and we seem to be craving more and more comfort food.

individual portions bakes

1. Mini Egg Tarts are the latest amazing creation from Et Speaks From Home – Eileen has had her own disasters this week too. Nice to know I’m in good company.
2. More Apple and Cinnamon featured over at Feeding Boys and a Firefighter with her Toffee Apple Cupcakes – These look just up my street!
3. Love the staging on Alida’s Chocolate Biscuits – They look so tempting.
4. I love hearing about how Laura from I’d Much Rather Bake Than comes up with her baking inspiration – This week it was Chocolate Chip Iced Latte Crumble Muffins
5. Perfect for making me feel more human and still cake! Super healthy carrot cake muffins from The Free From Fairy

big cakes

6. I look forward to tasting the combination of these 3 flavours in Franglais Kitchen’s Coconut, Raspberry & Blueberry Cake
7. Tell me you counted the layers too! How amazing is this Schichttorte from Kirsty at Hijacked by Twins? Just incredible.

The link is now open for you to add your Bakes of the Week – I’m planning a big week of sharing, publicising and visiting all the baking going on around the internet! All entries are tweeted, commented, Pinned & shared on Google+. Feel free to follow the #Bakeoftheweek Pinterest Board The code for the badge to add to your post is below:

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Taking part this week in a few linkies …A Mummy Too’s Recipe of the Week, Honest Mum’s Brilliant Blog Posts, Supergoldenbakes’s Cook,Blog, Share and finally my co-host, Romanian Mum this week’s #FoodieFridays – Don’t forget to add anything Sweet you blog about – The linky is open until next Friday.

foodie friday casa costello romanian mum


recipe-of-the-week Brilliant blog posts on

Welcome to Foodie Friday! Chorizo, Pepper & Chutney Pinwheels

foodie friday casa costello romanian mum

chorizo, pepper chutney puff pastry

I’m very pleased to have joined up forces with the lovely Otilia from Romanian Mum in celebrating all things food. Every Friday we will be taking it in turns to lead the Foodie Friday linky. We would love as many people as possibly to join in and share what you are cooking with us – We have very easy themes to follow each week – This week feel free to share anything SAVOURY! Here’s how to join in …

* If you have a recipe or post that fits the theme, add it to the blog hop linky below – It can be a new or old recipe
* Please visit at least lone other entry and share the love. Let them know how you found them by add #foodiefriday (or even #foodiefridays)
* If you tweet your entry add the #foodiefriday hashtag and we will do our best to retweet
* Please add the badge below and link to Casa Costello ( and Romanian Mum ( in your post

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Throughout the course of the week, myself and Otilia will be commenting, tweeting, google+ing and pinning your entries – Feel free to follow the Foodie Friday Pinterest Board.

I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have a recipe to celebrate our new project – I’m sharing today my Savoury Chorizo, Pepper & Chutney Puff Pastry Pinwheeels

Chorizo, Pepper & Chutney Puff Pastry Pinwheels

Serves 10+
Prep time 40 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 5 minutes
Meal type Lunch, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Crispy Puff Pastry pinwheels filled with tasty chorizo & pepper


  • 1 packet Ready to Roll Puff Pastry
  • 1 Red Pepper (Finely Chopped)
  • 1 Yellow Pepper (Finely Chopped)
  • 50g Chopped Chorizo
  • 5 tablespoons Onion Chutney
  • 50g Soft Cheese


Take the puff pastry out of the fridge to soften slightly
In a small pan, sweat the peppers until soft and add the chorizo for 3 minutes - Remove from the heat
Spread the Soft Cheese all over the pastry and spread the onion chutney on top of this
When the peppers and chorizo have cooled, spread them evenly over the chutney/cheese
Roll the pastry as tightly as you can and double wrap in cling film
Place in the freezer for 30 mins. Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare 2 baking trays
Chop the pastry roll into 1cm slices and place on the sheets
Bake for 25 mins until crispy and golden - Enjoy!

Pecan & Maple Brioche Rolls – Bake of the Week

pecan maple brioche rolls

Oh my! This just might be my favourite thing I have ever baked (I’m sure I’ve said that before?!) These Pecan & Maple Brioche Rolls aren’t necessarily the quickest bake ever but they are more than worth it. You do need to do the preparation a couple of nights before to get the brioche dough ready but please don’t be put off. I will admit to thinking on Monday night that these were a bit of a faff and surely they couldn’t be worth it, but they most definitely are!

