I’m so sad Easter is over! I’ve really enjoyed seeing all the Easter treats and bakes all over social media. Thankfully there are some yummy looking ones in this month’s round up to keep the Easter fun going just that little bit longer. Thank you to all of the bloggers who linked up this month – if you like or make one of the recipes below please do let them know. Going forward, I’ll be hosting Treat Petite while Cakeyboi takes a break from blogging. If anyone is interested in guest hosting please do let me know!
Dragon Egg Nests from Mint Custard – because dragons lay their eggs in the spring too!
Coconut Macarons from Searching For Spice – a versatile recipe that can be made any time of year, but are perfect and pretty for Easter with mini eggs on top.
I really love baking with jam, but most of the time it happens because I have half a jar sitting in the fridge for a few weeks and I realise I better use it up. Thankfully it’s lead me to create lots of amazing recipes! Some of them feature jam with other elements, whilst others make jam the star of the bake. There is a huge range of variety here, from easy flapjacks to more extravagant celebration cakes. You can of course use a different flavour jam to the ones I’ve used, and I’ve also included a couple of recipes that use marmalade. I hope you find a suitable recipe to turn that jar in the fridge into a delicious bake!
As you will know if you’ve been to my blog before, or if you follow me on social media, I am a huge fan of The Great British Bake Off and the Queen of Baking that is Mary Berry. Every year I ‘bake along’ to GBBO and it’s really expanded my baking skills and repertoire. I was beyond excited when I was offered the chance to host a competition that Mary Berry herself would be judging the winner of! In this post you can find out how to enter the competition to be in for a chance to win a set of Mary Berry Homeware and a signed book from Mary!
I first saw Mary Berry’s homeware range at The BBC Good Food Show Winter 2016 and I immediately fell in love with it’s pretty patterns and pastel hues. The range is beautifully packaged and presented and I wanted to make something that really complimented it. So I decided to use the colours in the range – pastel pink and teal to make these gorgeous layered mini cakes. And seen as it’s Easter, they just had to be topped with mini eggs!
I started by making the sponges. I had three mixing bowls and into each one I put 120g butter and 120g caster sugar. I then put drops of blue, pink and yellow food colourings into the mixtures, I made the colour slightly stronger than I wanted the final result to be as the eggs and flour would lighten it. I like to add food colouring at this stage as later on it can remove air from the mixture as you over mix to get the colour right.
I added 2 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract to each bowl and whisked in. Finally I folded 120g self raising flour into each bowl.
I baked each sponge in a lined traybake tin on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for between 10-15 minutes. I inserted a skewer into them to make sure they were done. I don’t have three traybake tins, I only have two, so I baked two first and then the third. I made sure not to add the flour to the mixture of the one that was waiting to be baked as this would affect the texture of the final cake.
When the cakes were fully cooled I used a 3 inch cookie cutter to cut 6 circles out of each sponge. I didn’t throw away the leftovers, I whizzed them up in my food processor then put them in a freezer bag and froze them. I’ll use them to make cake truffles in the future (check my recipe finder page for all my cake truffle recipes if you’d like to do the same).
I made a vanilla buttercream by mixing 200g butter, 400g icing sugar and 2 tsp vanilla extract. I used my Wilton Number 6B Open Star tip to pipe blobs of it on the blue bottom layer.
I did the same with the middle yellow layer, then topped with the final pink layer.
I then used a Wilton 1M tip to pipe rosettes on top of each cake and I placed three different coloured mini eggs carefully into the middle.
I was so pleased with these little cakes, they look so pretty and I though they really complimented Mary’s beautiful homeware range. They tasted pretty scrumptious too! The sponge was lovely and light and the delicate vanilla buttercream was the perfect finishing touch. I felt like I could almost have been at afternoon tea with Mary Berry herself – a girl can dream!
The Competition *NOW CLOSED*
Ok so onto the competition! What you need to do to enter is head over to my Facebook page by clicking here and commenting onto my post with a photo of your Easter bake.
– Bloggers and non-bloggers can enter
– The winner’s prize is a Mary Berry Homeware set which includes: a cake stand, mug set, cake plates, cake forks and a cake slice
– The overall winner from all five blogs will win a signed book from Mary
– You use any recipe you like to make your Easter bake
– The entries will be shortlisted to two finalists and Mary Berry will be choosing the winning entry to receive the homeware set and then the overall winner for the signed book
– The competition closes on 2nd May, and Mary will begin judging in the week commencing 8th May
– If you have any questions please comment on this post and I will answer you
Grease and line three 12" x 9" traybake tins, or if you have one or two tins, grease and line them and then wash between batches
To make the sponges you need three mixing bowls. Into each one put 120g of the butter and 120g of the caster sugar. Cream them all together, then in the first bowl put a drop of blue food colouring, in the second bowl a drop of pink food colouring and in the third bowl a drop of yellow food colouring. Mix in well and add more if needed. Make the colour slightly stronger than you want as the final result will be lightened by the addition of the eggs and flour
Add 2 of the eggs and 1 tsp of the vanilla extract to each bowl and whisk in
Fold 120g of the self raising flour into each bowl. Tip: If you have three traybake tins then add the flour to all of the batters, if not, wait to add the flour until you're ready to bake
Pour and smooth out the batter into the traybake tin(s) and bake them on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 10-15 minutes until a skewer inserted into the sponge comes out clean
Cool the sponges fully on cooling racks. When they are cool use 3 inch round cookie cutter to cut 6 circles out of each sponge
Make a vanilla buttercream by mixing together 200g of the butter, the icing sugar and 2 tsp of the vanilla extract. Put half of it into a piping bag fitted with a Wilton Number 6B Open Star tip and pipe blobs of it on the blue bottom layer of sponge
Cover with the yellow sponge layer and again pipe blobs of buttercream onto it, then top with the final pink layer
Put the other half of the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M tip and pipe rosettes onto the top of each mini cake, then place 3 different coloured Mini Eggs into the middle
Easter is one of my favourite celebrations as it’s such a lovely time of year. Seeing spring flowers popping up all over the place brings a smile to my face every time. And it’s nice not to feel that cold bite in the air anymore. Plus there’s a ton of chocolate and an extra two days off work which never hurts! I’m especially looking forward to Easter weekend this year as we’ve been so busy decorating our new house and we’ll finally have some time to relax and see friends and family over the Easter weekend. I hope you all have lovely and relaxing Easter weekends planned!
