Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake

This Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake recipe hails from another new addition to my cookbook collection, The Primrose Bakery Book. I am in love with this book, it is brimming with lots of delicious and yummy cupcakes, cakes, biscuits and other bakes. There are so many recipes I want to try but I opted for this simple and classical Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake to begin with. This recipe was very easy and quick, only complaint I would have is the baking times were off considerably, had to bake for an extra 20 minutes. Despite that small issue this cake is very yummy and moreish. The sponge is fluffy yet moist with its sweet tart flavour and finished off with a crunchy tangy sugar topping.

Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake

Makes 8-10 slices

155g self-raising flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
155g golden caster sugar
20g cornflour
155g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the tin
3 large eggs
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

For the drizzle
160g granulated sugar
juice of 2 lemons

Preheat the oven to 180oC/fan 160oC/gas mark 4. Grease 1 x 900g/2lb loaf tin and line with baking paper or a loaf tin liner.

Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and cornflour into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the mixture for about 4 seconds until evenly mixed. Add the butter, eggs and lemon zest and juice and process briefly until evenly blended (about 10 seconds).

Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and level the top with a spatula. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 35-40 minutes, until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf coms out clean. Let the loaf cool in its tin.

Make up the drizzle by stirring the sugar into the lemon juice in a jug and mixing well. Prick the surface of the loaf all over with a fork. Pour the drizzle over the loaf and allow it to set, before removing the loaf from the tin and serving. Keep any uneaten loaf in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Orange and Passion Fruit Cake

A few weeks back I bought The Boy who Bakes by Edd Kimber after reading good reviews about it. Edd Kimber was the winner of BBC Two series The Great British Bake Off in 2010 and his recipes are testament to why he won. During an afternoon spent flicking through the book I decided this Orange and Passion Fruit Cake was to be the first recipe I tried. This moist but not too sweet orange cake delivered a fresh and tropical taste with it's fragrant passion fruit glaze. Definitely a must bake and one I will make again!

Orange and Passion Fruit Cake

Serves 10

225g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
225g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
255g caster sugar
zest of 2 large oranges
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
juice of 1 orange

For the passion fruit glaze:
3 passion fruits
125g icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180oC/fan 160oC/gas mark 4. Butter a 2lb/900g loaf tin and line with a strip of baking parchment leaving about 2.5cm or so to hang over the edges, to make removing the cake easier. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl, and set aside.

Using an electric mixer beat the butter, 225g of the sugar and the zest until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs and 3 tbsp orange juice, a little at a time, until fully incorporated.

Using a spatula, fold in the flour mixture. Scrape into the prepared tin, then level the top. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until risen and golden, and a cocktail stick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, make the syrup by putting the remaining orange juice and sugar into a small pan and simmering for a few minutes or until the sugar has dissolved.

Make holes all over the cake using a cocktail stick or skewer and brush with the orange syrup, allowing it to soak into the cake. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze, scoop out the seeds and pulp from the passion fruits and press through a sieve, retaining about 1 tbsp of the seeds. Mix the juice, icing sugar and reserved seeds together until thick and smooth, then pour over the cake, letting it drip down the sides.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Revisting Blueberry and Apple Loaf

This Blueberry and Apple Loaf has been a firm favourite in my home for many years. I first came across this recipe in an edition of Delicious magazine and it was true love all round from the first time I baked it. I decided to revisit and blog about this beautiful loaf again as many new followers would probably appreciate this lovely recipe. This loaf cake has a delicious combination of blueberry and apple within a moist and tender sponge. Perfect to have with your afternoon cup of tea.

Blueberry and Apple Loaf

125g chilled butter, diced, plus extra for greasing
225g self-raising flour
175g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2-3tbsp milk
2 large eating apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
125g blueberries
2 tbsp apricot jam

Preheat the oven to 190oC/fan 170oC/gas 5. Grease a 900g loaf tin and line with baking paper or a paper loaf tin liner.

Sieve the flour into a food processor with a pinch of salt and add the butter. Whizz until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, eggs and milk and whiz again to make a smooth mixture.

