Jam Archives - The Baking Explorer

White Forest Cake

White Forest Cake

Did you know that cherries can help you get a good night’s sleep? They’re high in melatonin which promotes healthy sleep patterns, plus it helps to regulate your body’s internal clock. I’m pretty sure that means a slice of this White Forest Cake is a great after dinner treat to help you settle down! I absolutely love these sweet red fruits, and I always try and buy British cherries as much as possible. You can really tell the difference when buying local cherries as they are so much fresher and full of super sweet flavour. In this White Forest Cake I’ve made them into a jam with kirsch, paired them with white chocolate and whipped cream, and added fresh cherries on top!

Jump straight to the recipe!

White Forest Cake

I was sent some gorgeous British cherries from one of the Go Cherry growers who produce British cherries all over the UK and have been doing so for generations. I was so impressed with the quality and flavour of the cherries. When I’ve bought imported cherries in the past, I always get a few in a pack that aren’t quite ‘right’ and I have to throw away, but every single cherry from the Go Cherry growers was perfectly fresh and deliciously sweet. It was a struggle not to just snack on the lot! If you’d like to find out more about British cherries head to the Berry Gardens website.

To make the sponges I started by creaming together the butter and sugar.

 

I added the eggs and vanilla, and whisked them in. Then I added the self raising flour and divided the mixture between 3 lined 8″ tins.

Once they were baked, I left them to cool.

Meanwhile, I made the cherry and kirsch jam by heating the cherries, sugar and lemon juice in a pan.

 

Once the sugar was dissolved I let it bubble for 10 minutes. I checked it was set, then poured it into a bowl and added the kirsch. I popped it in the fridge to cool down.

   

Next, I levelled off the cakes, then started piling them up with whipped cream, the cherry jam and white chocolate chips between each layer.

On top I piped on more cream, added the fresh cherries, the rest of the jam and some white chocolate curls.

White Forest Cake

The flavour of the cherries and the cherry jam really made this White Forest Cake taste extra special, and made it look so pretty too!

    

I’m linking this recipe up with Cook Blog Share hosted by Everyday Healthy Recipes, Baking Crumbs hosted by Only Crumbs Remain, We Should Cocoa hosted by Tin & Thyme, and Fiesta Fridays.

5 from 7 votes
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White Forest Cake

Servings 12

Ingredients

For the vanilla sponges

  • 500 g Butter or baking spread
  • 500 g Caster sugar
  • 9 Eggs
  • 500 g Self raising flour
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract

For the cherry and kirsch jam

  • 400 g Fresh cherries pitted & cut in half
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 260 g Granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp Kirsch or cherry brandy

For the filling

  • 600 ml Double cream
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp Icing sugar
  • 50 g White chocolate chips

For decoration

  • White chocolate curls
  • Fresh cherries

Instructions

  1. I advise making the jam first as it gives it time to cool down. Put a saucer in the freezer as you'll need this to check the jam is set

  2. Put your pitted and sliced cherries along with the granulated sugar and lemon juice in a pan, and warm on a low heat until the sugar is dissolved and the cherries are soft

  3. Mash the cherries down a bit with a potato masher

  4. Bring to the boil and let it bubble for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally

  5. Take it off the heat and drip about a teaspoon of the jam onto the saucer that you put in the freezer. Leave it for a minute, then if it has set so it doesn't drip down the saucer when you tip it, and it feels sticky when you touch it, then it's done. If not, boil for another 2 minutes, and check again

  6. Pour the jam it into a bowl and add the kirsch. Stir it in, then put the jam in fridge to cool down. Give it another stir after an hour

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

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

  9. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, and whisk until fully incorporated

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

  11. Divide the mixture between the tins, use scales for accuracy

  12. Bake them for 30-35 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

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

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

  15. Put the first sponge on your cake stand and spread over some of the cream filling. Then sprinkle some white chocolate chips over the cream. Then add some jam, letting it drip down the sides

  16. Add the second sponge and do the same

  17. Add the third sponge, pipe the remaining cream around the edge, add the remaining cherry jam in the middle, add the fresh cherries on top of the cream around the edge, and finally some white chocolate curls in the centre (you can make the curls by using a vegetable peeler to peel a block of white chocolate)

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

NB. This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.

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

White Forest 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
  • 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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Jammie Dodger Blondies

Jammie Dodger Blondies

Jammie Dodger biscuits are one of my favourites, I remember eating them as a child and always picking them first out of biscuit selection boxes. They have such a fun appearance – with the splash effect on the biscuit and heart shaped hole revealing the jam in the middle. It’s no wonder they are the most popular kid’s biscuit in the UK! I’ve incorporated yummy Jammie Dodger biscuits into these soft gooey Jammie Dodger Blondies, as well as adding some extra strawberry jam (because that’s the best bit!) If you’ve not heard of blondies before, they are the white chocolate version of brownies, and if you enjoy these you’ll love my Raspberry & White Chocolate Blondies too!

Jump straight to the recipe!

I started by melting the butter and golden caster sugar together in a pan on a low heat.

Once the butter was melted, I took the pan off the heat and added the white chocolate. I left it for a couple of minutes, then stirred it in.

I added the eggs, whisking as I poured them in to make sure the mixture didn’t cook the eggs. Then I stirred in the vanilla.

Then I added the flour, and poured the batter into a lined traybake tin. I placed the Jammie Dodger biscuits in a neat pattern on top, then added blobs of strawberry jam all around the biscuits, once I was happy with the amount of jam I swirled it around using a butter knife.

I baked the Jammie Dodger Blondies on 160C Fan/180C/350F, Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes until they were golden brown all over. Then I left them to cool completely in the tin before removing and slicing into pieces.

I didn’t want to cut up the biscuits, but if you want to make the pieces smaller I like to cut them diagonally into triangles. Or you could use mini Jammie Dodger biscuits. You can also add more jam if you want to, or a different flavour of jam.

These Jammie Dodger Blondies were an absolute hit with my friends! They are so yummy, the sponge is sweet from the white chocolate, the Jammie Dodger biscuits are delicious of course and the extra bits of jam are definitely the best bit!!

