What could be nicer than home made waffles for breakfast? With a waffle maker, you can create different flavours of waffles quickly.

Who doesn’t love waffles? There is something decadent about having a pile of waffles for breakfast or a tea time treat. A plate of waffles always reminds me of a trip I took to America on a childhood holiday. We would get our breakfast in motels or coffee shops and the menu was a wonder. The choice was vast, waffles, pancakes, eggs made lots of different ways. As children, we took great delight in trying different items from the menu.  Waffles were one of our favourites.  They came on a plate with a jug of syrup to pour over them making a lovely breakfast treat.

Recently the UK seems to have been delighting in the trend for waffles and other sweet desserts. Chains of dessert shops have been appearing in town centres. As well as ice cream sundaes they serve waffles and pancakes. When I took my son to Kaspas Desserts in Newcastle he took great delight in the pile of waffles he chose. Until now I have not been able to make waffles at home but I was recently sent a VonShef Belgian Waffle Maker to try out. As a result my family have been trying out different waffle flavours for breakfast.

Making Raspberry Waffles With a Waffle Maker

Raspberry waffles

Waffles affles are really easy to make. The VonShef waffle maker is a dream to use. Make ake up the waffle batter whilst it heats up. When the light shows it is hot enough pour the batter into the waffle maker. Then close the lid and five minutes later the waffles are ready.  Just remove them from the waffle maker with a spatula. The waffles are lovely and thick with a crisp outside and fluffy inside. It makes four waffles at once which is perfect when you have a hungry family. After eating the waffles it was easy to clean the waffle maker. I  gave it a wipe with a wet cloth and it was clean. You just need to be careful not to put too much batter into the waffle maker or it runs out the sides. After a couple of tries, I got the hang of it.

VonShef Belgian Waffle Maker

Raspberry Waffles

If you are a regular reader of my blog it will be no surprise that I chose to make raspberry waffles. I had a bumper crop of raspberries last year. Just when I thought they were all gone I found three more bags of frozen raspberries in my freezer. I thought these would make a great addition to the waffle batter and throw some frozen ones in. It was a good decision cooking them from frozen as they did not become mushy in the batter. The waffles had a lovely taste of raspberry when ready which was delicious.

Raspberry waffles

Waffle batter is similar to pancake batter. Whisk the flour, milk and eggs with some sugar, baking powder, vegetable oil and vanilla essence until smooth. This can be done while the waffle maker is heating up. Add some frozen raspberries into the mixture and just pour onto the waffle maker. I found it easier to pour the batter into a jug for this step. It makes it easier to pour it evenly. Five minutes later your waffles will be ready to eat.

raspberry waffles

Raspberry Waffle Recipe

Raspberry Waffles

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 10 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Waffles with the addition of raspberries for a sweet breakfast

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 250g plain flour
  • 415ml milk
  • 120ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • ½ salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 tsp frozen raspberries, chopped into pieces

Directions

  1. Preheat the waffle maker
  2. In a large bowl mix together the rest of the ingredients until a smooth batter is formed
  3. Add the raspberries.
  4. Using a pastry brush brush a thin layer of oil onto the waffle maker
  5. Pour the batter onto the waffle maker slowly and then close it and cook for five minutes until golden
  6. There is enough batter to make two batches of waffles

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Raspberry waffles make with a waffle maker. Makes a delicious and tasty breakfast

If you also trying to use up frozen raspberries you may want to try some of my other recipes. Chicken and raspberry salad makes a delicious lunch whilst for a teatime treat raspberry and almond cake will disappear fast. Do you have any favourite raspberry recipes of your own? Let me know below.

I was sent the VonShef waffle maker to try out and use to make a waffle recipe. I was not obliged to say anything nice and my opinions are my own.

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Traditional English pancakes with lemon and sugar. Perfect for pancake day

Pancake day is right around the corner. Why not try making these traditional English pancakes with lemon and sugar?

Pancake day or Shrove Tuesday is a day when it is traditional to eat pancakes. English pancakes are thin and delicate and taste gorgeous with a topping of lemon and sugar. They are similar to a French crepe and very different from American breakfast pancakes. American pancakes are much thicker and the batter contains a raising agent. Shrove Tuesday marks the start of Lent and pancakes are made to use up all the milk, butter and eggs in the house. These are forbidden during the abstinence of Lent.

