Choca Mocha biscuits to curb that 4pm Passover sugar craving

Choca_Mocha_biscuits Choca Mocha biscuits to curb that 4pm sugar craving

During the Jewish festival of Passover – where we don’t eat bread or anything with flour in it, there seem to be a lot of very sweet treats. Cinnamon balls and Macaroons are particular traditional favourites and I have to say are a bit – ever so moreish!

I wanted to come up with a new recipe and in true Emma fashion, I adapted a recipe that I’d tried and wanted to change just a smidgen. These Choca Mocha biscuits are fantastic for the Passover as they’re made with chopped almonds instead of flour. Some people don’t like to use baking powder during the festival but I say it’s okay. It’s a personal choice.

I usually make these with cocoa powder – but I’d run out after the triple egg free chocolate cake baking so I swapped in some melted dark chocolate and discovered a really moist biscuit. I won’t be going back again but if you prefer you can swap out the chocolate for cocoa powder. I won’t tell!

Choca_Mocha_biscuitsBecause these have coffee in them as well as the chocolate they have real punch. The first batch I made I used one tbsp of instant coffee and they were really strong. I prefer them a bit more subtle but again you might like them stronger.

Choca Mocha biscuits

Choca Mocha biscuits

  • 45g caster sugar
  • 100g chopped almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 45g dark chocolate (or 30g cocoa powder)
  • ½ tbsp instant coffee
  • ½ tbsp boiled water
  • 55g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Icing sugar for rolling in
  1. Place a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Add the chocolate and melt completely.
  2. Add the butter and melt that too. Set aside to cool a little
  3. Dissolve the coffee in boiled water and leave to cool.
  4. Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and add the honey, vanilla, coffee and chocolate. Mix until a dough is formed.
  5. Roll out balls around the size of a large walnut and then roll the ball in icing sugar. Place on a baking sheet and chill for 30 minutes.
  6. Line a baking sheet with silicon paper and preheat the oven to 180ºc (160ºc Fan ovens) while the biscuits are chilling.
  7. Give the biscuits space to spread when you position them on the tray. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until they start to show big cracks
  8. Leave to cool on the tray before removing them as they are pretty soft when hot.
http://cakesbakesandcookies.com/2017/04/13/passover-biscuit-recipe/

So happy Pesach and Chag Samaeach and eat up. It’s 4pm and the sugar cravings are creeping in!

EmmaMT

The best egg and dairy free chocolate cake you’ll ever eat!

Egg and dairy free doesn’t mean flavour free

A couple of weeks ago the daughterling left cubs. I loved cubs. It’s been both of my girl’s ‘happy place’ over the last 5 years so having the little one leave to move on to Scouts was a big deal – actually probably more for me than her! I became known for making cakes for cubs so I wanted to make something yummy for her last night and after double checking what allergies there were in the pack I was told one cub was egg free (and missed out on a few cakes in the past!) and another is a dairy free. “No problem” I said. Having no idea where to start with this one!

Egg_and_dairy_free_chocolate_cakeThe search for a recipe

I knew I wanted to make a chocolate cake and I also knew who to ask. The Free Cakes For Kids charity I volunteer for has a What’sApp group and it’s very busy and very entertaining. There’s always someone with a tip, a joke or a recipe. No sooner had I asked if anyone had a great egg and dairy free chocolate cake recipe than one of the lovely volunteers shared her favorite recipe with me. Thanks Andrea.

Now, I’d never made an egg free cake before and I was pretty intrigued to see how this would turn out. Surely it’s the eggs that give the cake it’s light and fluffiness, right? Well after making a trial run – well I had to test it didn’t I, it would turn out that egg and dairy free cake is yum and completely light and fluffy.

Egg_and_dairy_free_chocolate_cakeThe problem.

1. I didn’t take any photos of the cake to share with you.

2.I didn’t take any photos of it to share with you. Not a problem. I had to make it again for the cubs anyway

Cake two

I ran out of time to take shots in natural daylight and really didn’t want to cut it up to take photos. I mean who wants a cake that’s been cut up already?  Not cubs – that’s for sure.

Egg_and_dairy_free_chocolate_cake
Solution.

