Ghostly Gingerbread & Pumpkin Cake Truffles

Ghostly Gingerbread & Pumpkin Cake Truffles
Happy Halloween everyone! I really love this time of year, my flat is currently decorated with pumpkins, candles, cobwebs and skulls, and I’ve also spread the Halloween ‘fear’ into the office as well. I always get involved in dressing up and carving pumpkins, it’s so much fun! One of the best parts for me is Halloween and autumn themed baking. I love to bake with pumpkin and try and make my bakes suitably scary. These Ghostly Gingerbread & Pumpkin Cake Truffles are no exception, filled with autumn flavours and then surrounded by Halloween spookiness! Here’s how to make them…

I started by making the gingerbread biscuit middle of the truffles. I made a few more than I needed as this was an idea I invented, but it’s better to make too many than too little so I’ll give you the amounts I used. I started by whizzing up 200g ginger biscuits in a food processor.

I melted 75g butter and mixed it into the biscuit crumbs.

I grabbed bits of the the mixture and rolled them into small balls, about the size of a blueberry. I placed them onto a lined baking tray. I then put them in the freezer for 3 hours.

To make the cakes I used Two Chicks new product – free range whole egg. You may have seen their liquid egg white before, which is super convenient for making meringues without having to worry about what to do with the leftover egg yolks. Now they’ve also released this one which includes the yolks, so you can bake with it, or make omelettes and quiches for example. I found it very useful for recipes where you want to change the quantities, you can’t halve an actual egg, but with this product you can!

To make the cakes I started by mixing together 115ml vegetable oil, 90ml Two Chicks liquid whole egg, 200g caster sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

I then added 225g plain flour, 3 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp mixed spice, and 1 tsp baking powder and mixed in. Finally I folded in 200g pumpkin puree (I use Libbys).

I put the batter into 12 cupcake cases to bake them. It doesn’t really matter how you bake the mixture, but I find cupcakes quick to cook and to cool.

 

I baked them on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes. I left them to cool fully.

 

 

When the cake was cool I crumbed it in the food processor.

Depending on how much your cake weighs, you need half the amount of full fat cream cheese. Mine weighed 700g so I used 350g cream cheese. I mixed it all together.

I got the ginger biscuit balls out of the freezer, grabbed some pumpkin cake mixture and made a patty. I placed a ginger biscuit ball in the middle.

 

 I then wrapped the cake mixture around the biscuit and rolled it into a ball.
Once all of the cake was used up, I put them back into the freezer for another 3 hours, or until frozen fully.

 

To cover the cake truffles I used Renshaw Colour Melts in white. I simply dipped the cake truffles in and then set them onto baking paper. The chocolate sets really quickly because they are so cold from the freezer. You can also use white chocolate to cover them, but it creates a more yellowish appearance. To paint on the ghost eyes and mouth I melted a few blocks of dark chocolate and painted them on with a small paintbrush. I also painted ‘Boo!’ on a few of them too.

Cake Truffles

I was so pleased with the reaction I got for these cake truffles! There were ‘wows’ all round, and they all disappeared in less than an hour. Even people who weren’t convinced about pumpkin were loving them. It was such a great feeling. The pumpkin and ginger flavours went together perfectly. Let me know if you make these and what you think!

   

I’m entering these spooky treats into this month’s Treat Petite, hosted by Cakeyboi. The theme is Black and Orange. I’m also entering them into Tea Time Treats hosted by Lavender & Lovage where the theme is Halloween & Bonfire Night Treats.

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Ghostly Gingerbread & Pumpkin Cake Truffles

Ingredients

  • 200 g Ginger biscuits
  • 75 g Butter
  • 115 ml Vegetable oil
  • 90 ml Liquid whole egg (or beaten eggs)
  • 200 g Caster sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 225 g Plain flour
  • 3 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Mixed spice
  • 200 g Pumpkin puree
  • 350 g Cream cheese
  • 300 g Renshaw Colour Melts in White
  • 6 squares Dark chocolate

