Category: puddings

Cakes Espanol!

We’ve just returned from a relaxing holiday in Mallorca. It was lovely to be just the four of us as we haven’t been away without friends or family for years. It was absolutely boiling and we returned to a freezing, wet London, but I have to say I was really happy to be home.

This was the first time that we had gone all-inclusive and I have to say that the food was pretty good. Tim and I set out with really good intentions. ‘We won’t drink too much, we won’t stuff our faces at every meal and we will be walking all over the place and be in the pool loads so we could make it quite a healthy break.’

That lasted 2 days!

You see the problem was that there were so many amazing desserts on offer (yes there was fresh fruit, but that just isn’t enough for me!) and when you consider that I eat continuously all day everyday at home I was getting pretty ratty. We worked it out that I wasn’t eating enough. No snacking between meals really isn’t for me! So, I went to check out the snacks on offer and there were these really cute, individually wrapped cakes and biscuits (I really wish I had taken a snap of them to show you) There were mini donuts – which Beau loved, swiss roll type cakes with the bottom dipped in chocolate which Darcey loved and made a lot of mess with in all that heat and then the pièce de résistance, puff pastry layered square cakes which were literally dripping in syrup. They were like Baklava.  I just couldn’t leave them alone! I have to say that Tim was really good and resisted all of them. He knows that once you start you can’t stop so he just didn’t start. Such will power!

So at every lunch and dinner there was a whole host of choices on offer -jelly, mouse, ice cream, dried fruit and then the cakes. Each meal had two cakes. We tried them all! Some we recognised, some we didn’t. The cream fillings were like that fake cream you get in cheap cakes and it was a bit sweet for us but the layers of sponges were incredibly light (and pink!)

One dessert that I couldn’t leave alone was the rice pudding. It was really deeelish. Lots of people were saying that they couldn’t face cold rice pudding but I loved it. It had cinnamon on the top and I had to limit myself to just one small spoonful each time. The apple pie was a bit too much pie and too little apple for me, but where they really excelled was the pastries.

The Mallorcan delicacy of the Ensaïmada de Mallorca. It tastes like a combination of croissant and brioche, but lighter. It’s baked in a large circle and then it cut up into pieces. You can have it plain, with a creme filling which was like a custard, chocolate filling or an almond centre. They all tasted great – every last one!

So now we are back and it’s nearly time to go back to school. I think a new fitness regime is in order…… or maybe just some more baking Mallorcan style!

enjoy! 

The Cartmel taste test- Part # 2

Last time I was asked to taste test some of Cartmel’s delicious puddings I suffered a serious backlash. “Why wasn’t I invited to help you out with the sticky toffee pudding” and ” Don’t you know that sticky toffee apple crumble is my favorite????” came the cries from family and friends.
So, this time I decided to share the wealth. Cartmel sent me a Summer fruit pudding with Belvoir elderflower cordial and a Tangy lemon drizzle pudding. They sounded divine!

tangy on the tongue

Now, although I could pretty much eat both of these myself, I decided to take them along to my sister Shelley’s house when the whole family all got together for lunch. There’s a lot of us so the two puddings would be perfect. I was assuming that the little people wouldn’t be trying any (because I wouldn’t let them!)

Straight out of the packaging & ready for the oven

We popped the lemon pud in the oven. Just the smell of it when you take it out of the packaging is enough to get your mouth watering, but the whole kitchen was filled with that lovely citrus scent when it was ready to be served after 20 minutes and the lemon drizzle topping was bubbling away.

Just look at the golden colour of that lemon drizzle!

There’s something really great about a pudding. I think it’s the way the lemon topping oozes onto the cakey part giving it that extra kick. I tried to share it out evenly, but kept a sneaky bit back for a second taste – you know, just to be sure I REALLY liked it! Of course I did! I loved it. It was sweet and tangy with just the right amount of goo. The pudding was also really light and fluffy. I’d love to know what their secret is?

Get ready for summer

The summer pudding was served cold but I think it would have tasted great warmed up too. Can you heat up summer pudding? I’m not sure, but I love a warm mix of berries with a dollop of creme fraiche.

One, two, three and lift off the plastic bowl!

Again I shared it out with my family. The moment I cut into the dome you could see all the berries bursting to get out. The cordial syrupiness was really lovely and made for a very moist pudding.

