Pimms Cake

Pimms Cake

Have you had your first Pimms of the year yet? Having your first Pimms of the summer is the same as having your first mulled wine of winter. It signals that summer has begun, the sun is finally making an appearance in the UK, and you’ve probably been to at least one BBQ by now! If you’re not familiar with Pimms, it is a gin based liquor flavoured with fruits and spices. It is made into a cocktail by adding lemonade (or occasionally ginger ale) and lots of fresh fruit like strawberry, orange and cucumber, plus fresh mint leaves. It’s the perfect refreshing drink on a hot day and it’s very popular at Wimbledon! I’ve used the flavours of this cocktail to create my Pimms Cake. The sponges are infused with citrus zest, it’s drizzled in a Pimms syrup, filled with strawberry jam and a mascarpone cream, and topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream.

Jump straight to the recipe!

To make the sponge I creamed the butter and sugar together, then whisked in the eggs and the citrus fruit zest.

I added self raising flour, and whisked it in, then divided the mixture between the cake tins.

Once the cake was baked and fully cooled, I levelled it off and drizzled each sponge with a Pimms syrup.

I made the filling by whisking together the mascarpone, icing sugar, double cream and vanilla extract.

Using a piping bag, I added blobs of the filling over the bottom sponge, then covered it with the strawberry jam.

I added more blobs of the filling on top of the Pimms Cake, and drizzled over more of the Pimms syrup.

Pimms Cake

To finish the Pimms Cake, I whipped up the double cream with the icing sugar and vanilla, and piled it on top of the cake. Then I covered it in strawberries, orange slices, cucumber rolls and fresh mint leaves.

Pimms Cake

The Pimms Cake looked so tempting with the jam and Pimms syrup dripping down the sides, and all the fresh fruit and cream on top!

    

I’m linking this recipe up with Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too, Cook Blog Share hosted by Recipes Made Easy, Baking Crumbs hosted by Only Crumbs Remain, and Fiesta Fridays.

5 from 8 votes
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Pimms Cake

Servings 12

Ingredients

For the Pimms syrup

  • 300 ml Pimms
  • 100 g Caster sugar

For the sponges

  • 350 g Butter or baking spread
  • 350 g Caster sugar
  • 1 Orange zest only
  • 1 Lemon zest only
  • 1 Lime zest only
  • 6 Eggs large
  • 350 g Self raising flour

For the filling

  • 250 g Mascarpone
  • 2 tbsp Icing sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 215 ml Double cream
  • 100 g Strawberry jam

For the topping

  • 300 ml Double cream
  • 1 tbsp Icing sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • Fresh strawberries, sliced orange and cucumber rolls
  • Fresh mint

Instructions

  1. Start by making the Pimms syrup as it needs to cool down. Put the Pimms and sugar in a pan, heat on a low heat until the sugar has dissolved then boil for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool fully

  2. Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, and grease and line two 8" cake tins

  3. Make the sponge by mixing the butter and caster sugar in a large bowl with a spoon until fluffy, or mix using an electric mixer

  4. Add the eggs and the orange, lime and lemon zest, and whisk until fully incorporated

  5. Add the self raising flour and whisk in until you can't see any flour anymore

  6. Divide the mixture between the two cake tins, using scales for accuracy if you like

  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave them to fully cool either in the tins or on cooling racks

  8. If the cakes have domed on top, level them off with a cake leveller

  9. Then drizzle a third of the Pimms syrup on each sponge, using up two thirds in total

  10. To make the filling use an electric hand whisk or food mixer to whisk together the mascarpone cheese, double cream, vanilla extract and icing sugar until thick

  11. Put one of the sponges on your chosen cake stand or serving plate and pipe or spread blobs of the filling over it

  12. Drizzle the strawberry jam over the filling

  13. Top with the second sponge and spread or pipe the remaining filling on top, then drizzle over the remaining syrup, letting it drip down the sides of the cake

  14. Whip up the double cream, vanilla extract and icing sugar either by hand, with an electric hand mixer, or food mixer. Pile it in the centre of the cake

  15. Arrange the strawberries, orange slices, cucumber rolls or slices and fresh mint leaves on top of the cake. To make the cucumber rolls, use a vegetable peeler to peel long strips of cucumber, then roll them up

  16. Serve immediately, leftovers will keep for 1-2 days in the fridge

You can find more of my Cake recipes by clicking here!

Pimms Cake

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Prosecco & Strawberry Cupcakes

Prosecco & Strawberry Cupcakes

I remember reading a couple of years ago that the Co-op sold more prosecco than milk in the week leading up to Christmas. It just shows how much we love a tasty glass of fizz at this time of year! These Prosecco & Strawberry Cupcakes are a perfect way to celebrate over the festive season and an even better way to ring in the new year! I think they would go down a storm at a new year’s eve party! The prosecco flavour comes from a flavouring extract I got in Sainsburys. It’s amazing how much it tastes and smells like prosecco! I’ve seen other extracts around the web and I’ve heard that Lakeland also do a ready made prosecco buttercream. My Prosecco & Strawberry Cupcakes are filled with strawberry jam and topped with a fresh strawberry plus some gold star sprinkles to make them look ready for a party!

Jump straight to the recipe!

To make the sponge I creamed together the butter and caster sugar.

