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Easter chocolate fudge cake


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Pieday Friday ~ My favourite Easter recipes

Any excuse to make a sweet treat eh? And Easter is the perfect time to make something sweet for the family over this 4-day weekend. Here are a few of my favourite Easter recipes that I’ve shared on the blog over the years and I hope you’ll have a go at making some treats for yourself too :)

pieday friday easter chick cookies iced hen biscuits recipe by cassiefairy

Decorated sugar biscuits Ingredients: 125g butter, 125g caster sugar, 1 medium egg, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 250g plain flour

Beat the sugar and butter together until light and creamy then add the egg and vanilla extract and mix. Sift half the plain flour into the bowl, mix and then add the rest of the flour and mix into a soft dough. Knead the dough until smooth and wrap in cling film before chilling in the fridge for at least half an hour. When you are ready to make your biscuits, preheat your oven to 180 °C /350 °F and roll out the dough on a floured surface. Use cookie cutters to cut out any shapes you like and move onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper or a baking liner. Bake Cook for approx 10-15 minutes until light golden brown – really keep an eye on them towards to end to prevent the edges of the cookies from getting singed!

Easter chocolate fudge cake

pieday friday easter chick cookies iced cute bunny rabbit biscuits recipe by cassiefairy

Chocolate fudge Easter cake Ingredients: 175g Self-raising flour, 200g Caster sugar, 100g Soft brown sugar, 100g Butter or Margarine, 3 Eggs, 4tbsp Milk, 6 tbsp Boiling water, 50g Cocoa powder

Fudge Topping Ingredients: 150g Chocolate (supermarket cheap stuff is fine, or if you can bear it, melt down your easter eggs!), 250g Softened butter or margarine, 275g Icing sugar, 1 tbsp Vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and grease two 20cm/8in sandwich tins. Put the cocoa powder and boiling water into a large bowl and mix well to make a paste. Add all the other ingredients and beat again until combined. Divide the cake mixture between the prepared tins. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until well risen and shrinking away from the sides of the tin.

Topping: Melt your chocolate and whisk in the vanilla extract, icing sugar and butter. Work quickly as the topping mixture will start to set as it cools – sandwich some of the fudge mixture between the two cakes then spread the rest over the top and down the sides. Pile on mini eggs and chocolate coins to decorate!

easter cookie cutters giveaway

If you’d like to win a set of Easter cookie cutters to recreate the biscuits above at home please check out my #FreebieFriday giveaway on Twitter – simply follow @Cassiefairy and RT the competition tweet here to be entered into the prize draw. The winner will be chosen at random at 10pm tonight and the cookie cutters will be delivered to you in time for Easter!

easter cookie cutters giveaway

 

party recipe for cheese and ham pastry canapes


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Pieday Friday ~ Cheese & ham pastry rolls

Does anyone else feel like there’s a celebration on the horizon? Perhaps it’s the school holidays or the long Easter weekend, or maybe it’s hubby’s birthday, my impending 1000th blog post or the May bank holiday? Whatever it is, it’s making me want to invite the family over and bake party food! I’ve just got that urge and I had to give in to it this week when I made one of my party favourites – cheese and ham pastry rolls. These little bites of joy are my festive speciality and they are great for taking on picnics or for light lunches too. They are super-easy to make and might be good to try out over the Easter holidays if you’ve got the children at home because they can help you sprinkle the cheese and roll up the pastry.

It’s a little too simple to call a recipe really  because I like to buy ready-made puff pastry – and if you’re feeling super-lazy, you can even buy ready-rolled like I have! – but feel free to make your own rough-puff pastry if you prefer. So here’s what I do:

  1. Roll out the pastry on a sheet of baking parchment (this will make it easier to roll up into a tube).

pieday friday blog receipe for cheese and ham snack rolls

  1. Spread the pastry with cream cheese before laying out slices of ham all over.

  2. Sprinkle grated cheddar cheese all over then lift the baking parchment and use it to roll the pastry into a tube lengthways.

recipe for making cheese and ham puff pastry rolls

  1. Slice the long roll into bite-size pieces and place onto a greased baking tray.

  2. Brush with a little milk before baking in the oven according to the pastry instructions

party recipe for cheese and ham pastry canapes

 

Ta da! Impressive ‘homemade’ party snacks made in minutes! Let me know if you have a go at making your own pastry rolls and tweet me a photo @Cassiefairy.

