Blog Update: Introducing Tabitha

I know I have been AWOL for quite some time, but I have a really good excuse. On June 2nd 2016 at 4.42pm I gave birth to our beautiful daughter Tabitha Marleen Bending, weighing in at 3488g and standing 50cm tall.

Tabitha Marleen Bending

Tabitha Marleen Bending

She is simply the best thing ever, but as you can imagine, just cooking a hot meal is a task at the moment, so there is no baking going on in this house! But I hope to be back very very soon with more recipes and snippets from Berlin.

AllAboutChantelle x

Guest Post: How to Bake the Best Bread With and Without a Bread Machine

You may have noticed a lack of posts, that is because there is a lack of baking or inventive cooking going on in these last few weeks of pregnancy. Honestly, I expect the blog to be on the quiet side for the next few months at least as our new arrival joins us and we adjust to being parents but I will be back, one day!

In the meantime, I was sent a request to feature a guest post on my blog and thought it suited my audience perfectly. I love making bread but I hate bread machines (sorry if you use one, but give this a go and you will hate them too) and I love making/baking/kneading bread myself.

If you want to put that bread maker away, or just try making bread yourself for the first time, then this graphic is perfect for you to follow:

How to Bake the Best Bread With and Without a Bread Machine

How to Bake the Best Bread With and Without a Bread Machine

Did you like this post? I would love to hear your feedback!

Lemon Cupcakes with Fondant Decoration

I had some fondant icing in the cupboard that was about to go out of date and I couldn’t just let it get thrown away so I had to do some baking. After a look through the shelves I decided on Lemon Cupcakes with Fondant Decoration:

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes

  • 100g of Sugar
  • 100g of Butter
  • 1tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1/2tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 100g of Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 5tbsp of Lemon Juice

For the Buttercream Frosting (used a glue)

  • 75g of Icing Sugar
  • 35g of Butter
  • 4tbsp of Lemon Juice

For the Decoration

  • 75g of Blue Fondant Icing
  • 75g of Yellow Fondant Icing
Lemon Cupcakes with Fondant Decoration

Lemon Cupcakes with Fondant Decoration

Method

  1. Start by making your cupcakes by preheating the oven to 180C (Fan) and putting your cupcake cases into your tin
  2. Cream the sugar and butter together in a bowl until smooth
  3. Sieve in the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and flour and mix until crumbly
  4. Add the eggs and lemon juice and whisk until you have a smooth and even cake batter
  5. Then evenly pour your cake mix into your cupcake cases
  6. Bake in the oven for 12-14 minutes until golden
  7. Set aside and allow to cool
  8. Once cool you can begin the decoration
  9. To do this, start by making the buttercream
  10. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and add the butter and lemon juice
  11. Whisk together until smooth and fluffy, set aside
  12. Then you can roll out the fondant icing on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar and cut any shapes you like
  13. Once this has been done you can put the cupcakes together
  14. Dollop a teaspoon full of the lemon buttercream onto each cupcake as glue for the fondant that then goes on top, as I used 2 thin layers of fondant icing I also used the buttercream between these to make sure they stuck together, but you can do this however it suits the decoration you have created!

Note: This recipe makes 12 cupcakes

These Lemon Cupcakes with Fondant Decoration were light and fluffy and looked kind of cool. But I definitely think I need to invest in some more crafting tools for cake decorating as I used a cookie cutter and it was a little on the large side.

So if you have any product recommendations, please let me know!

Banana, Chocolate, Walnut and Marzipan Muffins

Somehow we end up with quite a lot of brown bananas in this house, to some, a waste, to me, time to make Banana Bread again! But this week I felt like doing something a little different, so with the help of my usual, what is in the baking cupboard I decided on Banana, Chocolate, Walnut and Marzipan Muffins. And here is how I did it:

Ingredients

  • 285g of Flour
  • 1 tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1/2 tsp of Salt
  • 110 g of Butter
  • 225g of Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 4 Bananas – Mashed
  • 85ml of Plain Yoghurt
  • 100g of Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 100g of Crushed Walnuts
  • 100g of Marzipan Chunks
Banana, Chocolate, Walnut and Marzipan Muffins

Banana, Chocolate, Walnut and Marzipan Muffins

 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (Fan)
  2. Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl and set aside
  3. In a separate bowl cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is smooth
  4. Add the eggs, mashed banana and yoghurt to the mixture and stir thoroughly
  5. Then fold in the flour mixture gradually until it is all well combined
  6. Then add the chocolate, walnuts and marzipan and stir to spread through the mix
  7. Grease your tin, I used my cupcake tin without cupcake cases to make individual muffins
  8. Then evenly pour in the mixture
  9. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until risen and brown
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool
  11. Then enjoy!

Note: This recipe made 20 muffins

Quite honestly there is not much to say, this recipe is pretty foolproof and results in yumminess every time and these Banana, Chocolate, Walnut and Marzipan Muffins were no exception! I am already looking forward to my next lot of brown bananas!

