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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Pieday FriYAY – Chai Latte Rice Pudding

Pudding is my favourite treat. It can be any pudding – hot cold, crumble or cake. Whatever it is, a pudding turns my dinner from ‘mmm nice’ to ‘yaaay!’ I think that’s probably because I don’t tend to have a pudding most of the time, which means that ending my dinner with a dessert is a proper treat. I’ve been away recently and it’s been a lovely indulgence to have two (okay, sometimes three) courses while I’ve been eating out. I guess I just don’t take the time to make a pudding when I’m cooking for the two of us; when the family are round for dinner they will be treated to cookie cups full of ice cream or a zesty lemon tart, but when it’s just me and my husband having tea, we tend to skip the pudding or have a piece of fruit instead.creamy healthy skinny chai latte rice pudding emmi caffe latte-10But that’s all changed now that I’ve worked out how to use my slow cooker to make puddings. Now I can pop the recipe for a sweet treat into my slow cooker and it’ll do its own thing while I get on with cooking the main meal. And it’s hot and ready for me to eat whenever we’ve finished our dinner. The recipe I want to share with you today is for a rice pudding but not just any rice pud. It’s actually a chai latte rice pudding! Combining all my favourite flavours (yes, I’m one of those people believe that a chai latte is for life, not just for Christmas) it’s so simple to make and it really helps to turn any meal into a special occasion. Yes, this weekend is your time to #MakeItAYayDay, so here’s the recipe for you to try out.creamy healthy skinny chai latte rice pudding emmi caffe latte-2Even though I used my slow cooker to make the rice pudding but it’s just as easy to make it on the hob too – it just takes a little more stirring! The recipe was actually inspired by Emmi CAFFÈ LATTE, as I decided to use the Skinny Iced Coffee as the milky base for my rice pudding. The drink only contains 90 calories and the recipe uses two of these creamy drinks, along with some skimmed milk. So it’s truly a healthier version of a rice pudding than cream-packed traditional recipes. I added a small amount of soft brown sugar and a knob of butter. The spiced chai flavours come from mixed-spices, cinnamon and vanilla, yum!creamy healthy skinny chai latte rice pudding emmi caffe latte-12creamy healthy skinny chai latte rice pudding emmi caffe latte-11Ingredients (serves 4): 2 x cups of Emmi CAFFÈ LATTE Skinny Iced Coffee topped up to 1 litre with skimmed milk, 110g Arborio/risotto rice, 25g butter or margarine, 25g soft brown sugar, 1 heaped teaspoon of cinnamon powder, 1 heaped teaspoon of mixed spice, one teaspoon of vanilla extract, a drizzle of double cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon to serve.creamy healthy skinny chai latte rice pudding emmi caffe latte

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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 ~ Homemade bourbon biscuits

I loved bourbon biscuits as a child but I’ve realised that I haven’t eaten one for about 5 years now! I don’t know why, I just don’t really buy biscuits and if I’m going to have a naughty treat I’ll probably choose a slice of cake, haha! So when I read a recipe for making bourbon biscuits on the Good Housekeeping website I was very excited to experience that chocolatey taste once again and I set to work on trying out the recipe straight away. DIY homemade bourbon biscuits recipe

Here’s the ingredients list:250g (9oz) plain flour,125g (4oz) unsalted butter,125g (4oz)caster sugar,2tbsp golden syrup,50g (2oz) cocoa powder,1tsp bicarbonate of soda,3tbsp milk

Ingredients for the filling:75g (3oz) unsalted butter, softened,125g (4oz) icing sugar,15g (½oz) cocoa powder

And the recipe couldn’t be more simple – just mix all the biscuit ingredients together in one bowl using an electric whisk or blender until it clumps and then bring it together to make a smooth dough.DIY homemade bourbon biscuits recipe-2 DIY homemade bourbon biscuits recipe-4 DIY homemade bourbon biscuits recipe-3I wanted to make over-sizebourbons to make them a little extra special so I cut the biscuits about 50% bigger than a normal sized one. I simply rolled out the dough to about 5mm thickness and used a knife to score the lines to make the biscuits. I also used a fork to prick holes into the biscuits to get that bourbon look. These went back into the fridge for half an hour before being baked at 180 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the biscuits because they burn easily around the edges (but you can always trim this off!). I made a few batches of these biscuits and my second batch was much better because I checked them after only 13 minutes and they were cooked but not burnt!

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As soon as the biscuits come out of the oven you need to score the lines again with a knife, otherwise they will stick together so I ran the knife around the biscuits and within 3 minutes they were cool enough to be snapped apart and left on a rack to cool down completely.

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To make the chocolate filling, put the softened butter into a bowl and sift in the icing sugar and cocoa powder. Mix with a fork until combined into a very thick icing. Spread on the biscuits and sandwich a second biscuit on top.

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I enjoyed my bourbons with a pot of freshly ground rich BlankBox coffee which went perfectly with the bittersweet dark chocolate of the biscuits. I felt very autumnal wrapping my hands around a steaming cup of coffee and dunking yummy biscuits! Let me know if you try out this recipe for yourself and I’d love to see photos of your bourbon biscuits if you make them so please tweet me @Cassiefairy.

DIY homemade bourbon biscuits recipe-11

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