We were away on Tuesday night at a brilliant hotel (review coming very soon) so I used Monday to make a start on Bake of the Week. I first made Brioche dough about 4 years ago and they were a huge disaster. Since then, I have worked on perfecting my proving techniques (which I’m sure you are all heartily sick of hearing about) so back to Brioche dough it is! They worked perfectly – I can’t remember now what I used to find so hard about dough.

pecan maple brioche bites


Pecan & Maple Brioche Rolls

Serves 10+
Meal type Bread, Breakfast, Dessert, Lunch, Snack
Misc Freezable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Occasion Casual Party
Crunchy sticky pecan and maple syrup topped brioche dough balls - These are irresistible!


  • 80ml Warm Milk
  • 1 sachet dried yeast
  • 5 Egg
  • 500g Plain Flour
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 330g Room Temperature Butter
  • 1 Large Pinch/Grind of Salt
  • 70g Runny Honey
  • 100g Maple Syrup
  • 150g Pecans (I crush them with my fingers until they are in about 8ths of a whole pecan)


You can freeze the dough before baking for up to 1 month.


Preparing the Dough
In a jug, mix the warm milk and packet of yeast and leave for 5-10 minutes until it starts to froth
Put 150g of the flour into a large bowl and add 1 whisked egg, mixing through with a spatula. Add the yeast/milk mixture and continue to mix until all combined. Pour 100g of the flour on top and leave in a warm room for one hour.
You will be amazed at what happens - The dough takes on a yellow colour with a white cracked crust - pure chemistry!
After the chemistry has occurred, add the dough to a heavy duty mixer with a dough hook. A hand mixer just won't be up to the job.
Add the sugar & salt to the mixer and start to mix on a medium setting.
Whisk the remaining 4 eggs and continue to mix on medium.
Add the remaining flour a tablespoon at a time, reduce the speed to slow when you are doing this.
When all the flour is incorporated, increase the speed to medium and whisk for a solid 15 minutes. I stopped the mixer twice to clean down the sides with a spatula.
Microwave 170g of the butter for 10-15 seconds until it is quite a loose consistency but not warm
Add a tablespoon of butter at a time whilst still mixing (reduce to a slow mix speed). The dough will start slapping about and look awful but keep mixing for 5-7 minutes and it will come together as a dough again.
Once it is in a dough ball again, remove from the mixer and add to a large oiled bowl - Cover with oiled cling film and leave in a warm room for 2 hours.
THEN ... refrigerate for at least one night and up to 3 nights! At this point you are saying, no chance - its not worth all that effort but bear with me!
Dough Rolls
When you are ready to use, remove the dough from the fridge. Cut into 2 and roll out half on a heavily floured work surface until about 14 cm square.
Microwave 60g of the butter for 10 seconds until very soft but not warm and spread out over the rolled dough
Mix the cinnamon and brown sugar together and sprinkle evenly over the buttered dough. No need to go completely to the edge on the from and back of the roll but do go to the edge at the sides.
Roll up very tightly and double wrap in cling film and freeze for 30 minutes.
Remove from the freezer and chop into even slices (about 1cm thickness) and place in a buttered oven dish and leave to prove for 2 hours. They will double in size and meet up.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Melt the remaining 100g of butter and the brown sugar in a pan. Add the maple syrup and honey and boil for 1-2 minutes.
Pour in the pecans and remove from the heat
Cook the dough in the oven for 10 minutes and quickly pour over the pecan mix then continue to cook for another 20 minutes
Remove from the oven and as quickly as possible separate the rolls/spirals from each other while they are still soft
Best eaten the same day and absolutely incredible eaten with cookie dough ice-cream!
Remember, you still have half of the dough left over in the fridge - you WILL want to make another batch of pecan mix the next day!

 An absolutely incredible week for Bake of the Week – Thanks so much to everyone for getting involved!

My featured Bake of the Week is Baking Queen 74 who quite by chance made Povitica. She had no idea that the GBBO were going to feature Povitica that week either! Lucy didn’t just stop at one Povitica (or Poviticas? Who knows what the plural is?), she made 3 different types in one week! The woman is on a mission! They all look amazing, super job Lucy!

