Tag Archives: christmas

Christmas cake

Lottie’s Christmas Cake

Lottie’s Christmas Cake

My blog has seen two Christmases now and here are some of the Christmas bakes I have posted so far: Lebkuchen – wonderful soft, spiced German biscuits. Christmas Cupcakes – decorated with snowflakes, holly, bows and glitter. Mince Pies – a Christmas favourite with cranberries. Chocolate Yule Log – a must have at Christmas. Orange Kugelhopf Cake – a German orange cake perfect for Christmas. Gingerbread house – this has to be done every year! Stollen – fruity bread with marzipan inside, a favourite this time of year.

This year I will be posting a few of my own Christmas recipes including Christmas Cake, Almond and Orange mince pies and German stollen. The first thing that has to be made though is the Christmas Cake, if you haven’t made yours yet then make sure you do very soon as you need plenty of time to feed it with alcohol before decorating it. My Christmas Cake is packed with  my favourite dried fruits including raisins, apricots and figs, as well as plenty of my favourite glacé cherries. It is lightly spiced and subtly flavoured with almond extract and chopped almonds. This recipe will make one large 8 inch cake, although I split mine to make a 6 inch cake and a couple of miniature cakes to give as gifts. I will be posting soon on ways to decorate your Christmas Cake with fruit and nuts and with marzipan and icing. Now time to get baking!

Christmas cake

For this Christmas cake you will need (makes 1 8 inch cake):

500g currants
180g sulatanas
180g raisings
75g glace cherries halved
50g chopped dried apricots
50g chopped dried figs
50g mixed peel
7 tbsp brandy
50g chopped almonds
pinch salt
225g plain flour
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
225g unsalted butter
100g light soft brown sugar
125g dark soft brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tbsp black treacle
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange
1/4 tsp almond extract

Start 12 hours before you want to bake the cake. Put all of the dried fruit including cherries and mixed peel into a large bowl and add the brandy. Mix well, cover and leave for 12 hours.

Once the fruit has been soaked you can make the cake. Preheat the oven to 140C. Grease and line a cake tin. In a large bowl whisk the butter and sugars together. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well. Gently fold the flour, salt and spices in. Now add all of the fruit, along with the nuts, treacle, zest and almond extract and fold together.

Dried fruit

Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and bake at 140C. If you have made an 8 inch cake this will take approx 4 hours. A 6 inch cake will take approx 3 hours. Keep an eye on the cake and if it starts to brown to quickly put a double circle of greaseproof paper on top of it. The cake will be done when a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan for half an hour before removing it and leaving on a wire rack to cool.

cake

Once the cake has cooled use a skewer to make small holes over the top of the cake, drizzle a couple of spoons of brandy over the top of the cake. Wrap it up and store in an airtight container. Keep feeding it with brandy like this every few days until you come to ice it.

Feed cake with brandy

Happy Christmas Baking!

Lottie xx

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Christmas Cupcakes!

Christmas Cupcakes!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

There is something just so magical about Christmas, everything is so exciting and there is so much going on! I am away for Christmas this year and will actually be on a plane so I am determined to make the most of everything Christmassy before I go. We may not be here on Christmas Day but the Christmas Tree is still up in our flat, decorated with red and gold glittery baubles, glittery little birds and traditional white lights. When the Christmas tree goes up that means that Christmas really is here! I made some of my own decorations too this year and have given them to people as presents. I dried oranges (which made the kitchen smell delightful), then threaded them with cranberries and cinnamon sticks to make decorations! And of course I have been doing some Christmas baking, mince pies and even Panettone this year. These though are my Christmas cupcakes for this year, they have a variety of decorations, the snowflake ones being similar to my Winter Cupcakes from last year. These cakes were made to sell at ELOCs performances of Jingle Belles where I was working behind the bar and selling lots of mulled wine!

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I made half of them vanilla and half of the chocolate cupcakes. I topped the vanilla cupcakes with either the festive red sparkly icing or with the fondant icing present design. I topped the chocolate cupcakes with either chocolate icing and holly or blue icing and snowflakes. All of them were finished off with a touch of edible silk shimmer dust.

