Category Archives: cake

Snow Leopard Cake

Can you believe it’s been a year since this cake? Its always a scary reminder how quickly my nephew is growing up.

My nephews list of likes has recently expanded due to a certain aunty (😁) introducing him to the wonders of Nutella, he also really likes Oreos (what is it about nutrionally devoid food that makes it sooo delicious?!). However, he still wanted his cake to be vanilla and white chocolate.
Apart from the usual computer games that most 9/10 year olds seem to be obsessed with, my nephew loves Snow Leopards and can tell you all the facts about them.

So a vanilla cake, with white chocolate, nutella, oreos and a hidden suprise of a snow leopard. This was actually a no brainer….

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'snowy' inspecting the cake

For the cake I used the same vanilla recipe used in the Rainbow Cake:
175g unsalted butter creamed with 250g golden caster sugar (cream for about 5mins til pale and fluffy, with golden caster sugar the mix will remain grainy).
Whisk in x4 eggs and 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence (I add each egg separately with a teaspoon of flour to prevent curdling).
Sieve in 250g self raising flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder, fold in gently.
Mix in 75g natural yoghurt.

I then separated the mixture 1/2 into one bowl with a small amount of Wilton black gel food colouring to get a nice grey, 1/4 with some cocoa powder and black gel colouring to make the mixture a dark grey and the remaining 1/4 I kept plain.

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I spread a thin layer of the light grey mixture on the base of the cake pan. I then piped rings of the dark grey mixture on top

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I then piped the plain mixture on top of the dark grey rings, pushing the nozzle into it so it fills the dark grey ring. Cover with the light grey mixture carefully

They were baked until a knife poked through the centre came out clean (fan assisted oven at 170deg).

To see if I had achieved the desired affect meant waiting until the cake was cut!

To decorate I made a Nutella-Oreo frosting.

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A 250g bar of unsalted butter was whisked until smooth, I gradually added 500g of icing sugar. Once fully incorporated, whisk for aprox 5mins til smooth and fluffy. Add a tablespoon or two of milk (until you achieve the consistency you want), I then whisked in 3-4 tablespoons of Nutella and a pack of Oreos which were blitzed in the food processor. The frosting became quite stiff so I added more milk til it had a spreadable consistency.

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This frosting is amazing 😋. 

There was enough to fill and cover the cake with a generous amount of frosting (there was a lot of frosting,I could have saved it for another cake, but I know it would have ended up being eaten with a spoon :oops:).

To finish the cake I poured over some melted and cooled white chocolate to achieve a dribbled effect and decorated with mini Oreos (can you believe they don’t sell these anywhere in the UK? I had to order them from Amazon for a silly amount of money) and the very delicious Cadburys Oreo bar.

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I was really happy with the final cake and my nephew couldn’t wait to cut his cake.  He was sooo suprised with and loved the snow leopard design inside….

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The nephew and snowy definitely enjoyed themselves :mrgreen:

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Fat Free Cake

I have never been a fan of ‘low fat’/’fat free’/’low calorie’ desserts.

A slice of cake every now and then as a treat never killed anyone, right? Well that’s what I thought, ok nobody died, but one brownie turned into two brownies …and…yes I have no self control 😐

I made some adjustments to this recipe. I replaced the rapeseed oil with Apple sauce, making it fat free.

1 medium orange
140g raisins
140g dark muscovado sugar
2 eggs
125ml unsweetened apple sauce
115g plain wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder, plus a pinch1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 rounded tsp ground cinnamon
115g self-raising flour
280g finely grated carrots (about 375-400g carrots before peeling)

Ok, I lied, it’s not completely fat free, but naturally occurring fats in eggs aren’t too bad!

