Strawberry cake

Just found this post sitting in my drafts folder from a few weeks ago and thought it was about time I posted it ……oops x

I made this at the same time as I made my Lemon meringue cupcakes for the Itsgood2eatcake2 event and have some how forgotten to schedule it…..haha x

But here it is now, better late than never x 🙂

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Ingredients

  • 210g self-raising flour
  • 25g cornflour
  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 225g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing tins
  • 4 large eggs
  • 225g fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g fresh strawberries hulled, to decorate

For the filling

  • 250g butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 600g icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • pink food colouring
  • 3-4 tbsp strawberry jam
  • A few fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

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Method

Buttercream

  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and vanilla. Blend in the sugar, a quarter at a time, beating well after each addition.
  2. Beat in the milk, and continue mixing until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the food colouring and mix thoroughly.
  4. Keep icing covered until ready to decorate.

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Sponges and construction

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Grease 2 x 20cm sandwich tins and line the base of each tin with baking paper.
  2. Sift the flour, cornflour, sugar and baking powder into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until evenly mixed. Add the butter, eggs, strawberries and vanilla extract and process briefly until well combined, but not overly processed.
  3. Divide the mixture evenly between the 2 cake tins and smooth the tops with a spatula. Bake in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre of one of the cakes comes out clean.
  4. Leave the cakes to cool slightly in their tins for 10 minutes and turn out on to wire racks.
  5. When the cakes are completely cool, remove the baking paper circles from their bases. Place 1 cake on a plate and spread with a thin layer of strawberry jam.
  6. Then place a thin layer of sliced strawberries on top of the jam.
  7. Hold the second cake and ice the underside of it with a 1cm thick layer of vanilla buttercream.
  8. Carefully place on top of the first cake, iced side down. Once the cakes are sandwiched together, ice the top with the remaining buttercream and top with the fresh strawberries.

This cake is best served immediately, as the fresh strawberries do have a tendency to soften and bleed their juice into the the icing quite quickly.

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Lemon meringue cupcakes x

Blog photos_0035_edited-1It’s been quite a while since I last posted a recipe for you all, I’m so sorry!!!

Luckily I have a great recipe for your delight today, in fact it’s one that I have perfected for some time now, just for you!! I hope it makes up for my absence?! x

I’ve been making these Lemon meringue cupcakes all summer and I have to say they are loved by all my friends!! Perhaps that’s why I keep making them so often!!……haha x

I do love them myself too, but I have always been a sucker for lemon meringue x

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Ingredients for the sponge

  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • seeds of ½ vanilla pod
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 200g self raising flour

Method for cupcakes sponge

  1. Place the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla seeds in a mixing bowl and cream together until pale and fluffy.
  2. Beat the eggs lightly in another bowl and slowly add to the butter mixture while whisking quickly. If the mixture starts to seperate or curdle, stop adding the egg and beat in 2-3 tablespoons of flour. This will rebind the batter.
  3. Once all the egg has been incorporated into the butter mixture, sift in the flour and stir until the batter is just combined. This will ensure the sponges stay light and fluffy.
  4. Using a plastic piping bag or a tablespoon, carefully place the batter into the cupcake cases until two-thirds full only.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, at 175ºC, depending on your oven. The cupcakes are cooked when the tops are golden brown and spring back to the touch. If in doubt, insert a clean knife or wooden skewer into the centre of each sponge, it should come out

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Ingredients for toppings

  • Jar of lemon curd
  • 120g of egg whites (approx. 3 large eggs)
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 240g caster sugar

Method for toppings

  1. Whisk the whites and cream of tartar until foamy then add half the sugar and continue whisking until glossy and thick, do not over beat. Add the rest of the sugar and whisk for a few seconds.
  2. Pipe a ring of meringue around the outside of the cupcake.
  3. Place a teaspoon of lemon curd into the centre, then top with a second rosette of meringue. Add a few jelly segments to the meringue and sprinkle with a little granulated sugar.
  4. Place on a baking tray and place into the hot oven to brown for a couple of minutes. Remove, dust with icing sugar and serve cool.

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Parma violet macarons

Well here we go again, a large absence on my part……..oops x I think I just have to accept that I am not going to blog as much over the summer period. Lots of very exciting things going on to keep me distracted. But I will try to put up the odd post here and there x

Today is a good one, I’ve been working on this macaron recipe for a while now to get it right and I’m pleased to finally be sharing it with you all now.

