Spooktacular Halloween Pavlova

Spooktacular Halloween Pavlova

This Spooktacular Halloween Pavlova would make an impressive centrepiece. Marshmallowy meringue filled with a chocolate cream and raspberries, topped with more of the same plus chocolate soil, raspberry blood coulis and meringue ghosts and chocolate spiders. Try if you dare…..

Halloween is such a great excuse to get creative when I bake and make some fun treats to share with my friends, family and blog readers. There is just so much scope to get messy in the kitchen and create something that looks fun and tastes delicious. This Spooktacular Halloween Pavlova is actually very easy to make and does not take as long as you might think.

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Raspberry , Lemon and White Chocolate Roulade #GBBO #Dessertweek

Raspberry , Lemon and White Chocolate Roulade #GBBO #Dessertweek

My Raspberry, Lemon and White Chocolate Roulade is delicious! Mallowy meringue filled with a decadent lemon and white chocolate cream and fresh raspberries, it really is very, very nice.

This dreamy and creamy and yummy Raspberry , Lemon and White Chocolate Roulade was actually not as hard to make as I thought. Having made meringues and pavlovas many times before, it was nice to give this a go to see what it was like. The combination of flavours works really well, so if you have never made a roulade before, give it a try.

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Strawberries and Cream Meringue Crown Cake #GBBOBloggers2016 Week 10 – Finals #GBBO

Strawberries and Cream Meringue Crown Cake #GBBOBloggers2016 Week 10 – Finals #GBBO


Can you believe it is Finals week already in the big white baking tent? It is extra sad this year, because as this seventh series draws to a close, it also brings with it an end to an era for the Great British Bake Off. I do wonder what will happen in 2017 to the format and its presenters and its move to Channel 4. I really hope it will continue to be first class entertainment as it has been on the BBC. Of course there are also rumours that the BBC will start a new show with Mary and possibly Mel and Sue. All I do know, is that it is all change which I think is a shame.

Anyway, enough doom and gloom, back to tonights show. So the theme was Fit for a Queen and the baking categories were:

Signature : A filled meringue crown (3 layers)
Technical : Victoria Sandwich
Showstopper : 

As I write this a couple of hours before the final episode is aired, I am thinking that Candice is my favourite to win BUT I do think that Andrew has really come back in the last couple of weeks, and I think he could be the surprise winner. Anyway, by the time this is published it will be over and the 2016 winner will be crowned.

Talking of crowns, I have made a rather abstract cake this week , going on what I read about this weeks themes and having chatted with some other #GBBOBloggers2016, I decided to incorporate possibly two of the categories into one bake. I have no idea if this is right of course, the is the trouble baking ahead of the show, BUT what is done is done, and there is no going back! Last Sunday, I decided to get creative and make a Victoria Sponge with 4 layers, and instead of being flavoured with vanilla, the sponge contained elderflower cordial. I layered it with Strawberry jam and then once sandwiched together, I covered the cake in elderflower flavoured buttercream.


Now, I wanted to make a Meringue crown to sit on top of my cake. I had no idea if I was actually going to be able to construct this from meringue, but I gave it a go anyway. I made a base , the size of which made by tracing the 8 inch sponge tin that I made my Victoria sponges in, which was like a pavlova which was all chewy and mallow like – scrumptious! Anyway, so with the remaining meringue mixture i placed it inside a piping bag and piped long, thin triangle and some straight lines, which I hoped I would be able to stick onto my base to make my crown peaks. Well, once baked, these piped meringue pieces were too fragile and crumbly, so I had to just use the tops of each triangle which is why they are not as elegant or tall as I had initially planned for!

Before ‘crowning’ my cake I melted some white chocolate and spread all but a small bit of it over the top of the cake, and allowed some to drip down the sides. I stuck silver edible balls on to the drips, and some strawberry slices. I don’t know with hindsight, if this was a good idea. Maybe I should have just left it plain, with only the buttercream surrounding it, but in for a penny and all that! As I say, this is a rather abstract cake!

