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I recently wanted to make a present for one of my friends… I wasn’t able to get out to buy one, so I thought the best option was an EDIBLE GIFT. I wracked my brain and decided… I’d never made peppermint creams before, why not use Anna as my guinea-pig?! (My poor friends rarely get tried and perfected edible gifts!)

Luckily, they were a success! And this recipe I am about to provide you with, makes a TONNE of them! So would be perfect for Christmas or any time where you need to make a massive batch… like a Monday when you need a sugar fix!

(The amounts for the icing sugar will vary a bit….. so if it’s too sticky when you’ve used all the icing sugar, you will just need to add a bit more until you get the right consistency!)

Ingredients:

(approx) 200 g Icing sugar,

28 g Butter (softened),

2 tsp Peppermint extract (Extract not flavouring…….. you can use flavouring instead but it just wont be as good…),

2 tbsp Double Cream,

290 g Good quality dark chocolate (I’m a huge Green and Blacks fan, but use whatever kind you love… 70% is best!),

Beat the Butter, peppermint, and cream together in a bowl… You can do it by hand or use an electric mixer, either way make it creamy, then add the icing sugar and mix mix mix! You want it to be soft so it’s malleable, but not too sticky. It’s a hard medium, but you’ll know it when you get there!

Now this is the only slightly complicated part of the whole thing… and this isn’t even that complicated! Ha.

Grab a long piece of clingfilm, and lay it on a spacious table top! Chuck the peppermint icing mush onto the clingfilm, and roll it out into a long sausage and wrap it in the clingfilm. Once it’s in the clingfilm you can roll it to make it smooth. If you want to keep the shape well, then it’s good to put old toilet or kitchen rolls around it to keep it circular in the fridge. If you’re not bothered about them being a circular/oval shape, then don’t worry! (I should have taken a picture of these stages. Doh. I’ll try and remember next time and update it!)

Pop the ‘sausage, toilet roll, icing, peppermint, butter mush, clingfilm’ stuff into the fridge for about an hour.  

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over  a pan of boiling water (make sure the water isn’t touching the bottom of the chocolate bowl!) then leave it for a couple of minutes to cool, so it’s not burning hot! Dip your finger, and if it doesn’t burn you it’s fine! (Of course you’ll have to check a couple of times because it’s necessary, and don’t waste it, so make sure to lick your finger clean! ;))

When the peppermint stuff is chilled and solid take it out and cut it into chunks. It’s totally up to you how fat you want them to be! But don’t make them too thin because they wont hold up in the chocolate dipping stage.

Grab a tray and line it with grease proof paper…. Then grab a big fork. I found my easiest method, see what works for you, but this is what I did…. drop a piece of peppermint stuff into the chocolate, flip with the fork to cover it completely, then lift it out with the fork and shimmy it onto the tray. Do this until all are covered like this….

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Don’t worry about their tails, you can chop them off! I’m a fan of the rustic look, so mine were a bit jagged-y. You can trim them down to be really neat though if you can be bothered!

If you have time to leave them over night, then do that! To keep them shiny, don’t put them in the fridge, but if you’re like me, and impatient/not got enough time, you can put them in the fridge, but don’t be sad when they’re not shiny, ’cause I did warn you… 

And this is the end result….

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I’m not going to lie… They were FIT. If I wouldn’t get incredibly fat, i’d eat them every day………………

Enjoy! And let me know how they turn out for you!

K.

 

With my left over Lemon Curd, I wanted to make some kind of biscuit type things… I’m not a huge fan of proper crunchy biscuits and I didn’t want another muffin/cake type… so I thought i’d go for something in the middle, and seeing as I invented the recipe, I can call it what I like. So I’ve chosen ‘Lemon Curd Jaffa Cakes’…. Not a biscuit, not a cake… Somewhere in the middle. 

Makes 24 (plus I had a tiny little bit left over so I put them in petit four tins and made 6 mini ones!)

Ingredients: 

320 g SR flour,

225 g Butter,

150 g Caster sugar,

1 tsp Vanilla extract

Some Lemon Curd (you could use bought stuff, but if you’re already making homemade ‘biscuits’ you might as well go the whole hog!)

 

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl then add the flour and vanilla extract. Put some elbow grease into the mixing….! Then stir in a couple of spoons full of lemon curd. 

Grease some muffin tins, then take a bit of dough, and roll it into a ball in your hands. About a 3 cm wide ball…. Plop them in the muffin tins then press the middle down with your thumb. 

Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, until golden brown! Take them out and pipe some more lemon curd into the centre then put them back in the oven for 2 more minutes to firm up the curd.

And… you’re… DONE.

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Enjoy!

K. 

Mocha Muffins.

As I said in my last post, I made lemon curd muffins for a quiz, but as insurance, I thought i’d make some mocha muffins too, just in case someone didn’t like lemon curd… (I know, shocking huh?! But there are some crazy fools like this in the world!)

This is my mocha muffin recipe… 

Makes approximately 10 large muffins…

Ingredients:

6 oz Butter,

6 oz Caster sugar,

3 Eggs,

5 oz SR flour,

2 oz Cocoa powder,

1 tsp Vanilla extract,

2-3 tsps Instant coffee granules,

A handful of chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat your oven to gas mark 4 (As I said in my previous post, you need a big blast of heat to make the muffins rise well, so you may want to crank up the oven to full power as it preheats and turn it down to 4 when you go to put the muffins in…)

Make up your coffee so it has time to cool. You want 2-3 big teaspoons of coffee granules depending on how coffee-e you like it! Add some boiling water, only about an espresso sized amount! So I guess it would work out to be about 2 tablespoons of water. Just enough for the granules to dissolve!

Shove the flour and cocoa powder together…. They don’t need to be seperate… Cream the butter and sugar together, then add the vanilla then the egg and flour/cocoa powder alternately… an egg, a tablespoon of flour/cocoa powder and so on…. Hold a couple of tablespoons of flour/cocoa powder back.

When the coffee is cold, add that to the mix and then finish it all off with the remaining flour/cocoa powder. Give it a good beating!! And then mix in a handful of chocolate chips! (That’s optional…)

Line muffin tins with muffin cases… then fill them up with the mix! Fill them up pretty much to the top for nice big buns. (That’s probably a bad choice of words, but i’m sticking with it!)

Pop them in the oven for about 20-25 minutes. Stick a skewer in and if it comes out clean, you’re done!

Leave them to cool, and bob’s your uncle, they’re done.

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I left them plain, but you could top them with a coffee buttercream, or a chocolate icing… whatever you want!

Happy Muffin-ing!

Enjoy.

K. 

A couple of weeks ago I needed to make some sort of sweet sugary something to take with us to a quiz. So it was experiment time!

I thought it would be fun to make a muffin with a lemon curd centre, so that when you cut it open you could see a little pool of glorious curd staring at you! And thankfully, they turned out well!

So this is Karen’s vanilla muffins with a lemon curd centre, recipe!

Makes about 8 big muffins! You could make smaller cup cake ones, and i’d think you’d get maybe 15 depending on the size! I was feeding men…. So knew that small ones would be laughed at!

Ingredients:

1 Batch of lemon curd (You could use bought stuff! Or you could make it yourself with this Homemade Lemon Curd recipe!)

6 oz SR flour,

6 oz Caster sugar,

6 oz Butter (softened),

3 Large eggs,

1 tsp Vanilla extract.

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4. (To get really risen muffins, you need to give them a big blast of heat when they first go in, so I tend to turn it up to full, to heat up, while I make the mix, then turn it down to 4 when I put them in…)

I’m a huge fan of mixing by hand, but you could of course use a mixer if you wanted! Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl. Chuck in the vanilla, and then add the egg and flour alternately…. one egg, a spoonful of flour and so on so on… until its all combined. Give it a good beating.

Line muffin tins with the little muffin cases. Then fill the cases half way up, put a dollop of lemon curd on top and then fill them to the top with more mix. (The lemon curd will soak into the cake, this wont be the oozy centre, that comes last! This is just for flavour! )

Whack them in the oven. They should take about 20-25 minutes to cook. When you can stick a skewer in and it comes out clean, they’re done.

Unless you specifically love sunken muffins, be sure to not open the oven door until at least 10 minutes after beginning to cook! Don’t be impatient!

So, once they’re cooked, take them out. Leave them in the tins for 5 minutes or so, to keep their shape then transfer them to the cooling rack.

Put the Lemon Curd into a piping bag. Once the muffins have cooled, so they’re still warm, but not HOT, cut a little cross in the top, and push the piping bag into the hole. Fill the centre with curd. Do this to them all, and leave for the muffins to cool properly.

And you’re done.

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Fresh from the oven…

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Piped and ready to go!

