Saturday, April 12, 2008

Tardis Cake!

So, I decided it's been way too long since I did a proper, decorated cake. I've been really lazy about it lately, I've been baking, but nothing fancy. I need to start putting the effort back in! Yeah, let's get motivated! *awkward silence*. That's enough of that.
with, I baked a To celebrate the new season of 'Doctor Who' on BBC 2, which frankly I was a little disappointedtardis cake! Well, I actually just baked a plane sponge cake and cut it up, glued it together with blue butter cream, and iced with writing icing to make a tardis-shaped thing. Still, I think it worked out pretty well.

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*Woosh*



It was a bit of a nightmare to stick together at first, the cake was really crumbly and kept falling apart when I tried to put the thick butter cream on, but then my mum had the genius idea of putting it in the microwave (the icing, that is, not the cake). That made it really easy so spread on, and it hardened after about ten minutes. Then I just did some simple decoration with writing icing, which I still need a bit of practice with, evident from my not-so-legible writing :P Ah well, it'll come eventually. After that I still felt like it needed something to 'finish it', so I whacked on some blue sprinkle thingies to complete the look.

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Enter The Doctor!



I haven't tasted this one yet, but I don't imagine it's anything amazing. I have a confession to make: I forgot to put the jam in the middle >_<>

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I think I need practice >_<



For the recipe it's just the good ol' jam and sponge that I've already got posted (look under 'cakes' tag) and a basic butter cream recipe, with a load of blue food-dye (yay E numbers) thrown in. Really easy to make, and pretty cool looking too.

Next time it's going to have to be a Dalek cake!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Rich Chocolate Cake

If You Want Chocolate...

Rich Chocolate Cake:

Ingredients:

  • 250g butter
  • 270g dark chocolate
  • 6 eggs, seperated
  • 250g sugar
  • 120g flour, sieved
  • An extra couple of bars of milk or dark chocolate (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
  2. Grease and line a 22cm springform tin.
  3. Melt butter and chocolate together over bowl of simmering water.
  4. Whisk together egg yolks and sugar until thick.
  5. Add in melted chocolate and mix well
  6. Fold in flour using a big metal spoon.
  7. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
  8. Fold egg whites into chocolate mixture.
  9. If desired, add extra chopped chocolate chips.
  10. Pour into tin and bake for 40 mintutes, or until cake is set at sides but soft and glossy in the center.
  11. Cool compleatly before removing from tin.
  12. Serve with Bailey's Cream (whip 200ml cream with one tablespoon cream and half a teaspoon ground ginger).
Hello again, all. Hope we're keeping well.
Yup, I'm still on the never-ending chocolate cake quest! I know, I know, how long can it go on for? Well, to be perfectly honest, I don't think it'll ever end. There are just too many different types; Light spongey ones, or really dense, intensily chocolatey ones, ones covered in icing, ones that go with ice cream, ones to be eaten hot, to be eaten cold, the list just keeps going. I don't think there will ever be an 'untimate', but I can at least find a couple of really, really good ones. I've even come across a recipe for one with potato in it! I can't wait to give that a go!
This is definitly one of those increadibly rich cakes that needs no icing, it's cake that's meant to be eaten for its own sake. Serious cake, if you will. It's almost like a giant brownie rather that a cake, so a small slice is satisfying, too much and you will feel sick >_<
I got the recipe out of The Irish Time's Magazine, and it's gone straight into my recipe book. Personally, I wasn't that wild about it, it was all a bit too rich and, well, chocolaty for my liking (I prefer lighter desserts), but everybody else fell in love with it! It's really easy to make too, so long as you take care folding in the egg whites. I was a little concerned when I took it out of the oven, it really did look underdone in the middle, but you just have to imagine it as... like... cement! It'll set when it's cool ^_^
So, that's another triumph over Betty Crocker ;)

Until next time....

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Strawberry Meringue Layer Cake, Not So Good Chocolate Muffins, and My Very Own Banana Muffins


Fancy, no?


