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


9.12.2014

Five on Friday: My Five Favorite Jane Austen movies

Today starts a week of Jane Austen fun in Bath! Every year in September they hold a Jane Austen Festival. One year I will attend, but it will not be this year. When I go I will be dressing myself and my girls in regency garb, oh yes.

I have read and re-read Miss Austen’s main 6 books over and over and over and over again.

Sometimes I still want a Jane Austen fix, but without having to read the books that I already know back to front.

So, for my Five on Friday I am giving you my top 5 favorite Jane Austen movies. They are anything from adaptations to just movies about her!


Pride & Prejudice (BBC 1995)

Everyone knew this was going to be on the list. It’s only the best adaptation of Pride & Prejudice every made! I own it on Blu-Ray and to my husband’s dismay I watch it quite often.


Jane Austen Book Club (2007)

This movie was played a lot on one of our many movie channels in early 2008. It was in the early mornings, when I was barely awake, feeding my baby that I watched this movie. The book it’s based on is terrible, but I really found the movie entertaining. Plus I love Emily Blunt and Amy Brenneman! I was thinking about even starting my own Jane Austen Book Club! It would be so much fun!!


Becoming Jane (2007)

This movie got so much crap about Anne Hathaway playing Jane, because she’s not British. I don’t really care to be honest. Considering the movie is just speculating what Jane’s life was really like I saw it as pure entertainment. We will never really know what her life was like. It’s said that her sister burned a lot of her letters because she didn’t want Jane to be seen in a bad light. To me that says perhaps Jane was a moody cow. But we will never know. Plus this movie is what made me fall in love with James McAvoy. I would run away with him if he ever asked.


Emma (BBC 2009)

I love Emma! It’s my second favorite Austen novel after Sense & Sensibility. I watched this when it first aired on ITV and I thought it was way better then other adaptations! The cast was really good!


Northanger Abbey (ITV 2007)

This was a bit of a weird one for me. The acting was just okay, but I found myself watching it one day and deciding that I really enjoyed it. Then I found myself re-watching it. It’s enough for it to earn a spot in my top five!


Looks like 2007 was a popular year for Jane Austen. But let’s face it Jane Austen will always be popular. Her stories are the basis for pretty much every love story ever read since. There is always a little bit of trouble before everything turns out okay. 

notes: Check out the Jane Austen festival in Bath here! All opinions are my own for more information see my contact/policy page. 

9.11.2014

Oatly Chocolate Mini Donuts

Today I know at least 3 people who can’t have any dairy of any kind. It seems more and more people need to seek out alternatives to milk.

Oatly have been producing their oat drink since the1990’s at a time that people thought they were a bit ambitious and perhaps a bit crazy. 

It’s a good thing they didn't listen to the naysayers because today there is a need for milk alternatives. 

Baking is something that can be a bit tricky when trying to accommodate for people who have different food needs. 

Oatly not only tastes good, it has a very nice subtle oaty taste, but it also works great in baked goods!

I have already had success making cupcakes with Oatly’s Original Oat drink, so I thought I would try the Chocolate version. I thought of cupcakes again, but wasn't feeling it. Then I thought of cookies because of cookies and milk and all that. I dismissed that pretty quick as I have never baked cookies with milk in them.

Then I thought of donuts and it just felt right. I have started this new thing where I go with my gut instincts, because usually they are right. It’s actually pretty creepy how often I am right about something.

For instance these donuts. 


I was totally right about these donuts! They have a nice rich chocolaty flavor and just one feels pretty guilt free! Not that it is, its just mini so you know….

One thing before I get to the recipe: I used sour cream, but I think you could substitute a soya yogurt or similar to make it completely dairy free. However I had sour cream in my fridge and I wanted to use it up. Waste not and all that stuff. 

Anyway here’s how I made them in case you want to make them too!


Oatly Chocolate Mini Donuts:

160g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 medium egg
120g sugar
150ml The Original Oatly Oat Drink Chocolate
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tbsp sour cream or soya yogurt
½ tsp vanilla extract

Heat the oven to 180C/350F and grease the mini donut pan. I use silicone pastry brush and sunflower oil. If it’s not greased properly they will stick.
In a small bowl whisk all the dry ingredients together. Then in a bigger bowl whisk the egg and sugar together before adding the milk, oil, sour cream, and vanilla.
Then by hand gently beat the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined and smooth.
It can be spooned into the donut pan or piped. Piping is somewhat easier, but the batter is very smooth and can run out so it just depends on what’s easiest for you. I like piping because it’s a bit quicker. Fill the indents no more then ¾ full.
Bake for 7-9 minutes. Leave to cool slightly before carefully turning them out to cool completely. I suggest cleaning out each indentation and re-greasing between bakes. 

