Treat Petite November 2015 – Round Up

Treat Petite November 2015 – Round Up
This month’s Treat Petite was all about Autumn and baking anything you felt fitted in with this time of year. That meant lots of caramel and apple flavoured bakes, which set me drooling! Enjoy browsing through the bakes below and don’t forget to visit the blogs if you like the look of them…

Toffee Apple Muffins from The More Than Occassional Baker, I think these flavours perfectly sum up Autumn!

Parkin Cupcakes with Toffee Buttercream & Popping Candy from me! I wanted to jazz parkin up a bit this year and the popping candy is to represent fireworks.

Ginger Bonfire Cupcakes from The More Than Occassional Baker, such a fun bonfire bake, perfect for Guy Fawkes Night.

Delicious Alchemy Dairy & Gluten Free Oaty Cookies from Caroline Makes… these came in a simple to make pack and are both dairy and gluten free.

Salted Caramel Apple Cupcakes from Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary, these look absolutely gorgeous!

Apple & Sultana Strudel Biscuits from Belleau Kitchen, I would want to dive into these when they were warm straight out of the oven.

Strawberry Marshmallow Fluff Cookies from Tin & Thyme. I’ve had fluff before but never thought of using it in cookies.

Prehistoric Cinnamon & Vanilla Cookies from Family Friends Food. Cinnamon is such an ideal flavour for Autumn.

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallows from my co-host Cakeyboi. They were actually made in a multi cooker and I love the toasted marshmallow topping.

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins (Gluten Free) from The Gluten Free Alchemist. These look stunning!

Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies from The More Than Occassional Baker. They look so crispy and I can just dream of biting into one of these and enjoying the yummy filling!

Check out Cakeyboi for next month’s challenge!

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Parkin Cupcakes with Toffee Buttercream & Popping Candy

Parkin Cupcakes with Toffee Buttercream & Popping Candy
As the nights are drawing in much earlier I’m starting to get in the mood for Autumn and everything that comes along with it. One of those things are fireworks. I absolutely love how they light up the sky and enchant you. Every year my dad and stepmum host a bonfire party at their house. This involves a huge bonfire in their garden, setting off fireworks, and most importantly eating homemade hot pot and parkin, the latter of which I like to bring along. I decided to jazz up my parkin this year by adding sweet toffee buttercream, and to represent the fireworks I’ve garnished them with popping candy chocolate and a sprinkle of gold edible glitter. The best thing is they are so simple to make and they will delight people of all ages!

To make the cupcakes I used my tried and tested Parkin recipe which I’ve made in the past as a tray bake. I filled 12 cupcake cases with the mixture but I reckon it could be stretched out to 16 as I was quite generous.

I baked the cupcakes on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 25 minutes, then let them cool. Parkin tastes best after being stored for a few days in an air tight container, so I made these cupcakes a couple of days before decorating and eating them. You don’t have to do this, but it is recommended for developing the flavour.

I melted 250g dark chocolate and poured it onto a lined baking tray to create a thin layer of chocolate. I sprinkled popping candy all over it.

I made the buttercream from 220g butter, 440g icing sugar and 2 tsp caramel extract. I piped it onto the cupcakes using a piping bag and nozzle.

I broke the chocolate into shards and stuck it into the buttercream. I also sprinkled the cupcakes with some gold edible glitter for extra sparkle!

Just for fun I stuck a cake sparkler into one of the cupcakes for a photo – how cool does it look?! I can’t wait to have a sparkler on bonfire night, write my name in the air with it, and then tuck into one of these cupcakes!

I am entering these into myself and Cakeyboi’s monthly challenge Treat Petite. This month’s theme is Autumn.

I am also entering them into Cook Blog Share hosted by Hijacked By Twins.

Charlotte's Lively Kitchen - Food Year Linkup

 

And into the Food Year Link Up hosted by Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen – these cupcakes are to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night.