As promiced, I have been up to more baking ^_^ Yup, I had a free Saturday and the need to bake, so I got going for some Sunday dessert.
I decided that I haven't really done anything new o
r interesting for a while, so I decided to try this from Nigella's 'Forever Summer', not exactly the weather for it, I know but it looked pretty.



Mmmm, cake!

Ingredients:
  • 125g plain flour
  • 25g cornflour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 100g soft, unsalted butter
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons natural vanilla essence
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 50g flaked almonds
  • 375ml double cream
  • 250g strawberries (I used raspberries)
Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line, butter, and flour 2 X 22 cm Springform tins.
  2. Weigh out flour, cornflour, and baking powder in a bowl.
  3. Cream butter and 100g of the sugar in another bowl until light and fluffy.
  4. Separate the eggs and beat the yolks into the butter and sugar.
  5. Fold in the dry ingredients, add the vanilla, stir in the milk.
  6. Divide between the two tins.
  7. Whisk the egg whites 'til soft peaks form. Then add the remaining 200g egg whites. Spread meringue on top of sponge in each tin, sprinkle with almonds.
  8. Bake for 30-35 mins until meringue is dark golden brown. Let cool in tins, and spring open at last minute when ready to assemble.
  9. Whip double cream, hull and slice strawberries.
  10. Invert one cake and pile with cream and berries. Place the second cake on top, meringue side up.
All in all, I think this turned out quite well. I was a bit nervous about there being a really small amount of sponge, I was aftaid that it would just burn and be, shall we say, not so good. Then there was the whole problem with me not actually having two springform tins, but I did have once springform and one loose-bottomed, and that turned out okay. It is a bit delecate, but not half as fragile as I thought it would be. I could'nt get hold of any fresh strawberries, so I had to do with frozen raspberries, which were still pretty damn good.
Taste wise it was pretty much what you would expect, classic taste really. Meringue, raspberries, cream, and almonds, but I think the sponge gave it a little extra something, definitly worth the effort, and I think it looks pretty good too (thought my photos aren't so hot, I really have to try and take them before 12 at night >_<)


YUCK!

Then my sister, not being a fan of cream and fruit, asked me to make here some big ol' chocolate muffins with big, crusty tops and squishy insides. This all sounded pretty tasty to me, but I've yet to find a good chocolate muffin recipe in my cookbooks, so I went online and found one that I thought looked promicing. The results? Not so good, not worth posting the recipe. I mean, they were palatable, but you wouldn't buy them. They stuck to the wrapper, were quite dry (though I might have overbaked them a tiny bit) The only thing I can think of is that, since I ran out of coca powder half-way through, I had to use 25gs of drinking chocolate and reduce the sugar, but I don't think that could have effected them that much. All in all, I was none too happy. So, now I'm asking, anyone out there found their ultimate chocolate muffin recipe? And, if so, would you be willing to share your secrets?


My Very Own!

Finally, I decided to go on a baking adventure of my own! (wow, I sound really lame). I've been making recipes out of books for a long time now, and although I do modify them, I've never made my own. I had a craving for banana muffins and thought: Hey, let's try making up a recipe!
The results weren't bad. I decided to make them healthy, so there is wholemeal flour and not a lot of sugar. I think their lack of 'oomph' was due to this, I've had tastier, sugar-packed ones, but they had a wholesome quality and I'd have them again. Next time I would love to try substituting bran for some of the wholegrain flour, but I didn't have any at the time.
By the way, did you notice my adorable little muffin cases? I got them in habitat in Dublin, only one euro for twelve cases! I was DELIGHTED ^_^

Unfotunatly, in all my enthusaism I forgot to actually write the recipe down >_<>



Saturday, March 8, 2008

Mammy's Day Baking!

