Hey There

If anyone is missing my blog, I’m sorry for my absence but I’ve been so busy with work and other things I just don’t have time to write about what I’ve been baking anymore. I’m probably gonna end up just abandoning this blog or even deleting it tbh, so sorry about that. If anyone’s interested in looking at photos of things I’ve baked, feel free to follow me on Instagram 🙂

Chocolate Mud Cake [Recipe]

I’ve been sick with a throat infection for the last week so I haven’t been baking much, instead I’ve been spending most of my days in bed on Pinterest looking at photos of Tom Hiddleston and I’m not even sorry about it.

ANYWAY. Before I got sick (or before I knew I was as sick as I was anyway) I made a chocolate mud cake because my sister asks me about once a week to make her one, so I finally did haha.
I found the original recipe here and have adapted it more to my taste.

Ingredients
250g unsalted butter, cubed
220g dark chocolate, broken into squares (the only reason I used 220g is because I used Old Gold and that only comes in 220g blocks and I didn’t want to waste the last 20g)
330ml milk
200g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
35g self-rasing flour
25g cocoa powder
2 eggs

Method
1. Preheat oven to 170°C and grease/line a 22cm round cake tin
2. Combine butter, chocolate, milk, vanilla and sugar in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until mixture is smooth.
3. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 20 minutes. When the mixture is cool, sift over the flour and cocoa powder and add the eggs, then mix well to combine.
4. Pour mixture into pan and bake for 60 minutes or unil a few crumbs stick to a skewer.
5. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Ganache
Ingredients
100ml thickened cream
200g dark chocolate

Method
1. Break the chocolate into small pieces and put in a large heatproof bowl.
2. Heat the cream in a saucepan over low heat until warm and just slightly simmering.
3. Remove the cream from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Mix well until the chocolate has all melted and the mixture starts to thicken.

I covered my cake with one layer of ganache then put it in the fridge to set for a little while, then put another layer of ganache on and made a little pattern to make the cake look a bit nicer.

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Snickers Cake [Recipe]

I made this cake for my Dad for Father’s Day. I found the recipe in a magazine at work and adapted it so everything is home made (except for the chocolate bar) This cake has four components, so that means four recipes: chocolate cake, peanut butter nougat, chocolate buttercream and caramel.

Chocolate Cake
Ingredients
250g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups buttermilk

Method
1. Preheat oven to 180°C (360°F) Grease and line two round cake tins (mine are about 8 inch tins I think)
2. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Fold in sifted combined flour and cocoa alternately with buttermilk until well combined.
3. Divide evenly between the two tins (I weighed mine out because I’m a big weirdo and had about 800g of mixture in each tin)
4. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in tin for 10 minutes then turn onto a rack to cool completely.

Peanut Butter Nougat
Ingredients
1 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup glucose syrup
1/3 cup water
1 egg white
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts

Method
1. Combine sugar, glucose and water in a medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves.
2. Increase heat to high. Boil, without stirring, until syrup reaches 130°C on a candy thermometer.
3. Using a stand mixer, beat the egg white until stiff peaks form. Once the syrup has reached temperature, gradually add it to the egg white in a slow steady stream, beating on high as you pour the syrup in (I recommend using a stand mixer for this because it does go pretty stiff if you try and beat it by hand) Fold peanut butter and nuts through.
4. Line one of the cake tins with cling wrap then pour the nougat into the tin, smoothing the top. Chill in the fridge to set for about 2 hours.

Chocolate Buttercream
Ingredients
160g unsalted butter, softened
120g icing sugar
40g cocoa powder

Method
1. Using an electric mixer, cream butter in a medium bowl until light and fluffy.
2. Sift over icing sugar and cocoa powder and beat well to combine.

Caramel
Ingredients
200g caster sugar
60g unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup thickened cream

Method
1. Heat sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula (just a side note, make sure your spatula is a good heatproof one because mine melted into the sugar and ruined everything!!! A whisk will also do the job too)
2. Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick light brown coloured liquid as you continue to stir.
3. Once the sugar is completely melted, add the butter straight away (the caramel will bubble rapidly when you add it) and stir into the caramel until it has completely melted, about 2 minutes.
4. Slowly drizzle in the cream while whisking the caramel. Once all the cream has been added, allow the mixture to boil for about a minute (it will rise slightly as it boils)
5. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool (you can add 1 tsp of salt at this point to make salted caramel).

Assembling the cake
1. Put one cake on a plate, then the nougat, then the second cake.
2. Cover the top cake and the sides of the bottom cake with buttercream, leaving the nougat exposed.
3. Drizzle about 1/3 cup of the caramel over the cake, allowing it to run down the sides. Leave a little puddle in the middle and top the cake with about four fun-sized snickers chocolate bars cut into four pieces each (or two full-sized bars cut into eight pieces each)

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Blueberry and Custard Tarts [Recipe]

Since I had all those leftover egg yolks from when I made the friands the other day, I thought I’d have my first attempt at making creme patissiere. I used Rachel Allen’s recipe but adapted it to use 6 egg yolks instead of 4.