Parma violets are a firm favourite from my childhood and I could smell them all day, the smell is so amazing!! So I had to find a way to incorporate them in to a recipe!! I hope you like these as much as I do!! 🙂 x

Parma violet macarons

Ingredients: Shells

  • 200g icing sugar
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 80ml water
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2 x 80g egg whites (approximately the egg whites of 4 large eggs)
  • 1tsp violet flavouring
  • food colouring
  • Crystallised violet petals

Filling:

  • 200ml Double cream
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

Parma violet macarons

Method:

  1. Mix the icing sugar and ground almonds together thoroughly until you have a fine, even powder. Sieve and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, bring the water and the caster sugar to the boil. Use a thermometer to ensure that the temperature of the syrup does not exceed 110ºC. This is very important.
  3. Whisk half the egg whites until they form soft peaks, not too stiff.
  4. Decrease the speed of the whisk, then, still whisking, pour the sugar syrup over the egg whites in a thin line. Continue whisking until the mixture has almost cooled, this will take a while and will be easier in a food mixer.
  5. Mix the other half of the egg whites (unbeaten) with the sugar and almond base to get a thick paste.
  6. Add the food colouring to the almond paste, this allows the colour to be mixed in well without overworking the meringue mix (as this can sometimes have disastrous consequences). Then add the violet flavouring.
  7. Add a little of the meringue to the almond paste with a flexible spatula and stir in with regular motion from the bottom towards the top and from the edges towards the centre of the bowl. Add the rest of the meringue in one go and mix in gently. This is a crucial step: it is the art of making macarons. The consistency of the macaron mix should be smooth, even and runny.
  8. Fill a piping bag with macaron mix and pipe small even discs of mix on to a tray covered with grease proof paper. Add crystallised petals to the top of half of the shells (you may want to choose the best half for this….heehee). Lightly tap the bottom of the tray on the work surface to remove any small air bubbles. Put the tray aside for 1 hour to allow the shells to dry, then bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes at 145ºC (or fan assited oven 125ºC).
  9. Immediately on taking the macaron shells out of the oven, slide the greaseproof paper on to a lightly dampened surface. This will stop them over cooking and make them easier to remove from the paper.
  10. The shells should be smooth and glossy with a good colour.

Filling:

  1. Whisk the double cream and vanilla extract in a bowl until it thickens sufficiently.
  2. Fill a piping bag and squeeze a good amount on to the bottom layer shells and the sandwich the upper layer on.

Parma violet macarons

#itsgood2eatcake ♥

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Last night was my second event with the Edinburgh bakers, which happened to be a charity event this time in aid of the local Edinburgh based charity It’s good 2 give!! run by the wonderfully dedicated Lynne McNicoll, who help to support young people … Continue reading

Mamma’s fruit loaf

Ok, I don’t actually call her Mamma, just Mum x But Mamma sounds so much better, don’t you think? heehee x

When I first started baking this time last year my Mum wrote down here recipe for Fruit loaf and it’s been pinned to my notice board ever since waiting patiently for me to get round to trying it out!! I’m not sure it is quite up to her standards yet, but I think I’ve done not bad for a first attempt and will play around and perfect it to my own tastes in the years to come x

Fruit loaf

Ingredients:

  • ½llb Unsalted butter
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 cups Sultanas
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups self raising flour

Fruit loaf

Method:

  1. Line a loaf tin with backing parchment.
  2. In a medium heavy pan add the butter, sugar, sultanas, water and bicarbonate of soda on a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted, then turn up the temperature to full and bring to the boil, then continue boiling for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool for a couple of hours.
  3. Beat the eggs and them to the mixture, add the flour and mix well.
  4. Transfer mixture to the loaf tin and place in the oven at 170°C for 1½ hours.

Fruit loaf

I like mine with lashings of butter and a pot of tea x

Thanks Mum xx 🙂

How do you like yours?

Happy Easter x

A very happy Easter to you all xx

I thought it would be appropriate today to mark the beginning of the Easter weekend with a festive recipe!! I came across Paul Holywood’s recipe for hot cross buns last week and then watched him prepare them with the same recipe on the Easter special of The Great British Bake-off Masterclass this week, which only cemented my determination to try them out for myself x

This is my first attempt at hot cross buns and I have to say I don’t think I will be buying them from now on!! They are gorgeous!!! Super tasty and they leave the house smelling amazing!!

