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Christmas Cake

28 Nov

It might seem a bit early to make this now but once you’ve made it, covered it with marzipan, then iced it with royal icing or sugar paste and finally decorated it you’ll be way into December! So now is definitely the time! This is my mums family recipe passed down from mums to daughters for generations and I will do the same ๐Ÿ™‚

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Ingredients:
227g Sultanas
454g Currants
227g Raisins
116g Dates
118g Mixed peel
117g Glacรฉ Cherries
114g Chopped blanched almonds
80ml/ 1/8pt Brandy
227g Butter
227g Muscovado sugar
230g Plain flour
1tsp Mixed spice
1 Lemon zest and juice
4 Eggs

Directions:

Firstly weigh all of your dried fruits into a bowl with your mixed peel and chopped blanched almonds. I would half the glacรฉ cherries so they can be evenly mixed through the cake! Give this mix a rough stir before pouring the brandy over. Ideally you want to leave this bowl covered with a tea towel over night, but if you’re in a rush then about three hours will suffice ๐Ÿ™‚

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Now weigh your butter and Muscovado sugar into another bowl and cream together until light and fluffy. Obviously as this is dark sugar it will not go as light as normal but there will be a very obvious change in colour!

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Once the butter and sugar have been creamed together slowly mix in the eggs, making sure they are fully mixed in before adding the next. The mix will curdle at this point but don’t worry, once the flour is added it will come together.

Now fold the flour in in roughly three parts, making sure that each part is folded in completely before the next.

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Now to line the tin…this is more fiddly than normal cakes! First you’ll need some string, measure the string around the tin and mark a small bit over so there is some extra room. With this string measure the length of great proof paper, you want to trim the top so it will be a few inches above the tin edges. Once this is measured, draw around the bottom of the tin on another piece of greaseproof.

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Fold the bottom of the paper up about an inch and cut tabs all along the bottom. Now carefully place the paper into the greased tin and arrange it so that the tabs fold into the middle and you can press the sides out so it’s stuck to the tin.

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Once the sides are lined place the circle paper in the bottom so every bit of the tin is covered.

Take your dried fruit and give them a rough stir before folding them into the cake mix. Make sure you add in the lemon juice and zest as well, once all mixed pour into the cake tin and smooth the top.

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Now you need some brown parcel paper, or if needs be you can use a wider bit of greaseproof paper. Measure the length using the string from earlier and cut a bit extra so it will definitely fit round. This time you don’t need to fold the bottom or cut it you just have to wrap it around the outside of the tin and tie it tight with the string.

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Place this doubly wrapped cake into the oven and bake at 180c for 3 and 1/4 hours. Once the cake is ready the top will be browned and a skewer will come out clean, place on a cooling wrack to cool. Once it’s cooled take it out of the tin and wrap it in greaseproof followed by tin foil and leave for a few days before trying to marzipan it!

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This cake smells amazing and will make you want to eat it as soon as it’s out of the oven! It’s such a tease having to leave it for a few days but it is so worth it, this cake finished for Christmas is just amazing! I hope you love this cake, you can always use it for any other occasion cake you want!!

Toffee Apple Cake

9 Nov

My last taste of Halloween! This cake takes you back to eating toffee apples on Halloween with friends and family. This is a wonderfully soft apple cake smothered in sweet sticky toffee going together brilliantly! This cake says bye to Halloween but embraces autumn and leads nicely on to the festive spirit!!!

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Ingredients:
5 Bramley apples
1 Lemon juiced
50g Caster sugar
150g Caster sugar
1tsp Vanilla essence
5 Eggs
300g Plain flour
1tsp Baking powder
150g Melted butter

62g Butter
30ml Semi skimmed milk
112g Muscovado sugar

Estimated time: 60 minutes

Directions:

Weigh your 50g of caster sugar into a large bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice into this bowl. To make sure you don’t get any pips in the sugar place a sieve over the bowl to catch them, or you can squeeze the juice out into a separate bowl ๐Ÿ™‚ stir these together and set aside.

