Sunday, 1 September 2013

Chocolate Orange Marble Cake


It was my birthday last week and because of this, I decided to spend the day relaxing and baking (because if you can't do what you want on your birthday when can you?!) and this is what arose! Originally, I wanted to use orange Matchmakers for the edge instead of the chocolate orange segments, but I'm glad I did use the segments actually; they were the perfect size for the height of the cake!



I always find chocolate cakes a bit too sickly for my liking so instead of a typical chocolate sponge, I used a marble cake recipe. This just gives the cake a bit of a lighter feel and adds to the chocolate orange flavour! I decided to make the vanilla cake mixture into an orange flavour instead and they complement each other quite well!

Ingredients

Cake:-

225g butter
225g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
4 eggs
3 tbsp milk
1 tbsp orange juice
Zest of one orange
2 tbsp cocoa powder
Decorations:-
Chocolate frosting
Aero Orange chocolate bar
Terry's chocolate orange segments

Recipe

1) Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4 and grease a 20cm cake tin.
2) Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until soft and fluffy.
3) Gradually add the eggs and milk with a tablespoon of flour each time.
4) Divide the mixture between 2 bowls and add the cocoa powder to one of the bowls, and the orange juice and zest to the other bowl.
5) Spoon two or three tablespoons of each mixture into the cake tin, making sure to create some layers.
6) Place a knife in the mixture and swirl around a few times to create a marbled effect.
7) Tap the tin against the worktop to remove any air bubbles then place in the oven for 1 hour. (It said on the recipe 45-55 minutes but I always find checking on the cake by sticking a knife into it the best option! If it comes out clean then it’s done)
8) Take from the oven and leave to cool on a cooling rack.
9) Smooth the chocolate frosting over the cake.
10) Place the chocolate orange segments along the outside of the cake.
11) Crush the orange aero chocolate and sprinkle over the top.
12) Enjoy!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Baklava

This is a bit of a fake post really because I haven't actually baked anything! I have, however, been in Greece for the past week and developed a love for baklava. I'm not a lover of nuts, but there is something about baklava that I absolutely adored. It's most likely the copious amount of syrup they are coated in but I just love the way the syrup mingles with the filo pastry and makes it quite chewy. Here is the baklava I fell in love with:-



I was complaining all week that I hadn't managed to try any and so on the last day I finally did and it tasted as good as it looked. So much so, that I regret leaving it until the last day and have decided to try and recreate it myself. Fingers crossed I can provide a dessert worthy of the baklava name in the near future!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Citrus and Sultana Scones


I've posted scones before but seeing as it is Yorkshire day, I thought I'd make some today to have with a nice cup of Yorkshire tea (the best hot drink ever known of course). I've never made citrus scones before so I thought I'd use some left over mixed peel in the cupboard and make them. I just decided to make one batch of scones then divide the mixture in two to make half sultana and half citrus scones.



I never used to like scones, I always found them really doughy and dry, but ever since I made them myself I've loved them! I much prefer these than the ones found in supermarkets and the recipe is really simple and easy to follow. These are being given as a bit of a gift so hopefully they will be appreciated with a cup of tea and some lovely jam alongside!

Ingredients

55g butter, cubed
450g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp caster sugar
250ml milk
30g sultanas
30g mixed peel

Recipe

1) Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas mark 7 and grease a baking sheet.
2) Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl.
3) Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
4) Divide the mixture into two then stir in half of the sugar and the sultanas into one half, and the remaining sugar and citrus peel into the other half.
5) Add enough milk to the mixtures to form a soft dough.
6) Roll the doughs onto a floured surface to around 1 cm thickness.
7) Cut out the scones with a 6cm cutter and place on the baking sheet.
8) Brush the scones with a little milk then bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden and risen.

9) Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Carrot Cake with Orange Icing


I feel like it's been a while since I last baked, when really it was only last weekend! I apologise for being a bit MIA in terms of baking this holiday; I didn't expect to be so busy and admit my baking equipment is starting to feel a little bit under-appreciated. I still have a lot on for the next couple of weeks but in the meantime I'll leave you with this lovely carrot cake and promise to try and keep up with my baking attempts!