Hot cross buns

 Ingredients:

For the buns:

  • 300ml full-fat milk , plus 2 tbsp more
  • 50g butter
  • 500g strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 7g sachet fast-action or easy-blend yeast
  • 1 egg , beaten
  • 75g sultanas
  • 50g mixed peel
  • zest 1 orange
  • 1 apple , peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

 For the cross:

  • 75g plain flour , plus extra for dusting

 For the glaze:

  • 3 tbsp apricot jam

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Method:

  1. Bring the milk to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature. Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast  into a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and butter mixture, then add the egg. Using a wooden spoon, mix well, then bring everything together with your hands until you have a sticky dough.
  2. Tip on to a lightly floured surface and knead by holding the dough with one hand and stretching it with the heal of the other hand, then folding it back on itself. Repeat for 5 mins until smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size and a finger pressed into it leaves a dent.
  3. With the dough still in the bowl, tip in the sultanas, mixed peel, orange zest, apple and cinnamon. Knead into the dough, making sure everything is well distributed. Leave to rise for 1 hr more, or until doubled in size, again covered by some well-oiled cling film to stop the dough getting a crust.
  4. Divide the dough into 15 even pieces (about 75g per piece). Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured work surface. Arrange the buns on one or two baking trays lined with parchment, leaving enough space for the dough to expand. Cover (but don’t wrap) with more oiled cling film, or a clean tea towel, then set aside to prove for 1 hr more.
  5. Heat oven to 220ºC/200ºC fan/gas 7. Mix the flour with about 5 tbsp water to make the paste for the cross – add the water 1 tbsp at a time, so you add just enough for a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses. Bake for 20 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.
  6. Gently heat the apricot jam to melt, then sieve to get rid of any chunks. While the jam is still warm, brush over the top of the warm buns and leave to cool.

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I enjoyed mine straight from the oven with just a little butter along with a nice cup of tea, simple but effective x

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For me it wouldn’t be Easter without hot cross buns, but I realise that many of you are from other parts of the world with possibly very different Easter traditions and foods that you eat and share to celebrate! I’d love to hear about it x

What will you be making this weekend to celebrate Easter?

I’m off to hard boil and decorate some eggs now to roll on Sunday, ta ta xx

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Cookies and milk x

This weeks offering is my favourite cookies and milk combination. White chocolate chip cookies and Banana milkshake, so a double recipe for your amusement x Don’t say I’m not good to you xx ;p

Today I can’t take credit for the cookies recipe, it’s taken from my new favourite recipe book, The back in the day bakery cookbook, from Cheryl & Griffith Day!! I have however made one very small change to the original by using white chocolate instead of milk or plain chocolate x But they all work well, so feel free to decide for yourself if you are following this recipe at home x

It is however my own Banana milkshake recipe (although I’m sure if I googled it, I’d find some uses the same ingredients)!!

White chocolate cookies

White chocolate chip cookies:

Ingredients: 

  • 2½ cups Plain flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1¼ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • ½ pound of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup granulated saugar
  • 1 cup light brown soft sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups chocolate chunks
  • Fleur de sel for sprinkling

White chocolate cookies

Method:

  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 178°C/350°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment.
  2. Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, and sea salt; set aside.
  3. In a bowl of a stand food mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer), cream together the butter, vanilla, and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs and mix for no more than a minute; the eggs will not be fully incorporated. Turn the speed down to low and add the dry ingredients in thirds, beating until just combined, 1 to 2 minutes. With the mixer running, sprinkle in the chocolate chunks, beating until just combined, about a minute.
  5. Use a large ice cream scoop or a ¼cup measuring cup to form the cookies and place on the prepared cookie sheets, leaving 2 inches between the cookies to allow for spreading. Lightly tap each cookie with the palm of your hand and sprinkle the cookies with fleur de sel.
  6. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time for even doneness. The cookies should be golden brown around the edges but still light in the centres. Let the cookies cool on a wire rack. Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.

White chocolate cookies

Banana Milkshake:

Ingredients:

  • 2 large bananas
  • 8 generous scopes of your favourite Vanilla dairy ice cream
  • 10ml vanilla extract
  • 250ml of whole or semi-skimmed milk

White chocolate cookies

Method:

  1. Slice the bananas in to a food processor fitted with the liquidizer attachment, add the rest of the ingredients also.
  2. Process until think and creamy x
  3. Pour in to a tall glass with with a thick straw and serve immediately!!

And Ta da!!! Lovely cookies and milk x