Pancake day is always popular with children. As a child I always looked forward to my mum making pancakes. Now I am the one who makes pancakes for my son. He never forgets pancake day and always requests them. Bright Horizons, Nursery in Chiswick, have put together some delicious child friendly pancake recipes and asked if I wanted to try them. There is a great choice of pancake recipes,  banana and maple syrup pancakes, vegan blueberry pancakes, cherry pancakes with vanilla ice cream or lemon and sugar pancakes. They all look like lovely recipes, perfect to make and share with your kids. I chose to try the English pancakes with lemon and sugar. The traditional is always popular.

English pancakes with lemon and sugar

English pancakes with lemon and sugar

How do you make English pancakes? Making the pancakes is quick and easy but making the perfect pancake takes a little bit of time. The basic recipe is simple. Make the batter by whisking together eggs, milk and flour with a little salt. Take the time to sift the flour first as it helps prevent lumps forming in the mixture. Whisk the batter until is is nice and smooth and let it rest for about ten minutes. The key to making perfect pancakes is getting the pan hot enough. Melt some butter in the pan and wait until it is sizzling. Pour the batter into the pan using a jug and swirl it around to make a thin layer. Cook until the batter starts to come away from the sides and you can slide it around the pan.

English pancakes with lemon and sugar

At this point you can flip your pancake to cook the other side. You can either turn it with a spatula or if you are brave try flipping it into the air to turn it. The challenge is catching it on the way down. Kids always have great fun trying to flip the pancake. Make lots of batter as there are bound to be some disasters! Don’t worry if you have more pancakes than you can eat. Pancakes freeze very well. Just layer them on top of each other with some greaseproof paper between them. Place the stack of pancakes into a freezer bag and pop them in the freezer. When you want to use them just defrost them. To reheat them just heat a frying pan and cook each pancake for about thirty seconds on each side.

English Pancakes with lemon and sugar recipe

English pancakes with lemon and sugar

 

 

English pancakes with lemon and sugar
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Ingredients
  1. 110g plain flour
  2. pinch salt
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 200ml milk mixed with 75ml water
  5. 50g butter
  6. To serve
  7. caster sugar
  8. lemon juice
  9. lemon wedges
Instructions
  1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.
  2. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the eggs into it
  3. Whisk the eggs into the flour
  4. Gradually add the milk and water mix and whisk all the time until a smooth batter is formed.
  5. Melt the butter in a pan.
  6. Add 2 tbsp of the melted butter to the mixture and whisk.
  7. Keep the rest of the butter aside to use in the frying pan
  8. Heat a frying pan until hot and swirl some of the melted butter round it
  9. Turn to medium heat
  10. Using a jug pour some batter into the pan and swirl round until a thin layer coats the pan
  11. Cook for thirty seconds until the batter is coming away from the sides and the pancake moves round the pan.
  12. Flip over and cook the other side.
  13. Place the pancake on a plate and repeat until all the batter is used
  14. Serve the pancakes with sprinkle of lemon and sugar.
Dragons and Fairy Dust http://www.dragonsandfairydust.co.uk/
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Traditional English pancakes with lemon and sugar. Perfect for pancake day

Other pancake ideas for pancake day

Whilst traditional English pancakes with lemon and sugar are always a big hit on pancake day they are not the only option. Why not mix it up by trying a different pancake recipe? You could have make savoury pancakes and serve them for dinner. Crispy chicken and bacon pancakes are ideal for this and really tasty. For something a little sweeter you could try making Indonesian pancakes. The bright green colour will cause a stir. Play it safe and make a stack of American pancakes for breakfast. These are always a crowd pleaser.

Are you making pancakes for pancake day? What style are you making? Let me know below.

I was sent the cost of the ingredients to try out this recipe as well as some fun pancake cutters to allow me to make dinosaur shaped pancakes. My opinions are my own.

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Zuppa Inglese is an Italian trifle. It is a classic Italian dessert which consists of layers of sponge cake moistened with liqueur alternating with pastry cream

Valentine’s day is coming up. Maybe you are thinking of spoiling your loved one with a romantic meal at home. There is nothing nicer than some time spent together enjoying a special meal and delighting in each others company. In this busy modern life it is easy to spend time passing each other like ships in the night. Why not use Valentine’s Day as a chance to reconnect?

