Monthly Archives: April 2014

Red Velvet [Recipe]

Last week my one and only work friend (not really my only one but shh) had her last shift because she’s moving away, so rude! Anyway she’d been asking me to make her a Red Velvet cake for a while now so I thought I’d better make her one before I left! I used the same recipe I made these cupcakes with, but I made a two-layer cake instead of cupcakes. I’m not sure where I got this recipe from because I’ve had it for a couple of years now so sorry I can’t give the original source.

Ingredients
350g plain flour
2 tbs cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp baking powder
315g caster sugar (although using about 200g is enough for me, I don’t like really sweet cake)
250ml buttermilk
185ml vegetable oil
2 eggs*
3 tsp red food colouring
2 tsp white vinegar

Method
1. Preheat oven to 180°C (356°F) and line muffin tin with papers (this recipe makes about 18 cakes) or line two 9 inch round cake tins.
2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, bicarb and baking powder into a bowl. Stir in caster sugar and set aside. Whisk buttermilk, oil, eggs, food colouring and vinegar together in a jug until combined. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture. Add the buttermilk mixture and stir until combined.
3. Divide the mixture into the pans. For cupcakes bake for 20-25 minutes, for cakes bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the pans then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

I use simple cream cheese frosting to put on these cakes and it works really well.

*When I used this recipe to make the cake I used three eggs instead of two and it worked out fine except I obviously didn’t divide the mixture very evenly as one of the cakes had a big dome on the top of it which I had to cut off (when I say I, I mean my mum cut off for me because I was too stressed haha) so the layers would sit on top of each other properly.

 

Easter Egg Brownie “Cakes”

Every year for the last few years we’ve always had Easter Egg Brownies at Easter time. This year I decided to do something a bit different, so I put them in mini cake cases rather than in a brownie tin.

I used the same recipe I always do (this one) and put different flavoured Easter eggs into the top of each brownie. I didn’t bake them for as long as the recipe says to, only for about 30-35 minutes instead of 35-40 because these are only small and I didn’t want them to burn.

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The yellow cases have caramel eggs in, turkish delight eggs in the pink cases and green cases have mint eggs. They worked pretty well except the centre of the mint eggs melted too much and ran down the sides of the cases so the case was all sticky (still tasted good though!)

Hot Cross Buns

Earlier in the week I decided to make some hot cross buns using a recipe I found in the Woolworths catalogue, and they didn’t work very well at all… The dough didn’t rise and there was way too much fruit for the amount of dough in them. They turned out really hard and they don’t even taste nice. Pfffft. So I’m not gonna bother posting that recipe!

A couple of days later I watched The Great British Bake Off Easter special (GBBO is probably my favourite baking/cooking show, I get way too into it but whatever!) and Paul made some hot cross buns on that. So while I was watching I sat there with my notebook and wrote down his recipe as he went along haha.

I changed a couple of things from his recipe: I used 100g of sultanas and 50g of currants rather than 150g of sultanas, I only used the zest of one orange rather than two, and I grated the apple rather than just chopping it up. They’ve worked pretty well and they taste nice which is the main thing!

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I was going to type the recipe out but I’ve just found it online, so here it is:
Paul Hollywood’s Hot Cross Buns

I hope everyone has a lovely Easter 🙂

Chocolate Cake [Recipe]

I’ve slightly adapted this recipe from foodess.com. This is a great recipe because it only uses one bowl, and makes a nice rich (but not too rich) cake. The texture is similar to mud cake but not quite as moist. I used less sugar than the original recipe because I was putting icing on the cake and I didn’t want it to be too sickly sweet with the sweet icing on top of a really sweet cake.

I used this cake recipe to make my cousin’s birthday cake and my best friend’s birthday cake

Ingredients
1 3/4 cups plain flour
1 cup caster sugar (instead of the 2 cups in the original recipe. I’ve also made it using 3/4 cup and that worked fine as well)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk*
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 cup hot coffee – I used 1 tbs of instant coffee in 1 cup of boiling water

Method
1. Preheat oven to 175°C (or 350°F) and grease and line two round cake tins (I think my tins are 8 inch tins)
2. Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, bicarb and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla, and mix with an electric beater until smooth. Stir in hot coffee using a rubber spatula – the mixture will be very runny.
3. Divide batter evenly between the two pans, then bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes in the pans, then turn onto a rack to cool completely before icing/decorating.

