Sunday, October 4, 2015

Chocolate Walnut Popcorn Bark, ..Rustic-Style!

Oh my, this needs a license to eat it, ..I can't even!.. 

..Ok ladies, (and gents?) you know how it goes, right?, when we get those undeniable cravings for chocolate!

..and FYI: 

"If you crave chocolate, it doesn't mean your body has a chocolate deficiency, although I think most people would prefer that. Chocolate is high in magnesium. Cravings for it often indicate that your body is deficient in magnesium, which is a common deficiency."
I say still have the chocolate, not just the magnesium! Life is too short to be overly anal, or anal, period!

Also, ..sometimes, there's this underlying want for something salty, ..together with the sweet! Oh yeah, you're understanding me now, ladies! (gents, not so much at this point!) 

I had that last weekend, that mixed craving, Sunday to be precise, ..that insatiable need for something sweet and salty, ..and crunchy! Something, something, but what!? ..this is often a symptom of PMSing, stressing, freaking out, get the picture! the height of my stress, my need to bake kicked in! ..baking calms me, therefore when I'm a 'hot mess' I either bake or clean the house or run! ..I would like to also go on a tropical vacation when I'm feeling this way, a location with palm trees and infinite amounts of mojitos! ..but the latter isn't going to happen anytime soon!

This frenzied state led to something very delicious, very spontaneous and very quick and easy! A baking quickie, if you will! ..and alas I was deliciously satiated, and as calm as a cucumber after my sweet and salty encounter, with Mr. CW Popcorn Bark! ..oh la la..

And so if you want your own encounter with this delicious treat, check out the recipe below, and go make some! Enjoy!..

     Chocolate Walnut Popcorn Bark


Printable Recipe


4, 100g bars of Cadbury milk chocolate or milk chocolate of choice
1 cup walnuts, or nut/s of choice
2 cups popcorn, lightly crushed, salted (I used G.H. Cretors Organic, but any good quality popcorn will do)

  1. Line a 20 x 30cm baking tray with parchment paper. 
  2. Melt the milk chocolate in a double boiler, then allow chocolate to cool slightly.
  3. Add most of the walnuts and popcorn to the melted chocolate, and fold gently! Reserve some walnuts and popcorn for sprinkling over.
  4. Let chocolate cool a little more before pouring onto tray. 
  5. Pour chocolate mixture onto the tray! 
  6. Top the rest of the walnuts and popcorn over the melted chocolate.
  7. Let bark set in refrigerator, about 2 hours, or until set. 
  8. Break into chunks before serving!


Friday, September 25, 2015

Apple Crumble & Custard Cupcakes

These extra-special cupcakes taste just like traditional crumble and custard! Topped with a light and fluffy whipped cream frosting and apple-shaped biscuits!
(as shown in pic below)

Prep Time: 50 minutes 
Bake Time: 55 minutes
Amount: 12 cupcakes!
Level: Moderately Easy


Birds Custard Powder
  • For the whipped cream frosting
    1/2 cup icing sugar

    3 tablespoons custard powder (I use Birds)
    1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
    1 cup whipping cream

  • For the cupcakes

    3 small gala apples, peeled, cored and diced
    3 tablespoons custard powder
    1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
    3/4 cup sugar
    3 large eggs, beaten (room temperature)
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 cup self-raising flour

  • For the biscuits & crumble topping

    1/3 cup sugar
    1/2 cup salted butter, chilled
    3/4 cup self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 to 2 pieces of white chocolate (melted, I used Bakers)