This is one of my favourite ever cakes and this particular recipe is the best one I've found. I tend to give this cake away as a gift and so far, everyone appears to have loved it so fingers crossed it keeps performing! The addition of the orange icing on top gives the cake a bit of extra oomph but it's still delicious without.

Ingredients

Cake:-
175g light muscovado sugar
175ml sunflower oil
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
140g grated carrots
100g raisins
Grated zest of 1 large orange
175g self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
Icing:-
50g icing sugar
2-3 tablespoons of orange juice

Recipe

Cake:-
1) Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4 and line an 18cm round cake tin.
2) Place the sugar, oil and eggs into a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon.
3) Stir in the grated carrots, raisins and orange rind.
4) Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices and lightly mix. 
5) Pour into the cake tin and bake for 45-50 minutes. To make sure it’s done insert a skewer into the cake and if it comes out clean it’s ready. If not, place it back into the oven for another few minutes and keep checking.
6) Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool fully before decorating.
Icing:-
1) Place the icing sugar in a bowl then gradually add the orange juice until the icing becomes slightly runny but still quite thick.
2) Drizzle over the cake.

Friday, 19 July 2013

White Chocolate & Raspberry Cupcakes


These are lovely summer-y cupcakes to go with the nice sunny weather we're getting at the moment in England! It does mean that you might get a bit warmer with the oven on and making the buttercream but it is definitely worth it. 


I love raspberries; I personally think they're better than strawberries just because they're so lovely and juicy and definitely a summer fruit so this buttercream is perfect for some summer baking. Raspberry and white chocolate is also a perfect combination so I couldn't resist these.


I'm not coping very well in the heat, but these only go in the oven for 20 minutes and at quite a low heat so it doesn't warm you up too much! And you should have some left over raspberries to munch on while you make them!

Ingredients

Cupcakes:-
115g salted butter
115g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 medium eggs
140g self-raising flour
1-2 tbsp milk
Raspberry buttercream:-
150g unsalted butter
225g icing sugar
7/8 raspberries depending on flavour required
White chocolate buttercream:-
150g unsalted butter
225g icing sugar
1-2 tbsp hot water/milk
Grated white chocolate

Recipe

Cupcakes:-
1) Preheat oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4 and line a 12-hole cupcake tin with cake cases.
2) Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
3) Add the vanilla essence, egg and 1 tablespoon of flour.
4) Mix until well combined then gradually add the remaining flour, mixing well and adding the milk if the mixture is dry.
5) Divide between the cake cases and bake for 20 minutes until risen and golden.
6) Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Raspberry buttercream:-
1) Beat the butter until light and fluffy then beat into the icing sugar in small batches. Don't worry if the mixture looks dry as the raspberries will add some moisture!
2) Place the raspberries in a wire sieve then crush gently with a spoon to push the juice through into the buttercream. If you don't want a really strong raspberry flavour then add a couple less, or for an extra strong taste a couple extra!
3) Mix the juice into the buttercream thoroughly then place in the fridge for a few minutes before icing the cakes.

White chocolate buttercream:-
1) Beat the butter until light and fluffy then beat into the icing sugar in small batches with the hot water or milk.
2) Grate the white chocolate into the mixture, adding as much as required for your personal tastes.
3) Place in the fridge for a few minutes before icing the cakes.


To decorate the cakes, use a small star nozzle and a piping bag to cover the whole of the cake. If you want to dollop it on, go for it! I much prefer a bit of a messy buttercream decoration! Then sprinkle the raspberry buttercream cakes with grated white chocolate and place a single raspberry on the white chocolate buttercream cakes.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Chocolate Profiteroles

So I managed to have a pretty busy couple of weeks, meaning it's been over two weeks since my last post! I had a lovely time on holiday and finally graduated (after 4 years!) from university last week so I've been a bit preoccupied. Also, the lovely summer sun has made an appearance in England for a change so I'm afraid I've been lapping it up instead of baking!



I did however managed to make some lovely chocolate profiteroles. This was a joint effort between me and the other half, so this is a bit of guest post because he is a bit of an expert at making them now. Thankfully this does mean that they are very yummy!



They're surprisingly easy to make really; it seems quite complicated to make the choux pastry but it is really easy and they are perfect for a summer dessert as they are served cold. And as I mentioned when we were making them, everyone loves chocolate and cream! This recipe makes really large ones so these can easily feed 4/5 people quite nicely.


