Easter Rocky Road

As a little treat for one of the girls at work I decided to ‘bake’ a little  something for her. As I didn’t have too much time, I needed something that could be easy and quick to make but also super delicious. I thought rocky road would be an instant winner and not going to lie, it went down incredibly well with the work teamies.
One of the joys of rocky road is that there’s no real set recipe so it meant that I could add an all manner of delicious ingredients that caught my eye in the shop, such as mini eggs, hence the name.


Ingredients

450g Dark Chocolate (70% or more)

100g Mini Marshmallows

300g Chocolate Digestive Biscuits

2 Mini Meringues

100g Mini Eggs

3 Tbsp Golden Syrup

125g Softened Butter

Icing Sugar (For Dusting)


Method

1. Line a large dish with cling film, ready for the mixture to the poured straight into. This will make it easier to get the bars out of the dish once set.

2. In a large saucepan melt the butter, chocolate and golden syrup over a medium heat ensuring that the chocolate doesn’t burn, stirring regularly.

3. Place the chocolate biscuits into a food bag, and break them down so you have a selection of crumbs and larger biscuits bits.

4. Once all the chocolate is melted, turn down onto a very low heat, add the biscuits to the chocolate and mixed until well incorporated. 

5. Add in the mini eggs and crumble the meringues into the saucepan, mix together then add the mini marshmallows (if you add them earlier then they can start to melt quite a lot). 

6. Give the mixture a final stir to ensure everything is evenly distributed then pour it into the pre-prepared dish, smoothing it down with the spatula.

7. Place in the fridge to cool, after a couple of hours you can run a knife through the mixture where you want the bars to be to make it easier to cut once it’s completely cooled. 

8. Leave to completely set, preferably overnight, cut into bars and dust with icing sugar.


Nutritional Information

Serves 16

Calories:  354

Protein: 3.1g

Carbohydrates: 37.0g

Of which is sugars: 26.8g

Fibre: 0.8g

Fat: 21.2g

Of which is saturated: 12.6g

​Gluten free and gluten full cheese and pancetta muffins

I have to start with some apologises, it has been far too long since I last updated you all, but everything has just got a bit on top of me since starting a new job and getting into some new routines. But, never fear, I think I’m getting there!
As mentioned in my previous post I mentioned that I had made numerous things to take into work to suit all tastes and dietary requirements. I have made these muffins a couple of times and attempted to make them gluten free but they didn’t really work, so unlike the peanut butter cookies, I didn’t have the  confidence to only make them gluten free just in case the same thing happened again. Luckily, they didn’t, previously they were far too dry, crumbly and just had a really unpleasant aftertaste which the gluten full ones definitely didn’t have. So you can guarantee that when I was taste testing these I was hyper critical. This time, I was rather impressed that I couldn’t really tell the difference between them and I was happy to take them into work. They went down really well! I am determined to help change the way some people view gluten free baking which means I’m really picky about which recipes I take into work, so I’m happy to have a savoury option to take in. 

Ingredients

1 Pack Lean Pancetta

1 Cup Grated Mature Cheddar

1 Cup Whole Milk

1 Cup Gluten Flour

1 Cup Gluten Free Flour

2 Tbsp. Salted Butter

1 Tbsp Gluten Free Baking Powder

1 Tsp. Salt

½ Tsp. Xantham Gum

2 Eggs


Method

1. In a frying pan, cook the pancetta lardons until cooked through then leave to one side to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to  175°c and grease 12 muffin tins/cases.

3. Over a medium heat, melt all the butter then allow to cool to room temperature.

4. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together, then add the butter, cheese and  bacon lardons and divide the mixture into 2 separate bowls. Ready for the gluten and gluten free versions.

5. In a separate bowl combine the flour and half of the baking powder, salt and sugar. Add this to one set of the bacon mixture.

6. In a fresh bowl, mix the gluten free flour, xantham gum and remaining baking powder, sugar and salt then add to the second bacon mixture. With this mixture if it begins to look a lot thicker/drier than the gluten version just add a bit more milk to ensure the mixture doesn’t get too dry once baked.

7. Spoon the mixture into your prepared tins (I use a different type so it’s easy to remember which are which), only fill them about 2/3 full to give them room to rise.

8. Bake for roughly 20 minutes or until they begin brown.

9. Leave to  cool on a wire rack then enjoy!

Nutritional information

Serves 12

Calories: 209

Protein: 9.3g

Carbohydrates: 18.7g

Of which is sugars: 1.4g

Fibre: 0.8g

Fat: 10.6g

Of which is saturated: 6.0g

Gluten Free and Gluten Full Mince Pies

With Christmas now being less than 2 weeks away, I decided it was about time I actually made some mince pies! I know they aren’t the best thing for you, but I always feel more comfortable eating one or two (granted high calorie) homemade ones as I know not only the ingredients that have gone in but also the quality of them. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with the occassional indulgent treat. So with numerous work fuddles and events happening I thought it was the perfect excuse to make some goodies. There are some people at work with various food intolerances so it gives me another reason to keep testing gluten free baking (particularly as my partner isn’t too keen on GF so always requests where possible gluten full).

I admit that I am still slightly tweaking the recipe for Gluten Free but these did turn out really well, it just took a little more patience that the other ones, but nevertheless stick with it and they will turn out ok (well at least in my humble opinion). I will update once I’ll played around with the recipe a bit more but I was rather happy at my first attempt at gluten free mince pies so I couldn’t just leave it.

The recipe is essentially the same just swap plain flour for Gluten Free plain of the same ratio. There’s just a slight tweak to the method towards the end for the Gluten Free ones, so rather than repeat myself, I’ll just shout up where to change what you do slightly differently.

All you need for this is a mixing bowl and a metal muffin tin.

Ingredients
350g Plain Flour (GF if needs be)
200g Icing Sugar + extra for dusting
225g Cold Unsalted Butter (it’s important that it’s cold but cut it into cubes to make it easier to work with)
410g Mincemeat (the size of a normal jar)

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Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180°c, rub together the flour, sugar and butter . As the butter is cold this will take a while and it will seem like it’s really crumbly and not working but stick with it, it will all of a sudden come into a ball that you can work with.

2. Once it’s come together into a ball, knead briefly until smooth.

3. Separate off 2/3 of the dough, this will be your bottoms.  Split into 12 small balls and flatten into the bottom and sides of the muffin tin, aim to make the pastry level so it will cook equally.

4. Fill with the mincemeat; I like a generous portion so it uses the whole jar!

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5. Take the remaining dough and again split into 12, flatten these down so it cover the top of the mince pies and press into the sides so it’s all flush. Put a couple of holes in the lid to allow a bit of steam to come out.

6. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

7. Leave in the tray to cool then remove and put on a cooling rack. For the Gluten Free Mince Pies leave overnight so the butter can completely cool, they are incredibly brittle at this stage even once the tin itself it cool. You can remove them gently from the tin, I found the best was by pressing a skewer down each side until you feel it move ever so slightly then tip the tin upside down. But they are incredibly brittle and can just crumble in your hand. If you manage to get them out then leave them to cool overnight and they are a lot firmer, I would recommend leaving in the tin for a good few hours to thoroughly cool before removing.

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8. Once cooled, dust with icing sugar and enjoy

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Nutritional Information
Serves 12
410 Calories
3.2g Protein
59.5g Carbohydrates
0.8g Fibre
38.5g Sugar
17.1g Fat ( 9.9g are Saturated Fats)