Creme Patissiere
Ingredients
6 egg yolks
150g caster sugar
40g plain flour, sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
500ml milk

Method
1. In a heat proof bowl, whisk egg yolks with sugar until thick, then add the flour and whisk well to combine.
2. Put milk in a saucepan and slowly bring to the boil. Once boiled, pour the milk slowly onto the egg mixture, whisking all the time. Return the mixture to the pan and stir over medium heat until it comes to a gentle boil. Continue to cook, stirring all the time for 2 minutes or until thick.
3. Remove from the heat, whisk in vanilla, then pour through a sieve into the bowl. Cover with cling film and allow to cool.

Blueberry Filling
Ingredients

200g blueberries
1/4 cup icing sugar
2 tsp water

Method
1. Put all ingredients into a saucepan over low heat and allow the sugar to dissolve.
2. Once the sugar is dissolved, turn the heat up and bring to a boil. Once the mixture boils, turn the heat right down and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so the mixture doesn’t stick to the pan. While the mixture is simmering, squash a small section of the berries with a fork, then mix well.
3. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Pastry
I used the same pastry recipe as I did here.
Method
1. Line the tins with the (chilled) pastry, put some baking paper and baking beans onto the pastry and bake for 15 minutes at 180°C (360°F) then remove the paper and beans, brush the cases with some egg wash and bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
2. Put about a tablespoon of the blueberry mixture into each case, then either pipe or spoon some creme patissiere over the top. Bake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes.
3. Once they are out of the oven, allow to cool slightly for about 10 minutes then top each tart with a teaspoon of the blueberry mixture. Remove from the tins and put on a rack to cool completely (or cool down enough so you can eat them!)

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Pear and Hazelnut Friands [Recipe]

I bought a couple of friand tins a few months ago and decided to use them today after finding a recipe in the newspaper a little while ago. Of course if you don’t have a friand tin you can just use an ordinary 12 cup muffin/cupcake tin instead.

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Ingredients
20g unsalted butter, melted (for greasing the tin)
6 egg whites
180g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
120g hazelnut meal
220g icing sugar, sifted
80g plain flour, sifted
2 pears – one peeled, cored and grated; one quartered, cored and sliced

Method
1. Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F) and grease friand tin with melted butter. Set aside
2. Lightly whisk egg whites for a couple of minutes (until they look like “foam”) then whisk in cooled melted butter
3. Add hazelnut meal, sugar, flour and grated pear, mix to combine (I just used the whisk)
4. Divide mix evenly into tins. Top each with slices of pear
5. Bake for 20 minutes or until the tops of the friands spring back when touched (or when a skewer comes out clean) Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Sprinkle with icing sugar to serve

The Future

I’ve got a few baking experiments to attempt in the very near future so stay tuned for those! 
Top of my list is to make some friands, because I bought some friand tins on sale about two months ago but haven’t even used them yet. 
Next I’ll be making some type of cupcakes as my contribution to my Grandma’s 80th Birthday celebrations. Not sure what they’ll be yet but I have exactly 10 days to decide. 
I’m also going to attempt to make some individual tarts of some sort because I bought some cute little tart tins recently and would like to try them out! 

I’m wondering if people would be interested if I posted from time to time about the equipment I use? Similar to the post I made about my patty pan obsession. Just a thought since I’m not baking as much at the moment. (Don’t mind me, just typing my thoughts as they come out haha)

🙂

Chocolate-topped Salted Caramels

I know this isn’t actually baking but whatever, I made these last week (it was a flippin’ ordeal to be honest but they’re pretty delicious so it was worth it!) 

I got the recipe from a magazine I found in the staff room at work. I usually find recipes then take a photo of them on my phone so I don’t have to take the page out of the magazine or write it down at work… Anyway, I have since deleted the recipe because I came across a tutorial on YouTube by the lovely Cupcake Jemma from Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube and I will be using her recipe next time! This tutorial is for lavender caramels but she has got instructions for salted caramels on there as well. I don’t understand why people put lavender in food, I think it tastes awful but whatever!

The original recipe I had used liquid glucose which is the most annoying thing in the world to try and get out of the jar/off of your hands/whatever but it obviously does help with the recipe so I’ll just have to deal with it!!! To top off my caramel I just melted 200g of dark chocolate and let it cool for a bit, then poured it over the top of my (set) caramel, then sprinkled some more salt on the top. 

10525636_10203309922563415_1403549258351473764_nOh and a good tip from Jemma which I didn’t have before I made these is to wrap them up individually in pieces of baking paper otherwise they spread out EVERYWHERE and get stuck to each other and end up like a big caramel puddle with some squares of chocolate randomly thrown on top hahah ugh.