Strawberries and Cream Meringue Crown Cake

I stuck the meringue base on to the top of the cake, and then I whipped up some double cream which I flavoured with more elderflower cordial, and spread that on to the meringue. Then using the remaining melted white chocolate, I stuck the meringue shapes on to the front and front sides of the meringue base, and stuck a silver ball to each one too. Finally, I added some more sliced strawberries to the cream and some more silver balls – for some extra bling – and sprayed all over it with some edible gold glitter spray. 


It is not perfect by any means. A little rough around the edges, but I think it fits the brief. It was totally off the cuff, I had an idea for a cake and it kind of worked. Whether the Queen would be happy to be presented with it, well she might look at it and think how odd it looks, but it tasted delicious! I think it is a typical Mummy Mishaps kind of cake!

Here is how I made this epic Strawberries and Cream Meringue Crown Cake 

Strawberries and Cream Meringue Crown Cake
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 30
  • *Cake*
  • 400g butter
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 tsp Elderflower cordial
  • 400g self raising flour
  • strawberry jam
  • *buttercream*
  • 75g butter
  • 150g icing sugar
  • dash of milk
  • 1 tsp Elderflower Cordial
  • *meringue*
  • 4 egg whites (I used the 4 yolks in one of the sponges)
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g icing sugar
  • *decoration*
  • 300ml double cream
  • 2 tsp elderflower cordial
  • 1 punnet of fresh strawberries
  • edible silver balls
  • 125g white chocolate
  • edible gold glitter spray
  1. *for the meringue*
  2. Preheat the oven 110oC / 100C (fan)
  3. Place the 4 egg whites (save the yolks for the cake sponges) into a large clean mixing bowl and beat them on a medium speed with an electric hand whisk until the mixture stands up in stiff peaks when the whisk is lifted.
  4. Turn the speed up and gradually add the sugar slowly, just a spoonful at a time, alternating between caster and icing sugar
  5. Do not over whisk!
  6. When it is ready, the meringue mixture should be thick and glossy
  7. Line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper, and on one draw round the base of an 8 inch sponge tin *(the same as the ones used for the main cake). Pour on ¾ of the meringue and smooth to for inside the circle you have drawn.
  8. Fill a piping bag with the remaining meringue and pipe some tall peaks - fingers crossed these will work for you!
  9. Bake for approx 1 1⁄2-1 3⁄4 hours until the meringues sound crisp when tapped underneath
  10. Leave to cool on the trays or a cooling rack.
  11. *To make the cakes*
  12. Pre heat the oven to 180oC / 160oC (fan)
  13. Grease and line your 4 x 8 inch baking tins (or, as I did, use my 2 x 8 inch tins twice)
  14. Cream together your butter and sugar until pale and creamy
  15. Add your eggs and the elderflowers cordial and beat well
  16. Add sifted flour and fold until just combined
  17. Pour into your prepared cake tins and bake until cooked - about 20-25 minutes
  18. Leave to cool
  19. *make the buttercream*
  20. beat the butter for a few minutes until it is soft
  21. add the icing sugar, slowly and in smaller quantities , and add the elderflower cordial and beat until smooth .
  22. add the milk - just a little to start with until your buttercream is soft and smooth and a nice consistency.
  23. Once cool, sandwich each sponge with jam and then cover the entire cake, from top to bottom and all over, with the buttercream
  24. Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes
  25. Melt the white chocolate, and also whip the double cream with the elderflower cordial, until thick but not stiff and leave to one side
  26. Remove your cake from the fridge
  27. Pour over the white chocolate (but leave a small amount about a spoonful) and if it drips down the cake thats fine
  28. Put the meringue base on top of the cake to sit on top of the melted white chocolate
  29. Cover the sides of the cake with some strawberry halves and silver balls.
  30. Top the meringue with the cream
  31. Add the crown peaks and stick to the meringue with the remaining white chocolate, and stick a silver ball to each peak
  32. Then top the cream with strawberry slices and more silver balls
  33. Spray the cake and the meringue with the gold spray for a regal look

I used ingredients purchased from Tesco this week – I have to be honest I do most weeks ! So thank you to them for my voucher . I use their value strawberry jam in all my bakes (and Jenson’s sandwiches) I think it is great, and I always buy their value chocolate for baking because it lets well and tastes really nice. 



