Gluten free no bake chocolate peanut butter pie

This little beauty is an absolute must for any peanut butter lover. I’d been eyeing it up in the newest Deliciously Ella book for a couple of weeks and finally got round to whipping it up at the weekend.

It’s a gluten free recipe which produces a beautiful pie with an oaty base, a layer of pure peanut butter all topped off with a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate topping made with pure cacao butter.

Granted, cacao butter and cacao powder aren’t exactly cupboard essentials, but I was intrigued to see what kind of finish they’d produce. I bought my powder in Atlantic Village and had to get the cacao butter on Amazon, but it was worth it!

Ingredients

For the base

200g oats (I used Sainsbury’s standard porridge oats)

40g coconut oil, melted

30g peanut butter

30g honey (I used Quince Honey Farm’s clear Devon flower)

For the middle layer

150g peanut butter (I didn’t weigh mine, I just dolloped on until I was happy I’d used enough)

For the chocolate topping

120g coconut oil

100g raw cacao powder

30g cacao butter

60g peanut butter

60g honey

60g coconut sugar (you can just use caster sugar if you like)

Method

  1. First make the chocolate layer by simply popping all the ingredients in a medium pan and melting together over a low heat. To begin with it might all look a bit dry, but stick with it and it’ll turn into a glossy, gorgeous mixture. Set aside to cool.
  2. While that’s cooling, make the base by firstly whizzing the oats in a food processor until they turn into a sort of oaty flour. Then add in all the other ingredients with two tbsp of water and two tbsp of the chocolate mix. Blend it again until it turns into a lovely sticky mix.
  3. Press the crumbly mix into a 23cm loose bottomed tart tin until it’s nicely compacted.
  4. Next spoon your peanut butter over the top until you’ve got a lovely layer, and pop the whole lot into the freezer for around 15 minutes, or until you’re confident the chocolate won’t mix with the peanut butter.
  5. Finally pour the chocolate mixture over the top and spread it out evenly before topping with lots of chopped nuts. Pop it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. I stored mine in the fridge as I was worried it’d melt1

Enjoy! This is a super rich tart so a little slice goes a long way, and I’d highly recommend it with cream or ice cream. YUM.

Oscar decided to lend a helping hand by falling asleep on the worktop. Useless cat.

White chocolate and raspberry cupcakes

White chocolate and raspberries are such a winning combo. These cupcakes are gorgeous little bites of fluffy goodness with fresh raspberries and chocolate chunks studded inside. You really can’t go wrong!

I had my new Wilton 2D nozzle delivered this week and I couldn’t wait to give it a try, so making these cupcakes was the perfect excuse. I also bought some Sugarflair pink food colouring so wanted to use this to make a pretty pink buttercream icing for the top.

I decided to top mine with a blue ‘raspberry’ sweetie, but the beauty of these cupcakes is you could add whatever topping you wanted, or none at all as the rose pattern is so pretty on its own. You could opt to top them with a fresh raspberry or a couple of chunks of white chocolate. YUM.

Ingredients

75g fresh raspberries

75g raspberry jam (or strawberry, if that’s what you’ve got in your fridge)

150g white chocolate, chopped into chunks

150g caster sugar

188g butter (I used Stork)

3 free range eggs

1.5 tbsp milk

225g self-raising flour

For the icing

500g icing sugar

160g butter

splash of milk

food colouring (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C fan and pop 18 cake cases into one or two muffin tins (if your tin only hold 12 cases you can either bake two batches or bake six of the cupcakes without using a tin, but they might not hold their shape so well).
  2. Put the jam into a bowl followed by the raspberries and mix together, lightly crushing the berries.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together in a food mixer or using a handheld whisk until pale and creamy. Mix in the eggs and milk until well combined. Don’t worry if the mixture splits a bit – the flour will help rectify this.
  4. Sift in the flour and fold until just combined (i.e. don’t mix it furiously). Pop in your white chocolate and mix again to combine. Finally, add in the raspberry mixture and stir through until marbled.
  5. Measure out the mixture into your cupcake cases so each has an even amount (aim for around 50g per case).
  6. Bake in your preheated oven for between 12 and 15 minutes until the tops are golden brown and springy. Leave to cool completely.
  7. Meanwhile make your icing by beating the icing sugar with the butter until the mixture resembles sand. Next, add in a tiny splashes of milk until you have a nice, thick buttercream. I can’t emphasise the word ‘tiny’ enough here. If you add too milk much the buttercream will be too thin, then you’ll have to add more icing sugar. So less is more!
  8. Add in your food colouring if using. Sugarflair colours are SO strong I only had to use a pea-sized amount and it actually make my buttercream a bit too pink! If you use a liquid food colouring, not a gel, this could alter the consistency of your icing, so bear this in mind.
  9. Either spread the icing on top the cooled cupcakes or, if you want to get all fancy pants, pipe it on using a Wilton 2D nozzle to make a rose effect. Start in the middle by pipping out a big blob and from there pipe in circles, working outwards until the whole cake is covered.
  10. Either leave as they are or pop your chosen topping on the top!

These little lovelies would be a perfect present for Mother’s Day. If you haven’t got the time to make any yourself, or just don’t fancy it, I’ll happily take orders for these – just let me know by Saturday. Either give me a text/call on 07773604311 or email francesca.taffs@gmail.com to place your order.

Oscar thinks you should…

Mini egg fudge

You may have guessed by now that I’m a bit obsessed with mini eggs. I could eat bags and bags of them at a time. It’s a problem.

