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What you need:

100g (3 1/2oz) cocoa powder
340g (11 1/2oz) self-raising four
2tsp baking powder
500g (17 1/2oz) caster sugar
5 medium eggs
15ml (1tbsp) vanilla extract
275g (9 1/2oz) butter, softened

 For the salted caramel:

75g (2 1/2oz) butter
50g (1 3/4oz) soft brown sugar
50g (1 3/4oz) caster sugar
50g (1 3/4oz) golden syrup
100ml (3 1/2fl oz) double cream
2tsp sea salt flakes
100g (3 1/2oz) white chocolate
100g (3 1/2oz) dark chocolate
2tbsp flaked almonds, toasted

What you do:

Preheat the oven to , 180 C  / 350 F / gas  mark 4

Grease a 21cm (8in) diameter bundt or ring tin. Put the cocoa in a bowl and add 200ml  (7fl oz) boiling water and stir until smooth. In a separate bowl, sieve the flour with the baking powder and sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla and butter to the cocoa mixture and beat for 1 minute using an electric whisk.

Gradually add the egg  mixture to the flour mix, whisking well after each addition. Pour the mixture into the greased tin and bake for 45-50 minutes. Let it cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack.

To make the caramel, melt the butter, brown sugar, caster sugar and golden syrup in a heavy- based pan. Simmer gently for 5 minutes stirring now and then. Pour over the cream, add the salt and stir well. Simmer for 1 minute more, then set aside to cool.

To make the curls, melt the two chocolates separately and pour into separate baking trays in a thin layer. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. Once hard, drag the blade of a large knife along the chocolate to scrape up a thin curled layer. Chill until needed.

To serve, pour the caramel over the cooled cake and sprinkle with the chocolate curls and almonds.

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What you need:

Chocolate Cake
3 Eggs, separated
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 2/3 Cups Sifted cake flour
3/4 teaspoon Baking soda
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1 oz square unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/3 Cup Vegetable oil
1 Cup Milk

Cream Filling
1/4 Cups Sugar
4 teaspoons Cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chantilly Frosting
13 oz can evaporated milk
11/2 C sugar
3/4 C butter
4 large Egg yolks
11/2 tsp Vanilla extract

1/4 Cup  macadamia nuts (chopped)  or any nut of your choice

Preheat oven to  180 C / 350 F / gas mark 4

Grease two 9 x 9 cake pans. Beat egg whites until frothy. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup sugar until soft peaks form. Sift remaining 1 cup sugar with cake flour, baking soda and salt. Add chocolate, oil and 1/2 cup milk. Beat one minute on medium speed. Add egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup milk. Beat one minute until smooth. With rubber spatula, gently but thoroughly fold in egg white mixture. Pour into prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool in pans on racks for 30 minutes. Remove from pans and use a sharp knife to split cake layers through the middle into four rounds.

Filling
Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add egg, blend well. Stir in milk slowly. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Add butter and vanilla. Chill for 30 minutes. Spread a third of the mixture between each layer.

Frosting
Combine evaporated milk, sugar, butter, egg yolks and vanilla. Cook stirring constantly, over medium heat for 12 minutes, until mixture thickens. (Make sure that it’s thick, or it will slide right off your cake!) Add vanilla extract. Chill 1 hour covered with a piece of plastic wrap directly on surface for proper spreading consistency. Frost cake and sprinkle with chopped macadamia nuts.

Chill for 2 hours.

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What you need:

2 large eggs
2/3 cup (4 2/3 oz) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp pumpkin puree
1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz) all-purpose flour
1/2 plus 1/8 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 plus 1/8 tsp tsp ground ginger
1/4 plus 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup (3 oz) confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting
2 tbsp (1 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp juice and 1 tsp zest from 1 lemon
4 oz white chocolate, melted and slightly cooled, plus extra for shavings

What you do:

preheat the oven to 190 C  /375 F / gas mark 5

Line a 9- by 13-inch sheet pan with grease proof  paper. In mixer fitted with whip attachment, whip eggs on medium high speed until frothy. Slowly add sugar and increase speed to high. Whip until thick and lemon colored, about 5 minutes. Whip in salt.

Remove from mixer and begin to fold in pumpkin. When roughly mixed, sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg into the bowl. Continue to fold in until just combined.

Spread into pan and bake until just set, about 15 minutes. Run knife along edges of cake to loosen. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, then gently slide paper and cake onto cooling rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and butter on mixer fitted with paddle on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in lemon juice and zest. Remove from mixer and fold in melted chocolate. If loose, chill until just thick enough to spread (but still soft).

Transfer cake (with grease proof paper still attached) to work surface. Spread cream cheese filling evenly over cake, keeping within about 1/2-inch on all sides. Starting from short end, gently roll up cake into a tight roll, carefully peeling back paper as you go. Chill to set, at least 2 hours . When ready to serve, transfer to serving plate and trim ends. Top with white chocolate shavings and icing sugar.

