Treat Petite November 2017

Treat Petite November 2017

Welcome to Treat Petite November 2017!

Thank you to everyone that linked up in October! There were some seriously spooky treats for Halloween, and lots of signs of Autumn’s arrival like pumpkin recipes and bonfire night treats. Don’t forget to give the blog’s featured some comment love and social media sharing if you like or make any of the recipes featured!

Ghostly Pumpkin Mini Rolls by The Gluten Free Alchemist, Blackcurrant & Liquorice Spider Cupcakes by Only Crumbs Remain, Slime Cupcakes by me and Breadstick Wands or Fireworks by Searching For Spice.

Pumpkin & Cinnamon Muffins with Plum Jam by Jo’s Kitchen Larder, Cheat’s Version Portuguese Custard Tarts by The Crazy Kitchen, Ginger Spiced Pumpkin Muffins by Proper Foodie and Red Bean & Pineapple Mochi Rice Cakes by Lili’s Cakes.

Caramel Brownies by Curly’s Cooking, Salted Caramel Cookie Frozen Yogurt Bark by Foodie Quine, The Best Tiramisu with Tia Maria by Proper Foodie and Easiest Rocky Road by BakingQueen74.

Les Patiences Fraxinoises Biscuits by As Strong As Soup, Baked Doughnuts by Green Gourmet Giraffe, Gelatin Free Coconut Water Jelly by Cooking With Smile and Mini No Bake Lemon Cheesecakes by Caroline Makes.

 

Now for November’s link up! 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 whole cakes, loaves, large pies or tarts – you get the idea… Both sweet and savoury treats are accepted, as well as no-bakes such as individual cheesecakes, or ice lollies for example.

1. Add your petite treat to the Linky Tool at the bottom of this page by the 25th of the month, midnight at the latest

2. Post your bake onto your blog and link back to The Baking Explorer

3. Follow The Baking Explorer on Google+, if you haven’t already.

4. If you tweet use #TreatPetite and mention @BakingExplorer and @MrCakeyboi (Cakeyboi will still retweet any #TreatPetite tweets he’s mentioned in!)

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 (The Baking Explorer will add all entries to the board – please include pinnable images in your post)

8. Only 2 entries per blogger per month

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

I will share all linked up treats on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram Stories and Twitter. I’ll also leave comments on all blog posts and like on Instagram (please tag me so I can do this – @thebakingexplorer) as well as regramming some posts.



Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake (No Bake)

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake (No Bake)

Pumpkin spice is slowly gaining popularity in the UK, but there’s still definitely people that aren’t aware of how delicious pumpkin and pumpkin spice is in baked goods. Or no-baked in the case of this Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake! Most people in the UK think pumpkin is a savoury ingredient, but it’s wonderfully versatile and works so well in sweet recipes too. If you like pumpkin pie you will love this beautifully light and creamy cheesecake. There is pumpkin puree mixed into the cheesecake filling and it’s flavoured with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice. This Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake absolutely screams Autumn, it’s easy to make and tastes absolutely delicious. It’s quite a large cheesecake, it completely filled my tin right to the brim! So you could reduce the recipe if you don’t want it that big, but really, why wouldn’t you?!

Jump straight to the recipe!

To make the base I used my food processor to whizz up the biscuits until they turned into crumbs. I added the cinnamon and melted butter and mixed them in, then I pressed the mixture into the bottom of a 23cm springform tin and put it in the fridge to chill.

Then I moved onto preparing the filling. I used my electric hand whisk to mix together the cream cheese, pumpkin puree, icing sugar, vanilla and pumpkin spice mix until it was smooth with no lumps.

Then I added the double cream and whisked more until the mixture thickened considerably.

I tipped the cheesecake mixture on top of the base and smoothed it over. Then it went back into the fridge to set overnight.

