I’m finally back in the blogging game, with no real apology except that I come bearing a recipe for chocolate and hazelnut dipped shortbread! Life has been busy, but I’ve got three recipes ready to share with you all soon! So stay tuned 🙂 This […]
I’m a big fan of Birthdays, especially other people’s as its the perfect excuse to make a giant delicious cake! It was my Mum’s birthday last weekend, and I was really keen to create something that included her childhood love of honeycomb. So, ta dahh! The chocolate honeycomb genoise was born 🙂
My mum used to tell me about her and my uncle’s trips to the cinema when they were little. They’d go to the ‘pictures’ on a Saturday morning, my Nan would give them 2 and 6 pence in old money (12.5p to you and me!) and that’d see them to/from the cinema, buy them both a ticket AND sweets! Its just crazy when you think about it now. I really remember that Mum’s sweet of choice was always a block of honeycomb. No chocolate coating like in the Crunchie you get today, just pure honeycomb.
What’s actually weirder than the crazy low prices is that they would walk into a film halfway through! Films played on a loop back then, so you would watch the film to the end and then watch the start that you’d missed when the film begun again. SO WEIRD.
I wanted to keep the sponge quite light, so I decided to make a genoise sponge. A genoise has hardly any fat and instead includes a lot of heavily whisked eggs to create an airy sponge that can be sandwiched with richer fillings! I wanted to make a more traditional buttercream this time, rather than my fave swiss-meringue, so the lighter sponge seemed perfect. The key to a good genoise, is whisking your eggs enough to get to the ribbon stage where a thick ‘rope’ of mixture falls and dissolves slowly on the surface of the mixture. This required about 6-7 minutes of intense whisking, so I’d definitely recommend an electric whisk otherwise it’ll take you much longer! Who needs the gym right?
The honey buttercream is a proper back to basics recipe – butter and icing sugar. Bam. Done. Except I added a squirt of honey to add to the honeycomb theme. I definitely recommend making this in a stand mixer if you have one, and leaving it to beat for a good 5 minutes at least. It turns so deliciously creamy, obviously you can do this with a hand mixer or just a spatula! Though your arm might be dead after the egg whisking for the genoise…
The honeycomb is actually my favourite part to make, as the science behind it is just so cool! Geek glasses on please; when the bicarb is added thermal decomposition occurs meaning that the bicarb releases carbon dioxide. This is then trapped in the viscous mixture, leaving behind the lattice structure that sets hard. I just think its fascinating! It does mean you have to be pretty quick though, as it starts to set!
I crumbled up the honeycomb and sprinkled it over the middle layer of buttercream which added a really nice texture. The best part about this cake is that even with the honeycomb decoration on top, you’ll be left with a bag full of honeycomb for yourself! You could go wild and chuck it all on top of the cake, or you could melt some chocolate and make your own Crunchies! The possibilities are endless, and as long as you keep it air-tight it’ll last you months. Providing it lasts that long anyway…
The final touch I added was a sugar syrup to keep the sponge moist and light. I didn’t add any flavour to the syrup, though you absolutely could! I really do think it added to the finished cake.
This chocolate honeycomb genoise is a real crowd pleaser and perfect for a celebration! Check out my timelapse video below of how I assembled it!
The brushstroke layer cake trend has been everywhere the past few months. With incredible creations on multi-tiered cakes and gorgeous colours, there was no way I couldn’t try my hand at it. Russian bakery Kalabasa pioneered the trend with their ‘painted chocolate feathers’ and its taken by storm over Instagram. Its surprisingly easy to recreate and brings out the artist within you!
I decided to make the brushstroke cake for my sisters birthday, she’s a phenomenal artist (check out her Instagram here!), so it seemed only right that I incorporated her love for art into her birthday cake. I actually had high hopes for the inside of the cake too, with loads of strawberry and chocolate cake balls that I would bake into the three vanilla sponges. I’d have the oohs and aahs for the gorgeous brushstrokes and THEN the surprise polka dot middle!
So there I was, dutifully baking my strawberry and chocolate cake balls the night before, trying to get ahead and save time. I even bought a special cake pop mould to get them the perfect size! But me being me, the next day when I came to bake the vanilla sponges I COMPLETELY forgot about the cake balls until I’d already baked the sponges. I was literally gutted. I had to go and lie down on my bed for 30minutes just to calm down – baking can be stressful guys! (The prepared cake balls did all go to good homes if you were wondering, haha!)
It also meant that I now had a three-layer vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream AND vanilla flavoured chocolate brushstrokes…. Now I love vanilla, but even I felt that was overkill! Luckily I had a fresh batch of homemade strawberry jam that came to the rescue, making it a proper old-school birthday cake. And actually, I really loved the taste of it. The thick jam complemented the sponge and the light swiss meringue buttercream perfectly! It took me back to my childhood days, though back then the thicker and denser the icing the better!!