Then I added the eggs and prosecco extract, and whisked everything together.

Finally I whisked in the flour. I separated the mixture between the cupcake cases. I used rose gold shiny ones for extra glamour!

They baked on 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes.

 

Once they were fully cool I used a cupcake corer to make a hole in the centre of each cake, then I filled the hole with strawberry jam.

To make the buttercream I mixed together the icing sugar, butter and prosecco extract until it was smooth. I piped it on top of each cupcake.

Prosecco & Strawberry Cupcakes

I added the fresh strawberries and gold star sprinkles and the Prosecco & Strawberry Cupcakes were ready to party!

Prosecco & Strawberry Cupcakes

These Prosecco & Strawberry Cupcakes were absolutely yummy! The fruity jam centre is so delicious, and the prosecco flavour from the extract is stunningly similar to the real thing. They are sure to make any party extra special and glamourous. Serve with a glass of prosecco, of course!

 

I’m linking this recipe up with Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too, Cook Blog Share hosted by Hijakced By Twins, Bake of the Week hosted by Casa Costello, and Fiesta Friday.

 

5 from 2 votes
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Prosecco & Strawberry Cupcakes

Servings 12

Ingredients

For the sponge

  • 175 g Butter or baking spread
  • 175 g Caster sugar
  • 3 Eggs large
  • 175 g Self raising flour
  • 2 tsp Prosecco extract

For the buttercream

  • 400 g Icing sugar
  • 200 g Butter or baking spread
  • 2 tsp Prosecco extract

Decoration & Filling

  • 12 Fresh strawberries
  • 200 g Strawberry Jam
  • Gold star sprinkles optional

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, and line a muffin tin with cupcake cases

  2. To make the sponge, creamed together the butter and caster sugar using a wooden or silicone spoon until fully combined and fluffy

  3. Add the eggs and prosecco extract, and whisk everything together until smooth

  4. Whisk in the flour until fully mixed in

  5. Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases

  6. Baked them for 20 minutes, or until golden and a thin skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let them cool fully

  7. Use a cupcake corer or a knife to make a hole in the centre of each cake, then fill the holes with the strawberry jam

  8. To make the buttercream, mix together the icing sugar, butter and prosecco extract until smooth. Put into a piping bag fitted with your chosen nozzle and pipe it on top of each cupcake

  9. Add the fresh strawberries and gold star sprinkles on top and you are ready to party!

You can find more of my Cupcake recipes by clicking here!

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Amarula, Chocolate & Caramel Cake

Amarula, Chocolate & Caramel Cake

I reviewed a recipe book recently called Lola’s A Cake Journey Around The World and as part of my review I made an Amarula Cake from the book. I really enjoyed it as it contained some of my favourite flavours – chocolate, caramel and whipped cream. Plus I also have a new love for Amarula! It’s similar to Baileys in that it’s a cream liquor, but it’s made with a fruit from South Africa called the marula fruit. I really wanted to make the Amarula cake again but I wanted to amp it up and really make it indulgent and special, so this Amarula, Chocolate & Caramel Cake was created!

Jump straight to the recipe!

I started by mixing the cocoa powder with boiling water, then left it to cool. In a different bowl I whisked up the eggs, caster sugar and vegetable oil with an electric hand whisk until it was frothy. I added the cocoa powder mixture and whisked it in.

Then I added the self raising flour, baking powder and some Amarula and folded it in. I separated the mixture into three 22cm cake tins and baked on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 25 minutes.

Then I made the buttercream by mixing together the baking spread, Amarula and icing sugar. I stacked up the sponges, drizzling Amarula on each sponge before spreading them with some buttercream.

I covered the sponge in a base coat of buttercream and put it in the fridge for 1 hour to set.

Then I took it out and covered it again with the rest of the buttercream and I smoothed it out as best I could.

To decorate the Amarula cake I carefully piped blobs of the caramel on the edge of the cake, then covered the whole top of the cake with a thin layer of the caramel. I whipped up the double cream with some Amarula and icing sugar and piped it around the edges. I added bronze sprinkles and white chocolate stars in the centre, then cut some chocolate squares I got from The Chocolate Trading Co into triangles and stuck them into the cream. Finally a spritz of gold glitter finished it off! Of course, you can decorate the Amarula Cake any way you like.

This Amarula cake was everything I had dreamed of! Rich chocolate sponge, sticky caramel drizzle and sweet buttercream with Amarula flavour. It would make a fabulous cake for a celebration, or the ultimate way to treat yourself!

   

I’m linking this cake up with Cook Blog Share hosted this month by Hijacked By Twins, and We Should Cocoa hosted by Tin & Thyme.

