Tag Archives: alphabakes

Chocolate Orange Croissants

Chocolate Orange Croissants

This was something new for me, croissants have been on my ‘to bake’ list for a long time but it is only very recently that I have got round to giving them a go. I am so glad I did, home made croissants are so much better than shop bought ones! I was so pleased with how they turned out. Even my sister, a  true croissant connoisseur said she loved them. They may take time, they aren’t something you can just whip up, but that time that you invest in them is really worth it. When you see them puff up and crisp up in the oven and the smell of freshly baked croissants fills your kitchen, trust me, you will be filled with a sense of pride. I treated my family to a bank holiday breakfast in the garden and baked them chocolate orange croissants and raspberry almond croissants served with fresh orange juice. The recipe here is for the chocolate orange croissants. For the basic croissant dough I used Paul Hollywood‘s recipe and technique from his book How to Bake, it worked very well. Once you can make the basic dough then you can jazz them up however you want!

Croissants galore

 

To make Chocolate Orange Croissants you will need:

500g strong white bread flour
10g salt
80g caster sugar
10g instant yeast
300ml water
300g cold unsalted butter
1 egg
200g dark chocolate
3 tsp orange extract
orange zest

Chocolate Orange Croissants

 

Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl. Add the water and combine. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is quite stiff. Put the dough in a bowl dusted with flour, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

Roll out the dough on a surface dusted with flour, to a rectangle approx 60cm by 20cm and 1cm thick. Use a rolling pin to flatten the butter out to cover a rectangle approx 40cm by 20cm (2/3rds of your croissant dough). Put the butter on top of the bottom 2/3rds of the dough. Fold the top of the dough over the butter. Cut off the rest of the butter you can see and put it on top of the folded dough. Now fold the bottom 1/3rd of dough up on top. Wrap lightly in cling film and leave the dough to chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

Flatten the butter

 

fold the dough

 

Take the dough out of the fridge and dust the work surface with flour. With the short end facing you roll the dough into a 60 by 20cm rectangle again. Fold the top third down and then the bottom 3rd up. Wrap loosely again and chill for another hour. Do this twice more: roll out, fold and chill for 1 hour.

Now leave the dough in the fridge overnight, you will find in the morning that it has puffed up and risen.

While your dough is chilling make the chocolate sticks for the filling. Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water. Once melted add the orange extract. Add a little at a time until you get the strength of flavour you want. Spread the chocolate out onto a piece of greaseproof paper and leave to cool overnight. In the morning cut into sticks.

Chocolate

In the morning roll the dough out again on a floured surface, this time to a rectangle approx 40cm by 30cm, 7mm thick. Divide the dough in 2 lengthways and cut triangles from each strip with a 12cm wide base (approx 12 triangles in total).

triangles

 

Take a triangle, hold down the base and pull slightly on the point to lengthen it. Put 2 chocolate sticks at the base of the triangle and roll it up. Bend the ends of the croissant in slightly. Put the rolled croissants on baking trays lined with greaseproof paper and leave at room temp for 1-2 hours to rise.

add the chocolate

rolled dough

Brush the croissants with beaten egg and bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Now it is finally time to enjoy them! Serve with a sprinkle of orange zest and a glass of fresh orange!

Freshly baked croissants

 

Lottie xx

Edit:

I have entered this into November’s Alpha Bakes Challenge – this month’s letter is O!

This is hosted by The More than Occassional Baker and Caroline Makes.

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Sliced tiger cake

Chocolate Orange Tiger Cake

Many of you will have seen/heard of/eaten/baked a zebra cake before but it is something that I only recently came across online and as soon as I saw it I knew I had to try it. This might have revolutionised my marble cake baking, no more dolloping in the pan and giving it a quick swirl, by putting the cake mix into the pan in a specific way you can create such a beautiful stripy pattern! Amazing! This is normally done with chocolate and vanilla cake to give a black and white zebra appearance. Lorraine Pascal called hers a ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Zebra Cake’ but I decided to go all the way to making mine look like a tiger cake, it isn’t fair for zebras to get all the fame in this marble cake. I used orange food colouring and flavoured my cake with orange to create a chocolate orange, black and orange stripy tiger cake. I hope you like it. If you too are new to this method of cake marbling then I suggest you get a mixing bowl out right now and give it a go.

Tiger cake

 

To make this cake you will need:

Chocolate cake:
2 large eggs
125g caster sugar
100ml milk
130ml sunflower oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
220g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
30g cocoa powder

Orange cake:
2 large eggs
125g caster sugar
100ml milk
130ml sunflower oil
1 to 2 tsp orange extract
finely grated zest of 1/2 an orange
250g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
orange food colouring (I used sugarflair paste in tangerine)

Sliced tiger cake

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line an 8 inch cake tin. You will need 2 mixing bowls, one for the chocolate cake, one for the orange. Start with the chocolate cake. Mix together the eggs, sugar, milk, oil and vanilla until combined. Add the flour, baking powder and sieved cocoa powder and stir in. Now make the orange cake, mix together the eggs, sugar, milk, oil and orange extract in another bowl. Add the flour and baking powder to this and mix in. Add the orange colour a bit at a time until you have the desired colour.

