Category Archives: Recipe

Easy Recipe: Quick Coffee Cupcakes

There’s nothing quite as good as a cup of coffee in the garden with a little sweet treat to go with it. This week I knocked up a batch of my quick coffee cupcakes and sat in the garden in the last of the sunshine before Storm Hector swept in and spoiled all our summer fun.

Cupcakes are something I make quite a lot of at home. They’re so quick and easy to do and I often have a fresh batch of buttercream in the fridge for emergencies. I know this is potentially an unpopular opinion, but cupcakes are just buns with fancy icing. If you can master a basic swirl people think you’ve got mad baking skills. I’m not going to win any prizes for my decorating, but I can do some basic piping, enough to turn a humble bun into a cupcake. If I can do it, you can too!

Easy Recipe: Quick Coffee Cupcakes

These quick coffee cupcakes are great to make in a hurry. I piped plain vanilla buttercream on these, but if you’re baking for a real coffee fan, then you can easily make coffee buttercream. You can ramp the coffee flavours up further by adding a Roasted Coffee Cacao Truffle from Beech’s Fine Chocolates to the top, this turns a simple cupcake into a lovely grown up after dinner treat!

Win a selection of Beech's Fine Chocolates Gourmet Packs

Quick Coffee Cupcakes

Ingredients:
150g butter or margarine
150g caster sugar
3 eggs (large)
150g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 heaped teaspoon of instant coffee dissolved in 1/2 tablespoon of milk

For the buttercream:
250g icing sugar
250g butter (softened)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beech’s Fine Chocolates Roasted Coffee Cacao Truffles

Method:
Pre-heat your oven to 180° and put paper cases in a bun or a muffin tray.

Cream your butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and using a hand mixer combine until the batter is smooth and airy.

Dollop a large dessert spoon of the cake batter in each case and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Once cooked remove from the oven and leave cool on a rack.

While your cupcakes are cooling, sift your icing sugar and beat together with the softened butter. Add your vanilla extract and beat it in thoroughly.

Once your cupcakes are cool, put your vanilla buttercream in a piping bag with a star piping nozzle – I use a Wilton 2D nozzle. I did a standard buttercream swirl, if you’re not sure how to do it, watch this short video.

I then decorated the buttercream swirl with a Roasted Coffee Cacao Truffle from Beech’s Fine Chocolates. Serve with a cup of very good coffee.

If you wanted to up the coffee content of your coffee cupcake, you could add some coffee to your vanilla buttercream. Dissolve some coffee in a splash of milk and beat it through thoroughly.

Easy Recipe: Quick Coffee Cupcakes

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like these popcorn cupcakestangy marmalade cupcakes or romantic rose cupcakes.

Easy Recipe: Quick Coffee Cupcakes

Easy Recipe: KitKat Rocky Road

A few weeks ago I made a batch (well, several batches) of rocky road with Butterfinger Mini Cups. They were a huge success and I’ve had almost daily requests for me to make some more. It’s a simple recipe and one which can be thrown together quickly, so I thought I’d make a batch of KitKat Rocky Road with the bag of KitKat bites I had in the cupboard for snack emergencies.

KitKats are really underrated. They’ve been a favourite of mine since I was a child, though I don’t eat them quite as often these days. KitKats have reinvented themselves in a hundred different ways, but you can’t beat the two finger classic  can you? I do like these new(ish) KitKat Bites. It’s hard to put them down after the recommended snack sized portion though.

Easy Recipe: KitKat Rocky Road

This KitKat Rocky Road recipe is probably the most popular rocky road I’ve made. All the ingredients are the kind of things that most people will have lurking in their cupboards, so it’s a great little store-cupboard recipe for emergency sweet treats! This recipe makes 12 generous slices.

KitKat Rocky Road

Ingredients:
200g Milk Chocolate, broken into small pieces
2 Tablespoons of golden syrup
135g Unsalted butter
100g Mini marshmallows
50g Raisins
100g KitKat Bites, or a normal KitKat chopped up

Easy Recipe: KitKat Rocky Road

Method:
Line a high sided baking tray with baking parchment. I used a small roasting tin because it was about the right size.