  • Method

    1. The frosting will need to chill in the fridge overnight, so make it the day before you want to serve the cakes. Sift the icing sugar and custard powder into a large bowl, add the vanilla extract and 4 tbsp of the whipping cream, then whisk until smooth.
    2. Tip all but 2 teaspoons of the remaining cream into a medium saucepan and heat gently until small bubbles start to appear around the edges of the pan – the cream should be hot, but not boiling. Gradually pour this into the bowl with the custard powder mix, whisking all the time. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and return to the heat. Cook gently for 4-6 mins, stirring all the time, until the mixture has thickened and the custard powder has dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and cover the surface directly with cling film. Leave to cool, then chill overnight.
    3. The next day, heat the oven to 350 F. Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with cupcake cases. Toss the apples and custard powder together in a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together, using an electric whisk, until light and fluffy. Slowly add the eggs and vanilla extract, whisking well after each addition. Fold in the flour, then stir through the custard powder- coated apples. Divide the mixture between the muffin cases and bake for 18-20 mins until lightly golden, or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Leave to cool on wire racks.
    4. Blitz all the ingredients for the crumble together in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Tip half the mixture onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment and bake for 5-10 minutes until lightly golden.
    5. Continue to pulse the remaining half of the crumble topping mixture until it comes together to form a dough, adding 1-2 tsp of the reserved double cream to bind, if needed. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill for 30 mins, or until firm.
    6. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a £1 coin. Using an apple-shaped and a leaf-shaped cutter, or a sharp knife, cut out 12 apple shapes and leaves. Lift the shapes with a palette knife and transfer to a baking tray lined with parchment. Bake for 8-10 mins until lightly golden. Leave to cool for 5 mins, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
    7. Melt the chocolate in a small bowl over a pan of simmering water, or pop in the microwave for 5-10 second bursts. Dab each leaf biscuit with a little of the melted chocolate and fix it to an apple biscuit. Leave to set.
    8. Whip the chilled custard cream icing to soft peaks, then transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle. Pipe some icing onto each cupcake, then smooth the surface using a small metal spatula or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle over some crumble, then insert an apple biscuit into the top.
    Recipe adapted from Good Food magazine

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

5 Things Tuesday - Autumn Desserts

 ..with Autumn almost upon us, and with my thoughts and ideas for my own recipes still in the works, I decided to grab 5 dessert recipes from my favourite bloggers, for this edition of 5 Things Tuesday! ..these are great dessert recipes for crisp Autumn days and evenings, fit for entertaining, or just as a special treat! ..'cause we all deserve a little treat every now and then, right!? RIGHT!  Enjoy!..

1. Salted Caramel Apple Cake by Brown Eyed Baker

This cake. Oh. My. Gosh. ..seriously, just make it! ..moist and slightly dense, and bursting with apple flavour, this one is going to get you many oooohhhhs and aaaahhhhs when you make it for friends and family!

2. Apple Crumble Pie by Sally's Baking Addiction

An apple pie to trump all other apple pies. I made this pie this past Summer, and I have to say it is one of the best apple pies I've ever made! The flavours in this pie burst through, and the crumble is to die for! Get your pie plate out and make this, ASAP! As Sally suggests, use a variety of apples to make this one. I used Golden Delicious, Gala, and Fuji apples for mine! Yum! 

3. Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust and Caramel Sauce by Once Upon A Chef  

The recipe is not difficult to do, as there aren't that many ingredients, but it will take time! It's totally worth the time for the end result! Especially if you love pumpkin pie! ..this pumpkin pie is totally delicious, ..and a bit different to "old school" Pumpkin Pie.

4. Chewy Peanut Butter Apple Bars by A Kitchen Addiction

As Jessica from A Kitchen Addictions says, "Apples and peanut butter just go so well together". And I wholeheartedly agree! I haven't made these yet, as it just came up on Jessica's blog today, but they sure do look tasty! I've tried other recipes from Jessica and loved them! These are on my list to bake this coming weekend! Let Apple picking season begin!

5. Slow Cooker Apple Crisp by The Taylor House

Another thing that gets put to more use as the weather gets colder, is the good 'ol slow cooker/crock pot! ..and once upon a time, I used my slow cooker just to make stews and soups! Move forward 10 years and I am making all kinds of yummy meals and desserts from it! And Apples cook slow and deliciously sweet in a slow cooker! This Apple Crisp, slow cooker style is deeeeeeelish! It is worth the wait, and the yummy aroma as it is cooking is out of this world!

Enjoy and Happy Fall Baking! 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Easy Peasy Key Lime Pie

I don't think that there is a better pie in the whole wide world than Key Lime Pie!..

..well, no, ..wait!, ..except for Pecan Pie! ..oh, and Apple Pie, and Sugar Pie! I love a good pie, ..and I wish I had the patience to make more pie, ..but I don't! The truth is, I am intimidated by making pie, rather by making the crust of a pie, makes me anxious for some reason to make pie dough! And therefore I like to take the easy way out, when I am making pie, and often choose pies that require a graham cracker crust (oh yum!), ..or better yet a ready made crust! I know, SHUDDER! ..but trust me when I say that Keebler makes some pretty awesome ready-made graham cracker crusts! Even their shortbread crust is awesome, you know for when you are in a hurry to make it for a dinner party, ..or you just want pie, somewhat homemade, ..somewhat ASAP! here comes this recipe! Here comes a quick and easy Key Lime Pie (it's eggless) that will have you wondering how something so quick to make can be so utterly orgasmic, ..note to self: mind out of the gutter, Nance!

