Rosewater, Pistachio, Cranberry, Blueberry & White Chocolate Oat Cookies

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Wow! That’s a mouthful of a recipe title for sure! However, it does tell you exactly what’s in the cookies I made, doesn’t it?

Inspired by the original recipe by the finalist of the Great British Bake Off, Holly Bell, which is incredibly versatile and can easily be altered, depending on your mood and fancy.  Last night, I decided to go a little Persian with some wonderfully fragrant Nielsen Massey Rosewater, some delicious green pistachios from Sainsbury’s, along with some cranberry & blueberry mix which I’d bought from Holland and Barratt and some creamy chunks of Callebeaut white chocolate.  The recipe made about 21 cookies (I forgot to count before we started eating them, still slightly warm from the oven, sorry!)

 

  • 250g Butter, room temperature
  • 150g Soft brown sugar
  • 1½tsp Nielsen Massey Rosewater
  • 150g Self Raising flour
  • 230g Quaker Porridge Oats
  • 100g Cranberry & Blueberry mix
  • 100g White chocolate chunks
  • 100g Pistachios, chopped

Rosewater, Pistachio, Cranberry, Blueberry & White Chocolate Oat Cookies

  1. Preheat your oven to 160ºC.
  2. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper (I used 4 baking sheets and baked them in pairs).
  3. Cream the butter and sugar, along with the rosewater until light and fluffy. (I was watching The Fall on BBC iPlayer as I was baking, can you tell?!)  It’s much easier to use a hand mixer when creaming your butter and sugar, and I use my Kenwood K-Mix one.

Rosewater, Pistachio, Cranberry, Blueberry & White Chocolate Oat Cookies

  1. Add in the flour and oats and stir to combine fully.
  2. Gently stir in the cranberries, blueberries, chocolate chunks and chopped pistachios.

Rosewater, Pistachio, Cranberry, Blueberry & White Chocolate Oat Cookies

Rosewater, Pistachio, Cranberry, Blueberry & White Chocolate Oat Cookies

  1. Take out plum sized balls (I used a level table spoon measure for my cookies).
  2. Place the cookies on to your baking tray and flatten them out roughly to about 1cm thick.  You need to leave about 2cm between them to allow them to spread a little.

Rosewater, Pistachio, Cranberry, Blueberry & White Chocolate Oat Cookies

  1. Bake for 16 minutes.
  2. The cookies will still be soft when you remove them from the oven, so allow them to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes.

Rosewater, Pistachio, Cranberry, Blueberry & White Chocolate Oat Cookies

  1. Remove the cookies to a cooling tray and leave until cold.
  2. Store in an airtight container, but you won’t be able to resist them for too long!

Rosewater, Pistachio, Cranberry, Blueberry & White Chocolate Oat Cookies

This recipe uses Nielsen Massey rosewater which had previously been sent to me as a gift, along with other vanillas and flavourings.

Coffee Viennese Whirls

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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.

Coffee Viennese Whirls
Biscuits:

Filling:

  1. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. Beat the butter and the icing sugar together for 3-4 minutes until light and airy.
  3. Grind the vanilla powder and coffee together until very fine.
  4. Add to the butter and icing sugar mix along with the flour.
  5. Stir until very well combined. This should produce a fairly stiff paste.
  6. Place a large star nozzle in a piping bag and place the biscuit mixture into the piping bag.
  7. Pipe an even number of circles of the biscuit mixture onto the parchment paper and place into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 160℃ (fan), 180℃ conventional.
  9. Place the baking tray into the oven for 15 minutes until the biscuits are pale in colour.
  10. Remove from the oven, but leave the biscuits on the trays to cool for 5 minutes.
  11. Transfer the biscuits to a cooling rack and leave until cold. (These biscuits are very ‘short’ and therefore quite delicate, so handle them gently).
  12. Beat the Philadelphia cheese, butter, icing sugar and coffee extract together until smooth.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.

