Saturday, 24 September 2011

The perfect scone and a fish finger sandwich..

My blog has been very neglected these past few weeks and i may have to become a budget baker from now on and live off baked beans and fish fingers.. I am eventually, and very happily a university student!

I would love it if anyone could suggest any tasty, student and vegetarian meals and i will be sure to cook and post the best one! In the mean time i am just going to get used to my new surroundings and my new kitchen, which needs a lot of cleaning!  I still have a few reviews to post and recipes too (oopsie).

I was in Cornwall a few weeks ago and happened to eat a lot of cream teas, unsuprisingly! Even though we are quickly decending into the horrible cold depths of winter i thought i would still share with you my favourite scone recipe and some pictures of the delicious cream teas i tasted in Cornwall!

The best scones, from How to be a Domestic Goddess
Makes 12

500g plain flour
2 tsp bicarb of soda
4.5 tsp cream of tartar
50g cold butter, diced
25g trex
300ml full fat milk
1 free range egg, beaten

6.5 inch cutter, 1 baking tray and none stick lining paper

Into a large bowl sift the flour, cream of tartar and bicarb then rub in the butter and trex until the mix resembles damp sand. Add the milk in one go then mix very very briefly. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until a dough is formed. Roll it out to a 3cm thickness then stamp out as many scones as possible, you may have to re-roll to get 12. Put on a baking tray and brush the tops with beaten egg. Put in a preheated oven and cook for 10-12 minutes on 220 degrees until risen and golden.

Eat straight away with clotted cream and jam and fresh berries, yummy!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Strawberries & Cream Chocolate Birthday Cake!

I've been far too busy to even think about blogging recently, my life seems to be so hectic that i literally have a huge back log of posts that i can't find the time to finish. Despite my lack a time i wanted to share what i made for my mums birthday- somthing simple yet impressive and delicious at the same time.

In case you are thinking i've said this alot recently then you're right, i will try make more time in future!!
I have a few review posts coming up, including Nigella Lawson and Prince Charles' favourite place to eat in Cornwall and Rick Steins tapas bar and seafood restaurant (yes i went on a gastonomic tour of Cornwall-it wasn't as good as it sounds)

Anyway i hope you enjoy the birthday cake recipe as much as my mum did!

Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver

Chocolate Cake:

you will need 2 x 20.5cm cake tins
145g flour
35g cocoa powder
1.5 tsp baking powder
170g caster sugar
3 free-range eggs
50g good quality dark chocolate
2 tbsp milk

Heat the milk and chocolate in a bowl above some gently simmering water and stir, once melted leave aside to cool.
Add all the other ingredients into a bowl and mix until completely incorperated. Add the cooled chocolate then mix again. Divide between two lined cake tins and put in a preheated oven at 170 degrees for 25-30 minutes.


150ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp caster sugar
handful of flaked almonds
punnet of strawberries, washed and halved

Whip the cream then add the sugar and vanilla. Spread over the cooled cake base then sprinkle with flaked almonds and the strawberries.

Chocolate Icing:

50g dark chocolate
50ml double cream
20g unsalted butter
30g icing sugar

Put all the ingredients in a pan above simmering water and heat until melted and smooth. Leave to cool until slighty thickened then pour over the cake!


Saturday, 20 August 2011

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Yum yum yum.. I saw this recipe on Stuff I make, bake and love and remembered i had seen it in one of my newly aquired Green & Blacks cookery books- it was delicious. And even better it was so easy! It was a perfect way to celebrate- i'm going to university in september, yeyyy!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as i did, and thank you Lilly- your picture totally convinced me to make this, it really does taste as good as it looks!

I made 2/3rds of the mixture but that involved using 3.3 eggs so i wouldn't recommend it! I also didn't like the look the almonds dusted in the tin gave so i left them out of the recipe below! The full recipe needs a 23cm cake tin with removable base.

300g good quality dark chocolate, (I used Green & Blacks 85% cocoa solids)
275g caster sugar
165g unsalted butter
5 large free range eggs
1 heaped tbsp ground almonds

Melt the chocolate, butter and sugar together then set aside to cool slightly. In another bowl whisk the eggs and ground almonds together. Fold the eggy/almond mixture into the chocolate which should thicken pretty quickly. Pour into a 23cm buttered cake tin, and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for around 35-40 minutes. Leave to cool and decorate however you like!

Easy-peasy deliciousness

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes

There is something about cupcakes that makes them so irresistable, even more so than cake. Too often i bite into a piece of cake that is dry and over cooked  or in some cases not cooked in the middle at all! So i like to think that cupcakes are a safer option I also worked out that they cause fewer arguments as noone can accuse anyone of getting too big a piece or cutting the cake wonkily (something i often do). So as the name of my blog suggests i think i may steer more in the cupcake direction in future.

