Sunday, 2 November 2014

Halloween Treats

So its that time of year again when all the children get dressed up to go trick or treating and I'm in the kitchen baking up a storm.
We had a few people over our house for a mini Halloween party mainly for my little brother and sister so obviously I decided to bake a few treats. 


So to start with I these Sugar Cookies;

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup of Butter
  • 1 Cup Icing Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 beaten Egg 
  • 2 1/2 Cups Flour

Method

  • Start off by creaming the butter and the icing sugar together with an electric whisk for 3 minutes.
  • Add the vanilla extract and egg into the butter mixture and whisk together. 
  • Gradually add the flour, the dough should start to form. When it has fully formed stop mixing together,wrap up in cling film and put in the fridge for 30 minutes. 
  • Once the dough has firmed up,roll out on a floured surface and cut out the cookies.
  • Place onto a cookie sheet and place in the oven (170C) for 12 minutes. 
  • Then proceed to decorate however you wish. I chose to food colour some icing and decorate them like cats,pumpkins and ghosts. 

Halloween Cupcakes

So these cupcakes were normal vanilla cupcakes with a caramel flavoured buttercream icing. 
The vanilla cupcakes consisted of;
  • 6oz Butter
  • 6oz Granulated Sugar
  • 6oz Self raising flour 
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Mix all the ingredients together and place in the oven for 17 minutes, take them out and let them cool down. 


To make the buttercream icing I used 5oz of butter and 10oz of icing sugar, beat them together for 3-4 minutes until it looks pale and creamy. Lastly I added 1 tsp of Caramel flavouring then give it a quick whisk together.
The halloween sprinkles were from Asda and I got my little sister to help decorate them. 

Graveyard Cake

Lastly was the main cake. I decided to do a basic chocolate sponge cake with,again, the Caramel buttercream coated all over the cake with a muffin crumbled over to look like mud, then rich tea fingers covered in melted chocolate to look like gravestones. 

The sponge cake consisted of;
  • 6oz Butter
  • 6oz Granulated Sugar
  • 5oz Self Raising Flour 
  • 1 1/2 Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Eggs 
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder


I mixed all the ingredients together (just like I mixed together the cupcakes) and placed it into a cake tin and cooked on 170C for 30 minutes. 
Once the cake had completely cooled I covered it in the Caramel buttercream icing and the crumbled muffins. 
I had broken the rich tea finger in half, covered them in melted chocolate (put them in the fridge for about 20 minutes. I then put them on the cake, you can always decorate how you wish.   






I hope you enjoyed reading this. Happy Halloween! 
x



Thursday, 9 October 2014

Homemade Dog Biscuits

Ok so this is not something I normally blog about. As you can tell by the title it is not something for human consumption. We sadly had to put one of our dogs down recently that we had for 13 years and our other dog has gone very depressed. She had always been with him since she was a puppy.She needed a bit of love and attention, also a yummy treat.My little sister wanted to help make these for her. Its safe to say she loved them.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of Flour
1 cup of Oats
1 cube of Chicken Stock 
1/2 cup of Boiling water 


Method

Turn your oven to 170C to begin with.

1. Place the chicken stock into the 1/2 cup of boiling water and let it dissolve. 
2. Place the oats and flour into a bowl and pour the chicken stock over the dry ingredients. 
3. Mix together with a wooden spoon until a dough starts forming, then finish off using your hands to bring together. 
4. Place onto a floured surface and roll out with a rolling pin. 
5. Use any cookie cutter you wish, my little sister chose a heart shaped one.
6. You then place onto a cookie sheet or tray covered with baking paper and put in the oven for 30 minutes. 
7. Once they have cooked place onto a cooling rack until completely cooled. 

There you have it, quick and easy dog biscuits. You can add any flavouring in them you want; beef stock, peanut butter, bacon or even grated cheese. 
Like I said anything your dog loves you can add into it. 


I hope you enjoyed reading and making these for your dogs!
















Monday, 6 October 2014

Apple Crumble



So this was a spare of the moment dish. I wanted something for pudding but didn't want a shop bought one (besides it was on a Sunday evening when all the shops were shut). This was so easy to make and only took roughly an hour and a half all together including the preparation of the apples,depending on how quick you are at peeling the apples. You can either cook the apples then put the dish all together and cook it straight away or put the dish together and then let it sit to cool down and cook when you are ready. If you don't cook it straight away then I recommend covering in cling film when it has cooled and place it in the fridge until you want to cook it. 

All you need to cook it in is a ovenproof dish. I got to use my new Laura Ashley casserole dish for this,it was perfect for it. 




