Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Perfectly Pink Lemonade!


Hellosies!! Hope everyone is having a wonderful day! Today my little sister and I made some delicious pink lemonade. It's a simply summery drink. It's fairly sweet but that's awesome for me as I have a massive sweet tooth :). Here's how we made it...

Pink Lemonade

punnet of strawberries, chopped
6 lemons
250g caster sugar
boiling water

Method
1. Mix sugar and about 1.5litres of boiling water together.
2. Add chopped strawberries and the juice of the 6 lemons.
3. Stir and leave to cool :).
4. Drink up and feel refreshed.

 This is a perfect drink for summery afternoons spent lazing in the sun, if we ever got any :(. The recipe is also super simple and perfect for kids to help with. I also had a brainwave for the adults, a wee touch of gin in there would make a lovely summery cocktail :). 

After making this my, my sister and I watched the Wizard of Oz. I have a serious love of musicals and this one is a favourite, it always takes me right back to my childhood. I've been really excited lately about possibly baking maple and bacon cupcakes. I can't decide whether they would be amazingly yum or erm...interesting. I'm going wedding dress shopping tomorrow (YAY!! I love it) so I might try this recipe after that...lol! Happy Baking!

Rachael xx.




Bake Off 2: Plaited Bread

Hiya guys! A savoury bake for you today, I know it's very unusual for me :).I have started my wedding diet and exercise routine, so I'm running everyday and trying to eat healthily (with a few treats..hehe!).It sucks but it will be worth it in the end and I can eat loads of cakes on my honeymoon hopefully lol. Don't worry though there will still be many sweet bakes on the blog as I still have to treat my loved ones :). Although I might try some healthy baking alternatives if you liked??


Here is my plaited bread, they looked much better on the Great British Bake Off! It's is my first attempt at bread and while it is quite a long and laborious process, I will definitely try it again! I really want to try herby sun-dried tomato bread yum yum! This bread is wholegrain and seeded! I cheated whilst making this, I used a bread mix with added yeast (I know, the shame!!). All I did was knead the dough( mix, water,salt, pepper and oil) for 10 mins, prove for 1hr, then knead again and plait. After this you just prove once more for 30 mins and then bake for 30mins at 230 degrees celsius :). I also grated some parmesan on top as I felt it needed a cheesey hit ( I LOVE cheese, have I mentioned that before, maybe that's why i'm so cheesey lol).  This bread was well yummers with some soup for my lunch. It seems quite luxurious to make your own bread, you definitely need a lazy free day to bake it :). Next up in this Bake off series is tarts! I can't express how excited I am to bake these, my mouth is watering just thinking about it :). HAPPY Baking!

Rachael xx.

P.s. Have you ever baked your own bread? do you have any yummy recipes you could recommend :)?


Friday, 24 August 2012

Chocolate, Cherry and Almond and Upside-Down Cake

Hello lovely people! I've had a wee break from the blog recently as I have been away for a week in Donegal, Ireland with my family. I was in the middle of nowhere with no mobile phone signal or wifi, it was quite nice to be out of communication for a while :). But not for too long, I missed my man and my girlfriends :).We spent most of our time eating in pubs, battling with sheep on the roads and walking this cutie pie...


In the UK the Great British Bake Off has started again, this is possibly my most favourite tv program in forever! Each week I will bake one of the bakes featured in the show and this week it is an Upside down cake. This recipe is an adjusted recipe from BBC Good Food website (the link will be attached at the end). I made this beauty for another sunday lunch with my man's family, and it went down a treat :). How amazing are chocolate,cherries and almonds together? Yummy scrummy. So here goes with the recipe...