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What you need:

85g apricot jam
100g sifted icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
750g marzipan
2kg ready-to-roll regal icing
blue, brown, orange and green food colouring
85g desiccated coconut
a few whole cloves
3 strawberries laces

What you do:

Ice the cake:

Melt the apricot jam, then sieve and brush a little all over a 23cm cake .On a clean surface lightly dusted with a little sifted icing sugar, roll out the marzipan to a circle large enough to cover the cake – use a piece of kitchen string to help you check. Lift up the marzipan by hanging it over your rolling pin, then drape over the cake. Gently pat and smooth the marzipan down the sides of the cake, then trim any excess from the bottom.

Colour the regal icing with a little blue food colouring, then cover the marzipan using the same method as you covered the cake, firstly brushing the marzipan with more apricot jam. Trim the base.

Add The Snow:

Use your hands to roll two-thirds of the remaining regal icing into a long, thin sausage on an icing sugar-dusted surface. It should be long enough to go round the cake – use a piece of kitchen string to help you measure it. Use a rolling pin to roll the sausage into a strip about 5cm wide. Use a small, sharp knife to straighten one edge, and trim the other into a wiggly edge.

Keep all the trimmings, and squash half into 2 wobbly circles for the snowmen to sit on. Brush the strip, circles and the very bottom edge of the cake with a little runny icing made with 100g sifted icing sugar and a splash of water. Scatter the desiccated coconut over the strip and circles, gently pressing to stick and cover. Starting with one end of the strip, stick it round the base of the cake. This can be a bit fiddly, so if you’re nervous, simply halve the icing from the start and do in 2 half-length strips, using a little more coconut to hide the joins on the cake.

Shaping the Snowmen:

Roll the remaining third of regal icing into 2 large balls, 2 medium balls and 2 small balls. Stick together, squashing slightly, into 2 snowmen. Brush 4 cocktail sticks with a little brown food colouring and stick into the snowmen for arms.

To add the buttons & noses, push a few whole cloves into one snowman as buttons. Use a little orange food colouring to dye a little of the strip trimmings, and shape a little around the pointy end of 2 cloves to look like carrot noses. Use another clove to make little holes where the noses will go, dab a bit of runny icing into the holes and stick on the noses, pushing them into the holes to help hold them.

For the faces: Use a black or brown writing icing pen to dot on smiley mouths and eyes – I find it helps to mark tiny holes with the end of a cocktail stick first. It stops you making mistakes and helps the icing stay in place.

To make the hat: Dye another lump of regal icing trimmings with food colouring (I used green). Shape most into a woolly hat shape, pressing a slight dip into the bottom with your thumb where it will sit on the snowman’s head. Roll a little ball to stick on top of the hat; attach it with more runny icing. Then roll and cut a thin strip to stick round the base of the hat. Use a cocktail stick to make markings like a woolly hat and rough up the ball on top. A little more runny icing will help it stick onto your snowman’s head.

Finally to make the scarf: Knot the strawberry laces together at one end. Tightly plait a 10cm length and knot at the end again. Using scissors, snip the ends, leaving about 1cm for tassels after the knot, then wrap around the neck of the other snowman. Sit the wobbly snowy islands on top of the cake and a snowman on each one.

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What you need:

200g Madeira cake
140g-160g white chocolate
1 orange, zest finely grated
To decorate:
300g dark chocolate, 60-70% cocoa solids, broken into chunks
50g white chocolate, broken into chunks
sugar holly decorations or red and green writing icing

What you do:

Pulse the Madeira cake in a food processor until you have fine crumbs. Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over just simmering water or in the microwave. Stir the orange zest into the chocolate, then work the chocolate into the crumbs using your hands.

Form into 10 small truffle-sized balls, then roll gently in your palms to smooth the surface. Arrange the balls on a baking parchment-lined dinner plate. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the mixture to set.

Melt the dark chocolate in a microwave or over a bowl of just simmering water. Dip a lolly stick into the melted chocolate about 1.5cm in and poke half way into a cake ball. Repeat with the remaining balls. Put them back on the plate. Return to the fridge for five minutes.

Dip the cake pops one at a time into the melted chocolate, allowing any excess chocolate to drip off and spin the pops to even out the surface. Poke the pops into a piece of polystyrene or cake pop holder if you have one, keeping the pops apart. Allow to set for about half an hour.

Heat the white chocolate in a microwave or over a pan of simmering water. Allow to cool for a few minutes until it has a thick, runny consistency. If the chocolate is too hot, it will melt the dark chocolate underneath. Spoon a small amount on top of the cake pops, tip them back and forth so it runs down the sides a little. If you have holly decorations, pop one on the top of each pop. If using writing icing, wait for another 20 minutes or so until the white chocolate has set. Pipe on holly leaves with the green icing and two little dots for berries using the red.

