Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


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Pieday Friday recipe – No bake chocolate cheesecake with raspberries

Happy Friday everyone, isn’t it a lovely Spring day out there today? Hope it’s just as nice where you are too! I’m in an especially good mood because I’m starting work on my kitchen renovation today. I can’t wait to get it looking fresh and clean – just imagine all the lovely recipes I’ll be able to make in there once the new worktop and oven is installed!Seeing as I can’t do much cooking myself at the moment I’ve decided to share a delicious recipe from Delicake today. After getting a Delicake dish earlier this month, I’ve been browsing their recipe website a lot and asked if it would be okay to share one of their fab desserts with you today.

Ingredients: 250g biscuits for the base, 75g butter to combine, 250g cream cheese, ½ cup caster sugar, 600ml thick cream, 200g white chocolate (or milk chocolate if you prefer), 1 punnet raspberries, 1 tablespoon gelatine, ¼ cup of hot water for the gelatine.

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Pieday Friday – 12 days of Christmas recipe round-up

I thought I’d share round-up of my favourite festive recipes this Pieday Friday. The idea was to get you in the mood for all the Christmas baking to come but, in fact, I’ve actually started craving most of these recipes now, so I’m sure I’ll be whipping up some tasty this weekend! Below you’ll find links to my top twelve “12 days of Christmas” recipe blog posts, starting with these snowy dark chocolate cookies and cream-filled snowball meringues – enjoy!pieday friday baking recipe microwave meringues chocolate cookies-13 Recipe for snowball meringues Christmas pudding dessert-18It wouldn’t be Christmas without gingerbread. Last year I made a gingerbread sleigh but the recipe can be used to make traditional gingerbread men or decorations to hang on your tree. You can find the classic gingerbread recipe in this blog post plus there’s a festive spiced banana muffin recipe in the gingerbread blog post too, bonus!baking-a-gingerbread-sleigh-using-cookie-cutters-1diy-halloween-cookie-recipe-chocolate-gingerbread-men-skeletons-treat-dessert-pudding-7Even though I first made this chocolate gingerbread recipe for halloween, it’s definitely going to be baked again in December. The chocolate makes a nice change to the traditional gingerbread biscuit recipe, and you could make a batch of both types for Christmas, mmm.

Cheesy Christmas Stars

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Pieday Friday – Chocolate gingerbread skeletons recipe for Halloween

A slightly different take on the classic festive gingerbread man, this cookie dough contains cocoa powder so it produces a dark, crisp biscuit. When cut out with a gingerbread cutter they’re the perfect shape for icing a skeleton design for Halloween. The darker colour biscuit emphasises the spooky shape and tastes even better than normal gingerbread thanks to all the chocolate in the recipe!diy-halloween-cookie-recipe-chocolate-gingerbread-men-skeletons-treat-dessert-pudding-12I think that these homemade biscuits would be great to give out to trick-or-treaters or could be the dessert for your spooky Halloween party. Here’s how to make the dough and bake the perfect chocolate gingerbread skeletons:diy-halloween-cookie-recipe-chocolate-gingerbread-men-skeletons-treat-dessert-pudding-11Ingredients for around 18 biscuits (depending on the size of your cutter): 300g plain flour, 50g cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon ground ginger, 120g butter, 120g brown sugar, 140g golden syrup, icing sugar for icing the skeleton shape.diy-halloween-cookie-recipe-chocolate-gingerbread-men-skeletons-treat-dessert-puddingdiy-halloween-cookie-recipe-chocolate-gingerbread-men-skeletons-treat-dessert-pudding-2Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Mix flour, cocoa, ginger powder and butter together in a bowl. Either use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour, like a crumble recipe, or put into a food processor and pulse together until it forms a crumbly consistency. Drizzle in the golden syrup and continue pulsing the processor until it forms a dough, or mix with a knife if you’re doing it the manual way.diy-halloween-cookie-recipe-chocolate-gingerbread-men-skeletons-treat-dessert-pudding-3Step 2: Divide the dough into quarters and place between two sheets of greaseproof paper. Roll out the dough then peel away the top layer of paper.diy-halloween-cookie-recipe-chocolate-gingerbread-men-skeletons-treat-dessert-pudding-4 diy-halloween-cookie-recipe-chocolate-gingerbread-men-skeletons-treat-dessert-pudding-5diy-halloween-cookie-recipe-chocolate-gingerbread-men-skeletons-treat-dessert-pudding-6Step 3: Use a gingerbread man cutter to press shapes into the dough. Peel away the excess dough, leaving the gingerbread man shapes on the greaseproof paper.diy-halloween-cookie-recipe-chocolate-gingerbread-men-skeletons-treat-dessert-pudding-7diy-halloween-cookie-recipe-chocolate-gingerbread-men-skeletons-treat-dessert-pudding-8

