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Peanut Butter Energy Balls

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

peanut butter energy balls

Is it too late to say Happy New Year? I hope 2018 has treated you all well so far, and you aren’t beating yourself up too much over new years resolutions!

After the gluttonous festive period I thought I’d go down the slightly healthier route for my first bake back, with peanut butter energy balls. Bake is a bit of a stretch, as they take about 5 minutes to make and only see the inside of a fridge. But they’re so tasty I couldn’t not share the recipe!

peanut butter energy balls

Energy balls are abit of a ‘trendy’ bake, but don’t let that put you off. They’re full of goodness, and really do give me an energy boost throughout the day.

The energy balls are simply dates, oats, peanuts, peanut butter and a dash of oil to bind. Medjool dates are best to use as they’re super soft and sweet, but regular dry dates are fine to use too – and easier to find! You’ll just need to soak them in some warm water for 5 minutes first to soften up.

The texture of the energy balls is what I really love. They’re almost chewy, and substantial enough that you feel like you’ve had a proper snack. Not like some ‘healthier’ snacks which leave you feeling just as hungry. They’re also sweet enough that you feel like you’re having a treat, but not sickly so!

peanut butter energy balls

All you need to do is blitz the oats and peanuts in a food processor then add the dates, peanut butter and oil. Roll them into balls and then chill for at least 20 minutes before eating them. It’s really as simple as that!

They can then be kept in the fridge for a few weeks, which is great as the mixture makes about 25 balls. Pop some in your lunch box to keep you going through that 3pm slump! Or have a couple as a post-dinner treat!

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

Yield: 25 balls

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

Ingredients

  • 400g medjool dates (or dried dates, if you can't find medjool)
  • 100g oats
  • 100g roasted peanuts
  • 4tbsp organic peanut butter
  • 1tbsp vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Pit the medjool dates and leave to the side. Or if using dried dates, place them in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes.
  • Place the oats and peanuts into a food processor and blend until combined. Then add the dates, peanut butter and oil and blend until you form a thick paste.
  • Roll them into balls and place in the fridge to firm up for 20 minutes before eating.
  • Notes

    Energy balls can be kept in the fridge for a few weeks.

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2018/01/10/peanut-butter-energy-balls/

    2017 Top Posts

    2017 Top Posts

    As 2017 draws to a close, I thought I’d take a look back at my most viewed posts throughout the year. It’s been a year of extravagant cakes, decadent tarts and edible gifts and some of my favourite food photography to date!

    So kicking off proceedings, spot five is filled with my Pistachio and Raspberry Financiers.

    pistachio & raspbeery financiers

    Financiers are one of my absolute favourite cakes, especially when flavoured with pistachio. Head to the post for a full lesson in their origin, their name will suddenly make sense once you do!

    They are so moreish and stay SO moist from the ground almonds. The fresh raspberries in the cakes give such a good tart kick, and mean you have to eat them all fairly quickly…you can thank me later!

    bakewell-tart

    Next up is a classic Bakewell Tartย – which I’m so glad made the top five because its suchh a good tart!! The crisp pastry, the tart jam and the almondy frangipane topped with flaked almonds is just the dream! And it always bakes well, its a classic for your repertoire.

    Staying with the tart theme, in third place is my Pear and Frangipane Tart. A signature bake for me and always highly requested in my household! The pears are poached before baking in the tart, so they are super tender but still add a really nice texture to the tart. There’s frangipane and flaked almonds galore again – I’m glad we’re all in agreement at how yummy it is!

    Raspberry & Almond Layer Cake

    Runner up for 2017 is my Raspberry and Almond Layer Cake. I actually made this back in 2016 for my mum’s birthday. I wanted to combine her favourite flavours but also keep the decoration quite fun and almost childlike! It turned out one of the tastiest cakes I’ve ever made. The combination of ground almonds and fresh raspberries makes it SO moist and so flavourful. The swiss meringue buttercream keeps the cake feeling light too, meaning you can have a bigger slice!