Italy is a place that is dear to my heart. It is where my husband and I went on our honeymoon. Visiting Florence, Rome and Venice among other cities was a memorable and romantic trip. The Italian language is lyrical, the sun is warm and there is plenty of interest to see. One day we will go back. To remind my husband of our trip I am planning to create a zuppa inglese for Valentine’s day.

Zuppa inglese - an italian trifle

Zuppa Inglese

Zuppa inglese is a traditional Italian dessert which originated in Northern Italy. The name zuppa inglese translates literally as “English soup”.  It has nothing to do with soup, although the texture is reminiscent of bread thickened soups common in central Italy.  Zuppa inglese is an Italian trifle made by moistening sponge with a traditional Italian liqueur Alchermes. This is a red liqueur that comes from Tuscany which is made by infusing alcohol with a mixture of sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and vanilla as well as other herbs and spices. This is layered with a mix of chocolate and vanilla pastry cream to make an impressive but simple dessert.

Alchermes can be difficult to get outside Italy. Different recipes use different substitutes. Any aromatic liqueur will work such as amaretto or Cointreau. If you are ambitious you could try making your own Alchermes. Fortunately I found the perfect substitute. Recently I was sent a bottle of Lanique rose liquer from 31 Dover, the drinks delivery company. Lanique is a liqueur that has been recreated from a long lost Prussian recipe. It is made with steam distilled rose oil which gives it the red colour, perfect for zuppa inglese. The 200 year old drink was enjoyed by the rich across Prussia until the Second World War when it disappeared. Recently it has been recreated and is the perfect drink for Valentine’s day. 31 Dover also have a range of other drinks and gifts perfect for Valentines Day and with next day delivery you can easily treat your loved one.

Lanique rose liquer

 

Making Zuppa Inglese

The dessert can be made the day before serving which gives you time to concentrate on making the rest of the meal on the day. The base of the dish is sponge which you can bake if you wish. While I was shopping I found some almond finger cookies which I knew would be perfect. I cut these in half and after brushing some lanique over them laid them in the base of the dish. Sponge fingers or amaretto biscuits would also work well.

Making pastry cream is one of those things that always sounds intimidating. It involves adding hot milk to a mixture of whisked eggs and flour. There is the ever present risk of ending up with scrambled eggs instead. The secret is in the mixing. Provided you add the hot mixture to the eggs slowly and keep stirring the mixture it should turn out perfectly. The home made pastry cream really nice and makes the dish special. Half of the pastry cream is mixed with chocolate whilst it is still hot. The mixture of chocolate and vanilla pastry cream make alternative layers over the sponge. It makes a striking dessert when served in a large dish. If you have any chocolate left over you could use it to make chocolate hearts which are perfect to decorate the top of the dessert.

Zuppa inglese - an italian trifle

Zuppa Inglese recipe

Zuppa Inglese
Zuppa Inglese is an Italian trifle made from sponge brushed with liqueur and layers of chocolate and vanilla pastry cream
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Ingredients
  1. 1½ litres milk
  2. 1½ tsp vanilla essence
  3. 6 eggs
  4. 12 tbsp sugar
  5. 6 tbsp cornflour
  6. 150g dark chocolate
  7. Lanique liqueur
  8. 10 almond finger biscuits or sponge fingers
Instructions
  1. In a large pan mix together the eggs and the cornflour until you get a smooth paste
  2. Put the milk, vanilla essence and sugar in another pan.
  3. Heat the milk mixture until it starts to simmer
  4. Slowly add the milk to the egg mixture, stirring all the time
  5. Place the pan on a low heat and stir until the mixture starts to thicken
  6. Remove from heat and pour half the custard into a bowl with the broken up chocolate.
  7. Stir until the chocolate melts
  8. Brush each of the almond fingers with the lanique liqueur and place in the bottom of a large bowl.
  9. Add a layer of vanilla custard and then a layer of chocolate custard.
  10. Continue until all the custard is used up.
  11. Leave to cool for at least four hours in the fridge
  12. Before serving decorate with shaved chocolate.
Dragons and Fairy Dust http://www.dragonsandfairydust.co.uk/
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Zuppa inglese is an Italian trifle made from sponge brushed in liqueur covered with vanilla and chocolate pastry cream. A perfect dessert for Valentines day

I was sent a bottle of Lanique from 31 Dover to enable me to make the recipe. My opinions are my own.

