Tag Archives: jam

Easter cake

Chocolate Fudge Marble Cake

I had a bit of a baking fest weekend with my sister this year for Easter, our creations were some pretty huge and tasty hot cross buns and this giant of an Easter Cake. Rather than an Easter cake in the traditional sense it is a chocolate fudge cake but we gave it some Easter-style decorations to suit the occassion! It is a 2 layer cake, made with pink and chocolate marble cake, filled with raspberry jam and chocolate buttercream. It is then covered in chocolate buttercream using a petal technique and finished off with some fondant icing flowers and butterflies and some chocolate mini eggs. I think it is rather pretty!

Easter cake

If you would like to recreate this cake then here is how you do so. We made this in a 6 inch cake tin as I wanted height for the cake but equally it would work in an 8 inch cake tin, it would just be a bit shorter.

For the sponge you will need:

12oz butter or margarine
12oz caster sugar
6 eggs
12 oz self raising flour
milk
cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
pink food colouring

Beat together the butter and sugar in a bowl and add the eggs one at a time beating well after each one. Fold in the flour, 4 tbsp milk and the vanilla to the mixture. Now halve the mixture into 2 separate bowls. To one half add pink food colouring until you reach your desired colour. The other half will be the chocolate cake, I like to add the cocoa powder as I go rather than add a set amount, when I reach a chocolate colour I am happy with I stop, so play it by eye when adding the cocoa.

Pour the mixture into two 6 inch cake tins that are greased and lined. I used this tiger stripe technique for the cake marbling, it gives an effective stripy effect and I have posted instructions on how to do it here. You will need a wetter cake mixture than usual, so add more milk to the cake mix until you get a pourable consistency but not too runny. Another option is just to dollop the mixture in alternating pink and chocolate and give it a quick whirl with a skewer to marble it.

Bake the cakes at 180C for about 1 hour, they are done when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool completely before trimming the tops so they are nice and flat.

Marble cakes

Cover the top of one cake with raspberry jam (or other jam of your liking).

Jam

To make the chocolate fudge icing you will need:

500g unsalted butter (room temp)
1kg icing sugar (seived)
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp milk
cocoa powder (seived)

Beat together the butter and icing sugar until well combined. Ad the vanilla and milk and cocoa powder, again just add as much cocoa powder as you need to get the chocolatey-ness that you want, adding a little at a time. Beat well.

Cover the top of the other cake with chocolate icing and sandwich the two together.

two layers

Then cover the whole cake in a thin layer of chocolate icing.

Iced cake

Now time to cover the cake in chocolate petals. This is a really easy technique and very effective. Fill a piping bag with icing and snip off the end. Pipe blobs of icing onto the cake  and use a spatula to spread it out to create a petal style. Just push the spatula onto the icing blob and spread in one direction. Repeat until the cake is covered!

Petal technique

Petal icing

Finish off the cake with some chocolate eggs and some fondant flowers and butterflies to make it look pretty!

Chocolate easter cake

Lottie xx

I am linking this post to the We Should Cocoa challenge for this month – Easter. It is hosted by Chocolate Log Blog and Rachel Cotterill.

we should cocoa

Butterfly cupcakes

Raspberry and Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Butterflies

I have this thing for butterflies, I love them. In fact our whole flat is decorated with butterflies, my boyfriend doesn’t seem to mind, he must have a secret love for butterflies too. It is a bit like hide and seek but with butterflies, they are dotted around everywhere!  At the moment you seem to be able to buy butterfly stickers and feather butterflies everywhere, perfect for making the flat prettier. I like to use butterflies to decorate my cakes too, one of my very first posts back in 2011 was in fact some pretty butterfly cupcakes and I adorned this ruffled pink chocolate cake with butterflies too. Recently I came across these wafer paper butterflies on Amazon from Eshack, colourful and realistic looking butterflies that are just perfect for cupcakes! These raspberry and vanilla cupcakes are vanilla sponge cupcakes with a raspberry jam swirl, decorated with two tone cream cheese vanilla frosting.