    viennese-whirls

    Now we come to the winner, the most viewed post of 2017 (and 2016 coincidentally!) are my Viennese Whirls. They’re absolutely a worthy winner and are a favourite in my house too! I really think I’ve perfected this recipe, making the whirls the perfect pipeable consistency that when baked aren’t claggy but aren’t too crumbly either. The tart jam and sweet buttercream combines perfectly, and makes them so moreish. Definitely a winner in my eyes ๐Ÿ™‚

    So now I thought I’d share my personal favourite recipe from 2017 which issss, dun dun dunnnn! My Brushstroke Layer Cake!

    brushstroke layer cake

    The brushstroke pattern was all over Instagram this year and I just think it’s SO beautiful! I really enjoyed trying my hand at it, especially as its wayyy easier than it looks. And tasty as its just chocolate! I made this for my sister’s birthday this year, last year I made her my Buttercream Flower Wreath Layer Cake so god knows how I’m gonna top both next year!? I actually had a bit of a nightmare making this, but you can read about that on the post, as all turned out fine in the end ๐Ÿ™‚

    So there we have it, 2017 has been a pretty great blog year for me. I’ve been really happy with the recipes I’ve created and photos I’ve taken! Seems we all love almonds too, with 4 out of the top 5 containing almonds in some way!

    So heres to 2018 and Happy New Year all!

    Snowglobe Cupcakes

    Snowglobe Cupcakes

    snowglobe cupcakessnowglobe cupcakes

    I love snowglobes. I think as a child I found them quite magical and fascinating, so now when I look at them as an adult they remind me of the excitement and magic surrounding Christmas as a kid. I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought it was SO cool! Though obviously, with most things on Pinterest it’s never as easy as you imagine!

    I also made the cupcakes on a Saturday, leaving the snowglobes to dry overnight. Then proceeded to drink wayy too much at a party and be so hungover the next day that I couldn’t face taking pictures of the snowglobes till the afternoon when I’d lost natural light. So lesson to all, don’t get drunk on a baking/photography weekend. Though I imagine the different light in the pictures is probably more aggravating to myself than anybody else!

    snowglobe cupcakes

    It definitely takes some practise to get the snowglobe right, but they can look so adorable once they are! It’s all completely edible too, as you make the globes from gelatin. The process to make the snowglobe is actually fairly simple, but you’ll need a fair bit of time for the gelatin to dry. Overnight is perfect though!

    To create the snowglobe shape, you’ll need to blow up some small balloons. Then melt the gelatin sheets over a low heat until its a thin enough consistency to be able to dip the balloons in. These are then left to set overnight until the gelatin is no longer tacky. The balloons can then be (carefully!) popped and you will be left with a hard shell-like snowglobe to place over your cupcake. Stopping the balloons from sticking together was an issue! But I figured it out below, by sticking skewers through the balloon tie and sticking them into polystyrene.

    snowglobe cupcakessnowglobe cupcakes

    For the base of the snowglobe, I made gingerbread cupcakes which are so moist and have the perfect amount of spice. I topped the cupcakes with a little vanilla icing, and some sugar sprinkles to look like snow. For the decorations inside the snowglobe, I used fondant icing to create presents, trees and snowmen. You could make any little decorations you wanted, but modelling fondant is nottt my forte so I tried to stick to quite simple shapes!

    I really hope you give these snowglobe cupcakes a go, even with the added effort and time I think they’re so worth it! And best of all they taste delicious and super festive!

    Snowglobe Cupcakes

    Yield: 16 cupcakes

    Snowglobe Cupcakes

    Ingredients

      Cupcakes
    • 140g unsalted butter
    • 200g caster sugar
    • 60g black treacle
    • 60g golden syrup
    • 2 large eggs & 2 egg yolks
    • 310g plain flour
    • 1tbsp cocoa powder
    • 1tsp ground ginger
    • 1tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1tsp ground nutmeg
    • 2tsp baking powder
    • 1tsp salt
    • 240ml hot milk
      Vanilla buttercream
    • 120g unsalted butter
    • 200g icing sugar
    • 1tsp vanilla extract
    • 2tbsp milk
      Decoration
    • 16 small 4" balloons
    • 16 gelatin leaves
    • one tube sugar 'snow' sprinkles
    • fondant icing in assorted colours

