The Allergy and Free From Show – Free Tickets!

Hello,

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Fancy going to the Allergy and Free From Show for free?

All you have to do is subscribe to Champagne Twist, send a message asking for tickets and I will send you the code.

 

 

Blueberry and Lavender Cheesecake – recipe

bluelacake

This is an updated recipe I created a few years ago.  It has become a family favourite for special occasions, or just for an indulgent treat.

Blueberry and Lavender Cheesecake – recipe

Ingredients:

  • 10 digestive biscuits
  • 50g melted butter, set aside to cool slightly
  • 560g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 190ml sour cream, room temperature
  • 1tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tsp lavender syrup (optional)
  • 1 heaped dessertspoon plain flour
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 pot wild blueberry conserve
  • 1 tbsp lavender flowers
  • 1 punnet of fresh blueberries

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4
  2. Place the biscuits in a food processor and blitz until it becomes a fine crumb.  Alternatively place the biscuits in a plastic food bag, and bash with a rolling pin.
  3. Place the crumbs into a bowl, and add in the melted butter. Stir, making sure all the crumbs have been coated in the butter.
  4. Cover the base of a 20cm spring form pan with the butter crumb mix.
  5. Bake the biscuit base in the oven for 5-10 mins. Then remove from the oven to cool.
  6. In a food mixer, add the cheese, cream, vanilla paste, lavender syrup, flour, sugar and eggs (including the extra yolk), and mix until all the ingredients have been well combined.
  7. Pour cheese mix onto the cooled biscuit base. Tap gently to ensure there are no air bubbles.
  8. Place the cake tin on the middle shelf of the oven, and bake for 35 mins, until the cake has set.
  9. Turn off the oven and leave the cake to gently cool down in the oven. This should hopefully help prevent any cracks forming.  However it does not matter if cracks do appear, as the top will be covered.
  10. When the cake has cooled, place in the fridge for at least 30 mins.
  11. For the topping, mix the lavender flowers and blueberry conserve in a saucepan and gently heat over a low flame.
  12. Remove the conserve mix and allow to cool for about 10 mins.
  13. Stir in half the fresh blueberries into the conserve mix.
  14. Take the cheesecake out of the fridge and pour the blueberry conserve mix on top.
  15. Top off the cheesecake with the remaining fresh blueberries.

To decorate, I added a fresh sprig of mint and dusted with icing sugar.  Serve with some extra sour cream or thick natural yogurt and a huge pot of tea.

blulavcheesecake

Lavender Sugar Cookies – Recipe

sugar cookies

Another quick make, this time Lavender Sugar Cookies.  Just 3 ingredients are required, and a few minutes in the oven and you could have over 30 of these treats for your afternoon tea.

lavender cookie 3

Ingredients:

  • 175g butter or butter substitute, softened
  • 100g Lavender sugar
  • 225g plain flour

Method:

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon until combined. Unlike making cakes, you shouldn’t mix until the mixture becomes lighter in colour. The crunch from the sugar is what you’re after here.
  2. Fold in the flour until fully incorporated into the butter sugar mix.
  3. With clean, dry hands, gently knead the dough for about 10 to 15 seconds.
  4. Divide into 2 equal sized portions.
  5. Take each portion and roll into 2 thin sausages. The sausages shouldn’t be more than about 5cm in diameter.
  6. Wrap the sausages individually in greaseproof paper, then place them in the fridge to rest for at least 30 mins.
  7. When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to Gas Make 3.
  8. Take the dough sausages out, unwrap them and cut 1cm thick disks. You should be able to make between 30 and 36 cookies.
  9. Place the disks on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper, and bake in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes.  I managed to place 16 per baking sheet. Ensure you leave some space in-between each cookie.
  10. The cookies are ready when they are a pale golden colour. Remove from the baking sheet and allow to cool on a wire rack.  Serve immediately with a nice cup of tea.

lavender cookie

Pip and Nut Chocolate, Coconut and Hazelnut Butter – Limited Edition – Review

It took me a while to get my mits on these, and nearly resorted to ordering a crate direct from Pip and Nuts online store. But then they sold out … argh!!!!

