Flutter by, butterfly…..

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Just a few of the sugar paste butterflies I will be decorating my Help for Heroes Cake Sale cupcakes with.

Very sweet. Just hope I can get them to bend a little now so they look like 3D rather than flat!

 

Lollipop, lollipop …. ooh lolli-lollipop. Cake Pop!

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If you’re looking for something super sweet and fun – then look no further than cake pops!

They’re lollipops made from cake and frosting, covered in a special coating and decorated with sprinkles. And, they’re super cute to boot!

These are the pefect bite-size amount of cake wrapped in vanilla coatings. All of the components needed are easily sourced online or in Hobby Craft.

And, although fiddly to start with, once you’ve made a few of the pops you’ll soon get the hang of it.

Let me know if you want to make these and I’ll sort recipes and some top tips out for you.

Creamed Leek Tart

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Yum. Yum. Yum.

That’s all I can say about this recipe. Just delicious. Be warned it makes a massive tart – halve the recipe if you just want something for a family of four to eat and you would still have some leftover.

Excellent for an alternative to meat for vegetarians at your next BBQ …. well, it’s nearly Summer, right?!

Pastry

  • 300g plain flour , plus extra for dusting
  • 140g unsalted butter , cut into small pieces, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 medium egg
  • 4 tbsp iced water

Tart insides

  • 85g unsalted butter
  • 800g leeks , sliced lengthways then into 2.5cm/1in pieces
  • ½ tbsp plain flour
  • 300ml milk
  • 200ml double cream
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 4 medium egg yolks , beaten together with the other eggs
  • 100g Gruyère , grated (I used Welsh cheddar)
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  1. Pulse the flour and butter in a food processor until you have fine crumbs. Add the egg yolk and water, and bring together into a ball. Do not knead. Roll the pastry in cling film and chill for at least 1 hr.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a pan, then add the leeks. Cook over a low heat for 20-25 mins until soft, stirring often. Season to taste. Stir in the flour, cook for 3-4 mins, stirring, then stir in the milk and cream. Once smooth, simmer for 15 mins to cook out the flour. Season well, then cool. If making ahead, cover the surface with cling film and chill for up to 2 days. Stir the eggs and egg yolks into the mix, along with the grated cheese and the mustard.
  3. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to about 5mm/¼in thick, and gently lay it over a 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Using a small ball of pastry to help, gently press the pastry into the sides of the tin. Trim, leaving a slight overhang. Line the pastry with baking paper, fill with baking beans, then bake for 15 mins. Remove the beans and paper, and bake for 10 mins more or until golden and biscuity. Cool on a wire rack. Turn oven down to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
  4. Spoon the leek mix into the case and smooth the top. Bake for 30 mins until set and golden. Rest the tart for 15-20 mins before you slice it, and serve warm. If making ahead, chill the tart. Once cooled, for up to 2 days, or freeze for a week. Defrost in fridge, then warm in the oven for 20 mins before serving.

Ooh. Look what’s arrived ….!

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Yum. Yum. Bread.

Can’t wait to get started on this!

It’s all rhubarb!

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Wow!

That’s all I can say about this recipe.

I’ve never really had a sweet souffle before but this one has whetted my appetite for some more. It was light, delicious and not overly rhubarb-y.

Very easy to make. Husband is a novice and managed these perfectly. One thing I would say though is that the mixture would have made 6-8 pots worth. We had to chuck quite a lot of mixture away.

Recipe

Prep: 20 min
Cook: 15 min

Serves 4

For the rhubarb purée
Cook 200g chopped rhubarb with 2tbsp caster sugar and a dash of water for 5 min or until soft.
1tsp butter and 1tbsp caster sugar for moulds
3 free-range eggs, separated plus 2 extra egg whites
100g caster sugar
200g rhubarb purée
100g blueberries
Icing sugar to dust

METHOD

Heat the oven to 190 C/Gas 5. Butter the insides of four 150ml soufflé dishes (eg 10cm wide, 6cm high) and lightly dust with caster sugar. Combine the three egg yolks and 60g of the caster sugar in a bowl and beat until pale and smooth. Add the cooked rhubarb, beating well.

Whisk the five egg whites and half the remaining 40g sugar in a large clean bowl until the whites start to thicken.

Add the remaining sugar and keep whisking until soft peaks form. Gently fold one third of the egg whites into the yolks, then the rest. Fold in the blueberries, fill the soufflé dishes to the brim and smooth the tops. Bake for 12 to 15 min, until puffed and golden.

Dust the soufflés with icing sugar and serve immediately with small bowls of cream or ice-cream.

 

Colossal Cake Sale update

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There’s only a few weeks left until the big day and I’m kind of freaking out a little!

I have decided to do three separate sales – one where I dispatch Charlie to work with 100 cupcakes and he forces people to buy them, a sale at two different times at Isabelle’s nursery and the actual Colossal Cake Sale at Ruby’s school on April 8th.

By the end of the week, I’m pretty sure I will be exhausted from all the baking, have developed frosting finger and never want to see another cupcake as long as I live!

I just have to keep the target of £500 in my mind – because if I manage to reach it, I will be overjoyed.

 

Earl Grey and Chocolate Torte

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First things, first. Please forgive me!

I forgot to take a lovely picture of a slice of torte – and just when I’d remembered, Charlie had literally just hoovered the last crumb into his mouth.

I did, however, manage to get one of it in its tin but it doesn’t do it any real justice.

You may have noticed my little penchant for Earl Grey these last few days. I love a cup of the stuff – and, ssssshhhh, prefer it to the super-strong builders’ blend that hubby has a passion for.

Since buying a box of the flowery tea at the weekend, I’ve made this torte, Earl Grey cupcakes (see earlier post) and drunk countless cups. No doubt by next weekend, I’ll be sick of the stuff and the smell of bergamot will have me running for the hills – but, until then ……

So, what did I think of this recipe?

It was relatively easy to make. There were quite a few processes and you did need to keep re-reading the recipe to make sure you’d achieved every step. I’d say the preparation time here would be around 40-45minutes.

For me, the chocolate was too rich and overpowered the subtle flavours of Earl Grey. I’d recommend lowering the cocoa content in the chocolate used – maybe down to 60 per cent and using another tea bag full of leaves.

That said, it was a lovely pudding and I was rather impressed with it. It kept well, at least three days and it didn’t dry out.

Have a go and see what you think.

Recipe

  • leaves from 2 Earl Grey tea bags
  • 100ml hot milk
  • 250g good dark chocolate (we used a 78% bar)
  • 200g butter , diced
  • 140g ground almonds
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 200g caster sugar
  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line the base and sides of a deep, 22cm loose-bottomed tin with baking parchment, so the paper comes about 2.5cm above the sides. Stir the Earl Grey tea into the hot milk.
  2. Melt the chocolate, butter and a pinch of salt together in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water.
  3. Then stir in the ground almonds, followed by the egg yolks and milky tea, including the leaves.
  4. Beat the egg whites until stiff, then beat in the caster sugar until stiff-ish again.
  5. Fold the whites through the chocolate mix and scrape into the tin.
  6. Bake for 30-35 mins – it should still have a slight wobble. Then cool completely in the tin.
  7. Carefully remove from the tin and lift onto a serving plate. Dust all over with cocoa and icing sugar, then serve in slices with crème fraîche or cream.

 

 

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