          

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 and Baking Crumbs hosted by Only Crumbs Remain.

Subscribe to my YouTube channel for more recipe videos like this!

 

4.73 from 11 votes
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Jammie Dodger Blondies

Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 200 g Butter
  • 300 g Golden caster sugar
  • 150 g White chocolate broken into pieces
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 225 g Plain flour
  • 12 Jammie Dodger biscuits
  • 6 tbsp Strawberry Jam

Instructions

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

  2. Melt the butter with the golden caster sugar in a pan on a low heat

  3. Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat and add the white chocolate. Leave it for a couple of minutes to melt, then stir together. Leave the mixture to cool for 5 minutes

  4. Break the eggs into a bowl and add them to the mixture, keep whisking as you pour them in to make sure the mixture doesn't cook the eggs. Then stir in the vanilla extract

  5. Add the flour and whisk it in, then pour the batter into the lined traybake tin

  6. Place the Jammie Dodger biscuits in rows on top of the batter, then added blobs of strawberry jam all around the biscuits, once you are happy with the amount of jam, swirl it around gently using a butter knife

  7. Bake the blondies for 30 minutes until they are golden brown all over. Leave them to cool completely in the tin before removing and slicing into pieces.

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

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Things To Do With… Leftover Jam

Things To Do With… Leftover Jam

I really love baking with jam, but most of the time it happens because I have half a jar sitting in the fridge for a few weeks and I realise I better use it up. Thankfully it’s lead me to create lots of amazing recipes! Some of them feature jam with other elements, whilst others make jam the star of the bake. There is a huge range of variety here, from easy flapjacks to more extravagant celebration cakes. You can of course use a different flavour jam to the ones I’ve used, and I’ve also included a couple of recipes that use marmalade. I hope you find a suitable recipe to turn that jar in the fridge into a delicious bake!

Cherry & Nutella Chocolate Cake – Uses 1 Jar of Cherry Jam
The perfect cake for a celebration and to impress your guests.
Cherry & Almond  Viennese Swirl Biscuits – Uses 1 Jar of Cherry Jam
Cute little biscuits filled with almond buttercream and cherry jam.
Bakewell Tart – Uses 1/3 Jar of Raspberry Jam
A classic British bake, perfect for testing your baking skills!
Queen of Puddings Cupcakes – Uses 8 tbsp Raspberry Jam
Filled with jam and custard, and topped with fluffy Italian meringue, these cupcakes are divine!
Swedish Princess Cake – Uses 1/2 a Jar of Raspberry Jam
A fairly complex bake, but certainly worth the effort!
Swedish Princess Cupcakes – Uses 65g Seedless Raspberry Jam
An easier version of the above recipe, simplified into cupcakes.
Blackcurrant & Mascarpone Viennese Whirls – Uses 1/2 Jar of Blackcurrant Jam
Inspired by the Great British Bake Off, these buttery melt in the mouth biscuits would be perfect at afternoon tea.
Lemon, Blueberry & Blackcurrant Swirl Loaf – Uses 1 Jar of Blackcurrant & Blueberry Jam
A tasty loaf cake filled with swirls of jam.
Nectarine & Bilberry Custard Tart – Uses 5 tbsp Apricot Jam
If you can’t find bilberries, you can use blueberries or any other small berries for this fruity tart.
Battenberg – Uses 6 tbsp Apricot Jam
Another classic British bake! It can be slightly fiddly, but marzipan lovers will relish the challenge.
Apricot Swirl Cheesecake Squares – Uses 3/4 Jar of Apricot Jam
Yummy cheesecake bites mixed with swirls of jam, you could use any other jam flavour for this recipe.
Apricot Bakewell Slices – Uses 1 Jar of Apricot Jam
Bakewell tarts usually use raspberry jam, but you can change it up with other flavours. This traybake is great for bake sales.
Strawberry & Vanilla Cake – Uses 1 Jar of Strawberry Jam
This cake is great for summertime or birthday celebrations.
British Seaside Cake – Uses 1 Jar of Strawberry Jam
Another fabulous bake for summer, topped with ‘ice cream’ cupcakes.
Spiced Jammy Flapjacks – Uses 1 Jar of Strawberry Jam
This is an easy recipe to make and great for picnics and long journeys.
Rhubarb & Ginger Jam Cake – Uses 1/2 Jar of Rhubarb & Ginger Jam
A tasty cake full of flavour and spices!
Chocolate & Marmalade Cheesecake Brownies – Uses 1 Jar of Marmalade
Gooey and squidgy brownies with a chocolate orange flavour.
Carrot & Orange Cake – Uses 1/2 Jar of Marmalade
Marmalade fans will love this cake and it can be decorated with sprinkles of your choice.
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Cherry & Nutella Chocolate Cake: GBBO The Final!

Cherry & Nutella Chocolate Cake: GBBO The Final!

The Great British Bake Off series 7 came to an end last week, and it really was the end of an era as it was the last time the show will be aired on the BBC. Of course, none of the bakers or presenters knew that at the time of filming. Our three finalists were Candice, Andrew and Jane. Candice has been well known throughout this series for making elaborate bakes themed around her family, she’s won star baker three times and is this year’s lipstick queen! Jane won star baker on week one, and has had quite a few ups and downs since then. Andrew has been known for his technical approach to baking, and has won star baker twice.

Jump straight to the Cherry & Nutella Chocolate Cake recipe!

The theme of the final was royal and the signature challenge was to make a three layered filled meringue crown, family sized and decorated. Paul said the bakers have struggled with meringue in the past so he wanted to see how they did again. Jane’s meringue crown was filled with blueberry compote, raspberry and strawberry compote and nectarines. It had quite a simple appearance, and Paul said it had to be perfect because of this. Apart from her blueberry compote being slightly runny, her bake went well. Mary gave it plenty of praise while Paul stayed quiet as he was happily eating it all! He gave her a double Hollywood handshake!

Andrew used muscavado sugar in his meringue, which meant there was a higher risk of his meringue cracking. He made it in the shape of the Queen’s jubilee crown and filled it with pecan praline, layered it with blackberry fool and made cassis jelly ‘jewels’. He struggled with his pecan praline as it stuck to his baking paper, but he had a good bake. The judges felt that his praline was too sweet and overpowered the meringue, and that the fool wasn’t tart enough. They enjoyed his meringue and cassis jelly.