 

Amarula, Chocolate & Caramel Cake

Servings 12 slices

Ingredients

For the sponge

  • 120 g Cocoa powder
  • 250 ml Boiling water
  • 6 Eggs large
  • 440 g Caster sugar
  • 120 ml Vegetable Oil
  • 500 g Self raising flour
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • A pinch of Salt
  • 5 tbsp Amarula

For the buttercream

  • 4 tbsp Amarula
  • 900 g Icing sugar
  • 450 g Baking spread

For decoration

  • 150 g Carnation Caramel
  • 200 ml Double cream
  • 3 tbsp Amarula
  • 2 tbsp Icing sugar
  • Sprinkles of your choice

Instructions

  1. Mix the cocoa powder with the boiling water and leave to cool

  2. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric or hand whisk to mix the eggs, caster sugar and vegetable oil until frothy. Then, add the cocoa powder mixture and whisk it in
  3. Gently fold in the self raising flour, baking powder, salt and 2 tbsp of the Amarula
  4. Separate the mixture into three greased and lined 22cm cake tins and bake on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 25 minutes (check they are done by inserting a skewer or thin knife into the centre, it should come out clean). Remove from the tins and leave them on cooling racks to cool completely

  5. To make the buttercream mix together the baking spread, Amarula and icing sugar until smooth

  6. Stack up the sponges, drizzling 1 tbsp Amarula on each sponge before spreading them with some of the buttercream
  7. Cover the cake in a base coat of buttercream and put it in the fridge for 1 hour to set
  8. Cover the cake with the rest of the buttercream and smooth it out as best you can using a palette knife or scraper
  9. Put the Carnation Caramel into a piping bag and carefully pipe blobs on the edge of the cake so it drips down. Then cover the whole top of the cake with a thin layer of the caramel
  10. Whip up the double cream along with the Amarula and the icing sugar, pipe it around the edges of the cake

  11. Add sprinkles in the centre of the cake, and chocolate decorations as desired

You can find more of my Cake recipes by clicking here!

Amarula Cake

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Plum & Limoncello Tart: GBBO Week #6

Plum & Limoncello Tart: GBBO Week #6
Before I start with my review of this week’s episode of The Great British Bake Off, you may recognise this Plum & Limoncello Tart if you follow my blog as I already posted it back in May. I am having to cheat a bit with my GBBO challenge this week because… I’m going to Hong Kong today!! So I obviously don’t have time to bake anything, and this tart was the closest thing to what the bakers made this week. Hopefully I can still catch up on GBBO when I’m away on iPlayer, and I’ll post reviews on the next couple of episodes when I’m back. Anyway, on to the review…

Jump straight to the recipe!

It was pastry week on the Bake Off and the signature challenge for the bakers was to make a frangipane tart, which involved making shortcrust pastry. The tarts had to be open topped, which meant lots of pretty patterns with fruit on top. Paul warned the bakers not to overwork the pastry, and Mary warned against getting a soggy bottom!

Both Paul and Tamal went for Christmas flavoured tarts. Paul’s had pears poached in orange and cinnamon, and Tamal’s had pears poached in mulled wine. They both got great feedback from the judges! Ian used his guinea fowl eggs to make a pear and raspberry frangipane, however the judges thought it needed glazing and the pastry was not crispy enough. Alvin had a big disaster due to timing issues and his tart was not cooked when the judges tried it.

Mat made a pina colada tart, which I thought sounded so fun! And I loved how he made the pineapple look like the sun on top of the tart. The judges thought it looked good, but they couldn’t taste the rum! Not everyone blind baked their tarts, which I thought was dangerous behaviour. I always blind bake for big tarts like this. It seemed to me like some of the bakers weren’t actually that experienced with pastry as some of them seemed confused about blind baking, and when to trim the pastry.

The technical this week was pretty bizarre! They were asked to make flaounas, which are a Cypriot pastry with a cheese and sultana filling. They have two very weird ingredients in them: mastic, which is hardened reisin from a tree and is used to flavour various foods in Greece and Cyprus. And mahlepi, which is a spice made from ground up cherry stones. The Greeks add it to breads. Strange stuff! Of course Paul did not give the bakers much help at all and even Mary, who hadn’t heard of flaounas either, said he was being totally unfair (but she still grinned evilly with him).

The pastry had yeast in it, so the bakers all got confused and didn’t know whether to knead it or not. The next confusing step was how they should look and they all folded them differently. Everyone was looking around in desperation to see what everyone else was doing, but none of them had a clue! Paul laughed as soon as he approached the gingham altar, most of them were well made, but they just didn’t look like they were meant too. Tamal was 7th, Alvin 6th, Paul 5th, Nadiya 4th, Ian 3rd, Flora 2nd and Mat won!

The showstopper this week was the 80s classic dinner party canape – vol-au-vents! The bakers had to make their own puff pastry from scratch, make two different fillings, and make 24 of each kind. Paul was looking for a good rise, for them to be nice and straight and equally golden. Mary wanted to see beautiful layers in the pastry and for them to be well filled. Thinking about making any pastry besides shortcrust from scratch makes me feel tired as it’s so time consuming, I really feel for the bakers during challenges like this! Tamal made a pulled pork vol-au-vent that was inspired by a sandwich he’d had that he said was one of the top two sandwiches of his life, his other flavour was spicy chicken and coriander. They were a bit pale and topsy turvy according to Mary, but both of the judges adored his fillings.

 

Ian went a bit fishy with some squid ink, bacon and scallop vol au vents. His wife didn’t like the filling and neither did Paul and Mary. His pastry had risen well and they did really like his mushroom ones. Flora made chocolate puff pastry vol-au-vents filled with ganache, as well as savoury asparagus and parma ham. The judges loved both the appearance and flavours. She is certainly good at presentation and making all of her bakes look very attractive.