Now peel your apples, if you don’t have Bramley (cooking) apples then Grannysmiths will be fine. You don’t want anything to sweet or you’ll loose the flavour while it cooks! Once peeled cut the apples into quarters and cut the core out. Roughly chop the apple pieces into bite size chunks before adding them to the lemon and sugar mix. Give them a stir to make sure they’re all covered as the lemon juice will stop the apples oxidising and going brown, give them a stir every so often ๐Ÿ™‚

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Now weigh the rest of the caster sugar into a mixing bowl and slowly stir in the melted butter.

To this stir in the vanilla and then mix in the eggs one at a time. Make sure they are well mixed in before adding the next. This will make it a lighter orange ๐Ÿ™‚

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Weigh your flour and baking powder together before carefully folding this into your sugar. Try not to knock any air out, but be careful so you’re not left with lumps!

Now pour your apples and all the lemon juice into your mixing bowl and fold these in before pouring the cake mix into a lined tin.

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Bake the cake at 180c for 35-40minutes until the top is nice and gold and a skewer comes out clean. Allow this to cool slightly in its tin before putting on a serving plate.

While the cake is cooling weigh your butter, milk and Muscovado into a saucepan.

Slowly heat this until everything melts. Once melted bring it all up to the boil and stir constantly for 3 minutes.

When the 3minutes is up pour your toffee on top of your cake making sure all of it’s covered!

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Now cut and enjoy!! This sticky moist apple cake is so amazingly tasty and a wonderful end to Halloween! Everyone will love this cake it’s so more-ish and delicious as a pudding with cream or cold with a nice mug of tea ๐Ÿ™‚ enjoy everyone!!!

Pumpkin Pie

26 Oct

I love pumpkin pie so much, this is possibly my favourite pudding ever!! The first time I ever tried this was when one of my brothers went to his friends Halloween party and brought some back. The flavour of pumpkin and nutmeg is just brilliant. Served hot or cold this is such an awesome autumn treat for everyone!

PumpkinPie

Ingredients:
350g Plain flour
1tsp Ground cinnamon
200g Butter
150ml Cold water

1000g Pumpkin purรฉe
410g(1tin) Evaporated milk
2 Eggs
170g Muscovado
1tsp Ground cinnamon
1tsp Ground nutmeg
1tsp Ground ginger

Estimated time: 65 minutes

Directions:

Pastry first ๐Ÿ™‚ weigh your flour, cinnamon and butter into a bowl and either rub together by hand, or use a mixer. Once the mix resembles bread crumbs slowly add cold water, mix this together until a dough forms. If it’s too dry add a bit more water! Wrap this pastry in cling film and leave in the fridge for 15 minutes.

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Meanwhile peel and chop your pumpkin, scraping out the seeds and stringy bits. Weigh your pumpkin into a large saucepan and fill with water, just enough so the chunks are covered. Bring this to the boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender.

Drain the water and mash the pumpkin chunks in a big bowl. Drain off any excess water that appears. Leave the pumpkin to one side to cool a bit.

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In another bowl weigh your evaporated milk, sugar and spices, mix in the two eggs making sure everything is well mixed. This mix will smell amazing!! Make sure it’s well mixed before stirring in your mashed pumpkin.

By now the pastry will be rested but not too hard so rolling it will still be easy. Take the pastry and roll it out on a floured surface to roughly half a cm thick. Make sure you roll enough to cover your pie tin!

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Carefully roll the pastry onto the rolling pin (don’t press down on the pin or you will just roll the pastry into itself!) and place it over your greased pie tin. Gently press the pastry into the edges and sides so that there are no holes.

Pour the pumpkin pie mix into the pastry case, as full as you can safely get it before putting it into the oven at 180c for 40-45 minutes. The pie is done when a knife or skewer comes out clean.

