Pimms Cake

Pimms Cake

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

Jump straight to the recipe!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pimms Cake

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

Pimms Cake

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

    

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

5 from 2 votes
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Pimms Cake

Servings 12

Ingredients

For the Pimms syrup

  • 300 ml Pimms
  • 100 g Caster sugar

For the sponges

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

For the filling

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

For the topping

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

Instructions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  12. Drizzle the strawberry jam over the filling

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

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

  15. Arrange the strawberries, orange slices, cucumber rolls or slices and fresh mint leaves on top of the cake

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

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

Pimms Cake

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Chocolate Orange Baked Donuts

Chocolate Orange Baked Donuts

I love making baked donuts and I’ve made several flavours already on my blog. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to do Chocolate Orange Baked Donuts as chocolate orange is one of my favourite ever combinations! These Chocolate Orange Baked Donuts feature a chocolate orange sponge, orange icing and of course a piece of Terry’s Chocolate Orange on top. They are moist, fruity, sweet and so delicious! My friends and colleagues absolutely loved them! The only special equipment you need for these Chocolate Orange Baked Donuts is a donut pan, but once you have that a world of donut flavours is at your feet so I highly recommend getting one (or two so you make 12 donuts at the same time like I do!)

Jump straight to the recipe!

I started by mixing together the caster sugar, milk, oil, orange extract, and eggs. Then I added the self raising flour.

I usually put the batter into a piping bag to make it a bit neater to dispense into the trays, but you can do it with a spoon too.

They baked for 12 minutes, then I left them to cool.

I made the glaze by mixing together the icing sugar, water, orange extract and orange food colouring.

I put the glaze into a piping bag and piped it onto each donut, then while it was still wet I stuck on a piece of Terry’s chocolate orange.

Chocolate Orange Baked Donuts

The Chocolate Orange Baked Donuts were so moist and light, with the perfect balance of chocolate orange flavour. Plus the chocolate orange segment on top just makes them even more yummy! Everyone I know loves chocolate orange, so a batch of these donuts was gone in a flash!

Chocolate Orange Baked Donuts

If you want you could make extra glaze and dip the whole top half of the donuts into it, but I quite liked the stripy drizzle look for these Chocolate Orange Baked Donuts. Or you could melt some chocolate orange segments and drizzle the chocolate over the donuts.

      

I’m linking this recipe up with Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too, Cook Blog Share hosted by Easy Peasy Foodie, Bake of the Week hosted by Casa Costello, Baking Crumbs hosted by Jo’s Kitchen Larder, and Fiesta Fridays hosted by Zoale.


5 from 2 votes
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Chocolate Orange Baked Donuts

Servings 12

Ingredients

For the donuts

  • 175 g Caster sugar
  • 30 ml Vegetable oil
  • 175 ml Milk cow's or plant milk will both work
  • 2 Eggs
  • 225 g Self raising flour
  • 1 tsp Orange extract
  • Butter or baking spread for greasing

For the glaze

  • 225 g Icing sugar
  • 2 tsp Orange extract
  • 3 tbsp Water you may not need it all
  • Orange food colouring

For decoration

  • 12 Terry's Chocolate Orange segments

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and grease two donut tins with the butter

  2. Mix together the caster sugar, milk, oil, orange extract, and eggs in a bowl with a whisk

  3. Add the self raising flour and fold in

  4. Divide the batter between the trays. You can put the batter into a piping bag to make it a bit neater to dispense into the trays, but you can do it with a spoon too

  5. Bake them for 12 minutes, then remove them from the tin (I use a spoon to prise them out) and leave to cool

  6. Make the glaze by mixing together the icing sugar, water, and orange extract until smooth. Add the water bit by bit as you may not need it all, you don't want the glaze to be too runny. Then add enough orange food colouring to create a bright shade

  7. Set the donuts onto a rack with a baking tray underneath to catch any drips of glaze. Pipe the glaze over the donuts then stick on a Terry's Chocolate Orange segment while the glaze is still wet

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

Chocolate Orange Baked Donuts

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Vegan Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

Vegan Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

I’ve wanted to make a vegan cheesecake for a while now. My Terry’s Chocolate Orange Cheesecake is one of my most popular non-vegan recipes on my blog, so I thought it was only fair that I made a Vegan Chocolate Orange Cheesecake so everybody can enjoy this delicious treat! Most vegan recipes are super healthy, which is great, but I decided to make this more of a naughty treat by adding a bourbon biscuit base! For those not residing in the UK, a bourbon biscuit is a chocolate biscuit filled with a chocolate creme. They are also vegan friendly! (Do check the label before you buy, but most bourbons are free from animal products.) I also made my own chocolate orange segments using dark chocolate, orange extract and a segment shaped mould – it was easy to do and really made the Vegan Chocolate Orange Cheesecake extra special!

Jump straight to the recipe!

I started with the bourbon biscuit base. Using my food processor, I whizzed up the biscuits into crumbs, added melted dairy free butter, and pressed the mixture into the bottom of the tin. It went into the fridge to set.

To make the filling I mixed together the cashews (which I’d soaked in water for 2 hours), orange juice, orange extract, cocoa powder, maple syrup and coconut milk. You really need a good food processor to make the filling super smooth. I blended it in my NutriBullet in two batches, then mixed it all together in a bowl. Then I added the melted coconut oil in stages, mixing it well between each addition.

I poured the filling into the tin and smoothed it on top. It went in the freezer to set overnight.

 

I made the chocolate orange segments by melting the dark chocolate, then stirring in the orange extract and golden syrup, and pouring it into the mould. I left it to set in the fridge, then popped them out when they were done. I’m far too lazy to temper chocolate, but if you did it would give them a lovely shine!

Once the Vegan Chocolate Orange Cheesecake was set, I let it come to fridge temperature so it was easier to slice. Then I decorated it with some melted dark chocolate. I added the chocolate orange segments and some orange zest and it was ready to serve.

