27 March 2011

Emma - 2, Silly oven - 0

Round 2 of testing my oven involved baking a batch of little chocolate cupcakes to see how they survived - the end result were lovely; I topped them with a simple chocolate glace icing and packed them off with Giles to stop me eating them...

I've started writing a shopping list of things I need now I can bake from my flat...

26 March 2011

Libby's Birthday

I've made a cheeky batch of cupcakes for Libby's birthday and I'm really really hoping they survive the train journey this evening!!!

They're chocolate sponge with a chocolate ganache filling care of my new flavour injector (amazing) and the topping is orange or raspberry swiss merringue buttercream.

According to my mother the colours are 'very fashionable now and would look good in the window of Hobbs'.  Thanks mum.....

24 March 2011

Wholemeal Cottage Loaf

As I have time today (ie. I handed an essay in yesterday so I made an executive decision to do no work today) I made a cottage loaf.  Its half white flour and half wholemeal flour just because I felt like it...

American Cookies

My boyfriend showed me a recipe for American-style chocolate chip cookies last night here which he used to make himself at school, so I thought I'd have a go at making some today.

Goey biscuits that don't look properly cooked freak me out so I baked these for 12 minutes, they're still a bit soft but as they're not thick cookies I don't think they'd be cooked if I'd taken them out earlier.

The ground rolled oats give the cookies a more nutty taste and a different texture. I've managed to eat 5 so far and it made masses so I'm putting them out of sight till I can fob them off on Giles later to save my diet.....as if.

American Chocolate Chip Cookies (makes loads and loads)
100g rolled oats
125g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
50g milk chocolate
100g butter
100g soft brown sugar
100g caster sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
115g chocolate chips

1) Preheat the oven to 190C and grease and line as many baking trays as you own, this recipe makes a ton of cookies!
2) Whizz oats up in a food processor; add flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt and whizz up. Add the chocolate and whizz that too!
3) Cream the butter and both sugars
4) Beat the egg and vanilla extract into the butter mix, beat to combine, then stir through chocolate chips and the whizzed up ingredients.
5) Roll balls of dough the size of ping-pong balls and place them 5cm apart on the trays to allow for spreading.
6) Bake for 10 minutes for a weird 'raw' cookie, or 12 minutes if you don't want them squishy.

23 March 2011

Chocolate & Ginger cookies

My oven has passed stage 1 of its' testing since the cake explosion last October; I have successfully baked a batch of ginger & dark chocolate cookies this evening and they didn't blow up, they didn't burn and the middle AND the outside are cooked!

20 March 2011

(odd shaped) Naan bread

I made some naan bread to go with dinner last night (curry...), but I don't think they're quite the right shape!!

According to Giles they tasted 'garlicky and fucking great'....which is nice

Coffee Kisses

Last night I fancied something after dinner so I made some coffee kisses and stuck them together with (far too much) coffee buttercream.  I used my camp coffee essence again instead of instant coffee granules which is nice...

18 March 2011

More cupcakes

I spent yesterday afternoon making these cupcakes for a friend to take to his girlfriend's birthday dinner, a far better way to spend my time than by actually doing any work...

They're all made from recipes by the Primrose bakery and all topped with swiss meringue buttercream.

Theres malt cupcakes with milk chocolate frosting and maltesers; I always have a problem with this sponge, every time I make it the cakes swell out of their cases and don't rise up and I'm not sure why.
Then orange cakes with lemon icing and jam filled sponge with white chocolate icing.

16 March 2011

Lemon Meringue Pie

For my dad's birthday meal I made lemon meringue pie for the pudding; I've never made it before and I think I'd do a few things differently next time but it tasted really good and I'm pleased with how it came out.

I think there was too much pastry up the sides which left the bottom too thin and I should have shaped the meringue topping so it looked better.

We cut it when it was still warm so the lemon filling was a bit gloopy, but when the pudding has cooled it was perfect!

14 March 2011

Mars Bar Cake

Its my dad's birthday tomorrow so I made him a cake this evening; its a chocolate sponge made from the Primrose bakery cookbook topped with icing from them too.

The sponge was very time consuming to make and the cakes came out so big that I've cut each one in half so it has four layers of sponge; between the layers is a caramel icing and the cake is topped and covered with mars bar icing!

The mars bar icing is SO sticky and gloopy and it was a terrible terrible idea to try and ice the sides with it aswell because its gone so gloopy and now it looks really budget.

This was easily the best chocolate cake I've made and I think eaten, and I don't think I want to make boring two layer cakes anymore either...

6 March 2011

My favourite cake: Coffee & Walnut

I've made myself a coffee & walnut cake with the intention of eating the whole thing on my own and not sharing it with anybody to prepare myself for the inevitable cravings that lent brings.

I've made the sponge plenty of times but the icing was from the Great British Book of Baking and uses cream, icing sugar, melted and slightly browned butter and coffee essence.  Its nice and nowhere near as sweet as some I've had so it works well with the cake.

I didn't use instant coffee as a flavouring this time though, I used Camp coffee essence and I'm sure its changed the way the cake and icing taste.  Its still nice though, I just have to stop myself eating it until Tuesday (pancake day when I plan to eat a LOT.....).

Chocolate Muffins

Given my history of mixed success with muffins I always want to try and make more to prove I can, so I made these chocolate chips muffins from a recipe by Paul Hollywood.

They're made with strong white bread flour so they've got a good strong crumb and had I made less (the recipe says it makes 20 so I made 20 but really I should have made somewhere between 15 and 18 to get bigger muffins) they would have risen larger and held their shape to a dome.

They've got chopped white chocolate folded through the mixture and a square of dark chocolate in the centre of each muffin.

I had to eat one, just to find out what they're like....

After eating 2 (whoops) I have decided they are too dry for me; I think the recipe uses too much cocoa powder because they taste overwhelmingly like it so if I reduce that and then use 5 eggs not 4 large and 1 bantum (it sas 4/5 eggs on the recipe) then maybe they will be more moist I think?  I might just try other recipes instead until I'm happy.

5 March 2011

Lemon Layer Cake

I made this cake this evening to give as a gift to somebody; the sponge is a lemon layer cake made using the Primrose Bakey's recipe which I then topped with a lemon juice and caster sugar syrup as soon as it came out the oven.  The sponge is very light and lemony and the addition of the syrup has made it very mosit.

The icing is a lemon buttercream, again from the Primose Bakery. I've decided that I think the sweeter buttercreams made with icing sugar work better on layer cakes than my swiss merringue buttercream as there is a better cake to icing ratio.....