Chai Spiced Rolls: GBBO Week #6

Bit of a late round up for last week’s GBBO as I’ve been busy baking for Macmillan, but hopefully it will refresh your memories in time for tomorrow’s new episode! Sweet dough was last week’s theme and the first challenge was to make a tea loaf, which is a sweet yeasted bread, traditionally served at tea time and flavoured with fruits and spices. Adding eggs, butter or sugar to dough can be problematic as it can ‘retard’ the yeast. This means that the activity of the yeast, and therefore rising of the dough, is slowed down.

The only baker that got full marks on this challenge was Ruby, with her Citrus Tea Loaf. Paul and Mary loved the deep citrus flavour and thought it looked great. Glenn, Christine and Kimberley’s tea loaves were all underbaked, although Christine faired worse as the judges didn’t even eat any of her mostly raw loaf! Beca made a traditional Welsh Bara Brith. Frances made a Chai Tea Loaf that finally had much more substance than style! And poor Howard got bad results with his Date & Hemp Yorkshire Loaf.

The signature challenge this week was an Apricot Couronne, using a Paul Hollywood recipe. This is an enriched dough, filled with apricot, marzipan, walnuts and raisins. It is then twisted into a crown shape.

I just had to feature Mary’s face when Paul revealed his Couronne from under the silver dome, she loved it!

The baker’s were not told how long to prove or bake the Couronne for. However despite this, they all did very well on the challenge! All the Couronne’s were baked well and tasted good accordingly to Paul. The mistakes made were minor, and unfortunately for Howard he came last, with Glenn and Beca not far behind. Ruby won the challenge, with Frances second and Kimberley third. The Couronne is finished with a drizzle of icing and flaked almonds sprinkled on top. If you fancy making one, you can get the recipe here.

The showstopper challenge started the night before so that some of the baker’s doughs could prove overnight. The judges requested two different varieties of European sweet buns. Several of the bakers made brioche, which is enriched with butter and therefore requires a long chilling time so the dough is easier to shape.

The bakers introduced us (well me for sure!) to a variety of European breads such as German Schnecken, Norwegian Skolebrod, Swedish Kanelbullar and Czech Kolaches. Frances turned her sweet buns into a game of noughts and crosses with her Hot Cross Brioche and Rhubarb & Custard Kolaches.

Christine, Ruby, Frances and Beca all got excellent results and were praised for good flavours, lovely textures, and well baked buns that Paul and Mary liked a lot. I was sad to Kimberley not do so well this week, her sweet buns were underbaked and underproved, the same as her tea loaf. Glenn’s sweet buns “looked awful” accordingly to Paul and were dry and didn’t taste good. Howard’s buns were also branded bland and the judges could not taste the peach in his Peachy Brioche. Although even the judges were impressed with how much they looked like real peaches!

Sadly it was Howard who left this week. He started off very well, but has had some hiccups along the way. I love the way he experiments with unusual ingredients and he is certainly a brave baker that will be missed! Tomorrow on GBBO they’ll be making suet puddings, holy choux buns and puff pastry.

I was inspired by Kimberley and Frances’ use of chai flavours this week, and I also decided to make these rolls as I followed the same recipe last year and made Cinnamon Fruit Rolls. But my dough did not rise and despite tasting good and being edible, the rolls were not soft and fluffy like bread should be. I think that I killed the yeast early on. I really wanted to get these rolls right this year!

I started by gently melting 100g butter in a pan along with 125ml semi skimmed milk. (Plus 125ml of water which I missed as I didn’t read the recipe properly – see my realisation of this further down). Once it was melted I left it to cool, when it felt luke warm, I added a sachet of dried yeast and 1 tbsp caster sugar and mixed in. I covered the pan with a plate and left it for 10 minutes.

 

I sifted 550g plain flour into a large bowl, and added 50g caster sugar (minus the tbsp used above) and 1 tsp salt. I made a well and poured in the yeast mixture as well as 1 egg and 2 egg yolks.

I mixed until combined into a dough. I kneaded the dough for about 10
minutes on a floured surface, then placed it in a covered oiled bowl to
rise for 2 hours. My dough was quite dry and I didn’t even use all of the flour, I was confused by this but admittedly I was in a bit of a rush at the time.

I made a chai spice blend using 100g light brown sugar, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp crushed cardamom seeds, 1/2 tsp mixed spice, 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/4 tsp ginger.

I have never baked with cardamom before. I bought the pods as I couldn’t find it ready ground. I’ve since found out you can buy it from online retailers pre-ground. But here’s a simple guide on how to use the pods.

I tapped the pods gently with a rolling pin until they split open and I tipped out the seeds. Discard the husks.

I put the seeds in a bowl and crushed them with the end of a rolling pin – use a pestle and mortar if you have one, or even better a spice grinder.

I lined a greased a loose bottomed cake tin.

My dough had risen, but not as much as I would’ve liked. Still, it was an improvement on last time I made these!

I melted 25g butter in a pan, and rolled out the dough to a size of about 40 x 30cm (16 x 12″). I brushed the butter over the dough, leaving a 1cm strip free at one end.

I sprinkled over the chai spice blend, then brushed the 1cm strip with some beaten egg. Keep hold of the leftover egg for later.

I rolled the dough into a sausage shape and use a serrated knife to cut
it into equal pieces. I marked out the pieces before I cut. I got
12 rolls out of my dough.

I placed them into a
lined and greased loose bottomed cake tin. There were four extra pieces
that I put into a loaf tin. I covered them and left to prove for about 1 1/2 hours.

Whilst they were proving I realised…damn…I’d messed up again! I was reading through the recipe again to write up this post and realised to my horror that I’d forgotten to add 125ml water at the very beginning. No wonder my dough was so dry!

 

I was so relieved when then puffed up nicely on the second prove! I brushed some of the remaining beaten egg from earlier over them.

I baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes until golden brown. The rolls puffed up in the middle like little cones and one roll even came undone and spiralled out. Despite this, I was just happy they baked well and looked lovely and golden! Plus smelt amazing!

I split them open and was pleased to see soft bread texture! I sprinkled some cinnamon sugar (2 tsp caster sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon) over the hot rolls and left them to cool.

Once they were fully cool I made some lemon icing from 65g icing sugar and 1 tbsp lemon juice, add a few more drops of lemon juice depending on how runny you want it. I think the lemon is a great zingy hit of flavour alongside the aromatic cardamom and cinnamon of the rolls.

