Amaretto and Apricot cake with ameretto buttercream and glaze

Amaretto cake with buttercream and glazeSometimes we all need a showstopper cake in our repertoire and this is one of mine.I love a bit of Amaretto and Apricot cake and I seem to be making more and more tall cakes with a touch of alcohol in the ingredients…. and I’m practically teetotal. Well, designated driver at least!

This is a cake I came up with after my lovely friend Jane gave me a beautiful bottle of Disaranno after I made her daughters Minecraft cake.( I’ll have to share that with you sometime. It was a girl version of this one.) The reason Jane bought me this rather than any other drink is because Dr Pepper is my drink of choice – I love the stuff, and amaretto and coke is like alchoholic Dr P. Very good on a school mum’s night out.

Anyway, I was talking to my sister about the disaranno and she said that Amaretto is made from apricots and I was surprised as I always thought it came from almonds. It turns out that it can be made from either.  What a good way to flavour a cake I thought. So I did.

 

Amaretto and apricot cake

For the cake

  • 150g dried apricots (cut into small pieces)
  • 100ml Amaretto
  • 175g butter at room temperature
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp Amaretto
  • 200g self raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder

Amaretto Buttercream

  • 200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 200g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbsp Amaretto (or 1 tsp almond extract)  this could be increased according to your preferred taste

Amaretto Glaze

  • 50g butter
  • 50ml honey
  • 1 tbsp ameretto
  1. Cut up the apricots into small pieces and soak in an air tight container for 24-72 hours – or longer if you want a boozier cake. Give the container a shake every now and then.
  2. To make the cake: Pre heat the oven to 180ºC (Fan oven160ºC) and line a deep 6″ cake tin or four 6″ sandwich tins- You can use disposable foil ones for a quick clean up.
  3. Place the sugar and butter in a bowl and mix until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs slowly and whisk thoroughly. Add the Amaretto
  5. Sieve the flour and baking powder over the mix and fold in gently.
  6. Add the chopped apricots and whatever Amaretto hasn’t been absorbed.
  7. Place the cake mix in the cake tin, smooth with the back of a spoon and bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes for sandwich tins (40-50 minutes for a deep tin) until a skewer comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven and after ten minutes take the cake/s out of the tins and leave to cool completely on a rack.
  9. Once the cake is completely cold whisk all the ingredients for the buttercream together in a bowl for 4-5 minutes until it’s really light and fluffy.
  10. Slice the large cake into four layers.
  11. Layer up the cake with a decent amount of buttercream between each layer finishing with a smooth top. You can use a palette knife or place the buttercream in a piping bag for a really easy assembly. Set to one side.
  12. To make the glaze place the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat until melted. Add the honey and Amaretto then leave to bubble for 5-10 minutes until the liquid is a rich golden brown colour, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before pouring into a jug.
  13. When nearly completely cold pour the glaze over the whole cake so it dribbles down the sides. Ensure the glaze isn’t too warm or it will completely melt the butter cream.
  14. Serve straight away

Apricot and Amaretto cake

Enjoy!

 

EmmaMT

x

Gingerbread man wreath – the perfect Christmas gift

Gingerbread man wreath with Bakingmad.comHave you ever been on the BakingMad.com website before? It’s jam packed full of tons and tons and TONS of recipes, loads of inspiration and a cakesbakesandcookies.com cake or two! (See here and here if you’re interested!)  They’ve really revamped the website since the last time I was on there. Now there’s an array of baking images to greet you from the get go. And if you’re looking for a touch of Christmas baking gift inspiration – I’m thinking teachers here, then there’s loads of choices there too.

Beau and Darcey always want to give ALL their teachers a Christmas gift, so that’s their class teacher, the teacher who has them when their class teacher is planning, the teacher’s assistant, the teacher that helps them with extra maths or English…. the list goes on and on and let’s face it I’m not made of money and I love to bake, so it’s a no brainer really. Enter Bakingmad.com and their gingerbread man wreath. How cute it this? Such a simple idea.

