Category: Best for Baking

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

Lemon Drizzle cake with Flora Buttery

Lemon Drizzle cake with Flora ButteryLemon Drizzle cake recipe

When someone asks you if you’d like to do a sponsored post the chances are you’re going to say yes. When that post involves you baking- and lets face it, demolishing a Lemon drizzle cake in almost one sitting the answer is definitely a double yes!

Flora asked me to choose a recipe from their website  and I have to say I was surprised at just how many recipes there were (gazzillions!) From their selection the Lemon Drizzle cake was the one that I fancied eating most right at that very moment. But I had to wait for the weekend food shop to get my hands on a tub of the Flora Buttery (it’s available in all supermarkets). By the time I had a tub arrived I was craving chocolate so I gave the Flora buttery it’s first baking test run on the choc chip cookies from a few weeks ago. Normally a softer butter (or margarine) would make a really gooey-not-in-a-good-way cookie but these were delish. I’ve already made them again.

Lemon Drizzle cake recipe

Lemon Drizzle cake – everyone’s favorite.

When I used to work at Woman & Home magazine and we had a cake sale it was always the Lemon Drizzle and the banana cakes that sold out first. For that reason I though that it would be a good idea to make this Lemon Drizzle for when I was visiting a friend. It was the perfect balance of sweet and zingy. I baked the cake but I always worry I’m going to drown the cake in the lemon sugar syrup so I just brushed it on liberally when the cake came out of the oven. There’s something very satisfying about watching syrup seep into a cake. As the cake is hot it literally disappears in milliseconds. There was tons of syrup left which made me think I’d made the cake wrong. In hindsight I could have added a lot more syrup at this stage but it still tasted great without it. Really light and the texture of the cake was so soft and springy.

Lemon Drizzle cake recipe

After I had ‘taste tested’ the cake I decided that rather than waste the lemon sugar syrup I would brush most of what was left over on top of the cooled cake. Oh – my- goodness!!!! That’s when it all came together for me. So good. So zingy. So deeeelish! In fact the true test of whether a cake is good is when Tim comes into the office peers over my shoulder while I’m writing this post and says “Mmmm that looks good. Can you bake it again?” – I should note that as my official taste tester he is a bit rubbish. He has amazing will power and will eat just one slice of cake, whereas I will eat till it’s gone (that’s why Monday’s are so good. No kids, no Tim, just me and the freshly baked goods!) I only saved one slice of this for Tim before I headed off to my friends – obviously it was not enough!

My reply to Tim was ” I can make another lemon drizzle cake but I was planning on making muffins today” to which he replied “You can make those too!” Hello ever widening hips!

The Lemon Drizzle Cake recipe

Lemon Drizzle cake recipe

You can 🖨 off this recipe here

Lemon Drizzle cake recipe

enjoy!

EmmaMT x

Disclaimer: Thank you to Flora for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions and ramblings are my own 

Win a whole load of baking goodies from DotComGiftShop

Win a whole load of baking goodies from DotComGiftShop

DOTCOMGIFTSHOP GIVEAWAY

No sooner did I press ‘publish’ on yesterday’s blog post about the cute recipe tin from DotComGiftShop.com than they sent me an email saying

‘Why don’t we do a giveaway with CakesBakesAndCookies?’

to which I said

“Yeeaaahhhhh!”

So here it is. The short and sweet giveaway! You can will all of the Blue tit items shown above.

What can you win?

  1. The recipe tin £9.95 – As I said yesterday – it’s easy to file away and keep recipes safe once you have this baby.
  2. The cookie canister £9.95- which is bigger in real life than it looks in this little pic!
  3. The cake carrier, £29.95- which Tim and I bought for members of our family for Christmas last year and whilst wrapping them up I was asking why on earth I didn’t get myself one? I mean it’s a really great size and it has handles! What’s not to love?
  4. The flour shaker. £5.95 I’ve got two shakers – one for flour and one for icing sugar. Everyone needs some prettiness when they’re doing the shaking don’t you think?
  5. The flour canister- £6.95 so cute! It’s glass so it will last an age. Love the colour of this lid too!