 

Mat was definitely the vol-au-vent star with his full english breakfast and smoked trout filled delights. Paul said the lamination, shape and bake were all perfect, the flavours were gorgeous and well thought out. Mary loved the runny egg in the english breakfast vol-au-vent. Paul wasn’t so lucky as the judges said his garlic and chilli prawn with risotto vol-au-vents were underbaked and his sweet vol-au-vents with creme pat, raspberry coulis and cream looked ‘hideous’. I thought they looked really pretty!

Nadiya made bengali korma and cod and clementine vol-au-vents. She had problems with her first batch of pastry so she made another batch, which put her behind on time. She ended up presenting them ‘deconstructed’ to the judges. They absolutely loved her fillings though! Alvin made chicken ala king and smoked salmon encroute. Unfortunately his pastry was raw, but they liked his fillings. He was so sweet apologising to the judges for his mistake.

It makes me very sad to say that Alvin left this week. I absolutely love him, he is such a sweetheart and seems like the most lovely man. As much as I love him, I do think it was the right decision as he did not have a great week. Mat won star baker which was really nice and he definitely deserved it for those vol-au-vents! Next week looks like another change from the normal theme with old fashioned techniques, recipes from the past and Victorian bakes.

As I mentioned at the start of this post, I have no time to bake anything from this week’s episode as I’m going on holiday! So I’m re-posting this Plum & Limoncello Tart from back in May, but it’s pretty yummy so I hope you don’t mind. I love baking with plums as it makes them extra juicy and delicious. And I guarantee this tart will really delight your friends and family if it’s presented at the end of a meal.

For the pastry I stuck with a recipe for shortcrust pastry that always works for me. I rubbed butter into the flour, I then added in eggs and mixed until a dough formed. I wrapped it in cling film and chilled it in the fridge.

After the pastry had been chilled I rolled it out onto some cling film, this makes it so much easier to lift and line the tin with.

I lined a 28cm diameter loose bottomed tart tin with the pastry and peeled off the cling film.

I lined the pastry with baking paper, then filled it with baking beans and baked for 15 mins.

Then I removed the baking beans and baking paper and put the pastry back in the oven for another 10 minutes until the pastry was fully cooked on the bottom.

I cut up 8 plums into thin wedges and arranged them in the pastry base. They do shift during baking and when the custard is poured in, but I liked the effect of having them arranged.

I made the custard while the pastry was baking by whisking together the zest and juice of lemons, double cream, ground almonds, melted butter, eggs and golden caster sugar. I whisked it well, then gently stirred in limoncello.

Then I placed the pastry with the plums in onto the oven shelf, then poured the custard in. I baked it on for 25 minutes until the custard was set, but still had a slight wobble.

Once it was cooled fully, I dusted it with icing sugar. I was really pleased with how the Plum & Limoncello Tart turned out, and I love the effect of the plums on top and their vibrant colour.

The juicy plums were a perfect accompaniment to the nutty sweet custard. The Plum & Limoncello Tart went down a storm when I took it into work, it was a rather large tart and disappeared very quickly! It would be a perfect tart on a sunny
day, or you could warm it up with some custard.

Plum & Limoncello Tart

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 350 g Plain flour
  • 170 g Butter
  • 2 Eggs large

For the filling

  • 5 Eggs large
  • 6-8 Plums
  • 2 Lemons
  • 4 tbsp Double cream
  • 100 g Ground almonds
  • 100 g Butter melted
  • 100 g Golden caster sugar
  • 8 tbsp Limoncello
  • Icing sugar to dust

Instructions

  1. To make the pastry, rub the butter into the plain flour. Add the eggs and mix until a dough forms. Wrap it in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes

  2. Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4

  3. Roll the pastry out onto some cling film, then line a 28cm diameter loose bottomed tart tin with it
  4. Line the pastry with baking paper, then add baking beans and bake for 15 mins

  5. Remove the baking beans and baking paper, put the pastry back in the oven for another 10 minutes until fully cooked on the bottom
  6. Cut the plums into thin wedges and arrange them in the pastry base
  7. Make the custard by whisking together the zest and juice of the lemons, the double cream, the ground almonds, the melted butter, the eggs and the golden caster sugar. Whisk it well, then gently stir in the limoncello

  8. Place the pastry with the arranged plums in onto the oven shelf, then pour the custard in. Bake it for 25 minutes until the custard is set, but still has a slight wobble

  9. Once it is cooled fully, dust it with icing sugar

Recipe from BBC Good Food.

You can find more of my Pastry recipes by clicking here!

Mini Black Forest Cakes: GBBO Season Six Begins!

Mini Black Forest Cakes: GBBO Season Six Begins!
My favourite baking show was back on TV last week and I was excited as always to see who the new bakers were and what challenges they would be faced with. I actually applied for GBBO this year, but when they called me I turned into a bit of a bumbling idiot and rushed my answers. I think the excitement and nerves got to me! If I decide to apply again next year, I will definitely be remembering to calm down and take my time.

Jump straight to the recipe!

There is a real variety amongst the bakers this year in terms of backgrounds and experience, we’ve got a prison officer that likes to make sugarcraft flowers, an anaesthetist that likes to inject his cakes, and a body building Lithuanian woman. I think this year is going to be a lot of fun!

