Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Super Zingy Lemon Cake

I first saw this cake on the first series of the GBBO and have been hunting for it for ages. I absolutely love lemon cake but and have never had one with home made curd that I've made myself, so I thought it was about time I tried it for myself.

So first I'll go through the making of the curd and then I'll go through the actual cake method. I got the recipe for the curd from Ruth Clemens' Pink Whisk blog (which I love), and the one for the sponge from ITV.

Lemon Curd
Zest and Juice of 6 Lemons
120g Butter
450g Caster Sugar
4 Eggs
Makes 1litre of Lemon Curd.

1.Step one is to zest all 6 lemons, so I’ll meet you for the next step in half an hour! 
You need a coarse style grater for the zest.

2.Next, juice all 6 lemons.
It’s important to do it in this order so that once you have grated a knuckle or two in the zesting stage you can follow it up by getting the sting from the lemon juice too! 3.Put the zest and the juice into a thick based pan along with the butter and the sugar.

4.Break the eggs into a large jug and beat well.  Keep to one side.
5.Place the pan over a medium heat and allow the butter to melt and sugar to dissolve.
Once this has happened add the mixture little by little to the jug of eggs, whisking well after each addition.

6.Once both mixtures have been fully incorporated pour back into the pan and return to the heat.
Stir frequently as the lemon curd heats.  Over a medium heat it should take about four mins to begin to boil.  Bubble for a further three minutes to thicken.
7.Take from the heat and pour into ready prepared kilner or jam jars.

8.Allow to cool at room temperature before storing in the fridge. I was told to put a silver spoon in the jar with the curd so to stop the glass from cracking...which I did - and it didn't crack so I guess it worked.
Kept in the fridge the Lemon Curd will last up to three months, but I guarantee you’ll be needing to make some more far sooner than this!

Now for the cake! 


175 g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
175 g caster sugar
2 lemons, zest only, plus juice of 1 lemon
3 free-range eggs
1 tsp baking powder
150 g self-raising flour

For the filling:

150 ml double cream, whipped
1 jar of lemon curd
Icing sugar, for sifting.

1.Preheat oven to 160C (fan)/180c/gas mark 4.
2.Grease and base line 2 x 7 inch sandwich tins.
3.Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
4.Add the zest and combine evenly.
5.Add the eggs one at a time with a spoonful of the flour, beating well after each.
6.Fold through the remaining flour.
7.Add the lemon juice and stir to combine.
8.Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
9.Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
10.Once cool spread the base of the cake with whipped double cream, followed by a good layer of lemon curd. Set the second cake on top, dust with a little icing sugar and serve. I used a stencil I bough from IKEA and then placed in on the pretty cake stand I also bought from there, cute!
11.Eat! Nom!

Pin It Now!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

50's Christmas House Advent Calendar Review

As some of you may know... I LOVE CHRISTMAS! Now we're creeping closer towards December I can officially get more excited about it without the bah humbugs yelling at me, we're even off to get or tree at the weekend!! OK and calm.

I was even more excited when I received a little festive package in the post from dotcomgiftshop, I love getting post when you don't really know what you're getting it's like getting presents. This bad boy turned out to be a super cute retro advent calendar (*), being from Norway we're used to having 'fill your own' calendars but they've always been made from felt, we've never had once this nice before.

The calendar itself is a small house with 24 individual pull out boxes, each with a cute little festive picture on the front. Each door pulls out to fit a decent sized chocolate inside (4 x 4 x 4cm, large boxes 4 x 4 x 8cm), not a bar in the small but you could fit one in the larger boxes so it's perfect really. We're really childish in our house and believe you're never too old so my mum will be getting this on the 1st if she's well behaved. Being the good daughter that I am I have filled the boxes with Ferrero Rocher and Guylian chocolates...there were a few spares so I MIGHT have eaten a couple...or seven.

It's 28cm tall so a nice size but also won't take up too much space but will fit in nicely with all of your other Christmas decs. Make sure you keep it somewhere high though, the boxes aren't padlocked so little hands might go looking...shame my mum's too tall for this trick.

Get your hands on one for £18.95 before December comes, I would definitely recommend this for those of our who don't like the classic advent calendar chocolate taste.

Pin It Now!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Silicone Crazy at Sew White!

Now we all know I love online shopping...especially for bakeware. So when I saw that the Christmas range on Sew White was out, well, I got a little carried away. I regret nothing!

