About MissCakeBaker

I spend the week running in heels and the weekends in my apron.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Honey, Sultana & Cinnamon Cookies

Cookies are a bit like the no 52 bus to Victoria for me - you wait for ages for one then several come along at once. Well that's certainly what my cookie, or I should say biscuit, making is like.  They're just not something I make very often but I've made quite a few over the last few weeks. 

I saw the recipe for these super easy cookies on the back of a Doves Farm Spelt Flour packet.  I added in the sultanas as I have a half used bag in the bottom of the cupboard and I do prefer my healthier style cookies with a bit of fruit in them. The recipe can be found here - just throw a couple of handfuls of sultanas as you go.

They were lovely, soft cookies and felt reasonably healthy to boot.  This is my entry to this month's Alpha Bakes Challenge hosted by Caroline from Caroline Makes, whose letter this month is 'H'.

Monday, 21 May 2012

A Triple Chocolate Cookie Challenge

When I received an email asking me if I'd like to review Domino's Triple Chocolate Cookies I'm not going to lie, I was more than a bit sceptical. It's one thing to get a takeaway pizza but takeaway cookies?  They did however suggest that I compare their cookies to my homemade version. At that point I thought why not and rather liked the challenge they'd set. I do have to admit at this point that I've never actually made triple chocolate cookies before but it was a good excuse to try out a new recipe.

I found said recipe on epicurious.com and it can be found here. I made the cookies before I ordered in the ones from Domino's. I went down the all American cookie route and made mine big and bold.  It was a pretty easy recipe and they tasted chocolately yet quite light.

Later that evening, I took the opportunity of Mr CB being away for the night to order in a rather nice pizza and cookie feast.  My verdict on the cookies? They were a lot smaller than I thought they would be but were pretty damn good.  They had a denser brownie like texture on breaking into them and had lovely gooey milk and white chocolate chips. What surprised me most was that they weren't too sweet.  I don't think I would go down the route of ordering in cookies but let's face it not everyone likes baking as much as I do.  If you are among the latter group then I would say go for it as you won't be disappointed.

My Triple Chocolate Cookies.....

Domino's Triple Chocolate Cookies.....

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Saffron Sultana Cake

For this month's Random Recipes, Dom at Belleau Kitchen challenged us to make a recipe from the first or last page from a randomly chosen book from our shelf. The book I pulled out was Food of the Sun by Alastair Little and Richard Whittington.  Tucked away on the last page was this recipe for a very simple Saffron Sultana Cake. 

The recipe called for saffron powder which I didn't have so I used saffron stems instead. Mine didn't come out quite as yellow as the one in the book. I also added some grated orange zest to the recipe. It's a bit of a weird cake - it really reminded me of a trifle sponge. I felt it was a little dry so made an orange syrup which I poured over the whole cake.  It would be nice served alongside something like caramelised oranges. I've actually frozen it and do intend using it in a trifle sometime in the near future.

I've included the recipe below as as far as I can see this book is now out of print.

The Recipe

55g unsalted butter, diced
125g plain flour
pinch of salt
2 tspn saffron powder or a pinch of saffron stems
55g sultanas soaked for as long as possible in brandy. Drained and tossed in flour (mine still sunk!)
4 eggs
125 caster sugar
orange zest
orange juice and caster sugar melted together to make syrup (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 180c/gas 4 and line a swallow square tin or swiss roll tin. 
2. Place a heatproof bowl over a bowl of barely simmering water. Add the eggs and sugar to the bowl and  whisk for about 10 minutes until the mixture is thick.  Remove the bowl from the heat.
3.  Add about half or a third of the flour and butter and fold in.  Repeat until it is all mixed in and the butter is melted.  Finally fold in the sultanas and pour into the prepared tin.
4. Bake for around 15 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.  Turn out on a rack to cool. Pour over syrup if you wish (if you do make holes all over the cake before you do so).

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Chocolate Marshmallow Cake

I quite like to wander round Harvey Nichols Food Hall and look at all of their imported food stuffs and generally ponder what I would make with them. The big jars of Marshmallow Fluff with their retro US packaging always stand out but as yet I've never bought one.  

I was recently sent a copy of Marshmallow Madness by Shauna Sever to review and when I saw it contained a recipe for Homemade Marshmallow Creme I figured I would prefer to make my own, knowing what was in it, rather than a shop bought version.  This book is packed full of marshmallows of all types and flavours, which I really do think will be the next big thing in the UK. Even the cover is soft and slightly squishy like the creations in it. If you want to know how to make marshmallows then this is definitely the book for you.

I was slightly daunted at first by the idea of making the Marshmallow Creme, especially as the recipe involved a sugar thermometer. In reality though it was pretty straightforward to make. One of the key ingredients is Corn Syrup which isn't readily available in the UK. I substituted Maple Syrup for it and found it worked perfectly. Now I have mastered the marshmallow creme I think I will try progressing onto one of the more adventurous receipes such as Malibu and even Pineapples-Rosemary Marshmallows. 

The book contains a recipe for Chocolate-Marshmallow Roulade.  I basically made the roulade mixture and baked it but I made mine into a square layered cake rather than rolling it up.  The cake has a definite strong coffee taste coming through. I'm not a big fan of coffee cake but found in this instance it worked really well with the chocolate and its slight bitterness was needed against the very sweet Marshmallow Creme filling.  The cake is topped off with chocolate ganache. It's unfortunately not my finest photo ever but if you are looking for a very indulgent special occasion cake then this is it. 

The Recipe

Chocolate-Marshmallow Cake

6 oz dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
3oz unsalted butter
1 cup plain flour
3 tblspns unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tspn baking powder
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cups strong brewed coffee (I made an espresso)

1.  Preheat the oven to 270c.  Line a 12x17x1 inch baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with cooking spray.  

2. Place the butter and sugar in a heatproof bowl. Melt in the microwave, with 30 second bursts of high power, stirring well after each interval.  Sift together the flour, cocoa, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Beat the eggs and sugar until tripled in volume, about 5 mins.  Reduce the speed to low and stir in the cooled chocolate mixture.  Stir in the dry ingredients and coffee in three alternating additions.  

3.  Pour the batter into the prepared tin.  Bake for 15 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Invert it on to clean tea towel covered with a sheet of clean parchment.  Peel back the parchment from the cake. Roll it if making a roulade or just leave to cool as it is if not.

Marshmallow Creme

The Syrup
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup (I used maple syrup)
1/4 cup water
1/8 tspn salt

The Fluff
2 large egg whites, at room temp
1/4 tspn cream of tartar

The Mallowing
1 1/2 tspn vanilla extract

1.  Stir together the sugar, maple syrup, water and salt in a small saucepan over a high heat.  Boil, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 240F (you will need a sugar thermometer to check this).

2.  Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a bowl and whip them until they are in soft peaks. 

3. When the syrup reaches 240F, slowly drizzle about 2 tbspns of it into the egg whites to warm them (if you add too much at once the egg whites will scramble).  Slowly drizzle in the rest of the syrup, increasing the mixing speed.  Beat until the marshmallow creme is stiff and glossy.  Towards the end of the beating time, beat in the vanilla. The creme will keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge.

4. Use the creme to fill your roulade or sandwich your cake layers together. The original recipe suggested adding in some butter to the creme to make the filling richer but I liked it as it was.

Finally top the cake with a chocolate ganache glaze (100g dark chocolate melted with a small tub of double cream).