Monday, 13 June 2011

Mmmmm cake

Vanilla sponge, fresh cream and strawberry jam in the middle, topped with more cream and strawberries. Simple, easy but looks pretty. I like making cakes like this, people look at them and go YUM and yet they are ever so simple!

I also made cake pops, chocolate orange cake, mixed with vanilla frosting, then dipped in melted chocolate orange. I would have taken photos but they got scoffed before they'd even properly set. I've got some more 'dough' in the freezer ready to dip so I'll make some more later and take photos then.

Tonight I've got 'baking' of the wax variety to do then I intend on making another coconut jam sandwich type doodah.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Birthdays and loaves!

I baked cupcakes and general cake for Faith's birthday and I was a bit baked-out! 

BUT yesterday I made a banana loaf (as requested) and I made the mix for a 'nutty apple loaf' which included mixed nuts, apples, strawberry jam and chocolate chips. It went down really well and is possibly the new favourite amongst the taste testers.

Tomorrow I'm going to make a lemon tart, I saw Heston on a Waitrose advert talking about it and I decided that I definitely needed to try one!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Chocolate muffins, and chocolate and coffee loaf

I was running out of ingredients so yesterday I made choc chip muffins and today (because there was only one muffin left) I made choc and coffee loaf.

I don't normally make muffins as I am much more of a cupcake person but they went down well (especially with the kiddies) and my Mum said they were like 'ones from the shop' which I think/hope was more of a compliment that insult.

The chocolate and coffee loaf has very little coffee in it and uses brown sugar. It always goes down well and it is nice and simple to make. I did take pictures but I'm too tired to upload them now. Will be baking more tomorrow as I need to do some bits for my big girl's 3rd birthday party. I want to do a simple iced vanilla sponge plus pirate cupcakes and maybe a loaf. Plus a sugar-free chocolate cake for my diabetic father-in-law. Watch this space!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Baking marathon...

I have baker's elbow today! I made SO much cake yesterday! Have baked NOTHING today but might do some baking tomorrow if I've got time. 

Here's a few pics...

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Orange, almond and yoghurt loaf

It sounds bizarre. It sounded odd to me even after reading the recipe. I couldn't quite imagine that the three things would go together. In truth there is very little yoghurt in the loaf, about 25g which is a couple of spoons worth. The almond flavour isn't too strong either as it comes from 60g of ground almonds and a sprinkle of flaked ones over the top.

The orange flavour really comes through, despite there only being a tablespoon of zest in the whole loaf. To me it smelt strange as it cooked. It didn't smell particularly pleasant but the more it baked the better it smelt.

My trustworthy taste testers declared it yummy and there is very little left now so I believe them!

Tomorrow evening I'm hosting a 'Body Shop at Home' party and I've promised lots of baked goodies to everyone who comes. My 'to bake' list reads as follows:

*Rainbow cake with white frosting (and sprinkles maybe?)
*18 vanilla cupcakes, frosted with piped buttercream, maybe pink, definitely with glitter
*Banana loaf - I've got a couple of over-ripe bananas crying out to be used
*Lemon loaf (with lemon drizzle)
*Cake pops, this time I'm trying oreo ones, dipped in white chocolate.
*Coconut slice

I might make some shortbread too so that I've got something to nibble on. If our shopping arrives early enough tonight then I might make a start on the baking list.

Bake-not-so-well tart

Well that was a lot of faff! I think everything that could have gone wrong with baking the tart, did. I was having one of those days where my brain was several steps behind or totally absent.

Things that went wrong:
1. The shop across the road not having ground almonds, I had some but needed more so I took to blitzing flaked almonds. It worked-ish but wasn't quite the same.
2. Pastry issues, I had trouble rolling it and keeping it together
3. I have a tart tin with a loose base, as I moved it to the fridge i put my hand through the base and the pastry (had to re-roll it)
4. Was feeling a bit flustered and totally forgot the rice and the greaseproof for the blind baking bit. I remembered a minute in, once the sides had collapsed. I then had to rebuild the edges.
5. Hubby washed my bowl of egg white away (doh).
6. I used tesco value jam which when it got hot went really watery, making things a bit soggy and making it so that you can barely taste the jam.
7. It ended up a tad undercooked.