To make the vanilla cupcakes:

6oz golden caster sugar
6oz butter or margarine
3 large eggs
6oz self raising flour
splash of milk
1tsp vanilla extract

Beat together the sugar and butter. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each one. Fold the flour into the mixture with a wooden spoon or a spatula. Add a splash of milk and the vanilla and mix in. Spoon into cupcake cases and bake at 180C for about 20 minutes.

To make the chocolate cupcakes I used the recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery book which gives lovely, moist cupcakes. You can see the recipe here where I used it for my Black Forest Cupcakes.

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To make the frosting:

Beat 250g softened unsalted butter together with 500g seived icing sugar. Add 2 tbsp milk and 1 tsp vanilla essence. Beat until smooth and creamy. To make the chocolate icing add seived cocoa powder to the frosting.

The cupcake toppers were made out of rolled fondant icing using holly and snowflake cutters.

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I rolled a pattern onto my present toppers using a textured rolling pin like this, I love the effect!

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Merry Christmas everybody!

Lottie xx

I am entering these into Calendar Cakes hosted by Dolly Bakes and Laura Loves Cakes.

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Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

December 1st and day 1 of the advent calendar. Opening mine this morning did put a big smile on my face, especially when I opened door 1 to find a lovely little Lindt reindeer waiting for me. And yes, I ate it for breakfast. Who actually saves their advent chocolate to a more appropriate time of day? However this year my advent calender is extra special, because not only does it mean the countdown to Christmas but also the countdown to Australia! Yay! I can’t wait, I think that this year December is going to have to be a combination of both Christmas bakes and Australian bakes to celebrate both things. I have baked Lamington’s in the past but haven’t done much Australian baking, so if anybody has any ideas then please do let me know! Today I have quite a simple but delicious recipe for you, for those times when you want to whip something up quickly with ingredients that are in your cupboard. Well these are perfect for that, perfect to serve on a tray with a cup of tea, whipped up last minute when you find out you have guests coming round. Peanut butter cookies, small, crumbly, easy and tasty.

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You will need:

200g plain flour
60g caster sugar
4tbsp peanut butter
2 egg yolks
100g softened butter

Place all of the ingredients together in a bowl and mix together to form a dough. Form small balls of the dough using your hands and squash them slightly onto a lined baking sheet. Press each ball down with a fork to get the markings and flatten it a bit. You should be able to get about 16 cookies from this recipe. Put the baking tray in a preheated oven at 180C and bake for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

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Dust with a bit of icing sugar if you like to finish them off and serve. Simple and delicious! I think they would be nice with chocolate chips in too or perhaps half dipped in chocolate….I might try that next time!

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Lottie xx

orange-kugelhopf-cake

Orange Kugelhopf Cake

Orange Kugelhopf Cake

Today I took a trip to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, it is becoming a bit of a traditional Christmas trip. Although it was exceptionally busy today I still do love German markets, although I am yet to actually go to Germany visit one. Maybe one day. I love the atmosphere and the smells and all the lovely things on offer. German baking always looks delicious, not quite as refined as French, but delicious none the less.  This cake is a German cake, it is called a Kugelhopf cake, also known as a Gugelhopf cake or a Bundt cake might be a term you are more familiar with. The cake is lovely and moist and its delicious orange flavour makes it a perfect cake for this time of year. Orange is such a lovely Christmassy smell and after my trip to Winter Wonderland today I am certainly starting to feel a lot more Christmassy!

orange-kugelhopf-cake

For this cake you will need:

225 g butter, softened
225g caster sugar
4 eggs (separated)
425g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
300ml fresh orange juice
1tsp grated orange zest

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Start by greasing and flouring a kugelhopf/bundt/ring tin and preheating the oven to 180C.

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg yolks one at a time and mix well after each addition.

In a separate bowl sieve together the flour, salt and baking powder. Fold these dry ingredients and the oranje juice alternately into the bustter and sugar mixture. Stir in the orange zest.

In another bowl whisk the egg whites to soft peaks and fold them into the mixture too.

Pour the cake mixture into the greased and floured tin and bake for about 50 minutes (until a skewer comes out clean).

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Leave the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and make a syrup to drench the cake in.