Ingredients

Pastry:-
60g butter, in cubes
150ml water
75g plain flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Filling:-
300ml double cream, whipped
Chocolate ganache:-
150g plain chocolate
150ml double cream

Recipe

Pastry:-
1) Preheat an oven to 220C/Gas Mark 7. 
2) Place the butter in a saucepan with the water and heat until the butter melts. Bring the mixture to a boil but don't burn the butter.
3) Take the saucepan off the heat and sieve the flour into the mixture.
4) Stir the mixture vigorously until the it forms a soft ball, then allow to cool slightly.
5) Gradually add the eggs, beating well between each addition to form a smooth, shiny paste.
6) Butter a baking tray then sprinkle with water.
7) Place 12 spoonfuls of the pastry onto the tray, spacing well apart.
8) Bake at 220C for 10 minutes then reduce to heat to 190/Gas Mark 5 for another 20 minutes.
9) Poke a hole in each profiterole then allow to cool on a wire rack.
Filling and ganache:-
1) For the chocolate ganache, gently melt the chocolate with the double cream in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring until smooth and shiny.
2) Pipe the whipped cream into each profiterole then place in a large dish or individual bowls and drizzle with the chocolate ganache.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Triple Chocolate Muffins


Unfortunately, this will be my last post for a week or two because I'm going on holiday next week! I've already bookmarked some lovely looking cake shops to try though so I might attempt to feature a couple of them on here when I come back. Until then, I decided I needed fuel to pack and organise all of my holiday things, so chocolate muffins made an appearance.



These are really tasty but not too sweet, which is normally what puts me off chocolate muffins. Using melted dark chocolate instead of cocoa powder gives quite a nice marbled effect in the cake and makes them less rich than standard triple chocolate muffins.



The melted chocolate also makes sure they're quite moist, especially with the milk as well. These are definitely a bit of an indulgence bake but perfect if you need some energy for packing like I did!


Ingredients

100g dark cooking chocolate
300g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g dark muscovado sugar
250ml milk
50g melted butter
2 eggs, beaten
50g milk chocolate chips
50g white chocolate chips

Recipe

1) Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6.
2) Break the dark chocolate into a bowl and heat over a pan of simmering water until melted.
3) Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl, then in a separate bowl, mix the muscovado sugar, melted chocolate, butter, milk and eggs.
4) Carefully fold the wet mix into the dry mix then stir in the chocolate chips.
5) Spoon the mixture into a lined 12-hole muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes.
6) Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Apple Crumble

I've been a bit busy recently as I've now moved out of my student house and back home, so my past week or so has been cleaning and packing! I did manage to make this apple crumble for the boyfriend as a bit of a surprise for him though. I love a good apple crumble with custard, and they're so easy to make that it didn't matter that I was quite busy. 


Apple and cinnamon is one of my favourite combinations and the freshness of the apples in this means that it's still quite a light and summer-y dessert. They're really cheap as well, you can buy tinned apples for less than a pound and it's an easy way to get one of your 5-a-day. I added oats to the crumble topping to give it a bit more texture and I definitely recommend making this as a bit of a treat for dessert or for entertaining.

Ingredients

Crumble:-
150g plain flour
85g muscovado sugar
100g butter
Handful of oats (depending on personal taste)
Teaspoon of cinnamon
Filling:-
1 tin of dessert apples
2 tablespoons of muscovado sugar
Teaspoon of cinnamon

Recipe

1) Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas mark 4.
2) Place the flour, cinnamon, and sugar in a large bowl and mix well.
3) Add the butter and mix with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs, then add the oats.
4) Place the apples in your crumble dish and sprinkles on the sugar and cinnamon, ensuring they are all covered equally.
5) Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top.
6) Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.
7) Allow to cool for a few minutes then serve with custard or cream.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Chocolate Chip Ginger Nuts


It was Father's day this weekend so I decided to make these for my dad as a bit of an extra present. He always complains about my baking (even though he always seems to be able to eat it) but I know he likes ginger so I thought these would be good for him. 
I had a bit of an issue with this recipe myself, as I found the dough originally quite crumbly and I couldn't form the balls without it falling apart! But if you find this is the case as well then just add some more golden syrup until it sticks together by itself.