Hello, all, and happy March! I hope it's been a good month for everybody so far ^_^
So, slightly belated, here's my post for Mother's Day! Seeing as how me and my friend are poor and cheap, we decided to get together and bake cakes for our mothers for mother's day! There were four of us in total, and we all went over to my friend Daniel's house, where we very quickly discovered that he has a very limited amount of kitchen space and... well... not a whole lot of stuff for baking either - including a weighing scale >_<
Still, we had to make the best out of the situation, and I think it turned out pretty well. We went on the ol' interweb and found some recipes; we decided to go for applesauce muffins for starters, followed by chocolate devil's food cake, finishing with banana muffins (nobody else wanted them except me, but in the end they all loved them ;)). Then we went for a walk and got the ingredients, along with some pizza and other lunchables. It took us a while to get around to actually doing the baking, between making the pizza, looking for mixing bowls (we ended up using lasaigne dished), and trying to find a way of doing the washing-up with only boiling hot water (the result? We got burned), but once we got started it all went well, and we had a good time doing it. It drives me a little crazy doing less than precise baking, but I think it's good, otherwise I get way too worked up if things go wrong.


Applesauce and Banana Muffins! Yum!

The applesauce muffins were great, and making the applesauce was really cool, I've never seen it done before and it smelled SO GOOD. They were really moist, and you could definitly taste the apple. Plus, my friend Sharon brought along these really adorable muffin cases her mum got in England, and I added the flags. DECORATION GALORE! The banana muffins were my favourie, possibly because I just like anything with banana in it, but more likly because they just tasted really, really good. Usually I want to have some kind of something in my muffins, nuts or chocolate chips or something, but these were perfect witout anything, just plain muffin goodness (with brown sugar sprinkled on top for extra yummyness).


Decorated with Pockey and love!

I think the cakes turned out looking fantastic! They were mini ones, because there was no way we would have had time to make four big ones. We covered them with chocolate ganache (much of which was eaten off spoons while waiting for the cakes to cool) and then I did the decorating with POCKEY!, and chocolate shavings. I think I went a bit overboard, but I had fun, so it's all good.


Decoration taken to a whole new level

Then, after all of that, we took the dog for a walk ^_^


His name is Murphy :P

I don't think there's much point in posting recipes, seeing as how we altered them so much that I don't think they resemble the originals :P But the one for the chocolate cake is the one I already have posted here, and I must say it's pretty damn good. And appologies for the crappy photos, I didn't really have time to take proper ones >_<
*Yawn*. I'm very tired now, I think I'm gonna go paint, then read, and then sleep. I'm thinking of doing some more baking tomorrow, so there will be another post soon. Chow for now ;)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Chocolate Panda Cake!

Yay, another update! I think I'm on a role!
I finally found a recipe for chocolate cake that nearly matches the stupid Betty Crocker box mix! I've made it quite a few times now, and the results seem to be good! It's a nice, moist cake, that's chocolatey, but not sickening. It's really easy to make too! I'd definatly reccomend it :)

Recipe: Chocolate Cake

Oops! I just realised I left my notebook with the recipe in it in Dublin >_<>




Kawaii, desu ne?

It was pretty easy to make, and really fun too! I just devided the cake mixture between a big and a small cake tin, then cut the small one in two to make the ears. I then iced it with dark and white chocolate ganache (simply melt together an equal quantity of double cream and chocolate, then cool until spreadable). I bought some kind of fake double cream by accident, it was 'low fat' or something like that, but it still tasted fine, so no dissasters there. Then I just decorated with sprinkles, the icing, and chocolate. I used a piece of toblerone for his nose ^_^

She seemed to really like the cake, so I consider it a sucess!









Saturday, February 16, 2008

Vegan Raspberry Muffins

Yes, after a long, long time I'm finally back! I know, I know, it took forever, but there are a lot of things going on at the moment with mean I really don't have tiime to make a lot of posts, but hopefully I'll manage to find the time between school and other things to keep this blog updated reasonably frequently *is hopeful*.
Anyways, back to baking. I've still been keeping up with it, but I haven't really ventured outside the world of cookies, muffins, and cakes in a while now; I really need to get back into trying things like pie etc., but they just take so damn long to make >_<
Daniel, preparing to bake!

Me, doing likewise!

All mixed up!


Ready to be baked!

The Results!

Overall, we were really happy with these! They were really good fresh from the oven, they tasted really healty! Perhaps just the raspberries were a little too bitter, but overall they made on hell of a good muffin!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Brown Bread, Brown Scones, and Peanut Butter Cookies!

