27 February 2011

Semi-freddo & Petticoat Tails

For my own pudding last night I made a figs & honey semi-freddo from an old Jamie Oliver recipe my mum gave me.  It was fairly easy to make, it just used a lot of bowls!  I don't really like honey so I wasn't overly keen on it, but my boyfriend had two helpings which is nice!

I served it with petticoat tails made from my Be-Ro book (standard) which were lovely (obviously).

I think I'll start my diet tomorrow...

Yorkshire Pink 'Champagne' Rhubarb Cheesecake

My mum had a dinner party last night and wanted a pudding so she asked me to make her the Rhubarb cheesecake from my Great British Book of Baking.  I don't often get to make puddings so it was nice to try something different; this cheesecake was fairly easy to make, it just took a long long time to bake!


Mum assembled the topping onto the base to serve it as I was out but I've had a slice and it really is nice!  Apparently her dinner guests are off to buy the book today so they can make it for themselves!

Rhubarb Cheesecake (from 'The Great British Book of Baking)
For the base: 100g digestive biscuits
                     50g melted unsalted butter

For the filling: 900g full-fat cream cheese (not reduced fat, it goes weird)
                     grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
                     1 tsp vanilla extract
                     200g caster sugar
                     4 medium eggs, beaten
                     450ml sour cream

For the topping: 275g young pink rhubarb
                         3 tbsps strawberry jam

+ 22-23cm springclip tin and a baking dish

1) To make the base smash up the biscuits and mix with the butter then press into the base of the greased tin and leave to chill whilst making the filling.
2) Mix together the cream cheese, both zests, vanilla and sugar at low to medium speed until very smooth.
3) Gradually beat in the eggs, followed by the sour cream; when fully combined pour into the tin; put the tin onto baking tray for stability.
4) Bake at 150 degrees for 1 3/4 hours until just firm; the mixture will puff and crack, don't panic, its meant to!
5) Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside to cool for about 1 1/2 hours; remove from the oven when cool then cover and allow to chill, preferably overnight.
6) For the topping prepare the rhubarb by rinsing it and removing the tough ends.  Cut the stalks diagonally into 2-3cm chunks.  Spread the jam over a baking dish and arrange the rhubarb on top; cover the dish with foil then bake in the oven (alongside the cheesecake) for 20-30 minutes.
7) When ready to assemble, drain the rhubarb from its liquid and put the liquid into a small pan and simmer it over a low heat for a few minutes until syrupy.  Unclip the cheesecake, arrange the fruit on top and brush generously with the syrup.  Chill before serving.

Flappy J's

I LOVE these Be-Ro flapjacks; I've got the 40th edition book but the recipe for flapjacks just isn't as good as the original one in my mum's tattered and old copy.  I always add extra syrup too and they go quite gooey and chewy.

I made a second batch to give to my boyfriend and put dessicated coconut in them as my gran mentionned that she had a Hairy Biker's flapjack recipe with coconut in that was nice.  Its a really subtle taste but its kind of fun!

23 February 2011

Nigella's Malteser Cake

My boyfriend has been asking for Nigella's Malteser Cake since almost the first time I met him; I've never had it before but he says its amazing. 

I got the recipe here http://www.aspoonfulofsugar.net/wp/2005/01/chocolate-malteser-birthday-cake/ as its from Nigella's Feast book for 2004 which I don't have.  I've read a bit about the cake on other blogs too, most people have said the sponge isn't great so I'm interested to see what its like given it has so little fat in!

Kind of went to town with maltesers on the top...

I've decided that (after 2 large helpings) I don't like cake sponge with only a little fat in, they're weird and chewy and suspiciously springy.  However, I do like the icing so I'll make it again but use a chocolate sponge this time or doctor one slightly to put some Horlicks in and see if that makes it more malty.

22 February 2011

Snickers Brownies

I love snickers more than is normal so when I found a recipe for Snickers brownies online here; I got over excited and wanted to make some so I forced my boyfriend to 'help me make them' for pudding one night.

As usual I wanted to eat them as soon as they came out the oven so I burnt my tongue and mouth and fingers but it was worth it, they're soo yummy; they're gooey in the middle and the snickers tastes amazing baked.

I made more the next day but used Bounty bars instead (I made another batch of Snickers ones too, just incase) and they were just as good because the coconut made it fun!