I finally feel like sweet dough worked for me. Although I have to say it is not my favourite thing to bake. It’s very time consuming, even more than regular bread. And I think you can get nice brioches and sweet rolls from good bakeries. I think I would make sweet dough again at home, but it’s not something I would do often. I loved getting to use cardamom as it’s so popular at the moment and it was great to taste it in a bake as I never have before. I now understand what the hype is all about! What do you think about sweet breads?

I am also entering my Chai Spiced Rolls into October’s AlphaBakes challenge, hosted by Caroline Makes… and The More Than Occasional Baker. This month’s letter is ‘C’.

 

Chai Spiced Rolls
 
 
Ingredients
  • 125g Butter
  • 125ml Semi skimmed milk
  • 125ml Water
  • 1 sachet of Dried yeast
  • 38g + 1 tbsp + 2 tsp Caster sugar
  • 550g Plain flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Egg yolks
  • 100g Light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp Mixed spice
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 65g Icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
 
Instructions
Gently melt 100g of the butter in a pan along with the semi skimmed milk and water. Once it is melted leave it to cool, when it feels luke warm, add the dried yeast and 1 tbsp of caster sugar and mix in. Cover the pan with a lid and leave for 10 minutes
Sift the plain flour into a large bowl, and add the 38g caster sugar and salt. Pour in the yeast mixture as well as the egg and egg yolks
Mix until combined into a dough. Knead the dough for 10 minutes on a floured surface, then place it in a covered oiled bowl to rise for 2 hours
Make the chai spice blend by mixing the light brown sugar, 1 1/2 tsp of the cinnamon, cardamom, mixed spice, nutmeg and ginger
Melt 25g of the butter in a pan, roll out the dough to a size of about 40 x 30cm (16 x 12″). Brush the butter over the dough, leaving a 1cm strip free at one end
Sprinkle over the chai spice blend, then brushed the 1cm strip with some of the beaten egg
Roll the dough into a sausage shape and use a serrated knife to cut it into 12 equal pieces
Place them into a lined and greased tin. Cover them and leave to prove for 1 1/2 hours
Once proved, brush some of the beaten egg over them.Bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes until golden brown
Mix the 2 tsp of caster sugar and 1/2 tsp of the cinnamon and sprinkle over the hot rolls and leave them to cool
Make a lemon icing by mixing the icing sugar and lemon juice, drizzle over the cooled rolls
 
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Treat Petite Round Up – September 2013

The theme for our very first Treat Petite challenge was ‘No Theme’ – anything goes! As a brand new challenge, it was so exciting for me and Stuart over at Cakeyboi to see the entries coming in thick and fast!

The first entry was from Caroline Makes… with these amazing Cupcake Ducks! I am such a sucker for a novelty cupcakes and I thought these were brilliant. Each duck was given it’s own personality, one is a vampire with fangs, one has sunglasses on, and one has eyelashes and kissable lips!

These Peanut Butter and Chocolate Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes are from Ros at The More Then Occasional Baker. I think the styling of the photo is perfect, with the ice cream tablecloth, the ‘fallen’ ice cream and the chocolate spoons. Peanut butter and chocolate is such a yummy combination!

Jen from Blue Kitchen Bakes made these stunningly blue Blackcurrant Macarons. They were made as a gift for a friend who got married in Greece, and the blue was to represent the beautiful blue of the Greek sea. I love the vivid colour, and they are filled with blackcurrant jam.

Vohn from Vohn’s Vittles made these pretty Chocolate and Orange Marmalade Cupcakes, made with Mackays Dundee Orange Marmalade. There is some great history behind marmalade in her post. This is the third recipe in a series Vohn has made with Mackays jam as the inspiration, the Chocolate Lime Tart she made sounds amazing too!

I entered my GBBO inspired Petit Fours, which were Mini Lime Cupcakes with Lime Buttercream, Fresh Raspberry & Chocolate Decoration, and Cherry & Almond Viennese Swirl Biscuits. I was really pleased with the look of the cupcakes and the chocolate decoration. The biscuits were so crumbly, and melt in your mouth.

 

Lisa from United Cakedom made these gorgeous Golden Honey Madelines. She used organic clear honey from the Sainsburys SO range, and used a recipe from Great British Bake Off winner Jo Wheatley’s Home Baking book.

How much fun are these 3D Dinosaur Cookies?! This is another amazing entry from Ros at The More Then Occasional Baker. Ros made the cookies with her brother and also made a family of gingerbread people that are being eaten by the dinosaurs in the above photo!

Janine from Cake of the Week entered these Coffee Orange Cupcakes. She was inspired to make these after having orange syrup in a cup of coffee and loving the taste! She also used a seven minute meringue frosting which sounds delicious. Janine also runs a challenge called Baking With Spirit for bakes involving alcohol.

Our first international entry was from Canada! Stephanie from Kitchen Frolic made these gorgeous looking Blueberry Muffins. This is my favourite flavour of muffin and they are such a simple yet tasty treat for a quick snack, or a relaxing break with a hot drink.

Ros at The More Then Occasional Baker entered her third bake with these Peanut Butter Granola Bars! These are a great snack for lunchboxes and for eating on the go, they can be made from any store cupboard ingredients and are a great way to use up any dried fruit you may have lying around.

These Swedish Buns were submitted by Sophie from Feeria’s Cookery Journal. These cinnamon flavoured buns sound like the perfect breakfast bread for a weekend treat! I think I will be making these soon!

Holy wow…! Well you all know how much I love Nutella, and my mouth is seriously watering by looking at these Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Nutella Cream by Kate at the Gluten Free Alchemist. She has been experimenting with gluten free bakes ever since her daughter was diagnosed with coeliac disease, and it looks like she is doing a very good job of it!

 

The tasty treat poking out from this tea cup is an Earl Grey Cupcake by Kirsty at Kirsty’s Cakes & Bakes. Earl Grey is her favourite kind of tea and she likes it because it’s lighter and has a fragrant citrus scent. She iced the cupcakes with a lemon buttercream to represent the slice of lemon the tea is served with.

These gorgeous Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream Frosting were submitted by Elizabeth from Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary. I love the two toned icing, and she made these to celebrate National Cupcake Week.

Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen made these Chocolate Crunchie Munchies. These are a no-bake treat featuring cereal, chocolate and dried fruit. I love the cute silicone heart cases she has presented them in!

The next entry are these intruging Chocolate Mousse Brownies – another gluten free entry, this time from Laura at I’d Much Rather Bake Than… They look delicious and are described as “melt in the mouth”. Laura was inspired by a GBBO recipe to make these brownies, the nuts on top is a fab twist, although she admits this was a mistake, it’s turned out great!

And finally, these gorgeous Red Velvet Cupcakes are by the fabulous Supergolden Bakes. Everything she makes looks so gorgeous thank to her amazing photography skills! These cupcakes omit the typical red food colouring you find in most red velvet cupcakes and are covered in a delicious frosting.

Thank you so much to everyone who entered this month! I’m thrilled with all the petite treats you have made. If you like the look of any of the above entries – head on over to the blogs involved and give them some love! Look out for October’s theme announcement on Cakeyboi soon!

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Millionaire’s Shortbread: GBBO Week #5

We’re halfway through series four of The Great British Bake Off already! The halfway point this year was biscuit week. Which sounds deceptively easy, but, of course, it wasn’t. The first challenge for the bakers was to make their favourite traybake. This could be anything they wanted, from brownies to blondies, and flapjacks to cakes. The judges requested that they were of an identical size, and all ingredients must be made from scratch.

The bakers got the rulers out to ensure identical sizes and Glenn made his own marshmallow for his Apricot & Pistachio Tiffin traybake. I loved Frances’ idea of combining a Millionaire’s Shortbread with Banoffee flavours – genius! Of course she also made the biscuits look like a game of Jenga… The judges finally gave her the thumbs up for substance! Kimberley and Christine did well in this challenge, both receiving entirely positive comments.

 

Rob’s Blueberry & Orange traybake was under baked, and the judges thought Howard’s Breakfast Flapjack was too stodgy. Beca had mixed reviews, her Hazelnut, Cherry & Chocolate Brownies looked good, but were under baked. Ruby had a similar problem, the judges loved the flavours of her Lemon & Blackberry Bakewell Slice, but her pastry had a soggy bottom.

Mary described this week’s technical challenge as “exceedingly difficult”. The baker’s were asked to make 18 Tuiles – very thin French biscuits. Half were to be shaped in a curve and chocolate circles piped into them, and the other half were to be wrapped like cigars and dipped in chocolate on either end. A hefty request! Oh, and they only had 90 minutes to do this!

The bakers struggled with getting the right thinness for the biscuit, piping the chocolate as no piping bag was provided (I thought this was a step too far, surely half the instructions is cruel enough?!) They are really not a fan of shortcuts on GBBO, despite Mary saying she likes to use them where possible. Then the baker’s had to shape the hot biscuits straight from the oven – ouch. Christine won the challenge (her winning Tuiles pictured above), with Glenn in second and Frances in third. Howard came last with Ruby and Kimberley not far behind.

The final showstopper challenge was to make a biscuit tower that was at least 30cm high. The bakers had to not only impress with their textures and flavours in this challenge, but also with their architectural ability to make their towers structurally sound. This meant that the texture of their biscuits would be crucial to the stability of their tower. I loved the moment between Beca and Glenn where she gave him a tip for his tower, it was really sweet and shows how much these people really are friends first, and competitors second.

 

The judges really liked Glenn’s Helter Skelter Tower and labelled his macarons ‘exceptional’. I didn’t know if Beca’s tower would stay up as it looked quite wobbly, but it turned out beautifully! Sadly for Frances, her biscuit tower collapsed, despite Mel’s attempts to stabilise it, it was not constructed well enough to hold. I was surprised by this after the Jenga biscuit tower she made earlier.

Christine made a fabulous Shortbread Clock Tower, which had a strong structure and Paul and Mary loved it. I was disappointed to see Kimberley not do well here as she is one of my favourite contestants. She made a Viennese Biscuit Tower which was too weak. Rob made a Dalek! So awesome, I don’t even watch Doctor Who, but I thought this was a great idea and very individual.

 

Christine received a well deserved star baker for the second time. I think she could be in the final three! Rob left this week, I thought he was an incredibly lovely and sweet man, but unfortunately his bakes were lacking in recent episodes. He said he was happy to have done the three things he wanted – won a technical challenge, got star baker, and made it halfway. Next week the bakers will be making sweet doughs, such as sweet buns and Paul Hollywood’s Apricot Couronne.

I decided to make Millionaire’s Shortbread this week after being inspired by Frances’ traybake. I’ve never made it before so I decided to just make the regular kind, but now I have the basics down, there’s plenty of flavour combination ideas in my head for future experimentations!

I lined a square tin with greaseproof paper. My tin is 21cm square, a 20cm square tin will also work fine.

I started by making the shortbread. I put 200g plain flour, 175g butter and 100g caster sugar into a bowl and rubbed it together with my fingers until it resembled breadcrumds. I poured it into the tin, and pressed it down until it was compact.

I baked on160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for 40 minutes, then left it to cool. To speed up the cooling I put an ice bath underneath it. I used a cooling rack to balance the tin above the ice water.

To make the caramel I first melted 50g butter and 50g light brown sugar over a medium heat. I added a full can of condensed milk (397g) and turned the heat up so it would boil, stirring constantly. Once it boiled, I let it simmer for 5 minutes and stirred constantly. Never stop stirring! The caramel will thicken noticeably and darken slightly.

I left the caramel to cool over the ice bath. I was happy to see it set and become nice and firm.

I melted 200g dark chocolate and poured it over the set caramel, I smoothed it out and left it to set.

Once it was set I removed the shortbread from the tin and removed the greaseproof paper. Cutting it was quite difficult. My first few slices cracked the chocolate on top. So I heated the blade of the knife with hot water and gently pressed it down onto the chocolate. Once the blade had melted through the chocolate, I pushed down to cut the caramel and shortbread. This did mean that the caramel layer was covered in chocolate residue, but I couldn’t see any other way around this.

Oh my these were tasty! The caramel is extremely sweet, but delicious! The chocolate and biscuit balance it out perfectly, the combination of layers is superb. They aren’t the neatest Millionaire’s Shortbreads in the world, but I do like my bakes to have a home made look to them. Waiting for the layers to set makes this a time consuming bake (although you can wonder off and do other things whilst each layer cools/sets). Overall it is easy to make and I can’t wait to try it again and add some other flavours!