How good does that look?
Perfect with a dollop of creme fraiche

The taste test result

When I asked which one was everyone’s favorite the results were 50/50. But I think I would be swayed towards the lemon pudding. It just had the perfect amount of sweetness with that tangy kick you need with a lemon dessert. I’d definitely buy them both again. As you can imagine, there wasn’t any left and between you and me… I scraped all the lemoniness out of the foil container as I just couldn’t leave it alone!

 Which one would you have prefered? Or is it back the the sticky toffee pudding again?

Cartmel Summer fruit pudding with Belvoir elderflower cordial and a Tangy lemon drizzle puddings are available from Waitrose, Booths and fine independent food retailers. Why not visit www.cartmelvillageshop.co.uk or call them on  015395 58300 to find your nearest stockist.

enjoy!


Rhubarb & white chocolate cake recipe

rhubarb!

Rhubarb cake

When my friend Sam asked if I wanted some of her Mum’s freshly grown/picked rhubarb I jumped at the chance. I had never baked with it before so I did what every cake obsessed blogger would do. I trawled through all my cook books looking for a nice juicy cake recipe to share with you all. EVERY ONE OF THEM! (I’ve got a lot!) Guess how many rhubarb recipes I found? Two. One was for rhubarb crumble and one was for rhubarb chutney! I mean come on you celeb chiefs. What’s wrong with good old rhubarb?

Luckily Sam sent me a link to a great blog mygloriousfood.com where the author Nadia has a great rhubarb cake recipe. I tweaked it just a little (who doesn’t love white chocolate with their rhubarb?) I hope Nadia doesn’t mind!

The Ingredients

  • 160 g butter at room temperature
  • 180 g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsb vanilla essence
  • 150 g plain flour
  • 50 g ground almonds
  • 2 tsb baking powder
  • 250 g rhubarb
  • 100g white chocolate – chopped up into little pieces
  • icing sugar to sprinkle

How to make Rhubarb and white chocolate cake

Heat your oven to 180°C, Fan 160°C,  Gas mark 4. Line a 9″ cake tin with grease proof paper. Or cheat like I did and use a silicon cake ‘tin’- no paper required.


Rhubarb cake recipe

Blend the butter and sugar together till smooth

Rhubarb cake recipe

Chop up the rhubarb into 2cm pieces

Rhubarb cake recipe

I didn’t have any chopped almonds so I decided to use my fab hand held blender attachment to chop them up

Rhubarb cake recipe

Et voila! It worked! Hooray for having equipment on hand…. and a packet of almonds!

Rhubarb cake recipe

Add the eggs one at a time with a little flour to prevent it from curdling. Mix in the remaining flour and baking powder along with the vanilla essence.

Rhubarb cake recipe

Add the chopped almonds and white chocolate

Rhubarb cake recipe

Scoop the cake batter into the cake tin

Rhubarb cake recipe

Put the rhubarb on top of the cake mix and push it in with your finger so it sinks in a bit.

Rhubarb cake recipeMy rhubarb didn’t squidge in that deep but it didn’t matter, it sinks in when it’s baked anyway. Sprinkle a couple of tea spoons of sugar over the top of the cake and pop it in the oven for 30-35 minutes. It’s baked to perfection when a skewer comes out clean and your house smells divine!!

Once it’s baked leave it to cool down on a rack for a short while. Sprinkle icing sugar over the whole cake and eat it before it cools down too much. It tastes sooooo good while it’s still warm.

You can add ice cream, custard or just plain cream but to be honest I had it on it’s own. In fact if I’m completely truthful I had to make this cake twice. I promised my dad a slice – as he loves rhubarb and I ate practically the whole first cake on my own. It’s my new favorite. I couldn’t leave it alone!

Rhubarb cake

enjoy!

Me, the Village people and a Sticky Toffee pudding!

Hands up who likes Sticky toffee pudding?

I was very fortunate a few weeks ago to receive an email asking if I would like to review some Cartmel puddings here on Cakes, Bakes and Cookies. They wanted me to be on their Pudding Panel. When you receive an email like that on a Friday afternoon (and you’re hungry!) it’s very hard to say no. I mean let’s face it who doesn’t like pudding.

