Lemon, Blueberry & Blackcurrant Swirl Loaf

 
 

I was recently approached by Scottish preserves manufacturer Mackays to try out some of their jams and preserves in my baking. Baking is the main place that I use jam, although this tends to be mainly spreading it in the middle of sandwich cakes! I end up with half a jar of jam left in the fridge that I never end up using (I found two before writing this post) I’ve never gotten that creative with jam so this was a great opportunity for me to try out new ways of using it in my baking. I made this loaf twice and used up the whole jar of jam, finally an empty jar!

 

 

The jam I used for this bake was Mackay’s Blueberry & Blackcurrant Preserve. You can find out more about this preserve or find where to buy it by clicking here.

To make the loaf I creamed together 175g caster sugar and 175g butter. I then added 3 eggs and the zest of one lemon and mixed well. Finally I folded in 200g self raising flour and 25g ground almonds.

I put the mixture into a lined loaf tin, then spooned the jam on top. Using a knife I swirled the mixture around.

I baked on 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 (turn up to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 if not using a fan oven) for about an hour.

 

 

I love the look of the swirl effect on the top of the loaf! This cake was eaten up quickly and the fruity flavours all compliment each other well. It was really delicious and I found myself going back for more. I only had one complaint – more jam next time! The jam was the real star of this bake. This is a great first time bake if you want to try out a new way of using jam in baking. Look out for more posts as I continue my jam adventure!

 

I am entering this bake into this month’s Calendar Cakes challenge – Pump Up The Jam! by Laura Loves Cakes and Dolly Bakes.

And into the first Feel Good Food challenge by Victoria at Kick At The Pantry Door. The ingredient this month is blueberries. I’m hoping a blueberry jam will count!

Banoffee Cupcakes

Banoffee Cupcakes
Banoffee Pie is one of my favourite desserts so I just had to turn it into Banoffee Cupcakes! These delicious gooey bites include a moist banana sponge, a hidden rich caramel centre, whipped cream piped on top and decorated with a fresh banana slice and chocolate. They are yummy bites of banoffee goodness!

Jump straight to the recipe!

To make the sponge I started by creaming together butter, caster sugar, light brown sugar and some Lotus Biscoff Spread.
I then added eggs and mashed up bananas and mixed well.
Finally I folded in self raising flour and baking powder, and then separated the batter into cupcake cases in a muffin tin.

I baked them on 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for about 20 minutes, then left them to cool fully.

Once they were cool I cut holes in the middle of the cupcakes using a cupcake corer and filled them with Carnation caramel.

I whipped up some double cream with a little icing sugar and piped it onto the cupcakes.

I bashed up half of a flake and sprinkled it all over the whipped cream.

To finish the decoration I sliced up a large banana, brushed the slices with lemon juice and pressed them into the cream.

Serve the Banoffee Cupcakes immediately, if there are any left refrigerate overnight and eat within 24 hours to make sure the cream stays fresh – but I can assure you that won’t be a problem!

 


Banoffee Cupcakes

Servings 12

Ingredients

For the sponge

  • 100 g Butter
  • 60 g Caster sugar
  • 40 g Light brown sugar
  • 1 heaped tbsp Lotus Biscoff spread
  • 2 Eggs large
  • 2 Bananas mashed
  • 125 g Self raising flour
  • 1 tsp Baking powder

For the filling & decoration

  • 100 g Carnation caramel
  • 300 ml Double cream
  • 2 tbsp Icing sugar
  • 1/2 a Cadbury's Flake bar
  • 1 Large banana sliced
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Instructions

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

  2. To make the sponge cream together the butter, caster sugar, light brown sugar and Lotus Biscoff Spread in a large mixing bowl

  3. Add the eggs and bananas and mix in

  4. Mix in the self raising flour and baking powder, and then seperate the batter into a muffin tin lined with cupcake cases

  5. Bake them for 20 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean, then put on a cooling rack to cool fully

  6. Once they are fully cool, cut holes in the middle of the cupcakes using a cupcake corer and fill them with the Carnation caramel

  7. Whip up the double cream and icing sugar with an electric hand whisk, put it into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and pipe it onto the cupcakes

  8. Bash up the flake and sprinkle it all over the whipped cream

  9. Slice up the large banana and brush both sides of the slices with lemon juice, then push them into the cream

  10. Serve these cupcakes immediately, or refridgerate overnight and eat within 24 hours

NB. Recipe adapted from Carnation.

