Friday, April 19, 2013

Peach Melba Roulade

50g butter , melted, then cooled, plus extra for the tin
6 large eggs
175g golden caster sugar , plus 3 tbsp extra for dusting
120g self-raising flour
420g can peaches in syrup, drained (reserve the syrup), and roughly chopped
75g raspberry coulis (we used ready-made from Waitrose)
150g pack raspberries
200ml double cream

1.   Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Butter and line a 25 x 35cm Swiss roll tin with baking parchment. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar using an electric hand mixer until light in colour and fluffy - this will take about 5 mins.
2.   Sift the flour into the bowl. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold it into the eggs. Pour in the butter and quickly fold to combine. Be careful not to overmix, as this will knock all the air out of the whisked eggs. Pour the mixture into the lined tin and smooth out to the edges with your spoon. Bake for 12-15 mins until cooked through and springy.
3.   Lay a sheet of baking parchment, larger than your sponge, on your work surface and dust with the remaining sugar. Flip the sponge onto the sugary surface and carefully peel off the parchment lining the base of the sponge. Use the sheet underneath to help you tightly roll up your roulade (see step-by-step guide). Leave to cool.
4.   To make the filling, add the vanilla and 3 tbsp of the peach syrup to the cream and whisk with electric beaters until it forms soft peaks. Fold in half of the chopped peaches and ripple in half the coulis.
5.   Unroll the roulade, remove the baking parchment and spread with the peachy cream. Scatter the raspberries and the remaining peaches over the top. Drizzle with the remaining coulis and tightly re-roll the roulade. Transfer to a serving plate or board and serve straight away

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No-bake Peanut Butter Cups Recipe

Cherry & Almond Tarts

375g pack all-butter puff pastry
75g self-raising flour , plus extra for dusting
12 rounded tsp morello cherryjam
75g plain sponge or Madeira cakes
100g butter , softened
75g ground almonds
75g golden caster sugar
2 medium eggs
½ tsp almond extract
25g flaked almonds
100g icing sugar , sieved to decorate

1.   Very thinly roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Stamp out 12 x 9cm circles with a fluted cutter, if you have one, and use to line a bun tin. Spread 1 rounded tsp of the cherry jam in the bottom of each tart.
2.   Whizz the cake to crumbs in a food processor, then tip into a mixing bowl and add the flour, butter, ground almonds, caster sugar, eggs and almond extract. Beat together until smooth, then divide between the tarts, spreading a little with the back of a teaspoon to cover the jam. Scatter over the flaked almonds and openfreeze for 2 hrs, then wrap well in cling film and freeze for up to 2 months.
3.   Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 with a baking sheet in it. Unwrap the tarts from the freezer and loosely top with a sheet of foil. Bake on the heated baking sheet for 30-40 mins until golden, removing the foil halfway. Cool the tarts a little, then add a splash of water into the icing sugar to make a runny icing. Drizzle over the tarts and leave to set.

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Peanut Butter Pie Recipe Demonstraton

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Wilton Icing Patterns

Coffee Cream & Walnut Cupcakes

100g butter , well softened
100g light muscovado sugar
100g self-raising flour
2 large eggs
2 tsp instant coffee , mixed with 100ml/3½fl oz boiling water, then cooled
25g walnut halves , chopped, plus 12 more for the tops
200ml tub mascarpone (you'll find this with the soft cheeses)
2 tbsp light muscovado sugar

1.   Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and make sure there's a shelf ready in the middle. Line a 12-hole bun tin with fairy cake cases. Beat the butter, sugar, flour and eggs with 4 tsp of the coffee and a pinch of salt until creamy. Stir in the chopped walnuts.
2.   Spoon the mix into the cases (start by adding 1 heaped tsp to each, then go back and top them up - that way they should all be of equal size), then bake for 18-20 mins until light golden and springy. Cool for a few mins in the tin, then lift the cakes out and cool completely on a rack.
3.   Put the mascarpone, 3 tsp more of the coffee and the sugar into a large bowl, then beat together. Spread a dollop of the coffee cream onto the top of each cake, then finish with a walnut half. The cakes are best if they're iced fairly near the time of eating, so if you're making ahead, whip up the mascarpone mix, keep in the fridge, beat it again, then spoon onto the cakes just before serving. Un-iced cakes will keep up to 2 days in an airtight container.

