Cake it to the limit 🎂

I’ve been a baking machine over the last few weeks. We had a wedding in the family, and the bride and groom asked guests to bring cakes for a ‘cake-off’ and I made this toffee apple cake.

 

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There was also an event at work  where we were asked to provide cakes. I made this lemon and almond cake, which went down a storm and tasted fabulous, but was a little crumbly when trying to cut into slices.

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My final contribution was a chocolate mint marble cake.

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Chocolate Mint Marble Cake

175g butter at room temperature
175g caster sugar
3 large eggs
175g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cocoa powder
Peppermint extract
Green food colouring

Glacé icing
100g icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa
75g chocolate mint bubble-style chocolate bar

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a deep 20cm baking tin with baking parchment.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs in one at a time.

3. Add the flour and baking powder and gently mix in. Divide the mixture into two. For the mint mixture, stir in a few drops of peppermint essence and the green food colouring. For the chocolate mixture, blend the cocoa powder with 1 tablespoon of boiling water. Stir well into a smooth paste. Thoroughly fold this into the cake mixture.

4. Add the two sets of mixture to the tin in a random fashion to make the marble effect. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Ensure the cake is cooked through and is well risen before removing from the oven. Allow to cool. Remove the baking parchment from around the cake.

5. Once the cake is completely cold, you ice the cake. To make the glacé icing, mix the icing sugar, cocoa and 1 tablespoon of hot water thoroughly to make a smooth paste. Pour over the top of the cake. Crumble the bubbly mint chocolate bar and use to decorate the top of the cake, covering the icing.

(I forgot to take a picture of the cake when sliced to show you the inside, but it’s definitely worth the effort for the fun effect.)

2017 so far – the year of Chocolate?

The start of 2017 came with a trip to London to see the stage show Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I also indulged my sweet tooth with a trip to Fortnum and Mason for cream puffs (expensive but amazing!), a Baileys Hot Chocolate on the Carousel Bar at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and a Red Velvet cupcake from the Primrose Bakery.

(I forgot to take a picture of the cupcake, but I DID take a picture of the delicious Bermondsey Porter Cake that I had from Peyton and Byrne when we popped back to London to see The Lion King a month later.)

On returning to Yorkshire, I went with some friends to see The Witches in Leeds.

I was feeling inspired to work on some sweets of my own (not ones laced with Formula 86 or with the ability to transform you into a blueberry!) and, luckily, for Christmas I received a copy of Hope and Greenwood’s Sweets Made Simple. I decided to have a go at English Almond Butter Toffee. I’ll definitely make this again. It was a bit of a challenge, but it was so tasty and moreish.

Let them eat cake

I’m really proud of myself for sticking with the ‘Blog Everyday in September’ challenge so far. It’s not been easy, but I’ve enjoyed pushing myself. Today’s theme was Holiday Essentials, which is another subject that doesn’t fit easily with a cooking blog. I haven’t cooked anything exciting today to tell you about either, so I’m going to share some cake recipes I’ve enjoyed over previous months. (And of course eating cake when on holiday is on my essential list of things to do!)

Raspberry and lemon polenta cake

Amaretto cake from The Clandestine Cake Club cookbook

Spiced Sweet Potato Cake

They are all delicious and I’ll be making them all again.

Mini Egg Florentines

I make Florentines a lot at Christmas as they make great presents and my mum loves them. I thought I’d have a go at adapting them for Easter and this is the result.  This is a simple version of Florentines. I’ll share my fancier recipe (which includes double cream) another time.

Mini Egg Florentines

Mini Egg Florentines

50g butter
50g caster sugar
50g golden syrup
50g plain flour
100g flaked almonds
50g Cadburys Mini Eggs
100g Dairy Milk

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
2. Heat the butter, sugar and golden syrup together in a pan and stir well. Mix in the flour. When the mixture is well combined, mix in the flaked almonds and stir thoroughly.
3. Spoon the mixture into silicone cupcake moulds, trying to only just put enough mixture in to cover the bottom – you don’t want the Florentines to be too thick.
4. Bake for 7 – 8 minutes until lightly golden. While the Florentines are baking, crush the Mini Eggs gently.
5. As soon as you remove the Florentines from the oven, decorate them with the crushed Mini Eggs. (I’d love to tell you to just sprinkle the crushed Mini Eggs over, but you need to be a but more artistic to get them looking good!)
6. Leave the Florentines to cool.
7. Melt the chocolate and coat the bottom of each Florentine with chocolate. Leave to dry.

Enjoy!

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Tip – Ruth who blogs at The Pink Whisk has a fantastic technique for coating the Florentines with chocolate.