Christmas Chocolate Bark!

Delicious Christmas themed Chocolate Bark full of all of your favourite sweets – perfect homemade gift idea!

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Ever since I posted my Chocolate Bark recipe a few months ago I have had so many lovely comments from those who have made it themselves, and especially those who had made it with their kids – its so cute to see everyone getting involved in baking my recipes!

I decided back in Halloween to post a recipe for Halloween Bark, so it seemed silly not to do a Christmas one too! I decided to use my favourite Christmas sweets on this one – but its each to your own. I LOVE Mint Aero Bubbles, and the Cadburys Snow Bites so they simply had to feature – and yes, I did pick through some m&m packets to just get the Red & Green ones as I couldn’t find a Christmas themed packet!

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Chocolate Bark is one of those little sweet treats that is super fun to make with everyone, even make with friends, or make for little Home-Made Gifts for friends & family! I love making these as gifts around Christmas time in particular as Chocolate is usually a winner in most households, and especially in mine. Even though its very simple to make – its a nice little touch to show effort and fun!

This year I packaged mine into little snowflake decorated bags for my gifts, and in some little chocolate boxes that you can buy online – I try to make it as personal as possible for each person who would want some – such as using their favourite sweet treats in the Chocolate Bark, and even using Dark/Milk/White Chocolate as the base depending on what they prefer but this is definitely my favourite personal flavour combination for Christmas time!

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This makes a 9x13Inch Tray – 20 shards approx. 

Ingredients

– 500g White Chocolate
– 1x90g Cadburys Snow Bites
– 1x113g Mint Aero Bubbles
– 100g Red & Green M&Ms
– 4-5 Crushed Peppermint Candy Canes
– Freeze Dried Raspberries
– Christmas Sprinkles

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Method

1) Line a 9×13″ Tray with parchment paper – leave to the side.

2) Prep what sweets/Chocolate’s are going on your Bark – I crushed my Candy Canes but left everything else as they were – be careful if using a knife to crush them though, don’t cut yourself!

3) Melt the Chocolate in a Heatproof Bowl over a pan of Simmering Water as there was quite a lot of it- you don’t want the water to

4) Pour the melted chocolate into the tray and spread so its even – Sprinkle over your decorations and leave to set – if its hot it might be best to do this in the fridge so it’ll actually become hard and its a lot quicker this way!

5) Cut/Break into shards and enjoy!

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Tips and Ideas

This lovely little treat will last for weeks if kept in the right conditions – Mine never lasts this long but I give it a 1 month date from making depending on what you use as Chocolate Use-by-dates are so long!

You can obviously use whatever sweets & chocolates that you fancy, but these are my personal favourites and are very Christmassy!!

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ENJOY!

Find my other Sweets & Christmas recipes on my Recipes Page!

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J x

© Jane’s Patisserie 2015

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Red Velvet Cupcakes!

Deliciously light & fluffy Red Velvet Cupcakes with a gorgeous Cream Cheese Frosting – perfect Christmas or everyday cupcakes!

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A couple of weeks ago I posted my recipe for my Red Velvet Cake and it was a massive success – its one that you were all waiting for for a very long time! I had however had many requests for a cupcake version, so here it is!  You will see however that my recipe isn’t just my Cake recipe halved as I believe this version bakes better as a cupcake, and the other as an actual cake – so there is a difference!

I was flabbergasted with how red my cupcakes came out – such as they look like they have been edited beyond belief, but they really are that red! Its mind-blowing! This meant they were the perfect red to make these my Christmas Cupcakes – and don’t they look cute! Just look at those cases & the sprinkles – I am a little bit in love.

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Red Velvet is one of those controversial cakes – its like why on earth does a cake need to have vinegar in it? and do I really have to use buttermilk?! But honestly – a classic ‘Red Velvet’ contains these ingredients – and you can’t really avoid them. You can of course just bake vanilla cupcakes and use food colouring, but Red Velvet is meant to be Chocolate AND Vanilla but be super red – the bicarbonate, vinegar, and buttermilk help create the texture and bring the colour out more!

My first Christmas recipe of the year – my No-Bake Baileys Cheesecake – was a downright HUGE success, and I know this recipe will be also. They are really addictive, and I’ve made these many times before (before I was gluten intolerant!) and they’ve always been a hit. Enjoy!

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This recipe makes 12 cupcakes! 

