Friday 14 February 2014

Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe

Happy Valentine's to all my readers.

Today's recipe is for a classic Valentine's day cupcake — a red velvet cupcake, where the basic cake batter is coloured red. All topped off with a cream cheese frosting and candy hearts.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Serves: 24
Red Velvet Cupcakes: Classic red batter cupcake topped with cream cheese frosting and a candy heart for Valentine's day/


For the Cupcakes:

300g (2 1/2 cups plain flour)
300g (1 1/2 cups) sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp cocoa powder
360ml (1 1/2 cups) vegetable oil
240ml (1 cup) buttermilk
2 eggs
2 tbsp red food colouring
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Frosting:

45g (1 lb) cream cheese, softened
200g (1 cup) butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
700g (4 cups) icing sugar, sifted
candy hearts, to decorate
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder into a bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, red food colouring, white vinegar and vanilla extract.

Add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients and mix until well combined.

Divide the resultant batter between paper-lined muffin tins, filling the wells no more than 2/3 full. Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 170ºC (350ºF) and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cupcakes are golden brown and springy to the touch (a skewer inserted into the centre should emerge cleanly).

Allow to cool in the tins for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, cream together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually add the vsugar, mixing with an electric whisk on high until smooth and fluffy.

Place the frosting in a piping bag fitted with a large star-shaped nozzle and pipe rosette swirls on the top of each cupcake. Decorate with a candy heart and serve.

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Raspberry Scones with Rosewater Glaze Recipe

As part of my continuing series of, I am adding an interesting twist on the traditional scone, adapted especially for Valentine's day.

Here, the traditional scone mix is cut into heart shapes, split, stuffed with raspberry jam, and re-sealed before baking and then finishing with a rosewater-based glaze.

Fantastic as a snack, or to be served with a Valentine day tea.

Raspberry Scones with Rosewater Glaze

Serves: 12
Raspberry Scones with Rosewater Glaze: Valentine's dat treat of heart-shaped scones stuffed with raspberry jam and served topped with a rosewater glaze.


For the Scones:

250g (2 cups) plain flour
65g (1/3 cup) sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
5 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and diced
250ml (1 cup) whipping cream
80ml (1/3 cup) seedless raspberry jam

For the Glaze:

90g (1/2 cup) icing sugar
1/4 tsp rosewater
3 tbsp cream


Sift together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub into the flour mix with your fingertips until the ingredients resemble fine crumbs.

Gradually work in the cream, adding just enough so that the ingredients come together as a dough. Turn the resultant dough (it will be rather 'claggy') onto a floured cutting board and pat down to about 12mm (1/2 in) thick.

Using a 7.5cm (3 in) heart-shaped pastry (cookie) cutter, stamp out as many pieces of dough as you can (gather the scraps, press put 12mm thick and stamp out more scone hearts).

Using a floured, serrated, knife cut each scone horizontally to create a pocket for the jam (do not cut all the way through). Fill each cut scone with a generous teaspoon of raspberry jam, then moisten the cut edges and close to seal.

Transfer the filled scones to a lightly-greased baking tray. Set in an oven pre-heated to 200ºC (400ºF) and bake for about 18 minutes, or until well risen and golden brown in colour.

Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool until warm.

For the glaze: Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the rosewater and cream. Work the ingredients together into a smooth, just pourable, glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the scones and serve still warm.

Sunday 9 February 2014

Valentine's No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake Recipe

For today's blog post I have another great Valentine's day treat... This time a fantastically gooey no-bake cheesecake that is easy to make, but which is still guaranteed to delight your significant other (and which slips down a treat with a glass of champagne).

Valentine's No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake

Serves: 8
Valentine's No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake: Classic but simple to make cheesecake flavoured with cherries for Valentine's day.


For the Base:

150g (1 1/2 cups) chocolate graham cracker crumbs
50g (1/4 cup, packed) brown sugar
65g (1/3 cup) butter, melted

For the Filling:

225g (8 oz) cream cheese
400g (14 oz) tin of sweetened condensed milk
250ml (1 cup) whipping cream
3 tbsp whole fruit cherry jam (or cherry pie filling)


In a bowl, mix together the biscuit (cookie) crumbs and the brown sugar until thoroughly combined. Stir in the melted butter then press the mixture into the base and sides of a pie dish (if preparing for Valentine's, you could use a heart-shaped silicone mould).

Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 180ºC (375ºF) and bake for about 9 minutes, or until lightly crisp and golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.

Turn the cream cheese into a bowl, soften, then beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the condensed milk a little at a time and continue beating until thoroughly blended.

Add the whipping cream to a separate bowl and beat until stiff. Now fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.

