Tuesday, 28 September 2010
Friday, 24 September 2010
Chocolate Raspberry Cake
125g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
275g caster sugar
200g self raising flour
50g cocoa powder
fresh raspberries to sprinkle, around 200g plus more to serve
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
- Sprinkle the top of the cake generously with sugar and then bake for 55 min - 1hr 5 min until golden and a cake tester comes out clean.
However, it was a good moist cake, with quite a complex sweetness from the muscovado sugar. I possibly won't make it again as there are many other things out there that I want to try, but it was an enjoyable enough cake.
Sunday, 19 September 2010
Moist chocolate cake
60g dark chocolate, melted
120g soft butter
170g light muscovado sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (the good stuff!)
1 large egg
220g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
25g cocoa powder
150ml creme fraiche
Wait for admiring comments!
Friday, 17 September 2010
Lemon syrup cake with passionfruit icing
100g softened butter
120g caster sugar
135g self raising flour
2 large eggs
grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
2-3 tbsp milk curdled with the juice of 1/2 lemon
For the syrup
100g icing sugar
juice 1 lemon
For the icing
200g icing sugar
pulp of 2 passionfruit
- Preheat the oven to gas 4/180C. Grease and line a small, shallow baking tin 9 x 6 1/2" (23 x 16cm) with parchment paper.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and flour and mix well to combine. Add the curdled milk and mix in.
- Fold in the lemon zest (I find if I use my electric handwhisk at this stage all the zest wraps itself around the beaters, losing the point of adding it!)
- Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes until light golden and a cake tester comes out clean.
- While the cake is baking, heat 100g icing sugar and the juice of a lemon in a saucepan until boiling and clear.
- Stab/skewer the cake all over and then carefully pour over the hot syrup.
- Allow to cool in the tin.
- For the icing, mix the icing sugar, butter, 2tsp water and the pulp of two passionfruit in a bowl sitting over a pan of hot/simmering water, until the butter is melted.
- Allow to cool a little before pouring over your cake.
The icing does set a little, but is still very sticky. I also found that the icing sort of came away with the surface of the cake when I was trying to cut it up, making it a sticky, messy sort of job!
Monday, 13 September 2010
Saturday, 11 September 2010
I had some fantastic feedback about these buns - one person said they were 'messy to eat, but absolutely amazing' and a couple of people said they were the best thing I've brought into work yet. I was really pleased that the jam stayed put in a blob, and the soft gooey cake around the jam blob was really delicious. The cake has a close moist texture and the apple had sort of almost dried out during the baking, becoming slightly chewy in the final cake, which was a great contrast to the soft cake and gooey jam and icing. The icing doesn't set at all, remaining sticky without any kind of crust or hardening, which is great, but really, really messy to eat! I tried to get a photo of the inside of the cakes but it was too dark when I was eating them to be successful.
I'm glad I tried the creme fraiche as a substitute for clotted cream though, because it's more readily available for me, and more affordable too, and that'll encourage me to make them again, which is good because they were really, really good, and I definitely want to make these again. I'm wondering if other combinations of fruit and jam would work - chopped pear and cranberry jam or jelly perhaps for autumn? Or apricots and raspberry jam in the summer? So many possible combinations!
Friday, 10 September 2010
Unfortunately I can't find the recipe online anywhere to share with you, but if you would really like it, get in touch via e-mail and I'll type it out. You can read more about the Popina bakery on their website here.
These cookies suffered slightly from my tendency to overbake, but not to the degree where they were inedible. They were quite a crisp cookie, rather than chewy, which is probably partly down to my cooking time. The dark chocolate was a good contrast to the sweet biscuit and the raisins were nice and chewy. They went down well at work, but a couple of people commented that they preferred Dan Lepard's Blueberry and chocolate chip cookies, and I have to say that I agreed with them. These were definitely more crunchy - different but lovely too.
Changes to the recipe (to jog my memory) - instead of hazelnuts I used raisins and I made more than the specified 17 from the amount in the recipe. They did spread quite a bit in the oven, so leave space between them.
Tuesday, 7 September 2010
I didn't have cherries, but since my favourite fruit at this time of the year is raspberries and I had those ready to go, I wasn't too upset! I used my usual scone recipe with a couple of tweaks, outlined below. If I had previously wondered why fresh fruit scones aren't more popular it could be that it was really, really difficult to work the fruit quickly (time is of the essence) into the dough without them mashing it a pulp, which wasn't really the intention. On this note, cherries might have been easier, or I might use frozen fruit next time to stop it breaking up so much.
Sunday, 5 September 2010
And finally, the chocolate pear crumble tart. I've wanted to make this for ages (well, since it was published here, last September) and I can't remember what reminded me about its existence in the dark recesses of my mind, but when I volunteered to make desserts for the party, this just popped into my head! I followed the recipe fairly well but forgot to chill the pastry (or, more honestly, ran out of time to chill the pastry....) which may well, in combination with my poor pastry making skills, account for the huge shrinkage of my crust. I'm glad I used baking beans to weigh it down though, otherwise I don't think there would have been any space to put the pears in. I must conquer pastry.... Anyway, the pears smelt delicious while they were cooking, and I was seriously tempted to just eat them all on their own, yum, pears in buttery alcoholic caramel sauce..... and even though I probably only used about 600g pears, it was enough to cover the base of my 20cm cake tin. I used the cake tin as my tart tins are all shallow and I didn't want to lose the crumble mixture when I added it on top. I chose a smaller tin after reading Suelle's comments about the tart when she made it, here, and I was pleased because there was quite a lot of shrinkage. I also added a few tbsps water to the crumble mix to make it less crumbly.
Overall, I was pleased with how the tart turned out. The pastry bottom wasn't crisp (but I'm sure that's down to my lack of pastry prowess combined with pear juices) but the combination of pear and chocolate was good. Glad that I made it, very pleased that my Grandfather went back for seconds, but probably not one to repeat!
Saturday, 4 September 2010
Since I followed the recipe as written, I'm not going to reproduce it here, but will suggest instead that if you're interested in bread you should really buy The Handmade Loaf - there are some fantastic looking loaves in there, and almost everything is bookmarked to make at some stage, hopefully soon... I should point out that I'm not on commission here!!!
The only change I made was to pinch off a portion of the dough (probably about 1/6) and knead a few dried cranberries that I had left in the bottom of a packet into it to make a tiny loaf for a couple of breakfasts. This worked well, and I do enjoy having a fruity loaf for my breakfast! I baked this tiny loaf in my tiny loaf tin!!!
However, whilst searching the internet to see if the recipe was already out there, I saw that fellow 'Dan fan' Celia, at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial (fab, inspiring blog, check it out!) has made the loaf already, in a slightly adapted form, here. Celia, your loaf looks fab, and I wish I had fresh ricotta to use up, but here I can only get it from the supermarket.
The crumb of the loaf is fine and close and the loaf is nice and moist. I think it would make good toast, but haven't tried that yet. I know it makes good sandwiches though - there is enough substance to the bread to prevent it falling apart under the weight of fillings. I can't say I particularly noticed the ricotta flavour, but then ricotta is mild at best and mine was supermarket ricotta, not fresh.
Thanks Dan, for another great loaf. I'll remember this one next time I have ricotta left over.