Ingredients

1 Bag of Apples (I used Royal Gala)
100g Granulated Sugar
150g Plain Flour
75g Butter,softened


Method

Start off by preheating your oven to 180C. 
I started off by filling a saucepan half way with cold water so when you have peeled the apples you can place them in here while you peel the others and they wont start going brown. 
Once you have peeling the apples, empty the water out and place 50g of the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water into the saucepan,place onto the hob and stew until the apples have become mushy but still formed. 
While these are cooling it is time to make the crumble. 
Place the flour, the rest of the sugar and butter into a bowl. 
Next start crumbling the ingredients together in a bowl with your fingertips. You want it to end up looking like breadcrumbs. 





Place into the oven on the middle shelf for roughly 30 minutes. I've read a few different websites and they say it is cooked even when it still looks pale but I prefer it to be brown so I have actually left it in the oven for 40 minutes, so it is completely up to you depending on how you like it.





I hope you enjoyed this recipe, it has definitely become a favourite of mine to cook and also super easy!





Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Raspberry and Coconut Cupcakes

I was recently bought a cupcake book by my boyfriend and it is amazing. It is by Cupcake Jemma off of youtube, I'm always watching her videos coming up with new ideas to cook. I definitely recommend checking out her videos. 

So with this recipe there are three parts to it, first the raspberry sauce, the cupcake itself and then the buttercream icing on top. 

Ingredients

Fruit Sauce
400g Raspberries
110g Caster Sugar
Lemon (optional)

Cupcake
120g Desiccated Coconut
250g Self-raising Flour 
250g Sugar
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda 
250g Butter
4 Eggs
3 tbsp Milk 
3 tbsp Fruit sauce 

Buttercream
300g Butter
675g Icing Sugar
5 tbsp Coconut Cream
5 tbsp Desiccated Coconut (for topping)


Method


So to begin with you need to make your raspberry sauce or as it is called in the book fruit goo. I already had raspberries in my freezer (I had a bit less than 400g but it made no difference to the making of the sauce). You need to measure out your sugar and raspberries and put them into a sauce on a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Make sure you stir the sauce now and then so the raspberries break down and it does not start sticking to the saucepan. At the end of the 10 minutes your sauce should be of a thick consistency, if not the leave it on the heat until the consistency is just right. So after this you want to take it off the heat and sieve it straight away to get the seeds out of your sauce. 






Next onto the cupcakes themselves.
So begin by placing 120g of desiccated coconut onto a baking tray and place it in the oven for 5 minutes at 170c. While the coconut is browning you can begin by creaming the butter and sugar together either with a wooden spoon or a hand mixer. You can then add half the flour, the bicarb and 2 eggs making sure it is mixed together well. Then you can add the rest of the flour,the last egg,milk and the coconut. Mix this for about 2 minutes. You can then spoon 3 tbsp of fruit sauce into your bowl and mix a little bit so it makes a swirl effect.  
Next fill the cupcake cases 3/4 of the way and place in the oven for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack until they have completely cooled down.


While the cupcakes are cooling down you can begin to make the buttercream.Place the butter in a bowl and beat for at least 4 minutes, preferably with a hand mixer. Next add half of the icing sugar and careful mix this until it has just come together. Then add the other half of your icing sugar and your coconut cream. Beat this for 2 minutes and your buttercream is then complete. 

So now is the fun part, piping the buttercream onto the cupcake and then dipping it in the coconut to give this effect.  

If you do not own a piping bag then just use an ordinary freezer bag, place all of the buttercream into a corner of the bag and cut off the corner of your bag. There you have it, your makeshift piping bag. 









Here is the finished product. I'm not going to lie, it is one of the most fanciest cupcakes I have made. I am so used to sticking to plain, basic cupcakes but this was actually successful so I think I will be trying a lot of different recipes from now on. 
I hope you enjoyed following this :).





















Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Not in a million years would I have thought to make these because to be honest I don't even like peanut butter that much.However with the Reese's cookies being such a hit with family and friends I decided to branch out and experiment with peanut butter. This is first of many experiments with peanut butter because every time I cook with it everyone seems to love it. So lets get into it.

Ingredients

2 cup of Plain flour 
2 Teaspoons of Baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon salt (optional)
2/3 Cup Peanut butter (I used crunchy)
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
3/4 cup Milk
2 bags of Chocolate Chips (I used 1 white chocolate and 1 Milk)


Method

Begin by preheating your oven to 200c.
I started off by combining all of the dry ingredients together except the sugar in a large bowl which will come in handy later on when you mix everything together. So put the plain flour,baking powder and salt (if using,personally I didn't) into the big bowl. In a smaller bowl mix together the peanut butter,butter and sugar. Beat it together for a couple of minutes to make sure it is nice and creamy. Next add the eggs and milk to this mixture and beat for a further minute or so. 
Once this is completed pour the peanut butter mixture into the flour, stir together until it is just combined then add in the 2 bags of chocolate chips. 