Chocolate, Cherry and Almond Upside Down Cake

200g butter 
200g golden caster sugar
4 eggs
50g chocolate, melted
50g cocoa powder
25g ground almonds
200g cherries, stones removed
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 tbsp cherry jam

Topping-white chocolate, melted
milk chocolate, melted
toasted,flaked almonds

Method
1. Preheat oven to fan 160 degrees Celsius. Line a 20cm cake tin with paper and grease it.
2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
3. Beat in eggs and melted chocolate.
4. Fold in flour, almonds and cocoa powder.
5.Line bottom of cake tin with cherries and cover with the syrup and jam mixed together. Spoon the cake mixture on top.
6. Bake for 1hr 15mins or until done. Cool in the tin, then turn out upside down.
7. Cover top with toasted almonds and drizzle chocolate on top.
8. Slice up and watch it disappear!

This is a yummy and impressive looking bake, and is a little bit more difficult than your average cake. One tip I do have for you is to be careful with oven times, as it is quite easy to overbake. Next up in this Great British Bake Off series is bread, it will be a first for me, so let's see how that one goes :).
Hope everyone is having a lovely week. Happy Baking!

Rachael xx.

P.s. Do you have any favourite cookery programs you could recommend to me? I'm always to watch more food on tv :). Oh and here is the link for the original recipe  http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/9965/upsidedown-berry-cake



Thursday, 16 August 2012

Rachael's Treating Tips!!


Hi friends! Hope you are having a lovely day! If you are getting A-level results in the UK, well done on passing your final year at school and moving on to bigger things. You will grow so much this next year! I remember when I got my results, I was sooo nervous, I thought it was the end of the world if I failed, so not true, everyone excels at different things :).A special well done to my little sister Nikki, on doing really well, even though she though she said she wouldn't. I'm a proud big sister :). That said I have a bit of a different post for you today, no recipes just some of my baking tips. Now firstly, I am not a professional, these are just things that I would always do when baking. I think they work pretty well so here we go...

(just a wee pic of my man and I , aren't we lovely haha!)

Treating Tips

1. Never use cooking chocolate! A bold statement I know, but this stuff is vile, it should never have been invented in my opinion!! Most supermarkets have a value or cheap range, use their chocolate instead, the taste is something much more worth get excited about :). I think that you can really taste the difference.

2. I always double the amount of vanilla in a recipe, the professionals would probably scorn at me for suggesting this! I love vanilla, it's so dreamy :)!

3. When testing if cakes and buns have had enough oven time, insert a skewer into the middle, if it comes out clean, they are done! This tip completely revolutionised my baking, it was so much easier to get a perfect bake (only after all the mistakes I have made!).

4. Cream cheese is a wonderful alternative to sour cream. I only recently discovered this tip, my local supermarket didn't have any sour cream (can you imagine...grr!). I think it works just as well, if you are concerned with calories you could also use low fat cream cheese.

5.Ground nut oil is a good alternative to butter. I would always use equal amount of oil to butter. This works really well with chocolate bakes and adds a very delicate nutty flavour. You could also use other nutty oils as well, depending on what you had hanging about your kitchen :).

6.Whenever I make butter or cream cheese icing, it always goes quite runny. So to stop this I would make it a little in advance and leave in the fridge to firm up. This makes it much easier to pipe into pretty patterns on the tops of cakes, cupcakes and muffins!

7. If you add extra dry ingredients always add equal wet ingredients. For example if you add some lemon juice add something dry :). Not a very exact tip but it works well for me :).

8. Always check your bakes 5mins before the time the recipe says. Everyone has a different type of oven (mine is pretty crappy, cos  I'm only a poor student, awh!) and they all reach different temperatures. This tip just means that your risk of over baking is muchly diminished.

9. Don't grease you tins too much! I would even go as far as saying that if you can get away with it, don't grease them, greaseproof paper works very well. Too much grease leads to soggy  bottomed cakes (and no one likes a soggy bottom hehe!).

10. This is probably the most important tip of all....ENJOY!! Baking is fun, it doesn't matter if you aren't Julia Child or Mary Berry, as long as you have fun :). I find baking relaxing and fun, it's my favourite hobby! I will never be a professional but that's ok, I'm happy just having fun with it :).

