Tag: bake

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

Time to get spicy with this Pumpkin Cake recipe

Pumpkin cake recipe

So go on then. How many times have you carved a pumpkin and don’t even bother to scoop out the insides? We’ve all done it but this year – like last, I scooped out enough to feed a small army and that was with just one daughterling. The other one didn’t even get her’s carved! Teenagers! So we have a whopper of a pumpkin to use and it’s the second week in November. So, I did what every good cake blogger does. I baked!

Pumpkin cake

Every year I give my mum the pumpkin flesh as she makes killer chutney with it but this year I made a cake and still had plenty left over to share. This pumpkin cake is really moist and quite heavy. It’s a slow bake cake and is the kind you could use to stack for a tiered cake. Perfect for an October wedding cake maybe? Think of it as a carrot cake made with pumpkin. It’s topped with a cream cheese frosting – the recipe for which I got from Jane Curran, the food editor on Woman&Home. It’s the only cream cheese frosting recipe I use. It can’t be beaten. It also lasts a long time. Once decorated we were still eating this cake a week later and it was fine.

 

Pumpkin Cake recipe

Pumpkin Cake recipe

  • 30ml rum
  • 50ml water
  • 200g sultanas
  • 350g plain flour
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 300g unsalted butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150g dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 medium eggs
  • juice and zest of 1 ½ oranges
  • 350g shredded pumpkin
    Sugar syrup
  • Juice from ½ orange
  • 30ml water
  • 60g caster sugar
    Cream Cheese frosting
  • full fat cream cheese
  • icing sugar
  1. Place the rum and water and sultanas in a sealable container and leave for at least an hour - overnight is best.
  2. Line and grease an 8" cake tin and pre-heat the oven to 160ºC(140ºC fan)
  3. Melt the butter over a low heat and add to the sugars. Mix well. Add the lightly beaten eggs.
  4. In a separate bowl sieve and combine all the dry ingredients. Fold into the wet ingredients.
  5. Add half the orange juice and all of the zest, vanilla extract, pumpkin and soaked sultanas with their flavouring to the mixture and combine.
  6. Spoon into the cake tin
  7. Bake for 2 hours or until a skewer comes out of the cake clean.
    To make the sugar syrup
  1. Heat the water and sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat till it is all dissolved.
  2. Add the orange juice then simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Set aside to cool then brush over the whole cake as soon as it leaves the oven. Leave the cake to cool completely.
    To make the frosting
  1. Place the cream cheese and icing sugar together and mix well.
  2. Use a pallette knife to spread the frosting over the completely cooled cake. You can do just the top or all around the sides too.
http://cakesbakesandcookies.com/2016/11/11/time-to-get-spicy-with-a-pumpkin-cake-recipe/

Pumpkin cake recipe

So whether you bake this now or save the recipe for next halloween (you can print it off – just see the link above the recipe ingredients) it’s a keeper that’s for sure!

What do you do with your pumpkins? I’d love to know. Leave a comment below and feel free to share your recipe with the CakesBakesAndCookies crowd!

EmmaMT x

p.s. Happy Birthday Bot. xxxx

Prohibition Bakery book review & giveaway

Prohbition bakery review and giveaway Prohibition Bakery book review and giveaway

I bet the title of this post grabbed your attention. Prohibition Bakery! Prohibition = alcohol and in cakes that can only be a good thing.

I’ve made quite a few boozy cakes here on CakesBakesAndCookies.Com, The whisky cake aimed at my dad, the Black forrest gateau aimed at the husband and don’t get me started on boozy mince pies -aimed at everyone! So when I saw this book was about to land in the UK I had to get my hands on it. It is literally bursting with amazing cupcakes all with a touch of the hard stuff. I’m not a big drinker (unless it’s Dr Pepper!) but I love an alcoholic cake. The flavour just adds that little something extra.

The Prohibition Bakery

The Prohibition bakery isn’t just a book. It’s an actual bakery in New York City run by the very talented Leslie Feinberg and Brook Siem. The duo set up the bakery in 2011 transforming your favourite cocktails into tasty cupcakes. Flavour is the name of the game and every conceivable flavour is included in this book. Fifty five recipes to be exact.

So, what’s the book all about?

You’re gonna love this. Here’s a run down of the contents titles and just one example of what you can bake !!!!

  • Vodka – White Russian anyone? Super cute looking cupcake.
  • Rum -This is a nice big chapter.  Mojito cupcake- probably one of my all time favourite cocktails. Definitely going to make this one!
  • Whisky – The Sherlock and Watson cake sounds like it has a powerful punch, with an Earl grey and Highland scotch filling. There are eight Whisky cakes to try. Eeek!
  • Gin – It’s not everyday you come across a cupcake named ‘Suffering bastard’ It’s a ‘hair of the dog’ cupcake with gin and bourbon!
  • Tequila -Margarita. What more can I say?
  • Wine – Port in the storm. I love port and these cute little chocolate cupcakes look too good to miss.
  • Beer/Cider – The ‘apples to apples’ cupcake sounds amazing – pumpkin, cinnamon and applejack brandy. Niiiice!
  • Liqueur – For me it has to be Amaretto sour. Amaretto is basically alcoholic Dr Pepper to me. ?
  • Cocktails  – Not the cake variety. Actual cocktail recipes. A great end to a great book.

Prohbition bakery review and giveawayI love it that the introduction of this book includes everything you need to know to make a great cupcake – from building a baking kitchen, equipment and the basics right through to creating new flavours, frosting tips and everything you need to know about infusions and fillings. Once you have these down you can make all sorts of flavours using their guidelines. Tips like making an infused jelly will bring out the flavour more than just adding that ingredient to your cake mix.