Homemade Cottage Pie with Swede Mash

This recipe is one I have been making for a while now, I have finally perfected it so thought it was time to share it on my blog. It is a little bit different in that it is savoury but I do cook a lot more than I bake, even if my cooking is usually a bit more dull. I think this one is a little bit more interesting and maybe of interest to you so that is why I am sharing my recipe for Homemade Cottage Pie with Swede Mash with you:

Ingredients

  • 250g of Beef Mince
  • 2tbsp of Oil
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Carrots
  • 50g of Peas
  • 1 tsp of Oregano
  • 1 tsp of Paprika
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tbsp of Tomato Puree
  • 250ml of Gravy (I use Bisto and not my own!)
  • 1 Large Swede
  • Knob of Butter
  • Splash of Milk
Homemade Cottage Pie with Swede Mash

Homemade Cottage Pie with Swede Mash

Method

  1. I always start by chopping the carrot and onion into small chunks and setting aside in a bowl with the peas as this makes it easier as you cook
  2. Then fry the mince in the oil until it is brown
  3. Add the oregano, paprika and season with salt and pepper as you like and fry for a further minute
  4. Then add the vegetables and turn down to a low heat, put the lid on the pan and allow to simmer for 5 minutes
  5. Pour in your gravy and add the tomato puree and stir
  6. Allow to simmer on a low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring intermittently
  7. Whilst this simmers you can cut up your swede into chunks and put it on to boil, this normally takes 30 minutes
  8. Once your mince mix is cooked, pour into an oven dish and level, set aside to cool
  9. Back to the swede, once boiled drain and tip back into the pan
  10. Add the butter and milk and season with salt and pepper as desired
  11. Then mash until smooth
  12. Evenly spread across the top of your cooled mince, then using a fork drag the swede back and firth creating grooves, this will help it to brown in the oven
  13. The cottage pie can be left to cool then refrigerated until later if you want, or it can be cooked right away
  14. When you want your cottage pie, preheat the oven to 200C (Fan) and cook for 15-20 minutes, until hot through and crisping on top

Note: I like to serve mine with baked beans! What about you…?

I love this twist on Cottage Pie as my Homemade Cottage Pie with Swede Mash is a little healthier and I think the sweet flavour of swede makes it yummier.

Do you have any twists on a classic that you like to make?

White Chocolate Cornflake Nests with Dark Chocolate Drops

I have been baking a lot this week and when I am in the mood I just cant stop, however I am sometimes hindered by a lack of ingredients. So this recipe for White Chocolate Cornflake Nests with Dark Chocolate Drops is based on ‘stuff I had leftover in my cupboard’ which is sometimes the best way:

Ingredients

  • 200g of White Chocolate
  • 200g of Cornflakes
  • 75g of Dark Chocolate Drops
White Chocolate Cornflake Nests with Dark Chocolate Drops

White Chocolate Cornflake Nests with Dark Chocolate Drops

Method

  1. Start by putting your cupcake cases into your tin (12)
  2. Then melt the white chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water (or a microwave if you have one)
  3. Once the chocolate has melted, take off of the heat but leave over the boiling water
  4. Add the cornflakes gradually whilst stirring to ensure that they all get covered in chocolate
  5. Then divide evenly into your cupcake cases and gently push down
  6. Sprinkle the chocolate drops over the top of each
  7. Place into the fridge to set for 1 hour
  8. Once set, enjoy!

Note: This recipe makes 12  nests

As always these White Chocolate Cornflake Nests with Dark Chocolate Drops were super easy to make but they are always super yummy so who cares?  (no one, if you were unsure), and the plus side, I still have some cornflakes left….

Apple and Cinnamon Cupcakes Topped with Marzipan

Happy 4 Year Anniversary to AllAboutChantelle!

I am celebrating by finally sharing a well overdue recipe for Apple and Cinnamon Cupcakes Topped with Marzipan. I originally wanted to make these at Easter (vaguely inspired by a Mary Berry fruit cake with marzipan) but I was too sick. However, now I am feeling better I finally got around to trying it out this week and this is how:

Ingredients 

For the Apple Base

  • 1 Apple (Peeled and cut into small chunks)
  • 1 tsp of Cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp of Sugar
  • 1 tbsp of Lemon Juice

For the Cake Batter

  • 100g of Butter
  • 100g of Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1tsp of Baking Powder
  • 100g of Flour
  • 2 Eggs

For the Topping

  • 80g of Icing Sugar
  • 40g of Butter
  • 100g of Marzipan
Apple and Cinnamon Cupcakes Topped with Marzipan

