All posts filed under: A Piece of Cake

Moist Banana Chocolate Marble Cake

I haven’t made a cake in a long time, well actually I have, tell a lie; I made Parkin last week, the Yorkshire version of sticky ginger bread. The prototype came out really nice and sticky, but the full version was very dry, I think I added too much of the coarse oatmeal. So began my search for a moist cake recipe to compensate for my failed attempt at baking. This banana chocolate cake is so easy to make: its spongy, and moist – I was dancing round the kitchen when I took it out the oven! I deliberately kept it on a low heat because I wanted to retain as much of the moisture as I could, I don’t know if that makes a difference. Have a try and let me know how it works for you! Advertisements

Baking for Macmillan: Lemon Sponge with Fresh Blueberry Cream

Last week Friday I was invited to take part in the ‘Biggest Coffee Morning’ on record. It’s Macmillan’s biggest fundraising event of the year, where people across the UK hold a coffee morning and raise money for people living with cancer. In 2013, 154,000 people signed up, raising a record £20 million. At my work place the coffee stations were situated in various buildings to meet the sweet tooth decaying cravings of as many people as possible. By 10am the official ‘opening time’ colleagues had already  forming queues making a mental selection of the cake slices they wanted, because once it was gone, that was it. There was a stunning selection of cakes on display from swiss rolls to red velvet and cupcakes to pastries. I donated three cakes to the event: a carrot and apple cake (already featured on the blog), cinnamon buns and a blueberry and lemon sponge cake. The recipes for each of those cakes are featured on this blog! Blueberry Lemon Sponge Cake This has to be one of the most decadent cakes …

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie

  Someone once said that the best things in life come in threes like friends, dreams and memories. I would like to stick this cake at the end of that quote, because the three layers that make up this sweet sandwich will be a close memory I hope to never wake up from. This cake has something for everyone: when I brought this cake into work Monday morning, the winning layer appeared to be the soufflé type raspberry cream topping. Others favoured the dense texture of the brownie and a small minority enjoyed the fluffy and  slight saltiness of the layer of cheesecake. My eyes are immediately drawn to the creamy top if I’m honest; I’m not one for things being symmetrical and in order, but I have to say I love how the contrasting textures hold together forming this perfectly layered square.  I was a little nervous baking the brownie and the cheesecake together,  fearing one would bleed into the other forming some kind of marble effect. But as long as you keep the cake in the fridge, the …

Puerto Rican Pineapple ‘Rum’ Cake

  This sweet and sticky dessert had me licking my fingers long after I’d finished eating it (a disturbing image I know). This is a dense, warm and crunchy cake (from the added pecan nuts) to share on a plate of vanilla ice cream or warm creamy custard. The creation of the ‘Rum’ syrup was a very think on your feet moment today; although I don’t drink, I really wanted to make this cake with the sweet sticky albeit rum glaze. I have eaten a few pineapple cakes in my time but they were either very dry or looked way too dated with the huge pineapple rings and ‘red eye’ of the cherry staring up at me.  No, it’s time pineapple cake had some refresher training. The ingredient combination for the ‘Rum Syrup’ work very well together, you get the warmth from the ginger and the spice from the cloves, the closest you may get to the real thing, if you want to substitute it that is. Lifting off the cake tin is the most exciting part of the whole …

Lemon Passion Polenta Cake

    Polenta has a wonderful way of soaking up and holding on to moisture in a recipe whilst retaining its gritty texture. Without the syrup, this cake would be pretty dry I have to admit; a couple of cups of tea would be needed to finish off a slice of this cake. Thankfully, the passion fruit syrup adds a couple of high notes to the zesty lemon hidden in the cake, forming a rich, moist slice of gluten-free goodness. To cut preparation time, I used passion fruit juice made from concentrate, but if you have more time on your hands to make some fresh passion fruit juice, you will need 4-5 passion fruits:  slice and scoop out the passion seeds and juice into a small pan, add 50ml water and 2 tablespoons of caster sugar. Gently bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Then pass the fruit through a sieve, before pouring over the warm cake.  

