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

It’s chocs away for the New Year with these soft cherry brownies

Soft Cherry Brownie recipeHow much do you love chocolate brownies? Well let me tell you as I sit here typing I’ve had both daughterlings come and ask me when they can eat these soft cherry brownies? They’ve only been out of the oven for two minutes but they’ve made the whole house smell all chocolatey.  “They’re for New Years Eve” I told them as they skulked off as if they had to wait an eternity.

Brownies rock NYE

I’ve found that with this recipe these brownies taste good when still warm with a dollop of ice cream but if you can bare to wait they improve in richness if eaten a day after baking. I made these to take to a New Years Eve party this year where there will be other chocolate loving kids so I wanted to add a soft cherry flavour. Usually I add glacè or natural morello cherries but for this one I decided to make them quick and easy and used a tin of pitted cherries in juice. I drained the juice completely so they wouldn’t make the cake all gooey – well more gooey than it should be. I also didn’t cut them in half so when you eat them you get all that juicy flavour in one hit.

Soft Cherry Brownie recipeThe result? Pretty good I’d say.

Soft cherry brownies

Soft cherry brownies

  • 3 medium eggs
  • 275g caster sugar
  • 175g salted butter
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 175g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tin of pitted cherries (about 230g)
  1. Line a 20x 30cm baking tin with silicon paper and pre-heat your oven to 180*C (160*C for fan ovens).
  2. Place the eggs in a bowl and whisk up then add the sugar and combine. Set to one side.
  3. Place the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat and when melted remove from the heat and add the broken up dark chocolate until it melts. Place over the heat if necessary but be sure to watch that it doesn't burn.
  4. Measure and sieve the flour and cocoa into a separate bowl.
  5. Add the chocolate to the egg and sugar mix and combine. Add the dry ingredients and fold in.
  6. Stir in the drained pitted cherries then transfer to the cake tin.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes. The top will start to form cracks. That shows it's ready to be removed from the oven.
  8. Leave the tin on a rack to cool completely before removing the cake from the tin.
  9. To cut neat portions place a large knife in hot water then dry before cutting each slice. The heat from the blade will slice easily through the whole brownie if you re-heat it each time.
http://cakesbakesandcookies.com/2016/12/30/we-cant-get-enough-of-these-soft-gooey-and-totally-delicious-brownies-and-neither-will-you/

So what are you baking for New Years Eve then? Last year I made a tart and the year before I made Tiramisu. Anything goes as long as it sees in a sweet new year and brings you plenty of joy and happiness.

Happy New Year.

EmmaMT x

Christmas cake but not as you know it.

mini-jack-daniels-christmas-cake-1

Mini Jack Daniels Christmas cakes

Oooooh don’t you just love a mini Christmas cake? I made some last year as gifts and they went down really well. This time I decided to give them a touch of Jack Daniels and I have to say they are gooooood!

I made these ones for a local food bank on behalf of the charity I bake for Free Cakes For Kids. Lots of bakers have made lots of mini cakes so lots of families would have a special cake and it always feels great to be giving and baking for others at this time of year- don’t you think? If you want to join in the fun check out the FCFK website to find your local group. I’m yet to find a group of bakers who aren’t really friendly!

I made these cakes really last minute (meaning I didn’t start in October so I could ply the cake with alcohol) so I had few cheats. I soaked the fruit in the JD for a week before baking the cakes and once they were out of the oven I gave them another really good brush/soak with the good stuff. If you add the alcohol while the cake is still warm the liquid soaks right in. I think a Christmas cake still tastes great even if it hasn’t been drowned in alcohol for weeks or months before.

Once baked I decorated half the cakes with marzipan and white sugarpaste and the other half with just the sugarpaste so there were some nut free options – also so I could eat the marzipan that was left over.

How to decorate Christmas cakes the non traditional way.

www.CakesBakesAndCookies.com

I didn’t want to go for red or green decorations this year. My original plan was to have a little forrest of sugarpaste Christmas trees standing on top of the cakes but once I had decorated one I realised that they would be really difficult to transport to the food bank and for the families to take home too so I opted for a 2d version.

The Christmas tree decorations were made up a day ahead in pale blues, pink and white so that they could be layered up without drooping. The gingerbread men were also made up ahead of time. After 24 hours the faces were drawn on with a clever food dye pen in ‘liquorice’ black. The trees and gingerbread man were then stuck in place with a little royal icing.

To give the cakes a really professional finish I placed ribbon around the cake and wrapped them in cellophane. I was really happy with the end result. I hope the families will be too when they pick them up later this week.

Mini Jack Daniels Christmas cake

Makes 6 x 4" cakes or 8 x 3" cakes

Mini Jack Daniels Christmas cake

  • 1000g mixed fruit (sultanas, raisins, candied mixed peel)
  • 200g dates cut into small pieces
  • 225ml Jack Daniels + extra for brushing
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 260g muscovado sugar
  • 5 medium eggs
  • 240g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    Prepare the fruit
  1. Place all the fruit into an airtight container and cover with the Jack Daniels.
  2. Leave the fruit to infuse for as long as possible. 48 hours is best. Give the container a shake every now and again.
    To make the cake
  1. Line your cake tin with silicon paper. I have one that has dividers but some bakers have used cleaned out tuna and sweetcorn tins to bake in.
  2. Preheat the oven to 140C (120 fan)
  3. Mix the sugar and butter together. Add the eggs slowly then the vanilla extract.
  4. In a separate bowl sieve all the dry ingredients. Add this to the butter and sugar mix until combined.
  5. Finally add the fruit and combine till covered.
  6. Spoon evenly into each cake tin and smooth down with the back of a spoon.
  7. Bake for 2-21/2 hours.
  8. Once out of the oven brush liberally with Jack Daniels and leave to cool for 20 minutes before removing the cakes from the tin and allow to cool completely ready to decorate.
http://cakesbakesandcookies.com/2016/12/08/have-you-ever-made-christmas-cake-with-jack-daniels-once-you-try-it-you-wont-go-back/

Something you can do to help….

I wrote this post before I delivered the cakes to the food bank. I feel now looking back that I brushed over the food bank part. For me this was supposed to be about sharing my recipe for a Jack Daniels Christmas cake. It is in fact about a lot more than that. There are so many people in need in our country and right on our door steps. You may not even be aware that there is a food bank on your high street, in your church or by your community centre. These places are amazing. They’re run mostly by volunteers and the people who need them are often in dire situations.

When I delivered these cakes I met with a band of very jovial volunteers who are loving and caring and so, so knowledgable. There was a young mum who was there as I dropped off. She was collecting a couple of blankets from the centre. She had been housed in the hostel around the corner. The week before she had left a violent relationship with nothing but the clothes on her back and her teenage daughter. She had nothing. She was housed in a hostel so they were safe. The hostel is an amazing resource with a bedroom and some furniture and a kitchen along one wall but that’s it. It’s very, very basic. No bedding, no plates, no comforts. I’m sure she was grateful for a safe and warm roof over her head but having just spent a few hundred quid on presents for my two daughters to then see this young woman with so little but still with a grateful smile on her face was incredible humbling.

So I’m asking you to do something and not just now – for the foreseeable future. When you’re doing your food shopping pop an extra tin of something or a bottle of shampoo in your basket and leave it in the food bank bins which are always situated just behind the checkout. All the big supermarkets have collection bins and the extra pound or two probably won’t make much of a difference to you but it will make a massive difference if we all do it for others.

Thanks

EmmaMT x

www.CakesBakesAndCookies.com

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