Put the milk chocolate, golden syrup and butter in a glass bowl. Using a bain marie (put an inch or two of hot water in the pan and place the glass bowl over the top making sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl) over a gentle heat. Stir the chocolate until it has all melted together and it looks so good you want to put your face in it.

While the chocolate mixture is slowly melting, put the biscuits into a plastic bag and bash them with a rolling pin until they’re broken up, but not crumbs. Ideally you want a mixture of chunky pieces and smaller, crumbly bits. Once bashed, tip them into a mixing bowl. Add the marshmallows and raisins.

Take the KitKat Bites and put a few to one side for decoration. Take the rest and chop them into chunks, add them to the biscuit mix. If you’re using a full sized KitKat fingers, chop each finger into chunks and add those.

Once the chocolate has melted, take it off the heat and carefully tip the biscuity mix into the chocolate. Stir it well and make sure everything is coated. Then tip it onto your baking tray spread the mixture out. It needs to be about 2cm deep as a minimum for maximum awesomeness.

Easy Recipe: KitKat Rocky Road

Take the KitKat pieces you’d put to one side and poke them into the mixture so they’re visible, but the melted chocolate will anchor them in place. Put the tray in the fridge or somewhere cool for at least two hours, better still overnight. Once set, cut into generous wedges and enjoy.

These KitKat rocky road treats will keep in an airtight tin for a few days, but I doubt they’ll last that long.

Easy Recipe: KitKat Rocky Road

Recipe: Guinness and Rum Freakshake

I had my first freakshake in Manchester’s Northern Quarter a few years ago. It was an insane hybrid of a lovely milkshake and a lot of booze. They are quietly lethal and a bit of a treat. When I knocked up a lovely batch of Guinness syrup a little while ago, I knew it would be perfect to make a freakshake with, it has all the complex bitter, stouty flavours of Guinness, but in a sweet form which makes it perfect for cakes, bakes and freakshakes! Mixed up with some rum, you get an insanely good Guinness and Rum Freakshake.

To make your freakshake you will need a blender. I have a nutribullet which has sat gathering dust for a few months, and this is perfect for making freakshakes in. It’s not the healthiest use of a nutribullet, but it’s probably the best!

Recipe: Guinness and Rum Freakshake

This Guinness and Rum Freakshake is very loosely based on the Guinness Martini, which is made with dark rum, cold espresso coffee, vodka, crème de cacao and Guinness. This freakshake is really fun and absolutely not for children!

Guinness and Rum Freakshake

Ingredients:
3 scoops of vanilla ice cream
70ml (or two shots) of Guinness Syrup
70ml (or two shots) of dark rum
1 shot of espresso, cooled
250mls of milk
Squirty cream to decorate

Method:
Put it all of the ingredients in a blender and whiz up for a minute. Take a spoon and taste it, you can add more rum, Guinness syrup or coffee if you think you need to. Pour it into a glass and top with squirty cream and a drizzle of Guinness syrup.

Recipe: Guinness and Rum Freakshake

If you don’t have any espresso, you can swap this out for some instant coffee mixed with a shot of boiling water. Make sure you cool it before you add it to the Guinness and rum freakshake.

This recipe makes enough for one large Guinness and Rum Freakshake, if you’re making more than one, just double up the ingredients as necessary.

If you enjoyed this, you might also like to try these recipes –

Recipe: Guinness and Rum Freakshake

Recipe: Chocolate Dipped Candied Orange Slices

A little while ago I shared with you my recipe for candied orange slices. They are brilliant for decorating orange and citrus cakes with, but they also make sweet treats when they’re dipped in chocolate. My chocolate dipped candied orange slices are brilliant bagged up and given as gifts. They’re an ideal little treat if you’ve got a glut of oranges to use up too.

I like to make a big batch of these at Christmas and give little bags of them as presents for people. They’re also a really nice treat to take away on holiday to nibble with a nice glass of good red wine in the evening.

