Hidden star cake

The snow has been here for a couple of weeks and as hubby works outside, he’s been home everyday! It’s getting quite old now ūüėČ So to have some time to myself (even though I wasn’t too well yesterday) I decided to get in the kitchen and test out a new idea I’ve had. I took inspiration from Pinterest, but¬†unfortunately,¬†I didn’t ‘pin’ it but it’s been in my head for days. The cake I saw was a cake made in a loaf tin, with a pumpkin running through out.¬†

I thought with Valentines day approaching, I’d try to make one with a heart running through it. So I went to the kitchen to make a start, ¬†went to get a heart cutter and oh! I don’t appear to have one! I could have sworn I did. Oh well, I’ll just have to buy a new one ūüėČ

Anyway, on with the cake. Now, please note, this was a trial run just to test out how to make it and I was unwell so it’s not a totally good bake but it gives me hope to get the next one right.¬†

Ingredients:

For the stars: 

  • 100g (3¬Ĺoz) ¬†unsalted butter, very soft
  • 100g (3¬Ĺoz) golden caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g (3¬Ĺoz) self-raising flour
  • ¬Ĺ tsp red food colouring gel

For the rest of the cake:

  • 100g (3¬Ĺoz) unsalted butter, very soft
  • 100g (3¬Ĺoz) golden caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g (3¬Ĺoz) self-raising flour
  • ¬Ĺ tsp vanilla extract

Method:

To make the stars-

1.¬†Preheat oven to gas 4, 180ňöC, fan 160ňöC. Grease a loaf tin with butter.

2. Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat until light and fluffy.

3. Beat in the eggs one by one and then beat in the flour, a pinch of salt and the red food colouring gel.

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4. Pour into the greased tin and level out. Cook in the oven for approx. 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

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5. Leave to cool slightly in the tin. 

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6. Once cooled, take out of the tin and turn it upside down. 

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7. With a bread knife, cut the cake sideways into 3 slices.

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8. With a star cookie cutter, cut out as many stars as you can with the 3 slices of cake. Leave to one side.

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For the rest of the cake-

1. Clean and grease the tin again.

2. Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat until light and fluffy.

3. Beat in the eggs one by one and then beat in the flour, a pinch of salt and the vanilla extract. Leave to one side.

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To assemble- 

1. In the tin, stand the stars up in a line, one after another, running down the middle of the tin. 

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2. Gently spoon the cake mixture over the stars and level out.

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3. Cook in the oven for approx. 25 minutes or until golden and a skewer comes out clean.

4. Leave to cool slightly in the tin, then once cool take it out of the tin.

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5. Carefully slice into the cake and see if it has worked!

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I know it looks rubbish but I have learnt what I need to do next time to make it better. Next time, I will make more of the vanilla cake mixture so it covers the stars totally. I’ll have to figure out how much to increase the mixture by first though. I’ll also cover the cake in either icing or chocolate buttercream or something else scrummy. I really wasn’t feeling too well so I just left it as it was. It also appears to be slightly¬†under cooked¬†and one side of the star isn’t sharp and pointy like it should be. But this was just a learning curve.¬†

I’d like to try it out with other shaped cutters, different colours, flavours and shapes of tins. I’d also like to do it in a round tin.¬†

Until next time,

x

 

Strawberry jam pie pops!

I needed another treat to take to the party I went to at the weekend. Googling ensued to find something that wouldn’t melt in the car. I already had cheese twists and cookies so wanted something different. I decided to look at a favourite website of mine http://www.bakerella.com It’s a fantastic website and I love looking at the many recipes. Eventually, after spending many minutes drooling; ¬†I came across these:¬†http://www.bakerella.com/easy-as-pie/¬†pie pops. They look so cool, right?! I had to give them a go.¬†

All you need is pastry, a filling of your choice (I used strawberry jam), whisked egg, lollypop stick and sugar. Easy peasy.

I used this simple shortcrust pastry recipe: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/shortcrustpastry_1278

I rolled it out and cut out circular shapes

On a lined baking tray, place a circle of pastry and gently push in a lollypop stick

Spoon a little jam into the middle of the circle and brush the edges of the circle with the egg

Place another circle on top of the jam and press down the edges. Crimp along the sides with the edge of a lollypop stick  and brush the top with the egg

Repeat with the rest of the pastry

Cook for approx 20 minutes on gas 6 or until golden

When they are cooked, sprinkle on a little sugar. I also wrapped them in cellophane to keep them fresh

They must be good as there were none left! I think I’ll try with a savoury filling next time, as I¬†definitely¬†have to make more!

The best big, fat, chewy cookies ever

These are THE best cookies, I’ve ever made. People said to me when they tried them that I should sell them, they’re that good. There were resounding ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ when they were being gobbled down.

Here’s the recipe¬†http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/4807/best-big–fat–chewy-chocolate-chip-cookies.aspx

I used milk and white chocolate chips for a hit of two lovely chocolates. They are soft, chewy, sweet and are by far, my favourite cookie, homemade or shop bought. You must try them!