    Instructions

  • Firstly blow up 16 balloons, until they are a similar size to a muffin case. Place a skewer through the balloon tie and set aside.
  • Fill a bowl with ice-cold water and place the gelatin leaves in one at a time, making sure they are submerged. Then leave for 10 minutes to soften.
  • Once they are soft, remove the leaves from the bowl and squeeze them to remove all excess water. Then place in a saucepan and add 3tbsp of the water from the bowl. Melt the gelatin over a low heat, stirring occasionally. You don't want to get this too hot, so keep an eye on it and remove it from the heat as soon as the gelatin is melted and fluid.
  • Spray some non-stick cooking oil or dab some liquid oil onto your hands, and then rub over the balloons. You don't want a lot of oil here, just a light coating - enough to ensure you will be able to remove the gelatin from the balloons.
  • Pour the gelatin into a measuring jug and dip the balloons one by one into the melted gelatin. Turning the balloons so they have an even covering and letting any excess drip back into the jug. If the gelatin starts to set whilst you're dipping them, return the gelatin to the saucepan to re-melt.
  • Let the balloons set for about 10 minutes and then repeat the process so they have a double layer. Then leave to set overnight, ensuring none of the balloons are touching each other. I stuck the skewers into styrofoam.
  • For the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 190C, Gas Mark 5 and line a muffin tin with 16 muffin cases.
  • Using a hand-mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Then add the treacle, golden syrup, eggs and egg yolks and continue beating until all ingredients are combined.
  • In a separate bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, spices, baking powder and and salt. Then whilst mixing on a low speed, add the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture in three batches alternating with the hot milk. Ensuring you start and end with the dry mixture. Mix until the dry ingredients are just combined, then divide the mixture between the muffin cases.
  • Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until risen and springy to the touch. Remove from the muffin tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
  • For the buttercream, beat the butter and icing sugar together using a hand-mixer on a low speed. Once combined, add the vanilla extract and milk then beat again on a high-speed until creamy and smooth.
  • For the decoration, using the fondant icing create 16 festive items such as christmas trees, presents and snowmen.
  • For the assembly, divide the buttercream between the 16 cupcakes and using a palette knife spread the buttercream to the edges of the cupcake creating a flat base. Then cover the buttercream in sugar 'snow' sprinkles and add a fondant decoration to each cupcake.
  • When the gelatin balloons are no longer tacky to the touch and feel almost like plastic, carefully pierce the balloons and remove them from the snowglobes. The balloon should naturally pull away from the sides of the gelatin, but be careful when pulling it away if it gets stuck. Place a gelatin balloon over each cupcake to create the snowglobe.
  • Notes

    Gingerbread cupcake recipe adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery, Cake Days

    Snowglobe idea inspired from Sugar Hero

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2017/12/22/snowglobe-cupcakes/

    Christmas Wreath Layer Cake

    Christmas Wreath Layer Cake

    christmas wreath cake

    christmas wreath cake

    I’ve never been a fan of the traditional rich Christmas fruit cake, but it just doesn’t feel like Christmas without a cake! So every year I whip up a big ol’ layer cake for the family to enjoy that’s a bit more modern in style. This year I decided to emulate my buttercream flower wreath cakeย and create a wintery version as I loved that cake so much!! Its the proudest I’ve ever been, so I knew I wanted to try the style again. I did downsize slightly and kept the flowers to one side. I love how it makes it look a little more elegant and so so festive!

    So that’s how my Christmas wreath cake was born.

    Flavours wise I decided to create an earl grey sponge with a vanilla swiss meringue buttercream. The bergamot flavour from the tea gives it a lovely subtle festive note, without being too overpowering. I also created an earl grey cake soak to enhance the flavour and ensure the cake stayed moist and flavourful throughout. I really think cake soaks are worth taking the extra time to create, especially if you’re not serving the cake on the day you baked it.

    christmas wreath cakechristmas wreath cake

    The earl grey sponge is really the star of this christmas wreath cake, but swiss meringue buttercream is my absolute favourite for layer cakes. It’s so luscious without being too sweet, and is so smooth making it the easiest buttercream to get a crisp finish. It also works really well for piping flowers as they keep their shape so well. I always pipe mine onto small squares of parchment paper attached to a flower nail, that way you can then place them in the freezer to harden which makes your life ten times easier when placing them on the cake.