For the first challenge the bakers were asked to make a Madeira Cake. A very simple cake, of which Mary is a huge fan. She wanted to see a dome on the cake with a crack in the middle, and didn’t want the bakers to stray too far from the classic flavours as it can’t be beaten in her eyes.

Madeira Cake is traditionally flavoured with lemon and a lot of the bakers opted for citrus fruits for flavouring, as well as making candied peel to decorate. Ugne paired lemon with thyme, Nadia paired orange with cardamom, and Ian paired lime with rum and ginger – all with varying results! Paul and Mary were not pulling any punches with their judging in the first round.

For the technical bake the bakers were asked to make Mary’s classic Walnut Cake. For me this was horrifying as I can’t stand walnuts! It was also pretty complicated for a first time technical. They had to make sure the walnut pieces were evenly distributed throughout the sponge, that the frosting was spread in an even layer all over the cake, and they had to caramelise sugar to dip walnuts in for the decoration. Caramelising sugar can be tricky, my first time doing it was a disaster!

Alvin and Stu both had a lot of trouble making caramel, Nadia didn’t ice her whole cake, and several of the bakers had problems with grainy frosting. Stu and Nadia came bottom, Marie came third, Alvin second and Ugne first.

The final showstopper challenge was a Black Forest Gateau. Mary wanted to see something special which included chocolate work. Paul wanted a light sponge, chocolate in particular.

Stu got a bit controversial by using beetroot in his sponge. Ian decided to show off his macaron skills. Tamal made a tempered chocolate collar for his cake and several of the bakers made chocolate tree decorations. I was really impressed by everyone’s skills and creativity. If this is the standard already, I’m excited to see what else they come up with as the series progresses.

Dorret had a disaster with her chocolate mousse as it did not set, she was very upset but Sue did an excellent job of comforting her. I bet the camera crew had a great time devouring all 12 cakes once filming finished! Marie won star baker this week. I’ve heard some ‘controversy’ recently about her having professional training, however upon further research I found out she did one pastry course back in 1984… So I think we can let her off with that!

The first baker to leave us was Stu. I felt really bad for him as he is clearly a very talented baker who just had a bit of bad luck. He was perhaps a bit too alternative for Mary and Paul! Check out his blog The Alternative Kitchen. Next week is biscuit week!

I decided to make Mini Black Forest Cakes this week for my bake along, however I miniaturised them! I’ve never made anything Black Forest before and I really don’t know why not. I mean, chocolate, alcohol, cream and cherries – bliss!

So I headed to Aldi to get my ingredients for this bake as they contacted me recently to let me know about their selection of baking ingredients. I used to shop there a lot in the past, but I don’t get the chance much these days. Which is something I need to remedy as their baking ingredients are great quality and such a bargain! I particularly like the cupcake cases.

To start I whisked together eggs and caster sugar.

I whisked for 5 minutes until the mixture grew in size and was pale and thick.

I gently folded in self raising flour and cocoa powder that I sieved first. Finally I folded in melted butter.

I poured the mixture into a lined tray, any baking tray with a lip will work, but a Swiss Roll tray would be perfect.

I baked the sponge for 12 minutes, then I turned it out onto a cooling rack to cool down completely.

Once fully cool I cut out discs using a 7cm diameter cutter. I got enough for 7 mini cakes.

I brushed kirsch over the cake half that would be the bottom layer, which is cherry liquor, and I found this bottle in Tesco.

Next I whipped up double cream and piped it onto the bottom half of the cakes.

Then I sliced some cherries in half and put three halves onto each cream topped cake.

I brushed the underside of the top layer of cake with a bit more kirsch then placed it on top. Then I piped on more cream, sprinkled over some grated dark chocolate and placed a cherry in the middle.

I was really impressed with the final look of the Mini Black Forest Cakes! I took them along to a family meal and everyone loved them and commented on how professional they looked. I devoured mine and could’ve eaten another easily! The sponge is so light and the cherries, which were from Aldi, were gorgeously juicy. I had a few problems with some of the Mini Black Forest Cakes being a bit wonky, I think extra cream on top of the cherries in the middle would’ve helped the sponge stick to it more. I’ll also add more kirsch next time as I think it could’ve been stronger, but that depends on personal taste.

Mini Black Forest Cakes

Servings 7

Ingredients

  • 5 Eggs large
  • 140 g Caster sugar
  • 100 g Self raising flour
  • 25 g Cocoa powder
  • 25 g Butter melted
  • 50 ml Kirsch
  • 200 ml Double cream
  • 21 Fresh cherries
  • 6 blocks of Dark chocolate

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, grease and line a swiss roll tin or baking tray with a lip

  2. Whisk together the eggs and caster sugar with an electric hand mixer, whisk for 5 minutes until the mixture grows in size and is pale and thick
  3. Sieve the self raising flour and cocoa powder then gently fold it in. Then fold in the melted butter
  4. Pour the mixture into the tin

  5. Bake the sponge for 12 minutes. Turn it out onto a cooling rack to cool down completely

  6. Once fully cool, cut out discs using a 7cm diameter cutter. Brush the kirsch over the cakes
  7. Whip up the double cream and pipe it onto the bottom half of the cakes
  8. Slice the cherries in half and put three halves onto each cream topped cake
  9. Put the other pieces of cake on top. Pipe on more cream, sprinkle over some grated dark chocolate and place a cherry in the middle

NB. Aldi supplied me with the ingredients for this post, but all opinions are my own. Recipe from BBC Good Food

You can find more of my Cake recipes by clicking here!