Print

Parkin Cupcakes with Toffee Buttercream & Popping Candy

Ingredients

  • 100 g Butter
  • 100 g Soft brown sugar
  • 100 g Black treacle
  • 100 g Golden syrup
  • 150 g Oats
  • 150 g Plain flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1 tsp Mixed spice
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • A pinch of Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tbsp Milk
  • 250 g Dark chocolate
  • Popping candy
  • 220 g Butter
  • 440 g Icing sugar
  • 2 tsp Caramel extract
  • Gold edible glitter

Instructions

  1. In a pan on a low heat melt together the butter, soft brown sugar, black treacle and golden syrup. Don't let the mixture boil. Black treacle and golden syrup are very sticky and gloopy so put the pan on your scales and measure them directly into it
  2. In a large bowl mix together the oats, plain flour, baking powder, ground ginger, mixed spice, nutmeg and salt
  3. Pour the warm treacle mixture into the oat mixture and combine the ingredients with a spoon
  4. In a small bowl beat the eggs and milk. Add it bit by bit, mixing in well each time
  5. Bake the cupcakes on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 25 minutes, then let them cool. Parkin tastes best after being stored for a few days in an air tight container, so I made these cupcakes a couple of days before decorating and eating them. You don't have to do this, but it is recommended for developing the flavour
  6. Melt the dark chocolate and pour it onto a lined baking tray to create a thin layer of chocolate. Sprinkle popping candy all over it and leave to set
  7. Make the buttercream by mixing the butter, icing sugar and caramel extract together. Pipe it onto the cupcakes using a piping bag and nozzle
  8. Break the chocolate into shards and stick it into the buttercream. Sprinkle the cupcakes with some gold edible glitter for extra sparkle!
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Treat Petite October 2014 – Round Up

Treat Petite October 2014 – Round Up

Happy Halloween! The theme for this month’s Treat Petite was ‘Trick or Treat’, luckily all we got were plenty of treats! Read on for some fantasic baking ideas if you are in the kitchen this weekend…

Katie from Feeding Boys and a Firefighter started us off with two recipes. Toffee Apple Cupcakes and Pumpkin, Ginger & Orange Traybake. They are both delicious seasonal bakes that I am sure her family enjoyed!

Caroline Makes… entered these Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Cookies. She made these with goodies brought back from America by her boyfriend’s mum.

These spooky spiderweb cookies are Spiced Pumpkin Cookies from Corina at Searching For Spice. She made these using a home grown pumpkin!

Next up we have Gruesome Green Popcorn from my Treat Petite co-host Stuart at Cakeyboi. A fantastic simple idea which creates such a great effect!

Linzi from Lancashire Food made a Gingerbread Loaf. A classic comforting recipe perfect for this time of year. It’s definitely one of my favourites, although I have not seen it with sultanas in before. I’m going to have to try that next time!

You would never guess these pretty Roasted Beetroot & Raw Cacao Nib Cupcakes from Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary were so healthy! It’s a great way to get kids eating vegetables, and Elizabeth’s son loved these!

Wow aren’t these Halloween Chocolate Apples impressive?! Camilla from Fab Food 4 All sent these in. I love the spiderweb pattern it’s so cool!

These little beauties are Ginger & White Chocolate Hi Hat Cupcakes from Helen at Casa Costello. I’ve never heard of Hi Hats before, but buttercream frosting encased in chocolate sounds pretty good to me!

Kevin from The Crafty Larder sent in these gorgeously bright Spiced Pumpkin In A Jar. I love the presentation, they look so great in the jars so you can see the layers of the cake!

My Halloween bake this month were these Halloween Cupcakes. I did three designs; a brain, broken ‘glass’, and scratched cupcakes. I thought they looked pretty gruesome!

 

Dominic from Belleau Kitchen made these creepy looking Halloween Witches Eyeballs. They are actually sponge covered in chocolate ganache, not as scary as they look!

There are so many macarons around nowadays it’s nice to see some Macaroons for a change! These green macaroons from Keep Calm & Fanny On would make a perfect Halloween treat.

Laura from I’d Much Rather Bake Than… sent in these Mini Double Chocolate Pecan Pear Crumbles. She made them as a delicious surprise for her parents.

