Saturday, 15 October 2016

Rainbow Cake

Hello! I'm back. Sorry I've been gone for a few weeks - I went to London at the end of the summer holidays, then I got ill and then I went back to school and have been busy since then which means that I have been spending my time doing my homework instead of baking.


I've wanted to make a rainbow cake for the longest time and this summer I finally made one. I took hours and I had to do the washing up at least 4 times but it was pretty successful (and very tasty!)


I used a recipe I found online and then used a different recipe for the buttercream icing. Cake Recipe and Icing Recipe.


Tip: Crumb coat the entire cake so you don't get crumbs in the icing. I did crumb coat the cake but I obviously didn't cover it enough because I ended up with crumbs in the icing.

Tip 2: Don't try and cut the caramelization from the sides of the cake because your cake will end up lopsided and hexagon shaped (not round). And try and make the cake straight on top because as you can see from the photos, mine wasn't.




To decorate the sides of the cake I made an assortment of fondant flowers in the colours I used for the cakes. You can find the recipe I made in one of my previous blog posts (here).

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

London

This year my family and I went to London for a long weekend at the end of August for our holiday. We were there for 4 whole days (one of them was my birthday!) and we did loads of things.



I wrote down some of the places that we ate in my notes on my phone however by the end of the four days I kept forgetting. 


We went to the British Museum, Science Museum, Natural History Museum, and the Tate, just to name a few places. 


When we first arrived it was so hot and we went on the tube to when we were staying. It was so busy because we were on a line which goes through Kings Cross and it was 5pm on a Thursday. Once we got of the tube we stopped in a little cafe called Stop Fix and got donuts which were incredible. I didn't take a photo because we were walking and I ate it straight away.


We went out for dinner on the Thursday in a nearby Pho restuarant called Song Que. You can't get Pho in Wales so when we go to big cities we usually make it our mission to eat some Pho.


Later on in the day we stopped and had gelato in a gelato shop called Snowflake. I had coffee gelato and it was very good.


The next day (Friday) we went and had breakfast in a local cafe called Towpath which was located on the canal. I had some granola and apple juice and it was delicious.



We then went into central London to go shopping. We stopped in a cafe called Curator Coffee Gallery and had lunch. I had a bowl of different salads and it was really tasty. 


On the Sunday we went to a bakery called Lily Vanilli which is located right next to Columbia Road Flower Market. I had a latte and a lemon tart. We then later on went to a different bakery which was on the other side of the street. I'm not sure what it's called so if you want to get a cinnamon bun go to a bakery which is on the street which the Flower Market is located on.




We did eat more than what I just mentioned but I've forgotten what and where because 1. it has been over a month and 2. I never wrote the name of the places down.







Saturday, 27 August 2016

Profiteroles



Last year on the day before school started again I made eclairs for the first time ever. They were actually successful unlike the time when I tried to make macaron and epically failed.


This time I made profiteroles which are basically eclairs that are in a round shape. I used the same recipe except I piped them into little round things. It made way more that I remembered and since you are meant to eat them the day you make them, I froze quite a few of them. They last in the freezer for about 3 weeks. Last time I froze the eclairs and then forgot about them so we ended up putting them in the bin but this time I have set reminders so that we actually eat them.


To make the chocolate glaze you heat the cream and pour it over the chocolate and syrup, leave it a few minutes and then mix it together. The recipe says to fill them with pastry cream however I just used whipped cream to keep it simple.


You can find the recipe here.



Saturday, 20 August 2016

Butterscotch Blondies

Hello!

I've mentioned the Violet Bakery Cookbook multiple times and have posted recipes from it multiple times because it is one of our favourite cookbooks. When I went to the Abergavenny Food Festival I saw Claire Ptak do a demonstration (I've told this story before) and she showed us how to make these blondies and some Coconut Macaroons.


I actually made these for a tea party we went to because we brought along my grandparents as well as the rest of my family.

These are actually pretty easy to make and you can make them without having to wait for your butter to soften because you melt it. The caramel shards take a while and you have to just stand there and watch but not stir the pan. I might have slightly overdone my caramel because it tasted a bit bitter but I used it anyway and it didn't really give it a bitter taste in the overall blondie.



