Granny's Kitchen

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Festive Rainbow Cookie Bites December 19, 2015

Festive Christmas Cookie Bites

Three layers of almond sponge cake are put together with sticky apricot jam and topped with chocolate to make these rainbow cookie bites.

 

Ingredients

 

8 oz marzipan
1 cup granulated sugar
10 oz unsalted butter, softened, cut into pieces
4 large eggs, separated
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon red food coloring
1 teaspoon green food coloring
1 jar smooth apricot or raspberry jam
8 oz pound semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped small
1 teaspoon butter
Method
You’ll need three 9 x 12 inch rimmed baking tins.
Preheat oven to 175C/gas 4. Line the baking tins with parchment paper.
Combine the marzipan and 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until the mixture is in fine crumbles. Beat in the butter, a few pieces at a time, until well combined. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, until smooth.
Add the flour and salt to the mixing bowl and beat until just combined.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy. While whisking slowly add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and whisk until firm peaks form.
Fold about one-third of the egg white mixture into the batter with a rubber spatula, then gently fold in the rest. The batter should be fluffy.
Divide the batter evenly among 3 bowls. Stir enough red food colouring into 1 bowl to make a deep salmon colour. Stir enough green food colouring into another bowl to make a medium green colour. Leave the third bowl uncolored.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pans, smoothing out the tops.
Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, until the cake is just begining to come from the edge of the pan. Cool completely on wire rack. These are very thin cakes so do not try to remove the parchment paper until the cake is cold or it will break!
Spread half of the jam over the red cake and place the green cake on top. Spread the rest of the jam on the green cake and place the uncoloured cake on top.
Wrap the cake in clingfilm, put a 9 x 12 inch rimmed baking tin over this then put several tins of baked beans or whatever you have on the baking tin. This will help hold it all together. Leave like this overnight.
Remove the cans and the clingfilm.
Melt the chocolate and  butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Let cool for 5 minutes then pour on the cake, using a spatula to spread it to cover the cake.

 

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Mars Bar Cake May 17, 2015

Mars 1

Made this for my Son’s birthday yesterday.

 

You do need to make two different cakes for this to look like a Mars Bar inside.

 

Ingredients & Method for the first, chocolate cake

 

115g dark chocolate

85g butter, room temperature

175g light soft brown sugar

2 eggs

185g plain flour, sifted

3/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Pinch of salt

250ml milk, room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Preheat oven to 190C/gas 5 and line a loaf tin.

Break the chocolate into a glass bowl and melt over a saucepan of hot water.

Cream the butter and sugar until it’s pale and smooth.

Add one egg at a time, beating for a minute after each addition.

Add the melted chocolate to the mixture and beat well.

Combine the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a separate bowl.

Put the milk in a jug and add the vanilla extract to it.

Add one-third of the flour to the batter mixture and beat well. Pour in one-third of the milk and beat again. Repeat this until all the flour and milk have been added.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for approx 60 minutes, check after 45 minutes and if it looks as if its going to burn before baking through cover loosely with kitchen foil.

Once cooked through leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

 

Ingredients & Method for the second, caramel cake

 

110 butter, room temperature

120g light soft brown sugar

120g dark soft brown sugar

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

125g self raising flour

120g plain flour

75 ml caramel sauce, I use shop bought

50ml double cream

 

Preheat oven to 160C/gas 4 and line a loaf tin.

Beat together the butter and sugars until pale and smooth.

Add the eggs, one at a time beating for a minute after each addition, add the vanilla extract.

Combine the flours in a separate bowl.

Add one-third of the flours to the creamed mixture ans beat until just combined.

Add the caramel sauce and beat well.

Add another third of the flours and beat until just combined.

Add the double cream and beat again.

Add the remaining flour and beat well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for approx 60 minutes, check after 45 minutes and if it looks as if its going to burn before baking through cover loosely with kitchen foil.

Once cooked through leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

 

Ingredients needed for filling & decoration

 

Caramel Buttercream Ingredients & Method

 

60g butter, room temperature

6 Tbsp milk, room temperature

220g light brown soft sugar

240g icing sugar, sifted

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

 

Place the butter, milk and brown sugar in a saucepan over a high heat and stir to combine. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously, and allow it to boil for 1 minute.