Lots and lots of food!

Yes, I'm finally making a proper post! The baking is back :) And there's more good news! I'm buying my own computer for my room, so that means I'll be able to update way more often! I like it when things work out my way ;) And now onto some good ol' helathy baked goods...
I got 'The Avoca Cafe' cookbook out of the library a couple of weeks ago and was really impressed by it. The majority of the recipes seem pretty straightforward and they're not over complicated, yet they produce really tasty things! I decided to be good and try their brown bread and brown scones.
The bread worked out best - it was proper brown bread with lots of 'stuff' in it. I never used treacle before, it's so much fun to spoon into the mixture, though it is slightly ominous looking and I was really paranoid about using too much.

Yay polkadots!

Recipe: Avoca Brown Bread Ingredients:
  • 200g white flour
  • 300g coarse brown flour
  • 3 handfuls bran
  • 2 handfuls wheatgerm
  • 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1 dessertspoon treacle
  • 600-900ml milk
Method:
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Add the treacle and stir in enough of the milk to give a moist, but not sloppy, consistancy.
  3. Transfer mixture to a well-oiled 900g loaf tin and bake in an oven preheated to 240 degrees C/ 475 F for 20 minutes until risen.
  4. Reduce heat to 150 C/ 300F and bake for a further hour.
  5. Run a knife around the tin and ease the bread out. If it sounds hollow when tapped it's cooked, if not return it to the oven for 10-15 minutes.
Healthy and Delicious :)

This is a really good recipe if you want to bake your own brown bread every couple of days. It's so quick to put together and dosen't require anything complicated, I think it's brilliant. It gives a really dense, moist loaf, that tastes great with just about anything on it.
Oats so good


I was less pleased with the way my scones turned out, though I think it was more my fault that the recipe's. The dough was rolled out a little too thin for my liking, so they were more like little biscuits than proper scones, but they still tasted good. I would definitly make them again, but I'd double the recipe and make them good and thick.

Recipe: Avoca Brown Scones

Mmmm, baked...

Ingredients:
  • 450g coarse, brown flour
  • 110 g unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 tablespoons greek youghurt
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 75-150 ml milk
  • 1 egg beaten with water to glaze
Method:
  1. Put the flour and salt in a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Make a well in the center and add the yoghurt and bicarbonate of soda. Leave to react for a couple of minutes and then add 75ml of the milk and mix well. You may need to add more milk, depending on humidity.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and rould out to 2.5 cm thick. Cut out with a round cutter and transfer to a greased baking sheet.
  4. Brush with egg glaze and bake in and oven preheated to 180 degrees C/ 350 F for 15-20 minutes.
Peanut Butter!


I've been wanting to make peanut butter cookies for ages, but since there's only me and my sister who actually like peanut butter I've been hesitant (and rightly so, most of these ended up going in the bin >_<). Still, I decided to give it a go. I got the recipe from my trusty old 'What's Cooking: Baking', I no longer need to talk about the merits of this particular collection, I think it's fairly obvious I love it :)

Recipe: Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:
  • 125g/ 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 150g/ 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 225g/ 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 150g/ 1 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 75g unsalted peanuts, chopped
Method:
  1. Lightly grease two baking trays
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugar
  3. gradually add the sugar and beat well
  4. Add the beaten egg a little at a time
  5. Sieve the flour, baking powder, and salt into the peanut butter mixture
  6. Add the peanuts and bring all the ingredients together to form a soft dough. Wrap and leave to chill for 30 minutes
  7. Form the dough into 20 balls and place them on the baking trays and allow for spreading. Flatten them with your hand
  8. Bake in an oven preheated to 190 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.
Sandy!

These were kinda bizzarly textured, they were like sand! It wasn't necessarily a bad thing, I just didn't particularly like it. They kind of crumbled away when you bit into them, it was odd. Still, they tasted like peanut butter and that's what counts. They certainly aren't the best cookies I've ever made, they didn't 'dissapear' like others did. I don't think I'll be making these again, but I'm going to try other peanut butter ones.

Okay, I think that's it for now. I'll be back again soon, hopefully from a shiny new computer...