Make cake No.3 just for us to eat but this time make it so it’s even more chocolatey and a bit more brownie like. Big win!

The book the original cake is from Allergy-free cookbook by Alice Sherwood. After making this cake I bought it straight away for under £4 on Amazon. Although I really liked the cake I wanted to make it more chocolately and a bit more brownie like so I added some cocoa powder and some melted chocolate to the cake mix and topped it off with a chocolate mirror glaze rather than a dairy free buttercream. It didn’t last very long. Even third time round!

The best egg free, dairy free chocolate cake you’ll ever eat!

The best egg free, dairy free chocolate cake you’ll ever eat!

  • 150g Plain flour
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 225ml soya milk
  • 50ml vegetable oil (sunflower works well)
  • 3/4 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 80g dark dairy free chocolate
    Chocolate Glaze
  • 125g dairy free dark chocolate
  • 30g vegetable butter (Tomar)
  • 4-5 tbsp water
  • Sprinkles to decorate
  1. Line a brownie tray with silicon paper. Preheat your oven to 180ºC (160º C fan oven)
  2. Sieve together all the dry ingredients and combine completely.
  3. Place a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water and melt the chocolate
  4. In a jug combine all the wet ingredients. Add the melted chocolate and mix well.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold together.
  6. Pour the cake mix into the cake tin and spread it out using the back of a spoon.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched in the centre
  8. Leave on a rack to cool completely before covering in mirror glaze
    To make the glaze
  1. Place a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water and melt the chocolate.
  2. Once completely melted add the vegetable butter and combine.
  3. Slowly add the water till it is very runny - don't worry it will set. Pour the glaze over the cake and spread with the back of a spoon. Decorate with sprinkles.
  4. Leave to cool and firm up for an hour or two
http://cakesbakesandcookies.com/2017/04/06/want-a-cake-that-is-allergy-friendly-and-tastes-5-star-then-this-is-it/

So if you’re looking for a dairy free cake I can definitely say this one is fantastic. If you want more recipes like it I’d say get your hands on that book. It’s great.

Happy baking

EmmaMT x

How to make fat and fluffy pancakes

How to make fat and fluffy pancakesI love pancakes. I mean I REALLY LOVE THEM! Fat, thin, lemony or savoury I could devour a whole batch on my own. Until recently I couldn’t get the American style ones to puff up like they do over there. Have you ever tried to make big, fat, fluffy American style pancakes before? When I’ve tried out and tested recipes before I used self-raising flour or added baking powder to will them into rising up just that little bit more but it was only after scrolling through the web that I found a sneaky secret.

What’s the trick?

The trick is pretty obvious when you think about it. All you have to do is separate the eggs and whisk up the whites till they’re really stiff then fold them into the batter at the end with as little mixing as possible. Then watch those babies rise up when you cook them.

And that’s what I did with this recipe and it worked a treat. Now, in all fairness, I made a batch of these and they really puffed up and then Mr MT who ‘doesn’t like pancakes‘ came along and ate one. So I had to eat one (you know – quality control and all that) and then there weren’t enough to get the shots I wanted so I made another batch. By that time they had cooled right down and some of their puffiness was lost. But if you eat them straight from the pan they are even fluffier than in the photos.

The kitHow to make fat and fluffy pancakes

So those lovely people over at JosephJoseph asked if I would like to write this post and they sent me a whisk, a sieve and a food storage set. And I had a good old play around with them. The whisk has a fantastic silicon blade which makes it easy to scrape all the ingredients from the bowl but the whisk! It’s fantastic. I knew it was a self-tapping sieve but I didn’t expect it to be that good. It really does cut the act of sieving ingredients down in half but it also doesn’t seem to let any of the flour out of the bowl (like it usually does). You have more control – even though the sieve is moving more. I love that sieve. It’s a new fave. You can see a video of the kit in use here