Tips over! I hope you find these helpful, you never know, after a few more months of baking experience, I could do instalment number 2 of tips. Let me know if you found this helpful! Happy baking!

Do you have any tips to share with me? I would love to learn from you!

Rachael xx.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Bonkers Banana and Caramel Cupcakes!



Hello friends!! Hope you had a fantastic weekend! I had such a relaxing weekend, with some wedding planning and dog walking thrown in! My fiancée and I met with a possible wedding caterer and talked yummy food for almost 2 hours :), now that's my idea of a fun Saturday! Apologies first and foremost, for not posting my nutella and banana bread (It will come, I promise!) but I just couldn't keep these little yummy cakes to myself, I had to share. These cakes I baked for a little after dinner treat last night and have such a delicious flavour.You will definitely want to try these. I seem to be baking a lot with bananas recently (can you tell I love them!). I'm sorry but I have lost the recipe for these but I changed it a lot anyway, I'm going to attempt to remember it! But if you decide to make these, and it looks all wrong, oops, I'm sorry! This recipe makes 18 cupcakes...so here goes!

Banana Caramel Cupcakes

2 bananas, mashed
90g butter, softened
2 eggs
75g self-raising flour
75g plain flour
115g dark brown sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp mixed spice
80g cream cheese

Caramel Frosting

200g cream cheese
200g tinned caramel
200g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
100g butter
(grated chocolate and glitter to top, yummy and pretty!)

Method

1. Preheat oven to fan 170°C. Beat eggs, sugar,butter and vanilla with electric whisk until pale and fluffy.
2. Fold in all other ingredients.
3.Line cupcake tin with paper cases.
4. Half fill each case with cupcake mix.
5. Bake for 20mins and test with a skewer to make sure they are done.
6. Remove and cool on wire rack.
7. To make frosting, beat all frosting ingredients together. Pipe unto cupcakes and top with grated chocolate and edible glitter! Then try really hard not to devour the whole batch, it will be difficult but you can do it!!

There you go, the slightly revised recipe, hopefully I remembered everything! I will look again for the recipe, so if you have any questions, do ask me and I will try to help you :)! This evening I'm going to meet another wedding caterer and I'm very excited :) more foodie chats. Hope you are having a lovely day! Happy Baking!

Rachael xx.

P.s. I'm rather new to the world of cupcakes, I would love to know what your favourite flavour of cupcake is :)? I think mine would have to be this one, but I'm willing to try all other flavours so that I can make a truly educated decision ;)!



Wednesday, 8 August 2012

White Chocolate and Raspberry Blondies!


Hellooo! Hope you are well and are baking lots of tasty treats :). Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post, I'm at home for a few days (wedding crafting galore!) and I left my camera in my University house, so it's just an instagram pic! Today's recipe is for Blondies ( White chocolate brownies, in case you didn't know, it was a revelation to me!). These are delicious, but very sweet so I recommend only eating one (if you can!). I found this recipe on my favourite recipe website, Good food. It really is a wonderful site, with hundreds of tasty recipes that make you instantly hungry. I made a few tweaks to the recipe, possibly making it a little sweeter. So here it goes...

Raspberry and White Chocolate Blondies

200g unsalted butter
200g white chocolate, roughly chopped
50g white hot chocolate powder
300g light muscovado sugar
3 large eggs
200g plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g raspberries

METHOD
1.Preheat oven fan 160
°C. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
2. Melt butter in a pan, then when melted, remove from heat and add half the chocolate.Set aside to melt.
3. Whisk sugar and eggs and vanilla extract together until thick and pale. Tip flour, white hot choc powder, salt and cooled butter and choc mixture. Then fold in the sugar mixture with a metal spoon.
4. Mix in half raspberries. Pour mix into the tin. Top with raspberries and white chocolate chips. Bake for 35-40mins.
5. Cool in the tin then cut into squares and munch away.