Ingredients

Red Velvet Cake
– 75g Unsalted Butter
– 150g Caster Sugar
– 2 Medium Eggs
– 3tsp Sugarflair Christmas Red Food Colouring
– 1tsp Vanilla Bean Extract
– 15g Cocoa Powder
– 125ml Buttermilk
– 175g Plain Flour
– 1tsp Baking Powder
– 1/2tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
– 1/2tsp White Wine Vinegar
Cream Cheese Frosting
– 75g Butter, room temperature
– 150g Icing Sugar
– 2-3tbsp Whole Milk/Double Cream
– 1x 180g Philadelphia Full-Fat Cream Cheese

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Method

1) To Bake the Red Velvet Cupcakes – Preheat your oven to 170C/150CFan and line a 12-hole muffin tray with muffin cases – leave to the side for now.

2) Beat together the Butter and Sugar in a stand mixer till smooth and fluffy like you would a normal cake, and then gradually beat in the egg so that it doesn’t curdle (if it does curdle, beat in a little flour to bring it back)

3) In a small bowl, mix together the Red Food Colouring, and Vanilla Extract to a paste – Add this mixture to the butter mixture and beat until combined and coloured well – turn the speed down so its slow and mix in the cocoa powder.

4) Pour in half of the buttermilk and beat on a slow speed. Add in half of the flour and beat again, and then the other half of the buttermilk & beat, and then the other half of the flour & beat (I realise this is faffy, but it works!) Finally – beat in the Bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, and vinegar. Beat again briefly until everything is smooth and incorporated well.

5) Spoon into the muffin cases so its even – I use a cookie scoop and fill the cases about 2/3 full so that its even across them all – bake for 20-25 minutes or until the middle of the cupcakes come out clean when poked with a skewer! Once the cakes are baked, leave to cool on a wire rack.

6) To make the Cream Cheese Frosting – With a stand mixer, beat the butter for a couple of minutes so its really supple and smooth – gradually add in the Icing Sugar, and the Milk so that its a smooth buttercream.

7) Loosen the cream cheese slightly with a spoon then add to the buttercream – briefly mix together so that the mixture is smooth.

8) Pipe your frosting onto the cupcakes with whatever tip you like – I used a closed star – and then sprinkle on your favourite sprinkles! Enjoy!

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Tips and Ideas

I really really really recommend in investing in good quality Red Food Colouring for a red velvet cake – I use Sugarflair paste colours which you can buy online, or in cake decorating shops etc – but they don’t have a funny taste to them, you use far less to make them work, and they last so much longer!!

These cupcakes will last for 3 days covered, if hot store in the fridge!

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ENJOY!

Find my other Cupcake & Christmas recipes on my Recipes Page!

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J x

© Jane’s Patisserie 2015

Gingerbread Men!

A Chewy & Crunchy Christmassy Biscuit that everyone will love to Bake & Decorate!

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I have been asking on my Facebook page recently what sort of Christmas themed recipes everyone wanted and this was 100% one of them – like so many people asked for it, I couldn’t not bake it! The only other Christmassy biscuits I have on my blog already are my White Chocolate & Cranberry Cookies and my Chocolate Orange Cookies – and don’t get me wrong, both of these are delicious – however, they aren’t gingerbread men.

I have had my troubles with gingerbread over the years strangely enough, even if it seems like one of the most common Christmas bakes. I have tried other recipes and they have all gone so wrong – spreading so much they from a giant cookie, or being so crunchy I feel like my teeth will break – this recipe though, its the perfect mix of crunchy & chewy, and they don’t spread! The men actually still look like men when they come out the oven!

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This recipe has also been featured on itsabakingthing.com HERE! 🙂 itsabakingthing.com have also interviewed me for their ‘#bakingchat’ section before for some of my expert advice, and what I like to do in the kitchen – and you can check out the interview with them HERE!

But anyway, this recipe honestly is my go-to gingerbread biscuit recipe, I have never failed with it since I developed the recipe, and its been a massive hit with all of my taste testers over time. Enjoy!

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This recipe makes 30 Biscuits!

Ingredients

– 375g Plain Flour
– 1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
– 3tsps Ground Ginger
– 120g Unsalted Butter, cold, cubed
– 175g Light Brown Sugar
– 5tbsps Golden Syrup
– 1 Large Egg, beaten
– Coloured Writing Gels/Royal Icing

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Method

1) Preheat your oven to 190C/180C Fan and line 3-4 Baking trays with Parchment paper (or do it in two batches if you only have two trays!)

2) Add the flour, Bicarbonate of Soda, and Ginger to a large bowl and add the Cold, Cubed Butter to the bowl – rub together with your fingers until it resembles bread crumbs! (Or mix the four ingredients in a food processor till its breadcrumbs!)

3) Mix the sugar into the mix and combine, and then add the Golden Syrup and Egg – beat with a spatula/your hands until it is a smooth dough – It may seem a little crumbly at first, but if you knead it it’ll come together!

