Sugar Cookies

hello kitty sugar cookies!

Hello kitty sugar cookies

My end of semester assignments and the holidays have kept me pretty busy over the last few weeks, so I have unfortunately neglected my blog, but not my baking! As you can imagine there has been a lot of cooking and baking over Christmas so I have a lot to share. The first of which being these really addictive Sugar Cookies (seriously, we demolished them). One of best friends bought me Hello Kitty cookie cutters for Christmas, she knows me so well! So a few days after Christmas we put them to good use.

Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup of butter (room temp)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees c
  2. In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and baking powder
  3. In a separate, large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.
  4. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  5. Gradually beat in the dry ingredients.
  6. Leave to set for at least an hour in the fridge (covered in clingfilm)
  7. If you are not cutting shapes, roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls and place onto a baking tray lined with clingfilm.
  8. If using cookie cutters then roll out the dough and cut shapes out that are around 1 inch thick.
  9. Bake for ten minutes or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.
  10. Decorate however you wish

My Take On The Classic Rocky Road

Odlums Rocky Road

 

Image Credit: Odlums

Almost everyone loves the chocolate-y goodness that is the Rocky Road Bar. I’m obviously a part of the majority, but I slightly tweaked the recipe which I got from Odlums website, to suit my taste. Maybe you might prefer it as well. I put my adjustments in brackets next to the original ingredients.

Ingredients: 

  • 125g /4oz Butter
  • 2 Heaped tablespoons of Golden Syrup
  • 150g Milk chocolate (Galaxy)
  • 150g Plain chocolate (Galaxy Honeycomb)
  • 125g Digestive Biscuit, roughly broken (Oreo cookies)
  • 125g Rich Tea Biscuits roughly broken
  • 50g Nuts (Hazelnuts)
  • 50g Maltesers
  • 125g Mini marshmallows

Method:

  1. Line a 19cm/7″ square tin with grease-proof paper or clinging.
  2. Melt the butter, syrup and chocolate together on a low heat.
  3. Add the biscuits, Nuts, Maltesers and marshmallows. Mix well.
  4. Transfer to prepared tin. Level it on top and press down well to avoid any air gaps.
  5. Allow mix to harden before cutting into bars. Store in the Fridge.

 

The Dreaded Tempered Chocolate

Tempering Chocolate

Image Credit: East Village Kitchen

It’s not until you start baking quite often that you realise the importance of knowing how to temper chocolate properly. It still taste great when it’s not but the texture and visual side of things is noticeably different.

When you buy chocolate in the shop it is already ‘in temper’, which means that all the fat crystals are aligned to give it that shine and really nice snap!  So when you melt this chocolate, you are taking it out of temper.  The heat causes the fat molecules to get all jumpy and if they aren’t realigned correctly, you get what’s called “bloomed Chocolate”.

So I’m posting up how to temper chocolate correctly. I hope it helps!

All you need is: A pan, Chocolate and a thermometer.

  • Rest a large bowl over a pan that is filled with 1 inch of water.
  • NB: Ensure the bowl is an inch away from the water to ensure that the bowl is definitely not touching the water
  • Used chopped up chocolate as it melts better and evenly.
  • Get a silicone spatula to use for stirring.
  • Bring the water to a simmer. It is very important that the water is not brought to boiling point. The chocolate needs to slowly melt in order for it to temper properly, so leave it at simmering only.
  • Stir chocolate continuously as it completely melts
  • NB: A single drop of water will destroy our chocolate completely so be very cautious as to not let this happen
  • Bring milk chocolate to 45oc and If using dark chocolate bring it to 48oc
  • Once completely melted remove the bowl from the pan of water and wipe the steam from the bottom of the bowl.

And there you have it, you should have lovely tempered chocolate. enjoy!

All Things Cake

After plenty of research into the best and most useful baking tips,I have finally collected a list of extremely useful ones I have found and collected over the years! This week I am putting up a list of useful cake tips.

  • An easy way to keep your loaf cakes fresher for longer is, when cutting the slices cut from the middle instead of the outside. Firmly push the two leftover sections together to reform a loaf. This  eliminates the dried out, end slice.
  • Even though this next tip might be a familiar one to most, a lot of people don’t use it. For the best cake mix, always let the eggs, butter and milk reach room temperature before using.
  • To cut a freshly baked cake, use a wet knife.
  • If you roll fruit and raisins in flour before adding to a cake mix, It can prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the mix.
  • Use unflavored dental floss to slice evenly and cleanly through a cake or torte. Simply stretch a length of the floss taut and press down through the cake.
  • An apple cut in half and placed in the cake box will keep the cake fresh several days longer.
  • If there is one thing that I hate doing while baking, it has to be waiting for the cake to cool down so I can ice it. To cool a cake quickly for frosting, pop it into the freezer while you make the frosting. By the time frosting is ready, the cake will be cool and ready to slip out of the pan

More to come over the next few weeks so make sure to check it out!