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Pieday Friday – Bottomless Harvest Pie

After going foraging on a blackberry walk last weekend, today’s blog post is the result of that walk. I decided to combine the blackberries with apples (cooking apples are abundant in the garden at the moment) and make a bottomless pie. What does that mean? It means that I made a blind-baked pie base and it shrunk so much that I couldn’t use it! I therefore went for just a pie crust on top of the filling in a pie dish. Don’t worry, it tasted just as yummy and actually it’s a little bit of a healthier pudding, because there’s about half the amount of pastry!diy-recipe-baking-harvest-pie-cooking-apple-and-blackberry-pastry-dessert-pudding-7 diy-recipe-baking-harvest-pie-cooking-apple-and-blackberry-pastry-dessert-pudding-3Ingredients: 225g plain flour, 100g butter, 25g caster sugar, 2 tablespoons water, a pinch of salt, 100g sugar, a dash of amaretto, plus as many cooking apples as it takes to fill your pie dish and as many blackberries as you can gather!

The pastry: Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl and rub in the butter using your fingertips. Add the cold water and stir with a knife until it comes together into a stuff dough. Roll out on a floured surface to the thickness of a pound coin. By the way, my pretty rolling pin is from The Caravan Trail if you’re interested. I like to use it for pastry as it’s ceramic so stays cool – very important in pastry-making!diy-recipe-baking-harvest-pie-cooking-apple-and-blackberry-pastry-dessert-pudding diy-recipe-baking-harvest-pie-cooking-apple-and-blackberry-pastry-dessert-pudding-2The filling: Peel, core and slice enough apples to fill your pie dish. Put the apples in a pan over a medium heat and add 100g sugar to sweeten the tangy taste of the cooking apples and a splash of water (or a dash of amaretto if you like the flavour). Allow to cook down (keeping some chunky bits) and allow the apples to become a little mushy. Taste the apples and add more sugar if needed. diy-recipe-baking-harvest-pie-cooking-apple-and-blackberry-pastry-dessert-pudding-4 diy-recipe-baking-harvest-pie-cooking-apple-and-blackberry-pastry-dessert-pudding-5

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Thrifty Wedding Inspiration – Homemade cake buffet