Being obsessed with the Great British Bake Off I had kept my beady eye on the site for when the Teacake Moulds came back in stock, my day finally came and I couldn't have been happier to snap up a pink mould. The thought of making them is terrifying, but in a good way you know? I'm thinking I could decorate them like Christmas pudding for the festive season or maybe even edible snowballs? The list is endless to be honest so I know I'll get lots of use out of them.  £6.00.

I'm really into the whole Christmas desserts this year and have so many ideas, so I couldn't resist this Mini Victoria Sponge Cake Mould, "Each cake mould is approximately 7cm in diameter at the larger part and 5.5cm in diameter at the smaller end and is 5cm tall." I love that all of their moulds are oven and freezer safe, I'm thinking maybe some moist chocolate cakes or maybe even some ice cream, what do you think? £8.00.

This year I really want to make all of my own advent chocolates to put in calendars so this Christmas Shapes Mould would be perfect. I love that there are different shapes so you don't need to make 6 batches of chocolates to get enough different shapes. I especially like the stockings and candy canes...they may not quite reach the calendars... £3.99.

Now for the really Christmassy moulds, just look at them! I bought 1 x reindeer mould, 1 x penguin mould and also a Christmas pudding mould. Again these will make brilliant chocolates, I'm all about the chocolate at the moment I won't lie to you. I'm also going to try out some gingerbread decorations in them which would be great to hang on the tree...or just scoff while watching Love Actually...probably the latter if I'm honest. You can buy them for £4.99 each or £14.99 for a set of four which also includes the angel mould. I bought mine in two stints so should have just waited and bought the whole set but you live and learn, I don't care - they're still cute!

My final item is the Snowflake Plunger Set, I LOVE snowflakes, they might be my favourite symbol of Christmas..I just LOVE them, OK, craziness over. I'd love to decorate a Christmas cake, cupcakes or cake pops with sparkly fondant snowflakes, and I love plungers as it can be ridiculously difficult to cut snowflakes from cutters as they often get stuck. £5.50 for a set of 3.

I will soon be testing these out so keep posted for some reviews!

Nom! Pin It Now!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Cake International - Birmingham 2012!

Cake International - a baker's dream! I've always wanted to go but have always been busy as it usually falls right on my birthday but this time I was able to spend a whole day there. Tickets for the saturday were completely sold out so it was PACKED! The queue to get into the NEC was a bit brutal in the car but without a doubt - worth it.

Once inside the place was buzzing - and heaving! Everywhere you looked you saw nothing but cakes, glitters, cutters, rolling pins - bliss! Some women go shopping for shoes, I go shopping for glitters and rolling pins. If you went and say you didn't see anything that took your fancy then I'm sorry but you are a liar :D. I had to physically restrain myself from spending nearly £90 on some topsy turvy cake tins.

But more on the shopping in a minute, the cakes showcased themselves were incredible, they were everywhere and there was even a special competition area where you cool 'ooo' and 'aaaah' all over various cakes and cupcakes of different technical abilities. I have to say I could never enter anything myself it would be far too daunting I've never seen anything like some of these beauties.


Don't be fooled thinking cakes are all bunting, flowers and butterflies oh no... check out the Dark Knight, Ghostbusters and The Avengers cakes.

There were also a few odd ones I have to say...the phrase "happy as a pig in ...." comes to mind...really don't think I could have a slice of this one. And while the clown is brilliantly freaks me out! As does the pregnant belly one if I'm completely honest.

See what I mean?

There were so many amazing ones I especially loved the VW campervan and KFC cake.

Now for the shopping...well I got a little carried away. And I'm afraid I can't even tell you the exact places I bought them from as it was like a feeding frenzy on a chicken farm - but I can tell you that I shopped until I dropped, getting everything from chocolate transfers to metal ball tools.

So here's a list of my goodies anway
Ribbons - you can never have too many
Piping nozzles, one to make grass and two teeny tiny ones for piping
Cake pop sticks - worse ones I've bought as they were fairly hollow
Cake pop bags and ties - pretty standard as anyway
Two tiny painting brushes - for when using gel colour as paint
Dusting brush - for glitters
Glitters! - in red, gold, pink and bright pink
Gold and silver metallic edible paint - perfect for Christmas
Ball tool - First saw these on Cake Boss, great for smoothing edges of fondant and using with gumpaste.
Chocolate transfers - in star, rose, swirl and snowflake patterns
2 pack of cookies boxes (with 4 boxes in each) - comes with bags, boxes, ribbons and tags perfect for Christmas presents.
Silent Night Christmas stencil - this will be lovely on a chocolate cake with icing sugar or cream with cocoa powder
Wilton green piping icing - always handy to have some ready made

So that's the list, here are the pictures...I could easily have bought much more but I've got so much other stuff I have enough for a new Baking Buys post already!