Vegan Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

The Vegan Chocolate Orange Cheesecake was super creamy, packed with chocolate orange flavour and super fresh and delicious! The dark chocolate segments were really yummy too, with lots of orange flavour! I was so pleased with how this turned out, and I think it would really impress at a dinner party. It’d also be sooo delicious with a dollop of coconut cream! I’ve tested this out on non-vegans and they loved it too!

      

I’m linking this recipe up with Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too, Cook Blog Share hosted by Recipes Made Easy, Free From Fridays hosted by Freefrom Farmhouse, We Should Cocoa hosted by Tin & Thyme, and Fiesta Fridays hosted by Of Goats And Greens and Zoale.

 

5 from 5 votes
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Vegan Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

Servings 12

Ingredients

For the base

  • 300 g Bourbon chocolate biscuits or Oreos if not available
  • 90 g Dairy free butter

For the filling

  • 500 g Cashews soaked in water for 2 hours
  • 200 g Maple Syrup
  • 235 ml Coconut milk
  • 40 g Cocoa Powder
  • 100 ml Orange juice (1 orange)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Orange extract
  • 140 g Coconut oil melted

For the chocolate orange segments (makes 12)

  • 150 g Dark chocolate melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp Orange extract
  • 1 tsp Golden syrup

For decoration

  • 1 Orange zest only
  • 40 g Dark chocolate melted

Instructions

  1. Start with the biscuit base. Whiz up the biscuits into crumbs, add melted dairy free butter to the crumbs and mix together

  2. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 23cm springform tin using the back of a spoon. Put it in the fridge to set

  3. To make the filling, mix together the cashews, orange juice, orange extract, cocoa powder, maple syrup and coconut milk

  4. Use a food processor to make the ingredients into a super smooth mixture

  5. Add the melted coconut oil in stages, mixing it well between each addition

  6. Pour the filling into the tin and smooth it on top. Put it in the freezer to set overnight or for at least 4 hours

  7. Make the chocolate orange segments by stirring the orange extract and golden syrup into the melted dark chocolate and pouring it into the mould. Set in the fridge, then pop out and store until ready to decorate

  8. Once the cheesecake is set, decorate it with some melted dark chocolate drizzled on top, the chocolate orange segments and some orange zest

  9. To serve, let it come to fridge temperature so it is easier to slice, it's also nicer to eat at fridge temperature. It must be stored in the fridge to keep it set. Portions can be frozen and eaten within a month

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

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Terry’s Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

Terry’s Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

I’ve always loved Terry’s Chocolate Orange ever since I was a kid. My grandad’s name was Terry and I used to think that he had some sort of involvement in the creation of this delicious treat! One of the first things I made when I started getting into baking were Terry’s Chocolate Orange cupcakes. I made a baked Chocolate Orange Cheesecake a few years ago, which was good, but this no-bake version is much much better! And so easy to make too!

Jump straight to the recipe!

To make the biscuit base I whizzed up the digestive biscuits in my food processor.

I added the melted butter and pressed it into the bottom of the springform tin, I put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

To make the Chocolate Orange Cheesecake filling I used my electric hand mixer to mix together the full fat cream cheese, icing sugar, cocoa powder and orange extract. Once it was mixed I added the double cream and whisked again until the mixture thickened. Then I folded in 8 chopped up segments of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange.

I put the filling on top of the biscuit base and smoothed it over. I left it in the fridge overnight to set.

The next day I melted 6 segments of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, put it in a piping bag and piped it all over the top of the cheesecake.

Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

For the rest of the decoration, I whipped up some double cream with icing sugar and piped it all around the edge of the cheesecake. I added chopped up segments of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange in the middle of the Chocolate Orange Cheesecake, and Mini Terry’s Chocolate Orange in the cream around the edge. Then I added some bronze sprinkles which I got from Waitrose all over.

Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

The Chocolate Orange Cheesecake was so delicious! Buttery biscuit base, creamy chocolate orange filling filled with chocolate bits, fresh cream and more Terry’s Chocolate Orange tastyness on top. It got top votes from my friends and family, even my friend’s adorable 1 year old was a big fan! Surely the most honest review! It was so easy and quick to make, and no oven involved, which is just what I needed during the hot weather on the weekend I made this.

            

I’m linking this recipe up with Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too, Cook Blog Share hosted by Recipes Made Easy and Brilliant Blog Posts by Honest Mum.

 

5 from 2 votes
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Terry's Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

Ingredients

Base

  • 250 g Digestive biscuits
  • 100 g Butter melted

Filling

  • 750 g Full fat cream cheese
  • 200 g Icing sugar
  • 30 g Cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp Orange extract
  • 300 ml Double cream

Decoration

  • 300 ml Double cream
  • 2 tbsp Icing sugar
  • 1 pack of Terry's Mini Chocolate Orange
  • Sprinkles optional
  • 1 Terry's Chocolate Orange

Instructions

  1. Use a food processor to whizz up the digestive biscuits into crumbs. Or put them in a food bag and smash with a rolling pin. Then put into a mixing bowl

  2. Add the melted butter to the biscuit crumbs and mix together, then press them into the bottom of a 23cm springform tin until compact and an even layer. Put it in the fridge for 30 minutes

  3. To make the filling use an electric hand mixer or a food mixer with a whisk attachment to mix together the full fat cream cheese, icing sugar, cocoa powder and orange extract until smooth

  4. Add the double cream and whisk again until the mixture thickens considerably. You want it to be thick enough so you have to shake or tap the spoon to make it fall off. Fold in 8 chopped up segments of the Terry's Chocolate Orange with a spoon or spatula

  5. Put the filling on top of the biscuit base and smooth it over. Put it in the fridge overnight or for 5-6 hours to set

  6. Melt 6 segments of the Terry's Chocolate Orange in a glass bowl in the microwave. Start with a 30 second blast, stir the mixture, then do 10 second blasts stirring in between until it's melted. Pour the melted chocolate into a piping bag, snip off a small bit at the end and pipe it all over the top of the cheesecake in a zig zag pattern, or however you like

