Category: Cake recipe

The Classic Victoria Sandwich – made healthier


The Classic Victoria Sandwich – Made Healthier 

(Guest post by Amelie Cartwright)

Victoria Sponge
Most bakers have a recipe of some sort that they will always come back to, and it’s something that they will always have no trouble preparing for birthday parties or other special occasions. Be it a simple vanilla cupcake recipe or their grandmother’s chocolate chip cookie recipe, every baker needs to have a go-to recipe. 

If you’ve yet to find yours and are searching for a recipe that’s both simple to make, but still elegant and versatile, then this recipe for a classic Victoria sponge might be just what you’re looking for. It’s a rather easy cake to make and assemble – a simple stack of two sponge cakes filled with any filling and frosting of your choice. The classic Victoria sandwich has become something of a staple of British bakeries, and Blair Smethurst, Quality and Innovation Development Chef for M&S, has even released a short video tutorial for baking lemon Victoria sponges. You can see it here ( EmmaMT here!- I love what Blair does with the lemon glaze)

This recipe, however, adds a twist to the classic Victoria sponge by making it much healthier. The original recipes are overflowing with sugar and fat, but some simple substitutions can cut half of the fat out of the finished product without sacrificing its taste. 

Ingredients 
· 2 tbsp of rapeseed oil, plus some extra for greasing 
· 175g of self-raising flour 
· 1 ½ tsp of baking powder 
· 140g of golden caster sugar 
· 25g of ground almonds 
· 2 large eggs 
· 175g of natural yoghurt 
· 2-3 drops of vanilla extract 
· 25g of melted butter 
· 4 tbsp of your favourite fruit conserve or jam 
· Icing sugar, for decorating 

Preheat your oven to 180 deg C, and lightly grease two 18cm sandwich cake tins and line the bottoms with parchment paper. 

In a large mixing bowl, tip the flour, baking powder, caster sugar, and ground almonds together and mix well and form into a mound. Make a well in the centre. 

Beat the eggs in a bowl and stir in the yoghurt and the vanilla. Pour this mixture, as well as the oil and melted butter, into the well in the mound of dry ingredients. Stir briefly together until the mixture is well-combined. 

Divide the mixture evenly among the two baking tins and level the tops. Bake both cakes together for 20 minutes, until they’ve risen and started to come away slightly from the sides of the baking tins. 

Remove the cakes from the oven, and use a round-bladed knife to loosen the sides from the tin. After a brief cooling period, turn them out and peel off the parchment paper. Allow them to sit on a wire rack, and leave them to cool completely. 

Assembling the cake is also a breeze: simply put one of the cakes on a serving plate, and use your favourite jam or conserve. Frugal Feeding has some great ideas for homemade jams, which could really take your Victoria sponge to the next level. Pile on the other cake to finish your sandwich, and dust with icing sugar! 

Victoria Sponge recipe

Thanks to my lovely friend Amelie Cartwright for writing this guest post. It’s made me very hungry! EmmaMT

Leiths ‘How to Cook’ Lemon Tart recipe

Leiths Lemon tart recipe

As promised here is the Lemon tart recipe from Leiths latest book Leiths How to Cook (Quadrille, £30). Photograph: Peter Cassidy.   (see the whole book review here) It also includes the delicious pâte sucrée recipe too! Thanks Quadrille for letting me do this extract. It looks sooooo good!

