Iced Rings

Iced RingsIngredients

  • 250g plain flour (plus extra if you need)
  • 100g butter
  • 1 medium egg
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 40g dark muscovado sugar 
  • Teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 300g icing sugar
  • Cup of just boiled water
  • Range of food colours

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. If you have an electric food mixer, simply mix the plain flour, butter, egg, sugar and vanilla essence in a bowl. Make sure its mixed well. If you don’t have an electric food mixer (like me!), mix the butter, sugar and plain flour in a bowl by hand, rubbing the ingredients together to make a mixture like breadcrumbs. Then, add the egg and vanilla essence and combine the wet and dry ingredient to make a dough mixture.

Add a little more flour if the mixture is too wet, then roll out the dough and cut out biscuit sized circles with a cutter. Use a smaller cutter to remove a small circle in the middle, forming rings. Bake for 12 minutes (but keep checking to ensure they don’t burn).

Remove when done and place on a cooling rack. The kitchen should smell lovely!

When cool, mix together the icing sugar with a little water at a time to get a thick but runny icing. Divide the white icing into small bowls and add whatever colours you like to each, so as to get a range of colours. Spread upon each biscuit and decorate with stripes or spots in alternate colours (or however you like). Let the icing set and serve with tea or for your party!

Fruit and Nuts Flapjack

IMG_4001Ingredients

  • 100g self raising flour
  • 175g butter
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 75g dark muscovado sugar 
  • 175g golden syrup
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 300g oats
  • 100g chopped fruits and nuts
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice

Preheat the oven to 150C/gas mark 3. Grease and line a baking tin. Melt the butter in a large pan, then add the sugar and golden syrup to the melted mixture, continually stirring. Add in the lemon zest and juice and take the pan off the heat.

In a bowl mix together the oats, fruits and nuts of your choice (I chose hazelnuts, raisins, sultanas and almonds), ginger, mixed spice and flour.

Add the dry ingredients to the pan of melted ingredients and stir together, binding everything together. The mixture should be thick but not dry. If too wet, add a little more flour to the mix. Pour the mixture into the lined baking tin and pat it down evenly. Then place the tin in the preheated oven for 40 minutes.

When baked, remove the flapjack and leave to cool and set for a while before dividing into pieces. The kitchen will smell wonderful, sugary and spicy! Use a sharp knife to cut into pieces and enjoy!

Oat and Honey Chocolate Biscuits

IMG_3997

Ingredients

  • 125g self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 125g butter
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 125g oats
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon almond essence
  • 100G dark chocolate (or milk if you prefer)

Preheat the oven to 170C/gas mark 4. Grease and line a baking tray. Sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, oats and a pinch of salt. In a separate bowl or saucepan melt the butter and stir in the honey and almond essence.

Make a well in the dry mixture and pour in the melted butter and honey combination gradually. Stir as you go and then roll into small balls of mixture. Flatten each ball a little on the baking tray and leave a little space between biscuits. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

When baked, place the biscuits on a cooling rack, and later, once they are fully cooled, melt the dark chocolate in a bowl or pan. Using a spoon coat half of each biscuit with chocolate, or drizzle the chocolate on if you prefer. Leave to cool and they are ready to eat. The kitchen will smell of lovely honey and chocolate.

Remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool for five minutes. Mix the granulated sugar with the lemon juice, spoon it over the top of the cake and leave it to soak for five minutes. Carefully remove the cake from the tin and pop it on a wire rack to cool. Sprinkle a little extra sugar and serve.

Star Cake Pops

Star Cake Pops

Ingredients

  • 200g Madeira cake
  • 400g white chocolate (or milk or plain depending on your taste)
  • 1 orange/1 lemon (to suit), zest finely grated
  • sprinkles or small/crushed candies

Pulse the Madeira cake in a food processor until you have fine crumbs. Melt approximately 160g of the white/plain/milk chocolate in a bowl over just simmering water or in the microwave. Stir the orange/lemon zest into the chocolate, then work the chocolate into the crumbs using your hands. Form into small truffle-sized balls, then roll gently in your palms to smooth the surface. Arrange the balls on a baking parchment-lined dinner plate. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the mixture to set. Melt the remaining chocolate in a microwave or over a bowl of just simmering water. Dip a lolly stick into the melted chocolate about 1.5cm in and poke half way into a cake ball. Repeat with the remaining balls. Put them back on the plate. Return to the fridge for five minutes.

Dip the cake pops one at a time into the melted chocolate, allowing any excess chocolate to drip off and spin the pops to even out the surface. Roll the pops in sprinkles or small candies to cover each. Sprinkle a few extra on top to ensure even coverage. Poke the pops into a piece of polystyrene or cake pop holder, keeping them apart. Allow to set for about half an hour and then enjoy! Yummy!

Raspberry and Lemon Loaf

Berries

Ingredients

  • 250g plain Flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 115g butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • zest and juice of a lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g natural yogurt
  • 300g fresh raspberries
  • 100g granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Grease and line a loaf tin. Sift together the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Cream together the butter and caster sugar in a large mixing bowl for five minutes until pale and fluffy, then beat in the lemon zest. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a tablespoon of the sifted flour with the second egg. Alternately fold in large spoonfuls of the remaining flour and the yogurt until the mixture is smooth.