Instructions

  1. Start by making the gingerbread biscuit middle of the truffles. Whizz up the ginger biscuits in a food processor
  2. Melt the butter and mix it into the biscuit crumbs
  3. Take bits of the mixture and roll them into small balls, about the size of a blueberry. Place them onto a lined baking tray and put them in the freezer for 3 hours
  4. Then make the cakes. Mix together the vegetable oil, liquid whole egg, caster sugar and vanilla extract
  5. Then add the flour, cinnamon, mixed spice and baking powder. Finally fold in the pumpkin puree
  6. Put the batter into 12 cupcake cases and bake them on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes. Leave them to cool fully. When the cake is cool, crumb it in the food processor
  7. Depending on how much your cake weighs, you need half the amount of full fat cream cheese. Mine weighed 700g so I used 350g cream cheese. Mix the cake crumbs and cream cheese together
  8. Get the ginger biscuit balls out of the freezer, grab some pumpkin cake mixture and make a patty. Place a ginger biscuit ball in the middle then wrap the cake mixture around the biscuit and roll the whole thing into a ball
  9. Once all of the cake is used up, put the cake truffles into the freezer for another 3 hours, or until frozen fully
  10. Melt the white chocolate, dip the cake truffles into it and then set them onto baking paper. Melt the dark chocolate and paint designs on with a small paintbrush

Pumpkin cupcakes recipe adapted from Marie Claire.

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Renshaw Hamper Review & Giveaway

Renshaw Hamper Review & Giveaway
I am so excited about this giveaway as it’s for some really awesome products that I’ve really enjoyed trying out. I’m assuming most people have heard of Renshaw already, but if not… they are the leading British manufacturer of cake decorating products like frosting, ready to roll icing and marzipan. They have been going for over 100 years and have a royal warrant which means they supply products to the Queen and royal family. Essentially, they are icing pros and produce quality products!

I was sent 12 different Renshaw products to both try out and also give away (don’t worry you get new ones not my leftovers!)

 

I gave the Decor-Pan coloured marzipan a try when I made Raspberry Mille Feuille. It was really easy to use, the colour was so pretty, and it tasted delicious! I think this product would be fantastic for making a fun coloured battenberg, and it’s a great way to make marzipan the star of the show, rather than being hidden under fondant.

 
 

For the candy melts I made some cake truffles, which are a big favourite of mine. (I’ll be sharing the full recipe next week!) I melted the white Colour Melts quickly in the microwave in the tub they came in, and I also dipped the truffles straight into the tub – saved on washing up! The truffles were a bright white colour, and I dipped them twice to get a nice thick coating.

For for the ready to roll icing I had a go at decorating some cupcakes. I am by no means an expert at using this type of icing! But I found it to be a fun experience, a chance to be creative, and it was also really easy to use. I like that you get a small selection of colours in each pack as it is a good way to try it out if you are new to this type of cake decorating.

I haven’t had a chance to use the royal icing yet or the flower modelling paste, but when I do I’ll definitely blog about it to let you know my experience and opinion!

The products in the giveaway are:

Pack each of coloured marzipan (green, blue, pink, black)
*Please note the wooden hamper pictured above is not included

 

You can also watch my YouTube video where I go through each product and tell you a bit more about them. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel as there will be more videos coming soon!
 
To enter the competition please use the Rafflecopter below:
 

NB. The products were sent to me to review, all opinions are my own and I was not paid or required to write a positive review.

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Mille Feuille: GBBO The Final!

Mille Feuille: GBBO The Final!
The final is finally here! And what a tense one it was… We started by looking back over the past 10 weeks – which have gone so fast!! – and all the amazing bakes the three finalists have produced as well as their various ups and downs along the way. In total they have completed 27 baking challenges! The bakers started with a signature challenge of iced buns. Mary and Paul requested 16 iced and filled buns, and they wanted two different flavours. Paul was looking for everything to be the best the bakers could make. Mary had no idea who was going to win, but she knew she wanted to see perfect iced buns that tasted delicious!

Tamal made citrus marmalade & caramel creme pat and apple & whipped cream buns. He did royal icing for the tops and didn’t flavour his icing or his dough, which raised eyebrows from the judges. His caramel creme pat did not set, so it didn’t make it into his buns. Paul brought up Tamal’s issues with timing and Mary pointed out that his icing wasn’t great. They enjoyed the texture of his buns and absolutely loved his citrus marmalade. A real friendship has blossomed between Tamal and Nadiya which was nice to see as I’ve not noticed as many close bonds from the bakers this series.

Ian made two different doughs for two different flavoured buns, the first was elderflower & lemon, and the second were spiced buns with an apple and cranberry jam. He knew he’d done something wrong to his spiced buns, and Paul Hollywood confirmed that Ian had left sugar out of the dough. His icing was also quite messy. Luckily the judges both loved his elderflower and lemon buns

Nadiya made cardamom buns with almond creme pat and nutmeg buns with a sour cherry filling. There was some contention over whether the buns should touch or not and
be a ‘batch bake’. Tamal and Ian’s touched, but Nadiya’s didn’t. Nadiya also made round buns. Although she strayed from tradition, Mary loved her neat icing and original approach. Paul also ended up being a huge fan after tasting them!

