Tag Archives: cake

Fabulous Fridge Cake

Definitely one to do with little people, this is absolute child’s play to make and frankly, is waaaaaaay more fabulous than I could possibly have imagined! Seriously naughty and very moreish – one to put on the ‘regular’ list – just do it!

Serves 6 – 8

What you need…

1 x loaf tin

50g dark chocolate

50g milk chocolate

100g butter

2 tablespoons golden syrup

150g digestive biscuits

25g mini marshmallows

15g Rice Krispies

What to do…

Melt the chocolate, butter and syrup together in a heatproof bowl over a steamer in a saucepan of simmering water.

Pop the digestive biscuits in a self-seal plastic bag and bash them into rough rubble with a rolling pin (small children love this bit!)

Line a loaf tin with cling film, leaving plenty hanging over the sides.

Tip the digestive biscuit rubble into the melted chocolate mixture and then add in the mini marshmallows and Rice Krispies. Mix together until they are evenly coated with chocolate .

Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and use a spatula to press it down. Pop into the fridge for a few hours.

Cut into lovely hard slices of heaven – honestly, it is ridiculously awesome.

Tips…

If you don’t fancy marshmallows (although they are lovely) replace them with raisins or soured cherries.

I am reliably informed (by Ben) that a splash of Baileys Irish Cream liqueur adds a very well received grown up dimension to this already wonderful cake.

Inspired by…

Lisa Faulkner

How easy…

Child’s Play – literally!

 

Chocolate, Coffee and Vanilla Layer Cake

A lovely flavoursome cake that combines some of my favourite flavours: vanilla, caramel and coffee, all wrapped up in chocolate – a lovely treat although no occasion is particularly required….just an appetite for a big slice of naughty cake!

Serves 8 – 10

What you need…

3 x 20cm sandwich tins, buttered and lined with baking parchment

225g butter, softened

225g golden caster sugar

225g plain flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

4 large, happy eggs, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon coffee extract

2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

1 teaspoon sea salt

200g dulce de leche (milk caramel spread)

Chocolate stars and edible gold dust (optional, to decorate)

for the glaze

200g dark chocolate, chunked

30g butter

2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted

4 tablespoons coffee extract (or VERY strong coffee)

6 tablespoons golden syrup

What to do…

Heat the oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas 4.

Into your food processor, tip the butter and golden caster sugar and whizz until pale and fluffy. Whilst still whizzing, gradually pour in the egg, thoroughly incorporating each bit before adding any more. Tip in the flour and baking powder and whizz until thoroughly mixed.

Remove one third of the mixture and put it into another bowl. To this third, add the coffee extract and mix in thoroughly. Pour into one of the sandwich tins. Set aside.

Into the remaining mixture in the food processor, add the vanilla bean paste and whizz until mixed in. Divide between the two remaining sandwich tins. Bang all three tins on your work surface to level the mixture in each and then pop all three in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool.

For the glaze, put all the ingredients into a heatproof bowl and set in a steamer over a pan of simmering water. Leave until melted, then whisk together and set aside to cool.

Mix the salt into the dulce de leche. Put a vanilla sponge onto your cake stand and spread half the dulce de leche over the top. Place the coffee sponge over the top and spread the remaining dulce de leche over the top before adding the remaining vanilla sponge.

Once the glaze is cool but not fully set, use a small palette knife to cover the top and sides. The glaze is quite forgiving so you can take your time with this, doing it little by little, going around the a few times to build it up.

Allow it to set until tacky and then sprinkle over the gold dust, before decorating with stars.

Cut nice, big fat slices and enjoy…..

Inspired by…

Not sure: the recipe was clipped from a magazine

How easy…

Very easy for a pretty spectacular shape even if, like me, you’re not good at the presentation aspects of the recipe

Right Royal Christmas Cake Icing

The final finishing touches to my Christmas cake, I love rough royal icing: it’s so forgiving of any patchy marzipan application and also of my total lack of ability to cake-decorate beautifully. My approach, as you can see, is instead to invest in pretty pre-made decorations (I forgot to buy ribbon though!)

