Home made honeycomb

I have never made honeycomb before but it is soooo easy, only don’t try it before it is cool, I burnt my tongue – ouch!

It is really delicious. You need 80g butter, 160g caster sugar and 80g golden syrup, heat gently until sugar is dissolved and then rapidly boil for 5 mins but DO NOT STIR!! When it is a nice golden honeycomb colour take off the heat add 2 tsps bicarb – watch it rise and bubble and then pour into a tin to set. If you want thick light, bubbly honeycomb don’t spread it out like I did, either way it is delicious and so easy!!

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Salted Caramel sauce

My new love is salted caramel, it is beyond words! The combination of creamy sweetness and then the salt – but not just any old salt, it has to be fleur de sel which is quite easily obtainable. I will never again buy caramel it is just heavenly and far, far nicer than any shop bought – do try it!

4oz sugar
1 1 /2 oz butter
2 fl oz double cream
1 tsp fleur de sel

Melt the sugar over a medium heat and when it turns a deep amber colour add the butter and whisk until melted. Add the fleur de sel and cream, take off the heat and whisk until smooth. Easy!

You can fill cakes, pour over ice cream, whatever you desire!

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White chocolate and caramel cheesecake

I made this today as a trial run for Christmas Eve and it is heaven on a plate. It is my basic cheesecake recipe (unbaked) with melted Belgian white chocolate and caramel pieces that I made crushed inside and then caramel shards on top. It is so scrummy!!! Half of it went to the children and the other half is sitting in the fridge but I guarantee it won’t be there tomorrow!!

Recipe:
7oz caster sugar
4tbsps cold water
200g digestive biscuits
150g butter
2 x 200g tubs of Philadelphia
300g double cream
125g bar of good quality white chocolate
Crush the biscuits and melt the butter, combine and press into a loose bottom tin. Put in fridge to set for about an hour.
Put the caster sugar in a saucepan with the cold water and heat gently until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Bring the liquid to the boil and cook for 4-5 minutes without stirring until the sugar syrup turns a deep golden brown. Swirl the caramel around the pan gently as it bubbles.
      As soon as the caramel is the colour of toffee, remove from the heat and carefully pour onto the non stick mat in swirls and leave to cool. When fully set, peel off the mat and set aside 1/3 for the topping, crush the remainder in a plastic bag.
      Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Take off the heat and leave to cool but do not allow to set.
      Whip the cream in one bowl and in another put the cream cheese. Stir it until smooth and add the crushed caramel, the melted chocolate and then the whipped cream. Once combined pour onto the biscuit base and leave to set in the fridge. Just before serving decorate with the remaining caramel shards. Enjoy!!

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Fabulous Mince Pies

I have perfected my mince pie recipe and you must give it a go! For the pastry I made a sweet shortcrust and added the zest of an orange to it which makes the most delicious pastry. I add cranberries soaked in orange juice and zest to the bought mincemeat and it results in delicious mince pies, you will never buy another one in a shop again!

For the sweet shortcrust pastry:

150g plain flour
50g cornflour
100g chilled and cubed butter
2tbsps icing sugar
1 medium egg

Plus:

Zest and juice of an orange
1/2 jar mincemeat of your choice
30g dried cranberries

Combine pastry ingredients in a food processor until it comes together adding a small amount of water if needed.

Wrap in cling film and chill in fridge for at least an hour to allow the pastry to relax. Soak the cranberries in the orange juice for this time and then add to the mincemeat with some more orange zest.

Roll out the pastry and cut out the bottoms and stars for the tops, fill with mincemeat and bake at 200 degrees for 15-20 mins until nicely browned. When cool, sprinkle with icing sugar. Stores for a good 5-6 days in an airtight container if they last that long!!

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50th Birthday cupcakes

I made these today for a 50th birthday tomorrow.
Vanilla cupcakes frosted with swiss meringue buttercream. Dusted with glitter and sugar pearls. 
Sugar butterflies to go on top in the morning and they will all be displayed on a clear acrylic stand.
I will have photos of that after they have been delivered!
I cut the wrappers on my Cricut in matching pink and purple polka dot card.

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Mini Banana Nut Loaves

Whilst we were in Florida I found the most delicious banana nut bread in Bob Evans so I had to have a go at making some. I adapted a recipe and made these this afternoon and boy are they delicious!!

Banana Loaf
250g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
 115g butter
115g soft light brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 bananas
40g chopped hazelnuts
2 tbsp milk
Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas mark 4. Lightly grease a 23x13cm loaf tin or 10 mini loaf tins.
 
In a large bowl, combine flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder.
 

In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten and fold in chopped hazelnuts. Pour mixture into prepared loaf tin or mini loaf tins.
 

Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes for a loaf tin and 25 mins for mini loaf tins and until a knife inserted into centre of the loaf comes out clean. Leave to cool in tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire cooling rack.

If you can wait until they are cool, eat and enjoy!!

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Cranberry Tea Loaf

I am just making Ruth’s Berry Tea Loaf, the fruit is soaking in strong black tea. I have used cranberries, raisins and sultanas as they are my favourite. Back later with photos and the taste test!

and here it is! Absolutely gorgeous it is too. Yum!!

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Whoopie pies

I have been meaning to make whoopie pies for ages so had a baking day today! I didn’t realise how much these spread when cooking so they are rather large!! I filled them with fresh double cream and strawberry conserve and they are delicious!! Crispy on the outside and soft inside, mmmm 🙂