As you can see above, we take birthdays very seriously in my family even in our late 20’s – bunting, banners and confetti tablecloths all come out!
So, I should now explain and tell you how exactly the brushstrokes are made. It really is so simple! All you’ll need is some baking paper and a pastry brush. You could even use an unused (or well washed!) paintbrush if you wanted. You’ll also need either candy melts or chocolate of your choice. I went for candy melts as I knew I wanted pastel colours, and its so much easier than tempering and colouring white chocolate! Once you’ve decided that, you’ll need to prepare a sheet of baking paper on a flat surface and melt your chocolate/candy melts. Then simply dollop some of the melted mixture onto the baking paper and using your brush, ‘brush’ the mixture out to achieve a brushstroke.
You can make each brushstroke as short/fat/tall/thin as you like! The more different sizes you get the better, as you’ll be able to achieve different effects. I found this video by Cake Style really helpful – though they use a palette knife to create the strokes rather than a pastry brush.
I do hope you give the brushstroke trend a try, its super simple but really effective! Check out my timelapse video below of the cake assembly and if you want to see the birthday cake I made Katie last year you can check that out here. Less arty and more flowery, its my take on a buttercream flower wreath cake!
I made these blondies one Sunday a while back and took them into work on the Monday, where they went down an absolute treat. They’re the perfect combination of nutty, fruity and chewy and go excellently with a morning coffee. White chocolate, raspberry and macadamia nut blondies – they are what it says on the tin! But lets go into the detail.
White chocolate and raspberry as everyone knows is a match made in heaven. But to keep the blondies from going cakey with the moisture of fresh raspberries I used the freeze-dried version instead. They give such an intense flavour and mean you can store the blondies much longer…though they may not last that long! The sweet white chocolate drizzle cuts through the tartness so well too, and makes them incredibly moreish.
The actual blondies taste so buttery and chewy, like a slightly lighter cousin of the fudgy brownie we all know and love. I use a combination of light brown sugar and regular caster which adds a really lovely caramelly flavour. The macadamia nuts add a slight crunch giving a really interesting texture from the soft blondie base and creamy white chocolate chunks.
I’m all about the convenience baking when it comes to treats like these and these blondies can be whipped up so quickly! They only need 25 minutes in the oven till they’re nicely golden too. As ever though, the hardest part is waiting for them to cool before you can tuck in!
I’m a big blondie fan and these are definitely one of my favourite flavour combinations I’ve ever tried. The recipe makes 16 small squares, or 8 large pieces if you’re feeling gluttonous! Though if raspberry & macadamia nuts aren’t your thing, try my white chocolate and pistachio blondies here instead!
Now its getting a bit colder and the darker nights are drawing in, these kinds of treats are perfect with your afternoon hot drink. Your choice whether its a tea, coffee or hot toddy…I won’t tell!
I’m finally back in the blogging game, with no real apology except that I come bearing a recipe for chocolate and hazelnut dipped shortbread! Life has been busy, but I’ve got three recipes ready to share with you all soon! So stay tuned 🙂
This recipe requires little to no effort, and is pretty quick! So you can have freshly baked biscuits in time for an afternoon cuppa. Also the dipped ends REALLY remind me of a Feast lolly – anyone remember those?? But the real beauty of these chocolate and hazelnut dipped shortbread biscuits is their customisation. Don’t like dark chocolate? Switch it to milk! Hazelnuts not your thing? Try macadamia or pecan’s! Or you could add sour cherries into the mix. The possibilities are pretty endless!
Shortbread is up there with cookies as my very favourite biscuits (that and a classic shop-bought malted milk!). There’s something very comforting about the simple ingredients and crumbly texture of a shortbread. They remind me of Christmas too, when you’d get a tartan emblazoned tin full of it in different shapes which would then be kept and used to store pencils or hundreds of felt tips.
Chocolate and hazelnut dipped shortbread, is a recipe that sort of does what it says on the tin. The basic shortbread is a super simple combination of butter, sugar and flour. I’ve then added in some chopped chocolate and then once baked dipped in more chocolate and rolled in nibbed hazelnuts. It couldn’t be simpler.
I used a rectangular fluted cutter as I like the shape, but you could use any of your choosing. Just try to ensure all your biscuits are the same size and width so they all bake evenly. It can be a little tricky to cut the shapes if you’ve used chopped chocolate rather than chocolate chips like I did, but a bit of brute force gets it done! The most important step of the recipe is to make sure you chill your shortbread biscuits before popping in the oven. This way your shortbread won’t spread so much in the oven, and you won’t have one giant shortbread biscuit! Unless thats what you want, then full steam ahead!
These chocolate and hazelnut dipped shortbread biscuits are the perfect teatime treat, and I hope you enjoy them!