Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Pumpkin Coconut And Walnut Bread

There was a spare tin of pumpkin purée in my cupboards from when I had made a pumpkin pie for my dad last Christmas, I also had left over nuts from various other things I had baked so I went about searching for a recipe that would use up both.  I came across the recipe for this bread and decided to try it out and wow, is it yummy!  Delicious warm and cold.

450g plain flour
440g soft dark brown sugar
135g caster sugar
425g pumpkin purée (canned or home made)
250ml vegetable oil
150ml coconut milk
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
60g desiccated coconut
115g walnuts, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas Mark 4.
Grease and flour 2 loaf tins.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugars, pumpkin, oil, coconut milk, baking soda, salt and spices.  When all ingredients are well mixed, fold in the coconut and walnuts.  Pour half the batter into each loaf tin.  Bake for approximately 60 minutes, or until a cake tester or tooth pick comes out clean when inserted.  Remove from the oven and cover with foil to steam for 10 minutes.  Remove foil and turn out onto a cooling rack, place the foil over the bread again, loosely this time, and allow to cool completely.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Pirate Themed Cupcakes

Firstly, YAaaaaaar! Happy "Talk Like a Pirate Day".  To celebrate this 'holiday' i made some pirate themed cupcakes.  They were made with vanilla cupcakes coloured blue (using my good old Americolor gels) and then the design idea was to have a desert island in the centre of a blue buttercream ocean, with a pile of gold booty on top of the island with a jolly roger flag sticking out of the middle of the gold.  To finish it off I had planned to make shark fins with marshamllow fondant to put in the buttercream waves.

Unfortunately my buttercream was not stiff enough, I'm gonna blame my new hand mixer for this one.  It was very difficult to tell if the consistency was right, when I used my old mixer I could tell from the feel when it was ready.

Anyways, here is my finished result.  They don't look too bad but I had a way more awesome looking cupcake in my head, it was just very hard to translate it into being.

The jolly roger flags were made from searching the images on google  and using word to put two of them together so that they could be wrapped around a tooth pick and glued.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Peanut Butter and Jam Muffins

It's clear by now that I love me some peanut butter.  How happy was I when a friend sent me this recipe to try out?  I loved peanut butter and jam sandwiches growing up so how cool is it to have that combination in muffin form?

350g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 eggs, beaten
80g soft demerara sugar
2 heaped tbsp of peanut butter
110g butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
Jam (use whatever kind is your favourite, but strawberry or raspberry are good)

Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas Mark 6
Sieve the flour and baking powder together in a bowl and add the salt.  In a separate bowl mix the eggs, milk, vanilla, peanut butter, sugar and melted butter until smooth.  Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.  Line your muffin tin with muffin cases.  Place a spoonful of muffin mixture into the bottom of the cases and smooth with the back of your spoon.  Place a rounded teapsoon of jam in the cases, then top with another spoonful of muffin mixture so that the jam if totally covered.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a cake tester or tooth pick comes out clean when inserted.  Allow to cool completely before eating, the hot jam will burn!  One batch makes 12 muffins.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Banana And Chocolate Cupcakes

I really love baked goods with bananas in them.  I have previously posted recipes for whoopie pies and breads so now, in honour of National Cupcake Week I'll post the recipe for these cupcakes!

120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
Pinch of salt
80g unsalted butter (room temperature)
120ml whole milk
2 eggs
120g bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas Mark 3
In a bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and butter with an electric mixer on a slow speed until you get a sandy consistency.  Slowly pour the milk into the mixture, beating until all the ingredients are well mixed, then add the eggs and mix well.  Scrape any unmixed ingredients off the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Stir the bananas into the batter by hand until they are evenly incorporated.  Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases so that the cases are two thirds full and then bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the sponge bounces back and a cake tester or tooth pick comes out clean when inserted.  Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tins before moving them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.  Frost the cupcakes with chocolate buttercream (recipe on the Basic Recipes page) and to finish them off, grate some chocolate onto the top.  One batch makes 12 cupcakes.

UK National Cupcake Week 2011

Head on over to the National Cupcake Week website to join in the fun with recipes, photo galleries, NCW prize winners and other resources to help you celebrate what should really be a national holiday.

You can also follow the official National Cupcake Week twitter feed for other links and tips.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Champagne Cupcakes

I made these back in April for my mother's 60th birthday which was Oscars themed.  She was adamant that she did not want a birthday cake so I made 7 tiers worth of cupcakes, in 6 different flavours.  The champagne buttercream was a big hit.  I thought I'd post the recipe since it's National Cupcake Week here in the UK.

