Sunday, 26 February 2012

Chocolate Mud cake

This cake is my daughters favourite. It is what I made to take to the cake decorating class I went to hosted by Kate Cookshop. Normally I would cover it in chocolate ganache then some chocolate flakes on it, but as I wanted this, well my daughter, for her birthday I booked my self in to one of Kate's decorating class, as my last attempt to cover a cake in icing was a disaster. I now know that when I cover a cake in icing I need to cover the cake in butter cream first.
When you line your cake tin you need to do both base and sides, you also need to make sure the paper extends at least 5 cm above your cake tin.

What you need:
8 oz butter
8 oz dark chocolate
185ml boiling water
5 oz self raising flour
5 oz plain flour
2 oz cocoa powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1lb 2 oz caster sugar
4 eggs
2tbsp oil
4 fl oz buttermilk

What you do:
Preheat your oven to 160o'C and grease your tin with butter then line with grease proof. make sure it is raised on the sides.
In a medium sauce pan put your butter, chocolate water.
Heat on low to medium stirring until the chocolate has melted. Set to one side to cool.

In a large bowl shift your flours, bicarb and cocoa powder.
 Using a wooden spoon stir in your caster sugar.

In a jug add your buttermilk, oil and eggs then whisk lightly.

Pour your buttermilk mix into your flour mix until fully combined.

Slowly pour in you melted chocolate mix and mix until fully incorporated. Make sure you scrape down the sides of your bowl.

Pour this into your tin
 then bake on the bottom shelf for 1 hour 30 mins. I check mine after an hour then every 10 minutes. (again this is due to my oven being a funny bugger). When it is cooked you skewer should come out clean. Be careful not to over bake it other wise you will have a dry cake, but its ok as it will taste a bit like a brownie when over baked.

Once your cake is cooked remove from oven and leave on in your tin until completely cooled. Remove from the tin and grease proof.  Then decorate.

Happy Baking

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Marble cake with chocolate icing

The other day I made a chocolate marbled cake. When I bake this I always remember visits to my late oma's house. This is one of the cakes she used to make, I will admit it is one out of a box but it was yummy. It also made me remember that on a Sunday after a huge lunch we would take a trip down to the local cake shop in Willich and buy a huge box of cakes. These would be all cakes with cream and a selection, not the type of cakes you get here, like iced buns etc but proper cakes like gateau's. They where always fresh.
Then at tea time we would sit in the livering room with this box there would be hot drinks only so I would always have hot chocolate and my sister would have peppermint tea. We would then be able to eat as much cake as we could manage.

what you need:
8 oz butter
8 oz caster sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
10 oz self raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp boiling water.

3 tbsp double cream
100g chocolate (use any you like. I used one with honey comb inside)
10g butter

What you do:
In a jug or small bowl dissolve the cocoa powder in the water until smooth. set to one side to cool.

preheat your oven to 160o'C and grease and line your loaf tin.
In a large bowl beat your sugar and butter until light and creamy.
Beat in your eggs and vanilla extract. It will look like it has split but do not worry about this as it is supposed to happen.

Fold in your flour and baking powder until it is all fully incorporated.

Divide your mixture between two bowl. In one bowl mix in your cooled cocoa mix until fully incorporated and evenly mixed.

Spoon in some plain cake mix into your tin then some chocolate. Take it in turns with each mix until all the mix is in your loaf tin.

With a tea spoon gently mix. Do not over mix. I tend to put the spoon in the loaf tin then lift it up. I only do this twice.

Place in your oven on the second from bottom shelf and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Once cooked remove from the oven and leave in the loaf tin for about 5 to 10 minutes.

remove from the loaf tin, remove grease proof and leave to cool on a wire rack.

 Place a pan of water on the hob and heat. Place a bowl over the pan. In the bowl place your cream and chcoclate. Mix occasionally until the chocolate has melted. Add in the butter and stir until combined.

Remove from heat and leave to thicken up.
Once your chocolate has thicken up use it to cover your cooled cake. I place my cake on a wire rack with a clean baking tray underneath to catch any drips.

 Ensure the top and side of your cake are covered. Leave to set.