The next Cake International is in April and I will be running a competition for tickets to those also where I believe Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood (beaut) will be attending - eek! So stay tuned for that post!

There were of course lots of demonstrations and book signings but I have to admit I spent all my time shopping and gawking and looking at the demos going on around various stalls. It's great to have all of your favourite suppliers in one to Sew White there next year also and you'll never need to go anywhere else.

Nom! Pin It Now!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

This Is Halloween!

It's no secret that I love holidays which involve baking....which to be fair, in our most of them. But with Halloween you get to be really creative, I love making treats for the kids that come to our door - and I'm quite competitive as you know...I like my treats to be the best! This year was no exception, while I was happy with the ones I made last year, this time I wanted to go even further. We even made an effort with the pumpkin carving this year - Jack Skellington and Mr. Oogie Boogie!

There's going to be a lot of photos just to warn you. I made glittery chocolate skulls, bones and pumpkins, sparkly spooky toffee apples and cake pops.

The chocolates were made from moulds bought from Poundland, the skulls and bones were brilliant as they were silicone ones, the plastic pumpkin ones however were a total nightmare and I may have ended up smashing them in frustration when trying to get the chocolates out.  I made them from white, milk and also orange chocolate. The orange chocolate buttons I bought in Tesco and melted easily, had the perfect colour and tasted lovely to boot. I dusted the moulds with cake glitter before pouring in the chocolate which means it stuck to the chocolate rather than everything else it touched.

For the sparkly spooky toffee apples I used the same recipe as last year and decided to make half with a dark green/black colouring to make them like poison apples. Half way through the poison looking ones the sugar crystalised and made the last 4 apples look absolutely horrific!! One was so bad I actually put it in our window on Halloween to scare people! I managed to get 4 apples stage by stage leading up to the scariest of them all.

 From right to left
starting to get scary, getting a bit scarier, not really wanting the eat the next one and the last...
well...there are no words for that monstrosity really

Below - in all its scary glory!

 Now for some nicer looking toffee apples, no colouring, just sprinkles and some glitter.

Once set I attempted to add some sprinkles and the drenched them in cake glitter to make them look a bit special - to finish I wrapped them in cellophane bags and tied them with curling ribbon, just like from the carnival. I have to say I think the dark colouring was a mistake - they looked burnt even though they weren't but I managed to palm them off on some poor unexpecting boys.

Now for cake pops, possibly my favourite things to make at the moment. For the cake I used some left over red velvet and purple sponge rolled with vanilla buttercream. I decided on four designs - pumpkins, eyeballs, ghosts and Jack Skellingtons. I got a brilliant Halloween theme cake pops set from eBay with orange and black sticks with orange and black twist ties for the bags. They were all dipped in white chocolate, the pumpkins - dyed with orange colouring. The ghosts were easy to decorate with black royal icing as it was only the face but it was hard to keep a ghost shape when inserting the stick...ended up looking like those things in Pac Man but still worked out well.

The pumpkins as I said were dipped in orange coloured chocolate and decorated with black icing and a green fondant stalk - it was quite fun actually giving the all different faces. Next came the eyeballs, these again were fairly easy, using green fondant and red and black royal icing -  a lot of people weren't sure about these for some's not like they're real eyes or anything! I have the say, the Jack Skellington ones were my personal favourites, the only issue was that I couldn't find my tiniest piping nozzle - my baking room is a mess! So I had to use a bigger one so it's not as fine as it should have been.

I did buy a couple of bags of regular Halloween sweets to go with everything else, I made little goody bags containing one cake pop, a couple of chocolates and a few of the bought sweets. All in all, with the toffee apples I had about 40 items to give away. I ran out in 40 minutes last year so I doubled my loot! What was really nice was that my niece came to help me share them out, dressed in her best cat costume she even got a few goodies to herself!


Had a go with face paint for a two-faced effect, my niece wasn't quite sure if she liked it or not!

Pin It Now!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...