Archive | September, 2013

Honey Pumpkin Cake

26 Sep

This weather means summer is officially over, and Autumn in London can begin! Hopefully soon we’ll see orangey brown leaves falling and foods filled with delicious spices!

To celebrate Autumn in London, I made this Honey Pumpkin Cake (adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction) with it’s warming spices and heady aroma, it disappeared very quickly!

A slice or two for me and you!

A slice or two for me and you!

 

Another slice? OK!

Another slice? OK!

 

 

The Recipe:

Ingredients:

Topping:

  • 60 grams plain flour
  • 60 grams unsalted butter, cold
  • 100 grams dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Cake:

  • 250 grams plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp mixed spice
  • 245 grams pure pumpkin puree
  • 100 grams dark brown sugar
  • 120 ml sunflower oil
  • 85 grams honey
  • 120 ml milk

Coffee Glaze

  • 120 grams icing sugar
  • 2 tbs brewed coffee

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180oC
  • Make the crumb topping first by rubbing cold butter into the dry ingredients until nearly combines, then mix the rest by cutting the mixture with a knife. Set aside.
  • for the cake, mix all the dry ingredients together in one bowl, and then mix all the wet ingredients together in another until just combined.
  • Then pour the dry mixture into the wet mixture and beat until just combined. Don’t over mix!
  • I then poured the mixture into 2 loaf tins, and generously pressed the crumb topping onto both loaves.
  • I baked for about 35 mins in my oven, but bake until a toothpick comes out coated with just a few crumbs
  • Remove from oven and leave to cool.
  • Make the glaze by sifting icing flour and whisking with coffee. Drizzle over the cake when slightly warm
  • Best eaten warm, with a cuppa coffee of course!

Enjoy this one, its just made for those crisp autumn days, perfect with a coffee for elevenses!

Baileys Chocolat Pop Up

20 Sep

Baileys, usually a creaming, slightly coffee-tasting drink that i LOVE served on the rocks, or even adding to my baking experiments! But this week, thanks to Who’s Jack, I became one of the lucky few to visit the Baileys Chocolat Luxe pop up in Covent Garden. As most of you know, i’m a HUGE chocoholic, so this really was a dream come true for me!

Chocolate Wonderland

Chocolate Wonderland

We entered through a piece of art created specially for the event, this definitely added to the “WOW” factor and made us even more excited!

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We walked through another art installation and into the bar area, a dream of chocolate and gold, even a tree dripping with whisks!

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After a few minutes, curtains at the back of the room opened to reveal two long tables, and we were invited to take our seats! First course was ready and waiting for us, fresh from the sea and served on ice. The food was presented to us and explained that everything was designed to compliment the Baileys chocolat drink.

Fresh and satisfying!

Fresh and satisfying!

Our plates were cleared and as we waited for mains to be served, it was explained that they were going to be “reactive plating” and all of a sudden the chefs appeared, and started plating up the food right in front of us, on the table! With swirls and flourished they added sauces, delicately placing the other elements on and around the design, randomly reacting to whatever chef had come before. We were encouraged to ask about each element, and we did. The beautifully pickled radishes were my favourite, their sharpness in contract to the wonderfully sweet damson sauce.

The finished "plating!"

The finished “plating!”

You can see on my Twitter account a few Vines I created of the plating process. After we ate our fill from the table, we were invited back into the back for dessert. This was of course my favourite – a medley of chocolate and creamy dessert. My favourite was the triangle of choca-mocha cake, followed closely by the intensely rich bailey chocolat truffle.

Insane dessert

Insane dessert

We rounded off the evening with our own taste of Baileys Chocolat Luxe, served on the rocks with a raspberry. This drink was a DREAM, and I couldn’t get enough, even trying to ply the bartender for seconds!

See the swirl?!

See the swirl?!

A huge thanks goes out to the team at Baileys, for a fantastic and unforgettable dining experience! The team at Blanch and Shock couldn’t have been more welcoming and helpful, they truly gave us a fantastic evening! Now I just have to go and get my own bottle for another taste, and even to create some baked goods! Im thinking Baileys Chocolat cheesecake, or even a Cronut!

What would you make?

Ultimate Chocolate Cake

9 Sep
Death by Chocolate

Death by Chocolate

This cake is a chocoholic’s dream… the ultimate cake for any chocolate lover! It’s a dense but moist chocolate cake, sandwiched together by not one by TWO different buttercreams, decorated with chocolate and drizzled with home-made salted caramel sauce. Drooling yet?!

All the chocolate!

All the chocolate!