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Serve this with cream or ice cream, hot or cold! I hope you all love this autumny pie as much as my family do, it is such a treat and everyone falls in love with it, it makes you enjoy the fact that the nights are getting colder and darker! And let’s face it, everyone loves a bit of pie!!! Enjoy everyone ๐Ÿ™‚

Baked Pumpkin Cheesecake

16 Oct

Finally pumpkins are in England!!!! I love these funky vegetables so under used and to be honest I feel not many people really know how to use them, or what to put them in. But not anymore, I’m going to try and make as many different things as I can before they go out of season again :p firstly this cheesecake is a wonderful pudding for all of the family, brilliant for autumn evenings in front of a fire ๐Ÿ™‚

BakedPumpkinCheesecake

Ingredients:
250g Digestive biscuits
100g Butter, melted
1/2tsp Ground cinnamon
1/2tsp Ground nutmeg

700g Cream cheese
120g Caster sugar
1tsp Ground cinnamon
1tsp Ground nutmeg
3 Eggs
250g Pumpkin

Estimated time: 70 minutes

Directions:

First let’s tackle the pumpkin. These are not easy to chop and peel so be careful. I find it easiest to cut out the stalk like you would if you were making a lantern. Scoop out all of the stringy bits and the seeds (keep the seeds for toasting if you like!), now carefully cut the whole pumpkin in half and then each half into quarters. Then once again cut these into smaller pieces.

Now with the nice small pieces of pumpkin carefully cut the peel off taking as little of the flesh as possible. Be careful not to cut your fingers!! Once peeled dice up the cubes and weigh out 250g (if more don’t worry!) onto a lightly oiled (veg oil) baking tray before placing in the oven at 160c and roasting for 10-15 minutes. Give them a mix around about halfway through. Once they are cooked (when you can pierce with and fork and the flesh is soft, or you can eat a piece) take them out and allow to cool down.

While the pumpkin pieces are cooling weigh your biscuits into a bowl and bash with a rolling pin until you’re left with crumbs ๐Ÿ™‚ to this mix in your spices and stir in your melted butter. Once mixed well spoon the crumbs into a lined loose bottom tin and press to the edges, try to get it as flat as you can. Once you’ve done this, put to one side.

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In a bowl weigh your cream cheese, caster sugar and the spices. Mix these together with a wooden spoon until the sugar is mixed in and it’s roughly the same consistence as thick cream.

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Beat your eggs together before carefully stirring them into your cheese mix. Make sure it’s all well mixed in.

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Now your pumpkins purรฉe, scrape your cooked pumpkin into a large bowl and mash until you have the consistency you want. I left a few lumps as I wanted people to be able to tell what was in the cheesecake straight away, just by looking!

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Once your pumpkin is mashed fold it into your cheese cake mix and then pour it on top of your biscuit base! Place you cheese cake into the oven (still at 160c) and bake for 35-40 minutes. When the cakes cooked the edges will be light golden and the middle will have a slight wobble.

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Either serve this cake hot or cold. If you have it warm then the filling will be softer so not as neat to cut! Your family and friends will all love this. It’s a brilliant way to use pumpkin that people will not expect!!! This is a bit of a fiddly recipe but it’s so worth it, also you can save your leftover pumpkin ready peeled for future use!! Hope you all enjoy this, and I hope you all try experimenting with pumpkin and love the results as much as me and my family!!!

Eton Mess

3 Aug

This is a classic English desert enjoyed in the summer (when we have it!). This is such an nice easy thing to make, especially with an easy quick meringue recipe!! Although I don’t always make this at home (I don’t like cream) my fiancรฉe loves this pudding, it’s his favourite so here we go!!

EtonMess

Ingredients:
1 egg white
300g Icing sugar
150ml Double cream
1 punnet fresh strawberries
1 punnet fresh cherries
50g caster sugar
1tsp Vanilla

Estimated time: 15 minutes

Directions:

First the meringue, I said in an earlier post that there are three types of meringue, well technically there are four. This is the fourth type and the quickest, it’s very sweet and not to be used on it’s own, which is why I only use this for meringues that are to be mixed with cream and flavourings!