  7. Whip up the double cream with the icing sugar using an electric hand mixer or by hand and pipe it all around the edge of the cheesecake using a closed star nozzle (mine is Jem 1E)

  8. Sprinkle 6 chopped up segments of a Terry's Chocolate Orange in the middle, and place Mini Terry's Chocolate Orange segments in the cream. Then add some sprinkles of your choice all over

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

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Lemon & Elderflower and Orange & Honey Floral Cake: GBBO Week #6

Lemon & Elderflower and Orange & Honey Floral Cake: GBBO Week #6

Well The Great British Drama of the past couple of weeks seems to be settling down for now, and it’s all been outside of the tent so far! This week’s theme was a new one – Botanicals Week. It based all around things that grow, so fruits, flowers, herbs and vegetables. I really liked this theme and the challenges that were themed around it. I’ve made a Lemon & Elderflower and Orange & Honey Floral Cake which you can find the recipe for at the bottom of this post. I also loved how Selasi, Jane, Mel and Mary all got into the spirit of it by wearing floral clothes!

Jump straight to the recipe!

The signature challenge was to make a citrus meringue pie. Mary was very excited and she wanted crisp meringue that was baked in the oven. Paul wanted balance between the sharp citrus and sweet meringue. Rav made a mandarin tart served with tequila. Both Jane and Candice used lime and coconut, Andrew also went for lime but added ginger to it, and both Benjamina and Selasi chose grapefruit to flavour their tarts. Benjamina added ginger to hers, while Selasi chose mint. Tom of course, went for something different and made a pumpkin, blood orange and pecan tart.

Everytime a baker mentioned using a blowtorch on their meringue the look on Mary’s face was very disapproving! Personally I prefer blowtorched meringue, it’s lovely and marshmallowy. A few of the bakers had problems with their meringue being too ‘wet’. Benjamina got a glowing result, as did Jane. Selasi’s curd was his only let down. Rav’s meringue was not stable enough, but they enjoyed his flavours. Andrew’s pie also lacked volume from his meringue, but his curd was ‘beautiful’ according to Paul. Tom’s pastry was not baked through and the judges couldn’t taste any citrus. Candice failed to impress with the apperance of her tart.

This week’s technical challenge was to make two herb fougasse. A leaf shaped bread flavoured with three different herbs – thyme, sage and rosemary. The main part of the instructions the bakers struggled with was how to cut the bread. Some made the middle cuts on top of one another, and some made them next to each other. There was also variety in the choice of proving time chosen.

Tom was relieved to be doing bread as this is his comfort zone, also he got quite stressed towards the end of the challenge. Selasi was his usual over relaxed self, and he didn’t get his bread in the oven quickly enough so it wasn’t baked through. A few of the bakers added water to the bottom of the oven to create steam as the bread baked. Selasi came last, Andrew 6th, Candice 5th and Jane 4th. Leading up the top three were Rav in 3rd, Benjamina 2nd and the winner was Tom.

This week’s showstopper was to make a spectacular three tiered floral cake. The floral element could be the decoration or flavours. Mary warned against over powering them with floral flavours, and Paul wanted exceptional decoration. Andrew’s three cakes were cherry & almond, strawberry & vanilla and lemon & elderflower. He decorated them simply with buttercream and fresh flowers, the judges thought it was too simple and his cake was dry. Rav spent the whole challenge in quite a nervous state as he doesn’t do “pretty” when it comes to baking. His cakes were all only one flavour, which was orange blossom & almond. The judges found it uncreative.

Tom used floral teas as her flavour inspiration and his three cakes were flavoured with camomile, jasmine, green and elderflower teas. He also made genoise sponges and decorated with a pretty floral effect, Mary called it simple but it clearly took a long time to do. She said his cakes were brilliant. Candice made a four tier changing of the seasons cake which looked really impressive and the judges agreed. Her flavours were chocoalte & orange, lemon & raspberry, spiced carrot and her Nan’s boiled fruit cake. I love how she uses inspiration from her her family for her bakes and it is always a success when she does this, like with her gingerbread pub.

Jane didn’t use any flower flavours in her cake and went for all orange sponges. She suffered from lack of timing throughout the whole challenge and even had to throw one cake away. She made floral chocolate collars and buttercream flowers but due to her timing problems they were very messy. Selasi made a stunning cake that really showcased his piping skills, it was flavoured with carrot, strawberry & vanilla, and lemon & poppyseed. The judges loved all of his cakes too! Benjamina produced a gorgeous naked cake which Paul said looked ‘unfinished’ – has he never seen a naked cake before?! They are everywhere! Get yourself on Pinterest Paul. Her spongers were camomile, honey & poppyseed, and orange blossom & almond. Unfortunately they were slightly underbaked.

Rav left us this week and Tom won star baker. It was a tricky one as Andrew and Jane equally could have left, and Selasi and Candice equally could have won star baker. If any of those three names for either decision had been announced I would not have been surprised. Next week is desserts week.

I wanted to go all out this week and make the showstopper. I couldn’t do three tiers as I don’t have the right size pans and I didn’t have time to buy any. I did however realise that this is the first time I’ve ever made a tiered cake! So I’m starting small, but who knows how many tiers I’ll make next time round!

I started with the Lemon & Elderflower sponge. I creamed together 350g butter and 350g sugar, then added the zest of 3 lemons.

I added 6 eggs, 2 at a time, and mixed between each one. And 3 tsp elderflower cordial. Then I added 350g self raising flour.

I divided the mixture between two 9 inch lined and greased tins. I always make a hole in the middle to avoid the cake from doming on the top too much.

I baked them on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for around 35 minutes until they were golden brown and a skewer came out clean.