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You can add an icing on top too if you want… I went for a Greek yogurt and lemon icing glaze- a spoon of Greek yoghurt, icing sugar and lemon juice.

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But they’re brilliant plain too!

Enjoy!

K. 

I have never (until now….) made lemon curd! My Great Aunt Rosie was an absolute whiz when it came to this lemony treat, so I felt it only right that I should pull upon my inner Forrest talents and whip up a batch…. It went well! So thought I would share it with the world! But if you’re looking for low calorie stuff……. keep looking. This is in no way healthy… apart from the vitamins in the lemons and the protein in the egg….. But that’s just me trying to justify it! Ha.

It was pretty ruddy easy and tasted FIT though, so a must try.

I was making it for some lemon curd muffins (recipe to follow) so truly, I couldn’t tell you how much it makes, probably a large jar, or 2 small jars. And you could seal it in jars to last longer! But, it wasn’t around long enough for me to bother!

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When life gives you lemons… make lemon curd…. It’s much better than lemon-ADE!

Ingredients: 

4 Lemons (zest and juice!),

200 g Caster sugar,

100 g Butter,

3 Whole Free Range Eggs, plus One Single Egg Yolk. (Don’t be silly and throw the spare white away! Make some tiny meringue bites, or something…)

Put the lemon zest and juice into a heatproof bowl with the sugar and butter. Put the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl! Heat gently over a medium flame until the juice, sugar and butter have all melted together!

Lightly whisk the eggs just so they’re all combined, then put them into the sugar/butter/lemon mix, and whisk until they’re all mixed together. Leave it to cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring or whisking  pretty much all the time. You don’t want the eggs to cook and have a lemony scrambled egg, that would be rough.

It will seem like it’s never going to thicken, but keep going, it really will!! It’ll suddenly change and confuse you! You want it to be thick enough to coat the spoon.

Remove it from the heat, and let it cool. Stir it occasionally as it cools!

And it’s done!

I’m kicking myself that I forgot to take a picture! Forgive me. You’ll just have to make your own to see!

Enjoy.

K.

Bugbear Number 2: The Deceptive Recipe-  If you are providing a ‘recipe’ but in the ingredients section you say ‘use 1 box of yellow cake mix’ or some similar phrase, I have to tell you, I really don’t think that falls into the category of a recipe… All you are providing is some form of cake decorating advice….. and when the cake decorating also consists of ‘one pack of instant frosting’ …again… not a recipe. When I first saw one like this, I laughed, but by the 30th time of getting excited for a great recipe and realising it’s not in fact an actual recipe, but a ripping open of a packet… it became incredibly irritating and entirely disappointing.

That is all.

 

So, a little while ago, I saw a post on Pinterest for Temporary Tattoos… I thought i’d give it a whirl… Why not?!

I LOVE the idea of getting a tattoo, but in reality, the thought of the pain i’d have to endure to get one, and the permanence of a real one… not to mention my need for perfection in things like that, if the tattoo artist made it a little wonky, or coloured outside the line… it would be stuck there FOREVER and would annoy me for that long too!

So, if you’re anything like me… having an easy homemade way of temporary tattooing is a joy…! Especially when it comes to fancy dress parties!!

I read the instructions of the post on Pinterest and adapted them a little…. Just because in my head, there were a couple of unnecessary steps… So this is my way…

Things you’ll need:

  • Eye liner, lip liner, eyebrow pencil… anything like that… I used a mixture of the three, but only because it was an experiment! But also, I don’t have a massive collection of make up, so I was limited to colour and type! –Liquid Eye liner works well, or just the regular pencil! 
  • Alcohol gel– antibacterial hand gel.
  • And spray on clear plaster.

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Depending on your artistic hand, or the complexity of what you want to draw, you might want to draw it on paper first to practice. I’m a go for it girl… so never bother to practice! But it’s up to you!

 

Use the alcohol gel on the place you’re going to tattoo, leave it to dry properly! Then draw your design on. (I went for wrist bunting.)

Let it dry for a good few minutes so it doesn’t smudge, then spray a light layer of the plaster over it. Leave it to air for at least 5-10 minutes to let it dry properly, and YOU’RE DONE. Simple as. Lasted me 6 days! Pretty good experiment I think…!

Enjoy! And i’d definitely love to see yours if you try it! 

 

Day 1!

Day 1!

 

Day 4!

Day 4! A little faded, but still pretty good!

Happy Tattooing!

K.