Makes enough for a rough snow scene for a 20cm round cake

What you need…

500g icing sugar

3 egg whites from happy eggs

1 teaspoon glycerine

What to do…

Dump the icing sugar and egg whites into a large bowl and whisk together until stiff peaks form, using an electric handheld whisk. Add the glycerine and whisk until evenly incorporated.

Apply to your cake using palette knife, spreading the icing evenly around the sides and across the top. Use the back of a teaspoon to ‘whip up’ snowy peaks!

Wodge in your chosen figurines or holly leaves and pop some ribbon around the side, securing with a pin at the back of the cake. Sit back and admire your handiwork! Your Christmas cake is now complete! A glass of fizz would go down nicely now! Merry Christmas!

Inspired by…

Delia Smith

How easy…

As about as simple as it gets!

 

 

Christmas Cake Marzipan

 

So, I made the Christmas cake one month ago and have duly been feeding it brandy. Onto stage 2: the marzipan layer to ‘seal’ the cake before the decorative icing goes on. Until last year, I always made my Christmas cake but then bought ready-made marzipan. I also wasn’t a great fan of the stuff. However, last year I made Simnel cake and followed Lisa Faulkner’s recipe for the marzipan: complete convert! I now LOVE marzipan (possibly slightly addicted) and also I cannot believe how ridiculously easy it is to make such wonderful stuff. Lightly fragranced and flavoured with almond and vanilla essences, beautifully emphasising the natural gorgeousness of the moist ground almonds, marzipan is a wonder all by itself. Take just a few minutes (that really is all it takes) to make your own: you won’t look back!

Makes enough for the 20cm round Christmas cake already blogged and a large handful left over for general mucking about with.

What you need…

500g ground almonds

250g caster sugar

250g icing sugar

2 eggs

½ teaspoon almond essence

½ teaspoon vanilla essence

1 teaspoon lemon juice

What to do…

Chuck all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and use and handheld electric whisk to beat everything together. When marble-sized balls have been formed, discard the whisk and use your hands to knead the marzipan together into a dough.

Roll the dough out to your personal desired thickness (I do mine just a little thicker than a pound coin but I know some people prefer more and there’s certainly enough marzipan here to accommodate a greater appetite!)

Measure the height of your cake and cut a long strip of marzipan wide enough to wrap around the cake and deep enough to go from top to bottom.

Brush apricot jam all over the side of the cake and stick your marzipan strip to it.

Likewise with the top. Use the original cake tin that you cooked the Christmas cake in as a template to cut out a circle. Brush the top of the cake with the jam and pop on your marzipan circle. Use your fingertips to blend in the sides and top of the marzipan covering.

Pop in a cake tin and leave to dry out for a couple of days before having fun with icing (blog to follow).

Inspired by…

The cake was Delia’s and the marzipan is inspired by Lisa Faulkner.

How easy…

Just a quick mix of ingredients: couldn’t be easier!

Christmas Rocky Road

Wow! This stuff is just gorgeous and completely addictive. Crunchiness mixed with mellow, slightly melted mallow and the joy that is the mix of chocolate and golden syrup. Nuts, glace cherries and amaretti biscuits all combine to create something that can only be described as a seasonal joy! Just lovely!!!

Makes around 30+ bite-sized poppables!

What you need…

1 x 23 x 29cm-ish baking tin, lined with foil

250g dark chocolate, broken into chunks

150g milk chocolate, broken into chunks

175g butter

4 tablespoons golden syrup

200g amaretti bisuits (not the soft ones)

150g brazil nuts, shelled

150g glace cherries

125g mini marshmallows

Icing sugar for dusting

What to do…

In a large saucepan, tip in your chocolate chunks, butter and syrup and let the whole lot melt together over a low heat.