The next day I decorated it. First I melted the white chocolate and drizzled it all over the top. Next I whipped up some cream with icing sugar and vanilla and piped it around the edges. Then I sprinkled orange hundreds and thousands, and pumpkin shaped sprinkles in the centre. I also made some pastry leaves to decorate the Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake, which I brushed with edible glitter and placed all around the edge. Of course, you can decorate the cheesecake any way you like!

Those not in the know on the deliciousness of pumpkin were in awe of how tasty this cheesecake was! They loved how creamy it was, and how it was full of pumpkin pie flavour – and so did I! The sweet white chocolate drizzled on top was perfect against the velvety filling and the pastry leaves were an extra crunchy treat.

This Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake would make an awesome centrepiece for Thanksgiving, Halloween or a family meal during Autumn. It will certainly feed a crowd and is sure to impress!

If you like this, you’ll love some of my other pumpkin recipes!

       

I’m linking this recipe up with Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too, Cook Blog Share hosted by Easy Peasy Foodie, Simple & In Season hosted by Feeding Boys and Fiesta Fridays this month hosted by A Pug In The Kitchen and Ginger & Bread.

 

5 from 5 votes
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Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

Ingredients

Pumpkin Spice Mix

  • 3 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp Allspice

For the biscuit base

  • 300 g Digestive biscuits
  • 125 g Butter melted
  • 1 tsp Ground cinnamon

For the cheesecake filling

  • 450 g Pumpkin puree
  • 450 g Full fat cream cheese
  • 250 g Icing sugar
  • 450 ml Double cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp Pumpkin spice mix see above

For decoration

  • 300 ml Double cream
  • 2 tbsp Icing sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 50 g White chocolate melted
  • Orange/Pumpkin themed sprinkles optional
  • Pastry leaves optional
  • Edible glitter optional

For the pastry leaves

  • 115 g Plain flour
  • 56 g Butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Cold water

Instructions

  1. Mix the spices together for the pumpkin spice and set aside

  2. To make the base, use a food processor to whizz up the biscuits until they turned into crumbs. Or you can put them in a bag or a bowl and bash them up with a rolling pin

  3. Add the melted butter and cinnamon and mix them in, then press the mixture into the bottom of a 23cm springform tin and put it in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes

  4. To make the cheesecake filling. Use a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or an electric hand whisk to mix together the cream cheese, pumpkin puree, icing sugar, vanilla and pumpkin spice mix until it is smooth with no lumps

  5. Add the double cream and whisk more until the mixture thickens considerably

  6. Pour the cheesecake mixture on top of the biscuit base and smooth it over. Then put it back into the fridge to set overnight, or for at least 5 hours

  7. To decorate, remove the cheesecake from the tin and put onto a serving plate

  8. Melt the white chocolate and drizzle it all over the top

  9. Whip the double cream together with the icing sugar and vanilla, then pipe it around the edges using a piping bag fitted with a nozzle. Sprinkle the sprinkles in the centre

  10. If you have made the pastry leaves, brush them with edible glitter and place them all around the edge on top of the cream

Pastry Leaves (optional)

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

  2. Put the flour into a bowl and add the butter, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs

  3. Add the water, little by little, until it comes together into a dough

  4. Wrap it in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes

  5. Flour your work surface and roll the pastry out to 4-5mm thick, use a leaf shaped cutter to cut out the shapes and place them onto a lined baking tray

  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes until they are golden, then allow to cool completely.

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

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Spiced Plum Vegan Flapjacks

Spiced Plum Vegan Flapjacks

It’s so easy to make vegan flapjacks as the only dairy in regular flapjacks is the butter, so simply swap the butter to a dairy free spread and you’re done! I decided to fill these vegan flapjacks with a spiced plum compote for a fruity flavour, and seen as it’s Autumn I’m craving anything with cinnamon and warming spices in it. Don’t be put off by making the compote yourself, it’s so simple and very difficult to go wrong! If you are really stuck for time you could fill them with jam instead, just stir some spices into the jam first for that Autumn warmth.

Jump straight to the recipe!

