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

 

White Chocolate & Strawberry Cake

I looked in my fridge and saw a huge punnet of strawberries that was calling out to be baked in something. So I scoured through my cook books looking for the recipe that most satisfied me. Strawberry shortcake? Strawberry tart with crème patisserie? And then I found it….John Whaite’s white chocolate and raspberry cake. I already had white chocolate in the cupboard and figured that strawberries would do the same job as raspberries. The recipe was so easy to follow and the cake was so moist and moreish – I will definitely be cooking this one again (especially if the people in my office have anything to say about it!)

Ingredients:

  • 200g butter, chopped into small cubes, plus extra for greasing
  • 100g white chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 4 large eggs
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 175g raspberries, fresh or frozen

For the cream filling:

  • 200g white chocolate, chopped
  • 250ml double cream
  • a little icing sugar, for dusting
  • (Although I just whipped up some cream and flavoured it with some vanilla extract)

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line the base of 2 x 20cm round, loose-bottomed cake tins. Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof mixing bowl, set over a pan of barely simmering water and allow to melt slowly, stirring occasionally.
  2. When the butter and chocolate have melted, remove from the heat and allow to cool for 1-2 mins, then beat in the eggs and sugar with an electric whisk. Fold in the flour and raspberries.
  3. Gently pour the mixture into the tins and bake for 20-25 mins or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean (the raspberries may leave a residue on the skewer, so don’t be fooled by their juiciness). Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for 10 mins before turning out onto a wire rack.
  4. To make the ganache, put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl with 100ml of the cream, set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until the chocolate has melted into the cream and you are left with a smooth, glossy ganache. Leave the ganache to cool to room temperature, then beat in the rest of the cream.
  5. When the cakes have cooled, sandwich them together with the chocolate ganache. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.

Enjoy and please share if you like or bake this recipe! xx

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

Scones

 

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So, it’s been a while since my last post and I was inspired by another food blogger Janes Patisserie who recently posted her scone recipe and I thought I’d have a go at making some seeing as it had been a while since I last made them! I made a batch of 8 plain scones and 8 apple and cinnamon scones but sadly the apple scones came out a little over done – so I haven’t featured them on here!

The recipe is taken from The Dairy Book of Home Cooking 2012 edition which my Granny gave to me as a present and it’s been a life saver ever since – simply recipes used everyday. I also used my personalised Holly Rachel Bakes wooden spoon which was a lovely gift from my sister in law for my birthday a few weeks ago 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 225g Self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 50g Butter
  • 150ml Milk (plus extra for brushing)

Method:

  1.  Sift flour and salt into a bowl
  2. Rub butter into flour until it resembles breadcrumbs
  3. Add milk all at once and mix to a soft but not sticky dough using a knife
  4. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth
  5. Roll out until about 1cm thick
  6. Cut into 7-8 rounds with a 2.5inch biscuit cutter
  7. Transfer to a baking tray and brush with milk
  8. Bake at 230C for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown
  9. Cool on a wire rack and then enjoy warm with some butter – or my more recent favourite – lemon marmalade!

Enjoy! And if you like or bake this recipe – share this post and let me know! xx