Recipe: Chocolate Dipped Candied Orange Slices

Chocolate Dipped Candied Orange Slices

Ingredients:
2 oranges, fairly finely sliced
1 mug of caster sugar
1 mug of boiling water (add more if required)
8 drops of Spice Drops Orange Zest Extract
150g good quality dark chocolate

Method:
In a sauté pan gently warm the water and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Add your Spice Drops Orange Zest Extract and put your slices of orange in the pan.

Gently poach the orange slices for around an hour or so with the lid off the pan. Make sure you turn them over every 15 minutes or so. You want the oranges to go translucent; once they do, they’re ready.

Carefully lay your orange slices on a cooling rack (make sure you put some paper towel underneath to catch any drips) and leave to cool and solidify overnight.

Recipe: Chocolate Dipped Candied Orange Slices

When the candied oranges have dried and set, melt your chocolate in a bain marie (a glass bowl over a saucepan with an inch or so of water underneath, make sure the water doesn’t touch the glass bowl) until it’s smooth and silky. Dip your slices in the melted chocolate and leave to set for an hour or so. Enjoy with a cup of good coffee.

If you want to really boost the orange flavour in this treat, add around 4 drops of Spice Drops Orange Zest Extract to the chocolate as you melt it.

Recipe: Chocolate Dipped Candied Orange Slices

Recipe: Lemon and Elderflower Surprise Cupcakes

Last week I made a really, really lovely lemon and elderflower gin meringue pie and I had a little bit of the lemon filling left over. Usually I save this to spoon over ice cream, but as I was in a baking mood, I thought I’d make some Lemon and Elderflower Surprise Cupcakes. My son who loves to bake got in on the action too, so he can vouch that they’re great to bake with kids.

If you don’t happen to have some lemon and elderflower gin meringue pie filling left over, you could use some lemon curd instead. If you opt for the lemon curd option, but feel you’re missing out on the elderflower gin, you could always pour yourself a refreshing Lakes Distillery gin to have on the side.

Recipe: Lemon and Elderflower Surprise Cupcakes

I would normally ice my cupcakes with a buttercream swirl, but I had a squeezy pouch of Cake Angels Zingy Lemon Frosting in the cupboard, so I thought I’d use that. I thought it would swirl like buttercream, but I couldn’t get it to pipe the way I wanted it to. In the end I put enough frosting on each of the lemon and elderflower surprise cupcakes to cover the top and let in run so it was more of a glaze than a cupcake topping. If you don’t have this, I think these cupcakes would be lovely with a lemon drizzle topping.

Recipe: Lemon and Elderflower Surprise Cupcakes

To make the cupcakes, I used my fail-safe sponge recipe which worked an absolute treat. The recipe is enough for 12 good-sized cupcakes. Here’s how we did it.

Lemon and Elderflower Surprise Cupcakes

Ingredients:
150 g caster sugar
150 g softened butter or margarine (I use Stork)
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 tbsp milk
150 g self-raising flour
1 level tsp baking powder

Leftover Lemon and Elderflower Gin Meringue Pie filling  – or – half a jar of lemon curd

Cake Angels Zingy Lemon Frosting – or – lemon drizzle icing

Method:
Heat your fan oven to 190c. In a large bowl, beat your butter and sugar together until fluffy (I used a hand mixer). Add the eggs, milk and vanilla and combine. Add the flour and baking powder and mix together until you have a smooth batter.

Put 12 cupcake cases in a muffin or bun tin, divide the mixture generously between the 12 cases and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Once bakes, remove and leave them to cool.

Once cool, using a sharp knife cut a deep circle out of the top of the cake, remove the circle and fill the hole with leftover lemon and elderflower gin meringue pie filling or lemon curd. Cut some of the cake off the cupcake lid and put the lid back on top of your cupcake.

Recipe: Lemon and Elderflower Surprise Cupcakes

Cover with the Cake Angels Zingy Lemon Frosting or a spoon or two of the lemon drizzle icing if you’re using that. Leave to set and then serve with a nice cup of tea, or a large G&T.