My blondies took ages to cook (like double the time it said in the recipe) and I don't know why - it might be because of my oven. The top of them also looked a little bit rubbery but once they were fully cooked the rubbery look had gone.


This recipe is from the Violet Bakery Cookbook by Claire Ptak. 


Ingredients;

250g unsalted butter
2 eggs
300g light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
240g plain flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
125g milk chocolate
75g caramel shards (recipe below)

Method;

Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas 3. Butter a 30x20cm (I used a 20x20 tin because we dont have a 30x20 one) and then line with baking paper.

Melt the butter in a small pan and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla until it is frothy. Whisk in the melted butter.

In a different bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and sea salt. Add it into the egg and butter mixture. Mix and then add in the chocolate. Fold until just combined.

Pour the mixture into the tin and smooth over with a spatula. Sprinkle with the caramel shards. Bake for 30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool completely in the tin, then cut into 12 pieces. They keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container.




Caramel Shards-

Ingredients;

2 tbsp water
150g caster sugar

Method;

Place a sheet of greaseproof paper with the smooth side up on a baking tray and then place the tray on a heatproof surface. In a small pan place the water and the sugar. Place it on a medium-low heat and heat until the sugar starts to dissolve. Do not stir it because this can cause crystallisation. One the sugar has started to dissolve, turn up the heat to medium-high and heat until the sugar is a dark golden brown.

Pour the caramel onto the prepared sheet in a thin layer and leave to cool. Cut it into shards or use your hands to break it into pieces. This caramel should be used straight away or stored in a plastic bag in the freezer.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Orange and Rhubarb Cake



I made this cake on World Elephant Day so I made sure there was an elephant in the background of the photos. I love elephants; anyone who knows me knows that they are my favourite animal. I have millions of elephant themed things and I have adopted one through WWF. If you want to learn more about World Elephant Day, visit this website here.




This cake is really easy to make because you put all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix it. Then you place it in a pan, cover it with rhubarb and then you bake it. It is so tasty - the sponge tastes of orange and then there is a slightly sharp taste of the rhubarb.



This recipe is from Rhubarbaria by Mary Prior which is a book all about Rhubarb. 

Ingredients:

350g self raising flour
3 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
250g butter, softened
250g castor sugar
6 tbsp milk
grated rind of 2 oranges
9 sticks of rhubarb, chopped 
demerara sugar

Method:

Preheat your oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and then add in all the other ingredients (except for rhubarb and demerara sugar). Mix well until fully combined and pale in colour, about 2 minutes on a high speed. Line a large roasting tin with foil and spread in the cake mix. Top with the chopped rhubarb and then sprinkle with the demerara sugar. Place in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.




Saturday, 6 August 2016

Coconut Macaroons

Last September I went to the Abergavenny Food Festival, as I have mentioned before in previous posts. While I was there I saw Claire Ptak and we (my mum and I) bought her book. It is really good and there are loads of amazing recipes in it. She made these coconut macaroons in the demonstration and they looked soooo good. They are really easy to make; you put everything in the pan and mix then scoop them out and bake them. They are sweet and coconuty and just amazing.


She has a cafe in London that I haven't been to yet but I really want to go. It looks amazing and hopefully next time I go to London I can go and buy food there.



This recipe needs egg whites so if you need something to make using the egg yolks you can try these Mini Custard Tarts or you can make Egg Yolk Cookies from her book however I haven't put the recipe on the blog yet so you'll have to wait for that or just buy the book. 

This recipe is from Claire Ptak's Violet Bakery Cookbook. It makes about 10 large macaroons.

Ingredients;

4 egg whites
250g caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp honey
200g unsweetened desiccated coconut
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method;

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Combine all the ingredients in a large pan. Place it on medium-low heat and slowly heat it making sure you are stirring constantly. The mixture will begin to loosen up. Reduce the heat and continue to stir. It will begin to look like rice pudding. The mixture should thicken and begin to dry out. Make sure that it doesn't catch on the bottom.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out macaroons onto the prepared sheet. Leave some space between them as they usually grow. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden brown. Allow them to cool and then enjoy. They keep for about 1 week in an air tight container.