Do you ever get a niggling idea in your head that just won’t go away? The seedling of a fully formed plan that intrudes on your thoughts and gets stuck in your mind, germinating, until it is eventually transformed into a brilliant, fully-fledged idea…. It started with mousse. All I knew at that point is that I wanted to make some mousse of some sort. I sat on that idea for a couple of weeks, in the meantime planning Valentines day baking, which got me thinking about red velvet…which got me thinking about cream cheese, because what is a red velvet cake without the iconic cream cheese icing?! (It’s the best bit!) My mind put the cream cheese and the mousse together… then spread it on top of some red velvet brownies… and added ganache, and then threw in some oreos for good measure… And red velvet brownies with oreo cream cheese mousse and chocolate ganache were born! (more…)
Archive of ‘Cakes’ category
It can be difficult baking cakes when there are just two of you to eat it…you either end up eating way more cake than is healthy, or it ends up in the freezer. I try to bake larger cakes and batches of cupcakes only when there is a party to take them to, or when we have people visiting. But sometimes there is no occasion to bake for and you just really want cake…. And that’s where these mini cakes are perfect. The recipe makes exactly two portions of cake, and you don’t even need to buy any special cake tins as they are baked in regular (clean, empty) food tins, the kind that tinned tomatoes, baked beans, soup etc come in. (I used 400g ones – the most common tin size)
For the month of January Jelena from A Kingdom for a Cake invited us to start this year with a dreamy celebration cake. She challenged us to make the Esterhazy cake a.k.a the Hungarian dream. What better way to start the year than with a sweet dream?
This months daring bakers challenge was an Esterhazy torte – a rich Hungarian cake comprised of five layers of toasted hazelnut dacquoise filled with a hazelnut buttercream made with egg yolks which is traditionally topped with glace icing and a chocolate cobweb pattern. I decided to change things up a little bit because I thought that the traditional recipe was a little lacking in something…chocolate! Because why have a plain hazelnut cake when you can have a chocolate hazelnut cake…?! And I am very glad I did change the recipe because the cake ended up tasting like a giant Ferrero Rocher!
I don’t really do New Years resolutions and definitely don’t buy in to the whole dieting and getting fit in January thing, because quite frankly (for me at least) it is doomed to fail. January is the worst possible month to give up hearty comfort food and force yourself out into the cold to exercise…I simply try to keep up a good level of exercise and healthy eating throughout the year. Having said that, I have been craving a lot of soups and vegetables recently so clearly my body is in need of some healthier food after indulging over Christmas…so I have resolved to try and bake things over the next few weeks that contain healthy ingredients and are a bit lower in fat and sugar. (more…)
For the month of December, Andrea from 4pure took us on a trip to the Netherlands. She challenged us to take our taste buds on a joyride through the land of sugar and spice by baking three different types of Dutch sweet bread
This was my second challenge with the Daring Bakers and it was a suitably spiced one in time for Christmas. We were challenged to make Ontbijtkoek (which I still haven’t figured out how to pronounce…), which is a Dutch sweet, spiced quick bread. It is generally baked with rye flour and contains no fat which led to it being promoted by the food industry as a healthy snack despite the fact that 50% of the total ingredients consist of sugar… (more…)
Christmas has snuck up on me way too fast this year, I’m usually super organised and have all my gift shopping done by the first week of December but I think that this year a lot of people are going to be getting their presents a tad late…I have however managed to get in a decent amount of Christmas baking, my favourite of which (so far) has been these cupcakes. I’d had the idea in my head for a while that I wanted to make a mulled wine cake, so when I stumbled across a recipe for red wine chocolate cake I knew that I just had to adapt it to come up with a christmassy version. (more…)
Baking stollen is one of the very few Christmas traditions that I have and I make it in some form or another every year. I don’t think I have ever baked the exact same recipe twice, I like to play around with it and try new recipes, I have tried many variations ranging from a very traditional German recipe to cinnamon roll style stollen buns. The one constant is that it must contain marzipan; I LOVE marzipan and will happily eat chunks of it out of the packet as I bake, although I try to control myself so that I have enough left for whatever it is that I am baking… (more…)
This cake turned out beautifully but boy did it give me some hassle! Firstly, the cakes were meant to take 35 minutes to bake but ended up taking nearly an hour…then I had MAJOR swiss meringue buttercream issues – it curdled, which is normal, but even after over half an hour of whisking (which makes my lack of stand mixer all the more annoying) it was still curdled…I saved it in the end by microwaving a small bowl of the mixture for 10 seconds then pouring it back in to the rest of the mix while whisking, a couple more minutes of whisking later it came together into silky smooth buttercream, phew! (this is a very handy tip). Finally, once it was all assembled and looked fantastic, with its luscious drizzle of salted caramel, when I came to photograph it, it was the most grey, miserable, dark day imaginable, so even right next to the window in the early afternoon there was no light. So unfortunately I didn’t manage to take any photos that do this impressive cake justice. (I went back a couple of days later when it was sunny and took some better photos of a slice of it). (more…)
I was having a rifle through my (slightly overflowing) cupboard of baking supplies and came across a packet of desiccated coconut that had been in there for goodness knows how long and was about to go out of date; so today’s recipe is borne out of a need to use it up. I dread to think what other packets of expired ingredients are lurking at the back of the cupboard…I really should have a clear-out before it gets stocked up with Christmas baking supplies…although it feels far too early to be thinking about Christmas! (more…)
I was told when going to visit a friend that I “must bring cake”, so of course I jumped at the opportunity to do some baking! He LOVES chocolate so I made one of the most chocolaty things I could think of – quadruple chocolate cupcakes… Soft, dark chocolate cake surrounds a centre of gooey dark chocolate ganache and the cupcake is topped with swirled milk and white chocolate swiss meringue buttercream. They are insanely good! Seriously, among the best cupcakes I have ever eaten. Ever. (more…)
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