Meanwhile, in your food processor, fit the cutting blade and whizz the brazil nuts to rubble. Tip them out and set aside. Then do the same with your amaretti biscuits – it won’t take very long so just a quick whizz or you’ll get dust rather than rubble!

Once everything has melted, take the pan off the heat and tip in your nuts, amaretti, cherries and marshmallows. Gently stir the lot so that everything is evenly covered in the chocolate mix.

Tip the lot into your foil-lined tin. Run a spatula over the top so that it’s flatish. Pop in the fridge for 2 hours.

Invert your rocky road out of the foil-lined tin and cut into bite-sized ‘poppable’ squares. Stack up so it’s roughly rocky-road-mountain-like, dress with daft figures and dredge with icing sugar. Serve to everyone’s absolute delight! Just keep popping them in – it’ll be hard not to!!!!

Inspired by…

Nigella Lawson

How easy…

You chop some bits, you melt some bits and you mix some bits! Then you enjoy the whole lot and wow, it’s great!

Spiced Hot Toddy Cake

This is such a lovely, festive cake. The ground almonds and the syrup absorbed by the sponge ensure that it’s gorgeously moist and the spices are so Christmassy. Then, you get the icing, which delivers a deliciously intoxicating whisky kick! I’d never seen a recipe like this before but we’ll definitely be having this one again – yummy!

Serves 12

What you need…

1 x 2.4 litre bundt/savarin baking tin, liberally buttered

250g unsalted butter, softened

250g soft light brown sugar

5 happy eggs

150g ground almonds

100g self raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Seeds from 5 cardamom pods, crushed

1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated

Pinch ground cloves

for the syrup

100ml whisky

30ml runny honey

Juice 1 lemon

for the whisky icing

120g icing sugar

40ml whisky

What to do…

Heat your oven to 180° / 350°f / gas 4.

Into your food processor tip the butter and sugar and whizz until light and fluffy. Meanwhile, use a balloon whisk to gently beat your eggs together in a jug.

Gradually pour the eggs into the mixture, ensure that each bit is fully incorporated into the mixture before you pour any more in.

Tip in the almonds, flour, baking powder and spices and whizz to mix evenly.

Pour into your prepared tin and bake for 40 – 50 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin and then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the syrup, in a small bowl use your balloon whisk again to mix together the whisky, honey and lemon. Use a skewer to poke holes all of the cake and then drizzle over the syrup until it is all absorbed.

To make the whisky icing, use another bowl and mix together the icing sugar and whisky to form a smooth, slightly runny icing and then drizzle it all over the cake. Leave to harden slightly and then tuck in with a nice cup of tea, a wee dram or just all by itself: behold a little (or large) slice of Christmas spice – it’s Christmas – have another slice!

 Inspired by…

Delicious magazine

 How easy…

Very little effort for a very lovely outcome

Spruced Up Christmas Spice Cake

What a Christmas gift this is!!!! Such a lovely sponge: light and gently spiced with tantalising flavours and scents so very evocative of Christmas. An absolute doddle to do, this will appear on our festive menu more than once I can assure you! Confession time: the wonderful snow-topped mountain appearance cannot be attributed to my baking skills but rather the moulding of this very special ‘Holiday Fir’ baking tin. If you can’t get hold of an exact replica, a bundt tin will do the job nicely although perhaps not quite so festive in appearance. Either way: give the cake a go – its gorgeous!

Serves around 12

What you need…

1 x baking sheet

1 x ‘Holiday Fir’ or 2.5-litre bundt tin, thoroughly buttered

225g butter, softened

300g caster sugar

6 eggs

350g plain flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

¼ teaspoon cloves, ground

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

250g plain yogurt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

A good dousing of icing-sugar for snowy mountaintops!

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas 4 and pop in your baking sheet.

Tip the butter and caster sugar into your food processor and whizz until pale and fluffy.