Oh, and the surprise? The lovely, slightly runny lemony loveliness in the middle of the cupcake.

Recipe: Lemon and Elderflower Surprise Cupcakes

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Recipe: Lemon and Elderflower Surprise Cupcakes

Recipe: Lemon and Elderflower Gin Meringue Pie

With the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle just over a week away, I’ve been reading all about their plans for their wedding cake. The cake will be made by pastry chef Claire Ptak, owner of the Violet Bakery in London. Claire has been asked to create a lemon elderflower cake that will incorporate the bright flavours of spring. I love lemon and elderflower, so inspired by those flavours, I’ve made a delicious Lemon and Elderflower Gin Meringue Pie. 

Lemon Meringue Pie is a family favourite. It’s my brother’s favourite pudding, so we ate it quite a lot growing up. I had a lovely bottle of The Lakes Distillery Elderflower Gin Liqueur which I thought might be just the thing to take a very good lemon meringue pie up to the next level, it turns out I was right.

Lemon and Elderflower Gin Meringue Pie

The Lakes Distillery Elderflower Gin Liqueur is made with 14 carefully selected botanicals, all combined with Elderflower extract to make this vibrant and floral Elderflower Gin Liqueur. It’s a lovely summery drink and it the perfect tipple to use in my Lemon and Elderflower Gin Meringue Pie.

For me, the best Lemon Meringue Pies are mostly meringue. My brother fundamentally disagrees with me, he likes the lemony pie base. But the pastry has to be light and crisp. What’s your favourite part of a Lemon Meringue Pie?

Lemon and Elderflower Gin Meringue Pie

Ingredients:

For the pastry –
114g plain flour
56g butter, cubed
A pinch of salt
2-3 tablespoons of cold water
-or- a packet of ready rolled shortcrust pastry
-or- a bought shortcrust pastry case

For the filling –
200g caster sugar
2 level tablespoons of plain flour
3 level tablespoons of cornflour
Pinch of salt
50mls The Lakes Distillery Elderflower Gin Liqueur
350ml water
2 lemons, zested and juiced
30g unsalted butter
4 egg yolks

For the meringue –
4 egg whites
75g caster sugar

Lemon and Elderflower Gin Meringue Pie

Method:
Put the flour and butter in the mixing bowl and rub the flour and butter together with your finger tips until they look like breadcrumbs. Add the water but do not make it wet or sticky. Knead gently together and wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill in fridge for about 20 minutes.

Roll out your pastry and line a greased tart tray with the pastry and trim the edges. Prick the pastry all over and bake blind (with baking beans if you have them) for around 20 minutes at Gas Mark 6/400’F/200’C/180 Fan.

Whilst your pastry case is baking, make the lemon filling. In a saucepan, over a medium-high heat, whisk together 200g caster sugar, flour, cornflour and salt. Stir in the water, Elderflower Gin Liqueur, lemon juice and the lemon zest. Keep whisking until the mixture comes to the boil and starts to thicken.

Once the lemony mixture is pretty thick, whisk in the unsalted butter. Do not be tempted to use margarine instead, it will be horrible.

Put the egg yolks in a small bowl and whisk. Add a spoon of the hot lemony mixture and beat it in, gradually add about 8 more spoons, whisking each time. Tip the egg yolk mixture into the pan with the lemon filling and bring to the boil, whisking all the time. If you just tip the yolks straight into the hot pan they will scramble and it will be grim.

Cook for a few more minutes until the mixture is thick and glossy, remove the lemon filling from the heat and carefully pour it into the pastry case. I like to leave it to cool in the case for a ten minutes or so before I top with the meringue.

Now for the fun part. In a large and squeaky clean glass bowl, whip the egg whites. Gradually add the caster sugar and whip the egg into stiff peaks. If you’re doing this by hand it could take some time, I use an electric whisk and it only takes a few minutes to get to stiff peak perfection.

Lemon and Elderflower Gin Meringue Pie

Dollop the meringue over the pie making sure it covers the pie and seals the edges so no lemon is showing. I like to use a spoon to try to make some peaks on the pie before baking it in the oven for 15 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown.