Wedding food can take up a hefty chunk of any wedding budget, so it’s important to consider plenty of different options when you decide how to cater for your guests. After lots of research (on Pinterest, naturally) I began to think that dessert + after-dinner truffles + wedding cake + tuckshop + ice cream cart might be a little bit overkill for the average wedding. Sure, these are all really lovely parts of the wedding reception and if you’re known for your undying love of ice-cream then go for it! But if you’re on a budget, it’s not a problem to play around with the wedding breakfast format a little and same some money at the same time.L&A-LowRes-539After checking out these images of fabulous dessert buffet tables I learned that IS possible to cut back on some of the food at your wedding without disappointing anyone. To be honest, a slice of cake at the end of the night won’t really be missed, and serving up your wedding cake instead of a dessert is a perfectly acceptable money-saving option too. Why not ask guests to compete in a ‘bake off’ and bring a cake that they have baked at home. This would fit in perfectly with a village fete themed wedding and allows guests to be a part of the event. All you’d need is some serving plates and a big rosette for the ‘winner’ of the bake off. And I’m sure all the guests would all enjoy tucking into the huge variety of cakes that end up on the bake off table.L&A-LowRes-538 L&A-LowRes-540Laura from no-nonsense wedding blog Devine Bride says; “We tried to be creative with our wedding to make it more unique to us, but also to try to save some pennies along the way. My sister is a bit of a foodie and ended up having two wedding cakes at her wedding, however everyone had such a good time that that they forgot all about the cakes and we were still eating them for 3 weeks afterwards! We decided to reabsorb our wedding cake budget, removed our dessert course from our menu, and asked all of our local friends to bake us a cake instead of bringing us a present. We ended up with a massive Pudding Garden dessert buffet! It was a massive hit with our guests and it meant so much to us that our friends had contributed to our day.”L&A-LowRes-254 L&A-LowRes-543I think that these buffet tables all look so inviting, and the variety of cakes that guests could bring to your wedding is unlimited. I would personally love to be asked to bake a dessert, and would hand over my cupcakes with pride! I also think that guests would be more happy to tuck in when there’s a cake buffet on offer, as nothing is too precious to slice up (unlike a traditional wedding cake). Of course, if you want to ‘cut the cake’ you could always stack up a number of Victoria sponge cakes to create one large tiered cake, or could ‘cut the ribbon’ instead to declare the dessert buffet open!L&A-LowRes-285 L&A-LowRes-541 L&A-LowRes-271Let me know if you’ve decided to do something a little different for your own wedding by leaving me a comment below and I’d love to see your own wedding ideas or cake photos so please tag me on Instagram @Cassiefairy. And be sure to stop by Laura’s blog Devine Bride for plenty more wedding inspiration, advice and fantastic ‘real life’ wedding photos.

 


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Pieday Friday – Cherry & Strawberry Sponge Cake

This week’s Pieday Friday recipe was created quite by accident last weekend. I had an afternoon to myself and was feeling a little ‘meh’. Not down-in-the-dumps but definitely unmotivated. So what better way is there to cheer myself up than by baking a cake, eh? I dragged myself off the sofa and started to gather my ingredients together ready to bake. Having determined that I did already have everything I needed to bake a cake (for once!) I set to work finding my baking equipment. fruit cake cherry strawberry sponge bake baking recipe-6 fruit cake cherry strawberry sponge bake baking recipe-10This was the first stumbling block; my cake tins were nowhere to be seen. I’ve probably not baked a cake for a good few months, and I must have tidied the pans away into my caravan to stop them from cluttering up my kitchen. But could I find them now that I wanted to use them? Nope. Instead I had to use one larger tin than usual and hope for the best. I figured that I could cut it in half and sandwich it back together rather than baking two 7 inch cakes like I usually do. You might already be able to tell from the photos that this plan didn’t really work as my larger tin produced a much flatter cake!fruit cake cherry strawberry sponge bake baking recipeI had lots of strawberries in the fridge thanks to a rather fruitful patch growing in the garden, which had all ripened at once in the hot sun. I’d also picked up a couple of punnets of cherries in the supermarket, now that they are in season and are on sale at bargain prices. When I say ‘a couple’ I mean four in a week. So after days and days of munching on fresh cherries, I was starting to think about other ways of eating them up that didn’t involve breakfast cereal. So I decided to use up all my lovely ripe strawberries and cherries in this cake.fruit cake cherry strawberry sponge bake baking recipe-2 fruit cake cherry strawberry sponge bake baking recipe-3

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Pieday Friday – Chocolate chip cookie cups

