Clandestine Cake Club: ‘Over The Rainbow’ Cake

 

The theme for this month’s Clandestine Cake Club was ‘Musical Celebrations’. I have to admit this baffled me for a while, so I waited till other people submitted their ideas to figure out what it meant! Turns out it meant songs, bands, singers or musicals. I chose the song ‘Over the Rainbow’ from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ for the theme of my cake after reading a list of 100 greatest musicals on IMDB.

 
 
I bought myself a lovely bundt pan from ebay. I have never made a bundt before, and I was quite worried about it sticking to the tin so I greased it up really well with butter and sprinkled it with flour.
 

 

 
I decided to do a simple vanilla sponge to contrast the brightness of my decoration. I mixed together 125g butter and 180g caster sugar in my electric mixer.
 
 
 
I added two beaten eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract. 
 
 
 
 
I then added 180g self raising flour and 150g soured cream, and popped the mixture into my thoroughly greased bundt tin.
 
 
I baked it on 175C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes. This was possibly a tad too long, but to be fair it’s hard to tell when your cake is upside down! I thought it looked pretty good without any decoration, I will definitely be making another more simple bundt cake with this tin.

To get the rainbow arch shape, I chopped off the bottom of the cake, about two thirds down. This also gave me a good opportunity to taste the sponge, and it was very delicious and vanillery!

I started making icing and piping it on for all the colours of the rainbow. I guessed the measurements, and used about 60g butter and 120g icing sugar for the red and orange, then around 40g butter and 80g icing sugar for the other colours. I also added a dollop of cream cheese to each colour. This is very time consuming, but worth it!

I used Sugarflair colours to achieve the bright results of my rainbow. These food colourings are the best. They are strong, so you only need a little bit, and they don’t affect your icing’s flavour or consistency. I used Christmas Red, Melon (Yellow), Tangerine/Apricot (Orange), Mint Green, Ice Blue and Grape Violet (Purple). I got mine off ebay as they were pretty cheap and the seller was offering a good deal.

 

 

 

The icing was finally done! I also used some blue cut-offs from my piping bags to create a blue sky behind my rainbow. A blue cake board would look a lot better, but this was a last minute decision!

 

For the ‘clouds’ I whipped up a pot of cream and dollopped it at the end of the rainbow cake, then dotted mini white marshmallows all over.

 

And the cake was done! I was very pleased with the final result!

 

 

 

And off to cake club I went…

Stacey & Emily’s Chocolate & Orange ‘Simba’s Pride Cake’, delicious and moist, one of my favourites!

Hayley’s ‘Carrot & Wonderwal-nut Cake’. Sadly I don’t like carrots or walnuts, but Stacey tried some and said it was the best carrot cake she’d ever had.

Steph’s ‘Sweet Like Chocolate’ cake, this was a chocolate overload – in a good way!

 Elly’s ‘Beatles Strawberry Fields Cake’, sadly I didn’t try any of this either, but it looks great!

Emily’s ‘Coconut & Lime Cake’. I love this song and I loved this cake!

Emma’s ‘Happy Birthday Custard Celebration Cake’ – it was Emma our host’s birthday this month!

Lynette’s ‘Austrain Apple Sounds Of Music Cake’, I think the nun decorations on this and the bow look fab!

Vicki’s ‘I Can Sing A Rainbow Cake’. This looked stunning and tasted really good too, I definitely understood the hard work that went into this cake!

Beth’s ‘Yellow Brick Road Cake’, using Caramac for the yellow brick road – genius!!

Diane’s ‘The Bell’s Of St. Clements’ Cake’, brilliant presentation and delicious orange flavour.

Another successful, fun and delicious Clandestine Cake Club! Also some very exciting news…a woman walking past asked me to make two of the rainbow cake for her daughter’s birthday. I am so excited about it! I never thought cake club would lead to anything like that!

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Rosemary & Garlic Bread

I haven’t made bread in a while and as I was going for dinner at my friend’s new flat I decided to make a tasty bread to take along! I won a year’s supply of garlic a few months ago so I am always looking for ways to use it, and as this bread uses a whole bulb, I was immediately attracted to it!

I started by mixing 300ml warm water, one sachet of dried yeast, 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp caster sugar in a bowl until the yeast dissolved.

In a bowl I measured out 500g strong white bread flour and poured the yeast mixture in bit by bit. I used my hands to form a dough with it, then kneaded it on a floured service until smooth. I oiled the ball of dough with my hands and then put it into a floured bowl.

I covered the bowl with cling film and left it for an hour to rise. During this time I also roasted the bulb of garlic by drizzling it with olive oil, wrapping it in foil and cooking for an hour. The first 40 minutes I had the oven on 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2 as I popped out and didn’t want it to burn, and then I turned it up to 175C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for the remaining 20 minutes. This timing will depend on the size of the bulb so check on it.

 I rolled out the dough and put it on an oiled baking tray, then I pricked it all over with a fork.

For the rosemary and garlic butter I mixed together 175g softened margarine (I used flora light, but you can use butter or any other margarine), the garlic from the roasted bulb, a few sprinkles of salt, and several sprinkles of dried rosemary. You can also use fresh rosemary if you like, and the quantities are entirely up to you depending on taste! You can also add black pepper if you like it.