How to make fat and fluffy pancakes

Makes 8-10 yummy pancakes

How to make fat and fluffy pancakes

  • 135g Plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 125ml milk
  • 2 eggs - separated
  • 2 tbsp salted butter- melted
  • oil for cooking
  1. In a bowl sieve all the ingredients together.
  2. Separate the egg yolks and add them to the milk and butter. Whisk together then add to the dry ingredients.
  3. Whisk up the egg whites in a clean bowl till stiff. Fold into the batter till just incorporated.
  4. Heat a frying pan till very hot then add one spoonful of batter to the centre. Once the edges start to brown up and you get air bubbles on the top of the pancake, flip it carefully over.
  5. Cook on that side for a further minute or two
http://cakesbakesandcookies.com/2017/02/27/how-to-make-fat-and-fluffy-pancakes/

After I made all those pancakes I decided to pack some away for when Darcey got home. I always wait for them to cool completely before stacking them in an air tight container. If you place pieces of silicon paper in between each one they don’t stick together. Then, when I want to heat them up I can either pop them on a baking tray in the oven or my preference – put them in the toaster. They taste amazing with just butter but even better with a drizzle of maple syrup. How to make fat and fluffy pancakes

WIN, WIN, WIN!

Would you like to win the JosephJoseph shake-it sieve, Whiskle whisk and a set of the fantastic storage boxes?  Of course you would. Well now is your chance. I am doing a giveaway to win just that. All you have to do is head on over to the CakesBakesAndCookies Instagram page and leave a comment stating why you would like to win this giveaway on one of the pancake images using the hashtags #jjpancakes #cb&c. Simple. One comment will be chosen at random on Friday 3rd  March.

How to make fat and fluffy pancakesGood luck and have a happy flipping or fluffy pancake day

EmmaMT x

 

CakesBakesAndCookies.com Terms & Conditions

This giveaway will close at 12:00 midday on 3rd March 2017. Leaving a comment and using the hashtags #jjpancakes and #cb&c is a mandatory entry option. This prize is offered by JosephJoseph. I am hosting it on behalf of JosephJoseph. Please note, I am not responsible for posting the prizes out or providing them. JosephJoseph or their representative will send out the prizes, the winners must provide their name and address once contacted. The winner will be selected at random from all correct entries received. The winner will be notified within 3 days of the closing date. The prize is one whiskle whisk, one shake it sieve and one set of air tight food storage, no cash alternatives are available. This giveaway is open only to residents in mainland UK (excluding Northern Ireland and Scottish Highlands and Islands) and entrants must be over 18.

Chocolate mirror glaze sprinkle cupcakes

Chocolate Mirror Glaze sprinkle cupcakes

I hardly ever make cupcakes. Do you? I find them a bit fiddly and all too easy to eat 10 without really noticing. I mean if you have a slice of cake that cake will look smaller. If you take one cupcake out of an airtight cake tin and pop the lid back on who knows how many have scoffed!

So, when I was asked to make cupcakes for Free Cakes For Kids last week I knew I was in trouble. I needed to make 24 cupcakes and my recipe makes 20. Well what was I to do? I halved the recipe and made an extra 12 so that there would be – ahem- some for my girls.  But with all good baker’s style I HAD to test one – just to check they were okay. They were OK!

As a charity FCFK is often the recipient of cake ingredients and those lovely people over at Mamys Sugarcraft donated bags of beautiful sprinkles to us. I was desperate to use them on these cupcakes. They’re really cute- flat circles of beautiful sugaryness. Lovely aren’t they?

Chocolate Mirror Glaze sprinkle cupcakes

The Chocolate cupcakes

My plan was to bake nice flat chocolate cupcakes and then pipe chocolate mirror glaze around the outer edge, dip them in sprinkles then flood the middle part of the cupcake with more thick delicious glaze. I wanted the cakes to be flat. I baked them really slowly and with a baking sheet above them but they still wanted to be light and fluffy and tall! Usually that is the desired effect but not this time.

As a result I had to keep the mirror glaze a little thick so that I could pipe it over the cake mound without it dribbling off the sides. If I made these again I would lower the baking temperature and maybe bake just 6 in a small tin at a time rather than 12. I’d place the empty baking sheet above the cupcakes a little bit closer which usually helps create a flatter cake with my larger cakes. I used 4 tbsp water in my glaze so if you want it smoother and runnier then add more and see how you go.