What better way to serve ice-cream and chocolate sauce than in freshly baked cookie cups, eh? I don’t know where I conjured up this idea from in my mind but when my family recently popped round for an impromptu meal, the cookie cups were something I really wanted to try out. I knew I had ice-cream in the freezer but wanted to serve it in a more exciting way than just in a bowl with some sprinkles. So I dug out my trusty chocolate chip cookie recipe (eggless, which is great for allergy sufferers) and set to work creating some yummy ‘bowls’ in which to serve my vanilla ice cream.pieday friday baking recipe cookie cups pudding dessert chocolate chip-13 pieday friday baking recipe cookie cups pudding dessert chocolate chip-11 pieday friday baking recipe cookie cups pudding dessert chocolate chip-12Ingredients (makes 4 large cookie cups or 12 small cookies): 175g plain flour, 75g butter, 50g light brown sugar, 150g chocolate chips, 3 tablespoons golden syrup, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, 1 pinch of salt. Oven pre-heated to 190 degrees.pieday friday baking recipe cookie cups pudding dessert chocolate chipStep 1 – Mix the flour and butter with your fingertips to create a breadcrumb-like texture. Mix in a pinch of salt along the bicarb and baking powder.pieday friday baking recipe cookie cups pudding dessert chocolate chip-2Step 2 – Pour in the chocolate, sugar and golden syrup.pieday friday baking recipe cookie cups pudding dessert chocolate chip-3

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Pieday Friday – A collection of fruit pie recipes

There’s no better pud than a pie, I reckon. A generous slice of hot fruit pie served with slowly melting vanilla ice-cream is a dream come true. Or on chillier days, a steaming stream of custard poured on top of the crisp pastry is just what the doctor ordered. And when you’ve finished your pudding, you know that leftover slice is going to taste amazing cold out of the fridge the next day. Fancy baking a fruit pie? I do!fruit pie filling pieday friday cooking recipe pies-3In fact, I did make a fruit pie for Sunday lunch last week. These photos are the result of a few minutes of pastry-making and about as much time cutting out the letters with my new cookie cutters! So after enjoying a tasty sliver of my deep-filled fruit pie, I decided that I couldn’t keep it to myself and conjured up a way of sharing it with you via this ‘collection’ of fruit pie recipes. Read on to get some filling inspiration and tips on getting the crispiest pastry.fruit pie filling pieday friday cooking recipe ideas-2Filling 1 – Apple and mixed summer fruits. This is the filling I used in my pie last week. We simply peeled and sliced the apples and popped them straight into the pie case – no pre-cooking needed here. We then threw in as much frozen mixed berries as possible and covered with the pastry lid.fruit pie filling pieday friday cooking recipe ideas-3

Filling 2 – Blueberries and ginger. I found this recipe (and many other fruit pie fillings) on BonAppetit.com. This one calls for 2lbs of blueberries, 1 and a quarter cups of sugar, a quarter of a cup of cornstarch to thicken, a tablespoon of grated ginger and lime zest, a quarter of a cup of lime juice. Mix together and pour into the pie crust uncooked.fruit pie filling pieday friday cooking recipe pies-2

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Pieday Friday – Cherry & Plum Crumble

It’s finally cherry season! Yes, July is the perfect month for fresh, ripe cherries and everywhere I look punnets are being sold at low, low prices. So today’s thrifty recipe is for a cherry and plum crumble, and as it only uses a handful of cherries, you could probably get 3 or 4 crumbles out of a small £1 punnet of cherries! Not only is it seasonal and delicious, it’s a bargain recipe too!recipe blog post for plum and cherry crumble-6I often find that plums are reduced on market stalls and in supermarkets; they are rock-hard for so long and then suddenly ripen overnight, so they are often marked down so that retailers don’t get left with a truck-load of mushy plums. I usually wait until this happens before buying my plums, as we are going to cook them and make them even more soft and mushy anyway! It’s a great way of getting enough plums for a dessert for less than £1 – and a punnet of plums will also probably make 2 or 3 crumbles. Together with the cherries, you can bake a few crumbles and freeze a couple for later in the year – thrifty and you can continue to enjoy this delicious summer dish into autumn.recipe blog post for plum and cherry crumble-2Ingredients for a 4-person filling: a total of 350g fruit comprising a handful of cherries and about 5 plums, 100ml cherry juice (or normal apple juice would be fine), 50g sugar to taste. Continue reading “Pieday Friday – Cherry & Plum Crumble” »