But thanks to Ocado, who currently have the butter on special offer, I scooped up 3 of the the beauties.

pip and nut trio

The Pip & Nut Limited Edition Chocolate, Coconut and Hazelnut butter. The very sound of it is delicious. But sadly the name is better than reality.

There have been a couple of disappointments – 1 being that the jar size is now a smaller 225g reduced from 250g, which is a bit sneaky. The offer price at £3.19 is high, making the RRP at £3.99 pretty pricy, especially as other butters in the range are around the £2 mark.

Taste wise, it’s not bad. I can’t eat this by the spoonful – believe me, I tried – as the coconut flavour is a little too prominent for me and contributes to an odd ‘fatty’ aftertaste.  But on toast, it is delicious. The butter has a good consistency and is great melted as a sauce for fresh fruit, pancakes or breakfast cereals.  I had planned to use the butter as a baking ingredient. Due to it’s cost and reduced size however, I can’t justify using 2 jars for a 1 cake. Why, oh why did they make the jars smaller?

I did try mixing a teaspoon of the butter with 2 heaped tablespoons of coconut yogurt. I added a few black raspberries harvested from the garden, and made a quick pudding. I later added a teaspoon of caramel sauce, as it helped to cut down the fatty aftertaste, form the coconut butter.

fruit pip & nut yogurt

yogurt with black raspberries

As a treat, this is fab, I particularly like the fact that there is no trace of palm oil, which is where Nutella fails. The difference however is that I can easily eat Nutella by the spoonful, and at £5 for a 1kg jar, it is more economical.

Overall, I glad I got my 3 jars and am happy to use this product, sparingly. Unfortunately the search for a healthier, viable sub for Nutella continues.

Rating:

3-star

 

 

Easy Frozen Stem Ginger Yogurt – recipe

Hello,

I have a very easy recipe for frozen Stem Ginger yogurt, using just 3 ingredients.

Ingredients:

Method:

Place both the yogurt and the ginger into a freezer proof tub or old ice-cream container which has a sealable lid. Stir thoroughly, secure the lid and place in the freezer for about an hour before serving.

I serve the frozen yogurt with fresh fruit as a quick, elegant dessert. It’s a lovely served in small glasses and makes for an impressive yet elegant after dinner course.  You could also serve with chocolate curls or thins if you want to add a little more indulgence.

Frozen stem ginger yogurt recipe | champagne twist

Let me know if you try this recipe.

Thanks for reading.

National Tea Day – top 3 teas of the year so far | Champagne Twist

Today is National Tea Day, so you can guess the theme of today’s post.

Here are my top 3 teas, of the year so far.

Teapigs Matcha Green Tea Drink - Elderflower - Champagne Twist ChampagneTwist.wordpress.com
Teapigs Matcha Green Tea Drink, with Elderflower – Champagne Twist

3rd – TeaPigs Matcha Elderflower 

teapigs-liqourice-peppermint

2nd – Teapigs Liquorice and Peppermint

Niche Tea, Champagne Twist

1st – Niche co. ‘Skin’

What’s your favourite cuppa? How are you celebrating National Tea Day? Let me know in the comments section.

Thanks for reading.

Elizabeth D Bakes – Vegan Baking Masterclass

This time last week, I was enjoying a great masterclass, held by the owner of Elizabeth D Bakes, hosted by the Piccadilly branch of Whole Foods Market.  Elizabeth demonstrated no less than 3 different recipes – pistachio brownie, carrot cake and lime tart.

My absolute favourite was the carrot cake, with it’s wonderful spicy mix and delicious carrots.  The lime icing really brought out the flavour of the gluten-free cake, much better in my opinion than the traditional cream cheese frosting, and for far less calories.

The brownie while delicious, was my less favourite of the trio, partly because as much as I would love to, I still can’t really get my head around chia seeds.  To me they look too much like frog spawn when reconstituted and they don’t match the flavour and consistency of eggs.

In contrast, the lime pie was a lovely treat – delicious, moist, crumbly and full of delicious citrus flavour. It came a close second to the carrot cake, and it’s nice to know that the entire pie can be frozen at different stages, so that you will always have one ready on standby.