The final technical challenge was to make Raspberry Mille Feuille. This is three layers of crispy ruff puff pastry filled with raspberries, jam and chantilly cream, and topped with fondant icing. Paul and Mary chose this challenge to test the bakers as they have all had issues with pastry challenges in the past – and Nadiya figured out that it was personally designed for them!

Of course a lot of instructions were left out of the recipe. The bakers had to make a sugar syrup, but had no idea what part of the recipe it was for. Tamal had problems with his pastry, and Nadiya couldn’t figure out how to arrange the mille feuille. Tamal came last as his pastry wasn’t quite right, Ian was second as his pastry wasn’t quite cooked. And Nadiya won! Her pastry was excellent and her presentation was very neat.

For the final showstopper the bakerswere asked to make a single flavoured, but multi tiered, classic British cake. The judges wanted perfect flavours, consistency throughout the tiers and a stunning appearance to make them say ‘wow!’ Tamal made a sticky toffe pudding fruit cake, which was topped with a date and toffee sauce and he decorated it beautifully with spun sugar. He was concerned about the humidty affecting his caramel as it was raining at the start of the challenge, thankfully the rain stopped. Mary thought it looked spectacular and breathtaking. They were impressed with his spun sugar technique, thought his cake was totally different and very delicious.

Nadiya chose to make a lemon drizzle cake. She explained that she did not have a cake at her wedding, so this was going to be her wedding cake. She filled them with lemon curd and lemon buttercream, and she made her own fondant out of marshmallow. The judges thought it looked elegant and beautiful, that it was evenly baked and had a consistent texture throughout. Overall they called it ‘stunning’.

Ian decided to make five tiers of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. He also made his own stand to display his cakes on. The judges thought it had a very contemporary apperance, and the texture of all five cakes was very consistent. Paul called it one of the best carrot cakes he’d ever had! What a close showstopper this was, every baker got excellent feedback from the judges. I don’t think this has ever happened before!

And the winner is… Nadiya! She certainly deserved it as she did the best in the first two challenges, and the showstopper was such a close one. Suffice to say, she was in complete shock! Paul talked about her passion for baking and her flair for flavours. Mary was so proud of Nadiya and her journey, and even got a bit emotional in front of camera – I don’t think that has ever happened before either! I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to see what Nadiya, Tamal, Ian and all the other bakers this year do next.

So The Great British Bake Off is over for another year, it always flies by so fast. I did decided to make the technical challenge from the final episode for a couple of reasons. One of them being my boyfriend requested it, and the second being that I thought it looked really delicious and pretty. I followed the same Paul Hollywood recipe that the bakers used.

I started by kneading 500g white fondant until it was soft and pliable. I used icing sugar to dust the work surface.

I rolled out the fondant using icing sugar to make sure it didn’t stick to the surface or the rolling pin. I needed to cut out a square measuring 12″ x 9″ so I made sure it was bigger than that.

I decided to use Renshaw Decor-pan, which is coloured marzipan, as it was the perfect pink shade for the recipe.

I rolled out the marzipan, again using icing sugar to stop it from sticking to the surface and rolling pin, I used a knife to cut 1cm wide stripes.

I laid the stripes of marzipan out onto the white fondant. The recipe photo had the stripes straight, but I liked Ian’s diagonal ones on the show so I did the same.

I then rolled over the stripes to infuse them with the fondant.

I cut out 6 squares, measuring 6″ x 3″. It doesn’t matter if they are a little larger as you can trim them.

For the pastry I used 3 sheets of Jus Roll Puff Pastry. I rolled it out onto a baking tray.

I covered the pastry with another piece of baking paper, then a cooling rack over the top. This keeps the pastry from rising too much and keeps it even.

I baked the pastry on 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 15 minutes. I flipped it upside down and baked it again, this time without the cooling rack on top, for 10 minutes.

I let the pastry cool enough to handle, then cut it into 6 pieces measuring 6″ x 3″. I did this again twice more with the other two sheets of pastry until I had 18 pieces of pastry in total.

I coated 12 pieces of the pastry with lemon curd. The recipe said to use raspberry jam, but I didn’t have any and I preferred using lemon curd instead.

I made a sugar syrup using 25g caster sugar and 50ml water. I brought it to the boil in a pan and let it bubble for 1 minute. I then took it off the heat and let it cool down.

I brushed the syrup onto the other six pieces of pastry and stuck the squares of stripy icing over them.

I then made the chantilly cream by whipping up 600ml double cream, 50g icing sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

I piped the cream onto the lemon curd covered pastry and alternated it with fresh raspberries. These things used so many more raspberries than the recipe stated – I used 5 punnets!