So, you can imagine how excited I was to be set the challenge of making one of their Christmas recipes to share with you guys (in exchange for a box load of flour, essence and some yummy Bilington’s sugars- thanks you guys!)

When the BakingMad team asked me which recipe I was going to make I said the peppermint candy canes, then the chocolate fudge cake and then finally I decided that it had to be this wreath. I have actually made the chocolate cake too but more on that in another post! Gingerbread man wreath with Bakingmad.comThe wreath was super easy to make. You simply cut out  the shapes – I made some from gingerbread men and snowflakes. Place the biscuits on a sheet of silicon paper. I used circles of paper so I could follow the shape of the paper and keep it neat. Once all in position I gave the holding hands a gentle press just to make sure they stuck together whilst baking- and they did. I was surprised how well the wreath held together once baked but then I did make pretty thick biscuits!

Once out of the oven I threaded ribbon through the gaps. I made a few extra gaps with a metal skewer and finished off with a bow. Cute hey? I have to say that I really enjoyed making these. I was singing away to myself the whole time! Gingerbread man wreath with Bakingmad.com

So, that’s the teachers sorted – now for the rest of the family!

Gingerbread man wreath with Bakingmad.com

So what are you guys making for gifts this year? I’d love to know.

 

EmmaMT

x

Beau’s 11th Birthday cakes – yes cakes! Plural

IMG_6759Beau turned 11 years old on the 14th November which just happened to be a Friday. Scouts is on Fridays, so I hatched a cunning plan. Her Scout group were going into London to see the poppies at The Tower of London. It was a ‘Poppies and Pizza’ evening but as there were 25 of them they couldn’t get a table in London and came back to the Bromley Pizza Express for the pizza part.

My cunning plan was to make a cake and deliver it to the Pizza Express while they were out. When I dropped Beau off at the train station I told the leader my plan but she wasn’t expecting me to make sure there was enough for everyone. She obviously doesn’t understand how a Jewish mum’s mind works. Food is king and there’s always enough to go around. IMG_6758

The cake was a 10″ Madeira cake with a mint green coloured buttercream filling. I also coated the cake in the same buttercream and rolled it in 100’s and 1000’s. I’ve made a few cakes now which are covered in sprinkles and I am yet to do it without making a huge mess!

How to decorate a cake with sprinkles

I always start by giving the cake a butter cream crumb coating followed by twenty minutes in the fridge for that first layer to firm up. I then add a second butter cream coating to the sides which the sprinkles stick to when I lift the cake up and hold it sideways between my hands from the top and bottom and roll it in a tray full of sprinkles. I then pop the cake back in the fridge for the butter cream and sprinkles to firm up enough to decorate the top of the cake. I add a generous amount of butter cream with a spatula to the top and give it 10 minutes to chill then I position the name and age cut out on the top and press down gently around the edges of the letters and numbers so no sprinkles can get underneath the paper. I then gently add sprinkles to the top. I brush off the excess with a bristle pastry brush and then – you’ve guessed it – pop it back in the fridge, this time for ten minutes. Then I remove the paper letters and numbers and carefully transfer the cake onto a cake board, put it in a box, take a few snap shots and shoot out to Pizza Express.

Beau was really stunned and I think just a little bit chuffed with the surprise. When the parents got there to collect their scouts there was tons of cake left over so there was definitely plenty to go around. We even cut some up for people to take home. I definitely didn’t want any at home as we had the second birthday cake and that was also a biggie.

The birthday party cake

IMG_2349

When I asked Beau what cake she wanted for her birthday party this year she already had it planned. Her one word answer was “Smarties”. For some strange reason she has got really into Smarties recently. I think it’s the boxes with the letters on the lids. Have I ever mentioned that Beau is really into crafting and a lot of that revolves around making things from boxes. I’m in big trouble if I try to throw out a toilet roll tube!