The masterclass was a great eye opener for me. Simply substituting just a few inexpensive ingredients can produce cakes and bakes which are just as delicious as the traditional version, if not more so. The added bonus, these recipes tend to be a whole lot healthier and less calorific, due to their free from, gluten free and/or vegan attributes.

We are all given goodie bags, which included 2 Elizabeth D Bakes banana breads. I shall review the banana bread at a later date. I will also try the recipes given at the event and report back.

5-starOne of the best masterclasses of the year so far – fun, informative and generous  yummy samples provided. Eating cake for Sunday brunch can’t be beaten.

Quick Vegan Flat Bread – recipe | Champagne Twist

A few weeks ago, I posted a recipe for quick flat bread. This recipe is just as quick to make, and perhaps a tad healthier. I even managed to make an extra 2 flat breads with this recipe.

Quick Vegan Flat Bread – recipe by Champagne Twist

quick vegan flat bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp dried yeast
  • 4 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • 1 cup warm water

Method:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a food mixer, until a slightly sticky dough is formed.
  2. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel, and set aside for 10 minutes to allow the dough to rest.
  3. After resting, divide the dough into 14 equally sized balls.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a heavy bottomed saucepan or frying pan over a medium to medium high heat.
  5. Roll each dough ball on a well floured board, into a circle about the size of a tea saucer.
  6. Cook each flat bread in the pan, for a minute on each side.
  7. To keep the flat breads warm whilst cooking, cover a plate with a clean tea towel, and add the freshly cooked flat breads on top. Cover again with another clean tea towel to keep them warm.

Let me know if you try this recipe. Please don’t forget to subscribe for more recipes – Easter is coming up and I have a few treats in store 🙂

Thanks for reading.

CT Show, episode 15 now live

Hello,

whole orange and fresh coco nut cake | Champagne Twist - champagnetwist.wordpress.com

Episode 15 of the CT Show is now live on YouTube, featuring the Whole Orange & Fresh Coconut cake recipe I posted a few days ago.

More coming soon, so please don’t forget to like, share and subscribe.

Thanks for reading.

Whole orange and fresh coconut cake recipe | Champagne Twist

whole orange and fresh coco nut cake | Champagne Twist - champagnetwist.wordpress.com

I fancied baking today, and spied a couple oranges in the fridge and a very tired looking coconut in the pantry which needed to be used quickly. However, I would recommend you use desiccated coconut instead, if you have a very sweet tooth, or wish to avoid hand grating a coconut.

Whole orange and fresh coconut cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 oranges, 1 to be used whole, 1 for decoration
  • 200g butter, softened
  • 3 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup vanilla caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated or desiccated coconut, plus extra for decoration
  • 1 1/4 cups self raising flour
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar, for decoration (optional)

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4 (180°C/160°C fan assisted).
  2. Grease and line with baking parchment a 22cm diameter round baking tin.
  3. Wash the oranges and pat them dry with kitchen paper. Set aside one of the oranges. Roughly chop the other orange, and then using a food processor, puree the orange until smooth. Set aside.
  4. In a food mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Slowly add the beaten eggs, followed by the orange puree.
  5. By hand fold in the coconut and flour to form a fairly loose batter.
  6. Pour the batter into the cake tin, and level off the top to help even baking.
  7. Place the tin on the middle shelf of the oven, and bake for 50 minutes. Check the cake is cooked with a skewer pushed into the centre. If it comes out clean then the cake is finished. If not, bake for a further 10 minutes and test again. You may need to cover the top of the cake with some foil to prevent burning.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven and leave in the tin for 5 minutes, before transferring  to a wire rack to cool.
  9. Zest long, thin strips from the 2nd orange. Juice the orange, ensuring any seeds are removed.
  10. Sift the icing sugar into a small, clean dry bowl. Stir in just enough orange juice to make a smooth icing and then drizzle over the cake.  Sprinkle the extra coconut and the orange zest on top. Allow to set and serve with a hot beverage, preferably a nice cup of tea!