If using cherry jam, heat gently until molten then fold into the cream cheese mixture, so that you get the Valentine's pink colour. Spread the resultant mixture evenly over the prepared crust, then transfer to the refrigerator. Chill for at least 3 hours before serving.

Before bringing to the table, garnish as desired. You could use any of the following: chocolate shavings, cherries, whipped cream, raspberries and/or strawberries.

For a history of Valentine's day, and a collection of Valentine-themed recipes, why not visit the Celtnet Valentine's day recipes page? You can also find hundreds more cheesecake recipes of all kinds on the Celtnet cheesecake recipes page.

Friday 7 February 2014

Black Forest Sweet Heart Tarts for Valentine's Day

With Valentine's day only a week away, today I am beginning a series of Valentine-themed recipes leading up to the 14th of February.

The tarts below are based on a chocolate cake, and any of the following may be used for the base: Chocolate Roulade, Chocolate Doberge Cake, Lamb Mould Cake, Vanilla Cake Mix Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Cake Mix Cake, Chocolate Sponge Cake, Chocolate Devil's Food Cake or Brownie Mix Brownies.

Black Forest Sweet Heart Tarts

Serves 8
Black Forest Sweet Heart Tarts: Classic German-derived tart of a chocolate cake base topped with cherries and cream shaped into a heart for Valentine's say. Simple to prepare and guaranteed to go down a treat.


8 slices of chocolate cake (each about 3cm [1 in] thick and about 5cm [2 in] square). An
250ml double (heavy) cream, whopped
4 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
225g (8 oz) tin of cherry pie filling (or tinned black cherries)
1/2 tsp almond extract
chocolate curls, to decorate
slivered almonds, to decorate


Take the cake sliced and cut into heart shapes.

Place the cream in a bowl and beat with the icing sugar until soft peaks form. Fold in the vanilla extract.

Turn the cherry pie filling into a bowl and mix in the almond extract.

Take each piece of shaped cake in turn and spread over the cherry pie filling. Top with the whipped cream.

Finally decorate with chocolate curls and slivered almonds.

Chill slightly before serving.

For a history of Valentine's day, and a collection of Valentine-themed recipes, why not visit the Celtnet Valentine's day history and Valentine's day recipes page?

Thursday 6 February 2014

Panasaki (Raw Jackfruit) Eguru Curry Recipe

Whole jackfruit and jackfruit sliced open
I went to the local fresh vegetable market in Verulam yesterday and was able to buy prepared jackfruit (still raw but peeled and sliced ready). This comes with the seeds, which have a completely different texture to the flesh.

I have not had jackfruit for years (I was introduced to it by a Trinidadian friend). Last night I simply had cook some, so I prepared this simple curry. Panasakai is raw jackfruit and if you cannot find fresh, you can substitute tinned in this recipe.

Just in case you don't know what a jackfruit is, i have provided a picture of a whole jackfruit and a jackfruit cut open on this page. In a way, jackfruit is one of the closest vegetarian equivalent to meats, both in terms of taste and texture (only mushrooms come closer) so jackfruit is a good choice if preparing a vegetarian dish for a mixed company.

This recipe is a classic vegan dish from South India.

Panasaki (Raw Jackfruit) Eguru

Serves: 4
Panasaki (Raw Jackfruit) Eguru: Classic Indian vegetarian curry recipe of raw jackfruit pieces in a lightly-spiced gravy base


500g (1 lb) [about 2 decent slices] raw jackfruit (either fresh or tinned in brine)
5 large onions, finely chopped
6 tbsp coriander seeds (dhaniya)
6 tbsp cumin seeds (jeera)
4cm (3/4 in) piece of fresh ginger, grated
10 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
4 tbsp fresh coconut grated (or desiccated coconut)
4 red chillies
8 curry leaves
8 cloves
1/2 tsp ground turmeric.
2 tbsp garam masala
salt, to taste
coriander (cilantro) leaves, to garnish
oil or ghee for frying


Cut the jackfruit into bite-sized pieces then either steam or boil until tender (About 10 minutes).

Heat a little oil or ghee in a wok and use to stir-fry the onions for about 8 minutes, or until soft and just golden brown. Turn onto a plate and set aside.

Add the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, ginger, garlic, coconut, red chillies, curry leaves and cloves to the oil remaining in the wok and stir-fry for a few minutes, until aromatic.

Turn into a spice or coffee grinder and grind down to a paste.

Drain the jackfruit and add to the wok along with the onions, turmeric, spice paste and salt.

Add about 8 tbsp water, and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low, cover and cook gently for about 8 minutes, to allow the flavours to meld.

Scatter over the garam masala, stir to combine the adjust the seasonings to taste.

Serve hot with roti or other flatbreads.

For hundreds more curry recipes, why not visit the classic and modern Curry Recipes page of the Celtnet Website?

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