While the cakes were baking I made a syrup from 10 tbsp caster sugar, 50ml elderflower cordial and the juice of 3 lemons.

I used my  Joseph Joseph Glaze Refillable Silicone Pastry Brush to brush the syrup all over the hot cakes, then I left them to cool. It was sent to me recently as part of their new baking range and it made this task so much easier!

Then I moved onto the orange and honey sponge. I creamed together 180g butter and 180g caster sugar. I added the zest of 1 orange, then 3 eggs, 1 tbsp honey and finally 180g self raising flour.

 

I divided the mixture into two 6 inch lined and greased tins.

I baked them on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for around 25 minutes. They took a lot longer to bake through so they were a bit darker than I wanted. I brushed a syrup made from the zest of 1 orange and 85g honey all over the cakes and left them to cool.

After trimming the cakes around the side and top to make sure they were neat and level, I started stacking them. I used apricot jam between each layer as I had some to use up in the fridge and I wanted something fairly neutral so the flavour of the cake would come across. Lemon curd would work really well too though.

I used four wooden skewers as dowels in the bottom sponge to support the top cake and avoid any sinking/collapsing.

Then I stacked up the two smaller cakes.

I had to make a lot of buttercream to cover and decorate this cake. I total I used 750g butter and 1.5kg icing sugar. I made the icing in two batches, and I also added 1 1/2 tsp orange extract and 1 1/2 tsp lemon extract to each batch.

I covered the cake in a base layer, or crumb coat, of icing. Then I put it in the fridge for an hour to set.

I turned my piping bag inside out and painted stripes of baby pink food colouring inside. I turned it back the right way, then filled it with buttercream.

I covered the whole cake in buttercream rosettes.

I made a last minute decision to make some flowers, and I rolled out some baby pink renshaw fondant. I used a fab flower tool to make the flowers, for full details on the tool and how to use it have a read of my Elderflower Cupcakes post.

I used a madeline tin to put the flowers in while they dried.

I used a dab of water to stick a pink sugar pearl in the middle. Then I stuck them all over the cake.

I was really pleased with the appearance of the cake. I’m not a very girly person, so I don’t often make things that are this pink and flowery! But I did think it looked lovely and the rosettes are simple but very effective.

I was most pleased by how neat the slices looked when the cake was cut! The Lemon & Elderflower cake was stunning, I adored the strong citrus flavour. The orange and honey was more delicate in flavour, but certainly no less delicious.

     

I’m linking 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, and with The Food Calendar hosted by Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen, for National Cake Week.

NB. I was sent the Joseph Joseph products for free, all opinions are my own.



Citrus Floral Cake

Ingredients

  • 1.28 kg Butter
  • 530 g + 10 tbsp Caster sugar
  • 530 g Self raising flour
  • 3 Lemons
  • 50 ml + 3 tsp Elderflower cordial
  • 9 Eggs
  • 1 Orange
  • 85 g + 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1.5 kg Icing sugar
  • 8 tbsp Apricot Jam
  • Baby pink ready to roll fondant
  • Pink sugar pearls
  • 3 tsp Orange extract
  • 3 tsp Lemon extract
  • Pink food colouring

Instructions

  1. To make the lemon and elderflower sponge cream together 350g of the butter and 350g of the caster sugar, then add the zest of the lemons
  2. Add 6 of the eggs, two at a time, and mix between each addition. Then add the 3 tsp of elderflower cordial, followed by 350g of the self raising flour, and mix in
  3. Divide the mixture between two 9 inch lined and greased tins. Bake them on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for around 35 minutes until they are golden brown and a skewer comes out clean
  4. While the cakes are baking make a syrup from the 10 tbsp caster sugar, 50ml of the elderflower cordial and the juice of the lemons. Brush it all over the hot cakes as soon as they come out of the oven
  5. For the orange and honey sponge cream together 180g of the butter and 180g of the caster sugar. Add the zest of the orange and mix in
  6. Add 3 of the eggs mixing between each addition, then mix in the 1 tbsp of honey and finally fold in 180g of the self raising flour
  7. Divide the mixture between two 6 inch lined and greased tins. Bake them on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for around 25 minutes until they are golden brown and a skewer comes out clean
  8. While the cakes are baking make a syrup from the zest of the orange and 85g of the honey. Brush it all over the hot cakes as soon as they come out of the oven
  9. If required, trim the cakes around the side and top to make sure they are neat and level, then start stacking them using apricot jam between each layer
  10. Use four wooden skewers or dowels in the bottom sponge to support the top cake and avoid any sinking/collapsing
  11. Make a large batch of buttercream by mixing together 750g of the butter and the icing sugar. When it's mixed add the orange and lemon extracts
  12. Cover the cake in a base layer, or crumb coat, of icing. Then put it in the fridge for an hour to set
  13. Turn the piping bag inside out and paint stripes of baby pink food colouring inside. Turn it back the right way, then fill it with buttercream. Cover the whole cake in buttercream rosettes
  14. Roll out the fondant and make flowers with a cutter and pressing tool. Allow to dry, then use a dab of water to stick a pink sugar pearl in the centre of each flower. Stick them all over the cake as desired

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

Homemade Jaffa Cakes: GBBO Season Seven Begins!

Homemade Jaffa Cakes: GBBO Season Seven Begins!
The Great British Bake Off is back for it’s seventh year on our TV screens and this means that my yearly ‘bake along’ commences too. If you’re new to my blog – hello! And also, you won’t know that I’ve been baking along to The Great British Bake Off for 4 years now, with this year being my fifth year! I started doing this in order to increase my skills and expand my baking repertoire. I’ve learnt so much and baked such a wide variety of things that I may never have tried otherwise. I’m excited to get started on another year of baking adventures. If you’d like to check out all of my past GBBO bakes click here. This week I’ve made yummy Homemade Jaffa Cakes!

Jump straight to the recipe!