Well, for the cake she wanted to have two tiers and it be Madeira cake with chocolate butter cream as the filling and on the outside with the whole thing covered in Smarites. I chose to add a few of the Renshaw mini bean cake toppers to the cake to add a bit of scale. Tim managed to get hold of one of those tubes of just pink Smarties so I could use them for the words and ’11’. Beau loved it and I’m not sure how we managed to get the cake to the bowling party without any going missing!

IMG_2351 IMG_2362I think she liked it. Judging from this smile I think it was a winner! I must say that I seem to have a recurring theme with photos of my daughters and their birthday cakes. They always seem to be wielding massive knives! IMG_2359

I can’t actually believe that I now have an eleven year old. When did that happen. She’s so young and grown up all at the same time.

 

Happy Birthday Beau Beau Bob. We love you soooooo much. 

Mama. x

How to make your own vanilla essence

Vodka! Love it or hate it, it’s the super secret ingredient to making your own delicious vanilla essence and it’s super easy to do too! If you’re quick you could even have some ready to give as a gift this Christmas. I’ll show you how to make your own vanilla essence in under 10 minutes ….. plus a few weeks!

U’Luvka Vodka You can use any vodka but when it comes to a gift or when you want a really amazing flavour I suggest using a better quality one. I’ve used U’Luvka which is a super premium vodka (It’s won over 60 awards for its smooth, sippable and full flavoured taste) so you know you’re getting a top notch flavour. It’s also got this really cool bottle. Don’t you just love it?

 

How to make vanilla essence

How to make vanilla essenceStart off by cleaning and sterilising your bottles. I used miniatures of the U’Luvka Vodka so I just added the pods straight to the liquid.

How to make vanilla essenceVanilla pods are quite expensive from the supermarket costing around £2-3 for two pods. I bought 20 pods for £8.75  from  Amazon.co.uk and they are big and fat and full of seeds. Even when the packaging was sealed shut I could smell them! How to make vanilla essence

Take out two to three pods per 100ml of vodka and cut a slit down the centre so the seeds can escape. Scrape out the seeds from one pod and add it to the bottle. Now all you need to do is re-seal the bottle and store it for 4-6 weeks shaking it regularly so that the vodka really infuses with the vanilla seeds. How to make vanilla essenceAnd this is what it looks like after 6 weeks of shaking and infusing.

How to make vanilla essence

I would like to thank my lovely friend Cristina from Free Cakes for Kids  for this recipe. She very kindly gave me this beautiful bottle full of her home made vanilla essence (as you can see above) and I have to say that it’s still going strong-  and you can imagine how much baking I do! There’s still some left in the pretty bottle and she gave it to me back in July!

I didn’t believe Cristina when she told me how easy it is to make this vanilla essence as the taste is so much better than shop bought essence and it works out so much less expensive but it really is that easy.

So what have you got planned to make for Christmas gifts this year? I’d love to know!

EmmaMT

x

Special thanks to LOVEDRINKS.COM for sending me their cute mini bottles  U’Luvka vodka.// All opinions are my own.

Best for Baking: Silicone piping bag

 Silicone piping bags. Why I’m a new convert to after making these chocolate cupcakes

Silicon piping bag

Silicon piping bag

I must have walked past these silicone piping bags a ton of times. They sell them at Hobbycraft (a regular haunt of mine) and they’re available on Amazon too. I’ve always just used disposable piping bags in the past as I think they’re really easy to handle and just chuck away rather than clean up all that greasy butter cream when you’re done. But I figured at £5 it was worth a try. Good decision.

I had some cupcakes to make for Free Cakes For Kids so I thought that it was the perfect testing opportunity. When I make cupcakes for outside friends and family I measure the cake mix into each cupcake case. I know that sounds a bit OCD but it’s the only way I can get them almost even. I do try to be professional! The way I do this is by measuring each cupcake as I go. When using this piping bag it was a doddle.  The silicone piping bag has a smooth inside so the ingredients can be squirted out easily but it has a lightly textured outside so your sticky/wet hands can still grip it firmly. I have to admit I was surprised how easy it was to handle and control.