On your marks, get set and baaaaaake!!!!!

Mummy Mishaps

So as it is finals week at last, I can reveal the magnificent prizes that have been kindly donated by my #GBBOBloggers2016 sponsor –  Tesco  who have been brilliant at allowing 30 of us to receive a £20 gift voucher to bake with during this series bake along. Thank you to them again,  because here are the 3 prizes which 3 lucky bloggers will win if they are named Star Baker by an independent judge – yes I will not be judging the final , a person from Tesco bakery will instead 🙂 I think you will agree that these prize bundles are amazing! 


So here are the rules for this final bake along linky for 2016:

Anyone of you who have linked up at least once to my #GBBOBloggers2016 linky is allowed to enter to be in with a chance of winning one of these prize bundles.  You need to enter a bake inspired by tonights i.e., the final show – you can be abstract like me or follow a recipe more closely. You know how it works, as many of you have done this a few times now. I have extended the deadline so you have a week from today to link up your amazing showstopper. 

I want to thank each and every one of you who has supported this bake along – it would not work without your bakes, your time and love of the show and I love our little #GBBOBloggers community. I also want to thank Tesco and the other brands who have generously supported this bake along, it means so much to me.  I really hope we will be able to do this again next year . Good luck to you all and I cannot wait to see all of your magnificent bakes xxx


Casa Costello

Oreo Brownie & Malteser Baked Alaska (#GreatBloggersBakeOff2104 #Week4 – Desserts)

Oreo Brownie & Malteser Baked Alaska (#GreatBloggersBakeOff2104 #Week4 – Desserts)

Welcome to Week 4 of the Great Bloggers Bake Off, which goes hand in hand with week 4 of the TV Show. This weeks episode was all about another of my favourite meals, desserts! Yum! The three categories are:

Siganature – Saucy Puddings
Technical – Tiramisu Cake
Showstopper – Baked Alaska

This means that for this weeks bloggers bake along, I think there is enough scope here to stick to the bakes given, I will accept a tiramisu pudding aswell as the cake, if you have a recipe which is worthy of linking up.  Oooh I am excited already at drooling over all of your delectable desserts next week 😉

As much as I wanted to make a sticky toffee pudding, a dessert I often choose when I have eaten out for Sunday dinner but have not yet made myself, I HAD to make a baked alaska in the end because it is a dessert I have wanted to make for well most of my life! It all stems back to one mouthful of it when my Mum made one many years ago when I was much younger, and I thought it was scrumptious. Sadly, I have never eaten any since and this seems hard to believe because we are talking ooooh maybe 30 years ago!!! Anbytway, that lingering mouthful has been with me ever since, and either I have never been brave enough to tackle making one myself, or it has never crossed my mind at times when I needed to make a posh pud!

So at finally last weekend, I made my first Baked Alaska and it was not as terrifying as I had imagined and I will be making it again for sure, in fact I am thinking that a Christmas one could work well for Christmas Day. My Oreo Brownie and Malteser Baked Alaska is my own take on this 1970’s dessert classic , and I hope that the GBBO will bring this pud back because it is ruddy delicious! My only self made complaint is that the meringue does not look very attractive – I should have piped it or forked it up and I did not!! Also, having now seen tonights episode of the GBBO, I should have frozen the ice cream in a bowl and not a flat tin! #bakedalaskafail BUT I will know for next time! I might have left mine in the oven a minute more than I should but as I say, ’twas my first time at making an alaska!