Candice made two different types of meringue, one with caster sugar and one with golden caster sugar. Her crown was filled with prosecco soaked strawberries, mango curd, and glittered fruit and nuts. One top was a tiny tiara style crown. The judges thought it looked impressive and that it had great texture and flavour, she got a Hollywood handshake too!

This week’s technical gave the bakers nowhere to hide. It was to make a Victoria Sponge, but without a recipe. They also had to make the buttercream and jam for the filling, again without a recipe. This is pretty straightforward for people who bake a lot, but the bakers were really feeling the pressure so were bound to make mistakes. I did think it was a little simple, and they could have challenged them more.

Jane made the mistake of weighing her eggs in the shells, so she had far
too much mixture. Both Jane and Candice made their sponge with the all
in one method, while Andrew used the creaming method. Candice made the raspberry jame seedless, which Mary didn’t like. Jane came third due to using too much mixture, Candice was second as her buttercream was grainy, and Andrew won the technical!

The showstopper challenge was to make a picnic fit for a Queen, this had to include: 1 chocolate celebration cake, 12 puff pastry sausage rolls, 12 mini quiches, 12 savoury scones and 12 fruit and custard tarts – 49 items in total! Mary said that even though the bakers had 5 hours to make everything, they still needed good time management. Paul wanted every item to be suitable to serve to the Queen herself.

Candice made a chocolate, orange & cardamom cake, bacon, mushroom & black pudding sausage rolls, manchego & olive scones, salmon & asparagus quiches and rhubarb & custard tarts. The pastry on her tarts did catch, but they still looked good and she avoided a soggy bottom! She also made cute pig faces on her sausage rolls which was a nice touch, and her puff pastry was well cooked. Her quiches were crispy and full of salmon. Her scones didn’t taste of cheese as the olives overtook the flavour. Paul loved her chocolate cake, and Mary thought it was a great cake for a picnic.

Andrew made smoked cheddar & paprika scones, sausage & chorizo rolls, sweet potato, goats cheese & caramelised onion quiches, strawberry & pistachio tarts and a chocolate cake featuring chocolate shards. He had an extremely detailed Excel spreadsheet which had every 5 minutes of the challenge planned to keep him on track. He also used family recipes to ensure success. Andrew added a sugar glaze to his fruit tarts which unfortunately soaked through and made the pastry soggy. His sausage rolls tasted good but he had raw pastry. Mary loved the apperance of his scones, but couldn’t taste any cheese. His quiches were crispy and tasted delicious according to Paul. His chocolate cake looked great and Paul felt the same about the taste of it.

Jane made red fruit and elderflower tarts, butternut squash & parmesan scones, apple & thyme rolls, salmon & prawn quiches and a chocolate cake decorated with a chocolate collar. Jane was flapping quite a lot as she seemed unorganised. Her chocolate collar did not set so she had to cover her cake in buttercream and glitter instead. Her sausage roll had raw pastry, but tasted good. Mary really enjoyed her quiches and fruit tarts. Neither Mary or Paul could taste the butternutsquash in her scones. The judges did enjoy her chocolate cake and said it was light and soft, and loved the cherry and cream surprise in the middle.

And the winner was… Candice! She certainly deserved it as her bakes were the best in this episode. She was who I wanted to win as I felt she deserved it overall from the quality of her bakes throughout the series, even though the judges don’t take that into account on the final day. It was quite emotional as she talked about what winning meant to her. I’m looking forward to seeing what she does next!

I started by greasing and lining three 9 inch sandwich tins.

I creamed together caster sugar and 520g butter.

I added eggs, mixing them in two at a time.

I then mixed in self raising flour, cocoa powder and milk.

I divided the mixture into the tins, I always make a hole in the middle of the batter to try and stop it from doming too much in the middle.

I baked it on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 35 minutes, then left to cool fully.

I made the nutella buttercream by mixing together butter and icing sugar, then I added Nutella and milk. I mixed it until it was smooth.

I made the cream filling by whipping up double cream, then mixing in mascarpone cheese

I started stacking up the cakes. I spread half of the cream mixture onto the first layer.

Then I spread half a jar of cherry jam on top.

I stacked up the next layer of cake, then spread the rest of the cream layer on, followed by the rest of the cherry jam.

I then added the last sponge and spread a layer of the Nutella buttercream over the top using a palette knife.

I put the rest of the Nutella buttercream in a piping bag and piped two rows of rosettes around the edge of the cake. I used a Wilton Number 6B Open Star tip for this effect. I filled the middle with some Dr Oetker chocolate strand sprinkles.

I took 10 cherries out of a jar of kirsch soaked cherries and put them on some kitchen towel to soak away as much moisture from them as I could. I then rolled half of each cherry in edible gold glitter and arrange them around the Cherry & Nutella Chocolate Cake.

The Cherry & Nutella Chocolate Cake was ready for a celebration! I took it along to my friend’s 30th birthday party for the guests to enjoy. This Cherry & Nutella Chocolate Cake would be perfect for a birthday or any other time you need a showstopping cake!

The Cherry & Nutella Chocolate Cake was so yummy and if I do say so myself it’s one of the best cakes I’ve ever made! The sponge was lovely and moist, and the fresh cream and cheese filling was the perfect balance against the sweet chocolate and Nutella buttercream. I adore kirsch soaked cherries so they were a tasty bonus for me.

   

I’m linking  this Cherry & Nutella Chocolate Cake up with the Great Bloggers Bake Off 2016 hosted by Mummy Mishaps, with Bake Off Bake Along hosted by Rhyme & Ribbons and This Particular, with the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Ilka’s Blog and Marathons & Motivation, with Bake of the Week hosted by Casa Costello, and Cook Blog Share hosted by Sneaky Veg.