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

Pin for later!

Easter Simnel Cupcakes

 

Happy Easter everyone! I love Easter so much, I’m a bit of an Easter nut in fact. Last year I ate hot cross buns all day long, made my own Easter eggs and did some art with an Easter craft set. Then I put my art work on the fridge – a great day! This year I am being slightly more grown up and spending the weekend at my boyfriend’s parent’s house. I decided to make Simnel cupcakes because they are a traditional Easter recipe. Then I went for it with Mini Eggs and fluffy chicks to decorate! Here’s how I did it…

  
 
First I mixed together 150g butter and 150g light soft brown sugar until creamy.
 
 
Then I added 3 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract and the zest of one lemon, and mixed well.
 
 
I added in 150g dried mixed fruit. The mix I used was called luxury dried fruit and was from Aldi. It’s great because it has everything in it. Raisins, sultanas, cherries, and mixed peel. So you don’t have to buy everything separately!
 
 
 
Finally I folded in 100g plain flour, 150g plain wholemeal flour (both sifted and the bran from the wholemeal flour tipped in), 2 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp mixed spice.
 
 
 
I used golden marzipan and made 12 balls each weighing 12g (no particular reason for this weight, they just looked like the size I wanted). Traditionally, on a large sized Simnel cake, 12 marzipan balls are used to represent the twelve apostles, without Judas, or 11 marzipan balls are used to represent Jesus and the twelve apostles, minus Judas again. No cake for Judas.
 
 
Once I had filled the cupcake cases with mixture, I pushed the balls of marzipan in.
 
 
Then I put a small amount of mixture over the top.
 
 
I baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for about 20 minutes, until they were golden brown. 
 
Once the cakes were cooled I whipped up some almond buttercream using 340g icing sugar, 170g butter, 2 tsp cream cheese and 1 tsp almond extract.
 
 

 

The first decoration I did was this fluffy chick. First I coated the cupcake with buttercream using a palette knife. You can also use the back of a spoon. Then I sprinkled on the ‘fur’, made from dessicated coconut dyed yellow with some food colouring, finally I stuck on chocolate chips for eyes and some orange sugarpaste for the beak.
 
 
 
My second design was a simple swirl of almond buttercream using a star nozzle, and three Mini Eggs arranged in the middle.
 
 
 
For this design I spread the almond buttercream across the top of the cupcake using a palette knife, then using my star nozzle I piped a small swirl into the middle. I sprinkled on some Dr. Oetker Citrus Strands, then added a (non-edible!) fluffy chick. So frickin’ cute!!
 
 
 
Finally I went a bit glamorous. I spread the almond buttercream on the cupcake using my trusty palette knife again, then piped a small swirl in the middle, then little rosettes around the edge, and topped each one with a silver ball. Upright Mini Eggs in the centre finished it off.
 
 
 
The cupcake sponge was really delicious, and had just the right amount of fruit. The marzipan ball hidden in the middle is a nice surprise! I had planned the first two decorations, but made the other two up as I went. So be creative and see what you can come up with! Grab some little eggs, sprinkles, whatever you fancy and celebrate Easter with sweet delicious treats!
 
 
 
I am really pleased with my cupcakes and am entering them into Calendar Cakes ‘Easter Extravaganza’ hosted by Laura Loves Cakes and Dollybakes.
 
 
 

If you fancy showing off your Easter baking and be in with a chance of winning tickets for The Cake & Bake Show (5th – 7th April and Manchester Central), Renshaw Baking are running a competition which you can enter by clicking here. I will be heading to the show myself and can’t wait to check out the bread baking, sugar crafting and celebrity appearances! They are big fans of marzipan too over at Renshaw Baking and have a selection of Easter recipes which you can peruse by clicking here.

