Sunday, 30 July 2017

Homemade Gingerbread Cake

Made to mark Yorkshire Day, this Gingerbread cake is delicious, flavoursome & aromatic.  Gingerbread Cake is easy to make using the melting method and stores really well, improving as each day passes.  Though when cake tastes this good you'll not want to put it back in the tin!

Homemade Gingerbread Cake recipe using the melting method

Click to jump straight to the recipe!

If you've made a homemade gingerbread I'm sure you'll appreciate the wonderful spicy aroma which filled our home just the other day, and for those who've never made one I really must encourage you to give it a try.  It's such a warm and comforting smell which brings about such anticipation, not to mention the wonderful spicy flavour of the cake itself.

Being made using the melting method, gingerbread recipes are really easy.  The hardest part is having the patience and self restraint not to slice into the the cake straight away!   By storing it in an airtight container for a day or two the cake is allowed to mature encouraging a deeper flavour and a slightly sticky crust to develop.

But if patience isn't your thing, or you're wanting a quick and satisfying cake this gingerbread cake still delivers.  It really is a fabulous cake whether you decide to slice into it as soon as it's cooled or if you package it up for a couple of days awaiting that extra depth of flavour.

How to make homemade Gingerbread Cake

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Bilberry Upside-Down Cake

Upside-down cake recipes make for an interesting everyday cake.  They are incredibly easy to make and are great for an impromptu bake resulting in a great addition to an afternoon tea, with no need for any frosting allowing the fruit to create the interest.   This bilberry upside-down cake makes great use of foraged berries with additional flavour coming from the ground almonds and a touch of lemon zest. 

Upside-down cakes make for an interesting everyday cake.  They are easy to make and this one makes great use of foraged bilberries and a classic Victoria Sponge batter

Click to jump straight to the recipe!

Food, and baking in general, has the amazing ability to create strong and powerful memories for most of us.  The aroma, flavour, and colour, as well as events surrounding certain foods often stays with us for a lifetime.  Personally I think that's part of the reason why I love to bake so much.  Besides the absolute pleasure it gives me to see people's face light up when I share a slice of something yummy, it also brings back so many warm memories I have from my childhood of baking with my Mum and Grandma.    

Those baking memories aren't just reserved to the time spent in the kitchen stood on a kitchen stool trying to roll out some pastry or fill some cupcake cases with my Mum, though of course it was a significant part, it also involved some foraging during the summer months resulting in a bake which seemed even more delicious having sourced a significant ingredient ourselves.

Foraged bilberries are great in many dessert and cake recipes

Now don't get me wrong, we certainly didn't go out every week to forage for all of our foods, far from it.  After all without a huge amount of expertise it's easy to pick the wrong things and become ill.  Invariable our foraging was largely reserved to collecting blackberries and bilberries, two fruits which grow abundantly in our locality.

I have to admit that living in Yorkshire, Mr E and I are lucky to know of several localities where we can forage for these awesome little bilberries.  But if you're not lucky enough to have some growing almost on your door step, and aren't planning a visit to Yorkshire where you may find the berry being sold in fruit and veg shops (particularly in market towns) check out your local Polish store, many sell the fruit jarred (simply drain away the syrup to use in the cake), or substitute the bilberry for blueberries, or even use blackcurrants or blackberries for that layer of dark fruit.  

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Strawberry Baked Alaska

A Baked Alaska is perfect when you want to have some baking excitement in the kitchen!  A dome of ice cream sits on a sponge cake which is encased in a layer of marshmallow-y meringue before being baked in the oven!  It's the ultimate warm frozen dessert and is sure to wow your guests!   In this instance strawberry ice cream and sponge is used. 

How to make Baked Alaska - Strawberry sponge, topped with strawberry ice cream and encased in a marshmallow-y meringue before being baked in a relatively hot oven!  The ultimate warm frozen dessert!

Click to jump straight to the recipe!

You may think that Baked Alaska recipes are only for the foolhardy or those feeling brave.  Really brave.   After all, who in their right mind puts ice cream into a relatively hot oven?

But if you keep on reading, and trust me, you'll soon realise that you can confidently serve this warm frozen dessert to your guests for them to gasp and marvel at!

How to make Baked Alaska - Strawberry sponge, topped with strawberry ice cream and encased in a marshmallow-y meringue before being baked in a relatively hot oven!  The ultimate warm frozen dessert!

Ready to trust me?

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

Strawberry Ice Cream is the perfect refreshing dessert for warm summer days.  It's packed with seasonal strawberries, and it's the perfect frozen dessert to be enjoyed on its own, drizzled with chocolate sauce, or even served alongside other desserts! 

Homemande Strawberry Ice Cream

Click to jump straight to the recipe!

We all know how good strawberries and cream are together, so what's better than a scoop or two of strawberry ice cream....perhaps homemade strawberry ice cream.

Or even a homemade strawberry ice cream drizzled with a luxurious chocolate sauce!

Homemande Strawberry Ice Cream drizzled with chocolate sauce

I can imagine that it'd be amazing accompanying our strawberry & basil upside down cake.

Homemande Strawberry Ice Cream would be the perfect accompniment for a strawberry cake

As well as being the perfect centre for a strawberry baked Alaska

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream is also the perfect choice for a baked Alaska

Strawberry ice cream is really easy to make with a handful of everyday ingredients.   We're just talking of eggs, milk, cream, sugar and of course strawberries!   There's no fancy unpronounceable ingredients, or those referenced with an E-number, in homemade ice cream.

And of course by making your own ice cream you're able to custom it to your own preferences.  If you like to see chunks of strawberries in your strawberry ice cream - consider it done.  Likewise, blitz the strawberries for longer if you fancy it completely smooth. 

Monday, 10 July 2017

Cherry Clafoutis Tarts

Cherry Clafoutis is a pretty special dessert being pack with seasonal cherries surrounded by a set custard.  It's quick and ridiculously easy to make.  But why not pimp up the classic French dessert and take it to the next level with this recipe for individual Cherry Clafoutis Tarts!  Wonderful served slightly warm with ice cream or cream!

How to make Cherry Clafoutis Tarts, a twist on the traditional  French dessert.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Minion Cupcakes + how to video!

Let your imagination go wild when making these fun Minion themed cupcakes!  They're easy to make, requiring no sculpting or hand shaping and are perfect for a child's party or charity bake sale.  I've used a vanilla cupcake and buttercream frosting to support our minion cake toppers, though feel free to use your favourite recipe!
How to make fun Minion themed cupcake toppers with fondant