I put the next layer on, did the same again with the cream and raspberries, and finally topped them with the stripy pastry.

The mille feuille looked so pretty! I absolutely loved the appearance of them with the stripy icing on top. They were absolutely massive though, one can easily be shared between two. Or they could also be made half the size. They were fairly tricky to eat too, but so delicious and worth all the pastry on your jumper and cream on your face!

I am entering the mille feuille into Baking Queen’s challenge Perfecting Patisserie, there is no specific theme this month.

I’m entering this into the Bake Off Bake Along hosted by Rhyme & Ribbons and This Particular.

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Raspberry Mille Feuille

Ingredients

  • 500 g White fondant
  • 250 g Pink fondant or coloured marzipan
  • 3 sheets of Jus Roll Puff Pastry
  • 3 tbsp Lemon curd
  • 50 ml Water
  • 25 g Caster sugar
  • 600 ml Double cream
  • 50 g Icing sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 5 punnets Fresh raspberries

Instructions

  1. Knead the white fondant until it is soft and pliable. Use icing sugar to dust the work surface
  2. Roll out the fondant to a 12" x 9" rectangle
  3. Roll out the pink fondant or marzipan to the same size and use a knife to cut 1cm wide strips
  4. Lay the strips of pink fondant or marzipan over the white fondant. Then roll over the strips to infuse them with the white fondant
  5. Cut out 6 squares of the stripy fondant, measuring 6" x 3". It doesn't matter if they are a little larger as you can trim them
  6. Roll the puff pastry out onto baking trays. Cover the pastry with another piece of baking paper, then a cooling rack over the top. This keeps the pastry from rising too much and keeps it even
  7. Bake the pastry on 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 15 minutes. Then flip it upside down and bake it again, this time without the cooling rack on top, for 10 minutes
  8. Let the pastry cool enough to handle, then cut it into 6 pieces measuring 6" x 3". You will end up with 18 pieces of pastry in total
  9. Coat 12 pieces of the pastry with the lemon curd
  10. Make a sugar syrup by boiling the caster sugar and water in a pan for 1 minute. Then take it off the heat and let it cool down Brush the syrup onto the other 6 pieces of pastry and stick the squares of stripy icing over them. Trim them if needed
  11. Make the Chantilly cream by whipping up the double cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract
  12. Pipe the cream onto the lemon curd covered pastry and alternate blobs of cream with fresh raspberries
  13. Put the next layer of pastry on, do the same again with the cream and raspberries, and finally topped them with the stripy pastry
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Coconut Bar Cake

Coconut Bar Cake
I recently received a subscription to Olive Magazine from Magazines.co.uk. I’ve bought the magazine a couple of times in the past and always found the recipes to be very drool worthy! I was so pleased to get a year’s subscription to it and it will certainly cause my ‘to bake’ list to expand. I’ve already made Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers from a previous issue which was featured on magazine.co.uk’s blog. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a healthy meal that’s also really delicious.

I decided to make the Coconut Bar Cake from October’s issue as I absolutely love coconut and I really wanted to try out this recipe and see what it tasted like. I also had some of the ingredients already in the cupboard so I thought it was a perfect way to use them up.

I started by mashing 100ml coconut oil with 100g golden caster sugar. I didn’t melt the coconut oil as the recipe didn’t state to do so.

In a separate bowl I whisked together 3 eggs, 150g coconut yoghurt and 175ml condensed milk.

I combined the oil and sugar mixture with the egg mixture and then mixed in 75g dessicated coconut and 300g self raising flour.

I poured the mixture into a lined loaf tin. I seemed like a lot of mixture and it did overflow a bit when baking, so when it came out I had to trim it. If you’re loaf tin runs on the smaller side I recommend not filling it with all of the mixture! I baked it on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 1 hour and 15 minutes. I covered it with foil for the last 15 minutes as I didn’t want the top to burn.

I made the icing by mixing 150g icing sugar with 3 tbsp coconut cream. I used one less tbsp than the recipe suggested as I wanted a thicker icing than in the photo. Finally I sprinkled toasted coconut flakes all over the top. This cake really is a coconut lover’s dream and it does taste like a bounty bar! I really enjoyed the flavour and texture of the this cake, it’s definitely a recipe I’ll make again.

Have you ever read Olive Magazine? Or made any recipes from it? Let me know in the comments!

I’m entering this in Credit Crunch Munch, hosted by Fuss Free Flavours and Fab Food 4 All, as I used a lot of ingredients I already had in the cupboard to make it.