Oreo Brownie & Malteser Baked Alaska (#GreatBloggersBakeOff2104 #Week4 - Desserts)
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: desserts
Serves: 12
  • 300ml double cream
  • ½ tin of condensed milk
  • 2 tbsp chocolate spread
  • 1 large (grab) bag of Maltesers
  • 1 small jar of Nutella chocolate spread
  • 100g self riaisng flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ pack of oreo cookies
  • 3 eggs
  • 200g caster sugar
  2. Place the cream and condensed milk in a bowl and whisk until the mixture becomes firmer but not stiff
  3. Then add the chocolate spread and whisk again for a couple more minutes
  4. Fold in the Maltesers
  5. Line an 8inch cake tin with greaseproof paper and pour in the mixture. Cover with another disk of greaseproof paper and then wrap the tin in tin foil and freeze over night
  7. Pre heat the oven to 180oC / 160oC (fan)
  8. LIne an 8 inch round baking tin
  9. Place all of the ingredients except for the Oreo cookies, into a bowl and beat together for a few minutes until a batter is formed.
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared tin, and then push Oreo cookies into the batter (as per the photo)
  11. Cook in the oven for about 20 minutes - the top will be brown and spring back when touched
  12. Leave to cool
  14. Seperate the eggs and place the egg whites in a clean bowl
  15. Whisk until the meringue is firm enough to make soft peaks whrn the whisk is removed
  16. Then add ½ sugar slowly in about 4 lots while whisking on a moderate speed until peaks are resumed again
  17. Then carefully and lightly fold in the remaining sugar using a large metal spoon
  18. * TO ASSEMBLE *
  19. Pre heat the oven to 200oC (fan)
  20. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper
  21. Place the brownie on the paper
  22. Carefully place the ice cream on top of the brownie
  23. Then working quickly, spread the meringue over the ice cream right down to the base of the brownie - my meringe does not look that attractive as I did not make it inot peaks but if you have had more experience, please do this! Or you could pipe it on of course!
  24. Pop into the oven until the meringue is glazed and brown - about 5 minutes depending on your oven I would imagine.
  25. Then serve and enjoy!
  26. Although nicest served on the day it is made, this did keep ok in the fridge and was eaten the second day too.

oreo brownie alaska

Still, it tasted mighty fine so as Norman said tonight, it may not look all that on the outside but the flavour was amazing!

So now over to you, on your marks get set……….BAKE!!!!!!!!

GBBO badge (1)

** A reminder of the Great Bloggers Bake Off 2014 rules**

So if you would like to join in this year or you are back again for some more baking fun, then here is what it entails:

**the Wednesday night following each episode of the GBBO a linky will open, and you need to bake a recipe inspired by one which was featured in the show. It can be an exact copy, one you have created yourself or a mix! As long as it can be connected to the themes used in that episode it can be linked up.

**the linky will remain open until the following Monday at 12pm. I will NOT accept any late entries this year unlike I did last year, simply because I am giving you an extra 12 hours!!!

** all entries must carry the Great Bloggers Bake Off badge if possible please and a link to my blog

**when you tweet your bake off recipe, please @JennyPaulin with the #greatbloggersbakeoff2014 hashtag and I will RT for you and add it to the pinboard.

**each week a blogger or bloggers will be selected as a Star Baker and will recieve a special badge to wear with pride on their blog.

**the next linky will open the following Wednesday as before but obviously with a new theme based on that evenings episode.

**the recipe linked up must not be one already posted on your blog – this is a bake along

This is not a serious linky at all (unless you make it so of course!). It is just for fun and any blogger is welcome to enter whatever their baking skills are and don’t be afraid to link up any disasters – credit will be given for effort too!

And finally……

Regular Great Bloggers  who bake will recall that last year there was a prize draw for the finale of the GBBO – well I am very much working on doing the same again this year, and I can confirm that so far I am able to offer a bakeware pack from Viners worth £30


and hopefully some more prizes will be available as the bake along continues 🙂

See you next week for the round up xx