If you love food – exchanging recipes, tasting one another’s attempts in the kitchen and creating weird and (hopefully) wonderful dishes of our own – you’re in the right place. With regular blogs from an awarding winning chef – slaving over a hot stove just got a little bit more exciting…

PEANUT BUTTER BUTTONS

Peanut Butter

These biscuit buttons have the added bonus of being flavoured with peanut butter, turning them into peanut buttons! Cut into circles, they equally work well made into the shape of button hearts and flowers to butter up your Mums on Mother’s Day!

Ingredients

50g Butter, softened

100g Light Brown Sugar

50g Peanut Butter

1 Egg, beaten

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

200g Plain Flour

1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180C, 375F, Gas Mark 5.
Cream together the butter and sugar, then beat in the peanut butter, egg and vanilla essence. Sift and stir in the flour and bicarbonate of soda and mix to a fairly soft dough. Cover or wrap the dough in cling film and chill for at least an hour. When ready, place onto a lightly dusted work surface and roll out to approx 1/2cm in thickness. Cut into rounds and transfer to a non stick baking tray spaced 2/3cm apart as they will spread a little when baked. Once all the biscuits are on the tray, use a slightly smaller cutter to press a slight indentation into the dough and a skewer or pencil to make button holes in the middle of the biscuits. Using the rounded tip of the cutter, rather than the sharp cutting end works best as it makes a better and smoother indent. Bake in the oven for approx 10 minutes or until the biscuits are lightly golden in colour. Once out of the oven leave the biscuits on the baking tray to cool slightly and crisp up, before transferring to a wire rack to cool down fully. They can be enjoyed as they are or sandwiched together with peanut butter, nutella or chocolate ganache.

Fran

http://francesquinn.co.uk/ 

 

FRANCES’ ‘HOT’ CHOCOLATE CROSS BUNS

FRANCES' 'HOT' CHOCOLATE CROSS BUNS
My ‘Hot’ Chocolate Cross Buns are a twist on the traditional hot cross bun. By using chopped up pieces of chilli chocolate within the sweetned spiced orange bread dough, they are given an extra hot chocolate hit. Presenting them on a chalk board marked with a noughts and crosses grid makes them a fun and edible way to play the game while enjoying the buns with mugs of Hot Chocolate.

Playing with your food over Easter never tasted so good!

INGREDIENTS
Dough
100ml milk
100ml warm water
50g unsalted butter
500g strong white flour
100g vegetable suet
7g sachet of fast action yeast
10g salt
60g caster sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp orange zest
2 tsp mixed spice
100g bar chilli dark chocolate, chopped into small chips

Crosses
70g strong white flour
1 tbsp water

Glaze
100g caster sugar
120ml water

RECIPE
Gently boil the milk and water in a saucepan and once it has come to the boil remove from the heat. Add the butter and stir to melt. In as food processor blend half of the flour with the vegetable suet until fine breadcrumbs are formed. Transfer this mixture, the rest of the flour and sugar and into a bowl. Now add the yeast and salt at opposite sides of the bowl. Pour the lukewarm liquid into the bowl of dry ingredients, followed by the beaten eggs, orange zest, mixed spice and chocolate . Stir the mixture with your hands, slowly adding the remaining water to form into a soft dough. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. If using a food mixer, attach the dough hook and mix on low speed for 7 minutes or until a soft dough has formed. Once kneaded shape into a round and place in a clean oiled bowl and cover with a shower cap(!) or tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place. Once doubled in size, punch down and deflate the dough. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead again for a minute. Divide into 12 even sized buns and place in a 12″ x 9″ tray bake or roasting tin, lightly greased. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place again for approximately 30-40 minutes. To make the crosses mix the flour with the water to form a soft paste. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe crosses onto each bun once risen in the tin.

Bake in a Pre-heat 220C oven for approx 15 minutes until hollow sounding when tapped on their base and golden brown. While the buns are baking prepare the glaze by heating the sugar and water in a heavy based saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. As soon as the buns are baked brush them immediately with the glaze and and leave to cool slightly in the tin for 10 minutes. Once cool, the buns can be pulled apart and served. Enjoy warm, with butter or chocolate spread.

FRANCES' 'HOT' CHOCOLATE CROSS BUNS

Fran

http://francesquinn.co.uk/