Pimms Cupcakes

Pimms Cupcakes
I joined my local WI (Women’s Institute) at the beginning of the year as I wanted to meet some new people in my local area. I’ve been attending the meetings every month and I’ve been really enjoying it. So far I’ve listened to the author Rosie Garland read passages from her book out in a entrancing theatrical style, I’ve heard a former sex worker who turned her life around and is now studying for a degree tell her personal journey, and I’ve been inspired by women in business giving advice from their life experiences. It’s been an interesting few months! I decided to bake for this month’s meeting and as the theme was sport and Wimbledon is happening at the moment, Pimms Cupcakes immediately popped in my head!

Jump straight to the recipe!

I decided to use some dried fruit inside the batter so I cut up dried apple and dried strawberry.

Then I mixed together butter and caster sugar. I added eggs, and the zest of 1 orange, 1 lime and 1 lemon.

Finally I added self raising flour, the chopped dried fruit and mint leaves chopped very finely.

I baked the cupcakes for 20 minutes.

To decorate I made icing using butter, Pimms and icing sugar. I piped it on using a piping bag and nozzle.

I used paper straws, strawberries cut in half and mint leaves to finish the decoration. I thought the Pimms Cupcakes looked really cute!

The Pimms Cupcakes disappeared fast at the WI meeting and at the end of the meeting I won a bottle of faux Pimms for my efforts! I was embarrassed, but pleased of course!

Pimms Cupcakes

Servings 18

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • 60 g Dried apple chopped up
  • 90 g Dried strawberry chopped up
  • 245 g Butter or baking spread
  • 245 g Caster sugar
  • 4 Eggs large
  • 1 Orange Zest only
  • 1 Lemon Zest only
  • 1 Lime Zest only
  • 6 Mint leaves chopped up
  • 245 g Self raising flour

For the buttercream

  • 1 1/2 tsp Pimms
  • 160 g Butter or baking spread
  • 400 g Icing sugar

For decoration

  • 20 Mint leaves
  • 8-10 Fresh strawberries

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 and line a cupcake tin with paper cases

  2. Mix together the butter and caster sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, and the zest of the orange, lime and lemon and whisk in well

  3. Whisk in the self raising flour, the chopped dried fruit and the mint leaves

  4. Divide the mixture between the cupcakes cases, and bake them for 20-25 minutes until then are golden brown. Put them on a rack to cool completely

  5. For the buttercream mix the butter, the Pimms and the icing sugar together. Pipe it onto the cupcakes using a piping bag and nozzle

  6. Decorate with paper straws, strawberries cut in half and mint leaves

You can find more of my Cupcake recipes by clicking here!

Plum & Limoncello Tart

Plum & Limoncello Tart
I actually made this Plum & Limoncello Tart a couple of weeks ago, but I just got back from a holiday and have finally got round to sharing it with you! Plums are in season right now and I find that baking them makes them even more juicy and delicious. This is a fairly simple tart recipe that will really delight your friends and family if it’s presented at the end of a meal.

Jump straight to the recipe!

For the pastry I stuck with a recipe for shortcrust pastry that always works for me. I rubbed butter into the flour, I then added in eggs and mixed until a dough formed. I wrapped it in cling film and chilled it in the fridge.

After the pastry had been chilled I rolled it out onto some cling film, this makes it so much easier to lift and line the tin with.

I lined a 28cm diameter loose bottomed tart tin with the pastry and peeled off the cling film.

I lined the pastry with baking paper, then filled it with baking beans and baked for 15 mins.

Then I removed the baking beans and baking paper and put the pastry back in the oven for another 10 minutes until the pastry was fully cooked on the bottom.

I cut up 8 plums into thin wedges and arranged them in the pastry base. They do shift during baking and when the custard is poured in, but I liked the effect of having them arranged.

I made the custard while the pastry was baking by whisking together the zest and juice of lemons, double cream, ground almonds, melted butter, eggs and golden caster sugar. I whisked it well, then gently stirred in limoncello.

Then I placed the pastry with the plums in onto the oven shelf, then poured the custard in. I baked it for 25 minutes until the custard was set, but still had a slight wobble.

Once it was cooled fully, I dusted the Plum & Limoncello Tart with icing sugar. I was really pleased with how it turned out, and I love the effect of the plums on top and their vibrant colour.

The juicy plums were a perfect accompaniment to the nutty sweet custard. The Plum & Limoncello Tart went down a storm when I took it into work, it was a rather large tart and disappeared very quickly! It would be a perfect tart on a sunny day, or you could warm it up with some custard.