Butterfly cupcakes

 

To make the cupcakes you will need:

170g butter or margarine (I use Stork)
170g golden caster sugar
170g self raising flour
3 eggs
splash of milk
1tsp vanilla extract
raspberry jam

Start by preheating the oven to 180C and lining a muffin tray with cupcake cases. In a bowl beat together the butter and the sugar until creamy then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the milk and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour to the cake mixture and gently fold in using a metal spoon or a spatula until it is all combined. In a small saucepan gently eat a few tablespoons of the raspberry jam until it is runny. Now spoon the cake mix into the cases until they are half full. Drizzle a spoonful of jam over each cake and top with the rest of the cake mix so that each case is about 3/4 full. Now use a skewer to give each one a swirl. Bake at 180C for about 20 minutes or until they are golden and springy to touch. Take out of the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Jam

Jam swirling

 

 

To make the cream cheese frosting you will need:

200g unsalted butter (softened)
200g cream cheese (I used Philidelphia)
500g icing sugar (sifted)
1 tbsp milk
1tsp vanilla extract

Beat together the butter and icing sugar in a bowl until well combined, trying not to get icing sugar everywhere like I do! Now add the cream cheese and vanilla and beat in well. Add the milk if you need to loosen up the mixture a bit. Beat the frosting so that it is light and creamy and keep in the fridge to set until needed.

Icing the cupcakes

To ice my cupcakes I used a Wilton 1M nozzle (my favourite!). To do the two tone icing you need to paint a stripe of food colouring down the inside of the nozzle and piping bag, I like to use the food colouring pastes as I find they work much better than liquid food colourings. I used Sugarflair pastes in pink and tangerine, putting a stripe of each inside the bag. Once you have added the colour put the icing into your piping bag, squeezing it down to the end and pipe straight onto your cupcakes. To get this effect I have used pipe from the outside in. Piping from inside out will give you a pretty rose effect. You will find that the first few cupcakes have a very bright colour with diminishes the more you pipe, so to keep your colour bright you might want to use a couple of piping bags and do half of your cupcakes with each.

Cupcakes

 

Inside the cupcakes

 

Hope you all enjoyed some bank holiday baking this weekend!

Lottie xx

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Half a Sixpence Cake!

Half a Sixpence Cake!

 This month I am performing in Half a Sixpence with my local amateur dramatic company (Nic from Nic’s Feasts and Treats is also in the show!). The company is called Epsom Light Opera Company, they stage 2 shows a year at the Epsom Playhouse and have an excellent reputation for putting on high quality, award winning shows. The next show is Half a Sixpence, a story set in Folkestone in the early 1900s. It follows the story of Kipps (played by Tommy Steele in the film) who gives his childhood sweetheart Ann half sixpence. The story tells of how Kipps falls in love with Ann, gains a fortune and enters High Society, falls in love with Helen Walsingham and gets engaged before realising he doesn’t like his high society life and that it is Ann he really loves. There are some great songs including ‘Flash Bang Wallop’, ‘Half a Sixpence‘ and ‘Money to Burn’, lots of dancing and plenty of laughs. It is looking to be a fantastic show. Last rehearsal I took along a Half a Sixpence Cake that I made for the cast!

 

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Half a Sixpence is on at Epsom Playhouse from 9th to 13th October. If you live in London/Surrey and aren’t too far from Epsom and like musicals then I can thoroughly recommend it! Tickets can be bought from the company box office or online from the Epsom Playhouse. I play the part of Flo, one of the shop girls. You can see a video with some bits from our rehearsals here:

Now back to the cake! The idea was to turn the flyer into a cake. The cake is a Victoria Sponge, filled with jam and buttercream.

To make the cake:

10oz butter or margarine
10oz caster sugar
10oz self raising flour
5 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and beat into the mixture, add the vanilla  too. Fold the flour into the mix using a spatula. Pour the cake mixture into a greased and lined tin and bake at 180C. The cake is done when it is golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool before turning out onto a wire rack.

To make the buttercream (filling and decorating):

300g unsalted butter
600g icing sugar
1/2tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk

Beat the butter to soften it. Sieve the icing sugar into the bowl and start to fold it into the butter using a spoon. Once it has started to combine use an electric whisk to beat it. Add the vanilla and milk.

To make the hat and sixpence I used fondant icing that I coloured with food colour paste. The writing is done with royal icing. To make the ruffles on the side of the cake I used a Wilton 104 petal nozzle. You can see the ruffle effect you can create better here on my chocolate cake with pink ruffle icing.

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 4

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6half-a-sixpence-flyer

 

Don’t forget to get your entries in for the next Bake Off Challenge round up! Deadline is 5th October!