As usual the bakers this year are a mix of ages, professions and ethnic backgrounds. There’s Val who’s 66 and loves exercise, Ed Sheeran and “listens” to her bakes. Andrew who’s 25 and designs jet engines for a living. Candice who’s 31 and a PE teacher. And Rav who’s 28 and is into vegan baking and far eastern cuisine. It’s so hard to tell at the start who will go the distance!

The first challenge for the bakers was to make a drizzle cake, and it must be moist. Paul said they are taking the challenges back to basics, so making it easier, but the judging would only get harder! Mary wanted the twelve new bakers to be inventive.

Any bakers doing a two layer cake were asked by Paul and Mary if they were putting the drizzle on both layers – which is a massive flashing warning light to the bakers that this is what they should be doing! First week nerves hit everyone, Lee immediately hit issues as his mixture kept separating. Selasi was the most laidback baker in the tent, when he forgot to put cinnamon in his cake batter he just put in the drizzle instead. Jane forgot to add ground almonds so had to make her cake again.

Benjamina got great comments from the judges, as did Candice, Jane and Selasi. The others bakers had problems with texture, lack of drizzle and missing flavours.

This week’s technical challenge was Homemade Jaffa Cakes. This entailed making a fatless genoise sponge, and orange jelly, and neatly covering them in chocolate. Mary said they are a great British classic and she wanted them to be absolutely perfect. No pressure bakers!

Some of the bakers made the sponge by whisking the eggs and sugar over simmering water, none of them knew how long to bake the sponge for, and a couple of them got confused on which way round the sponges should be. Andrew did all of his upside down, then almost presented them with the chocolate on the bottom, not sure if he’s eaten jaffa cake before?! Unfortunately that meant he came last, Lee was eleventh, Val tenth, Louise ninth, Rav eighth, Jane seventh and Benjamina sixth. Candice made it into the top five with fifth place and Kate came fourth. Michael was third, Tom second and Selasi was first.

The showstopper challenge was to make a mirror glaze cake, which should be as shiny as a mirror, and cover the entire cake. The sponge must also be a genoise. Mary was looking for sheer perfection and Paul wanted something that would stick in their minds. There was a great variety of flavours from salted praline with white chocolate from Benjamina, matcha tea from Michael and

Candice had a lot of trouble making her genoise sponge, she made them multiple times and even chucked one across the tent like a frisbee! Tom, Benjamina and Val also made their sponges more than once. The cakes, once baked and cooled had to be covered with a base layer, or crumb coat, of either ganache or buttercream. There were the first tears of the series from Benjamina as her swiss meringue buttercream was too runny, Sue was there to offer comfort and kind words.

Jane got great results from the judges, with both her flavours and appearance getting praised. Rav’s mirror glaze also looked good, the Paul didn’t like the texture of his cake. Despite having too much gin in his drizzle cake, Tom didn’t have enough alcohol in his mirror glaze cake this time! Unfortunately for Michael the judges didn’t like matcha tea, although I thought his presentation looked stunning. Kate’s cake was very messy, but Mary liked the gooseberry flavour.

Selasi was praised for his cake as he was the only one to do a fruit glaze and fill his cake with a set mousse, Mary said it was a joy to eat and Paul said it was simple, elegant and beautifully flavoured. Val’s cake looked good, but she’d used caster sugar in her buttercream. Lee’s cake had a messy appearance on the outside and the sponge was dry. Louise had no mirror glaze at all, but her cake was delicious. Benjamina had a simple but good looking cake, with lovely flavours. Candice had a good mirror glaze, but her vanilla genoise was not cooked well. Andrew’s cake looked stunning and Paul called it fantastic all over.

Lee was the first baker to leave the tent, as he did badly in all three challenges he was the obvious choice. Jane got star baker which surprised me to be honest as I really thought Selasi deserved the title. Next week is biscuit week!

I decided to make this week’s technical challenge – Homemade Jaffa Cakes. Partly at my boyfriend’s request, and partly because they looked really yummy! I followed Mary Berry’s recipe for them and changed a couple of bits here and there to suit.

I started by making the orange jelly the night before as it takes a couple of hours to set. I used a sachet of Robinson’s orange jelly as it was the only one in the supermarket suitable for vegetarians, I found it in Asda. After following the instructions on the packet and I also added the zest of 1 orange. I added a small amount of orange food colouring too as I wanted it to be brightly coloured when the jaffa cakes were cut into. I lined a baking tray with cling film for the jelly to set in one even layer.

To make the sponge I started by greasing a muffin tin with butter.

I used an electric whisk to whisk up egg and caster sugar for 4-5 minutes until it was thick and pale. I then gently folded in self raising flour.

I only got enough for 10 sponges, so I made another lot of mixture and greased up another muffin tin.

Each lot of sponges baked on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 9 minutes, turning the tray around in the oven after 7 minutes.

I tipped the jelly out onto some baking paper and cut out circles using a 1 1/2 inch cutter.

Then I melted dark chocolate and gently covered the top of each  of theHomemade Jaffa Cakes using a spoon. I then used a fork to give the top some texture. I put them in the fridge to set the chocolate.

Then I tucked in! The Homemade Jaffa Cakes are so satisfying to eat, breaking through the crisp dark chocolate to find tangy orange jelly and light as air soft sponge is a great feeling. One that can too easily be enjoyed over and over and over again…!

       

I’m linking up to Cook Blog Share hosted by Sneaky Veg, with We Should Cocoa hosted by Tin & Thyme, and with Tea Time Treats hosted by Lavender & Lovage.