Chocolate mirror glaze sprinkle cupcakes

20 Cupcakes

Chocolate mirror glaze sprinkle cupcakes

    Cake Ingredients
  • 270g margarine
  • 270g caster sugar
  • 70g cocoa
  • 200g Self raising flour
  • 6 medium eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    Chocolate glaze
  • 225g dark chocolate- broken into small pieces
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 4-6 tbsp water
  1. Preheat the oven to 190C (170C for fan ovens . Fill a cupcake tin with paper cases.
  2. Cream the sugar and margarine together till light and fluffy
  3. In a separate bowl whisk up the eggs then add to the margarine and sugar mix a little at a time.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and mix
  5. In a separate bowl sieve the flour and cocoa powder and mix until it is one shade with no clumps. Fold into the wet ingredients.
  6. Fill each paper cupcake case to half way then bake for 12-15 minutes till the cakes bounce back straight away when pressed lightly in the centre.
  7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minute before removing from the tin and cooling completely.
    To decorate
  1. Make the chocolate mirror glaze by placing the chocolate into a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Ensure the bowl does not touch the water.
  2. Once the chocolate has completely melted add the butter and combine then add the water one spoonful at a time stirring continuously.
  3. Fill a bowl with sprinkles.
  4. Place the mirror glaze in a piping bag and pipe around the outer edge of each cupcake. Dip the cupcake into the sprinkles so the outer edge is covered. Set aside to harden up.
  5. Work on 3-4 cupcakes at a time.
  6. Fill the centre part of the cupcake with the remaining mirror glaze. Leave to firm up for a few hours.
http://cakesbakesandcookies.com/2017/01/30/chocolate-mirror-glaze-sprinkle-cupcakes/

Chocolate Mirror Glaze sprinkle cupcakesThe end result

Well, lets just say that I ate more than one! That mirror glaze is something else and teamed with the sprinkles. DELISH! The charity I delivered them too looked pretty happy with them as I assured them that they tasted “alright!” Chocolate Mirror Glaze sprinkle cupcakes

EmmaMT x

The loaf cake competition

Ok let me just warn you that this might be a bit of a frustrating post as the day this post goes out is soooo close to the closing date of this competition it’ll be hard to enter. Hard but not impossible!. My friend shared it with me and I thought it was so clever and the cakes were so good that it was still worth sharing it with you guys!

The comp.

It’s furniture company Loaf’s 8th birthday and they want cake. Sofa and bed cakes to be precise. The competition is to make any Loaf bed or sofa in the shape of a cake and win the model you’ve made and decorated. You can email your entries to feelinglucky@loaf.com or put it on their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages using  #BakeItToWinIt by Monday 16th January and they’ll pick the winner on 17th Jan.

But here’s why I wanted to share it with you. Just look at the cakes below from last years competition! So clever and so cute.

What do you think? Well worth a Sunday baking and decorating sesh don’t you think?

EmmaMT x

Why silicon paper is not just for cakes

Why silicon paper is not just for cakesAs I was pondering what I should post about this week – a week when the vast majority of people are trying to eat healthily and avoid cakes, bakes and cookies (in order to stick to their new years resolutions) I came up with one quick tip that I wanted to share….. and then I realised that I was talking about chips!

Chips it is then!

A few years ago a friend told me that she never lines baking trays with anything other than silicon paper – whether she’s baking cakes or cooking salmon. Nothing ever sticks to it – EVER! So I started using silicon paper when we made oven chips. We used to use tin foil – as I hate the smell of greasy tins and would much rather protect my trays – especially if they’re going to be used for baking at a later date.

I’m a bit obsessive with those chips. I set the timer for six minutes (three times) and give them a big shake when I hear the oven beep. When I used foil the chips would stick together and stick to the surface but now I use silicon paper they are all individual and nothings sticks anywhere.

Why silicon paper is not just for cakes

What else then?

So once we tried the paper not foil method on chips we used it on everything else in the oven too – tuna, burgers, fish fingers you name it – it doesn’t stick. The only thing you can’t use it for is grilling – unless you like a touch of charred paper on your diner?

So this post is short but sweet and I hope by sharing this little tip it makes your washing up a bit quicker and easier and your oven fries tastier.

Till next week when I am sure we’ll all be desperate for cake again

EmmaMT x

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