Silicon piping bag

When I fill a piping bag with cake mix I place it in a large jug, fold the edges over the top and then fill. If I’m filling a smaller bag I simply use a tall glass. This has been the easiest and cleanest way to fill a bag. Make sure that the bottom is folded up so no mixture can escape while you’re filling and if you need to stop half way through filling or decorating you can just pop it back in the jug or glass. Silicon piping bag

You can see how easy it is to fill cupcake cases using the silicone piping bag below. See? Not a drop out of place! Silicon piping bag

Once the cupcakes were baked and cool I added the buttercream topping. Test number 2. Again I made up the chocolate butter cream and filled the bag. This time I added a piping tip. As it’s a large tip I had to cut quite a bit off the end of the silicone piping bag so I think I would need to buy a second bag if I wanted to use it with some of my smaller royal icing tips but as I don’t use them that often I’ll see how I go.

Silicon piping bag

I was really happy with the end result. I think these are probably some of the most even looking cupcakes I’ve ever made and I put that down to using the silicone piping bag. So marks out of 10? I’d give it 8. Silicon piping bag

The end result was 24 pretty and yummy cupcakes boxed up and ready to deliver.

Super-flex silicone piping bag is available from Amazon.co.uk

Do you have and use a silicone piping bag? What do you think about them compared with disposable ones? I’d love to know.

EmmaMT

Cakes in Bloom: Peggy Porschen book review

Cakes in Bloom by Peggy Porschen Peggy Porschen - Cakes in BloomThis post has been a long time coming! I received this book ‘Cakes in Bloom Peggy Porschen‘ back in May when it was released and one thing and another (mainly a chance to take part in one of the Peggy Porschen flower master classes- which you can read about in the next post) it didn’t happen. It’s been on my to do list since then and it’s November! Where has the year gone?

About the book

So, this is a different kind of book to the others that Peggy has written. Yes, there are cake recipes – at the back (including Victoria sponge, rich dark chocolate cake and a luxury fruit cake) but it’s all about sugarpaste flowers. The flowers are so beautiful and shot so close up that when I showed my mum the book (I did get a bit over excited when I got my hands on it) she didn’t believe that the flowers weren’t real. They are the most realistic sugar flowers I have ever seen and I’ve seen these up close and in the flesh.

Peggy Porschen - Cakes in Bloom

So what’s the best thing about this book? Or rather why is it a winner in my eyes?  Well, apart from the stunning flower creations by Peggy – it has to be the photography. Georgia Glynn Smith you are a pro! The shots are sheer perfection for a complete sugar flower making beginner like myself. I’ve never really gone further in detail than with a simple rose or a rose bud and maybe a few blossoms cut out with a plunger cutter. These flowers look so complicated and like you need so much equipment but that isn’t the case. Now, I know that I have quite a lot of equipment and cutters are a big part of my collection but I found a ton of blooms I could make straight away without having to purchase anything else.

Peggy Porschen - Cakes in Bloom

I’m going to be completely honest here. I’m not much of a flower on a cake sort of a person. But I was so intrigued by the book I had to have a go and just as the book landed I had a cake request with loads of flowers on. Funny how that happens isn’t it? The first bloom I attempted from the book was a Dahlia. It looked okay. I used sugar paste instead of flower paste. Flower paste is much sturdier and can be rolled out so it’s see through and thin like paper. It makes really delicate flowers. Sugar paste still makes a good flower but no where near as realistic. Sugar paste also takes an age to dry out.

My Dahlia took me absolutely aaaages to make. I hadn’t planned this into my cake design and I was up all night because I was enjoying making the flowers so much I wanted to make three to five of them. But I loved every minute of it. Had I read the instructions before I attempted to make them for a cake I would have realised that I needed to make some parts the day before so they had time to dry out. Oh well- I knew for the next time.