Cherry & Nutella Chocolate Cake

Servings 12

Ingredients

For the sponges

  • 520 g Butter or baking spread
  • 520 g Caster sugar
  • 9 Eggs large
  • 400 g Self raising flour
  • 120 g Cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp Milk

For the buttercream

  • 300 g Icing sugar
  • 150 g Butter or baking spread
  • 200 g Nutella
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp Milk

For the filling

  • 250 ml Double cream
  • 250 g Mascarpone
  • 1 jar of Cherry Jam

For decoration

  • 10 Kirsch soaked cherries
  • Gold edible glitter
  • Dr Oetker chocolate strand sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line three 9 inch sandwich tins

  2. Cream together the caster sugar and the butter

  3. Add the eggs, mixing them in two at a time

  4. Mix in the self raising flour, cocoa powder and milk

  5. Divide the mixture into the tins and bake it for 35 minutes, then leave to cool fully

  6. Make the nutella buttercream by mixing together the butter and the icing sugar, then add the Nutella, the milk and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth

  7. Make the cream filling by whipping up the double cream, then mixing in the mascarpone cheese

  8. Start stacking up the cakes. Spread half of the cream filling onto the first layer, followed by half a jar of the cherry jam on top. Do the same with the second layer of cake

  9. Add the last sponge and spread a layer of the Nutella buttercream over the top using a palette knife

  10. Put the rest of the Nutella buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a Wilton Number 6B Open Star Tip and pipe two rows of rosettes around the edge of the cake. Fill the middle with the chocolate strand sprinkles

  11. Take 10 cherries out of a jar of kirsch soaked cherries and put them on some kitchen towel to soak away as much moisture as possible. Then roll half of each cherry in edible gold glitter and arrange them evenly around the cake

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

Bakewell Tart: GBBO Week #5

Bakewell Tart: GBBO Week #5
After all of the shock news last week, we’ve had a further blow this week in the news that Mary Berry will not be following the show when it moves to Channel 4. Paul Hollywood confirmed that he would be staying with the show, making him the only one to remain. There was a foreshadowing of the future moment this week when Sue made a joke at Tom’s bench and then walked off saying “I’m leaving the tent”… oh Sue, if only you’d known! This week I’ve made a classic Bakewell Tart and you can find the recipe and instructions at the bottom of this post.

Jump straight to the recipe!

The signature challenge this week was to make two different types of Danish breakfast pastries. Mary wanted the bakers to produce a crisp buttery pastry and Paul said this challenge was all about time management. They all used enriched doughs and all of the bakers except Jane made one dough that they split in two. Jane made Pain Au Raisin with a orange and cardamom dough and Raspberry, Chocolate & Almond Danish with a cinnamon dough. Candice was the only baker to brave a savoury pastry with her Croque Monsieur Kites featuring mushrooms, gruyere and pancetta.

Selasi’s pastries were very tropical themed and featured pineapple, orange and mango. Val was being her usual unqiue self and had brought dental floss with her to cut her pastry with. I hope it wasn’t mint flavoured! Benjamina went all American with her flavours and made peanut butter and banana pinwheels, and pecan swirl with maple syrup and candied bacon. Everyone struggled towards the end with timing, and Rav even forgot to bake one of his pastries.

Tom didn’t fare so well during judging as one of his pastries was dry and the other was so raw the judges wouldn’t even taste it. Val, Selasi and Benjamina all had problems with their pastry being undercooked too. The judges like the flavour of both Rav and Andrew’s fillings. Jane got a great result with her pain au raisins, and Candice’s savoury pastries went down very well.

This week’s technical was to make a Bakewell Tart, I love how they are bringing all the technical’s back to basics this year. There was a bit of internet uproar over the tart in question due to the icing covering the top, however this was Mary’s version of a Bakewell Tart. The judges expected all of the bakers to know what a Bakewell Tart looked like and to know all of the techniques involved in making one.

The recipe instructions were very minimal, and Selasi suggested that the more ‘aged’ bakers would know what they were doing. Val got stuck in straight away, as did Jane. However, Val was only using the second sheet of the instructions and she only saw the first sheet after 20 minutes of time had gone by. She’d guessed all of the recipe quantities. To be honest I’m not sure how she did this as the instructions started from number 5 on the second sheet which would surely have been the biggest clue. Even when she did find out, she still continued to ignore the instructions and made a series of bad decisions, despite the fact she makes a Bakewell Tart every week at home. Rav came last as his pastry collapsed, Val came 7th, Andrew was 6th as his oven wasn’t turned on for the first 15 minutes, Benjamina 5th, Tom 4th, Selasi 3rd, Candice 2nd and Jane was 1st.

The showstopper this week was to make 48 filo pastry amuse bouches (aka canapes), one savoury and one sweet. Filo pastry is quite a nightmare to make from scratch, I’ve done it myself once before when I made a Fruit Strudel. Mary advised that the pastry should be wafer thin and Paul wanted the canapes to be bite size.

Val went with a Christmas theme and used mincemeat in her filo parcels. Jane was quite brave I thought by using cone shaped moulds to wrap her filo around, they looked like such a faff and kept falling over. Tom was very ambitious by mixing chocolate with chilli and steak – yes you read that right! He is taking things too far in my opinion, there’s experimental and then there’s just plain risky. Selasi was using coffee to flavour his sweet filo, and he said that simplicity was a good thing. Benjamina was influced by her Nigerian roots to add plantain to her showstopper.

Then the stretching began! The bakers used broom handles, rolling pins and even pasta makers to roll out their filo until it was as thin as possible. Rav and Selasi both finished before the time was up, whereas Jane and Val were rushing to complete the challenge. Benjamin, Andrew, Selasi all did well. Paul didn’t like the flavour of Tom’s filo fillings and said he was ‘disappointed’. Even though the judges thought Jane’s amuse bouches were too big, they loved her flavours. Val was only able to present 12 of her savoury filos, and the 12 were underdone. The pastry for her sweet filo was far too thick. Candice and Rav both also got great results.

Val left this week, and although I’d found her quite irritating (I think she has a bit of a Marmite personality where you either love or hate her), I did feel sorry for her as she seemed very upset. The winner of star baker was Candice, however Jane came very close. Next week is a new theme – Botanicals week!

I decided to make a Bakewell Tart this week as I’ve never actually made one. I wanted to make the more traditional looking tart with flaked almonds on top and a drizzle of icing. As pretty as Mary’s version looked, it’s a bit too much icing than I prefer on my Bakewell.

