9.29.2014

Should Have Been Peach Bellini Cake

I call it the “Should Have Been” Peach Bellini Cake because it didn't really taste like peaches or champagne (aka Prosecco.) 

I didn't want to deceive anyone in calling it a 'Peach Bellini Cake' when it's not really one. 

I started with a vanilla sponge and had a Prosecco sugar syrup soaked in. Then I layered it with peach curd and a whipped cream dyed a peach color for effect

It so would have been a peach bellini cake if 1.) it tasted like peaches and 2.) one got a bit tipsy from the alcohol.

Which I guess I failed on both accounts.

In the end it was just a vanilla cake with whipped cream frosting and in that I totally succeeded.

There is always tomorrow. Or the next day to make this cake again, there is just a few things I will need to do differently.

Here is how I made it and in italics are my notes on how I will change it next time.


Should Have Been Peach Bellini Cake:

330g plain flour
320g caster sugar
1 ½ tbsp baking powder
pinch of salt
175g unsalted butter, softened
3 medium eggs
190ml whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Heat the oven to 180C and grease and line two 8in/23cm cake tins. Briskly whisk the dry ingredients together, before adding the butter and beating for a few minutes until it’s crumby. Throw the eggs in and beat until just incorporated. Last but not least add the milk and vanilla extract and beat on high for a couple of minutes until lighter in color and smooth.
Fill both prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes. Do the skewer test to make sure it’s cooked. Right away poke some holes in the top and using a pastry brush, brush the Bubbly Sugar Syrup (recipe below) over both cakes. Leave to cool in the tins for about 10 minutes before turning out to cool completely.

Bubbly Sugar Syrup

60ml water
60g caster sugar
1-2 tbsp bubbly

Melt the sugar in the water before adding the prosecco to taste. If I were to do this again I would double it. To make sure the cakes were really soaked.

to finish:

Peach Curd recipe needs to be adjusted to taste more peachy
300 ml whipping cream
1 tsp of sugar
peach food color paste

Whip the cream with the sugar and coloring until it’s fluffy and can hold its shape. Place the first cake on a serving plate and layer the peach curd on it. Then layer about half of the whipped cream before topping with the second layer of cake and putting the rest of the whipped cream on top! Decorate with sprinkles or anything else.

I should have added peaches into the cake or the whipped cream to make it peachier or I should have added bubbly to the whipped cream? There are a few ways I could adjust this to get the results I set out to get.



notes: I made this cake for my Clandestine Cake Club meeting. We had a great time as a very classy cocktail bar! 

9.26.2014

Five on Friday: My five favorite Childhood Cartoons

You are only as old as you feel.

My literal self says that is stupid. You are as old as you are and that’s that.

However the very small part of me that isn’t literal says well, sometimes I feel pretty damn old and there are times when I feel young.

Those times are when I am making my girls watch cartoons that I want to watch over ones they want to watch. I can be a real hard ass.

Just kidding I’m mostly a push over. I record the ones I want to watch and watch them when no one is around so people can’t judge me.

But for this weeks Five on Friday I wanted to revisit the cartoons my sister and I watched every day after school with our afternoon snack.

Tiny Toon Adventures

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles



Animaniacs

Beetlejuice

Eek the Cat

notes: Pictures are from Wikipedia

9.24.2014

The Lazy Loaf {Pesto & Sundried Tomato}

Today I didn't feel like doing anything.

So, I did something. I made bread.

When making bread it’s kind of like doing nothing. You mix stuff together and let it rise. You can't go too far because you have to be around to knock it back before shaping it and letting it have a second rise. Then it's just a matter of baking it.

There is just time in between those stages. In that time you can get a lot of nothing done. 

Like reading a book. I finished reading The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult while making this bread.

Which is fitting because there is a lot of bread making in the book. Definitely worth a read for bakers, historians, and mystery type readers.

The thing about bread is that it’s not really hard to make. Putting the few ingredients together isn't complicated at all.

However there are so many ways it could go wrong. If the water temperature is too hot or two cold it will not rise properly. If you over or under knead it affects the tightness of the dough.

I don’t bake bread often enough to have it down where I know when to stop kneading or what the exact temperature feels like. I think that comes with experience and with experience comes you gain the knowledge one needs to create the perfect loaf of bread.

Don’t get me wrong I get by, for instance this loaf has turned out great! It has a crust, with a soft (small) holey middle. With the added pesto and sundried tomatoes it’s a real winner!

It’s so good I just ate a slice all on it’s own. No butter or anything! That’s when you know it’s good bread.

Try it out for yourself!