povitica baking queen

There were 7 bakes this week that incorporated chocolate …

chocolate bakes

1. Debra from My Little Kitchen seems to love pavlova as much as I do – Who could resist the beautiful colours of this Mixed Berry Pavlova?
2. Ooh Amaretti & Chocolate Crunch Cake – I need a slice of this from The Foodie Couple Blog. I cannot believe anyone has leftover Amaretti biscuits waiting to be used!
3. Emily’s Recipes and Reviews delights me with her White Chocolate & Salted Caramel Eclairs - Match made in Heaven?
4. One for everyone’s repertoire? Paul Food World shares beautiful Chocolate Orange Brownies
5. I will admit to never having heard of a Gianduia cake but it looks delicious from My Little Italian Kitchen – Described as luxurious, nutty and elegant.
6. Patisserie Makes Perfect makes our mouth water again with these Hazelnut, Cranberry & Chocolate Biscotti.
7. White Chocolate & Raspberry Blondies – What a perfect combination of flavours. I bet these were really fresh tasting from Paul’s Food World.

bake of the week

8. Eileen from Et Speaks From Home is excelling herself recently with her beautiful bakes – This week she shares White Lotus Sandwich Cookies which are just stunning.
9. If you are after true efficiency, then look no further than Hayley from Hay in a Day’s Pitta Pizzas
10. Kirsty from Hijacked by Twins has excelled again with her Darjeeling Earl Grey Tea Loaf
11. What fabulous flavour combinations from Feeding Boys and a Fireman with these Banana, Nectarine & Cinnamon Muffins
12. And one of my most favourite taste combinations ever! Apple & Almond tray bake from I’d rather Bake Than
13. So light and fluffy, this American Sour Cream Cake from Food Jam has gone straight onto my To Bake List.
14. Since I made my Muesli Brandy Snaps, I’m really intrigued by using seeds in baking – ET Speaks From Home has done just the same with her Almond & Sunflower Seed Tuiles – Gorgeous!
15. The colour of this Boozy Bramble Cake is just fab from Blue Kitchen Bakes1
16. Pretzels will always remind me of last year’s GBBO! These are just wonderful from Corina at Searching for Spice.

The link is now open for next week’s bakes – The code for the badge to display is below. Well done on sharing the Bake of the Week love last week – We had our busiest week yet! Don’t forget all entries are commented on, Pinned, Tweeted and shared on Google+ – If you could visit one other entry that would be great and share #Bakeoftheweek but no pressure.

Casa Costello
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For those people who also like to cook savoury items, you may be interested to know that from tomorrow (Friday) I am joining forces with Otilia from Romanian Mum in hosting Foodie Fridays. Tomorrow’s post will be all about celebrating everything savoury – Otilia will be doing the round up of all your entries next week.

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Linking up this week with Honest Mum’s Brilliant Blog posts

Brilliant blog posts on and SuperGoldenBakes’ Cook, Blog, Share

Homemade Bread with Sainsbury’s

sainsburys bread mix

I’ve talked before about my new found love for working with yeast – Its like a chemical experiment that suddenly I seem to get right and I love it. I’ve never used a pre-made bread mix though and wondered how they differed from bought bread. Do they really taste superior and yet save time? Sainsburys asked me if I would like to try one of their bread mixes to have a go.

We tried the Golden Multiseed Bread Mix – I made this loaf after school on a Thursday and loved it. All I had to do was mix in water and olive oil and leave to prove for an hour to double in size. I did this just before going on the school run so was all ready to go on my return. It really did double in size too!

The timings on the packet were exactly right – when it says cook for 30 minutes, it was dead on.

I loved the inside of the bread – just dense enough but with some larger air holes (I’m pretty sure this is what Paul Hollywood would call a ‘good structure’) I loved the seeds which made the bread so much more interesting than plain bread.

The verdict from the rest of the Costellos was just as good – When I got back from taking Millie to training later that night, over half of the loaf was gone – Always a good sign?

My tips for the perfect prove:
Turn the oven onto 140C for 10 minutes.
Turn off and leave the door slightly ajar for 5 minutes.
Place the dough in a metal bowl, covered with oiled cling film then place in the oven with the door closed.

making wholemeal bread

Disclosure: I was sent the bread mix to review and a voucher to cover the cost of any extra ingredients needed.

Linking up this weeks with Kate & Colette’s Tried & Tested linky

We're going on an adventure

Toad in the Hole & Gin & Lime Cake: Great British Dishes with Waitrose

gin lime drizzle cake recipe

I was set the challenge by Waitrose to recreate some good old Great British Dishes recently. I like to think that my cooking repertoire is fairly full of traditional British dishes that I will pass onto my girls as they grow older. There’s plenty of time in life for the fancy food but a family of 5 needs good solid meals to function on. These are the sort of dishes that take hardly any time to prepare and can be waiting for us when we get home from dancing/swimming/brownies/gymnastics …

Both of the recipes that I have come up with below started life off as quite normal recipes – I can never leave well along though, and constantly have to meddle with recipes.

toad hole onion chutney

I used Waitrose’s own ingredients for each and was really happy with the outcome – Even better, the kids loved both!

