Friday, 27 September 2013

Sticky Ginger Tray Bake

There is something about Autumn that makes me want to use lots of spices in my baking. This cross between a flapjack and a ginger cake, originally from food magazine, is the perfect recipe with lots of ginger and cinnamon for the change of season. I was desperate to get back to baking after my long travels and this was a great recipe to start with as they are so simple. These cakes get more sticky over time (nom!) so you need to separate the squares with grease proof paper to prevent them from sticking together. 

To make them you will need:

150ml milk
40g black treacle
80g butter
55g plain flour 
1 tbsp of ginger (I really love ginger)
3 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
150g granulated sugar
100g porridge oats 

You will also need a 18cm x 28cm tray lined with baking paper. You can use a larger one if you don't have this size (I had to do this) though I think they ginger squares would be better a bit thicker. 

Preheat the oven to 150°c. The actual recipe is super simple, begin by melting the butter with the milk and treacle over a low heat in a saucepan:

Then in a mixing bowl place all the other ingredients. Give the butter mixture time to cool a little and then mix it with the dry ingredients in the bowl. Once all the ingredients are mixed together then spread the mixture evenly in your lined tin and bake for 45 minutes. 

After removing the tray from the oven allow the cake to cool a little before cutting into squares. If you can possibly resist then leave just a few for the following day as they gets stickier and super delicious. 

Happy baking xxx

ps. for the love baking now has its own twitter account (exciting!) give it a follow for make cakey updates.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Cardamon and Vanilla Crème Brûlée

Whilst these are not technically a cake or cookie they were so delicious I wanted to share. I made them for my mum's birthday meal and they were another gem from my fave the sainsbury's magazine. The contrast between the crispy caramlised sugar on top with the creamy delicious custard below is amazing. 

To make these you will need:

600ml of double cream
1 vanilla pod
30 cardamon pods
50g sugar (plus extra for the topping)
6 medium egg yolks 

6x150ml ramekins
1 roasting tin 

Begin by preheating the oven to 140°c or gas mark 1. De-seed the vanilla pod and remove the husks from the cardamon pods so only the black seeds remain. Put the cream, vanilla seeds, vanilla pod and cardamon seeds in a pan. Bring the mixture to the boil and then let simmer for five minutes. 

While the cream is simmering whisk the egg yolks and the sugar together for about two minutes until the mixture becomes lighter in colour and texture.

Pour the hot cream mixture on top of the egg and sugar mixture whisking continuously. Then strain the combined mixture through a sieve into a jug. Place the ramekins in the roasting tin and then fill them with the custard mixture. Pour boiling water into roasting tin so that it comes about halfway up the side of the ramkins (very similar to how you would cook a vanilla cheesecake). Very carefully transfer the roasting tin to the oven and bake for 35 minutes until the custards are just set.  Remove the ramekins from the water and allow them to cool for at least two hours or over night. Just before serving sprinkle one teaspoon of sugar over the surface of each custard and caramelise either using a blowtorch or under the grill. 

Happy Baking xxx

Friday, 13 September 2013

Fondant flowers

These beautiful flowers are so easy to make and they can make quite a plain cake look lovely. I made them to decorate my mum's birthday cake, she doesn't really like icing, so any decoration had to be easily removable. 

I make my own homemade fondant icing but it can easily be bought online. If you are using your own fondant then begin by colouring it using gel colouring and knead a little tylo powder into the fondant so that it hardens up. After you have prepared the fondant then roll it out so that it is a  few millimeters thick. For each flower you need three different sized petals and four of each size. I used a petal cutter to achieve this but you could easily freestyle or use a cardboard template. 

Next use the round tipped modelling tool to thin out the edge of the petals to make them look more realistic. 

Whilst the petals are still soft begin layering them up. I normally start by making a cross shape for the bottom layer made of the largest petals. Then just add petals where the gaps are until you are happy with your flower. Use edible glue made from tylo powder and water to stick the petals together. If your petals are not keeping their shape then use small balls of kitchen towel to prop them up until they are dry. 

Add a few edible pearls to the center of the flower and then leave them to dry. I found a really good place to leave them is in the holes of a cupcake tray as they then keep a really nice round shape. 

As always, I would love to know what cake you decorated with your flowers and how you got along with making them. I can recommend them with a lemon loaf:

Happy Baking xxx

Friday, 6 September 2013

Lemon Loaf Cake

I made this delicious cake for my mum's birthday. She is not a massive sweet fan so I couldn't make a traditional birthday cake with lots of icing like I did for my sister. Lemon cake is one of the few cakes my mum likes and this Raymond Blanc one is fancier than your average lemon loaf (it has double cream and rum in the ingredients!!).

You will need:

5 eggs
300g sugar (caster preferably)
140ml double cream
4 lemons
2 tbsp dark rum
80g butter
240g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
150g icing sugar
3 tbsp apricot jam

You will also need a 26cm x 9cm x 8cm loaf tin lined with grease proof paper. 

Begin by mixing the eggs, sugar, cream, zest of 3 lemons, rum, butter, flour and baking powder together. The mixture should look like this:

Pour the mixture into the lined loaf tin and bake for 55 minutes or until a skewer can be inserted into the center of the cake and come out clean. Turn the cake onto a wire rack to let it cool for 10 minutes before glazing. While the cake is cooling warm the apricot jam up in the microwave. Also mix the juice and zest of a lemon and the icing sugar together in a pan over a low heat. Gently brush the warmed jam over the cake and then brush the lemon/icing mixture over the top. Place the cake on a baking tray and return it to the oven to set the glaze. This should take about 5 minutes and the glaze should become clear. 

As my mum is not a big icing fan I decorated this cake with fondant flowers which could easily be removed. 

Happy Baking xxx