Plum & Limoncello Tart

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 350 g Plain flour
  • 170 g Butter
  • 2 Eggs large

For the filling

  • 5 Eggs large
  • 6-8 Plums
  • 2 Lemons
  • 4 tbsp Double cream
  • 100 g Ground almonds
  • 100 g Butter melted
  • 100 g Golden caster sugar
  • 8 tbsp Limoncello
  • Icing sugar to dust

Instructions

  1. To make the pastry, rub the butter into the plain flour. Add the eggs and mix until a dough forms. Wrap it in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes

  2. Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4

  3. Roll the pastry out onto some cling film, then line a 28cm diameter loose bottomed tart tin with it
  4. Line the pastry with baking paper, then add baking beans and bake for 15 mins

  5. Remove the baking beans and baking paper, put the pastry back in the oven for another 10 minutes until fully cooked on the bottom
  6. Cut the plums into thin wedges and arrange them in the pastry base
  7. Make the custard by whisking together the zest and juice of the lemons, the double cream, the ground almonds, the melted butter, the eggs and the golden caster sugar. Whisk it well, then gently stir in the limoncello

  8. Place the pastry with the arranged plums in onto the oven shelf, then pour the custard in. Bake it for 25 minutes until the custard is set, but still has a slight wobble

  9. Once it is cooled fully, dust it with icing sugar

Recipe from BBC Good Food.

You can find more of my Pastry recipes by clicking here!

Limoncello Cheesecake Squares

Limoncello Cheesecake Squares
It may only be March, but these Limoncello Cheesecake Squares bring a touch of summer to the season! I love the bright yellow of lemon, it’s so cheery. And it goes perfectly with creamy soft cheese. I had some leftover Limoncello after making a Raspberry & Limoncello Tart last month, so I wanted to incorporate it into my baking again. This recipe is really easy to follow and quick to make, which is definitely a bonus. The only struggle is waiting for it to cool before you tuck in!

Jump straight to the recipe!

I used a food processor to crush digestive biscuits into crumbs. You could also put them in a bag and bash with a rolling pin. I mixed in the zest of half a lemon (the other half of the lemon zest will be used later).

I melted butter, mixed it into the biscuits, and pressed the mixture into a greased and lined baking tray.

I baked it for 10 minutes, then left it to cool completely.

Next I whisked up ricotta cheese and cream cheese. I then whisked in caster sugar.

I added limoncello, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and eggs and mixed in well.

Then I poured the cheesecake into the baking tray over the cooked crust.

I baked it for 30 minutes. It still had a slight ‘wobble’ to it.

Once the Limoncello Cheesecake Squares were fully cool I removed from the tin and cut into squares, I decorated them with a slice of lemon. I stored them in the fridge to keep them fresh. They went down really well with my colleagues and I got some great comments on the flavour!


Limoncello Cheesecake Squares

Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 225 g Digestive biscuits
  • 2 Lemons
  • 85 g Butter
  • 340 g Ricotta cheese
  • 225 g Cream cheese
  • 225 g Caster sugar
  • 115 ml Limoncello
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 4 Eggs large

Instructions

  1. Grease and line a 12" x 9" tin, pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 

  2. Use a food processor to crush the digestive biscuits into crumbs. Then mix in the zest of half of one of the lemons
  3. Melt the butter, mix it into the biscuit crumbs, and press the mixture into a greased and lined baking tray
  4. Bake it for 10 minutes, then leave it to cool completely

  5. Whisk the ricotta cheese, cream cheese and caster sugar together
  6. Add the limoncello, vanilla extract, the zest of 1 1/2 of the lemons, and the eggs (add one egg at a time) and mix in well
  7. Pour the cheesecake mixture into the baking tray over the cooked crust. Bake it for 30 minutes

  8. Once fully cool, remove from the tin and cut into squares, decorate with half a slice of lemon. Store them in the fridge to keep them fresh

Recipe slightly adapted from Liv Life.

You can find more of my Cheesecake recipes by clicking here!

Raspberry & Limoncello Tart

Raspberry & Limoncello Tart
I am getting a lot of use of my new Tarte Maison tin! I decided to use it again after it’s first Spinach & Feta Tart outing to make this Valentine’s themed dessert. Valentine’s Day can be quite cheesy I admit, but I personally love it! Celebrating love and being romantic is lovely and I think ‘why not?!’ You can enjoy the day whether single or loved up in my opinion, we all have loved ones we can shower with affection. Over the years my friends have been kind enough to send me cards, flowers and baked goods. And I’ve done the same back. Now I have a wonderful boyfriend to focus my affection on, but I still like to surprise my friends with a fun card or Valentine’s treat. This Raspberry & Limoncello Tart would be great to share between friends or enjoy as dessert with a romantic meal.

Jump straight to the recipe!

I started by making the filling. In a bowl I mixed together fresh raspberries, sugar, cornflour, limoncello and the zest of one lemon. I let it sit to infuse together while I made the pastry.

To make the pastry I used the same method and amounts from my Pumpkin Pie recipe. This is my favourite shortcrust pastry recipe, it does make a little too much but don’t worry I have a great idea for the leftovers later on.

I greased my tin and lined it with the pastry, cutting off any excess and pricking the bottom with a fork. I then put baking paper in the pastry and poured in some baking beans. It baked for 10-15 minutes until the pastry started to brown around the edges.

I took the paper and baking beans out and baked it again for 5-10 minutes until the bottom looked fully cooked.

I measured out the lid and cut heart shapes in it. Of course you can do the lid any way you like, lattice works well too.

I filled the pastry base with filling. Then put the pastry lid on top, which was a bit fiddly as the filling is very wet, but I got it on and sealed the edges with beaten egg, then brushed beaten egg all over the pastry lid.