Millionaire’s Shortbread
Ingredients
  • 200g Plain flour
  • 225g Butter
  • 100g Caster sugar
  • 397g Condensed milk
  • 50g Light brown sugar
  • 200g Dark chocolate
Instructions
Line a 21 or 20cm square tin with greaseproof paper
To make the shortbread put the plain flour, 175g of the butter and the caster sugar into a bowl and rub it together with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs. Pour it into the tin, and press it down until it is compact
Bake on 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for 40 minutes, then leave to cool in the tin
To make the caramel melt 50g of the butter and the light brown sugar over a medium heat. Add the condensed milk and turn the heat up so it boils, stir constantly for 5 minutes
Pour the caramel over the shortbread and leave to set
Melt the dark chocolate and pour it over the set caramel, leave the chocolate to set, or put in the fridge
Remove from the tin, slice into squares and serve
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Apple Cake

 

I haven’t been to a Clandestine Cake Club meeting for ages, since last year actually. I usually attend one group in Manchester, but I decided to join another Manchester group for access to more local cake lovers and of course cake! I was so excited to attend my first Manchester South meet. The theme for the meeting was ‘Back To School’. I mulled over ideas for a while, before I settled on an apple cake. I originally wanted to do a 3D sphere apple cake, but I don’t have the correct tin and I was advised quite strongly by my boyfriend not to put a glass bowl in the oven as they can explode (!) So a flat apple it was.

In my usual style I kind of made up this recipe as I went. I used my Orange & Pomegranate Cake recipe as a starting point and it developed from there. First I grated 3 cooking apples. They went brown really fast! But this doesn’t matter.

I then creamed together 300g butter, 180g golden caster sugar and 160g soft light brown sugar. I only used the mixture of sugars as I had the golden caster lying around and thought I may as well use it. You can just use 340g soft light brown sugar if you don’t have both.

I added 3 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract, and whisked well.

I pressed a few layers of kitchen towel down onto the grated apple to soak up some of the moisture before I mixed it in.

I folded in 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp mixed spice, 1 tsp baking powder and 340g self raising flour, and smoothed the mixture into a lined rectangular tin.

I baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 mins, then turned down to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for a further 30 minutes. I checked on it a couple of times using a very thin skewer, and took it out once the skewer came out clean.

This is an apple outline I found to give me a rough template to follow when cutting the cake.

I started with the bottom and cut the dimple of the apple out.

Then I cut out the top and leaf section. I did this freehand as the template was a lot smaller than the cake. It’s quite a simple shape so wasn’t difficult, I cut gently so the cake didn’t break.

 

I made a red buttercream using red food colouring. I used Sugarflair Red Extra – the strongest red there is, but it still took a lot of it to get it to go red. I have found that red is the hardest colour to get a strong colour with when colouring buttercream.

I smoothed the buttercream on using a palette knife. This was very tricky round the sides where the cake had been cut as the crumbs meant getting the buttercream to stick was troublesome. I then made a green buttercream using Sugarflair Mint Green. Again I had more trouble with the crumbs, but eventually got the ‘leaf’ coated.

Of course you don’t have to go to all the trouble of shaping this cake into an apple and icing it. You can simply enjoy it alone, or with fresh raspberries and cream as I did with a piece of the cut offs!

The Clandestine Cake Club meeting took place at Coasters in Sale, a small coffee shop opposite the Sale tram shop. Check out their Facebook page – they make some amazing cakes, cheesecakes and other goodies!

Avril who runs the group was so lovely and welcoming, she made this Carrot & Walnut Cake, the recipe was given to her by a teacher.

This chocolate cake was made by Angela and I thought it was very tasty, especially the layer of jam in the middle!

I’m not sure who made this cake, but it had a fantastic lemon flavour!

Helena, who runs the Manchester North Clandestine Cake Club, came along with her gorgeous baby, and this gorgeous milk bundt cake too!

I have never been a fan of salted caramel, but Venetta’s chocolate cornflake and salted caramel cake has converted me! It was so delicious!

Mary made this fabulous cake full of childhood sweeties.

I love bakewell tart and really enjoyed eating some of Hayley’s bakewell tart cake.

Clare decorated her cake with a school emblem, and used fluff to make her marshmallow buttercream – a great idea!

This was my favourite cake of the night, packed with apples and blackberries it had a great zingy flavour and was super moist. I took a piece of this home and had it with my lunch the next day!

Owen, the ‘token male’ of the club, made this amazingly creative school crossing cake flavoured with honey and cinnamon. He made the ‘stop cake’ sign himself – I was really impressed!

Claire couldn’t make it as she was stuck at the airport waiting for her boyfriend to arrive and his flight was delayed, but she sent me a photo of the pencil cake she made and I had to feature it as it’s fantastic!

I got some great comments about my cake and I was so pleased. Two people recommended it to me, without knowing it was mine, I was really chuffed! Part of cake club is having your cakes tasted by other bakers, and having positive feedback is such a great feeling.

I am entering my apple cake into September’s Feel Good Food challenge, hosted by Victoria at A Kick At The Pantry Door. This month’s theme is apples and this cake fits the bill!

I am also entering my apple cake into the Four Seasons Food September Challenge, hosted by Anneli from Delicieux and Louise from Eat Your Veg. Apples are a great autumn fruit perfect for using in this challenge.

And finally, I’m entering the cake into Gourmandize UK’s competition to win a Kenwood Stand Mixer. They are looking for the best apple recipe.

 
Print

Apple Cake

Ingredients

For the sponge

  • 3 Large cooking apples
  • 300 g Butter
  • 180 g Golden caster sugar
  • 160 g Light brown sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Mixed spice
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 340 g Self raising flour

For the red buttercream

  • Red food colouring
  • 150 g Butter
  • 300 g Icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

For the green buttercream

  • Green food colouring
  • 110 g Icing sugar
  • 55 Butter
  • 1/8 tsp Vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C/160 Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4, and grease and line a traybake tin

  2. Grate the apples and press a few layers of kitchen towel down onto them to soak up some of the moisture

  3. Cream together the butter, the golden caster sugar and light brown sugar

  4. Add the eggs and the vanilla extract, and whisk well. Then mix in the apple

  5. Fold in the cinnamon, mixed spice, baking powder and self raising flour, then smooth the mixture into the traybake tin

  6. Bake for 45 mins

  7. Once fully cool, cut the dimple of the apple into the bottom. Then cut out the top and leaf section
  8. Make the red buttercream by mixing the butter, the icing sugar, vanilla extract and the red food colouring together. Smooth onto all of the cake except the leaf section

  9. Make the green buttercream by mixing the butter, icing sugar, vanilla and green food colouring together. Cover the leaf section of the cake

 

 
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Custard Tarts: GBBO Week #4

After the departure of two bakers (Mark and Deborah) on last week’s GBBO, the series continued with pie week! The first request from the judges was a double crusted fruit pie. It was not to be soggy (bottom or top!), must hold it’s shape when cut into, and Mary noted that the fruit should not be overcooked as this will only encourage the dreaded… soggy bottom!

