About MissCakeBaker

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

Friday 28 October 2011

Healthyish Pancakes for a Poorly Mr CB

Mr CB is a feeling a bit under the weather. When it comes to man flu  Mr CB's being poorly my bedside manner is not quite of Florence Nightingale standards. However this morning I did feel a bit sorry for the poor wee soul so I thought I'd take him breakfast in bed.  He lucked out as we had no bread in the house so I thought I'd make pancakes.  I've adapted this pancake recipe from various ones I've used before - I tried to make them as healthy as possible using wholemeal flour and rapeseed oil rather than butter.   I thought the mixed berries I served them with would definitely give a nice burst of antioxidants!  

This recipe is also my entry to this month's Breakfast Club whose theme for October is 'Stars and Stripes' - for me pancakes are the ultimate breakfast food to be found across the pond. It's the first time I've entered this challenge - I came across it on Susan's lovely blog 'A Little Bit of Heaven on a Plate'.

Thought you might like this little video too.....

The Recipe

135g wholemeal flour
1 tspn baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tbspn caster sugar
150ml milk
1 egg
2 tbspn rapeseed oil

1.  Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and add the salt and sugar.  Mix well together.
2. Beat together the milk, egg and oil.  Then mix into the dry ingredients.  Beat well together with a fork.
3. Heat a non stick frying pan and add a little butter or oil.  Ladle a spoonful of batter into the pan and cook the pancake until it starts to bubble then turn over.  

I served mine with mixed berries (I use frozen summer fruits heated up) and maple syrup or agave nectar.

The Fairy Hobmother - Make A Wish!

I've just had a lovely surprise - a visit from The Fairy Hobmother from Applicances Online, a web retailer of household appliances.  She has the lovely job of granting wishes across the web and bloggersphere and making lots of people very happy!  I received a visit after posting on a comment  over at Ocean Breezes & Country Sneezes after she stopped by there to grant a wish . I was lucky enough to receive a voucher for Amazon which I'm going to use to expand my baking book selection (well German Baking Today needs replacing now it's been frogmarched to the charity shop). 

If you leave a comment on this post you may be the next lucky recipient of a visit from this most welcome of fairies.  Leave a comment saying what you wish for from The Fairy Hobmother - a quick visit to her website will give you lots of ideas.....

Sunday 23 October 2011

Apple & Cinnamon Muffins

I was a bit worried after last week's posts that I'd lost my baking mojo - I really didn't love either of the recipes I made, especially the Banana Turnovers (but let's not go there again).  I'm pleased to report however that after my stint in the kitchen making these muffins it is most definitely back (just as well as it's National Baking Week).   These are probably the nicest, fluffiest, most delicious muffins I've ever made. I've had to quickly put them in the freezer before I eat the lot (and completely undid the good I did from this morning's bi-annual run round the park). I originally found the recipe on the Total Greek Yoghurt site but have adapted it to make them a bit healthier.  I substituted wholemeal spelt flour for the original plain flour and rapeseed oil for melted butter.

This recipe is my entry for The Pink Whisk's new monthly challenge. For October Ruth has challenged us to make something containing apples. The smell of these muffins baking with their apple and cinnamon aroma wafting round the house just made this gorgeous sunny autumnal day even nicer.

The Recipe

200g wholemeal spelt flour
2 tspn baking powder
1 tspn bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
pinch of ground nutmeg
2 tspn ground cinnamon
100g soft brown sugar
125g greek yoghurt
1 egg
100ml rapeseed oil
1 tspn vanilla extract
150g apple puree (I'm not sure how many apples you would need for this as I made a big batch but probably 2 -3)

1.  Preheat the oven to 200c/gas mark 6.
2.  Combine all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl and the wet ingredients in a separate one.
3.  Mix together the 2 sets of ingredients gradually until you have a smooth batter.
4.  Spoon the mixture into a muffin tin. It will make about 8 muffins.
5. Bake for around 15 mins until golden and firm. Cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Sunday 16 October 2011

Chocolate & Beetroot Cupcakes

I thought it would be a bit of a poor effort if I didn't manage to bake something this weekend using chocolate as it is National Chocolate Week. So I'm sneaking this recipe in just as it comes to a close.  My first thought was to find a chocolate recipe using chilli for this month's We Should Cocoa challenge.  While I know there are loads of ideas out there for using these two ingredients I still have bad memories of a Chocolate Chilli Cake I made a few years ago - it made me feel a little bleugh at the time, hence the reluctance to revisit that combination.  I will keep thinking about it though Choclette I promise.

I found this recipe on Baking Mad - I did a search of chocolate cupcake recipes and it threw up this one amongst others.  I've seen several cakes using beetroot as an ingredient on various blogs but hadn't tried using it myself. The recipe also calls these 'low calorie' which I thought wouldn't be a bad thing. However I actually didn't use the specified half spoon sugar so I've probably ruined that idea. I loved the gorgeous colour of the batter - before I added the cocoa is was a proper Pepto Bismol pink!  I also substituted self raising for plain flour as I just ran out of baking powder this morning.  

All in all they were really light cupcake although I felt the cocoa was drowned out by the beetroot. This did mean however that they went well with the rich topping.

The Recipe

3 eggs
150g caster sugar
200g grated beetroot
1/2 tspn vanilla extract
180g self raising flour
180g ground almonds
2 tbspns cocoa powder
pinch of salt
284ml buttermilk

100g plain chocolate (70% cocoa)
2 tspn fromage frais

1.  Preheat the oven to 180c, gas mark 4.  Line a muffin tray with paper cases (makes 24 in total).
2.  Mix together the eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy.  Beat in the beetroot and vanilla extract.  Add the other dry ingredients and mix well.  Finally add the buttermilk and mix again until well combined.
3.  Divide between the paper cases and bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
4.  Make the icing by melting the chocolate in a microwave.  Lave to cool. Then add the fromage frais and mix well.  Add some milk if you need to loosen the consistency to make it more spreadable. 

