Demo this Sunday!

What are your weekend plans?

Mark your calendars: the Celtic Festival of Bealtaine on Bere Island this May bank holiday weekend!

I’m giving a cookery demonstration on Sunday at 1pm, and it’s sure to be YUMMY! You’ll walk away with a print-out of my recipes, and try some samples!

All my recipes are going to be guilt-free, and the natural ingredients can be sourced from your back yard!

Details below, and hope to see some of you there:

Awakening Traditions: Bealtaine Festival on Bere Island

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Barry’s Tea Cupcakes and White Chocolate Frosting

c.hall 2015
c.hall 2015

This is my new favorite cupcake! It’s a fluffy vanilla cupcake with a twist! And it’s celebrating Irish produce, and I’m all about supporting and promoting local. These would be a perfect recipe for ‘high tea’ (just make them mini cupcakes, and they’d be so cute!), Mother’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, or an awesome birthday gift for a tea-lover (which living here, it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like tea!).

The frosting is only two ingredients and makes for a nice alternative to the usual buttercream or cream cheese frosting I make.

Barry’s tea cupcakes: (This makes about 8-10 cupcakes, depending on the size you want)

4 tea bags

1/2 cup milk (whole or low-fat)

1/2 cup of butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 175C. In a small saucepan, bring milk to a boil, add the teabags and let seep for about 10-12 minutes or more. The longer, the better and stronger flavor. While you’re letting the tea seep, in a mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs the eggs ONE AT A TIME. Then add your vanilla, followed by the milk (minus the tea bags!). Add in the flour, but by bit (as you do, be sure to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl as you go!). Divide the batter into the paper cups, and bake for approximately 12 minutes or until golden brown. While cooling, make your frosting!

For the frosting: (This is a small batch, but can easily be doubled)

1/2 cup of butter

1/2 cup white chocolate (chips, chopped, whatever you have!)

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and white chocolate over a low to medium heat. Give a good stir, it will look like the butter and the chocolate are separating-that is okay! When melted and smooth, take off heat and bring to room temperature. Then stick the saucepan in the fridge until it solidifies (Have to play the waiting game, but so worth it!). Then beat until a smooth frosting!

Cacao Coconut Granita

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Hold onto summer with this recipe!

Ice cream makers are great, but maybe like me, you don’t have one? My goal was to make coconut ice cream, but it came out a little too slushy, and I lack the patience to stir the mix every half hour/45 minutes and wait overnight–so I’m calling this a granita.

Did I mention that this was also pretty much a vegan ice cream? Oh, I didn’t, well it’s a great alternative to that Ben n’ Jerry’s you’re craving. Plus, with the raw cacao, there are plenty of benefits to this treat!

1 14-oz can of coconut milk (I used full-fat)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-3 tablespoons raw cacao

1/4 water (almond milk works well too!)

2 tabslepoons of agave nectar (add more if you fancy it a little sweeter!)

All I did was: add all ingredients to a blender, blend for a couple of minutes. Pour mix into tupperware, set in freezer. Stir every thirty to forty minutes, and chill overnight. Top with strawberries or cacao nibs, and enjoy! Realllllyy easy!!

Celebration cake

When it comes to baking and cooking, I love to challenge myself and learn new techniques and methods.  I have never used or made fondant but I really enjoyed playing around with it!

Here’s my first fondant cake bake, check it out! Blessings and congratulations to Miss Evelyn! xo

c.hall 2015
c.hall 2015
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c.hall 2015

The flavor was vanilla, a maple buttercream, and crushed strawberries.

Strawberry cinnamon swirl loaf cake

That’s a mouthful! One of my favorite fruits has always been the strawberry. And here in Ireland, we are spoiled when it comes to strawberry season, as it really is like candy! I like to experiment with fruits and veg when they’re in season. Even though still on crutches, I’m not letting that hold me back, but have been sticking with easy baking. So down below is a super yummy, really easy loaf cake. It’s packed with one of my favorite spices, cinnamon, and shows off those gorgeous strawberries! Pairs really well with your morning coffee/tea or as an after dinner dessert.