Spoon a third of the cake mixture into the bottom of the loaf tin and scatter over a third of the raspberries. Repeat twice more, ending with raspberries on the top. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the cake is nicely browned, then cover loosely with foil and bake for a further 20-25 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes away clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool for five minutes. Mix the granulated sugar with the lemon juice, spoon it over the top of the cake and leave it to soak for five minutes. Carefully remove the cake from the tin and pop it on a wire rack to cool. Sprinkle a little extra sugar and serve.

 

Christmas Bake Sale

A Christmas Bake Sale extravaganza in order to raise money for the Ruskin Degree Show 2014. Mulled wine and sweet home baked treat for a winters day…

Goodies

…coffee cake, white chocolate and cherry cookies, lemon drizzle cake, black treacle flapjacks and Jamaican ginger cake with orange zest icing to name but a few of the goodies on offer.

Christmas Pudding Cake Pops

Chocolate cake pops decorated for Christmas…a little out of season I’m afraid!

Christmas Pud

Ingredients

  • 200g Madeira cake
  • 140g-160g white chocolate (or milk or plain depending on your taste)
  • 1 orange, zest finely grated
  • 300g dark chocolate, 60-70% cocoa solids, broken into chunks
  • 50g white chocolate, broken into chunks
  • red and green writing icing

Pulse the Madeira cake in a food processor until you have fine crumbs. Melt the white/plain/milk chocolate in a bowl over just simmering water or in the microwave. Stir the orange zest into the chocolate, then work the chocolate into the crumbs using your hands. Form into small truffle-sized balls, then roll gently in your palms to smooth the surface. Arrange the balls on a baking parchment-lined dinner plate. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the mixture to set. Melt the dark chocolate in a microwave or over a bowl of just simmering water. Dip a lolly stick into the melted chocolate about 1.5cm in and poke half way into a cake ball. Repeat with the remaining balls. Put them back on the plate. Return to the fridge for five minutes.

Dip the cake pops one at a time into the melted chocolate, allowing any excess chocolate to drip off and spin the pops to even out the surface. Poke the pops into a piece of polystyrene or cake pop holder, keeping the pops apart. Allow to set for about half an hour. Heat the white chocolate in a microwave. Allow to cool for a few minutes until it has a thick, runny consistency. If the chocolate is too hot, it will melt the dark chocolate underneath. Spoon a small amount on top of the cake pops, tip them back and forth so it runs down the sides a little. Wait for another 20 minutes or so until the white chocolate has set. Pipe on holly leaves with the green icing and two little dots for berries using the red.

White Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Buttery cookies with white chocolate chunks and sweet cherries.

Cookie Time!

Ingredients

  • 200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 85g light muscovado sugar
  • 85g golden caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 50g plain chocolate, 50-70% cocoa, roughly chopped
  • 50g white chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 85g natural colour glacé cherries, roughly chopped

Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Beat the butter, sugars and egg until smooth, then mix in the flour, chocolates and cherry pieces and ½ tsp salt. Spoon onto non-stick baking sheets in large rough blobs – you’ll get 20 out of this mix. Make sure they are well spaced as the cookies grow substantially as they bake. The raw dough can be frozen.Bake for 12-14 mins until just golden, but still quite pale and soft in the middle. If baking from frozen, give them a few mins more. Cool on the sheets for 5 mins, then lift onto racks with a fish slice and leave to cool completely.

 

Reindeer Cupcakes!

In the festive spirit…chocolate cupcakes with chocolate cream icing and pretzel reindeer antlers…plus easy no-bake choco coconut balls. (Biscuits, cacao, buttercream and desiccated coconut).

Joyeux Noel

Ingredients

  • 250g self raising flour 
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 200g light brown soft sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 200g plain chocolate
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 200g plain chocolate (for icing)
  • 100ml double cream (for icing)
  • 50g icing sugar (for icing)
  • giant chocolate buttons
  • pretzels
  • jelly beans (the red ones!)
  • white mini marshmallows
  • black writing icing

Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases. Gently melt the butter, chocolate, sugar and 100ml hot water together in a large saucepan, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool a little while you weigh the other ingredients. Stir the eggs and vanilla into the chocolate mixture. Put the flour in a large mixing bowl, and stir in the chocolate mixture until smooth. Spoon into the cases until just over three-quarters full. Bake on a low shelf in the oven for 20-22 mins. Leave to cool.

To make the icing, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Once melted, turn off the heat, stir in the double cream, sift in the icing sugar and mix well. When spreadable, top each cake with some icing. To decorate the cakes place a giant chocolate button in the middle of each, then secure a red jelly bean on the centre of the button with a little icing. Attach half of a mini marshmallow with a dot of black writing icing for each of the  eyes, then a pretzel either side for the reindeer antlers. Enjoy!!