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.

 

 

New Baby Cupcakes January 15, 2013

Baby Cakes 4

I made these for my neighbour who recently had a little boy.

 

Ingredients for the cupcakes

 

55g butter at room temperature

112g caster sugar

1 large egg

75g self raising flour, sifted

63g plain flour, sifted

60ml milk at room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Method

 

Pre heat oven to 160C/gas 4. Line a cupcake tray with paper cases.

Cream the butter and sugar until pale and smooth. Add the egg, mixing for a minute or two.

Combine the flours in a seperate bowl. Put the milk into a jug and add the vanilla extract to it.

Add one-third of the flours to the creamed mixture and beat well. Pour in one-third of the milk and beat again. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk have been used.

Spoon the mixture into the cases, filling them to about two-thirds full. Bake for 25 minutes.

Leave in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely .

 

Ingredients for the buttercream

 

55g butter at room temperature

30ml milk at room temperature

1/2 tsp mint extract

250g icing sugar, sifted

Few drops of green food colouring or gel

 

Method

 

Beat the butter, milk, mint extract and half the icing sugar until smooth. Gradually add the remainder of the icing sugar and beat again until the buttercream is smooth and creamy.

Add a drop of green colouring and beat thoroughly.

Spread evenly over the cupcakes.

I then used 250g of ready to roll white fondant and using a plain cookie cutter, cut disks just slightly smaller than the top of the cupcakes. Place on top of the buttercream. Then I added the tiny blue feet.

 

 

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.

 

Choc and Mint Cupcakes November 22, 2012

 

If you like chocolate, and you like mint, you’re going to love these cupcakes.

 

Basic chocolate cupcake ingredients

 

115g dark chocolate

85g butter, at room temperature

175g soft brown sugar

2 eggs, separated

185g plain flour, sifted

3/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

250ml milk, at room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Method

 

Preheat oven to 190C/gas mark 5.

Break the chocolate into pieces and melt it. Leave to cool.

In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and smooth.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks for several minutes. Add the egg yolks to the creamed mixture and beat well.

Add the melted chocolate to the mixture and beat well.

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

Add the vanilla extract to the milk.

Add a third of the flour to the mixture and beat well. Pour in a third of the milk and beat again. Repeat until all the flour and milk have been used.

In a clean bowl, whisk the whites until you have soft peaks.

Carefully fold the egg whites into the batter mixture, using a metal spoon. Do not beat or you will take all the air out of the mixture.

This is quite a runny batter, so take care when spooning into the cupcake cases as it can be very messy! Alternatively, pour the batter into a jug first then just pout the batter into the cupcake cases, makes it a lot easier.

Bake for 20 minutes (regular size) or 15 minutes (mini size). Leave in the tins for 10 minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Ingredients for the mint topping

 

110g butter, at room temperature

60ml milk, at room temperature

1/2 tsp peppermint extract (or more or less, depending on how minty you want your topping)

500g icing sugar, sifted

A few drops of green food colouring (depending on how green you want them)

 
To decorate

Dark chocolate chips

 

Method

 

Beat the butter, milk, peppermint extract and half the icing sugar until smooth, this can take several minutes with an electric hand mixer. Gradually add the remainder of the icing sugar and beat again until the buttercream is smooth and creamy. Taste the icing at this stage to see if you want to add more peppermint extract.

Add a drop of green food colouring and beat thoroughly. Add more carefully drop by drop, and beat after each addition to build up to your desired colour.

Use the icing to decorate the chocolate cupcakes, then top with chocolate chips. For a Christmassy looking cupcake you could top with crushed candy canes.

 

 

Happy Monster Cake November 18, 2012

 

 

Last week while I was looking after 2 of my Granddaughters, Elsie (4 yr old) asked if I could make her a happy monster cake. She hasn’t seen it yet, but I hope this will be pleased with this 🙂

I’ve noticed before with kiddies when they want a cake that’s green, they won’t actually eat it because it’s green. Which is why I opted for the mixture of green and cream with this cake.

 

For the cake I made a basic Victoria Sandwich

 

175g/6 oz butter, at room temperature

175g/6 oz caster sugar

3 eggs, beaten

175g/6 oz self raising flour

pinch of salt

jam

 

Method

 

Preheat oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4

Line two 8 inch sponge tins with baking parchment.

Cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is pale, light and fluffy.

Add the egg a little at a time, beating well after each addition.

Sift the flour and salt and carefully add to the mixture, folding it in with a metal spoon or spatula.

Divide the mixture between the tins and smooth over with a spatula.

Place then on the same shelf in the centre of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until well risen, golden brown and beginning to shrink from the sides of the tins.

Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes.

Loosen the cakes from around the edge of the tins using a spatula. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

When completely cool, sandwich together with strawberry jam.