Coffee Viennese Whirls
Thanks to Lynn for giving me the inspiration to play with this old recipe and to give it a different little twist.

Meaty Mac’n’Cheese with Cathedral City

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Cheese. Cheese. CHEEEEEESE!!!!! Do you know what? I think I should have been born a mouse!  I want you to go on a little journey with me. C’mon, it’s easy, just close your eyes… think of a whole block little bite of mature cheddar cheese from the West Country. Think of closing your mouth as your teeth sink into the cold, delicious, taste bud tingling creaminess…..  Oh! Sorry! I lost myself for a moment there! HAHA!  Back to being serious, because that’s what I am (honest!)

Did you know that over 20% of the country eat cheese at least once every 4 days? 55% of us choose the cheeseboard over dessert (I’d have both, if I’m honest, whilst over 65% of the national always have cheese in their fridges?  No wonder it’s the Nation’s favourite ingredient!

So, what better way when the British summer is just beginning and it’s still cold and rainy outside like the deepest, darkest depths of winter, than to make a hearty meal to serve at the dinner table for all to tuck into, because almost two thirds of us prefer to enjoy a meal around the table with family and friends, and what better ingredient to use than Cathedral City mature cheddar cheese?  I know of not one reason why!

Cathedral City Meaty Mac'n'Cheese

  • 15ml Rapeseed oil
  • 100g Pancetta, cubed
  • 2 Chicken breasts, cubed
  • 200g Macaroni
  • 10ml Plain flour
  • 5ml Dijon mustard
  • 50ml Chicken Stock
  • 300ml Creme Fraiche
  • 200g Cathedral City Mature Cheddar cheese
  • Ground black pepper

Cathedral City Meaty Mac'n'Cheese

  • Heat the oven to 200℃.
  • In a large pan, gently heat the oil.
  • Add the pancetta and the cubed chicken breasts and cook for 5-10 minutes until starting to colour.
  • Whilst you’re browning the meat, bring a large pan of water to the boil.
  • Add the macaroni to the pan of boiling water, stir, reduce to a simmer and leave to cook for 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the flour fairly evenly all over the browned pancetta and chicken and stir to coat thoroughly.
  • Add the mustard and the chicken stock and bring to the boil, stirring continuously.
  • Add the creme fraiche and heat through, but do not boil.
  • Grate the cheese (sneak yourself a bite – go on; you’re working hard and you deserve it!  You must also eat that last little, annoying, bit of cheese that you can’t grate if you value your nails and fingertips.

Cathedral City Meaty Mac'n'Cheese

  • Stir through 150g of the grated cheese until melted.
  • Drain the macaroni and stir this through the pan of pancetta, chicken and creamy cheese sauce.
  • Season with pepper to taste.
  • Have another taste, just to make sure that the grating didn’t interfere with the delicious taste of the cheese! Sprinkle (what’s left) of the cheese over the mac’n’cheese.

Cathedral City Meaty Mac'n'Cheese

  • Place into the oven for 15-20 minutes until the top is golden, crispy and bubbling beautifully.

Cathedral City Meaty Mac'n'Cheese

  • Share with the family if you really must, but make sure they leave you some for a indulgent, tasty snack later!

Cathedral City Meaty Mac'n'Cheese

Most importantly, you must always remember the rules of cooking with cheese;

  • Taste a bit as soon as you open the packet.
  • Taste a bit more as you prepare it at every stage of the recipe… just in case!
  • Only share the finished dish, if you really must.
  • Find Cathedral City on Facebook and find out what kind of cheese lover you are.

So, now I’ve shared my #CheeseRules with you because I truly to #LoveCheese tell me what are yours?  C’mon, enjoy cheese and ‘Welcome to the Club’

The recipe was adjusted to feature and include Cathedral City Mature Cheddar Cheese. I received a voucher to purchase ingredients for this recipe.

Speculaas Spiced Sweet Potato and Carrot Cake

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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:

200ml Farringtons cold pressed rapeseed oil

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.