Monday, 31 August 2015

Mini coffee and walnut loaf cakes

This weekend's bake was mini coffee and walnut loaf cakes. They are far too cute to be eaten - although, they are extremely moreish so you might have more than one at a time...

When I came to make the buttercream, I realised I didn't have enough icing sugar, and the shops were closed. I can assure you they taste quite alright without the buttercream! But extra good with it.

A simple recipe:

6oz butter
6oz golden caster sugar
3 eggs
6oz self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
50ml cold brewed coffee
Dash of milk
Handful of chopped walnuts

Cream the butter until smooth, then slowly add the sugar, and beat until really fluffy and light.
Add the eggs one at a time, with a bit of flour to prevent splitting.
Add the rest of the flour, mix gently, then add the cold coffee and milk.
Stir in the chopped nuts by hand until evenly mixed.

Pipe into the mini loaf moulds with a piping bag. This mixture made a bit too much for 12 mini loaves, so I ended up with 8 mini cupcakes too.

Bake at 170 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

To make the buttercream, cream 40g of butter with 125g of icing sugar, and a tablespoon of Camp coffee mixture. Mix until really fluffy and no grains of sugar can be felt.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Stamford cake club dodges the rain

This month, I risked the British summertime and planned an outdoors cake club in Stamford. I was watching the weather all week long, and it looked like it would be fine... There was the risk of rain at 4pm on Sunday but we should have been finished by then.

So, we all met on the Meadows in Stamford and scoffed a range of cakes baked to the theme 'A Novel Idea'. The bakers all found this theme a bit tricky - ironically, all the members who had requested this idea weren't able to make this meeting. But we had a good variety of cakes:

Bruce Bogtrotter's chocolate cake from Matilda by Roald Dahl
Chocolat by Joanne Harris cake
Harry Potter Butterbeer cake
Sponge cake shaped into 'Sophie's World' by Jostein Gaarder

We were surrounded by artists partaking in the Great Stamford Brush Off watercolour competition - I wonder how many of their artworks featured us in the background.

My cake was a simple Victoria Sponge traybake, covered in rolled icing and piped icing to look like a cake. It wasn't amazing, and reminded me why I normally focus on taste rather than decoration. But everyone enjoyed it, which is the main point.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Snickerdoodle cookie recipe

Merry Christmas! Yes, yes, I know I'm a little late writing this post, but just because Christmas was nearly a month ago doesn't mean you can't still enjoy these sugary, cinnamon cookies. These are generally thought of as an American festive cookie, and that the name is just a whimsical made-up concoction; but there is some thought that they originated from the German Schneckennudel, a type of pastry. Either way, they are delicious!

60g butter or marg
160g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
1 egg
240g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the coating:
1 tbsp caster sugar
1/2 tbsp cinnamon

Cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla paste until light and fluffy. Gradually add the egg and mix well.
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon into the mixing bowl, and fold in. Mix well until a dough forms.
Place the bowl into a bowl, cover with cling film, and place in the fridge for half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 170C.
Mix together the sugar and cinnamon for the coating.
Make walnut-sized balls of dough, and then roll around in the cinnamon sugar to totally coat. Place on to prepared baking trays, and bake for about 12 minutes.

Mini doughnut-looking Snickerdoodles
Before baking, these cookies look like minature doughnuts - good enough to eat even more they're baked. Once baked they are quite doughy and best eaten with a cup of tea to sip.

Baked Snickerdoodle cookies