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How to Swirl a Cupcake with Buttercream

Birthday Bug Cake

Easy vanilla cake and syrup mix (see recipe below)
100g white chocolate (I used Milkybar)
Basic vanilla buttercream mix (see Easy vanilla cake recipe below)
12 giant chocolate buttons , 6 cut in half
treat-size pack chocolate buttons
2 chocolate sticks (I used Matchmakers)
hundreds and thousands
multicoloured candles
red (or whatever colour you like) writing icing tubes (I used Asda)
multicoloured candles


1.   Bake the Easy vanilla cake in a greased, lined deep 20cm cake tin as in the basic recipe; drench with syrup and leave to cool. Leave the oven on.
2.   Break the white chocolate into cubes into a microwaveable bowl, and heat on High for 1 min (or melt over a pan of simmering water). Stir, then leave any remaining lumps to melt in the warm liquid chocolate. Once just-warm, beat the chocolate into the buttercream.
3.   Start the butterflies. Put the whole giant buttons on a flat baking tray on non-stick baking paper, then put into the oven for 20-30 secs or until the chocolate looks shiny. Take out, scatter with hundreds and thousands, then leave to set completely before cutting in half with a large non-serrated knife. For the ladybirds, pipe dots of icing all over the already cut giant button halves, then leave aside to dry.
4.   Spread the buttercream over the cake, then start to arrange the butterflies. Cut each Matchmaker into 3 - these will make the bodies. Press onto the cake, then stick four giant button halves around each body to make 'wings'. For the ladybirds, place two spotty button halves together, then use a small button for the head. Scatter more hundreds and thousands all over the cake, then poke in the candles.

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Make a Giant Rainbow Layer Cup Cake.

Dead good chocolate cake

250g butter
300g light muscovado sugar
100g plain flour
100g self-raising flour
300g dark chocolate
200g dark chocolate
200ml double cream

1.   Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Butter and line a 20cm cake tin. Using an electric whisk, beat together butter and light muscovado sugar in a large bowl until fluffy. Measure out plain flour and self-raising flour. Beat in 5 eggs one at a time, adding 1 or 2 tbsp flour if the mixture starts to split. Pour 300g melted and slightly cooled dark chocolate into the mixture, beating as you do so. Fold in the rest of the flour. Spoon into the tin and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes; the cake should be risen with a crust on top. Cool and then take out of the tin. Split the cake horizontally.
2.   To make the icing, gently melt together dark chocolate with double cream. Cool until thickened slightly. Fill the cake with icing, then spread the rest over the outside.

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Piping Flowers on Cupcakes

Flourless Chocolate & Pear Cake

85g butter , plus 1 tbsp extra for tin
85g golden caster sugar , plus extra for tin
85g gluten-free dark chocolate , broken into pieces
1 tbsp brandy
eggs , separated
85g hazelnuts , toasted and ground in a food processor
4 very ripe pears , peeled, halved and cored
icing sugar , for dusting

1.   Cut a circle of baking parchment to fit the base of a 25cm loose-bottomed tin. Melt 1 tbsp butter and brush the inside of the tin, then line the base with the parchment and brush again with more butter. Spoon in 2 tbsp caster sugar, swirl it around to coat the base and sides, then tip out any excess.
2.   Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of hot water, remove from the heat, stir in the brandy and leave to cool. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a large bowl until pale and thick; fold into the chocolate with the hazelnuts.
3.   In a separate bowl, with a clean whisk, beat the whites until they reach a soft peak (try not to whisk them too stiffly or you'll have trouble folding them in). Stir a spoonful of the whites into the chocolate mix, then carefully fold in the rest of them in 2 additions. Spoon into the prepared tin. Level, then arrange the pears over the mixture, cut-side down. Bake for 40 mins until the pears are soft and the cake is cooked all the way through. Leave to cool in the tin slightly before releasing it, then place on a rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar and serve with crème fraîche.

