Friday, 30 December 2011

Chocolate Muffins

These are perfect for those days when you are low and just need a chocolate pick up, not only is the sponge chocolate and moist but there is Bournville chocolate (my favourite to use when baking) pieces, White chocolate buttons and maltesers.
What's even better is that you can eat them while they are still warm and the chocolate will still be soft.

What you need
7 oz plain flour sifted
1 oz cocoa powder sifted
1 tbsp baking powder sifted
1 tsp ground nutmeg
4 oz dark brown sugar
4 oz white chocolate chopped or buttons
5 oz dark chocolate chopped or broken into pieces
2 eggs
3 fl oz veg oil, you can use sunflower or groundnut oil
7 fl oz milk
24 maltesers

Icing sugar

What you do.
Line your cupcake tin with 12 muffin cases and preheat your oven to 200 o'C.
Put your flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and nutmeg into a bowl,
stir in the sugar,
then the white chocolate and the dark.

In a jug whisk the eggs and oil together until frothy
slowly whisk in the milk.

Add your egg mix to the flour and chocolate mix and stir until combined.

Divide the muffin mix between the cases. Then add in your maltesers, I placed 2 in each.

 Place in the oven on the second to bottom shelf and bake for 20 minutes until springy to touch.

Leave the muffins in the tins and sprinkle with icing sugar, then transfer to the wire rack to cool completely.

Happy Baking

Thursday, 29 December 2011

My Stollen experiment

This cake is a tradition for my family, especially on my mums side, I have had stollen at Christmas ever since I can remember, I must admit when I was growing up we would normally buy from the shops. Normally you would not have marzipan in a stollen and I found a recipe which didn't have it in but since I just had it lying around I thought what the heck and used it, I also discovered I didn't have every thing it needed so I used what I had.
 If you are not a fan of marzipan then you can always miss it out.
When I was making this stollen, it was a complete experiment and I am really pleased with how it turned out, My family and friends enjoyed it that much I thought that this is one to share.
This is delicious sliced and buttered.

What you need:
1lb plain flour
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
2 sachets of easy bake yeast
2 oz caster sugar
1 tbsp ground Nutmeg
1 egg
6 fl oz milk
5 oz butter
6 oz mixed dried fruit
3 oz mixed peel
2 oz ground Almonds
5 oz white Marzipan
250g Cranberries (I used fresh cranberries which I blitz using a hand held food processor, you can used dried)

Icing sugar to dust

What you do:
In a large bowl mix the flour, extract, yeast, nutmeg and caster sugar together.

Add the egg, milk and butter. Squeeze it all together with your hands until it starts to create a dough. Place onto a floured work  top and knead for a few minutes until a dough is formed.

Place your dough back into the bowl and cover with cling film and leave in a warm place until it has doubled in size. This took about 2 hours.
Once it has doubled in size place the dough onto a really well floured work top and knead in the mixed fruit, peel and Almonds.   If you find it is sticky add more flour.

Using a rolling pin roll out your dough.
 Roll your marzipan into a sausage shape and place on the edge of your dough.
Roll your dough around the marzipan.
Once that is done cut your dough in half and fold and squeeze the outer sides closed so that the marzipan will not leak out when cooked.

Cover your dough and leave for about 30 minutes.
During this time I preheat my oven to 150 and line 2 baking trays with grease proof paper.
When the trays go in the oven place them on the bottom shelf and bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until your dough is Golden brown colour.

Leave on the baking tray for 10 minutes and then move on to a wire rack to cool completely.
Dust with icing sugar.

Happy Baking

Friday, 23 December 2011

Christmas Flapjacks

The other night I was watching Nigel Slater on telly, he was doing a Christmas special and in it he did flapjacks which inspired me to do these ones.
These are a complete experiment but according to my other half he thinks they are fantastic, and that does mean a lot to me as he is not a fan of cakes and bakes.