I love the illustrations on the Cartmel packaging.

The lovely PR told me all about the Cartmel brand, which started life in a small village shop back in 1988 (more to come on that in a future post). She told me she wanted to send some of their best known puddings for me to taste. Of course I jumped at the chance. That was when she told me about the sticky toffee pudding which they are best known for. Now, I don’t think I have mentioned on here before , but I don’t actually like toffee or fudge, or caramel! But I thought I would still try them out and get the kids and Tim involved. That way if it was a bit too ‘toffee’ for me I would still know how good they were.

The delivery

The box arrived on Friday and it contained the Sticky toffee pudding, sticky toffee apple crumble and their sticky toffee sauce. Crumble is one of my all time favorite puddings, so I was really looking forward to giving this a go.

The Cartmel sticky toffee pudding

Saturday lunch time I popped both puddings onto a baking tray and watched them bubble in the oven. Let me tell you the house smelt divine!

Ready for the oven
Ready for the oven

The Sticky toffee pudding was the first to come out. It was bubbling away with all that gooey toffee sauce on the top.

Cartmel Sticky toffee pudding

I popped a slice in each bowl. The actual sponge pudding is really soft and sticky, you know the kind where the serving spoon get’s clogged up with all the toffee-ness, and the sauce just oozes over the top? I love it when you first put the serving spoon in and all that steam escapes.
I thought I’d give the serving spoon a quick taste. It was gooood! So I tucked into the bowl and I have to say I loved it. I was expecting to find the toffee taste too strong but it was delicious and I finished the whole serving!Cartmel sticky toffee pudding Great with ice cream
Beau and Darcey also really liked it. Beau wouldn’t take the spoon out of her mouth for me to take her picture. She wasn’t going to stop eating for anyone!

Beau Mmmmmm  Darcey Mmmmmm

The Cartmel Sticky Toffee Apple Crumble

Cartmel Sticky toffee apple crumbleThen it was time for the apple crumble to come out of the oven. Having liked the toffee pudding I was expecting great things from the crumble. I was not disappointed! The crumble has a lovely light oaty texture to it and the toffee on the apples adds to the flavour. When I make crumble I add cinnamon to the apples to give it an extra warming feeling, and the toffee has exactly the same effect. I seriously couldn’t leave it alone. Tim walked in to the kitchen to taste his Sticky Toffee pudding (he looooves toffee!) and when he saw the crumble I selfishly said “ I don’t need you to test this one”  He tucked into his pud, not even waiting to sit down to eat it and then it was gone!

Cartmel Sticky toffee apple crumble with ice creamThe crumble on the other hand was kept to one side, he he he! The girls had finished theirs and had run off to play, Tim was in weekend DIY mode, so I had the crumble all to myself.

Tim MmmmmIt’s at this point that I should mention that I had made the girls their lunch and was about to make mine when the oven timer went off. After a  bowl of sticky toffee pudding and then a bowl of sticky toffee apple crumble – with ice cream, I realized that I had completely forgotten to have any lunch! Oh well never mind.

Breakfast

The next morning I had breakfast really early (Darcey wakes up at 6am EVERY day, so even Sundays are an early start for me). I always give my oven a deep clean on a Sunday morning. It’s not a nice chore to do so I thought I would reward myself with a second breakfast. Yep, you’ve guessed it. At 8am I was reheating a lovely big portion of apple crumble. All I can say is thank goodness I was at the gym a few hours later!

As to the sauce, I’ve not played with that yet. The girls want to put it on ice cream with sprinkles but I’ve got a few ideas up my sleeve. Watch this space!

What’s next?

My next Cartmel delivery is due in April. Who knows what it will contain. There has been mention of Lemon drizzle cake, Black Forrest pudding and Raspberry sponge. Whatever it is I am very, VERY excited. Cartmel really rocks the pudding world!

Cartmel  handmade puddings are made with 100% natural ingredients which are sourced from local suppliers wherever possible. They are available in various sizes from 150g (why would you restrict yourself like that?) to 730 g packs (now that’s more like it)

Cartmel puddings are available from Waitrose, Booths and fine independent food retailers. Why not visit www.cartmelvillageshop.co.uk or call them on  015395 58300 to find your nearest stockist.

enjoy!

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