So, back to the book….Cakes in bloom by Peggy Porschen

 

Contents include:-

Peggy Porschen - Cakes in BloomSugar flower basics

How to get started, the basic tool kit and specialist tools that are a bit new to me too. There’s also a whole section devoted to flower paste.

Peggy Porschen - Cakes in BloomFlower designs

Okay- deep breath. The flowers covered are Spring blossom, purple Pansies, Frangipani, Carnation Pomanders, Roses and Lily of the valley, Snowballs, Dahlias, Daisy wreath, tumbling hydrangeas, roses and violets, Iceland poppies, White rose and petals, Ombre petals, Sweetpea posy, English garden roses, Climbing Cosmos, Peonies, Chrysanthemum trees, white Orchids, Blush Anemones, Vintage blooms, cherry blossom, Camellia Lace and Floral cascade!!!

Peggy Porschen - Cakes in BloomBaking and icing basics

I really like the ‘planning ahead’ section on what you should do on each day. I need to adhere to this a bit more. There’s also details on baking tools, how to line a cake tin, the cake recipes including butter creams, how to layer cakes, covering cakes with marzipan and sugar paste. How to dowel a cake, ice a cake board, then there’s a whole section on royal icing.

Quantity guides

These pages show you how much ingredients you need for different cake tin sizes, how much sugar paste, marzipan, ganache etc you need for different cakes.

Sugar flower glossary

Just in case you don’t know how to do a technique Peggy explains it in full in this section. Dusting anyone?

Suppliers

Where to buy Peggy’s tools and equipment

The book is really beautifully laid out. Loads of space and load of amazing pictures. The step by step shots for each arrangement are really, really thorough. I’ve been sent quite a few ‘how to make flower’ books for review here on CakesBakesAndCookies.com but none of them have been good enough to feature. I have to say that EVERY step is covered in this book. There’s no guess work. Anyone can make these flowers – just make sure you leave yourself enough time!

So armed with all of this information don’t you just want to have a play at flowers? I reckon this book will be a good Christmas present so if you have a list (well it is November after all) then I would pop this on it. You won’t be disapointed!

Oh and just in case you wanted to see my cake with my first attempt at Peggy Porschen flowers on it. Here it is. Not bad for a first attempt.Flower cake

EmmaMT x

Cakes in Bloom: Exquisite Sugarcraft Flowers for All Occasions by Peggy Porschen, £25 published by Quadrille

Disclaimer: The product in this post was provided by  Quadrille Publishing All thoughts and opinions and entirely my own.

Peggy Porschen Vintage Flower Masterclass

The only way to learn how to make sugar paste roses is at a Peggy Porschen vintage flower masterclassMe and Naomi

As a keen baker and a passionate cake blogger I don’t think you would be surprised to hear that a call from The Peggy Porschen Academy was enough to make my day. But when that call is asking if I would like to take part in one of their Peggy Porwchen Vintage flower  masterclasses you can imagine how big my grin was! Enormous!

At the time I was in the middle of trying to get an interview with Peggy for a feature I was writing for AchicaLiving, so I thought the call was about that. The lovely PR asked which course I might be interested in doing and as I was reviewing the new book Cakes in Bloom she suggested that I do a masterclass to create one of the arrangements from the book. Being cheeky I chose the two day Vintage Blooms class. It was a great choice!

The two day course was small and friendly. Just five students, some of whom travelled from Germany and Switzerland to take part. The Vintage blooms we were learning to make included one rose bud, one medium rose and one big open rose complete with leaves and some hydrangea petals. It doesn’t sound a lot but trust me- these are very delicate and detailed blooms. 

How to make roses

The tutor – Naomi took us through each step needed to make each petal and leaf from kneading and rolling out to veining and securing with wire.

1. the buds

 Rolled out petals: Peggy Porschen

As you cut out the petals keep them soft in a plastic sleeve.

We started with a polystyrene bud which we covered with one petal. To make the petals for the rose we used two size cutters. Each petal was stretched and frilled with the end of a curved rolling pin. This makes it look realistic. We used edible glue to secure the petals onto the bud. I found this really difficult to begin with. I wasn’t used to working with flower paste and it kept cracking or I rolled it too thin. 