I love Toad in the Hole but have to admit, its sometimes not that interesting – I added some onion chutney painted onto each sausage and suddenly the dish was so much exciting. It takes mere seconds to do and you will think the chutney will slide off but somehow it doesn’t. If it was a weekend, I may have made my own chutney but this was a Wacky Wednesday and Waitrose’s Red Onion Chutney was just perfect.

Onion Chutney Toad in the Hole

Serves 5
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Hot
Wholesome family food Toad in the Hole made more interesting with the addition of onion chutney


  • 12 Waitrose Pork & Herb Sausages
  • 4 Medium Eggs
  • 8fl oz Milk
  • 8oz Plain Flour
  • 8 teaspoons Waitrose Onion Chutney


Grill the sausages until they are just about cooked - They will continue cooking as the Toad in the Hole cooks so you don't want them charred to start off with
Remove from the grill and leave to one side - Make sure the oven is preheated to 230C. Place an oven dish in the oven to heat up.
Whisk the eggs and slowly add the milk and S&P whilst continuing to whisk
Add the flour, a tablespoon at a time and whisk until all the lumps have gone and you have a smooth batter
Spread 1 teaspoon of onion chutney over the top of each sausage - doesn't have to be too tidy
Remove the oven dish from the oven and place the sausages at the bottom straightaway.
Pour the batter over the top and place straight back into the oven.
Bake for 30-40 minutes - I'm still constantly amazed that it rises and works every time but it does!
I serve with corn on the cob and onion gravy - I have to admit to the lazy way of making gravy on a weeknight: Chop 2 shallots finely, sauté in a small pan then add a pot of onion gravy and top up with boiling water. Tastes delicious and a lot less faff than making gravy from scratch!

onion chutney toad in the hole

I know that there isn’t much Gin in the Gin & Lime cake but wasn’t going to chance turning my girls into zombies so baked them a simple Lime Drizzle cake – More Gin cake for me & Mr C! They were very content with their very own cake too.

Gin & Lime Drizzle Cake

Serves 10+
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Serve Cold
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party
Light fluffy lime sponge cake with a crunchy gin & lime topping


  • 8oz Butter (Leave at room temp for 15 minutes before using)
  • 8oz Caster Sugar
  • 4 Medium Eggs
  • 3 Limes (Zest & Juice)
  • 10oz Self Raising Flour
  • 3 tablespoons Milk
  • 25ml Gin (I used Tanqueray from Waitrose as it was on offer)
  • 2oz Granulated White Sugar


Preheat the oven to 160C and line a 10" square cake tin (or 1x8" and 1x6" if you are wanting to do a gin-free cake for the kids)
Using an electric whisk, mix together the caster sugar and the butter until light and fluffy
Whisk the eggs and add, one at a time whilst still whisking on a medium speed. Then add the milk until combined.
Add the juice of 1 time and the grated zest of 2 limes
Turn the mixer down to a slow setting and add 1 tbsp flour at a time until just combined
Pour into the cake tin(s) - Divide if using 2 by putting 1/3 in the smaller tin and the remainder in the large tin and bake for approx 30 mins, until golden
Meanwhile, mix together the remaining lime juice, granulated sugar and gin (take 1/3 of the mixture away before adding the gin if doing a child friendly version)
As soon as the cake is out of the oven pour the sugar/gin mixture over and leave to cool in the tin.


Disclosure: I was asked to recreate Great British Dishes by Waitrose and sent vouchers to cover the cost of any ingredients bought. I have never used Waitrose home delivery service before but found their customer service exceptional. Our delivery driver was super polite and friendly. I found that there were some excellent offers on food and that the quality of the products we used was excellent.

Linking up with Lucy at SuperGoldenBakes for her Cook, Blog, Share linky


Award Winning Lemon & Lime Sandwich Biscuits – Bake of the Week

lemon lime sandwich cream biscuits

Award winning I tell you! Well, almost – I came second at our WI Craft Night. These biscuits were a miracle that they came to exist at all. I needed to be there by 6.30 but only got home at 5.15 … and still managed to make them, decorate them, cook the girls’ tea and get ready. A one woman mission with a lot of help from Miss M.