 

Frances was at it again with her styled bakes, and made a James & the Giant Peach & Frangipane Pie, however the judges said it had no flavour, not enough peaches in it, and it was bland and dry. They warned her about having too much style, and not enough substance. Kimberley knocked it out of the park with her Pecan & Rosemary Caramel Apple Pie, Paul said it was the nicest pie he’d had in some years and tried to carry it away with him! Rob and Ruby both did well, but everyone else suffered from soggyness, lack of flavour and crumbly pastry!

This week’s technical challenge was Custard Tarts, from a Paul Hollywood recipe. The requirements were golden pastry, and a layer of even, smooth custard with just a little bit of wobble. The dough had to be worked slightly more than a usual shortcrust, so it would be robust without becoming chewy. Making a shortcrust pastry is quite a straightforward task for a regular baker, so the first step didn’t cause many problems. The custard filling was where the bakers stumbled as the only instructions provided were “make the custard filling”… oh Paul!

Frances was the only one who heated the custard before baking it. The bakers spent the next half an hour staring into their oven doors. Once the tarts came out of the oven, the nightmare of getting them out of the tin began. The sound of knives scraping against muffin tins began…and frustration reigned over the GBBO tent. Only clever little Ruby used little strips of baking paper to easily lift hers out of the tin! Frances won the challenge, Beca came second and Rob third. Glenn was last with Ali in 8th place and Christine in 7th (her tarts pictured above).

This week’s showstopper was a filo pastry pie. The pastry had to be made from scratch and could be shaped however the bakers wanted. Filo pastry is notoriously difficult to work with, it has to be worked and worked to build up a vast network of gluten so it can be stretched out thin enough so that a newspaper can be read through it. Anyone who even dares to make filo from scratch deserves a medal in my book!

Howard baked his Fresh Fig & Feta Filo Flan in a decorative mould – which required Mel and Sue’s help to remove it, with Glenn and Beca nervously looking on! Rob talked about his membership in a local mushroom foraging club, and talked about the dangers of his hobby, “it’s a very unforgiving past time, you get it wrong and you can pay a hell of a price…some mushrooms, you eat them and there is no cure…you just dissolve” he said. Luckily, shop bought mushrooms were in his pie. The bakers vied for table space as they stretched out their filo. Ali’s filo measured 2 metres in length!

 

Beca, Rob and Frances didn’t get good results from the judges. Frances again suffered from style over substance, Rob’s Mushroom Spanakopita was underbaked and soggy, and Beca’s filling was not liked by Paul and Mary. Glenn, Ali and Christine all got average results with the judges liking some things about the pie, but pointing out mistakes. Ruby’s Rose, Almond & Raspberry Filo Pie was labelled as ‘beautiful’ by the judges, Kimberley received glowing praise for beautiful layers and a fantastic taste. Howard also did well, the judges liked his pie and called it elegant with complimenting flavours.

Ali was the one to leave this week, which I am very sad about. I don’t think it was his time to go yet, and I was shocked when they announced his name. A lot of the other bakers seemed very sad to see him go, he is obviously a lovely guy. Christine said he was a lovely, kind and nice man and she would miss him. Howard was welling up too, bless him. I will miss Ali too! Next week – biscuits!

This week I decided to make Custard Tarts. As I’m not crazy, filo wasn’t an option, and I love Custard Tarts and really wanted to try them. I decided to follow Paul Hollywood’s recipe, which you can find here. Although, and you will find out why as you read on, I personally would make some tweaks to the recipe(!) Shhhh don’t tell Paul!

 

I started by liberally greasing my muffin tin with butter and I took a leaf from Ruby’s book and put strips of greaseproof paper in them to lift the tarts out with.

In a mixing bowl I used my fingers to rub together 120g butter, 165g plain flour and 25g ground almonds. Once it looked like breadcrumbs, I stirred in 55g caster sugar.

I added one egg, and brought the mixture together into a dough. Once it was smooth, I wrapped it in clingfilm and chilled it in the fridge for 30 minutes. TIP: Have your clingfilm ready before you get your hands covered in pastry and flour!

I didn’t have an 11cm/4.5″ cutter as required, so I used the lid off my baking beans as it had the same diameter, and I used a knife to cut around it. I rolled out the pastry as thin as I could but only got enough for 11 tarts. In the above photo you can see how much dough I had left.

I probably didn’t roll it out quite thin enough, but with the amount of dough you have, getting exactly 12 is tight. God knows how you crimp the edges, with finesse I imagine, I didn’t do this.
 

For the custard, I whisked 7 egg yolks and 90g caster sugar together until smooth. I heated up 700ml whole milk until luke warm, then poured it into the eggs, whisking as I poured, it went nice and frothy. I also added 1 tsp vanilla extract. TIP: Put the leftover egg whites into ice cube trays and freeze them, the next day, remove the frozen egg cubes and put them in a freezer bag for easier storage. Defrost them as needed. There are definitely going to be some macarons or meringues in my future!

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. I placed the tarts onto the shelf, then poured the custard in using a jug. I filled up the cases as much as I could, then sprinkled ground nutmeg over the top. There was a lot of custard left, even if I had 12 pastry cases, there would still have been enough for 2 or 3 more tarts. So the amount of custard is something I would reduce in this recipe.

I baked for 15 minutes on this heat, then turned down to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for a final 10 minutes. I took the tarts out and let them cool for 30 minutes in the tin. The custard had a nice wobble to it!

With the help of the baking paper strips, the tarts came out of the tin extremely easily and without any sticking problems! I left them to cool on a rack.