    For decoration I also added cinnamon sticks to look like twigs, and small dots of buttercream to act as holly berries. I really love the look and taste of this Christmas wreath cake, its subtly festive and super pretty.

    christmas wreath cake

    Christmas Wreath Layer Cake

    Christmas Wreath Layer Cake

    Ingredients

      Earl Grey Cake
    • 6 earl grey teabags
    • 6tbsp just-boiled water
    • 160g unsalted butter
    • 560g caster sugar
    • 480g plain flour
    • 2tbsp baking powder
    • 1/2tsp salt
    • 400ml whole milk
    • 4 large eggs
      Earl Grey Cake Soak
    • 250g caster sugar
    • 250ml water
    • 2 earl grey teabags
      Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
    • 150ml egg whites
    • 250g caster sugar
    • 450g unsalted butter
    • 2tsp vanilla extract
    • dark green food colouring
    • light green food colouring
    • brown food colouring
    • dark red food colouring
      Decoration
    • 4 small cinnamon sticks

    Instructions

  • Firstly preheat the oven to 190C/Gas Mark 5 and grease and line three 8" baking tins.
  • In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Then add the flour, baking powder and salt on a low speed until the mixture is the texture of fine breadcrumbs.
  • Pour the milk and eggs into a jug, and whisk until combined. Then add the brewed tea squeezing each tea bag to extract all of the moisture.
  • Pour three-quarters of the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix on a low-speed until combined. Add the remaining milk mixture and mix again until smooth and thick.
  • Divide the mixture between the three prepared baking tins and bake for 22-25 minutes or until springy to touch. Leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes, before removing from the tins and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Whilst the cakes are cooling, make the cake soak by placing the sugar, water and tea bags into a small pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to steep for 10 minutes. Then remove the tea bags and set aside.
  • Whilst the cake soak is steeping, begin the swiss meringue buttercream by whisking together the sugar and egg whites in heat-safe bowl until combined. Then over a bain-marie, heat the mixture, stirring occasionally until it reaches 155-160F on a candy thermometer. The mixture will be very hot and the sugar will have dissolved.
  • Once the mixture has reached the right temperature, take the bowl off the heat and using an electric mixer whisk the mixture on high speed for about 10 minutes until you reach medium-stiff peaks and the mixture has returned to room temperature.
  • With the mixer on low, add in the butter a tablespoon at a time ensuring each piece is fully incorporated before adding the next. The butter must be at room temperature for it to be properly incorporated.
  • Once the butter has been mixed in, add the vanilla extract and mix again for a few minutes until the buttercream is silky smooth and light.
  • Put 2 tablespoons of buttercream into a small bowl and mix in the light green food colouring, and then another 2 tablespoons into a separate bowl and mix in the dark green food colouring. Then put 1 tablespoon of buttercream into another bowl and mix in the brown food colouring, then finally put another tablespoon of buttercream into a separate bowl and mix in the dark red food colouring. Set aside the remaining buttercream to use later.
  • Using a flower nail and piping tips create an array of flowers and leaves on squares of baking paper, then place the squares onto baking trays and place in the freezer to harden.
  • To assemble the cake, place one sponge onto the cake board, brush on half of the cake soak and a layer of buttercream. Repeat with the second sponge layer and then place the final sponge layer on top.
  • Crumb coat the cake with a thin layer of the buttercream and then place in the fridge for 20 minutes to set.
  • Then cover the cake with the remaining buttercream and using a bench scraper, scrape off the excess to leave a smooth exterior.
  • For the decoration, put the brown buttercream into a piping bag and snip off the end so you have a small nozzle. Then pipe lines in a crescent shape to create 'twigs' for the flowers to sit on.
  • Remove the buttercream flowers and leaves from the freezer, and peeling off the baking paper squares arrange them on the cake with the cinnamon sticks.
  • Finally, put the dark red buttercream into a piping bag and snip off the end again so you have a small nozzle and pipe 'berries' onto the cake.
  • Notes

    I used Wilton tips 104 and 70 to create the flowers and leaves. Tips on piping the flowers can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyDaS4napa7fgQ-pdZ68ifGMIRmWC9JRL

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2017/12/13/christmas-wreath-cake/