Saturday, 5 November 2011

♔ slice of heaven

always on the look for a new recipe
I found this one by Annie Bell
in her book gorgeous cakes:
yes they are gorgeous!
think we will be making a few more from the book

paradise slice

you will need ....

for the shortbread base ~ 
175g butter
75g caster sugar
150g plain flour
100g almonds
finely grated zest of an orange or lemon

120g raspberry jam

for the sponge ~
110g butter
150g caster sugar
150g dessicated coconut
75g ground almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
110g sultanas {I left these out!}
4 eggs
put all the ingredients for the shortbread into 
a food processor and keep running until
it comes together into a ball
press the dough into the base of a 30x23cm 
non stick baking tray {or similar}
to smooth out place a piece of clingfilm
on top and use the back of a spoon
chill in the fridge for an hour

preheat the oven to 140°c/gas 3
prick the base all over then bake for
25-30 minutes until just beginning to brown
leave to cool

increase oven temperature to 170°c/ gas 5
spread the jam over you base
put butter and sugar into the processor
and cream until fluffy
add the eggs one and a time
in a large bowl weigh out the coconut, almonds,
baking powder & sultanas {if using}
pour in the butter/sugar/egg mixture 
and fold gently
pour onto your shortbread base and 
bake for 25-30 minutes until the 
sponge is set and the top is golden
leave to cool then cut into slices
makes around 16 slices
paradise indeed:

Friday, 28 October 2011

☽☾ old recipes revisited

it's good to go back to old favourites when baking: 
there's comfort in those tried and tasted:
my first blog post was for banana teabread
it never fails!
today I thought I'd lighten it up and add some
extra flavours:
more of a cake this time:
see what you think

banana pecan cake

you will need ....

3 ripe bananas ~ mashed
240g plain flour
150g caster sugar
125g butter ~ softened
100g pecans
2 eggs ~ lightly beaten
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 generous teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
a few spoonfuls of desiccated coconut
preheat the oven to 180°c/ 350°f
line and grease a 1kg loaf tin

cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy light
add the eggs very gradually mixing well between
stir in vanilla extract, mashed bananas and pecans
sift in the flour, salt and baking powder
{this is where I realised I should have used a larger bowl!}
dollop into your prepared tin, smoothing the top
then sprinkle with coconut
bake for 1 hour, testing for doneness!
cool on a wire rack
keeps in a tin for days
{if it lasts that long}

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

❧ a taste of autumn

it's a good thing when you are given
windfall fruits:
time to bake and create:
some of you may remember this recipe ~
this is a new and less fiddly version:
it's a winner:

you will need ....
115g butter {slightly softened}
100g caster sugar
60g melted chocolate
60ml milk
3 eggs ~ lightly beaten
125g plain flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 or 2 pears, sliced

preheat your oven to 180°c / gas 4:
line and prepare a 20cm square cake tin

cream together the sugar and butter
either by hand or with a mixer
until light and fluffy:
add the eggs a little at a time
mixing well between:
stir in the melted chocolate & milk:
then sift in the flour, baking and cocoa powders:
try not to over mix at this point:
pour into your prepared tin
and adorn with the slices of pear:
bake for 30~35 minutes until firm to the touch:
cool on a rack:
as you can see, I didn't peel the pears
as the skin is soft and good:
deliciously moist and chocolatey:

proper autumn comfort:

Sunday, 22 May 2011

⌠⌡ beach dreaming

we've been blessed with lots of sunshine
and good weather:
it has us thinking of holidays 
and lazy days on the sand:

sand dollar biscuits

you will need ....

