Red Velvet Cake

Hello to my lovely readers! It has CERTAINLY been a while! I’m so sorry for the huge gap in time since my last post. I have still been baking when I can, however things have been rather busy recently with the addition of our new Jackapoo puppy – Maggie! She is only 4 months old and has been full on since the get go! I’m talking night time toilet training, teaching commands and mastering the art of ‘fetch’! But she is so lovely and I’ve been moaning about wanting a dog for the last 6/7 years so it’s about time 🙂

So I have finally gotten round to sitting down at my computer and blogging a few of the recipes I have managed to find the time to cook 🙂 And the return of the Great British Bake Off is enough to get anyone back into the swing of things 🙂

The first is a 4 tiered red velvet cake that I recently baked for my lovely Granny’s 90th birthday party. It was the first time I had made a red velvet cake and I have to say I was surprised at how easy it was. The only issue I had was fitting in Maggie’s walk and icing the 4 tiers all before 1pm (taking into account baking and cooling time of the cakes!)

We had an afternoon tea round at my mum and dad’s house to celebrate and ate lots of cakes, sandwiches and drank Pimms whilst listened to Scottish music in the garden – wonderful!

The cake was so huge that I had to take it in to work the next day and fed it to my youth theatre (without telling them about the secret ingredient – BEETROOT!!) They ate up the cake happily whilst trying to guess the mystery ingredient, one lad even called his Nan for a clue as to what it was. Once they found out – they suddenly seemed suspicious of the giant red coloured cake and weren’t sure if they really did enjoy it after all…

Why not give it a try and see what you think!?…You won’t regret it 🙂

Ingredients:

For the Sponges:

  • 250g Butter
  • 200g Dark Chocolate (broken into pieces)
  • 500g Plain Flour
  • 500g Golden caster sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 200g Natural yogurt
  • 400g cooked beetroot (in its own juices, not vinegar)
  • x2 28ml red food colouring

For the Frosting:

  • 200g Full fat cream cheese
  • 250g Butter (softened)
  • 40g Icing Sugar
  • x2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Make the first batch of sponges by greasing and lining 2 x 20cm round tins. Gently melt half the butter and chocolate together in a saucepan. Mix half the flour, sugar, cocoa, bicarb and ¼ tsp salt in a large mixing bowl. Whizz one egg and half the yogurt and beetroot in a food processor or blender until fairly smooth. Put the kettle on.
  2. Tip the beetroot mix into the dry ingredients along with the melted chocolate mixture and 150ml boiling water, then stir to combine. Stir in half the food colouring, if using, and divide the mixture between the tins. Bake for 25 mins until a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean. Leave the cakes on a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 to make 2 more sponges or if you’re lucky enough to have 4 x 20cm sandwich tins you can bake in a big batch all at once.
  4. To make the frosting, briefly beat together the soft cheese and butter, then beat in the icing sugar and vanilla. Use a little to sandwich the cooled cakes together, then swirl the rest all over the sandwiched cakes and decorate with sweets, if you like. Sit the cake somewhere cool (not the fridge) to set a little before serving.

Thanks for stopping by! Let me know what you think 🙂

Holly xx

 

Advertisements

Mince Pies

Merry Christmas all! Well, it’s been a very long time since I’ve posted on here, but that’s not to say that I haven’t been baking – I just haven’t been uploading, so apologies for the long delay. For Christmas I decided to make Jamie Oliver’s Mince Pies which include TWO different types of pastry. I have to say I didn’t make the pastry as Christmas is always very busy – so shop bought was my method. But never the less – here is Jamie’s recipe for the most beautiful looking mince pies going – really yummy with a cup of tea and just the right size so you don’t fill up before the Christmas cheese board 🙂

Merry Christmas all – more recipes to come!

