Friday, 31 May 2013

Chocolate Honeycomb Tray Bake

So, I am going to visit my sister at her university this week and she has made it clear that cake is an essential condition of the visit! After seeing this recipe in the most recent edition of the Sainsburys magazine I couldn't resist - any recipe that has 8 crunchie bars in the ingredients is going to win me over! It is slightly altered from the original as the first time I made this it was very crumbly and didn't cut very well. I don't have much time before I go and see her so the fact that this recipe freezes well is a bonus. Again this is not the prettiest of cakes but that is more than made up for by the amount of chocolate (I promise more pretty cakes in the next blog post!) 

Right lets get going, for this tray bake you will need: 

150g unsalted butter (melted)
25g light brown soft sugar (or caster)
3 tbsp cocoa
5 tbsp golden syrup 
400g milk chocolate (though dark could work!)
175g (11ish) plain digestive biscuits
8 (!) x 40g Crunchie bars

You could add lots of other yummy things as well such as dried fruit, nuts or marshmallows - whatever you fancy. 

Firstly grease and line a baking tin, I used one that was 30x23 cms. Then mix the melted butter, cocoa powder, golden syrup and sugar together in a large bowl. Break your Crunchie bars in half and put them in a freezer bag, seal the bag and use a heavy rolling pin to smush them into small pieces (this is the fun bit!). Then do the same with the digestive biscuits. Add the Crunchie and digestives to the chocolate mixture and mix well. Your mixture should look quite crumbly like this:

Break the chocolate into pieces and put in a heatproof bowl over a pan of nearly boiling water (you could try microwaving the chocolate but I've burnt it too many times doing that!). Whilst the chocolate is melting take your Crunchie mixture and spread it across your tin, use a spoon to firmly press the mixture down until it is flat. Then spread the melted chocolate over the top of the Crunchie mixture. Place in the fridge for 30 mins before using a palette knife to make ridges along the top:

Chill for at least another two hours before using a hot knife (dip the knife in a mug of hot water) to cut the tray bake up and then enjoy your chocolately goodness:

 Happy baking xxx

Friday, 17 May 2013

Raspberry and Lemon Cake

This cake has been awarded the high accolade of 'best cake ever' by my boyfriend so it gets baked every time raspberries are on offer. It isn't the prettiest cake ever but the raspberries and  lemon are amazing together.  It was originally from the sainsburys magazine (2010 I think) but here is my version:

Ingredients for the cake:

225g unsalted butter (room temperature) 
225g self raising flour
200g sugar (granulated or caster)
zest of two lemons 
4 eggs
1 punnet of raspberries (at least 100g)

Ingredients for syrup:
Juice of 2 lemons
75g sugar (granulated or caster)

Bake in a lined 20x20cm tin (you could also make this in a loaf tin)

This cake is so easy to make, perfect for a sleepy day! Pre-heat the oven to 180°c  then mix all the cake ingredients, except the raspberries, together. To avoid raspberry mush gently fold the raspberries in right before you put the mixture into the lined tin. Your mixture should look like this: 

Cook for 45-50 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the cake. While the cake is cooking mix your lemon juice and sugar together to make the syrup. As soon as you take the cake out of the oven use a skewer (or fork) to poke deep holes into it and pour the syrup all over the top of the cake (It makes a satisfying sizzling noise).

Wait until the cake is completely cool before you remove it from the tin, then cut it into squares and enjoy!! 

This cake has always been scoffed way before I have had a chance to freeze it, but the original recipe says that it freezers particularly well so perhaps give that a whirl if you fancy. 

Happy baking xxx

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Graduation Cup Cakes

Seeing as I don't have finals and my housemates do, it seemed at the very least, I should bake some celebratory cupcakes for the end of their exams. I have had my eye on these  graduation hat ones on Glorious Treats blog for months and thought now was the perfect opportunity to give them a try.

Here is the end result: 

For a really detailed description on how to make these take a look at Glorious Treats blog. 

However, here are some of my own tips for making the fondant mortar boards (especially helpful for UK readers!)
  • I cut strips of fondant (8x2cm) to make the base of the mortar boards and then rolled them into rings using a tiny bit of edible glue to keep them in place (I used telose powder to make the glue but you can use water or normal icing)
  • To make the top of the hat cut squares of fondant (4x4cm).
  • Glorious treats suggests that at this stage you leave the fondant over night so that it becomes completely hard. If you are a bit pushed for time, like me, then after a few hours you can attach the base to the top by dipping the base in some edible glue and leave the mortar boards upside down to dry.
  • Now it is probably best to let the fondant dry over night (otherwise you might end up with rather droopy mortar boards)
  • The next day you need to make the tassels by rolling some yellow fondant into a very thin tube. Use a cocktail stick to make the indentations of a tassel at one end of the tube and use some edible glue to attach the other end to the top of the mortar board, bend the tube over the edge of the mortar board.
  • Finally you need to bake a cupcake of your choice, whack some icing on the top, place your edible mortar board on top of that and you are on to a winner.

Happy baking xxxx 

Thursday, 9 May 2013


So other than being a little shy about starting a blog, it is exciting to have a space to share my baking experiences (saves my friends constantly hearing about cakes on twitter and facebook). Any suggestions on blogging are more than welcome!! 

So a bit about me:
I am 22 and about to graduate from Birmingham University, I procrastinate from uni work by googling cake recipes and decorating tips and I love baking for my housemates. My little student kitchen (looking abnormally clean below) is a bit of a challenge, especially with its grumpy oven, but I'm dreaming of a beautiful kitchen to bake in next year while I study for my masters in London. Fingers crossed!

Right back to making graduation hat cupcake toppers (pictures coming soon)