 

As you can see, Mr Cadbury made a bit of an appearance here….! This cake is so rich that one slice is enough, and must be accompanied by a hot drink!

I adapted a Telegraph recipe for the cake, and made my own chocolate and Speculoos buttercream, as well as salted caramel sauce to accompany the cake.

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 450g unsalted butter, softened
  • 450g caster sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 350g self-raising flour
  • 100g cocoa powder
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200ml milk

Method:

  • Sift flour,cocoa powder and baking powder together in a mixing bowl and add in caster sugar and butter at room temperature
  • Mix using a stand or hand mixer until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
  • Add in eggs one at a time, using the mixer on slow speed to incorporate
  • Add the vanilla to the milk and do the same, adding bit by bit until all combined
  • Pour the mixture into 2 separate tins (you can use 2 8 inch cake tins here)
  • Bake on 180oC for 35-45 mins approx, until cooked though (you can test this by inserting a skewer, you want it to come out clean, or with only a few crumbs)
  • Cool the cakes, and make your buttercreams and salted caramel

I used Nigella’s recipe for salted caramel sauce.

I made a speculoos buttercream by whipping together about 400g sifted icing sugar with 50g butter, and spooning in the speculoos spread until it reaches a thick creamy consistency. You can but the spread here. I used this buttercream to sandwich the cake together.

To top the cake I made a chocolate buttercream:

Ingredients:

  • 450g icing sugar
  • 65g cocoa powder
  • 230g butter
  • 2tbs milk
  • 2tbs cream

Method:

  • Sift together icing sugar and coca powder
  • Add in butter and whisk well
  • Pour in milk and cream, adding more if needed, and whisk until it reaches a buttercream consistency
  • Feel free to add in more milk/cream if needed
  • This will make more than you need!
Cakey Closeup

Cakey Closeup

 

When the cakes were cooled I sliced the tops off to level them, and used the speculoos buttercream in the middle and topped with chocolate buttercream. I decorated the top of the cake using mini Cadbury chocolate bars, and drizzled the caramel sauce around the edges to keep it moist. This was a truly decadent cake, made for a birthday.

As you can see, birthday boy and the whole family (including me!) enjoyed it!

Tuck in!

Tuck in!

 

Garden Tea Party

6 Sep

Farewells are a difficult thing, they are happy (if someone is embarking on something they have always wanted to do) and sad at the same time.  Last weekend was one of those bittersweet goodbyes, so of course there was a leaving party in the form of a garden tea party.

For this occasion, I baked 70 cupcakes in 2 different flavours, as well as 25 shortbreads and made a fruit salad!

Farewell cupcakes

Farewell cupcakes

 

Chocolate and Speculoos cupcakes accompanies by a Victoria Sponge cupcake

Chocolate and Speculoos cupcakes accompanies by Victoria Sponge cupcakes

 

Chocolate Chip Shortbread

Chocolate Chip Shortbread

The vanilla cupcakes had a spoonful of jam inside to make them into Victoria Sponge cupcakes, and I topped my chocolate cupcakes with a made up speculoos buttercream and drizzled them with a homemade salted caramel sauce. YUM!

Tea Table

Tea Table

 

Cupcakes on mini stands

Cupcakes on mini stands

We gave the gorgeous Sammy the send-off (to Australia!) of a lifetime, and I hope she’s amazingly happy over there! Good Luck!

Saying goodbye to the beautiful Sammy

Saying goodbye to the beautiful Sammy

And of course it’s never goodbye, it’s only Ta Ta for Now!

A Very Berry Birthday!

3 Sep

Sometimes, there’s nothing better than a slice of victoria sponge… especially when you pimp it up with fresh berries and homemade berry coulis!

Berry Beautiful!

Berry Beautiful!

 

Don't drool on the screen now!

Don’t drool on the screen now!

 

 

I’ve been using Lily Vanilli’s recipe again, but this is so easy to make yourself… just use any old sponge recipe, it could even be a box mix (but shhh don’t tell anyone!)

To assemble make buttercream by whisking butter and icing sugar together. I made a coulis instead of a jam, which again was very easy! It’s made by boiling together 50g caster sugar with 50ml water and 200g any fruit (I used raspberry and blackberries) Simmer for 15 mins then take off the heat and blend well. Sieve to remove seeds.

Drizzle the coulis in the middle of the cake as well as on top. Add berries to the middle and top of the cake for a delicious slice bursting with berry goodness!

Soft and delicious!

Soft and delicious!

 

This is the perfect weekend bake! What are you baking this week?