Snickers Brownies
4 oz plain chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup butter
280g caster sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt
1 cup plain flour
around 250g of snickers (have extra to eat otherwise that would be wrong)

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease an 8x8 square tin
2) Microwave the chocolate and butter until the butter has melted; stir together until the chocolate has melted.
3) Stir in sugar, eggs, extract and salt.
4) Gradually add in the flour and stir until combined.
5) Pour half the mix into the tin, cover with chopped chocolate of choice and cover this with the remaining mixture.
6) Bake for 30 minutes and try to let them cool a bit before eating, even if they keep looking at you, resist them.  A burnt tongue is not cool

13 February 2011

Malt and chocolate cupcakes

As I had a few malt cupcakes left over from the batch made for the birthday party I decided to ice them with dark chocolate swiss merringue buttercream and decorate them with maltesers as a sort-of valentines-kind-of-present to give to a boy.....

Valentines Victoria Sandwhich Cake

My dad asked me to make a cake for my mum for Valentines day; his criteria were that it was shaped like a heart and had red icing!

I went for a victoria sandwhich recipe as she likes the sponge and filled it with a layer of strawberry jam then vanilla swiss merrignue buttercream and topped it with swiss merringue buttercream with strawberry jam mixed through it which gave it a lovely glossy dark pink colour with flecks of strawberry showing through.

In my head the cake had a light dusting of icing sugar over the top just to finish it off nicely.  In reality I'm awful at dusting anything with anything so theres a blob of icing sugar to one side and a trail of it around the rest of the cake.....worst case scenario, I claim my dad iced it and thats why it looks a bit budget...

Ginger biscuits

Mum asked me to make her some ginger biscuits this weekend so I made a large batch using a recipe from the Great British book of Baking - I've never made any before, its quite a simple recipe to follow and the biscuits tasted so good and look shop bought (a friend thought I had bought them) which is nice.

Mocha Cupcakes

A friend's mum has just come out of hospital so is resting so I decided I'd take her some cupcakes as a little gift as she does a lot of (very tasty) baking usually and we always talk about when I'm round!

I made the Primrose bakery's chocolate sponge but added a coffee shot by mixing 1 teaspoon of instant coffee with 1 teaspoon of boiling water and folding it through the mixture before spooning it into the cases.  The icing is chocolate swiss merringue buttercream and coffee swiss merringue buttercream.
I did top the cakes with a dusting of cocoa powder or a walnut half later but didn't get a photo of them.

Birthday cupcakes

Two friends from my course had a joint birthday party-thing this weekend so I (obviously) made some cupcakes to take along for them - I wanted to make something new so I made 4 different cakes so I didn't have to just make vanilla sponge as usual.

From left: Hummingbird's red velvet with white chocolate swiss merringue buttercream; Primrose bakery's malt sponge with marshmallow icing; Primrose bakery's chocolate sponge with rose swiss merringue buttercream; Hummingbird's peaches and cream cupcake with vanilla swiss merringue buttercream.

The only one I didn't like was the peaches and cream cake as I found the peach just made the case soggy and separated from the sponge leaving a soggy patch behind it!  Only one cake was left at the end of the night and it was one of those!

6 February 2011

Chocolate Kiwi Cake

I was complaining about people always wanting boring flavoured cakes the other day when a friend told me to make a kiwi cake because I was bored of normal ones, so I decided to make a kiwi mascarpone frosting to use with a chocolate sponge.

Originally I made mini cupcakes, but I didn't get a photo of them and I had a LOT of icing left as the 2 kiwis I used meant the icing went very runny so I ended up using half the amount and loading it with icing sugar (rookie error) to give it some strength.

The icing tastes sweet, but with the zing of kiwi as an after taste so its not as bitter as I expected it to be.  Mind you, I was fairly liberal with the icing sugar.

I ate this bit, and then some more, and then a bit more just to check that the rest of the cake tasted as good.  It does.
Chocolate Layer Cake
6oz self-raising flour
1tbsp cocoa powder.
6oz sugar
6oz butter
3 eggs
dash of milk

1) Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare two 8-inch baking pans.
2) Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3) Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
4) Sift in the flour and cocoa powder - when measuring the flour, remove 1 tbsp worth and replace with 1 tbsp cocoa powder. Fold gently until just combined.
5) Pour into the prepared tins and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Allow to cool before drowning in icing.

Kiwi Icing
1 kiwi
mascarpone cheese
icing sugar

1) Crush the kiwis into the mascarpone and mix through.
2) Add the icing sugar, a small amount at a time, to thicken the mixture up.

Lemon Drizzle Cake

My grans down this weekend so my mum asked me to make a lemon drizzle cake for them to have with a cup of tea and found a recipe in my 'Great British Book of Baking'.

We didn't have a round tin the right size so I used a square silicone one we have instead which is (kind of) fun.  When I pricked the sponge to drizzle the sugar and lemon syrup over it, you could really smell the lemon zest in the sponge.  Plus the syrup has given it a lovely sugary finish.

Obviously I've already tried it; the sponge is light and soft and the syrup adds a stronger flavour and some sugary crunch.