You can either eat it hot from the oven, or chilled from the fridge; either is good. No, either is bloody lovely.

Tip: If you’ve got any of the lemon filling left over, it’s excellent spooned over vanilla ice cream.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like to try this Cornflake Pie or these love heart jam tarts.

Recipe: Lemon and Elderflower Gin Meringue Pie

Disclosure: I was sent a bottle of The Lakes Distillery Elderflower Gin Liqueur to use in a recipe. 

Recipe: Butterfinger Mini Cups Rocky Road

I am and always have been very pro-peanut butter, my husband on the other hand is fiercely against it. This is great news for me, it means if I buy anything peanut buttery it won’t mysteriously vanish overnight. On a recent visit to my local Co-op I spotted something peanut butter fans will probably have been dreaming about for a while, Butterfinger Mini Cups. They were on offer for £1 a bag, so I bought two bags – one to scoff and one to bake with.

Firstly, each bag contains 85g of Butterfinger Mini Cups. Apparently they are “sharing bags”, no one is going to share a bag of these and they’re so addictive the bags don’t even have that resealable thing most sharing bags have. No one is saving some for later. They’re gone before you know it. This is a warning, especially if you’re a bit on the greedy side like me.

Recipe: Butterfinger Mini Cups Rocky Road

If you’ve never tried Butterfinger Mini Cups before, they’re a bit like Reece’s peanut butter cups, but smaller and with tiny crunchy pieces inside. I first had a Butterfinger bar a couple of years ago from a shop which sold American sweets and it wasn’t love at first bite. For some reason the Butterfinger Mini Cups really hit the spot for me, they really are mini, so I thought they would be great in rocky road, and they were.

Rocky road is one of those quick and easy things you can quickly throw together, you don’t need much skill and it’s a good thing to “bake” with children, although there’s no actual baking involved. Rocky road is what we used to call chocolate fridge cake when I was a child, except chocolate fridge cake doesn’t have marshmallows in it, you can leave them out if you’re vegetarian and just add some extra dried fruit or biscuits.

Recipe: Butterfinger Mini Cups Rocky Road

I’ve used digestive biscuits, but you could equally use rich tea biscuits, sometimes I use malted milk biscuits because I love them. Rocky road is a pretty forgiving recipe, you can add whatever extras you want. What would you add?

Butterfinger Mini Cups Rocky Road

Ingredients:
200g Milk Chocolate, broken into small pieces
2 Tablespoons of golden syrup
135g Unsalted butter
100g Mini marshmallows
50g Raisins
100g Butterfinger Mini Cups
50g white chocolate to decorate (optional)

Recipe: Butterfinger Mini Cups Rocky Road

Method:
Line a high sided baking tray with baking parchment. I used a small roasting tin because it seemed up to the job.

Put the milk chocolate, golden syrup and butter in a glass bowl. Using a bain marie (put an inch or two of hot water in the pan and place the glass bowl over the top making sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl) over a gentle heat. Stir the chocolate until everything has melted together.

While the chocolate mixture is slowly melting, put the biscuits into a plastic bag and bash them with a rolling pin until they’re broken up, but not crumbs. Ideally you want a mixture of chunky pieces and smaller, crumbly bits. Once bashed, tip them into a mixing bowl. Add the marshmallows and raisins.

Take the butterfingers and put a few to one side for decoration. Take the rest and chop them in half, add them to the biscuit mix.

Once the chocolate has melted, take it off the heat and carefully tip the biscuity mix into the chocolate. Stir it well and make sure everything is coated. Then tip it onto your baking tray spread the mixture out. It needs to be about 2cm deep as a minimum for maximum rocky road excellentness.

Take the Butterfinger Mini Cups you’d put to one side and poke them into the mixture so they’re visible, but the melted chocolate will anchor them in place. If you’re feeling fancy, you can melt the white chocolate (again over a bain marie) and drizzle over. Leave to set before slicing.