2 3/4 cups plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup butter (room temperature)
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
3/4 cup champagne (allow to sit so that it is no longer bubbly)
6 egg whites

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas Mark 4
Line cupcake tins with cases (one batch makes about 20 cupcakes).  In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  In a separate bowl sift the flour, baking powder and salt together then add to the butter and sugar, alternating with the champagne.  In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the cupcake mixture to lighten the batter, then fold in the remaining egg whites.  Fill the cupcake cases two thirds of the way and then put them into the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until a cake tester or tooth pick comes out clean when inserted.  Move the cupcakes onto a wire cooling rack after allowing them to sit in the tins for about 5 minutes.

While the cupcakes are baking you can start to make the champagne buttercream.

3 1/4 cups icing sugar
1 cup butter (room temperature)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp champagne (room temperature)

In a bowl beat the sugar and butter together on a low speed until blended, then turn the mixer up to medium for a further two minutes.  Add the vanilla and champagne and beat for another minute or two.  Frost the cupcakes when they are completely cool.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Brownies (Vegan, Gluten Free, Wheat Free)

A friend of mine has an allergy to gluten and wheat products, so when she sent me a message to say she'd be stopping by my house for a cup of tea I thought I'd make some tasty gluten free munchies to go along with it.  I stumbled across a recipe for these brownies, and really who can say no to a chocolatey little treat?

115g gram flour (chick pea flour)
35g potato starch (potato flour)
2 tbsp arrowroot
50g cocoa powder
200g unrefined caster sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
125ml coconut oil (melted)
125ml unsweetened applesauce (if there are apple pieces in the applesauce, blend smooth)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
125ml hot water or coffee
150g vegan chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas Mark 3
Lightly grease three 12-cup mini cupcake tins with extra coconut oil, or line with mini cupcake cases.  In a bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients.  Add the oil, applesauce, vanilla and hot water/ coffee to the dry ingredients and stir until smooth.  Using a spatula, fold in the chocolate chips until they are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

Spoon the mixture into your tins (or cases).  Bake in the preheated oven on the centre rack for 10 minutes, rotating the tray after 5 minutes.  For a fudgier cake, bake the brownies for 8 minutes total.  Insert a cake tester or tooth pick, which should come out clean.  Let the brownies stand in the tins for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.  The brownies are best served warm, but can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days, just cover with clingfilm.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Raspberry Scones (Vegan, Sugar Free)

I'm really enjoying trying out my vegan recipes, I'm totally curious to see how they turn out in comparison to non-vegan recipes.  I really loved these scones, I just ate them plain but you could use whatever spread takes your fancy and they were fantastic with a cup of tea (a very important factor for me, you just can't beat a good cup of tea!!).

240g Doves Farm wholegrain spelt flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
75ml coconut oil, plus more for brushing
75ml agave nectar, plus more for brushing
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
50ml hot water
150g fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas Mark 4
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.  In a medium bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt together.  Add the coconut oil, agave nectar and vanilla extract and mix until everything comes together into a thick slightly dry mixture is formed.  Pour the hot water in and continue to mix.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in the raspberries until they are marbles through the mixture.  For each scone, scoop 75ml of the mixture onto the prepared baking tray (I used a 1/3 cup for this - 1/3 cup = approx 75ml) leave 2.5cm between each one to allow them to expand.  Lightly brush each mound with extra oil and agave nectar and then bake in the oven for 14 minutes, rotating the baking tray 180 degrees after 7 minutes has passed.  Once they have baked, let them stand on the baking tray for 15 minutes and then use a spatula to gently move them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.  Mixture makes 8 scones.

Yum yum yum!!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

It's been a while since I last posted, but that doesn't mean I haven't still been trying out some new recipes!  I decided to try pineapple upside down cake since I'd never made one before (or eaten one for that matter) so I looked one up and picked up a tin of pineapple rings.

For the topping
120g butter
200g soft brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 pineapple rings (a 430g tin should have enough in it)
6 maraschino cherries

For the cake
170g butter (room temperature)
150g caster sugar
2 eggs
150g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

To make the topping: melt the butter in a pan and stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract.  Heat until the sugar has melted then add in 50ml of pineapple juice from the tin (just be careful in case it starts to splash).  Simmer on lowest heat for another 5 minutes.  Arrange your pineapple slices in a 23cm cake tin and place a maraschino cherry in the centre of each ring.  Pour the majority of the topping into the cake tin (keep some of the topping for a glaze later).  Let this stand while you mix the cake ingredients.

To make the cake: preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas Mark 4.  Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl, add the vanilla extract.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time and then sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl and fold in well.  Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for 40 minutes or until a cake tester or tooth pick comes out clean when inserted into the cake.  Allow to cool in the tin for 20 minutes then turn out onto a plate so that the pineapple is now on top.  Glaze with the remaining syrup.  Serve with ice cream or custard.