Sunday, 24 November 2013

Quick Carrot Cake- with cream cheese icing

As soon as i saw this recipe, i knew i just had to bake it. Lightly spiced, speckled with nuts and raisins, topped with cream cheese icing. It's also quick, shortening the time from bowl to mouth.Considering, I'm meant to be revising; That's a good thing.

For this recipe i have cut it into four, but i recommend if your not a fan, of too much icing, just keep it in two halves ; Which means you would have to halve the icing. I also added a bit of lemon juice to the icing, to cut through the sweetness and compliment the lemon in the cake.

220ml sunflower oil
225g caster sugar
4 eggs
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
200g grated carrot( with excess water squeezed out)
150g chopped mixed nuts
2 tsp mixed spice
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange

1. preheat oven to 160°
2.put all of the ingredients into a bowl and combine until all the flour is incorporated
3.pop the mixture into cake tins and bake for 30-40 mins or until well risen, golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
4.allow to cool before slicing.

Ingredients for the cake
80g butter
450g icing sugar, sifted
400g cream cheese
zest of 2 oranges
walnut halves and ground cinnamon to finish

1. rub the butter into the icing sugar(just like you rub butter into flour for scones)
2. add cream cheese and zest, and mix until smooth.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Self saucing chocolate pudding

So here's, one of my family's favourite puddings. A self saucing chocolate pudding. All you need to do is whip up the sponge mix, pour on top the sauce, and pop it in the oven while your having your main. Take it out,and enjoy.

Traditionally served with cream, but here i have served it with plain yogurt to contradict with the sweetness .You might also want to serve this in individual pots.

I normally keep to the recipe, but for a change i like to add brown sugar to give a caramel like flavour. You could also add nutella, or something similar to the sauce to intensify it. If you like coffee you could always add instant coffee powder to the sauce.
To lighten it up a bit, you could add fresh fruit, such as raspberries or cherries, when in season.

1 1/2 cups self raising flour                        sauce
2 tablespoons cocoa                                 2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup sugar                                            1/2 cup sugar
1 cup milk                                                 2 tablespoons cocoa
100g butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla essence 

1. preheat oven to 180°
2. lightly grease a six cup capacity ovenproof dish
3. sift flour and cocoa into a large bowl
4. stir in sugar and make a well
5. pour in the milk, butter and vanilla essence and mix quickly with a light hand using a slotted spoon to form a stiff mixture
6. spread the batter evenly into the prepared dish
7. mix the boiling water, sugar and cocoa together and pour evenly over the batter
8. bake, for 45 mins or until the sponge is cooked.
9. serve.dust with icing sugar, if wished.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Lemon Macaroons

Supposedly difficult: Macaroons had been on my "to do" list for a while. When they say hard to make, i think what they actually mean is: Its hard to choose what flavor to make them in. I was tossing up between coffee, lemon, and caramel. in the end i decided to go with lemon.


The icing is heavenly, and works well. As the bitter lemon cuts through the sweetness, creating perfection (well in my eyes). 

These are my first batch of a macaroons (as you can probably tell). Next time i bake these, hopefully they will be slightly less cracked and perhaps more uniformed in size, but still taste heavenly. Although i cannot remember if i have actually had a "real" macaroon, as i am always off put by the prices. 

for the macaroon batter
130g ground almonds
170g icing sugar
3 egg whites
75g caster sugar
yellow food colouring(pastes/gels are best) 

1. place the almonds and icing sugar in a food processor and blitz until mixture is as fine as possible. When blitzed, sieve into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
2. place egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until the egg whites hold peaks, that are neither too soft nor too stiff.
3. continue beating slowly, adding the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time.When you have added half the sugar, stop beating , put some yellow food colouring on the whisk. Continue adding the sugar and add more colouring until you reach your desired colour.
4. beat for a final 30 seconds.
5. carefully scrape the egg whites onto the almond mixture.
6. using a narrow rubber spatula or metal spoon fold the almond mix and egg whites together by scraping around the side of the bowl then cutting through the middle. Repeat, ensuring you incorporate the ingredients from the bottom of the bowl, until you have a smooth batter, which drops in a thick, magma-like way. If the batter is too thick, air pockets will get trapped and cause the macaroon shells to crack.Too thin, and the macaroons will spread out and be unusable.
7. Carefully fill a piping bag and blob even sized circles on baking paper.
8. gently bang the baking tray 3 or 4 times,on the work surface to release any massive air bubbles.
9. with a damp finger gently flatten any peaks.
10. leave the macaroons in a draught-free place to form a shiny coating.
11. preheat the oven to 170°c/gas 3
12. once rested pop in oven for 12 mins, at 4 minute intervals,open the oven door then quickly close it. This releases hot air and humidity. After the 3×4 mins, take the macaroons out.
13. cool before removing from baking paper. peel the paper from the macaroons, not the macaroons from the paper.
14. fill with the buttercream below, sandwich and enjoy.

for the buttercream
80g butter
230g icing sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
zest of 2 lemons

1.beat the butter and icing sugar together.
2.add the lemon juice and zest and beat until combined.