What you need:
7 oz oats
2 oz crushed cranberries or you could use dried
2 oz ground almonds
1 oz mixed peel
1 tsp nutmeg
2 oz butter
4 oz caster sugar
2 tbsp Golden Syrup
5 oz white chocolate

What you do:
Line a baking tray or square tin with grease proof paper.
In a large pan put your golden syrup, caster sugar and butter, give it a stir to blend
 altogether then place on low to medium heat until the butter has melted.
 Try not to stir it to often, I stirred mine only a couple of times.
Once the butter has melted preheat your oven to 180o'C and  add in your oats, cranberries, Almonds, mixed peel and nutmeg to your butter mix. Stir until it is all combined.

Spread your oat mix in your tray,
 try to make sure that it is even and place in the oven on the second from bottom shelf and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool
once it is cool melt your chocolate and drissall on top of your flap jacks.
 Leave to reach room temp then place in the fridge until the chocolate has set.
Once the chocolate has set break up or cut up to pieces.

Happy Baking

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Ginger Bread house

Since I was baking for the children's Christmas party at the flying club I thought about doing a cake but since they where having cup cakes I thought they would need some thing else so I decided that for a surprise I would do a ginger bread house. But since the party was cancelled I thought that I would see if it was ok to go to my daughters school as they were having a party. So on the day off it went and according to my daughter who is no way basis, she is still at that age where she tells you if it is nice or not, it was yummy and delicious.
Here are my template measurements

What you need:
Ginger bread
250g butter
200g dark sugar
7 tbsp Golden Syrup
600g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 tsp ground ginger

Royal Icing
2 sachet of egg white powder (make as directed on the pack)
1 lb Icing sugar sifted
2- 3 tsp Lemon flavouring

Sweets of your choice

What you do
Ginger bread

In a pan place your butter, sugar and golden syrup and place on a low to medium heat. Stirring occasionally  until the butter has melted.
Put your flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger into a large bowl and pour in your butter mix, mix with wooden spoon.
 Cover with a tea towel and leave to cool. This is when I prepared my baking trays with grease proof paper
Once cool lightly flour a work top and remove your dough and knead for a few minutes.

Roll out your dough, I did mine to about the thickness of a £1 coin,
and cut out your shapes
 and place onto your baking trays. If you have any ginger bread left over you can cut out different shapes I did some trees and ginger bread mean

If you have room in your fridge leave them in there for about 10 minutes. If not leave them on the side covered with a tea towel for about 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 200 o'C .
Once you are ready to bake your dough place them in the oven on the second from bottom shelf and bake for about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave on the tray to cool, if you move them before they are cool they WILL break. Once cool transfer onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
If you find they are not quite the same stick them on top of each other and trim away what ever needs trimming.

Royal Icing
Make the egg white as directed on the packet and whisk until it holds stiff peak. You will know it is ready as it will not slide around in the bowl nor will it fall out when held above your head. Once ready fold in your icing sugar then add in your flavour. ( I do this to taste ) you will need it to be stiff peak so that it will stick the house together.

How to Assemble
Take the one side of your house and spread your icing down both side then stick the front and back to the side. Use tin cans to keep it from falling. Take the other side of your house and spread the corners with icing and stick this to the front and back. Again use the cans to prevent it from falling. Leave to dry. Once dry ice (remove the can as you can see I forgot so had to wait until it was all set to lift up the house and remove the can) the front and back side where the roof will sit and place a can to prevent it from falling. leave to set.

Once that bit has dried ice the other side where the other roof slab will sit and place the roof slab on top

Once set decorate
to stick the house I spread royal icing on a cake board then place the house on top.
to do the roof I spread royal icing and then stuck buttons on the liquorice on the ridge
to stick the rest of the sweets on to the house I lightly dabbed the back of the sweet with royal icing and stuck it to the house

To make the snow that hangs on the house I put some icing into a piping bag and carefully piped it onto the house. 
Then for an extra surprise I put sweets inside the house. 