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Weigh your icing sugar into a bowl and add your lightly whisked egg white. Stir these two together until you are left with a paste that will roll into a ball around the spoon while stirring. If you want to add any colours or flavours add a tiny amount now.

Place a piece of grease proof paper onto the turn table in your microwave. Spoon small amounts of the paste onto this paper, make sure you spread them apart! Cook these for about 2 minutes, they are so fun to watch!!

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While these are cooking, and cooling pour your double cream into a bowl with the vanilla and caster sugar. Whisk this to soft peak to create a nice Chantilly, make sure you taste the Chantilly to get the right amount of sugar to your taste. Believe me, this isn’t what normally gets used but adds so much more flavour than just cream!

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Now chop up your strawberries and cherries. For the cherries I quartered them as its so much easier to remove the pips that way and the strawberries I cut them into small chunks. Place the fruit into a small bowl and add about two spoonfuls of granulated sugar. Stir these together and let them macerate.

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By now you have all of your components so its time to build ๐Ÿ™‚ I started with a layer of the Chantilly at the bottom, then crushed meringues. You’ll notice these meringues are much more powdery than normal ones, don’t worry, with the fruit and cream you will not notice! Next goes a layer of the fruit with some of the amazing juice and then repeat until you are at the top of the glass or bowl.

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Now stop reading this and eat it, honestly the best Eton mess I’ve ever had, this is so a family favourite now!! I really hope you all enjoy this and enjoy the summer were having!!! And try this with different fruits and combinations!

Mars Roads

27 Jul

Now who can honestly say they don’t like krispie cakes? I don’t believe that anyone can:p these aren’t just ordinary krispie cakes, these are mars bar rocky road krispie cakes!!! They’re a whole different league to your oral rocky roads! When I was younger I used to think these were the best cakes ever, me and my brothers used to make them all the time. As I got older they kind of disappeared until I made rocky roads at work! My word have I missed these crazy cakes, I love refunding a childhood cakes and adding new flavours to them!

MarsRoads

Ingredients:
10 Mars bars
250g Butter
260g Rice Krispies (1 box)
150g Sultanas
150g Fresh chopped cherries
500g Amaretti biscuits
500g Marshmallows

Estimated time: 120 minutes

Directions:

Weigh your butter into a heat proof bowl along with your ten mars bars, place this bowl over a pan of boiling water and start to melt them together. This will take quite a long time!

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While these are slowly melting together, empty your Rice Krispies into a large bowl with your sultanas.

Chop your cherries in half and then quarters, making it easier to get the pips out. Mix these into the Rice Krispies before crumbling the amaretti biscuits on top. You don’t have to use amaretti biscuits, I just feel it adds another depth of flavour, slightly more sophisticated than your average biscuits :p

Now check your mars bars, by now the butter should have melted and most of the chocolate leaving you with lumpy bits of nougat. Take this off the heat and pour the water away. Scrape the melted chocolatey goodness into the saucepan and place back on to the heat. Make sure you keep stirring this as the nougat will try its hardest to stick to the pan. Doing it this way means that the nougat will melt faster than in the Bain Marie, but is less likely to burn than just using a saucepan from the off!

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Once this has all melted in to gooey goodness pour over the Rice Krispies and carefully stir/fold this all together. As soon as its half mixed add the cherries. The moisture from these will help the chocolate coat everything and also help to cool it down enough to stir in marshmallows ๐Ÿ™‚

Line two deep trays with grease proof paper before finally mixing the marshmallows through the mix. Now spoon the mix equally ingot he two trays and press/smooth out to the edges. Place these in the fridge until set, depending on the thickness of the rocky roads, this can take from 20 mins to and hour!

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Now cut them and get fat!! These are so more ish and everyone will love them, if you let them have any ๐Ÿ™‚ I really hope you like these, my family love them and they are a great pick me up when ever you need one ๐Ÿ™‚

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