Vanilla Cupcakes & Marzipan Bees

It's a special week on Bake Off this week, because for the very first time, it's Botanical Week! The bakers must complete three challenges inspired by nature and are allowed to use any ingredients that grows to use in their bakes. Keeping with this theme, we thought we'd share a flowery based recipe that you can bake at home.

This week, why not have a go at making these spectacular Vanilla Cupcakes? Created by the extremely talented Jamie from Jamie's Cookery, each of these fantastic cupcakes has been topped with a beautiful buttercream rose and features a marzipan bee. They're a great way to celebrate the last few days of summer. 

Not only do these cupcakes look great but they're also extremely easy to make! For more tasty recipes that are really easy to follow, we highly recommend that you head over to Jamie's blog; it's brimming with spectacular recipes!


Makes 12 cupcakes

For the Cupcakes

  • 175g of Butter
  • 175g of Caster Sugar
  • 175g of Self-Raising Flour 
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1tsp Vanilla Extract

For the Buttercream

  • 180g Butter
  • 450g Icing Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tbsp Milk, if needed

For the Marzipan Bees

  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1tsp Fresh Orange Juice (or apple juice)
  • 100g Ground Almonds
  • 50g Chocolate, melted
  • Some Flaked Almonds


Step 1 - Pre-heat the oven to 175°C and place 12 cupcake cases into a cupcake or muffin tray, and set aside.

Step 2 - Then, add the butter and caster sugar in to a bowl and mix well until they have all combined.

Step 3 - Add the vanilla extract and the eggs - one at a time - mixing well after each egg.

Step 4 - Finally, add the flour to the mixture and mix well - ensuring that you get all the flour off the edges of the bowl! This should provide you with a nice smooth batter.

Step 5 - Spoon an equal amount of batter in to each case and pop them into the oven for around 12 - 15 minutes or until they are firm and golden brown. Once baked, put aside to cool.

To make the Buttercream

Step 1 - Put icing sugar, butter and vanilla into a mixing bowl and beat until a smooth thick buttecream is formed. If the buttercream is too stiff, then add a little milk to loosen it. If you want to do different coloured icing, divide your buttercream and use food colouring to reach your desired colour for each batch.

To make the Marzipan Bees

Step 1 - Put all of the marzipan ingredients into a bowl and mix them until a firm ball is made.

Step 2 - Then, roll twelve individual balls from this mixture - this will be your bees.

Step 3 - Stick two flaked almonds into each bee to make the wings.

Step 5 - Put your melted chocolate into a piping bag, snip off the end and use it to create stripes and eyes to complete your bees.

To decorate

Step 1 - Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 2D nozzle, then use it to pipe buttercream roses. To do this, start from of the cupcake and make a couple of outward circles, stopping when you reach the edge of the cupcake.

Step 2 - Place a marzipan bee on to each cupcake.

Step 3 -Enjoy!

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Cupcake Tray
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12 Cup Muffin Tray
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Individual Muffin Cups
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Strawberry Cheesecake

If you're thinking of throwing a summer dinner party, this Pink Strawberry Cheesecake is the perfect desert to have as an impressive centrepiece!

From the talented bunch at BBC Good Food we bring you this scrumptious cheesecake recipe! It's the perfect way to end a meal or to have as a treat at your summer dinner party! Don't be put off with the amount of steps it takes to make this fantastic, believe us, it's worth the hassle! You won't have tasted anything that can compare to it!

This delicious recipe can be found on the BBC Good Food website!

Photo by AnneCN (view original here)



For the Base

  • 200g digestive biscuit
  • 100 unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling 

  • 3 sheets of leaf gelatine
  • 142ml carton single cream 
  • 300g full-fat soft cheese
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • finely grated zest of half a lemon
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 300g strawberry, hulled and chopped 
  • 142ml carton whipping or double cream
  • 1 medium egg white 

For the Sauce

  • 250g strawberries, hulled and chopped, plus about 200g/8oz extra to decorate 
  • finely grated zest of half a lemon 
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice 
  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar, or more to taste


Step 1 - Seal the biscuits in a plastic bag and crush them to fine crumbs with a rolling pin.

Step 2 - Tip into a bowl and stir in the melted butter, mixing thoroughly so that all the crumbs are soaked.

Step 3 - Tip the mixture into your 24cm Springform Cake Tin and press down with the back of a metal spoon to make an even layer over the bottom of the tin. Chill in the fridge while you make the filling.

Step 4 - Submerge the gelatine leaves in a dish of cold water, and leave to soak and soften for 5 minutes. 

Step 5 - Pour the single cream into a pan and bring just to the boil, then take off the heat.