Homemade Jaffa Cakes

Ingredients

  • 1 Robinsons's Orange Jelly Sachet
  • 1 Orange
  • 2 Free range large eggs
  • 50 g Self raising flour
  • 50 g Caster sugar
  • 250 g Dark chocolate
  • Orange food colouring (optional)

Instructions

  1. Line a baking tray with cling film and follow the instructions on the packet to make the jelly, also add the zest of 1 orange. Add a small amount of orange food colouring too at this point if desired. Pour the jelly into the lined tray and leave in the fridge to set for approx 2 hours or overnight
  2. Grease two muffin tins with butter or margarine
  3. Use an electric whisk to whisk up the egg and caster sugar for 4-5 minutes until it is thick and pale
  4. Gently fold in the self raising flour
  5. Bake on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 9 minutes, turning the tray around in the oven after 7 minutes
  6. Gently tip the jelly out onto some baking paper and cut out circles using a 1 1/2 inch cutter
  7. Melt the dark chocolate and gently cover the top of each cake using a spoon. Then used a fork to give the top some texture. Put them in the fridge to set the chocolate

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

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

Parsnip & Maple Syrup Cake

Parsnip & Maple Syrup Cake
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! You probably know if you follow my blog that I absolutely hate to see food wasted or thrown away, so I’m always looking for ways to use up leftovers and avoid any having to go in the bin (one day I will have a garden with a compost heap!). Food waste happens so much more than usual over the festive period so I’ve been doing my best to use up what I can. I found this awesome recipe for a Parsnip & Maple Syrup Cake and it was just perfect as I had exactly the right amount of parsnips left over from Christmas dinner to use up. I’ve made cakes using courgette and carrots before, but never parsnip so I was also excited to see how it turned out.

I started by lining and greasing a loose bottomed 22cm cake tin. You can also use two sandwich tins if you wish.

I melted 175g butter, 250g light brown sugar and 100ml maple syrup on a low heat. I let it cool slightly. Use pure maple syrup if you can (not maple ‘flavoured’ syrup), I was lucky to receive some Canadian maple syrup as a gift.

I grated 250g parsnips and 1 apple using a food processor. I added the zest and juice of 1 orange.

Into the cooled butter mixture I whisked 3 eggs.

I then added the dry ingredients 250g self raising flour, 2 tsp mixed spice and 2 tsp baking powder.

Finally I folded in the grated parsnip mixture, as well as 50g chopped pecans.

I poured the mixture into my tin.

I baked the cake for around 1 hour on 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3. Make sure it is done in the middle by testing it with a skewer as this is a very big and dense cake. If you use two sandwich tins, you will only need to cook it for 30 minutes.

To make the filling I whisked 250g mascarpone with 3 tbsp maple syrup. I used my hand mixer to do this as it thickened the filling nicely. I cut the cake in half and spread it over the middle. I put the other half of the cake on top and finished with a sprinkling of icing sugar.

The cake was so delicious! I loved the freshness of the filling, the texture that the chopped pecans added and the overall flavour was absolutely scrumptious! I couldn’t have guessed there were parsnips in the cake if I hadn’t made it myself. Although it is of course still cake, it certainly felt like a healthier snack and made me feel much better after all the indulgence of the past week.

I’m entering this into Extra Veg hosted by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.

And into Credit Crunch Munch hosted by Fab Food 4 All.

Parsnip & Maple Syrup Cake

Ingredients

  • 175 g Butter
  • 250 g Light brown sugar
  • 100 ml Maple Syrup
  • 250 g Parsnips
  • 1 Apple
  • 1 Orange
  • 3 Eggs
  • 250 g Self raising flour
  • 2 tsp Mixed spice
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 50 g Pecans chopped
  • 250 g Mascarpone
  • 3 tbsp Maple Syrup

Instructions

  1. Line and grease a loose bottomed 22cm cake tin, or two sandwich tins
  2. Melt the butter, light brown sugar and 100ml of the maple syrup on a low heat. Let it cool slightly
  3. Grate the parsnips and apple, add the zest and juice of the orange
  4. Whisk the eggs into the cooled butter mixture, then add the flour, mixed spice and baking powder
  5. Fold in the grated parsnip mixture, as well as the pecans
  6. Pour the mixture into the cake tin. Bake the cake for around 1 hour on 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3. Make sure it is done in the middle by testing it with a skewer as this is a very big and dense cake. If you use two sandwich tins, you will only need to cook the cake for 30 minutes
  7. To make the filling whisk 250g mascarpone with 3 tbsp maple syrup using an electric whisk. Cut the cake in half and spread it over the middle. Put the other half of the cake on top and finish with a sprinkling of icing sugar.

Orange & Gingerbread Pavlova

Orange & Gingerbread Pavlova
Christmas has come around so fast, like it always does, and is only 5 days away now. I really love the modern Christmas of today, and how every year new ideas and traditions are created. Although we still love the classics of Christmas, we longer stick to them so rigidly. So if you don’t fancy Christmas pudding after your dinner this year, you can turn to practically any other type of dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth and impress your family and friends. I think this Orange & Gingerbread Pavlova does just that! It incorporates traditional flavours of Christmas like fresh orange and spicy ginger, but it also creates a stunning centerpiece for any Christmas dinner table.

Jump straight to the recipe!

I started by making the meringue. If you’re left with egg yolks, check out some ways to use it up here. Or you can now buy egg white on it’s own in a carton from Two Chicks. I set it whisking in my mixer along with cream of tartar until stiff peaks formed – you know this has happened when you can tip the bowl upside down without it falling out.

Then I added half of the sugars into the mixer after the stiff peaks had formed and while it was still mixing, and I also added ground ginger.

I then folded the remaining sugar into the meringue using a spatula.

I arranged the meringue into a circular shape on a lined baking tray, making it flat in the centre and more textured around the edges.

It baked for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Then I left it to cool completely.

I whipped up double cream and spread it in the middle of the pavlova and I sprinkled over crushed up ginger nut biscuits.

Then added some orange zest, slices of orange with the rind cut off and these gorgeous dark chocolate pearls from the Chocolate Trading Co.

Orange & Gingerbread Pavlova

How’s that for a showstopper?! I was so pleased with how the Orange & Gingerbread Pavlova turned out and the final look after decorating.