I started by making the plum compote to fill the flapjacks with. After chopping all of the plums and removing the stones, I put them into a pan along with the spices and the sugar. I let them cook down on a low heat until they were soft, this took about 35 minutes so I did some jobs around the kitchen and stirred them every 5 minutes. Using a hand blender, I roughly pureed the plum mixture, then set it aside to cool down.

To make the flapjacks I melted the dairy free butter on a low heat in a pan long with the golden syrup and vanilla.

I mixed together the oats, plain flour, spices, and light brown sugar. Then I added the melted butter and syrup mixture, and mixed it all together.

I pressed about two thirds of the flapjack mixture into the bottom of a lined traybake tin.

Then I added the plum mixture on top, then covered it with the rest of the flapjack mixture, it won’t completely cover it, but you want the plum mixture to peak through.

For decoration, I also added a sprinkle of flaked almonds.

I baked them for 25 minutes until they were golden all over. I let them cool fully before cutting into squares.

spiced plum vegan flapjacks

The vegan flapjacks were absolutely delicious! Chewy, fruity and sweet – just how flapjacks should be. I didn’t tell anyone that these were vegan flapjacks, and no one had any idea! They devoured the lot!

spiced plum vegan flapjacks

These vegan flapjacks would be a perfect snack in lunch boxes, on long journeys or just with a cup of tea. They’ll keep for up to 5 days in an air tight container too – if they last that long!

         

I’m linking this recipe up with Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too, Cook Blog Share hosted by Hijacked By Twins, Treat Petite hosted by me, Bake of the Week hosted by Casa Costello and Fiesta Fridays hosted by Caramel Tinted Life and Of Goats and Greens.

 

5 from 3 votes
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Spiced Plum Flapjacks (Vegan)

Servings 12

Ingredients

For the plum filling

  • 500 g Plums de-stoned & chopped
  • 100 g Light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp Cornflour

For the flapjacks

  • 165 g Dairy free 'butter' spread I used Violife
  • 100 g Golden syrup
  • 100 g Light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 340 g Oats
  • 160 g Plain flour
  • A handful of Flaked almonds optional

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, and line a 12" x 9" traybake tin with baking paper

  2. Start by making the plum filling. After chopping all of the plums and removing the stones, put them into a pan along with the light brown sugar, cinnamon, mixed spice and cornflour

  3. Let them cook down on a low heat for about 35 minutes until they are soft

  4. Using a hand blender, roughly puree the plum mixture. You still want a few chunks of plum in there. Then set it aside to cool down

  5. To make the flapjacks melt the dairy free butter on a low heat in a pan with the golden syrup and vanilla

  6. In a bowl, mix together the oats, plain flour, and light brown sugar

  7. Add the melted butter and syrup mixture, and mix it all together until the oats are fully coated

  8. Press about two thirds of the flapjack mixture into the bottom of a lined traybake tin

  9. Spread the plum mixture on top, then cover it with the rest of the flapjack mixture, it won't completely cover it, but you want the plum mixture to peak through

  10. Bake them for 25 minutes until they are golden all over

  11. Let them cool fully before cutting into squares, if you can't wait that long, be careful eating them straight from the oven as the plum filling will be very hot!

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

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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.

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!

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.

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

Rhubarb & Ginger Jam Cake

Rhubarb & Ginger Jam Cake
This gorgeously spiced Rhubarb and Ginger Jam 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 Rhubarb and Ginger Jam 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!

Jump straight to the recipe!

 

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. Then 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.

Rhubarb and Ginger Jam Cake

The Rhubarb and Ginger Jam 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!

Rhubarb and Ginger Jam Cake

The Rhubarb and Ginger Jam 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!

 


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 8" 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!

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

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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!

 

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

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.