One more thing - I have a Freebie Friday giveaway running on Twitter today to win this gorgeous Bon Prix dress in navy chiffon (worth £29.99) to add to your Spring wardrobe! Click here to see the competition tweet and enter by simply RTing & following me :)

frebie friday navy dress giveaay pic

 


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Pieday Friday ~ Make your own cook book… or read mine!

Ever thought of putting your favourite recipes into a beautiful book you can give as a gift or pass down the generations? Blurb is a company that lets anyone create beautiful books from their favourite content, and get those books shipped in any quantity (even just one copy). I had a go at making my very own Pieday Friday cookbook last year and I was so pleased with the result. It only took me a few hours to design and edit (using recipes from the blog, of course!) and pretty soon I had an actual physical cookbook that I’ve written in my hands. I was very impressed with the quality of the printing considering it was a printing run of ONE, and I even purchased a PDF version to share with my blog readers. So if you’d like a free e-copy of my Pieday Friday recipe book please email me cassie@cassiefairy.co.uk and I will send you the PDF asap :)

Cassiefairys free pieday friday recipe book blurb ebook

The best way to get started? Holding off a bit. It’s tempting to want to dive right in, but thinking a bit and getting organized is worth it in the end. Make the most of your time by dividing each step into chunks so you can tackle them at different points in your book-making process. Not a designer? That’s ok, Blurb’s free BookSmart software is an easy route to great cookbook.

And here we go:


1. Organize: Gather your recipes and do a process of elimination. Once you’ve narrowed your favorites down, you can gather accompanying images—just make sure you’re giving the recipe and image files the same name to make it easier when it’s time to upload. Keep everything in one folder on your computer.

  1. Flow it: Next, determine how you want your cookbook story to flow. Do you want to sort your recipes by age, popularity, or even something else? Once you’ve determined the order, you’ll have done the bulk of your creative decision-making.

  2. Get the tool: Download the free book-making tool, BookSmart, choose your book size (Standard Portrait and Standard Landscape are the most popular for cookbooks) and input your title and author name. Then choose “Cookbook” as your starting point—this will give you the best layouts for the job. Then pick a source for your images—from iPhoto, your computer, even Flickr or Picasa. Last, choose a theme. Now you’re ready to put together your cookbook.

  1. Lay it out: This is where the real book-making comes in. BookSmart will provide you with 20 pages in our standard recipe layout, but you’ll find plenty of alternate layouts in the “Choose page layout” panel on the upper left. You can also add additional pages­­—including photo pages—by clicking “Add Pages” in the top toolbar.

  2. Just add copy: Our layouts provide space for stories, introductions, and those all-important ingredients and directions. Paste in your copy and you’re golden. Then garnish with photos. Remember to run BookSmart’s spell check feature.

  1. Preview and review: Click “Review book” and go through page by page. If you’re not a natural-born proofreader, ask a friend to take a second look.

  2. Order: Make any last minute edits, click “Order,” and follow the prompts to checkout. Remember to order extra copies for friends and family—or sell it online to anyone through the Blurb Bookstore.

That’s it, you’re done. Give yourself a toast, a pat on the back, and a moment in the sun. Congratulations, you’re a published cookbook author! Here’s a sneaky peek inside my Pieday Friday cookbook and please let me know if you’d like a free e-book version of my recipes by emailing cassie@cassiefairy.co.uk or leave me a comment below :)

Cassiefairys free pieday friday recipe book blurb ebook cookbook


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Pieday Friday ~ Broccoli & ham quiche