I'm not a massive fan of ginger myself but I do quite like these; I think the chocolate dampens down the ginger in it so there is just a bit of an after taste in them. If you wanted them a bit more ginger-y then you can use a bit less chocolate and add some more ground ginger, it's up to you really! 

Ingredients

50g dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
1 tsp ground ginger
110g self-raising flour
10g cocoa
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g butter
40g granulated sugar
50g golden syrup (around 2 tbsp)

Recipe

1) Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4 and line a baking sheet.
2) Sift the flour, cocoa, ginger and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl.
3) Using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
4) Stir in the sugar and chopped chocolate.
5) Add the golden syrup and mix everything with a wooden spoon.
6) Squeeze the mixture together with your hands, then divide the mixture into 16 portions.
7) Roll each portion into a ball then place on the line sheet, well spaced apart as they spread a bit whilst cooking.
8) Flatten each slightly then bake in the centre of the oven for 15-20 minutes.
9) Cool on the baking tray for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Dinner Rolls


These are really simple and easy to make and are perfect just with butter, or even toasted for breakfast. I first made these a while ago but I haven't had a chance to make them again since because you do need a bit of time to be able to prove the dough and I've been massively busy this year with my university work. Seeing as I have now officially finished my degree, expect quite a few new blog posts for a few months!



Don't be worried about the fact you have to knead the dough; this is probably the most simple recipe I have found and it's really easy to follow. They're really rustic and add a bit of an extra edge compared with shop bought bread rolls; perfect for dinner parties or just as a bit of extra baking! I'm definitely going to try and make more bread-based items this summer, I make my own pizza dough quite regularly but I would love to make some more flavours of breads as there are a lot of different things you can do with bread and so many different varieties you can make.


Ingredients

500g strong white flour
1 tsp salt
7g fast-action dried yeast
350ml lukewarm water
Oil for greasing

Recipe

1) Place the flour in a large bowl then stir in the salt and yeast.
2) Make a well in the middle and pour in the water gradually to make a soft and fairly sticky dough.
3) Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic.
4) Shape into a round then place in a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with oiled cling film then leave to rise in a warm place for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.
5) Lightly oil 1 or 2 baking trays.
6) Divide the dough into small balls. You can make the balls as large or as small as you like. The original recipe says make 18 but I made 6 quite large ones, so it depends on what you need. Fold the sides to the middle to form the balls and get the cracked feature on top.
7) Arrange on the trays, leaving room for expansion, then cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave to rise again for 20 minutes or until doubled in size.
8) Bake in a preheated oven at 190C/Gas mark 5 for 20 minutes or until golden, then allow to cool on a wire rack. If you're making slightly larger ones like I did, make sure you increase the time a little bit to ensure they're cooked all the way through.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Cake Pops

I've never made cake pops before so this was a bit of an experiment. I have a silicone cake pop mould which has never been used until now (and I've had it around a year or so) so I figured I would finally use it! I couldn't manage to find any specific recipes to make cake pops with a mould as most of them involve baking a cake then mixing it up with frosting, but I find these kinds of cake pops a bit too heavy for my tastes so using the mould definitely works better for me.


I decided to use a Madeira cake recipe for the pops, as I figured the denseness of this cake would mean they could withstand being put on a stick and dipped in chocolate. I also had a lot of fun decorating these, due to my endless supply of sprinkles!



This recipe would make around 40 cake pops, which is quite a lot so you can reduce it to make as many as you wish. I made the full mix then made 9 cupcakes on the side as well.




These would make a really cute present for someone's birthday, and if you're feeling adventurous then you can ice "Happy Birthday" into individual cake pops. 


Ingredients

175g butter
175g caster sugar
3 large eggs
Few drops of vanilla extract
200g self-raising flour
50g ground almonds

Recipe

For the cake pops:-
1) Heat oven to 170C/Gas mark 3 and butter the cake pop mould thoroughly.
2) Beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy then beat in the eggs one at a time.
3) Add the vanilla extract and almonds and beat until you get a thick batter. If it seems a bit dry then add a splash of milk.
4) Fill half of the cake pop mould to the top. Don't worry about overfilling it as you want it to rise fully to the top half and you can always cut around the balls if there's excess mix.
5) Place the top half on and bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes.
6) Allow to cool fully before removing the cake pops from the mould.