So when I stumbled across a recipe for mini egg fudge on Jane’s Patisserie’s blog it was all I could think about. The next day I headed straight off to the shops to grab all the necessary components, leaving my boyfriend to do some DIY. We’re not a stereotypical couple, honest.

This, as Jane says, is a ‘cheat’s fudge’ as it’s genuinely so easy to make. It involves just a handful of ingredients and within a few hours you’ll have beautiful, creamy, chocolatey fudge studded with mini eggs. I mean c’mon, sounds good right?!

Ingredients

397g can of condensed milk

25g butter

400g white chocolate

100g icing sugar

360g Cadbury mini eggs, bashed into bits (some can remain whole)

1tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Line a 23cm squared tin (I just lined the base and it came out fine)
  2. Stick the condensed milk, chocolate, butter and vanilla extract into a large pan and melt together on a low heat, keeping a close eye so the chocolate doesn’t stick.
  3. Sift in the icing sugar and beat to combine.
  4. Leave the mixture to cool for around five minutes but make sure you stir in every minute or so to stop a skin forming.
  5. Mix in 3/4 of the mini eggs and pour the whole lot into your tin. Spread the remaining eggs over the top and press them into the fudge.
  6. Pop the tin in the fridge and leave for about three hours before cutting the lot into little (or large!) squares. This is one the hardest bits so make sure you’ve got a super sharp knife. Put the fudge back in the fridge until completely set.

Enjoy! If this doesn’t tickle your fancy as little Easter treat then you must be dead inside. Or have no tastebuds.

Oscar popped in to wake me up and make me go to the shops, so I must partly thank him for this fudgey goodness.

Buttermilk scones

It’s almost that time of year again when you can look forward to a cream tea in the sunshine at the weekend. So, with that in mind, I thought I’d whip up a batch of soft, fluffy scones to get myself in the mood for summer eating! These are a bit different to scones I’ve made before but I adore the taste and texture that buttermilk gives to cakes so, why not use them in scones too?! I used a BBC Good Food recipe – honestly you cannot go wrong with their guidance!

I adapted it very slightly by adding some chopped dates into half of the mixture. I’m not a huge fan of sultanas but I could eat dates until the cows come home. They add lovely little bites of sweetness into the scones.

Their recipe says to use a 284ml carton of buttermilk but the ones I got from Sainsbury’s was 300ml – I used it all and it did the job just fine! I think it would’ve been a bit dry had I used any less…

Ingredients

450g self-raising flour

Pinch of salt

100g cold butter, cubed

85g golden caster sugar

300ml buttermilk

2tsp vanilla extract (I forgot to add this in and they still tasted good to me!)4

200g chopped dates (don’t worry about being fancy and using medjool dates, the normal ones will do)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200C fan.
  2. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, rub the butter and self-raising flour together with your fingertips until it resembles sand. Otherwise if you’re lazy like me just use a food processor. Pulse or mix in the caster sugar.
  3. Pop the whole pot of buttermilk in the microwave (removing the lid) and heat in 20 second bursts until warm. Pop the whole lot into a large bowl followed by the flour mixture and mix together with a knife.
  4. Bring all the ingredients together in a ball using your hands, then turn half of it out onto a lightly floured worktop.
  5. Press the mixture out until you have a nice thick slab (a couple of inches, roughly) and stamp out some rounds using a cutter. I used the smallest cutter I had which was about 4cm, but you can use whatever size you like. You may choose to opt for your largest cutter and end up with mammoth scones! Whatever floats your boat.
  6. Next, mix your chopped dates into the other half of the mixture and repeat step five.
  7. Pop the  scones onto a baking tray (I put six on per tray), brush the tops with beaten egg or milk and bake for around 13 minutes (this depends on your oven of course).

It’s now time to enjoy your beautiful scones! I will say now that if anyone reading this dares put jam on first then you are not worthy of these scones. Go hang your head in shame or move to Cornwall.

Oh, here’s Oscar after a hard days’ work.

Mini egg brownies

Easter isn’t far away and the shops are already stacked full of creme eggs and the like. I’ve been wanting to make some mini egg brownies for a while as I knew it would be a winning combo.

I’ve finally perfected my brownie recipe so am going to start experimenting with lots of different flavour combos! This was a cracking one to start off with. You’ll notice I’ve included 100g of dulce de leche in my recipe – I use this every time now as it just gives the brownies a little something special. It makes them super gooey and even more indulgent. Trust me, it works!

Ingredients

200g good quality dark chocolate (70% minimum cocoa solids)

200g butter

100g dulce de leche

4 free range eggs

200g caster sugar

130g plain flour

50g cocoa powder

pinch of salt

two 90g bags of Cadbury mini eggs

Method

  1. Melt the chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan.
  2. Whisk the dulce de leche, sugar and eggs together until well combined, and then pour the silky chocolate mix on top and mix again.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and pinch of salt in a bowl, then add this to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  4. Smash up one and a half bags of mini eggs by bashing them in the bag with a rolling pin, then add them to mix.
  5. Pour the whole lovely lot into a 23cm square baking tin (mine was 20cm so the brownies were  just a bit thicker) and stud the mix with some mini eggs (I used 16). This also gives you a guide for when you come to cutting them up! Bake at 180C fan for around 40 minutes. Mine were still super gooey in the middle so you may need an extra five minutes.

Eat, and enjoy! Looks like I’m not the only one in this house who likes mini eggs…