4) Knead the biscuit dough, and then Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface – roll it out to 1/2cm thickness and cut out your desired shapes! I did Gingerbread men, snowmen, and Christmas trees!

5) Place them on the lined baking trays and bake in the oven for 10-11 minutes, cool on a wire rack fully, and then decorate how you please!

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Tips and Ideas

I like my biscuits very Gingery otherwise it just doesn’t float my boat, but feel free to use less! (Or even a different spice – like cinnamon!)

These biscuits will last for about a week in an airtight container, if they last that long!

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ENJOY!

Find my other Cookie/Christmas recipes on my Recipes Page!

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J x

© Jane’s Patisserie 2015

No-Bake Baileys Cheesecake!

A DELICIOUS No-Bake Cheesecake that is PERFECT for the Christmas Table – a No-Bake Baileys Cheesecake!

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Yes. Thats right. BAILEYS CHEESECAKE! I can explain why there is another cheesecake recipe – I had oodles and oodles of requests for a Christmas/Baileys Cheesecake so how on earth could I disappoint?! Plus – I made this just in time for my Mums birthday, so it doubled up as her Birthday Cake! See – perfect excuse.

This recipe seemed like the perfect way to kick off my Christmas baking and recipe stint on my blog after the recent success of my No-Bake Chocolate Orange Cheesecake that is spreading across social media like wildfire (which to me is also a Christmas recipe!) – I really hope you all agree because I am damned chuffed with this one – it really is so yummy!

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I figured, with the help of my lovely Facebook followers, that Baileys would be a delicious flavour for a Christmas Cheesecake – I don’t know about anyone else, but there is always a bottle of Baileys around at my Christmas events, and this is a delicious way to use some up! The Cheesecake is delicious and super creamy, and if you’re a Baileys/Irish Cream lover than you will LOVEEEE this one. You may also like my Baileys Truffles recipe!

This cheesecake does not use Chocolate to help it set – I tried it a couple of times with Chocolate in, but I felt like it overpowered the flavour of the baileys, and drizzling the chocolate on top worked far far better! The base is made up of a mix of biscuits that I love to eat, especially round Christmas time. It is super simple to make too – crush the biscuits & mix with melted butter – press into the base and the base is already done! Whisk together the cream cheese & sugar, whisk in the Baileys, whisk in the Double Cream… pour on and set! Decorate how you please!

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So Simple, so elegant, so delicious… Perfect dessert for your Christmas Dessert table!

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This recipe serves 8-10!

Ingredients

Biscuit Base
– 2oog Chocolate Digestives
– 100g Oreos
– 135g Unsalted Butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling
– 450g Full-Fat Cream Cheese
– 100g Icing Sugar
– 3tbsps Baileys
– 300ml Double Cream

Decorations
– Melted Dark Chocolate
– Christmas Sprinkles
– Freeze Dried Raspberries

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Method

1) Blitz the biscuits in a food processor and mix the biscuits with the melted butter. Spread on the bottom of an 8″ Deep Springform Cake Tin and press down firmly. Leave to set in the fridge whilst you make the rest!

2) Using an electric mixer, I use my KitchenAid with the whisk attachment, whisk together the cream cheese, and icing sugar until smooth and then gradually add in the Baileys a spoonful at a time and whisk again until smooth and lump free – this won’t take too long, but at first it make look a little split or a little odd, but whisk/beat the Baileys in on a low speed and it’ll be dandy!

3) Pour in the double cream and continue to whisk for a couple of minutes until its very thick and mousse like (I mix it on a medium speed, level 5/10) –  it will hold itself completely when finished mixing (like a meringue does!) If you don’t mix it enough it will not set well enough, but don’t get impatient and whisk it really quick because that’ll make it split! If you’re nervous about this step, whip the cream separately and then fold the two mixes together! Spread over the biscuit base and leave to set in the fridge overnight.

4) Remove the Cheesecake from the tin carefully and decorate the cheesecake – I drizzled over some melted dark chocolate (as it marries with the flavour sooo well), and then sprinkled on some Christmas Sprinkles and Freeze Dried Raspberries to give it some colour!

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Tips and Ideas

I only used 3tbsps of Baileys in this as you don’t want to add so much that it will be impossible for it to set, and you can still taste it very well with the 3tbsps!