I don’t know why I’ve never made quiche before. My whole life I’ve been too scared to make quiche from scratch – maybe it’s the worry that the eggs won’t set or that the pastry will go soggy or that it’s a complicated process – whatever the reason, I’ve reached this ripe old age and 3 years of recipe posts without ever attempting to bake a quiche. Unbelievable really, considering that (as a savoury lover) one of my favourite baked treats is quiche and I can’t get enough of my family’s homemade quiches – tuna, veggie, cheese and ham – I love them all and could probably eat a whole full-size quiche to myself. Well, the fear has finally been conquered and I enjoyed my very first Cassie-made quiche meal this week… And it tasted gooooood!

pieday friday recipe for low fat broccoli and ham quiche

I went for a standard base of onion and cheese then added in slices of my favourite ham. Broccoli was on special offer at the market this week so we’d bought 6 heads without any plans of what to eat it with so I used up a whole head of florets in this quiche. Lots of recipes call for cream and crème fraiche etc but I stuck with a basic egg, milk and cheese mixture to get a slightly healthier filling. Here’s the recipe:

pieday friday recipe for baked broccoli ham and onion quiche

Make up a batch of pastry (see my recipe for pastry here) and line a pie or cake tin – preferably one with a removable base which will make it easier to get the quiche out when it is cooked. Cut the broccoli into small florets and steam for a few minutes to soften. Dice an onion and sautee in a little Fry Light until golden. Spread the onion over the uncooked pastry base, layer up slices of ham and add the softened broccoli florets. Whisk together 4 eggs with 1 & 1/2 cups milk and 100g lightest soft cheese. Add a little salt and pepper seasoning then pour into the pastry base. Grate a little mature cheddar on top if you like, but it’s just as good without! Bake in the oven at 175 degrees for 30 minutes or until the centre is set.

pieday friday recipe baked quiche

It was so much easier to make than I’d imagined in the past and I’ll certainly be making lots more quiche in the future. Enjoy chilled with a big salad or get stuck in while it’s still warm with baked beans (my favourite way to eat quiche)! Let me know if you have a go at making this recipe.

 


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Pieday Friday ~ Chocolate chip sponge cake to celebrate a milestone

Today I have reached an unexpected milestone. My thrifty little lifestyle blog is three years old! I didn’t realise that this anniversary was approaching and although I’d started thinking about what I might to do celebrate my 1000th post (coming up in April) I didn’t really think about the length of time that I’d been blogging. Luckily I was looking back at old Pieday Friday blog posts yesterday when I scrolled back so far that I reached the start of my blog and there it was – my first ever post on 14th March 2011. Even though I’d been writing blog posts on my shop website on and off for a year or so before moving to WordPress, it was the transfer of my blog to this domain that really kick-started my blogging career and the last three years have flown by!

So I couldn’t let this anniversary pass without a mention and, more importantly, I couldn’t let it slip by without baking myself a cake, yaaay! Okay, I don’t need much of an excuse to bake a cake, but I’ve been a bit lacking in the deserts department recently and I’d had my eye on a few cake recipes that I’d pinned to my sweet recipes board on Pinterest. So after my discovery of this milestone yesterday I headed to the kitchen, got out the scales, wrapped an apron around myself and whipped up this little beauty.

white and milk chocolate chip sponge cake recipe

Ingredients: 125g self raising flour, 125g butter, 2 eggs, 125g sugar, 100g white chocolate, 100g milk chocolate.

Cream the sugar and butter together with an electric whisk until light and fluffy then add the two eggs and beat well. Chop the chocolate into small pieces (or use chocolate chips!) and combine with the flour before adding to the egg mixture. Mix thoroughly and divide into two sandwich cake tins. Bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 20-25 minutes and test with a skewer (or a piece of uncooked spaghetti!) and if it comes out clean, the sponge is cooked.

pieday friday white and milk chocolate chip sponge cake recipe

For the filling: Melt 175g milk chocolate with 100ml milk then set aside to cool completely before adding 100g lightest cream cheese and 100g icing sugar to thicken the mixture. Spread the chocolate filling between layers then melt white chocolate and pour over the top of the cake. Grate a little milk chocolate on to the top to garnish – and if you grate it on while the white chocolate is still warm from melting, the curls of milk chocolate will soften into the white chocolate and set into it in a curly pattern!