Recipe: Butterfinger Mini Cups Rocky Road

You can either put the tray in the fridge or somewhere to cool for a few hours. Once set, slice it into generous wedges and devour. If you can restrain yourself, it will keep in an airtight tin for a few days or so.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like this recipe for sparkly chocolate cups.

Recipe: Butterfinger Mini Cups Rocky Road

Recipe: Salted Peanut and Caramel Cookies

For a number of years now salted caramel flavoured everything has been all the rage. I love salted caramel, probably a little too much. I’m a little bit afraid of attempting to make my own caramel from scratch, but I came up with a bit of a cheat and made these seriously delicious salted peanut and caramel cookies. Yes you read that correctly, the peanuts are salted but the caramel isn’t, but they’re probably my favourite cookie at the moment.

Recipe: Salted Peanut and Caramel Cookies

In this recipe I used Werther’s Original Creamy Toffees for the caramel in the cookies. I wanted a soft caramel toffee and these were what were in my local shop. I chopped each toffee up into eight little pieces. Once baked inside the cookie, the caramels either go soft and squidgy or the ones on the outside of the cookie go crunchy. I love the difference in textures the caramel makes in these salted peanut and caramel cookies.

Salted Peanut and Caramel Cookies

Ingredients (makes 15 cookies)
125g butter, softened
100g soft brown sugar
125g caster sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
50g salted peanuts, chopped
50g Werther’s Original Creamy Toffees, chopped
225g self-raising flour

Recipe: Salted Peanut and Caramel Cookies

Method
Preheat your oven to 180°C.

In a large bowl cream your butter and the two sugars. Once they are well combined, add the egg, chopped peanuts and chopped up pieces of toffee. Tip in the flour and keep mixing until it forms your cookie dough.

Take a baking sheet and either grease the sheet well or cover with a piece of baking parchment (I used baking parchment). Using a set of scales, take the dough and weigh into 40g balls, this helps ensure all your cookies are the same size.

Place the dough balls on the baking sheet making sure there is room for them to spread out. You might need to use two or more baking sheets. Squash each dough ball down a little with the back of a fork.

Bake the cookies in your pre-heated oven for 10 minutes until they’re just turning golden round the edges. Remove from the oven and leave them on the baking sheet to firm up for a few minutes before putting them on a wire cooling rack.

Recipe: Salted Peanut and Caramel Cookies

It’s traditional to have milk with your cookies, but these are really good with a cup of really good coffee.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like to try these delicious spiced Apple Pie Cookies.

Recipe: Salted Peanut and Caramel Cookies

Recipe: Popcorn Cupcakes – perfect for movie night!

Popcorn is one of the most popular snacks in the UK. It’s considered to be a lighter, healthier snack option. Whether is really is or not is up for debate, but it is a movie night essential. These days you can get all kinds of different flavours of popcorn. I’m a traditionalist and I like sweet popcorn, or that toffee covered popcorn which makes my teeth tingle.

A little while ago I received a bottle of Monin Popcorn Syrup. It’s the kind of thing you might use in coffee or cocktails, but I had different ideas. I really fancied making some popcorn cupcakes.

Recipe: Popcorn Cupcakes - perfect for movie night!

My popcorn cupcakes turned out really well. They had a good popcorn flavour but were not overpowering. They were a big hit with the boys too and I know I’ll be making these again and again.

Popcorn Cupcakes

Ingredients:
4oz butter or margarine
4oz caster sugar
2 eggs (large)
4oz self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon of Monin Popcorn Syrup

For the buttercream:
250g icing sugar
250g butter (softened)
1 teaspoon of Monin Popcorn Syrup
Bag of your favourite popcorn

Method:
Pre-heat your oven to 180° and put paper cases in a bun or a muffin tray.

Cream your butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and using a hand mixer combine until the batter is smooth and airy.

Dollop a large dessert spoon of the cake batter in each case and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Once cooked remove from the oven and leave cool on a rack.

While your cupcakes are cooling, sift your icing sugar and beat together with the softened butter. Add your Popcorn syrup and beat it in thoroughly. Taste your buttercream, you might want to add a bit more syrup if you want a stronger flavour. You can always add more, but you can’t take it away!

