Chocolate-dipped orange shortbread

These biscuits are quick and easy to make and judging by the reaction here, will go down a storm. Ideal if you are having someone very smart to tea … or actually just something nice to have in a tin in case of emergencies like ‘Oh must have a biscuit’ times! 

Ingredients

  • 250g plain flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 220g butter
  • 220g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Grated rind of 1 orange
  • 100g dark chocolate

Method

Preheat oven to 175ºc and grease or line baking trays.

Cream butter and sugar, add the egg and orange rind and mix, then fold in the flour, salt and baking powder until combined.

The mixture can then be piped onto the baking trays using either a piping bag or a biscuit gun, leave about 1 inch between the biscuits as they will spread a little during baking.

Once cool melt the chocolate in a bowl and dip in biscuits, place on parchment paper until chocolate hard.

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Lemon Drizzle Cake with Cream Cheese filling

I was so thrilled how well this cake turned out and the fruit decoration looks stunning but more importantly it goes really well with the cake. The addition of the fresh fruit can lift it from a tea time treat into a lovely pudding… err with some clotted cream? No OK, maybe that’s too many calories!

The filling is delicious and not overly sickly as it’s a Philadelphia base – so try it!

Cake

  • 210g Caster Sugar
  • 210g Butter
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 3 eggs
  • 160g SR Flour
  • 50g Ground Almonds

Preheat oven to 180ºc/160ºc fan, grease and line an 8” tin.

Beat sugar and butter until creamy, mix in lemon zest and then the eggs one at a time, fold in the flour and ground almonds until just combined. Pour into a prepared tin and bake for about 30-40mins.

Drizzle

  • 75g Caster sugar
  • Juice of 2 lemons

Mix together until sugar dissolved. Once the cake has cooled, prick the top and drizzle over the liquid.

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 1 tub (300g) Philidelphia cream cheese
  • 100g Icing Sugar
  • 1 Lemon (juice & zest)

Mix all together until smooth, use as much or as little icing sugar depending on how sweet you would like it to be and add lemon juice a little at a time, to ensure mixture does not get too runny.

Split the cake in two, spread with the filling, finish by dusting with icing sugar and lemon zest. Then decorate with fruits as in the icture, or choose strawberries, raspberries or any other fresh fruit of your choice. 

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Stencilled cupcakes

Cupcakes are so popular these days, here are a couple of very pretty design ideas for you – butterfly stencilled cupcakes and a sweet embossed and painted cupcake. 

I have used the ‘Butterfly A6 Stencil Starter Kit’ which you can buy from our website. This provides everything you need apart from the cupcakes and fondant!

Ingredients

  • Cupcakes (any of your choice) – homemade or cheat and buy some!
  • Butter-cream icing
  • Coloured Fondant Icing
  • Butterfly Stencil Kit
  • Round cutter (roughly the same size as the cake tops)

Method

Put a small amount of butter-cream onto the top of each cupcake and smooth, this will ensure the fondant will stay put and will smooth out any bumps on the cake.

Roll out the fondant to about 3-5mm thick. Take the stencil and press down lightly, then  brush over the surface with the brush and powder provided in the kit, try not to leave too much residue on the stencil. Carefully peel off the stencil, then use the round cutter and place the finished discs on the cupcakes, being careful not to touch the stencilled surface too much. 

Katy Sue Designs Cupcake Mould

Ingredients

  • Cupcakes
  • Small amount of butter cream
  • Corn flour
  • Floral Meadow Cupcake Mould
  • Fondant
  • Edible food pens (Dusky Pink/Grape Violet/Yellow/Holly Ivy Green)

Method

Take a cupcake and smooth a little butter cream onto it – this will stop the fondant slipping or falling off. Rub a little corn flour into the mould to prevent the fondant sticking. Take the fondant and make a ball, then flatten until the same size as the Floral Meadow mould, press the fondant into the mould, ensuring it does not move about once pushed in. Carefully peel the mould away from the fondant and place this on to the cupcake, leave fondant to harden a little before colouring in with the edible food pens.

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Crème De Cassis Chocolate Cake

This cake is a mega treat and the one we made for this photo was gobbled by the staff in super quick time, apologies if anyone got chocolate cake crumbs in their order! It’s not as hard as it looks honestly, there’s no creaming and it’s well worth trying out!

To make the cake

  • 200g Dark chocolate, 200g Butter, 1 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 85g Self-raising flour and 40g Plain Flour, 45g Ground Almonds, ¼ tsp Bicarb
  • 200g Dark muscovado sugar and 200g caster sugar
  • 25g Cocoa powder, 3 Eggs and ½ cup Crème de Cassis
  • Preheat the oven to 160c/140c fan and line a 20cm tin. 

 Method

  1. Put the chocolate, butter, coffee granules and 125ml cold water into a pan and heat until all melted.
  2. Mix the flours, ground almonds, bicarb, sugars and cocoa powder in a large bowl, use your hands if needed to get rid of all the lumps.
  3. Beat the 3 eggs in another bowl and stir in the Crème de Cassis.
  4. Now pour the chocolate mixture and egg mixture into the flour and mix until just combined.
  5. Pour into your tin and bake for about 1 ½ hrs. 

Decoration

  • 200g Dark chocolate, in small pieces, 284ml (1carton) double cream
  • 2tbsp caster sugar, blackcurrant jam (or if you can’t find use a tin a blackcurrants drained and mashed)
  • Chocolate curls for top and side.

Method

  1. Heat the cream and sugar until just boiling, take off the heat and pour over the chocolate pieces, stir until the chocolate has melted.
  2. Cut the cake in half and fill with the blackcurrant jam with a few extra drops of Crème de Cassis added too and also a layer of the chocolate mixture. Cover the rest of the cake with remaining choc mixture and decorate with chocolate curls, either homemade as I have done here, or bought.

 

 

 

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Chocolate brownies at the NEC…

We all need a bit of a treat when we have to stand up for about four days at the NEC Hobbycraft exhibition – so we thought maybe chocolate brownies would be the answer… and it certainly seemed to go down well with everyone that tried them!

One tip – by trying to save time and melting the chocolate in the microwave on batch two, I would say it definitely did not improve the mix. So I’d suggest staying with the slow but sure method of melting the chocolate over hot water!

The only thing I can’t vouch for is the healthiness of this recipe – I think it comes under the naughty but nice category!

And one other hint – I used foil roasting tins from Tesco – means you can fold them up and throw them away rather than washing up after you have finished. Also, the thin tinfoil keeps the brownies cooking evenly rather than getting a burnt outside and too gooey inside – these were just divine all the way through!

Ingredients.

  • 150g dark chocolate (I used 79%),100g of milk chocolate
  • 300g golden caster sugar, 3 large eggs, 250g of butter
  • 120g plain flour, 60g cocoa powder (I used Green and Black’s)
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder, pinch of ground sea salt
  • Icing sugar to dust after baking

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Line the tinfoil roasting tray with greaseproof paper and butter the paper slightly. It makes the brownies easy to get out once they are cooked.
  2. Melt the butter, dark and milk chocolate in a large bowl over simmering water.
  3. Beat the eggs in a cup and in another separate bowl sift the flour.
  4. Add the sugar to the warm chocolate mix and stir thoroughly. Add the eggs and mix. Finally add all the other ingredients and fold and mix everything until you have a good consistency.
  5. Pour the mixture into the tray, bake in the oven for about 20/25 minutes. Oven temperatures vary so keep checking. Use a skewer or knife and stick it in the middle of the brownie, it should come out a tiny bit sticky which means they are done. Cool in the tray for about an hour so they are 100% set. Then dust with icing sugar.

 

 

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