Meanwhile, use a balloon whisk to gently beat the eggs together in a jug.

Gradually pour the eggs into the mixture whilst the food processor is still whizzing, incorporating each bit before pouring in the next. Once all the eggs have been added, tip in the flour, spices and bicarbonate of soda. Whizz until thoroughly mixed in. Finally, tip in the yogurt and vanilla extract and whizz again to incorporate.

Tip the mixture into your baking tin and then place in the oven on top of the hot baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Let the cake sit in its tin for 15 minutes then gently ease the edges away from the tin with your fingers. Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Find a gorgeous plate to serve your spruced up Christmas spice cake on and then dust liberally with icing sugar, humming a festive tune whilst gazing at the ‘snow’ settling on the sponge mountain tops – a lovely sight followed by a delicious taste (although it is a shame to cut into this most beautiful of things!)

Inspired by…

Nigella Lawson

How easy…

Just a whizz!

‘First Birthday’ Victoria Sandwich

I know: a classic and let’s face it – it’s not difficult! But this was made today as I realised that 7th November marks the first birthday of the official launch of my little foodie blog! 365 days and 195 recipes later…what’s a girl gonna do? Celebrate with cake!!!! Light as can be and quite simply delicious!

Serves 8 (or just 2 of us!)

What you need…

2 x 20cm sandwich tins, lightly buttered and lined with parchment paper/baking liner

225g unsalted butter, cut into chunks and softened

225g caster sugar

4 happy eggs, lightly beaten

225g self raising flour

Icing sugar for dusting

for the filling

4 tablespoons raspberry jam

1 tablespoon caster sugar

200ml double cream

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas 4.

Tip the butter and caster sugar into your food processor and whizz until the mixture is pale and fluffy – the paler, the better: it means that there’s more air in it and that the cake will be lighter.

Gradually pour in the eggs, whizzing the whole time and making sure that each time you pour a little in, it is fully incorporated before you pour in the next bit.

Tip in the flour and whizz again until evenly mixed together.

Pour the mixture into your two prepared cake tins, trying to get the same amount in each.

Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until lightly golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Cool in their tins for 10 minutes and then turn out onto cooling racks to cool down completely.

Put one sponge, top side down, on your serving plate or cake stand. Use a palette knife to spread the jam generously and evenly across the surface.

Tip the 1 tablespoon of caster sugar into a small mixing bowl with the cream and use an electric handheld whisk to beat the cream into stiff peaks. Either spread or pipe the cream on top of the jam. Gently place the remaining sponge – top side up – on top and then dust with icing sugar.

Cut and serve generous portions with a lovely cup of tea or a glass of fizz, depending on your mood!

victoria-sandwich-2-w_1

Inspired by…

Tradition. Any excuse to make a cake. First birthday for my foodie blog. And Delicious magazine!

How easy…

A really quick, easy cake that can be made in a flash with ingredients that you’re likely to have in the kitchen already.

 

 

Nectarine, Almond and Polenta Cake with Marsala Mascarpone

Yum: I’m not sure if this recipe comes from Sicily, where Marsala originates, but it certainly tastes like it does! A dense and exceptionally moist, sweet sponge created by in the inclusion of nectarine pulp, Marsala, polenta, almonds and olive oil, this cake is absolutely delicious served with the sweet, rich and Marsala-infused mascarpone and when you complete the dish with a couple of slices of ripe nectarines, it’s just wonderful and so very, very summery. An added bonus is that it keeps really well for a couple of days if you don’t demolish it all on the first!

Serves 8 – 10

What you need…

1 x 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin, lightly buttered and lined with Bake O Glide or parchment paper

150g caster sugar

3 ripe nectarines plus a further 3-4 to serve (depending on how many of you are having your cake and eating it!)