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Monty Bojangles Flutterscotch Meringue Eton Mess is a quick and tasty dessert. Make it look like you have spent ages in the kitchen preparing the perfect dessert. Ideal for Christmas or a special occasion.

When you are having a special meal it is always nice to finish it with a delicious dessert. However when you have put a lot of effort into cooking a meal pudding can be an afterthought. Recently truffle experts Monty Bojangles partnered with chef Mark Sargeant to create a range of delicious puddings, snacks and naughty treats.  I  tried Monty Bojangles Flutterscotch Meringue Eton Mess. It is a quick and easy dessert which is really tasty and perfect for impressing your guests.

History of Eton Mess

Who isn’t familiar with Eton Mess? It is a traditional English dessert consisting of a mixture of strawberries, meringues and whipped cream. It is a summer dish and the legend is that it was traditionally served at Eton during the annual cricket match against Harrow.  The original variant was a mixture of strawberries or bananas with cream or ice cream. Meringue was added much ne

One of the stories about the creation of Eton Mess was that it was actually created on an Eton open day. Someone had a picnic containing a strawberry pavlova which got squashed by an over enthusiastic labrador. The boys ate the dessert anyway, not put off by the dog hair presumably and Eton Mess was born. The story isn’t true, it is one of those urban legends that springs up over the years but I do like it. You can just picture a warm sunny day with a cricket match going on in the background. The boys open their picnic hamper to enjoy their desserts only to find the dog running over and jumping all over it. It would have been funny to see their faces.

Monty Bojangles flutterscoth eton mess

 

 

Monty Bojangles Flutterscotch Meringue Eton Mess

 

Monty Bojangles Flutterscotch Meringue Eton Mess takes a classic summer dessert and gives it a warming twist for the winter. Cherries replace strawberries as the star of the dish. They are given an extra kick by soaking them in cherry brandy before adding them to the dish. If you want to serve the dish to children this step can be omitted. The mixture of crushed cherries and half cherries soaked in brandy gives a grown up feel to the Eton Mess. This blends perfectly with the mix of cream and meringues.

Monty bojangles Flutterscotch Eton Mess

You might be wondering where Monty Bojangles comes into the recipe and the answer is that the luxurious truffles are grated over the top of the dessert. Monty Bojangles Flutter Scotch truffles are perfect for the topping, the truffles packed with butterscotch pieces and a hint of sea salt are bitter sweet. This provides a great contrast in taste reminiscent of a black forest gateau. The dessert is quick to make as well. The only effort is in whipping the cream and crushing the cherries.

Monty Bojangles Flutterscotch Meringue Eton Mess Recipe

Monty Bojangles Flutterscoth Eton Mess

 

Monty Bojangles Flutterscotch Meringue Eton Mess
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Ingredients
  1. 4 Monty Bojangles Flutterscotch Truffles
  2. 200ml crème fraiche
  3. 200ml double cream
  4. 450g cherries
  5. 4 tbsp cherry brandy
  6. 1 tbsp icing sugar
  7. 3 meringue nests or make your own meringues
Instructions
  1. Whip the double cream and crème faiche with the icing sugar until it forms soft peaks
  2. Crush the meringues into pieces and stir though the cream
  3. Remove the stones and stalks from the cherries and cut into halves
  4. Soak in the cherry brandy
  5. Put half the cherries into a bowl and crush them, stir though the meringue mixture.
  6. Add some cherry halves to the bottom of each bowl and fold the rest into the mixture
  7. Pour the cream mixture on top of the cherries in the dish
  8. Grate the flutterscotch truffles over the top of each dish
Dragons and Fairy Dust http://www.dragonsandfairydust.co.uk/
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Monty Bojangles Flutterscotch meringue eton mess. A quick and easy dessert made with cherries, meringues and cream.

If you are looking for other interesting desserts for Christmas then why not try this winter ice cream bombe which is simple and effective. If you prefer to buy some ready made desserts why not see what I found when shopping at Lidl for Christmas desserts.