I’m also entering it into No Waste Food Challenge, ran by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary and this month hosted by Veggie Desserts, for the same reason.

And finally into Simply Eggcellent, hosted by Belleau Kitchen, this month’s theme is anything goes.

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Coconut Bar Cake

Ingredients

  • 100 ml Coconut oil
  • 100 g Golden caster sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 150 g Coconut yoghurt
  • 175 ml Condensed milk
  • 75 g Dessicated coconut
  • 300 g Self raising flour
  • 150 g Icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp Coconut cream
  • A handful of Toasted coconut flakes

Instructions

  1. Mash the coconut oil with the golden caster sugar in a bowl
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut yoghurt and condensed milk
  3. Combine the oil and sugar mixture with the egg mixture and then mix in the desiccated coconut and self raising flour
  4. Pour the mixture into a lined loaf tin. Bake it on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cover with foil for the last 15 minutes if the top starts to get too dark
  5. Make the icing by mixing the icing sugar with the coconut cream. Finally sprinkle the toasted coconut flakes all over the top
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Millionaire’s Chocolate Tart: GBBO Week #9

Millionaire’s Chocolate Tart: GBBO Week #9
The Great British Bake Off changed up it’s episode theming again for week eight with chocolate based challenges. This week was also the semi finals, which meant all of the bakers were fighting for a place in the final. The first signature challenge was to make a chocolate tart, using chocolate pastry and chocolate filling. Basically a full on chocolate fest, or as Sue called it ‘cocoa loco’! Paul said that there was no room for error this week if they wanted to get through to the finals, and Mary explained that although this challenge sounded simple, she was expecting an immaculate result.

Ian made a chocolate and bay leaf infused salted caramel tart, it had a beautiful shiny glaze that really impressed the judges (and made Flora jealous!) They weren’t big fans of his flavours though, and didn’t appreciate his addition of bay leaf. Flora included a passion fruit curd and milk chocolate mousse in her chocolate tart which she topped with macarons. She didn’t get a good shine on her glaze, but decorated it beautifully. Unfortunately her passion fruit curd had split and Paul said her macarons were ‘not good’ as they were overbaked and dry.

Nadiya’s tart combined a layer of salted caramel, a layer of chocolate mousse, some homemade peanut butter and chocolate truffles. She was the only baker to make a rectangular tart, and she certainly impressed the judges. Paul Hollywood gave her his famously rare handshake! Tamal made an American themed chocolate tart with raspberry coulis and a pecan praline. The judges praised his thin pastry, and they loved the contrast between the chocolate and raspberry.

For the technical challenge this week we had something entirely different happen. The bakers start times were staggered as they had to make a chocolate souffle, which have to be served straight out of the oven. This is a really difficult challenge as the bakers had to perfectly make a chocolate creme patt and meringue at the same time, then mix the two together. Also the recipe just said ‘make a meringue’ and ‘make a creme patt’… helpful as always!

Flora got stuck in straight away, but Ian struggled to remember how to make a creme patt. Tamal and Nadiya had never made a souffle either, but got on with the challenge. Once each souffle was ready, Sue took it over to Paul and Mary who were sat at the front of the tent with their backs to the bakers. Nadiya came last as she had too many lumps of unmixed meringue in her souffle, Ian came third as his souffle didn’t rise very well, and Tamal came second as his rose well but there were some smaller lumps of unmixed meringue. Flora won the challenge as she had a great rise to her souffle and the texture was lovely according to Mary.

The chocolate finale showstopper was to create a 3D chocolate centrepiece, which must include biscuits and white chocolate. The judges were looking for attention to detail, and a spectacular finish. Tamal made a 3 tiered bell tower with 3 different types of biscuit. Mary thought it looked impressive from afar, but not as much close up. Paul noticed that some of the detail had been rushed and wasn’t as neat as it could have been. Thankfully they enjoyed the flavours of the biscuits and chocolate.

Flora went for a cocoa carousel, which included shortbread, a puffed rice roof, and a chocolate cake base. She also made a horse shaped biscuit mould herself for the carousel horses! None of her chocolate had a glossy shine, and the whole carousel was a bit wonky. The judges like most of her flavours, but noticed that there was too much raising agent in her cake and that her puffed rice was quite bitter.

Nadiya sculpted a peacock from marshmallow puffed rice and modelling chocolate, with biscuit peacock eggs in a chocolate nest. Paul and Mary thought it looked beautiful, was very detailed and they called it a work of art. They said it tasted good too. Ian chose to make a chocolate well, which actually worked and brought up a white chocolate drink from the bottom of the well. It was extremely clever from a engineering point of view, and the judges thought it was very original with a contemporary style. They really enjoyed his biscuits and flavour, but wanted to see more detail and examples of his chocolate work.

