It is SO cinnamon bun season if there ever was one. Especially here in London where it has suddenly turned cold. Just look at them so beautifully snuggled. Sorry no in-process pictures. I have high hopes of trying some more cinnamon buns this weekend from the new Hummingbird book that I got for my Birthday :) . So will try to take some then, you can find very good pictures on the blog that I got the recipe from. I used half the amount of cardamom-a tablespoon seemed a little excessive to me and I thought half a tablespoon worked great. I also put chopped pecans in half the batch. I loved them with out any icing and so did everyone else.They are so comforting to make- its lovely watching the spirals swell up in the oven and the house smells amazing. And while we are on the topic of buns smitten kitchen just did a post on some orange and cranberry ones, very seasonal.
15 Nov 2013
1 Nov 2013
I am a little obsessed with ombre cakes at the moment. Pintrest is a veritable treasure trove of inspiration. As are other blogs. This rose cake is really not as hard as it looks-all you need is a few Wilton 1 M tips and some good gel food colourings. I love that it’s simple to do but stunning to look at – and all edible unlike cakes covered in fondant and sugarpaste. Although I think cakes look pretty when covered in fondant and sugar modelled stuff and sugar flowers I prefer cakes to all be edible and I find myself and others just peel sugar decorations off and leave to one side.
So I trawled the internet (as you do) and found some good inspiration on Pintrest and here and here. When piping the roses you can practise on a chopping board or on the actual cake-it’s very easy to scrape a rose off with a spoon if you go wrong. When doing the three different colours you can spread some on a chopping board next to each other to see how they will look. That is probably the most finicky bit of the whole process-separating the icing and colouring it-the actual piping is very quick! It was a really hot summers day when I made this so you can see my roses are very soft-the second time I made this cake (coming soon- a purple ombre one!) it was much cooler so it was easier to pipe the buttercream and I didn’t have to keep putting it in the fridge to firm up!
I used a creamy white chocolate buttercream for the roses on the outside and for the inside it was a standard Victoria sponge and strawberry meringue buttercream. The latter is a buttercream that is slightly harder to make but silky smooth and very yummy! I wanted pink layers when you sliced into it and the fresh strawberries lift the cake a bit. You could alternatively use whipped cream with strawberry puree mixed through or use the same buttercream as on the outside. I used Wilton rose pink gel food colouring to colour the icing. I always start with mixing the darkest color first and then do the two lighter colors You want the dark pink to be quite dark-otherwise there won’t be a decent enough colour gradation! I crumb coated the cake and put it in the fridge for about half an hour to firm up before doing the roses.
I have written about the Victoria sponge here (I made 1.5 times the recipe as I wanted three layers) and you can find the strawberry meringue recipe here-it is from this Martha Stewart book. The creamy buttercream recipe is below-I make double and always have some left over which I freeze. Better to have more than you need in case you over color one part or something!
|The strawberry meringue buttercream as it progressed-no butter, with butter added and then with strawberry puree added.|
|The creamy buttercream|
1 Cups unsalted butter, softened
2 Cups powdered sugar (or more, depending on how you like your buttercream)
Pinch of salt
2-3 oz. good quality white chocolate, chopped (optional)
¼ Cup whipping cream
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
Put the chopped white chocolate into a small bowl.melt over a ban-marie or in microwave. set aside and allow to completely cool.
Sift salt and powdered sugar over the butter, in a large bowl. Cream the butter and sugar mixture together until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Measure the whipping cream into a cup, and stir in the vanilla extract. With the mixer running on low speed, gradually pour the cream mixture the bowl.
Once the cream mixture has been incorporated into the frosting, fold on the melted white chocolate until incorporated. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high, and beat frosting for an additional 3 minutes.
Makes about 2 ½ cups of frosting (I made double for the cake).
11 Oct 2013
These are one of my favourite recent bakes. They are equally beautiful looking and tasting and they are from one of my favourite books - Jo Wheatley' A passion for baking. The meringues are slightly crisp on the outside when you bite, then you get a bit of chewyness and then they just melt in your mouth. The recipe is below. I cannot wait to try a hazelnut and dark chocolate version of these...
3 egg whites
1 tbsp lemon juice
30g Pistachios,shelled,unsalted and finely chopped(I did in my mini food processor/chopper thing)
100g white chocolate with freeze dried raspberry pieces(I couldn't find so used white choc and mixed in bought freeze dried raspberries from Sainsburys (in a small tube in baking section)but you can also buy online.
150ml double cream
30 fresh rasberries
30 fresh mint leaves
you will need:baking tray lined with baking parchment, a couple of piping bags -one fitted with a small plain round nozzle and with a star tip.
Preheat oven to 110 degrees celcius/225 Farenheight/gas mark 1/4
whisk egg white in clean bowl to soft peaks, add lemon juice.
Gradually fold in sugar,then add nuts by folding in using a large metal spoon.
spoon into piping bag, and pipe little nests on to the prepared baking tray, about 3 cm wide and 3 cm high.