I cut into my tarts and was pleased to see the custard retain its shape! I think the custard could have done with slightly longer, no more than 5 minutes. But it was cooked and tasted great, I ate two right there and then – I just couldn’t resist!

These went down a storm, who doesn’t love a custard tart?! A couple of people thought the custard was cooked enough, and a couple others agreed with me that it needed a few more minutes. So this being my only issue, and seemingly a matter of taste, I was extremely pleased. I will definitely make these again!

 
 
Print

Custard Tarts

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 120 g Butter
  • 165 g Plain flour
  • 25 g Ground almonds
  • 55 g Caster sugar
  • 1 Egg

For the filling

  • 7 Egg yolks
  • 700 ml Whole milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • Nutmeg for sprinkling
  • 90 g Caster sugar

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/400F/Gas Mark 6 and grease a muffin tin with butter, and strips of baking paper so you can easily lift the tarts out once baked

  2. In a mixing bowl use your fingers to rub together the butter, plain flour and ground almonds. Once it looks like breadcrumbs, stir in the caster sugar

  3. Add the egg, and bring the mixture together into a dough. Once it is smooth, wrap it in clingfilm and chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes

  4. Roll out the pastry onto a floured work top and use an 11cm/4.5" cutter to cut out 12 circles

  5. Place the pastry into the muffin tin
  6. For the custard, whisk the egg yolks and the caster sugar together until smooth. Heat up the whole milk until luke warm, then pour it into the eggs, whisking as you pour. Then add the vanilla extract

  7. Place the muffin tin onto the oven shelf, then pour the custard into the pastry cases using a jug. Fill up the cases as much as you can, then sprinkle the nutmeg over the top

  8. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn down to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for a final 10 minutes. Take the tarts out and let them cool for 30 minutes in the tin. Then remove from the tin using the greaseproof paper strips to assist you

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Petit Fours: GBBO Week #3

Week 3 on The Great British Bake Off was dessert week, or ‘stressed’ week! The first challenge was to make a trifle, and in typical style, Mary and Paul had a lot more in mind than some instant jelly and custard with a bit of whipped cream whacked on top. They specified a need for defined layers in the trifle, flavours that were compatible and to add texture, such as biscuits, on top.

 

This challenge was not just about baking, it was also about time management and multi tasking. The bakers made sponges like ladyfingers, swiss rolls and ginger cake for the bases. Jams, jellys and curds all from scratch for the filling. Creme anglaise, aka custard, by the ton. And some exicting topping’s such as macarons (Ali), ginger biscuits (Beca) and Amaretti biscuits and honeycomb (Kimberley). It was a lot to deal with in just 3 hours!

 

 
 
 
 
 

Ruby, Kimberley and Christine all did well with praise for good flavours and layer definition. A few bakers trifles looked good, but a ‘slack’ custard or oversoaking of the sponge letting them down. The biggest disaster was Deborah’s accidental pilfering of Howard’s custard! It was such an awful situation, poor Deborah obviously felt terrible about it. The judges took the mistake in their stride and judged the trifles and custards seperately so all was fair.

 

The technical challenge this week was Île Flottante (Floating Islands). Which are light and fluffy poached meringues in a sea of creme anglaise, topped with spun sugar. Wow this was a tall order! I had never heard of them before watching this episode, and frankly they didn’t look that appetising to me. Even Mary admitted it was a difficult technical bake and expected the bakers to struggle with cooking the meringues – probably because pan size, temperature and cooking duration had all been omitted from the recipe!!
 
 
Only a couple of bakers did well on all counts here. Those that were good at custard from the trifle, did well again. Glenn won the challenge, he had made them before which is always a lucky advantage with technical bakes. Rob came in second, and Ruby third. Mark and Beca took the last two spots, with Deborah in at ninth.
 
 

 

 

For the showstopper the judges requested 24 petit fours, 12 to be sponge based and 12 to be biscuit based. I was really impressed with the baker’s creativity and flavour combination in this challenge. Petit Fours are small dainty french desserts, usually served at the end of a meal. I love these tiny cute creations! Hence lots of photos…!
 
 
Beca, Ruby, Rob, Christine and Frances all shone on this challenge. I loved the tiny macarons Beca made for the top of her Limoncello & Blueberry Bursts! Rob didn’t get much screen time in this episode, but Mary labelled his petit fours as ‘remarkabley professional’. Frances did it again with perfect theming, styling and baking for her Nutcracker petit fours. There were a few disasters, poor Deborah’s cakes stuck in her mould which affected the apperance, Mark didn’t rest his macarons for long enough resulting in an ugly finish, and Ali’s petit fours were bland and too simple according to Paul and Mary.

 

 

Leaving us this week was Deborah and Mark. I think it was Mark’s time to go without a doubt, and I was surprised he made it through this far as none of his bakes were of the expected GBBO high standard. I thought Deborah had a lot more potential, and she is definitely talented, but unfortunately a couple of mistakes and unfortunate mishaps could not be ignored. Next week is pie week!

I decided to make petit fours this week. It took me a while to come up with ideas, mostly for the practical reasons that I don’t have any miniature bakeware and didn’t want to buy any just for this one bake.

Luckily I remembered I had this adorable tiny cupcake cases tucked away in my baking box. I bought them from Ikea a couple of Christmases ago, but have never used them. Finally they got an outing! I wanted to stick to the GBBO remit of 12 sponge based petit fours and 12 biscuits based petit fours. Except for the part where I made about double that amount!

I started with the mini lime cupcakes. Lime is my ultimate favourite citrus fruit, I love it and it’s great in cakes. I creamed together 100g caster sugar and 100g butter.

I added the juice and zest of half a lime, as well as 1 egg and whisked in.

Finally I folded in 100g self raising flour and 1/2 tsp baking powder.

 

I use my big cupcake tin to make these in as I didn’t know what else to do! It was very diffcult to figure out how much mixture to put in the cases. I did varied amounts to see what would happen. The mixture made 24 mini cupcakes.

I baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes then left to cool. As you can see they were a little irregular size wise, and because of the tin they were in, the cakes went outwards instead of upwards if the case was over filled. Had I been competing on GBBO I probably would’ve measured them all exactly (and had a mini cupcake tin!), but the people that were going to eat these would not notice the imperfections I do!

To decorate I made some chocolate decorations by melting about 100g dark chocolate and piping these ‘zig zag squiggles’ as I like to call them, onto baking paper. Once the chocolate sets they can be easily peeled off the paper.