What is your favourite Christmas desssert? Let me know below

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Baileys pumpkin spice cheesecake has hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to add Autumnal flavour to a classic creamy cheesecake. The limited edition Baileys pumpkin spice adds flavour and depth making a perfect dessert for Halloween parties or bonfire night.

There is no mistaking that it is Autumn now. The mornings are really dark and have a definite cold tinge. The leaves in the trees are turning an array of spectacular colours. Piles of leaves line the pavements and verges swirling in the wind. It is so tempting to swish though them kicking them up as you go. Autumn is a time for comfort food. Think of steaming sausage casseroles served with mash and vegetables or warming barbecue baked beans and sausages. Halloween is upon us, a time for ghosts and ghouls knocking on the door and asking for treats. It is also a great excuse to have a party, sharing food and drink with friends. Why not round off the night with a few scary movies and some popcorn?

Parties usually involve alcohol and a great place to get your supplies for Halloween is 31Dover.com. The “Unofficial Sponsor of Halloween House Parties”, 31Dover have put together a curated selection of premium drinks perfect for Halloween. With ghost vodkas in skull bottles, KAH Tequilla in Day of the Dead Painted skulls, Blue LaGhoul or Blood and Sand cocktail packs and many more, these selection of drinks will make your party memorable. Check out their website for a hub of content to make your party go with a swing as well as Halloween cocktail recipes and competitions. One of the limited edition drinks 31Dover offer is Baileys Pumpkin Spice. This is classic Baileys infused with warming Autumn spices creating a drink reminiscent of a classic pumpkin pie. It is the perfect drink for Autumn and also makes a completely delicious cheesecake.

Baileys pumpkin spice cheesecake

Baileys Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

There are two ways of making cheesecake, the no bake method or the baking method. For my Baileys pumpkin spice cheesecake I decided to use the baking method. While it does take longer it makes for a creamier and more delicious cheesecake. Whilst it does take longer to make it is just as simple as no bake cheesecake. The extra hours are in the baking and waiting for it to cool down. The hardest part is the waiting for it to cool. There is just something about cheesecake which makes you want to eat it straight away. The smell of the baking cheesecake wafts round the house enticing you to eat it. It is well worth the wait, the creamy cheesecake has a glorious hint of Autumn spice that is warming and filling. It is difficult to resist having another slice.

Baileys pumpkin spice cheesecake

The base is a simple mix of biscuit crumbs and butter baked for fifteen minutes. I chose to use oat biscuits, but any would work. Digestive biscuits are always a good choice or ginger biscuits would add extra warm to the cheesecake. The filling is simply cream cheese, cream, sugar and eggs mixed together with some Baileys Punpkin Spice and a little flour. This is then baked in the oven for an hour until firm. You might be surprised to learn that cheesecake contains cheese. My husband did not believe me when I told him this. The clue is definitely in the name. To finish the cheesecake I whipped up the leftover cream and added some pretty chocolate decorations. The resulting bake did not last long.

 

Baileys pumpkin spice cheesecake

Baileys Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Recipe

Baileys Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake
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Ingredients
  1. 300g oat biscuits
  2. 80g butter
  3. 700g cream cheese
  4. 300ml double cream
  5. 250g light brown sugar
  6. 3 eggs
  7. 1 egg yolk
  8. 125ml Baileys pumpkin spice
  9. 2 tbsp plain flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C, Gas Mark 4
  2. Line the base of a spring form cake tin with baking parchment and grease the edges
  3. Bash the biscuits into crumbs in a bowl
  4. In a pan melt the butter and mix with the crumbs
  5. Press the biscuit mixture into the cake tin and bake for fifteen minutes
  6. In another bowl mix together the cream cheese and 250ml of cream until smooth
  7. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together well
  8. Pour over the biscuit base and bake for 20 minutes
  9. Reduce the oven to 160C gas mark 3 and bake for 50 minutes
  10. The cheesecake should be set with a slight wobble
  11. Leave to cool
  12. When cool whip the rest of the cream and spread over the top in a thin layer
  13. Decorate with sprinkles
Dragons and Fairy Dust http://www.dragonsandfairydust.co.uk/
 Why not pin the recipe to make later?

Baileys pumpkin spice cheesecake

 

What are you doing for Halloween this year? Let me know below.

I was sent the Baileys Pumpkin Spice to allow me to create the recipe. My opinions are my own

 

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