 

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

 

 

Things To Do With… Leftover Stem Ginger

Things To Do With… Leftover Stem Ginger

Stem ginger is made by boiling peeled fresh ginger, making a ginger syrup with sugar and then putting it in jars. It lasts a long time unopened, but once opened it’ll need to be used within 8 weeks. If you have any leftover stem ginger after using a bulb or two in a recipe, I’ve collected some delicious idea and inspirations to use it up and avoid wasting this delicious and flavoursome ingredient.

If you fancy making your own stem ginger Tales From The Kitchen Shed has a fabulous homemade stem ginger recipe.

  
Rhubarb & Stem Ginger Fool Sticky Ginger Lemon Drizzle Cake Stem Ginger Custard Tart
Uses 1 bulb of Stem Ginger Uses 2 bulbs of Stem Ginger Uses 2 bulbs of Stem Ginger
Stem Ginger Spiced Apple Pie Lemon & Stem Ginger Scones Rhubarb & Sticky Stem Ginger Crumble
Uses 2 bulbs of Stem Ginger Uses 2 bulbs of Stem Ginger Uses 2 bulbs of Stem Ginger
Quick Stem Ginger Ice Cream Stem Ginger & Dark Chocolate Biscuits Stem Ginger Pudding
Uses 70g Stem Ginger Uses 3 bulbs of Stem Ginger Uses 3 bulbs of Stem Ginger
Ryan Chong’s Key Lime Pie Chocolate & Ginger Tarts Sticky Stem Ginger Pudding
Uses 3 bulbs of Stem Ginger Uses 4 bulbs of Stem Ginger Uses 240g Stem Ginger

Let me know in the comments if you try any of the recipes above and what you think!

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Things To Do With… Leftover Black Treacle

Things To Do With… Leftover Black Treacle

Black Treacle is one of those ingredients that you use a little bit of to make parkin or Christmas pudding, and then half a tin of it sits in your cupboard (usually hidden at the back!) until the year after. But there are so many other exciting, delicious and interesting recipes you can also use in it! I’ve featured some of the recipes I’ve made with it below and also gathered some other ideas from around the internet you may like to try…

 

Spiced Treacle Cookies Courgette & Pepper Bruschetta Lyle’s Beany Goulash
Uses 1 tbsp Black Treacle Uses 1 tbsp Black Treacle Uses 2 tbsp Black Treacle
Gingerbread & Apple Muffins Cardamom & Black Treacle Ice Cream Chocolate Treacle Sandwich Cake
Uses 2 tbsp Black Treacle Uses 2 tbsp Black Treacle Uses 2 tbsp Black Treacle
Sticky Toffee Pudding Sticky Treacle Apple Pudding Christmas Pudding Cake
Uses 2 1/2 tbsp Black Treacle Uses 3 tbsp Black Treacle Uses 3 tbsp Black Treacle
 
Pecan Treacle Tart Gateau Moeleux au Chocolat Black Treacle & Banana Bread
Uses 40g Black Treacle Uses 50g Black Treacle Uses 50g Black Treacle
Treacle Scones Mixed Seed Rye Bread Parkin
Uses 60g Black Treacle Uses 75g Black Treacle Uses 100g Black Treacle
Parkin Cupcakes with Toffee Buttercream & Popping Candy Treacle Toffee Chewy Treacle Cookies
Uses 100g Black Treacle Uses 115g Black Treacle Uses 120g Black Treacle
Dark Treacle Tart Chocolate Treacle Sheet Cake Sticky Ginger & Lemon Drizzle Cake
Uses 125g Black Treacle Uses 130g Black Treacle Uses 140g Black Treacle
Treacle Flapjacks Spiced Gingerbread Pudding Ginger & Treacle Spiced Traybake
Uses 175g Black Treacle Uses 200g Black Treacle Uses 200g Black Treacle
 
 Gingerbread Cake with Orange Icing Treacle Gingerbread Loaf Gingerbread Bonfire Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce
 Uses 225g Black Treacle Uses 250g Black Treacle Uses 340g Black Treacle

Let me know in the comments if you try any of the recipes above and what you think!

 

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