In the end it was ok. There's not much left and the tasters seemed to enjoy it. I tried some, it was ok but it didn't blow me away.

P.S Today I'll be baking an orange, almond and yoghurt loaf

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Baking my FAVOURITE tomorrow...

I keep getting told off for baking things that I don't actually eat. One reason for this is the obvious - if I ate all I baked I'd be twice the size I am (and I'm not small by any means!). I keep getting accused of 'fattening people up' like a Christmas turkey. It's probably a teeny bit true, afterall as the saying goes 'God, if you can make me skinny then please make all my friends fat'.

Anyway, my favourite-est thing is bakewell tart. Warm, with cream, or custard, or icecream, or all three. The problem I have is the sheer effort and time it takes to make. It involves endless pastry 'chilling' and blind baking and such which means you need a couple of free hours before you even think about making it. I plan to make it tomorrow, either in the evening or at nap time. I might leave it chilling over lunch then do the rest at nap time.

I'm really looking forward to it. Both the making and the eating. I'll probably make another lemon loaf just to ensure that Hubby has something else to eat and so won't steal MY yummy bakewell tart!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Lemon loaf and apple and oat cookies...

That's what I chose to bake in the end after much ummming and ahhhing and searching through my recipe books over and over.

I made the apple and oat cookies first, a fairly normal cookie recipe, with a mix of white and light brown soft sugar which made them extra yummy! I've never grated an apple before and I was amazed at how slimy it was, the recipe requested that I squeeze as much liquid out as possible but it was easier said than done. The recipe also (as the name suggests) had oats in, but not too many, just enough to give some crunch, and cinnamon for a hint of spice. I actually really liked these and they went down well with the girls too, I'm not sure if it's the ideal way to get the munchkins eating fruit but better than nothing I guess.

The lemon loaf with a lemon syrup drizzled over was something I'd made before and something I knew would work. I always end up with loads of mix, I'm not sure if I have small loaf tins or what but it filled my metal tin and my silicone one too. I made the syrup just before the loaves were ready and poured it over the top of them once they were out of the oven. I've had some guests taste test the lemon loaf today and it seemed to go down well.

The second lemon loaf left the house today all packaged up in a box, destined for a friend who has many times remarked that she wished she lived closer to me (due to the amount of cakes I bake) and so a parcel of lemony goodness should be with her tomorrow. It's the first time I've posted cake, I just hope it makes it in one piece (well, loaf).

I'm not baking tonight (shocking) but tomorrow I plan on making sugar cookies with the girls, and maybe some cupcakes.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

An empty blog

It scares me.

I feel a bit daunted by its empty-ness and I bit doubtful as to how to fill it.

Maybe it's best to start by telling you about what I baked last. And what a disaster it was! The cookbook called them 'lemon bars' I read the recipe and decided that it seemed like something I might actually want to eat myself (probably why it didn't work out).

The recipe was easy enough, basically a biscuit style base cooked first and then a lemony-eggy-sugary mixture poured on top and then baked again, Unfortunately I over-cooked it due to two problems.

1. Leaving it until the end of the cooking time before checking it
2. Not knowing the tin size - I just used any old tin and I think it meant my topping was too shallow.

The whole thing was rock hard and nearly impossible to slice. I made it in a rush last night as it needed to set in the fridge overnight and I was a little disappointed this morning. BUT actually, if you take a middle bit rather than the edge and if you ignore the fact it's impossible to get a neat slice then it doesn't taste too bad. It is lemony and biscuit-y and just about ok.

I plan on baking something else this evening once the munchkins are in bed. I haven't decided what yet though. Watch this space...