Flora left this week as her tart and showstopper both had issues. Nadiya won the star baker accolade – her third time. The next episode is the final!

As much as I love chocolate, I’m not a huge fan of having both chocolate pastry and a chocolate filling, it’s too overpowering for me. So I decided to theme my tart on millionaire’s shortbread and make a plain shortcrust pastry with caramel and chocolate fillings. I also gave home made honeycomb a go for the first time!

I started with the honeycomb. In a pan I melted 200g caster sugar and 125g golden syrup on a low heat until the sugar was no longer grainy. I turned up the heat and let it bubble for a few minutes.

I took it off the heat and stirred in 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda. It will bubble and froth a lot!

I poured it straight into a lined 20cm x 20cm square tin and left it to cool.

When it was set I took it out of the tin. This was my first time making honeycomb and I think I’ve gone wrong somewhere as it was a bit softer than I was expecting. If you have any tips, let me know!

I still managed to smash it up into pieces and it tasted really good!

I always make my shortcrust pastry from scratch because I have a go-to recipe that always works for me and it’s so quick to make at home, unlike a lot of other pastries. I started by rubbing 170g butter into 350g plain flour.

I added 2 eggs and brought the mixture together into a pastry dough. I wrapped it in cling film and chilled it for 30 minutes in the fridge.

I rolled the pastry out onto cling film, this makes it so much easier to lift over the tin.

I lined my 28cm tart tin with the pastry and pricked the bottom all over with a fork.

I covered the pastry with baking paper then added baking beans. I baked the pastry on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes.

I removed the paper and beans and baked again at the same temperature for 10 minutes until it was golden brown and the bottom was fully cooked through.

I was a bit lazy and used a ready made caramel, Carnation Caramel, to cover the bottom of the tart. I’ve made my own caramel before with success, so I felt ok with doing this!

To make the chocolate filling I heated up 250ml double cream on a medium heat, when it started to bubble I took it off the heat and tipped 255g dark chocolate into the pan. I left it for a couple of minutes then stirred it in.

In a separate bowl I whisked up 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp salt.

I whisked the egg mixture into the chocolate bit by bit.

I poured the chocolate mixture into the tart tin over the caramel.

I baked the tart on 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for 25 minutes. I put it on a rack to cool fully.

To make the glaze I heated up 2 tbsp double cream, when it bubbled I took it off the heat and added 50g dark chocolate. I mixed the chocolate in along with 1 tsp (7g) golden syrup and 1 tbsp warm water.

I poured the glaze over the chocolate filling and smooth it over the whole tart with a spatula. Finally I added crumbled up honeycomb all around the edge of the tart.

I was really pleased with how shiny my glaze was! It really gave the tart a professional finish. This tart disappeared SO fast when I took it into work, it was all gone by 10:30am! That’s what I like to see. The chocolate filling was so smooth and rich, I was really pleased I stuck to plain pastry as chocolate pastry would’ve been too overpowering. The honeycomb was really good too, ever though it went a bit chewy, it tasted really nice.

I’m entering this into the Bake Off Bake Along hosted by Rhyme & Ribbons and This Particular.

Honeycomb recipe from BBC Good Food, chocolate filling and glaze recipe from Epicurious.

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Millionaire's Chocolate Tart

Ingredients

  • 200 g Caster sugar
  • 125g + 1 tsp Golden syrup
  • 2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 170 g Butter
  • 350 g Plain flour
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 tin Carnation Caramel (397g)
  • 250ml + 2 tbsp Double cream
  • 275 g Dark chocolate
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Warm water

Instructions

  1. To make the honeycomb melt the caster sugar and the golden syrup in a pan on a low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Turn up the heat and let it boil to 300F/149CTake it off the heat and stir in the bicarbonate of soda
  2. Pour it into a lined 20cm x 20cm square tin and leave it to cool. Put it aside to set, once set, smash into pieces
  3. For the pastry, rub the butter and plain flour together. Add 2 of the eggs and bring the mixture together into a ball. Wrap it in cling film and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge
  4. Roll the pastry out onto cling film. Line a 28cm tart tin with the pastry and prick the bottom all over with a fork
  5. Cover the pastry with baking paper then add baking beans. Bake the pastry on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes
  6. Remove the paper and beans and bake again at the same temperature for 10 minutes until golden brown and the bottom is fully cooked through
  7. Spread the Carnation Caramel over the bottom of the tart
  8. To make the chocolate filling, heat up the 250ml of double cream on a medium heat, when it starts to bubble, take it off the heat and tip 225g of the dark chocolate into the pan. Leave it for a couple of minutes to melt, then stir together
  9. In a bowl whisk up 2 of the eggs, vanilla extract and salt. Whisk the mixture into the chocolate a little at a time
  10. Pour the chocolate mixture into the tart tin over the caramel. Bake the tart on 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for 25 minutes. Put it on a rack to cool fully
  11. To make the glaze, heat up the 2 tbsp double cream, when it bubbles take off the heat and add 50g of the dark chocolate. Then mix in the 1 tsp golden syrup and warm water
  12. Pour the glaze over the chocolate filling and smooth it over the with a spatula. Finally add the crumbled up honeycomb all around the edge of the tart
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Peanut Butter & Caramel Eclairs: GBBO Week #8