3. cut out and frilled petals

Two petals. The one on the right has been frilled

4. Naomi demonstrating

Each rose starts in the same way. One petal to cover the polystyrene bud then three petals- with their edges curled over, wrapped around. If you stop there you have a rose bud.

Rose bud: Peggy Porschen

To continue making a medium rose you roll out and cut seven more petals. The flower paste dries really quickly so you only roll out what you need and keep the rest wrapped up in a zip lock bag. The petals are kept in a plastic sleeve (the kind used for paper documents) till they’re ready to be used. Each petal is thinned and frilled with the rolling pin and the edges are rolled over a cocktail stick then set in a palette to firm up a bit. Rose petals taking shapeAfter half an hour you add edible glue to the base of the petals and then position them around the rose bud. This was tricky as most of the students had them going in different directions (an easy mistake to make!) The idea is to have the petals running in the same direction throughout. So left side under the previous petal and so on.Adding the petals to a sugar rose Naomi showed us how to assemble the petal and hold the rose up and look at it from underneath to check it looked right. Easier said than done! Once you’re happy the petals are pressed firmly into place and the rose is rested upside down on some foam to dry. At this stage you leave it overnight to harden so you can handle it the next day without pieces breaking off.Checking the petals on the rose are in the right order

To make the large open rose you continue adding petals (nine for the last layer) if not you have the medium rose. Once the nine large petals are cut and frilled they are set in the palette again, this time they are only just in the palette so the bottom edge takes the curved shape of the wells – this is what gives the open petal shape on the rose. Leave for half an hour and secure onto the rose as for the middle layer. Leave to harden.Petals just in the palette

The large roseOnce dry each rose is given a touch of pink coloured powder. We used more powder throughout the buds and inner petals than on the rest of the rose. This is what brings the rose to life making each one look different.

Leaves

To complete the roses a calyx is cut out in pale green for each rose. It too is thinned and then little cuts are made in the sides to make it look realistic. These are added onto the bottom of each rose and secured neatly so no edges are sticking out. Green coloured powders are used to add definition to the calyx.

To make the leaves we cut out the shapes then pressed them between two veiners to give them definition. Wires were inserted into the spines and they were left to dry. Once dry coloured powders were applied with small paintbrushes. You only need the tiniest amount of powder and each leaf is brushed from the outside in with green and then pink powder. The pink is what gives that vintage tone. 

The Hydrangeas

Hydrangea kitThe hydrangeas were made in the same way as the leaves only the wires were threaded through the middle of each flower and were then set over some foam to dry. Hydrangeas set over foam to dryThe flower paste was green and we dusted them with pink powders once dry. To hide the wire going through the centre of each flower a dot of royal icing was added.

hydrangea petals

The end result: a box full of beautiful blooms.

My blooms- I was very proud!

To say I was proud of my vintage blooms would be an understatement! I showed them to anyone who happened to come to my house. So that they were on show and not hidden away in a cupboard I placed them in a vintage tea cup and saucer and now display them in a (dust free) terrarium in my living room where they are on show to this day.

Peggy Porschen Vintage Flower Masterclass

The course ran from 11.30am – 4pm on both days and it took that long to make all these flowers. If anyone asks why wedding cakes are so expensive this would be why. The amount of time, care, attention and detail taken over each and every flower, petal and leaf is amazing. The course was so much fun. Some of the students were on their second and third masterclass and you can see why. Peggy Porschen’s academy is just that little bid addictive!

Classes run throughout the year covering all aspects of baking, cake decorating, piping and sugar crafting. For more information and inspiration visit  www.peggyporschenacademy.com

EmmaMT x

Disclaimer: Thanks to The Peggy Porschen Academy for inviting me to take part in their masterclass. I loved it. All opinions here are my own.

Raspberry tray bake recipe with extra zing! And it’s dairy free.