To decorate:-
150g milk chocolate
150g white chocolate
Sprinkles of your choice

I used chocolate to cover my cake pops, but you can use candy melts if you prefer. The method for decorating is the same whichever you use.

1) Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.
2) Dip one of the cake pop sticks into the chocolate then into the cake pop. I thought I'd show a picture of what they're meant to look like here in case it's a bit confusing. Dipping the stick into chocolate first means that they stick to the stick a lot more.


3) Place the pops immediately in the fridge to allow the stick to fully set in the cake.
4) Carefully cover the cake pops with the melted chocolate then add sprinkles if required.
5) Allow to dry then store in the fridge to give them an extra crunch when you bite in.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Fruity Sausage Plait

This is a regular for teatime at university for me because it is so nice! I got the recipe from one of those recipe cards that supermarkets give out to prompt people into cooking more themselves, and I'm really glad I decided to make it. It's more of a winter/Christmas style meal but I think you can definitely have it other times of the year.
I didn't make the pastry myself I'm afraid, a combination of laziness and impending oral exam, but ready-made pastry is still really good and it definitely saves you time if you have a family.
It's also really good cold the next day for lunches, so if you have some left-over don't be afraid to put it in your packed lunch!

Ingredients

350g puff pastry
454g sausage meat
3 tbsp cranberry sauce
1 small cooking apple, peeled and grated
1 tsp dried sage
1 beaten egg, to glaze

Recipe

1) Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas mark 6.
2) Roll of the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle around 20cm x 30cm.
3) Place the sausage meat, cranberry sauce, apple and sage in a bowl and season well.
4) Mix the ingredients together then form into a rectangular shape in the centre on the pastry.
5) Cut slits into the pastry at a diagonal angle, 1.5cm apart at both sides of the sausage meat.
6) Fold the top end of the pastry over the meat, then alternately cross the cut pastry over, to form a plait effect.
7) Carefully lift onto a floured baking tray then brush with the beaten egg.
8) Bake in the oven for 35 minutes, until the pastry is golden.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Raspberry & Amaretti Crunch Cake

I handed my dissertation in today and figured I deserved a day off. I also feel hungover, even though I haven't touched alcohol all week! So the only thing I could think to do was bake and eat sweets all day. I still have a presentation and oral exam until I'm completely free from university but this will definitely get me through the next week.


This is definitely a cake for you if you like almonds or marzipan. Just the smell of the crushed amaretti biscuits made me automatically think of a Bakewell tart!


It's quite a summer-y cake as well, so if the weather is looking a bit miserable then this should perk you up a bit with the fresh raspberries. Just serve it with some more raspberries and cream and you can pretend it's warm and sunny outside!

Ingredients

175g soft butter
175g caster sugar
3 eggs
140g self-raising flour
85g ground almonds
140g amaretti biscuits, roughly broken
250g raspberries

Recipe

1) Preheat the oven to 160C/Gas mark 3 and butter a line a 20cm round cake tin.
2) Put the butter, caster sugar, eggs, flour and almonds into a large bowl and beat until all ingredients are well mixed.
3) Spread half of the cake mixture into the lined tin then scatter half of the amaretti biscuits and a third of the raspberries.
4) Very lightly press into the cake mixture then dollop tablespoons of the remaining mixture carefully over the amaretti and raspberries.
5) Scatter the remaining amaretti and another third of the raspberries over the top.
6) Bake for 1 1/2 hours, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
7) Cool for 15 minutes in the tin then allow to cool on a wire rack.
8) Serve with the remaining raspberries.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Caterpillar Cake

Yes, I have made a caterpillar cake. It's a bit more of an adult themed one though because it's really rich with the ganache in the middle instead of just cream. I'm happy with the way the roll worked though; it was my first attempt at a Swiss roll and I thank Mary Berry for her recipe and helpful tips for it being successful!


If I make another one, I'll definitely make the face different and do the same thing as supermarkets do by making a flat chocolate face then attaching to the cake. As you can see, my method didn't look too great!