Bake for about 1 hour until dry and crisp. Turn oven off and leave meringues to cool inside
Melt chocolate, add freeze dried raspberry pieces and brush/spoon onto meringues, the leave to set. whip cream into soft peaks and pipe swirls on to meringues. (I ran out of cream for the last few probably cos I piped too much on the first few so would use 200ml next time)
top each meringue with raspberry and mint leaf.
7 Oct 2013
These are simple Spanish doughnuts which are very popular in London at the moment. The recipe is from Nigellas Kitchen. I'm sure you an tell by now that it is one of my favourite books. They are great to make for tea when you have people over. You can't really go wrong with fried dough rolled in cinnamon and sugar and then dipped in a thick chocolate sauce. Recipe is here. I made an edit to the chocolate sauce I used 50g dark chocolate instead of 100g as I often find Nigellas recipes have too much dark chocolate for me.These are JUST enough for four people ie. you are unlikely to have any leftovers! Note: the second time I made these the batter went very liquidy after I added the water as I added it all in one go - so I would add it gradually as you want a thick sticky dough that is pipeable. I just used two tablepoons instead of a piping bag as you can see in the pics to make fat little ones which take a little longer to fry than thin spindly ones. I don't do the cube of bread test to see f the oil is hot enough -just drop a bit of batter in to see if it sizzles up. I would lower the the temp as soon as you put the doughnuts in as you don't want them to brown on the outside and not cook through in the middle. When frying I always test one before I take them all out to see if cooked through in the middle.
24 Sep 2013
You know you want to try these from the their name right? the jalapenos and cheese combo is a bit like the peanut butter and chocolate combo...you can't really go wrong. These are like cheese rolls punctuated with a tangy chilly hit. I definitely needed more Jalapenos than the recipe specified- I would double up next time. You could do any number of things with these-put some tomato chutney in the middle, put some cream cheese with jalapenos/mustard stirred through it in the middle...you get the idea...They are from the lovely blog of Joy the Baker. She has much better pics on her post so check it out.
17 Sep 2013
I have tried many a carrot cake in my time and this really is my favourite so far. It is from Jo Wheatlys' "A Passion for Baking". It is my favourite baking book- a real home bakers book. I have already made lots of things from it already and have so many things earmarked! I found the recipe already typed up here. The cake is super moist with just the right amount of pecans. I loved the icing-I thought had the right amount of tang and I thought the amount of icing was right too, but I like a fair bit off icing on my cakes! It might be a lot for some people so if you don't like as much icing you could probably get away with 2/3 rds the amount I would say. The tang is from orange juice,so go easy when squeezing the juice-add gradually and check consistency and taste as you go. I made this traybake for the cake table at our summer street party this summer which was amazing. We had it on a beautiful sunny day in June (not always a given in London) and it was my sons first street party so very special indeed. I also made some pistachio and raspberry meringues which you can see in the cake table shot (post on those coming soon). And that is my son in the last shot driving happily down the street :)
Posted by Zeinab at 15:56
24 Mar 2013
Well you can tell from the title and the picture in the book that this is going to be good. I came to cheesecake relatively late in life, well late teens and it was a self-introduction at Marks & Spencer’s and there’s been no looking back - I have been eating and making them ever-since. The Hummingbird bakery’s cake days book has many a fabulous version. Sorry again for the not-so-great pictures. Seriously give this a go, it tasted really great, though the topping wasn’t as smooth as picture in the book, maybe I stirred it too long-it thickens quickly. See here and here and here for other cheesecakes! I found the recipe written up online here.
11 Jan 2013
This gorgeous cake is from Nigellas latest book (and TV program) Nigellissima . It is, thus far, not my favourite of her books -I have only made the Meatzza ( not too impressed with it) and this cake from it so far. Normally her books are so inspiring I tend to make a lot of things from them when I first buy the book. Anyway this cake is both comforting to make, look at and eat. It is a beautiful pale yellow and damp and soft-crumbed to eat. It is a plain vanilla cake with a slight lemony flavour and tang from the yoghurt. It is also very easy to make. It is called yoghurt pot cake as the yoghurt pot is the unit of measurement, but she does thankfully give the metric measures as well. I have had a mishap with my camera so there are not many pictures but hopefully you get the idea….
150g plain yoghurt
150ml flavourless vegetable oil
250g castor sugar
2 capfuls vanilla extract (1.5 teaspoons)
Zest ½ unwaxed lemon
175g Plain flour
1 teaspoon icing sugar
Preheat oven to 180◦C and grease a springform ring mould or tin
Separate eggs and whisk the whites until you get firm peaks. Add the yoghurt to the eggs and use the yoghurt pot to measure out other ingrediants.
Fill yoghurt pot with oil and to egg yolks mixture slowly while beating
Add the vanilla extract
Still beating add 1 yoghurt pot of cornflour, scrape down sides of bowl then gently fold in the egg whites
Fill the tin with the batter a bake for 30-35 minutes-sides should be coming away from the tin. Remove from tin and let cool for 10 minutes before turning it out. Once cooled dust with icing sugar.
Posted by Zeinab at 15:28