Lottie xx

I am entering this into November’s Tea Time Treats, the theme is cake! This is hosted by Lavender and Lovage and What Kate Baked.

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Optimized-DSC_0630 (2)

Half a Sixpence Cake!

This month I am performing in Half a Sixpence with my local amateur dramatic company (Nic from Nic’s Feasts and Treats is also in the show!). The company is called Epsom Light Opera Company, they stage 2 shows a year at the Epsom Playhouse and have an excellent reputation for putting on high quality, award winning shows. The next show is Half a Sixpence, a story set in Folkestone in the early 1900s. It follows the story of Kipps (played by Tommy Steele in the film) who gives his childhood sweetheart Ann half sixpence. The story tells of how Kipps falls in love with Ann, gains a fortune and enters High Society, falls in love with Helen Walsingham and gets engaged before realising he doesn’t like his high society life and that it is Ann he really loves. There are some great songs including ‘Flash Bang Wallop’, ‘Half a Sixpence‘ and ‘Money to Burn’, lots of dancing and plenty of laughs. It is looking to be a fantastic show. Last rehearsal I took along a Half a Sixpence Cake that I made for the cast!

Half a Sixpence cake

Half a Sixpence is on at Epsom Playhouse from 9th to 13th October. If you live in London/Surrey and aren’t too far from Epsom and like musicals then I can thoroughly recommend it! Tickets can be bought from the company box office or online from the Epsom Playhouse. I play the part of Flo, one of the shop girls. You can see a video with some bits from our rehearsals here:

Now back to the cake! The idea was to turn the flyer into a cake. The cake is a Victoria Sponge, filled with jam and buttercream.

To make the cake:

10oz butter or margarine
10oz caster sugar
10oz self raising flour
5 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and beat into the mixture, add the vanilla  too. Fold the flour into the mix using a spatula. Pour the cake mixture into a greased and lined tin and bake at 180C. The cake is done when it is golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool before turning out onto a wire rack.

To make the buttercream (filling and decorating):

300g unsalted butter
600g icing sugar
1/2tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk

Beat the butter to soften it. Sieve the icing sugar into the bowl and start to fold it into the butter using a spoon. Once it has started to combine use an electric whisk to beat it. Add the vanilla and milk.

To make the hat and sixpence I used fondant icing that I coloured with food colour paste. The writing is done with royal icing. To make the ruffles on the side of the cake I used a Wilton 104 petal nozzle. You can see the ruffle effect you can create better here on my chocolate cake with pink ruffle icing.

Fondant Icing - Half A Sixpence Cake

Half A Sixpence Cake - side view

Half A Sixpence Cake with programme

half a sixpence flyer

 

Don’t forget to get your entries in for the next Bake Off Challenge round up! Deadline is 5th October!

Lottie xx

Optimized-DSC_0703 (2)

Paralympics Cupcakes

Paralympics fever has started and I love it. I went to the athletics this weekend and it was fantastic, such a buzz in the stadium! There are some really inspirational athletes, I am loving watching it all. To celebrate the Paralympics I decided to make some Paralympic themed cupcakes! I made vanilla cupcakes with a jam filling and swirls of cream cheese icing. You can find the recipe for the cupcakes here, they are the same ones I made for the Diamond Jubilee.

The recipe for the cream cheese icing is here. I decorated half of them with cocktail umbrellas (which were quite hard to find!) because the umbrella was a very prominent object in the Paralympics Opening Ceremony and I also got to carry one around the stadium. The other half of the cupcakes I decorated with the agitos. The 3 agitos in red, green and blue are the Paralympic symbol. Agito is ‘I move’ in Latin and this symbol is representative of movement. The motto of the Paralympics is Spirit in Motion.

To fill the cupcakes with jam just cut away a little circle from the top of the cupcake, add a little spoonful of jam and replace the top of the cupcake.

To do the swirl on the cupcakes I used the Wilton 1M nozzle. I coloured the icing with red, blue and green to represent the colours of the agitos. To do this effect you paint stripes of colour inside the piping bag, then fill with icing and pipe.

I hope you like them!