I really enjoyed making this cake. I officially finish all of my university work in two weeks and so this is a symbol of my denial at having to grow up and enter the big wide world! It's also really fun to make just to work out what to use to make it look like a caterpillar. Obviously I used strawberry pencils for the legs and antennae because I figured they were the closest I could get to caterpillar legs!


I had a lot of white chocolate buttons left after I did the eyes as well so I thought I'd give it some unique spots along it's back; I personally think it gives it a bit more of a caterpillar feel! 


The presentation obviously leaves a lot to be desired but for my first attempt I'm pretty pleased with it!

Ingredients

Sponge:-
4 large eggs
100g caster sugar
65g self-raising flour
40g cocoa powder
Ganache:-
150ml double cream
150g dark chocolate
To decorate:-
Milk chocolate
Buttons
Strawberry pencils

Recipe

1) Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas mark 6 and lightly grease and line a 33cmx23cm Swiss roll tin.
2) Whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl until the mixture is pale, light and frothy.
3) Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl and carefully fold into the mixture, being careful not to beat any of the air out of the mixture.
4) Pour the mixture into the lined tin and spread evenly into the corners.
5) Bake in the middle of the oven for 8-10 minutes or until well risen and firm to the touch.
6) Place a piece of baking parchment bigger than the tin on a work surface and carefully invert the cake onto the paper and remove the lining piece of paper.
7) Score a mark 2.5cm in along one of the longer edges.
8) Starting with this edge, begin to tightly roll up the sponge, making sure the paper underneath is inside the roll then allow to cool.
9) To make the ganache, heat the cream in a pan until warm but not boiling.
10) Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, then stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
11) Uncurl the Swiss roll and remove the paper, then spread the ganache on top and reroll tightly.
12) Melt the milk chocolate and smother the roll in chocolate then decorate with caterpillar themed toppings!


Thursday, 16 May 2013

Quiche Lorraine


I first made this last summer but I hadn't gotten around to making it again until I thought it would be a good thing to make for tea this week. I'm definitely glad I did as well! The recipe seems a bit long but you can buy ready-made pastry or even make it the night before to save a bit of time. I really love the tomatoes in this recipe as well, they bring an extra sweetness to the quiche which gives it a bit of an edge over other quiches. 


I used mature cheese in mine which meant it is extremely cheesy, so if you aren't as much of a fan of cheese as I am, then I'd suggest using a milder cheese. I also sprinkled a bit of extra cheese on top but this isn't a necessity, just personal choice! 


This is perfect hot or cold; I had some for tea then had leftovers for lunch the next day and it was just as good. I also managed to make 2 small versions with the leftover pastry and filling! 


To make the smaller ones, I just used the left-over pastry with some 10cm tart tins then placed a tomato on top instead of in the pastry case. This is definitely something you can enjoy hot for your tea or cold for a lunch snack.

Ingredients

Pastry:-
175g plain flour
75g butter
Pinch of salt
Cold water
Filling:-
250g cheddar cheese
2 tomatoes
200g bacon
5 eggs
150ml milk
150ml double cream
Salt
Pepper

Recipe

1) Sift the flour with the salt in a large bowl, then rub in the butter to produce a breadcrumb texture.
2) Add enough cold water to bring the mixture together into a firm dough then allow to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3) Roll out the pastry on a floured surface then place in a 22cm buttered flan dish.
4) Chill the pastry again and preheat the oven to 190C/Gas Mark 5.
5) Remove the pastry from the fridge and line with baking parchment and baking beans.
6) Bake blind for 20 minutes then remove the beads and parchment and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.
7) Sprinkle most of the cheese into the pastry base then add the sliced tomatoes.
8) Fry the bacon pieces until crispy then sprinkle onto the tomatoes.
9) Combine the eggs, milk and cream in a bowl and season well.
10) Add the remaining cheese into the mixture then pour over the bacon and cheese.
11) Bake for 40 minutes then remove and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Iced Vanilla Cupcakes

I decided to have a bit of a fun night off from the dreaded dissertation at the weekend and make some childish cupcakes! I realised I have a lot of sprinkles in my baking cupboard and thought this was a pretty good way of getting rid of a few of them. Everyone loves an iced cupcake as well!


