Granny's Kitchen

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Custard Cream Bites March 1, 2015

Custard Cream

Hello and Happy St Davids Day to all my Welsh followers!

This is by no means Welsh but it is yummy. They’re quick and easy to prepare and there’s no need to preheat the oven! Only a few ingredients are needed but there’s no skimping on taste. The custard cream biscuits add their distinctive flavour and the sweet marshmallows provide a chewy, almost nougat-like texture. Swap custard cream biscuits for your favourite biscuit instead – how about Oreos or bourbons biscuits.

 

Ingredients

 

400g custard cream biscuits

400g large marshmallows

55g butter, diced

50g glacé cherries, sliced into quarters or chocolate chips (optional)

Method
Line an 8 inch x 8 inch tin with baking parchment.

Crush the custard cream biscuits into fine crumbs. To avoid mess and a sore arm, you can simply blitz the biscuits in a food processor.
Put the marshmallows into a large bowl along with the butter.
Place the mixing bowl into the microwave and heat on high for 1 1/2 minutes, or until the marshmallows have puffed up. Take the bowl from the microwave and stir. You may find that some of the marshmallows that have held their shape will melt into the rest of the sticky mixture as you stir, if not microwave for a further 30 seconds.

Quickly pour the custard cream biscuit crumbs into the melted marshmallow and butter mixture and stir.
If you wish to add the chopped glacé cherries or chocolate chips, now is the time to do so. Add half of the chopped cherries now and reserve the remainder for later. Give the mixture another good stir. It will be a rather stiff mixture by now!

Spoon the sticky marshmallow and biscuit mixture into the lined tin. You should be able to use a greased spoon to press the mixture into the tin.

Press the remaining chopped glacé cherries into the surface of the biscuit bites. Leave the bites to set in the tin for an hour or so. You can speed up the process by placing the bars in the fridge to firm up.

Make sure the bites are at room temperature before slicing. Enjoy!

 

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Mini Cherry Bakewell Tarts March 15, 2013

Mini Bakewell 1

At only 2″ across these are so cute!

 

Ok first off…I bought ready to use sweet pastry, because no matter how I try I’m no good at making pastry. But if you are able to make your own just go ahead, good for you! To give you something to go by, I used 300g of ready to use pastry.

 

Ingredients for the sponge

 

40g self raising flour

10g ground almonds

50g caster sugar

50g butter, at room temperature

1 egg, at room temperature

raspberry jam

 

For decorating

 

5 Tbsp icing sugar, sifted

1 – 2 Tbsp water

3 glace cherries, cut each one into four

 

Method

 

Use a 2″ plain pastry cutter and cut 12 circles from your pastry.

Put the circles into a mini muffin pan, moulding them to the cup shape.

For the sponge, put the flour, caster sugar, butter and egg in a mixing bowl and mix until light and fluffy.

Put a little less than half a teaspoon of jam in each pastry shell, then put 1 heaped teaspoon of the sponge mixture on top.

Put in the oven preheated to 180 C / gas 4 until the sponge is golden brown and springy, about 15-20 minutes.

Leave in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completly.

Mix the icing sugar with enough water to make a spreadable icing.

Spread evenly to cover the top of each tart, topping witha piece of cherry.

 

Tip: if you don’t have ground almonds in your cupboard just use 1 tsp of almond extract and replace the 10g ground almond with 10g of self raising flour.

 

Cherry and Almond slices December 28, 2012

Cherry & Almond

 

These are lovely and light after indulging over Christmas.

 

Ingredients

 

85g/3oz butter, softened

70g/2 1/2 oz caster sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

70g/2 1/2 oz self raising flour

1/2 tsp almond extract

55g/2 oz glace cherries, roughly chopped

2 Tbsp flaked almonds

 

Pre heat oven to 180C/gas 4. Grease and then line the bottom of a 9”/23cm square baking tin.

Put the butter, sugar, egg, egg yolk, flour, almond extract andground almonds in a bowl and beat together with an electric hand whisk until smooth and creamy. Stir in the cherries.

Pour into prepared tin and level with the back of a spoon. Scatter the flaked almonds over the cake mixture.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 – 25 minutes, until risen slightly and is firm to the touch. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completly. Cut into slices.

This recipe makes 8 slices. But you can always do as I do and double it if you need more.

 

Divinity Cookies December 18, 2012

Divinity 2

These are just delicious.

Made in the microwave, so no need to worry about boiling and candy thermometers. Although you do still need to be VERY careful not to splash yourself with the melted sugar mixture!

 

Ingredients

 

2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup golden syrup
1/4 tsp salt
2 egg whites
1 1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract (I used almond)
glace cherries, or nuts if preffered

 

Method

 

Mix together sugar, water, syrup and salt in an oven proof 2 qt. casserole dish, or similar.

Loosely cover with a lid or cling film. Microwave on High (100%) for 6 minutes.
Uncover. Microwave on High for another 9 minutes.
While syrup is cooking the last 9 minutes, beat egg whites on high until stiff.

Slowly pour hot syrup over egg whites while beating at high speed of mixer. Add extract  and continue beating on high for another 4 to 5 minutes until mixture holds its shape.

Quickly drop teaspoons of candy onto waxed paper and top with half a glace cherry. Leave to cool.

 

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.

 

 

Cherry Bakewell Cupcakes May 12, 2012

Tip: When using glace cherries, make sure they are washed and dried really well, otherwise the syrup they are kept in will leak into your icing, if being used to decorate the cake, or cause the cherries to sink to the bottom of the sponge cake during baking.

Makes 12 – 18

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes

150g butter, very soft

150g sugar

100g self raising flour

3 large eggs, beaten

1/2 tsp baking powder

60g ground almonds

1-2 Tbsp milk

4 Tbsp raspberry jam

For the Icing

250g icing sugar

about 3 Tbsp lemon juice

12 glace cherries

Method

Preheat oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5.

Beat the butter with a mixer until creamy. Add all the other ingredients for the cup cakes, except the jam, and beat until light and creamy.

Spoon the mixture into cup cases, dividing it evenly. Level the mixture in each case using the back of a teaspoon.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown and firm to touch.

Remove cupcakes from the tin and leave on a wire rack to cool.

To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and mix in the lemon juice to make a thick, but spoonable and runny icing. Set aside.

Using an apple sorer or small sharp knife, remove the centre from each cup cake, only cutting two-thirds of the way down. Stir the jam until it is a little runny, then carefully spoon into the holes in the cup cakes until the jam just reaches the top (don’t over fill).

Beat the icing. then spoon it over the top of each cup cake to flood the surface until the icing reaches the sides of the paper case. Be careful that the jam doesn’t become mixed into the icing. Add a cherry to the middle immediately and leave to set.

 

 
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