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Zest and juice the orange. Mix the zest, raisens with 3 tablespoons of the juice and set aside

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Separate the yolk/white of one of the eggs. Place and yolk with the other egg and whisk with the sugar until pale and fluffy. Tip in the Apple sauce and continue to whisk

Combine the remaining dry ingredients

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Tip in the flour mix, half at a time, and gently stir it into the egg mixture

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Fold the grated carrots and soaked raisens/zest

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Whisk the egg white with a pinch of baking powder to soft peaks. Fold into the main mixture

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Place the mixture into a lined/greased tin (I used a 20cm square tin), and into a preheated oven at 160 C for 45-60mins

I also got rid of the frosting and used a sugar icing drizzle.

Once cooled, I mixed three tablespoons of orange juice with enough icing sugar to produce a thick icing, this was then drizzled over the top.

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I have to admit I was kinda worried when I cut it up and was ready to eat it, what if it was inedible?

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😋

Those fears were short lived, the cake was delicious! I’m huge carrot cake fan and this did not disappoint.

Welcome Back Cake

My parents had been away for a few months on their annual migration to a warmer climate.

To welcome them back I wanted to make them something special …

(this was also the first cake I was going to make/eat in three weeks as I am trying to lead a healthier lifestyle; unfortunately 5 portions of cake and chocolate a day wasn’t a good idea and that explains why I haven’t blogged for a month!)

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My Rose and Pistachio Cupcakes are a firm family favourite, so I knew a big cake version would be a hit, and after trying ‘Raspberry and Pistachio Slices’ from Mason Blanc I knew raspberries would compliment this cake perfectly.

For the cake I decided on a genoise sponge, as it was so easy to slice into layers last time, and I still haven’t found my cake slicer/layerer thingy.

Ingredients:

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Cake:
100g unsalted butter
100g pistachios
300g golden caster sugar
6 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
6 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tbsp cornflour
175g plain flour

Soaking syrup:
2 punnets of raspberries (150g each)
Juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons icing sugar

Icing
600ml double cream
2 tablespoons icing sugar sieved
2 tablespoons rose water (or to taste)
Pink/red food colouring (I used Wiltons gel colours in ‘rose’)

1) Place the butter and milk into a saucepan and heat until the butter has melted. Turn of the heat, and leave aside.

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2)Grind the pistachios into a fine powder using a coffee grinder

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3)Crack the eggs into a bowl and add the sugar, whisk for 10-15mins until the mixture has thickened and leaves a trail when the whisk is pulled out. As the cake doesn't have any raising agents this is important to give the sponge a bounce and make it rise nicely

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4)Mix together the dry ingredients and seive into the egg/sugar mix. Gently fold in. 5)Pour the melted butter/milk mixture at the side of the bowl, again stir in gently til fully combined

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6)Divide the mixture between two cake tins (or use one deeper and adjust cooking time). Bake at 170C for 20-25mins (or until a skewer comes out clean) 7)Once ready, remove from cake tin and leave to cool on wire rack

8)While the cakes were cooling I made a raspberry sauce to soak the cakes with.  This was made by mashing and seiving 2 punnets (150g each, I actually only used about 1.5 and ate the rest 😋).  The juice was heated with the juice of 1/2 a lemon and 2tablespoons of icing sugar.

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Slice the cakes in half to get 4 layers

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Brush each layer with the raspberry sauce

9) For the icing :Empty the cream with the icing sugar and whisk until at soft peaks, add the rose water to taste (I used two tablespoons, but add in small quantities until you get the level of rosiness you want) and the food colouring. Whisk a little bit more. Decorate cake as desired.

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I wanted to do a naked cake with pretty edges, so piped the cream around the edges of each layer and just spread it in the middle and sprinkled some pistachios on top.

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For the top of the cake I just spread the cream across and dotted some leftover raspberries on top, with a final sprinkling of pistachios

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Ta-dah!

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Mmmm... Delicious

Suprise Cakes

I love cakes that suprise you when you cut into them.

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hidden 'star' and 'butterfly' cupcakes

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hidden red velvet heart cake

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rainbow pinata cake

So I wanted to make a cake to take to a dinner, something simple but would also be fun.