Pecan Caramel Monkey Bread

The moment you slowly remove the bundt pan from this bread. Its like watching a child open a birthday present, in small motion and to find that it was exactly what they had hoped and wished for. This was my experience unravelling the monkey bread. I had searched high and low for the recipe that reflected the image in my head of how this was all going to turn out, but nothing met my credentials. So I took a few ideas from here and there and put together a recipe which tastes so good! I wish you could hear me say this out loud…it is unbelievably good, the whole process of making this bread really therapeutic, I don’t know why. The process and ingredients are very similar to that of Brioche, so I felt a lot more confident putting it together. Not all monkey breads require eggs, but I wanted to the rich texture of the brioche in this one and it paid off so well. A couple of tips: be generous with the caramel. If …

Blueberry Scones

I was hunting around as I usually do, looking for something different to do with Blueberries. I normally throw them into smoothies, and I remember once making a blueberry drink for a friend’s dinner. And now come to think of it I also made a blueberry sauce to go with some quick pancakes when my Uncle came down to spend some time with us (you know those pancakes you make and they turn out so nice…but you can’t remember how you did it? It was one of those days).  Ok so I’ve kind of lost the argument: I have done a few things with Blueberries, but I have to say these scones excite me the most. Not only are they really quick and simple to make but extremely tasty!  To speed up the process, this can be made in a food mixer. Adapted from recipe by La Petite Brioche

Supermalt Chocolate Muffins

Ever wondered how red velvet cake achieves its moist crumbly texture? It’s the addition of sour cream, a little well-known ingredient popular in cakes I tasted during my adventures in the Deep South of the United States (‘tasted’ is an understatement, I devoured them). The sour cream also helps intensify the rich taste and texture of these muffins. I loved the first sight of these cakes when I took them out of the oven: the crackled tops resembled mountain peaks the perfect base for the creamy frosting to sink into.  The addition of Supermalt really holds the cakes rich dark colour together, it’s not at all overly sweet or damp as you might expect: think of pouring a cool glass of Supermalt on a summer’s day, with bees buzzing past your ears as you sip the creamy froth oozing over the glass…you have the picture? Well that’s the intensity this cake has on not only your eyes but your tastes buds. Enjoy!

Oreooooo’s

This is the closet you will EVER come to making any chocolate cookie which tastes like an Oreo cookie. I will go as far as saying that if this cookie was in a fight with the all American Oreo, this cookie monster would take him out! They are monstrously huge I tell ya, of course you can always make them smaller, but I was so determined to find a cookie mould that resembled the Oreo shape and pattern, really didn’t mind and I heard no complaints at the office! These deep dark cookies are made with a peppermint centre another surprise I thought I could fling in there and it works very well. All credit for unlocking the secret recipe goes to Joanne Chang and her cook book ‘Flour‘. The good thing about this recipe is that the dough can be wrapped in cling film and refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month, so you don’t have to bake them all at the same time.

Supermalt Banana Fritters

This is an original creation of mine which I am so excited to share with you! Don’t let the deep-frying put you off, this is an occasional irresistible, seriously addictive dessert which is best served hot and crispy with vanilla ice cream. I can’t say I am a huge fan of Supermalt, but I do get a thirst for it with certain meals. Fans of Supermalt, when you make this dish, tell me if you can taste the drink in the batter? Not being a malt novice, in my mind Supermalt gives the batter its colour and the crispy light texture. It also makes an incredible caramel sauce which detailed below. One thing to remember, make sure the bananas you use are not overly ripe, the firmer the better with no dark spots – they need to take some intense heat while frying!

White Chocolate & Lemon Viennese Whirls

Viennese Whirls growing up and pretty much as they are today, are made with a combination of jam and cream. What separates them from your average jammy dodger is the light crumbly shortcake texture of the biscuit. For this recipe you don’t have to keep to the classic ‘mountain peak’ or Swirl shape, why not experiment with shortcake fingers or squares? The real reason why you should go to the trouble of squeezing the dough through a piping bag is because it’s aesthetically pleasing and makes you look like a pro. So why not give it a try? Biscuit 250g/9oz very soft unsalted butter 50g/2oz icing sugar, plus extra to decorate 250g/9oz plain flour 50g/2oz corn flour ½ tsp pure vanilla extract Filling 1/4 cup double cream 150g white chocolate chopped coarsely 1/4 cup (or more) lemon juice 1 tsp grated lemon rind Yellow food colouring (optional) For the Biscuit Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Put the butter, icing sugar, plain flour, corn flour and vanilla extract in …