Oatly Chocolate Glaze

150g icing sugar
1 tsp cocoa powder
2-3 tbsp The Original Oatly Oat Drink Chocolate

Mix all the ingredients together. Start with two tablespoons of Oat Drink to see if it’s the right consistency before adding another one in. If you put your finger in the icing it should stick to your finger and leave a bit of a stiff trail. Once the donuts are cool, fill a baggie or piping bag and make a very small hole in the tip to pipe on the donuts or dunk them in to cover the tops completely. Then eat! Enjoy!


notes: In association with Oatly: visit their website here if you’d like to learn more. All opinions are my own – for more information please see my contact/policy. Check out my Oatly Espresso Cupcakes! This is being entered in Cakeyboi and The Baked Explorer’s monthly Treat Petite baking challenge.

9.09.2014

The Bundt that started it all: Tunnel of Fudge Cake

Dotty and Dave Dalquist started Nordic Ware in 1946 from their basement in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In the 1950’s they introduced America to the Bundt pan, but it wasn’t until the 1966 Pillsbury Bake Off that made them a hot commodity.

Thanks to one Ella Helfrich who entered the Bake Off with her recipe for a Tunnel of Fudge Cake baked in a Bundt pan.

The saying that no one remembers who came second isn’t exactly true. If you look at the list of winners for the Pillsbury Bake Off you won’t see Ella’s name. Because she came second, but her recipe has become somewhat famous inspiring all sorts of molten chocolate cakes.

If you caught it above that Nordic Ware was started in Minneapolis, Minnesota then you will have probably guessed I managed a visit to their factory store while with my sister in the city.

It has been up graded from a basement into a massive factory.  The store was my kind of place. It was full of any and every kitchen appliance you could ever want. I would have happily moved in. I wish I had had a bigger weight allowance for my suitcase!

Even though I didn't pick up a Bundt pan, I did pick up a copy of Classic Bundt Recipe Book that has a lot of traditional recipes including one for the Tunnel of Fudge Cake.


Originally it was made with a Pillsbury chocolate frosting powder, but they discontinued it so a ‘from scratch’ recipe was created.

Aren't we glad it was?!

I used my new traditional Bundt pan that I have never used before! I felt that it was fitting that the first time in the oven was to bake the cake that made it famous! It turned out a little lighter then I expected. It seems a bit more milk chocolaty then dark chocolaty. However it still tastes delicious! 

I have adapted it to grams from cups. When cups are used it can vary by how the individual fills said cup. So, this is how I made it.


Tunnel of Fudge Cake:

370g (1 ¾ cups) granulated sugar
256.5g (1 ¾ cups) unsalted butter, softened
6 large eggs
310g (2 cups) icing sugar/confectioners’ sugar
395g (2 ¼ cups) plain flour/all purpose flour
70g ( ¾ cups) unsweetened cocoa powder
225g (2 cups) walnuts, toasted & chopped

Heat the oven to 180C/350F, then grease (butter) and flour a 10 inch or 12 cup Bundt pan. Or use a cake release spray.
Beat the granulated sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Gently beat the eggs together and add them little by little beating well in between each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Gradually add the icing sugar and beat until just combined.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder together in a separate bowl. Add about a third to the batter and fold in with a spatula or wooden spoon. Then repeat until all the flour is folded in. Lastly fold in the walnuts until well mixed. Spoon the batter into the Bundt and smooth it down.
Bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is set and the cake is starting to come away from the edges. Cool in the pan for about 1 ½ hours before gently turning it out onto a stand or serving plate. Cool for at least 2 more hours or more.

Chocolate Glaze:

115g (¾ cup) icing sugar/confectioners’ sugar
30g ( ¼ cup) unsweetened cocoa
1 ½ to 2 tbsp whole milk

Sift the dry ingredients together. Then whisk in the milk until the consistency allows it to be drizzled on top!


notes: Please note that it's the nuts that make this cake work, you can substitute another nut! Find out more about Nordic Ware here! There is more on the Pillsbury Bake Off here. My favorite blog to find bundt recipes is on The Food Librarian because I like big bundts as much as she does! Don't forget to mark your calendars for the 15th of November because it's National Bundt Day!

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