125ml sweet Marsala wine

190ml extra virgin olive oil

240g caster sugar

100g polenta

250g ground almonds

3 large eggs, beaten

for the Marsala mascarpone

500g mascarpone

100g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting

4 tablespoons sweet Marsala wine

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 170°c / 325°f / gas.

Fill a large saucepan with water and add the caster sugar. Bring to the boil and gently drop in the nectarines. Turn down the heat and gently poach them for 30 minutes, until tender.

Drain the nectarines and cool. Slice the fruit off the stone and pop the flesh into your food processor. Add the 125 ml Marsala and whizz to a purée, Add the remaining cake ingredients and whizz again to create a smooth batter. Pour into your cake tin and bake for 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, use a handheld electric whisk to beat together all the ingredients for the Marsala mascarpone ‘cream’. Also, slice up the remaining nectarines, discarding the stones.

Pop the cooled cake onto a pretty serving plate and dust with icing sugar, arrange some nectarine slices on the top and offer the remaining slices to your fellow cake eaters together with the lovely Marsala mascarpone – delightfully delicious.

Inspired by…

Delicious Magazine online

How easy…

Ridiculously! And it can be made ahead.

Espresso and Cardamom Cake with Pistachios

 

What can I tell you? The combination of coffee and cardamom is a blessed one -utterly sublime. The sponge for this cake also manages to combine being unbelievably light with gorgeously luscious; and then there’s the topping, which is nothing short of luxurious. There’s a warm, very, very gentle spice to this cake which adds a touch of something richly exotic but ultimately…..it’s a great cake and dead easy to make!

What you need…

1 large baking sheet

1 x 20cm round baking tin, lightly buttered and lined on the bottom with Bake O Glide or parchment paper

50g shelled unsalted pistachios

Seeds from 10 green cardamom pods, ground to a fine powder (see tip)

115g self-raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

115g butter, room temperature

2 large eggs

115g golden caster sugar

1 espresso coffee, cooled

for the syrup

1 espresso coffee, freshly made and still hot

Seeds from 10 green cardamom pods, ground to a fine powder

1 tablespoon Demerara sugar

for the topping

250g mascarpone

1 espresso coffee, cooled

1 tablespoon golden caster sugar

1 tablespoon milk

50g shelled pistachios

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 170°c / 325°f / gas 3.

Lay out all the pistachios onto your baking sheet and pop into the oven for 8 minutes to roast. Remove and divide into 2 halves of 50g each. Chop 50g finely. Leave the other half of nuts whole to decorate the top of the cake.

Into your food processor tip the flour and baking powder. Whizz to mix together. Add the butter, eggs, caster sugar, espresso and seeds from 10 cardamom pods. Whizz until smooth and creamy.

Fold in the 50g chopped nuts and when evenly incorporated, tip the mixture into your baking tin. Pop into the oven and bake for 25 minutes. To test if the sponge is cooked, press the centre lightly with your little finger – it should spring back.

Whilst the cake is cooking, make the syrup by putting all the ingredients into a jug and use a balloon whisk to beat until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.

To make the topping, put all the ingredients except the nuts, into a bowl and use a handheld electric whisk to beat together until a fluffy consistency that will be easy to spread. Cover with cling film and keep in the fridge until needed.

Once the cake is out of the oven, prick all over with a skewer and then sprinkle the syrup evenly over the top. Leave in the tin to cool completely.

When you’re ready to serve, transfer the cake from the baking tin onto a pretty serving plate. Pile on the topping spread evenly. Take a palette knife around the edge if you want a neat finish. Sprinkle the pistachios over the top. Voila! It’s done. Serve with a freshly made espresso and perhaps a little coffee liqueur on the side. Absolutely delightful and delectably different from your usual sponge cake!

Tip…

To extract the seeds from cardamom pods, bash them a bit using a pestle in a mortar (or in a small zip-lock bag and a rolling pin). Open up the pods and push out the seeds with a teaspoon.

Inspired by…

Delia Smith

How easy…

Really easy – just the way I like ‘em!