In total that’s over £60 of cake baking goodiness so what are you waiting for. Enter the giveaway now!

How to win this fantastic Dotcomgiftshop bundle

To win this collection of five Blue Tit baking goodies all you have to do is share this post on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Twitter then leave me a comment below with why you should win before midnight on 29th February 2016. Remember you must share this post on social media AND comment below to be entered.

Good luck and get sharing!

EmmaMT x

CakesBakesAndCookies.com Terms & Conditions

This giveaway will close at 12:00 on 29th February 2016. Leaving a blog post comment is a mandatory entry option. This prize is offered by dotcomgiftshop.com. I am hosting it on behalf of Dotcomgiftshop. Please note, I am not responsible for posting the prize out or providing it. Dotcomgiftshop or its representative will send out the prize, the winner must provide their name, address once contacted. The winner will be selected at random from all correct entries received by the random number generator. The winner will be notified within 3 days of the closing date. The prize is one recipe tin, one cookie canister, one cake carrier, one flour shaker and one flour canister, 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.

Thank you to Dotcomgiftshop for providing this giveaway. All thoughts, opinions and ramblings are entirely my own.

5 reasons why I love the Kenwood Chef Sense

5 reasons why I love the Kenwood Chef SenseKenwood Chef Sense

Just before Christmas I was sent an email about the beautiful new Kenwood Chef Sensesand it got me thinking. I’ve never had a KC before and there’s a lot of hype about them and questions about whether you should buy a Chef or a Kitchenaid. I have a Kitchenaid stand mixer so I thought “if I have a play with a Chef I’ll know the difference”  So I got my hands on one at the busiest time of year – Christmas.

The Kenwood Chef PR sent me one of their press samples (one that is used for shoots and testing) and I got to play with it for a month. A month for me usually means around four baking sessions but you’ve guessed it, at Christmas that more than doubles!  I made biscuits fruit cakes, sponge cakes and a lot of royal icing. Here’s why I liked it.

1.The pouring spout

It has a splash guard with a really large opening. Don’t you just hate it when the pouring spout isn’t big enough to get a spoon in let alone a jug where you can pour liquid in? I added eggs, flour and even poured milk into a cake mix while it was mixing just to see if it dribbled out side of the bowl. It didn’t.
Kenwood Chef Sense

2.The Splash guard

It comes with a splash guard that not only fits around the bowl, but under the arm of the machine too, meaning that the whole bowl is enclosed and no icing sugar can escape. Normally I have to cover my mixer with a tea towel and I still get a dusting of icing sugar everywhere. It attaches really easily and can be removed for cleaning easily too.  This photo shows royal icing being made on the fastest speed. See no icing cloud to be seen anywhere! Kenwood Chef Sense

3. The glass bowl

I’ve had my eye on these glass bowls since I first saw them on The Great British Bake Off years ago. There’s something very reassuring about being able to see if you’ve got all the flour incorporated and can basically see what’s going on. I thought – being a relatively clumsy person, that the glass would worry me. That I’d knock the bowl and chip either it or my work surface but I didn’t. It’s heavier than the metal bowl I’m used to but you soon get used to that. There’s two handles which are useful – especially if your hands are wet when you’re handling it and it  also slots into the base really easily.
Kenwood Chef Sense

4. The speed

There’s no getting away from the fact that this is a fast machine. It’s 1100W motor can whizz through the toughest of doughs effortlessly. The dial is really easy to use and the fact that it’s on the front makes it much easier to use than on my Kitchenaid. You can reverse the direction of the beater and pulse it which I really liked. And it is fast. Royal icing took half the time to make. I also really liked the easy on/off button on the front. It lights up which is a nice touch.Kenwood Chef Sense

5. The colours

Okay, without meaning to sound like a five year old girl, the colours that this machine comes in was the main reason I liked the look of it so much. I mean as well as it needing to be a serious piece of kit – especially at £449.99, it needs to look good on your kitchen worktop. Not many of us have the space to hide away our gadgets – and let’s face it,when it looks this good why would you?

The Kenwood Chef Senses range are available on Amazon.co.uk and in major retailers

So, do you have a Kenwood Chef? Do you love it? I’d love to know. Leave a comment below.

