Sunday, 26 September 2010

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Sorry for the lack of updates, I meant to post this sooner but I've been pretty ill the past week.
Anyways, Lemon Drizzle cake has got to be one of my all time favourite cakes.  A good one is delicously moist, has a lovely lemon flavour that isn't too tangy or barely there and has the most amazing hard lemon sugar topping.  So why on earth I've never tried making one before is beyond me.  A quick search on the internet a couple of weeks ago found me a recipe that looked pretty simple, and a few extra ingredients on the supermarket shopping list a couple of days later got me everything that I needed.  And so all that was left to do was bake it.

The recipe that I've used was literally the first entry from my google search, its from the BBC's Good Food website and is by Tana Ramsay.  I'll definately be using it again, in fact I've already had requests to make it for other people.  The sponge is incredibly moist and the lemon flavour certainly comes through.  Though next time I might be tempted to add a little more zest to the mixture and possible a teaspoon or two of lemon juice.
You need a loaf tin to make drizzle cake (though I'm sure you could use a normal round cake tin if you don't have one), the recipe says to use a 8x21cm tin however I don't have a tin that size.  I ended up using a tin about 12x19cm which was a good size for the amount of mix.  Don't forget it will rise up a fair bit whilst cooking.  This tin made a good sized cake but next time I will probably use two smaller (9x19cm) tins. 

As you'll see in a minute, my drizzle topping didn't exactly turn out according to plan.  I think I made a couple of mistakes!  Firstly I probably put about 10 too many holes in the top of my cake, and secondly I doubled the amount of lemon juice for the drizzle without bothering to double the sugar too.  Therefore it was runnier (is that a word!? Oh well it is now!) than what it should have been, also the sugar had more liquid to dissolve into. 
Oh well at least I know what to do for next time!  You never know if you don't try right.
So the recipe, as I said, you can find it here at the BBC's Good Food website.  The cake itself will keep pretty well in an airtight container, it will stay fresh for about 4 days or so.  But we still had some left after 8 days and although you could tell it wasn't fresh it was still moist and tasted good too.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Chocolate Coconut Slices

I have grown up eating these Chocolate Coconut slices, its one of the things I can always remember my Mum baking. The recipe comes from my Grandma (my Mum's Mum) who I sadly never got to meet but judging by the recipe book of hers that this came out of she knew how to make some amazing things.
Chocolate Coconut Slices

8oz coconut
6oz sugar
2 eggs (well beaten)
4oz margarine
4oz chopped cherries
5 – 8oz cooking chocolate

1. Line a swiss roll tin with greaseproof paper
2. Melt chocolate and pour into tin, leave to set (use more chocolate if you want a thicker layer)
3. Beat margarine, coconut, sugar and eggs until combined
4. Stir in cherries
5. Spread mix over chocolate
6. Bake in moderate oven, Gas mark 3/ 160c until set and golden brown. This takes roughly 30 minutes depending on the oven

7. When cool cut into slices

Friday, 17 September 2010

Top Five: Cake stands

My new stand from Tesco

Having just got myself a new cake stand (or rather after my lovely Mum bought me one) I can't stop myself looking for more. There's something charming and homely about cake stands that I just can't help but love. However until I have a place of my own or my bedroom miraculously triples in size I have no free space to store them.
So if you like this is my little wish list.

I love this, its so fancy and proper. It looks like it should only be brought out at very fancy dinner parties.

Wire Cupcake tree
Now these are amazing, I think they are great and such fun. If I had one of these I'd want it permanently on show filled with cupcakes...that actually sounds like a good life!

When I chose the stand above it was a toss between that and this Time for Tea stand, I love both but the Poppy stand won.

I love all things spotty and retro, and red just happens to be my all time favourite colour therefore this stand couldn't be any more perfect!

This wire basket stand is incredible, I've not seen anything like it before. The vintage charmit has would be great for a tea party.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Cheesecake Brownies

Sorry for not posting this sooner, I had planned to share this recipe at the start of the week but I’ve been quite unwell this past week.
I’ve only ever made cheesecake about 3 times in my life, despite having eaten a hell of a lot of it! The first time I made it, it tasted amazing but collapsed the second it came out of the tin. The second seemed to have great potential but just didn’t live up to it. And the third was incredible. Quite honestly one of the tastiest cheesecakes I’ve ever eaten, and I’m not just saying that because I made it! My family loved it, my Mum and I were quite disappointed when it came to an end! And the best bit about it? It’s so very simple. I’ve read recipes for cheesecakes that have had hundreds of steps, you have to do this followed by that and then a bit more of this, they can be never-ending.

I’m definitely going to be making these again, when they are so quick and easy it would be a shame not to. Though I might have to make double the recipe as an attempt to make it last longer!
Cheesecake Brownies - from The Complete Book of Cupcakes, Cheesecake and Cookies

For the brownie base:
125g butter, chopped
150g dark eating chocolate, roughly chopped
1 egg
150g caster sugar
110g plain flour
35g self raising flour

For the cheesecake topping:
250g cream cheese, softened
1tsp vanilla extract
75g caster sugar
1 egg
125ml cream

1. Preheat the oven to 180c.
2. Grease a deep 19cm square cake tin and line with baking paper.
3. Combine the butter and chocolate in a small pan, stir over a low heat until smooth. Allow to cool.
4. Beat the egg and sugar in a small bowl with electric mixer until thick and creamy.
5. Stir in chocolate mixture and sifted flours.
6. Spread mixture into pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Whilst that is cooking you can the cheesecake topping:
7. Beat the cheese, vanilla extract, sugar and egg in a small bowl until smooth. Then beat in the cream.
8. Pour the topping mix over the brownie base and return to the oven for about 15 minutes.
9. Leave in the oven to cool, with door ajar.
10. Once cool refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

They suggest serving with fresh raspberries but I didn't have any, so I served with fresh strawberries and grated dark chocolate.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Top Five: Recipe Books

I've decided to try and do a regular feature, something to keep me occupied and to give me something useful to search for on the internet. Also something to make me remember to keep updating! Therefore every other Saturday I will try and post up a Top Five list, a list of things I want, things I read or just simply things I find interesting or inspiring.

The first list today is Recipe books, personally I love them. From simply flicking through one and staring at the photographs to finding that one recipe that really tickles your taste buds. I think they are great. So here are five recipe books that I've had my eye on lately.

The Primrose Bakery has such a reputation for amazing cakes that it would hard not to want to try some. Yet since I live so far away I guess making my own is the closest I'm going to get for the time being.

Ahh Nigella, the queen of cookery programmes and books. I've heard great things about this book, so surely Nigella can do no wrong?

Theres something about Rachel Allen that makes me watch and listen. I've watched her cookery programmes for a while now and I love the Bake series.

Any book solely dedicated to cupcakes has to be good, right!

As I've mentioned before, decorating cakes has always been my weak point. Therefore cakes like these inspire me so much, I only wish I could create a cake half as good as some of the examples in this book. I could spend ages staring at this book wishing I was able to do that.

Since I probably won't be getting any of these anytime soon I will have to stick with the ones I've got and the internet for inspiration.
Oh and for a little sneak preview, the next recipe I'll be sharing is for Cheesecake Brownies!