If you try these (which I really think you should!) You will not be disappointed, I promise*

*Please don’t hunt me down if you don’t like them! ūüėČ Though I think you will…

Psychedelic biscuits!

Here’s another batch of food I took to the party. They look so vibrant and appealing that everyone will want one. Both adults and kids of all ages loved them and went back for more…and more…and more!

I used this basic recipe but divided it into two and made one half in one bowl and the other in another bowl.

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3468/basic-biscuit-dough

In one of the bowls (before I added the flour) I added some red food colouring gel and in the other, blue gel (the gel is so much better than the ‘normal’ liquid food colouring, as you only need a tiny bit to make the vivid colour)

When the dough is made and has been in the fridge for a bit, divide both balls of dough into two

Taking one half of the red, roll it into a rectangle on a floured surface. Then next to it roll out the blue to the same shape and size

Put one on top of the other. Roll gently so they merge slightly

Gently roll into a sausage

Carefully cut into thin biscuits

Repeat with the other halves of the dough

Cook at gas mark 4, on a grease proofed tray for approx 12 minutes 

This picture shows how bright the are. They taste a bit like shortbread and look cool! 

Daim, Lindt and more chocolate cupcakes

Well, I’m back from a lovely week in Spain with my husband and in-laws¬†and back to typical English weather! I felt sad that my lovely husband had to go straight back to work out in the cold, so decided to bake him something yummy to welcome him back home. He loves chocolate (and we may have bought a massive bag of mini daim bars and a massive bar of Lindt in duty free at Malaga airport!) so I thought I’d use lots of the good stuff.

Ingredients:

110g butter

110g caster sugar

2 beaten eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

50g cocoa powder

chopped diam bars (I used quite a few, just can’t remember how many!)

110g self raising flour

4 tablespoons milk

For the topping:

Milk chocolate Lindt (again I used a bit, just can’t remember how much!)

Crushed cornflakes (again, see above)

1. Cream together the butter and sugar

2. Gradually beat in the eggs and then add the vanilla extract

3. Fold in the cocoa powder

4. Sift in the flour

5. Gently mix in the chopped daim bars

6. Spoon into 12 cake cases in a muffin tin and cook in the oven at gas mark 4 for approximately 12-15 minutes or until golden on top

7. Leave to cool, then melt the chocolate and spoon over the cakes. Whilst the chocolate is still melted, sprinkle over the crushed cornflakes.

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Sorry that there’s not more photos, but I just quickly made them up as I had the dreaded holiday washing to do!

Pink! Double layer strawberry cupcakes

As a ‘typical’ girly girl, I love pink. Everything would be pink if I ruled the World… Okay, maybe that’s too far, so not everything. So I had to make something pink.

I had a couple of punnets of strawberries that I was going to use for a cheesecake but someone <cough> my husband <cough> ate the whole pack of digestives I was going to use. So I had to come up with something else to make. I thought cupcakes are easy enough to whip up quickly (having lots of chores to do ūüė¶ )

Here’s what I did:

Ingredients-

110g butter/margarine

110g caster sugar

2 eggs, beaten

200g self-raising flour

Strawberries, mashed

Red food colouring gel

Strawberry jam

For the buttercream:

140g softened butter

280g icing sugar

1 tbsp milk

A little bit of food colouring

Strawberry jelly sweets

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 and line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases

2. Weigh the butter and caster sugar and beat until pale and creamy

3. Fold in the sieved flour using a large spoon

4. Mix in the mashed strawberries and a little bit of the food colouring gel (until you get the colour you desire)

5. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until they are half full

6. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes (check that a skewer comes out of the cake clean) Remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool. Loosen the wrappers, so they’ll come away easily, then bake the next batch (the mix makes 24 little cakes)

7. When the cakes have cooled, take them out of the wrappers and spread a little jam (I used strawberry) with¬†a small pallette knife¬†over one of the top of the cakes and place another cake on the top. Repeat with all the cakes so that you have 12 ‘double cakes’ Then put them in a new wrapper.

8. Now it’s time to make the buttercream. Beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth, then add the remaining icing sugar with one tablespoon of milk (you can add more if necessary) until the mixture is smooth but firm enough to pipe

9. Add in the food colouring and mix until it is totally combined (I wanted mine to be pale pink)

10. Prepare the icing bag, choosing the nozzle of your choice (I used a star shaped nozzle). Fill the bag (I place the bag into a bag to make filling it easier) and swirl from the outside, inwards

11. Finish the cake with a strawberry sweet in the center

The Humble Crumble

This has to be one of the easiest and most delicious desserts you can make.

Just wash/peel/chop whatever fruit you fancy- I had lots of apples near their best before that I used.

Sprinkle over some sugar, water and some lemon juice (to stop the apples from browning) over the fruit.

Make the topping with approx 200g flour, 110g golden caster sugar and 110g butter. Rub with the tips of your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs then spread over the fruit.

Cook it¬†’til it’s golden brown and serve with custard, cream or ice cream. Easy peasy.

For this crumble though, instead of sprinkling over water; I boiled the apple peel with sugar and cinnamon, then strained away from the peel and poured over the fruit for extra flavour.