EmmaMT

Disclaimer: The Kenwood Chef Senses was loaned to me for four weeks to review on CakesBakesnAndCookies.com – (Thanks Kenwood- I really didn’t want to give it back!) All thoughts and opinions in this post are entirely my own.

Chocolate Ganache Recipe

Chocolate Ganache Recipe
Chocolate Ganache

If you follow me on Instagram then you would have already seen this picture of the chocolate ganache I made for a birthday cake a few weeks ago. I totally love ganache. I mean what’s not to love – it’s chocolate and cream!

I thought I’d share my recipe with you as it’s really handy to have – especially at this time of year when you’re thinking about making chocolate truffles asChristmas gifts. Usually I use double cream but I had some dairy free soya cream alternative left over so I used that and it was absolutely delish. Soya milk and cream are so much more creamy tasting that regular ones. I think I’ll be using them every time in the future- what’s more it’s great to have a dairy free ganache in your repertoire- don’t you think?

Print off the Chocolate Ganache Recipe here

Chocolate Ganache Recipe

Ingredients (this recipe is enough to sandwich and cover an 8″ cake

• 200ml double cream
• 250g dark chocolate- broken into small pieces

To make the ganache

  1. Place the cream in a bain- marie over a low heat making sure that the bowl doesn’t touch the water below.
  2. Heat the cream till very hot but not boiling – it will burn very quickly and you don’t need it that hot.
  3. Remove the bowl from the heat and add the chocolate pieces.
  4. Stir until all the chocolate and cream is melted and combined.
  5. Set aside to cool then pipe or spread over your cake with a palette knife.

Tips with Ganache

  • You can add half as much chocolate again to your mix (ie another 125g) to make your ganache a thicker consistency. Much more chocolate than that and it will be very firm and won’t be easy to spread on a cake.
  • For a dairy free ganache use dark chocolate (Bourneville is buttermilk free – most others aren’t) and a soya dairy free cream. Even if it is single cream the ganache will still taste fab – just add a few more squares of chocolate to thicken it up.
  • Milk and white chocolate both work well with this recipe too.
  • This recipe is great for making truffles. Simply add a tablespoon of flavour – alcohol always works well, once the cream and chocolate are combined. Set aside to cool then roll into balls. Cover in cocoa powder, icing sugar or anything your heart desire.

    EmmaMT x

Summer holiday baking:Jammie Dodgers and Iced ring biscuits with The Great Little Trading Company.

Jammie Dodgers and Iced ring biscuits

Ice rings and Jammie Dodgers

When it comes to baking during the summer holidays I have to say I’m well up for it- sometimes more than my kids are. So, when I was approached by The Great Little Trading Company to do a guest post for their blog I instantly jumped at the chance. Then I realised that I have a pre-teen who likes to stay in her room and watch Netflix or play Minecraft all day long and after having a baking mad mum is kind of a bit over it and a nine year old who has been baking all on her own all summer long – making up her own recipes- some delicious. Some not so much! So, plan B. Borrow someone else’s kid!

Ice rings and Jammie Dodgers

The plan

I was asked to come up with a new recipe to bake with kids in order to keep them entertained during the school holidays. I decided that iced rings were a great idea. Kids love to cut out biscuits and to play around with ‘wet icing’ and I thought I could teach the older ones how to do a more difficult technique. Great for all ages I thought.

What actually happened?

Well, once I had borrowed my friend’s gorgeous four year old daughter Dahlia we got down to it. The GLTC named aprons were put on (they came in cute cotton bags which Dahlia’s dog Rusty was put to bed in- as it made the perfect sleeping bag), hands were washed and we were ready to go.

Ice rings and Jammie DodgersI made the dough ahead to save time and let them cut out the ring biscuits. The thing is, I have a ton of cookie cutters- a whole drawer full in fact, which Darcey decided to open up and share with Dahlia. Cutting out circles and rings is no fun when there are cats and fairies, butterflies, hands and bunnies to be had.  Plan abandoned… kind of.

