Saturday, 31 December 2016

Here's to 2017, Happy New Year - Funfetti Cake

Aside from the usual accomplishments of the year: re-watching the whole of Gilmore Girls, getting through The Notebook without using a whole box of tissues, going for a run at least twice a month... okay a year and just about managing to stay awake through the election; I think that 2017 will be even better because let's face it, the world can't make many more mistakes as it has done this year, right? 

To make this lovely funfetti cake, I actually used sprinkles my sister hauled back from New York for me because I heard through the grapevine that the sprinkles from America's colours don't run because of the...shh. additives. 

On to the recipe:

225g caster sugar
225g butter (or margarine)
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
225g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

2 handfulls of sprinkles

500g icing sugar
200g butter

- Preheat the oven to gas mark 4
1. Cream together the butter and sugar for 3 minutes until pale and smooth
2. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract, one egg at a time gently until they are combined
3. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in carefully, making sure you keep in the air and fold in the sprinkles.
4. Place the mixture into lined two round lined tins (with butter and parchment paper) evenly
5. Place in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown
6. Whilst the sponges are cooling get started on the icing

7. Beat together the icing sugar and butter for 5 minutes until extremely pale and smooth
11.Pipe in between the two cakes and decorate with whatever sweet goodies you have around, I used fudge, macaroons and some chocolate I lustured gold

I hope you all have a fabulous and safe start to 2017 - Enjoy xx

Monday, 19 December 2016

Christmas time s'mores

CHRISTMAS TIME HAS FINALLY ARRIVED - I've withheld from blogging the total run up to Christmas due to the absolute fear that I would be penalised for putting my tree up in... November, or listening to good old Michael Buble in October or starting Christmas shopping before it was cold enough to even wear a scarf. Never the less, a Merry Christmas is now officially in order as it is less than a week away; sorry to panic you with that deadline if you're one of those last minute shoppers or turkey buyers [would you believe they'd run out of turkey crowns in my local supermarket today, guess we'll be having frozen chicken breasts this season]. 

Confession number 1, I had never made, nor eaten a s'more before this season. So when my sister brought a pack of graham crackers [along with probably the whole stock of target] home with her from New York, I decide to take matters into my own hands and finally light the fire and make them. Oh boy what I had been missing out on!

These are such cute Christmasy treats, which may seem like a 'normal' thing to most American but to us Brits my family got rather overly excited about the prospect of toasty marshmallow with chocolate, so definitely worth a try if you haven't before! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season, even if you don't celebrate it, surrounded by good food and better company - Enjoy xx

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Autumnal Pumpkin Spice Macaroon Drippy Cakes

As much as I love bright blue seas and sandy beaches in the summer, there's something so special about Autumn. Not only does it mean Christmas is right round the corner but so is big wooly jumpers, hot chocolates, log fires, mulled wine and candles. 

I designed these, little drippy cakes with pumpkin spiced macaroons, fondant pumpkins, leaves and buttercream which encapsulate the season to me. 

I hope you're all enjoying the season, and if you live in a warmer climate then I hope that you experience it vicariously through this bake - Enjoy xxx

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Tanya Bakes - Jamie Oliver's American Pancakes

There's nothing more I like to eat than pancakes in the morning, but with waking up at 5am to get to work, there's nothing less I want to do then spend more than 5 minutes on my breakfast. So when I found Jamie Oliver's pancake recipe in Tanya Burr's new baking book, I found a way to eat them for breakfast even when waking up at the crack of dawn... freeze them. By simply defrosting them each morning, they make a quick and simple breakfast that satisfies the cravings of amazing american pancakes.

On to the recipe: 
3 eggs
115g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
140g milk
pinch of salt
1tbs butter

To serve [Optional]
Chocolate sauce

1. Seperate the eggs between two large bowls
2. Add the baking powder and milk to the yolks and mix to form a smooth batter
3. Whisk the whites with salt until soft peaks form and fold into the batter with a metal spoon
4. Fold the whites into the yolk mix
5. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and melt a little butter in it.
6. Pour a heaped tablespoon of batter into the pan, maybe 3 at a time
7. Fry for 2 minutes until the air bubbles rise to the surface and flip over
8. The pancakes are ready once they're golden and firm on both sides. 
9. Freeze or eat straight away with whatever topping you desire

There you have it, a delicious breakfast treat made from the wonderful Tanya Bakes, which you can purchase here.

Want to see other recipes I've made from the lovely Tanya Burr? Why not try:

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Halloween Baking - Easy Witch Hat Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Now, I've never been a fan of the spooky horror behind Halloween - even though creating Halloween makeup is my favourite; so I wanted to create a cute version a witch cupcake. Perfect for Halloween parties or just to devour before cozied up with a hot chocolate and watching Hocus Pocus! And for all you stranger things fans, I hope you enjoy my eleven pose in the pictures, if they're ever looking for an older one, I think I've got it nailed.