 Now you can begin spooning the mixture into the cake cases. Fill each case 3/4 full with the mixture. I found it fitted perfectly into 12 cases. 

Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes. I originally done 20 minutes and I found they were the perfect colour just not quite not done on the inside so I put them back in for another 5 minutes on a lower heat. 
And this is the final result.

  
I hope you enjoyed reading this and hope you enjoying making them :)


Thursday, 28 August 2014

Oat and Raisin Cookies

I have missed having warm soft chewy cookies. But these have put an end to those cravings. They only need 15 minutes in the oven and about 10 minutes on a cooling rack then bam, you will be in cookie heaven.
The recipe I originally followed did not have golden syrup in them. I wanted golden syrup in my cookies so I done a bit of research and found these babies.
So simple and easy, just keep reading to learn how to make them.

Ingredients

100g Plain Flour
100g Caster Sugar 
75g oats
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 
2 tbsp Golden Syrup 
100g Butter 
25g Sultanas


Method

Begin by turning your oven to 160 degrees and lining two trays with greaseproof paper. 
Start off with mixing your dry ingredients together so your flour, sugar,oats,sultanas and bicarb. Next melt the golden syrup and butter in a saucepan. Once this is done pour the golden syrup and butter mix into the dry ingredients and mix together well. At this stage I found my mixture was bit too sticky to roll into balls so I added extra oats and flour (only about a handful of each).
Next roll the mixture into about 12 balls, 6 on each tray, place these in the oven for about 10-15 minutes (don't worry they will melt into shape themselves in the oven) then remove even if the cookies still feel too soft.
Let them cool on the trays for a couple of minutes before transferring onto cooling racks to completely cool down. 

And there you have it, simple, easy to prepare cookies.









Thursday, 7 August 2014

Newcastle United Birthday Cake

So I was asked to bake a birthday cake for a friends birthday recently. His favourite football team is Newcastle United, so no doubt the cake should be the logo of Newcastle United. When it came to the actual logo I kind of cheated and ordered the football team logo because it would of been too hard to cut out myself but the background icing was all done by me :).





The actual cake I made was a classic Victoria Sponge in a square. I then bought from the supermarket ready to roll white icing and black icing. 
I started by sprinkling icing sugar onto the side I was rolling out the white icing. I rolled it into a big square. I rolled this up onto my rolling pin then slowly lowered it on the cake. I smoothed out any of the bumps then continued onto the black icing. The black lines are an inch thick each and I went through the same process as the white icing but cut the lines out of the black. To stick the black icing to the white I just used a small amount of buttercream on the back of each stripe to make sure it doesn't slide off. 
I then finished it off with the Newcastle logo that I had previously bought off of http://www.hollyscaketoppers.co.uk/

I am actually very pleased with the outcome of this cake,I'm not going to lie i was a bit scared incase it didn't turn out right but luckily it did :).


A few months ago I also done a cake for my boyfriends birthday. He is obsessed with Status Quo so it was really the only option for a cake. 
I had covered the Victoria Sponge in white icing but then I attempted to cut out the cover of a Hello Quo album cover. It was very difficult and it took several attempts to get it right. But eventually it turned out just right and it is safe to say he loved it.




But now I've done this cake for this year I'm expected to make an even better one for next year. Uh oh.
Oh and I also baked the cupcakes in this picture as well, just a plain cupcake mixture with chocolate chips in it.

Hope you enjoyed reading this :)


Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Cherry Bakewell Tart


So with this I kind of cheated. I wanted to test out the making of this but incase it didn't work I didn't want to spend all the money on the pastry tin I will need and the ceramic beads to weigh down the pastry when cooking. So I bought a pastry case already cooked from the supermarket. Good news is that it did actually work so I will be investing in a pastry tin and the beads and I will post later on the making of a pastry case on how easy it was etc. So to make this you will need:

Ingredients

8oz Soft Butter
8oz Granulated Sugar
8oz Ground Almonds
3 Eggs
2oz Plain Flour
Cherry Jam 
Flaked Almonds

Method

Begin by turning the oven on to 200c.
Start by adding the butter and sugar together and beating until a creamy consistency. Next and the eggs, ground almonds and flour to the butter/sugar mixture and mix this all together for a couple of minutes.
Now moving onto the case. Spread the cherry jam onto the base of the pasty.Add the mixture on the top of this right up to the rim of the case. Sprinkle on the flaked almonds.

Place it into the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until it is set and golden brown.






















