Sorry for not blogging for a while, I’ve been on holiday and what not.
I made this ginger cake a couple of weeks ago and can’t really remember what I did so I’ll keep this brief!
The mix was very runny for a cake mix as it contained a lot of butter and syrup.
The ginger flavour came from powdered ginger and the flour was wholemeal instead of white. I used a few currants as well.
Before the oven
It was then baked…
After the oven
After it was cooled I made orange icing from orange juice and icing sugar (orange to complement the ginger) and decorated with the icing and orange zest.
This cake was really tasty and really moist. It rose well and cooked all the way through despite the runny mixture. And as always, really good with a cuppa!
This week I decided to make baked doughnuts. Ring doughnuts but healthier as they are baked, not deep fried.
They were made essentially like bread – dough, proove, shape, proove and bake. Just some of the ingredients were different, like yoghurt as the liquid and with lemon rind and cinnamon as flavourings.
Once cool, I made some icing and iced them!
They tasted more like a sweet bread, like chelsea buns, than doughnuts but were still pretty nice. And as always, lovely with a cuppa!
This week I was with my family for the bank holiday weekend and before I headed home we popped into my parent’s friends’ house who kindly bestowed me with some beetroot. I’ve seen several of these chocolate cake with beetroot recipes knocking around the Internet and on TV (the first time I think on ‘Cook Yourself Thin’ a few years ago when I thought it was rather strange) and then Delia jumped on the bandwagon and it was en vouge all of a sudden. Never got around to trying it myself, beetroot not being something I often have lying around, but this seemed like the perfect opportunity.
I started by preparing the beetroot which according to the recipe need to be cooked, peeled and grated. I’ve never actually coked beetroot myself, as far as I was concerned it’s something that comes in little cubes in a jar floating in some sort of liquid. I therefore took cooking tips from my parents and it seemed to work rather well.
Cooked and drained beetroot
Cooked and peeled beetroot
I then started on the brownie mix. I was thinking that these may be healthier brownies what with containing a root vegetable. Alas, I was sadly mistaken. The first step was to melt A LOT of butter with A LOT of 70% cocoa chocolate.
Healthy… or maybe not.
Melty chocolate mix
I then whisked together the eggs and caster sugar and added in the chocolate mix.
Adding the chocolate mix to the eggs and sugar
I then folded in the flour and a pinch of salt and finally folded in the grated beetroot. That purple juice gets everywhere – I don’t think that chopping board will ever recover.
Folding in the flour
Adding the beetroot
I then poured into a prepared tin and popped in the oven.
Before the oven
The recipe said to cook for 20-25 minutes and warned of the perils of overcooking but the middle of mine was just not setting. In the end it was in for more like 40 minutes, but that may have had something to do with a big beef stew cooking at the same time!
After the oven
The beetroot definitely added to the rich colour and it smelt amazing!
As always, lovely with a cuppa! I blasted one in the microwave for 15 seconds and served with chocolate frozen yoghurt as my bank holiday Monday treat. Yum! Went down very well at work today as well.
This week my colleague bought me in some fresh raspberries from her garden so I obviously had to make something with them. I decided on a white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake and realised a bit late that it was actually a no bake cheesecake so doesn’t actually class as ‘baking’ but oh well, it’s all good practice!
I started by greasing and lining a square tin and making a biscuit base. It contained mixed spice which I’d never come across before in a cheesecake base but went with it!
I then made the cheesecake mix with the usual ingredients and used a sachet of gelatine to set it. The first lot of gelatine I left for too long and it set solid in the bowl so I had to try again! It also had melted white chocolate in.
White chocolate gelatine and cheesecake mix
I then poured this on to the refrigerated base, dropped in a load of the raspberries and left to set, simples!
I generally prefer a baked cheesecake but this was lovely, even the spice in the base. And I think the expertly grown raspberries helped too! Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the sliced cake out the tin so you’ll have to use your imagination!
This week I decided on lemon and poppy seed cake as it seemed like it would be summery and light.
The cake mix was unusual as it contained quite a lot of ground almonds (180g) and then of course there was lemon (zest and juice) and poppy seeds. Loved the look of this!
Once the mix was finished it went in the oven for 35 minutes (recipe said 40 but it was already well coloured).
Before the oven
After the oven
Once baked I covered it in holes with a skewer (hence all the holes you can see in the pic!) and whilst it was cooling I made the lemon syrup from lemon juice and sugar, dissolved over a low heat.
When the cake had half cooled I poured over the syrup (whilst still in the tin), left to soak for a bit, then took it out the tin and put on the cooling rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile I made the lemon icing (icing sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest) and I finished it off with icing and candied lemon peel. Sadly didn’t have time to candy (is that the right word?!) my own but I may do next time!
Went down really well at work and I really enjoyed it. More than I thought I would as I’m not a huge fan of poppy seeds. But their taste wasn’t overwhelming, just subtle and they added a nice crunch. As always, lovely with a cuppa!
Think I’ll go for something more technical next time, been a while since I had a good challenge!
Well well well, where does the time go?! It’s been nearly 5 weeks since my last post – must try harder! This week I decided to do a request – coffee and walnut cake. Suprisingly I’ve never made this classic before, probably because I don’t like coffee or walnuts, but decided not to be selfish, it’s not always my cake time! I started my making the cake mix. The coffee flavouring comes from instant coffee mixed with water and when it came to tipping this in it made a cool arty pattern, like some sort of macabre waterfall, so I took a picture!
Coffee going into the cake mix
After adding the rest of the ingredients it looked like this…
Now the mixture was for 8″ tins which I don’t have (don’t fret, thay are on order!), I only have 7″ sandwich tins. Incidentally I had a look at what they had in Sainsburys and they have a few different options but in the standard range the 7″ and 8″ were the same size so I borrowed a ruler form the stationary aisle to check and loads of the tins were miles off the labelled size – it seemed the more you spent the more accurate the size. I’d like to think accurate sizes are pretty fundamental whether it’s Basics or Taste the Difference! I’m planning a stongly worded letter with my photographic evidence any day now.
Anyway… as I have learnt from experience trying to fit an 8″ sandwich recipe in my shallow 7″ tins just ends in a messy oven and a lot of smoke alarm action. I therefore decided to use my other 7″ standard tin to make a third layer and once the mixture was distributed between the tins I popped them in the oven.
In the oven
Once done, I turned them out the tins and left to cool.
Just out the oven
While cooling I made coffee buttercream (again with instant coffee) and onced cooled I decorated with the buttercream and walnut halves.
As I’m not a fan I haven’t tried any but it looked pretty good and have been assured by my willing victims, um, tasters, that it tasted pretty good too! I quite like the traditional look of this cake, nothing fancy, nothing modern, no speciality tools or equipment needed, just a proper old fashioned cake you’d expect to get round your gran’s.