 

Buttercream

 

110g butter, at room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

500g icing sugar, sifted

Few drops of food colouring (optional)

 

Method

 

In a large bowl beat the butter, vanilla extract and half the icing sugar until smooth – this can take several minutes with an electric hand mixer. Gradually add the remainder of the icing sugar and beat again until the buttercream is smooth and creamy.

If you want to colour your buttercream, always start with one drop of colour at a time and beat after each addition. 1 – 2 drops are usually enough for a pastel colour.

I then crumb coated the cake and put it in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Then using a star nozzle covered the top of the cake, before adding eyes, smiling mouth and ears, with Smarties and jelly beans. I then used crunchy mint sticks to stick to the buttercream for the hair.

 

Ladybird Birthday Cake October 25, 2012

 

Create a little animal magic and make this cute cake for a nature lover or gardener. I made it for my Granddaughters 4th birthday.

Serves 10 – 12

 

Ingredients

 

6oz self raising flour

1tsp baking powder

4oz soft margarine

4oz caster sugar

2 eggs

a few drops of red food colouring (optional)

2 Tbsp lemon curd, warmed

1kg/2 1/4lb ready to roll fondant

red, black and green food colourings

5 marshmallows

50g/2oz yellow marzipan

 

Materials and equipment needed

 

1.1L/2pint ovenproof bowl

26cm/10” round cake board

4cm/1 1/2” and 5cm/2” plain round biscuit cutters

garlic press

2 black pipe cleaners

 

 

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Grease the bowl then line the base with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add the margarine, sugar,and eggs.

Beat well for a couple of minutes, add the food colouring, if using.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared bowl and smooth the surface. Bake in the centre of the oven for 55 – 60 minutes. Leave the cake in the bowl for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack, peel off the parchment paper and leave to cool.

Cut the cake in half horizontally and sandwich together with buttercream. Cut off about one-third of the cake and brush both pieces with lemon curd.

Colour a little less than half of the fondant red.

On a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, roll out to about 5mm/1/4” in thickness and use to cover the larger piece of cake. Using a wooden skewer or the back of a knife, make an indentation down the centre of the cake for the wing casings.

 

Colour just over half of the remaining fondant black. Roll out three-quarters if the fondant and use to cover the smaller piece cake. Place the cakes on a cake board and assemble the head and body, gently pressing them together to secure.

Roll out a little of the white fondant and cut out 2 circles for the eyes, using the 5cm/2” round biscuit cutter. Stick in position with a little water.

Roll out the reserved black fondant and cut out 8 circles using the 4cm/1 1/2” round biscuit cutter. Stick one on each eye and the rest onto the body with a little water. Reserve the trimmings.

Colour the remaining fondant green. To make the grass put a little at a time in the garlic press and squeeze through. Trim off with a knife. Brush the cake board with a little water and position the grass.

To make the marshmallow flowers, roll the marzipan into a 2cm/1/4” long sausage shape and cut into thin slices. Set aside. On a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, flatten each marshmallow with a rolling pin. Snip around the marshmallow to make petals. Press a marzipan circle into the centre of each flower.

Cover about 4” of the pipe cleaners with cling film and insert into the cake between the head and body, make a small ball out of the reserved black fondant and press onto the end of each one. Arrange the ladybird decorations and flowers around the cake.

 

Frankenstein’s Monster & Halloween Mummy Cupcakes September 24, 2012

Here are some fun cupcakes for a date coming up soon.

Makes 12

 

Ingredients for the cupcakes

175g/6oz butter, softened

175g/6oz light brown sugar

3 eggs, beaten

25ml/1fl oz black treacle

225g/8oz self raising flour

2 tsp ground ginger

2 Tbsp ground almonds

2 Tbsp milk

 

For the buttercream

150g/5oz butter, softened

350g/12oz icing sugar

a few drops of green food colouring

 

To decorate

chocolate sprinkles

smarties

mini smarties

white ready to roll fondant

 

Method

 

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Place 12 paper cases into a muffin tin. Beat the butter and sugar together until soft. Gradually beat in the eggs.

Stir in the treacle. Sift in the flour and ginger, then fold in. Stir in the ground almonds and milk, then stir until well blended. Spoon into the cake cases and bake for 20 minutes until springy to the touch. Leave to cool.

For the buttercream, beat the butter until very soft. Sift in the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Divide the buttercream into two bowls. Colour one bowl green with the food colouring.

To make the monster cakes, spread the green buttercream on top of 6 of the cakes.Decorate with two smarties for the eyes and 3-4 mini smarties for the mouth, add chocolate sprinkles for the hair.

 

To make the mummies, spread the white buttercream over the remaining cakes. Roll out some white fondant thinly and cut into short strips. Lay the strips over the cupcakes like bandages, then add two smarties to each cupcake for the eyes.

 

 
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clumsily raising my boys and baking cakes

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