Lemon tart

Serves 6
  • 1 quantity pâte sucrée (below)
  • Extra flour, to dust

For the filling

  • 3 lemons
  • 6 eggs, plus 1 extra yolk
  • 150–170g caster sugar
  • 225ml double cream
  • Icing sugar, to dust
1. To make the filling, finely grate the zest of the lemons and squeeze the juice; you will need about 100–125ml juice. Put the eggs and extra yolk into a large bowl, add 150g of the sugar and, using a balloon whisk, mix well. Add the cream, zest and juice, and stir until combined. Cover and chill in the fridge for 2–3 hours, preferably overnight, to allow the flavours to develop.
2. Roll out the pâte sucrée on a lightly floured surface into a disc about 30cm in diameter and about 3mm thick. Use to line a 24cm loose-based flan tin or flan ring set on a baking sheet. Cover with cling film and chill until very firm to the touch. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5.
3 Once the pastry is firm, make a cartouche of greaseproof paper 8-10cm bigger than the tart tin. Scrunch it up then unfold it and use to line the pastry case. Add a layer of dried beans or ceramic baking beans. Blind bake the pastry for 15–20 minutes, ensuring the paper cartouche is pushed well into the corners of the pastry and the excess paper is folded over the edge of the pastry case, to help prevent the pastry from browning. Remove the beans and cartouche, taking care as the pastry is still very soft, and bake for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 150°C/gas mark 2.
4 Taste the filling. If it seems too sharp, add some or all of the remaining sugar, to taste. Strain into a jug and pour the filling into the pastry case, filling it about half full. Transfer the tart to the oven and pour in more filling until the tart is as full as possible. Bake for40–50 minutes until almost set, with a very soft wobble across the surface. A violent ripple across the middle of the filling indicates it is not set.
5 Take the tart out of the oven as soon as the filling is set, allow it to cool a little, then carefully remove the sides of the tin or flan ring. Leave to cool completely, then dust with icing sugar. You can glaze the icing sugar dusting using a kitchen blowtorch if you wish, but take care not to burn the pastry.

Pâte sucrée

This is an enriched version of shortcrust pastry, with extra butter and egg yolks replacing the water. We use a traditional method of making pâte sucrée by hand, although it can be made in a food processor. It tends to be cooked at a slightly lower temperature than shortcrust because of its high fat and sugar content, as fats and sugars both encourage browning. It should be thoroughly cooked but only to a very pale biscuit colour. Once cooked, it needs to be released from tins or baking trays while still warm, or the pastry will stick.Makes enough to line a 24cm flan ring

  • 250g plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 4 small egg yolks
  • 2–3 drops of vanilla extract
1 Sift the flour and salt onto a clean work surface and, using the side of your hand, spread the flour out into a large ring.
2 Place the softened butter, in one piece, in the middle and, using the fingertips of one hand, push down (‘peck’) on the butter to soften it a little more, but without it becoming greasy; it should be soft, but still cold. It is important that the butter is uniformly soft, as if there are still small lumps of cold, hard butter in the mixture they
 an cause greasiness and holes in the finished pastry.
3 Sprinkle over the sugar and ‘peck’ until the sugar is just fully incorporated.
4 Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract and continue to ‘peck’ until the egg yolk is fully incorporated and there is no colour streakiness.
5 Using a palette knife, flick all the flour onto the butter, sugar and egg yolks and, using the edge of the palette knife, ‘chop’ the flour into the butter and sugar mixture. This technique helps to keep the flour from being overworked. Use the palette knife to lift any flour left on the work surface to the top occasionally.
6 As you continue to do this, you will create large flakes of pastry. Continue until there are no obvious dry floury bits among the pastry; it should be a fairly uniform colour. Floury patches at this stage will mean having to overwork the pastry at the next stage to incorporate them.
7 Now shape the pastry into a long sausage and, using the palette knife on its side, scrape a little of the large flakes together at a time. This will finally bring the pastry together and is called ‘fraisering’. As more pastry sticks to the palette knife, scrape it off using a cutlery knife to avoid overworking it. Continue in this manner until all the pastry is fraisered: one or two more fraiserings are possible, but the more you fraiser the more the pastry will be overworked.
8 Bring the pastry together with your hands to form a ball.
9 Now shape the pastry into a flat disc. Wrap well in cling film and chill to allow the butter to firm up before rolling out.

EmmaMT

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Leiths How to Cook (Quadrille, £30).Amazon, Photograph: Peter Cassidy. How to Cook

 

How to adapt a cake recipe for different size tins and a 10″ Madeira cake recipe.

