Category Archives: cakes
Don’t worry my fellow readers, i will be back soon and will have a new cake for you next week, a very special cake indeed!
Sorry i have been absent for a while. I have moved house to a new city and started a new job… so things have been busy! Also it was my birthday. So i thought i would share my Birthday cake my Mum made.
My Mum used a tried and tested recipe for success from Mrs Beeton, her chocolate cake sponge. It was so light and yummy! On the top she iced and decorated with chocolate eggs which spelt out my name.
I wanted to make a nice simple afternoon cake, so i decided to go for a fresh and light tasting apple cake, using Greek yoghurt to add to the lightness of the sponge, a perfect accompaniment for Mothering Sunday.
What You Need:
3 Large Granny Smith Apples peeled and chopped into cubes, 25ml Apricot Brandy, 300g Greek yoghurt (I used Total), 4 eggs, 1 and a quarter teasp of baking powder, 225g caster sugar, 400g plain flour, 125ml olive oil.
Preheat the oven to 180c.
First add the eggs and sugar to a bowl and whisk until combined, then add in the yoghurt, brandy and oil until you have a lovely runny batter. To the mixture then add the sieved flour and baking powder, mixing to form a thick luscious cake mixture. Finally fold in the the chopped apple, place in a greased 9” cake tin and bake in the oven for 50 minutes. When done leave to cool, i drizzled over some left over cream cheese frosting.
Today is my dad’s birthday, so i decided to try out another cake recipe in The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. All the recipes look delicious but the blueberry cake really caught my eye and I had never used a bundt pan before.
The recipe was really easy to follow, and it produces a big cake! 6 eggs are used in total and the shiny purple blueberries drift around the cake bursting and soaking the light sponge. To decorate it is dripped in cream cheese frosting, blueberries and lightly dusted with icing sugar.
What You Need: 350 g unsalted butter, 350 g caster sugar, 6 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 450g plain flour, 2 tbsp & 2 tsp baking powder, 280 ml soured cream, 250 g fresh blueberries, plus extra to dust.
Cream cheese frosting: 300 g icing sugar, sifted, 50 g unsalted butter, 125 g cream cheese
Preheat the oven to 170°C .
Grease and dust a 25 cm ring mould. Mix sugar and butter and cream until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time while mixing well, be sure to scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla extract, flour and baking powder until well mixed. Add the soured cream and mix well until everything is combined and the mixture is light and fluffy. Gently stir in the blueberries by hand until evenly dispersed. Pour the mixture into the ring mould and smooth over with a palette knife or a spatula. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, until golden brown. Leave the cake to cool slightly in the mould before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. When the cake is cold, cover the top and sides with Cream Cheese Frosting and decorate with more blueberries. Yum (^-^)
Sorry it has taken me awhile to get back to my personal challenge of the French macaroon. I bought all my ingredients and left them at work in the staff room, only to realise I had one weeks holiday and had to wait to go back and get the ingredients. However, as I waited I have been looking at many different macaroon recipes in the hopes that I would be able to perfect the previous disaster when making these French biscuits, and I have eventually got something to be proud of rather than a sticky runny mess (^-^)
I followed the same recipe as the French video I found last time (see it here), but with a few changes to make sure nothing went wrong this time.
This time I used a thick gel food colouring, which does not turn to liquid, keeping the mixture at the right consistancy. This colouring was more expensive than the usual kind but you can see better results. The second thing i also did to improve the recipe was to use an Italian meringue method instead of the quick simple way. This helped keep a thicker texture. I am really happy with my result and Its made me confident in tackling macaroons in the future. These ones have chocolate frosting. Yum (^-^)
After going to see the inspiring Chris Ofili exhibition at the Tate Britian I popped over to my favourite cafe Sacred, just off Carnaby Street to have a Chai Latte and to meet up with a good friend. The intensely sweet and spicy chai inspired me to make a tray of Chelsea Buns, sticky and gooey, perfect food for this wet and snowy weather. Very similar to it’s American counterpart, the cinnamon roll, the Chelsea Bun lies its origins in the 18th century London Borough of the same name.
What You Need: 15g of yeast, 15 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of salt, 2x 400g plain flour, 2 eggs, 5 tablespoons of oil, 3 tablespoon of mixed spice, 1 banana, 50g sultanas, 50g dried morello cherries.
Firstly in a mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast and 7 tablespoons of sugar in warm water. Then add the salt and half of the flour, mix until well combined. After with a wooden spoon beat in the eggs and oil. Slowly add the remaining flour, until completely combined turning into a dough. On a floured surface knead until you have a smooth pliable dough. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and roll the dough around to coat in the oil. Cover with a damp cloth and prove in a warm place until it has expanded in size, around 35/40 minutes. Now prepare the filling, with the rest of the sugar, mix together with mixed spice (cinnamon, dried coriander seed, allspice, cloves and nutmeg). I have chosen to make three kinds, one with sultanas, the second with dried morello cherries and the third with banana.
Once the dough has proved, divide into twelve rolls/balls. With each individual ball roll into a oblong shape and sprinkle the sugar/spice mixture over. Add the dried fruit or banana and then roll up into a pinwheel and place into a greased baking tin. Make sure each one is around 1 inch apart from each other and leave to prove again for a further 35 minutes. Once the size has increased again (They will have joined) place into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. When done prepare a syrup of 3 tablespoon golden syrup and 50ml of water in a pan, pour the hot syrup over the buns in the tray and leave to cool. Pile onto a plate and eat, preferably with tea. (^-^)
This weekend I was all set to tackle the notorious French Macaroon. I had the ingredients ready, many blog readers asked me to give them ago. The problem I had with recipe was consistency. Firstly I tried one recipe over at the Daily Telegraph, everything was going well until the final stage of mixing the meringue and the almond mixture. So I tried a different recipe and the same thing happened. Instead I ended up with a runny gloop. Having battled with a cold this weekend I really did not even want to bother trying it for a third time. However thankfully, after calming down, I found a insightful video demonstration in French of how to make the perfect macaroon. My problem of texture is now solved, and the answer is powder food colouring, not liquid of gel. So next weekend I will hopefully be sharing with you a perfected macaroon.
Chocolate and coffee are always a great mix, especially when it comes to cake. This cake combines walnuts and coffee with a thick chocolate frosting top, dusted with cocoa. Perfect to slice and share with friends.
What you need:
175g light brown sugar, 175g, self raising flour, 175g soft unsalted butter, 3 eggs, 50g of chopped walnuts, two heaped tsp of coffee diluted or one espresso shot, 1 tsp baking powder. On Top: chocolate frosting (melted chocolate, butter and icing sugar creamed together), half walnuts.
Preheat the oven to 180c
Simply cream together the sugar and butter until combined well, add in the flour and baking powder, sieved, the eggs, chopped walnuts and coffee. Mix together until you form a light brown cake batter. Spoon into a cake tin. For this one I chose a loaf tin for easy slicing. Place in the oven for 30mins or until the cake is springy. Let it cool and top with chocolate frosting and half walnuts.
Nice to share.