The Orange & Gingerbread Pavlova is best eaten straight away and I had some friends round who were happy to help! The meringue is sweet and spicy, the orange is juicy and fresh, and the chocolate and biscuits add texture amongst the soft cream. It really is a heavenly dessert. Happy Christmas everyone!

      

I’m entering this into Simply Eggcellent hosted by Belleau Kitchen where this month anything goes. And into Credit Crunch Munch hosted by Fab Food 4 All as I used leftover egg whites that I had frozen when I made custard with the yolks a few months ago. And into the No Waste Food Challenge ran by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary and this month hosted by Jen’s Food for the same reason.


Orange & Gingerbread Pavlova

Ingredients

  • 180 g Egg whites (approx 6 large eggs)
  • 180 g Caster sugar
  • 180 g Light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp Ground ginger
  • 300 ml Double cream
  • 3 Ginger nut biscuits crushed
  • 1 Orange
  • A handful of Dark chocolate pearls

Instructions

  1. Whisk the egg whites in a mixer along with the cream of tartar until stiff peaks form - you know this has happened when you can tip the bowl upside down without it falling out

  2. Measure out both types of sugar and add half of the sugar mixture into the egg whites while the mixer is on. Add the ground ginger too

  3. Fold the remaining sugar into the meringue using a spatula
  4. Arrange the meringue into a circular shape on a lined baking tray. Make it flat in the center and more textured around the edges
  5. Bake the meringue on 120C/250F/Gas Mark 1/2 for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Then leave it to cool completely
  6. Whip the double cream and spread it in the middle of the meringue. Sprinkle over the crushed up ginger nut biscuits
  7. Then add the orange zest, slices of orange with the rind cut off and the dark chocolate pearls

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

Honey & Orange Cupcakes

Honey & Orange Cupcakes
I’ve mentioned before that I attend my local Women’s Institute (WI) on a monthly basis. Well last month’s meeting was a bit different in that we had an outing to visit some nearby bees. I had no idea that there are beehives on the roofs of many of the city’s buildings. After a talk from a local beekeeper we headed up to the roof of The Printworks where they have chickens, a vegetable garden and two beehives. It was dark when we visited, but I found the below photo online which gives a much clearer view!

The bees are looked after by someone from the Hard Rock Cafe, vegetables from the garden are used to make soup for the homeless, and the wild flower section of the garden was dontaed by Bez from the Happy Mondays. Who knew all this was going on right above our heads! Bees are such fascinating creatures and so essential to our environment. Friends of the Earth are currently campaigning against the governments decision to use bee harming pesticides in the UK, you can read more about it by clicking here.

So in honour of our bee themed meeting I decided to make some honey flavoured cupcakes with cute little bees on top! To make the bees I started by rolling chunks of golden marzipan to make the bees bodies. I laid them onto baking paper.

I melted a few blocks of dark chocolate in the microwave and painted the bees stripes and eyes onto the marzipan bodies using a brand new paint brush. You could probably also do this with a cocktail stick.

I pushed flaked almonds into the bees to make the wings.

Soon I had a swarm of marzipan bees! I made 30+ cupcakes for my WI meeting, but I’ll give you the recipe for 12 cupcakes, then you can double and triple it as you need.

To make the cupcakes I started by creaming 150g butter, 50g honey and 100g caster sugar.

I added 2 eggs, the zest of one orange, 3 tbsp orange juice and 1 tsp orange extract.

Finally I mixed in 150g self raising flour.

I baked the cupcakes on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes until golden brown. I got a new oven recently and it bakes things super fast so you may need to leave them in for 20 minutes depending on your oven.

I made some buttercream by mixing 150g butter, 50g honey, 400g icing sugar and 1 tsp orange extract. I piped it onto the cupcakes when they were fully cool.

Finally I added the super cute marzipan bees! I loved the final effect, the little ‘bees’ looked so adorable. I got some really lovely comments when I presented them at the meeting and was pleased to see them all fly off the table!

 

I’m entering these into Belleau Kitchen’s challenge Simply Eggcellent, this month the theme is cake.

 

It’s also National Cupcake Week at the moment, which is great timing to share this recipe!

Sponge recipe adapted from Rowse Honey.

Honey & Orange Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 120 g Golden marzipan
  • 6 blocks of Dark chocolate
  • 50 g Flaked almonds
  • 300 g Butter
  • 100 g Honey
  • 100 g Caster sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Orange
  • 2 tsp Orange extract
  • 150 g Self raising flour
  • 400 g Icing sugar

Instructions

  1. To make the bees, roll chunks of golden marzipan into an oval shape. Lay them onto baking paper

  2. Melt the dark chocolate and paint the bees stripes and eyes onto the marzipan bodies using a small paint brush or a cocktail stick
  3. Push the flaked almonds into the bees bodies to make the wings
  4. To make the cupcakes, cream 150g of the butter, 50g of the honey and the caster sugar together
  5. Add the eggs, the zest of the orange, 3 tbsp of the orange's juice and 1 tsp of the orange extract. Mix well
  6. Fold in the self raising flour
  7. Bake the cupcakes on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool completely
  8. Make the buttercream by mixing 150g of the butter, 50g of the honey, the icing sugar and 1 tsp of the orange extract together until smooth. Pipe it onto the cupcakes
  9. Finally add the marzipan bees

Chocolate Dipped Almond & Orange Biscotti: GBBO Week #2

Chocolate Dipped Almond & Orange Biscotti: GBBO Week #2
We’re on week two and that means biscuits on The Great British Bake Off. The first challenge was to make Biscotti – an Italian, twice-baked biscuit. They had to make 24 of them whilst maintaining consistency. Paul and Mary were looking for a dry biscuit with a good snap, but not so dry it breaks your teeth!
 