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What you need:

Preheat the  oven to 180 C/ 350 F /gas mark  4.

Arrange 6 mini loaf cases (8 x 4 x 4cm) on a baking tray. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda, spices, orange zest and ¼ tsp salt. In a jug, whisk the eggs, oil, milk and carrots. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix thoroughly. Divide the mixture between the cases and bake for 30 mins until risen and cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

While the cakes are cooking, make the carrot decorations. Mix the orange food colouring into the fondant icing until evenly coloured, then divide into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a cyclinder, about 5cm long, then roll one end a little thinner to create a carrot shape. Use a cocktail stick to make indentations along the sides. Set aside, standing them on their fattest end, to firm up for 30 mins. Now make the chocolate icing. Put the butter, cocoa, icing sugar and milk into a saucepan, and bubble for a few mins, stirring with a small whisk until smooth and shiny. Set aside to cool for 20 mins. For the green coconut ‘grass’, tip the coconut into a small bowl, add a little green food colouring and mix until evenly coated.

To assemble the cakes, first cut a little hole, about 1cm, into the centre of each to ‘plant’ your carrot later. Stir the icing and spread over the cakes to cover the surface. Push your carrot into the centre, then scatter the green coconut around the edges. Stick a sprig of parsley into the top of each carrot and sprinkle the coconut grass with green edible glitter, if you like.

Can be stored in a sealed cake tin for up to 3 days.

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What you need:

50 g rice  Krispies
30 g raisins, chopped
50 g butter
100 g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
30 g mini marshmallows
80 g white chocolate
ready-made icing holly leaves

What you do:

Put the rice pops and raisins into a bowl. Put the butter, milk chocolate, peanut butter and marshmallows into a small saucepan. Place on a medium to low heat and stir until the chocolate and butter have melted but the marshmallows are just beginning to melt.

Pour onto the rice pops and stir until well coated. Line an egg cup with cling film. Press about a tablespoon of the mixture into the egg cup. Press firmly and then remove, peel off the cling film and place the pudding into a cake case, flat-side down. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Chill until firm.

Melt the white chocolate in the microwave or in bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Spoon a little chocolate over the top of each pudding. Top with icing holly leaves.

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What you need:

150 g Butter
150 g  Golden Caster Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
3 Eggs
250 g  Plain Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
100 g  Desiccated Coconut
4 tbsp Milk
6 tbsp Raspberry Jam

8 0z Icing Sugar
2 tsp Raspberry Jam
2 tsp Water
2 tbsp Desiccated Coconut

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas Mark 4

Line a 1 kg loaf tin with baking parchment.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract, before adding in the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition.
Fold in the desiccated coconut, and then add the flour and milk a bit at a time.
Spoon a third of the batter into the loaf tin, before spreading the raspberry jam in a layer on top of the batter. Cover the jam with the remaining cake batter.
Bake in the oven for 35 minutes, then cover with tin foil and bake for another 20-25 minutes until cooked.
Leave the cake to cook on a wire rack, and meanwhile you can prepare the icing.
Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and add water until it reaches the right consistency. Then add the raspberry jam until you get the desired shade of pink.
Once the cake is cool, spread the icing over the top, and then cover with some more coconut.

 

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What you need:

250g plain flour
85g ground almonds
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground all spice
85g butter
200 ml clear honey
1 lemon, finely grated zest

For the Icing

100g icing sugar
1 egg white beaten
1 -2 tbsp water

1 – 2tsp of cocoa powder

What you do:

Pre-heat oven to 180 C / 350 F / gas mark 4

Melt butter and honey in a saucepan over a low heat until all the butter has melted.
Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
Pour melted butter mixture into dry ingredients and add lemon zest.
Mix together well to form a dough and leave to cool.
Roll dough mixture into small balls and flatten slightly.
Place onto grease proof paper on a baking tray.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and allow to cool completely before icing.
Mix icing sugar, egg white and water & cocoa powder  to form a runny icing. Dip the biscuits into icing to cover and place back onto grease proof paper to allow to dry.

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What you need:

375 g plain flour
pinch salt
225 g butter, diced
150 g mature cheddar cheese or use Vintage Lincolnshire Poacher
50 g freshly grated parmesan
2 tsp of mixed dried herbs
pinch English mustard powder
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 free-range eggs, yolks only
1 tsp of sesame seeds (optional)

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F /gas mark 4

Mix the flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Using your fingertips, rub in the butter until its resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the cheese, mustard powder, cayenne, herbs and egg yolks. Add 4-5 tablespoons of cold water and mix to a firm dough. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Lightly grease and line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Roll out the dough to a square, roughly the thickness of a £2 coin. Cut the square in half, then cut each half into 1 cm/½ in strips.

Transfer onto the lined baking sheet you can twist or leave flat, sprinkle on some sesame seeds, extra cheese or extra herbs and bake for 10-15 minutes, until crisp, then leave to cool on the tray then serve,

 

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