Pink Heart Flapjacks

I’ve finally found some time to do some Valentine’s baking this month! This is a gift for my boyfriend as his absolute favourite thing are flapjacks. I hope he doesn’t read this post before getting them…look away now if you are!! I’ve made flapjacks before, so I decided to make these special and Valentine’s appropriate by making them pink and heart shaped! These flapjacks are a super simple to make and a sweet and tasty romantic gift for your beloved.

I melted 2 tbsp golden syrup, 225g butter and 225g soft brown sugar on a low heat until smooth.

I then mixed in 350g porridge oats and some dried fruit. I didn’t measure the dried fruit, just put in how much I thought looked enough. You could add chocolate chips, but remember they are getting covered in chocolate too!

I didn’t know the best way to get the flapjacks heart shaped so I did this method first. I use heart shaped cookie cutters and pressed the flapjack mixture into them on a lined baking tray. I baked for 30 minutes on 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2.

I also made a small batch of flapjacks in a seperate dish and baked on the same temparature for the same time, I used the cookie cutter to cut the hearts in it when it was still warm.

Turns out both these methods worked! The ones made in the cookie cutters were more shaped and crispy round the edges, whereas the ones in the dish were a lot more moist. So it depends what you prefer.

I melted some white chocolate and mixed in some red food colouring, I put in quite a lot, but it stayed pink rather than the red I was aiming for, so I went with it.

I dipped the flapjacks in the chocolate and left them to set.

I thought they looked really yummy and cute!

I packed them up and sent them to my Valentine, they look a bit girly I admit, but this is Valentine’s Day after all!

I am entering these into February’s Calendar Cakes Challenge – My Achy Cakey Heart, hosted by Dollybakes and Laura Loves Cakes.

Orange & Pomegranate Cake

Happy New Year Readers! Seen as it’s January I wanted to bake something with some (slight) health benefits, and also more importantly, I wanted to use seasonal produce. Orange and pomegranate are both seasonal fruits for January, so I decided to combine them into this tasty moist cake. Garnished with pomegranate seeds, which are packed full of antioxidants and vitamins (that’s the slight health benefit part!).

 First I beat together 240g butter and 340g caster sugar in a food mixer until fluffy and well combined.

 I then added 2 eggs and 200ml semi-skimmed milk and mixed again.

In a pan I gently heated 100g golden syrup and 50g black treacle. Just until they mixed together and are a bit easier to work with. I let it cool for a little while, then added to the mixture and combined.

I measured out the dry ingredients of 340g plain flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp mixed spice, a pinch of salt, and the zest of one large orange. I folded all of this into the mixture.

I poured the batter into a square brownie pan.

 And baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes.

Whilst it was baking I put 6 tbsp caster sugar, 8 tbsp pomegranate juice and 4 tbsp fresh orange juice (I used the same orange I got the zest from) in a pan.

I heated it slowly until it boiled then took it off the heat to cool. I hadn’t seen pomegranate juice before, but I found it very easily in Tesco.

When the cake came out of the oven I poked holes all over it with a skewer, then using a spoon, drizzled the syrup over it, coating it fully. Then I left it in the pan to cool.

I came back to the cake a while later and it was still a little warm so I put it on a cooling rack. By the time I returned to check on it again it was looking nice and moist as the syrup had soaked in.

I made a cream cheese icing using 150g icing sugar, 75g butter, 50g cream cheese and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

I spread it over the cake, then garnished with pomegranate seeds, and finally added a sprinkle of gold glitter for some extra sparkle!

The cake was delicious and moist, I ate a piece straight away to test my recipe. I could taste the orange and ginger, and the moist sweetness of the pomegranate syrup. I am very pleased with the results!

I have also entered this recipe into the Calendar Cakes January Challenge ‘New Year, New You’, hosted by Laura Loves Cake and Dollybakes.