Pesto & Sundried Tomato Loaf

500g Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Very Strong Canadian White Bread Flour             
7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp basil pesto
300ml tepid water
5 sundried tomatoes, chopped
a little oil from sundried tomatoes
pinch of sea salt

In a large bowl mix the flour, yeast, and salt before adding the pesto. Very gradually add the water, while gently bringing the dough together with your hand. If the dough is soft and brought together before all the water is used, just leave the extra water. If it’s not needed don’t use it. Knead for about 10 minutes by hand or for about 7 in a mixer on low speed. It shouldn’t look bumpy, instead it should look smooth and bouncy. Bring the dough together in a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Let rise in a warm place for about an hour or until it’s doubled in size.
Grease a 2lb loaf tin with oil before knocking the risen dough back (knead the air out), gently flatten the dough out and scatter the chopped tomatoes over the top. Shape it into a sausage like loaf and place in the loaf tin. Leave again for about an hour or more in a warm place until it doubles in size.
When it’s doubled heat the oven to 220C and brush a bit of the dried tomato oil on top and sprinkle a pinch of salt on top of the loaf. Bake for 30-35 minutes until when you “knock” on the bottom of the loaf it sounds hollow.



 notes: In association with Sainsbury’s; they have a wide range of self-branded flours and for this recipe I used the Taste the Difference Very Strong Canadian White Bread Flour as mentioned above. They also have a nice range of bread mixes, which I tried and some how burnt? It's because I was trying to be clever. Check my instagram! Recipe is adapted from Bakes & Cakes magazine Summer 2014 edition. 

9.22.2014

White Peach Curd

Another weekend another Monday.

It’s weird how we wish our weeks away for the weekend. As a mostly stay at home parent weekends have become just another day.

I say mostly because I have recently picked up a very flexible part time job at a lovely manor house near to where I live. It suits my life with two little ones and stuff.

This weekend I went a bit baking mad. I made a cake for coffee this morning and I made a cake for my Clandestine Cake Club tonight.

This post is for neither of those cakes!! Don’t worry they will both be up either this week or next!

This post is about a fun component of one of those cakes!

Peach Curd.

I know. I was a bit skeptical myself. Peaches in the UK have little to no flavor, unlike the peaches in the USA. I had a lot of peaches when I was visiting this summer.

So, I gave it a go and it turned out okay. I did wish it had a bit more of a peachy taste, but it suited my cake perfectly!

So, if you want it for cake or just because peach curd sounds awesome and would taste great on scones here is how I made it!


White Peach Curd

1 ½ fresh white peaches, pitted and quartered
400g granulated sugar
1 egg
2 egg yolks
½ lemon, juiced
85g unsalted butter

Sterilize a couple of jars by washing in the dishwasher and drying out in the oven.
Puree the peaches until smooth - I used my hand blender. Add the sugar, egg, egg yolks, and lemon juice to the peach puree and whisk together until combined. Melt the butter in a heatproof bowl over a simmering pot of water. Once melted add the peach puree mixture and whisk constantly for about 5-10 minutes until the curd has thickened and can coat a wooden spoon without dripping.
Pore the peach curd into the sterilized jars (leave a little room at the top) and seal tightly. Run a knife around the edges to help remove air bubbles. Boil some water in a stock pan and place the jars of peach curd into them. Once it starts a rolling boil cover with the lid and leave for about 10 minutes. Carefully remove the jars from the pot and place on a wooden cutting board and let the jars cool completely. Once cool to the touch place in the fridge.


notes: Recipe is slightly adapted from allrecipes.com. Am I the only person in the world that didn't know that Peaches by The Presidents of the United States of America was about women private areas? I literally just found out. I am so naive!

9.19.2014

Five on Friday: My Five Favorite ways to use Eggs

Eggs!

Where would I be if it weren't for eggs?

Pretty much everything I make has eggs in it. Sometimes just the whites and sometimes just the yolks, but they are there.

It is therefore important where your eggs come from. I always choose free range or cage free eggs. 

Sainsbury's believe it is important for food sources to be happy. 


I couldn't agree more!


The happier they are the happier our food tastes. True story.

The thing I love most about Sainsbury's eggs, besides being free range, is that they sell a mix sizes box! I always need various sizes of eggs for baking and cooking! 

So, here are my top five ways I love to eat eggs!

1. Hollandaise Sauce for Eggs Benedict:

3 large cage free eggs
240g of unsalted butter
½ a lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites, place the yolks in a heat proof bowl and set a top a simmering pot of water. Don’t let the bowl touch the water. Add just a small splash of water to the egg yolks and stir gently as it heats. Divide the butter into 12 cubes, and then add 4 cubes to the egg yolks. Whisk the eggs slowly but firm until it’s just incorporated. Continue to whisk the rest of the butter in. When it’s incorporated add a squeeze of the lemon. It should look a little like custard. Add some salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat and leave it to set for about a half an hour whisking here and there. Then just pray it doesn’t curdle! Good Luck!

For Eggs Benedict: Toast an English muffin, top with ham, salmon, bacon etc…then a poached egg then some hollandaise sauce. Enjoy!

2. Meringues 

Use the leftover egg whites from your hollandaise sauce or the lemon curd to make meringues! They are the perfect accompaniment to many desserts and taste delicious on their own. The recipe I use is here!

3. Curd, Lemon

My first attempt at lemon curd didn't turn out so well, but that’s okay. Because if you don’t at first succeed try try again! To see how I got on check it out here! I find it quiet satisfying when I finally make something successfully!  

4. Frittata

Basically a frittata is an egg cake. I always cut ours into cake slices because it’s super easy to eat that way! My girls love having a frittata for dinner. The one I make most often is the spinach and sweet potato one in Jamie Oliver’s Save with Jamie book. One time I made it with Duck eggs and it was super fluffy! 