*Instead of buying buttermilk I just use 1 tbs of white vinegar per cup of buttermilk, then top up with the amount of milk I need. Stir with a whisk or fork and leave for 5-10 minutes or until mixture thickens.

“Happee Birthdae”

This post is going to begin with a little story about my best friend Scott. We’ve been friends for about 8 years now. He’s one of the nicest, funniest and all around best people I know. One of the first things we ever started talking about together (and basically all we ever talk about now) is our mutual love of Harry Potter. Last year when I was on my holiday to London, he was in the UK at the same time so we decided to meet up one day and go to the Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour. If you’re ever in London and you’re a Harry Potter fan, I highly recommend going on the tour because it was AMAZING!

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ANYWAY
It’s his birthday tomorrow, so I decided to make him a birthday cake. Not just any birthday cake though… You know in the first Harry Potter movie when Hagrid gives Harry that cake on his birthday? Yep, I decided I would recreate that for him! I caught up with him last night for dinner, and he loved the cake so I was very glad about that!

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The cake is a two layered chocolate cake (using the same recipe that I made my cousin’s birthday cake with – I will post the recipe eventually haha) I originally wanted to cover the cake with pink coloured white chocolate ganache, but it was a hot day yesterday and the stupid ganache kept slipping off the cake. So in the end I just made a simple vanilla buttercream and coloured it pink. The writing is just melted white chocolate that I coloured green. It turned out pretty well, so hopefully it tasted good as well!

 

Chocolate Lava Cakes

My sister had been asking me for months to make her a Lava Cake, so last week I finally got around to making her one. I used this Nigella recipe, but I halved it and served them in larger ramekins for the two of us, rather than making three.

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They worked pretty well, except I couldn’t turn them out of the ramekins so I just served them as they were. The middle was a little bit too soft for me (I have a weird issue with food textures, no idea why) so I just put mine back in the oven for an extra 5 minutes and that was a bit better.

Pear Tart [Recipe]

We have all these pears at home and I told mum I’d find a way to use some of them up, so I decided to make this Pear Tart. I basically just made it up as I went along, but it seems to have turned out alright so there we go!

pears

Ingredients:
[Pastry]
1 cup plain flour
1 tbs icing sugar
1 tsp salt
90g butter, cubed
1 egg
[Tart filling]
4 pears – peeled, cored and quartered
90g butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup golden syrup
1/2 cup vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup water
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten

Method:
1. Sift flour, icing sugar and salt into a bowl. Rub in butter using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the egg and mix in using a fork or your fingers. (My mixture was a bit too wet at this stage so I added 1/4 cup extra flour)
2. Knead the dough until it is smooth and then roll into a ball and chill in the fridge for half an hour. While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 220°C (or 430°F)
3. Once the dough is chilled, roll out the pastry and place it in a tart/flan tin with a removable base.

pastry in tinPut some baking paper over the pastry then weigh down with baking beans/uncooked rice etc
blind bake4. Bake for 15 minutes then remove from oven, remove paper and beans then return to the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes. Set aside to cool
pastry in tin after baking

5. Cut each pear quarter into four slices

prepared pearsMelt 45g butter in a saucepan then add the pears and cook for 5-10 minutes or until pears are tender
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6. Once the pears are soft, remove from the heat and then arrange them in the pastry case and set aside for the pears to cool.
pears in pastry7. Place remaining butter, sugar, golden syrup, water, vanilla and cinnamon in a saucepan and cook over a medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 2 minutes.
syrup ingredients8.  Remove pan from heat and set aside to cool for 15 minutes, then beat in flour and egg using a whisk. Pour mixture over the pears and bake at 180°C (or 360°F) for 50-55 minutes or until the filling is firm.

pears w syrup

Leave the tart to cool in the tin for 15-20 minutes and then remove from the tin and place on a rack to cool completely
finished tart