The sauce running over these Toffee Apple Cheesecakes from Something Sweet, Something Savoury makes them look so appetising!

Caroline Makes… was back for a second time with these Pumpkin Spice M&M Halloween Cookies. I’ve never heard of this flavour of M&M’s before, I must hunt some down!

I love these Halloween Two Tone Rose Red Velvet Cupcakes from Domestic Gothess. The icing is absolutely beautiful. Pretty, with a dark twist!

Eeek! I am not a fan of spiders but Kate at The Gluten Free Alchemist has managed to make these Halloween Cake Pop Spiders look a little less frightening. Don’t think my arachnophobia is quite cured just yet, but Kate is doing better than me!

 

The letters on these Spiced Honey Shortbread by Family Friends Food were stamped on using a letterpress cookie set. You can change the letters in the set to say anything you like, very clever! I love the cute pumpkin in the background too.

Ruth from Makey Cakey entered her Franken-Biscuits. These would be great for making with kids as they can get creative and make a scary Frankenstein face!

Ros from The More Than Occasional Baker sent in two spooky bakes. Pumpkin Pecan Roll with Maple Cinnamon Glaze, she doesn’t make bread often but when she does, she does it well! And
Spooky Ghost Cake Pops, I find cake pops difficult to make so I’m impressed with her efforts!

Another American style treat from Caroline Makes… with this Halloween Candy Corn Rocky Road. I love candy corn! It’s really yummy and I would love to try a piece of this.

The final bake for this month are these spooky Halloween Cake Pops from Helen at Casa Costello. They look brilliant and are really well decorated!

Wow such an amazing array of bakes this month. Thank you to everyone who got their spook on this month! Please check out the blogs above if a recipe takes your fancy. Look out for November’s theme announcement soon over on Cakeyboi.

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Gingerbread Bonfire Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce

Gingerbread Bonfire Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce
The night’s are drawing in and getter darker, which makes me feel excited for Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas, but damn does it make it difficult to get any natural light for my cake photos! Oh well, this cake is all about darkness anyway. Made with treacle, dark brown sugar and even some Guinness for good measure. It was described as ‘Bonfire Night in a cake’ by my lovely colleagues which is why I titled it appropriately. It really is the perfect cake for this time of year. Here’s how I made it…

I started with the salted caramel sauce as it needs time to cool and thicken up. In a pan I melted 57g Stork. Once melted I added 165g dark brown sugar and 175ml double cream. I kept stirring and let the sauce bubble for 5 minutes. I then added 2 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 salt. I poured it into a bowl and cooled it in the fridge. It took a good few hours to thicken up.

I baked the cake in a ring bundt tin, you can easily pick one up if you don’t have one. I greased it with butter and dusted with flour to ensure the cake didn’t stick.

In a bowl I whisked together 250ml Guinness (you could also use another dark stout), 340g black treacle, 165g dark brown sugar, 170ml vegetable oil and 3 large beaten eggs.

I sifted together 255g plain flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 2 tbsp ground ginger, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/2 tsp salt. I added this to the wet ingredients and mixed in.

I baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 45 minutes until it was a deep rich brown and a skewer came out clean.

Let it cool for 5 minutes then tip it out of the tin. If it doesn’t come out straight away, run a knife along the edges and around the middle ring. Leave to cool before smearing on the sauce and garnishing with some chopped crystallised ginger.

I ended up making this cake twice, one for the Macmillan Coffee Morning bake sale at work, and again for my colleagues as I got caught up in organising the bake sale and forget to take any photos the first time round! It was enjoyed both times and I even came second in the Bake Off competition we ran in conjuction with the bake sale. I was pretty pleased! It’s a really moist cake, full of warming smokey flavours and the rich caramel sauce is to die for!

Recipe slightly adapted from Chow.