225g softened butter
550g caster sugar
375g plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
2 eggs 
another egg ~ separated
half tsp vanilla extract
some granulated sugar mixed with ground cinnamon for sprinkling
some flaked almonds
firstly I halved these ingredients using one egg 
and one separated, as we didn't need
a handy half ton of cookies to eat!
{this made 12 huge crumbly yums}

in a large bowl, mix the caster sugar and butter
together with an electric whisk {or by hand}
until light and fluffy
add the whole egg and the egg yolk and mix well
now sprinkle in the vanilla extract
then add the baking powder and flour
mixing to a doughy ball
wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for an hour or so

now preheat your oven to 190°c/ gas 5
line some baking trays with greaseproof paper

roll out your dough either between two pieces of
cling film {easier as it's quite a sticky dough}
or onto a well floured side
roll out to about 1cm thick then start cutting out
your biscuits
I used the largest cutter I had!
put onto your baking trays, reshaping the
offcuts to re-roll and cut out more
mix the granulated sugar with some ground cinnamon
brush each biscuit with the egg white
and sprinkle with this sugar
push 5 almond flakes onto each biscuit 
and bake for about 5 minutes ....
take them out and carefully push 
the almonds gently into biscuits again
then bake for another 10 minutes
or until golden
cool on a rack
will keep for 3~4 days in an airtight tin
pass the suncream!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

ꃂ who's got the key?

this is the first time I've made this pie
which isn't technically a pie ~ is it Anna {^_*}
and we can't get our hands on the 'key' limes
that are traditionally used in this recipe:

limes are probably my favourite citrus fruit
{best in a cuba libre made with dark rum}
the tartness of the limes is offset by the
sweet condensed milk:
this is very light and delicious 
and so SO easy to make!

Key{less} Lime Pie

you will need ....

175g digestive biscuits
95g butter
grated zest of about 3 limes
150ml of lime juice
400ml can of condensed milk
3 egg yolks

you'll need a 23cm {ish} loose based flan tin too:

heat your oven to 180°c/ gas 4
gently melt the butter either in a saucepan
or zap it in the microwave:
meanwhile put the biscuits into a bowl and bash
to a lightish crumb: 
☝ more than this!

now add the melted butter and mix well
put this buttery crumb into your flan dish
and press down evenly on the base 
and up the sides of the tin 
using your hands or the back of a spoon
place your tin onto a baking sheet and into 
the oven for 10 -12 minutes so it's toasty brown
put the 3 egg yolks into a large bowl
add the lime zest and whisk them for
a few minutes so they're light and fluffier
add the condensed milk and whisk away
for another 3 minutes or so
add the squeezed lime juice
and whisk just quickly to mix
if you haven't already, take out your crumb base
pour in your lime topping
and bake for another 20 minutes
it should feel set when lightly pressed
cool completely before slicing
chilled is best!
think next time I might make the base with choc
chip cookies for a choco~lime pie!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

⸨⸩ nordic noms

I was curious when my Finnish friend Anna
mentioned she had baked some 'slapped ears':
she described these little spiced buns
that are shaped as their name implies:
how delighted I was when she gave me the
recipe, written on a paper bag
complete with diagrams for rolling and
cutting:
Anna says they can be frozen then gently
reheated in the oven for unexpected guests:

korvapuusti {slapped ears}

you will need ~ 

for the dough ....
570ml luke warm milk
150g caster sugar
45g fresh yeast {or dried equivalent}
1 teaspoon crushed cardamom seeds
180g melted butter
1 medium egg
1kg plain flour

for the filling ....
100g softened unsalted butter
150g soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
to make the dough
put the  flour into a big bowl then add the
milk, sugar, yeast cardamon, egg
and melted butter:
gradually incorporate all the ingredients 
and mix until it forms a ball:
sprinkle the top with a little flour
cover with a teatowel and leave
in a warm place for about an hour:
after an hour, punch down the dough lightly
and flour your worktop surface:
using a rolling pin, roll your dough
into a large rectangle 
{about half a cm thick, 30 x 80 cms}

now the filling
spread the butter evenly all over the dough
and sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar:
you could add some grated apple too:
roll the dough up from the long side
and cut into triangles about 6cms on the
longest side:
{with the longest side downwards}
press them in the middle so 
the sides protrude a little:
transfer the buns onto lined baking trays
⬆ Anna's little drawing shows 
how to cut and press your ear shapes:

cover with a teatowel and leave in a 
warm place to prove again:
Anna glazes hers with a beaten egg and
sprinkles with pearl sugar: 

preheat the oven to 220°c/ gas 7
bake your 'ears' for 15 ~ 20 minutes
until nicely browned:
{watch them though as they can burn real quick!}

while they were cooking I heated a tablespoon of fresh 
lemon juice with a couple of tablespoons of
caster sugar:
remove the 'ears' from the oven and brush with the glaze:
as you can see, one of them got a bit
brown!
still tasted gorgeous and best eaten warm:

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

ʘ chocomocha bundt

the first time I saw Bundt cake was in Hamburg:
I was intrigued by the shape and the tin:
the cake I ate was quite plain but light
with a syrup drizzle to add moistness:

finally I have got my hands on a tin for my collection:
my recipe search in books and on the net
was quite meagre:
so I made up my own from the basic 
recipes out there:

chocomocha bundt cake

you will need ....

