Archive of ‘Baking’ category

Mini Cardamom Apple Pies

Mini apple hand pies baked in a muffin tin spiced with cardamom and cinnamon

It feels like the run up to Christmas is already in full swing and I am lagging behind a bit; I have done no Christmas shopping, haven’t planned any recipes, completely missed stir up Sunday and don’t even know where I am spending Christmas day yet…. I think I need to work on being more organised but the miserable weather and the fact that it gets dark so early now really aren’t helping with my motivation levels. The dark gloomy days are perfect for staying home and baking however (though not great for photographing the results), and making these mini cardamom apples pies did go some way towards increasing my Christmas spirit. (more…)

Double Pumpkin Goats Cheese Pizza

Double pumpkin goats cheese pizza - pumpkin puree in the pizza bread dough, topped with roasted pumpkin and red onion, tomato sauce, mozzarella and goats cheese

As I stated in my last post, I’m not quite done with pumpkin yet. Today I’ve got this colourful double pumpkin goats cheese pizza for you; what makes it double pumpkin you ask? Well, not only did I top the pizza with chunks of roasted pumpkin, but much like the chocolate ginger pumpkin bread wreath that I posted last week, I made the pizza dough using pumpkin puree. This not only gives it a lovely orange colour, but is also a great way to pack in a bit of extra veg. (more…)

Chocolate Ginger Pumpkin Bread Wreath & September & October Degustabox Review

Chocolate and ginger filled yeasted pumpkin bread twisted wreath

Are we over pumpkin yet or do I still have time to share a couple more recipes? Given than tinned pumpkin will keep for years and butternut squash is available year round there’s really no reason why we should be limited to a short ‘pumpkin season’, and yet I feel like if I were to share pumpkin recipes in the Summer they would just sink without a trace. I’ve got a couple more to share before everyone loses interest, starting with this chocolate ginger pumpkin bread wreath. (more…)

Mini Bleeding Heart Halloween Cakes

Mini red velvet layer cakes with ermine frosting topped with a bleeding heart and ganache 'blood'; perfect for Halloween

I haven’t had as much fun in the kitchen in a long time as I had making these mini bleeding heart Halloween cakes; yes I am still trying to clean the food colouring off my hands and worktops but it was a fun and almost therapeutic craft project. The hearts are the brainchild of Lily Vanilli, an incredibly talented baker and author who originally designed the hearts as an anti-valentines cake. I thought they would be great for Halloween and would look even more impressive placed on top of mini red velvet layer cakes with a cascade of ganache ‘blood’ down the side. (more…)

Crumble Topped Pumpkin Spice Cake

Crumble topped pumpkin spice cake - super moist, soft, spiced pumpkin cake with a crunchy crumble topping; easy to make and so delicious!

I was initially dreading the end of Summer but it has to be said that there are some appealing aspects to Autumn – the pretty coloured leaves, big jumpers, Halloween, hot (alcoholic) drinks, soup, but most of all the warmly spiced baked goods. I love using spices in baking, and while I do use them year round, it feels so much more appropriate to be heavy handed with them in Autumn and Winter. Lately the internet has exploded with all things pumpkin, and not wanting to be left out I jumped on the bandwagon and baked this crumble topped pumpkin spice cake. (more…)

Simple Wholemeal Apple Cake

Simple wholemeal apple cake - easy to make, moist wholemeal cake filled with fresh apple and spices

As much as I enjoy making towering, intricately decorated layer cakes, the cakes that I most enjoy eating, and crave most often, are generally a far simpler affair. The kind of cakes that aren’t too pretty to look at, but you feel much less guilty about eating a massive wodge of for a mid-morning snack. I had been craving apple cake for a couple of weeks and when the tree in the garden yielded a few ready-to-pick apples that weren’t great for eating fresh, but were good for cooking with, I finally got round to satisfying the craving with this simple wholemeal apple cake. (more…)

Meringue Bone Palace Halloween Cake

meringue bone palace halloween cake - moist chocolate cake filled with vanilla swiss meringue buttercream and raspberry jam covered in meringue bones with berry coulis blood on the side

So now it’s October (how already?!) I think it’s acceptable to start posting Halloween things. I love coming up with Halloweeny bakes, it’s a chance to let my gothic creativity run wild and I have so many ideas that there’s no way I’ll be able to make them all. I actually made this cake a couple of weeks ago but have been waiting till October to post it; I wasn’t quite sure what to call it – meringue bone garden? Pile? Graveyard? In the end I went with palace but any of the former would fit. Basically it’s a chocolate cake filled with vanilla swiss meringue buttercream and raspberry jam, covered in meringue bones with berry coulis ‘blood’ on the side. (more…)

Apple Crumble Ice Cream

apple crumble ice cream

I did a very grown up thing last week – I bought a house with my fiance! Granted, it’s a badly designed, hideously decorated, 1960’s build, terraced ex-council house but hey, it’s ours and it’s a start. We also already live in it so there’s no need to move house, and now that we own it we can do something about the hideous decor (a visual onslaught of colours, patterns and textures, including the most intricately patterned artex ceiling I have ever seen (painted peach….the horror!)). Doing it up is going to be a very slow and frustrating process involving a huge amount of wallpaper stripping; it also needs a new kitchen and bathroom, but I think we may have to save up a bit before we can afford such drastic improvements so sadly I’ll have to put up with my awful oven for a while longer (sob). (more…)

Tangzhong Chocolate Swirl Buns & VonShef Stand Mixer Review

tangzhong chocolate swirl buns

One of the biggest powerhouses in any baker’s arsenal is the stand mixer, it renders a great many tasks considerably easier and enables you to do other things whilst at the same time mixing cake batter, making meringue or kneading bread dough. Unfortunately they are generally prohibitively expensive, which is why when my (second-hand and gifted) KitchenAid mixer exploded I was unable to afford to replace it and have been without one for a long time. I still have it, sat in a cupboard awaiting the time when I get round to finding a replacement circuit board for it, but I keep forgetting to do so. (more…)

Blueberry Banana Buckwheat Layer Cake

Blueberry banana buckwheat layer cake with vanilla mascarpone cream frosting (gluten-free)

Not gonna lie, I chose the ingredients for this cake based on the fact that I liked the alliteration of ‘blueberry banana buckwheat’; so it’s a good job that they turned out to be delicious together! I’d had a bag of buckwheat flour sat in the cupboard for a while that I had been meaning to bake with, and a couple of over-ripe bananas in the fruit bowl just begging to be made into cake. The resulting banana buckwheat cake was delicious as is, but I couldn’t resist fancying it up a bit with the addition of vanilla mascarpone cream, jam and fruit. As mentioned above, I chose blueberries purely for the alliteration, and they worked perfectly, but strawberries, raspberries or a combination of the three would all also work just as well. (more…)

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