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Pieday Friday ~ Snowball meringues

Today I’m preparing a special recipe for the weekend, something I’ve never made before and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will turn out okay. I’m talking about meringues, which are notoriously difficult to get right, and take a lot of hard work with a whisk! Luckily, I’ve got my new Russell Hobbs stand mixer to try out and I’m hoping that having a new bit of kitchen kit will make all the difference to my baking.Recipe for snowball meringues Christmas pudding dessert Recipe for snowball meringues Christmas pudding dessert-3I found the recipe online at BBCGoodFood.com and it was so simple to follow. These are the ingredients: 4 large egg whites, 115g caster 115g icing sugar. Yes, really, that’s it.

The Russell Hobbs Aura Hand and Stand Mixer that I’m using combines a hand whisk and a mixer stand, which has a bowl that rotates as the whisk gets to work, so I didn’t even need to do any work to whisk the egg whites into peaks – I just kept an eye on it while I got on with the washing up! Recipe for snowball meringues Christmas pudding dessert-6 Recipe for snowball meringues Christmas pudding dessert-7Once the egg whites are forming peaks when the whisk is lifted out of the mixture, add the caster sugar one tablespoon at a time, mixing for a few seconds in between each addition. I took the mixer off the stand at this stage so that I could mix the sugar in all directions, as the sugar seemed to want to stay in the centre of the bowl. Mix until combined, smooth and glossy. Recipe for snowball meringues Christmas pudding dessert-8 Recipe for snowball meringues Christmas pudding dessert-9Sift the icing sugar into the egg whites in thirds, folding in with a spatula before adding more icing sugar. Be careful not to mix too hard and definitely don’t use a whisk for this! Recipe for snowball meringues Christmas pudding dessert-10 Recipe for snowball meringues Christmas pudding dessert-11

Spoon into a piping bag and pipe rounds onto greaseproof paper – or just dollop on with a spoon if you prefer.

Recipe for snowball meringues Christmas pudding dessert-12 Recipe for snowball meringues Christmas pudding dessert-13These were baked in the  oven at 100 degrees for around minutes to an hour (just keep an eye on them) because my meringues were quite small, but if you want to make bigger meringues simply increase the baking time up to 1 and a half hours or so until the outside is crisp and slightly golden.

Recipe for snowball meringues Christmas pudding dessert-14

Allow to cool and then whip up some double cream until it’s thick and spreadable, then spread onto the base of one meringue before sandwiching on a second meringue to make a ‘snowball’ shape. You can serve them like this, or with a dusting of icing sugar on top. I’ve decorated my meringues in a few different ways to try out some festive ideas. Recipe for snowball meringues Christmas pudding dessert-15

The first one (my favourite) was drizzled with icing and then sprinkled with edible glitter – that’s the kind of snowball that Elsa from Frozen would eat, I’m sure! I dipped the top of one snowball into the icing and then added silver balls (very nice for a New Years eve party!) and my final festive decoration was a drizzling of runny icing and a scattering of red, white and greed hundreds and thousands, which looked super-Christmassy.Recipe for snowball meringues Christmas pudding dessert-16

Overall I was very surprised at how easy it was to make meringues, considering that I’ve avoided baking them my whole life! I think that having a stand mixer helped a lot because I didn’t need to put much effort into the whisking. Seeing as this is usually the most laborious task which is where meringues often go wrong, I was very pleased that the stress has been taken out of the process and now I can imagine making meringues all the time – I’m already thinking about what flavours I could put into my next batch! Recipe for snowball meringues Christmas pudding dessert-18Will you try out the snowball meringue recipe for yourself this Christmas? Are you already a huge fan of baking meringues? If so, let me know what interesting flavours and decorating techniques you’ve used so that I can try them out for myself! Please leave me a comment below and tweet me a photo if you try baking this recipe for yourself 🙂

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