Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Chocolate and Cherry Cheesecake Swirl Cake - Home Sweet Home Bakealong (36/100)


Like Gill I had a cake that bore very little resemblance to the picture! It had a great deal more rise in the chocolate sponge, with a much thinner layer of cheesecake (sorry, no interior pictures - just imagine the opening of a pair of parentheses and that's what it looked like).


My cheesecake mixture suffered the same trouble that I have *any* time I use cream cheese - it turned into a thin liquid - the piping bag was deeply redundant - a ladle would have been more appropriate. Does anyone know why this always happens?


The cake was pleasant to eat - tender and moist, with a good flavour. It also travels very well, due to the lack of delicate icing, and the sturdy structure. I didn't bother with the cherry glaze, and it was quite lovely anyway.


Ingredients:
For the chocolate sponge:
70g cocoa powder
180ml hot water
260g plain flours
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
180g soured cream
170g unsalted butter
380g caster sugar
3 large eggs
For the cherry cheesecake swirl:
450g full fat cream cheese
100g caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
40g dried sour cherries, chopped (I replaced this with 50g of frozen cherries, finely chopped)
80g black cherry jam (I omitted this)

Next up: Lemon and Ricotta Cookies



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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Chocolate and Coconut Cupcakes - Home Sweet Home Bakealong (35/100)


The cupcakes are always fun to come around to again - usually pretty and unusual to look at, with a quick and easy method too.


There is always far too much icing - I made 2/3 of the recipe, which was just perfect for the 12 (quite chunky) cupcakes I produced.


Like Gill I found the tiny amount of coconut milk a rather silly amount - although I keep cans in the cupboard, I didn't really want to open a can for so little, and the flavour is rather muted (in fact, I very slightly split my icing trying to add a bit more cocounut flavour!)


The cupcakes are cute to look at though, which is a redeeming feature.


Ingredients
for the sponge
70g unsalted butter
170g plain flour
250g caster sugar (I reduced this to 200g, having found previous incantations too sweet)
50g cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2tsp salt
210ml whole milk
2 large eggs
2-3 coconut chocolate bars (they recommend bounty, I used knock-off versions)
for the frosting
500g icing sugar, sifted (I used 300g)
160g unsalted butter (I used 100g)
60ml coconut milk (I used 35ml)
for the decoration
1-2 bounty bars (I used 6 treat size knock-off versions, and cut them in half)
60g desiccated coconut (I also didn’t weigh this out – just sprinkled)

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Cheese and Rosemary Breadsticks - Home Sweet Home Bake Along 34/100


Not so many pictures this time, as these were made in the middle of a mad week of baking for a birthday-housewarming-tea-party type event. It was fun. And chaotic. And I keep finding icing and biscuit crumbs in strange places.


These are definitely better the day they are made - just cooled a little from the oven.


I'm hideously behind again, so for all the latest bakes, check out Tales of Pigling Bland!


Ingredients:
Dough:
180ml lukewarm water
1 1/2 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp fast action yeast (they use 1+1/2 tsp dried yeast)
210g strong white bread flour
1/4 tsp salt
Coating:
80g parmesan cheese, finely grated
60g gruyere cheese finely grated
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
60ml olive oil (probably don't need quite this much)



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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Doughnuts - Home Sweet Home Bake Along 33/100


Well, my fear of deep fat frying has been well and truly conquered by this Bake Along! And, can I just say, I'm so glad it was.


These were rather good, and even when they were past their best the next day, people gobbled them down, mighty quickly.


I ended up with a very sticky dough, and had to add extra flour in order to be able to roll it out, rather than spread it, but Gill didn't have that problem.


Other than the stickiness, these were incredibly quick and easy to make - I made them after getting home from work one evening.


I'd make again - perhaps for a film night, or similar?


Ingredients:

2 tsp fast action yeast [they use 1tbsp dried yeast]
60ml lukewarm water
2 tbsp caster sugar
190ml warm milk
1 large egg
30g butter, melted
340g strong white flour
700ml [the volume required will depend on your pan, but you'll need the oil about 2 inches deep] sunflower oil for frying
For dusting:
100g caster sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

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Sunday, July 05, 2015

Fruit and Nut Chocolate Parcels - Home Sweet Home Bake Along - 32/100


These were quick easy and fun to make. More coordinated packet opening than true baking - they make a rather impressive looking sweet treats in no time at all.