Apple and Cinnamon Cupcakes Topped with Marzipan

Method

  1. Start by putting all of the ingredients for the apples into a pan and simmering for 4-5 minutes, this should be done on a medium heat until the apples start to soften and caramelize
  2. Once ready, pour into a bowl and set aside to cool
  3. Now preheat your oven to 180C (fan) and put your cupcake cases (12) into your tin
  4. To make the cake batter cream the sugar and butter together in a bowl until smooth
  5. Then sieve in the bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and flour and combine until crumbly
  6. Finally, add the eggs and whisk until smooth
  7. Now evenly divide the apple mix into the bottom of each of your cupcake cases before adding the cake mix on top
  8. Place into the oven and bake for 12-14 minutes (you will know when the cupcakes are ready by gently pressing the top, the sponge should spring back)
  9. Set the cupcakes aside and allow to cool
  10. Once cool you can prepare the topping,  start by sieving the icing sugar into a bowl
  11. Add the butter and cream until smooth, set aside as this will be used as a ‘glue’ for the marzipan
  12. You can then roll out your marzipan, I used baking marzipan in a black so did this by dusting a surface with icing sugar, I decided to go for discs and then a ball on top to use up the remainder and add an extra touch but you can use whatever design you like
  13. Once you have 12 of the design you like, you can put the cupcakes together, I topped each cupcake with a thin layer of buttercream then placed the disc on before dipping my ball in the buttercream and sticking to the top
  14. Repeat 12 times and enjoy!

Note: This recipe makes 12 cupcakes

These Apple and Cinnamon Cupcakes Topped with Marzipan came out exactly as I had hoped, I have relative faith in my baking ability but sometimes I get it wrong. Luckily, this was not one of those cases! The cinnamon flavour really compliments the marzipan and although made on a Wednesday, they have a certain Sunday Roast Day taste to them, so they would have been perfect for our Easter (if it had happened).

Fruit Basket Cupcakes

Sadly I have been sick so that is why I have been lacking in both the baking, and writing about it departments. But I am now feeling better so thought it was about time I started making my way through my list of ideas.

I saw something similar to this a while back so when we bought a lot of lovely looking fresh fruit with our weekly food shop, I knew it was time to make my version of them. So here is my recipe for Fruit Basket Cupcakes:

Ingredients

  • 150g of Sugar
  • 250g of Butter
  • 1/2 tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 tsp of Baking Powder
  • 150g of Flour
  • 3 Eggs
  • 150g of Icing Sugar
  • Kiwis
  • Strawberries
Fruit Basket Cupcakes

Fruit Basket Cupcakes

Method 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (Fan) and put your cupcake cases into the tray
  2. Then sieve your sugar into a bowl and add 150g of the butter
  3. Cream them together until smooth
  4. Sieve in the bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and flour and combine until crumbly
  5. Add the eggs and whisk until you have a smooth batter
  6. Divide evenly into your cupcake cases
  7. Bake in the oven for 12-14 minutes (you can tell when they are ready by gently prodding the top, the cake should spring back)
  8. Allow to cool
  9. Once cool sieve the icing sugar into the remaining butter and combine until smooth
  10. Then you can use an icing bag or pallet knife to decorate the top of your cupcakes
  11. Finally decorate with the fruit as you want before enjoying!

Note: This recipe makes 12 cupcakes

I think these Fruit Basket Cupcakes just look adorable and are so perfect in the springtime as they are fresh and colourful as the sun shines outside. And they have fruit so you can eat two right?

I will be back soon with another fruit based recipe that I was too ill to make at Easter as planned so will be making this week, with a spring, instead of Easter twist!

White Chocolate Easter Nests

Whilst I was making the milk chocolate version of these, I noticed some leftover white chocolate in the cupboard and thought as I was in the flow, I should make a few more, so my second Easter themed recipe is White Chocolate Easter Nests and here is how I did it:

Ingredients

  • 100g of White Chocolate
  • 100g of Cornflakes
  • Mini Eggs (I used 2 per nest)
White Chocolate Easter Nests

White Chocolate Easter Nests

Method

  1. Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water
  2. Once melted take off the heat but leave the bowl over the pan
  3. Then gradually add your cornflakes whilst stirring to make sure they all get covered in chocolate
  4. Spoon out evenly into your cupcake cases before adding the mini eggs to decorate
  5. Pop into the fridge for an hour before enjoying

Again, these White Chocolate Easter Nests are so easy to make but so much fun and who doesn’t love them? We are fans of white chocolate in this house so these went down very well!

I love Easter time and the baking that comes with it, so look out for the rest of my recipes over the next few days!

Chocolate Cornflakes Easter Nests

For me, Easter is about Family and Chocolate and there is nothing that used to combine the two better than the day we made Chocolate Cornflakes Easter Nests. So with Easter just around the corner, it was about time I made them and here is how I do it:

Ingredients

  • 300g of Milk Chocolate
  • 300g of Cornflakes
  • Mini Eggs (I put 2 on each nest)
Chocolate Cornflakes Easter Nests

Chocolate Cornflakes Easter Nests

Method

  1. Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water
  2. Once melted take off the heat but leave the bowl over the pan
  3. Then gradually add your cornflakes whilst stirring to make sure they all get covered in chocolate
  4. Spoon out evenly into your cupcake cases before adding the mini eggs to decorate
  5. Pop into the fridge for an hour before eating

These Chocolate Cornflakes Easter Nests are super simple but always make me think of Easter Time, especially making them with my family when I was little. In fact, I think this is the perfect recipe to make at home with kids to get them involved!

Tomorrow I will be sharing my second version of these!