I started by making the pastry. I rubbed butter into plain flour until it resembled breadcrumbs.

Then I added cold water and formed a dough.

I rolled out my pastry on my Joseph Joseph Roll Up Non-Slip Silicone Pastry Mat which I am loving using, it’s definitely my favourite product from their new baking range which they kindly sent me a few weeks ago. I’ve already used it three times!

I lined a 9 inch tart tin with the pastry, leaving an overhang. I used a fork to prick the bottom of the pastry. Then I chilled it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

I scrunched up some baking paper and lined the pastry, then added baking beans. It baked on 200C/180C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes.

To make the frangipane I creamed together butter and caster sugar. Then I added egg, almond extract and ground almonds.

I took the pastry out of the oven and removed the baking beans and paper. I trimmed the edges for a neater finish.

The pastry baked again for 10 minutes on the same temperature.

I spread a layer of seedless raspberry jam on the bottom of the pastry case. I used approximately a third of a jar.

Then I piped the frangipane over the top to avoid it mixing with the jam, and I smoothed it out on top. I sprinkled over some flaked almonds.

It baked on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 45 minutes

I can understand why Mary and Paul chose Bakewell Tart as a technical challenge as it really fits with their theme of going back to basics. Any baker who bakes regularly will be able to knock one of these together easily and without too much fuss. It really is all about basic skills. When it was fully cool, I finished the tart with a drizzle of icing sugar mixed with enough water to get a thick, but pipable paste.

You really can’t beat a Bakewell Tart and this was devoured within an hour by my colleagues! It was full of almond and jammy goodness, and the pastry was lovely and crisp.

     

I’m linking up with Bake Off Bake Along hosted by Rhyme & Ribbons and This Particular, with the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Ilka’s Blog and Marathons & Motivation, with Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too, and Cook Blog Share hosted by Easy Peasy Foodie.



Bakewell Tart

Ingredients

  • 260 g Butter
  • 230 g Plain flour
  • 3 tbsp Cold water
  • 160 g Caster sugar
  • 1 tsp Almond extract
  • 1 Egg large
  • 160 g Ground almonds
  • 4-5 tbsp Raspberry Jam
  • A handful of Flaked almonds
  • 60 g Icing sugar

Instructions

  1. To make the pastry rub 100g of the butter into the plain flour until it resembles breadcrumbs
  2. Add the cold water and form a dough
  3. Roll out the pastry, line a 9 inch tart tin leaving an overhang. Use a fork to prick the bottom of the pastry then chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes
  4. Scrunch up some baking paper and line the pastry, then add baking beans. Bake it on 200C/180C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes
  5. To make the frangipane cream together 160g of the butter and the caster sugar. Then add the egg, almond extract and ground almonds
  6. Take the pastry out of the oven and remove the baking beans and paper. Trim the edges for a neater finish
  7. Bake the pastry again for 10 minutes on the same temperature
  8. Spread a layer of the jam on the bottom of the pastry case
  9. Pipe the frangipane over the top and avoid it mixing with the jam, then smooth it out on top. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds
  10. Bake the tart on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 45 minutes
  11. When the tart is cool, mix the icing sugar with enough water to get a thick, but pipable paste. Drizzle or pipe over the tart

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

Blackcurrant & Mascarpone Viennese Whirls: GBBO Week #2

Blackcurrant & Mascarpone Viennese Whirls: GBBO Week #2
This week on The Great British Bake Off was biscuit week. Sue Perkins was missing from the episode this week due to a family bereavement at the time of filming, so Mel held down the (gingerbread) fort. The previews of the episodes showed several disasters and collapses so I was expecting a lot of gasps and tense moments! This week I’ve made Blackcurrant & Mascarpone Viennese Whirls, head to the bottom of the post for the recipe.

Jump straight to the recipe!

For the first challenge the judges requested 24 crisp and identical iced biscuits. Mary warned against being over ambitious, she wanted absolutely perfect biscuits with the same thickness and texture. Paul seemed quite happy just to be getting a whole load of biscuits to eat. I loved Michael’s beer biscuits, and the judges loved them too. They said they were uniform, crispy and had good flavour. Tom made some coffee and chai spiced biscuits and he got a Paul Hollywood handshake!

 

Louise made sheep shaped bara brith biscuits and she had some disasters along the way as she dropped a whole tray of biscuits. Paul said her biscuits were more like scones as they were so soft. Val made ice cream biscuits and she knew she needed to improve on her presentation, although throwing a batch of biscuits on the floor and springing a leak from her piping bag didn’t help. Mary was quite critical of them saying they were not finished well – harsh words from Bezza!

Kate chose lavender and bergamont for her biscuits flavours, which Paul said he didn’t like, but upon tasting them he seemed to change his mind! Benjamina made chocolate orange flower bouqet biscuits, they looked fantastic and I really think she is one to watch. Candice ended up making 48 biscuits as she made sandwiched biscuits with a salted caramel filling. Her fondness for lipstick was also noticed by Mel and Candice said she would wear a different colour each week. I think this is a clever way of standing out and could become a signature look for her, much like Richard Burr’s pencil behind the ear in season

 

This week’s technical challenge was 12 Viennese Whirls filled with buttercream and jam. They were following a Mary Berry recipe. Mary said the biscuit had simple ingredients but the bakers needed to make sure the butter was soft enough otherwise the mixture would be too stiff for piping. She also wanted to see the swirl after the biscuits were baked, and she expected the bicuits to be very short in texture and crumbly with good proportions of buttercream and jam.

Selasi had made them before and when he noticed his mixture was too stiff for piping he decided to beat it more to soften it. Michael also had his own technique for solving this problem – he put it in the microwave. A few of the bakers decided to chill the biscuits before baking, but Tom noticed this wasn’t mentioned in the recipe so he decided to just bake his biscuits. Despite his previous experience, Selasi came last in the challenge. Louse was 10th, Michael 9th, Candice 8th, Tom 7th, Rav 6th, Val 5th and Andrew 4th. Benjamina won 3rd place, Jane came 2nd and Kate was the winner!