Remove from the heat and stir in half the icing sugar. Leave to cool slightlyy, then add the remainder of the icing sugar and vanilla extract and stir until it thickens.

 

Caramel sauce, again I used shop bought

1 Tbsp apricot jam, melted

1 square chocolate, melted

Chocolate fondant, I used a ready to roll one made by Renshaws

2 large Mars Bars

 

Once both cakes have cooled completely, cut the top off the cakes as we need them to be flat but at the same time try to make sure you have the same thickness of both the chocolate and caramel cake to use.

Place the chocolate cake on a cake board and spread with caramel buttercream.

Spread caramel sauce on the caramel cake and sandwich the two cakes together.

Brush the melted jam all over the cake, then cover with the chocolate fondant.

Chop the Mars Bars into small pieces and attach to the top of the cake with a little melted chocolate.

 

 

 

 

Flickering Candle Birthday Cake October 26, 2013

Birthday 2

 

Stripey flickering candles are waiting to be blown out on this birthday cake. Made for Elsie, my Grandaughter who was 5 yrs old yesterday 🙂

 

I wanted a slightly taller cake to give the candles some length so made two of the below recipe then put them together with buttercream.

 

Ingredients

 

175g butter, at room temperature

175g caster sugar

3 eggs

175g self raising flour

pinch of salt

 

Method

 

Line a square 8″, deep, cake tin.

Pre heat the oven to 180c/gas 4.

Cream the butter and sugar together until it’s pale, light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Sift the flour and salt into the mixture and beat again.

Pour the mixture into the ready lined tin, level off with a spatula and bake for 50 – 55 minutes until well risen, golden brown and begining to shrink from the sides.

Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Once cooled, sandwich together with vanilla buttercream, using…

 

55g butter, at room temperature

30ml milk, at room temperature

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

250g icing sugar, sifted

 

Beat the butter, milk, vanilla extract and half the icing sugar until smooth. Gradually add the rest of the icing sugar and beat well until the buttercream is smooth and creamy.

 

To decorate

 

5 Tbsp apricot jam, warmed

500g ready to roll white fondant

125g green and yellow ready to roll fondant

edible sugar balls

edible-ink pens

 

Method

 

Place the buttercream filled cake onto a 9″ square cake board. Use the white fondant to cover the cake completely, trim the edges neatly.

Roll out the green fondant and cut into 5 1/2″ strips of unequal lengths, but each long enough to go up the side and on to the top of the cake.  Make a diagonal cut at one end of each. With a little water, attach these to the cake.

Roll out the yellow fondant and stamp out the flames using a leaf-shaped cutter. Attach in place with a little water. With a red edible-ink pen draw a wavy line in the centre of each flame then attach an edible sugar ball in the base of each flame.

Cut small strips of the yellow fondant and attach to the candles.

Roll out the remaining yellow fondant and stamp out small circles using the end of a piping nozzle. Repeat with the green fondant, using a smaller nozzle. Attach the green circles to the yellow circles with a little water, Attach these all around the base of the cake.

Draw wavy lines above the candles with the edible-ink pens. I used red and blue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Classic Christmas Cake November 30, 2012

Classic Christmas

This is a nice easy cake to make if you don’t have the time to be cutting out, shaping & making fondant items to decorate it with.

Just pop to the shop and buy some plastic ones, along with a cake frill to wrap around and a Christmas themed cake board  😉

This is an 8”/21cm cake.

 

Ingredients

 

1 lb (450g) currants

6 oz (175g) sultanas

2 oz (50g) glace cherries

2 oz (50g) candied peel

8 oz (225g)plain flour

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground mixed spice

8 oz (225g) unsalted butter

8 oz (225g) soft brown sugar

4 large eggs

zest of 1 lemon

zest of 1 orange

You will also need an 8 inch (21cm) round cake tin

500g marzipan

500g ready to roll fondant

6Tbsp apricot jam

 

Method

 

You need to start this cake the night before you want to cook it. All you do is weigh out the dried fruit and mixed peel, place it in a mixing bowl and mix in the hot tea. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave the fruit to absorb the tea for up to 12 hours.

