its mince pie season

Mince Pies

Image Credit: Odlums

Yes, Tis the season for mince pies! But how do you feel about them? I’m extremely picky when it comes to mince pies, I only like homemade ones, simply because I think there’s a drastic difference in taste and all round quality. So I’m giving you the best recipe I know, which of course is Odlums mince pies.

Ingredients:

  • 125g plain flour
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 100g packet of ground almonds
  • 125g margarine (room temperature)
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • A little water, if necessary

Filling:

450g homemade mincemeat (Odlums recipe says to use a pre-made jar but homemade is always tastier)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Lightly grease the bun tins.
  2. Put flour sugar and ground almonds into a large bowl and mix well.
  3. Rub margarine through dry ingredients. Add the egg and water, if required, and mix to soft dough.
  4. Turn onto a lightly floured board and knead.
  5. Cover in clingfilm and put into the fridge until ready to use. (the pastry will keep for three days)
  6. Roll pastry on a floured board and cut rounds with a cutter to fit the greased bun tin.
  7. Put a teaspoon of mincemeat into each and using the remaining pastry, Create a lid to put on top.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pies start to go golden-brown.

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!

Granddad’s Homemade Blackberry and Apple Tart

Grandad's homemade apple and blackberry tart

Granddad’s homemade apple and blackberry tart

Image credit: Bloggers own image

This is one of the nicest tart recipes you will find and of course, like most good cooking or baking, its nanny and granddad’s recipe. It’s an apple and blackberry tart polished off with one scoop of vanilla ice cream. My nanny and granddad would always, (without fail) have a tart ready for after our dinner. although my nanny passed away a good few years ago, my granddad still carries on this much-loved tradition every week. With the exception of fussy eaters, this dessert is perfect for family dinners, fancy dinners and well, just about any occasion! Change the filling to your taste and your set with this delicious recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 225g plain flour (add pinch of salt)
  • 125g cold margarine cut into small cubes
  • 150ml cold water
  • 300g of fresh blackberries
  • 3 large cooking apples (cut into slices)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • icing sugar to dust

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  2. Sieve flour and pinch of salt together into a bowl
  3. Add the margarine to the flour in cubes and rub together until it resembles coarse bread crumbs
  4. Add water until combined enough to roll into a ball
  5. Place in fridge for half an hour
  6. Cut pastry in half, roll out one half into a thin base and place on oven proof plate
  7. Arrange blackberries and apples in pastry
  8. Apple Layer of sugar to sweeten
  9. Roll the other half of dough into a thin top layer
  10. Dampen edges of tart so the tart will seal
  11. Roll top layer onto cake and seal the edges of the tart by pressing down the whole way around using a fork
  12. Using a knife, scrape the excess pastry off the sides of the plate.
  13. Cut a X shape into the centre of the tart to let steam escape and bake for 35 minutes.

Serve hot with scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Enjoy!

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.