Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Beautiful biscuits

I have to say these biscuits taste delightful! They melt in your mouth and once you have had one you will definitely want another. I think they would just be perfect for an afternoon tea party or picnic. The filling is vanilla buttercream with homemade (by my father-in-law) plum jam! They taste divine and are one of the nicest biscuits I think I have ever made. Every time I eat one I would have to have two or three...

Monday, 19 May 2008

Victoria sponge cake

Not all baking days go to plan. Mistakes and mishaps happen. I was trying to make a lovely summer victoria sponge cake the other day but unfortunately it kind of sunk a little in the middle! Fear not though I simply chopped out the middle (I think American's call this a bundt cake!) . Cakes may sink in the middle for two reasons (1) Your oven may not be hot enough or (2) you didn't leave it in the oven for long enough. I think my oven wasn't hot enough! Still I decorated it with buttercream and silver balls and sliced it into little cake bites and no one knew any different! I simply said I had decided to make it into bite size pieces! Perfect for an afternoon tea party!

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Lemon sponge cake

Nobody can come and visit me these days without being greeted by some kind of baking welcome! I always try and make sure there are some lovely home baked cakes or biscuits in the house when people come around. I made this cake for my parents who came to stay at the weekend. We had a great weekend together wandering around London and St. Albans in the hot sunshine!

I made this using 4oz margarine, 4oz of caster sugar, 4oz of self raising flour, 2 eggs and a tablespoon of lemon juice to add some zesty goodness. I then added lime juice to the icing sugar so it was a bit of ting and a bit of tang! I love the freshness of lemon and lime and they are perfect such such sunny weather!

Monday, 12 May 2008

You make my day!

I was tagged by the lovely Rosie for a 'You make my day' award! What a lovely thing to recieve. I've decided to pass this tag onto three of my favourite blogs who I read as much as possible.

They are Claire @ Make and Do (Claire was my first friend in the blog world and I love reading about her life in Brighton and all the amazing things she makes).

Marie @ A year at Oak cottage (I dream of escaping to the countryside and love looking at Marie's pictures and the amazing food she cooks).

Anamika @ Sugarcraft-india (Anamika makes the most beautiful cakes)

You all make my day!

Monday, 5 May 2008

No cook chocolate bites

I made these for my friend. She can't eat eggs and this was the only recipe I could find at the time that I thought she would love and would be easy to carry with me on the train. They taste delightful and I would recommend them to anyone who may not know a lot about baking but's wants to make something that is easy and tastes divine.

You can adapt the recipe to include things from your own kitchen cupboard that may not be included in the recipe. I added cherries and seeds to mine.

To make these you will need:
200g/8oz rich tea biscuits (or digestive biscuits if you prefer)
75g/3oz of butter
3 tbsp golden syrup
2 tbsp cocoa powder
50g/2oz raisins
100g/40z dark chocolate
I also used about 30g of seeds and about 10 glaze cherries chopped up into bits.

Butter a tin, I used a 7 inch sandwich tin. The next step is to crush the biscuits. Place the biscuits in a strong bag, preferably one with a ziplock! Then use a rolling pin to crush the biscuits. This is a great stress reliever and I really recommend it after a day's work! You want the biscuits to look crumbly while some of the them should be in little bits.

Melt the butter and syrup over a low heat and then remove and stir in the cocoa powder, raisins, seeds and cherries if using and then add all the biscuit crumbs. Use a wooden spoon mix it all well together and then spoon it ino the tin and press down.

Melt the chocolate and then pour it over the biscuit mixture and chill in the fridge for about an hour. Chop into little squares and eat. Be warned it is very morish!

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Sugar flowers

I made these sugarcraft flowers to decorate my cupcakes and practice my piping bag skills. They are so easy to make but you will need a piping bag with a star nozzle (sizes 12, 8 and 5 should all work well). When creating any patterns with an icing bag you need to make sure that your icing is thick enough so that it will hold its shape when piped. Bear in mind though that if it's too thick it won't squeeze through the tube properly.

To make royal icing you need:
2 egg whites
1ml (1/4 teaspoon) lemon juice
500g icing sugar, sieved
5ml (1 teaspoon) glycerine

First measure out the lemon juice and add it into a bowl with the egg whites. Sift some of the icing sugar into the bowl and mix using a wooden spoon. Stir in more icing sugar until it is of a thick consistency and then beat well. Keep adding more icing sugar until the mixture is thick and will create a sharp peak when you lift the wooden spoon out of the bowl. Then simply add any colouring you wish and spoon it into your piping bag and away you go!