Holly xx

Ingredients:

  • 100 g good-quality mincemeat
  • 25 g dried cranberries or blueberries , chopped
  • 2 clementines , zest of
  • 1 splash sherry or brandy
  • flour , to dust
  • 250 g puff pastry
  • 1 pack filo pastry
  • 50 g butter , melted
  • 1 free-range egg , beaten
  • 50 g flaked almonds
  • icing sugar , to dust

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400ºF/gas 6. Scoop the mincemeat into a mixing bowl and mix in the dried berries, the clementine zest and the sherry or brandy.

2. Dust a clean work surface with flour and roll out the puff pastry into a big rectangle about 20cm x 40cm and the thickness of a pound coin. Thinly spread the mincemeat over the pastry, leaving a 1cm gap around the edges. Tightly roll up the pastry, lengthways, like a Swiss roll, place it on a floured tray, and pop in the fridge to firm up.

3. Take two cupcake trays (for 12 cupcakes each) and butter each one lightly with the melted butter. Place one layer of filo pastry over the tray (you may need more than one sheet to cover each tray depending on the size of the sheets) and ease the pastry into each hole. Brush with the melted butter, then cover with a second layer of filo pastry. Brush with butter again.

4. Take the puff pastry roll out of the fridge and, with a sharp knife, cut it into 24 slices. Place each slice, flat-side down, into a filo-lined hole. Brush with the egg and sprinkle a few flaked almonds on top of each little pie, then pop both trays in the oven for about 25 minutes, until cooked and golden brown.

5. Leave to cool, then crack the individual pies out of the trays. Dust with a little icing sugar before serving.

 

Crumpies

Crumpies - a cross between crumpets and Yorkshire puddings :)

Crumpies – a cross between crumpets and Yorkshire puddings 🙂

Crumpies! What a wonderful creation – a cross between a Yorkshire pudding and a crumpet, perfect hot out of the oven with lots of butter and a cup of tea!

They are a Jamie Oliver recipe and are a lot easier to make than crumpets – so if you’re in a rush these are perfect.

Makes 12

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil for greasing
  • 500g strong bread flour
  • 1 tea spoon caster sugar
  • 7g sachet of yeast
  • A good pinch of bicarb
  • 2 tea spoon salt

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven 170C/Gas 3 and grease a muffin tray with veg oil
  2. Place all ingredients in a bowl and pour 600ml of tepid water into the mix, whisk until combined and leave for 10 minutes
  3. When batters thickened pour into muffin holes until the mixture reaches the top
  4. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden
  5. Enjoy with lots of butter 🙂

Enjoy and please share if you like the recipe or leave me a comment – I’d love to hear from you 🙂

Holly x

 

 

Leek and Bacon Tartlets

One of my monthly treats is my subscription to Style at Home Magazine.

When it arrives through the door each month I am full of the joys and grab a cuppa straight away to flick through all it’s amazing stylist tips and not to mention the recipe section at the back! This month they featured a fab Leek and Bacon Tartlet recipe to wow your friends and family this Easter. So I gave it a try and it really was so yummy! So here it is!

Takes 40 minutes & serves 6 (I reckon 4 people though if you’re greedy like me and Tim :))

Ingredients:

  • 100g streaky bacon
  • 20g butter
  • 2 leeks
  • 100ml white wine
  • 6 tbsp. crème fraiche
  • 500g puff pastry (I used shop bought – so much quicker!)
  • 2 sprigs of thyme

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C and fry the bacon for 10 minutes until crispy. Set aside and heat the butter in the same pan and fry the sliced leeks for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Pour in the white wine and bubble for 5 minutes until the leeks are soft and most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in 3 tablespoons of crème fraiche and add the bacon.
  3. Roll out the pastry until just thicker than a £1 coin. Cut out 6 x12 cm circles (I just baked one giant tartlet then cut it up once baked) Score a 1cm margin around the edge and put on a baking tray. Spread 3 tbsp of crème fraiche over the pastry, top with the bacon and leek mixture and thyme leaves.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is puffed up and golden, sprinkle with a few extra thyme leaves before serving.

Hope you like this recipe – it really is so easy and a great weekday dinner with a big old salad 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

Holly x