Whilst I’ve been off work recovering from last Friday’s knee surgery for the last couple of days, boredom is taking its’ toll. I can’t stand for long periods. I can’t drive, and can only walk very short distances. What I can do, though, is browse the internet for ideas from inspirational people. My friend Lynn over on Ink Sugar Spice, shared a delicious recipe recently for Pistachio and Mascarpone Cream Viennese Sandwiches. I have no pistachio paste, but I do have (and love) Nielsen Massey Coffee Extract, and as well all love coffee in this house, it was a done deal!
Digging out my old trusty Be-Ro recipe book that my mum bought me many, many years ago (it was my first ever cook book). I know that this recipe works as I’ve used it lots in the past. Just a tweak and a little twist was all it needed to produce these deliciously crumbly and delicately tasting biscuits.
- 225g Butter at room temperature (it needs to be soft)
- 75g Icing sugar
- 2.5ml Ndali vanilla powder
- 2.5ml Douwe Egberts coffee
- 225g Self raising flour
- Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
- Beat the butter and the icing sugar together for 3-4 minutes until light and airy.
- Grind the vanilla powder and coffee together until very fine.
- Add to the butter and icing sugar mix along with the flour.
- Stir until very well combined. This should produce a fairly stiff paste.
- Place a large star nozzle in a piping bag and place the biscuit mixture into the piping bag.
- Pipe an even number of circles of the biscuit mixture onto the parchment paper and place into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 160℃ (fan), 180℃ conventional.
- Place the baking tray into the oven for 15 minutes until the biscuits are pale in colour.
- Remove from the oven, but leave the biscuits on the trays to cool for 5 minutes.
- Transfer the biscuits to a cooling rack and leave until cold. (These biscuits are very ‘short’ and therefore quite delicate, so handle them gently).
- Beat the Philadelphia cheese, butter, icing sugar and coffee extract together until smooth.
- Transfer the filing mixture to a piping bag and pipe a circle on to half of the biscuits. Sandwich the other half of the biscuits together.
- These will keep for a couple of days in the fridge (store them there, due to the butter and Philadelphia), but allow them to come back to room temperature to improve the flavour and smooth texture of the filling.
Thanks to Lynn for giving me the inspiration to play with this old recipe and to give it a different little twist.
Carrot cake is always a huge favourite in my household and, after being send a sample of vandotsch Speculaas Spice Mix to try, I thought I’d treat my husband today and make him his favourite cake but with this added flavour twist.
For those that don’t know what speculaas spice is; it’s a blend of cinnamon, cloves, ginger and other spices originally from Dutch bakers that are traditionally used to flavour biscuits. Based on his Dutch grandmothers’ sweet tasting spice mix the founder of The Speculaas Spice Company has now developed his own unique blend in a powdered form which you can add to a variety of ingredients and drinks, which you can buy from their website.
I baked my cake in a Nordicware rose shaped bundt tin today.
For my speculaas spiced sweet potato and carrot cake, you’ll need:
250g Soft brown sugar
3 Eggs, separated
100g Sweet potato, grated
50g Carrot, grated
10ml Lime juice
250g Self raising flour
2.5ml Bi-carbonate of soda
5ml Baking powder
10ml Vandotsch speculaas spice mix
For the frosting:
175g Mascarpone cheese
150g Philadelphia cheese
100g Icing sugar
10ml Vandotsch speculaas spice mix.
2 crushed biscuits, crushed, to decorate
1. Heat your oven to 180℃/160℃ fan.
2. Grease the inside of you bundt tin (I use my Homemade Cake Release recipe to grease mine, then lightly flour the tin, tapping out any excess.
3. In a large bowl, place your oil, sugar and the egg yolks and beat until well mixed.
4. Add the grated sweet potato and carrot along with the lime juice and mix thoroughly.
5. Sift in the flour, bi-carbonate of soda, baking powder and Vandotsch speculaas spice mix and stir to combine.
6. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks.
7. Fold the egg whites through the cake mix gently until no white areas remain.
8. Tip the cake mix into your prepared bundt tin, making sure you fill all the detail with cake mixture.
9. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when tested in the deepest part of the cake.
10. Leave the cake in the tin for 10 minutes to cool a little.
11. Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack and leave until cold.
12. For the frosting, beat together the mascarpone and Philadelphia cream cheeses with the icing sugar and Vandotsch speculaas spice mix.
13. Spread the frosting over the cake.
14. Sprinkle with crushed biscuits and serve.
As this cake has a frosting made from mascarpone and cream cheese, the cake must be stored in the fridge to keep it fresh. Remember to remove the cake from the fridge about 10 minutes before serving to allow it to come back to room temperature.
The 25g refill of Vandotsch speculaas spice mix was sent to me free of charge. I was under no obligation to produce or share a recipe using this product. No other payment has been received in respect of this recipe.
It’s Spring and the weather is starting to heat up a little. Flowers are starting to show and share their beautiful colours with the world as they awaken from winter. It’s Easter this weekend; a time for rebirth, and the clocks ‘Spring forward’ giving us lighter nights to enjoy.
I’ve not quite joined the cold pudding club yet, as the nights can still give us a chill, so I’ve decided to choose an old favourite for my recipe creation with the Central England Co-Operative and bring you a twist on a bread & butter pudding, but using hot cross buns instead, and adding extra fruit. These red berry hot cross buns are absolutely delicious and I’m really glad I didn’t use both packets when making my recipe as I know I’ve got spares to enjoy toasted with butter and a coffee tomorrow evening. This is how I’ve made my Hot Cross Bun & Butter Pudding. All my ingredients are Co-Operative own brand products:
6 red berry hot cross buns
1 punnet blueberries
4 large eggs
300ml double cream
Dark chocolate infused with orange oil
Custard to serve
1. Preheat your oven to 160°C.
2. Slice your hot cross buns horizontally and butter both of the cut sides.
3. Butter the inside of an ovenproof dish.
4. Place the bottom slices of the buns, buttered side down, into the base of your dish. Cutting them to fit the gaps.
5. Sprinkle the blueberries over the buns.
6. Using the cross on the bun tops, cut the bun tops into strips about 1.5cm wide. Make a cross with these, cut side down.
7. Cut the remaining pieces into chunks and place them around your cross, cut side up to give a contrast.
8. Beat the eggs, cream and milk together and pour over the hot cross buns.
9. Allow this to soak into the buns for 5 minutes.
10. Break the chocolate squares into smaller pieces and use to outline your cross.
11. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until the egg and cream mixture has set.
12. Serve with custard.
This recipe was created for the Central England Co-Operative. I received vouchers to purchase my ingredients to create this recipe.