Step 6 - Take the gelatine leaves out of the water, give them a good squeeze to get rid of the excess water, and stir one by one into the cream (they will dissolve instantly). Leave to cool for a few minutes.

Step 8 - Beat the cheese in a bowl with the sugar, lemon zest and juice until smooth and creamy. 

Step 9 - Mix in the cream and gelatine mixture and the chopped strawberries. 

Step 10 - In another bowl, lightly whip the whipping cream or double cream so it falls in soft peaks, then fold it into the strawberry mixture.

Step 11 - Whisk the egg white in a clean bowl until it forms stiff peaks, then fold gently into the cheese mixture. Pour into the cake tin and smooth down lightly. Chill for at least 2 1/2 hours until set. 

Step 12 - To make the sauce, blitz all the ingredients in a food processor or blender. 

Step 12 - Taste and add more sugar if needed, then pour into a jug and keep in the fridge until you're ready to serve. (Both cheesecake and sauce can be made a day ahead). 

Step 13 - To serve, run a knife between the cheesecake and the tin to loosen it, remove it from the tin, then take it off its base and put it on a serving plate. Halve the extra strawberries lengthways, pile them in the middle and serve with the jug of sauce.

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As we are now officially in to summer, what better way is there to get in to summer cooking than dusting down the barbecue and having a go at making these fantastic thai red curry chicken kebabs!

These thai red chicken kebabs are full of fantastic flavours and are the epitome of what we class as summer recipes. They take virtually no time at all to prepare and cook, which is one reason they are a fantastic dish to serve at a barbecue. The thai flavours put an alternative twist on regular chicken kebabs and the crunch of fresh pepper and red onion really compliments the spice of the curry paste. So why not give these a go at home for your next barbecue to really kick start your summer!



  • 2 boneless chicken breasts cut in to large chunks
  • 2 tbsp of Thai red curry paste
  • 2 tbsp of coconut milk
  • 1 red onion, cut in to chunks
  • 1 courgette, halved and cut in to chunks
  • 1 red pepper cut in to chunks
  • 1 lime, halved to serve


Step 1-As we are in the height of summer, we recommend using your barbecue to make these delicious thai red curry chicken kebabs. If the weather isn’t great, you could make them by using a small grill pan under your grill. Start by mixing the chicken, coconut milk and thai red curry paste in bowl until the chicken is well covered by the mixture.

Step 2-Then take the skewers and starting placing a piece of chicken, then a piece of vegetable until you have a good mix of vegetables on each skewer.

Step 3- Place the skewers on the barbecue for between 5 and 8 minutes. Remember to turn them while they cook to ensure an even cooking process.

Step 4-The skewers will be cooked when the chicken starts to char at the edges, but please check the inside of the chicken carefully before eating.

Step 5- Serve these delicious thai red curry chicken kebabs with a squeeze of the fresh lime juice and alongside a healthy salad, potato salad and a tasty rice dish.

Step 6- Once you are happy that these barbecued chicken kebabs are cooked, they are ready to serve alongside all the other delicious barbecue food you have prepared!

Source: BBC Good Food 

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Pulled Pork

This weekend, Cancer Research UK are encouraging you to BBQ to beat cancer and raise awareness! We think this is a great idea as it is a great excuse to get your family and friends together the same time as raising awareness of a very important issue. Below we have chosen a delicious recipe that is perfect for you to try out this weekend! For more information on how to BBQ to beat cancer, visit Cancer Research UK’s page here!

This recipe comes straight from Food Network and what an absolutely fantastic recipe it is! Pulled pork is now a prominent feature on virtually any pub or restaurant menu simply because us Brits love it! This BBQ pulled pork recipe combines delicious slow roasted pork with a homemade rich BBQ sauce and crisp coleslaw to top it off. The combination of flavours from this recipe with be a guaranteed hit with all of your guests at your BBQ, so why not give it a go, all in aid of a great cause!



For the BBQ Pulled Pork and Dry Rub

  • 1 pork roast, preferably a shoulder cut
  • 3 tbsp of paprika
  • 1 tbsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp of dry mustard powder
  • 3 tbsp of sea salt
  • 12 bread rolls

For the Cider Vinegar BBQ Sauce

  • 1 and a half cups of cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of yellow mustard
  • Half a cup of ketchup
  • One third of a cup of brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp of kosher salt
  • Half a tsp of ground black pepper
  • Juices from the Roast Pork

For the Coleslaw

  • 2 grated carrots
  • 1 shredded green cabbage
  • 1 thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 1 tbsp of cider vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 and a half cups of mayonaise
  • A quarter of a cup of Dijon mustard
  • Half a tsp of celery seed
  • A pinch of sugar


Step 1-In a mixing bowl, mix together the salt, brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder and dry mustard to form the rub for the pork. Once well combined, rub well in to the pork, cover and refrigerate for a minimum of an hour but preferably overnight.