There you go, another yummy traybake recipe. They are also delicious warmed with vanilla ice cream for a dessert. Oh I'm getting hungry just talking about it! Next up on the blog is nutella and banana bread, it's in the oven at the moment, I can smell it yum!!Hope you are having a wonderful week! Happy Baking!

Rachael xx.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Ravishing Rocky Road Cupcakes!



Hello, Hello, Hello! I'm rather excited today as it is now one year until my wedding! This day next year will be a HUUUGE day and I can't wait, I will be a WIFE! Anyway, exciting news aside, it's cupcake time now! These buns look pretty special and taste special too, yummy scrummy! These buns are sure to impress whoever eats them. I think they look like ice-cream sundaes, perfect summer baking! I found this wonderful recipe in a Marks and Spencer Cupcake recipe book (they are real quality, ya know!!). I think these cakes would be perfect for kids as they look so pretty and colourful :) the sponge is even marbled like Neapolitan ice-cream. Here's the wee recipe, along with my adjustments...

Rocky Road Cupcakes

Marble Cake
125g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract ( I added a tiddly bit more!)
150g caster sugar
2 eggs
185g self-raising flour
80ml milk
pink food colouring
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp milk, extra

Rocky Road Topping
70g roasted peanuts ( I used almonds, which also works well!)
200g glacé cherries, halved
100g pink and white marshmallows, chopped
25g coconut flakes ( dessicated coconut works well!)
200g milk chocolate, melted

METHOD
1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Line 12-hole standard muffin tray with paper cases.
2. Beat butter, extract, sugar and eggs in a bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in sifted flour and milk in 2 batches.
3. Divide mixture between three bowls. Tint one mixture pink. Mix cocoa powder with milk and add to second bowl. Leave the third as it is.
4. Drop alternative spoonfuls of the mixtures into the cases. Pull a skewer backwards and forwards through mix to get marbled effect.
5. Bake cakes about 20mins, then turn unto wire racks to cool. Don't eat yet, there's still a bit more to do.
6.Combine topping ingredients in a bowl.
7.Place topping on cupcakes and drizzle with melted chocolate. Now you can eat them, be careful though you will get chocolate all over your face( well hey, at least you enjoyed them!).

I also used some melted white chocolate on the top of the cupcakes, to help the topping to stick. I recommend giving this recipe a go, especially if you want to dress to impress your cupcake :).I think this was the first adventurous cupcake recipe I have ever tried, I will definitely be trying again. I have been having big cravings for banoffee things lately, maybe I will make a banoffee cupcake next, yum! Hope you are having a lovely day filled with smiles and hugs! Happy Baking!

Rachaelxx.

P.s. I love getting comments and I would love to know what you have been baking this week??


Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Splendid Strawberry, Cream and Meringue Cake!


Hello my baking friends! Another beautiful cake recipe for you today! This cake was an addition to family dinner at the weekend, and what a yummy addition it was. Baking this cake was somewhat therapeutic as it distracted me from the pain of getting my nose pierced (I'm so proud of myself, I feel all rebellious!). And on the plus side I got to eat it as comfort food after we were finished. This cake has a lot going on, two raspberry cake layers, cream, jam, strawberries and meringue! The cake lacked somewhat in the appearance department ( it was slightly wonky and cracked,I maintain it had understated glamour!). What it lacked in beauty, it made up for in taste and texture.It was so sweet and delicious, and perfectly moist and soft. This recipe is from the BBC good food website, it was originally for blackberry and almonds but I deviated from this recipe quite a bit... Here's mine!