Peanut Butter & Caramel Eclairs: GBBO Week #8
The first challenge of patisserie week was cream horns, which are spirals of pastry filled with cream and sometimes jam or creme patisserie too. The judges wanted two different flavours of cream horns, 12 of each flavour. The bakers could use ruff, puff or flaky pastry. Paul thought puff pastry was the way to go, while Mary was more concerned about the cream horn being filled all the way to the bottom. Baker Paul, Ian and Nadiya all went for ruff puff pastry while Flora and Tamal chose to make full puff pastry.

Flora chose peach, lemon and thyme, and butterscotch and smoked almond for her flavours. She topped the cream horns with caramel wafers and tuille cigars which she spent way too much time concentrating on making, rather than focusing on the main event. She also  presented her cream horns upright, but as they were not sealed at the bottom her lemon curd and chocolate fillings dripped out completely so there was none left for the judges to taste. Ian was the only baker to do a second flavour of pastry. He added cocoa to his pastry to make a stripy cream horn with a Black Forest Gateau inspired filling. Unfortunately his different pastries did not bond together and were partly raw inside.

Nadiya made rose and pistachio, and mocha hazelnut cream horns. She seemed quite nervous while her pastry was baking, but it baked beautifully and she calmed down once they were done. She got the usual warnings from the judges about not using too much rose flavour, but after tasting them Paul said it was a very delicate flavour. The judges agreed they looked very good and were uniform with nicely baked pastry.

Tamal went for lime and mascarpone, and malt cream horns. His pastry was crispy and well layered, and the judges were very impressed with his flavours. Baker Paul made coffee and vanilla, and banana cream horns. His pastry was well baked, but judge Paul did not think the banana flavour was strong enough. For his coffee ones, his creme patt was too thick and he hadn’t piped it all the way to the bottom – cue a disapointed Mary!

Mokatines were the technical challenge this week. A recipe from Mary Berry’s baking bible itself. Mary’s fear inducing comment to the bakers before they started was that they should be “sheer perfection”. No pressure then Mary! They are squares of genoise sponge filled with coffee buttercream and covered in chopped nuts and coffee icing.

Nadiya had heard of the recipe before but never made it. Paul struggled the most as he had never made a genoise sponge before, and the recipe had no instructions on how to do so. He made two normal sponges but they did not rise enough. This resulted in him coming last, Tamal came 4th, Flora 3rd, Ian 2nd, and Nadiya won the challenge!

This week’s showstopper was to make a Religieuse a L’anncienne, which is a tower of eclairs separated with biscuits. Think of it as the eclair version of a croquembouche. The judges requested three tiers of eclairs with no help from dowling as support. It also must be decorated with buttercream. Paul was insistent that the flavours come through, and Mary warned that the eclairs must be strong and fully baked as if they aren’t and they bend it could create ‘ghastly’ results. Once the eclair towers were completed, the bakers had to go on a 2 hour lunch break before they were judged to prove they could remain standing.

 

Tamal made passionfruit & mango, and pistachio & raspberry eclairs for his tower. Both he and Ian used very strong flour for their choux pastry and it certainly paid off as neither collapsed. Tamal and Ian also used a star nozzle to pipe out the eclairs to give them more structure and strength. Tamal’s held up, and although his piping was a bit messy, the judges enjoyed his flavours. Ian made cardamom & coffee, and passionfruit eclairs. This really was a perfect challenge for Ian as he is very good at baking engineering. They loved his flavour mix and were impressed by his technique.

Flora used half regular and half strong flour, but still suffered a collapse. She chose coconut & vanilla, and lime and basil for her flavours, but the judges couldn’t taste any of her flavours.