Now for the fun part….making the stripes!

You need to put a bit of orange and then a bit of chocolate mix into the pan alternately, pouring each bit on top the the last. So start with orange and pour or spoon 2 tablespoons of mix into the centre of the pan, straight away put 2 tablespoons of the chocolate mix on top of this, then 2 tablespoons of orange on top of this, then 2 tablespoons of chocolate on top of this and keep going. As you put each mix on it pushes the others out and they form rings around each other so you should have a cake mix in the pan that looks something like this (don’t worry if it isn’t neat, it doesn’t have to be exact, as you can see mine isn’t!):

Tiger cake mix

Bake in the preheated oven at 180C for about 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

If you want to ice the cake then you need to level off the top. Once the cake is baked leave it to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out and leave to cool on a wire rack. Once it is cool slice of the top to create a nice, flat level surface. This also gives you a chance to see the rings inside!

Tiger cake inside

 

To ice mine I used a whipped chocolate ganache. Gently heat 300ml double cream in a saucepan and break 200g dark chocolate into it. Keep stirring until all the chocolate is melted. Leave the ganache in the fridge to set for a pit. Once it is cold take it out of the fridge and use and electric whisk to whip the cream. Spread the ganache evenly over the cake and finish with a dusting of cocoa powder. Now it will be a surprise for your guests when you slice into the cake!

Iced cake

Slices of tiger cake

Enjoy! I think that by using a more liquid cake mix you could create even narrower stripes and an even prettier cake, I might have a go.

Lottie xx

Edit:

I have entered this into November’s Alpha Bakes Challenge – letter O!

This is hosted by The Occassional Baker and Caroline Makes.

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Hershey's_cake

Hershey’s Kisses Chocolate Tray Bake and Dip Jacks

Today I tried Dip Jacks. Not heard of them? These are flapjacks that come complete with a dip – an excellent idea!  I love the sauce in the little bottle and you even get a little pot to put it in for dipping! I’m quite a fan of flapjacks and these were really delicious. Checkout www.dipjacks.com they sell delicious gourmet flapjack fingers with a chocolate dip-in sauce.  The flapjacks are made with natural ingredients and arrive freshly baked in boxes. Follow them on twitter @dipjacks.

Last night I went to Trafalgar Square to watch La Boheme – one of the BP Summer Big Screens. It was a lovely night, although a little chilly and they even gave us free blow up cushions, which came in very handy! There are screens all over the country and a couple more screenings of opera and ballet this summer, so if you are looking for something to do one evening then I can recommend it! We took a little picnic complete with cake. This chocolate tray bake is iced with pink and chocolate ruffle icing and decorated with Hershey’s kisses. My sister went to New York recently and bought these back. I think they make lovely cake decorations! They are American and they begin with H, so I think that counts for entering them into both Alpha Bakes (the theme this month is ‘H’) and United Bakes of America.

To make the tray bake:
8oz margarine
8oz golden caster sugar 8oz self raising flour 4 eggs splash of milk
1tsp vanilla essence
2oz cocoa powder (seived)

Cream together the margarine or butter with the sugar and then beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the milk and vanilla essence. Fold in the flour and cocoa powder until it is all mixed well. Pour the batter into a greased and lined tray and bake in the oven  at 180C for about 1/2 hour (the time will depend on the size of your tray), the cake is done when it is spongy when touched. Remove from the oven at cool on a wire rack.

For the icing use 200g softened unsalted butter and beat with 400g icing sugar and 1-2 tbsp of milk. Divide the icing into 2. To one half add pink food colouring and mix well. I used Sugarflair Spectral Pink Paste. To the other half add cocoa powder to make chocolate icing. I love the look of pink and chocolate together. I used the ruffle technique again like I did on this cake. I think it is really effective and it is quite easy as long as you have the right nozzle. I used Wilton 104 which is a nozzle you can also use for piping roses onto cupcakes. Finally decorate with Hershey’s Kisses so that every square has a kiss on it!

Alpha Bakes is hosted by Caroline Makes and The More than Occassional Baker. United Bakes of America is hosted by Cupcake Crazy Gem. All three are fantastic blogs, have a look!

Please leave a comment, I really appreciate all comments.

Thank you to those of you who bought my Dad’s debut book on Amazon that I wrote about here on my last blog, I hope you enjoy it! If you haven’t done so already then check it out here, it is an excellent book!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend! What is everyone baking this weekend?