Strawberry, Cream and Meringue Cake

For the Cake:
200g butter softened
200g golden caster sugar
200g self-raising flour
50g ground almonds
2 eggs and 2 egg yolks, beaten
2-4tbsp milk
150g punnet raspberries
2tsp vanilla extract

For the meringue:
2 egg whites
100g golden caster sugar, plus an extra sprinkle
2tbsp flaked almonds

Filling and topping:
200ml double cream, whipped
4 tbsp raspberry jam
strawberries sliced

METHOD
1.Line two 20cm non-stick sandwich tins with parchment. Preheat oven to fan 140C.
2.Put all the cake ingredients (except the raspberries and using just half the milk) in a bowl, then beat until creamy and well mixed. 
3.Stir in 100g raspberries, along with the extra milk if you need it (I didn't use the extra milk, just to let you know). Divide between the tins and level tops.
4.Whisk the egg whites in a bowl, adding the 100g sugar, a spoonful at a time, until thick and glossy (I recommend using an electric beater or you arms will be dead!). Lightly spread onto one of the cakes, then sprinkle with the almonds and extra sprinkle of sugar.
5.Bake both cakes for 40 mins, then take the cake without the meringue out of the oven and set aside. Bake the remaining cake for 30 mins more until done. Cool cakes.
6.Spread sliced strawberries, jam and whipped cream between the two cake layers! Layer the top of the meringue with more cream and strawberries, I also added a final flourish with white chocolate curls.

 Ta da... your beautiful cake is done and ready to be enjoyed by friends, family and loves! This cake is slightly more laborious than previous cakes I have tried on this blog but it was well worth the extra effort! I wonder what I will try next...hmm any ideas? And now I have to go and attempt to make some fabric bunting for my upcoming wedding...aaah!! Hope you are all having a lovely week filled yummy baked treats! Happy Baking!

Rachael xx.
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Monday, 30 July 2012

Big Blueberry and White Chocolate Cookies!



Hey People :)Amidst this Olympic madness, I have another cookie recipe for you today of equal gravity! This time they are huuuge blueberry and white chocolate chewy yummy cookies. These treats were made for no particular event or reason, I just felt like baking something I could eat straight out of the oven (I am quite impatient when it comes to baking, I just always find myself getting excited about the next stage!). These cookies were a perfect bake as I had a load of blueberries looking sad and lonely in my fridge, so I put them with their old friend white chocolate..hehe! This recipe was adapted from a recipe on the ALL RECIPES iphone app.I will give you my version, hope you like them as much as I did.

Blueberry and White Chocolate Cookies 

250g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
170g unsalted butter, melted
200g soft light brown sugar
100g caster sugar
1tbsp vanilla extract
50g white chocolate drinking powder ( an amazing ingredient!)
a punnet of blueberries
1 egg
1 egg yolk
200g white chocolate chips

METHOD
1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Line baking trays with greaseproof paper.
2. Sift together the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and white chocolate drinking powder.
3. In a bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, caster sugar. Beat in the vanilla, egg and egg yolk and till light, fluffy and creamy.
4. Stir in the sifted ingredients into the creamed mixture. Stir in the blueberries and white chocolate chips.
5. Drop large tablespoons of the mixture, evenly spaced unto the trays.(Place them quite far apart because mine grew quite a bit in the oven and stuck together, not good unless you want ONE giant cookie!).
6. Bake for 10-15mins or until they look ready.
7. Cool on trays briefly then transfer to wire racks to cool further. (If you can wait that long, but I think these guys are best eaten warm out of the oven).

Go on, give these cookies a try, I don't think you will be disappointed. I had a bit of drama last week with my car breaking down when I needed it but it was nice to know I could whip up a batch of cookies and have something sweet and comforting to come back to. A fail safe recipe :). Until next time...Happy Baking!

Rachael xx.

P.s. Is there any baked treat that makes you feel all warm inside? The kind of treat that even if you are having the worst day it will instantly make it feel a little better, I would love to know!!


Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Brilliant Banana and Chocolate Muffins



Hey guys, a slightly healthy recipe for you today (there's 3 bananas in these little muffins, would you believe!). This recipe is an adapted recipe for banana muffins from the All Recipes Iphone App. Can I just begin by saying that this app is amazing for picking recipes on the go, or making something out of leftovers in your kitchen! I highly recommend downloading this app if you find yourself in a rut of confusion of what to cook for dinner, this app is so easy to use! Yesterday morning I woke with a craving to bake but I couldn't be bothered to trudge all the way to the local supermarket in the rain (yucky northern Irish weather!). I knew I had to make something using only ingredients from my cupboards,so, I had a wee nosey on the app (in bed might I add, I was feeling very lazy and this app is so handy). Banana muffins sounded perfect and I had the added bonus of being able to eat one for breakfast (oh yes!). Of course I added chocolate and some caramel syrup to mine, I have a major sweet tooth.The muffins have the perfect moist and spongey texture and are just lovely! Here's my recipe...

Banana and Chocolate Muffins

200g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 large bananas, mashed
150g caster sugar
1 egg
75g softened butter
2 tbsp caramel syrup
50g cocoa powder

METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cocoa powder into a bowl.
3. Combine bananas, sugar, egg, butter and syrup in a separate bowl.
4. Fold in flour and mix till smooth.
5. Line a muffin tray with baking cases and fill with mixture until half full.
6. Bake in oven for 15-20mins. Remove from the oven and if they are around long enough dust with icing sugar.

There are so many things you could change with this recipe. I was contemplating changing this to make a Banoffee Muffin recipe which I think would be to die for! You could also make these little guys much healthier by using wholemeal flour and adding oats to the top, and maybe using honey instead of sugar, the possibilities are endless and the choice is entirely down to your cravings that day. Hope you give these a try and let me know how they go!Hope everyone is having a lovely week.
 Happy Baking!

Rachael xx.

P.s. If there are any other baking/cooking related Iphone apps out there, I would love to hear your suggestions? Please feel free to drop me a wee comment!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Voluptuous Victoria Sponge!



It's classic bake time now! This Victoria sponge was a craving of my little sister's until we decided to get a plan together and make a yummy red and white Victoria sponge cake! Ally was my well equipped and up-for-anything helper in the kitchen and this is what all our hard work produced. I had never even had Victoria sponge before we made this lovely lady (with looks like that she would have to be a lady cake hehe). What a perfect saturday afternoon treat (and frankly we deserved a treat with the depressing rain the weather has been throwing at us)! This beauty came from a my go-to recipe lady, the wonderful Mary Berry and her book The Great British Bake Off: How to Bake. Her's was really the only recipe to use when baking a classic such as this. Here's how Ally and I made it...

VICTORIA SPONGE

225g unsalted butter, softened
225g caster sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
225g self-raising flour, sifted
1 tbsp milk, room temperature

Filling-6 tbsps good raspberry jam
(whipped cream)

Two 20.5cm sandwich tins, greased and base lined with baking parchment.

METHOD
1. Preheat oven 180°C. Put butter in a mixing bowl and beat until very smooth and creamy.
2. Gradually beat in sugar. Then beat mixture until it turns pale and fluffy.
3. Break eggs into small bowl and add vanilla and beat lightly with a fork. Slowly add this to creamed mixture whilst beating. If the mixture looks like it will curdle add a tablespoon of the flour.
4. Sift flour unto the mixture and add milk. Gently fold in the flour.
5. Spoon the mixture into the cake tins so they are equally filled. Spread the mixture evenly into the tins.
6. Bake for 20-25mins until a good golden brown. They should almost double in size in baking.
7.Remove from tins and cool. Then layer one half with raspberry jam and the other with the whipped cream and sandwich together. Dust with icing sugar and away you go!!
8. Plate up and chomp it down, yum yum yum!!

(P.s. I also added some whole raspberries to the jam, to give it a bit more fruity kick, woohoo :)!)

So there you have it, the wonderful Mary Berry strikes again ( I met her once, did I mention that, the word starstruck would be an understatement!). Anyway, I recommend that you try this cake, it is such a delicious classic that everyone loves. It would definitely be a winner with everyone you baked it for. Go on, you know you want to. Happy baking!

Rachael xx.

P.s. Does anyone else have baking idols? Or am I the only one with an unhealthy amount of respect and admiration for Mary Berry. It would be interesting to know who you admire :)!