Step 2-Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit/150 degrees celcius. Place the pork in a roasting tin, and allow it to slow cook for around 6 hours until it starts to fall apart. Try our vitreous enamel roasting tin for this, it’s perfect and comes with a roasting rack!

Step 3-Now you can start making the barbecue sauce to go with the pork. In a saucepan, add the cider vinegar, yellow mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, the crushed garlic cloves, salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Cook on a medium heat until the sugar starts to dissolve. Once this has happened, take it off the heat and allow to cool.

Step 4-Once the pork has started to fall apart, remove it from the oven and let it rest for around 10 to 15 minutes. You want to get all of the juices and loose bits of pork from the bottom of the roasting tin to use for your sauce. To do this, take a cup of water and add it to the roasting tin over a medium heat. Scrape all of the pieces off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Reduce by no more than half and pour it in to the saucepan with the other barbecue sauce ingredients and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Step 5-The next step is to start removing the meat from the joint. Take 2 forks and use them to hold the meat steady while you pull pieces of the pork off. Place in bowl and pour half of the barbecue sauce over it and mix.

Step 6-Now make the coleslaw by mixing the carrots, onions, cabbage and chilli in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, add the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice and a pinch of sugar to form the dressing for the coleslaw. Once you are happy it is all well combined, pour over the vegetable mixture and mix well. Season the coleslaw to taste with salt, pepper etc.

Step 7- We suggest serving this bbq pulled pork in bread rolls with a generous portion of the coleslaw on top! Now all there is left to do is enjoy this delicious bbq pulled pork as part of your bbq weekend!

Source: Food Network 

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Now we are well and truly in to summer, it is about time we started to bring out all of the delicious summer desserts that we are so good at making here in Britain, starting with this fantastic peach melba roulade from BBC Good Food!

If love the taste of summer fruits in your dessert, this peach melba roulade is definitely for you! Starting with the springy sponge on this summer pud, every bite you take will deliver a fantastic burst of summer! The peach cream in the centre of this dessert is backed up with a delicious raspberry flavour from fresh raspberries and a raspberry coulis. Combine this with a hint of vanilla and you have the perfect summer dessert to enjoy in the sun!



  • 6 large eggs
  • 50g of butter, melted
  • 120g self-raising flour
  • 175g of golden caster sugar, and roughly 3 tbsp extra for dusting later on

For the Filling

  • 420g can of peaches in syrup
  • 75g of ready-made raspberry coulis
  • 150g of raspberries
  • 200ml of double cream
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract


Step 1-Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celcius/180 degrees in a fan oven/Gas mark 6. Butter and line a baking tin (roughly 33cm x 24cm) with baking paper.

Step 2-Take a large mixing bowl and add the 6 eggs and 175g of golden caster sugar. Whisk for no more than 5 minutes using an electric hand whisker until it is light and fluffy. Then sift the flour in to the mixture and using a large spoon, fold it in to the egg and sugar mixture. Pour in the 50g of melted butter and quickly fold the mixture again to ensure it combines. Ensure you don’t mix too much as you don’t want to lose the air from the whisked eggs.

Step 3-Pour this mixture in to the baking tin ensuring it is smooth. Place in your pre heated oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

Step 4-Take another piece of baking paper that is larger than the sponge you are baking and lay it on one of the work surfaces in your kitchen. Dust the remaining 3 tbsp of golden caster sugar on the baking paper. Take the baked sponge and remove it from the tin, placing it on the baking paper. Remove the piece of baking paper from the tin and then begin to roll the roulade up in the new piece of baking paper that has been dusted with the sugar before leaving it to cool down.

Step 5-Now start on the filling for your peach melba roulade. Add the vanilla extract and 3 tbsp of the syrup from the peaches to the double cream and combine with an electric whisk until the mixture starts to form soft peaks. Then add half of the peaches as well as half of the raspberry coulis.

Step 6-Unroll the roulade sponge and remove the baking paper. Take the peach cream that you have just made and evenly spread it over the sponge. Sprinkle the raspberries and remaining peaches on to the cream. Drizzle any of the remaining raspberry coulis on top as well and re-roll the sponge ensuring it is nice and tight so nothing can fall out.

Step 7-Place this delicious peach melba roulade on to a serving plate before cutting in to generous pieces and serving.

Source: BBC Good Food 

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