Saturday, 23 February 2019

Speculoos Traybake (Three Ingredients)

Speculoos Traybake


It's been a while since my last post - Christmas baked me out so to speak, and with a lot of running training to do, I've not been able to bake much. In the last week or so, however, I've got a bit of my baking spirit back and made this ridiculously easy but delicious traybake.
I came across Biscoff spread a year or so ago - I never would have thought crushed biscoff biscuits (which are very similar to Speculoos biscuits) turned into a spread would be so tasty! I found a recipe that turned the biscoff into a traybake and needed to try it out for myself.
And...it works! It tastes like a lovely sponge pudding with a deep flavour of the cinnamon/spice notes of speculoos biscuits. I now think that whenever there's a good deal on Biscoff spread, I'll be buying some to make this :)
Even better, this recipe is dairy free (which as someone who is becoming more and more sensitive to dairy every day is very nice)!

Makes around 24

Ingredients:

  • 1 large jar of crunchy Lotus Biscoff spread (380g)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 180c (160c fan)/355f/gas mark 4, and then grease and line the base of a 20cm square cake tin.

2. Whisk together the spread, eggs and baking powder until well combined.

3. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 16-18 minutes, until golden on top and does not wobble when the tin is moved. Leave to cool, cut into squares and enjoy!

Speculoos Traybake
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Saturday, 29 December 2018

My Favourite Christmas Cake


Christmas Cake Santa

Christmas Cake Slice

Hope everyone had a great Christmas. The Christmas cake I baked this year was my favourite yet, and so I thought I'd share my recipe :) I baked this about 4 weeks before Christmas, and it was packed full of flavour and super moist.

I covered the cake with a layer of marzipan and fondant icing, and then attempted to make a Santa and snowballs :)

Makes one 20cm cake

Ingredients:

For the cake mix:

  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 150g butter/margarine softened
  • 120g soft dark brown sugar
  • Finely grated zest of one orange
  • Finely grated zest of one lemon
  • 15g black treacle
  • 25g fine-cut marmalade
  • 3 eggs
  • 45ml (3 tbsp) brandy
  • 25ml dark rum

For the fruit mix:
  • 140g dried currants
  • 380g sultanas
  • 100g dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 95g chopped dried dates, roughly chopped
  • 75g dried prunes, roughly chopped
  • 75g glace cherries - halved
  • 100g mixed peel
  • 75ml dark rum
  • 75ml brandy

Method:

1. 24 hours prior to baking, soak all of the dried fruits in 75ml of rum and 75ml brandy. Cover and leave at room temperature until ready to bake.

2. Preheat your oven to 160c (140c fan)/320f/gas mark 3. Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm cake tin with two layers of greaseproof paper.

3. Sift together the plain flour, ground almonds, bicarbonate of soda, spices and salt.

4. Cream together the butter and sugar with the lemon and orange zest until light and fluffy. 

5. Add the treacle and marmalade and beat again to combine. 

6. Beat in 2 of the eggs with a tablespoon of the flour mixture, followed by the rest of the flour mixture. Mix until just combined, and then fold in the soaked fruit mixture.

7. Fold in the remaining egg, and then pour into the prepared cake tin. Bake for between 2 and 2.5 hours, until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

8. As soon as the cake is out of the oven, brush the rum and brandy all over the surface of the cake and leave to cool. Once completely cool, wrap in cling film/place in an airtight container until ready to decorate.

9. Enjoy!

Christmas Cake Santa
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Saturday, 22 December 2018

Simple and Delicious Chocolate Fudge

Chocolate Fudge


This fudge is the perfect last-minute addition to a Christmas hamper. Provided you have a large saucepan and a sugar thermometer, it's really simple and is incredibly smooth and delicious.
Use a much larger saucepan than the mixture looks like it needs (I used a large stock pot) - it bubbles up like crazy, so the bigger the pan, the less you have to worry about making a mess/having to take the pan off the heat constantly for fear of causing that mess.

Makes around 24 pieces of fudge

Ingredients:

  • 300ml whole milk
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 tsp ground ginger (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g dark chocolate (I used 55% but you could go darker if you like), finely chopped

Method:

1. Grease and line the base of a 20cm square tin (I used a silicon-one but a standard cake tin would work fine, or even a sandwich tub) with baking parchment.

2. Pour the milk, sugar and butter into a large saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring regularly. Once boiling, continue stirring and checking the temperature of the mixture. It will take about 15 minutes for it to reach 115c/239f.

3. Once the mixture reaches 115c/239f, take off the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Add the chopped chocolate, ginger and vanilla extract and stir until melted.

4. Continue to stir the mixture whilst it cools - it will begin to thicken and come away from the sides of the pan. Keep beating until it loses its glossy appearance (it starts to go a matt brown colour).

5. Pour into the prepared tin/tub and smooth. Leave to cool to room temperature before slicing into squares. Store in an airtight tub :)

6. Enjoy!

Chocolate Fudge
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