I baked the Raspberry & Limoncello Tart for 20-25 minutes until it was golden brown. The lid did split from the sides at either end, which was partly my fault as I think I could’ve sealed it better, but I was still really pleased with the heart effect!

When cut, the filling was much more solid, almost like a jelly or jam. The filling was fruity, sweet and delicious. The Raspberry & Limoncello Tart is great with custard and I think would also work well with ice cream! You could do mini versions too if you didn’t want to make a large tart.

I did have a little leftover pastry and filling, so I made these cute Heart Shaped Hand Pies. All you need to do is roll the pastry out and cut out heart shapes. Lay them on a lined baking tray, put a spoonful of filling in the middle and cover with another piece of pastry. Seal the edges with a fork and cut a slit or cross in the middle. Bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for about 20 minutes.

Raspberry & Limoncello Tart

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 2 Egg large
  • 350 g Plain flour
  • 170 g Butter
  • 1 Beaten egg for glaxing

For the filling

  • 450 g Fresh raspberries
  • 200 g Caster sugar
  • 60 g Cornflour
  • 60 ml Limoncello
  • 1 Lemon

Instructions

  1. Start by making the filling. In a bowl mix together the fresh raspberries, caster sugar, cornflour, limoncello and the zest of the lemon. Let it sit to infuse together while you make the pastry
  2. To make the pastry rub together the plain flour and butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the eggs until a dough forms. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes
  3. Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4

  4. Grease the tin and line it with the pastry, cutting off any excess and pricking the bottom with a fork. Put baking paper in the pastry and pour in some baking beans. Bake it for 10-15 minutes

  5. Take the paper and baking beans out and bake it again for 5-10 minutes
  6. Measure out the lid and cut heart shapes in it
  7. Fill the pastry base with filling. Then put the pastry lid on top, and seal the edges with the beaten egg, then brush the beaten egg all over the pastry lid
  8. Bake the tart for 20-25 minutes until golden brown

You can find more of my Tart recipes by clicking here!

Chocolate Roulade with Baileys Cream

Chocolate Roulade with Baileys Cream

The Christmas season is here and I am loving it! Mostly because I made this Chocolate Roulade with Baileys Cream! I saw the fabulous Mary Berry make this at the BBC Good Food Bakes & Cakes Show back in 2014 and the whole audience was drooling. Although her original recipe doesn’t feature any Baileys, at the show she put a good glug of it into the cream and I thought it sounded delicious. When I was invited over for dinner at a friend’s house I took this over for dessert, much to everyone’s delight! It’s also naturally gluten free, so it’s a fabulous dessert for your coeliac friends too!

Jump straight to the recipe!

To start I whisked up the egg yolks and caster sugar until thick and creamy.

Then I whisked up the egg whites until stiff peaks formed.

  

I added melted chocolate into the egg yolk mixture. Then I mixed in one tablespoon of the egg whites. I folded in the rest of the egg whites gently, and then the cocoa powder.

I poured the mixture into a lined baking tray. If you have a swiss roll tin you can use that, but I just used a regular baking tray. It baked for 20 minutes and I left it to cool in the tin.

  

When it was completely cool I whipped up the double cream with icing sugar and Baileys. I tipped the sponge out onto a piece of baking paper dusted with icing sugar. Then I spread the cream over it, leaving a little gap at the end.

Chocolate Roulade with Baileys Cream

I gently rolled the sponge up. It will crack, this is meant to happen and also makes a nice effect! The Chocolate Roulade with Baileys Cream is so light and delicious, the sponge has a great fudgey texture and the hit of Baileys in the cream adds festive decadence.


Chocolate Roulade with Baileys Cream

Servings 8

Ingredients

For the roulade

  • 175 g Dark chocolate melted
  • 175 g Caster sugar
  • 6 Eggs large, separated
  • 2 tbsp Cocoa powder sieved
  • Icing sugar to dust

For the Baileys cream

  • 275 ml Double cream
  • 2-3 tbsp Baileys
  • 1 tbsp Icing sugar

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, and line a swiss roll tin or large baking tray with a lip with baking paper.

  2. Melt the dark chocolate in a glass bowl over water, or in the microwave. If melting in the microwave make sure to use a microwave safe bowl, start with a 30 second blast, stir the chocolate, then continue with 10 second blasts stirring in between until melted

  3. Whisk up the yolks of the eggs and the caster sugar until thick and creamy
  4. Use an electric food mixer or electric hand whisk to whisk up the whites from the eggs until stiff peaks form

  5. Whisk the melted chocolate into the egg yolk mixture
  6. Fold in half of the egg whites, then add the rest and fold in gently

  7. Finally fold in the sieved cocoa powder

  8. Pour the mixture into the baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes then leave to cool in the tin

  9. Whip up the double cream with the ciing sugar and the Baileys

  10. Tip the sponge out onto a piece of baking paper dusted with icing sugar and spread the cream over it, leave about a 2 cm space at one end of the sponge

  11. Gently roll the sponge up starting with the cream filled end, don't worry if it cracks as it is supposed to. Trim the ends with a sereated knife for a neater finish. Dust it with more icing sugar if you like

  12. Serve immediately, store leftovers in the fridge and eat within 2 days

You can find more of my Dessert recipes by clicking here!

Chocolate Roulade with Baileys Cream

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