Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes - National Cupcake Week 2014

Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes
I doubt anyone could eat more than one of these super indulgent cupcakes, they must be one of the richest cupcakes I have ever made.  Fortunately, I can freeze them and take one out of the freezer to thaw for those days when I need chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.

It's National Cupcake Week and for once I managed to make some cupcakes and have posted them on the blog midweek - well done me!

My local Italian restaurant posted a Ferrero Rocher Cake on their Facebook page and it prompted me to make these cupcakes.  I know these Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes have been 'out there' for a long time but somehow I have never got round to making them.

The cupcakes I've seen posted on Facebook this year are truly amazing and inspirational works of creativity.

Here's the recipe to make 12

85g self-raising flour
4 tbsp cocoa powder
110g caster sugar
110g softened salted butter
2 large eggs
1tsp baking powder
2tsp milk

You will need:  12 hole muffin tin and cupcake cases

1. Preheat the oven to 150ÂșC Fan.
2. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients and whisk for a good couple of minutes.
3. Using an ice cream scoop place balls of the batter into the 12 cupcake cases.
4. Bake for 20 minutes until cooked.  Remove from the oven and cool.

For the Nutella Buttercream
225g sifted icing sugar
100g softened unsalted butter
2 heaped tablespoons Nutella
2 tsp milk

To decorate: 4 cubes of dark chocolate melted

1. Beat everything together for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add more milk if the mixture is too stiff.
2. Put the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a 1M nozzle and pipe onto the cupcakes.  Top with a Ferrero Rocher.
3. Drizzle over melted chocolate using a teaspoon.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Snapshot of Ludlow Food Festival - September 2014

Part of the queue for the popular sausage trail
The September Ludlow Food Festival is foodie heaven but it's certainly not easy to get to from where I live.  The roads are very narrow and they twist and turn for mile after mile.  Hubby joined the queue for the sausage trail and I headed off in search of coffee.

I came across a  retro coffee truck close to the entrance to the Castle.  After watching the barista for a few minutes I was confident he knew how to make a great coffee - ordered a flat white and a latte and they were amazing.

These guys are brilliant @eatupshrewsbury
Ludlow town has some fabulous black and white buildings and an old tea shop named DeGray's Tea Room Restaurant (which is now under new ownership).  There are plenty of independent shops to browse round in the town.

DeGray's Restaurant
After a walk round some of the stalls in the market place and a visit to the Assembly Rooms to see the Pink Lady Food Photography competition winning photographs we made our way to the Castle and a visit to the huge marquee where local producers are all under one roof displaying their goods.

Cast Iron Cookware from Netherton Foundry @NethertonNews
 Scrumptious desserts
It was manic in the marquee and it wasn't always possible to make a note of who made what!

Meringue clouds
Leaving the marquee for some sun, fresh air and food.........we came across this........

Uh oh!
The Ludlow Food Festival is mainly food but it was great to see some kitchen goodies too.

Cookware by @StellarCookware
Hubby asked if I would like to join a Knife Skills Class - I declined because I wanted to go home with the same number of digits that I arrived with.

I think everyone must have been told to keep their fingers away from the knives
The entertainment in the Castle Grounds!
The next Ludlow food festival is 9th and 10th May 2015.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Lake District Dairy Co Quark Cooking Sauces - Review

Huge hamper courtesy of The Lake District Dairy Co
I have been kindly sent a huge hamper of fresh produce and the new quark cooking sauce range from The Lake District Dairy Co along with some recipes, to try my hand making a few delicious evening meals.

The sauces are made by British Farmers and have just won 'Best Brand Extension' at the World Dairy Innovation Awards.

Quark is a naturally fat free soft cheese and after launching British Quark to the UK in 2013 they have now introduced creamy quark based stir-in sauces.

I've road tested a few of the sauces in my kitchen, and if I did a 'blindfold' test,  I wouldn't know they were being marketed as a healthy alternative to sauces containing double cream or creme fraiche because they really do taste quite indulgent. The sauces contain no preservatives or artificial flavours.

I made Chicken Tikka & Quark Rice......

We loved this sauce and recipe, it's a winner
A pot of Chicken Tikka Sauce contains only 75 calories, 4.5g sugar,2.6g Fat, 0.6g Saturates, 0.74g salt.

Gnocchi with Spinach and Tomato & Basil Quark Sauce............

Our second favourite sauce and recipe
Other than the fact that we aren't really fans of gnocchi, and to be fair we could have exchanged this for pasta, we really enjoyed this meal.  The sauce was bursting with flavour and who would know that there are 79 Calories,  6.3g Sugar, 2.8g Fat and 0.6g Saturates, 0.83g Salt in a tub.

Spaghetti Quarkonara..........made with Garlic & Herb Cooking Sauce

Our least favourite sauce
This sauce is described as smooth and indulgent with a deliciously fresh garlic taste.  We like a hint of garlic in our food and unfortunately found this overpowering.

76 calories, 5.6g Sugar, 1.5g Fat, 0.4g Saturates, 0.74g Salt in a pot.

Tried and Tested:
The cooking sauces are very versatile and can be used in a number of dishes.  They are surprisingly indulgent and very tasty.  Meals can be made in minutes using fresh ingredients.

For more information please visit - RRP £1.75 per 200g pot

Disclaimer:  I was sent the above products for review purposes.

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