How to adapt a cake recipe for different size tins 

Madeira cakeLast week I made a two tier wedding cake for a friend and I decided that it was about time I really mastered getting the right amounts of ingredients for different sized cake tins, rather than doubling and hoping for the best. I got the basic gist of how to work it out from Ruth Clemens on her Pink whisk blog. You take your basic recipe and then measure the volume of water that the cake tin will hold. Now my Madeira cake recipe is for an 8″ cake but I find that the cake isn’t as deep as I’d like it to be. It usually only comes out about 3/4 of the depth of the tin, so I have been experimenting.

My goal was to have a cake that would rise to just above the rim of the cake tin so that I could skim off the top to make sure that it’s perfectly flat – ready for decorating. So I used my 8″ recipe in a 6″ tin and voila. Perfect result. So that was my base to work with.

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Rose Chiffon Cake recipe

Rose Chiffon Cake recipe

Rose Chiffon Cake Recipe

A Chiffon cake is a seriously light and fluffy cake which originates from America. Traditionally it’s made in a ring tin, but I decided to make it in a 9” round cake tin and it turned out beautifully. It doesn’t have a huge amount of flavour so I added some Rose essence to mine which gave it a lovely sweet taste. It doesn’t taste of roses – at least it doesn’t taste how I think roses taste. I haven’t actually eaten any. Have you?

I’ve never baked with rose essence before but last week I was on a shoot which had a catered lunch (this is a rarity- believe me. Normally it’s sandwiches and a packet of crisps!) and one of the puddings was this fantasticly large domed cake with dried petals on top. It was really light and had a rose syrup soaking up the bottom. I was looking to recreate that but I didn’t think that this cake needed any syrup and I was right. It’s fine and dandy just as it is…. well maybe with a little strawberries and cream!

Rose Chiffon Cake RecipeI made this Rose Chiffon Cake yesterday to take along to my in laws for lunch. It was father’s day and on Tuesday it’s Tim and his mum’s birthday so it was the perfect time to have all the family together. I love a proper catch up! Don’t you?

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs
  • 225 plain flour (sieved)
  • 300 g caster sugar (sieved)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder (yes tablespoon!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 120 ml sunflower oil
  • 180 ml rose water (Measure 1 tablespoon of Rose essence and make up the rest of the volume with water)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • Icing sugar to decorate

 

How to make a Rose Chiffon cake

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 170ºC (150ºC Fan) Oil and line a 9” cake tin or a ring shaped tin. This cake rises very high so make sure that your baking paper is taller than the side of the tin.
  2. Separate the egg whites and yolks.
  3. Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl (keeping 50g sugar to one side)
  4. Add the oil, egg yolks, rose water and vanilla essence to the flour and beat until combined.
  5. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until you have soft peaks (that means that when you lift out the whisk the peak of egg whites just flops over and doesn’t stand to attention. Then whisk in the last 50g of sugar.
  6. Using a metal spoon carefully fold the egg whites into the cake batter. Do this in three stages so that the cake will remain light and fluffy. Be careful not to over mix as you will bash out all the air in the eggs which is what makes the cake’s texture so yummy.
  7. Pour the batter into your prepared tin and bake for 45-60 minutes or until the cake comes away from the side of the tin.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool whilst in the tin. The cake will be very puffy when it comes out and will deflate and wrinkle back into the tin as it cools. Don’t worry- it will still be light as a feather.
  9. Remove from the tin and sprinkle with sieved icing sugar.
  10. Enjoy with some fresh fruit and a drizzle of cream

EmmaMT

Rose Chiffon Cake Recipe

Chocolate Courgette Muffin recipe and an apology!

I wanted to start this post with “Is it the 10th June already?” Or “Boy I’ve had a crazy week….make that two… make that three!”  But I decided that everyone is mega busy and having crazy weeks at the moment! What I really want to say is I’m sorry that I haven’t posted in over a week. I haven’t missed posting at least once a week in over a year and I hate that. I have missed you guys. Honest!

I’ve just had three big interiors shoots in four weeks (with cakes and cookies and believe it or not two christmas puddings to make for the shots) and keeping up with two cake posts a week has become practically impossible. So I have come to a decision. From now on I am aiming for one quality post a week as I think that’s better than two lesser ones. Don’t you agree?  I think you do???