I decided on a hidden heart bundt cake.

First I made the cake for the ‘hidden heart’:

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I used my regular vanilla cake recipe:
175g unsalted butter creamed with 250g golden caster sugar
Whisk in x4 eggs and 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
Sieve in 250g self raising flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder, gently mix in 75g natural yoghurt

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I divided the mixture into three and coloured using gel colours

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I then placed in a square cake pan and marbled the mixture

Once cooled I then used a heart cutter

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I then made another batch of the cake mix:

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coat the bottom of your Bundt pan with some of the cake mixture

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Place the hearts, upside down. Put the remaining cake mix on top and bake (180deg, aprox 45mins)

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Leave to cool 🙂

To decorate, originally I planned to drizzle with white chocolate, unfortunately, the white chocolate seized when I was melting it (this always happens to me :twisted:). As I didn’t have anymore chocolate I used sugar icing and sprinkles:

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Using the whole cake mix for the hearts made soo much more cake than needed, you could half the quantities or freeze half the cake.

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..Or make cake truffles 😋.. by crumbling the cake and mixing in with some buttercream icing (i used the seized up white chocolate)

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maybe not the best colour choice with the yellow!

Hazelnut Latte Cake

Weird fact…I have four sisters and they are all born in February.
So yes, February isn’t a good month for healthy eating (or at least I have an excuse for overindulging?)

I saw a picture of this cake on the BBC Good Food instagram as a sneaky peak into what was coming up in their Feb issue, and bought the magazine the minute it hit the shelves.

I decided this cake would be perfect as a joint celebration cake for them (and sent a pic and ate an extra slice for my sister who lives abroad).

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The recipe is finally up on their website so I can now share it with you all 🙂

The Cake

The sponge is a Genoise, this is the  first time I have made a genoise; its a slightly different technique but fairly straightforward.

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Put the butter, milk and coffee powder into a small pan and heat gently until the butter has melted. Set aside.

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Place the eggs and sugar in a bowl and whisk,for aprox 10-15mins,until the mixture has thickened and leaves a trail when the whisk is pulled out. As the cake doesn't have any raising agents this is important to give the sponge a bounce and make it rise nicely

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Mix together th century flours and salt and sieve into the egg mixture, gently fold in

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Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts on top and gently fold in

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Pour in the warm milk mixture at the side of the bowl, and gently fold in until there are no longer any darker streaks

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Divide the mixture between the pans and once cooked leave to cool

The cake itself feels very different to a normal sponge, it seems to have a slightly denser structure.

The Syrup
I couldn’t find my cake slicer so had to use a large serrated knife and the aid of my rotating cake plate.

I was quite impressed as even with a cake slicer my layers don’t normally come out even, the dense structure of the cake definitely helped!

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Once the cakes were cooled and cut, it was time to coat the layers with the coffee syrup.

I made my syrup without the alcohol. I found I needed to make double the quantity.

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The Frosting

Nutella + Mascarpone = OMG

It might be getting boring now how in every one of my posts I describe the frosting as the ‘best ever’, but seriously, this is!

It sooo easy to make and it tastes absolutely dreamy.

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The layers are sandwiched together with the frosting

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The remainding frosting was spread over the top and sides of the cake

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I used a decorating comb to give the ridged effect

I sprinkled the hazelnuts at the bottom, I didnt toast them with the sugar as the recipe states (I couldn’t be bothered).

The Topping
The showstopping finish to this cake is a beautiful latte pattern

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But mine looked more like a mess…

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😳

I decided to salvage my cake by smoothing it over which gave a pretty marbled effect

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I was really happy with how this cake looked, fine, it doesn’t look as pretty as the magazine version, but was still impressive.

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And most importantly, it’s one of the best cakes I’ve ever eaten let alone made!