Print

Gingerbread Bonfire Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce

Ingredients

  • 57 g Butter
  • 330 g Dark brown sugar
  • 175 ml Double cream
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 250 ml Guinness
  • 340 g Black treacle
  • 175 ml Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Eggs
  • 225 g Plain flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 tbsp Ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp Crystallised ginger chopped

Instructions

  1. To make the salted caramel sauce. Melt the butter in a pan, then add 165g of the dark brown sugar and the double cream. Keep stirring and let the sauce bubble for 5 minutes. Then add the vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp of the salt. Pour it into a bowl and cool it in the fridge for a few hours to thicken up
  2. Grease the cake tin with butter and dust with flour
  3. In a bowl whisk together the Guinness, black treacle, 165g of the dark brown sugar, vegetable oil and eggs
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together the plain flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/2 tsp of the salt. Add this to the wet ingredients and mix in
  5. Pour into the cake tin and bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 45 minutes until it is a deep rich brown colour and a skewer comes out clean
  6. Let it cool for 5 minutes then tip it out of the tin. If it doesn't come out straight away, run a knife along the edges and around the middle ring. Leave to cool before smearing on the salted caramel sauce and garnishing with the chopped crystallised ginger
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Treat Petite October 2014

Treat Petite October 2014
Welcome to Treat Petite October 2014!
 

Thank you to everyone who entered last month’s ‘Anything Goes‘ theme hosted by Cakeyboi. There were some seriously yummy entries!

This month’s theme is:

Image Source
 

This is one of my favourite times of year as I love all the autumn baking themes and flavours that it provokes. Anything spooky you make for Halloween, or any Autumn treat is permitted this month!

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

2. Post your bake onto your blog and link back to Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer, stating who is hosting this month

3. Follow Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer blogs on Google+ (see sidebar links), if you haven’t already.

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

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

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

7. If you like, add your photo to the ‘Treat Petite’ Pinterest board (request access from Cakeyboi)

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

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Rhubarb & Ginger Jam Cake

Rhubarb & Ginger Jam Cake
This gorgeously spiced cake is based on a Rombauer Cake, which is a German cake made typically with blackberry or raspberry jam. I decided to use Mackays Rhubarb & Ginger Jam and combine it with spices like cinnamon, cardamom and ginger. The spices and jam combine to make this cake the most wonderful flavour explosion! It doesn’t have the most exciting appearance compared to most cakes I make, but what it lacks in decoration it certainly makes up for in flavour. It’s also very easy to make and quick too, so you can have a satisfying cake experience in around an hour!
 

 

 

 

 

 

This is one of the recipes I have created using the amazing jams I got sent from Scottish preserves manufacturer Mackays. The other recipes are: Lemon, Blueberry & Blackberry Swirl Loaf, Spiced Jammy Flapjacks, and Chocolate & Marmalade Cheesecake Brownies.

I started by creaming together the dark brown sugar and butter.  

 

 

 

I then whisked in the eggs, vanilla extract and natural yoghurt. I folded in the plain flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ground ginger and ground cardamom.

Finally, I poured the mixture into a lined cake tin. I added blobs of Mackays Rhubarb & Ginger preserve and used a knife to swirl them around gently, I wanted there to still be sections of jam within the sponge once it was baked. 

I baked it for 35 minutes on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.

The cake looks so pretty with the swirls of jam on top. I added a dusting of icing sugar to really define the swirls and make it look even more attractive. I could not wait to slice this up and dig in as it smelt amazing!

The cake is so moist inside, and a lovely golden colour. The jam running through the cake is packed with fruity flavour, and you can really taste the ginger too. I served it with some double cream drizzled over, but I think custard would be so yummy with this cake too! If you need something to warm you on a winter’s night, this cake and some hot custard would be perfect!

Pin for later! I use PicMonkey to make my pinnable images, which really is a fab little tool.

Print

Rhubarb & Ginger Jam Cake

Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 215 g Dark brown sugar
  • 85 g Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp Natural Yoghurt
  • 195 g Plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Ground cardamom
  • 1/2 jar Mackays Rhubarb & Ginger Jam
  • Icing sugar for dusting

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4, and grease and line a 9" cake tin

  2. Cream together the dark brown sugar and the butter

  3. Whisk in the eggs, vanilla extract and yoghurt

  4. Mix in the cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cardamom, plain flour and baking powder

  5. Pour the batter into the cake tin, add blobs of the jam all over the top and use a knife to gently swirl the mixture around.