Obscene Orange Slices!



Why are these cakes obscene, I hear you ask?? Well... they aren't really slices at all, they are more like great big paving slabs of orangey cakey goodness! The bigger the better, it's the only way to go with cakes! These cakes were another creation for a Sunday lunch with my fiancée's family! These cakes have a soft moist sponge with a delicate orange flavour and are perfect for afternoon tea's or summer desserts! The recipe is adapted from a lemon cake slice recipe from the May issue of BBC Good Food (yet again, I do love this magazine! I have a new issue now, you will be glad to know!). Such a simple recipe too, and I'm sure with a little ingenuity, you could adapt these cake slabs to suit other fruity flavours as well (I'm thinking maybe blueberry and white chocolate...oooh yum!). Here's how I made them...

Orange Slices

175g butter, softened
140g caster sugar
140g self-raising flour
50g ground almonds
1/2tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
juice 3 oranges, zest of 2
200g granulated sugar

METHOD
1. Preheat oven 160°C. Line a 20cm square tin with baking parchment.
2. Beat the butter, caster sugar, flour, almonds, baking powder, eggs, vanilla and the orange zest and half the juice, with an electric whisk until smooth.
3. Scrape into tin and bake for 25mins, until an inserted skewer comes out clean.Then cool.
4. Turn out onto a wire rack, trim edges then slice into squares.
5. Dip cakes quickly in remaining orange juice and then cover in granulated sugar. Then leave to crisp up and then munch away to your heart's content.

This is a very simple but equally delicious recipe with a subtle flavour. I think it's perfect for quite sophisticated soirées such as afternoon tea(a bit of change for me eh?). Also when I was baking this I didn't have any ground almonds so I substituted the same amount of rice flour and it worked well (just a wee pointer, ya know!). Well enjoy baking this delight guys. I always ask myself at this stage, what delights will I bake next? Any ideas? Happy baking!

Rachael xx.


Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Chocca Chocca Cake!!



Hello friends!! This is a chocca chocca cake( double chocolate cake, yes I did decide it needed a more exciting name). I baked this cake as a celebratory cake for my housemate and friend Kirsty who passed an assessment yesterday to become a fully fledged mental health nurse, woo hoo, congrats mate!! This bad boy was waiting for her when she came home! A deliciously moist and scrumptious cake with double the chocolate punch! A white chocolate layer and a dark chocolate layer. The top has two of Kirsty's favourite foods, raspberries and magic stars, on a bed of shiny thick chocolate ganache. The exact recipe can be found in BBC Good Food- 500 triple tested recipes recipe book. Here it is...

White and Dark Chocolate Cake

75g softened butter
100g white chocolate (preferably with vanilla flecks)
100g dark chocolate
3 eggs
100ml milk
175g caster sugar
1tsp baking powder
200g self-raising flour
2 tbsp strong coffee
1tsp vanilla extract

for the Ganache
284ml double cream
200g dark chocolate pieces
50g white chocolate melted

METHOD
1. Preheat oven to fan 160°C. Butter and line two 20cm sandwich cake tins.
2. Break chocolates into two separate bowls. Melt over simmering water. Put everything else apart from coffee and vanilla, into a bowl and beat until creamy.
3. Divide cake mix into two separate bowls, add coffee and dark chocolate two one and vanilla and white chocolate to the other. Mix each bowl. Spoon into the cake tins and bake for 25mins, then cool.
4. for the ganache, bring the cream to a boil and then pour over the chocolate and leave for 5mins. Stir until smooth then leave to cool and thicken.
5. Sandwich the cakes together with the ganache as a filling. Ice with the ganache and drizzle with the melted white chocolate. Then decorate as you wish and scoff away!

What an easy tasty cake. Perfect for celebrations and parties, everyone loves chocolate after all and this cake has double the chocolate. I hope you give this cake a go, and enjoy it as much as we did!! Happy Baking!

Rachael xx.