 

Courgette muffin recipe

One of my shoots was for Procter and Gamble’s Supersavvyme.co.uk website. Have you seen it? It’s fantastic! You sign up/join and can then download loads of money off vouchers not just for cleaning products (don’t get me started on Fairy Platinum. I’ve just written 5 blog posts about the stuff and I am totally obsessed with it now. It’s the only serious de-greasing washing up liquid that doesn’t wreck my hands – whilst removing grease without scrubbing. REALLY!!!) there are also vouchers for loads of big name beauty brands too!  You can save loads of money. It’s a big lifestyle website with tips, advice and all sorts of great stuff.

Anyway, I am guest editing over there for the next few months and for the shoot for the June posts I have written I shared my courgette muffin recipe. You can get it here. The plain courgette ones are good but the chocolate courgette ones are divine! Really moist and moreish.

I set this shot up whilst finishing off one of the other ones and I hadn’t even turned my back for two seconds when a cheeky squirrel appeared out of no-where ready to pounce and grab the muffins. Luckily, Harry the photographers assistant caught him at it. Did he scare it away? No. He got out his phone and started taking shots!

Needless to say the muffins stayed intact…if only till the last shot was done. Then they were devoured!

Hope you all have a fab week. Happy baking.

EmmaMT

 

 

 

New York Cheesecake Recipe by Hannah Miles

New York Cheesecake

I am very excited today to bring to you an extract from Hannah Miles’  Cheesecake book which I reviewed – and let’s face it, raved about yesterday. As I mentioned Tim’s favorite cheesecake is New York cheesecake and this is the recipe I used to make my cheesecake for the Jewish Festival Shavout this year. It’s sitting in my fridge chilling right now! I’m not allowed to eat it until the rest of the family get home later on otherwise you all know what will happen don’t you? They won’t get a look in!

Tim likes a cherry topping on his cheesecake so I have made a cherry compote to go along side this cake. I didn’t want to change a thing to Hannah’s recipe. Just look at that sour cream topping. Who needs cherries?

I hope you enjoy this recipe.

EmmaMT

New York Cheesecake

Ingredients

Serves 12

For the crumb base

150 g/5½ oz. digestive biscuits/graham crackers

90 g/6 tablespoons butter, melted

 

For the filling

600 g/22⁄3 cups cream cheese

225 g/1 cup clotted cream (if unavailable, use crème fraîche)

100 ml/generous 1⁄3 cup crème fraîche

140 g/¾ cup caster/white sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

 

For the topping

300 ml/1¼ cups sour cream

3 tablespoons icing/confectioners’ sugar

a 26-cm/10-inch round springform cake pan, greased and lined

 

How to make the New York Cheesecake

Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3.

To make the crumb base, crush the biscuits/graham crackers to fine crumbs in a food processor or place in a clean plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin. Transfer the crumbs to a mixing bowl and stir in the melted butter. Press the buttery crumbs into the base of the prepared cake pan firmly using the back of a spoon. Wrap the outside of the pan in cling film/plastic wrap and place in a roasting pan half full with water, ensuring that the water is not so high as to spill out. Set aside.

For the filling, whisk together the cream cheese, clotted cream, crème fraîche, sugar, eggs and vanilla bean paste in a blender or with an electric whisk. Pour the mixture over the crumb base, then transfer the cheesecake, in its waterbath, to the preheated oven and bake for 45–60 minutes until the cheesecake is set but still wobbles slightly. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow it to cool slightly so that the height of the cheesecake reduces. Leave the oven on.

To make the topping, whisk together the sour cream and icing/confectioners’ sugar and pour over the top of the cheesecake. Returnto the oven and bake for a further 10–15 minutes until set.

Remove the cheesecake from the waterbath and slide a knife around the edge of the pan to release the cheesecake and prevent it from cracking. Leave to cool completely in the pan, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving.

 

New York Cheesecake

 Cheesecake by Hannah Miles is published by Ryland Peters & Small at £16.99 and is available from www.rylandpeters.com

 

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