I also made a lime buttercream with 50g butter, the juice and zest of half a lime, 175g icing sugar, and a tiny amount of mint green Sugarflair food colouring.

 
 

Once the cakes were cool, I piped a little swirl of buttercream on top, added a fresh raspberry and placed the chocolate decoration on. I was really happy with the look of these, especially the chocolate decoration as it was a last minute addition! The sponge definitely wasn’t limey enough, so I’d recommend doubling the amount of lime. Luckily the buttercream made up for it!
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Mini Lime Cupcakes with Lime Buttercream, Fresh Raspberry & Chocolate Decoration
 
 
Ingredients
  • 150g Butter
  • 100g Caster sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Limes
  • 100g Self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 100g Dark chocolate
  • 24 Fresh raspberries
  • 175g Icing sugar
  • Green food colouring
 
Instructions
Cream together the caster sugar and 100g of the butterAdd the juice of half a lime, and the zest of one lime, as well as the egg and whisk inFold in the self raising flour and baking powder, then fill cupcake casesBake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes then leave to coolTo make the chocolate decorations, melt the dark chocolate and pipe squiggles onto baking paper. Once the chocolate sets, peel it off the paperTo make the lime buttercream mix 50g of the butter, the juice and zest of half a lime, the icing sugar, and enough green food colouring to get a pastel green colourOnce the cakes are cool, pipe a swirl of buttercream on top, add a fresh raspberry and place a chocolate decoration on
 

For my biscuit based petit fours I decided on a Viennese whirl biscuit. I used a Hairy Biker’s recipe to make the biscuits and I changed the name very slightly, to Viennese Swirl Biscuits

In a large bowl I mixed together 250g butter, 250g plain flour, 50g icing sugar, 50g cornflour and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract until it combined. The texture was like very stiff buttercream.

I put the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. You could use a flower nozzle if you like too for a different effect, as long as it is a large nozzle you will be able to pipe it without any problems.

I piped little swirls onto a baking tray, I filled three trays before the mixture ran out. This will make approximately 25 biscuits once sandwiched together.

I baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes, let them cool on the tray for 5 minutes, before transferring to a cooling rack.

I made an almond buttercream with 50g butter, 1/2 tsp almond extract, and 150g icing sugar. I wanted it to be quite stiff and not seep out of the biscuits. I piped buttercream onto half of the biscuits, and smoothed cherry jam onto the other halves. Then I sandwiched them together. I tried to match flatter halves of biscuit, with less flatter halves, so that the biscuits would sit nicely upright.

These biscuits were absolute stars and described by one of my colleagues as the best Viennese biscuits he’d ever had! I’d have to agree as they were delicious, had just the right amount of crumble to them, and melted perfectly in your mouth. I was very pleased with them! Plus they were really easy to make – I highly recommend trying these. You can use any jam and buttercream you like to fill them, be creative! However, cherry and almond really is a tasty combo!

Cherry & Almond Viennese Swirl Biscuits
 
 
Ingredients
  • 300g Butter
  • 250g Plain flour
  • 200g Icing sugar
  • 50g Cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp Almond extract
  • 1 jar of Cherry jam
 
Instructions
In a large bowl mix together 250g of the butter, plain flour, 50g of the icing sugar, cornflour and vanilla extract until combinedPut the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzlePipe little swirls onto lined baking trays until the mixture runs outBake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes, let them cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool fullyMake the almond buttercream by mixing 50g of the butter, almond extract, and 150g of the icing sugar. Pipe the buttercream onto half of the biscuits, and smooth cherry jam onto the other halves. Then sandwich them together
 

I’m also entering these tasty treats into myself and Cakeyboi‘s new baking, blogging challenge – Treat Petite. The challenge is for all small bakes that are individually portioned, and what could be more a treat petite than petit fours! The theme this month is ‘No Theme’ –  so anything goes!

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Review: Sainsbury’s Infused Sugars

 

 
 

Early this year Sainsbury’s expanded their baking range to make it bigger and better, and to meet the demand for baking products from the public. Their baking range now has products to suit both beginner and more experienced bakers. Part of that expansion is the Taste the Difference Infused Sugars (pictured above).

What Sainsbury’s say about the sugars:

“The more experienced baker can create, decorate and present a selection of sophisticated home baked delights using ingredients like Taste the Difference infused Lavender, Vanilla and Cinnamon sugars. Try the Lavender Sugar to make sophisticated Lavender shortbread, delicious served with creamy desserts like lemon posset or syllabub. The Vanilla Sugar provides the base for the ultimate Victoria sponge while the Cinnamon Sugar, seasoned to perfection with ground cinnamon and a cinnamon stick, is a wonderful way to add extra flavour to cakes like Carrot or Simnel.”

I decided to create 3 recipes using the sugars and utilise my trusty co-workers as guinea pigs to see what they thought…

 

I started with the lavender sugar and as this was my first time baking with lavender, and only my second time baking with a flower flavour, I referred back to what I’d paired with rose – raspberries. Therefore, I thought blackberries would be a good match for the lavender.

I creamed together 120g butter and 120g Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Infused Lavender Sugar.

I added 2 eggs, and whisked in, then added 120g self raising flour and folded in.

This made 8 good sized cupcakes. I baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20-25 minutes.

I used these gorgeous fresh British blackberries from Sainsbury’s to make the buttercream.

I mixed together 60g butter, 8 mashed up blackberries and 300g icing sugar until it was smooth.

I piped the icing on top of the cupcakes and added a fresh blackberry to garnish.

I had mixed results from these cupcakes. Here are some comments from my tasters:

“It’s an unusual flavour, but it tastes good.”

“The sponge alone would be too strong, but the blackberry icing compliments the lavender perfectly.”

“I love lavender and these cupcakes are brilliant!”

If you are already a fan of lavender, you with without a doubt love these cupcakes! If you’ve never had it before, the fruit icing tones downs the flavour so it’s not too strong. I’d say it was definitely worth a try as discovering a new flavour that you turn out to love is always a good thing! And if you’re not a fan, it’s all part of the experience! Plus the icing is pretty good…

 
Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food.

Cinnamon sugar was next and I had several idea of what to do with this (one was cinnamon scones, perhaps a future bake!) But seen as I had lots of leftover blackberries from the cupcakes, I decided to use them up for these tasty squares.