There is 8-10 minutes of bake time for this pie, ..that IS it! ..and 6 ingredients! That is right, just 6 ingredients!

And with that said, let the pie making begin, ..oh and you don't need actual key limes to make it! I used good ol' limes and lime juice to make mine.

So, traditionally, a Key Lime Pie starts with a sweet graham cracker crust, that is filled with a creamy smooth key lime flavoured filling, and topped with lots of whipped cream. As its name implies, Key Lime Pie was first made in the Florida Keys, which is also where key limes are grown. Apparently, the recipe for Key Lime Pie came after the 1856 invention of sweetened condensed milk.  

Easy Peasy Key Lime Pie

Prep Time: 20 minutes 
Bake Time: 10 minutes
Amount: 1, 9 inch pie, baby!
Level: Easy Peasy


1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust 
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup sour cream (light or full fat)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup key lime juice (I used real time lime juice but you can squeeze the juice from about 12 limes or 20 key limes and see how those fingers feel afterwards!)
1 tablespoon grated lime zest


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, combine condensed milk, sour cream, pure vanilla extract, lime juice, and lime rind. Mix well and pour into graham cracker crust.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes! DO NOT BROWN! 
Chill pie in fridge and thoroughly before serving about two hours or even better overnight. 
Garnish with lime zest and Dollop with whipped cream, if desired.

All done!


smile emotico

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Elvis Cupcakes

..The peanut butter and banana sandwich is often referred to as a favourite of Elvis Presley. My kids, 9 and 6 have no idea who he was, which is completely understandable, right?, I never really told them about Elvis, anyway, and well when do you really hear an Elvis tune on 'modern' radio! ..they are One Direction fans, ..and I worry about that, sometimes, I really do! ..I'm so getting older, too!

The Elvis Cupcakes

Elvis was renowned for his insatiable food cravings (we have this in common), ..and Presley's fondness for peanut butter and banana sandwiches (fried up!) is well established as being one of his favourites! I bet if cupcakes were famous back in the day, he would for sure make a cupcake out of his love of the peanut butter and banana sandwich! I mean the guy had a massive sweet tooth, too, right?, ..among other things!

..But I get the banana/peanut butter concoction, I get it so much that I decided to convert this sandwich into cupcake form. ..and add bacon to it, too! ..because The King apparently did that-add bacon to his sandwich, ..but only sometimes!

So here it is, ..below, ..the recipe to The Elvis Cupcakes!

FYI: when you begin to eat these, proceed with caution, 'cause they may induce involuntary hip grinding movements! Yes, I know,  ..I'm cheesy!

The Elvis Cupcakes
..moist, banana cake topped with a rich and smooth Peanut Butter Frosting and Candied Bacon! ..down boy!

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes
Amount: makes approx. 24 cupcakes (halve recipe for 12 cupcakes)
Level: Easy As Pie, ..oops I mean cupcakes

Printable Recipe


  • 4 bananas (mashed)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
  • 3/4 cups oil (vegetable/canola)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon (ground)
  • 4 (slightly) beaten eggs (room temperature)


Candied Bacon


6-8 strips of bacon (eat leftovers)
1/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup butter
3/4 cup peanut butter (smooth)
5 cups icing sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon whipped cream

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix bananas, sugar and brown sugar in mixer for 3-4 minutes. Pour in vegetable oil until almost incorporated. Add in the rest of the dry ingredients, then add in the eggs. Do not over mix.

Pour batter into cupcake molds and bake for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, let stand for 5 minutes in cupcake pan, and then transfer them onto a wire rack.

For candied bacon, coat bacon in brown sugar. Place on a baking rack or sheet lined with parchment paper, then transfer to the same oven as the cupcakes (350 degrees F) and bake for about 15 minutes until crispy, gooey and sticky.

For frosting, beat both butters for 3 minutes at high speed,  until smooth and creamy, ..then reduce speed to lowest setting, and add icing sugar. Continue to beat for another minute or two. Add Vanilla Extract and Whipping Cream, and beat for 1 more minute. Do not over mix once whipping cream is added or the frosting can get too stiff and separate.

Once cupcakes have cooled completely, pipe frosting, either by hand, with a spoon, ice cream scooper, or piping bag and tip, onto each cupcake. 

Top with chunks of candied bacon and serve.


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