To make the chocolate sponge I first creamed together 170g baking spread and 170g caster sugar.
I added 3 eggs and mixed them in.
Then I mixed in 140g self raising flour, 30g cocoa powder and 1/2 tsp baking powder.
I divided the cupcakes into cases (I used some brown ones and some gold foil ones as I wasn’t sure which would look best!)
I baked them on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 25 minutes.
When they were cool I used a cupcake corer to remove a section from the middle.
I filled each hole with some Carnation caramel.
I made a buttercream by mixing together 150g baking spread, 300g icing sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract. I then added 75g melted Galaxy chocolate and mixed until smooth.
I piped the buttercream onto each cupcake to resemble a nest, then placed 3 Golden Galaxy Eggs into the middle.
These cupcakes are so decadent and indulgent! The sponge is light, the caramel is rich and the buttercream has that hint of chocolate flavour that is fully satisfied by the shimmering golden eggs. And if you don’t tell your friends and family about the caramel inside, they will get a yummy surprise when they dig in!
I’m linking these cupcakes up with a few blogger link ups this month. Treat Petite hosted by myself this month (and Cakeyboi on alternate months), and Desert Island Dish hosted by Good Egg Foodie.
I recently received three exciting new recipe books from Ryland Peter & Small, who publish books about the greatest pleasures in life such as art, food and crafts – as mine is all things baking I was happy to receive three books all about cakes and desserts! I’ve reviewed the books and tried recipes from each one, and at the end of this post I am running a giveaway so one lucky reader can win a copy of each book!
Miracle Mug Cakes and Other Cheat’s Bakes by Suzy Pelta is all about that moment late at night when you just need cake! The recipes are easy to whip up in minutes, satisfy a variety of cravings from chocolate to cookies, and many of them don’t even need a set of scales. You might know the author, Suzy Pelta as she was the winner of ITV1’s Lorraine’s Cake Club Competition in 2012. She’s a regular at The Cake & Bake Show and BBC Good Food Shows.
I made this Peanut Butter & Nutella Cake (apologies for the bad lighting but I was having one of those late night cake craving moments I mentioned earlier, so there was no time to wait for natural light!) and it took a few minutes to throw together and less than two minutes to bake in the microwave. I had all the ingredients already in my cupboard so I could get that cake craving I needed with minimum effort involved. The sponge was soft and tasty, and there was a pool of warm Nutella and peanut butter at the bottom, it was also massive and very filling.
My favourite of the three books and the one most suited to my style of baking is Lola’s A Cake Journey Around The World. The book is separated by continent and then there are recipes for each country. There’s such a huge variety of cakes in here, some I had heard of and some I hadn’t. This would be a great book to read before a Great British Bake Off technical challenge!
I was immediately drawn to this Sticky Orange & Almond Cake from Spain, it involved boiling whole oranges and the pureeing them – which smelt amazing! The cake was gluten free too as ground almonds were used instead of flour. The recipe was so easy to follow with a yummy result.
I also made this Amarula Cake from South Africa. Amarula is a spirit made from the fruit of the African marula tree, then it’s mixed with cream and sugar. If you like Baileys you will most likely enjoy this drink! The cake was a fabulous chocolate sponge, soaked in Amarula and decorated with caramel and whipped cream. I was in cake heaven!
The third book is called Japanese Patisserie and the author is James Campbell who has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants and now works for Marks & Spencer product development. The creations in this book are very high end and absolutely stunning to look at. It’s definitely one for those people that are interested in experimenting with their baking and challenging themselves. Although there are lots of more complex and impressive recipes, there are also simpler yet still impressive options to start you off such as madelines and scones.
If you enjoy Asian cuisine you will have heard of most of the ingredients in the book, such as yuzu, miso and matcha, but they have been fused with western recipes to create elegant and stunning desserts. I always wanted to try yuzu so I tracked some down at the Chinese supermarket, you can also get it in Waitrose and online. I made a yuzu and lemon meringue tart recipe from the book which was absolutely delicious.
If you would like to be in with the chance to win a copy of each of the books I’ve reviewed in this post, enter by using the Rafflecopter below – good luck!
NB. I received the books to review free of charge, all opinions are my own. Competition is open to UK residents only. The winner of the competition will receive one copy of each recipe book featured in this blog post.
I’m so pleased that spring is here and I’m looking forward to seeing lots of Easter and spring themed bakes this month – of course Treat Petite is now themeless so Anything Goes! March’s Treat Petite Round Up is over Cakeyboi so please do check out the amazing recipes from all of the bloggers that took part.
Enter anything you like, just remember the Treat Petite rules below…
Treat Petite is for all of those delicious bites, which can be individually portioned. Tray bakes are fine, cookies, cupcakes, brownies, macarons and so on. No cakes, puddings, whole loaves – you get the idea… here are those all-important rules:
1. Add your petite treat to the Linky Tool at the bottom of the current month’s post by the 25th of the month, midnight at the latest