Pour half the cake mixture into the loaf tin, then scatter with half the apples and half the blueberries. Pour over the remaining cake mixture, then scatter with the remaining fruit. Bake for 1 hour, or until risen and firm. To test it, insert a skewer into the centre- it should come out clean.

Put the apricot jam into a small bowl and microwave the jam on high for 20 seconds to melt. Brush the glaze over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Valentines for me is always the perfect excuse to bake something special for my hubby and this year I decided to bake these delectable Red Velvet Cupcakes. These rich and sweet cupcakes are topped with dreamy, creamy cream cheese frosting and will not fail to enchant. Happy Valentines Day everyone, hope you are all being showered with lots of love!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Makes 24

For the cupcakes:
250g plain flour
2 x 15ml tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g soft unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
1 x heaped 15ml tbsp red paste food colouring
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
175ml buttermilk
1 tsp cider vinegar or other vinegar

Buttery Cream-cheese frosting
500g icing sugar, no need to sift if using a processor)
125g cream cheese
125g soft unsalted butter
1 tsp cider vinegar or lemon juice (I used vanilla extract)
red velvet cake crumbs or chocolate sprinkles or red sugar for decoration

Preheat the oven to 170oC/fan oven 150oC/gas mark 3 and line the muffin tins with paper cases.

Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarb in a bowl.

In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar, beating well, and when you have a soft pale mixture beat in the food colouring - yes, all of it - and the vanilla.

Into this vividly coloured mixture, still beating, add 1 spoonful of the dried ingredients, then 1 egg, followed by some more dried ingredients, then the other egg, followed by the rest of the dried ingredients.

Finally, beat in the buttermilk and vinegar and divide this extraordinary batter between the 24 cases. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes by which time the redcurrant-sorbet-coloured batter will have morphed into a more sombre, but still juicily tinted, sponge - more maroon acrylic than red velvet, to be honest.

Leave them to cool on a wire rack and do not ice with the frosting till absolutely cold.

Put the icing sugar into a processor and whizz to remove lumps.

Add the cream cheese and butter and process to mix. Pour in the cider vinegar (or lemon juice or vanilla extract) and process again to make a smooth icing.

Ice each cupcake, using a teaspoon or small spatula.

Decorate with red velvet cake crumbs or chocolate sprinkles or red sugar.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Banoffee Cake

It's been a while since I last baked a banana cake/loaf which is quite surprising as banana bakes normally feature quite a bit in my kitchen. So I decided to make use of my ripe bananas and try out this banana cake from my new book, perfect! This butterless cake is really moist and delish but the real star of the show is the amazing toffee icing, it balances the cake beautifully! This is definitely a recipe to be book-marked and made again and again.

Banoffee Cake

Serves 10-12

For the cake:
225g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 large eggs
170g Demerara sugar
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
225ml vegetable oil (or olive oil)

For the toffee icing:
220g Demerara sugar
60g butter
60ml milk
240g icing sugar, sieved
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

banana chips, to decorate (or a sprinkling of cocoa)

Preheat the oven to 180oc/fan oven 160oc/Gas mark 4. Butter a 23cm springform tin and dust with flour or Demerara sugar.

Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and sugar on high with an electric mixer until thickened and light in colour. Fold in the mashed banana and vanilla. Slowly drizzle in the vegetable oil while still mixing.

Add the flour mixture and mix on a low speed, taking care not to overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared tin.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden. Cool fully on a rack before icing.

To make the icing, place the sugar, butter and milk into a pan over a high heat. Stir everything well and bring to the boil. Keep stirring and boil for 1 minute.

Remove from the heat and beat in half of the icing sugar. Allow to cool slightly, then add the vanilla and the rest of the icing sugar. Beat well until it thickens.