5. Cake! Brownies! Cookies!

Everything I bake pretty much uses eggs. Eggs add richness and sometimes fluffiness to cakes and other baked goods. So, to answer the above question where would I be without eggs? I’d be without cake, a blog, and my favorite breakfast(s)!!

Sainsbury's Video: 


What are your favorite ways to eat eggs?


notes: In association with Sainsburys; please see my contact/policy page for more information. Hollandaise recipe adapted from Nigel Slater's Appetite

9.17.2014

Udi's Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes

These are a batch of gluten free but oh so chocolaty cupcakes!

I made these with Udi’s Chocolate Flavour Cake Mix and topped them with Sugar and Crumbs gluten free Chocolate Milkshake natural flavored icing sugar.

I thought about putting “Frosting! A butt load of frosting!” (Vanellope von Schweetz) on these cupcakes, but I don’t always like that much frosting.

Sometimes you just want cake.

Plus I have this really cool Baker’s Dusting Wand that I have wanted to try out! It totally made me feel like a baking fairy! No lie.

Udi’s Cake Mixes are a great way for people with gluten sensitivities! Just because one cannot have gluten does not mean they should miss out on cake of any kind!

This is something I feel really strongly about. 

These cupcakes have a very rich chocolate flavour and were a perfect accompaniment to my coffee.


Udi’s Chocolate Cupcakes:

1 box of Udi’s Gluten Free Rich & Delicious Chocolate Flavour Cake Mix
Plus the ingredients on the back of the box
1 tbsp of Sugar and Crumbs Milkshake flavoured Icing Sugar

Follow the baking instructions on the box for cupcakes. Then fill the magic dusting wand with icing sugar and dust away! Enjoy! 

The back of the box also has some great suggestions on how to take these cupcakes from yum to yummy. Or something like that! So, if you or someone you love or at least like has gluten sensitivities then you should brighten up their day by bringing them some of these amazing cupcakes!! 


I had way too much fun with that dusting wand! Now I will have to think of something else to use it on! 

notes: Udi’s have a great range of Gluten-Free products they launched here in the UK earlier this year. Check out the first post I did for them here and here! Also check out my instagram as I try out some of their other products! All the products (cake mix, baker’s dusting wand, and flavoured icing sugar) were sent for my review please see my contact/policy page for more details. 

9.14.2014

Caramel Apple Cupcakes {National Cupcake Week!}

The word on the street is that it’s National Cupcake Week. Technically it starts tomorrow. 

I just thought I would warn you now because it means all of us baking junkies will be posting cupcakes on all our social media sites. 

I am not an exception so be prepared to be cupcake bombed!

The best part of cupcakes is that they take like 20 minutes to bake. Then throw some icing on top and Wa-La! Cake!

Yes, there are more complicated cupcakes out there that have many components and steps, but those are for special occasions.

These are "just because" cupcakes. But not "all the time" cupcakes. 'Cuz you know the whole in moderation thing.

Moderation is good.

These cupcakes are good. 

See how it all works out?

I used my cool cupcake corer and cupcake icing knife that OXO sent to me to try out and then I tried Sugar and Crumbs flavored icing sugar.

I chose Green Apple flavor because I wanted to make Caramel Apple Cupcakes. I wanted to make Caramel Apple Cupcakes because in the USA there is this sucker/lolly that is called a Caramel Apple Pop and it’s so good and not available here in the UK.

Hence these cupcakes!


They totally reminded me of those suckers/lollies so I am happy!

Here’s how you can be happy too!

Caramel Apple Cupcakes:

120g plain flour
140g golden caster sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter, room temp
120ml whole milk
1 egg
¼ tsp vanilla extract
10-12 tsp caramel

Heat the oven to 170C and line your cupcake pan with 10-12 cupcake cases. Beat the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter until it’s a bit crumby! Combine the milk, egg, and vanilla together before gradually adding it to the crumby mixture. Once combined beat on high for a minute or two to make sure there aren’t any lumps and the mixture is smooth.
Using a trigger scoop fill each of the cupcake cases just about half way. Bake for 20-25 minutes. A skewer should come out clean. Leave to cool completely before using the Cupcake Corer to take out the middles and add about a teaspoon of the caramel to the middles. Put the sponge bit back in and top with Green Apple Icing Sugar!

Green Apple Frosting

1 pkg of Sugar and Crumbs Green Apple Flavored Icing Sugar
125g butter, room temp
1-2 tbsp of milk

Follow the instructions on the packaging.

to finish:
20-24 Dark Chocolate chunks
caramel

Put two chocolate chunks together and place on top to act an apple stem before drizzling the caramel over the top. Place in a baggie and snip the corner, but make sure the hole is small. Then drizzle on top!



notes: In association with Oxo and Sugar and Crumbs! Please see my contact/policy page for more details! Find out more about National Cupcake Week! And if you need to know what Caramel Apple Pops are just look here. I am also entering these cupcakes in Betta Living’s Betta Bake a Cupcake Competition #bettabakeoff


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