You have to make sure that it is Full-Fat cream cheese that  you use so you know its going to set – I also always set my cheesecakes in the fridge overnight otherwise they risk being a little runny still and slipping off the biscuit base but if you want to risk it then go for it! If you think its not setting, 99% of the time its because you didnt whip the ingredients up enough! 🙂

I used a mixture of Chocolate Digestives & Oreos on the bottom because I love the flavour of them combined with the Baileys filling, but you can easily use whatever biscuits you like such as Graham Crackers, or even regular Digestive biscuits!

This recipe will last for 3 days, covered, in the fridge.

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ENJOY!

Find my other Cheesecake/Christmas recipes on my Recipes Page!

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J x

© Jane’s Patisserie 2015

Terry’s Chocolate Orange Pannacottas!

Delicious desserts full of Terry’s Chocolate Orange that are super easy to make, and that everyone will love!

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It’s no secret that I LOOOOOVE Terry’s Chocolate Orange – it is literally my favourite chocolate. This is demonstrated by the amount of Chocolate Orange themed recipes already on my blog – such as my No-Bake Chocolate Orange Cheesecake. Its the 2nd most popular recipe on my blog – and its no surprise, everyone loves Chocolate Orange! And hopefully you will all agree with this recipe – I make it on everyone occasion I have.

I have always loved Pannacottas – When I was away at Cookery School I had to create the dessert for a Charity Dining event. I had to include White Chocolate and Raspberries as the main elements so I came up with the idea of a Pannacotta with raspberry jelly on top, with raspberry sorbet and more decorations of utter deliciousness! Two of the chef tutors Joe and Colin helped create this recipe for the pannacottas as I had tried one and it had failed completely as I was trying to use Agar Agar and used waaaaay too much!

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This recipe is smooth, light, and totally moreish – with the delicate dollop of whipped cream on top, and the crunch of an additional segment of chocolate or two, its a dream to eat. My Chocolate Orange Cookies would also be a good addition to this dessert if you wanted to go the whole shabang and make something completely Chocolate Orange themed – and I wouldn’t blame you – who wouldn’t love it?!

If you are Vegetarian and obviously wouldnt use Gelatin, you can use Agar Agar which is a Vegan Setting agent made out of Seaweed. I have used it before, and it works in the exact same way as Gelatin, but obviously its not made out of Animal Products! Instead of using the 4 Gelatin leaves in this recipe, use 9g of Agar Agar and follow the same method below!

I really hope you guys like this – its my favourite.

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This makes 6-8 Pannacottas!

Ingredients

– 450ml Double/Heavy Cream
– 200ml Full Fat Milk
– 1tsp Vanilla Bean Extract
– 1x 175g Terry’s Chocolate Orange – Chopped finely.
– 45g Caster Sugar
– 3-4 Dr Oetker Gelatin Leaves (7g worth)
– Whipped Cream
– Extra Grated Chocolate Orange/Segments

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Method

1) Put the leaves of gelatin into a bowl or jug and cover with COLD water so as to soak it and get it ready for going in the mix later on. It is important for it to be cold water or it will dissolve into the water and it will be useless!

2) Pour the cream, milk and vanilla into a heavy based pan and heat gently – Stir occasionally and try not to heat too quickly because it might catch on the bottom and start to burn to mixture.

3) When the mixture reaches roughly 85C, turn off the heat and pour in the chopped chocolate and caster sugar and whisk until melted and smooth – Get the gelatine leaves out of the water and squeeze out the water – add to the mix and whisk again until dissolved. You can taste test it to see if there are any lumps or a funny texture. If there are lumps in it or the gelatine hasn’t dissolved fully then the mix isn’t hot enough to melt it fully so turn the heat back on for a little longer until it is done!

4) Pour into whatever serving Jar/plate/dish/bowl/cup/ring/anything and cover with clingfilm and refrigerate until set. If doing smaller ones like me it’ll take probably 5 hours or more to set fully. If you decide to create one large panna cotta for the dinner table then set it overnight!

5) Decorate with whipped cream, grated chocolate, and some more chocolate orange segments!

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Tips and Ideas

I used my Kilner Jars to serve my desserts in – I make sure they are clean by running them through a hot dish washer cycle before using them, but as the mixture is only in there for a couple of days, and the desserts are stored in the fridge, the ‘sterilisation’ of the jars really isn’t important!

I find gelatine is a funny one because you can use more or less depending on how firm you want the mixture but the general rule is…
– Firm Jelly: use 7 grams of gelatin to 250ml of liquid
– Tender Jelly: use 7 grams of gelatin to 500ml of liquid
– Delicate Jelly: use 7 grams of gelatin to 750ml of liquid

These desserts last for 2 days, in the fridge!

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ENJOY!

Find my other Dessert recipes on my Recipes Page!

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J x

© Jane’s Patisserie 2015