Spread the icing over the cake straightaway, as the icing will harden slightly. Top with banana chips or a sprinkling of cocoa.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Coconut Loaf Cake

I have been feeling under the weather with a head cold since Sunday, which my grandson was so kind to share with me. After a few days of nursing this cold I have reached my limit of sitting about and doing nothing, (yes I'm a lousy patient) and today decided to cheer myself up with a spot of therapeutic baking. I decided to continue my mission trying out another recipe from my new cookbook and bake this Coconut Loaf Cake. This retro style cake really reminded me of a school dinner pudding often served with custard. Unfortunately in reading the recipe it was clear to me that there was something not quite right. The first thing was the size of the tin, there was no way that the sum of the ingredients would fit into a 1lb loaf tin as specified! So I went with my baking experience and used a 2lb loaf tin instead. The second anomaly was in relation to the cooking time stated in the recipe, I had to extent the cooking time by a further 20 minutes. At first I was thinking it might be a typo regarding the size of loaf tin but upon further reading of other loaf cake recipes in the book a 1lb tin is used through-out. Some of the other recipes also appear to have more ingredients than would fit in a tin of that size. It's a shame that these types of errors exist as they could throw off a less experience baker.

Besides the above, this cake turned out to be everything I expected it to be. I can confirm it is very addictive and popular, with hubby having finished his third slice of the day after his evening meal. This recipe is well worth trying and if you follow my adaptations, included in the recipe below, it should turn out just fine!

Coconut Loaf Cake

Serves 8-10

For the cake:
225g butter, softened
225g caster sugar
2 large eggs
225g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
60g desiccated coconut
3 tbsp milk

For the topping:
60g raspberry jam
30g desiccated coconut, toasted

Preheat the oven to 180oC/fan oven 160oC/Gas mark 4. Butter and flour a 2lb loaf tin.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition.

Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl, then add to the egg mixture along with the coconut. Beat for a few seconds to combine. Add the milk and mix until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the tin and bake for 45-50 (mine needed 70) minutes, until golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes or so before turning onto a rack to cool.

Once the cake is fully cool, spread the jam onto the top and cover in the toasted coconut.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Old Henry Bars

Have I said how much I am loving the Make Bake Love cookbook? This has to be one of my favourite books at the moment. I am targeting myself to bake something new from it every week. I baked these Old Henry Bars as a treat for over the weekend. They are a take on an American chocolate bar that was first introduced in 1920. These peanut butter and chocolate topped, crunchy, chewy oat bars were definitely a massive hit, with the last of them finished today. Another successful recipe from this delightful cookbook!

Old Henry Bars

Makes 16 bars

340g oats
225g light brown sugar
225g butter, melted
4 tbsp smooth peanut butter
150g milk or dark chocolate
a handful of dry roasted peanuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180oC. Line a 23cm x 33cm baking tin with parchment paper.

Mix the oats, sugar and melted butter together in a bowl. Spread onto the base of the tray and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, and while still warm, spread the peanut butter over the oat base.

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Spread the melted chocolate over the peanut butter. Stud with dry-roasted peanuts.

Allow to cool and set in the fridge, then cut into 16 bars.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Peanut Butter and Sesame Cookies

I'm really loving my latest cookbook purchase, Make Bake Love by Lilly Higgins and this is the second bake from the book. I haven't made peanut butter cookies in a long time and these, with the addition of sesame seeds, sounded great! This is another straight-forward and quick recipe to rustle up. The end result delivering a very moreish and yummy cookie, with the sesame seeds giving it a gorgeous nutty texture.

Peanut Butter and Sesame Cookies

Makes about 36 regular or 60 bite-sized cookies

125g butter, softened
85g caster sugar
80g Demerara sugar
125g smooth peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 170oC. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and both sugars together in a bowl until soft and fluffy. Add the peanut butter and vanilla and mix well.

Sieve the flour and bicarbonate of soda together in a bowl, then add to the peanut butter mixture. Combine well but don't overbeat.

Roll teaspoons of the dough into balls. Roll the balls in the sesame seeds and place on the lined baking sheet. Flatten slightly.

Bake for 10-15 minutes (or 7 for tiny cookies), until golden brown. Leave to cool slightly on the baking sheet, then transfer to a rack.