200g plain flour
200g caster sugar
175g butter {soft}
1 teaspoon baking powder
40g {best} cocoa powder
2 heaped teaspoons espresso powder
{or a shot of cooled espresso}
2 eggs
150ml {or so} of milk

preheat your oven to 180°c/ gas 4:
now this bit is very important so take your
time ....
grease and flour your tin by brushing with a little
melted butter and sprinkle with flour:
don't miss anywhere or your cake will stick!
in a large bowl
either by hand or with an electric mixer
cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy
add your eggs one at time and mix well
now fold the flour and baking powder
adding a little milk so the mixture drops 
from the spoon quite easily
add half the batter to your tin
back to the remaining batter ....
 stir through the cocoa powder and espresso
adding more milk if needed
dollop spoonfuls into the tin
and swirl with a skewer
bake for 45 ~ 50 minutes ....
{you know the drill, test by poking a skewer through
if it comes out clean then it is done yAy}
you can eat the cake just like this
but not me
oh no
drizzled with some butter and chocolate melted
together then sprinkled with walnut pieces
coffeewalnutchoc deliciousness

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

◉ oreo~eo~eo

always looking for new recipes:
different recipes from the usual
Libbie found one for these cupcakes:
and you know what?
they are rather nom!
well they are after some tweaks:

oreo cupcakes

you will need ....

a pack of oreos
120g softened unsalted butter
120g caster sugar
120g plain flour
60g cocoa powder
3 eggs
1½ teaspoons baking powder
60ml milk

preheat your oven to 180°c/ gas 4
line your muffin tin with paper cases
then twist each oreo to separate the top and bottom
put the creamy side of an oreo into each paper case

cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy
then mix in the eggs one at a time
in a separate bowl ~ mix all the dry ingredients
then add them, with the milk to the bowl
and mix carefully
pile this mixture onto your prepared cases
and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or so
they should be springily firm
leave to cool completely before icing
I iced these with a mixture of cream cheese and
sifted icing sugar: 
then blitzed up the remaining oreo halves
and sprinkled them on the top:
can you see the oreo half in the bottom of the cake?
it left an imprint on the empty case!
{if you're not too jazzed for the chocolate cakey part then 
you could omit the cocoa powder and add a few 
drops of vanilla extract}

Saturday, 5 March 2011

☤ corny good

after being struck with the awful norovirus
and my appetite returned
I wanted a cake without gluten:
something lemony:
thumbing through the internet
turned up a recipe that claimed 
'if you try to imagine what lemon curd 
would taste like in cake form,
this would be it':

lemon polenta cake
you will need ....
200g softened butter
200g caster sugar
200g ground almonds
100g fine polenta {cornmeal}
1½ teaspoons baking powder {gluten free}
3 eggs
the zest of 2 unwaxed lemons

for the syrup .....
the juice of 2 lemons
125g icing sugar

preheat your oven to 180°c/350°f/gas 4:
line the base of a 9in/23cm springform cake tin
and grease the sides well

either with a gadget or by hand
mix the butter and sugar together until
pale and fluffy
mix together the flour, almonds, baking powder
and polenta
now add some of this to the butter mixture
along with one egg and mix well
repeat this for the other 2 eggs
stir through the lemon zest then  
spoon into your baking tin
bake for about 40 minutes testing with a 
skewer to for 'doneness'
it should come out cleanish
cool in the tin on a rack
while you.....
make the syrup by heating the lemon juice 
and icing sugar until dissolved
pierce the top of your cake all over
then drizzle on the syrup
leave to cool before taking out of the tin
super moist and soft
eat on its own or with a dollop of
something creamy!