On to the recipe -
Chocolate Chip Cupcake - 
100g margarine/butter
100g caster sugar
2 eggs
100g self-raising flour
100g chocolate chips
1tsp vanilla extract
Buttercream - 
400g icing sugar
175g butter
3 tbsp milk
Green food colouring 
Fondant witch hat 

1. Preheat your oven to gas mark 5/ 190C / 365F and prepare cupcake tray with cases - I'd reccomend Halloween ones so black, silver, green or orange.
2. Whisk together the caster sugar and margarine until pale
3. Gradually add the eggs and vanilla extract
4. Fold in the self raising flour
5. Add in the chocolate chips
6. Spoon into cupcake cases until 3/4 full 
7. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until golden brown 
8. Whilst the cupcakes are cooling make the buttercream - cream together the icing sugar and butter together until pale and smooth - should be for around 5 minutes
9. Add in milk to get the correct consistency and add green colouring until desired colour is reached
10. Pipe in a circle on top of the cupcake and place witch hat on top

Hope you enjoy creating these treats, have a wonderful Halloween - Enjoy xx

Saturday, 24 September 2016

The Scran Line - Rose Meringue Cookies (Eton Mess edition)

After coming across these delectable little rose meringue cookies on The Scran Line YouTube channel I couldn't resist making them that night. After not realising that they required around 2 hours of baking... starting the recipe at 11pm probably wasn't the best idea but they're were too good not to bake that night, and made an even better midnight snack. The results were incredibly pretty. The original recipe said to use chocolate ganache but I decided that I like nothing more than a good old Eton Mess in the summer time so I transformed these beautiful rose meringues into eton mess delights... you can thank me later. 

On to the recipe (from the scran line - link): 
4 egg whites
170g caster sugar
A few drops pink gel food colouring (I prefer to use Wilton rose pink or Americolour deep pink.)
1 tsp of vanilla
100ml double cream
20g icing sugar
Vanilla seeds/extract
Whatever berries you desire

Preheat the oven to 100C (200F). If your oven doesnt go as low as 100C (200F) set it to the lowest temp but cook for a shorter amount of time. The closer it is to 100C (200F), the better as any temperature higher than that will result in a chewy meringue cookie

1. Whip the egg whites on high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
Gradually, and very slowly, add the sugar, while continuing to whip. Mixture should be very stiff and glossy.

2. Add a few drops of food gel and vanilla in your meringue, and gently fold.

3. Turn your piping bag inside out and use a toothpick to apply 4 straight lines of pink food gel on bag. Turn back around and fill your piping bag with meringue mixture, just over half way. Twist the end of the bag tight.

4. Line a baking tray with baking paper and draw circles on the paper about 5cm (2 inches) in diameter. Turn the paper over so the side with the circles is under the meringues. Grab a little bit of meringue on your finger and dab each corner underneath the baking paper and firmly press the paper onto the meringue to help it stick. This will prevent it from flying around your oven when baking if you're using a fan forced oven. :0)

5. Pipe rosettes using a piping bag fitted with a 1M TIP onto parchment lined baking sheets, and bake for 1 hour or until the meringues are very dry and peel off the parchment easily.

6. Leave them in the oven to cool completely to avoid cracks forming on your lovely meringues.

7. Whip the double cream, icing sugar and vanilla together until the cream is thick but not overly stiff (so it will just fall off your spoon)

8. Construct the cooled meringues - fill with a spoon of cream and whatever berries you'd like. 

9. Note that these are delicious to eat fresh and once just filled as if you left them in the fridge (because of the cream) they will begin to go soggy due to the excess moisture. 

There you have it, absolutely gorgeous, fresh eton mess meringue rose cookies... just a lot prettier than an eton mess, Enjoy Xx

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

T2 dessert tea - Black Forest Bliss Review

Cake for breakfast, is more of a life mantra to me than a shameful activity. Why would we opt for boring toast when there's a chocolate cake sitting right on the worktop? 

Gone are the days of the guilt packed fork load of cake now that T2 have launched their incredible dessert flavoured tea. 

Right, being a pastry chef I was skeptical of T2 claiming that their 'dessert tea' would replace the constant cake craving... and I'm pleased to say it bloody well does. 
I was sent their Black Forest Bliss tea which, as a quite possibly the biggest black forest gateaux, I can safely say has such a similar flavour, I'd be happy to sip this all day long. 

In honour of this tea, I decided to make a black forest gateaux to compare the flavour... and also I wanted an excuse to make another cake. The tea has such a sweet aftertaste that it stays on the roof of your mouth for long time, leaving your sweet tooth satisfied, so it basically is the most perfect diet tea... no need for the detox tea just drink this

So, if you're interested in this sweet tea, visit the link here or visit one of T2's many stores, Enjoy Xx