Once your cupcakes are cool, put your popcorn flavoured buttercream in a piping bag with a star piping nozzle – I used a Wilton 2D nozzle. I did a standard buttercream swirl, if you’re not sure how to do it, watch this short video.

I then covered the buttercream swirl with popcorn. If you start around the bottom of the swirl and made sure as much of the buttercream is covered in popcorn. Gently press the popcorn into place on the buttercream and your cupcake is done and ready to be enjoyed on movie night!

Recipe: Popcorn Cupcakes - perfect for movie night!

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like my tangy marmalade cupcakes.

Recipe: Popcorn Cupcakes - perfect for movie night!

Recipe: Greek Style Aubergine and Feta Filo Pie

I love making and eating filo pastry pies. They’re much lighter than traditional shortcrust or puff pastry pies and they somehow seem a bit more summery because of it. I often throw together a spinach and feta filo pie for a weekend lunch, they’re easy and absolutely delicious, a winning combination!

This week I was sent some Greek goodies from Olive Branch. They sent me a selection of their new salad dressings and some of their Greek mezze range. This had filo pie and a lovely Greek salad written all over it. I pulled a packet of filo pastry out of the freezer and set to work.

Greek Style Aubergine and Feta Filo Pie

The gift tube containing three jars of mezze I was sent included; Aubergine & Basil Paste with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Kalamata olives with fig and mint and Sweet Olive, Fig & Almond Relish. I’m a big fan of aubergine and I knew the paste would work well in my filo pie.

Olive Branch are an award winning UK based producer who use only the very best Cretan olive oil in their products. Their olive grove is situated outside the city of Ierapetra and is part of a co-operative of traditional olive farmers. They grow the Koroneiki variety of olive, harvested and cold pressed at the same community co-operative that has been at the heart of the community for generations.

Greek Style Aubergine and Feta Filo Pie

I made a small filo pie which was enough for a hearty lunch for one, but you could make a bigger pie in a bigger tin, just double up the ingredients. I used a 12.5cm loose bottomed tart tin. Loose bottomed tins are the best tin to use for filo pies.

Greek Style Aubergine & Feta Filo Pie

Ingredients:
2 sheets of filo pastry, fresh or frozen
100g feta cheese
2 tablespoons of Aubergine & Basil Paste with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil
Fresh black pepper
Dried oregano

Method:
Pre-heat your oven to 180° grease your tart tin with olive oil and put it on a baking sheet.

Take your two sheets of filo pastry and cut them in half. You will now have four squares of filo. Take one square and lay it in your tin, be careful as the pastry tears easily. Dab your first layer with olive oil and place the next layer over the first, do this so the corners are placed differently. Keep doing this until all four squares of filo have been used. It doesn’t have to be neat, it’s meant to look a bit rustic.

Put a tablespoon of the Aubergine and Basil Paste on the bottom of the pie, spread it around a little. Chop your feta cheese into cubes and fill the pie with it, add a few twists of black pepper and a large pinch of oregano. Top with another tablespoon of the Aubergine and Basil Paste.

Working layer by layer, fold the corners of each layer over the pie, dab each sheet of filo with olive oil as you go. The corners of the pastry should cover the pie filling and give you a nice scrunched up pie topping. Brush the pie with more olive oil and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Once cooked and golden brown, remove from the oven and carefully take it out of the tart tin. Serve with a big pile of salad (mine was dressed with Olive Branch orange balsamic dressing with extra virgin olive oil and it was the business!) and whatever Greek treats you fancy. Olive anyone?

Greek Style Aubergine and Feta Filo Pie

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like to try…

Halloumi & Caramelised Onion filo rolls

Greek Salad and Tzatziki

Bifteki – Cretan Style Lamb Burger with Feta

Armenian Red Cabbage Salad

Greek Style Aubergine and Feta Filo Pie

We were sent a selection of products from Olive Branch for this recipe. All images and opinions are our own.