Using a palette knife I spread the butter all over the bread. I then covered it in cling film and a tea towel and left if for 30 minutes.

I baked the bread on 230C/450F/Gas Mark 8 for about 15-20 minutes until it was lovely and golden brown. The kitchen smelt amazing by this time too!

I left it to cool and took it to my friend’s place that evening. This bread will feed 6 to 8 people. It was so tasty and went great with our meal of chicken and cous cous. I cut it into squares to serve it – sorry there aren’t more photos, it was gobbled up quickly! If you want to change the flavours it would be so easy to do, just mix whatever flavour you want the bread to be into the butter. Let me know if you create any other delicious flavour mixes as I will definitely be making this again!

Recipe adapted from BBC Food here.

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Product Review: Flavoured Icing Sugar

 

 

 

Sugar & Crumbs is a baking supplies and cake decorating web store. They contacted me recently asking if I’d like to review some of their products, of course I agreed! The lovely Joy sent me their Banana Split Flavoured Icing Sugar and Strawberry Delight Flavoured Icing Sugar, pictured above and below.

 

 

 

I was excited to try them out as I have never tried ready-flavoured icing sugar. I’ve added cocoa powder to icing before, and vanilla extract, like most regular bakers. I know you can add strawberry flavouring to icing, but it’s quite hard to find from what I’ve heard. I think these ready-flavoured icing sugars make things so much easier!

 

I whipped up some vanilla sponge cupcakes and once they were cool I was ready to ice them.

 

 

I mixed up both the icing sugars with some butter and added a few drops of yellow food colouring to the Banana Split flavour, and a few drops of pink food colouring to the Strawberry Delight flavour. The icing sugar’s are both white, so you can make them without any food colouring to surprise your friends and family!

The first thing that hit me when mixing the icing sugar was the smell. They smelt so good! It was like being in a sweet shop. And I love sweets! I think the smell makes you want to eat it, but it could give away the surprise of the flavour if you leave the icing white.

 

I tasted the Banana Split flavour first, it tasted yummy. It reminded me of those banana shaped sweets you can get in pick ‘n’ mix. The Strawberry Split flavour was next and again it was very delicious. It reminded me of strawberry milkshake. They both tasted more like banana and strawberry sweets rather than the fruits.

 
 

The icing sugar is very sweet when tasted alone, but on a cupcake it isn’t over powering at all. I really enjoyed the banana split iced cupcake I ate!

 

You can do a lot more with this icing sugar than just buttercream. You can make flavoured meringues, chantilly cream and royal icing with it. The icing is also available in orange and vanilla flavours. I also think it’s pretty good value, only £3.70 for 500g. It’s a special treat and an interesting twist to add to your baking!

 

I took some of the cupcakes into work and here are some of the comments I got:

“I
had a strawberry one! The icing was really nice, lots of flavour and a
nice colour; quite creamy in texture. Was yummy for breakfast
:D”
 
“Strawberry icing tasted lovely. Not too sweet and nice and thick.”
 
“The [banana] icing was very nice it has lots of flavour. It was a really creamy smooth texture.”

If you would like to visit Sugar & Crumbs web store click here.

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Orange & Pomegranate Cake

Happy New Year Readers! Seen as it’s January I wanted to bake something with some (slight) health benefits, and also more importantly, I wanted to use seasonal produce. Orange and pomegranate are both seasonal fruits for January, so I decided to combine them into this tasty moist cake. Garnished with pomegranate seeds, which are packed full of antioxidants and vitamins (that’s the slight health benefit part!).

 First I beat together 240g butter and 340g caster sugar in a food mixer until fluffy and well combined.

 I then added 2 eggs and 200ml semi-skimmed milk and mixed again.

In a pan I gently heated 100g golden syrup and 50g black treacle. Just until they mixed together and are a bit easier to work with. I let it cool for a little while, then added to the mixture and combined.

I measured out the dry ingredients of 340g plain flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp mixed spice, a pinch of salt, and the zest of one large orange. I folded all of this into the mixture.

I poured the batter into a square brownie pan.

 And baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes.

Whilst it was baking I put 6 tbsp caster sugar, 8 tbsp pomegranate juice and 4 tbsp fresh orange juice (I used the same orange I got the zest from) in a pan.

I heated it slowly until it boiled then took it off the heat to cool. I hadn’t seen pomegranate juice before, but I found it very easily in Tesco.

When the cake came out of the oven I poked holes all over it with a skewer, then using a spoon, drizzled the syrup over it, coating it fully. Then I left it in the pan to cool.

I came back to the cake a while later and it was still a little warm so I put it on a cooling rack. By the time I returned to check on it again it was looking nice and moist as the syrup had soaked in.

I made a cream cheese icing using 150g icing sugar, 75g butter, 50g cream cheese and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

I spread it over the cake, then garnished with pomegranate seeds, and finally added a sprinkle of gold glitter for some extra sparkle!

The cake was delicious and moist, I ate a piece straight away to test my recipe. I could taste the orange and ginger, and the moist sweetness of the pomegranate syrup. I am very pleased with the results!

I have also entered this recipe into the Calendar Cakes January Challenge ‘New Year, New You’, hosted by Laura Loves Cake and Dollybakes.

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