These look rather like spring rolls, and are made and rolled in a similar way, except using filo pastry, rather than spring roll pastry.


They are best served warm, when they are still gooey and oozy, but they are perfectly acceptable when cool.


They're kind of like a poor man's baklawa, less sweet and sticky, but less work too!


I got in a bit of a muddle with my shopping order, so am running a week behind, but hope to catch up again shortly.


Ingredients:
50g mixed nuts, roughly chopped (I used a few walnuts, pecans, salted peanuts and cashews)
50g mixed dried fruit, roughly chopped (I used candied peel, dried apricots and sultanas)
2x58g Snickers bars, cut into chunks - I used 3x38g knock-off supermarket equivalents
1x 58g Mars bar, cut into chunks - I used 3x38g knock-off supermarket equivalents again
1x270g packet of filo pastry (I used a 250g pack, which had smaller sheets in a greater quantity!)
75g unsalted butter, melted
Icing sugar, for dusting



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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cherry Pie - Home Sweet Home Bakealong 31/100



I like cherries. I really like cherries.


Not quite as much as my colleague who buys them from roadside stalls, waters the roadways of the South with the stones, and has none left by the time she gets home.


But I'm not far behind. Cherry pie is also a favourite thing, but like Gill I didn't find this a particularly useful bake - it is hard to take to work or Bible study.


The Fair Physiologist and The Pure Mathematician in Exile appreciated an impromptu Sunday night dessert, however, so all was well in the end.


Despite the internal egg wash, I think I had a bit of a soggy bottom - it hadn't had quite enough time in the oven, but the top was already a good colour - this might be just getting used to the new non-fan oven, however.


Ingredients:
For the crust
220g cold unsalted butter, cubes
450g plain flour plus extra for dusting
160g caster sugar plus extra for sprinkling
3 large eggs
For the filling
700g fresh, tinned or frozen (then thawed) pitted cherries - I used 350g of jarred cherries and 350g of fresh cherries - someone seemed to have eaten my other jar of cherries. Can't imagine who that would have been *ahem* 
150g caster sugar
30g cornflour
1/2tsp vanilla extract

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Basic Shortcakes - Home Sweet Home Bake Along 30/100


As we have discussed previously, I am not a fan of scones, and shortcakes being close cousins of scones, I, therefore, only made a quarter of this recipe - two shortcakes. And then I fed one to dear Papa.


They look more rough and ready than they should as I divided the dough in two and patted each into a disc, rather than cutting out the shortcakes.


Although I probably wouldn't make these again, they were quite acceptable and the recipe worked well. I did like the crackly top from the milk and sugar.


Ingredients
240g Plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2tsp salt

120g cold unsalted butter, cubed
160ml milk
3 tbsp caster sugar (for sprinkling on top)

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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Marshmallow Frosting - Home Sweet Home Bake Along 29/100



Like Gill I probably would never have made this if it wasn't for the bake-through. Indeed, I had gazed at the picture several times before when leafing through the book, but never done any more for it.


I'm very glad I've baked it, because, really, it was no more complex or challenging than any of the cupcake recipes.



*AND* I got to make my own marshmallow fluff.


I had a little left over after icing the cake. I made a fluffernutter sandwich with it. I'm not ashamed. It tasted too good to be ashamed of!


This cake is totally over the top, and probably more show than taste, but I may well end up repeating it, if I haven't put all my colleagues into sugar-fuelled comas already.


Ingredients:
For the decoration:
60g milk chocolate
50g white chocolate (I didn't have enough white chocolate so used a blend of milk, dark and white)
For the sponge:
170g unsalted butter
350g soft light brown sugar
3 large eggs
80g dark chocolate
225g plain flour
1&1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
225g soured cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp instant coffee mixed with 240ml boiling water or 240ml espresso coffee (I used 1 tablespoon of coffee extract mixed with 225ml of boiling water)
For the icing:
300g caster sugar
80g golden syrup
120ml water
4 large egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1tsp vanilla extract


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