Archive of ‘Baking’ category

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…)

Spinach, Ricotta & Feta Quiche (Spanakopita Tart)

Spinach, ricotta and feta quiche (spanakopita tart)

One of the ingredients that I always make sure my freezer is stocked with is frozen spinach; I even prefer it to fresh spinach as the fresh stuff cooks down so much that you have to buy a vast quantity of it to end up with barely any once cooked. I use it for a variety of things, my favourites being spinach pesto and various variations of spanakopita – Greek spinach cheese pie. Spanakopita is traditionally made with homemade filo (phyllo) pastry, though shop bought can absolutely be used as well; but I was in the mood for something different so tweaked my usual recipe to turn it into a quiche instead. (more…)

Chocolate & Vanilla Gold Sprinkles Cake

Chocolate & vanilla gold sprinkles cake - velvety American white cake dyed turquoise with fudgy chocolate buttercream & a cascade of gold sprinkles

It’s been a while since I last made a layer cake, I didn’t even make one for my birthday (I had ice cream instead), the reason for this is that they are so big and there is mostly just the two of us to eat it. Therefore I will take advantage of any occasion where there is a gathering of people large enough to make one; a couple of weeks ago there was just such an occasion – a barbecue for a friends birthday so of course I made a cake. (more…)

Black Forest Meringue Nests (Chocolate Cherry Meringues)

Black forest meringue nests - chocolate swirl meringues with quark whipped cream, cherry compote & chocolate shavings

The other day I attempted to squeeze the bowl for my ice cream maker into the freezer, which resulted in me having to re-arrange the entire freezer and remove several items in order to fit it in (there may be an overabundance of cake in there…); that in turn led to me making these black forest meringue nests as I took out a tub of egg whites (which I always seem to have several of in there) and a packet of frozen cherries to make room for the bowl. The logical conclusion was meringues with cherry compote, at which point it seemed wrong not to add chocolate and some quark whipped cream to make sort of black forest mini pavlovas. (more…)

Syrupy Lemon, Olive Oil & Semolina Cakes

Mini syrup drenched lemon, olive oil and semolina cakes

I made these little lemon, olive oil & semolina cakes for a picnic last week; they are great for picnics as they are very quick to whip up, and because they aren’t iced they can be transported in their tins or a tub easily if need be. The combination of lemon zest and semolina flour give the cakes a lovely sunny yellow colour, and the drenching of syrup provides a strong kick of lemon flavour and keeps them deliciously moist and soft. (more…)

Strawberry Lime Jam & Easy Basic Scones

Fresh and zingy tasting strawberry lime jam and recipe for quick, easy basic scones

It may feel wasteful using beautiful, juicy Summer fruits to make jam rather than just eating them as they are; but come Autumn and Winter, you will thank yourself for having preserved a little piece of Summer. Making your own jam may seem like a daunting task, and true, there is boiling sugar involved, but it is actually quite a simple process involving very few ingredients, and once you get the hang of it you can create all kinds of delicious flavour combinations. (more…)

Dresden Sugar Cake & Bake To Impress Review & Giveaway

Dresden sugar cake - an enriched yeast coffee cake with a crisp, buttery sugar topping

I’ve got a bit of a thing for recipe books, I don’t buy them very often but I do love them and will happily spend hours looking through them in search of inspiration; so when I was offered a copy of Bake To Impress by Christian Hümbs to review of course I accepted. Christian Hümbs is a German patissier who is a judge on the German Bake-Off, has worked at a host of Michelin starred restaurants and hotels and was awarded German Patissier of the year in 2014; Bake To Impress is his first book. (more…)

Chocolate Stout Cake With Stout Ganache (Guinness Chocolate Cake)

Chocolate stout cake with stout ganache

So much for Summer; for the last week we’ve had nothing but grey skies and rain. It has been properly gloomy, but SO uncomfortably humid; especially at night, when we all, including Ringo the dog, have been struggling to sleep. There has been so much rain in fact that there has even been quite a bit of flooding near my house… in Birmingham! The gloomy weather and lack of sleep called for cake, chocolate cake to be specific. Dark, dense and richly flavoured chocolate stout cake, topped with a thick layer of silky-smooth stout ganache; grown-up chocolate cake heaven. (more…)

Beer Pretzel Hot Dog Buns

Beer pretzel hot dog buns

We attended our first barbecue of the year at the weekend. The weather was glorious, the company couldn’t have been better and the food was plentiful (though not as plentiful as the alcohol…); all in all it was a lovely day and one that I hope to repeat many times over the summer. But I have never actually hosted my own barbecue; we spent many years living in a flat, making barbecues impossible, and although we now have a house, the garden is very narrow, the patio tiny and the whole garden is in quite a state; it needs some serious work doing to it before we can even fit a barbecue out there, let alone more than two people. We intend to sort it out this summer, and when (if) we do, I’ll finally get round to hosting one and will probably vastly over-cater because I can’t have people round without providing waay too much food – can’t risk anyone going hungry! (more…)

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