This week’s showstopper was quite the request… a 3D gingerbread story, which must say something about them, be at least 30cm high and feature 8 characters or objects. Gingerbread usually contains black treacle and/or golden syrup as they both flavour and colour it, all of the bakers used these ingredients except for Selasi who was using honey instead. Kate went all out with her flavours by making three different kinds of gingerbread including a lemon and cardamom flavoured one.

 

Candice made a gingerbread pub to represent the pub she grew up in as a child. She put so much thought into each element. The ‘floor’ was a sticky gingerbread cake to represent a sticky pub carpet, and the pool table was made using jelly. It was very impressive! Michael and Rav both made Christmas scenes, and Selasi and Louise both went for churches. Meanwhile Benjamina was constructing the Chrysler building in New York and Val was building the Empire State in gingerbread.

Both Louise and Val had disasters, collapses and breakages. Andrew did very well with his punting in Oxford scene. Michael’s Christmas scene was messy and simplistic, but Paul said his gingerbread was the best. The judges loved Candice’s pub, Paul called it superb and Mary called it smashing. Rav’s gingerbread was burnt, and the judges couldn’t taste any ginger in Selasi’s church.

Louise was the one to leave this week as she had a lot of disasters this week. Candice won star baker this week, mostly due to her smashing showstopper. Mary said it would be remembered forever. Next week is bread week!

This week I decided to make the technical challenge of Blackcurrant & Mascarpone Viennese Whirls. I have made them before, but I’ve made iced biscuits and gingerbread houses before too and these were the most delicious option in my opinion. I wanted to mix it up a bit and change the flavours so they were a bit different from the traditional kind. I used a Hairy Bikers recipe for the biscuit base, as when I made Cherry & Almond Viennese Swirl Biscuits in the past it worked really well for me.

To make the biscuit dough I creamed together butter, plain flour, icing sugar, cornflour and vanilla extract.

I used a 2 inch (5cm) cutter and a pencil to draw guidelines on my baking paper. Then I flipped the paper over so the pencil was on the bottom.

I put the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. I tried a couple of ways of piping them, and I thought starting the swirl in the middle and working out looked the best, I kept piping until all the mixture was gone. They baked on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes, let them cool on the tray for 5 minutes, before transferring to a cooling rack.

While they were cooling I made the mascarpone filling by creaming together butter and icing sugar, then adding mascarpone and vanilla extract. I used an electric hand mixer to do this as it made sure the mixture was not lumpy, and it made it nice and thick. I put it in the fridge to chill for an hour so it was stable enough to pipe.

Blackcurrant & Mascarpone Viennese Whirls

To sandwich the Blackcurrant & Mascarpone Viennese Whirls together I piped some of the mascarpone filling on one half, and spread some blackcurrant jam on the other half. I sandwiched them together and the biscuits were ready.

Blackcurrant & Mascarpone Viennese Whirls

The texture of the Blackcurrant & Mascarpone Viennese Whirls are soft and buttery, and the mascarpone filling is fresh and sweet against the tangy fruit of the blackcurrant jam. They are heavenly!

           

I’m linking these up with Treat Petite hosted by myself this month (and Cakeyboi on alternate months), with the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Ilka’s Blog and Marathons & Motivation, with The Food Calendar hosted by Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen, these would be a great bake for a Macmillan Coffee Morning, with the Great Bloggers Bake Off 2016 hosted by Mummy Mishaps, with Bake Off Bake Along hosted by Rhyme & Ribbons and This Particular, and finally with Cook Blog Share hosted by Hijacked By Twins.



Blackcurrant & Mascarpone Viennese Whirls

Ingredients

  • 300 g Butter
  • 250 g Plain flour
  • 225 g Icing sugar
  • 50 g Cornflour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 125 g Mascarpone
  • 1/2 a jar Blackcurrant Jam

Instructions

  1. To make the biscuit dough cream together 250g of the butter, the plain flour, 50g of the icing sugar, the cornflour and 1/2 tsp of the vanilla extract
  2. Use a 2 inch (5cm) cutter and a pencil to draw guidelines on baking paper. Flip the paper over so the pencil is on the bottom and line two baking trays with it
  3. Put the biscuit mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Pipe them out onto the baking paper, start the swirl in the middle and work your way out. Keep piping until all the mixture is gone
  4. Bake them on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes, let them cool on the tray for 5 minutes, before transferring to a cooling rack
  5. To make the mascarpone filling cream together 50g of the butter and 175g of the icing sugar, then add the mascarpone and 1 tsp of the vanilla extract. Use an electric hand mixer to do this if possible. Put it in the fridge to chill for an hour so it is stable enough to pipe
  6. To sandwich the biscuits together, pipe or spread some of the mascarpone filling on one half, and spread some blackcurrant jam on the other half (about 1 tsp). Sandwich them together and the biscuits are ready!

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

Nectarine & Bilberry Custard Tart

Nectarine & Bilberry Custard Tart
I think of myself as quite knowledgeable when it comes to food so when I haven’t heard of something it really intrigues me. I’d never heard of bilberries before, so I really wanted to try them. The bilberries were kindly given to me by Angela from Only Crumbs Remain.  She picked them herself and if you are a bilberry fan or are interested in baking with them you will find lots of bilberry recipes on her blog! They are a foraged berry and come from the same family as blueberries and blackberries. I’ve never seen them in the shops before, so do let me know if you’ve ever seen them sold anywhere. Otherwise look out for them on your next country walk! I decided to pair them with nectarines in this Nectarine & Bilberry Custard Tart as the bright orange colour is a great match to the dark blue bilberries, and they also taste delicious!

Jump straight to the recipe!

I started by making the creme patisserie custard filling as it takes several hours to cool. To begin I heated whole milk with the seeds from a vanilla pod until it reached boiling point. Then I took it off the heat and poured it into a jug.

In my food mixer I whisked up egg yolks with caster sugar until pale and thick. I added cornflour and mixed it in, then I poured the warm milk in with the mixer still going.

I poured the mixture back into the pan and heated it up whilst continously stirring. When it started to thicken, I started whisking it to keep it smooth and stop any lumps.

