Tag Archives: cakes

Attempting the French Macaroon

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.

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Cherry Muffins

I remember eating cherries in cakes when I was young so a nostalgic throwback recipe was perfect on a very wet, cold and windy day in Cambridge. Simple and sweet, nice with a cup of tea.

What You Need:

500g self raising flour, 4 eggs, 150g butter, 230g caster sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 rind of orange, 2 drops of almond essence, 100g glace cherries, 250ml milk. (Makes 12 muffins)

Preheat the oven to 200c.

Take a small bowl and melt the butter. Now add to the melted butter the eggs, milk and almond extract. Whisk until light and frothy. In a separate mixing bowl add the rest of the ingredients, including the cherries roughly chopped. Mix together the dry ingredients and then make a well in the centre and add the butter batter. Beat vigourously trapping the air for 5mins. Spoon the mixture into cases and bake for 20-30mins. Cool and the eat!

Tea Time.

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Almond Fingers

Almond fingers really are one of my favourite sweet  treats. i remember at Glastonbury festival,  the food which I brought (well stuffed into a camping bag) consisted was these. Thankfully It did only rain on the first night, but unfortunately my tent was cheap and leaked… but it was o.k I had my almond fingers as comfort food, and the festival was great. This recipe makes 15.

What You Need:

200g ground almonds, 100g caster sugar, 1 zest of orange, 2 drops of almond extract, 2 eggs, 1tsp baking powder, Icing sugar to dust.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Simply mix all the ingredients in a bowl to form a pliable dough. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and icing sugar. Take around a tablespoon of dough and form a cigar shape, roll in icing sugar and place on the tray. Do this until you have used all the dough. Then place in the oven for 15-20mins. Take out, cool and then serve.

Best with mint tea (^-^)

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Marmalade Muffins

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Brunch is always nice to have during the winter months and there is nothing better than nice warm marmalade muffins, the ultimate feel good food and Paddington bear’s favourite treat.

What you need:

250g self raising flour , 150g wholemeal flour, 1 tsp baking powder , a grind of salt , 1  egg, 250ml milk , 1/2 squeezed orange juice, 75g melted butter , 150g thick-cut marmalade.

Preheat the oven at 220c.

First in one bowl with the melted butter, add the egg and orange juice. Whisk until light and frothy. In a second bowl add the flours and baking powder, sieved. Make a well in the middle and add your egg mixture. Beat together until thoroughly combined. Then stir in the marmalade until broken up but make sure it is still streaky and looks like a marble effect. Spoon in to muffin cases and bake for 20mins, or until light brown. This recipe should made 12 muffins.

Perfect for brunch or a nice snack.

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Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

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In the spirit of Halloween I decided to make some spooky  treats. I started off making a batch of 24 which then turned into a batch of 40.. this is what you get from experimental recipes!

Last Halloween was spent in South Koreas dressed as a pumpkin dancing around, so this year makes a nice change with these simple and sophisticated cupcakes. (This makes 40! lol)

What you need:

4 large eggs, cracked open, 2 tsp vanilla essence, 125g caster sugar, 125g dark brown sugar, 350g melted Butter, 250g self-raising flour, 1tsp Baking Powder, Zest of Orange, 125g melted Milk Chocolate

Frosting:

600g Icing Sugar, 200g of soft butter, 200g melted white chocolate, 2 tsp Orange Essence, 2tsp Orange Colouring

Preheat the oven to 180C

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First have two bowls, one with the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, baking powder) and one with the liquids (eggs, melted chocolate, melted butter. beat the liquid bowl until thick then add to the middle of the dry bowl and beat as hard as you can (or if you are lucky use an electric mixer ). Then once its combined well spoon into cases, 1/2 full, and bake for 18mins, leave to cool on a rack.

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The frosting tastes great, simply mix everything together and pipe on top… yum!

This was actually my first time icing using a piper, and I am pretty happy with the result !

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Traditional Gingerbread

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What a rainy day it is in Cambridge today, so a perfect time to bake some nice thick gingerbread. The smell is amazing. This gingerbread is a traditional recipe which uses Black Treacle, so it’s not for the faint hearted, but don’t despiar if you want a lighter taste use golden syrup instead.

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What you need:

680g Plain Flour
450g Black Treacle
50ml Evaporated Milk (warm)
75g Butter
110g Brown Sugar
3 tbsp Ground Ginger
1 tbsp Cinnamon (You could use Allspice instead, but I am not a fan)
2 Eggs
3/4 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

Preheat the oven at 160C.

Put sieve the flour into a basin, with the sugar, ginger and cinnamon, mix together. Then warm the butter and add it to the centre of the mixture followed by the treacle. Beat this dark sticky mixture together, trapping air. Now add the warm evaporated milk, with the the bicarbonate of soda dissolved In and vigourously beat into a smooth cake batter with the whisked eggs. Pour the mixture into a cake tin. Then bake for 1h20mins or until risen and crusty brown on top. When you take out of the oven leave in the tin for 15mins and then transfer to cooling tray.

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Yummy you can then slice and eat with a little butter or custard with a nice cup of tea!

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A Pocket Full of Muffins

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Today in an act of boredom I decided to try out a few muffin recipes. I had some left over bananas kicking around, so I thought I would use them up in a banana and cinnamon mix and another batch of blueberry.

Blueberry muffins spark a memory when I was a child. I was part of the Cubs (junior Scouts). I remember we were going on a camping trip and my mum had made some home baked blueberry muffins to take with me. Unfortunately  my younger brother got hungry and ate them all in the middle of the night… so this time they are all mine lol

The Blueberry

110g self raising flour
110g butter
65g caster sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tsp baking powder, 200g  blueberries (I used dried, but you can use frozen or fresh), 50ml of milk.

Preheat oven at 200C

First cream the sugar and butter in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, then sieve in the flour and baking powder, mixing it all together with a fork. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and add the eggs and milk. Mix vigourously with the fork until smooth and creamy, finally add the blueberries spoon into muffin cases and bake for 20-30mins (or golden brown).

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Banana & Cinnamon

75g melted butter , 250g self-raising flour , 1 tsp baking powder , pinch of salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon , 115g golden caster sugar , 1 tsp vanilla extract , 2 large, ripe bananas (I think best when the skins are slightly brown and speckled), 2 eggs, 125ml milk

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This recipe is a bit different to the blueberry. First melt the butter and mix with milk, eggs and vanilla, whisk and then stir in the bananas (mashed up nice and soft). Set this mixture aside and in a separate bowl sieve the flour, baking powder, sugar and cinnamon and lightly mix. Now with the flour mixture make a well in the middle and add the banana bowl. Vigourously stir with a fork until combined. Spoon into cases and bake for 20-25 mins.

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In the end I am really pleased with both of these recipes. I decided to decorate  a few of the tops of the Banana muffins with vanilla icing and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds for a seasonal twist.

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