I'm not used to failure, or complete disaster infact but i think that i would prefer both of those over disappointment. So this post is my attempt at getting over the disappoinment of my Black Forest Gateau- beautiful yet tasteless. I stayed with the chocolate cherry combination because i think it works perfectly, but i discounted any cream that you would find in a gateau. What makes these cupcakes better than any i've ever tasted is the addition of the morello cherry jam, it makes the cupcakes so wonderfully moist and dense and leaves a subtle cherry after taste.

 Nigella, you are a genious.

Recipe: adapted from How To Be a Domestic Godess
Makes 12 large cupcakes

125g unsalted butter
100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids at least)
300g morello cherry jam
1 tbsp kirsch
150g caster sugar
2 large free range eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g self raising flour

Melt the butter and chocolate together until smooth and set aside to cool slightly. In a bowl beat the eggs with the vanilla and kirsch then mix in the sugar. Add the cherry jam to the chocolate then the sugar and egg mix and stir well. Sift the flour into the chocolate cherry mix and stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is properly incorperated. Divide into 12 cupcake cases and bake at 180C for 25 minutes.

Chocolate Ganache

100g good quality dark chocolate
100g double cream
1tbsp kirsch
12 glace cherries

Heat the cream and chocolate in a pan and stir until melted then add the kirsch. Ice the cupcakes however you like and put a cherry on top of each!

Something i've always meant to try is dipping some fresh black cherries in dark chocolate and then put them on top of the cupcakes, but of course then it starts getting very expensive and time consuming!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte

Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte or Black Forest Cake, whichever way you say it it was still a disaster. So the chocolate cake was nice, the chocolate cherries were nice, the morello cherry jam and kirsch drenched cherries were nice but it was still one big (although attractive) disappointment.

I went to visit my sister in the Black Forest last week, hence my lack of blogging, and on my return i was inspired to make this traditional black forest cake. I'm not sure whether it was because i had such high hopes for this that i was disappointed or that a cake or gateau would never work covered in whipped cream. I have however not yet posted one of my favourite recipes for chocolate cherry cupcakes, so i will post that soon in replacement of my failed kirshtorte.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Pistachio Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

After making these i have decided that my Canon powershot simply doesn't do my baking any justice and at the next possible present recieving opportunity i will have to get a good camera. However i tried my very best to make these look as appealing as they were! My favourite blogs are the ones with beautiful photography so i would really love to be able to take lovely pictures of my food too, in the mean time i will just have to make up with really nice recipes?!

I've also lost all faith in following recipes exactly, it's no fun and i like to make things my own. I originally thought of pistachio cupcakes and rose water frosting? but i worried it would end up tasting like perfume! I would love to try it in a recipe sometime but i decided that this wasn't the one.

Pistachio cupcakes: makes 10

60g pistachios
115g butter
120g sugar
2 large free range eggs
100g self raising flour
1tbsp milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Process the pistachios in a food processor until it ressembles fine grit, don't worry if it's not really fine!
Then beat the butter and sugar in a seperate bowl, gradually incorporating the eggs then the milk and vanilla. Fold in the pistachios, followed by the flour. Put into cupcake cases and bake for 20 minutes at 180C.

Cream Cheese Frosting

I really don't know the quantities of the cream cheese, butter and icing sugar i just made it to taste! i also added a little bit of pink colouring to the icing then scattered some crushed pistachios on top. Buttercream would taste lovely on top too or just some royal icing.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Strawberry Vanilla Cheescake!

At last. I have eventually  finished school and now i have the whole summer to bake, eat, bake some more and blog! I don't make cheesecake often and somehow i managed to throw out the magazine with this recipe in it but i decided to post it anyway!
The base of this recipe was what really made me make this. Instead of the usual crushed digestives it was a mixture of ground almonds butter and flour baked in the oven to make a cruchy almond base. Although i do really love crushed digestives mixed with melted butter i thought the almond base was slightly more sophisticated?

The topping consists of a tub of marscapone, i do remember that much! which made it lovely and smooth and creamy. I also added a tablespoon of vanilla bean paste (i know that seems rather a lot but i love it so much!) Then i folded in some whipped double cream and greek yoghurt and put strawberries on top!
i served it with some homemade strawberry coulis too.

My next post is definitely going to include more detail than this! I'm really looking forward to spending more time blogging, and i hope to try out some recipes i like from different blogs soon.