Nadiya and Paul did not use any strong flour for their eclairs which was definitely a mistake as they both suffered structural issues. Nadiya’s flavours were peppermint and bubblegum. I’m not really sure what bubblegum tastes like, isn’t it just sugar? Nadiya’s did collapse, and the judges liked her flavours (well, Mary wasn’t so sure) but thought they were far too strong. Paul’s flavours were vanilla & banana, and raspberry & basil. He added artifical banana extract because he was concerned about it not coming through enough. The judges praised his icing technique and also the bake on his eclairs, although as they were underdone this probably lead to the collapse of his tower.

Paul left us this week. He came last in the technical, Paul wasn’t impressed with his cream horns and his eclair tower collapsed. Star baker was Nadiya as she did so well in the first two challenges. Next episode is all about chocolate!

I was going to make cream horns this week and I did give them a try but it didn’t get past the pastry stage! Firstly the ice cream cones I bought to use as moulds were all smashed in the packet, so I only had two to work with. Then my pastry split apart in the oven, so I gave up on it. I also had problems making the eclairs too. I was feeling stressed after the cream horn disaster and my first batch of eclairs were a soggy mess. I had a break and calmed down, then took more time and got it right second time round. I’m so glad I persisted as they were damn delicious!!

To make the choux pastry I started by putting 200ml cold water and 75g butter in a pan. I heated it until the mixture came to boil.

I removed it from the heat and tipped 125g plain flour into the pan. I beat it with a wooden spoon until it was mixed in. I put it back on a medium heat and beat it in the pan for a few minutes.

I then poured the mixture into a bowl and beat it for a few minutes until it was luke warm instead of hot. I slowly added 3 beaten eggs, bit by bit, and whisked in thoroughly between each addition.

I put the mixture into a piping bag with a round nozzle. I piped out 4 inch long lengths of the pastry onto a lined baking tray. I used a sharp wet knife to stop the flow of batter. They are slightly misplaced in the above photo as I messed one up!

I baked the eclairs on 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 15 minutes, then reduced the temperature to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for a further 20 minutes. This made sure they were really dried out. To make sure they were dry inside I broke one open as a test. If it’s still wet inside just poke holes in the other eclairs and give them another 5 minutes in the oven. They weren’t as straight as I wanted (I think the fan in the oven blew them over a bit!!) I stored them in tupperware box overnight as I didn’t have time to fill them the same day.

I melted some dark chocolate, about 200g, and dipped each eclair in it to coat the tops.

I then melted 40g peanut butter candy melts and piped a zig zag pattern over the dark chocolate once it was set.

I made the filling by mixing 90g peanut butter, 300ml double cream, 200g icing sugar, 2 tsp Dr Oetker caramel flavouring and 1 1/2 tsp salt.

I filled the eclairs with the mixture using a piping bag and a star nozzle, and tucked in! They were super sweet, salty and nutty – such a good combination! You need to eat the eclairs straight away, or at least the same day. If you don’t fill them they will last a couple of days in an airtight container. They are also really good filled with plain whipped cream!

I am entering these eclairs into Baking Queen’s challenge Perfecting Patisserie, there is no specific theme this month.

I’m entering this into the Bake Off Bake Along hosted by Rhyme & Ribbons and This Particular.

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Peanut Butter & Caramel Eclairs

Ingredients

  • 75 g Butter
  • 200 ml Cold water
  • 125 g Plain flour
  • 3 Eggs
  • 200 g Dark chocolate
  • 40 g Peanut butter candy melts
  • 90 g Peanut butter
  • 300 ml Double cream
  • 200 g Icing sugar
  • 2 tsp Caramel extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt

Instructions

  1. To make the choux pastry put the cold water and butter in a pan and heat until it comes to a boil
  2. Remove from the heat and tip the plain flour into the pan. Beat it with a wooden spoon until it's mixed in. Put it back on a medium heat and beat it in the pan for a few minutes
  3. Pour the mixture into a bowl and beat it for a few minutes until it is luke warm instead of hot. Slowly add the eggs, bit by bit, and whisk in thoroughly between each addition
  4. Put the mixture into a piping bag with a round nozzle. Pipe out 4 inch long lengths of the pastry onto a lined baking tray. Use a sharp wet knife to stop the flow of batter
  5. Bake the éclairs on 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for a further 20 minutes. Poke small holes into the ends of each éclair and bake for a further 5 minutes
  6. Melt the dark chocolate and dip each éclair in it to coat the tops. Leave the chocolate to set
  7. Then melt the peanut butter candy melts and pipe a zig zag pattern over the dark chocolate
  8. Make the filling by whisking together the peanut butter, double cream, icing sugar, caramel extract and salt. Fill the éclairs with the mixture using a piping bag and a star nozzle
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