Some of the decorations were done by my other half, so this is a really fun activity to do with friends/partners/kids as something a little bit different. Just be wary because the sprinkles do end up everywhere! The yellow cakes have lemon extract in the icing and some of the red ones have strawberry flavouring to give whoever gets one a bit of a surprise when they bite in.



Ingredients

Cupcakes:-
180g butter
180g caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
3 medium eggs
210g self-raising flour
Icing:-
220g icing sugar
2-3 tablespoons water
Food colouring
Sprinkles
Flavourings

Recipe

1) Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4 and line two 12-hole cupcakes tins. I managed to make 18 cakes out of this mix.
2) Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
3) Add the vanilla essence, eggs and 1 tablespoon of flour.
4) Beat until combined then gradually add the flour, making sure to keep mixing.
5) Spoon the mixture in the cupcake cases then bake for 20-25 minutes.
6) Leave to cool in the tin slightly then remove and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
7) Once fully cool, place the icing sugar in a bowl then add a tablespoon of water at a time until the icing is the right consistency. If you're using flavourings/colourings then make sure it is quite thick as the flavours/colours will thin it a bit more.
8) Divide into separate bowls for each colour of icing you need.
9) Decorate to your heart's content!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Honey Muffins with Lemon Syrup


These are perfect if you don't have a very sweet tooth; using set honey instead of the clear kind means that it isn't as sweet so you just get quite a nice background sweetness when you eat them. 



I made these a while ago and just drizzled a lemon icing over the top of them but this time I thought I'd go a bit further and make a syrup to go on top, hence the slight shine to them. Obviously honey and lemon is a winning combination and the syrup gives these a bit of an edge over plain muffins!



There was a slight issue though, in that I managed to make one which looked a bit like a manatee! I think it gives them an endearing quality though and doesn't detract from the taste!



Ingredients

Muffins:-
280g plain flour
70g caster sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
240ml milk
35g melted butter
50g set honey
Lemon drizzle syrup topping:-
1 lemon
25g granulated sugar

Recipe

1) Preheat the oven to 220C/400F/gas mark 7 and thoroughly grease a 12-hole muffin tray.
2) Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
3) In a separate bowl mix the egg, milk, butter and honey.
4) Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing as little as possible.
5) Spoon the mixture into muffin cases and bake for 20 minutes.
6) Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tray for 5 minutes before making the syrup.
7) Place the juice of the lemon in a pan with the granulated sugar and heat until bubbling.
8) Drizzle the syrup onto the muffins whilst in the tray then remove to cool completely on a wire rack.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Rocky Road Bars

These are definitely a once in a while bake and not something to make regularly! They are really easy to make though and perfect for kids or bake sales. Using ginger nuts as well as digestive biscuits gives them a bit more of a grown up feel and reduces the richness a little bit; normally I find rocky road a bit too sickly, but I think I've found a winning recipe here!



The original recipe is from "The Ultimate Cookie Book" but I modified it a little bit with the chocolate topping! Drizzling the white chocolate on top reduces the bitterness of the bar so they're more manageable. 


They are most definitely the ultimate studying/library snack for people who have revision or essays to write. They're also really good for when you don't have much time to bake anything; just mix all of the ingredients together then chill in the fridge, and voilĂ  rocky road bars are all yours!



Ingredients

Rocky road:-
225g butter
115g dark chocolate
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 tbsp cocoa powder (I used Bournville)
350g mixed digestive biscuits and ginger nuts
50g mini marshmallows
75g mixed white and milk chocolate drops
Topping:-
75g milk chocolate
75g white chocolate

Recipe

1) Line a 20cm square cake tin with baking parchment.
2) Place the butter, dark chocolate, sugar, syrup and cocoa powder in a pan and heat gently until completely melted.
3) Put the biscuits into a large plastic bag and crush to coarse chunks with a rolling pin then add to the chocolate mixture.
4) Add the marshmallows and chocolate chips and mix well.
5) Spoon the mixture into the square tin but don't press down too much.
6) Melt the white chocolate and milk chocolate in two separate bowls over a pan of boiling water then drizzle over the top of the rocky road.
7) Leave to chill for an hour or more in the fridge.
8) When set, cut into bars.