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Kit Kat Candy Bar Ice Cream Cake

Fruity Sponge Cake

Butter or oil, for greasing
50g plain flour
3 tbsp cornflour
eggs , separated
175g caster sugar
295g can mandarin segments , drained
200g tub low-fat fromage frais
icing sugar , for dusting

1.   Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Grease then line the base and sides of 2 x 20cm sandwich tins with greaseproof paper. Sieve the flours and baking powder together.
2.   Use electric hand beaters to whisk the egg whites until stiff, then briefly whisk in the sugar. Beat the egg yolks quickly, then whisk into the whites. Fold in the dry ingredients using a large metal spoon, then spoon the mixture into the tins and level the tops. Bake for 18-20 mins until risen, light golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tins for 10 mins, then gently remove and leave to cool completely.
3.   Mix the mandarins and fromage frais together. Peel away the greaseproof paper, sandwich the cakes with the mandarin mix, then dust with the icing sugar to serve. Best eaten on the day it's made.

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Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

Hooting Halloween owls

280g butter , softened
280g golden caster sugar
200g self-raising flour , minus 1 rounded tbsp
1 rounded tbsp cocoa powder
6 medium eggs

200g butter , softened
280g icing sugar , sifted
1 tube orange ready-to-use icing
1 small bag Maltesers
1 tube choco M&Ms minis (use just the brown sweets) or Cadbury's mini buttons
1 tub jelly diamonds (just the orange ones)

1.   Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with brown muffin cases. Beat the first 5 ingredients to a smooth batter and spoon between the cases, almost filling them to the top. You may have a little left over. Bake for 20-25 mins until risen and spongy. Cool on a rack.
2.   Beat the butter and icing sugar until smooth. Slice off the very tops of the cakes and cut each piece in half. Spread a generous layer of icing over each cake.
3.   Working on one cake at a time, squirt a pea-sized blob of orange icing onto two Maltesers and use to fix a brown M&M on each. Sit the eyes, two pieces of cake top (curved edge up) and a jelly diamond on the icing to make an owl.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Piping Buttercream Icing Flowers on Cupcakes

Black Forest Cheesecake

175g double chocolate chip cookies (choc cookies with choc chips)
50g butter , melted
500g mascarpone
300ml double cream
2 tbsp kirsch
200g milk chocolate , melted and cooled
200g plain chocolate , melted and cooled
20 cherries in kirsch, plus some of the syrup from the jar for decorating

200g plain chocolate , melted and cooled

1.   Whizz the biscuits to crumbs in a food processor and mix with the melted butter. Press the biscuit mixture into the base of a 20cm springform tin.
2.   Beat the mascarpone with the vanilla until smooth. Very softly whip the double cream with the kirsch then mix with the mascarpone. Finally, fold in the melted chocolates and cherries.
3.   Spoon into the tin, swirl the mix a bit on top so you leave indents for the cherry syrup to go on top, and chill overnight.
4.   Make a chocolate collar following the step-by-step guide.
5.   Serve with some of the syrup from the jar and extra cherries if you like.

