Saturday, 19 October 2013

Cake pops

I've made cake pops using the left over cake mix and icing but decided to get a mould- not sure if it is much quicker but it does make uniform cake pops.

Being my mixing 2 eggs, 190ml caster sugar, 60ml warm water and 60ml sunflower oil.

Add to this 250ml cake flour, 30g cocoa powder, 1tsp baking powder and 0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt.

Grease and flour both sides of the cake pop moulds.

Then put in a tsp full of mix to the bottom half (the one without the whole in the middle) til they are about three quarters full. Do not overfill.

Then snap on the top.

Then bake at 180 degrees for about 15-18 minutes (til a toothpick comes out clean.

Leave to cool for about 15 minutes then remove the top.

When they have cooled you should be able to just pop them out.

Temper about 350g of chocolate. Dip a stick into the chocolate and stick one into each ball. The chocolate will act as a glue.

Then dip each pop into the chocolate.

Decorate as you wish with sprinkles and then leave to dry on baking paper.

This amount make 40 so I did another batch in white, topped with a chocolate button and dusted with gold edible glitter.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Cake flour

A lot of American recipes use this and it is not something that is readily available in the UK. There are various different methods to make a plain flour substitute. The one I use involves cornflour and elbow grease!

Being with the amount of plain flour you need for the recipe.

For every cup full of flour you need to remove two tbsps of flour (just put back in the flour bag).

Then replace the removed amounts with 2 tbsps of cornflour.

Then comes the elbow grease- you need to sift this mix 5 times.

It sounds time consuming but it's not too bad and it does make a light airy mix that is the correct consistency of cake flour.

Then use this as you directed in the recipe.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Chicken and Veg Satay stir fry

No pictures but made this last night just throwing things together and it worked so well I wanted to record it so it can be repeated.

Being by slicing a red onion, julienning 2 courgettes (I used the long strips on a grater) and shredding several handfuls of cos or romaine hearts lettuce. Add this all to a large frying pan and saute with some toasted sesame oil, grated ginger, crushed garlic and soy sauce for a few moments.

Meanwhile cook some chicken strips in a large spoonful of peanut butter with some more soy sauce until cooked through.

Add the chicken to the vegetables and stir through. Add some single cream/ sour cream/ creme fraiche and stir through (everything should be warm so doesn't need to be over a heat).

Serve with rice.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Pigs in mud cake

Made this for a pig theme party.

Begin by making the cake toppings. I used ready made pink icing but you can colour your own white icing. I made these at the start of the week to allow time to harden and set. DO NOT store them in an airtight container since they will go sticky and fall apart. Store them on grease proof paper in a cardboard box.

The cake can easily be made the day before. Begin by making a chocolate sponge cake. Sift together 275g plain flour, 3 level tbsps cocoa powder. 1.5 level tsps bicarbonate of soda and 1.5 level tsps baking powder. Add 215g caster sugar and mix well. Make a well in the dry mix and add 225ml sunflower oil, 225ml buttermilk (you can substitute yoghurt with a tsp of lemon juice for this), 3 beaten eggs and 3 tbsps golden syrup. Beat well and then pour into two 8 inch cake tins that you have greased and lined. Bake at 160 degrees for about 40 minutes until they are well risen and a skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool for 5 mins then remove from tin and allow to cool completely.

Next make the filling- combine 150g icing sugar, 50g unsalted butter and 20g cocoa powder.

When it is all combined and crumbly pour in around 1.5 tbsp milk. You want to bring it together into a thick stiff paste.

As soon as you hit this consistency give it a final mix and then spread onto one of the cool cakes and put the other on the top.

Next make the ganache crumb coat to cover the cake. Melt together 200ml double cream with 200ml chocolate. 

Leave this to go cold and then whisk it on high until it is light and fluffy.

Next you need to line up your kitkats. You can use your imagination here and use a different type of chocolate- but these give a good effect for the mudbath itself.

Then use the ganache topping to cover the top and sides of the cake.

Once it is completely covered "stick" the kitkats onto the edge of the cake.

Then tie a ribbon around it to hold it all together.

Now for the "mud". I did this in two layers- first I combined the left over filling that I used to ice between the cakes together with the ganache crumb topper. I beat this together until it was a spreading consistency and spread this all over the cake.

Next I positioned by sugarpaste pigs.

Then I added another layer to make it look like mud. I made some chocolate cupcakes to go round the cake for the candles (and for guests to take home with them) and I used a ganache topping for those (250g dark chocolate and 250g double cream). 

Again when cool I whisked it til it was thickened. This covered 13 large cupcakes and the remaining amount I used to swirl around the pigs to give a mud effect.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Banana and choc chip bars

Another recipe for using up overripe bananas (though they don't need to be overripe for the recipe to work). It is also fairly healthy so a good after school treat for the kids.

The recipe I got this from uses a smaller tin than I wanted to use so I doubled the recipe but you can adapt it to the size tin that you have.

Begin by mixing 150g each of wholemeal flour, oats and demerara sugar. Then add 200g butter and rub in until you have a breadcrumb like mix.

Spread half the mix over the base of a greased tin (mine was 10 x 7 inches).
Cover with sliced bananas.

Then top with the remaining mix.

Then sprinkle with about 50g chocolate chips.

Cook at 160 degrees for about 40 minutes until golden.

Allow to cool and cut into slices.