No-bake Birthday Pizza

I apologise for nothing.

If you haven’t got time to do a proper cake, or just fancy a slice of nonsense, try this simple idea instead – a no-bake Birthday pizza.

I used:
One fresh plain pizza base
One tube of blue icing
Smarties
Silver decorative pearls/dragees
Caramel crunch pieces
Chocolate-orange cake decorations

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No cooking or much prepping required – kneaded the icing tube before appying as instructed, spread on the base then added the ingredients, which can be varied according to taste.

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Doesn’t need to be overly neat.

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Done, and ready to eat. Perfect if you like injecting a silly sense of humour into everything, allowing for more time for drink, erm, celebrating. Ahem.

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Banana-Smartie Cakes

Ban-artie Cakes??

It’s been a while since I last tried doing something cake-related, so decided to modify one of my earlier ideas (which in itself was a twist on something else I’d seen online) and created another batch of an old favourite, with a new twist – banana cupcakes, with Smarties mixed in. Who hasn’t got time for Smarties?

This is an easy recipe to follow, and isn’t too time-consuming.

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You’ll need:

230 grams (1 3/4 cups) self-raising flour

150 grams (3/4 cup) granulated white sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs, lightly beaten

120 grams (1/2 cup) melted butter or margarine

2 large bananas, mashed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Roughly two and a half tubes’ worth of Smarties (or chocolate chips for a similar result)

Cake cases

This mixture will yield 22 cupcakes.

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In one bowl combine your flour, sugar & salt. In another combine your eggs, butter, mashed bananas & vanilla. Tip one into the other and mix together, but don’t worry so much about making a smooth mix – it still needs to be lumpy ideally.

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Mix in the Smarties, then spoon into each cake case.

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Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 (180C or 350F), then place in the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes.

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They turned out great! Banana cake is always nice, regardless of what you add to it, and isn’t too difficult to make, so I’d recommend something like this if you’re looking for something simple but fun.

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Butterbeer

Ten p(o)ints to Gryffindor

This is the first of my movie/fiction-inspired posts I plan to make in coming months – my attempt to recreate a version of ‘Butterbeer’, as featured in the Harry Potter series of books and films. Given that it was never made clear exactly what went into brewing Butterbeer, it allowed for some room to improvise.

I used:
One packet of Butterscotch Angel Delight
Two 330ml bottles of Vanilla Milkshake
Vanilla Vodka
Irish Cream
Whipped Cream

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I opted to use a vanilla-flavoured milk in place of regular milk, to boost the flavour.

Added the powder to a large mixing bowl, poured in one bottle of flavoured milk and mixed using an electric whisk.

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Paused the whisking, added a dash of Irish Cream then continued to mix.

Paused again and added a couple of dashes of vanilla vodka, then resumed.

Whilst mixing, I gradually poured in the second bottle of flavoured milk.

When ready, I carefully poured into a jug (to make pouring into glasses much easier), then poured into each glass.

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Topped each with some whipped cream, then leveled out with a spoon, adding more where needed.

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It might not have been an exact replica, but it was close enough and tasted good!

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Christmas Jelly Shots

Don’t throw away those calendars yet!

Here’s an interesting way of re-using your empty Advent calendars – Christmas-themed jelly shots! This one came about as a result of a suggestion for another Christmas-themed experiment – it’s quick and easy, though the end result is a bit fiddly.

Simply take the tray out of the box, and wash off any excess chocolate and remaining glue – the majority of it should actually be peel-able before washing.

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Make up the jelly mix as instructed on the packet (though I opted to use less water than instructed, as less is required here), mix in your choice of juice and alcohol, then carefully pour into each section. Once they’ve cooled, place in the fridge and chill overnight.

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This was the first batch, made with Tango (fizzy Orange) and Jim Beam Red Stag Whiskey.

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For the second batch here, I tried again using even less water, just to see if I could get a thicker jelly – this still needs some work! They did have a bit more of a kick though. I also swapped out the fizzy Orange drink for Vimto.

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You can spoon them out and eat them individually, or perhaps add them to a dessert.

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Mince & Cherry Pies with Honey Jack Daniel’s

A Christmas favorite with a twist

With Christmas fast approaching, I thought I’d start playing with some ideas for the season, and being a fan of Mince Pies, decided to put my own twist on this popular classic, with Glace Cherries and (typically) a splash of Honey Jack Daniel’s.

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I used:
1 375g pre-made Puff Pastry sheet (from which I was able to make 12 pies)
1 jar of Traditional Mincemeat (though I didn’t use the whole jar)
Glace Cherries
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey

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Cut out the pastry bases with a cookie cutter, and place in a buttered baking tray, along with a cherry in each one.

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Spoon out some mincemeat meat into a bowl, and add a splash or two of JD, just enough so that it mixes in with the mince without making it too runny. Spoon this mix into each pie.

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Cut out the pastry tops with a smaller cookie cutter, place on top of each, then apply a milk wash.

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Place in the middle of a pre-heated oven at gas mark 6 (400 degrees F) for 20 minutes.

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Done! Quick and easy, ideal for snacks, dessert or party food. I’m already looking forward to making more this year.

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Oh and Batman appreciated them too.

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Peanut Milk Cocktails

THAT’S A LOT OF NUTS!*

Did you know that ‘Peanut-flavoured Milk’ was a thing, or that it’s possible to make cocktails using peanut butter? I was recently tagged in a Facebook post by a friend, who’d bought a ‘Peanut Butter Martini’ from a local restaurant and wanted to show me. Feeling inspired, I Googled and found there were (at least) three different recipes for it – thought I’d then give it a go, and after much searching around, finally found somewhere that stocked that aforementioned peanut-flavoured drink – I knew I wasn’t imagining it!

Decided to experiment and create a few concoctions….

‘Peanut Martini’

Created at a friend’s house, using three cartoons of peanut milk we were able to produce a pitcher of this for five glasses.

Peanut-flavoured Milk
Disaronno Amaretto
Irish Cream
Topped with a digestive biscuit rim.

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‘The BaNutty’

‘BaNutty’ sounded like an appropriate name!

Peanut-flavored Milk
A dash of Irish Cream
Banana-flavoured milkshake powder.

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‘The Nutbar’

Went for full nutty theme with this one.

Peanut-flavoured Milk
A shot of Copacabana (Caribbean rum and coconut)
A dash of Disaronno Amaretto
A spoonful of Chocolate-flavoured milkshake powder (required more stirring than the Banana one)

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All went down very well! If you can find it, I recommend it. Have fun experimenting.

*Ten points if you got the Kung Pow reference!

Cocktail Lollies

If at first you don’t succeed….

Just a quick one – these occurred quite accidentally as a ‘Plan B’; another attempt at a homemade jelly cocktail (the second of which I might still post up) wasn’t quite working out, so I took the mixture and made them into lollies instead.

These comprise of:

A dash of Orange Juice
A dash of White Grape & Peach High juice
A dash of Red Stag Black Cherry Liqueur
Hartleys Jelly powder

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