Banana Turnovers - A (very) Random Recipe

For this month's Random Recipe Challenge, Dom at Belleau Kitchen paired us up with another blogger so we could each choose the other's recipe.  I was paired up with the lovely Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog fame who randomly chose Dr. Oetker's German Baking Today, a cookbook which has been lingering unused (and unloved) on my bookshelf for the last 6 years. This book was actually a wedding present from some family friends in Germany.  I have flicked through it on several occasions thinking I should make something from it but when it comes down to it I like my cakes to be a bit more ooh-la-la than oom-pah-pah. Choclette picked page 173 which led me to a recipe for Banana Turnovers in the in the 'cheese and oil cake mixture' (are you understanding me more on why this book just doesn't invite you in....) chapter. I do love the fact that this blog challenge does what it says on the tin - to me you can not get a more random recipe than this.  Now if I was looking at a cake menu Banana Turnovers would not be up there on my list of choices. But, I am the first to criticise those who pah pah food before they've even tried it so I was happy to give them a go.  

When I first read the recipe I was a bit stumped as to where I would find curd cheese, one of the ingredients (cheese and oil chapter remember!) as I know my local Sainsbury's doesn't sell it.  It was a lovely lady in Harrods foodhall (I don't have delusions of grandeur - I work right next to it) who told me that it is just kwark cheese or in otherwords fromage frais.  So it turns out my local Sainsbury's does sell it.  I had high hopes for this recipe as I made the dough (with my new non smoking hand mixer with dough attachment!) - it was soft and pillowly.  That's where the hopes ended.....  The recipe says it would made 9 turnovers - I managed 5 and a half but the first 3 were write offs.  I rolled the dough too thinly at first so they split a little when cooking. I left the dough a bit thicker on the last 2 and a half and they turned out significantly better.  The final result - well they didn't look as pretty as the ones in the book but the last batch were OK.  I just don't think I'm a fan of cooked banana really (too baby food) so that doesn't help but Mr CB's response was not even lukewarm. You know it isn't good when someone turnsdown your turnover.....

The Recipe

300g plain flour
3 tspns baking powder (the recipe called for 1 packet so this was a bit of a guess)
75g caster sugar
3 drops vanilla essence
pinch of salt
125g fromage frais
100ml milk
100ml cooking oil (I used rapeseed)

For the filling:
2 bananas
4 tspns apricot jam
4 tspns lemon juice

For the coating & topping:
1 egg beaten
flaked almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 180c, gas mark 4. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
2.  Sift together the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add all the other cake ingredients and mix together with a hand mixer using the dough hook.  Don't knead for too long as you don't want the mixture to go too sticky.  
3.  Place the dough on a floured surface and make it into a cylinder shape.  Roll it out into a square shape around 36cm x 36cm then cut it into 12cm squares.  
4.  Mix together the apricot jam and lemon juice and brush each square with this mixture, leaving the edges clear. Put a piece of banana diagonally onto the square and brush again with the apricot mixture.  Brushes the edges with the egg wash and then fold over and seal.  Brush the turnovers with more egg and sprinkle with almonds. 
5. Bake for about 15-20 minutes.

Sunday 9 October 2011

Plum & Oat Madeira Cake

A while ago I bought a bag of oatmeal from the local health food shop to make oatcakes. I've recently being having a freezer and cupboard purge with the vow of using up things before they get forgotten forever in a dark corner. I could see that the oatmeal could become one of those cupboard lurkers so I had a little look on the Internet to see what oatmeal containing cakes it threw up. It turned out to be a bit of a trawl through several pages of various porridge recipes before I came across this cake recipe. I'm a big porridge fan (I've just come back from my parents with a nice supply of stewed windfall apples to go with said breakfast) but I prefer the jumbo oats in it rather than oatmeal. It was the Waitrose website that
featured this take on a Madeira cake. It smelt delicious while it was baking and I was pleased that the very under ripe plums I used tasted great once cooked. The jury however is out on this cake as a whole. In all fairness the original recipe calls for medium oatmeal and mine was coarse so this probably has made a difference - you can really taste little oaty bursts while eating it which are pleasant but slightly odd. It is not disimilar to a polenta cake but not quite as moist and refined. It was just fine with a cup of afternoon tea but Mr CB won't be taking it to my usual testers at his office as he said he didn't think they'd like it very much. Well I did marry him for his honesty!

    Sunday 2 October 2011

    Roman Style Loaf

    So the bread making continues.....  I was tidying up the kitchen cupboards this morning and came across some Doves Farm Wholegrain Spelt Flour.  I usually use this flour for making tarts but noticed the recipe on the back of the packet for a Roman Style Loaf.  It is, thanks to the Doves Farm recipe, a really easy loaf to make.  I was a bit concerned as it didn't seem to rise much during the 25 min resting time but has turned out just fine nonetheless.  It is dense yet moist and very tasty!

    The Recipe

    500g wholegrain spelt flour (as mentioned I used Doves Farm organic)
    1/2 tspn salt
    1tspn instant yeast
    1 tbspn honey
    400ml warm water
    1 tbpn olive oil

    1. Preheat oven to 200c/gas Mark 6
    2. In a large bowl mix together the flour, salt and yeast.
    3. Dissolve the honey in the water and roughly mix into the flour.
    4. Add the oil and mix well. Knead the dough for a few minutes then put it in to a loaf tin.
    5. Cover and leave dough in a warm place for around 25 mins. Bake for 40-45 mins.