Tag: filled

Miniature carb loading

So. Guys. 2015 happened. Happy New Year to you all!

Probably the last thing all you resolution makers need is this blog post. Just know that deep down I support your diet, but if you ever want to fall off the wagon in a carb-tacular way, I’m here for you, holding mini filled potato skins.

These bitesize chaps were more of the nibbles I made for Matt and Vicky’s party and they disappeared pretty quickly, despite being a bit of a random addition to the table. I know Vicky’s brother has been waiting on tenterhooks for this blog post. Edward, apologies for the delay.


You will need

15 New potatoes

3 Rashers of smoked bacon (or a couple of spring onions if you’re a veggie)

300ml Sour cream

100g/5 oz Red Leicester/Double Gloucester/Cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper


Step one

Using the finest setting on your grater grate the cheese so you’re ready to go. The last thing you need is hold ups preventing you from eating these sooner.

Cook the bacon until crispy and trim into tiny tiny pieces. Scissors are key.

Step two

Put the new potatoes in a roasting tin with a blob of butter and cook on gas mark 6/200C/400F for 45 minutes. Keep an eye on them, but honestly, I’d like to meet a man who has managed to overcook a jacket potato.


Step three

Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle cut them in half and scoop out the potato inside. Get as much out as you can without ripping the skins. Place the empty skins back into the roasting tin in a somewhat orderly fashion.

Step four

Add 150-200ml of the sour cream to the potato and season. Mash until smooth/you loose the will to make filled potato skins at all. But seriously though, don’t give up, that’s the key to smooth mash.

You might need to add a little more sour cream, but save some for dipping.

Step five

Stir in the bacon.

Step six

Avoid the urge to just eat mix with a spoon. Or does everyone else not love mashed potato as much as me?


Step seven

Refill the potato skins and sprinkle the cheese on top.

Step eight

Put back into the oven until they are fully reheated and the cheese has melted.


Step nine

Eat all thirty before anyone else arrives.

Soft on the inside

Hullo chums. Just a little heads up that this is my last post for a couple of weeks as I’m heading off on holiday and didn’t quite have the organisational skill to do enough to tide you over until I’m back. Something my new design guru seanwes would not be impressed with.

But anyway. This is a real good’un I’m leaving you with, there’s not much point making any of the rest of the afternoon tea series after you’ve done these. Your guests won’t look back. Partly because they will be bouncing around the room on a sugar high.


You will need

For the cakes:

200g/7 oz Plain flour

200g/7 oz Caster sugar

30g/1 oz Cocoa powder

250ml/8.5 fl oz Water

5 tbsp Vegetable oil

1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp Cider vinegar

1 tsp Vanilla extract


For the ganache filling:

100g/3.5 oz Dark chocolate

100g/3.5 oz Milk chocolate

200ml/6.5 fl oz Double cream


For the salted caramel frosting:

300g/10.5 oz Icing sugar

250g/9 oz Butter

80g/3 oz Soft brown sugar

100ml/3.5 fl oz Double cream

2 tbsp Golden syrup

2 tsp Salt

(Makes 48)


Step one

Combine all the cake ingredients into one bowl and whisk until there are no lumps. This makes quite a thin batter that you will find a bit disturbing if you are used to putting egg and butter in cakes.

This recipe is great for vegans (as long as you don’t add the icing or filling – use substitutes instead perhaps). It’s my favourite recipe for chocolate cupcakes now, I originally found it when baking for a lactose intolerant friend.


Step two

Spoon into mini cupcake/muffin cases. I filled mine about halfway and could have gone to two thirds. There’s not a huge amount of rise in this mixture, perfect for cupcakes because they are nice and flat for icing onto.

Step three

Bake in the oven at gas mark 4/180C/350F for around 40 minutes or until springy to the touch.


Step three

Whilst the cakes are in the oven, make the ganache. Chop the chocolate finely; I always use a bread knife for this and recommend you do too, you’ll never go back.

Place chocolate pieces in a small mixing bowl.


Step five

Gently heat 200ml double cream in a small saucepan. Let it get to the point where there is steam sort of dancing across the top and it’s beginning to simmer/bubble at the edges. You don’t need to wait longer than this, it doesn’t need to be piping hot – as Mary Berry always says in her wonderfully whimsical way – chocolate can melt in a child’s pocket.

Pour the cream over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Set to one side.


Step six

Once the cakes have completely cooled use a small vegetable knife to cut a hole in the centre. Yes you can eat the bit that pops out.

I found it was easiest to put the ganache into a piping bag as the cakes are quite small. Fill the gap entirely until the ganache is level with the top of the cake.


Step seven

Just keep filling, filling, filling, what do we do? We fill.

Leave them to set.


Step eight

Melt together 100g of the butter, the brown sugar, golden syrup and salt. Do this slowly and then bring the heat up to a simmer.

Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir regularly so that it doesn’t catch and burn. Leave to cool down for about half an hour or so.


Step nine

Once the caramel has cooled down a bit, stir in the 100ml of cream. This will bizarrely make the caramel darker. Maybe a scientist can tell me why? Answers on a postcard please.

It will also get much runnier, I understand that bit.

Allow to cool to room temperature.


Step ten

With an electric whisk beat together the rest of the butter and the icing sugar. Cover with a tea towel to begin with so you don’t choke on the clouds of icing sugar…

Once the mixture is well combined gradually mix in the caramel you made earlier. Set a bit of this aside (about 50-100ml or so) to decorate later on.


Step eleven

Pop the frosting into a piping bag and top off your little cakes with a drizzle of caramel once iced. I used a different nozzle than I usually do just because. Forgive me that some of them look a little wonky.

What’s that? I made another GIF?





Step twelve

Sink into sugar coma.