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The hazelnut sponge is perfect with a crunchy texture from the chopped hazelnuts and a rich coffee flavour from the syrup.  The frosting, as I have already described, compliments it perfectly and the coffee cream on the top brings all the flavours together.

Its the kind of cake you would be happy with if you bought a slice at a nice patisserie.

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Bruce Bogtrotter-ing

Whenever I think of chocolate cake..one thing comes to mind…

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That cake!

And it’s ‘that’ cake that spoils chocolate cake for me. “That cake was made from real butter and real cream! And he, that robber-bandit, that safe-cracker, that highwayman standing over there with his socks around his ankles stole it and ate it!”

From all the chocolate cakes I’ve eaten, and that’s a lot of chocolate cake, I have never had one that meets my chocolate cake expectations.

I wanted to make ‘that’ cake.

I used my favourite chocolate cake recipe, the recipe as stated makes the most moist, rich chocolate cake, and when coated with the chocolate ganache resembles the Bruce Bogtrotter cake

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And eating a slice, or the whole thing, you can completely relate to this feeling:

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I decided to add to that and make it even more Bruce -worthy.

I made the cake as described, it does take a bit more effort than your normal chocolate cake recipe, but it’s totally worth it.

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I made the cake into three layers using three 8″ sandwich pans.

For my own extra touches to make it into my dream cake I:
1) made a Nutella buttercream:
-250g unsalted butter at room temperature
-500g icing sugar
-6 tablespoons of Nutella
I whisked the butter til softened then gradually whisked in the icing sugar (I mix gently before whisking to stop an icing sugar cloud from forming) until fully combined, then a few drops of milk (aprox 20ml, til you reach the desired consistency). Whisk for 5mins. Add the nutella and then whisk until fully combined.

2)made a chocolate fudge sauce:
– 150g dark chocolate
– 150ml double cream
– 3 tbsp golden syrup
– 175g icing sugar,seived
Put all the ingredients into a sauce pan and mix until smooth and glossy, leave to cool

On to construction…

The layers were sandwiched together with a layer of buttercream AND fudge sauce:

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the buttercream looks crumbly as I had taken it out of the fridge and didn't let it soften completely, as the fudge sauce was runny I piped a ring of buttercream to stop it from dripping down the sides

The cake was then covered in a layer of buttercream:

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Which was then covered in a layer of fudge sauce:

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I like the dripping effect so didn't smooth it over

And the final finishing touches:

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Now that cake looks scrumpdidliumptious!

Even though I didn’t get a chance to try it (it was a gift), I have been told it tasted as good as it looks.

Having made the cake before and tried the buttercream and fudge sauce, I can only imagine it must have tasted amazing and would have been happily eaten whole by Bruce.

Mendhi Cupcakes

The centre piece (even though it was on the side of the table) of my dessert table was this cupcake display.

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For the cakes, I decided to keep it simple; vanilla filled with raspberry jam and topped with vanilla buttercream (250g unsalted butter creamed with 500g icing sugar, about 2 tablespoons of milk until you get the desired consistency, and vanilla to taste). And chocolate mud cupcakes with a chocolate buttercream.

I wanted to make really colourful cupcakes, I decided to go for fondant toppers with a mendhi/henna design.

I ordered Renshaw fondant icing in turquoise, fuscia pink and orange.  And used a round cookie cutter to cut the discs to size.

I ordered the mendhi pattern stencils from eBay and some I had collected over the last couple of years.

And used Rainbow Dust Metallic Food Paint, which is alcohol free :D, applying it using a sponge.

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I made the fondant toppers a few days before the event so they would be ready when it was time to decorate the cupcakes.

When ready I smoothed buttercream on top of the cupcake and placed the disc on top.  Unfortunately, the discs were slightly smaller than the cakes.

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I made about 40 cakes in total, on top of all the other things I made. With all the last minute preparation for the wedding, I must be crazy!

I was so happy with how these turned out, they looked amazing on the cake stand, the colours and patterns complimented the mendhi theme, and they tasted delicious 😀

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