I put it in a bowl, and covered it with cling film. I made sure the cling film was touching the
creme patisserie so that a skin doesn’t form on it. Then I left it in the fridge overnight to cool.

To make the pastry I rubbed butter into plain flour until it resembled breadcrumbs.

I added eggs and mixed to form a dough. Then I wrapped it in cling film and chilled it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

To roll out the pastry I decided to try out an item from the new Joseph Joseph baking range, which were kindly sent to me recently. If you haven’t heard of Joseph Joseph before, they are a family business
ran by twin brothers. Their focus is on the whole user experience of their products, they combine design, function and quality materials to make their range.

I tried out their Roll Up Non-Slip Silicone Pastry Mat. The mat features a handy rolling size guide printed in circular shapes, as well as sizes along the sides. It also has an integrated strap so you can roll it up, fasten it and store it easily.

I rolled out the pastry and the size guides on the mat were really helpful – I don’t know why I haven’t bought one of these already as I do make pastry quite often!

Next, I lined my 23cm tart tin with the pastry and pricked it all over with a fork.

I lined the pastry with baking paper then poured in baking beans, and I blind baked it on 180C/106C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes.

I then removed the baking beans and baked it again for 10-15 minutes until the bottom was fully cooked and it was golden brown all over.

When the tart case was fully cool I filled it with the creme patisserie and smoothed it out.

I sliced up nectarines and arranged them in circles on top, and I placed the billberries in the gaps. The bilberries freeze really well and I still have more to use.

To glaze the Nectarine & Bilberry Custard Tart and keep the fruit fresh whilst also creating a lovely shiny appearance, I warmed up apricot jam in a pan. I then sieved it to remove any lumps, and used a pastry brush to generously brush it all over the tart.

And the Nectarine & Bilberry Custard Tart was ready! It’s best to eat this straight away, although it will last a few days if kept in the fridge.

The Nectarine & Bilberry Custard Tart was a bit messy when cut but the sweet creamy custard and delicious fresh fruit soon distract you from the appearance. It was my first taste of bilberries and I have to say they go very well with custard. The pastry was also perfectly crisp which is just what you need for a tart like this as it holds the wet filling in place without any leaks, not a soggy bottom in sight!

      

I’m linking up with the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Ilka’s Blog and Marathons & Motivation, and to The Food Calendar hosted by Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen. I think this tart would be a delightful afternoon tea treat!



Nectarine & Bilberry Custard Tart

Ingredients

  • 500 ml Whole milk
  • 1 Vanilla pod
  • 6 Egg yolks
  • 140 g Caster sugar
  • 45 g Cornflour
  • 350 g Plain flour
  • 170 g Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 5 Nectarines
  • 70 g Bilberries
  • 5 tbsp Apricot Jam

Instructions

  1. Start by making the creme patisserie custard filling. Heat the whole milk with the seeds from a vanilla pod in a pan until it reaches boiling point. Then take it off the heat and pour it into a jug
  2. Using an electric mixer whisk up the egg yolks with the caster sugar until pale and thick. Add the cornflour and mix it in, then pour the warm milk in with the mixer still going
  3. Pour the mixture back into the pan and heat it at a medium-high heat whilst continously stirring. When it starts to thicken, whisk it to keep it smooth and stop any lumps
  4. Sieve it required to remove any lumps, then put it in a bowl and covered it with cling film. Make sure the cling film is touching the creme patisserie so that a skin doesn't form on it. Leave it in the fridge overnight to cool
  5. To make the pastry rub the butter into the plain flour until it resembles breadcrumbs
  6. Add the eggs and mix to form a dough. Wrap it in cling film and chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes
  7. Roll out the pastry and line a 23cm tart tin. Prick it all over with a fork
  8. Line the pastry with baking paper then pour in baking beans (or dry rice if you don't have them) bake it on 180C/106C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes
  9. Remove the baking beans and baked it again for 10-15 minutes until the bottom is fully cooked and it is golden brown all over
  10. When the tart case is fully cool fill it with the creme patisserie and smooth it out
  11. Slice up the nectarines and arranged them in circles on top, then place the billberries in the gaps
  12. To glaze the tart, warm up the apricot jam in a pan. Sieve it to remove any lumps, and use a pastry brush to generously brush it all over the tart

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

Queen of Puddings Cupcakes

Queen of Puddings Cupcakes
This year in the UK we are celebrating our Queen’s 90th Birthday, and of course one of the main focuses of the celebration is food. If you haven’t heard of the dessert Queen of Puddings before, it is a lemon breadcrumb base, topped with custard, then jam and finally meringue on top. I am a big fan of turning different types of desserts into cupcakes, and although I’ve never tried Queen of Puddings, it sounds extremely tasty and perfect for converting into cupcake format! I’ve used a lemon sponge as the base, filled it with creme patisserie and raspberry jam, and finally topped with Italian meringue. Surely a dessert fit for a Queen!

I started by making the creme patisserie the night before so I could cool it in the fridge  overnight. I heated 250ml whole milk with  the seeds from a vanilla pod until it reached boiling point. I then took  it off the heat and poured into a jug.

In my food mixer I whisked up 3 egg yolks (reserve the egg whites for later) with 70g caster sugar until
pale and thick. I added 23g cornflour and mixed that in. I then put the mixer on a medium speed and
poured the milk in slowly as it mixed.

I poured the mixture back into the pan and heated it up whilst stirring continuously. When it started to thicken, I started whisking it to keep it smooth and stop any lumps. I put it in a bowl, and covered it with cling film. I made sure the  cling film was touching the creme pattiserie so that a skin doesn’t form on it. I left it in the fridge overnight to cool.

I only made 8 cupcakes, but the creme patisserie and Italian meringue make enough for double, so I’ll give you the quantities for 16. To make the cupcakes I first creamed together 240g butter and 240g caster sugar. I added the zest of 2 lemons and mixed it in.

I then whisked in 4 eggs, mixing between each addition, and finally folded in 240g self raising flour.

I separated the mixture into cupcake cases and baked on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

I left the cupcakes to cool completely.

Using a cupcake corer, and a knife, I made holes in each cupcake.