Lottie xx

 

Almond Breeze Challenge

Dairy Free Cherry and Almond Banana Breakfast Bread with Cherry Jam – Almond Breeze

Cherry and Almond Breakfast Bread made with Almond Breeze’s Almond Milk

Almond Breeze at Blue Diamond Almonds has given 30 food bloggers  through Foodies100 the challenge of creating a breakfast recipe using their almond milk and I was recently sent a carton of unsweetened Almond Breeze to see what I could come up with. I have never tried almond milk before and wasn’t sure what to expect, I am however a huge fan of almonds, so this sounded like something that I would like!  The unsweetened almond milk is very low calorie and has no added sugars, it is a great alternative to soya or dairy milk and is a good source of calcium. I also found that it is really easy to use in baking as a replacement for cow’s milk. It worked really well. With the chance to win a Gourmet Hotel Stay this competition was something I didn’t want to miss!

I remember going out for breakfast once and ordering coconut banana bread with lime marmalade. It was delicious and made me realise just how good banana bread is for breakfast, because of this I decided to come up with a banana bread recipe using Almond Breeze. As I would use Almond Breeze as a milk substitute I decided to make the banana bread completely dairy free and used a dairy free spread as a replacement for butter too. I also used wholemeal flour in the loaf to make it more of a breakfast bread rather than a cake.

My favourite flavour to pair with almonds is cherry. I think cherry and almond just go beautifully together, I used the combination for my Jubilee cake that I made recently. Cherry and almond is definitely up there with chocolate and orange! So when I hear the word almond, I automatically think of cherries and that is how this banana bread came to be a cherry and almond banana loaf, I used ground almonds to enhance the almond flavour. To finish it off I made a quick cherry jam for those who like a bit of sweetness at breakfast time!

You all know how much I love my 1M Nozzle for creating lovely swirls on my cupcakes. Well now I can honestly say I love it even more having come across an ingenious way of using the 1M nozzle to pit cherries! Let me tell you that it is fantastic! And you do need to stone quite a few cherries to make this. I didn’t realise how much I could love a nozzle.

So, to make this Dairy Free Cherry and Almond Banana Bread using Almond Breeze:

You will need:

160g plain flour
80g wholemeal flour
40g ground almonds
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp baking powder
100g dairy free spread (I used a dairy free olive spread)
120g caster sugar
2 eggs
3 bananas
150ml Almond Breeze unsweetened Almond Milk
120g stoned cherries (quartered)
flaked almonds to finish

Start by creaming together the spread and the sugar and then add the eggs one at a time. Mash the bananas and add to the mix along with the Almond Breeze almond milk. Mix will. Add the flours, ground almonds, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and cherries to the mixture and combine everything together. To prevent the cherries from sinking coat them in flour before adding them to the mix.

Pour the mixture into a greased and lined loaf tin and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for about an hour. Half way through cooking sprinkle some flaked almonds on the top of the loaf. The cake is done when a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool slightly (although this loaf is very nice served warm!)

To make the quick cherry jam:

200g stoned whole cherries
juice of half a lemon
50ml water
100g caster sugar

Put the cherries in a pan with the lemon and water and let it bubble away for about 10 minutes. Add the sugar, stir and continue to let the cherries simmer until the mixture starts to reduce. Take off the heat and allow to cool.

 

Serve the warm loaf sliced with cherry jam. Enjoy your rather yummy breakfast!

 

Thanks to Almond Breeze for sending me the almond milk for this recipe, I am very pleased I have now discovered almond milk!

Lottie xx

Please leave a comment below, I appreciate every comment left. If you use twitter then follow me @lotts_louise!

 

Jubilee_cake

Diamond Jubilee Celebration Cake – Iced Cherry and Almond Cake

From the moment I step out of my front door at the moment I am greeted with a world excited for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. There are Union Jacks EVERYWHERE! The church next door has union jack bunting draped over the front, I step off the train at Victoria Station which is now decorated with hundreds of union jack flags and today walking down Oxford Street I looked up to see the Union Jack Street decorations. Everyone everywhere in London is getting ready to celebrate, and quite rightly so, it looks like it is set to be a fantastic celebration. I for one am very much looking forward to this extra long weekend and will be taking a trip to Epsom Derby on Saturday and enjoying a street party on Monday. This weekend just gone I decided to get into the spirit of getting ready for the Diamond Jubilee and created a cake to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee! What better way to celebrate than with a celebration cake!

I decided to make a cake with a Royal theme and also with a connection to the Union Jack by using red, white and blue. I opted for a cherry cake because I thought that the cherries could represent jewels. I paired this with almond to make a cherry and almond because the flavours go so well together. This cake was filled with almond buttercream and cherry jam before being sandwiched together and iced with fondant icing and buttercream swirls.