In a bowl I mixed together 250g self raising flour, 25g oats, 30g golden caster sugar and 250g Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Infused Cinnamon Sugar.

I rubbed 200g cold butter, cut into squares, into the mixture using my fingers.

I gently mixed in 75g coconut, then filled an (appropriately labelled!) mug with the mixture and set it aside.

I beat 2 eggs in a separate bowl, then added them to mixture and combined. I greased a square roasting tin and spread the mixture evenly into it.

I placed the blackberries (about a punnet and a half / 350g) on top.

Then I sprinkled over the mixture in the mug.

I baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 45 minutes, then reduced to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for a final 15 minutes. It smelt so good!

I left it to cool in the tin, then cut into squares and removed from the tin. 

What did my taster’s have to say about this bake…

“Very good cake!”

“Cake was amazing – thank you!”

“Delicious with great flavour, is there anymore?”

I really loved this bake, and it was so simple and quick to make. The cinnamon flavour was absolutely gorgeous in the squares and the tart juicy blackberries set it off perfectly. I struggled to restrain myself from having several pieces of this! If you don’t like coconut, use ground almonds instead, or omit it entirely.

The final pot of sugar was vanilla. I wanted the vanilla flavour to really come out and hold it’s own so I decided to use pears in this recipe as they have a light, refreshing taste that is not overpowering. They are also juicy and delicious!

I peeled, cored and halved five pears. I drizzled 1 tbsp brandy over them…just because!

I creamed together 225g butter and 225g Sainsbury’s Vanilla Infused Sugar.

I added 3 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

 

 

 

I folded in 225g self raising flour, 60g ground almonds and 1 tsp baking powder. I smoothed the batter into a greased square pan.

I placed the pears on top of the batter and sprinkled the remaining vanilla sugar over the top.

I baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 35 minutes until it was golden. Cut into slices and serve, ideally with custard or ice cream. I’d recommend serving the same day, as the pears are very juicy the sponge went a bit soggy by the next day, although that didn’t stop my eager tasters!

“That was amazing, thank you!”


“It reminds me of my childhood…it’s really good.”


“Well, this cake was amazing.”

Not quite sure what the childhood comment means, but this cake was definitely a winner. Full of fresh, sweet flavours with a lovely hit of vanilla. This is definitely the most versatile of the sugars, you could really experiment with different flavour combinations.
 

Lavender & Blackberry Cupcakes
 
 
Ingredients
  • 180g Butter
  • 120g I creamed together 120g butter and 120g Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Infused Lavender Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 120g Self raising flour
  • 16 Blackberries
  • 300g Icing sugar
 
Instructions
Cream together 120g of the butter and the lavender sugar
Add the eggs, whisk in, then add the self raising flour and fold in
Bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20-25 minutes
For the buttercream mix together 60g of the butter, 8 mashed up blackberries and the icing sugar until smooth
Pipe the icing on top of the cupcakes and add a fresh blackberry to garnish
 

 

 

Blackberry, Coconut & Cinnamon Squares
 
 
Ingredients
  • 250g Self raising flour
  • 25g Oats
  • 30g Golden caster sugar
  • 250g Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Infused Cinnamon Sugar
  • 200g Butter
  • 75g Dessicated coconut
  • 2 Eggs
  • 350g Blackberries
 
Instructions
In a bowl mix together the self raising flour, oats, golden caster sugar and cinnamon sugar
Rub the butter, cut into squares, into the mixture using your fingers
Mix in the dessicated coconut, then fill a mug with some of the mixture and set it aside
Beat in the eggs in a separate bowl, then add them to the bowl and combine. Grease a square roasting tin and spread the mixture evenly into it
Place the blackberries on top of the mixture
Then sprinkled over the reserved mixture in the mug
Bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 45 minutes, then reduce to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for a final 15 minutes

 

Pear & Vanilla Cake
 
 
Ingredients
  • 5 Pears
  • 1 tbsp Brandy
  • 225g Butter
  • 250g Sainsburys Vanilla Infused Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 225g Self raising flour
  • 60g Ground almonds
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
 
Instructions
Peel, core and halve the pears. Drizzle the brandy over them
Cream together the butter and 225g of the vanilla sugarAdd the eggs and vanilla extract
Fold in the self raising flour, ground almonds and baking powder. Smooth the batter into a greased square pan
Place the pears on top of the batter and sprinkle the remaining 25g vanilla sugar over the top
Bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 35 minutes until it is golden
 
 
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Treat Petite – A New Baking, Blogging Challenge!

 

 

Treat Petite – a new baking, blogging challenge!
 

Welcome and a big thank you for stopping by to check out ‘Treat Petite’. It’s a new baking blogging challenge hosted on alternate months by myself – Kat at The Baking Explorer and Stuart at Cakeyboi.
 
The idea behind Treat Petite is quite simple – it’s any sweet treat you can think of that’s not a big cake! From cookies to macarons, krispie treats to truffles; we want to see any delicious concoction you conjure up in the kitchen that is individually portioned!! And don’t worry; cupcakes are permitted.

Each month will have a theme for you, to get those ideas flowing.

Each challenge will begin on the 1st of every month and will close on 25th. We aim to have a round up online at the end of the month.

Here are those all important rules;

1. Email us by the 25th of the month, midnight at the latest – include in the e-mail your name, if you have a blog the URL of your post and name of your blog, recipe and a photo (640x480pixels max) of your bake. (See Mission Statement page for email address).

2.  If applicable post your bake onto your blog and link back to Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer, stating who is hosting that particular month

3. Follow Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer blogs via the Google Join this Site button, if you haven’t already.

4. If you tweet use #treatpetite and mention @MrCakeyboi and @BakingExplorer – we will retweet

5. Add the challenge logo to the post and ‘Treat Petite’ as a label to the post

6. Use any recipe as long as the source is noted

7. Add your photo to the ‘Treat Petite’ Pinterest board and request access from Cakeyboi

8. Feel free to enter old posts as long as you update the post and meet all the requirements above!


And the theme for Treat Petite No.1 is ‘No Theme’. That’s right – to get us all into the swing of things, anything goes! We would love to see your petite makes, no matter what they are…. I am hosting this month so please email your entries to me with ‘Treat Petite’ in the email title.

If you have any questions at all, please contact Cakeyboi or The Baking Explorer.

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