Next day pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1, 275°F (140°C). Then measure out all the rest of the ingredients. The treacle will be easier to measure if you remove the lid and place the tin in a small pan of barely simmering water. Now begin the cake by sifting the flour, salt and spices into a large mixing bowl. Next, in a separate large mixing bowl, whisk the butter and sugar together until it’s light, pale and fluffy. Now beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add them to the creamed mixture a tablespoonful at a time; keep the whisk running until all the egg is incorporated. If you add the eggs slowly by degrees like this the mixture won’t curdle. If it does, don’t worry, any cake full of such beautiful things can’t fail to taste  good!

When all the egg has been added, fold in the flour and spices, using gentle, folding movements and not beating at all (this is to keep all that precious air in). Now fold in the fruit, peel and treacle and finally the grated lemon and orange zests. Next, using a large kitchen spoon, transfer the cake mixture into the prepared tin, spread it out evenly with the back of a spoon.  Finally cover the top of the cake with a double square of baking parchment with a 50p-size hole in the centre (this gives extra protection during the long slow cooking).

Bake the cake on the lowest shelf of the oven for 4½-4¾ hours. Sometimes it can take up to ½-¾ hour longer than this, but in any case don’t look till at least 4 hours have passed. Cool the cake for 30 minutes in the tin, then remove it to a wire rack to finish cooling. When it’s cold ‘feed’ it – make small holes in the top and base of the cake with a cocktail stick or small skewer, then spoon over a few teaspoons of brandy, wrap it in foil secured with an elastic band and store in an airtight container. You can now feed it at odd intervals until you need to ice it.

This particular cake has no alcohol in it. You don’t have to add alcohol if you don’t want it.

To decorate, melt 3 Tbsp of jam in the microwave and brush all over the cake. Roll out the marzipan to fit over and around the cake and place onto the cake, smoothing down with your hand.

You now need to leave it to dry, for about least 2 days.

Again, melt 3 Tbsp of the jam. Roll out the fondant, as you did the marzipan. Place the fondant onto the marzipaned cake.

Attach your plastic decorations and cake frill.

 

 

Holly Decorated Christmas Cake November 28, 2012

I made this simple yet effective cake for a friend.

This was made in a 6”/16cm cake tin.

Ingredients

6 oz of softened butter

6 oz brown sugar

3 eggs

½ lb of plain flour (use white flour for a traditional result and wholemeal for a darker cake)

¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda

¼ tsp of salt (this really helps bring out the flavours so don’t leave it out)

1 ¼ tsp ground mixed spice (or a mix of ground ginger, ground cinnamon and ground cloves)

1 ¼ lb mixed dried fruit, soaked overnight in the liquid of choice. For this I used tea as my friend didn’t want alcohol in it.

6 Tbsp apricot jam

1lb approx 500g marzipan

1lb approx 500g white ready to roll fondant

green food colouring

7-inch cake tin lined with greaseproof paper, place the tin on the paper and draw around it to get the right size for the lining on the inside.

Method

Put the dried fruit in a bowl and pour on your liquid for soaking  – no need to measure just keep on adding until the liquid gets to the top of the fruit. Cover tightly with a clean tea towel and leave overnight.

Then when you’re ready to finish the cake, first line your cake tin with greaseproof paper and turn your oven on to Gas Mark 1 (140C or 275F).

Then get another large bowl and add your softened butter and sugar. Give it a quick mix with a wooden spoon, there’s no need to go the whole hog and bash it until it’s properly creamed.

Then crack in your eggs and add the rest of the dried ingredients.

Strain the dried fruit from any remaining liquid and add this into the large bowl.

Give it all a stir until the dried fruit is evenly covered.

You want quite a stiff cake mix at this point, the wooden spoon should stand up unaided in the mix. If the mix is so stiff that you’re finding it hard to get the spoon in and stir then add a swish of saved liquid. But if the cake mix is too sloppy then add a tablespoon or so of flour and stir.

