Green & Black’s Chocolate Strawberries

10388123_10152068654042096_7259499987072648998_n10155894_10152068713207096_8251646066935708489_n10390550_10152068739327096_1962195154212776210_n10343688_10152503516813023_8931396454492136735_nNot quite a recipe as such but some very pretty photographs I took of my yummy srummy Chocolate Dipped Strawberries!

An absolute treat that most definitely calls for luxury! I used the best strawberries I could possibly find (Marks & Spencer) and some very indulgent Green & Black’s Milk and White Chocolate! Mmmmmm…..! 🙂

These were a (very) quick treat to take around to Zoe’s for an impromptu BBQ (making the most of the sunshine in the UK) so I didn’t have time to properly temper the chocolate. Instead I went with the tried and tested method of melting the chocolate in a bowl over the hob!

1) It only takes a few moments but its dead easy, simply place the roughly chopped chocolate in a bowl. Half fill a saucepan with hot water, and put the bowl over it, making sure that the bowl does not touch the bottom of the saucepan.

2) Slowly heat the water, ensuring it does not boil. Stir regularly using a flexible spatula so that the chocolate melts smoothly. This way means that the chocolate is slightly thicker than it would be if you had tempered it but it’s still easy to work with! 🙂

3) Once the chocolate has melted, pour it in to a ramekin and grab your strawberries!

4) Dip your strawberries in to the melted chocolate and coat about half of the strawberry, place on to a sheet of baking paper to set and continue the same process with the rest of your strawberries.

5) Once you have finish place the baking tray with your strawberries on greaseproof paper in to the fridge to set for 30 minutes.

6) For the white chocolate decoration, simply follow the same melting directions and very carefully pour the melted white chocolate in to a piping bag (that is opened up over a tall glass) and leave for around 15 minutes for the chocolate the cool and slightly set.

7) Remove the strawberries from the fridge and decorate however you wish with the white chocolate before popping them back in to the fridge for another 20 minutes.

Enjoy with fizz!!!! Any excuse!

Love S xx

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Strawberries & Cream Cupcakes

Strawberry & Cream CupcakeHappy New Year!

So, with the weather being unbearably dull and the arrival of some of my lovely girlies – I decided to make something a bit special and fruity to add a bit of sunshine to this rainy January afternoon 🙂 I got the idea for these lovely cupcakes from Sunday Baking but decided to put my own spin on the recipe….

After a lovely Christmas and New Year with our wonderful friends and family , I’m lucky enough to still be off work! I’m trying to make the most of it and get some practice in!

I hope you enjoy these little treats!

Ingredients:

For the sponge:

110g unsalted butter – at room temp
225g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
150g self-raising flour
120g plain flour
120ml semi skimmed milk – at room temp
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

For the topping:

100g of strawberry jam
300g of whipping cream
30g of granulated sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla essence

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Recipe:

1. Preheat your oven to 160c and line a 12 hole muffin tray with cupcake cases.

2. Using an electro mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for a few minutes between each one.

4. In a separate bowl, combine the self raising and plain flour and put the milk in a jug with the vanilla essence.

5. Add 1/3 of the flours to the butter and sugar mixture, beat well. Add in 1/3 of the milk to the mixture and beat again. Repeat until all flour and milk have been added.

6. Carefully spoon the mixture in to the cupcake cases – making sure they are about 2/3rd’s full .

7. Bake in the oven for around 25 minutes until slightly raised and golden brown. A skewer should come out clean after being inserted in to the middle of the cake.

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8. Remove from oven and leave cakes to cool for 5-10 minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool.

9. Once the cakes have cooled – use a shaped cake plunge, or a knife to cut a small hole in to the middle of your cupcakes. I used a heart shaped one.

10. Fill the holes with strawberry jam.

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Tip: I find it easier to pipe the jam in – makes it a little neater! 🙂

11. To decorate your cakes, add the granulated sugar, whipping cream and vanilla essence together in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat ingredients together until stiff peaks start to form.

12. Add the strawberry jam to the whipping cream mixture and beat for a further minute.

13. Add the mixture to a piping bag and decorate your cupcakes!

14. For a final touch, add a slice of strawberry to each cupcake.

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Ta-da! 🙂

Tip: These are best eaten on the day that they are made but if you need to store them, they should be kept in an airtight container and refrigerated.

Love S & P x