  6. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean and it is golden brown all over, remove from the tin and leave to cool on a cooling rack

  7. When cool, dust all over with icing sugar, I recommend serving with double cream or custard!

 
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Baked Donuts

For my boyfriend’s Halloween party last weekend I decided to make donuts to feed the hungry guests. I got a Wilton donut pan for my birthday back in July and hadn’t used it yet, I was really curious about baked donuts (as opposed to deep fried donuts). I wanted to know what their texture was like, how they were made and most importantly, how they tasted! So in the spirit of finding this out, I made three different flavours: Vanilla, Pumpkin and Chocolate.

I used this recipe from Lakeland to make both the vanilla and chocolate donuts. I started with 225g plain flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt and 175g caster sugar in a bowl.

In a separate bowl I mixed together 175ml milk, 2 eggs, 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

I poured the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisked until combined and smooth.

I poured the batter into my donut pan, almost filling each ring. baked on 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for 10-12 minutes. As I hadn’t made them before I just used my best judgement on this. I pressed the donuts quickly with my finger and if they sprang back I knew they were done. I used a spoon to gently tip them out.

For the icing I mixed 100g icing sugar with water until a thick paste formed. You don’t want it to be too runny as it will slip right off the donuts so add the water slowly. I also added some orange food colouring for that Halloween feel, but you could add some vanilla seeds or any colouring you want depending on the theme you’re going for.

I dipped the donuts into the icing, and also used a spoon to smooth the icing on and neaten it. Before the icing sets, add your sprinkles! Then leave to set before serving, which doesn’t take long.

For the chocolate donuts I replaced 50g of the plain flour with cocoa powder for the donut batter, and replaced 30g of the icing sugar with cocoa powder for the icing. They were very rich and chocolatey, and the most popular donuts at the party!

For my third and final lot of donuts (and my personal favourite!) I used this recipe for Pumpkin Donuts as I adore pumpkin in my baking. I mixed together 3 eggs, 1 can of pumpkin puree (I use Libby’s), 270g caster sugar, 80ml vegetable oil, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ginger and 1 tsp mixed spice.

I then added 225g plain flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1 1/2 tsp salt. I mixed well then poured the batter into my greased donut pan and baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15-18 minutes. The mixture made 15 donuts.

I made cinnamon icing for the donuts. Using the same method as for the other donuts, I added water to 100g icing sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon. I made the cinnamon icing slightly more runny as I drizzled it over the pumpkin donuts. Wow these donuts were tasty!

Baked donuts don’t resemble fried donuts at all in terms of texture. Baked donuts are very light and moist, one thing I noticed is that these donuts released a lot of sticky moisture, they stuck to the plates I put them on and even the cooling rack. I’m not sure if this is normal for baked donuts, but it certainly didn’t affect the taste and I think it improved the texture. They were a huge hit with the party guests and I can guarantee I’ll be making baked donuts again!

The theme for this month’s Treat Petite, hosted by myself and Cakeyboi,  is ‘America‘. So I am entering this bake as donuts are a well known American food, and pumpkin is a popular American baking ingredient.

Baked Donuts (Vanilla & Chocolate)
 
 
Ingredients
  • 225g Plain flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 175g Caster sugar
  • 175ml Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 100g Icing sugar
  • 80g Cocoa powder
  • Sprinkles
 
Instructions
Put the plain flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar in a bowl (replaced 50g of the plain flour with cocoa powder for the chocolate donuts)
In a separate bowl mix together the milk, eggs, olive oil and vanilla extract
Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until combined and smooth
Pour the batter into a donut pan, almost filling each ring. Baked on 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for 10-12 minutes. Use a spoon to gently tip them out onto a cooling rack
For the icing mix 100g icing sugar with water until a thick paste forms (replaced 30g of the icing sugar with cocoa powder for the chocolate donuts)
Dip the donuts into the icing, and before the icing sets, add your sprinkles! Then leave to set before serving
 