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Butterfly Cake with Frosting Sheets

Chocolate & vanilla cupcakes

100g butter , at room temperature
100g caster sugar
100g self-raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
a few drops vanilla essence
200g white chocolate , melted
200g dark chocolate , melted
silver balls , to decorate

  • Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the eggs and flour. Divide the mix into 2 and add the cocoa to one half and the vanilla to the other. Add a drop of milk to the chocolate mix if it is too stiff.
  • Spoon into mini muffin tins lined with paper cases, making some chocolate and some vanilla. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool.
  • Dip the vanilla cakes in dark chocolate and the chocolate ones in white chocolate. Decorate with buttons or sprinkles.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Cupcakes! Make Vintage Rose Cupcakes Using Buttercream

Simnel Cherry Tart

75g self-raising flour , plus extra for dusting
375g pack sweet shortcrust pastry
140g butter , softened
140g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
75g ground almonds
175g mixed dried fruit
50g glacé cherries , halved
zest and juice 1 orange
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
6 tbsp cherry jam
350g marzipan , ½ cut into small cubes, ½ rolled into 11 balls to represent the apostles
50g icing sugar , to decorate
25g flaked toasted almonds

1.   On a floured work surface, roll out the pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin. Lift the pastry over your rolling pin and use to line a 20 x 30cm rectangular fluted tart tin, leaving a rim of overhanging pastry. Chill for at least 30 mins.
2.   Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Line your pastry case with baking parchment, then fill with baking beans. Blind-bake for 15 mins, remove the beans and parchment, and bake for a further 10 mins until the pastry is pale golden and biscuity. Leave to cool.
3.   Reduce oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3. In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well between each addition. Stir in the flour, almonds, dried fruit, cherries, half the orange zest, and the spices. Spread the jam over the base of the tart case, then dot the cubes of marzipan over the top. Pour over the cake mixture and smooth with a spatula. Bake for 35 mins until golden and risen. Leave to cool in the tin.
4.   If you want to brown the tops of your marzipan balls, heat the grill to medium. Put the marzipan balls on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and place under the grill for 1-2 mins until golden - make sure you keep an eye on them, as they will burn easily. Let cool. To make the icing, mix the icing sugar with enough orange juice to make a thick, smooth icing. Drizzle the icing over the tart, top with the toasted marzipan balls, flaked almonds and the remaining orange zest. Cut into squares to serve. Will keep for 5 days in a sealed container.

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Buttercream Icing

Ginger Simnel Cake With Spring Flowers

200g packet ground almonds
100g golden caster sugar
50g stem ginger , finely chopped
1 tbsp cornflour , plus extra for rolling the almond paste
1 large egg white

100g sultanas
100g currants
100g raisins
50g stem ginger , finely chopped
2 tsp tea leaves, or 1 tea bag
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 tsp ground ginger
100g plain flour
50g self-raising flour
100g butter , softened
100g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs , beaten

2 tbsp apricot jam , warmed in a microwave or small pan
icing sugar , for dredging
sugar-frosted edible wafer flowers
ribbon , to tie round the cake

1.   Make the almond paste. Tip the ground almonds into a bowl and stir in the caster sugar, ginger and cornflour. Pour in the egg white and work together until you have a smooth paste. Roll into a ball, wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for at least half an hour, to firm up.
2.   Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4/fan oven 160C. Line a 7.5cm/3in deep, 18cm/7in round cake tin with non-stick baking parchment. Use two circles for the bottom and two layers of paper for the sides (this will help protect the cake during the long bake).
3.   Make the cake. Mix the fruits and stem ginger in a bowl. Put the tea in another bowl, pour over 125ml/4fl oz boiling water and infuse for 5 minutes. Strain the liquid over the fruit, then stir in the golden syrup and ground ginger.
4.   Sift together the plain and self-raising flours. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric whisk until the mixture is light in colour and drops softly from the beaters. Beat in the eggs a little at a time, then gently stir in the sifted flours until smooth. Finally, stir in the dried fruits and their liquid.
5.   Spoon half the cake mixture into the tin and smooth the surface. Unwrap the almond paste on a surface lightly dusted with cornflour, and roll a third of it into a round to barely cover the surface of the mixture. Lift and place the paste inside the tin and press down to remove any trapped air. Spoon the rest of the cake mixture on top and smooth the surface.
6.   Cover the top of the tin with foil, scrunching it lightly at the sides to hold it in place. Bake for 50 minutes, remove the foil and bake for a further 45 minutes to 1 hour until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean (replace the foil hat if the cake shows signs of overbrowning during this time). Leave in the tin until completely cold, then remove and strip away the lining paper.
7.   For the decoration, put the remaining almond paste on a surface lightly dusted with cornflour and roll into a round that is barely 18cm/7in in diameter. Trim any rough edges using the base of the tin. Brush the jam over the surface of the cake, then press the paste firmly on top, making sure it is centred and even.
8.   Preheat the grill until hot. Place the cake on a baking tray and grill until light brown on top, rotating it to make sure it browns evenly. Remove and leave to cool. (You can make up to this stage in advance - wrap the cake in cling film and keep in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. You can freeze the cake for up to 1 month)
9.   To finish, put the cake on your prettiest serving plate and sift icing sugar over the almond paste. Decorate with a few sugar-frosted flowers, dust lightly with a little extra icing sugar and tie a ribbon around the cake.