Happy baking

Monday, 13 February 2012

Vanilla Cookies - AKA Amelie's Valentine Cookies

Me and my partner don't really celebrate Valentines day. But this year my daughter who has 2 boyfriends, or so she informs me, wanted to make some heart cookies like the love heart sweets you can get for her boyfriends and friends at school. I also thought I would send this to baking mad to enter the valentines blogger competition even though my name has not been selected you can still send an e-mial with your blog to enter (sorry I am jibber jabbering)
Any ways as I was saying my daughter Amelie
who will soon be the grand old age of 5 wanted to bake these for her friends Leah & Olivia. Also the two loves of her life one of which she has been seeing since he started play school even though she does not get to see Zac at school, now as he goes to a different one, she still insists that they will get married and constantly asks about him. Her other boyfriend is Lucas who again she went to play school with but has only recently started talking about him.
So I have dug in my lovely pink folder (my recipe folder) for the most basic cookie for her to do as she insists to do it by herself.  And what I came up with is this vanilla cookie. You can find this recipe almost every where. Not sure where I originally got this from but it is so child friendly I thought it would be ideal for her. You will have to forgive me all t he photo's as I am having a proud mummy minute. The only thing she did not do was transfer the cookies to and from the oven and the whisk the egg white powder.

What you need:
10 oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g caster sugar
3 oz butter
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

What you do:
In a bowl sift in your flour and baking powder,
add sugar and butter. Using your hands rub until you have bread crumbs.
 Add in your beaten egg, Golden Syrup and extract.

Mix with a wooden spoon until you your dough then starts to form.
 Using your hands squeeze then knead until it forms a dough.
 Transfer to a work top and knead a couple of seconds.
Place your dough in cling film
 and store in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Pre heat your oven to 170oC and line some baking trays with grease proof paper.
Flour your work top knead your dough for a few minutes roll out
 and cut out your shapes place
on a baking tray and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until just turning golden.

Remove from the oven and leave on your baking tray for about 5 minutes or until they start to firm up. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
To decorate the cookies she used Royal Icing . For this I whisked the egg white powder up for her then Amelie got shift in the icing sugar
 and then she mix in the icing sugar and strawberry flavouring in.
Amelie then decided we would have pink icing so I added that for her and mixed it so that it was fully incorporated.
I then put the icing in the bottles for Amelie and let her decorate her cookies.


Amelie was also nice enough to let her brother Aron have some of her cookies to decorate.

Here is some photos of Amelie at work and her finished result

So that Amelie could get a heart shape on the round cookie she place a cookie cutter on the biscuit and piped icing inside it. I then carefully lifted the cookie off for her so that she could decorate it.
Here is the proud little baker with her finished biscuits. 

Even if I do say so my self I think my daughter has done really well. All that is left is take them round to her friends and boyfriends. What left we get to eat, which I must admit I am looking forward to tasting.

Happy Baking

Monday, 6 February 2012


Since I am not baking for a couple of days and just needed a distraction while my baby girl sleeps, I thought I would give you all some tips on what you could substitute when baking. I have often started baking before I have checked to see what I need and often had to substitute my items. My mother in law (well my partners mother I keep calling her that as I have been engaged with my partner for 7 years I know I should get round to marrying him but I can not honestly tell you why we haven't I sure we will do eventually. ) So any way my mother in law gave me this list, I think she is my inspiration for baking as my own parents don't when they do it is from a box and to be honest not as nice as from scratch, any ways I once rang her to see if she had any baking powder and she asked if I had cream of tarter and bicarbonate of soda which I did, she then told me to get a small container and using a teaspoon mix them together using a ratio of 2 to 1. so I did and it worked.

Dry Ingredients.
Self raising flour - Use plain flour with  baking powder. (1 tsp per 100g)
Baking Powder - two parts cream of tartar to one part Bicarbonate of Soda
Bicarbonate of Soda - use Baking powder but double the amount
oat flour - Use a food processor and ground oats
All spice - 1 part ground ginger, 1 part ground cloves, 2 parts cinnamon

Fats and Dairy
Lard - white vegetable fat
Butter - use a spread. Margarine works well for pastry and cakes but avoid if making butter cream
Single cream - mix half double cream and half milk
Creme Fraiche and Sour cream-  use plain yoghurt
Butter milk - use milk with a squeeze of lemon juice. When making this leave for about 15 - 20 minutes before use.

Sugar, etc
Molasses - mix half treacle and half golden syrup together
Corn syrup - liquid glucose
Vanilla pods - vanilla paste/extract/essence. I use 1 tsp of paste and 1 tbsp of extract/essence per pod
Caster sugar - blitz some caster sugar in a food processor
Soft brown - use half dark and half caster.

If you know any more please feel free to post a comment letting us all know. Thank you I hope this helps you some.

Happy Baking