Raspberry tray bakeI’m a big fan of using dried fruits in cakes – just look at all the sultanas and apricots I’ve featured before- namely with a touch of alcohol! but it’s only just recently that I have discovered freeze dried fruits. Have you tried them? They’re available all over the place but most often as a cake topper in the 100’s & 1000’s aisle.

Once you try them you kind of want to nosh on them all the time. They have this really intense burst of flavour. I think it’s due to the way they are made. Fresh fruit is frozen and placed in a chamber where it’s vacuum sealed and heat is applied. I don’t really understand the finer details. All I know is that they taste mighty fine when 80-90% of the water is removed. You can read all about it on Paradisefruits website.

So that’s when I thought they’d be perfect in a cake. So I decided to come up with a  raspberry cake recipe to be exact.  And they do taste great. One big reason they work so well in baking is because they’re so light they don’t sink to the bottom of the cake like heavier fruits can.

Raspberry tray bake recipe

Raspberry cake recipe

Ingredients

  • 200ml (1 cup)sunflower oil – or any other flavourless oil like vegetable
  • 210g (1cup) Caster sugar
  • 210g(1 ½ cups) Self Raising flour
  • 6 eggs- separated
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1½ tsp vanilla essence (or raspberry essence)
  • 5 tbsp Freeze dried raspberries + more for topping
  • 100g icing sugar
  • pink food colouring

How to make the cake

  1. Grease and line a baking tray with silicon paper and pre-heat your oven to 180ºC (Fan oven160ºC)
  2. Place the sugar, oil, egg yolks and vanilla essence in a bowl and stir.
  3. Sieve the flour and baking powder over the mix and combine thoroughly.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until they form peaks or they don’t fall out when you turn the bowl upside down.
  5. Fold the egg whites into the mix until no white is visible then lastly add the freeze dried raspberries and combine.
  6. Pour the mix into the baking tray and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the cake bounces back when you press it lightly with your finger.
  7. Remove from the oven and leave for 10 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.
  8. Make up some runny icing and add pink colouring then pour it over the completely cool cake. Sprinkle a few more freeze dried raspberries on top and leave to set.

Freeze dried Raspberry tray bake recipe

We took this cake with us this week during half term when we visited some friends in Hertfordshire. It’s always good to have friends that understand why a chunk of the cake is missing when you arrive (well I have to take shots before it all gets eaten don’t I?) The general consensus was it was a moreish cake- especially where the icing was thickest and when you have a dollop of ice cream on the side. It’s also exceptionally light as it has oil in place of butter. Even Beau – who never lets me take her photo couldn’t wait to get in on the action! cheeky Beau

EmmaMT x

 

* Posted in partnership with Paradisefruits.co.uk, all views are my own.

Dairy free Pear Tart recipe

Pear tart recipe

I love a good tart. They may take a lot of time and effort to prepare and peel and chop and blind bake but they are SO worth the effort. This is the Pear tart recipe I used when I took dessert to my sister’s house on Rosh Hashannah (the Jewish New year) after synagogue a couple of weeks ago. I knew she was making a meat meal which meant pud had to be dairy free. I used Tomar which is a kosher, dairy free alternative to butter. It’s actually a vegetable fat and makes a pretty good pastry – if I do say so myself.  We had a slice or two with a dairy free ice cream made with soya – have you ever tried soya ice-cream? It’s seriously creamy!

All that’s left to say is that with a slither of marzipan in this Pear pie and a tummy full of delish Chollent (thanks Shell)our New Year got off to a really good start!