Lottie xx
Follow me on twitter @lotts_louise
Osterzopf

Easter Bread Baking: Osterzopf and Hot Cross Buns

Just one more post for my Easter related baking! I went back to my parent’s house over Easter and completely took over the kitchen with my bread and Easter egg making! I’m sure my Mum is glad to have her kitchen back now and I am back to my minature one. My Dad is a bit of a fan of the bread maker but I decided to do it properly. I made a giant Osterzopf loaf and plenty of Hot Cross Buns. Osterzopf is a German Easter bread, a bit like brioche with a subtle hint of lemon, lovely toasted and buttered! The recipe is below. For the Hot Cross Buns I used Mary Berry’s recipe from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible.

For the Osterzopf you will need:

500g strong bread flour
1 tsp salt
50g sugar
250 ml milk
7g dried yeast
75g butter
1 egg (beaten)
1 lemon, zest only
1 tbsp milk
1 egg
sugar to finish
Flaked almonds.
Honey to drizzle.
You can also add raisins if you fancy.

Start by mixing the flour, dried yeast, salt and sugar together. Heat the milk gently in a saucepan until warm, not hot. Add the butter to the milk and stir until melted. Pour this into the flour mixture and mix well. Add the beaten egg and lemon zest and mix to form a dough. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film or a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place (I use the airing cupboard) for 30 minutes to an hour.

Turn out onto a floured surface again and knead. Divide the dough into 3 equal size pieces and roll each out into a sausage shape. Plait the sausages of dough together and use a bit of water to stick the ends together. Put the plait onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, cover again and leave to rise for another 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Beat the egg with the 1tbsp of milk and brush over the loaf. Sprinkle the loaf with sugar and flaked almonds.

Bake for 45 mins to 1 hour until golden. When you take the loaf out of the oven drizzle with honey and serve. Enjoy!

 

 

And my Hot Cross Buns:

 

After my flurry of bread baking over Easter I am pretty keen to make some Sourdough, I saw them making it on River Cottage the other day, so watch this space and see how I get on. In other news, I spent this morning making a rose swirl birthday cake with some piping using my trusty Wilton 1M nozzle, blog post to follow soon!

I have been prompting for a musical version of Titanic this week that my boyfriend is in. It is an excellent show and I am very excited about watching it from the front instead of the side tonight! There are really only very few seats left but if you are near Epsom and are wondering what to do tonight then I recommend going to see ELOC perform Titanic at Epsom Playhouse! You will not be disappointed.

If you have enjoyed reading my blog then please leave a comment, I appreciate every comment left. And if you are on Twitter and haven’t done so already then add me on twitter @lotts_louise to keep up to date with my blog!

Love, Lottie xx

I have entered this bread into Alpha Bakes hosted by The More Than Occasional Baker and Caroline Makes. This month’s letter is B.

lemon

Lovely Lemon Cupcakes

I have gone a bit lemon crazy recently and these cupcakes were one of the results. I made these to take to lectures as a thank you to people reading my blog! So here are another set of cupcakes that survived the journey all the way across London, and on the tube in rush hour, I think they deserve a round of applause. These are lemon cupcakes with a lemon curd filling and a lemon cream cheese icing, lemon lemon lemon!

So, if you want to make these luscious lemon cupcakes, you will need:

For the cake:

6oz butter or margarine
6oz caster sugar
3 eggs
6oz self raising flour
splash of milk
zest of 1 lemon

Cream together the butter and the sugar and then beat in the eggs one at a time. Add a little bit of the flour if the mix starts to curdle. Once the eggs are beaten in then fold in the flour. Finally mix in a splash of milk and the zest of 1 lemon. Line a muffin tray with cupcake (muffin) cases and spoon the mixture into the cases. This recipe will make 12 cupcakes. Bake in the oven at 180C for 15 minutes until the cakes are springy to touch. Cool on a wire tray.

Then you will need:

Lemon curd

Once the cakes are cool use a small sharp knife to cut away a small circle from the top of the cake. Fill the hole with lemon curd and replace the top. Your cupcakes will now burst with lemon when you bite into them.

Next comes the fun part, icing! You will need:

500g icing sugar
100g unsalted butter (softened)
250g cream cheese
zest of 1 lemon

Beat the icing sugar and butter together, trying not to get icing sugar flying everywhere as I normally do. Add the cream cheese and beat until well incorporated, light and fluffy. Mix in the zest of a lemon.

Now you are ready to spread on your icing, or get piping! I used my trusty Wilton 1M nozzle to pipe these. I did half of the cakes using the white icing and decorating with lemon zest. The other half I did two tone pink piping and decorated with fondant butterflies. To do the two tone piping read my Winter cupcake (some cupcakes that are quite apt for today’s snowy weather) blog post here.

And as a special addition to today’s post and the results of getting my sewing machine down from the loft….. here is my Lottie’s World of Cakes and Bakes apron that I have made!

Wrap up warm everybody and enjoy the snow!

Lottie xx (PS. if you haven’t done so yet, follow me on twitter! @lotts_louise )!

If you like this post then please leave a comment!

I am entering these cupcakes into the AlphaBakes Challenge hosted by The More than Occasional Baker (this month’s host) and Caroline Makes.

 

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