The brief was Sandwich Biscuits which filled me with all sorts of possibilities but I had bought a huge bag of limes that morning, so Lemon & Lime it was! I didn’t want to chicken out on the decorating and actually really like the semi-circles with basic piped icing (Its supposed to look like sliced limes, in case you can’t tell!)

Lemon & Lime Sandwich Cream Biscuits

Serves 18
Prep time 55 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 10 minutes
Meal type Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Occasion Barbecue, Birthday Party, Casual Party
Tangy lemon & Lime filled sandwich biscuits made with a shortbread base


  • 170 + 50g Butter
  • 115g Caster Sugar
  • 320g Self Raising Flour
  • 2 Zest of Limes, Juice of 1
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 100g Icing Sugar (Plus extra to decorate)
  • 1 Lemon - Zest & Juice


You should get approx 18 filled biscuits out of this mix, depending on how thick or thin you roll out the dough. The dough can be frozen completely before cooking.


Whisk the 170g of butter and caster sugar on a medium speed until well combined, light and fluffy
Add the egg and continue whisking
Add in the zest and juice of the limes and reduce the speed of the mixer to slow
Spoon in the flour until just combined. Turn out onto a floured work surface and bring together into a dough.
Split the dough into 2 and wrap each half in cling film.
Freeze for 30 minutes - Preheat the oven to 180C
Remove the biscuit dough from the freezer and roll one half at a time out to a thickness of about 8mm
Cut into circles then use a pizza wheel to score in half - Keep the halves together. This will make the outside edge neat later
Bake for 12-15 minutes until just golden and leave to cool completely on a wire rack once out of the oven
Cream Filling
Mix the remaining 100g, icing sugar and lemon zest & juice until a thick cream filling - You might want to add a little more icing sugar if it is too sloppy.
Once the biscuits have fully cooled, they should be easy to snap into two semi-circles.
Pipe a pale green line around the edge of one of the halves and leave to set
Fill in with slightly looser white icing and allow to set again
After about 5 minutes, fill lines in from the centre with the rest of the green icing to look like sliced lime (or lemon, if you use yellow)
Spread a small amount of the filling on top of the non-decorated half and add the iced biscuit on top.

 It was so difficult to choose a featured bake this week but I just about managed. I’ve gone for Firsty from Hijacked by Twins for her Earl Grey Cake. She has even managed to make tea bags looks decorative with her presentation! I’ve never tasted Earl Grey cake (that I can remember anyway) so definitely one on the list to try!

Earl grey cake bake of the week

The good news is that I am ‘almost’ caught up from my hols so will be able to plug Bake of the Week a lot more from now on. Great that we are still playing along and attracting new members – even in the midst of GBBO mayhem! I’m finding myself craving savoury food a bit at the moment due to all the sugar, are you?

bake of the week onine baking group

1. Kiwi Cupcakes – Lancashire Food – I haven’t had Kiwi in yonks, these cakes have made me determined to try them on the kids!
2. Doesn’t this Chocolate Savarin from Baking Queen 74 look so rich and luxurious? One for those winter nights I reckon!
3. A very warm welcome to our newest member, I’d Rather Bake Than – I saw her Sprinkle Dipped Viennese Fingers online this week and just hoped she would join in!
4. My Little Italian Kitchen describes the combination of chocolate & pear as ‘timeless’ – I think I agree. She has produced a divine looking Chocolate & Pear Cake this week
5. Love the idea of these Blackberry & White Chocolate Volcano Cakes – So seasonal from Chocolate Log Blog
6. A true signal that we are in autumn when we see Apple & Blackberry Crumble appearing from Julie’s Family Kitchen. Just yum!

Thanks again for joining in this week everyone – Our new link is now open! The badge is below if you could add to your post and share the love!

Casa Costello
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I’m way for a couple of days next week so the linky will be open until the Wednesday night (will tell you more about it on my return! :-)) The roundup will be up on the Thursday and I’ll continue sharing like mad throughout the week.

Feel free to enter as many bakes as you like – Old baking posts are fine as long as they link up to this week’s post. I share all entries on Twitter, Google+, Comment and link to them all in the weekly roundup. I also pin each entry – Feel free to follow the Bake of the Week Pinterest Board here

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I’m linking up to a few other blogs as usual this week – A Mummy Too’s Recipe of the Week, Honest Mum’s Tasty Tuesdays and Supergolden Bakes’ Cook, Blog, ShareAaaand CakeyBoi‘s & The Baking Explorer’s Treat Petite

tasty tuesdays honest mum


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