Dairy Free Pear Tart

Pastry

  • 175g plain flour
  • 75g butter/Tomar vegetable margarine
  • 1 egg yolk (large)
  • 1 tbsp water

Filling

  • 75g marzipan
  • 2-3 apples – peeled, cored and sliced
  • 25g butter/Tomar
  • 4 tbsp Apricot jam
  • 25g golden caster sugar
  • 4 pears, sliced with the core removed

To Glaze

  • 3 tbsp apricot jam
  1. Heat oven to 180ºC (Fan oven160ºC)
  2. To make the pastry: Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and combine with your hands. Be careful not to over mix as this will end in a really tough pastry. Wrap in cling film and chill for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from the fridge and roll out the pastry so it’s nice and thin. Place it in the pie dish (Mine was a 23cm Pyrex dish). Scrunch up a piece of baking paper and place it over the pastry then add baking beans on top (you can use rice or dried beans if you don’t have ceramic baking beans but the ceramic ones do add more heat) Bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove any excess pastry from the edge of the dish.
  4. To make the filling peel, core and chop the apples and place in a large frying pan with the butter and sugar until they become soft. Drain any excess liquid away then press through a sieve so you get a puree. Place back in the saucepan and add the jam till it is all combined. Leave to simmer till some of the liquid has evaporated and the puree is nice and thick. Set aside to cool a little.
  5. Roll out the marzipan so it’s very thin then place it over the bottom of the pastry case.
  6. Spread the puree over the marzipan then add the thinly sliced pear in a decorative pattern.
  7. Once filled bake for 25 minutes until the pear is golden brown.
  8. Heat up the apricot jam so it is nice and runny then as soon as you take the pie out of the oven spread the jam over the top of the whole pie while it’s still hot using a silicon pastry brush. Leave to cool a little before serving with a big dollop of vanilla ice cream.

Pear tart recipe - Dairy free

enjoy!

EmmaMT x

How to make Pumpkin Cake Pops

Halloween pumpkin cake pops

Pumpkin cake pops

I love cake pops. They may be a bit fiddly to make but the look on peoples faces (and when I say people I mean Beau and Darcey) when they see them is worth every minute. We have a bit of an obsession with Halloween in our house and the only reason for this is that it’s my birthday on Halloween. This means anything pumpkin/bat/ghost or witch related is a real draw for us. 

These cute little pumpkin cake pops for Halloween aren’t hard to make when you know the little tricks(or treats) which I’ll share with you now.

You will need:

  • A cake
  • buttercream (enough to make the crumbs stick so only around 50g butter/50g icing sugar) 
  • orange candy melts
  • black food colour (professional pastes work best)
  • cake pop sticks
  • Green sugarpaste

How to make pumpkin cake pops

  1. Take a cake and turn it into crumbs in a food processor. A cake that has been sitting around a day or two is fine (not that we ever have cake sitting around!)
  2. Add a small amount of buttercream. 
  3. Mix the crumbs and buttercream in the food processor until the mixture forms a large ball.
  4. Roll out little balls then make a hole in the top. This is where the stalk of the pumpkin will sit.
  5. To create ridges in the side of the cake pops use a spoon to create dents all around the pumpkin shape.pumpkin cake pop 1
  6. Heat a few candy melts then coat the end of each stick in turn. Place that end in the bottom of the cake pop. Chill the cake pops in the fridge for at least 20 minutes so that they set hard and can be handled without falling apart. This is essential otherwise the balls fall off the sticks into the candy melts.
  7. Make pumpkin stalks from the green sugarpaste. Set aside to harden while you dip the cake pops.
  8. Heat the rest of the candy melts in a glass bowl set over saucepan of boiling water till they are runny like melted chocolate. You can add a small amount of sunflower oil to candy melts to make the liquid thinner and easier to apply to the cake pops. Don’t ever add water as it will make the candy melts sieze up and you have to start all over again. Dip each cake pop in until the whole pumpkin is covered.
  9. Place the cake pops in a glass full of sugar making sure you allow enough space that they won’t touch each other while setting. Add the green stalks while the candy melts are still wet.cake pop 2
  10. Leave the pops to dry and harden completely (at least an hour).
  11. Using a food only paint brush paint on a pumpkin face in black food colouring. Professional food colours come in a paste form and are much easier to use than supermarket bought colours.
  12. Once ready display in a bowl of sugar (so they stand up) ready for your trick or treaters.

Halloween pumpkin cake pops

EmmaMT

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