Baked Donuts (Pumpkin)
 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 can of Pumpkin puree
  • 270g Caster sugar
  • 80ml Vegetable Oil
  • 4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1 tsp Mixed spice
  • 225g Plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 100g Icing sugar
 
Instructions
Mixed together the eggs, pumpkin puree, caster sugar, vegetable oil, 2 tsp of the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and mixed spice
Add the plain flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well
Pour the batter into a greased donut pan and bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15-18 minutes
Add water to the icing sugar and 2 tsp of the cinnamon. Make it runny enough to drizzle it over the pumpkin donuts
 
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Apple Cake

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mary made this fabulous cake full of childhood sweeties.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 
Print

Apple Cake

Ingredients

For the sponge

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

For the red buttercream

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

For the green buttercream

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

Instructions

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

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

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

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

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

  6. Bake for 45 mins

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

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

 

 
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Six Things To Do With… Stem Ginger

I bought a jar of stem ginger recently when I was playing around with Rhubarb & Custard Cupcakes. It didn’t make it into my final recipe, but now I have an almost full jar of it sat in the fridge, and it wasn’t cheap! I’m sure other bakers have had this problem as recipes with stem ginger only usually use a couple of the ‘bulbs’. So I’ve collected some delicious idea and inspirations to use up any stem ginger you may have leftover too…

 

The famous one:
Ryan Chong’s Key Lime Pie
I couldn’t possibly do a post about stem ginger without mentioning Ryan’s magnificent pie, described by Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood as one of the best things they’d tasted throughout all three series of The Great British Bake Off!

The traditional one:
Sticky Stem Ginger Pudding
Who can resist a warm, sweet and sticky ginger pudding? Perfect with custard or ice cream.

The simple one:
Rhubarb & Sticky Stem Ginger Crumble
Crumble is super simple to make and trust me, rhubarb and stem ginger taste damn good together! Great for feeding a family, or hungry friends.

The difficult one:
Vanilla Panna Cotta with Pink Grapefruit & Stem Ginger
With four elements to this recipe, it’s definitely on the difficult end of the spectrum. However, it sounds so tasty it made my mouth water when reading the recipe! So it’s got to be worth a little bit of effort.

The chocolate one:
Chocolate & Ginger Tarts
I think these cute little tarts look delicious and simple to make, plus chocolate and ginger is a great combination!

The my favourite one:
Sticky Ginger Lemon Drizzle Cake
This is on my ‘to bake’ list! It sounds so good and I love everything about it!
*UPDATE* I made this – Click here to see!

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The November Lust List

November is here. Dark nights, fireworks and Christmas shopping begins (if you are more organised than me that is!) Maybe some of the items on my lust list this month will end up on your Christmas list!

Heart and Scroll Cupcake Box
Bakey Cakey from £1.49
Are you planning on giving cupcakes as gifts this Christmas? These cute and funky boxes will be brilliant to put them in! I love the retro design.

Autumn Cupcake Stencils Set
Williams Sonoma £7.28
Thanksgiving is this month, and whether you celebrate it or not, these fab stencils will add an Autumn theme to your cupcakes!

Giant Pink Cupcake Carrier
Betty Crocker $24.95
I saw this a few weeks ago in T K Maxx and really wanted it, I’ve since been back and they didn’t have it anymore. These carriers are so convenient for taking cupcakes to friends and parties. I’ve seen it on ebay, but struggled to find it elsewhere online. Sadly Betty Crocker doesn’t ship to the UK – let me know if you find this anywhere else!

Mini Pocket Pie Moulds
Williams Sonoma £14.67
Ok so another Williams Sonoma product, but I just discovered this website and the stuff on there is amazing, I want it all!! Seriously it was hard to narrow it down to just two. These little pie moulds are the cutest and perfect for Christmas canapes and nibbles.

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