Thursday, 31 July 2014

Reese's Cookies



I have seen these on pinterest before but I didn't think of making them. Until now,turns out I was definitely missing out. 
They are soft, chewy and an amazing smell of peanut butter. 
Super easy to make and only takes 14 minutes in the oven.
If you want to find out how to make these then just keep reading :)


Ingredients
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon whole milk
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter cups, chopped

Method

Start by turning your oven to 180c.
Next add the butter,peanut butter and both types of sugar into a bowl and mix until a creamy consistency. Then add the milk,egg,vanilla,bicarbonate soda,baking powder and flour into the mixture and just mix this all together. It is best to do this with a hand held mixer to save time and it brings the ingredients together better, if not a wooden spoon is fine. To finish off the recipe add the chocolate chips (i used white chocolate chips) and the main ingredients, reeses cups. I chopped some of them in half and then just threw a few whole ones in. 
Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper and use an ice cream scoop to get the same amount each time into the tray. Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes depending on colouring of the cookies. 
Leave to cool for 5 minutes then place onto a cooling rack to fully cool. 

Enjoy  

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Square Victoria Sponge

For this Victoria sponge I decided not to do the classic round Victoria sponge but mix it up a bit and make it in a square tin. 
It was very simple and easy to make. 
The only thing that I would say about this though is definitely have 2 tins whether you are making a square or circle cake. I only bought one to start off with and thought I can just cook one half first and then put it onto a cooling rack then use the same tin for the second half of the cake. It did eventually work out but I feel the cake could of done with cooling down for about 20 minutes in the tin before putting it onto a cooling rack to finish cooling. 
When making this cake I made the mixture all together for both halves then just put half in the tin first. 

Ingredients 

10oz Butter (room temperature)
10oz Granulated Sugar
10oz Self raising Flour 
4 Eggs
2 tsp Baking powder 

For the Filling

Strawberry Jam
Vanilla icing 


Method

Start off by turning your oven to 180 degrees.
Begin adding the butter and sugar into a bowl and whisking until it is a creamy consistency. Then add the flour,eggs and baking powder and continue to whisk.
Line a tin with greaseproof paper and add half the mixture to it, smooth it out so it has been spread evenly.
Place into the oven for 25 minutes. When the time is up take the cake out to check it has cooked all the way through. 
Once it is cooked then take it out and put it onto a cooling rack. Then add the rest of the ingredients to the tin (if you have only used one tin), cook for another 25 minutes.
Let both parts of the cake cool completely (I left mine for about 1 1/2 hours). 
Now it is time for the filling. Take a desert spoon and spoon about 3 spoonfuls of jam onto one half of the cake and spread evenly. On the other half of the cake do the same with the icing, then gently place the jammed half of the cake onto the iced part. Your cake is now complete.



Sunday, 20 July 2014

Lemon Drizzle Cake


I first saw this recipe on a cooking programme a long time ago. They drenched the cake in the drizzle so it soaks right into the sponge. I started making it exactly how I saw it but adding more lemon to the drizzle. For a few months I continued to make it like this but then I decided to mix it up a bit but changing the tin and experimenting with the drizzle itself. It used to be a loaf tin but now I've swapped it for a brownie tin. Much better.
(These ingredient measurements are for the brownie tin, if you was to use a loaf tin then just half the measurements).

Ingredients

8oz Butter, room temperature 
8oz Caster sugar
8oz Self raising flour 
3 Eggs 
1 tsp Baking powder
2 tbsp Milk
2 lemons (juice and rind)
2 tbsp Icing Sugar 





Method

First turn on your oven to 200c. Then begin by weighing out the butter and the caster sugar. Cream these together with either a wooden spoon or a hand mixer. Slow start adding the eggs,self raising flour,baking powder,milk and the rind of both the lemons.  
Line a tin with greaseproof paper, add the mixture to the tin and place into the oven. Set a timer for 25 minutes, after this time is up check on your cake by prodding the middle with a knife to see if it is cooked in the middle. If the knife comes out slightly sticky then place the cake back in for 5 minutes. Keep doing this until the knife comes out clean.


While the cake is cooling it is time to make the drizzle. 
Juice the 2 lemons and then add the icing sugar to this. Give it a good mix so there are no lumps of icing sugar. 




Next poke loads of small holes into the cake and pour the drizzle all over the cake. (The Small holes are for the drizzle to sink into while it cools down). 


Once the cake has fully cooled then you can remove from the tin and cut how you wish. 
  



I hope you enjoyed this recipe :)


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

New to Blogger

Hello

This is completely new to me. I have never done anything like this before but there is always a first for everything. 
I've been cooking leisurely for quite a while now so I thought why not start blogging about what I cook and tell you my thoughts on each recipe. 
Most of the time it will be cakes but now and then I will venture out of my comfort zone and cook a main course to mix it up a bit. 

Hope you enjoy reading :)