Strawberry cinnamon swirl loaf cake:

Grease and flour a loaf tin. Preheat oven to 165C.

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

3 tablespoons butter softened

2 eggs

3/4 greek yogurt cup greek yogurt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

approximately 1 cup of strawberries(about half a cup whole, but you’ll slice the strawberries)

In a mixing bowl, soften the butter with your mixer until pale. Add the sugar and beat until combined. Then add the eggs

ONE AT A TIME. Then add the vanilla extract and Greek yogurt. Now you’ll sift in the flour and baking powder. Add in the

cinnamon. Then fold in the strawberries.  Pour batter into tin, and with a knife, trace the figure ‘8’ back and forth(this creates

the swirl!) Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Yumo!

c.hall 2015
c.hall 2015

Easy Blondies Bombshells

Lately I have an obsession with blondies! My recipe is pretty similiar to a chocolate chip cookie but it loaded with other sweets, so it’s quite the decadent blondie. With summer here, sandwich a scoop of vanilla ice cream with two of these loaded blondies, and you’ve got yourself an extraordinary ice cream sandwich!!

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup butter

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup of chocolate, chopped in a variety of sizes (or chocolate chips)

1/2 cup  marshmallows

Preheat oven to  160C. Grease and flour a brownie tin.

Beat the eggs, and set aside. Melt the butter, pour in a mixing bowl. Then, add the sugar and beaten eggs and mix until blended. Add the dry ingredients, and vanilla extract. Fold in the chocolate and marshmallows. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Let cool and cut into squares.

Carmel’s Chocolate Stout Cake

I made it in two cake tins, but I think it’s form would hold better in a bundt tin.

Carmel’s chocolate stout cake:

2 cups flour

1 cup cocoa powder

1 cup white sugar

1/2 brown sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 cup veggie oil

2 cups(1 tall can) your choice of stout

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Grease and flour tin. Sieve flour, cocoa, sugars and baking powder in a large bowl. Whisk to make sure everything is mixed thoroughly. Make a well in center. Add wet ingredients.  Stir from middle out, until no lumps. Pour in tin(s). Bake for 35-40 min, or until toothpick comes out clean,  at about 145c (not totally sure what that is in farenheit, but just watch the cake!). Let cool, frost with a whiskey buttercream/cream cheese frosting.

Whiskey frosting:
8oz cream cheese (1 block/container), room temperature
 2 cups + a few tablespoons powdered sugar (sifted)
 6 tablespoons butter (softened – not melted)
2 tsp vanilla

2 tablespoons your choice Whiskey


With an electric mixer mix softened butter and cream cheese with vanilla and whiskey until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar one cup, Then add the additional tablespoons as needed until the consistency is thick, smooth, and to your liking.

Let me know if you guys end up baking this!  And pass on and enjoy!

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Thee best one bowl brownies

To me, brownies should be fudgey, gooey, moist, and rich in chocolate. This bowl of brownies is sure to deliver supreme happiness! Serve with a tall glass of milk or sandwich a scoop of ice cream in between-yum!

Brownies:

375g caster sugar

225g butter-melt and cool

60g cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 eggs

225g plain flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and flour brownie tin. Mix all ingredients in the order given. Optional: top with walnuts or raspberries, or even more chocolate chips!

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Carrot cake

I only became a fan of carrot cake in the last year to be honest. I find the sponge of the cake can be a bit dry which is a bit off putting. But tried and tested I’ve accomplished a moist and enjoyable carrot cake! And you’re getting your vegetables, so it has to be somewhat healthy right? The walnuts add a nice crunch.

Carrot cake:

185g flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

100g granulated sugar

100g brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

135g vegetable oil

200g grated carrots (about 4-5 carrots)

65-80g chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 160C. Grease and flour a loaf tin. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat eggs and sugars until light fluffy. Turn the speed to low, and add the oil slowly. Beat until combined. Turn off mixer and fold in dry ingredients. Gently mix in carrots. Don’t overmix! Put in oven for about 50 minutes.

When cooled, top with cream cheese frosting and walnuts. Delicious with tea or hot chocolate.