I filled each hole with the creme patisserie.

I then covered the creme patisserie with raspberry jam, piling it on top.

I then made the Italian meringue. I started with the sugar syrup. I put 170g caster sugar and 95ml water
in a pan and let it come to the boil with the lid on. If I noticed any  sugar around the edges of the pan I brushed them away with a wet pastry brush. When the mixture boiled I took it off the heat and poured the sugar syrup into a jug.

In a stand mixer I whisked up the 3 egg whites reserved earlier with 1/2  tsp cream of tartar until they reached soft peak stage. Then, keeping the mixer on, I poured the sugar  syrup into the meringue. I was careful not to let the sugar syrup hit the side of the bowl. I kept the food mixer running until the bowl felt cool, it had a wonderful fluffy texture and was white and shiny.

I dolloped the meringue on top of each cupcake using a spoon and flicked it around to give it texture.

Then my favourite bit! I got out my kitchen blowtorch and browned the meringue all over.

The cupcakes were so indulgent and delicious. The Italian meringue creates a pillowy soft marshmallow texture on top, and the fruityness of the jam compliments it so well along with the sweetness of the creme patisserie hidden inside. I certainly felt like a Queen as I enjoyed eating this divine dessert!

   

I am entering these cupcakes into  the Food Year Link Up hosted by Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen, as these would be perfect for The Alzheimer’s Society’s Cupcake Day, with Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too and finally the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Ilka’s Blog and Marathons & Motivation.

Queen of Puddings Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 250 ml Whole milk
  • 1 Vanilla pod
  • 7 Eggs
  • 480 g Caster sugar
  • 23 g Cornflour
  • 240 g Butter
  • 2 Lemons
  • 240 g Self raising flour
  • 95 ml Water
  • 1/2 tsp Cream of tartar
  • Raspberry jam

Instructions

  1. To make the creme patisserie, heat the whole milk with the seeds from the vanilla pod until it reaches boiling point. Take off the heat and pour into a jug
  2. In a food mixer, or with an electric whisk, whisk 3 of the yolks from the eggs (reserve the egg whites for later) with 70g of the caster sugar until pale and thick. Add the cornflour and mix in
  3. Put the mixer on a medium speed and pour the milk in slowly as it mixes
  4. Pour the mixture back into the pan and heat it up whilst stirring continuously. When it starts to thicken, whisk it to keep it smooth and stop any lumps. Once thick, put it in a bowl, and covered it with cling film so that the cling film touches the creme patisserie. Put in the fridge to cool completely
  5. To make the cupcakes cream together the butter and 240g of the caster sugar. Add the zest of the lemons and mix in
  6. Whisk in 4 of the eggs, mixing between each addition, and finally fold in the self raising flour
  7. Separate the mixture into cupcake cases and bake on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Leave the cupcakes to cool completely
  8. Using a cupcake corer, or a knife, make holes in each cupcake
  9. Fill each hole with the creme patisserie, then cover the creme patisserie with raspberry jam, piling it on top
  10. To make the Italian meringue put 170g of the caster sugar and the water in a pan and let it come to the boil with the lid on. If you notice any sugar around the edges of the pan brush them away with a wet pastry brush. When the mixture is boiled, take it off the heat and pour the sugar syrup into a jug
  11. In a food mixer or with an electric whisk, whisk up the 3 egg whites reserved earlier with the cream of tartar until they reach soft peak stage. Then, keeping the mixer on, pour the sugar syrup into the meringue. Be careful not to let the sugar syrup hit the side of the bowl. Keep the food mixer running until the bowl feels cool
  12. Dollop the meringue on top of each cupcake using a spoon and flick it around to give it texture, then use a kitchen blowtorch to brown the meringue all over

Apricot Swirl Cheesecake Squares

Apricot Swirl Cheesecake Squares
I am constantly looking for ways to use up ingredients as I really hate wasting food. Apricot jam is one of those things I use in very small quantities when baking, usually for glazing or sticking fondant to sponge, but I always have to buy a whole jar. This recipe is a great way to use up about 3/4 of a jar of apricot (or any other flavour) jam!
 

To make the base I used a food processor to make fine crumbs out of 225g digestive biscuits. You could also smash them with a rolling pin. I added 85g melted butter to the biscuit crumbs and mixed well. I pressed the mixture into a lined baking pan. I baked the base on 180C/375F/Gas Mark 4 for 10 minutes.

To make the filling I whisked together 455g cream cheese and 115g sour cream until smooth. I whisked in 100g caster sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla and a pinch of salt.

I poured the filling over the base, and then added blobs of 3/4 jar of apricot jam all over. I used a knife to swirl it around until a pretty pattern formed.

I baked the cheesecake on 180C/375F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes until it had set fully and only had a slight wobble. Once fully cool, I cut it into squares.

Gosh this was so delicious! Everything came together really well, the crust and the filling were both really yummy and well balanced. I was really pleased. My boyfriend loved it as did my colleagues and friends. This is such a fantastic and delicious recipe for using up jam I will definitely be making it again!

I am entering this into July’s Credit Crunch Munch, hosted by Fab Food 4 All and Fuss Free Flavours, as I used up leftover jam for this recipe.

I am also entering into the No Waste Food Challenge, hosted by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary, for the same reason.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.

Apricot Swirl Cheesecake Squares

Ingredients

  • 225 g Digestive biscuits
  • 85 g Butter melted
  • 455 g Cream cheese
  • 115 g Sour cream
  • 2 Eggs
  • 100 g Caster sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • A pinch of Salt
  • 3/4 jar of Apricot jam

Instructions

  1. Use a food processor to make fine crumbs out of the digestive biscuits. You could also smash them with a rolling pin. Add the melted butter to the biscuit crumbs and mixed well. Press the mixture into a lined baking pan and bake on 180C/375F/Gas Mark 4 for 10 minutes
  2. To make the filling, whisk together the cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Then whisk in the caster sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt
  3. Pour the filling over the base, then added blobs of the apricot jam all over. Use a knife to swirl it around until a pretty pattern forms
  4. Bake the cheesecake on 180C/375F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes until it has set fully and only has a slight wobble. Once fully cool, cut it into squares