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Decorating Buttercream Roses Cake

Sugar & Spice Rock Cakes

200g self-raising flour
1½ tsp mixed spice
100g butter
85g light muscovado sugar
100g mixed dried fruits
egg , beaten
2 tbsp milk
demerara sugar , or roughly crushed sugar cubes, for sprinkling

1.   Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Tip the flour, baking powder and 1 tsp spice into a bowl. Add the butter, cut into small pieces. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture forms fine crumbs (or do this in the food processor).
2.   Stir in the muscovado sugar and fruit, then add the egg and milk. Mix to a fairly firm dough. Spoon 10 rough blobs of the mixture onto the baking sheet, leaving room for a little spreading. Mix together the sugar and remaining mixed spice and sprinkle over the cakes. Bake for 20-25 mins until golden brown.

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Quick way of Decorating a Cake in Butter Cream

Sugar Dusted Passion Cake

250ml sunflower oil , plus a little extra for greasing
140g dark muscovado sugar
100g desiccated coconut
2 tsp mixed spice
50g walnuts , roughly chopped
eggs , lightly beaten with a fork
250g carrots , peeled and grated
432g tin crushed pineapples , drained, reserving 50ml juice (from Sainsbury's, or see Know-how, below)
zest and juice 2 limes
200g caster sugar
icing sugar and doilies, mascarpone and natural yogurt, to serve

1.   Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Grease and line a deep, 20cm square tin with baking paper. Sift the muscovado until it's lump-free. Tip into the largest bowl you have with the flour, coconut, mixed spice, baking powder and walnuts, then mix well. In a jug, whisk together the oil, eggs and 2 tsp of the vanilla extract, then pour over the dry ingredients. Add the carrot, pineapple, reserved pineapple juice and lime zest to the bowl, then give everything a really good mix until combined. Scrape into the tin, then bake on a low to middle shelf for 1 hr, until a skewer inserted comes out with just moist crumbs clinging to it and no sticky mix. Once cool, the cake can be frozen for up to 3 months, then soak with the syrup once defrosted.
2.   Meanwhile, make a lime syrup by gently heating the caster sugar, lime juice and final tsp of vanilla in a small pan. Once dissolved, boil for a few mins until syrupy.
3.   Leave the cake in its tin until cool enough to handle, then turn upside-down onto a wire rack. Using a skewer, poke holes all over the cake and drizzle over the syrup a little at a time, waiting for the last addition to soak into the cake before pouring over any more. Cool completely, then trim the edges. Will keep for a few days in an airtight tin.
4.   To serve, return the cake to a serving plate, right side up, and place a doily, or a few doilies, over the top. Dust liberally with icing sugar, then very carefully lift off the paper without disturbing the sugar. Serve immediately, as the icing sugar will begin to melt after a while, with a dollop of something creamy on the side - try mixing equal amounts of mascarpone and natural yogurt with a little more icing sugar.

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