Here is how to make my Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Cake:
For the cake:
8oz butter or margarine
8oz golden caster sugar
4 eggs
2 tbsp milk
8oz self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder2 oz ground almonds
1/2 tsp almond extract
200g glace cherries.

Cream together the butter and the sugar until well mixed. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after adding each one. Add the milk and almond extract and mix. Fold in the flour, baking powder and ground almonds until everything is well combined. Wash the cherries under running water to get rid of the syrup, dry them and cut them into quarters. Roll them in a bit of flour and then fold them into the cake batter. Pour the cake batter into a greased and lined 20cm cake tin and bake for 40-45 minutes at 180C.

 For the almond butter icing: (filling and covering)

200g unsalted butter
300g icing sugar (seived)
1tbsp milk
1/2 tsp almond extract

Decorating and filling:
1/2 jar cherry jam
Ready to roll icing
Gold lustre food spray – I used Dr Oetker Gold Shimmer Spray
Butter icing (use recipe above, minus almond extract)
Food colouring – red and blue – I used Wilton Colour Pastes in Red and Blue

Once the cake is out of the oven leave to cool completely. Once cool use a sharp knife to divide the cake into two layers. Spread cherry jam on one half of the cake and almond buttercream on the other half. Sandwich the two halves together and use a palette knife to cover the cake in a thin layer of the almond buttercream.

Roll out the fondant icing until it is big enough to cover the top of the cake. Place on the cake and trim the edges. Use a stencil to spray the symbol onto the top of the cake, and then lightly spray the whole cake to give it a gold dusting. I had to enlist the help of my brother and sister because I needed several hands to hold down all the edges of the stencil while I sprayed!

 Now pipe the buttercream swirls on the outside of the cake. To get the red, white and blue swirls paint stripes of blue and red food colouring on the inside of the piping bag. Fill a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M nozzle and pipe swirls around the outside of the cake, starting from the inside of the swirl and moving outwards.

 

Put in the fridge to set the butter icing.
Serve at a Jubilee Street Party and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Lottie xx Please leave a comment below and if you have twitter then follow me @lotts_louise for updates on my blog!

I have entered this cake into the Homemade by Fleur, Blogging Jubilee Baking Competition sponsored by Appliances Online.

 

jammy biscuit hearts

Jammy Biscuit Hearts

These jammy hearts were something I made for a Valentine’s present for my boyfriend this year. Although they weren’t much of a surprise as he watched me make them, but he took them to work to spread the love on Valentine’s Day. They are easy to make, look good and are a bit like jammy dodgers, so if you like them then these are the biscuit for you to try. And there is no need for them to just be hearts, you could try any shape and try different jams too. I think they would work equally well with a nutella filling if you are nutella lover. Or lemon curd if you are a lover of lemon.

You will need: (based on this recipe from Waitrose)

140g plain flour
100g unsalted butter
50g icing sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2tsp vanilla extract

For the filling:

50g butter
80g icing sugar
Jam of your choice (I used raspberry)

To make the biscuits start by mixing the flour and butter until they resemble breadcrumbs. You can do this with your fingers or in a food processor. Add the icing sugar, egg yolk and vanilla and mix together to form a dough. Chill the dough for about 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 200C and grease a baking sheet. Thinly roll out the dough and cut out the hearts. To make the top hearts you need to cut a smaller heart inside the larger heart. I used a cookie cutter to cut out the large heart shape but just used a knife for the inside shape. You need to cut a top and a bottom biscuit for every biscuit you are going to make. This recipe makes about 12.

Cut dough

Place the biscuits on the baking tray and cook in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Be careful because the dough is thin so  they will cook really quickly and you want them to be quite a pale colour.

Remove the biscuits from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack. After cooking the biscuits will all be slightly different shapes so pair up the top and bottom biscuits that fit together best!

Meanwhile make the buttercream for the filling. Mix the butter and icing sugar together with 1tsp boiling water. Once the biscuits are completely cool you can spread a little buttercream on each of the biscuits for the bottom. Then spread a little jam on top of the buttercream in the middle of each of these biscuits. Now sandwich the top and bottom biscuits together. There should be a lovely read jammy heart in the middle of each biscuit.

Lottie xx (follow me on twitter @lotts_louise)

This post is entered into Tea Time Treats hosted by What Kate Baked and Lavender and Lovage. The theme this month is Romance!