Happy Baking

Child friendly Egg Nog Cupcakes

Awhile ago my mum rang to ask if I would do some cakes for the children's Christmas party which should have been held at the flying club, which due to events on that day the party was cancelled. But I had already made all the cakes and bakes I was taking so me being me I gave them out and did not charge for them.
With these cup cakes I used a white chocolate topping then decorated with marshmallows to make snow men then used shoe laces sweets to make as a scarf. If and when you make these use marshmallows to decorate then bit into it making sure you get a mouth full of every thing as it is so yummy (one of my favourite words). I also used red royal icing to pipe on faces. You can use black but It was what I had left and I like to be different
If you do not want to make them child friendly add some alcohol, I am not sure how much as I have never done so, so play around and do it to taste.
As I was making these for children I used fairy cake cup cases and managed to get 38 cakes

What you need:
Cup cake
100g butter
8 oz caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
100ml milk
8 oz plain flour sifted
2 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 tsp nutmeg
2  1/2 tsp ginger
100g white chocolate chopped (don't worry about big bits)

White chocolate topping

200g white chocolate
125g butter
250g icing sugar
1tsp cinnamon


shoe lace sweets
royal icing for face.

what you do
Cup cake
Preheat the oven to 180o'C and line your cupcake tin with the cases
In a bowl cream the butter and the sugar until soft,
 beat in the extract then beat in the eggs.

Pour in your milk and mix until combined.
Fold in the flour, Baking Powder, Nutmeg and ginger until fully combined.

Add the chocolate and mix until combined.

Divide between your cup cake cases, you want them to be about 2/3 full.

Place in your oven on the middle shelf and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until firm to touch.
Once baked remove to a wire rack and allow to cool

White Chocolate topping
Put the chocolate and butter in a bowl and place on top of boiling water, heat until both have melted, remove from heat and mix in your icing sugar and cinnamon until fully combined.

Allow to cool slightly, do not let it cool completely as it will start to set, and spoon on to your cooled cup cakes. Decorate.

Happy Baking

Friday, 9 December 2011

Cinnamon, Orange and Cranberry Streussel Cake

I love this cake. The smell when you cook the cranberry jam and when the whole cake is on the oven is just fantastic.
Again I have used the Nielson-Massey orange blossom water from baking mad UK, as I have fallen in love with it.
When it come to making the Jam keep out your caster sugar as you may want to add some more as cranberries   are sour, I have found that just over 3oz is enough for me as I like the taste but its up to you.
for this recipe I used fresh cranberries (mainly because they are half price in Morrisons)
The dough for this cake can be made two days before you make the cake. (which is what I did) just knead it for a few seconds before you use it. I find doing it this way makes it easier to grate. Yes grate the dough trust me it works a treat.
This also needs a large based cake tin. I used one that was about 20 cm + . If you don't have one you can use 2 cake tins.

What you need:
Cranberry Jam
225g fresh or frozen cranberries
just over 3oz caster sugar
3 tbsp orange blossom water
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves

12 oz butter
3 oz caster sugar
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp orange blossom water
1 egg (beaten)
700g plain white flour sifted
1 1/2 tsp baking powder sifted
1 tbsp ground cinnamon sifted
1/2 tsp salt sifted

Icing sugar

what you do:
Cranberry jam

Put all the ingredients for the jam into a sauce pan

and using a hand held food processor
 (if you have a normal food processor just put it all in that and give it a quick blitz then transfer to a sauce pan) and blitz the cranberries until most of them have been crushed.
 Do not worry about have big bit.
Place your pan on the cooker and heat on a medium heat (I have an electric cooker that has settings between 1 and 6 I used setting 3) stirring constantly until it starts to boil
 reduce heat to low to medium (setting 2) and let it cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once cooked remove from heat and allow to cool in the sauce pan.
 Once cooled taste your Jam as you may want to add more sugar if it is to sour for your taste.