For the syrup:

200ml orange juice
200g granulated sugar

Bring the sugar and juice to the boil in a  saucepan until all the sugar has dissolved. Prick the top of the cake with a skewer and brush or pour half of the syrup over the cake. Leave it for another 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Brush/pour the rest of the syrup over the top of the cake.

If you are a chocolate fan then this cake is lovely finished with a drizzle of chocolate, if not then it is delicious as it is!

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Enjoy!

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Lottie xx

 

Tags: BundtcakechocolatechristmasGermanKugelhopforangeWinter Wonderland

 

yule-log

Chocolate Yule Log

Hello! I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas! Before Christmas season is out completely, here is a post for the Yule Log that I made this year! Christmas pudding is nice, but Yule Log wins every time. I fancied having a go at making my own this year.  Here it is……

Yule Log

For the sponge I used this recipe from the Waitrose website.

For the sponge you need:

5 eggs

150g caster sugar

75g plain flour

2tbsp cocoa powder

25g melted butter

Preheat the oven to 190C and grease and line a swiss roll tin. They suggest a tin 26cm x 35cm. Mine was a bit smaller than this so I used the mix to make one big roll and one little one to use as the branch on the log.

Put the eggs and sugar in a bowl and whisk for about 6-8 minutes. The mixture should become surprisingly thick.

Egg and sugar mix

Sift the flour and cocoa over the egg and sugar mixture and fold in with a metal spoon. Next fold in 2tbsp of hot water and drizzle in the melted butter. Fold everything in until completely combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Cake mix

Once out of the oven turn out onto a sheet of baking paper, sprinkled with caster sugar. Peel the paper off the top of the sponge and use the paper underneath it to roll the sponge up while it is still warm. Start from the short end. The paper should be kept inside the roll. Leave to cool rolled up.

SpongeRolled sponge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the filling:

150 g butter

150g icing sugar

55g cocoa powder

Beat the butter until it is soft and then gradually beat in the icing sugar and cocoa powder. Once fully cooled, carefully unroll the sponge and spread with buttercream. Then roll up again using the greaseproof paper to help. Don’t worry about any cracks in the sponge.

Spread with filling

Roll again

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the icing:

100g icing sugar

200ml double cream

150g plain chocolate

Pour the cream into a pan and gently heat. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until it is melted. Beat in the icing sugar. You should have a lovely smooth mixture. This needs to set a bit before you can spread it, so put it in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Then spread evenly over the cake. To get the branch on the log you can either make a separate roll for it, or cut the end from your log on a diagonal and use icing to attach it to the main log. Use a fork to make bark patterns in the icing.

Iced

Bark

 And now the fun bit…..decorate!! I attempted to make chocolate snowflakes with my cutter, it was harder than I realised, so I stuck with icing in the end!

Decorated

 

Close up

Yule Log

 

Cut

 

Eaten

 

Happy New Year!!

Lottie xx

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A Gingerbread House!

My sister and I decided to devote an afternoon this week to creating a sweetie covered gingerbread house! My sister is definitely into pretty baking and anything pink, and she was in charge of sweet buying, so there is definitely a pretty pink theme to our gingerbread house! They are such fun to make, we couldn’t believe how well it turned out and were so proud of it that it now has prime position on my parent’s dining room table so we can keep admiring it over Christmas!  We decided to go with this recipe for gingerbread and template on the BBC Good Food website and then had lots of fun decorating! Here are some pictures from each stage of our gingerbread house building:

Gingerbread dough

First make the dough! (from the recipe here)

Roll out the dough

Roll out the dough. We found that as the dough cooled it got quite difficult to work with and broke easily. It was much easier to work with while it was warm, so work quickly.

Pieces for the house

 

Put the house together

Start building the house. We ignored the leave to dry overnight instruction and just carried straight on with decorating. The icing dried so quickly that it didn’t matter. This step was a lot easier than we had imagined!

The house

The roof

Jazzles for the roof!

Rose decorates

Rose has a go at the icicles! To make the icicles just squeeze the piping bag and then pull away letting the icing drop down.

Decorated hosue

Finished!

Finished!!

Lottie xx