Nutella Chocolate Roulade

Nutella Chocolate Roulade

 

Image credit

This Nutella Chocolate Roulade is a mouth-watering take on the original Swiss Roll. My Auntie made this yesterday for my cousins 13th birthday and it was delicious. I was afraid she was going to keep this recipe a secret but she was nice enough to let me have it. So I am passing it on to you with high recommendation’s.

Ingredients:

  • Butter, for greasing
  • 100g plain chocolate
  • 4 eggs
  • 100g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting

For the filling:

  • 1/2 vanilla pod
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum or Tia Maria
  • 300ml cream
  • 75g Nutella chocolate spread
  • Icing sugar to decorate

Method:

  1. Grease a 33 x 23cm Swiss roll tin, line with greaseproof paper and then grease the paper. Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
  2. separate the eggs and whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until very thick and pale colour. Beat in the egg whites until stiff, and then fold into the chocolate mixture.
  3. Pour into the prepared tin and spread out evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes until well risen and firm to touch.
  4. Turn the sponge out onto a sheet of greaseproof paper that has been generously sprinkled with caster sugar. Carefully peel off the lining paper. Cover the roulade with warm, damp tea towel and leave to cool.
  5. To make the filling, split the vanilla pod in half and scrape out the seeds. Gently whisk with an electric mixer until stiff, then spread the Nutella over the cold roulade, followed by the cream mixture. Using the paper to help, roll up the roulade to enclose the filling. To serve, transfer the roulade on to a serving plate and dust with icing sugar, then cut into slices and arrange on serving plates.

Arsenal Cake

Twenty Sixth birthday cake I made for my sister's boyfriend

Twenty Sixth birthday cake I made for my sister’s boyfriend

Image credit: Bloggers own image

Here is my second special designed cake attempt. I made this cake for my sister’s Boyfriend as a gift for his 26th birthday. His name is Ade and he is a huge arsenal fan!

For this cake I used a Vanilla sponge with a layer of chocolate cream filling and I used sugar fondant for the icing. The fondant makes designing the cake a lot easier because of the flat smooth surface.  I had help from my friend Jennifer with the crest.

Here is the recipe I used:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup butter (lightly salted)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

1. Beat eggs in large mixing bowl with paddle attachment for 4 minutes.  Do not skip this step!

2. Add sugar, and continue beating for another 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and stir on low until just combined.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients.  Add to eggs and sugar on low-speed until just combined.

4. In a saucepan, heat milk and butter on low heat just until butter is melted.  Add to batter, beat just until combined.

5. Pour into two greased and floured 8″ round cake pans.

6. Bake at 325 until the middle springs back when touched, or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let stand in pans for 10 minutes. Then turn out onto wire cooling racks and cool completely.

Oreo Chocolate Sponge cake

barrys-18th-birthday-cake[2]

Here’s the finished product.

Image credit: Bloggers own image

So here is the recipe I used for my brothers guitar cake below. The only adjustment I made was doubling the amount of Oreo’s it originally said to use and using chocolate filled Oreo. I had to make three or four batches to construct the guitar shape. It was extremely fun making it and very rewarding afterwards to see all of his friends in shock when we came in with the cake and sparks shooting up from the firework-like candles! I found this delicious recipe; take a look yourself!

Ingredients:

  • 226g of Stork
  • 266g of caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
  • 20 crushed chocolate crème Oreo cookies
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 270g of  self-raising flour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of milk

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree’s (fan assisted)
  2. Beat the stork in a baking bowl until light and fluffy
  3. Add sugar and vanilla essence to butter and beat together until well mixed
  4. Add eggs, one at a time and mix until mixture has doubled in size
  5. Add flour and salt and mix thoroughly
  6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then add in the milk
  7. Mix again until all ingredients are well incorporated
  8. Add in your 8 crushed Oreo cookies
  9. Pour mixture into your pre-greased baking tin
  10.  Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes. Sponge is ready when a skewer inserted in to the mixture comes out clean with no bits attached
  11. Once removed from oven, leave it to cool for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

18th Birthday Celebrations

First professional-looking cake I ever attempted!

First professional-looking cake I ever attempted!

Image credit: Bloggers own image

Back in early June, I attempted my very first professional-looking cake for my little brothers 18th birthday. Not to bad for a first-timer aye’? I was delighted with it.  I didn’t do it all on my own thought! I had help from two of my dearest friends who helped with the design of the icing. The cake itself was a Oreo chocolate sponge while the icing was a white sugar fondant that I got in Decobake  bachelors walk.  I would definitely modify the recipe of the sponge the next time, it definitely needed more Oreo! Practice makes perfect.