In a large bowl cream the butter and the sugar together until creamy.
 Beat in the olive oil and orange blossom water
 Slowly beat in the egg.
Gradually add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
 Once you have mixed in all the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt
 turn out onto your work top and knead to bring the dough together. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge. For a minimum of 2 hours and a maximum of 48 hours.

the cake
Preheat the oven to 150 o'C and line the base of your cake tin
Now that you have a nice firm dough divide it into two equal pieces approx 1 lb 6 oz each.
Grate one half of your dough into your cake tin, make sure it covers the bottom evenly.
Spread your cranberry jam onto the dough leaving about 1cm from the edge.
 Grate the other half of your dough over the top of the top.
Bake in the oven, on the second shelf from the bottom or 1 below middle, for 1 hour 15 minutes or until it is a nice golden colour and firm to touch.
Leave your cake in the tin and sprinkle with icing sugar (do this when the cake is still hot)
Once the cake is cooled completely carefully remove from the tin.

Happy baking

Saturday, 3 December 2011

White chocolate orange tart with coffee pastry

Recently baking mad UK tweeted about Nielson-Massey Orange Blossom water they wanted bloggers to review and I offered my services (this being my first product review I am a little bit nervous. )

I thought I would play about first with chocolate as nothing tastes better than chocolate orange especially terry's chocolate orange (sorry it's got to be done its not Terry's it's mine), but all I could find recipe wise was plain or dark chocolate and I wanted white chocolate so that is what I have done. I have played about with the white chocolate and this is what I have come up with.
 I know it's Christmas and I am suposed to be doing christmas stuff but my family is not a fan of Christmas puddings (at the minute, hoping to change there minds) so if this tastes good, which I hope it does then I am planning on making this for our pudding Christmas day. Which is gonna be extra special this year as my step son gets to some home from Afghan for a few weeks, he may not be my son but I love him just as if he was and I am so PROUD of him. (I love all my step children just as they are my own)
Sorry I am supossed to be doing a review of Nielson-Massey Orange Blossom water not chatting about my life.
 When I opened the bottle smell hits you, not in a bad way but in a sweet alcoholic way. Even though the alcohol is only 40% you can smell it. You then get the smell of citrus smell. I have used 2 tsp of the orange blossom water as I love the taste so add one tea spoon then have a taste to see if you want to add more.
I have decorated mine with dark chocolate, if you wanted to jazz it up you could decorate it with some orange segments then dust it in icing sugar.

what you need
6 tbsp water
2 tsp coffee granules
2 oz caster sugar
4 oz plain flour
pinch of salt
2 oz butter
1 egg yolk
9 tsp of the diluted coffee

1 oz white chocolate melted
300ml double cream
1 tbsp liquid glucose
250g white chocolate broken up
50g butter
2 tsp orange blossom water

what you do:
Mix the 6 tbsp of water with the 2 tsp of coffee granules until the granules have dissolved, put this to one side.
In a bowl shift the flour and add the salt. Add the sugar and make a well add the butter. Using your fingers and start rubbing the flour into the butter.
 Start from the inside so that you still have a well when it is time to add the egg yolk. Once you have a the butter mixed in with most of the flour and sugar add the egg yolk and mix in the rest of the flour and sugar. Now add the coffee mix one tea spoon at a time until you have a dough that is formed.
 Knead the dough for a few seconds then wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Remove the dough from the fridge  Lightly flour your work surface and roll out your pastry. Line your pastry tin ( look in pastry tips for how to line your tin) then prick the base,
cover with grease proof paper and add your beans. Put in the fridge and chill for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 200 o'C (put in a baking tray as you will need to place your pastry tin on this) and bake your pastry blind for 10 minutes then remove beans and grease proof paper and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove pastry allow to cool completely.

Once your pastry is cool spread your 1 oz of melted chocolate on the base and leave to set.
In a sauce pan (on medium heat) place your cream and glucose until it is hot, do not let it boil. Mix in your chocolate and remove from heat. Add in your butter and beat until smooth. Add your orange blossom and beat until smooth.
Pour your chocolate mix into your pastry case and leave to reach room temperature ( if you place it in the fridge at this point it will warm up the fridge). Once at room temperature place it in the fridge until it is set. This will take between 2 to 3 hours.

Once it is set you could sprinkle it with Chocolate curls or grated chocolate.

I have just sent off a slice to be tasted by one of my friends as I think it tastes yummy, One he has tasted it I will put a comment on this blog.

Happy Baking