Ice rings and Jammie Dodgers

I made some ring and circle biscuits and so did Beau. Dahlia and Darcey made everything else they could get their hands on. Beau decided that she wanted to make Jammie Dodgers which was great as this recipe works equally well for dodgers as it does for iced rings.

summer baking 1Too blue

I made up the Royal icing ready for the kids to add their own colours to. I have these new Wilton colours from Lakeland which are brilliant. They come with a colour chart and you add a certain amount of drops of colour to get the specific colour you’re after. A drop is all you need. Each girl was given a bowl of white royal icing to colour and before I could turn around and grab a mini spatula Darcey had squirted a ton of the turquoise into her bowl. “Nooooo!!” was my instant reaction and I was right.Ice rings and Jammie Dodgers recipe For the rest of the day there were blue hands, VERY blue tongues and blue t-shirts. Even once the biscuits were iced and left to harden a day later the blue was still staining tongues when you ate them!Jammie Dodgers and Iced ring biscuits1

I used sandwich bags tied with rubber bands as piping bags. They’re easy to hold and control and cheap as chips. Just snip off the corner and away they went. And they really did love the icing. One squirt for the biscuit. One for the mouth. Dahlia told me that she had to stop the icing dribbling out at the end! She had so much sugar that day I think she could have flown home! (Sorry Fou!)

I decided to still make the pattern on the iced fingers and both Beau and Darcey had a good go at itIced rings biscuits

Click here to print this recipe 

Jammie Dodgers and Iced ring biscuits

Biscuits ingredients

  • 50g caster sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g plain flour
  • 20g cornflour

Royal icing to decorate

  • 500g icing sugar
  • 1 egg white (from a medium egg)
  • food colours

To make the biscuits

  1. Place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix until just combined. I use a stand mixer till it’s all incorporated and then use my hands to really work the butter into the flour. Be careful not to over work the dough as this will give you tough biscuits that spread during baking.
  2. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat your oven to 180ºC (Fan oven160ºC) and line baking trays with silicon paper.
  4. Roll out the dough onto a floured surface so it’s around the thickness of a £1 coin. Let the kids have a go and cut out shapes to their hearts content.
  5. Place the biscuits on a baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges start to brown.
  6. Leave to cool on a rack for 10-20 minutes while you make the royal icing.

To make the royal icing

  1. Sieve the icing sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer (you can use a hand held mixer too but it makes a bit of a dust cloud in your kitchen!) Add the egg white and mix by hand until completely blended.
  2. Place the bowl in the mixer and mix for 4-5 minutes. If the icing looks too dry add a little water at a time so it is softer and more fluid.
  3. Place the royal icing in a few bowls then add a drop or two of food colouring to each and mix.
  4. Place the icing into piping bags (or sandwich bags tied with elastic bands) and snip off the tip.
  5. Let the kids have some icing fun. Leave the decorated biscuits to harden for an hour or more before eating or storing.

To make the pattern on the iced rings

Cover the biscuit in white icing. Immediately afterwards pipe horizontal lines across. Using a toothpick drag the lines in one direction at regular intervals. Then repeat in the other direction in between the first lines. Hey presto! Cool iced rings.

Jammie Dodgers and Iced ring biscuits2To make the Jammie Dodgers

Take one circle biscuit and one ring which are the same size. In a heat proof bowl add a tablespoon of jam. We used strawberry but anything goes. Heat the jam in the microwave for 30 seconds. You want it to be warm and runny but not bubbling. Use a silicon pastry brush to brush jam across the circle biscuit then place the ring on top. Leave to cool. Hey presto Jammie dodgers.

Ice rings and Jammie Dodgers

I think a great time was had by all – especially once the biscuits were made and devoured! Ice rings and Jammie DodgersHope you had fun this summer holiday. What have you been baking with the kids? I’d love to know.

EmmaMT

Disclaimer: No child was harmed in the eating of too much royal icing in this post! Thanks to The Great Little Trading Company for asking me to write a guest post over on their blog – which you can see here. Thanks also to Theoda for letting Dahlia come and play ‘how much icing can I eat before dinner!” Love you guys. x

Ice rings and Jammie Dodgers recipe

 

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