Hot Cross Bun & Butter Pudding

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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:

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Unsalted butter

6 red berry hot cross buns

1 punnet blueberries

4 large eggs

300ml double cream

30ml milk

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.

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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.

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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.

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8. Beat the eggs, cream and milk together and pour over the hot cross buns.

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9. Allow this to soak into the buns for 5 minutes.

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10. Break the chocolate squares into smaller pieces and use to outline your cross.

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11. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until the egg and cream mixture has set.

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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.

Valentines Cocktails & Mocktails – Strawberry inspired Bellini

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Christmas is over, and in a flash, I see all that is romantic and lovely in the shops awaiting the lovers of this world to embrace the season.  Not to be outdone by the festivities, even though I’ve been with my husband for *cough* 32 years this year (I know, I know; I don’t look it do I, but I was VERY young when we met! HAHA!) I jumped at the challenge work with the Central England Co-Operative and create a Valentine’s Day Cocktail (or non alcoholic Mocktail).   What I did end up with is one very tasty and very versatile drink which can be made either way, to your preference. Just a few simple ingredients and you have a delicious drink to toast your loved one.  Here’s how:

One Bottle of Cava (Sparkling Elderflower and White Grape juice for the non-alcohlic version).  Alternatively you could choose a bottle of Prosecco.

1 Lemon

One punnet of strawberries

A little bit of caster sugar

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Chill your Cava (or Elderflower and Grape juice) until very cold.

Using a very sharp knife (I love mine from I.O.Shen), slice up 6 ripe, juicy strawberries and add these to a mini blender with a squeeze of lemon juice and 2tsp caster sugar.

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Blitz until you get a smooth syrup.

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Pour the strawberry syrup into a champagne flute up to about 1/3 of a glass.

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Top up with Cava (Elderflower and White Grape juice).

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Slice a strawberry to decorate your glass.  It’s always pretty to leave the leaves and stalk on as decoration, don’t you think?

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Enjoy with a cheeky square (or several) of Co-Operative Fair Trade Truly Irresistable Ghana milk chocolate with toffee and red Himalayan Salt.

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Much love and cheers to you all!
imageRosie xx

I was provided with vouchers from the Central England Co-Operative to purchase the ingredients to create my cocktail/mocktail.

Ndali vanilla gift swap

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I’ve been invited to take part in the Ndali Vanilla Swap that’s taking place at Fortnum & Mason’sprestigious store in Piccadilly, London on Monday 24th September. The event is also in association with Kenwood and The Fair Trade Foundation and has been organised by Vanessa Kimble, author of Prepped.
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The criteria of the afternoon involves us making or baking a product, or products, in up to 4 categories:
1. Biscuits
2. Cake/cupcakes
3. Sweets
4. Preserves
I’ve chosen to enter the biscuit & the cake categories with two recipes that I will share with you here.
For my biscuit recipe, I’m making a rustic vanilla, oat, cranberry & white chocolate biscuit. Whilst my cake is a rich vanilla infused elderflower sponge with a vanilla bean frosting and decorated with fondant.
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IMG_0976 IMG_0975  As the name suggests, it’s a gift swap in as much as we produce our creations to go in to a draw, according to the category entered. We are then lucky enough to draw an equivalent gift which has been lovingly created by a fellow attendee which we will no doubt marvel at and possibly enjoy on the train home later that evening.
We each have some wonderful Ndali vanilla product to use in our creations. I really can’t recommend their vanilla powder enough! The fragrance is sublime, whilst the taste is incredibly intense, yet gentle at the same time; a truly amazing product! Along with the Ndali vanilla, we will be using Fairtrade products where possible.
To give you a potted history of Ndali vanilla; Lulu Sturdy inherited a former tea plantation and, after experimenting with other crops, settled on vanilla. She now grows premium quality Fair Trade vanilla on her organic 1,000 acre mixed tropical farm, Ndali. She also processes the individual vanilla crops of hundreds of small farmers who she has helped to gain Fair Trade deals. Growing, hand pollinating, harvesting and processing are all highly labour intensive. The cream of the crop is packaged under the Fair Trade ‘Ndali’ brand for retail. There are still a lot of farmers in the area who do not have Fair Trade deals.
Fair Trade makes an incredible difference to the lives of producers; it’s not just a brand. Learning about these growers has convinced me that the deals brokered through Fair Trade make a huge difference to the lives of the farmers and their families. Many are subject to exploitation by unscrupulous traders.
You can’t fail to be moved by one farmer’s statement: “We don’t want charity, we just want a fair price for what we have grown”
Demand for vanilla outstrips the supply of vanilla beans and, sadly, most UK vanilla flavouring is synthetic with the vast majority of it going into manufactured foods. In home baking, we can avoid this ‘vanilla essence’ and buy pure vanilla in pods, extract and powder form. Of course, its more expensive than it’s synthetic substitute, but in terms of quality and flavour, there really is no substitute worth considering. Next time you shop for vanilla please consider not only the quality of the product that you’re buying, but also the life changes you are helping to make for the Ugandan vanilla growers and pay a fair price.