Then heave it all into the lined cake tin and put it in the oven for 3 hours.

You’ll know when the cake is done because the now solidified cake mix will have detached itself from the edge of the tin and shrunk inwards a bit. Also your kitchen will be smelling wonderful.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin, for at least 45 minutes – 1 hour, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To decorate, melt 3 Tbsp of jam in the microwave and brush all over the cake. Roll out the marzipan to fit over and around the cake, I rolled mine into a 12”/31cm circle, and place onto the cake, smoothing down with your hand.

You now need to leave it to dry, for about least 2 days.

Again, melt 3 Tbsp of the jam. Roll out the fondant, as you did the marzipan. Place the fondant onto the marzipaned cake.

Colour the left over fondant green, and using holly cutters, cut out some holly leaves. Attach them with a brush just slightly dampened with water then add the berries.

 

Pearl Wedding Cupcakes July 1, 2012

Makes 12

 

Ingredients

 

225g/8oz plain flour

110g/4oz caster sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 egg

150ml/5fl oz milk

55g/2oz butter, melted

1tsp vanilla extract

 

To decorate

 

450g/16oz ready to roll icing

3 – 4 Tbsp apricot jam, warmed

white sugar flowers, bought or make your own

edible silver baubles/posh pearls

 

Method

 

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Place 12 paper cases in a 12 hole muffin tin. Sift the flour, sugar and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Whisk together the egg, butter, milk and vanilla extract in a jug. Stir into the dry ingredients until just combined.

Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and risen. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool completely.

To decorate, roll out the ready to roll icing thinly on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar. Cut out small rounds, slightly smaller than the diameter of the cakes.

Brush the tops of the cakes with a little apricot jam and attach the icing rounds.

Attach the sugar flowers with a dab of jam, then place the silver baubles in the centre of the flowers with a tiny dab of jam.

 

Simnel Cake April 1, 2012

Originally made and given to Mothers on Mothering Sunday.

It was not eaten on Mothering Sunday because of the rules of Lent, instead it was saved until Easter.

The word simnel probably derived from the latin word ‘simila’, meaning fine, wheaten flour from which the cakes were made.

The Simnel cake is a fruit cake. A flat layer of marzipan is placed on top and decorated with 11 marzipan balls representing the 12 apostles minus Judas, who betrayed Christ.

Simnel cake is still made in many parts of Britain today, although it is now more commonly made for and eaten at Easter.

Ingredients

175g/60z butter

175g/6oz soft brown sugar

3 large eggs

175g/6oz plain flour

Pinch of salt

1 tsp mixed spice

350g/12oz dried mixed fruit

55g/2oz chopped mixed peel

1/2 lemon. grated zest only

1 – 2 Tbsp apricot jam

1 egg, beaten for glazing

500g/1lb marzipan

Method

Roll out a third of the almond paste to make a circle 18cm/7in in diameter and reserve the remainder for the cake topping.

Preheat oven to 140C/275F/Gas 1. Grease and line a 18cm/7in cake tin.

Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs until well incorporated and then sift in the flour, salt and mixed spice  a little at a time. Finally, add the mixed dried fruit, peel and grated lemon zest and stir into the mixture.

Put half the mixture into a greased and lined 18cm/7in cake tin. Smooth the top and cover with the circle of almond paste. Add the rest of the cake mixture and smooth the top leaving a slight dip in the centre to allow for the cake to rise. Bake in the preheated oven for 1¾ hours. Test by inserting a skewer in the middle – if it comes out clean, it is ready. Once baked, remove from the oven and set aside to cool on a wire rack.

Brush the top of the cooled cake with the apricot jam. Divide the remainder of the almond paste in half; roll out a circle to cover the top of the cake with one half and form 11 small balls with the other half.

Place the circle of paste on the jam glaze and set the balls round the edge. Brush the cake topping with a little beaten egg.

Preheat the grill to high. Place the cake onto a baking tray and grill for 1-2 minutes, or until the top of the marzipan begins to brown. Alternatively, lightly heat the cake topping using a cook’s blow torch, until the marzipan is golden-brown.

 

 
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