The photography is dark and moody with loads of old photos from during the prohibition age. I love the shot of the ‘ladies against prohibition’ with their old time fashions and serious faces. The pages have sticky tape marks on them like the book’s a scrap book – nice touch. The photos of the cakes are really close and make you want to learn how to get those pretty star topping effects so big on the top of a cupcake – they’re perfect! The recipes are easy to follow and look sooooo delish! I want to eat every single one – especially in the liqueurs section.

I should mention that these are little cupcakes. Eat too many and you know what effect they’ll have.

I really like this book. It’s got a great vibe to it, lots of Leslie and Brook’s personality coming through in the writing which makes it feel really friendly. As much as I think this would make a fantastic gift for a friend I think my mates would prefer a box of cakes made from the book more!

The Prohibition Bakery by Leslie Feinberg and Brooke Siem, Sterling Epicure publishing, is available on Amazon through my affiliate link here

Prohbition bakery review and giveaway

And what about the giveaway?

The lovely publishers of  The Prohibition Bakery by Leslie Feinberg and Brooke Siem, Sterling Epicure publishing, have given me not one, not two but THREE copies of this great book to giveaway to my lovely readers. Wanna win one?

To enter all you need to do is share at least one image from this post on Pinterest AND leave a comment below telling me what your ideal alcoholic flavour cake would be and why. Winners will be drawn at midday Thursday 2nd June 2016.

If you hover over the images on this post a little ‘pin it’ sign will appear to make sharing super easy. Don’t forget to leave a comment too!

 

Good luck!

EmmaMT x

 

CakesBakesAndCookies.com Terms & Conditions

This giveaway will close at 12:00 midday on 2nd June 2016. Sharing an image from this post on Pinterest and leaving a blog post comment is a mandatory entry option. This prize is offered by Sterling Epicure. I am hosting it on behalf of Sterling Epicure. Please note, I am not responsible for posting the prizes out or providing it. Sterling Epicure 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 copy of the ‘Prohibition Bakery’ book, 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.

Delicious Date and Walnut loaf recipe

Date and walnut loaf recipe

Delicious Date and Walnut loaf recipe

Sometimes you need a little afternoon pick me up and for me this is it. A slice of date and walnut loaf tastes great on its own but with a little butter spread across it – deeeelishhh!. Oooooh butter! One of life’s little luxuries! The reason I like this loaf so much is because it has a really firm texture. One slice is often enough – who am I kidding one slice is never enough! I wish I could pack it into packed lunches but the whole nut allergy at school thing prevents me so we’ll just have to stick to eating it here at home. (smiles as she types!)Date and walnut loaf recipe

I am a massive date fan. I have them with a cup of tea at the end of the day (instead of another slice of cake or cookie) and the really soft, gooey medjol ones are my favorites. But when you get a regular pack and they’re all a bit hard I bake with them. By soaking the dates in boiling water they get really soft. You can leave them to cool for half an hour and they’re perfectly ready but to make them really moist for your cake leave them over night in an air tight container and give them a shake every now and then.

I didn’t used to like walnuts but over the years they’ve been growing on me. I don’t like it when you can’t taste them in a cake so I often just quarter them so the pieces are big and chunky but you can chop them smaller if you prefer. Toasting them (or baking them in the oven) makes all the difference. It’s like you’re sealing the flavour in. Definitely worth the effort.

Date and walnut loaf recipeYou can ? this recipe off here

Date and walnut loaf recipe

EmmaMT x

 

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.

Cake inspiration from Sweetapolita: Chocolate Torte Madeira Sprinkle Birthday Cake

 Chocolate Torte Madeira Sprinkle Birthday CakeSprinkle Birthday cake

Where do you get your cake inspiration from? I follow quite a lot of blogs but I only stay subscribed if they keep on delivering great inspiration month after month. If they don’t post for a few weeks I don’t really mind as when they do it’s always amazing new content and that’s how I feel about Sweetapolita. She has a very distinctive style and I always want to have a go at recreating her cakes. Her style was the inspiration for this cake. 

BeauBeau is TWELVE!!!! 

Where does the time go. I’ve been writing this blog for over four years and each year my daughter’s birthday cake posts seem to come round quicker and quicker. For the first time in ages I actually can believe Beau is twelve. She is so much more happy and mature than she was last year. She’s settled into senior school really well and has a lovely group of new friends who we met for the first time on Sunday. One of them even offered to help carry over the drinks for all the gang while we were at bowling! I mean literally said “Would you like me to help you carry the drinks over“!!! How happy am I that Beau has found such polite and friendly group of girls to hang out with? VERY.Sprinkle Birthday cake

So, when it came to her birthday cake she asked for something simple, chocolatey and pretty. Gone are the days of sculpting cakes into fancy designs. In fact I can’t actually remember the last time I was asked to do that. I knew exactly which of Sweetapolita’s cake designs I was going to make. Lots of soft chocolate ganache buttercream and lots and lots of pretty sprinkles! 

Now, I would say that this cake is quick and easy to make and I am sure it is, but not when you are desperate to finish season 4 of Prison Break on Netflix and can’t stop watching it and stay up till 3am to do so! Without Netflix it would have been sooo much quicker! 

Chocolate Torte Madeira Cake 

[yumprint-recipe id=’4′]Beau and her Sprinkle Birthday cake

Happy Birthday Beau Beau Bob. We love you so much. 

Emma (a.k.a. Mamma.xxx)

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