 

There was some really experimental and unusual flavours being used in the biscotti. Alvin flavoured his with jackfruit, which is very popular in South East Asian cooking. Ian added rosemary to his mix, and Ugne used white wine and goji berries. We also found out that Paul (the contestant Paul, not Paul Hollywood) used to be a cold stream guard aka one of those guards in the big black fuzzy hats that stand outside Buckingham Palace!

 

The biscotti had to cool before it’s second bake, que a lot of baking tray wafting from the contestants. I was impressed with Mat’s dedication to uniformity, he used a ruler to measure each biscuit before slicing! My favourite’s were Tamal’s Cinnamon, Maple & Cranberry Biscotti. They looked amazing, but the judges felt there was too much going on in terms of flavour. Ian got glowing results for his addition of rosemary to his biscotti Dorret didn’t do too well as Paul said her biscotti had no flavour.

 

This week’s technical challenge was to make eight Arlettes. Of course, no one had heard of them! They are biscuits made from puff pastry and rolled to be wafer thin and create a pretty swirl. They originate from France and are cinnamon flavoured. Paul was rubbing his hands together and grinning quite wickedly at the thought of the bakers trying to make these!

 

The bakers struggled with time as they had to fold the dough and chill it several times, they also weren’t sure at which stage they should add the cinnamon, and which way to roll up the dough. Marie really struggled as her oven wasn’t set correctly and only presented four Arlette’s, which meant she came last. Paul and Nadiya didn’t do very well either. First place went to Dorret with Flora in second and Ian in third.

 

I was really excited by the showstopper this week as it sounded so fun and really opened up the opportunity to be creative. We have some really imaginative bakers on the show this year! They were asked to make 36 biscuits, presented in a box also made out of biscuit, but a different kind of biscuit. Mary wanted them to be ambitious, show a variety of techniques, and of course taste amazing!

 

For the box, most contestants went for gingerbread and shortbread as they are sturdy. For inside the box both Ian and Paul made pink macarons, both Flora and Mat made earl grey flavoured tea bag shaped biscuits, Alvin went for brandy snaps and Nadiya chose fortune cookies (pictured above). Ugne made some traditional Lithuanian biscuits, Tamal made checkerboard shortbread and Dorret made some green tea flavoured frog biscuits, although Paul Hollywood though using a cookie stamp was a ‘shortcut’. Not sure if I agree, surely he didn’t expect her to cut out 36 frogs by hand?! Oh wait, he probably did…!

 

Ian very cleverly made a cylindrical box using a tin he had made himself, which impressed the judges. Sandy was the only one to make a savoury biscuit box using sundried tomato and parmesan flavours. Mat made a fire engine box which I thought looked brilliant! And Paul agreed, calling it ‘fantastic’. Both Alvin and Nadiya didn’t manage to finished their boxes, with Alvin unable to construct his and Nadiya unable to decorate hers. Despite that, both their biscuits were really impressive and well made.

 

Marie left us this week, the judges felt her bakes were too simple and she wasn’t pushing herself out of her comfort zone. Ian won star baker, deservedly so! Next week it’s time for bread week, or as Mat would say, a doughverload!

I’m not a huge fan of biscotti, and I have made it once before, but I was a bit pushed for time this weekend as I went to Aberdeen to visit my brother. I would have liked to have given the biscuit box a try, maybe when I have more time! I loved how Tamal dipped his in chocolate so I decided to do the same as I think it improves the presentation and overall look of the biscotti.

I started by toasting 145g blanched almonds. I laid them out onto a lined baking tray and popped them in the oven on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 8 minutes.

Once they were toasted I left them to cool, then chopped them up.

For the biscuit dough I weighed out 260g plain flour, 150g granulated white sugar, 1 tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt. I mixed them together.

In a separate bowl I beat 3 eggs with 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp almond extract. I also added the zest of 1 orange.

I mixed the wet and dry ingredients together, along with the chopped almonds, which made a very wet dough.

I carefully shaped it on the baking tray into a rectangle, it was approximately 35cm long and 10cm wide. I didn’t bother rolling it on the work top as it was far too wet.

I baked the dough on 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2 for 35 minutes. Depending on your oven it will take 30-40 minutes. I left it to cool for about 30 minutes.

I used a serrated knife to carefully slice the cooked dough. I baked the slices again for 20 minutes, turning them over at the 10 minutes mark. They were nice and crisp and when I pressed them in the middle there was no give.

For the final touch I melted 130g dark chocolate and dipped in one of the edges of each biscotti. I left them to set on some baking paper.

I was really pleased with my second attempt at biscotti! It went much better this time and I actually really liked them! So they must’ve been alright. The almond flavour was lovely and the orange came through, if you wanted a stronger orange flavour you could double up the zest quantity, but I was happy with how these turned out. They were just crunchy enough so no risk of any teeth breaking! I think I’m going to go and have one with a hot drink…

Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food.

Chocolate Dipped Almond & Orange Biscotti

Ingredients

  • 145 g Blanched almonds
  • 260 g Plain flour
  • 150 g Granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • A pinch of Salt
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp Almond extract
  • 1 Orange
  • 130 g Dark chocolate

Instructions

  1. Lay the almonds out onto a lined baking tray and pop them in the oven on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 8 minutes. Once they are toasted leave them to cool, then chop them up
  2. For the biscuit dough mix together the plain flour, granulated white sugar, baking powder and salt
  3. In a separate bowl beat the eggs with the vanilla extract and the almond extract. Then add the zest of the orange
  4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together, along with the chopped almonds, to make a wet dough
  5. Carefully shape the dough on the baking tray into a rectangle, approximately 35cm long and 10cm wide
  6. Bake the dough on 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2 for 35 minutes. Leave it to cool for about 30 minutes
  7. Using a serrated knife, carefully slice the cooked dough. Bake the slices again for 20 minutes, turning them over halfway through
  8. Melt the dark chocolate and dip in one of the edges of each biscotti. Leave to set on some baking paper